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January 22, 2014

GOP Amnesty Gimmicks. "Establishment" vs. "Tea Party" In Nebraska. Another Reason To Like Richard Sherman.

All the news is kind of frozen today (east cost bias) so some crumbs.

1. The Number 3 House Republican Has A Lousy Idea About Amnesty. Naturally, It's The Worst Possible Option

GOP Whip Keven McCarthy is now on board with a "split the baby" idea for amnesty...legalization but no path to citizenship.

"The principles aren't written yet, but in my personal belief I think it'll go with legal status that will allow you to work and pay taxes," McCarthy said.

McCarthy made clear that he did not favor carving out a new path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally. But his position appears to comport with the views of other senior Republicans who have called for illegal immigrants to have access to the existing route to citizenship once they receive an initial legal status and fulfill other requirements.

The reason this is the worst option is it makes almost no one happy and just annoys everyone more.

There are studies that show that plenty of illegal immigrants don't care about citizenship. They just the chance to work here legally. On the other hand are activists (including Democrat politicians who want more voters) who will settle for nothing less.

As a practical matter giving people here illegally legal status still ignores the law as written and advantages them over people who have gone through the legal process and had to wait their turn.

It also is just uncomfortable. America has been about the chance to come here and become an American. Having a permanent segment of the population foreclosed from that part of our tradition seems wrong on an instinctual level. It's too much like what you see in places like the Mideast where foreign workers are imported but are foreclosed from ever becoming part of the country where they spend their lives.

I know that sounds contradictory since that's the system we have now (and it would no doubt work differently here than in a place like Saudi Arabia) but somehow codifying it represents turning away from a basic American value.

Politically, it's untenable because no matter what they say now, if you agree to legalization today, liberals will pocket that and comeback tomorrow demanding you give these same people citizenship or risk turning America into an apartheid state (you know that's exactly what they'll say".

And so the GOP will have angered their supporters by putting illegals at the front of the line, have handed the Democrats a partial victory and a club to keep using on the GOP.

If you stand in the middle of the road you'll only get hit by traffic going in both directions. The GOP never seems to learn this basic lesson.

2. Is The "Establishment" Supporting A Candidate In Nebraska Simply Out Of Spite?

Last week's podcast guest, Tim Carney, takes a look at the GOP primary fight for the Senate in Nebraska and finds an interesting divide.

Both candidates seem pretty conservative at first blush but one, Ben Sasse, is backed by the dreded "outside groups" like The Senate Conservative Fund and The Club For Growth. While the other Shane Osborn has the strong support of lobbyists.

Here are some of the headliners for a DC fundraiser for Osborn (to be held at the HQ of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Wayne Berman and Charlie Black headline Osborn's D.C. fundraiser. The two K Streeters are pillars of the GOP establishment. They backed Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in 2012. And they supported governor-turned-health-secretary-turned-lobbyist Tommy Thompson over two Tea Partiers in a heated Wisconsin primary that same year.

Lobbyist Rick Murphy, who threw a fundraiser for Dewhurst last cycle, is also on Osborn’s host list.

So is Billy Piper, who was Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s chief of staff from 2002 to 2010. Today, he’s a lobbyist at the K Street firm Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock. Also on the host list are Piper's boss Kirk Blalock and colleague Kate Hull.

When you check out Piper, Blalock and Hull’s lobbying resumes, you see why the K Street wing can’t find peace with the conservative base. Blalock's firm pocketed about $1.5 million lobbying for government-sponsored enterprise Fannie Mae from 2002 until the company collapsed into federal conservatorship in 2008. Federal filings show Blalock lobbying for Fannie on “GSE Reform,” which means he lobbied (successfully) against Republican efforts to rein in Fannie’s unsustainable inflation of the housing bubble.

Blalock lobbied for Obama's stimulus on behalf of the windmill lobby, the American Wind Energy Association. Blalock and his firm also lobbied for wind-energy subsidies and federal rules forcing utilities to buy wind-generated power.

Sasse wanted to avoid any rift with Mitch McConnell but since the Senate Conservative Fund supported him, McConnell was having none of it.

Just keep in mind the list of people supporting Osborn next time you hear that the "outside groups" are only in it for the money.

Do you really think all those lobbyist dollars are flowing out of the goodness of their corporatist hearts?

3. John McCain Doesn't Like Richard Sherman Of The Seattle Seahawks.

That's reason enough for me to like Sherman even more.

Since both Washington and Colorado have legalized marijuana, will the traditional bets between local politicians include pot this year?

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posted by DrewM. at 11:50 AM

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