Senator Patrick Leahy Does Not Love The Smell Of Bacon In The Morning

The Vermonter doesn’t miss much (via TPM):

Senators have been negotiating for days and late into the night trying to gain more Republican support for this important immigration reform legislation.  Senators Hoeven and Corker have put together an aggressive package that will add new Republican support to our bipartisan effort and for that progress, I am grateful.

However, it is an understatement to say that this is not the amendment I would have drafted.  It is a disappointment to me and to many.  The modification to my amendment reads like a Christmas wish list for Halliburton.  I am sure there are federal contracting firms high-fiving at the prospect of all of the spending demanded by Senate Republicans in this amendment.  The litany of expensive services, technology, and hardware mandated by this package is combined with an inexplicable waiver of many normal contracting rules.  This is a potential recipe for waste, fraud and abuse.

Just in case anyone had forgotten how the “party of fiscal responsibility” handles the cookie jar whenever it gets its grasping, grubby paws on it, Sen. Leahy is here to remind us:

It is astounding to me how far in the past the hard lessons we learned in Iraq appear to be.  All of us should remember the disgraceful conduct demonstrated by some private companies in Iraq which was uncovered by the work of the Special Inspector General for Iraq.

Oh, and about that compassionate conservatism thing (or whatever they’re rebranding it as now)?  Senator Leahy has been around that block once or twice before, and along with the pork, he smells the horseshit:

It is a cruel irony that when my friends on the other side of the aisle talk about border security, the high cost of implementing their favorite projects are absent from their discussion.  Yet, when we are talking about programs that help children who live near the poverty line, then suddenly, fiscal concerns are paramount.

Yup. That’s your modern Republican Party in a nutshell.  Millions for the defense of the comfortable.  Not one penny that could be seen as honoring the legacy of the man who talked of camels and needles’ eyes.


Leahy’s still voting in favor, because he’s a Democrat, which means he’s actually got an interest in governing, and serving the interests of this country.  He concludes his statement thusly:

One of the reasons I decided to continue chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee is because of this once-in-a-generation chance for us to truly reform our broken immigration system.  It is a tragic problem that calls out for a comprehensive solution.  There are too many families kept apart because of our broken immigration system, and there are too many people living in the shadows who should be allowed to earn their citizenship for us to fail them now.  We owe it to them, to people like Jose and Gaby and so many others, to get legislation passed.  So while I do not agree with the Republicans’ border demands, I will support this modification of my amendment because it is one of many tough choices necessary to continue making progress toward passage of this crucial bill.

That’s a good man, and a realistic one.  Be nice to have a few of those on the far side of the aisle.

Image:  Jacob Jordaens, Flight of the Holy Family into Egypt, 1647

42 replies
  1. 1
    Mike E says:

    Go fuck yourself…whoa, damn! Where in the hell did that come from?

    ETA, hint: he’s a major league asshole.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    If they hired Mexicans and unemployed Americans to work on the wall it would stop both illegal immigration and lower the unemployment rate at the same time. They could also pay AfAm teens to make art on it, thereby lowering the unemployment rate that is the highest right now.

    And when it’s finished maybe toss some House GOP members off the top of it.

    There, I fixed the country.

    What am I forgetting?

  3. 3
    catclub says:

    1. It appears that the holy family has both a donkey and a bull.

    2. If the Egyptians knew that the Angel of the Lord was returning with some wandering jews,
    they might have been concerned.

  4. 4
    Tone in DC says:

    The GOP want to cut food stamps, when use of the program is at AN ALL TIME HIGH.

    That is all any of us need to remember about these wingers.

  5. 5
    catclub says:

    @BGinCHI: Gardasil shots for all. Better than Jello Shots.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    @catclub: Also with less sugar.

  7. 7
    The Dangerman says:

    Immigration bill will pass the House when pigs Tunch flys.


  8. 8
    Yatsuno says:

    @The Dangerman: Tunch does not fly. The Earth simply moves away from him.

