And the GOP Outreach Effort Continues

Via Martina Navritalova’s excellent twitter feed, I found this:

House Republican leaders intervened Friday to prevent a vote on immigration legislation, dealing a severe blow to election-year efforts to overhaul the dysfunctional system.

The move came after a Republican congressman from California announced plans to try to force a vote next week, over strong conservative opposition, on his measure creating a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought illegally to the U.S. as children and serve in the military.

Rep. Jeff Denham labeled his bill the ENLIST Act and said he would seek a vote as an amendment to the popular annual defense bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. [Original at Huffington Post. You’ve been warned]


Of note, beyond the obvious — Cantor and his colleagues are killing a Republican sponsored immigration bill — is the fascination in watching the tail wag the dog:

Denham’s measure was widely popular and seen as perhaps the likeliest area for compromise.

But in recent weeks prominent conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation, announced their opposition. Heritage Action, the group’s political arm, announced it would include the vote in its ratings on lawmakers and called Denham’s legislation “deplorable.”

What does Jim Demint possess along with those two little spheres in his hands?…(answer to come in the comments, no doubt).

Truly amazing.  I know the coming election looks tough, but it really does help when the opposing party hands its fortunes over to the likes of Heritage.

Image:  Jacopo Tintoretto, The Battle of Zara, (detail), 1584,

110 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Truly amazing. I know the coming election looks tough, but it really does help when the opposing party hands its fortunes over to the likes of Heritage.

    There are too many people in this country who have nothing else to hold onto than their abject hatred of the Democratic Party. There’s no other way the GOP could get away with this much obstruction.

  2. 2
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Immigration stuff in Congress, at best, gets done in odd-numbered years. This is a sad truth. Why? Because immigrants don’t vote, and non-immigrants mostly don’t give a shit about immigrants, other than perhaps having campaigning politicians say how many they’ll round up and shoot.

    This is why the US has an immigration system that resembles a pair of 50-year-old overalls that has been patched over its patches.

  3. 3
    danielx says:

    What does Jim Demint possess along with those two little spheres in his hands?

    Boehner’s balls? Oh, those spheres. What else does Demint possess? An unlimited (to all practical purposes) budget, a complete lack of conscience, and a fanatic’s guilt-free view of the world. Plus a phone list that would be the envy of any wingnut pol wannabe. Certainly sounds like a formula for success in Sodom on the Potomac to me…

  4. 4
    Mary G says:

    I am not at all sure they are just more comfortable being the out party and just bitching about the evil liberals rather than actually trying to govern.

  5. 5
    StringOnAStick says:

    I don’t know if this Denham guy is considered a rethug moderate, but I’m sure that little bit of proposed legislation just won him a tea party primary opponent.

  6. 6
    Tom Levenson says:

    @danielx: Classically, the answer is “Boehner’s undivided attention.” But balls will do.

  7. 7
    WereBear says:

    @Mary G: I wonder about that too. They don’t want to get anything done. Keeping the ugly status quo suits them fine.

  8. 8
    Lee Rudolph says:

    @Tom Levenson: But, but…if there are TWO of them, they ARE divided!

  9. 9
    mdblanche says:

    GOP to Hispanics: Jódanse y mueran.

  10. 10
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    I don’t know if this Denham guy is considered a rethug moderate, but I’m sure that little bit of proposed legislation just won him a tea party primary opponent.

    California has open primaries and runoffs now, so it probably won’t make a huge difference. And it also probably lets vanilla House GOPers like Denham introduce bills like this knowing that they can’t easily be teabagged before the general election.

  11. 11
    MattF says:

    So, Republicans continue to shrink their tent. Even most Republicans don’t qualify, certainly no elected California Republican. Oh, well, BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI.

  12. 12
    mdblanche says:

    @StringOnAStick: @StringOnAStick: Denham is one of the few GOPers in a district with enough Hispanics to be in trouble over immigration this year, never mind 2016.

  13. 13
    Patrick says:

    Whenever I think of Martina Navratilova post tennis, I can’t help think about Connie Chung and her idiotic questions when she interviewed Navratilova in 2002.

    NAVRATILOVA: Well, obviously, I’m not saying this is a communist system, but I think we’re having — after 9/11, there’s a big centralization of power. President Bush is having more and more power. John Ashcroft is having more and more power. Americans are losing their personal rights left and right. I mean, the ACLU is up in arms about all of the stuff that’s going on right now. . . .

