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“the feeling that no matter what you do is always somehow wrong — that any attempt to make your way comfortably through the world will only end up crossing some invisible taboo…”
The definition of “pâro” in “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows,” via Metafilter, where they are concentrating not “pâro” on but “sonder,” which doesn’t seem to me like a sorrow at all.
I have written repeatedly about the fact that emphasis on border security, in the context of the Gang of Eight’s immigration overhaul, is misguided. The big problem with the bill is that it authorizes somewhere between 30 million and 57 million new legal immigrants, overwhelmingly low-skilled and marginally assimilable. Compared to that reality, the continuation of illegal immigration is relatively insignificant.
Still, it is worth noting that the Gang’s bill weakens, rather than strengthens, our ability to deal with future illegal immigration. This is made clear by a letter that Chris Crane, President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council (i.e., the ICE union) sent today to John Cornyn and Marco Rubio. Why does the Gang’s bill weaken enforcement of our immigration laws? “This is because powerful special interests involved in crafting the bill’s language are opposed to interior enforcement—a fact ICE officers are all too familiar with. The political agendas of these groups place the public safety and security of our nation at risk.” Here is the letter in its entirety:
June 11, 2013
The Honorable John Cornyn
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Cornyn and Senator Rubio:
It has come to my attention that you are both working on possible amendments to the Senate immigration bill in an attempt to address growing concerns about the bill’s problematic security and enforcement provisions. I am concerned that the public commentary to date regarding your amendments has not included any mention of repairing ICE’s dismantled enforcement authorities and practices.
No reforms to S. 744 will be successful unless interior enforcement concerns are addressed and resolved. Any plan is doomed to fail that does not empower ICE agents to enforce the laws enacted by Congress—and that does not put an end to the unlawful abuse of prosecutorial discretion by political appointees.
While there has been much discussion over how S. 744 fails to establish enforcement first and fails to secure the border, less discussed is how it undermines interior enforcement and thus guarantees continuing illegal immigration and visa overstays. Even the complete implementation of a biometric entry/exit system would still result in millions of future visa overstays as ICE lacks not only the resources to enforce immigration laws, but its officers are increasingly prohibited by the Administration from arresting and removing immigration violators—including convicted criminals and aliens incarcerated in jails.
Yet, instead of cracking down on the Administration’s abuse of power, S. 744 places unprecedented new restrictions on interior enforcement—making the current situation much worse and much more hazardous. It is as if S. 744 were explicitly written to handcuff law enforcement officials—binding their hands while giving virtually unchecked authority to executive branch officials to prevent future removals, including removals of criminal aliens.
I am eager to discuss with your offices the interior enforcement authorities and resources needed by ICE to ensure a lawful immigration system in the future. Without such reforms, any immigration plan is destined to fail and any proposed amendment to fix the bill is not a fix at all. As the president of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Council noted, “even if you completely rewrote [S. 744] to resolve the many border security concerns and changed the ordering to delay legalization, the legislation would still fail—and would still endanger the public—because of the fatally flawed interior enforcement components.”
Specifically, I would encourage you to look at the reform package introduced by Congressman Trey Gowdy in the House Judiciary Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee and, separately, by Congressman John Barrow.
Absent drastic improvements to the interior enforcement provisions, there is no doubt that S. 744 will undermine public safety, officer safety, and the constitutional rule of law, and that it will guarantee future illegal immigration.
Clearly, we will not solve our nation’s immigration problems, or fix this bill without empowering ICE agents and restoring and improving ICE’s deteriorated enforcement capacity. Approximately 40 percent of all illegal immigrants currently in the United States never crossed the border illegally, but instead entered legally and overstayed their visas. Many dangerous aliens also enter illegally but are never removed because of dismantled ICE enforcement powers. In short, the border is only half the problem.
S. 744 not only fails to contain needed interior enforcement provisions, but weakens interior enforcement. This is because powerful special interests involved in crafting the bill’s language are opposed to interior enforcement—a fact ICE officers are all too familiar with. The political agendas of these groups place the public safety and security of our nation at risk. As respected political leaders, I am asking you both to work with me and others in Congress and law enforcement in ensuring that this bill puts the safety of America before powerful special interests. Law enforcement officers are asking for your help.
