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Posts tagged ‘Condoleezza Rice’

Rutgers Prof. Bell: Condi Rice Supported Torture in Iraq.

A Rutgers University history professor says he helped circulate a petition to ban former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from giving this year’s commencement address because she allegedly promoted torture and lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

“We believe she was deeply co-involved in the authorization of what she [called] extended, expanded or enhanced interrogation but which we call torture and in violation of international human rights,” Dr. Rudolph “Rudy” Bell told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“We also think that she played a critical role in perpetrating the misinformation and outright lies concerning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which led to a war for no purpose.

“[It] resulted in the deaths of 100,000 Iraqis. So, we don’t think she’s an appropriate commencement speaker.”

Story continues below video.

On Friday, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi reaffirmed the selection of Rice as commencement speaker.

“On May 18, we will welcome former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to deliver the 2014 Rutgers University–New Brunswick commencement address,” Barchi wrote in a note to the university.

It was his first comment on Rice’s upcoming appearance since a faculty group called on Rutgers to pull the invitation.

Bell said his information is based on “a variety of sources” including New York Times reports and official documentation.

“Certainly, nobody doubts that there was water boarding,” he said.

Bell added that he is not against Rice visiting Rutgers on other days.

“She’s welcome to come to campus tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, any day she wants. Anything but commencement, I welcome her,” he said.

“We welcome academic freedom. She is welcome to give a talk and we should then in response ask her questions. That’s what academic freedom is about. Not being a commencement speaker.”

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Bill Hoffmann

Bipartisan Task Force: Citizenship A Must for True Immigration Reform.

A bipartisan group says the nation can no longer “afford or tolerate” what amounts to “de facto amnesty” for the 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States and must allow them to apply for citizenship.

In an op-ed piece published Thursday by Politico, the four co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center‘s Immigration Task Force laid out a plan to “fix” or reform key areas of the U.S. immigration system, beginning with the recognition that the millions of immigrants living here illegally are not going away. They agreed that it does not make sense economically or morally not allow the opportunity to become citizens.

The co-chairs are former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, and former Govs. Haley Barbour of Mississippi and and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.

“These individuals are not living up to their economic potential, are open to exploitation and cost us millions of dollars annually in law enforcement and other expenses,” they wrote. “No matter how you spin it, what exists today is de facto amnesty, a situation we can no longer afford or tolerate.”

Creating a path to citizenship was just one of several recommendations laid out by the task force co-chairs, who also stressed that the public “deserves to know whether the nation’s borders are secure and how effectively their border-protection tax dollars are being spent.”

The four called for Congress to authorize “scientifically valid” measures to assess progress on border control, adding that the measures should be audited independently to ensure an accurate picture of unauthorized immigration.

“Protecting America’s national security also depends on our ability to enforce our immigration laws within the country,” they wrote, noting the system must also be able to accurately show how many immigrants remain in the United States after their visas expire.

The group also called for a system that does not allow undocumented immigrants to receive green cards before others who have applied legally and are waiting. They make an exception, however, for those who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. They also recommended that visas “for those currently in line should be made available within a maximum 10-year period.”

The two Democratic and two Republican co-chairs agree that a steady flow of legal immigrants who have made contributions to help build the nation is well documented and should be continued through a robust worker visa program that attracts both skilled and unskilled workers.

Small businesses would also benefit from being able to bring in immigrant workers through a new legal visa program, they said. But they called for a visa system that’s directed more toward industries facing labor shortages. The new visa program, they said, must also include tougher penalties for employers who exploit undocumented immigrants.

Rice, Barbour, Cisneros, and Rendell said the “current system is fundamentally flawed and broken,” but they insisted that there is plenty of room for Republican and Democrats to reach a consensus on how to move forward.

“If we can focus on where there is agreement and then work conscientiously to narrow our differences, then real and durable reform is possible,” they concluded.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

Rice: Terrorist Acts Test Presidential Leadership.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says terrorist attacks like the one that rocked the Boston Marathon present presidents with a leadership dilemma.

While presidents typically wants to comfort the nation, Rice says, it can be difficult for them to do this while saying or doing nothing that would compromise a crime investigation.

Editor’s Note: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Rice tells “CBS This MorningPresident Barack Obama “wants to reassure the American people that the government is on the trail.” But she also says he “has to be very careful not to give out information prematurely here and they have to be sure they aren’t tipping off the people who are responsible.”

