Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio Speaks out against Progressive Socialism, Big Government and our climbing national debt at Tax Day Tea Party Rally in Tampa, April 15, 2011. Event hosted by the Tampa 912 and Tampa Tea Party, partnered with 14+ Tea Party and Grass Roots Organizations, including “Americans For Freedom” founder Michael Pinson.

Friday, May 7, 2010 15:54 ET

Immigration flip-flop will cost Marco Rubio

The U.S. Senate candidate changes his position to fall in line with the Tea Party crowd

By Joy-Ann Reid

This originally appeared on Joy-Ann Reid’s Open Salon blog.

Marco Rubio has changed his mind about the Arizona immigration law, which he now supports whole-heartedly, to the point of actually advocating the deportation of children to Latin American countries where he admits the culture would be alien to them. In doing so, he may be joining an ignominious club, and so marginalizing himself in the quest for the votes of hardline conservatives that he loses all hope of gaining ground among Florida moderates.

Rubio has locked up conservative Republican votes for November. But to win, he needs to expand his base to include independents, who in Florida tend not to be nearly as right wing as Rubio’s new BFF, Jim DeMint (of South Carolina), or even as the state’s legislature, whose minority rule is cemented by gerrymandered districts. By moving to the far right in the immigration debate, Rubio may make Ann Coulter happy, but he could harm himself with fellow Hispanics (Rubio is Cuban-American, but the fastest growing group of Florida Hispanics are Puerto Rican, and their numbers are numerous in the critical central portion of the state) as well as with suburban whites, and younger voters, who tend to hold more moderate views.

And it can’t be stated enough that Rubio’s new stance on immigration ends, probably for all time, the possibility that he can be the right’s fishing lure to reel in Hispanic votes in 2012. Nearly seven in ten Hispanic-Americans are of Mexican origin, and the vast majority (just like the majority of all Americans, including Republicans) favor the “path to citizenship” that Rubio now stringently opposes. Thanks for playing, Mr. Rubio.

From Sara Haile-Mariam at Campus Progress:

Via Ben Smith, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives said in an interview with Human Events’ Jason Mattera today:

“And that’s why I’ve always believed that, no matter how well-intentioned it is. I understand the human stories that we’re going to…We’re gonna….There are going to be stories of very young kids that were brought to this country at a very young age who don’t even speak Spanish that are going to be sent back to Nicaragua or some other place. And it’s gonna feel weird and I understand that. The goal here is to have an immigration policy that works.”

It’s “gonna feel weird”? Really, Marco? That’s all you’ve got??? Campus Progress, your witness:

Rubio’s scenario of an ideal immigration system would require securing federal funding to deport over 65,000 young people who are undocumented citizens. It would require some sort of system to identify them, hunt them down, and facilitate their deportation. The proposal doesn’t sound weird as much as it sounds wrong.

Tell me about it. Rubio’s revised position on the Arizona law puts him squarely in opposition to himself, since he used to be considered a moderate on immigration, and even was accused by rabid anti-immigrationists in Florida of slow-walking related bills when he was Speaker of the House. This was Rubio in December:

“They’re God’s children, but they’re here illegally,” he recently told a Republican club in northwest Florida. “You can’t round up 11 million people because we don’t live in a police state. But you can’t grant amnesty either because if you do, you will destroy any hope of having a legal immigration system that works. You will send a message that all you have to do is come into this country, stay here long enough and we will let you stay.”

But Rubio now says you can indeed round them all up and deport them, and we should do so right away, including children who came into this country illegally without their knowledge, because they were kids, to which Ms. Haile-Mariam asks:

What I’d like to know is what I’m supposed to tell young people like Juan, Felipe, Gabby and Carlos collectively known as the Trail of Dream Walkers. These four young people walked from Florida to Washington, D.C., in support of immigration reforms like the DREAM Act, federal legislation that would provide three of them with a path to citizenship through education or military service.

Incredibly, Rubio has now taken a position to the right of Linda Chavez, the conservative, self-described “most hated Hispanic in America,” who wrote a stinging rebuke of the Arizona law this month, even attacking it’s grammar. Rubio had denounced the law for a time, too, with back-up from Jeb Bush. And not for nothing, but the law’s sponsor has ties to white supremacists and anti-Hispanic bigots, something obviously lost on Mr. Rubio, who now appears to be taking different advice than that offered by Jeb. He is, apparently, oblivious to the irony that his people, Cuban-Americans, have had the most liberal immigration policy applied to them, including allowing them to enter the U.S. without visas, via Mexico.