    CHUNG: Can I be honest with you? I can tell you that when I read this, I have to tell you that I thought it was un-American, unpatriotic. I wanted to say, go back to Czechoslovakia. You know, if you don’t like it here, this a country that gave you so much, gave you the freedom to do what you want.

    NAVRATILOVA: No, I’m not. One of these days, hopefully. But when you say go back to Czech Republic, why are you sending me back there? I live here. I love this country. I’ve lived here 27 years. I’ve paid taxes here for 27 years. Do I not have a right to speak out? Why is that unpatriotic?

    CHUNG: Well, you know the old line, love it or leave it.


  14. 14
    danielx says:

    @Tom Levenson:

    A distinction without a difference.

  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    When it comes to immigration, I am naïve and mushy as all get out. I have never ever understood why entering the United States in and of itself should be considered a criminal act (of course I am not talking about people who are fleeing their home countries because they committed murder or some other vile deed). I grew up in the era in which Emma Lazarus’ poem was as familiar as the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, the Pledge of Allegiance (sans “under God”), and the words of the National Anthem.* Even though most of the ancestors I can trace came over in the 1630s from England, and around the 1850s from Germany, I have always had a weakness for stories of the huddled masses and wretched refuse. I am a big moosh and just hate the xenophobia that surrounds us today.**

    *Note to you young’uns: Yes, we memorized all those things when I was in school. I can still recite most of them, too. #uphillbothways #oniononbelt #offmylawn

    **I know there has always been a fear and hatred of foreigners, whether Jews or Irish or Chinese, among some members of American society, but for some reason the xenophobia seems much harder-edged today.

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think, in fact, that there’s a lot of tolerance ‘out there’ in the actual (non-winger) world. But for some reason I don’t quite get, the bigots seem to have the floor.

  17. 17
    Bort says:

    This is just shocking. Or not. Seriously, for these poo flingers, the very idea of basic governance is controversial. Remember when disaster relief wasn’t a partisan issue?

  18. 18
    Suffern ACE says:

    Well sure, if you want the military to be a social experiment. But if the military is full of immigrants, how can we trust that it will be loyal?

    Is that the argument they’re going for, or are they using “devaluing citizenship” or “corps cohesion”?

  19. 19
    aimai says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I don’t think thats true at all. Or if it is, its just a testimony to the national pastime of forgetting things. The amount of anti immigrant racism, ethnocentrism, and sheer religious bigotry that used to go unchallenged and even unnoticed is staggering. Anti Japanese, anti chinese, anti indian, anti irish, anti german, anti swede, anti polish, anti catholic and anti jewish–you name it, they have all come in for massive contempt and attack at certain times in US history. Anti immigrant sentiment is, to my mind, way down. The idea that the EAstern European immigrants would never assimilate and needed to be treated like a viral illness is long gone. I’d say that the anti hispanic/immigrant hysteria is well on its way to dying out entirely. It will be gone in two generations.

  20. 20
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I think, in fact, that there’s a lot of tolerance ‘out there’ in the actual (non-winger) world.

    I hope you’re right. You probably are. Unfortunately, the bigots are the ones who make all the noise — and who have internalized the old “squeaky wheel” motto.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    What does Jim Demint possess along with those two little spheres in his hands?

    Not his asscheeks because he couldn’t find them with both hands and a compass.

  22. 22
    Chris Grrr says:

    We are all so much poorer without Connie Chung spouting her lickspittle garbage.

  23. 23
    Robert Sneddon says:

    “Service guarantees citizenship!”

    One of the gung-ho lines from the Starship Troopers animated series IIRC. Of course if an immigrant seeking to serve is sick or has something physically or mentally wrong with them that disqualifies them or the recruiting quota is satisfied before they get to the front of the line to apply then they’re SOL. Bummer, that.

  24. 24
    Gene108 says:


    Unfortunately those folks seem to be the MSM, because they frame the narrative of the day to favor Republicans.

    For example, instead of stating Obama Admin audits VA hospitals to make sue vets get good care, the headlines are about how Obama’s VA is failing the troops and lying to cover it up.

