TIME Immigration

Obama Weighs Risks and Rewards on Immigration Action

President Barack Obama speaks at Laborfest 2014 in Milwaukee, Sept. 1, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks at Laborfest 2014 in Milwaukee, Sept. 1, 2014. Gabriella Demczuk—The New York Times/Redux

The President is weighing whether to wait until after the midterms to move on immigration, after promising action at the end of the summer

President Barack Obama is weighing whether to postpone a self-imposed deadline to make unilateral changes to U.S. immigration laws as the midterm elections draw near.

The President is still expected to take executive action this year to provide temporary deportation protection and work authorization to potentially several million undocumented immigrants.

But with control of the Senate hanging in the balance, the uncertain ramifications of revamping U.S. immigration law have spurred the White House to reconsider the timing of its announcement. Here’s what we know—and what we don’t—about a decision that could reshape the political landscape in 2014 and beyond.

When might Obama’s decision come?

It was originally supposed to be by the end of summer. On June 30, almost exactly a year after the Senate passed a bipartisan overhaul of the U.S. immigration system, Obama announced he had instructed cabinet officials to prepare reports advising him what executive orders he could legally issue to mend a broken system on his own. “If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours,” Obama said. “I expect their recommendations before the end of summer and I intend to adopt those recommendations without further delay.”

But Obama has backtracked from his original timeline in recent days. It’s now an open question whether the move will come before the calendar officially turns to fall on Sept. 22. “There is the chance that it could be before the end of the summer. There is the chance that it could be after the summer,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Tuesday. Obama’s advisers have yet to present any policy recommendations, which will precede a presidential decision.

Immigration activists and Democratic aides who have pressed Obama to use his executive authority say they now fear the White House may wait until after the midterms to act. “It seems like we’re losing the argument,” says one immigration activist who met with Obama this summer. A Democratic Congressional aide told TIME the White House seemed to be “getting cold feet” about its original timeline.

Why the delay?

Blame election season. Democratic campaign strategists believe that a sweeping move to grant deportation relief before November would imperil the reelection bids of several vulnerable Senate incumbents, and have pressed the White House to hold off until at least mid-November. The White House doesn’t want an executive order on immigration to tip tight races to its opponents. And the unresolved child-migration crisis at the southwestern border has further muddied a decision already fraught with political risks. But no matter the timing, Obama still intends to unilaterally reshape U.S. immigration law in the absence of Congressional action. “The president is determined to act,” Earnest said Tuesday. “That has not changed and it will not change.”

What policy options is Obama considering?

Obama’s exact plans are unknown. But he is weighing using his executive authority to grant work permits and deportation relief for several million undocumented immigrants, perhaps through expanding a 2012 program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Obama may also decide to reform immigration enforcement priorities, as well as to offer special protections for specific groups of workers, as business groups have sought.

What might be the political benefits of waiting until after the midterms?

Democratic campaign strategists and some White House officials believe that taking executive action on immigration would jeopardize Democratic Senators who are fighting to stave off challengers in conservative states like Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska and North Carolina. Control of the Senate may hinge on the outcome of those races. “It would have the unhelpful consequence of putting the issue in the news in a way that doesn’t help Democrats, while also not accomplishing anything,” says a national Democratic strategist.

Of the most competitive Senate races this year, Colorado—which is home to a burgeoning Hispanic population—is perhaps the only one in which aggressive executive orders would be highly likely to benefit the Democratic candidate, Sen. Mark Udall. Democratic campaign strategists argue the move would not only endanger the party’s grip on the upper chamber, but also eliminate the diminishing chance that Congress passes a comprehensive overhaul in the near future. If a move “swings the election,” says the Democratic strategist, “that will set back comprehensive immigration reform for years.”

What might be the political benefits of acting now?

Immigration-reform advocates say that a bold move to protect millions from deportation would cement Democrats’ bond with increasingly frustrated Hispanics, giving the party an edge with the nation’s fastest-growing demographic group for a generation or more. And while it would almost surely help Democrats in 2016—as the creation of DACA did in 2012—it’s not necessarily clear that it would hurt in November.

