National Review Summer Internship

by NR Staff

National Review is accepting applications for its summer internship. The intern will work in our New York office, receive a modest stipend, participate in every part of the editorial process, and have some opportunities to write. The ideal candidate will have an excellent academic record and some experience in student or professional journalism. If you wish to apply, please send a cover letter, your résumé, and two of your best writing samples (no more, please) to editorial.applications (at)

Unhappy Valley

by Andrew Stuttaford

Despite the headline (“Trump Damaged Democracy, Silicon Valley Will Finish It Off”), which probably wasn’t chosen by Joel Kotkin, the author of the intriguing and alarming piece it introduces, Kotkin has very little to say in it about Trump, but he has a lot to say about our future. Cheery reading, it’s not. 

Two main themes emerge. The first concerns the impact of the Silicon Valley giants on, in the broader sense of the word (this is not a First Amendment issue), free speech. That this is rapidly becoming a topic is the result of a certain carelessness on their part, a carelessness that might be the product of too little exposure to differing views, but, like it or not, it has become a topic:

Both Facebook and Google now offer news “curated” by algorithms. Bans are increasingly used by Facebook and Twitter to keep out unpopular or incendiary views, and especially in the echo chamber of the Bay Area. This is sometimes directed at conservatives, such as Prager University, whose content may be offensive to some, but hardly subversive or “fake.” The real crime now is simply to question dominant ideology of Silicon Valley gentry progressivism.

Even at their most powerful the industrial age moguls could not control what people knew. They might back a newspaper, or later a radio or television station, but never secured absolute control of media. Competing interests still tussled in a highly regionalized and diverse media market. In contrast the digital universe, dominated by a handful of players located in just a few locales, threaten to make a pluralism of opinions a thing of the past. The former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris suggests that “a handful of tech leaders at Google and Facebook have built the most pervasive, centralized systems for steering human attention that has ever existed.”

…In a future Democratic administration, as is already evident in places like California, the tech titans will use their money, savvy, and new dominance over our communications channels to steer and even dictate America’s political and cultural agendas to wield power in ways that even the likes of J.P. Morgan or John D. Rockefeller would envy.

Food for thought, I would think.

And then there’s the question of what the current automation wave will do to the labor market. Forget all the dismissive talk about Ned Ludd (who was, at least arguably, sort of right for two generations so far as his own class was concerned, and disastrously wrong thereafter) and buggy whip manufacturers (this time round, we’re the horses), and concentrate on what the politics and the economy of the future, particularly the relatively short-term future, are going to look like, because they are going to be something of a roadblock on the road to technotopia. 

The problems in the heartland are well-known, but surely things will be different in ‘the Valley’, and in the economy that it is creating.

Kotkin (my emphasis added):

Rather than expand opportunity, the Valley increasingly creates jobs in the “gig economy” that promises not a way to the middle class, much less riches, but into the rising precariat—part-time, conditional workers. This emerging “gig economy” will likely expand with the digitization of retail, which could cost millions of working-class jobs.

For most Americans, the once promising “New Economy,” has meant a descent, as MIT’s Peter Temin recently put it, toward a precarious position usually associated with developing nations. Workers in the “gig economy,” unlike the old middle- and working-class, have little chance, for example, of buying a house—once a sure sign of upward mobility, something that is depressingly evident in the Bay Area, along the California coast, and parts of the Northeast….

That’s not great news for those of us who believe in the connection (sporadic speculative bubbles notwithstanding) between home ownership and sustainable democracy.


Rather than expand opportunity, the Valley increasingly creates jobs in the “gig economy” that promises not a way to the middle class, much less riches, but into the rising precariat—part-time, conditional workers. This emerging “gig economy” will likely expand with the digitization of retail, which could cost millions of working-class jobs.

For most Americans, the once promising “New Economy,” has meant a descent, as MIT’s Peter Temin recently put it, toward a precarious position usually associated with developing nations. Workers in the “gig economy,” unlike the old middle- and working-class, have little chance, for example, of buying a house—once a sure sign of upward mobility, something that is depressingly evident in the Bay Area, along the California coast, and parts of the Northeast….

