The Watering Hole, Saturday, November 22, 2014: This Week in Paranoia: Facts vs. Freakery on Obama’s Immigration Reforms

President Barack Obama announced earlier in the week that he would later be announcing several reforms to the immigration system, largely because Republicans have been reluctant to pass anything in the House to address the issue. So, as he has said many times before in an ultimately failed effort to spur the House to pass the bill the Senate sent them, the president said that if Congress failed to act, he would. They didn’t, so he did, and now they’re totally freaking out. They’re claiming they now have grounds for impeachment (actually, some of them said this before he made the official announcement, based on nothing more than their own imagination about what the president would actually say) because the president is trying to ignite a civil war, and that citizens must resist “by any means necessary” any attempt to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, and that it’s all part of a plot to not only guarantee millions of future Democratic voters, but to turn the United States into a Third World country and because now there will be all kinds of voter fraud (you just know it.) None of these fears are reality-based.

The calls for impeachment really crack me up because they were coming before the president’s announcement, and many were citing the president’s proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants as the primary charge against him. Former Florida Congressman (and current “Where Are They Now File” resident) Allen West told Newsmax, “It will be the president saying, ‘You know, I want to violate the Constitution and grant amnesty to people who are here illegally.'” Family Research Council President and Anal Sex Expert Tony Perkins said, in his very roundabout way, “What the president is about to do on amnesty is essentially tell, using his authority as the chief executive, the president, to the executive branch, Homeland Security, immigration, not to enforce the law, which is a violation of his oath to uphold the law.” Eagle Forum founder and former female Phyllis Schlafly thinks that amnesty by executive action constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.

There are at least three things obviously wrong with these allegations. First, at the time each of these people made these remarks, the president had not actually announced his plan, and when he did, it didn’t include amnesty. The right wing is really afraid of that word – “amnesty.” They talk about it all the time as if granting it to millions of people whose only crime was in the way they entered the country would bring about the end of the United States of America. They talk about it it as if it’s the worst abuse of power a president could commit (including, apparently, lying us into a costly, unnecessary war). They talk about it as if it’s the most un-American thing a president could do. So their fears about amnesty are unfounded because the president wasn’t proposing any. Second, it is actually totally within the president’s constitutional authority to grant amnesty to millions of people who entered the country illegally. The president can grant amnesty to anyone he or she desires. The president can also selectively enforce the law and decide which laws won’t be as aggressively prosecuted as others, since there isn’t enough funding to enforce all the laws anyway. It doesn’t mean a succeeding president can’t prosecute if the statute of limitations hasn’t expired, so it isn’t the same as amnesty, which would deny prosecution later. By the way, the president’s oath says he will faithfully execute the office of president, not “uphold the law.” Executing the duties of the president sometimes involves deciding when to prosecute someone and when not to. Former President George Herbert Walker Bush granted amnesty to former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger for his criminal role in the previous administration’s plan to sell arms to terrorists in exchange for hostages. (A plan which, for the record, Bush later wrote in his memoirs that he was the only one who knew everything that was going on with the arms-for-hostages deal to raise money to illegally give to rebel fighters in Central America.) And third (speaking of Reagan), former President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Care to comment on that example of un-American activity by a president, Right Wing? If you like some facts to chew on, check out this great post at PoliticusUsa.

That’s just the crazy people talking about impeaching the president for executing a constitutional authority he actually has but didn’t actually use. Check out the link to see who thinks we’re headed for civil war, how the vote is getting rigged while simultaneously increasing voter fraud. And the good people at Think Progress (with whom I’ve had many exchanges over the years) have found other people going similarly crazy over Obama’s use of executive authority (which he is constitutionally required to do.) There’s a lot of sadly misinformed people out there, and some of them are members of the Legislative Branch in our Federal Government. I think you should be very concerned about that. You can start by looking at your own state legislatures, where many of these people got their start. To undo Republican gerrymandering, we have to take back the state legislatures by 2020, so we can control the drawing of Congressional District maps, which is the only way we’ll ever take back the House of Representatives. And we have to get rid of electronic voting, which can easily be rigged and manipulated, and very likely has in some key races in recent years. It is not secure, and it can easily change election results to anyone in power who wants to stay there. Paper ballots are the best way. They don’t take that long to count, and the results can easily be verified and re-counted as needed. Only then can we restore Democracy to America.

