Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 5, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SOME WEE ADVICE....Peter Beinart offers George Bush some advice on immigration policy:

Perhaps a more enlightened Republican friend will come to Bush and say this. "Your presidency isn't hanging by a thread; your presidency is already over. You staked it on the war in Iraq, and you lost. Even if Republicans do hold Congress this fall, they will never again acquiesce to your wishes. Your hopes of passing any kind of agenda are over. So think about your legacy. If historians say anything kind, it may be that you helped the Republican Party which benefited so shamefully from the civil rights backlash lay down the burden of race. Politically, you are going to lose either way. Why not do it with dignity?"

Why do I have a feeling that no one is going to propose this brand of enlightened capitulation to our commander in chief? Nice try, though.

Kevin Drum 3:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (115)

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Comments

Is Beinart the same guy who advised Bush 41 to break his 'no new taxes' pledge?

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on April 5, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

If historians say anything kind, it may be that you helped the Republican Party which benefited so shamefully from the civil rights backlash lay down the burden of race.

Why would the Republican Party need to lay down the burden of race? That's what the Democratic Party needs to do. The Republican Party is the party of Abraham Lincoln who freed the black slaves.

Posted by: Al on April 5, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Dignity!?!

Posted by: Martin on April 5, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

which benefited so shamefully from the civil rights backlash lay down the burden of race.

LOL - The pot calling the kettle black?

What Peter Beinart neglects to address is why Democrats like him are working so feverishly to oppose the interests of the Black community. Talk about racist policies, the one he champions will favor the interests of foreigners over the interests of Black Americans. Now, that's a racist policy.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 5, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Some noises McFlightSuit's ears won't transmit to his 'brain':

Your presidency is already over.
You staked it on the war in Iraq, and you lost.
Republicans will never again acquiesce to your wishes.
Your hopes of passing any kind of agenda are over.
You are going to lose either way.

Posted by: adios on April 5, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Presidents should do the right thing, and leave the worrying about a legacy to others.

Besides, Bush isn;t the kind of guy to listen to effeminate dweebs like Beinart.

Posted by: MountainDan on April 5, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Not to knock Beinart's superb persuasion skills (gee, Mr. President, you're a lame duck, so quack up!), but don't ya think it'd help a little if he had, ya know, an actual proposal?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 5, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Which Republicans think that?

Posted by: Demetrios on April 5, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Al: 'Party of Lincoln'.

I'm sure your comment will have the intended effect of producing an avalanche of ridicule upon your head.

Posted by: Preston on April 5, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I hope he's right, that the Bush administration is truly over. However, we should probably hold off on the cheering until we see whether the Republicans can fool the country into supporting them over Iran's alleged imminent nuclear threat. And we should consider how badly Bush can further screw up the country in the next 2.5 years.

Posted by: foobar on April 5, 2006 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

It's interesting how the Democratic Party's views on trade barriers and other interferences with powerful market forces seem to differ so radically from their views on labor barriers. Suddenly, the term "free market" is dug up and dusted off.

The immigration issue is straightforward:

1) Stop, or at least reduce, the incoming flow. This is relatively simple in practice. It just needs political will.

2) Then figure out how to deal with the people who are already here. This is not as simple, but at least you'll have some breathing space to deal with it.

You can try to do these both at the same time, but if you try 2 before you deal with 1, it isn't going to work, and in fact you're probably going to create a massive new influx.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 5, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Bush & Co could start handing in their resignations now
and avoid the rush.

Posted by: NO LINES NOW on April 5, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Drudge has a blast from the past on Democratic illegal immigration views.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 5, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Politically, you are going to lose either way.

So why not finish the betrayal and take America down with you by flooding the country with tens of millions of people who'll swamp our social infrastructure?

Posted by: Derek Copold on April 5, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

"Why do I have a feeling that no one is going to propose this brand of enlightened capitulation to our commander in chief?"

Even putting aside the obvious (Bush wouldn't listen to such advice -- and, in fact, would probably start demonizing the source immediately)...why does Beinart assume such a GOPer exists? I can't imagine Republican office-holder outside New England wanting to give up racial exploitation. It goes hand-in-hand with fundamentalism as the party's strongest electoral strategy.

Posted by: demtom on April 5, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Why do I have a feeling that no one is going to propose this brand of enlightened capitulation to our commander in chief?

Because it's a load of crap masquerading as "enlightened" compassion.

Of course, it's not our like our president, who dearly loves cheap labor, needs any encouragement when it comes to opening the border.

Posted by: Derek Copold on April 5, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Peter Beinnart a Joe Lieberman Republican who supports the Iraq war and is trying to kiss up to someone by castigating the democrats for being 'soft' on national security.

He has no credibility either among his Republicans whom he craves as his masters or among the Democrats whom he insults by his unfounded insinuations.

No one should listen to him.

Posted by: lib on April 5, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Give it up, tbrosz.

Your side is brought this up.
Your side wants to make it a felony to immigrate
You're the ones who say "ya gotta choose between helping poor native-born or poor immigrants--you cant' help them both anymore, because we need tax cuts for our billionaires."
Your side has the racists who want to bring back internment.
Your side is saying, "have prisoners pick the crops"
Your side is the one with the minutemen
Your side is accusing loyal Americans of supporting a treasonous reconquista when they wave a flag becuase they're proud of their heritage

You think Hispanics are stupid? They know which party hates the Mexican flag but thinks the Confederate flag is a-OK.

Republicans are idiots because you think you're the only ones who know the code words. Dude, EVERYBODY knows the code words!

