Internal Contradications of Green: While "green" land-use planners are trying to herd us into dense housing—i.e., apartment buildings—those building are hard places to install chargers for electric vehicles in (as they are discovering in Japan). You have to get management's permission and then figure out how to charge each tenant for the juice they use. Will the EV lobby convince, say, California Gov. Jerry Brown to stop pushing density and let us keep our single-family homes with gardens ... and places to plug in our cars? P.S.: If all cars were go-anywhere, fuel-efficient EVs, would density even still make sense from an environmental point of view? (Just asking! I don't know the answer ...) 1:14 a.m.
Forget Sudan. There's Honda to worry about: Buried lede in a Bloomberg story on the UAW's plan to confront any "anti-union" company with "a global campaign" to brand them a "human-rights violator"
Honda Motor Co. said today it is not talking to the UAW.
“Honda has had no dialogue with the UAW and has no interest in a discussion with them,” Ed Miller, a Honda spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “The issue of union representation is ultimately one for our associates to decide and, for more than three decades, Honda associates have spoken loudly and clearly by choosing to reject UAW outreach efforts.”
This seems like a smart move by Honda—don't show any weakness that gives the UAW hope and maybe the union's organizers will move on to Toyota. The alternative of seeking a "let's talk" middle ground would be a good way for Honda to lose. In any case, unions are now so unpopular that "let's talk" isn't even a good way to guarantee MSM respectability anymore ...
P.S.: Corporatism-watchers will now pay close attention to whether, after stiffing Obama's union allies, Honda is treated fairly by his administration's regulators ...
P.P.S.: Second-favorite buried Bloomberg quote, from an article on how "GM pitches small cars" during a "lull" in its introduction of new models:
Product is one of the few qualms that Morgan Stanley’s Jonas, who is based in New York, and the analysts at Credit Suisse and JPMorgan have with GM.
Hey, don't let a little thing like "product" get in the way of a "buy" recommendation! ("Each analyst initiated coverage of the automaker since Dec. 28 with recommendations that investors buy the shares.") ... 1:11 a.m.
Me: I have to put my new computer in a corner for a couple of months to gas off before I can use it and see if I like it.
Heather H: You mean like we do with boyfriends ... 1:21 a.m.
In yet another column calming the waters by accusing opponents of being racists, Morton Kondracke writes that President George W. Bush's immigration reform " failed by five votes in 2007." That makes it sound as if proponents were just five votes shy of the 60 votes needed to pass anything in the Senate, the way DREAM act supporters were five votes shy of 60 a few weeks ago. No. In 2007 "comprehensive immigration reform" didn't even win a majority in the Senate. It lost in what the L.A. Times called a "46—53 rout"—failing by 14 votes, not five—despite being backed by both the Democratic party and the Republican president ...
P.S.—Note to my ex-colleague Mort: We've now had at least six years of national debate on "comprehensive" reform. It's been a relatively civil argument, as these things go. I think people know what your side's points are and what the opposition's points are. You had Nancy Pelosi and George Bush and Barack Obama and Rupert Murdoch and George Soros and Karl Rove and NPR and Michael Bloomberg and the editorial boards of every major paper, including the NYT and the WSJ, plus the Chamber of Commerce and the Center for American Progress, among others, on your side. You had everyone's eagerness to win over the growing Latino vote. You still lost. Every time. You lost because your side could not answer a simple question: if we pass your bill, how can we be sure it will be the last amnesty, as opposed to one more in a cycle with no end in sight?
Part of civility is supposed to be accepting a democratic verdict even if it goes against you. I've never completely bought that. I wouldn't have been too civil if my side had lost. I don't think civil-rights activists in the 1960s would have been required to avoid heated rhetoric if a fair and square majority had stopped the Civil Rights Act or even preserved de jure segregation. But in this case there is a sensible way forward that will eventually achieve your goals: Enforcement First. Pass an "e-verify" bill to check the status of new employees. Build the border fence. Do something about visa overstays, etc. Then if all these things work we consider legalization ... All your side has to do is give up the dream of a) immediate amnesty and b) recurrent amnesties—in exchange for the likelihood that those who are here now will eventually be allowed to stay legally.
It is with a positively unctuous level of civility that I urge you to think about why you keep losing and consider this promising moderate alternative!
P.P.S.: Kondracke writes that incoming House Judiciary chairman Lamar Smith
has indicated he wants to enact mandatory electronic verification of the citizenship of all new employees—a step that might lead to mass firing of undocumented workers. Some pro-immigrant reformers say they could support “mandatory e-verify” if it were accompanied by steps to enable presently undocumented workers to gain legal status.
Nice try at making an amnesty the price of "mandatory e-verify"! But I'm not sure Smith will need the votes of your "pro-immigrant reformers." Nor is it clear how checking on "new employees" will lead to the "mass firing" of existing employees. They're not "new."
... 1:47 a.m.
Social Security privatizer Michael Tanner tells a nice anecdote about the late Sen. Paul Wellstone—this in the course of calling for an especially vague kind of civility. (Short version: We should have a "vigorous but civil" debate in which all sides have a "right to be heard," except for “birthers” who should not be tolerated!) Civility aside, it would be a worthwhile sociological initiative to nail down why everyone in Washington, normally a petri dish of careerism and faked emotion, seemed to genuinely like Wellstone. It's certainly not because they agreed with him. It is, in part, because he didn't have much power and wasn't a threat. But there are additional factors, including at least some combination of a) he wasn't a phony, b) he wasn't a jerk, and most important c) he didn't seem to be playing the standard D.C. ambition game. He just wanted to push his causes. Compare and contrast with, say, Senator Schumer—or Harkin, or Shelby, or Graham or ... 1:52 a.m.