Brahe was long thought to have died from a bladder infection after politeness kept him from excusing himself to use the bathroom during a royal banquet in October 1601, causing his bladder to rupture. However, scientists who opened Brahe’s grave in 1901 to mark the 300th anniversary of his death claimed to find mercury in his remains, fueling rumors that the astronomer was poisoned. Some even accused [his not-yet-famous assistant Johannes] Kepler of the crime.Also discovered: Brahe’s fake nose was probably made of brass, not silver.
But the new results don’t point to any such intrigue. While analyses of Brahe’s teeth are not yet complete, tests on his bones and beard hairs show that mercury concentrations in his body were not high enough to have killed him….
Anyway, it was Kepler who gave the original the first-hand account of this story:
… Tycho had refused to leave the banquet to relieve himself because it would have been a breach of etiquette. After he had returned home he was no longer able to urinate, except eventually in very small quantities and with excruciating pain…. Before dying, he urged Kepler to finish the Rudolphine Tables and expressed the hope that he would do so by adopting Tycho’s own planetary system, rather than that of Copernicus. It was reported that Brahe himself had written his own epitaph, stating “He lived like a sage and died like a fool.”I arrived at this story today because I was worried about people who might think too much about Rand Paul and take Gabriel Gomez’s boast too seriously.
Innocence Project founders not happy with the way the Supreme Court cited their book in the DNA case.
… Justice Kennedy’s brief quotation from “Actual Innocence” [was not] especially punctilious. Here is how the justice rendered it, including his brackets and ellipses: “[P]rompt [DNA] testing … would speed up apprehension of criminals before they commit additional crimes, and prevent the grotesque detention of … innocent people.”And it’s easy to understand the pique of the Innocence Project folks who apparently do not like seeing their names connected to an opinion they loathe, but did Kennedy do anything wrong here?
Those first three dots covered a lot of ground. They took the place of more than six sentences and suggested a different point than the one the authors were making. The original passage concerned evidence collected at crime scenes, not from people who might be connected to it….
The omission of two words with the second set of dots is easier to understand. The authors had written that testing could prevent “the grotesque detention of thousands of innocent people.” Justice Kennedy apparently did not want to endorse the possibility that the criminal justice system had such widespread shortcomings….
“Punctilious” — to quote the (unlinkable) OED — means “Strictly observant of or insistent on fine points of procedure, etiquette, or conduct; extremely or excessively particular or correct. Also: characterized by such scrupulous attention to detail or formality.” I’ll bet Liptak thought a lot about that word. Note how he toned it down with “not especially.” So Kennedy was strictly correct, but not all that strictly correct.
Immigration reform isn’t the only issue as to which Rand Paul is embarrassing himself these days. The Senator’s “Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013” represents a stunning combination of ignorance and hysteria.
Andy McCarthy demonstrates Paul’s ignorance. He writes:
[T]he bill is unacquainted with the Fourth Amendment — either the one given to us by the Framers or even the one enlarged over time by Supreme Court jurisprudence. . . .Senator Paul’s proposed law asserts: “The collection of citizen’s [ACM: I take it he means citizens’] phone records is a violation of the natural rights of every man and woman in the United States.” A citizen’s “natural right” to telephone-usage records that are actually the property of third-party service providers? I wonder what St. Augustine would have made of that.
Not content to contort natural law, Paul then works his magic on positive law. He alleges that collection of records of telephone activity (but not the content of phone conversations) is somehow “a clear violation of the explicit language of the highest law of the land.”
By “highest law of the land,” Paul is referring to the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. The senator apparently did not read the Fourth Amendment before cutting and pasting it into his bill. It requires (in relevant part) that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, shall not be violated.”
Perhaps Senator Paul will edify us on how it is “clear” that a phone record, owned and possessed by a telephone service provider (not the customer), qualifies as the person, house, paper, or effect of the customer, such that the government’s acquisition of it violates the Fourth Amendment. The federal courts have consistently, emphatically rejected this implausible suggestion, holding that government’s collection of phone records does not even implicate the Fourth Amendment, much less violate it.
McCarthy proceeds to explain why “what Paul is advocating is a Constitution even more warped than the ‘organic’ one progressive jurists have contrived” and why Paul’s “proposal bears no resemblance to the Constitution of the Framers.”
McCarthy’s analysis deserves to be read in full, rather than summarized by me.
[W]e still don’t know (at least publicly) exactly what Snowden’s job was. So questions remain about whether he should have had access to the materials he passed along to the Guardian and the Washington Post. Or is there some “hole” in the NSA’s internal IT system that allowed him to get around and get to materials he should not have been able to see, let alone download?