  25. 25
    jl says:

    The hell with Zadar! The GOP in the Senate has gone on to Byzantium: they filibustered tax breaks in the Senate, because they were not allowed to introduce all sorts of unrelated nutjob amendments. The fourth crusade made more sense. But this time the GOP high popes are cheering on the destruction. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I guess it will help a little in November if the GOP keeps reminding people that it has gone stark raving mad.

    Senate Trench Warfare Escalates: GOP Filibusters Two Bipartisan Bills

  26. 26
    KG says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think part of it is that in the past, we had a lot of land and not many people. So, even if the undesirables came here, they’d just be passing through to some outpost on the western edges of America. As @aimai Says, there’s always been something. Chinese in the old west weren’t treated much better than blacks in the south. Nobody seemed to like the Irish. And so it went

  27. 27
    Josie says:

    Meanwhile, President Obama is moving the chess pieces on the board to give Ms. Clinton a vice- presidential pick who could guarantee her election plus some wonderful coattails.

  28. 28
    Gene108 says:

    Tom, why do you think it is surprising Reoublicans oppose Republican legislation that actually involves governing?

    Republicans killed Republican President George Bush, Jr’s attempts at immigration reform.

    Republicans do not want to govern. They want to rule without opposition. If that is not possible they will make government unworkable .

    Also, too I think Obama needs to realize how much he tries to prove that immigration laws can be strictly adhered to, to impress Republicans there will not be future “amnesties” that they will never be interested in supporting you. Obama’s created an anti-Democratic backlash because strict adherence to the letter of the law has resulted in record deportations that has split families, because the kids are born here.

  29. 29
    Jay C says:

    As disgraceful as Republicans (as a Party) generally are on so many issues, equally as bad, IMO, is the apparent veto power that outside groups like Heritage seem to have over Congressional legislation. With no one in the “leadership” even questioning them, apparently: as to what, exactly IS so “deplorable” about Rep. Denham’s bill? Fast-tracking citizenship for serving members of the US military? Whatever happened to “support the troops” .

  30. 30
    Anoniminous says:


    And there is a history of immigrant groups hating/attacking each other. Sam Clemens witnessed a group of Irish immigrants stoning a Chinese immigrant in San Francisco.

    People. Ain’t we wonderful!?!

  31. 31
    MattF says:

    @Jay C: I agree that the lack of Republican leadership in Congress is weird and dangerous. Power abhors a vacuum– if no one will govern then you’re inviting the thugs and demagogues to step in.

  32. 32
    jl says:

    @Jay C:

    I’m not Tom, but I think the GOP behavior is completely driven by its ignorant insane, resentful, hated-up, racist bigot xenophobic base of bitter older white people, which the GOP itself worked so hard to create. Because of their fear of prominent GOPers losing primaries, and low turnout of their crazies in the general election.

    Nothing Obama, HRC, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, or Booker, or O’Malley, or Sanders, or youngin’s like Castro do makes any difference. Only thing makes a difference is what lunatic fantasy latches onto the GOP rightwing media hate and ignorance machine, and what lunatic fantasy captures the imagination of their crazed extreme base. That’s it. Nothing else matters.

    Obama and the top Democrats know this, that is why Obama’s State of the Union address nonchalantly rattled off ideas for executive orders Obama could do, rather than proposals that required legislation.

  33. 33
    WereBear says:

    @MattF: Power abhors a vacuum– if no one will govern then you’re inviting the thugs and demagogues to step in.

    The Republicans DID invite the “thugs and demagogues to step in.” This IS their leadership!

  34. 34
    jl says:

    @Anoniminous: Twain also wrote a piece for an SF paper as a reporter that made fun of two impoverished down and out Irishmen who got turned away from job after job. They learned that the SF police department would take them, but they walked away when they found out the SF police hired blacks too.

    There is long history of racist bigoted insanity among whites in the U.S.

  35. 35
    Alex S. says:


    He’s also giving the GOP a wonderful opportunity to continue their outreach effort.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @jl: And in the long run, this is a very very bad business model for the GOP. But they are stuck doing things that are insane at face value, and insane at other levels too, including their long term survival. But the worthless mediocre retro white male swindlers and failed carnys who run the place can’t figure a way out of the trap they and their illustrious forebears like Nixon and Bush I and Atwater constructed, that they just wander further down the dead end, dig their hole deeper, hoping something turns up soon that will get them out of the jam.

