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Comprehensive immigration reform was the one policy suggestion that came out of the so-called GOP autopsy. The party’s big donors and top strategists like Karl Rove know that some grand gesture that stops the slide Republican presidential nominees have suffered since 2004 is necessary.

However, House Republicans don’t share that urgency.

“All of this high-minded stuff — that Republicans need to get the immigration issue off the table if they want to win and hold a Senate majority or win the White House — matters little to many GOP House lawmakers who sit in very white, very conservative congressional districts and who have much more to fear from a conservative primary challenger than from a Democrat,” explains Charlie Cook.

So rather than having any hope of passing the huge bill that got through the Senate with a more than two-thirds majority, Republicans will be stuck with crumbs of reform and lots of reasons for anti-immigration Republicans to keep talking.

The Washington Examiner‘s Conn Carroll believes that anti-immigrant ranting only hurts the cause of reform:

The same activist Spanish-language media that is beating up Republicans for not passing amnesty now, would immediately start bashing Republicans for not making the path to citizenship easier tomorrow. The left will again start promoting every stupid thing Steve King and his ilk say about immigrants, in order to, again, pressure moderate Republicans into caving.

In other words, by highlighting King, the left is again demonstrating that passing amnesty solves nothing.

He’s basically arguing that Latinos are never going to like Rep. Steve King (R-IA), so Republicans might as well vote like him.

Carroll is definitely right that the Hispanic media are watching reform closely and amplifying the worst comments about immigrants, the same way anti-reform Republicans are amplifying their concerns even though lots of Republicans — including a majority in the district represented by Steve King — want reform that includes a path to citizenship.

Here are five of the worst things Republicans have said about immigrants recently.

Ken Cuccinelli On ‘Rats’

Last year, Virginia’s attorney general called in to a morning talk-radio show to rant about his interpretation of a wildlife policy that he claimed protected rats. The Huffington Post‘s Nick Wing explains:

“They have to relocate the rats. And, not only that, that’s actually not the worst part, they cannot break up the families of the rats!” Cuccinelli said, incorrectly suggesting that the District’s 2010 Wildlife Protection Act forced pest control specialists to dump them across the river in Virginia.

Cuccinelli then made his comparison.

“So, anyway, it is worse than our immigration policy,” he said. “You can’t break up rat families. Or raccoons, and all the rest, and you can’t even kill ’em. It’s unbelievable.”

What’s Cooch actual stance on immigration and keeping human families together? Even he doesn’t know.

Steve King On ‘Calves’ And ‘Cantaloupes’

You know earlier this week that Rep. Steve King made an anti-immigration comment that will go down in history.

“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” he said. “Those people would be legalized with the same act.”

After Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) attacked King’s comments as “hateful or ignorant,” King went to the floor of the House to give a 25-minute-plus speech about the history of Western Civilization that seemed to compare undocumented immigrants to the Visigoths who sacked Rome.

He was then greeted at his office by a large delivery of cantaloupes from undocumented young people.

The next day, he went on Laura Ingraham’s radio show to stand by his comments, which he called “an objective analysis.”

When the host told him he should be “smarter about the language he used, King said, “I have been saying this a different way for 10 years and they’re not paying attention.”

Maybe that’s because what King is saying isn’t true.

“Simply put, drug smugglers aren’t eligible for legalization under the latest immigration proposals,” Univison’s Jordan Fabian wrote in a fact check of King’s statements.

On Saturday, King told Fox News that despite the harsh words he’s been getting from the House GOP leadership, his fellow Republicans agree with him in private.

“My colleagues are standing by me,” he said. “They come up to me constantly and talk to me and say, you’re right, I know you’re right.”

Louis Gohmert On ‘Acting Hispanic’

“We know al Qaeda has camps on the Mexican border,” Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) told C-SPAN in the aftermath of the Boston bombings. “We have people that are trained to act Hispanic when they are radical Islamists.”

Michele Bachmann On The President’s ‘Magic Wand’

“Because, I think the president, even by executive order, could again wave his magic wand before 2014 and he’d say, ‘Now, all of the new legal Americans are going to have voting rights,’ “Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said recently.

She went on to say that he did the same thing in 2012 “with all Latinas under age 30” — which apparently happened in the same universe where Bachmann ran a perfect presidential campaign.

This is how Bachmann became the winner of the most PolitiFact “Pants On Fire” awards of all time.

Don Young On ‘Wetbacks’

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) wants you to know he understands the complexities of undocumented labor.

“My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” Young said in March. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”

And don’t worry, he “meant no disrespect” with those comments.


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Mark Meadows

Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wanted a presidential pardon. He had facilitated key stages of Trump’s attempted 2020 coup, linking the insurrectionists to the highest reaches of the White House and Congress.

But ultimately, Meadows failed to deliver what Trump most wanted, which was convincing others in government to overturn the 2020 election. And then his subordinates, White House security staff, thwarted Trump’s plan to march with a mob into the Capitol.

