President Obama will meet with Democrats before his big immigration announcement, presumably so the moderate ones up for reelection will know what they’re distancing themselves from. Democrats think Ben Ray Lujan will make a great DCCC chair, but being the best possible DCCC chair in this gerrymandered environment is a bit like being the best possible coach of the Washington Generals. And a majority of Americans support the Keystone XL pipeline. Too bad you can’t chain yourself in protest to a telephone survey of voters. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, November 19th, 2014:
OBAMA MEETING WITH DEMS ON IMMIGRATION - Not just a Denis McDonough meeting, as reported yesterday. Elise Foley: “President Barack Obama will huddle with Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday evening to discuss his plans for executive action on immigration, as he prepares to defend the legality of granting deportation relief to millions of people. White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing that 18 Democratic members from the House and Senate will attend dinner with the president on Wednesday evening. Republicans were not invited to attend. Obama will address the nation about immigration at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, and then speak about the issue again on Friday in Las Vegas…Politico reported earlier Wednesday that the relief will apply to about 5 million undocumented immigrants, including people with long-standing ties to the country such as parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. The reprieve will not include farm workers or the parents of so-called Dreamers, undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children, according to Politico. Advocacy sources contacted by The Huffington Post said those details were consistent with that they'd heard.” [HuffPost]
Shorter Rob Portman: Please forget about the time I came out in favor of gay marriage, Republican primary voters: “Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) warned that Republicans would take legal recourse if President Obama goes forward with a planned executive action on immigration, a move the senator from Ohio described as "illegal." ‘I think there'll be lawsuits filed, I believe so,’ Portman, who is weighing a presidential run, said Wednesday on MSNBC's ‘Morning Joe.’” [HuffPost’s Igor Bobic]
GOP BLOCKING THEIR OWN NOMINEES - Good prison tactic: Show them just how insane you are and NO ONE will mess with you when you’re king of the yard. Jen Bendery: “Last week, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) delayed Senate Judiciary Committee action by a week on nine judicial nominees for no evident reason. That group includes three Texas nominees with strong support from Texas Sens. John Cornyn (R) and Ted Cruz (R). Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is refusing to submit his so-called ‘blue slip’ to advance a Utah judicial nominee he's previously praised as ‘well known and highly regarded.’ And Republicans are forcing four Georgia judicial nominees with strong support from Georgia's GOP senators to each wait an extra day before they can get confirmed...Hatch spokesman J.P. Freire, meanwhile, said the senator is holding up Jill Parrish, his nominee to the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, because senators typically don't confirm nominees in a lame-duck session.” [HuffPost]
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REPUBLICANS ARE MOSTLY WHITE MALES - Stay strong, brothers. Mike McAuliff: “Republicans, stung by perceptions that they are the party of old white men, have gone out of their way since the election to give more prominence to women in the party. That effort appeared to hit a stumbling block Wednesday, however, as the GOP filled all of the open committee chairmanships in the House of Representatives exclusively with white men. Before naming the white-guy slate, the House Republicans had elevated women to more than half of the spots on the leadership team, although the top three posts are still held by men. Even over in the Senate, where there are no women on the leadership team that will take over in January, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made sure to pose between the GOP's two new female senators at a photo-op with new members last week. The news that men will fill all nine open chairmanships when the next session starts in January comes just as women are poised to take more seats in Congress than ever before in the history of the institution. Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) will remain the only chairwoman, heading the House Committee on Administration.” [HuffPost]
ALSO BREAKING: DEMOCRATS AGREE ON THING - Roll Call: “Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has ruffled plenty of feathers lately, reclaimed some goodwill with her caucus Monday, bypassing more established members to name Ben Ray Luján the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It won’t erase all of the negativity percolating among her flock — demoralized after Election Day and antsy over the stasis at the leadership table — but the decision to elevate the New Mexico Democrat is being called ‘smart’ and ‘savvy,’ even by those who count themselves among Pelosi’s critics. Rep. Maxine Waters of California, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the top Democrat on Financial Services, said Pelosi’s pick was ‘refreshing’ and ‘lovely.’ ‘He was not talked about as one of the usual suspects,’ Waters told CQ Roll Call. ‘It shows a recognition that someone who shows promise should be given opportunities,’ even if that person isn’t the loudest or the most demonstrative.” [Roll Call]
CONSERVATIVE LEGAL ESTABLISHMENT NOT PUTTING UP A FIGHT ON IMMIGRATION ACTION - Sam Stein: “ At the Mayflower Hotel, lawyers gathered for the annual Federalist Society national convention -- one of the highest-profile conservative legal events of the year. The day’s big draws were the opening speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and an evening event featuring Justice Samuel Alito. Before the crowd changed into black tie attire for Alito's appearance, however, a smaller panel convenedunder the title, ‘Federalism: The President’s Duty to Take Care That the Law be Faithfully Executed.’ … The talk was, well, lawyerly. Every conclusion seemed to have a qualification attached to it. But, by and large, the panelists agreed the president has wide legal latitude to prioritize and shape deportation laws, as regrettable for Republicans or the long-term balance of powers that may be.” [HuffPost]
Wouldn’t you know it, the Obama administration agrees! “President Barack Obama has ‘fairly wide latitude within existing executive authority’ to act on his own on immigration reform and will do so in a ‘comprehensive’ way in coming days, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday. ‘It can't be that we're not allowed to lift a finger to fix the broken immigration system until Congress acts, and we've been waiting for Congress to act,’ he said at an event hosted by progressive think tank NDN at the National Press Club.” [HuffPost]
AMERICANS SUPPORT KEYSTONE: POLL - Ariel Edwards-Levy: “A bill to force authorization of the Keystone XL pipeline failed in the Senate on Tuesday, but most Americans support the proposal, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll taken before that vote. A 56 percent majority of Americans support building the pipeline to transport oil from Canada through the United States to oil refineries in Texas. Eighty-three percent of Republicans, 53 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats are in favor of it Proponents of the project feel more strongly than opponents: 31 percent support the pipeline strongly, while just 12 percent strongly oppose it.” [HuffPost]
BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s an ill-tempered golden retriever.
WEIRD THING HAPPENS - In case you thought the conversations at your Thanksgiving table were going to be the most awkward thing to happen this November, think again. Mike McAuliff: “House Speaker John Boehner unveiled a bust of late Czech leader Vaclav Havel Wednesday with an unorthodox musical accompaniment -- a quick acoustic blues performance by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Boehner explained the selection of the bearded bluesman for the honor by noting that Havel took great joy from rock ’n’ roll and American blues, and that Gibbons is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Gibbons was happy to oblige, but also seemed to find the choice somewhat offbeat.” [HuffPost]
- Staged “action shots” of 19th century baseball players.
- Ikea furniture… for cats.
- Mohammed Ali surprising young fans on a 1970s TV show
- Grandmas try weed for the first time.
@radlybalko: If only the right were as concerned about executive overreach in war, spying, torture, and secrecy as it is with immigration and clemency.
@elisefoley: Friday Friday gotta get down on major policy announcements on Friday
@pourmecoffee: Sauron: throwing the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom will poison the well for future cooperation.
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