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Amnesty and podcasts

Sometimes a kid is just a kid.

I’ve had some brief conversations with people about Obama’s amnesty executive order.  To be honest, I haven’t read a lot about it because I’ve been a bit busy with work, applications for better work, classes to help me fill out applications for better work and painting my whole damn first floor. Readers from Pittsburgh who like painting parties- leave comment below.

But in general, there seems to be a general concern that giving amnesty to illegal immigrants is going to lead to higher unemployment. I can’t see this. These immigrants are already here and they’re already working. Besides, none of us unemployed STEM professionals are losing our jobs to illegal Mexicans from Guadalajara. We’re losing them to an out of control financial system that is eating its seed corn and chasing down “get rich quick” schemes because they don’t understand that research is long term and takes continuity and stability. Anyway, I could go on another rant about that but it just makes it harder to find a job.

The other thing I’ve heard is that Obama has done it to help Hillary Clinton’s presidential run in 2016. I had to laugh about that. When has Obama ever done anything to further Hillary’s career? I suppose all that “the Clintons are racists!” shtick back in 2008 was a glowing endorsement as well. Honestly, I can’t see the current batch of Democrats voluntarily doing anything to help Hillary. They’ve always been suspicious of the Clintons. Again, another thing I don’t want to go into because the crazy ideas and conspiracy theories on both sides of the aisle are disturbing and ridiculous. It would take too long to unpackage the amount of willful misdirection that Democratic operatives have done against two of their most loyal servants. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out why Democrats want to scuttle them and would take almost anyone else who could generate the same star power.

The only conceivable benefits I can see to this bold political move, and let’s face it, this is by far the most audacious thing Obama has ever done, is to collect revenue from a previously underground economy, and to turn Republicans into howling shriekers of rage. It certainly takes immigration reform off the table for the next two years, doesn’t it? I mean, the Fox News crew can scream like flaming swamp monsters but there’s not much Republicans can do about it. Making a big effing deal about the landscapers and nannies will be yesterday’s news. They might actually have to do something about the rolling layoffs that make voters think that unemployment is actually worse than the bureau of labor statistics says it is. Keep that in mind because here in Pittsburgh, that is definitely the perception. Unemployment is still pretty bad, people are constantly in fear of losing their jobs and that *is* having a drag on the economy.

Of course, this brings up the new “Republicans will have to prove they can govern” narrative that came out since the midterms. Govern is not what they’ve been aspiring to for the last 30 years. Tearing things apart and auctioning off valuable pieces of government to the highest bidders in the private sector has been what they’ve been up to. Let’s see if the media will shine a light on that for a change. I know, I’m dreaming.


The New York Times says that Serial has finally moved the podcast out of nerdville into the “gen pop”. I’m not sure whether to be insulted or not. I’ve always loved podcasts and can recommend many fine podcasters other than public radio spinoffs who have global audiences. Plus, I’m not a nerd. I’m a geek. {{sniff}}

So, while podcasts begin their ascendancy to fame, maybe it’s time Katiebird and I dusted off our old BlogTalkRadio show, Conflucians Say, and provide an alternative in the left blogosphere for talk radio. We occupy a different stratum of the left. We’re not “knit your own sandals” types, though Katiebird has mad knitting skills and I am a “do it yourselfer”. We’re not all retro coffee klatching, “for the ladies only” types like The View. I actually can’t stand The View. The last thing I want to do is water down important topics and assign sides based on personality types. And we don’t fit the typical lefty activist niche either. We don’t really sound like Virtually Speaking and I’m not interested in going in that direction even if we end up covering some of the same topics.

What we are is technologically current, degreed but not Ivy, wide ranging in our interests, intuitive and we have a good sense of humor. We’re both comfortably left but our minds are not so wide open that our brains have fallen out. Katiebird is more of a dove than I am. We both take no prisoners. She seems nice in her comments but she’s not a pushover.

