Damn. The President has done it twice in the past few weeks. He’s showing a new side of him and I like it very much.

Last night he announced a series of executive actions that “will shield up to five million people from deportation and allow many to work legally, although it offers no path to citizenship”, to quote from the New York Times.

It bothers me very much that the US, a nation of immigrants, a place where many (most?) new businesses are started by immigrants or the children of immigrants, a country that has historically welcomed others with open arms, has become closed minded when it comes to the issue of immigration. We have given a lot of time and money, and airtime here at AVC, in support of immigration reform and I have come to understand that the issue is hostage to the politics of our two main parties.

The Democrats want to remain the party of the immigrant and have been pushing for “comprehensive immigration reform” in search of a big win for its constituents. The Republicans don’t want to let tens of millions of likely Democratic voters into the voting booths in the coming years and have been against any path to citizenship and the voting booth. Both positions are understandable and rational in the context of politics. But caught in the middle are tens of millions of people who are in our country, have been in our country for a long time, and who provide much of the foundation of the hard work that gets done every day. This is not right. We must change it.

And so the President has thrown down the gauntlet and said “I’m going to do what must be done, regardless of whether you like it or not, and I have the legal right to do it.” Is this politically motivated. Hell yes. Is it the right thing to do. Hell yes. Now it is time for the Republicans to do the right thing to. Because they really have no choice.

Every once in a while good politics results in good policy. This is one of those times. Thanks Mr President.


Comments (Archived):

  1. David Semeria

    I agree with the intention, but I’m not sure the USA should be ruled by decree.

    1. fredwilson

      he said repeatedly “pass a law”this is really about forcing their land

      1. Avi Deitcher

        Fred, if something requires a law, but the law isn’t passed, the executive doesn’t get to do something unilaterally. The US is a nation of laws. Forget if the *policy* is correct or not; that is a very important political debate. But the process here is dangerous, and probably unconstitutional.

        1. Avi Deitcher

          To add: many people feel the top 1% are undertaxed; others feel they are overtaxed. If the next President spent 3 years goading Congress to change it, and when they refused – reflecting the will of the people – would you be OK if s/he said, “I told them to pass a law, they didn’t, so I myself am hereby declaring that everyone who makes >$100,000/year must pay 95% tax on every dollar above $100k”?

          1. Avi Deitcher

            Or if the next one said, “I didn’t like what Pres. Obama did, so as of now, every illegal immigrant must be dumped in the middle of the ocean with a life raft and 1 gallon of water.”?

          2. David Semeria

            Hey Avi, allow me to introduce you to the EDIT button, I believe you two have not met 😉

          3. Avi Deitcher

            LOL! Sometimes it is easier to just hit “Reply”.Must be a legacy of being old enough to have grown up on mail and then email, not Facebook, where there was no “edit after send”. But just for you, I edited this one! 🙂

          4. David Semeria


          5. fredwilson

            That’s a ridiculous comparison

          6. Avi Deitcher

            Why? At heart, it is the same principle: there is a law, and changing that law requires an act of Congress signed by a President. If the President wants to change the law, convince Congress directly, or using the bully pulpit to get the people to convince Congress.The executive does not change law on his own.

          7. Mike O'Horo

            Everyone conveniently ignores that Obama has exercised his executive order authority with far less frequency than did both Bushes, Reagan, and many other presidents. It seems that actions by Obama that are similar to those of his predecessors are somehow outrageous. That smacks of an ad hominem basis for all the indignation.All those crying, “the rule of law is absolute” ignore the fact that what becomes law is increasingly the result of economic power brought to bear on the electoral process. If we had publicly-financed elections, with stringent enough spending caps that precluded the advertising deluge so common now, we might just end up with a) a campaign based on ideas, not attack ads, and b) an elected Congress not beholden to those who financed them. It would be interesting to see what became law under those circumstances. We might even discover a hint of conscience and humanity in the Congress. Would that it were true.

          8. MikeSchinkel

            Oh my. I’m doubt a rational argument will win you any points here Mike. 😉

          9. Ted Rogers

            it’s an extreme example but it’s not at all a ridiculous comparison. “I said pass a law and they didn’t” as a justification for legislating from the executive branch is dangerous. my guess is you won’t feel so good about it when a conservative president uses the same argument. btw — this guy (Obama) thought it was a bad idea until a few weeks ago (“I am not a king.”)

          10. Avi Deitcher

            That’s my point, thank you, Ted. It is different areas, but the principle of Congress legislates and President executes is the same.

          11. MikeSchinkel

            No need to reshare that video on (almost) every post. By now we’ve seen it. 😉

          12. Ted Rogers

            it’s just amazing — and devastating — to have the President making a clear and compelling case, multiple times, against the position he took last night.

          13. pointsnfigures

            It’s not so ridiculous. The concentration of Executive power by Presidents is dangerous to a democratic society. Why? The bureaucracy. It’s impossible to fight.Here is a different comparison; A President signs an executive action allowing telco providers to keep their monopoly because it’s good for national security.

          14. SubstrateUndertow

            95% are you sure 95% ?

          15. MikeSchinkel

            Reductio Ad Absurdum. Google it.

        2. fredwilson

          Wrong. Executive order is a long held practice in the US.

          1. Avi Deitcher

            Within certain clear parameters, and always to enforce the will of the law. Never to go against it.I am very mixed about the policy on this – as apparently are most here – but the rule of law is the only thing that keeps us from descent into anarchy or tyranny.The ends do not justify the means.

          2. MikeSchinkel

            > “Always to enforce the will of the law”Are you sure about that? Have you reviewed all ~7500 of them to verify?P.S. I learned something new today. Didn’t know laws had a “will.” Next thing you know I’m going to learn that, like corporations, laws are people too! 😉

          3. Ted Rogers

            God help us

          4. SubstrateUndertow

            Who’s side is God on here ?If you flip the P in GOP in two dimensions you get the GOd party, coincidence ? You tell me 🙂

          5. christopolis

            He also sent Japanese to internment camps.

          6. andyswan

            “America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that. That’s part of my job. But I can advocate for changes in the law so that we have a country that is both respectful of the law but also continues to be a great nation of immigrants. … With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …. [W]e’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”Guess who said that?

          7. sachmo

            The President has broad discretion in enforcing those laws however.

          8. pointsnfigures

            Correct. But Bush went further than any other President, and Obama has gone further. I don’t like it. Even if I agreed with the policy, I’d be pretty uncomfortable with it.

          9. vadimoss

            and Obama is not the one who issued the most of the executive orders.To those who claim Obama “abuses” his power let’s stick to the statistics showing the number of exec orders for every president starting from Roosevelt ( Source:… )Franklin D. Roosevelt3,522Harry S. Truman907Dwight D. Eisenhower484John F. Kennedy214Lyndon B. Johnson325Richard Nixon346Gerald R. Ford169Jimmy Carter320Ronald Reagan381George H.W. Bush166Bill Clinton364George W. Bush291Barack Obama (as of 2014-11-21)[11]194

          10. SubstrateUndertow

            Stop with the political metricsnobody wants to measure political reality :-)And we have a winner !By this metric the best president is Gerald R. Ford 🙂

          11. pointsnfigures

            Kennedy didn’t serve a full term, neither did Gerald Ford. Probably shouldn’t be used in any arithmetic average. Roosevelt and Truman also were elected in times of war (at least Truman’s first short term), so probably not great comparisons. It’s also not necessarily the amount of orders, but the language contained in them as well.

        3. SubstrateUndertow

          There is no new law being made here.There is just a temporary reprieve/redirection of deportation enforcement priorities as a stop-gap holding-pattern in wait of a more permanent legal solution from a GOP formulated bill.

          1. MikeSchinkel

            Stops with the facts. It might discredit an otherwise brilliant bit of propaganda.

      2. JamesHRH

        If you believe he is tactically driven here, I will give him the benefit of the doubt.It doesn’t come across that way.

      3. David Semeria

        That’s a good point Fred.

    2. Avi Deitcher

      I am sure it should not.

  2. Tom Labus

    As President Obama mentioned las.night other presidents have done the same thing. That includes Reagan and Bush 41. To almost the exact percent of people affected. He also has said repeatedly to Congress “Pass a Law”

    1. calhou

      No. None of the others used executive decree to grant amnesty. Congress passed a law first after much negotiation that the president executed. Very different scenario.

      1. SubstrateUndertow

        executive decree to grant amnestyThere is no “amnesty” being granted here just a temporary reprieve from deportation as a stop-gap holding-pattern in wait of a more permanent solution from a GOP formulated bill.

        1. calhou

          The temporary reprieve will rapidly become permanent. That is how liberals in general and Obama in particular works. It is just a “small,” or “temporary” measure…….it is really no big deal………and then it continues on. He knows that once granted, it is effectively done.

    2. Tom Labus

      Yes, read some history

      1. Ted Rogers

        No. read some history read the Constitution and Federalist Papers while you’re at it.

  3. William Mougayar

    I’m going to stay out of this debate as a non-American, but I agree that Obama has been quite assertive lately, with the Internet Freedom and Immigration. Many things come in three’s. I wonder what’s next.

    1. Salt Shaker

      Well, impeachment proceedings for starters. The bar has been raised, yet again.

      1. pointsnfigures

        no way. impeachment would be totally stupid and a waste of time. I dislike Obama but would never go for impeachment for his actions so far in office.

        1. Salt Shaker

          Don’t disagree at all…But you watch, it’s (sadly) coming. A “waste of time” is hardly a deterrent in today’s ego driven congressional world. Who can shout the loudest often trumps policy. Some headline grabbing pol will initiate.

          1. SubstrateUndertow

            Should make for great spectacle-driven political theatre. That sadly is what makes American politics so riveting to us outsiders !

        2. MikeSchinkel

          I think we’d be better off if we could impeach all of Congress for wasting time on political grandstanding…

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      There are only two generic types of observers.One is on the inside blinded by internal biases.The other is on the outside blinded by lack of integral perspective.I admire you discipline even as I fail to meet your standard which I do agree is the best practice :-0

  4. andyswan

    Open borders combined with welfare state is literally insane.One can be pro-immigrant without supporting royal decree that thwarts the constitutional role of the legislature. I know I am. Actually, a vast majority of Americans are.Again, another “brave stance” he wasn’t willing to take before the votes were cast.What a joke.

    1. Avi Deitcher

      @andyswan, you are discussing the policy. I think this would be a good discussion to have… if and when the proper legislative channels are used. But now there is a bigger issue: abuse of power.

      1. MikeSchinkel

        How exactly is this an abuse of power?

        1. andyswan

          According to Obama himself:“America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that. That’s part of my job. But I can advocate for changes in the law so that we have a country that is both respectful of the law but also continues to be a great nation of immigrants. … With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …. [W]e’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”

          1. MikeSchinkel

            You view that as “Abuse of Power”, I view it as reconsidering his prior position. But neither of us can be vindicated in our views unless and until the SCOTUS makes a ruling. Until then let’s just agree to disagree in regards to our respective opinions.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Nice quote! Of course, the chances of it becoming real are another matter!

          3. sachmo

            The Supreme Court grants “broad discretion exercised by immigration officials” is “[a] principal feature of the removal system.” Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492, 2499 (2012).In other words, well rooted precedent to exercise discretion in enforcement of law.

    2. fredwilson

      Don’t call him a joke Andy. That’s not nice and not true. It upsets me that you are so hostile to the man. He deserves better from you and the other Obama haters here at AVC

      1. andyswan

        I didn’t call him a joke. Don’t put words in my mouth Fred.The idea that this was a brave stance is a joke.The idea that he can wait 6 years of Presidency, but not 6 weeks until newly elected congress is sworn in is a joke.The idea that the executive has the authority to do this BECAUSE of congressional inaction is a joke.

        1. fredwilson

          that is how it reads. that is how i interpreted it.

          1. andyswan

            Consider yourself corrected. I have never called President Obama anything derogatory, nor do I hate him.If vehement disagreement with policy is now a personal attack then I’m afraid we are all going to lose half of our friends.

          2. fredwilson

            i am tempted to close the comments here at AVCi am just sick and tired of this shit

          3. lonnylot

            :(I don’t always converse on AVC, but when I do I enjoy the thought provoking conversation.

          4. fredwilson

            yeah, but when i veers into name calling and hatred, i just can’t take it

          5. David A. Frankel

            I totally agree with Fred. I honestly believe what we are seeing here in these comments is a microcosm of what has most contributed to the appalling state of dysfunction of our country. On every social media platform to which I belong, people post comments with such vitriol that they would never exhibit in person and with little consequence. Conversation quickly devolves from intelligent debate into disrespectful hatred. As a result, nothing constructive gets accomplished other than polarizing people on issues.

          6. JAJones

            Totally agree on this point. Although this site is more civil and respectful relatively speaking compared to others. Read a post on NPR about the immigration reform last night and had to stop after two comments…couldn’t take the hatred.

          7. Anne Libby

            I haven’t looked at WSJ online (or my bschool Linked In group) for years because of the ugliness of unmoderated discussion.

          8. karen

            Where’s the vitriol here? Not seeing it.Interesting convo

          9. David A. Frankel

            Thankfully, there is not much….right now. But descriptors like calling people a “piece of sh*t” or people/situations “a joke” (as mentioned in previous comments) just incite vitriolic responses. I think Fred was seeing the potential for the convo to get ugly and was calling it out.

          10. MikeSchinkel

            Well said David.

          11. JamesHRH

            David, there is no way to find a singular interpretation of the phrase ‘What a joke.’ as a direct insult of the President. It is logically impossible.

          12. David A. Frankel

            Perhaps, but what constructive value did it provide to the point being made? All it did was de-value Andy’s position and incite a response from Fred that may have been festering from other negative, inflammatory comments he had been reading to his post and elsewhere.My point: we have become so comfortable with the ease and speed of social media for communication that we forget that the written word comes without the intangibles that go with verbal communication. If we want more civil conversation online, perhaps we should think more about how our posts may be perceived after we hit “send” than the speed in which we send them.

          13. MikeSchinkel

            Why can’t I upvote your comment times 100?

          14. JamesHRH

            What a Joke is uncivil or Fred’s interpretation overly sensitive is the choice here.I think Fred is an all time human, but ‘What a joke’ is at the Mary Tyler Moore end of the Offensive Exhortation Spectrum!

          15. ShanaC

            this. I think this happens because it is hard to see real people at the other end.

          16. andyswan

            I say “what a joke” literally every day. “They won’t let you bring that cup in here”…. “what a joke”. “Your trade was rejected because we haven’t processed the portfolio margin agreement”… “what a joke.”Give me a break. If that’s “hatred” we are far more wussified than I even imagined.

          17. Pete Griffiths

            I agree.

          18. ShanaC

            Maybe we should have the “what do we actually agree on” conversation in politics. Might be enlghtening

          19. lonnylot

            I understand that. Two interesting things I’ve noticed about online discussions:1) People vote on comments and not discussions2) Everyone is in a different mood and no one is aware of it

          20. lonnylot

            BTW – I said ‘I understand that’ instead of ‘I agree’ b/c I know that depending on my mood I tend to veer into name calling sometimes…or ranting…I try to fight it, but I’m only human 🙂

          21. curtissumpter

            Fred you have a point on immigration. Don’t let people who curse in posts get to you. Just don’t respond or delete the comment. It’s your blog.But my question is for the startup community, is having a new employee for 29 months really of any value to you?

          22. JamesHRH

            Is it a good idea to have the President of the USA publicly place a huge amount of his personal political capital into a policy that sets the precedent that you will get away with not following the rules?That’s rhetorical, just to be clear.

          23. sachmo

            This is such a silly argument.To follow the rules to the letter would mean to deport 5 million people, which is impossible and impractical. To do anything else is to reward ‘not following the rules’.The policy that Republicans will pass next year will I guarantee you, reward ‘not following the rules’. They are pissed, because he beat them to the punch, because they’ve been sitting on a bill for 18 months.

          24. andyswan

            LOL. Certainly within your rights to do so, but I’d advise two nights of sleep and a relaxing cigar/bourbon combo before making such an “executive action”…I guess all politics is personal after all. I can go away if you’d like it better that way.

          25. Dave W Baldwin

            If I may, both sides are at fault on this one. The Republicans (those who want attention) are taking the bait.The President would have shown more class if he would have called in the leadership of Congress and said to Pelosi, Boehner, Reid and McConnell, “the people have voted and your roles are about to change, however, for now, let’s say you are equal.” Then go into the fact that there is no way we will round up that many illegal immigrants and it is time to start a new program.The mess related to those that have come in plus those that think they will have free passage are the fault of the administration. The lack of a coherent plan from the opposition that understands the reality related to the millions already here, but just want to enforce the laws moving forward is on the Republican side.So now we have a generated crisis that will not be solved.

          26. Dave Pinsen

            The rounding up everyone bit is a straw man, since no one in power is advocating it. With the weak economy and the decline in construction jobs after the housing bust, many illegal aliens deported themselves. We were close to zero net migration from Mexico and points south before Obama sparked the current wave of minors with his DACA act.There are coherent plans on the right. They involve enforcing immigration laws on the books to discourage continued illegal immigration. Obama’s tack has been to cause a crisis by systematically not enforcing laws, and then blame the GOP for not agreeing to weaken the laws themselves.

          27. Dave W Baldwin

            Then it is a matter of doing statement that makes sense. Speaker Boehner is a good man, but communicatiing to public at large isn’t his stronge suit.

          28. sachmo

            How has he systematically not enforced laws? To my knowledge he’s seriously beefed up borders.As for deportations, you’d need 5 FBIs to deal with the quantity of illegal immigrants in the country. It’s not practical to deport that many people. Short of deportation, it doesn’t make sense to have a law that makes it illegal to have these people here, and then pretend that they are not, when millions are living in the border.What is the cogent plan on the Right that deals with the reality that deportation is simply not a reality?

          29. Dave Pinsen

            He’s systematically not enforcing the laws now. And he hasn’t “seriously beefed up the borders” at all:…The cogent plan is to, for starters, enforce our current immigration laws. Make employers use e-verify, and impose stiff fines on those that hire illegals.Cut off federal aid to “sanctuary cities” like New York, that refuse to help enforce immigration laws.Also, end birthright citizenship, to eliminate birth tourism and remove an incentive for illegals to have children here to get access to government benefits.Finally, provide some positive incentives for illegals to voluntarily leave. Give them free plane tickets home (to avoid dangerous overland trips) and have some cash waiting for them at the US consulate when they get home – a few hundred dollars, maybe. Not enough to pay a coyote to get back here.

          30. ShanaC

            this assumes all illegal immigrants are in fact hispanic. I know at least one that is russian. Many in this area are chinese. I don’t know what the exact breakdown of the enicity of illegal immigrants are, since there is actually many types of illegal immigration, but can we at least not assume that all illegal immigrants are hispanic

          31. Dave Pinsen

            I am aware that there are non-Hispanic illegal immigrants. Chinese are particularly prominent in birth tourism:

          32. ShanaC

            I’m having a long night and I want people to be more explicit when talking to each other. If it takes two pages, I don’t care anymore, just anything to make people less angry sounding

          33. Dave Pinsen

            Hang in there, Shana. Fred should give you bonus pay for political points.

          34. ShanaC

            I just think we should have a long discussion like we’re all five about how to talk about complicated stuff like politics because it seems like in the past 2-3 years we’ve started to scream at each other like 5 year olds for no reason. And it not moving the country forward….

          35. Dave Pinsen

            When there are significant, substantive disagreements, you get some heated discussions. But one of the unique and special things about this blog is that you have civil discussions between people who disagree on political issues. Having those discussions at all is pretty rare. The comment threads on political blogs tend to be pretty segregated: conservatives comment on conservative blogs, and liberals comment on liberal blogs. Preaching to the choir.

          36. ShanaC

            I realize that, but I’m actually thinking people are talking past each other. Having a discussion about how to have a discussion about difficult conversations may be useful to move everyone past this point (and may engender better conversations about the normal shop talk)

          37. Dave Pinsen

            You should take a stab at expanding that idea into a blog post.

          38. ShanaC

            if fred lets, I’m game.

          39. MikeSchinkel

            I for one would be really excited to see some objective ground rules laid down, it they were administered evenly.And I’d be happier to follow them than I am with the current free-form condescension.Maybe you could post the rules and for those who violate you could punish them with a good de-voweling! :)…

          40. ShanaC

            I think it would have to be communal decided rules. And I’m not here all day. I have a life.

          41. MikeSchinkel

            I think I can speak for (some) others here in that we definitely hope you do have a life.Unfortunately ,for that past 48 hours given all your comments on this post it seems like you might not be taking advantage of that life to the fullest extend possible. :)So, in case it wasn’t clear, “you” can be correctly used to refer to a group of people and not just one. Which was how I was using that word, as in “…you (that are moderating and/or might want to moderate)…”

          42. Pete Griffiths

            You’re wasting your time. Just relax unless it gets truly ugly. This is nothing.

          43. ShanaC

            have i? people are now willing to at least sort of consider the idea of talking about how to talk

          44. ShanaC

            yes, but that doesn’t mean we should devolve either.

          45. sachmo

            1) The borders are more secure.”From 2005 to 2009, the number of people entering the U.S. illegally declined by nearly 67%, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, from 850,000 yearly average in the early 2000s to 300,000.”Actual illegal immigration has been cut in half since Obama took office. The article you cited did not contest this point.2) DeportationsI’ll concede that Obama may not be enforcing deportations as strongly as stated – but even if he were deporting 250k ppl per year, it would still be ridiculous to try and deport the full 12 million or so illegals living here. Not to mention that this would break up families whose children are US citizens, which is in no way desireable.3) E-verify has expanded hugely under Obama”Employer enrollment in E-Verify, which allows employers to verify electronically that an employee is eligible to work in the U.S., has more than doubled since January 2009, with more than 416,000 participating companies representing more than 1.2 million hiring sites. More than 20 million queries were processed in FY 2012. Thus far in FY 2013, over 4.8 million queries have been run through the system.”4) End birthright citizenship?!And replace it with what? Race? Blood platelets? That’s nonsense.

          46. Dave Pinsen

            1) Fewer illegal immigrants came during those years because of the weak economy, particularly the housing bust, which dried up construction jobs. Not because the borders were more secure.4) Replace it with the sort of common sense citizenship policies most other advanced countries have. For example, instead of just being born here by someone who came here 8 months pregnant to have an American baby, require at least one parent to be a legal resident who has been here 5 or more years.

          47. sachmo

            1) That’s what you *think*. But very difficult to credibly argue that the borders are less secure when less illegal people are coming over, and we have doubled the number of guards and invested hundreds of millions in border security.I don’t really see how you can argue this point at all. At the very least in the future quality your “borders are not secure argument” with “but actual illegal immigration was cut in half for economic reasons” otherwise you are spouting nonsense.4) We can agree to disagree on this since its essentially an opinion as to what constitutes an American citizen. I think being born on US soil makes a lot of sense.

          48. Dave Pinsen

            1) The weak economy, the housing bust, and the resulting drying up of construction jobs are not just “what I think”, but things that actually happened. Before DACA and the illegal immigration surge that followed it, the reports were that we were approaching net zero illegal immigration, with the weak economy being the initial impetus for that. See, for example, this article from the C.S. Monitor:…4) The birthright citizen law was designed to ensure citizenship for freed slaves, not to facilitate Chinese birth tourism (e.g.,… ), which I don’t think makes a lot of sense.

          49. sachmo

            1) They spend hundreds of millions on the border, they double or triple border agents, but you are arguing that this had NO EFFECT on border security. And this is despite illegal immigration declining by more than half.Even if you think the recession caused illegal immigration to decline, the economy was booming by 2013, and illegal immigration still declined. So yes, this is what you personally think.I don’t see how you can credibly argue that Obama has not made the border more secure when:a) hundreds of millions of dollars spent on technology, more border agents, etc.b) economy IS booming again, so recession effect out of play.c) net illegal immigration cut in half.Hmm, must have been God or something.4) This is pointless argument because it comes down to opinions about what it means to be American.But in my humble opinion, if you are born on US soil, grow up here, fight for US armies, work for US business, by and large experience your life here, you should be a US citizen regardless of where your parent came from.

          50. Dave Pinsen

            1) You cited a study by the Pew Hispanic Center about the decline in net illegal immigration from 2005-2009.2) I noted the impact of the weak economy, and the housing bust in particular, during that time period.3) You respond by talking about the “booming” economy in 2013 (such a great economic boom, by the way, that Americans’ median annual income is down $2,600 since 2007, and household net worth is down 36% over the last 10 years.… )4) But in my humble opinion, if you are born on US soil, grow up here, fight for US armies, work for US business, by and large experience your life here, you should be a US citizen regardless of where your parent came from.I don’t disagree with you on that. I disagree with you that you should automatically become an American citizen just because you were born here, because that leads to current problems I’ve mentioned here such as birth tourism and anchor babies.

          51. sachmo

            With regards to border…You are corrected that the pew study I cited only covered 05 to 09, but it’s easy enough to take a look at 2013. Numerous articles put rough estimates between 300k and 400k immigrants.Here’s one such report:…At 400k immigrants crossings, this is still LESS THAN HALF of what it was just a few years earlier. The border is more secure than it was.And the US economy was growing about 2-3% per quarter during this time period. So sure, it’s not 2007 levels. But US economy growing, more job opportunities, certainly more incentive for immigrants to cross border… but still nowhere near crossings 6 years ago. The reason is because of improved border security.

          52. Dave Pinsen

            2%-3% economic growth, with the average American 36% poorer than 10 years before, ain’t exactly Morning in America.

          53. sachmo

            Ok, sure.But your original argument that the border is not more secure is wrong by all accounts. It is. Illegal immigration has been cut in half since Obama took office.

          54. Dave Pinsen

            Perhaps, but it seems to have spiked since 2012.

          55. sachmo

            Sure, but I am still correct in the original argument.The border is more secure than it was before Obama took office – FACT.Illegal immigration is roughly half of what it was since Obama took office – FACT.

          56. Dave Pinsen

            And FACT – we went from ~0 net illegal immigration in 2012 to an immigration crisis this year, in part due to Obama’s policies (DACA, reuniting unaccompanied minors with their illegal alien parents, hinting at the broader amnesty he just dictated, etc.).

          57. sachmo

            NOT FACT. you need to define ‘crisis’.My facts have an actual basis in objective numbers. Yours are based on subjective reasoning.

          58. Dave Pinsen

            Yeah, must just be my “subjective reasoning”. Bing only shows 2.18 million hits for “unaccompanied minors crisis”:…

          59. sachmo

            Sure and typing “obamacare drops insured” into google search will also turn up about 2.1 million results. and it doesn’t prove anything.I’ve gone through the trouble of defining what makes a border secure and citing actual evidence that illegal border crossings dropped. You need to do the same and first define what an immigration crisis is otherwise you are just talking to yourself.

          60. sachmo

            You are grasping at straws here. For the purpose of a debate between 2 people of different viewpoints, I’m asking you to define objective what you mean by immigration crisis.this would be important to determine if in fact there was a crisis by an agreed upon definition.If you’re not willing to define what you mean, there’s not point in us debating it.

          61. MikeSchinkel

            What do you attribute the fact that people are 36% poorer than they were 10 years ago?

          62. ShanaC

            ok, whats “the right” and “the left” because otherwise we’re all just yelling more

          63. sachmo

            The Republican party is the Right.

          64. sigmaalgebra

            > Then go into the fact that there is no way we will round up that many illegal immigrants and it is time to start a new program.Ike did it, as I recall, 1+ million, easily. For a reference, see my long post below.

          65. Dave W Baldwin

            Hmm? I’m not arguing on that point. This has been done before. The President is playing politics just like the Tea Party. No more, no less.

          66. sachmo

            “The President would have shown more class if he would have called in the leadership of Congress and said to Pelosi, Boehner, Reid and McConnell, “the people have voted and your roles are about to change, however, for now, let’s say you are equal.”This was already passed in the Senate. They’ve had the ability to pass this for 18 months in the House. The President has reached out many times to Republican leadership on this. They even used this as an issue in the midterms. It seems the height of hypocrasy to finally complain when he takes action.I think enough is enough.

          67. Dave W Baldwin

            Well, the way it works is the House passes something then they get with Senate to iron out differences. So it isn’t that simple plus we are heading to new session where the side who passed their bill were clobbered by the side who ran on it.

          68. sachmo

            The House could have passed a much more conservative version of dealing with the problem. They had the ability to do this, the Dems would have gone along with it, and through reconciliation they would have merged the two bills.They didn’t to have talking points for the midterm elections. I agree that Obama’s timing is suspect. But at the end of the day, people need to just start DOING things to address problems. Obama’s solution is a more liberal solution that basically grants amnesty to people here longer than 5 years. The Republicans could have and should have come up with something else 18 months ago. Basically what I’m saying is that they dropped the ball and shouldn’t complain when the president takes action.

          69. Dave W Baldwin

            You have a point, yet the turmoil is two sided and my original point is the President could have shown more class.

          70. jason wright

            please don’t do that fred.people need to be seen for what they. what they write is what they think.

          71. PhilipSugar

            Fred, you know when you do a political post you are going to get 300+ posts, many of which are vitriolic. It happens every time. I love looking at comments early over a cup of coffee but whenever I see a political one, I wait till around lunch (I am waiting on a cc) and then look at the fireworks as amusement.

          72. ShanaC


          73. Dave Pinsen

            I just told a few folks on Twitter that you welcome dissenting views on your blog. I’ve always respected that about you. I hope you keep doing that.

          74. JamesHRH

            As we say in Canada, I am gonna take my puck and go home!I am impressed that you have resisted the urge – its against your stated principles regarding conflict of ideas.There is too much disagreement on the facts in political life – people are so ideological that they argue everything & it becomes senseless.Any Venn diagram of my political views and Andy’s would have a crescent moon, sliver shaped overlap…..but today he is right on the button, logically.The precedent is dangerous.These 5M people get to break the rules and be rewarded.This issue is a bear trap, no doubt about it.

          75. sachmo

            And how would you deal with the issue… deport them all? Leave the US born children behind parentless? Ignore negative impact to GDP.These people didn’t all get here during the Obama administration, he’s dealing with a problem that has been brewing for some time. Obama action is common sense. It’s impossible and not practical to deport all of these people.

          76. JamesHRH

            First post of the day – its insoluble.But having the President pardon 5M queue jumpers just can’t be the best plan.

          77. sachmo

            If you don’t have a credible alternative, you’re arguing for the status quo.The status quo is worse than the Obama plan. It’s complete uncertainty for both the immigrants, the goverment, and the businesses here.

          78. JamesHRH

            Let’s see – you step outside the system, roll the dice on things working out, someone hires you knowing you are outside the system, so they step outside there with you……..couple decades of uncertainty sounds about right.These people win the moment the children are born as US citizens.You want to clean this up – change that rule and deport them all. then crack the whip on Immigration to get those people back legally.The likelihood of any American political person having those kind of stone is, well, zero.So, status quo it is.

          79. sachmo

            I think changing the birthright law is extreme.At that point it really depends on what you think it means to be an American. I think a child born on US Soil is American. period. They grow up here, they fight in our armies, they work for us companies, they experience their entire life (usually) as an American – why the heck wouldn’t these kids get citizenship…?What are you going to do instead? Measure blood platelets or something? Its ripe for disaster.I think the Obama executive order is a step above the status quo because in the case of the immigrants with US children they can come out of the shadows.Their civic participation can result in a lot of things. In many cases, these parents can get involved at their local schools and actually change the trajectory of their children’s path by demanding a better education from the local school boards. They can also pay into our tax system, and legitimately start businesses.And these people would be here anyway under the status quo.For the people that don’t have kids and are not here for 5 years… Deportation.So I think it’s a reasonable patch until Congress actually does something.

          80. MickSavant

            Fred, I am usually a lurker and lover of this blog. By the time I get to it someone smarter has already beaten me to the punch and articulated what I said in a better way than I could. Every now and then I just pipe up to add support.Your post here compelled me to comment, because it is the most disturbing post I have ever read on your blog, by a wide margin.Firstly, it is hypocritical because you have, in times of passion, made similar statements as @andyswan about other politicians.It is antithetical to the idea of an open and free debateIt is inaccurate in it’s assertion that people like @JLM that vehemently disagree with you, and the president in this case, are full of vitriol and hate.Personally I do not find the contents of the president’s executive order to be objectionable, except for that they do not address any of the myriads of issues we face with immigration reform. It is not nearly enough.But I am deeply disturbed by the mechanism and politics behind his approach. It directly undermines sensible restraint he has shown previously and just furthers the consolidation of power at the executive level. His approach and his policies failed at the ballot box, so rather than working with the newly elected congress he has decided to violate the constitution (including his own interpretation of it) and the will of the American people.@andyswan was correct to call this maneuver a joke. It is not brave at all. And you insult people who disagree with you by limiting their input to reflexive hate or vitriol towards the president.

          81. ShanaC

            Don’t take this the wrong way:You’re really polite in describing how you feel about the joke part. I really appreciate that.Politics posts get out of control because people tend to describe things in succinct directions and like attacking each other. They also tend to be close to how people self describe. People take things as personal, because of self-sorting issues. Everyone has a level of reflexive hate in politics at this point from self-sorting. Basic mutual assumptions are almost never shared. (actually, I wonder what would be shared assumptions)While politics and attacks tend to have high engagement (I actually can prove that with math too) – they tend to probably destroy community structure over the long term (less provable, but, got to wonder with self sorting structures in poli-sci) and not allow for other politer arguments in other, more direct parts of this blog. It’s a problem. I can’t force people to like/respect each other for the other stuff as much. Nor can fred, nor can anyone. It has to come from within everyone here. It indirectly could create other problems as well for engagement questions on the site (like politic discussions/communal receptiveness to someone starting a company discussion as a turnoff for someone who has no idea what is going on)cc:@andyswan:disqus @fredwilson:disqus

          82. MickSavant

            For sure political discussion is going to get more engagement (like me today, who doesn’t post all that often). Politics draws more people to the blog, and often some of those drawn in are trolls or people that stop by just to engage in a political debate and then disappear.The part that concerns me is that I don’t find what @JLM:disqus or @andyswan:disqus to be of that tone. These guys (and others) have been commenting on this blog since I started reading. JLM has done a guest post!What concerns me is the attitude that if one disagrees with a policy stance they are misquoted, their views are ignored, and in an ad hominem way accused of being motivated by hate. When @fredwilson:disqus does this and then dabbles with the idea of shutting down discussion it is bothersome to say the least.I don’t know if like JLM or Andyswan claim that Obama is the worst president of our time, or the worst liar. For one I have only been of voting age for the last two. I can say that for myself that Obama is the worst president since Bush, and the worse liar since Bush. They both seem pretty bad, and maybe they seem worse than the rest because they are more recent.Saying that you don’t trust the president, factually pointing out lies (there are entire blogs and media outlets dedicated to this) does not mean you hate the president.Saying you disagree with either the policy impacts or the manner in which Obama has gone about his executive order does not mean you hate the president.Immigration reform is a complex issue. The policy implications are far reaching, way beyond deporting and breaking up families. Andyswan brings up a legitimate point: if we have open borders and welcoming welfare why wouldn’t everyone in the third world immigrate to the USA? Why should Mexicans enjoy a benefit over Africans or Asians that don’t share a border?Fred states that the Democrats want to be the party of immigrants–but this is just not true. The truth is much more nuanced than that. MANY democrats want exactly nothing to be done about immigration because it has impacts on their organized labor backers. Yes, if immigrants are allowed legal status, welcomed into higher paying minimum wage jobs, offered generous welfare benefits, and given the ability to vote (many of them illegally, without voter ID laws) then of course they would welcome these immigrants. Is that a good thing for the country? A large block of new voters brought here by the promise of free lunch?Obama had two years of a majority in the house and senate and they couldn’t draft a bill, or avoided it based on politics. Why is this move now considered brave? Being brave would be encouraging a bipartisan, comprehensive reform, where both parties put their necks on the line, piss off their constituencies, but take us to a better place. This has just set up the Democrats to scare latino voters that electing a Republican could change policy via executive order. Good luck getting folks out of the shadows with that message.Don’t get me wrong, the Republicans have been just as bad. But the blog post stated that Obama was brave and Democrats were “pro immigrant”. Just because Fred doesn’t like that people disagree with him is no reason to shut down reasoned debate.

