U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., listens to a question during a town hall, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Sun Lakes, Ariz. McCain defended his proposed immigration overhaul to an angry crowd in suburban Arizona in the latest sign that this border state will play a prominent role in the national immigration reform debate AP (Photo/Matt York)
These are my news headlines for February 20th:
- Obama’s sequestration strategy: Shame
- Anti-austerity strike to bring Greece to a standstill
- John Boehner: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created
- New Jersey Poll: Hillary Clinton edges out Chris Christie
- Despite Controversy, Hagel’s Archives Sealed Shut
- Tea partier weighs Mitch McConnell race
- Video: President Obama Speaks Out of Both Sides of Mouth on Sequester – Flap’s Blog – Video: President Obama Speaks Out of Both Sides of Mouth on Sequester #tcot
- McCain defends immigration plan to angry residents – During a heated town hall gathering in the Phoenix suburb of Sun Lakes, McCain said the border near Yuma is largely secure, but he said smugglers are using the border near Tucson to pump drugs into Phoenix. He said immigration reform should be contingent on better border security that must rely largely on technology able to detect border crossings.McCain said a tamper-proof Social Security card would help combat identity fraud, and noted any path to citizenship must require immigrants to learn English, cover back taxes and pay fines for breaking immigration laws.”There are 11 million people living here illegally,” he said. “We are not going to get enough buses to deport them.”
Some audience members shouted out their disapproval.
One man yelled that only guns would discourage illegal immigration. Another man complained that illegal immigrants should never be able to become citizens or vote. A third man said illegal immigrants were illiterate invaders who wanted free government benefits.
- Gingrich-less, super PAC is back – The super PAC that raised nearly $24 million to power Newt Gingrich into the White House is rebranding itself as a booster of the conservative ground game and, possibly, 2014 GOP Senate candidates.Only this time around, Winning Our Future won’t have the key piece of its brand — Gingrich, who isn’t at all involved in the super PAC.
- House Democrats Cash In With Online Fundraising Program – It’s usually easier to bring in big bucks when your party holds the speaker’s gavel. But last cycle, House Democrats crushed their competitors thanks to a dramatic spike in online fundraising.In the 2010 cycle, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $14.6 million online; in 2012 it took in $49.3 million — a total representing one-third of its revenue. In the previous two cycles, online donations accounted for 5 percent to 9 percent of the DCCC’s total haul, according to DCCC fundraising figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call.The online boom more than leveled the fundraising playing field for the minority party, allowing the campaign arm to raise $28 million more than its GOP counterparts last cycle.
- Marco Rubio: The Electable Conservative? – Some commentators have expressed surprise upon learning about the very conservative voting record of Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who delivered the Republican response to the State of the Union address last week.Since winning his Senate seat, Mr. Rubio has generally sided with other Republicans as part of a party that has steadily grown more conservative over the last three decades. (Mr. Rubio’s recent support for immigration reform is more of an exception than his usual rule of sticking to the party line.)Being reliably conservative, however, is hardly a liability for someone who might hope to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Indeed, one reason to watch Mr. Rubio carefully is that, among the candidates who will be deemed reliably conservative by Republican voters and insiders, he may stand the best chance of maintaining a reasonably good image with general election voters.
How does Mr. Rubio’s conservatism compare to the other men and women who might seek the Republican nomination in 2016 — and to other candidates, like Mitt Romney, that the G.O.P. has nominated recently?
- Video: Chris Christie Says HE Doesn’t Agree with Cuomo 98 Per Cent of the Time – Flap’s Blog – Video: Chris Christie Says HE Doesn’t Agree with Cuomo 98 Per Cent of the Time #tcot
- The California Flap: February 19, 2013 – Flap’s California Blog – The California Flap: February 19, 2013
- N.J. Gov. Christie in La Jolla, Romney sons join the party | UTSanDiego.com – N.J. Gov. Christie in La Jolla, Romney sons join the party
- California inmates renew demands – latimes.com – California inmates renew demands
- Jerry Buss dies at 80; Lakers owner brought ‘Showtime’ success to L.A. – latimes.com – Jerry Buss dies at 80; Lakers owner brought ‘Showtime’ success to L.A.
