The immigration debate took a regrettable turn when The Human Life Review published a scurrilous article suggesting that conservatives should have nothing to do with restrictionist organizations — including the Center for Immigration Studies, run by frequent NR contributor Mark Krikorian — because they supposedly advocate population control. Krikorian’s group is in the dock because, for example, it published a paper arguing that more immigrants would make global warming worse. That’s not an especially compelling point. Neither is the claim that good conservatives should ignore every sensible thing CIS says because of that paper. Those conservative advocates of “comprehensive immigration reform” who are promoting the Human Life Review article are doing more to discredit themselves than to discredit their opponents.
Pigford v. Glickman required the Department of Agriculture to pay over a billion dollars to 13,300 black farmers who claimed to have been discriminated against in getting government loans; another 70,000 farmers have lined up to harvest that field. In response, the USDA has hired Cultural Sensitivity trainers to lecture staff. One such, Samuel Betances, was filmed leading his charges in chants of “The Pilgrims were illegal aliens. . . . The Pilgrims never gave their passports to the Indians.” Which means they deserved a quick path to citizenship, no?
Beginning in August, the United States Postal Service will no longer deliver mail on Saturdays, an overdue development and a first step toward putting the organization on a solid financial footing. Revenue has been declining for years, and it continues to decline as the Internet handles ever more of the country’s communications — letters are a thing of the past, bills are increasingly paid online, and even Netflix subscribers are more likely to watch their movies online than to receive discs in the mail. Meanwhile, the USPS’s union contracts and its ties to the government make deeper cuts in personnel and services difficult. There are reasons to be nostalgic for the days of handwritten notes, but there is no reason to preserve a company that no longer provides a crucial national service. The government should fully privatize the USPS — ending both its monopoly on letter delivery and its obligation to serve all addresses.
A Michigan-based battery plant, LG Chem, was the recipient of $151 million in stimulus money, intended to support the production of the lithium batteries that power the Chevy Volt and to create over 400 jobs. Now, a report from the Energy Department’s inspector general reveals that plant employees spent their time playing board, card, and video games — though some of them were also volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. In fact, the report indicates that, by February 2013, “the plant had yet to manufacture battery cells that could be used in electric vehicles and sold to the public” and that “less than half of the expected number of jobs had been created to support the project.” Nonetheless, LG Chem officials managed to squander $142 million of the $151 million they were awarded. The IG report got to the root of the problem: Demand for the Chevrolet Volt “had not developed as anticipated.” This program, unfortunately, has.
During the last election, Cincinnati resident Melowese Richardson mailed in an absentee ballot, then voted in person, later explaining that she was afraid the absentee vote “wouldn’t count.” Richardson is a poll worker, so this is like a diner with an “Out to Lunch” sign on the door. Investigators have charged her and at least 18 other Hamilton County residents with illegal voting; some reports say she may have cast as many as six votes. In response, Richardson (who still has an Obama/Biden sign on her lawn) has vowed to “fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama’s right to sit as president of the United States.” Perhaps in Miss Richardson’s multiple votes we have finally found the explanation for those long lines at the polls.