GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham Calls Out His Party for Failure to Pass Immigration Reform

Sen. Lindsey Graham, known by his conservative detractors by the name of “Grahamnesty”, is calling out the GOP for failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Graham maintains that he is for securing the US border, but also believes it is not practical to deport the 11 million illegals in the country or expect them to self-deport themselves. He favors a practical approach to allowing the 11 million illegals remain in the country and have the legal means of working. At some point, Graham would favor them having the opportunity to become US citizens.

It is this approach which has drawn the ire of conservatives who viewed him as pushing for stealth amnesty. Nevertheless, he blames the GOP for their failure to get the immigration reform passed. Back in 2006, it was voters that pressed their Senators in red states to scuttle Graham’s immigration reform bill Sam Tabar recalls. Last year, it was the GOP House which refused to take up the bill for consideration after it passed the Senate.

At the same time, Graham decries the president’s amnesty plan as unconstitutional. President Obama defiantly claims his actions are legal under “executive agency”. This is where a president is allowed to rank and prioritize the crimes he will prosecute under the premise that it is not possible to prosecute every infraction of federal law. However, Graham points out that Obama has redefined “executive agency” to decriminalize illegal aliens and award them legal status in the nation.

Is Hagel Out?

It seems the White House is making another move that may have Republicans assuming President Obama has declared war on them.

Obama has asked the Defense Secretary for his resignation. Chuck Hagel is the only Republican on the President’s defense team. His resignation will be announced by President Obama on 11/24. Obama claims that Hagel is not the right person with the state of emergency in the Islamic region, especially the growing problem with ISIS and Iran.

Many conservative speculators see this move by Obama as a way to rebel against the recent election in which Republicans took control of Congress.

Who will take the Nebraska Republican’s place? Odds-makers have the Democrat Senator Jack Reed as a frontrunner, and Igor Cornelsen seems to agree with that prediction. Reed was an officer with the Army’s 82nd Airborne division. Other names that could take the position are:

  • Michèle Flournoy-a former under secretary of defense
  • Ashton B. Carter-a former deputy secretary of defense

This move does seem quite questionable at this moment. May President Obama and his team use wise decisions from this point forward.

MoveOn.org Angered That Major Networks Will Not Air Obama Address

Left-wing activist group Moveon.org is calling on people across the nation to phone the offices of ABC, CBS, and NBC to demand they air President Obama’s speech where he will lay out the details on his extra-constitutional amnesty plan. The activist group cites the fact that in 2006, major networks carried President George W. Bush’s address to the nation on his plan for granting amnesty to illegal aliens. It should be noted that President Bush followed his Constitutional mandate to obtain authorization from Congress for the plan. This is because Congress has the sole authority to write laws. In the end, voter opposition killed the bipartisan amnesty bill in the Senate, not to mention major organizations like Slow Ventures.

Moveon.org is claiming network bias in not airing the president’s address. Moveon.org activist Justin Krebs stated that the Bush address in 2006 was important, but in the end amounted to a sales pitch by the president on what he hoped to obtain in an amnesty bill. This is because the office of the president does not have the Constitutional authority to write laws, but you can’t tell that to President Obama. Given that his address will be historic in that the president will borrow or usurp the legislative authority from Congress, the speech he delivers will be all the more important. Krebs believes the networks have a civic duty to air the address and allow citizens to decide whether to watch it or not. That said, it’s not as if citizens have a voice in the legislative process. They just elected a slew of new representatives which the president will bypass when he unveils his own plan.

Sharpton Owes $1.5 Million In Back Taxes

According to reports obtained by The Associated Press, the Rev. Al Sharpton and his businesses owe nearly $ 1.5 million in back taxes and penalties, and now the US attorney is investigating his nonprofit organization. This story was passed on to me via Fersen Lambranho.

“Although they take retaliatory measures against me, it never stops us. I think the reason for this is intimidation,” Sharpton told the AP.