Unlike their often ruthless and unpleasant 20th century moguls, the Silicon Valley elite has done relatively little for the country’s lagging productivity or to create broad-based opportunity. The information sector has overall been a poor source of new jobs—roughly 70,000 since 2010—with the gains concentrated in just a few places. This as the number of generally more middle-class jobs tied to producing equipment has fallen by half since 1990 and most new employment opportunities have been in low-wage sectors like hospitality, medical care, and food preparation….

Not at all coincidentally, the Bay Area itself—once a fertile place of grassroots and middle-class opportunity—now boasts an increasingly bifurcated economy. San Francisco, the Valley’s northern annex, regularly clocks in as among the most unequal cities in the country, with both extraordinary wealth and a vast homeless population.

The more suburban Silicon Valley now suffers a poverty rate of near 20 percent, above the national average. It also has its own large homeless population living in what KQED has described as “modern nomadic villages.” In recent years income gains in the region have flowed overwhelmingly to the top quintile of income-earners, who have seen their wages increase by over 25 percent since 1989, while income levels have declined for low-income households.

That’s ominous enough on any number of grounds, not least political grounds. Now think about what will happen as automation grinds its way through the top quintile, either annihilating previously well-paid jobs or (to use an ugly word) ‘deskilling’ them, with consequences for pay that don’t need spelling out.

As for the consequences for politics, well, I’ll shamelessly quote from a piece I wrote for NRODT in 2016:

[W]hen we reach the point where even those who are still doing well see robots sending proletarianization their way, there’s a decent chance that something akin to “middle-class panic” (a phenomenon identified by sociologist Theodor Geiger in, ominously, 1930s Germany) will ensue. Many of the best and brightest will face a stark loss of economic and social status, a blow that will sting far more than the humdrum hopelessness that many at the bottom of the pile have, sadly, long learned to accept. They will resist while they still have the clout to do so, and the media, filled with intelligent people who have already found themselves on the wrong side of technology, will have their back.

Unless they are blocked, banned, ‘fake newsed’ or otherwise muted.  

Story Recognizes Pro-Lifers’ Pro-Science Arguments

by Wesley J. Smith

The Left smugly claim to be the “pro-science” side of the political divide–until pro-lifers bring up the scientifically uncontestable biological humanity of fetuses and embryos, or, for example, that later term fetuses can feel pain or react in a sentient way to their environment. Then, suddenly, science doesn’t matter.

These scientific arguments made by the Pro-Life movement caught writer Emma Green’s attention, leading to a generally good and fair story in The Atlantic. From, “Science is Giving the Pro-Life Movement a Boost:

Activists like McGuire believe it makes perfect sense to be pro-science and pro-life. While she opposes abortion on moral grounds, she believes studies of fetal development, improved medical techniques, and other advances anchor the movement’s arguments in scientific fact.

“The pro-life message has been, for the last 40-something years, that the fetus … is a life, and it is a human life worthy of all the rights the rest of us have,” she said. “That’s been more of an abstract concept until the last decade or so.” But, she added, “when you’re seeing a baby sucking its thumb at 18 weeks, smiling, clapping,” it becomes “harder to square the idea that that 20-week-old, that unborn baby or fetus, is discardable.”

Yes, those who claim a fetus is just a ball of cells or more akin to a tumor are the ones who have “the science” wrong. 

It is also why the pro-choice movement is morphing into a pro-abortion movement, since it is becoming impossible to claim that abortion does not kill a human life. Hence, a new billboard campaign has started to boost the supposed morality and unexceptional nature of abortion, claiming such advocacy memes as, ”Abortion is normal,” or, “Abortion is sacred,” etc..

The story was generally fair and substantive–and worth your read whatever your position on abortion. But I was a bit puzzled by Green’s conclusion:

This, above all, represents the shift in America’s abortion debate: An issue that has long been argued in normative claims about the nature of human life and women’s autonomy has shifted toward a wobbly empirical debate.