In addition to thrilling Latinos, expansive executive action would incense conservative Republicans, and potentially incite the GOP’s anti-immigration wing to make damaging remarks that Democrats could wield as campaign cudgels. “It’s a winner coming and going,” says Frank Sharry, head of the pro-immigration reform group America’s Voice. “No matter what he does, the right wing is going to go bonkers,” Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, told reporters last week. “If he goes mild, he’ll energize the right, but he won’t energize the center and the left.”

What about splitting the difference?

A third option under consideration, according to White House aides, is that Obama announces some modest executive orders before the election, but holds off until mid-November to announce more sweeping components. This seems unlikely, however, because it minimizes the political rewards but not the risks. Republicans would still assail the President. The issue would still take center stage in the midterms. But Hispanics might view the move as a half-measure from a President who came into office vowing to make immigration reform a priority, but has mostly disappointed them since.

“You cannot, on the one hand, receive a community warmly and embrace them, and say that you are for them and that you’re ready to protect them,” says Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, “and on the other one turn your back on them when you think it’s not in your political self-interest.” Gutierrez has long urged his Democratic counterparts to be patient and let the process of coaxing Republicans to the table play out. In an interview Tuesday, he said it was time for Democrats to stop bowing to political considerations, and for the White House to live up to its commitment to Hispanics.

“I have absolutely no doubt that [Obama] wants to make a broad, bold and generous action,” Gutierrez says. “I hope that Democrats get the hell out of the way and let the President be the President we elected.”

—Additional reporting by Alex Rogers and Zeke J. Miller


In Praise of Steven Sotloff

I didn’t know Steven Sotloff, even though he did some work for Time. But I can recognize who he was from the photo in the Time.com story announcing his death–Sotloff in kevlar helmet, with ill-fitting body armor and the notebook–always the notebook–out there, up front. He wasn’t as dashing as the late and wildly courageous photo-journalist James Foley; somehow, writers never are. I’ve known many stringers like Steve Sotloff and admired almost all of them. They turn up in war zones or other difficult places, looking for adventure and hoping to make a splash…or just tell a compelling story. Many of the brilliant war correspondents whose words and photos have graced Time’s pages started off as stringers. Other stringers can also be academics, with a language skill or a love for the country in question. (Believe me, it is easy to fall in love with Syria and Syrians, or the Yemenis or, in a different era, the Vietnamese.) Still others are local nationals, who risk everything to work for the American media for a variety of reasons–money, truth, patriotism, professional pride.

But they all have one thing in common: they are lovers of freedom, personal freedom, their right to pursue the news. Often, to a fault. And I cannot forget another thing: their generosity. As a visiting bigfoot in dangerous places, I’d always meet these men and women at the hotel bar–or the military helipad, waiting for a lift–and I would ask them questions, and their enthusiasm, and knowledge, and humanity, were extraordinary. Their sense of the situation on the ground was, more often than not, the basis of the not-very-deathless words I’d later write. I’d buy them drinks; they gave me wisdom.

They are the precise opposite of those who now seek to murder them. They were–they are–quite a tribe, a tribe of humanists; I was proud, from time to time, to be considered an auxiliary member. I sometimes fear that the changing nature of the news business has made it more difficult for this tribe to thrive. The public doesn’t like bad news, unless it is phony news, involving Kim Kardashian or some other shameless cipher. The public can’t stand the truth of blood that isn’t carefully orchestrated by Hollywood–and the public can choose the news it consumes. But still the stringers come and risk their lives, all for the love of it…leading with their notebooks and cameras, out there, up front, as Steven Sotloff, whom I never knew, did before he was massacred by animals.


TIME Congress

Eric Cantor’s Huge Pay Day

Eric Cantor delivers a speech in Richmond, Va. on June 10, 2014.
Eric Cantor delivers a speech in Richmond, Va. on June 10, 2014. Steve Helber—AP

The former House Majority Leader will get $3.4 million in his first 16 months at new employer Moelis

Nearly three months after a historic primary defeat, former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced he’ll join investment bank Moelis, and follow in the long tradition of lawmakers profiting on their knowledge of the regulatory and political landscape post-Congress.

And boy did Cantor cash out.

Cantor’s $3.4 million compensation package for the next year and four months puts his congressional salary into stark relief. Since he was elected Majority Leader in 2011, Cantor earned $193,400 a year, around $20,000 more annually than a rank-and-file member.

But as Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Moelis, he will receive a $1.4 million signing bonus, $1.6 million in incentive compensation next year and a $400,000 base salary — plus reimbursement for the reasonable cost of a New York City apartment for his first 12 months, and a hotel equivalent rate thereafter.