- California’s Tobacco Control Program generates huge health care savings, study shows – California’s Tobacco Control Program generates huge health care savings, study shows #tcot
- States worry about rate shock during shift to new health law – Los Angeles Times – States worry about rate shock during shift to new health law #tcot
- When to Retire a Running Shoe – NYTimes.com – When to Retire a Running Shoe #tcot
- The Morning Flap: February 19, 2013 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: February 19, 2013 #tcot
Simpson and Bowles
These are my links for February 19th:
- New Bowles-Simpson deficit plan would cut $2.4 trillion – Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson proposed a new framework Tuesday to cut the country’s debt by $2.4 trillion over the next decade.Bowles and Simpson were the co-chairmen of President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission in 2010, and their recommendations came to serve as a yardstick for other debt-reduction proposals.
- Obama, the puppet master
- Obama blackmails tax payers while blaming Republicans –
- Tea Party challenger to McConnell emerging – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could see a primary challenge from local businessman Matt Bevin, who sources say is reaching out to Tea Party groups in the state to gauge support for a 2014 Senate run.Sarah Duran, president of the Louisville Tea Party, told The Hill that Bevin had been in touch with her over the phone to discuss his run multiple times over the past few weeks, and that he met with the group two weeks ago to discuss his interest in the race.
- GOP senators waiting for Obama outreach
- Colorado Democrat: Women Don’t Need Guns If They ‘Feel Like They’re Going To Be Raped’ –
- Obama leak lets ‘Gang of Eight’ look tough on immigration | WashingtonExaminer.com – RT @ByronYork: New: Obama leak lets ‘Gang of Eight’ look tough on immigration.
- Twitter / Flap: Way to go @LizMair! We need … – Way to go @LizMair! We need to see you on the Tee Vee much more!
- Sessions: “The leaked plan is little different in its substance from the Gang of 8 plan” | WashingtonExaminer.com – Sessions: “The leaked plan is little different in its substance from the Gang of 8 plan” | #tcot
- Sessions: “The leaked plan is little different in its substance from the Gang of 8 plan” | WashingtonExaminer.com – Sessions: “The leaked plan is little different in its substance from the Gang of 8 plan” #tcot
- Why is Obama threatening to release his own immigration plan? – The brutal truth, as some Republicans aren’t shy about noting, is that Obama’s bill isn’t all that different from Rubio’s. And to the extent that it is different, Democrats and their immigration-lobby allies will go on agitating to make the final product more like O’s bill if/when it passes. He can live, happily, with Rubio’s bill as law. On the other hand, If Obama talks up his own bill and ends up polarizing the issue until the compromise falls apart, great! He’ll happily use that as leverage for the “GOP hates Latinos” talking point in 2014. Realistically, the only way he’ll have a truly consequential second term is if Democrats can take back the House; that’s what his gun-control campaign right now is all about, and that’s what the fate of things like cap-and-trade rests on. If Republicans hang onto the House next year, O’s last two years will be spent mired in lame-duck misery. If they don’t, he’ll be the rare president who ends eight years in office with a flurry of significant “achievements.” I think Obama would be willing to trade that legacy for the legacy of having passed comprehensive immigration reform with GOP help, especially given what it means for Democratic electoral gains long-term, but if he does get the House back in 2014 then he can pass immigration reform — and an assault-weapons ban, and cap-and-trade — later. The only true disaster scenario for him is if immigration talks collapse now and the GOP holds the House in 2014 anyway. That’s quite possible, and maybe even probable, and that’s why he’s not being more aggressive right now in trying to sabotage the negotiations.