          83. ShanaC

            I am specifically going to not talk about the politics of this.again: if this is largely about self sorting identity issues, as many academics thinks, the obviously the other side is trollish no matter what. You’re attacking something core about the person because we’ve all already self-sorted.This creates a larger of communal issues for the site. Just because people have self sorted for thing a (politics) does not mean they self sort about thing b(venture capital, what shampoo to use, some other thing) If something in thing b is valuable (being able to friendly argue about venture capital and tech), shutting down (a) or highly limiting the structure of a to create a certain vibe may be worth it because you actually can drive people away in the long term. You can hurt their core identity if you aren’t careful, which is why this all seems so out of control.@fredwilson:disqus @andyswan:disqus @wmoug:disqus @JLM:disqus @ccrystle:disqus (because I like you all, and there is political diversity)

          84. MickSavant

            Are you suggesting that any disagreement that involves politics is by its very nature “trollish” and ad hominem? Or that by their nature they are necessarily perceived as such?Where is that line drawn? I accept the thesis as it relates to certain party politics. For some people their party identification is most certainly as identifying as their gender, race, or religious beliefs. But there is a vast and increasing group of individuals who self identify as independent–I think @fredwilson is one but I am not sure . Or are you saying this applies at a policy by policy level?What happens when politics (as it so often does) crosses paths with VC and tech? Are you suggesting we abandon debate, or that we just get comfortable with seemingly reasonable people taking offense and suggesting shutting down debate over seemingly reasonable differences? I guess I am not sure what point you are trying to make.I’d like to suggest a third route: that people carefully write and carefully read. That people take into context, especially for long time members of the community for which there is ample context to apply, into consideration before taking offense. Perhaps engage and ask questions about the substance of what someone is saying, and try to reframe it into the context of the blog such as VC and tech. Ask about how VC and tech might hinder or facilitate policies, suggest an alternative approach. In the very least, where you find yourself disagreeing on fundamental, but reasonable grounds, just acknowledge that this is where you have reached, that you have arrived at a philosophical impasse. Reasonable person understands how other reasonable person arrives at said conclusion, but reasonable people are free to disagree and pivot the discussion to other areas to explore.Just because studies show that some adults struggle to act like adults when discussing politics is not a reason to join them in their actions or stifle debate.

          85. ShanaC

            I don’t have the authority to stifle debate here. I do have the authority as a random person to point out that political debates are burning people badly in terms of cross community goodwill, and you have to know where your communal cards are.If we want people to read very carefully before arguing and not use certain terms because they actually really attack the person and not what the person said, or also they tend to get misread and trigger fights, that needs to be part of the communal goodwill rules more explicitly, especially because this issue is somehow a self-identity issue, so everyone is even more sensitive than they are when someone debates. Reading and listening has to matter more to a cross section of people with different self sorts of identities here and be enforced by a cross section with different self sorts by choice, otherwise, you’ll get a cross section of everyone acting like a troll. Self policing works way better than policing policing.If we all are acting like trolls and can’t self police, then yeah, we’re all trolls. And no, moderators are not here to break up 500 comment* barfights. (even if we try sometimes) Because seriously, I personally can’t force people to listen, read, and ask polite questions, fred can’t force people to listen, read, and ask polite questions, no one can force people to listen, read, and ask polite questions. Not the way the world works. (If it were, I promise I would have had a radially different childhood)Literally everyone has to be part of the yellow and red carding, otherwise there are going to be 500 comments (we’re going to get more), some of which will get deleted because someone at some point realizes s/he said something inflammatory to someone that his/her grandmother would be horrified to see how it was phrased. (aka my opinion of what i’m observing on the late shift)Should is not an is. And if people cant do a should, then something will give, and dear lord i hope it is not the community.*It is going to get longer than 500 comments.

          86. MickSavant

            haha yes it will get over 500 comments. Let’s not call that a bad thing, let’s just change the direction of it.I see your point on everyone being a referee and committing fouls at the same time. No I do not have a good way to implement that, so maybe it was a tad idealistic.No, Fred can’t force people to listen. But he can lead by example. My main beef was that Fred personally was engaging in that, and then talking about shutting down debate. All I saw in that was personal bias. I was asking him not to shut down debate, and not to view people who disagreed with him as hating Obama–and even if they did–to address the merits of their arguments not the personal politics aspects of it.I don’t think avoiding politics is a good idea, because it is relevant to VC and tech. Look at the cool exchange that happened with Mark Cuban the other day. That was fascinating. And it all started with Fred taking a shot at one politician and praising another. Yes, it is going to stir the pot, but I don’t see a perfect solution but rather a series of tradeoffs. I will take cool exchanges such as the Cuban/Wilson exchange + people being sensitive and ornery over no discussion at all.

          87. ShanaC

            Well, yes he can, but its a lot easier in tech discussion because there is definitely less of a self sorting/self-identity issue going into it rom the start. Way easier to be polite.It isn’t enough though. Realistically, you got to get lots of people involved.

          88. sachmo

            But we don’t have open borders. And people that come aren’t granted amnesty, they’d still be deported.The policy would only affect people that have been here for 5 years.And the Senate passed a bill on immigration, we’ve been waiting 18 months for a Republican controlled house to pass its counterpart which they haven’t done to simply have a talking point against Obama for doing nothing. And then he finally does something and they complain some more.I think the action was brave, because he had been planning this for about a month or so, and took the action anyway, even though he is firmly opposed in both the House and Senate.The frustration that I think Fred feels, and I share it at times, is the seeming willful ignorance or mischaracterization on actions taken by Obama. To clarify I don’t think he’s the best president or even top 10 in US history. But I think he’s a good one and doesn’t get credit for good policies he’s passed.

          89. MickSavant

            Thanks for commenting. I think it is important to ensure that we do not conflate two different topics (and I am probably guilty of conflating the two in my posts):1. agreeing with the content of Obama’s pending executive order in substance/outcome or mechanismand2. the notion that disagreeing with Obama’s recent executive action generally, and specifically for some commenters, is motivated by or equivalent to “hate” of the president.Most of your reply seems to deal with the first, so I will start there. * I agree that we do not have open borders, though if we leave semantics aside we clearly have very porous borders, to the extend that we may as well have open borders. Regardless, there is clearly a benefit afforded to folks attempting to enter the USA illegally via Mexico vs. other nations. We are granting certain rights to these individuals that are not afforded to other foreigners that do not benefit from geographical privilege.* you are correct to call out republicans on not voting on the Senate bill. They should have called for a vote and voted it down. They did not, specifically to avoid ads during the midterm elections run by Democrats that accused them of being anti-immigration reform. But this is politics; I suspect the democrats specifically designed the senate bill to be so objectionable that republicans could not vote for it. I doubt either party *really* wants comprehensive immigration reform; they’d rather put forth bitter pills that neither would swallow for political reasons. Evidence for this? There was no immigration reform when Bush had a supermajority, and there was no immigration reform when Obama had a supermajority. * it is fine if you think the action was brave. I do not think it was brave. It factually runs counter to numerous statements Obama made previously about the limits of his authority. It’s timing reflects a combative approach to working with the newly elected republican senate and house majority. But this is a matter of opinion on both of our parts.* No one is “mischaracterizing” Obama. These are by definition opinions because none of us can know his (or anyone’s) true intentions. It can be frustrating when people disagree with or make assumptions about politicians you agree with. That is not an excuse to accuse said individuals of being motivated by “hate” of the president, and this is the main point I was trying to get across…Which brings us to #2. Immigration reform is a complex issue. If it were simple someone(s) would have figured it out decades ago. Generally speaking, politicians have played small ball and kicked the can down the road and the problem has gotten worse. What we are seeing today, by both the current lame duck congress and president is no different. On both sides it is small ball political posturing. It isn’t brave, it isn’t effective, and it isn’t a one party problem. Maybe people on either side will disagree with me. But I think it devalues the discussion to do what Fred did and accuse those that disagree with Obama (either in substance or his chosen mechanism) of Obama-hating. The idea of disabling comments over that was particularly disturbing to me.

          90. sachmo

            I think your stance is generally reasonable and makes sense, so I’m not going to address every single point.But I do disagree on one issue. I do think that there is a real vitriol or Obama hate at the highest level of the Republican party, and I don’t think it’s entirely based just on his policy.As you seem to have a clearer picture of what his policy is, I think it’s reasonable to call Obama a ‘Center-Left’ President. What’s surprising is that even on a lot of policies where Obama is relatively centrist (this one I believe) Republicans continue to take deep offense almost to the point of ridiculousness.I’m sorry but I don’t think this devalues the discussion, I think it’s got to be a part of it.

          91. MickSavant

            It is one thing to accuse individuals, particularly the highest levels of the Republican party, of hate. It is another not to address their position on its merits. Maybe they hate Obama. Maybe Obama hates them. Maybe Obama hates math. It’s all speculative because we cannot know what these individuals think.Let me approach it with an example from both sides. Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich and republicans want to cut taxes. If you go the motive route you can say both:* Obama wants to raise taxes on the rich because he1. hates rich people2. is a socialist3. wants to give benefits to low income people to buy votesor*Republicans want to cut taxes because1. tax cuts benefit the rich who pay taxes republicans and the rich have republicans in their pocket2. republicans hate poor people 3. the Koch brothers told them toIt’s all speculative, and it distracts us from the merits of the policy. It takes the debate to something personal vs. a legitimate discussion regarding:* what the optimal tax rate is to maximize gov’t revenue* the morality of taking from some to give to others* where our tax dollars go (defense, education, welfare, entitlements, farm bills etc)* what is “fair” in terms of how we tax and how much we tax* the tradeoffs of higher/lower taxes/growth… that’s just to name a few, and even with those there are nobel award winers that disagree! Those are tough questions, but we don’t even get to have them when we boil down the discussion to motive and ad hominem. And that is what Fred did when he accused people that disagreed with him of “hating” Obama. It’s just not useful to a serious debate.

          92. sachmo

            How is this a consolidation of executive power?The Supreme Court grants “broad discretion exercised by immigration officials” is “[a] principal feature of the removal system.” Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492, 2499 (2012).There’s no serious legal expert that questions the president’s ability to pass this through executive order.Moreover, there is historical precedent.In the 1930s Hoover (disastrously I may add) enacted a much further reaching policy that attempted to slash immigration to stabilize American jobs during the depression. It affect many more than 5 million immigrants.I do actually have an issue with executive consolidation of power, and am extremely opposed to NSA wiretapping, and certain actions taken by the Dept. of Homeland Security. But this is not an example of Presidential abuse by a long shot.

          93. MickSavant

            I think we have common ground on NSA, homeland security, and other actions taken by presidents.As far as legal scholars, I will nominate only one to prove a point: President Barack Obama. The president himself has stated many times that he did not have the authority to take such actions as he is taking. He did not mince words; he used words like emperor, “I can’t do it on my own”, and crucially “that I can suspend deportations through executive order: that is just not the case”. Politifact has called him out on this. Whether or not the action is legal/constitutional or not is going to be up to the courts, but for sure it is a complete 180 from his many previous statements. In the very least this calls into question his timing.I am not versed enough in the law nor history to agree or disagree with you regarding historical precedent. These are complex issues that will likely (hopefully not, if congress supersedes Obama with a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2015) have to be dealt with by the courts. I will say that there is a “precedent” for many executive actions that would be quite disturbing today: Lincoln suspended habeas corpus and Roosevelt interned Japanese citizens. Legal or not (I suspect not) it is still disturbing. The trend since at least GWB has been a dramatic expansion of executive power and I think all Americans should be weary of that.

          94. sachmo

            So I think it’s fair to point out that his timing is suspect and he may be announcing this now to ‘throw an egg’ at the Republicans. Fair and valid point. And sure, he may have even flip flopped.But where I draw the line is when the argument is made that he is exceeding the constitutional powers of the presidency – which you may not be arguing, but which is certainly being argued (very frivolously) by high ranking members of the Republican party. He’s well within his rights to enforce immigration policy as he announced the other day.Let’s save that card for the stuff that matters like NSA wiretapping, Dept. of Homeland Security, accountability for drone strikes – for which I’d agree, even historical precedents don’t make these REAL abuses of power right.

          95. MikeSchinkel

            Close comments on a post-by-post basis. Close comments on political posts like this one in advance, and set a rule that says no grandstanding on politics or be banned. JMTCW.

          96. ShanaC

            I’m ok with this plan

          97. Gyi Tsakalakis

            For the very little that it may be worth, please don’t.

          98. Roxanne

            A “nice” person is one who conforms his behavior to what he believes society sees as “nice.” A “kind” person doesn’t necessarily care about what “society” thinks of him; he acts out of a deep-rooted love for his fellow living beings.So concede on the nice, but not on the kind.

          99. Dave Pinsen

            Fred, shouldn’t you be more concerned with the precedent Obama set here? Consider the possibility that we have another republican president in the future. How would you feel if he used executive orders to, say, restrict access to abortion? Or curtail affirmative action? How would you feel if he did that after his views were repudiated at the ballot box?

          100. JamesHRH

            C’mon, Fred – it reads ambiguously.”What” can me the person, the policy or the whole issue.Don’t go looking to be offended – great saloons are populated with thick skinned, passionate, intelligent and articulate people.

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          That authority is not based on congressional inaction that inaction is just the motivating trigger.You know that very well because you can clearly parse logical relationships.As a mater of practical reality the GOP has all the power it needs to settle the whole issue by passing their own version of immigration reform at anytime.The real GOP issue is ????????

          1. andyswan

            They aren’t in power yet, they get sworn in in Jan

          2. sachmo

            Dude, they’ve controlled the house for the entire 18 months since the Senate bill was passed. They’ve had the ability to pass whatever they wanted, and just spent the time bitching about Obama not doing anything instead. Now he does something and they get pissed off. They have 0 credibility on this.

          3. andyswan

            They didn’t want to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants. That’s why they didn’t pass it. They don’t HAVE to pass anything…that’s how it works

          4. sachmo

            Your stance doesn’t make any sense.They are hiding their heads in the sand, ignoring that there is a problem and doing nothing about it. They complain that Obama also does nothing.Obama does something. They bitch some more.Unless the House was or is planning to pass a Deportation Bill, they are retarded and have 0 credibility.Something needs to be done to address the immigrant problem that already exists. If the house doesn’t do it, then let the president deal with it.

        3. sachmo

          It’s been 18 months, not 6 years, since the Senate passed an immigration bill.Why would he wait? The republicans have controlled the house in that entire time and have done nothing, why would they actually do anything now?And they were the same people getting up and complaining just a couple months ago in the run up to the midterms that he’s not doing anything.They’ll bitch if he doesn’t do anything. They’ll bitch if he does something.They’ve already passed a bill in the Senate, and have total control of the House, but still won’t do anything themselves. The Republicans have 0 credibility on this issue.

      2. JamesHRH

        This is an insoluble problem that he has botched.People immigrate to improve the future for their children. These people cheated & are getting paid.Even the most unhinged Republican bloviation is based on an unassailable foundation: democracy is based on the rule of law.Rules matter.The President is both arrogant & wrong here.

        1. Ted Rogers

          watching Obama supports turn themselves into pretzels to justify this reminds me of Bush supporters before Iraq. I am NOT comparing Iraq and immigration etc., — I am just watching people grasp at straws to justify something that is clearly wrong (as Obama himself knew as recently as this year).

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          Rule or law indeed !Tell that to the banksters who are costing/causing society far more long-term harm.

          1. JamesHRH

            The lack of convictions – fraud or negligence, take your pick – is a disconcerting symbol of the erosion of the American Democracy.Any brief study of history shows that the top1% drain the wealth from a country in the period before the country falls to ruin.As a more pro-America than your average American Canuck, its worrisome.Are you cats on the path to becoming Brazil North?Because I sure as hell do not want to become Argentina North.

          2. SubstrateUndertow

            Say What ? ? ?

          3. JamesHRH

            Look at parts of South America, China & India. Opportunity for large numbers of people to gain more wealth driving their ascendence.Look @ how hard it has been for these countries, hamstrung by wildly skewed wealth distribution to make progress.Basic history. Of the great empires, perhaps only the British empire is the exception (unusual, unsustainable rise).

          4. sachmo

            I actually agree with you 100% on this. I think a lot of bankers should have gotten jail time.

        3. MikeSchinkel

          > Even the most unhinged Republican bloviation is based on an unassailable foundation: democracy is based on the rule of law.Wrong.Even the list unhinged Republican bloviation is based on an unassailable foundation: Maintain Republican majority and thus power at all costs. “Rule of law” is only a useful prop to bring out when it suits that purpose, but best put away when it does not.Note I’m not necessarily saying Dems don’t do the same, but we were talking Republicans here…

          1. JamesHRH

            On immigration , the rule of law logic is impregnable.These folks did not play by the rules and it is going to work out for them.

          2. MikeSchinkel

            Impregnable?!? In what bizarro world do you reside?How impregnable was the rule of law in punishing those Wall Street bankers who stole trillions from the U.S. Economy? Where has been the Republican outrage been on that? Where have been the perp walks?”Rule of law only” is a canard that only matters when it applies to the Everyman or when it’s a useful tool for swaying public opinion. And because of that, I have little deference for it.

          3. ShanaC


          4. MikeSchinkel

            Not sure was that *sigh* is implying…

          5. ShanaC

            bizarro. People are really angry in the arguing. I can call you out on it, but, it won’t change your political opinion, it wont change the other person’s political opinion.A lot of the way people argue about politics has to do with arguing about ones identity. So then there are tons of angry comments.hence sighing. There is nothing I can do to get you to argue more politely as a group. Because everyone is really sensitive, because we’re all really arguing about who we are as, *sigh*

          6. MikeSchinkel

            If it’s all the same, my form of argument is similar to your sigh. You are just more polite and me more sarcastic. You and I want the same thing here.

          7. ShanaC

            the difference is I moderate for spam, and I seem to have a tendency to try and break up fightsSo I read everyone. And I hate everything, because you guys (large group of you guys) want to kill each other in debate. I mean really negative.I’m polite because I assume you’re a real person, with real feelings and stuff. So I assume I could say something that could hurt you and not know it. That would not be cool.

          8. sachmo

            This is stupid logic and ignores the reality that deporting 5 million people simply is not workable.Come up with a counter-proposal or you are arguing a nonsensical point.

          9. JamesHRH

            Stupid logic is an oxymoron. Something either follows logically or is illogical. Don’t attack the logic b/c you don’t like the outcome.If you are in the USA illegally, um, you didn’t follow US Immigration laws.It there fore follows that granting legal status to those people undermines the rule of law. To have the President do it, significant blow to democracy in America.

          10. sachmo

            I’m not attacking the logic because I don’t like the outcome.I’m attacking it because it’s actually stupid and illogical.You have no counter proposal and have conceded that deporting millions is impractical in an earlier thread.So if you don’t have a counter-proposal, de facto, you are arguing for the status quo which is also NOT FAIR – because in the status quo the immigrants are also staying here due to the impracticality of deportation.So this Fair / Not Fair stuff is nonsense.Come up with a *real alternative* that meets your own fairness criteria, or you are being a total hypocrite.

          11. JamesHRH

            You talk fairness, I don’t.You come to the USA illegally, you break the law.When a Rep blowhard loses his mind about legalizing illegals and says it undermines the rule of law, that minute part of his argument is completely and totally unassailable.I can’t make it any simpler for you.I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of Saskatchewan and majored in Logic (yes, actually, you can).I think I know which one of us is unhappy with where the logic leads and which one of us is laying out the logic properly.

          12. sachmo

            “When a Rep blowhard loses his mind about legalizing illegals and says it undermines the rule of law, that minute part of his argument is completely and totally unassailable.”You would have an argument if in the status quo we had the ability to enforce the law. But we don’t as deporting 10+ million people is simply not practical.Your major in logic does not contribute to your ability to debate something.

        4. sachmo

          James, you keep reciting that “It’s not Fair!”So what is your solution? Let them continue to live in the shadows and pretend that the problem does not exist?Deport 5 million people? (Seriously? If so this is a silly argument)How would you propose dealing with the reality of millions of people already here?

          1. JamesHRH

            I would leave them where they put themselves, In limbo.

          2. sachmo

            Well guess what’s that still NOT FAIR to the millions of people applying to the system per the law. That still doesn’t pass a basic fairness test.The Obama law doesn’t do anything to make it less fair so your criticism doesn’t make any sense.

          3. JamesHRH

            the security company has figured out what is going on with my system and you are not interested in hearing anything that makes you feel bad.These families are in the country illegally. The President is essentially pardoning 5M of these parents.Why on earth would anyone ever come to the USA legally ever again?To hell with fairness – that’s a fundamental break down in the rule of law. That should concern you.I don’t even live there – just next door (OK you are our largest trading partner, so yeah, I have an interest) and I am concerned.

          4. sachmo

            I think its just the opposite.You are caught up on this Fairness thing (or rule of law) and are constantly ignoring my point.I’ll try to restate it differently.The “funadmental breakdown in law” that you are talking about already exists. Through major periods of this country’s history a shit ton of people have been coming illegally, while others have tried to come in legally through the front door.In it’s current state, the problem has existed for at least 60 years, with literally millions of hispanic immigrants here illegally since the 1950s.So when you argue that the Obama administration is causing some kind of ‘breakdown in law’ I can only sit back and scratch my head.The Law has *been broken*. *It is already unfair* to those who have waited in line, and it has been this way for DECADES.What the law does is acknowledge reality and attempt to deal with it in a pragmatic fashion.I think it’s really you that have no will to actually read or try to look at this rationally.

          5. MikeSchinkel

            I just have to say, I’ve really enjoyed watching you fight the good fight as the emails come across since I stepped away from the keyboard a few hours ago! 🙂

          6. sachmo

            Thanks. I just get annoyed, b/c you’ll see the same arguments over and over, and little actual evidence cited.Immigration has almost always historically been associated with real GDP growth and somehow this continues to get denied.

          7. MikeSchinkel

            > I just get annoyed, b/c you’ll see the same arguments over and over, and little actual evidence cited.I feel exactly the same.BTW, I generally really frown on naming calling in political arguments because it’s generally arrogant, rude and dismissive but over on FoxNews someone called the “Selfservatives” and I could not help but laugh out loud because from the “outside” it seems to encapsulate the mindset perfectly.> Immigration has almost always historically been associated with real GDP growth and somehow this continues to get denied.Agreed. It’s an issue that people mischaracterize for a variety of reasons: fear of change and desire for their personal role of superiority to be maintained (think: The USA’s version of a class system: money and influence), and also simply racism, along these lines:…Sad.

          8. ShanaC

            while I agree with many points you are making, in an effort to promote civility, dont say someone isn’t reading/look at something rationally. You’re just attacking the person, not disagreeing about the differences in ideas you two have

          9. sachmo

            ok fair enough.

          10. JamesHRH

            I have not once used the word fairness.You are projecting your views onto me.When the leader of the Executive branch pardoned 5M people who have broken the law, that undermines the rule of law.When people come to the USA illegally, they are outside the system. You want to talk unfair – they just cheated and won.How the hell is that fair?You lead with your heart and not your head. I try to do both.Don’t accuse me of not being capable of debating with reviewing your own ability first. You don’t see me telling you that you can’t do things.

          11. sachmo

            Well I’m not going to get into personal attacks.But you do seem to have this view that if we allow the people that are here for 5 years or longer to stay it somehow destroy the perception of the rule of law, or its ‘unfair’ to those who are doing everything properly. You’ve phrased it slightly differently, but for the sake of simplicity, I’m using the word ‘fairness’.We can call it ‘rule of law’ or something else if you like. The basic argument is the same. You have advanced this argument many times.My counter argument is that this perception of ‘rule of law’ or whatever you want to call it, has been broken for decades – since the 1950s at least. Basically in the Status Quo – this rule of law or perception of fairness or whatever you want to call it – is *already broken.*It’s been broken because millions of people have crossed the border illegally and created lives here with limited consequences. So I don’t think Obama’s plan in any way breaks down the ‘rule of law’ or is somehow ‘more unfair’ than the status quo. It acknowledges reality.

        5. ShanaC

          how are you defining arrogant and wrong

          1. JamesHRH

            To have the President undermine the rule of law is wrong. A horrible low to democracy in America.Andy is right, he just handed Jeb Bush or Chris Christie (if elected in 2016) a Executive Power blank check. Its arrogant to use this level of legislation prerogative because it presumes that others will not.

      3. Walker

        I am surprised at the low level of discourse here too. Yeesh, I thought this was a smarter group than this. Look, I am a lawyer and know something about the legal aspect of this and wish people would knock it off with all of this “America should not be ruled by decree” stuff. That is not what is happening here and it shows a total lack of understanding. People should be a a little more humble in my opinion. Constitutional law and complicated matters of public policy are clearly outside the zone of competence of a lot of people who are commenting.

        1. andyswan

          Obama is going against his own well-documented interpretation of executive authority on this issue.

        2. MikeSchinkel

          You should know better. No rational man can compete with an enraged lynch mob!

        3. JamesHRH

          Andy’s correct.Oh, and its never a good plan for a lawyer to play the ‘you didn’t study Constitutional law so you are an ignoramus’ card.For instance, I did.And, in response, dozens of people here can likely reply to you that their IQ is 138 or higher. Who cares?However, the discourse is coarse, by AVC standards.Full Moon?

          1. ShanaC

            self sorting identity issues in politics…..

      4. JLM

        .Rarely do I ever feel compelled to call you out on a personal basis but today I must.You do a disservice when you characterize anyone who opposes the President’s “policies” as being hostile. That is simply not true.Men of good faith can disagree violently — violently — about policy and it is nothing more than a difference in interpretation of the same facts.President Obama — from a purely policy perspective — has been the worst President in my lifetime. Not close. The. Worst. President. Ever.He is the biggest liar to have ever occupied the Oval Office.That is my opinion but it is based on specific facts and nothing more. It all flows from a simple foundation upon which reasonable people should be able to agree — he was ill prepared by life experience for the job, the job is too big and he did not grow into it.I feel strongly enough about this that I will no longer burden with my views.JLM.

        1. fredwilson

          you do a great disservice to your good will here at AVC with your hatred of our president JLM. i am sick and tired of it.

          1. JLM

            .I hate no man. I am neither that ambitious nor that energetic. I do disagree with his specific policies and his lack of integrity. These are factual disagreements not personal.The results of these policies are available for men of good heart to evaluate. Certainly the election provides a reasonable basis for evaluating these policies given the President’s assertion that his policies were on the ballot.One who disagrees with the President’s policies is in good company and, apparently, the majority. That is not a bad place to be.JLM.

          2. awaldstein

            Hey JLMYou are too smart a communicator not to know that what you say doesn’t matter, what is heard is the truth of your thoughts.You may or may not hate Obama, but I need to tell you my friend that regardless of your logical answer above, your views sound incredibly hateful to others ears.I don’t care honestly. But to pretend that how you express your disdain for him is other than hateful to the ear, is just not true.Vituperative actually.

          3. Guest

            Is this “hateful”? (I don’t think so… but by today’s standards?)

          4. SubstrateUndertow

            Iraq War – 1 trillion dollars and over 200,000 lives lostAll based on a proactive lie.Enough said !

          5. JLM

            .The President is a liar of gargantuan proportions. That does not seem to be in much dispute. The only discussion is whether the ends have justified the means.The only other defense as to his integrity is his competence or lack thereof.The failure to adhere to the truth is an insight into a man’s character and his soul.Acknowledging reality is only that……..acknowledging reality.His lack of integrity has impacted his ability to govern, to lead, to forge alliances and to create policies that advance the interests of our nation.In the end, a patriot can disagree with another about policy. Why not? We all have the nation’s best interest at heart, no?Some President will be the worst ever. I think it is this man. The. Worst. President. Ever.That is a judgment with which I am very, very comfortable. If that grates on your ear, then don’t listen.JLM.

          6. SubstrateUndertow

            Now you are descending into hatful non-sense !

          7. JLM

            .Well, I suppose that “hatful non-sense” is better than hateful nonsense but I’m not sensitive about either.The facts support my opinions. And, they are, after all, just opinions, no?JLM.

          8. SubstrateUndertow

            Yes they are just opinions and your saving grace is that you do deliver many quality/interesting ones here 🙂

          9. sigmaalgebra

            In line with the usual criteria, BHO neither wants nor intends to be a good president. Instead he feels like an outsider from the mainline of the US; no surprise because he is a politician of, by, and for people outside the mainline of the US.In a sense his lies are not very serious because we’re not supposed to assume they are serious. His statements, lies and all, are to please his base, and they don’t mind the lies.Some of his lies, etc. are about mainline issues of the US, but he doesn’t care about those. The big problem is that he is neglecting the important US issues; his lies are more like what some middle school girls might do and are less serious because we are not suppose to take them seriously.In an important sense, we deserve the lies: The media goes along, and the base goes along with the media.The serious problem is that we might need a real president, maybe we have needed one already, and then we might be in deep trouble.

          10. JLM

            .In three days when the Iran nuke negotiations blow up, we may need a real President.Wonder what Mitt Romney is doing next week?JLM.

          11. sachmo

            I dispute it. I don’t think he’s lied on anything.I read every one of your posts so far. You’ve called him a liar about 15 times, without stating one clear cut case where he lied. I think you need to back this up on a specific big issue that he lied on given your claims that he’s apparently much worse than Nixon in this regard.

          12. ZekeV

            I once nearly came to blows arguing about immigration policy with a friend of mine whom I respect greatly. It was my fault — I brought out the F word (fascism) early in the conversation, and almost got punched in the face. It was not my finest moment. Fortunately, we cooled down, I apologized, and we agreed to disagree.Anyway, the only ad hominem I see going on around here is directed at JLM. I don’t consider it ad hominem to call a politician a liar — it is fair game, if not very persuasive to those who don’t agree with you already. JLM, you are preaching to the choir, but you’re in the wrong church it seems!

          13. JLM

            .Only today.In the long run, it will become a cathedral.I am used to being all alone. It is often a good feeling.America is at an inflection point and it is going to rise to the occasion.I remember in 2012 when the Republicans were going to be wandering in the desert for the rest of time.How quickly things change.JLM.

          14. Seriously?

            A thinly veiled threat based upon your misinterpreting his comment? Seriously?

        2. mjkagan

          To call Obama the “biggest liar to have ever occupied the White House” bespeaks real ignorance of our history. I love him, but Clinton demonstrably lied under oath. And Nixon ordered / managed a major, secret, illegal operation in aid of his own re-election.All politicians dissemble; there’s no way to govern in a democracy without a certain degree of ambiguity in communication.But there’s no way that you can argue that Obama’s dishonesty rises to the level of either of those cases above with a straight face.

          1. JLM

            .On breadth, depth, subject matter, magnitude and numbers — we have a winner, Barack H Obama.Nixon hardly lied by Obama standards. He was a crooked politician and was way beyond the bounds of decency as it related to his re-election efforts but he never got in front of the teleprompter and told the whoppers that Obama has.Clinton defiled the office so he wins a different prize but for volume and numbers, Clinton couldn’t hold Obama’s jock.”Dissembling” — is that what one calls the campaign of lies that underpins Obamacare and comes unraveled more each day?No, President Obama is in a special class all by himself. Give the man his due — he is an extraordinary liar. Truly extraordinary.The only thing more remarkable is the press’s and public’s wilingness to give him a pass on his lies. It may be a drinking from the firehose problem.I would gladly forgive him the lies by omission — failure to level with the American people as it relates to Benghazi as an example but the lies of commission are staggering.That guy is a liar extraordinaire and deserves all the accolades coming his way.JLM.

          2. mjkagan

            Nixon, denying his involvement in the Watergate break-in: “I am not a crook.”I mean, come on…

          3. JLM

            .Oh, please. Talk about thin gruel.President Obama said he couldn’t do what he just did 25 freakin’ times.Nixon looks like the freshman team not even the JV.Interesting enough, in spite of Nixon’s flaws he was a very effective President.JLM.

          4. JamesHRH

            Charlie’s right.You are personally offended by his wishy washiness. Its a rare occasion when people feel they can accuse you of clouded judgement, JLM.A lack of conviction /= prevarication.

          5. JLM

            .Why would anyone NOT be offended by the most powerful man in the world being unable to make a rational or effective decision on foreign policy, defense, the military, the economy, the deficit, the budget, health care, immigration, the Middle East, Israel, a nuclear Iran, the Russians, the Chinese, ISIS/ISIL/Syrian Rotary?Why would anyone NOT be curious about what went wrong with the IRS, Benghazi, Fast & Furious, the Black Panthers, the Big Mac?There seems to be some notion that this guy has had a string of great successes followed by one swing and a miss. He’s been a series of abject failures and is looking at a period of lame duckness that would embarrass lame ducks.He is not very good. He is thin skinned and narcissistic.JLM.

          6. JamesHRH

            Well, good of you to agree you are offended.You aren’t saying that Govt incompetence began in 2008, are you ?He has been highly ineffective, of that there is almost no factual conflict.If only the Republicans could find a candidate with a soul or the Dems could find a candidate that was competent.BTW – I got my Math degree b/c I am a HoF level logician (Holy Smokes I can not actually do ‘Math”).Take me up on the BBQ offer. I have you on the ropes and despite your legendary Right Stuff, I am going to get you into the corner and then, it will merely come down to an accumulation of blows……:-)

          7. JLM

            .You’re gonna want to get that condition treated, friend. You haven’t landed a punch.JLM.

          8. JamesHRH

            Lunch hour fun is over for me (guy has to eat). Let’s summarize:- lying is not lack of character- lying is not flip flopping- lying is not failure to deliverI have suggested you list out situations where the President can be caught in factual prevarication. You have not.You have responded with your personal, well founded frustration at the President’s lack of conviction and competence.Those haymakers, throw with real intent and conviction, have not come close.You are a little puffy around the right eye I think. I am still, as the GOAT would say, ‘pretty’.I would not expect you to give in. I am 100% sure I will buy you some BBQ in the ATX, but not as a result of this exchange.Have a great weekend.

          9. JLM

            .Lying is not telling the truth. There is no reason to make it complicated. The President failed to tell the truth on Obamacare famously, broadly, deeply and wildly. Had he told the truth, the bill would NEVER have been passed.I use this as a discrete example as it is the easiest to focus upon.Most recently he said that the US did not negotiate with terrorists when, in fact, they had paid a ransom to Berghdahl’s captors to obtain his release.Lying is an assault on one’s character. Always.BTW, I actually boxed in college and the victor has to be able to take a punch not just deliver one. Call me when you are conscious again.JLM.