Cantor wasn’t doing too badly before he left Congress, of course, with the Center for Responsive Politics estimating his net worth in 2012 at around $9.3 million. But the move will certainly bump him into a higher category of wealth.

That said, Cantor won’t be making as much as he might have as a lobbyist, as the seven figure salaries of some former congressmen can attest. Billy Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican congressman who retired in 2005, made $11.6 million in a single year in 2010 while helping to craft President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as leader of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, according to Bloomberg. Former Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd makes nearly $3.3 million a year as the head of the Motion Picture Association of America. In 2011, former Oklahoma Rep. Steve Largent’s total compensation as CTIA-The Wireless Association’s top lobbyist was reportedly $2.7 million. But it’s hard to quibble with a signing bonus worth more than seven times your annual salary.

The move to Wall Street wasn’t unexpected as Cantor, one of the Republican party’s most prolific fundraisers, had close ties to the financial services industry. Three of Cantor’s top campaign contributors during the most recent election cycle were investment firms Blackstone Group, Scoggin Capital Management and Goldman Sachs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Chris Jones, a managing partner of CapitalWorks, predicted to TIME in June that Cantor would take a “prominent role” at a major bank.

TIME Middle East

ISIS Video Purports to Show Killing of Second American Journalist

US freelance journalist Steven Sotloff during a work trip inside Al-Fateh Mosque in Manama, Bahrain on October 26, 2010.
US freelance journalist Steven Sotloff during a work trip inside Al-Fateh Mosque in Manama, Bahrain on October 26, 2010. Mazen—EPA

Second time in as many weeks

A video released Tuesday by the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) purports to show the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff. If the video is authentic, it would be the second time ISIS has killed an American journalist in as many weeks.

The video was first obtained and released by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks the online activities of terrorist groups. The video, which TIME is not publishing and whose authenticity U.S. officials couldn’t immediately confirm, is similar to the video released last month of an ISIS militant killing American journalist James Foley. It depicts Sotloff, clearly under duress, criticizing American foreign policy before a warning from his masked killer and a threat to kill another foreign journalist.

“You, Obama, have but to gain from your actions but another American citizen,” the masked killer says into the camera, addressing President Barack Obama. “So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

“We take this opportunity to warn those governments that enter this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State to back off and leave our people alone,” the militant says.

Sotloff, a freelance journalist who had written for TIME among other outlets, had been held by ISIS since he was taken captive in Syria more than a year ago.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by reports of Steven Sotloff’s death,” TIME editor Nancy Gibbs said in a statement. “Steven was a valued contributor to TIME and other news organizations, and he gave his life so readers would have access to information from some of the most dangerous places in the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

The Obama Administration said Tuesday that intelligence officials are working to determine the video’s authenticity.

“If the video is genuine we are sickened by this brutal act taking the life of another innocent American citizen,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said the U.S. intelligence community “is working as quickly as possible to determine [the video's] authenticity.”

“Our thoughts and prayers, first and foremost, are with Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Sotloff’s family and those who worked with him,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

ISIS has for months been mounting attacks and capturing territory across Iraq and along the Iraq-Syria border, even in the face of American airstrikes. The U.S. launched a raid in Syria in an attempt to free Foley and Sotloff earlier this summer, Pentagon officials said after Foley’s death, but American forces did not find the captives at the target location. Following Foley’s execution, the U.S. officials began considering expanding the air campaign against ISIS in Iraq and into Syria.

TIME 2014 Election

Jay-Z, Kanye West, Kings of Leon Used to Register Millennial Voters

2014 Budweiser Made In America Festival - Day 2 - Philadelphia
A general view of atmosphere at the 2014 Budweiser Made In America Festival at Benjamin Franklin Parkway on August 30, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Kevin Mazur—Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch

HeadCount was everywhere from the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival to "On the Run" with Jay-Z and Beyonce this summer with one goal in mind: get millennials excited about voting in November

Summer music festival season is officially over, but Jane Henderson, 24, has more to show for it than an assortment of multicolored wristbands and awkward tan lines.

