The White House’s leaked immigration proposal caused quite a stir among GOP lawmakers over the weekend, who felt it threatened bipartisan progress on immigration reform in Congress. If actually proposed, Sen. Marco Rubio said the plan would be “dead on arrival in Congress” and would make America’s immigrations problems worse. Attempting to quell speculation on the motive, White House officials are now saying the leak wasn’t intentional.
By Monday, Obama insiders were walking the plan back and suggesting the leak was not intentional.
One White House official told Fox News they were "surprised" that the "draft" language was given to the press and thought the publication was "unfortunate."
"This was not the administration floating anything," the official said, adding that the White House reached out to Senate offices Saturday evening to stress their support for ongoing congressional talks.
"The president is pleased by (the) current state of progress being made by bipartisan efforts on the Hill and the administration looks forward to continuing to work with them," the official said.
David Axelrod, a top campaign adviser in 2008 and 2012 who also worked at the Obama White House, also said on MSNBC that Obama officials would probably "take it back" if they could.
He said that "the mistake here was to disseminate it so widely within the administration."
Some speculated as to whether the leak was meant to ensure immigration reform wouldn’t pass, which would allow the president to use the issue as a political tool until the 2014 midterm elections.
Sen. Sessions doesn’t see it that way, however. In a statement released on Monday, Sessions said the leak was more than a “misstep or clever political maneuver” and is in fact “little different in its substance from the Gang of 8 plan.”
It is a dramatic disclosure of his real immigration ideology and goals. The plan grants amnesty on day one while making hollow promises of future enforcement that will never occur. The plan is a giveaway for the special interests and the open borders lobby. This president will never dedicate himself to enforcing the law, and this plan offers only further proof of that.
It is plain what is happening. The special interests are again in the White House, demanding and getting their favors granted, while American workers and the public interest are again locked out.
Unfortunately, the leaked plan is little different in its substance from the Gang of 8 plan, which is also unlikely to withstand scrutiny. Crucially, both plans confer legal status and work authorization on day one in exchange for promises of future enforcement on which this administration will never deliver.
Perhaps this leak, and what it reveals, may mark the beginning of the collapse of this new scheme to force through a fatally flawed plan.
Sarah Palin will address the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, the American Conservative Union announced Monday. Townhall is partnering with the ACU to host CPAC 2013, which is being held March 14-16 in the Washington, DC area at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.
“We are pleased to again welcome Governor Sarah Palin to CPAC in March,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “Governor Palin electrified the crowd in 2012 and we are thrilled to welcome her back this year.”
From politicians to activists, Palin will join a host of other influential figures in the conservative movement at the annual conference.
Previously announced confirmed featured speakers include: U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, former U.S. Representative Artur Davis, Heritage Foundation President-Elect Jim DeMint, Heritage Foundation President Dr. Edwin Feulner, ACU Board Member Carly Fiorina, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, NRA President and ACU Board Member David Keene, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, U.S. Senator Mike Lee, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Radio Host and Breitbart.tv Editor in Chief Larry O’Connor, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, U.S. Representative and Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise, Eagle Forum Founder Phyllis Schlafly, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, former U.S. Representative Allen West, U.S. Representative Ann Wagner, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
Democrats in the state House have proposed a bill that would force gun owners to either surrender or destroy weapons including semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and semi-automatic pistols with a fixed magazine that can shoot more than 10 rounds before being reloaded.
Ammunition-feeding devices that can hold more than 10 rounds also would be banned. Owners also could send their weapons to another state instead of surrendering or destroying them and would have 90 days after the bill’s passage to make a decision.
While it’s highly unlikely the bill will pass in the Republican-controlled House, it is another example of Democrats’ extreme anti-gun agenda, which is being played out not just at the federal level but in state legislatures across the nation as well.
Forcing gun owners to surrender or destroy such weapons is tantamount to confiscation—so in this sense, these Dems have learned a thing or two from the Justice Department’s internal memos:
What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ do progressives not understand?
The extent to which GOP lawmakers are ridiculed by the MSM for trying to get to the bottom of Benghazi is unbelievable. If you missed Sen. McCain on Meet the Press today with David Gregory, it’s well worth watching now.
After explaining to Gregory that there are still a number of unanswered questions regarding Benghazi, McCain concludes by saying there’ s been a massive cover-up. Gregory is confused: “A massive cover-up of what?”
