July 6, 2013 at 12:13 am #92223
This week, the First Family traveled to Africa, for a three country, four stop visit that started in Dakar, Senegal and ended in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with stops in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa sandwiched in between. There were drums and dancing, crowds and ceremonial pomp and circumstance, meetings, forums, summits and town halls, and moving trips to both Goree and Robben Islands.
As you spend this weekend with family and friends, don’t forget JJP at TWIB.
Drop those links. Engage in debate. Give us trivia and gossip too.
And always, have a peaceful day.July 6, 2013 at 12:14 am #92224
Good Morning, EveryoneJuly 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm #92228
House Disregards Electoral College Logic
Sat Jul 6th, 2013 at 10:40:01 AM EST
Take a look at an Electoral College calculator. If the Republicans fail to pass comprehensive immigration reform and thereby badly alienate the Latino community, they can write off winning Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico. In order to win the presidency, they would have to win Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. And I am being generous in assuming that Florida would still be an attainable goal. If they can’t win Florida, they’d have to replace it by winning both Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. When certain conservatives talk about abandoning any Latino outreach efforts in favor of a strategy of getting a greater share of the white vote, what they are really saying is that they can win the Electoral College by winning midwestern industrial states like Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, even while losing Florida and the southwest (excluding Arizona).
One thing to consider is that this kind of strategy consigns any Republican nominee to a situation in which they have to run the table on a half dozen competitive state races in order to win the barest of majorities. If they lose even one race, they will lose. And, if they win, they will win by the skin of their teeth with almost half of the country opposed to them.
I’d add that any strategy that depends on winning Pennsylvania and Wisconsin is pretty close to hopeless. Pennsylvania was last won by a Republican in 1988 and Wisconsin was last won by a Republican in 1984. Even Iowa is problematic. Bush won it in 2004, but that is the only time since 1984 that Republicans have carried the state.
However, it doesn’t seem like the Republican House majority is thinking at all about presidential elections as they consider what to do about immigration reform. This places the Democrats in the catbird’s seat. The Democrats will be almost assured of winning the presidency in 2016 if the House refuses to pass a comprehensive bill. Yet, their chances won’t really be dimmed if the House agrees to reform. That’s because, as it stands, the Republicans have only the narrowest of chances of winning the Electoral College regardless of what they do.
Still to have a fighting chance, they need to keep as many states in play as possible, and the only way to do that is to pass immigration reform.July 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm #92229
Republicans Steamed At Employer Mandate Delay — For All The Wrong Reasons
BRIAN BEUTLER JULY 5, 2013, 1:01 PM 4437
The news that the Obama administration will delay by one year a requirement that large employers either provide employees affordable insurance or pay a penalty came as a surprise to Obamacare’s staunchest allies, and even to the people in government tasked with implementing other parts of the law.
It’s an undeniable fact that the so-called “employer mandate” is poorly designed and creating real challenges for businesses and workers alike. When critics of the law cite the delay as evidence of an implementation “train wreck,” in other words, they’re being tendentious, and thinking wishfully, but there’s a kernel of truth to it.
But if the employer mandate snafu were as bad and as symptomatic as Republicans would have you believe, they’d treat it as vindication — a cause for celebration. As we and others have reported, though, the employer mandate exists at the margins of the law’s core functions. The decision to delay it for a year sidelines one liability that would have harmed the law’s rollout, robs Republicans (temporarily, but during an election year) of a legitimate public critique of the law’s real-life effects, and ironically strengthens the state-based insurance exchanges, which arethe must-work components of the ACA.July 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm #92230
We’ll now find out that Section Two is also very hurtful and unkind
Posted by Kay at 10:32 am
Should be fun to watch conservatives frantically pivot and object to Section Two:
Texas Secretary of State John Steen immediately announced that his state’s voter photo identification law — which had been passed by the Texas legislature in 2011, but then barred by a federal judge using section 5 of the Voting Rights Act — will now be in effect.
Steen was sued Wednesday by Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Texas, who represents a Latino-majority district in the Dallas area, and other plaintiffs who claimed that the photo ID law will cause candidates to incur new costs in running their campaigns; make it harder to mobilize voters; and in some cases, bar people from voting, for example, if the name on their driver’s license doesn’t match the name on their voter registration certificate.
The plaintiffs contend that the Texas voter ID violates Section 2 of the VRA.
As Chief Justice John Roberts noted in the majority opinion in the Shelby County case, “Section 2 is permanent, applies nationwide, and is not at issue in this case.”
Nina Perales, vice president of litigation at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in San Antonio, Texas, said, “It’s going to be very costly and potentially time consuming to litigate that (voter ID) issue under Section 2. It’s very expensive to do the kind of statistical analysis that’s required in that case.”
And the burden of proof is on the plaintiffs to show the law would have a discriminatory effect — and not on Texas to justify the law. Attorney General Eric Holder could also decide that the Justice Department will sue Texas under Section 2.
Political scientist Michael McDonald, a voting expert at George Mason University, said the high court’s decision in the Shelby County case “is a yellow light for voting law changes, not a green light for voting law changes – because if jurisdictions overstep, they may find themselves in court under section 2 litigation – and they may find the courts willing to put them back under section 5” using a provision called “bail-in” — which was not at issue in Tuesday’s decision.July 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm #92234
In Wyoming, A Cheney Run Worries G.O.P.
By JONATHAN MARTIN
Published: July 6, 2013
A young Dick Cheney began his first campaign for the House in this tiny village — population 1,600 — after the state’s sole Congressional seat finally opened up. But nowadays, his daughter Liz does not seem inclined to wait patiently for such an opening.
Ms. Cheney, 46, is showing up everywhere in the state, from chicken dinners to cattle growers’ meetings, sometimes with her parents in tow. She has made it clear that she wants to run for the Senate seat now held by Michael B. Enzi, a soft-spoken Republican and onetime fly-fishing partner of her father.
But Ms. Cheney’s move threatens to start a civil war within the state’s Republican establishment, despite the reverence many hold for her family.
Mr. Enzi, 69, says he is not ready to retire, and many Republicans say he has done nothing to deserve being turned out.
It would bring about “the destruction of the Republican Party of Wyoming if she decides to run and he runs, too,” Alan K. Simpson, a former Republican senator from the state, said in an interview last week. “It’s a disaster — a divisive, ugly situation — and all it does is open the door for the Democrats for 20 years.”
The developments underscore the complicated relationship between the Beltway-centered Cheney family and the sparsely populated state that provided its political base. Dick and Lynne Cheney, who divide their time between McLean, Va., a home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and a house near Jackson Hole, Wyo., are widely admired here.
Liz Cheney, who grew up in McLean and moved her family to the Jackson Hole area last year, is eager to establish her Cowboy State credentials, peppering social media sites with photos of her children’s horse-riding competitions and descriptions of Wyoming as “God’s Country.”
Ms. Cheney’s ambitions reflect a greater tension within the Republican Party as a younger generation feels less reluctance to challenge incumbents in the party, especially if they are seen as too consensus-minded or insufficiently conservative.
Mr. Enzi is known as a studious, low-key legislator who worked well with Senator Edward M. Kennedy. He avoids political talk shows because, he says, their goal is to get guests to “beat up on their colleagues.”
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