Has National Review gone wobbly on immigration? The magazine recommends that Senator McCain fall back on a proposal of Sen. Johnny Isakson, which would
prohibit granting legal status to any illegal alien until border-security measures were fully operational. ... Only when the current chaos is under control would a guest-worker program go into effect
NR calls this "a welcome compromise between the border-security and amnesty camps." Not really.
There are two big obvious problems with the Isakson plan. 1) Who would decide when "the current chaos is under control"? If it's a President like Bush, would we trust him? No. 2) It promises that if you manage to sneak across the border in the next few months or years, you'll get some sort of amnesty in the future--in other words, it sets up conditions for an illegal-entry stampede to get in under the wire. ... Does National Review really endorse this plan, or only think McCain should endorse this plan? NRO contributor Andy McCarthy is puzzled. ...
If conservatives are looking for a "compromise" plan that would emphasize enforcement, avoid a stampede, while instituting some changes that the McCain and Kennedy "reform" forces, including the Latino lobby, might value--and "take the issue off the table" for a few years--how about combining enforcement measures with
a) an increase in the quota of legal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries;
b) a limited guest worker program that applies only to those actually in foreign countries--i.e. new immigrants, not illegals already here; and
c) a promise that if the enforcement measures work and provisions (a) and (b) aren't abused, Congress will consider the issue of what to do with illegals who've already been living in the U.S. (as of some date conveniently in the near past--say, January 1, 2005). There would be no guarantee as to the outcome of that future debate. ...
I don't see how that constitutes an amnesty or provides a lot of encouragement to would-be illegals. But perhaps Mark Krikorian will show that I'm wrong. .... 10:48 A.M.
Starbucks has always had great, more-than-background music in its stores. But today the songs they were playing seemed unusually breathy ... wimpy ... pretentious ... It sounded like ...yikes ... Nic Harcourt Music! Sure enough. ... P.S.: I feared things would go in a bad direction when the chain started an "entertainment division" in 2004. Now, not only is Starbucks subjecting its customers to the soul-sapping musical aesthetic of Harcourt (NPR station KCRW's NYT-hyped, L.A.-loathed musical director)--it's also started its own record label. Instead of getting to listen to the good songs you'll now have to listen to the songs Starbucks is selling. Hello, Coffee Bean! ... Update: Several readers note that Starbucks' record label has signed Paul McCartney. Do you want to listen to Paul McCartney while drinking your latte? Can we pay extra not to listen to Paul McCartney? .. 2:34 A.M. link
Monday, March 26, 2007
Will the Media Critic Please Turn Out the Lights? The LAT's Tim Rutten has defended against the charge that he's "sanctimonious" by publishing a piece titled "These rules we live by." Oh-kay! More on this later. For now, please read through Rutten's piece and ask yourself if he shows any sign of awareness that he and his distinguished LAT colleagues only have their jobs because they produce a product that people are willing to pay money for? Rutten writes as if there's a constitutional provision that credentialed journalists have lifetime professional tenure no matter how much money his paper loses or makes. Tim! You've had a good gig for 35 years, when your organization had a sweet local monopoly. But isn't the problem that nobody wants to pay to read what you want the LAT to write any more? Not enough people, anyway. How does Rutten propose to actually keep his 900 plus Times colleagues employed in a world where newspapers are losing readers and ads with stunning rapidity--other than the blind faith that somehow if new owners make a massive "investment" in journalists like Tim Rutten people will suddenly want to read them? [He obviously wants a local billionaire like Eli Broad to buy the paper and run it as a semi-charity--ed That's a way bigger threat to journalistic fearlessness than a guest editor! Broad will not be a guest.] 7:29 P.M. link
ABC's once-indispensable The Note appears to have collapsed. ... I want my money back! Oh, wait. It was free. ... 4:14 P.M.