Republican Strategist Ana Navarro lays into King.
President Barack Obama stepped into the fray in the U.S. Congress over immigration on Saturday, urging Americans to press the Republican-led House of Representatives to approve a plan that is at risk of stalling.
Obama used his weekly address to make his case for an immigration overhaul that was approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate and would create a pathway to citizenship for as many as 11 million people living illegally in the United States.
The president has been treading carefully on the issue so as not to antagonize Republicans who adamantly oppose the immigration plan but may find it politically necessary to help attract Hispanic voters in future elections.
“Now the House needs to act so I can sign common-sense immigration reform into law,” Obama said. “And if you agree, tell your Representatives that now is the time. Call or email or post on their Facebook walls and ask them to get this done.”
With sweeping abortion legislation poised to come before Texas lawmakers again this week, activists on both sides mobilized to bring protesters to the Capitol in Austin.
Last week’s confrontation in the state Senate led to a filibuster and a late-night vote that riveted the nation. Republicans initially said the measure had passed, but the Senate’s presiding officer, Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, later conceded that the vote had occurred after the Legislature’s special session expired at midnight.
Gov. Rick Perry then called another 30-day special session to take up the bill, which would bar abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation and force abortion providers to upgrade or close, effectively limiting access to the procedure statewide, opponents say. The new session is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Monday.
New abortion legislation has already been resubmitted in the Legislature. The state House passed the measure during the previous special session, and Perry has said he will sign it.
The measure’s failure last week came in part because of raucous protests from the gallery, as well as the marathon filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat.
Opponents of immigration reform legislation have been trying to steer clear of white nationalists lately, hoping to keep their opposition to citizenship for undocumented Latino immigrants free from the taint of racism.
But they just can’t seem to run fast enough.
Last week, a major Heritage Foundation report about the supposed costs of illegal immigration was pilloried after the revelation that one of its authors, Heritage Foundation senior fellow Jason Richwine, had earlier claimed that there are deep differences in intelligence among races (with Latinos toward the bottom). Richwine resigned from the conservative think tank amid the outcry.
Now, this week, we discover that ProEnglish, a group with white nationalist ties, has launched an ad campaign against immigration reform. The first target is Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, according to BuzzFeed. The group’s minute-long radio ad features a Spanish-speaking character, apparently representing an undocumented immigrant, thanking Graham “for not requiring him to learn English in exchange for amnesty.”
ProEnglish, founded in 1994, is part of the network of organizations founded by anti-immigrant movement architect John Tanton, a Michigan ophthalmologist who, over the years, has corresponded with white nationalists, eugenicists and Holocaust deniers, and written that in order to maintain American culture, “a European-American majority is required.”
Robert Vandervoort, executive director of ProEnglish, also has ties to white nationalist groups. He formerly ran the Chicagoland Friends of American Renaissance, a group that supports white nationalist Jared Taylor’s American Renaissance. Taylor has claimed that any kind of civilization disappears when black people are left to their own devices. Vandervoort has also attended events held by the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, which distributes books by the late Sam Francis, who was a resident scholar at the foundation and a leading figure among white nationalists who argued for “white racial consciousness.”
The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill 5-0 mandating that doctors who perform abortions maintain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
Supporters said the bill would improve care for women and assure they could get help if they suffered complications.
But opponents said the bill only places unnecessary obstacles for doctors willing to perform abortions.
In addition, the Texas Hospital Association testified against the bill, saying the measure would subject hospitals to needless time and expense screening doctors who rarely, if ever, would need to admit patients into their facility.
“A hospital should not be required to assume responsibility for the qualifications of a doctor that does not practice in the hospital,” said Stacy Wilson, associate general counsel for the association.
Rival legal teams, well-financed and highly motivated, are girding for court battles over the coming months on laws enacted in Arkansas and North Dakota that would impose the nation’s toughest bans on abortion.