As Tenney suggested, it is a move made with an eye toward winning—on policy, on public opinion, and, ultimately, in courtrooms. The side effect of this strategy, however, is ever deeper politicization and entrenchment.

A deliberative democracy where even basic facts aren’t shared isn’t much of a democracy at all. It’s more of an exhausting tug-of-war, where the side with the most money and the best credentials is declared the winner.

Funny, I thought that an essential aspect of a proper policy deliberation was finding the facts–and science proves that a gestating baby is a human being. Or to put it another way, he or she is a human organism, a member of the species.

That should be a “shared fact.” That some may not like the policy implications that follow–that some may choose to plug their ears and hide their eyes so as to remain ignorant of it or pretend the facts aren’t real–is their failing, not that of pro-lifers.

Illegal Immigration and Crime

by Peter Kirsanow

Conventional political wisdom holds that there will be some sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants who came to the United States as minors. The Obama administration’s original DACA memorandum applied to individuals who came to the United States before the age of 16, but where the line would be drawn in any permanent DACA deal remains unclear.

There are a number of familiar talking points surrounding this amnesty, which tend to give the impression that the approximately 800,000 DACA recipients are disproportionately valedictorians and Medal of Honor recipients. Amnesty proponents often extend these characterizations to illegal immigrants generally, claiming that they’re the “real Americans,” better, harder-working, and more law-abiding (with the exception of that pesky “illegal presence” thing) than native-born Americans.

DACA amnesty is merely the first of what will likely become many amnesties. The ink will not have dried on the bill before pro-amnesty organizations and politicians will begin agitating for amnesty for the parents of DACA recipients. Then we must have amnesty for illegal immigrants whose children are native-born U.S. citizens. After all, why should parents of DACA recipients receive legal status simply because their children were born in another country? If anything, the parents of U.S. citizens have a stronger claim to receive amnesty. Still more will be added through chain migration. On and on it will go.

Before we start down this road, then, we should grapple with some facts regarding illegal immigrants and crime. Unfortunately, almost every public official not named Jeff Sessions guards against disclosure of illegal-immigrant crime data more tenaciously than disclosure of nuclear launch codes. But in 2011, GAO conducted a study on criminal aliens incarcerated in state jails and prisons. According to GAO, in FY 2009 295,959 SCAAP criminal aliens, of whom approximately 227,600 are illegal aliens, were incarcerated in state jails and prisons. This is a 40 percent and 25 percent increase, respectively, in criminal-alien incarcerations in state jails and prisons since FY 2003.

The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) partially reimburses states and localities for the cost of incarcerating certain criminal aliens. It does not reimburse states and localities for the cost of incarcerating criminal aliens who are in the country legally. There are two types of criminal aliens for which SCAAP will reimburse the incarcerating authority: SCAAP illegal aliens, whom DHS has definitively determined are in the country illegally; and SCAAP unknown aliens, for whom DHS is unable to find a record, but who are probably in the country illegally.

In FY 2009, there were 295,959 SCAAP criminal aliens incarcerated in state and local jails and prisons. DOJ uses a reimbursement metric based on how many SCAAP unknown aliens are believed to be illegal aliens:

DOJ is to reimburse states for 65 percent, cities for 60 percent, and counties for 80 percent of correctional salary costs associated with unknown aliens. According to DOJ officials, this methodology was developed based on analysis that the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) conducted in 2000 where it analyzed the records of aliens submitted for SCAAP reimbursement in 1997 whose immigration status was at that time unknown. Based upon this analysis, INS determined that 65 percent of those unknown aliens submitted for reimbursement by states did not have legal status, 60 percent submitted for reimbursement by cities did not have legal status, and 80 percent submitted for reimbursement by counties did not have legal status.

Using DOJ’s metrics, it therefore appears that approximately 81,200 SCAAP criminal aliens incarcerated in state prisons, out of a possible 91,000 examined by GAO, were in the country illegally. Using those same metrics, approximately 146,400 to 175,200 SCAAP criminal aliens incarcerated in local jails, out of a possible 204,000 examined by GAO, were in the country illegally. (The range is because “local jails” are not differentiated into city and county jails, but DOJ believes that the percentage of illegal aliens within the SCAAP unknown alien group varies between the two.)

