Come January, California will have a new category of driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. The licenses will read “Federal Limits Apply.”
The California DMV will add staff and hours to accommodate high demand for the licenses: estimates are that 1.4M new licenses will be issued. Public affairs officers for the agency say they plan to hire between 800 and 1000 new staff members across the state to process applications.
Illegal immigrants with the license might get stopped by the police but they will not get deported nor will their car get impounded.
“The driver’s license, the way it is and the way it’ll be shown and produced for undocumented folks, will really have a lot of safeguards, and so we’re working very closely with law enforcement on that issue so that there isn’t that fear,” said Linda Lopez, chief of the L.A. mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Some illegal immigrants are still afraid of getting the licenses. “I think a lot of people are going to be scared of that, because then now there’s a form to find you,” said South L.A. resident David Vargas. “How can they be sure that they’re not going to use that to deport them later on?”
“All year long I have warned the president that by … threatening action repeatedly on immigration, he was making it impossible to build the trust necessary to work together,” Boehner told reporters. “With this action, the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of … bipartisan reform that he claims to seek.”
Boehner didn’t need a to offer specific counter-proposal at this time. Legislation is, after all, more complicated than executive action. What he needed to do was point out that the president is subverting the process and getting things off to a bad start with the new Congress, which he did.
As the president goes forward with more petulant executive overreach, it will be interesting to see if Democrats are emboldened or annoyed by it.
When a Republican Was President, Hillary Clinton Wanted to Limit Presidential Power. Now She Doesn’t.
This is perhaps the least surprising event of the week.
As a political matter, what else was the concealer of the Rose Law Firm records and the swatter of “bimbo eruptions” going to do? The Democrat base wanted Obama’s amnesty. Hillary Clinton needs the Democrat base to realize her dreams of power in a couple of years. So like Barack Obama, she will pretend not to have made the following statements on curbing presidential power — conveniently made when neither she nor her husband nor any other Democrat actually occupied the presidency.
Clinton et al only believe in curbing presidential power when the nation has a Republican president. The sooner Republicans absorb that truth, the better.
Hillary Clinton, 2006: Say, let’s save our republic by limiting presidential power.
Hillary Clinton, 2007: Let’s rein in the presidency.
Senator Hillary Clinton said yesterday that if she is elected president, she intends to roll back President Bush’s expansion of executive authority, including his use of presidential signing statements to put his own interpretation on bills passed by Congress or to claim authority to disobey them entirely. “I think you have to restore the checks and balances and the separation of powers, which means reining in the presidency,” Clinton told the Boston Globe’s editorial board.
Hillary Clinton, 2007: Bush is a power-grabby president.
QUESTION: “And what specific powers might you relinquish as president, or renegotiate with Congress – for example the power to declare a US citizen an enemy combatant?”
CLINTON: “Well, I think it is clear that the power grab undertaken by the Bush-Cheney administration has gone much further than any other president and has been sustained for longer.
Hillary Clinton, 2008: Hey, we have an “imperial presidency” and that’s bad.
Hillary Clinton, 2008: Bush has “rewritten our laws” through signing statements. We have to have a president who “follows the laws.”
CLINTON: “This administration’s unbridled ambition to transform the executive into an imperial presidency in an attempt to strengthen the office has weakened our nation. It has corrupted and corroded our moral authority and brought our prestige and reputation to its lowest ebb.
Hillary Clinton, 2008: That whole “separation of powers” thing is pretty good and we should stick with it.
All of the above statements have now expired.
Freed from the constraints of having to torture the English language to justify Barack Obama’s actions, Jay Carney wound up telling some truth last night.
The president’s former spokesman appeared on CNN, and host Anderson Cooper did something that’s really unfair. He played clips of Obama’s previous statements denouncing what Obama did last night regarding immigration, and asked Carney to respond directly to them.
That didn’t leave Carney much wiggle room, and he admitted that Obama has committed a flip flop on immigration.
COOPER: “I just want to play again the president’s past comments on this because there is a stark distinction between what he said tonight and what he had said in the past. Let’s just look at some of his commentary.”
OBAMA: “With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.
…I can’t do it by myself. We are going to have to change the laws in Congress.
…The notion that somehow by myself I can go and do these things, it any just not true.
…What I have said is that there is a path to get this done. That’s through Congress.
…I’m the president of the United States. I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”
COOPER: “So, I mean, other than his frustration, what has changed — constitution scholar. What changed to allow him to do this?”
CARNEY: “Here’s what I say. I think, If he could have the word back, the first clip where he talked about suspending deportations. That is literally what he is doing today. In, later — instances including when I was there he would speak carefully about what he could not do as president.”
Barack Obama has proven over and over again that he simply does not care and will not be bound by any of his previous statements. He does not care about lying, and cares even less when he is caught. Obama lied through his teeth when he promised that “If you like your healthcare/doctor, you can keep your healthcare/doctor.” He knew it was a lie at the time, and that his law would hurt the people he was lying to. But he lied anyway.
As the new Republican-controlled Congress and state governments grapple with Obama’s actions and consider what remedies they may deploy, it’s time to absorb one critical lesson. That lesson is: Never give the Democrats a nanometer, never mind an inch. The 1986 amnesty that President Reagan signed was controversial at the time, but it followed a true national debate on the matter and it depended on the Democrats following through on their obligation to increase border security. They reneged on that promise almost immediately. That fact is not finding its way into media reporting now. It ought to, because it explains much of the skepticism that many Americans have toward any alleged immigration reform now. Once bitten, twice shy, as the saying goes. In Obama’s case, it’s more than 30 times bitten, thanks to his unilateral re-writes of Obamacare for obviously political reasons.
But the 1986 amnesty law itself and the subsequent efforts to clean it up are being used, dishonestly and with malice in mind, to justify Obama’s action now. Republicans worked with Democrats on that law 28 years ago. The Democrats’ response ever since, and especially now, is to pocket what they gained, break their own promises, and give Republicans, American workers, and the rule of law a giant middle finger.
According to “people close to the talks” Officer Darren Wilson is in the “final stages” of talks to resign from the Ferguson Police Department. Wilson, who is white, shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black man in August.
The resignation talks are contingent upon whether the grand jury indicts him, according to CNN sources. Wilson, who maintains he has done nothing wrong, has said that his resignation would be away to ease the pressure and protect other officers.
An announcement could come as soon as the grand jury completes its deliberations. Talks might still collapse, CNN sources say, Wilson might change his mind.
The grand jury is meeting today and a public announcement could come as early as Sunday, as law enforcement promised 48 hour warning before the decision is announced. Wilson has six years experience on the force and is currently on paid leave from the force.
Probable 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton praised President Obama for moving forward and taking action on the immigration issue.