    It would be funny, except that we have to figure out a way to survive the damage they do until they lose some more elections.

  37. 37
    Josie says:

    @Alex S.: That is a lucky side effect. It will rile up their base, but by 2016 and afterward, that just won’t be enough. They will hate their way into oblivion.

  38. 38
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Look, of course you’re right, and I tried, too briefly, to address that in my footnoted comment. I know this country has an ugly history wrt immigration (let alone slavery, let alone imposing Yurpean standards on Native Americans from 1492 —>). I’m not trying to deny history, however ugly. I just wanted to note that some of us (I think it’s generational) have a sentimental attachment to the whole concept of “immigration.”

    Or maybe it’s just me.

  39. 39
    jl says:

    @Josie: I’m not a big HRC fan, but a winning ticket of HRC and a Latino guy named Castro would be fun. How the misogynistic racist bigoted farts would howl! Castro is of Mexican heritage, but what would that mean to those ignoramuses?

  40. 40
    GregB says:

    This is just a distraction from the trillion patriot march that is descending upon Washington and will overthrow ObamarReidPelosiSoros before midnight.

  41. 41
    Josie says:

    @jl: Right? I’m just sitting here smiling to think of it. I think it would appeal to the president’s sense of humor also.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    I don’t even think anything someone like Warren could do would make a difference, even though she has made it quite clear that she is concerned about lower income working class whites just as much as anyone else. Her work should really ring bells with the clowns who population Bundy Land and the teabagger demonstrations.

    But, no, she is a liberal wimmins who associates with she-devils like HRC, and dusky politicians of Satanic origin. So they’ll just paint her up in racist Native American cartoons and hoop it up like fools.

  43. 43
    Morzer says:



  44. 44
    maya says:

    @Patrick: @Chris Grrr:

    I’m dying of suspense here. Did Chung take a slow boat back to China?

  45. 45
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I would love to see a Clinton-Castro ticket in 2016, but even more, I would love to see something like a Gillibrand-Castro ticket. If HRC turns out to be the nominee, of course I will support her — at some point I imagine I will even support her with enthusiasm — but right now there is baggage I’m tripping over, and I’d really like to see another (or some other) prospective candidate(s) come forward.

    Mind you, I’m not pimping Gillibrand — I don’t know much about her, for one thing — but I’d like to see what kind of bench we have before I concede to Hillary by default.

  46. 46
    gogol's wife says:


    It’s the first thing that’s cheered me up about HRC’s candidacy.

  47. 47
    Josie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I’m not crazy about her either, but as one who has lived in Texas all my life, I believe a Clinton/Castro ticket could carry Texas. That would leave the Republicans in the dust, and that is something I would like to see.

  48. 48
    jl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Given what the GOP will cough up over the next several election cycles, any half decent Democrat is fine with me as a nominee, if they have a good chance of winning.

  49. 49
    Morzer says:


    Always run up the score against evil!

  50. 50
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    and a fanatic’s guilt-free view of the world.

    Hmmm…where have we seen this before? Does history provide an example? Um, yes, let’s check out Central Europe ca. the 1940s for such types.

    Heritage really needs to change its name to Erbegründung and just get it over with.

  51. 51
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Jay C:

    Unelected outside groups setting the Republican agenda is nothing new. Grover Norquist got away with strong arming Republican congresscritters into signing his anti-tax pledge for years. There was the John Birch Society, now there’s the NRA. Republicans need someone to tell them what to do, always have, always will.

  52. 52
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I suggest they rebrand as BlutBodenUndKochheit

  53. 53
    Anoniminous says:


    The small bit of reality in white bigotry is the lower and middle classes are getting screwed which affects whites more because there is more whites in the US. Bigoted whites then make the mistake of blaming everyone else (= non-whites) instead of their political choices.

  54. 54
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Heritage could rename their blog “Völkischer Beobachter” and it would be perfectly appropriate.

  55. 55
    Morzer says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Der Stürmer wants to know why you hate it.

  56. 56
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: That would work, yes.

    One of the real problems with “Paleoconservatives”, for example Herr Pat Buchanan, is that they imagine that the US is a “Blut and Boden” sort of country. Those guys in Philly would have disagreed with the Paleos, but what the fuck did they know…they didn’t realize that the Constitution was handed to them on stone tablets by an archangel.