In South Florida, among the strongest supporters of immigration reform, including more liberal rules for admitting Haitian refugees into the country are Cuban-Americans, including all three Cuban-American members of Congress. Rubio has now also placed himself to the right of his own community.

Is Rubio becoming the Latino Clarence Thomas?

There is a reason why more blacks and Hispanics don’t join the Republican Party and the “conservative movement.” It’s not just their ideas, which often seem hostile to people of color, and which have had very real, negative consequences, not just for minorities, but for America. It’s that in order to be in the club, you have to sell a little too much of your soul, by becoming an ethnic parody (see Michael Steele) or by openly repudiating your own ethnic group in the strongest, harshest terms, in order to prove that you have more fealty to their notion of America, which often translates to a particular white historic and corporate elite, than to people who look like you. In an ideal world, there should of course be no ethnic tribalism in a pluralistic, multi-ethnic society. But America has not reached that ideal, and empathy for others, whether in your own ethnic group or not, is at minimum, a sign of civilization. To the right, however, empathy is seen as a threat, particularly when those being empathized with are not, to be blunt, white.

Too harsh?

Well think about the African-Americans who have earned favor among right wing Republicans: Alan Keyes, whose bug-eyed denunciations of Barack Obama (and his supposed threat to the republic) and zealous advocacy of the founding fathers, with no reference to the fact that had he been among them, they would have considered him a rank inferior, and enslaved him, have not stopped him from being taken seriously on the right; Clarence Thomas, whose self-pitying malevolence extends not just to affirmative action, which he grouses at having benefited from, but to anyone who isn’t at the economic apex of society; plus the equally bitter Ward Connerly, the reverse Robin Hood of affirmative action politics, who was indirectly responsible for Jeb Bush’s imposition of “One Florida” on this state.

Other conservative African-Americans, like Star Parker, excel at banging on about “welfare queens” and “race hustlers,” while contributing nothing, beyond the books they’re trying to sell (and the occasional long shot run for Congress), to the cause of improving struggling inner city communities.

There’s Allen West, whose clownish performances as the lone black member of the “tea party movement” have a Dave Chappelle quality to them that really make me miss the former Comedy Central show.

And let’s not even get started on Michelle Malkin, an Asian-American supporter of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II

Likewise, conservative Hispanics are prized by the right for their willingness to condemn fellow Latinos for daring to come to this country and mow the lawn and pick tomatoes. But that has proved to be a brand of cognitive dissonance most people find difficult, if not impossible, to accept. In fact, there are notable exceptions; people who refuse to be the spokesmen for bigotry or extremism just to please the far right (think Michelle Bernard of the Independent Womens Forum, JC Watts, who left Congress saying he was tired of being a photo-op, and Gen. Collin Powell, the one Republican of any ethnicity with the cojones to denounce Rush Limbaugh without fear or apology).

Which brings us back to Mr. Rubio, who by the time we get to November, might not have much of his soul left to sell, or for that matter, much of a path to victory.

Modern Slavery :



Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes1 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers have been found held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.

And right now is the worst part of Florida’s tomato picking season – the days are hot and the vines have nearly been picked clean making it hard to fill quotas. In these final days, there is also tremendous pressure for tomato farms to turn a profit making conditions ripe for worker exploitation.

It’s important that we act now.

A new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from growers that are not partners of the Fair Food Program and where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.

Tell Publix Super Markets’ CEO William Crenshaw to join the fight against slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

After decades of abuse, Florida’s farmworkers finally have a chance in the fight against exploitation with the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms.

The White House recently called the exciting new program “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover – and prevent — modern-day slavery, and just last week United Nations investigators called it “impressive” and praised its “independent and robust enforcement mechanism.”

Leading brands including Subway, Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have already joined the fight against forced labour and now only buy tomatoes from growers who comply with the following Fair Food Principles:

  • A code of conduct for tomato growers;
  • Complaint mechanisms for farmworkers;
  • Education sessions to help workers understand their rights; and
  • Regular auditing of farm operations.

It’s been four long years of public pressure but Publix, one of the largest purchasers of local tomatoes, still refuses to take responsibility for their supply chain. 

Tell Publix to make the right decision to join the Fair Food Program and ensure our tomatoes meet the highest human rights standards in the food industry today.

Will Publix Super Markets, which prides itself on making Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list, continue to turn a blind eye and give excuses, or will it leverage its vast market influence and lead the way in cleaning up slavery in the tomato supply chain once and for all?

