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June 11, 2014

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12% turnout. Not hard for the deities of rwGOP media to effect a landslide amongst their acolytes.

hate as a strategy is a very hard motivator to put back in the box when you're done playing with it.

the gop wants to trot it out as a tactic to win elections and then turn it off when unneeded. the christian right was used to queuing up to do their master's bidding and then going back to sunday directives from the pew. not so with coalition of 'screw you' that constitutes the tea party. hate is the air they breath and they won't stop breathing or....

I think more is being made of this then what is there. Cantor is possibly the most unlikable pols ever to hold office. Maybe his constituents tired of his talking out of both sides of his mouth, or maybe his looks? I don't know, but I remember how Scott Browns election "doomed" Obamas chance for a second term.
We are at least one full generation away from moving ahead as a country, if even then (probably too late). Cantor leaving Washington won't matter in the long term.
Might be good for some laughs from GOP as they try to prepare a strategy for the future.

Contrast Cantor to South Carolina's most eligible confirmed bachelor, Lindsay Graham. Graham is squishier than Cantor on immigration but he's crushing his opponents in the upcoming primary. What gives? Well, I think that too much can be made of the Republican Party's floor-to-ceiling extremism. It's less a party than a cult, fer crissakes. But the base does need a few things, intangibles mostly, that Cantor couldn't deliver. Say the oozing sincerity and feigned outrage that validates the base's victim status. Good pols know how to tweak those emotional registers where America does most of its thinking. Bill Clinton was a genius in this arena. George W Bush was not far behind. Eric Cantor? Well, he's the Eddie Haskell of our political high school, incapable of disguising his calculating personality long enough to fake solidarity with Real Americans. Miss Lindsey? Well, he's syrup on donuts when performing empathy. South Carolina's rubes ooh and aah. Finally, a politician who understands us like Fox News!

Immigration reform as an issue would be a killer in less adroit hands. Jeb Bush's, for example. The party establishment desperately wants to figure a way out of that dark cellar. But you don't just wave off 30+ years of red-meat rhetoric. The base took all the Kulturkampf seriously and treats its precepts as necessary elements of its own tribal identity. You don't explain complexity to them. You validate their wounds, not those of people whose family values put your own to shame. There's too much grievance here to simply pretend it's a legitimate subject of debate. No. America is tired of politicians preaching nuance and details. It wants to kick ass sooner rather than later. Ted Cruz in 2016. His immigrant status may be murky but he's white, dammit!

Maybe it's not coincidental that "Dumb and Dumber To" is coming to the theaters soon....?

OK...I'll try to remain calm while I write this..
Eric Cantor lost mainly because of IMMIGRATION/AMNESTY.
Remember Regan...give AMNESTY to 4 million +or-, and we will secure the Border...they are here, give them AMNESTY...
Well...fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me!
That is what this present Administration is asking for, and CANTOR was in agreement with AMNESTY!.Yes, "they" say...AMNESTY (now for 11 million+) and we will secure the border.. I say to that...BULLSHIT!.. You secure the Border...then, and only then will I be open to discussing some form of AMNESTY or "road to citizenship".
President "LIAR, NON-Commander In Chief" Obama; Sec. of State John "Jane Fonda" Kerry; Sec of Defense Chuck "Whatever you say, Mr. President" Hagel...and many more in this present Administration do not have a clue. and I think that is why Eric Cantor lost...people are tired of welfare handouts, ILLEGAL immigrants that we are now forced to feed/house/provide health care for.. Our Government needs to take care of the USA and the Citizens of the USA FIRST! The floodgates for MORE ILLEGAL Immigrants has been opened by President Obama when he said "immigrant children will NOT be deported..." YEA...how the hell is that idea working out now... OH, and, the President does dislike Arizona, I firmly believe, so...lets take all those illegal kids/families and ship them off to Tucson and Phoenix!
So many mistakes by the "narcissist in charge"...who does NOT listen to his top advisors.. I hope we see a lot more of defeats to those who think like the Republican/Democrat Cantor

And, for those of you who talk "Tea Party"...David Brat is NOT a member of the Tea Party, and received no funds from the Tea Party

Cantor's upset is a good foreshadowing of continued legislative dysfunction in DC. Negotiation is a dirty word and compromise an unforgivable sin for the extreme GOP. Is this any way to govern a democracy of 300 million people?

Historically Jews, Catholics and Blacks were targets of right wing Christians in the South. KKK. With successive right wing militant Israeli government coalitions, conservative Christians now exceed American Jews in unquestionable support for Israel. The US political right views Jews as fellow travellers in the war against Islam.

Being a Jew did not hurt Cantor in this election.

HMLS, indeed, that's the point. Anarcho-capitalists would just as soon capsize the government they passionately hate and replace it with.....er.....rainbows, unicorns, and AK-47s at chain restaurants. Our Tea Party savants understand in their lily-white way how simple everything is. Arizona is its shining path on the road to Mayberry.

@Skip...
Then why did other Republicans that support immigration overhaul (amnesty) such as Graham (SC) Boehner (OH) win their primaries easily? Do the people in Virginia have stronger feelings on this subject?

I would have to say...YES...

Graham needs to step lightly...and should heed the outcome from cantor.

I do not thin Jewish has anything to do with the loss by cantor...

@Skip....
I agree, in my experience being Jewish in the South is perhaps a slight advantage, at worse, neutral.

Skip, I think we can all agree that Graham steps lightly.

Good news for Democrats. Cantor lost the primary, and now two unknown professors from the same university will face each other in the general election. The entrenched Cantor would never have lost to this Democratic challenger. The Brat might, particularly if the Democratic National Committee realizes the golden opportunity which the Tea Party has placed in their hands and pulls out all the stops to win a seat that was previously unavailable.


