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veryone calls it by different names, and exprienced it in different ways. At the high school prom, it's that MeatLoaf classic “Stop Right There!” and praying for the end of time. Later it can be on Wall Street — at least the Stiftung has been told this. We are even told by friends, mind you, that while overpaid and often useless IBankers flaunted nasal stimulation (more for coolness and to collect girls,) the adrenlin level of the deal heat is sufficient to keep most fired up, again no different than that high school memory. At least they tell us that. Negotiations in general do this, especially in adversarial situations, such as litigation (and criminal settings especially).
All of which is to say, that despite our efforts to strut and preen here, it is a lie for the Stiftung to deny that he loves being on the Hill. For all of its unholy flaws documented here ad nauseum. If you've ever been in a car on the NJTP (God rest your soul) and around exit 13A (going North) suddenly feel the energy, the raw pulsating waves radiating from over the horizon and the pavement itself, you know what the Stiftung is talking about. Now the Hill is not like that except in the most rare of circumstances, but when deal heat infects everyone on the Hill or even just your micro issue you want to get through the House on Suspension, for example, if you like the hunt, the chase, the thrill and sheer unpredictability of human foilables and immoral betrayals, lies and backstabbings, then there you go.
Some the Stiftung's female friends swear bidding on eBay is the same and we take them at their word.
Why We Went
e have no real dog in the immigration fight from a client or institutional point of view and have mixed feelings about the project over all. Those that know the Stiftung personally also understand our sensitivity to these issues from a macro societal level as well for other reasons. But the Stiftung loves deal heat.
We were on the Hill with some of our networks or tribes (and the Hill runs this way even before the Dark Times, and that even means 1994, of which we are not wholly innocent God spare us). We were discussing the impact of Manhattan Institute scholar Tamar Jacoby's letter in support of the bill on Republican sensibilities. It was signed by the usual suspects, Jeff Bell, Jack Kemp, and some other actual sitting members. etc. As you likely know, the Manhattan Institute is a reliable if small player institution in the intellectual trench warfare, and if not quite Krupps in quantity and quality, their armaments are highly reagrded.
nd as you also likely know, lobbying has very little to do with what you see on TV, George Clooney's best efforts aside. Take letters. The right letter, from the right group or coalition, delivered at the right time, signed by the right people can kill or hold up a deal flat. Or keep something alive and push it into conference (when all hell breaks loose and atrocities and who knows what else occur to those smart enough to prepare for it). We've done it and seen it, delivering letters to staffers and even members sometimes in member terms past 11:00 PM and staffer terms 3:00 AM that have killed fast moving bills dead. Or the reverse.
Not to over emphasize the above — they're only one of many factors — but they do matter more than the general public realizes. So we were curious how the Jacoby Letter went down. We knew it had no clout on arrival of course. Immigration now has reached a thermonuclear deal heat level that no minor think tanks' plaintive utterances would matter next to NAM, the Chamber, etc. But these pro-immigration republicans were so demoralized. It was like talking to Tom Davis and David Drier in one of the Leadership BatCave offices under the House when they swore next time Dick Armey and Tom DeLay would not shove a telephone pole so far up their keisters that it would pop out their front jaw with a Verizon operator included, just because they had the temerity for asking for a little reason. That kind of sad. We felt bad for them.
'That's My Party, Kay, Not Me'
here was alot of talk about how Tancredo managed, like Micheal Corleone at the end of Part One, to get 50 members to kiss his ring. (Allegedly). No small feat. There were also insinuations that certain high profile companies doing business in his neighboorhood were asked to walk the Halls for him and his drive. That's another thing about lobbying — and Coppola for that matter. The amount of time smart lobbyists devote to doing seemingly extraneous favors knowing memories on the Hill can be (if not always) long. In this case, we doubt it. Tancredo and the others doesn't need it. And neither does anyone in the Senate. Buchanan has it about right. Even in communities where a Chinese restaurant staffed by blondes is the closest to immigration they know, they are convinced the brown hordes are here.
