Freedom to Travel? More on the Audacity and Hypocrisy of Debbie Wasserman Schultz


wasserman schultz twn cspan.jpg
I had to laugh reading the news that Florida insurance regulators are zapping a major insurance firm because of the travel preferences of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-20).
Schultz apparently applied for an ‘increased amount’ of life insurance because she planned to travel internationally. I guess one needs more money if one dies in Tel Aviv rather than Tallahassee.
In any case, a representative of American General Life Insurance, a subsidiary of AIG, called about her travel plans and was told be Wasserman Schultz’s husband that she planned to visit Israel.
The mere question of where Wasserman Schultz planned to go allegedly violates Florida’s “Freedom to Travel” statute.

Last Wednesday, Wasserman Schultz stated “Our legal travel choices should not adversely impact our ability to purchase life insurance.”
Legal travel choices? Who in America says “legal travel choices”??
This sounds like what an apparatchik from the Brezhnev-era Soviet Union might have said. And the notion of a “freedom to travel” statute in Florida certainly sounds at oddes with the sound of “legal travel”.
Well — it is no surprise that Debbie Wasserman Schultz offered such a qualification of her comment and her own pretty silly claim that has tried to throw AIG out of the State of Florida.
She has worked with three of the most right-wing Republicans in the State of Florida — Ilieana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), and Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL-21) — to maintain the US embargo against Cuba and to tighten the noose around not only Cuban-American families hoping to see loved ones in Cuba — but on ALL Americans.
Wasserman Schultz, despite serving as a National Co-Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Red-to-Blue Program has refused to campaign against these three Republicans, who are moderates in no one’s books and have successfully made Cuba the only place in the entire world where the Cold War actually got colder in the last decade.
The freedom of Americans to travel has long been considered a human right by nearly every member of Congress. When I worked in the Senate, Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and others spoke of the right of Americans to travel as a protected human right.
There are court cases that challenge the notion that free travel is a Constitutionally-protected right, but nonetheless — it is a “fringe view” that believes that the federal government of the United States of America has the legal right to tell its citizens where they can and cannot go.
Wasserman Schultz has the audacity to challenge AIG because she feels that her “freedom to travel” has been inhibited by an insurance firm that made a phone call?!
She is complicit in one of the most significant cabals preempting the travel of Americans today and she has no moral authority or legitimacy complaining in her own case that her travel latitude has been restricted when she is directly responsible for inhibiting the freedoms of so many other American citizens.
I recommend to Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to go pay a call on Republican House Member Jeff Flake (R-AZ-06) who will remind her that it is communist governments that restrict the travel of their freedom-challenged citizens. The U.S. government should not be party to such practices, he will tell her — as will more than a hundred of her Democratic colleagues, with whom she is politicaly out of line.
Regarding this AIG claim, Wasserman Schultz should feel pretty ashamed that she can twist the state to do her bidding while she is forcing Cuban-American families to choose whether they attend a mother’s funeral, or a father’s — because the legal constraints on travel that Wasserman Schultz helped to construct and supports won’t allow these families to go to both.
— Steve Clemons


23 comments on “Freedom to Travel? More on the Audacity and Hypocrisy of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

  1. bal says:

    Nice to meet you.
    I had a look at blog.
    Please link to this site.


  2. Kathleen says:

    I too have that problem with posting…I’m so sick of having our whole country’s foreign policy highjacked by a few mouthfoamers on Cuba..
    I’ll bet you my bottom dollar they all smoke smuggled Havanna cigars in their elite little circles while decrying pot smokers. Hyporcrties, personified. Democratic party needs to be purged of Repugnican-Lites.
    Listening to James Carville makes me barf. On the subject of Judas, I’ll bet that other bottom dollar that more than 30 pieces of silver changed hands at that fundraiser for Scooter libby’s Legal Defense Fund that happened at his home. Oh yeah, that was his wife and he was gagged and bound and locked in a closet and I do mean “closet”. F*******ck!


