Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is interviewed on Fox News and discusses his new immigration book
These are my links for February 28th through March 5th:
Jeb Bush’s False-Flag Operation – Jeb Bush generated quite a bit of publicity for his new book yesterday by suggesting that amnestied illegal immigrants should not be eligible for citizenship. Instead, he’s suggesting they be given some kind of permanent status that would provide them work cards, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, and the right to travel abroad and return, but not allow for eventual naturalization — in effect, a kind of permanent guestworker program or a green-card-lite, rather than an actual green card. This is consistent with suggestions from other pro-amnesty Republicans, including Senator Rubio and a group of House members working up an amnesty deal.Unfortunately, it’s a trick.
A Market Solution to Immigration Reform – Since the recession formally ended in June 2009, the American economy has been growing at a rate of 2%, about one percentage point below its long-term average. To improve this performance, the U.S. needs more people with skills, vision and a drive to improve themselves—qualities that lead to innovation, business creation, increased employment and higher wages. One quick way to get such people is through immigration. A market approach would do this.We propose that, instead of the current maze of rules and formulas, the U.S. should sell the right to become a citizen. Setting a price of perhaps $50,000 would attract those who place the highest value on citizenship.
Jeb Bush’s Poorly Timed Flip -Flop on Immigration – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s new book was aimed at nudging a reluctant Republican Party toward reforms that would allow illegal immigrants to live and work without fear of deportation.But by recommending only legal residency and backing off his past support for citizenship, Bush is throwing cold water over a fledgling deal in the Senate, denting his own reputation as a bold policymaker and stoking speculation that he will run for president in 2016.None of those things were supposed to happen.The stunning reversal by one of the Republican Party’s leading champions of immigration reform and Hispanic outreach, at least in part, comes down to a colossal political miscalculation.When Bush and coauthor Clint Bolick were writing the book during the 2012 presidential campaign, the GOP was veering far to the right. Republican nominee Mitt Romney had staked out a hard-line position against illegal immigration, blasting his primary rivals as pro-amnesty and promoting “self-deportation” for undocumented workers. Bush sent the book to the printer before Christmas – weeks before a handful of Senate Republicans embraced a sweeping overhaul that, like the proposals backed by Bush’s brother, former President George W. Bush, would allow illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.
In other words, Bush’s party unexpectedly moved a lot faster than the book-publishing world.
Obama job approval tumbles After Sequester Debate – President Obama’s job approval rating took a hit over the weekend, falling to its lowest level in the Gallup three-day average since his reelection.His approval rating was 46 percent between Feb 29 and March 2, down from 53 percent a week earlier.The drop comes after Obama and Congress failed to reach a last-minute deal and automatic sequester cuts kicked in across the government on Friday.His disapproval rating also jumped to its highest level since November, hitting 46 percent over the weekend, up from 40 percent a week earlier.
Ashley Judd’s War With Kentucky’s Coal Industry Could Doom Candidacy – Comments Ashley Judd made in 2010 comparing the mining practices of Kentucky’s coal industry to rape could sink her much buzzed-about Senate candidacy before it even begins.In a 2010 speech to the National Press Club in Washington, Judd called mountain top removal — the controversial but principal type of surface mining in Appalachia that involves the removal of mountaintops to extract coal — “the state-sanctioned, federal government-supported, coal industry-operated rape of Appalachia.”Coal mines employe more than 19,000 people through
the year in Kentucky according to a report from the state, and the mining directly contributed approximately $4 billion to the state’s economy while accounting for 1 percent of the state’s employment. Kentucky’s economic reliance on coal ranks in the top three in the United States, behind only West Virginia and Wyoming.Judd’s use of rape to define the mining practice wasn’t a slip of the tongue. Later in her speech she doubled down on her remarks.
Wait: Jeb Bush now opposes a path to citizenship for illegals? – So his plan is DOA in Congress, but he knows that already. The point here isn’t to float a viable compromise that might make comprehensive reform more salable to the base, it’s to give Bush a way to hit Rubio from the right in the primaries two years from now — which is ironic, because in another segment this morning, Bush told Lauer that Romney got in trouble with Latino voters by tacking a bit too far right on immigration in the debates in 2011. I assume he thinks he’s built up enough cred with Latinos over the years that backing away from a path to citizenship now won’t cost him many votes. We’ll see.
Jeb Bush pushes back against pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants – Former Florida governor – and potential GOP presidential candidate – Jeb Bush said this week that a pathway to citizenship should not be a component of an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.Bush, a Spanish-speaker who’s wife is Mexican-born, has long-been viewed as one of the more liberal-minded GOP leaders when in comes to immigration policy, warning Republicans for years that they oppose significant reform at their own political peril.
Republican Consultants Plot New Tech-Savvy Infrastructure – After last year’s blowout election, the Republican digital strategist Patrick Ruffini went on a not-so-secret mission to find out how to fix what was wrong with his party. “In less than 12 hours, the #infiltration begins,” he tweeted, the day before the start of RootsCamp, an annual conference for Democratic digital, data and grassroots strategists that is held by a liberal non-profit group called the New Organizing Institute.What he found at the event came as a sort of revelation: A vast liberal brain trust bursting with young talent who had advanced far beyond Republicans in the art and science of using data, analytics and voter outreach. He live-tweeted his observations, and then began meeting with other young strategists in his party, like Katie Harbath, who handles Republican campaign outreach for Facebook, Kristen Soltis Anderson, a pollster at the Winston Group, and Reihan Salam, a political columnist for the National Review.
Chris Christie will have an uphill battle for the 2016 nomination – Also of note?Wall Street Journal columnist and deputy editor, Daniel Henninger , claimed Christie has an “uphill battle” for the 2016 nomination, thanks to his conservative competition.”This is going to be a different group of people that Chris Christie will be competing against, and he’ll be competing as a governor from the liberal Northeast.I think it’s an uphill battle.”Finally, one more thing of note?
Gigot pointed out that New Jersey’s 9.6% unemployment rate was “one of the worst records in the country.”
Health industry pushes GOP states toward Obamacare – Republicans around the country railed against President Obama’s health-care law for four years, but in recent weeks, GOP governors and state legislators have embraced some of the bill’s provisions.
How did Republicans learn to stop worrying and love Obamacare?
