Are We There Yet?

AL’s early morning post covered the human dimensions of the refugee crisis, and commenters linked to organizations that are attempting to help the innocent kids caught up in this geopolitical nightmare. Here are a few thoughts about the political dimensions.

The US is at a real crossroads on immigration, and this border crisis could blow the whole damn thing up. It’s obvious that the Republicans are counting on that, actually, because what else have they got? The question is, who will get blown up: Them? Or us?

We know that in the long-term, Republicans’ anti-immigrant hysteria is unsustainable; their big business paymasters don’t like it because it blocks a source of cheap labor, and imprinting their contempt for non-whites will doom Republicans to become a regional rump party as this country becomes more diverse.

Republicans with the baseline sentience of a turnip know this, hence Rubio’s and others’ feeble attempts to encourage reform, which ended in a humiliating retreat every time as the base rejected anything but balls-to-the-wall anti-immigrant hate.

But are we at that tipping point right now — are we at a place nationally where participating or benefiting from anti-immigrant hysteria dooms a candidate on the national stage? I’m not convinced that we are.

If the Republicans can manufacture and exploit a crisis that allows them to look like guardians of the border and saviors of American jobs and culture (read: white), they might get one more shot at looting the Treasury, stacking the deck even more firmly in favor of the wealthy and larding the Supreme Court with wingnut ideologues who will be a curse upon the land for another generation after Obama leaves office.

As is frequently the case with Republicans, they may overreach. One source of that overreach could be the militia crazies — emboldened in part by the Bundy Ranch clown show, which they regard as a roaring success.

As Crooks & Liars noted, one Bundy-inspired attempt to lure armed lunatics to the border recently fizzled. But that’s largely because the man who served as its rallying point was even less ready for prime time than Bundy proved to be.

Let’s hope no one who meets even Fox News’ subterranean standards for Constitution-humping patriot hero emerges with a similar message; things could get really ugly if unhinged gun fetishists converge on the border hopped up on hate, heat and meth.

But if this crisis drags on as summer wanes — and we can count on the Republicans to do everything they can to ensure that it does — I’m not sure where we’ll end up. Too many wildcards in play. What do you think?

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180 replies
  1. 1
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Your concern is noted.

  2. 2
    Scott S. says:

    I don’t think a tipping point is going to hit until the media decides it’s hit. It’s too easy for the media to lie and tell everyone that the whole country agrees with the teabaggers. And they really, really want everyone to think the teabaggers are the most important political faction in the country…

  3. 3
    Gene108 says:

    The Republicans will never be a regional rump party.

    They may have trouble effectively contesting the Presidency, but the Constitution gives disproportionate representation to small/rural states in Congress.

    As long as Republicans play to a rural base, they will have disproportionate representation in Congress to prove the old adage “if ‘pro-‘ is the opposite of ‘con-‘ than Congress is the opposite of progress.”

  4. 4
    JMG says:

    If the appearance of groups of poor, frightened children at the border is deemed to be a threat to national security by most voters, then we’re doomed as a society and fully deserve our doom. If media other than cable and network news (vested interest in old white people hysteria) start focusing on individual child refugee/immigrants it’s possible the issue will move to different ground. Most people would rather not to be evil, but evil is so much easier when people become symbols.

  5. 5

    This is going to backfire on the Republicans.

  6. 6
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Here’s the problem, y’all. I work with a bunch of angry, bitter Romney voters. They were raging, every time they got the chance, about the “diseased gangbanger trafficking” across the border A MONTH AGO.

    That cat is so far out of the bag that the dust it kicked up has settled down.

    The ironic thing is that, yes, the GOP establishment didn’t want this particular xenophobic theme song playing. But they do not control hate radio or the hate internet. Too late.

    Those anger bears are motivated. This means the GOP House members are going to be utterly paralyzed because anything they do to “fix” things will have Kenyan Usurper stink on it (Cleek’s law at work) so they will be in fear of pissing off their motivated base. Most hope to ride this rage to November, especially in purple districts.

    The only question at this point is, can the Democratic coalition (labor, women’s groups, immigrant activists, African Americans, and overeducated serious white people making six figures) get out the god-damned vote better than ragey, unhinged assholes this year?

    I think all this anti-woman stuff probably helps. I think the Ds also have to go through the motions of offering legislative solutions to draw a red line between them and the Rs so that fence-sitting young Puerto Ricans and Chicanos and disaffected older Latinos in border states and so on feel like their vote will make a difference. Reid and Obama are going to make this push, at the risk of making a few regular older whiter wealthier yellow dog D voters squeamish, to remind these swing voters and infrequent voters that the GOP base hates them.

    I think 2014 will have a lot of bright spots for Democrats but we need to keep it together. Save the circular firing squad for 2018, after we’ve punched the GOP in the eye again in 2016. That’s gonna be a hold your fire year because so many resources need to be plowed into 2020.

    Of course, you could always try to get better state maps in between census years. Looks like 2016 will have different congressional maps in Florida!!! Which is not stopping me from trying to flip some of these seats this year. Marihelen Wheeler for Florida’s 3. Send Yoho back to the inside of a horse’s alimentary tract in November. (Although, damn, she needs to look into better hosting. Slow server is slow.)

    eta: to clarify above, the whiter wealthier voters were not regular as in “normal” or as in bowel movements but “regular voters” the ones who don’t ever miss a primary or runoff or local election, wealth kinda helps with that

  7. 7
    RaflW says:

    @Gene108: Even the Republicans know they’re headed for rump status. This is why they’re pushing the absurd idea of restoring state legislative appointment of US Senators.

    The day is coming when some of the gerrymandered states with majority GOP legislatures will, with decent regularity, elect Dems for Senate.

  8. 8
    Helen says:

    I have no faith that anything good will come of this.

    Passing the ACA, something that every other industrialized nation did years ago, resulted in the Preisdent most likely being sued, and possibly impeached.

    20 slaughtered babies in Connecticut resulted in our gun laws being loosened.

    We are no longer a country that can do big things.

  9. 9
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Gene108: Oh horse puckey, there is no rural base, GOP relies on suburban, exurb voters to turn out the vote. Also, those super rural states with few residents and more senate clout than they oughta have are NOT what turns the HOUSE red, duh, in fact those states have not been really consistently GOP except Utah.

    Which doesn’t mean the Dem party needs to prostitute itself to try to turn empty states blue … enough said.

  10. 10
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    The only thing I’m worried about is that Republicans will get a clue, and let up on the border and other related craziness long enough to lob some jerk into the Oval Office in 2016.

    All it will take is a few months of acting sane. We, as a nation, have very short memories; it wouldn’t take long for the GOP to position themselves as the party of reasonableness, reap the votes of the rubes and short attention span crowd, peel off the Dems pissed off my DRONEZ and HITLERY CLINTON OMG and SNOWDEN, and then walk away with the Prom King hat for the next four years.

    Now, I personally doubt the GOP can go for even a week without doing something nationally stupid and/or offensive, but you never know. But I’m not worried about “the border” being a factor in any of this.

  11. 11
    StringOnAStick says:

    The photos of Rick Perry and Hannity boating around the border with heavy weaponry, all in response to a flood of child refugees really hit home for me. Their response to a bunch of little kids was to tweet out loving photos of an ammo box filled with large caliber bullets and a boat-mounted machine gun. Wow. If that doesn’t make the level of crazy we are dealing with completely obvious, I don’t know what will.

    I saw a posting at GOS that had a chart of immigration apprehensions, since that is the proxy for how many people are illegally crossing the border. The data show a huge decline after 2008, no doubt due to there being fewer jobs here thanks to Bush and the MOTU crashing the economy, and a bit of an uptick over the last year, but nothing near the levels we’ve seen in the past. Funny how this graph doesn’t get any MSM airplay, or anywhere else. Blogs need to start showing that graph everywhere, because as it is now, FOX and their associated fiends are claiming the field by freaking out, and no one knows any real data or has anything to point to that makes it clear this media frenzy is concocted. Illegal crossings are far lower than they were during Dubya’s reign of error.

  12. 12
    RandomMonster says:

    Asking this in all sincerity: Is the ‘crisis’ on the border the same situation it’s always been, only now it’s getting coverage? If so, why is it suddenly this big story? If not, what changed that created this sudden crisis?

    The reporting — at least the shitty reporting I’ve seen — doesn’t tell me either way.

  13. 13
    cmorenc says:

    The question isn’t whether the GOP is attempting to defend itself against a demographic death-spiral, but how long they can resist before the walls and roof cave in on them, and how much lasting damage their rear-guard attempts to defend their shrinking position does to the country; e.g. they probably have another four to ten years 5-4 control over the Supreme Court before Scalia or Kennedy is forced to retire due to declining health (assuming a democratic president is in office to name their replacement). Unfortunately, 2010 means they can mount resistance from many state houses and congressional districts all they way through 2020, but even here the downside to gerrymandering the max number of GOP house seats is that they have to create increased numbers of only marginally safe GOP seats that can tip with changes over two or three election cycles.

  14. 14
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Helen: In the midst of your pain, just be aware that refusing Medicaid expansion is becoming a powerful issue in elections in the South, VA last year, LA, NC, GA, FL this year. Even TN I think. These elections are getting closer and closer and even a few percentage points help.

    Is a third Reconstruction coming? Rev Barber thinks so. Even the red cities have been flipping, both Jax and Jackson, MS had AA mayors win elections in the last two years (sadly, Jackson’s mayor passed away this summer–he was a real 60s radical).

    Harold Washington was mayor of Chicago in the mid 1980s (until his untimely death), so that puts the time warp down the Miss. river about 30 years….

  15. 15

    @RandomMonster: This is my take, this is a big deal right now because hate media of the right has decided to make it so. Wingnut media is the tail that wags the MSM dog. This issue keeps the frothing at the mouth base frothing.

  16. 16
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I saw a posting at GOS that had a chart of immigration apprehensions, since that is the proxy for how many people are illegally crossing the border. The data show a huge decline after 2008, no doubt due to there being fewer jobs here thanks to Bush and the MOTU crashing the economy, and a bit of an uptick over the last year, but nothing near the levels we’ve seen in the past.

