October 9, 2018

Posted by orrinj at 6:59 PM


Posted by orrinj at 6:12 PM


A Dozen Facts about Immigration (Ryan Nunn Jimmy O'Donnell Jay Shambaugh, 10/09/18, , The Hamilton Project)

Fact 8: Output in the economy is higher and grows faster with more immigrants.
Fact 9: Most estimates show a small impact of immigration on low-skilled native-born wages.
Fact 10: High-skilled immigration increases innovation.
Fact 11: Immigrants contribute positively to government finances over the long run, and high-skilled immigrants make especially large contributions.
Fact 12: Immigration in the United States does not increase crime rates.

Posted by orrinj at 6:10 PM


Nikki Haley is popular across the political spectrum (Dave Lawler, 10/09/18, Axios)

A former Trump critic who won over many of the president's supporters by joining his administration, Haley has avoided most of the political mudslinging in Washington from her perch at the UN. She's not just popular with Republicans -- a Quinnipiac poll from April found that 55% of Democrats approve of her. That's unheard of in this political climate.

Posted by orrinj at 5:19 PM


Fliers on 4 college campuses blame Jews for Kavanaugh ruckus (JTA, 10/09/18)

Fliers blaming Jews for the sexual assault allegations against newly sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were posted on two University of California campuses, Berkeley and Davis, as well as at Vassar and Marist colleges, both located in the same city in New York state.

"Every time some Anti-White, Anti-American, Anti-freedom event takes place, you look at it, and it's Jews behind it," the fliers discovered Monday read.

Posted by orrinj at 5:15 PM


Is Nikki Haley jumping off a sinking ship? (Jacob Heilbrunn, October 9, 2018, The Spectator)

Her announcement caught Trump flatfooted, coming after the previous evening's revelries at the White House, where he turned a ceremony for newly minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh into a political pep rally that is likely to further enrage his detractors and opponents. The sudden defection of one of his big stars is exactly the kind of television programming that Trump loathes, particularly on the eve of the November midterm elections, which Politico says look increasingly ominous for Republican control of the House of Representatives.

Neocons such as Bill Kristol are celebrating, convinced that this augurs a run by Haley in 2020. She was seen as a standard-bearer for a more mainstream Republican foreign policy as opposed to Trump's nationalist sallies.

Posted by orrinj at 11:18 AM

NIKKI 2020!:

Posted by orrinj at 4:31 AM


The dark side of American conservatism has taken over (Max Boot, October 8, 2018, Washington Post)

In 1964, the GOP ceased to be the party of Lincoln and became the party of Southern whites. As I now look back with the clarity of hindsight, I am convinced that coded racial appeals had at least as much, if not more, to do with the electoral success of the modern Republican Party than all of the domestic and foreign policy proposals crafted by well-intentioned analysts like me. This is what liberals have been saying for decades. I never believed them. Now I do, because Trump won by making the racist appeal, hitherto relatively subtle, obvious even to someone such as me who used to be in denial.

...Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush & Trump.  Seems odd to impute the undeniable racism of the last to the rest.

Posted by orrinj at 4:21 AM


How Dangerous Is Jair Bolsonaro?: The far-right candidate will probably be Brazil's next president. What sort of damage will he do? (ISAAC CHOTINER, OCT 08, 2018, Slate)

To talk about the results, I spoke by phone on Monday with Lilia M. Schwarcz, a professor of anthropology at the University of São Paulo, and the co-author (with Heloisa M. Starling) of the new book Brazil: A Biography. During the course of our conversation, which has been edited and condensed for clarity, we discussed how dangerous Bolsonaro is likely to be if he wins, why Brazilians are so angry about their current situation, and the crucial role evangelicals played in Sunday's vote. [...]

What explains his ability to get 46 percent of the vote?

