Blog - KausFiles
Looking for Hillary alternatives: Has Sheryl Sandberg ruled out running for President? I don't think so. ....
Dept. of Not Excitable: When a public official is caught using a private email account to conduct official business, it's -- well, it's one of those charges, like the charge of using legislative staff to get reelected -- that I can't get all excited about. It's insane to expect people to do business knowing all of their communications will be made public. There has to be some place for them to curse, chew people out, be cynical and self-absorbed without worrying about optics, etc. That goes for Sarah Palin as well as Hillary Clinton. ...
Good God Y'all. What is Vox good for? Absolutely .... What's the point of having a fake-neutral liberal self-styled wonkish whippersnapper web site if it pisses on one of the few really good liberal ideas out there: the idea of "universal employment" or a right to a job. Few politicians have pushed this idea (since Sen. Paul Simon in the late 80s) so it has been left to President Frank Underwood on House of Cards.**
The Latest Fad -- Mindlessness: NBC Nightly News managed to devote almost two minutes of tonight's opening segment to the standoff over Department of Homeland Security funding -- after another, initial two minutes on the terrorist threat to the Mall of America. In that time NBC never says what the DHS funding fight is about, namely Obama's executive action giving work permits and deportation protection to millions of illegal immigrants. (You can watch the astonishing newscast here.) The word "immigration" isn't even uttered. Viewers tuning in would have absolutely no idea why the "big fight" -- with 200,000 workers facing no paychecks, a possible "security risk," and the "clock ticking"-- is happening. Is it a budget dispute, with Republicans trying to lower federal spending and Democrats trying to raise it? An argument over long TSA lines? Insufficient leg room in coach? A union dispute? Mindless partisan animosity? The NBC story doesn't even blame Republicans. A Democratic propaganda segment would at least have had a coherent story line.
The More the Merrier for Jeb: Both Chris Christie and Marco Rubio are feeling a certain amount of pressure not to run for President. Christie's been targeted in stories about how he's losing donors, dropping from the top tier, etc. (Never mind that, as Howard Kurtz pointed out, it's entirely possible to lose the "donor primary" and win the race if you get hot with voters at the right time.) Rubio, were told, is being urged to run for reelection to help prevent Democrats from winning the Senate. No doubt Jeb Bush's extensive network had nothing to do with stoking either of these stories. ... P.S.: But should Bush really want to push Rubio and Christie and other rivals out? Jeb isn't doing terribly well in the polls, and his chances for winning would seem enhanced if the field is fragmented. The worst thing for Jeb would be if there is a single, viable anti-Bush candidate, especially if the anti-Bush candidate has contrasting views on immigration. Politico recently surveyed "insiders" who felt Jeb could win their states despite" supporting some form of legal status" for illegal immigrants -- with a caveat:
Oscar billboard in West L.A. for Imitation Game: "HONOR THE MAN, HONOR THE FILM"... Cheesy, no? We're supposed to honor Alan Turing by giving your B+ film an award? ... Lucky it's not up against a film about Martin Luther King.** ...
Paranoid Immigration Thoughts for Today:
BUSH/CANTOR 2016--The Donor's Choice! Jeb Bush will appear with defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at a fundraiser on February 16th. Because there is no better symbol of the emerging populist GOP vision of hope than Eric Cantor. ...
Secret Bush Decoder? Jeb Bush surprised many people recently by seeming to advocate a crackdown on one variety of illegal immigrant -- those who have overstayed their visas:
We must be winning against ISIS. We have body counts! And John Kerry is pushing them. Next: Jane Fonda sees the light at the end of the tunnel ...
... Using This One Weird Trick! It seems as if everybody's down on the idea of Mitt Romney running for president again. Even establishment Republicans who aren't part of the vast Bush claque seem to be hostile. President Obama's aides mocked Romney's interest in income inequality, per Politico:
"The Next America" on Hiatus. This just in: "White Out: Where the Democrats Lost the House," by Ronald Brownstein. ... Shorter version: They read too many columns on the "coalition of the ascendant" by Ronald Brownstein. ...
... or how to revive democracy and feed reporters' egos at the same time! The coming race for Barbara Boxer's California Senate seat could be a fabulous free for all -- maybe not the 150 candidate gubernatorial recall extravaganza eventually won by Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003, but still exciting: Dozens of ambitious citizens slugging it out in a "jungle primary," with the top two vote-getters then facing off in November, 2016. Villaraigosa, Becerra, Tauscher, Speier, Sanchez, Schiff, Bass, Swearengin, K. Johnson. And those are just some of the insiders who might run, not the outsiders (Rob Lowe! Go!).
Cherchez la Bush: Why are Speaker Boehner and other Republican leaders so relentless in continuing to pursue an immigration amnesty deal during Obama's presidency? The well will not be poisoned for them. Even after Obama went around them -- brutally dissed them -- with his executive amnesty, they persist in dropping loud hints (here's the latest) that they're open to a big immigration compromise. Put up a for-show fight against Obama's executive action for now, throw in a bogus border-security bill, and maybe later in the year they can push something through with Democratic support (the way Boehner recently pushed through the "Cromnibus"). They're not going to let a little unconstitutional Caesarist power grab stop them.
Playing Catch With Mario: On New Year's Day Politico published a list of "The Most 'This Town' Moments of 2014." It was pretty lame (e.g., Eric Cantor getting a job at an investment firm, David Gregory getting fired, etc.) and didn't capture the mix of downscale chumminess, crude status-seeking and semi-subtle corruption you'd want in such a list. The real winner came in Politico a few days later, when Mike Allen highlighted this passage from Mike Barnicle's tribute to Mario Cuomo:
No legalization necessary: When the border-crossing surge of "unaccompanied" (and accompanied) minors from Central America hit the mainstream press, the U.S. had a big debate over whether it was caused by the lure of a possible amnesty -- including, Republicans charged, the lure of President Obama's 2012 executive amnesty (including work permits) for so-called "Dreamers" who crossed the border when young.
Unlike his predecessor as host of Meet the Press, Chuck Todd is an approachable, un-phony presence. He knows politics and clearly enjoys politics. But, boy, is he excitable, especially on the subject of immigration, where he often lets the drama of the moment cloud his judgment. [You need three examples-ed. Got em.]
Violating the No-Goad Zone: Last Tuesday, in Nashville, President Obama confidently predicted that no future president would be able to reverse his recent executive amnesty of some 4 million illegal immigrants:
Am I missing something ...? : I think Obama's executive amnesty is probably unconstitutional, and in any case it's bad policy. A Congress mindful of its place in our democracy would stop it on balance-of-powers grounds alone. I also share Byron York's puzzlement over why, exactly, it has to be stopped now, as opposed to after January when Republicans will have majorities in both Houses.