That’s David Brooks on October 19, 2006, paraphrasing Obama and encouraging him to run for President. It’s a paraphrase of what Obama wrote in the then-just-out “Audacity of Hope” and something he’d said to Brooks in an interview.
Look at the contradiction even in those 2 sentences that Brooks put together to promote Obama. Obama would like to “move beyond” the politics that divides people into good and bad, even as he draws a line of division and portrays the Baby Boomers as bad.
I’m searching the text of “The Audacity of Hope” to see what Obama wrote about Baby Boomers. There are 2 mentions. First, at page 50:
Despite a forty-year remove, the tumult of the sixties and the subsequent backlash continues to drive our political discourse. Partly it underscores how deeply felt the conflicts of the sixties must have been for the men and women who came of age at that time, and the degree to which the arguments of the era were understood not simply as political disputes but as individual choices that defined personal identity and moral standing.And a few pages later:
The fury of the counterculture may have dissipated into consumerism, lifestyle choices, and musical preferences rather than political commitments, but the problems of race, war, poverty, and relations between the sexes did not go away.
And maybe it just has to do with the sheer size of the Baby Boom generation, a demographic force that exerts the same gravitational pull in politics that it exerts on everything else, from the market for Viagra to the number of cup holders automakers put in their cars.
Whatever the explanation, after Reagan the lines between Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, would be drawn in more sharply ideological terms. This was true, of course, for the hot-button issues of affirmative action, crime, welfare, abortion, and school prayer, all of which were extensions of earlier battles. But it was also now true for every other issue, large or small, domestic or foreign, all of which were reduced to a menu of either-or, for-or-against, sound-bite-ready choices. No longer was economic policy a matter of weighing trade-offs between competing goals of productivity and distributional justice, of growing the pie and slicing the pie. You were for either tax cuts or tax hikes, small government or big government. No longer was environmental policy a matter of balancing sound stewardship of our natural resources with the demands of a modern economy; you either supported unchecked development, drilling, strip-mining, and the like, or you supported stifling bureaucracy and red tape that choked off growth. In politics, if not in policy, simplicity was a virtue.
Sometimes I suspect that even the Republican leaders who immediately followed Reagan weren’t entirely comfortable with the direction politics had taken. In the mouths of men like George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole, the polarizing rhetoric and the politics of resentment always seemed forced, a way of peeling off voters from the Democratic base and not necessarily a recipe for governing.
But for a younger generation of conservative But for a younger generation of conservative operatives who would soon rise to power, for Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove and Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed, the fiery rhetoric was more than a matter of campaign strategy. They were true believers who meant what they said, whether it was “No new taxes” or “We are a Christian nation.” In fact, with their rigid doctrines, slash-and-burn style, and exaggerated sense of having been aggrieved, this new conservative leadership was eerily reminiscent of some of the New Left’s leaders during the sixties. As with their left-wing counterparts, this new vanguard of the right viewed politics as a contest not just between competing policy visions, but between good and evil. Activists in both parties began developing litmus tests, checklists of orthodoxy, leaving a Democrat who questioned abortion increasingly lonely, any Republican who championed gun control effectively marooned. In this Manichean struggle, compromise came to look like weakness, to be punished or purged. You were with us or against us. You had to choose sides.
It was Bill Clinton’s singular contribution that he tried to transcend this ideological deadlock…
In the back-and-forth between Clinton and Gingrich, and in the elections of 2000 and 2004, I sometimes felt as if I were watching the psychodrama of the Baby Boom generation—a tale rooted in old grudges and revenge plots hatched on a handful of college campuses long ago—played out on the national stage. The victories that the sixties generation brought about—the admission of minorities and women into full citizenship, the strengthening of individual liberties and the healthy willingness to question authority—have made America a far better place for all its citizens. But what has been lost in the process, and has yet to be replaced, are those shared assumptions—that quality of trust and fellow feeling—that bring us together as Americans.So that’s what we were supposed to be saved from by the next generation, unburdened by the 60s psychodrama. Brooks said Obama should run not in spite of his young age but “because of his age.” Brooks seemed to worry that Obama was too indecisive, with his “compulsive tendency to see both sides of any issue.” (“He seems like the guy who spends his first 15 minutes at a restaurant debating the relative merits of fish versus meat.”) But he liked “this style” as “surely the antidote to the politics of the past several years.”And “the times will never again so completely require the gifts that he possesses.”