Reviving our podcast going into the year before an election would give us an opportunity to figure out what’s important from a more mainstream left perspective. Besides, we and only a handful of other bloggers on the left, were right about the 2008 election and its outcome. You’d think that would make us a little more credible. Maybe we could snag some interviews. I have a list of people I’d like to talk to on the air.

So, what say you? Should we start a new, topical podcast? And if so, who would you like us to invite as interviews?

16 Responses

  1. Rest his soul; he got me through the Impeachment with most of my marbles intact.
    I still giggle sometimes thinking of Mrs. Bartcop and Bartcop Manor in Oklahoma.
    I think it’s hard being a lefty in Ohio, but in Oklahoma?
    Raise your glass to Bartcop.

  2. Yes, please, to RD and Katiebird on the air!

  3. Obama helping Hillary Clinton?
    So, Obama wants to help Hillary’s campaign? Is that why he made the stupid and strange remark about voters wanting that new car smell?
    I wonder what Biden thought about that?
    Obama helps Obama, only, and loyalty is a one way street. He’s very much like his predecessor that way.
    As to why the Dem Party biggies despise the Clintons, I think it’s because they despise meritocracy. They’re content to be governed, but only by the best and brightest (to the manor, born), not by “trailer trash.”
    And, please, nobody hand me a line about Obama being the son of a poor, single Mom, struggling to put food on the table.
    Although, I must say, why Obama’s academic career shines brighter to those pinheads than Bill or Hillary’s is a puzzlement to me.

  4. I LOVE the idea of getting back on BlogTalkRadio. … I really do. One iffy issue is your schedule, RD. We should look for a time slot where you wouldn’t be likely to have to work. My schedule is pretty flexible.

    SweetSue, has anyone ever claimed that Obama’s academic record was better than Bill (BILL? really?) or Hillary?

    • Well, he was the editor of the Harvard Review (chortle)
      My point, KB, is that talking heads are always reminding us that Obama has an ivy league education and pooh poohing Bill Clinton’s Georgetown, Yale LS and Oxford credits as mere bagatelle, or mere bagoshells, if you prefer.

      • I just think it’s silly to refer back to college for evidence of “smarts” after some period of time. It’s what we do with our real lives that counts. So those people who keep talking about Obama’s eleven-dimensional chess crap just make me glaze my eyes and back away.

        I’m close to the point of thinking that there isn’t anyone at that level who gives a crap about what’s going on at our level.

        I’d be happy if proved wrong.

      • Sweet Sue,

        Now that you mention that, that’s quite interesting . . .
        The media didn’t exactly SAY that Obama was better educated than
        Clinton was. They merely imPLIED it through constantly repeating
        Harvard Harvard Harvard Lawreview Lawreview Larevue.

        But I did always suspect that Hitchens-person hated Clinton for earning and deserving his own way into Oxford rather than deserving it on the Social Register class merits.

  5. Unemployed STEM professionals are not the only unemployed people in America.

    • No, they’re not. But it’s pretty unlikely that someone from Mexico who is going to get amnesty is suddenly going to make the situation worse.
      And the STEM problem is pretty bad. It’s just that most people aren’t aware of it. It’s my cause and I’m not going to apologize for it.

      • Enforcing the prevailing wage rules for H1B visas would go along way towards helping the STEM problem, at least in some sectors. It probably wouldn’t do much for pharma (since they seem to just be exporting entire enterprises), but a lot of engineering disciplines would certainly benefit. Ain’t gonna happen, of course. Too many campaign contributions from our Silicon Valley Overlords at stake to risk rocking the boat.

        No apologies needed for championing an issue that you’re unfortunately so close to. Still “r u” has a point: while the STEM economy is terrible, the situation for blue collar, pink collar, and service workers is even worse.

        • Point taken, though I probably have a better chance of finding work if I dummed down my resume.