Rice was President George W. Bush’s national security adviser when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

A Black Physician Reflects on the 2013 Inaugural Address.

Dr. Marilyn Singleton
Dr. Marilyn Singleton

Despite the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, many of us were too busy seeing patients to hear President Obama’s second inaugural address. It was less painful to read the transcript.

“What binds this nation together is not the color of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names,” he stated. Then let’s end the government’s obsession with African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans (but never European-Americans). We are all Americans. I feel some moral authority and passion on this subject as a black American whose family moved here from England in the 1600s. I am a full-blooded American!I can’t bear to hear one more person say, “I’m so glad we have an African-American president.” How ironic: Martin Luther King, Jr., urged that we judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

The head of the Congressional Black Caucus admitted that the CBC treats the President with a “deference” not accorded to a white President, and that the CBC is “hesitant” to criticize the current President. “With 14 percent unemployment [versus 6.9 percent for whites], if we had a white president, we’d be marching around the White House.”

This Administration and/or its tools use race as a crutch when facing legitimate criticism, for example Susan Rice’s willful or incompetent misleading of Americans about the Benghazi deaths. Rep. Jim Clyburn said calling Susan Rice “unqualified” to be Secretary of State was a racist “code word.”

Curiously, “unqualified” was not a “code word” when used against Clarence Thomas in his Supreme Court hearings. It was noted that he was particularly unqualified because he had served on the D.C. Circuit for only one year and four months. God forbid we should raise the same question about Elena Kagan or Thurgood Marshall (whom Thomas replaced), who were never judges at all.

And what about the other Rice? Who can forget how a former Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, was maliciously attacked as a “house slave” in the Bush Administration?

We next learned that the “patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few, or the rule of the mob.” I guess President Obama and Nancy Pelosi are not part of the Spirit of ’76 since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or “ObamaCare”) was rammed through Congress with a five-vote margin, 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against it. Obama only had one open discussion session, breaking his campaign promise to have open negotiations on C-SPAN.

Instead, Democrats in the White House and Congress made private, multibillion-dollar deals with hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, other special interests—and each other.
Moreover, said Obama, “Together we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.” Rules are fine when the President makes them up along the way. ACA waivers come to mind.

“We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care.” Now that we are learning how “reform” will increase costs, it is clear that naming it the Affordable Care Act was a marketing tool. The most bothersome aspect is that we don’t yet know the identity of the “choosers” who will decide whose care to ration or whose bank account to raid. It is very telling that Obama did not proudly extol the virtues of his signature legislation.

“We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time.” Then, Mr. President, encourage Harry Reid to act on congressional legislation that attempts to restructure Medicare and Social Security instead of deriding these efforts as throwing Granny off a cliff.

Sadly, a thread woven throughout the speech was that Obama will liberate us from our autonomous, free, yet nonetheless pathetic, unhappy existence. He asserted several times that only a select few were making it in America, and he was going to do something about that!

We can only hope that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was right: “A lie cannot live.”


Marilyn M. Singleton, M.D., is a board-certified anesthesiologist, professor, lawyer and Association of American Physicians and Surgeons member.

The listening legacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The legacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of State may be in her enhancement of the diplomatic art of listening to other peoples – especially women – and not only world leaders. With President Obama honoring her in a “60 Minutes” interview, that legacy needs to be sustained.

The greatest challenge of our time, said Madeleine Albright last week to a group of Massachusetts students, “is between the people who are willing to listen and those who believe they know it all.”

As the first female United States secretary of State (1997 to 2001), Ms. Albright set a precedent for the US in the art of listening more and asserting its interests less in foreign affairs. She was a model for two women who later ran the State DepartmentCondoleezza Riceand Hillary Rodham Clinton.

As Secretary Clinton now leaves office after four years as America’s top diplomat, she, too, is telling others – such as in a “60 Minutes” interview with President Obama – that diplomatic style matters as much as substance for the world’s most powerful country.

Take, for example, her advice to US lawmakers last week on how the US should act in North Africa to repel Al Qaeda-linked Islamic militants: “We have to approach it with humility.”