Hillary made her support known on Twitter last night, tweeting:
Thanks to POTUS for taking action on immigration in the face of inaction. Now let’s turn to permanent bipartisan reform. #ImmigrationAction
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 21, 2014
Clinton had been silent leading up the the controversial move by the president, but The Hill reports that “her allies were privately signaling that the former secretary of State would support Obama’s decision to take action after immigration reform failed to pass Congress.”
To some extent Clinton stands to gain by Obama’s unilateral action, insofar as it might rally Hispanic voters. However, it isn’t clear yet how Obama’s action will rally people opposed to his power play and people who are opposed to his extra-constitutional immigration plans.
So…which is it, Big Guy?
The former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said President Obama’s immigration executive order announced tonight is a “declaration of war” against America.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the current chairman of the House Space, Science and Technology Committee, is an attorney by trade.
“The president knows that his executive amnesty is not what the American people want, and it is not what Congress wants. That is why he delayed making this announcement until after this November’s election,” Smith said in a statement.
“President Obama has put the interests of an extreme wing of his party above the interests of American workers,” the chairman continued. “Some have said that the actions he is taking this week equal a declaration of war on Republicans.”
“I believe he is actually declaring war on the American people and our democracy.”
Smith added that “as elected representatives of the American people, my colleagues and I intend to listen to our constituents in the coming weeks.”
“We must restore the rule of law and the people’s faith in their democratic republic once more,” he said.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), a former prosecutor who now leads the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, said Obama “may seek a fight with Republicans in Congress, but in reality he is fighting with founders of this republic and the carefully crafted separation of powers.”
“The thread that holds the tapestry of our country together is respect for and adherence to the rule of law. The law is our greatest unifier and our greatest equalizer. Attempts to undermine the law via executive fiat, regardless of motivation, are dangerous,” Gowdy said.
“Whether previous administrations acted outside of constitutional boundaries is not license to do the same. The president himself recognized his inability to do what he just did— 22 separate times,” he continued. “This action is not only detrimental to any chance in the new Congress for a sustainable, long-term solution on immigration, but also to the bedrock of our system of government— respect for the rule of law.”
Gowdy added that “when the executive branch acts outside of constitutional boundaries, the legislative branch must use all powers afforded it to respond and restore the constitutional equilibrium.”
“This is not a Republican or Democrat issue,” he said. “Rather, it should hasten the resolve of all Americans to make certain her elected officials honor the foundational document they swore to protect and defend.”
Well, that’s mostly because Chuck Todd kept asking questions about it and NPR is reporting on Chuck Todd’s questions. Also, they polled some Hispanic voters (but not all voters).
Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker bristled at Todd’s repeated questions on immigration. “Scott’s tried. I’ve tried,” Jindal said. “I’d like to talk about energy. I’d like to talk about education.”
Walker maintains that while immigration may be important, it was not an issue that came up in his campaign or in many other states. Walker said of immigration, “If you went out on the campaign trail with us, none of us heard this issue in our races. And I dare say it probably wasn’t one of the top issues in most United States Senate or House races out there.”
If immigration didn’t rank as a top issue in most governors’ races, it does with a group that’s growing in importance in the U.S. — Hispanics. A recent Gallup poll shows immigration ranks as the second most important issue among Hispanics after the economy.
While this isn’t as ludicrous as the repeated questions about banning contraceptives that MSM hacks asked during the 2012 GOP primaries, it’s the same principle. Republican governors have a lot to crow about but Chuckie was determined to keep them focused on The Idiot King’s priorities. These governors know that what their constituents find important is quite often very different from what the press says said constituents find important.
That’s why they won.
In advance of tonight’s immigration speech, a pair of Democratic senators who are staying for the 114th Congress came out against the executive action being used by President Obama.
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said in a statement that “it is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it.”
“The Senate passed bipartisan immigration reform last summer with my support, though we are still waiting on the House to debate this issue,” Donnelly said. “I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the president shouldn’t make such significant policy changes on his own.”
A few hours later, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued his own statement: “I disagree with the president’s decision to use executive action to make changes to our immigration system, and I disagree with the House’s decision to not even take a vote on the bipartisan Senate legislation that overwhelmingly passed in June 2013.”
“The American people made it clear on election night that they want government to work better for them and to solve real problems that impact their lives. We have the chance to show them that we heard their message and are willing to act,” Manchin said. “We will only achieve sustainable, comprehensive immigration reform if all sides work together.”
“For that to happen, Congress must work with the president to debate the issues and vote to secure our borders, create a tough legalization process, and ensure employers don’t hire illegal immigrants. We successfully passed a bipartisan bill on the Senate side, and all we’re asking is that the House takes a vote as well.”
As quoted by Politico, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) stressed “it’s Congress’ job to pass legislation and deal with issues of this magnitude.”
“I’m disappointed the president decided to use executive action at this time on this issue, as it could poison any hope of compromise or bipartisanship in the new Senate before it has even started,” Heitkamp said.
Aside from the million or so insureds who never made a payment on their premium, or dropped their coverage somewhere between the end of open enrollment in March and the end of summer, the press and Obamacare supporters had comfortably settled on the number of 7 million Americans who signed up for Obamacare insurance policies.
In the immortal words of Independence Day’s Secretary of Defense Albert Nimzicki, “That’s not entirely accurate.”
The Obama administration said it erroneously calculated the number of people with health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, incorrectly adding 380,000 dental subscribers to raise the total above 7 million.
The accurate number with full health-care plans is 6.7 million as of Oct. 15, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirmed today, saying the U.S. won’t include dental plans in future reports.
“The mistake we made is unacceptable,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said on her verified Twitter account. “I will be communicating that clearly throughout the department.”
The error was brought to light by Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, using data they obtained from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“A mistake was made in calculating the number of individuals with effectuated Marketplace enrollments,” said Kevin Griffis, a spokesman for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department. “Individuals who had both Marketplace medical and dental coverage were erroneously counted in our recent announcements,” he said in an e-mail.
The new count puts enrollment short of a 2013 estimate by the Congressional Budget Office, adopted last year as a goal by the Obama administration, that 7 million people would be enrolled this year. Federal officials said in September they had 7.3 million people enrolled in coverage through new government-run insurance exchanges. They didn’t distinguish between medical and dental plans, breaking from previous practice without notice.
he administration had supplied information about dental plans separately in earlier disclosures. In May, the government reported that 8 million were signed up for health plans and 1.1 million were in dental coverage.
Then in September, the numbers became less transparent. The Medicare agency’s administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, released a new enrollment figure, obtained from insurance companies participating in the exchanges: 7.3 million people were “enrolled in the health insurance marketplace coverage,” she said at a hearing by the Republican-led Oversight committee.
Tavenner didn’t elaborate or break out dental plans. Reporters asked a spokesman for her agency, Aaron Albright, for more detail on the number after the hearing: He said he had no additional information about it.
