Progressive Breakfast for November 20

Morning Message

Obama Forces Republicans To Choose: Latinos Or Haters

Just two weeks ago, rational Republicans thought they had a model of success to elevate in Sen.-elect Cory Gardner, who ran as an immigration moderate and performed well with Latino voters. Now Republican voices of petulance and bigotry are dominant, and if they remain so, Republican chances to compete in higher-turnout presidential years dims yet again. Obama’s executive order will do what legislation could not: force Republicans to choose between reaching out to the growing Latino community or clinging to the anti-immigrant deadweight in their traditional base.

OurFuture.org’s Roger Hickey gives progressives a path forward, “As in 2010, Dems Lost Without an Economic Message Worth Fighting For”: “The big lesson in all this: progressives can’t afford to just let Democrats craft the message, while we attend to voter turnout and local initiatives … If we want to win, progressives need to fight for a bold ‘Jobs and Growth and Wages’ agenda … But our dialog with voters can’t feel like just an intellectual exercise of who’s got the better plan for growth. We are talking about people’s lives and the future of our country. In the words of Sen. Warren, the wealthy and powerful and the big corporations have ‘rigged the system’ so that whoever we vote for, we get their austerity agenda.”

Obama Set To Provide Deportation Relief

Obama announcement at 8 PM ET. W. Post: “Obama is expected to announce measures that would make as many as 4 million immigrants eligible for temporary protected status, according to people briefed on the plans. He also will take steps to expand visas for high-tech workers, modify federal immigrant detention procedures, and add resources to strengthen border security, they said … Obama will provide administrative relief to illegal-immigrant parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents … Many of those who receive administrative relief also will be eligible to apply for work permits … The president also is expected to expand a 2012 program that has deferred the deportations of nearly 600,000 younger immigrants known as ‘dreamers’…”

Action will cover 250,000 farm workers reports The Hill.

Former George H.W. Bush Justice Dept. lawyer defends legality, in Politico Magazine oped: “…Obama is probably proceeding within his legal authority, even though he would be at its outer boundaries. There is no question that a president can set deportation enforcement priorities, and that all presidents must make these determinations given finite enforcement budgets.”

Excitement among immigrants. AP: “Alex Galvez, an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles, said he’s going to need to add phone lines to keep up with the demand … immigrant advocates are gearing up to help millions determine if they are eligible to apply and steer them clear of fraudulent consultants … But some advocates warned immigrants not to get their hopes up yet — especially with lawmakers threatening to thwart Obama’s plan.”

Worry about lack of funding for legal services. Reuters: “… immigration advocacy groups say they don’t have sufficient resources to provide legal services to their existing clients, never mind the millions of potential new ones. Obama’s proposal is not expected to provide for federal funding for attorneys to guide immigrants through the process.”

Republicans Scramble

Sen. Ted Cruz lays out shutdown strategy in Politico Magazine oped: “…the 114th Congress will not confirm a single nominee—executive or judicial—outside of vital national security positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists … exercise the power of the purse by passing individual appropriations bills authorizing critical functions of government and attaching riders to strip the authority from the president to grant amnesty … President Obama will no doubt threaten a shutdown…”

Prez hopefuls Gov. Perry and Gov. Walker may sue. NYT: “‘I think that’s probably a very real possibility,’ Mr. Perry said at the annual meeting here of the Republican Governors Association. Mr. Walker said he would ‘go the courts’ to beat back Mr. Obama’s action.”

Gov. Christie punts, Gov. Kasich goes left. NYT: “…Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey refused to specify a plan for dealing with illegal immigration, saying he would not articulate a plan until he had decided whether to run for president. Going perhaps the furthest of any potential presidential candidate, Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio, when pressed on citizenship for undocumented people, said, ‘I’m open to it, I will tell you that … We have to think about what’s going to bring about healing.'”

Warren Ascendant

Embrace of Sen. Warren in Senate squeezes Sen. Schumer. Politico: “Warren’s rise in Senate leadership – and her popularity among grassroots liberals – represents an unexpected presence in Schumer’s leadership orbit, where he has spent years cultivating a reputation as one of the masterminds of Democratic messaging. As one Senate Democratic source put it: ‘The turf [Schumer] thought he knew may have shifted beneath his feet.'”

Warren slams Obama treasury nominee in HuffPost: “I believe President Obama deserves deference in picking his team, and I’ve generally tried to give him that. But enough is enough … [Antonio] Weiss has spent most of his career working on international transactions … Neither his background nor his professional experience makes him qualified to oversee consumer protection and domestic regulatory functions at the Treasury.”

And pens WSJ oped with Sen. Joe Manchin on Fed appointees: “Currently, two of the seven seats on the board are vacant. The president has the opportunity to move the board in a new direction … By nominating people … who have a demonstrated commitment to not backing down when they find problems, the administration can show that it is taking the Fed’s supervision problem seriously. Nominating Wall Street insiders for the Board of Governors would send the opposite message.”

Senate reports exposes unfair commodities trading practices by banks. Bloomberg: “Wall Street’s biggest banks have used their ownership of metals warehouses, oil tankers and other commodities businesses to gain unfair trading advantages and dominate markets … The holdings give banks access to non-public information that could move markets and increase the likelihood that industrial accidents will spur taxpayer bailouts, the report said.”

Breakfast Sides

Senate GOPers discussing whether or not to change filibuster rules. W. Post: “The word from the office of soon-to-be Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) is that ‘his members are discussing’ whether to reverse the nuclear option they spent the better part of a year denouncing or leave it in place to stick it to the Democrats.”

Republicans may “audit the Fed,” reports Politico: “Proponents of ‘Audit the Fed’ believe the proposal is ripe for a potential breakout moment next Congress — with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s ascendance to majority leader in January, the bill has a better chance of being approved by both chambers of Congress for the first time.”