Monthly Archives: May 2016


That wasn’t point (tho sounded like it). Shoulld’ve been “1st piece Charlie Peters made me write.” His pitch.…

| 8 years ago on Twitter


OK, a) throw in technology as indep. driver b) backing off immig/trade still a plausible way to improve things in US…

| 8 years ago on Twitter


The “Is-That-All-There-Is?” recovery does explain a lot. (Immig/trade mean we don’t get recovery we’d hoped for)

| 8 years ago on Twitter


Yes, but leaves out a certain issue (begins w/ “i”) that’s part of dissatisfaction w/ new “recovered” status quo ……

| 8 years ago on Twitter


Here’s Gov. Martinez backing “comprehensive” amnesty… Spouts poll-tested cliches on cue (“dysfunctional system”).

| 8 years ago on Twitter


Actually Trump said “IN MANY CASES” illegals taken better care of than vets. Makes big diff. if leave off qualifier!…

| 8 years ago on Twitter

91 Illegals vs. Vets: Trump Has A Point

My fellow Washington Monthlyite James Fallows mocks Trump’s claim that  “illegal immigrants are taken better care of than our veterans.” This is “not true,” Fallows says, “and no one who has thought about it for more than one second could imagine otherwise.” He points to the GI-Bill and federal hiring preferences, but runs into trouble when he hits health care and the VA. Fallows writes:

The VA hospital system has had numerous, serious, well-publicized problems. On the other hand it exists (unlike some notional Illegal Immigrants Hospital System), and before the recent scandals it was often studied and cited as a model of progressive medical practices. Many millions of veterans receive medical care through the VA. Illegal immigrants are not eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, treatment under Obamacare exchanges, or most private insurance coverage and generally rely on emergency rooms or cash-up-front treatment centers. ** [Emphasis added.]

Jim! So before we discovered that VA care was scandalously awful, we thought it was a model!*** And before we learned we were losing the Vietnam war, we were told we were winning it! How is that evidence against Trump, as opposed to those who did the studies? Given what we know now about veterans’ health care, it’s entirely possible that illegal immigrants who are treated in emergency rooms at good hospitals wind up getting better care than vets who play by the rules at the VA. Indeed, I’ve talked to enough liberal, compassionate doctors who rage about all the expensive, unpaid care illegals get that their patients can’t get — one of these docs was attending a Dem event at Matt Miller’s! – to suspect that this indeed the case. Trump is onto something.

P.S.: It doesn’t seem very Washington Monthlyesque to take the existence of a large bureaucracy as evidence citizens are being well-served, or to believe studies of various officially reported outcomes — which in the VA’s case turned out to be crude examples of what TWM founder Charles Peters called “Washington Make-Believe” — over actual accounts of what is happening on the ground.

Update: If you listen to the audio, Trump actually said: “And in many cases, illegal immigrants are taken much care, really are taken much better care, by this country, taken care of than our veterans.” Fallows leaves out Trump’s initial qualifier. If you stick it back in, what Trump said is almost certainly true.

Backfill: D.A. King wrote about the disparity in 2007 — including the 2003 introduction of a means-test for VA care (and why you don’t want to wind up in “Category 8g”).

Alert Reader Alert: If you have experience, positive or negative, with veterans’ care — or with illegal immigrant care, for that matter — please write about it either in the comments below or on Twitter.  That seems like the fastest way to get at the truth. Thanks.


**– What Fallows doesn’t say: Illegals can get free federally-subsidized care even if they don’t qualify for Medicaid under a program called “emergency Medicaid.” This includes maternity care and (in some states) dialysis and chemotherapy. I’m not saying they shouldn’t get it (or should get it). I’m saying it might be better than VA care, or other care that vets get.

***– Even before the scandal broke, Reason’s Peter Suderman criticized Paul Krugman when Krugman touted the VA as a model of “progressive” care. Suderman’s piece describes the VA’s “priority group” system, which, even on paper, makes the agency more useful to some vets than to others. Maybe Trump was talking about the others.


Hey, he converted! Better late. Also he more or less singlehandedly ended the crazy system of bilingual ed in CA…

| 8 years ago on Twitter


Point is in real world an illegal showing up at ER may well get better care than veteran playing by the rules at VA…

| 8 years ago on Twitter


“The way EU directives work” is that UK can have more parental leave but not less. What could be more sovereign?…

| 8 years ago on Twitter


The new has passed 1,000,000 views. And it’s more profitable than Yahoo! Thanks

52 Trump Not Fake Enough!

Politics and Pros: The NYT says “Donald Trump’s Campaign Stumbles As it Tries to Go Big.” Evidence of the stumbling? 1) Trump met with “dozens of female chief executives and entrepreneurs” last week but “never publicized” it! Instead of putting out this staged campaign news, Trump put out real news (that he’d fired political director RIck Wiley, the man who crash-landed Scott Walker’s campaign.) 2) Trump only has one communications aide. One! Why, Hillary has “a press team of more than a dozen, including people devoted solely to the news media for black and Hispanic audiences”! 3) Trump hasn’t yet violated the spirit of the campaign finance laws by “unofficially” anointing a particular super Pac (a campaign organization he’s technically supposed to be independent of).

This will not do, warns the only critic quoted in the piece– trained seal GOP strategist Scott Reed, the genius behind Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign, who more recently pushed immigration amnesty (with similar success!) for the Chamber of Commerce, and generally represents everything Trump has opposed in the primary. “Mr. Reed stressed that Mr. Trump needed to grow — and fast.”

Reporters Ashley Parker and Maggie Haberman seem guilty here of “pro-ism,” sneering at those who don’t do what political professionals have always done, whether or not these things are all that effective or in the public interest.** It’s an especially odd attitude to see in the Times, which would be quick to laud (in its editorial pages, at least) a campaign — say, Russ Feingold’s –that didn’t have a super PAC. And if bloated campaigns and daily staged “messaging” were the keys to electoral success, Jeb Bush would be the Republican nominee (and Chris Lehane would be David Plouffe).

Maybe when it’s all over Parker and Haberman can write a long magazine takeout complaining that modern campaigns are too fake and dependent on donations. …


** — I noticed this attitude when I ran for Senate — various kibbitzers would snicker if you didn’t end every ad or leaflet with the precise correct campaign disclosure, in the precise mandatory size font, as if ability to comply with unnecessarily complex and arguably unconstitutional rules were the main test of seriousness  (and voters couldn’t be relied on to assume that a leaflet saying, say,  “Vote for Kaus” came from Kaus).