Boehner: Obama Has Cemented His Legacy of Lawlessness

House Speaker John Boehner, who warned after the recent midterm elections that executive action on immigration reform would "poison the well," has issued a statement in response to President Obama's announcement and decision to move forward with changes in immigration law without Congress, saying Obama has "cemented his legacy of lawlessness." 

“The American people want both parties to focus on solving problems together; they don’t support unilateral action from a president who is more interested in partisan politics than working with the people’s elected representatives. That is not how American democracy works. Not long ago, President Obama said the unilateral action he just announced was ‘not an option’ and claimed he’d already ‘done everything that I can on my own.’ He said it would lead to a ‘surge in more illegal immigration.’ He said he was ‘not a king’ and ‘not the emperor’ and that he was ‘bound by the Constitution.’ He said an action like this would exceed his authority and be ‘difficult to justify legally.’ He may have changed his position, but that doesn’t change the Constitution," Boehner said. “By ignoring the will of the American people, President Obama has cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left. His ‘my way or the highway’ approach makes it harder to build the trust with the American people that is necessary to get things done on behalf of the country. Republicans are left with the serious responsibility of upholding our oath of office. We will not shrink from this duty, because our allegiance lies with the American people. We will listen to them, work with our members, and protect the Constitution."

Obama: My Executive Action Isn't Amnesty and It's Lawful

After six years of claiming he didn't have the authority to unilaterally change the nation's immigration laws without Congress, President Obama laid out a plan Thursday night doing exactly that through executive action. 

"There are actions I have the legal authority to take as President...that will help make our immigration system more fair and just," Obama said. "Today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it."

"Some people call this amnesty, it's not," he said.

Here is a fact sheet released by the White House earlier this evening detailing Obama's executive action. It includes fast tracking Green Cards, which make individuals eligible for a slew of government welfare programs, and issues five million work permits to illegal immigrants living inside the United States.

White House Details on Anticipated Administrative Relief

President Obama repeatedly berated Republicans for a lack of progress on immigration reform in the House over the past two years while ignoring the previous four when Democrats had total control over the Senate.

"For a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote," Obama said, urging the GOP to bring up legislation in the new Congress.

Republicans have been pushing back against Obama's planned action all week and have already issued responses to the President's announcement tonight. 

“President Obama’s executive amnesty violates the laws Congress has passed in order to create and implement laws Congress has refused to pass. The President is providing an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants with social security numbers, photo IDs and work permits—allowing them to now take jobs directly from struggling Americans during a time of record immigration, low wages, and high joblessness. This amnesty plan was rejected by the American people’s Congress. By refusing to carry out the laws of the United States in order to make his own, the President is endangering our entire Constitutional order," Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions said in a statement. "The President’s plan will apparently also allow many illegal immigrants to receive green cards and become legal permanent residents—meaning they can access almost all U.S. welfare programs, have lifetime work authorization, obtain citizenship, and sponsor foreign relatives to join them in the U.S. Law enforcement has warned this unprecedented amnesty will unleash a ‘tidal wave’ of new illegal immigration flooding into American neighborhoods at taxpayers’ expense"

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who will lead the Judiciary Committee in the new Congress, says Obama's plan is an affront to the constitution and outside of the law. 

“The President’s executive actions on immigration are the wrong way forward and disrespectful of the law. Such broad, massive legalization is an affront to the Constitution. The President himself has said that he doesn’t have authority, or that he doesn’t prefer this course of action, but yet continues to take this route," Grassley said. “The President is missing a big opportunity to enact real reform, and instead he’s poisoning the well for future action. Nobody thinks the status quo is okay. But, the President’s actions are only a Band-aid for a real problem; in fact, he’s making it worse. How does Congress move forward when the President has made it clear with tonight’s announcement that he doesn’t want to work with the elected officials in the legislative branch where reform has to happen? Unfortunately, if the American people have learned anything about this President, it’s that he has never worked well with Congress-even those in his own party. His disdain for a co-equal branch of government is very evident. It shows in executive actions like this, in regulations that the American people are solidly against, and in his and his Cabinet’s responses to Congress’ constitutional responsibility of oversight."

Moving forward, Republicans have vowed to fight Obama's executive action through defunding and the withholding of presidential nominations.

Republican Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, who will serve as the new chairman for the House Homeland Security, warns Obama's action is a threat to American democracy and vows to use his new position to stop the "unconstitutional action." 

“The president’s decision to bypass Congress and grant amnesty to millions of unlawful immigrants is unconstitutional and a threat to our democracy. There is no doubt our immigration system is broken and needs to be fixed, but this does not mean the president has the authority to act without Congress," McCaul released in  statement. “History has proven that unilateral action on immigration simply perpetuates a cycle of illegal entry into this country. This was true under the 1986 amnesty and it has been true under DACA, which enticed 60,000 unaccompanied children to make the perilous journey across our border this summer. We will see a wave of illegal immigration because of the president’s actions, and in no way is the Department of Homeland Security prepared to handle such a surge. Furthermore, the president knows any immigration reforms will be ineffective as long as our border remains insecure. As chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, I will use every tool at my disposal to stop the president’s unconstitutional actions from being implemented.”

WATCH LIVE: Obama Announces Executive Amnesty

At 8 pm eastern time President Obama will detail his plan for executive action on illegal immigration from the White House. Watch live below. 

Lights Out: NSA Director Says China Could Shut Down Electric Grid in Parts of US

When we think about security threats facing the nation, the vulnerability of our nation’s power grids doesn’t exactly keep most Americans up at night. But should it? According to the head of the NSA, China and “one or two” other countries could essentially shut parts of the country down.

Via Fox News:

The grim forecast came from Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of the U.S .Cyber Command.

Rogers said he believed China along with “one or two” other countries had the capability to successfully launch a cyber-attack that could shut down the electric grid in parts of the United States.

Rogers reiterated that if the U.S. remains on the defensive, it would be a “losing strategy.”

Speaking to the House Intelligence Committee, the NSA director said the cyber threat was “so real,” and that agreeing to an international code, a sort of “laws of law” in the cyber realm is urgent.

The possibility of such cyberattacks by U.S. adversaries has been widely known, but never confirmed publicly by the nation's top cyber official.

At a House hearing, Rogers says U.S. adversaries are performing electronic "reconnaissance," on a regular basis so that they can be in a position to attack the industrial control systems that run everything from chemical facilities to water treatment plants.

Outside experts say the U.S. Cyber Command also has that capability, which in theory should amount to mutual deterrence.

“Despite their great size and internal complexity [high voltage] transformers can be readily disabled or destroyed,” the Congressional Research Service said in a June report that quoted one manufacturer as saying such a task would be “surprisingly simple.”

Official DNC Graphic: Republicans Believe Executive Amnesty Will Lead to Ethnic Cleansing

Ahead of President Obama's announcement on executive action, he Democrat National Committee is arguing that Republicans believe President Obama's executive action on illegal immigration will lead to ethnic cleansing. The following is from the official DNC twitter account. 

Obama to Argue Executive Amnesty Holds Illegal Immigrants "Accountable"

Just two hours ahead of President Obama's address to the nation, details about his executive action and plans to rewrite immigration law have been released by the White House to the National Immigration Youth Alliance, which has posted a document with specifics. Bolding is mine. 

Here are the 5 things that you should know about the President’s initiatives impacting
undocumented immigrants in the US:

1. You must meet strict requirements to qualify for relief from deportation

Eligible immigrants will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization if they come forward and pass criminal and national security background checks, pay their taxes, pay a fee, and show that they are:

A parent of US citizens or lawful permanent residents on the date of the announcement, are not enforcement priorities and have been in the US since January 1, 2010, or

An individual who arrived in the US before turning 16 years old and before January 1, 2010, regardless of how old they are today


Additionally, we are reducing the time that families are separated while obtaining their green cards.

Undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents or sons or daughters of US citizens can apply to get a waiver if a visa is available.

2. You Cannot Apply for Several Months

The U.S. government– and specifically USCIS - will not begin accepting applications until early 2015. While the government is not accepting applications now, if you believe you are eligible for one or more of the initiatives, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish your identity, relationship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and show that you have continuously lived in the US for 5 years or more.

3. Recent Border Crossers will be a Priority for Deportation

You must have been in the US for at least 5 years to qualify for these programs. These executive actions will not benefit immigrants who recently crossed the border (defined as those who entered the country after January 1, 2014), who may cross the border in the future, or who help those who cross in the future, but rather immigrants who have been living in the United States for years. The President’s actions increase the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally today will be caught and then sent back

4. If you commit fraud you will not qualify

USCIS will review each case very carefully. As with other immigration requests, knowingly misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts will subject applicants to criminal prosecution and possible removal from the United States.

5. Beware of Immigration Scams


Many people offer help with immigration services. Unfortunately, not all are authorized to do so. While many of these unauthorized practitioners mean well, all too many of them are out to rip you off.

It should be noted that Green Cards allow individuals to pursue citizenship and voting rights. A Green Card also makes them eligible for a number of government welfare programs. Under this action work permits will be issued to five million people living in the U.S. illegally. Section number three is promising, so long as the federal government allows ICE agents to do their jobs, however, there is no way to prove who has "recently" crossed the border. 

In an excerpt released of Obama's speech, it is clear the President will repeatedly stress his action is "lawful" and justified through the actions of previous presidents. He will also argue his executive action holds illegal immigrants "accountable."

This post has been updated.

Poll: More Than Half of Americans Say Healthcare Coverage is 'Not a Government Responsibility'

One endless point of contention between progressives and conservatives is over the proper role of government.

Conservatives, for their part, have always believed that a smaller, less centralized, less intrusive government works best and most efficiently. And this, of course, applies to the issue of healthcare.

And yet this hands-off, non-government approach to ensuring coverage is a position more Americans have come to embrace over the past decade. Just look at how much public opinion has shifted on the following question since 2006:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

In other words:

Prior to the feverish days of ‘Hope and Change,’ respondents were very open to the idea of the federal government taking the lead on healthcare and thus supplying coverage to every American. It seems that the public’s experience with Obamacare, however, has utterly changed their minds.

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer once observed that as a direct result of the Obama presidency, and his transformative experiment in health care reform, the case for liberalism “will be set back a full generation.”

If this poll is any indication, it seems he was correct.

More Than 100 Pastors Sign "Marriage Pledge" to Preserve Traditional Marriage

The Reverends Ephraim Radner and Christopher Seitz have published in First Things what they've dubbed the "Marriage Pledge." The pledge would effectively separate civil marriage from the religious ceremony—signers of the pledge would refuse to sign marriage certificates, for instance. The pledge has been signed by more than 100 members of the clergy, as well as laypersons in support of the pledge and came about due to fears of pastors being forced to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

As Christian ministers we must bear clear witness. This is a perilous time. Divorce and co-­habitation have weakened marriage. We have been too complacent in our responses to these trends. Now marriage is being fundamentally redefined, and we are ­being tested yet again. If we fail to take clear action, we risk falsifying God’s Word.

The new definition of marriage no longer coincides with the Christian understanding of marriage between a man and woman. Our biblical faith is committed to upholding, celebrating, and furthering this understanding, which is stated many times within the Scriptures and has been repeatedly restated in our wedding ceremonies, church laws, and doctrinal standards for centuries. To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage.

Therefore, in our roles as Christian ministers, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties. We will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage. We will no longer sign government-provided marriage certificates. We will ask couples to seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings. We will preside only at those weddings that seek to establish a Christian marriage in accord with the principles ­articulated and lived out from the beginning of the Church’s life.

This seems like a good happy medium in the debate over religious freedom, and the folks at Reason agree, arguing that libertarians should embrace the "marriage pledge" idea as it removes government from something that should be a private matter.

Some may view this as a last ditch attempt to oppose the tide of history, but libertarians ought to welcome it as a step toward the removal of government from private relationships.

Marriage, after all, is in essence a private contract between two individuals, and there is no reason why the government ought to be able to determine who is eligible to enter into that contract and who is not. Government involvement in marriage is a relatively recent phenomenon.

I agree with this logic, and I support the reasoning behind the marriage pledge idea. Religious figures should not be forced by government to perform things they disagree with or find to be sacrilegious. If a pastor removes himself from every civil aspect of all marriages, he cannot be forced to officiate a same-sex marriage he finds to be sacrilegious. This seems like an easy solution.

As Obama Prepares Amnesty, Feds Leave Border Patrol Agents Without Enough Rifles

As President Obama prepares to announce his plans to essentially legalize five million illegal immigrants from the White House Thursday night, Border Patrol agents working against dangerous criminal aliens are being stripped of their weapons and forced to share rifles, leaving them unarmed and vulnerable. 

KVOA News 4 in Tucson recently finished an investigation into the situation and the findings are alarming.

We learned that U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Offices of Border Patrol and Training and Development are inspecting the quality of agents' M4 carbines throughout Border Patrol sectors nationwide. But agents tell us, some of those M4s have not been replaced. And, we've learned, agents are required to share rifles amongst each other.

"There's a lot of agents that are pretty upset over it," said Art del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector union. "We know it's a dangerous job. We know what we signed on for but we want to have as much of the equipment as we need to perform the job."

The M4 carbine is used by the U.S. military and by Border Patrol agents. It's even used by the Border Patrol's tactical unit, BORTAC. Agent Brian Terry was carrying the M4 when he was shot and killed in December 2010.

Customs and Border Protection officials in Washington D.C. claim the rifles are being taken out of commission due to safety concerns while ironically leaving agents in an unsafe, unarmed and dangerous situation. A Border Patrol source tells me that many of the rifles being "deadlined" are rifles that have been functioning properly, not rifles that were malfunctioning or damaged. The source also said many "damaged" rifles being taken out of commission can be easily repaired on scene with readily available parts. Further, "sharing" rifles is unacceptable. Mexican cartels aren't taking a day off and certainly carry weapons of their own every day. More from News 4:

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada grew worried when told of the delay in redistributing rifles to agents.

"This is a concern for the officers and for the community as well," he said. "We want to make sure that they have all the equipment that they need to be able to provide the safest environment we possibly can."

Jeff Prather is a former drug enforcement agent who now runs the Warrior School in Tucson. He says agents have reached out to him about the rifle shortage.

He said agents stand the risk of being over-powered on the border.

"Cartels have always been better equipped, the paramilitary forces, the corrupt Mexican soldiers and federales at times," Prather said.

He says agents have contacted him and told him about their concerns about sharing the weapons.

"And now they're seriously concerned. Because if they're concerned enough to reach out and contact me and reach out so we get this message out, they are not only frustrated but they are in fear for their lives."

While the administration prepares to allocate funding to five million people living in the United States illegally, Border Patrol agents are being left defenseless. The federal government has an obligation to immediately replace rifles taken out of service, yet is failing to do so and agents are at greater risk as a result.

