POLITICS
11/20/2014 06:44 pm ET Updated Nov 20, 2014

President Panders To Emma Lazarus Lobby

If Republicans say the president is "poisoning the well" one more time, we're going to demand they repeal the phrase root and branch. Had Hank Johnson not asked if Guam might capsize, Steve Cohen's suggestion of a White House moat might be Congress' craziest water-based idea. And Mo Brooks thinks President Obama could be arrested for his immigration action, though the congressman can't cite under which law the president would be detained. Lesson: People who get law degrees to succeed in Washington are suckers. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Thursday, November 20th, 2014:

WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES IMMIGRATION ACTION - Elise Foley: “ In the boldest move on immigration policy of his presidency, President Barack Obama is set to announce plans Thursday evening to dramatically increase deportation relief for an estimated 4.4 million undocumented immigrants. The executive action will protect parents, as well as those who came to the U.S. as children and others with long-standing ties to the country, from being forced out of their homes. The announcement will cause mayhem on the Hill, as Republicans threaten lawsuits, a showdown over funding the government, and blocks to Obama's nominees...Obama's plan will make a number of changes to immigration policy, such as renaming and revamping the controversial Secure Communities policy, which states and localities across the country have increasingly opposed. It will also redefine Immigration and Customs Enforcement priorities to ensure agents are focusing on recent border-crossers -- defined as those who came after Jan. 1, 2014 -- along with convicted criminals, suspected terrorists and potential threats to national security. The new policies broaden opportunities for high-skilled workers and could lead to further changes in how visas are distributed. The resulting changes could bring the amount of people given legal protection under the executive action to nearly 5 million.” [HuffPost]

Even before the official announcement, everyone was freaking out: “The first official statement of the day came from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who will take over as the majority leader in January. McConnell argued in a Senate floor speech that if Obama makes good on his plans, the president will be contradicting himself and ignoring the will of the people. ‘If the president truly follows through on this attempt to impose his will unilaterally, he will have issued a rebuke to his own stated view of democracy,’ said McConnell, adding that Obama has said before that the White House lacks the legal authority to do more on immigration than he has already done.” [HuffPost’s Mike McAuliff and Elise Foley]

DEMS ALSO USED TWITTER TO COORDINATE WITH OUTSIDE GROUPS - Paul Blumenthal: “ Republican Party committees and outside groups shared polling data over Twitter during the 2014 elections, according to a CNN report on Monday. The purpose was to circumvent federal anti-coordination rules -- and the practice appeared to be part of a growing bipartisan effort to get around those rules by posting information in public. While those Republican accounts have garnered the attention since the CNN report, they were not the first use of Twitter by a party committee to hide coordination in plain sight. In 2012, the Democratic Party shared information about advertising buys through a seemingly unconnected Twitter account called AdBuyDetails. This account, which posted tweets from Aug. 31 until Oct. 23, 2012, sent out data on ad buys made by Democratic House candidates in tight races across the country.” [HuffPost]

WALKER READYING 2016 CAMPAIGN - “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, pivoting from his bigger-than-expected reelection win this month, is taking active steps toward a presidential campaign that would launch next summer and contrast his record of conservative achievements in a swing state with paralysis in Washington. In interviews this week, Walker and his top political advisers provided the fullest account yet of his plans for the likely rollout of a national campaign. The 47-year-old Republican intends to use an upcoming legislative session in Wisconsin to push an ambitious agenda that could, in combination with his triumphs over Big Labor, bolster his standing with Republican primary voters: repealing unpopular Common Core standards, requiring drug tests for welfare beneficiaries and cutting property taxes. ‘I think there’s going to be a hunger for a leader who can actually can get things done,’ Walker said by phone Wednesday, even as he cautioned that he hasn’t firmly decided to run. ‘The closer I’ve gotten to this position, the more I’ve realized that anyone who really wants to be president has to be a little crazy … The only way you should run is if you feel called to.’” [Politico]