When we laughed at Stan Kurtz the other day, we mentioned that there are waves and patterns of Nativism in American history, going all the way back to the Founding. It might be worth visiting that one day here as much of what we see has come before.
I'll be up on the Hill again tomorrow. Not to try and effect any outcomes. This issue is not our playground and we have no dogs in the fight. But to mingle. As we said, we would be a liar if we said we were immune to deal heat — at least entirely. Like the buzz of human energy around Exit 13A. All of which may undermine my determined effort to paint only dour misanthropic visions for you here, Dear Readers.
P.S. The Cheney bit is a teaser for something coming later. I also screwed up the base line run but was too tired to re-record it. Next time.
, Deal Heat
<i>When we laughed at Stan Kurtz the other day, we mentioned that there are waves and patterns of Nativism in American history, going all the way back to the Founding. It might be worth visiting that one day here as much of what we see has come before.</i>
Oh come on. Immigrants, both illegal and legal are POORING in to the US as never before, and this has taken place for an unprecedented period of time.
Wanting to regain some control of this process in not “nativist”. Kind of like calling someone who wants to reduce the number of military bases in half “isolationist.”
When you start from such a high level asking for a reduction is not asking to go to the other extreme.
The people deserve to have some control exercised over their immigration policy and the law obeyed. Every other country, including Israel, exercises tremendous control over who and how many enter their country. There is nothing wrong with the US wanting to do the same.
The truth is, businesses are externalizing the costs of the absorbing the immigrants while the public pays in many ways.
And don't give me “we have had higher rates of immigration by percentage” in the past.
Large companies don't grow at the rate of smaller companies. This country is much larger now (in people, not area) and the absolute numbers of immigrants now are staggering in comparison to the early 1900's.
It doesn't scale.
And the early 1900’s was a “burst” that was followed by much lower (and better) levels of immigration for 50 years. Funny how that low immigrant period was the period of great income equality in the states.
I think we are ready for another pause.
So please stop with the name calling on your otherwise very interesting blog.
Immigration is a touchy issue for all parties. Can you imagine how much it would cost to re-roof a house and replace the gutters in Bethesda without Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatamalans driving down the cost directly and indirectly?
So, when you get your roof done do you pay for the workers healthcare? The education of his children? Do you pay for the extra police and other infrastructure?
No, the general public does.
For the first time in our nations history the literacy rates are going down. Nice legacy.
The crime rate of Hispanics is three times that of the native population.
Immigrants receive more welfare than the general population - check it out:
Why do Japan and Finland have lower crime, better health care and education levels without immigration? Good-better per capia GDP.
How do they fix their roofs in Japan?
It is free riders like you, but especially big corporations, that cause the problem and then say “oh you must be emotional” for opposing immigration.
I am not being emotional. I am being very rational. It is the people who are moved by sob stories and other absurd statements like ‘$10 lettuce’ that are the ones that are emotional.
DaveG - You're getting ahead of yourself. Who said anyone here was getting their roof done? But since you want to press the issue - who is gonna make fresh tortilla with out a fresh crop of Mexicans? How could literacy be going down? Bush reads to school children and a passed some reading program and Laura is a librarian? Btw, do you really think an Irishman can deliver Chinese food on a bicycle? Come on!
How do Japanese fix their roofs? I dunno - Philipinos? Koreans? Some Chinese? Some Indonesians? If they are lucky - Mexicans?
Doc - how about this pressure for Scooter - Scooter heat! Imagine if other people got this kind of sympathy? Scooter is still obstructing, but ...
Good summery of Scooter pardon heat:
We think Bush has lots of downside to issuing an early pardon - it will unleash forces and he will not really obtain anything tangible from the neocons if he pardons early. For crying out loud, he attacked the Middle East and Kristol and Co are already turning on him. It is possible that Libby will spill the beans against Bush, but the Cheney factor complicates.