    @StringOnAStick: It’s becuz OBUMMER and NAZI ERIC HOLDER have been splitting shifts down there at the border crossing with a green flag waving them through, saying, “give me your lazy, your criminals, your disease-ridden children!”

    This is verbatim what the wingnuts say, by the way, in case anyone was wondering. They believe the kids have been explicitly told by the Obama administration to come here. How this was done without any of us knowing is merely more proof of his vile perfidy.

  17. 17
    big ole hound says:

    I disagree. This border crisis is seen as a major problem among my very blue family who have serious doubts about this huge influx and the costs involved both human and practical. Add in the distrust of Hillary and the result may be an new unwillingness to “hold your nose and vote” that seemed to be prevalent at our big picnic on the 4th. I hope defeat of the GOP will prevail but there are chinks in that attitude.

  18. 18
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @RandomMonster: It’s been going on for over a year. I think there is some rule that INS can’t detain over a year so a few months ago they were having to transition people and it started to make news.

    But the truth is that the GOP is highly aware that whipping up xenophobic hatred during the summer helps them win elections in the fall. It’s a scientific fact, has to do with human psychology, hence their Ground Zero Mosque nothingburger in 2010. They tried really hard to do that in 2012 but their own primary clown show and the realities of presidential years pretty much destroyed what they were trying to do. Their own base stabbed them in the back, if you will, instead of blindly trusting the party they ranted about Romney’s insufficient conservatism and plotted rearguard actions to “take the party back” from its donors, lol.

  19. 19
    gene108 says:

    @RaflW:

    Even the Republicans know they’re headed for rump status. This is why they’re pushing the absurd idea of restoring state legislative appointment of US Senators.

    I’ve had that discussion, since I started on internet forums more than a decade ago.

    For the really conservative folks, there’s some weird idea that if the legislature goes back to appointing Senators than the “Imperial Federal” government’s overreach into state’s rights – like the EPA, OSHA, etc. – will be thwarted because Senators will be beholden to state interests and not national interests.

    Of course, what represents a state’s interests more than the actual voters, but that point seems to escape them.

    Also, they feel it’d force voters to pay more attention to state legislature races. As most voters (myself included) have trouble naming their state legislators, I’m not sure this would be as simple a task as just having them appoint Senators again.

    I’m just surprised it seems, from your comment, that it is moving out of the fringes and getting more mainstream.

  20. 20
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    @StringOnAStick: It’s becuz OBUMMER and NAZI ERIC HOLDER have been splitting shifts down there at the border crossing with a green flag waving them through, saying, “give me your lazy, your criminals, your disease-ridden children!”

    This is verbatim what the wingnuts say, by the way, in case anyone was wondering. They believe the kids have been explicitly told by the Obama administration to come here.

    Ding ding ding, this is exactly it. The people I’m around are nowhere near and have no ties to the border. They are consuming hate media, however.

  21. 21
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gene108: You know why, the party wants power, and that seems like a quick and easy way to get it, of course it’s all fantasy, but a very pleasing one.

  22. 22
    Tokyokie says:

    If this is going to backfire on the GOP, it will backfire in Texas. Texas has become a majority minority state, but nonwhite turnout, especially in the heavily Hispanic Rio Grande Valley, has been weak, so Republicans have control of the state. The key for Democrats has long been turning out supporters in the Valley, which is where this crisis is occurring. The Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor is a longtime, well-known, and well-liked female state senator from the Valley. Her opponent is a scumbag right-wing talk-show host out for himself and nobody else. Perhaps this is the combination of circumstances that finally drives Democratic supporters to the polls in large enough numbers to make a difference.

  23. 23
    dmbeaster says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    Not only that, but Obama has outpaced Dubya in the deportation department, which may be nothing more than appointing non-cronies that actually enforce the law.

    But you are never going to recapture the field by trying to play graphs against hysterics. A Comedy Central skit lampooning Perry and Hannity in their faux special forces gear repelling the deadly children’s crusade at our border works much better. Maybe even have Hannity scream in terror and beg for mercy after capture by child terrorists.

    The Fox response will be to run scary faux stories of some child immigrants allegedly outfitted with suicide vests, hence the necessity to gun them all down at border. The times ee live in.

  24. 24
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Tokyokie: What’s her name? I’ve been waffling over donating to the TX gov race, decided to send money to my new man-crush Berwick in Massachusetts instead. But you’re making me think I ought to go for it? Sell to me, baby.

  25. 25
    Betty Cracker says:

    @RandomMonster: There’s a genuine surge, though not enough to generate the hysteria the wingnuts are fomenting. Here’s an article from Mother Jones from late last year on it. It contains some charts. From what I understand, it has only gotten worse this year.

  26. 26
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gene108:
    I think you’re wrong about that. The Republicans are benefiting from some small states like Wyoming and Idaho, but the Democrats are benefiting from the small states in New England. The Republican advantage in the House is mostly because of aggressive gerrymandering rather than any inherent advantage from population distribution patterns. The Democrats would be in a very strong electoral position if our districting system were more fair. I say that not to suggest that the Democrats should cry foul, but to say that reform should be high on their list of priorities if/when they get temporary control.

  27. 27
  28. 28
    GregB says:

    These people are dangerous Muslins. I seen their prayer Adidas shirt rugs on the border.

    I even heard some of these illegals are zombies.

    Obama is letting in illegal child zombies who will eat us in our perpetually wet beds.

    Stop O’Zombie!

  29. 29
    RaflW says:

    @Helen:

    Passing the ACA, something that every other industrialized nation did years ago, resulted in the Preisdent most likely being sued, and possibly impeached.

    Irrelevant, really. The Boehner suit is a pathetic stunt &/or pathetic sop to his rabid caucus. An actual impeachment circus would be to Democrats benefit.

    The law is becoming the success the GOP has feared. The Democrats have not received the credit because of classic timidity during the shaky days, but the law is working and will not be undone in any major way, it would seem.

  30. 30
    Elizabelle says:

    @big ole hound:

    I disagree. This border crisis is seen as a major problem among my very blue family who have serious doubts about this huge influx and the costs involved both human and practical.

    Thank you. I have been waiting for someone to say that.

    How do you sell a massive influx of refugees from Central America, and a lot of them are NOT children or very close to being young adults, in a jobless recovery that’s left a lot of bluecollar America way behind? And so many jobs are becoming mechanized: aren’t robots (and drones and driverless vehicles) predicted to be not so far off? What do you do to provide jobs to those already struggling?

    Six figure Democratic elites — a different story.

    It is great to be compassionate, but can we not see the very reasonable concerns some of those in lower-tier America might feel about this?

    Nobody wants to see children and other innocents in the line of fire in Central America, or elsewhere.

    I wonder what we could do to check narcoterrorism that’s endangering our Southern neighbors. Would it be worth it to aid in some severely targeted missions to take out the most dangerous of the drug cartel leaders and operations? Or even provide military personnel and equipment, for a specified short period? Could that help stabilize the region, or lead to a quagmire?

    However, like Hound’s family has noticed: Educating and sustaining these families becomes expensive on the local level. Do refugees actually return to their home countries?

    You have a country full of less affluent Americans in states that did not take Medicaid expansion who can’t even share in the benefit of Obamacare. Many wonder what jobs (other than Wal-Mart, etc) will be there for their kids.

    Wages for those on the lower tier have not kept up.

    I can see this refugee crisis posing as an immigration disaster being the source of legitimate concern for many Americans who are not rightwing hatemongers.

    I’d want to help the Iraqi translators NOW, yesterday actually, and then turn attention to how to stabilize conditions for these refugees.

  31. 31
    Elizabelle says:

    And thank you, Martin, from earlier, for correctly framing this as a refugee crisis, and not necessarily as the immigration onslaught rightwing media is riding high with.

    Because they have different causes and solutions, and naming issues properly goes a long way towards more effectively dealing with them.

    At least for some intelligent discussion, among people of good will. (Whether that includes Republicans in Congress, you can decide.)

  32. 32
    gene108 says:

    @dmbeaster:

    Not only that, but Obama has outpaced Dubya in the deportation department, which may be nothing more than appointing non-cronies that actually enforce the law.

    No.

    Obama made a conscious decision to “appease” (for lack of a better word) the folks, who say that any immigration reform with an “amnesty program” for illegals will have to be done again every few years because we are not enforcing existing laws strictly enough and new floods of illegals will come across the border.

    The Obama administration has been ridiculously tough, with regards to immigration, not just with deporting illegal immigrants but with anyone trying to legally enter the country, compared to earlier administrations.

    His hope was that he could say “see, I’m enforcing the law like real a bad-ass. We won’t have this problem in the future, so pass immigration reform now!”

    Unfortunately, the xenophobia that drives Republicans is beyond reason.

    They would not advance immigration reform, when their own President, Bush, Jr., wanted to do it in his second term.

    They are not going to do it for a Democrat, no matter how “bad-ass” the Democrat tries to be in enforcing the laws.

  33. 33
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The question isn’t whether the GOP is attempting to defend itself against a demographic death-spiral, but how long they can resist before the walls and roof cave in on them, and how much lasting damage their rear-guard attempts to defend their shrinking position

    When you’re driven by a belief that that government is best that doesn’t govern at all, one house is all you need to paralyze things.

    One house of Congress is all it takes to not-do-things. And I don’t see the House decisively flipping for another decade, There might be a period where it’s 220-218 D/R or something like,

    The White House would be lagniappe. Good for foreign policy adventures, and using the national security apparatus to screw your enemies.

    Having the courts helps, but isn’t essential.

    I expect a generation of more or less stasis.

  34. 34

    @Elizabelle: Anti-immigration hysteria is easy to whip up in an atmosphere of economic uncertainty. This is hardly the first time ever that it is happening.

  35. 35
    Helen says:

    @RaflW: I’m aware of that. And Obama won’t be impeached either. But we are at the point where we do somethng awesome, truly truly awesome, and half the country thinks it sucks because of propaganda and because of some bizarre mis-placed hatred. We can’t as a nation think rationally anymore.

    I am exhausted and embarrassed by us.