The US military alone can’t stabilize a terrorist-torn nation like Mali, the center of current fighting in North Africa. The Pentagon’s previous training of Mali’s Army only led to a coup against an elected leader, sparking the kind of chaos on which Islamists thrive. Instead, as Clinton advised, the US must learn from the examples of Somalia and Colombia, where the US helped deploy a balance of its assets – diplomacy, development, and defense, or the “3 D’s” – to quell insurgencies in those countries.

Clinton refers to this security strategy as “smart power,” but its main tactic is to hold back force in reserve in favor of connecting first to other nations through personal ties and building coalitions. A good part of her legacy also lies in building closer ties between the State Department and the Pentagon and in expanding the US diplomatic corps.

“Nobody can match us in military assets and prowess,” she told Congress last week, “but a lot of the challenges we face are not immediately – or sustainably – solved by military action alone.”

Her favorite approach, as seen during official visits to 112 countries, was to listen to private citizens, mainly women, young people, and leaders of “civil society” groups. This listening style allowed her to take the pulse of a country but also plant seeds of goodwill and expand shared values. If she doesn’t run for president in 2016, this “soft power” activism may be her next calling.

She leaves State having enhanced an office devoted to women’s rights and created one dedicated to young people. With Mr. Obama in office for four more years, this style of outreach will likely continue under the incoming secretary of State, Sen. John F. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat.

By talking directly to women in countries with mass poverty and conflict, Clinton elevated their status in the economy and as leaders. “People are beginning to see that empowering women leads to economic development. That you don’t espouse women’s rights because it’s a virtuous thing to do but because it leads to economic growth,” she said.

Women are also usually the people most affected by war, and thus often the ones who must be on the front lines of negotiating for peace. Clinton’s global “listening” tours may have left lasting contrails of peacemaking that won’t be seen for decades.

Perhaps the measure of future secretaries of State should no longer be the policy “doctrine” they leave behind but the quality of bonds created with other peoples.


By the Monitor’s Editorial Board | Christian Science Monitor

Clinton soars, Palin plummets in most-admired survey.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sets a record in Gallup’s annual most-admired survey, while Sarah Palin falls farther off the popularity radar.

800px-Defense.gov_News_Photo_100406-D-7203C-002Gallup has run its most-admired man and woman survey since World War II, and in the 2012 edition, Clinton and President Barack Obama kept their top positions among those asked a simple question: “What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most? And who is your second choice?”

LinkRead the survey

Clinton was named as most-admired woman for the 17th time since she became a national figure in 1992. Eleanor Roosevelt held the previous record when she was named 13 times as the most-admired woman.

The only two women to finish ahead of Clinton in that 20-year period were Mother Teresa (twice) andLaura Bush (once).

Obama was named most-admired man for the fifth time. President Dwight Eisenhower was named 12 times in the survey as most admired.

Palin came within one percentage point of matching Hillary Clinton in 2009, when she had 15 percent of the polling, compared with 16 percent for Clinton.

In 2012, Palin had just 2 percent of the polling, finishing in a fifth-place tie. Clinton had 21 percent, followed by First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Condoleezza Rice.

President Barack Obama had 30 percent of the polling for men, followed by Nelson Mandela, Mitt Romney, the Reverend Billy Graham, George W. Bush, and Pope Benedict XVI.

The pollsters at Gallup say it’s not unusual for the current president to be named as most-admired man. But in the past, Pope John Paul II, Henry Kissinger, and then-former president Eisenhower were picked over sitting presidents.

With the exception of Mother Teresa, the eight most popular women in the poll since 1946 have had political connections. Margaret Thatcher and Jacqueline Kennedy won a combined 11 times.

The Reverend Billy Graham has appeared in the top 10 list a staggering 56 times, with Ronald Reagan second with 31 appearances. Queen Elizabeth II has been in the top 10 list 46 times. However, neither Graham nor the queen were ever named first in the poll.

Among the names from the 2011 top 10 list that didn’t make it in the following year are Angeline Jolie, Warren Buffett, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Laura Bush, Ellen DeGeneres, and Michele Bachmann.


By NCC Staff | National Constitution Center

How John McCain Forced Out Susan Rice.

