Friday, November 14, 2014

Last Call For An Orange Boy Named Sue

Orange Julius is responding to the news that President Obama will soon take executive action on immigration by threatening to expand the House GOP's lawsuit against the President for being from a different party or something.

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) is considering expanding a proposed federal lawsuit over President Obama’s executive orders to include action on immigration. Filing a separate lawsuit over the president’s authority to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation is another option that gained traction Thursday during talks among party leaders. 
The idea to use the courts as an initial means of dissent, should the president move forward in the coming weeks to protect millions from deportation, moved to the front of the House GOP’s playbook after the leadership reviewed it. Boehner reportedly wants to respond forcefully and quickly should the president act and believes a lawsuit would do that, as well as signal to conservatives in his conference that he shares their frustrations about the president’s use of executive power
Several Republicans who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid confirmed Boehner’s outlook and the thrust of the leadership’s discussions. They cautioned that any final decision by House Republicans will be made only after consulting rank-and-file members in the wake of a White House announcement — if the president decides to issue executive orders on immigration.

Ahh, now you remember, the lawsuit where the House GOP can't get any actual lawyer to take it up because it's so patently stupid.

Boehner first announced plans to initiate a federal suit against Obama in late June, when he called the president’s executive orders an unconstitutional power grab by one branch of government. 
But the suit has wallowed ever since as GOP lawmakers have struggled to find a D.C. area law firm willing to take up their legal fight. In recent weeks, many observers have speculated privately that Boehner was purposely stalling his legal fight to include whatever actions Obama opts to take to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. 
Whether the lawsuit will hold merit in federal court remains unclear. But Obama himself has strongly disputed the merits of the case. 
“I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something while they’re doing nothing,” he said during an interview with ABC News shortly after Boehner’s announcement. “The suit is a stunt.”

Once again, John Boehner cannot find a lawyer in all of Washington DC willing to take this case. Think about that.  And let's also think about the notion that if somebody doesn't like what the President is doing, the opposition party can drag the President into court.  Would anything ever get done in Washington at all?

Oh, and there's the little thing about the previous 43 Presidents not being sued.  I wonder why number 44 is being treated differently despite being the first President in decades to win two elections with more than 50% of the popular vote.

It's a goddamn mystery, I tell ye.

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Net Neutrality

So Tuesday President Obama announced that he wanted the FCC to regulate broadband internet as a public utility, the way phones are regulated, in order to keep the internet free from "fast lane/slow lane" deals, site blocking, and to make internet more available to Americans.

Apparently somebody forgot to tell FCC Chairman (and former cable lobbyist mind you) Tom Wheeler, because it looks like none of this regulation stuff is going to happen.

Hours after President Obama called for the Federal Communications Commission to pass tougher regulations on high-speed Internet providers, the agency’s Democratic chairman told a group of business executives that he was moving in a different direction
Huddled in an FCC conference room Monday with officials from major Web companies, including Google, Yahoo and Etsy, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler said he preferred a more nuanced solution. His approach would deliver some of what Obama wants but also would address the concerns of the companies that provide Internet access to millions of Americans, such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T
“What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn’t affect your business,” a visibly frustrated Wheeler said at the meeting, according to four people who attended. “What I’ve got to figure out is how to split the baby.”

So it looks like Wheeler answers to the internet giants, not the President.

A growing source of frustration for White House and congressional Democrats is that they have three of their own on the five-member commission at the FCC, a majority that should give them the power to push through a policy of their liking. But if Wheeler charts a different course, he could bring the other members along with him. 
And, as Wheeler reminded participants at his meeting with Web companies Monday, the FCC does not answer to the Obama administration. 
I am an independent agency,” Wheeler told them repeatedly, according to several officials

In hindsight, perhaps putting a lobbyist in charge of the FCC was not the best idea, yes?  Of course, Wheeler isn't the problem, internet giants like AT&T are the problem, especially with such pissy behavior as this.