Keep reading this post . . .

Breaking: Congress Misses Deadline to Prevent Shutdown

by Jibran Khan

The midnight deadline for preventing a government shutdown has passed, following a failed Senate vote to advance the House GOP’s stopgap measure.

There is a chance that some kind of measure could be reached during the weekend, as late night discussion and negotiation were underway up until the deadline. As it is a weekend, any deal made before next week will mean a minimal impact of the shutdown.

The shutdown will go into effect following a memo from the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney.

Shutdown Hackery

by Theodore Kupfer

Shutdown politics are deeply exasperating. But they can also prove useful, as the melodrama reveals who the hacks are.

Yesterday afternoon, Nancy Pelosi said the following about funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the continuing resolution: “[The bill] is like giving you a bowl of doggy-doo, put a cherry on top and call it a chocolate sundae.” Obviously, Pelosi doesn’t object to anything in the continuing resolution; she objects to what’s not in it, which is a legislative fix for DACA. Her scatological metaphor stinks.

It’s hardly news that Pelosi was being dishonest. During shutdowns, politicians overplay their roles. It’s like watching the Duke and Dauphin from Huck Finn take a turn at serious drama: not art, but hard to expect anything better. Republicans made their fair share of slippery statements to justify shutting down the government in 2013, which Democrats are putting their own spin on. There is honor among professionals, even professional hacks.

But the biggest hack of all in this case is Jimmy Kimmel, the comedian-cum–public intellectual who last graced the polity with his insistence that the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill would have “kicked off” 30 million Americans from their insurance coverage. Hours after Pelosi’s press conference, Kimmel performed a sketch on his show called Barista Theater that was, essentially, a stolen bit. “Hello, I’d like a cappuccino, please,” Kimmel said to the barista. “Okay, great, that’s one cappuccino and one giant bag of horses***,” the barista replied. “But what if I just want the cappuccino?” Kimmel asked, and was met with this: “Whoa, buddy, you start making demands like that and I will shut down this entire coffee establishment.”

Leave aside that the sketch makes the same basic error as Pelosi’s, and leave aside that it’s the Democratic party that is threatening a shutdown. Kimmel’s political illiteracy (really, his writers’) should at this point be expected. His comedic hackery, however, is a new development. Not only is the joke dishonest and unfunny, it’s stolen — and in comedy, stealing bits is the worst kind of hackery there is. They’d be better off letting Pelosi tell her own jokes. She’s a professional, too.

One Place This Thing Could End Up...

by Rich Lowry

…assuming Schumer doesn’t want a shutdown: An extension that’s longer than the 4-5 days that he’s been pitching, but shorter than the 4-week measure that passed the House.

CNN Poll: 56 Percent Say Don’t Shut Down Government to Save DACA

by Jim Geraghty

Are Senate Democrats sure they want to step out further on that branch? A new CNN poll shows that Americans like the DACA program… but not enough to accept a government shutdown in order to keep the program:

Still, 56% overall say approving a budget agreement to avoid a shutdown is more important than continuing the DACA program, while just 34% choose DACA over a shutdown. Democrats break narrowly in favor of DACA — 49% say it’s more important vs. 42% who say avoiding a shutdown is the priority — while majorities of both Republicans (75%) and independents (57%) say avoiding a shutdown is more important.

The survey answers on “who do you blame?” aren’t that much more reassuring to Democrats: “Overall, about half of Americans say they would blame either Trump (21%) or his Republican counterparts in Congress (26%) should Congress fail to fund the government by the midnight Friday deadline. About a third, 31%, say they would hold the Democrats in Congress responsible, and another 10% say they’d blame all three groups.”

This is not a big political winner for Chuck Schumer and the Democrats, and this explains why Joe Manchin says he would vote to keep the government open and Claire McCaskill sounded unenthusiastic about a government shutdown. If people just get mad at “Washington,” that probably makes life slightly more difficult for all incumbents in November.

