Doing Advance Work

News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Initial reports that Russia hacked Germany, France, Qatar, Vermont, and NSA were eventually revealed to be false-George Washington

6/23/17, "Smoking Gun Proof that Russia Hacked the Entire World," Washington's Blog, George Washington, via Zero Hedge

"As shown below, the allegations that Russia has been hacking the entire world have been thoroughly vetted and verified.

Germany

Germany’s intelligence agency accused Russia of deploying cyberattacks to destabilize the government! 

(But German intelligence agencies later found no evidence of Russian interference.)

And last December, German security officials said that Russia hacked secret German communications and provided them to Wikileaks (English translation). 

(But German officials later concluded that the communications were likely leaked from an insider within the German parliament, the Bundestag (English translation)).

France 

The Washington Post, New York Times (and here), Reuters, Politico, Register and many other mainstream publications claimed that the Russians hacked the French election, just like they hacked the U.S. election.

The head of the NSA (Mike Rogers) claimed that the NSA watched the Russians hack the French elections: (5/9/17: "If you take a look at the French elections, for example...prior to the events of this weekend that were publicly attributed....We're seeing the Russians penetrate some of your (French) infrastructure...what can we do to try to assist?"...) (published May 9, 2017, ap, you tube)



(But the French government later said there was no trace of Russian hacking.) https://www.apnews.com/fc570e4b400f4c7db3b0d739e9dc5d4d (June 1, 2017) 

Qatar

CNN reported that U.S. officials suspected that Russia had hacked Qatar’s state news agency, causing a rift with Saudi Arabia. 

(But the Qatari government later said it wasn’t Russia.)

America

The Washington Post published a story claiming that Russian hackers penetrated the US power grid through a utility in Vermont.

(The Post subsequently admitted that – according to officials close to the investigation –the incident is not linked to any Russian government effort to target or hack the utility”, that the incident only involved a laptop not connected to the electrical grid, and there may not even have been malware at all on this laptop.) 

When a treasure trove of secret NSA tools were revealed, Russian hackers were blamed.

(But it turns out that it was probably a leak by an NSA insider.)

And of course the evidence that the Russians hacked Democratic party emails and leaked them to Wikileaks – and otherwise stole the election away from Clinton – is extremely strong. After all, the mainstream press has said so.

(Maybe not so much …)

So you see? It’s been proven that Russia has hacked the world …"

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Added: CNN, Feb. 2017: CNN says France braces for Russia to hack its election:





















Below: CBS News, April 25, 2017: "Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro says it has detected an attempt by Russian hackers to get confidential emails from Emmanuel Macron's campaign for president in France. CBS News' Elizabeth Palmer reports."

















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Comment: It's to the great embarrassment of the United States that NSA chief Mike Rogers is on the payroll in any capacity. He sits there in his uniform gesticulating and obviously lying.




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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Beltway Republicans set on sabotaging Trump have been brought into his administration by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus whose loyalty remains with GOP Establishment rather than Trump or annoying voters-Sunday Guardian Live, New Delhi, Madhav Nalapat

June 25, 2017, "Trump-Modi Meeting a Game Changer, despite Beltway Sabotage," SundayGuardianLive.com, Madhav Nalapat, New Delhi
 
"Those eager to ensure friction, want Trump to bring up issues that impinge on India’s sovereignty, aware that Modi would react strongly to any such efforts."... 

"Prime Minister Modi...may be expected to accelerate towards a much more transformative structure of governance, in this case matching the attempted speeds of President Trump in his own administration. The bureaucratic speed-breakers to a much more rapid overall congruence and in several respects convergence of Washington-Delhi policies and actions are getting weaker on the Indian side.

However, in Washington, the “Beltway” establishment (both Republican as well as Democrat) is still powerful enough to have a high degree of success in blocking many of President Trump’s initiatives. 

