Re: Next up

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Next up

Chicken counter!


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 9:26 AM
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Also, last I checked, there were plenty of cruel, and unnecessary, concessions to Republicans in the healthcare bill, including several that will almost certainly lead to the pointless suffering of newcomers to this country. Also also, there's no way that immigration reform is a front-burner issue before at least the mid-term elections. And I'll be somewhat surprised if there's a vote on comprehensive immigration reform before the 2012 election.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 9:30 AM
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I was just hoping for a post about immigration reform! What do you think of the bill as it stands, policy wonks of Unfogged?

I actually read parts of it and quite a lot of material about it because I do some immigrants' rights activism, and I'm seriously lukewarm about it as it stands. My main understanding is this: it aims to step up the policing of immigrants (vastly expanded e-Verify, massive mandate for militarizing the border), use the excuse of "good" immigrants versus "bad" immigrants (which usually means people who've been lucky versus people who've been caught at the border/charged under Operation Streamline) to break up the immigrant constituency, and leave the door open to a new Operation Streamline. It's a neoliberal bill, all about providing work-ready people rather than any kind of justice-based approach.

That said, lots of immigrants' rights folks I know are really excited about the bill--many are in DC even as I type. The bill does have lots of family-supporting provisions, and it does provide undocumented folks with a route to permanent residency.

What I'm worried about is that even if the bill is passed as it stands (unlikely) the Obama administration will pull one of its usual sharp turns to the right and mess up the good provisions while heavily enforcing the bad. I would really hate to see everyone all enthused about this in DC this weekend only to be really, really let down a couple of years from now. I feel really torn, because I don't want to be horribly negative around activists I really respect (especially since hey, I have my citizenship) but I don't think this is a great bill.


Posted by: Renfrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 9:32 AM
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Somehow I got the impression that it was a candidate as the next big item to tackle. But perhaps not.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 9:33 AM
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Also, I really like the phrase "as it stands".


Posted by: Renfrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 9:33 AM
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one of its usual sharp turns to the right

I think we should spend our time arguing about this.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 9:39 AM
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The rest of this year is jobs and either bank reform or carbon regulation. Immigration reform is going to have to wait until after the mid-terms, probably until after the next presidential election. At least, that's how I read the tea leaves.


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 9:42 AM
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6:Go ahead, ari

Dogs & I are busy playing in the snow.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 10:02 AM
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The rest of this year is jobs and either bank reform or carbon regulation.

Wow, that would be great. I was worried the rest of the year would be full of inane election posturing and little to no meaningful action at all.

Totally OT, but this is fantastic.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 10:06 AM
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6: I know, right? WHOOPS FREUDIAN


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 10:18 AM
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Also also, there's no way that immigration reform is a front-burner issue before at least the mid-term elections

OTOH, it's a wedge issue that could do damage to Republican/teabagger unity, so raising it now might be shrewd. OTOOH, Democrats seem uninterested in fighting the people who are trying to undermine them, so you're probably right.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 10:34 AM
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9: Here's a UPI story describing the "failed" shopping expedition. She's distracting male students too much, especially in the cafeteria where attendants have trouble keeping the chow line moving when Sandy walks in. Its got it all, "And WOW!" in the headline, and the lead sentence characterizing her as a "brunette".

But maybe more arresting was this Google search excerpt:
[name in article], one of the best dispatchers this depart- ment has ever had, was present and proudly showing off her two beautiful ...
Granddaughters, it turned out upon clicking through.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 10:55 AM
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So CSPAN is weird. Comcast on TV is like a minute and a half behind the internet stream.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 11:04 AM
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13 should have included

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Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 11:04 AM
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Comcast on TV is like a minute and a half behind the internet stream.

They're tape-delaying to screen for FCC violations in case Joe Wilson flies off the handle again.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 11:05 AM
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First: ari is absolutely right in 1. I have no confidence in this one until it is over--I think it is all down to satisfying the Stupaklodytes with an appropriate "Abortions suck" executive order.

