Thursday, July 25, 2013

Time for Barak to call Bubba.

The president took to the stump yesterday and gave a major address on fixing the economy and creating jobs.  He promised to spend his remaining 1,000 plus days in office working toward that end.
If the president’s goal was trying to get more Democrats elected to congress in 2014, his remarks were spot on.  But if he was trying to get something done on the economy he will find his effort wanting; because it takes more than well crafted remarks to get things done in Washington. 
Unfortunately for the country, this president has yet to figure that out.
The president’s supporters will naturally blame the country’s economic doldrums on what they feel is the most intransigent congress in our history. “What alternative does the presidents have” they will say “than to put pressure on congress by taking his message directly to the American people.”  They would have us believe that this president is facing a wall of congressional obstruction never before witnessed.
Let’s be clear, Barak Obama is not the first president to face a congress hell bent on destroying his agenda.  One need only look back to the 1990’s to find a president who was able to get things done in spite of facing overwhelming political opposition.
When Bill Clinton took office he faced a job crisis and a $4 trillion dollar deficit.  His time in office was marked by scandal.  The Republican opposition was led by House Speaker Newt Gingrich; a formidable opponent who makes John Boehner look like a puppy.  Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky brought him public humiliation.  His arrogant decision to lie about the affair before congress led to his impeachment by the House. 
Yet Clinton managed to balance the budget and add 22 million new jobs to the economy.
Clinton understood that in order to get things done in Washington you often need to get in bed with people you hate.  You might not like what you see on the menu…but sometimes you have to choke it down to survive.  Clinton understood that.  He found ways to work with people that wanted to destroy him…that wanted voted to impeach him.  And the country was better for it.
Barak Obama could learn a lesson or two from Bill Clinton.
He might want to give Bubba a call.         

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Even Carlos Danger Can Become Successful In Politics

Once upon a time there was a United States Congressman from New York named Anthony Weiner.

Congressman Weiner enjoyed sending photographs of his private parts to strangers over the internet under the nom de plume “Carlos Danger.”

In 2011 Congressman Weiner got caught.

In 2011 Congressman Weiner apologized to his family and his constituents and resigned his congressional seat.

In 2012 Citizen Anthony Weiner sat for an interview with “People” magazine where he proclaimed himself a changed man.

In 2012, while publically apologizing for his actions, Citizen Anthony Weiner continued to send photographs of his private parts to strangers over the internet under the nom de plume “Carlos Danger.”

In 2013 Citizen Anthony Weiner announces that he is running for the office of Mayor of New York City.

Question:  Can Citizen Anthony Weiner/Carlos Danger win?

Answer:  Absolutely!

When you set the bar low enough anything is possible.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Stand Your Ground"...an equal opportunity offender.

Picture this!
You live in a state that has a “Stand Your Ground “law on the books. 
You are white. 
You just had a major disagreement with a white colleague. 
You go for a jog in your white middle class neighborhood to calm down.
As you return to your middle class home you find your still pissed off colleague sitting on your stoop.
Words are exchanged. 
The rhetoric gets heated. 
Your colleague pushes you. 
You take a swing.
Your colleague pulls a gun and fires.
You’re dead!
Your colleague calls the cops and claims he feared for his life when he pulled the trigger.
Is he telling the truth? 
Can anyone prove otherwise? 
How does anyone know what was in his mind when he pulled that trigger?
The “Stand Your Ground” law is a horrible law.  It promotes vigilantism and emboldens those who carry a gun to use it at the slightest provocation.
It is colorblind.  It is an equal opportunity offender.


   