“After touting 8 million initial sign-ups for medical plans, four months later they engaged in a concerted effort to obscure a heavy drop-out rate of perhaps a million or more enrollees by quietly adding in dental plan sign-ups to exchange numbers,” Republican Darrell Issa of California, chairman of the Oversight committee, said in an e-mail from a spokeswoman.
Not exactly a Friday document dump, but equally dishonest considering that the president will deliver his amnesty speech tonight and the Ferguson grand jury is likely to announce its decision tomorrow. What a surprise, More Obamacare bad news will get buried in the news cycle.
I really wish someone would explain to me why if Obamacare is such a great and good thing, have they done nothing but lie, obscure, and obfuscate the truth about it since day one? They lied about the cost. They lied about the taxes. They lied about the subsidies. They lied about abortion. They lied about being able to keep your plan if you liked it. They lied about being able to keep your doctor. And now it’s confirmed they lied about the numbers.
Then there are the parts of Obamacare that are so bad, the president felt it necessary to delay them until after the mid term elections in order to blunt their political effect. They delayed open enrollment for a month — from October to November, 2014 — just in case they had more website problems. They delayed the cancellation of Obamacare plans that did not meet the law’s requirements. They delayed revealing rate increases until after the election. They delayed the employer mandate. They delayed the small business exchanges. And the delay in finishing the backend of the website may be permanent considering the fact that they have yet to figure out how to make it work.
All told, there were 24 unilateral actions by President Obama to delay implementing the law. There have been so many changes that the Congressional Budget Office has given up trying to figure out how much the law costs.
In China, when bureaucrats and leaders screw up this badly, they are tried and sometimes executed. I’m not saying we should adopt such a draconian policy, but surely there must be some consequences for exhibiting such incompetence.
The tens of billions already spent on this law and the billions spent on dysfunctional state exchanges may represent the largest waste of taxpayer’s money on a single government program in American history.
For a president who wanted to “make history,” he has succeeded in this case beyond his wildest imaginings.
Judicial Watch reports that the Obama administration has turned over about 42,000 pages of documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal. The administration was forced to turn the documents over to Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Judicial Watch is posting them on its web site. The administration turned them over on November 18, 2014.
One of the documents provides smoking gun proof that the Obama White House and the Eric Holder Justice Department colluded to get CBS News to block reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson was one of the few mainstream media reporters who paid any attention to the deadly gun-running scandal.
In an email dated October 4, 2011, Attorney General Holder’s top press aide, Tracy Schmaler, called Attkisson “out of control.” Schmaler told White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz that he intended to call CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer to get the network to stop Attkisson.
Schultz replied, “Good. Her piece was really bad for the AG.”
Schultz also told Schmaler that he was working with reporter Susan Davis, then at the National Journal, to target Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA). Issa led the House investigation into Fast and Furious. Davis now works at USA Today. In the email chain, Schultz tells Schmaler that he would provide Davis with “leaks.”
Davis wrote a critical piece on Issa a few weeks later.
Attkisson was later subjected to hacking of her computer by people who remain unknown, but who likely belong to a government agency. She and CBS parted ways earlier in 2014, and Attkisson has since said that the network blocked her reports from airing.
Flashback: In April 2014, Attkisson appeared on Fox with Bill O’Reilly. According to Attkisson, CBS “felt the story was over” long before she had gotten to the bottom of it, so the network stopped her. She tells O’Reilly that CBS ran “hot and cold” on her stories about Fast and Furious and Benghazi, and would switch from being supportive to acting like they did not want her to bring her stories on those topics anymore.
As President Obama undoubtedly hoped, the mere threat of unleashing unilateral amnesty is now dividing Republicans over strategy. Says the Daily Mail:
A disagreement between Republican lawmakers over a proposed strategy to block President Barack Obama’s coming immigration mandate took a nasty turn on Thursday as a battle between two powerful factions of the GOP spilled into the press.
On one side of the ring are conservative lawmakers, including Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who want to insert language into future spending legislation that bars immigration agencies from using their funding to issue the roughly 5 million new work permits the president is expected to authorize tomorrow.
At the other end are moderates, like House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, who don’t want to disrupt the budget process or risk another government shutdown.
If Congress does not pass a new bill disbursing federal funds before Dec. 12, the government will undergo a partial shut down, with other essential services and staff remaining in place until a new resolution is adopted.
And a shutdown is that thing that we’re supposed to fear like the monster on the airplane wing in that Twilight Zone episode…even though voters gave Republicans even more power after the last shutdown — during which the Obama administration overreached in such ugly ways that they locked veterans out of their own monuments.
I’m not saying that I favor a shutdown, just…look, the Republicans have more power now, when the last shutdown was supposed to destroy the party and salt the earth under its feet. That didn’t happen. Apocalypse did not descend on the earth. A partial shutdown to block this thing that the American people don’t support need not be the end of the world.
Yes, Sean Davis writes, Congress could de-fund and therefore de-fang Obama’s amnesty. He makes a good case.
The GOP could, through effective and unified messaging, hammer home the point that when Democrats claim that the Republicans have “left Obama no choice,” the Democrats are really saying that the American voters have left them no choice — but to reach for power that the voters have taken away from them. Effective and unified messaging could point out that Obama’s move, supported by most Democrats and many in the corrupt media, is basically a childish tantrum and a punishment that the out-of-favor party is inflicting on the nation for refusing to bend to that party’s will. America, you voted Republican? We Democrats will show you!
The problem with that is, the business interests that would mostly fund such messaging would not agree with it. They want the amnesty, maybe not in the manner it’s happening, but they want it all the same. So they’re unlikely to fund a major messaging effort to block it.
My impression going into this is that the courts move too slowly and would therefore be a poor means of blocking this. But Mickey Kaus reminds us that the courts can move quickly when they want to.
Here you have a president going directly against the law and his own word to seize power that is clearly given to Congress in the Constitution. There is no emergency situation dictating the president’s move or its timing. The courts do have a history of intervening, quickly, in other similar circumstances in American history.
And don’t assume it will take forever (as Rand Paul seems to think). On April 8, 1952, during the Korean War, President Truman seized crucial steel facilities. The steel companies immediately sought and got an injunction. On June 2, 1952, less than two months after Truman acted, the Supreme Court swatted him down.
Courts can move quickly when they want to. This smells like one of those cases.
Indeed it does. There is no emergency, but the president will create pressure once he speaks tonight. Millions of people will begin applying for work permits, Obamacare (I know, the Democrats say that the newly minted guests won’t be eligible — they’re lying), etc.
The courts could provide a stay which would halt granting even a single amnesty until the case can be heard in full. That would give time for full arguments to be made, right up to and in the Supreme Court. This court has a mixed record when it comes to Obama, having stopped his illegal recess appointments but having bought Obamacare. So there’s no guarantee that the court would stick to the Constitution. But at least it’s a chance.
