Sometimes things work best when they’re understated. Bruce Springsteen’s latest album isn’t an antiwar album, it’s not about post-Katrina New Orleans, it’s not a frontal attack on President Bush. But at the same time, it’s all of those things.
Nancy Mendenhall’s story begins in 1907 with the decision of her grandparents (and mine) to flee Tacoma’s smog to start a fruit farm irrigated with water pumped from the Columbia River in eastern Washington.
In 2004 Bush announced his immigration program, calling for increased enforcement and a temporary worker program. In November 2005 he again called for such legislation with a stronger emphasis on enforcement. In December, when the House passed viciously punitive enforcement-only HR 4437, Bush endorsed it, but said he would like to see a temporary worker program added.
It’s as if the spotlight that Hurricane Katrina cast on the inequities of disaster relief never happened. San Francisco’s high and mighty are in full-throated self-celebration of the city’s “rising from the ashes” of the April 18, 1906, earthquake and fire.
Earlier this month the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) held a conference on sexually transmitted diseases. The conference was slated to include a panel discussion entitled “Are ‘Abstinence-Only Until Marriage’ Programs a Threat to Public Health?” However, Indiana’s Republican Congressman Mark Souder complained to the Health and Human Services Department about “the controversial nature of this session and its obvious anti-abstinence objective.”
With the May 25 Senate passage of S 2611, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, both houses of Congress have approved separate major immigration bills. The next step is for a House/Senate conference committee to meet behind closed doors to see if members can reconcile the versions into one final bill.