Sunday, June 23, 2013

Netroots Nation snapshots: women leaders, spooks, Obamacare and immigration reform

House Minority Leader Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi stopped by Netroots Nation and assured us that she wanted more transparency (within the constraints of "security") about the intrusive spookery of the NSA and the secretive FISA court.

So do something about it, Ms. formerly-the-Speaker…

In the Q&A some of the audience booed Pelosi when she asserted leaker Edward Snowden had to be charged -- and applauded when she said she opposed continued outsourcing of security functions to private contractors.

I had to admire her toughness, the spunky aplomb with which she deals with the vitriol she gets from Republicans. She referred to the House Republicans disgustedly as “them.” She knows how to work to her advantage the gratitude we feel for her doing her job back there in DC, taking flack from misogynist assholes.

We might (and probably will soon enough) do worse.
Marcos Moulitsas (that’s Kos to the blog world) wondered: “If the Republicans want to move Latinos to vote for them, why do they keep insisting on an immigration reform that screams ‘we still want to dick with brown people.’” Why indeed?

Good question. People tend to notice if you say you'll let them into your house, but prohibit them from seeing a doctor if they get sick. One of the "features" of the immigration reform is that legalized persons would be excluded from the Obamacare health insurance exchanges that are supposed to enable near universal coverage. California is trying to figure out how the state can arrange preventative care for an estimated 2.6 million uncovered persons under Obamacare.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has deported 3.5 million people -- that amounts to millions of broken families. And the current reform in Congress evokes unhappy descriptions even from its vehement advocates. Dolores Huerta called it “ugly” but necessary.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez said “people will come to me once the bill is passed and ask ‘how could you do that Luis?’” He argues that the only way to stop the deportations is to pass the bill. “We have to put the 11 million in a safe place -- and then build on their rights and protections.”

I attended three sessions on immigration reform and they all raised to this painful contradiction.

I will be surprised if any reform at all makes it through the legislative sausage maker.

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