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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, April 6, 2006

The Immigration Bill - Bad and Getting Worse

Brought to You by the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople Party

So let me get this straight. The Senate Republicans came out with a new and improved immigration bill. In this bill they use words and phrases like "improved border security" and "regulate the flow of future immigrants". Isn't that what our present laws are supposed to do?

In this day and age of the tail wagging the dog, the Bush administration, almost five years after 9/11, have decided that now is the time to blame illegal aliens for all of our woes. Forget about lower real wages, increased gas and heating fuel oil prices and rising college tuitions, it's all the busboy at Arby's fault.

The new bill, while using generalities and tough language, does nothing specific to control our borders. What it does do is to guarantee citizenship for illegal aliens who can prove that they have been here in excess of six years, as long as they pay their back taxes, some sort of fine and learn English.

And what happens when they prove their longevity in the US by telling immigration who their employer is? Do you really think that any of these workers are going to turn their bosses into the authorities and risk their jobs? Sure, they can show electric bills or rent stubs, if they have them. Remember that these people live hand-to-mouth, usually have no checking accounts and their landlords, knowing that they are illegal take cash only, no receipts.

Leave it to the ideologue "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party to come up with this bill.

But, for argument's sake, let's say this bill passes and there are a few million people who can prove their new right to citizenship without turning in their employers or loosing their jobs. Now that they're here legally, what next? Well, according to President Bush, these people are already working at jobs "Americans don't want". So now that they're Americans. do they want them? And if they still do, how are they going to keep these jobs?

If you successfully assimilate these workers into the fabric of the United States without really addressing border security and those who overstay their visa welcomes, you are simply creating another class of illegal immigrants and another level of poverty class. The new path to citizenship legal aliens will now have to take legal jobs while the new illegal aliens will still be running across the border to do those other jobs. In other words, the new Legals will be competing with the old, US-born poor who used to have the jobs that Illegals have now, and will have tomorrow.

Brilliant. Only the Republicans can come up with a cure that's worse than the disease.

The way to really fix the problem is to have a real border security plan, much like the one mentioned here on Madman previously (commissioning a study to expand the Rio Grand across the US-Mexican border, a plan in scope similar to the St. Lawrence Seaway). Then, and only then, can you address the illegal alien population that is already here.

As far as the problem of overstaying visas is concerned, this is a problem that is easily fixed. As soon as a foreign national enters the US they'll have to surrender their passport to immigration and be issued a temporary visitor card. When they leave, their passport would be returned. They would need to leave a real and verifiable address while they are here. If they overstay their welcome it then would become easier to track these people and deport them as necessary. I call this the holding the passport hostage as a measure of tagging plan.

Although the ideas mentioned here might have a hole or two, they are specific, not generalities. It is time for the GOP leadership in our nation's capital to stop throwing buzzwords around and start developing real solutions. Simply blaming the minority Democrats might be a strategy, but it certainly is no solution.

-Noah Greenberg

Crooks and Crook-Related Quotes Up 2nd

"Defendant (I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby) testified that the circumstances of his conversation with (New York Times) reporter (Judith) Miller getting approval from the president ("G"lobal "W"arming Bush) through the vice president (Dick 'Go <F---> Yourself' Cheney) to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval were unique in his recollection,"
-court papers filed by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, in response to Libby's assertion to the judge in his perfury and conspiracy case that he needed more information to plan his defense

"If someone committed a crime they will no longer work in my administration."
-President Bush, 2004

They call that "I quit", Mr. Bush. See, since you really can't fire yourself, you're simply just going to have to quit... resign... leave.

"The fact that the president was willing to reveal classified information for political gain and put the interests of his political party ahead of America's security shows that he can no longer be trusted to keep America safe,"
-DNC Head Howard Dean

President Bush is implicated in the Plame affair. In case you forgot, Valerie Plame was the Weapons of Mass Destruction expert who was employed by the CIA as an undercover operative. Her name and identity were released by Libby on orders that came from his boss, Dick Cheney. Ms. Plame is the wife of former Ambassador Joe Wilson, who at the request of Ms. Plame's higher-ups, went to Africa to find out the truth about Niger selling enriched uranium to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. They didn't, and Wilson had the temerity to actually tell the truth. The president, during his state of the union address left that false information in.

REPORTER: Would you "fire anyone" involved in the leak case?

The bar was lowered from 2003 to 2004. Just leaking is no longer good enough. And since the president authorized the leak of Ms. Plame's name to the press, is it really a crime anyway? The only way we'll ever know is if there is a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate on January 1, 2007 that will start several investigations into the lies and "mishaps" of the administration of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush.

-Noah Greenberg

Impeachment Time

Ok, folks, if the following is not sufficient grounds for impeachment, then WHAT is?!!! Libby has testified under oath that BUSH did in fact authorize the leak of CLASSIFIED intelligence information to the press and that CHENEY specifically directed him to do so!!!!