  57. 57
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    Es ist nicht hässlich genug.

  58. 58
    Gene108 says:


    Unfortunately there is so much cynasism about government out there that I do think building a platform to tear down government is an easier sell than trying to convince folks you can make government a constructive forces in their lives.

    As much as millennials are not as racist or homophobic as previous generations, from those I know, they still have a distrust of government. Their “coming of age” moment was on 9/11 and the subsequent lies about Iraq and WMD’s.

    Democrats and liberals have a Herculean task to convince voters to vote for them and their policies, as opposed to voting against the crazy, mean, spiteful Republicans.

  59. 59
    jibeaux says:

    Julian Castro is 39?? I’m 39. Feeling a but unaccomplished right now, tell you the truth.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Bigoted whites then make the mistake of blaming everyone else (= non-whites) instead of their political choices.

    Well, they’ve been effectively mau-maued by the usual suspects of the 1%, using the time tested “Divide and Conquer” strategy to keep ALL the peasants in their place. They can’t see that they’re basically bending over for a rogering with their political choices.

  61. 61
    Morzer says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Liberale sind die echten Eiferer!

  62. 62
    Gene108 says:


    Ummm… You do realize that is the American Way?

    The rich use race and ethnic divisions to keep the poor from uniting.

    One reason the South is so anti-Union is the whites did not want to support something that would help blacks. They’d rather be poor and proud of the dirt in their feet than see “those people” do marginally better.

  63. 63
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @Patrick: Re Chung: Christ, what an asshole.

    I can’t find it anywhere on the Youtubes but there was a great documentary on Martina on the Tennis Channel not long ago. Pretty amazing story with all the sexism, homophobia and xenophobia she endured during the peak of her career, not to mention being the arch-rival of America’s darling Chris Evert. Apparently Evert was very supportive of Martina when she was outed (even though I think Evert is fairly Republican.)

  64. 64
    Gene108 says:


    I’m 39 too and I’ve felt unaccomplished for so long I wouldn’t know what to feel, if I accomplished something.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: Connie Chung permanently soiled herself with the Kerrigan/Harding affair. Her interview with Navratilova was just icing on an already rotten cake.

  66. 66
    Morzer says:


    Being unaccomplished is, in itself, an achievement.

  67. 67
    🌷 Martin says:

    I suspect Denham has reminded his colleagues that the GOP didn’t pick up a single seat in CA in 2010. They lost in both houses of the legislature. They lost every executive race. They lost the US Senate race. They didn’t pick up a single House seat here. 2010 was the high point of GOP elections and they lost ground here.

    And who is the likely GOP nominee for Governor? Tim Fucking Donnelly. Here are some of his high points:

    He’s the founder of the California Minutemen, who would go and camp out at the border with their guns threatening to shoot anyone who tried to cross. They also built a 30 foot long or thereabouts border fence, so that 30′ is now totally secure.

    In 2011 he tried to get the student body president at Cal State Fresno removed because the student was undocumented. You know how dangerous student body presidents can be. Donnelly was a member of the state legislature at the time.

    2 years ago he was arrested trying to bring a loaded gun on an airplane without a conceal carry permit. He was still a state legislator.

    He says that we’re at war with immigrants.

    Now, he stands zero chance against Jerry Brown, but it’s the most high profile Governor race in the country and the GOP nominee is a fucking lunatic and among the most anti-immigrant hardliners you’ll find. You bet every member of the CA GOP delegation is scared shitless about a lack of immigration reform. If there’s anyone who will get immigrants to the polls, it’s Connelly, and Jerry is going to troll the everloving shit out of this guy who will proceed to make the GOP in this state look like the ugliest bunch of assholes on earth. We didn’t think the GOP would recover here after 2010 for a long time. Donnelly could kill them outright.

    “If the California Republican Party has as the leading candidate, the leading statewide candidate on the ballot this year somebody who has said the outrageous things that he’s said and prone to the outrageous behavior that he routinely engages in, it will be used to tarnish not only the California Republican Party, but they’ll throw it at everybody else on the ballot, and everybody else will, across the country, disavow the guy,” Rove told the conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt on his show.

