tipsheet
Katie Pavlich - Report: Obama to Issue Executive Amnesty to Five Million Illegal Immigrants Next Week
Posted: 11/13/2014 8:20:00 AM EST

According to documents exclusively obtained by Fox News, President Obama plans to legalize at nearly five million illegal immigrants through executive action and it could happen as early as next week. 

President Obama is planning to unveil a 10-part plan for overhauling U.S. immigration policy via executive action -- including suspending deportations for millions -- as early as next Friday, a source close to the White House told Fox News.

The president's plans were contained in a draft proposal from a U.S. government agency. The source said the plan could be announced as early as Nov. 21, though the date might slip a few days pending final White House approval.

The plan contains 10 initiatives than span everything from boosting border security to improving pay for immigration officers.

But the most controversial pertain to the millions who could get a deportation reprieve under what is known as "deferred action."

The plan calls for expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children -- but also for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

The latter could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children to stay, according to estimates.

President Obama's deferred action program of the past is exactly what caused the overwhelming unaccompanied minor crisis this summer. Families living in Central America and their children came into the United States by the thousands knowing that as long as they could get here, they'd be able to stay. When the crisis occurred, the Obama administration sent Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to Central American countries to explain the dangers of sending unaccompanied children north to the United States and said at the time that entering the United States illegally would not result in the ability to stay in the country. It seems that was all for show. 

Keep in mind as we move forward that President Obama has argued for years that he can't go at illegal immigration reform or legalization for millions alone because he "isn't a king" and that our system of government requires the consent of Congress. A flashback from a series of interviews with Univision.

"The most important thing that we can do is to change the law because the way the system works -- again, I just wanna repeat, I'm president, I'm not king."

Obama has argued for years that he cannot push through executive action on illegal immigration because it would be unconstitutional for him to do so and now, he's planning on doing so. Republicans John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have issued stern warnings to President Obama not to go around Congress in the manner outlined above, saying it will "poison the well" moving forward and destroy the trust between the White House and the new legislative branch. 

Get ready for a showdown in Washington.

Matt Vespa - Democratic Road Back To The Majority Is Uncertain
Posted: 11/12/2014 7:30:00 PM EST

As Democrats continue to lick their wounds from the beating they took on Nov. 4, many liberals are shocked, appalled, and depressed. Yet, they are hopeful that 2016 will present opportunities to retake the majority, but a lot of uncertainty remains. For starters, we have two years until the next election; that’s an eternity in politics. But, for now, the field doesn’t look terribly bad for Republicans. At the same time, we could see Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu, who appears to be heading for defeat in the Louisiana runoff, return to Washington (via Politico):

The GOP has a bigger cushion than expected for its new majority, probably 54 seats. More veteran senators may stick around to preserve safe seats. And some vulnerable incumbents will have committee chairmanships that could pump up their profiles.

The most vulnerable Democrats this year were up in very red states; the most endangered Republicans in 2016 will, with the exception of Illinois, be defending seats in purple terrain.

Democrats are already eyeing several 2014 losers — or likely losers — to give it another go in 2016. Among them are [sic] Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) to challenge Republican Sen. Richard Burr, or Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu to run for Republican David Vitter’s Senate seat should he be elected governor.

So far, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona are pegged as the most competitive for the 2016 cycle.

One state that could be a loss for Republicans in 2016 is Pennsylvania. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey is unpopular–and in a presidential year; Democratic turnout in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh could–like most GOP candidates statewide–sink him. He needs to hold the line in the collar counties around Philadelphia–Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks–in order to survive, especially in Bucks County, which he won in 2010. His 2010 rival, former Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak, has signaled his intentions to run against Toomey again.

Yet, Harry Reid could possibly be shown the exit by the incredibly popular Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who recently cruised to re-election with 70 percent of the vote.

As for the House, well, that looks like it will be in Republican hands for a very long time (via NYT):

Whatever doubts existed about the Republican grip on the House should now be gone.

By picking up at least a dozen House seats in the elections last Tuesday, the Republicans cemented a nearly unassailable majority that could last for a generation, or as long as today’s political divides between North and South, urban and rural, young and old, and white and nonwhite endure.

Democrats might well reclaim the Senate and hold the presidency in 2016. But any Democratic hopes of enacting progressive policies on issues like climate change and inequality will face the reality of a House dominated by conservative Republicans. The odds that the Republicans will hold the Senate and seize the presidency are better than the odds that Democrats will win the House, giving the Republicans a better chance than Democrats of enacting their agenda.