Skip:

And, for those of you who talk "Tea Party"...David Brat is NOT a member of the Tea Party, and received no funds from the Tea Party

That's rather a moot point, since IMMIGRATION/AMNESTY is a pretty solid trigger issue for the Tea Party and its sympathizers.

As I have said I’m pretty much a Tea Party guy.

Since the issue most relevant to the Cantor story is immigration, let’s just stick to that.
I’m pretty much with Skip above.

But let’s expand it to “immigration reform”.

I think I’m pretty much OK with the laws as written. The trouble with them is successive executive branch administrations have decided to ignore them.

My question: what needs reforming?

The inimitable Ian Welsh:

Every time I write about the Tea Party, I note that they have power because they are feared: they can win primaries.

Every time I write about the Tea Part progressives tell me that they’re finished, they’re past the peak of their power, blah, blah, blah.

They just defeated Eric Cantor.

This is why the Tea Party has power.

It is not even conceivable that progressives could do the same to Nancy Pelosi despite the fact that she has often betrayed progressive interests.

Tea partiers are willing to vote their values. Their values may mostly be retrograde, but they vote them. As a result, they have power.

Reports of the Tea Party’s death were premature.

Since this is an open thread, I'm copying this new comment over from the previous thread.

Further thoughts on the power (or not) of a growing Hispanic vote in Arizona:

Of Arizona registered voters, about 29.5 percent are Democrats; about 35 percent are Republicans. So, right off the bat, Democrats need to make up 5.5 percentage points worth of voters, just to catch up with Republicans.

The situation is actually worse, first because Democratic registration is hemorraging: just four years ago they had about 32 percent of AZ registered voters.

Second, Democrats may also have more ground to make up because of the characteristics of registered independent voters in Arizona, who now account for about 35 percent of the state's registered voters, in a near tie with Republicans.

Solid information about the political leanings of the state's registered independents is hard to come by, but the fact that Republicans have a lock on state politics at both the legislative and executive level suggests that the state's independents may tend to lean Republican. If so, the Hispanic vote will need to offset that as well.

At the legislative level, note that parties win political seats through district votes, not total statewide votes. So, the fact that there will be more Hispanics voting and that roughly 3/4 of the state's Hispanics voted for Obama over Romney, doesn't necessarily translate into vast legislative gains.

It isn't the number of new Hispanic votes; it's the number of new districts that Hispanic votes can convert from Republican to Democratic. Hispanics tend to live in poorer districts of the city which are already under Democratic control. More residents of such districts won't win new legislative seats.

One of the reasons why I tend to class the Tea Party as a reactionary rather than genuinely libertarian movement is the stance on immigration. Until the end of World War I the United States had what today would be called an open borders policy.

I'm not a libertarian but I know enough about them to make some accurate distinctions. Laws that allow the government to restrict the free access of persons and labor are not in the least libertarian: far from a return to the days of limited federal power, such laws are a consolidation of the power of the modern state.

Those who argue that their forebears came here legally and that others should be required to do the same, don't understand that there were no quotas and that coming here was as easy as walking off the boat.

Today's immigration quotas have resulted in immigration delays of up to 20 years for Mexicans wanting to legally immigrate. Gaining citizenship takes longer still.

Unlike for most of U.S. history, individual immigrants cannot simply make a personal decision to come and then make their way here; with rare exceptions, Mexican immigrants must be sponsored either by family already living here, or by U.S. businesses.

Real libertarians would remove all immigration restrictions not based on conditions specific to individual immigrants (e.g., criminal records, communicable diseases), and allow the economy and the market to dictate supply and demand, just as it did when immigrants from Italy, Ireland, Germany, and Eastern Europe settled the country in vast waves. (The Italian wave in the first decade of the 20th century was larger, as a percentage of population, than the Hispanic wave.)

Libertarians are also for the legalization of drugs, gambling, and prostitution.

I don't hear the Tea Party discussing any of this. The three primary obsessions of the Tea Party are: (1) "excessive" immigration; (2) Obama's healthcare legislation; (3) States' rights.

While libertarians are against Obamacare, it is not because of any particular animus against Obama but rather, a general, philosophical opposition to what they call "coercive" laws (such as a mandate to purchase insurance).

In contrast to libertarians, who want to maximize individual power, Tea Partiers often want to give states carte blanche to pass and enforce conservative laws which restrict personal liberty. They are not against state power; they are against federal power insofar as they perceive it to be held by their political enemies. There is also a large, crypto-racist subsection of the Tea Party; and it should be remembered that "states' rights" was also the rallying cry for the Confederacy and its residuum in the eras of Reconstruction and Jim Crow.

Many libertarians are deists, agnostics, or atheists, who want to see all aspects of religion removed from the state at all administrative levels. Many Tea Partiers by contrast believe that America is a "Christian nation" and want to be able to pass state and local laws (and federal when possible) enshrining this.

Both libertarians and the Tea Pary overlap on the gun issue. They're both nutty about guns and want to remove pretty much all restrictions on their purchase and possession. Also overlapping are views on taxation, which they pretty much want repealed except in the form of so-called "voluntary" taxes such as sales tax.

If Democrats were smart, they would study these differences and use them to split the Tea Party, creating unaffiliated "patriotic" organizations to spread agitprop accentuating and enflaming the differences, to cause as much dissension and infighting as possible.

Simultaneously, they should create unaffiliated "conservative" organizations which do the same thing between Tea Party and mainstream Republicans, complaining about extreme positions that win primaries but lose elections, and so forth.

