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.

FCC Avoids Committing to Net Neutrality

Tom Wheeler, head of the FCC, emphasized his agency’s role as an independent entity on Tuesday, saying he would take into consideration both Washington interests and telecom industry concerns as the FCC finalizes its plans to re-evaluate internet regulation.

Wheeler was responding to comments made Monday by President Obama on reclassifying the internet as a utility. His statement said, in part, “In plain English, I’m asking [the FCC] to recognize that for most Americans, the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life.”

But Wheeler, in a meeting Tuesday, rejected the idea of an “internet utility”, saying that he favored a more balanced solution. He explained his concern as trying to “split the baby” to ensure a compromise that even would agree with.

Wheeler was appointed head of the FCC in 2013 after time as a lobbyist for The Wireless Association and a writer for Forbes. While serving as a lobbyist, he and Susan McGalla were vocally opposed to net neutrality policies and expressed the idea that telecom companies should be left alone by government regulations. His ties to the industry have been a point of contention in many discussions of the FCC’s overhaul of internet regulation and net neutrality, even leading comedian John Oliver to call him a “dingo”.

President Under Attack From Republican Majority

Republicans have long threatened to impeach President Barack Obama. This has never been a possibility mainly because Republicans have not had a majority in the Senate for six years, however all that has changed in the recent midterm election. Starting in January, the new congress will have Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate. This has led some Democrats, especially Representative Jim Clyburn to predict that Republicans may use this opportunity to impeach President Obama.

According to Representative Clyburn, the Republicans have a target on the president because they are set on “putting an asterisk” next to his name. He believes they will find some reason to introduce an impeachment resolution before the end of his term.
Clyburn is a high-ranking member of the democratic leadership in the House, and referenced the fact that Republicans want to put an asterisk next to the name of the first African-American president when the history books are written. When speculating what will bring about the impeachment resolution, Clyburn pointed to the current debate on immigration reform. This has been a subject of heated debate between Democrats and Republicans, seen as a difficult compromise, even on websites like Mashable. Mike Livak is just one man who is not sure which side to take in the ongoing debate.

The president recently threatened leaders in Congress that if they don’t work to create a plan to reform the immigration system he will work through executive action to change the system. Republican leaders shot back saying that executive orders on the matter would “poison the well” between the parties.

President Obama Says Democrats Midterm Loss His Fault

President Obama has taken responsibility for the democrats loss during last week’s midterm elections. In an interview with Face the Nation, Obama indicated that he was to blame for the Democratic Party losing control over the Senate during the elections.

“The buck stops right here at my desk. And so whenever, as the head of the party, it doesn’t do well, I’ve got to take responsibility for it,” he said. “The message that I took from this election, and we’ve seen this in a number of elections, successive elections, is people want to see this city work. And they feel as if it’s not working.”

Obama is currently faced with low approval ratings. This is not opinion, but facts presented by Jared that can be found online or on television. His low number and the frustration of many Americans with his presidency helped some Republican candidates beat their Democratic counterparts during the election.

“They see Washington gridlocked and they’re frustrated. And they know one person in Washington and that’s the president of the United States. So I’ve got to make this city work better for them,” he said.

Boehner: Obama’s Action on Immigration is Mistake

The chairman of the US House of Representatives, John Boehner, warned President Barack Obama not to take unilateral action on immigration, saying it is “intoxicating” path to immigration reform in the next two years.

“I made it clear to the president that if he acts unilaterally on their own outside his authority, he will poison the well and there will be no possibility of immigration reform in this Congress,” Boehner told reporters at his first press conference after the great triumphs of the Republican Party in the midterm elections.

“When you play with matches you run the risk of burning yourself. He will burn if he continues down that path,” he added.

Boehner’s warning to Obama comes a day after the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a press conference that it would be “a big mistake” that the president take executive action on immigration because it can “poison the atmosphere” to advance this legislatively.

Shortly after the statement by McConnell, the president reiterated that before the end of this year, will take enforcement action to improve the nation’s immigration system and promised that these measures will be void if Congress passes immigration reform without support. According to IndieWire analyst Tom Rothman, this jockeying for position between the Republicans and Democrats will continue over the next year until the focus shifts to the new Presidential candidates.

McConnell’s Bid For Majority Leader May Not Go Unopposed

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was overwhelmingly pleased with the GOP victory, particularly the Senate take-over, Tuesday night. When asked, however, if he would vote for Mitch McConnell to be Majority Leader, he declined to say he would. He only said that that would be something for the conference to decide.