EFFORTS TO DERAIL 

In the US, the higher layers of the federal bureaucracy are composed of what may be termed “political bureaucrats”, i.e., officials chosen by politicians and usually on political considerations. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, apparently, still considers himself to be beholden to the entire leadership of the Republican Party, which he was while Chair of the Republican National Committee, forgetting that from 20 January onwards, his loyalty needed to be directed solely in the direction of President Trump. Over the past months, Priebus has instituted a quota system in the US administration, trying to select candidates for high positions that are a mix of those loyal to George W. Bush, Mitt Romney, John McCain and other Republican Party heavyweights weights.

The problem is that these party grandees would be (not so secretly) delighted were Trump to be made to step down as early as possible. Hence, some of those appointed to high office by the Trump team see as their primary interest the failure of the 45th President of the United States to implement the agenda for which he was elected.

Should the 26 June Trump-Modi meeting go well, it would redound to the credit of President Trump and lead substantially towards the long-cherished objective of an India-US alliance for security and prosperity that would in its effects span the globe.  

Hence, they [Establishment Republicans appointed by Reince Priebus who want Trump to fail] are seeking to ensure that the meeting goes badly, by seeking to ensure that President Trump brings up issues that impinge on the sovereignty and self-respect of India, aware that Prime Minister Modi is 100% a nationalist, who would react strongly to any such efforts. 

Among the issues they would like Trump to bring forward for discussion are issues relating to some NGOs operating in India that have been reported as having indulged in activities that have the potential to cause mayhem and violence. Other issues sought to be introduced into the conversation relate to some of the matters that have been exciting both foreign and domestic media during the past weeks, including matters of diet. Another googly being suggested is to bring up the cordial relations that Delhi has with both Teheran and Moscow, of course for valid geopolitical reasons. 

The expectation of those in the Trump administration who are eager to ensure friction, and not understanding, during the Modi-Trump summit is that the introduction of such issues into the Modi-Trump dialogue would visibly set relations back, thereby slowing down the momentum already generated by previous heads of government in both Delhi and Washington. 

However, the few within the Trump administration who are genuine loyalists of the 45th US President (and not of his Republican traducers) say that Trump is fully aware of such moves and will ensure that they are not given a chance to work. They say that while such issues may figure in some conversations, these would be at a lower level and privately.

From the very first days of his ascension to office, Prime Minister Modi showed his goodwill for the US by casting aside years of hostility manifested in the denial of a US visa to him and making thus far four successful visits to the US. Those familiar with President Trump say that he is in sync with Modi on the need for the US and India to work closely together, and can be expected to ensure that the Prime Minister’s potentially very consequential visit to Washington ends up as productive and ground-breaking. On the Indian side, although there are issues relating to US policy that are of concern, such as recent changes in visa rules in some categories or climate-related matters, these are expected to be dealt with at a lower level and mostly in closed-door sessions, so that the overall atmospheric remain cordial, an important consideration in a democracy. Prime Minister Modi is going the extra mile to ensure this, for example, by refusing to accept the invite by some organisations in cities across the US to address mass rallies of Indian-Americans during his latest US visit. Such meetings may give rise to anti-immigrant feelings in a section of Trump supporters about Indian-Americans, despite this group being the most law-abiding and high (average) tax-paying of any ethnic community settled in the US. Hence the expectations on the part of both Modi as well as Trump loyalists are that there would be a Trump-Modi breakthrough in US-India relations on 26 June. 

This would ensure that the two democracies move largely onto the same page in confronting threats and taking advantage of opportunities in the Indo-Pacific century....

"Both during the 2016 Presidential campaign trail and in his previous avatar as a billionaire businessperson, President Donald John Trump had integrated India as a core component of the global order in his policies and actions. However, since his inauguration on 20 January and subsequently, very little mention has been made of India in the statements made by spokespersons for the Trump administration, while, as yet, several posts relevant to relations with India (such as that of Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia) remain unfilled. 

However, the incoming US Ambassador to India, Ken Juster, was informed two months ago that he was the White House choice for the post, and his nomination has been made official days before the 26 June first-ever meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump. The chemistry between the two will play an important role in ensuring that the India-US alliance, which was first initiated by President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, becomes a reality during the terms in office of Trump and Modi. This may already have occurred during the first two years of NDA-II, which began in 2014, but for foot-dragging by those loyal to Bill and Hillary Clinton, who were disproportionately influential during the Barack Obama administration, relative to the Obama loyalists, although less so in the 44th US President’s second term (2013-17).