God bless Joe Wilson! LOL
I haven't been following the immigration bill much, but I get the impression that it tried to go too far. But I think you have to be careful not to take at face value statistics that are interpreted to the advantage of one side. Here's an article by Linda Chavez that tries to point out some statistics she thinks are loosely used:
Shall we have a Scooter pool? My prediction is early Thanksgiving week, 2008
DaveG - That Hispanic crime rate stat sounds very suspicous - Anecdotally - we feel far safer in a number of Hispanic neighborhoods than many inner city neighborhoods that consist mostly of American born citizens.
Also - many Hispanic immigrants are victims of crime from Americans citizens in rough neighborhood - in part because they are seen as reluctant to seek help from the law.
There is tension btw Mexicans and other immigrants with Puerto Ricans and other citizens, in part, because of this perception.
Specifically - when you say the crime rate among Hispanics is three times higher, how can you be sure that is due to Mexicans and Cen. Americans (who are the focus of the bill) and not due to Hispanics who are American citizens and come from the Caribbean?
It seems hard to be sure about such statistics. For example - East Harlem, which is mostly American citizen, has a higher crime rate than many immigrant Hispanic and/or Mexican neighborhoods.
Yes, Hispanics can reduce the crime rate locally when they are moving into black neighborhoods, as these inner city folks have 10x the crime rate of the general populous.
But overall it is still an increase.
There is some debate about whether very recent immigrants commit less crime, but this is unclear as the data is hard to collect. But the overall Hispanic data represent immigrant and the first generation progeny pretty well.
As for literacy, in the highly competitive global market it is hard to see how reducing the literacy of the united state will help us, but that is where we are headed.
You can read about that here:
We need to stop the rhetoric and start thinking in terms of what is a good immigration policy. And part of that policy is demonstrating we can follow through with its enforcement and not allow emotional stories or powerful business lobbies to kill the follow through.
East Harlem is heavily - perhaps mostly Hispanic. It's mostly native born American citizens, but it seems much more dangerous (at least it was a few years ago) than many immigrant Hispanic neighborhoods of Mexicans and Central Americans (which are often very safe - except when they are targeted for crime by current Americans) - Not saying immigration does not have problems - just that it's wrong (IMO) to bust on Mexicans all the time.
As far as literacy goes - sometimes immigration can boost education stats - some Brooklyn schools exploded in test score excellence when they got all those immigrants from Russia - It was funny watching politicians and teachers unions try to take credit for this by claiming curriculem reforms.
If you want to increase test scores in Alabama, Mississsippi, and Arkansas - creating immigrant communities from China and India would do the trick. It would also be good for future trade. But test scores are not the be all and end all - Mexicans are very good workers. Ask any Greek restaurant owner in NY - He'll tell you (after telling you all his are legal).
Speaking of curriculum - we shoud probaby spell curriculum right - But you are correct that the world is becoming more competive, but after the Civil War the US rose to power with immigrants who could not read. Even now, many jobs don't require an education - Sure its cliche to mention farm work, but if the Mexicans don't do it, no one else will - Where will you get your fancy salads?
Barbara Bush made fighting illiteracy her own special goal. Laura too!
DaveG, you are correct, IMO, to be suspicious of Gee Dubs on immigration - He was speaking in moralistic platitudes at a Hispanic prayer brakefast today and he made a slight adjustment in his “doing jobs Americans won't do” line - He used the present tense - “doing jobs Americans *aren't* doing” -
Imo - Dubya knows he is being clever with his words - He believes in a low wage economy, so he has to be crafty how he speaks because he knows his populist 'base' or the liberals have no idea that he really believes in low wage economy -
Americans would do many jobs if the pay was right - Maybe not fruit picking because that's a multi-generational cultural thing too. But getting back to roofing and construction - Go out to Broolyn where they are building trendy lofts over chemical dumps and what do you see? Endless low wage workers -
If those were all unionized Americans, the costs would skyrocket
Those business owners call the tune - they will continue to hire and that is why they come over the border.