    I think also, I made a huge mistake last night. Someone posted a link to one of those YouTubes where they talk to Palin supporters and I clicked. I then watched 5 more of them. Usually that stuff makes me LMAO. Really, the wingnut tears make me happy. It’s why I read comments at wingnut sites all the time.

    Last night it depressed the hell out of me. Those people are all some combination of crazy, stupid, and bigoted. And there are millions of them. And they are winning. It is ceasing to be funny to me anymore.

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I wonder what we could do to check narcoterrorism that’s endangering our Southern neighbors.

    Admitting that the drug war is a massive failure and stop jacking the prices up with futile paramilitary interdiction activities would be a great place to start. I think you and Hound are right about the resistance to an influx of immigrants/refugees. It’s not all xenophobia based either; there are legitimate concerns, which the GOP can exploit. I would be surprised if Obama went that route.

  37. 37

    @gene108:

    The Obama administration has been ridiculously tough, with regards to immigration, not just with deporting illegal immigrants but with anyone trying to legally enter the country, compared to earlier administrations.

    You have made this claim before, but besides anecdata what proof do you have?

  38. 38
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I can see this refugee crisis posing as an immigration disaster being the source of legitimate concern for many Americans who are not rightwing hatemongers.

    Watch it happen, in real time, over at BooMan’s joint, from this past Thursday. The Frog Pond commentariat is much, much lefter than the average Democrat, never mind the average elector.

  39. 39
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    It is great to be compassionate, but can we not see the very reasonable concerns some of those in lower-tier America might feel about this?

    @Elizabelle: Neither party gives a shit about either wage workers or organized labor, and…huge bonus here…wage workers don’t vote and organized labor represents such a tiny amount of actual votes that they both can safely be ignored by each party.

    Now, personally, I think we shouldn’t be letting in anyone until we have our own house in order – a stable economy and a job for anyone who wants one. But I’ve been told to “go fuck myself” on that subject ever since Reagan was in office, and I’ve gotten pretty used to voting for what is at best the lesser of two evils. We will continue to import low-wage labor until everyone that is not insanely wealthy is dirt-poor. God Bless America and those of us who have to work here.

  40. 40

    @Betty Cracker: I don’t think all the minors should get the right to residency here but I do think that after their long arduous trek they deserve a hearing before an immigration judge with some legal representation. Aren’t we supposed to be a country of laws?

  41. 41
    Joe Shabadoo says:

    @Gene108: True.
    The sad fact is that the US just isn’t very democratic.
    The entire senate is based on geographical area.
    The hodgepodge state presidential electoral process.
    The house is capped at a certain number of reps so every time the population increases individual voters grow further from mattering to the officials, gerrymandering becomes easier, and voters are stuck in a huge sea of people who drown out communities who may gave elected an unorthodox candidate.

  42. 42
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Curious what the legal beagles here in BJ think about this rather novel take on a possible fallout on the Hobby Lobby ruling.

  43. 43
    RandomMonster says:

    @Betty Cracker: Thanks Betty. Great background.

  44. 44
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Betty Cracker: I read the OP as “maybe we should be careful about addressing this issue as Dems and human beings because the GOP will take advantage”. I explained myself in my next comment.

  45. 45
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Helen

    : I’m aware of that. And Obama won’t be impeached either. But we are at the point where we do somethng awesome, truly truly awesome, and half the country thinks it sucks because of propaganda and because of some bizarre mis-placed hatred. We can’t as a nation think rationally anymore.

    It’s basically dust-off-your-Lincoln time. I’m not sure going forward a republic can persist where half of half of the political nation believes the word ‘public’ refers to a real thing, and half doesn’t. That you can have a polity, and deny the existence of society.

    Eventually it has to become all one thing — an actual polity — or the other — a voluntary collection of atomistic individuals (where firms are also individuals) with a police apparatus.

  46. 46
    Josie says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Her name is Leticia Van de Putte and she is really impressive. Tokyokie is exactly right in his explanation. Anyone who is interested in turning Texas blue should take a look at her.

    http://leticiavandeputte.com/

  47. 47
    C.V. Danes says:

    …and imprinting their contempt for non-whites will doom Republicans to become a regional rump party as this country becomes more diverse.

    I would not put too much stock in this happening. The diversification of the populace is happening much less in the red states and districts than across the country as a whole. What this is doing is making the blue and purple states bluer, but these are already Democrat leaning states. The red states are staying red. What is going to happen, in my humble opinion, is a continued deepening of the polarization between the red states and everyone else until something really breaks. The last time we got to that point, we had a civil war…

    Until that time, though, the Republicans will continue to game the system using gerrymandering and voting regulations to maintain power as long as possible. And there’s a lot of life left in that game, unfortunately.

  48. 48
    RaflW says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I expect a generation of more or less stasis.

    Stasis, as you describe/predict, would equal decay. Because the world moves on, and our do-nothingness is very, very detrimental. Unfortunately, this is in the realm of the so-called counterfactual. It’s very hard to show how GOP intransigence is leading to job losses, middle-income stagnation, etc.

    Before long, the GOP intransigence & decades-long corporate resistance to addressing climate change will become a hugely costly global catastrophe … that can be blamed on liberals in our fact-free media environment! Such are the days ahead, I fear.

  49. 49
    beltane says:

    @Helen: Some days I think that my fellow Americans are an ugly, hateful, and vicious people. Other days I just shut my eyes tight and stick my fingers in my ears and it all seems better.

  50. 50
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Well, “I’ve seen the numbers” and you are so very fucking wrong about union households’ impact on elections, but keep fucking that chicken, hoss.

    And all protectionism (trade, national, whatever) is kind of a way to get paid for sitting on your ass, so no wonder nobody has no time for it.

    Which isn’t to say that pursuing some sort of coherent industrial policy as a nation (instead of doing whatever big business wants) might not be a capital idea.

    You know, if everyone who worked got a living wage and wages were squished into a narrower band we might not all be fucking freaking about “too many law grads” “too many med schools” “civil service exams too easy” “too many migrants” dooba doob doo ding a ding ding dey took er jawwwwwbs

  51. 51
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Oh forgot to mention there is a way to do this, strong national labor protection (min wage, labor law enforcement, close OT loopholes they are literally driving trucks through right this minute) plus progressive income taxes. Stalinism not required.

  52. 52
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @beltane: Take St. Augustine and the points. Never bet against the fundamental depravity of mankind — the fundamental d. of m. doesn’t always win, but it always covers the spread.

    This is a sinful and fallen world.

  53. 53
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Gene108:

    As long as Republicans play to a rural base, they will have disproportionate representation in Congress to prove the old adage “if ‘pro-’ is the opposite of ‘con-’ than Congress is the opposite of progress.”

    Exactly.

  54. 54
    gene108 says:

    @RaflW:

    The Democrats have not received the credit because of classic timidity during the shaky days

    I think it has as much to do with the Republicans outright demonization of the law from the get-go and the fact implementing such a sweeping reform will take years to ramp up, so they had a non-existent benefit to punch against for nearly four years.

    The end result is anything bad a subset of folks experience in dealing with the healthcare system will be blamed on “Obamacare”, while any benefits they receive that they did not receive before will be because of “Kynect” (Kentucky’s state exchange), the “ACA” or because they are hard working (white) people, who deserve it.

    The Boehner suit is a pathetic stunt &/or pathetic sop to his rabid caucus. An actual impeachment circus would be to Democrats benefit.

    I don’t think the lawsuit is pathetic. It threads a very fine needle of appeasing the base, without setting the rest of the country on fire against Republicans for abusing power.

    It does a fine job in being low profile enough to not get the attention of a lot of folks, unlike impeachment.

    Is aggressive enough to appease the base, who feel like any Democrat(ic) President should be impeached by a Republican Congress just for shits and giggles.

    And will bog the Administration down in a lawsuit over its signature accomplishment that may or may not hurt its implementation, depending on the whims of whatever judge is hearing the case, hearing the appeal and eventually the Supreme Court.

  55. 55

    @Howard Beale IV:
    Last I heard, this argument is bunk because the conservative justices included a ‘This does not apply to any other situation whatsoever’ clause to their decision. Closely held corporations with a religious objection can get out of paying for birth control. That’s it.

  56. 56

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: You are assuming that immigration is a net drain with no economic upside whatsoever.

  57. 57
    Betty Cracker says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: That’s why Obama is trying to get money to hire immigration judges, etc. Guess who’s standing in the way of that?

  58. 58
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @C.V. Danes: I can’t speak to the Mountain West but it’s not that the Deep South red states are getting redder, it’s that the white voter population is voting more Republican. However, they are not all of the voters. Hence the obsession with voter suppression.

  59. 59
    beltane says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: In the United States, the law exists to protect billionaires, white supremacist gun owners, and the religious sensibilities of corporations. If you do not fit into one or more of these categories, you are out of luck when it comes to legal protections.

  60. 60
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Sounds like the Dems need something like a 50-state plan. Wish we knew someone who has one…

  61. 61
    MattF says:

    Let’s not forget that the D’s have constituencies too. Do you think Hispanics will get a warm feeling from watching Perry bring up the artillery? Me neither.

    I think, in any event, what’s needed is to focus on the problem at hand– with winger indignation dialed up to eleventy-eleven, the response should be to do the right thing. Even Glenn Beck, of all people, seems to understand that.

  62. 62
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Helen:

    We are no longer a country that can do big things.

    We are, but they’re big dumb things.

  63. 63
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Its interesting that there’s been little mention of the military coup in Honduras in 2009 that Hillary’s friend Lanny Davis was making money off of. The OAS unanimously denounced it except for the US of course. The refugee crisis is blow back from the neo liberal policy of supporting military authoritarians when its seems convenient. You would think the repugs could make hay out of this since Hillary and Obama did noting to help reverse the coup.

  64. 64
    rikyrah says:

    this IS a refugee problem

    of our own making.

    US needs to MAN UP and take in those kids and the women. Period.

  65. 65

    @Betty Cracker: Its in their political interest if the problem festers. They can keep their base happy, make inroads into Hillary’s favorite demographic and make Obama look bad. Win-win.

    ETA: At least in the short term. We know that they are not capable of thinking strategically.