It was known within the Washington Beltway—the US equivalent of India’s Lutyens Zone—that (former) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the view that the benefits of a close alliance with India were “oversold” by Condoleezza Rice and others in the Bush team, and that far greater emphasis needed to be paid on ensuring improved relations with China, her rhetoric to the contrary.... While President Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saw the advantages...of much closer India-US ties, the former was slowed down by the Clintonites in his administration and the latter by the leadership of the Congress Party, which went largely by the views of Antony in such matters, despite the close personal friendship between Sonia Gandhi and Hillary Clinton. 

Once Prime Minister Modi came to power on 26 May 2014, he adopted a careful approach towards transforming the chemistry and approach of the Central higher bureaucracy, even inducting several into his team who were charter members of the Lutyens’ Zone. President Trump had (in the start of his administration) a different approach, looking for a speedy transition from the traditional Beltway policies and practices to a construct more in tune with current realities. However, the blowback that Trump has been receiving from the Beltway shows that Modi was correct in his caution, as overall the Prime Minister of India has in three years had a far more peaceful innings than the US President in just six months of his term."...


 
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Friday, June 23, 2017

George HW Bush destroyed coal jobs long before Obama did. Bush #1 Clean Air Act additions put thousands of coal miners out of work-LA Times, 4/2/1990...US Clean Air Acts caused severe Arctic and N. Hemisphere warming by mandating removal of large amounts of cooling sulfates from the atmosphere, per NASA (chart), Houston Chronicle, 2009. Bush destroyed lives and warmed the Arctic simultaneously

Bush #1 EPA chief Reilly loved "global consensus" of Agenda 21 (EPA Journal, 1992).

April 02, 1990|, "EPA Chief Sees Job Losses for Miners," LA Times staff and wire reports 

"William K. Reilly, the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, acknowledged that a proposed new clean air law will put some coal miners out of work, but said he is hopeful that technology can save jobs. "We are prepared to work very carefully with those workers and with the states to try to ensure that we have as good a safety net and unemployment retraining provisions as possible," Reilly said on NBC's "Meet the Press." To reduce acid rain, the legislation would restrict sulfur dioxide emissions. The new limits are expected to cause thousands of job losses in the coal mines throughout Appalachia and the Midwest. Reilly said he is hopeful that advances in "clean-coal technology" can save some of the jobs in the East."

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George Bush #1 signs Clean Air Act amendments in 1990, making rules stricter than 1970 and 1977 versions. Top left, clapping, Bush EPA chief William Reilly, plucked from his job as WWF president by jackass Bush.

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2009 NASA graph shows warming of Arctic latitudes resulting from US Clean Air Acts of 1970, 1977 and 1990:

















Image from Nasa.gov

4/8/2009, "Half of recent arctic warming may not be due to greenhouse gases," Houston Chronicle, Eric Berger




 


That’s the conclusion of two scientists in a new Nature Geoscience paper (see abstract), which is more deeply outlined in this NASA news release....Clean air regulations passed in the 1970s have likely accelerated warming by diminishing the cooling effect of sulfates....This is potentially a huge blow to those who advocate immediate action on controlling carbon dioxide.

Finally, for those of you who hate James Hansen: Please note that the author of this study works for Hansen."

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NASA: "Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates....At the same time, black carbon emissions have steadily risen, largely because of increasing emissions from Asia. Black carbon -- small, soot-like particles produced by industrial processes and the combustion of diesel and biofuels -- absorb incoming solar radiation and have a strong warming influence on the atmosphere."...

4/8/2009, "Aerosols May Drive a Significant Portion of Arctic Warming," nasa.gov/topics

"Though greenhouse gases are invariably at the center of discussions about global climate change, new NASA research suggests that much of the atmospheric warming observed in the Arctic since 1976 may be due to changes in tiny airborne particles called aerosols.

