Texas Republican blasts his party's immigration plan
- 11 June 2014
A review of the best commentary on and around the world...
While the Texas Republican Party's endorsement of gay "reparative therapy" garnered most of the headlines across the US, the ill will generated within the party over changes to its immigration policy may create more lasting damage.
Federation of Hispanic Republicans chair Artemio Muniz, who served on the state party's platform committee, criticises his state's Republicans for abandoning the "Texas Solution" to immigration - a programme endorsed by the party two years ago.
"It had an agreed-upon trigger that limited provisional visas, called for securing the border first and made clear that Texas, not Washington, should be able to decide when the border was secure," he writes for the Texas Tribune.
He says members of the platform committee, including supporters of the grass-roots conservative Tea Party movement, had reached an agreement to back the Texas Solution once again.
"If we could strike an agreement on immigration, we could send a powerful message across the nation that would tell the Democratic operatives pouring into the state: Don't mess with Texas," he writes.
He says he walked out of the meeting with tears in his eyes, as a strong pro-immigration stand by Texas would make his work on Republican outreach to Hispanics much easier.
It was with shock, he writes, that he later learned the party had replaced the Texas Solution in the platform with language endorsing an end to in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, "mass deportation by attrition" and granting police the power to ascertain the immigration status of those in custody.
He attributes the change to "the work of charlatans claiming to be conservative, parading around our great state with no concern for our party's future".
In the past 10 years, support for Republican presidential candidates among Hispanics has been trending downward. In 2004 President George W Bush received 40% of their vote nationally. In 2008 the Republican candidate received 31%, and in 2012 it was 27%.
"Tea Party groups and other hard-line organisations that believe individuals of Mexican heritage are genetically inferior or incapable of understanding how to live in a representative democracy have controlled the GOP's stance on immigration," Mr Muniz writes.
He says that numbers like these indicate that his party is at a crossroads: "Will it embrace true free-market solutions and support its own bootstrapping principles and the American dream, or will it allow dinosaur politics to lead us to extinction?"
Fall of Mosul demands action - Civil war once again has erupted in Iraq, writes the Brookings Institution's Kenneth M Pollack, and the US must step in before the situation worsens, possibly destabilising the global energy market.
The US, he writes in the Wall Street Journal, needs to provide embattled Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with military support, including drone strikes, reconnaissance, training, weapons and even manned air missions.
In exchange for this aid, the US should demand that Mr Maliki make much-needed political reforms, including term limits on the nation's leadership, limitations on the prime minister's powers, the depoliticisation of the Iraqi armed forces, and a new unity government that incorporates Sunni and Kurdish interests.
"If Iraq is to be saved, it will be saved only by Americans and Iraqis taking hard steps like these," he writes.
Shinzo Abe as the 'world's best leader' - Stony Brook University Prof Noah Smith says Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe provides "an example that the rest of the world should be following".
Thanks to monetary policies implemented following his re-election in 2012, Prof Smith writes in Bloomberg View, the Japanese prime minister has boosted his nation's economic growth, its stock market, and even the wages of its workers.
"In other words, unlike everyone else in the world, Abe listened to Milton Friedman, and the results are looking good," he says.
In addition, Mr Abe pushed for women's rights - which is an economic boon - cut the nation's corporate tax rate, endorsed government deregulation and backed a more robust foreign policy.
"For the first time in 25 years," he says, "Japan looks like it could be at the head of the international pack."
A government on the defensive - Despite the best efforts of the Venezuelan socialist dictatorship founded by Hugo Chavez, writes the Independent Institute's Alvaro Vargas Llosa, civil society in the nation is flourishing and the anti-government protestors are gaining strength.
Opponents of President Nicolas Maduro have come to the realisation, he writes, that continued street protests can lead to negotiation and eventual victory.
"It's hard to know just how long it will take for Venezuelans to rid themselves of this 15-year tyranny," he says. "But the process has begun."
"The economy is in free fall, with inflation at more than 60%, GDP growth at zero and acute shortages affecting 19 basic products," he concludes. "As a result, whatever faith the people of the barrios had in the Chavez mystique is quickly eroding."
Drilling trumps environment in the Amazon - In 2007 Ecuador offered to renounce drilling in the Amazon's Yasuni National Park in exchange for $3.6b (£2.14b) over 13 years from foreign nations. Last year, with only $13m (£7.74m) raised, Ecuador President Rafael Correa abandoned the programme. Last month, the nation moved ahead with plans to begin drilling in 2016.
"The green light to drill in one of the world's most biologically significant areas will come at an incalculable cost to Yasuni's biodiversity and harm the indigenous groups that live in the park," writes Amazon Watch's Kevin M Koenig in the New York Times.
"Today oil accounts for half of Ecuador's export earnings, and the country is caught in a cycle of dependence," he says. Ecuador should do more to wean itself from oil revenues, he writes, and increasing drilling is not the way to do it.
BBC Monitoring's quotes of the day
Pakistan commentators react to Sunday's Taliban attack on the Karachi airport and what it means for the nation's security.
"The fact that must be faced is that what happened at the airport on Sunday night [8 June] constituted a massive failure of the state, an indictment of the country's security strategy… Do we need further evidence that an overhaul of the country's security systems and personnel is urgently needed?" - Editorial in Dawn.
"There is no time left for prevarication and policy paralysis. The government must itself take the initiative to mount a decisive offensive against the terrorists." - Editorial in Daily Times.
"It has become a most urgent priority for a national policy to be adopted to crush the terrorists via a solid and decisive operation and ensure national security and the protection of the people and the security forces." - Editorial in Nawa-i-Waqt.
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