Republican-Led Committee Fails to Uncover Benghazi Conspiracy

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee sold out the United States' proud Benghazi truthers on Friday, when it released the results of a two-year investigation into the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Libya. According to the House panel, the U.S. military, the CIA, and the Obama administration responded "properly" to the assault, which left four Americans dead. In other words: there was no Benghazi scandal.

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House Republicans Finally Sue Obama Over Obamacare

After threatening to do so for months, House Republicans have finally sued the Obama administration over the president's "king-like" changes to Obamacare, the New York Times reports. The lawsuit, filed on Friday against the secretaries of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department, accuses Obama & Co. of illegally delaying the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate. It also challenges the $175 billion the law is set to pay to insurance companies over the next ten years in order to subsidize health care for poor people.

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Republicans Hand Obama an Immigration Political Triumph

Immediately after the election, when John Boehner asked Obama to hold off on unilateral action, reporters asked if he would promise to bring an immigration bill to the House floor. He refused. A senior administration official pinpointed this as the moment when any chance of delay ended. For all the drama surrounding President Obama’s announcement that he would ease immigration enforcement, the decision was always a very easy one to make. It was not even a decision Obama made so much as one that was made for him. Nor was the choice especially difficult to grapple with. The humanitarian and political logic all point in the same direction.

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Immigration Speech Reactions: From Tears of Joy to Attacks on ‘Emperor Obama’

On Thursday night, President Obama announced executive actions on immigration that will protect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, if Congress doesn't pass real reform legislation or throw Obama in prison anytime soon. This is the biggest shift in immigration policy in decades, so it's no surprise that the speech produced far more passionate reactions than the average presidential address. As congressional Republicans fumed that Obama is acting like a monarch, immigrants cheered the decision at viewing parties across the country. All the major 2016 contenders felt compelled to weigh in, too, including Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Here are the most dramatic reactions from across the political spectrum.

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Obama Offers Undocumented Immigrants ‘Deal’ to Avoid Deportation

The major broadcast networks probably should have aired President Obama's immigration address on Thursday night, because he just delivered one of the strongest and most passionate speeches he's made in years. Obama didn't go very deep on the details of his executive action on immigration, focusing instead on the "deal" he's offering to millions of undocumented immigrants living in this country. "If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes — you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation," he said. "You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law."

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The Nevada State Assembly’s New Leader Is a Conspiracy Theorist Who Doesn’t Like Women, Gays, or ‘Darkies’

Earlier this month, Republicans won control of the lower house of the Nevada legislature, the state Assembly, and nominated a guy named Ira Hansen for the role of speaker. Given the new GOP majority, the "very conservative" Hansen will almost certainly be officially elected leader of the Assembly in February, so the Reno News & Review decided to make sure the public was familiar with the content of a newspaper column he wrote for 13 years.

The column has something for everyone (who is a paranoid bigot). »

Paul Ryan Sad That Obama’s Immigration Plan Hurts Chance to Cut Taxes for the Rich

The news of President Obama’s plans to liberalize immigration enforcement has once again disappointed and saddened Paul Ryan. The incoming chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee provides two reasons for his feelings of hurt and betrayal. The first is that Obama threatened to act on his own just now and is giving Republicans in Congress no time to pass a bill:

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An Immigration Shutdown Is the Dumbest Idea the Republican Party Has Ever Had

The Republican Party has had some bad ideas, but it has never come up with a political tactic as obviously stupid as shutting down the federal government to protest President Obama’s immigration policies. It is almost a masterpiece of self-sabotage, harnessing the party’s most self-destructive short-term political maneuver to its most dangerous long-term demographic liability. It is the sharks-with-laser-beams of political maneuvers.

Incredibly, in the short time since the midterms, the prospect of a shutdown has progressed from unthinkable to probable enough that Republicans are apparently wracking their brains to come up with an alternative. Politico earnestly reports:

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What to Expect From Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

President Obama said he would take executive action on immigration before the end of the year, and now he plans to outline the specifics of his plan in a prime-time address on Thursday night. Details that have leaked suggest the move could protect 4 to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Here's a guide for those who want to understand what will likely be the most significant change in U.S. immigration policy since the mid '80s, or those who are merely curious about why Republicans are fuming about "Emperor Obama."

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Meet the Female Consultants Who Helped the GOP Figure Out How to Talk to Women Voters

A little more than a year ago, Katie Packer Gage was watching the Virginia governor’s race and feeling déjà vu. Terry McAuliffe and his Democratic allies were burying Republican Ken Cuccinelli under a multi-million-dollar avalanche of ads highlighting his record on reproductive rights. Conveniently for Democrats, Cuccinelli had built his political career on the very policies Democrats argued amounted to a war on women — opposing abortion in cases of rape or incest, trying to shut down clinics, supporting measures that could ban contraception — and they used it against him, locking in the nine-point gender gap that gave McAuliffe his victory. While the candidates were different, the strategy looked familiar: This was how Democrats beat her boss back in 2012.

Packer Gage was Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager. After he lost, she and Ashley O’Connor, his ad director, thought a lot about why the campaign had been unable to effectively respond to the attacks portraying Romney as anti-women. “He wasn’t this old caveman,” she says. “There were lots of good things he was saying, but women weren’t hearing it because Democrats were basically lying about him more effectively than we were telling the truth.”

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Video of the day

Charlie Rangel Opens Debate With Fake Phone Call

Congressman Joe Garcia Picks Ear, Eats It on Live TV

Sarah Palin Thinks Chelsea’s Baby May Make Hillary ‘Open Her Eyes’ About Abortion

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In The Mag

Back on the Trail

When Mark Sanford decided to run for office again, he asked his ex-wife, Jenny, for her blessing. Whether he has her vote is another matter.

By Jason Zengerle

Reading List

Wonkblog Jan. 21, 2013

The Case for Deficit Optimism

For all the sound and fury, Washington’s actually making real progress on debt.

By Ezra Klein
Salon Jan. 15, 2012

The NRA's Democratic Helpers

Harry Reid and other pro-gun Democrats leave Obama in need of unlikely allies.

By Steve Kornacki

From the Archives

New York Magazine / Nov. 5, 2010

Boehner's Army

After November's glitch, Boehner, McConnell and Congress strike familiar poses.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Jan. 25, 2009

With Friends Like These

Obama drew progressive ire from day one.

By John Heilemann
New York Magazine / Nov. 30, 2008

Hiding In Plain Sight

How one undocumented family lives in our sanctuary city.

By Jeff Coplon