The New York Times had an article this morning about efforts in Congress to renegotiate federal oil and gas leases that gave the industry a windfall projected to be $20 billion over the next 25 years. The sums at stake are not huge for the country or the industry (the $800 million annual windfall is less than 1 percent of the industry's current profits), but the story does show the impact that the media can have when they do their job.
PELOSI GOES SOFT. I agree with Ezra�s take on the Conyers plan and what it says about Pelosi�s possible tenure as Speaker. Perhaps this wouldn�t be the approach taken for all committee investigations, but Pelosi does seem intent on reinstating bipartisan cooperation. This morning�s CongressDaily (subscription only) reports that Pelosi says she will continue to support a Minority Bill of Rights, even if Democrats take back the House in November.
YOU DON'T HATE WHAT YOU DO KNOW.Bryan Caplanoffers data showing that the more immigration in your state, the likelier you are to be pro-immigrant. "The simplest interpretation of this result," he writes, "is that people who rarely see an immigrant can easily scapegoat them for everything wrong in the world. Personal experience doesn't get in the way of fantasy.
DON'T MERELY MOCK THE MUSTACHE. It's lovely to see some bipartisan scorn heaped on Tom Friedman in the form of enthusiasticplugs for this hilarious round-up of "the next six months are key" pronouncements on Iraq made over the last 30 months.
A PLUG. I�ve been meaning to plug Foreign Policy�s excellent new blog, Passport. It is a great aggregator of international news replete with thoughtful commentary from FP�s excellent staff. My only complaint is that I wish theirSupreme Leader would contribute more posts. But seriously, it�s an excellent read. Bookmark it today.
NEW RULE. To follow up on Matt's spat with David Frum, I think a rule needs to be adopted: If you don't care about income inequality normally, you're not allowed to make it your central argument against immigration. Frum is a guy who, throughout his career, has argued that income inequality has simply been a surge of salaries at the top. And he's been similarly unconcerned about mobility (which has decreased across the board, not just for Mexicans). The rich get richer, but the poor don't get poorer, so why worry?
DUBLIN DISPATCH. This is the way politics should be. On a visit to Dublin this week, I happened to be in Grogan's public house at 11 a.m. The occasion -- as though one needs an occasion to be in Grogan's -- was a press event to celebrate a month-long tribute by the city to At Swim-Two-Birds, the Flann O'Brien masterpiece which is merely the greatest novel ever written by the hand of man, as part of Penguin International's "One City, One Book" series. There was a spirited public reading of "A Pint Of Plain Is Your Only Man," the epic poem by Jem Casey (the Poet Of the Pick), which is one of At Swim's many highlights.
LESSONS UNLEARNED. To slightly dissent from Ezra's take on John Conyers's column on impeachment, I don't really think it's evidence of significant preemptive punch-pulling on oversight by the Democrats. This proposal for a select bipartisan panel is indeed possibly dubious, but I don't read it as being intended as the model for all committee investigations and hearings under a Democratic majority, just for the hot-potato impeachment question.
THE CHICANO DIFFERENCE?David Frumtags me with glossing over some wage data in regard to the assimilation debate. He doesn't challenge the point about language use, so I'll take it that he's conceding this point to me. Frum observes that intergenerational Latino-Anglo wage convergence has slowed markedly since 1980 or so, which seems to be true. He attributes this to the difference between the older, Cuban-dominated Latino population and the newer, Mexican-dominated Latino population. That, however, just seems to beg for a further explanation of what about that difference makes a difference.
THE CONYERS PLAN. Obviously stung by Republican accusations that he's just achin' to impeach, Rep. John Conyers, potential chair of the Judiciary Committee in a Democratic House, wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post laying out the Conyers Plan for his committee.