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
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) wants to remind Americans that the government spending is the problem.
The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce an online petition today urging House Democrats to say they don’t think a $1 trillion coin should be minted to pay down the debt. It’s an attempt to get some earned media ahead of the debt ceiling fight and center the conversation on the deficit. Seven Democrats will be targeted with customized releases (photos of their faces on $1 trillion coins), including Jim Matheson (UT-04), Mike McIntyre (NC-07), Collin Peterson (MN-07), Tim Walz (MN-01), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and Nick Rahall (WV-03).
The website is here.
Check it out and sign the petition.
These are my links for October 1st through October 2nd:
- Obama calls debate prep ‘a drag’– President Obama played some hookey from his intense debate preparation early this week in Las Vegas, visiting a campaign field office in nearby Henderson and chatting with volunteers for his re-election effort.Campaign traveling press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters later that the president viewed visiting with voters and volunteers as important during his time in Nevada, a crucial swing state in Novemeber.”Obviously, as you know, he just went and took a break, and went to a local campaign office to rally and excite volunteers and our campaign staff, because at the same time, we’re focused on early vote and we’re focused on getting people out to vote as soon as they have the opportunity to,” Psaki said. “So there’s a balance we’re striking here as well while we’re in Nevada.””It’s very nice. Although basically they’re keeping me indoors all the time. It’s a drag. They’re making me do my homework,” Obama joked with volunteer Andrea Stinger.
- Gov. Jerry Brown hands illegal immigrants less than they had hoped– This year’s legislative battle over immigration seemed to come to a draw when Gov. Jerry Brown signed one key bill but vetoed another.Immigration rights advocates, however, said Monday that the political give-and-take was largely an illusion. They lost.The bill that Brown signed, which lets some young immigrants have driver’s licenses, allows nothing beyond what is permitted under a new federal program granting a two-year reprieve from deportation.But the bill that Brown vetoed — the Trust Act — was among the most closely watched pieces of immigration legislation in the country. It would have barred local law enforcement officials from cooperating with federal authorities in detaining suspected illegal immigrants, except in the cases of serious or violent crime.
Brown said he was open to working on the legislation further to fix its faults. But immigrant rights groups remained suspicious about his intentions, questioning why he had not raised concerns sooner.
“Gov. Brown waited until the eleventh hour to veto the most … impactful bill that would bring tremendous relief for the immigrant community,” said Carlos Amador of Dream Team Los Angeles. “But he decided to sign a symbolic and hollow bill that doesn’t bring anything more than what we already had … to apply for a driver’s license.”
Brown’s actions amounted to a setback for illegal immigrants, said Yale law professor Michael Wishnie.
“I’m signing this bill that’s unnecessary … and that somehow balances out” the Trust Act? “It doesn’t add up,” Wishnie said.
- California Proposition 37 Poll finds strong — but shaky — support for labeling genetically engineered food– An overwhelming majority of California voters favor Proposition 37, which would require new labels on genetically engineered foods, according to a poll released today. But support is likely to erode in the next month as Californians are exposed to more ads against the measure, says the study by agricultural economists at Oklahoma State University.The poll, which was paid for by a university endowment, found that 76.8 percent of California voters said they plan to vote “yes” on Proposition 37 to require more labeling of food. But almost half of those people (46 percent) switched to a “no” vote when asked if they would still support the measure if it increased food prices. Support also diminished after poll respondents were shown an ad urging they vote against Proposition 37.It’s likely Californians will see and hear a lot more ads against Proposition 37 than for it in the weeks before the Nov. 6 election. Opponents have raised $34.5 million, mostly from companies that make pesticides and genetically engineered seeds — including Monsanto, DuPont and Bayer — as well as major soda and snack food companies including Pepsi, Coke, Nestle and General Mills. Supporters have raised $4.6 million, mostly from alternative health website Mercola.com, organic food companies, and natural products such as Dr. Bronners soap.
- Driver licenses for undocumented Californians get lukewarm response– A law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown late Sunday night qualifying hundreds of thousands of undocumented Californians for drivers’ licenses found a lukewarm response from the young immigrants it is supposed to benefit.”We’re tired of being used — as Dreamers, as immigrant youth — as a political football,” said Carlos Amador, who said the bill was symbolic and does little that is not long-standing policy at the state Department of Motor Vehicles.The bill, AB 2189, was one of the last of hundreds Brown signed before his midnight Sunday deadline and made national news within hours. It links California to a new Obama administration “deferred action” deportation relief policy granting work permits to illegal immigrants no older than 30 who came to the United States as children.The California bill makes clear that anyone approved for an Obama administration work permit can now get a state driver’s license.
“President Obama has recognized the unique status of these students, and making them eligible to apply for driver’s licenses is an obvious next step,” said Brown spokesman Gil Duran, in a written release Monday.
Some 400,000 Californians could be eligible for the federal work permits, but experts and activists said they probably didn’t need the new legislation to get a license.
“They almost positively could have gotten driver’s licenses regardless,” said Angela Chan of the San Francisco-based Asian Law Caucus. “In California, you
need a Social Security number (to get a license), and with deferred action you can get a Social Security number.”
Many of the activists are upset that Brown appealed to immigrant and Latino communities with a passable but seemingly unnecessary license bill while simultaneously vetoing more controversial legislation, such as two bills proposed by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, that would have expanded the labor rights of domestic workers and restricted deportations of people arrested for minor crimes.
