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It’s absurd to argue that Obama’s immigration plan is lawless

If the bogus right-wing claims made against President Obama’s immigration-reform initiative came in the form of snowplows, the streets of Buffalo could be cleared by nightfall. Most of the complaints come from ordinary folks who are completely unaware of certain facts regarding Obama’s record concerning illegal immigrants. They don’t know, for example, that deportations of illegals have increased under Obama, as have expenditures on border security. They also don’t know the number of people trying to cross our border...

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Theory: Obama leaked a scoop to Fox News just to mess with John Boehner’s mind

Everyone loves a story about how someone they don’t like is cleverly outmaneuvered by someone they do like. THIS is just such a story, but it’s too complicated to excerpt here. Read the whole...

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Wall Street Journal poll: Most Americans support Obama’s immigration objectives

Republicans want you to notice that a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll published yesterday shows that a plurality of Americans would prefer that immigration reform be achieved by congressional action rather than presidential executive order. But a more important finding in that poll is that a clear majority –57  percent — are in favor of the pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants proposed by President Obama. The majority increases to 74 percent when respondents are told that such a pathway requires paying fines and back taxes,...

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Just like all his predecessors, Obama can choose not to enforce certain laws

The White House announced today that President Obama will address the nation Thursday night on his plans to issue an executive order on immigration reform, which no doubt will touch off a firestorm of outrage among Republicans in general and GOP lawmakers in particular. If you want to sound well-informed on this controversy, even if you disagree with the direction of Obama’s initiative, you’ll acknowledge that history is on his side in terms of the legality of what he’s doing. You see, a president doesn’t have to fully...

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Republicans vote to bar scientists who aren’t beholden to industry from advising EPA

The Republican Party’s antipathy toward science was enhanced — or worsened, in reality — when the U.S. House approved a measure that allows the Environmental Protection agency to receive advice only from scientists who have financial ties to industries affected by EPA regulations. Independent scientists need not come calling. Reactions to this ridiculous measure included THESE: “In other words,” wrote Union of Concerned Scientists director Andrew A. Rosenberg in an editorial for Roll Call, “academic scientists who know the...

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GOP claim that Obama is a dictator rests on public ignorance of American history

Much has been written in recent days about how the executive order President Obama is expected to issue on immigration reform mirrors similar actions taken by two of his Republican predecessors, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. But these history lessons are lost on most Americans. So are stories about executive orders issued by Abraham Lincoln regarding slavery, Franklin Roosevelt regarding the internment of Japanese-Americans, Gerald Ford regarding draft evaders in the Vietnam era and other examples of presidents exercising the grant of...

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Study shows that America is facing a coming epidemic of power blackouts

Remember where you heard it: The number of power failures affecting over 50,000 Americans has more than doubled in the past 10 years — and the pace is likely to increase. HERE‘s the deal: Industrialized countries face a future of increasingly severe blackouts, a new study warns, due to the proliferation of extreme weather events, the transition to unconventional fossil fuels, and fragile national grids that cannot keep up with rocketing energy demand. “We need a fundamental re-think about how electricity is generated and...

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Dick Durbin and five other top Senate Democrats urge Obama to go it alone on immigration

Fresh off re-election in an otherwise good year for Republicans, Sen. Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, has joined with five colleagues in urging President Obama to move forward unilaterally on immigration, saying they “strongly support” his plan to offer legal protection to some of the undocumented immigrants already in the country. Durbin and Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Patty Murray of Washington, Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, have signed a letter to the...

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Younger Americans most likely to be grammar Nazis

Most of us oldsters are perhaps too busy shouting at kids to get out of our yards than to bother pointing out the grammar errors of others. In fact, we’re far less likely than people in their 20s to be grammar Nazis. Could it be that our own grammar generally isn’t exactly up to par? (I probably should point that I’m an exception to this pattern. Yes, I’m a card-carrying geezer, but no, I’ve never shouted at kids in the yard. And yes, I’m a high-ranking officer in the Grammar Police force.) HERE‘s an...

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Study shows that right-to-carry laws have spurred an increase in violent crime

It’s an article of faith among some firearms enthusiasts that more guns equal less crime. Indeed, that theory has been a cornerstone of the political argument in favor of laws allowing ordinary citizens to carry weapons in most public places. But research by Stanford University  law professor John Donohue and his colleagues has concluded that  more guns equal more crime. The story is HERE: “The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated...

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Republican oil mogul says Keystone pipeline is irrelevant to his industry

While the congressional argument over the Keystone XL pipeline approaches critical mass, a Republican who knows a thing or two about the oil industry says the debate has become a waste of time. His name is Harold Hamm, and HERE‘s what he says: “It’s not relevant at all in my opinion. And here we are making it relevant now? Forget it,” the billionaire CEO of Oklahoma-based Continental Resources told POLITICO in an interview Friday… Hamm said his company, which had planned to use Keystone to ship some of its North Dakota crude, is...

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Fox News knows its audience better than they know themselves

When the history of the past several decades is written, there should be a whole chapter devoted to the Fox News phenomenon. I’ve been a student of that subject since its inception, and I’ve seen few descriptions of it that are any better than THIS PASSAGE from an essay by Paul Waldman of The American Prospect: In a way, Fox News knows its viewers better than they know themselves. Don’t forget that the typical Fox viewer is a conservative senior citizen. The median age of the network’s viewers is 68.8, and some shows...

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