The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘United States Senate

Open Letter to Senator Orrin Hatch

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Senator Hatch,

Over the years I’ve watched you drift into a place which seemingly no politician can avoid. It’s a place where lifelong political animals always end up. You are now firmly a part of the establishment politico of Washington DC.

The (R) by your name is meaningless. Your public actions and words appear to be different from your colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but in reality the difference is virtually indiscernible.

The latest example is your implicit endorsement of the dirty politics seen in Mississippi and other states during the recent primary elections. How dare you? How could you be a part of the slander and support the outright lies told to minority voters about other conservative candidates? Are you so frightened of the “Tea Party” that you would sell your soul to the Democrats this way?

I can’t adequately express the utter disgust I feel after learning of the gang of seven Republican Senators, including you, who supported racially charged attacks against other conservatives.

With a president and Democrat led Senate running America into the ground and down the track to a Social Democracy, you’d think you’d be focused more on their failures than trouncing fellow conservatives who truly want smaller government unlike you and your cronies.

http://www.alipac.us/f12/shameful-seven-307422/
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/conservative-groups-spend-fortune-attacking-republicans-n99861

Can Republicans get any more foolish? The Democrats have to be laughing one moment and counting their lucky stars the next. The political atmosphere is ripe for conservatives to take the Senate and keep the House, but if it means pseudo-conservatives like you, McCain, McConnell, et al, steering the ship, NO THANKS!

I was once a strong supporter of yours Senator Hatch. You no longer have my support. In fact I will actively campaign against you and use my journalistic training to spread the word about your metamorphosis into something that is far from conservative. The ruse is over.

We share a faith but I seriously question your adherence to it. Honest in all our dealings with our fellow-men. Can you honestly say you are? I don’t see how. But then, maybe you’re one of those Mormons who separates his “business life” from his personal life. I’ve run into too many of those in my lifetime. You and Senator Reid are poor examples of the faith you each claim to adhere to. We elected you to be a beacon of truth, even when the truth hurts your position. That’s what integrity is. That’s what you once had, but have forsaken, for the trinkets of power your many years in office have afforded you.

Our constitution now hangs by the very thread early leaders of our church spoke of so long ago. Yet you have done nothing to prevent it. You sit in your comfort zone and just go along to get along. Inaction becomes a form of action Mr. Hatch. You now represent the beltway. You no longer represent the citizens of Utah.

It is because of Republicans like you that I no longer affiliate with the party.

You cannot leave office soon enough.

Sincerely,

Doug Long

Roll Back Thursday – The Filibuster

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Today, Thursday, November 21, 2013 the United States Senate voted to change a centuries old parliamentary procedure in the Senate chamber and invoked the so-called “nuclear option” making it possible to confirm presidential nominees by a simple majority vote rather than the 60 votes necessary to override any filibuster attempt by the minority party.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats claim Republicans have become career obstructionists holding up judicial and executive nominees from an up or down vote for too long.  So with that in mind Harry Reid said, “It’s time to change the Senate, before this institution becomes obsolete.”  (Now remember this quote when you watch the videos below)

Of course there is fantastic irony at play here that simply can’t be ignored, nor should it be.

A little background.

In the 2005 Senate, Republicans held 55 seats and the Democrats held 45 including Jim Jeffords, an independent from Vermont who caucused with the Democrats. Confirmation requires a plurality of votes, and the Republicans could easily confirm their nominees if brought to the floor. Earlier in 2005, Democrats had blocked the nomination of 10 of George W. Bush’s nominees, saying they were too conservative and that Republicans had blocked many of their nominees back in the 1990s. The old tit for tat response.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist then threatened to enact the nuclear option.

This is how then Senator Barack Obama, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and Senator Hillary Clinton reacted to that threat, and their staunch defense of the rules of the Senate and the filibuster.

So what changed folks?

What happened to “as long as I’m the leader, the answer is no!” eh Senator Reid?

Tsk tsk tsk…the lengths we will go to get what we want. Even if it means a complete reversal of ourselves at any moment in time.  Look up the word integrity. You won’t find this behavior exemplified anywhere in its definition. This rebuke isn’t reserved exclusively for Democrats either. Republicans are just as stained when it comes to this kind of gerrymandering to get their way.

Shame on this governing body.  Shame.

Bad Passport Forgery? No Worries You Get 2 More Tries!

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Forging a passport is a federal crime.

Yet for some reason the Senate immigration bill created by the Gang of 8 has language in it allowing three forgeries to be made before a crime is committed.

Yep, the bill, which passed the Senate 68-32 with 14 Republicans voting in favor, would essentially change the current law from one forgery per crime to three.

Why? Well, perhaps we should ask Senator John McCain (R-AZ) that question.  CNSNews.com did and guess what? He didn’t know. A prominent member of the Gang of Eight who wrote the bill was clueless, as was Senator Marco Rubio.

Now who in the world added that provision?  Was there any discussion about it?  Who was in on the discussion?  What exactly was the discussion or the thought process that led to a decision to give people 3 shots at getting their forgery right before being punished?  Do those sound like fair questions?  Is anyone in the major media asking them?  Does the MSM even know about this interesting provision?

ganfof8Who will ask the others in the “Gang?  Who will ask Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Schumer (D-AZ), Richard Durbin (D-ILL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) about this odd item and why they thought it was a good idea?

On Capitol Hill on Wednesday [July 17, 2013], CNSNews.com approached McCain, “Senator McCain, can I ask you a question about the Senate immigration bill? Under the bill, how many passports can someone forge before it becomes a crime?”

McCain said, “You’re going to have to ask our folks that, I don’t think that we stand for any forgeries.”  Let me get this straight.  McCain a signer on the bill doesn’t know but his “Folks” might and he doesn’t THINK his group stands for forgery.  Maybe the folks know the answer to that one too…

CNSNews.com followed-up, “Can you tell me why that would be part of the bill in the first place?”  McCain answered, “ I cannot tell you that it is part of the bill.”  And the “folks” in Washington DC wonder why their approval rating is in the teens?

Well Senator let me help you and your folks. On Page 777 the legislation states, “any person who, during any period of 3 years or less, knowingly – (1) and without lawful authority produces, issues, or transfers 3 or more passports; (2) forges, counterfeits, alters, or falsely makes 3 or more passports; (3) secures, possesses, uses, receives, buys, sells, or distributes 3 or more passports, knowing the passports to be forged, counterfeited, altered, falsely made, stolen, procured by fraud, or produced or issued without lawful authority; or (4) completes, mails, prepares, presents, signs, or submits 3 or more applications for a United States passport, knowing the applications to contain any materially false statement or representation, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.” Source CNS News

Crazy how bizarre items like this pop up in these hastily penned laws isn’t it?

When the question was put to Rubio two days later, he said forgery is a federal crime. He was then informed of Section 3707 of the immigration bill (S. 744) titled, “Reform of Passport, Visa and Immigration Fraud Offenses.” It makes no mention of any “waivers, but it does specifically amend Section 1541 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, which currently requires criminal penalties for issuing “any” unauthorized passports. As amended by S. 744–the Senate immigration bill Rubio co-sponsored–a person would not be dealt criminal penalties until they forged “three or more passports.” Source: CNS News

I’m no sleuth but it appears this provision allows anyone trying to get into the country illegally with a forged passport, two extra tries if caught.

We truly are a caring nation.