August 11, 2013

A Confederacy of Douches

Speaking of giant conspiracies hiding in plain view, from the Los Angeles Times:
Immigration reform creates odd political alliances 
Liberal organizations are working alongside GOP operatives, faith groups and high-tech companies to sway Republicans in Congress to overhaul immigration policies. And a lot of money is being spent to do so. 
By Brian Bennett and Joseph Tanfani 
WASHINGTON — When television ads aired in South Carolina this spring attacking Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham for supporting immigration reform, a GOP group came to his aid. So did the other team. 
"We came up with the money," said Frank Sharry, founder and executive director of America's Voice, a Washington-based group with close ties to the Obama White House. "We were just frustrated that nobody was doing anything, and Graham was under attack. We said, 'Fine, we will put money in.'" 
Sharry's group, knowing an ad sponsored by a left-leaning advocacy group could hurt Graham, donated $60,000 to Republicans for Immigration Reform, a super PAC started by President George W. Bush's former Commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez, and GOP fundraiser Charlie Spies. 
An unprecedented collection of political bedfellows has coalesced this year on the reform side of the immigration debate: liberal Latino organizations and Republican operatives, the Chamber of Commerce and labor unions, faith groups and high-tech companies. And as with the Sharry contribution, some left-leaning groups are financing Republican pro-immigration groups. 
The result is a flood of money for advertising, lobbying and field organizing aimed at convincing Republicans in Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally, authorize more temporary work visas and increase security on the border with Mexico. 
During the first half of the year, reform backers outspent opponents in advertising by more than 3 to 1: $2.4 million to $700,000, according to Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group. They also hired a battalion of lobbyists. In the second quarter, 527 businesses, advocacy groups and others reported lobbying on immigration, up from 389 in the first three months of the year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 
Some of that spending is about to show up in targeted campaigns in House districts. Advocates are trying to keep up the pressure when members are home during the five-week August recess — or "Action August," as President Obama called it last month. But the biggest spending is likely to come this fall, when the House is expected to take up a series of immigration bills. 
"We will see a significant ramp-up of activities in August and September," said Tom Snyder, who runs the campaign effort for the labor giant AFL-CIO. Some Republican House members have already started to soften their opposition to reform, he said, especially in districts with tens of thousands of union members. "What you are seeing is not an avalanche but a stream starting to trickle in our direction." 
The last time Congress took up the issue, in 2007, anti-immigration groups mounted a fierce grass-roots campaign and succeeded in defining the bill as "amnesty" for lawbreakers. This time, advocates have launched a preemptive strike. 
"I've heard it said, it could be lost in August but not won in August," said Spies, a lawyer who formed Republicans for Immigration Reform to provide "political cover." 
The AFL-CIO has spent $418,998 to run ads in at least six states and plans to spend more than $1 million in August and September targeting 40 Republicans in the House. The Service Employees International Union started a $200,000 radio campaign aimed at Republican congressmen in 10 districts with growing Latino populations, including four Californians: Jeff Denham (Atwater), Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (Santa Clarita), Gary G. Miller (Diamond Bar) and David Valadao (Hanford). 
Two moderate Republican organizations also have participated. The American Action Network spent $182,085 on television ads, and Americans for a Conservative Direction spent $105,251 for ads in six states, according to Kantar Media. 
FWD.us, an advocacy group founded by Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and funded by top tech executives, announced plans last week to spend more than $500,000 on ads featuring a young Chicago man who wants to become a Marine but can't because he came to the country illegally as a 7-month-old. 
Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which opposes boosting immigration levels, said his side was badly outgunned. The tide of corporate money has moved the debate away from the promise of the poem on the Statue of Liberty to welcome the tired, the poor and the freedom-seekers, he said. 
"Now, it's give us your industrial and farm workers who are low-wage and poorly educated, or give us the technical talent from somebody else's economy," Stein said. 
The immigration debate has drawn attention, and money, from a vast array of businesses: notably the tech industry, which wants more H-1B visas for highly trained foreign workers, but also other industries that rely heavily on immigrant labor, including agriculture and hotels. Since March, companies and trade groups signed up 76 more lobbying firms, according to the Sunlight Foundation and the Center for Responsive Politics. 
Microsoft Corp. has been among the most active. In addition to its in-house lobbying operation, the company has paid lobbyists from 15 firms this year to press the case on Capitol Hill. 
Fred Humphries, vice president for government affairs, said Microsoft supported reform efforts that would increase high-tech visas because U.S. colleges do not graduate enough computer scientists. "In the U.S. today, Microsoft has approximately 3,500 research and engineering jobs we can't fill," he said. 
The business lobby's influence on Republican lawmakers was on vivid display this spring. In March, Utah's Republican senators, Orrin G. Hatch and Mike Lee, urged the Senate to slow down on immigration reform. That didn't sit well at the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, where many members had been agitating to increase high-tech visas. At a news conference, the chamber's president threatened to mount a recall of Hatch and Lee. 
Hatch soon changed course. He became a key player in the talks that led the Senate to approve a bipartisan bill authorizing up to 180,000 high-tech visas — nearly triple the current number. 
The business spending has been welcomed by immigration advocates. 
"For the first time, I am seeing business actually put political muscle into this campaign. In the past, it was more like lip service," said Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union and a key strategist for the immigration reform forces. 
One congressman who has felt the squeeze is Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican elected in 2008 in the district once represented by the vociferously anti-immigration Tom Tancredo. In 2012, the district was redrawn to include Aurora, one of the most immigrant-dense cities in the state. 
Among the pro-reform groups lobbying Coffman were evangelical church members, part of a grass-roots effort financed by Zuckerberg's FWD.us, a Christian family foundation and a hedge-fund manager who is a major Republican donor. 
"That has never happened before," said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, which was the conduit for the money. Noorani's organization typically draws financial support from progressives. 
During the Senate debate this spring, Coffman's Colorado office was deluged with calls and petitions, said Dustin Zvonek, his district director. Ten days in a row, evangelical churchgoers held prayer vigils in the office. 
Coffman endorsed comprehensive reform last month. 
That decision brought him $275,000 worth of positive TV commercials from Americans for a Conservative Direction — also funded by FWD.us. "On immigration, too many members of Congress argue with each other, but our congressman, Mike Coffman, listened to us," the ad said. 

