Dana Milbank on Tea Party Hypocrisy Rep. Austin Scott introduced his first bill in Congress last week, which proposed a repeal of the Legal Services Corporation Act, writes Dana Milbank in The Washington Post. This came shortly after the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determined, thanks to Legal Services, that Hamilton Growers, a company in Scott's district, denies hours and favorable assignments to U.S. workers in favor of guest workers or fires U.S. workers to make room for guest workers. The Tea Party-affiliated congressman's bill is thus "a transparent attempt by the young lawmaker to defend a company in his district that discriminates against U.S. citizens in favor of Mexican migrant workers," writes Milbank. This speaks to a larger issue, which is that though the Tea Party started as a populist movement, it has been "hijacked." "Well-intentioned Tea Party foot soldiers demand that power be returned to the people, but then their clout is used to support tax cuts for millionaires. They rally for tougher immigration laws, but then their guy in Washington helps corporations to fire U.S. workers and hire foreign nationals." Scott ran his campaign saying he is tough on immigration. Scott suggested to Milbank that the poor can use state and local governments or private pro bono aid to fund legal costs, and that Legal Services is a redundant agency, hence his attempt to cut it. But Milbank says his timing suggests he was doing a favor to the growers who were being sued. "If Scott were true to his Tea Party roots," Milbank says, "he would have told the growers to get lost."
Sen. Joe Lieberman on Syria To support the Syrian protestors who continue to demonstrate in the face of government violence, the United States must take a stronger stance against Assad writes Senator Joe Lieberman in The Wall Street Journal. "First, President Obama should finally say unequivocally that Assad must go," Lieberman writes. "The administration should also redouble efforts to persuade key countries and companies to ratchet up the pressure on Assad--in particular by sanctioning the Syrian energy sector and by seeking tough action at the United Nations Security Council." Obama should also work with Syria's neighbors to ensure humanitarian aid reaches cities now being isolated by the regime. The Senate, too, can act by reappointing Robert Ford as ambassador to Syria. When Obama chose to send an ambassador five years after the last one had been withdrawn, the Senate objected, so Obama made Ford a recess appointment. The Senate should change its stance since the ambassador's job description has shifted to dealing not with Assad but with the Syrian people. The Senate should also pass a bill co-sponsored by Lieberman to sanction energy companies working with the Syrian regime. All this should be done, he says, because "in Syria today our values and our interests are truly in alignment."