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Senator John Cornyn (R. TX) is such a shit kicker:

Republican Senator John Cornyn released a Youtube video before a Senate meeting on immigration reform Monday that attacked the Obama administration’s border security endeavors.

The video scales a graveyard where Cornyn crouches down to read makeshift grave markers made of metal plates, all of which are absent of names. The unidentified remains are marked as “Bones” or “Skeletal Remains”.

At the end of the video, text floats across the screen: “Is this how we define secure?”

His walk through the Rio Grande cemetery was part of a two-day trip through South Texas to discuss border security with local officials before discussions on immigration reform in the Senate this week.

Cornyn has praised some elements of the bi-partisan immigration bill proposed last month by the Gang of Eight, but his meddling could prevent the passage of the bill by adding additional amendments that would place the National Guard across the Southern border.

The DREAM Action Coalition, an immigration advocacy group, tweeted an article to Cornyn criticizing him of derailing previous attempts at immigration reform. He responded with: “complete bs.” - Opposing Views, 5/14/13

No it's not "complete bs", it's the truth:

From 2005 through 2007, the group I headed worked closely with Senators McCain and Kennedy to pass bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform.  In 2005 and 2006 Senator Cornyn teamed up with Senator Kyl of Arizona to propose an alternative bill.  He made eloquent speeches about the need for reform.  He issued positive press releases on his hopes for reform.  He held meetings with advocates for reform.  We believed -- and hoped -- he was positioning himself to be the deal maker on a bill that would fix our immigration system once and for all.

Unfortunately, Cornyn turned out to be typical politician.  All hat and no cattle.  As the immigration bill moved to the Senate floor in 2006, he proposed poison pill amendments to weaken support for it.  He voted against it, even though 23 other Republicans voted for it.  It turned out all that posturing was aimed at undermining, not enacting, reform.

In 2007, Senator Cornyn's hardline friend, Jon Kyl, decided to fight for reform rather than against it.  Kyl engaged in bipartisan negotiations.  The bill that emerged was similar to the earlier Cornyn-Kyl bill.  President Bush and Senator Kyl fought for it.  Senator Cornyn proposed poison pill amendments to weaken support for the bill.  He then voted against it.

It was June 28, 2007.  The bill negotiated by Kyl to win over Republicans such as Senator Cornyn had just gone down to defeat.  And then, none other than Senator Cornyn stood up to give a speech on the Senate floor -- about the need to pass immigration reform!

He said, "This is a big issue, one that is worthy of the greatest deliberative body in the world -- the U.S. Senate -- and it is an issue on which I assure each of my colleagues that I intend to do my part to try to solve."  But we all knew reform would be derailed for years after this defeat, and when Cornyn had his chance to resolve it just moments earlier, he voted no. - Frank Sharry, Huffington Post, 4/12/13

And Cornyn's been up to his tricks again.  He recently tried to tie Islamaphobia to the immigration reform debate:

Texas Sen. John Cornyn (R) on Thursday warned his colleagues in the Senate that people who were “wearing some form of turban” were illegally immigrating into the United States by crossing the Southern border.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to consider amendments to the bipartisan immigration reform bill, Cornyn asserted that he had “anecdotal” evidence that only 25 percent of undocumented immigrants crossing the border were caught by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“In fact, anecdotally, the border patrol last — on Sunday and Monday were telling me, they think they maybe catch one out of every four people coming across the border,” he declared. “Maybe one out of every three. And that’s a problem.”

**FILE** In this May 22, 2008 file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee member, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, listens to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., ranking Republican on the committee, not shown, speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, accusing Democrats of partisan delays in dealing with judicial nominees. Kenneth Copeland is one target of a Senate Finance Committee investigation into allegations of questionable spending and lax financial accountability at six large televangelist organizations that preach health-and-wealth theology. Copeland has fought back the hardest, refusing to answer most questions from the inquiry's architect, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)
The Texas senator argued that this made the case for an amendment offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), which establishes “triggers” that prohibits legalizing undocumented immigrants until the Department of Homeland Security has established “effective control” of the border for six months.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), however, pointed out that a 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the Border Patrol had a 82 percent effectiveness rate at catching illegal border crossings. - Raw Story, 5/9/13
Now here's the real shit kicker:

Ironically, Cornyn is blocking an immigration reform bill that would effectively prevent more senseless border deaths from occurring. Migrants often have to rely on smugglers who leave them to die in the desert.

