Murtha's Little Piece Of Pork
May 21, 2007

In response to the charge that Jack Murtha threatened to screw over Michigan Republican Mike Rogers for going after a project in his district, my first inclination is to note that this sort of (alleged) payback politics is practiced in virtually every legislative body anywhere. But the substance of the issue makes this something more than a politicized clash of egos--and at first blush it makes Murtha look pretty bad. The Pennsylvania Democrat is ticked that Rogers was trying to cut off funding for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), which is located in Murtha's district.

Business Backs Off
May 21, 2007

The folks at the Corner have been fretting that the enforcement provisions in the immigration bill won't ever be implemented. Looks like they have every reason to worry--businesses are now complaining that what provisions do exist will be much too onerous: Susan R. Meisinger, president of the Society for Human Resource Management, which represents 215,000 executives, said: "The Senate proposal would require employers to reverify the identity and employment eligibility of 145 million Americans who are currently employed. That's unworkable.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving
May 20, 2007

According to the Los Angeles Times, the CIA made a major push last year to put agents into Pakistan and try to smoke out Osama bin Laden. They never found him, but they did find something even more disturbing: U.S.

Poor Enforcers
May 19, 2007

Nathan Newman makes a good point here: Here's the core reason why I think most (not all, but most) of those saying they oppose immigration because of its effects of lower-income native workers are not really serious or, worse, just covering straight-up nativism with a faux charitable concern.In the Bush 2007 budget, a grand total of $177 million was appropriated to enforce our wage and hour laws.

'08 And The Court
May 19, 2007

Tom Goldstein takes a look at what the 2008 presidential election might mean for the Supreme Court.

Immigration Questions
May 18, 2007

So... opinions seem to be hardening on the new immigration deal. Conservatives hate the fact that it would effectively grant amnesty to the 10 million undocumented workers who are currently in the country. Immigrant and labor advocates don't like the guest worker program--which would import up to 600,000 indentured servants each year--or the move away from support for family reunification (although on the last bit, see here). I mostly agree with the latter set of concerns, but I do have a few questions: 1.

A New Low
May 17, 2007

A staffer for a senior Hill Republican writes angrily in response to myarticle about Karl Zinsmeister, the former editor of the American Enterprise Institute's American Enterprise magazine who is now President Bush's chief domestic policy advisor: An editor who has tantrums and goes off on employees? an author trying to get his books sold? a faux populist with pretensions to intellectualism in the bush administration? no, you don't say.

Capitalism's Consequences
May 16, 2007

Capitalism is not kind. OK, capitalism doesn't want to be judged by how kind it is. So it can even be unkind to those capitalists, like Dennis Kozloswki of Tyco, who are too glaring in their abuse of privilege. Sometimes these men go to jail. But rarely. Or these women, like Martha Stewart. Still, I am jarred -- who isn't? -- how when a company gets into financial difficulties or is trying to get out of financial difficulties the first instinct of its CEO and bankers is to cut pensions and medical care benefits. Like at Chrysler.

Creation Myths
May 16, 2007

Huh, I'd always assumed that evangelicals like Jerry Falwell got into politics back in the late 1970s because of Roe v. Wade, but in her Falwell obit today, Michelle Goldberg says that's just not true: The religious right's creation myth holds that Roe v Wade so outraged the faithful that they could no longer sit passively on their pews. As the Columbia University historian Randall Balmer has shown, this is nonsense.

Waste Management
May 15, 2007

Tucked away on the westernmost edge of the Florida panhandle, Escambia County is a Republican stronghold whose beaches attract droves of tourists each year, earning it the cheery tagline: "The western gate to the Sunshine State, where thousands live like millions wish they could." But no paradise would be complete without a dirty little secret, and Escambia has that, too: For more than a decade, toxins from two of the county's now-defunct wood-preserving plants have gone largely untreated.