Tuesday, March 5, 2013

They keep digging it up to kill it again

Remember ACORN? The late and lamented (by some of us) organization known as the Alliance of Community Organizations for Reform Now was a strong advocate for the poor and disenfranchised. It worked to organize those people and to get them out to vote in elections so that they would make their voices heard. 

But there are powers that be that do not want such voices heard and after years of constantly fighting the organization, in 2009, they set out to utterly destroy it. And they succeeded. In 2010, the organization disbanded.

It had been accused by conservatives of various crimes and misdemeanors and the final straw was a set of highly selectively edited videos by conservative provocateur James O'Keefe appearing to show employees of the organization offering advice on tax avoidance related to prostitution and child smuggling. It was all blatantly untrue, but that didn't matter to ACORN's attackers who smelled blood in the water.

All the charges against the organization were investigated as reported in a story in The Huffington Post today:
Independent investigations by the California attorney general, the Massachusetts attorney general and the Brooklyn, N.Y. district attorney would later clear ACORN of criminal wrongdoing, and an investigation by the Government Accountability Office would clear ACORN of charges that it mishandled federal funds.
But the damage to ACORN's reputation had already been done. By November of 2009, Congress had defunded the organization, using broad language that applied to "any organization" that had been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. The funding ban also extended to any employees, contractors or others affiliated with any group charged with any of those things.

The Big Lie had done its work and the advocate for the poor and downtrodden was destroyed. But that's not enough for some people.

Today, Republicans in the House introduced a short-term budget bill. Section 510 of that bill, introduced by House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), reads: "None of the funds made available in this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries or successors." Really. That's what it says.

The bill also explicitly bars the use of the funds it appropriates for computer networks that do not block the viewing and exchange of pornography, and it bans the transportation of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to facilities in the United States, even though the Obama administration has not transferred any detainees from Guantanamo since 2009 and has announced no plans to do so.

This country has enormous problems that need to be addressed by this Congress, but these clowns are screwing around, trying to defund organizations that no longer exist and attempting to tie the Obama Administration's hands when it comes to dealing with Guantanamo detainees. Truly, they live in their own little fantasy bubble world and they are unable to deal with reality.

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