Every once in a while, a political canard is exposed—something that once may have been generally accepted and perhaps true, but has remained a part of the conventional wisdom.NY Times:
Such is the case with the view that any kind of normalization of relations with Cuba is a political third rail; that is to say, if you touch it, you die (or get defeated). In the Cold War era, particularly in the 1960s, normalization of relations with Cuba was a nonstarter, and in fact, it was dangerous for most politicians to support.
But that day has long since passed. In all but possibly a handful of congressional districts in Florida and New Jersey—if even there—this is a nothing-burger issue. Few voters would have any problem with it. Like the missile silos in North Dakota, our policy toward Cuba is a Cold War relic that has long since passed its time.
A new bipartisan national survey points to strong and broad-based support for a major change in U.S. policy toward Cuba, even among Republicans.
A federal judge in Texas struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, ruling that the laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated the United States Constitution, handing gay-rights advocates a major legal victory in one of the nation’s biggest and most conservative states.More politics and policy below the fold.
The judge wrote that the amendment to the state Constitution that Texas voters approved in 2005 defining marriage as between a man and a woman — and two similar laws passed in 1997 and 2003 — denied gay couples the right to marry and demeaned their dignity “for no legitimate reason.”
“Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution,” wrote Judge Orlando L. Garcia of United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, in San Antonio.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in his office on Monday, when he spoke about the defense of states’ same-sex marriage bans.Holder Sees Way to Curb Bans on Gay Marriage FEB. 24, 2014
While significant, Judge Garcia’s ruling will have no immediate effect on gay and lesbian couples wishing to marry in Texas. The judge issued a stay on his decision pending a likely appeal by the state’s lawyers to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, which is known as one of the country’s s most conservative appeals panels.
Obamacare is a disaster for Democrats, and a certain winner for Republicans. That’s what we keep hearing, anyway.NY Times looks at big picture:
So why does it look as if the percentage of Americans who favor repeal may have actually shrunk since its rollout problems began?
A majority of Americans surveyed also said they wanted both parties to do more to address the concerns of the middle class, reduce the budget deficit with both tax increases and spending cuts, and let illegal immigrants stay in the country and apply for citizenship. Mr. Obama shares those positions on the budget and immigration.it's a pretty amazing poll in the sense that people agree with Democrats but would vote for the Republican. Not set in stone, though. See this:
Those stances among voters have not translated into support for the president’s party, as 42 percent say they will back Republicans in November, and 39 percent indicate that they will back Democrats, a difference within the poll’s margin of sampling error.
Republicans too focused on health-care law, some in GOP warn
The Republicans’ “fixation on repealing the ACA comes at their own peril, as the political landscape around the Affordable Care Act has shifted in Democrats’ favor,” Kelly Ward, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, wrote in a memo that the House Democrats’ campaign organization blasted to its e-mail list Wednesday. “Democrats are now on offense over the Affordable Care Act, gaining the political high ground as benefits kick in and provide the ammunition to put Republicans on their heels over the costs of repeal.”
To begin with, attempting to assess how Barack Obama’s presidency will be seen in history is a mug’s game. I mean, putting aside the fact that it is dicey to predict how any presidency will be seen in the future. I’m willing to take the chance, regardless of the downsides, with Jimmy Carter, or Ronald Reagan, or Bill Clinton, or even the very recent George W. Bush. But Obama, with more than 30 percent of his tenure still to come? It’s just silly. That’s my first response to Stanley Renshon’s attempt over at the Monkey Cage. It's just too early.NY Times on AZ Gov Jan Brewer's veto of gay discrimination legislation:
But Renshon’s piece does give me an excuse to make a point about Obama that I’ve increasingly come to believe: He has really become a generic Democrat as president, and evaluating him on policy grounds really amounts to little more than evaluating the Democratic Party agenda.
“My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona,” Ms. Brewer said. “I call them like I seem them despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd.”
The bill “could divide Arizona in ways we could not even imagine and no one would ever want,” the govenor said, adding that the legislation, which was broadly worded, could result in unintended negative consequences.
Her action came amid mounting pressure from across the spectrum, including members of the Republican establishment — Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, Mitt Romney and others — who sided with the bill’s opponents.
As Ms. Brewer deliberated, the state had already begun to lose business: The Hispanic National Bar Association canceled plans to hold its annual convention of 2,000 lawyers here next year because of the bill, saying in a statement, “It is imperative that we speak up and take immediate action in the presence of injustice.”