WH: C'mon, Obama Isn't 'Tearing Up the Constitution' on Executive Amnesty


The Washington Post's editorial board, not known for its staunch conservatism, has been warning the White House for months against implementing the executive amnesty President Obama is expected to announce tonight.  In August, the Post published a stern house editorial that laid out the stakes and Constitutional context of the administration's then-rumored action:

Congress is a mess. But that doesn’t grant the president license to tear up the Constitution. As Mr. Obama himself said last fall: “If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we’re also a nation of laws.” To act on his own, the president said, would violate those laws. Mr. Obama now seems to be jettisoning that stance in the name of rallying his political base. He is considering extending temporary protection from deportation to millions of illegal immigrants, including the parents of U.S.-born children and others who have lived in the United States for years. Conceivably, this would give Democrats a political boost in 2016. Just as conceivably, it would trigger a constitutional showdown with congressional Republicans, who could make a cogent argument that Mr. Obama had overstepped his authority.

Confronted with this stark assessment on MSNBC's Morning Joe, White House adviser Jennifer Palmieri laughed off the criticism (presidential spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters yesterday that Obama sees "emperor" criticisms as a "badge of honor").  We're not tearing up the Constitution, she said with a grin -- adding that the administration's stab at a legal justification for this action will be revealed after the policy has been announced:


During a follow-up question from Scarborough, co-host Mika Brzezinski interjects a comment about the president's own assessments on the legality of this move.  She's referring to the many, many times Obama has explained that he lacks the authority to do the very thing he's going to do in a few hours. You'll be seeing this WFB video a lot around here as the executive power grab debate unfolds:


Palmieri, by the way, deflected the question and retrained her focus on helping illegal immigrants, saying, "after two years, there's just no credible reason to continue to ask these people to wait." The 'these people' in that sentence refers, if I'm not mistaken, to immigrants who came to the US illegally as adults. I'm not sure how many Americans will be swayed by the argument that the United States owes millions of illegal immigrants closure as soon as possible, and that it's immoral for them to "wait" until, say, Congress passes a law -- which is how our system works.  (See Obama, above).  Earlier we asked how the GOP might respond to Obama's decree (and here's an example of how they shouldn't).  Sen. Mitch McConnell delivered a sober floor speech this morning, attacking the White House's policy, warning about the larger separation of powers issue at play, and issuing a nonspecific warning that Congress will retaliate in some fashion:


“If the President truly follows through on this attempt to impose his will unilaterally, he will have issued a rebuke to his own stated view of democracy...the action the President is proposing isn’t about solutions. It isn’t about compassion. It seems to be about what a political party thinks would make for good politics. It seems to be about what a President thinks would be good for his legacy. Those are not the motivations that should be driving such sweeping action. And I think the President will come to regret the chapter history writes if he does move forward. Because the plan he’s presenting is more than just, as the President himself has acknowledged, an overreach — it’s also unfair. What does the President have to say to the countless aspiring immigrants who’ve spent years waiting patiently in line? To the people who’ve played by all the rules? Where is his compassion for them?...If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act. We’re considering a variety of options. But make no mistake. When the newly elected representatives of the people take their seats, they will act.

This is a very serious issue, and it requires a serious, level-headed response. Among the challenges facing Republicans in reacting appropriately is the fawning news coverage this action will receive in many quarters, especially in the Spanish-language media: "A triumph."

Jay Leno Spokesman Falsely Claims NSSF Didn't Pay Comedian Before Cancelled SHOT Show Appearance

Last night comedian Jay Leno announced he was pulling out of a scheduled performance at the 2015 National Shooting Sports Foundation State of the Industry dinner on January 20 in Las Vegas. The decision was made after heavy public pressure from liberal media outlets and anti-gun groups funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

In justifying the cancellation, Leno's team claimed in the New York Daily News they never received any funds for the upcoming appearance. 

“Jay was asked to do what was positioned as a sportsman show, and when he found out it was a pro gun lobby show, he cancelled,” Leno’s spokesman Bruce Bobbins said in an interview with the Daily News Wednesday night. “There was no money involved at this point, and if there was any, he would return it." 

Bobbins' claim that there was "no money was involved at this point" is untrue. According to documentation, a 50 percent deposit in the amount of $82,500 was wired to Leno on August 5, 2014. 

Further according to NSSF, every press release, blog, ad, email blast and website material that mentioned Leno or had Leno's likeness on it was approved by his team before publishing or advertisement. 

Counter to Bobbins' claim, there was a lot of money involved and therefore, according to his own statement, should be returned.

Conservatives Descend on Louisiana for Cassidy...No Unity Rallies for Mary Landrieu

This weekend, I’ll be down in the Bayou State reporting on the last leg of the Senate race between Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and her GOP opponent Bill Cassidy. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will be the latest conservative leader to lend his voice to Cassidy and his attempt to unseat the incumbent Democrat.

Rubio joins a list of prominent conservatives who have endorsed or stumped for Cassidy, including former Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), will appear with Cassidy next weekend in North Louisiana.

On the other side of the political fence, Democrats have abandoned Mary Landrieu. No unity rallies appear to be on her schedule, she’s received little to no help from the DSCC or outside groups, and she’s certainly getting no visit from Hillary Clinton this time around. Her campaign headquarters may as well be a ghost town.

Because of her support of Obamacare, Landrieu is also getting hit with a new attack ad linking her to Jonathan Gruber - you know, the Obamacare architect who thinks you're 'stupid.' 

Yet, Landrieu is full steam ahead. Recently, she put all her efforts into passing the Keystone XL pipeline, legislation which Rachel Maddow pointed out had been sponsored by Cassidy. Therefore, Landrieu was essentially promoting her opponent’s bill. Those efforts were all for naught, however, as she failed to get the last vote she needed to get it through the Senate.

A new poll released Wednesday shows Landrieu in deep trouble. Like double digit trouble. It’s for reasons like these that Democrats have called for Landrieu to bow out of the race. Landrieu is ignoring them and sticking around for the long haul. “Stubborn” comes to mind.

Will Louisianans elect Cassidy and finally end the Landrieu dynasty? Or will they extend the Democrat’s 18-year reign? We’ll find out December 6th.

Stay tuned for coverage from this Saturday’s unity rally for Bill Cassidy in Kenner, LA, headlined by Sen. Rubio.

Sorry, Liberals: Voter ID Laws Don’t Really Impact Election Results

If there’s one thing that gets liberals blinded with rage, it’s voter ID laws. There was a whole panel dedicated to this issue at the progressive Netroots Nation last summer, where panelists agreed that this is the latest evolution of Jim Crow laws. But is it impacting elections?

Nate Cohn at the New York Times wrote that such laws don’t really sway elections. Granted, there are some issues with voter databases that could prevent someone with a valid ID from voting. Yet, these errors also inflate the number of voters who are labeled as not having proper identification. Additionally, it’s hyperbolic to say these laws suppress the vote since the demographics that could potentially be disproportionately impacted don’t vote often anyway:

These figures overstate the number of voters who truly lack identification. Those without ID are particularly unlikely to vote. And many who do vote will vote Republican. In the end, the seemingly vast registration gaps dwindle, leaving enough voters to decide only elections determined by fractions of a point.

To begin with, the true number of registered voters without photo identification is usually much lower than the statistics on registered voters without identification suggest. The number of voters without photo identification is calculated by matching voter registration files with state ID databases. But perfect matching is impossible, and the effect is to overestimate the number of voters without identification.

Take Texas, a state with a particularly onerous voter ID law. If I register to vote as “Nate” but my ID says “Nathan,” I might be counted among the hundreds of thousands of registered voters without a photo ID. But I’ll be fine at the polling station on Election Day with a name that’s “substantially similar” to the one on file.

