Friday, March 31, 2006

Immigration vs. Outsourcing

A poll asks which is more of a threat to U.S. jobs:

Which is the bigger threat to American jobs?
Illegal immigration
21677 votes
69385 votes
Total: 91062 votes

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Would you do it? Cross the border?

A poll asks:

Would you illegally cross a border if that was the only way to make a better life for your family?
13905 votes
4561 votes
Total: 18466 votes

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Ten Telltale Signs of GOP Disease.

Bob Burnett reveals how to identify Bush Republicans.

1. You keep lying, even when it’s apparent to everyone that you’re lying: Insist that the situation in Iraq is not a civil war; Bush tax cuts are good for the economy; Republicans are fostering Democracy. Repeat things that are not only untrue, but are absurd: George W. Bush cares about civil rights. You can’t stop; you’re sick; you’re a Republican.

2. No matter how bad things get, assert that President Bush is doing a great job. Even when there are obvious screw-ups—the reaction to 9/11, the occupation of Iraq, and the response to Katrina—block all meaningful investigations, no matter how impartial. Steadfastly maintain that Dubya knows what he’s doing, even when it’s apparent to most of the public that he not only doesn’t have a plan to fix the problem, he doesn’t get that there is a problem. You’re inflexible; you’re stuck; you’re a Republican.

3. Keep repeating that the situation in Iraq is getting better. Say that you see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if there’s no light and it’s a bottomless pit. Tell Americans that Iraqis want us there and our troops believe in their mission, even when polls say that Iraqis ask us to leave and our troops want to come home. Insist that the press isn’t reporting the good news, even when the only positive stories are those planted by your toadies. You’re strident; you’re in denial; you’re a Republican.

4. Don’t accept any criticism, no matter how non-partisan or well intended. Call your critics ignorant, devious, unwitting pawns of sinister forces. Suggest that anyone who criticizes George Bush, Dick Cheney, or Don Rumsfeld is unpatriotic; that they are aiding and abetting Al Qaeda. You’re relentless; you’re a fear-monger; you’re a Republican.

5. Stay on offense. No matter what happens, keep pushing your agenda. Remember Karl Rove’s second commandment: When in doubt, attack. If one of your tactics is blocked, such as private social security accounts, immediately go to the next, reduction of entitlements. Never let your enemies see you sweat. Never forget that you owe your supporters, big. You’re aggressive; you’re ruthless; you’re a Republican.

6. Insist that you are pro-women and pro-family. As “proof,” periodically take the time to parade all the “babes” in the Bush Administration, Condoleezza Rice and Harriet Miers. Then take action on every level to ensure that women remain second-class citizens and that American families get the shaft. Insist that the state rather than a woman and her family should make private medical decisions. You’re macho; you’re sexist; you’re a Republican,

7. Tell everyone that you’re the Party of peace, the Party that wants to spread democracy throughout the world. Then create the largest peacetime standing army in US history. Make sure that America spends more on defense than all our possible enemies combined. Relentlessly feed the military-industrial complex. Prowl through the world planting US bases, supporting autocrats, and protecting the interests of multi-national corporations. Preach peace and democracy; practice war and plutocracy. You’re predatory; you’re imperialist; you’re a Republican.

8. Maintain the economy is going great. No matter how bad things get, how large the national debt, or how huge the gap between America’s haves and have-nots, push for more tax cuts. Insist that they’re a panacea, a modern snake oil that will cure all ills. Keep promising America that good times are just ahead and the yellow-brick road is lined with tax cuts. Talk equality and opportunity; practice elitism and favoritism. You’re shameless; you’re greedy; you’re a Republican.

9. Manipulate the truth. Whenever there is bad news, blame it on the press. Accuse the mass media of distortion; say they aren’t telling the whole story. Help them out, make up some good news. Harass reporters at all your press conferences; punish anyone who asks a tough question. Support the illusion that Fox News is fair and balanced and that Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are impartial commentators. You’re duplicitous; you’re biased; you’re a Republican.

10. Above all, never admit a mistake. Remember Karl Rove’s first commandment: Never show weakness. Adopt the motto: only wimps admit mistakes; when the going gets tough, the tough attack their enemies. Say the Bush Administration hasn’t made mistakes; it’s set lofty goals that take hard, hard work to achieve. Keep your eyes on the stars, your nose to grindstone and both hands protecting your ass. You’ve no shame; you’ve contracted an incurable disease; you’re a Republican.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Agreement with Instapundit on Immigration Reform.