    Rove said, “Every time he goes out and says something, and as we’ve seen, Mr. Donnelly is quite prone to sharing the weird recesses and corners of his mind, it could be really problematic for the GOP.”

    Rove’s remarks come a day after former California Gov. Pete Wilson issued a similar warning, and other prominent Republicans have rebuked Donnelly, a former member of the anti-illegal immigration Minuteman Project. Among other controversies, he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors after carrying a loaded gun into Ontario International Airport in 2012 and tried recently to tie his opponent, Neel Kashkari, to Islamic law.

    Donnelly is going to win the primary handily.

  68. 68
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    She certainly succeeded in humiliating herself permanently with this:

  69. 69
    hildebrand says:

    @Josie: That is most welcome news. Castro will be a great HUD secretary, and giving him some national experience prior to 2016 is smart.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Julius Streicher, the publisher of Der Stürmer got so over the top that Hitler took notice and took action to stifle him.

  71. 71
    debbie says:


    I don’t know what France was thinking when they gave us that statue…

  72. 72
    Baud says:


    Our loserdom always becomes apparent at some point. I say best to get it over with sooner rather than later.

  73. 73
    Baud says:


    They was drunk on wine.

  74. 74
    jl says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    ” Rove said, “Every time he goes out and says something, and as we’ve seen, Mr. Donnelly is quite prone to sharing the weird recesses and corners of his mind, ”

    And Karl ‘turd blossom’ Rove knows some stuff ’bout the weird recesses and corners of the mind, mind you.

    Poor Neel Kashkari, been reduced to this pathetic garbage. Heck, he didn’t even shoot anything with a gun in the ad. And he’s bringing that BS against a he-man furrinwe-hatin’ gun nut like Donnelly?

    Kashkari TV ad: Ax

  75. 75
    Anoniminous says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Not defending the dummies. Some of us tried to tell them and were told “MURIKA! Effin’ Yeah! Love It or Leave It Commie!” Screw ’em. They bought the hair shirt. Now they get to wear it.

    Or, what Gene108 wrote.

  76. 76
    Anoniminous says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Any hope some House seats will flip R -> D?

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @jl: Rove nurtured monsters like Donnelly. Now he’s finding out that the monster cannot be controlled.

    My sympathy for Rove is somewhere in the Marianas Trench.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anoniminous: Yeah, I know. You try to educate these people and they just cannot be. They really are proud of their ignorance.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:






    Me neither.

  80. 80
    Anoniminous says:


    You know, you’ve really need to truncate those long winded posts. Can you give me a tl;dr synopsis?

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:


    I was wondering who brought up Neel since I started getting his “Crazy Train” ads showing up here. Because the mere idea of having convenient high-speed trains like they have in Europe and Asia is ccccrrraaaaazzzzzyyyyy!

    I’ve said this before, but I still think the industry that’s putting the most money against high-speed rail is the airline industry. If you could take a high-speed train from LA to Vegas in 2 or 3 hours rather than have to fly, wouldn’t you? Amtrak would make a killing on the alcohol alone.

  82. 82
    MD Rackham says:

    @🌷 Martin: I know that I’m voting for Donnelly in the primary.

    Now that we have open primaries (again) in California, I’m all in favor of strategic voting.

    The only other temptation is to vote for Orly Taitz, but there’s no chance that she’d end up with the nomination, even though that would be even more fun than Donnelly’s candidacy promises to be.

  83. 83
    Joel Hanes says:


    Chinese in the old west weren’t treated much better than blacks in the south.

    In many places, they were treated far worse than blacks — forced to do rail construction and mining jobs considered too dangerous for black laborers.

  84. 84
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Now there’s another thing that I didn’t know before. Poor Streicher, he was born ahead of his time. These days he’d probably be a Senator from South Carolina.

  85. 85
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Anoniminous: Yeah, there’s some at-risk districts. Not a lot, but a few.

    @MD Rackham: I’m definitely voting for both Donnelly and Orly. Not strategic, necessarily. It’s worth it for the lulz alone.

  86. 86
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer:

    This is what always sticks in my craw about Connie Chung. What a disgrace.

  87. 87
    SiubhanDuinne says:



  88. 88
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Probably all established industries with a money interest in passenger transportation except ships and boats are pulling out all stops against high speed rail.