          10. MikeSchinkel

            > The President failed to tell the truth on Obamacare famously, broadly, deeply and wildly. Had he told the truth, the bill would NEVER have been passed.So what exactly is the “truth” that he didn’t tell? I’ve never had anyone clarify that for me.> Most recently he said that the US did not negotiate with terrorists when, in fact, they had paid a ransom to Berghdahl’s captors to obtain his release.Show me a POTUS who has not made many similar lies and I’ll show you pigs that fly. For example:”In spite of the wildly speculative and false stories of arms for hostages and alleged ransom payments, we did not—repeat, did not—trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we.”- Ronald Reagan, denying the Iran-Contra Affair, November 1986 “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” — President Bush, Jan.28, 2003, in the State of the Union address.”I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”– President Bill Clinton, January 1983″President Lyndon B. Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and ‘certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam’ after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.”- Aug 5th 1964 – New York TimesAnd the funny thing is, the economic ramifications and loss of life were many times greater when Republicans lied than when Democrats lied. Obamacare is going to cost 1/3rd of what the Iraq and Afganistan wars cost (note I used FoxNew’s numbers for cost of Obamacare; hardly a supportive source):…Hell, if a lying liar of a President with the help of his lying administration of liars had not started the wars of choice, we could pay to give FREE HEALTHCARE FOR EVERY US CITIZEN.So who was the worst President, and the biggest liars again?!?

          11. sigmaalgebra

            You are wrong about ObamaCare — it will cost very little because it was never intended to be real, maybe by nasty Nancy, but certainly not by Obama, and will be junked, maybe permitted to die slowly. It was never real and won’t be.

          12. MikeSchinkel

            It is already very real to me. It disallows preexisting conditions as a means for insurance denial. That is HUGE for the self-employed.

          13. sigmaalgebra

            Enjoy what you can about it while it lasts. Otherwise move to a state with ‘community rating’. Otherwise wait for a serious attempt at improving the US health care system.

          14. MikeSchinkel

            I would warmly embrace a community rating system.I would also warmly embrace a serious attempt at improving the US health care system. One that was defined and implemented by technocrats rather than politicians. Like that will ever happen.

          15. andyswan

            So would you be OK with a GOP president issuing an executive order stating that preexisting conditions are now allowed— because Congress failed to send him a bill stating that?Welcome to executive tyranny

          16. MikeSchinkel

            I would not be “OK” with it, but I would not shout “Executive Tyranny” or “Abuse of Power.” I would contact my Senators and Congresspersons and ask what the hell, and when are they going to pass a bill to fix it. Pretty much like what I did when Bush invaded Iraq.OTOH it is unlikely the a GOP POTUS will issue an executive order stating that preexisting conditions are now allowed because 60+% of the country likely wouldn’t be for it. And if he followed Obama’s lead it would be after the Dems ignored a GOP bill for 18 months anyway.So no, having Obama using an executive order to try to force a resolution on an issue that has stalled because of political system dysfunction does not bother me one iota. As matter of fact, I hope to see future Presidents, GOP and Dem doing the same thing because it’s a way to bypass the logjam and force positive change to come out of Congress.I’m on the progressive end of the spectrum, I actually like change though I do know change can be anathema for conservatives.

          17. andyswan

            Well see that’s the basis for our disagreement… To me the less govt does, the better. I will be just fine.I like your conviction…both of our bases are somewhat sound but in need of a challenge.Cheers

          18. ShanaC

            can I hug you and @mikeschinkel:disqus now, that’s the least angry people have sounded all day

          19. MikeSchinkel

            (At least) one virtual hug, coming right up! 🙂

          20. MikeSchinkel

            Finally, a respectful conclusion! Well played. And be sure to play again tomorrow! 🙂

          21. JamesHRH

            You have receipts on the Bergdshl payment?He lied in Obamacare is an opinion, not a factual proof.I grew up in a boxing household & as you may recall, my household was a place where bloviation got chopped into tiny pieces and served back to you with some favs beans & a nice Chianti.He lied it never would have been passed – let’s hope people don’t get court martialed on that type of proof.Quit waving your hands around & put some shells in the clip partner – facts, not conjecture, are what register on the Logic Compubox system..Saying I am KO’d does not make it so. I promise you – you prove me wrong, I will raise your hand in the middle of the ring. But I won’t do that until you prove he is lying.Right now, you are windmilling unprovable opinion.Fact up or bow out.

          22. JLM

            .So you missed the part about being able to keep your insurance policy, your doctor and your premiums were going down? Current events L’affaire Gruber show the cynicism of this entire matter. They knew from the beginning all that was a lie.Maybe those ARE lobotomy scars?As to the Bergdahl payment, the leak came from the Pentagon itself because it was about to be reported. I bet the Taliban gives written receipts for bribes, don’t you?Change your shirt, too much koolaide.JLM.

          23. JamesHRH

            Asking for proof /= Kool Aid consumption.You know me enough to know the receipt crack was exactly that.As a Canuck, the whole US healthcare deal is a head shaker. You clipped me on the ear there ;-)But again, your argument is coloured by ‘he had to know’ not ‘he did’.

          24. JLM

            .Huh? The number one guy whose name is on the legislation was an innocent bystander?That is nuts. Just plain nuts. Completely indicted by l’affaire Gruber.If he didn’t know his own freakin’ program why did he talk it up?He toured the whole country touting it. He was the top salesman.What else did he have to say other than the big “keeps”?JLM.

          25. JamesHRH

            OK, now my node is broden I dink.

          26. JLM

            .Haha, sorry. I didn’t mean to brode yu node. Stick some gauze up it.Beers on me in ten minutes.JLM.

          27. sachmo

            “He has been highly ineffective, of that there is almost no factual conflict.”Uh, what? Have you seen the unemployment rate recently? You don’t think the auto-bailout had anything to do with saving a million plus jobs that with near 100% certainty would have been lost otherwise.I think there’s quite a bit of conflict on this, and a lot of willful ignorance too it seems.

          28. JamesHRH

            You are arguing ideologically, not contextually.Obama is the least effective ‘on the Hill’ President in 40 years. Only the Kennedys had fewer relationships in the House.When you campaign on changing how Washington works, auto bailouts and ending wars are not the scorecard.

          29. sachmo

            I’m not arguing ideologically.I’m pointing to a specific action he took (AUTO BAILOUT) that caused a positive change to the economy (improved employment rate) that we can attribute directly to Obama.I think he was super effective at creating jobs and the economy as showed this.You stated – “He has been highly ineffective, of that there is almost no factual conflict.” – You are wrong. There are certainly facts that conflict with this viewpoint.I don’t know what you mean by change washington, but I don’t think that’s necessary to be a good president.

          30. JamesHRH

            He is a individual contributor in a job that requires him to be Chief Influencer, Asskicker and ChangeAgent. He does not do the things you say, he rubbers stamps some other Wonk’s suggestions.So, he has led noone anywhere. That would be JLM’s definition of highly ineffective.He has built no coalitions, brokered no compromise nor used the awesome power of the internet to browbeat narrow minded self serving jackals into providing good government

          31. sachmo

            I think you’ve set your expectations too high.Compared to most other presidents he’s done a good job.He’s not just a rubber stamper. I think he made the move the Auto Bailout, and I think the decision to push Obamacare was a major strategic move that lasted over a year and half of debate and it was entirely his initiative. I really have no idea what you’re talking about when you say he’s lead no one anywhere.He’s clearly taken the initiative on certain policies and lead us somewhere. Maybe if you see everything through a Republican lens you don’t like where that somewhere is. But he’s lead us alright.

          32. sigmaalgebra

            NICE list!Yes, and to borrow from H. N. Schwartzkopf, except for that, he’s a really great president, I gotta tell you.Read my explanation above: BHO just doesn’t want actually to do anything at all real about the main, real situations, e.g., the really nice list you gave. One reason is, his base doesn’t much care. Another reason is, really, mostly people don’t notice, e.g., don’t notice your list. BHO gets less blame for neglecting such issues than he likely would if he tried actually to do something real about any of those issues. In a sense, he just waits until his advisers, the headlines, the polls, and his base all agree on what he should do, and on those issues so far they haven’t. Of course, they never will, and that situation needs an actual, responsible, capable, engaged leader who really cares about the US, and that’s just not what we elected. And, from his history at Harvard Law and in the IL legislature, we knew that.

          33. sachmo

            I don’t like how he’s handled Crimea and would agree that a proper show of force was in order. I also think in Syria, he backtracked big time on the ‘red line’ of chemical weapons he said shouldn’t be crossed.But I think he deserves some credit for disregarding Chinese air zone and flying US military planes regularly through it, supporting Japan strongly on Senkuku Islands, and in general securing new military bases in Australia and the Phillipines.I also think he was 100% on point with getting Bin Laden – especially compared to Bush who botched the job at Tora Bora.But I think it’s a pretty far cry from not being able to make a single “rational or effective decision”.I also think Obama was spot on in dealing with economic crash of 2008. The stress testing of banks, the stimulus package, the auto bail out – all 100% on point, that was the act of a leader.You’ll clearly disagree – but I think the health care act was also good. An ugly fix to an ugly system, but in general good, and much needed to stop abuses in the system, and secure healthcare for millions of uninsured.These are not the acts of an incompetent idiot. They are the rational and effective acts of someone that has a different policy stance than you.I could go on and on regarding your other points, but it would be pointless to debate everything.Regarding the scandals – IRS, Benghazi, ‘Fast & Furious’, etc. Personally I think the IRS issue was a completely fabricated ‘scandal’ by Republican lawmakers to gain press. I do think there were issues with how Benghazi and Fast & Furious were handled, but these are small potatoes in the larger scheme of what’s happening in our government.

          34. sigmaalgebra

            Tricky wouldn’t get us the heck out of Viet Nam. Yes, McGovern would have, but McGovern lost, badly. Maybe happy Humphrey would have, but he lost, too. Maybe Robert would have, but someone shot him.Ford kept trying to win, uh, I mean, get “peace with honor”, and finally Congress took some Ford request for more US blood and/or treasure and said, “Not only no but hell no.”. So, even Ford didn’t get the F out until Congress pushed him out.

          35. JLM

            .We got beat in Viet Nam.When those new NVA divisions began to circle Saigon and we tried to “Vietnamese” the war after having withdrawn the big American units, the handwriting was on the wall.It’s disheartening to “discover” the Iraqi 900,000 man army can’t beat the 30,000 man ISIS mob when we learned how poorly the Vietnamese fought in our wake.The world paid full tuition for that lesson and it went all in with 3-5 million lives. We were on the right side and then we just go tired.The parallels to Viet Nam in Iraq and A’stan could not be clearer. We are tired. I am tired.We always get second pick on fighters.JLM.

          36. sigmaalgebra

            > the Iraqi 900,000 man army can’t beat the 30,000 man ISIS mobA Shiite army can’t defeat a Sunni mob in a Sunni area.

          37. sachmo

            Obama did not get us into Iraq. we should have never been there in the first place. The entire war was a waste.The idea of putting in a democracy that was viewed as a legitimate government in that culture of serious tribal rivalries was a farce.

          38. MikeSchinkel

            So specifically which “whoppers” has Obama told?And seriously who do those lies compare with “Saddam was responsible for 911?” Or the Tonkin Gulf Lie that launched the Vietnam War? Your apparent seething hatred of Obama, as described by @awaldstein:disqus has clouded your analysis in an not insignificant way.

          39. andyswan

            Do you have a source for that quote about Saddam being responsible for 9/11 or are you just making that up?

          40. andyswan

            I do not see that quote at all

          41. MikeSchinkel

            Sorry, I didn’t realize being 100% literally accurate was the point here. My “quote” was a quick paraphrase from memory of a decade ago. The intent was effectively the same.

          42. andyswan

            No prob I was legit interested to know if Bush actually said that, as I didn’t remember it and was pretty opposed to the Iraq war.

          43. sigmaalgebra

            Back with W, there was a claim that someone for Saddam met with someone in al Quada somewhere, maybe central europe somewhere. So the suggestion was that maybe Saddam had something to do with 9/11 or, hating the US, would for such a thing in the future.My take at the time was, with 9/11, the US was attacked. W saw his responsibility to protect the US. Saddam was a nasty guy who said and did nasty things, hated the US, and said and did things that looked threatening to the US. So, W thought, it’d be too easy for Saddam to attack the US. So, to defend the US, we will dump Saddam. Also that will somewhat scare other dictators.The parts I didn’t like:(1) Make Saddam a personal offer he wouldn’t refuse. We’d taught him a tough lesson in Gulf War I; he might have been willing to listen and behave.(2) If we were to occupy Iraq, then at least don’t be completely stupid about it. E.g., don’t disband the Iraqi army and leave them on the streets to cause trouble.(3) Don’t spout total sewage as W did when he said, “The people of Iraq are perfectly capable of governing themselves.” Instead, put in place something that would WORK long enough for us to get the heck out’a there and then LEAVE. If the place became a civil war the next day, then that was their problem.

          44. JLM

            .Having had a bit of my life impacted by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution it might be worthwhile to point out that it was a joint resolution of Congress asked for and given to Lyndon Johnson based on information provided by the military.One is tempted to blame Johnson but that is not accurate. He did a lot of things to escalate the situation but this was not his unilateral doing.It is hardly in the realm of “lies” and if so must be laid at the feet of Johnson who while a Democrat I am certain was acting on the best intel he had been handed.You have to remember that the French tried to get the US involved going back to Eisenhower. Eisenhower, who knew a thing or two about war, resisted and told the French to take a hike.It was Kennedy who had the Viagra 4-hour hardon which got us sucked into Viet Nam and Johnson who made it grow even bigger.Kennedy, of course, had been a Lt JG when Eisenhower wore 5 stars. They had different life experiences and talents.It was not by accident the Russians tried to test Kennedy in Cuba after they had avoided Eisenhower like the plague.The same can be said of Putin and Obama. Putin will make Obama cry and take his lunch money in the bargain. The taking of the Crimea is the first of a six act play. Wait until we are asked to go to war over Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.The combination of those decisions were some of the worst foreign policy decisions since the War of 1812.JLM.

          45. sigmaalgebra


          46. MikeSchinkel

            I will give you this one, as I was all but 1 year old at the time so I can only go by what I have read recently.

          47. JLM

            .Don’t worry, Mike, I was making the world safe for you even back then.I remember you had a bad habit of shitting in your pants back then. Hope you grew out of it.Just kidding.Remember the victors always write the better histories and we lost in Viet Nam.JLM.

          48. JamesHRH

            You gotta back that kind of statement up.At least as a list of topics where you can display active intent to deceive.I think the current President is an abysmal leader. Smart guy, well trained orator, personally disciplined (fit, well married, excellent father by all accounts).Many people of his temperament are personally very high performers while lacking the ability to draw high performance out of others.Might be hard to believe, given your nature, but it is true.

          49. sigmaalgebra

            I thought it was even simpler than that: He has a base and wants to please it. His base reads the headlines but not more, So BHO responds to the headlines, and that’s enough for his base. On most issues, BHO’s response is little or no more than just a statement, and he has no intention of actually doing anything for real. Thus, the amount of actual harm done is usually small down to nothing.E.g., for ObamaCare, when he was selling it, soon it got to be clear that really he didn’t care much about it at all. He didn’t bother to make any reasonable effort to get his facts straight (e.g., see the slap down by the American College of Surgeons to when BHO left his brain idling with his mouth in gear on the cost of an amputation), had the WH meetings for more negotiations as just a photo-ops with no good faith participation, etc. My take is that in his mind, ObamaCare was never more real than those Greek columns he once used. He never intended or expected it to be real. His intention was just to let it be something, pie in the sky, to please his base for a while and then let flop, about when he was to leave office or just afterward, and blame the flop on the Republicans.For ISIS, the same: ISIS has been in the headlines, so the base thinks that we should do something, so BHO is doing something, If what he is doing has any real effect, one of the most surprised people will be BHO,There are some issues where he has serious intent. One of these is that he wants to flood the US with people who willvote for a stronger welfare state, and this way he will achieve one of his early goals, get power to do things to help the people he wanted to help as a Chicago community organizer. His speech on immigration? Likely not serious, even though immigration is one of his hot issues. So, he made a lot of noise that sounded like he was going to do some impeachable things — yup, his base got all happy and up on their hind legs. But the speech was like ObamaCare — likely next to nothing real will happen. But on immigration, there is something real — “facts” of millions of people. BHO is not sure just what will happen because of those millions, but he believes that the “facts” are and will be too important totally to ignore. And if he leaves office that way, he will be happy.Really, quite broadly, he has no intention of being a responsible president in any usual sense. E.g., see the picture of BHO refusing to honor the US flag I posted above to Fred. And in line with your comments, yes, he is not really qualified to be president. And if we really need a real and competent president, then we can be in trouble. And maybe he has done a lot of harm, maybe in DoD preparedness. But, he has many thousands of people working for him telling him what to do, and for some really clear issues, when the headlines, the polls, and the advice all agree, maybe he will take some of the advice. In the meanwhile, he has made his base happy, flooded the US with future Democrats eventually voting for a bigger welfare state, worked on his jump shot and golf game, and shown how to be president without really trying.He has angered a lot of people, e.g., you, who believe that a US president should take the job seriously, but really he was an outsider in Chicago and still is so doesn’t really care about what mainline, responsible America thinks.He does have a sense of how far to go: He knows he can make a lot of statements that are on the way to impeachment but not follow through and not get impeached. And he knows that if he really does go too far, he can get impeached. So, his base sees him standing up to the power elite and seemingly on the way to impeachment, but he actually doesn’t step too far over the line actually to get impeached.He is very concerned about getting blamed for doing something wrong and, then, losing his power and career.He long ago learned really well that if he does nothing real, then he can’t be seriously accused of doing anything wrong. He did this at Harvard Law, in the IL legislature, and in the WH.He’s not very bright; he is really cynical; basically he resents and hates the US; he wants to insult the power elite and has; he is very concerned he is not bright enough actually to do something effective. Net, mostly he just responds to headlines in a way that pleases his base that never gets past the headlines, works on some of what he cares about, e.g., immigration and, there, just calmly, quietly declines to enforce the laws, and otherwise works on his jump shot and golf game.That’s what he is and what he does, and most of that was fairly clear before he was elected. But he was elected. For whatever reasons, a lot of the liberal media was strongly in his corner. But nearly no actual, serious US citizen would like him if they just looked at what he really is.

          50. MikeSchinkel

            > But nearly no actual, serious US citizen would like him if they just looked at what he really is.Aye, and no true Scotman would perpetrate brutal sex crimes either!

          51. JLM

            .The President has an impeachment insurance policy that provides huge safety for him.Try to say:President BIDENJLM.

          52. MikeSchinkel

            ROFL – On that one point we agree!!!

          53. sigmaalgebra

            Long ago Joe said that Iraq should be partitioned into three pieces, one for each of the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds.

          54. sachmo

            People said this about Abe Lincoln at the time that he was president.He was viewed as a 2nd rate country lawyer, and a liar by his detractors.Good leadership is rarely recognized for what it is until afterwards.I don’t know what he’s lied on.If you are going to argue Benghazi, I am actually willing to have that debate, but 1) I think the ‘fog of war’ doesn’t make you a liar, and 2) Even if he did lie on Benghazi – that’s nothing compared to Nixon – or Reagan on Iran-Contra affair, or various other presidents.I think Obama’s basically a fairly decent and honest person, and I simply do not understand the hate.

        3. SubstrateUndertow

          You may be overstating your case !New Interdependencies are sweeping away all our old linear individualistic comfort zones. Obama like the rest of us must manoeuvre these tectonic political/social changes.This requires Obama to use an updated/untried set of world-view framing perspectives for his political policy development.Any real validity-checking on such, seat-of-the-pants, new political framing is near impossible at this stage of our emerging new political/social realities.This is a thankless and very difficult time to lead. It is also a very difficult time to make judgements about political leadership skills given the backdrop of our present tectonic shit into a globalnetwork-economy of deepening interdependencies.The GOP is not being an honest players in that they are refusing to take the risks required to openly present their own updated best-guess at what constitutes a meaningful new network-economy based political framing capable of deal with this new environment of social interdependencies in a way that alines with their true long-term core values.The GOP’s alternative best-efforts perspective is of pivotal importance in a two party democracy state.They owe the American citizenry and themselves that renewed best-effort to openly/honestly redefine their values within the context of our new globally interdependent reality.I’d agree that Obama has a lot of failings both policy and administratively speaking but he is making and honest/sincere effort at leadership in difficult times.At the very least he deserves respect for that.The GOP not so much!

          1. JLM

            .Really what tripe.President Obama was swept into office with an archaic combination of voting blocks and a masterful command of the Electoral College (thanks to Plouffe and Axelrod) and a very good data operation coupled with a GOTV effort that was based on truly actionable intelligence.The Republicans caught up in the recent elections (thanks to Reince Preibus) and returned the favor.There is nothing new under the sun. Our financial future is still held hostage to pigs feeding at the public trough. While Harry Reid was in a class by himself, Mitch McConnell will likely be just as bad.The global interdependent reality has the same cast of characters — just emboldened by the lack of effective American leadership — Russia, the burning Middle East, Europe looking to America to save their chestnuts yet again, the Chinese behaving badly.We are dealing with the ten thousandth iteration of Israel, our avowed and supposed ally, against the entire Arab world. Now, we are going to let the Iranians become a nuclear power. We have three days to cut a deal with those guys and Obama is talking immigration.No, there is nothing new under the sun. Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss. This is just politics.JLM.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Nicely done.

          3. SubstrateUndertow

            Yes, COMPLEXITY and its attending/amplified opportunities for evermore corruption is the pivotally emergent problem/challenge of our times.You seem to imply that such distributive complexity can be solved via centralized American leadership/control ?That is an historically tempting fallback assumption but I think that that role is now becoming untenable at least in its present overt form.I don’t have the formula for solving the complexity problem inherent in a highly interdependent global network economy.I would however wager that it will includes a new awareness of and a new set of narrative/metaphors for visualizing the recurring themes of “organic process literacy’ as a fractal reusable all the way up the human organizational stack from family affairs to international organizational affairs.If we cannot retrofit our organizational memes to reflect this new territory of networked social complexity we will simple fail to make this next round of MST (Meta-System-Transition) in human organizational evolution. For more detail on MST (Meta-System-Transition) see also Principia Cybernetica Web

          4. JLM

            .In the world at large regardless of how complex things become it all still revolves around stimulus and reaction, cause and effect.The problems may become more complex but the data has become even deeper. Now we can find out what our enemies think often before they themselves know.George Orwell got it right when he said:”People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”In the affairs of the world, America has to provide and support those rough men. They have to be lead and directed effectively.The most militant proponent of the use of armed force can understand that the stronger America is — the dramatically lower is the necessity for military intervention.This is one of the paradoxes of the world — hate wars? Build the strongest military you can so no shitheads challenge you.JLM.

          5. SubstrateUndertow

            Don’t disagree with any of that.Just saying it is time to start entertaining thoughts of a transitional plan B.Sooner than later a tipping point watershed change is coming for us at inter-speed.

          6. sigmaalgebra

            You are correct about some of the complexity. That the Repubs have some “responsibility”? Basically, the first rule of politics is to get elected.For Obama, you see him not doing much on your complex issues and, then, guess that he is struggling with the complexity. No, he is just neglecting those issues because he doesn’t much care and is afraid that taking any action would cost him politically. He will take significant, visible action when his advisers, the headlines, the polls, and his base all agree on what that action should be, that is, “lead from behind”. Of course, those four will never all agree. So, he won’t act. That means he is irresponsible and a bad leader, but we knew that when we elelcted him.Net, to be just crystal clear, we elected him due to white guilt. In longer words, whitey wanted redemption from their transgressions going way back. Now whitey has redemption and we can get back to the mainline issues of the US.We’ve been darned lucky — we got by without a real president for 6 years. In two more we will be out of the woods with a mainline president.

        4. sachmo

          Dude, I read and follow your blog (loosely) and I greatly respect your comments on business and military history.But you are so off base on this. 2008 was a terrible year for the US. It was bad for a while. I think Obama took had serious balls to do the stimulus package, auto bail out, stress test the banks, etc. I also think the health care act was an ugly but important improvement on our existing system. To argue that he’s at best average, I could understand and possibly relate to. To argue he’s less than average, I’d have a difficult time seeing – as I think decisions he’s made have had a direct impact on turning the US economy around.But to say he’s the worst ever. That’s ridiculous. GW was much worse, and practically drove the country into the ground. Nixon and Carter also clearly worse.I hate to say this, but I really do think a lot of Obama hate directly stems from the guy’s skin color and not anything he’s actually done.

      5. John Revay

        I know several people who watch Fox 12/7, listen to Rush Limbaugh & Sean Hannity….and they just hate POTUS. It is scary on how they brainwash people’s opinions.I once said to my sister that she should listen/watch the normal news – there are a lot of other good and bad things going on around us – that are not part of the Fox news talking points…..Remember how they predicted the sky was falling about ebola just before the elections > close the borders call!

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Better yet, tell your sister to turn off all the ‘news’!

    3. Guest

      1. andyswan

        1. Walker

          Not all laws are enforced due to limited resources, it is prosecutorial discretion. There is nothing unconstitutional about it (and there are avenues to pursue a judicial determination of that) and this is subject to certain built in checks and balances. Of course principles matter but hows this for a principle, real human suffering should be alleviated as best we can and we can improve on these first steps over time. Bottom line: this is progress and will be fine and good any way anyone wants to measure it and take the larger view and get off all their ideological high horses.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Yes, but is it at all within the range of what is acceptable to bring a bill of impeachment charging Obama, via Holder, of deliberately refusing to enforce the laws?

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          Other “Constitutional Scholars” say he was wrong on that assertion !

    4. SubstrateUndertow

      “Obama’s Lawless Amnesty”repeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatit all starts to sound like the old “imperial running-dog capitalist pigs”sloganeering propagandafrom the Chinese communist party circa the 1960’sThe sad part is that that seems to have become the backbone of the GOP’s political strategy for quite some time now.The even sadder reality is that such a simplistic step&repeat sloganeering-propaganda technique is still so effective in America today, on both the citizenry and the press, as sophisticated as both groups imagine themselves to be !The citizenry have some excuses as they are hard at work with their noses to the grindstone and this sloganeering-propaganda technique simply slips osmotically through the subconscious backdoor.The “Mainstream Press” however are acting as shamelessly unprofessional media puppets by unwittingly amplifying the GOP’s daily-spectacle dosing-technique of endless-repeated non-constructive sloganeering.Instead the “Mainstream Press” should be focused on their professionally mandated responsibilities/challenge to deliver a “summary with fidelity” snapshot of our emerging political realities frames against a coherently evolving political time line. Their present entertainment-driven preoccupation with the latest political-specticale-collage does the whole profession and the democratic-society they serve a serious body-blow disservice.That reality based “summary with fidelity” political-timeline snapshot is the job that a democratic society hires the “Professional Press” to do on its behalf. IMO that “Professional Press” job is, by and large, simply not getting done in contemporary America.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        > professionally mandated responsibilitiesWhere’d you get that!!!??? Been smoking that funny stuff again? Gotta be careful with that funny stuff!The “responsibilities” of the mainstream press are to grab people by the heart, the gut, and below the belt knowing that then their eyeballs will surely follow and the ad revenue will, too! What else is there? Uh,you still watch that stuff? I don’t!

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          YOU ARE CONFLATING the responsibility of the media corporations to their shareholdersWITHthe responsibility of professional journalists to the democratic social function they serveThat conflict of interest is at the core of the problem which is our lack of any effective methods by which to reliably construct a semblance of collaborative realism.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            I want the same thing you do, and maybe with the Internet we will get it. Maybe some good my work will do is to help people find such journalism.

      2. Mark Cancellieri

        I don’t care what it sounds like. There are strong arguments to be made that Obama has no legal authority to do it. The fact that these arguments are repeated often does not make them any worse.For what it’s worth, I think there are interesting arguments on both sides (although the more compelling arguments are that it is illegal):No, ‘Prosecutorial Discretion’ Does Not Justify Obama’s Lawless Amnesty [con]http://www.nationalreview.c…Obama, immigration, and the rule of law [pro]http://www.washingtonpost.c…No, Obama’s executive orders aren’t legal (not that anyone cares) [con]…

        1. MikeSchinkel

          Strong arguments? Made by biased actors:”National Review describes itself as “America’s most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion.” – Wikipedia”Andrew C. McCarthy III is…a Republican… He is currently a columnist for National Review.” – Wikipedia”Timothy Sandefur … heads the Foundation’s Economic Liberty Project, which protects entrepreneurs against intrusive government regulation.” – The Cato InstituteHardly balanced sources.Argument from authority “…while authorities can be correct in judgments related to their area of expertise more often than laypersons, they can still come to the wrong judgments through …, bias, dishonesty, or … Thus, the appeal to authority is not a generally reliable argument for establishing facts.” –…Should @SubstrateUndertow, @shacho, I and others start quoting Daily Kos or organizations primarily funded by George Soros in attempt to make our debate points? If we did, I think you would similarly object.

          1. Mark Cancellieri

            One of my biggest pet peeves is when people insist on pointing out someone’s political party rather than evaluating the quality of a person’s argument based on its merits. It is a huge intellectual cop out.

          2. MikeSchinkel

            And one of my biggest pet peeves is when people exclusively put forth “sources” prepared by highly biased actors as “supporting evidence” of their argument instead of seeking to find supporting evidence in sources that are generally considered only moderately biased.Or, what you call “a huge intellectual cop out” I call a “Protest-too-much quantity of sources fallacy” which is “citing an overly long list of legal or other purportedly-authoritative citations to prove the opponent is wrong. … Part of the trick of this debate tactic is to get the opponent to spend days researching all the citations. This is akin to #44 badgering, i.e., trying to win the argument by attacking again and again with the same argument in an effort to wear the opponent down or repeating something over and over in the hope that raw repetition will displace the truth.”From:

          3. Mark Cancellieri

            Give me a break. You could have read the arguments and then made a case for why they don’t make sense, but no, you just ignored the arguments completely and pointed to their political affiliation. That is a *huge* cop out.

          4. Mark Cancellieri

            By the way, you rushed to judgment so quickly without reading the articles that you didn’t notice that I provided arguments for both pro and con, not just one side of the argument. Like I said, huge cop out.

          5. MikeSchinkel

            A huge cop out is sending an info dump of articles to “support” your position instead of you doing to work yourself to identify and pull out the quotes that you want to put forward to support your position. If you did the latter then we could easily debate the merits of the points you identified divorced from the biased nature of the source rather than claiming that you won a debate point because you’ve overwhelmed the other side with the need to research your position.

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          You could be right the courts will decide, if the GOP dare try :-)My larger point was the generally low quality go governance that has emerged in the USA over the last decade or so due to big money leveraging Madison-Avenue style Public Perception Management as a substitute for honest efforts by both parties to present a coherent/consistent party-platform that either the GOP or the Democrats are willing to actually stand behind.Instead there is just this endless food-fight of silly sloganeering propaganda, sponsored by big-money from both sides, that neither the citizens or media seem able to countervail .I’m not anti-American quite the opposite. I think the US has an important leadership role to play in world politics but this present nonsensical cup-de-sac in American politics is seriously injurious to both the country and the world community !The rest of the world just gets to sit on the sidelines as powerless spectators waiting and hoping that America will find its way back to some semblance of political sanity.At some point that slippery slope of poisonously ruthless partisan bickering could reach a point of no return where America is into sectarian polemics that rival the destructiveness of Middle-eastern religious sects.I don’t think I’m the only one watching American politics from the outsider’s peanut gallery who is just waiting and hoping on some sort of political process miracle to happen in America.

    5. Seriously?

      You are correct Andy Swan, this new found sense of urgency is disingenuous (a joke). Government repeatedly cycles through the “claim to seal the border this time, AFTER amnesty.” we get amnesty now, we never get sufficient border security.

    6. sachmo

      We don’t have open borders. Obama cut illegal immigration in half. And part of his executive order is to beef up borders even more.And new people that come here would get deported, as they still don’t pass 5 yr criteria.I guess its just easier to make up a position and attack that, then really come up with a real critique of obama executive action.

      1. andyswan

        Obama came up with plenty of very well reasoned critiques of this executive action for 6 years prior to doing it.

        1. sachmo

          Look, for the umpteenth time, the real timeline was 18 months – that’s the date from when the Senate passed the immigration bill.And I think there was real hope that the House would pass something, which justified waiting.Obviously politics that he waited until after the midterm elections. Ok, and you make a fair point on the timing.But your earlier statements completely mischaracterized what was actually passed. And what was actually passed is a reasonable patch until House Republicans dig their heads of the sand and actually deal with the problem.

  5. Anne Libby

    “If you don’t like it, pass a bill.”

    1. andyswan

      fair to wait 6 weeks until newly elected-congress is sworn in?

      1. Anne Libby

        It’s politics. Is it ever really fair?

      2. John Revay

        Didn’t the Senate pass a bipartisan bill last year, all they needed was for JohnB to bring to a vote in the house….

        1. andyswan

          And the house passed lots of bills that Reid didn’t put to vote in the senate. That’s the legislature doing its job.

      3. SubstrateUndertow

        So wait six weeks and pass a bill without all the political grandstanding ! Not much is likely to change on the ground in the next six weeks ?What is really in question here is the GOP’s real motives around immigration reform !

        1. andyswan

          Congress goes full GOP in 6 weeks. The President will get plenty of bills to sign then. He waited 6 years on this issue… why the sudden rush?

          1. SubstrateUndertow

            It is simple a political pressure tactic and an art-of-war guy like yourself knows that very well 🙂

        2. Casper

          The real motive around immigration reform for the GOP is they don’t want immigration reform. What they really want is a Way-Back-Machine so they can climb aboard, press a few buttons and erase the last six years, then hit the button once more and return to the cozy confines of the 1950’s!

  6. sotek

    Here’s a good article on the 1986 so-called “Reagan amnesty” and why it failed:http://www.washingtonpost.c…The money quote:”But a major conceptual flaw in the bill, says Doris Meissner, was that the authors of the bill simply misjudged the high demand for immigrant labor in the United States.”

  7. Bob King

    As the husband of an immigrant, my issue is not with immigration. The problem for me is simple: the immigrants got here by breaking our laws and there’s no way to argue that point.For me it is a matter of fairness. Why should someone who follows the law be required to wait over twenty years (any of my Filipino family) to immigrate yet anyone willing to become a criminal gets rewarded? What has been done now (and in the past) is not right. Either the law applies to us all or it applies to none of us.

    1. sotek

      How about visa over-stayers?

      1. Bob King

        Illegal is illegal. My wife had the perfect opportunity to quietly blend in after her 27 day Seaman’s visa transit period expired. She was in-country and with my extended family who could have hidden her easily. We are honorable people, so we went through the process. What has been done this week has no honor. Worse, it has no shame.At the time she applied we were not married so we processed a K-1 Fiancé Visa and she went home for six months. It was a gamble for us since a denial in Manila would have cost us dearly, but it was the right thing to do.It is a testament to the broken state of our immigration system that she could immigrate within six months of applying on nothing but a promise to marry me, but being married already would have taken over two years. Our system is broken, but this only widens the cracks.

