News Briefing for Friday, September 12
Below are some of the news stories that we are reading today.
250K Virginians to Lose Health Care Due to Obamacare
“An NBC affiliate in Virginia reports that nearly 250,000 people in that state will lose their health care plans due to Obamacare: “Nearly a quarter million Virginians will have their current insurance plans cut this fall,” said the local anchor. “That is because many of them did not–are not following new Affordable Care Act rules, so a chunk of the companies that offer those individuals their policies will make the individuals choose new policies.” Says the reporter, “This goes back to that now heavily-criticized line we heared before Obamacare was put in place: ‘If you like your plan, you can keep it.’ Ultimately, that turned out not to be true for thousands of Virginians and companies in the commonwealth. … Wednesday Virginia lawmakers on the health insurance reform commission met for the first time this year. Turns out, a staggering number of Virginians will need new plans this fall.” A Virginia health official says, “Cancellation is a word that’s used all the time…but really what’s happened is the law has changed. We’re not allowed to offer those plans anymore. So what we’re saying to them is, you need to move to one that’s compliant with the law because that’s what we can offer.”
Report: Obamacare To Cancel Health Plans For 250,000 Virginians
Video: 250,000 Virginians can’t keep their plans in 2015
Employers Brace For More Workers On 2015 Benefit Plans, Thanks To Obamacare
“Employers are expecting an influx of workers who haven’t previously taken advantage of company-paid health coverage to do so as more mandates and rules are implemented under the Affordable Care Act, according to a new analysis of large companies. Employee benefits consulting firm Mercer says 22 percent of employer health plan sponsors are “likely to see enrollment grow” when they are required to open plans to employees who work 30 or more hours per week. Meanwhile, eligible employees who have opted to go without coverage may now do so to avoid tax penalties, which could also trigger an additional increase in workers on company health plans. Though employer health costs remain near low percentage increases not seen since the 1990s, reforms from the health law will still contribute to a 3.9 percent increase on average in 2015 for health benefits costs for employees in 2015. This compares to health cost increases for employers of just 2.1 percent in 2013 when the percentage rate hike was a 15-year low, according to Mercer, a subsidiary of March & McLennan Companies (MMC). “The math is simple – the more employees you cover, the more you spend,” said Mercer’s director of research for health and benefits, Beth Umland, in a statement accompanying the report. A wild card for employers during this fall’s corporate open enrollment period – the time of year when workers get to change or renew their benefits for next year – will be whether more employees opt to take advantage of health benefits at their place of work to avoid tax penalties for not having medical insurance. Under the health law, individuals who did not obtain coverage for this year faced a minimum penalty of $95. But that penalty more than triples to a minimum of $325 for those who do not obtain health coverage in 2015.”
ObamaCare Medicaid Expansion Hurdles Loom
“That seems to hold true with the recent momentum behind the law’s Medicaid expansion.
Here is the good news for ObamaCare supporters: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said this week that he has just about nailed down an agreement with the Obama administration allowing the state to embrace the Medicaid expansion. Last week, it was Pennsylvania’s embattled GOP Gov. Tom Corbett saying the state’s plan to expand Medicaid is now a done deal. And just before that, Arkansas said state exchange premiums will fall 2% next year because of the relatively young group that enrolled in its groundbreaking Medicaid private option. The reasons for why the outlook is not as positive as the headlines are complicated, but a good place to start is the General Accountability Office conclusion that the cost of the Arkansas private option waiver plan was, give or take, $778 million too high. While the actual cost of the Arkansas program steering most of its Medicaid-eligible population to the exchange may turn out higher or lower, GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, said the waiver shouldn’t have been granted based on the information provided. A GOP Model? This is a big deal because the Arkansas approach has been seen as the most likely model under which GOP-friendly states might eventually expand Medicaid. But the GAO report is a reminder that the economics of the Arkansas model might not work and that the private-option waiver might not be funded after three years. But the big challenges facing the Medicaid expansion don’t only involve the private variation. The public version of the Medicaid expansion is about to hit its own funding wall starting in January when the Affordable Care Act’s boost in funding for Medicaid primary care doctors expires.
The Arkansas private option waiver is a good window for understanding the perils ahead for both public and private Medicaid. The state’s proposed three-year funding of $4 billion was 24% higher than the cost of Arkansas paying providers under fee-for-service Medicaid, the GAO found. To clear the budget-neutral requirement for Medicaid waivers, the Department of Health and Human Services accepted a controversial contention of Arkansas actuaries to make the math work. They argued, with no real data to support the claim, that even ObamaCare’s expansion of traditional Medicaid would require a 24% boost in fee-for-service reimbursements to providers. Otherwise the surge of Medicaid patients would overwhelm those providers willing to accept low reimbursements.”
How Obamacare Will Fuel Economic Inequality In The U.S.
Stop the Anti-Obamacare Shenanigans
Census Bureau: Health Costs Inch Up As Obamacare Kicks In
Even The Uninsured Are Growing Sour On ObamaCare
“Unhealthy Reform: ObamaCare defenders keep insisting that the law is a huge success while public approval continues to deteriorate, even among Democrats and especially among the uninsured. It’s supposed to be the GOP’s worst nightmare — President Obama’s health care takeover turns out to be a success, proving once and for all that small-government conservatives are delusional. ObamaCare has, we’re told, signed up more than expected while avoiding terminal rate shocks. In fact, a new report suggests premiums for “benchmark” Silver plans will actually be lower in many states next year. Erstwhile ObamaCare booster Jonathan Chait calls this news “almost unfathomably positive,” while Ezra Klein brags that “Obama’s signature accomplishment is succeeding beyond all reasonable expectation.” So how do Chait, Klein and company explain the fact that ObamaCare’s ratings keep dropping? The latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll finds only 35% of the public now holds a favorable view of ObamaCare — which is lower than it was when it officially launched in October. (Our latest IBD/TIPP poll finds disapproval rising.) More damning is the reality that only 26% of the uninsured — the very people for whom ObamaCare was supposedly built — now view it favorably. In fact, the law has never been more unpopular with the uninsured since it went into full effect. Support is slipping among Democrats — it fell to 57% in September from 70% last October — and fewer than a third of independents now support the law. The poll also found that twice as many say they’ve been hurt by ObamaCare as helped. Even the recent “unfathomable” successes turn out to be less than meets the eye. That claim about 8 million signing up for ObamaCare plans? The truth is, no one knows for sure. The administration said 8 million had finished the application process. But it has since refused to release updates showing how many actually paid their initial premiums or are still covered. And as for those lower benchmark premiums, they are more a reflection of ObamaCare’s temporary industry subsidies, which were included in the law for the express purpose of keeping rates artificially low in the first years (a fact liberals somehow always manage to leave out). Worse, these lower benchmark premiums could actually hurt those getting subsidized insurance. Because of the Rube Goldberg subsidy scheme ObamaCare employs, “moderate rate actions, and even rate decreases, can translate into huge, net (after-subsidy) rate hikes,” note the Wakely Consulting Group’s Jon Kingsdale and Julia Lerche in a recent Health Affairs article. That’s because the amount of the subsidy is based on the cost of those “benchmark” plans. The lower the benchmark, the smaller the subsidy. Add to this the fact that many of the popular ObamaCare plans have sharply rising premiums, and what you get are potentially massive rate shocks for millions who want to stick with the plans they have.