  3. Ajaz says:

    There was never any doubt that Obama will rebound and Mrs. Clinton’s joy will be short lived.


  4. arthurdecco says:

    Posted by Forge: “I’m about 50/50 on whether I’d vote for her again, but this still sounds kinda nitpicky to me.”
    That’s only because you haven’t been paying attention.


  5. Forge says:

    Wow, how… vague. She did what? To whom? What horrific transgression has she committed?
    I don’t like her stance on Cuba and I REALLY don’t like her stance on Iran, but she’s been a pretty committed voice on a lot of other things. I’m about 50/50 on whether I’d vote for her again, but this still sounds kinda nitpicky to me.


  6. David says:

    This is depressing. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has delivered som pretty terrific commentary in the past, but I guess she’s on a different page than Robert Wexler, unless there’s something I don’t know about him, too.


  7. Mr.Murder says:

    This is an important topic in its own right, but these pics of Debbie WaS are like icing on the cake.
    As for Cuba policy, the tobacco and citrus lobby both have major reasons to oppose them.
    We’re too good for their doctors to help with Katrina relief as well. Priorities and all that.
    The proper nomenclature for her travel to Israel would be non affirmative or plausible non denials.
    It isn’t that she’s “taking legal travel means,” it’s that she’s taking ‘not illegal’ paths of transit. Shouldn’t we all face such standards of probable cause, to make America safer?
    Didn’t people oppose visits to Sun City during the days of apartheid? Will we have to start putting additional pressure upon places and countries hosting transit links between these political hot spots?
    Meanwhile, Gordon Brown celebrates improved health care as a benefit of the Iraq invasion.
    Certainly he’s channeling George W. Frist?


  8. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — Easter always throws me off. best,


  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Geez, Steve, you’re usually pretty good at immediately recognizing facetiousness.
    You having an off day?


  10. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — what silence on Cuba related issues? This is one of the things I’ve been pushing! 😉
    best, steve
    PS — I don’t think your notes on the board are being scrutinized by a government agency. Your email maybe – but not your posts on a site.


  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I have a techie friend that swears up and down its because our posts are being automatically “hi-jacked”, scrutinized, and archived by “a government agency”.
    Gads, I hope he’s wrong. ‘Course he’s just a tad more paranoid than I am. I tend to think these incompetent assholes in DHS have compiled a far too volumnous data base to worry about some loud mouthed pissed off obnoxious carpenter in Central Cal. But I guess stranger things have happened.
    “I’m not a bandwagon guy”
    Yeah, your silence on Cuba related issues has me convinced 🙂


  12. Steve Clemons says:

    POA and arthurdecco — i used to have problems at the beginning when I used my Safari browser, but I use Firefox now and don’t seem to have a problem.
    However, when I did — I found that I couldn’t re-enter the code…so I just pushed the refresh button — and i got my text back and a new code. That seemed to work.
    best, steve clemons


  13. arthurdecco says:

    Interesting, POA. I’m having the same difficulties posting. I’m receiving the same bogus “error” messages that you reported. Some of my first posts after the makeover were swallowed whole, never to be seen again, until I learned to copy them before hesitantly pressing “send”.


  14. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — greetings. No one muzzled me on Wolfowitz. I’m not a bandwagon guy. Enough was said by others on Wolfowitz. The mere fact that he got a position does not move me to the point of repeating the obvious. You are a great commenter and occasionally a useful critic 😉 but dont expect me just to follow the pack on Wolfowitz or others. I’m more worried about other things at the moment.
    Sorry that the format is giving you trouble. I hear from others that it’s a vast improvement. best, steve


  15. downtown says:

    I meant Clemons, sorry.


  16. downtown says:

    “I guess one needs more money if one dies in Tel Aviv rather than Tallahassee.”
    This is one of the funniest sentences you’ve ever constructed, Mr. Clemens.