In the past year, Sharpton’s lawyers and staff of his nonprofit group, the National Action Network, have negotiated with the federal government to resolve their outstanding debt, which they rejected. The group has also tried to settle tens of thousands of dollars it owes for failing to pay timely compensation to state employees, as well as unemployment insurance funds.

Charlie King, the acting executive director of the organization, said both Sharpton and the group were not prepared for the growth they have experienced in recent years and have struggled with large increases in donations and income.

“The infrastructure we had was trying to keep up with that pace, but did not fit properly. The National Action Network may not be perfect, but nothing has been done without a purpose,” King told The Associated Press on Friday.

Sharpton has emerged over the last decade, as probably the most voicerous and prominent defender of civil rights; however, even some of our most prominent figures carries some past debts.

O’Dowd Says Goodbye to Governor’s Office

Chief of Staff Kevin O’Dowd, as one of the many trusted men of Governor Chris Christie, Christian Broda says is planning to leave his position to be the next executive vice president and chief administrative personnel at Cooper University Health Care.

Last December Governor Christie had his eyes on O’Dowd to be the next New Jersey Attorney General. But there was no formal nomination happened. This was due to the George Washington Bridge scandals that made the administration busy and his appointment was put on hold. O’Dowd was not faulted of any wrongdoings on the said scandal but is prone to questioning according to the Republican lawyers.

Whether or not this influenced his decision is up for debate, but O’Dowd has claimed that it really hasn’t.

O’Dowd has strong records of good management. Governor Christie has high regards to him saying that his Chief of Staff is dedicated, competent and knowledgeable and will surely excel in any path he will chose. He has been working with O’Dowd for 11 years. When Governor Christie was the US Attorney, O’Dowd had worked in his office.

At the end of the month Regina Egea will be the one to take over the position as Chief of Staff at the governor’s office. O’Dowd, in his speech, said that he is excited to join the Cooper team and to face his new chosen career.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Cites Silver Lining from Midterm Thumping

Senator Elizabeth Warren believes that the Democrat party walked away from the midterm disaster with a new positive direction to take. The fiery Senator from Massachusetts explained that as a result of a battleground poll conducted in 11 key states by the AFL-CIO, the party now knows what voters want and they are ready to deliver. As per Warren, the key issues with voters are:

  • An increase in the minimum wage to $10.10/hr.
  • A tax increase on the wealthy
  • An increase in education funding from pre-school through college

Curiously, as Sergio Andrade Gutierrez noted on LinkedIn, these issues have long been on the Democrat party’s platform. They did not become important to voters following the mass defections to support GOP candidates across the nation. In effect, Warren is stating that the Democrat party will continue business as usual. In her enthusiastic declarations, Warrant called the Democrat party’s agenda, “America’s Agenda”. The trouble is the GOP is the party with a voter mandate. The salient issue of voters was jobs and the economy. Voters were less interested in bottom-level wage increases than they were in real wage increases at their income levels.

Voters made it clear they want the country moving away from President Obama’s policies. Warren has made it clear that the Democrat party is going to pretend the voter mandate doesn’t exist and pursue the same agenda they had in the past.

Student Conceived Legislation Passes In Oregon

Conceived by the students of Portland State University and developed in conjunction with other organization including the Oregon Students Association and with the support of the Working Families Party, the “Pay it Forward, Pay it Back” plan was approved unanimously by Oregon lawmakers. The plan will allow students to attend community colleges and public universities tuition free until after graduation and the students will repay a percentage of their incomes after graduation. Barbara Dudley, professor at Portland State’s College of Urban and Public Affairs said that the pilot program being developed by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission run by Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez, will probably choose one university and one community college to experiment with the details. One of the students’ proposed models allows community college students to pay 1.5% of their income while four-year public universities pay of 3% for 20 years after graduation.

The bill, which passed on the same day the student loan interest rates doubled, was introduced by Representative Michael Dembrow, Democrat, to the house and by State Senator Mark Hass, Democrat, chair of the Senate Education Committee, to the Senate. No one knows how it will affect the state’s budget with education expenses un-finalized and the state constitution requiring that the budget be balanced each year. In 2015 lawmakers will determine whether or not to implement the program.