WHEN WOMEN COMPLAIN ABOUT THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHIVALRY, I’m prone to point out that chivalry was a system, one that imposed obligations of behavior on women and girls as well as on men. Likewise, when David Brooks complains that Edward Snowden is an unmediated man, I must note that in the civil society Brooks invokes, Presidents and other leaders were also mediated; they were not merely checked by Congress, courts, etc., but they were also checked by themselves, and a sense of what was proper that went beyond “how much can I get away with now?” Obama, too, is unmediated in that sense. That Brooks couldn’t see beyond his sharply-creased pants to notice that when it was apparent to keen observers even before the 2008 election is not to his credit. If the system of civil society has failed, it is in no small part because its guardians — notably including Brooks — have also failed.
Brooks’s New York Times op-ed column on Snowden is here. Brook’s infatuation with Obama, to which Glenn alludes with respect to Brook’s admiration of Obama’s “sharply-creased pants,” is memorialized in Gabriel Sherman’s 2009 New Republic article.
UPDATE: Ann Althouse responds to Glenn here.
Only 15 Republican Senators voted against the motion to allow debate to proceed on the Schumer-Rubio immigration reform bill. The 15 “no” votes were cast by:
John Barasso, Wyoming
John Boozman, Arkansas
Mike Crapo, Idaho
Ted Cruz, Texas
Mike Enzi, Wyoming
Chuck Grassley, Iowa
Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma
Mark Kirk, Illinois
Mike Lee, Utah
James Risch, Idaho
Tim Scott, South Carolina
Jeff Sessions, Alabama
Richard Shelby, Alabama
David Vitter, Lousiana
A “yes” vote doesn’t necessarily mean a vote in favor of Schumer-Rubio at the end of the day. But anyone who voted “yes” should be considered a potential “yes” vote on the merits. With that many potential “yes” votes, there is no doubt that Schumer-Rubio will pass the Senate with no significant amendments.
How did the Tea Party favorites break? Mike Lee and Ted Cruz were “no” votes. Rand Paul and Ron Johnson did not. And Marco Rubio, of course, is a sponsor of the legislation.
That’s not a good batting average for the Tea Party, whose limited government agenda has no future once 30 million or so underclass voters are added to the electorate.
Do Tea Party leaders understand this? If so, they should rally the forces before it’s too late.
Rand Paul, supposedly the most ardent limited government advocate of them all, should be a particular embarrassment to the Tea Party. According to Robert Costa at NRO, Paul will deliver a speech on immigration reform today to Latino pastors. Having received the advance text of the speech, Costa reports:
Paul will articulate his position, including a call for the GOP to “embrace more legal immigration.” He’ll urge Republicans to have “compassion” for people who want to work in the United States, and to remember the “human face” behind the political battle. . . .
Paul will also voice support for granting work visas to millions of undocumented workers as part of a larger package that includes carefully monitored improvements to border security. “The solution doesn’t have to be amnesty or deportation,” he says. “A middle ground might be called probation, where those who came here illegally become legal through a probationary period.”
“Common sense and decency have been neglected for far too long,” Paul says. “Let’s secure our borders, welcome our new neighbors, and practice the values of freedom and family for all to see.”
In the abstract, there’s nothing wrong with serving up this kind of mush. But we’re no longer dealing with immigration in the abstract. For months, there has been real-life, game-changing immigration legislation on the table.
Paul needs to stop playing Hamlet on Schumer-Rubio and decide whether he’s going to support legalizing millions of lawbreakers before border security has been achieved. The issue has been teed up for months. A prospective Republican leader would have figured out where he stands by now, as Ted Cruz and Mike Lee (and Marco Rubio, for that matter) have managed to do.
Judging by the number of bared ankles appearing on the streets this summer, the rolled cuff look of 2009 appears to have become the rolled cuff epidemic of 2010….Tragic photos at the link, which is to the NYT, where no one prods you to remember all the way back to 1920 and T.S. Eliot (“I grow old … I grow old …”).
“You have to channel Johnny Depp for that moment and ask yourself, ‘How would Johnny Depp roll up the bottom of his pants?’”
That was 2010… when you had to think about Johnny Depp to figure out how to wear your pants.