  66. 66
    Chris says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I wonder what we could do to check narcoterrorism that’s endangering our Southern neighbors. Would it be worth it to aid in some severely targeted missions to take out the most dangerous of the drug cartel leaders and operations? Or even provide military personnel and equipment, for a specified short period? Could that help stabilize the region, or lead to a quagmire?

    Haven’t we already been doing that for years with various criminal problems south of the border? I know in Central America we’ve had FBI advisers for years “helping” with the gang problem, whose advice has mostly consisted of “hit hard and lock em up” – which has achieved no results other than helping the gangs spread through prisons. If that’s the kind of help we’re offering, methinks they’re better off without it.

  67. 67
    Chris says:

    @Helen:

    We can’t as a nation think rationally anymore.

    This.

    :(

  68. 68
    srv says:

    @Another Holocene Human: If we destroy the suburbs, we destroy the Republican Party.

  69. 69
    Helen says:

    @beltane: And the stupid attracts the stupid. I’ve got a wingnut relative on Facebook who last week posted a picture of some medications she received in the mail from Canada. She gets her medications from Canada because she is uninsured and hates Obama so much that she is taking the fine rather than buying Obamacare. And the medications from Canada are cheaper. The first 10 responses from her wingnut friends were a variation of “yeah that’ll show the Kenyan.” None of them, not one, saw the irony.

    The reason she posted the picture is that the meds were from the UK and she was perplexed, totally perplexed, as to why oh why Canada would be importing medication from the UK. It took an additional 15 responses for one of her friends to say “Well, Canada is a commonwealth country – they probably do that often.” Wingnut relative and at least 25 of her friends had no clue that Canada was a commonwealth.

    The double back-flip irony wingnut stupidity fail was astounding. This is what we are up against.

  70. 70
    beltane says:

    @Chris: Yes. Our “help” is one of the main causes of the region’s problems.

  71. 71
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Josie: Hmm, nice:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm67qwrHI1Q&feature=youtu.be

    Thank you for the tip.

  72. 72
    currants says:

    @Another Holocene Human: YES! Berwick is a DREAM. Fingers crossed (money donated, time volunteered, etc.). For anyone who’s interested, THIS ROCKS. It’s called “To Isaiah,” and his view of what our society could/should be is one I dream of. (You posted a video which may cover the same territory, but I haven’t watched it.)

  73. 73
    rikyrah says:

    Prison food supplier has Michigan officials at wit’s end

    July 13, 2014

    LANSING — Maggots in the kitchen and on the chow line. Workers caught smuggling contraband or engaging in sex acts with inmates. Food shortages and angry prisoners.

    Those are among the problems that have plagued Michigan prisons since December when the state — in a move aimed at saving more than $12 million a year — switched from using state workers to feed prisoners to a private contractor, Aramark Correctional Services of Philadelphia.

    Ongoing turmoil with the 7-month-old contract — including many instances never previously disclosed — is detailed in more than 3,000 pages of state records obtained by the Free Press under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act: One Aramark food service director showed up drunk and failed a Breathalyzer. Another worker was caught trying to smuggle marijuana. Others have failed drug tests, kissed prisoners, threatened to assault inmates, or announced intentions to “go postal” inside a facility, records show.

    I’m at my wit’s end,” Kevin Weissenborn, the Michigan Department of Corrections manager in charge of policing the Aramark contract, e-mailed one Michigan warden in March, records show.

    http://www.freep.com/article/2.....n-michigan

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Here’s the tricky thing that Republicans deliberately conflate: there is very little evidence that legal immigrant workers drive down wages. There is quite a bit of evidence that illegal immigrant workers drive down wages, because employers have more control over them and can steal their wages, pay them less than minimum wage, etc. (Visa workers are a bit of a grey area — there is some evidence that employers deliberately undercut prevailing wages using H1B workers.)

    So your family’s perception that illegal workers drive wages and jobs down is probably correct, but Republicans are doing their best to try and make people confuse legal immigrant workers and illegal ones.

  75. 75

    @RandomMonster:

    Asking this in all sincerity: Is the ‘crisis’ on the border the same situation it’s always been, only now it’s getting coverage? If so, why is it suddenly this big story? If not, what changed that created this sudden crisis?

    The numbers have increased over the past few years, but the main difference is that these people are not trying to sneak around Border Patrol. They’re walking up and asking for asylum. That may not seem like a big thing, but it is. Unlike undocumented immigrants that all parties can simply declare ‘are on their own’, these are people that have asked the US Government for protection and support. There’s nothing illegal about them. The reason its a big deal is that the laws for them are very different than the laws for people that cross and try and hide in the US. Many of the laws protecting them were originally written to protect Cuban refugees. The laws have been updated over time, but these laws do allow for refugees to be granted asylum and to stay legally in the US and put on a path to citizenship. The problem is that funding for these programs has been continually slashed in favor of border protection, and suddenly the system is overwhelmed.

    Politically, this is going to backfire on the GOP. They love the laws that gave asylum to Cuban, and will protect them to the ends of the earth, but will have trouble explaining to most of the nation why Cubans are deserving of asylum from communism but Hondurans aren’t deserving of asylum from gang violence. Further, as the subject does move from immigration to refugee, the GOPs hard stance – particularly the talk of ‘this is an invasion’ and setting up an armed defense of the border (against 13 year-olds) is going to generate a backlash against them from the very voters that the GOP needs – women. There just aren’t many women willing to support keeping, by arms, a 13 year old girl from entering the US because she was fleeing human trafficking in her home country.

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Teenagers who can’t speak english aren’t taking your job. Your beef is with the corporations, not the refugees.

  76. 76
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    You are assuming that immigration is a net drain with no economic upside whatsoever.

    @schrodinger’s cat: Not at all. It has tremendous economic upside, if you’re one of the Chamber of Commerce types whose businesses thrive on cheap labor.

    It has a tremendous downside if you’re one of the poor schmoes actually doing the laboring.

    Well, “I’ve seen the numbers” and you are so very fucking wrong about union households’ impact on elections, but keep fucking that chicken, hoss.

    @Another Holocene Human: Not sure what numbers you’re referring to but when only 7% of the population belongs to a union, you can’t tell me that’s an electoral bloc that makes a damn bit of difference.

    Oh yeah, and for some reason at least 20% of those union voters are voting Republican. We try to beat it out of them but they just won’t stop. Kidding. Sort of.

    Me = Teamster. Wife = AFT. We are a union household. You can’t begin to tell me politicians are listening to us. Shit, even the so-called “left” is doing their level best to dismantle my wife’s union, pension, and job protections. Ask Arne and Rahm what they’ve done for a teacher lately. Their response will probably include the term “sodomize”.

    Teenagers who can’t speak english aren’t taking your job. Your beef is with the corporations, not the refugees.

    @⚽️ Martin: My beef is with the corporation hiring refugees when they could – and should – be hiring citizens.

  77. 77
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I wonder what we could do to check narcoterrorism that’s endangering our Southern neighbors. Would it be worth it to aid in some severely targeted missions to take out the most dangerous of the drug cartel leaders and operations? Or even provide military personnel and equipment, for a specified short period? Could that help stabilize the region, or lead to a quagmire?

    Unfortunately, I think that would merely be a game of whack-a-mole. There’s just too much money to be made, combined with culture and lack of options to make a living.

  78. 78
    kc says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    You know, if everyone who worked got a living wage and wages were squished into a narrower band we might not all be fucking freaking about “too many law grads” “too many med schools” “civil service exams too easy” “too many migrants” dooba doob doo ding a ding ding dey took er jawwwwwbs

    I’m not following you.

  79. 79
    MazeDancer says:

    All three networks could change this to a refugee crisis overnight.

    Brian Williams surrounded by weeping children whose parents were killed by drug gangs. Diane Sawyer with a teenage honor student who has been trying to protect his 3 year old sister while she sleeps on concrete floors.

    That would be easy for the networks. Except it exposes Republican crazy. And exposing Republican crazy must not happen for network “news” to continue to exist.

    So, this will be like bombing Gaza, or babies murdered by guns, covered only on the internet. Now, something may break through there. But access to these child refugees may be difficult to obtain.

    Though, personally, screw the outrage, I would not mind the First Lady, or maybe Dr. Biden, or maybe the Surgeon General, or some noted celebs maybe, or maybe even someone with a camera from a children’s org visiting some children and hearing them speak. Inter cut with foaming haters screaming at children.

  80. 80
    Another Holocene Human says:

    Hot damn, I like Leticia:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGYQGpf7mzk

    Move over, Castro brothers!

    She just got $250 of my monies. Okay, it’s not money I earned, it’s money I inherited from my depressed, morose, reactionary great uncle who passed away a few years ago. I swore I’d spend it on D’s in 2014. He died in OK so this is hitting closer to home. Hope you’re spinning in your grave, Uncle Jim. :)

  81. 81
    currants says:

    @Howard Beale IV: Not a legal-eagle but I’ll tell you what, that made me consider going back to Quaker meeting again (left b/c moved away, then came back and, well, inertia plus the whole god thing, which was mostly outweighed by the kindness and not-pushiness of the people there, so yeah, inertia…).

  82. 82

    @Mnemosyne: Republicans are also doing their best to keep them illegal.

  83. 83
    Mnemosyne says:

    @⚽️ Martin:

    There just aren’t many women willing to support keeping, by arms, a 13 year old girl from entering the US because she was fleeing human trafficking in her home country.

    I’m very curious to see how my leans-wingnut mom is reacting to all of this — I’ll be able to report back after we visit next month. She still carries a heavy load of prejudice against African-Americans, unfortunately, but the worst I hear her say about Latinos is, They work really hard and they seem like nice people, but we can’t let them all in. I have a feeling that these really harsh words against kids seeking asylum aren’t going over very well, even if she does get most of her information from Fox News. But we’ll see.

  84. 84
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @kc: It’s called status anxiety. It’s what’s driving a lot of this coldness, cruelty and evil.

  85. 85

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: So you are saying that the immigration is a zero sum game and only benefits corporations who employ in your words “cheap labor”.

    What about immigrant doctors who serve rural areas? Do they fall in this cheap labor category too?