We’re not even forced to depend on the Beltway Republicans to get to court. Texas and other states may file suit as early as tomorrow. Gov.-elect Greg Abbott has already said as much, and he filed dozens of suits against the Obama administration over the years when he was attorney general.
According to House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the GOP has left President Obama no choice but to unilaterally mandate some sort of immigration reform. During a press briefing on Capitol Hill, Pelosi remarked:
“We want a bill. It’s over 500 days since the Senate passed a bill, and still no action by the House Republicans on anything — some small bill, some bigger bills, whatever. Nothing. Nothing. And, really, this is a dereliction of duty not to address the broken immigration system. We cannot have the public be misled by the fact that the president is acting as presidents do, because we are not acting as legislators do, to pass laws.”
Pelosi desperately tried to justify Obama’s action. “They[GOP] ran them [the principles] up the flagpole,” she said, “[and] their members chopped down the flagpole.” Pelosi also insisted the president has authority to generate laws: “The president has great authority in the law to take these actions and great precedent of so many presidents from Eisenhower on.”
Some Democrats have insisted Obama has the authority to make this kind of executive decision, citing actions of Ford, Reagan, Clinton and the first president Bush.
But others aren’t excited about Obama’s plans. “I wish he wouldn’t do it,” Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said. “I think we ought to work through this process, and with the new elections and the results of the elections, we ought to try in January to see if we can find a pathway to get something accomplished.”
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri said she supported comprehensive immigration reform but was concerned by Obama’s plan. “I have to be honest, how this is coming about makes me uncomfortable, I think it probably makes most Missourians uncomfortable.”
“I would prefer the Congress acted, yes,” Jon Tester (D-MT) said. “I think it would be great to have the House take up the Senate-passed bill. … That would be a solution to the problem.”
…by convincing a majority of Americans that it’s not the federal government’s duty to provide healthcare. Gallup finds that opinion has flipped since Obama’s first election to the presidency.
PRINCETON, N.J. — For the third consecutive year, a majority of Americans (52%) agree with the position that it is not the federal government’s responsibility to ensure that all Americans have healthcare coverage. Prior to the start of Barack Obama’s presidency in 2009, a majority of Americans consistently took the opposite view.
The most recent data were collected in Gallup’s annual Health and Healthcare poll, conducted Nov. 6-9. Gallup first asked this question in 2000, when 59% of Americans said it was the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare. This sentiment peaked at 69% in 2006. Americans’ attitudes began to shift in the 2008 poll, conducted just after Obama was elected, and became evenly divided after Obama took office in 2009. During this time, Republicans and independents became more likely to say universal healthcare was not the government’s responsibility, most probably in reaction to Obama’s campaign promise that he was going to attempt to do just that. This non-government-involvement view became more pronounced in 2012 and has been the majority opinion in the U.S. over the past three years.
The Obama administration’s pattern of dishonesty has surely helped spur the switch. For the latest on that, Bloomberg reports that the administration fudged the most recent Obamacare enrollment numbers.
The Obama administration included as many as 400,000 dental plans in a number it reported for enrollments under the Affordable Care Act, an unpublicized detail that helped surpass a goal for 7 million sign-ups.
Without the dental plans, the federal government would have had 6.97 million people with medical insurance under the law known as Obamacare, investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform committee calculated, using data they obtained from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Federal officials said in September they had 7.3 million people enrolled in coverage through new government-run insurance exchanges. They didn’t distinguish between medical and dental plans, breaking from previous practice without notice.
It’s just lies and deceptions all the way down, from the “most transparent administration in American history.”
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) appeared on MSNBC today and shot down the Obama White House’s effort to paint the House as an intransigent block to immigration reform.
Labrador told host Jose Diaz-Balart that the Republican-controlled House was working on a bill and was close to passage. But the closer the bill got to being passed, the more the Obama White House interfered to stop it.
According to Rep. Labrador, “[The House bill] was something that would be acceptable to the House, would include all of the areas of immigration we needed to do. It was going to include border security, interior security, and the more the White House heard about what the House was doing, the more they interfered. His chief of staff, the president’s chief of staff at the time, decided to call House Democrats and tell them that they needed to stop negotiating with House Republicans because they wanted the only vehicle for immigration reform, they want it to be the Senate bill. The president is in essence telling the American people it is only the Senate bill that is the only vehicle for immigration reform and that nothing else is acceptable.”
Other than executive action, which President Obama repeatedly rejected as illegal but now intends to impose.
Labrador went on to note that the major difference between the Senate bill and the one that the House was working on was the latter’s prioritization of security ahead of any legalization for those already in the country illegally.
Sure, let’s go with that, Champ.
A mobile billboard will began circling the seats of power in D.C. today to urge lawmakers to impose tougher sanctions on Iran.
The StandWithUs campaign is scheduled to run on two trucks though Nov. 24, the Obama administration’s deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran.
The roving messages to lawmakers, which are also designed to raise public awareness, will begin rolling each morning and take loops around the White House and Congress.
“This campaign raises awareness of the dangers of a nuclear Iran, gives the public action to take to help prevent it, and lets Congress know that the American public supports them legislating stricter sanctions,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. “Given the Middle East’s current instability, the rise of jihadist groups like ISIS, it is even more imperative that the American public and Congress do all they can to stop Iran from going nuclear.”
The billboards bear mushrooms clouds and phone numbers, with one saying, “Stop Iran from Going Nuclear: You can help. Call the White House, State Department, Foreign Relations Committee.” The one directed at Congress says, “Stop Iran from Going Nuclear: Impose Stronger Sanctions.”
The group said it fears the administration “may either make a weak agreement or extend the negotiations.”
“Since Iran insists that any agreement or extension include an easing or lifting of sanctions, the administration may use an executive order to accommodate its demands. Sanctions should not be eased, especially given the fact that the Iranian regime is deliberately obstructing international inspectors from learning about its installations and capabilities. If Iran secures an extension or the West negotiates a weak deal, Iran buys more time to pursue its nuclear ambitions,” the group said in a statement.
StandWithUs supports the Menendez-Kirk sanctions bill, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) kept from a vote at the insistence of the White House.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), whose legislation also includes strict guidance for the compliance necessary to ease sanctions, said in a joint statement last week that “a good deal will dismantle, not just stall, Iran’s illicit nuclear program and prevent Iran from ever becoming a threshold nuclear weapons state.”
“This will require stringent limits on nuclear-related research, development and procurement, coming clean on all possible military dimensions (PMD) issues and a robust inspection and verification regime for decades to prevent Iran from breaking-out or covertly sneaking-out,” Menendez and Kirk said.
“Gradual sanctions relaxation would only occur if Iran strictly complied with all parts of the agreement. If a potential deal does not achieve these goals, we will work with our colleagues in Congress to act decisively, as we have in the past.”
They have the veto-proof votes, in this Congress or the next.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed on the floor of the upper chamber this morning that “if President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act.”
“We’re considering a variety of options. But make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act,” he said in reference to the GOP majority in the 114th Congress.