        1. vadimoss

          Bob, I understand your frustration. I was a legal immigrant (now a citizen) and the husband of an immigrant (she is also the citizen by now). As you pointed out the K-1 visa is super tricky and its rejection rate is high. I respect you taking this risk and making it happen for your wife the right way. It’s a choice and many people made a different choice for different reasons. I know people who were deported. None of them would fall into my definition of “being a criminal”. There were various reasons why it happened in their case. You should consider who this exec order applies to. It’s not opening the back door for someone who jumped the border a week ago. The illegal immigrants who are qualified already spent years here taking on shady jobs and getting paid under the table. This is a black market for human labor. As long as the conditions exist there is no way to fight the black market.”If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes — you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation.”Source:

          1. Bob King

            I have two points of frustration with this. The first is the way it was handled by all sides. Everyone in power screwed up every way possible. The second is the arbitrary way priority is assigned to immigrants. Bear in mind I am not speaking of H1-B types here. I mean the average Joe from Anyplace, Earth, that applies to immigrate.Why should someone from Cuba (I’m opening a can of worms with that one) be given priority over someone from Haiti? It can be argued persuasively that the applicant from Haiti is in higher mortal danger than the applicant from Cuba, yet all a Cuban immigrant has to do is touch dry land in the U.S. and they are on The Path.For a nation that espouses “all men are created equal,” we sure do pick and choose.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      That is an understandable and logical sentiment !But poorly controlled physical borders, poverty driven needs and the desire to take advantage of cheap labor have all conspired to make that theoretical point moot!Fixing the poorly controlled physical border problem and hitting the restart button is simple the only realistic/practical solution at hand despite its inherent unfairness to may legal immigarnts.The only other alternative is to keep repeating the same process.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        > the only realistic/practical solution at handObama hopes so, hopes to have created “facts”, but really there’s no problem with a real solution. We’ve been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt, before. See my post below with a reference to how Ike did it. Piece of cake. Perfectly doable. No problem.

    3. MikeSchinkel

      I would question why we need to make them wait 20 years instead of arguing that we should leave an untenable situation to be untenable?

  8. awaldstein

    I’m all in on this.I’m also a realist and know that shit is broken in our political structure.I’m forever proud that my grandfather, head of my household growing up came over on a boat at 8, drove a horse drawn cab in NY, worked like a maniac and made it possible for the rest of us.Some stuff needs to just get done and the rest will follow.

    1. David Semeria

      Well said Arnold!

    2. JamesHRH

      Did Gramps follow the rules to get here?

      1. awaldstein

        Reasonable question. Don’t have any idea.This was 1905. He was just a Yiddish speaking kid from Russia with an address on a piece of paper of a relative in Philly.

        1. andyswan

          Here were a few immigration laws passed just prior to his arrival:1892: Ellis Island opened to screen immigrants entering on east coast. (Angel Island screened those on west coast.) Ellis Island officials reported that women traveling alone must be met by a man, or they were immediately deported.1902: Chinese Exclusion Act renewed indefinitely.1903: Anarchists, epileptics, polygamists, and beggars ruled inadmissible.

          1. awaldstein

            I guess underage, non English speaking kids with a destination were ok.I’m glad they let him in.BTW-grew up to work on a sewing machine in the garment district and union rep.All this conversation aside, a super great guy who seriously loved this country.

          2. andyswan

            me too

          3. jason wright

            epileptics? wtf?

          4. Dave Pinsen

            Here are more:…We had stricter immigration standards in 1905 than we do now. And we had no welfare state, so immigrants who couldn’t make a living here sometimes went home.

          5. ShanaC

            so it is totally possible that I may have family that got here illegally.Though it should be mentioned that same said family provided thousands of jobs during the depression. And that those laws were set up for racial reasons….(saith great-granddaughter of the basis of the kennedy curse myth, true story)

        2. jason wright

          he arrived alone?

          1. awaldstein


        3. ShanaC

          now I am wondering if we have any interconnected family members

          1. awaldstein

            dunno.Russian Ruvyn on one side, Polish Waldstein on the other.

          2. ShanaC

            well, if anyone married a lithuanian proklovilo who went by cohen, let me know? they went to Philadephia too….

    3. andyswan

      This will make for a wonderful quote when Romney/Paul/Cruz/Bush is unilaterally gutting EPA and Obamacare regulations in defiance of a newly elected congress.

      1. JamesHRH

        Precedents matter too.

  9. Mark Cancellieri

    I believe in free immigration, but I also believe in the rule of law. An important part of the rule of law is actually enforcing laws. I also think marijuana should be legalized, but I don’t agree with Obama’s decision to unilaterally just decide that he won’t enforce laws that Congress has passed just because he doesn’t like them.I think this article does a good job of discussing the problem:No, ‘Prosecutorial Discretion’ Does Not Justify Obama’s Lawless Amnesty http://www.nationalreview.c

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      “Obama’s Lawless Amnesty”repeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatrepeatit all starts to sound like the old “imperial running-dog capitalist pigs”sloganeering propagandafrom the Chinese communist party circa the 1960’sThe sad part is that that seems to have become the backbone of the GOP’s political strategy for quite some time now.The even sadder reality is that such a simplistic step&repeat sloganeering-propaganda technique is still so effective in America today, on both the citizenry and the press, as sophisticated as both groups imagine themselves to be !The citizenry have some excuses as they are hard at work with their noses to the grindstone and this sloganeering-propaganda technique simply slips osmotically through the subconscious backdoor.The “Mainstream Press” however are acting as shamelessly unprofessional media puppets by unwittingly amplifying the GOP’s daily-spectacle dosing-technique of endless-repeated non-constructive sloganeering.Instead the “Mainstream Press” should be focused on their professionally mandated responsibilities/challenge to deliver a “summary with fidelity” snapshot of our emerging political realities frames against a coherently evolving political time line. Their present entertainment-driven preoccupation with the latest political-specticale-collage does the whole profession and the democratic-society they serve a serious body-blow disservice.That reality based “summary with fidelity” political-timeline snapshot is the job that a democratic society hires the “Professional Press” to do on its behalf. IMO that “Professional Press” job is, by and large, simply not getting done in contemporary America.

      1. Gregory Magarshak

        I would have thought the GOP talking points would get their political party discredited and the gerrymandering was the only think that kept them relevant in Congress in the last election.But it seems to have resonated due to the lackluster perception of Obama’s policy execution, healthcare overhaul etc. And the dems weren’t energized enough to vote in this election. So suddenly the GOP is back in a big way. What will happen in 2016?You gotta admit, Obama doesn’t put too much effort to energize and win over own base leading up to an election.

        1. MikeSchinkel

          Funny thing is, since the election Obama is finally starting to be the president I’ve been waiting for, for 6 years now. I guess it takes no more interest in campaigning for the reigns to come off…

      2. Mike O'Horo

        Unfortunately, the mainstream media is now a fully-consolidated set of information assets in service to corporate masters. Where once we had print and electronic media that relished and took pride in doing battle against great power and corruption, now that media has been co-opted to do the bidding of the powerful.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          I agree that that is the root of the problem 🙂

  10. Ted Rogers

    it blows my mind how quickly people are willing to jettison first principles if the end justifies the means. i am an open immigration guy but what the president did last night was dangerous: law making power and law enforcement power should not be centralized in one branch of government, much less one person. separation of powers is the basis of our republic and has served us pretty well for the last 225+ years.will be interesting to see what the same people say when a future president uses the same arguments to make laws they disagree with.if you are looking for reasons why this is bad, this guy was a con. law professor and knows something about the issue (Obama)

    1. andyswan

      It’s like they don’t even realize they just wrote Jeb Bush/Rand Paul/Mitt Romney a blank check. amazing.

      1. JamesHRH

        Constitutional law Is not Criminal law. Precedent /= tradition.

      2. sachmo

        I wouldn’t have a problem with those guys taking executive actions on illegal immigration even if I might disagree with their specific policy.Where I’d really have a problem, and where I think executive needs to be curtailed is NSA / Homeland Security. I think Executive has gone way too far in that regard, and agree with both Left and Right on that issue.

    2. MikeSchinkel

      > it blows my mind how quickly people are willing to jettison first principles if the end justifies the meansWhat are the first principles being jettisoned, and what happens when first principles are either ill-concieved or don’t stand the test of time?

      1. Ted Rogers

        the first principles are those in the Constitution, starting with the principle of separation of powers between three co-equal branches, the legislative (law-making), executive (law enforcing) and judicial (law interpreting).perhaps you think those principles are ill-conceived or don’t stand the test of time. people often take that position on the constitution when it doesn’t suit their opinions on current affairs.

        1. MikeSchinkel

          No, I didn’t know what you intended as 1st Principles. Funny though, people so often interpret the Constitution as supporting their own often tortured positions. Much like people do with religious text; just look how many sects there are. I think they call it “Dogma”…?

    3. sigmaalgebra

      > but what the president did last night was dangerousOnly if people take it seriously and it becomes real, and what chances are there of that?

  11. Rohan

    I wish there was more on H1Bs! (selfish reasons of course!)

    1. Tom Labus

      There should be

    2. andyswan


      1. YouAllKnowMe

        Im totally disgusted by the politics of this. My brother came to the US legally on a student visa 11 years ago. Then switched to an H1 and he had a daughter 3 years ago who us s US citizen. He paid taxes and followed the laws for 9 years.Then his green card was denied and he was asked to move back to India.And this was because Obama DidNot want to do any STEM based immigration reform without comprehensive reform for thd last 6 years. But now that the democrats need hispanic votes in 2016, he is willing to allow people who broke the law to stay here while he kicked out lots of Indians who were legally in the US over the last six years.

        1. andyswan

          Yes I know several very good people in the exact same situation. Liberals do not want self-sufficient people here…they want a dependent block of voters they can count on without condition.

          1. YouAllKnowMe


          2. mjkagan

            The entire “family-reunification” bent of the immigration system in insane; we should be granting priority to talented young people.

          3. MikeSchinkel

            > Liberals do not want self-sufficient people here.Seriously? Character assassination? Speak for yourself, not for others please.What evidence do you have that immigrants are likely to become dependent. Everything I read from sources that don’t really have a dog in the hunt (like The Economist magazine) imply that immigration is a net positive and that immigrants are more likely to be self sufficient than native born (the latter is my interpretation, and memories of articles I’ve read in the past but can’t find on their website right now):

        2. sachmo

          I wish it would have gone further for H1s as well, but I think that would have crossed the boundary onto shaky legal ground.I still hold Republican House responsible for sitting on this issue for 18 months.

    3. pointsnfigures

      They didn’t do anything for that. Stupid. If the President went up to Capitol Hill and said to Congress, Bring me a simple bill that expands the HB1 Visa program while we have a greater debate on immigration, everyone could get behind that.

      1. Rohan

        Yeah. I can’t say my expectations were all that high going in but I was a bit disappointed. This felt like a move to get millions of votes.. and seemed to avoid the overall debate around immigration – especially because folks who want to get here on an H1B have no intention (or need) to rely on welfare.They’re just people who want to do meaningful work and feel they can do so here.

      2. jasonsmartin

        The Hastert rule prevents any progress on anything

  12. Salt Shaker

    Motive sound, means questionable.Immigration reform is a good thing, how Obama went about it leaves me scratching my head. Due process is important, a rush to implement seems, well, a bit too rash and personal. Just cause the current congress is enept doesn’t mean the next group of suits will be the same. Why not give a new congress 90 days before implementing an executive order? I’m fearful this sets a new precedent for dysfunctionality.

    1. sotek

      good point.

    2. MikeSchinkel

      Well in fairness, he did give Congress 6 years…

  13. JimHirshfield

    Are we going to see “startup visa” changes? How do we keep more foreign engineers from educating up and shipping out?I love what Unshackled ( ) is doing (as I mentioned the other day). Why doesn’t USV do that?

    1. Twain Twain

      Weren’t we supposed to get a “Fred button” so we could “Yessssssss” comments?

      1. JimHirshfield

        We’re not getting widespread demand for the aforementioned feature. 😉

        1. Twain Twain

          Haha. Could you imagine if it was “For every s used, you get 0.000000001BTC”? Some people might get RSI pressing the button.The thing about the Unshackled proposition is that it works for existing H-1B holders and those who already have visas that enable them to work in the US (e.g. PhD students on OPT visa).It doesn’t apply to, for example, European/Israeli/Chinese teams that go through YCombinator and aren’t holders of H-1B, H-1B, OPT, CPT, TN visas.

    2. pointsnfigures

      No. Sorry, This was an FU to the tech community. Or, it was a different plea, “please send money and I’ll get you what you want”.

  14. curtissumpter

    This is not good policy. And it has nothing to do with xenophobia.First on the law this is awful. What if president (Place name here) – R decides that he doesn’t approve of the Affordable Care Act so he won’t enforce it. Now apply this to the entire government at scale. How can any entity rely on anything in the government?Second, the reason Americans in heavily Republican districts that oppose immigration reform is the same reason they oppose free trade. NAFTA hit Midwestern Americans incredibly hard while the coastal and capital communities did incredibly well. These are the same people who are wage earners and have real concerns about their economic futures.While this may grow GDP the frank answer about GDP is who cares? Who cares if the pie is getting larger while the slice of the pie for working people continues to shrink? This is bad on policy for systemic reasons and bad on policy asking the same working people to pay the tab time and time again.

  15. William Mougayar

    “You Americans have no idea just how good you have it with Obama.”

    1. Ted Rogers

      compared to what?

      1. Chris Mack

        Compared to the piece of shit Canadian Prime Minister Harper anyone would look good.

        1. William Mougayar

          That’s not a nice thing to say, or how to say it. You can’t disagree with someone without calling them names?

          1. Chris Mack

            It’s not nice, that’s true. Is that the most important thing to you? Being nice? Someone who is literally destroying the social fabric of the country I was born in? No, that person does not merit ‘nice’. He deserves far, far worse than what I’ve called him.

          2. tw

            Destroying the social fabric? POS? Really?

          3. JamesHRH

            Life is too short to be a dick Chris.Harper definitely has a U.S. bias – he has no personal vision for what Canada should be, so he borrows a vision he admires.It’s futile on his part.

          4. Contemplationist

            I guess rekindling the bond with the Queen is US-centric?Haters gonna hate!

          5. William Mougayar

            That, I agree with you on re: Harper. You put it well.

          6. JamesHRH

            Just stick with that approach Will, it will pay off in the long term.I kill me. Try the veal. I’m here all week!

          7. William Mougayar

            are u in toronto?

          8. JamesHRH

            CGY.Old joke that uses a Borscht Belt standup comedian reference that may not be shared between us, given your exotic heritage and my bourgeois NA pedigree!!!

          9. Chris Mack

            Not futile though. The damage he is done is already going to take decades to undo, if it gets undone at all. Nice isn’t a binary equation either.

          10. JamesHRH

            You are right, nice is not a binary toggle. However, being a dick is a binary toggle. It works like this:if output = ‘running mouth like Gr 8 dipstick’then label = ‘dick’ & state = ‘ignore’else label = ‘credible’& state = ‘listen’

          11. Chris Mack


          12. JamesHRH

            You bet – if you work in tech for 20 years you get to run hundreds of dipshits through the DickHead IF/THEN/ELSE.The space is full of men with slightly higher than average IQ who also possess EQ that is slightly lower than chairs they sit on.Part of the territory.Go back and enjoy HN.

          13. ShanaC

            *headthunk* (and the thunk also goes for @disqus_u09tKfPi4S:disqus ) Is there actually a point to insulting each other? Did you guys learn something substantive today about debating immigration with each other? Probably not. Because you yelled at each other and insulted each other instead.(also, I’m not your mom, and you should know this stuff already.)

          14. JamesHRH

            I am not insulting anyone Shana. All comments general. Please re-read my posts.Value AVC too much to sink to that level but unlike Fred, I feel that inappropriate behaviour should be brought to poster’s attention & framed for their awareness.

          15. ShanaC

            ok, so, the thing is, we can’t mind read (or at least I can’t) so I have no idea how you or him read things/feel things so “framing for awareness” means what exactly?

          16. JamesHRH

            You might find it fine grain, but I never called him a dick & never actaully IF/THEN/ELSED him. However, it appears he came to the conclusion that he was a dick.Which is OK by me &, I believe, to the benefit of the discourse on AVC.

          17. Chris Mack


          18. JamesHRH

            One of the ways to score a person’s comments is to evaluate their ratio of insults to insights.

          19. Chris Mack

            FWIW – My opinion is that public figures – particularly politicians are open game for direct insults. I understand you may feel different – and you can certainly make your choices, but I don’t feel you have a right to call mine incorrect.

          20. Chris Mack


          21. JamesHRH

            Thanks for proving my point.

          22. MikeSchinkel

            Superlatives rarely play well except to the already converted. And this from someone who has no dog in your hunt.

          23. Chris Mack

            Yeah, but I like a little pot stirring 🙂

          24. ShanaC

            no, it really doesn’t need to be stirred if you want to be burned

          25. Chris Mack

            I’m going to assume there’s either a missing negative or an extra one in there? Not following otherwise. And quite a funny choice of words, since you usually do, in fact, have to stir the pot to stop it from burning.

          26. MikeSchinkel

            @chris Mack And you do it so well! 😉

    2. JamesHRH

      It has been a long time since I would trade sitting US President for a sitting CDN Prime Minister.Obama has treated the White House like a Research Chair in US Govt.Harper is a small minded, thin skinned, borderline paranoid partisan ( Karl Rove would love him ) but I wouldn’t trade his core execution of policy for the superficial, ineffectual & arrogant leadership of Obama.Yes We Can ( get me elected ), There’s No Plan ( for when you do).Ask Brad Feld’s Uncle – delivering on promise is one of the 3 pillars of successful leadership.When principled people like @JLM go off their trolley over Obama, this is why.

      1. William Mougayar

        What gives us the right to critique another country’s President? I would not do that, unless I’m a citizen of that country. I get offended when non-Canadians criticize Canadian politicians. Nobody is perfect.

        1. Chris Mack

          Canada does not have a President. It has a Prime Minister. Why on earth would you get offended given you are CLEARLY not Canadian???

          1. William Mougayar

            I am Canadian, Chris…and from Vancouver where you are, if that matters.(but this is the last comment I’ll reply to that is personal)

          2. Chris Mack

            Oh, your comment must have been directed to a Canadian commenting on Obama. I see, I misunderstood,Most americans I know don’t really know enough (or care enough) about Canadian politics to be able to criticize (or applaud) any politician. The reverse isn’t really true simply because American politics affects Canada much more so than the other way around. That and Canadians have always had an inferiority complex when it comes to the US.

          3. William Mougayar

            Re: “Canadians have always had an inferiority complex when it comes to the US.” I think it’s changing; maybe not across the board, but it is getting better.

          4. andyswan

            It should. Canada is a perfectly fine hat 🙂

          5. John Powell

            In a decade from now, Canada will be part of USA. Talks are going on, books are being written and bills are being presented. It is only a matter of time

          6. William Mougayar

            “In a decade from now, Canada will be part of USA.” Really, that’s news to me.

          7. MikeSchinkel

            ROFL! Yeah, something tells me there’s be just a bit too much resistance to that idea, on both sides of the border. 🙂

          8. pointsnfigures

            William will have to become a football/baseball fan….

          9. William Mougayar

            Wait til the Raptors win the NBA finals this year, then everyone in the US will know where Toronto is 🙂

          10. pointsnfigures

            They need to beat the Bulls! (if DRose can string a few games together!) I really hope they make a run at it because it’s been tough to have a good team up there. Would be great for the league if they did. At least they aren’t in a very tough division. Get a bunch of guaranteed wins against the 76ers, Knicks, Celtics….

          11. William Mougayar

            Of course it will get decided with the West. Yup, injuries aren’t helping Chicago. Did you see what Lou Williams did yesterday vs. the Cavs? #WetheNorth

          12. pointsnfigures

            Didn’t. Was occupied. I think the Cavs are learning how to be a team, and it’s messy. They’ll make the playoffs, but the Bulls have a head start on being a team. The way everyone is playing it feels like the entire league is up for grabs.

          13. Guy Lepage

            That’s a pretty bold statement. I can tell you haven’t lived in Canada for an extended period of time. Although Canadians and Americans possess similarities, I can’t see Canadians letting that happen in my lifetime.

          14. Chris Mack

            I don’t see that, but here’s to hoping!Maybe we can start by killing the Canadian obsession with monikoring everything with ‘world-class’ (scream insecure a little louder, please)

          15. Guy Lepage

            Definitely agree. Thanks to the C100.

        2. SubstrateUndertow

          A friendly out side persecutive can sometime offer something useful to any political landscape ?But I think you are right, rarely do such well meaning acts go unpunished 🙂

        3. JamesHRH

          William – are you catching the flu?You started this thread with an opinion piece on the sitting U.S. President.Random public critique of the performance of public figures ( Hi my name is Travis Kalanick ) is part of the JD.

          1. William Mougayar

            I’m all for healthy debates across a variety of issues and sides, but what I don’t appreciate is when it gets personal, or when the discussion includes nasty, name-calling, cursing, and condescending vocabulary.

          2. JamesHRH

            Well, I am going to rely on the libel defence.I don’t think I have called anybody names (neither has Andy btw).Assessments of your personal capabilities, achievements & nature has to be fair game. Hopefully, political leaders listed their positive and negative attributes before they chose to pursue such important roes in our lives (well, Harper is NB to me and you).

          3. William Mougayar

            Actually, I wasn’t pointing at you. I’m saying in general…but others have crossed the line today, here.

          4. JamesHRH

            I appreciate it.My first 18 months on AVC, I appointed myself bouncer & ran off some Dilberries.Gotta weed the garden!

          5. andyswan

            If I may be so bold… these kinds of statements do nothing of value. If you and @ShanaC:disqus (both of whom I respect and appreciate your mod service, BTW) could reply directly to the offending comments with specific reasons why it crossed the line, I am POSITIVE that long-time contributors to this blog would listen and change future behavior appropriately.But to sit here and be scolded for something I didn’t say (as Fred did with me) because people ASSumed it was personal in nature… that ain’t gonna fly.

          6. ShanaC

            i’m actually tempted to do this for everyone. I have no idea when, but I am seriously tempted to scrape the entire page and write everyone personal comments on every comment written, from not using “the democrats” (be specific) “obama supporters” (again try to be more specific, do you mean someone on this site, someone else), “tyranny” (why is something tyrannical and not just bad policy, because otherwise the choice of the word tyranny is just used to incite people to argue in the comments), “republicans” (be specific”) “lie” (how is something a lie, what makes something the truth), “illegals” (I know we are talking about illegal immigration, but is this code for anyone who is hispanic, since there are illegal immigrants who are not hispanic) name choices among anonymous commentators, the gamut.

          7. andyswan

            Well there’s a line between keeping it clean and becoming the thought police…but I’d personally welcome your commentary.

          8. ShanaC

            I really have no desire to be thought police. I do really want to know what people are thinking in a calm and organized manner. The best way is for them to explicitly say what they are they thinking, the long way.EG: There is an actual linguistic difference between welfare state and state that provides a basket of goods, cash, and services as a net to prevent certain behavior and cause others. We could have a discussion about what the state should or shouldn’t be doing with the second phrasing much more clearly. EG: Are there any cases where the state should provide a basket of goods, cash, and services as a net? What are they? why do we think these are the cases? Why do people disagree about the other cases? How should they be implemented, if these cases do exist in a majority population in the republican democracy that US supposedly is?That’s policy and political discussion.Welfare state doesn’t actually even talk about any of those questions, and brings up issues of “welfare queen abusing the system” How do you get over the baggage that comes with that to talk about above?

          9. William Mougayar

            Andy,- to clarify our role, we only work on spam, or extremely offensive language. The rest, we’re just like any other commentator.

          10. andyswan


          11. andyswan

            BTW… I still remember this little gem from 2008. So pardon me if I don’t want to be lectured on “hate” because I said “what a joke” about an idea.

          12. andyswan

            Oh and Palin is an “idiot babe” who only got there “because of her looks”Amazing.

          13. ShanaC

            I do not approve of all of fred’s language choices. I don’t think that was smart either If anything, as the bar owner, I think he should be more aware, not less, but I can’t force him to be more aware, the same way I can’t force you.

        4. matthughes

          I work for a Canadian company and my colleagues (friends) critique American culture and government all the time – even when visiting the US.It’s fine because we’re friends, there is context and we all get along.But I would not criticize Canada (especially as a visitor) like they do – and I’ve told them that.I love Canada by the way.

          1. JamesHRH

            That is very close to being known as the Bill Maher Problem with America (paraphrasing here): we are loyal to people, but not to principle.The Big Ideas that underly America are some of man’s greatest inventions. The execution of the American Ideal has its ups and downs.Any buddy who can’t give & take a little constructive, well intentioned criticism needs to hitch up the belt a little tighter.

        5. Salt Shaker

          William, as a U.S. citizen living in today’s global economy, I actually welcome such critiques. When I travel to Europe and to Canada, for example, I like to engage w/ residents and colleagues and hear their opinions about our country, our leaders and our policies, usually over a nice cocktail or two. Certainly the U.S. media isn’t gonna provide such perspective, as they’re way too consumed w/ fulfilling a partisan agenda. It provides me w/ context and I find it to be refreshing and enlightening. Sadly, the perception of arrogance still remains pretty strong, as it has during both the Bush and Obama administrations.

          1. William Mougayar

            You’ve touched on an interesting topic,- global perceptions of various countries, cultures, etc… That’s a big topic. No one is perfect, and there are perceptions everywhere, but the more one travels internationally, the more they become wiser, understanding, and accepting about these differences.

      2. MikeSchinkel

        It always surprises me that people who didn’t vote for him think Obama is arrogant; he does not come across that way to me at all (I assume you did not vote for him?) Actually, it doesn’t surprise me, but I find that people who view him as arrogant or not correlates with one’s political ideology and has little to do with his actual actions. Case in point I found G.W.Bush to be highly arrogant, but then I don’t remember ever hearing a self-styled conservative agree with that assessment.The sad things is facts don’t actually matter[1] when it comes to a partisan’s opinion of a politician. I just wish more people would be intellectually honest about their own inbred biases.[1]

        1. JamesHRH

          Bush had the ultimate attitude of entitlement. If he had serious analytical ability, the idea of him being President would have scared the bejesus out of him.He was a savant with people, from someone I know who met him personally. Everyone in his cabinet was a crony of his Pops, who was pretty darn sharp. That is what he relied on, to his detriment (and the country’s – wow, the Bushes misread the competence of Rumsfeld & Cheney).People never thought of him as arrogant, just without self awareness (which is both true and how he was so horribly un-telegenic while being a in-person charisma monster).Current President took a coupe of years in grad school, read and laid low, then decided to become the first black President (I have $1000 to bet with anyone who will let a vial of sodium pentathol be how we decide.).That is not a guy with self esteem problems. I have no issue with arrogance, but If you are arrogant (“Yes We Can’), all you have to do is back it up (“well, we haven’t really”).Like Travis Kalanick, live by the sword, die by the sword.Barack Obama lacks the interpersonal charisma of Bush. If he had it, his intelligence and self expectation (arrogance) would have people talking about how to put a fifth head on Mt Rushmore.Sadly, and crushingly to his supporters (see any 32 year old 2008 Obama campaign workers still on board? / or Chris Hughes / or Axelrod even?), he does not have the mojo to lead.It is not who he is.

          1. MikeSchinkel

            That’s pretty much spot on what the new Meet the Press guy said about Obama in an interview about his book. And your characterization of Bush sounds about spot on to.But I beg to differ that nobody thought he was arrogant since at least one person did: me.

          2. Guest

            You probably need to be arrogant to be President.What;s the old joke about candidates – they only problem with that person is that they want to be President……

          3. MikeSchinkel

            Very true.

          4. sachmo

            Bush had a certain type of interpersonal charisma that made him the sort of person you might want to have a beer with.I wouldn’t go so far to say that this translated into charisma for visiting heads of state. He also had a way (because of his general ignorance and stupidity) of offending people or doing inappropriate things during official state visits.I also don’t think his sort of every man charm gave him any leadership abilities whatsoever. Bush ran the country into the ground.And I couldn’t disagree more on Obama. While I don’t think he’s an Abe Lincoln, George Washington, or FDR, he is a good president. He’s gotten a major health care bill passed. He’s ended 2 idiotic wars. He’s pushed for better gas mileage on cars, and cutting emissions at existing power plants. In a clutch, when there was high uncertainty, he pushed through a stimulus package that helped rebound the economy, and also bailed out the Auto Industry (which worked out big time). These are the actions of a leader.One thing people forget – At the time of his presidency Abe Lincoln was a nobody. He didn’t have a particularly successful law practice. His opponents viewed him as a 2nd rate, dishonest country lawyer.Good leadership is rarely recognized for what it is, except in hindsight. I think this is part of the cloud that surround Obama right now. If you really look at any of his major policies in a vacuum they are for the most part quite good.Again he’s not a top 5 president, but I think he’s a good one.

          5. JamesHRH

            The issues are:almost anybody would have gotten out of the wars.pushing is the ultimate Dem activity – feels good, achieves little.he will be wiping Obamacare rollout vomit off of himself for 20 years (execution matters).I was a fan of the man who said we can; but he had no plan to do the things he promised. That’s a millstone.Lincoln ended slavery. I mean, that’s a stretch right there.

          6. sachmo

            First, McCain the guy that ran against him in 08 would NOT have gotten us out of either war.You haven’t addressed the other points I brought up that are all good things he’s done: fuel efficiency on cars, reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, stimulus package and auto bailout in a clutch situation.Obamacare is good by the way. As an entrepreneur I can start a business and get healthcare easily – something I couldn’t have done just 5 years ago!By the way, I said he was NO abe lincoln. I am saying he’s NOT on my top 5 or top ten list of presidents, but is probably top twenty. He’s a good president, not a great or badass one.

        2. sachmo

          I agree, I don’t think the guy is arrogant at all.

      3. sachmo

        I couldn’t disagree more. Obama is a lawyer. Most of the US lawmakers (both Republican and Democrat) are lawyers. They all govern based (with the exception of Obama actually) based on mostly ideology and abstract party doctrine.Contrast this to China where most lawmakers have science backgrounds. Sure, there’s a lot of government corruption and graft in the system – but generally speaking they seem a lot better at deploying government capital on meaningful projects that have seriously impacted average Chinese citizens lives in a positive way and raised GDP doing so (not standing various human rights issues in the country).I would love it if a president really did govern like a “Research Chair”. It might mean actually being able to say “I Don’t Know” and commissioning pilot studies before committing billions upon billions of dollars to a public policy.I think Obama’s done a great job and delivered on a lot of things – like Health Care for one. Sure, he’s implemented the Democrats’ solution and not the Republicans, but that’s to be expected. So what are your specific examples of where he’s failed to deliver?

        1. JamesHRH

          When you campaign for 15 months on Change & then hire Rahm Emmanuel as Chief of Staff, you don’t understand your promise to the people (or you are a complete liar, as JLM would have us believe).Or, you have no idea how to lead ( my personal belief ).Politics is more gridlocked, more partisan & people under 40 are more disintersted. When you promise a whole new way of doung things, you need tonot just do things, but do then differently.He is 0 for his entire Presidency on changing Wshington, his core promise to the American people.China is a benevolent ( for the moment ) autocracy. No thanks. Know anyone who has lives thers? Someone I know said ‘All things are possible, nothing is cerrtain & everything is hard.’The culture in China is just because you can, you should ( just do nt get caught).

          1. sachmo

            I don’t think he promised, or it’s reasonable to expect that he fundamentally change how deal making is done in Washington.He’s one guy. He doesn’t control the actions of the other 535 people that actually make laws. That certainly isn’t what I felt was promised to me when I voted for him, nor do I think that anyone that holds him to this is being fair.Agreed that China has internal freedom issues. But I do think that taking a scientific approach to governance (or Research Chair as you called it) would actually be better than taking a purely Legalistic approach to governance.

          2. sachmo

            Awesome video. Thanks for sharing.

    3. PhilipSugar

      As somebody that goes to Canada twenty times a year and works for a very large Canadian company, I think you guys don’t know how good you have it. When I ask if there is bad sections in Toronto or Montreal and people debate, and the answer basically comes up no makes me wonder about places like Chicago.BTW: Too early to have the snow and ice in Toronto on Wednesday and the blowing snow closing roads yesterday.

      1. JamesHRH

        Buffalo much Phil? TO lookjng pretty autumnal in comparison!

      2. Dave Pinsen

        When you don’t have a history of slavery, and you carefully select your immigrants, as Canada does, you have fewer bad neighborhoods.When you welcome anyone with a pulse from crime-wracked countries like Mexico (4x the U.S. homicide rate) and Guatemala (18x), you’re going to end up with more crime, more poverty, and more inequality.

        1. Shawn

          The problems with inequality in the USA have little to do with immigration policy.

        2. Salt Shaker

          They also don’t have a prob w/ gun packing citizens. Ever talk to a Canuck about gun control in the U.S.? They think we’re certifiably crazy, along with all the other civilized nations.

          1. JamesHRH

            That stats say you are certifiable on the gun thing.

          2. Salt Shaker

            LOL, James. You disagree? Your opinion is both meaningful and statistically projectable 🙂

          3. JamesHRH

            America is a great place but the culture is not rational on healthcare & guns.

          4. Salt Shaker

            Agree on guns wholeheartedly and our initial crack at an affordable healthcare policy/system has certainly been far from smooth. Incredibly, and quite tiresome, the GOP is still hellbent on repeal rather fixing what is broken, all driven by ego and arrogance.Curious of your thoughts on the Canadian healthcare system? (My sister-in-law is Canadian and my nieces and nephews all have dual citizenship.) Her brother was very ill and literally had to wait weeks for appropriate testing and care cause the system was terriblly backed up. He was terminal, and that perhaps played a role, but that would have never occurred here. Not sure if this was an aberration, but it’s my sole datapoint.

          5. JamesHRH

            We went through a similar irrational phase on health care, but in reverse. Certain people see red when you mention private health care (‘ two-tiered health care, public and private).They scream and shout about unfairness and queue jumping and other nonsense, while rich Canadian go to the Mayo in Rochester or Phoenix (and the CDN healthcare system loses out on $10Ms).Govts should not operate anything that is not highly specialized (quality based they can do; high level serivce or rationally efficient service then cannot).We outsourced the Alberta version of the DMV a decade ago. Service levels up, locations way up, all good.Best example of medicare in Canada: triage nurses when my daughter was born – world class attitude and ability. Post natal nurses – everything you ever thought was bad about unions.The answer is universal healthcare coverage and a mix of private / public facilities. Specialized private facilities should be mandates to do 30% public healthcare procedures, etc.Eye surgeon bud once said that a city of a million people needs 2 full service trauma centres and everything else should be boutique. Made sense.Private insurance should only be for wealthy people looking to get high level private services. The idea that you would insert an insurance market in the middle of universal health care seems a really, really bad idea.

        3. Casper

          I’m not as smart as the majority of folks here within the AVC community, so I’ll admit I’m a little slow. That being stated, are you saying without slavery and an open immigration policy we would have fewer bad neighborhoods? Who knew? BTW, Ireland was once considered a less than desirable place to be from here in the US, and the slums they occupied were gang ridden and crime-wracked communities of unimaginable proportions.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Who commits the disproportionate shares of violent crime in the U.S.? Consider, for example, interracial rape stats – see Jim Goad here:

          2. Casper

            I don’t know Dave, who commits the disproportionate share of violent crime in the U.S? Disproportionately I know who gets locked up more based upon racial bias and unfair sentencing. But that’s a conversation for another day.As a country and society we have to accept and admit our inherent bias and prejudices and we are reluctant to do so.Sorry to say America has never been a country that has welcomed immigrants with open arms. Never has never will because some segment of the society always feels as if they are losing something tangible or intangible. Tell me how we solve that little piccadillio!Off to the Cal Stanfors drinkfest masquerading as a football game. Ciao!

      3. William Mougayar

        I know exactly what you are talking about, of course. You were in Toronto this week? Let me know next time 🙂 It’s going back up to 50F on the week-end with rain, so it’s probably going to melt. First snow is always nasty, because drivers aren’t used to it, and some of them haven’t changed to winter tires yet.

      1. MikeSchinkel

        ROFLMAO; classic!!!!

