Archive

  • SO MANY PLANS,...

    SO MANY PLANS, SO LITTLE TIME. For those of you confused by the various plans out there (at last count, there are no fewer than eight, and at least four are seriously being considered), this side-by-side comparison (PDF) from the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute is the best summary you'll find. Remember, too, that guest-worker programs don't just come in terribly bad and pretty bad flavors ; the McCain-Kennedy plan offers so many routes to citizenship that their guest-worker program isn't too bad at all, though I'd prefer the path to citizenship be activated instantly after hire. --Ezra Klein
  • POST-PATRIOTIC PROGRESSIVES AND...

    POST-PATRIOTIC PROGRESSIVES AND THE PUNDITS WHO LOVE THEM. I found this post of Michael Lind 's, supposedly lampooning post-patriotic progressives who believe nation-states outmoded and all men to be brothers, notably absurd. Lind's a sharp mind and a good writer, so it's strange to see him swing and miss so widely. The question in the immigration debate is not one of globalization but one of tradeoffs: Should we help tens of millions of desperate immigrants pull themselves and their families from third-world levels of poverty at a cost of -- and this is the high estimate -- eight percent wage depression for native high school dropouts? Cruelty, thy name is McCain-Kennedy ! It is, of course, straight pretense to pretend the issue is a simple tradeoff between the advancement of citizens and the betterment of immigrants. If you somehow did staunch the flow of immigrants and deport the undocumented, you would destroy a hefty chunk of the remittances that currently help keep Mexico stable...
  • THE MUTE MAN...

    THE MUTE MAN WITH THE PLAN. One of my pet irritations is the long-standing, oft-repeated meme that Democrats lack ideas, or principles, or an agenda. Most often, the target is national security, which Democrats are supposedly rudderless on. At least they are if you listen to the media, which loves nothing more than to rewrite that same old story, peppered with quotes from the same unnamed analysts and consultants, lamenting the party's irresponsibility and incoherency on the nation's most existential threats. Which was why the release of the Democrat's " Real Security " plan was such an interesting test case. Here was a 127-page document supporting a two page statement of direction: redeployment away from Iraq, renewed focus on chasing bin Laden, increased urgency on energy independence, doubling of our special forces, new GI Bill, etc. You can quibble with it, but it was an actionable agenda on national security. And then... nothing . The New York Times ignored it, as did the LA...
  • THE SORT OF...

    THE SORT OF FOLKS YOU BRING HOME TO MOM. Got to love the American right. When a hostage gets kidnapped and killed in Iraq, they blast the left for insufficient outrage. When a hostage gets kidnapped and not killed, they speculate "something stinks," predict that she'll going to become a suicide bomber, and wonder if she's not already carrying "Habib's baby." Classy stuff. --Ezra Klein
  • ARCANE INTERNATIONAL LAW...

    ARCANE INTERNATIONAL LAW BLEG. Here�s a question that perhaps some of our readers with legal knowledge or relevant experience can weigh in on: citing security concerns, the prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone has asked to use the premises of the International Criminal Court in The Hague to try Charles Taylor . Should the deal go through, the special court would essentially rent the space from the ICC, but Taylor would remain under the special court�s jurisdiction. My question is this: Under the American Sevicemembers� Protection Act of 2002, all official US government cooperation with the ICC is expressly forbidden, absent a presidential waiver. It�s quite likely, however, that that American intelligence, and even US government officials, will be involved in Taylor�s prosecution. So does a change of venue to ICC premises require a presidential waiver? And if the waiver is not granted, does US law preclude American involvement in the Taylor prosecution should the trial...
  • LE SIGH. ...

    LE SIGH. As Brad DeLong notes , Richard Cohen 's admission that he didn't realize that Bush had lied until sometime last week is a bit absurd. If you don't think Bush is a liar, you simply haven't been paying attention . And if you haven't been paying attention, maybe you shouldn't be a Washington Post political columnist. --Ezra Klein
  • THE VISION THING....

    THE VISION THING. Too many people too soon forgot about John Boehner 's laugh-out-loud hilarious campaign manifesto released back during his House leadership race, in which the Ohio rep. included epigraphs from Winston Churchill and Walt Disney and implored his fellow Republicans to reclaim their souls through a renewed commitment to spewing vacuous platitudes. For a liberal, one of the funniest things in the memo (PDF) was Boehner's enthusiastic call for a big caucus-wide powwow to figure out what Republicans stand for and what their core principles are. Given the number of endless (and endlessly futile) "what do we stand for?" conference meetings and bull sessions that Democrats have masochistically forced themselves to endure since the 2004 election, one read Boehner's cheerful game plan and wanted to shout "No! Stop! You have no idea what you're getting into!" I had assumed that once Boehner actually took the helm in the House he'd soon forget about his silly mission-statement...
  • IN DEFENSE OF...

    IN DEFENSE OF BLUE STATE ELITISM. I'm going to go a step further than my genteel colleague Sam and defend The Prospect 's Red State Dossier on substantive grounds as well. Coming mere moments after an election that largely turned on a defense of "traditional marriage" and contempt for blue state values, it actually was the role of magazines like The Prospect , which don't need to worry about political expediency, to mount an assault on the rightwing's explicit claim of moral superiority. That such a dry recounting of data can be termed elitist, or anything save honest, is precisely the point. That's what confuses me about Rob Anderson 's article . If blue states, with their liberal policies, are actually seeing lower rates of social ills than red states, that says something important about the set of policy prescriptions best equipped to actualize so-called "family values." As our piece elegantly explained, the highest proportion of teenage births for a blue state was in Delaware,...
  • HILLARY RAISES BIG...

    HILLARY RAISES BIG BUCKS IN TEXAS BUSH COUNTRY. Senator Clinton did a great deal of fundraising around the country in March, and her private fundraising schedule -- which was passed along by a source -- shows that she raked in big bucks in that most impenetrable of red-state strongholds: Texas. The schedule lists a dozen events in four states, in the space of just two months, March and April. This is very significant, because all the activity shows just how determined Hillary's advisers are to stockpile an enormous campaign warchest at a time when she is facing only token opposition for reelection in 2006 -- something which of course will only fuel speculation that her fundraising right now is also about scaring off potential Dem challengers in 2008. On March 21, the schedule shows, Hillary quietly slipped off to Texas for an unpublicized swing through that state, where the junior senator from the ultimate blue state raked in as much as $4,200-per-person in some of the most red-hued...
  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,...

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOUR AMERICAN GOVERNMENT! It's rarely a surprise to hear that the Bush administration lies, but it's occasionally impressive to read a textured account of how brazen and conscious their deceptions are. And no one is better at offering such retellings than The National Journal 's Murray Waas : Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration. Rove expressed his concerns shortly after an informal review of classified government records by then-Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley determined that Bush had been specifically advised that claims he later made in his 2003 State of the Union address -- that Iraq was procuring high-strength aluminum tubes to build a nuclear weapon -- might...

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