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“Peter King For President?”: Republicans Had Better Hope Not

If U.S. Representative Peter King (R-NY) is serious about pursuing the Republican nomination for president in 2016, then the GOP will have a real problem on its hands.

Congressman King’s interest in a White House bid was first reported on Wednesday night by Newsmax. The next day, the Long Island Republican elaborated on his plans in an interview with ABC News.

“I’m going to certainly give it thought. I’m going to see where it goes,” King explained. “My concern right now is I don’t see anyone at the national level speaking enough on, to me, what’s important – national security, homeland security, counterterrorism.”

“The big debate that Republicans seem to have in the Senate on foreign policy is whether or not, you know, the CIA was going to use a drone to kill an American in Starbucks,” he added, in a shot at Kentucky senator Rand Paul. “To me, we should be going beyond that and we should go back to being a party – whether it’s Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush – of having a strong national defense, and that should be, to me, an essential part of the presidential debate. And so far, that’s missing.”

Of course, if national defense has been missing from the presidential debate, it’s probably just because said debate won’t begin for another two years. But if King does insist on bringing the issue to the forefront of the Republican presidential primaries, then that’s very bad news for the GOP.

King’s positions on homeland security and foreign policy line up rather neatly with those of the George W. Bush administration (notably, former attorney general and noted torture advocate Michael Mukasey was the first Republican to go on record in support of King’s hypothetical candidacy). In other words, they are ridiculously unpopular. If voters were clamoring for a return to the Bush era, then Mitt Romney — whose diplomatic and national security teams were stacked with Bush administration veterans — presumably would not have been the first Republican presidential candidate in three decades to lose to his opponent on questions of foreign policy and national security (President Obama trounced Romney 56 to 44 percent among voters focused on the subject, according to exit polls.)

Making matters worse is King’s apparent inability to advocate for these positions without invoking startling racism. If the Republican plan to appear less hostile to minorities isn’t already completely dead by 2016, then a presidential campaign by a man who has declared that “we have too many mosques in this country,” and that “85 percent of American Muslim community leaders are an enemy living amongst us” — among many other racist broadsides against the Muslim community — would certainly deliver the coup de grâce.

Furthermore, a King candidacy would be sure to bring out the worst in his fellow candidates. With a lifetime 75 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, King would draw attacks from the right throughout the primaries; it’s not hard to imagine a fierce argument over King’s support for closing the gun show loophole, for example, becoming the 2016 version of “let him die!

And none of these issues with a potential King candidacy even touch his decades-long support for a violent terrorist organization.

Happily for Republicans, King is likely just floating a presidential bid as a way to raise both his own profile and money for his congressional campaigns. But if he actually does enter the 2016 race, it would result in another huge blow to the Republican Party’s already tattered brand.


By: Henry Decker, The National Memo, July 19, 2013

July 20, 2013 Posted by | GOP, Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Former Attorney General Mukasey Lobbies For U.S. Chamber To Gut Foreign Bribery Law

Bush’s attorney general (not Gonzales, the much less incompetent but equally malevolent) Michael Mukasey has a new gig in which to ply his talents: making it easier for corporations to bribe foreign governments. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FPCA) is intended to stop U.S.-based multinational corporations from bribing foreign governments. Unlike the previous administration’s Department of Justice, under Mukasey, the Obama DOJ is enforcing the law.

Under Obama, the department collected more than $1 billion in fines during fiscal year 2010, the most the government has collected in the law’s 38-year history, and more than ten times the $87 million collected in 2007 by the Bush Administration.

The U.S. Chamber can’t have that, so of course, they’ve hired Mukasey to lobby Congress to amend the law.

Debevoise & Plimpton, where Mukasey is a partner, filed lobbying registration papers on his behalf this month, according to Senate records. The registration is for the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform and is effective back to March 3. It covers possible FCPA amendments and other issues “related to criminal law and policies affecting U.S. corporations.”The Chamber has become increasingly critical of the FCPA in recent months. It argues that the law, which allows the U.S. government to seek charges against corporations and individuals for bribes paid to local officials in other countries, is not working well and could be making U.S. companies less competitive.

In October, the Chamber released a policy paper proposing several specific changes to the law. The ideas included adding a “compliance defense,” so that a company could not be held criminally liable when an employee circumvents reasonable internal procedures….

When the Chamber released its proposals, Mukasey attended its annual legal summit and moderated a panel discussion on the FCPA. He noted the sharp rise in the Justice Department’s enforcement of the law during the past decade. “The expansion in prosecutions and investigations of course has brought a great deal of anxiety to companies in the United States,” he said, according to video of the panel.

See, the law “is not working well” when it is actaully enforced, that’s the message from Bush’s attorney general. That’s no great shock, given the Bush administration’s attitude toward the rule of law, but still pretty ironic. From an actual rule of law standpoint, the law seems to be working pretty well as enfroced. But the U.S. Chamber, and Mukasey, certainly can’t have that.

By: Joan McCarter, Daily Kos, March 18, 2011

March 19, 2011 Posted by | Congress, Corporations, DOJ, Foreign Governments, Ideologues, Lobbyists, Politics, U.S. Chamber of Commerce | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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