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We Are A Coddled Society

The big story this morning surrounds a published photo of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine.  The photo, which some say depicts the youthful alleged bomber as a rock star, appears over the caption: “THE BOMBER…How a Popular, Promising Student Was Failed by His Family, Fell into Radical Islam and Became a Monster.
The governor of Massachusetts and the mayor of Boston are apoplectic.  Walgreens, CVS and Kmart are refusing to put the magazine on their shelves.  The national media is going crazy.
First off, the glamour shot of Tsarnaev is the exact same photo that graced the front page of the New York Times and the Washington Post mere weeks ago.  Where was the outrage then?
Second, if people would actually take a moment to read the article they would see that it is a very compelling piece that chronicles the story of how a popular young man grew into a monster. The article does not glorify Tsarnaev.  It simply lays out the facts that the terrorists of today do not necessarily wear turbans and sport long robes and flowing beards.  Today the enemy within can just as easily be the well mannered kid next door.  The truth may be unsettling…but it is the truth.
And as for Walgreens, CVS and Kmart…they certainly have the right to market the products they choose.  But we don’t need corporations taking it upon themselves to sensor what we read.
We are a coddled society.  Our media shields us from bullet riddled bodies,horrific car crashes and war torn battlefields lest they offend our sensibilities.  Our government sanitizes reports lest we find out that our government uses the same deplorable tactics as our enemies.  Our corporations pull products from their shelves because they have decided that we can’t handle the content.
Yet we proclaim that we live in a nation of liberty; one that celebrates  freedom of speech, freedom of the press and free commerce.
        
            
  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Breeding with Donkeys

“From those incredible bloodlines of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and John Smith.  All these great Americans, Martin Luther King.  These great Americans who built this country.  You came from them.  And the unique thing about being from that part of the world, when you learn about breeding, you learn that you cannot breed Secretariat to a donkey and expect to win the Kentucky Derby.  You guys have incredible DNA and don’t forget it.”
That was former Tea Party president Ken Crow addressing an anti-immigration rally on Capitol Hill yesterday.  In attendance were keynote speaker Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Representative Steve King (R-Iowa).  The rally was promoted by the conservative media, most notably Laura Ingram.
Whenever you get a bunch of far right leaning conservatives together someone is bound to say something stupid.  Todd Akin, Christine O’Donnell, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are cases in point.  Intentional or not, Mr. Crow’s comments provide a glimpse into the very soul of the radical right.  And while some may pass off his concerns, that we are endangering the purity of our DNA by allowing Latinos in enter the country, as simply provocative rhetoric; these “gaffs’ seem to be occurring with greater frequency. 
Ken Crow is not just some guy off the street.  He is the former president of a movement that has managed to grind our political system to a halt. Legislators Sessions, Cruz and King’s attendance suggest that there are those in Washington that find Crow’s comments credible.
Speaker Boehner has a problem.  He can allow racists like Sessions, Cruz, King and other right wing wackadoos to block immigration reform and kill any chance the Republican Party has of winning a national election for the next generation.  Or he can call them out for the racists they are, cobble together a compromise immigration bill with Democrats, and give his party a good chance of winning both the House and the Senate.
       

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"seperate and unequal"

When Barak Obama became our nation’s first black president, millions of American’s celebrated the end of racism in our country.  After all, they said, if a black man can ascend to the highest office in the land then there is no limit to what a black man can achieve.
Now five years later, our black president continues to find himself held back due to the color of his skin; his agenda thwarted in part by those who view him as somehow inferior due to his “blackness.”  Instead of serving as a beacon of hope for racial equality, Barak Obama’s mere presence in our polarized society has become a lightning rod for the deep racial divide that exits in our country.  Even as president, Obama’s blackness is holding him back.
In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin verdict there are those that would have this president speak out forcefully against what they perceive as a glaring miscarriage of justice.  But Barak Obama knows that he cannot respond in the same way that a white president could.
This morning we watched a black Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and a black Georgetown law educated, former head of the RNC talk about parenting their sons.  They explained how they had to counsel their sons on how to act if stopped by a policeman:  “turn on the dome light…roll all the windows down…keep your hands on the wheel…make no sudden movements…address the officer with respect…do not look the officer in the eye.”  Both said that they gave their sons this advice not as a matter of teaching respect for law enforcement…but as a matter of life and death.
On July 27, 1967, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to investigate the cause of the race riots which had raged in Detroit, Los Angeles and Chicago.  The commission found that the riots resulted from black frustration over a lack of economic opportunity.  It faulted the federal, state governments for failed policies in education, housing and social services.  The commission warned: “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal.”
Much has changed since those findings were released almost 50 years ago.  Yet much remains the same.
We still live in a country where there are two societies…separate and unequal.
      