  17. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican Mar 23, 3:15PM
    Yea, I love reading thru what congress is busy doing with Israel and Cuba. It’s always the same Cuban & Jewish congresspeople working in tandem, plus any gentile who has to get re-elected in areas with high cuban exile numbers and high Jewish diaspora numbers. Every time I see a bill on Israel or Cuba I can name the sponsors and who voted for and against it without even looking.
    ’07 and ’08 -42 bills
    ’05 and ’06 – 77 bills
    ’07 and ’08
    Like this one by Dem Bill Nelson:
    S. 2503: A bill to exclude from admission to the United States aliens who have directly and significantly contributed to the ability of Cuba to develop its petroleum resources, and for other purposes.
    The following summary is provided by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan government entity that serves Congress and is run by the Library of Congress. The summary is taken from the official website THOMAS.
    States that the Maritime Boundary Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Cuba shall have no force and effect after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    Amends the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) Act of 1996 to exclude from U.S. entry an alien who: (1) is an officer or principal of an entity, or a shareholder who owns a controlling interest in an entity that makes an investment of $1 million or more (or any combination of investments that equals or exceeds $1 million in any 12-month period) that significantly contributes to Cuba’s ability to develop petroleum and natural gas resources off its north coast; or (2) is a spouse, minor child, or agent of such person.
    Exempts on a case-by-case basis entries for medical reasons or property-related litigation.
    Defines “investment” for purposes of this Act.
    THOMAS Home | Contact | Accessibility | Legal | FirstGov
    boo hoo…I doubt anyone who invested money in Cuba really gives a shit about visiting the US. They can always have their meetings and do business and deposit their money in other financial centers around the world.


  18. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, Steve. Your new format is truly a real pain the ass for some of us. It will not store and retain our “personal info”, and 98% of the time it refuses to post our comments, opening a window that tells us we have copied the captcha incorrectly, when in fact we have not.
    Also, I gotta say, your silence about Wolfowitz’s new position is still inexplicable.
    Who muzzled you?


  19. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Actually, Wasserman is hand in hand with Pelosi and Harman; AIPAC operatives, serving the interests of a foreign power above the interests of our nation. Wasserman’s whoring to the Cuban lobby is just a hobby for her. Her true vocation is the advancement of Israel’s death grip on Washington’s testicles.


  20. Carroll says:

    O.K….so how do we get rid of Schultz’s, Ros-Lehtinen’s, and the Diaz-Balart’s ?
    I am serious. How do we get rid of them in their little ethno and agenda centric districts?
    And consider this SC…you are really missing your calling in the policy influence world. Think how much easier it would be to acheive your policy goals without these types in congress.
    What you shuold do is use your contacts and influence to create a “cabal” of “concerned Americans” of all stripes who will fund political assassinations (meaning get them voted out of office) in their respective districts.
    That’s how the special interest operate, lining up and putting into office their picks.
    Despite the fact that we know that our calls and faxes and etc. to congress go any suggestions for how to put these ass***** on a hot seat?
    Do we write the FBI or the CIA about Lehtinen’s, and Diaz-Balart’s involvement with the illegal Cuban exile para military caches in the US?


  21. Steven Clemons says:

    Good to see you back Steambomb, but don’t get too excited — my
    views, as far as I’m concerned, remain largely the same.
    best, Steve Clemons


  22. steambomb says:

    Interesting. I haven’t been back here in a while. It is good to see that POA hasn’t given up the fight. Also interesting to see Clemons getting some teeth when it comes to ethics and corruption of public officials. Also an interesting question to ask is why did he wait so long….. I guess I have some catching up to do.


  23. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Well, considering that our government is proposing that domestic fliers give a 72 hour notice of their travel plans, it is not too far-fetched to imagine adding the words “legal” or “illegal” to your planned itinerary.
    How many hundreds of thousands are now on the “terrorist watch list”, Steve?
    Seems to me you’re a bit behind the times, man. Welcome to Bushworld.


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