Blog - KausFiles
In a satisfying moment of intramural recrimination this week, Sen. Charles Schumer of New York pointedly second-guessed President Obama's decision to push sweeping health care legislation in 2010, when Americans were more concerned with the state of the economy and their economic futures.
You don't have to be Hari Seldon to figure out what the next two waves of Conventional Wisdom will be regarding President Obama's just-announced
unilateral amnesty "Immigration Accountability Executive Action":
With Obama's executive amnesty imminent, anonymous White House aides are cockily dismissing John Boehner's threatened lawsuit against it as a stunt. Even among opponents of executive amnesty -- and I'm with them -- there's a tendency to pooh pooh the suit. It's a loser, it will take forever to decide, it's an attempt to 'redirect Republican rage' away from budgetary remedies like denying funding, etc.
Quagmire: 'We already intervened twice. You mean we have to go back there again?'-- Vox, TPM editors contemplating another rescue mission of MIT Obamacare expert Jonathan Gruber. P.S.: I told you so. P.P.S.: Gruber seems more clumsy, unpolished and unfiltered -- even goofy -- than slick. Slick would be worse. ...
FIND THAT MESSAGE: Obama's policies were on the ballot -- we have it on good authority (Obama's). That includes "comprehensive immigration reform," as embodied in the Chuck Schumer's Senate "Gang of 8" legalization + immigration increase bill. So how did it do? Let's see:
Liberals for Scott Brown? Here's why I think New Hampshire Democrats should vote against Jeanne Shaheen on Tuesday. I know this is a tough sell, and you're maybe sick of any kind of sell. I'll keep it short:
The Bias Matrix: What does kausfiles want? It's complicated! Before a modern political writer can
slant his coverage practice explanatory journalism determine what readers need to know, he first has to figure out whom he wants to win. That's not always as easy as it sounds, especially if you are a blogger whose major issue** (control of our borders to help create a tight labor market) does not break down cleanly along party lines. Confronting the array of possible outcomes from the 2014 midterms, I can see two semi-contradictory imperatives:
The Prisoner and the Dilemma: We'd like to quarantine care workers who return from caring for Ebola patients in West Africa -- we're not 100% sure that symptomless people aren't contagious ("unlikely"), and symptoms seem to come on relatively quickly in any case. Voluntary quarantining has proven incompletely effective. At the same time, we don't want to discourage volunteer health care workers from traveling to West Africa, where the main fight against the disease is being waged. They're not exactly encouraged to make the trip if they know they'll have to spend 21 days in a tent with a portable toilet on their return.
Neutral Story Line That Isn't: Looks like NBC has its midterm election line set: It's all about "gridlock" and "polarization!" (Video clip, featuring Chuck Todd, here.)
Faster Ebola: Ebola -- and the administration's non-reassuring response to the threat -- seems to be the hot issue now in the midterms. There's even talk that the Republicans, previously (and perhaps intentionally) themeless, will be able to nationalize the election around the issue. The trouble is that the election is 15 days away. Will the Ebola meme last until then? The Feiler Faster Thesis says no! The ability of voters to process information with increasing speed means they will have grokked Obama's epidemiological performance in fighting the disease and be ready for a new issue long before November 4 -- at least unless new cases of infected Americans emerge.
677 Caterpillars: A man named Tyler Pearson had posted a list of the 1000 Twittter accounts most commonly followed by the 677 New York Times staffers on the paper's public list. It is, as you would expect, embarrassingly cocooned: Times staffers follow people who share the liberalish/leftish viewpoint of the Times itself, meaning these staffers are less likely to even find out discordant information. Which may be why they are so often surprised, or late to a story. ...
UKIP/Tea Party Statists May Be Onto Something: Alex Wickham of Breitbart London picks up an apparently not-very-subtle shift in the ideology of the surging UK Independence Party, which is trying to extricate Great Britain from the European Union.
Can't see the elephants for the regattas: You would think someone writing 800 words (with three charts) about the relationship between SAT scores and wealth -- the rich on average score higher -- would at least consider the possibility that (while expensive tutoring or something else might be a factor) rich people on average are a bit smarter, and they pass some of this on to their kids. You would be wrong. Not even in the Wall Street Journal! The P.C. consensus is powerful. ...
Solidarity: Paul Krugman addresses the question of whether there's "slack" in the labor market -- e.g. people still looking for work -- or whether the Fed should worry more about wage inflation (if employers bid to hire scarce workers) and less about unemployment. Do you feel any wage inflation? Krugman doesn't either. He seems to suspect the market still has slack, and if it doesn't we should maybe let wages rise first before we decide to call off the party:
What Are You Doing With Your Time on Earth? You Could Be Switching Health Plans! We spend a trillion dollars on Obamacare, and "'winners' probably outnumber 'losers' in the new marketplaces." ..."Probably"? OK! See Jonathan Cohn's ringing defense .
Undercovered: Rep. Kevin Brady has decided to run against Rep. Paul Ryan in the latter's bid for chairmanship of the Ways & Means Committee. (Ryan currently chairs the Budget Committee but is about to be termed out of that position.) The complaint against Ryan? As WaPo's Robert Costa reported, in a tweet more informative than his actual piece:
Should Republicans make the 2014 midterms a Referendum on Amnesty? Short answer: Yes! Karl Rove would never be so impolite as to mention immigration amnesty in a Wall Street Journal op ed advising Republicans what to do. Rove, like the WSJ ed board, is a long-time amnesty booster, after all. But when it comes time to actually elect a Republican in Kentucky, this is the ad a Rove-affiliated group runs, attacking the "Obama-Grimes amnesty plan."