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss crazy paranoid right wingers serving in our government, or any other topic you wish to discuss.

37 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, November 22, 2014: This Week in Paranoia: Facts vs. Freakery on Obama’s Immigration Reforms

      • Dark humor – is funny this many years later!

        Please tell us again how you pasted a photo into a comment?

        • All I know is that some work and some don’t. The ones that work usually have a valid suffix like .jpg at the end.

          I’m finishing an axle rebuild on the 944. Be back directly

    • OK! Badmoodman, I deleted the ?4067 at the end of the URL, and pasted it into the address line, and it still took me to the correct photo. In this case, it was the ?4067 that messed up WordPress. It seems that these photo links need to end in .jpg to display in a comment.

  1. Texas Approves Textbook Teaching Moses As One Of The Founding Fathers

    “On Friday the Republican-controlled Texas State Board of Education voted along party lines 10-5 to approve the biased and inaccurate textbooks. The vote signals a victory for Christian conservatives in Texas, and a disappointing defeat for historical accuracy and the education of innocent children.

    “The textbooks were written to align with instructional standards that the Board of Education approved back in 2010 with the explicit intention of forcing social studies teaching to adhere to a conservative Christian agenda. The standards require teachers to emphasize America’s so called “Christian heritage.”

    I understand why Christer nutcases want to find “legitimate” ways to spread their illegitimate philosophical poisons, but why would any “legitimate” publisher go ahead and publish textbooks that contain obvious modifications — untruths, lies, historical modification, et al — that are meant to falsely educate succeeding generations of children, to teach them bundles of obvious lies? Why would a “legitimate” publishing house agree to make propaganda the message and ignore historical reality?

    Are textbook companies owned and managed/operated by Republicans, perchance?

    • Virginia briefly had a textbook that claimed that 1000s of blacks fought for the south in the civil war. Real historians made fun of it, so that part was deleted. Hopefully, Texas has some real historians.

      • I’m not sure anyone in Texas even knows historical reality much less cares about it. Well, maybe Wendy Davis, but I kinda doubt she’d get listened to. How about Rick Perry? He probably knows history by now — I mean you know, with his new glasses and all he’s surely way up there, mentally.

    • Are they going to mention that Moses was a Jew? Doesn’t matter since most shitkickers don’t even know what that means.

      • They probably know that whenever any particular European-descended white-man’s Constitutional Christian culture starts to fail and fall victim to greed and avarice that it’s the dirty Jew behind it, causing it. I’m sure that Hitler managed to get at least THAT much across to the minimally intelligent of central North America.

  2. Here’s what happens when a ‘blah’ American President starts interfering in the affairs of the foreign economy that just happens to be Walmart’s biggest supplier of goods. I mean, if Obama succeeds in crippling production over there, where will we Amurkans go to get bargain goods?

    President Obama’s climate agreement already paying off, as China announces cap on coal use by 2020

    The Chinese government announced Wednesday it would cap coal use by 2020. The Chinese State Council, or cabinet, said the peak would be 4.2 billion tonnes, a one-sixth increase over current consumption.

    This is a staggering reversal of Chinese energy policy, which for two decades has been centered around building a coal plant or more a week. Now they’ll be building the equivalent in carbon-free power every week for decades, while the construction rate of new coal plants decelerates like a crash-test dummy.

    The 2020 coal peak utterly refutes the GOP claim that China’s recent climate pledge “requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years.” Indeed, independent analyses make clear a 2020 coal peak announcement was the inevitable outcome of China’s game-changing climate deal deal with the U.S. last week, where China agreed to peak its total carbon pollution emissions in 2030 — or earlier.

    • (It worked!)

      SFO Museum
      The dedication ceremony in August 1954 for the opening of the Terminal Building (now Terminal 2) kicked off a three-day celebration. Over forty aircraft were exhibited on the airfield and the program included air shows, flying tours, and demonstrations of the latest jet engine technology. In this photo, planes from Pan Am, American, Southwest, and Japan Air Lines are surrounded by spectators eager to peek inside!

    • But of course! it is all Obama’s fault…everything will be blamed on him from now until the country has fallen apart (in about 2 1/2 years, because this country will not elect another Democrat for at least two decades)

    • Sundays at 9pm central on MeTV. I try to catch it every week. It follows Black Sheep Squadron and Columbo.

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