In a word: industry.Hospitals, insurers and drug companies have lobbied in state capital after state capital, leaning on Republicans until they agreed to create insurance exchanges or expand Medicaid as Obamacare prescribed.
Gallup Poll: Asian voters lean Democratic, but are not strongly committed – A new poll found that Asian-Americans lean Democratic, but that they are not strongly committed to either the GOP or the Democratic Party.Fifty-seven percent of Asian-Americans lean Democratic, compared with 28 percent who lean Republican and 13 percent who are independent, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. The remaining are undecided or did not respond.
Joshua Treviño Admits to Shilling for Malaysia – Conservative commentator Joshua Treviño admitted today that he’s spent years doing down-low PR work for the government of Malaysia, and received $389,724.70 for the trouble. Some of that, but not most, was paid to writers who wrote negative pieces about the country’s opposition leader for the likes of the Huffington Post, National Review, and RedState. BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray, in a report on the scam this afternoon, picks up where her boss Ben Smith left off. In 2011, Treviño told Smith, “I was never on any ‘Malaysian entity’s payroll,’ and I resent your assumption that I was,” which he now admits was a lie. But he’s not particularly sorry.
Covert Malaysian Campaign Touched A Wide Range Of American Media – A range of mainstream American publications printed paid propaganda for the government of Malaysia, much of it focused on the campaign against a pro-democracy figure there.The payments to conservative American opinion writers — whose work appeared in outlets from the Huffington Post and San Francisco Examiner to the Washington Times to National Review and RedState — emerged in a filing this week to the Department of Justice. The filing under the Foreign Agent Registration Act outlines a campaign spanning May 2008 to April 2011 and led by Joshua Trevino, a conservative pundit, who received $389,724.70 under the contract and paid smaller sums to a series of conservative writers.
These are my links for January 4th through January 7th:
Democrats look for up to $1 trillion in new tax revenues this year – Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending.Democratic leaders have had little time to craft a new position for their party since passing a tax deal Tuesday that will raise $620 billion in revenue over the next ten years.The emerging consensus, however, is that the next installment of deficit reduction should reach $2 trillion and about half of it should come from higher taxes.
Despite New Health Law, Some See Sharp Rise in Premiums – Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration’s health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers.
Red state Senate Dems face tough early votes – “I think you need to put everything on the table,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D, told ABC News ‘ George Stephanopoulos this past Sunday, “but what I hear from the administration – and if the Washington Post is to be believed – that’s way, way in extreme of what I think is necessary or even should be talked about. And it’s not going to pass.”The Washington Post article Heitkamp was referring to, reported that President Obama would soon seek to pass legislation “that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers, track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database, strengthen mental health checks, and stiffen penalties for carrying guns near schools or giving them to minors.” And Obama wants all of this “by the end of January” according to The Boston Herald.While this ambition agenda and timing may be music to blue state Democrat ears, it can only be a headache for red state Democrats like Heitkamp … and she isn’t even up for reelection this cycle. A total of seven Democratic Senators from states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012 are up for election in 2014. And six of those Senators (Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Max Baucus, D-Mont., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Jay Rockefeler, D-W.V.) hail from states that Romney carried by double-digits. Only North Carolina’s Kay Hagan will face an electorate that Obama even came close to winning in 2012 (Romney +2) … and the only other Democrat on the ballot statewide in North Carolina in 2012 lost by 11.
Hagel’s Mideast blunder–not on Israel – Does Kaplan really think there is any case that the situation after Petraeus’ surge isn’t much better than the situation that would have existed if there had been no surge? I doubt it. And remember, Hagel didn’t just oppose the surge. He declared that it was “the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam”– the sort of emotionalized MSM-pleasing misjudgment that seems to have endeared him to so many GOP colleagues (who, as Marc Ambinder notes, ”think he’s a showboat and turncoat”).Can’t Obama find a “anti-Israel” … Likud-skeptical figure who didn’t flamboyantly and self-righteously get wrong the most important military decision since the original 2003 Iraq invasion (which Hagel, by the way, voted to authorize)? Sure, Hillary and Kerry opposed the surge too. But not everyone did–not even everyone who opposed the war. Gen. Anthony Zinni, for example, isn’t someone likely to please Bill Kristol and AIPAC–but after opposing Bush’s invasion he had the balls to say that a surge was worth trying.
Six Reasons Obama Chose Chuck Hagel – Back at the 2004 Republican convention, when then-Sen. Chuck Hagel was weighing whether to run for president, he paid a call on the Iowa delegation. His obligatory joke about his devotion to ethanol went over well. But then, to the puzzlement of some in the room, he started talking to his conservative breakfast audience about the United Nations and the need for multilateralism in tackling world problems.Needless to say, that wasn’t quite what we were hearing from the convention stage, or for that matter from anyone else in the GOP. Hagel didn’t run for president. But as it turns out, his remarks ended up laying groundwork for a different kind of future – as a potential defense secretary in the Obama administration.There are well known controversies associated with Hagel’s expected nomination, involving everything from climate change and gay rights to Israel, Iraq and Iran. But unlike the case of U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, who withdrew as a potential secretary of state nominee amid criticism from Republicans, President Obama is pressing forward with Hagel.
LA Times – Critics slam Chuck Hagel’s likely nomination as Defense secretary #tcot
Critics slam Chuck Hagel’s likely nomination as Defense secretary – With former Sen. Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Defense secretary imminent, conservatives denounced his views on Israel and Iran as out of step with mainstream foreign policy, underscoring the difficulty he is likely to face winning Senate confirmation.An administration official said Sunday that Hagel — a decorated Vietnam veteran, a Republican and a former two-term senator from Nebraska — would be nominated Monday to succeed Leon E. Panetta. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House planning.
Obama Expected to Pick Chuck Hagel for Defense Post – When President Obama nominates Chuck Hagel, the maverick Republican and former senator from Nebraska, to be his next secretary of defense, he will be turning to a trusted ally whose willingness to defy party loyalty and conventional wisdom won his admiration both in the Senate and on a 2008 tour of war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
JOHN BRENNAN TAPPED TO LEAD CIA – President Barack Obama will announce Monday that he’s nominating the White House’s point person on counterterrorism, John Brennan, to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, White House officials told POLITICO.Brennan, a 25-year veteran of the CIA, currently holds the title of Deputy National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. He’s expected to appear with Obama later Monday at a White House event where the president will also announce his nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) to be the next defense secretary.
