Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gives poker its two minutes of fame after comparing the current border control crisis with the World Series of Poker.
The senate floor was the venue for poker’s five minutes of fame last week as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid somehow managed to introduce a few minutes of World Series of Poker (WSOP) diatribe into a debate on humanitarianism.
Reid was reacting to Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s fight to repeal President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive amnesty, in the face of the crisis at the U.S border that is seeing thousands of young children turning up in an attempt to flee violence and poverty in Central America.
“Over the past two weeks, poker players from Las Vegas have flocked to Las Vegas because there’s an annual World Series of Poker,” said Reid before continuing, “It’s on ESPN. I don’t know how athletic it is but it is on ESPN and it draws a lot of attention. Poker is very important and a popular game now, a game of chance. And this tournament, the World Series of Poker, is the most prestigious high-stakes tournament in the world. 2,400, 2,500 miles away from Las Vegas here in Washington, D.C., senate republicans are playing a high stakes game of their own with a humanitarian crisis. Instead of poker chips, they’re using kids, children.”
One would think Reid would want to distance himself from the word poker, especially after the recent arrests of the former Utah Attorney General’s John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff.
The pair have been charged with 23 counts of alleged fraud and you may remember that Swallow resigned amidst allegations that he was involved in a $600,000 bribe towards Senator Reid for his help in turning a blind eye to dubious payment processing wrong doings pre-Black Friday.
Note for the future, Mr. Reid. If you were to receive more bribes for helping to promote the virtues of online poker, it would really be helpful if you didn’t refer to it as a game of chance.
In 2013, the Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley reported 156 migrant deaths as they tried to cross the border, second only to Tucson where 194 people died.
House Speaker John Boehner has created a working group aimed at producing an immigration bill designed to deal with the current border crisis.
And no, none of this has absolutely anything to do with poker.