The crux of the interview, however, came when McCain asked Gregory whether he even cared that four Americans died (transcript via NewsBusters):
JOHN MCCAIN: I'm asking you, do you care-- I-- I'm-- I'm asking you, do you care whether four Americans died? Or do you-- the reasons for that? And-- and shouldn't pe-- people be held accountable for the fact that four Americans died--
DAVID GREGORY: Well, what you said was the cover-up--
DAVID GREGORY: A cover-up of what?
JOHN MCCAIN: Of the information-- concerning the deaths of four brave Americans. The information has not been forthcoming. You can obviously believe that it has. I know that it hasn't. And I'll be glad to send you a list of the questions that have not been answered, including what did the president do and who did he talk to the night of the attack on Benghazi?
And why was it? Why was it that we-- that the f-- the people who were evacuated from the-- from the consulate the next day were not interviewed the next day. And then they would've known that it was not a spontaneous demonstration. Why did the president for two weeks, for two weeks during the heat of the campaign continue to say he didn't know whether it was a terrorist attack or not?
Is it because it interfered with the line of Al Qaeda has decimated? And everything's fine in that-- in that part of the world? Maybe. We don't know. But we need the answers. Then we'll reach conclusions. But we have not received the answers. And that's a fact.
But hey, what difference at this point does it make, right?
During his SOTU address, President Obama touched on broad immigration reform principles and commended the work bipartisan groups in both chambers are doing to draft a bill. His tone seemed to indicate he would let Congress take the lead on immigration. “Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months and I will sign it,” he said during the speech. But on Saturday, the White House leaked details of its own immigration proposal, which Sen. Marco Rubio has called “dead on arrival.”
A draft of a White House immigration proposal obtained by USA TODAY would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years.
The plan also would provide for more security funding and require business owners to check the immigration status of new hires within four years. In addition, the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants could apply for a newly created "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa, under the draft bill being written by the White House.
If approved, they could then apply for the same provisional legal status for their spouse or children living outside the country, according to the draft.
“If actually proposed, the president’s bill would be dead on arrival in Congress, leaving us with unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come,” Rubio said in a statement.
"It fails to follow through on previously broken promises to secure our borders, creates a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally, and does nothing to address guest workers or future flow, which serious immigration experts agree is critical to preventing future influxes of illegal immigrants," he continued.
“Much like the president’s self-described ‘stop gap’ Deferred Action measure last year, this legislation is half-baked and seriously flawed," Rubio said, adding that the proposal would actually make America’s immigration problems worse.
Rubio also took issue with the White House drafting immigration legislation without input from Republican lawmakers. “President Obama’s leaked immigration proposal is disappointing to those of us working on a serious solution. The president’s bill repeats the failures of past legislation,” he said.
So what is the White House really trying to accomplish by leaking this proposal? For one, this move could suggest that the president is dead set against letting Rubio, the rising star of the GOP, be the face of immigration reform and wants to direct the conversation instead.
But the reversal of his hands-off approach could also mean he doesn’t want reform to happen just yet. Breitbart’s Joel Pollak weighs in:
Skeptics, however, continued to believe Obama would attempt to ensure that immigration reform would not pass, in order to continue using it as a political tool to drive Latino voters to the polls. That skepticism was reinforced by the fact that Obama had previously promised several times to take action on immigration reform without actually doing so.
Now, Obama’s reversal on allowing the bipartisan negotiations to take their course, and his proposal for legislation whose policies are objectionable to the GOP, is a sign that he may prefer defeat to passage, at least until the 2014 midterm elections.
As NRO's Robert Costa noted in a tweet, "If reform is starting to die, defining who killed it will be impt to both sides."
That MSNBC host would be the one and only Touré who was responding to a section in Wayne LaPierre’s recent article on The Daily Caller. The NRA chief was discussing the various reasons law-abiding citizens need a firearm, including after a natural disaster.
“After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia. Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get home at all.”
And just like that, Touré’s racism radar went off.
“Perhaps we know Wayne LaPierre is wrong about good guys and bad guys and guns. I’m sure many of us find him hard to trust given his obvious use of racial demonization to spread fear that will lead to buying guns. In his recent editorial in the Daily Caller, he spoke of supposedly rampant crime and murder in some place he called South Brooklyn in the days after Hurricane Sandy. Put aside that no reporting bears that out, I live in Brooklyn, and I have for a long time, and there is no place referred to as South Brooklyn. But I think it's safe to say that when he says that, much of the country envisions a place clogged with black people.