President Obama is attending three Democratic fundraisers today. One in Boston, Massachusetts, and two more at private homes in Miami, Florida. He’ll return to Washington later tonight.
“In the morning, the President will travel to Boston, Massachusetts. The departure from the South Lawn and the arrival at Logan International Airport are open press,” the president’s public schedule reads.
The latest chapter in our climate change endgame series comes courtesy of the New York Times, which struggled mightily on Sunday to cope with the inconvenient news that temperatures have been flat for more than a decade now. In “What To Make of a Warming Plateau,” Times reporter Justin Gillis leads with the most compelling scientific argument yet: “luck.”
As unlikely as this may sound, we have lucked out in recent years when it comes to global warming. The rise in the surface temperature of earth has been markedly slower over the last 15 years than in the 20 years before that. And that lull in warming has occurred even as greenhouse gases have accumulated in the atmosphere at a record pace.
Keep in mind as you proceed here that climate science is “settled,” and that 97 percent of all scientists agree (even though a closer look at the study that produced this statistic sweeps up all the main “skeptics” who do not dispute that CO2 is a greenhouse gas). Because what follows certainly undermines the narrative in ways that even a skilled Timesman has trouble obscuring:
The slowdown is a bit of a mystery to climate scientists.
But the science is settled! Hand over your car keys now!
It gets better:
True, the basic theory that predicts a warming of the planet in response to human emissions does not suggest that warming should be smooth and continuous. To the contrary, in a climate system still dominated by natural variability, there is every reason to think the warming will proceed in fits and starts.
But given how much is riding on the scientific forecast, the practitioners of climate science would like to understand exactly what is going on. They admit that they do not, even though some potential mechanisms of the slowdown have been suggested. The situation highlights important gaps in our knowledge of the climate system, some of which cannot be closed until we get better measurements from high in space and from deep in the ocean. (Emphasis added.)
But the science is settled!
As you might imagine, those dismissive of climate-change concerns have made much of this warming plateau. They typically argue that “global warming stopped 15 years ago” or some similar statement, and then assert that this disproves the whole notion that greenhouse gases are causing warming.
Gillis offers no citations or quotations from any of the leading skeptics that greenhouse gases do not cause warming. The argument has been about the extent of warming that can be expected from a likely doubling of CO2 a century from now (as well as what would be sensible policy depending on the level). And why would anyone be “dismissive” of alarmist climate claims in light of the flattening out of the temperature record? Might it be because of the breathless coverage of the media, constantly crediting every crazy prediction and seldom reporting the weaknesses in the case? Nah–couldn’t be that.
This is the face of a climate campaign desperate to keep what little momentum it has left.
“[W]hen David Brooks complains that Edward Snowden is an unmediated man, I must note that in the civil society Brooks invokes…”
So writes Instapundit, linking to my post yesterday, which links to David Brooks’s new column “The Solitary Leaker.”
The reference to Brooks falling for Obama’s pants crease is such a big meme that it can be the entry for “David Brooks” in the new Dictionary of Received Ideas. I tracked down a substantial discussion of it from August 2009 in The New Republic:
In the spring of 2005, New York Times columnist David Brooks arrived at then-Senator Barack Obama’s office for a chat. Brooks… had never met Obama before. But, as they chewed over the finer points of Edmund Burke, it didn’t take long for the two men to click. “I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging,” Brooks recently told me, “but usually when I talk to senators, while they may know a policy area better than me, they generally don’t know political philosophy better than me. I got the sense he knew both better than me.”Here‘s “Run, Barack, Run.” Does Brooks deserve to be derided endlessly over the fixation on the pants crease? It is hilarious. It’s like Rich Lowry getting “little starbursts” from Sarah Palin’s wink. You can’t not bring it up. But let’s remember, Brooks’s vision of perfection, seen in a pant’s crease, came after they conversed, in depth, about Edmund Burke. That is, the 2 men were talking, in all likelihood, about the importance of civil society.
That first encounter is still vivid in Brooks’s mind. “I remember distinctly an image of–we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant,” Brooks says, “and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.” In the fall of 2006, two days after Obama’s The Audacity of Hope hit bookstores, Brooks published a glowing Times column. The headline was “Run, Barack, Run.”
Does Obama deserve to be called an unmediated man?
ADDED: Speaking of Brooks and legs and feelings and the summer of 2009, remember this? (“I sat next to a Republican senator once at dinner and he had his hand on my inner thigh the whole time.”)