      • That’s certainly true. And that’s as good a cause as any. As long as one does not forget that the illegal aliens who were imported here years ago were used to destroy jobs and working conditions for citizens here years ago. Since the mass-jobicide program was implemented years ago, it is certainly true that amnestying the human tools of that program from years ago would not now any longer “take away” a job when that job was in fact “taken away” years ago.
        The “unskilled” workers and Unionised workers were targeted for mass-jobicide first. Once they were mass-jobicided, the jobiciders targeted the STEM workers next.
        Perhaps the newly jobicided STEM workers of today might decide to social-class-identify with the long-since jobicided union and uncredentialed workers of years ago, and jointly target the Class Enemy together.

  6. I read somewhere, there are currently 11M USians with 1+ STEM degrees of B.S. or higher lever level, that do not currently work a STEM job. I suppose some very small fraction of that are working full-time in a same-or-better paying occupation like patent lawyer or physician or financial salesman, but I would guess the vast majority are underemployed (in the blue-colar job while having a STEM college degree sense, or in the PT when want FT sense) or unemployed.

    “America doesn’t have enough scientists & engineers”. The is 1 of those Blatant Big Lies some poli-trick-ian owning Big Business Lobby keeps selling, gets the incompetent/lying Corp Media to also lie about, such that a majority of USians still believe the lie. Add it to the “hits” like “a home is a good investment (economist Dr. Dean Baker has written that houses over history going back to 1400s UK & Netherlands, homes merely match inflation, not a great investment), or the “Federal budget must be balanced like a household” (not since USD became fiat money in the 1970s, as many Modern Monetary economists have explained in countless articles, that per Econ102 Macroecomics, such a deficit is crucial when the other Macroeconomic sectors C (households), I (business) & X (net exports) are all weak or declining).

    Not sure how to change the conventional wisdom on such Big Lies.

    I guess at least on the positive side, in spite of Endless Relentless Propaganda, a majority of USians aren’t buying the Big Lies on
    1 Medicare/Social Security
    2 Medicare For All
    3 Unemployment compensation
    4 Cannabis decriminalization
    5 NSA/surveillance
    6 continuing existing or starting new Optional Offensive Imperial Wars

    • I do feel alienated & insulted by the DC poli-trick-ians, & thier Owners, the Big Biz Lobbies & Billionaires.

      The US employment market has sucked since 2008. The employment-to-population ratio is still down from the pre-2008 era. The median wage is flat or down. Yet these 0.1% jerks want to further flood the US labor market.

      This 0bama immigration policy, both the main establishing DACA eligibility of undocumented 5 of 11 Mil who have US citizen children, as well as the H1-B-ish side of it seems underreported on, both afaict are intended to even further reduce labor cost.

      There should be Medicare For All, $15/hr minimum wage, & a Job Guarantee working on infrastructure ala 1930s New Deal, for these times when “Job Creators” go on strike & refuse to create Full Employment. If this were a Civilized Nation, & these policies existed, the existing USian workers & the US economy would not correctly fear that these policies may further weaken the labor market.

      I agree with R U Reddy. Keep in mind there are individuals like the newsstory from ~2003 IIRC of a electrical engineer with 10+ patents who was laid off from Lucent Technologies, who was working as a overnight 3rd shift warehouse clerk. E.g. an underemployed STEM pro, a category who potentially could be further threatened by further flooding the “blue collar” labor market. So whether one is empathetic to others/all USians, or even just narrowly selfishly self-interested, there is reason to be considered about flooding the labor market at this level also.

    • That’s a good starting list. (I would like to see marijuana straight-up legalized. Actually, a militant President willing to risk being assassinated could direct herm’s relevant bureaucrats to just simply unilaterally take marijuana off of the C1-C4 list by Executive Action. He/she would just have to declare that since there was zero scientific evidence for putting marijuana on the C list to begin with, no “scientific” reasons need be invoked for taking it off, since no honest reasons or evidence were ever advanced for putting it there to begin with.)

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