Emitted by natural and human sources, aerosols can directly influence climate by reflecting or absorbing the sun's radiation. The small particles also affect climate indirectly by seeding clouds and changing cloud properties, such as reflectivity.

A new study, led by climate scientist Drew Shindell of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, used a coupled ocean-atmosphere model to investigate how sensitive different regional climates are to changes in levels of carbon dioxide, ozone, and aerosols.

The researchers found that the mid and high latitudes are especially responsive to changes in the level of aerosols. Indeed, the model suggests aerosols likely account for 45 percent or more of the warming that has occurred in the Arctic during the last three decades. The results were published in the April issue of Nature Geoscience....

Sulfates, which come primarily from the burning of coal and oil, scatter incoming solar radiation and have a net cooling effect on climate. Over the past three decades, the United States and European countries have passed a series of laws that have reduced sulfate emissions by 50 percent. While improving air quality and aiding public health, the result has been less atmospheric cooling from sulfates.

At the same time, black carbon emissions have steadily risen, largely because of increasing emissions from Asia. Black carbon -- small, soot-like particles produced by industrial processes and the combustion of diesel and biofuels -- absorb incoming solar radiation and have a strong warming influence on the atmosphere....

The regions of Earth that showed the strongest responses to aerosols in the model are the same regions that have witnessed the greatest real-world temperature increases since 1976. The Arctic region has seen its surface air temperatures increase by 1.5 C (2.7 F) since the mid-1970s. In the Antarctic, where aerosols play less of a role, the surface air temperature has increased about 0.35 C (0.6 F).


That makes sense, Shindell explained, because of the Arctic's proximity to North America and Europe. The two highly industrialized regions have produced most of the world's aerosol emissions over the last century, and some of those aerosols drift northward and collect in the Arctic. Precipitation, which normally flushes aerosols out of the atmosphere, is minimal there, so the particles remain in the air longer and have a stronger impact than in other parts of the world. 

Since decreasing amounts of sulfates and increasing amounts of black carbon both encourage warming, temperature increases can be especially rapid. The build-up of aerosols also triggers positive feedback cycles that further accelerate warming as snow and ice cover retreat.

In the Antarctic, in contrast, the impact of sulfates and black carbon is minimized because of the continent’s isolation from major population centers and the emissions they produce.

"There's a tendency to think of aerosols as small players, but they're not," said Shindell. "Right now, in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere and in the Arctic, the impact of aerosols is just as strong as that of the greenhouse gases."


The growing recognition that aerosols may play a larger climate role can have implications for policymakers. 

"We will have very little leverage over climate in the next couple of decades if we're just looking at carbon dioxide," Shindell said. "If we want to try to stop the Arctic summer sea ice from melting completely over the next few decades, we're much better off looking at aerosols and ozone."


Aerosols tend to be quite-short lived, residing in the atmosphere for just a few days or weeks. Greenhouses gases, by contrast, can persist for hundreds of years. Atmospheric chemists theorize that the climate system may be more responsive to changes in aerosol levels over the next few decades than to changes in greenhouse gas levels, which will have the more powerful effect in coming centuries."...

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Added: Above NASA article notes Northern and Southern hemispheres have very different geography: Unlike the Arctic, the Antarctic is isolated from major population centers and emissions they produce. Antarctica isn't exposed to black carbon from Asia which is naturally transported  across North America and the Arctic. Nor was Antarctica warmed by decades of US Clean Air Acts that removed cooling sulfates from the atmosphere. 
 

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Added: Bush #1 EPA chief Reilly loved "global consensus" of Agenda 21:

Sept./Oct. 1992, "The Road from Rio," EPA Journal, by William K. Reilly (EPA Chief for George HW Bush)

"The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the "Earth Summit," (in June 1992) was a watershed event in environmental history....

While the hopes of some developing nations for vast commitments of new foreign assistance did not materialize, what was extraordinary to me was how many expectations were met--and how much the world did achieve....
Agenda 21 represents an extraordinary new global consensus on standards against which to measure the environmental performance of governments. No doubt the press, non-governmental groups, and the business community will mine these documents for years to come. The human rights commitments of the 1970s and 1980s, the Helsinki Accords, and others, offer a model for how committed nongovernmental interests can confer authority on moral obligations and translate them into new policies."...