Glenn Reynolds details on how the immigration debate has been framed. I agree with him 100%. Crazy people need to read this. And if you're middle class, expect a mass deportation or too-tight restriction on Mexican immigration to increase the cost of living by three times.

  • It's not really about security: Even if we tighten up the border with Mexico immensely, it won't stop terrorists from sneaking through if they want to. And even if we could accomplish that impossible end, they could still come in other ways. As long as we have easy visas for Saudi citizens, worrying about the Mexican border seems silly.

  • It's only sort of about economics: President Bush likes to say that immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do. That's true, of course, but it's really more accurate to say that immigrants do the jobs Americans won't do at the wages businesses want to pay. In my area, for example, American-born drywallers make 5-7 dollars more an hour than illegal immigrants. They're willing to do the work, just not for what the contractors want to pay. But I've talked to many of them and they actually admire the Mexican workers, who work hard and support their families.

    Where I hear resentment of illegal immigrants, it's not so much based on the idea of them taking American jobs. At the moment, at least, unemployment is very, very low so people aren't thinking that way as much as they might if there were a recession. Instead, the resentment is based on the idea that people who come here illegally feel entitled to demand that they be treated like Americans. It's the devaluing of citizenship, as much as the loss of jobs, that seems to upset most people at the moment.

  • A lot of it is anger at Washington: "We pay taxes, they say there's a war on terror, and they can't even secure the border." People don't necessarily expect perfection, but the powers that be don't even seem to be trying. That anger, I suspect, has a lot to do with the sudden interest of politicians in doing something -- or at least looking as if they're doing something -- about the issue.

  • The debate stinks: Most opponents of illegal immigration aren't racists. Most supporters aren't enemies of American civilization. The immigration problem is hard because it pits two things we care about -- freedom of opportunity and control of our borders -- against one another. It's also made harder because people fear that immigrants -- without the pressures of earlier eras -- won't try very hard to assimilate. Those fears may be overblown, but they're real, and the cries of racism, plus the occasional bit of Aztlan-irredentism from the fringes (calling for the reconquest of California, Arizona, etc., by Mexico), make them stronger.

  • It could be poison for both parties: The people organizing these rallies don't seem to care if they're bad for the Democrats. Maybe they won't be. More likely the organizers don't care, because even if they are, the organizers will wind up more powerful within the Party. There's a similar, if more diffuse, phenomenon in the GOP. But it's entirely possible that both parties will suffer in different ways if the debate gets overheated. Political debate in America is poisonous enough; this won't help. At any rate, stay tuned. It's likely to be a rocky ride.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

We not only need Mexican workers, we want them!

According to an unscientific Newsweek online poll. The question asked if the U.S. should try to slow illegal immigration by helping the Mexican economy. Out of more than 32,000 responses 50 percent said 'No'!

Should the United States try to slow illegal immigration by helping the Mexican economy? * 32252 responses
I don't know

The basic issue here is the mis-framing of the illegal immigration issue.

It's not a law enforcement problem, it's an economic problem. We haven't been told that, because it hasn't been framed that way. They wouldn't come here to do crappy jobs if they had good jobs back home.


Bush is right for once.

Regarding immigration reform GWB said in his weekly radio address:

"As we debate the immigration issue, we must remember there are hardworking individuals, doing jobs that Americans will not do, who are contributing to the economic vitality of our country."
Damn straight. Americans don't want to jobs with the three "D's". Dirty, dangerous and demeaning.

Who's gonna make that Big Mac (or any food in a restaurant, for that matter)?

Who's going to clean the backed up sewer pipe in your neighborhood?

Who's going to roll you over when you or your parents are in the nursing home, so that you don't lay there and soil yourself?

Who's going to pick those any vegetables that you don't eat?

Who's gonna go out there in the midsummer North Carolina and grab handfuls of tobacco for your Marlboro Light?

The only reason people don't work in the United States is because they don't want to. And whaddya know, there's someone else who's willing to bust their ass to do the job and take home a measly paycheck to their family.

You mean you're willing to step up and do those jobs? You're OK with your kids ending up in jobs like that?

Right. That's what I thought.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ford's brilliant strategy.

Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke made a comment about the "possible decline in the dollar [not having] a "worrisome'' effect on the U.S. economy."

This will get a lot of play in financial circles, particularly the Wall Street Journal. The readership of that publication is majority upper class and upper-middle class white male.

Why is this brilliant strategy? Because the comment was in a letter to sent to a certain U.S. Representative. One from Tennessee. Running for the Senate.

Ford will get his name out to a bunch of financially-minded, conservative, socially moderate white folks. Precisely who he needs to vote for him come November.

