Five Best Friday Columns

David Brooks bid to keep immigration reform alive, the ACLU's Jamil Dakwar and Chandra Bhatnagar on the human right to seek asylum, Kimberley Strassel on an impending scandal in the FEC, and David Stockman on the Bernanke Bubble.

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David Brooks in The New York Times on passing immigration reform "Pass the Bill!" writes Brooks, who supports the Senate immigration reform bill in a direct challenge to the "Kill the Bill" joint editorial from National Review's Rich Lowry and The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol. "It’s always possible to imagine ways in which a law may be distorted in violation of its intent. But if you are going to use that logic to oppose something, you are going to end up opposing tax reform, welfare reform, the Civil Rights Act and everything else." NBC News reporter Chuck Todd responds, "David Brooks attempts to woo conservs on immigration." Brooks' appeal moved at least one Republican, as Senator John McCain called the column a "Must-read."

Jamil Dakwar and Chandra Bhatnagar at the ACLU on US harm for asylum rights Dakwar, the director of the ACLU Human Rights Program, and Bhatnagar, an ACLU senior staff attorney, write that the U.S.' chase to extradite NSA leaker Edward Snowden equates to political persecution and violates his right to seek political asylum, a right that is enshrined in both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, the journalist to whom Snowden provided these documents, tweets "Read the ACLU on how the US is single-handedly destroying the right to seek asylum with its behavior re Snowden." In addition, The Guardian's Washington D.C. correspondent Paul Lewis notes, "Arguably, recent US actions have strengthened Snowden's asylum claim."

Kimberley Strassel in The Wall Street Journal on a brewing scandal in the FEC The next political scandal could come from the Federal Election Commission, a federal and independent regulatory agency, where staff members are giving agency information directly to the Obama Department of Justice, rather than properly getting approval from FEC commissioners. "These ties are disturbing, since the Obama campaign pioneered the tactic of demanding that Justice pursue criminal investigations of its political opponents as a means of intimidation." The Hotline's editor Reid Wilson notes that Lois Lerner — the IRS official at the center of its recent scandal over targeting conservative political groups for review —  "used to be the chief enforcement official at the FEC," and that the two scandals could be related. "You think the IRS is politicized? Take a look at the FEC," writes PJ Media commentator Glenn Reynolds.

Paul Krugman in The New York Times on the Republican myth of libertarian populism Republicans believe a low turnout among whites cost them the 2012 election, and that these voters can be reenergized through "libertarian populism," which "suggests that Republicans can regain their former glory without changing much of anything — no need to reach out to nonwhite voters, no need to reconsider their economic ideology." But the "missing white voter" theory has since been proven incorrect, Krugman writes, and the Republican platform to restrict Medicaid and food stamps actually hurts these white voters, particularly in swing states. Think Progress reporter Jeff Spross points to the last line of the column: "You could argue that destroying the safety net is a libertarian act. But populist it isn’t." And Daily Kos' blogger Kenneth Bernstein writes to "Read the whole thing. Pass it on. You'll be glad you did."

David Stockman in Zero Hedge on the Bernanke Bubble "No, last week’s jobs report was not 'strong,'" writes the former politician and budget director. "It was just another edition of the 'born again' jobs scam that has been fueling the illusion of recovery during the entire post-crisis Bernanke Bubble." The majority of the recent job growth has just been in part-time positions, while "breadwinner" jobs, such as construction, manufacture, technology, and other white collar professions, "have been shrinking at a stunning rate for the entire duration of the 21st century." Washington Post political blogger Ed Rogers notes that Stockman's "Real insight shines through," and venture capitalist and Forbes columnist Bill Frezza tweets "This is both the read and the rant of the Day."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.