Tom Friedman could be outsourced - A few years ago we came up with some immitation Friedman columsn that manage to fool most people into thinking he wrote them -
I agree that some immigration is good and certain immigration in the past has been. But the level, duration and quality (very poor and uneducated in high volume) that is taking place now is not healthy.
I agree we need to be more selective, but we are not doing that now, nor are we showing any inclination to do so.
And the situation can reach critical mass when to many enter and the “culture” takes root and can't be corrected. Look at Detroit.
Detroit was one of the nations premier cities back at the turn of the century. Then the auto industry “invited” many poor rural uneducated blacks (through no fault of their own, but that is still what they were) to work for lower wages etc. Sounds familiar no?
But, they came in too fast and were too many to educate and control, and now Detroit is a wasteland.
Now, the reading level of Miami and Los Angeles is abysmal. They are like third world nations with very rich and very poor and little in between.
If that is the America you want to live - Brazil style - then OK, but it is not my taste at all.
We disagree with some of your points = but if we catch Tim Russert speaking Spanish on his Father's Day book selling tour, we may just sign up for the Buchanan Brigades.
But speaking of Detroit - there are neiigborhoods that were totally forsaken in NYC, but now bustle with Mexican shops and business, etc Yes = they are targeted for crime by native American (not 'Indians') citizens.
Did Harry Reid insult the military? We have no idea after watching Carlson and hearing that's what Reid did - But somehow criticing Pete Pace is being translated into being critical of the troops. Don't you hate this kind of moron politics? It's so old. Btw - the Kagan's are already manuevering to establish distance from the 'surge.' These neocons sometimes seem to lack character...
Lol, within the E Ring Pace is called names by the uniformed no network would dare broadcast and at gets worse working back to A. Same with Myers. The scenes depicted of him head down in despair (sobbing?) after getting beat up by Rumsfeld blow the mind.
Pace was selected to be Rummy's Keitel and played it well ( a few moments of remnant memory of vertebrae but quickly beaten down). Marines are harder to Keitel-ize apparently, something to remember for the future.
In fact, none of the senior military come off well and have well served the men and women entrusted to them — even now those who once stood true at crucial moments but but now flutter in the prevailing winds. Hack, God bless, had it about right.
Harry Reid???? et al. They're politicians for Christ's sake. Of course they posture. It's their frigging job function.
The self lynchings, court martials, seppukus and pistols to the head should begin in the Building if honor has not left America entirely.
Reid should just describe any criticism of him as simple anti-Mormon bias - that's all.
The big myth about immigration is that we need it for the economy. There are many countries that succeed economically without immigration and therefore get to do so without lots of other pathologies (such as crime, poor education, poor health) that come along with immigration.
Look at who is pushing the hardest for this - the business community and Democrats. The motivation of the business community is obvious. The motivation of the Democratic party is more votes.
You have to ask yourself, are either thinking of the well being of the United States as a whole?
And yes, a New Orleans style cleansing of various NYC “barrios” would indeed reduce crime and “revitalize” those communities.
Whether that is a good or fair way to go about reducing crime and other pathologies is another debate.
We disageee - NYC greatest reduction in crime came about in the 90s - A period of massive immigration. Also - think twice about that New Orleans reference - Katrina destroyed the neighborhoods of native born Americans and paved the way for massive Mexican and Central American immigration into La and Miss to do the clean up work.
Btw - the Iraq war and these other wars will lead to massive immigration from Arab countries - If the Dems and the business community (except the military and resource industries) had their say, we would never have invaded Iraq and had to deal with the fallout and refugees.
“ ... the noblest spirit of selfless service...”
On Scooter Libby
Reread what I wrote. NYC, New Orleans, other “inner city” locations can have crime reduced by immigration because the crime was so high to start with.
And sending South American immigrant over to Iraq would probably help there as well. I guess we have something we agree on there.
Also, the business community was not against the war. Do you read the WSJ? They are the primary pro-war organ of the newsprint media (although the NYT and Washington post are doing their part as well.