* The post's title, suggested by a commenter recently, is of course a play on the the classic comic novel by John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces, which is derived from Swift's line, "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him."

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, what's with the potty mouth outbreak? Bad enough you moderate in all the comments replete with F bombs and graphic sexual insults now, you don't have to compete with your own childish post titles. If you keep this up Mike Judge and David Brooks may stop reading you

mission accomplished said...

Sharry's group, knowing an ad sponsored by a left-leaning advocacy group could hurt Graham
^^Key line in the article. Now the amnesty-lustful are either so secure in their position or drunk on power they're openly bragging about how they rolled that Republican hick from the impeachment trial. I guess another depressing explanation is that Graham would've supported it even without the donation...

Golden Hand said...

There's a joke in there somewhere among the LGBTQA supporters being in bed with the immigration supporters.... No doubt my cis-privilege and insensitivity are due for a trip to room 101.

Anonymous said...

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/11/3554750/are-self-employed-cubans-really.html

europeasant said...

There are almost one billion Africans in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of them want to immigrate to the US of A. This would be a demographic disaster of immense proportions.

Flash news release. The projected Sub Saharan population will be two billion in the year 2050.

Coming your way the Africanization of the US of A.

rightsaidfred said...

Good grief; unions, churches, and business are spending money and time to get Congress to replace the natives.

I'm starting to feel a kinship with the Neanderthals: surveying the landscape, seeing the encroaching Cro Magnons, and sensing that I am deep and thoroughly screwed. The only comfort is that 4% of my DNA will live on in some of the new groups. And now they are in decline.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of low-hanging fruit in this Confederacy of Douches but a good place to start fighting back is with your local Chamber of Commerce. Just go to their website and find out who the local members are, then patronize their competition. For example, in Salt Lake City just go here. If you currently spend money at these places, tell them you are taking your business elsewhere.

countenance said...

Which perhaps means the real political spectrum isn't left-right or Democrat-Republican, it's up-down or elitist-populist.

notsaying said...

This makes me sick.

There's a tsunami of about double the number of legal immigrants headed our way if these idiots get their way and average Americans have no idea.