When it comes to ObamaCare’s success, we’ll take the public’s view over those of cloistered liberal elites in Washington any day.”
Doctoring in the Age of ObamaCare
Endlessly entering data or calling for permission to prescribe or trying to avoid Medicare penalties—when should I see patients?
Rob Portman: GOP-Run Senate Would Vote On Obamacare Repeal
“Though the law will be a year older, Republicans will push a vote to repeal Obamacare if they take back the Senate in November, a top GOP senator told reporters Thursday morning. “I suspect we will vote to repeal early to put on record the fact that we Republicans think it was a bad policy and we think it is hurting our constituents,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), appearing at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “We think health care costs should be going down, not up. We think people should be able to keep the insurance that they had. They are worried about the fact that the next shoe to drop is going to be employer coverage.” As Portman’s remarks indicated, a repeal vote by a Republican-controlled Senate would be a largely perfunctory exercise, designed to register GOP opposition with the health care law once again. The president would never sign such a measure, even if he were severely chastened by the 2014 election results. Even top conservative donors concede as much. What’s more, the dynamics would be complicated by the fact that the next Congress convenes during the Affordable Care Act’s second open-enrollment period, meaning a repeal vote would be taking place at the same time that people were signing up for coverage under the law. Portman said that Senate Republicans should present an alternative health care proposal to couple with the repeal effort. “I think we should,” he said. “I think it is something that ought to go along with repeal to say, ‘Yes, we think this is the wrong way to go. But we also think the health care system must be improved.'” The idea that the GOP will come up with an alternative to Obamacare is enough to make many health care reform advocates roll their eyes. House Republicans have been promising an alternative health care bill for years to go along with their numerous repeal votes. No such bill has materialized.”
House returns to anti-Obamacare votes
“House Republicans on Thursday returned to the Obamacare well for another vote against the law, this time to allow consumers to stay on once-canceled plans until 2019. The House approved the bill, 247-167, with the support of all Republicans and 25 Democrats. It was the first vote on the health care law since April. The bill, targeted at President Barack Obama’s promise that consumers would be able to keep their health plans under his signature health law, was sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is in a tight race to unseat Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in Louisiana. “The president and his allies in Congress tried to sell this health law to the American people by making false promises,” Cassidy said in a statement. “Each of these promises has been broken.” The bill would allow insurers to keep selling health plans that are currently available in the group market to be offered through 2019. The scope is broader and longer-term than the administration’s decision to allow certain non-compliant plans to be extended.
The White House and congressional Democrats strongly opposed the move, saying that the scope of Cassidy’s bill would undermine key consumer protections in the health law, and would let plans charge women more than men or cap the amount of care someone could receive.
“Policies that reverse the progress made to extend quality, affordable coverage to millions of uninsured, hardworking, middle class families are not the solution,” the administration wrote in a warning saying that President Obama would veto the bill. “Rather than re-fighting old political battles to sabotage the health care law, the Congress should work with the Administration to improve the law and move forward.” The Democratic-led Senate, however, has no plans to vote on the bill. Cassidy was campaigning on the veto threat even before the vote. ”Dr. Cassidy is on the cusp of passing legislation that would truly allow families to keep their health insurance and reduce our nation’s deficit by $1.25 billion,” his campaign wrote in a release Thursday morning. “The President, that Mary Landrieu supports 97 percent of the time, is now standing in the way.”
Immigrant Youth Need Obamacare, Affordable Care Act Healthcare Coverage, Sexual Risk Behaviors Vary by Acculturation
POLL: SWING OF MORE THAN 20 PERCENTAGE POINTS AGAINST PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP
“There has been a 20-point swing against providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants since last year. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 64% favored a pathway to citizenship last spring while 35% opposed. In September, 53% support and 45% oppose, which is “a swing of more than 20 percentage points.” The poll also found that a plurality of Americans believe Republicans would do a better job handling immigration issues.
After Breitbart Texas broke the story of illegal immigrants that were being warehoused in detention centers in Texas, the mainstream media were forced to cover the issue, and public opinion soon shifted. President Barack Obama conceded over the weekend that he was delaying his executive amnesty because the politics changed during the summer. And Bill McInturff, the Republican co-director of the poll, acknowledged that “the Central American kids totally reopened the dialogue about whether our borders were secure.” Though 63% of Americans in another national poll oppose illegal immigrants receiving work permits, the poll did not simply ask, “do you favor giving citizenship to illegal immigrants?” Instead, the poll, which was conducted by two outlets that have been relentless in pushing a pathway to citizenship, asked respondents a more roundabout question: “As you may know, there is a proposal to create a pathway to citizenship that would allow foreigners who have jobs but are staying illegally in the United States the opportunity to eventually become legal American citizens?” The poll was conducted Sept. 3-7 and has a margin of error of /- 3.1 percentage points.”
POLL: SUPPORT FOR PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP AMONG BLACKS PLUMMETS
“Black Americans’ support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants has plummeted in the last year as the flood of illegal immigrant juveniles coming across the U.S-Mexico border has highlighted the negative impact illegal immigration has on American workers, especially black Americans. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that while 75% of blacks supported a pathway to citizenship in the spring, only 59% do now. Among all Americans, 53% support it now compared to 64% in April. The poll, which also found a swing of more than 20 percentage points in opposition to a pathway to citizenship, also found that “backing for a pathway to citizenship has also fallen by double digits among seniors (down 11 percent), women (down 14), young people (down 10) and whites (10 points).” The unemployment rate for blacks is 11.4%, and U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has asked the Congressional Black Caucus not to support President Barack Obama’s amnesty because of the detrimental impact it would have on black workers. Kirsanow noted that illegal immigrants and blacks “often find themselves in competition for the same jobs.” “The obvious question is whether there are sufficient jobs in the low-skilled labor market for both African-Americans and illegal immigrants,” Kirsanow wrote in a recent letter to the Congressional Black Caucus. “The answer is no.”