  9. 9
    Tone in DC says:

    @The Dangerman:

    The Tunch type feline can fly. He just needs a DC-10.

    As for that bill… the less I think about the rank stupidity, absurdity and general foulness of these teabaggers, the better it’ll be for my blood pressure.

  10. 10
    BGinCHI says:

    @The Dangerman: Is that Welsh for “flies”?

  11. 11
    Tom Levenson says:


    Well played, sir.

  12. 12
    Yatsuno says:

    @BGinCHI:@Tom Levenson: Unpossible. Too many vowels.

  13. 13
    azlib says:

    The GOP will want the costs offset with something.

  14. 14
    Ash Can says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Immigration bill will pass the House when pigs Tunch flys.

    LOL at the imagery, but in all seriousness I agree. If the House Republican shitshow fail parade couldn’t get its own farm bill passed, I don’t see the immigration bill coming anywhere close. Too many Dems will say “WTF is this shit?” regarding the border-state porkbarreling and refuse to vote for it, and too many teanuts will say “no fucking way” to anything that even begins to treat immigrants like actual human beings. Boehner will once again get pantsed in public, Pelosi will (once again) make uproarious fun of him, and Obama (if he has any sanity left) will doubtless ask himself why he ever wanted this fucking job in the first place.

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    @Ash Can: Can Obama wait until the House goes into recess and then use recess appointments to fill it?

    He needs to do something while those motherfuckers are playing on the monkeybars.

  16. 16
    danah gaz says:

    Tire Rims and Anthrax, as JC might say..

    However, I don’t have an interest in governing so much as I have an interest in standing up for my friends, my child, and anyone else who is victimized by our broken and evil immigration laws.

    All of this just leaves me shaking my head. I hate people.

  17. 17
    piratedan says:

    @BGinCHI: he has been but if I recall correctly, one of the Bushies packed circuit courts is calling into question the Constitutionality of it. Hey, we only have a 100 years of precedent but since we’re Conservatives and he’s a Liberal, everything is on the table….

  18. 18
    burnspbesq says:

    @danah gaz:

    However, I don’t have an interest in governing so much as I have an interest in standing up for my friends, my child, and anyone else who is victimized by our broken and evil immigration laws.

    Do the words “inextricably linked” ring any bells?

  19. 19
    ruemara says:

    @BGinCHI: They will more than likely fail to recess, making any attempt at doing it illegal.

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:


    Gardasil shots for all.

    And FEMA camps for the deserving.

  21. 21
    danah gaz says:

    @burnspbesq: Do the words, “I’m sick of watching families in my community get torn apart by fucked off xenophobic immigration laws readily enacted and enforced by either party, regardless of who is in charge, and I’m sick to death that I can only do so much to fix what most everyone seems to want to keep broken” ring any bells?

    Of course not, because you’re you. You’ll be delighted to know that I’m paying your partners in crime through the arse to keep my kid here and twist the system so that he just might be eligible for residency one day.

    I’m not interested in anything you have to say. About anything. Don’t even start in with your trolling me today. Go find a hobby.

  22. 22
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    Build it with pikes on top and decorate it with Republicans instead of tossing them off (EW!) and we have a deal.

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @danah gaz:
    I think you’re missing his point. He’s saying that cleaning up the immigration mess is part of the business of governing that you dismiss as uninteresting. And if you really think things are equal no matter who’s in charge, you’re falling prey to the standard “both sides do it” BS.

  24. 24
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I’m pretty sure that being good and realistic disqualifies a man from membership on the other side of the aisle.

  25. 25
    danah gaz says:

    @Roger Moore: I’ll be interested when ICE stops raiding my friends, which was stepped up under Obama’s admin BTW, at least in my community.

    Enjoy your pleasant abstractions. The luxury of not having to live with the on-the-ground reality must be nice. I mean that.