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https://archive.epa.gov/epa/aboutepa/road-rio.html

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Definitely not CNN Fake News, genuine sad faces at Ossoff loss. Then you had potential Ossoff voters living in their parents' basement and on their parents' phone bill which made it harder for Democrat organizers to reach them. Republican parents didn't necessarily run down to the basement to help out the opposition-Rush Limbaugh, 6/21/17

CNN sad faces at Ossoff loss, 6/21/17





6/21/17, "My Bold Pajama Boy Prediction Comes True," Rush Limbaugh

"Somebody sent me a screenshot of CNN right after they had to project that Ossoff was gonna lose. It’s David Chalian, Gloria Borger, some guy I don’t know here, and Dana Bash, and I’m telling you, it is funereal, the look on their faces, utter despondency....

A Democrat consultant...Jessica Ziegler said to Slate.com   referring to the Republican parents of the young Democrats... “When you are targeting their child, or heaven forbid their child might not think the same way as them, it becomes ugly.

So now the parents of these Democrat kids living at home have become the targets of Democrat organizers. Jessica Ziegler, Those were the angriest people,” referring to Republican parents of the young Democrats who are impossible to reach ’cause they still live at home with Mom and Dad. “When you are targeting their child,” when Democrats are trying to reach their children, it becomes very, very ugly because their kids are Millennial Democrats and they’re voting in ways that Mom and Dad don’t agree with and don’t understand.

So Mom and Dad are helping shelter their own kids from Democrat outreach, making it harder for Democrats to reach potential Millennial voters because they’re still living at home and cannot be independently sought.

Ossoff, Pajama Boy
Ziegler, who has been quoted in a number of Slate articles and a NY Times piece, added that the police had even been called on Ossoff volunteers on a number of occasions. Ziegler focused on encouraging young voters to turn out by recruiting recent high school graduates to get in touch with their peers over social media.”

They’re lost. And now in the New York Times they’re openly complaining, “Our brand is worse than Trump’s.” Do you realize for a Democrat to say that, do you know how bottom of the barrel that is?" 

images above from RushLimbaugh.com


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Rush Limbaugh "Related links"

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Karen Handel thanked President Trump for his support of her campaign, prompting the crowd to interrupt with cheers and chants of "Trump, Trump, Trump"-CNN, 6/20/17

6/20/17, "Republican Karen Handel wins Georgia House special election," CNN, Eric Bradnor

"Handel thanked Trump, who had tweeted his support for her campaign in recent days, by name -- prompting the crowd to interrupt with cheers and chants of "Trump, Trump, Trump.""...
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Update: Pollsters confounded again:

6/21/17, Update: 259,000+ votes tallied as of Wed. afternoon, 6/21 (updates 240,000 number (below) reported Tues. night)

"GOP turnout confounds pollsters in Georgia election," Politico, Steven Shepard 

"The surge of Republican voters even surprised the only public pollster to predict Karen Handel as the winner."

"The turnout surge surprised the only public pollster to predict Handel as the winner: the Atlanta-based Trafalgar Group, which released a poll the day before the election showing the Republican 2 points ahead. Trafalgar’s Robert Cahaly said Wednesday that their turnout prediction was “in the 230 [thousand] range” and that the surge of additional voters boosted Handel."...

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Added: Ossoff ended up with the same proportion of the vote, 48%, that Hillary won there in Nov. 2016:

6/21/17, "Why Ossoff Lost," The Atlantic, Molly Ball 

"After a frenzied two-month runoff campaign between Ossoff and his Republican opponent, Karen Handel, the Democrat wound up with about the same proportion of the vote—48 percentas Hillary Clinton got here in November,. If this race was a referendum on Trump, the president won it."...

