House Debates Useless Pro-Optics Border Bill

By on 8.1.14 | 3:06PM

Yesterday it seemed Republican Party unity was breaking down when its leadership pulled an immigration reform bill from the House floor. The removal of the bill caused consternation from both sides as members were slated to leave on their August recess.

As debate this morning began, members of the Democratic minority were lining up to play watchdog. Streaming live on C-Span, the House minority leader, Congressman Steny Hoyer, came out in full force attacking the GOP. He slammed Republicans for suspending regular order to push the bill through and called it a political stunt.

“It’s mid-morning and we still haven’t seen the bill,” he stated, forgetting all about how Obamacare was rammed through at the last minute.

Congressman Peter DeFazio decried the fact there was no funding for firefighters as fire rages in the western states. Forget that the bill is supposed to be about immigration and actual people who are suffering. Politics always comes first on Capitol Hill.

Congressman Joe Garcia tore into Senator Ted Cruz on the House floor, accusing him of meddling in the House’s business and blaming him for the bill’s failure.

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On Immigration, Where Obama Fails, Conservatives Can Rise

By on 7.10.14 | 6:15PM

As violence erupted in Central America, thousands of people fled to the U.S.-Mexico border, crossing into Texas, California, and Arizona. This crisis has sparked ire on both sides of the political aisle. The president, however, has refused to even visit the border. He called such a visit a “photo op”:

“Nothing has taken place down there that I’m not intimately aware of,” Obama said during a hastily arranged news conference here, where he began a two-day visit to the state for Democratic fundraising and an economic event. “This is not theater.”

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Eric Cantor’s Out in July, But Immigration Reform’s Not Dead Yet

By on 6.11.14 | 5:33PM

In a stunning upset last night, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his bid for reelection in a primary against a relatively unknown economics professor from Randolph-Macon College David Brat. The final vote count had Cantor losing by the wide margin of 55 percent to 45 percent, the first time a House majority leader has lost reelection since 1899, and an embarrassment to both Cantor and the GOP establishment. The race to fill his leadership seat will occur on June 19.

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The Nation's Pulse

Bishops Migrate to Washington

By 6.11.14

The rise of “nones“ has left churchmen reeling. Surveys find that a growing number Americans are religiously unaffiliated — that means empty pews and empty offering plates. Catholic bishops recently took to Capitol Hill with a peculiar effort to reverse the decline.

Six bishops held a Mass in a D.C. church and met with lawmakers to urge the House of Representatives to pass immigration reform. Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami preached in a May 29 homily that the United States immigration system is “a stain on the soul of our nation.” Laws “need to be changed” and “solutions proposed should not make the situation worse.”

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Republican Martha McSally: An Arizona Classic

By on 6.10.14 | 2:32PM

Republican Martha McSally is a retired colonel—the first woman to fly in combat for the Air Force—and a classic Arizonan running as a moderate in the state's Second Congressional District.

McSally can also be seen running under the hot sun and through the cactus and fearsome cat-claw of the Arizona desert in her campaign ad. She impressed Politico with her forceful personality and reticence about issues:

“When I have a staff and I’m in Congress, I’m going to do everything I can to actually help form the issues in front of us instead of having to answer, ‘Are you going to run on this? Are you going to run on that?’” she said.

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What Happens to Illegal Immigrants Who Seek Sanctuary in Churches?

By on 5.15.14 | 3:54PM

An illegal immigrant on the run from federal immigration agents has taken up residence in Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. The congregation welcomed Daniel Nyoy Ruiz and his family on Tuesday, according to Tucson News Now:

Pastor Alison Harrington said the church hasn't given someone sanctuary since the 1980's. She said Daniel can live here with his family for as long as he needs. 

"We think he's very safe. There  hasn't been very many cases of immigration officials entering onto church property to get someone. So we feel that he is safe here," Harrington said. 

Not surprisingly, immigration officials were not thrilled that the family, instead of reporting to their office for voluntary deportion, went to church:

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A Response to Bill Zeiser re: Rand Paul and Immigration

By on 4.1.14 | 6:13PM

I think Bill Zeiser speaks to two sides of a major problem facing today’s Republican Party.

When it comes to the Hispanic vote, the GOP suffers from cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, they pay lip-service to a burgeoning constituency that produces 50,000 potential new voters every month. On the other, they appear perfectly content to cede their support. This, despite the fact that 2.3 million Hispanic-owned businesses anchor a Latin mainstream that identifies the economy as the country’s chief concern.

After the 2012 cycle, the conservative pollsters at Resurgent Republic took a closer look at four critical swing states—Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico—with a post-election survey of Hispanic voters. Their conclusion? “Republicans have run out of persuadable white voters.” Bill cites Ramesh Ponnuru’s criticism in his piece—his analysis is fair, but, perhaps, too pessimistic. It also speaks to hard truths.

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Sorry, Rand Paul: Hispanics Aren’t Going to Vote GOP Either Way

By on 4.1.14 | 3:21PM

United States Senator and prospective presidential also-ran Rand Paul warned Republicans today that until they get "beyond deportation," they will be ineffective at courting Hispanic voters. Politico reports:

“The bottom line is, the Hispanic community, the Latino community is not going to hear us until we get beyond that issue,” he said at a conservative event. His comments came immediately following a discussion on work visas, in the context of a broader address about reaching out to that community.

“They’re not going to care whether we go to the same church or have the same values or believe in the same kind of future of our country until we get beyond that. Showing up helps, but you got to show up and you got to say something, and it has to be different from what we’ve been saying.”

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Political Hay

Dancing With Corporatists

By 2.11.14

Immigration reform is being “strangled by Republicans dancing to talk radio.”


This the assessment of our friends at the Wall Street Journal the other day, upset with House Speaker John Boehner’s “punt” on the issue. The paper correctly notes that part of the problem indeed rests with President Obama’s repeated rewriting of Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act. If the President is willing to so flagrantly abuse his power with his premiere health care law, goes the not unreasonable theory, what’s to stop him from abusing whatever law is passed on immigration?

Those of us who graduated from Reagan/Kemp university are decidedly not believers in zero-sum economics, as the paper attributes (unfairly, we would suggest) to both Alabama’s Senator Jeff Sessions and the Heritage Foundation. Both of these estimables from what the WSJ calls the “populist wing” of the GOP have been talking up the idea that immigrants will be taking jobs from American citizens.

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New GOP Strategy: Stall Immigration Reform

By on 2.7.14 | 11:11AM

Is immigration reform the Obamacare of vulnerable, incumbent Republicans in 2014? Just as incumbent Democratic senators up for reelection this year have been distancing themselves from the president and the travesty that has become Obamacare, immigration reform may pose a similar problem for Republicans facing primary opponents. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has stated that there won't be immigration reform in 2014—luckily for him, the year he’s up for reelection:

I think we have an irresolvable conflict here. The Senate insists on comprehensive. The House says it won’t go to conference with the Senate on comprehensive and wants to look at step-by-step.

CNN adds that McConnell “did not take a position on the GOP outline.”

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