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Sad Day In America

“What is your reaction to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trail?”
That question has been put to us several times since the verdict was announced this past weekend.
We were not surprised by the verdict.  Under the terms of Florida’s stand you r ground law, the jury had to answer a question that was impossible to answer…when George Zimmerman pulled that trigger was his mind filled with hate or fear.  Only George Zimmerman knows the truth.
The stand your ground law is a terrible law.  It allows those with hate in their hearts to shoot first and claim self defense or justifiable homicide later.  Is George Zimmerman one of “those” people?  We’ll never know.
More unsettling for us than the verdict was the post verdict vitriol and hate speech from both the right and the left that has saturated the internet.  If anyone is na├»ve enough to think that racism in this country is dead, log on to virtually any blog, twitter feed or facebook posting on the verdict.   The comments are sickening.
While most of the post trail discussion concerns race and racial profiling we think that there is another aspect of this trail that deserves a like amount of scrutiny…gun violence.
The NRA and the gun lobby likes to say that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  Fair enough.  But do guns embolden people to act in a way that they would not have otherwise acted were it not for the false sense of security of having a gun?  Does George Zimmerman ignore a dispatcher’s direct order, leave the safety of his vehicle and follow a person that he has identified as someone of suspicious character…if he doesn’t have a gun in his waistband?
We think not.          

Friday, July 12, 2013

McConnell Plays Lucy To Reid's Charlie Brown

Yesterday we were treated to a perfect example of how ridiculous our partisan politics have become.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor to trade verbal jabs over the filibuster.  It was actually quite embarrassing.
Reid has threatened, for the umpteenth time, to use his majority leader powers to change the rules regarding the use of the filibuster over presidential appointees.  The current rule requires 60 votes to end a filibuster. Reid and a number of Democrats want a simple 51 vote majority vote for executive branch nominations to end what they say is unprecedented GOP obstruction over Obama’s appointees.
McConnell, pulling out his best Eddie Haskell impersonation, claims that Reid’s accusations are unfounded.  He calls Reid’s willingness to alter 200+ years of history “a sad day for the US Senate.”
The truth of the matter is that McConnell and his Republican caucus has used the filibuster as their modus operandi to halt the president’s agenda an unbelievable 413 times since Obama took office.  The 60 vote threshold has become the rule rather than the exception for even the most minor procedural vote.
Take the president’s appointment of Richard Cordray to head the controversial Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 
Wall Street hates the idea of a government agency looking over their shoulder.  So naturally Republicans hate the concept as well.  The powers of the CFPB lie with the person appointed to head the watchdog agency.  Block the appointment the agency’s director and you effectively render the agency impotent.  The only way McConnell can stop Cordray’s appointment is through the use of the filibuster to block the vote.
Cordray was nominated by the president in 2011.  “The man has been waiting 724 days for a vote.” Said Reid    
Reid has threatened this action before; only to cave in to McConnell’s disingenuous promises to only use the filibuster on big, controversial votes.
For his part, McConnell is a savvy politician who has no qualms about doing whatever he can to halt Obama’s agenda.  McConnell has played Lucy to Reid’s Charlie Brown for so long that it is too pathetic to watch.
So while Lucy and Charlie Brown argue, nothing gets done.
This makes Republicans very happy.  
   