  86. 86
    beltane says:

    @⚽️ Martin: T

    here just aren’t many women willing to support keeping, by arms, a 13 year old girl from entering the US because she was fleeing human trafficking in her home country.

    Sadly, most conservative white women are every bit as depraved as their fathers, brothers and husbands. However, I do this this issue being a big deal in Cathlolic, as opposed to evangelical, circles, and one which could very well be a wedge issue between the two groups.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!:

    My beef is with the corporation hiring refugees when they could – and should – be hiring citizens.

    The problem is not with them hiring refugees, because refugees who are here with a work permit have to receive the same wages and benefits as any citizen.

    The problem is when they hire illegal workers that they don’t have to pay minimum wage or benefits to. That’s what drives wages down and makes it hard for citizens to find jobs, not immigrant workers per se.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mnemosyne: Bingo.

    Immigration is a net gain for our country, when it’s controlled enough to ensure the immigrants will be fairly paid and can be assimilated into the economy. No overwhelming the economy and resources.

    And all the folks decrying the plague-carrying Mexicans (and others) streaming across the southern border, which makes them criminals, criminals: there are not sufficient legal means for them to do so. We do not allocate enough employment-based visas to legally permit entry of agricultural workers, seasonal employment, visas for jobs that Americans very honestly do not do. (Maybe because the pay is not sufficient.)

    It’s not that some migrants are too impatient and are jumping the line. There is no line. Rightwing radio won’t tell you that. Easier to call them thugs and criminals.

    Need and visa mismatch.

  90. 90

    @beltane: I think you’d be surprised. This seems to be a point of disagreement between a lot of religious groups that solidly back the GOP.

    This is going to be a tough line for the party to walk.

  91. 91
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @⚽️ Martin:

    The reason its a big deal is that the laws for them are very different than the laws for people that cross and try and hide in the US. Many of the laws protecting them were originally written to protect Cuban refugees.

    The ones that aren’t are pursuant to our having signed various UN conventions, and treaties are also the law of the land.

  92. 92
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Jews are only 3% of population, politicians never listen to their concerns, QED.

    I hear you about teachers. Sadly, the last crew of national Dems are public school killers. Fortunately, I think that particular wave has crested. DeBlasio ran against charters and won by a landslide. Unfortunately, NOLA’s public schools are already a historical footnote. Motherfuckers.

    Teachers are going to help put Crist over the top to toss Rick Scott out of office. Crist vetoed an anti teacher bill at great political cost 5 years ago and they have not forgotten.

    Labor can be its own worst enemy. Especially construction/trades unions that think they can save their wages by kicking down their ladder behind them, as if today’s capitalist/RE speculators give a flip about quality. You’d think 2007 would have disabused everyone of that notion. Throw that mess up with unqualified Honduran labor ($10/hr, no bennies, cheat on your UI and WC taxes) and then sell it to the next sucker before they catch on that the roof leaks, etc.

    State AFLs get no attention but a functional state AFL-CIO can be very powerful, a dysfunctional one puts labor in disarray and ineffective.

  93. 93
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    The Catholic vote at this point is identical to the national vote. Catholic wingnuts are very good at preaching a strict fundamentalist line on abortion, contraception and gay marriage, while blatantly ignoring the church’s position on war, economics, immigration, the environment, and anything else that might make them uncomfortable. (Possibly because the bishops themselves are pretty much doing the same thing).

    I don’t see Catholic/evangelical troubles on the horizons, other than between evangelicals and those Catholics who are already Democrats anyway.

  94. 94
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Here’s the tricky thing that Republicans deliberately conflate: there is very little evidence that legal immigrant workers drive down wages. There is quite a bit of evidence that illegal immigrant workers drive down wages, because employers have more control over them and can steal their wages, pay them less than minimum wage, etc. (Visa workers are a bit of a grey area — there is some evidence that employers deliberately undercut prevailing wages using H1B workers.)

    As long as employers can hold citizenship (or even the right to continue to work here) over immigrant workers’ heads, it will continue to depress wages whether they are here legally or not. H1B visas are a prime example of this, and why the Tech companies are fighting so hard to expand them. Until an immigrant has a green card, the company has enormous power over him or her.

  95. 95
    Roger Moore says:

    @Howard Beale IV:
    I would probably have more faith in that writer’s legal interpretations if he had correctly identified the author of the Hobby Lobby opinion. If he attributes it to Scalia when it was written by Alito, it doesn’t do great things for one’s confidence in the legal interpretation.

  96. 96

    @Elizabelle: I am not 100% sure but I think there are some GCs allocated for agricultural workers but there is a mismatch between the numbers and the need.

  97. 97
    rikyrah says:

    White Guy Joe Scarborough Wants AG Eric Holder To Stop Talking About Race

    By: Justin Baragonamore from Justin Baragona

    Monday, July, 14th, 2014, 10:19 am

    On Monday’s episode of Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough criticized Attorney General Eric Holder over Holder’s statements that race is a component that is driving some of the opposition to President Obama in Washington. Scarborough went out of his way to condemn Holder regarding the comments he made on Sunday during his interview on ABC’s This Week. Ironically, Scarborough injected the subject of race during a conversation on a somewhat separate topic, as the panel discussion was about Holder’s comments on former Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin.

    …………………

    As you can see, co-host Mika Brzezinski started the segment on Palin and Holder’s dismissal of her calls for impeachment during his ABC interview. However, when Mika threw it to Joe for his opinion, he decided to focus on another topic that Holder discussed during that interview. In Scarborough’s mind, Holder needs to realize that the amount of criticism that the President and Holder are receiving on Capitol Hill is just par for the course, and race has absolutely nothing to do with anything. He made it seem like Holder said all of the disparagement aimed at the President and AG in Washington is due to racism. Scarbrough also made a huge false equivalency by mentioning Democratic criticism during George W. Bush’s time in the White House, stating that Bush received as much criticism as President Obama, if not more.

    Thankfully, The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson was on hand to refute Scarborough’s ignorance and misinformation. Robinson rightly pointed out that Holder was very measured in his response on race during the interview, saying it was a component but not the main driver. In fact, Holder’s quote from the interview is below:

    http://www.politicususa.com/20.....-race.html

  98. 98
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @C.V. Danes: Check out Kos Elections. Crowd-sourced 50 state plan. How about that.

  99. 99
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Howard Beale IV: She’s on crack.

  100. 100
    feebog says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    Until that time, though, the Republicans will continue to game the system using gerrymandering and voting regulations to maintain power as long as possible. And there’s a lot of life left in that game, unfortunately.

    I don’t get why Dems are not pushing for a citizen proposition to redistrict via a citizen panel in every state that has the initiative process. It worked in California and Arizona, and it would make taking the house back before 2022 a real possibility. Look at just two states, MI and OH, we could gain 5 to 7 seats in just those two states. Kay, are you listening?

  101. 101

    @C.V. Danes: One change that I have never seen talked about at all, would be making it easier to self petition for Green Card in the EB (economy based) category. Now you can only do it in extremely few cases (EB-1A)

  102. 102
    Elizabelle says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Thank you re BooMan link. Reading it now.

    @Betty Cracker and CV Danes and others:

    Yup, failed war on drugs.

    And what the Central American refugees need is a functioning government and economy in their home countries. Drugs is an economy of last resort, isn’t it?

    Central Americans need jobs and infrastructure development. Plus safety and education.

    BUT: we can’t even get support for funding jobs and rebuilding/upgrading infrastructure on our own soil, after the 2008 recession and in its [somewhat] jobless recovery. That “controversial” stimulus. Thanks Republicans!

    Failed policies on display, all over the place with this refugee crisis; pick out their threads.

  103. 103
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Elizabelle: I don’t think there’s any way to make agricultural work appealing to americans. We’ll just outsource it if it comes to that.

  104. 104
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I know labor’s gotten the short end of the stick from Democrats, but what’s the plan? Drive Latinos to not vote? That’s not gonna help anything

  105. 105
    rikyrah says:

    This Photographer Wants To Shatter the Stereotype of the Absent Black Father

    by Clutch — Jul 14, 2014

    10 yeas ago, Zun Lee, a photographer based out of Toronto, Canada, discovered that his father biological father was a black man whom his mother had a short relationship with. Lee was raised in Germany by his Korean mother, and an abusive man Lee assumed was his biological father. After learning about his true lineage, Lee wrote on his blog that he felt pain and rejection from the man he never met, and that pain reinforced the stereotype of the absent black father.

    From Lee’s site:

    For a long time, holding on to the pain of that discovery was easier than dealing with it: As long as I was able to project my misgivings onto a negative stereotype, I could justify my anger and hurt. But I also realized that a huge part of me was curious to know more about my Black father, wanting to understand, get to a place of forgiveness. And that longing had informed my creative process all along. Without any information about my father’s identity or whereabouts, the only way to come to terms with my feelings was to examine them through photography.

    Over the past two and a half years, I’ve developed relationships with several Black fathers from different walks of life and in different cities in the US and Canada. Every father I met spoke with his own voice. They expressed their swagger, life rhythm, and ways of relating with their kids and partners in very unique ways. And perhaps more importantly, as I observed these families, another truth manifested loud and clear: Contrary to the prevalent media caricature of Black men as aggressive, violent, and irresponsible, the fathers I met were loving, affectionate, and dependable. They readily shared their feelings and emotions, their concerns and fears. They were vulnerable enough to allow me to photograph them in moments of joy and times of frustration. They were by no means perfect, but unsung everyday heroes nonetheless, committed to being present one fatherly act at a time.

    http://www.clutchmagonline.com.....ck-father/

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yeah, that’s the issue. Need and visa # mismatch.

    It pits those employers who want to legally employ workers with authorization to work against those employers who just want warm bodies, at the least cost.

    And there are not enough legally authorized workers. Plus, not necessarily a 12-month employment activity.

  107. 107
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: “cheap labor” sounds like a 50s moralist denouncing wild youth who “give away the milk for free”

    We’re all human beings. This is what capitalism does to us. Pits us against each other because we live by our labor. What a depraved and evil system. No, it doesn’t have to be this way, but that we believe it must be so. Oh well.