It seemed a little strange that Sen. John McCain launched a crusade against U.N. ambassador Susan Rice for what she said about the Benghazi attacks on five Sunday talk shows September 17, but it’s stranger still that he won. Rice withdrew her name from consideration to be Secretary of State Thursday afternoon, and President Obama released a statement saying he accepted it. (Click here for more updates and a statement from McCain.) Only a few weeks ago, Obama sounded like he was strongly behind Rice, saying, “If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me.” How did he change course so fast? Not only did McCain’s successful campaign to block Rice’s appointment focused on an odd part of the controversy — Rice’s punditry — but McCain wasn’t all that good at waging it. Here’s a timeline of the big moments that forced out Rice — and probably now welcome in John Kerry:

September 11: Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, are killed in attacks on the American consulate in Benghazi.

September 17: Rice goes on five Sunday shows and says that the best available intelligence suggests the attacks were inspired by protests in front of the American embassy in Cairo over an anti-Islam video. By then, there were reports suggesting they weren’t related.

November 15: McCain holds a press conference about Rice during a classified hearing on Benghazi.

November 16: David Petraeus meets with lawmakers and tells them what the CIA talking points were. In a word-for-word comparison, they were quite close to what Rice said.

November 20: McCain shifts his complaints to say he’s upset the Director of National Intelligence changed Rice’s talking points to remove references to terror groups.

November 25: McCain softens his tone on Rice, saying he’s open to talking with Rice about Benghazi: “I think she deserves the ability and the opportunity to explain her position.”

November 27: Rice meets with McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte about her talking points. She issues a statement saying her talking points were partially “incorrect.” McCain isn’t satisfied.

December 10: It’s announced McCain will join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which is in charge of vetting Obama’s Secretary of State nominee.

Rice hadn’t been in the news much while Washington fixated on the fiscal cliff, so why release her withdrawal now? Why not wait until Obama nominated someone else? In Rice’s letter to Obama withdrawing her name from consideration, she says, “The position of Secretary of State should never be politicized.” Given recent history (Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice), she’s leaning pretty heavily on the difference between “should never be” and “has never been.”

Perhaps Rice’s decision had something to do with a new problem: reports that she is significantly investedin the Canadian company that wanted to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which the State Department delayed. Conservatives were looking at other Rice investments, like in Royal Dutch Shell, which buys Iranian oil. Maybe there as a sense that the Rice fight would never end?

In a statement following Rice’s announcement, McCain thanked her for her service but said he’d continue to “seek the facts.” There was a sense, during and after the election, that conservatives were shocked Benghazi — a terrorist attack amid worldwide protests — didn’t undo the Obama campaign. But McCain certainly never doubted he would win in the long run. At a December 3 press conference, he referred to John Kerry — long seen as Obama’s second choice for Secretary of State — as “Mr. Secretary.” We’ll see about that.

Source: YAHOO NEWS / The Atlantic Wire.


Israel’s ex-FM Livni announces return to politics.



JERUSALEM (AP) — Former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livniannounced her return to politics on Tuesday, telling supporters that she was forming a new party to run in January parliamentary elections on a platform promising an aggressive push for peace with the Palestinians.

Livni, who served as Israel’s foreign minister and chief peace negotiator from 2006 to 2009, bitterly attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as she announced the formation of her new party, called “The Movement.”

“I came to fight for peace … and I won’t allow anyone to turn peace into a bad word,” she said.

Her announcement brought a new, high-profile voice to the campaign to oust Netanyahu’s hardline government. But with hisLikud Party leading in opinion polls and the dovish opposition divided between several parties, her candidacy did not immediately appear to pose a threat to the prime minister.

During Netanyahu’s four years in power, peace talks with the Western-backed Palestinian government of President Mahmoud Abbas have remained frozen.

Frustrated with the impasse, Abbas is now heading to the United Nations this week to seek upgraded observer status for his people. Israel opposes the bid, saying Palestinian independence can only come through negotiations.

At the same time, Israel has now entered indirect, Egypt-mediated negotiations with Abbas’ rival, the Islamic militant Hamas movement, as part of a cease-fire deal that ended an eight-day Israeli military offensive in Hamas’ Gaza stronghold last week.

“Everything is upside down: a government that negotiates with terrorists and freezes all dialogue with those who work to prevent attacks, the opposite message that is needed in the tough neighborhood we live in,” Livni said.

Livni was internationally respected during her term as foreign minister, forging a strong relationship with her American counterpart, Condoleezza Rice, as well as the Palestinians. She has been identified by both Time and Newsweek magazines as one of the world’s most influential women.