- Sessions: “The leaked plan is little different in its substance from the Gang of 8 plan” – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., may have quickly denounced the immigration plan President Obama leaked this weekend, but most conservatives see little difference between Rubio’s efforts and Obama’s framework. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee released the following statement on the leaked Obama plan today:The release of the President’s immigration plan is more than a misstep or clever political maneuver. It is a dramatic disclosure of his real immigration ideology and goals. The plan grants amnesty on day one while making hollow promises of future enforcement that will never occur. The plan is a giveaway for the special interests and the open borders lobby. This president will never dedicate himself to enforcing the law, and this plan offers only further proof of that.It is plain what is happening. The special interests are again in the White House, demanding and getting their favors granted, while American workers and the public interest are again locked out.
- Immigration reform groups use low-key strategy against Rubio amnesty – Immigration reform groups are responding cautiously to the Feb. 14 revelation that Sen. Marco Rubio’s aides apparently tried to portray them as left-wing, anti-Christian misanthropes.Their low-key response has helped tamp down the potential conflict with Rubio, who is working with seven other senators on a controversial rewrite of the nation’s immigration laws.The senator’s spokesman, Alex Conant, also downplayed the revelations sketched in the Washington Post’s article.
- Immigration Double Kabuki – Maybe there is some Beltway logic to this story that I don’t understand. Here’s the situation: Obama wants an immigration bill. He knows that if he comes down heavily on one side Republicans might get their backs up and oppose whatever he proposes. So he is giving the Senate “negotiators” space. I understand that much. Never mind that the Senate “Gang of 8? negotiators are seven amnesty-first supporters plus Marco Rubio, who is also an amnesty-first supporter (if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have Cesar Conda as his chief of staff). Let’s assume for now that if these eight Friends of Amnesty can come up with a deal the rest of the Senate can pretend it’s a “bipartisan compromise,” at least until the public finds out what is in it.
- Obama’s Amnesty Bill = Rubio’s Amnesty Bill – Over the weekend, the White House leaked parts of a proposed amnesty bill to USA Today’s Alan Gomez. Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, described the proposed bill as a backup plan in case the Senate doesn’t act. Unlike the Schumer/Rubio amnesty plan, the administration bill contains no enforcement “triggers” that would have to be met before the amnestied illegals could move from green card lite to full green-card status. Rubio said the bill would be “dead on arrival” if it were to be introduced, while Paul Ryan said it would take things “in the wrong direction.”The “backup plan” stuff is nonsense — the point of leaking the bill is to enable Rubio to say that his amnesty plan is waaay different from the dastardly Obama plan, even though they’re identical in the only respect that matters: amnesty immediately for all illegal aliens, with work cards, Social Security numbers, driver’s licenses, the right to travel abroad and return, etc. The president has repeatedly said he wants to stand back and let Congress come up with a bill because if he were to send one to Congress it would be toxic for Republicans — i.e., those Republicans who desperately want to sell out their constituents by backing amnesty but are afraid of the voter backlash. The Rubio and Ryan criticisms of the proposed bill sound almost as though they were scripted by Schumer and White House to make the Senate Gang of Eight scheme seem more palatable to such Republicans.
If the Republicans allow RINO Chuck Hagel to be confirmed, the military will surely decline.
Even New York Times columnist David Brooks understands what Obama is doing with the Chuck Hagel appointment.
As the federal government becomes a health care state, there will have to be a generation of defense cuts that overwhelm anything in recent history. Keep in mind how brutal the budget pressure is going to be. According to the Government Accountability Office, if we act on entitlements today, we will still have to cut federal spending by 32 percent and raise taxes by 46 percent over the next 75 years to meet current obligations. If we postpone action for another decade, then we have to cut all non-interest federal spending by 37 percent and raise all taxes by 54 percent.
As this sort of crunch gradually tightens, Medicare will be the last to go. Spending on things like Head Start, scientific research and defense will go quicker. These spending cuts will transform America’s stature in the world, making us look a lot more like Europe today. This is why Adm. Mike Mullen called the national debt the country’s biggest security threat.
Chuck Hagel has been nominated to supervise the beginning of this generation-long process of defense cutbacks. If a Democratic president is going to slash defense, he probably wants a Republican at the Pentagon to give him political cover, and he probably wants a decorated war hero to boot.