  108. 108

    The problem in the work visa regime (both permanent and long-term ones like H1-b) is that it is tied to your job just like the health insurance regime used to be pre ACA. If it was points based like the Canadian system and you could self-petition, a lot of these problems would disappear. Corporations have too much power. In other words capital rules and labor (domestic or imported) suffers.

  109. 109
    Goblue72 says:

    @beltane: Married white women in general vote Republican.

    Single white women & women of color (married & single) are the women who vote Team Blue.

  110. 110
    Roger Moore says:

    @C.V. Danes:

    H1B visas are a prime example of this, and why the Tech companies are fighting so hard to expand them. Until an immigrant has a green card, the company has enormous power over him or her.

    The companies are also abusing the hell out of the system. The visas are only supposed to be issued when there aren’t any citizens or permanent residents available to do the job, and the companies are supposed to pay the visa holders the prevailing wage for the job. Instead, companies are blatantly breaking the rules by, for example, getting immigrants to replace existing employees and then paying them less. As far as I can tell, the feds aren’t even trying to enforce the rules.

  111. 111

    Expanding on my earlier comment. The problem in the work visa regime (both permanent and long-term ones like H1-b) is that it is tied to your job just like the health insurance regime used to be pre ACA. If it was points based like the Canadian system and you could self-petition, a lot of these problems would disappear. Corporations have too much power. In other words capital rules and labor (domestic or imported) suffers.

  112. 112

    @Roger Moore: I am not so sure about that, the Indian IT staffing company Infosys recently paid huge fines in a case of visa fraud brought by a disgruntled employee.
    I think the tide on that may be turning.

  113. 113
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Elizabelle: I’ve come around to the notion that H1B is a problem for US STEM workers simply because of the way it is structured. If the workers could come over b/c of their skills and stay and seek other jobs if let go, then it wouldn’t give so much power to asshole employer. That’s why they seek H1B’s, not to lower wages (US workers will take those lower wages in a recession, and there is no shortage of STEM workers in US, most of us are in other fields–look at me, I drive heavy vehicles for a living, yay physics degree, I guess it is kinda relevant, maybe that’s why I haven’t had an accident in 8 years)).

    If they set target skill sets and gave them a 10 year visa, okay, be tourist/student/employee or even decide you want to stay and apply for green card, currently H1B can’t do this, they’re in limbo, that would be better for native born workers, but bad for sadistic assholes who wouldn’t be able to engage in the kinds of threats and cruelty and rampant abuses of federal and state labor laws that they engage in now.

    As H1B and outsourcing sucked up most of the skilled-and-available-to-work-for-US-concerns labor in India and Pakistan it turned into bringing in poorly skilled code monkey or lab rat grunts who do shitty work. It’s all about middle management justifying themselves and also of course makes it really easy to send people off if a dept needs to be rolled up quickly, although it’s not like it’s not really really fucking easy to lay people off in the US I mean hello.

    A friend of mine went from student visa to H1B to an abusive marriage to green card to divorced and working in same field she was trained in but now with an employer who isn’t a sadistic evil hate monkey. When she was H1B the sane people kind of wanted to employ her but wrung their hands because they’d never pushed any paperwork more complicated than an I9 form. She was basically a DREAMer except actually never lost legal status, went to high school in Central Fla, then grad of UF, but India and USA have lousy relationship legally so she was under threat of being shipped back to India to live with her parents.

    My father applied 20 years ago to a lot of jobs filled by H1Bs. They lie about job requirements so they can claim no American qualified and they go to Congress and say Americans won’t take those wages but that was another lie, my Dad and many like him had mortgages and bills and were eager to take those jobs and well qualified. I guess I ought to thank the Kim family of North Korea for their generous sponsorship of American-pants-shitting-renewing-defense-department-contracts that paid for me to go to college in the late 1990s.

  114. 114

    @Elizabelle: If the agricultural workers had a multiple entry long term visa, that would enable them to work during the season and then go back to Mexico when the season is over. Many don’t leave because they are not sure that they will be able to get back in.

  115. 115
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Fortunately, I think that particular wave has crested.

    @Another Holocene Human: Your keyboard to God’s eyes. Hope you’re right.

    Throw that mess up with unqualified Honduran labor ($10/hr, no bennies, cheat on your UI and WC taxes) and then sell it to the next sucker before they catch on that the roof leaks, etc.

    That was the last crew that worked on my condo. Forget English, they couldn’t even speak Spanish. I called the HOA and asked for the contractor’s proof of insurance. Since that wasn’t forthcoming, I ran for the board and just last week found out I won. So I will have those documents or lack thereof, and we’re not going to have a bunch of unskilled folks doing structural work on multistory homes anymore.

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Let’s hope no one who meets even Fox News’ subterranean standards for Constitution-humping

    Betty, the Mole Man’s attorney is on line two.

    In honor of Bastille Day, I present the following (sung to the opening bars of Le Marseilles) :

    Louis the Sixteenth was the King of France in 1789.
    He was worse than Louis the Thirteenth
    He was worse than Louis the Fourteenth
    He was worse than Louis the Fifteenth
    He was the worst since Louis the First!

    (h/t Allan Sherman)

  117. 117
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The difference is that even the most reactionary Canadian racist nativist assholes consider (targeted) immigration to be in their personal and national self interest.

    Of course, until Harper the condition of labor and the labor movement was much stronger than south of the border. Senior bus drivers making 80K before OT … the jerks. ;-)

  118. 118
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Legal immigration is a net plus, and rejuvenates us. No question. However, as Mnemo said, too many want to conflate legal with unconstrained illegal migration. Not the same thing.

    I wish we could more fairly and realistically allocate visas, and be honest about where the bottlenecks really are.

    I wish we had an immigration system that answered to Main Street.

    I am thrilled to have met so many wonderful and nurturing African immigrants working in the US healthcare system. (Ghana, in particular, I find is home to many nurses, doctors, and medical supplies company employees, in my recent experience with Alexandria Hospital via my mom’s illness. Ghanaians have found a niche in the DC medical industrial complex, and we are so fortunate to have them! Thank you Sam and Lucille and Victoria!!)

  119. 119
    Roger Moore says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    I don’t think there’s any way to make agricultural work appealing to americans.

    Sure there is; you mechanize the hell out of it. Growing the big commodity crops is heavily mechanized, and that sector seems to have no real trouble hiring Americans. It’s the dirty hand labor part of agriculture that has trouble hiring Americans. There’s a surprising amount of work being done to improve the mechanization of things like growing vegetables. There’s also a surprisingly important sector run by part-time farmers who are doing it as a hobby rather than a serious attempt to make a living.

  120. 120
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rikyrah: Holder needs to stop talking about what racist shits Republicans are.

    That’s Joe Scar the intern killer’s problem, right there. Stop telling the truth about Republicans, Holder!

  121. 121
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Could you explain? I know fruit pickers follow the crops for months and months, moving from region to region, and if they go home it’s only for a few months. In Florida you can pick year round, certain crops anyway.

    They were supposed to have increased work permits for that. Fruit pickers are among the most abused labor in the US, after meat cutters.

  122. 122
    Pogonip says:

    @rikyrah: There’s a prison in Ohio that is having the same problems with Aramark.

  123. 123
    Another Holocene Human says:

    In Florida not unheard of for farmers to seize passports and work authorization to try to keep labor from leaving. 7 cases prosecuted of slavery since the 1990s, and that’s with little funds for investigation/enforcement.

    In my county a berry farm grabbed West Indians’ passports, then when they appealed for help used the language barrier to their advantage and claimed they were lying to get immigration status. Lots of accusations by workers of abuse and sexual harassment and threats by foremen on the job. And they wanted their passports back. Scumbags.

  124. 124
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Roger Moore: Well yeah, that’s already the case with alfalfa, corn and wheat, but produce is still pretty tough to mechanize. We’ll just buy it from Chile if it ever gets too costly.

  125. 125
    rikyrah says:

    John Oliver: The rich keep the game rigged while Americans cling to false optimism

    By Tom Boggioni
    Monday, July 14, 2014 9:16 EDT

    In an extended segment on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver turned his gaze on income inequality, noting that Americans overwhelmingly believe that the system favors the rich while, at the same time, accepting it, believing they too will somehow be rich someday.

    “Our main story tonight, is income inequality.” Oliver began. “A good way to figure out which side of it you’re on, is whether you are currently paying for HBO, or stealing it.”

    Noting that President Obama recently delivered a speech where he used the expression ‘income inequality,’ twenty-six times, calling it “the defining issue of our times,” Oliver pointed out that Democrats immediately retreated on the issue in the face of accusations of class warfare.

    “So basically, income inequality has become just another topic of conversation we prefer to avoid in America, like Japanese internment camps or that time we gave Roberto Bengini an Academy Award. National tragedies, equally wrong,” he said.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/201.....-optimism/

  126. 126

    For the other side of the H1-b coin, many of these IT staffing companies who provide these H1-B workers treat their workers poorly and many choose to leave and go back to India. I have two acquaintances who did just that instead of waiting like Godot for the elusive Green Card. One of them works for the Mumbai Stock Exchange, while the other one has started his own business.

  127. 127
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Roger Moore: Get real, the US government ran Americans off the job because they were Wobblies and the greatest threat to the free world since Hitler. Research the whole 1950s Mexican guest worker thing, how the Feds paid farmers in Yuma to let melons rot in the fields to crush a fruit picker’s strike.

    Then the Mexicans in Cali unionized in the 1960s, hahahaha assholes. Guess not in Tx or Fla because slavery never ended in those states.

  128. 128
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @RandomMonster: The big thing used to be undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico to look for work. That’s essentially stopped, or at least gone down to a trickle.

    Now it’s refugee children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, sent through Mexico by their parents basically to keep them from getting killed, raped or pressed into gangs. Different phenomenon, but since it’s new it can get portrayed as the new scary invasion, worser than ever.

  129. 129
    SatanicPanic says:

    Whenever possible I try to point out to Republicans that if you’re in favor of capitalism, you should be in favor of open borders. Labor has a right to move to where the work is just as much as capital does. They’re not big fans of this line of thinking though.

