Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bob Beauprez, who is he?

Who is Bob Beauprez, the Republican taking on Gov. John Hickenlooper in November?  He is a relatively unknown to the general public since his last elected office ended seven years ago, and his stance on issues is missing on his website. Polls show a close race. The campaign will heat up after Labor Day, but what positions Beauprez takes on issues may change the poll numbers.
What we know is that Beauprez was a two-term congressman until 2007, serving western slope District 7, and he lost to Democrat Bill Ritter in the general election for governor in 2006 by 17 percentage points.  Since then he has served as editor in chief of A Line of Sight, an online magazine.  He published one book, “A Return to Values: A Conservative.” There is a limited record of public statements he made in 2012 and later.  From that, it is possible to get a sneak preview of what may come.
He will be a good fit for rural Colorado, but not necessarily for urban/suburban voters. He will perpetuate a gender gap, may neutralize an increase in the Hispanic vote gap, and will risk attacks that “he is too extreme for Colorado” in spite of his businessman demeanor.
Beauprez already had a Romney 47% moment caught on YouTube, similar to what many consider the turning point resulting in the reelection of President Obama. Four years ago Beauprez noted 47% do not pay federal income tax.  Failing to note that 47% percent do not earn enough to be taxed, he concluded, “Almost one half of the population is perfectly happy that someone else is paying the bill.”   He defended his remarks again on July 2, 2014, on KWGN.
A recent Quinnipiac poll concluded that issues of importance to Colorado are the economy, jobs, and health care, to the exclusion of the rest.  A poll revealed 60% say Colorado’s economy is “excellent” or “good” while viewing the national economy as the reverse.  Gov. Hickenlooper, also viewed as business- and energy sector-friendly, may neutralize or win that issue.
Regarding Obamacare, what Beauprez would do differently is not known.  Would he yank it from those who are already benefiting or find an acceptable substitute that provides the same protection from insurance company practices of denial for preexisting conditions and benefits of affordability for the 400,000 in Colorado who were uninsured prior to the ACA?  Colorado’s exchange marketplace is ranked as one of the top four most successful in the US.
A nonpartisan, nonprofit  group “On the Issues,” however, has looked at Beauprez’s positions on record and assessed  him to be a conservative on the right, opposing higher taxes on the wealthy, green energy as a priority, women’s unrestricted rights for abortion, and same-sex marriage. What he favors are school choice vouchers, absolute right to gun ownership, and privatizing social security.  He is neutral on a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens, perhaps recognizing that Hispanics comprise 12% of the state’s voters.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The GOP and the gender gap

The GOP must be looking at poll numbers. They are still losing the women’s vote, especially in Colorado. The gender gap is wide as Democrat Sen. Udall begins the campaign with a 9% lead among women over the GOP opponent Congressman Cory Gardner.  July and August NBC/Wall Street Journal polls show a significant gender gap nationally. The Colorado gap may widen as more women learn Gardner’s positions on their issues.
So now Republicans are attempting to blunt the Democrats' accusations that they are waging a war on women by trying to divert attention to job creation and the economy.  It may not be a war on women, but the GOP consistently gives women’s economic and personal interests second place to other priorities. What Republicans do not understand is that women’s take-home pay and their ability to participate in the economy are being made more difficult by their policies of consistently putting women’s interests below employers' rights and bottom lines or when core religious conservative supporters raise objections.
For example, women getting insurance from employers should not have to pay more for health insurance premiums than men.   Increasing the minimum wage helps women who mostly hold the minimum-wage jobs.  There is no one more important right that enables women to work than being able to control when, if, and how often they have children.  That is the ultimate economic issue in middle-class families where the women’s paycheck is vital.
While some GOP members have supported raising the minimum wage, the party as a whole, including Gardner, has blocked congressional action.  Republicans' adamant opposition to Obamacare would restore the right of insurers to charge women more for premiums, and Gardner has voted to repeal Obamacare fifty times.
The GOP has consistently supported limiting women’s ability to control their reproduction schedules. Birth control is even under assault from the GOP-lauded Hobby Lobby decision that permitted certain corporations to opt out of covering birth control for religious reasons.
Pro-life is the basic litmus test for the GOP to back any candidates.  There are those who permit exceptions to banning abortions and others more extreme who want to criminalize abortions or the doctors who perform them.  The GOP still nominates candidates who take the most extreme positions, including Gardner.
Gardner was also not only a proponent, but a longtime leader of the state personhood amendment that would consider life begins at conception, a backdoor way to make all abortions criminal, and passage would make certain kinds of birth control illegal.
Recently, though, Gardner quietly tried to walk back his support of the personhood amendment.  His conversion is suspect, given the timing.  With the personhood amendment on the state ballot in November, it will be hard for him to duck his history.  In Congress, his name is still on a federal personhood amendment bill, and he recently voted for a bill that would make it criminal for abortions to be performed after the 20th week with few exceptions.
For more, visit