    Ever drive up and down the state on I5 or 99? Often very crowded and often nightmares. And I80 is even worse. If no alternatives found, sooner or later will need a third route or massive expansion. That will cost billions, and take just as much land as high speed rail. And then will need more expansion again before high speed rail line is saturated.

    I figure construction, auto, big oil, airlines, all sense a lot of ka-ching!!! going away over next few decades with high speed rail.

    Too be honest, I would be kind of freaked out going so fast in a train, and doing so in a country that has become kind of technologically laggard in some ways, I would think ‘Can we really do it safely?’ first time I got on. But you’re right, the air routes between N and S California are so crowded, the flying is royal pain. And freaked out and doubtful or not, I would take high speed rail, anytime I could.

    But I guess Jerry will push the damn thing through. Heard on the news this morning he gave another big FU to opponents, he is putting that show on, thank you very much.

  89. 89
    jl says:

    BTW, politicians should study the jovial and amused dismissiveness, contempt and low key dead pan ridicule Jerry Brown can pile on opponents. It is a gift, and seems to work with the public. Brown doesn’t get mad, he lays down some vicious snark.

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    danielx says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Fuck Rove. It was his idea that if Bush won with 50.5%, he could and should govern like he got 95%. if he’s upset that all his batshit chickens have come home to roost*, what did he expect? Once the beast is loose, the only way to keep it from eating is to shoot it, figuratively speaking. Dear Karl’s problem is that he forgot that eventually if you win an election that you actually have to govern, somehow, and he and other Republican pols have spent decades nourishing and watering the idea that government is worse than six Hitlers.

    What’s worse, none of those people out there saying these outrageous things and engaging in this outrageous behavior appreciate the genius and strategy and strategic forgettery of Karl Rove; nay, many of them regard him as no better than a RINO and would like to light him up and piss him out. (I totally understand this impulse.) Worse yet, they’re competing with Rove in the fundraising arena and winning as often as not, which really stings.

    *Edit: h/t to the literary and graphic genius of Driftglass.

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    jl says:


    ” (I totally understand this impulse.) ”

    You seem like a broad minded person who can appreciate another person’s point of view. That is a good thing.

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    danielx says:


    One tries. If wingnuts and I agree on virtually nothing else, I must say that the idea that Karl Rove is lower than whale shit on the bottom of the ocean has merit.

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    Jay C says:

    @🌷 Martin: @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, if the Marianas Trench had a sub-basement, that’s where my sympathies for Karl Rove would lie, but, sleazeball as he is, he’s got a point about the CA GOP. The biggest state in the Union, and the Republicans are looking to go the way of the Whigs there: Unlike a lot of other places, in California, the voters’ choice is less likely to be between a Republican nut, and a slightly-less-nutty Repub: the alternative, if they stir up too much ethnic enmity, is going to be a Democrat. The California GOP has always had a significant component of bigoted troglodytes: but in years past, the Party PTB – who were mostly bog-standard Big Business/country-club types – kept the mouthbreathers at bay, while putting up statewide candidates who had at least some general-audience appeal. But now, it seems like their ideal standard-bearer is Cliven Bundy in a suit.

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    Anoniminous says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    Any chance is better than no chance.

  95. 95

    @SiubhanDuinne: Not to be shallow but HRC needs to hire a better stylist. The jackets she wears now, look like a cross between Nehru jackets and something a Romulan Senator would wear.

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    Jesus California says:

    I’m in Denham’s district and I doubt if he got his feelings hurt over his bill getting shot down. He probably got double-special permission to go off the reservation a little on this, the only issue which he doesn’t toe the line on like a good Republican. He is Republican of the old-school country-club type, generally quite happy to win elections in a district in which 90% of the population has never heard of him and know nothing about him. Like his predecessor, Radanovich . He got redistricted in 2010 and now he has to pretend to be a little bi-partisan so as not to ENTIRELY alienate the Hispanics here. It’s the old Rove-Bush strategy: just get 30% of the Hispanic vote rather than go Tea-Bagger and lose the election because you only got 10 or 20%.

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    @pseudonymous in nc: Many immigrants become naturalized citizens and they do vote. Last cycle Obama carried them. He won the votes of the newly naturalized (within the last ten years) by wide margin.