We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight that is ending slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.

Thank you for your support,

Debra, Kate, Ryan, Mich, Hayley, Nick, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free team.

Save the Date – Jan 11 and 12 Treasures coming to south Florida!

NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

NMAAHC — National Museum of African American History and Culture

Save Our African American Treasures

Saturday, January 11th, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 12th, 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
2650 Sistrunk Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
The program is free and open to the public, all are welcome.

NMAAHCpicturearray of photos 2010-12392.jpg

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will host “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation,” a two day program to help south Florida residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance.

Participants are invited to bring up to three personal items for a 15-minute, professional consultation with experts on how to care for them. The specialists will serve as reviewers, not appraisers, and will not determine an item’s monetary value. Objects such as books, photographs, ceramics, metalwork and textiles no larger than a shopping bag (furniture, carpets, firearms and paintings are excluded) can be reviewed.

The “Treasures” program also includes the following activities:

All Day Saturday and Sunday!

Hands-on Preservation: In this hands-on activity, participants are invited to learn how to properly store letters, pack garments and prepare photographs for preservation storage and presentation.

Community Partners Expo: Learn more about the wonderful resources available in South Florida! Community Partners will distribute materials and answer questions from members of the public.

Saturday 11:00 a.m. / Sunday 12:30 p.m.

Black Broward Speaks: A presentation from three local repositories on how each acquired, preserved and made accessible an extensive collection of photographs of blacks in Broward County, dating as far back as the 1890s. Photographs depict the agricultural past, civil rights struggles, thriving business communities, and social life.

Saturday 12:00 p.m. / Sunday 1:30 p.m.

Personal Collection Disaster Planning: When a disaster strikes, personal keepsakes are among the top items to be saved. Unfortunately, these items are often forgotten until after the damage has been done. This discussion will provide information on the necessary steps to care for your treasures before, during and after disasters.

Saturday 1:00 p.m. / Sunday 2:30 p.m.

Saving Your Family Photographs and Papers: Great Aunt Mary left you with the responsibility of preserving the family photographs and papers — now what do you do? Learn how light, heat, and humidity affect your family collections. Discover some simple things you can do to be a good steward of your family paper and photography collections.

Saturday 2:00 p.m. / Sunday 3:30 p.m.

Preserving Digital Memories: Digital photographs and other new media are fragile and require special care to keep them useable. As new technologies appear for creating and saving our personal digital information, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content. Find out more about the nature of the problem and learn some simple, practical tips for preserving your digital memories.

Saturday 3:00 p.m. / Sunday 4:30 p.m.

Preserving Clothing and Textiles: What is a “textile” in the museum world? Rag dolls, flags/banners, hats, lace, linens, needlework, quilts/blankets, uniforms, upholstery/curtains — think fabric. Come and get some tips on how to better preserve your daughter’s christening gown, your grandmother’s wedding dress, or your father’s military uniform from a professional who works in the field of textile preservation.

For more Treasures event information, visit, email or call (877) 733-9599.

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NMAAHCQuiltquilt 2011-03071.jpg

“Save Our African American Treasures” is made possible with support from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Petition: Stop voter suppressio​n in Florida

Rick Scott’s administration has just made their next move in the attempt to suppress voting rights in Florida.

The Secretary of State issued a directive — without much (if any) input from regional election supervisors — that limits the locations at which Floridians can drop off absentee ballots to elections offices only, instead of remote drop off sites that are more convenient for voters.

Put simply: Rick Scott’s administration once again has just made it harder for folks in Florida to vote.

The next big election in Florida is coming up on January 14th — a special election primary to fill the vacant seat in Florida’s 13th congressional district. We have a great candidate in Alex Sink and it’s another prime pickup opportunity for Democrats.

Every Floridian in that district should be able to make their voice heard without worrying about these new restrictions. These limitations are unnecessary and can have a dramatic impact in suppressing the vote. For instance, in 2012, 42% of all ballots were dropped off at these remote sites closer to where voters live.

We cannot let slick Rick try to rig another election. Join me in calling on Rick Scott and Florida Republicans to retract these new voting restrictions immediately.

The right to vote in this country is non-negotiable. Any changes we make to our election structure should make it easier for people to vote, not harder.
Thank you for standing with me against these new restrictions.

the Senate ~~ CONGRESS 12/17 ~~ the House


The Senate stands in adjourned until 9:00am on Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

At 10:00am, there will be a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message with respect to H.J.Res.59, the budget resolution.