Over the past three months, Henderson has traveled to 28 festivals, stadium concerts, and live music shows with hopes of getting millennial voters excited about the 2014 Midterm elections. This summer alone, Henderson’s organization, the New York based non-partisan civic engagement organization HeadCount, has helped register 11,266 voters and gotten 23,828 voters to pledge to hit the polls this cycle.

“We share this common goal of wanting to make our world better and wanting to do that through the power of music,” says Henderson, HeadCount’s director of artist engagement, who was back working festivals this summer after being struck by a car while canvassing at the South by Southwest festival in Austin in March.

Henderson, who has been working with HeadCount since 2011, says this election season has been a real challenge—as data has shown, young voters are among the groups least likely to participate during Midterm contests, despite showing up in droves during the most recent election. The Harvard University Institute of Politics found less than 1 in 4 voters under 30 plans to participate in the 2014 election, which could spell trouble for the Democratic party which has relied on young voters in the past couple of election cycles. And though young voters are passionate about a range of issues, Henderson says they often fail to turn that passion into action outside of Presidential elections.

“During Presidential elections, if you don’t realize what’s going on you’re probably living under a rock,” Henderson says. “But Midterms are not that accessible.”

In HeadCount’s eyes, music and musicians can step in and bridge the divide. Aside from attending shows to get folks registered, HeadCount works directly with artists to get them to encourage their fans and followers to participate. “I’ve met a lot of people who don’t like politics,” says Henderson. “I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like music.”

In 2012, HeadCount commissioned artists to share pictures of clipboards designed with a get-out-the-vote message on their social media accounts. On Election Day, their campaign received over 150 million social media impressions. This year, they’re hoping to double it.

It’s a lofty goal, but given the success of social media campaigns used to engage young people—and the fact that the group has the backing of musical heavy hitters including Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band, and Beyonce—the group may be on to something. According to the Yale University Institute for Social and Policy Studies, personal delivery is the most effective way to mobilize voters. That’s where Head Count’s presence at events like the Budweiser Made in America Festival held in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend can have the largest impact.

Between sets from artists and DJs ranging from AWOLNATION to Steve Aoki—and with headliners including Kanye West and Kings of Leon drawing large crowds to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway despite overcast skies and a torrential downpour—Head Count was able to interact with nearly 300 young people in Philadelphia who either registered or pledged to vote in the upcoming election.

On the steamy Sunday afternoon, volunteers weaved in and out of crowds with clipboards, asking groups of youngsters clad in duds from American Apparel and Urban Outfitters if they were registered to vote. Every once in a while, a handful of future voters would approach HeadCount’s tent, located in a row of non-profit organizations looking to engage with festivalgoers. And though the crowd at Made in America was noticeably young—with many of the people HeadCount volunteers interacted with a bit too young to get out the vote come November—Henderson says their impact will still be felt.

“Maybe we don’t register them there,” Henderson told TIME after the festival. “But on some level I know the interaction stays with them. The importance of voting stays with them; that nudging reminder that when they turn 18, this is something that they should do. And that – just that interaction alone – is enough to make me believe that what we are doing is meaningful.”




TIME 2014 Election

GOP Group Hits Vulnerable Democratic Senator as Creature of Washington

Landrieu is facing Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy in the state's tight Senate fight

The big-spending Republican super PAC American Crossroads released a new video Tuesday painting vulnerable incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) as a good candidate for Washington—not for her constituents back home.

“I really can appreciate the life that we live on The Hill,” Landrieu is shown saying in the minute-long video released by the group. The ad highlights fundraising and policies touted by the Louisiana Democrat that have benefitted her Capitol Hill neighbors as Louisiana residents look on. The video even features a clip of Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray calling Landrieu the “Senator representing the District of Columbia until we become the 51st state.”

Landrieu is facing Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy in the state’s tight Senate fight, considered one of a handful of toss-up races that could determine which party controls the upper chamber following the midterm elections.

TIME Congress

Cantor Joins Investment Bank Following Primary Loss

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., walks from the House floor after delivering his final speech as Majority Leader on Thursday, July 31, 2014. Bill Clark—CQ-Roll Call,Inc./Getty Images

Cantor will offer "strategic counsel" as the bank's vice chairman and managing director

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor joined the executive board of an investment bank on Tuesday, two weeks after he resigned from office in the wake of a stunning primary defeat by a Tea Party candidate.