HISPANIC MILLENNIALS KEY TO 28% OF CALIFORNIA VOTE
“Latinos represent the fastest growing segment of California’s population and its electorate. In August, Univision released a survey, “Winning with Hispanics in the Midterms: The Why, The How and the What” that showed Latinos comprise 28% of the Golden State’s eligible voters and 24% of its registered voters. The poll found that about a quarter of Hispanic voters in California are age 18 to 34–i.e., millennials. Because this fast growing demographic disproportionately influences their parents’ politics, Hispanic millennials are the key to up to 28% of the California vote. Public CEO reported that in America, “There are 800,000 Latinos reaching voting age every year and engaging them at an earlier age is becoming more and more important, so that a huge part of our country is not left out of the political process,” according to Jessica Reeves, Vice President of Marketing and Partnerships at Voto Latino, a supposedly national non-partisan organization dedicated to empowering Latino Millennials to vote. About two-thirds of Latinos in California are bilingual or do not speak English. That means, Reeves says, that many “Latino Millennials are marrying and starting families young, but they are also serving as sources of information for their parents.” Mindy Romero, director of California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP) at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change agreed. “Generally speaking, the Latino population is a younger population, whether they’re eligible (voters) or actual voters.” Romero believes that anyone running for any election almost anywhere in the state can benefit through Latino outreach. Last year, students from the Chicano/Latino Research Center at UC Santa Cruz conducted a study entitled, “Broadening the Electorate in Central California.” They found that face-to-face interaction, or canvassing, was very effective among Latinos of all ages, even Millennials. Romero points out that it is important to make sure the right people are making the personal contact. “For younger Latinos, does it matter who’s doing the contact? Does it have to be fellow youth, for instance? Does it have to be youth of the same color? The same background,” Romero asked, rattling off a list of questions many outreach coordinators must be asking all over the state. She emphasized, “For youth, if they are contacted that’s one thing, that’s great, but if they are contacted by a fellow youth, a peer-to-peer contact, that makes a lot of difference.” Millennials primary form of communication is digital. “They’re the fastest adopters of new technology,” said Reeves. “I think that we also need to be engaging Latino Millennials on those platforms and in a way that is going to be relevant to them.”
That’s good news for the new website, Voter’s Edge, which is a collaborative effort between the League of Women Voters of California and MapLight, an organization sponsored National Chamber of Commerce and the National Board of Realtors. Voter’s Edge makes non-partisan information on all political races accessible. The effort includes analysis of ballot initiatives and the local and statewide candidates. For the 2014 midterm elections, Voter’s Edge will merge its publications with the League’s Smart Voter as a comprehensive portal for voter education.”
Democrats push for immigration delay
“Some Senate Democrats are pressing the White House to hold off indefinitely on unilaterally making immigration changes — not just until after the election. The resistance is coming from Democrats facing tough reelection bids this fall and other moderate voices in the party who say President Barack Obama shouldn’t use executive authority to ease deportations at any time. The pressure is a sign that Obama’s decision over the weekend to punt on making changes until after the election may have done little to ease the political furor over the issue. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who publicly urged Obama against executive action in July, said this week that she believes such a move is still wrong. When asked whether delaying executive action was not sufficient, Hagan responded: “I don’t think it should be by executive action.” “Before we left for recess, I made the comment weeks and weeks ago that this is a congressional decision,” said Hagan, who is in a tight reelection battle. “I’ve supported the immigration reform bill and … I think the House needs to take that legislation up.” Maine Sen. Angus King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, said he stands by his statements last week — made before the delay from the White House was announced — that any major executive action on immigration would be a “mistake,” no matter the timing. “Significant executive action would undermine support for comprehensive reform and actually perhaps could set the cause back,” King said. “It’s not about the midterms. It’s about whether this is a good policy decision, and I don’t think it is.” The level of resistance from rank-and-file Democrats could be influential in what the White House ultimately does on immigration, since the administration will be reluctant to make major moves on immigration without strong support from congressional Democrats. For now, several others are staying silent on the issue. During interviews and through representatives, a handful of Senate Democrats in competitive reelection bids who had previously expressed concern about Obama acting unilaterally refused to entertain the possibility of further executive action. Democratic senators such as Mark Begich of Alaska, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Al Franken of Minnesota all instead focused on the Republican-led House, where the Senate’s sweeping immigration reform bill has long been dead.”
Oh my: Some Senate Democrats now want Obama’s executive amnesty suspended indefinitely
LUIS GUTIERREZ DEMANDS EXECUTIVE AMNESTY BY THANKSGIVING: ‘WE WILL NOT TOLERATE ANOTHER DISILLUSIONMENT’
“After conceding that he had lost his argument for executive amnesty “by the end of summer,” Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) demanded that President Barack Obama grant temporary amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants by Thanksgiving. “President Barack Obama, we’re waiting for Thanksgiving, and we’re waiting for the blessings of this Thanksgiving in which millions of families–immigrant families–can finally rejoice that they have an Americain which they’re being protected and included,” Gutierrez told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday. Gutierrez said that he and Obama agree that the president has the legal authority to enact executive actions, and Gutierrez praised Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who has given Obama his recommendations on executive actions, for being a “man of great compassion” who wants to “ensure fairness and equity.” Though Gutierrez said that he is “not giving up on President Barack Obama,” he warned Obama against another delay. “If the Republicans come back after the midterm elections and ask the president of the United States… to delay his executive action, I say ‘no, no, and no,'” Gutierrez said. “The community will not tolerate another disillusionment.”
Gutierrez said he is going to work with immigrant communities to mobilize support before Thanksgiving. In a previous appearance on the network, Gutierrez urged pro-amnesty advocates to publicize the stories of illegal immigrants who are about to be deported to try to gin up support in the media for executive amnesty. Even though 63% of Americans are opposed to illegal immigrants getting work permits, Gutierrez said he believed that Americans will think that granting work permits to illegal immigrants is “the right thing to do.”
NANCY PELOSI HOPES FOR OBAMA EXECUTIVE AMNESTY BY CHRISTMAS
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi affirmed at her press conference Thursday morning that the Democratic Caucus stood by President Obama’s decision to delay his executive action on immigration reform, adding that she was “confident” that he would act by the end of the year.
Pelosi said that she met with interested caucuses on the issue, and she asserted that Obama had “administrative discretion” on the timing of his decision. “We want people who are concerned about this to be hopeful that by Thanksgiving or Christmas, there will be more security in their lives because of some discretion that the President will execute,” she stated.”
Pelosi Suggests Holiday Surprise on Immigration (Video)
“If Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is correct, President Barack Obama’s delayed executive action on immigration may be coming sooner than expected. During the California Democrat’s weekly press conference on Thursday, Pelosi asked for those affected by the immigration issue to be hopeful that “by Thanksgiving or Christmas” there’d be “more security in their lives.” Pelosi said she was “confident” action would be taken, and she said such an action had the strong support of Democrats. Obama recently announced he would delay promised executive action, which is expected to defer the deportations of as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants, until after the November elections.”