Second: Chance that immigration reform will be front and center 0.00001%. It's the economy, stupid your rightness.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 11:06 AM
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If I were a Democratic strategist, I'd say move straight on to financial regulation reform on the policy side, while simultaneously making hay out of anti-banker populist sentiment on the political side for the duration of this election year. THEN tackle immigration reform, which - if done well and taken credit for - secures total Democratic dominance for a generation, via the long-term demographic trends.


Posted by: JH | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 11:40 AM
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I am embarrassed to admit that I haven't followed the immigration reform murmurs. What would immigration reform, of varying degrees of comprehensiveness, comprise? "Rationalization" of the green-card lottery? Treating foreign visitors slightly less horribly at airports (please)? Amnesty? Guest-worker programs? Is there any proposed component that wouldn't drive the Minutemen types into gun-waving hysteria?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 11:42 AM
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17:Immigration reform will get voters, on either side.

Finance reform could lose lots of campaign money.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 11:54 AM
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11: I agree with your other hand. Touching off the immigration firestorm would be politically expedient. Bringing the racists in the tea party out of the closet will be a win with most voters. When the tea baggers yelled the N-word at members of the congressional black caucus the congressmen handled it with dignity.

Rep Lews: "But, it's okay, I've faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean."

Rep Cleaver: "In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff - they're being whipped up. I decided I wouldn't be angry with any of them."

Clyburn: "I heard people saying things today I've not heard since March 15th, 1960 , when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus,"

That's the moral high ground right there. You stay calm; you remind people of a moment where history has decided you were totally in the right.

Pushing immigration reform will also totally activate Hispanic voters and bring them into the democratic base. These are voters who have learned the Republicans are not their friends, but they haven't decided that the democrats are their friends. Getting them in the base is a major demographic win.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 12:26 PM
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Despite myself, I'm sitting in front of C-SPAN. Klein says the vote is currently planned for 9PM Eastern. Live thread?

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Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 12:33 PM
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20.last: Pushing immigration reform will also totally activate Hispanic voters and bring them into the democratic base. These are voters who have learned the Republicans are not their friends, but they haven't decided that the democrats are their friends.

Like Flippanter, I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't been following immigration reform at all.

Isn't it the case, though, that some not-insignificant percentage of Hispanic voters are leery of the Democratic party over abortion and/or gay rights? The Catholic contingent? I'm not objecting to what you say, but I could very easily see a counter-narrative from Republicans alleging that the Dems are *not* your friends, people, they want to abort your babies and have sex with your daughters sons! Or similar hogwash. Courting Hispanic voters doesn't seem at all straightforward to me.

Maybe my sense of Hispanic discontent with the Dem party is distorted. I find it harder to get an accurate sense of this from this here east coast enclave.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 12:40 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 1:27 PM
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A liveblog health care thread would be awesome?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 1:27 PM
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Bob posted a link in the healthcare thread, but since it's on topic here I just want to post Charlie Stross's entire comment from making light:

I note with some alarm that the saucepan of free international travel we've been swimming frog-like in for decades is now steaming.

It's not just the USA where border agencies have quietly acquired vast, unaccountable, and draconian powers. Here in the UK, the government is responding to anti-immigration sentiment by erecting a near-iron curtain around all ports and airports, monitoring all traffic, and dealing harshly with anyone who wants to travel for reason other than tourism or business. Ditto most of the EU (within the EU things are as different as they are within the United States, for much the same reason -- it's a free trade/movement zone). The barriers are going up all around the developed world, and while the spikes are intended to point outward, other developed world travellers get caught on them. (I'm not just thinking of Peter Watts here; in a fannish context, can I mention Cheryl Morgan?)

Capital can flow freely, but labour is in shackles world-wide.

If you don't see a very specific political subtext here (being sold to the voting masses on the back of crude xenophobia and racism), let me be more explicit: labour wants to migrate where working conditions and pay are best. Capital wants to invest for growth where working conditions and pay are worst.

