North Of The Border

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • OBAMA URGES CONGRESS TO PASS IMMIGRATION BILLS: Emerging from a meeting on the border crisis with one of his harshest critics, President Obama said he and Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, don't have a major disagreement about how to handle the problem, the challenge is Congress, ABC's MARY BRUCE and DEVIN DWYER report. "There's nothing the governor indicated that he'd like to see that I have a philosophical objection to," the president told reporters yesterday. "The problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem. The challenge is: is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done." "The question is are we more interested in politics or are we more interested in solving the problem," he said. The president urged Republicans to put politics aside and act on his request for $3.7 in emergency funding to cope with the influx of unaccompanied minors flooding across the border.
  • NEW LEGISLATION: ABC News has learned that Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, will announce joint legislation as soon as today that would seek to reverse the 2008 law at the heart of this humanitarian crisis. "Our offices are exploring a bipartisan solution to address the humanitarian crisis on the border," Megan Mitchell, a Cornyn spokeswoman told ABC News. The thrust of the measure would be to treat Central American minors the same as Mexicans when they cross the US border illegally. This will be highly controversial among some Democrats - because of the human trafficking aspect of the original bill. But it's also expected to gain broad support.


ABC's RICK KLEIN: " I'm not interested in photo ops," President Obama told the assembled cameras in Dallas Wednesday night, in explaining why he's not heading to the border. The previous night, the White House had announced that "the bear" would be "on the loose" - and the president loosened up enough to drink a beer and play some pool with the governor of Colorado. (He instructed the reporters traveling - and photographing - that encounter to record that he beat Gov. John Hickenlooper, and badly.) Surely this president, and this White House, understands the impact of images on political perceptions; that may be why officials wouldn't want the president in pictures that showcase makeshift refugee camps housing minors on American soil. The president's strategy in meeting with Gov. Rick Perry appears to have been to get Perry on board for his package of legal changes and increased funding to deal with the crisis. But if Perry - not to mention some of the president's allies - are talking instead about the lack of a presidential visit, good luck with that.

ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE: The Republican Governors Association is reporting another record breaking fundraising period. According to the group they have $70.3 million cash on hand and that's the most cash on hand they have "ever had in the group's history." In 2010, the last similar cycle they only had $40 million cash on hand at the same point in the cycle. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie-the RGA Chairman-may still be dealing with Bridgegate fall out, but he can definitely still raise cash. Since he was elected chairman in November 2013, the RGA has hauled in $60 million, $10 million more than last month, which was also a record breaker. In the second quarter, the group raised $26.6 million, compared to only $19 million in 2010. They are spending their money in 2014 states, raising money in 13 states and running television ads in eight of them. The Republicans have to defend 22 governorships this cycle, eight more than Democrats (they also hold 8 more governorships than Democrats). Christie will fundraise in two all important early states this month, making a stop in Iowa to fundraise for Gov. Terry Branstad and then fundraising for the New Hampshire GOP at the end of the month.

ABC's JEFF ZELENY: The ball is now in Congress' court. A flurry of legislative action on immigration is poised to start today, with a group of Republicans pushing to reverse the 2008 human trafficking law at the center of the latest border crisis. But the more pressing question is whether the emergency funding request - at $3.7 billion or whatever level - is swiftly approved or caught up in the political morass surrounding the immigration fight. Will this be a rare example of bipartisan cooperation? It's hard to imagine, given the lack of trust and the love for playing the blame game on Capitol Hill. But if Republicans don't sign off on border security measures put forward by President Obama, Sen. Lindsey Graham had this warning: "We're going to get blamed for perpetuating the problem."



WHY POLITICAL E-MAILS ARE GETTING EVEN WEIRDER. Last month came to an end, and right on time, the crazy emails came flooding in with subject lines like these: "Can we chat real quick?" "We're so sorry!" "THIS CAN'T WAIT" "Democrats NEED you to open this" "Wow just wow" Like car salesmen itchy to make their quotas, political campaigns ooze with desperation as each month draws to a close. In an election year like this one, the Federal Election Commission counts donations monthly for parties and quarterly for campaigns, and candidates get eager to post impressive numbers before the deadline as an indication of momentum and strength. So, as ABC's CHRIS GOOD notes, they flood their backers with pleadings, proddings, urgings, come-ons and sometimes even veiled threats, all via email - a source of campaign fundraising that's exploded over the last decade. The authors of these breathless entreaties often go unnamed. But they are political e-mail gurus such as Anne Lewis, who runs an eponymous Democratic firm, Anne Lewis Strategies. And also former Obama consultants Andrew Bleeker and Lauren Miller, of Bully Pulpit Strategies, who contracted with the president's reelection campaign in 2012. Then there's Republican Kurt Luidhardt of The Prosper Group. For them, this is a science and an art.