 Under the rule, the filing deadline for second degree amendments to the motion to concur in the House message with respect to H.J.Res.59 is 9:00am on Tuesday.

 As a reminder to all Senators, on Sunday, December 15th, Senator Reid filed cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the budget resolution and the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.R.3304, the Defense Authorization bill.

 During Monday’s session, Senator Reid filed cloture on the following nominations, in the following order. The number of hours of post-cloture debate is in parenthesis next to each nomination.

-          Executive Calendar #456, Alejandro Mayorkas, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #459, John Andrew Koskinen, of the District of Columbia, to be Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #382, Brian J. Davis, of Florida, to be United States District Judge for the District of Florida (2 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #452, Janet L. Yellen, of Callifornia, to be Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (30 hours)

-          Executive Calendar #455, Sloan D. Gibson, of the District of Columbia, to be Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #445, Sarah Sewall, of Massachusetts, to be an Under Secretary of State (Civility Security, Democracy, and Human Rights) (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #371, Michael L. Connor, of New Mexico, to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior

-          Executive Calendar #457, Sarah Bloom Raskin, of Maryland, to be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #356, Jessica Garfola Wright, of Pennsylvania, to be Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (8 hours equally divided)

-          Executive Calendar #189, Richard Engler, of New Jersey, to be a Member of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (8 hours equally divided).

At 10:00am, there will be roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act.

At 10:00am, there will be roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act.

10:04am The Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act;

Invoked 67-33

There will now be up to 30 hours for debate of post-cloture debate on H.J.Res.59, the legislative vehicle for the Bipartisan Budget Act.

The Senate will recess from 12:30 until 2:15pm to allow for the weekly caucus meetings. The time during the recess will count post-cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, the Bipartisan Budget Act.

Senator Sessions asked unanimous consent to set aside the pending motion to concur with a amendment #2547 (date change) in order to make a motion to concur with Sessions amendment #2573 (the amendment would eliminate a wide variety of deficit-neutral reserve funds that could be used to facilitate future consideration of legislation that would address certain high priorities)

Senator Murray made a brief statement and objected.

Senator Sessions then made the following parliamentary inquiry: Is it correct that while the majority leader’s motion to concur in the house amendment with an amendment to which the majority leader has also offered a second degree amendment is pending, no senator is permitted to offer an amendment to the House-passed Budget bill?

Chair: the senator is correct.

Senator Sessions made a further parliamentary inquire: if a motion to table the majority leader’s motion to concur with an amendment is successful, would there be an opportunity for me to offer a motion to concur with my amendment #2573?

 Chair: that is correct

 Senator Sessions then moved to table the motion to concur with an amendment, offered by the majority leader.

At 5:24pm, the Senate began a 15 minute roll call vote on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.J.Res.59, with amendment #2547 (date change);

Not tabled: 46-54

The Sessions motion to table the motion to concur with amendment was not agreed to 46-54. The Senate is now in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each, with the exception of Senator Grassley for up to 20 minutes. The time will count post-cloture. There will be no further roll call votes.

By unanimous consent, the Senate passed H.R.3588, to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to exempt fire hydrants from the prohibition on the use of lead pipes, fittings, fixtures, solder, and flux.


Roll Call Votes

1)      Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59, the bipartisan budget act; Invoked: 67-33

2)      Sessions motion to table the motion to concur in the House message to accompany H.J.Res.59 with an amendment; Not Tabled: 46-54

Additional Legislative items

Passed H.R.3588, the Community Fire Safety Act.

Discharged the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committee and passed S.947, to ensure access to certain information for financial service industry regulators, and for other purposes.

Passed S.1847, to provide for the redesignation of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies as the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.

Passed H.R.185, to designate the United States courthouse located at 101 East Pecan Street in Sherman, Texas, as the “Paul Brown United States Courthouse”.

Discharged the Environment and Public Works Committee and passed H.R.2251, to designate the United States courthouse and Federal building located at 118 South Mill Street, in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, as the “Edward J. Devitt United States Courthouse and Federal Building”.

Began the Rule 14 process of S.1845, Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. (Reed)

Began the Rule 14 process of S.1846, Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. (Menendez)

No Executive items


Last Floor Action:12/16
11:03:15 A.M. – The Speaker announced
that the House do now adjourn pursuant to H. Res. 438.

The next meeting is
scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on December 19, 2013.