Thursday, November 13, 2008



Mark Krikorian,
who runs an anti-immigrant organization, has some interesting thoughts on Rahm Emanuel : "As Yuval Levin recently wrote at The Corner, Emanuel is "a vicious graceless partisan: narrow, hectic, unremittingly aggressive, vulgar, and impatient." But it is precisely this partisanship, combined with an awareness of the visceral public sentiment on immigration, that has led him to counsel caution for his party on the issue. To the chagrin of hard-left activists, Emanuel has said of immigration that "For the American people, and therefore all of us, it's emerged as the third rail of American politics. And anyone who doesn't realize that isn't with the American people." Last year Emanuel told a Hispanic activist that "there is no way this legislation ["comprehensive immigration reform"] is happening in the Democratic House, in the Democratic Senate, in the Democratic presidency, in the first term." One lefty activist has described Emanuel's cautions as "disgusting and immoral," while another called his stance "cowardly or xenophobic," and a third described him as a "war-mongering anti-immigrant NAFTA-pusher."

President-elect Barack Obama is barring lobbyists from participating in the transition that will help install his administration. He will still leave room on his team for the rich and powerful. Top fundraisers and other well-connected supporters will serve in an advisory capacity before the Democrat takes office on Jan. 20. Five of the 12 members of Obama's transition advisory board raised at least $50,000 for his presidential campaign, and eight contributed the maximum individual donation of $4,600. Other transition team members include a partner in a lobbying firm and two executives of financial companies whose employees were among his biggest donors. "If an Obama administration is going to sell influence, these are the ones who have bought it,'' said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group that favors stronger campaign-finance and lobbying laws.


Personal to Virginia voters -
The archaic media won't tell you this, but Terry McAuliffe may not be the sort of guy you want running your state. To find out more, check out our page on the topic.

What the New York Times might look like if we had a Green Party president . . . or Ralph Nader


Charlie Savage, NY Times -
When a Congressional committee subpoenaed Harry S. Truman in 1953, nearly a year after he left office, he made a startling claim: Even though he was no longer president, the Constitution still empowered him to block subpoenas. "If the doctrine of separation of powers and the independence of the presidency is to have any validity at all, it must be equally applicable to a president after his term of office has expired," Truman wrote to the committee. Congress backed down, establishing a precedent suggesting that former presidents wield lingering powers to keep matters from their administration secret. Now, as Congressional Democrats prepare to move forward with investigations of the Bush administration, they wonder whether that claim may be invoked again.


The US Supreme Court has removed restrictions on the navy's use of sonar in training exercises near California. The ruling is a defeat for environmental groups who say the sonar can kill whales and other mammals. . . In its 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said the navy needed to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats. The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups. It said, rather, that federal courts abused their discretion by ordering the navy to limit sonar use in some cases and to turn it off altogether in others.


BBC - The European Commission has scrapped controversial rules that prevent oddly-sized or misshapen fruit and vegetables being sold in Europe. The EU's agriculture commissioner called it "a new dawn for the curvy cucumber and the knobbly carrot". Marketing standards for 26 types of produce were scrapped, in a drive to cut bureaucracy. . . Some 20% of produce is rejected by shops across the EU because it fails to meet the current requirements. The 26 types are: apricots, artichokes, asparagus, aubergines, avocadoes, beans, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflowers, cherries, courgettes, cucumbers, cultivated mushrooms, garlic, hazelnuts in shell, headed cabbage, leeks, melons, onions, peas, plums, ribbed celery, spinach, walnuts in shell, water melons and witloof/chicory.

The rules will remain unchanged for another 10 types of produce, which account for 75% of EU fruit and vegetable trade: apples, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, lettuces, peaches and nectarines, pears, strawberries, sweet peppers, table grapes and tomatoes.


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