    And yes, I’m a leftist, not a liberal. Too many Well Meaning White People(TM) poisoned me off of the whole being a Democrat thing. This isn’t about party politics for me, and I find the whole “Both Sides” thing hopelessly dualistic. The fact is that people have a pretty varied set of political views, but what a plurality of the people in this country seem to agree on, is “let’s fuck all the poor brown people who harvest our food until someone more fun to sh*t on comes along,” Obama admin included

    ETA: Anyway, I’m done having this discussion with people who aren’t personally invested in it. Initially I just made an observation. A lot of you don’t like it. Boo hoo. I don’t like that it happens to be the truth.

  26. 26
    IowaOldLady says:

    How much do you think they believe their own BS?

    Louis Gomert is probably stupid enough to believe what he says about SNAP. But Cantor? I guess it’s the old stupid vs evil argument.

  27. 27
    Roger Moore says:


    Louis Gomert is probably stupid enough to believe what he says about SNAP anything.


  28. 28
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Roger Moore: Thank you. Much more accurate.

  29. 29
    BGinCHI says:

    @Roger Moore: Giant crab legs!

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI: All you can eat?

    Is this the weekend you were heading up here? Is it happening?

  31. 31
    Linda Featheringill says:


    The problem with Cantor is that he isn’t dumb. By a long shot. And he isn’t naive or inexperienced, either. He knows what he’s doing and he’s doing it on purpose.

    Gomert may be poorly connected to the rest of the universe.

  32. 32
    kindness says:

    Why? The bill will never pass in the House. Never. So why throw all the right wing baubles at it?

    Leash the lack of bill to Republicans and run on it because that is all Democrats are going to be able to do in the long run anyhow.

    @The Dangerman:

    Immigration bill will pass the House when pigs Tunch flys.

    Is from the couch to the floor far enough?

  33. 33
    danah gaz says:

    @kindness: Thank you.

    And in answer to your question: I don’t know, but just maybe because it shifts the narrative in congress a bit and makes these provisions more palatable and acceptable to everyone. I mean, if we’re arguing on these grounds, we’re not talking about maybe looking at a fair guest worker program or reviving the DREAM act, for example. Overton window redux

  34. 34
    BGinCHI says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Gohmert’s pile.

    No, my friend. Sorry but it didn’t work out. I really wanted to see that show and hang out in Mad-town too. Might get up there end of July or in August. Will let you know.

  35. 35
    burnspbesq says:

    @danah gaz:

    If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. And it’s clear which you plan on being.

  36. 36
    danah gaz says:

    troll is trolling.


    Troll harder if you want my attention.

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    @danah gaz:

    I’ll be interested when ICE stops raiding my friends

    Do you really not understand that there is only one way to make that stop? Or do you really enjoy wallowing in self-pity?

  38. 38
    Victory says:

    Rich people pay rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people.

  39. 39

    Party of hate, man. They morally object to helping people. Throw in a little ‘But I deserve help’ corruption, and you have conservatism.

  40. 40
    Hungry Joe says:

    @Linda Featheringill: Well, Cantor isn’t dumb when you compare him to Gomert. See “bar, low.”

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI: Sounds good.

  42. 42
    keestadoll says:

    So tired of all this on so many levels. I’m tired of the nobility attributed to those flouting the law (and not just with regards to this issue but with so many others). I’m tired of businesses taking advantage of people afraid to get caught (due, again, to their illegally being here), I’m tired of the “we can’t build a wall” (or complete it in any case) using the “free and open society” argument as if a wall will keep anyone in the US from being free and open (how does that work exactly?) or that “we don’t have the money” to build/complete it. That last shows you how vehemently both sides want to keep a free-flowing undocumented labor force since somehow we always find a dime to go fucking “stabilize” yet another nation stuck in the middle ages. It all boils down to a nation that exists and seeks to continue existing in a grey area where no bill is ever paid, no one is ever held accountable, and nothing ever truly changes. Is there such a thing as “institutionalized chaos?” I think so.

Comments are closed.