Posted by: theorajones on April 5, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: You can try to do these both at the same time, but if you try 2 before you deal with 1, it isn't going to work, and in fact you're probably going to create a massive new influx.

OMG, you're making sense.

Drudge has a blast from the past on Democratic illegal immigration views.

No, he has a blast from the past about a Democrat's views. Surely you don't think the Democratic party has a consistent view on this, do you? And the Republicans are clearly split.

As frequently observed as of late, there is no clear left/right split on this issue. The same is true for "free" trade.

Posted by: alex on April 5, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Since tbrosz is revelling in blasts from the past, I might as well point out that the idiot (a) once suggested that deseggration might have been responsible for reduction and reading scores among african americans and (b) just the other day, characterized the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as 'pacification'.

This guy has no credibility on any issue. His dropping here should ignored.

Posted by: nut on April 5, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently the left does not understand the meaning of the word minority, and I am not referring to race or immigrants. I am referring to political party as in the minority party.

I relish in the fact that the left continues to chalk Iraq up as a lost war, of course that is the only kind of war they are familiar with. US casualties at theie lowest levels since the war began, a permanent government forming, Saddam on trial, and a growing military/security force that has successfully remained united and thwarted a possible civil war.

The only possible way they can save face is if we actually do lose the war. They have staked their future on losing this war. I can't wait to hear what the left has to say this fall when the permanent government is in place and the country is completely protected by their own military, and our troops start heading home.

btw, interesting link on Reid's immigration bill. I could actually support that.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

My head hurts. I agree with TangoMan and tbrosz.

Posted by: brewmn on April 5, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of racists, isn't it time to give Cynthia McKinney a more prominent role in the Democratic Party. Or would KKK Byrd object to that? That's provided she stays out of jail.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I love when Jay has to clap very loud for Dear Leader in public. Some people don't mind wearing brown lipstick.

Posted by: Rob on April 5, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

So now that makes TWO Bush presidencies that Saddam defeated, TWO Pyrrhic Victories.

Saddam 2, Bush 0.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on April 5, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Complain harder rob. You're. Not. Getting. Through.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Right after Bush takes on the dixie bigot's, Cheney will fart rainbows and Tom Delay will worship GAIA.

Posted by: Brian in Oakland on April 5, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Perhaps a more enlightened Republican friend will come to Bush..."

Besides there being an oxymoron in there, they have surely given up trying to reason with a fool.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 5, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of racists, isn't it time to give Cynthia McKinney a more prominent role in the Democratic Party. Or would KKK Byrd object to that? That's provided she stays out of jail.

No, no, no, Jay. The proper term is "Democrat Party." If you're not more careful, they'll make you turn in your Wingnut Merit Badge and glow-in-the-dark decoder ring.

The rest of your talking points were on-target, though. You've got McKinney, Democrats-as-the-real-racists, and distraction-from-DeLay. Try to work in something about Irrational Bush Hatred next time, though.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on April 5, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

the immigration reform issue is a smoke screen by the admin. to divert attention from IRAQ

Posted by: neil on April 5, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

I will Alek, thanks for the tip. And no one takes away my decoder ring.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Besides, Bush isn;t the kind of guy to listen to effeminate dweebs like Beinart.

No, he listens to effeminate dweebs like Karl Rove.

Posted by: Stefan on April 5, 2006 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

How's this why that many people die in the gay steam rooms in seattle every weekend you know if you weren't a bunch liberal cesspool swimming socialists with a irrational bush hatered with a yellow streak 6 miles wide runnin down your elitest backs you would come up with a plan of your but you'll never win an election again.....

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

I love when my name is hijacked in the name of liberal tolerance. Clearly demonstrates how unhinged the left is and completely clueless when it comes to actual ideas and staking out a winning position. See you in '08.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, you may also want to offer some insight into grammar and spelling for your liberal friend who hijacked my handle.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

In answer to the early post, no, Peter Beinart didn't advise Bush 41 to break his no-new-taxes pledge. Perhaps the poster is thinking of Michael Boskin? Beinart, who looks younger than his 32 years, would have been quite the prodigy for accomplishing that in 1990.

One retort to you Republican Party cultists: partisanship is your strength and your curse. You filter everything through this basically false prism and the result is ideological incoherence. In effect, your arguments get louder the more threatened you feel. When you've reached this point, you're already flailing. My advice: stop spewing party talking points and actually do your own thinking.

Posted by: walt on April 5, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, ever think about writing alternative history? There's a lucrative and growing market for it. Looking at the success of West Wing it is clear that we like, yea, make that *need* better alternatives to the sorry reality of the present.

So, here's our skiffy "what if" question of the day:

What if President Bush was a good president?

Have fun!

Posted by: David W. on April 5, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

I like Peter Beinart a lot but he's off base on this. President Bush is way out in front of a lot of people - in both the Democratic and Republican Parties - on immigration. What would be helpful would be for Peter to encourage those Democrats who basically agree with President Bush to lay aside their partisan agendas for 30 seconds and try to work out a bi-partisan plan.

Posted by: DBL on April 5, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Walt, your "advice" is baseless. I for one am glad Delay resigned, am not happy with the administrations spending or their current size and scope of the government and will readily admit mistakes in Iraq. I also am not pleased with their waffling on the immigration issue and their current dialogue with Iran.

The left on the other hand only seems to be 100% united on their Bush hatred and have yet to offer any "Real Alternatives".