After all of the remaining races are resolved, the G.O.P. will finish with about 249 seats. The Democrats would need to flip 32 seats to reclaim the chamber, but just 10 Republicans hail from districts with a Democratic Cook partisan voting index, a statistic to measure how far a congressional district leans toward the Republican or Democratic Party, compared with the national average. Because so many Republicans represent conservative districts, the G.O.P. might even retain the House in a “wave” election, like the ones that swept Democrats to power in 2006 and brought Republicans back to power in 2010.

BUT, we have to remember that nothing is permanent in American society; Democrats dominated the House for over four decades before the 1994 Republican wave left them in the minority. All things come to an end, so Republicans better not blow it.

As for the Senate races, things could get interesting if Republicans nominate a solid candidate for president.

Christine Rousselle - New Federal Program to Double SNAP Value When Used to Buy Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
Posted: 11/12/2014 7:00:00 PM EST

When the farm bill was passed earlier this year, there was a little-hyped program included that seeks to double the value of SNAP (food stamp) dollars when they're spent at farmer's markets for fresh fruits and vegetables.

The program is an expansion of smaller programs at farmers markets throughout the country. The Crossroads Farmer's Market was the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the National Watermelon Association, and used that money to redeem SNAP funds for double their value in the market. (A person would redeem 15 dollars of SNAP funds from their EBT card for 30 dollars worth of tokens to spend in the market.) Another program located in Harlem and the South Bronx gives SNAP recipients four additional "HealthBucks" coupons for fruits and vegetables for every ten dollars of SNAP funds spent at a farmer's market.

The program has received support from both sides of the aisle, according to NPR:

He invited one of Michigan's senators — Democrat Debbie Stabenow — to see Double Up Food Bucks for herself. And last year, Stabenow, who is chairwoman of the Senate's Agriculture Committee, proposed including it in the so-called farm bill.

On the other side of Capitol Hill, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Republican Frank Lucas, from Oklahoma, was hearing about this idea, too.

Farmer Appell had brought Double Up Food Bucks to the Cherry Street Farmers Market in Tulsa and talked about it to a member of Lucas' staff.

"It didn't seem like it required much of a sell," Appell recalls. "They seemed to be on board with it." If the program was supporting farmers, the congressman wanted to support it.

The funds allocated for the program ($100 million over a five-year period) will also be matched by private funds.

I'm totally in favor of anything that adds an incentive to buy healthy fruits and vegetables. There's a positive correlation (but not necessarily a direct correlation) between SNAP usage and obesity, and that's a problem. Also, this program incentivizes the creation of farmer's markets in areas with high SNAP enrollment numbers, which typically include "food deserts" with limited access to fresh produce. While I'd prefer the program be privately funded, I think this is an appropriate use of SNAP funds in an effort to urge people to eat healthier.

Leah Barkoukis - The UN Is Not Happy With US States' Marijuana Legalization
Posted: 11/12/2014 6:00:00 PM EST

Residents in Washington, D.C., Alaska, and Oregon voted to legalize marijuana this election and it seems the United Nations has a problem with it.

"I don't see how (the new laws) can be compatible with existing conventions," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, told reporters.

Fedotov suggested the U.S. developments may be part of a wider trend that he said the UNODC was following.

On the international level, Uruguay's parliament in late 2013 approved a bill to legalize and regulate the production and sale of marijuana -- the first country to do so.

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has said Uruguay's new bill contravened the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which it says requires states to limit the use of cannabis to medical and scientific purposes, due to its dependence-producing potential. The Vienna-based INCB monitors compliance with this and two other drug control treaties.

Fedotov said he would raise the issue with the State Department next week, but considering Obama has said we’ve got “bigger fish to fry,” it’s unlikely their input will have much sway.

Daniel Doherty - Krauthammer: Gruber Comments Prove Progressives "Lied About Everything"
Posted: 11/12/2014 5:00:00 PM EST

Recently on Fox News, Dr. K weighed in on the twin videos heard ‘round the country:

“This is exactly what conservatives have been saying for four years. What we’re hearing now is the true voice of liberal arrogance. [T]hey believe they know the right way—they have to lead the masses to the Promised Land, and they can only do it by deception. And that’s what he said openly…[they] lied about everything.”

Indeed they did. But in this instance, of course, the ends justified the means. It didn’t matter that the bill was so flawed it needed to be amended dozens of times. It didn’t matter that zero Congressional Democrats read the bill in its entirety before voting for it. It didn’t matter that a majority of Americans opposed the bill from the beginning. And of course, as Guy explained this morning, it didn’t matter that the law would never, ever work as promised:

Obamacare kicked millions of people off of their preferred insurance plans (with millions more to come), is signing up far fewer newly-insured consumers than projected, is hurting many more people than it's helping, and is still expected by the government to leave roughly 30 million Americans without insurance.

