POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 1/14

Obama Plans Big Immigration Push

President Obama “plans to push Congress to move quickly in the coming months on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country,” the New York Times reports.

Democrats will propose the changes in one comprehensive bill, “resisting efforts by some Republicans to break the overhaul into smaller pieces — separately addressing young illegal immigrants, migrant farmworkers or highly skilled foreigners — which might be easier for reluctant members of their party to accept… The president and Democrats will also oppose measures that do not allow immigrants who gain legal status to become American citizens one day.”

Illinois GOP Chief Faces Revolt Over Gay Marriage

Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady “is staring down a revolt from some state party bosses after he bucked the official GOP line last week and urged state lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage,” WBEZ reports.

“It’s unclear whether the party bosses opposing Brady have enough votes to oust him. But even those who stop short of asking for his resignation plan to take him to the woodshed for neglecting to notify party bosses before he publicly contradicted the party’s platform plank on gay marriage.”

White House Explains Rejecting $1 Trillion Coin

Paul Krugman gets a call from the White House after they rejected the trillion dollar coinidea to stave off default on the nation’s bonds:

“The White House insists that it is absolutely, positively not going to cave or indeed even negotiate over the debt ceiling — that it rejected the coin option as a gesture of strength, as a way to put the onus for avoiding default entirely on the GOP.”

Wall Street Journal: “The White House also has rejected another escape clause: invoking the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution and borrowing more even if Congress hasn’t acted.”

The Politics of Slow Growth

Annie Lowrey: “Consider how different our politics might be today if the economy had not collapsed in 2008 and not been mired in sluggish growth ever since. A ballpark estimate suggests that if the economy were to grow one percentage point more than expected in each year over the next 10, the deficit would shrink by more than $3 trillion. That would be more than enough to set the ratio of our debt to our annual economic output on a comforting downward trajectory. Moreover, it would happen without making cuts to a single program, like Medicare or food stamps, or without raising a single dollar of additional tax revenue. Even a much smaller boost to growth — say one-tenth of a percentage point per year, or even half that — would make Congress and the White House’s burden hundreds of billions of dollars lighter.”

Is Critique of Obama’s “White Guy” Cabinet Justified?

Josh Feldman: “I have to ask why this has become the big controversy that it has been. Most people who voted for Obama, I would expect, care more about the qualifications of his political appointees than their race or gender.”

“With the exception of Hillary Clinton, all of Obama’s ‘guy’ nominees thus far will be replacing other white guys. And, if you’ll recall, Obama’s first choice for his second-term Secretary of State was a black woman … But if you’ve been paying attention to the news at all since September, you’ll remember exactly why Rice’s appointment didn’t exactly work out … We have two Asian Cabinet members: Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Attorney General Eric Holder, an African-American, is staying on for Obama’s second term. Also staying on are Kathleen Sebelius at Health and Human Services and Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security. Do these people not count? … There is, of course, one more reason why this whole thing is completely ridiculous. Obama still has Commerce and Labor secretaries to appoint.”

John Dickerson: “It’s unfair to charge Obama with a gender bias in his Cabinet picks. But if anyone is to blame, it’s the president himself … If people are now drawing grand conclusions based on a few staff picks, it’s because the Obama team helped train them to do so.”

RFK Jr Says JFK Wasn’t Killed by Lone Gunman

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. “is convinced that a lone gunman wasn’t solely responsible for the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, and said his father believed the Warren Commission report was a ‘shoddy piece of craftsmanship,'” the AP reports.

Said Kennedy: “The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman.”

Sources Say Lautenberg Will Retire

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) has decided not to run for re-election, NBC New Yorkreports.

However, a Lautenberg spokesman tells the Philadelphia Inquirer the report is not true.

The news comes the same week that Newark Mayor Cory Booker has filed papers allowing him to raise money for a U.S. Senate run in New Jersey.

Inaugural Fundraising Lags

President Obama’s inaugural committee “is at least $10 million short of its $50 million fund-raising goal, officials have told top donors, with just over a week before Mr. Obama is sworn in for his second term,” the New York Times reports.

“The committee is particularly struggling to bring in corporate money after Mr. Obama’s announcement last month that he would accept contributions from businesses, a change from his position in 2009… Even more striking, those involved in the planning said, was the absence of the vast majority of top fund-raisers for Mr. Obama’s campaign, which raised over a billion dollars.”

Another Bush Ready to Run

“George Prescott Bush is gearing up to run for a little-known but powerful office in a state where his family already is a political dynasty and where his Hispanic roots could help extend a stranglehold on power Republicans have enjoyed for two decades” the APreports.

Said Bush: “We for sure are running, the question is the office.”

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