Politics

Subterranean Homeland Paranoia Edition

Paranoid Immigration Thoughts for Today:

a) What’s His Motivation? What if the apparent zombie-like Boehner push for an amnesty bill — unstoppable even by an anti-amnesty midterm election — isn’t driven by the need to please business lobbyists, but rather by the demands of Jeb Bush’s machine to somehow get the issue out of the way before Bush has to run in the 2016 general election? If true, this would have at least two implications. (i) It means Boehner isn’t just going through the motions to show lobbyists he’s trying while he sucks up their contributions. Going through the motions won’t help Jeb and his (questionable) please-Latinos strategy. He needs to have Republicans actually pass something. (ii) Business lobbyists want a guestworker bill. Amnesty for existing illegals is less important to them. If they go off on their own and pass a stand-alone guestworker bill that might then make it harder for Congress to pass a separate amnesty bill — it could be a betrayal of their La Raza allies. The lobbyists might not care about La Raza. But Bush cares. He needs an amnesty bill if his Hispandering is to work. Boehner might have to actually block a stand-alone guest worker bill.

b) Boehner’s Dilemma: If there is a Boehner Immigration Sellout Plan, it’s pretty obvious: Start with a “border security” bill, then declare the border secured and move on to a guest worker/amnesty bill later in the session. But for the plan to make sense it’s not enough even for the House to pass a bill. They have to pass a bill that Obama then signs. (Otherwise Boehner can’t pretend the border’s been taken care of.) That means that any bill has to be watered down enough for Obama’s approval. Republicans can’t pass a tough fence-on-the-border bill, because Obama wouldn’t sign it. So they have to go with the fake McCaul bill. They can’t start with a mandatory E-Verify bill — Democrats would lobby Obama to veto it, because it might actually work. Getting Republicans to pass an Obama-friendly border bill while pretending it’s tough would require a level of cynical Kabuki that even GOP centrists might not be able to muster. What to do? …

c) Does Boehner want a shutdown over Department of Homeland Security funding? The House has passed a bill that funds DHS but blocks both of Obama’s executive amnesties and his enforcement policies. The Senate is balking at these policy “riders,” as Democrats prepare to accuse Republicans of shutting down the government yet again. Suppose the Dems win this game of chicken and Republicans reluctantly pass a “clean” DHS bill. The House Republicans (and their constituents) are likely to be so frustrated and angry they’re unlikely to support an amnesty bill down the line. But if there’s a shutdown, and the public blames the GOP, then Boehner can blame the Tea Party for the fiasco and go ahead and pass some bills with Democratic votes. Isn’t that what happened after the last, Cruz-inspired shutdown? Hmm. …

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State of the Dylan Address: Bob Dylan complains:

Critics say I can’t carry a tune and I talk my way through a song. Really? I’ve never heard that said about Lou Reed. Why does he get to go scot-free?

Um … they do say that about Lou Reed. All the time. (And they’re right.)

P.S.: I think that by claiming in his speech that he’s just part of the folk/blues tradition, Dylan underplays his own contribution. When you go back and listen to Blonde on Blonde, there’s maybe a whole lot more folk and blues than you realized when you were entranced by Dylan as a pot-smoking 60’s kid. (Blogging for a friend.) But I don’t see how “Absolutely Sweet Marie,” say, is in any way a folk or blues song. Seems like something else. Update: There’s this 1893 song, “Sweet Marie.” I don’t see the similarity, but maybe you will. [Tks to commenter “Anonymist”]

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Looks like it’s still true what they say about small cars: They don’t do well in crashes. Eight of the ten models with the highest death counts are small economy cars. Yes, these rankings are always complicated by sociological factors — e.g. people who drive Camaros (#6) tend to not be the safest drivers. But are people who drive Kia Rios (#1) and Nissan Versas (#2 and #9) especially irresponsible? … P.S.: See also this video of a Honda Accord (big) crashing into a Honda Fit (small). Brutal. … P.P.S.: The nine cars with perfect (no fatality) death rates are all medium-to-large. Six are SUV-type vehicles or crossovers. One is a minivan and two are mid-size sedans. .. .

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So how is the Bush Industrial Complex going to tear down Scott Walker? By pointing out that Walker says the safety net is a “hammock” instead of a “spider web”? That might work in a general election, but this is the Republican primary. … What would Lee Atwater do? He’d have a whole trove of anti-Walker oppo produced by Wisconsin labor unions to draw on. But it didn’t work when the unions used it. … Update: Foreign policy experience? Walker has none. But neither does Jeb — though he has extensive connections to a network of foreign policy advisers many voters would rather not have back. …

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Is Barry Diller going to keep the public out of the park he’s proposing to build in the Hudson? If not, how is he“turning public parks into playgrounds for the wealthy,” as the hed of this New Republic piece  claims? Diller’s park won’t be more of a “playground for the wealthy” than any other public park on Manhattan’s West Side. … It’s not easy to write a piece about private donors taking over public duties that makes you root for the private donors …

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