But she has stumbled as a politician. Livni assumed leadership of the centrist Kadima Party in 2009 elections after then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was forced to resign because of a corruption scandal.

While Kadima won the most parliamentary seats in that election, Livni was unable to form a majority coalition and confined to the opposition. Kadima has steadily lost support, and early this year she was ousted as party leader. Recent polls have forecast that Kadima may not win even a single seat in parliament in the Jan. 22 vote.

Livni said she had not decided who would join her on her party list. One key question is whether Olmert, who was recently cleared of serious corruption charges, will join her.

She said she hoped Olmert would return to politics. But with Olmert still on the sidelines, she said she decided to enter the race “because the field remained empty.” Olmert’s office said only that he has not decided whether to enter the race or support Livni.

Livni, 54, joins a field that includes the centrist Labor Party, led by former journalist Shelly Yachimovich, and the centrist “Yesh Atid,” led by former anchorman Yair Lapid. While largely similar in ideology, these rival parties have focused their agendas largely on domestic economic issues.

“I decided to give an answer to people who don’t have anyone to vote for,” Livni said. “This party will return this hope that was lost.”

Livni’s announced Tuesday was the latest move to shake the Israeli election campaign. On Monday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced his retirement from politics with his tiny Independence Faction struggling in the polls.

Also Monday, the Likud elected its slate of candidates for the new election. The list was dominated by hardline lawmakers opposed to peace efforts with the Palestinians, while Likud voters ousted a number of high-profile party moderates.

The combination of Barak’s departure, and the hard-line character of Likud, could push some undecided voters back to the centrist opposition.

A new survey published Tuesday — and based on a presumption that Livni would announce a new party — predicted that her new party would garner nine seats in the 120-seat parliament, while Labor would win 20 and Lapid’s party would get only five. That would leave the centrist bloc far short of the 61 seats needed to form a majority coalition.

In contrast, Netanyahu’s Likud would win 37 seats, making it by the largest single party in parliament, with hardline nationalist and religious parties giving it a majority.

The poll by the Maagar Mochot agency surveyed 504 people and had a margin of error of 4.5 percent.


By JOSEF FEDERMAN | Associated Press

Porn Sites Match Your Face to Sex Stars.



Ever see an attractive person and wonder what he or she looked like naked?

Two porn websites have made that fantasy a reality, using facial-recognition technology to match user-submitted photos of people to porn stars.

But there doesn’t appear to be any mechanism for consent on the part of the people whose images are submitted. And what happens if someone uses the matches to harass an ex-girlfriend, an ex-husband or a friend’s mother?

Gee, you look familiar

“We think [facial] matching is the future and we stand behind it,” Naughty America chief executive officer Eddie Arenas said when his company’s “Face Match” feature went live in June. “What we’ve developed is a system where users can visually show us exactly what they want and then see similar images.”

Face Match, available at (the front page is safe for work), lets you upload, link to or email a JPEG file from a computer or mobile device.

It promises to find porn stars who look like the person whose photo you uploaded, along with links to images and video of those porn stars in business.

But there’s a catch. We tried it using a public-domain photo of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but whether we used a URL link or a direct upload, the Naughty America site told us that “high domain volume” prevented the feature from working immediately.

Instead, the site wanted our email address in order to send us the matches. We don’t want porn emails coming to us at work, so we stopped right there.

We took a look at some of the examples offered on the Face Match site. They weren’t too convincing. Five matches were offered for “Call Me Maybe” Carly Rae Jepsen, but none really looked like her, other than sharing Jepsen’s dark shoulder-length hair.

Meanwhile, the matches for a purported user’s “hot neighbor” (clearly a model) were even further off — they couldn’t even get the hair color right. And matches for shock-jock Howard Stern were all women.

The other service, the amusingly named SexFaceFinder (front page barely safe for work) also matches images, but this time the results are women on the other end of paid live-video-chat services.

“Upload any picture of your fantasy girl and find her HOT LIVE look-alike!” the site promises.

We again tried the recent secretary of state. While the picture uploaded correctly, no results were found. Perhaps there weren’t any fifty-something black women with bobbed hair in the database.

So we turned to another familiar figure: Kim Kardashian.

