Welcome to this week’s edition of “Stuff You Should Consume,”— a weekly compilation of interesting political content for Message Box readers.
“Red Wave, Blue Undertow” by Michael Podhorzer, Weekend Reading
I have consistently underscored that to the extent that Americans understood the stakes of the midterms to be about defeating MAGA, they would once again show up in sufficient numbers to bar the door. All that was needed to confound the usual midterm rout for the president’s party was making sure that 2020 voters understood that, just as they didn’t want Trump for President, they certainly didn’t want his criminal accomplices and MAGA fascists to take over Congress and their state capitals.
This midterm bore that out to a stunning degree. Where voters understood the stakes, they voted as they had in 2018 and 2020; where they did not, they met the pundits’ expectations about a Red Wave.
“To defeat Trumpism, stop letting MAGA stunts drive the debate” by Greg Sargent, Washington Post
The dirty secret of this debate is that Republicans like DeSantis plainly relish as much border chaos as possible. As immigration writer Alex Nowrasteh notes, in the public mind such chaos imagery perversely undermines the case for more legal immigration, which gets things exactly backward. More legal channels would reduce the incentives to migrate illegally, mitigating disorder at the border.
“Republican Control of the House of Representatives: A Guide for Advocates” Navigator Research
“Our debt ceiling crisis could hit as early as June. Here’s how Biden can sidestep it” by Dylan Matthews, Vox
Breaching the ceiling and violating what Yellen called the “full faith and credit of the United States” would be almost incomprehensibly bad. Beth Ann Bovino, chief US economist at Standard and Poor’s, was hardly alone in 2017 when she predicted that “the impact of a default by the U.S. government on its debts would be worse than the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, devastating markets and the economy.”
And yet America keeps running this apocalyptic Groundhog Day, one that, thanks to Yellen’s letter, now comes with a countdown clock. Luckily, there is a way out of the dilemma: ending the debt ceiling once and for all. The best way to do this is through legislation, but given the stranglehold of Republican hardliners in the House, that looks impossible. The administration couldn’t raise the debt ceiling on its own, but experts have floated a few options for the president to consider to avert a crisis. None of these are free from risk, and all would likely spark considerable litigation that could in turn cause market turmoil. But all would be preferable to defaulting on US debt.
“Biden Administration Moved to Block Non-Compete Agreements” (a new pro-worked policy outlined in this thread from FTC Chair Lina Khan)
As regards DeSantis and the immigration chaos, here is what I say on social media or other forums every time DeSantis comes up in this context.
Florida's Ag industry has, collectively, 850,000 undocumented workers working across the industry in very necessary jobs. The Ag Industry's trade associations and growers' associations are very generous to Republican politicians in this state, and their new favorite is DeSantis. The sugar industry alone, per the Miami Herald, handed out nearly $11 million in contributions in the 2022 cycle alone for state and federal races.
In 2022, DeSantis signed a bill exempting any company hiring workers in the ag industry from using e-Verify, and prohibiting any state or local police agency from conducting immigration raids.
While DeSantis was signing bills protecting "illegals" in this industry, he was conspiring to persuade "illegals" in Texas to board a couple of planes to be flown to Martha's Vineyard. All to give him an opportunity to score political points in his unannounced bid for the White House. His only reported comment about this scheme was that "illegals eventually find their way to Florida."
DeSantis is a hypocrite, who wants no solution to the country's border crisis. He has already crafted a solution to Florida's immigration problem, while keeping that solution as far in the shadows as he can. But for the U. S., he wants chaos, he needs chaos, and he is doing what he can to create chaos.
I am so fed up with the GOP blocking immigration reforms in order to support ongoing chaos at the border to play to their base for each election. We need reform now to promote an orderly and humane immigration process. With 3.5% unemployment, we need immigrants including the Afghans who served our troops in Afghanistan, foreigners being educated in our colleges, and a path to citizenship for Dreamers and other law-abiding/productive workers from other countries. Our economy needs more workers, so let's get them their green cards, visas and citizenship for those who legally qualify. And let's budget for federal employees to handle the need in a timely manner.