The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

Immigration seems to be doing some odd things to the conservative movement. Following this week’s reveal of a bipartisan reform outline in the Senate, public and press attention shifted quickly to Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who is more than a little bit of a rock star in conservative circles. This plan represents the culmination of a major shift in Sen. Rubio’s position– when running for Senate just two years ago, he had dismissed the idea of granting much of anything in the way of citizenship or related rights to illegal immigrants. (Incidentally, while in the Florida House of Representatives, Rubio proposed a DREAM Act-esque plan that would have cut tuition for undocumented students.) Conservative media figures, among them Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, responded positively, especially considered that the Senate plan involves a path to citizenship, which many on the right believe to be tantamount to amnesty (and we all know how Rush feels about that).  So we can be forgiven for thinking that the conservative base may be falling in line with some form of comprehensive immigration.

Not so fast. After an interview with Rubio this past Tuesday (which was, by all accounts, a smashing success for the Senator), Rush felt compelled to post this clarification on his Web site (warning: full transcript ahead). Key quote: “nobody else has the guts to criticize Obama, and that’s what I was praising him for. I was not signaling that he converted me to amnesty.” And there’s the problem. For many on the right, including a large number of primary voters, anything approaching amnesty is heretical, as evidenced by major backlash in 2006-7 and continued unease with comprehensive reform. This, of course, runs right into the strong, almost fervent support Rubio has built up in conservative circles in recent years. It’s a tricky balancing act for the conservatives and the Republican Party, and no matter how it plays out, things will get interesting.

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Immigration

There’s a new CNN poll out that was taken about week before his inauguration. For that poll, researchers at research firm ORC International asked respondents their opinions on a number of President Obama’s 2nd term objectives, including climate change, healthcare, and immigration. Some of the poll’s results are entirely unsurprising: voters are split on whether climate change is anthropogenic, with Republicans more skeptical than Democrats, that sort of thing. But the immigration responses are worth examining. By a 10-point margin (53%-43%), Americans favor policies that  focus on providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, rather than deporting them, a major change from a year ago when voters favored deportation 55-42.

This is big.

As Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick (both, I should note, prominent conservatives) point out in a Wall Street Journal editorial this morning, the notion that illegal immigrants should “wait in line” is not only untenable, but wildly inaccurate. There is, quite simply, no mechanism for such undocumented workers to have come into this country in the first place. At the risk of sounding too much like a cliche, this is a huge problem for Republicans. To the party’s credit, there are some leaders working to fix that problem, most notably Cuban-American Senator Maro Rubio. His proposal, however, focuses on high-skill visas, to some extent at the detriment of lower-skilled workers (it seems more than a tad unrealistic to expect someone who has been laboring in such a position to be able to pay fees, let alone take time off from work to do community service).

This sort of mindset, one that focuses on punishment (albeit, with a more positive outcome than, say, Jim Sensenbrenner’s proposals) is the real problem for the Republican Part. That is not to say that a wholesale embrace of the Democratic strategy is the best route for the GOP (as Ruben Navarrette points out, the DREAM Act and its proponents have their own issues). Rather, balance and a Buckley-esque acquiescence to reality is the key here, and that is what this WWG set out to formulate and communicate.

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Tech

The Politics of Tech

Cable Industry Finally Admits That Data Caps Have Nothing To Do With Congestion: ‘The reality is that data caps are all about increasing revenue for broadband providers — in a market that is already quite profitable.’ [TechDirt]

The Federal Communications Commission’s chairman is setting a goal for all states to have a gigabit broadband connection by 2015 – similar to the Google Fiber network that is currently in Kansas City. [CNET]

Do the major cable companies need to be broken up like the steel and railroad industries in the 19th century? This article argues that they are essentially monopolies that are stifling innovation. [BGR]

Google is currently looking at some interesting methods of freeing us from the passwords we are bound to when online. [Wired]

It is being argued that Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is not the right leader for the world’s largest software company but holds his grip on it by systematically forcing out any rising manager who challenges his authority. [Reuters]

Google is moving in to London – they recently purchased a $1 billion plot of land in the King’s Cross Central development. [Verve]

Are you regularly running out of materials to use in your 3D printer? Well this machine will solve that problem! [Wired]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Laughter

The Politics of Laughter

Sister-on-sister photobomb [.gif]

Capitalism [picture]

Perspective means a lot. [picture]

War never changes. [picture]

If only more people wanted this exact thing. [picture]

What you need to know about Canada in an handy infographic. [picture]


The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Pigskin

The Politics of Pigskin

The Super Bowl is now set. It will be the Baltimore Ravens vs. the San Francisco 49ers on February 3rd.