Boehner Coup Attempt Larger Than First Thought – A concerted effort to unseat Speaker John A. Boehner was under way the day of his re-election to the position, but participants called it off 30 minutes before the House floor vote, CQ Roll Call has learned.A group of disaffected conservatives had agreed to vote against the Ohio lawmaker if they could get at least 25 members to join the effort. But one member, whose identity could not be verified, rescinded his or her participation the morning of the vote, leaving the group one person short of its self-imposed 25-member threshold. Only 17 votes against Boehner were required to force a second ballot, but the group wanted to have insurance.
Mexican drug gangs dig into mining industry – On October 7, Mexican marines swooped in on one of the most powerful men in organised crime. But as the navy triumphantly announced the death of Heriberto Lazcano, leader of the Zetas gang, there was puzzlement over where he had been found. Far from the Zeta’s strongholds and practically unprotected, he had been watching a baseball game in the small mining village of Progreso.Theories abounded as to what exactly Lazcano had been doing in Progreso, a one horse town in the wide open spaces of the sorthern state of Coahuila. Humberto Moreira, ex-governor of Coahuila says that he has the answer: “Heriberto Lazcano changed from being a killer, kidnapper and drug dealer to something still more lucrative: mining coal. That’s why he lived in the coal region, in a little village called Progreso.”Speaking to Al Jazeera, Moreira says that the Zetas gang is fast discovering that illegal mining is an even more lucrative venture than drug running.
Sen. Ted Cruz: “I’m A Conservative Because Conservative Policies Work” – SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TEXAS): The reason why I’m a conservative is because conservative policies work and they improve opportunities. They are the avenue for climbing the economic dream. And what I have been talking about for many years is opportunity conservatism, that every policy should focus like a laser on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder. That we should be championing the 47%, to take that now infamous comment.Look, the great thing about Americans — Americans don’t want to be dependent upon government. Dependency saps the spirit, it doesn’t work. Americans want to stand on their own two feet and the best way to do that is to have policies that allow entrepreneurs and small business to thrive and to create jobs and advance the American dream.
Social Security – It’s Worse Than You Think – CONGRESS and President Obama have pushed through a relatively modest stopgap measure to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” but over the coming years, the United States will confront another huge cliff: Social Security.In the first presidential debate, Mr. Obama described Social Security as “structurally sound,” and Mitt Romney said that “neither the president nor I are proposing any changes” to the program. It was a rare issue on which both men agreed — and both were utterly wrong. For the first time in more than a quarter-century, Social Security ran a deficit in 2010: It spent $49 billion dollars more in benefits than it received in revenues, and drew from its trust funds to cover the shortfall.Those funds — a $2.7 trillion buffer built in anticipation of retiring baby boomers — will be exhausted by 2033, the government currently projects. Those facts are widely known.
What’s not is that the Social Security Administration underestimates how long Americans will live and how much the trust funds will need to pay out — to the tune of $800 billion by 2031, more than the current annual defense budget — and that the trust funds will run out, if nothing is done, two years earlier than the government has predicted.
Feud over Obama health care reforms to intensify in coming months – The spotlight on President Obama’s health care overhaul will intensify in coming months as states and businesses gear up for sweeping changes that could determine whether the public embraces the president’s signature legislative achievement or decries it as government overreach.After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the new health care law, the politics evolved from arguments over the reforms’ constitutionality to a debate over whether the massive system can be implemented effectively.The president has long assured critics that once the reforms are fully enacted, the public will embrace them. Yet, while voters gave Obama a second term in November, polls show they are wary of the looming changes. A Rasmussen poll last month showed that nearly half of the respondents expect the health care system “to get worse over the next couple of years.”
The Education of John Boehner – GOP willingness to let the spending sequester take effect – What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’ “I am talking to Mr. Boehner in his office on the second floor of the Capitol, 72 hours after the historic House vote to take America off the so-called fiscal cliff by making permanent the Bush tax cuts on most Americans, but also to raise taxes on high earners. In the interim, Mr. Boehner had been elected to serve his second term as speaker of the House. Throughout our hourlong conversation, as is his custom, he takes long drags on one cigarette after another.Mr. Boehner looks battle weary from five weeks of grappling with the White House. He’s frustrated that the final deal failed to make progress toward his primary goal of “making a down payment on solving the debt crisis and setting a path to get real entitlement reform.” At one point he grimly says: “I need this job like I need a hole in the head.”
Video: Pelosi: More tax revenues must be part of next deficit deal – Pushing back against the Republicans’ deficit-reduction strategy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said this weekend that more tax revenues – not just spending cuts – must be a part of Congress’s effort to rein in deficits.Pelosi said the tax hikes in the recent “fiscal-cliff” deal are a start, but don’t go far enough to generate the revenues the government needs to run the country effectively.
Genetically modified food labeling measure to qualify for Washington state ballot – A measure to require special labeling of genetically modified foods appeared virtually certain to qualify for the ballot in Washington state on Friday, two months after voters in California rejected a similar initiative.Sponsors of the measure turned in petitions signed by an estimated 350,000 registered voters – at least 100,000 more signatures than required – on Thursday, a day ahead of deadline, said David Ammons, a spokesman for the Washington secretary of state.The submission all but assures that the GMO-labeling initiative would be certified by the secretary and sent on to the state legislature, which could adopt the measure or leave it to a popular vote on the November 2013 election ballot, Ammons said.
These are my links for November 13th through November 14th:
Don’t cry now – The GOP Will Have a Better Candidate in 2016– Yes, it’s all sad — and grim, and depressing — but is Election 2012 truly the end of the GOP universe? Perhaps. But before giving way to unseemly hysterics, here are some thoughts to peruse:* Timing is everything: This year, the Republicans needed new and appealing young talents to take on Obama, and that, as it happened, was just what they had. The upside was that in 2009 and 2010 they had a crop of new stars, all born to run on a national ticket. The downside was that they would be ready to start running in 2014 at the earliest. And so the most crucial of all nominations would go to one of a number of has-beens or retreads, whose experience was either old or irrelevant, and whose talent at best underwhelmed.Mitt Romney, the best, left office six years ago, and had a liberal past, a financial career that had netted him millions, and, as the son of another ex-governor, seemed the image of white and upper-class privilege, minus the military heroics, medical problems, or personal tragedies that humanized the Roosevelt cousins, the Kennedy brothers and the elder George Bush.