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

You've got McKinney, Democrats-as-the-real-racists, and distraction-from-DeLay.

If he were really imaginative, he could work in some moral equivalency angle about the corrupt former Democratic House representative James Traficant, who also had, um, unusual hair, so to speak.

Posted by: lsazz on April 5, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

Spot on, DBL

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Frequency nails it!

Posted by: grape_crush on April 5, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I would prefer to work in my outrage on the pretentious moral equivalence of people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and my personal favorite Scary Harry Belafonte.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK
The immigration issue is straightforward:

Perhaps. But you've seemed to skip the first steps of addressing any policy issue, particularly, defining the supposed problem to be addressed. You seem to be treating the fact of immigration itself as the problem, which I'd say requires at least some kind of arguments and, ideally, evidence.

1) Stop, or at least reduce, the incoming flow. This is relatively simple in practice. It just needs political will.

"It just needs political will." What meaningless garbage. It requires the desire to expend considerable resources; without establishing what the problem is it is supposed to address, what the actual costs associated with that problem are, what the costs associated with the proposed policy to reduce the overall rate of immigration are, and how much of a reduction in the costs supposedly associated with immigration can be expected from that reduction in the level of immigration, there is little to consider.

2) Then figure out how to deal with the people who are already here. This is not as simple, but at least you'll have some breathing space to deal with it.

Again, you've skipped the part of defining the problem with "the people who are already here", which necessarily precedes figuring out how to "deal with" them, as it determines first if they need dealt with, and provides the only basis for evaluating proposals as to "how".

You can try to do these both at the same time, but if you try 2 before you deal with 1, it isn't going to work, and in fact you're probably going to create a massive new influx.

That seems highly dependent on how you try #2. I mean, if you just start machine-gunning people (not that I recommend that method), that's hardly likely to provoke a massive new influx.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, you're being absurd and you know it. You're here precisely because politics is a team sport for you. Otherwise, there would be absolutely no point in defending the debacle of the Bush presidency. I do admire the lockstep tribalism of Republicans - you guys play hard and rough because politics is essentially little more than a mental form of combat. But the price you pay is evident in all your posts. Since you cannot fathom holding Bush accountable for anything (be honest: have you EVER criticized Bush in this forum?), your inane instinct becomes bashing the other team. But the weakness of Democrats - our lack of team spirit - is ultimately a strength in one arena. We can think outside the box of partisanship. You Republicans cannot.

Posted by: walt on April 5, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

DBL: President Bush is way out in front of a lot of people ... on immigration.

Bush: I like Mexicans, I really do. They work cheap. Of course when they come over the border it should be as "guest" workers. That way they won't get too 'merican, and all uppity like the hired help around here.

Posted by: alex on April 5, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Oh wait; Frequency doesn't nail it!

Posted by: grape_crush on April 5, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

I would prefer to work in my outrage on the pretentious moral equivalence of people like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and my personal favorite Scary Harry Belafonte.

What's so scary about Harry? He's got good hair.

Posted by: lsazz on April 5, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Oh wait; Frequency doesn't nail it!

Posted by: grape_crush on April 5, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Kevin must be on a wacthlist or two. Six of the first eleven posts were of a trollish nature. Seeing so many jackasses jumping in on the action so quickly can't help but remind one of the Duke Lacrosse team.

Posted by: Keith G on April 5, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Riiiiight Walt. I just did criticize Bush, maybe not to the level you would like to hear, and therein demonstrates the maniacal obsession of Bush that the left harbors and WILL result in another defeat in '08.

As for "bashing the other team", guilty as charged.

And as for "lockstep tribalism" in the republican party. Let's look at just two issues:

There are many "pro-choice" Republicans. How many "pro-life" Democrats are there.

There are many Republicans critical of the war effort. How many pro-war Democrats are there, with the exception of Lieberman?

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK
I love when my name is hijacked in the name of liberal tolerance.

I see your handle being hijacked. I don't see it being done in the name of "liberal tolerance".

Even when you have a valid complaint, you have to ruin it by going on an inventing something.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin quotes Beinart: If historians say anything kind, it may be that you helped the Republican Party which benefited so shamefully from the civil rights backlash lay down the burden of race.

But Bush has done no such thing. Any historians who say that Bush "helped the Republican Party lay down the burden of race" would not be "saying something kind". They would be lying. Just ask John McCain's illegitimate black love child.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 5, 2006 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry cm, I just have to take exception to those who actually hijack handles of those they disagree with for purely personal reasons. If liberals want to be known for their tolerance and acceptance nature, they should demonstrate it.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, Jay my boy...

I view your journeyman-like efforts here with nothing but acceptnce and tolerence, assh*le!

Posted by: Keith G on April 5, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

My point exactly Keith. Thank you for stepping up to the plate.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

WAKE UP WHITE PEOPLE -- left leaning, right wing or otherwise! Bush and his kind have made FOOLS of you all -- BIG TIME. Bush, the illiterate, doesn't give a good GODDAMN about a legacy or enlightenment. Certainly he has only contempt for the views of future historians up in the sissy enclaves of Princeton, Harvard, or Yale.

If you focus on the real aims of his administration, BUSH IS ALREADY A RAVING SUCCESS!!!

The social conspiracy that propelled Bush to power has always had a single overriding aim: a massive transfer of wealth to the top! Propelled by the whirlwind of 9/11, the Bush elites used the politics of fear and ignorance to perpetuate the greatest bait and switch in the history of class struggle using the Iraq war and the tax code as the means.

