HR1: How to Undermine Legislation for the People

HR1 is a massive anti-corruption, single bill package of individual bills to: bring clarity to the effects of dark money in elections, remove gerrymandering, require tax filings of the President and Vice President be made public, enforce stricter lobbying requirements, make election day a national holiday, and address the many voter fraud/suppression issues of the last election cycle. It was passed strictly on party line in the House this week, and shall not even reach the floor of the Senate for a vote, because it represents what is contrary to the ideals of the GOP and what they believe a “democracy” ought to be.

Even if a super-majority of Americans support the concepts within HR1, which they do, the GOP is rolling out the false narratives with support of propaganda media, to describe to their base why they should continue to vote against their own interests or in defense of an honest democracy.

The tactics to discredit, malign, or misrepresent the contents of HR1, vary from the utterly idiotic to an almost admirable calculated evil.

Trump-style, “I’m rubber, you’re glue” argument:

Rep. Rodney Davis (R): “This bill is nothing but a bill that is for loading billions of billions of dollars into the coffers of members of Congress.”

-Which is clearly the opposite of the effects of this bill in both intent and in practice.

For fear of federal powers encroaching on our states and individual rights:

This bill is a massive federal government takeover that would undermine the integrity of our elections,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif .

Mitch McConnell wrote a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post on Thursday, characterizing the bill as a Democratic attempt to “grow the federal government’s power over Americans’ political speech and elections.

It should be called the Democrat Politician Protection Act,” he wrote.

-So, removing the GOP’s ability to undermine or suppress the will of the people through the various measures they have enacted for years, would undermine the will of the people, which is especially nefarious if placed into law by Congress. Worse, as Mitch pointed out, if the majority of people do or would vote for Democrats, then Democrats are clearly acting in bad faith for desiring their votes to be allowed and counted as such. What it should be called is the, “Democratic Protection Act,” Something Mitch’s party cannot abide by.

This little game played by House GOP is really fucking disgusting, and kinda clever- Didn’t you know HR1 is a bill designed to allow illegal immigrants to vote in federal elections?

Right? We all knew that was the plan all along. That’s why liberals are so keen on not disparaging all the gun-totting terrorist gang member drug dealing rapists just pouring in through the border. Because there are literally buses at the border picking up these gang members and driving them to voting booths in California! Voter fraud my friends. IT’S ALL RIGGED! And now they’re trying to legalize it. Oh this narrative fits so nicely into the grand scheme. It’s all coming together, isn’t it?

Yes.

This story was run by the Washington Times and picked up by all of the cult print propaganda outlets for consumption of the true believers, in hopes they keep the GOP in the Senate so nothing in HR1 will ever see the light of day.

Let’s take this apart.

First, I would like to say that the headline does not say, “in Federal elections,” although the word “voting” implies it, and if you think that isn’t the truth, go to that thread’s conversation and read the comments about “Civil war,” and, “They’ve gone too far this time!” Second, related to this, is the certainty that very few people will actually read the story, when the headline already confirms what cult members want to believe.

If you were to read the story, you would discover:

“The measure would have had no practical effect even if it had passed. Illegal immigrants — and indeed noncitizens as a whole — are not legally able to participate in federal elections.

Now you go into that thread and argue facts with the cult, because the bottom line is, liberals want “illegals” to vote, because it’s in HR1.

The thing is, it is NOT in HR1. There is no mention to allow “illegals” to vote. Neither the Democrats or the Republicans voted on a measure to allow the undocumented to vote. that never happened.

What did happen, was that piece of shit Dan Crenshaw, you know, the eyepatch guy that seemed like he might be reasonable, introduced an amendment to “recommit” the bill (sending it back to the committee) to rewrite the bill to include language to express the “sense” of the house that the undocumented ought not be allowed to vote under any circumstances by any States. Which means, he wants the Federal government to declare to the States that what has been their right, should not be their right to decide.

Crenshaw was asking the Democrats to vote to suggest to take away a right of the States. Understand? They were not voting to allow the undocumented to vote in the Fed or States, they were voting to take away that which already exists. The Democrats did not vote for this measure and did not vote to allow “illegals to vote,” and it is not in HR1.