By penning us (the labour) in, capital can maintain, for a while, the wage imbalances that maximize profit. (Take raw material. Process as cheaply as possible. Sell for as much as possible.) In the long term, it's unsustainable -- labour in the high-cost developed world is taking a hammering due to being uncompetitive, and wages will be forced down until it is competitive, while labour costs in the developing world are skyrocketing. It'll end when American and EU wages meet in the middle with Chinese and Indian wages ... unless American, EU, Chinese, and Indian wage-earners are forced to recalibrate their expectations against the DRC or Somalia.

Welcome to the future that globalized capitalism has bought for us (and see also the vital, pressing need for election funding reform in the USA, which is the pivot on which this whole mess revolves). I'm beginning to think that, regardless of his prescription, Karl Marx's diagnosis of the crisis of capitalism was spot on the money.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 1:44 PM
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24: Your wish is my command.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 1:48 PM
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and it does provide undocumented folks with a route to permanent residency.

Atrios, I think, linked to something recently about the Schumer-Graham bill's path to residency saying that it included such provisions as requiring undocumented folks to swear, I assume under oath, that they "broke the law" and then forcing them to pay fines and maybe some other stuff.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 2:05 PM
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I haven't read the latest iterations of the bill, and I am agnostic on whether there will be sufficient public pressure to make Obama or Congress act before 2011.

If they do act, the greatest danger for the pro-immigration side that I see is a split in which the US Chamber of Commerce et al., who are currently advocating immigration reform, make a 45-degree turn into a guest worker program instead.

A guest worker program is the worst of both worlds by every measure I can think of, and I'd rather see immigration reform put off another 10 years than institute a large-scale guest worker program. I wasn't as worried about this until I saw a depressing piece from the Cato Institute, which is usually pretty laissez-faire on immigration, in which the authors ran a bunch of possible scenarios -- all of which focused on guest worker programs. When the libertarians are caving, you're not in good shape.

Isn't it the case, though, that some not-insignificant percentage of Hispanic voters are leery of the Democratic party over abortion and/or gay rights?

Individually, lots of people are socially conservative. But the only Hispanics I know of -- either statistically or anecdotally -- who vote Republican are Cuban. If I cared about politics from the Democratic perspective, the danger would be that immigration reform would not permanently get them in the Democratic camp, not that the Republicans would for one second be successful in peeling any of them away in an immigration fight. (Frankly I can't imagine the Republicans will get any first- or second-generation immigrants with the possible exception of a handful of Korean, Indian, and Israeli folks whose politics fit well with zero-sum thinking.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 3:30 PM
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Anecdotally, based things I've heard my relatives mention about acquaintances, there are some pretty strongly Republican Taiwanese immigrants. It seems to be one of those "go with the people who seem most anti-Communist" things. I guess kind of like with the Cuba situation, but I have no idea of the proportions within the Taiwanese immigrant population.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 3:35 PM
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Comcast on TV is like a minute and a half behind the internet stream.
They're tape-delaying to screen for FCC violations in case Joe Wilson flies off the handle again.

I thought Obama's FCC was opposed to latency and to narrow bandwidth; those obscenity and indecency concerns are so 2000-2008.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 03-21-10 4:27 PM
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22 suggests that fixing the immigration mess might be bad for the Democrats. As long as the GOP is the party of hating on Hispanics the Democrats have a relatively safe constituency. Once the basic problem is mitigated by a more sensible system for immigration the GOP will be able to attract a larger segment of the community with appeals to homophobia and anti-abortion sentiment.

I think the GOP gets this on some level, which is why when they have complete control over all three branches of government they don't clamp down on abortion and gay rights as hard as they could. They know that without those two hot button issues the religious right might find some things to like about Democrats, or at least be less intensely dedicated to turning out Republican voters on election day.

A decisive win on an issue that is critical to some segment of one's base is a decidedly mixed bag. For some fraction of those supporters the victory is a signal that it's OK to stay home on election day or even to switch parties.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-22-10 7:37 AM
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