The WSJ editorial page, chock-a-block with war advocates of various sorts, is not at all in sync with the views of its reporting staff. The people who write for the editorials have as much in common with most people in the business community as the staff of the Weekly Stnadard has with Marine Recon platoon.
You concede that immigration reduces crime in inner cities populated by native Americans - that's the point.
In terms of sending S. Americans to Iraq, we know of one restaurant that has two employees with son's in Iraq - One of them was seriously wounded in Iraq. - Fighting on behalf of our country.
Look at the worst crime states - red states like S. Carolina and other states in the south - They have, until recently, been the least likely to benefit from immigration - In many conunties in Georgia - until recently - it was almost all native born Americans. But crime was high.
Btw - we are not sure that New Orleans reduced crime in the 90s - We are sure NYC did. Mew Orleans was mostly native (small n) Americans did *not* get lots of immigrants from Mexico and other countries until *after* Katrina - for clean up work. Will crime go down? We shall see
- But crime did go way down in NYC and other cities with lots of immigration.
Since you concede that high crime cities already havce high crime among native Americans and that immigration reduced it - Then why not encourage immigrants to go to areas with high crime rates (which is usually where they go anyway)
Btw - most of the gang problem in LA are not with Mexicans, but with Central Americans coming from countries that were at war in the 80s. Just as the UK has immigrants from areas where it was involved militarily and/or colonially, we will have the same - Like it or not, we will have hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Iraq and whatever other country we attack - just as our past involvement in Latin America paved the way for immigration from those countries.
But crime goes hand in hand with poverty - The Irish are no longer a street crime problem because they are no longer poor.
Our cities are islands of peace now compared to last half of the 19th cent.
There are plent of areas of the US that could use more immigrants - Meth belt states like Kansas and Nebraska could surely benefit, as could the Dakotas, etc - Much of the South is starting to benedfit from immigration - beneficially changing the past binary black v. white equation to the benefit of all.
Think of all those dying towns in Upstate NY - All along the Erie canal - They did get Bosnian immigrants in the 90s, but they could benefit from more and varied immigrants.
Think of a wealthy state like Jersey - With its vast wealth, it still has these hollowed our cities — Newark, Paterson (both imroving a bit), Camden, Atlantic City (except the casinos), Passaic, Union, Trenton, etc. They could use immigrants - more and more.
Did you know that 50 perecent of all Medal of Honor winners are Irish Americans? They were despised immigrants once - As new immigrants distinguish themselve in combat and other endeavors, opinion will change about them too.
Do we need better border controls and better enforcement of documentation? Yes, you are right about that = But do we need more immigrants, even a bigger Yes.
Over time, most people will come to agree with our point of view on this issue. You'll see.
Oh - and another thing we think is overblown are these English-only concerns.
If the neocons were 1 percent as clever as the English language is - they would have conquered all the Middle East and Central Asia by now.
Over time - Mexico is far more at risk of losing its Spanish speaking dominance tnan the US is at risk of becoming a bilingual nation.
You cannot be successfull in the US without eventually learning English - It''s just that basic - Eventually everyone learns English - it just takes time.
But you can get away with traveling the world and only knowing English - English is conquering the world, English is on the advance - Its spread is unstoppable.
But you have these people like Dana Roherbacher (who disgustingly uses Nazi-type characterizations “bacteria” to describe immigrants) who should be wearing clown shoes when they wail about the English language - even though they live in towns with Spanish names like San Diego and Los Angeles , etc
How can you take someone like that seriously? Are we gonna change all of California's big cities names to their English equivalents?
The English-only types are really silly with their worries. Think about it - you can actually grow up in the US in a nice neighborhood and learn no foreign language and still be regarded by society as educated - so long as you get a college degree in Marketing or Communications or “Journalism” or whatever.
In civilized countries - the same person would be regarded as barely qualified to be trained as a drooling instructor.
The point is - this just illustrates the basic fact of English language dominance - Sure you have to take a year of French or whatever - maybe Latin or Spanish. But you can get away with forgetting whatever you learned and STILL manage to be successfull in business.