I beg to differ with your statement that "coming here just meant getting off the boat!
My mother, (3 at the time), immigrated from Germany with my Grandparents and great Aunt.. My Grandfather applied to come to the US, and it took almost one year to get approval...then the long boat cruise in 1925, coming through ellis Island. I have a photo of them at the Statue of Liberty in 1925!
What do the Illegals, ILLEGALS do now??? SNEAK across the border..there is no "registration" documentation...and now, since President "I'll only enforce the laws I like" Obama, stated in 2012 that we would NOT deport any Children...Look at what is happening as I write...Kids by the thousands are comeing across the border, ILLEGALLY...
I cannot wait until we get a President that does what he is supposed to do...Uphold the constitution and enforce ALL the laws of the US

Political labels. Help me out.

I'm a working American. The federal government taxes my income. They took that tax money and they bought an Iraqi a nice new uniform, boots, BVD's, socks, helmet, rifle, ammo, and a bottle of water. The bad guys showed up, my guy peed his new pants dropped his new rifle and ran away in his new boots.

I would have wanted that tax money to go to my granddaughters schools instead of that Iraqi sprinter.

So, that makes me a..............?

So that makes me ....an unpatriotic homeschooler? :)

Emil, I knew they were reactionaries when I visited one of their first rallies in Phoenix and saw all the racist signs. They further proved it when the very first thing the Tea Party wave did when they took Congress in 2011 was go after birth control and abortion. It was never anything but a rebranding of the Republican base.

@Donna: can you tell me exactly what you saw at the Tea Party Rally that was racist?

Re Birth Control: I’m perfectly ok with it. I’m ok with the “morning after pill”. I’d go so far as to say that an abortion after missing first period is ok. But at some point you have to say “babe you’re having a baby.”

PS: I find using the term for “woman’s reproductive rights” for abortion to be weasel wording.

@Emil...
Knocked it out of the park, well done...

@Skip...
What do you think should be done with employers that hire illegals?

I agree with Octane, home run for Emil.
Hey Skip where did your relatives relatives relatives relatives come from. North Africa maybe. And in my humble retired cop opinion you can not Seal a border. (As I recall it was that second rate movie star and pool life guard, Ronnie, that said "tear down that wall") You can start machine gunning everyone that looks like a illegal border crosser, that would slow it down but migration for survival has been an ongoing thing since humans sprang from the mud garden. A kid from San Salvador coming to America is as a "Quest for Fire"

My 5th removed grand father snuck into America in 1745 to avoid being conscripted into an army in Europe and to get away from religion. He didnt bother to stop and get a pass.

"Get a president" that does his job. You mean like George Bush Jr, the family retard that murdered thousands of young Americans and many others and should be prosecuted.

Ruben, the facts have been there since at least 1998. We new Obama was coming and his goal of bankrupting American has worked. His death was nothing more than an ole boys need to be John Wayne. Al Queda ran and financed by the extremists in Saudi Arabia
is stronger than ever. They build new mosques every day on the good old USA. And soon the Sunni's will be back in control of Iraq, and a great blood bath will be motion.
The USA is on its way down because of religious whacko nut jobs and Tea Party morons. Its just a matter of time before the kooks start machine gunning other Americans because the think with the brains of a gun barrel.

If the photo of Cantor and Obama played before the election that explains his loss. White guys seen with that "black" president are traitors. Plus 12 percent turn out?

WKG, U sound confused about who U R. Maybe a green tea party aficionado.

@Emil: Your essay would imply that you are for open borders. True/false?

wkg, lines in the sand bring blood. Borders are imaginary lines created to insure war. Try the book Moving Millions on migration. Think big. Think planet not Birmingham.

try this: Why Georgie Bush and company should be tried for murder, Maybe they can get OJ's attorneys to invent a defense.

http://www.juancole.com/2014/06/promises-modern-history.html

@Cal: Open boarders OK with you?

WGK, Have you not noticed that true or false are words created by humans. They are words used to stifle thought. If you want to know the truth just ask one of those Southern white religious folks, they know "The Truth." The got it from their god. They have attempted to drown me a few times in the name of their truth. And I decided a long time ago they are my enemy. Fuck their god and the Trojan they rode in on. Only if the lift off would come, what a great planet this would be!

WKG; Its not "open borders", its no borders.
U just keep missing the big picture. we are all on the same planet. Why the fuck do we need borders. Maybe we should start drawing lines in the sands on Mars. North side for white dudes , South side for the purple dudes.

Seal the Mason Dixon line. Repatriate all Southerns from the North. Rogue and Soleri back to Arizona! Out of the Blue North!

We're all human beings so open borders? Why not do away with property rights? After all we are all humans.

True or false

Does the tea party republican blend make it difficult for opponents to decide which end to attack?

Kind of like the Occupy movement. Without the structure the establishment wanted them to have, the establishment couldn't decide where to attack.

This strategy seems a bit Orwellian.


Ruben, the Tea Party was created by the establishment. It's a purely artificial construct, bankrolled by billionaires like the Kochs, enflamed by media like Fox News and talk radio, and indistinguishable from the GOP base.

The Occupy movement, on the other hand, was simply idealism unmoored to external power centers. That's why it failed. There is never a substitute for organization, which is why third parties, "revolutions", ad hoc movements, and other give-power-to-the-people efforts fail. The left will probably never get that innocence by itself cannot change this world. Power drives are the necessary evil of a fallen world. By all means, read your Maya Angelou and Dalai Lama. But politics is not a fairy tale of good and evil. It's a fig leaf for war itself.