Now if Adam Lanza had walked into a black public school in this mythical South Brooklyn or in the Southside of Chicago, we would probably not be having a sustained national conversation about guns.Adam just smushed the pain of the gun epidemic in America's face, but black people have been living with that pain for so long we're numb to it. We’re rightly outraged by interracial killings, but black on black crime is a far more prevalent problem.”
He does have a point though. If Adam Lanza, a white male, had walked into a black public school and massacred 26 children and teachers, we’d be talking about racism. But that would be only part of the national conversation. Many have argued the reason the president’s real push for gun control came after Sandy Hook rather than Aurora is because it was in his second term. While this may be true, I’d also argue the public’s outrage and many people’s emotional draw toward gun control stems from the fact that the majority of victims were innocent children. Moreover, they were victimized in an elementary school--one of the safest places young people can be. This has nothing to do with race.
That being said, however, black on black crime is a far more prevalent problem—so in that sense, Touré’s right. If we are to stick with his example of the Southside of Chicago though, we can see that more gun control isn’t the answer. Guns are an easy target for progressives but it’s time people stop overlooking the many reasons people choose to the pull the trigger.
As a side note, NewsBusters’ Noel Sheppard points out there really is such a thing as South Brooklyn and he just happened to find a HuffPo article titled, “Hurricane Sandy Looting, Fights Plague South Brooklyn." Hmm.
"It's getting dark, and it's real dangerous out here -- that's why there's a cop on every block," one NYPD officer told HuffPost Crime. "You could get your stuff stolen." [...]
Dena Wells, 39, a resident of Ocean Towers, had had enough after watching the melee.
"People are turning on each other -- they're attacking each other," she said, shaking her head. "Even when there's no disaster, this building is disastrous. But after the hurricane, it just got crazy."
Don't expect an apology from Touré.
Democratic lawmakers seem confident immigration reform will happen in the near future because even if Congress doesn’t act, the president will move forward with executive orders, they say. Via The Hill:
"I don't think the president will be hands off on immigration for any moment in time," Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), the head of the House Democratic Caucus, told reporters this week. "He's ready to move forward if we're not."
Rep. Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, echoed that message, saying Obama is "not just beating the drum," for immigration reform, "he's actually the drum major."
"There are limitations as to what he can do with executive order," Crowley said Wednesday, "but he did say that if Congress continued to fail to act that he would take steps and measures to enact common-sense executive orders to move this country forward."
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who heads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said there are "plenty" of executive steps Obama could take if Congress fails to pass a reform package. "The huge one," Grijalva said, is "the waiving of deportation" in order to keep families together.
"Four million of the undocumented [immigrants] are people who overstayed their visas to stay with family," he said Friday. "So that would be, I think, an area in which … there's a great deal of executive authority that he could deal with."
While working through Congress is the preferable method for Democrats and Obama, these lawmakers are probably correct. Although it wasn’t an executive order, we already saw Obama act unilaterally last year when he dramatically changed immigration policy by halting the deportation of younger illegal immigrants. But if the president waves deportation as Grijalva suggests, he would be opening the floodgates for an even bigger illegal immigration problem down the road. 1986, anyone? Yes, key figures from both sides of the political aisle are working on immigration reform but amnesty shouldn’t be part of Congress or the president’s plan.
In the meantime, however, let’s not forget that illegal immigration is still a crime.
As the gun control debate rages on, we’ve seen a host of gun-rights advocates standing up for the Second Amendment. In addition to citizens, the NRA, the National Sheriffs Association and countless others, a number of companies—including gun manufacturers, sporting good retailers and gunsmiths—are now taking a stand by refusing to sell to law enforcement in New York and other states with restrictive gun laws.
The message in these companies’ statements is essentially about equality—local law enforcement and government agencies should not have rights that citizens do not. Thus, if states such as New York choose to adopt restrictive gun laws and exempt law enforcement from those laws, the companies will no longer serve them as customers. Breitbart compiled a list of the statements:
Effective today, in an effort to see that no legal mistakes are made by LaRue Tactical and/or its employees, we will apply all current State and Local Laws (as applied to civilians) to state and local law enforcement / government agencies. In other words, LaRue Tactical will limit all sales to what law-abiding citizens residing in their districts can purchase or possess.
