Friday, June 29, 2012

Last Call

Error in Romneybot.exe in processing DREAM.dat.  Please reboot system and report error to nearest political press.

Mitt Romney accidentally floated a new immigration position in an interview with conservative site Newsmax on Friday, suggesting that he favored a path to permanent status for young illegal immigrants through higher education. The campaign quickly walked the position back when confronted with the discrepancy by TPM.

“For those that are here as the children of those who came here illegally, I want to make sure they have a permanent answer to what their status will be,” Romney said in the interview, “and I’ve indicated in my view that those who serve in the military and have advanced degrees would certainly qualify for that kind of permanent status.”

Oops.  Didn't anyone defrag the candidate this week?  All the data overload from the SCOTUS decisions must have caused serious memory leaks in his operating system.

Williams told TPM in a subsequent e-mail that Romney had inadvertently misstated his position.

“The Governor was referring to his long held position that young illegal immigrants brought here as children who serve in the military should be able to obtain legal permanent residence and that we should staple a green card to the diploma of every eligible student visa holder who graduates from one of our universities with an advanced degree in math, science, or engineering,” Williams said. “He simply misspoke in this interview.”

Funny.  That seems to happen a lot with his core programming.  It's like all he does is lie.

Sir Jason Bravely Ran Away

Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Jason Altmire, Pennsylvania Democrat.

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), one of the 17 Democrats who voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress Thursday, said he had "no other choice" but to sanction Holder for withholding documents related to the controversial "Fast and Furious" investigation.

The Pennsylvania Democrat was one of the few Democrats who voted for contempt without an eye toward the November election; Altmire lost a member-on-member primary to Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) in April and so will not have the opportunity to run for reelection this cycle. Altmire said he viewed his vote as ideologically consistent with similar sanctions against Bush administration officials.

"The fact is that the House has jurisdiction in oversight over these types of investigations. The attorney general was asked to provide information, and he chose not to provide it. So as a result, I had no other choice, but to vote in contempt," Altmire told CNN.

Altmire did say, however, that he believes Holder hadn't done anything wrong.

"I believe he is an honest man," Altmire said. "I think the documents are going to show that. The question of the vote yesterday was, did he comply with the House request for documents for an ongoing investigation about a very serious matter, that again I believe he will not be in any way found to be negligent in that. But the fact is, he was asked to provide the documents, and he didn't." 

He did nothing wrong, but Brave Sir Jason had no choice but to vote to hold him in contempt.  Perhaps Congressman, soon to be former Congressman Altmire (who lost his primary a couple months back for being a Blue Dog ass) your uncommon valor here explains why you'll be looking for a new job after the first of the year.

Had to get that one last dig in on the black guy though, huh.  Because Republicans like Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz keep saying they'll have Holder arrested aaaaaaaaanytime now.

“That would be fairly dramatic, but yes,” said Chaffetz. “Three options: going through the U.S. attorney, going into civil court or have the Sargent at Arms take control of the situation — which I think some people are going to say we ought to do — but we’re going to exhaust the other ones first.”

“Really,” replied Kelly.

“I find it hard and dramatic to do, but we want to get to the bottom of this,” said Chaffetz. “We’re serious about this.”

Sure you are.  Step up to the plate, boys.  Put Holder in irons.  Watch what happens next.

Transportation Nation

As fully expected, House Republicans waited until the last minute to pass the Transportation Bill, after holding nearly 2 millions jobs hostage in an election year.

Moments ago, the House of Representatives passed a re-authorization of the highway bill by a vote of 373-52. House Republicans had previously been blocking the package, holding up funding for 1.9 million transportation jobs. The bill also includes an extension of the student loan rates that will prevent them from doubling on Sunday. The legislation will now go to the Senate, where it’s likely to pass.

Republicans were always going to lose this fight, and the Democrats held out to keep the legislation alive without the Republicans getting what they wanted, namely the Keystone XL pipeline project.  The GOP overplayed its hand badly and got burned even worse.  The GOP did get streamlining and federal review for transportation projects in the future, bypassing some federal directives to state concerns, but that's down the road.