      2. sachmo

        Classic : )

    4. Roxanne

      Except when it comes to his attention to details:1) how do you examine 5 million applications?2) what is the standard of review ?3) what is the appeal process ?4) does failure to participate in the affordable care act subject you to deportation?5) what about parents who have lost their children due to childhood illness? Gang crimes?6) does conviction of a crime as a kid subject you and your family to deportation?7) does conviction of a crime after the executive order subject you to deportation8) do crimes on a foreign soil subject you to deportation?9) do crimes of a parent render you subject to deportation, a step parent, a nonbiological parent?Etc.This is why “in a nut shell” the executive office was never meant to write the law? When it comes to the law, its all about details.

      1. Paul Eastlund

        Well, let’s not pretend when the legislature acts it always perfectly crosses the t’s and dots the i’s ahead of time. Obamacare is a recent visible example of this. The issues you raise definitely need to be addressed, but I’m not sure we can conclude that they won’t be just because we don’t know the answers immediately.

        1. Roxanne

          Oh , these questions are all answered… just not shared.

      2. ShanaC

        This big issue is that people who are here legally don’t want to just work – they want to be able to also have freedom of movement to you know, see family.Connection to community matters.

        1. Roxanne

          This executive order is hardly fair to the Single, Gays and/or Lesbians Latinos (without children).

          1. MikeSchinkel

            Faith-based initiatives are unfair to Atheists, Agnostics and Secular Humanists. I assume you support getting rid of them too?

          2. ShanaC

            we shall not assume.

          3. MikeSchinkel

            Point of clarification, I was not assuming. Instead I asked a question, the question in the form:- “If I assumed ‘X’, would I be correct?”

          4. ShanaC

            true too.

      3. sachmo

        Who says there are no details. No president has ever gone over immigration applications in detail in a speech before. Doesn’t mean the details of that application don’t exist. Check back in a couple months if the Republicans are still twiddling their thumbs on this issue, I’m sure detailed applications and FAQs will be posted on USCIS website.I think it would be relatively simple to address all of the points you raised.

        1. Roxanne

          You mean like the ACA. How about treating the American public like equal partners for a change.

          1. sachmo

            I think the ACA was a great bill. I’m going to be purchasing my healthcare from an exchange in a month or so, and it’s awesome that I can pursue entrepreneurship and not worry about health insurance.The ACA dealt with a lot of major issues in the system, like dropping sick people from insurance rolls for no reason.

          2. stanley lugerner

            If the ACA is a “great bill” is not at issue. Sunlight is. While tech seems to be proving that sunlight catalyzes the wisdom from the crowd, legislators have not gotten this message. They still work within the secret dark chambers of their stuffy offices protected by fences, guns and dogs.

          3. sachmo

            So do you think that the ACA doesn’t have these details worked out or lacks sunlight? I don’t.

          4. stanley lugerner

            Get real. You’ve never read the ACA. You are flying in the dark.

          5. sachmo

            I don’t need to read the ACA bill to know that the health exchanges work. I go on the website and buy insurance, and voila I have insurance.You started this out saying the devil is in the details. That was your initial criticism of the immigration plan. My answer is “ok, so they’ll work out the details.” They did with Obamacare, and they will on the immigration issue.More specifically… where is this so called lack of sunlight you are talking about?

          6. ShanaC

            um…get real…is not appropriate for having a discussion…..

          7. Dave Pinsen

            Our insurance rates are going up a lot next year, and providers are laying the groundwork to raise their copays too. For example, now when I get blood drawn now they take my credit card info and have me sign something authorizing a charge of up to $50. Never did that before ACA, they’d just mail me a bill for a ~$3 copay. Similarly, when I get a physical, the doctor’s office has me sign something authorizing an extra $65 for the EKG. They never did that before either. They’re anticipating reimbursements tightening and preparing to clawback the difference from patients. End result will be higher costs for most.

          8. sachmo

            I agree, my own health premiums have increased in cost.But one reason for that is that they used to have a lot more sneaky co-pays, and gaps in coverage.For example, they use to be able to tack on emergency room deductibles or copays of $500 or $1k per visit. They also use to be able to cover emergency room stuff, but then have a gap in surgical treatment coverage.So even the new low end plans today provide more coverage than the low end plans prior to the ACA.Generally, the rate of healthcare premiums increasing has slowed greatly since the ACA was passed. More people are covered, and a lot of young healthy people have joined the coverage pools.

          9. MikeSchinkel

            Funny, my insurance went down and so did my co-pays. Maybe you should look for better insurance?(I know, mine is an anecdotal fallacy, but so is yours.)

      4. reggiedog

        The details entirely confound the president’s talk of 5M immigrants. (are you surprised?)They are required to give a ton of personal data, which is a very high hurdle for a wary community. Early guesses are that >80% will not want to give up so much data at this point and so 5M isn’t close to reality, anymore than the fines on banks are real dollars. It’s all a show to make you think he’s doing something.

      5. Lucas_Cioffi

        In collegiate debate we called what Roxanne did “spreading” because it spread the opposing side thin when they had to answer all of these separate lines of argument. It’s very hard for William to respond to all these points using standard blog comments, so it usually doesn’t happen.It’s amazing that in 2014 there is no mainstream tool for large-scale, productive and participatory debate where hundreds of people can engage in a robust back-and-forth rather than just being limited to listing pros and cons.I built a tool like that but moved on to building new collaboration tools instead because I experienced a stronger market fit. If someone reading this knows of a market need for advanced debating tools (in MOOCs, news media, enterprise, or elsewhere), I’d very much be interested in connecting with you. Please drop me a note at…In short, I think better debate maps & visualizations are essential to making debates organized and giving people a way to add their idea in the exact right spot of the conversation. The attached image shows an example. When there is just one collaboratively edited macro view of a conversation or debate, you can visualize common ground, focus on each area of disagreement, and have the most resilient arguments rise to the top of each branch.

        1. MikeSchinkel

          I share your lament.But the reason there is no mainstream tool for large-scale, productive and participatory debate is that few would use it. In general people overwhelmingly seek sources that confirm there bias and rarely allow themselves to be exposed to sources that could actually force them to reevaluate their own positions, i.e. Confirmation bias.http://www.scientificameric…Too bad though, it would be much better if we were all rational actors.

          1. Lucas_Cioffi

            I agree that everyday people are not interested in an online debate, however if there was a leader that held forums for open and transparent debate, it would be a remarkably fresh leadership style and then a substantial number of people would be interested. That type of debate would have a clear purpose: informing policy.I believe that a type of leader like that can “disrupt” politics in the startup sense of the word. Harnessing the collective intelligence of the people one represents is a card rarely played in politics.

          2. MikeSchinkel

            Oh, don’t get me wrong, I would love for such a thing to exist and I have even daydreamed about what it would take to make it happen.But by the same token I think it would require a form of gamification that might not even be logically possible so I am decided non-optimistic that I will see any such thing in my lifetime. 🙁

    5. jason wright

      the collision of economics and politics.the solution is to legalise their employment but withhold their right to vote. it goes against the totem of ‘no taxation without representation’, but it dilutes the problem.

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Rush Limbaugh has suggested that, rhetorically, but you’d still have an economic problem, since most of these workers would consume more in government resources than they’d pay in taxes.

        1. jason wright

          the top 0.1% of the US population has a combined wealth equal to that of the bottom 90%. that’s a far greater economic problem.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Most of the 0.1% are in favor of importing more poor immigrants. That’s not because they think it will reduce inequality.

    6. Guy Lepage

      Touché messieur!!! Well played.

    7. MikeSchinkel

      I expect at some point in the future many of those who complain about him today will look back on Obama as being much better than the then current POTUS. But I digress.

    8. Techman

      Perfect use for this article tbh. Couldn’t have been any better.

  16. Twain Twain

    I’m steering clear of the “We love / hate Obama” and “He exceeded / mastered his executive remit” arguments because (1.) I don’t have a vote in US elections and (2.) I know it’s a sensitive and contentious topic.I’ll only make this observation as it affects future generations of US citizens and technology……..Whilst in SF for a few months earlier this year, I learnt about the immigrant issues first-hand whilst helping the SF Treasury Office (SFTO) team with their K2C (Kindergarten to College) program which is operated in conjunction with Citigroup:*…Apparently, SFTO was aware their schools have a high proportion of immigrant families who’ve never opened a bank account and aren’t saving for their kids’ education because they lack the documentation. These are kids who were born in the States and some may even become outstanding immigrant entrepreneurs like Sergei Brin etc. To solve their problem, SFTO arranged it with their districts’ kindergarten schools to open K2C bank accounts for all families, including immigrant ones.And SFTO seeds each child’s account with $50.However, only 12% of parents then add deposits to that initial seed because they’re concerned about going into the banks and doing anything that makes them “visible” in any way to the IRS and deportation authorities. That affects their kids’ educations and their ability to save on their behalf.Anyway, I met Hadi Partovi of Code.Org whilst at the recent Web Summit and suggested a solution whereby for older kids (11-16) who do N hours of code with Code.Org, they’re then rewarded with $50 from Code.Org into the child’s K2C fund. In this way, the immigrant kids are incentivized to do well in coding classes, their parents become more engaged in their schooling and wanting to be “visible” and legal… And perhaps that will help nurture the future Sergei Brins and Jan Koums amongst those kids.Maybe BTC micro-payments could be added to the mix……….

    1. sotek

      Honestly, you don’t really need anything but a valid photo ID such as foreign passport to open a checking account in most immigrant-friendly cities/communities across America.

      1. Twain Twain

        I think part of it is that some don’t have valid photo ID and foreign passports and the other part is they don’t have access to appropriate information about what is / isn’t available to them as immigrants / illegals.

  17. Mark Gavagan

    The single greatest dumb-luck benefit in my life, which probably accounts for 98% of everything I have and have been able to do, is being born in America.There is tremendous room for improvement in our immigration laws and policies, and the US needs many of the hard-working, terrific people that want to be here, but this video makes a pretty compelling case that solving world poverty through open immigration to the U.S. is just not possible, due to the numbers:…I’m certainly not an immigration expert, and don’t know exactly what the law should be, but I’d love to learn what others here think.

    1. pointsnfigures… Since we are all about “network beats hierarchy” etc. Here is a good way to amend immigration laws so hierarchy loses.

      1. Mark Gavagan

        @pointsnfigures, I’m interested to learn about what you’ve posted, but the video is over an hour in duration. Would you please summarize the most important points? Thank you.

        1. pointsnfigures

          I saw Prof Becker live when he first presented this idea. He says there is a supply of immigrants, and a demand for immigration. Where you have supply and demand, a price can be derived. Tricky thing is what’s the price? Selling citizenship instead of granting it is a radical change.But, in fact, there already is a price. There is a black market of bribery that many immigrants pay to get here. There are govt programs to allow immigrants in if certain amounts of jobs are created.Becker did the research and concludes that immigration is a massive net positive for America. (I agree!) What is broken is the way we run it today with a centralized bureaucracy calling the shots. A supply and demand priced system would stem a lot of illegal immigration, and bring America a supply of immigrants that we wanted. For example, want to bring your Dev team from eastern Europe to America? You know the cost.If you are in another country and want to come, figure out how to pay the price and boom, you are in. As opportunities go up and down, the demand for immigration will go up and down. The market will regulate.Where there are externalities (for example a Holocaust), you can adjust policy to fix for them.The network effects from immigration and creating productive working (key is working) American citizens is huge.

          1. Mark Gavagan

            Thanks @pointsnfigures.Bureaucracy contributes to the problem, but it’s not the core issue.I wonder how the pure “citizenship for sale” model you suggest would work in practice, specifically, and what the unintended human and economic consequences of it would be.

          2. pointsnfigures

            I don’t know that there is a core issue when it comes to immigration. Bureaucracy is one problem. Economic opportunity is another. Persecution is another. No idea how it would work in practice. At UChicago, the saying is “It works in practice but does it work in theory”. Ironically, Becker did groundbreaking research on racism that proved correct many years later. I suspect he is right on immigration too. Prof Kevin Murphy carries his torch these days, as do the Freakonomics guys Prof Steve Leavitt.

          3. Mark Gavagan

            I’d frame the core issue of immigration policy as how to allocate US entry/citizenship so it results in maximum long term gain and minimum overall loss in both human and economic terms.BTW, Freakonomics is fascinating! Equally so is Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (… I have no connection – I’m just a listener and donor.

          4. ShanaC

            there are ethical considerations outside of the market for this.Professor Becker also thought we should sell unwanted children/parents not able to take care of children into adoptive homes.One problem:There are classes of people with personality disorders that are high functioning who would bid up the price of these children, because the children are unwanted and would give these people “emotional supplies” at a relatively cheaper cost compared to dealing with the rest of the world.Filtering out these people are difficult because they can be highly charming in one screening.So this market would face constant externalities.Similarly, so would a market for citizenship. There are always externalities for everyone. Drug wars, weird tribal wars, war wars, absolute abject poverty, famine, flood, orphan abroad. What makes one person more deserving?

          5. sigmaalgebra

            Shana, you just don’t understand and, thus, just don’t fit in here. And the reason is clear: You spent too little time in the men’s locker rooms or in frat house beer bull sessions! So, with your lack of fit, you bring in some good material!

          6. pointsnfigures

            You are bringing a different issue into the immigration issue. Becker was extraordinary in the breadth of topics, and the intellectual analysis he would apply to them. He also advocates a free market for organs, eliminating lists. Becker seems to be correct on solving immigration. Pay for it. Doesn’t matter who pays-employers, benefactors, whatever.

  18. Raj

    My parents came to the US legally. They waited their turn, followed the process, and were rewarded by being given the opportunity to come here.To reward people who don’t follow the same process strikes me as unfair.

    1. JamesHRH

      It strikes everyone as unfair.

    2. lonnylot

      I think the arguement is more related to the time period and the rules during that time period. Out of curiosity, when did your parents come here?

      1. Raj

        My parents came to the US in 1974. A different era to be sure, but it’s within reason that we set ground rules and make everyone follow them.

          1. ShanaC

            oy. just, no…guys….

          2. MikeSchinkel

            Is it the wording, or the sentiment? I assume the former. Please pay attention to the latter, which was my point (sorry, there was no “clean” equivalent to share…)

          3. ShanaC

            then make up your own clean equivalent.

          4. MikeSchinkel

            Sorry, something I make up is not a meme and thus it just would not have the same recognition nor impact.

          5. MikeSchinkel

            Also, if it were polite, it would not make the same point.

          6. ShanaC

            How do you know that?

          7. MikeSchinkel

            Well, I do not actually “know.” But I have an opinion that it would not make the same point, and when I’m writing a comment that’s all any of us really have to rely on, our own opinions.

          8. ShanaC

            that is true, but, remember, you may also be perceived in some radically different way by a random third party, or have insulted the person you are debating with.

          9. MikeSchinkel

            Well, that would be my risk wouldn’t it? And one I sometimes choose to take.You’ll note I did chose not to quote the curse word in my comment but instead only link to it. That was a conscious decision to minimize exactly that which you mention as being a potential.Unfortunately I think the sentiment mentioned at the other end of that link encapsulates the IMO regrettable mindset of people who bemoan the current immigrants “getting a pass while their ancestors followed the law” (which many actually didn’t as there were no immigration laws until relatively recently.)IMO those 4 words illustrates how self-centered the perspective is in a way that I would hope would allow people to interpret their own opinions from other people’s perspectives. And those words do it IMO far better than any other meme I know of, or anything else I could possibly write. So that’s why I took the “risk” of being perceived radically different by people who are ignorant of the meme.As far as being insulted, I believe that when someone is “insulted” it says a lot more about them and their reaction to the world than it does about my actions they are insulted by.That said, there are those who believe that one can’t be highly successful unless they are polarizing and piss a lot of people off. Not me, mind you, but there are those who believe that theory.

    3. MikeSchinkel

      Since when is “fair” something that Republican/conservatives view as being an important aspect of government? Certainly not related to health care or the growing levels of inequity in our society. (I’m talking about Republican/conservatives in general and not you specifically because this has become a partisan issue as Fred describes. The problem is, how do you solve the problem, really, without being “unfair” to someone?)

      1. Dave Pinsen

        How will importing millions of poor people reduce inequity in the US? Think this through. Mam-speaking illiterate kids aren’t going to be a burden on private schools, like the one Fred sent his kids too; they are a burden on public schools in poor and middle class neighborhoods. That’s an added inequity right there.

        1. shetries

          We are already experiencing this in Texas.

          1. MikeSchinkel

            They were not allowed to be legal. And thus pay income taxes.

          2. JLM

            .Wage earners at this low level do not actually owe or pay Federal income taxes, they get a check from the gov’t.They do pay payroll taxes. Even illegals with forged SS cards pay payroll taxes.The President’s assertions are simply wrong. They will be a net drain on the Treasury not a contributor.JLM.

          3. Dave Pinsen

            Right. The earned income tax credit and child tax credit make effective federal tax rates negative at the lowest income levels

          4. MikeSchinkel

            You saying it does not make it so. Got any unbiased references to corroborate your assertions?And funny, that’s not what the Economist Magazine seems to think. But again that must be one of those magazines written by “low information voters”, eh?

          5. JLM

            .The US Tax Code, would that work for you?The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit alone — there are several others — ensure that a low wage earner is a net recipient from not a net contributor to the Federal Treasury.That is not really my opinion. Take it up with the IRS.JLM.

          6. MikeSchinkel

            That’s deflection, and based on a single unproven assertion that immigrants taken in bulk will be low wager earners. The CBO report is, by contrast, comprehensive and implies that your lynchpin assertion is false.

          7. JLM

            .Haha, that’sa good one.Did you actually listen to the President and hear who HE was talking about? “…the people who make our beds…”This program is really this:”If you like your yard guy, you can keep your yard guy.If you like your housekeeper, you can keep your housekeeper.If you like the bus boys, you can keep the bus boys.”Good yard guys make $15/hour. Housekeepers make $15/hour. Bus boys make minimum wage. This is the real world.How are these guys going to become high wage earners when they flood the market with low skilled and low paid workers?You know in Texas this has been going on for half a century. This is not a new lab experiment.JLM.

          8. MikeSchinkel

            More deflection. How about some links to those “facts” you keep talking about?

          9. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Just FYI, my housekeeper makes between $30-80 an hour. She probably takes home more than our pre-school teachers.

          10. sachmo

            Immigration has historically been a major boost in GDP to the economy. It certainly has to Texas.The Texas State Comptroller reported in 2006 that the 1.4 million illegal immigrants in Texas alone added almost $18 billion to the state’s budget, and paid more into the system that they received from it. This was the first comprehensive study of its kind.Take a look at the full report here:http://www.window.state.tx….

          11. JLM

            .I remember that report as it was mildly controversial.Carole Keeton Strayhorn (she was the Mayor of Austin previously and her son is Scott McClellan who wrote the bad Bush book) laid an egg because she compared costs at the state level and disregarded the cost of unreimbursed health care costs at the county level. The counties and cities own the hospitals.When the county and city health costs were added in the shortfall — SHORTFALL NOT SURPLUS — was over a billion dollars.The numbers were 2000 census numbers and the report was done in 2006.I can guarantee you the numbers are much worse because at that time there was no meaningful education costs — eight years ago.By no stretch of the imagination does immigration contribute to the economy on a dollars and cents basis.I buy you a six pack of your favorite beer if I’m wrong.This is a perfect example of folks cherry picking their headlines and conclusions to support and confirm their own biases. I really don’t care whether immigration — illegal immigration — pays for itself.It will wreck the economy for the wage earner — the guy with the tool bag — when millions of low skill, low wage workers are injected into the economy.Interestingly enough, jobs in the oil patch still go begging. A guy can make $100K if he’s willing to stand next to a turning bit and work overtime.I know the Texas numbers pretty damn well from my time on the Texas Municipal League board. It is a disaster for law enforcement, health care.JLM.

          12. sachmo

            Sure, the census numbers were from 2000 and the report is dated to 2006, which is a bit old.But I am not cherry picking the report. YOU are. You’re ignoring the entire conclusions section.”Without the undocumented immigrant population, Texas’ work force would decrease by 6.3 percent. This decline is actually somewhat lower than the percentage of the work force actually accounted for by undocumented immigrants, since REMI assumes some additional immigration would occur to replace the workers lost. The most significant economic impact of losing undocumented workers would be a noticeable tightening in labor markets.This tightening would induce increases in wages, as indicated by a rise in average annual compensation rate. Wage rates would rise by 0.6 percent in the first year and stay above the forecast rate throughout the entire 20-year period. While pay increases can be viewed as a positive social and economic development, when they rise due to labor shortages they affect economic competitiveness. In this case, it would be expressed as a modest decline in the value of Texas’ exports.”To paraphrase, the entire Texas labor force declines by 6%!. Wages barely increase, but overall Texas looses competitiveness with fewer options for hiring.It goes on to say:”The remaining broad economic measures all point to an initial impact of undocumented immigrants of about 2.5 percent in terms of the value of production and wages in the Texas economy. Eliminating 1.4 million immigrants would have resulted in a 2.3 percent decline in employment, a 2.6 percent decline in personal income and a 2.8 percent decline in disposable personal income in 2005. This change also would generate a 2.1 percent decline in the gross state product (GSP), the broadest measure of the value of all goods and services produced in Texas.”The report basically concludes that immigration was a major net positive on the Texas economy. The loss in local tax collection is more than offset by the boost to the overall labor market, creation of jobs, and boost to Texas GDP.You my friend are wrong on this one.

          13. JLM

            From the report:”Undocumented immigrants produced $1.58 billion in state revenues, which exceeded the $1.16 billion in state services they received. However, local governments bore the burden of $1.44 billion in uncompensated health care costs and local law enforcement costs not paid for by the state.”Let me do the math for you, sachmo.Illegals produce $1.58 B in revenuesIllegals receive $1.16 B in STATE servicesLocal governments incur $1.44 B in uncompensated healthcare and law enforcement costs$1.58 minus $1.16 minus $1.44 = $1.02 SHORTFALL — the illegal immigrants cost Texas over a billion dollars a yearThis was back in 2006 way before the magnitude of illegal immigration had peaked and when the typical illegal immigrant was a man seeking work — before the recession.JLM.

          14. sachmo

            You are cherry picking the report.The final conclusion though was that minus immigrants, the state would have a negative GDP growth of ~2.4% over a 20 year forecast.The reason for this was a loss to an edge of competitiveness.Overall the conclusions were that illegal immigration was a net positive to the Texas economy and added to growth.

          15. JLM

            .Apples. Oranges.Net actual COST to the state was over a billion dollars. Real numbers. Accurate conclusion. This is state budget info. Latest estimate from Combs is approximately $208B in funds annually. This is paid for by the state.Impact on GSP growth rate — growth rate — is purely conjecture. This is not state revenue, this is the entire state’s private, public gross state product not the State of Texas revenue and expenses.GSP is slightly more than a trillion dollars.This is not a new debate and folks like Perryman and the Dallas Fed have been trying to get a handle on this for years.If unfettered immigration were making the numbers better you can believe they would be down at the border wtih the welcome wagon.JLM.

          16. sachmo

            Net Cost to the STATE was positive $300 million.Local governments had a supposed burden of $1billion.But when 6% of Texas labor force is illegal immigrants, it’s more than just conjecture that this would have a real impact on GDP.You are willfully ignoring the conclusions of the report, simply because they don’t support your point.Well the fact is, policy makers in Texas studied the issue and concluded after a serious study that immigration was a net positive to the state. tough shit, you’re wrong on this one.

          17. ShanaC


          18. sachmo

            ok, noted.

          19. JLM

            .Your numbers are simply wrong. Ex #18 shows the net benefit to the State being $424.7MM. This disregards the cost to local governments of $928.9MM.”While state revenues exceed state expenditures for undocumented immigrants, local governments and hospitals experience the opposite, with the estimated difference being $928.9 million for 2005.”The net impact to the state — the combination of State impact and local impact — was negative.This was back in 2005 long before the economy got bad and the costs skyrocketed. Revenues went down while numbers of illegals went up and expenses went up not just linearly but in some instances exponentially. Drug enforcement costs with the advent of the Mexican gang activity in Texas have skyrocketed.This report is not some source of revealed truth, it was very well debated at the time and was intended to refute the earlier FAIR “The Cost of Illegal Immigration to Texans” and a Colorado report “Costs of Federally Mandated Services to Undocumented Immigrants in Colorado” by the Bell Policy Center both of which showed a negative impact.These two reports, as part of their methodology, took into consideration BOTH state and local impacts while the Strayhorn report only looked at State revenues and expenses and tangentially commented on local impacts though it clearly shows a deficit.Back in the day, this report was discussed ad nauseum.There is no case to be made that illegal immigration is a money maker. If it were, do you think the President would not have said just that last night?JLM.

          20. sachmo

            “The net impact to the state — the combination of State impact and local impact — was negative.”The net impact to the State is State impact + Local + Private Sector. The report concludes that illegal immigration had a HUGE benefit (6% of entire Texas workforce) to the private sector.You have continually and willfully ignored the conclusion of the impact to overall Texas GDP in the report.I’ll state that section again, so hopefully you won’t continue to just pretend that it doesn’t exist:”Eliminating 1.4 million immigrants would have resulted in a 2.3 percent decline in employment, a 2.6 percent decline in personal income and a 2.8 percent decline in disposable personal income in 2005. This change also would generate a 2.1 percent decline in the gross state product (GSP), the broadest measure of the value of all goods and services produced in Texas.”The final conclusion of the Texas comptroller was that illegal immigration was a net positive for the Texas economy — That’s just a fact JLM. To argue otherwise is intellectually dishonest.You can criticize the report, you can say that assumptions in it are flawed, or the Texas Comptroller in ’06 was a bonehead, by the final conclusion, again and I’ll repeat it a second time for good measure:”Eliminating 1.4 million immigrants would have resulted in a 2.3 percent DECLINE in employment, a 2.6 percent DECLINE in personal income and a 2.8 percent DECLINE in disposable personal income in 2005. This change also would generate a 2.1 percent DECLINE in the gross state product (GSP)”.

          21. sachmo

            It’s a simple FACT that the State of Texas issued a major study, and concluded that illegal immigration added a 2.1% boost to the overall Texas economy. FACT.State + Local + Private = 2.1% boost in GDP according to major study by state of Texas. FACT.Cherry pick if you like. But don’t argue the facts man.

          22. JLM

            .You are mixing apples and oranges.Think of the State study as being about the impact on the “deficit”.The deficit can still be real — it is a function of revenue and spending — while GDP is increasing. Isn’t this exactly what is happening at the Federal level right now, albeit a fairly tepid increase in GDP?Illegal immigrants may have a positive impact on GDP — your point — while contributing to an increase in the deficit.They are not the same thing.The State study you cite is one of three out there from that time frame. I was involved with the TML at the time and knew them well.The other two studies, which combined state and local impact, showed a deficit when comparing revenue to expenses.The State study shows the exact same thing when the local impact, which they ignored, is added in.Your point that a million illegal immigrants has to spur GDP (GSP) is not the same thing.JLM.

          23. sachmo

            Sure, there is a deficit at a local level.But the 2.1% add to GDP (on a roughly 1.4 trillion dollar state economy) is equivalent to a nearly 28 billion dollar overall boost to the Texas economy.The report is quite explicit in that the boost is NOT just to immigrants.The wages of OTHER Texans declines by I think 2.6% absent the presence of the illegal immigrant population.So we started this debate arguing if illegal immigration was a net benefit or cost to society.It’s a net benefit.If for some strange reason, we’d like to ignore private sector effects — then sure, by willfully ignoring the benefits in the private sector we can conclude its a net drain… but those private sector benefits exist and they are huge.A quick note on the other reports. I’m not sure which ones you are talking about, but I’d be happy to take a look at them. If its the ones by FAIR – then I’d point out that as a pro-immigration person, I’m not about to take the assumptions of an anti-immigration think tank just like that. The Texas comptroller is a neutral party in this debate (like the CBO) and if we can’t work off the assumptions of a neutral party than this is just a food fight.

          24. Pete Griffiths

            If you are saying that immigration is drain on the US economy I think you are massively oversimplifying its impact. A serious assessment of the economic impact of immigration ((legal or illegal) is non trivial. The situation is complicated by demographic trends. An aging population with a declining birthrate to support the elderly is a recipe for serious problems.

          25. JLM

            .I am only focusing on the current immigration dilemma as it relates to fiscal impact. Historically, immigration — lawful immigration — has been the BEST thing that ever happened to our country.This country was built primarily by European immigrants since Colonial times and it’s the best country in the world.This immigration dilemma is not a continuation of European immigration, it is coming from the south and is very different.In the near term — think of the pictures of folks flooding the border and the enormous number of children recently — the border itself, the border states and the country, in general, are struggling to deal with illegal immigration.This marginal cost analysis is a disaster in Texas. I spoke to the Governor — both the current and incoming — and had no idea as to the magnitude of costs this has thrown on to the state.I was a Board member of the People’s Community Clinic in Austin for a few years — great charity. We spent about three million a year providing medical care to folks who had no other source of medical care. The PCC specialized in counseling, prenatal and postnatal care for young women who were having babies while babies — thirteen year old girls.The whole mission was focused on trying to help them from having a second, third, fourth baby before they hit their late teens.It was a real eye opener as it related to the cost of such service. There was no other place to send them.One of the big problems about dealing with the illegal immigrant is they are not going to cooperate with any formal data collection process. They are literally living in the shadows. This is why it is so difficult to obtain good info.JLM.

          26. Pete Griffiths

            Not so sure the native Americans would agree, but I take your point.

        2. MikeSchinkel

          > How will importing millions of poor people reduce inequity in the US?I didn’t think we were importing them; I thought we were just going to allow those who have been here 5 years now be able to pay income taxes.> they are a burden on public schools in poor and middle class neighborhoods.They won’t “burden” public schools because their incomes taxes paid can support additional school funding. Many of them have already been attending those schools without those taxes to support them, so this move is a significant net positive.BTW, what is “Mam-speaking?”

          1. Dave Pinsen

            By providing incentives for previous waves of illegal immigrants, we are encouraging future waves, just as Obama’s DACA program for “dreamers” encouraged the current wave of unaccompanied minors.Abjectly poor immigrants don’t have the incomes to offset the social costs they impose. There’s no way in which they are a net positive fiscally.”Mam-speaking” refers to immigrants who speak Mam, a pre-literate Central American language. These are people who, 500 years after Spanish conquest, have not learned Spanish.

          2. MikeSchinkel

            > just as Obama’s DACA program for “dreamers” encouraged the current wave of unaccompanied minors.That’s the Republican talking point, but it doesn’t seem to jibe with the reality on the ground:…> Abjectly poor immigrants don’t have the incomes to offset the social costs they impose. There’s no way in which they are a net positive fiscally.That’s not what studies by the CBO have said, cited by the Economist:”Most immigrants are not, over the course of their lives, a burden on the state. They are much less likely than the native-born to go to jail. In 2007 a CBO study reckoned that regularising the status of America’s millions of illegal immigrants—the least skilled of all—would bring in an extra $48 billion in revenue over ten years and increase government spending by only $23 billion. Most studies suggest that more immigration would increase aggregate incomes of those already in the country, although they differ on the effect on low-skilled workers.”…

          3. Dave Pinsen

            “Immigrants” or “unskilled immigrants”? The fiscal impact of unskilled immigrants is clearly negative:

          4. MikeSchinkel

            That report is from a political conservative think tank per Wikipedia. As such I would view it more as an advocacy piece instead of a statistically valid study. Got something from a less biased source?

          5. Dave Pinsen

            Follow the footnotes to the primary sources (such as US census department data). The Economist has its own biases if you hadn’t noticed.

          6. sachmo

            What about this report from the State Comptroller of Texas that came to the same conclusion based on actual data from Texas in 2006:http://www.window.state.tx….

          7. MikeSchinkel

            There is so much raw data there that it would take weeks to prepare an assessment. Or put another way, there are liars, damn liars and statisticians; I don’t trust to have not cherry-picked the data that supported their thesis and ignored the rest. I’d rather see a more unbiased source.And yes The Economist has it’s biases, but they tend to a lot more in line with Republicans than Democrats on fiscal policies, or said another way, their biases are more likely to be inline with yours vs. mine.

          8. Dave Pinsen

            There is no daylight on immigration policy between the Economist, Barack Obama, and Chamber of Commerce Republicans like John McCain (who voted for legislation similar to Obama’s executive action in the past). I am not a McCain Republican. The Economist’s biases are aligned with you and Fred on this issue.

          9. MikeSchinkel

            Well, I certainly can’t say for sure what your biases are, so we’ll have to leave that at that.As for “no daylight”, I don’t really know what that means in non-abstract terms.

          10. Dave Pinsen

            It means no difference. McCain wants the same immigration policy as Obama and as The Economist.

          11. MikeSchinkel

            Ah. Hmm. Maybe I like John McCain after all… 😉

          12. Dave Pinsen

            He’s all yours. One blogger described his (and George W. Bush’s) m.o. as: “Invite the world, invade the world, in hoc to the world”.

          13. MikeSchinkel

            Ha! On both those men, it seems we agree. 🙂

          14. sachmo

            Future waves? Part of the executive order was to increase border security – which Obama has done to cut illegal flow of people in half since he took office. Future waves are discouraged by the fences and agent patrolling our borders.””Mam-speaking” refers to immigrants who speak Mam, a pre-literate Central American language. These are people who, 500 years after Spanish conquest, have not learned Spanish.”-By the way – if someone came and conquered the US, I wouldn’t give up English. Likewise no shame in retaining their cultural language – it’s not a reflection of them being dumbasses or something.

          15. sachmo

            The book from which this is cited is complete garbage. Tons of scholarly criticism:”Susan Barnett and Wendy Williams wrote that “we see an edifice built on layer upon layer of arbitrary assumptions and selective data manipulation. The data on which the entire book is based are of questionable validity and are used in ways that cannot be justified.” They also wrote that cross country comparisons are “virtually meaningless.”Much more on the widipedia page:…Sorry but this is pointless to debate and in my opinion extremely racist.

          16. Dave Pinsen

            If you have data showing a higher average IQ for Guatemala, feel free to share it here. Calling documented IQ differences between different groups “racist” is a way of shutting down discussion, but if the bulk of future jobs will be in ‘knowledge work’, then we ignore IQ at our peril.

          17. sachmo

            First of all, the book has already been reviewed by scholars in the field and discredited. That was my first comment, which you apparently have no response to.Second, I’m not sure that an IQ data set that is accurate across nations actually exists. You can do the work to find another data set if you like that IS accepted by scholars in the field, and I’ll happily debate you.Third, even if Guatemalans were on average of lower IQ, I still don’t think that would be a reason to exclude them from coming here. It doesn’t mean that they can’t contribute to our society or increase our GDP.There are porn stars that have IQs that are a couple standard deviations above average and are still struggling to get by:…Work ethic and perseverance have a lot more to do with personal success than IQ.Fourth, it IS racist. You are making derogatory statements about other races based on garbage data sets.

          18. Dave Pinsen

            1) The book hasn’t been discredited. J.P. Rushton, for example, is an expert in the field and reviewed it favorably on Amazon.2) The researchers cited plenty of international IQ data sets. The results of IQ tests are accepted by “scholars in the field”. The criticisms of the authors’ methodology usually focus on how they handled countries with limited data (for example, using an average of scores from neighboring countries with similar demographics). Nevertheless, the correlation the authors found between IQ and economics is high (~.70, IIRC) and has more explanatory power than any of the vague theories put forward by politically correct researchers such as Darren Acemoglu.3) In general, individuals with lower IQs will not be able to earn enough to make positive fiscal contributions to the country. Sure, they can increase our GDP, but only while lowering our per-capita GDP. Additionally, a number of negative social factors correlate with lower IQs: higher crime rates, etc.4) It’s not racist or derogatory to cite data. The 79 average IQ estimate for Guatemala does not seem inconcievable given an estimated average Hispanic American IQ of 89:… But, as I said, if you know of an estimate that you believe is more accurate, feel free to share it here.