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6/20/17, Added: Of 240,000 total votes, 150,000 had been cast before Tuesday 6/20 election day. "With all 208 precincts reporting, Ms. Handel had 51.9 percent of the vote to Mr. Ossoff's 48.1 percent." 3.8% margin
 
6/20/17, "Karen Handel Wins Georgia Special Election, Fending Off Upstart Democrat," NY Times, Jonathan Martin, Richard Fausset 

"Mr. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan all came to Atlanta to help her raise money....
 

Voter turnout in April was already high for a spring special election, and it soared during the runoff, to more than 240,000, from more than 190,000. Nearly 150,000 voters cast ballots before the polls opened on Tuesday, nearly three times the early vote in the first round. And nearly 40,000 of those people had not voted at all in April.

By Tuesday, the fatigue among voters was palpable. Some residents posted warnings demanding that campaign workers stop knocking on their doors."...

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Added:

"In this district, Donald Trump only topped Hillary Clinton in it by 1.5 percentage points." Handel won by 3.8% (see above)

6/20/17, "Don't sugarcoat it--Ossoff's loss is a big disappointment, and a bad sign, for Democrats," Vox, Andrew Prokop


"Democrats need to outperform Hillary Clinton to take back the House. Ossoff did worse than her." [sic]...

"But it’s the Ossoff defeat that’s particularly painful for the party. Though former Rep. Tom Price (R) repeatedly cruised to victory in this district, Donald Trump only topped Hillary Clinton in it by 1.5 percentage points. This meant that, on the presidential level, the district was by far the most favorable to Democrats of those four open seats....

This race was indisputably the highest-profile contest, and therefore perhaps the most like what we’d expect the 2018 midterms to be — Republicans weren’t caught sleeping, like they were in a few of these other races.


Furthermore — and crucially — Donald Trump won the median House district by about 3.5 points. 

That means that if Republican candidates in high-profile contested races slightly outperform Trump or even slightly underperform him, the GOP will keep the House. Handel’s victory shows that, at this point, that’s still a definite possibility....

[Near end of article] Since Trump’s victory, there’s been a debate among Democrats about whether the party’s best chances for retaking power lie in improving their performance in areas full of educated, well-off white suburbanites, or whether the party is better off making a case to the white working class. To oversimplify, the Hillary Clinton wing of the party tends to like the former theory, and the Bernie Sanders wing tends to prefer the latter. 


Ossoff’s disappointing performance is a blow to the Clinton wing’s theory. Despite Trump’s sinking approval ratings, the Republican candidate still won an affluent suburban district that Trump himself barely pulled it out in. 

But the Sanders wing doesn’t have the clearest-cut counter-theory either. Sanders-friendly candidates like Rob Quist in Montana and James Thompson in Kansas have done better than Hillary Clinton did in their respective districts — but so did Archie Parnell, the former Goldman Sachs employee who lost the South Carolina race Tuesday night. 

All special elections are on different turf and have different issues and candidate dynamics at play. The one thing that is clear, though, is that Democrats haven’t found a winning formula for victory yet."




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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A decade ago liberals routinely asserted that low-skilled immigrants depressed wages of low-skilled American workers and strained America's welfare state. Pressure from 2 sources changed Democrat policy: CEOs became activists wanting cheap labor, and Democrats thought Latinos would win elections for them-The Atlantic, Peter Beinart, July-Aug. 2017

July-August 2017, "How the Democrats Lost Their Way on Immigration," The Atlantic, Peter Beinart

"In the past decade, liberals have avoided inconvenient truths about the issue."

"The myth, which liberals like myself find tempting, is that only the right has changed. In June 2015, we tell ourselves, Donald Trump rode down his golden escalator and pretty soon nativism, long a feature of conservative politics, had engulfed it. But that’s not the full story. If the right has grown more nationalistic, the left has grown less so. A decade ago, liberals publicly questioned immigration in ways that would shock many progressives today. 

In 2005, a left-leaning blogger wrote, “Illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone.” In 2006, a liberal columnist wrote that immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants” and that “the fiscal burden
of low-wage immigrants is also pretty clear.” His conclusion: “We’ll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants.” That same year (2006), a Democratic senator wrote, "When I see Mexican flags waved at pro-immigration demonstrations,, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.” 

