Nathan Pippenger

On Immigration, Congress Should Quit Whining and Look in the Mirror
July 19, 2012

Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had one of the least-fun jobs in Washington: She had to testify at the House Judiciary Committee’s DHS oversight hearing.  The Republican members of this particular committee—especially the chairman, immigration hardliner Lamar Smith—have found very little to like about the White House’s immigration policy, and, sure enough, the back-and-forth I watched today was less than cordial. But in one important respect, it was revealing. Consider Napolitano’s exchange with Republican Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

Chuck Lane's Credulousness
June 26, 2012

Chuck Lane has a piece in The Washington Post suggesting that legal academics have vastly overestimated the strength of arguments defending the individual mandate’s constitutionality. According to Lane, opposition to the mandate is real, not politically-contrived, and it’s rooted in real concerns about the “the welfare state’s cost and intrusiveness.” To that end, he says this: "Much has been made of the fact that Republicans had no objection, constitutional or otherwise, when the individual mandate first surfaced.

More On Scalia’s Editorializing
June 26, 2012

We’re still two days away from the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act, but luckily there’s still a lot to chew on from yesterday’s important ruling in Arizona v. United States. I’ve covered the main points, but there are a few issues that merit further discussion—in particular, Justice Scalia’s unhinged dissent, which took a strange digression into immigration policy issues that were not before the Court.

The Justices Tackle Immigration, And Scalia Throws A Fit
June 25, 2012

Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Arizona v. United States was mostly good news for foes of S.B. 1070, the hard-line immigration law passed by Arizona in 2010, but decidedly bad news for one person who has come out in vigorous support of it: Justice Antonin Scalia. When we last checked in with Justice Scalia during oral arguments for this case, he was in classic form—bellowing, bullying, and bombastic. Thankfully, the majority was a little more level-headed on the subject today.

Mitt Romney’s Empty Immigration Argument
June 22, 2012

Does anyone—Mitt Romney included—have any idea what Mitt Romney’s immigration policy is? I’m wondering because we’ve now heard Romney’s much-hyped speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and the speech raised more questions than it answered.

Obama’s Immigration Move is Huge News. Here’s Why.
June 15, 2012

This morning brought the biggest immigration news of Barack Obama’s presidency: Effective immediately, hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children will be granted relief from the threat of deportation and will be able to obtain work authorization. To quote Joe Biden, this is a big f-ing deal. Immigration reform advocates, whose mounting discontent over the administration’s policy dysfunction has become a serious political dilemma for the White House, are ecstatic.

Is There Any Hope For Obama's Dysfunctional Immigration Policy?
June 11, 2012

Sometimes you’re simply stunned: She would graduate from Meadowbrook High School on Friday, her blue gown decorated with awards from the National Honor Society, the school’s AP program and the Virginia governor. She was scheduled to be deported to Guatemala a few days later.  In the election-year debate over immigration reform, the situation [Heydi] Mejia is in has become one of the most debated of all. What should the United States do with illegal immigrants who come to the country as children, grow up here, break no laws and want to remain?

Calling Truce in the 'Leak Wars'
June 08, 2012

POLITICO, in its tireless quest to drain the word “war” of meaning, is gleefully covering what it calls “the leak wars”—the burgeoning dispute between the White House and Republicans over a recent spate of national security scoops in the New York Times. After revelations in the Times about President Obama’s so-called “Kill List” and the use of cyber attacks against Iran’s nuclear program, Republicans are accusing the White House of leaking important national security secrets to the paper of record just to make the president look tough.

Start With The Attack, Then Work Backwards
May 31, 2012

Following the massacre in Houla this past Friday, Mitt Romney has briefly shelved his economic message to criticize President Obama’s Syria policy. The New York Times notes that Romney, who wants to arm the Syrian rebels, faces a GOP divided over intervention. But the most interesting comparison isn’t between Romney and other Republicans; it’s (surprise!) between Romney and Romney. In this case, Romney’s schizophrenia is over our involvement in humanitarian crises.

Blotto Boxford Bovines Boost Booze
May 25, 2012

From an alert Study tipster comes harrowing news out of Boxford, Massachusetts, where a “roving group of cows” burst into a backyard party and “bullied the guests for their beer.” The cows, which had roamed far from their pastures, were spotted by police officers on a Boxford resident’s front lawn.