“Look, as the president has said, democracy is hard. Imposing his will unilaterally may seem tempting. It may serve him politically in the short term. But he knows that it will make an already-broken system even more broken. And he knows that this is not how democracy is supposed to work. Because he told us so himself.”
McConnell resurrected another past quote of Obama’s: “I know some… wish that I could just bypass Congress and change the law myself. But that’s not how democracy works.”
“Indeed, it isn’t,” McConnell said. “All of which makes the president’s planned executive action on immigration even more jarring.”
“If the president truly follows through on this attempt to impose his will unilaterally, he will have issued a rebuke to his own stated view of democracy. And he will have contradicted his past statements on this very issue.”
The senator argued that “we’ve already seen the consequences of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, his most recent action in this area. It was a factor in encouraging young people to risk their lives on a perilous journey some would never complete.”
“The effects of this action could be just as tragic… It isn’t about compassion. It seems to be about what a political party thinks would make for good politics. It seems to be about what a President thinks would be good for his legacy.”
“I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books. . . . Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own. Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you. Not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.”
–President Barack Obama, 7/25/11
Nearly half of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama’s expected plan to take executive action that would potentially allow millions of undocumented immigrants to stay legally in the United States, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
Forty-eight percent oppose Obama taking executive action on immigration — which could come as soon as later this week — while 38 percent support it; another 14 percent have no opinion or are unsure.
After his party’s historic losses, [Obama] refused to even acknowledge the thrashing. Instead, he said the real lesson from that day was that Americans want everyone in Washington to “work together.”
Yet behind the scenes, the president was busy directing his team of lawyers to find real or perceived loopholes in the law — even the Constitution — in order to wave his royal scepter and instantaneously turn as many as 12 million illegal aliens into America citizens. Already he had quietly ordered the federal government to stop deporting aliens and unilaterally allowed some 60,000 “unaccompanied minors” to enter the U.S.
So he never had any intention of “working together” with Republicans, who in six weeks will control both chambers of Congress. Instead, he set off to circumvent Congress by granting amnesty to millions. Throughout, he knew that he would be, as GOP leaders said, “poisoning the well” and “waving a red flag in front of a bull.”
University of Virginia law professor David Martin is a Democrat and a supporter of comprehensive immigration reform who served as principal deputy general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration’s first two years.
“For Democrats, it’s a dangerous precedent,” he told me. “You’re opening the possibility for a Republican president to say, I’m not going to go forward with enforcement in a number of areas.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that arrests were made late Wednesday night, as protestors gathered in front of Ferguson police headquarters. “Several dozen demonstrators chanted and at times closed South Florissant Road in front of the police department to traffic.” The reason for the arrests was not clear.
KMOV reported that at least six people were arrested in front of the police headquarters. Law enforcement say those arrested were from out of town and one was from the Webster Groves.
The grand jury is expected to deliver a decision any day now about whether white Officer Darren Wilson will face charges for shooting black, unarmed Michael Brown.
Local gun dealers are reporting a surge in first-time gun purchases in anticipation of what sort of chaos could break out once the decision is announced. “We’re selling everything that’s not nailed down,” owner of Metro Shooting Supplies Steven King said. “Police aren’t going to be able to protect every single individual. If you don’t prepare yourself and get ready for the worst, you have no one to blame but yourself.” Conceal and carry classes and private training classes are booked into 2015.
Call it woman power, call it feminism, and you’d be right. Turns out that old story about the mother who is able to lift a car to save her trapped baby has a new application. Now we can tell the story of the Dutch mother, who goes only by the name “Monique,” who blew past the authorities and went straight into the heart of hell to rescue her daughter Aicha from the grip of Islamic terror.
“Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do,” the brave mother said. “This is what I think is right.”
At 18, Aicha converted to Islam and married a notorious Dutch jihadi named Omar Yilmaz, the Telegraph reports.
The young woman had fallen in love with the Islamic State militant and his lifestyle after seeing him interviewed on television. But as time passed, Aicha felt she had made a huge mistake.
“She wanted to go home, but could not leave Raqqa without help,” Monique said.
Authorities in the Netherlands urged the mom to stay home because it was too risky to try and get her back personally.
But once Aicha reached out to her mother last month for help, Monique decided to take off for Syria.
Donning a black burka to blend in, she made her way through Turkey and into the ISIS stronghold, where she met her daughter after coordinating a rendezvous through Facebook.
The pair crossed back over the Syrian border into Turkey, but since Aicha did not have a passport, she was promptly arrested along with her mother, according to the Telegraph.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey is now mediating their return home and expects that the two will be back in the Netherlands within the week.
Okay Hollywood, where’s the movie deal? Better yet, let a counterculture conservative get their hands on the story and “let their right brain run free.” While Emma Watson trolls UN podiums and Beyonce flails around in front of flashy signs, Monique the Mom single-handedly changed the face of Western feminism in the way only a parent could. Not only did she dismiss every argument against motherhood with a wave of her hand, she bravely confronted what contemporary feminists seemingly cannot: The fact that radical Islam abuses women.
A Republican supporter of immigration reform in the House said he thinks President Obama will be “kind of spoiling the party” with his executive order scheduled to be announced tonight.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told CNN on Wednesday that he’s “critical of the process” Obama will be using.
“I mean, look, I’m a supporter of immigration reform. And, frankly, a lot in my party are supporters of immigration reform. And it’s something that, you know, is going to take a lot of time to talk about. We all know that there are people with different views, even within my own party on it. And so, these to have a process where we have debates. We bring forward bills. See what the new Congress does,” Kinzinger said.
“I think the president, frankly, is going to be kind of spoiling the party with this. He’s going to tick a lot of people off, you know, basically saying, look, I gave Congress time but they didn’t do what I wanted, therefore, I’m going to do it on my own. And I think that’s one of the big concerns. It’s not so even so much the issue of what he’s doing, although we think he’s overstepping his power.”
The congressman said lawmakers “have a lot more issues on immigration we have to deal with from border security to high-skilled visas to the other 10 million people that aren’t going to be affected by this.”
“And I think this is going to stall that discussion. And one of the things I’m concerned about is, as your previous guest said, the politics of it,” he said. “The president may be looking at the politics of this versus actually solving it long term because I think we have a real opportunity to solve it. But this isn’t going to help.”
Kinzinger said the new GOP majority in the 114th Congress should allow the party ”to get something that we can put on the president’s desk” on immigration. “Do a little back and forth and ultimately come to something that both sides can maybe hold their nose on certain parts of but agree to in a broader package,” he said.
“But when the president’s concerned, he doesn’t get to pick Congress. He doesn’t get to just make laws if Congress doesn’t go along with it. We exist for a reason out here. And, you know, you may not like everything that goes on in the sausage making of Washington, D.C. and behind the doors and, you know, watching what’s going on on the floor, but that doesn’t mean you can just say, I don’t like that, therefore, I’m going to just do it anyway.”