A version of this appeared in the August 28 and 29 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Obamacare under assault by courts

Lawsuits, partisanship, and ignorance threaten Obamacare.  There is a great deal of confusion over the recent appeals courts' decisions on Obamacare (ACA) in the Halbig suit.  At issue is whether the law permits those who got Obamacare through the federal exchanges to get their premiums subsidized by taxpayers to make them affordable.
One three-person panel appeals court dominated by Republicans ruled against the ACA subsidies of federal exchange-issued policies, and the other with more Democrats ruled in support of the subsidies. The administration is appealing the anti-ACA decision to have a ruling of the full bench of justices.  The issue could still go to the Supreme Court.
What sort of a reaction could we expect if the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare subsidies?  There will not be much impact in Colorado because Colorado and 14 other states set up their own exchanges and can clearly subsidize premiums. Colorado has also expanded Medicaid to the near-poor.
Ten million people would lose their tax credits, and the ACA would be eliminated in 24 states, per the Kaiser Family Foundation, August 4, 2014, Wall Street Journal blog, because they have refused both to expand Medicaid and to set up their own state-run exchanges. Twelve states expanded Medicaid but did not set up state exchanges, so those who signed up through the federal exchanges would lose affordable subsidies.
For those 4.7 million (of a potential total over three years of 9.5 million) who would lose their affordable insurance they already got, the reaction would be an angry one. The Journal of the American Medical Association, July 9, 2014, noted "that 87% of the people signing up for coverage in the federal marketplace qualify for income-based premium subsidies that lower their average premium from $346 per month to $82, a reduction of 76%."  
Many would not be angry.  About 60% polled recently by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) said they had not been affected by the law, yet the majority still disapprove of the law. Approval of the ACA is about 38%, though approval or disapproval mostly depends on party affiliation. Still 60% did not want it repealed but improved instead.
The ACA's acceptance has been slow because experience with it has been short, and partisanship and ignorance influence public opinion.  Per KFF polls, more than 6 out of 10 did not even know or were not sure they had a choice of private plans, the basic feature of the ACA.  Nearly 40 percent of enrollees in federal Obamacare exchanges did not even know they were getting federal subsidies.
Those receiving insurance from employers may not realize Obamacare has stopped insurance companies from overcharging (resulting in refunds to consumers), or charging higher premiums for women and setting lifetime caps or that the ACA is responsible for covering cancer screenings without copays.  Those advantages will only be fully appreciated and understood when consumers experience them or if the GOP repeals the ACA and takes these benefits away. 

A version of this appeared in the Sky Hi Daily News August 22,2014
Jul 31, 2014 | Larry Levitt and Gary Claxton

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Still the middle though less so

We all love to bemoan the gridlock in Washington.  Why does it persist?  I suspect that the definition of gridlock changes from party to party.  Democrats want to keep the laws they support and for which they voted. Republicans define it as: Make both houses of Congress a majority Republican, and they will end gridlock by their domination of the entire process.  The middle, moderate, and less partisan voters have been the arbiter in the past, swinging close elections. The middle still lives, but less so.
One of the most revealing polls taken of American attitudes in politics was released in June by the Pew Research Center.  Per Pew, two-thirds of voters do not align themselves with either extreme, crossing the partisan divide on some issues. Pew finds, "The majority do not have uniformly conservative or liberal views. Most do not see either party as a threat to the nation.  And more believe their representatives in government should meet halfway to resolve contentious disputes rather than hold out for more of what they want."

If that is the case, then why the gridlock in Washington?  Why is compromising happening less than in the past? Moderates and the middle might think that compromise is how the legislative process should work: Give some and take some is fair.  The extremes think compromisers should be defeated in their primaries as unfit to represent them in Congress.  Most do not fear general elections because gerrymandered districts ensure they will win.