Going from memory, and I realize that is dangerous. Didn't the 2009 tea party spring from the protest against bank bailouts/govt spending/financial mess?

In very short order the movement was hijacked by the republican/Fox News establishment.

That is when "grass roots" entered crazy town.

Is my memory correct?

Take your blinders off Blue Belly. Property rights are just another fiction of selfish small minded and greedy people. Wait until the Cokes own most of the earth and you need a drink of water

Ruben, there were "movements" using the Tea Party name going all the way back to 2005. They seemed to be unrelated but one point of commonality was protesting government. The TARP bailouts inspired a few protests in 2008 but it wasn't until March of 2009, even before a stimulus bill was passed, that the movement metastasized into a full-blown media frenzy. There was Rick Santelli's famous meltdown at the Chicago Board of Trade. He railed against not TARP but helping underwater homeowners (a good way to understand that the Tea Party's populism is more a storyline than actual reality). But the astro-turf part of the movement was pretty-much a purely GOP creation. Former GOP House whip Dick Armey's Freedom Works didn't protest Bush-era deficit spending, needless to say.

Much has been made of the various Tea Party's groups and different ideological complexions. But at some point, the overall incoherence becomes a clue. Outrage is not easily contained, which is why Tea Party rallies were full of conspicuous racists. The notion that redneck America was obsessed more about spending than the black guy in the White House was merely a brown-paper wrapper on a volume of pornography.

If millions of "hard-working Americans" were upset about government spending designed to keep a fragile economy afloat after the single-worst financial disaster in modern American history, it begs the question why these same Real Americans weren't upset by spending trillions of dollars on wars taken off budget, or Medicare Plan D, or tax cuts that ballooned Bush-era deficits. You would have to be naive to think that these Real Americans were suddenly concerned on their own about red ink. No. It was purely Machiavellian power politics.

One way to appreciate this tawdry business is to double-check yourself: were you upset with Reagan's deficit spending that tripled the National Debt in eight short years? Or George W Bush's doubling it in eight years. Probably not. And there was, needless to say, no Tea Party, no racist signs at rallies, no heavy breathing about moral hazard or America becoming Greece.

The Tea Party: easily-manipulated Republican rubes pretending to concerned about deficits while taking their cues exclusively from Pavlovian puppetmasters at Fox News and talk radio.

Wkg, There is always a place, between black and white, where shades of gray reside. Myself, I do believe in boundaries, but the boundaries were completely forgotten during previous administrations. So now, you asked, what do we do? First, you have to accept that someone else defined the gray area. Second, in my opinion, you have to respect that decision and work from it. Third, because I love the idea of America’s standard of values, we must do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

I know that people who study demographics have known for some time that white Americans have not reproduced as effectively (for economic growth purposes) as the Spaniards’ down south. Some people (coincidentally mostly white) take that as a cue to suppress women’s ability to abort babies. Others decided to open the boarder. If our whole purpose in the US is to support Corporate profits, then I am for a gray area in that “line in the sand”.

Soleri and Emil, brilliant analysis.

So what's next for Eric Cantor? If he's smart enough to learn from his mistakes, he could bide his time and run for his same seat in 2016.

No one runs for public office for the public good. It is step one to becoming a high paid lobbyist. Cantor will now be a lobbyist. Absolutely no reason to run for the seat again.

Joanna,
Cantor will find a high-paying gig on K Street. The revolving door of corruption continues. Then he will run for Va. governor.

@everybody: I’m not here to stir up animosity. Reasonable people can disagree. Really reasonable people can disagree agreeably.

I had hoped to just debate one issue: immigration “reform”. Unfortunately I ventured into the abortion (aka “women’s reproductive rights”) issue. It’s an important issue – but I’d like to take it off the table for the time being.

Cal is the only person who came right and said open boarders is the right policy. Emil, more or less, did too.

My position: seal boarders to anybody from anywhere. 300,000,000 people is enough – maybe more than enough. It is getting to be a very overpopulated world.

I only have one question: why do people keep writing "boarders" when they mean "borders?" I get confused. My old Dad was a boarder, back in Tucson in the twenties and thirties, it was. But anyway, boarders aren't really something you wanna get all heated up over.

The seal the borders and stop immigration crowd should do much to encourage Hispanics to vote in 2014 and 2016. Good news for the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. Not so much for the Senate seats up for election in 2014.

GOP strategy doesn't need or necessarily want the White House in 2016, After all, the Republicans would have to actually govern. Their strategy is not to govern but to maintain chaos,obstruction and instability to stymie the needed change for the US to thrive in the 21st century.

The GOP has a gerrymandered lock on the House until 2020. That's all they need.

wkg in bham. Do you think the Japanese approach to immigration is good for the US? If so, what do you propose to promote sufficient growth to help with the aging population in the US?

Japan is of course an island nation with a different challenge than the US Mexico border. The US being a developed country right next to a developing country with much poverty and corruption. A long land border where language and culture are much more intertwined and complex than the many segregated parts of Know Nothing heartland America.

Pat, just be glad they aren't misspelling "hoarders".

Pat, I am so guilty of misspelling - frequently. You are correct, boarders are not the problem. :)

It matters when one major party refuses to accept reality – when it refuses to grasp the fact that you cannot raise revenue by cutting taxes, that the United States practiced torture, or that human-made climate change is real. When one side engages in this surreal debate, the country becomes incapable of engaging in any real debate. I know we’ve become used to this – and the press has found a way to write about the GOP as if they are not a reckless, know-nothing, post-modern fantasy machine. But it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remain capable of shock and anger at this pathetic excuse for a political party, at the unique idiocy of this party of the right in the Western world.