He said Obama should come out in his primetime address and give the GOP until March to pass a bill before taking unilateral action.
“But I’m just afraid, as a supporter of reform, that what’s going to happen over the next few days, this whole situation is going to collapse,” Kinzinger said. “And I’m going to tell you, when the president’s out in two years, I mean, his executive orders don’t necessarily follow with him.”
The House delivered a bipartisan jab at Iran on Wednesday just days away from the Nov. 24 nuclear negotiations deadline imposed by the administration.
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) introduced just last Friday a bill condemning the Islamic Republic on its human-rights record. It was fast-tracked onto the floor, where it passed by voice vote.
That means no roll call votes were recorded, but Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) spoke out against the timing of the resolution.
“The expansion of human rights for all Iranians is more likely to happen if current negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program are successful. Diplomacy with Iran empowers human rights leaders in Tehran because it weakens the claim that Iran is under constant threat which justifies the police state,” Ellison said. “Diplomacy empowers advocates to push for rights like freedom of speech and religion. If Congress wants to help improve human rights in Iran, we must engage and support the P5+1 nuclear talks.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said she hoped the resolution “is not used to undermine diplomatic efforts to reduce and provide for inspections of Iran’s nuclear program.”
The bill condemned myriad abuses, “in particular, the recent cruel execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari, an Iranian woman convicted of killing a man she said she stabbed in self-defense during a sexual assault.”
It “deplores the Government of Iran’s mistreatment of its religious minorities, including through the deprivation of life, liberty, and property” and notes “that the Administration has designated only one Iranian person for the commission of serious human rights abuses under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, as amended, since May 30, 2013.”
It also “condemns the undemocratic elections process that denies Iranians the ability to freely choose their own government.”
Engel said on the floor that any hopes that President Hassan Rouhani would be a moderate have evaporated. “In fact, on so many fronts, things have gotten worse.”
“The Supreme Leader, Khamenei, is the one who really makes all those decisions. So while we can hope for certain things, I think we have to deal with things, unfortunately, as they are, and not as we wish they were,” Engel said. “So for example, Iranian authorities have dramatically escalated the number of executions of Iranian citizens. This is from the so-called moderate Rouhani regime. According to the U.N., there were 852 executions between July 2013 and June 2014.”
“The United States has helped to shine a light to Iran’s human rights violations. We pushed the U.N. Human Rights Council to continue the work of the Special Rapporteur on Iran. Now, I have been one of the strongest critics of the Human Rights Council and its outrageous bias against Israel. But this Rapporteur has done important work to reveal the scale of human rights abuses in Iran.”
Even as negotiations continue, Engel stressed, “We cannot, must not turn a blind eye to the horrific abuses taking place in Iran every single day.”
“Under the reign of Cyrus the Great, the world’s first human rights document was issued with its tolerance for all cultures and religions,” Royce said.
“While Iran pursues its nuclear ambitions with relentless determination, it continues to repress millions of Iranians yearning for basic freedoms. Today’s resolution stands for the principle that U.S. foreign policy can and must pursue strategic objectives, like the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear program, while promoting democracy and human rights.”
The House honored late Czech President Vaclav Havel on Wednesday with the unveiling of a bust in Statuary Hall — and ZZ Top.
The ceremony was timed to also mark the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
Havel, a playwright, poet and foe of communism, was the first president of the newly liberated Czechoslovakia and then the Czech Republic after the fall of the Soviet Union.
“It is a poetic but also paradoxical honor for a man who, in his own words, lived ‘a paradoxical life.’ Here was a writer who exposed the communists using one weapon they could not match: the truth. For this, he received three stays in prison, countless interrogations, and constant surveillance,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said at the ceremony.
“But he kept on writing, hiding pages of his manuscripts throughout his home. Offered a chance to flee to the West, he’d refuse, saying, ‘I’m simply a Czech bumpkin through and through.’ Treated like a hero wherever he went, he’d beg off, saying, ‘I’m simply a playwright and it’s irrelevant whether I’m a dissident.’ When one of his friends joked that one day he’d lead a revolution and become president, he responded, ‘That would be the worst thing that could happen to me.’”
Boehner mused that one can “imagine what Havel would have said if told his bust would not only stand in the United States Capitol, but go right alongside the likes of Lincoln, Churchill, and Washington.”
He was also a fan of the blues, hence the performance from ZZ Top bandleader Billy Gibbons.
“Today we celebrate the struggle on the part of Havel and so many others in his time. In Poland, an electrician who climbed up on a crate in a shipyard, said to his fellow workers ‘you know me,’ and the Solidarity movement was born. And in East Germany, there was a priest who opened the doors of his 800-year old church every Monday for meetings that started out with no more than a dozen people and turned into the epicenter of a national protest,” Boehner said.
“It takes guts to do these things. Especially when you don’t know how long it will take or how it will end. These men and women proved that the thirst for liberty never dies and that, with drive and sacrifice, it can transform the fortunes of a whole continent.”
Obama speaks on immigration via Univision in 2012.
President Barack Obama will finally make public tomorrow night his plan to overhaul immigration. However, while his primetime speech will postpone part of Univision’s 15th annual Latin Grammys, it will not be covered by the Big 4.
…Although Obama’s speech will be seen on cable news siblings Fox News and MSNBC, Fox and NBC are not carrying it live on their broadcast networks; CNN will show it live. A CBS News division spokesperson says the network will also not be showing Obama’s approximately 15-minute address on Thursday night. (UPDATE, 2:34 PM: An ABC spokesman “ABC is not carrying the president’s address on the television network — it will be carried on all our ABC News digital platforms, including Apple TV, and radio.” Which means it is still Shondaland on ABC on Thursday.)
In the biz that’s called “target marketing.” In politics, it’s called playing to your demographic. In America, it’s called race-baiting.
Keep it classy, B.O.
The Massachusetts town considering a ban on all tobacco sales has decided against moving forward with its freedom curbing rule. The town of Westminster, MA achieved 15 minutes of fame when its nanny state town government made national headlines over the intended ban. Freedom-killing do gooders were greeted with the cold fist of freedom when the town residents showed up to give their comments at a town meeting last week. Yesterday the Board of Health had a meeting and killed the proposal.
At the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday evening, members voted 2-1 in favor of removing from consideration a regulation that would prohibit all tobacco sales in town. At the beginning of the meeting, during a period designated for discussion of board member concerns, member Ed Simoncini moved to remove the regulation from consideration. Member Peter Munro seconded his motion.
“The town is not in favor of the proposal, and therefore I am not in favor of the proposal,” Simoncini said.
The public comment town meeting was shut down after a mere 25 minutes by Andrea Cates, the lone dissenter in the vote. Simoncini said about the meeting. “The whole idea was to get everybody’s input, and we messed up,” he said. “Somehow the hearing got away from us.”