We could go further into the weeds with this- The constitution does not expressly forbid non-citizens to vote, what it does do is outline in amendments how citizens shall vote in federal elections. It wasn’t expressly forbidden in Federal Elections until 1996, Not that any state was allowing non-citizens to vote in Federal elections at that time anyway.

In early US history, there really wasn’t any problem with this lack of clarification. We can imagine how circumstance would arise, especially during expansion, that input by non-citizens wouldn’t only be allowed in some States, it might have been necessary as some jurisdictions might have comprised almost entirely of non-citizens in various forms of naturalization.

We can also imagine how, currently, a locality might find cause to allow non-citizens to vote in referendum, special election, or locally appointed political positions. This was always a decision for the states to make according to their needs and dictate to their localities. Most states, over time have written their own laws to expressly forbid any non-citizen to vote in any matter, but there are eleven states that still allow it in some situations according to their own desires.

Now, we can agree with this or not. That is besides the point and it should be an issue we take up with our states. What Crenshaw was doing, was asking to take away an existing State’s right and creating the opportunity for a false narrative to undermine the entire package of laws that are designed for the benefit of the people.

How do you think this tweet is read by the cult?

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There are some problems with HR1, particularly as outlined by the ACLU in regards to 1st amendment rights. In reading their concerns, I think they have raised legitimate issues that would indeed be very difficult to correct. I would suggest splitting this bill into it’s disparate parts and deal with these issues one at a time in 2020.

What is very, very sad, is no one is even talking about this very important bill that would go a long way to correcting the sickness in our democracy. It’s considered dead.

What HR1 is:

  • H.R. 1 is a sweeping package of pro-democracy and anticorruption reforms to put power back in the hands of the American people by ending the dominance of big money in politics; making it easier, not harder, to vote; and ensuring that politicians actually serve the public interest.
  • H.R. 1 offers the most transformational and comprehensive democracy reforms in more than four decades, following through on Democrats’ election promise to clean up the chaos and corruption in Washington.
  • Oversight of federal elections is one of the chief tasks of the Committee on House Administration. Historically, the committee has had a hand in shaping legislation that touches on any and all aspects of federal elections. Issues concerning corrupt practices, contested congressional elections, campaign finance disclosures, and credentials and qualifications of House Members also fall under its purview.

H.R. 1 makes critical reforms across three key areas:

Voting Rights

  • Improve Access – H.R. 1 expands access to the ballot box by taking aim at key institutional barriers to voting, such as burdensome registration systems, limited voting hours and many other roadblocks. H.R. 1 creates automatic voter registration across the country, ensures that individuals who have completed felony sentences have their full rights restored, expands voting by mail and early voting and modernizes the U.S. voting system.
  • Promote Integrity – H.R. 1 fights back against Republicans’ assault on voting rights by committing Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act; prohibiting voter roll purges like those seen in Ohio, Georgia and elsewhere; and ensuring that discriminatory voter ID laws do not prevent Americans citizens from exercising their rights. H.R. 1 also ends partisan gerrymandering to prevent politicians from picking their voters and lets American voters instead choose their elected officials.
  • Ensure Security – H.R. 1 promises that American elections to be decided by American voters without interference from foreign entities. The bill enhances federal support for voting system security, particularly paper ballots, and increases oversight over election vendors.

Campaign Finance

  • Guarantee Disclosure – H.R. 1 shines a light on dark money in politics by requiring any organization involved in political activity to disclose its large donors, which will break the nesting-doll system that allows big-money contributors and special interests to hide their spending in networks of socalled “social welfare” organizations.
  • Empower Citizens – H.R. 1 levels the political playing field for everyday Americans, empowering individuals with a multiple matching system for small donations and allowing the American people to exercise their due influence in a post-Citizens United world, while reaffirming that Congress should have the authority to regulate money in politics. The new system of citizen-owned elections will break special interests’ stranglehold on politics and enable Congress to advance an agenda that serves the American people.

