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Abe’s goal is to gain a renewed mandate for his controversial policies, including a disastrous sales tax increase earlier this year, more fiscal stimulus spending, and monetary expansion. From a policy point of view, that may not be a bad thing, given the lack of other plans from either Abe’s own LDP or the DPJ. But from a political perspective, the continuing lack of confidence in Japan’s leaders is a worrisome sign for the long-term health of the democracy.
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The real disappointment is that this executive action distracts Congress and the American public from the far more important issue of the need to reform the entire US immigration system. Instead of focusing on unauthorized immigrants, who are less than 30% of all immigrants in the US, the US should rethink how it admits legal immigrants. The US needs to change its legal immigrant system to increase the number of visas available to workers and to reduce chain migration based on family ties.
The Ukrainian revolution, which began a year ago, started with no more than 150 people deciding to stay on Independence Square (also known as the Maidan) to protest the decision of former President Viktor Yanukovich to turn away from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union and, instead, accept $15 billion from Moscow, on top of a 30% discount on the Russian natural gas.