I think they're cheap dates. McCain obviously still believes his semi-amnesty is the essence of "real immigration reform." Is he saying it will have to wait until the border are actually secured? No. He only requires "trust" that the borders "will" be secured, trust that will be accomplished by any number of government confidence-building measures (success in Iraq, cutting spending, better FEMA disaster response) that have nothing to do with actually securing the border. ... I don't trust his definition of "trust," and he seems willfully oblivious to the difficulties facing any successful enforcement attempt--including a half-decade of lawsuits from many of McCain's pro-comprehensive allies. ... 5:13 A.M. link
Monday, October 8, 2007
Gawker: Needs Balk. Not the same without Balk. Trying too hard to make up for the lack of Balk. 11:17 P.M.
Mickey's Assignment Desk--Baracktrackers: 2,000 words on Dem policy bigshots whowent with Obama when he looked like the coming thing--and are now desperately trying to somehow get back in Hillary's good graces. Foreign policy types are usually the most obvious about this sort of thing. ... Bonus: Point out that this is the type of political judgment the experts are supposed to get right. Making the mistake of betting on Obama--assuming he doesn't, you know, win--isn't all that different from making the mistake of betting on Chalabi. ... [Better ex?-ed Rafsanjani, Iran, 2005] 7:40 P.M. link
Crops Rotting in the Fields! ... Oh wait. That's last year's crops-rot-in-fields story. Sorry. Here's this year's. They haven't rotted yet... [Thanks to reader C.B.] .. Update: Is the Bush administration rushing to declare a crisis and use it as an excuse to open the door to more illegals? I don't know the answer. But the LAT reports the administration is "quietly rewriting federal regulations to eliminate barriers that restrict how foreign laborers can legally be brought into the country" under the existing H-2A and H-2B programs for temporary workers. ... I can see why it might be useful to simplify applications. But if it's seasonal work, why would it be necessary to "extend the definition of 'temporary' beyond 10 months"? Do all these legal workers actually return when their "temporary" work is over? ... The Bushies are also considering expanding "the definition of 'agricultural' workers to include such industries as meatpacking and poultry processing. Is it really impossible to get American citizens (or existing legal immigrants) to do meatpacking jobs? ... If an unlimited number of non-temporary "temporary" workers in can be allowed in under existing law, then why did the Administration feel it needed an explicit new guest-worker program as part of "comprehensive" reform? ... Krikorian? ... 7:05 P.M. link
W and Poppy--A Bipartisan Consensus: Left and Right agree--we need to win in Afghanistan, and we shouldn't let the war on drugs pervert whatever strategy is best. But, given that much of the Afghan poppy crop is in areas controlled by the Taliban, doesn't a continuing crackdown (if not the insanely inflammatory tactic of aerial spraying) make sense? Drug policy maven Mark Kleiman says no:
Probably the right thing for [Afghan President] Karzai to do, in terms of his government's chances against the Taliban, would be to legalize, or at least tolerate, poppy-growing and heroin refining in the areas of Afghanistan it controls, with the goal of enriching its allies and farmers in loyal areas and undercutting the market for opium from Taliban-controlled areas and thus the Taliban's capacity to benefit its subjects and derive revenue from "taxing" the illicit trade. If that's right, the U.S. should get out of the way.