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Distracted By Shiny Objects

In recent weeks there has been a lot of media coverage about any number of important topics.  Gun control, voting rights, gay marriage and now immigration reform have saturated the daily news cycles.  Throw in Syria, Egypt and add a bit of George Zimmermann and you have a cornucopia of shiny objects distracting us from the number one issue affecting every American…the economy.
So we thought we might take a moment to step back from the headline grabbing stories and reflect on the sputtering engine that determines whether we can keep a roof over our heads and food in our children’s bellies.  This might sound a bit mellow dramatic to some but probably not to the ever increasing millions who are struggling with these basic needs.
The Dow averages hover at record highs.  Corporations are making record profits.  The “job creators” are getting richer by the day.  So why is the economy struggling?  Why are the unemployment numbers so high?  Why is the middle class shrinking?  The answer lies in the self inflicted wounds administered by our partisan federal, state and local government officials.
Here are a few examples.
Tax Code:  Our corporate tax rates are excessively high as compared to all the other industrialized countries.  Our corporate tax code rewards companies that invest and hire overseas while punishing those that invest and hire here in the states.  The result is more money for corporations and their shareholders, less jobs and lower wages for American workers.  It is a simple fix to change the US tax code to more equitably serve the US citizenry.  But partisan politics won’t let that happen.
Jobs:  The economy has generated positive private sector job growth for 40 straight months.  Yet the economy has been unable to generate the total job growth necessary lower the unemployment rate and increase the GDP.  The reason is that while the private sector jobs are growing government jobs are being slashed thanks to the austerity measures implemented by Republican controlled state legislatures.  In their zeal to balance their budgets they have kneecapped the unions and laid off tens of thousands of teachers, policemen, firefighters and emergency medical personnel.  While these partisan policies may produce a handsome balance sheet they are devastating for the middle class and the economy.
Sequestration:  Perhaps the most asinine of the self inflicted economic wounds are the sequestration cuts.  Designed to be so usurious they would never be allowed into effect they are now the law of the land.  The effect is to cut social safety net programs that are critical to the survival of an ever increasing number of Americans.  Given the shrinking middle class and the rise in the number of Americans living below the poverty line; the net effect of the politically motivated sequestration cuts on our economy has been devastating.
The American economy, the strongest economy in the world, brought to its knees by its own elected leaders.
Now THAT is a story worth following.
  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Paving The Road To Defeat

The Republican caucus will hold an important meeting this afternoon where, based on reports leaked to the media, they will begin the process of handing the 2016 national election to the Democrats.
The stated purpose of this meeting is to cobble together a public strategy on immigration reform.  It would seem for all intent and purpose that their strategy has already been put into effect.
Speaker Boehner has publically stated that he will not bring any bill on immigration reform to the House floor unless it has the support of a majority of the Republican caucus.  Furthermore, he has proclaimed that the bi-partisan bill recently passed in the Senate is dead on arrival in the House, and that the House “will go their own way” and start from scratch.
  POLITICO reports that privately, Republican leaders favor a more piecemeal approach: “a border security bill this month…maybe one or two items a month in the fall” with the intent of dealing immigration reforms a long slow death via the political process.
Translation:  Republicans have no interest in passing any legislation on immigration reform.
So, why Republicans would block legislation that is favored by a vast majority of the voters…particularly the rapidly growing Latino community?
Because Republicans are not interested in the will of the country; they are only interested in the will of their gerrymandered districts…districts which are mostly white and strongly opposed to any form of pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.  
Republicans believe that they can secure the House in the 2014 mid-terms without passing comprehensive immigration reform.    If they have to deal with this topic they would prefer to do it after the mid-terms when they believe they will wield more power against a lame duck president.
That strategy will cost Republicans dearly.
In the aftermath of the last presidential election Republicans promised to do better.  They promised to be more inclusive.  They promised to reach out to the Latino, Asian and African American communities.  They claimed to understand that such change was necessary if they wanted to be a contender on the national stage.  Their words say one thing…but their actions say something quite different.
Republicans are making the same mistake with immigration reform now that they made with voting rights in 2011 and 2012.  Republicans tried to suppress the African American vote by making it harder for them to cast their ballots.  The result was a historic turnout by a pissed off African American community that swept Barak Obama to a second term.
Republicans cannot win a national election without the Latino vote.  Obstructing immigration reform will only encourage Latinos to flock to the polls and make their case at the ballot box.  It will be 2012 all over again.
The Republican Party continues to cow tow to their radical right wing base.  
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
               

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

This & That!