I think what explains Bolsonaro is, first, the violence in Brazil. He promises that he's going to put an end to violence. Bolsonaro has a way of speaking that he promises everything, but I don't know if he is capable of delivering the things he is promising. But we are going through an economic crisis, cultural crisis, political crisis. If you look around, everybody is like, "OK, what happened?" People are very angry. People are very mad at politicians and Bolsonaro presented himself not as a politician, even if he is, [but as] a kind of Messiah. People like these kinds of promises.

Like Trump and some of these right-wing populists, he's managed to win over religious voters, correct?

He's very much connected with evangelical churches. It's not true about Catholic churches. He's very much evangelical. Evangelical churches are all over the country. It's a very, very strong group and a very conservative group. He's also very strong in the rural areas, the person that wants to have guns, that thinks that the problem in Brazil is violence. That's true--the problem in Brazil is violence and a lack of safety. You cannot walk freely in the streets in a lot of different towns. This is a very deep problem, a very deep question in Brazil. [...]

Is there any chance that the judiciary will stand up to Bolsonaro the way it did to the Workers' Party?

I hope so. I hope the judiciary finally will show that it's a neutral power, that it has to be. Yesterday, for example, it was the first time in Brazil that when they finished counting the votes, they showed on television all the judges together to say that democracy was very strong, that we had no problems in our elections. That was a very important answer, to reassure Brazilians that they are in power. But we are talking about a person that has straight connections with the military. His vice presidential running mate, General Mourao, is from the military. Let's see what's going to happen.

Posted by orrinj at 4:14 AM


The GOP House is crumbling (STEVEN SHEPARD, 10/09/2018, Politico)

The Republican House majority continues to show signs of collapsing, with Democrats steadily gaining ground toward erasing the 23-seat margin and ending eight years of GOP control.

A total of 68 seats currently held by Republicans are firmly in play -- rated as "Lean Republican" or worse for the GOP -- presenting a stark contrast to the Democratic side, where only a half-dozen Democratic seats are in similar jeopardy. [...]

With a month to go until Election Day, there are now 209 seats either firmly or leaning in the Democratic column -- only 9 shy of the 218 the party needs to wrest away control of the chamber -- according to the latest update of POLITICO's race ratings.

Posted by orrinj at 4:02 AM


Breaking down the walls strangling China's private sector: Reformists join the fray as State-owned giants continue to dominate economic landscape and funding (GORDON WATTS OCTOBER 9, 2018, Asia Times)

Among the guests at the 20th anniversary of the Chinese Economists 50 Forum was Vice-Premier Liu He, who helped get this club for 'bean counters' up and running.

"What we learned from the past 40 years is that we must insist on a market-oriented and law-based direction of reform," Wu told Liu and a room full of economists, entrepreneurs and government officials at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

The 88-year-old is considered one of the preeminent economists in China and is a passionate supporter of the pro-business policies which have helped transform the country.

But those reforms are starting to stall, he pointed out.

Known as Wu Shichang, or "Market Wu," he warned against "disharmonious voices" or those that have called for an end to private ownership in China.

"[The government has to] build a consensus [on reforms] through debate and then implement them one by one," Wu said.

After the speech, Liu reportedly left the gathering. Yet President Xi Jinping's economic tsar would have agreed with the sentiments along with the majority of the audience and speakers.

During the past few months, there have been concerns about China's lack of progress in economic liberalization.

Moreover, the private sector has been hit hard by the trade war, as well as the squeeze on financing and excess production, Li Yang, the former deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, stressed.

"Many cannot survive amid this de facto discrimination," Li told the Chinese Economists 50 Forum.

The clampdown on credit as part of the broader onslaught against rising local government and corporate debt has been particularly severe for small companies struggling to obtain funding.

To underline the problems, Ma Jiantang, a senior Communist Party official at the Development Research Center of the powerful State Council, has been quoted as saying in the Chinese media that private companies are plagued by "dissatisfaction."

His comments will resonate with the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce.