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    Jesus California says:

    Or maybe I’m just too damn cynical.

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    Jay C says:

    @Mnemosyne: @jl:

    Plus, there’s the reflexive, venomous, seemingly genetically-coded antipathy most conservatives/Republicans exhibit when even having to discuss the subject of passenger rail development. Yes, there are numerous competing lobbies, and yes, the California HSR project will cost a shit-ton of money which it will likely never earn back, but few political buzzwords can get those Pavlovian glands salivating in righties than “train” or “rail”.

    Almost as bad as “Obama”…

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    Citizen_X says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    And who is the likely GOP nominee for Governor? Tim Fucking Donnelly…He’s the founder of the California Minutemen

    Are you fucking kidding me? Those fuckers are practically the Klan.

  101. 101
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay C:

    few political buzzwords can get those Pavlovian glands salivating in righties than “train” or “rail”

    I honestly don’t get it. Didn’t their heroine Ayn Rand build an entire novel around revolutionizing train travel? What’s their beef against it?

    (I mean, other than “blahs and browns ride it!”)

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    Morzer says:

    @Jay C:

    HSR might not earn the money back directly, but there’s quite a bit of evidence that it will bring an enormous amount of derived economic benefit to the communities it serves – just as the bullet train has in Japan, even if the railway companies that provide it tend not to be very profitable in themselves.

  103. 103
    Jay C says:

    @Mnemosyne: @Morzer:

    What’s their beef against it?

    Dunno: it truly beats me – most of the few cogent arguments against investment in passenger rail development* I’ve seen (and they are damned few – most Republican officials, AFAICT, simply start with the notion that rail projects are a wasteful, useless boondoggle as a given) typically fixate on the – admittedly enormous – up-front capital costs of any sort of significant rail project. Whether upgrading of existing track/rolling stock or building from scratch: it’s expensive. And, to be realistic, most won’t “pay their own way”. But even so, even with significant Federal backing, a lot of state-level Republicans just simply categorically reject rail projects: whether it IS because it’s seen as declassé transport for Those People (or, conversely, a dilettantish hobby for starry-eyed “train buffs”); or because they imagine air travel to be “more efficient” (HA!) – or like to blather about the Romance Of The Open Road and FREEDOM!! – or, they’re simply in the pockets of competing industries. Who knows?

    * freight rail, being the purview of the handful of mega-rail-corporations we have left is another matter, no one seems to care much what they do.

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    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I don’t think they’re really ignorant here. They know the rich are grinding them under their boot. They are driven by hate, not economic self-interest.

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    OGLiberal says:

    @Gene108: Exactly….Edmund Morgan – American Slavery, American Freedom. This goes back well before we could even call ourselves a nation. The haves, scared shitless of the much more numerous have nots, make sure the have nots hate on each other and have at least on portion of the have nots, those that look like them, side with them purely because of racial identity. Then the haves screm em all while deluding their racially alike have nots that they are on their side.

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    OGLiberal says:

    @Jay C: yup, real Mercans drive themselves, only wimpy Europeans and poor blahs use publif transportation. And since all that Rosa Parks/Freedom Rides silliness, riding a bus or train may mean having to sit next to one of “them”…or, as bad, some tree hugging hippy.

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    kindness says:

    I’m saddened to say it Denham is my Congressman. Don’t let the considerate act fool you. Denham represents big Ag here in CA. Big Ag supports undocumented workers. It isn’t a secret. The laws allow it for ag workers. Denham is just covering his home town money and he knows it’s a twofer. He can tee it up knowing it’ll get thrown down and then Repubs can claim Villager moderation and the Villagers will agree. It is all Obama’s fault as far as any question filtered through the MSM.

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    Tehanu says:


    Republicans do not want to govern. They want to rule without opposition. If that is not possible they will make government unworkable .

    Only too true. Tin-pot Hitlers, the lot of them
    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Just send them a tweet suggesting “The True American Observer”. They’ll eat it up.

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    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jay C: Passenger trains are associated with environmentalism too, which means Republicans have to shun them just like they’re obligated to buy the lowest gas mileage SUVs available and leave them running in the driveway.

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    keestadoll says:

    @debbie: Possibly to deflect “tired, poor, and huddled masses” from settling in France. You know: “Wait Wait! Look over there!”

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