Certain parties may be taking more political heat than others, but I think it’s safe to say that nobody but nobody is going to walk away from the fiscal cliff deal completely unscathed — and we only have even more similarly piddling but surely melodramatic standoffs on deck for the near future. Ergo, no doubt the White House will be eager to have a few bright-‘n-shiny political items on hand with which to tout President Obama’s go-gettin’, even-handed know-how. It would be a darn shame to miss the chance to lament what amazing victories President Obama could achieve, if only those silly hostage-taking Republicans would let him, so why not start preparing some liberal red meat to conveniently keep on the back-burner, via HuffPo:

Despite a bruising fiscal cliff battle that managed to set the stage for an even more heated showdown that will likely take place in a matter of months, President Barack Obama is planning to move full steam ahead with the rest of his domestic policy agenda.

An Obama administration official said the president plans to push for immigration reform this January. The official, who spoke about legislative plans only on condition of anonymity, said that coming standoffs over deficit reduction are unlikely to drain momentum from other priorities. The White House plans to push forward quickly, not just on immigration reform but gun control laws as well.

The timeframe is likely to be cheered by Democrats and immigration reform advocates alike, who have privately expressed fears that Obama’s second term will be drowned out in seemingly unending showdowns between parties. The just-completed fiscal cliff deal is giving way to a two-month deadline to resolve delayed sequestration cuts, an expiring continuing resolution to fund the government and a debt ceiling that will soon be hit.

Well, who are we to let the fact that our country is on a self-inflicted path to decline distract us from Obama’s legacy-building? If we find ourselves standing in smoking fiscal ruins someday, at least we can look back and take comfort in President Obama’s many attempts to skirt Congress, the latest of which already went down today. Who’s getting excited for the second-term agenda?

The Obama administration eased the way Wednesday for illegal immigrants who are immediate relatives of American citizens to apply for permanent residency, a change that could affect as many as 1 million of the estimated 11 million immigrants unlawfully in the U.S.

A new rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security aims to reduce the time illegal immigrants are separated from their American families while seeking legal status, immigration officials said.

Beginning March 4, when the changes go into effect, illegal immigrants who can demonstrate that time apart from an American spouse, child or parent would create “extreme hardship,” can start the application process for a legal visa without leaving the U.S.

Once approved, applicants would be required to leave the U.S. briefly in order to return to their native country and pick up their visa.