It is harder to get compromise than it used to be because more are less compromising: There is a distinct left/right split that permeates the entire electorship and, per Pew, with more ideological uniformity than in the past.  Listening to Fox News and MSNBC, we did not need a poll to tell us, but Pew put it into numbers:  "92% of Republicans are to the right of the median Democrat, and 94% of Democrats are to the left of the median Republican."

The Pew Poll also found more align themselves with either extreme than before.  "In each party, the share with a highly negative view of the opposing party has more than doubled since 1994."  Pew finds most of these intense partisans believe the opposing party’s policies "are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being."  When voices become so convinced that Armageddon will happen if the other side dominates, it is hard to bring those extremists into any compromise deals.

The result is that Americans are "fed up" with Washington, per a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Obama sinks to 40%, butAmericans give congressional Republicans a 19 percent favorable rating and congressional Democrats 31 percent favorable. For those not motivated by partisanship, the question will be, how many left in the middle will even turn up to vote and swing the elections?  That turnout factor is enough to give pollsters fits predicting outcomes.

A version of this appeared in the Sky Hi Daily News Sept 21;

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Iraq air strikes: too little, too late or will it work?

President Obama, the reluctant warrior, showed flexibility in using military force when US interests and overwhelming humanitarian needs were at stake and he authorized air strikes against ISIS in northern Iraq.  His critics, the same who had urged him to take more military action in nearly every crisis, are left to whine that he does not have a consistent overall foreign policy. News flash:  He does.  The more pertinent questions should be is this action too little, too late, or will it work?  

First, does President Obama even have a foreign policy?  Yes.  It is just not the one hawks like, but it is one for which he was elected.  The list:  Avoid more ground wars and withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Use diplomatic engagement and other means to forward American interests, provide humanitarian aid, or to protect national security, with military engagement a last resort.  Bring in neighbors, allies, and others.  Promote self-governance that is inclusive, effective, and no springboard for terrorists to attack the West.  Much of this was restated in his interview with Thomas L. Friedman in the New York Times on August 8.

Are Obama’s strategy and tactics consistent with that policy?  Obama did not wait for a slaughter to happen first as President Clinton did in Bosnia.  Instead, he used military action to head off ethnic cleansing of minority Christians, Kurds, and others. He has involved the UK and France to deliver humanitarian aid.

Should he have intervened in Syria to cripple ISIS’s rise?  If the US had supplied weapons to Syrian rebels, they most likely would have found their way to ISIS, which was also a major part of the rebel force. Sometimes no action is wiser than action.

He is pressuring Baghdad regime change to promote an inclusive and effective Baghdad.  It is a work in progress. Prime Minister al-Maliki had laid the seeds for ISIS when he became a Shia despot, persecuting and excluding Sunnis from government.  The result: ISIS was welcomed by Sunni villages and Sunni members of the Iraq military, enabling the rapid advance nearly to the gates of Baghdad.

Obama has forsworn a ground war while he was decisive in ordering air strikes.  The old truism, air strikes alone do not win wars, holds water if there are no boots on the ground to fight.  Air superiority has worked before when there were other armed forces fighting the ground war.  In the early 1990s in Bosnia and in Kosovo, President Clinton belatedly authorized US airpower through NATO to give support to Muslims fighting the Bosnian Serbs and Serbian Kosovars, bent on establishing a greater Serbia cleansed of Muslims.  It resulted in a diplomatic resolution.

The Kurds are the best fighters in Iraq.  With US weapons, training, and air support, the plan is for Kurds to get time to gather strength and slow down ISIS’s advance to Baghdad, giving an opportunity for Baghdad to get its act and resolve together and fight its own war.

A version of this blog appears as a column in the August 14, 15 various editions of the


Say what? Obamacare hurts families and small businesses? Did you see that political ad?

A  young entrepreneur mom and wife looks you straight in the face in a recent anti-Mark Udall commercial and asks Udall to repeal Obamacare because it hurts families and small businesses.  Mark Udall is running for reelection for US senator for Colorado and his Republican opponent, Cory Gardner,  wants to repeal Obamacare.  How that mom could have delivered  that ad with a straight face is beyond me. 

 Eli Stokols of Denver's Fox 31 interviewed the spokesperson and concluded, "Bottom line: this is yet another example of a deceptive Republican attack on Obamacare falling apart under even casual scrutiny."  Her story does not fit the circumstances she claims it does.