Amazingly, the woman whose face has graced a thousand supermarket-checkout magazine covers has no matches on SexFaceFinder.

[How to Beat Facial-Recognition Software]

Who’s nice, and who’s naughty

Despite its failure at facial recognition, SexFaceFinder does have some advantages over Naughty America’s Face Match.

Not only does SexFaceFinder let you upload PNG and BMP files as well as JPEGs, but it promises to “never save the pictures you upload,” and doesn’t pull a bait-and-switch to harvest your email address. Anyone can use it in complete privacy.

In that respect, as ZDNet‘s Violet Blue points out, SexFaceFinder is adhering to the Federal Trade Commission’s recent recommendations regarding facial-recognition technology.

The FTC asks that companies using such technologies “develop reasonable security protections for the information they collect, and sound methods for determining when to keep information and when to dispose of it.”

Naughty America might not be complying as closely. Several of its purportedly user-submitted examples appear to be of private citizens, who may not be aware they’ve been matched in public to porn stars.

In its Terms of Service for Face Match, Naughty America says that “You acknowledge that any content that you submit … may be edited, removed, modified, published, transmitted and displayed by the Company and you waive any rights you may have in the material.”

Futhermore, “The Company takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content posted by you or any third party,” and users affirm that “submissions to the site shall not represent or portray any person who is under the age of eighteen (18) years old or under the age of majority.”

An email seeking comment from La Touraine, Inc., parent company of Naughty America, was not immediately returned.

“Let’s hope no one finds out the hard way whether or not Naughty America and SexFaceFinder’s databases are maintained with mechanisms in place to deal with false, inappropriate or misattributed data,” Violet Blue wrote in her ZDNet posting.

But she may not have much reason to worry. As far as we could tell, Face Match has received a total of 27 submissions since it launched in June, and most of the images submitted have been of celebrities.

And while SexFaceFinder seemed to handle privacy issues properly, in our tests it just didn’t work.

This story was provided by TechNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience.

Copyright 2012 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

By  Paul Wagenseil, Senior Editor, Security, TechNewsDaily |

Sean Hannity, John Boehner say GOP should tackle immigration reform.

Sean Hannity (AP)Well, that was fast.

Just two days after President Barack Obama won a second term, boosted by more than 70 percent of the Latino vote, some Republicans are striking a new tone on illegal immigration.

Conservative Fox News and radio host Sean Hannity said Thursday that his views on immigration have “evolved.” Hannity continued:

We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It’s simple for me to fix it. I think you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don’t say you gotta go home. And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because you know what—it just—it’s gotta be resolved. The majority of people here—if some people have criminal records you can send ’em home—but if people are here, law-abiding, participating, four years, their kids are born here … first secure the border, pathway to citizenship … then it’s done. But you can’t let the problem continue. It’s gotta stop.

Meanwhile, in an interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, House Speaker John Boehner said he is “confident” the two parties can agree to a deal on immigration.

“This issue has been around far too long,” Boehner said. “A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”

Just two years ago, Boehner said it was worth considering amending the U.S. Constitution to end birthright citizenship, because he said it might discourage people from illegally crossing the border. Boehner was also opposed to President George W. Bush’s attempt to pass immigration reform.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who supports immigration reform, said on CBS on Friday that Republicans had sent “mixed messages” about immigration. “On the immigration issue, which turned out to be very important, and some issues about women, too, some mixed messages were sent,” she said.

The party has been searching for answers about why Mitt Romney lost what seemed like a very winnable election. Many within the party have pointed to the GOP‘s demographics problem: Romney lost every group except for white voters, which is a shrinking portion of the electorate. Latinos this year made up 10 percent of all voters, according to the national exit poll, a share that will only grow each election. Like other groups, most Latino voters say they care most about jobs and the economy, but 35 percent of them listed immigration reform as their top issue in a poll conducted by Latino Decisions. Latino Decisions’ poll found that Romney would have won the popular vote if he had managed to win even just 35 percent of the Latino vote, a share Bush easily won in 2000 and 2004.

Latino voter and advocacy groups have said they expect both Obama and congressional Republicans to work together to pass immigration reform in 2013.

Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, told reporters that Latino voters had sent a message to Obama. “We expect leadership on comprehensive immigration reform in 2013,” he said. “To both sides we say: ‘No more excuses.'”

By  | The Ticket

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