Cui Bono, you WEAK SISTAHS?!? Exxon/Mobile! Cheney's Halliburton! daddy's Carlyle Group! Even Enron in its heyday (Bush largest contributor). The wealthy elites now pay less in taxes when they have to pay at all!

This little Texas hunting club conspiracy diabolically used Bush to literally step over the dead bodies at ground zero and exploit the fear of a nebulous terror (evil doers), fear of love (e.g. butt sex), fear of reason (Christ nuttiness), to rape the national treasury as it were a 2 dollar whore. Policies, issues, speeches, etc are just bullshit distractions to keep us chattering whilst the looting continues!

Believe it, QUICHE EATERS, these fat rats are now keen on just one thing: another terror strike to re-start the cycle. If Osama doesn't oblige, they will demonize Iran for the next war.

Gotta go, I'm wanted at a meeting in the west wing.

Posted by: Hotspur on April 5, 2006 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, ever hear of Harry Reid? Pro-life? When do you think the Republican Party will have a Senate leader who's pro-choice? Gotcha.

Posted by: walt on April 5, 2006 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK
Sorry cm, I just have to take exception to those who actually hijack handles of those they disagree with for purely personal reasons.

It really doesn't matter what you are taking exception to when you are lying when you do it.

If liberals want to be known for their tolerance and acceptance nature, they should demonstrate it.

For all we know, the apparent hijacker was you attempting to gain sympathy for yourself; and for all you know, it was another conservative feeding you.

And, even if it was a notional liberal, there is no evidence that it was a liberal who wants to be known for "tolerance and acceptance nature", nor is making a parody of your other postings in anyway inconsistent with the kind of tolerance for which those liberals who do embrace "tolerance" wish to be known, which is not the kind of moronic "all ideas, including the rejection of this idea, are equally valuable and worthy of respect" that conservatives like to pretend "tolerance" means.

Once again, it is a shame that even when you have a valid complaint underneath it all, you have to wrap it up in layers of lies, equivocation, unwarranted assumption and unjustified generalization.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

hotspur, the top 1% of wage earners pay over 34% of the tax base while many Americans (over 30%) pay no taxes at all. Sorry to clue you into the fact.

As for the rest of your rant, there are therapy groups and medication. I would suggest both.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

Moreover, the top 50% of wage earners pay 95% of the tax base.

And I am assuming you would like for them to pay more so that your medical bills will be paid, right?

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

They would be lying. Just ask John McCain's illegitimate black love child.

It's true. They were lying.

Posted by: John McCain's illegitimate black love child on April 5, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

cm, that was great liberal speak. The jest of what you said is that the liberals are for tolerance when they're not for it, and for that matter they may not need to be tolerant at all because of the fact that it may not be them who are intolerant.

"I voted for the war before I voted against it"

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm far too stupid to have read this poll:

Recently the South Dakota legislature passed a law that bans abortion in all cases other than to save the life of the mother. Would you support or oppose this law in the state where you live?"


Support Oppose Unsure

ALL reg. voters 35 59 6
Democrats 26 70 4
Republicans 49 47 4
Independents 32 58 11

and too dishonest to report it accurately if I did.

I have to go back to looking at pictures of Dubya in his army suit now. My heart just goes thumpety-thump. Why can't I quit him?

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Walt, I happen to live in Nevada, Harry Reid is not pro-life. Sorry.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, people. It's my fault he turned out this way.

Posted by: Jay's Mom on April 5, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I know all about therapy and medicine. The judge sentenced me to both when they caught be peeping in the boy's locker room at the elemetary school. Good times! I'm gonna vote Republican if the Governor restores my voting rights!

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

That poll just happened to prove that Democrats are more in lockstep than Republicans. Thank you so much whoever posted that.

Excuse me for a minute, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Brian Doyle deleted those emails I sent him.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

I wanna have Dubya's love child.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Every day when I get home from the special school, mommy dials my parole officer and I have to tell him where I am. I hate that.

Posted by: Jay on April 5, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, I am glad that my send up of your unnecessarily whiney post helps to feed whatever delusions you are hosting this week.

Rock on!!

Posted by: Keith G on April 5, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Jay. The Iraq war humiliated the liberals because people like Kerry supported it. Now it has also humiliated by republicans duped by the ingenious Chalabi. Now we can get rid of the conservative and liberals. Effectively, as both Clinton and this republican congress have proven, come to the same thing, greedy, cowardly and whipped by the media.

Posted by: exclab on April 5, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jay,

hotspur, the top 1% of wage earners pay over 34% of the tax base while many Americans (over 30%) pay no taxes at all. Sorry to clue you into the fact. . . . Moreover, the top 50% of wage earners pay 95% of the tax base.

According to the CBO in 2005, in 2001-2002:

The top 1% made 13.4% of the pre-tax income, 11.4% of after-tax income, and paid 21.1% of all federal taxes.

The bottom quintile earned 4.2% of the pre-tax income, 5.1% of after-tax income, and paid 0.9% percent of all federal taxes.

So you are incorrect in stating that the top 1% pay over 34%, and incorrect in stating that the bottom 30% pay no taxes. Likewise, you are incorrect in stating that the top 50% pay 95% of taxes.

Source.

On top of that, your "facts", in addition to being wrong, miss Hotspur's point that they pretend to rebut, which concerns the comparison of certain groups present tax rates to past tax rates for the same group, not simply the distribution of current taxes. The same CBO report has historical tables which might help evaluate those issues, too.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK
The jest of what you said is that the liberals are for tolerance when they're not for it, and for that matter they may not need to be tolerant at all because of the fact that it may not be them who are intolerant.