          19. sachmo

            The book was discredited. The wikipedia article cites more than one scholar that seriously questions the notion of even comparing IQ across borders.This is a totally racist line of argumentation, and until you can cite a half decent source, I’m not getting into this nonsense.

          20. Dave Pinsen

            You are just repeating your false claims at this point and parading your ignorance. Intelligence researchers have had reliable tools for decades to measure IQ across borders (e.g., Ravens Progressive Matrixes).

          21. sachmo

            “In a metaanalysis of studies of IQ estimates in Africa, Wicherts, Dolan & van der Maas (2009:10) concluded that Lynn and Vanhanen had relied on unsystematic methodology by failing to publish their criteria for including or excluding studies. They found that Lynn and Vanhanen’s exclusion of studies had depressed their IQ estimate for sub-Saharan Africa, and that including studies excluded in “IQ and Global Inequality” resulted in average IQ of 82 for sub-Saharan Africa, lower than the average in Western countries, but higher than Lynn and Vanhanen’s estimate of 67. Wicherts at al. conclude that this difference is likely due to sub-Saharan Africa having limited access to modern advances in education, nutrition and health care.”Actually you are just ignoring my point. There is serious debate on these guys work, and it has since been heavily criticized by others. AND its racist.

          22. Dave Pinsen

            Yeah, that totally refutes their thesis that national IQ strongly correlates with national wealth.As I said earlier there have been questions about some of their IQ estimates, particularly when they’ve extrapolated to account for scarce local data. But that is not a refutation of their thesis. 82 is still more than a standard deviation lower than the Asian tiger nations’ average of ~105.Btw, are you claiming that the 82 IQ estimate of the critics you cite is racist as well? Just curious.As for the critics hypothesized source of the lower IQ average – Africa’s limited access to modern education, health care and nutrition – conveniently enough, there is copius data on average IQs of individuals of African ancestry in the US, who do have access to that modern stuff. Their average IQ is slightly higher, ~85.

          23. sachmo

            You can say I’m “closing down debate” or whatever, but I’m not getting into this. This is just nonsense.

          24. Pete Griffiths

            Give me a break. This is just profoundly disappointing that you think it is OK to even go somewhere this absurd.

          25. Dave Pinsen

            Argumentum ad pearl-clutching.

          26. Pete Griffiths

            Not even argumentum – just depressed.

          27. Pete Griffiths

            Some things warrant discussion. Others don’t. Sadly your thread doesn’t. It’s just ugly.

          28. Dave Pinsen

            If this were just a theoretical issue, I’d almost be inclined to agree with you – why dwell on unpleasant facts? But immigration makes it have real world consequences for Americans. I think the citizens whose schools have been burdened with illiterate Mam-speakers may think that cynical political decision warrants discussion.

          29. Pete Griffiths

            That is an absolutely hideous document. The ‘research’ is so flawed it is regrettable that it is in print. It serves only to support those who wish to denigrate the intelligence of entire national groups. Some of the putative IQs are so ridiculously low that the whole nation would be clinically troubled. Give me strength…I expect better than this.Let’s be honest. this is a thinly veiled slur on entire ethnic groups.

          30. Dave Pinsen

            If you hadn’t noticed, many of those nations are very troubled. For example, look where Guatemala ranks on the Human Development Index:…There appears to be a strong correlation between the national IQ estimates and the Human Development Index.

          31. JLM

            .Schools are funded in the US by local property taxes not income taxes.Most illegals are going to live in rental housing and therefore there will be no net new construction or property ownership. No net new property taxes, no additional school revenues.The cost burden is not just physical plant, teachers, facilities — it is also transportation and Spanish language classes until the fifth grade in many jurisdictions.When the children are not able to make normal progress, they are often left back which creates a bottleneck.Texas has been living with this for the last ten years. In Austin, this year there will be a net 5,000 already identified students as a result of immigration — all illegal.How big was your high school? That’s at least a couple of new schools to be funded by the citizens of Austin.This is happening right now.JLM.

          32. MikeSchinkel

            > Most illegals are going to live in rental housing and therefore there will be no net new construction or property ownership. No net new property taxes, no additional school revenues.1.) Apartments have property taxes.2.) Latino home ownership is conservatively around 45% (Pew Research[1]). If the “illegals” are made legal then many of them could buy homes.[1]…Besides, you dismiss that the Federal Government provides a lot of K-12 subsidies for education:…> Texas has been living with this for the last ten years. In Austin, this year there will be a net 5,000 already identified students as a result of immigration — all illegal.Something tells me that the people in Austin are mostly happy to see the diversity. Houston and Dallas, well that’d be a different matter.Besides, you are just a general fighting yesterday’s battles. If the rules change for those currently illegal then funding can change too, and what was once a burden can now become a boon.P.S. Why is it you never provide supporting evidence to your broad claims?

          33. JLM

            .I was once one of the largest owners of apartments in the US. I know the demographics of that industry. There will be no new net construction in the lowest end because there is no capital for those projects — who builds a grade D apartment project with new money?Apartment property taxes for grade D complexes are the same whether the units are full or empty. Only when they are abandoned do they plummet. The complexes will be full and the additional illegals will just increase the head count in the individual units. You can see this in the parking lots when you se the pickups being parked outside the parking lots.There is almost no Hispanic person more critical of his fellow Hispanics than a third generation legal resident of the US. They can see the impact on their own jobs and when in the voting booth they will vote with their checkbooks.GWB–re-election when he had a Spanish speaking opponent–got 69% of all votes and 40% of Hispanics as well as 27% of black votes.This was the election in which both candidates fought over the Rio Grande Valley, a proxy for immigration. The Valley is like any other part of Old Mexico.BTW, Bush speaks beautiful Spanish and was very effective campaigning in the Valley.You are very wrong about Texas. Of course, I only live here and have for a long, long time.JLM.

          34. sachmo

            So what you are saying is that on all of the real estate projects you developed, it’s unlikely that immigrants were employed to build the “Grade A” housing that you developed?Because if they were employed, you probably spent less to put up the building than otherwise, and the state did collect property tax on building that cheap immigrant labor helped build.Minus the 1.2 million or so immigrants in the state (from 2006 comptroller report, somewhat dated), less buildings get put up, they cost more per sqft to put up, and overall texas competitiveness suffers.

          35. JamesHRH

            Magical thinking much? JLM argues current state and your answer is things can change?Dude was one of the largest owners of apartments in the US………you read Wikipedia.Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight junior.

          36. MikeSchinkel

            > Magical thinking much?No, it’s called Game theory. When changes are made, you cannot expect all else to remain the same. This issue is too much a hot button not to drive significant rebalancing change.> Dude was one of the largest owners of apartments in the US………So an “Appeal to Authority” fallacy is supposed to prove that the biased authority must be correct?…> Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight junior.Nah, it’s easier just to point out the gun has no bullets.

          37. JamesHRH

            No bullets? He has managed 10,000’s of tenants, speaks from deep experience & your answer is Gane Theory?Game Theory / Economics / Basic common sense requires a causal connection. These people become legal means investors decide to pour $$$$ into new construction of D grade units?Again, that’s a magical connection.You have to connect the dots not just wave your hands & say Presto!

          38. MikeSchinkel

            > No bullets? He has managed 10,000’s of tenants, speaks from deep experience & your answer is Gane Theory?How is it you missed the part I wrote about JLM not being unbiased on this issue. JLM is simply not a reliable source of “facts”, especially since he (almost never) backs up his opinions with corroborating evidence.Or did you just choose to ignore that part challenge because it doesn’t support you narrative?Here’s another take on that:…> Game Theory / Economics / Basic common sense requires a causal connection.Just how explicit do I need to be about cause? it seems obvious to me. But oh well..Right now we have people in the shadows, some of whom will come out and be documented. Immediately those people are in a position to gain higher wages because employers can’t take advantage of them like they can the undocumented.These people start paying taxes, and your argument about them not paying taxes ignores consumption taxes and improved economic competitiveness.I am note necessarily saying that it will result in immigrant being a net positive because I’m not arrogant enough to believe I can actually know the true results of the behavior of an intensely complex system in a future we have not yet lived. I was simply arguing that “fairness” is a non-sequiter pulled out to support one’s position when it is convenient yet hidden when not, and also that the changes will only add positively to the economy because these people are already here incurring the expense.I could go on but I actually respect your intelligence enough to know that you can see how when the rules change the facts on the ground change, even if you might prefer to feign ignorance on that point.> These people become legal means investors decide to pour $$$$ into new construction of D grade units?When the heck did I argue that investors would pour $$$ into new construction of D grade units? Don’t attribute JLM’s deflecting arguments to me. Please don’t put other people’s words into my mouth (virtually speaking.P

          39. sachmo

            You know we don’t have to argue this. The State of Texas did an actual study on just this and concluded that immigrants contributed more than they incurred as an expense.http://www.window.state.tx….

          40. sachmo

            “Because the state system of school finance treats local property tax revenue as interchangeable with appropriated state funds, local and state costs are combined in the cost per student.”In other words, education not funded solely through local property tax. The cost of about $7k per student amounted to close to $1billion for the state of Texas.However:”The remaining broad economic measures all point to an initial impact of undocumented immigrants of about 2.5 percent in terms of the value of production and wages in the Texas economy. Eliminating 1.4 million immigrants would have resulted in a 2.3 percent decline in employment, a 2.6 percent decline in personal income and a 2.8 percent decline in disposable personal income in 2005. This change also would generate a 2.1 percent decline in the gross state product (GSP), the broadest measure of the value of all goods and services produced in Texas.”The comptroller notes that while a 6% decline in actual labor pool would temporarily increase wages of the remaining labor pool (by only 0,2%), the wage increases due to a contraction are actually anti-competitive and over a long period would make the state less competitive with respect to its exports thereby lowering overall wages.– A really interesting report. I suggest you take a read. At the state level, immigrants pay more than they receive. At the local level there is belt tightening. This however offset by the overall boost that immigrants add to overall competitiveness of the Texas economy.Again, link here: http://www.window.state.tx….

          41. Pete Griffiths

            Not just local taxes:”The share of education funding that federal, state, and local governments provide has changed significantly over time. Historically, elementary and secondary education was funded largely by local governments and states played only a supporting role. Today, states play a large and increasing role in education funding, a trend that emerged in the 1970’s when state spending first overtook education spending by local governments. Federal funding has always been minor with respect to total direct elementary and secondary education spending, though the federal government’s role in education funding has slowly increased, along with the role of the federal government in education policy.””…”

        3. sachmo

          Importing? They are already here.The children were already born on US Soil and in many cases are US citizens. Let these people pay into our tax system and make a real effort to improve the schools is what I say. This starts at the community level, parents need to get involved with their schools. The parents of these children wouldn’t do that as they’d draw attention to themselves.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            They don’t make enough money to have a positive fiscal impact: they consume more in government resources than they pay in taxes. And if you think it’s immigration fears that are keeping parents from getting involved in schools, you are seriously deluded.

          2. sachmo

            I’ve cited this report numerous times.It was the first comprehensive report of its kind undertaken by the 2006 Texas Comptroller’s office. A little dated but basically concluded that net effect of immigration was a 2.6% boost to Texas economy.http://www.window.state.tx….Instead of assertions, back up your stance with data.

          3. Dave Pinsen

            The issue isn’t “immigration” but uskilled immigration, which is a net fiscal drain:…The French immigrant Total engineers working in Houston are a different story, but they aren’t the ones Obama amnestied, since they are legal immigrants to begin with.Conflating high skilled immigrants with low skilled is a common, and dishonest, tack of open borders advocates.

          4. sachmo

            http://www.window.state.tx….Click on the link and read the report. I am not mixing high skill and low skill immigration. The report discusses specifically the net effect of illegal immigration on the Texas economy. It was undertaken by the Texas State government in 06 to understand the issue and was the most comprehensive report at the time of its release by a state goverment.

          5. Dave Pinsen

            That report ignored the state-level fiscal cost of the US-born children of illegal immigrants, as well as the local-level fiscal costs, as this report by FAIR notes:…Excerpt:FAIR has issued two prior illegal immigration cost estimates for Texas. The first, in 2005, was based on an estimate of 1.5 million illegal aliens plus an additional 315,000 minor U.S.-born children of illegal aliens. Our 2010 study used the illegal alien population estimate from 2007 and an estimated 455,000 minor children of illegal aliens. That study included additional areas of cost outlay and also included an estimate of tax revenue from the illegal alien population.Our 2005 fiscal cost study apparently prompted a similar study by the Texas Comptroller in 2006 which contrasted its findings with those in our study. That study was based on an estimate of 1.5 million illegal alien residents in the state and it stated that it, “…recognizes that there are costs associated with the legally resident children of undocumented immigrants… [but] has chosen not to estimate these costs…”4 The number of those U.S.-born children outnumber the children who are themselves illegally in the country, and the educational and medical expenses associated with those children represent a major fiscal expenditure. The state study also looked only at fiscal costs to the state budget and ignored the local costs. That was a significant omission because public education costs — which constitute the largest burden — are mostly funded locally. The comptroller’s study, therefore, arrived at a much smaller estimate of the impact of illegal immigration on the state than did our study.

          6. sachmo

            The conclusion of the Texas report was that illegal immigration was responsible for a 2.1% boost to Texas GDP. That’s $28 billion dollars.The 07 estimate would presumably have upwards revised the number of the adult immigrant population, but for arguments sake, let’s keep it stable.Let’s also add the 100k kids from the 07 estimate you’ve referenced. At $7k a piece to educate (from the Texas Comptroller report) that’s still only $700 million.That’s a drop in the bucket compared with the 2.1% growth due to illegal immigration in general.The link you’ve sent is not loading on my computer for some reason, so I’m working only off of what you’ve paraphrased here.My problem with FAIR is that they are a clearly biased advocacy group that is anti-immigration. The State of Texas when they did the report in 06 is not biased. So as far as a credible source of information, I would go with State of Texas issued report over anti-immigration advocacy group.

          7. Dave Pinsen

            FAIR’s estimate is 455,000 children of illegal immigrants in Texas. I’ve attached a screen cap of the executive summary of their report. Multiplying that by a more recent estimate of per-pupil Ed costs in Texas (~$8,700 per year, as of 2011:… ) gives a figure of about $4 billion – much closer to FAIR’s figure than yours. And FAIR notes their figure includes the costs of English as a second language instruction.Also, as FAIR notes, minors incur costs in areas other than education.Finally, your statement that the Texas comptroller’s report is unbiased is belied by their decision to exclude the costs associated with the US-born kids of illegal immigrants.

          8. sachmo

            FAIR is an anti-immigration advocacy group. Their report is going to twist the numbers any which way to support anti-immigration stance.I’m not citing a pro-immigration advocacy group. I’m citing the State of Texas which has an incentive to get this right.Finally, as noted above, the State of Texas estimated that net effect of illegal immigration to GDP was roughly ~28 billion dollars (a 2.1% increase in GDP – Texas GDP taken at 1.4 trillion).Even assuming 4 billion as a cost, that’s still a net ~20 something billion positive to the Texas economy. And I don’t even trust the FAIR report.

          9. Dave Pinsen

            Barack Obama is President of the United States. You could similarly argue that he has an incentive to “get this right”. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a bias on inmigration. Same with the Texas Comptroller.For that matter, FAIR, despite its bias, has an incentive to be accurate: if they’ve “twisted” the numbers, that lowers their credibility.FAIR doesn’t assume $4 billion as a cost, it estimates $12 billion. They breakdown their calculations and sources in that report. You can point out a flaw in it, if you find one, as I did with the Comptroller’s report, or you can make unsubstantiated accusations about them twisting numbers. And their point – and mine – wasn’t the GDP impact, but the fiscal impact of illegal immigration.Of course it will expand the economy if you expand the population, ceteris paribus. The US economy has expanded since 2003, but the average American is 36% poorer. If your goals are to expand the U.S. economy and make the top 0.1% richer, the more immigration the better. But if your goals are to improve the country’s fiscal health and raise real incomes and wealth for average Americans, you need a different immigration policy.

          10. sachmo

            The Texas comptroller undertaking a study is more akin to the CBO undertaking a study to determine financial impact of something.Their only job is to do financial modeling / forecasting and accounting. They don’t pass policy. So yes, I think they are unbiased.FAIR – is an obviously biased think tank that is anti immigration. As someone that’s pro-immigration, I’m not going to rely upon them as a reliable source of information to inform this debate.It’s fine that you may happen to believe everything they say, but for the purpose of proving your point to someone that has a pro immigration stance, you need to come up with a source of information that doesn’t cherry pick worst estimates from various reports.I haven’t cited pro immigration policy think tanks which I could easily do and which would be useless for the purpose of advancing an actual argument.I’m citing the Texas comptroller which is a neutral player in this debate. If you don’t get that, we should just stop here.Finally, EVEN at $12billion, illegal immigration is still a positive net to the Texas Economy by +$15 billion.The argument that yourself and other advanced is that illegal immigration is a drain on the economy is simply not true, even using your biased sources of information.The Texas comptroller report specifically did address the effect on wages to the average american if there were no illegal immigrants. They decline about about 2.3%.Why? In the short term wages rise as you pull 6% of the Texas labor pool out of the work force, but by less than 1%. But in the long-term, with a tighter labor pool, there is less competition in hiring, which overall hurts Texas exports, and overall decreases Texas competitiveness, which over a longer period leads to wage decline.If you want a more prosperous Texas with better wages for all, then yes, the illegal immigration actually helps.

          11. MikeSchinkel

            To support @sachmo:disqus:The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is a non-profit tax exempt organization in the United States that advocates changes in U.S. immigration policy that they believe would result in significant reductions in immigration, both legal and illegal.

          12. Dave Pinsen

            And they base their advocacy for those policies on research that indicates those policies would likely make the average American better off – something the status quo of mass immigration (legal and illegal) has not done over the last decade.

          13. MikeSchinkel

            Point is, they have an ideological bent. A bias as it were:”Appeal to Misleading Authority”Exposition: We must often rely upon expert opinion when drawing conclusions about technical matters where we lack the time or expertise to form an informed opinion. … There are, however, 4 major ways in which such arguments can go wrong:”#3. The authority is an expert, but is not disinterested. That is, the expert is biased towards one side of the issue, and his opinion is thereby untrustworthy.”From:

          14. Dave Pinsen

            If anyone researched this issue thoroughly and didn’t have a strong opinion afterwards, I’d be surprised. There really aren’t that many disagreements on facts; there is, instead, an emphasis on different facts based on different moral stances.Open borders advocates generally emphasize the positive impact of mass immigration on GDP. Their moral stance is generally global utilitarianism.Restrictionists emphasize the negative fiscal impacts and negative impacts on per capita GDP. Their moral stance is generally American utilitarianism.That’s all assuming people are fungible, which they’re not, but most of that discussion is still outside the Overton Window.

          15. sachmo

            Sure, and I can also pull out reports from PRO immigration think tanks that you can discredit. And this would just be a food fight, which it sort of already is.But for an ANTI immigration and PRO immigration person to have a reasonable conversation on the subject, we both need to agree on a source of information. So far, the only report I’ve seen w/ respect to Texas that I trust is the Texas comptroller. I’m open to other non-biased reports.

          16. ShanaC

            i wish arguing with data was going to help…but nope….actually seems to make people more ingrained in their positions

          17. Pete Griffiths

            The Center for Immigration Studies doesn’t come across as an objective analyst of the topic. It is seen as a conservative anti immigration think tank lobbying group.

          18. Dave Pinsen

            Keep reading. I addressed that argument WRT FAIR elsewhere.

      2. Paul Eastlund

        Not getting into a debate about conservative-vs-liberal policies on healthcare and income inequality, but just taking your question at face value, I think conservatives value “fairness” very highly. I think the disconnect is that, for conservatives, “fairness” means equality of opportunity, and for liberals, there’s some combination of (a) belief that “fairness” means equality of outcome, and (b) belief that conservatives are naive to think that we could possible have equality of opportunity in America today given how unequal outcomes are.

        1. andyswan

          spot on

        2. MikeSchinkel

          To be “fair” (pun intended) my question was actually rhetorical.”Fairness,” in both party’s minds, is “What I like but not what I don’t like.”

        3. Pete Griffiths

          I don’t believe that is a ‘fair’ characterization of the respective positions on fairness.

          1. Paul Eastlund

            I’m having a little trouble telling if this is tongue-in-cheek or not. Obviously any three-sentence blog comment summary of a nuanced issue like this is going to be … more than a little lossy, but I tried to be honest and objective within the constraints of the medium. I’d be interested to hear what you think I’m mischaracterizing, and how you would have put it.

          2. Pete Griffiths

            Sorry Paul. It was indeed tongue-in-cheek.

          3. ShanaC

            thank you.

          4. ShanaC

            and thank you for asking.

    4. ShanaC

      Some people will die before they get here legally. The process to get here for lots of people is very unfair.

    5. sachmo

      I don’t get this argument. My parent immigrated from India as well and followed the process. But then again, India isn’t on our southern border, and if it was, we’d have a heck of a lot more Indians here legal process or no.To be perfectly fair would involve deporting millions of people which would be incredibly expensive, logistically impossible, and would seriously hurt our economy. Not to mention the fact that many of these people are parents to children born on US soil that are citizens.There’s fair and then there’s reality. The fact that Obama is not giving them guaranteed citizenship strikes me that he understands the fairness issue.

      1. CJ

        Really don’t understand how this wasn’t more upvoted. You hit it right on the head, there is realism and fairness, both of which were addressed with this.

    6. leigh

      In the words my grade 12 history teacher “who told you life was going to be fair?” – The system itself isn’t fair and has bias baked right into it- People with money get expedited- People from certain countries move to the front- People with connections circumvent – People who are trying to get jobs with specific companies route around the process- People with specific last names, religions have easier/harder timeand on.and on.and on.

  19. pointsnfigures

    I agree, Immigration is broken. Deceased Nobel Prize winning economics professor Gary Becker would fix it using a free market price system. That would be better than any solution handed down by regulatory fiat (Obama) or politicized solution (Congress)Ironically, this action does nothing to help the tech community because it says nothing about HB1 visas. Can you imagine the outrage and reaction to a Republican president saying “we need grape pickers”?Obama is clearly the worst US President in my lifetime. And after Bush, Nixon and Jimmy Carter that is saying something. America will survive-but it will take some good legislation to undo all the damage he has created.

    1. andyswan

      I don’t think we need legislation anymore Jeff.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Right. Harry Reid agrees with you. Budgets either.

    2. vadimoss

      pointsnfigures here’s how the proposed reform addresses the needs of the hi-tech community (Source:… ):”Create a “startup visa” for job-creating entrepreneurs.The proposal allows foreign entrepreneurs who attract financing from U.S. investors or revenue from U.S. customers to start and grow their businesses in the United States, and to remain permanently if their companies grow further, create jobs for American workers, and strengthen our economy.”I don’t think it addresses the H1B visa issues but it’s a good start.As far as the worst president or not it always helps to analyze the statistics of the economic growth for the terms of presidency. (source:… )

      1. pointsnfigures

        we can cut the pie in a lot of ways. Obama not my kind of guy, leader and is fundamentally against what I believe. Remember, I am from Chicago, knew him a lot longer than the rest of the country.

  20. Salt Shaker

    Re: pointsnfigures: Cheney was the worst pres in my lifetime. Bush was just his valet.

    1. pointsnfigures

      hahahaha, good one.

    2. MikeSchinkel

      Well played!

  21. YouAllKnowMe

    Im totally disgusted by the politics of this. My brother came to the US legally on a student visa 11 years ago. Then switched to an H1 and he had a daughter 3 years ago who us s US citizen. He paid taxes and followed the laws for 9 years.Then his green card was denied and he was asked to move back to India.And this was because Obama DidNot want to do any STEM based immigration reform without comprehensive reform for thd last 6 years. But now that the democrats need hispanic votes in 2016, he is willing to allow people who broke the law to stay here while he kicked out lots of Indians who were legally in the US over the last six years.

    1. sotek

      “But now that the democrats need hispanic votes in 2016″so do republicans – and look at the political football they’ve been playing in congress for the past couple of years.

  22. harvestgrand

    Help me answer this question because I really do not know the answer. When talking about the immigrants that came to this county 100+ years ago and helped build this great nation, where they here illegally?

    1. John Revay

      Rush Limbaugh is a native america after all!

  23. Guest

    You’ve been warned Americans hehe.

  24. Guest

    hear hear. This cartoon puts the move in perspective

  25. Guest

    this puts it in perspective.

  26. John Revay

    Fred written post. I am glad he went ahead with this.#passabill

  27. Morgan Warstler

    I’m for Open Borders, but more than that, I’m for a GOP President in 2016 no matter what.The correct answer on immigration is two parts: 1) forcing Mexico to grant property rights to Americans and allow us to turn it into #NewFlorida. 2) Moving to Uber for Welfare (GICYB) that would end minimum wage and grant any citizen who works for $40/wk or more (everyone getting welfare is in one online platform) a Guaranteed Income of $280 – so that every American has a job and any empty job needs an immigrant, and the only Low Skill jobs left are truly the ones nobody wants, and since American labor is cheaper, we get lots of ‘self-deportation.”The bill to alter the Mexican Constitution and allow ownership of property within 50km of their shoreline passed their house in 2013, and stalled in Mexican Senate. Our CIA could easily have bribed the Senate for less than $100M, and this debate would be moot.Just get 10M middle and upper-middle class American families all clamoring to inherit grandma’s condo, and the border will be down in 15 years.Mexico is just a big Florida, we do not need to invade to completely colonize and turn it into US states in 30 years time. We just need great weather, rule of law, cheap healthcare for Seniors and cheap beachfront homes.This is Uber for Welfare:…—-NOW THEN, on GOP strategy – I think it is best for them to ALLOW Obama’s action and DOUBLE FUNDING for it, but direct him via funding to hunt down and find every illegal immigrant, and let anyone who joins his list to stay and work, and deport everyone else. Maybe even attach requirements, must deport 1M non-compliant per year.Give Obama what he wants, but call his bluff on catching the criminals he says are cheating. Force him veto that.Then attack.Finally, there’s a lot of smart politicos saying this is a fig leaf Obama is throwing to the progressives to give him cover to give Silicon Valley / Industry the work permits they want.

    1. fredwilson

      i have a hard time seeing how the GOP can win the white house when they are so hostile to the rising majority in this country.

      1. Morgan Warstler

        That’s neither here nor there.This is the first way:…Completely legal and virtually guarantees a GOP win in both 2016 and 2020 (which lets them redraw Congressional districts again until 2030). Nothing in the American election system is about majority of US rules. it’s about likely voters in each state. Always has been and will take a Constitutional A to stop it.Nonetheless, I like Rand Paul, bc I think he can win 25%+ of black vote.

        1. Casper

          Rand Paul, win 25% of the black vote. Thanks Morgan, that is the best laugh I’ve had all day!

          1. Morgan Warstler

            “29 percent of black respondents would back Paul”…Rand Paul = Ending Drug War + Less Military + School Choice = 25% of black vote.You should watch black Twitter, apparently it’ll make you shit your pants.

  28. Antoine

    It feels great to read such a post, filled with authenticity. It may not be about tech entrepreneurs, but it certainly has the spirit of startups : optimism, openess, pragmatism, welcoming new ideas and talents… Very proud to be a reader of this blog.

  29. Ben Zlotnick

    @fredwilson:disqus , anyone that comes across your desk that sounds promising, send them my way we can approve them now through the Canadian Startup Visa program at @Incubes.

    1. Guy Lepage

      That’s funny.. As a Canadian, I think you should concentrate on sponsoring your talent first. I’m here in NYC, on recommendation from fellow Massively successful Tech Canadians.. As they’ve said, “It’s an old boys club.. You know that.. Head to where you can get funding (US)” Shame on you and your Visa program.

  30. Lorien Gabel

    Why all the outrage now? Immigration laws have not been enforced for 50 plus years in this country.Otherwise we would have deported 11 million people a long time ago.

  31. Ben Zlotnick

    @fredwilson:disqus anyone promising that comes across your desk. We will be more than welcome to have them in Canada as part of the new Startup Visa Program.

  32. Robert Heiblim

    The issue must be dealt with, as in the end it has been done by Presidents of both parties. This issue is about people, people caught up in politics. It cannot be resolved by talk, but by some form of action. Whatever your belief or side, it will require actual action and courage. Whatever you think of Obama’s action, at least it is action. Now others hopefully can react and do something.

  33. Yinka!

    Well, it is the season of zero f**ks to give: ~¾ term done and not running for re-election is typically right timing for any sitting president to drop a few surprises.

  34. curtissumpter

    You know the more I think about this executive action the more I’m convinced it’s the worst thing for proponents of immigration reform in a long time. Three reasons why:1. The high tech community now has access to a new immigrant STEM worker for 29 months. So just when a new college grad really gets awesome at innovating within the code base, they’re gone.2. It dilutes the message of the political power of the low wage immigrants. Now half of the 11.2 million have cover. Do you really want to go march if everything is fine in your family? Will the Dreamers really be as fervent now that their parents have cover or will they watch ESPN and play XBox like their citizen counterparts? It dilutes the political messaging of their counterparts as well.3. It energizes and freezes the issue of comprehensive immigration reform for probably a decade. This issue will be kryptonite to the base of some politicians.This is a bad policy for comprehensive immigration reform.

  35. christopolis

    Let me take a stab at using the smear tactics you use on people who disagree with you.First, Fred doesn’t really care about amnesty for reasons of opportunity and freedom. What he really cares about is his multiple homes, his family wealth and rolling around in his twitter stock.Fred knows that Democrats are the party of both the elite and the welfare recipients. Democrats have funneled billions and trillions away from middle class and poor savers to speculators like himself. Fred needs to keep that train rolling. More amnesty means more votes from the welfare recipients (alms) and more democrat power. It is nothing for a billionaire speculator to pay a little more to keep the system that provides his wealth going. To gain that many more voters who will rely on his largess gived him and his cronies more power to force people to do what they want. That is the real reason he supports amnesty.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Wow, I disagree with that. Fred and I disagree on politics, but I don’t think that way about Fred at all. Have some really good friends that are liberal Democrats, and we agree on outcomes, but disagree on the path to get there.

      1. christopolis

        I should have been more clear. I do not think that Fred thinks that.. I was attempting to show him what it would sound like if I was to use the same deceptive and inflammatory language he used in framing the issue. (suggesting conservatives are against any path to immigration that is nonsense and not the issue that most conservatives are upset about)

  36. bsoist

    Thanks for ignoring my request to avoid politics on Fridays. I was actually hoping you would write about this today.Can’t wait to read the comments!

  37. John Devor

    He can declare war unilaterally. He can change laws unilaterally. And you’re happy with this? Do you not realize the long term implications of having an executive branch that can do things on a whim? Sure, it’s a short term victory but a long term disaster. Wait until the next guy in power starts doing “executive actions” on things you disagree with.Stop looking at the tree and see the forest for a second.

    1. bsoist

      Wait until the next guy in power starts doing “executive actions” on things you disagree with.Must have happened already several times.

      1. John Devor

        Yes. They’re shredding our constitution. Hello Monarchy!

  38. Gregory Magarshak

    Fred, do you think he’s doing this because the congress has been overtaken now by republicans? I think this boldness is pretty expected. And prudent. It will help the democrats to be re-elected in two years, when there is another presidential election.There was a good article about it: http://www.washingtonpost.c

  39. marcusaseneca

    I’m looking forward to Congress passing a bill to actually force enforcement and deport the 11 million people here illegally on Jan 2.No president has ever enforced the immigration laws. Otherwise we would have deported everyone 20+ years ago.This is all smoke and mirrors. You know why nothing will be done by Congress to deport 11 million people? Because the Chamber of Commerce and business community in general actually support having a source cheap labor and consumers in the country. The GOP will huff and puff but if they really believed in this they would pass a bill calling immediately for every law enforcement agency in the country to immediately round up every illegal and deport them January 2. We did it with the Japanese in WW2. Would be easier now if anyone really wanted to enforce the laws.And if it’s such a big constitutional crises then lawmakers should stay in DC over Thanksgiving to resolve it. Everyone will make their statements and fly home for recess to eat turkey.If you want to know how an issue will be resolved follow the campaign donations. And big business wants this. The laws haven’t been enforced for 50 years (mass deportations anyone?). Why? Because the agricultural industry needs someone to cheaply pick apples in California.Just a quick note on enforcement, more people have been deported under the Obama administration then combined under Reagan, Bush and Clinton.I’m actually an optimist. We have an expectations bubble.Life in 21st century America is pretty amazing with just a little historical perspective. US has the best economy in the world right now. Ignore all the shouting and screaming – which is just show to gin up the bases – our government actually works incredibly well compared to most other places in the world. Except Canada of course :)Special interests could be a problem – but this is not new to the American system. For 250 years there has been a battle going on between commerce and democracy with $ usually winning out.Two steps forward, one step back. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show 🙂

    1. sigmaalgebra

      > No president has ever enforced the immigration laws.See my reference to what Ike did in my post below.

  40. ErikSchwartz

    More outrage for the sake of being outraged. Obama is no different than those before him (which is his great failure in my eyes).Whoever comes next will also be no different.Happy thanksgiving everyone.

    1. David Semeria

      Sad but probably true Erik.

  41. DJL

    So I guess you like Dictators as long as you agree withe their policies? Omaba was on record 25 times – in his own words – saying he no Constitutional authority to do what he just did. I hope the rich Liberals here remember that it was the Constitution – and separation of powers – that enabled the system we have today. Enacting legislation against the will of the people – while stomping on the Constitution and violating your oath of Office – are impeachable offenses. He needs to be stopped.

  42. BillMcNeely

    First, I am kinda of amused by the wait your turn, go to the back of the line it’s not fair argument Life is not fair. Sometimes fairness gets tossed to the side in order to deal with reality and to get shit done.Second, I don’t understand everyone’s infatuation with citizenship. If it’s a stumbling block issue work visas every 6, 12 or 24 months. I know this works because I have stood in line myself for these overseas. Some of the folks have even been born in that that country. Life goes on. It even works.Third I am glad to see our republic form of democracy at work. We have three branches of the government. At the moment the legislative branch is dysfunctional on domestic issues so that voids gets filled by the executive branch to the legal extent of the law. And oh by the way judicial branch checks in from time to time making law when both of the aforementioned branches are non functioning.If you don’t like something please write your representative. It matters more than you think.

  43. Alexander Muse

    Obama’s executive order on immigration was entirely reasonable if not too conservative. I feel his method violates the constitution; however, if you’re going to break the law you might as well REALLY break it. He should have invited skilled workers (programmers, engineers, doctors, scientists) to come in droves to work here. Imagine when the next Republican president takes office and decides the tax code isn’t working for Americans and Congress can’t get it fixed. He orders that the IRS stop enforcing the tax code… We are a nation of laws – sometimes VERY stupid laws. Just because almost all of us agree with his actions last night doesn’t mean they are legal or right.

    1. BillMcNeely

      Definitely a slippery slope.

    2. MikeSchinkel

      If the Republican president does that it might actually get congress to fix the tax code rather than sitting on the sidelines.Remember that politicians fixing a divisive issue robs them of the votes they would not get from future grandstanding on the divisive issue if the issues gets fixed. Maybe what we need is executive orders on every divisive issue…

  44. JLM

    .The President’s policy is this:”If you like your yard guy, you can keep your yard guy.”Why would anyone not trust that?A more nuanced discussion is available here:http://themusingsofthebigre…JLM.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      I’ll finish reading the BRC version, but it finally hit me that the speech put immigration into the headlines and, thus, helped knock out of the headlines, uh, ISIS and Iran.

