Posted by: sweeneyblog | November 21, 2014

Friday Odds and Ends: Inslee Rebutts, Lytton Ascends and Obama Acts

Hello Loyal Readers,

Yes, it has been a while – I’ve been working on other projects and hadn’t had the energy to write but I’m back with this week’s Odds and Ends.

Gov. Jay Inslee

Gov. Jay Inslee

First on the docket, Gov. Jay Inslee responds to Sen. Ericksen’s bluster. In the wake of his reelection, Ericksen continued to attack Inslee’s climate proposals – repeating the debunked “$1 gas tax” idea and threatening fierce opposition if Inslee attempts to make any progress through executive action.

In response, Inslee asked that Ericksen suggest solutions and, “do more than just criticize and mischaracterize.” This exchange is particularly ironic considering that Ericksen and Inslee spent a year working on the Climate Legislative and Executive Workgroup to craft policy solutions to climate change. The group dissolved when Ericksen and the other Republican member of the group refused to compromise on any proposals. Ericksen went on to campaign on explicit opposition to Inslee’s proposals.

To see the two of them grumbling in the newspapers at each other is a little rich. We know that Ericksen is never going to support any efforts to fight climate change – he invited a climate change denier to testify before the State Senate. That’s not even considering the hundreds of thousands he has received from the oil and gas industry. Conversely, Inslee helped raise money to defeat Ericksen this year. Short version – they aren’t buddies and that’s not going to change.

What did change recently is Rep. Kris Lytton’s job title. Rep. Lytton has been promoted, rising in the ranks of leadership in the state House to become Majority Floor Leader. In this role, she will coordinate votes, working with members on both sides of the aisle to assure that key measures have the support needed to pass through the House.

When Whatcom County elected Vincent Buys over Rep. Kelli Linville, we lost a major power broker for our county. Linville, in her role as chair of the Ways and Means committee, was able to direct huge amounts of money toward local projects. With Lytton’s star on the rise, she may be able to do the same thing very soon.

Nationally, President Obama took the largest step in a generation toward fixing our immigration system. His actions are pretty straightforward. Those undocumented immigrants who:

  • have been living here for more than 5 years
  • can pass a criminal background check
  • and are paying their taxes

are now eligible for deferred status. Once registered with the U.S. government, they are shielded from deportation while going through the standard immigration process. In short, if they are doing everything right and trying to become citizens, we aren’t going to haul them away while the paperwork is being processed. This action is estimated to help five million undocumented immigrants nation-wide.

I see this as a good step forward, but nowhere near a complete solution. The process for becoming a legal immigrant is long, convoluted and deeply underfunded. The next step would be to improve that process so those who want to become part of our community can do so.

Of course, the national Republicans are working themselves into a lather over this issue. You can almost set your clock to their outrage, however, what I found interesting is that they are not complaining about the policy itself. Instead, they are talking about the process (using executive action versus waiting for the legislature to pass something). My mother has a great saying for this, “Only a bad dancer blames the floor.”

Thank you all and stay warm out there!



  1. You forgot to mention President Obama’s flagrant violation of the US constitution. He did it when he deferred parts of Obamacare and he is doing it again today in Vegas when he signs his Executive order. The president cannot write law. The president can’t make it up. Whether Congress is a bulwark or not. The Constitution does not say, “In case the Congress refuses to cooperate with the president, the president may, in that case, create his own law.” It doesn’t say that.

    When he suspends deportations and when he imposes his own conditions on those suspensions, he’s rewriting the law.

    And that’s what Obama is doing. And that violates his oath to enforce and uphold the law as it’s written. The American people, the Congress, and the courts need to know that we have a president that will enforce the law. And when he says, “I will not enforce the law because I don’t like it or because I’m impatient,” that doesn’t wash under the Constitution.

    Every president since Eisenhower has suspended some deportations. President Reagan did it to 100,000 families. He did it on the basis of the 1986 statute enacted by the Congress. President H. W. Bush did it for 1.5 million people. Only about 350,000 took advantage of it, and it was based on his interpretation of the statute. President Obama does not reinterpret a statute here. He takes a statute and says, ‘I’m gonna disregard it. I don’t like it. It doesn’t do what I want it to do. So I’m gonna give you a better one. I’m gonna set down a set of standards that I’d have written had I been the lawmakers.’ But he’s not the lawmaker. He’s the law enforcer.

    So Reagan and previous presidents when they suspended some deportations, did so under the guidelines of a statute that was in existence. They were not creating law. They were not adding to it. They were not subtracting from it. They were using it.

    Do your homework next time.

  2. I do not think that word means what you think it means…

  3. paying there taxes ?

    • How about their (a form of the possessive case of they used as an attributive adjective, before a noun) instead of “there” Richard?

    • Yeah yeah, fixing that now.

  4. Fox news pulls out their hair
    and Wayne Farber screams in pain.
    I can’t find anything in the constitution that prohibits executive action or signing statements or allows the government to be shut down over legislative disagreements.
    But since the document was written by and for landed white men,
    I can see where they get the idea Obama has no right to hold office.

    • Then you didn’t comprehend what you read. The Congress makes the laws and the Executive executes them. It is that simple. Obama has not executed the current immigration laws as he has not executed all of Obamacare (which in effect re-writes Obamacare). This is a NO-NO).

      In 1986 used an Executive Order “after” the Immigration Law (Simpson-Mazolli) was passed and signed into law by him. Obama has the cart before the horse (donkey).

      “landed white men”-you guys always use the Race Card when you are going down the tubes.