And yet, as Krauthammer noted, critics of the law foresaw all of these problems years ago. All of them. They weren't "fooled" or "tricked" by the law's designers. So is it not, as Krauthammer said, somewhat of a scandal that it’s only now becoming clear that the law's architects lied, misled, and parsed language to get their bill passed?

I’ll leave you with Ed Morrissey’s smart analysis: Namely, when Gruber dismisses “stupid Americans” for buying into—and ultimately supporting—the president's healthcare reform law, he’s not talking about conservatives:

Let’s not forget that when Gruber calls voters stupid, it can’t be applied to those who opposed ObamaCare on the very same grounds as he states in these videos. Critics had made these arguments all along about the deceptive structure of the bill, and the lies being told to cover it up. Gruber’s talking about the Obama coalition in these remarks.

Matt Vespa - Dude, Really: Code Pink Crashes Veterans Concert
Posted: 11/12/2014 4:15:00 PM EST

Veterans Day is when millions of Americans thank US service members who have served to protect our freedoms; they volunteered to protect the country so we don’t have and therefore there are no words to describe such patriotism.

I always give a special shout out to Korean War veterans, who have been tragically relegated to “forgotten war” status. Their service and sacrifice have allowed millions of Koreans–and Korean adoptees–to live better lives. Frankly, no wars where Americans have served should ever be considered “forgotten.”

Nevertheless, the far left could not keep their mouths shut since Code Pink decided to crash the Concert for Valor yesterday.

MRCTV’s Dan Joseph was there to ask these anti-war protestors why they were being so annoying at this venue. After all, thanking veterans is as bipartisan as you can get, unless you write for Salon.

One gentleman described himself as a veteran, but when asked by Joseph which war he fought in, he said he was a veteran of the “Cold War” and the Reagan administration.

Joseph asked another Code Pink activist if the veterans who died in the Iraq War were heroes; she refused to answer.

The icing on the cake was when Joseph asked who was responsible for 9/11. The Cold War veteran–who later said he was a communist–said Osama bin Laden; another woman said the CIA and Mossad.

Conn Carroll - Amnesty Activists Ask Obama To Amnesty (Almost) All The Illegal Immigrants
Posted: 11/12/2014 4:00:00 PM EST

Amnesty activists, confident that President Obama will soon grant amnesty by executive fiat to about 4 million illegal immigrants, are now pushing him to up that number to at least 7 million illegal immigrants, and possibly more.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a memo to Obama Wednesday, using data from the Migration Policy Institute, estimating that Obama's current preferred executive amnesty plan (giving work permits, Social Security numbers, and drivers licenses to the parents of earlier amnesty recipients) would only provide amnesty benefits to 4 million illegal immigrants.

That is not enough for the CPC. The memo, authored by CPC co-chairs Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) says Obama should extend his amnesty benefits to:

1. Individuals eligible for relief under S.744 [the Schumer amnesty bill];
2. Parents, siblings, and spouses of citizens, lawful permanent resident (LPR) holders, and individuals eligible for DACA;
3. Individuals who have resided in the country for three or more years;
4. Individuals who are “regularly employed,” including agricultural and seasonal workers;
5. Individuals that entered the country after the age of 18 but satisfy the DACA educational requirement. 

It is hard to imagine how any illegal immigrant would not qualify for amnesty under these proposals, but the MPI estimates that such a program would extend amnesty to "over 7 million undocumented immigrants."

The CPC does have a strong logical case. If Obama's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is legal, then there is no limit to who Obama can grant amnesty to. If Obama can give amnesty to DACA recipients, then he can give it to their parents, to their siblings, to anyone in the world really.

The only way conservatives can stop this amnesty is to defund it. They must include language in the next government funding bill specifically forbidding Obama from spending any money issuing documents to illegal immigrants.

If they don't, then Obama will be free to give work permits, Social Security numbers, and drivers licenses to whoever he wants.

Katie Pavlich - Liberal Civil War Continues: Howard Dean Calls Obamacare Architects Elitist
Posted: 11/12/2014 3:35:00 PM EST

Within 24 hours of the 2014 midterm election results pouring in, handing the Senate over to Republicans, outgoing Majority Leader Harry Reid unleashed his chief-of-staff to the Washington Post where he slammed the Obama White House for the Democrat bloodbath. 