      1. JLM

        .I am scared shitless that the Iranians are going to stick their thumb in our eye come the 24th of November and the shit is really going to hit the fan.The Israelis are loaded for bear and the recent massacre has them on tenterhooks.The Iranian business is going to get very bad.Good news travels fast and bad news doesn’t travel. That tells me the Iranians are not going to budge. No cessation of their nuclear enrichment program and steady on to a bomb. Miniturization is the only remaining hurdle.If there was anything good to report we’d have gotten a leak by now. Another failed foreign policy initiative. We should never have taken down the sanctions. They were almost broken.JLM.

        1. ShanaC

          So I definitely know someone who is related to someone in the Massacre in Har Nof. (One person who died has a very famous family tree)The Israelis are going nuts internally. I think americans need to read Rav Kook to really understand some of the craziness that israelis are going through.(The massacre is closely related to what to do with temple mount, and in israeli life, that goes back to Rav Kook)

        2. sigmaalgebra

          Sounds like some nice new lakeside property right next to perfectly round, glass lined, hemispherical bottom, glowing in the dark, all new Lake Tehran.So, one of our W88 cones, maybe from some of von Neumann’s geometry, about 4′ high, about 800 pounds, about 475 KT, several per missile, might suffice for the excavation.Of course BHO wants to be seen as the US president who wrote Grand FUBAR Ayatollah Kockamamie personal letters offering to join with him in singing “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”.Never can tell what Grand FUBAR Ayatollah Kockamamie might do next, but he can’t get very far without some testing, and any such testing we, the Russians, and likely more will know about, right away.Until he tests, likely no one else has to worry much.On the other hand, maybe we made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: If he does test, then a few minutes later he won’t have anything.As I recall, there are the special, long range F-16i and F-15i intended for flying over deserts.

  45. Supratim Dasgupta

    His reforms did nothing to1. Introduce a startup visa like Canada and revive entrepreneurship2.Accelerate GreenCard process for millions of Indians and Chinese who are here legally and been waiting for more than a decade for the green cards to be approved.Many have to go back because of the H1B expiring after 6yr limit.

  46. Lee Blaylock

    I’m very much for a direct path to amnesty, in fact I think the GOP should make Spanish the 2nd national language of the USA and recognize the fact that these great people are here to work and not be lazy like many of the workers they are replacing and hold the values our nation was built on.BUT the process is more important for a democracy. Obama cares about process, until he doesn’t. His move and timing last night was pure politics. Though he campaigned on it, he didn’t do squat for immigration when he had total control of the house and senate and he didn’t do this before the ’12 or ’14 election and now he’s not even letting the new congress work on it before issuing this order. This exec order doesn’t even give folks a path to citizenship so doesn’t really solve the problem as they still can’t get SSN benefits, Medicaid, or other safety nets we’ve set up. The GOP will really screw this up if they take his bait. I think the senior leadership knows this but I’m not confident they’ll drown out the idiots like Ted Cruz.A well done statement from the WSJ, who is also pro amnesty:”Mr. Obama is issuing his order amid furious political opposition and after his own multiple previous declarations that he lacks legal authority. “If we start broadening that [his 2012 order for undocumented children], then essentially I’ll be ignoring the law in a way that I think would be very difficult to defend legally,” Mr. Obama said on Telemundo in September 2013. “So that’s not an option.” Yet his press secretary now says it’s a necessity because they’re “not just going to sit around and wait interminably for Congress.” That is a tantrum, not a legal justification.”Obama’s lack of managerial and legislative ability has already taken his party back to 1928 in terms of a minority in the house and senate, there are now GOP Governors in: MA, IL, MD and MI, true blue states if there ever were some, and the GOP controls both statehouses in 24 states vs DEM in 6 and that is where future leaders are formed. Odds are the gov will lose King v Burwell and the subsidies paid to folks not on state exchanges will not be possible, bringing down ObamaCare. He’s been a long term liability to his party and it will be interesting to see if he continues his current path of alienating most Americans, of which, I hope and pray the 12mm illegals become Americans too, but in the right process.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      He was in “total control” of the house and senate for about 6 weeks after Franken was sworn in (July of 2009) until Kennedy died in August.Congress doesn’t do much in the summer.

  47. drconatus

    No.America may be a nation of immigrants, but let’s examine what this means a little closer. *Which* immigrants exactly? The immigrants that are referred to in this notion are overwhelmingly of European descent. The immigrants in question today are low-skilled third world Central Americans. They will not integrate or rise as the immigrants of past.Who doesn’t believe this? I’m willing to establish exact metrics and place long term bets for substantial amounts of money. Anyone?What will happen — what is already happening — is a permanent underclass and the further polarization of American society. This is not good for anyone. For example, research shows all the social ills that are associated with unequal societies (controlled for overall equal wealth). By passing this immigration “reform” America will become more like Qatar and Brazil and less like Norway or Japan. Who wants that?The other aspects to this debate, despicable as they are, are secondary in nature. I sure as hell am not a Republican yet I find the Democrats’ attempt to elect a new people (via questionable legal methods) truly disgusting.

    1. MikeSchinkel

      > Who doesn’t believe this? I’m willing to establish exact metrics and place long term bets for substantial amounts of money. Anyone?The Economist doesn’t believe that. They even wrote a special report about it:

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Really !You think that your willingness to bet on your own bias carries some sort of valid epistemology weight !

    3. sachmo

      Wow… super racist comment. This is how people felt about eastern europeans in the 1890s… and America is still what it is today.

  48. Emily Merkle

    Obama: +1Immigrants: 11mGOP: – 666

  49. Don Jones

    The rule of law is important, politically and economically.For example, Fred and most VCs usually require that startups incorporate as a Delaware corporation.Why is that?Because of the many protections afforded by Delaware corporate law. Also, because investors like Fred can RELY on settled law so they can have the greatest possible confidence in the enforcement of their legal rights.Other states have corporation laws, too, yet VCs and most investors require Delaware law for their investments, in large part due to its consistency and reliability in enforcing the law.So, if the consistent and reliable enforcement of laws is an extremely important aspect of where startups are incorporated, it is equally important in all other matters as well.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      UNfair! So unFAIR! You are neglecting the crucial “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds”! and the classic “The law is exactly what I say it is”!Besides, it will please his base, very little will come of it, and he will get away with it.

  50. Stan Papi

    Bravo to Mr. Wilson for his post and this blog.The canard of “illegal” immigrants draining the resources of hard-working US citizens is just so tiresome. Read the Pew stuff. Read how “illegal’s” $BB of benefit have saved Soc. Sec. and Medicare. Read about the Labor Force participation rate of “illegals” versus the population at large. Obama has done nothing to increase the flow of “illegals.” He has made it safer for the people who have been here to contribute even more. (not to mention the brilliant political ramifications.)Question: will Obama’s changes for STEM graduates meaningfully affect our tech sector’s chronic shortage?

  51. bmathes

    You are witnessing a rare politician that is not up for re-election and doesn’t need to worry about his party in upcoming elections. They reveal a humanity and pragmatism that our elective system usually doesn’t allow.

  52. Lee Lorenzen

    Fred,When my grandparents immigrated from Germany in the 1920s, they were sponsored by US families who loaned them the money for their passage, gave them room and board and required them to work for them for free for one year (or until they had paid back their immigration loans through second and third jobs). Their sponsors were also former immigrants themselves and that one year of free labor from my grandparents helped their sponsors establish themselves and helped my grandparents gradually learn English and the American Way.So, I’ve been thinking about the political impasse over immigration for some time and came up with the following approach that I think would enjoy bi-partisan support. I’d be interested in your view on it.Background==========Why Not Sell Golden Tickets to Go Through the Golden Door?(aka — How a New For-Profit Immigration Policy Can Help Pay Off Our National Debt and be fair to both immigrants and citizens)Based on the fact that 150 Million adults worldwide would like to migrate to theU.S., (… )Here is an idea for how a new for-profit immigration policy can help to:======================================================1. pay off our national debt,2. deal with the 11.7 million illegal immigrants in a non-amnesty way and3. lift up America’s standing in a number of the world comparisons in which we are currently behind (e.g., math, science, etc.).The core of the idea is to assign a marketplace-driven price to green cards and create additional new paid paths to US citizenship.======================================================Imagine if a green card for any current illegal immigrant (i.e., those who broke the rules) would have a market price of $100,000 and these green cards (with the obligation to assume a debt obligation of $100,000) were aggressively provided (i.e., assigned or issued as citations) to any and all illegal immigrants.If accepted by the illegal immigrant, such a greed card would both bring the illegal immigrant out of the shadows and burden him or her with a 15 or 30 year debt obligation to repay $100,000 plus a 5% interest rate (i.e., $536 or $790 per month). Althougha significant burden, the now-legal immigrant would have:1. the assurance of permanent residency (so long as they met their debt payments),2. a path to full US citizenship (after passing English fluency and US history tests) and3. the pride of contributing $100,000 to pay off our national debt (i.e., something for which all US citizens would owe them a debt of gratitude because we were the ones whobenefited from the spending of this money in earlier years).If rejected, the illegal immigrant would be asked to leave the country and their “golden ticket” would be sold to an aspiring immigrant who is not currently living illegally in the USand who would be willing to accept the obligation to pay. Given the scarcity of these first 11.7 million green cards in comparison to the 150 million who would like to come to the US, I will be very surprised if many illegal immigrants choose to reject the kindness that America is bestowing on them.But, how does this pay off the debt?============================The now-legal immigrants would be given one year to find one or more co-signers (or co-note holders) on their $100,000 note from among their US and non-US friends and family members. These co-signers (or co-note holders) would commit to help coverthe monthly payments for all or a portion of the note should the now legalimmigrant fail to make a required payment.With the note secured in this manner, the next step is for the $100,000 note to be assumed by a bank, corporation or wealthy individual who would likely jump to assume these “citizenship mortgages” and have the almost guaranteed chance to earn 5% on$100,000 for 15 or 30 years.The note assumption process would occur when the new note holder pays $100,000 to the government (and these funds would be required by law to pay down the national debt). The bank (or other assuming party) would have the responsibility of collecting monthly payments from the now-legal immigrant.Let’s do some math: ================In 2010, there were 13.6 million applicants in the Green Card Lottery that yielded only 55,000 winners (i.e., 0.4%). What if the other 99.6% could win the lottery as well but their 2nd place winning green cards would come with the obligation to pay $100,000 to paydown the national debt (as described above)?It is highly likely that in such a system, many corporations (who are flush with cash but need skilled workers) would pay (or at least co-sign) for the highly skilled employees that they can’t hire at a fast enough rate in America. This helps these corporations move more highly skilled, highly paid and locally-taxed workers from around the world into the US. Another benefit is that these recent immigrants and their more highly motivated children will help to increase the US performance levels in STEM comparisons.So, if we take the 11.7 million illegal immigrants described above and the 13.6 million legal immigrants applying in the greed card lottery, we have demonstrated demand for at least 25 million “US citizenship customers” who I believe would be willing and able,with a little help from their friends, to pay $536 per month (i.e., only $18per day). This amount would seems a small price to pay for the right tobe a US citizen and to be viewed as one of the US citizens who made thesacrifice of paying $100,000 as a thank you for those immigrants who camebefore them and made America a “shining city upon a hill.”So, 25 million new green card holders * $100,000 from banks assuming these notes = $2.5 trillion in cash today = 15% of our national debt paid off in one year!After this first wave of new physical immigration is complete, the marketplace price of US citizenship (beyond the paltry number of free green cards given out each year in thelottery) will likely rise from $100,000 to $200,000. This means that the next 25 million immigrants will reduce the national debt by $5 trillion.The balance of the debt can then be paid off by creating a new category of immigration which is based on a virtual presence in the US (i.e., access to our banking system, a US address, a US credit card and the US legal system) but with only periodic visits supported. This “virtual presence” minimizes the need for additional US infrastructure, health care costs, etc. but provides the “virtual US citizen” with a safety valve should their own situation change in their native country and guaranteed fast track status should they wish to “pay up” to full green card status.In essence, they would have guaranteed “life boat citizenship” if their own situations in their own countries begin to turn south. Like in any insurance business, the insurer (in this case the US) has access and full usage of every insured annual insurance premiums as free cash flow to fund programs of the insurer’s choosing. Since it is doubtful that every hot spot in the world would turn dangerous at the same time, the US should never need to worry about a mass immigration from all policy holders at once.When a green card with full permanent resident status is costing $200,000, these “virtual US citizen” rights might go for only $50,000 which would be $9 per day and might be ofinterest to 200 million folks around the world (i.e., $10 trillion)So, $2.5 + $5 + $10 trillion = $17.5 trillion in national debt paid off by folks who really want to live in America for the benefit of all those who are living in America.But can it pass?============Republicans (especially Tea Party folks) should pass this because it pays off the national debt and avoids amnesty for illegal immigrants.Democrats should pass this because it solves the illegal immigrant problem and frees up the current interest being paid on the debt as a funding source for various other social programs.Almost all Americans should be in favor of their representatives supporting this because it solves two major problems without creating any significant additional burden on currentAmericans and/or their children and grandchildren.Thanks,Lee LorenzenCEO, Altura VenturesThe New Colossus===============Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,With conquering limbs astride from land to land;Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall standA mighty woman with a torch, whose flameIs the imprisoned lightning, and her nameMother of Exiles. From her beacon-handGlows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes commandThe air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.”Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries sheWith silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

  53. ZekeV

    Obama will go down in history as one of the shrewdest and most effective administrative presidents ever to occupy that office. Yes, progressives have used the courts and bureaucracy to circumvent the legislature. Obama is the latest and (in my view) best at this game. He did not ignore the Constitutional separation of powers, though. In each policy area where he has engaged in executive action, he took a calculated, if aggressive, approach. This is how they play ball in the big leagues, and have since the first Adams administration.Over time, will this gamesmanship erode the people’s respect for our Constitutional process? Possibly. Certainly, those who disagree with the progressive agenda feel disenfranchised by this approach. If this political fight undermines faith in our republican system, then I think the Republicans and populist Democratic legislators who obstruct immigration reform are every bit as much to blame as the progressives. Plus they are on the side of evil when it comes to the substantive policy!

  54. Thomas Petersen

    Perspectives matter.I am originally from Denmark a country that if anything have a very very liberal social welfare system. We aren’t just talking obamacare here we are talking. Free healthcare, free schools, collage and university we are talking money while you study and we are talking unemployment benefits 5 week vacations, kids first sickday, 37.5 work week etc. way beyond what most americans even make as a salary.If a country like Denmark did what Obama have done I would be concerned. But those Americans who think this is somehow opening up the floodgates don’t know the wellfare system of their own country very well and they forget how much money is being used on dealing with illegal immigrants. In the US you can literally be on your own and that is what I love about this country in a weird way.Is it fair? Of course not. Neither was it fair when those hundreds of thousands other immigrants from Europe cheated their way to a green card. Some of whom some of the critics are descendents from.Immigration is hard. Obama is dealing with an actual problem that isn’t solved by border patrol or deportation. So you can either be pragmatic or principal I normally stand of the side of those who are the former.

    1. sigmaalgebra

      We CAN solve it by deportation. Not far above see my reference to how Ike did it. It’s entirely doable.

  55. matthughes

    I didn’t agree with the way president delivered the message — too much gamesmanship — but on balance, I agree with his vision on this issue.

  56. Tom

    Being a hard working legal H1B visa holder, I live under the stress, if not fear, that my visa will expire and force me to go back home. I know it’s hard to make everyon’s life easier. Let’s hope.

  57. matthughes

    I’ve never personally met an illegal immigrant who didn’t make the US a better place.They want to be here, they want to work, they want to contribute.

      1. matthughes

        I know there are bad apples.But for my part, I’ve only met great people.

  58. Seriously?

    You conflate immigration and illegal immigration

  59. Raffaele Colella

    This is a great article from the Economist talking about the visa bottleneck for foreign students in the US. Students have doubled in the last 10 years, visas for them to stay in the US following to 1 year grace period (OPT) haven’t increased at all. This restrains our ability to chose employers and to take the time to start a company….

    1. Dave Pinsen

      How is it fair to poor countries if rich countries take their most capable citizens?

      1. Raffaele Colella

        Well in my opinion people should be given the opportunity to chose where they want to live. Especially if they are contributing to create wealth and opportunities for the entire ecosystem. Foreign student come to the US spending $100k+ on education, provide relatively cheap and qualified labor (of course in exchange of exposure and experience) and yet have lots of limitations in the path they can chose as many employers won’t sponsors visa, and the window to apply is limited in time and supply. Not to mention how difficult is during that period to even think to start a company…

      2. MikeSchinkel

        Remittances to relatives “back home,” for one.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          Remittances aren’t an unalloyed positive. They can fuel inflation and crime in home countries. And it’s hard to think of a country that has become advanced due to remittances.

          1. MikeSchinkel

            Yes, leaving them all to wallow together in their own collective poverty is a far more preferable state of affairs for advancing human kind. (eyeroll)

          2. Dave Pinsen

            What a condescending view: their only options are to mow your lawn or “wallow in povery”? How about building up their own countries?

          3. MikeSchinkel

            Condescending view? Hardly. I speak of the opportunities in their home country, not of the people themselves.It is easy to say “How about building up their own countries?” but doing so, with corrupt governments, very little available education, few employment opportunities and no economic investment to speak of compared to the USA is much harder then just saying “Let them eat cake.”To me, I find the latter far more condescending.

          4. Dave Pinsen

            People make countries, states, cities, economies, and societies, and people are not fungible. I think poor countries would be better off of their most capable citizens stayed, but, realistically, they would probably remain poorer than advanced countries, because they have less human capital.

          5. MikeSchinkel

            I respect your opinion even if I doubt it to be optimal. But honestly I don’t know what the answer is either.What I do know is that our current systems — immigration and policy making — are completely dysfunctional so I don’t trust any good solution to be achieved by our current decision makers.Given that, I’d rather have some chaos thrown into the mix to see if it can disrupt the dysfunction and cause the chips to land in a better place. And to me this executive order is that chaos.P.S. I was mentoring at a 3 Day Startup event today and one of the teams is trying to come up with a way to keep the most capable people in the 3rd world from leaving for greener pastures. For them, I had nothing to suggest as it seems a very intractable problem. At least w/o governments, NGOs and major corporations making a major effort to address the issue.

          6. Dave Pinsen

            It’s not intractable if advanced countries stop letting them immigrate. We’d all probably be better off if there were more lateral migration: we would benefit more from a French physician immigrating here than an Angolan one; Angola might benefit more from an Angolan engineer going to Brazil than here, etc.

          7. MikeSchinkel

            “We’d all probably be better off if there were more lateral migration:”We might be, we might not. I don’t know enough about these complex interrelations to believe I could have a valid opinion on this.”It’s not intractable if advanced countries stop letting them immigrate.”But I do believe that this is simply far easier said than done. And most proponents of this approach hand wave off the difficulties because they know it won’t happen so their over simplification will never be exposed. But for us to truly stop immigration we’d have to become far more of a police state than we’ve already become the past decade. And to me that would be like swimming with piranha to shield oneself from encounters with alligators.

          8. Dave Pinsen

            Enforcing immigration laws doesn’t require a police state, just the political will to do so. In fact, you could argue that mass immigration requires more of a police state, to protect against the threats you’ve imported. Think of Boston on lockdown last year due to two Chechen immigrants.

          9. MikeSchinkel

            The police state is require to ensured no one gets across the border, and then to ensure than no one overstays their visa. You may not think it would be a police state and yet I do. So let’s agree to disagree on that point.Bringing up the singular case of two Chechen immigrants when we are mostly discussing Mexican and South American immigration is simply a red herring.

          10. Dave Pinsen

            It’s not a red herring since we have many immigrants from countries that have been hotbeds of Muslim extremism. And also many violent criminals from Mexico and Central America, places that have much higher crime rates than us.But don’t take my word for it. Look around. Has America become more or less of a police state as mass immigration has continued?

          11. MikeSchinkel

            It is a red herring because it’s a different issue. Or maybe I should instead say it’s the fallacy of equivocation:…We are talking about Obama’s Executive Order, the topic set by Fred. From the EO Fact Sheet[1]:- Focusing on the removal of national security, border security, and public safety threats. To better focus on the priorities that matter, Secretary Johnson is issuing a new DHS-wide memorandum that makes clear that the government’s enforcement activity should be focused on national security threats, serious criminals, and recent border crossers. DHS will direct all of its enforcement resources at pursuing these highest priorities for removal.- Implementing a new Priority Enforcement Program. Effectively identifying and removing criminals in state and local jails is a critical goal but it must be done in a way that sustains the community’s trust. To address concerns from Governors, Mayors, law enforcement and community leaders which have undermined cooperation with DHS, Secretary Johnson is replacing the existing Secure Communities program with a new Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) to remove those convicted of criminal offenses. DHS will continue to rely on biometric data to verify individuals who are enforcement priorities, and they will also work with DOJ’s Bureau of Prisons to identify and remove federal criminals serving time as soon as possible.ACCOUNTABILITY – CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS AND TAXES- Creating a mechanism that requires certain undocumented immigrants to pass a background check to make sure that they start paying their fair share in taxes. In order to promote public safety, DHS is establishing a new deferred action program for parents of U.S. Citizens or LPRs who are not enforcement priorities and have been in the country for more than 5 years. Individuals will have the opportunity to request temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for three years at a time if they come forward and register, submit biometric data, pass background checks, pay fees, and show that their child was born before the date of this announcement. By providing individuals with an opportunity to come out of the shadows and work legally, we will also help crack down on companies who hired undocumented workers, which undermines the wages of all workers, and ensure that individuals are playing by the rules and paying their fair share of taxes.I’m not sure how any rational person could read those and then argue this EO would do anything besides improve our national security with respect to Muslim immigrants with terroristic intent OR violent criminals from Mexico and Central America. So presumably you would no longer argue that? Besides, there are many other laws that would easily supersede the executive orders in that case.> But don’t take my word for it. Look around. Has America become more or less of a police state as mass immigration has continued?Your logical fallacies are “anecdotal” [2], “false cause” [3] and “strawman”[4].[1]…[2] https://yourlogicalfallacyi… [3] https://yourlogicalfallacyi…[4] https://yourlogicalfallacyi

      3. MickSavant

        I think you are raising an interesting point, but I always get the willies when someone starts out with fairness. Fairness is subjective! I think we should start out with, are the most capable citizens leaving? This is an assumption. Certainly some are (or are trying to) but I’d like to see the data on it.Though I have only anecdotal evidence to support this, I tend to believe that the more open and free people are to emigrate the better off EVERYONE is. Now there are some caveats to this, an open market for emigration requires other open markets (taxes, welfare, etc) and we certainly do not have those. But I tend to look at labor as any other commodity. Tariffs and price controls and import export controls harm both parties!I used to live in India, and I know a ton of Indians that left, got educated in the USA, worked for many years in the USA, and then voluntarily took their skills, resources, and families back to India. It seems to me that the Indian economy and the US economy benefited tremendously from this trade.

        1. Dave Pinsen

          I’ll freely admit my primary concern is with the welfare of this country, but I think it’s also true that we and poor countries would both be better off if their most talented citizens stayed home and contributed their talents there.Consider, for example, a Liberian physician working in the US. If he goes home, his country has one more sorely-need physician. We, most likely, will get a more-qualified American-born physician in his place.

          1. MickSavant

            I don’t think that’s how it works. Firstly, I totally agree with you re: primary interest is that of our country… it’s called rational self interest and it’s a good thing.Would you apply this same methodology to states? To towns? No, right? Freedom of movement does a lot of things. First it benefits the individuals who get to dictate their own lives and not be subjected by the circumstances of their birth. Also, it naturally encourages countries to adopt the right policies to retain their best and brightest and attract that of other countries.Maybe your example of the Liberian doctor earns money in the states and sends it home. Maybe she gets her education here and goes back home to practice.Allowing people to move is what encourages competition amongst governments. When people flee California or the northeast in droves to move to Texas for better jobs, lower cost of living, lower taxes, bigger homes for their family etc. it puts pressure on states that view their citizens as fixed assets they can push around or swindle without consequence. Conversely, if a southern state doesn’t allow gays to marry they should be prepared to lose productive members of their economy who are directly impacted by such policies or or just don’t want to live somewhere where this is the case (this is probably less of a driver than economic forces but still)

  60. sigmaalgebra

    who provide much of the foundation of the hard work that gets done every day Yup! An identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class. And, with high irony, the people who will be most hurt are the existing identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class.There is a solution, from Ike, as in…But all the way back to Alexis de Tocqueville, very much we do not want an identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class.Why? Education, welfare, crime, and our democracy itself.Education?The US K-12 education system is not competitive internationally, say, with Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Finland, Sweden, and Norway?Right. But:(1) Take out the US identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class, and the US K-12 educational system does fine.(2) With the tests, control on country of origin, and the US does fine. That is, students in the US with ancestors from Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Finland, Sweden, and Norway do just fine compared with students in Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Finland, Sweden, and Norway respectively. And no doubt, US students with ancestors from South and Central America and Africa do just fine compared with students in South and Central America and Africa respectively.So, the problem with US K-12 education is not US K-12 education, which is just fine on an international level, but with the US mix of countries of origin.Want to fix the problems with US K-12 education? Before try too hard, at Frontline at…watch “The Education of Michelle Rhee” and then think again.(3) K-12 in Israel?They’ll do great, likely lead the world, right? Sure they will. Yup. No doubt. Everyone else, work hard to compete for second place. Heck, in the high school I went to, for 1-2-3 on the Math SATs, I was 2 and 1-3 were Jewish. In fact, the school had nearly all the Jewish kids in town. Why? Because it was by far the best high school in town. MIT came recruiting, and 3 on the Math SAT went there (blew out his fuses in his first year — recovered later). The year before mine, three guys, at least two Jewish, ran against each other and some fourth sucker for President of the freshman class at Princeton. Relatively good high school.Why? In that town, all the kids in the US identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class had their own schools: Lucky kids; they went to school only half a day! And they had the best text books, the very same ones we used at my school, after we’d used the books for four years.Want to go to one of those schools? Live in that neighborhood? Have your daughter date one of the boys from there? Walk down a street there late one Saturday night? Park your late model car on a street there? Lots of good tax revenue from there? Good for US economic competitiveness and US democracy? Nope.I hated the situation and ASAP got the heck out’a there. And no matter how much Obama wants me to, I do NOT want to go back, or have Obama bring that situation to my neighborhood.So, right, K-12 in Israel should beat the world. Again I’d come in second!Heck, I have a friend who went to K-12 in NYC. In the third grade he was home with the flu, and his mother was surprised to learn that he couldn’t read. So, in a week, she taught him. The school? Sure, most of the students knew just two words of English and that because they knew only two words in total. They communicated with only different inflections of just those two words, commonly abbreviated MF. But my friend got PBK at SUNY, Ph.D. in applied math at Courant, and was a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His country of origin? Sure, somewhere between the Pyrenees and the Urals. His K-12 school? A disaster, but if control on country of origin apparently at least okay.Sit down for this: Israel doesn’t do well! Why? If control on country of origin, sure, likely Israel would win.But, if do what the people criticizing US K-12 education do, that is, just take all the students, then Israel is down in the middle of the pack (source: McKinsey’s report, The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools,).Why? Same reason as in the US: Need to control on country of origin. In the case of Israel, right, ballpark 30% of the students have country of origin Arabia, not Eastern, Central, and Western Europe.Or, how many students from Central and South America and Africa are in the schools of Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Finland, Sweden, and Norway? Right: Not many.(4) Not convinced yet? Look at the prison systems of the US versus those of Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Finland, Sweden, and Norway?Still not convinced? Good grief. This is not right. We must change it. Right, and above I gave the reference to just how Ike did that. We just need to do it again. Is this politically motivated. Yup. Some people wanted more immigrants who provide much of the foundation of the hard work that gets done every day that is, an identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class.Then we create horrible problems that increase welfare and crime, cause tax burdens, create bad school situations, generate police brutality, create bad neighborhoods, lower US international economic competitiveness, fill the jails, etc.Crime? Gee, wonder where the US street heroin, cocaine, meth, etc. come from? Might Central and South America have roles?The Democrats want the immigrants to vote but not work, and the Republicans want the immigrants to work but not vote.Thankfully, now, finally, the Republicans have started to be responsible again, return to Ike, and stop and reverse this drive for an identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class.It’s not nearly new stuff and, instead, goes all the way back to Alexis de Tocqueville, and it’s really UGLY. Did I mention that the main issue is an identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class? We do NOT want that.Immigration? Heck yes!E. Dynkin, long at Cornell, as in Markov Processes, the lack of stability of sufficiency for the Gaussian, Controlled Markov Processes, etc. His dissertation advisers in Russia? Kolmogorov and Gelfand.Jascha Heifetz as at…One of his teachers, Leopold Auer.The violinist who first put a violin under my left chin, Yuval Waldman, from Kiev and Israel, protege of Issac Stern, student of Joseph Gingold, long at SUNY Purchase.Mstislav Rostropovich as at…Valentina Lisitsa as at…With some irony, just on November 19, 2014, AVC was considering “Values and Culture”. Good stuff, and good judgment on these two will, like de Tocqueville, very much reject deliberately creating an identifiable, poor, common labor, exploited lower class.

    1. ShanaC

      except ashekanzi scores trend downwards with millennials, while asian scores trend upwards…… Because, you know, cultural changes and intermarriage, so…poor effect study choice.

  61. kev polonski

    The President had Democrats controlling the House and the Senate for 2 years – and he didn’t pass any immigration reform. But right after his policies were on the ballot – his own words, he issues an unconstitutional executive order and Mr. Wilson rejoices. Your leanings and your worldview are now in plain sight for all.

    1. ErikSchwartz

      This is untrue.Franken was sworn in in July of 2009. Kennedy died in August.Scott brown was elected in december.The dems had control of the senate for 6 weeks in the summer.Then from October to early december with a replacement senator in MA.Not 2 years, 3 months at best.

      1. kev polonski

        They had a simple majority for 2 years … Scott Brown only got GOP filibuster level. The fact remans that Obama by his own admission on at least a dozen times declared such a move unconstitutional even saying that he is not the emperor and we are a nation of laws. What changed? Its quite shocking that Mr. Wilson would celebrate lawlessness from the highest office of government. Speaks a lot.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          A simple majority means little in the US senate unless you are willing to go nuclear (which the dems were not)As for the rest of it, Obama is acting like every other president in recent history, democratic and republican. Why all the angst now? The disappointment of the Obama presidency is he is not different.

  62. Maqx-Dsqs

    If you liked this and the net neutrality decision, just you wait, there’s more to come from the Prez. Now that he and Congress know where the battle lines are, watch Obama have a very active final two years.

  63. Supratim Dasgupta

    Wow, This was quick.…Though Fred’s blog doesnt talk specifically on startup visa.

  64. Richard Kain

    Imagine the limited partners of a VC have given money with the understanding the funds only be used for biotechnology investments: but there is discretion which biotech investments they can make. The general partner may suggest a thematic change, and with the approval of a majority of partners, the GP may invest in something other than biotech. A startup comes along and boy do they make cool, cheap, self-driving cars. In the past, other GPs have made investments outside the strict guidelines of the fund. The GP asks for permission from the limited partners to invest in this fund. The limited partners disagree: some don’t want to fund it at all, some want a very limited investment. Let’s even say many of them just hate these cars for no good reason. And almost half of them want to invest. The GP decides, magnanimously, that he is the general partner and “has to act.” Irrespective of the size of the investment, has the GP done the right thing?If the answer is yes, and the GP decides to head to vegas the next day and put it all on black because he has a really good feeling about that too, what’s the objection?

  65. PrometheeFeu

    The voting issue is a red herring. Let them all come in and dont grant them a path to citizenship. Me and my family have suffered greatly at the hands of the USCIS and we’re the luckier ones. (My African friend in a situation identical to mine got denied) We couldn’t have cared less about voting and citizenship. Being able to work and travel is all that mattered.That said, the way the president has been acting (not that it started with Obama) effectively applying a line-item veto to legislation is abusive of his enforcement discretion. Yes, it is nominally constitutional, but his job is to enforce the laws. Not just the ones he likes. Presidents should not be able to negate acts of Congress when those acts are within Congress’ authority.

  66. ShanaC

    And we did get hit by spam at post 714 /1amish EST.Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  67. Tom Labus

    That was one toxic day which I’m glad I missed for the most part.

  68. Does it matter

    Liberty + freedom = necessary ingredients for a thriving capitalistic society.In the republic we live in, the president serves to faithfully execute the laws of the United States of which he has sworn to uphold. The president is democratically elected. We do not have a caeser. We do not have a dictator. Whether or not we support immigration reform is irrelevant. We are crossing into a dangerous place and setting new precedents that will erode more of our liberties and freedom. This is not something to cheer about. This is cause for alarm and introspection.Get your sh*t together Fred

    1. ShanaC

      more cursing……………..

  69. American

    The political naivete in this post is astounding.Better go back to raking in money.

    1. fredwilson

      i appreciate your dripping hostility and advicei don’t intend to take it one iota

  70. chuckf75

    We are a nation of laws and I don’t understand how you can break the law (come to the USA illegally) and then just because you didn’t get caught you now get to stay. Why do we need reform? We have laws in place, made by our congress and the executive branch gets to just change them at will? BTW I am all for Hispanics and helping them come to the USA legally but condoning illegal activities is not OK in my book. Should this reform put in writing that if you sneak into our country and don’t get caught you then get to stay?

    1. MikeSchinkel

      Let’s explore the concept of laws to provide us with some perspective. A few of these are rhetorical (such as “Have you done drugs”), i.e. no need to answer.- How often have you exceeded the speed limit while driving?- Have you ever smoked pot or taken other drugs? If yes, how often?- How often have you driven home when you were not 100% certain you were below the legal limit of intoxication?- How often have you parked in a no-parking zone?- If someone were threatening to harm a family member and the only option you saw was to kill them, would you let them harm your family member instead?- If you and your family were caught in a natural disaster without food and water and no one was willing to share what they had, would you allow your family to starve or die rather than steal food and water that you found available to be stolen?- If you were lucky and by happenstance staying at a location with your family that was well stocked with food and water during a natural disaster, would you feel strongly that anyone stealing food and water should be prosecuted once the natural disaster was resolved, regardless of the circumstances?- How much effort have you put into demanding that Wall Street Bankers be charged with the well-known crimes they committed?- How often have you protested when local prosecutors provide criminals amnesty in exchange for testifying against other criminals?- Do you know who wrote these words?: “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.” (Hint: His initials were T.J.) Do you not agree with these words?- This academic paper entitled “When, if ever, do citizens have the right to disobey the law?” [1] argues effectively that people have a right to disobey laws that are not moral. Do you challenge this argument? (Kindly please read the entire paper before responding to this question)- Are laws always absolutely in the right? If not and laws are in the wrong, is it always wrong to disobey those laws?- Are you against non-violent civil disobedience as a form to protest non-just laws?- When Ghandi and Martin Luther King broke the law with the goal of causing positive social change, changes which most have found to be a significant net positive for society, should they have been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law?- Do you disagree with all the “Pros” noted here[2] for justifying civil disobedience? If yes, which ones and why?- Lastly, is POTUS not ever justified in pursuing Civil Disobedience when he and his administration view current laws to be unjust and the normal routes for changing the law are at a stalemate?[1]…[2]

      1. chuckf75

        Obviously I have broken many laws in my life but I never complained when I was caught. Seriously. How can you compare civil disobedience to sneaking into a theater, I mean country? Were any of these aliens doing this to “change the system”? I understand why many of them came here, I would too but I would not complain when I was caught. Do you propose we have totally open borders?