So, what is Congress waiting for?!!! There can be no question whatsoever now that Bush and Cheney are traitors who have lied to the American people repeatedly and who have put the lives of our own intelligence officers at risk... Not to mention the fact that they must also be held morally accountable for the death and serious injuries of tens of thousands of American military troops who were sent to fight in a war of aggression based solely and literally upon prefabrication!!!

-Chris Tennant

The Blame-Game

Senator Frist's remarks that the Democrats have torpedoed the immigrant bill are ludicrously easy to rebut.

After SIX YEARS of GOP controlled government, why are they just now getting a bill on immigration through the Senate?

Hello- this is a new problem?

Senator Frist's scapegoating is just another glaring example of the Republicans' moral vacuousness and their utter lack of political will or leadership ability.

-Robert Chapman

Citizen Delay:
Some Thoughts on his Departure

Rat in a drain ditch,
Caught on a limb,
You know better
But I know him.
Like I told you,
What I said,
Steal your face
Right off your head.

Now he's gone, gone,
Lord he's gone, he's gone.
Like a steam locomotive,
Rollin' down the track
He's gone, gone,
Nothing's gonna bring him back.
He's gone.

- The Grateful Dead, "He's Gone"
, Forwarded by Robert Scardapane

In response to "By the way, do any of you actually get home at 6:00 PM? My day starts at 5:30 almost any morning (when the alarm clock rings) and ends... whenever. Tired is the first thing we are at 7- or 8:00 PM or whenever our non-union jobs lets us out. Does anyone out there remember overtime pay?" Robert Scardapane writes:

Noah, if it makes you feel better my day starts at 6:00AM and generally ends between 7-8PM. Sometimes, I can sneak away early to start my 1:15 - 1:30 hour commute. Overtime pay? What's that? I have been classified as a "professional" off-the-clock employee for the last 20 years! I admit I am compensated reasonably so I can't complain too loudly. But, consider Wal-Mart, the nation's largest employer, workers who are coerced to work AFTER punching out.

This country has definitely gone downhill big time. I feel bad for the young people of today. They are probably going to have a poorer standard of living than their parents. My advice to them is to get politically organized. They should stop sitting on sidelines thinking they will strike it rich one day as the Repug corporatists have stacked the deck against them

In response to "Today's Education", Sheryl Wurmbrand (my sister-in-law) writes:

Wow- I don't read you all the time, I have to admit. But, this was a powerful one. Hit home especially today when Mollie (her youngest daughter) was complaining that I hardly come to her classroom events, parties i.e., tomorrow, because I have to work all the time. "But you have 5 jobs, mommy," were her exact words. And, after shelling out $30 today for supplies for my "kids" at school. You hit this one right on the head!

In response to "Big Love on HBO, Sunday at 10 p.m., and repeated through the week is about a Polygamous Mormon family and larger group of polygamous people in Utah -- the reddest of the red states. What a glimpse into this male dominated society!", Rhian writes:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, central headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, has over 15 million member worldwide. Their nickname (Mormon) is the name of a man in ancient times, who recorded events on this continent, on gold plates and buried them.

In 1836 a man named Joseph Smith, from New York, dug them up, translated them, and founded the original church. The record of translation was dubbed, the book of Mormon.

The handful of people who are engaging in poygamous marriages, are not members of this mainstream Christian church, and never have been. The call themselves the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

In reality, the polygamists are a closed society, originating the Southern Utah, Arizona border area. They are plagued with criminal prosecution from law enforcement of both states and contend with a horrible genetic defect from inbreeding that currently affects 28 children. They are trying desperately to find a place to continue their horrible lifestyle of multiple women and girls married to the same man.Their leader,Warren Jeffs, has been indicted for arranging and performing marriages between men already married and minor females.

It is unbelievable that an actor of the caliber of Tom Hanks could have found anything funny enough about the situation of the polygamists to conceive of the show, Big Love. Even worse is the fact that he actually found three female actors who would agree to be in the show.

Be that as it may, it is truly unfortunate that the mainstream Christian Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, becomes confused in the minds of the public, with the parody of a truly tragic band of people who have been, and are making horrible mistakes, because of a 30 minute, offhand sitcom, which is at the core, presenting degredation of women in general, as comedy.

In response to "Or are you going to tell
God that you prayed to stop gay marriage?", Rhian writes:

I'll have to tell
God that I prayed that my first husband would die in a car wreck, before we were divorced. He (God) didn't pay any attention at all. It was a long time ago. I'm hoping He forgot about it.

Promotion of an Important Event

For those of you in and around the Central New Jersey Area

Join us in Support of

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Reception and Fundraiser following a showing of the new documentary film:

"Sir! No Sir!"

Immediately following the film, at the Grad Student Lounge

Saturday April 8th

Movie: 7pm in Scott Hall
Rutgers Student Center Graduate Student Lounge
New Brunswick, NJ
Reception: 8:30pm 10:30pm
At the GSL

-Forwarded by Dorothy Schwartz

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-Noah Greenberg