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Notebook: Obama remains optimistic for immigration reform

obama: reform for immigration not out of reach

WESTON, Mass. — Vowing not to give up on an overhaul of immigration, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he "fundamentally rejects" the notion that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's defeat means that tackling immigration legislation is now out of reach.

"It's interesting to listen to the pundits and the analysts, and some conventional wisdom talks about how the politics of immigration reform seem impossible now," Obama told about 40 big-dollar donors in this Boston suburb. "I fundamentally reject that and I will tell the speaker of the House he needs to reject it."

Praise for Cantor as tea party celebrates

WASHINGTON — Republican tea party forces rejoiced and the party establishment was somber in the wake of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary defeat at the hands of political neophyte David Brat.

Speaker John Boehner praised Cantor as "a good friend and a great leader, and someone I've come to rely upon on a daily basis" in a statement that steered clear of the issue that Brat put at the center of his campaign and has divided the party for years. Brat and his tea party supporters were triumphant. But as he looked ahead to the November's election, Brat declined to spell out policy specifics.

Clinton criticizes Brat's campaign

CHICACO — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor "was defeated by a candidate who basically ran against immigrants."

In Chicago to promote her new book, the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said a "negative attitude about immigration and immigrants" is playing out politically in some parts of the country, including Cantor's GOP primary.

Notebook: Obama remains optimistic for immigration reform 06/11/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 10:03pm]
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  1. Irma roughs up endangered snail kites, birds that help us gauge the Everglades' health

    Wildlife

    Hurricane Irma was as rough on some wildlife as it was on the humans. Audubon of Florida reported Thursday that the storm destroyed all 44 nests around Lake Okeechobee built by the endangered Everglades snail kite, a bird considered crucial to the River of Grass ecosystem.

    Hurricane Irma destroyed 44 snail kite nests, capping off a poor mating season for the endangered species, which is seen as an important barometer of the health of the Florida Everglades. Their off-center beaks allow them to probe inside the spiral shells of the native apple snails. But the snails' population has dropped as the Everglades has changed. [MAC STONE | Audubon of Florida]
  2. New center opens in Tampa to help those with missing, damaged limbs

    Veterans

    TAMPA — Justin Lansford, his service dog Gabe by his side, smiled broadly Thursday as he imagined the future of a sprawling, resource center for people who need artificial limbs and those interested in helping them.

    Justin Lansford, 27, lost his left leg above the knee in Afghanistan. He was one of dozens of people attending the opening of the Veterans International Institute of Orthotics & Prosthetics in Tampa on Thursday. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  3. Still worried about family, Tampa Bay Puerto Ricans ramp up relief effort

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Brenda Irizarry is worried.

    Brenda Irizarry of Tampa, while agonizing over the status of family in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, is helping lead an effort to collect and send supplies to the island. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
]
  4. Was it a crime? 10 patients at nursing home died after Irma

    News

    HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — A 10th elderly patient has died after being kept inside a nursing home that turned into a sweatbox when Hurricane Irma knocked out its air conditioning for three days, even though just across the street was a fully functioning and cooled hospital.

    The Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, 1200 N. 35th Ave. [EMILHY MICHOT | Miami Herald]
  5. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us

    Columns

    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on display, and it brought illness and death.

    Tampa Bay Times staff writer Craig Pittman.