There is evidence that recent border crackdowns and workplace raids have slowed the flow of illegal immigrants, said Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates reduced immigration. After increasing from 30 million in 2000 to 35.2 million in 2005, the official census count of foreign-born U.S. residents grew by 500,000 last year. And wage growth at the bottom rung of the economy suggests that the glut of low-skilled workers is beginning to dry up. [E.A.]
**--Alternative hed:Why Republican businessmen want Bush's immigration reform (and Democrats should oppose it). ... Third version: Sorry, Jake. Lou Dobbs has a point. ... 2:21 A.M.
Too Good to Check: So Ford has designed a hybrid hydrogen-electric car where, if you plug a cord into the wrong socket, you blow yourself up? ... Update: Ford's CEO appears to have been embellishing a bit, though that still doesn't answer the question! Could Bush have blown himself up? [Need kicker-ed I have a tasteless Joan Claybrook joke and a tasteless terrorist joke. Which do you want?] 12:37 A.M.
Nearly two months into the new security push in Baghdad, there has been some success in reducing the number of death squad victims found crumpled in the streets each day.
And while the overall death rates for all of Iraq have not dropped significantly, largely because of devastating suicide bombings, a few parts of the capital have become calmer as some death squads have decided to lie low.
But there is little sign that the Baghdad push is accomplishing its main purpose: to create an island of stability in which Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs and Kurds can try to figure out how to run the country together. [E.A.]
Is that what John Burns thinks? Just asking! ... P.S.: Note how the lede says Baghdad is partly calmer "as some death squads have decided to lie low"--leaving the reader with the impression that of course they will be back. But the body of the piece also notes that "[m]any militia leaders have been detained in raids by the American military ..." Why emphasize only the pessimistic explanation? I suspect Lede Tweaking by New York editors. ... P.P.S.: If NYT editors really had faith in this story, wouldn't they have titled it "Little Sign Surge Accomplishing Goal" instead of the dreary, L.A. Times-ish "Patterns of War Shift Amid U.S. Force Buildup"? [Now you're saying they're not biased enough--ed. It's a bizarrely vapid hed. What's your explanation?] ... 12:12 A.M. link
Sunday, Ap ril 8, 2007
'Pelosi = Amnesty' Wake Up Call: When all four guests on the Chris Matthews Show agree on something, it is by definition CW--therefore the CW now holds that an immigration bill will pass and be signed into law this year, perhaps without many Republican votes. Remember, just because it's the CW doesn't mean it's wrong! ... And here I had been lulled into complacency by Kate O'Beirne's report that prospects for a bill were "pretty dim." ...
In reality, it always seemed possible, even likely, that if Pelosi didn't get the Republican votes she needed to provide cover, she'd go ahead and pass a semi-amnesty law anyway, in part on the grounds that it would deal a long-range setback to the Republicans by bringing in millions of Dem-leaning Latino voters (both new and old). True, Democratic discontent with "comprehensive" reform is already bubbling to the surface. The party will be pulled in divergent directions: Latino activists are upset about the fees Bush would charge for legalization;** but left-wing netrootsy populists aren't happy about the wage-dampening effect of all those guestworkers. Here's a blog example. ("Lets all support giving our jobs away via "Guest Worker.")
Why would Pelosi want to stop the Republicans ripping themselves apart over immigration and start the Democrats ripping themselves apart over immigration? Possible answers: 1) She's a fool; 2) She knows the Republicans won't stop ripping themselves apart; and 3) She knows it's inevitable that the Dems will start ripping themselves apart soon enough, so the time to pass a bill is now, before the dueling sides have ginned up, when she can sneak a semi-amnesty past the unions (who have lots of other items on their agenda) and the netroots (who are focused mainly on Iraq) without losing an election over it. ...
O.K. But then why would Republicans want to pass it? Possible answers: 1) They're fools; they've deluded themselves, Rove-style, into thinking it will help their party in the long run (even though this is a zero-sum game, and legalization can't help both the Dems and the GOPs); 2) They don't want to pass it. Only Bush does; 3) The party's business donors want to pass it; 4) They will sacrifice their long term interest, and the nation's long term interest, in order to 'get the issue off the table' for the 2008 election (even though Bush is the one who brought it up).