Seth Hoy: Although Secretary Napolitano trumpeted DHS’s new border initiatives as well as past achievements, she also acknowledged that the border can never be hermetically sealed and that stalling immigration reform by highlighting border security issues is not the answer to our immigration problems.
Seth Hoy: while advocating for the allocation of more money and manpower to “secure the border” may make for good campaigning in an election year, experts find that beefing up the border actually does little to curb border violence. In fact, these “get tough” border initiatives—more troops, fencing and operations that target non-violent border crossers—pull valuable resources away from solving violent crimes.
Andrea Nill: Lucas Restrepo, M.D., published a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that provided a whole new angle on the effect SB-1070 will have on the medical profession. Restrepo points out that, under the law, health care providers who treat undocumented immigrants could be considered criminals.
Seth Hoy: While President Obama and Gov. Brewer agreed that “federal inaction on a comprehensive immigration overhaul is unacceptable,” she has done nothing to substantiate that notion. Meanwhile, Gov. Brewer admits that crime is down in Arizona (as well as other border towns), even though she has repeatedly claimed that her state is “under siege” from border crime
Adam Eran: Tax cuts caused the current budget deficit, not crazy spending. Local government revenues fell 57% after Proposition 13. Even more egregious, the consume-atives™ (they do not conserve), now complain that State funding for local governments to fill that revenue hole meddles too much in local affairs.
Nomiki Konst: While Obama has done an admirable job ignoring the Tea Party outbursts and outlandish claims and focusing on moving his agenda forward, Maddow, Matthews, Olbermann, Colbert, Stewart, Cooper, Crowley, Sanchez and Shultz have missed an incredible opportunity to vocalize the progressive agenda while they have the floor. For eight years, progressives were unable to bring their agenda to the table and had to constantly act on the defensive.
Tina Dupuy: The Republicans siding with the Birthers and generally ramping up of the anti-immigration sentiment, are shooting themselves in the foot. And not just with Latino voters. Schwarzenegger is by far the most popular and (gasp) competent of any other candidates vying for the nomination in 2012.
Tom Degan: It’s highly unlikely that any serious reform is going to be put forward until the Republican presence on Capital Hill has been significantly diluted if not eradicated. I do not believe that it is a given that they are going to gain major ground come Election Day. In fact there is every reason to believe that they will only continue to self-destruct between now and then. They can’t win without the section of the electorate who describe themselves as “moderate”. The moderates are taking a good look at the train wreck that is the modern GOP and by all accounts they’re becoming more and more disgusted by what they see.
Randy Shaw: After President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1996 “ending welfare as we know it,” many highlighted this “common sense” solution and criticized progressives for opposing the bill. Soon after passage, politicians and the media said it had not caused the downsides that activists had predicted, ignoring that the law had not been fully implemented. But troubling reports soon emerged.
Andrea Christina Nill: Perhaps for the sake of sense of consistency, Beck has essentially drawn a line in the sand between immigrants who emigrate to the U.S. legally, and those who do not. Yet, what Beck either ignores or doesn’t realize is that the “front door” is slammed in the face of most people who would like to live and work in the U.S.
Michelle Alexander: The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades — they are currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs.
Sherwood Ross: Although much of Latin America is in the vanguard of the “anti-corporate and anti-militarist global democracy movement,” Grandin writes, the Obama administration is “disappointing potential regional allies by continuing to promote a volatile mix of militarism and free-trade orthodoxy in a corridor running from Mexico to Colombia.” Grandin’s article in The Nation’sFebruary 8th issue is titled, “Muscling Latin America.”
David A. Love: And at the Republican Party’s retreat in Baltimore, President Obama was responsible for the most compelling example of political theater in recent American history. He fielded questions from a crowded room of hostile adversaries– outnumbered, perhaps, but unmatched in intellectual firepower. The result was nothing less than a nationally-broadcast smackdown that the Republicans will not soon forget. Perhaps the president’s adversaries in the GOP, blinded by their partisanship, extremism, and dare I say racism, underestimated his capabilities.
Tracy Emblem: With the recent Supreme Court 5-4 radical decision treating corporations the same as individuals and asserting that federal laws cannot limit corporate speech, legislation requiring public disclosure of lobbyist driven “grassroots” advertising campaigns is needed more than ever. Individuals have constitutional rights. Corporations are legally recognized business entities.
Ivan Eland: President Obama’s rationale for not including these security expenditures in his discretionary spending freeze is that he is prosecuting two wars. Aside from the obvious solution of ending the two conflicts—which are part of the “war on terror” but have had the counterproductive effect of increasing retaliatory terrorism—and cutting back the defense budget, defense spending could be reduced even if the two war efforts are sustained.
Lawrence Wittner: So why should humanitarian aid be extraordinary? Why not make it routine? Long before the earthquake, Haitians were the poorest people in the hemisphere, suffering from widespread hunger, disease, and illiteracy. Could not the United States — the richest nation in the world with a public whose major anxieties (to judge from the vast attention given to weight loss) seem to result from over-eating — manage to share a bit of its affluence by regularly providing food aid to starving Haitians?
What Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes, and their allies did in drumming Van Jones out of the government was an example of 21st century McCarthyism. They smeared Jones’ past political remarks and associations the same way Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn smeared a young Boston lawyer named Fred Fisher for being a member of the National Lawyers Guild.