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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 20,560

Journal Archives

Be happy to. There is plenty more where these came from just don't tell the GOP.

They have a meme to stick to.

Cracking down harder on illegal immigrants (auditing "illegal employers")


Nobody has been fired from ROC Commercial Cleaning in Oakdale -- at least not yet. Since they got word that federal immigration officials are poring over the company's employment records, some janitors have simply quit.

His company is one of at least nine businesses across the Twin Cities undergoing a so-called immigration audit, part of the Obama administration's national crackdown on employers using undocumented workers. At least 2,000 people in the Twin Cities have lost their jobs in the last 18 months as a result of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) finding that they couldn't prove their eligibility to work in the United States.

The results of ICE's audits offer a warning to businesses, especially those using low-skill workers:

•The number of audits jumped more than 50 percent last year to about 2,200 from 1,444 in 2009.

Criminal arrests of employers have jumped 45 percent since 2008. Of the 196 employers arrested last year, 42 have been sent to prison so far, with sentences ranging from time served to 3 1/2 years. Many cases are pending.

A local union is calling the firings an attack on the immigrant community. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26 in St. Paul, which represents about 5,000 local janitors and maintenance staff, is holding a vigil Sunday at Incarnation Church in south Minneapolis.


Obama holds record for cracking down on employers who hire undocumented workers

Under Bush, workplace raids on factories and meatpacking plants received much attention. But after Obama took office, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled a new strategy and ditched the workplace raids, which also tended to punish employees, in favor of "paper raids" -- I-9 paperwork audits of employers to determine if they complied with employment eligibility verification laws.

The change was dramatic: the number of I-9 audits soared from 503 in 2008 to more than 8,000 in 2009.

Under Obama, ICE announced sanctions against major employers. That included a $1 million fine against Abercrombie and Fitch that grew out of an I-9 inspection and the termination of hundreds of workers at Chipotle restaurants.

In 2007, ICE arrested 92 employers, while in 2012 it arrested 240, according to ICE. Final orders -- rulings at the end of the case which show employers violated hiring rules -- also increased under Obama. In 2007, there were two final orders, while in 2012 there were 495.

Obama shifted away from Bush’s strategy of workplace raids and turned the focus on employers. Between 2008 and 2009, immigration audits soared from 503 to more than 8,000.


Last but not least here is the White House's own page on "Cracking Down on Employers Hiring Undocumented Workers"


U.S. deportations of immigrants reach record high in 2013


You can disparage polling organizations all you want. Are there ANY polls showing that Democratic

voters are not "slightly in favor of TPP"? Or that Democrats are not more supportive of TPP than republicans?


Initial TPP Ballot (of Democrats only)
Q7. From what you have heard, do you… President Obama's proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement?

Strongly support 20%
Somewhat support 31%
Somewhat oppose 10%
Strongly oppose 8%
Don't know 30%




Poll: conservative and moderate republicans oppose fast track (for the TPP) by a ratio of 85 percent or higher.

On the question of fast-track authority, 62 percent of respondent opposed the idea, with 43 percent “strongly” opposing it. Broken down by political affiliation, only Democrats that identify as “liberal” strongly favor the idea. Predictably, a strong Republican majority oppose giving the president such authority, with both conservative and moderates oppose it by a ratio of 85 percent or higher.


Krugman: "the right is arguing that Obama’s better recovery wasn’t really his doing." They lose.

There was almost no discussion of the economy in last night’s debate, which is actually weird if you consider the Republican self-image. These guys portray themselves as high priests of growth, the people who know how to bring prosperity. And remember all the crowing about how Obama was presiding over the worst recovery ever?

But now, not so much. The chart shows private-sector job gains after two recessions — the 2001 recession, and the 2007-2009 Great Recession — ended, in thousands. You can argue that the economy should have bounced back more strongly from the deeper slump; on the other hand, 2008 was a huge financial crisis, which tends to leave a bad hangover. Anyway, once the right is arguing that Obama’s better recovery wasn’t really his doing, it has already lost the argument.

Now, am I claiming that Obama caused all that job creation? No — policy was pretty much hamstrung from 2010 on. But the right confidently predicted that Obama’s policies, especially his “job-killing” health reform, would, well, kill jobs; as Matt O’Brien notes, The Donald confidently predicted that unemployment would go above 9 percent. None of that happened — nor did any of the other predicted Obama disasters.

Recovery should have been much faster, and I believe that there is still more slack than the unemployment rate suggests. But if President Romney were presiding over this economy, Republicans would be hailing it as the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Instead, they’re trying to talk about something else.


Dr. K calling republicans out again.

What would Trump do? UK Guardian: Build walls, tax imports, "kick" China and Mexico.