For all their differences, attorneys for the two states and the abortion-rights supporters opposing them agree on this: The laws represent an unprecedented frontal assault on the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that established a nationwide right to abortion.
The Arkansas law, approved March 6 when legislators overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, would ban most abortions from the 12th week of pregnancy onward. On March 26, North Dakota went further, with Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple signing a measure that would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat can first be detected and before some women even know they’re pregnant.
Abortion-rights advocates plan to challenge both measures, contending they are unconstitutional violations of the Roe ruling that legalized abortion until a fetus could viably survive outside the womb. A fetus is generally considered viable at 22 to 24 weeks.
A Mississippi police chief says there’s nothing to suggest that the death of state Rep. Jessica Upshaw was anything other a suicide. The 53-year-old Republican lawmaker died Sunday of a gunshot wound to the head. (March 25)
The anticipated retirement announcement from South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson gives Republicans one of their best chances of picking up a seat in their quest to regain control, as the veteran moderate Democrat steps aside.
Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, is expected to say Tuesday afternoon that he will not seek a fourth term in the Senate next year.
The fifth Senate Democrat to call it quits, Johnson was facing a potentially difficult challenge from popular Republican Gov. Mike Rounds and still coping with the constraints of a 2006 brain hemorrhage that left his speech impaired and limited his mobility. The absence of the well-funded former congressman who has never lost an election in this GOP-trending state pushed the race to the top of the priority list, Republican strategists said.
“I believe South Dakota moves into the top slot as the most likely Republican pickup,” said Greg Strimple, a Republican pollster and past consultant to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
A non-binding resolution, passed at a United Nations conference more than 20 years ago, is suddenly a “threat to homes (and the) property of our middle-class” in New Mexico.
That’s according to the column, “Agenda 21 threat to homes, property of our middle-class,” which got the top spot on the Sunday Journal’s Op-Ed page, the newspaper’s highest circulation day.
Written by state Rep. Tom Anderson, R-Albuquerque, the column is vague on what Agenda 21 actually says, but we learn nine paragraphs into the column that Anderson is so worried about it he has introduced House Bill 307, “which prohibits the state of New Mexico from adopting or implementing policies that result from Agenda 21 - or the United Nations Rio Declaration of Environment and Development - without due process.”
The claims that Agenda 21 takes us from fighting poverty to redistributing wealth, or that trying to conserve resources and open spaces is a plot to take away our way of life, have been around ever since the resolution was passed. But as the New York Times has noted, the protests those claims have spawned have “gained momentum in the past two years because of the emergence of the Tea Party movement, harnessing its suspicion about government power and belief that man-made global warming is a hoax.”
On top of all that, Glenn Beck has attached his name to a book entitled Agenda 21, described as a “thriller” about a “republic” in which “there is no president. No Congress. No freedom.”
I say “attached his name” because, according to the woman who edited an early draft of the book, Agenda 21 was actually written by Harriet Parke, whose name is also on the cover, and Beck purchased the rights to say it was written by him.
This article gives a good overview of the Tea Party outrage about ‘Agenda 21’, including Koch brothers, John Birch Society, and other organizations around the country. The rest of the article is here: Fear and Loathing of ‘Agenda 21’
Here is a little more background about the New Mexico legislator who offered this bill for the consideration of the New Mexico House of Representatives:
He is the author of NM House Bill 302 which is designed to protect teachers who want to teach anti-evolution or climate change denialism. This is not too different than the bill Michele Bachmann, who is also an idiot, introduced when she was a Republican member of the State legislature in Minnesota some years ago.
House Bill 302, as it’s called, states that public school teachers who want to teach “scientific weaknesses” about “controversial scientific topics” including evolution, climate change, human cloning and — ambiguously — “other scientific topics” may do so without fear of reprimand. The legislation was introduced to the New Mexico House of Representatives on Feb. 1 by Republican Rep. Thomas A. Anderson.
Republicans fear Agenda 21, but they don’t fear the consequences of climate change. That’s a dangerous lack of discernment.