Obama abandoning affirmative action?

A mostly political Weblog.
May 14 2007 7:37 PM

First Alterman, Then Obama!

The end of affirmative action, continued.

(Continued from Page 13)

Nice haircut, John: Norman Lear defends John Edwards' $400 Beverly Hills haircut. He says "Little Joe" Torrenueva--Lear's barber too--charges only $175!** The rest is the cost of having him travel to Edwards instead of vice-versa. ... Hmm. Does that help Edwards? Men in the real America--not one of the Two Americas but big one in between--don't pay for barbers to come to them. Maybe if Edwards were president his time would be that precious. But he's an ex-Senator a year before the first primary. ...

P.S.: Wait a minute. "Little Joe." I think I once had my hair cut by Little Joe (decades ago--when, as Lear says, his prices were closer to $20). He had a shop on Santa Monica Blvd., no? If it's the same guy 1) Good haircut. A bit flashy;  2) Not a pretentious metrosexual 'I feel pretty' fluffer type of shop, but a more traditional Italian-type macho place--part of the real America, just fancier; 3) Nice guy. Gave me a long thought-out argument against the guaranteed annual income. He said it would sap the work ethic. (Come to think of it, this is exactly the guy we want cutting John "Ending Poverty" Edwards' hair! Pay him $500.) At the time, I supported the guaranteed income at the time and thought Little Joe was way too conservative. ... And there were bees everywhere!***...

**-- Norman Lear has hair? At $175, what's the per-follicle cost of Lear's cut? It could be a record. ...

***-- Joking! ... 11:15 A.M. link

Sunday, Ap ril 29, 2007

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McCain Comes Out Against the Fence: Straight Talk, Fake Vote? Presidential candidate John McCain voted for the Secure Fence Act, which called for building 700 miles of fencing on the Mexican border. He told Vanity Fair, "I'll build the goddamned fence if they want it." Indeed, the logical move for supporters of McCain's "comprehensive immigration reform" is to buy off opponents of its semi-amnesty provisions with a border fence. And McCain has recently made loud noises about moving to please the anti-amnesty Republican base on immigration.  But in a meeting with the Texas Border Coalition in Laredo earlier this month, McCain was apparently forthright in opposing the fence he seemingly voted for:

"The Texas Border Coalition has a resolution that we are against the wall," said McAllen Mayor Richard Cortéz. "Sen. McCain said he was also against the wall. He recognizes there have to be some kind of barriers to protect the border, but he favored more technology, more sensors. He felt the wall was a waste of money." [E.A.]

Possibilities:1) McCain is so confident about the prospects for passing "comprehensive" reform that he feels the fence is no longer necessary as a sop; 2) McCain has given up on passing "comprehensive" reform, so the fence is no longer necessary as a sop; 3) McCain has given up on his presidential campaign, so the fence is no longer necessary as a sop; 4) He foolishly told the border coalition what it wanted to hear; 5) He foolishly told the border coalition what he really thinks; 6) The Border Coalition inaccurately heard what it wanted to hear. ...

P.S.: Note that the Bush administration, despite Tony Snow's seemingly straightforward promises  ('[T]he fence is going to be built"), has recently indicated that it plans to rely on a "virtual fence," not an actual fence.

Congress has approved 700 miles of fence for the border and has allowed officials to decide whether to build metal fences or virtual walls.

[U.S. Border Patrol chief David] Aguilar expects most of the distance will be covered by the virtual barrier, with metal walls kept to a minimum. [E.A.]

Again, what's odd is not that the administration has come out against an actual, physical barrier. That's obviously been Bush's real position all along. What's odd is that they'd reveal this real position while "comprehensive" reform is being debated--instead of at least dangling the possibility of a real fence in front of anti-amnesty conservatives. Why end the Kabuki with the denouement still in doubt? ... Even if the McCain/Bush supporters now concede the fence issue in negotiations, why would anyone trust them? ...