Andrew Sullivan, June 2, 2014


Skip wrote:

"I beg to differ with your statement that "coming here just meant getting off the boat! My mother, (3 at the time), immigrated from Germany with my Grandparents and great Aunt.. My Grandfather applied to come to the US, and it took almost one year to get approval...then the long boat cruise in 1925, coming through ellis Island. I have a photo of them at the Statue of Liberty in 1925!"

Skip, I said that BEFORE WW I there were no quotas and immigration was as easy as stepping off the boat. In 1921 the Emergency Quota Act was passed; but the biggest change came with the Immigration Act of 1924 which, in addition to capping the total number of immigrants and beginning a national-origin quota system, also established a consular control system: this required all legal immigrants to obtain an immigration visa issued by U.S. consulaar officers abroad.

I'm hatching a theory about what happened in Virginia to Cantor.

Among likely Republican primary voters he was polled with a 34 percentage point lead. Instead he lost by 11 percentage points.

My idea is that, with such a comfortable lead, many of those who would have voted for him simply didn't bother, assuming that it was a foregone conclusion.

Meanwhile, a significant number of new voters in a redrawn district, who had never voted for Cantor (or had the opportunity to), and agitated by talk radio campaigns branding Cantor a traitor on the immigration issue as well as a Washington insider who had capitulated on other Tea Party issues, were motivated to vote in the primary against Cantor.

About 65,000 votes were cast in the primary this time, compared to about 48,000 in 2012. So, it wasn't about low turnout per se; it was about Cantor's party faithful put to sleep by predictions of any easy win. Why show up and vote at a primary if the outcome is a "foregone conclusion" and you are happy with that conclusion?

If this is true, then the decisive factor was neither immigration nor Tea Party sentiments (though obviously both were decisive for those who voted against him), but a foolish complacency on the part of Cantor's supporters.

I admit that the increase in primary voter participation gives me pause in concocting this theory. However, as Mr. Talton pointed out, the district had been redrawn.

It's hard to get solid information on the population of the district before and after the change (not to mention more general population growth not associated with redistricting).

However, it's certain that redistricting brought numerous voters into Cantor's district who had no prior experience with or allegiance to him; and it seems plausible that a few tens of thousands of these with a bee in their bonnet voted in the primary. The Virginia Employment Commission gives the 2010 7th District population as nearly 1.3 million.

Nice try, Emil - but from what I hear on the ground - his constituents disliked him BIG TIME.

That will always do it.

wkg wrote: "Emil: Your essay would imply that you are for open borders. True/false?"

It's false that my "essay" implies any personal position whatsoever on this issue. I simply contrasted modern U.S. immigration policy with the traditional policy that existed over most of the country's history right up until the First World War. (In fact, this mirrors changes in Europe: Tsarist Russia was the only European country that required an entry visa for foreign travellers.)

I also described the position of libertarians (small "l") on immigration while pointing out that I am not a libertarian. That, also, does not imply a personal position.

Now for some personal views: immigration quotas are WAY too low, which is why they have generated backlogs stretching into decades and, consequently, created vast waves of illegal immigration.

This is a nation of immigrants and the country was built on immigrant labor. I don't hear Tea Party or other anti-immigration activists complaining about the role of open immigration in U.S. history. Perhaps they are less concerned about Italians, Germans, Poles, Irish, British, and other white-skinned immigrants, than they are about brown-skinned mestizos from Mexico and Central America. Perhaps they are ignorant of America's traditional immigration policies. Probably both.

I think that immigration quotas could be vastly increased without any change in the number of immigrants: they are coming here, whether legally or illegally.

Legal immigration would allow much better screening and tracking of immigrants, as well as mandatory attendance of English language instruction and of classes teaching about American cultural and political values, history, and traditions, including the meaning of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, the separation of powers, and checks & balances. Money spent to pay coyotes to smuggle them and to pay ransoms for kidnapped immigrants held in drop houses could instead be used to offset the administrative overhead of legal immigration and the new programs of orientation and background screening.

I also think that in order to make this work well, changes need to be made in labor law (and its enforcement) to ensure easy unionization, such as card-check establishment of unions, as well as revisions to minimum wage laws; and also beefed-up enforcement of overtime laws and workplace conditions regulations.

One major benefit of legal immigrants is that there is little or no incentive for under the table arrangements between employers and employees, or exploitative wages or work standards which illegal immigrants cannot complain about because they are vulnerable to deportation at the whim of an angry employer.

WKG, Immigration: Nothing ever has or will stop the flow. Migration is about survival. Thousands of humans die annually trying to migrate to a "better" place.
SEAL is a bad word to use when talking about immigration. If you want to not allow anyone to legally immigrate that is a policy. Illegal immigration is not a policy its about survival.

Pat please note that on 061214 at 12:01 I said Obama when I meant Osama (like in Bin Laden).

The federal government is at it again, lying their ass off. The CIA, NSA, FBI, and others knew 911 would happen. They had been told explicitly so by the Terrorists. And they kept the American public and other countries in the dark.

But now the government (this includes congress) are (acting) shocked at the violence in Iraq. Again the feds lie but the American public and the rest of the world I don't think is shocked. Since Bush the coward invaded Iraq, many people I know said once we leave it will be a blood bath. So why do the government boys keep lying. Maybe because they like you and I knew it was just a matter of time before the Military/industrial complex would call for us to go to war, again.

Cantor's general approval rating is 30 percent; that's actually up from 25 percent in 2012, when he won a primary.

The real issue, however, is Cantor's approval ratings among Republicans. Currently that was 43 percent, versus 49 percent disapproving.

http://www.politico.com/morningscore/0614/morningscore14254.html

Unfortunately, I can't seem to find his rating among Republicans back in 2012.

