Republicans Would Be Smart Not To Beat Up Hispanics

I have easily argued that the immigration fight is not one that the GOP can afford to take on, especially in the mean-spirited manner of the recent past.  Doing so will crush them politically.  After all, voters who are non-white will be the majority  in the United States in the not so distant future, and if the GOP has any desire to be a majority party it will need to adapt to the reality of the times.  If the Republicans wish to commit political suicide they will continue with immigrant bashing. I posted that May 2010.

I have been watching with amusement at the way the most conservative elements of the GOP have used immigration for short-term gain.  The fact they are sowing seeds that will produce long-term pain for their party, and a continuing legacy of dreadful policy options, seems not to be of concern.  As I have stated before I think it essential that the grown-ups (moderates) in the Republican Party again take control of their future.

The latest article on this matter appeared today in the Wall Street Journal by Michael Medved.

…..if Republicans continue to conduct the immigration debate in a way that drives their numbers even lower among Latinos than in 2008, they can’t win. Talking about changing the Constitution to eliminate birthright citizenship, for instance, may bring short-term gains, but it will produce disastrous long-term results in the key voting bloc that is likely to decide the next presidential race.

If the president performs as poorly in the white community as current polls indicate, he will still win an electoral majority as long as he commands the same percentage of nonwhite voters (83%) that he won in 2008. This seems entirely possible, and based on current polls, it looks likely.

The Quinnipiac survey indicates that Mr. Obama still enjoys huge popularity among people of color, winning his trial heat against an unspecified Republican 44 to 1 among blacks (87% to 2%) and nearly 2 to 1 among Latinos (49% to 26%). In other words, the president maintains his near unanimous support in the black community and has dipped only slightly among Hispanics, where he drew a commanding 67% of the vote in 2008.

Only 65% of Latino voters expressed a candidate preference in the survey’s trial heat. That means if Mr. Obama can sway the bulk of the 35% of Latinos who say they “don’t know” or are currently uncommitted, the president will replicate his victory formula from 2008. Undecided Hispanic citizens, representing as many as three million votes in the next election, may hold the balance of power in a competitive race.

Judge Rules Gay Marriages Can Resume In California

This is better than a John Grisham novel.

Gay marriages in California can start on August 18th after San Francisco Judge Walker lifted the stay to his decision to invalidate Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that reinstated a ban on same-sex marriage in California.  By waiting until August 18th the judge agreed to give its sponsors until then to appeal his ruling to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

I am delighted that this process is moving forward.  There is no doubt that those who wish to deny others equal rights will use all legal maneuvers at their disposal to stop the marriages.  However, there is no way to predict what the legal standing issue will allow for when the proponents of Prop 8 appeal this matter.  There is indeed a question of whether or not proponents have standing to wage an appeal.  It should be noted the U.S.9th Circuit Court of Appeals has a majority of Democratic appointees, and a decidedly liberal outlook.  However the three judge appeal panel that will first hear the case will consist of the luck of the draw on the matter for those who are seeking legal redress.

It will be very hard to prove that gay marriages in California are harmful to anyone.  An estimated 18,000 same-sex couples  were married during the six months it was legal in California in 2008, and the state flag still flies proudly.

Chinese Fortune Cookie And Summer Heat

Everyone is talking about the weather.  Even the guy who delivered fast chinese food for lunch to  the house had a quip about the heat and humidity that has clamped down on much of the nation.  With a smile he said when about to leave, “Chinese fortune cookie say in winter we can put on more clothes, in summer we can only take so  much off.”    With that he waved and was on his way.

Fortune cookie is correct.

Rod Blagojevich Jury Deadlocked On 22 Of 24 Counts

Somethings is fishy here.  I mean FISHY!

The federal jury in former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s trial has reached a verdict on only two counts in the case and is deadlocked on others, U.S. District Judge James Zagel announced in court today.

The jury still hasn’t deliberated on 11 wire fraud counts, the judge announced in court. Zagel said he would instruct the jury to continue to deliberate on the wire fraud counts.

The wire fraud counts largely deal with allegations that the former governor tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. But some also deal with charges that the head of Children’s Memorial Hospital and the owner of a racetrack were improperly pressured to make campaign donations.

Prosecution and defense lawyers took a few minutes to mull over Zagel’s proposed response to jurors and made one minor change. Shortly before noon, Zagel said the jury was at lunch but would receive the agreed upon response when they returned.

It will read: “You should deliberate on wire fraud counts to the extent necessary to enable you to decide on those counts. We recognize that your stated inability to reach agreement on other counts may establish to your satisfaction that you will be similarly unable to reach unanimity on the wire fraud counts. Nonetheless, a deliberative decision on those counts should be made even if it is a decision that you can’t reach agreement.”

There is no way to tell from the jury’s communication which two of the 24 counts faced by Blagojevich or his brother they have agreed on. The only thing that is clear is that the two counts on which they’ve agreed do not include the 11 counts in which the governor is charged with wire fraud because the jury said it had not yet voted on those counts.

What’s More Important, Tax Cuts Or Deficit?

I was opposed to the tax cuts that were ushered in under President Bush.  The mantra from Republicans for more tax cuts may provide good sound bites on the campaign trail, but it fails the test of being sound policy.   I still find those tax cuts unacceptable, and for largely the same reasons as I opposed them at the time they first passed.  

The heavily weighted advantage of the cuts for the wealthy, and the fact America should pay for the wars we are engaged in are at the top of my list for opposing the cuts.  That tax cuts are aimed at reducing over-all monies for needed governmental programs is often one not talked about, but should always be stated when on the topic of tax-cutting boondoggles. 

That President Obama is trying to make a case for why some of the tax cuts should be allowed to continue still does not make the policy any less wrong. Obama campaigned in 2008 that  he would not raise taxes on the middle class.  The problem is once he took office he failed not to be drawn into the Republican definition of what a tax increase looks like.  Correcting the tax cut policy from the Bush Administration by allowing the rates to return to those of the Clinton years is NOT a tax increase.   To state otherwise is political gimmickry that this White House should never have allowed to fester and take hold.

Now we are in the mid-term elections and there is no way that any sanity is going to win out.  The only thing we can hope for is the plan that passes Congress will be less ridiculous than its alternative.  The lesser choice of two wrongs  is not the way I want my government to operate.

Solid economists are urging for the sake of the deficit that the cuts be allowed to expire.  Meanwhile the GOP is claiming all the cuts must continue.  Obama has put forth an idea that while the middle class tax cuts would remain, those earning over $250,000 would not be allowed to retain their cuts. 

The latest news from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation show that households earning more than $1 million a year would reap nearly $31 billion in tax breaks under the GOP idea of allowing the rich to keep the cuts.  That means in 2011 the average millionaire  would receive about $100,000.   By the way, the GOP plan for the rich alone would add $36 billion to the federal deficit next year. 

But even worse would be the plan advanced by President Obama as the Joint Committee on Taxation shows his entire plan for not letting the tax cuts expire would add $202 billion to next year’s deficit.

I have argued for many years that the tax cut argument from the GOP is more about starving other programs  the needed funding they require than it is about putting money back in the hands of the people.   The disdain for government from the Republicans is best show-cased when they argue for less monies to be appropriated for programs that will actually help the voters back home.  The assault on government via the tax cut route is one that too many Americans have aided at election time, even though the result ends up biting the voter.

While the rich were rolling in the money from their tax cuts, many other Americans were needing to file bankruptcy when the crushing blow of health care costs forced them into a corner.  What the less-well-off often forget is that when they vote for the Republican who promises a tax cut they are also voting for the absence of programs, such as national health care in this country.