Once again here are the front pages of the AFC and NFC Championship teams, in victory and defeat. [album]

Jim Harbaugh is an animal! [.gif]

The crowd in Baltimore celebrating the Ravens’ win on Sunday. [picture]

On Sunday Joe Flacco became the all-time leader in road playoff wins for a QB. [Twitter]

Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez will “probably” retire after this season. [ESPN]

Shannon Sharpe had strong words for Bill Belichick following the Patriots loss on Sunday. [PFT]

Here’s a neat fact: both Ray Lewis and Jim Harbaugh played on the 1998 Baltimore Ravens. [Wikipedia]

Finally here is an early preview for the game itself. [Yahoo!]


The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of the States

Florida Governor Rick Scott: A Man with One Dog

This is important? During the 2010 Florida gubernatorial campaign, then-candidate Rick Scott paraded a rescue dog named “Reagan” on the campaign trail, touting the Labrador retriever as a more down-to-earth pet choice than President Obama’s purebred Portuguese water dog, Bo. Reagan was a fixture with Scott, even after he won the election, before… disappearing. As it turns out, the Governor gave back his skittish pup shortly after being sworn-in, saying that Reagan would bark at anyone carrying anything, and that he was seriously freaking out executive branch staff in Tallahassee. Thankfully, the Sunshine State’s first family still has another rescue lab, a 7-year old named Tallee. [Tampa Bay Times]

For all the fuss the Ohio GOP made about early voting benefiting Democrats, they may have been totally mistaken. According to statistics from the Ohio Secretary of State, most in-person early votes were from Democratic-leaning counties, including 70,825 from Franklin County (Columbus) and 45,400 from Cuyahoga (Cleveland), the second- and first-most populous in the sate respectively. In terms of the percentage of a county’s votes cast early, however, Republicans hold a clear lead– of the 24 highest-percentage counties, only 8th place Athens County, home to all of 64,757 residents, voted for President Obama. [Columbus Dispatch]

If labor-backed Democrats in Michigan are hoping for a Wisconsin-style recall campaign, they may be out of luck. At the end of 2012, Republican governor Rick Snyder signed legislation altering how recalls are petitioned and conducted. Instead of being judged at a county level, petitions will be reviewed for “clarity and ‘truth’,” before being voted on by a state-level, bipartisan commission. Additionally, signatures must be collected in 60 rather than 90 days, and officials other than the governor will face an opponent (determined by a primary), rather than an up-or-down vote; the governor will be replaced by the lieutenant governor if he or she is voted down. [The Iron Mountain Daily News]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Laughter

The Politics of Laughter

If you haven’t seen it yet –  the White House’s official response to the Death Star petition. []

Enjoy the new signature that will soon grace all new currency. [picture]

Solid parenting [picture]

If only! [picture]

Gaming headset manual. It’s the little things. [picture]


The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Pigskin

The Politics of Pigskin

Here are the newspaper frontpages of the Divisional playoff round teams. [album]

Brendon Ayanbadejo was not very happy with the way the Patriots run their offense and let all of his Twitter followers know how he felt. He has since issued an apology. [ESPN]

Congrats to Tom Brady on breaking Joe Montana’s record for playoff wins with 17, coming after his Patriot’s beat the Texans. [Boston Globe]

The Atlanta-Seattle game was easily one of the best games all year. If you missed it you have to check out the highlights. [Yahoo Sports]

It’s rough to bring this back up in the midst of a very fun playoffs, but the autopsy on Chiefs LB Jovan Belcher stemming from the murder-suicide showed that he was drunk at the time of the shooting – more than twice the legal limit. [Yahoo Sports]

Rob Gronkowski re-fractured his forearm during Sunday’s game and is done for the rest of the playoffs. []

“How Peyton’s and Matty Ice’s legacies were in other people’s hands, and the rest of the notable news from divisional weekend” [Grantland]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Tech

The Politics of Tech

Kingston has announces the world’s first 1TB Flash Drive. It seems they will also release a 500GB model and they will be priced for consumers. I can’t wait for pricing to be released. [TechGage]

Check out these “StickNFind” Bluetooth stickers that allow you to locate lost objects using your phone’s Bluetooth connection. [engadget]

Undeterred by having a few of the most pirated shows of all-time HBO has signed a new contract that will continue to make it difficult for people to access their content. [TechCrunch]

Next-generation LTE chips to reduce power consumption by 50%. LTE chips cut the power required for newest cell phones in half, allow quality and data transfer rate improvements [Yahoo! News]

This 10.7in paper-thin e-ink tablet is pretty damn amazing. The future looks quite good for e-readers. [Stuff]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Laughter

The Politics of Laughter

I usually skip text conversation screenshots, but this one made me laugh. [picture]

This beer label doesn’t lie. [picture]

MyspaceTom with the sick burn [Twitter]

8 Things the Marines aren’t Telling the Navy [picture]

When coffee shops adopt the business practices of bars. [picture]

The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show