They figure there's nothing to be done because nobody will send all those here illegally home. So I think they are tuning the whole thing out.

Obviously the people supporting the bill focus on legalizing the illegal immigrants already here, without mentioning the additional legal immigrants that will come here as a result.


David said...

>the real political spectrum isn't left-right or Democrat-Republican, it's up-down or elitist-populist<

No, it's about those godless communists who want us to burn the flag and turn tail in the Holy Land! It's about white women being intrinsically our biological enemies! It's about the scourge of condoms! It's about those awful conservatives and compassionate liberals, I mean awful liberals and compassionate conservatives! [/sarcasm]

It's all very confusing. I think I'll just wait to comment until Jeff Bezos tells me what to think.

Anonymous said...

The attitude of the *leadership* (not the members, mind you) of the labor unions absolutely sickens and appalls me.

Just what sort of workman's union sides with the bosses in the capitalistic of capitalistic manoverures? (ie reducing compnsation for labor down to the barest minimum due to massive over supply of labor).

What was it that Marx said about the 'reserve army of labor' and the immiseration of the working classes? Are the big, fat, well salaried pea-brained lefty b*stards who run the unions really that F8cking stupid?

Now I actually feel happy that Reagan and the right-wing Republicans gutted the unions.

The unions in the UK were just the same. Run by hard-core ideological lefty wankers the lot of them. Most of the 'leaders' never actually did a day's work in their lives - parachuted-in micro lefty intellects straight from college. News today tells us that UK wages have fallen the biggest amount in recent history. Concomitant with massive uncontrolled 'Labour' Party instigated immigration.

During the mass immigration period you never heard a peep abot mass immigration from the unions.

Jack Hanson said...

@Anon 4:55

We're watching this country being offered up by the fuckers sworn to protect it so they can get some more bux, and you're worried about language? Go back to your Russian Tea Room then. This is something to be pissed off about. If you can't realize that you're either being willfully disingeneous or you're a fucking idiot.

Big Bill said...

"The unions in the UK were just the same. Run by hard-core ideological lefty wankers the lot of them. Most of the 'leaders' never actually did a day's work in their lives - parachuted-in micro lefty intellects straight from college."

These lefties have an inordinate fear of the white gentile working class (rabble, masses, pitchforks, torches, pogroms). They find it much easier to lead the illiterate and uneducated.

Higher wages aren't their goal. Their goal is a larger pool of union members and greater political power.

They would rather be bosses of a union of 20 million people making $10 an hour, than a union of 200k making $40 an hour. Raising wages doesn't matter.

They make much more money off the 20 million AND they can rent them out for leafletting, political sign-waving, rallying for more government benefits and the like.

Hence the college boy union leaders fight for things like more government benefits, Obamacare, legalizing millions of wetbacks (i.e. potential new union members), etc.

An they do this even though the wage of their own members will drop as a result.

Ask yourself this. Would you rather get $1 a month from 20 million people, or $10 a month from 200,000?

Matthew said...

"At a news conference, the chamber's president threatened to mount a recall of Hatch and Lee. Hatch soon changed course. He became a key player in the talks that led the Senate to approve a bipartisan bill authorizing up to 180,000 high-tech visas — nearly triple the current number."

First of all, to have a recall election you would have to, uh, amend the Constitution. To do that, you would have to get Congress to vote for the amendment. Good luck with that.

Second, Hatch is a lying son-of-a-bitch who has been trying to sell us out on immigration for decades. In the early 90s, not long after the '86 amnesty passed, Hatch tried to amend federal law to make it legal to employ illegal aliens. Then in the late '90s/early 2000s he introduced the DREAM Act. Yes, that was his idea. He voted for cloture on the 2006 amnesty bill (S. 2611), though not for the bill itself - in other words, he supported the bill, he just wanted to be able to claim that he opposed it.

Now, in his last term in office, he doesn't have to pretend anything. He is revealing to the voters what he has supported all along.

As for threatening Sen. Mike Lee, the Chamber is spouting utter bullshit. Lee helped oust incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett in part because Bennett voted for the 2006 amnesty bill and because Lee opposed amnesty and because he supported changing out current interpretation of the 14th Amendment's birthright citizenship clause. Having ousted Bennett and voted in Lee for those reasons, why the hell would Utah voters throw him out for keeping his word? Rep. Chris Cannon, also from Utah, was defeated in 2008 for the same reason. The Salt Lake Chamber doesn't have voters on its side and it knows it.