Warren Is Anti-Walton

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is set to join in on the anti-Walmart protests
coming up soon. Just a week ahead of the scheduled Black Friday protests, she will hold an event at Capitol Hill denouncing Walmart for its allegedly horrid treatment of its employees.

Warren will trumpet the $10.10 per hour minimum wage earlier called for by President Obama at the upcoming event. She will also call for legislation that would ban “irregular work schedules” (even for part-time workers), and seek measures to keep Walmart from “retaliating” against workers who protest. This is something Jared Haftel feels pretty excited about.

Walmart is the largest private employer in the nation, employing around 825,000 workers. Many like to complain that the company’s workers are largely part time (600,000 of them) and that they make $25,000 or less per year. Walmart says its full-time employees make $12.83 an hour on average, while protesters claim the figure is really $9.00. OUR Walmart, which leads many of the protests, is demanding $15 an hour as the new minimum wage.

The reality is that $25,000 a year is a lot more than many other people make, as is $12.83 or even $9.00 an hour. Walmart is no angel among U.S. employers, nor is it the Great Satan of the business world. Regardless of one’s opinion of Walmart, no member of Congress ought target specific private companies. Further, government controls on wages, hours, schedules, etc. seem to be Warren’s magic elixir to solve all our woes. Someone ought to point out to her that her plan was already tried in the Soviet Union, and it did not work out so well.

New York City Will Limit Cooperation With ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement will no longer enjoy the full cooperation of New York City police, according to two new acts signed this Friday by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The first act restricts the requirement to cooperate with the ICE to instances wherein a federal warrant has been issued or a felony conviction has taken place. The second act disallows ICE officials use of in-city facilities like Riker’s Island, making their job that much more difficult.

Municipalities can apparently buck U.S immigration law and push aside immigration enforcement personnel with impunity. Local governments can create local enclaves wherein illegals can feel free of any threat of deportation. Considering how little our borders and immigration laws have been enforced by the federal government to begin with, however, this will not seriously affect the present situation.

If ever an administration in Washington gets serious about enforcing the laws already passed, cities like New York will quickly be at odds with the effort. That is how Ahn sees it at least. Even now, de Blasio’s laws will create some tension, but the big secret that everyone knows but no one dares to say is that few are deported anyway and de Blasio’s laws will therefore not matter much.

In the times of Ronald Reagan, a compromise was made that sought to forgive past illegal immigration in return for future full enforcement of the border and the laws. It did not work. A new flood of illegals simply poured over the border without anyone stopping them. Because no similar deal on immigration today is likely to end any differently, America must simply enforce all the laws immediately without any granting any concessions.

Voting Rights Awareness Following Midterms

Casting the vote is the major duty of each and every citizen, and is not doubt the most valuable democratic right.

Voting, however, has been steadily going down since the 1964 election in which it was 49 percent.

As per official records, only 36.4 percent is recorded. It was 33.4 percent in the year 1942. Even in the year 2008 and 2012 it was higher.

In 2008 the voter turnout was 62 percent, and in the year 2012 it was 58 percent. But the eligible voters who turned out to vote were comparatively low in the year 2010 and even in 2006; it was 41 percent and 40 percent, respectively.

The turnout is a measure calculated by considering all the cities. The highest voter turnout for the 2014 election was declared to be Maine. It was roughly around 59 percent of the voting eligible population who casted their vote for the midterm election in the US.

On the other hand, the state of Indiana records the lowest among all the cities in terms of the voter turnout. This approximately makes for 28 percent of the total eligible people living here: a noticeable low number. Millions voted, including Andrew Heiberger, but turnout is always going to be low during non-Presidential years.

More insight on the voter turnout is available here. These trends in rising and dropping is significantly noticed across all the election results, but it just means that the awareness of voting rights is not necessarily where it should be.