News Briefing for Monday, September 8


Below are some of the news stories that we are reading today.


EDITORIAL: A court-packing payoff for Obamacare

A U.S. appeals court saves health care law again

“Whoever said cheaters never win never met a president with an unrestrained ambition to make big government bigger, and damn the Constitution. Three new judges of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rode to the rescue of Obamacare on Thursday. The judges newly appointed by President Obama and confirmed by Democrats are in the new 7 to 4 majority, which reversed last month’s well-reasoned decision of a three-judge panel that said the administration can’t rewrite provisions of the Obamacare law, however inconvenient to the president, without going through the proper legislative process. The full court will rehear the case on Dec. 17, pushing a final decision well into next year. The delay removes a split between the appellate circuits that would have placed the case squarely in the Supreme Court’s lap. A lower court can’t tell the Supreme Court what to do, of course, and the high court justices could take up the Obamacare case without waiting. But a Supreme Court review is not likely now. President Obama can’t risk having his health care law reviewed by the high court a second time. The legislation was so poorly drafted that it’s only a matter of time before Chief Justice John Roberts runs out of imaginative reinterpretations of the text to preserve the law intact. Obamacare was written by lawyers and administration grunions who presumed everyone would rush to embrace socialized medicine. The public would love it, and states would never turn down “free” money offered by the federal government to add more dependents to the rolls. As it turned out, 36 states, a large majority, took the sensible course of declining to set up a state-run Obamacare insurance exchange. The law set up tax credits to subsidize policies bought from a state exchange, creating an offer “too good to refuse” for governors and statehouses. States that refused to do what the White House wanted would be “punished” by not getting the subsidy. The administration decided to ladle out the tax credits to everyone, anyway, despite the law’s crystal-clear directive that the subsidies must go only to health insurance policies bought through a federal exchange. Three of the judges who participated in Thursday’s vote to overlook the law and give the White House what it wanted — Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard and Robert L. Wilkins — would not be on the bench now had the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not vaporized a century of Senate tradition with the “nuclear option.” Instead of forging the consensus needed to confirm the appointments with the votes of 60 senators, they changed the rules. Mr. Obama’s court-packing prevailed. Mr. Obama follows the example of Franklin D. Roosevelt who attempted to pack the Supreme Court with six additional justices in 1937 knowing that his New Deal expansion of the federal government couldn’t survive review by the established nine-member court. He would appoint the six new justices. Two of the nine justices changed their votes on the court before Congress could vote on the court-packing scheme. Once the president got what he wanted, the court-packing scheme was abandoned.


Mr. Obama may not be so fortunate. If the polls accurately reflect voter sentiment of September and it holds steady in November — a big if — the Senate will switch to Republican hands in January. New rules could transform “payoff” to “payback” in future votes.”


Commissioner Bell: Obamacare continues to hurt Alaskans


Companies race to adjust health-care benefits as Affordable Care Act takes hold

“Large businesses expect to pay between 4 and 5 percent more for health-care benefits for their employees in 2015 after making adjustments to their plans, according to employer surveys conducted this summer. Few employers plan to stop providing benefits with the advent of federal health insurance mandates, as some once feared, but a third say they are considering cutting or reducing subsidies for employee family members, and the data suggest that employees are paying more each year in out-of-pocket health care expenses. The figures come from separate electronic surveys given to thousands of mid- to large-size firms across the country by Towers Watson, the National Business Group on Health and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, consulting groups that engage with businesses on health insurance issues. Bracing themselves for an excise tax on high-cost plans coming in 2018 under the Affordable Care Act, 81 percent of employers surveyed by Towers Watson said they plan to moderately or significantly alter health-care benefits to reduce their costs. The excise tax will be levied on companies offering annual benefits that exceed $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families. For any costs above those amounts, businesses would be taxed 40 percent on the difference. Nearly three quarters of the businesses interviewed by Towers Watson said they are concerned they will be subject to the excise tax. To lower their tax bill, many companies are looking to cut their premiums by raising deductibles. Many also are making greater use of health-care savings accounts. “My takeaway from the employer surveys is that this trend is accelerating,” said Paul Fronstin of the nonprofit Employee Benefits Research Institute. The National Business Group on Health finds 81 percent of employers offering insurance plans that include higher deductibles and an annual health savings account. The savings account allows employees to deposit money tax-free, and employers often deposit a set amount of money into these accounts at the beginning of the year. “These plans have been around for more than a decade, but there is no doubt that the excise tax is out there, and employers want to do something now. Which is why we’re seeing greater interest in these types of plans,” Fronstin said. Others see these changes as less of a result of the Affordable Care Act and more a response to the steadily increasing costs of health care. The expected increase of 4 to 5 percent from 2014 to 2015 is no greater than in previous years, but the continued pressure on businesses has forced a wave of cost-sharing innovation, giving employees what the industry calls more “consumer-directed” choices to make between the quality of care and the cost.”


Can Republicans Make Obama’s ‘If You Like Your Health Care Plan’ Promise Come True?

