News Clips Nov. 16, 2009

Dobbs says his departure from CNN was ‘amicable’

NEW YORK — Lou Dobbs says he doesn’t feel like he was pushed out of CNN, the news organization where he worked for all but two years of its existence until last Wednesday.

“Not at all,” he said in a weekend interview. “I don’t know if people will believe it, but we had a very amicable parting on the best of terms. I spent 29 years there building that company, and I wish everyone there nothing but the best, and they have reciprocated with me.”

He announced his resignation on “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” finished the newscast and walked out of CNN.

Reflections on Lou Dobbs’ Turbulent Departure

Lou Dobbs quickly and unexpectedly announced his resignation from CNN this week, terminating his reported multi-year contract with the cable network. I have been calling publicly for months for CNN to stop putting Dobbs on the air, so I think it worthwhile to reflect for a moment on why his resignation was the right decision.

Although some have decried CNN’s censorship of a self-labeled opinionated voice, I reject that notion. First and foremost, I am a champion of the First Amendment. The Media Institute, a non-profit organization that includes CNN and many other major news outlets as supporters, recently honored me with their annual First Amendment award for my work in championing free speech.

Time hasn’t made immigration reform easier

WASHINGTON – Immigration, after 10 months on the president’s back burner, got its very own trial balloon the other day.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano went before a friendly crowd at a liberal think tank Friday and proclaimed that the time has come for comprehensive reform – a goal that has eluded Congress so many times, it has become a third rail of American politics.

Obama presses Congress to rework immigration laws

The Obama administration expects Congress to begin moving to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws early next year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday, adding that improved border security and a drop in migration caused by the economic downturn make such changes “far more attainable” than in 2007.
“When Congress is ready to act, we will be ready to support them,” said Napolitano, President Obama’s “point person” on immigration policy issues. “The first part of 2010, we will see legislation beginning to move,” she said.

White House adviser says immigration reform advancing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrats and Republicans in Congress are working together to craft an immigration reform bill that could become law as early as next year, a senior White House adviser said on Sunday.
That legislation could create a path to citizenship for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the United States, David Axelrod, senior advisory to President Barak Obama, told CNN’s State of the Union with John King.

Hispanic caucus becomes a powerhouse

Group of 44 Mexican-American legislators is gaining prestige and funds

AUSTIN — The first Texas Hispanic lawmakers didn’t want to go public when they organized some 40 years ago out of fear they might be considered “un-American.”

Today, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus is growing in influence — and raising record amounts of money — as Texas’ population turns increasingly Hispanic.

“We are a legacy of the social and civil justice work that was started in the 1970s. That is forever going to be part of MALC,” said Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, chairman of the 44-member group. “But we are not just a one-trick pony anymore. … We have a laser-like focus on the big issues of the day that affect all of Texas.”

A Look at The Latino Population

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the minority population reached an estimated 104.6 million — or 34 percent of the nation’s total population — on July 1, 2008, compared to 31 percent when the Census was taken in 2000. Nearly one in six residents, or 46.9 million people, are Hispanic, the agency reported.

Senate Begins Tackling Health Bill


With a Thanksgiving recess looming, the Senate this week will take steps to open debate on its own health care bill even though it remains unclear whether Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, has the votes to overcome even an initial procedural hurdle.

With those final votes hard to come by, Mr. Reid will no doubt try to use the possibility of working into the weekend or even into Thanksgiving week to try to rally Democrats to back him and provide 60 votes in support of proceeding to the health care measure. If he is successful, the health care plan will still be on the floor waiting when lawmakers return from Thanksgiving and perhaps remain there until Christmas at least.

Senate’s Counting and Recounting Add Up to Delay

WASHINGTON — The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, hopes to finalize the Senate version of major health care legislation this week.  But don’t count the days. Mr. Reid and his aides have been saying the same thing for a month, ever since the Senate Finance Committee approved its bill on Oct. 13.Mr. Reid is tied up in the numbers: the 10-year cost to taxpayers and the impact on future health spending; the number of people who will gain health coverage versus the number who will be left uninsured; the price of premiums for a new public insurance plan; and the effect on premiums for the 160 million Americans who already have insurance.


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