Obama chief of staff pledges action on immigration
“President Barack Obama will act on his own by year’s end to remake the nation’s fractured immigration system, and he will go as far as he can under the law, the White House chief of staff told frustrated Latino lawmakers Thursday. Chief of staff Denis McDonough made the commitments in a closed-door meeting at the Capitol with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Like other Latinos and immigrants rights’ activists the lawmakers were fuming over Obama’s decision Saturday, made under pressure from endangered Senate Democrats, to put off promised executive action on immigration until after November’s midterm elections. In Thursday’s meeting, according to lawmakers who attended, McDonough heard out their concerns and renewed the president’s commitment to act — pledging under lawmakers’ questions that it would happen even if Democrats lose the Senate, the political environment turns worse and Obama once again faces calls to put off his decision. “We told him we were mad, we thought for sure he was going to act because he said he would, we’re very upset about that,” said Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif. “At the same time we got the promise that he’s going to act as generously as he possibly can before the end of the holiday season.” McDonough told reporters, “It was good to catch up with the caucus and underscore to them our continuing commitment to resolve the challenges with our broken immigration system and underscore to them that the president will act on this before the end of the year.” Obama earlier this year promised that, given congressional inaction on comprehensive immigration legislation, he would act on his own by the end of the summer. That could include protecting millions of immigrants in this country illegally from deportation, and granting them work permits allowing them to work legally in this country. Such action would be an expansion of a program Obama created two years ago for immigrants brought here illegally as youths. The administration is also weighing steps that could make more visas available for the business community. The exact contours of the plans are unclear, but in light of the White House’s decision to delay, Obama is facing pressure to take even broader steps on his own than he had been weighing. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., pressed McDonough about that, and the response was that Obama would go as far as he legally can, lawmakers said. The result will be action “of significant scope,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. “No more excuses. I don’t care what senator is dangling in the wind, I don’t care what Republican proposal is being put forward, I don’t care what happens, we are moving forward,” Gutierrez said. “The holiday season must be a season of blessings for millions of undocumented families across America.”
W.H. talks immigration with Latino lawmakers
“White House chief of staff Denis McDonough pledged to Latino lawmakers during a private meeting Thursday that President Barack Obama will take executive action on immigration before the holidays are over – an effort to soothe lawmakers furious about the administration’s move to hold off on action. The timeline was described by several members who attended the meeting and, substantively speaking, isn’t different than the end-of-year pledge made by the White House when it moved to delay executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections. But it gives at least some faith to members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who have long pressured the Obama administration to ease deportations of undocumented immigrants – particularly as the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform on the Hill slowly collapsed over the last year. One member who attended – Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) — said there was some “serious venting” inside the room. “As I told the chief, I said I for one need constant reassurance,” Grijalva said. “I don’t want to go down this path come November and then for some other reason, find that the immigrant community and the Latino community get thrown in the heap again.” Multiple people familiar with the meeting said McDonough did not go into specifics of the executive action that Obama will ultimately issue, but stressed that he will go as far as he could under existing law. And – in a response to questions from one lawmaker in the room — McDonough said Obama still plans to act regardless of the results of the November elections or even if the political narrative around the issue worsens for Democrats, people familiar with the discussion said.”
WHITE HOUSE PROMISES LATINO LAWMAKERS AMNESTY ‘BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR’
Deadline for Obama’s Immigration Action Hard to Pin Down (Video)
“End of the year? By Christmas? By Thanksgiving? There seems to be some disagreement among the supporters of immigration rights as to when, exactly, President Barack Obama will step in with his promised unilateral action. But overall, frustrated advocates seemed more optimistic Thursday after a clear-the-air session with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. McDonough told reporters that the president would act on immigration “before the end of the year” as he left a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. CHC Whip Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., said McDonough told them the president would act “by the holiday season.” Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill. who attended the meeting, talked about a “Thanksgiving blessing” a day earlier in an interview on MSNBC, but on Thursday, he was referring to a “holiday season” deadline as well.”
Obama administration sharply cutting deportations
“President Barack Obama, who has postponed until after Election Day his plans that could shield millions of immigrants from deportation, is already on pace this year to deport the fewest number of immigrants since at least 2007. According to an analysis of Homeland Security Department figures by The Associated Press, the federal agency responsible for deportations sent home 258,608 immigrants between the start of the budget year last October and July 28 this summer. During the same period a year earlier, it removed 320,167 people — a decrease of nearly 20 percent. Over the same period ending in July 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 344,624 people, some 25 percent more than this year, according to the federal figures obtained by the AP. The figures, contained in weekly internal reports marked “Official Use Only,” reflect the marked decline in deportations even as Obama has delayed announcing what changes he will make to U.S. immigration policies. Immigration advocates widely expect Obama to reduce the number of immigrants who are deported, a particularly sensitive issue in many states. Since Obama took office, his administration has removed more than 2.1 million immigrants. There are two principal reasons why fewer immigrants already are being deported:
–The Obama administration decided as early as summer 2011 to focus its deportation efforts on criminal immigrants or those who posed a threat to national security or public safety. Many others who crossed into the United States illegally and could be subject to deportation are stuck in a federal immigration court system. Last month the backlog in that system exceeded 400,000 cases for the first time, according to court data analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. For each case, it now takes several years for a judge to issue a final order to leave the U.S.
–As Border Patrol agents detain more people from countries in Central America, not Mexico, the volume and circumstances of the cases take more time for overwhelmed immigration officials and courts to process because, among other reasons, the U.S. must fly such immigrants home rather than letting them walk back across the border into Mexico. A surge in the number of immigrant families, mostly women and young children, has swamped temporary holding facilities, leading the Homeland Security Department to release many people into the U.S. interior with instructions to report back to authorities later.
Asked for comment, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gillian Christensen said the agency has not released removal numbers for this budget year and officials are “still assessing a number of factors that inform ICE’s ability to remove individuals.” “ICE remains focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of convicted criminals and recent border entrants,” Christensen said in a statement.”
Will furious immigration activists be mollified by Obama’s decision to scale back deportations?
APNewsBreak: US sharply cutting deportations
Obama to Latinos: I’m not that into you
REPORT: NET EMPLOYMENT GROWTH IN GEORGIA WENT TO IMMIGRANTS SINCE 2000
“While native-born Americans accounted for more than half of the working-age population growth in Georgia since 2000, the net increase in employment went entirely to legal and illegal immigrants, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies. According to CIS — which reached its conclusions by analyzing government data — from the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2014 the total number of employed working-age immigrants in Georgia increased by 400,000. In that same timeframe the number of working-age “natives” with a job declined by 71,000 — despite the fact that “natives” represented 54 percent of the overall working-age population growth. “There are a huge number of working-age people in Georgia not working and labor force participation remains at record lows,” Steven Camarota, the research director at CIS and lead author of the report, said in a statement Thursday.