The one-time Apprentice host might find that things will begin to get a bit more difficult, however, now that he has to articulate his actual policies. So far we’ve heard that he’ll bring back jobs. That he’ll put up walls. That he’ll take down China and make America great and do a super cool spinning karate kick.

Well, one thing is that he would tax other countries. All of them. But especially Mexico and China, for whom he reserves particular venom. As MSNBC has reported, Trump has promised to get rid of corporate taxes and replace them with a 20% tax on imports and a 15% tax on companies which outsource. There’s only one problem: that would be illegal.

What else? China. Trump likes to talk about China. It’s his thing. In July he told a crowd in New Hampshire that the country would be in for it under a Trump presidency. “Oh, would China be in trouble. The poor Chinese.”

Specifically, the business mogul has said he will “bring back our jobs” from China. (And Mexico and Japan, but mainly China.) He has said the country has stolen US jobs through currency manipulation – a common claim, if an unproven one; the Chinese yuan has actually strengthened against the dollar in the last decade. He has not specified exactly how to bring the jobs back ...


Aside from getting rid of corporate taxes, all of his policy ideas seem to involve going after other countries in order to solve our problems. A touch of xenophobia never hurt anyone with the republican base. All of his ideas seem a lot like those of the republicans of the 1920's - less immigration, higher tariffs, lower taxes on corporations and the rich, etc.

And the fact that his policies would illegal probably matters little to him and their base, since they would only be 'illegal' according to international law and agreements - which mean little to them.

Krugman: Wall Street Now Hates Democrats (including you-know-who)

Over at Vox, Jonathan Allen notes that Hillary Clinton, sometimes derided on the left as doing Wall Street’s bidding, is actually getting a lot less Wall Street money than people think. Allen notes that during her husband’s administration Clinton was known for her relative antipathy toward financial types, which may be part of the story. But you should also put this in the context of finance’s hard turn against Democrats in general. In 2004, facing an election whose outcome was uncertain, finance and insurance split its donations almost equally between the parties; in 2012 it gave well over twice as much to Republicans as to Democrats.

The reason is, of course, financial reform. Anyone who tells you that reform was meaningless and that there’s no difference between the parties should follow the money, which thinks that there is a big difference indeed.


Not only "passed with a veto-proof majority"; Truman vetoed it then the "Republican dominated

Congress" passed it over his veto.

You are right. Unions cannot regain the health they had under FDR, or the relative health they now have in Europe and other developed countries, with Taft-Hartley restrictions, including 'right-to-work' laws, in effect.

Krugman: The EU may have been a great idea. The euro, not so much.

Annoying Euro Apologetics

Yes, I’m a dumb uncouth economist, completely unaware of the role of politics and international strategy in policy decisions, who never heard of the European project and its origins in the effort to put Europe’s legacy of war behind it, not to mention strengthen democracy in the Cold War.

Well, actually I do know all about that. The point, however, is that while the European project has at every stage combined economic objectives with broader political goals – it’s about peace and democracy through integration and prosperity – the project can’t be expected to work unless the economic measures are a good idea in and of themselves, or at least a non-catastrophic idea. What happened in the march to the euro was that European elites, in love with the symbolism of a single currency, closed their minds to warnings that currency union – unlike the removal of trade barriers – was at best ambiguous in its economic logic, and arguably, even ex ante, a very bad idea indeed.

After that slump, Finland experienced a long stretch of solid economic growth. But so did Sweden, and it’s hard to see any real difference in their degrees of success. There’s certainly nothing there to indicate that euro membership was crucial to growth. Since 2008, on the other hand, Sweden has – despite bobbling its monetary policy – done much better.

As I said, maybe there are good arguments against the proposition that the euro was a mistake. But pointing out that politics matters, and economies grow, doesn’t cut it; these aren’t the factoids you’re looking for.


Pew Poll: Iran Nuclear Agreement Meets With Public Skepticism. Large partisan divide.

Among those who are familiar with the agreement, three-quarters of Republicans (75%) disapprove of it, while just 14% approve. Opposition is particularly pronounced among conservative Republicans, with 82% disapproving of the agreement. Among moderate and liberal Republicans a smaller majority (58%) disapproves.

Democratic support for the agreement outweighs opposition by more than two-to-one (59% approve, 25% disapprove). And liberal Democrats are particularly supportive: 74% approve of the deal. Conservative and moderate Democrats who are familiar with the agreement support it by a considerably narrower margin (48% approve, 33% disapprove).

Most Americans Continue to Say Diplomacy is Best Way to Ensure Peace

In general, the public continues to say that good diplomacy, rather than military strength, is the best way to ensure peace. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) say good diplomacy is the best way to ensure peace; 30% say the best way to ensure peace is through military strength. These views have changed only modestly since the question was first asked two decades ago.