NR Seeks Assistant to the Editor

by NR Staff

National Review is seeking an assistant to the editor to work in our New York office. Must be organized, detail-oriented, interested in politics, calm under pressure, and good at dealing with people. Two or three years experience a plus. Key responsibilities and duties include: 

  • Handling scheduling and travel arrangements
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Please send a cover letter and résumé to [email protected] with the subject line “Assistant to the Editor.”

The Looming Shutdown

by Rich Lowry

Chuck Schumer is pushing for a days-long CR. Maybe he can get Trump to go along with it, but it doesn’t make much sense. It’s highly unlikely that Congress is going to arrive at a DACA deal and write a bill in a matter of days. If Trump doesn’t go for a very short-term CR, McConnell certainly isn’t going to sign on for it, and then the question is what’s Schumer’s next move?

Maybe he will push this all the way into a shutdown, although it’s a very risky gambit. Perhaps anything can be pinned on Trump and Republicans at this point, but it would objectively be Democrats forcing the shutdown, even if McConnell loses a couple of members of his caucus (Lindsey Graham is playing an especially destructive role).

Republicans would be in a much stronger position than in past shutdown fights, because this time they really don’t want a shutdown, and a Republican House, with the support of the Republican president, has passed a measure to keep the government open. It is the Democrats who want to force an extraneous measure, DACA, on the bill to keep the government operating. This should be a heavy lift for them. The advantage the Democrats have, of course, is a very sympathetic media and the wild card of Trump himself.

‘We Made Some Progress’, says Schumer After Trump Meeting on Shutdown

by Jibran Khan

After his meeting at the White House to discuss the temporary funding bill to avert a government shutdown, Chuck Schumer told reporters that they “made some progress but we still have a good number of disagreements”.

While no deal is in place, this discussion means that one might still be made in the Senate before the midnight deadline. The House passed a funding bill last night, which if passed by the Senate would keep the government open until mid-February.

Washington State Congresswoman Tells March for Life about Her Miracle Baby

by Alexandra DeSanctis

At the March for Life rally on the National Mall this afternoon, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler (R., Wash.) told the story of her daughter Abigail to illustrate the value of every unborn life.

As she stood on the stage with her husband and children, Herrera Beutler said that several years ago, her unborn daughter had been diagnosed at 20 weeks’ gestation with a fatal deformity. The doctor told her and her husband Dan that their child had no kidneys and would miscarry or suffocate at birth because her lungs could not develop.

Their doctor told them, too, that, when women received this type of news, they would immediately head across the street to schedule an abortion procedure. “The sooner you start over, the better off you will be emotionally,” the doctor told them.

But Herrera Beutler and her husband did not choose to “start over” in that way. They chose, instead, to hope, and pray, and even work for a miracle. They found doctors willing to believe that their unborn daughter could be saved and who tried experimental medical procedures to save her life. And, as Herrera Beutler addressed the crowd, her daughter Abigail stood beside her, holding her hand, smiling, and waving.

“I was told there was no chance of survival, but they were wrong,” Herrera Beutler went on. “And they weren’t bad people. They just had never seen a baby with this condition survive. But that’s the point. What if they’re wrong about others, too? What if, together, we can break new ground and find new treatments that will benefit more than just our own families?  What if every baby was given at least a shot to reach their true potential?”

Herrera Beutler continued:

Who would we be as a nation? What richness would we get to see? Instead of the equivalent of two generations missing because of that choice. Would we have already witnessed one of these individuals finding a cure for cancer or the key to eradicating extreme poverty? What if we had spent the last 45 years pouring that time and that money into finding cures in the womb for medical conditions like spina bifida or microcephaly or congenital heart defects? What if that money was used to end the baby’s disease, and not the baby’s life?

 . . . Today, we have come together to say, ‘There’s hope for every expectant mother who has been given a devastating diagnosis, for every woman who feels fear, or anger, or anxiety because she doesn’t know how she can afford care for that child, for every woman that feels hopeless: Jesus loves you. And for every baby that has been given up on by the status quo: Jesus still does miracles.