CIS points out the the Senate-passed immigration bill not only would have legalized the undocumented immigrant population, it also would have practically doubled the number of guest workers. The report draws two conclusions namely that there is not a “general labor shortage in the state” and that immigration does not necessarily spur job creation.
“Georgia working-age immigrant population grew 167 percent from 2000 to 2014, one of the highest of any state in the nation. Yet the number of work-age native working in 2014 was actually lower than in 2000,” the report reads. “This undermines the argument that immigration on balance increases job opportunities for natives.” In recent months CIS has been highlighting the lack of job growth among native-born Americans compared to immigrants in various U.S. states and the overall country. Other findings include:
– In the first quarter of this year, only 64 percent of working-age natives in the state held a job. As recently as 2000, 74 percent of working-age natives in Georgia were working.
– Because the native working-age population in Georgia grew significantly, but the share working actually fell, there were 684,000 more working-age natives not working in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000 — a 52 percent increase.
– Perhaps most troubling is that the labor force participation rate (share working or looking for work) of Georgia’s working-age natives has not improved, even after the jobs recovery began in 2010.1
– In fact, the labor force participation of natives in Georgia shows a long-term decline, with the rate lower at the last economic peak in 2007 than at the prior peak in 2000.
– The supply of potential workers in Georgia is very large: In the first quarter of 2014, two million working-age natives were not working (unemployed or entirely out of the labor market), as were 208,000 working-age immigrants.
– In terms of the labor-force participation rate among working-age natives, the state ranks 36th in the nation.”
LUIS GUTIERREZ: ‘I LOST’ THE EXECUTIVE AMNESTY ARGUMENT
“On Wednesday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) conceded that grassroots American workers who oppose executive amnesty for illegal immigrants were more persuasive than he was, ultimately forcing President Barack Obama to delay his executive amnesty until after the midterm elections. Though Obama had said he would enact executive amnesty that could give work permits to nearly five million illegal immigrants “by the end” of summer, he decided to delay it to give Senate Democrats a better chance of retaining control of the Senate.
“I have made my argument to the President, to this White House, to his cabinet,” Gutierrez said to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. “I lost that argument.” Gutierrez, a leading advocate for executive amnesty and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, gave Obama a wish list this spring that included granting temporary amnesty to everyone who would have qualified for a pathway to citizenship under the Senate’s comprehensive amnesty bill. Gutierrez, after encouraging Obama during a White House meeting to be as broad as possible in his executive actions, said he believed Obama would go big in stopping the deportations “of our people.”
Don’t Give the Masters of the Universe Their Amnesty (Sessions’ speech)
The Senate isn’t doing anything to stop Obama’s plans — thank the plutocrats.
JEFF SESSIONS BLASTS MARK ZUCKERBERG FOR PUSHING AMNESTY IN MEXICO
“In a thunderous Wednesday speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Sessions (R-AL) blasted Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg for criticizing America and pushing for amnesty legislation on Mexican soil at fellow billionaire Carlos Slim’s charity event. “Young Mr. Zuckerberg maybe doesn’t know that there’s a deep American tradition–and a tradition in most developed nations, really–you don’t go to a foreign capital to criticize your own government,” Sessions said. “I suppose he doesn’t know about that. They probably didn’t teach him that when he was at one of the elite schools he attended.” Sessions quoted Zuckerberg, who said at the Friday event in Mexico of America’s immigration laws: “we have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants and it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.” After blasting the Obama administration for meeting with the elite and “cosmopolitan set who scorn and mock the concerns of everyday americans,” Sessions singled out FWD.us, Zuckerberg’s pro-amnesty lobbying group that has employed some of the most prominent consultants on both sides of the aisle. Sessions chided “elected officials, activist groups, the ACLU, and global CEOs who are “openly working to deny the American workers the immigration protections to which they are legally entitled.” “Well, the masters of the universe are very fond of open borders as long as these open borders don’t extend to their aggregated compounds and fenced-off estates,” Sessions said, referring to reports that Zuckerberg spent millions buying houses near his home so that he could get more “privacy.” Sessions mentioned that as high-tech executives keep pushing the debunked notion that there is a shortage of American high-tech workers, many tech companies are laying off American workers even as they push for more guest-worker visas for foreigners. Sessions noted that Microsoft announced it would lay off 18,000 workers and posed “a question to Mr. Zuckerberg.” “Why doesn’t Mr. Zuckerberg call his friend Mr. Gates and say, ‘I have to hire a few hundred people, do you have any resumes you could send over here? Maybe I wouldn’t have to bring in somebody from a foreign country to take a job that an unemployed american might take.'” Experts that Sessions cited have noted that high-tech companies want a large “flow of guest workers to deny American workers access to STEM careers and middle-class security that should come with them.”
ISIS LEADS JOHN MCCAIN TO REVERSE ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION URGENCY
“After urging national Republicans not to make illegal immigration an issue in the midterms, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Wednesday warned that ISIS is trying to exploit the porous U.S.-Mexico border to carry out terrorists attacks on American soil. Appearing on Fox News with Sean Hannity after Obama’s foreign policy address to the nation on ISIS, McCain, the Gang of Eight member who has been one of the most prominent advocates of comprehensive amnesty legislation, said that ISIS terrorists are encouraging members to sneak into America through the southern border. “On Twitter and Facebook, they are urging people to come across our border and attack the United States of America,” McCain said on Fox News of ISIS. On CNN, McCain said America’s “porous” border with Mexico makes the country more vulnerable to a terrorist attack from ISIS. Former Homeland Security officials have previously conceded that ISIS terrorists may have already illegally entered the country through the porous U.S.-Mexico border. But in June, McCain warned national Republicans not to use illegal immigration as a campaign issue against Democrats. “There are plenty of issues that separate Republicans and Democrats, but I don’t think [this is one, given] that a majority of Americans — 70 or 80 percent, depending on which polls you judge by — are in favor of what we are trying to do,” McCain said in June, according to Roll Call.”
Federal officials propose Texas immigration lockup
“Federal authorities want to build a South Texas immigration lockup for families amid the surge of youngsters pouring across the U.S.-Mexico border. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Adelina Pruneda says the center would be in Dilley, 70 miles southwest of San Antonio. She said Thursday that ICE isn’t yet revealing details, including its cost or how many people the facility would house. Federal authorities last month converted a 532-bed facility for men southeast of San Antonio to accept families. Another detention center for parents and children in Pennsylvania, and a temporary New Mexico facility, together can hold about 800. Advocacy groups decry the latest plan, pointing to the fraught history of a former family detention center near Austin. Families were removed from there in 2009, after human rights abuse allegations.”
