• Isn't that what we are trying to get rid of?

    As opposed to, say, gaming the public financing system? I'd say that kind of double-dealing is precisely the kind of 'politics as usual' worth making a stand against.

    How about this deal: all of those ballots where McCain didn't have to earn his way? Declare them null and void.

  • comment on a post Questions for John Kerry? over 7 years ago

    "How do you promote environmental legislation in Congress when the minority leaders in both chambers exclude from committee membership those Republicans with scientific credentials who accept the consensus on climate change?"

  • So lets say we grant them all immediate immunity and make them citizens in 24 hours.

    If we're playing 'wild-ass hypotheticals', let's say we give them all Escalades and tickets to the Superbowl.

    Citizens can't get health care but illegals can?

    Switch off Lou Dobbs.

    Two points: Bush has consistently supported Mexican conservatives who are quite happy to have the country's poor and aspirational working-classes head over the border. Why? Because he wants open borders for capital, but not labor; and because doesn't want a leftist in Mexico City who'll take power with the promise of addressing the country's poverty gap, but will also be hanging out with Hugo Chavez.

    All I want is a review of the skills, education and degree of self-sufficiency they need to bring. Then pass the policies and bring them in.

    And you're prepared to pay for it?

    Here's a dirty little secret: neither the enforcement arm nor the administration arm of the federal government is in a position to deal with any reform, as it stands, whether it's hunting down illegals or providing a path to legitimate presence. It can barely cope with legal applicants, judging from the massive planned increases in visa fees. The leaky border has long been a safety valve for an unloved portion of government.

  • The presidential race complicates things, but a non-election year is the only time to handle immigration reform. Why? Because it's not hamstrung by an environment where Congresscritters appeal to the people who know least about the realities of immigration (US-born citizens who see immigrants as the scary brown Other) to the expense of those who know about the system's current failures... but can't vote. Because they're immigrants.

    (I think it's pretty telling that Lou Dobbs pays no attention to the structural failures of an underfunded, demoralised and yet vital part of the federal government -- a part that few natural-born citizens ever rub up against. It shows his real agenda.)

    The people who say 'we want the laws enforced' don't know what the laws are. Heck, the people who implement the laws often don't know what the laws are: it's become a joke among legal immigrants that if you ask two USCIS employees a question, you'll get three answers.

    (To the commenter who writes of "our current humane, reasonable, compassionate, and fair immigration laws" -- a career in comedy awaits you.)

    The no-amnesty absolutists miss the point. What's needed is legislation that brings illegal immigrants out of the shadows, punishes corporate employers, and actually gives Congress a sense of the scale of the problem. Talk of dishing out US passports is just Know-Nothing scaremongering. It's not going to happen, no matter how much Lou Dobbs tells you so.

    Immigration reform is going to be hard. It needs to be addressed outside a climate of knee-jerk election politics. There need to be hearings that give voice to the concerns of those within the bureaucracy, and those who deal with it. And as much as it'll make some people howl, Congress needs to hear from illegal immigrants. Not to be dictated terms by them, but to create laws that work.

  • comment on a post Update on the Nevada Democratic Party over 7 years ago

    I'm not even convinced that 'debates' are needed at this stage. Candidate forums? Sure. Perhaps they're not as 'exciting', and a harder draw, but it'd be interesting if someone could come up with an alternative arrangement that wouldn't involve Faux News or having candidates take pre-digested chunks out of one another.

  • on a comment on When Petty Reporters Get Mad over 7 years ago

    Barack, baruch, blessed ... yeah man, it's all so TERRIBLE and HEATHEN and all...

    So much so the Cardinal Ratzinger used its Latin equivalent as his papal name. Someone get Bill Donohue on the phone: he's bound to pick up.

  • on a comment on When Petty Reporters Get Mad over 7 years ago

    If Gore gets a Oscar for 'Inconvenient Truth' and in the next month (I think) gets a Nobel for his global warming work then Katy Bar the Door.

    Kos is right: Gore can announce in November and still get $100m by the primaries. This is a phony war, and it's going to tire the candidates, the pundits and the over-saturated early primary voters.

    If he wants to run, that is. And I wouldn't blame him if he didn't. The only campaign he can really have, if it happens, is one that's propelled by a tsunami of support. And a late, late announcement can do that.

  • comment on a post When Petty Reporters Get Mad over 7 years ago

    Senator Obama just wanted the conversation to end....

    No, Mike: you want extra-super-special access, because as a privileged DC Ho, you think that's your divine right.