In Latin America, you have to learn English - same with China, India, and Europe - and Africa.
Can you imagine if we all had to learn Mandarin? Well - maybe we will (years from now) , but no one will make you learn Spanish (save certain jobs) - unless you really want to know what those hot senioritas are saying on those Mexican tv shows on cable.
Judging by our mispelling of Spanish words like senoritas , we could probably use a few Spanish lessons ourself - just to expand our knowledge past huevos rancheros and “tortilla” and “hola” and a few slurs we picked up.
On second thought - we misspelled enough English words above to remind us to focus on English only. Pardon Moi!
Another thing that's off base with the anti-immigration crown, en masse, is their obsession with Mexica - Often they will rail against Mexican immigrants, but then they will point to non Mexicans or non Mexican neighborhoods - like Puerto Ricans, who are citizen and about as un-Mexican as can be - ds to make their points.
This is just madness - Madness, like Duncan Hunter calling for English only - even though he lives in a town name “San Diego.” LOL.
But even sillier than the worries of the English-only crowd is “Tucker” on the Tweety show saying Gee Dubs is a true believer in spreading democracy in the Middle East - Is this the same Tucker who interviewed a Gee Dubs mocking a woman on death row in 1999?
Can you imagine a more ludicrous thought than the one that suggest Bush would pressure Hosni Mubrarke to listen to Human Rights Watch or that he private lobbies Musharef to democractize and not torture prisoners. Or maybe Tucker thinks Bush reads the Constitition to Bandar when he gets him on the phone.
Tucker Carlson - says Barack Obama is being emasculated by his wife's public teasing.
One can imagine Obama being amused by the idea of Tucker - of bow-tie fame* - expresing concerns about Obama's risk of emasculation. LOL!
*Until Jon Stewart further emasculated and shamed him into no longer wearing one (in public).
Speaking of illegals immigrants - It occurred to us today - watching the US Open take place at Oakmont CC, that the border patrol and DHS et al could probably stage a raid and catch quite a few. What are the odds some illegals did some yard work at that august club?
The WSJ editorial page would probably tut tut a raid in the middle of the final round.
Do you think Pete Pace feels cheated - he writes a Scooter letter and then he gets dumped - Would Scooter ever write a letter to a Judge on Pace's behalf , if it was politically risky? It's amazing that a Marine General would turn himself into such a tool.
Speaking of English language dominance - our point above was that Americans would learn other languages if they really had to - But it's always been an optional thing - So when people say Americans have trouble learning languages (like Arabic or Chinee or whatever) that's only because those languages have not been absolutely necessary to know - So they compete with other priorities, like learning how to program a VCR or getting a good deal on reverse mortgage or ....
If it was necessary to operate - then people would learn foreign languages, just like they do elsewhere.
But despite the complaints of Duncan watching a “Padres” game in “San Diego,” English is the undispited dominant language.
Re, Pace, of the various guesses of why he was canned, I think the best one was that there would be a new face to sell the next Friedman Unit.
Was there a second time that Stewart zinged Tucker besides on Crossfire? That was perfect.
No, I hadn't seen Lil' Bush but I youtubed it. Pretty funny...but they could have drawn Condi better. Bush is the only one with good lines. Oh,well.
Yes - Stewart earned his years pay with that truth moment - Not only did he basically pull the plug on that awful Crossfire show - But he basically made Carlson, after waiting a few face saving (barely) months - stop wearing his signature bow tie. It was like Greg Marmalard being told off in front of a million Mandy Preperidges. We heard months later from some media folks that he really hates Stewart -
One of the funny scene of Lil Bush was when he went to join the military - They could have done a better job making fun of Barbara Bush. Also - we may have missed it, but there was no Wolfowitz character and that's just a shame because Wolfowitz is made for easy laughs - especially for quick malicious humor - He makes a great comic foil - what with his endless comb-licking and being one of the most hated people in the world.