Near the end, Romney became a good candidate, but he was always less than a good politician; a speaker in tongues that were not his first language, and a technocrat in a profession in which visionaries tend to win the big prize. His loss deprives the country of an effective executive, but it allows the next generation of the GOP, which would have been pushed aside for eight years or more if he had triumphed, to step forward now and make over the party — a moment that can’t come soon enough.
* The country has changed, but the next Republican ticket will have at least one, and possibly two, brownish-skinned children of immigrants, with inspiring stories of rising from nowhere to live the American dream. He and/or she (and “she” must be seen as a real possibility) will never have fired hundreds of people, will not be rich, will not be dogged by multiple changes on issues, will understand modern conservatism from having run and won on it, and also will be a career politician, unlikely to make the unforced verbal errors that haunted this campaign just ended. There are few such “diverse” stars in the Democrats’ stable. Hillary Clinton, if she runs in 2016, will be 69, and unlikely to get the nation’s young in a tizzy. In the next cycle, the dynamic that worked this year in the Democrats’ favor — race, youth and gender — may be turned on its head.
White House ‘secede’ petitions reach 660,000 signatures, 50-state participation– Less than a week after a New Orleans suburbanite petitioned the White House to allow Louisiana to secede from the United States, petitions from seven states have collected enough signatures to trigger a promised review from the Obama administration.By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.A petition from Vermont, where talk of secession is a regular feature of political life, was the final entry.
Petitions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas residents have accrued at least 25,000 signatures, the number the Obama administration says it will reward with a staff review of online proposals.
The Texas petition leads all others by a wide margin. Shortly before 9:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, it had attracted 94,700 signatures.
But a spokesperson for Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday afternoon that he does not support the idea of his state striking out on its own. “Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.
A backlash Monday night saw requests filed with the White House to strip citizenship rights from Americans who signed petitions to help states secede.
Greetings from the Single-Party State of California! – Dental Care for the Poor– Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg is already putting his wish list together. Note the sheer lack of much to do with fiscal solvency:Steinberg talked of using the supermajority to reinvest in public schools and colleges, restore adult dental care for the poor, and alter the initiative process in a way that makes it harder for millionaires to impose their will by spending vast sums qualifying a measure for the ballot.The Senate leader said he might be willing to consider overhauling the state’s income tax structure to lower rates but broaden the base, and to consider a constitutional amendment laying the groundwork for same-sex marriage.
Adult dental care for the poor! Exactly what we need with a cash deficit somewhere around $20 billion, according to the state controller.
There are two races in Orange County and Sacramento County that are very close, and the GOP is not willing to concede as yet. There is a possibility that the ability to keep the Democratic legislature from overruling the Democratic governor rests in the hands of two Republicans.
Hooray! Bankrupt California Is Now a One-Party State!– I might dislike the state GOP even more than Harold Meyerson does, but there are some other numbers that prevent me from celebrating what Meyerson hails as “the political transformation of California.” For instance:The last Republican turned off the lights* Democrats have controlled all eight statewide executive offices since 2011, for only the second time since the 19th century.* Democrats have a 28-12 edge in the state Senate, tied for its largest advantage since the 19th century. The party has held a majority there since the late 1950s.
* Democrats have a 54-26 edge in the state Assembly, its largest advantage since 1978. The party has run the Assembly since 1997.
* California has been represented in the U.S. Senate by Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for two decades.
* That 38-15 congressional delegation advantage, if it indeed holds, will be by far the largest spread in state history, and almost the largest percentage advantage as well (there was that 3-1 moment in the 1870s). Republicans last held more California congressional seats than Democrats in the late 1950s.
So what has all this enlightened Democratic governance produced? Here’s one way of looking at it: The last month that California had an unemployment rate of less than 10% was January 2009. The last month its unemployment was lower than the national rate was April 1990. The 2010 Census marked the first time California didn’t gain a seat in the House of Representatives since basically ever. For the first time since the Gold Rush, a majority of California residents were born in the state. The ultimate migration-magnet in a nation of immigrants is just no longer so, however strange that may be to accept.
California to GOP: Adios– here are many ways to illustrate the descent of the California Republican Party into oblivion. A starting point is the demographic breakdown of the members of Congress elected last week in the state.Assuming the leaders in the few remaining close races hold their leads, there will be 38 Democrats and 15 Republicans representing California in Congress come January. Of those 38 Democrats, 18 are women, nine are Latinos, five are Asian Americans, three are African Americans, four are Jews and at least one is gay. Just 12 are white men. Of the 15 Republicans, on the other hand, all are white men — not a woman, let alone a member of a racial minority or a Jew, among them.The composition of the state’s new Democratic congressional delegation merely reflects the state’s demographic changes. Latinos (72% of whom backed Obama) were 23% of the California electorate in 2012, up from 18% in 2008. The share of Asian voters (who voted for Obama at a 79% rate) doubled, from 6% to 12%, between those two elections. Voters under 30 increased their share of state ballots cast from 20% in 2008 to 27% in 2012, and backed Obama at a 71% rate. The state’s proportion of white voters, meanwhile, fell from 65% in 2004 to 63% in 2008 to just 55% last week.
More sentient Republicans now say the party needs to modify its position on immigration. But a deeper look into the politics of the increasingly young and multicolored electorate suggests that the GOP is estranged from this new America on more issues than just immigration. The exit polling on Proposition 30, the tax hike on the wealthy promoted by Gov. Jerry Brown to keep the state’s schools and universities from further disastrous budget cuts, shows key elements of the Democrats’ new majority consigning the old Howard-Jarvis-no-tax-hike California to history’s dustbin. Voters under 30 supported Proposition 30 at a 67% rate, and Asian Americans gave it 61% support.
Majority Supports Path to Citizenship; Greater Division on Other Social Issues – ABC News– Most Americans support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, an issue that may be high on the agenda of newly re-elected President Obama and the 113th Congress, given the increased importance of nonwhites – including Hispanic voters – in the nation’s political equation.On two other prominent social issues in last week’s voting, a bare majority continues to support legalizing gay marriage, and this ABC News/Washington Post poll finds a new high, 48 percent, in support for legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use.A PATH – Fifty-seven percent of Americans in this survey, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, with 39 percent opposed. That’s virtually identical to results of a similar question last asked in mid-2010, with support up from its earlier levels, as low as 49 percent in late 2007.