Aside from that bogus personal story, does Obamacare  (ACA)  hurt families and small businesses?  Does the mom really think that it is better for families to go without health insurance because they cannot afford it?  Does she think that if one of her children or her spouse has a preexisting condition and strikes out on his own, it is better if an insurance company refuses coverage?  Does she really think it is better for the wife who gets insurance from her employer to have to pay higher premiums and more for cancer screenings just because she is a woman?  If she gets seriously ill, is it a good thing when she finds her insurance runs out because her care costs more than the cap or she is dropped mid-treatment?  Does she think it is better that she has to kick her over-18-year-olds off her insurance plan because her insurer is not required to cover them?  Does she think it is better for families to pay on the average $1000  a year more for insurance because the cost of caring for the uninsured with charity is shifted to the health providers and onto her health insurance premiums?  Obamacare has addressed all of these problems, and she wants to go back to the old way? That is what the GOP and Cory Gardner want to do, and neither has a plan to replace the benefits that Obamacare provides.

Does Obamacare hurt small business?  If a business has over 50 employees, most already provide employer insurance, and the 2 or 3% of those larger businesses do not have another year to arrange it.  Businesses with less than 50 employees do not pay higher taxes or have to deal with more regulations either, in spite of what the ad wants you to believe. Those with 25 employees or less even get tax credits if they want to offer health insurance. Obamacare also frees those who want to leave their corporate jobs to start a business or stay home with the elderly and kids to still be able to get affordable health insurance for their families. That ability hurts small business and families? 

Give me a break.  60% of the American people want Obamacare fixed instead of repealed. They understand some  advantages of the ACA provisions better than the writers of the ad think. 

A version of this appeared in the Sky Hi Daily News September 12, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

A plea from both Muslims and Christians to protect Christians and other minorities in northern Iraq

The year I went to Berlin for my junior year abroad in 1958, I was under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church. Aside from the group destined for Berlin, another group went to Beirut. Over the years I have been on their information distribution list, primarily organized by the Beirut JYA's. Networks and multi-cultural  friendships have been formed and maintained over the many years.Today I received a copy of  the following letter written by this group of friends, both Muslims and Christians. It is a very moving appeal to the Secretary General of the United Nations and very pertinent given today's air attacks and humanitarian aid drops in northern Iraq. I am reproducing the letter with the group's permission and want to share the contents and the sentiments in it. Felicia Muftic

Here is an important statement from a group of Muslim and Christian Lebanese professionals and academics, including Dr. George Sabra, President of N.E.S.T.  It includes five requests that are important guidelines for our network efforts as we take up advocacy for our brothers and sisters in Syria and Lebanon.

Aug. 08, 2014 | 12:09 AM

An open letter to Ban Ki-moon on the fate of Mosul’s Christians

The Daily Star (Lebanon):

A group of liberal-minded Muslim and Christian Lebanese professionals and academics has written an open letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressing grave concern about the latest persecution of Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul by the “Islamic State.” Here is the text of the letter prepared by the group, which prides itself on embodying the best that Lebanon has produced by way of peaceful pluralistic coexistence and mutual respect among the 18 religious denominations recognized in the Lebanese Constitution.

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
We are a group of Muslim, Christian and Druze professionals and academics from Lebanon who are old schoolmates and lifelong friends, some of us since early elementary grades. In all modesty, we constitute a representative sample of the finest that Lebanon’s peaceful pluralist coexistence among various religious sects has produced over the years despite what turmoil the country has been through in recent decades.

We have taken the liberty to write you this letter because of our deep alarm at what is happening to the Christians of Mosul in Iraq, and generally to the native Christian and other minority communities throughout the Middle East. In particular, these beleaguered ancient Christian communities of our region are struggling hard as they face mounting pressures and challenges from the same violent and intolerant fanatics. Confronted with forced conversions, or a humiliating life of collective submission, or the sword, Mosul’s Christians have naturally opted to leave just as other Christians in neighboring hotspots have done before them. This time round, however, it is unconscionable that the international community would stand idly by and allow the wholesale destruction of rooted communities solely because of their religious beliefs. The United States in particular bears an important burden in this regard since its actions in Iraq beginning with the 2003 invasion that rid the world of a brutal dictator unintentionally hastened the demise of a good portion of that country’s Christian community. Religious cleansing was not tolerated in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, and it should not be accepted in Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East in 2014.