“House Republicans next week will pass legislation aimed at making President Barack Obama’s famous promise come true: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” That line from Obama was named the political lie of the year in 2013 by PolitiFact, as it quickly became clear that new insurance standards in Obamacare would force some plans to be canceled. But in the House at least, members will have a chance to approve legislation that turns that lie into a true statement. The GOP will call up the Employee Health Care Protection Act, which would allow companies to continue offering any group market insurance plan through the end of 2018, as long as it existed before Obamacare took effect. “The president’s broken healthcare promises have left millions of Americans with cancelled plans, unaffordable costs, and lost access to trusted doctors,” Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), the bill’s sponsor, said Friday. “The president and Obamacare supporters first didn’t read the bill, and now they continue to ignore these realities.” “This commonsense bill simply holds the president to his promise that you can keep the health plan you had and liked,” he said. Cassidy added that while millions of plans have already been canceled, some have warned that small businesses will start to be affected beginning in October. Next week’s debate and vote will likely be the last chance for Republicans to make their case against Obamacare in Congress before the mid-term election. The GOP has made Obamacare the poster child for government overreach as well as government incompetence in this year’s election. Democrats, on the other hand, are likely to argue that Republicans are wasting more time trying to change a law they oppose, in a way the Senate and White House don’t support. But Republicans have said Obama’s unwillingness to work with Congress to deal with Obamacare’s many problems is exactly why the House has to work on its own. Obama has made several tweaks to the law unilaterally, angering Republicans who want the chance to make changes through legislation. Just before leaving for the August break, the House approved a resolution authorizing House Speaker to file a civil suit against the administration over its implementation of the law.”


State’s $8B test to coordinate Medicare-Medicaid care

Goal: Savings, quality for Medicare-Medicaid recipients




“Perhaps signaling that he will soon enact executive actions to ease even more deportations, President Barack Obama said on Friday that illegal immigrants should not have to “look over their shoulder” while in the country illegally.  At a press conference at the NATO Summit in Wales, Obama said he would act “fairly soon” on executive amnesty after going over proposals and recommendations that Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder have provided him. Obama said that in the “absence of congressional action,” he intends to “take action” to increase resources on the border, upgrade “how we process these cases and that we find a way to encourage legal immigration and give people some path so they can start paying taxes, pay a fine, and learn English.” He asserted that it is important that they not have to “look over their shoulder but be legal since they’ve been living here for quite some time.”


Obama to delay executive action on immigration until after election

“Bowing to political concerns, President Obama will not announce any plans to take executive action to change immigration policy until after the November elections, despite promising in June he would act before the end of summer. White House officials began informing lawmakers and advocacy groups of the decision, with calls going out late Friday and continuing into Saturday morning, according to several people familiar with the decision. The decision comes just a few days after Obama hinted that he might delay a decision as he continues to call on Congress to take steps to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws. Senate Democrats have warned that any bold executive action ran the risk of upending the chances of several Democratic incumbents running for reelection in southern states, where Obama is unpopular and the issue of immigration reform isn’t as urgent. Republicans must win six seats to take control of the Senate. In an interview set to air Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama defended his decision to wait. “When I take executive action, I want to make sure that it’s sustainable,” Obama said in a clip from the interview released Saturday afternoon. “What I’m saying is that I’m going to act because it’s the right thing for the country.  But it’s going to be more sustainable and more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we’ve done on unaccompanied children [on the southern border], and why it’s necessary.” A White House official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, also defended the decision. “The reality the president has had to weigh is that we’re in the midst of the political season and because of the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue, the president believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections.”

Obama Delays Immigration Action, Yielding to Democratic Concerns

“President Obama will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections, bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats who feared that acting now could doom his party’s chances this fall, White House officials said on Saturday. The decision is a reversal of Mr. Obama’s vow to issue broad directives to overhaul the immigration system soon after summer’s end, and sparked swift anger from immigration advocates. The president made the promise on June 30, in the Rose Garden, where he angrily denounced Republican obstruction and said he would use the power of his office to protect immigrant families from the threat of deportation. “Because of the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue, the president believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections,” a White House official said. “Because he wants to do this in a way that’s sustainable, the president will take action on immigration before the end of the year.”


President Barack Obama punts on immigration until after election

Obama Abandons Pledge, Will Delay Executive Action on Immigration Until After Midterm Elections

Obama Punts on Immigration Until After Elections (Updated)


Obama delays amnesty for illegal aliens until after election

“Comprehensive immigration reform”: an idea so popular that the American people must never, ever be given a chance to vote against it.”

Obama delays immigration action until after elections

Obama to delay immigration action until after elections

Obama to delay executive action on immigration until after elections

Obama Promises Immigration Edict After Election

Obama Delays Immigration Decision Past November Elections

White House: No action on immigration until after midterm elections

Obama delays executive immigration action until after midterm elections in November




President Barack Obama will delay executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections, a bow to political pressure from Democrats in tough Senate races who had complained the action could hurt their campaigns.