Debate on the issue was heightened by restrictive immigration policies enacted in Arizona in 2010 and Alabama in 2011, and, in June, when Obama moved in another direction, granting immunity from deportation to many undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children.
Hispanics accounted for 10 percent of voters in Tuesday’s presidential election, reaching double-digits for the first time, and Obama won them by 71-27 percent, improving on his 2008 margin in this group. In the exit poll, voters overall, by more than 2-1, said illegal immigrants working here should be offered a chance to apply for legal status rather than being deported.
In this survey, support for a path to citizenship peaks at 82 percent among Hispanics, 71 percent among Democrats and liberals alike and 69 percent among young adults, all key Obama groups. Support’s at 68 percent among nonwhites overall, compared with 51 percent among non-Hispanic whites. Obama lost white voters by 20 points last week, but won nonwhites — who accounted for a record 28 percent of the electorate – by 61 points. It was a record racial gap.
The Fiscal Cliff: Will Obama and Congress Cut a Budget Deal?– Five people will gather Friday inside the White House to begin making decisions that could affect the pocketbooks of 315 million Americans.When President Obama sits down with the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress, only 46 days will remain before the nation risks plunging over the “fiscal cliff” — a pileup of scheduled tax increases and spending cuts that threaten to drain $560 billion out of the economy next year and derail the recovery.It will be high-stakes poker, holding the promise of great rewards for an economic rebound if Washington succeeds and the peril of another recession if it fails.
Promise or peril, some Americans are going to feel the pinch. Should Obama get his way, those with annual incomes above $250,000 will face higher tax bills. If Republicans come out on top, tax rates and defense spending will remain the same, but social programs will face budget cuts.
A compromise portends discomfort, most likely in the form of reduced paychecks, jobless benefits and business tax breaks. And a stalemate means higher taxes and reduced federal spending across the board, including at the Pentagon.
Hard questions await Obama at news conference– This is not what the White House wanted for President Barack Obama’s first news conference of his second term.He won’t be able to dwell much on his stronger-than-expected victory or even press his agenda for the next four years. Instead, he’ll be diverted by a Washington sex scandal.
Pew Poll: Broad Concern about ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Consequences – Blame Congressional GOP More– As the president and congressional leaders begin negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” deadline at the end of the year, there is widespread public concern about the possible financial consequences. More say the automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January would have a major effect on the U.S. economy than on their own finances. But nearly identical majorities say the effect of the changes would be mostly negative for the economy (62%) and their personal financial situation (60%).The public is skeptical that President Obama and congressional Republicans will reach an agreement by the end of the year to avoid the fiscal cliff. About half (51%) say the two sides will not reach an agreement, while just 38% say they will. If no deal is reached, more say that congressional Republicans would be more to blame than President Obama (53% vs. 29%).
Pew Poll: Hispanic Household Wealth Fell by 66% from 2005 to 2009– Median household wealth among Hispanics fell from $18,359 in 2005 to $6,325 in 2009. The percentage drop—66%—was the largest among all racial and ethnic groups, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project. During the same period, median household wealth declined 53% among black households and 16% among white households.The Pew Research report provides the first look at how the Great Recession impacted household wealth. It finds that plummeting house values were the principal cause of the erosion in wealth among all groups. However, because Hispanics derived nearly two-thirds of their net worth in 2005 from home equity and a disproportionate share reside in states that were in the vanguard of the housing meltdown, Hispanics were hit hardest by the housing market downturn.The Pew Research analysis also finds that the median wealth of white households is 18 times that of Hispanic households and 20 times that of black households. These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest in the quarter century since the government first published such data, and roughly twice the size of the ratios that had prevailed between these three groups for the two decades prior to the Great Recession.
Public Opinion Strategies: Three Keys From the Exit Polls– Given the demographics of the 2008 and 2012 elections, the Republican Party is in danger of becoming the “Win In Off Years Only Party” unless we make a full-throated improvement with Hispanic voters. And, we have to admit it is us, not them.Want proof? That’s easy – as of this writing, Mitt Romney is getting 48.7% of the vote, while House Republicans are getting 48.4% of the vote. The House majority for 2014 (and beyond) is not built on winning the vote, but on fabulous drawing of the congressional district lines. So even the battleground we won on (congressional) was tilted for us, which we may not be able to count on in ten years.
Republican polling firm explains what went wrong– On Election Day, Mitt Romney had a victory speech prepared — but not a concession. He believed he would win. His confidence was based in part on internal polls showing an electorate that favored Republicans. Many Republican Senate candidates also got false optimism from their numbers.In a memo, the firm of Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, Public Opinion Strategies, explains its mistakes and suggests how to fix them going forward.As a part of the Republican polling community, our prescription includes doing at least one-third of the interviews with cell phone respondents going forward, adjusting as required, ensuring that we include enough younger voters in our sampling, and (in many cases) polling until the final weekend of the campaign. This is going to cost campaigns and organizations more money on polling, but it is necessary to have a more accurate representation of the electorate.
President 2012: Gallup defends itself– Gallup’s Frank Newport posted a memo online defending the organization’s 2012 polling, which gave Mitt Romney the lead in the presidential race from mid-October to the end of the month.Newport notes that the final pre-election Gallup poll, taken after a hiatus due to Hurricane Sandy, showed a dead heat, not so far off the final popular vote results.“In the end, Gallup’s national popular vote estimate was that the popular vote was too close to call, a statistical tie — 50% for Mitt Romney, 49% for Barack Obama,” Newport wrote. “When the dust settled, Romney got 48% of the popular vote and Obama received 50%, meaning that Gallup’s percentage-point estimate was within two percentage points for Romney and within one point for Obama.” (Further counting has boosted Obama’s total closer to 51 percent.)
However, he added, “it is clear that voting today is subject to new pushes and pulls” and that changes to the pollsters’ likely voting model might be necessary.
Newport also takes what appears to be a veiled shot at The New York Times’s Nate Silver, who argued that a mid-October Gallup poll showing Romney ahead was likely wrong.
“It’s not easy nor cheap to conduct traditional random sample polls,” Newport writes. “It’s much easier, cheaper, and mostly less risky to focus on aggregating and analyzing others’ polls.”
