Coffee and Politics Breakfast

– To go along with the story I posted last night on Sandra Fluke considering a run for congress, she would be taking over the Los Angeles area seat of Henry Waxman, long a liberal lion in the house. As the Washington Post summarizes, Waxman had a number of accomplishments, having been in D.C. ever since the 1974 election that saw Democrats sweep the house thanks to President Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal:

“Among that legislation were laws to make infant formula safer and more nutritious (1980), bring low-priced generic drugs to market (1984), clean the air (1990), provide services and medical care to people with AIDS (1996), and reform and modernize the Postal Service (2006). He was also instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act.”

Though the law has not yet passed, Waxman has also been a key proponent of cap-and-trade legislation in the house.

– New poll out of Quinnipiac University has Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott trailing former governor, and former Republican, Charlie Christ. Most damagingly, independents in the Sunshine state are backing Christ by a margin of 48-32, and women favor Christ 50-34. All in all, it looks like it will be a tough battle for the former healthcare executive turned Republican Governor, who has drawn the ire of many in his state for, among other things, rejecting the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare that would have helped so many of the state’s poor while costing a pittance. As we’ve seen in the Bridgegate/Sandy Relief Funds fiascos, Governors have a TON of discretion about how federal programs actually play out on the local level, they can act as either a red or a green light to the administration. Additionally, having a strong set of state Governor’s gives a party a strong bench for future Presidential elections.

– I might do more on this later on, but the GOP have released their preliminary plans for immigration reform, and, on the surface, they are encouraging:

Thursday to the GOP conference, suggesting a broad step-by-step plan that would include more border security and enforcement, major changes to the legal immigration system and what will likely be the most contentious issue: legal status for some people who are in the country without authorization.

But unfortunately, in bold, you have the reason why this will never happen. The base will freak the F out when they hear that their own party is “betraying them” like this, and the bill will never be brought to the floor. Just like last time Republicans were feeling a little randy and tried to do comprehensive immigration reform, in the mid-2000’s and John McCain is still considered an apostate by his party’s base!

The real key to the issue seems to have come later in the document, the Republican plan will have:

six principles, divided into sections: “Border Security and Interior Enforcement Must Come First,” “Implement Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System,” “Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement,” “Reforms to the Legal Immigration System,” “Youth” and “Individuals Living Outside the Rule of Law.”

And guess what? Boehner said, “It helps our members understand the bite-sized pieces, and it helps our constituents build more confidence that what we’re doing makes sense”. That’s right, they’re going to do it in six pieces, one piece at a time, and put the problem of the 12 million undocumented immigrants in our country now LAST. So, if Democrats play along with Republicans, and give them stronger border and interior enforcement, install tracking chips on all suspicious looking brown people, toughen up on hiring of undocumented immigrants, and make it harder for people to come here legally unless they are white, European, and highly skilled, then and only THEN, the Republicans might think about checking off a single Democratic priority!

That’s compromise and bipartisanship in 2014’s Republican party, folks!

 

PS- Or they could just do the first one or 2 or five things on the list, and suddenly realize they don’t have the votes when it comes to the sixth.

 

 

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