In May, the ACFIC reported that more than 90% of new jobs were created by private enterprises last year, as well as 60% of GDP growth.

"At the end of 2017, there were 65.79 million individually-owned businesses and 27.26 million private enterprises in China, which employed some 340 million people," Gao Yunlong, the head of the ACFIC, told the official state-run Xinhua news agency.

Yet there have been calls from more left-wing scholars, economists and government officials to dump the private sector "experiment."

"Communists can sum up their theory in one sentence - eliminate private ownership," Zhou Xincheng, a professor of Marxism at the Renmin University of China, wrote in Qizhi, a leading policy journal of the CCP, back in January.

Beijing has already set-up CCP committees, which are common among state-owned enterprises, throughout the private sector.

Qiu Xiaoping, the deputy director of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, has floated the idea that employees should "participate in the management" of corporations.

"Chinese Communist Party officials are increasingly calling on companies to support the creation of party organizations among their employees," China Business Review, the official magazine of the US-China Business Council, reported. "The potential for party groups to influence corporate decision making has raised concern among some US company executives."

The Dragon has no teeth.

Posted by orrinj at 4:00 AM

MS 2?:

Migrant Children in Search of Justice: A 2-Year-Old's Day in Immigration Court (Vivian Yee and Miriam Jordan, Oct. 8, 2018, NY Times)

The youngest child to come before the bench in federal immigration courtroom No. 14 was so small she had to be lifted into the chair. Even the judge in her black robes breathed a soft "aww" as her latest case perched on the brown leather.

Her feet stuck out from the seat in small gray sneakers, her legs too short to dangle. Her fists were stuffed under her knees. As soon as the caseworker who had sat her there turned to go, she let out a whimper that rose to a thin howl, her crumpled face a bursting dam.

The girl, Fernanda Jacqueline Davila, was 2 years old: brief life, long journey. The caseworker, a big-boned man from the shelter that had been contracted to raise her since she was taken from her grandmother at the border in late July, was the only person in the room she had met before that day.

"How old are you?" the judge asked, after she had motioned for the caseworker to return to Fernanda's side and the tears had stopped. "Do you speak Spanish?"

An interpreter bent toward the child and caught her eye, repeating the questions in Spanish. Fernanda's mouse-brown pigtails brushed the back of the chair, but she stayed silent, eyes big. "She's ... she's nodding her head," the judge said, peering down from the bench through black-rim glasses. This afternoon in New York immigration court, Judge Randa Zagzoug had nearly 30 children to hear from, ages 2 through 17. Fernanda was No. 26. [...]

These young immigrants are stranded at the junction of several forces: the Trump administration's determination to discourage immigrants from trying to cross the border; the continuing flow of children journeying by themselves from Central America; the lingering effects of last summer's family-separation crisis at the border; and a new government policy that has made it much more difficult for relatives to claim children from federal custody.

These sorts of detentions make the Right feel safer, because it's about race, not crime.

Posted by orrinj at 3:55 AM


Israeli press review: Ministers slam PM over approval of Ethiopian migrants (Middle East Eye, 8 October 2018)

The Falash Mura are Ethiopian descendants of Jews who say their ancestors converted to Christianity under duress. This past conversion makes them ineligible for citizenship under Israel's sectarian immigration laws.

The reason for the ministers' opposition, writes Zeev Kamm, are concerns that it could serve as a legal precedent, allowing more Palestinians who don't have Israeli citizenship to acquire it by marrying a Palestinian who does.

The criticism came on the heels of a position paper, published by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, in which he argues that authorising the immigration of the Ethiopians would make it more difficult for the government to defend its opposition to permitting Palestinian couples with only one Israeli citizenship between them to live together inside Israel's pre-1967 borders.

After decades in which successive Israeli governments discouraged the immigration of Ethiopian Jews to Israel, campaigners shamed Israel into reversing its policy in the 1980s and airlifting the majority of the Ethiopian Jewish community into the country.