These are my links for August 1st through August 2nd:
Obamacare Robs Medicare of $716 Billion to Fund Itself – Last week, a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report updated the amount of money Obamacare robs out of Medicare from $500 billion to a whopping $716 billion between 2013 and 2022.
According to the CBO, the payment cuts in Medicare include:
A $260 billion payment cut for hospital services.
A $39 billion payment cut for skilled nursing services.
A $17 billion payment cut for hospice services.
A $66 billion payment cut for home health services.
A $33 billion payment cut for all other services.
A $156 billion cut in payment rates in Medicare Advantage (MA); $156 billion is before considering interactions with other provisions. The House Ways and Means Committee was able to include interactions with other provisions, estimating the cuts to MA to be even higher, coming in at $308 billion.
$56 billion in cuts for disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments.* DSH payments go to hospitals that serve a large number of low-income patients.
$114 billion in other provisions pertaining to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP* (does not include coverage-related provisions).
Chick-fil-A not alone in touting religion alongside products– Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy is not the only business tycoon who refuses to hide his faith under a bushel — top executives from some of America’s biggest companies are born-again Christians who talk about their beliefs more often than their balance sheets.Major corporations like Tyson Foods, Interstate Batteries and Hobby Lobby were either founded or are now led by outspoken and deeply religious bosses. While some of the companies distinguish between their corporate identities and their leaders’ faith, others embrace it.—Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, discusses his faith and salvation at length on the company’s website, even inviting people to write him for advice on prayer;—Tyson Foods, the Arkansas food processing giant, offers chaplains to counsel its employees on life issues like deaths or family emergencies;
—In-N-Out Burger, the popular California-based hamburger chain, prints “John 3:16” on the bottom of its cups;
Chick-fil-A: Hundreds line up in support, don’t mind long wait– A line of hundreds of people formed outside a Northridge Chick-fil-A on Wednesday afternoon as crowds flocked to the restaurant on “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”Gwilym McGrew, who drove to the fast-food restarauant from Woodland Hills, said more than 100 cars were waiting along Tampa Avenue to pull into the parking lot. “A couple hundred” people had lined up on foot, he said, some drinking water distributed by employees.”It’s very calm madness,” McGrew said. “Everybody’s very orderly.”McGrew was one of many people who ventured to the restaurant to show support for Chick-fil-A, which drew criticism after chief executive Dan Cathy said in a recent interview he and his company were against gay marriage. The comments drew strong reactions as customers pledged to boycott the chain and some mayors proclaimed they would not allow Chick-fil-A to open within their cities.
In response, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared Wednesday “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” calling on people to eat at the restaurant to show support.
McGrew said he came to the restaurant to support Cathy’s religious beliefs, even though he said he himself is not religious.
“I’m not getting myself involved in the issue of gay marriage and all that, I’m not getting involved in a religious debate,” he said. “I’m getting involved in the government putting their thumb on a businessperson for his religious beliefs.”
Chick-fil-A’s president shows dangers of corporate outspokenness– Sometimes politics intercede where you may not expect it. Corporations of all types have supported Planned Parenthood for years, presumably on the grounds that helping deliver inexpensive healthcare to underprivileged women was a good thing and one that fit in with corporate principles such as diversity and fairness. Then one morning they woke up to discover that their longtime beneficiary had become transformed into a gigantic political football. (Apologies to Franz Kafka.) The next thing they knew, they were on an anti-abortion organization’s boycott list.Corporate executives surrounded by yes men telling them how wise they are will probably continue to try sharing their wisdom on subjects well outside their core competencies. Sometimes they’ll tailor their words to what they think are their target markets. Sometimes, like Cathy, they’ll discover that there are bigger markets out there where customers may not care for what they have to say. We should defend to the death their right to speak, and also our own right to make them pay for it, or not, at the cash register.
Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day brings out supporters, protesters– It used to be that taking a bite of a chicken sandwich just meant you were hungry. Now it has become a symbol of whether you stand for or against same-sex marriage, or – alternately – the right to express your personal views without fear of retaliation.At Chick-fil-A locations across the country, people voted with their wallets today, coming out to express support for the fast-food chain after CEO Dan Cathy said in an interview that he is a firm backer of traditional marriage.“I believe what the Bible says (about marriage),” Chauncy Fields told us after wolfing down a breakfast of chicken and biscuits. “So I came out here to support Chick-fil-A and the movement.”Chris Johnson sees a double standard. “He (Dan Cathy) said the exact same thing that President Obama said,” Johnson told Fox News — referring to the president’s past opposition to gay marriage – “And he gets negativity, and Obama gets positivity.”
At one Atlanta location, the restaurant was packed, while the line for the drive-thru looped twice around the building and out into the street.
Wendy’s Sign Angers Liberals; Wendy’s Tweet Angers Conservatives– he sign, and its implied support of Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage, was the work of Jim Furmen, who owns 86 Wendy’s franchises in North Carolina. When pictures of the signs were posted on Reddit and began circulating online, Wendy’s quickly took to Twitter to say the franchise owner did not represent the views of the entire company, saying “We proudly serve ALL customers” and adding that the signs had been taken down.Conservative bloggers and writers then took issue with the insinuation that Chick-fil-A did not serve all customers (even its critics haven’t made that charge), whereupon Wendy’s backtracked. “Not our intention at all,” Wendy’s said repeatedly to users that criticized them. “We’re simply saying that an independent franchisee posted the sign.”
Rick Warren: Chick-fil-A’s owner told me they set a new world record in sales today – Not a word about today’s activities has been whispered on Chick-fil-A’s feed even though CFA has been trending on Twitter off and on all day. As noted in the earlier post, the suspicion is that the company’s lying low about what’s happening in order to extricate itself from the front line of the culture war, but I wonder if today’s outpouring will draw some sort of recognition tomorrow. If Dan Cathy’s willing to tout the numbers to Rick Warren, presumably an official acknowledgment and thank you is on the way.