-President Obama is said to be seriously considering moving up the timetable for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and leaving no residual force behind.  Apparently the president has become frustrated over the policies and rhetoric of our “ally”, Afghan president Hamid Karzai.
This is a very, very good thing.
We have been at war in Afghanistan for thirteen years…the longest war in American history.  Afghan president Hamid Karzai is an unstable, corrupt and feckless “partner” whose only loyalty is to Hamid Karzai.  He demands our money and our support while at the same time criticizing our policies and schmoozing our enemies.
Thousands of US lives lost…billions of US tax dollars spent…for what.  In the end, American troops will go home and leave the country as we found it…a forbidding unruly place stuck in the 4th century.
As for Karzai…watch and see what happens shortly after the last American soldier leaves Afghan soil.  We expect something involving a public square, Karzia’s head and a spike.
We can only hope that the president acts on his growing frustration.
-Texas Governor Rick Perry has announced that he will not seek another term in the governor’s mansion.  Speculation abounds that he will mount another run at the White House.  As a writer, we can only hope that’s true.
-How do you say that you support the Egyptian people’s efforts to achieve democracy when the Egyptian people (along with the military) have overturned a democratically elected government?  That is the fine line the White House is walking as they uncomfortably watch the events unfolding in Cairo.  This line of thought gets even harder to spin when the military is gunning down supporters of the former democratically elected government. 
As expected the neo-cons are demanding that the US run head long into the fray.  These are the same guys who two years ago supported the people’s revolt against former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.  The same Mubarak they had supported for thirty years and provided $45 billion in aid.
When are we going to get that we don’t get it?    
The US would do well to keep its mouth closed and mind its own business.    
    
    

Friday, July 5, 2013

While you were sleeping...

In case you missed it…
You can now add North Carolina to the list of Republican run legislatures that have passed stringent anti-abortion bills.  The onerous operational requirements stated in the North Carolina law will effectively close all but one abortion clinic in the state.  The partisan bill was passed without warning or public notice right before the state legislature adjourned for the holiday weekend.  Not one Democrat voted in support of the bill.
North Carolina joins Texas, Ohio and a host of other states that have passed legislation restricting a women’s right to choose. 
T. Chase Meacham of “policymic” reports: “According to the Guttmacher Institute of New York, which promotes sexual and reproductive health, the number of restrictive qualifiers states have enacted to abortion services has been steadily increasing in recent years.  Eight states restrict insurance coverage, and 17 require counseling.  26 have mandatory waiting periods, and 38 require parental involvement for minors.  46 allow private health care providers to refuse to cover the service, and 39 require a licensed physician to perform the service.”
This move by Republicans is clearly a grassroots, state by state effort to pressure the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade.  It is also an effort on the part of the evangelical right to interject their religious beliefs into state law.
At a time of high unemployment and a lagging economy, to have a bunch of old white men spending their time deciding how women use their bodies by debating the size and lighting requirements of examination rooms, is at best comical and at worst absurd.
Perhaps this is what Republicans mean when they say the the country should be concentrating on jobs, jobs, jobs.
    

Thursday, July 4, 2013

We Should Be Proud...

As we watch the events play out in Egypt we can’t help but marvel at the smooth transition of power that we take for granted here in the United States.
Three years ago the Egyptian people rose up in protest against a brutal dictator.  The military stepped in.  But instead of quashing the rebellion they sided with the people and removed the dictator from power.  The military ran the country, badly we might add, for about a year until free elections could be held.  A new president and parliament were voted into power and a new constitution drafted.
Now barely a year later, the Egyptian people have once again become dissatisfied with their ruler.  Unemployment is high, food lines are long and fuel is scarce.  Twenty two million Egyptians, roughly a quarter of the population, sign a petition calling for their newly elected president to step down.  The military once again steps in.  They give the president 48 hours to craft a peaceful solution with the protestors or step aside.  When the president refuses the military removes him from power and suspends the constitution.  They appoint a temporary civilian ruler to run the country until free elections can be held.
Contrast this scenario with transition of power here in the world’s lone super power.
Every four years elections are held.  The newly elected president places his hand on the bible and promises to uphold the constitution.  The incumbent shakes his hand, boards a helicopter and flies off into the sunset. 
The newly elected president peacefully assumes the reigns of the most powerful office in the world.  On many an occasion he is elected by a very small margin; frequently receiving less than 50% of the vote.  During his term there will be heated disagreements over his policies.  Yet he will remain in power until his term is concluded.  Then and only then will the people, not the military, by their vote decide if he deserves a second term.
The Egyptian society has been around for centuries.  The United States…about a minute and a half.
There are certainly a lot of things that we could do better in this country.  We offer our criticism in this space on a daily basis. 
However the peaceful way in which we transfer the reins of power in this country is truly a marvel, and something in which we should be proud for all the world to witness.

