FROM Stephen Wayne
Talk Radio and the Immigration Debate The immigration bill now in the Senate would beef up border security, create a guest-worker program and create new rules for newcomers, but a new poll shows that 65% of Americans think it's all about "amnesty" for 12 million undocumented workers. The legislation is supported by President Bush and a fragile coalition of Democrats and Republicans who are feeling the heat of grassroots campaigning by the conservative right wing. Both Republican Senators from Georgia started out as co-sponsors, but backed off after an onslaught of phone calls, e-mails, faxes and letters sparked, in part, by conservative talk radio. How influential are these and how did get that way? When did they break ranks with President Bush?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.