Inevitable Delay of Lawless Amnesty Announced

“There was never any chance Obama as going to announce a lawless immigration decree before the November 4 elections, and the White House finally acknowledged that on Saturday. This is not only because of the certainty that it would have caused the Democrats to lose control of the Senate, which prompted an increasing number of Democratic senators to call for delay. From a longer-term perspective, turning the midterms explicitly into a referendum on amnesty and increased immigration — and then losing — would have undermined the political case for “comprehensive immigration reform” for years to come. But, in fact, the midterms should still be a referendum on Obama’s lawless immigration plans, if only the Stupid Party leadership had any sense. After all, from the standpoint of democratic governance, a lawless amnesty decree is bad enough, but openly saying you’re going to issue such a decree only after the people have had a chance to vote is much worse. Every Republican candidate in the House and Senate needs to make clear that, whatever your views on the substance of immigration policy, a vote for any Democrat is a vote for caesarism, for presidential rule by decree. There’s actually a good deal of support for that on the hard left, but most people, of all descriptions, recoil from Obama’s promised power grab.”


No Obama Immigration Action Until After November Elections

“A new GOP message for the midterms: November is your last chance to send a message to President Obama to not unilaterally rewrite America’s immigration policy! If this is such a great idea, why wait until after the elections? Perhaps it’s not such a good idea! In fact, if 74 percent of Americans oppose the president doing this unilaterally… maybe it’s a terrible idea, hm? Allahpundit, on why Obama’s waiting: “Once the people have been safely duped and the votes are in, Obama will announce his mega-amnesty in November or December. The point is to ensure that voters aren’t making a fully informed choice when they go to the polls this fall. That might turn out badly for the left, so the king is once again exercising his royal prerogative to shield them from political difficulty. Just like he did repeatedly in moving statutory deadlines around for ObamaCare.”

Breaking: Obama to delay immigration action until voters can’t punish Democrats for it


Exclusive: Obama Blames Border Crisis for Immigration Reform Delay

“In an exclusive interview with Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, President Barack Obama defended his decision to delay executive action on immigration, saying the summer’s surge of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border changed the politics of the issue. “The truth of the matter is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem,” Obama said in the interview, which will air on Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC. “I want to spend some time, even as we’re getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we’re doing this, why it’s the right thing for the American people, why it’s the right thing for the American economy.”

Obama Blames ‘Children’ For Hostility To His Amnesty Plans

“President Barack Obama is trying to blame migrant Central American “children” for the public’s lopsided rejection of his wage-cutting immigration policies. “This problem with unaccompanied children that we saw a couple weeks ago, where you had, from Central America, a surge of kids who were showing up at the border, got a lot of attention,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd. “And a lot of Americans started thinking, ‘We’ve got this immigration crisis on our hands,’” he said, so “the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem.” “No one believes that,” said a tweet from Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, who has long argued that Obama’s plans are unpopular because they’re so disadvantageous to Americans. On Sept. 6, White House officials said Obama had cancelled his very unpopular plans fora pre-election amnesty edict, and would instead announce his expected rollback of immigration policy before the end of the year. Obama said the draft plan is on his desk. “Jeh Johnson, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, has presented the preliminary, you know, ideas in terms of how we can take executive action,” he said in the White House interview. The plan, he said, is to allow many new foreign professionals and plus many existing illegals — “the millions of people who are here, in many cases, for a decade or more” — to  stay in the United States. But Obama said he wants more public debate on the issue. “When I take executive action, I want to make sure that it’s sustainable,” he said.”


Obama on Immigration: “When I Take Executive Action, I Want To Make Sure It’s Sustainable”


Obama: Immigration plan wasn’t delayed to save the Senate

“President Obama claimed in an interview Saturday that he did not delay long-awaited executive action on immigration reform to protect Senate Democrats, saying that the border crisis made him recalculate when to unveil his blueprint. “That’s not the reason,” Obama told NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked if he pushed back his timeline on immigration merely to appease Senate Democrats. “The truth of the matter is — is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem,” Obama added in excerpts of the interview released late Saturday. “I want to spend some time, even as we’re getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we’re doing this, why it’s the right thing for the American people, why it’s the right thing for the American economy.” Tens of thousands of young immigrants, mostly from Central America, illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months. Republicans say the episode proved the Obama administration had not done enough to secure the border. Earlier Saturday, White House officials revealed that the president would not move unilaterally on immigration until after the November midterms. For weeks, the White House had been signaling that the president would act by the end of summer. Supporters of immigration reform, however, are accusing the president of putting Democrats’ political fortunes ahead of his principles. But Obama insisted Saturday that more deliberation was needed to ensure the public understood the consequences of his executive action. “It’s going to be more sustainable and more effective,” the president said of the delay, “if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we’ve done on unaccompanied children and why it’s necessary.”