       

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Change Takes Time

Bowing to the cries of the business community, the Obama administration announced a one year delay in the implementation of a central requirement of the new health care law that requires companies with 50 or more workers to provide coverage for their employees or face fines.  The delay pushes back the controversial mandate to January 1, 2015.
Republicans celebrated the announcement as a validation of their claim that the law is an unworkable, expensive intrusion into the lives of the business community.  Speaker Boehner called the law a “train wreck” while other conservative lawmakers called for its repeal.
Now that we have observed the obligatory hair on fire outrage from the right, let’s step back and examine the facts.
The section of the law in question is a minor piece of the legislation.  Most companies with 50 or more employees already provide access to health care coverage for their employees.  It is estimated that roughly 10,000 employers would be affected by this portion of the law…less than 1% of the employers countrywide.
Claims that the law is too expensive and too unwieldy are without foundation because the key components of the law have yet to be enacted.  The keys to “Obamacare” are the “insurance exchanges’ where people without insurance can go to get coverage.  Twenty states have opted out of the program on ideological grounds, turning down over $316 billion in federal money.  The federal government will set up the exchanges in their place.  This blocking tactic by Republican state legislatures only delays the inevitable and leaves millions of people without coverage.  Until the government exchanges are put in place, the uninsured will continue to flock to emergency rooms for treatment, passing the cost of their health care onto the rest of us.
In spite of Republican claims to the contrary, most people like “Obamacare” once they understand what the bill provides.  They like the elimination of pre-existing conditions, they like the portability, they like the fact that their coverage cannot be cancelled and they like being able to keep their kids on their policy until age 26.
One of the main reasons that the opponents of Obamacare like to accentuate the difficulties in the plan’s implementation is because they have no plan of their own.  Republicans would like you to forget that before the Affordable Health Care Act was voted into law; health care in this country was costing American workers roughly 18 cents of every dollar they earned…and rising.  Yet in spite of having the most expensive health care system in the world we were lagging behind most developed nations in areas like infant mortality, obesity amd longevity of life. Obamacare is a well intended and complicated attempt to bring those costs down while improving our quality of life.  The Republicans have yet to offer a viable alternative.  When you have no idea how to fix a problem…rip the other guy’s solution.
We have said from day one that the Affordable Care Act is a flawed attempt to fit universal health care into our current private distribution system.  It will work but it will take time to evolve and work out the kinks.  This recent announcement is just part of the evolution.  Calls for its repeal are just a waste of time.  Obamacare isn’t going anywhere.  The president’s veto pen will see to that.
Republicans would be better served to help in straightening out the kinks.
The administration’s decision to announce this delay through a blog post on a holiday week was lame.  It shows a defeatist sign of weakness.  If you believe in the law, hold a press conference, take questions, and make your case to the American people.  Anything less is just playing into the hands of opponents who have nothing to offer.  There is a lot of good in this law.  Defend it!    
     
         

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Boehner's Dilemma

Speaker John Boehner has a dilemma. 
The immigration reform bill that recently passed in the senate now moves to the House; leaving the Speaker with a difficult decision.
Party or position…country first or self aggrandizement and politics as usual.
House Republicans hate this bill.  Their primary sticking point is that the senate bill provides illegal immigrants with a pathway to citizenship.  Republicans can live with providing illegals a pathway to legalization…but a pathway to citizenship is a non-starter. 
This brings us to Speaker Boehner’s decision.
Boehner can cite the Hastert rule and refuse to bring the senate bill to the floor for a vote.  This would endear him to the right wing of the Party and secure his position as Speaker.  But it would cause irreparable damage to the Party in the eyes of the Hispanic voters; a vote Republicans must have if they have any hope of winning elections in 2014 or 2016.
Or Boehner could cobble together a coalition of House Democrats and a small number of moderate House Republicans and pass the bill.  The passage of this landmark piece of legislation would secure his legacy and help his party court the Hispanic vote.  But it would infuriate the far right end his term as Speaker
Party or position?
Boehner has stated initially that he would not bring the vote to the floor unless he had the support of a majority of the majority.  But Boehner is a pragmatic guy.  He understands that immigration reform is good for the country and good for his Party.
Our guess is that he will find a way to get it done…even if it kills him politically.