Blog - KausFiles
... 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.
In a satisfying moment of intramural recrimination this week, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York pointedly second-guessed President Obama's decision to push sweeping health care legislation in 2010, when Americans were more concerned with the state of the economy and their economic futures.
You don't have to be Hari Seldon to figure out what the next two waves of Conventional Wisdom will be regarding President Obama's just-announced
unilateral amnesty "Immigration Accountability Executive Action":
With Obama's executive amnesty imminent, anonymous White House aides are cockily dismissing John Boehner's threatened lawsuit against it as a stunt. Even among opponents of executive amnesty -- and I'm with them -- there's a tendency to pooh pooh the suit. It's a loser, it will take forever to decide, it's an attempt to 'redirect Republican rage' away from budgetary remedies like denying funding, etc.
Quagmire: 'We already intervened twice. You mean we have to go back there again?'-- Vox, TPM editors contemplating another rescue mission of MIT Obamacare expert Jonathan Gruber. P.S.: I told you so. P.P.S.: Gruber seems more clumsy, unpolished and unfiltered -- even goofy -- than slick. Slick would be worse. ...
FIND THAT MESSAGE: Obama's policies were on the ballot -- we have it on good authority (Obama's). That includes "comprehensive immigration reform," as embodied in the Chuck Schumer's Senate "Gang of 8" legalization + immigration increase bill. So how did it do? Let's see:
Liberals for Scott Brown? Here's why I think New Hampshire Democrats should vote against Jeanne Shaheen on Tuesday. I know this is a tough sell, and you're maybe sick of any kind of sell. I'll keep it short:
The Bias Matrix: What does kausfiles want? It's complicated! Before a modern political writer can
slant his coverage practice explanatory journalism determine what readers need to know, he first has to figure out whom he wants to win. That's not always as easy as it sounds, especially if you are a blogger whose major issue** (control of our borders to help create a tight labor market) does not break down cleanly along party lines. Confronting the array of possible outcomes from the 2014 midterms, I can see two semi-contradictory imperatives:
The Prisoner and the Dilemma: We'd like to quarantine care workers who return from caring for Ebola patients in West Africa -- we're not 100% sure that symptomless people aren't contagious ("unlikely"), and symptoms seem to come on relatively quickly in any case. Voluntary quarantining has proven incompletely effective. At the same time, we don't want to discourage volunteer health care workers from traveling to West Africa, where the main fight against the disease is being waged. They're not exactly encouraged to make the trip if they know they'll have to spend 21 days in a tent with a portable toilet on their return.
Neutral Story Line That Isn't: Looks like NBC has its midterm election line set: It's all about "gridlock" and "polarization!" (Video clip, featuring Chuck Todd, here.)
Faster Ebola: Ebola -- and the administration's non-reassuring response to the threat -- seems to be the hot issue now in the midterms. There's even talk that the Republicans, previously (and perhaps intentionally) themeless, will be able to nationalize the election around the issue. The trouble is that the election is 15 days away. Will the Ebola meme last until then? The Feiler Faster Thesis says no! The ability of voters to process information with increasing speed means they will have grokked Obama's epidemiological performance in fighting the disease and be ready for a new issue long before November 4 -- at least unless new cases of infected Americans emerge.