The demographic profile of voters without identification — young, nonwhite, poor, immobile, elderly — is also similar to the profile of voters who turn out at low rates. It’s also possible that the voter file is the issue. Some people voted in past elections, but have moved since and haven’t been purged from the voter file, even though their ID may have expired (if they had one in the first place). Some elderly voters might just be dead and not yet removed from the voter rolls.

The article also notes that some of these folks that don’t have IDs are Republicans, but those without identification are mostly breaking for Democrats. Still, it’s not enough to decide anything but an extremely close election. Moreover, it’s not like Democrats have been unable to win states with voter ID laws; Cohn aptly noted that Obama won Indiana in 2008.

Concerning the American people, voter ID laws are immensely popular across the political spectrum. In Texas, 67 percent support their voter ID laws. A Fox News poll from May of 2014 found that 70 percent, including 55 percent of Democrats, support laws that protect the integrity of our elections.

In July of 2013, when parts of the Voting Rights Acts were struck down as unconstitutional, Marist asked: “Do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing if election laws were changed to do each of the following: Require voters to show identification in order to vote?”

There was 70+ percent approval across the board; regions, political ideology, political affiliation, income, sex, and race all said such were a good thing. One statistic that stood out was 65 percent of those describing themselves as “very liberal” approved of voter ID laws.

If there is one thing that’s preventing Americans from voting, it’s not voter ID laws; it’s the lack of resources at polling stations in predominantly minority voting districts.

Now, take what you will from that narrative, but it’s clear the voter ID laws are popular–and they’re not really deciding elections.

Even President Obama said on Al Sharpton’s radio show last October that voter ID laws are not preventing minorities from voting. 

"Most of these laws are not preventing the overwhelming majority of folks who don't vote from voting. Most people do have an ID. Most people do have a driver's license. Most people can get to the polls. It may not be as convenient' it may be a little more difficult."

MSNBC to Amnesty Supporters: "You're Sensitive. You Care. Your Heart Is Open!"

Some deep, compassionate, heart-felt emoting from MSNBC's hyphenated beta-male, Jose Diaz-Balart.

Viva Las Vegas: Obama's Trip to Nevada An Effort to Save Reid

Bumper stickers with the words "Harry Reid Doesn't Represent This Nevadan" flourish on the rear-end of cars throughout the Silver State.

Soon to be Senate Minority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), is very unpopular in Nevada. The latest poll taken in July by Harper Polling had him at 41 percent approval among constituents. He barely kept his seat in 2010 and is bound to be defeated in 2016 if rumors are true that beloved Nevada governor, Republican Brian Sandoval, will run against him.

As President Obama makes his way to Del Sol High School in Las Vegas tomorrow after announcing his immigration plan tonight on primetime television, Nevada was the most strategic place to rally support for his executive action. 

And why not knock out two birds with one stone? This trip to Vegas will also help Senator Reid who's popularity is in free fall.

Nevada has the nation’s largest share (8 percent) of unauthorized immigrants, according to Pew Research. There are 210,000 undocumented immigrants living in Nevada, comprising 10 percent of the state's labor force.

In 2010, Reid won 90 percent of the Latino vote. If he wants to win in 2016, he needs to ensure Latinos have his back. By supporting President Obama's immigration reform (regardless of what the president says tonight, odds are Reid will follow him without hesitation), Reid can start to rally support from the Latino voting community (which is about 16 percent of Nevada's eligible voters) in anticipation of a tough race in 2016. 

I can picture it now. Tomorrow in Las Vegas, Reid will be on stage behind President Obama, grinning ear to ear. 

The Official White House Talking Points for Obama's Amnesty

Buzzfeed has obtained and posted a series of talking points the White House is circulating among Capitol Hill Democrats before President Obama's amnesty announcement tonight. A full uninterrupted version of the document is posted below, but first here are some ideas on how conservatives should respond to Obama's propaganda:

Obama's executive action on immigration is the antithesis of "ensuring everyone plays by the same set of rules." 

He is concocting arbitrary lines out of thin air that separate illegal immigrants worthy of work permits and Social Security numbers, from those who get nothing. 

Why should parents of legal residents get benefits but not parents of DACA recipients? Why should an illegal immigrant who entered the country before 2007 be eligible for DACA but not one who entered in 2008? 

All of these illegal immigrants will be forced to play under very different sets of rules, rules completely made up by Obama.

Nothing in Obama's plan will hold illegal immigrants accountable for breaking the law in any way. There are no fines, penalties, or back taxes to be paid. 

Obama has previously admitted on over 20 occasions that his current executive action is lawless. 

Most damning, on July 25, 2011, Obama told the National Council of La Raza, "That's not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That's not how our Constitution is written.” 

Obama already issued a lawful order in 2011, the Morton memo, the prioritized deporting felons not families. But that was not enough for amnesty advocates. They want work permits, Social Security numbers, and driver's licenses for all illegal immigrants. That is what Obama's new amnesty give millions of them.

Obama's new amnesty completely kills any possibility of a compromise immigration bill with Congress and Obama knows it.

Completely false. No president has ever issued a unilateral amnesty decree of this size and scope. Yes, many past presidents have protected smaller, specific immigrant groups after natural disasters or political upheaval in their home countries. But no president has ever tried to enact by fiat what Congress has specifically rejected by law. 

1. Illegal immigrants not only already can pay taxes, but most do
2. Again, there is zero accountability for any illegal immigrants here. No one is being asked to pay fines, penalties, or back taxes for breaking the law.
3. Again, the 2011 Morton memo already put the focus on deporting felons, not families. What this amnesty does is give illegal immigrants work permits, Social Security numbers, and driver's licenses.

1. No president has ever enacted an amnesty of this size and scope unilaterally
2. Once given, legal status is almost never rescinded. It is very difficult to takeaway someone's benefits once they have been granted.
3. Nothing Congress can pass, other than a measure to defund the program, could possibly override Obama's action. Obama's legal theory rests entirely on his inherent "prosecutorial discretion" power as president. Since Obama's claimed power comes from his office, and not from statute, there is no law Congress could write to override it. The only way to contain Obama's abuse of power is through Congress' power over the purse.

1. If Obama wants to give every illegal immigrant in the country a background check, nothing is stopping him. That he has perfect legal authority to do already.
2. Again, all illegal immigrants are perfectly able to pay taxes already and many do.
3. If Obama insists on shutting down the federal government to protect his work permit and Social Security number giveaway, that is his choice. He is the one instigating a Constitutional crisis.

Here is the full letter:

Wow: Four Networks to Pass on Obama's Historic Amnesty Address

That is to say, they won’t cover it live. The Hill reports:

Three major networks will not air President Obama's prime-time address Thursday outlining his executive actions on immigration.

Officials with ABC, CBS and Fox confirmed to The Hill that Obama's 8 p.m. speech from the White House will not be carried on their networks. CNN reported that NBC would not be carrying the address either. Cable news networks are expected to carry the address, as is the Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo.

Why? In part because the White House did not give them advanced notice, and in part because the major news networks are in the business of making money:

A source at one of the major networks told The Hill that the White House did not officially request prime-time coverage on the networks Thursday, a big night for ratings given popular shows on several networks, including ABC’s “Shondaland” schedule of shows created by producer Shonda Rhimes.

As a business decision, this seems like a no-brainer. Ratings will be much higher carrying “popular shows” than another groan-inducing and "prime time" presidential address. And furthermore, since at least two Spanish-language networks will pick up President Obama’s remarks, this isn’t a total disaster.

“Given their allies in all the right places,” Hot Air’s Noah Rothman recently observed, “it’s hard to imagine that the White House is exactly inconsolable over their snub by the broadcast networks.”

