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This Is What Democracy Looks Like
Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Immigration and "The Bill"
Some sanity has come back to the Senate, at least in relation to the immigration bill that many believe is the cure-all for all of our south-of-the-border problems. Yesterday, the Senate defeated a major, and most controversial part of the immigration bill, the guest worker program, which had big business salivating and our nation's workers squirming in their seats. This part of the bill, more than any other, would have been responsible for the loss of American jobs by Americans with the only real beneficiary being the Bush "base" of "haves and have mores".
This part of the bill was especially hated by those on the Left and the those on the Right making for strange bedfellows. The Left, especially those representing the American worker, such as trade unions, saw this bill as a way of big business getting away with the reduction of our working rights, including the loss of benefits and collective bargaining. A high tide it supposed to life all boats but this tide would have created a trough that would have drowned many more than it would have lifted.
The kill shot came in an amendment by North Dakota Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan, which would have set a five-year sunset provision on the guest worker part of the bill. It would have been better to remove it completely, in my opinion. Big business, already pissed off that they aren't getting carte blanche any longer since the new Democratic majority came into town, weren't happy with the restriction of 200,000 workers a year coming in under the program. The original number was for an additional 400,000 guest workers. Even with the five year sunset provision, and the 200,000 worker limit, an additional one million workers would have been allowed entry into our nation to take, as the GOP like to say, "the jobs Americans won't do."
Funny how when a Midwest firm lost their illegal immigrant workers to deportation, there was a long line of Americans waiting to take their place.
But middle of the roaders are unperturbed. They are convinced that they'll be able to sway, force or connive their way past at least one US Senator to get their way.
The Dorgan amendment "is a tremendous problem, but it's correctable,"
-Sen. Arlen Specter (REPUBLICAN-PA)
You all may remember Senator Specter as the tough talking former chairman of the Judiciary Committee who always caves in at the end.
There were many other bills proposed to restrict those who could enter by job description, criminal status and "points earned", but restrictions create another problem. Once you tell someone who is here now, illegally, that they might not be able to come back legally, their incentive to play by the new rules goes out the window. The Senate seems to think that once they come up with a proposal which they can all agree on, it will somehow magically send all of those to leave of their own accord, write a check for back taxes and wait at the new imaginary line for entry back into the US.
It's good to dream, isn't it?
Any bill which wants consideration has to begin at the employer. If the government closes a business or two who knowingly hired illegals - and not just a little sweat whop in New York City, but a real business which is taking advantage - then, maybe, others will take notice.
A real immigration bill will figure out what to do with those illegals already here. Let's face it, there is no way to expedite the extraction of some 12 million people who don't want to go, not matter how many bumper sticker slogans they put out. It's time for the DC crowd to realize that life inside their beltway bubble isn't what real life is in the rest of the nation.
Some More Note From the Debates
"The president ran as a conservative and governed as a liberal."
-Rep. Tom Tancredo
I wonder if Hitler and Mussolini were far enough to the right for Tancredo?
And speaking of questions which only come out in the GOP debate, Blitzer informed Gov. Romney that, when polled, ten percent of New Hampshire's voters said they wouldn't vote for a Romney because he is a Mormon. To Romney's credit, he said that he refuses to apologize for his religion. I say "Bravo" to Romney. Saying anything else would have been pandering, at best.
However, I wonder if Blitzer read the question correctly, or maybe those ten percenters didn't hear the question quite right. Perhaps the questioner didn't say "Mormon", but instead said "moron." Now that would make sense.
And in regard to religion, the best answer came about religion and the separation of Church and State came from Rep. Ron Paul who suggested, "I think we should read the first amendment."
Rudy Giuliani opened the door for the Republicans to, finally, start realizing that science is, well, scientific. In truth, I was afraid that the GOP candidates would give us the old Bush-109th congress line that "the science is still out on global warming" and "it has yet to be determined if humans have contributed to climate change." Rudy stated, "We have to accept the view that scientists have... that humans have... contributed to that." The question was "Is science wrong on global warming?" I guess when scientists from 113 countries state that "human intervention is likely the cause for global warming," even the Republicans can't get around that.