  5. Riley – You seem to belong to the Alanis Morrisette school of “irony.” It is hardly ironic that Inslee criticized Ericksen after being stabbed in the back. As Jon Winokur noted in The Big Book of Irony:
    “In 1996, Alanis Morrisette’s hit single ‘Ironic,’ in which situations purporting to be ironic are merely sad, random, or annoying . . . perpetuated misuse of the word and triggered debate over its meaning.”

    Yes, Doug Ericksen is sad and annoying. So is Jay Inslee for that matter. But bickering between these two is hardly ironic. Too bad Inslee doesn’t have some honest rage and the political spine to make some real changes.

    By the way, you can buy a hardback copy of The Big Book of Irony on Amazon for 26 cents.

  6. Wayne – You are sooooo full of BS. Presidents and the Supreme Court make law all the time. So do petty bureaucrats within the framework of their jobs. Fer chrissakes, so do property owners who use adverse possession and fence lines as precedent. You really are beyond simplistic into nonsensical.

    As a reporter on KUOW this morning said, “The only president with fewer presidential orders was Grover Cleveland in his first term.”

    I call BS on you Wayne. You cannot just blather on about nonsense and THEN tell someone ELSE to “do their homework.” That’s even beyond stinky cheese.

    • Thanks for the BAAAAAAAAAAAAA-LONEY Walter it should make a lot of sandwiches. I will go out and by a case of Poupon.

      “Presidents and the Supreme Court make law all the time”-just because they do doesn’t mean it is constitutional.

      You too, need to do YOUR homework. For starters: Article I, Section 1 of the constitution, Article II, Section 1 and article III, Section 1. The will educate you on the duties of the three “separate” branches. It is time for you and others to discard your perverted view of the Constitution.

    • “The only president with fewer presidential orders was Grover Cleveland in his first term.”-that has NO relevance. Even if this was Obama’s ONLY Executive Order during his two terms, the enormity of it put him at the top of the list.

      • Wayne – You must be one of those middle-class folks who depend on illegal aliens (or undocumented workers if you prefer) to clean their house, mow their lawn, and pick their berries. Of COURSE you don’t want any sort of immigration reform. Once these workers get legal, they will have the right to organize and demand higher wages. This is why all you Republicans (and many of the spineless Democrats) want to keep the status quo. Now you get fearful workers who will take whatever they can get. However, soon Manny and Maria will actually be getting paid more than the starvation wages they are now getting.

        Oh, and by the way, this action by Obama will likely have a bigger effect on raising wages than all the bluster from the socialists about the minimum wage. Soon your McDonalds burger will cost a dollar more. Bummer.

      • Walter, I go first class and have an French maid and an English butler.

        The only reason that Obama is doing this is to create a permanent underclass that will vote Democrat (spineless or otherwise).

        “Of COURSE you don’t want any sort of immigration reform”-Wrong, I would like immigration reform (not amnesty) to be passed and enforced. This would start with securing the border, all immigrants learn English as a second language and learn the Constitution. Of course this includes background checks a la I-594.

        i don’t do McDonalds, only Boomer’s or better yet, crank up the George Forman Grill, put an 8oz patty of 93/7 ground sirloin from Haggen on it and cook until medium-rare. When in Vegas, I go to the Heart Attack Grill for a triple Bypass Burger. Good Eats!

  7. Hey Wayne,
    You tip your hand when you call French and English first class. How do Blacks, Latinos and Asians rank in your class consciousness? Now you want the borders secure. Now that we Europeans have colonized this continent you want to erect a wall. What are you afraid of, immigrants that don’t speak the only language you do? Should the indigenous residents of this land have had the same fear? Look what happened to them. They were decimated by diseases, guns and racism. They did not have the power to keep the waves of immigrants from storming the…… Oh, I think that now I am beginning to understand your fear.

    • You the one intimating that Blacks, Latinos and Asians are NOT “first class, you are. If you knew anything about the Upper Classes you would know they had servants and that French maids and English butlers were preferred.

      My family came over from Germany in 1735. BTW German almost was our language and not English.

      I speak German, French, Spanish and Mandarin.


  8. It’s really too bad that Obama doesn’t have the guts to reschedule cannabis to properly reflect that it is 1) less addictive than cocaine, heroin, and meth (actually about as addictive as coffee); 2) has actual medicinal uses which humanity has known for thousands of years – Indian hemp was in the US government-produced pharmaceutical dispensarium for pharmacists until 1937, when a corrupt congress made it illegal over the objections of the AMA.

    Not to mention at one stroke he could remove the subsidies for organized crime cartels and the immense waste of federal funds that this brainless and corrupt prohibition entails.

  9. In light of all the pontificating above, I thought I’d post this link to facts about the recent history of presidential executive actions on immigration

    If congress had done their proper job over the past few decades and developed & passed sane and meaningful immigration reform (even GWB knew it was needed; certainly many business sectors and leaders understand) then executive action would not be needed. That’s the problem with the current crop of (now majority) legislative ‘leaders’ and followers devoting all their time to keep anything useful from being done — even things past republican presidents supported strongly.

  10. and this commentary about the do-nothing congress re: immigration by a Republican member of the House of Representatives:

    • “If congress had done their proper job over the past few decades and developed & passed sane and meaningful immigration reform”-I remind you that the Democrats controlled one or both houses many times over the last few decades.

      The point is that the Executive Branch does not create laws, the Congress does (Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution is pretty clear on this). There is NO provision for the President to encroach on Congresses powers.

  11. […] has recently ascended to Majority Floor Leader in the House, where she works with the Speaker of the House on scheduling votes for important legislation. She […]

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