First, the word you are looking for is "gist". "Jest" is also a word, but it doesn't mean at all what you are saying here.

Second, no, that's neither the "gist" nor the "jest" of what I'm saying, though I should thank you for illustrating my point about your need to always invent positions for your opponents rather than dealing with their actual positions.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

I relish in the fact that the left continues to chalk Iraq up as a lost war, of course that is the only kind of war they are familiar with.

I guess if you don't count both World Wars--which, knowing what a moronic douchebag you are, you probably don't.

If Jay represents the average Republican drone, then I understand why we end up with George W. Bush. He's actually their intellectual superior. They also view him as some sort of brave warrior, who defended the Texas coast from Vietcong.

Posted by: haha on April 5, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Funny how intolerant Jay is of other pro-life citizens. Apparently Harry Reid doesn't pass his purity litmus test. Wonder why. I guess you have to be so ideologically RIGID to be a Republican in good standing that even a minor point of conscience is not allowed. But not all is lost. I'm sure the party of Falwell, Robertson, Dobson and DeLay will pray for those of us who yet to attain their degree of sanctity. Republican style!

Posted by: walt on April 5, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

You seem to be treating the fact of immigration itself as the problem, which I'd say requires at least some kind of arguments and, ideally, evidence.

You're being kind of vague.

We're talking illegal immigration, not just immigration. And the term defines itself as the problem. Almost all studies show that illegal immigrants impose a huge cost on our nation, above and beyond the level of their work and taxpaying. Most of this cost is highly localized in a few states, but that doesn't make it any better.

Illegal immigration costs the U.S. as much as $10 billion a year, and that takes into account the tax flow from them.

A combination of physical barriers, immigration cops on the border, and electronic surveillance would not be a problem, except politically. Even the extreme end of this solution, an Israel-style wall, would cost only about $4 billion if we use their cost-per-mile. Compare this to the costs incurred by illegal immigration. Even if you double one number, or halve the other, it doesn't take much time to balance it out.

That seems highly dependent on how you try #2.

Assuming we can control the influx to some extent, I suspect most reasonable people would have no problem with creating some kind of program, with specific requirements, to help legitimize people who have been here for some time or have extenuating circumstances like children born in the U.S. or citizen spouses. There may be other issues that would make a difference, too, like criminal records.

There isn't a "one size fits all" solution for illegals who are already here. Simply deporting them all is ludicrous, for many reasons. So is a blanket amnesty. This is why time needs to be taken on the second part.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 5, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Don't blame me for the mincing little bedwetter. I told his mother to get an abortion. Turned out she did.

Posted by: Jay's (best guess) Dad on April 5, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

On top of that, your "facts", in addition to being wrong, miss Hotspur's point that they pretend to rebut, which concerns the comparison of certain groups present tax rates to past tax rates for the same group, not simply the distribution of current taxes. The same CBO report has historical tables which might help evaluate those issues, too.

Thank you, cmdicely. Nicely stated.

Also, bush-cultist miss the point that the elites are using the deficit and the debt as if it were a trillon dollar American Express card in order to avoid budget realities and benefit their friends, I mean contributors, I mean bribers, at the same time.

They are even stealing from, on my lord, the UNBORN. Jesus!

The medication advice was useful, though, dearest Jay. I'm thinking exta sour (mean spirited) Martini's over at the Four Seasons. They're a lovely group to sit with. Just your kind of peeps, I'd imagine.

Posted by: Hotspur on April 5, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder where we could find a company with the logistical expertise, and proven track record to build such a secure wall?

Posted by: archrival on April 5, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

What strikes me as so typically confusing about Jay and Tboz's positions( and this confuses me even more considering Tboz's former views when recording with TLC) is how they can be in support of such an obvious attempt to impose a de facto tax increase on the middle class and especially on the wealthy. To cut off the supply of cheap lawn care, childcare and logistical aid to these households is a tax that is for most too much to bear. Adding insult to injury by charging them billions of dollars for a wall with very questionable costs, and unrealistic expectations is political self immolation. walls come down, remember Berlin. China. Remember the Alamo. You guys are dum as democrats

Posted by: AI on April 5, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK
You're being kind of vague.

No, you were being very vague. I was calling you on it.

We're talking illegal immigration, not just immigration.

Who is "we"? You didn't use the word "illegal" at all. You stated that "The immigration issue is straightforward" that the first step was to "Stop, or at least reduce, the incoming flow" and the second to " figure out how to deal with the people who are already here." Nowhere was anything specific to illegality mentioned.

And the term defines itself as the problem.

No, the term itself does not define the problem. The term "illegal immigration" defines a status. Establishing the parameters of the problems associated with that status requires a hell of a lot more than your casual handwaving, and determining a real solution requires consideration of the actual problems associated with that status, their drivers, and the costs and benefits of various alternatives to attempt to correct them.

Almost all studies show that illegal immigrants impose a huge cost on our nation, above and beyond the level of their work and taxpaying.

Even granting that that is the case, the specific nature of the problems, and the specific direct sources (is it illegality of status itself that causes the problem? Is it the number of immigrants? Is it language barriers? All of these -- and more -- play some factor in some of the problems, but the significance of the various drivers is important in considering any solution.)

Illegal immigration costs the U.S. as much as $10 billion a year, and that takes into account the tax flow from them.