After the motion passed, Simoncini thanked residents for their participation in the decision process.
“You made the difference,” he said. “It didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked, but thank you.”
Meeting attendees applauded after he spoke, and shook his hand as they left.
Town businesses celebrated the victory. “Less than 30 minutes after the meeting ended, there was already a sign outside Westminster Pharmacy reading ‘we won!’”
A petition to recall two of the three Board of Health Members was issued yesterday to a town resident. The third member, Andrea Cates, is not eligible for recall as her term ends in the spring. The petition was issued prior to the decision but town members plan to move forward anyway. “What I’m receiving as feedback from customers is that they’d still want to go ahead with it,” Vincent’s Country Store owner Brian Vincent said. “The board made the decision that they wanted to ban tobacco at one point, and pursued it for six months, and I think a lot of people have a problem with that thought process.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is how it’s done.
“I was a big arrogant,” Perry told The Washington Post during an interview at the Republican Governors Association in Florida. Perry said he believed at the time that his experience running one of the country’s most populous states prepared him. “I was mistaken,” he admitted.
Next time, however, things will be different. “I’m comfortable I’m substantially more prepared to run for the presidency,” he said. “I know the challenges. And so, again, I’m not ready to pull the trigger and say I’m in, but I’m comfortable that the process I’ve put in place here is a proper, timely and thoughtful process.”
Perry may be the only candidate from 2012 worth recycling. There was so much enthusiasm for his entry into the race and he was never able to take any of that and use it to his advantage, for a variety of reasons. He’s healthier now, and if he doesn’t make the mistake of hitting the 2016 primary season with his exact same 2012 team, he could have quite an impact. He would certainly be a more palatable option than Romney 3.0 or Jeb Bush Ever.0
How “stupid,” to use Jonathan Gruber’s word for Obamacare supporters, are Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?
Both of them were among the most powerful people in America not too long ago. Pelosi was the first woman Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Reid is still the Senate Majority Leader, for now.
President Barack Obama’s handling of the office of the presidency has cost both Pelosi and Reid most of their power. After January, both will be the leaders of a rump, largely regional party that holds fewer seats now than at any other time since the Hoover administration. Sharper minds would notice that Obama is to blame. They might even reject his entreaties.
Yet the two partisan dullards are set to have dinner with Obama tonight, a dinner that Obama will conduct under the romantic lighting of watching the Constitution burn. The dinner comes on the eve of Obama’s unilateral and unprecedented amnesty executive order.
Obama has invited Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the leaders of the congressional Asian, Black and Hispanic caucuses, said the aides, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the plans.
No Republicans allowed, of course. Republicans hold the majority of power in the country thanks in part to Obama, but he has not summoned any of them into his presence.
Maryland’s ridiculous “rain tax” is among the reasons that the voters there rejected Gov. Martin O’Malley’s handpicked successor and elected Republican Larry Hogan. Hogan promises to get rid of the tax, but of course the state’s overwhelmingly Democrat assembly stands in his way. They’re the reason that the Free State is really the fee state.
Prince George’s County wants preachers there to get with the program anyway. It’s offering pastors in the county a deal: preach green and we’ll cut the “rain tax.”
To their everlasting and total disgrace, several pastors have accepted the county’s offer, according to the Washington Post.
The news was as welcome to the group of Prince George’s County pastors as a plague of locusts: Maryland’s controversial “stormwater remediation fee” applied to all property owners, including houses of worship. Depending on the acreage, churches faced a tax of hundreds, even thousands of dollars.
The Rev. Nathaniel B. Thomas of Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church and his colleagues figured there had to be a better way. “We challenged the fee,” Thomas said. “Once Uncle Sam finds a way to take your money, he doesn’t stop.”
After months of negotiation with county environmental director Adam Ortiz, the pastors emerged with a rebate deal that will significantly cut the fees if churches adopt programs and equipment that will curb runoff, lessen pollution and help bolster the environment.
So far, about 30 churches have applied. Forestville Redeemer was the first. They are planning to install rain barrels, build rain gardens, plant trees and, perhaps, replace their blacktop with permeable pavement. The government will cover most of the cost. In return, a fee that was estimated at $744 a year will be reduced to “virtually nothing,” Ortiz said.
Thomas and other pastors also have agreed to start “green” ministries to maintain the improvements at their churches, and to preach environmentally focused sermons to educate their congregations. (emphasis added)
So much for the so-called separation of church and state.
h/t Weasel Zippers.
Elizabeth Warren, in her first major public speech since being elevated to the Democratic leadership in the Senate, slammed Republicans on education, job creation and other economic policies, warning Wednesday that “the American Dream is slipping out of reach.”
“We must fight back with everything we have,” Warren told a gathering hosted by the Center for American Progress in Washington. “The game is rigged but we know how to fix it. We know what to do. We tested the Republican ideas and they failed. They failed spectacularly there’s no denying that fact.”
As a science fiction fan, I have always hoped that evidence of parallel dimensions would show up during my lifetime and it would appear that the Democrats have been giving it to me for the last couple of weeks. They don’t seem to understand just how overwhelming their defeat was in this last election and that it was a rejection of their ideas, which are the ones that have been tested in this universe.
Warren even managed to tie taxpayer spending on high speed rail to the American Dream, which couldn’t possibly have involved any sort of thought process.
There isn’t an American alive who wakes up hoping for a better life through direct or indirect taxation, that’s the “Progressive Dream” and only the fevered fringes of American politics are having it.
For those who think she isn’t running for 2016, this is pretty much boilerplate Democrat presidential rhetoric. There’s always a lot of “fight” and “dream” talk, as well as scary stories about what the Republicans are doing to the middle class. In the politically diseased minds of progressives, the middle class will get better if it spends a lot more on health care premiums and pays for high speed rail to get to the poor house.
Scratch the parallel dimension idea, maybe they’re merely concussed.
I’m sure many illegal aliens are excited about tomorrow’s announcement by President Obama that 5 million of them will become legal by the stroke of his pen.
But have you given a thought to how many of those border scofflaws stole someone’s Social Security numbers, or other identity documents in order to work in the United States?
And what of those American citizens whose identities were used fraudulently? In tens of thousands of cases, their lives were turned upside down, their credit ruined, their privacy egregiously violated.
As Michelle Malkin points out at NRO, President Obama’s executive amnesty is a slap in the face to those people:
Center for Immigration Studies analyst Jon Feere reported at the time that ethnic lobbyists and open-borders businesses lobbied the Obama administration hard “to keep American victims of ID theft in the dark while shielding unscrupulous businesses from enforcement.” As an Obama official told the New York Times, DHS employees are “not interested in using this as a way to identify one-off cases where some individual may have violated some federal law in an employment relationship.”
Translation: See no identity theft. Hear no identity theft. Speak no identity theft.