Obama Blames Amnesty Delay on Public’s Failure to Understand ‘Why It’s Necessary’

“New Meet the Press host Chuck Todd pushed back against President Obama’s claims that his decision to delay taking executive action on granting legal status to people in the country illegally wasn’t motivated by the upcoming midterms elections. “It looks like politics, it looks like election-year politics,” Todd interjected at one point. One of the reasons the president claims he delayed action was to make sure all the “t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted,” but also pointed to the recent surge of unaccompanied children on the border complicated the matter. “A lot of Americans started thinking, ‘We’ve got this immigration crisis on our hands,’” Obama explained. “But if the public’s not behind you, you’re not taking it?” Todd asked. “That sounds a little bit — that the public wouldn’t support what you did?” “What I’m saying is I’m going to act because it’s the right thing for the country, but it’s going to be more sustainable, more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we’ve done on unaccompanied children, and why it’s necessary,” the president said.”


Why Obama retreated on immigration


Why Obama Delayed Immigration Action Till after the Election


Political Shift Stalls Efforts to Overhaul Immigration


Jorge Ramos: Obama ‘didn’t keep his word’ on immigration

“Fusion’s Jorge Ramos went after President Obama on Saturday for pushing back immigration policy changes until after the midterm elections in November. In June, Obama said he would take action by the end of the summer to address his administration’s oft-criticized deportation policies. But after the White House announced the delay, Ramos took Obama to task for letting “partisan politics” get in the way of using his executive power to allow many undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S.”

Immigration activists rip Obama

“Latino groups on Saturday promised they would “not soon forget” President Obama’s move to delay any executive action on the border crisis until after the midterm elections. A White House official said Obama decided to postpone acting on immigration until after November because of the tremulous political season and “Republican’s extreme politicization of the issue.” But immigrant rights and Latino advocacy groups were quick to place blame on Obama and Democrats after hearing the news. “To wait nine more weeks means that I must again look my mother in the eye and see the fear she has about living under the threat of deportation every day,” said Cristina Jimenez, director of United We Dream, an advocacy group.  “But Dreamers will not soon forget the president and Democrats’s latest failure and their attempts to fool the Latino community, and we remain resolute in fighting for justice for our families,” Jimenez added. Obama’s move is likely an attempt to also quell calls from vulnerable Senate Democrats to hold off on any move until after the elections, fearing any action would isolate independent voters and fire up the Republican base. Staunch immigration activist and director of America’s Voice, Frank Sharry tore into Obama for the delay, calling it a bitter disappointment. “We advocates didn’t make the reform promise; we just made the mistake of believing it,” Sharry said. “The President and Senate Democrats have chosen politics over people; the status quo over solving real problems.” “It is hard to believe this litany of high expectations and broken promises will be mended by the end of the year,” he said.”


“On Saturday, after the White House announced that President Barack Obama will not enact executive amnesty before the midterm elections, pro-amnesty groups vowed to “escalate” their activism what they said was a “slap to the face.”  Cristina Jimenez of the pro-amnesty United We Dream group, which has confronted lawmakers like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and staged mock “funerals” for the GOP in Congress, said Obama’s “latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community.” “Where we have demanded leadership and courage from both Democrats and the President, we’ve received nothing but broken promises and a lack of political backbone,” she said, accusing Obama of being more interested in politics than protecting illegal immigrants. “But Dreamers will not soon forget the President and Democrats’ latest failure and their attempts to fool the Latino community, and we remain resolute in fighting for justice for our families.” She vowed that “Dreamers across the country will escalate until the moral crisis in our community is lifted and millions of people are liberated from the fear of being torn from their families.”

Hispanics assail Obama decision to delay action on immigration

“Democratic Representatives Luis Gutierrez and Tony Cardenas on Sunday accused Mr. Obama of playing politics the day after the president said he would wait until after November’s congressional elections to change policy on immigration. The announcement marked a reversal for Mr. Obama, who publicly promised to act by the end of summer. “Playing it safe might win an election,” Mr. Gutierrez said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “But it almost never leads to fairness, to justice and to good public policy that you can be proud of.” Senate Democrats at risk of losing their seats in the November elections pressed the White House to hold off an executive order. Though many immigration advocates have been pushing hard for the White House to ease up on deportations of undocumented immigrations, wariness among the broader public began to build this summer, fueled by Republican accusations that executive actions would mark an overstepping of Mr. Obama’s authority. Democrats worry that an executive action could cause them to lose control of the Senate in November. Mr. Gutierrez, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and a passionate advocate of immigration overhaul, said he had called Mr. Obama and White House officials after hearing the executive action would be delayed. He said he expects to meet with administration officials this week on the issue. Mr. Cardenas, who is also part of the Hispanic Caucus, said of Mr. Obama: “we all are frustrated with him right now because he’s taken way too long to take his executive actions.” “I don’t like what the president’s advisers may be telling him. I can only speculate that they’ve encouraged them to wait. I would prefer he do it now,” Mr. Cardenas told the CNN’s “State of the Union” program. Immigrant advocacy groups also criticized the delay. “The president’s latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community,” Cristina Jimenez, managing director for United We Dream, said in a statement Saturday. United We Dream asked supporters on social media to use the hashtag, “#deporterinchief,” to urge Mr. Obama to pull back from deporting undocumented immigrants. The Senate last year passed a sweeping immigration bill that would have provided a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants within the United States. But the bill stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Republican opponents of the Senate bill have labeled it “amnesty” for people who entered the country illegally….”

