Let's Fix This Country
immigration

Immigration Breakdown: Republican Right Calls a Halt »

And it’s because Obama can’t be trusted Feb 16 2014

No sooner had the votes been counted in the 2012 election than immigration reform became a top priority. After doing nothing to fulfill a 2008 campaign pledge, after instead deporting more undocumented immigrants than any president before him, Barack Obama owed reform to the Latino population, 71% of whom voted for him.

For that same reason, Republicans realized that they had better spearhead reform, because if they failed to attract the growing Hispanic voting bloc, the party’s gradual extinction was a possibility. Mitt Romney’s vow to repeal the
DREAM Act, if enacted, and his encouraging “self-deportation” of illegals had been a potent insult to those Latinos here legitimately and able to vote, and their support dropped to 27% from the 40% won by George W Bush. Clearly, something had to be done.

on second thought

Fast forward to now. Speaker John Boehner announced in early February that something had turned to nothing. No action will be taken about immigration by the House for this entire year. The urgent need to resolve the issue that came to light in November 2012 is deemed to no longer matter politically and politics is all that matters. Newly emboldened by Obamacare, Republicans believe themselves less in need of the Hispanic vote. The multiple failures and faults of the healthcare law offer so rich a vein to tap in election campaigning that there is growing confidence by the GOP that they can even gain control of the Senate.

Boehner reversed field from just a week earlier when he said, "This problem's been around for at least the last 15 years so I think it's time to deal with it". After weeks of debate, House Republicans had come up with a one-page draft that spelled out the terms for legislation that the Speaker viewed as “a fair, principled way for us to solve this issue”.

What caused the back flip? An onslaught from the rightmost elements of the Party — groups such as the Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks, the Heritage Foundation — that view the proposed terms of reform as “amnesty” and from a practical standpoint find reform as too divisive an issue within their own ranks to broach in an election year. Cowed once again — think back to his caving in to the extreme elements of the Party over the government shutdown — Boehner sounded retreat.

obama’s fault

For public consumption the reason is that President Obama is to blame.… Read More »

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health care

Obama’s “Signature” Achievement May Have Signed Its Death Warrant »

Trouble beyond the easy fixes Oct 24 2013

Republicans have for weeks been calling the Affordable Care Act a “train wreck” well before it had even left the station but the sputtering October 1 debut made it clear that Obama doesn’t know how to run the railroad.

You’ve got to wonder, how could the President have paid so little attention to the status of what is endlessly called his “signature” achievement that he would say on the same day the government’s Internet insurance exchange crashed that people will be able to shop "the same way you'd order a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon".


Instead, the insurance "marketplace" was let loose for the entire country to beta test, but Obama has "brought in some of the best IT experts from across the country" to deal with the emergency, says a White House e-mail, experts who should have been involved from the beginning. Almost three weeks after launch, Obama said in a Rose Garden appearance, "Nobody's madder than me about the fact that the website isn't working… Read More »

policy

Will Congress Let Americans Go Hungry? »

Oct 1 2013

Every five years or so Congress passes the bill that has paid scores of billions to farmers ever since the Depression. The second half of the bill has always funded food stamps.

This time though, the House passed a bill in July that lavished more than it ever

had on farmers and froze out food stamps with nary a cent. Food assistance for the American poor was dropped from the bill, with Speaker John Boehner saying, “We’ll get to that later”. Off went Congress on a five-week vacation for all of August and into September.

the bottom 15%

Some 48 million Americans rely on food stamps to feed their families. Even with the assistance of this program that approaches $80… Read More »

the press

Obama v. Leakers and the Press:
Bad as Nixon Says Journalism Group »

Worse says former Times general counsel Nov 14 2013

In the wake of the government shutdown and the threat of the U.S. defaulting on its debt, a report on the Obama administration’s hostility toward the press and its
reporters went by hardly noticed. The report is a formal statement in support of what the media have contended all along — that the Obama regime’s aggressive actions against press freedom has introduced a climate of fear that inhibits both journalists and sources alike. ”The administration’s war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I’ve seen since the Nixon administration”, says the author, former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. The general counsel of The New York Times at the time it published the Pentagon papers, James Goodale, has elsewhere said "President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom".

Accused of leaking classified information to the press, eight current or former government employees have been targeted by the Obama Justice Department in felony criminal prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act, an Act that has been used only three times in all previous… Read More »

governing

First Prize for Nastiest State Goes to… »

This state shows what one-party rule looks like Jul 29 2013

There's a theory that Americans are savvy enough about government that they vote for a legislature in opposition to the president, a kind of populist check and balance scheme to make sure that no one side runs away with the country. And so we have a Democratic president; a Democratic majority in the Senate, hemmed in by the strange filibuster rule that now requires 60% to pass anything; and a Republican-controlled House that sees to it that nothing that the president wants goes forward.

They haven’t heard about that theory in North Carolina. Republicans took control of both houses of the legislature in 2010 for the first time in a hundred years. Gerrymandering had seen to it that Democrats have been corralled into few enough districts not to matter, so voters finally achieved one-party rule when they swept Republican Pat McCrory into the governorship in the 2012 election.

self-sufficiency

In short order this triumvirate set about cutting maximum unemployment benefits from an… Read More »

press freedom

Obama v. the Press: A History Worse Than Nixon? »

The Constitution professor doesn’t like the First Amendment Jun 4 2013

As a candidate he had called warrantless surveillance “unconstitutional and illegal”.

In his first inaugural address he said, “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration”.

On his first day in the Oval Office he commented, “For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city", as he signed executive orders to reverse some of the Bush Administration policies.

And just days ago President Obama said, “…a free press is also essential for our democracy. I am troubled by the possibility that leak investigations may chill the investigative journalism that holds government accountable.”

You would never know from these statements that in the intervening years he and his Justice Department have conducted “unprecedented” surveillance of journalists and prosecuted more federal employees under… Read More »