Ethics and Accountability

  • Fortify Ethics Law – H.R. 1 breaks the influence economy in Washington and increases accountability by expanding conflict of interest law and divestment requirements, slowing the revolving door, preventing Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards and requiring presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns.
  • Impose Greater Ethics Enforcement – H.R. 1 gives teeth to federal ethics oversight by overhauling the Office of Government Ethics, closing registration loopholes for lobbyists and foreign agents, ensuring watchdogs have sufficient resources to enforce the law and creating a code of ethics for the Supreme Court.

The Inexplicable 2018 Omnibus Spending Package, large excerpts

Ok. I’m reading the 2232 fucking page long, Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus spending package that was written to support the 2018 Budget.  I have to say, right up front, I for one am sick of the disorganized, haphazard, sloppy work of the US Government.  I don’t want to see another fucking bill slapped together with no rhyme, reason, or semblance of order.

Removing the donor-class, lobbyist-driven legislation that government shits out should be job 1.  Without that, all the rest of our worrying and hand-wringing over the current state of affairs is meaningless.  Right now, I’d say that job #2 is passing legislation to force the legislative branches to write goddamn legislation that is organized, thoughtful, and thoroughly rationalized.

I understand this is the golden opportunity for everyone…and I mean everyone including lobbyists, to insert their own little piece of pork barrel, anonymously…yes, anonymously, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be compiled with order, reason, and justification.  That being said, let’s just go ahead and serve up some of the nuggets from this incredible work with example #1 of what this inane process produces:

page 1042: Ruh-roh Donny. According to 2018 Omnibus Spending Package, Trump can no longer lie.

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Fake news is no longer acceptable!!!!  WOOO HOOOOOO.  This little clause is just sitting all alone.  Not in relation or as reference to anything else.  It doesn’t say how “deliberately false or misleading,” is to be determined or by whom.  It doesn’t say how redress is sought or point to any other law or legislation.

Does that include any work by any federally paid employee in any venue?  Surely it covers federally issued electronic and communication devices.  Surely it covers any and all forms of federally disseminated information such as speeches, webpages, or physical documentation.  Right?

Right?

I can’t help but think someone inserted this at 2am in the morning as a fucking joke.

page 1042: This is just above the preceding clause.

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Now why is this so much more specific and delineated? Why is it just for those in a scientific advisory committee?  Why wouldn’t this extend to everyone?  Exactly what federal employee is political affiliation a necessary qualification?  At least these guys are covered.  I mean, this administration hates all scientists as a rule anyway.  Fact-based truths that don’t match up with the administrations ideology is the disqualifier anyway.

 

page 596: GOP makes sure to increase the flow of dark money into their coffers.

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page 491: related to above.

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The problem with this provision is best described in this story about the hidden, dark money additions in this spending bill:

“Another provision, first implemented in a 2014 spending bill, prevents the IRS from issuing guidance or changing rules related to how the agency decides whether a non-profit group spending money on politics is a “social welfare” 501(c)(4) group under the U.S. tax code. 501(c)(4) groups are not required to disclose their donors and are allowed to engage in political activities so long as politics is not its “primary activity,” a murky standard that the IRS tried to clarify before it was prevented from doing so by spending bill riders.”

Page 617-618: Pruitt and Zinke, this ones for you!

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Go ahead and read that again.  If a company or organization made campaign contributions to a federal employee, whom might have occasion, to oversee whether that company or organization receives a federal contract, no one can ask of the company or organization to provide information that the federal employee is unduly influenced by said contribution.  This fits in very nicely with the Administration desire to sell off or lease public lands to the fossil fuels industries for some righteous raping.

Page 1519: interesting insertion here.

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Page 619:  Oh no Donny!  Going to have to pay for this one yourself.

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Page 2199: very interesting.

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Removing Section 9013 is removing the effective date of all of the serious-as-a-heart-attack laws regarding campaign finance.  Each individual section of this code has it’s own effective date, pretty much.  So I’m not sure if removing the effective date for the entire chapter throws the laws into limbo, or what the fuck it does.  I don’t understand why this is selected for removal and why there’s no further explanation or justification.

What kind of stuff is covered in this chapter?  This-

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