A high-profile immigration attorney crowed: “Good news for deferred-action applicants: If you used a false Social Security card, you need not reveal the number on your deferred-action application forms. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has clarified that when the forms ask for an applicant’s Social Security number, it refers to Social Security numbers issued to the applicant. If you used a friend’s number, a made-up number or a stolen number, you should answer N/A for ‘not applicable’ where it asks for the number.”
Since then, more than 500,000 DACA applications have been approved with abysmal oversight, little public disclosure, and total absolution for identity-rip-off artists. The latest planned administrative amnesty will dwarf that ongoing fiasco.
Victimless crimes? Tell that to those who have been harmed by the estimated 75 percent of working-age illegal aliens who have fraudulently used Social Security cards to obtain employment. Tell it to victims in border states with the highest percentages of illegal aliens, where job-related identity theft is rampant.
Tell it to hardworking Americans like Wisconsinite Robert Guenterberg, whose Social Security number was exploited by illegal aliens for years to buy homes and cars — while the IRS refused to tell the victims about the fraud to protect the thieves’ privacy rights.
Tell it to U.S. Air Force veteran Marcos Miranda, whose name and Social Security card were filched by an illegal alien to work at a pork slaughterhouse. He was even thrown in jail for unpaid traffic tickets racked up by his identity thief. “Even though I am Hispanic, I am against illegal immigration,” Miranda told the Associated Press. “Even though a lot of them come to work, there are always bad apples. (Identity theft) has really made my perspective . . . negative about immigration.”
The Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that prosecutors could not charge illegal aliens who “unknowingly” used someone’s Social Security number to get a job. The ruling robbed prosecutors of a valuable tool in prosecuting illegals.
But recent actions by the Obama administration in dealing with illegals who steal other people’s identities go beyond refusing to prosecute.
The Obama administration told federal immigration lawyers to release illegal immigrants with “old” drunken-driving convictions and those found guilty of stealing other people’s identities, according to a lawsuit filed by one of the lawyers at the center of the operation.
Patricia M. Vroom, a top attorney for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona, filed a 67-page discrimination complaint that details repeated battles with agency higher-ups who told her to close cases and not deport people whom President Obama deemed low-priority.
Federal officials were particularly dismissive of identity theft convictions from Arizona, arguing that the state’s laws were too strict and stealing an ID to get a job wasn’t a serious enough offense to get kicked out of the country.
“This was a very significant development, as generally, criminal aliens, particularly convicted felons, are, under the [prosecutorial discretion] memos, ‘priority’ cases that should be aggressively pursued,” Ms. Vroom said in her complaint.
But she said her superiors deemed the identity theft felons low-level offenders “since the typical alien defendant convicted under these provisions of Arizona criminal law had simply been using a fake I.D. to get and keep employment.”
No, they were not “simply using a fake ID” to get work. They were using that ID, in many cases, to obtain credit and loans, open bank accounts, run up debt, and generally sully the good names and reputations — not to mention invading the privacy — of decent, hard working, law abiding Americans.
And the victims of ID theft are going to get another kick in the teeth from Obama tomorrow.
Over the past few years, as illegal immigration activists questioned why President Obama was not taking unilateral action to grant amnesty to some who are here illegally, he declared that he cannot because he is not “emperor.”
Apparently, even that statement has now expired and Barack Obama now likes that word. White House spokesman Josh Earnest brought it up and then declared that the president wears it now “as a badge of honor.” The fact that Earnest brought it up indicates that it was in his prepared talking points.
Watch Earnest all but crown Obama here.
Earnest: “We heard rhetoric for some time. Their most recent statement referred to ‘Emperor Obama. The fact is the president is somebody who is willing to examine the law, review the law and use every element of that law to make progress for the American people and that’s a criticism the president wears with badge of honor.”
The Democrats have rolled out a couple of dishonest talking points in support of Obama’s executive order amnesty. One is that Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 both used executive orders on immigration. What that ignores is that both were cleaning up a law duly passed by Congress. In this case, Obama is explicitly acting because Congress won’t bend to his royal will.
The new talking point, trotted out here by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) is that this executive order is just like Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and that Obama should do it and then just let the courts decide whether his act is legal or not. Rob a bank — see if you get caught!
Seriously, that’s pretty much what he told MSNBC today. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has reportedly made similar remarks.
This is just more Democrat trolling of the American people.
Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was a wartime move made in order to preserve the union, a large part of which was in a state of military rebellion at the time. The Democrats started that war and sustained it, by the way.
As Lincoln wrote to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley in 1862, his paramount goal was preserving the Union.
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.
Lincoln was resolutely and publicly against slavery. The Republican Party was founded to destroy slavery. But Abraham Lincoln recognized that as vile as slavery was, his paramount duty as president was to preserve the Union, and restore it once the war was over.
After the war, Lincoln was so concerned that the Emancipation Proclamation stood that he had it codified into the Constitution as the 13th Amendment. That took an act of Congress and ratification by the states. The Democrats fought emancipation and equality for more than a century.
Suffice it to say, the Emancipation Proclamation is not even close to what Barack Obama is doing. He is intentionally bypassing Congress to favor non-citizens who have violated the law, and his interest is far from preserving the country. He fully intends to divide the country and provoke outrage. His Democratic Party is to some extent reprising its historic role as a nasty, bitter and divisive force in American politics.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson described President Obama’s forthcoming executive action on immigration as “comprehensive.”
“I do not want and will not get out ahead of the president and the announcement that he will make in the coming days,” Johnson said at the Washington think tank New Democrat Network.
“Legislative action is always preferable, but we’ve waited now for years to get Congress to act, and Congress has not acted.”
This is sort of an odd thing to say since the Congress is responsible for passing the laws in this country. If they don’t pass the laws the president wants, that’s the breaks. Nothing in the Constitution says the president can take over legislative duties if the Congress isn’t acting desirably.
Johnson said he believed Obama’s policy moves would fall within “a fairly wide latitude within existing executive authority to fix the system.”
“They will address a number of things, including border security,” Johnson said. The “comprehensive reforms are all within our existing legal authority to fix the broken immigration system.”
Lawmakers are alarmed at Obama’s impending actions. The Hill writes, “The Republican chairmen of the House Homeland Security and Judiciary committees on Wednesday said they are ‘disappointed’ in Obama’s decision to move forward, calling it a ‘slap in the face to the American people and the Constitution.’ ”
“The Constitution is clear that it is Congress’ duty to write our laws and, once they are enacted, it is the president’s responsibility to enforce them. Something as important as changing our immigration laws cannot be forced by unilateral action by the president,” Reps. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) wrote in a letter to Obama.
Johnson also explained he was “disheartened and disappointed” by how “volatile” the immigration debate had become. Johnson and Obama are completely out-of-touch with how much the American people don’t like having unwanted rules shoved down their throat by a king. We set up a Constitution to remedy that kind of problem.