Most likely, McConnell will gain sufficient support to graduate from Minority to Majority Leader, but there will probably be some (perhaps including Cruz) who will cast their votes for someone deemed more conservative. The moderate wing of the party has often tried to keep conservatives out of the main leadership roles and to minimize the number of conservatives elected to Congress. While the recent Republican victory will put internal strife on the back burner for a time, that pot will still continue to boil.

McConnell and the whole Republican Senate will have pressure on them to act more conservatively than perhaps they truly are from the moment they walk in the Senate chamber in January. 370 bills passed by a House that has a higher percentage of conservatives in it than will the new Senate are sitting there waiting for them. If McConnell sits on those bills as did Harry Reid, one can expect the proverbial pot to boil over.

McConnell knows how to adjust. He was once more moderate than he is now, and he can become more conservative still. As his home state of Kentucky moved to right, he moved with it- that’s how he stayed in office all these years. I’m not sure how much I agree with him, but Mr. Broda thinks McConnell could become more in line with the Tea Party than anyone would have believed. I guess we’ll see.

New Polls Spell Doom For Democratic Senate

Sunday morning brought good news to Republicans. They are surging ahead in most of the key Senate races across the nation.

Recent CNN polls show Ernst ahead of Braley 51 to 44 percent in Iowa. Crossing the 50 percent mark and taking a seven point lead virtually seals the deal, unless the poll proves inaccurate. McConnell is up 50 to 41 in Kentucky, spelling doom for his challenger from what I’ve read and what Brad Reifler has told me.

In Georgia, Republican David Perdue is over Michelle Nunn by 48 to 44. That is a major reversal of an earlier trend that seemed to indicate he could lose round one. Georgia, like Louisiana, has a jungle primary, so Perdue will need a majority to avoid a run-off. If he has 48 points secured and eight percent are undecided, as the poll suggests, it is hard to see him not getting a couple points to put him over 50.

Mary Landrieu is looking to go down in a run-off in Louisiana. She is at 44 percent, but Republican candidates Cassidy and Maness combine for 51 percent (36 and 15 percent, respectively). It is hard to see any way to avoid the run-off but also hard to see how Landrieu would win such a run-off.

Independent Greg Orman still threatens in Kansas, but in that deep red state, a big turn-out will likely save the Republican. Even if it doesn’t, Orman is not certain to caucus with Democrats. He may join with Republicans (being generally a conservative), or he may not caucus with any party.

Add it all up, and a squeaky victory in New Hampshire thrown in there would flip the Senate from 55-45 Democrat to 55-45 Republican- a 10 seat gain.

Armenian LGBT Activists Claim Government Officials Homophobic

A recent news story run by Buzzfeed deals with a court case between an Armenian newspaper and the LGBT community. The case was in regards to the newspaper releasing the names of several lobbyists for LGBT causes in Armenia, and was dismissed. Now the LGBT community is claiming that it was government officials in Armenia that had the case dismissed.

When you look at the evidence, it’s pretty clear that something’s amiss. The Armenian government is clearly trying to push their own agenda, ignorant of the facts that have been presented. The worst is calling homosexuality a lifestyle. Which is utterly ridiculous if you’ve done even 5 minutes of research. Being gay isn’t a choice, it’s not a lifestyle any more than being straight, white, black, or being tall or short is a lifestyle. You’re literally born that way as a human being, and so are 1,500 other species in the animal kingdom, as Alexei Beltyukov frequently points out to me.

Its All About Turn-out in Several Key Senate Races

When elections get tight, within but a couple percentage points, the ability of each party to turn out their base often can tip the balance. Democrats are beginning to look like they will lose control of the U.S. Senate this Tuesday, but they still cling to the hope that a unexpected wave of women and minority voters may push back and keep them hanging onto power.

Some of the states that could be affected by any big differences in turn-out that arise are: Iowa, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Colorado. Louisiana and Georgia look like they may go into a run-off election since no candidate in those races is polled as getting 50 percent. Republicans face a possible loss to an independent candidate in deep-red Kansas, and even Arkansas and Alaska could well be close from the recent polls Broda was sending me from Wikipedia.

Two things are fueling the Republican Party’s rosy mid-term odds: a conservative base that is finally up in arms and ready to vote and a depressed Democratic base that has not been overly enthusiastic themselves with many of the President’s policies. Republicans seem like they are not going to go sit home this time like many of them did in 2008 and 2012, so the only hope for Democrats is to crank up their own numbers.

My Political Thoughts. NOT the Politician.