Photo of the day

I am a sucker for Chernobyl (or heck, any nuclear aftermath) photos.  Behold ran this set on wildlife in the Chernobyl fallout zone a while back:

130118_NP_wolfEX

A wolf in the Chernobyl exclusion zone

Photo by Sergey Gaschak.

Map of the day

Ahhh, you’ve just got to love Fox News.  Will Oremus has a piece on how Fox news experts insist that America is way behind Germany on solar technology because they get so much more sun in Germany.  Ummm, apparently Fox News experts don’t actually get to Europe all that much.  Or haven’t figured out how to use google.  Anyway, I found this map of solar availability in the US, Germany, and Spain, to be quite fascinating.  Short version– we do damn good and I’m sure not moving to Germany (solar energy-wise, it’s practically Alaska):

Solar resources: United States, Germany, Spain

Three options for illegal immigrants

Liked how Tomasky sums up the realistic options on what to do with all the illegal immigrants in America:

 We have 12 million people in this country illegally. There are only three things to do: 1, nothing; 2, round them up and throw them out; 3, acknowledge that 2 is impossible and try to make the best of it by converting them into taxpayers and full-fledged Americans. That’s it. The only possibilities.

It is completely obvious that only choice 3 makes any sense at all. Unless you think of citizenship not as a policy solution but as a “gift.” Then you have to be against it. And that’s where [Ann] Coulter’s one third of the country is. And it’s where most House Republicans are.

Changing their view means changing an important, even foundational, aspect of how they see the world; they need to get over the emotional hurdle of being against rewarding the undeserving (as they see it). It’s not impossible that it could happen, but it’s not likely, which is why I say what I say: There’s a 20 to 30 percent chance that enough House Republicans will jump that emotional hurdle. But no more than that.

Clearly, that leaves Tomasky pessimistic of the chances of immigration reform (i.e., 20-30%), but I think that’s low.  So long as Marco Rubio remains the star of the moment and gets support from the Fox News gang et al., enough House Republicans should fall in line.  As Chait has repeatedly pointed out, Republicans are convinced they can keep on doing the same things but somehow change everything just by flipping on immigration.  Its an enticing worldview and I think one they ultimately will not be able to pass up.  Of course, it’s not actually true, but should hopefully be good enough for more sensible immigration policy.

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