A&T Inc will stop investing in new high-speed Internet connections in 100 U.S. cities until regulators decide whether to enact tough “net neutrality” rules proposed by President Obama, Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said on Wednesday.

The investment pause is the most dramatic action yet by a telecommunications or cable company after Obama on Monday urged the Federal Communications Commission to regulate Internet service providers more like public utilities.

At the same time, AT&T had been spending heavily acquisitions and had cut its capital spending estimate for 2015.

Companies and industry groups have already protested Obama’s proposal, saying it would stifle growth and investment.

“We can’t go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed,” Stephenson said at an analyst conference.

So this is a CEO punishing potential customers until it gets what it wants, and because broadband internet is a matter of a handful of providers or even a monopoly for many Americans, AT&T can get away with it.  What are consumers where AT&T is the only choice going to do?

So yes, think America needs a broadband policy?

Gotta Get Those Priorities Straight

Nevada's legislature goes Republican for the first time since the Great Depression and GOP lawmakers immediately prepare their priorities: making sure black, Latino, and poor voters are disenfranchised through "voter ID" laws in 2016.

Yet another Republican-controlled state is looking to impose a voter ID law just in time for the 2016 elections. 
GOP state lawmakers in Nevada are readying ID bills for early next year, Secretary of State-Elect Barbara Cegavske told msnbc in an interview. Cegavske said she knew of two separate bills that might end up being merged together. 
“They’re writing them now,” said Cegavske, a Republican and a supporter of voter ID. “It just depends on how soon they get them in.” 
Last week, Republicans took full control of state government for the first time since 1929, meaning a voter ID bill would likely have a strong chance of passing. Governor Brian Sandoval has said in the past he supports voter ID. 
The GOP takeover also has raised fears of a broader rightward shift for the state, on everything from immigration to Stand Your Ground laws. 
Although Nevada’s session doesn’t begin until February, Cegavske said the bills could appear on a “placeholder” list of upcoming measures as early as next month, indicating their high priority for Republican lawmakers.

Republicans: the party that can't win without keeping those people from voting.

Over the last decade, Nevada has shifted from red to purple, driven by a massive influx of Hispanic voters, especially in the fast-growing Las Vegas region. President Obama won the state in 2008 and 2012, after it went twice for President George W. Bush.

You think that's maybe the problem?

Cegavske said she’d only support a bill if it didn’t restrict access to the polls—“we want to make sure nobody’s disenfranchised”—but added that she was confident Nevada could get IDs to those who need them. 
“We do have a fund in our DMV that provides for the homeless, which is I think very helpful,” she said. “And there are organizations that help seniors out. So I don’t think we’d be a state that would struggle.”

Guess who gets to define "who needs" state IDs provided to them?

Cegavske also mentioned a 2008 controversy in which the now-defunct community group ACORN turned in fraudulent voter registration forms—something that didn’t lead to any documented fraudulent votes being cast, and wouldn’t have been stopped by voter ID. 
“I think it’s a way to ensure the integrity of elections,” she said. “Just to make sure that everything is good.”

ACORN!  Drink!

“To be honest, every time I’ve gone, I’ve shown my identification,” she said. “I think it’s a privilege and an honor to be able to vote in our country, and I don’t think showing your identification is an issue. I mean, I personally just don’t have a problem with that.”

And she echoed a common argument made by ID supporters: “You have to have identification for any of the social agencies that you get either food stamps or everything from,” Cegavske said. “You have to have identification for everything—driving, you name it.”

Except food stamps and driving are not constitutionally protected rights, nor are they the basis of modern democracy.

Once again, if red states would provide ID for all citizens so that all eligible citizens would then be able to vote, we wouldn't have a problem.  That's not what's happened in any GOP state with these new "voter ID" laws, and that's not what's going to happen in Nevada.  What will happen is that Nevada will make it nearly impossible to get identification, and thousands, if not tens of thousands, will lose their ability to vote.  The vast majority of those who will lose that right will be Democrats.

And that has always been the plan.


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