The blogger was Glenn Greenwald. The columnist was Paul Krugman. The senator was Barack Obama.

Prominent liberals didn’t oppose immigration a decade ago. Most acknowledged its benefits to America’s economy and culture. They supported a path to citizenship for the undocumented. Still, they routinely asserted that low-skilled immigrants depressed the wages of low-skilled American workers and strained America’s welfare state. And they were far more likely than liberals today are to acknowledge that, as Krugman put it, “immigration is an intensely painful topic…because it places basic principles in conflict.”

Today, little of that ambivalence remains. In 2008, the Democratic platform called undocumented immigrants “our neighbors.” But it also warned, “We cannot continue to allow people to enter the United States undetected, undocumented, and unchecked,” adding that “those who enter our country’s borders illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of the law.” By 2016, such language was gone. The party’s platform described America’s immigration system as a problem, but not illegal immigration itself. 

And it focused almost entirely on the forms of immigration enforcement that Democrats opposed. In its immigration section, the 2008 platform referred three times to people entering the country “illegally.” The immigration section of the 2016 platform didn't use the word illegal, or any variation of it, at all
.
“A decade or two ago,” says Jason Furman, a former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, “Democrats were divided on immigration. Now everyone agrees and is passionate and thinks very little about any potential downsides.” How did this come to be?

A larger explanation is political. Between 2008 and 2016, Democrats became more and more confident that the country’s growing Latino population gave the party an electoral edge. To win the presidency, Democrats convinced themselves, they didn’t need to reassure white people skeptical of immigration so long as they turned out their Latino base. “The fastest-growing sector of the American electorate stampeded toward the Democrats this November,” Salon declared after Obama’s 2008 win. “If that pattern continues, the GOP is doomed to 40 years of wandering in a desert.”

As the Democrats grew more reliant on Latino votes, they were more influenced by pro-immigrant activism. While Obama was running for reelection, immigrants’-rights advocates launched protests against the administration’s deportation practices; these protests culminated, in June 2012, in a sit-in at an Obama campaign office in Denver. Ten days later, the administration announced that it would defer the deportation of undocumented immigrants who had arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 and met various other criteria. Obama, The New York Times noted, “was facing growing pressure from Latino leaders and Democrats who warned that because of his harsh immigration enforcement, his support was lagging among Latinos who could be crucial voters in his race for re-election.”

Alongside pressure from pro-immigrant activists came pressure from corporate America, especially the Democrat-aligned tech industry, which uses the H-1B visa program to import workers. In 2010, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with the CEOs of companies including Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Disney, and News Corporation, formed New American Economy to advocate for business-friendly immigration policies. Three years later, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates helped found FWD.us to promote a similar agenda.

This combination of Latino and corporate activism made it perilous for Democrats to discuss immigration’s costs, as Bernie Sanders learned the hard way. In July 2015, two months after officially announcing his candidacy for president, Sanders was interviewed by Ezra Klein, the editor in chief of Vox. Klein asked whether, in order to fight global poverty, the U.S. should consider “sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders.” Sanders reacted with horror. 

“That’s a Koch brothers proposal,” he scoffed. He went on to insist that “right-wing people in this country would love…an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country.”...

Unfortunately, while admitting poor immigrants makes redistributing wealth more necessary, it also makes it harder, at least in the short term. By some estimates, immigrants, who are poorer on average than native-born Americans and have larger families, receive more in government services than they pay in taxes. According to the National Academies report, immigrant-headed families with children are 15 percentage points more likely to rely on food assistance, and 12 points more likely to rely on Medicaid, than other families with children....These costs strain the very welfare state that liberals want to expand in order to help those native-born Americans with whom immigrants compete....

Liberal immigration policy must work to ensure that immigrants do not occupy a separate legal caste. This means opposing the guest-worker programs-beloved by many Democrat-friendly tech companies,, among other employers—that require immigrants to work in a particular job to remain in the U.S. Some scholars believe such programs drive down wages; they certainly inhibit assimilation."... 




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