Indeed. If viewers who regularly watch these networks tune in (as they almost certainly will), the news of the president’s executive amnesty will reach its intended audience. Of course, this isn't an ideal situation, but nor is it a terrible one, either.

For what it’s worth, I’ll leave you with this video released today by House Republicans. It’s called “Stop Acting Alone”:

Republicans Could Be Overstating Importance Of Winning More Hispanic Voters

We know voter ID laws really don’t swing elections, but what about the other liberal talking point being that demographics were to blame.

“Revenge of the white guys,” wrote liberal Amanda Marcotte that day after Democrats got decimated across the country.

So, is it true that a 2012 electorate would have brought better fortune to Democrats in 2014? Not really says Real Clear Politics’ Sean Trende.

For starters, President Obama was somewhat popular in 2012; he’s toxic right now. But let’s go through the numbers. Trende wrote [emphasis mine]:

If the 2014 electorate had resembled the 2012 electorate in terms of race, the Republican vote share would shrink by just 1.97 percentage points. In other words, in a 2012 electorate, Republicans would have won the popular vote for the House by 4.5 points, rather than 6.5 points. That’s not nothing, as they say, but it still only explains a relatively small share of the difference between the 2012 and 2014 results. Put differently, if Obama had put up the same vote shares among racial groups in 2012 as Democrats ultimately did in 2014, he’d have lost.

The 2014 electorate was, in fact, quite a bit older than the 2012 electorate. This isn’t necessarily surprising, given that the elderly population is actually set to grow substantially in the next decade. Regardless, if we reduce the 65+ share of the electorate from 2014’s 22 percent to 2012’s 16 percent, increase the 18-24 year old share from 7 percent (2014) to 11 percent (2012), and adjust everything in between accordingly, the Republican advantage contracts by ... 1.94 points.

Now you might look at this and say, “Well, that’s a total of four points!” The problem with this approach is that there is a substantial double count going on. Democrats do better among young voters in large part because that demographic is less white; younger whites don’t vote that differently from older whites. So this isn’t a cumulative exercise.

To get around this, we can look at the age-race crosstabs. That is, the exit polls tell us how not just 18-29-year-olds voted and African-Americans voted, but also how 18-29-year-old African-Americans voted (and so forth). If those groups had turned out in a way as to re-create the 2012 electorate, the Republican margin constricts by a bit more than if we looked at race alone or age alone, but the change still only amounts to about two points.

In other words, even if Democrats had managed to re-create 2012-style age or racial demographics in 2014, they still would have had a rough year.

Trende also compared the demographic shifts at the state level; comparing the 2012 and 2014 electorates and found that the changes aren’t significant. Yet, one notable exception is that Thom Tillis would have lost to Kay Hagan by a small 3.8 margin. The verdict: demographics represented a tiny proportion of Democratic troubles this cycle.

After all, Republicans just had better candidates this time around.

Yet, what about 2016’s demographic layout; shouldn’t Republicans be focused on making gains with Hispanics?

Actually, they really don’t, according to New York Times’ Nate Cohn.

As he puts it, Republicans’ need to gain ground with Hispanics is not a necessity, but will make a 2016 GOP candidate’s road to the White House much easier. The Republican fixation with doing better with Hispanics is due to various 2012 post-mortem analyses showing that Obama did poorly amongst white voters, when he allegedly did “quite well” outside the south. But if the GOP wants to make gains with Latinos, the one state they should focus on is Florida (via NYT):

[I]n 2016 Hispanics will represent just 12 percent of eligible voters, and between 9 and 10 percent of actual voters. That’s a lot, but it’s not large enough to grant or deny Republicans the presidency.

Hispanic voters are disproportionately concentrated in noncompetitive states like Texas and California. This makes it even harder for the Republicans to claim the presidency by focusing on them, since there are relatively few Hispanic voters in the battleground states that determine who wins the Electoral College. Hispanics represent more than 5 percent of eligible voters in just three battlegrounds: Florida, Nevada and Colorado. As a result, the Republicans could have entirely erased Mr. Obama’s advantage among Hispanic voters and still lost the presidency in 2012, since Mr. Romney would have still lost states like Virginia and Ohio, where there are very few Hispanic voters.

The Republicans don’t have an especially credible path to the presidency without Florida’s 29 electoral votes. The easiest alternative might be for Republicans to flip Virginia and Ohio, scale the so-called Blue Wall in Pennsylvania, and then pick up 12 additional electoral votes from some combination of Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.

Cohn added that modest improvements could erase Obama’s 1-point lead, which gave him the state in 2012. But the white share of the vote in Florida is a weird mix of old, southern, and Jewish, which could be receptive to a Hillary candidacy, making improvements with Hispanics utterly worthless. Still, the GOP knows inroads with this community is critical, it just may not be the “evolve or die” approach that everyone has been suggesting in the media.

And, while the president did win predominantly white states in the north, he actually did poorly with white working class voters; all regions of the country had Obama white working class support below 45 percent.

Cohn lists Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin and New Hampshire as examples of predominately white states where Obama won in 2012. Obama won the white vote in Iowa [51/47], Oregon [54/44], and New Hampshire [51/47]–and remained competitive in Wisconsin [51/48 Romney] and Minnesota [49/48 Romney]. Yet, these are states, with the exception of Iowa (went to Bush in 2004) and New Hampshire*, that have voted Democratic since 1988–and Oregon’s urban areas–traditional Democratic strongholds–(Portland) carried the state in 2012. 

They’re also in regions where the Obama’s share of the white working class vote is the highest albeit below 50 percent. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, white working class votes are a huge bloc of voters–and they’re breaking for Republicans. To say that Obama had catastrophic results with whites in the South is true, but it extends beyond that region (via New Republic):

Many Democrats would prefer not to have to face this monumental organization challenge, hoping instead that the existing Obama coalition and demographic changes in America will prove sufficient to elect a president in 2016, hold the Senate, and weaken GOP control over the House of Representatives. But the harsh reality for Democrats is that they cannot achieve all three of these objectives without increasing their support among white working class Americans—and if Democrats keep telling themselves that "the problem is just the South," that support may decrease instead.

So, it seems that while Republicans really might not need as much Hispanic support (GOP should go after this shiftable voting bloc), Democrats definitely need to find ways to bring more working class white voters back into the fold, which is quite the homework assignment.

That being said, anything can happen. We have some time before 2016.

*New Hampshire also voted for Bush 43 in 2000, but reverted back to its Democratic ways since 2004

How Should Republicans Respond to Obama's Executive Amnesty?


By now you know that this move is no longer hypothetical; it's officially coming. Tonight.  The president's power grab is unpopular with the public, even with a favorably-worded poll question from NBC, and becomes even more lopsided when properly framed as a separation-of-powers issue.  Team Obama doesn't care, evidently, and this is why:


How can elected Republicans express their justifiable outrage over the president's dangerous broadside against our Constitutional order (that's how Obama himself routinely and correctly cast this move until recently) without falling into the political trap of coming across as intemperate and hostile to Latinos (which is how much of the media is eager to cover all of this)?  National Review's Charles Cooke dispensed some wise, broad-strokes advice on Twitter yesterday, advising the GOP to control its tone, make clear that this principle transcends the issue of immigration, and 'calmly but firmly' explain the institutional peril at play:


Cooke admits that he's in furious "pitchforks" mode, but he recognizes that boiling over in anger plays into Obama's hands.  He also recommends that Republicans ask their Hispanic members to lead the public charge against the executive action, as cynical and unseemly as that may seem.  On a policy level, Conn reported on a "rescission" de-funding option some Congressional Republicans are considering -- a plan that some conservatives are rejecting as insufficient.  Allahpundit is urging the GOP to explicitly spell out precisely how a Republican president might apply Obama's abusive precedent to achieve domestic policy goals that would have liberals shrieking with rage.  The always thoughtful Pete Wehner surveys Republicans' options and renders fairly similar advice to Cooke's, albeit with a few more specifics:

Because I believe that what the president is about to do is egregious–constitutionally and institutionally, as an aggressive attack on the role of Congress and the separation of powers–I’m open to all sorts of recourses. Certainly Republicans in Congress need to respond in some manner. Those advocating a government shutdown aren’t being moronic or irresponsible; they want to protect our constitutional form of government. But neither are those who are warning against a shutdown being weak, impotent, or cowardly. It’s a matter on which intelligent people can disagree. If you believe as I do that a government shutdown would in the end hurt more than help the conservative cause–that it simply won’t achieve its aim and it will cause collateral damage in the process–the obvious thing to do is to shift the fight onto terrain that is more favorable to the GOP. Republicans should therefore amass all the actions at their disposal to inflict maximum damage on Mr. Obama while not walking into his government shutdown trap.