The Great Chick-fil-A War of 2012 – Ed goes on to point out the obvious: in a free country, any citizen has a right to protest or boycott a business, and any officeholder is free to express their personal support or opposition to the views of a company or its leaders. But once officials start using the power of the state to punish companies for expressing views they disagree with, well… that’s fundamentally anti-American, and sliding towards a fascist view of how society should operate. Your ability to run your business should not depend upon mayoral approval of your personal views
Why August Will Determine Senate Control– August is usually a sleepy month in politics. Congress leaves Washington for its annual summer recess, and campaigning takes a back seat as voters, more concerned with their own vacations than with statewide elections, tune out. But that’s not the case this year. When the 113th Congress gavels into session in January, the party that controls the Senate will credit key primaries this month with handing them power.The stakes are high for Republicans. Four states with competitive races hold GOP primaries over the next four weeks. And while the tone of a primary campaign rarely dictates the outcome in the fall, the candidates who emerge from those primaries will either help or hinder their party’s chances to win the four seats necessary to take over the upper chamber.That makes the Republican primaries in Wisconsin, Missouri, Connecticut, and Arizona worth watching.
Rep. Capps didn’t report rent income to IRS for a decade | The Daily Caller– In a possible congressional ethics violation, California Democratic Rep. Lois Capps rented a room in her personal home to one of her congressional staffers for years and did not report the income to the IRS —during that time, or for more than a decade — until 2012. Capps also withheld that information from the proper congressional authorities for five years — from 2001 until early 2006.The staffer in question was Jeremy Tittle, a “case worker” in Capps’ district office from late 2000 until late 2004. According to Federal Election Commission records, Tittle was also a staffer for Capps’ political campaigns from as early as 2001 to as late as 2004.
Possible VP Rob Portman was ‘frustrated’ at Bush budget office– Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who served as former President George W. Bush’s budget director, sought this week to distance himself from his former boss by saying he was “frustrated” in the high-profile post.Pressed on his record with Bush, Portman — a leading GOP vice presidential contender — agreed to an exclusive interview with The Hill in his Senate office.
Amazon joins Walmart in push for online sales tax– Congressmen in both parties want you to pay more taxes on your online purchases, and once again, big business is lobbying for bigger government, which would hurt Mom and Pop.Online sales taxes have been a battlefield for lobbying titans for years, pitting Walmart and the rest of the brick-and-mortar retail lobby against Amazon and other online retailers. But now Amazon has changed its business model and also its lobbying position, joining the rest of the retail giants in calling on Congress to aid states in collecting sales tax from online sales.Here’s the background:
Cal Fire losing inmate volunteers– The number of state prison inmates available to perform crucial, labor-intensive tasks in battles against wildfires could soon drop dramatically, due to California’s shift of low-level offenders from state prisons to county jails.When wildfires ignite in California, some of the first crews on the scene are not state firefighters, but inmates who undergo training to handle such jobs as creating containment lines.There are more than 4,000 prisoners statewide trained for the work now, but prison officials said they expect that number to shrink by 1,500 by June as inmates are sent to county jails instead of prison.
Ethics Committee: reprimand Rep. Laura Richardson– The House Ethics Committee says California Democratic Congresswoman Laura Richardson should be reprimanded for misusing her staff.The committee found she improperly compelled staff to perform campaign work and obstructed the internal investigation by altering or destroying evidence, failing to produce subpoenaed documents and attempting to influence testimony of witnesses.The committee announced Wednesday that Richardson agreed to admit to all seven counts against her. The committee recommended that the House adopt its report, and said doing so would serve as a reprimand. Richardson also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine, to be paid by Dec. 1.
Villaraigosa says he’d like to be governor of California– As Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa prepares to take the gavel for the Democratic National Committee’s national convention in Charlotte this summer, Yahoo! News asked whether the termed-out mayor could be the nation’s first Latino president.Villaraigosa assured his interviewer that he has no interest in national office, but he does have another job in mind after 2013, when he will be forced from Getty House.”The job I’ve said to people I would like is I would like to be governor of the state of California,” he said.Villaraigosa spokesman Teddy Davis was not immediately available to comment on the mayor’s statement.
Villaraigosa opted not to run for the job when it was last open in 2010. Gavin Newsom briefly challenged Jerry Brown in the Democratic primary before dropping out of the race, eventually running for lieutenant governor.
Giving a boost to the Latino vote– Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of SEIU International and widely regarded as one of the nation’s most influential Latino leaders, was back in his home state last week to give a California lift to the national “Todos a Votar (Let’s Vote)” campaign that aims to inspire 2 million more Latinos to vote this fall than voted in the 2008 presidential campaign.He thinks that goal is realistic, as do officials with eight largest Latino organizations in the nation that are coalescing behind the effort. If it is reached, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials estimates that the total Latino vote will rise by 26 percent and that nearly 1 of 11 voters in November will be Latinos.NALEO estimates that 3.9 million California Latinos will vote in the fall, or more than a quarter of this state’s electorate.
Former Service Employees International Union leader indicted– Not long ago, Tyrone Freeman was a rising young star in the national labor movement, already the head of California’s biggest union local and a force in Democratic politics from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.Freeman’s quick climb up the ranks of the powerful Service Employees International Union burnished his reputation as an effective advocate for the disadvantaged, a man who helped improve the lot of about 190,000 workers paid about $9 an hour to provide in-home care for the infirm.On Tuesday, however, Freeman was indicted on federal charges of stealing from those workers to enrich himself, including by billing the union for costs from his Hawaii wedding.The 15-count indictment secured by the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles also alleges that Freeman violated tax laws and gave false information to a mortgage lender. If convicted on all counts, he could face maximum prison sentences in excess of 200 years.
These are my (Flap) links for June 18th through June 19th:
A White House mess– One little-known fact about the world of journalism is that news organizations prepare obituaries of famous people while those people are still alive, so that packages of material will be ready to go when a death is announced.Over the past week, journalists have been writing articles that have the quality of these sorts of pre-obituaries — only the event they’re anticipating isn’t the last breath of an individual but the defeat of President Obama’s re-election bid.Even more striking, these journalists aren’t conservatives indulging in their deepest wish, but rather liberals who admire Obama and want to see him win a second term.Al Hunt, who was for decades the voice of liberal conventional wisdom as the Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, declared yesterday in his Bloomberg column that Obama “needs an intervention.”