And along those same "Gas prices are too high," and "global warming really does exist" lines, I really should mention that all of the GOP candidates are now pushing alternative fuels. I wonder where they were up until now? Have any of them bothered to bring up a bill on the floor of the House, the Senate or their state houses? Did any one of them even bother to say, "about global warming" on the floor of either house when they had the chance? Those are all questions that I wished CNN's Wolf Blitzer might have asked had he been the least bit curious.
Using Ex-Presidents (I can hardly wait)
The Democrats all had useful positions for ex-President Bill Clinton. the one I agree with the most, and the one which will probably never happen was suggested by Governor Bill Richardson who said that the best place for President Clinton would be as UN Secretary General. Of course, that position has always gone to an individual whose nation isn't a permanent member of the Security Council. Most of the other Democrats said they would ask Clinton to be a roving ambassador, realizing that he has the expertise and the diplomatic skills to accomplish almost any job they could offer him.
On the flip side was that same question asked to the Republican candidates about President Bush. The funniest, and most pitiful line about it came from Tommy Thompson, Bush's former Secretary of Health and Human Services. Thompson said, "I certainly would not send him to the United Nations." It got laughs but sums up much of his tenure in office. NO DIPLOMACY. Thompson instead said, "I think he could become a wonderful spokesperson to talk to the young people about public service." Well at least he could read them "My Pet Goat."
Others had other ideas about how to use President Bush if they are elected to fill what will be a long overdue vacancy. Sam Brownback, in a "I don't bother reading the news" moment said, "He'd be a wonderful ambassador in" places where there are natural disasters. Someone ought to get this guy a subscription to the New Orleans Times Picayune. That statement alone should disqualify The Kansas Senator from even higher office than he already is occupying.
And Speaking of Diplomacy...
The Democrats seemingly want to bring diplomacy back to Washington DC. Novel idea, huh? In response to would they use diplomacy of force against Iran, Hillary Clinton noted, "Occasionally they send Dick Cheney which is hardly diplomatic in my view."
John Edwards said "We need to drive a wedge between the Iranian people and their (extremist) leaders." He also suggested that we should use our European allies to put financial pressure on the Iranians. All of the Democratic candidates realized that pressure and diplomacy were the first lines of defense and that you have to negotiate with your enemies, not just your friends, to get things done.
In another softball moment reserved for the GOP candidates, Blitzer asked them all if Scooter Libby should be pardoned by President Bush. Forgetting that a jury found Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff guilty of obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI, after hearing the evidence against him, the GOP candidates had other views.
Rudy Giuliani: I think (Libby's) sentence was way out of line.
Mitt Romney: We have a prosecutor who totally abused his power.
Both statements seem to forget the fact that Libby is being sent to jail AFTER he was convicted of various crimes by a real live jury. It's not like we sent him to Guantanamo Bay without a trial or anything.
But it was Tommy Thompson who had the "Huh?" moment on this one: ""Bill Clinton committed perjury and lost his law license." Is this guy really equating lying about sex to lying about who exposed the name of an undercover CIA agent? Amazing.
Education was lost in the shuffle, except for a brief moment in the Democratic debate. Mike Gravel said that his plan would offer any child a four year college education in return for one year of "public service." John Edwards had a better idea: Any child that has the grades to go to college, and is willing to work ten hours a week, will go to college tuition-free. He called it "College for all."
The GOP decided to jump on the Conservation bandwagon, but I think no one really took them seriously. However, "American" Tom Tancredo had an idea for making our world a better place to be, and it didn't include exporting anyone to their native nation. The Colorado Congressman said he wants "to make it profitable" to us all to conserve. I guess he wants to pay us all if we keep our rooms clean too. Where is he getting all of this money from? A better question would be where are he GOP getting money for any of their programs if they aren't going to raise taxes, rescind the tax give away to the wealthiest one percent of Americans or ask corporation to pay their fair share?
You make a great case, in my opinion, for a Democrat in 2008, just by using their quotes versus the Republicans.
In response to "The Debates", Norma H. writes:
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is ... you know....
Time to organize for socialist change....
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