As Obama Defends Immigration Delay, Activists Decry ‘Another Slap to the Face,’ ‘Broken Promises’ and ‘Lack of Political Backbone’

Obama’s delay on immigration action brings storm of criticism from Hispanics, liberal supporters

Gutiérrez: Obama ‘playing it safe’ on immigration

Dem: Latinos ‘frustrated’ with Obama but even angrier at GOP

Gutiérrez: Obama ‘Playing It Safe’ on Immigration, Abandoning ‘Our Values and Principles’

Democratic Congressman Hits President Obama for ‘Playing it Safe’ on Immigration



Latinos furious at Obama on immigration delay, vow more pressure

Obama disappoints, again

“President Barack Obama has one person to blame for looking indecisive, dithering and cowed by bungled political calculations: Barack Obama. He’s the one, after all, who strode into the Rose Garden on June 30 to announce that America couldn’t wait forever on immigration reform and pledging to move forward with a set of executive actions “before the end of summer.” He’s the one who spent that afternoon lighting into Republicans in Congress for punting and punting and punting again. Now he’s the one punting. Obama, appearing on “Meet the Press,” attributed his decision to punt immigration reform action until after Election Day to making “sure that the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted,” or “getting all our ducks in a row,” on the legal side and needing to spend some more time explaining himself to the American public. This is a reoccurring theme for Obama: repeatedly delivering bold speeches that set dazzlingly high bars for action, then slowly backpedaling into a muddle and letting the issue — and his poll numbers — fade away. From his 2008 campaign pledge to ban lobbyists in his administration to the speech he gave at the Newtown memorial service saying he was finally going to do something significant about gun control, Saturday’s announcement was another little splinter in the heartbreak for many Obama true believers. “When candidate Obama asked our community for support in 2008 and 2012, he urged us all to vote based on our hopes, not our fears,” said Janet Murguía, president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza. “Today, President Obama gave in to the fears of Democratic political operatives, crushing the hopes of millions of hard-working people living under the constant threat of deportation and family separation.”

Luis Gutierrez: Obama ‘walked away from our values’



“Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) said the president’s decision to delay an executive order to grant amnesty to upwards of 5 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States until after the mid-term elections is “frustrating,” and motivated by “politics.” The California Democrat said, “The bottom line is of course there’s some politics going on. I don’t like what the president’s advisers may be telling him. I can only speculate that they’ve encouraged him to wait.” Cardenas said the Latino community is “frustrated with the president, but I think they’re really pissed off with the Republican Party and what they represent.” Cardenas insisted the blame really belongs to the “disgusting, do-nothing Congress,” saying ,”Congress not doing its job and now the president is forced to have to take a measure like executive actions.”


Obama Irks Lawmakers in Both Parties With Immigration Delay


On Immigration, Obama in a Box of His Own Making

Delaying action on deportations makes sense, but no one is happy.


Is Obama “Just Words” After All?


How President Obama mishandled immigration

“The thinking — at the time — was simple: Obama wanted to make clear that if the Republican-led House refused to act on reforming the country’s immigration system, he would.  It was part of a broader message aimed at convincing (or re-convincing) the American public that Republicans were talkers (at best) and Democrats were doers. But, what Obama and his senior aides failed to account for — or underestimated — was the blowback from within his own party to a major executive action by an unpopular president on an extremely hot-button issue.  (Worth nothing: Obama’s approval numbers eroded steadily over the summer and into the early fall; his political standing today is weaker than it was when he pledged action on June 30.)  The move, it became clear, would have been seen as bigger than just immigration as well; it would have been cast (and was already being cast) by Republican candidates and strategists as simply the latest example — Obamacare being the big one — of federal government overreach. This disconnect between the long-term legacy building prized by Obama and the near-term political concerns of many within his party is not new but, quite clearly, became a major point of tension. Democrats trying desperately to hold on to Senate seats in places like Louisiana, Arkansas, Alaska and North Carolina and Democratic challengers trying to oust Republicans in places like Georgia and Kentucky expressed deep worries that Obama offering what their GOP opponents would cast as some form of “amnesty” to millions of undocumented immigrants could make the difference between a chance at retaining the Senate majority and, well, no chance. The counter argument —  that an executive order from Obama on immigration would enliven the Democratic base and further cement Hispanics’ support for Democrats — is a powerful one in a presidential election year or a midterm year in which many of the states being most hotly contested have large Latino populations. That, as Obama as his team should have realized far earlier than today, is not this year.”


