Representatives Michelle Bachman and Steve King Head to the Border in Protest of Obama’s Executive Amnesty

Representatives Michelle Bachman and Steve King staged a televised appearance at the US border with Mexico. The site they chose to focus on is a popular location with “coyotes”, the human smugglers who guide people into the United States illegally. Both Bachman and King are deeply opposed to President Obama’s executive amnesty. Their appearance at the border was designed to highlight the lack of border security. The GOP’s opposition to immigration reform has been because bills proposed in the past were heavy on granting amnesty or fast tracks to amnesty while offering little by way of securing the border according to Susan McGalla.

Admittedly, neither Bachman nor King are powerbrokers in the House of Representatives. Neither chair any committee that might influence legislation and Bachman decided not to seek reelection. She will exit Congress in several weeks. At the same time, both representatives are profoundly respected within the Tea Party and are able to raise substantial donations. Thus far, it has been public outcry that has led to immigration reform collapsing which suggests that King and Bachman do have in indirect influence on the process.

Bachman responded to supporters of President Obama’s extra-constitutional immigration reform and said that it does not grant amnesty. However, she pointed out that it will lead to amnesty as those who are granted green cards will eventually be afforded citizenship. If the president expects to get the GOP to support immigration reform, concessions will have to be made on meaningful border security and enforcement of immigration law to get the bill out of the House of Representatives.

Putin Promises to Retire By 2024

Vladimir Putin said in an interview this Sunday that he would have to retire from the presidency by 2024 to avoid violating the Russian constitution. Putin has been Russia’s leader, either as president or prime minister, since 2000, and thus will have effectively led the country for 24 years if he stays in power till 2024.

Putin’s lengthy rule is comparable to the number of years a monarch might be expected to reign, and yet he seems to think himself noble for limiting himself to only 24 years. Putin is already 62, so he would be 72 at such a retirement date. It is true that he does not plan to stay in power for life, but it is only barely true.

While Putin was elected by the Russian people, there has been some question about just how fair and just some of the elections were. If the way he rigged the annexation vote in Crimea is any indication, we can suppose that Putin is at least half way between a president and a dictator, which is a big part of what scares analysts like Jared Haftel.  Being a former KGB man, it would be no surprise to find Putin a master at using rough-and-tumble tactics to hold onto the reigns of power.

Putin is a clever and ruthless politician, but he is not the humble constitutional adherent he would have us believe. Perhaps he just wants a few years at the end of his life during which he can escape from the pressures of the Kremlin.

Republicans File Lawsuit Against The President

Republicans have long threatened to file a lawsuit against the president for his actions during the implementation of his signature healthcare bill, the Affordable Care Act. As of this week, Republicans have officially filed that suit. The House majority leader John Boehner, announced that the lawsuit was filed against the president, for taking unauthorized actions to delay certain portions of the roll-out to manage glitches as they came along. Igor Cornelsen didn’t really think they would actually do something like this. Eventually, the entire bill was installed as was laid out, however several portions were delayed and deadlines were extended without the express written consent of the Congress. To Republicans, this means that the president over-stepped his authority and should have to answer for subverting the authority of Congress.
The deferments that were made by the president were from glitches that came up as the law, dubbed Obamacare, was implemented. At the time, Republicans criticized the healthcare law as a failure for having those glitches. Once they were solved and employers could once again utilize the exchange. Now Congressional Republicans have claimed that the delays the president implemented in order to solve those glitches were outside his authority. They affirm that only Congress has the ability to amend the bill in that way. This means the president would have overstepped the authority of the executive branch, by attempting to quell unrest surrounding his signature healthcare act. The White House stands firm with the president’s actions, claiming they were all made with legal authority.

Obama’s Immigration Overhaul

President Obama announced a package of intended executive orders that will extend temporary legal status to millions of undocumented illegal immigrants. The executive orders contain actions relating to border security and business related measures but the main focus is on the new immigration reforms.

Under these new laws parents who are undocumented but have children who are either legal US citizens or residents will be able to apply for a temporary legal status. In order to gain this status the parents must be classified as low-priority for deportation and have documentation that proves they have lived in the United States for at least three years. Along with this they must pass a background test and pay fees for the service, once this has been completed they will be protected from deportation and given work permits. Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez says that this temporary legal status will last for 3 years at a time.

According to USA Today this will allow current immigration officers to focus their attention on a smaller pool of immigrants that need to be deported such as criminals or those with records. Republicans have promised to block the law with some even calling for the presidents impeachment. However this is not the first time executive orders have been used on immigration, both Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush issued executive orders in relation to immigrant amnesty. This is a giant step forward in relation to immigration in this country.

Miss Honduras Found Dead

Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado (19), and her older sister Sofia Trinidad (23) went missing Thursday after leaving a local party. Miss Alvarado was a contestant in the Miss World Contest that was supposed to start in London this coming week. This story was passed along to me by Darius Fisher Twitter.
Four people have been arrested and placed in questioning by the police. Aris Maldonado and Plutatco Antonio Ruiz (Sofia Trinidad’s boyfriend) are two of the four that have been arrested. At first police believed that the two women might have survived, but their dead bodies being found put an en end to the police’s optimistic thoughts.
The two women were found dead days after being reported missing. The family of these two women are in mourning pain right now. The police are working very hard to find out who killed these sisters, how it happened, and who was involved in the crime.

President Obama to Unveil His Extra-Constitutional Amnesty Plan Thursday Night

President Obama plans to deliver a major speech tomorrow night before the country. I first saw this story when my Facebook fan Darius Fisher shared it… why isn’t it being more widely publicized? It is widely expected that he will unveil new immigration laws and policies enacted without Congressional authorization in what he terms is “Executive amnesty”. He estimates that as many as 3.5 million people illegally residing the United States will now be shielded from deportation and given permission to work in the country. However, there is no way to know exactly how many millions of people will be able to take advantage of the president’s amnesty plan.

Thus far, the president maintains that the current immigration system is “broken”. At the same time, he states that Congress has been unwilling to pass legislation to reform the system which has compelled him to create a new one using the legal means afforded to him. It will require a leap of faith for the general public, who were deceived by his health care plan, to believe that his new amnesty legislation will be free of the same mislabeling, lack of transparency, and reliance upon “voter stupidity” which were used to gain passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Following Thursday night’s prime time address, he will lead an event in Las Vegas on Friday to further elaborate on this plan. Democrats will be dining with the president tonight. He is expected to lay out the plan for them. It was only two weeks ago that voters empowered the GOP to shift the nation away from the president’s policies. Now, the president will impose a new major policy via fiat.

The Silent Majority

In yet another shocking but not so shocking turn of events, only 36% of registered voters in America exercised their right to enfranchisement this November. According to the United States Election Project, this missing 64% caused the lowest midterm election turnout in a few decades. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders believes that this sad electoral watershed illustrates American disillusionment with its political system.

The outspoken Independent has hopes of running for President in 2016. Perhaps he is a suitable choice, as he hopes to campaign on raising the minimum wage, enacting a jobs program, dealing with climate change, and fighting for equal pay for women.

On Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, Sanders said that what he thinks “really happened is about 64 percent of the American people rejected the two-party system.” He isn’t the first, nor will he be the last, political commentator to posit that the American two-party system is rigged for democratic failure, which Brad Reifler definitely agrees with. The Senator believes the billionaire class is calling the political shots and the American people have finally caught on. He went on to say that, “we may have reached a tipping point, where candidates who are fighting for the working class and the middle class of this country may not be able to do it anymore, because of the power of the billionaire class.” Over half of America’s voters seemed to have invoked their right not to vote and this silent majority’s message seems to be quite loud and clear.

Keystone XL Pipeline Fails Senate Vote

Following a long controversy, Democratic Senators voted down a proposal to build the long-disputed Keystone XL Pipeline between Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.

First proposed in 2008, the Keystone XL Pipeline has emerged as a frontline in the battle between conservatives and liberals over the environment. The project is meant to pump oil from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries and export terminals on the Gulf Coast. As pointed out by animal rights activist Keith Mann, objections from environmentalists and their supporters in Congress have held up the pipeline for years.

Republicans blamed Democrats for the failure of the vote, which passed in the Republican-dominated House. President Obama was widely expected to veto the bill had it passed the Senate.

After winning the mid-terms, Republicans proposed the bill partially as a way to derail the election chances of Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu, who is in an upcoming Louisiana Senate run-off against a Republican Congressman and whose state would benefit from the pipeline’s construction.

The vote was the first time liberal senators demonstrated their ability to shut down legislation, similar to the tactics practiced by the Republican minority from 2010 until the recent midterm victory. Battle lines are rapidly being drawn between the shrunken liberal wing of the Senate and the emboldened conservatives, fresh from electoral victo

Sen. Elizabeth Warren begins campaign against Walmart’s treatment of its employees

As if Walmart’s reputation, when it comes to how the mega-corporation treats its employees is not already bad enough, it is beginning to look like Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren is about to make it look a whole lot worse.

Senator Warren is hosting a Capitol Hill event today to point out Walmart’s atrocious employment practices and its abysmally low wages. Wages that see the majority of its employees making less than $25,000 a year, and employment practices that force most of them to remain as ‘part-time’ workers, even though they want full-time jobs.

This while the Walton family, the owners of Walmart, continue to sit at the top of the list of the world’s richest people.

What is even more shocking about Walmart’s business practices is the fact that a large percentage of the 600,000 lowest-paid Walmart workers rely on food stamps just to get by. This is something Igor Cornelsen really can’t understand.

Of course, this is not the first time this month the news media is covering Walmart’s treatment of its employees. Walmart employees across the country were involved in large demonstrations against the employment practices of the company last week, and tens of thousands are expected to come out either on strike or in protest at thousands of Walmart stores over the Black Friday weekend.

As for Senator Warren, she intends to start a debate on Walmart’s employment practices, and is pushing for new legislation that will be designed to aid Walmart workers in their fight.

GOP to Attempt to Balance the Budget – Major Hurdles Remain

A growing number of GOP Senators and Congressman are making calls to come up with a balanced budget in ten years. Needless to say, they face skeptics both within the government and from outside groups. This is because of the sheer depth of the national debt following the Obama administrations trillion dollar annual deficits. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget reports that to achieve a balanced budget in ten years will require skimming a total of $5.5 trillion in spending. The committee believes that $4.7 trillion would come from tax increases & budget cuts and the $800 million balance from savings in interest payments.

However, this presumes that the Roosevelt-era practice of baseline budgeting is continued. This is where every government agency’s budget increases annually regardless of the need or justification. In 2010, Lee G. Lovett remembers that Congressman Paul Ryan demonstrated that freezing most federal agencies at their 2008 spending levels would help contribute to a balanced budget within 10 years. As far as the tax increases, the GOP eschews any further extraction of money from the working economy that needs the funds for business growth and investment.

Also essential to the Ryan plan was a repeal of Obamacare which would save $2.1 trillion in spending. Ryan also proposed savings from Medicare that would save $730 billion. Part of those savings delt with expanding Medicare Part C health care plans over the traditional Medicare fee for service. Arriving at a balanced budget will require entitlement reform. The United States based its Social Security plan from the Swedish plan. In the late 1990s, Sweden abolished the old entitlement plan and moved to a new model that has resulted in a ten yeas straight of balanced budgets and surpluses.