"As much as X" means "an amount between 0 and X", it is important to keep in mind. And $10 billion is substantially less of an annual cost than income tax evasion -- the estimates I've seen most frequently on that are $70 to over $100 billion annually, with the IRS not committing, that I know, to much more specific than "tens of billions" -- or, e.g., insurance fraud. Yet for some reason, we don't see a major national initiative directed at either of those problems.

A combination of physical barriers, immigration cops on the border, and electronic surveillance would not be a problem, except politically.

Well, yes, as willingness to pay cost $X to get benefit Y is a political issue; what you haven't established is that the likely benefits in reduced net harms would outweigh the costs. Sure, its an issue of political will, what you haven't given any reason to believe is that the political will at issue is the absence of the political will to through money down a rathole.

Even the extreme end of this solution, an Israel-style wall, would cost only about $4 billion if we use their cost-per-mile.

Is this cost to build? Annual cost to maintain and enforce (a wall, by itself, doesn't stop anything, after all)? What? How much is whichever of these costs isn't represented? And why would we use Israeli cost per mile, when Israel has a very different economy than the US, particular as regards labor costs?

Compare this to the costs incurred by illegal immigration.

Something, per your statement, less than $10 billion annually...not leaving you a lot of room, especially considering:

Even if you double one number, or halve the other, it doesn't take much time to balance it out.

If you double your number for cost to $8 billion (perhaps reasonable as a cautious estimate, given the relative economic status of the two countries and the effect on labor costs), you are getting close to your break even point to your "as much as $10 billion" cost of illegal immigration, especially if that isn't the total cost of building, operating, and maintaining the boundary, and doesn't stop all the costs associated with illegal immigration (which, presumably, are largely a consequence of the illegals already here, which another policy with its own costs will have to address, rather than entirely dependent on the year-to-year inflow.)

Assuming we can control the influx to some extent, I suspect most reasonable people would have no problem with creating some kind of program, with specific requirements, to help legitimize people who have been here for some time or have extenuating circumstances like children born in the U.S. or citizen spouses. There may be other issues that would make a difference, too, like criminal records.

There isn't a "one size fits all" solution for illegals who are already here. Simply deporting them all is ludicrous, for many reasons. So is a blanket amnesty. This is why time needs to be taken on the second part.

Contrary to your blind faith in the Great Wall of America, there probably isn't a simple, cost effective, one-size fits all approach to limiting illegal crossings, either. Which is why more thought needs to go into that than you seem willing to put up with.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

you are getting close to your break even point to your "as much as $10 billion" cost of illegal immigration,

You may want to rethink this line of argument for the $10 billion figure that was offered was an annualized cost and shouldn't be compared to the one time construction cost of a wall. If you want to compare apples to apples, then compare the $10 billion to the annual maintanence costs of the wall.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 5, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK
You may want to rethink this line of argument for the $10 billion figure that was offered was an annualized cost and shouldn't be compared to the one time construction cost of a wall.

If the cost is the one time construction cost of the wall, then this is a valid argument. Which is why I asked what the cost he was using was (whether it was the construction or operation cost), and, after that, what the amount was for whichever component of the cost he had omitted.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 5, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

I was just wondering why we can't just let the market sort this out. Seems like that is the case with most Free-Trade issues. Where is that 10billion cost to the US that tbrosz was talking about come from. Not so much the source of the number, but where is the cost, lost tax revenue? Lost date money for all the kids in Orange County who lost their lawn mowing jobs to a bunch of mexican artful dodgers? So here's the question I never hear an answer to; Why is Illegal Immigration bad for the US?

Posted by: trollmatic 3000 on April 5, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

It's easy anyone caught hiring illegals get's an instant one way ticket to the country of origin of said illegal alien. No trial no nothing bye and ya can't come back

Posted by: Dirty white Boy on April 5, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Why is Illegal Immigration bad for the US?

Hmm...

10. Bad when it's Mexican. Good when it's Irish.
9. Bad when they attend your school. Good when they clean your house.
8. Bad when they are short, dark and family oriented. Good when they are tall, dark, soap opera pretty and sexually available.

. . .

. . .

Posted by: Hotspur on April 5, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Frequency!

Posted by: craigie on April 5, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Funny this happend in the same week

DHS Gets New Faith-Based Office

DHS Press Secretary Arrested on Child Seduction Charges

Posted by: geller on April 5, 2006 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

10. Bad when it's Mexican. Good when it's Irish

addendum - good when it's Mexicans cooking at your Irish pub. Senor O'Malleys, Garcia O'Briens, Pepe Murphy's Good Times my friends good times - except for that brief dust up during the 94 World Cup.

Posted by: Connemara on April 5, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

So here's the question I never hear an answer to; Why is Illegal Immigration bad for the US?

Turn your hearing aid back on.

Posted by: Myron on April 5, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

DBL sez, "I like Peter Beinart a lot but he's off base on this. President Bush is way out in front of a lot of people - in both the Democratic and Republican Parties - on immigration. What would be helpful would be for Peter to encourage those Democrats who basically agree with President Bush to lay aside their partisan agendas for 30 seconds and try to work out a bi-partisan plan."

In other words, you want the Democrats to support the President so the Republicans can show their independence and play to their base. Sounds like a losing proposition for the Democrats. The Dems should come up with their own solution.

Posted by: coldhotel on April 5, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah right.

Will he be saying that after we bomb Iran?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on April 5, 2006 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

You didn't use the word "illegal" at all.

You're right. I went back up to look, and I left it off, too. Sorry. I was addressing illegal immigration.