    Sorry, no go. Especially now you're working for a primped-up 'serious' version of the Drudge Report.

  • It was always 'whited sephulchres' to my church-going grandmother. A very special term of abuse for very special hypocrites.

    So it was with great pleasure that I used it when reporting the anti-Catholic bigotry of Bill Donohue through the Catholic League's website. I suggest others use it whenever he shows up on the goggle box.

    You're fighting the good fight, pastordan: the 'stepping up', though, really needs to come from Catholics in a position to be quoted either cheerily disavowing Donohue, or being forced to do so on account of his hair-trigger hate-filled mouth.

  • comment on a post Real Moral Values over 7 years ago

    All the nice media bookers for cable shows should consider this when booking Donohue.

    But we already know what they do consider:

    1. He's less than fifteen minutes away from the studio.

    1. He never turns down an interview.
    2. He pays his own cab fare.
    3. He's always 'good' in front of a camera.

    Those are the news values that rank highest.

    The irony being that St Patrick's Cathedral is just over the road from NBC and Fox. And once bishops and archbishops are forced to go on the record about Donohue's inflammatory statements, his operation shuts down. He's a fraud. But he's made himself the lazy MSM's go-to guy.

    As Stoller says, whose fault is that? They don't put every other dirty-minded monomaniac on the air.

  • Don't be silly.

    If Donohue were the leader of, say, the American chapter of Opus Dei, he'd be a sanctioned Catholic representative who's a conservative bigot.

    But he's not even that. He's a right-wing operative and media whore who just happens to specialize in Catholic Outrage. Look at the way he operates and the people on his board of advisers.

    There are conservative Catholics with church authority who say and do things other Catholics disagree with. But he's not one of them. And that needs to be made very clear to the news organizations. The people who can do that, most of all, are Catholics.

  • I guess I don't understand why the focus should be on the media when we should be tearing this guy down.

    Because it's an easy way to gain traction. Make the New York-based papers and cablenewsers feel embarrassed.

    The reason they call in Donohue? It's because he's based in Manhattan: a decision he deliberately made when he took over the Catholic League and turned it into part of the noise machine.

    Tell the producers and media bookers that they're being lazy. Tell them that they should be ashamed of going no further than Midtown to seek out representative opinions.

    It calls out their professionalism. Journalists do cut corners. They do make logistical decisions on who to bring into the studio and quote on the record. And the Right-Wing Noise Machine has perfected the art of being a short ride from a studio and never turning down an invitation to go on the record. But the game is up.

  • on a comment on Step Up, Religious Left over 7 years ago

    the real audience that matters is going to be rank-and-file Catholics who need to be disabused of the idea that organizations like the Catholic League in any way speak for them.

    More than that: rank-and-file Catholics need to be made aware that Donohue is their current media representative. Actual Catholic leaders need to be put on the spot and asked to back everything he says or disavow him.

    Let's start asking the press office of every archbishop whether Donohue's comments about Hollywood, Jews, homosexuals and especially the complicity of victims of sexual abuse are ones the Church endorses.

  • on a comment on Step Up, Religious Left over 7 years ago

    The context is that if Catholics want to express their offense at what Marcotte wrote, they need to get a new set of spokespeople.

    They're enabling this bigot to speak in their name, by pretending he's not there. That's no longer acceptable. If you're a Catholic who wants a Democrat elected, priority one should be to push Donohue off his platform.

  • on a comment on Step Up, Religious Left over 7 years ago

    Catholics of all stripes really have to face up to the fact that they can't ignore Donohue any more. There have been grumbles in the Catholic press about how he hogs the limelight, but the basic attitude has been "pretend he's not there, then he'll go away." Well, he ain't going away. Not while the media bookers still call him up for comment and TV time.

    It's time for Catholics to call him out, loudly, and to start asking their bishops and archbishops to back him or repudiate him. He's not a priest. His society isn't Church-sanctioned. He doesn't even have the legitimacy that, say, open membership of Opus Dei would give him. So where does his authority to speak for all America's Catholics come from? Make journalists embarrassed that they ever considered him some kind of authority or representative.

    And here's the point: if Donohue's one-man professional outrage operation is shut down, it creates the space to have a better, smarter discussion on the relationship of faith and politics.

    Compared to less-hierarchical denominations, it should be easy to take away the veneer of legitimacy that surrounds Bill Donohue, the Cablenews Cardinal. But the power to do that lies with liberal and moderate Catholics.

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