Area schools scramble to meet the emotional needs of undocumented children
FLORIDA: PRO-AMNESTY ACTIVISTS PRESSURE COUNTY TO RELEASE IMMIGRANTS
“After being pressured by pro-amnesty advocates, a Florida county has decided to “no longer jail immigrants who are being investigated for deportation.” According to the Tampa Bay Times, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Officer David Gee sent letters to U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security officials informing them that his “office will only honor immigration detainer requests if there is a legal order to do so,” reportedly following the lead of sheriffs in three other counties.
As the Times notes, “Hillsborough held all arrested undocumented immigrants at the request of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for up to two days, even if the inmate posted bail,” but officials started to review the policy, like many other municipalities, “after a federal judge in Oregon ruled in April that an immigrant woman’s rights were violated when she was held in jail at ICE’s request.” As of August 20, inmates in the county will only be held “when a charging document initiating deportation has been filed, a warrant has been issued, or removal from the United States has been ordered.” Other counties have allowed illegal immigrants to post bail and leave. According to the Times, Raíces en Tampa, a local immigration activist group, took credit for the policy change. “This is a big victory for us,” Oscar Hernandez, the group’s spokesperson, told the outlet. “We’ve been pushing since June for them to change the policy.”
Illegal immigrant charged after stabbing woman with large kitchen knife in Chambersburg, police say
HUMAN SMUGGLERS WHO HELD 115 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN HOUSTON STASH HOUSE SENTENCED
“Federal authorities have reported that the final two human smugglers convicted in connection with a stash house in southeast Houston where illegal immigrants were being housed have been sentenced to federal prison. The two men, Jose Aviles-Villa, 32, and Antonio Barruquet-Hildeberta, 46, were arrested in March 2014 after the stash house was discovered with 115 immigrants living in squalid conditions, held hostage and crammed into a less than 1,300 square foot home. The smuggling ring consisted of five men, all of whom originally hailed from Michoacan, Mexico. The other three, Jonathan Solorzano-Tavila, 30, Jose Cesmas-Borja, 26, and Eugenio Sesmas-Borja, 20, were sentenced previously to 60, 54 and 51 months respectively for conspiracy to harbor and transport illegal aliens, plus additional consecutive 60-month sentences for the use of a firearm. Likewise, Aviles-Villa and Barruquet-Hildeberta were sentenced to 51 and 63 months respectively for the conspiracy charge, and both were sentenced to 60 months for the firearms charge as well. The smugglers are illegal aliens themselves, and will be deported back to Mexico after their sentences are served.”
SEVEN TIME ARRESTED HUMAN SMUGGLER CAUGHT ALONG TEXAS BORDER
“Federal agents arrested a woman accused of trying to pick up a group of immigrants; she had been arrested previously seven different times on smuggling cases but had never been prosecuted. According to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas, earlier this week U.S. Border Patrol agents spotted 37-year-old Roxanne Lopez, a U.S. citizen, driving a maroon Mercury Grand Marquis from a levee in the Mission area known as La Lomita towards the Rio Grande in a manner consistent with human smuggling practices. An agent drove his unit nearby Lopez’s vehicle where he saw three men come out of the brush area and run toward the vehicle; the agent drove toward the vehicle in order to intercept them. Lopez locked the doors of her vehicle not letting the three men into the vehicle. The three men ran toward some public restroom but the agent was able to apprehend the three men, Lopez and another person inside her vehicle who claimed to be a U.S. citizen.”
WHY BORDERS MATTER
AFTER BOOING TED CRUZ FOR SUPPORTING ISRAEL, ‘CHRISTIAN’ LEADERS MEET WITH AND PRAISE OBAMA
Born-again amnesty hawk Mary Landrieu attacks opponent over border fence she called “dumb” last year
“Mary Landrieu, one of the Senate’s most endangered Democrats, thinks it’s very important for voters in her ostensible home state to know that her top Republican opponent is soft on border security. She’s running an attack ad in which the narrator scoffs at a short clip of Rep. Bill Cassidy expressing doubts about the efficacy of a border fence back in 2010. The spot goes on to tout Landrieu’s votes in favor of “triple layer fencing” along the Mexican border, and her “nine votes” against amnesty. Because if there’s one thing Mary Landrieu is against, it’s amnesty. And if there’s one thing she’s for, it’s a giant border fence, right? Right. Over you to you, Senator: “You are correct. I voted for the dumb fence once. I’m not going to do it again…so if somebody else wants to go and vote for the dumb fence for the second or third time, go right ahead.”
Mary Landrieu Fenced In On Immigration
FEMA wants at least $5.8M in Sandy aid repaid
“After Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast nearly two years ago, the federal government quickly sent out $1.4 billion in emergency disaster aid to the hurricane’s victims. Now, thousands of people might have to pay back their share. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is scrutinizing about 4,500 households that it suspects received improper payments after the storm, according to program officials and data obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request. As of early September, FEMA had asked around 850 of those households to return a collective $5.8 million. The other cases were still under review.”
Defense Dept. Poised to Dump Program One Expert Calls a ‘Sham’ and ‘Seriously Hurtful’ to Small Business
“The Pentagon is prepared to ditch a program that’s been called a “sham” and “seriously harmful” to small businesses in a legal opinion under review by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Committee staff will meet with Defense Department officials Thursday to discuss whether to renew the Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program, which has been around since 1990 but has yet to show that it meets its stated goal of improving access to federal subcontracting for small American firms. Operating with almost no oversight, the program creates a loophole that allows big companies doing work for the Defense Department to skip out on obligations to provide subcontracts to small firms, while making taxpayer-funded contracts less transparent, said University of Baltimore law professor Charles Tiefer, who specializes in federal contract law and was a member of the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2008 through 2011. “Calling a 25-year-old program a ‘test program’ is like a test program of a two-year temporary amnesty program for tax evaders, or a two-year temporary program for illegal aliens, still being called a temporary ‘test program’ after 25 years,” Tiefer wrote. “If this initially 2-year-old ‘test program’ were a baby when it started then referring to it as just temporary is like still calling it a toddler when it reached its commencement ceremony for college graduation – except that it had never had to take a test to continue its education.” Nevertheless, the Defense Department acquisition site states: “The purpose of the test is to determine whether comprehensive subcontracting plans will result in increased subcontracting opportunities for small business while reducing the administrative burden on contractors.”