Still, with an upside-down approval rating in his own party, it's hard to argue that Republican dissatisfaction didn't play a major role in his upset.

All our politicians are disliked, hated even, yet they all (mostly) get reelected. The two-party political system is a failure.

There's a faction saying "Cooter" from the TV show Dukes of Hazzard helped dethrone Cantor (he urged independents to vote for the Brat). I doubt this was the case, but to me it looks to be Cantor's coddling of Wall Street Banksters.

Al-Jazeera had a four-part program called Borderland on immigration. It's worth a look:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/al-jazeera-america-presents-borderland.html

I think it supports cal and Emil that illegal immigration is not going to stop and that the gub'ment (US, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala) needs to step up to stop the exploitation, corruption, violence that takes place by instituting work visas and safe passage to work sites. Our Social Security may depend upon it.

Statue of the Indigenous : Shining light beckoning to come ashore.
I tire of the ignorant argument of the Ellis Island lady welcoming the downtrodden and poor and others to what has become known as the USA, the land of liberty and freedom.
People have migrated since they began. It's about survival. You can die at the hands of your own people in El Salvador or die trying to get to the United States. But if you make it you can probably count on surviving on the $5.00 an hour job in the back alleys of America. The natives of the Americas didn't require a passport to occupy their land. And we didn't ask , we just killed them off so we could become the "greatest" nation in the world. So why did europeans come to the Americas. Well, the Spaniards for the gold but more important to survive and find a better way of life. But now that we have it, we do not want to share it. Another stupid statement is Seal the Borders, particularly the border where "brown" people are most likely to come through. Immigration is a "problem" here, in France, in Saudi Arabia, Qatar , Turkey and on and on.
This is the century of HATE. HATE greater than it has ever been before, Religious nuclear war.

Wkg--I agree with Emil. The first step is to raise legal immigration quotas. Having absurdly long wait times only encourages more people to circumvent the system. Of course, that produces more vulnerable and exploitable labor, which is not an accident. If and when the right-wing completes its long-term project of turning America into a poorly educated nation populated by desperate subsistence-level workers, then the demand to immigrate will subside.

eclecticdog, hating politicians is a kind of default mood in this country, along with contempt for lawyers, Justin Bieber, and Octomom. But most incumbents are easily re-elected. When McCain runs in 2016, despite his censure as a RINO from party faithful, he'll win easily. I think he's a jerk, a kind of bully who shoves his way into line and then pretends he owns it. But what would our Sunday mornings be without him popping off about subjects he's knows little to nothing? America as an investment in shared identity would fracture.

The failure of our two-party system is really a failure of We the People. The check points in constitutional governance have overwhelmed good will and common sense. Politics has always been nasty but somehow things got done, we compromised, and we moved on. No more. This cold civil war has paralyzed the very institutions designed to settle difference and further the national project. We have lots of political parties, more on the right than the left, but the civil war is binary so we tend to be magnetized to one or the other. If you're on the right, you tend to think government itself is the problem, which in itself becomes the problem. That loss of faith is crippling.

Here's something I hope you enjoy: a smart redneck mouthing off. He's Joe Bageant with a foul mouth and a keen eye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbuDPO2LSX4

Dusty, of Dusty's Cult, makes a very good point in Soleri’s video. I watched an episode of Cosmos this morning where Neal deGrasse Tyson described how the petroleum industry always knew of the toxic nature of lead but continued to use it as an additive in gasoline for reasons known as ‘profit’. It took a half a century before our government forced regulation that ended the practice.

In effect, corporate profiteers will and do say, “Fuck you” every day to everyone (and we don’t even need to be stupid) as long as they can get away with it and make a buck.

http://www.wired.com/2013/01/looney-gas-and-lead-poisoning-a-short-sad-history/

And then, from Cal's article: “Worse still, the unwillingness of DoD officials to answer the most basic questions is symptomatic of a simple fact – in their unswerving mission to defend an increasingly unpopular global system serving the interests of a tiny minority, security agencies have no qualms about painting the rest of us as potential terrorists.”

So the proposed “reforms” include: open borders (Cal), Mostly open (Emil), and mostly closed (me).

Without secure borders, there’s no reason to debate any aspect of immigration. It’s an open border and who cares what you might think or want.

Population stabilization: The country now has something in the neighborhood of 300,000,000 people. I think the number is consistently undercounted – but that doesn’t really matter. My point; whatever it is, it is enough.

I have read here any number of times that the best thing that could happen to Phoenix would be 80% of everybody going someplace else (with golf playing geezers being the highest priority).

The argument has been made that borders are hard to “seal”. Indeed they are. But the fact that you can’t make the perfect doesn’t mean that you can’t make them almost perfect. The USSR came close to this with the iron curtain.

I would have thought Phoenicians would have been more open to tightening the border, given how wonderful the porous border that has existed for the last 20 years or so has been for Phoenix.

History and tradition: there was a time when we needed all the people we could get – hence open borders (at least from Europe). By the 1920’s that had changed and quotas established. It has changed even more since then. Since the 1930’s have we had a “huddled masses” problem of our own to deal with.

Cal brings up conditions in El Salvador. I confess to knowing almost nothing at all about El Salvador. Anyone know why El Salvador sucks so badly? Rather than throwing open our doors to anyone who wants in is to make shit holes like El Salvador (assuming the description fits) better places to stay.

Of course this missive comes all the way from B’ham where we don’t know anything at all.


The Know-Nothing Party of old is the Republican Party of new. The targets are just different.

Pre-crash az, the illegals were EVERYWHERE.