Cantor will become a vice chairman and managing director of Moelis & Company, a New York-based investment bank with 500 employees 15 offices around the world. He will provide “strategic counsel” to the bank’s global clients, which include corporations, governments and financial sponsors.

“When I considered options for the next chapter of my career, I knew I wanted to join a firm with a great entrepreneurial spirit that focused on its clients,” Cantor said in a joint announcement with the bank’s CEO, Ken Moelis. “I have known Ken for some time and having followed the growth and success of his Firm, I have long admired his vision and leadership.”

Cantor, just the latest in a long line of former elected officials to earn big paychecks after their time in office ends, will earn a base salary of $400,000, plus a $400,000 signing bonus and $1 million in restricted stock, according to the bank’s SEC filing.

“Eric has proven himself to be a pro-business advocate and one who will enhance our boardroom discussions with CEOs and senior management as we help them navigate their most important strategic decisions,” Moelis said.



TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: September 2

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

FBI Probes Photo Hack

The FBI said it was addressing allegations that online accounts of several celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, had been hacked, leading to the posting of private photographs online

How to Secure Cloud Accounts

News of a hacker breaking into iCloud to steal photos has rocked the tech world, where Apple’s security measures had been thought by many to be rock-solid

NATO Unveils Response Force for Ukraine

The alliance announced on Monday that it was planning to assemble a rapid-response force in the face of Russia’s aggressive behavior in eastern Ukraine

Americans Detained in North Korea Speak Out

Foreign media was granted access to Kenneth Bae, Jeffrey Fowle and Mathew Miller, who said they have been able to contact their families; the U.S. has repeatedly offered to send an envoy to seek a pardon for their release

Houston Astros Fire Manager Bo Porter

The Astros said Porter’s dismissal had less to do with the team’s 59-79 record than the need for “new direction” and a “united message throughout the entire organization.” Tom Lawless, who worked in Houston’s minor-league system, takes over as interim manager

Action Movies Make You Eat More

A new study finds that the amount of food people consumed while watching TV was determined by the type of content they were exposed to; people watching an action flick ate almost twice as much as those watching a talk show

U.S. Military Attacks al-Shabab in Somalia

The Pentagon said it was assessing the results of an operation that had U.S. military forces hit the extremist network in a forest south of Mogadishu, a strike that officials say targeted leader Ahmed Abdi Godane as he left a meeting of the group’s top chiefs

Louisiana to Follow Judge’s Order on Abortion Law

A spokeswoman said the state’s health department will follow a federal judge’s order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital

Cutting Carbs Improves Your Waist and Heart, Study Says

A new study in Annals of Internal Medicine finds that when people followed either a low-fat or low-carb diet for a year, those who cut carbs lost significantly more weight while lowering their heart disease risk factors than dieters who reduced the amount of fat they ate

Ferguson Cops Start Using Body Cameras

Officers in Ferguson, Mo., attached body cameras to their uniforms while policing a peaceful demonstration on Saturday, three weeks after the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a policeman sparked unrest

Carrie Underwood Is Expecting Her First Child

That’s according to a whimsical photo the Grammy Award–winning country star posted to Twitter on Monday. This will be the first child for Underwood and her husband, hockey player Mike Fisher, who tweeted they were considering an unusual name for the baby: Fly

Missing Chapter From Roald Dahl Classic Published

The missing chapter found in Roald Dahl’s papers was originally intended to be the fifth in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but was reportedly deemed too subversive to print as it describes a “pounding and cutting room” where two naughty children are sent

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TIME Military

The U.S. Should Not Wage War Against ISIS Like Afghanistan and Iraq

Iraqi security forces and Shi'ite militias advance towards town of Amerli from their position in the Ajana
Some of the Iraqi security forces who helped free the town of Amerli over the weekend with help from U.S. air strikes Reuters

But those two campaigns offer clues on how it should be done

The U.S. waged two effective short-term wars following 9/11. Unfortunately, the nation then grafted them onto far more ambitious enterprises that not only drove their costs, in American blood and treasure, through the roof, but also sowed the seeds for failure.

That’s the key takeaway to keep in mind as President Obama weighs what to do about the rampage now being conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in both of those nations.

Over the Labor Day weekend, U.S. airpower, combined with Iraqi help on the ground, broke a two-month ISIS siege of the village of Amerli in northern Iraq. The militants had been tightening a noose around the farming town, cutting off water, food and power, and residents had begun dying. Finally, beginning late Saturday, a handful of U.S. air strikes let Iraqi forces and militias break the siege.