The Senate passed the bill 74-19 and President Obama will sign it later today.

For now, this is the second major win for the Dems and millions of Americans in as many days and should be treated as such.

Google: GDocs Offline Capability Soon

SAN FRANCISCO - Google announced today at it's Google I/O conference here that Google documents is going offline.
The Google word-processing service is a Web-based alternative to programs such as Microsoft Word. Because Google Docs is a Web-based service, people who use the application have not been able to use it unless they have an Internet connection. But now that will be changing. And people will now be able to work in Google Docs on airplanes and other places where a Web connection may not be available.
Travelers will eat that up, but so will students, professionals and even people like me, who write constantly and struggles with finding trustworthyWiFi.  The masses who don't understand security should avoid open WiFi, but it's no fun for people who get it, either.  However, free connections have become common enough that you can work in peace and still enjoy regular synchronization with your storage.  Phones already have the capability, and this will give Google Docs  a serious edge over traditional, physically stored documents because it is portable and always protected.  Sharing is easy, there is no risk of losing everything, and you can milk more life out of laptop and tablet batteries.

Win win win win win.  The Bon is pleased, and even more likely to get that new laptop.

Blackberry Jam: Endgame

It’s all losses and delays for Research In Motion (RIM), the struggling mobile company best known for its once-popular BlackBerry devices. RIM lost $518 million in the last three months and has announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs and delay its BlackBerry 10 platform until 2013, according to the company’s first-quarter earnings report released Thursday.
RIM announced BlackBerry 10 in May, indicating that the upcoming platform would be available by the end of this year. But in its Q1 earnings report, the company backpedaled on its original promises.
The company attributes the setback to the time it takes to implement new features, stating that “the integration of these features and the associated large volume of code into the platform has proven to be more time consuming than anticipated.”
You don't lose half a billion dollars in 90 days and not feel the punch.  Honestly, that they can keep going forward is a miracle.  The world has moved on, and Blackberry doesn't have much to work with but a very established name and sketchy delivery.

I loved them once, you know.  The people who are pre-mourning the fall of RIM and I have a twinge in common.  But they blew it time and again, almost purposely it seems.  However, the promise of not releasing before it is absolutely ready does show a little growth, one last glimmer of hope but surely not enough.

John Roberts' The Bored Supremacy, Part 2

Reaction and aftermath time on yesterday's SCOTUS decision on the ACA. First and foremost is the notion that the immediate Republican response to it is a vote to repeal the measure a week from Wednesday.  The larger issue is that should the GOP get control of the House, Roberts' decision to enforce the mandate under Congress's power to tax rather than the Commerce Clause means it can be treated as a budget bill legislatively, that means reconciliation...and that means the GOP would only need 51 votes to put the bill on an immediate ten-year moratorium.

The House will hold a symbolic vote to repeal the law on July 11, but the real long-term strategy for rolling back the law is already under way. Republicans are stoking voter anger over the law until Election Day, which they hope will produce a Mitt Romney presidency and an all-Republican Congress. And it ends by employing budget rules that would allow a fast-track repeal with a 51-vote majority in the Senate, circumventing a Democratic minority and potential filibuster.

That process — known on Capitol Hill as budget reconciliation — would give Republicans a serious shot at repealing the individual mandate and the heart of the law before 2014 when much of it is scheduled to take effect.

So it’s not surprising that the word “reconciliation” was on the tip of virtually every Republican tongue Thursday, just hours after the landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding most of the health care law.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, chairman of the Republican Conference, said budget reconciliation could be a “vehicle” for repeal, promising Republicans would make “every attempt” under a GOP Senate majority and Republican White House to do just that.

“I’ve already heard discussions that it can be done through 51 votes in the Senate, which is an easier threshold,” said Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of House GOP leadership and a key Romney adviser.