They came here for jobs.

The screaming about them reached maximum level.

Post crash- az, the illegals are gone. A few stragglers. But, mostly gone.

There are no jobs.

The screaming about them is at maximum level.

So, if the problem goes away but the screaming stays, maybe the screaming was the problem?

For you close the border screamers. How about you sanction the employers first. They come for the illegal jobs.

The lips of border screamers can't form the words "employer sanctions". Why is that? Some form of mental block?

Oh, by the way. Don't paint me an open or closed border guy.

I'm a "hey, screamers, why don't you shut the f@&k up" guy.

I'm sympathetic to "both" arguments here. The American working class has been watching its living standards erode over the past 30 years and it blamed the cheaper labor drawn as if by a huge magnet to relatively well-paying construction and slaughterhouse jobs. Who wants cheaper labor? The money wing of the GOP. Who wants sealed borders? The social "conservatives"/xenophobes, aka the GOP base. Who gets the blame regardless? The Democrats for trying to figure out the most humane way to solve the problem.

This is probably a preview of worse things to come. 13 or the last 14 years have been the hottest in North American history. Climate change will midwife climate refugees. These people, as Cal suggests, will not simply sit on their hands starving to death. People are animals who do what they must to survive.

Globalization led to NAFTA which led to a tectonic destabilizaton of Mexican agriculture which led to Mexican peasants looking for work elsewhere. Climate change is the result of global fossil-fuel consumption destabilizing the oceans and atmosphere and increasing human population, too. It's rapidly getting worse and Mexico is in its cross-hairs. Think things are bad now? You ain't seen nothing yet.

The law of unintended consequences is universal and unrelenting. Everything we do that makes life better can also make life worse. If our focus is more short-term problem solving, it's because that's how human cognition works (one exception: Social Security, which Washington fervently believes must be cut now lest our favorite victim class, the well-to-do, be asked to pay back their tax cuts of the past three decades.

The dikes we're building along our southern border will hold back some but not all of the human surge from the south. London is building dikes on the Thames to hold back the North Sea. Venice is valiantly trying something similar on the Adriatic although its failure seems preordained. New York is now talking about mitigating storm surges but at a prohibitively high cost. Miami Beach, meanwhile, is forecast to be under water by 2100. And in the US, only 43% of the population thinks global warming is a serious issue.

I keep hoping for a "soft landing" but it looks inevitable that we'll take the more predictable route of panic when it's already too late.


WKG: Unless you feel a great intellectual desire to continue this conversation I suggest you go fishing, while you can. There may not be enough time left in your existence to solve the worlds issues. And if you have kids and grandkids you might want to research the possibilities with them of the next 100 years. I have discussed this with my kids and grandkids. Of course money to survive is an issue. But my kids are considering the options of where to live and how well they want to live, read "materialism". They are all degreed university educated but with good common sense adjustments. In a global economy can you live in a temperate place and grow your own Chickens and tomatoes, rather than get them from China?

I fear I mislead you about borders. First, think Earth not Bham or Phoenix. I am for NO borders not OPEN borders. A completely different discussion. Why is it the Ronnie Reagan lovers fail to recall that he said "tear down that wall'. (Iron Curtain rusted and fell down).Now we have the mentally dried up John McCain saying "Build that dang fence."
I am opposed to the fence between the US and Mexico first because of the death and destruction it brings to the land and animals. For centuries the indigenous folks of the Americas traveled back and forth from one end to the other of the Americas. And didn't see a need to have a border patrol.

Should you decide to go fishing and continue your education take a book with you. Moving Millions is a good general primer on migration. Want to keep up with whats happening South of the place called the USA. Try frontera_list. for a daily body count.
And i suggest that you will have great mind expanding events if you fish WITHOUT A HOOK. (from the mind of "Confessions of an Undercover cop").

SOLERI, can you explain how a "soft landing" works into your statement of "The law of unintended consequences is universal and unrelenting. "

Well said, cal.

Every border in the East, Mideast and Far east are artificial borders put there by the British. How are those working out?

OOPS, a miss on who said that, "FISH WITHOUT A HOOK."
was El Narco, Hector.

Which reminds me we keep
"Killing The Messenger"
Happy Fathers day, god.
Your eternally grateful illegitimate son
Jesus.

...In truth, there seems to be no real contradiction between conservative morality and following the money; to be a capitalist true-believer is to sell yourself...

...I think my verdict on them still applies: “They did not do these awful things because they were bad conservatives; they did them because they were good conservatives, because these unsavory deeds followed naturally from the core doctrines of the conservative tradition.”

(my emphasis)

Thomas Frank, Off with their heads! Eric Cantor, the Tea Party guillotine, and the certainty of conservative sell-out

In honor of Rouge Columnist author, writer, economist, connoisseur of martinis stirred not shaken, art, music and the pursuit of the written word, I offer Jon Talton a poem from Joseph Brodsky.

..and when "the future" is uttered, swarms of mice
rush out of the Russian language and gnaw a piece
of ripened memory which is twice
as hole-ridden as real cheese.
After all these years it hardly matters who
or what stands in the corner, hidden by heavy drapes,
and your mind resounds not with a seraphic "doh",
only their rustle. Life, that no one dares
to appraise, like that gift horse's mouth,
bares its teeth in a grin at each
encounter. What gets left of a man amounts
to a part. To his spoken part. To a part of speech.

WKG
Honduras was the most violent country in the world, with a homicide rate of 90 people per 100,000.
http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_25965802/immigrants-recently-released-el-paso-tell-their-stories

wkg wrote:

"The argument has been made that borders are hard to 'seal'. Indeed they are. But the fact that you can’t make them perfect doesn’t mean that you can’t make them almost perfect."