Like I said, brilliant.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

South Dakota State Senator Bill Napoli is...messed up in the head.

South Dakota's new abortion law bans abortions save those that threaten the life of the mother. One of their state senators was asked to describe a situation that "threatened the life." His reply:

"A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life."

Monday, March 20, 2006

Swift Boat Defense Money Quote.

Tammy Duckworth is running for Illinois' 6th congressional district in an open seat. She is an Iraq War veteran who is a double leg amputee. When the questioner noted that criticizing a veterans' war record has become fair game, Duckworth said:

"I'm expecting it. But frankly, I've survived an RPG in my lap. You know, it can't be as bad as that."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

H.R. 4437

The official Congressional summary of HR 4437:

The bill would tighten border security and increase enforcement of immigration laws. It would designate illegal migration as a criminal, rather than a civil, offense. It also would increase penalties for a variety of immigration-related crimes. It would create a mandatory program under which all employers would have to verify employees' work eligibility with the federal government. As amended, it would require the construction of security fencing, including lights and cameras, along certain ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The most telling part that this may suffer defeat in the Senate is the sentence that states "all employers would have to verify employees' work eligibility with the federal government." That's a kind of burden that no employer wants to face. It also seriously impedes their ability to manage their workforce. I haven't done enough research, but the U.S. Chamber of Commerce should be jumping up and down about this increased regulation and costs they will suffer.

Small-government Republicans should be against more intrusion into the daily life of Americans. Plus those Republicans that just raised the debt-ceiling of the United States and rail against tax-and-spend liberals will have a hard time justifying this added expenditure to the budget. California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas state governments should be pissed if the cost of building the fence is being financed by them.

I don't see it happening. Of course, crazier things have happened.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Interesting Transportation Analogy

From the Hartford Courant:

Regarding an independent ethics authority to oversee members of Congress, some members are "pushing for an independent office that would monitor lobbyists, but their effort is facing strong opposition. Without such an office, said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, any bill is "insufficient because it focuses on disclosing corruption, rather than deterring it.

"That's like tallying the number of people killed in highway crashes instead of making safer vehicles," she said."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Why do only Republicans say this?

Pete McCloskey is a former Republican congressman from California. He was the first Republican member of the House to call for Nixon's impeachment back in the 70's. He is running in the Republican primary against incumbent Congressman Richard Pombo.
McCloskey, a Korean War veteran, visited his old Marine Company C. Afterwards, he stated:

"There's no way we're winning the hearts and minds of these people, when we're pulling them out of bed in the middle of the night and killing family members."
That's just now occurring to people?

AFA E-mail.

In my inbox this morning is a missive from the American Family Association. I'm on their list, because I like to know what their talking points are. Can't beat the opposition unless you know the opposition. Their latest blast e-mail regards an ad placed by a group called "Defend the Constitution" or DefCon. The ad tries to imply a connection between James Dobson and Jack Abramoff. It's hasn't been well documented (probably because the link is tenuous). However, their statement regarding DefCon accurately describes their view of the "other side" (i.e. lib-ruhls).

"The[ir] goal ... is to depress religious conservatives by smearing good men like Dr. Dobson. They want to bring down the pro-family movement in the fallout of the Abramoff scandal, hoping values voters won'’t go to the polls in November. If they succeed, liberals will not have to filibuster judges because they will have a majority in the Senate. And the Marriage Protection Amendment will be dead on arrival in a House run by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco). This ad is another sign of how low the left wing will stoop."

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cheap Pieces.

"As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind: Every part of this capsule was supplied by the lowest bidder."
- John Glenn, astronaut

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Care for Numbers?

Regarding the Iraq War, from the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count as of March 2, 2006:

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The Depart ment of Defense: 2294
I don't think the American public will really care until the number reaches 5,000 or 10,000. By "care" I mean, start to speak against it and actively work to end the conflict.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Real Republicans.

Where did they go? The ones who think like Bruce Willis. A journalist noted he had claimed to be a Republican in setting him up for opinions on current events. His answer?

"I'm sick of answering this [expletive] question," he says. "I'm a Republican only as far as I want a smaller government, I want less government intrusion. I want them to stop [expletive] on my money and your money and tax dollars that we give 50 percent of... every year. I want them to be fiscally responsible and I want these [expletive] lobbyists out of Washington. Do that and I'll say I'm a Republican... I hate the government, OK? I'm a-political. Write that down. I'm not a Republican."
They're out there somewhere.

Add to Technorati Favorites