I wonder, for example, whether Republicans might simply refuse to act on the president’s judicial and Cabinet nominees unless and until he undoes his (forthcoming) executive action. Can similar steps be taken on a range of other issues? Can Republicans basically hit the “off” switch when it comes to the normal procedures and cooperation that takes place between a president and Congress, regardless of which party is in control? It does strike me that we are facing an exceptional situation; that the president is inviting this needless confrontation and that he needs to pay quite a high price for it. It won’t be as high as many of us wish, but we have to adjust around that fact. The challenge for conservatives is to act in ways that are wise and realistic; that are guided not by fury but by clear thinking; and that ultimately persuade people to our point of view. We need calm, sober, intelligent, and enlightened individuals who can advance the arguments for constitutionalism and the rule of law. Because right now we have a president who is subverting both.

And once again, the "plenty of precedent" argument the Left is already employing is deliberately tendentious and distortive. Via the Free Beacon, I'll leave you with President Obama, constitutional scholar, explaining in 2012 why he lacks the authority to execute the exact action he's going to announce tonight.  "That's just not the case"



UPDATE - Wow:

In Cowardly Move, Jay Leno Cancels SHOT Show Appearance After Pressure From Bloomberg's Anti-Gun Goon Squad

Comedian Jay Leno was scheduled to perform at the annual National Shooting Sports Foundation 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas on January 20, but after unwarranted pressure from Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun goons, Leno has dropped out despite hundreds of tickets to his event already being sold.

"We are clearly disappointed by Jay Leno's decision not to perform at the 2015 SHOT Show State of the Industry Dinner. He unilaterally cancelled his promised appearance due to pressure from the anti-gun lobby, which included false statements about our industry and its commitment to genuine firearms safety, which we attempted to personally correct with him, but to no avail. We are not deterred by their publicity seeking nor are we unfamiliar with the bullying political tactics of the gun control groups that seem to have as little respect for the First Amendment as they continually demonstrate with regard to the Second Amendment," NSSF released in a statement late last night. "We are proud of the many programs that we run that meaningfully contribute to public safety including our long standing Project ChildSafe and Don't Lie for the Other Guy initiatives in addition to our members everyday work in compliance with comprehensive federal and state laws. We will not allow the lawful commerce in firearms nor our industry to be demonized and we will continue to speak out for the Second Amendment rights of the millions of law-abiding citizens who are our customers. Despite Mr. Leno's cancellation, we look forward to having our biggest and best State of the Industry Dinner to date with a performer that respects the contributions of our industry and the customers it supports."

A record number of people attended the 2014 SHOT Show and pumped $73 million into the local Las Vegas economy over the course of just a few days. In partnership with the PGA the annual NSSF charity golf event, Birdies for the Brave, raised $100,000 for military homefront groups.

The 2014 Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas has come to an end and this year was the most popular year yet. According numbers released Friday from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a record 67,000 people attended this year's show, beating last year's numbers by 5,000. The event pumped $73 million into the Las Vegas economy. More than 1600 companies participated in the week long event, filling up 13-acres of space.

Earlier this year, Penn & Teller performed at the State of the Industry dinner and were a hit. It's a shame Leno let dishonest and elitist liberal stooges bully him into bailing out on a great event with some of America's best people. I look forward to NSSF finding a replacement for the 2015 show. 

Cruz: Senate Should Block Obama's Nominees Until He Rescinds Amnesty

As President Obama prepares to announce the overhaul of U.S. immigration law through executive fiat tonight in a prime-time address, Republicans are trying to come up with ways to either stop him or to push back against the move.

Last night on The Kelly File, Republican Ted Cruz called this a "moment of testing," said we are witnessing a constitutional crisis and suggested the Senate block all of President Obama's nominations, except for those crucial to national security, until he rescinds his executive order.  

"We are are witnessing is a constitutional crisis, what President Obama is doing is he's defying the law, he's defying the constitution," Cruz said. "If the President goes forward with this, if he goes forward with unilaterally defying the Congress elected by the people, defying the American voters, then it is incumbent on Republicans in Congress to use every single constitutional tool we have to defend the rule of law...this is a moment of testing and I am hopeful we will see Republicans in Congress stand up and side with the people against a lawless President." 

"The President is behaving in an unprecedented way. There is not in recent times any parallel for a President repudiated by the voters standing up and essentially telling the voters, 'go jump in a lake,' he's going to force his power," Cruz continued. "The new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should stand up and say, 'If you disregard the constitution, if you disregard the law, if you issue this executive amnesty, the new Congress for the next two years will not confirm a single nomination, judicial or executive other than vital national security positions until you end this illegal amnesty.' Now that's a big and dramatic step, it's never been done before in Congress but the framers put in place checks and balances and the confirmation power is a tremendously potent authority given to the Senate. The Senate majority leader has the unilateral ability to stand up and say, 'If you defy Congress, if you defy the American people none one of your nominees will get confirmed.'..We [also] need to use the power of the purse." 

Cruz also pushed back on rumors of a government shutdown reminded viewers that the only person pushing for a shutdown is President Obama.

Yesterday in an op-ed published in POLITICO, Cruz reminded the country that the President is not a monarch and therefore we shouldn't allow him to rule like one.

"When the president embraces the tactics of a monarch, it becomes incumbent on Congress to wield the constitutional power it has to stop it," Cruz wrote. "Congress, representing the voice of the people, should use every tool available to prevent the president from subverting the rule of law."

President Obama will make his announcement at 8 pm eastern from the White House. Townhall will have full coverage of his remarks.

LA Poll: Landrieu in Deep, Deep Trouble

The Keystone XL Pipeline didn’t pass. Democrats are pulling advertisements in the state. Several publications have all but declared her tenure in the Senate over. And now a new poll shows her down by double digits:

A new Louisiana survey released by Vox Populi Polling today found that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Cassidy leads Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu 53 to 42 percent, with 5 percent unsure. In addition, Cassidy is up big with Independents, winning with them 58 to 31 percent over Landrieu. Cassidy has seen a big bump after the Nov. 4 open primary. In our recent Oct. 13-14 survey, Cassidy led Landrieu 48 to 44 percent in a head-to-head, with 8 percent unsure.

Deliciously, her Keystone XL Pipeline gambit backfired. Badly:

On the heels of last night’s United States Senate vote on the Keystone XL Pipeline, it is interesting to note that voters aren’t moved by Mary Landrieu’s efforts to bring the legislation before the Senate for a floor vote. When asked if it made voters more likely to vote for the incumbent Democrat, 39 percent said it made them more likely to vote for Bill Cassidy and 32 percent said it made them more likely to vote for Mary Landrieu.