While President Obama said the strikes would be “limited in their scope and duration,” their success offers a template, in miniature, for a broader U.S.-led campaign against the Islamist militant group.

It would mark a departure from recent U.S.-led wars. “No one is advocating unilateral invasion, occupation or nation-building,” Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wrote in a weekend op-ed column in the New York Times, urging stepped-up U.S. military action against ISIS. “This should be more like Afghanistan in 2001, where limited numbers of advisers helped local forces, with airstrikes and military aid, to rout an extremist army.”

In Afghanistan, the U.S. waged a monthlong campaign that drove the Taliban from Kabul. It relied on U.S. airpower and special operators on the ground, working with local anti-Taliban forces. Then, the U.S. launched a 13-year effort, still under way, to build an Afghan government immune to the Taliban.

Many Taliban fled to Pakistan, where they continue to plot to retake power in Afghanistan once U.S. combat units pull out at the end of 2014. There’s an echo of that Taliban sanctuary in Pakistan in ISIS’s presence in Syria. Any beefed-up campaign against ISIS militants is going to have to attack their targets in both nations.

In Iraq, the U.S. military pushed Saddam Hussein from Baghdad less than three weeks after invading the country. But the U.S. soon became mired in an eight-year nation-building effort that failed to build a nation. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S., despite its best intentions, helped install leaders who have done little to lead their countries to a better place.

And that exposes the futility of the so-called Pottery Barn rule. Retired Army general and then Secretary of State Colin Powell summed it up by saying the U.S. had responsibility for the nations it invaded: “If you break it, you own it.”

But war isn’t always about creating something better. Sometimes it’s simply about ridding the world of terrorists whose zealotry compels them to kill innocents.

For a warrior-diplomat renowned for his earlier guidelines on going to war — the so-called Powell doctrine required a clear and obtainable objective before the first bombs fell — the Pottery Barn rule proved daunting.

Actually, Pottery Barn doesn’t have such a rule. If a customer stumbles into a vase and sends it crashing to the floor, the company writes it off as a cost of doing business. It’s past time for the U.S. government to scrap its misinterpretation of the so-called rule.

War isn’t a positive experience for anyone, and all involved are ill served by pretending otherwise.

If the U.S. deems ISIS to be a threat to U.S. national security, the U.S. military, backed by presidential order and a congressional declaration, should wage unrelenting attacks against it. Instead of embracing Powell’s view, the nation would be better served thinking of war as 17th century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes viewed human life without government: “nasty, brutish and short.”

TIME Immigration

Obama Plugs ‘Immigration Rights’ in Labor Day Address

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama speaks at Laborfest 2014 at Henry Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee on Labor Day, Sept. 1, 2014 Charles Dharapak—AP

Off-the-cuff statement indicates Obama is laying the groundwork for unilateral executive action that could defer prosecutions for millions of illegal immigrants

Delivering a fiery address marking Labor Day in Milwaukee on Monday, President Barack Obama for the first time indicated his support for the rights of immigrants in the U.S.

“Hope is what gives us courage; hope is what gave soldiers courage to storm a beach,” Obama said, harkening back to his 2008 presidential campaign. “Hope is what gives young people the strength to march for women’s rights and workers’ rights and civil rights and voting rights and gay rights and immigration rights.”

It was the first time “immigration rights” had been included in the president’s familiar riff on civil principles, and the first time Obama has used the phrase outside the context of referring to “immigration-rights activists.”

The statement, seemingly delivered off the cuff, is the latest indication of Obama laying the groundwork for unilateral executive action that could defer prosecutions for millions who arrived in the United States illegally.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is expected to give Obama recommendations for action by the end of the summer. Activists believe the President is preparing to extend the deferred action program to millions, but the timing of the actions is uncertain given November’s midterm elections.

Speaking to a boisterous union crowd Monday, Obama criticized congressional Republicans for blocking efforts to raise the minimum wage. “Not only is it not right,” Obama said, “it ain’t right.” “I’m not asking for the moon, I just want a good deal for American workers,” Obama said.

Obama also plugged union membership, which has steadily declined in recent decades, saying that if he was “busting my butt in the service industry” or was a police officer he would join a union to secure higher wages and job protections.

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