We must recognize the unborn child as the miracle that he or she is, a person developing with extraordinary potential and purpose, who deserves a fighting chance to live and just maybe reach that extraordinary potential. I believe it’s the only way our society is ever truly going to reach ours.

Breaking: Last-Minute Shutdown Talks with Chuck Schumer at White House

by Jibran Khan

The President has just invited Chuck Schumer to the White House for last-minute talks aimed at trying to avert a government shutdown.

Following the move by GOP leadership to send House members home for the weekend, the Senate will need to pass the temporary measure for stopgap spending by midnight if a shutdown is to be avoided.

National Review Summer Internship

by NR Staff

National Review is accepting applications for its summer internship. The intern will work in our New York office, receive a modest stipend, participate in every part of the editorial process, and have some opportunities to write. The ideal candidate will have an excellent academic record and some experience in student or professional journalism. If you wish to apply, please send a cover letter, your résumé, and two of your best writing samples (no more, please) to editorial.applications (at)

House Democrats Oppose Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

by Alexandra DeSanctis

The House of Representatives has just voted to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, by a vote of 241-183. Every Republican representative voted in favor of the bill, and all Democrats voted against it, with just six exceptions: Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, Henry Cuellar of Texas, Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, and Collin Peterson and Tim Walz, both of Minnesota.

The last time a similar bill was considered in Congress — the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, which President George W. Bush signed in 2002 — it passed both chambers by a voice vote. The fact that nearly every House Democrat voted against a similar bill this year (and one that contains actual enforcement mechanisms to protect these children, rather than simply define them legally as “persons”) shows how radically pro-abortion their party has become over the last 15 years.

This bill contains criminal penalties to punish abortion providers who fail to give medical attention and care to these infants. It mandates that any child born alive after a failed abortion be transported to a hospital instead of remaining in the care of the abortionist. It requires that health-care practitioners and hospital employees report violations of the law, and it institutes penalties for the intentional killing of a born-alive child, including fines and up to five years imprisonment. The bill would also grant the woman on whom the abortion is performed civil cause of action and protection from prosecution if her child is not cared for after birth.

Ten Things that Caught My Eye Today (Jan. 19. 2018 -- March for Life Day)

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

1. From my interview with actress Patricia Heaton on abortion and Down Syndrome and more.

2. Mary Eberstadt on how Eminem and Gandhi are right. 

3. Emma Green in The Atlantic on science and abortion.

4. Ashley McGuire on protecting pregnancy-resource centers

5. Dr. Grazie Christie: “Pregnant? Scared? We can help.”

6. Jeanne Monahan (president of the March for Life) on love and the pro-life movement.

7. Helen Alvare: #MeToo women, you have more in common with pro-life women than you think

8. Kevin Williamson on the reason for the March for Life.

9. The Verizon Center in D.C. this morning, scene of a youth Mass and rally:

10. A powerful message last night:


My friends at the University of Mary in North Dakota upon learning after Mass some of them would be going to the Rose Garden this morning:

I might add — and I’ll write more come the weekend — as I said when Paul Ryan announced he would be speaking, it is a good thing for the weight of these offices — of the Speaker and president — acknowledge the gravity of abortion and the witness of the March for Life. So I’m grateful when Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush or Donald J. Trump send words of support to the March for Life. Then by phone call. Now by satellite. This movement isn’t about a politician. It’s about human rights and it’s about the renewed hope the witness of these young people on the Mall today give witness to — and the shot in the arm they give so many of us who could be tempted to despair now and again. Please do not deprive yourself of catching their faces of joy and love. (Watch here, Twitter at #MarchforLife or #LoveSavesLives or #WhyWeMarch, or EWTN on TV, to name a few.)


Now I’ve got to get back to the March for Life! See you along the way? See some of the faces and messages at @KathrynLopez

Breaking: Shutdown Likely as House Republicans Go Home for the Weekend

by Jibran Khan

The House voted 230-197 last night for a stopgap measure to avoid a shutdown, in a vote that included six Democrats’ support and 11 Republicans’ opposition.

