Political Trough: Forget Celebrating- Creating Diversity in MT

30 people show up for a meeting…and get big coverage in The Billings Gazette.  30 people- the folks I like to call “the race-based activists” that want you to do seemingly nothing else but focus on the color of someone’s skin rather than the content of their character.  30 people who seemingly care more about what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom…

This is the group that has now taken over the “Not in Our Town” movement.

Here’s what I am wondering- how did we go from some folks wanting to simply “celebrate diversity” to this new generation of community organizers wanting to create diversity?  Here’s the headline:  “Summit aims to help make Billings, Montana a more diverse and inclusive city.”  The event organizer is quoted as saying he doesn’t like the Biblical Golden Rule and then adds that diversity is “difficult to achieve.”  

And here’s what they did at this meeting:  they segregated people out into groups based on the color of their skin, or, by- well, whatever they do in the bedroom.

Sounds like they’re taking a page out of Al Gore’s playbook.  Remember that?  Instead of “out of many come one,” Al changed it to “out of one come many.” 

Meanwhile, as 30 people got a lot of media attention for having this meeting to create diversity, there was something like 1,200 people who showed up in Billings for a bacon fest…..a BACON FEST!  How in the world would the Not In Our Town Folks allow a “BACON FEST” to be held in Billings?  I mean, a BACON FEST in BILLINGS.  Don’t they know how much this will offend a certain population that we’re trying to recruit to the Magic City?   

Speaking of creating diversity, did you hear what President Obama is planning on immigration?  Plus, Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) had a news conference to detail how he plans to spend more of YOUR money.  And, a vote on the Keystone pipeline on Capitol Hill could set the tone for the lame duck session.  All that and more is in this week’s Political Trough.  

Chris Cillizza in The Washington Post: Executive order on immigration would ignite a political firestorm

Reports are rampant that President Obama will sign an executive order as soon as this week that will allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation. Signing such an order would have explosive political consequences — it would not only reshape the near-term fights in Congress but also have a potentially profound effect on the two parties’ national coalitions heading into the 2016 election and beyond.

Republicans have made it clear that if Obama goes forward, it would be the equivalent of giving the middle finger to their incoming majority — and, by extension, the American public, which helped the GOP gain seats in the House and Senate on Nov. 4.

Victor Davis Hanson in National Review: The Midterms’ Immigration Lesson 

Everyone finds a lesson in the Republican midterm tsunami.

One message was that so-called comprehensive immigration reform and broad amnesty have little national public support. Polls have long shown that, but so do last week’s election results.

Voters in liberal Oregon overwhelmingly rejected driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

In reaction, President Obama sulked, threatening to quickly push through an unpopular amnesty by executive order. Obama apparently knows that he enjoys neither public nor congressional support for his planned executive fiat.

Anfdrew McCarthy in National Review: Amnesty and Impeachment . . . Cont’d

The Constitution gives the president plenary power over federal law enforcement. The public, Congress, and the courts can complain about the president’s rampant violations of his oath to execute the laws faithfully, but there is no law that can be passed, no court ruling that can be issued, capable of forcing the president to carry out his duty to enforce the laws.

As for the abuse of prosecutorial discretion, it is theoretically possible for Congress to counter it with the power of the purse — and personally, I see no reason why Congress should continue to fund, at today’s astronomical levels, Departments of Justice and Homeland Security that refrain from enforcing laws, lawlessly confer benefits Congress has not enacted on illegal aliens, and stonewall when called to account for the administration’s schemes. But let’s face it: GOP leadership is scared to death of taking a stand that could lead to even a very partial government shutdown. It is highly unlikely that Congress is going to start slashing agency funding in a meaningful way. Consequently, impeachment becomes the last remaining check on the president’s refusal to enforce the laws.

Impeaching Obama would be a very unpleasant choice, and there is clearly no appetite for it. But living with what he is otherwise going to do over the next two years (on top of what he has already done) will be a more unpleasant choice. And there are no other choices.


Defense procedures – National Journal:  “The House could attach a rider prohibiting enforcement of Obama’s order, or it could not provide money to departments that would respond to executive action….[or] insert language into any spending bill prohibiting the use of appropriated money for executive action that would create additional work permits or green cards. Essentially, Congress’s power of the purse would be Obama’s punishment.”


National Journal: “With Congress’s turkey-week break just days away, the Senate enters this second week of a lame-duck session set to decide on bringing the Keystone XL pipeline closer to reality…After the House passed a measure authorizing completion of the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday with 31 Democrats and all but one Republican signing on, the Senate will take up the legislation Tuesday. Some drama exists over whether it will pass…Meanwhile, for Keystone to pass in the Senate, proponents will need to attract 15 Democrats to their side (all 45 Senate Republicans have pledged to support the measure). And they appear to be close. The 14 Democrats have indicated that they will support the Keystone bill. And Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is leading her conference’s efforts to pass the measure, said Thursday that she was sure they would have the votes. If the bill does not pass on Tuesday, the new Republican majority expects to take it up early next year, when far fewer Democratic crossovers will be needed and passage appears likely.”

The Hill: Sunday Shows


Dem senator: No ‘hard assurance’ of Keystone veto  Whitehouse said he would “hope and expect” that Obama would veto the pipeline.  http://ow.ly/ElKiP

The Hill: Progressives’ answer to 2014 midterm election results? Be more liberal

Amid the post-election Democratic handwringing, some activists have an answer — be more liberal.

After a resounding midterm defeat, progressive leaders argue Democrats played it safe, sidelined the president and lost. But now, the party can win by moving to the left.

“The reason Democrats lost in 2014 was that there was not a united and bold Democratic economic vision, it was very much an election about nothing, in some cases, small-bore or conservative ideas,” Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, told The Hill.

Chuck Johnson: Bullock to unveil budget plan Monday

Gov. Steve Bullock’s proposed budget for the next two years will include a plan to expand Medicaid and start a pre-kindergarten education program, while he again insists that lawmakers leave a substantial “rainy day fund” or budget surplus.

Bullock has said he would propose that the state issue bonds to finance the construction and repair of water and sewer systems and other public works projects around the state.

Politico: Tester picks aide as next DSCC executive director

Montana Sen. Jon Tester has picked a longtime aide, Tom Lopach, to be the next executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, two sources familiar with his plans told POLITICO Friday.

Lopach, a Helena native, has been Tester’s chief of staff since 2010. He was the DSCC’s finance director during the 2008 cycle under Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and before that was finance director for the late Ted Kennedy’s final 2006 reelection campaign in Massachusetts.

One lingering concern among some Senate Democrats is that Tester comes from a red state without much of a fundraising base.

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