CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS--Americans spend a lot of time debating whether to let immigrants into the United States. They don't spend a lot of time debating how. And that's a problem, because while immigration supporters have been congratulating themselves for keeping America's doors open, they've barely noticed that the terms of entry are changing.
Something strange is happening to John McCain. For a long, long time, he was a pretty typical conservative. Sure, his style was eccentric--he made impolitic remarks about his own party and pointed out the hypocrisies on both sides of the aisle. And, sure, he broke with the GOP leadership on a couple of high-profile issues--campaign finance reform, tobacco taxes. McCain's truth-telling and his war against soft money made him a hero to the liberal press.
On November 15, when President Clinton's weary negotiators agreed to back China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), they set the stage for the last great struggle of this presidency. The battle lines are clear. Arrayed behind the administration is the entire political establishment: the four leading Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, every living former secretary of state and secretary of the treasury, and every major business lobby and farm lobby in Washington, D.C.
Consider the following case study in the complex interaction of race and law enforcement. An officer from the Drug Enforcement Administration stops and questions a young man who has just stepped off a flight to Kansas City from Los Angeles. The officer has focused on this man for several reasons. Intelligence reports indicate that black gangs in Los Angeles are flooding the Kansas City area with illegal drugs, and the man in question was on a flight originating in Los Angeles.
A few weeks ago, Tipper Gore hinted to reporters that the vice president of the United States, the man who is a heartbeat from the presidency, sleeps in the nude. Now, I'm no Michael Isikoff, but I think I've got a scoop of my own concerning the vice presidential undergarments. My troubling discovery came as I followed Al Gore on his presidential announcement tour last week. In Carthage, the normally plodding Gore raced through his speech at such breakneck speed that seven dense pages flew by in just 25 minutes. He spoke with even more haste at stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, and New York City.
Last Summer, when President Clinton picked Richard Holbrooke to be his new ambassador to the United Nations, Holbrooke's confirmation by the Senate seemed like a virtual formality. After all, even those who don't like Holbrooke's brash style concede that he's one of the Clinton administration's most effective foreign policy hands; and, as a political operator and self-promoter, Holbrooke's talents are legendary. But it won't be until June 17, exactly a year after Clinton announced Holbrooke's selection, that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee finally gets around to holding hearings on Holb
CINCINNATI In a dark basement somewhere beneath downtown Cincinnati, Rick Segal presents the attack plan. "The fact of the matter is it's war," he is telling a group of followers, who scribble notes. "It's a black-and-white world of wins and losses." He flashes war-movie clips on the screen and discusses the techniques of today's smartest warriors: Hamas, the Mexican Zapatistas, Asian triads, and other amorphous, stealthy networks. "Bastions, redoubts, and empires are subject to implosive attacks and ambush," Comrade Segal tells his men.
I love it when they talk dirty on c-span. Scanning the public service network Monday, one found mostly the usual highbrow fare. There was a segment on "Federal-Tribal Relations" and a "First Amendment Report Card." At night, c-span scheduled something called "Government Leaders." But this cagily titled segment was no Brookings forum. The sponsor: Larry Flynt. The topic: Republican adultery. Parental discretion: advised. OK, I confess.
These days you can barely walk down the street in Washington without being accosted by some Wise Man hawking scandal advice. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is selling his complicated censure scheme. Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford are marketing their own censure proposal. Sundry other formers—Lloyd Cutler, Richard Ben-Veniste, Robert Drinan—have weighed in authoritatively as well. Now that Bimbroglio has graduated to the Senate, it's not surprising that these old lions (or perhaps "old badgers") have been joined by Democratic Senator Robert C.