Remember, Cortney will be in Louisiana this weekend covering the Cassidy campaign. Be sure to follow her coverage and analysis of the race.

The runoff is scheduled for December 6th.

Does Anyone Stand Up for Middle/Working Class America Anymore?

Democrats are the party of the middle class; that’s an axiom liberal politicians and pundits pound away on the Sunday morning talk shows pervasively. Democratic Rep. Alan Lowenthal reiterated such sentiments at the liberal Netroots Nation last summer. Yet, is it still true?

One of the many reasons House Democrats are less than enthused about Rep. Nancy Pelosi remaining as House Minority leader is that they felt her messaging didn’t resonate with middle class voters.

As for the gender gap, Republicans in the most competitive races this cycle won women voters, split them equally, or lost by single digit margins. That’s not exactly an apocalyptic reading of the tealeaves.

I looked at the exits polls for women voters and those making $50k-$100k a year, which is a good range to represent the middle class vote, for all the competitive Senate and gubernatorial races this cycle.

Colorado Senate Race: Sen. Mark Udall (D) and Rep. Cory Gardner (R)

  • Udall wins women 52/44
  • $50k-$100k: Gardner takes middle class vote 57/40

Arkansas Senate Race: Sen. Mark Pryor (D) and Rep. Tom Cotton (R)

  • Cotton beats Pryor with women by 10 points 53/43
  • $50k-$100k: Cotton wins middle class vote 61/35

Kentucky Senate Race: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) and Alison Lundergan Grimes (D)

  • McConnell actually ended up beating Grimes with women voters 50/47
  • $50k-$100k: McConnell easily beat Grimes with middle class voters 61/37

North Carolina Senate Race: Sen. Kay Hagan (D) and Thom Tillis (R)

  • Hagan beat Tillis with women 54/42
  • $50k-$100k: Hagan lost the middle class vote, which she won in 2008, to Tillis 52/44.

Iowa Senate Race: Rep. Bruce Braley (D) and Iowa State Sen. Joni Ernst (R)

  • Braley and Ernst split women voters 49/49 respectively.
  • $50k-$100k: Ernst handily beat Braley with middle class voters 55/43

Alaska Senate Race: Sen. Mark Begich (D) and Dan Sullivan (R)

  • Begich slightly beat Sullivan with women voters 48/46; He won women 55/41 over Ted Stevens in 2008.
  • $50k-$100k: Sullivan won these voters 49/44 over Begich. In 2008, Begich pretty much split the vote with Stevens.

Virginia Senate Race: Sen. Mark Warner (D) and Ed Gillespie (R)

  • Warner won women voters handily over Gillespie 55/43.
  • $50k-$100k: Gillespie won the middle class vote 54/44 over Warner. Warner, who won with 65 percent of the vote in 2008, barely won re-election with 0.4 percent of the vote. He also lost the coal counties and Loudon County in Northern Virginia, which went to Obama in 2008 and 2012.
  • If a little more money was spent in the Old Dominion, it’s possible that this could have been Republicans’ 10th senate pickup.

Louisiana Senate Race: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), Rep. Bill Cassidy (R), and Rob Maness (R)

  • Women voters, who represented 56 percent of the electorate in Louisiana, split three ways, with Landrieu taking 48 percent of the vote, Cassidy took 36 percent, and Maness clinched 13 percent. Landrieu won the plurality, but, in all, 49 percent of women decided to throw their support behind a Republican.
  • $50k-$100k: With middle class voters, Landrieu took 39 percent, Cassidy got 43 percent, and Maness received 16 percent. Cassidy wins the plurality. Again, overall, 59 percent of middle class vote went to the Republicans.

Georgia Senate Race: Michelle Nunn (D) and David Perdue (R)

  • Nunn won women voters over Perdue 53/45.
  • $50k-$100k: With middle class voters, 52/46 broke for Perdue.

Kansas Senate Race: Sen. Pat Roberts (R), Greg Orman (I), and Randall Baston (L)

  • Roberts won women voters 50/46 over Orman; Baston clinched 4 percent of the vote.
  • $50k-$100k: Roberts managed to win 51 percent of the middle class vote, with Orman clinching 46 percent and Baston nabbing 3 percent.

Wisconsin Gubernatorial Race: Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Mary Burke (D)

  • Burke won women voters 54/45 over Walker.
  • $50k-$100k: Walker easily beat Burke with middle class voters 57/42.

Michigan Gubernatorial Race: Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and former Rep. Mark Schauer (D)

  • Women voters backed Schauer over Snyder 53/45.
  • $50k-$100k: Snyder won this demographic 52/47 over Schauer.

Illinois Gubernatorial Race: Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and Bruce Rauner (R)

  • Women voters back Quinn 51/44 over Rauner.
  • $50k-$100k: Despite the Quinn campaign’s attempts to “Romney” Rauner over his wealth, he was able to beat Quinn 55/44 with middle class voters. Also, Rauner won 101 of Illinois’ 102 counties, which is a feat that has not been seen since 1994.

Georgia Gubernatorial Race: Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and Jason Carter (D)

  • Carter won women voters 52/46 over Deal.
  • $50k-$100k: Deal was able to clinch 52 percent of the middle class vote to Carter’s 46 percent.

Kansas Gubernatorial Race: Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and Paul Davis (D)

  • Davis and Brownback virtually split both demographic down the middle. Davis slightly beat Brownback with women and middle class voters ($50k-$100k) 49/48.
  • Kansas is a weird state. While the state been dominated by Republicans virtually since the beginning, it has a vocal and effective moderate wing, which has been able to block conservative legislation when members of the state legislature vote with the Democrats.
  • Brownback ended up beating Davis 50/46, but not after nearly 200 sitting and former Kansas Republicans lawmakers endorsing him and Greg Orman; he survived what appears to be a revolt.

Florida Gubernatorial Race: Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Charlie Crist (D)

  • Crist won women voters and the middle class vote over Scott 49/47.

With the exception of Crist and Brownback, every Republican in these competitive gubernatorial and senate races won the middle class vote. It could be due to the fact that Democrats had no national message to rally around given President Obama’s dismal approval numbers. While critics can deride the results by saying the field in 2014 was much more favorable to Republicans, Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alaska were not sure bets, despite Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alaska being states where Romney won by 10+ points or more in 2012.

In Iowa, the Democrats were incredibly effective in maximizing turnout in the 2008 and 2012 elections; they ended up winning the state in both years.

North Carolina is a state that splits right down the middle; Colorado has the same level of volatility regarding elections.

Virginia was a curveball given that this was supposed to be a Warner beat down, which never came to fruition on election night. Instead, he barely won re-election in a state that, like North Carolina, has become purple.

It seemed as if the middle class abandoned the Democrats. But do Democrats have some serious work ahead to win these voters? I take you back to Molly Ball’s piece in the Atlantic, where she noted that the GOP wins the over $50k demographic on a regular basis; based on national exit polls, the Democrats have only won the $50k-$100k voting bloc twice since 1994, once in 2006 and again in 2008; both being Democratic wave years.

OK, let’s include the working class, which expands the category to Americans who make less than $100k.