  130. 130
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @SatanicPanic: We already buy from Chile during certain weeks of the year because “seasonal” is a dirty word to the American consumer.

    No, don’t cry for US produce industry, it’s doing okay. The labor costs are only a few pennies, yup a few pennies between slavery and living wage. The ironies of life, eh, tovarish?

  131. 131

    @Another Holocene Human: I may have pulled out that idea from thin air. I have very little knowledge of agriculture or agricultural practices. Now that I think of it didn’t there used to be bracero program along the lines of what I have described.

  132. 132
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @SatanicPanic: This is because they’re not really in favor of free markets. They’re at heart royalists and neo-feudalists.

  133. 133
    gorram says:

    @Goblue72: I wonder how the terminology on that is going to evolve in the coming years, because I suspect it’s not just “married White women” but “White women married to men”.

  134. 134
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: You’d think this would open up some great opportunities for grad students deep in academia who’ve been studying Mayan languages and earning less than their expenses for years. ;-DD

  135. 135
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Those few pennies, added up, are quite a bit of hookers and blow for MBAs at the company headquarters.

  136. 136

    @Goblue72: How does age factor in? Or does the GOP have the same level of support among younger married women too?

  137. 137
    shelley says:

    But Hannity’s down there, in a baseball cap, so everything will be fine.

  138. 138
    Roger Moore says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I know fruit pickers follow the crops for months and months, moving from region to region, and if they go home it’s only for a few months.

    I think there are two things going on. One is that there are a lot more jobs at the very busiest time of the year than there are at the slackest times, even though there are some jobs available at all times of the year. That means there’s a need for a lot of seasonal workers. The second thing is that those few months make a big difference. They help to weaken the ties between the workers who stay here and their villages in Mexico. They also mean that there’s a time of year when there are a lot of unemployed undocumented immigrants looking for work to tide them over until there’s agricultural work again, which tends to spread undocumented labor into other areas of the economy.

  139. 139
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    I’ve come around to the notion that H1B is a problem for US STEM workers simply because of the way it is structured. If the workers could come over b/c of their skills and stay and seek other jobs if let go, then it wouldn’t give so much power to asshole employer.

    Exactly.

    I’ve known a lot of excellent programmers and engineers who are here on H1Bs. They’re the kind of people I’d like to become Americans. What I ask myself is why we’re bringing in these people as temporary guest workers to take jobs and booting them out when they lose their jobs, leaving the US with nothing to show for it… instead of encouraging them to settle down here, demand the salaries that Americans demand, raise families and keep using goods and services in the American economy. Immigration is one thing, guest-worker programs quite another.

  140. 140
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gorram: I heard this argument yesterday, but remember it’s not just about race but about class status, as marriage is correlated to income, so I’m not sure upper middle class Lesbians are really all that radically different in voting patterns from heteros of the same means. I mean, they probably are more likely to vote against religious conservatives but that’s about it. Who do you think created, funds, and runs HRC, after all? (Remember, the gay rights group that hired the RIAA’s lawyer who was all about suing 9-year-olds for downloading music on Kazaa as their executive director? Btw, she was followed by the crook who lost a Congressional election to crook Stephen Lynch. That’s quite a crook. After that I stopped paying attention.)

  141. 141
    David Fud says:

    Ah, Peak Wingnut has made another appearance on our radars. Not so sure that this will work out any better than last time.

  142. 142
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I was just using Chile as an example. We’ll buy produce from wherever. There’s no particular reason we have to grow produce here. I agree that the wages should be higher. But what you can get a recent immigrant (or guest worker) to work for and what you’d have to pay for an unemployed American to work for are two different numbers.

  143. 143
    C.V. Danes says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yeah. I have several colleagues who are here on H1B’s, and the one thing I harp on with them is getting their green card as soon as possible. But the process still takes several years, and to which they are beholden to their sponsor company until they get it.

  144. 144
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I know Darden sees it that way. That’s why they’re on a mad march in Florida to destroy minimum wage and worker protections. Their main target is tipped workers but sticking it to fruit pickers would be a nice bonus since they pay top dollar for fresh produce so their cooks (they don’t hire chefs, costs too much and would argue with their stupidity too much) can ruin it by cooking all the life out of it on a steam table.

    http://www.darden.com/restaurants/
    Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn (oh lord, based in Florida? did not know that, no wonder they are so very evil) and other brands at link above, they HATE the minimum wage and actively work to fight it, pass it on.

  145. 145
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Prezactly.

    You ask them to break the law, at great personal danger, entering the country, and then they’re stuck here, unable to deal with family crises at home, for fear of not being able to re-enter. To do a job that otherwise goes begging.

    It is a national shame, because we could benefit the worker and the US and the home country and allow much-needed workers DIGNITY and human options.

  146. 146
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    What I ask myself is why we’re bringing in these people as temporary guest workers to take jobs and booting them out when they lose their jobs, leaving the US with nothing to show for it

    On the contrary, some executive types got a lot of hookers and blow with the money that otherwise would have gone to workers.

    All these problems boil down to the unrestrained greed of the 1%. Every last bit.

  147. 147
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Failed policies on display, all over the place with this refugee crisis; pick out their threads.

    Yup. And the refugee crisis is only going to get worse over the next decades as global warming kicks in.

  148. 148
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Elizabelle:

    much-needed workers DIGNITY

    No can have. Gets in the way of the powertrippers at the top.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  149. 149
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @SatanicPanic: It’s called seasons, mang, caused by the Earth’s tilt. That means that if you are an American consumer who wants grape tomatoes 52 weeks a year, those ‘maters must be grown in multiple latitudes and both North and South of the equator.

    So chillax, North American produce industry is not going anywhere. Actually global climate change will enhance opportunities for some states (but there is a hell of a row coming in drought states over water where they’ve grown melons and stuff like that for the better part of a century).

  150. 150
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Yeah, I got that, but we can’t be the only nation on earth that can grow grapes at the time we grow them. I’m just making the point that if you want US citizens to go out and pick grapes, it’s going to cost a lot more than what we pay immigrants. I’m all in favor of raising immigrant wages, but that’s a different subject.

  151. 151
    C.V. Danes says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Instead, companies are blatantly breaking the rules by, for example, getting immigrants to replace existing employees and then paying them less. As far as I can tell, the feds aren’t even trying to enforce the rules.

    Yup, because there’s a shortage of highly talented American IT folks willing to work for no job security and McDonalds-level wages while the big IT companies collude to blacklist their talent from switching companies so they can further depress their wages, etc.

  152. 152
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Chris: That’s the bird’s eye view, within the Catholic community you have the divide between the comfortable white wingnuts who vote like their evangelical peers and Catholics of color or Catholics who haven’t forgotten where they came from who are still plugged into the community enough to be getting a very different version of what is going on with these children.

    There’s a lot of congregation self selecting these days so many times these different groups never have to cross paths. They even have their own bishops to claim to follow and, incredibly, their own living Pope to point to as well. How about that.

  153. 153

    @C.V. Danes: Few qualify to apply for a GC under EB-1A category, where you can self petition, so they are at their employer’s mercy to start the GC process, which is daunting to say the least.

  154. 154
    Roger Moore says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    This is because they’re not really in favor of free markets.

    Sure, but remember that Capitalism isn’t really about markets in the first place. Capitalism is about who owns the means of production, not about how we set prices. It’s very easy to be in favor of capitalism and not in favor of free markets. Most capitalists are very much in favor of non-free markets. Capitalism is neofeudalism; we’ve just replaced hereditary ownership of land with mostly hereditary ownership of stock as our basis of deciding who the lords are.

  155. 155
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @SatanicPanic: Sure it costs more but not oodles more. When a bunch of groups got together to add a surcharge to food service tomatoes (the crunchy ones that Taco Bell buys, among others) so that Immokalee tomato pickers could have healthcare and dignity and shit it cost 1.5 cents per pound.

    Check out Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Lots of big businesses signed on but Florida based (coinicidence! I think not!) Publix Supermarkets continues to refuse. And I continue to boycott them.

  156. 156
    Punchy says:

    Their response to a bunch of little kids was to tweet out loving photos of an ammo box filled with large caliber bullets and a boat-mounted machine gun. Wow.

    I’m guessing the kids were similarly armed with iced tea and Skittles.

  157. 157
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Another Holocene Human: I agree. But we’re talking past each other. Yes, some guy who arrived from Mexico can and should get paid more. But what would it take to attract, say, a 30 year old working class white male to move to a rural area and pick tomatoes? That’s another, much higher number, like what it’s taking to get workers to move to North Dakota. This is why I’m saying immigrants aren’t taking jobs from citizens.

  158. 158
    gorram says:

    @Another Holocene Human: The idea that wealthy gay/lesbian/bi people are the norm, is entirely inaccurate. (People tend to have at least some of a clue that trans people deal with higher risk of poverty and which is often uniquely difficult to get out of, but they’re also subject to similar crap arguments that assume they’re wealthy and well connected). There’s this problem where a lot of people only see wealthy (and White) LGBT people and as a result assume that that’s all we are, instead of asking why they can’t see the rest of us (whom there are proportionately more of than straight and cis people).

    Ann Coulter is a single woman but I think we all know her politics aren’t representative of single women (White or of color) in these sorts of “how do XYZ people generally vote” discussions. The HRC honestly sits in a pretty similar place, what with them being openly hostile to trans people for a long time, and having pretty constant backlash from other LGBT groups (namely low-income focused activist ones like ACT UP, Queer Nation, but even less grassroots-y ones like the NGLTF at times). I don’t think it’s really fair to elevate them to the place of speaking for even the cisgender and White parts of the LGB community, without some cursory acknowledgement of class (which to be fair, you kind of did).

  159. 159
    kc says:

    Anybody know where I might find a non-politicized study of the effect of immigrant labor on US jobs? I just tried Google, first few pages of results were from advocacy groups on one side of the other.

  160. 160
    kc says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    “You can’t do it, my friends!”

  161. 161

    @kc: Skilled or unskilled?
    ETA: Try google scholar, at least the research will be peer reviewed.

  162. 162
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Another Holocene Human:

    There’s a lot of congregation self selecting these days so many times these different groups never have to cross paths.