As someone already pointed out, the fence/wall costs are largely one-time. The costs of illegal immigration are constant.

The figures for the Israeli wall I worked out from the projected wall cost of about $1.4 billion, and a projected length of 400 miles. Obviously, these figures will probably go up, and I'm open for correction.

The proposed length of barrier in current proposals is about 700 miles (last I heard). The overall length of the border is about 1,900 miles. I think I originally split the difference, but if we go by this then the wall's construction cost is about $2.5 to $6.5 billion.

There are a number of variables: the type of barrier being constructed in Israel is quite formidable, and we probably don't need that kind of thing on most of the border. You are also right to point out that there are maintenance costs, and costs associated with additional border guards, which will always be important, wall or no wall.

The $10 billion came from the Center for Immigration Studies, and takes into account taxes paid. You will find some itemization here, too. This number can go all over the place. Some people include the cost of depressed wages, others don't. This source puts the cost at $9 billion a year for California alone, but that sounds a bit high to me.

The point is, that whatever the costs are, they are constant, and the barrier costs are largely front-loaded. At some point, two years, five years, ten years, you will be well past breakeven.

I emphasize that a barrier is not a solution by itself, any more than a bulletproof vest means you can wade happily into machinegun fire, but it will be a big factor.

Once we've tamped down the inflow, we can work with the people already here, and figure out if we need to adjust the legal Mexican immigration numbers. Someone used the motto: "Strong fence, big gates." Works for me.

Of course, the construction period will obviously generate increased border crossings. An up-front investment in a lot of border guards and more portable solutions will be called for, too, which will add to the total costs.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 5, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Cheap race baiting.

The problem is not race, the problem is numbers... and chaos.

Posted by: save_the_rustbelt on April 5, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Even if Republicans do hold Congress this fall, they will never again acquiesce to your wishes.

Beinart's living on a different planet than I am. The Republican's may be complaining about Bush, but aside from rejecting Harriet Miers and the Dubai ports deal, they've acquiesced to every half-witted plan Bush has pushed on them? They quashed any investigation on the NSA scandal, advocate legalizing any actions Bush might have done in violation of FISA and nod in agreement when he argues that the President is above the law in a time of war.

Lindsay Graham argued fiercely for rule of law and the Geneva conventions, then pushed an amendment stripping detainees of any rights under either civil law or law of war. Specter was outraged at the NSA violations, then stifled a thorough investigation and suggested passing a law to make it even easier for the president act without oversight.

The next real test of Congress's mettle will be the debate on Bush's nuclear deal India. If it passes, he will have single handedly ended the Non-Proliferation Treaty along with decades of international efforts to control the spread of nuclear weapons. If the Republicans reject that, I might agree with Beinart's argument.

Posted by: Mike on April 5, 2006 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

The point is, that whatever the costs are, they are constant, and the barrier costs are largely front-loaded. At some point, two years, five years, ten years, you will be well past breakeven.

Saving the expenses of funding medical care for illegals would likely pay for the cost:

Non-citizens are putting the hurt on our hospitals. A study by the Florida Hospital Association estimates that uninsured non-citizens cost the state's hospitals an average of $63,612 per patient last year.

The tab is rising as the number of immigrants continues to swell from coast to coast. The American Hospital Association reported that its member facilities provided $21 billion in uncompensated health-care services last year.

While not all those costs can be attributed to undocumented aliens, new Census data show that non-citizens are, by far, this country's largest group of uninsured residents 43 percent of the total.

Posted by: TangoMan on April 5, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

George would just answer, "Why not just stay in power? Not like history would reward a President who don't finish his term. Clinton only got welfare reform done. I got tax cuts, half of Iraq and Afghanistan."

Posted by: McA on April 5, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

One thing among many many things the ignorant Al doesn't know is that Lincoln won reelection as a member of the National Union Party. The Repub party didn't do jack shit for the slaves. And Lincoln's Republican Party is now the Democratic Party.
And when all of those pissed off Mexicans go to the polls this fall it won't be to vote Repub. chickenshit george bush fucks up everything he touches. And his "friend" Bandar Bush can't help him this time.

Posted by: merlallen on April 6, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

That TNR article included this sentence: "In 1988, George H. W. Bush made black rapist--and Massachusetts furlough recipient--Willie Horton into a household name."

For What it's worth, The Nation magazine published an article in the mid-1990s by said Mr. Horton, who said that his real name was William Horton and not Willie Horton; that the name "Willie" was used because of racist overtones, and that he was innocent of at least some if not all of the crimes for which he was incarcerated (I don't remember the details). This story didn't get picked up much by any other media, but people continue to speak of "Willie Horton" even though Mr. Horton says his name is William.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on April 6, 2006 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

So here's the question I never hear an answer to; Why is Illegal Immigration bad for the US?

Pro-life conservatives are afraid there would be too many new Americans if we legalized immigrants and gave them a path to citizenship (new life is only good up until the moment of birth).

Regular conservatives just don't like foreigners.

Posted by: moderleft on April 6, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of wars, the only wars we have ever lost have been to third world countries with a Pub president. Nixon cut and ran in Vietnam, and chickengeorge bush is leaving the disaster in Iraq for the next President. I plan to vote Pub in 08, just so a Democrat cant' be blamed for george's fuckup.
Oh, the pubs did win "wars" in Grenada and Panama. HAHAHA because they are good at beating up small, weak opponents.

Posted by: merlallen on April 6, 2006 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK


Why do I have a feeling that no one is going to propose this brand of enlightened capitulation to our commander in chief?