“With a 50-vote majority in the Senate, Republicans could do the same thing Democrats did with 50 votes on Obamacare — and that is to use the reconciliation process — to reverse the more onerous provisions of Obamacare and replace them with what Republicans have been talking about,” Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said.

The argument in conservative circles is that anger over the bill will motivate moribund supporters who are blase' about Romney, but will absolutely turn out to give the Senate to the GOP to put a measure to obliterate the law on President Romney's desk before the end of January.

That's an entirely possible scenario, folks.  To pull it off, the GOP only needs to pick up 3 seats and elect Romney.  That's it.  Affordable Care Act effectively dies. So more than ever we have to get out there and get people to vote at the state level and for POTUS.

The good news is even conservatives are admitting that motivating people to vote for Mitt Romney at the "anti-Obamacare" candidate after his MassCare history is going to be a huge problem.  Conservatives instead may just stay home and declare both candidates are evil Socialists, and the independents, well...  David Frum:

First, today's Supreme Court decision will make it a lot harder to elect Mitt Romney. President Obama has just been handed a fearsome election weapon. 2012 is no longer exclusively a referendum on the president's economic management. 2012 is now also a referendum on Mitt Romney's healthcare plans. The president can now plausibly say that a vote for the Republicans is a vote to raise prescription drug costs on senior citizens and to empower insurance companies to deny coverage to children for pre-existing conditions. Those charges will hurt—and maybe hurt enough to sway the election.

Second, even if Republicans do win the White House and Senate in 2012, how much appetite will they then have for that 1-page repeal bill? Suddenly it will be their town halls filled with outraged senior citizens whose benefits are threatened; their incumbencies that will be threatened. Already we are hearing that some Republicans wish to retain the more popular elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Which means the proposed 1-page bill will begin to grow.

Frum's not a complete moron, it seems. On the other hand, the complete morons actually think the President threatened to kill John Roberts' kids and won the case through intimidation.

Your call.  Things in the ACA you like?  GOP can now destroy the law if they get in charge.  November is even more important now.

Contemptible Conduct

As expected yesterday afternoon, House Republicans voted to hold AG Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress in a cheap poltical stunt (shocking I know).  The vote was 255-67 as a number of Democrats, including the Congressional Black Caucus and Nancy Pelosi, walked out of the vote.

A large number of Democrats -- including members of the Congressional Black Caucus and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi -- walked off the House floor in protest and refused to participate in the vote. Speaking in New Orleans immediately after the vote, Holder dismissed it as "the regrettable culmination of what became a misguided -- and politically motivated -- investigation during an election year."

The criminal contempt charge refers the dispute to District of Columbia U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, who will decide whether to file charges against Holder. Most legal analysts do not expect Machen -- an Obama appointee who ultimately answers to Holder -- to take any action.

The Dems who voted against Holder?  17, including Kentucky Rep Ben Chandler.  I'm so verrrrrry surprised at that, gosh.  Not.

  • Jason Altmire (PA-04)
  • John Barrow (GA-12)
  • Dan Boren (OK-02)
  • Leonard Boswell (IA-03)
  • Ben Chandler (KY-06)
  • Mark Critz (PA-12)
  • Joe Donnelly (IN-02)
  • Kathy Hochul (NY-26)
  • Ron Kind (WI-03)
  • Larry Kissell (NC-08)
  • Jim Matheson (UT-02)
  • Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
  • Bill Owens (NY-23)
  • Collin Peterson (MN-07)
  • Nick Rahall (WV-03)
  • Mike Ross (AR-04)
  • Tim Walz (MN-01)
 And it turns out GOP Reps. Steve LaTourette of OH-14 and Scott Rigell of VA-2 both voted no on the final contempt vote.  More courage than nearly a dozen and a half of our own guys.  Nice.  Meanwhile, Rep. Allen West (R-Nutjob) went on Facebook to pull a Sarah Palin and flat out accused the Congressional Black Caucus of being racists.

America holds this Congress in contempt.  We vote on that in November.


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