Now, after comments from Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber surfaced showing the administration lied to "stupid" Americans in order to get the legislation passed, former Democrat Presidential candidate and DNC Chairman Howard Dean is calling the architects of the law "elitist" who don't "fundamentally understand Americans."

"The problem is not that he said it. The problem is that he thinks it. The core problem under the damn law is it was put together by a bunch of elitists two don’t fundamentally understand the American people. That’s what the problem is," Dean said in response to Gruber's comments on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

It should be noted that when Dean talks about Gruber not "fundamentally understanding Americans," he's referring to those in his far-left base who want single-payer healthcare. Regardless, the civil war and the sniping within the Democrat party continues.

H/T Mediaite

Katie Pavlich - Obamacare Architect Likes Exploiting Voters, Called Americans "Too Stupid"...Twice
Posted: 11/12/2014 2:00:00 PM EST

By now you've seen the video of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber admitting the Obama administration went through "tortuous" measures to keep the facts about the legislation from the "stupid" American people, including covering up the redistribution of wealth from the healthy to the sick in the legislation and that Obamacare is in fact a tax.

Yesterday on MSNBC Gruber said he regrets the "inappropriate" comments (he didn't apologize for lying) and explained that they were made "off-the-cuff" at an academic conference. 

“The comments in the video were made at an academic conference,” Gruber said during an interview with Ronan Farrow. “I was speaking off the cuff and I basically spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments.” 

There's only one problem with that. A new, second video of Gruber calling Americans stupid during an explanation of Obamacare has surfaced. And by the way, Gruber was paid $400,000 in tax money to come up with Obamacare and to directly advise President Obama about the law.

"The American voter is too stupid to understand the difference," Gruber said in the new clip. 

To make things worse, the Daily Caller is now reporting on a third video where Gruber is seen bragging about exploiting Americans who don't understand redistribution of wealth economics. 

“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said during a speech at the University of Rhode Island in November 2012.

He was discussing what is known as the Cadillac tax and how it came into being.

In an effort to add a cost-control measure to Obamacare, former Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who Gruber called a “hero,” successfully pushed through a 40 percent excise tax on insurance companies for plans that cost more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,000 for families.

This was an alternative to putting a cap on tax breaks employers provide employees for health insurance plans, which, according to Gruber, the public mistook for a tax increase rather than the removal of a tax break.

Gruber's comments about stupid Americans aren't "off the cuff," they're based on the liberal philosophy that humans, especially Americans, are too stupid to make their own decisions and therefore the government must do things for them. Further, if Americans are too stupid to understand Obamacare, then why did the Obama administration go to great lengths to hide exactly what Obamacare really is? If Obamacare is so hard to understand, then why the need to cover-up what's in the bill in order to ensure Americans don't understand it? Seems to me they were worried those "stupid" Americans would understand perfectly what Obamacare is and what its negative implications for the economy and the country would be moving forward. In the first video from earlier this week, Gruber admits that they had to hide a redistribution of wealth from healthy to sick and the fact that Obamacare is a tax from the American people before it passed because if they knew about those things, the bill would have died.

The American people aren't stupid, Gruber just wants them to be.

Kevin Glass - WarGames: Obama's Own FCC Chair Resists POTUS Call For Net Neutrality
Posted: 11/12/2014 1:30:00 PM EST
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday was reported to have told major internet companies that the President's call for Title II reclassification was not the regulatory approach he favored for net neutrality. As the Washington Post reported:

Huddled in an FCC conference room Monday with officials from major Web companies, including Google, Yahoo and Etsy, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler said he preferred a more nuanced solution. His approach would deliver some of what Obama wants but also would address the concerns of the companies that provide Internet access to millions of Americans, such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T.

“What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn’t affect your business,” a visibly frustrated Wheeler said at the meeting, according to four people who attended. “What I’ve got to figure out is how to split the baby.”

Title II reclassification is a kludgey approach to policymaking in this arena - the equivalent of using a hydrogen bomb to attack a mole hill. The prospect of a non-neutral internet is mostly a fantasy at this moment, and reclassifying broadband services into "common carriers" would give the federal government a massive and unwieldy regulatory arsenal to bring to bear upon the industry.

While the FCC chair is appointed by the President - and Tom Wheeler is no exception here - it's supposed to be an independent agency, not one that's beholden to the executive branch. President Obama's public exhortation for the FCC to reclassify broadband services is an impressive use of his bully pulpit to try to nudge the independent agency to do his bidding.