Senate Races

Alaska: 47/46 Begich

  1. Arkansas: 53/43 Cotton
  2. Colorado: 48/45 Gardner
  3. Georgia: 51/ 47 Nunn
  4. Iowa: 51/46 Ernst
  5. Kansas: 51/45/4 Roberts
  6. Kentucky: 53/43 McConnell
  7. Louisiana: 49/36/13 -> 49/49 Landrieu ties with GOP
  8. North Carolina: 51/44 Hagan

Gubernatorial Races:

  1. Florida: 50/44 Crist
  2. Illinois: 50/46 Quinn
  3. Kansas: 48/48 tie between Brownback and Davis
  4. Michigan: 51/48 Snyder
  5. Wisconsin: 50/48 Walker

So, even with the working class vote included, Republicans were able to either be competitive or win them outright. As you can see, overall, Democrats enjoy strong support with those making less than $50k a year, which explains how some of the comfortable leads Republicans had with the $50k-$100k demographic were chipped away. Yet, that’s mostly attributed to black and other minority working class voters; it’s the massive bloc of white working class voters that left the Democrats in droves.

Some liberals know they need work on winning the support of white working class voters, but others have dismissed it as a southern problem; that’s a monumental mistake.

In all, it looks like the Democrats, for all their economic populism, have hit a ceiling in their messaging. That being said, liberals are hoping to re-engage with this lost cohort that has drifted towards the Republicans. If not, winning future elections could become more difficult.

Then again, Republicans shouldn’t take this group for granted either. America’s working class is more diverse and has more characteristics to it that didn’t exist in the Reagan era (via Washington Monthly):

[I]f by blue-collar jobs we mean jobs that involve routine and repetitive tasks, require limited skills, are closely supervised, and offer no autonomy during working hours, then it turns out that half of all white male workers and 40 percent of white working women are blue collar. Far from working on factory floors, more and more workers are employed in service-sector jobs like health care, leisure and hospitality, and, particularly, professional and business services.

If Democrats cannot figure out how to appeal to today’s working-class voters, then they don’t deserve to lead. Nearly all of the people in these jobs have not seen a raise in years. The majority of them, who now work in the service sector—maids and housekeepers, waitresses and hostesses, cooks and dishwashers, counter attendants and ticket takers, janitors and hairdressers and child care workers—earn, on average, about $400 a week.

In some instances, today’s post-industrial members of the working class need the same things from government that their counterparts did in the industrial era: a safe workplace, affordable health care, and a sound pension system, for example. But other issues are comparatively new.

Female labor force participation now equals male participation. A majority of households are made up of unmarried couples and parents, and mothers are the sole or primary providers in 40 percent of American homes. All the issues surrounding the balancing of work and family life, including child care and pre-K education, speak directly to the needs of today’s working class.

As with anything in politics, nothing is permanent. Republicans may have benefitted from Democrats dropping the ball, but with this complex mesh of issues that makes up the new American working class; there are plenty of inroads Democrats can take.

CNN: 'Obama Promised Obamacare Wouldn't Do Exactly What Gruber Says it Will Do'


Earlier this year, Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was caught dead-to-rights in a brazen lie that undermines the White House's legal stance in a critical Supreme Court case. In recent days, the Gruber cancer has spread. A string of videos emerged showing the MIT economist spewing venom at Obamacare opponents, candidly confirming numerous conservative critiques of Obamacare (on cost containment, "keep your plan," taxes, and redistribution), and gleefully celebrating the law's lack of transparency -- which he deemed a great political boon to Democrats, by allowing them to deceive "stupid" American voters. Democrats have clumsily attempted to disclaim Gruber as one of their own, disavowing his comments, and trying to downplay his role in shaping their unpopular law.  They've been exposed as frauds at every turn.  Gruber wasn't just an influential insider throughout the entire process; he was arguably the central policy cog in the Obamacare wheel.  Fox's Special Report broadcast an excellent review of Grubergate earlier in the week, and now CNN's Jake Tapper has added another unsparing report into the mix:



From Tapper's accompanying piece:

At a town hall meeting where he campaigned for health care legislation in 2009, President Barack Obama pledged to voters that he did not want any tax on health insurance plans he perceived as wastefully generous to ever impact average Americans. But in recent comments by one of the men who helped draft the legislation, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, that is not only precisely what will happen -- but that was the intention of the tax. White House officials had no comment, despite repeated requests by CNN...Gruber said the only way those pushing for Obamacare could get rid of the tax subsidy for employer provider health insurance was to tax the more generous, or Cadillac, plans -- "mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people when we all know it's a tax on people who hold those insurance plans." The second way was have the tax kick in "late, starting in 2018" and have its rate of growth tied to the consumer price index instead of to the much higher rate of medical inflation. Eventually, the 40% tax on the more expensive plans would impact every employer-provided insurance plan..."This was the only political way we were ever going to take on one of the worst public policies in America." By 2018, Gruber said, those who object to the tax will be obligated to figure out how to come up with the trillion dollars that repealing the tax will take from the U.S. Treasury, or risk significantly adding to the national debt. This is obviously exactly what Obama told voters in 2009 he had "taken off the table."

This White House embraces means-to-an-end lying, so "no comment" is about the best they can do.  Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, meanwhile, is suggesting that Grubergate is a Beltway "process" story that normal people don't care about, quasi-excusing the mainstream media's lack of feeding frenzy coverage.  The "process story" rule of thumb is true more often than not in DC, but I think there are some important distinctions in this case.  First off, there's the video of a top architect explicitly applauding the "lack of transparency" that allowed the law to pass, and disdaining the "stupidity" of normal people.  Boasting about lying and openly sneering at regular folks tends to strike a nerve.  That's personal, not process.  Secondly, this is a very unpopular law that is still actively hurting people (many more than it's helping, according to polls) and betraying promises.  Gruber admits in these clips that many more painful betrayals are on the way.  So this controversy amounts to another big strike against a law that most people already oppose.  That's very much relevant.  Finally, Gruber's comments may factor into SCOTUS' decision on federal subsidy eligibility, which has the strong potential of throwing the law into further chaos.  Should that occur, Gruber has provided Republicans with lots of ammunition for the inevitable political brawl in the ruling's aftermath.  I discussed one possible game plan for the GOP within that scenario here.

Poll: Many Latinos Disapprove of Obama's Executive Amnesty

A new NBC poll shows Latinos do not overwhelmingly support President Obama's decision to thwart Congress on amnesty through executive action. 

Nearly half of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama’s expected plan to take executive action that would potentially allow millions of undocumented immigrants to stay legally in the United States, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Latinos are divided, with 43 percent supporting the action and 37 percent opposing it. But the sample size here is small (just 110 Latino respondents), so the numbers have a high margin of error.

There's just a six percent difference in Latinos who do and do not support the President's plan to rewrite immigration law with an executive order. Notice how NBC was sure to add a note questioning the numbers due to a small sample size, ignoring that the margin of error could also result in more Latinos being against executive amnesty.

Despite what the media would have us believe, immigration reform is often at the bottom of the priority list for Latino voters and a majority want enforcement before a comprehensive overhaul. 

By a margin of 56 percent to 40 percent, Hispanic voters oppose allowing illegal immigrants to obtain federal benefits, including Obamacare benefits, “while they are going through the legalization process and before the 90% goal is reached.”

When asked to choose which of four issues — the economy, immigration reform, education, or health care — is most important to them, registered Hispanic voters said immigration reform was their lowest priority. Just 31 percent ranked the issue first or second, compared with 62 percent for the economy, 57 percent for health care, and 45 percent for education. Non-registered voters, on the other hand, ranked immigration reform as their highest priority.

Generally speaking, registered Hispanic voters were far more likely to support tougher security and enforcement measures than non-registered voters. For example, 64 percent of registered voters said they supported employment verification to determine if job applicants are lawful residents, compared with just 46 percent of non-registered voters. Additionally, 55 percent of registered voters backed increased border-security measures (fencing, drones, police, etc.), compared with 45 percent of non-registered voters.

Regardless, President Obama is moving forward and will announce his plans for executive amnesty Thursday night at 8 pm et in a prime-time address from the White House.