The Sad Demise of the Occupy Movement– Remember when the Democratic Party saw the Occupy movement as the Left’s equivalent of the Tea Party? That lasted until it became obvious that 1) Occupy wasn’t actually much of a movement, and 2) to the extent it existed, it was an embarrassment. Occupy is in the process of fading away, not with a bang but a whimper, and with more criminal prosecutions to its credit than normal citizens converted to the leftist cause.But, much as a dead frog’s legs will continue kicking for a while, a few remnants of Occupy cling to a fitful existence. To see what the “movement” is up to these days, check out this online diary that documents the Occupy Caravan. The Caravan is a group of nine leftists who are driving, in two minivans, from California to Philadelphia. The diary, by one James Jennison, is hilarious but sad. You can’t help feeling sorry for this ragtag band of misfits who evidently think they are making some kind of political statement
Another Ridiculous Lie From Liberal Media – Distorting Romney’s “WAWAs” Hoagie Speech– Another example of how ridiculous the media is in their uncompromising struggle to distort the truth in order to make sure Obama wins and Conservatives lose.Today it’s being widely reported that Romney had a moment were he was amazed at the existence of WAWAs, a convenience/gas store, and the electronic touchtone ordering of sandwiches. They have spun this to make it seem like he’s out of touch – BUT THE VIDEO IS EDITED DECEPTIVELY:
MSNBC mischaracterizes Romney remarks– MSNBC aired footage today that inaccurately portrayed Mitt Romney’s remarks at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.Discussing how the public sector suffers from a lack of competition, Romney told the audience about an optometrist who wanted to change his address and subsequently received 33 pages of paperwork from the federal government, which begat a months-long bureaucratic nightmare during which the optometrist in question wasn’t receiving his checks. “That’s how government works,” Romney said.Then, to illustrate the advantages of competition in the private sector, Romney shared an anecdote from his visit to the local WaWa chain store. “I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad — you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier — there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.”
Will GOP demand Plame-style leak investigation?– A lot of lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, are angry about the damaging national security leaks that have come out of the Obama administration. But Republicans are probably angrier, and their feelings can be explained in two words: Valerie Plame.The Plame affair was a complicated, tortured episode in which the George W. Bush White House was accused of having deliberately leaked classified information — the identity of an undercover CIA agent — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the Iraq war. Now, many Republicans believe the Barack Obama White House has deliberately leaked classified information — among other things, details of the U.S. cyberwar against Iran — to score political points during a particularly intense time in the presidential campaign.
Dem hopes of taking House dim– Democratic hopes of recapturing the House are dimming as a series of race-by-race setbacks and economic uncertainty suggest that the 25 seats they need to net might be out of reach.The Hill projects that Democrats will net somewhere between 10 and 15 seats, assuming the presidential election remains a close contest.House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given her party a better than 50-50 chance of wresting control of the lower chamber — but missed opportunities in specific races and increasing economic worries have put that prediction in doubt.“The environment certainly isn’t as good as it was six months ago for Democrats,” a senior Democratic strategist who works on House races told The Hill, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to comment candidly.“Democrats are way off track of where they need to be to regain the majority,” said David Wasserman, the House race editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report
Marco Rubio Not Being Vetted to Be Mitt Romney’s Running Mate– Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
After spat with former construction management company, officials get projects back on track– Months after the El Monte Union High School District cut ties with its former construction management company, details are emerging about related issues that have come at a hefty expense to the district.A construction update last week revealed that the district is paying the price for design plans that didn’t have the required state approval before the construction work began at several campuses.In one case, work began on a new two-story classroom building without the plans getting state approved, resulting in the district being forced to make extensive revisions.In another a much publicized case, the state didn’t sign off on plans for new heating and air conditioning systems in two high school auditoriums before they were installed. The buildings have been closed for months as officials work to rectify the issue.The projects are part of a $148 million bond measure approved by voters in 2008. After parting ways with its construction management company Alsaleh Project Management (APM) last year and hiring another firm, officials have been working to get projects back on track. But it hasn’t been easy, or cheap.The costs of some construction projects under the bond measure have increased by up to 36 percent over what was originally budgeted, according to last week’s construction update.
While some of the rising costs were the result of upgrades desired by district leaders, part of the increase is related
A Guide to How Obama’s New Immigration Policy Will Work, And a Word of Caution– The policy memo directs ICE and Customs to begin using their on-the-ground discretion immediately. Citizenship and Immigration Services is ordered to implement what is known as “deferred action” for this category of immigrants within 60 days. It’s a good sign that the administration is moving quickly. But bear in mind, deferred action is exactly what it sounds like. It means the federal government isn’t placing you in removal proceedings now. In fact, the memo says specifically that the deferral is good for two years before the next re-evaluation. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. “The question becomes: What if the person is granted deferred action and then they turn 30,” Schwamkrug asks. “Does that mean it won’t be renewed?”If it isn’t, and that person doesn’t have some sort of legal status, current policy is to automatically forward them to immigration court for removal proceedings. Two years-worth of work authorization may be small recompense for imminent deportation.Perhaps the biggest wild card here is the November presidential election. Obama’s policy is just that. It doesn’t amount to citizenship, nor is it law, enacted by Congress. You can bet one of Mitt Romney’s first acts as president would be to rescind Napolitano’s memo. And then what? Young people who have lived their lives as Americans announce their presence as undocumented immigrants and become subject to removal proceedings. “You’re luring people out, dangling a carrot of employment authorization in exchange for putting themselves on the radar,” Schwamkrug says. “As attorneys, we’d have to lay everything out to our clients and let the clients make the choice. We can’t tell them what to do. But I personally think there’s cause for concern.”In other words, the undocumented American may rejoice, but must remain mindful that there’s no permanence to Obama’s extended hand. And in just five short months, it may be snatched away altogether.
Scalia and Ginsburg Drop Hints about Obamacare’s Fate at the Supreme Court– The Supreme Court is set to issue its ruling on the epic Obamacare case, Florida v. HHS, at the end of June. Two of the High Court’s justices, Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dropped hints this weekend as to what the Court might do. Between what they said, and the scuttlebutt I’ve been hearing, we can start to think about what the Court may do—and when.On Friday, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at the annual Court review of the American Constitution Society, a group “dedicated to…countering the activist conservative legal movement.” Ginsburg said that she was quite aware of the controversy surrounding the Obamacare case. “Some have described the controversy as unprecedented and they may be right if they mean the number of press conferences, prayer circles, protests, counter protests, going on outside the court while oral argument was under way inside.”