Michael Barone

May 2006

Another turn on the immigration issue

The Senate passed an immigration bill last week with border security, guest worker, and legalization provisions. Now the issue presumably goes to conference committee. But the initial word is that House Republicans, who passed a border security measure last December, are not inclined to go along.

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Here's a good job for Jeb Bush

Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas, who served as a top aide to Mack McLarty when McLarty was special envoy to the Americas during the Clinton administration, proposes in the Miami Herald that George W. Bush appoint his brother Jeb, the governor of Florida, to a position ...

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Official secrets

The Washington Post had a thoughtful editorial yesterday entitled "Official Secrets" and subtitled "Be careful what you read." The nub of the Post's argument is in this paragraph.

"The administration is seeking to convert a moribund World War I-era espionage law into an American version of Britain's ...

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Kudos for Nancy Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi deserves praise for depoliticizing the House ethics process. Yesterday Pelosi called for an ethics committee investigation of her Democratic colleague Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana, who has been accused of taking bribes.

Some Republicans will be inclined to ...

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George McGovern on the unions

Former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern has written an interesting column for the Los Angeles Times on unions.

He argues that the traditional labor union strategy of always seeking, in John L. Lewis's word, "more," is self-defeating. He points to the Delphi ...

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Time for good news

That's the theme of my column this week in U.S. News. It's based on two reports, the International Monetary Fund showing record world economic growth and the Human Security Center of the University of British Columbia showing that armed conflict in the world is at record lows.

Readers and viewers ...

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An end to the leftward trend in Latin America?

Here's an E-mail I received from pollster John Zogby on a poll showing Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe with a huge lead in his race for re-election:

"Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is leading his closest competitor by more than a 4-to-1 margin heading into the May 28 vote there, and appears ...

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Karl Rove speaks at AEI

I saw Karl Rove speak this morning at the American Enterprise Institute. The speech had been scheduled long before it was announced that George W. Bush would address the nation tonight on immigration, and Rove's prepared remarks were all about the economy. Here's a link to the video.

Rove started ...

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Some wise thoughts on Iran

Gerard Baker, in the Times of London, hashes over the question of whether the United States should respond to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's oddball letter by negotiating unilaterally with the Iranian regime.

That's the course advocated by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National ...

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Iraq metrics

Metrics—numbers—often help one to understand what's going on, particularly in a seemingly chaotic and certainly difficult situation like the one in Iraq.

So let me pass along the following metrics compiled by the Brookings Institution, which I haven't gone over thoroughly yet, and this posting from ...

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Democratic party philosophy

What should the Democratic Party stand for? It's not an easy question to answer. Forty years ago, it seemed natural for Democrats to stand for continuous expansion of the welfare state.

Now that doesn't seem like such a good idea. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan proved that history doesn't ...

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The latest on Hawaiian sovereignty

Now that doesn't seem like such a good idea. Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan proved that history doesn't always move left—and shouldn't.

Center-left leaders like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair have taken a different approach, with considerable political success; but they didn't seem to build ...

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In Monday's Wall Street Journal, Joel Millman has an excellent piece of analysis headlined, "Work in Progress: Prosperity in Home Countries May Not Stem Tide of Migrants to the U.S." His point is that, for a time, economic growth in countries like Mexico and Brazil tends to produce more immigrants.

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What makes vibrant cities grow

I usually don't follow the links in E-mails from PR folks, but I did follow one to this two-month-old article in the New York Times Magazine on urban economics Prof. Edward Glaeser.

It's larded with the usual left-wing pieties you expect in the NYT; the writer finds it hard to believe anyone would ...

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British Labor Party in turmoil

The lead political stories about the Labor Party discontent with Tony Blair in Britain are starting to read like the political stories about the Conservative Party discontent with Margaret Thatcher in late 1990. In the end, Thatcher, though she still had the support of a bare majority of ...

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The English local elections

Here, from the Times of London's ever perceptive Gerard Baker, is pretty much all you need to know about today's English local elections and the effect they might have on the tenure of Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Labor had a terrible day a week ago Wednesday when scandals of different sorts, which ...

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The numbers from Ohio

If there's any state the Republicans are in trouble in this year, it's Ohio. Incumbent Republican Gov. Bob Taft's job rating has been hovering in the teens.

Taft and other Republicans have had scandal problems. Control of Ohio state government tends to oscillate between the parties: From the ...

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To keep things in perspective

Read these two articles.

First, retired Gen. Robert Scales, a distinguished military historian, reminds us how a history of World War II published in Christmas 1944—that is, at about the same interval after Pearl Harbor that we now stand from the invasion of Iraq—would read.

It's a story of mistakes ...

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Democrats and the working class

Here's a paper, "The Trouble With Class-Interest Populism," written by labor economist Stephen Rose for the Progressive Policy Institute, the think tank connected to the moderate Democratic Leadership Council.

Rose addresses the What's the Matter With Kansas? argument that working-class whites have ...

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Happy 90th birthday, Bernard Lewis

Bernard Lewis, the great scholar of the Islamic Middle East, turns 90 this week. This article by Fouad Ajami in today's Wall Street Journal is a fine appreciation of Lewis and his work. I saw Lewis speaking last week at a lunch sponsored by the Pew Forum. He speaks, extemporaneously, in full ...

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