        1. MikeSchinkel

          > Obviously I have broken many laws in my life but I never complained when I was caught.Who in this case is complaining out getting “caught.” Who got “caught” here?> How can you compare civil disobedience to sneaking into a theater, I mean country? Were any of these aliens doing this to “change the system”?I’m sorry I was not clear such that you misunderstood by point about civil disobedience. I was not arguing that illegal immigrants were using civil disobedience, the question instead was: “Wouldit be wrong for POTUS to use civil disobedience?”> I understand why many of them came here, I would too but I would not complain when I was caught.I did not think the current debate if over if they should complain or not. I thought the current debate was over whether “the rule of law” is an absolute ideal or instead if there are not manyvalid justifications for a government actor to modify enforcement of existing laws.> Do you propose we have totally open borders?That is a separate question, can we not first focus on the first question?No, I don’t support “open borders”, I support “open immigration with background checks and registration” which is more liberal than the most liberal Democrat in Congress is currently proposing. But debating stops of from completing the debate of the first question.The first question is (paraphrasing) “Is the concept of ‘rule of law’ the overriding concern that trumps all others, even if the current laws are immoral, unjust, or produce an undesirable result?”I say the latter should allow the former to be the less important consideration, and I gave many scenarios for others to ponder to see if they still believe that ‘the rule of law’ is paramount over any other consideration.BTW, you came in at the end of a long debate (800+ comments.) So my reply was as much for others of the same position as yours vs. being solely directed at you.

          1. chuckf75

            > Obviously I have broken many laws in my life but I never complained when I was caught.Who in this case is complaining out getting “caught.” Who got “caught” here?>>I guess I would think illegal aliens who protest and want amnesty I would consider “complainers about getting caught”.> How can you compare civil disobedience to sneaking into a theater, I mean country? Were any of these aliens doing this to “change the system”?I’m sorry I was not clear such that you misunderstood by point about civil disobedience. I was not arguing that illegal immigrants were using civil disobedience, the question instead was: “Wouldit be wrong for POTUS to use civil disobedience?”> I understand why many of them came here, I would too but I would not complain when I was caught.I did not think the current debate if over if they should complain or not. I thought the current debate was over whether “the rule of law” is an absolute ideal or instead if there are not many valid justifications for a government actor to modify enforcement of existing laws.>>I am all for a government actor modifying laws and we have such a party, it’s called “Congress”. Our Constitution was never set up for one man to change laws on his own, no matter what his party affiliation.> Do you propose we have totally open borders?That is a separate question, can we not first focus on the first question?No, I don’t support “open borders”, I support “open immigration with background checks and registration” which is more liberal than the most liberal Democrat in Congress is currently proposing. But debating stops of from completing the debate of the first question.>>This is an interesting idea but the only issue would be the devastation of our economy by so many people coming in at such low wages. This has been voiced by economists that the cost to the USA would be tremendous. It would not effect me but if all of a sudden there were 100 people to do a low wage job, what would that do to the people already here who are trying their best to get ahead? Low wager earners have had a tough time in recent years and there is so little wage inflation that they need help, not hindrance. And no, government regulation would not solve this issue!The first question is (paraphrasing) “Is the concept of ‘rule of law’ the overriding concern that trumps all others, even if the current laws are immoral, unjust, or produce an undesirable result?”>>If they are as such, change the laws, we have a system in place to do just that. It’s called Congress.I say the latter should allow the former to be the less important consideration, and I gave many scenarios for others to ponder to see if they still believe that ‘the rule of law’ is paramount over any other consideration.BTW, you came in at the end of a long debate (800+ comments.) So my reply was as much for others of the same position as yours vs. being solely directed at you.>>I know you have a lot of conversations going so I appreciate your even looking at mine. Like many others I don’t know the answers to this problem but I think amnesty over and over again is the wrong approach.

  71. Ted Rogers

    i will be interested in your response when the next Republican president does the same thing to implement laws you don’t like. my guess is that Democrats won’t be “whining and threatening”, they will be “defending the Constitution”.

  72. andyswan

    Charlie, sorry to break it to you but a certain “Constitutional Scholar” by the name of Barack Obama weighed in on this exact issue just 3 years ago:“America is a nation of laws, which means I, as the President, am obligated to enforce the law. I don’t have a choice about that. That’s part of my job. But I can advocate for changes in the law so that we have a country that is both respectful of the law but also continues to be a great nation of immigrants. … With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case, because there are laws on the books that Congress has passed …. [W]e’ve got three branches of government. Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”You were saying???

  73. pointsnfigures

    <redacted because=”” it=”” was=”” said=”” elsewhere=””>

  74. andyswan

    What happens when obstructionists refuse to do anything is the electorate gives them a landslide victory and the ability to do things.

  75. Ted Rogers

    “obstruction” is part of the democratic process and was a design feature of the constitution, to make sure one branch of government did not get too powerful. they were especially worried about the executive branch — with good reason, as we saw last night.the “obstruction” and “gridlock” cries are from people who aren’t getting what they want, when they want it. tough – democracy is frustrating sometimes.and no, on it’s face it’s not within his power, as Obama said many times previously

  76. andyswan

    that’s obvious.

  77. curtissumpter

    The idea that power and legal opinions make one right is nuts.This is the same process that GWB used to justify torture. Torture!To say I don’t care is to absolve oneself of responsibilities as a citizen. That is a tragedy.

  78. andyswan

    well it seems we agree on something today Charlie.

  79. andyswan

    and it was wrong then. The executive is completely out of control.

  80. JamesHRH

    Opening act.

  81. Ted Rogers

    then why are you supporting its perpetuation

  82. Tom Labus

    They’re pretty old at this point

  83. pointsnfigures

    GWB did exceed their power. I agree, and it was wrong then. It’s wrong today as well.

  84. curtissumpter

    Wow.As for transparency muggers are transparent. Transparency doesn’t confer something being right.

  85. Ted Rogers

    yup. likely this will end up in Supreme Court. i wonder what facts changed to spur him to change his mind after so many years of an opposite opinion? maybe the opinions he “heard” on November 4 influenced him to change his position and shore up his base — very principled of him

  86. Ted Rogers

    fair enough! 🙂

  87. pointsnfigures

    Yup. I was concerned then. I am not going to cheerlead for Bush, that’s for sure. Like him better than Obama. Agree about court and laws, they should.One thing Republicans in Congress should not do, and both leaders have said they will not do-is talk about impeachment. The only people I have seen talking about it is Democratic fundraisers.

  88. pointsnfigures

    It shouldn’t. The Republicans are known as the “stupid party”, but they aren’t that stupid.

  89. Lorien Gabel

    No president has ever enforced the immigration laws. Otherwise we would have deported 11 million people by now.

  90. MikeSchinkel

    You’ve never made a categorical statement you later revised after learning more?May he who is without sin cast the first stone…

  91. Mike O'Horo

    This was hardly a landslide, or a mandate. With only 48% of registered voters participating, it was an embarrassment. Cue the Gil Scott-Heron song, “B Movie.”

  92. MikeSchinkel

    Landslide? I don’t think so. 5% on average, at best”One generally agreed upon measure of a landslide election is when the winning candidate beats his opponent or opponents by at least 15 percentage points in a popular vote count.”…

  93. Salt Shaker

    My point was more about allowing due process to run its course. Obama preempted that opportunity. Not to suggest a GOP controlled Congress would get there, but come January a divided Congress will no longer be in play, increasing the odds that some semblance of a functioning gov’t will prevail. If not, Obama could always play the EO hand.Obama may or may not be on solid judicial ground here, and clearly there have been other executive actions evoked by his predecessors, but context matters. Never have we seen a gov’t as polarizing and as dysfunctional as this, and the context of his decision is what makes it most troublesome. By preempting a new Congress he now becomes somewhat of an obstructionist, and mind you, I say this as an ardent supporter.

  94. Salt Shaker

    Okay, our legislative process, but you get my point, no?

  95. andyswan

    I was specifically referring to the prior sentence, especially the part that I put in quotes for emphasis.But hey… what are you going to do? The President of this blog read it one way, didn’t bother to give me the benefit of the doubt, didn’t revise his interpretation when I explained it… and so here we are… supposedly talking about “hateful” “personal” attacks when none were offered.That’s politics for ya.

  96. JamesHRH

    Fred assertion that it is a tactical pressure play on the House gets my BP to drop. a little.Otherwise, this is stepping into a steaming mess on the sidewalk.

  97. MikeSchinkel

    > Never have we seen a gov’t as polarizing and as dysfunctional as this,Never has social media, Fox News and right-wing talk radio been so prevalent in our society…

  98. andyswan

    Is it not fair to ask him WHEN he changed his mind? I’m guessing a couple Wednesdays ago….What was the compelling argument that made he, a Congressional scholar, do a complete 180 in mere months….and not only decide that he had a RIGHT to circumvent the law, but that he SHOULD do so? Without consulting with the leadership of the next congress first?

  99. andyswan

    He also “changed his mind” on the negative impact that ignoring the law would have on immigration as a whole apparently… because there are many quotes where he basically makes the GOP argument that non-enforcement undermines the entire system.So not only did he change his mind on the legality of doing so… he changed his mind on whether or not it was the right thing to do in the first place.All without consulting the newly-elected congress. Amazing!

  100. SubstrateUndertow

    There are enough straw men augments to go full circle here today 🙂

  101. JLM

    .I know you want to believe what you have written is factual but the folklore that he “studied” it is not supported by anything. Less than six months ago, he said he couldn’t do it.Can you imagine if some noted legal scholar had been appointed to study this and to render an opinion, the President would not have jammed it up our collective noses last night?The reasons why he should not have done it are minimally legal and more policy. It will take more than a year to get this system working and then it will likely be dismantled by the next President.When Obama came into office he unraveled almost all of Bush’s Executive Orders.Please look up 18 US Code Sec 2381 for the definition of treason. Nixon never committed treason. That is pure baloney.So just for the record, you’re going with the “prior incompetence” defense?JLM.

  102. JamesHRH

    That’s lame by any standard JLM.Unprincipled or incompetent may have the same outcome as deceptive, but it is a wholly different charge against a person’s character.Surprised you persist down this line of defence.If you respond with ‘I cannot stand what he / they are doing to the country I served and love. I am not thinking straight.” I will come to the ATX & buy you BBQ out of respect.

  103. sigmaalgebra

    > The reasons why he should not have done it are minimally legal and more policy. It will take more than a year to get this system working and then it will likely be dismantled by the next President.Gee, I thought I was the only one on this thread seeing that Obama device: He gets to make a big speech, he gets some headlines and maybe knocks ISIS and Iran out of the headlines, his base feels all good, he looks like a gutsy guy pushing the limits of legality on behalf of the little guy, and it all means next to nothing because of what you explained about time. Or, before much of anything real happens, he will be out’a there.To me, that’s just an example of a major pattern for him. My view is that ObamaCare and the fight against ISIS are more. He is doing some things against ISIS because ISIS made the headlines and some people thought that the US should do something; so, he’s doing something. For ObamaCare, he was never seriously involved in it, e.g., when he was selling it he didn’t bother to get himself informed on it. He just has ObamaCare out there for people who might like it to see it, but he knows it will flop about the time he leaves office.And for his immigration speech, sure, he can delay the implementation so that it will also flop about the time he leaves office.With irony, he said that as president he didn’t have the power to do such a thing, and, really, mostly in reality he isn’t!His public statements are about nothing more real than those Greek columns he used once.And his base, supporters, etc. ate it up, enough for him to be elected twice. How to be president without really trying.Indeed, my take is that nearly everything he does where he makes a speech is of this form. Instead, when he actually wants to do something, e.g., flood the US with people from south of the border, he doesn’t talk about it.

  104. JLM

    .I think I have been very clear that the guy is a world class liar and not to be trusted. This is the accumulated wisdom of six years of observation on countless subjects/policies.The policies themselves have failed. Abjectly. Flop sweat. The numbers show that. A nuclear Iran will show that.The country is thinking straight as evidenced by the recent election and the polling which shows an enormous majority of the country is opposed to this policy. While I never care whether I am with or against the majority, in this instance I am in the midst of the majority.It — immigration — is not “news” in Texas or other border states as we’ve been wrestling with it for half a century or more.JLM.

  105. andyswan

    Never 25 times regarding an historical, virtually unchanging document in my field of expertise, one that I not only switch 3 months later, but act in the opposite of my stated original direction.

  106. JamesHRH

    A liar is someone who says X happened and I can prove that Y happened.Someone that you cannot trust to deliver on the promise (‘Yes We Can’) is an amateur. Which is what his bio told everyone when he got elected.I fell for it. I can remember my wife telling me to come watch one of his first campaign speeches. I thought to myself, this cat is the real deal.He is not, but then, very few of us are (Teddy Roosevelt maybe)?

  107. sachmo

    Still not clear to me on why he’s liar.I think Benghazi is a ‘fog of war’ type issue. I’m not sure that you can point to anything else he lied on.

  108. JLM

    .Viet Nam was a tar baby by the time he got in the driver’s seat. I don’t fault Obama for Iraq as he inherited that tar baby also. Still, it was a blunder to not get a SOFA.ISIS which I call the Syrian Rotary Club, was a creation of allowing the baby to get out of the cradle. Don’t get me started.JLM.

  109. JLM

    .The peace talks remain one of the great mysteries of the world.Conducted in Paris at the finest hotels with lavish dinners while grunts were still fighting, bleeding and dying in that shit hole.JLM.

  110. sigmaalgebra

    ISIS? Saddam and the Sunnis dumped on the Shiites and fought with Shiite Iran. After some $ trillions and thousands of US lives, W successfully killed Saddam and put in Shiites who dump on the Sunnis and are allies with Iran. Some progress.Well, the Sunnis, in both Syria and Iraq are pissed. So, they want their own country. And they want to be nasty, behead people, make sex slaves out of 10 years old girls, and kill everyone in their areas not a Sunni or who works with people not Sunni. That they are pissed is easy to understand. That they are so nasty is down there with Pol Pot, Hitler, etc.After Schwartzkopf kicked Saddam out of Kuwait in 6 weeks plus 100 hours, we would have been better off just leaving Saddam in power — we had worked with him, and we could have made him some personal offers he would not have refused. Then the cost of keeping Iraq quiet would have been just a few tens of thousands of Iraqis each year that Saddam tortured, dismembered, etc. which is one of the lesser available evils of that shitpit. But dumb W/Cheney wanted to bring ‘democracy’ to Iraq — W:”The Iraqi people are perfectly capable of governing themselves”, from smoking some really strong funny stuff. And, yes, as also for Viet Nam, the US Congress went along. So, we got what we voted for. We should be happy?So, now the pissed off Sunnis have done ISIS. We’re surprised?

  111. sachmo

    I agree he made a mistake on the entire Syrian Civil War and should have taken more direct steps against Assad when they crossed the red line.But I don’t think ISIS is a real threat if handled properly. Take their oil fields, fortify key allies (Jordan, Kurdistan, etc), and let them rot from the inside out.

  112. JLM

    .The creation of the country of Iraq by the Brits was a mistake made by a Brit who was physically ill. They should have subdivided the country by tribal/religious considerations.One part Sunni, one part Shiite, one part Kurd. All separate.All of the mischief starts at the intersection of these peoples.Why can’t Pakistani intel not keep a secret? Why did we not tell them we were coming for Osama?Cause they’re mostly Pashtuns and they are loyal to their tribe not their country.JLM.

  113. MikeSchinkel

    Got a source for that 25 times? Or are you just making that up?

  114. andyswan

    A favorite of mine…[T]here are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws. … *I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair.* It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision.*And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration.*And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally. Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship. And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, *the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable*.” (7/1/10 <http:“” the-press-office=”” remarks-president-comprehensive-immigration-reform=””> )

  115. sigmaalgebra

    Okay, and just what real is to be done about it? Likely nothing, and likely one of the first persons to see this was, right, BHO! As he explained so well in the quote you gave, he is violating his oath of office, knows it, could be impeached for it, knows it, knows his base likes to see him appear to push the limits this way, will likely get away with it, and knows it. He’s not completely stupid.

  116. sachmo

    They’ve done nothing for 18 months… nothing. He’s consulted them and begged them to pass this for a while. Enough is enough.

  117. andyswan

    He isn’t stupid at all. He’s going on offense after a huge defeat…only way to roll

  118. MikeSchinkel

    Okay, thanks, but I still don’t see the issue like you evidentially do. He assumed he couldn’t and the Congress would, but over 6 years of waiting he did a deep dive and figured out a way.I don’t see this as wrong or an abuse of power, I see it as simply him being resourceful. And I quite like to see that in a POTUS.

  119. JLM

    .Texas has no income tax.No Federal income taxes go directly to education. They go to DC and turn into $0.76/dollar and then they may or may not return as block grants.Schools in Texas are funded by property taxes and are controlled by local school boards.JLM.

  120. JLM

    .Low income housing — typically 80% of units at family average income for a family of four — throws off tax credits. Tax credits can only be generated on new construction.New construction low income housing is way, way, way better than folks like this can afford to rent.Even Sec 8 housing is nicer than what they live in. I can drive you to where these folks live. They live in trailers.JLM.

  121. MickSavant

    I have read some of though most certainly not all of what @JLM has had to say about Obama. I don’t agree with all of it, but he has always struck me as a reasonable person who seeks to articulate himself through logic and the consistent application of core beliefs. I have seen you do the same at times, though I think we can agree that yours and his philosophical core beliefs and values differ! I think if what JLM has to say qualifies as vitriol then you would be guilty of that back during the ACA debates years ago.**I don’t consider either vitriol, and certainly not hate

  122. Raj

    I think policy should be changed such that we raise the bar in order to immigrate to the US.

  123. JLM

    .You have to be very careful in analyzing Tx school funding as they lump colleges which have huge endowments — Permanent University Fund — based on mineral interests into the category of “education.”You have to remember that Tx has little Federal land as the state was a nation when it joined the United States so much of what has become the PUF lands was state land from before the merger.Mineral royalties accumulate and you get to use them to build the Tx Longhorn football stadium. Even while they accumulate they are categorized as being for “education” even when they just accumulate in an account.Texas, like every other state, gets NCLB grants based on pockets of poverty. No Child Left BehindJLM.

  124. andyswan

    Imagine it as a GOP prez. And instead of “ignoring immigration violations” it is “ignoring ACA violations”…congress says no…prez does it anyway. Imbalance of power.

  125. ShanaC

    i’m in a non-accusatoy mood – but I would call you among the most liberal people here.I’m tired of people crazy arguing, and I know that if the crazy arguing is going to STOP happening, you need really liberal people and really conservative people to agree to talk about how to talk. We need real ground rules.IF you, andy, and JLM can agree on ground rules on how to argue about politics, and then hopefully help enforce the rules, then there is hope for the world. But they can’t come from me (or Fred)

  126. andyswan

    I’d love an example of where I’ve been vitriolic about Obama. I don’t think much of his policy, but I don’t think I’ve ever attacked him personally on anything. In fact, quite the opposite.

  127. MickSavant

    I won’t make you give examples, or delve into the semantics of what is or isn’t vitriol, I will just say that I don’t think it comes across as Obama-hating or Obama-loving on the other end. There is a lot of substantiative debate that comes from JLM and Andyswan and you and Kidmercury and others. I disagree with Fred on the need down comments (even if it was a throw away comment), and I disagree that it is reflexive Obama-hating and that it does disservice to the community.

  128. JLM

    .The root of NCLB was the 1965 Great Society ESEA (Elementary & Secondary Education Act, I think). The NCLB was the current iteration but the programs themselves go back to Johnson. It was not really a new idea.The NCLB attempted to inject accountability, testing, teacher qualification as well as a series of carrots — technology, additional teacher education.Every program was useful and worthwhile until they ran into the NEA which did not want to have any real testing or quality control of the effectiveness of teachers.The big takeaway is that education should all be local as it has never really worked at the Federal level.When I was on the VMI Foundation Board, I was there when the school went from being primarily engineering to 60% liberal arts — an inartful descriptor because physics and biology and other rigorous courses of instruction were included in liberal arts only because they were not engineering.The engineering departments got a real barbed wire enema from the Feds. Still mad about the Civil War.I asked once — how is VMI doing on first time passing the EIT exam (engineer in training exam taken upon graduation as a precursor to the PE exam five years later). Turned out little old VMI with its “crappy” curriculum was tops in the nation and regularly kicked MIT’s and Lehigh’s butts.Then I asked how many VMI guys had jobs 90 days out. Turned out the number was 100%.The system at VMI was a bit old school and archaic but it just turned out great engineers as measured by these two criteria.The real reason for their success was the delivery system — classes six days per week, no missing classes and you had to study for your EIT the last semester.So much about education is about the process and delivery, not about the money.JLM.

  129. ShanaC

    There is nothing wrong with being a liberal. I lean leftish, though I don’t describe myself as liberal (paternalistic libertarian instead)(For the record, There is nothing wrong with being a conservative either)You’re a prominent regular who is liberal, and came to mind because you’re proud of it. And its a good thing, because if there is going to be a change in how people talk, it can’t be just a liberal person deciding to be polite (and yes, I note you’ve been really polite). It has got to be everyone deciding to be polite.I don’t think I could bribe everyone with cookies for a powow on how to be polite?

  130. bsoist

    liberal libertarian venture socialist egalitarian capitalistI’m going to use that. Thanks.

  131. ShanaC

    that was on purpose. You do realize I read through all of this right? Because spam. And You all give me a headache and a heartache.I deal better with that sort of thing later at nightBut seriously, guys, learn how to get along.

  132. JLM

    .The cumulative impact of the rockets, Gaza, the troubled American relationship, the massacre, the tunnels, a nuclear Iran — Israel is getting ready to go ugly on an ape. I don’t blame them.The President’s utterance on the moral equivalence of the bad guys and Israel is unthinkable.It is no longer a question of an explosion but rather the flashpoint that will set it off.JLM.

  133. MickSavant

    Yes, I would consider that vitriol. Some might consider it funny. No it was not posted on this blog. No it does not invalidate @JLM:disqus ‘s perspective that voting against a debt limit hike is radical (remember, Obama was against it when he was for it after all).To tie this back to my original point, I don’t think disagreement with Obama is reflexively Obama-hating as Fred put it, and I don’t think it does a disservice to the blog, and certainly does not merit shutting off comments.

  134. sigmaalgebra

    > One part Sunni, one part Shiite, one part Kurd. All separate.Yup, that’s what Biden said long ago.

  135. sigmaalgebra

    > Why did we not tell them we were coming for Osama?Partly because when Clinton fired cruise missiles at UBL, Secretary of State M. Halfbright called up her good buddies in Pukistan and told them that cruise missiles were on the way to Akrapistan and their good buddy UBL. Then the Pukistanis called their buddy UBL who quickly got out of harm’s way.Ah, thank you Halfbright — I’m sure your are glad you did the ‘right thing’!

  136. ShanaC

    Read rav kook first. Israelis have muscular fear of an overstrong victim with a mixture of messianism. And what happened in Har Nof is the strongest violent thing in Jerusalem over the past month since the closing of the entrance of Al AsqaThey’re bringing on parts of the troubled American relationship because of this mentality. (it becomes more obvious when you see the relationship the state has to the who is a Jewish person question, and say, what happened in washington’s mikveh with converts a few weeks ago…that’s a direct result of Israeli policy… Largely, they want to control certain kinds of conversations in certain ways and don’t expect certain consequences)I mean seriously, how could you go up to temple mount during Muslim prayer services right in front of Al Asqua in a non-discrete location, right after the war in Gaza, when things are already extremely tense, and do Birkat Kohanim (… ). Which basically meant closing down Al Asqua, and pissing off Jerusalem’s Muslim community.(Irony of Ironies, last I heard, the Shin Bet agrees with this assessment.) I know it is very ahrd to see a segment of Israel as highly messianic, but, so it is, hence, read rav kook

  137. Nathan Gantz

    Hi JLM, these are not rhetorical questions.1) Who are the “bad guys”?2) In Obama’s statement, what in particular was “moral equivocation”? Was it moral equivocation when he said most people on both sides want peace (and are therefore innocent victims when they get killed)? Or was it something else that I am missing? Because I read the statement too.3) Bonus: what would you have said if you were Obama?

  138. ShanaC

    and this is why I want you to talk about how to talk, because I would guess he would say the same about the way you or mystery liberal dude out there in the wild on bush because of self sorting issues of people who lean left versus lean right.

  139. ShanaC

    What? Though seriously, this would be easier if you guys weren’t all going to kill each other as a group.

  140. andyswan

    Is that not allowed? I have no patience for the prospect of an all-powerful executive that can disregard duly passed legislation by decree. If that’s harsh, so be it 🙂

  141. ShanaC

    It isn’t about Obama or policies – it getting you guys to talk about how to talk so there are some bounds and people can be less angry when talking about politics. If you two who are among the furtherest away from each other can agree how to talk about this stuff, and agree how to get others to talk about this stuff, then will be a better place tomorrow. Ok?

  142. andyswan

    Sure. I’ve never had any personal beef with Charlie. I don’t understand the “feelings” aspect of this. Who cares? We disagree on a disagreeable subject. Who cares? …. I respect everyone in here and have for the many years I’ve been posting here, and will continue to do so. If talking politics with a bit of passion hurts your feels….try the little X on the side of the tab.

  143. sachmo

    “Because the state system of school finance treats local property tax revenue as interchangeable with appropriated state funds, local and state costs are combined in the cost per student.”From Texas comptroller report. They are intermingled with state funds.

  144. ShanaC

    We average about 250 different people a day, with 750 different people a month. I have no idea who all of those people are mind you. (at least this month)I do know that probability will state that some people will care more about certain things than others, and will drive more activity than others about certain topics. At least one of those people will care, and possibly said same person is someone we need to have around for some totally different discussion.How we all treat people matters, and that includes how we talk about stuff, because hey, its the internet, and they can’t see that I’m wearing a sweater or eating an apple right now. So I am going to assume I should be on my best tone behavior with written word if I care about people participating on this site and having those numbers go up. (and for some some reason, I do care, even if it is more work for me)

  145. andyswan

    Ok then let us know with specificity when we “cross the line” because I don’t think like that.

  146. sigmaalgebra

    Naw, it has to be in the local water!

  147. sachmo

    The Supreme Court grants “broad discretion exercised by immigration officials” is “[a] principal feature of the removal system.” Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492, 2499 (2012).Also see Hoover policy in 1930s to slash immigration that was much more far reaching.I don’t think he’s overreaching, or that this is an abuse of power.I am against all power executive power as well, but on things like the NSA and Dept. of Homeland Security. His executive order is just common sense actions taken to deal with the reality of millions of illegal people here.

  148. andyswan

    He didn’t think so in the 22 times he mentioned it over the last 6 years.

  149. ShanaC

    I would too, I just want everyone else to like them on politics day, and I want everyone to like you too if they are reverse politics on politics day.Like seriously, if it weren’t for potential spam, I’d stay away.And it isn’t like I don’t know everyone can’t figure out how to argue respectfully. You do it all the time, except on politics, I know you all can figure it out.

  150. andyswan

    Why would they pass something they disagree with?? Wtf

  151. ShanaC

    sometimes I wonder that too..But Judaism has a traumatic history with itself, so being in a strong position militarily without its matching temple cult has never been good for it historically speaking. Tends to think someone will attack until the temple is restored. (and I think the holocaust + the history of how the state was established made that connection worse)

  152. sachmo

    Whether he changed his mind or flip flopped is one thing.Whether its an ABUSE OF PRESIDENTIAL POWER is something else.It’s clearly not, and that should be the starting point of this discussion.

  153. andyswan

    He was the one who claimed that such action would be an abuse of executive power

  154. ShanaC

    we should define abuse of presidential power

  155. sachmo

    They don’t have to pass Obama’s bill.They can craft their own. The Senate Republicans have already had their input on a bill.The House can pass their own version of a plan that actually addresses the problem, and they can address the differences through reconciliation.What I’m saying is that Republicans have completely *ignored* the issue, and then go on to complain about it – specifically heaping the blame on Obama.If they wanted a different action taken, they had 18 friggen months to pass something different. It’s 100% their own fault.

  156. andyswan

    They have every right to pass nothing. He went directly against the will of congress and existing law. If that’s not a problem for you that’s fine. It is for me.

  157. sachmo

    Dude, these one liners are just cheap shot arguments that are far off your initial argument that was a complete mischaracterization of the Obama policy.If you can’t admit it was, fine. I hope in the future you at least argue the Obama acts based on what he’s actually done and not on what your imagination dreams up.

  158. andyswan

    I like your style. Come back more often

  159. sachmo

    First, he didn’t go against the will of congress.The senate had passed a bill along similar lines to what he did by himself.AND if given a straight up and down vote, that bill would have most likely passed in the House. It was blocked by House Republican leadership. So really not true.Second, If they are not taking action, and this is an ongoing problem, it’s the Presidents JOB to do something about it.I think its great he did what he did. And I don’t have a problem with you or anyone else who disagrees with it. But what I really don’t like is when people misrepresent what he did, or what House Republicans have not done.

  160. ShanaC

    can i ask why? i mean its your space too, and i assume you care about it otherwise you wouldnt be here

  161. andyswan

    I do care…I just don’t get offended and I don’t think in terms of other people’s feels. It’s politics it’s dirty fuck it

  162. ShanaC

    politics is dirty the way hollywood is, because it is all gossip. Policy considerations are far less dirty and have practical considerations. Just because the sausage is made through gossip, doesn’t mean it is so.

  163. MikeSchinkel

    As with my reply to your earlier similar hypothetical scenario, I would be happy to see it, because it could force real change instead of allowing nonstop grandstanding.BTW, neither GOP nor Dems *really* want to solve these hot-button issues; if they did how would they incite outrage among their base to pay for their re-election campaign?

  164. sachmo

    exceeding constitutional authority of the executive office. He’s not as I’ve cited a supreme court decision that grants the president authority for this, and a historical precedent that went unchallenged.

  165. Pete Griffiths

    Here’s the problem with your position. There is a BIG difference between disagreeing with people, no matter how strongly, and behaving rudely. I, like Andy, don’t want to be in a club that is the ‘land of the nice happy people.’ I don’t have any problem with people disagreeing with me. I don’t even get offended when I find their arguments weak or even absurd. I do, however, have a problem when someone is patronizing, dismissive or otherwise rude. For me that crosses a line. I would be much in favor of any policy you come up with that is able to distinguish between the two. And to the degree that i have ever been rude, I apologize.

  166. fredwilson

    we had 966 on the Occupy Wall Street post…if i want to drive comment counts here at AVC, i’d just talk politics all day longbut if i did that, i’d have to stay out of the comments, like i did yesterday once they got nasty

  167. ShanaC

    he shouldnt have cursed either

  168. ShanaC

    I just want everyone to stop screaming at each other over politics and start talking to each other.And yes, I agree, I have a problem when people are patronizing, dismissive, or rude. And it is affecting the liberal people, the conservative people, the middle people. So we get everyone going crazy.So, we need to talk about talking.

  169. ShanaC

    I actually wouldn’t generalize comments etiquette – I really would limit it to political posts because there is a tendency to have people go crazy. As I said to andy, I’m not the thought police, and I don’t want to be. I’m also not people’s mothers. The goal would be purely to get people talking to each other, not past each other.

  170. ShanaC

    uhhh, I’m a little too young to understand rodney king reference. I mean I know there were riots, but why “rodney king moment”I just care about the lot of you?

  171. ShanaC

    but what he said didn’t change anything, did it?

  172. sigmaalgebra

    Mystery? Sure: How to get our enemy to give us smoke and mirrors enough for us to claim “peace with honor” when(1) we have killed some millions of their people for no good reason and are about to get run out of their country hanging on the skids of helicopters;(2) when we got beaten by a country lead by a former dishwasher in Paris;(3) when for years we supported some total losers who pissed off their own people.No wonder we had a tough time getting “peace with honor”.We had zip, zilch, zero judgment and insight into the culture and the politics of the place; we still thought the fight was like winning in Korea or WWII. It wasn’t.We just didn’t accept that it just was not a country like we understood from the US, England, and western Europe. Instead, it was different.A little more generally, we got ourselves all wound up with some self-appointed role of maintaining our version of a world order based on our imagination of shining cities on hills based on our dreams of constitutions, democracy, fancy legal systems, free enterprise, free trade, and etc. It was about as smart as assuming that, of course, everyone in the world will like our hamburgers. They know very well how to cook; they just don’t like hamburgers; there’s no good reason they should; and they don’t.We were on a mission, anti-communism — we regarded Communism as more of a religion than even they did.I don’t know if it was Keenan, Marshall, Dulles, Rusk, or whomever, but it was simplistic, maybe less than 50% right.So, because a Paris dishwasher got some free lunches in Moscow and Peking, Rusk rushed to conclude that dominoes were about to fall maybe in India and definitely from east of India all the way across the Pacific and land on the beaches of San Diego. So, we had to hold the line, stop the expansion of Communism, defend the world order, “pay any price, bear any burden”, etc.Let’s check that domino theory: We couldn’t have lost any worse than we did; since we killed millions of their people they couldn’t be more pissed off at us than they were; but, still, what happened? Sure, nothing, nichts, nil, nada of concern to us.The big mystery is just why, once the French lost, the heck Ike and Ho couldn’t shake hands. Why did Ike see Ho as a big threat? Why did Ho try to piss us off?Ho had good reason to like us since we were the ones that kicked the Japanese out of his country.Then we backed the return of the French; dumb. Not nearly the first time the French did something dumb in war; in fact, just 10 years earlier they’d had a lot of practice being dumb in war.Why the heck didn’t we just get the F out’a there in 1947, 1954, 1956, etc.? Just what the heck is it about “leave” or “stay out” we had so much trouble understanding?Yes, yes, yes; I know; I know: Keenan, …, Rusk would say that it was the Soviets, the evil, aggressive Godless Communist Soviets. After WWII they were dirty scum because they grabbed everything from half of Germany east all the way back to Moscow.Well, maybe look at it from their point of view: What had Germany done to them? What the heck was it, just in WWII, 20 million Soviets dead? Maybe more? And don’t forget to count WWI.Heck, WWI took what,…just some one wacko terrorist from Serbia to shoot some Archduke from Austria, and 68 million men go to war with 10 million soldiers dead, millions more civilians dead, and the culture, social capital, psychological capital, physical plant, etc. of Europe twisted for decades? The damned place is unstable. So, just do not want France, Sweden, Serbia, Germany, Prussia, …, wandering loose outside of the playpen with sharp objects without adult supervision.And, of just what concern was it of the US that the Soviets grabbed eastern Europe?So, Churchill goes to Missouri and talks about an “Iron Curtain” “Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic” to give the Americans a little quiz in European geography. Mostly BS. Churchill had been successful before getting the US to send its blood and treasure where he wanted, so with that success he tried again.The Soviets kept Europe quiet until 1989. A relatively long interval of quiet for Europe. Fine with me.NATO? I see the real reason for NATO as not to defend Europe against the Soviets but to lock down the militaries of Europe and keep Europe from going all wacko unstable again, …, and attacking Russia yet again, over again, how many times, all the way back to Napoleon.This does not mean that I approve of Lenin, Stalin, …, Putin. Still, of all the countries in the world, Russia is right up near the top of the list as the one that has suffered the most from invasions.Europe has some fundamental problems — too many little pieces of geography and culture and not nearly enough consensus on how to run the place. Someone should put it in a playpen with no sharp objects. Ah, but that’s what NATO is!