-"I EAT, SLEEP, AND BREATHE E-MAIL SUBJECT LINES," Lewis said. Lewis writes emails for Democratic campaigns, and lately that has meant sending some weird, occasionally creepy stuff. Hyperpersonal subject lines were in vogue during the 2012 election, when President Obama's campaign infamously subjected its backers to a parade of phrased tested and perfected by a team of analysts, including "hey," "Something I'd like to ask you" and "Do you still live in Illinois?" "People's inboxes are very much like their Facebook feeds right now," Lewis explained. "What makes someone want to open an email is if you've invoked their curiosity, or induced anger, or … an argument." Emails are a campaign's prime mode of online fundraising, and House and Senate campaigns want the newest and best, consultants said. "A lot of people look at Obama and say, 'I want what he's having,' so it's become the thing to mimic," Lewis said. Which is why, since 2012, the emails have seemingly become stranger and stranger. READ MORE:

TEXAS DEMOCRAT SAYS OBAMA LOOKS 'DETACHED' BY FAILING TO VISIT BORDER. Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas says he's a loyal Democrat, but he believes President Obama is starting to "look detached" by not visiting the border during his trip to Texas this week according to ABC's JEFF ZELENY. Cuellar said he was dumbfounded when he saw pictures of the president making a casual evening stop in Colorado as he made his way to Texas. "Look, he's going to be in Austin, 242 miles away from the border. He's going to be in Dallas, 500 miles away from the border," Cuellar told ABC News. "We saw some of the photographs where he was in Colorado, drinking a beer, playing pool. I mean the optics are just horrible." As the crisis at the border escalates, with no quick solution in sight to stem the tide of unaccompanied minors arriving illegally from Central America, several Texas Democrats are voicing rare criticism of a president in their own party.

BOEHNER WANTS NATIONAL GUARD DEPLOYED TO BORDER. House Speaker John Boehner appealed once again to President Obama yesterday to deploy the National Guard to relieve the border patrol and send additional personnel to process and remove the children who entered the country illegally, ABC's JOHN PARKINSON reports. The speaker was also non-committal on the president's request this week for $3.7 billion to deal with the surge in undocumented immigrants. Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at a news conference in the Capitol, "It's time for us to take a serious look at what needs to happen. If we don't secure the border, nothing's going to change." He urged Obama to send the National Guard to the border.

DEMS STRIKE BACK ON HOBBY LOBBY CASE WITH 'NOT MY BOSS'S BUSINESS ACT'. Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Mark Udall fought back Wednesday against the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling with plans for legislation intended to restore the contraceptive coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act, notes ABC's JAKE LEFFERMAN. Joined by fellow Democrats from both chambers of Congress and women's rights groups, the senators urged Republicans to support the bill they have nicknamed "Not My Boss's Business Act." "We are here to ensure that no CEO or corporation can come between people and their guaranteed access to healthcare," Murray, of Washington state, said, speaking at the Capitol. "I hope Republicans will join us to revoke this court-issued license to discriminate and return the right of Americans to make their own decision about their own health care and their own bodies." It's an issue that Democrats hope will sway voters in the midterm elections. With their control of the Senate in jeopardy, Democrats are trying to energize and awaken liberal voters who tend to sit out congressional elections.

THE MOST ALARMING STATS FROM CONGRESSIONAL CAMPUS SEX ASSAULT REPORT. Many institutions of higher education are failing at addressing sexual assaults on their campuses, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said yesterday as she released a new report on how colleges and universities are responding to sexual assault cases. "This survey shows that there are way too many schools that are failing and just about every institution in the country has room for improvement," McCaskill said at a news conference Wednesday. ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ has some of the most alarming figures from the report: 41% of institutions did not conduct a single investigation of campus sexual assault in the past five years-43% of the nation's largest public schools allow students to help adjudicate sexual assault cases-22% of institutions permit athletic departments to have oversight of sexual assault cases involving athletes-21% of institutions do not provide sexual assault response training to their faculty and staff.

HILLARY SAYS SHE DONATES HER SPEAKING FEES, BUT NO PROOF YET. Hillary Clinton insists that she donates fees for giving speeches at colleges and universities but still has not released documents to back up her claims, according to ABC's LIZ KREUTZ. In an interview with ABC News' Ann Compton Friday, Clinton defended the high-dollar fees she charges for speaking at universities by saying the money goes to charity through the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation she controls with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. But Clinton, in response to specific follow-up questions, has offered nothing but silence. "I have been very excited to speak to many universities during the last year and a half, and all of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and lifesaving work," Clinton said. "So it goes from a Foundation at a university to another foundation." After the interview, ABC News reached out repeatedly to representatives from both the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton's office requesting documents to support Clinton's claim, but none were provided.


@tedhesson: "You have the right to an attorney" - these words don't apply to kids in immigration court

@Schultz44: In border crisis, Obama accused of 'lawlessness' for following the law via @washingtonpost

@DavidChalian: On @CNN, @JohnBerman pressed @SenRandPaul twice on Palin's impeachment call: "That's not my position," said Paul.

@MikeCzin: vast majority of Americans that have enrolled in Obamacare like their coverage …

@ajdukakis: #PowerPlayers: FBI Art Crime Team founder @RobertWittman tells @PierreTABC how to catch an art thief @abc @YahooNews