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Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for November 2014

2016 Republican Presidential Candidates: Mittmentum? Or now for something completely different?

When we look around and think things appear pretty gloomy for big D Democracy (the kind that focuses on making people’s lives better), we can take comfort in the knowledge that our political opponents will, for the second time in 4 years, be in disarray as they try to choose whether to hate in the open or hate in a less full-throated way.

The field of Republican 2016 hopefuls has the potential for more white-on-white violence than a Walmart Black Friday event. One author breaks the candidates into the following categories:


These candidates will leverage strong donor bases and have the most potential to bridge the establishment vs. conservative gap.

– Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.)

– Gov. Chris Christie (N.J.)

– Former Gov. Jeb Bush (Fla.)


The 2012 Republican field was roiled by conservative upstarts, but those driving the conversation to the right this time around will be more polished and better funded.

– Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.)

– Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas)


In any other year, these two might be near the top of the list but each has a glaring issue that knocks them down a peg.

– Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

– Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.)


The strong competition and narrow path for these candidates has some questioning whether they’ll be able to break through.

– Gov. Rick Perry (Texas)

– Dr. Ben Carson


Expect to see a lot of this bunch on the campaign trail, even if it’s just to build chits for a potential Cabinet spot or vice presidential candidacy.

– Gov. Mike Pence (Ind.)

– Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.)

– Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio)

– Gov. John Kasich (Ohio)

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“Thanks, President Obama!” New EPA Regulations Will Make Us Healthier and Save Lives

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new regulations to cut ground level ozone (smog) levels in order to improve public health.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy:

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Explains Proposed Smog Standards To Protect Americans’ Health

Her editorial, published at, explains the new regulations:

For 44 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defended the American people’s right to breathe clean air by setting national air quality standards for common air pollutants.

Successful public health protection depends on the latest science. Think of it this way: If your doctor wasn’t using the latest medical science, you’d be worried you weren’t getting the best care.

That’s why the Clean Air Act requires EPA to update air quality standards every five years, to ensure standards “protect public health with an adequate margin of safety” based on the latest scientific evidence.

So today, following science and the law, I am proposing to update national ozone pollution standards to clean up our air, improve access to crucial air quality information, and protect those most at-risk — our children, our elderly, and people already suffering from lung diseases like asthma. […]

Ground-level ozone pollution, commonly known as smog, comes from industrial action, motor vehicles, power plants, and other activities. Breathing ozone irritates the nose, throat, and lungs. Thousands of scientific studies (from renowned institutions like Harvard University, the University of North Carolina Medical School, and many others) tell us that cutting air pollution to meet ozone standards lowers the risk of asthma, permanent lung damage, cardiovascular harm, and premature death.

In the News: “Show Me” Justice

Found on the Internets …

A series of tubes filled with enormous amounts of material


From the White House: President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Ferguson Grand Jury’s Decision


PRESIDENT OBAMA: First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law.  And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make.  There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry.  It’s an understandable reaction.  But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully.  Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words:  “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer.  No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain.  I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.”  Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone.  We should be honoring their wishes.   […]

Finally, we need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation.  The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color.  Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country.  And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with higher crime rates.  The good news is we know there are things we can do to help.  And I’ve instructed Attorney General Holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations between communities and law enforcement. […]

Those of you who are watching tonight understand that there’s never an excuse for violence, particularly when there are a lot of people in goodwill out there who are willing to work on these issues.

On the other hand, those who are only interested in focusing on the violence and just want the problem to go away need to recognize that we do have work to do here, and we shouldn’t try to paper it over.  Whenever we do that, the anger may momentarily subside, but over time, it builds up and America isn’t everything that it could be.


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Weekly Address: President Obama – Immigration Accountability Executive Action

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.


From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President laid out the steps he took this past week to fix our broken immigration system. Enacted within his legal authority, the President’s plan focuses on cracking down on illegal immigration at the border; deporting felons, not families; and accountability through criminal background checks and taxes. These are commonsense steps, but only Congress can finish the job.

As the President acts, he’ll continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill — like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago — that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.

Tune In: The President Addresses the Nation on Immigration Reform

From the White House, Press Secretary Josh Earnest:

Our immigration system has been broken for decades — and every minute we fail to act, millions of people who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to live right by the law and contribute to our country.

So tonight, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system. You can watch the President live Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET at

This is a step forward in the President’s plan to work with Congress on passing common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. He laid out his principles for that reform two years ago in Del Sol High School in Las Vegas — and that’s where he’ll return on Friday to discuss why he is using his executive authority now, and why Republicans in Congress must act to pass a long-term solution to immigration reform.

The Senate passed a bipartisan bill more than 500 days ago, and while the country waits for House Republicans to vote, the President will act — like the Presidents before him — to fix our immigration system in the ways that he can.

So tune in Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET to learn what the President is doing to ensure that America will continue to be what it has always been: a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.

Oh, and don’t expect the address to be on broadcast television. NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox will not be covering it. But Univision, the Spanish language cable network will … and will interrupt the Latin GRAMMYs to do so.

Univision Network will air the POTUS announcement regarding Executive Action on Immigration live tomorrow. We will proceed with our coverage plans for the Latin GRAMMY’s, immediately following the President’s remarks. Complete coverage of the announcement, reactions and what it means for the US will  be covered across Univision’s news platforms, as well as on the Network’s “Despierta America” morning show.

Of course, everyone is buzzing about the president’s address on immigration tonight and some of the headlines are entertaining. From “Obama is Not a Monarch!!1!!” to “GOP Governors Hostile on Obama Immigration Plan” (it is NOT breaking news for them to be hostile towards the president on any plan) to concern trolling (call to arms?) about violence and/or civil disobedience. Oh, and lawsuits. Republicans love lawsuits … except when they help people hurt by corporate negligence.

Let’s take a look at some of the commentary …

In the News: It’s cold out there

Found on the Internets …

A series of tubes filled with enormous amounts of material


This week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Follow the hashtag #NHHAW and this Twitter account for more information.


America’s Shameless Child Homelessness Record

A record 2.5 million children in the U.S. were homeless at some point in 2013, according to a new report from the National Center for Family and Homelessness.

This amounts to one in 30 children and an 8 percent increase in child homelessness between 2012 and 2013. Nearly half the children are under the age of six. While the problem is most prevalent in Alabama, Mississippi, and California, it exists in every city, county, and state in the country.

Why does this matter?

Chilly temperatures and cold on tap

– The arctic chill dominates the Midwest with highs in the 10s and 20s for most areas.

– Slightly less cold 30s are confined to eastern Kentucky and the upper Ohio Valley.

– Record low temperatures are likely Monday night from the eastern Plains through the Ohio Valley as the mercury drops into the single digits and lower teens.


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