Following the vote, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced this morning that GOP leadership will send House members home for the weekend. This means that, if there is no last minute deal by the Senate, a shutdown is guaranteed.

“Senator Schumer needs to decide if he wants a shutdown,” McCarthy told Politico.

Goodlatte’s Immigration Bill – A Worthy Compromise

by Mark Krikorian

Rather than focus obsessively on the frivolous Gang of Six bill in the Senate, news coverage needs to pay more attention to the “Secure America’s Future Act” by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, the only DACA proposal out there worth the attention of conservatives. As part of negotiations yesterday to get the stopgap funding bill passed, the Freedom Caucus got a commitment from Speaker Paul Ryan to bring it up for a vote.

The bill includes the measures the White House has insisted be in any immigration bill, plus some more: It abolishes the extended-family chain migration categories and the visa lottery, authorizes wall funding and extra border agents, cracks down on sanctuary cities and asylum abuse, and mandates E-Verify.

It also would essentially codify DACA for its current beneficiaries, rather than open a whole new can of worms for 2 or 3 million “DACA-eligible” people, as all other proposals would do.

Some conservative House members who support the bill fear voter blowback for supporting amnesty. And, of course, the DACA provisions would be an amnesty, or at least an upgrade from DACAs’ current amnesty-lite to amnesty-premium (though it doesn’t provide green cards, only work permits).

This fear isn’t idle. Some member offices and D.C.-based restrictionist groups have gotten irate calls, some of them generated by a one-man web site posing as a Hill player. There are always going to be some people who will oppose any amnesty, however small, even if it came paired with literally every item on the restrictionist wish list.

But my sense is that a GOP House member’s vote for the Goodlatte bill would yield far more support from his or her base than opposition. Letting the DACAs stay legally is popular, even with conservatives – not only did they come here as minors, but they’re the ones who actually came forward and signed up for the program. Yes, DACA is illegal, but that’s on Obama – these people just took him up on his offer.

More concretely, Numbers USA, the nation’s leading grassroots immigration-reduction organization, has endorsed the bill. When the group that stopped George W. Bush’s amnesty onslaught and has more Facebook followers than the NRA gives you cover to vote for a bill that includes some amnesty provisions, you’d seem to be covered.

What’s more, the White House has endorsed the bill, as have other conservatives.

This isn’t to say the bill is perfect. Joining the amnesty on the negative side of the ledger is an expansion of the agricultural guestworker program to cover dairies and meatpacking, and a reallocation of some (but not all) of the reductions in green cards from cutting chain migration and the lottery to the existing skilled immigration categories (though without the streamlining of that system that the Raise Act calls for).

But that’s what compromise is about. The farmworker program expansion, for instance, is the price of getting the agricultural interests to drop their opposition to E-Verify. (The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also supports mandatory E-Verify.)

The lazy media labeling of this as a “hardliner bill” is as silly as it is predictable – it’s a compromise measure that nonetheless yields important advantages for immigration hawks. The gains from passage are so far-reaching – especially ending chain migration and mandating E-Verify – that they’re worth amnesty for a small and unique sliver of the illegal population.

On balance, the Goodlatte bill would be a huge step toward an immigration policy in the national interest.

Preparing for the #SchumerShutdown

by Jim Geraghty

From the last Morning Jolt of the week:

Preparing for the #SchumerShutdown

I’m not a fan of government shutdowns, as a matter of principle — we paid for this government, we ought to be getting its services — or as a political strategy, because it never works out well for Republicans.

Part of this is that most of the media portrays these fights as a simple morality tale between good and reasonable Democrats and mean and miserly Republicans who want to keep kids on field trips locked out of the Smithsonian museums. But another key factor is that I suspect most Americans don’t want to be bothered with the details of government funding fights and blame everyone in Washington with a “pox on both your houses” attitude.

But I’ll concede two factors might make this shutdown a little different from the ones in 1995, 1996 and 2013.

For starters, with a Republican president controlling the executive branch, there will be a lot less “shutdown theater” where government employees who are allegedly essential spend a lot of time and effort blocking the public from open air sites. The Department of the Interior already announced they’ll keep sites as open as possible.