Cornyn has offered several amendments that would likely undermine the bill’s passage, including an amendment that would militarize the southern border. Immigration reform is designed to provide a safer and lawful border entry for seasonal workers and families, which would be a better alternative than the status quo of allowing migrants to die during border crossings.  - Think Progress, 5/14/13

But Cornyn doesn't really care about that, he's already spoken for:
What did that money buy? Earlier this month, Cornyn tweeted, “Friend on border sez 300 ppl coming across his property every night. And Napolitano sez border is under control?”

Cornyn’s idea of “robust” border security was made clear in an amendment he offered during debate over a supplemental spending bill three years ago. Cornyn’s amendment called for $3 billion to be spent on a mix of drones, border security guards, funding for 3,300 beds for immigrant detention over two years as well as 500 additional detention officers. In 2005, Cornyn’s immigration reform legislation called for 10,000 new ICE detention beds. - The Nation, 2/27/13

If Cornyn successds at derailing immigration reform, this could be the final straw that broke the candles back for his career:
The growth of the Latino electorate has led some demographers to predict that Texas will go the way of California -- where an ascendant Latino electorate has now become the Republican Party's single biggest impediment to winning statewide office.

Cornyn would do well to study the recent history of Ronald Reagan's home state. The rise of the Democrats in California was caused not by the Democrats' electoral strategic brilliance - but by the political harakiri committed by the GOP in the 1990s.

In 1994, Gov. Pete Wilson, until then a rising star in the national GOP, got behind a very unfortunate voter initiative -- the now infamous Proposition 187 that was backed by leaders of the anti-immigrant movement. This popular measure called for, among other things, denying access to public education to undocumented kids.

Millions of American Latinos in California who had never before participated in politics took notice. Not surprisingly, the shock of having your friends' and neighbors' kids targeted by a mean-spirited law, pushed by a governor using the dog whistles of racial division, was a disaster for the California GOP. Latinos started to register to vote in droves. Many long-time green-card holders became American citizens -- with the express purpose of voting. Latinos now make up 38 percent of California's population -- and it is the critical pivot vote for any statewide office.

Today, thanks to Wilson's Proposition 187 and the effect it had on American Latinos, there is not a single statewide GOP elected official in California. Like the Dodo, the functional extinction of the state's GOP has occurred.

In Texas, a not dissimilar process is under way. Share of the Latino vote grew from 20 percent in 2008 to 25 percent of total votes cast in 2012. Should this trend continue, and demographers say it will, American Latinos will be a crucial voting bloc in elections in 2014, 2016 and beyond. Former Gov. Jeb Bush, rumored to be considering a run in 2016, has already predicted that in fact Texas could be turning purple as early as 2016.

But with a Republican lockdown on the white vote, the Texas GOP remains dominant in the state. Another shoo-in re-election victory for John Cornyn in 2014, right? - Fernando Espuelas, 3/25/13

Jeremy Bird is already working on making Texas purple:

Texas Observer: Why Texas? Why not Battleground Georgia or Battleground Indiana?

Jeremy Bird: One reason is staffers from Texas, whether it’s organizers in battleground states who are from Texas or just the people in our organization who had either worked in Texas during the primary and had experience there or are actually from there, they’ve got a tremendous amount of passion to go back [to Texas] and work. I’ve heard it over and over again. I would talk about Texas in presentations whether we were talking about the maps and the battlegrounds and how we get to 270 as a long-term ambition, and people would come up to me later and say, ‘Hey I want to be a part of that long-term thing’, even though we’d barely mentioned it. It was sort of an aside. So I was struck by that.

The second group of people are our volunteers in Texas. This really started back during the Two-Step, back in the primary days. The folks there were incredible. The size of our email list in the campaign. The amount of work they did in the primary. What they did in ’08 and then watching their work in 2012, it’s a very motivated group of folks who did a lot of work. Whether they were in El Paso driving up to Las Cruces, New Mexico knocking on doors. Or, in Houston or Dallas or somewhere else making calls into Florida or Colorado, the sheer value of what they were doing was impressive. When we did big days of action on health care or something there’d always be a disproportional number of event happening in Texas versus the size of our staff. I think that led me to believe this was something that was possible.

