Laptopiary: Bob Wright describes how a combination of a) a third party in laptop (such as the effort reported by Jon Alter) and b) a timely dropping-out could lead to a quasi-parliamentary negotiated government and radical, elite-driven reforms. ... The semi-paralyzing complexity comes when there isn't one party in a laptop but five of them. ... [Sullivan says this item is ... er ... not clear. Hard to disagree--ed It isn't clear. It's a teaser! You're supposed to click on the links. It's webby! Sullivan naturally deletes the links when he reprints and mocks the item. He'd be more ethical if I liked Brokeback!] ... [He didn't like Brokeback either--ed But everyone else had to.] 1:45 A.M. link
General Motors may turn Pontiac into an all-rear-wheel-drive division, a decision that should have been made about 10 years ago. ... Even better, the planned rear-drive cars are not only sporty, impractical models (like the current Solstice) but include a sedan--something Robert Cumberford of Automobile in fact recommended, in writing, about 10 years ago. ... GM's planning is so pathetic, however, that it will try to sell one more generation of unsatisfying front-drive cars under the "damaged" Pontiac brand. There's also an unnecessary multi-year gap before the next-generation GTO. ... If GM were a software company they'd be out of business due to a fatally slow reaction-time. Heck, if they were a blog they might be out of business. ... P.S.: Where's Ford's new rear-driver? ... [via Autoblog] 12:01 A.M.
How Wrong Can You Be? This wrong:
THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE HAS FLIPPED in President Bush's favor. The public now firmly supports toughened border enforcement plus--and this is a big plus for the president--a system for letting illegal immigrants already in America earn citizenship. ... [snip] ... The ones with the politically untenable position are Democrats who want an immigration issue (but not actual legislation) to use against Republicans in November, and Republicans who want merely to increase border security.
The upshot is that an immigration bill appears likely (but not certain) to pass when Congress returns from its Easter recess on April 24--and probably in a "comprehensive" form congenial to Bush and Republican congressional leaders. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert have indicated they back this approach, not a bill simply calling for stronger border security.
The turning point came in March ...
--Fred Barnes, "Bordering on Victory,"Weekly Standard, April 24, 2006 [Emphasis added]
Hastert? Here's the latest WaPo report from Earth:
Republican House members facing the toughest races this fall are overwhelmingly opposed to any deal that provides illegal immigrants a path to citizenship -- an election-year dynamic that significantly dims the prospects that President Bush will win the immigration compromise he is seeking, according to Republican lawmakers and leadership aides.
The opposition spreads across the geographical and ideological boundaries that often divide House Republicans ... [snip]
Despite some national polls showing strong support for a comprehensive solution of the sort favored by Bush, nearly every GOP lawmaker interviewed for this article said the House plan to secure the borders and enforce existing immigration laws is unquestionably the safer political stand in his or her district. Many Democrats from vulnerable districts say the same thing, although the Democratic Caucus as a whole is more sympathetic to a Senate-style compromise.
-- Jim VandeHei and Zachary A. Goldfarb, "Immigration Deal at Risk as House GOP Looks to Voters," Washington Post, Sunday May 28, 2006
If you watched ABC's This Week yesterday, you saw that last week's bogus CW assumption--that the only bill capable of passing Congress is a Senate style "comprehensive" bill--has crumbled with startling rapidity. The consensus at George Stephanopoulos' bull session was that if the House GOPs are smart they'll pass a non-comprehensive, enforcement bill and let Senate Democrats try to block it. ... I predict the Senate Dems will filibuster it, the same way they filibustered and blocked Justices Roberts and Alito! ...
P.S.: If the House passes A (enforcement) and the Senate passes A (enforcement) + B (legalization)--and if, as the Weekly Standardites claim, the Republicans need to pass something, isn't the most conspicuous candidate for that something the common element that has been approved by both chambers? In other words, A. ... If the pot needs to be sweetened for Latino lobbyists and voters, why not throw in an increase in the (too low) quotas of future legal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American nations? ... See also RCP's McIntyre, who has now almost completely reversed his April position. ... 1:56 A.M. link
They'll be here all week: Achenbach and Wright in an impressive deadpan-off. ... 2:43 P.M.