Figures on government spending and debt
US budget deficit dips to $128.7 billion in August
“The federal government ran a lower budget deficit this August than a year ago, remaining on track to record the lowest deficit for the entire year since 2008. The August deficit was $128.7 billion, down 13 percent from the $147.9 billion deficit recorded in August 2013, the Treasury Department said Thursday in its monthly budget report. With just one month left in the budget year, the deficit totals $589.2 billion, 22 percent below last year’s 11-month total. The Congressional Budget Office expects the government to run a sizable surplus in September that will allow the government to close out the budget year with a deficit of $506 billion, the lowest since 2008. The improvement this year has occurred because of a 7.7 percent increase in tax revenues that offset a smaller 0.8 percent increase in spending. Revenues have been boosted by an improving economy and a tax increase that started taking effect in January 2013 that raised taxes on upper income individuals and eliminated a tax break workers had been getting on their Social Security taxes in the aftermath of the Great Recession. On the spending side, outlays have been restrained by efforts to get control of soaring budget deficits and by an improving economy which has cut spending in such areas as unemployment benefits and food stamps. With one month remaining in this budget year, outlays total $3.25 trillion while revenues total $2.66 trillion. If the deficit comes in at $506 billion as CBO is forecasting, that would be 26 percent below last year’s imbalance and the lowest annual total since the 2008 deficit of $458.6 billion. The 2007-2009 recession and efforts to deal with the financial crisis sent deficits soaring above $1 trillion for four straight years. The deficit hit $1.4 trillion in 2009 and remained above $1 trillion for each of the next three years, finally falling to $680.2 billion last year. The CBO’s latest forecast, released last month, sees the deficit declining to $469 billion next year before starting to rise again. The CBO forecast has the deficit climbing above $800 billion in 2021 and above $900 billion in 2022 and beyond. The big driver of those deficits will be the rising cost of Social Security and Medicare for the 78 million retiring baby boomers.”
Long-Term Unemployment Remains At Historic High
“The White House may call it a recovery, and the media may mostly chirp along, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for many Americans still victim to ObamaNomics. The “number and share of people out of work for more than six months, the so-called long-term unemployed, remain at historically high levels.” One has to wonder how hiring trends might be different were businesses not having to contend with the new financial burdens imposed by Obamacare, for example. And certainly any influx of cheap labor through a lax immigration policy can’t help in this situation. Of the 3 million long-term jobless today, about one-third have been unemployed for more than two years, Labor Department data show. A small minority — roughly 100,000 Americans like Perry — have been actively looking for at least five years. They might be called the super long-term unemployed. While others have quit looking, taken early retirement or entered disability rolls, these workers have pressed on year after year despite the increasingly long odds of finding a new job. Don’t look for the media or Washington to connect those dots any time soon. Although relatively few workers are in this boat, experts call the problem deeply worrisome. “Just because you aren’t long-term unemployed doesn’t mean you won’t be tomorrow,” said Justin Wolfers, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Having large numbers of people drawing food stamps, Medicaid and other public programs instead of being productive, taxpaying workers hurts the overall economy, he said. “The budgetary impact is quite large.”
Elizabeth Warren Is Still Deceiving People about Student Loans
“Politico reports that Senator Elizabeth Warren’s student-loan “refinancing” bill, which suffered death-by-filibuster back in June, will be resurrected in the Senate as early as this week. The legislation would drop the interest rate students are paying on older loans from around 7 percent to about 4 percent, which is the rate the government charges for newer loans. That’s a transfer payment from taxpayers to people who have attended college. But Senator Warren insists her bill merely levels the playing field by granting students the right to refinance. “With interest rates near historic lows, homeowners, businesses and even local governments have refinanced their debts,” she wrote in an op-ed on Tuesday. “But a graduate who took out an unsubsidized loan before July 1 of last year is locked into an interest rate of nearly 7 percent.” As I noted last spring, students already have the right to refinance their loans. They can go to any private lender and ask for a lower rate, just as homeowners and business can. The reason that few students do, of course, is that they are getting a great deal — a generous government subsidy — on their existing federal-direct or federally guaranteed loans. Private lenders are rarely in a position to offer better terms.”
Backdoor Tax Increases May Hit Investors
Profits From ‘Inversions’ and Other Deals Could Trigger Alternative Minimum Tax, Exemption Phaseouts and More on 2014 Returns
Senators Push Against Burger King Tax Inversion
“A handful of members of the Senate Democratic caucus are calling on the leadership of Burger King to abandon the idea of using inversion for tax purposes as part of the merger with a Canadian coffee and doughnut chain. “In August you and the Board of Directors of Burger King announced an agreement to purchase Canada-based Tim Hortons and move its corporate address to Canada, which will allow Burger King to avoid paying millions in U.S. taxes. We urge you and Burger King’s Board of Directors to reverse your plans to invert and to weigh the long-term consequences this move, known as a corporate inversion, would have on a company that relies on U.S. taxpayers to profit and thrive,” the senators wrote to Burger King CEO Daniel S. Schwartz. Democratic Sens. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Carl Levin of Michigan, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Sherrod Brown of Ohio signed the newest letter, along with Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. “Burger King relies on U.S. taxpayer-funded roads and bridges to deliver its products, safety inspectors to ensure the food it provides is safe for consumers, and a robust trademark system to protect its brand,” the five senators wrote. “Now, after profiting from these taxpayer-funded benefits, Burger King intends to move its tax address overseas to avoid paying its fair share for these benefits.” The letter comes one day after Durbin joined New York Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer in unveiling anti-inversion legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier this week expressed doubt the chamber would touch the inversions legislatively in September. Earlier Thursday, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, criticized the rhetoric from the Obama administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill about inversions. “The President and some in his administration have recently paid lip service to the need to fix our tax code, but that’s usually just a preface for arguments condemning inverting companies and calling for more ‘economic patriotism,’” said Hatch. In an apparent reference to senators like Brown and Durbin, Hatch alluded to the Burger King case while speaking at the Chamber of Commerce event.”
Wasted! Feds spend millions of tax dollars getting monkeys drunk
WATCH: SECOND-GRADER REDUCED TO TEARS BY COMMON CORE MATH HOMEWORK
Common Core Backers Reduced To PATHETIC Ad Swearing Standards Are ‘Better Than You’ve Heard’
D.C. Public School Assignment Asks Students to Compare Bush and Hitler
Gallup: Obama’s Job Approval Hovers at Bush 2006 Levels
Poll Offers Brutal News for Obama, Democrats
“The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll came out yesterday and it offers brutal news for President Obama and Democrats. It is worth looking at it in some depth. Overall, Obama’s job approval is unchanged, which might be called good news for the president, except that it remains at a low in this poll for the administration. Forty percent approve versus 54 percent who disapprove. This puts the poll toward the low end of the approval scale, but the NBC/WSJ poll is of registered voters, which probably makes it mildly less disposed to the president. Obama’s approval numbers on the economy are statistically unchanged from last month, although there is an improvement since December, when it was 39-58. Today it is 43-53. This number is interesting to me because people have been talking up the growing economy, but it does not seem to be translating into politics. I’d note with interest that Gallup’s measure of economic confidence has been flat for six months. The economy has been growing at a pretty consistent 2 percent since it emerged from the recession in the spring of 2009. That rate appears not to be enough to provide a political boost to the president.”
