Immigration: Challenging Orthodoxy

Note:  The following was originally posted at the web
site of and its "Cactus
Juice Commentaries".

Our "Open Letter" to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid

                "Immigration:  Challenging Orthodoxy"

Should the Democrats ever decide to address Immigration Reform with a tad of intelligence and effectiveness, then, we, as Democrats, have to start owning, maintaining, and defending the high Moral Ground in this contentious and public debate.  And if not, it's more than likely that the tunnel rats of opposition will wreak havoc and any concentrated efforts will be for nil.  Needless to say, but we will, the high Moral Ground will be destroyed out from under our feet.

(follow me on the xtend'd tour--Jaango)

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Ike Skelton (D-Mo 4) on Iraq, Speaker Pelosi

Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo 4) is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and has represented his district for 30 years. His record when it comes to "supporting the troops" is unquestionable.

Ike Skelton attended our local Democratic Party event in Warrensburg, Missouri yesterday evening. He took the opportunity to speak on the war in Iraq.

Over the past 15 years I've had the opportunity to attend numerous events where Ike Skelton has spoken and where he also greets and listens to his constituents. The district is considered to be "moderate/conservative" by popular opinion. At these events I've never seen Congressman Skelton walk away from a constituent (of any "ideology") who was determined to bend his ear. Ike Skelton listens to and engages with the people of his district.

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Oh boy, more benchmarks!

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane& My Left Wing

click to enlarge

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Pelosi & Bush Cutting Deal on Trade

From this morning's Congress Daily:

 Players Claim Breakthrough With USTR
     House Democrats and Republicans said Wednesday they have made a breakthrough in negotiations with the Bush administration to strengthen labor standards in trade agreements, and are nearing the finish line on an agreement that would allow at least bilateral trade agreements with Panama and Peru to move forward.
     Key to closing the deal, sources said, will be an understanding on the extent to which Democrats will consider additional trade pacts with Colombia and South Korea and renewal of presidential trade negotiating authority.
     The agreement on labor has the support of House Ways and Means Chairman Rangel, ranking member Jim McCrery, R-La., Trade Subcommittee Chairman Sander Levin, D-Mich., House Speaker Pelosi and Trade Representative Schwab, according to these sources. At presstime the language was still being vetted in the inter-agency process by administration officials.
     AFL-CIO was "still reviewing" the language at presstime, according to Thea Lee, the group's policy director. But Lee said that AFL-CIO remains "unalterably opposed" to the Colombia trade deal, and also maintains that the South Korea agreement and fast-track authority should not be within the scope of the current discussions.

Depending on the content, this could mean a dangerous victory for the Bush administration and blur the lines between Democrats and Republicans on one issue that Democrats seem to have some traction on with some blue collar voters.

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Polls Show Declining Power of Gun Lobby

Gun Lobby's Declining Pull
By Glenn Hurowitz

Even in the wake of a shooting as horrific as the Virginia Tech massacre, the gun lobby still looms very large in Washington. Neither the congressional leadership nor any of the leading presidential candidates have indicated that they're going to bring up gun control legislation that could prevent guns from getting into the hands of people like Cho Seung-Hui - or the criminals who used guns to kill 11,624 Americans in 2004 alone. "I hope there's not a rush to do anything," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
It's not that most Democrats think that common sense gun control measures don't make sense. It's that they've bought into the notion (peddled aggressively by the National Rifle Association) that any support at all for gun control is political suicide.  
It's an old Washington trick: if you can't win a policy debate on the merits, convince politicians that a certain policy will help them get elected. And the NRA has been a master at this gambit. During the 12 years in which Republicans controlled Congress, lots of pro-gun candidates won big with the NRA's vocal support.
But are those victories actually attributable to the gun issue - or were there other factors at work as well?
Public opinion data suggests that the gun lobby has played only a very small role in determining election outcomes; indeed, there's a strong indication that support for reasonable gun control measures actually boosts performance at the polls, even in relatively conservative districts.

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