Why do I have a feeling that Peter Prime-Fighting-Age Beinart is never going to do the decent thing and enlist to help fight the war for which he was so adamant?

Posted by: marquer on April 6, 2006 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Data recovery is a huge business. And obviously there are just as many people needing this service

Posted by: 数据恢复 on April 6, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

marquer on April 6, 2006 at 12:45 AM |

You must understand Peter Beinart is a member of the 101st Keyboard Brigade. He's like a cheerleader--he doesn't get his hands dirty actually becoming in the things for which he leads cheers.

In many ways, he's like the Republican ChickenHawks.

Posted by: raj on April 6, 2006 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

So called immigration reform is this year's social security scare--something that Republicans use to get themselves riled up and righteous about while poll after poll shows that the American public places many other topics (e.g., war, terrorism, the economy) above it on the list of issues to confront. (Last figure I saw was only 4% of people polled put it at the top of the to-do list.)

A Senator Frist is as truly concerned about immigration reform as he was about social security funding...which is, not so much. I repeat, the Tancredo's of this world care a lot more about this than your average American.

When this one blows over, they will move on to their next false issue.

Posted by: Nash on April 6, 2006 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I hope you aren't capitulating to the phony anti-immigration is racism charge (which is still phony in logical principle even if x number of those opposed really are racists, as any cold-blooded logician knows.) Liberty also holds a book of law. We should not coddly those who walk into the USA knowing they didn't follow our procedures. Would you let someone settle in your yard at will, just because they wanted to? If not, you are a hypocrite to allow anyone to do the same to a nation.

PS: The law requires collecting SSNs or legit alternatives from workers anyway, so if we enforce such laws illegals have little or no motive to come here anyway. Would you suggest continuing to deliberately passing on enforcing laws mostly to help the business communtiy keep wages low? For shame, for any "progressive." Doing the bidding of the plutocracy through breaking the law is a Republican program.

Posted by: Gadfly on April 6, 2006 at 10:05 AM | PERMALINK

tbrosz wrote: "The point is, that whatever the costs are, they are constant, and the barrier costs are largely front-loaded. At some point, two years, five years, ten years, you will be well past breakeven."

Only if you assume that the wall and security procedures are 100% effective, which of course is not possible. You still have to allow for, say, 50% of the illegal immigrants to get through, which means that you have to factor those costs into the equation.

Posted by: PaulB on April 6, 2006 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and you also have to factor in that would-be immigrants will try new ways of entering the country, which means that the costs of trying to stop them aren't really fixed but are a moving target.

Posted by: PaulB on April 6, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

It would help if folks use words for the value in their meaning: "would-be immigrants will try new ways of entering the country..."

They're not immigrants. "Immigrants", under the law, are people who are on the path to citizenship. They are INVITED.

You're talking about folks who break the law as if there is no difference between them and "would-be immigrants" who have been invited by individual AMERICANS.

Why would you talk so foolishly, PaulB?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 6, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK
They're not immigrants.

Yeah, they are, if they enter with the intent to settle permanently:

immigrant (n.): 1. A person who leaves one country to settle permanently in another.

And, anyway, the phrase was "other would-be immigrants", which suggests they are people who "would-be" immigrants if they could, not necessarily people who are immigrants, so even by your tendentious definition, they are exactly what they were described as -- "other would-be immigrants".


"Immigrants", under the law, [...]

...clearly are not the people being discussed when discussing illegal immigrants who are, as the phrase suggests, immigrants outside the law.

Idiot.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 6, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- more proof there is nothing to be gained from treating Dice seriously. Words are meaningless to him -- and he wants to be a LAWYER, no less.

"Free your mind of cant. You may TALK as other people do, but strive to think clearly." -Samuel Johnson (author of the first English dictionary)

In some sense, anybody who comes from someplace else to live here, or there, is an "immigrant". But it's sorta confusing to talk of "immigrants" when somebody moves from Montana to Massachusetts. I once got damned near apoplectic with a scholar from the Brookings Institution cuz he insisted on calling people from Puerto Rico "immigrants", until I finally shouted at him: "They're CITIZENS."

But such distinctions are obviously lost on Dice. Moving from one country to another makes somebody an immigrant, Dice? How then do you distinguish between, say, the Wehrmacht in Poland in 1941, Khmers in Hong Kong in 1981, and Shalikashvili at the Pentagon in 1998?

An invader, a refugee, and a naturalized U.S. citizen: Dice couldn't fucking care less.

Under U.S. law, as noted, an "immigrant" is a foreigner who has been invited to live in the United States permanently under various provisions which provide legal permanent residence, denoted by their "immigrant" visa.

Folks who come here legally for various temporary reasons get "non-immigrant" visas.

Folks who come here illegally, or who have legal permission to remain for a time yet who stay past when they agreed to leave, are not "immigrants", if the words mean anything.

But, hey -- you can emulate Dice, and use dictionaries to leach the meanings from words.

It's worth repeating:

"Free your mind of cant. You may TALK as other people do, but strive to think clearly." -Samuel Johnson (author of the first English dictionary)

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 6, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you just love it when a wingnut simply cannot think of a substantive response, so they have to go into la-la land to avoid dealing with he point?

Here's a free clue, theAmericanist: you can replace "would-be immigrants" with any phrase you like and my point would be unaltered. Cmdicely was precisely correct; you're an idiot.

Posted by: PaulB on April 6, 2006 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

Mike Furir Mike 904

Posted by: Mike Furir 364 on April 8, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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