“We fully expect the government to remain open, however in the event of a shutdown, national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures,” Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift said in a statement. “Visitors who come to our nation’s capital will find war memorials and open air parks open to the public. Nationally, many of our national parks, refuges and other public lands will still allow limited access wherever possible.”

Second, the Democrats are really counting on the “Republicans control Washington” perception to shield them from the fact that House and Senate Republicans voted to keep the government open.

It requires 60 votes and/or no filibuster by the Democrats to pass a spending bill. As Leon Wolf wrote, “Republicans have already used reconciliation in order to pass the tax reform bill, and under Senate rules, reconciliation can be used only once per fiscal year. Therefore, Democrats in the Senate can filibuster any funding bill they dislike.”

Last night, Brendan Buck, counselor to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, laid out what is blocking a continuing resolution to keep the government open: “While it is a *very* smart take to point out Rs have a majority in the House and Senate, it is also purposefully obtuse to ignore that in the Senate a minority can filibuster and block any legislation… I stress that Democrats are asking for something entirely unrelated. Because, to be clear, Democrats have no underlying objection to the CR or CHIP. They are, quite openly, voting ‘no’ in an attempt to force action on something else. We are not jamming anything on Democrats they don’t support. We’re just saying keep the government open and fund children’s health insurance while we continue to work out a deal on DACA.”

This is where Democrats’ habitual rhetoric works against their position.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, yesterday: “Shutting down the government is a very serious thing. People die, accidents happen. You don’t know. Necessary functions can cease.” Never mind that government shutdowns are structured so that necessary functions don’t cease; I’d love for her to elaborate on how government shutdowns kill people and how they make accidents happen.

But let’s assume for a moment that she’s right. If government shutdowns do kill people, why on earth wouldn’t Senate Democrats vote to pass the continuing resolution? Just how many Americans are they willing to kill to keep the DACA program as it is?

(As Remy would put it… PEOPLE WILL DIE!)

By the way, did you notice that Feinstein is… either starting to have memory lapses or otherwise sudden inexplicable shifts in position?

January 10, from CNN’s Manu Raju: “Feinstein says she’s sorry to Grassley for not giving him a heads up about the release of the Fusion GPS transcript. “I meant to tell him, and I didn’t have a chance to tell him, and that concerns me,” she told us. “I just got pressured, and I didn’t do it.”

January 11, from BuzzFeed’s Emma Loop: “Just asked Feinstein about her comment yesterday about being “pressured” to release the Simpson transcript. “I made no statement to that effect,” she said. Me: but there are recordings of you saying you felt pressured. “I don’t believe there are. I don’t believe I said that.”

Then yesterday on the spending bill:

“I said in December that I wouldn’t vote for [the spending bill] without the Dream Act, and I won’t do so now,” she said in the statement.

But hours later, Feinstein told CNN in an interview that she had not made her mind up about whether to vote for the measure, saying: “Shutting down the government is a very serious thing. People die, accidents happen. You don’t know. Necessary functions can cease.” She didn’t seem aware of her office’s earlier statement.

“I don’t know if we did today,” Feinstein said, looking toward an aide when asked about the news release.

“I don’t know how I would vote right now on a CR [continuing resolution], OK?” she added, ending the interview.

Is Senator Feinstein feeling okay?

Friday links

by debbywitt

For Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s birthday, here’s a list of her birthday catastrophes.

If Cooties Were Real, What Disease Would They Be?

Weird Beauty Hacks of Yesteryear.

On January 21 – It’s Stonewall Jackson’s birthday - here’s the story of his left arm’s separate grave. Also, French King Louis XVI was guillotined on January 21, 1793 - here’s Allan Sherman.

Adults Trying To Recreate Childhood Photos.

How Apple Pie Became ‘American’.

ICYMI, Wednesday’s links are here, and include how to build an igloo, what Alexa and OK Google are doing with your family’s personal information, Ben Franklin’s birthday, and a set of 1906 photos illustrating women’s self-defense moves.