There continue to be wide partisan and ideological divides on this question: While 72% of Democrats (including 81% of liberal Democrats) say that good diplomacy provides the best path to peace, Republicans are more likely to say military might, rather than diplomacy, is the best way to ensure peace (49% vs. 36%).


I found some Krugman articles that dispel the "it was all the tech bubble" that caused the boom

in wages and employment during the Clinton years.

Clinton derangement syndrome

In my previous post I used the example of Clinton-era growth to argue that even growth in the mid-3s wouldn’t be enough to bring unemployment down anywhere near quickly enough. And sure enough, many of the comments are along the lines of “Clinton doesn’t deserve credit for the growth” or “It was all the tech bubble.”

Um, I never claimed that it was all Clinton’s achievement. Nor did what I said have anything to do with the sources of the growth (it wasn’t all a bubble, but that’s another issue). I used the Clinton year because they offer a useful example of what growth at the kind of rate we just saw in the 3rd quarter means for employment.

Yes, I had a parenthetical aside about Clinton-era growth being faster than most people realize. So?

But I guess I sort of expected this. Even now, any mention of anything good that happened between the end of 1992 and the beginning of 2001 is like waving a red flag. Amazing.


Clinton presided over eight years of job growth, with job growth at roughly equal rates in the first and second halves of that eight-year period, and the internet bubble inflated only in the second half.

Yes, dotcoms went to ridiculous levels — but people weren’t borrowing vast amounts to buy them, so there wasn’t a deleveraging crisis when the bubble burst.

The point here is that while there was irrational exuberance in the 1990s, the Clinton-era expansion wasn’t fundamentally unsound the way the expansion of 2003-2007 — the “Bush boom” — was.


I’m old enough to remember the cries of doom when Clinton pushed through an increase in top tax rates. If you were reading the WSJ editorial page, or Forbes, or listening to Newt Gingrich, you knew that it was time to sell all your stocks and wait for the depression.

And Obama, of course, was bringing on hyperinflationary collapse with his health reform and tax hikes at the top.

Needless to say, none of it happened; what the Democratic booms show is that you can strengthen the safety net and raise taxes on the wealthy without causing economic disaster.

If politics made any sense, Democrats would be celebrating Clinton in the way Republicans celebrate the blessed Ronald, and they’d be hailing Obama as Saint Bill’s second coming.


Is Donald Trump the New Ross Perot? Or the Next Pat Buchanan?

Who are these Trump backers? As the accompanying table shows, they are disproportionately white. Favorable views of Trump among African Americans are minimal, and Hispanic boosters are at a higher level than blacks but well below that of whites. Older voters (those age 65 and over) undoubtedly form his core; in fact, the 65+ group is the only age cohort to view him favorably, 59% to 39%, virtually the opposite view of all other age groups. Trump has particularly little appeal among younger, more diverse voters: 20% of those under 30 rate Trump favorably (versus 60% unfavorably). Trump also fares somewhat better with men than women, and those with lower incomes ($40,000 and less).

How does the Trump profile compare to Ross Perot ...? ... there are significant similarities in the support profile of Trump and Perot, as shown in Table 2. Perot’s vote was disproportionately white, male, and Republican or Independent. However, there is one notable difference: Perot fared best not with the oldest cohort but with voters between 25-29 years, and more generally with voters under 50 — not the retirees attracted to Trump.

The other modern candidate bearing some resemblance to Trump also comes from 1992. Populist conservative Pat Buchanan challenged President Bush in the Republican primaries, and ran fairly strongly in the New Hampshire primary (37% to Bush’s 53%). ... Buchanan trailed Bush 18% to 77% nationally among Republicans; still, the former Richard Nixon aide and TV personality ran better with men, younger voters, and those with less than a high school education (and presumably, those with lower incomes).

It’s easy to conclude that Donald Trump isn’t going to help the GOP’s image with Hispanics and many swing voters, but it’s also impossible to know how much Trump will actually injure the Republican brand in this cycle. How long will he stick around? If Trump drops out before the voting begins in early 2016, or even midway through the primary season, voters will have many months to forget and move on. Yet Trump could stick it out, get his slice of votes all the way to June, and deliver a raucous, memorable address to a huge TV audience at the national convention. In the short term, Trump takes up a huge amount of media oxygen. There’s only so much coverage to go around, and if television segments and news stories continue to focus on Trump, that’s airtime that candidates with less name recognition — like Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, John Kasich, and many others — are not getting.

In the worst nightmare for the eventual Republican nominee, Trump might run as an independent in November once the primary process has concluded. “Sore-loser” laws that exist in 44 states do not generally apply to presidential candidates, and even in the few cases where they do, a court challenge by Trump might well be successful. In part, this is because the “candidates” on the ballot in a general election for president are the electors, not the politicians to whom the electors are pledged.

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