We do not hold the view that the Darwinian model of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest can be automatically transposed from the natural world of flora and fauna and applied to human societies; this was tried before in the form of Social Darwinism and culminated in the unspeakable atrocities perpetrated by racist fascism and Nazism with devastating barbaric consequences for all of humanity. The kind of open and liberal mindset that defines us as individuals and as a cohesive group we owe to years of osmotic interaction in Lebanon’s fine educational venues as well as through a thousand other occasions for shared experiences and the exchange of uplifting influences within the country’s rich civil society.

All this was made possible thanks to Lebanon’s distinctive climate of personal and societal freedoms that has set the country apart in a positive sense from its largely freedom-starved Arab surroundings. In spite of the horrors Lebanon has witnessed in its recent history it has remained a unique repository of that precious commodity – freedom – thanks in large part to the continued existence of an indigenous Christian community with a cumulative centuries-old vibrant tradition of freedom. And this same tradition has played no small part in shaping the emergence of a receptive, accomplished and enlightened Lebanese Muslim elite that is the pride of all Arab Muslims. Other embattled Christian and Muslim communities in the region caught, like the Christians of Mosul, in the vicious crossfire between warring sectarian and tribal factions, or between dictators and religious militants, also deserve a chance to live a free and peaceful life within their own ancestral towns and villages, and to savor the bountiful gifts accruing from such freedom. Lately, we have seen how the terrifying cynicism of certain regimes has been complicit in the spawning of groups such as the so-called “Islamic State” so as to present the world with a spectacle even more horrible than their own familiar modes of brutality. If free Christians and free Muslims die out, or embark under duress on one-way departures from the region, those who remain – both Christians and Muslims – will be the great losers in the long run.

Your Excellency, to stop the steady depletion from our region of this rare and sophisticated breed of free Muslims and Christians – the salt of the Arab earth, as it were, and the only guarantee of a brighter future for Arab children – we submit for your consideration the following practical recommendations for action:

First, the most effective way to combat outrageous abuses of human rights and human dignity such as what we are witnessing today in Mosul against its Christians is to shine the unrelenting international spotlight of publicity on these grave transgressions, thereby bringing about a global chorus of sustained condemnation of the perpetrators and their despicable practices. We therefore call upon you from the vantage point of your esteemed office to continue to speak out forcefully and to urge other influential figures and groups to do the same in defense of the suffering Christians of Mosul and all similarly suffering communities under comparable dire circumstances in our troubled region. We urge you as United Nations secretary-general to make good on the calls we are hearing to bring those who have viciously emptied Mosul of its Christians before the International Criminal Court to face justice.

Second, a long-term plan must be implemented and the required funding to achieve it secured to bolster and promote Islamic moderation across the boardso that credible and authoritative Muslim voices everywhere can openly condemn, and dissociate themselves from, these types of abuses committed under the cloak of their religion.  Such a campaign should also involve both the educational and media sectors of the Arab world that play a crucial role in shaping public opinion and attitudes. This should be done in close cooperation with the regional religious establishments and with independent civil society institutions open to such an ambitious and liberal enterprise. The best way to undermine extremism’s culture of violence and death is to strengthen and celebrate the universal values of human dignity, pluralist existence, mutual respect, religious freedom, reciprocity, acceptance of the different other and minority rights.

Third, serious thought must be given to the long-term implications and dangers for the region and the rest of the world of takfiri ideologies of hate and violent rejection in the name of religion gaining a secure foothold in a volatile place such as the Middle East. Effective coordinated responses by the international community designed to nip this cancer in the bud should be contemplated carefully and executed boldly.  Drying up the sources that fund this sort of violent takfirism could be a good start, so those supplying the financial, material and logistical support to these radical groups for whatever geopolitical or strategic reasons should know that inevitably the tables will be turned against them and the fire they have stoked will rebound to consume them.

Fourth, a reserve fund should be created under United Nations auspices and with the help of individuals, organizations and governments of good will to address the urgent humanitarian and other needs of victimized persons and groups in the event that prevention does not work and persecution persists. Uppermost on the priority scale should be the security and preservation of actual as well as potential victims in their native lands and homes, and the cessation of demographic hemorrhaging whether in the form of displacements within the region or outright emigration beyond it. The burgeoning and scandalous Middle Eastern refugee phenomenon must be ended.