President Obama’s delay of immigration action still carries political risks

“But delaying action until after the election also carries its own political risks. The liberal Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent, who is always helpful in providing insight to Democratic thinking, wrote that a fear among Democrats was that energizing conservative voters in red states where there are competitive races, Democrats risked losing the Senate. And that would deal a bigger blow to prospects for more comprehensive immigration reform. But the flip side is that by delaying action that Obama had been tantalizingly waving in front of immigration activists for months, he has also risked demoralizing his own base in the run up to the election. As Sargent writes, “Immigration advocates, who have been asked to place their demands for deportation relief on hold for months and months — each time getting promised action was right around the corner — will be enraged, however, and there will now be a very bitter dispute between the White House and Senate Dems and a key component of their base.” This anger was immediately apparent once news broke on the delay. “The president’s latest broken promise is another slap to the face of the Latino and immigrant community,” Cristina Jimenez, managing director for United We Dream, a group which has been pushing for action, said in an emailed statement. “On June 30, President Obama stood in the Rose Garden and said, ‘If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours. I expect [Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice’s] recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay.’ Dreamers have held him accountable at every corner, but the President is more content playing politics with the lives of our families.” The group vowed, “Dreamers are outraged and will take action. Obama’s legacy with our communities: deporter.” Opinion of Obama among Hispanic voters has vacillated between support and disillusionment at various points in his presidency, and this decision is likely to renew the criticism that he’s been a big tease. At the same time, it isn’t necessarily clear that this non-action will dampen the enthusiasm of the GOP base. Republicans can still argue that Obama made a political decision to delay action, but he will do so right after the election — which is why voters need send him a message by making sure that his party loses control of the Senate. The move also may energize conservative activists who sense weakness and see regaining the Senate as an opportunity to effectively end the Obama presidency. As for the prospects of comprehensive immigration reform, there is simply no way that it will happen during the Obama presidency regardless of whether Democrats maintain control of the Senate. The best chance that liberals had for comprehensive immigration reform was actually when President Bush was pushing it and there was enough Republican support to get it across the finish line if Democrats broadly went along. But they didn’t want to give that victory to a weak Republican president, especially when the prospect of regaining power and getting a better deal was so close. Going forward, Democrats would have to win the White House in 2016, control the House and Senate and then make comprehensive immigration reform the top priority of the new president’s first year or two in office — which has become the modern window to get major legislation passed.”


Delay won’t help Obama’s immigration pain


Immigration gamble: Will it work?


John Boehner: ‘Raw politics’ behind Obama immigration delay

“President Barack Obama’s move to delay executive actions on immigration is sure to soothe Senate Democrats fretting about a voter backlash but gave Republicans another chance to paint the White House as politically calculating. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) swiftly criticized Obama’s decision to hold off until the end of the year, which came after an increasing chorus of Senate Democrats sounded alarms about the prospect of the White House acting on its own to stem deportations just months ahead the competitive midterms. The House’s top Republican said there is never a “right” time for Obama to sidestep Congress on immigration and “declare amnesty by executive action.” But the decision to simply delay this deeply-controversial and possibly unconstitutional unilateral action until after the election – instead of abandoning the idea altogether – smacks of raw politics,” Boehner said in a statement Saturday. “The American people deserve honesty, transparency, and accountability – and any unilateral action will only further strain the bonds of trust between the White House and the people they are supposed to serve.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also panned Obama’s decision.

“This is clearly not decision-making designed around the best policy—it’s Washington politics at its worst,” McConnell said. “The president is required to take care that the laws are faithfully executed, not—as he has admitted—make them up as he sees fit.” White House officials said earlier Saturday that Obama will delay plans to issue an executive order on immigration until the end of this year, following a rising cry of concerns from Senate Democrats who feared a political backlash following any sweeping administrative action on deportations.”


Analysis: Politics trump promises on immigration


Obama’s immigration delay was political, GOP and Democrats agree








Flashback: Senate Dems Voted for Amnesty They Want Delayed

“Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) accused Senate Democrats of “colluding” with President Obama and interest groups to delay an administrative amnesty that they voted for in July. “The only thing that is more shocking than Senate Democrats’ support for the president’s planned executive amnesty is the cravenness of asking him to proceed beginning the day after the midterms,” Sessions said Friday. “They don’t care what you want, or what you think — they scorn and mock our good and decent citizens for wishing their laws to be enforced. Never in recent memory has the divide between the everyday citizen, and the political elite, been as wide as it is now.” Sessions made the statement apropos of a Friday report that Senate Democrats were encouraging Obama to delay the executive actions that he promised would come by the end of summer. On Saturday, White House officials announced that they were deferring to the Democrats, many of whom have difficult reelection campaigns and would not act until after the election. “Two White House officials said Obama concluded that circumventing Congress through executive actions on immigration during the campaign would politicize the issue and hurt future efforts to pass a broad overhaul,” according to the Associated Press. “They said he fully intends to act before the end of the year.” Sessions succeeded in forcing a vote that put Senate Democrats on the record in support of Obama’s proposal earlier this summer. “Only Senator Joe Manchin joined with Republicans to try and prohibit the president’s issuance of work permits to 5-6 million,” his office noted on July 31. “Even the Senate Democrats who claimed to oppose the executive actions (Pryor, Hagan, Begich and Landrieu), voted with Reid, Durbin and Schumer to block Sessions’ motion and thereby support the president’s action.” North Carolina state-house speaker Thom Tillis, the Republican Senate nominee, faulted his Democratic incumbent opponent, Senator Kay Hagan, for refusing to vote against Obama’s executive action. “President Obama’s decision to delay executive amnesty for illegal immigrants until after Election Day doesn’t change the fact that Kay Hagan supports amnesty and has repeatedly voted against securing the border,” Tillis said Saturday. “When Senator Hagan had the opportunity to cross party lines and stop executive amnesty, she sided with President Obama instead of the people of North Carolina, yet another example of her saying one thing on the campaign trail but doing another in Washington.”