The third group of people is our donors, whether they’re grassroots donors online who contributed in pretty massive numbers or the great community of donors in this state that are really active. Same thing, I’d be at meetings talking to the national finance committee and there’d be a lot of Texans there and be excited that I’d mentioned Texas in my presentation and want to make that real.

The people in the world where I’d been working really wanted something like this. I also think the sheer size; Texas can play a much bigger role in our national politics. It’s on policy issues and politics. Everybody there knows that.

TO: I think one of the things that has inarguably held back Democrats in a lot of respects is a really low turnout rate, among Latinos especially in certain areas. Is that something y’all are mindful of and what’s the thinking in terms of what to do about that?

JB: That is probably the Number 1 and 2 problems. No. 1 is low registration rates. Two is low turnout rates. They’re both equally important. It’s a full process of how do get people on the rolls and in the electorate. But then you’ve got to turn them out or otherwise it doesn’t matter. We’ve gotta figure out what works and then do some testing of that.

The biggest thing is that if you look at right after the election [Latino Decisions] asked voters all over the Southwest and the West and in the South were you talked to by a campaign, did somebody knock on your door, did somebody call you, was there any interaction. With voters in Colorado it was well over 60 percent of all voters—and you know how hard it is to get to some people—had been communicated with by a campaign.

The number was in the mid-20s, I think, in Texas. Part of it is people aren’t asking, people aren’t going out. If you look at what Andy Brown did with the 21-precinct project, they actually went out and talked to people and saw a difference. We know from every study we did in the campaign and every election I’ve been involved in, you see bigger turnout when people are actually asked for their vote… And so we know that works. The question is can you do that on a scale enough to move the needle.

TO: And you obviously think the answer to that is yes?

JB: I think it is. I think it absolutely yes. And I think there’s even a bigger upside in Texas because increasing turnout in a place like Ohio, you can do it, we found that it can work, but that’s a place where people had been working those neighborhoods for years, spending 100s of millions on TV and everything else. In Texas, you have a bigger upside because people haven’t been worked as much.

TO: When you talk long-term, how many election cycles — because that’s what everyone wants to know. It’s a bit of a parlor game but everyone wants to know when is the election cycle where we’re going to see a turning point. So when you talk long-term what exactly does that mean?

JB: There are so many factors. Who runs, what happens at the local level with local politics. I think what the Republicans are trying to do is put a year on it and say, ‘If they don’t win in 2014 or 2016 they’re a failure’. We’re not going to let them paint that. Like I said with Virginia it’s a really long-term project and every cycle we have to show success and keep moving forward, but we’re not going to let the Republicans put a year on it for us and say if we don’t have a Democratic senator or governor or presidential election that moves our way we’re a failure. That’s the problem. It’s been measured so much and people have put resources so much into a two-year span or a four-year span. National groups too aren’t willing to do it because if I’ve got a budget and I have to put 30 percent of my money into Texas for a national project no one’s going to do that.

It’s a long haul for us. We know it’s a long journey. My big thing is we have to have patience but we also have to work with a fierce urgency. You’re only going to get there if every cycle you maximize potential. Saying long-term doesn’t mean we’re going to go slow or not be aggressive with how we approach the next two years. - Texas Observer, 3/5/13

And frankly, Cornyn needs to go because him and moronic colleague, Senator Ted Cruz (R. TX), are just an awful duo:

Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have filed a number of amendments to the immigration bill being considered by a Senate committee on Thursday.

Both are pushing for more border security. Cruz wants to strip any possibility of citizenship for 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally. Cornyn is offering language to make it especially hard for people convicted of crimes to take advantage of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration overhaul plan.

One of Cruz’s amendment takes direct aim at that bill’s “path to citizenship” provision, the central point of contention. His change says that no person shall be eligible for citizenship who has been “willfully” in the U.S. and without legal status.

The criteria for “willfully” are not defined.

The junior senator also proposed an amendment that would triple the number of Border Patrol agents stationed along the U.S.-Mexico border and quadruple equipment, “including cameras, sensors, drones and helicopters,” within three years. And the 700 miles of border fence required by a 2006 law would need to be finished. - The Dallas Morning News, 5/8/13

I really hope 2014 can be the year we make Texas competitive because guys like Cornyn and Cruz sure are paving the way to making it happen.

Originally posted to pdc on Wed May 15, 2013 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by LatinoKos, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Houston Area Kossacks, Dallas Kossacks, and TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans.

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