GALLUP: REPUBLICANS HOLD 23 POINT LEAD ON ISSUE OF TERRORISM
“Just after the 2012 election, after the mainstream media had allowed President Obama to repeatedly lie about Benghazi and the status of the War on Terror (I believe the word used was “decimated”), Democrats and Republicans were tied on the issue of which party was better able to handle terrorism. What a difference 18 months and facts even the mainstream media can’t conceal make. Today, according to Gallup, Republicans hold a 23 point edge over Democrats, 55-32%. Here’s how the rise and fall happened… Working with the media during his reelection campaign, the president did a brilliant job of convincing the American people he had all but licked the terrorists, successfully led from behind in Libya, would personally oversee the ouster of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and that the Arab Spring was real and beautiful and the result of his policies. The tide of war was receding, the abandoning of Iraq was a good thing, and that dumbass Mitt Romney was worrying about the Russians like it was 1983.
Smart power! Huzzah!”
POLL SHOWS AMERICANS ALARMED OVER OBAMA’S NATIONAL SECURITY POLICIES
Terrifying Senate Democrats Vote To Give Political Speech Less Protection Than Pornography (the cloture vote)
DUDE! BILL WHITTLE EXPLAINS HOW HIS FREE SPEECH HAS COME UNDER ATTACK
Proposed amendment on campaign finance dies in Senate
“Senate Democrats won’t be bringing back up a failed Constitutional amendment anytime soon, a sign the campaign finance proposal was mostly intended as a campaign season stunt. A motion to proceed on a proposal to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United failed to reach a required 60-vote threshold on a strict party-line vote Thursday afternoon, 54-42. But the key vote was Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who backed the proposal. When Reid plans to bring a bill back up later, he’ll vote against it so that he can use a parliamentary procedure to reconsider the vote. Democrats said the measure, sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., would stop what they called “dark money” from infiltrating politics now that the 2002 campaign finance law has been overturned by the Supreme Court, allowing unlimited donations to special interest groups that aim to influence elections. Republicans opposed the proposal, saying it would restrict free speech by giving politicians the power over who can give money. Democrats never really thought the measure would go anywhere, as they drafted it on the assumption Republicans would immediately block it. Democrats had hoped then to hold up the vote as an example of GOP obstructionism, a ploy they expected to exploit ahead of the November congressional elections. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Reid’s bluff Monday when he allowed the measure to advance on an initial procedural vote, turning what was supposed to be a Democratic messaging bill against them. McConnell allowed a second procedural vote to pass Wednesday on a voice vote. The Kentucky Republican then blasted Reid for wasting Senate time on a measure he knew had a slim chance of passing.”
OVER 250 SCHOOLS NATIONWIDE PARTICIPATE IN YAF 9/11 NEVER FORGET PROJECT
“Since 2003, Young America’s Foundation (YAF) has proudly organized the 9/11: Never Forget Project. Through this initiative, students at schools nationwide proudly display 2,997 American flags to remember those murdered at the hands of radical Islamists more than a decade ago.
More than 250 campuses will participate in this year’s project, and its popularity continues to increase. The project has even taken a life of its own with schools, businesses, and communities organizing their own displays without notifying us. If it weren’t for the Foundation’s student activists, most schools would ignore the anniversary of September 11. Even more worrisome are the professors who continue to blame America for the attacks. The Obama administration has even tried to change the meaning of 9/11 by turning the anniversary into a politically correct “national day of service.” They would like us—and particularly young people—to forget who murdered nearly 3,000 innocent American men, women, and children. Today marks 13 years since the tragic terror attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. September 11, 2014 is also the two-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Many students in college now were only five years old when the attacks happened, which is why this project is important now more than ever. Young America’s Foundation’s student activists understand the significance of 9/11 and hope to raise awareness about the importance of eradicating terrorism.
For more information about the 9/11: Never Forget Project and a list of participating schools, please visit our website.”
Yahoo Faced $250,000-Day Fine for Not Giving U.S. Data
“Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO:US) might have had to pay millions of dollars per day in fines if the company kept refusing to comply with U.S. government requests for its users’ Internet data, newly released documents show. In a small victory for Yahoo’s legal challenges to U.S. spying, a court permitted the company to release yesterday 1,500 pages of partly redacted documents that shed light on the scope and force of the government’s surveillance methods. One document shows the U.S. in May 2008 threatened Yahoo with a fine of $250,000 day that would double each week the company failed to turn over data. Yahoo complied on May 12, 2008, giving in to the National Security Agency’s Prism electronic surveillance program that had operated without public knowledge until former agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed it in 2013. The revelations ignited a debate about the scope of U.S. spying and prompted Internet companies to take additional measures to boost the use of encryption for e-mails and other communications. “Abuse and excess take place in secrecy too easily,” said Ed Black, president and chief executive officer of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a Washington-based trade group that represents phone and Internet companies including Yahoo. “This is hopefully a major step in having greater transparency about the secret world of surveillance.” The case stemmed from amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that let the government to demand user information from online services without warrants.”
YAHOO SAYS GOV’T THREATENED $250,000 A DAY FINE
Government’s Threat of Daily Fine for Yahoo Shows Aggressive Push for Data
Michelle Obama will campaign for Bruce Braley
“At least one Obama is in demand on the campaign trail. First lady Michelle Obama will campaign in Iowa next month for Rep. Bruce Braley, the Democratic Senate candidate, the Des Moines Register reported Wednesday. Braley is locked in a tight race with Republican Joni Ernst. The details of the trip have not yet been firmed up, according to the Register. As President Obama faces career-low approval ratings, Michelle Obama remains quite popular — and she is in high demand by Democratic campaigns, even in Republican-leaning states. Michelle Obama marked her debut on the 2014 campaign trail this week with an appearance for Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia. President Obama, for his part, has taken the hint and largely shied from the campaign trail, except in private events to help raise money for Democrats.”
AFSCME president says top target is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
Rep. McDermott: “I Was Insulted” By President’s War Powers Claims
Harry Reid: Congress should “rally behind” Obama’s ISIS plan
John Boehner: “Give the president what he is asking for” on ISIS
The President’s Delusional Speech (very good)
Reporter Asks WH Press Secretary What ‘Victory’ Over Islamic State Looks Like — His Response Is Not Sitting Well With Some
“When a reporter asked White House press secretary Josh Earnest what “victory” over the Islamic State would look like and what “destroy” really means, he replied with a joke. “I didn’t bring my Webster’s dictionary,” he said. The response didn’t sit well with many people, given the seriousness of the threat posed by Islamic State terrorists across the globe. Watch the rest of his response below:”
White House: We are not at war
Reporter to Earnest: Isn’t It Ironic Obama Will Use Authorization He Previously Wanted To Repeal?
Sorry Mr. President, ISIS Is 100 Percent Islamic