“On Sunday’s broadcast of FNC’s “The Fox Report,” Pat Caddell, the former pollster for President Jimmy Carter, explained how images first shown on Breitbart Texas back in June of children that have entered the United States illegally that have been warehoused at Border Patrol facilities have influenced President Barack Obama’s policy on immigration. According to Caddell, those imagines defined the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and have caused Obama to delay his so-called amnesty by executive fiat effort, despite Obama saying otherwise earlier in the day on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Yes, well, he punting this because it’s a political — it’s getting bad,” Caddell said. “He said in his interview this morning with Chuck Todd, ‘Well, it’s because of the children.’ You know, finally – he’s really blaming Breitbart and Fox [News] for running those pictures in which people realize the border is falling apart. And the president has decided – and by the way, their numbers we’ll get to them, that show enormous opposition to his doing this, even by lots of Democrats and even Hispanics. But what he’s doing there is very simple. He’s saying, ‘Oh, it’s all politics.’ The challenge for the Republicans is to maybe the Democrats stand up on this, and the president is basically once again showing on you feckless he can be. If it was important — to say I’m going to wait until after the election means, ‘Hey, dummies after you’ve voted, then I’m going to drop this on you.”


TX Border Rancher: Cartels Are Taking Over Open US Border – Politicians Are Lying (Video)


Report: Virginia Taxpayers Will Pay $20,000 Per Undocumented Student



“A group of illegal immigrants stuffed into a pickup truck led authorities on a 160 mile chase that began near Laredo and ended just north of the San Antonio downtown area.  Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a pursuit in progress that began out of Laredo where U.S. Border Patrol agents had been pursuing a Ford pickup truck with 16 individuals inside, sheriff’s spokesman James Keith told Breitbart Texas “Our deputies joined the pursuit as it entered the county and were able to conduct a safe stop just north of our downtown area,” Keith said.

As the vehicle tried to flee authorities three deputies boxed in the pickup, which was drive by a 17-year-old female, in an effort to force the vehicle to stop.  “The driver actually rammed the vehicles used by out deputies,” Keith said.  Once the truck came to a stop, the 16 individuals in the truck attempted to run away but authorities set up a manhunt for five men who remain at large. One of the men at large is suspected of being the leader of the group. During the manhunt, a female deputy ended up getting a small injury from a bite by a police dog.

The female driver and the immigrants were turned over to border patrol for processing and further investigation, however the teenager is also facing three counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and one count of evading arrest, Keith said.”





“During Thursday night’s California gubernatorial debate against Republican Neel Kashkari, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) revealed that nearly 30% of the state’s schoolchildren are either illegal immigrants or do not speak English. Brown, who recently said that illegal immigrants from Mexico were “all welcome in California,” praised his administration’s immigration policies. He said that California is “setting the pace” on immigration laws and mentioned bills he signed that gave driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, made California a sanctuary state (Trust Act), and granted in-state tuition to illegal immigrants (CA DREAM Act). Brown then said that these policies were necessary because “about 30%” of schoolchildren in California are “either undocumented or don’t speak English.”






Scott Brown: Jeanne Shaheen Stands with Obama on Amnesty


Luis Gutiérrez: Martin O’Malley ‘champion’ of immigration






Jobs Numbers Tank as Obama’s Policies Fail


Joe Biden: Build infrastructure, invest in education to grow middle class



Biden: ‘Folks, it’s long past due to increase the minimum wage’


A $15 An Hour Minimum Wage Would Be a $17,500 A Year Tax On Jobs


GOP: Let’s boost the economy by empowering Americans, not D.C


Obama shifts rhetoric away from inequality


As Jobs Stagnate, Janet Yellen Plays Economic Pinball


Where Are the Jobs? Where’s the Wage Growth?


Sen. Schumer Proposes Limiting Benefits of So-Called Inversion Transactions

Proposal Faces Long Odds as Congress Returns to Washington This Week


Sen. Sanders calls for wealth tax at AFL-CIO convention


More Angelenos are becoming street vendors amid weak economy




Teacher: No longer can I throw my students to the ‘testing wolves’









