When Congress’s recess began, the conventional wisdom was that immigration reform was most likely doomed in the House, and that August, with its throngs of anti-”amnesty” protesters coming out to harass Republican representatives, would offer the final nail in the coffin. But now the month is closing with several positive signs that reform advocates have prevailed in volume over the summer break.
On the night that he was elected governor of Wisconsin in 2010, a beaming Scott Walker told the hundreds of supporters sandwiched into Waukesha’s little Country Springs Hotel ballroom that his state was “open for business.” It was shorthand for his promise to slash taxes and lay waste to state regulations, all to create a quarter of a million new jobs by the end of his fourth year in office.
This morning, Bradley Manning, the Army private who leaked more than 700,000 classified government documents to WikiLeaks, was sentenced by a military judge to 35 years in prison.
Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for governor of Virginia, came out with a new ad this week touting the efforts he made as a University of Virginia undergraduate to combat campus sexual assault.
On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a ban on gay conversion therapy. Immediately, anti-gay forces condemned him in vile terms, none more strongly than Mat Staver, the founder of a conservative legal association called Liberty Counsel.
With former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months in prison for stealing campaign funds, the consensus is that his story is one of personal tragedy—what happens when a promising figure becomes overconfident and engulfed by ambition. Legally, Jackson Jr. is only guilty of embezzling $750,000 from his campaign coffers to redecorate his Washington home.
You’d think that sixteen years of Catholic education would’ve inured me to watching middle-aged adults freak out about sex. But even I’m a little frustrated by the media’s morally horrified preoccupation with youth “hookup culture.” (I’m looking at you, New York Times.)
Luis Guitierrez has all the makings of a primo pitchman for immigration reform. Few members of Congress have been hounding the party leadership to reform the system for as long as the Chicago representative of two decades. He has expert chops and, as a longtime fixture on Spanish-language news, is widely trusted by Latino voters for his line on the reform effort taking place in Congress.
Who will Republican leadership crown the next Darrell Issa? With leadership rules forcing the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to step down after this year, it’s a favorite parlor game in certain corridors of Congress to guess at his successor.
Tom Steyer, the billionaire and former hedge funder, is the self-described Mayor Mike Bloomberg of the modern environmental movement. At a time when a string of political defeats has demoralized and beaten down environmental activists, Steyer has offered up his bank account as their savior, and lavished gobs of money on green ballot initiatives and environmentally-friendly candidates.But is he actually any good at spending money?