GARY JOHNSON LOOKING TO RUN AGAIN - Even though half the country will soon be getting high on legal weed, the erstwhile libertarian presidential candidate is undeterred. Sam Stein and Jason Cherkis: “Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson said he is likely to run for president again in 2016 and will be blunt as hell when he does it. ‘I hope to,’ Johnson told The Huffington Post when asked whether he'd make another go of it. The two-term governor, who ran first as a Republican and then as a libertarian in the 2012 cycle, gained early attention then for his support of marijuana legalization even as he tried to steer the conversation to his fiscally conservative credentials. That issue faded, however, as the campaign progressed, and Johnson ended up spending a good chunk of time complaining that debate organizers were excluding him from their forums.” [HuffPost]

CONGRATS ON THE NEW JOB! - Corruption, meet corruption. Christina Wilkie: “Relations between the United States and Hungary have deteriorated rapidly in recent weeks, following news that the U.S. imposed travel bans on six Hungarian officials it believes are engaged in corruption. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban dismissed the U.S. evidence of bribery and tax fraud by members of his government as "a flimsy piece of paper," and on Friday he called for the resignation of the top American diplomat in Hungary. But despite his fiery tone, Orban has not written off the Obama administration. On the contrary, as Orban was publicly knocking the United States to cheers from his supporters this month, his government quietly hired a former Republican congressman, Connie Mack IV, to boost Hungary's image and influence in Washington, D.C.” [HuffPost]

CONGRESSMAN DOESN’T WANT TO BUILD MOAT AROUND WHITE HOUSE - Only a snake pit will keep the people’s house safe -- that or a bridge troll demanding intruders “answer me these riddles three.” NBC News: “Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., told NBC News he pitched his idea of a new water barrier at the White House to the head of the Secret Service during a closed door meeting on Wednesday. But he never meant to advocate for an actual moat, even though he brought up the idea during a House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier that day. Cohen provided a head turning moment in the open session of the hearing when he suggested to Joseph Clancy, the acting director of the Secret Service, that a new security feature be added to the White House perimeter: ‘Would a, uh, a moat. Water. Six feet around, be kind of attractive and effective?’” [NBC News]

Maybe they’ve been attending too many seminars on the evils of water fluoridation: “Republicans are issuing dire warnings to ‘Emperor Obama’ that his planned executive action to grant deportation relief to millions of undocumented immigrants would ‘poison the well’ in Congress. But can the president ‘poison a well,’ to borrow the phrase, that's been poisoned time and time again? According to the GOP, Obama has done so repeatedly, on just about every initiative he has tried to push through Congress. Washington is swimming in poisoned well water, and has been for years.” [HuffPost]

BECAUSE YOU'VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s an awkward ferret.

Forget keeping the president safe, let’s arrest that sucker: “Conservatives hate everything about the president’s imminent immigration move, starting with its timing, and one House member is hinting that the executive action could result in impeachment, and maybe even prison time. President Obama is expected to announce his executive action on immigration—a move which could defer deportations for as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants—on Thursday. Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, one of the lower chamber’s most energetic critics of comprehensive immigration reform, suggested that the president’s move could potentially be grounds for impeachment, or even prison time. Brooks said there is a federal statute (‘I don’t have the citation for it at the tip of my tongue’) making it a felony to aid, abet, or entice a foreigner to illegally enter the U.S.” [Slate]

COMFORT FOOD

- In case you were curious what it sounds like to land on a comet, now you know.

- A generic article template for all Facebook app releases.

- Just in time for Movember, here’s a video about a renown charitable beard contest.

- A look at the strange world of Twitter bots.

TWITTERAMA

@anamariecox: Hannity just now: “I didn’t know illegal immigrants HAD civil rights!” This explains a lot.

@KagroX: Excited for the opportunity to debate immigration policy with the folks who saved us all from Rachel Ray's terror donuts.

@MEPFuller:

*Obama steps to podium*

"You think you know what this speech — what this action — is about."

"ACTUALLY, it's about ethics in gaming journa

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