Copies of messages could be stored on 760 computer servers

“New information from a crusading congressman and the Treasury Department has punched another hole in the story told by the IRS commissioner about Lois Lerner’s missing emails. It turns out, there may be copies of her missing emails on 760 servers. IRS chief John Koskinen testified before Congress in June there were no copies of two years’ worth of Lerner’s missing emails because the agency’s backup system consisted of storing all department emails on tapes that were recycled every six months. Many members of Congress and IT experts were flabbergasted by that, as virtually all businesses store all their archives permanently on servers. Their suspicions may have been on the mark, according to new information provided by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Jordan, who has been spearheading a House Oversight subcommittee investigation of the IRS, announced on Friday the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, has identified 760 exchange servers that could contain Lerner’s missing emails from the critical two-year period in question. Jordan’s office released a statement pointing out this new information “contradicts Commissioner Koskinen’s sworn testimony before Congress about Ms. Lerner’s missing e-mails.” In a letter the congressman sent to Koskinen on Friday, Jordan wrote, “According to TIGTA, the IRS did not search these sources for Ms. Lerner’s e-mails during its process of producing documents to Congress because the IRS was not aware that the exchange servers even existed. According to TIGTA, the IRS was under the mistaken belief that the exchange servers had been destroyed in 2012 until TIGTA’s review of IRS records indicated that the servers had not been destroyed due to budgetary constraints. These 760 exchange server tapes could be a potential source for the destroyed e-mails sent or received by Ms. Lerner.” Jordan called upon Koskinen to testify on Sept. 17 about IRS efforts to recover Lerner’s emails. The IRS made the stunning admission in June of this year, on Friday the 13th, that tens of thousands of Lerner’s emails were missing, including those during the crucial period from 2009 to 2011, when she headed the tax-exempt division that she later admitted was inappropriately targeting conservative groups. Some congressional investigators were immediately suspicious, because the date she told her superiors her laptop had crashed, June 13, 2011, was just 10 days after Congress first began inquiring about the IRS’ targeting of conservatives, when Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., sent a letter to then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. Jordan and other Oversight Committee members were also incensed with Koskinen because he took two months to tell investigators about the missing emails. Senior IRS leadership learned in February of this year that Lerner’s hard drive supposedly crashed in 2011. Koskinen said he became aware of it in April, when someone also informed the White House. But it wasn’t until June, two months later, that Koskinen informed Congress…”


We still don’t know why Lois Lerner’s Blackberry was wiped clean


The Insiders: Voters blame Obama for country being off-track




Harry Reid Rewrites the First Amendment

When politicians seek to restrict speech, they are invariably trying to protect their own incumbency.


Democrats Look Increasingly Like the Party of the Past


Obama Wishes the Media Would Stop Following Him All the Time — And He’s Not Exactly Sorry for Golfing Right after a Tragic Statement

“On Sunday, during his hosting debut on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd asked the president if he regretted the timing of the golf trip. Obama didn’t exactly apologize. “It is always a challenge when you’re supposed to be on vacation because you’re followed everywhere, and part of what I’d love [would be] a vacation from the press,” he said, adding that constant media presence means there’s always ”the possibility of a jarring contrast” as a president juggles global events and personal playtime. He said Foley’s death, and speaking with Foley’s family, deeply affected him, though he didn’t say he shouldn’t have gone golfing — he said he ”should have anticipated the optics.” “Part of this job is the theatre of it,” Obama said. “It’s not something that always comes naturally to me, but it matters.” Obama also congratulated himself on his national security performance. “I have no higher priority than keeping the American people safe,” Obama said. “I think I’ve done a very good job during these last close to six years doing so.”


Obama Laments Golfing After Beheading News

“I should have anticipated the optics,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” which taped Saturday and aired Sunday. “That’s part of the job.” In a moment of candor from the country’s top elected official, the president acknowledged that he isn’t always comfortable with the need to constantly manage the public’s perception of him. “Part of this job is also the theater of it,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s not something that,  that always comes naturally to me. But it matters. And I’m mindful of that.” Presidents, Mr. Obama suggested, can’t enjoy a family vacation the same way other Americans do because there are regularly being scrutinized by the press and the public at large. “The possibility of a jarring contrast, given the world’s news, is always – there’s always going to be some tough news somewhere,” he said. But the president made it clear that he should have expected the fallout, given the sorrow expressed by Mr. Foley’s family. “It was hard for me to hold back tears listening to the pain they were going through,” he said.”

Obama: Political Theater ‘Not Something That Comes Naturally to Me’

Obama: ‘I Should’ve Anticipated The Optics’ Of Golfing After Foley Beheading [VIDEO]


GOP Pulling Away in Key Senate Races

A new NBC News/Marist poll has Republican Tom Cotton leading incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor by five in Arkansas, while Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken an eight point lead over his Democrat challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Meanwhile, “in Colorado, incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., is up by six points over Rep. Cory Gardner, 48 percent to 42 percent”. Gardner has been accused of not sticking to his guns on immigration, trying to look for a “win win” position. His attempt to finesse the issue doesn’t appear to be working. A review of all the polling in all of this year’s Senate races shows the GOP on track to take back the Senate in November. Alaska, North Carolina, Georgia look good for the GOP based on current polling, with Louisiana and Michigan neck and neck.”


Obama: “We’ve Not Seen Any Immediate Intelligence About Threats To Homeland From ISIL”

Obama to outline ISIS plans Wednesday

Obama to hold Oval Office meeting with Hill leaders on how to stop Islamic State terrorists


Brent Budowsky: President Obama should read Reagan’s diaries


Don’t Blame Obama – History Will