    This is quite common. I have five brothers — I come from a large Catholic family — and 4 of them don’t attend their nominal geographic parish. For three of them, the local parish is too Opus Dei-ist. For the other, it’s not Opus Dei-ist enough. So it’s into the minivan, kids! You see the same thing happening with Catholic schools, too, in metropolitan areas.

    The two of us six who do buy local, so to speak, are more or less geographically constrained by living in the boonies as part of multi-parish clusters sharing one priest. No matter where I go, I get the same pastor.

  163. 163
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @SatanicPanic: 30 year olds don’t go into this field, you start as a teenager. I live in tha dirty Souf’, I’ve met plenty of 40-year-olds who used to be pickers when they were younger. Americans stopped picking in some areas of the Deep South a lot later than in TX, CA, AZ.

    A 30 year old will be in pain and never be able to keep up. It is a TOUGH act to get into, forget it later in life. These workers from Central America grew up on farms. They learn alongside parents, older siblings.

    It’s actually very skilled (and difficult, and painful, and demanding, and even dangerous work).

    Sometimes some grown folks try to go out there in the fields but find out quick they aren’t going to make any money doing it.

    With OTC pain killers costing $15 a fucking box if you are shitty at picking you’ll spend more at the pharmacy than you’ll make.

  164. 164
    kc says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I was thinking unskilled, but . . . Thanks for the Google Scholar tip; I didn’t know such a thing existed!

  165. 165
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @gorram: You’ve missed my point. Marriage versus cohabiting or having a relationship without marriage, is strongly correlated to household income. And it does seem to be the income leads to the marriage, not the other way around.

    So when we’re talking about married, not cohabiting, same sex couples we are talking specifically about that wealthier tranche.

    Never said they were a majority. Did say they fund HRC. Which is just the truth. Same folks did not fund scrappy NGLTF, which despite HRC’s best efforts is still around and kicking.

    HRC is not much of a grassroots org so how do they get all that press and influence? Magical fairy dust? No, it is wealthy donors who were pissed about being snubbed at the city clerk’s office. Snubs are for peons.

    Not saying same sex marriage fight was wrong choice–actually, it was a really good choice, really changed things for us across the board. But it was totally being driven by wealthier gays and lesbians, either once they had kids in the late 90s gayby boom and found out they couldn’t 2nd parent adopt or faced other hurdles or older non-parents who had been woken up by relatives suing surviving spouses to break wills and other inheritance schemes.

  166. 166
    Ruckus says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Dignity?
    Are you kidding? If we allow dignity for blue/brown collar work, we will have to pay them a living wage. We can’t have that, our whole society will cave in and most importantly the wealthy might have 2 or 3 percent less largess. And at that point all those people who we overcharged for their degrees they most likely will never really use will want to get more. This is just not a viable change to the system of wealth inequality that we have worked so hard to establish.
    /rich motherfucker

  167. 167

    In 2012 election GOP lost among recent immigrants ( citizens naturalized in the last ten years), and no not all of them are from Latin America. This latest nonsense will continue the pattern. This rhetoric also antagonizes citizens of Hispanic origin who are not immigrants at all. Please continue, morons.

  168. 168
    Botsplainer says:

    @Howard Beale IV:

    Silly, will never happen.

  169. 169
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    That’s the risk the Republicans took when they decided to conflate illegal immigrants with all immigrants. Immigrants from other areas of the world hear the anti-immigrant rhetoric and are not appeased when conservatives try to tell them that Republicans are only against those bad immigrants over there because, well, they’re not stupid.

  170. 170
    Trollhattan says:

    O/T I will never again root for the University of Miami in any form of sportsball, regardless of whether they might be playing the Ohio State of Duke Longhorns.

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....sity-miami

    On the plus side, Florida gains a WalMart, a Chick-fil-A and a Chili’s, so there’s that.

  171. 171
    Mike E says:

    Fun J. Robert Oppenheimer quote!

    Too many balls in the air; too much bullshit.

  172. 172
    Botsplainer says:

    @srv:

    It’s an outer ring suburb/exurban problem. Inner ring suburbans are generally blue these days. The outer ring/exurban people see themselves as rugged individualist who did it all themselves, and want urban convenience and workplaces without dealing with urban people.

  173. 173
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Trollhattan: Well, I already hated those bastards because Gator. Now with more reason!

  174. 174
    Mandalay says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I will never again root for the University of Miami

    Look on the bright side. It will all be water the bridge soon. Except that there won’t be any bridges either.

    South Florida is so fucked. It’s not that we don’t see that writing on the wall. We read it. We understand it. But then we ignore it, and just keep partying like there’s no tomorrow.

  175. 175
    Mandalay says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I will never again root for the University of Miami

    Look on the bright side. It will all be water the bridge soon. Except that there won’t be any bridges either.

    South Florida is so fucked. It’s not that we don’t see that writing on the wall. We read it. We understand it. But then we ignore it, and just keep partying like there’s no tomorrow.

  176. 176
    C.V. Danes says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Yep. So if I were to reform the system, I would start there. They can be on probation while they start the green card process, but that should be streamlined as much as possible to minimize the amount of time they are slave labor for the companies that bring them over.

  177. 177
    gorram says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Two things! Firstly you seem to be confusing voting patterns with fundraising which is… confusing. It’s pretty appalling obvious that wealthy is hyper-concentrated in this country, so the idea that those small pools are necessarily representative (independent of them literally not being when we’re talking about class) is pretty strange. What I was originally raising as a question was whether marriage is really the salient thing making married White women skew Republican, or if it’s more specifically marriage to a man.

    As for the other thing, the stats are in and women couples are in a fundamentally different economic place than most other couples in the US independent of marital status and recognition (ps: you’re talking about this as if there’s Officially Married and Not Officially Married when there’s a lot of murky married-according-to-them-not-married-according-to-them going on). Several years ago already, people were putting it this way: “Women in same-sex couples face the same wage disadvantage that all women face, but also are not married to the heterosexual men that are making so much money (making it so that heterosexual women can make less money than gay women, but still be less likely to live in poverty).

    You’re right that (at least in mass studies, I don’t know about LGBT-specific studies?) marriage right now tends to happen as a result of people having economic security. But we are talking about communities that tend to have a different take on marriage (again with the whole “what is marriage though” thing) and whose standards for economic security are wildly different from other parts of the broader LGBT community and the cis and straight norms (so, while people tend to delay marriage until they have economic security, can we say for certain that they share the same idea of what that even means?). Income does predict marriage – in a society that has only just recently fully expanded the franchise of marriage to almost half of all LGBT people. You can’t really test how LGBT people marry when… they aren’t allowed to, can you? And assuming we’ll do it exactly the way straight and cis people do seems like it reflects a certain Macklemore-esque conviction that there’s no important differences in how we approach marriage as an institution (which… after the past decade seems laughable honestly).

    (Plus, again, most of the push for continuing to reform marriage laws has shifted into the South and rural West, where most of the couples who want it have kids from prior marriages, and especially in the South are more frequently people of color. The marriage reform movement was really White and honestly more concerned about taxes than kids to begin with, but it’s not 2007 anymore. The political situation has changed, but a lot of people haven’t updated their understanding of it. You can see that with how organizations like the HRC have shifted into focusing on ENDA – they’re moving on to a new fight in some ways.)

    Basically, if the argument here is the marriage as an institution creates economic security for White women, that’s not really removable from the reality that that largely comes from the security in incomes that are not challenged by sexist and anti-LGBT discrimination (not only in hiring/firing, but also promotions), not to mention the additional costs that those women tend to need to pay (first and foremost, that many understandably feel the need to take on to hold on to some basic physical safety).

    Marriage tends to lead to White women voting less liberally, yes, but at almost every turn that conclusion seems to rely on a definition of marriage that is increasingly outdated (and hopefully becomes even more so) as well as has only been really explained through ways that again, loop back to that specific idea of what marriage is and what marriage means. As I said at the beginning of this, it seems like “married White women skew Republican” is going to be a bit more difficult to pick out as a phenomenon as more and more married White women aren’t married to men.

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    mclaren says:

    But are we at that tipping point right now — are we at a place nationally where participating or benefiting from anti-immigrant hysteria dooms a candidate on the national stage? I’m not convinced that we are.

    Not nationally. But the Southwestern states are at that point now. Southern California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada are at the point where strong single-issue coalitions have formed for and against Latino immigration.

    Anyone who lives in these states knows that Latino immigration politics are huge in local elections and deeply divisive. For the rest of the country, not so much.

  179. 179
    keestadoll says:

    @big ole hound: Two cents: I have many friends across the political spectrum up here in hippie NO CA, and I can tell you all of them, without fail, WORRY about border integrity. There are NUMEROUS accounts (should one bother to seek them out) from BP officers and regional commanders SCREAMING about how they’ve been deterred from their watch duties to act as shuttle services, med techs, and babysitters for these kids. In doing so, what you basically have is a southern border that is wide open and it’s NOT JUST families that are coming in. And YEAH that’s a fucking problem and YEAH it effects EVERYONE. Sorry. Getting tired of that fact being left out.

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    Tokyokie says:

    @Another Holocene Human: Sorry this is late, but I’ve been on the road all day. Anyway, her name is Leticia Van de Putte, and I think she’s a more impressive candidate than Wendy Davis, who famously carried out the filibuster against the anti-abortion bill last year and who is running for governor. (I’m doing volunteer work for Wendy, because she has the organization, but I consider it to be volunteer work for the Democratic ticket.) Wendy hasn’t exactly a surefooted candidate — Taking a strong stance in favor of gun rights? WTF? Like the ammosexuals are going to vote for her? — and faces an uphill battle, but it’s all about the turnout. And in Texas, the lieutenant governor, who has complete control over the state Senate, including deciding committee assignments and chairmanships, is arguably more powerful than the governor is. During the filibuster fracas, when then-Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was blowing off parliamentary procedure and ignoring all Democrats, Van de Putte famously asked, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” thereby succinctly pointing out the marginalization of women by the Republican Party. And it doesn’t hurt that her opponent is a self-centered monster who makes Ted Cruz look like FDR.

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