Meadows’ role has become clearer with each January 6 hearing. Earlier hearings traced how his attempted Justice Department takeover failed. The fake Electoral College slates that Meadows had pushed were not accepted by Congress. The calls by Trump to state officials that he had orchestrated to “find votes” did not work. Nor could Meadows convince Vice-President Mike Pence to ignore the official Electoral College results and count pro-Trump forgeries.

And as January 6 approached and the insurrection began, new and riveting details emerged about Meadow’s pivotal role at the eye of this storm, according to testimony on Tuesday by his top White House aide, Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows had been repeatedly told that threats of violence were real. Yet he repeatedly ignored calls from the Secret Service, Capitol police, White House lawyers and military chiefs to protect the Capitol, Hutchinson told the committee under oath. And then Meadows, or, at least White House staff under him, failed Trump a final time – although in a surprising way.

After Trump told supporters at a January 6 rally that he would walk with them to the Capitol, Meadows’ staff, which oversaw Trump’s transportation, refused to drive him there. Trump was furious. He grabbed at the limousine’s steering wheel. He assaulted the Secret Service deputy, who was in the car, and had told Trump that it was not safe to go, Hutchinson testified.

“He said, ‘I’m the f-ing president. Take me up to the Capitol now,’” she said, describing what was told to her a short while later by those in the limousine. And Trump blamed Meadows.

“Later in the day, it had been relayed to me via Mark that the president wasn’t happy that Bobby [Engel, the driver] didn’t pull it off for him, and that Mark didn’t work hard enough to get the movement on the books [Trump’s schedule].”

Hutchinson’s testimony was the latest revelations to emerge from hearings that have traced in great detail how Trump and his allies plotted and intended to overturn the election. Her eye-witness account provided an unprecedented view of a raging president.

Hutchinson’s testimony was compared to John Dean, the star witness of the Watergate hearings a half-century ago that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon for his aides’ efforts to spy on and smear Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign.

“She IS the John Dean of the hearings,” tweeted the Brooking Institution’s Norman Eisen, who has written legal analyses on prosecuting Trump. “Trump fighting with his security, throwing plates at the wall, but above all the WH knowing that violence was coming on 1/6. The plates & the fighting are not crimes, but they will color the prosecution devastatingly.”

Meadows’ presence has hovered over the coup plot and insurrection. Though he has refused to testify before the January 6 committee, his pivotal role increasingly has come into view.

Under oath, Hutchinson described links between Meadows and communication channels to the armed mob that had assembled. She was backstage at the Trump’s midday January 6 rally and described Trump’s anger that the crowd was not big enough. The Secret Service told him that many people were armed and did not want to go through security and give up their weapons.

Trump, she recounted, said “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the mags [metal detectors] away. Let the people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.

As the day progressed and the Capitol was breached, Hutchison described the scene at the White House from her cubicle outside the Oval Office. She repeatedly went into Meadows’ office, where he had isolated himself. When Secret Service officials urged her to get Meadows to urge Trump to tell his supporters to stand down and leave, he sat listless.

“He [Meadows] needs to snap out of it,” she said that she told others who pressed her to get Meadows to act. Later, she heard Meadows repeatedly tell other White House officials that Trump “doesn’t think they [insurrectionists] are doing anything wrong.” Trump said Pence deserved to be hung as a traitor, she said.

Immediately after January 6, Hutchinson said that Trump’s cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove a sitting president but did not do so. She also said that Meadows sought a pardon for his January 6-related actions.

Today, Meadows is championing many of the same election falsehoods that he pushed for Trump as a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute (CPI), a right-wing think tank whose 2021 annual report boasts of “changing the way conservatives fight.”

His colleagues include Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who pushed for Trump to use every means to overturn the election and leads CPI’s “election integrity network,” and other Republicans who have been attacking elections as illegitimate where their candidates lose.

Hutchinson’s testimony may impede Meadows’ future political role, as it exposes him to possible criminal prosecution. But the election-denying movement that he nurtured has not gone away. CPI said it is targeting elections in national battleground states for 2022’s midterms, including Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Trump did not give Meadows a pardon. But in July 2021, Trump’s “Save America” PAC gave CPI $1 million.

Steven Rosenfeld is the editor and chief correspondent of Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute. He has reported for National Public Radio, Marketplace, and Christian Science Monitor Radio, as well as a wide range of progressive publications including Salon, AlterNet, The American Prospect, and many others.

Tina Peters

YouTube Screenshot

A right-wing conspiracy theorist who was indicted in March on criminal charges of tampering with voting machines to try to prove former President Donald Trump's lies of a stolen 2020 presidential election on Tuesday lost the Republican primary to run for secretary of state of Colorado, the person who oversees its elections.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, Tina Peters, the clerk and recorder of Mesa County, Colorado, was in third place, trailing the winner, fellow Republican Pam Anderson, 43.2 percent to 28.3 percent.

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