Due the passing of this legislation, Olympic Arms would like to announce that the State of New York, any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee of such an entity - will no longer be served as customers.
In short, Olympic Arms will no longer be doing business with the State of New York or any governmental entity or employee of such governmental entity within the State of New York - henceforth and until such legislation is repealed, and an apology made to the good people of the State of New York and the American people.
The Federal Government and several states have enacted gun control laws that restrict the public from owning and possessing certain types of firearms. Law-enforcement agencies are typically exempt from these restrictions. EFI, LLC does not recognize law-enforcement exemptions to local, state, and federal gun control laws. If a product that we manufacture is not legal for a private citizen to own in a jurisdiction, we will not sell that product to a law-enforcement agency in that jurisdiction.
We will not sell arms to agents of the state of New York that hold themselves to be "more equal" than their citizens.
As long as the legislators of New York think they have the power to limit the rights of their citizens, in defiance of the Constitution, we at Templar will not sell them firearms to enforce their edicts.
Templar Custom is announcing that the State of New York, any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee will no longer be served as customers.
Based on the recent legislation in New York, we are prohibited from selling rifles and receivers to residents of New York. We have chosen to extend that prohibition to all governmental agencies associated with or located within New York. As a result we have halted sales of rifles, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, machine guns, and silencers to New York governmental agencies.
Recently, companies such as LaRue Tactical and Olympic Arms have announced that they will no longer sell prohibited items to government agencies and personnel in states that deny the right to own those items to civilians. It has been and will continue to be Cheaper Than Dirt’s policy to not to sell prohibited items to government agencies and/or agents in states, counties, cities, and municipalities that have enacted restrictive gun control laws against their citizens. We support and encourage other companies that share in this policy.
Of course, there are some big names missing—Smith & Wesson, Glock and Sig Sauer, which as The Blaze points out, are the “trio of manufacturers recommended by the NYPD for use by their officers.” Gun rights groups are urging their supporters to pressure these companies into joining the others in protest.
While New York is the main focus in many of these statements, gun rights advocates should also keep an eye on what’s happening in New Jersey. The Democratic-led New Jersey Legislature took up a package of 20 extreme gun-control bills this week and a floor vote will be held by the full Assembly on February 21. It is reassuring, however, that Gov. Christie has the ability to veto any measures that do pass.
The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre issued a scathing response to the State of the Union address, saying the “president displayed a level of political fraud and public deception that cannot be ignored.”
Speaking at the National Wild Turkey Federation convention in Nashville on Thursday, LaPierre took issue with the fact that the president completely ignored “school safety” in his SOTU address even though that was the impetus for his gun-control push.
In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the president said, “If we are not getting right the need to keep our children safe, then nothing else matters.” But during Tuesday’s hour-long speech, “school safety” was nowhere to be found.
“When nothing else matters—to every parent in America—President Obama had nothing to say about school security. And nothing he’s proposed has anything to do with protecting one child at any school,” the NRA chief said.
Of course, the reason the proposals have nothing to do with school safety is because that isn’t the goal. Instead, the president has been waiting for the “right political opportunity to exploit and launch the most aggressive campaign in history to destroy our rights,” LaPierre said, adding that he finally “exposed their fraudulent intentions” during the SOTU address.
From universal background checks to universal gun bans, criminals will easily get around any new gun laws, he argued.
“The only people who will be checked are law-abiding, normal, sane, decent Americans. It will our names — the names of good people —that will be put into a massive database, subject to potential federal registration and abuse of privacy.”
Even though President Obama may not be serious about keeping children safer in schools, the NRA is, he said. Rather than more gun laws, LaPierre renewed a call for armed security in every school in America.
“When it comes to keeping our kids safe at school, nothing else matters.”
During a Sun News Network segment on guns, Canadian anchor Brian Lilley issued a warning to Americans: “Registration will lead to confiscation. And if you don’t believe me, just look at what’s happened here.”
One of the gun-control proposals put forth in America is a national database for all firearms to track the movement and sale of weapons. If this comes to fruition, Lilley argues, it will lead to confiscation. He then proceeds to discuss what happened in Canada with their national long-gun registry, which ultimately led to law abiding citizens having their weapons confiscated.
Watch Lilley’s entire message to Americans below:
H/T: The Blaze
BREAKING: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Gang of Eight Immigration Reform Bill | Daniel Doherty