Perhaps half of those currently in the country illegally, entered legally. They had tourist, business, or student visas.

Day visas for those wishing to visit across the border from Mexico aren't difficult to get. Roughly 15 million Mexican visitors entered the U.S. in 2012.

There are far too many to individually research. All the State Department can do is ask some questions (e.g., Do you have a full-time job in Mexico?) and hope to catch-out some ignorant rurals who don't know how to game the system with the right answers and by dressing up like tourists from the city.

You are allowed to bring up to $10,000 in undeclared currency into the U.S. from Mexico, either paper or on an easily purchased over-the-counter stored value card. You can purchase false IDs and other forged or stolen documents in Mexico and after you cross the border, simply disappear, being picked up by family or by organized for-hire outfits, and start a new life.

It's amazing to me that anyone still bothers to pay coyotes at all. If we sealed the border tomorrow, all you would do is set up a new cottage industry in which organized crime shifts from human smuggling to setting up the necessary deception fronts, false background services, and facilitators, for obtaining legal visitor (not immigration) visas.

Since the draw is economic, you could try to stop those not authorized to work in the United States from getting jobs.

E-verify is an attempt to do this, but what it has mainly succeeded in doing isn't stopping illegal immigration, but spawning a new identity theft racket so that immigrants applying for jobs cannot be detected by E-verify, which merely cross-checks name, date of birth, and Social Security numbers; and there are other loopholes as well.

You could attempt to require all persons seeking employment to obtain a non-forgeable identity card with biometric features such as fingerprints, that can be digitally checked against a centrally held database. There are two major problems with this scheme.

First, many conservatives and a number of liberals are suspicious of national registration cards and the political support is simply not there.

Second, in order to obtain such a card you have to prove that you qualify, and to do that you must present what are known as "breeder documents" such as birth certificates, driver's licenses, green cards, and so forth, all of which are comparatively easy to obtain through fraud (depending on the issuing state) or theft or forgery.

So, you are using insecure documents to obtain a secure document. The fact that the fraudster applying for such a document will volunteer his own biometric data merely gives employers a false sense of security or a legal excuse.

Now, explain to me how you are going to "secure the border" to a "nearly perfect" extent?

wkg wrote: "Without secure borders, there’s no reason to debate any aspect of immigration. It’s an open border and who cares what you might think or want."

There are many reasons to convert hordes of illegal immigrants into similar numbers of legal immigrants. These include better screening and tracking, better assimilation, and less ability/motive to undercut American workers with illegal and exploitative work arrangements.

So, I disagree that there is no reason to debate immigration policy until the borders are "secured", whether or not they can be.

wkg wrote:

"Cal brings up conditions in El Salvador. I confess to knowing almost nothing at all about El Salvador. Anyone know why El Salvador sucks so badly?"

Violence, poverty, corruption.

wkg: "Rather than throwing open our doors to anyone who wants in is to make shit holes like El Salvador (assuming the description fits) better places to stay."

What do you suggest?

Incidentally, I don't think wkg should be discouraged from debating immigration with suggestions that he go fishing. He seems both civil and interested and this is a golden opportunity to soften the views of a reflexive anti-immigrationist and, indirectly, introduce reason into the perspectives of his fellow conservatives.

I disagree with some liberals who consider anti-immigration conservatives to be unreachable, per se. Of course, there are intractable individuals whose views are essentially racist and whose argumentation is merely a manifestation of personal belligerence, but it's oversimplistic to paint all anti-immigration conservatives with this brush.

I think that many are simply misinformed and don't understand the issues. I think that they don't respond well to bleeding-heart arguments for compassion and want logical reasons for changing their views -- reasons which address their concerns about lack of assimilation, about competition for employment, and about downward pressure on wages.

In the course of the debate they can also be educated on the need for a mandated living wage for all workers in the U.S., for vigorous enforcement of workplace and wage standards, and for increased freedom to unionize, which strengthens workers of all nationalities and races by allowing them to collectively bargain effectively instead of as isolated individuals facing the power of large corporations.

emil's probably right. god help us all.

Emil, you said it more eloquently and clearer than i ever could have. And U R right about how to get here and stay here. Documentation is about money. I am not suggesting WKG go fishing and ignore events. I am not sport fisher person but I do know sitting on a (Siddhartha) flowing river bank in the shade can many times bring a clearer and better understanding of the world around you. Some call it meditation. And fishing without a hook is a thought brought to my attention by a couple of sincerely deep thinkers. For me its deep desert in the shade of a giant Sajuaro, free of most human caused sounds. The Giant Sajuaro's shadow dwarf's my lonely shadow as we reach out across the sands seeking a silence that screams.

WKG, God does not care. Help yourself!

"The Sleep of Reason brings forth monsters."
Francisco Goya.

Cantor and the current Republican party:
"As queer as a clockwork orange."

@Cal: read the NPR link. Inevitable.

Yet you think people in Chandler and Gilbert are irrational. They’re just behaving like they lived in Mexico City or San Paulo. Get used to it.

Oops that should be Sao Paulo.

wkg.I do not believe the folks in Chandler and Gilbert are irrational. They like the folks from south america are looking to have a "better" life. For the Gilbert folks its, The safe great whiter life. A place that you can join an all white Devils Dogs club or a religion that has a history of being white. And until he went back to prison one could hang out with Sammy Gravano.

My continued observation of life is always interesting. Recently I was at an event of approximately 50 people, 11 of whom were "gay". They all crowded into the same table and spent the evening not moving from that table. Except one that came to talk to me about the old days of our police experiences.

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