“Good for you on the driver’s licenses,” said Ammiano, but “lip service is not what we want. We want real policy.”
- Barack Obama’s big vulnerbility: His Policies– In pundit circles, the hot talking point of the past couple of months is that President Obama may be spared defeat because things have been bad for so long that Americans may view the country’s parlous condition as “the new normal.”This is an honest effort to make sense of polling data that are hard to reconcile with what we know about voters in the past and their attitudes toward sitting presidents during economic woes.No president has been re-elected with unemployment above 7.4 percent; the unemployment rate is now 8.1 percent. No president has been re-elected with a significant majority of Americans saying the country is on the wrong track; that number’s between three-fifths and two-thirds of all Americans. No president’s been re-elected with the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index below 90; it’s hovering around 70.
- The truth about Obamacare in Mississippi– When the Supreme Court ruled on the Obama administration’s health care reform law a few months ago, the court upheld the right of the states to decline Medicaid expansion.States throughout the nation are now looking at the enormous and growing percentage of their budgets already consumed by Medicaid expenses, and many simply cannot fathom shouldering the additional burden of even more Medicaid spending. Mississippi is certainly among those states opposed to expanding the program.Beyond differences in philosophies on the role of government, beyond Obamacare’s superficial approach to righting the issues in America’s health care system and beyond this law’s inability to put Americans to work in jobs with decent wages and health care benefits, one fact is certain: Government programs come with a price.People tend to forget that government has no dollar that it has not gained through taxation or borrowing. Even the Obama administration cannot pay for its massive health care law without raiding funding from other programs and levying taxes against the American people. After all, the bills for these expansions will come due, and the money has to come from somewhere.
Mississippi, too, must decide where it would get the money to pay for more and more Medicaid. Do we drain money from public safety and education? Do we tax money out of private revenues and family checking accounts? As governor, I say we reject the expansion and find a better solution.
- Disgusting… Obama Supporters Begin Phone Call Campaign Attacking Mitt Romney’s Mormon Faith– Obama supporters are making calls attacking Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith and deceiving Christian voters on Barack Obama’s pro-abortion record.Barack Obama is the most anti-Catholic pro-abortion president in US history.
- Obama ad says Bain investment exploited ‘sweatshop conditions’ in China – The Hill’s Video– President Obama’s campaign released a new commercial Monday challenging Mitt Romney on the issue of Chinese outsourcing, renewing attacks on the Republican nominee’s tenure at Bain Capital while extending a spat between the candidates over their records dealing with China.The new ad — which will air in New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada — highlights Global Tech, a Chinese company invested in by Bain Capital during Romney’s tenure there.
- Romney Would Permit Obama Waivers for Children of Illegal Immigrants– If he is elected, Mitt Romney would allow the children of illegal immigrants who receive temporary work permits under an executive order issued by President Obama earlier this year to stay in the country, Romney told The Denver Post on Monday.”The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased,” Romney told the Post. “Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.”Obama issued a controversial executive order in June that would award work permits to children of illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements, such as graduating from a U.S. high school and obeying the law, allowing them to stay in the country temporarily.This shift in immigration policy has been criticized for bypassing Congress after lawmakers did not pass the DREAM Act, which would have provided young illegal immigrants a path to citizenship by serving in the military or going to college.
Romney also said he would work with Congress during the first year of his presidency to pass permanent immigration reform, but didn’t offer details. He has previously supported a path to citizenship for students who serve in the military.
- Speaker Boehner uses Rove-like strategy to hold House majority– he Speaker is limited to donating $10,000 to the state parties, so he often raises the money for the NRCC, which subsequently transmits the donations to the state parties directly. It is then up to the state party to staff, operate and run the victory centers.These centers are small storefronts in strip malls with 20 to 25 volunteers manning phone banks and a coordinator at the helm sending people out door to door with clipboards and walk lists, said a staffer familiar with the operation.The key is the metrics that can be analyzed from the phone calls volunteers make to independent or swing voters, transmitted over Voice Over Internet Protocol phones connected to the massive RNC voter file database in D.C.For example, the volunteer asks if the person will vote for such-and-such congressional candidate; whether he or she approves of the job that President Obama is doing; and if he or she will vote for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. For each response, the volunteer hits a button on the phone to send the respective answer to the RNC.
Once the phone banks have collected the information from their outreach calls, the Victory Centers know how to follow up with the individuals contacted.
- @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-02 – Flap’s Blog – FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog – @Flap Twitter Updates for 2012-10-02 #tcot
- No on California Proposition 37 Say Three Southern California – No on California Proposition 37 Say Three Southern California Newspapers #tcot
- The Morning Flap: October 1, 2012 – Flap’s Blog – The Morning Flap: October 1, 2012 #tcot
The National Republican Congressional Committee is up with a new web ad (I don’t know if it will run on Ventura County cable television) attacking Democrat Julia Brownley for her votes raising taxes and for the costly California High Speed Rail Project.
The ad is mocking and quite fun, but drives home the point that California Assemblywoman Julia Brownley is a tax and spend liberal who will raise YOUR taxes to fund wasteful government spending – like the Jerry Brown promoted California High Speed Train to nowhere.
Here is the ad: