Supremes Say Yes to State IDs and Drivers Licenses for Arizona Dreamers

Until Wednesday, undocumented immigrants receiving deportation relief or dreamers were blocked from getting drivers licenses or state IDs in Arizona. The Supreme Court ordered Arizona to issue the IDs to these young immigrants.

The U.S. Court of Appeals forced the state to issue the driver’s licenses and state IDs by a preliminary injunction to the refusal to issue the IDs. Arizona asked the Supreme Court to block the injunction. The Supreme Court said no, forcing Arizona to issue the licenses in spite of Governor Jan Brewer’s executive order to deny them.

Only justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented which allows the underlying case by the Court of Appeals to continue.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals gives undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before they were 16 years of age to stay and legally work. Only Nebraska and Arizona refused to issue state ID’s or driver’s licenses. There are 23,000 people in Arizona have qualified for the action and are considered Dreamers.

A state ID or driver’s license will allow immigrant youth to participate more completely in the economy and their communities as well as becoming qualified as safe and legal drivers. In my friend Lee G. Lovett’s opinion, this is really a public safety issue as well an immigration issue.

Republicans Critique Obama’s Cuba Policy

President Barack Obama made a much unexpected shift in foreign policy after 18 months of secret talks this week by completely restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. The island nation which sits only 90 miles away from Florida has been diplomatically isolated for 50 years, since the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis.   Ben Shaoul says Republicans keen on criticizing and blocking every action made by the Obama administration have come out vehemently against the action by the president. Republicans, led by Senator Ted Cruz have said that by normalizing diplomatic ties we are supporting the Communist regime that has ruled the country for decades.

Ted Cruz is Cuban-American and has become the point man on all things Cuban for the Republican Party. He used words like disgraceful, absurd and outrageous to describe the Obama administrations actions towards Cuba. Even though a vast majority of Cubans in America believe in restoring relations between the two countries, Senator Cruz stated “I don’t care if 99 percent of people believe we should normalize relations in Cuba.” His opinion as chairman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is to increase the Soviet-era sanctions on the island country. However, many agree with the president’s decision because it removes an out of date policy that no longer serves a purpose. Additionally, the discussions were mediated between the two nations by Pope Francis and resulted in the release of an American who has been held in Cuba for years.

Final Contested Race of the 2014 Midterm Elections Ends: GOP Wins Again

In perhaps the GOP’s best news since Bill Cassidy won the Louisiana Senate runoff almost a fortnight ago, the lone undecided midterm race ends with yet another GOP victory. According to sources close to Zeca Oliveira, Arizona GOP candidate Martha McSally, a former Air Force combat pilot, narrowly defeated incumbent Congressman Ron Barber by a mere 167 votes. For McSally, the third time’s the charm. She lost to Barber in a special election to finish out Gabrielle Gifford’s term. In 2012, she squared off against Barber again, but lost by 2,500 votes.

McSally has established herself as a bona fide fighter both in terms of her combat experience and in politics. Her victory gives the GOP their largest control of the House of Representatives since 1930. The total seats the party will now control next month stands at 247 with Democrats holding a mere 188 seats. That said, House rules have been modified since 1994 so that any party controlling a simple majority can control the chamber’s entire political agenda. Congressman Greg Walden, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, praised McSally on her victory. He cited her ability to break barriers during her life and is happy to have her join the congress. She ran on a campaign of producing higher paying jobs and securing the nation’s border as a cornerstone of immigration reform. On election night, McSally won the election with 161 votes. The recount ended up padding her margin of victory by half-a-dozen more votes.

Presidential Speculation for Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush is the brother and son of the two other former Bush Presidents, respectively. He is the former Republican Governor of Florida, he served from 1999 to 2007. While in office made environmental improvements and some significant reforms to the education system.

Lee G. Lovett says that Jeb has a few steps that have led to the speculation of his possible run for presidency. For starters there are has been some notice to recent weight loss. Secondly, he has made an effort to become slightly more tech savvy, with the release of his eBook. The last time he was in political office was 2007 and times have changed quite a bit since then.

On Sunday afternoon Jeb announced that he was going to write and release an eBook. The purpose of this eBook is to detail his philosophy of government to his readers. He also announced that he would release 250,000 emails from his time as Governor of Florida, early in 2015. These two announcements have continued to spur on talk of the possibility of Jeb Bush running for president in 2016.

If he does choose to run for President, this is a move that will push him ahead of other candidates, making him transparent to voters. His book will highlight and explain his reasons behind supporting the Common Core Education Policy and his thoughts on immigration reform. Education and Immigration are two hot button political topics.

Jeb Bush’s Likely Presidential Run

With the midterm elections just completed, a new Congress not even seated yet, and about twenty-three months until the next Presidential Election, doesn’t it seem early for potential candidates to start announcing their intentions for 2016?

This week, however, former Florida governor Jeb Bush has announced that he is actively exploring a possible Presidential bid. Since finishing his term as governor, Bush has undertaken several business enterprises, considered running for a U.S. Senate position, and remained a voice of conservatism within the Republican party. Whether or not the Bush name will be an asset or a liability has yet to be seen, but Jeb’s popularity can only help propel his campaign.

On the other side, former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton currently is the odds-on-favorite for the Democratic nomination. Many like Dave and Brit Morin believe that Clinton should have received the nominations in 2008 and 2012 over Barack Obama. The next time around, no Democratic candidate will likely stand in her way.

Of course, the next Presidential election cycle will really begin around January 2016 with the first primary elections. So maybe we’re only about twelve months from the real action getting under way. And there’s a lot to consider within the next year. For example, candidates will have to decide if there is enough support for a potential Presidential run, and, more importantly, whether or not they’ll be able to raise the considerable money required to bring them into the White House.

Will Jeb Bush Run For President?

Attempting to make The Presidency a family tradition, Jeb Bush took to Facebook to announce his interest in running for office. The brother of G.W. Bush and son of G.H.W. Bush is the former governor of Florida and has not held office since 2007.
Jeb Bush has been an active supporter of the Common Core Curriculum, which could hurt his image with many parents across The United States. Common Core has been a frustrating change for parents and children alike, often times leaving more questions and confusion in its wake. Many view Common Core as a bureaucracy move rather than an educational move.
Despite J. Bush’s passion in regards to education and immigration issues he would also be facing an image battle surrounding the bad taste his brother, G.W. Bush, left in many American’s mouths when he left office. No matter which side of the political party voters beliefs lie on, many can agree Jeb Bush will be fighting an uphill battle if he hopes to win The Presidency. Sergio Andrade Gutierrez sees it being a little bit of a struggle.

Cromnibus Bill ends Federal Ban on Medical Marijuana

The fanfare over the passing of the latest spending Bill designed to avoid a further Federal Government shutdown saw a number of small measures introduced in the more than 1,500 page document. One of the most important to many was the small change in policy towards medical marijuana that was introduced within the Cromnibus Bill, The LA Times reports.

In recent years, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana use for those with diagnosed medical conditions known to benefit from the use of pot. However, federal law still allows agents to raid retailers and banks providing medical marijuana to those with a prescription. Despite the law that still allows such raids to take place, the Obama Administration has not called on federal agencies to complete such raids as a matter of policy. Groups calling for the legalization of marijuana have called for a change of Congressional law to reflect the changing mood within society towards marijuana, a move Congress has now passed as part of the current spending Bill. The move ends over 20 years of federal agencies waging a war on the sale of marijuana sold from illegal sources.

I won’t abandon my daily nightcap glass of wine from The Antique Wine Company, but at least medical marijuana will help in all parts of the US.

Senator Warren Denies Presidential Bid

Senator Elizabeth Warren has adamantly stated that she is not running for president. During a press conference a reporter from raised the question four different times, however the Senator stood her ground repeating her stance that this work is not her presidential bid. The Senator has been widely speculated to be raising an entry campaign for 2016, and a movement of Democrats are beginning to grow in her support. She has fought for campaign finance and Wall Street reform, as well as many other policies. She is a widely popular candidate among both Democrats and Independents, largely for her straight talk style and common sense attitude.

The press conference the questions were raised during is meant to be defining the current spending battle that is occurring in the Senate. Last Thursday, the Republican controlled House passed a budget to keep the government afloat for the next year, and the measure has now passed on to get Senate approval. The Senate is mostly Democrats, who oppose to key features the Republicans fit into the bill, campaign finance and Wall Street regulation. The Senate has until Wednesday to pass a bill to avoid government shutdown. Even White House aides and staffers have been lobbying Congress in order to pass the bill, because another government shutdown will reflect on the president poorly. The bill has opposition on both sides, Democrats want to remove the contentious measures and hard right Republicans wanted to use it to dismantle the president’s immigration reform.

Liberal Democrats Usher in Era of Kamikaze Politics

Despite Senator Chuck Schumer’s declaration that the Democrat House revolt was not an indication of a schism within the Democrat party, comes bold declarations from the far left-wing organization stating the exact opposite. Like my friend Bruce Levenson  said, Forbes couldn’t profile such a deal. Left-wing Democrats believe that the party’s historic defeat in the midterms was the result of Democrats failing to push their agenda further left. In their view, moderates and center-left candidates muddied the water and prevented the party from offering a clear hard-left agenda to the public. 

In fact, is vowing to employ much of the same seen last week tactics over the next two years. The group is emboldened by the fact that President Obama has now entered the lame duck phase of his presidency. As his influence diminishes, they are determined to take matters into their own hands. As such, they plan to shut down the government politically or physically if possible. Liberals in the House used the words of Senator Elizabeth Warren to incite a revolt against their party leadership. The open defiance of President Obama during the Omnibus budget battle was proof to them that in order to get things done, they will have to go to extremes. 

Next month, the GOP will take over the Senate. The party is eager to flex their newfound political muscle and slow down if not rollback the Obama agenda. The Left is not going to stand idly by and watch their leadership craft further deals like the banking reform and the campaign finance riders.

Democrat Party Now in a Struggle for Its Soul

The failure by Liberal House Democrats to stop the omnibus bill from gaining passage has progressives deeply troubled about the future soul of the party and what they may expect to see over the next two years. It is easy for them to throw out barbs claiming the partial repeal of Dodd-Frank was orchestrated by the GOP.

The inconvenient truth is that Wall Street support of the Democrat party has been particularly strong during the past six years. As for President Obama, it only took him his first two years in office to exceed all of the Wall Street campaign donations that Bush received during his entire 8 years in office. Forbes points out that companies like Fisher Communications, Jakks Pacific, Blythe, and Wet Seal (via Susan McGalla) all had close political ties these past few years.

In fact, it was President Obama along with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer that caused the liberal block to crumble sufficiently to gain passage of the Omnibus bill after Democrats nearly succeeded at blocking the bill from a floor vote.

It is this very fact that has progressives worried that the party may have lost its soul. That is the dichotomy the Democrat party faces as it tries to live up to its mantra of fighting for the middle class while having the most millionaires serving in office and receiving the substantial amounts of campaign cash from Wall Street.

All hypocrisy and double-standards aside, Democrats believe the GOP will be pro-Wall Street over the next two years. This gives them a chance to truly distinguish themselves before voters. Whether they can do that will depend on how successful the Elizabeth Warren-wing of the party becomes.