If any form of amnesty passes, the 2014 elections will be a bloodbath for incumbent Republicans and for many Democrats as well. Dems will absolutely lose control of the Senate - they'll lose in Arkansas (where Tom Cotton is already leading over David Pryor), they'll lose in Montana, Louisiana, Alaska, Iowa, North Carolina, and God knows where else. There's a solid baker's dozen states where Democratic senators could lose over their support for the immivasion bill.

Incumbent Republicans will lose, too. Lindsey Graham already has three announced opponents, who all smell blood in the water. And Marco Rubio has seen a huge drop in support in places like New Hampshire and Iowa - from 22% to 6% in the N.H.

The news doesn't all favor the open borders wackos. Candidates are starting to announce, and it's not looking pretty for those who favor amnesty. There will be a price to pay. Keep up the phone calls, and make campaign contributions, if you can.

David said...

Big Bill, you're saying today's unions work for management. I quite agree.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

There is a lot of low-hanging fruit in this Confederacy of Douches but a good place to start fighting back is with your local Chamber of Commerce. Just go to their website and find out who the local members are, then patronize their competition. For example, in Salt Lake City just go here. If you currently spend money at these places, tell them you are taking your business elsewhere."

And don't just write your Congressman. Write the chairman of your state Republican party and other party officials (those guys talk to the politicians - more than you do). Tell them that they are destroying their party by doing this.

Funny, my Captcha word for this post was only one letter off of being an anagram of "amnesty".

ATBOTL said...

"Key line in the article. Now the amnesty-lustful are either so secure in their position or drunk on power they're openly bragging about how they rolled that Republican hick from the impeachment trial. I guess another depressing explanation is that Graham would've supported it even without the donation..."

The most amazing thing about this amnesty push is all the bold faced lying and the "so what, I'm lying, what are you gonna do about it?" attitude from the pro-amensty "conservatives."

The Republican establishment is calling Republican voters' bluff that that they won't tolerate amnesty.

David said...

Here is what these guys want more of.

"A U.S. Department of Labor survey of the Los Angeles garment industry has revealed that 67 percent of garment shops violated minimum-wage and overtime laws. The survey was released in 2000. It also found that 98 percent violated health and safety laws and an estimated $80 million was owed in back wages each year."

"The workers toiled for $2 an hour in an apartment complex surrounded by barbed wire."

Welcome to America!

The above conditions are what's ultimately back of the high-minded rhetoric from the Chamber about "welcoming the stranger," "opportunity for hard workers," "jobs Americans won't do," etc.

Where are the commies on this, the gallant fighters for so-called social justice? They are cheek by jowl with the owners, denouncing the "racism" of having laws and borders.

It's all about squeezing every penny and every drop from taxpaying citizens, foreigners, whatever - from anyone whom businesses and government working in tandem can lay their criminal hands on. But we're the evil people.

Whiskey said...

The reason this is happening is because most Whites are in favor of mass immigration or oppose it weakly. Whites have little problem with violence when threatened ... Northern Ireland, Red Brigades, Baader Meinhof, etc.

Yeah spot on White women favor lots of cheap maids and people to babysit for pay. Duh.

Its no conspiracy when Elysium is number one at the box office. Opposition is too weak and unfocused.

Semi-employed White Guy said...

FWD.us, an advocacy group founded by Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and funded by top tech executives, announced plans last week to spend more than $500,000 on ads featuring a young Chicago man who wants to become a Marine but can't because he came to the country illegally as a 7-month-old.

So why do we need to make illegals into citizens so they can become Marines when we are cutting the Marine Corps?

Anonymous said...

"Steve, what's with the potty mouth outbreak?"

Welcome to STEVE-TV. We are using a lot of blue language to be hip and sophisticated like shows like SOPRANOS, DEADWOOD, and BREAKING BAD.

So, shut up stupid bitch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMR-VBN7NyM

Matthew said...

"So why do we need to make illegals into citizens so they can become Marines when we are cutting the Marine Corps?"

Because Mexican Marines won't object when they are brought in to kill white Americans who refuse to buy health insurance.