Fifth, everything possible should be done to protect from further erosion those few remaining oases in the Arab world such as Lebanon where freedom endures. The line of steady collapse must be held firm at the boundaries of these oases, and this can best be done by strengthening and supporting those elements and institutions in these oases that are living embodiments of this precious freedom.

If the rational and responsible steps outlined above are undertaken under your wise guidance and leadership, your Excellency, the world will once again feel hopeful that the turning of this inhuman tide is possible.

We thank you for your time and for the efforts you have expended on behalf of justice and peace.

Yours sincerely,
Kamal F. Badr, Medical Doctor
Amer El-Hage, Consulting Engineer
Mohamad Rustom Halwani, Civil Engineering Consultant
Atef Wafic Idriss, Food Scientist and Consultant
Anthony Iliya, Investment Banker
Hania Kabban, English as Foreign Language Teacher
Jamil I. Kawa, Engineer & Scientist
Richard K. Khuri, Professor of Philosophy
Habib C. Malik, Professor of History
Robert Moughanie, Businessman
Amal Zaroubi Moujaes, Businesswoman
Sami Moujaes, Businessman
Hani H. Nsouli, Political Writer
Toufic Saadeh, Real Estate Professional
George F. Sabra, Professor of Theology
Janan al-Awar Smither, Professor of Psychology
Fuad N. Ziyadeh, Medical Doctor

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 08, 2014, on page 7.

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Muftic: GOP immigration votes an election-year gift |

Muftic: GOP immigration votes an election-year gift |

Saturday, August 2, 2014

House vote on immigration ensures high Latino support for Democrats for years to come

GOP House votes on immigration bills last Friday is a gift to Democrats, ensuring high Hispanic support for Democrats for years to come. In Colorado statewide races, the Hispanic vote is significant. Over 485,000 Hispanics, 12% of the electorate, are registered to vote. In 2012, President Obama got 75% of their vote.  Several other battleground states also have large numbers of Hispanic (or Latino) voters, and they could determine the balance in the US Senate. 
Two Colorado Republican congressmen bucked their party and voted no on the Republican bill. The impact is to deprive Democrats of some campaign sound bites to rally greater turnout of the Hispanic vote this November. It does not change Hispanic perception of the general anti-Latino immigrant tone of the Republican Party.

Democrat incumbent Sen. Mark Udall is facing  Congressman Cory Gardner.  Former congressman Bob Beauprez (R) is challenging Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), and Democrat Andrew Romanoff is taking on Republican Congressman Mike Coffman in the 6th district. Coffman gained more Hispanic voters in his Denver suburban district through redistricting so that he has had to do some backtracking on his hard-line anti-immigrant positions. Gardner and he were two  of the few GOP House members who voted against the Republican bills.  Beauprez has yet to check in on this year’s immigration issues.

There are three major sore points between Hispanics and Republicans: “dreamers,” “pathway to citizenship,” and deportation of children in the recent border crisis. Both agree to secure borders, only the GOP makes it a condition of doing anything, if anything, later.  Hispanics want a comprehensive package plan.   “Dreamers”  were brought to the US by their parents when they were children. Frustrated by Republican opposition to support legislation to allow them to work and study without fear of deportation, President Obama used executive orders to give dreamers a two-year reprieve and has threatened to extend and expand deferred deportation by executive order.  One of the Republican bills Friday would have stripped him from being able to use his executive power of prosecutorial discretion, exposing  half a million young people  to deportation in the middle of their studies.

GOP anti-immigrant rhetoric calls a pathway to citizenship “amnesty,” and Friday they killed a bipartisan compromise the Senate had hammered out.  Both Gardner and Coffman have a history of opposing comprehensive immigration reform that would give a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented and the dream acts.

The “crisis on the border” with nearly sixty thousand, mostly children, flooding the US also got the GOP anti-immigrant treatment. Their Friday bill slashed administration requests for funds, and it gutted an anti-human trafficking law. Their action would have allowed instant deportation regardless of any due process hearings or humane considerations the law requires. It also would have reopened gates to Central American traffickers.

Harry Reid, Senate Majority leader, will allow no votes in the Senate on these House bills, effectively killing them.  The President now can only address the border crisis and “dreamers” issues with his limited executive powers and resources.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans passed legislation late Friday to address the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border by sending migrant youths back home without hearings, winning over conservatives with a companion bill that could lead to...