Saturday, June 24, 2006

Out With The Old, In With The New

Sorry I have not posted yet today, I finally replaced the old Flintstone Mark 1 with a new machine, and I am just now testing it out.

So far I have rammed an NSA satellite, declared war on France, and convinced a colony of militant gerbils to attack neighboring towns. So, two accidents and one success so far ...

Seriously, the hardware is wirking fine but I still have more soiftware to load, and I realize that I have forgotten a lot of passwords. Oy.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Race & Politics

One thing Democrats desperately want to control in any election is discussion about Race. The Democrat’s position, as should be obvious, is that the Democrats defend minorities from the rapacious intentions of Republicans, and it has worked for decades to their advantage. Unfortunately for the Democrats, modern minorities no longer simply take instruction from self-ordained “leaders”, but are more and more inclined to think for themselves. The effects of this awakening may be slow in arriving, but they are certainly on the way.

I have been following the polling data and of course voting results, but the most interesting effects I see are anecdotal. Black, for existence, are the most solid of Democrat blogs, and for the longest time would not even listen to a Republican candidate. But here in Houston they are starting to listen, and to ask questions. Yes, most of the questions are based on the assumption that Republicans have things to apologize for to Blacks and Democrats have a record of standing with them (the first is true, but less than most people think, and the second is simply a lie), but the point is, dialogue has begun. And eventually, people will think through the responses and decide which is more honest and intelligent for their issues and priorities.

It’s also worth noting, to see how leading Democrats do not want to bring up Race. Since the 2004 Election, the DNC has been very very quiet on that subject, which tells me they are hearing things they don’t want to have come up in front of a national audience. Sure, jerks like Nagin and McKinney spout off their noise, but notice they are all alone? Even Dean knows to leave that one be, and there’s a reason.

Another group to watch is Hispanics. The wild card in the whole Border Security/Immigration debate, is how legitimate Hispanic citizens in the United States see the matter. Bush claimed more of the Hispanic vote than any previous Republican, and there’s hope for more if the message is clear and mistakes are avoided.

And then there are the Asians. Quiet, keep to themselves, but they have started voting in large numbers. Originally, the Democrats thought this could be a secret weapon, but in recent years there is reason to think that suburban Asians see issues and candidates much differently than their urban counterparts. This is important, because more than any other demographic, Asians are moving from downtown to uptown, and this cannot help but be a factor in close races. I know from personal experience that more than ever before, English-speaking Asians are helping the Asian community as a whole understand the issues and how it affects them. Asians are very big on community action, which means that they are won over in groups.

What this means in specific depends on how the major parties pay attention to the issues and their debate, but it does mean that 'ownership' of a demographic is moving towards a thing of the past.

More About The Illegal Alien Debate

Well, the jackals are at it again. Apparently, the deceitful game of lying about elected leaders, in hopes of destroying their credibility and obstructing their work , seems to be so appealing that Republicans, the so-called “base”, is trashing the President and all sorts of elected leaders, simply because they have not gotten exactly what they demand. Some go so far as to suggest that President Bush is willfully ignoring the problem, or even working against the welfare of the United States, for reasons unknown and completely at odds with the known facts. Of course, such people are useless boors with little interest in the truth or actually resolving the issues surrounding the problem.

President Bush has done a number of things in response to the needs of these separate issues, evident from the sharp increase in alien interception during 2001-6, discussions with Central and South American governments on the subject of cross-country migration to the US through their territories, and reformation of border security agencies.

The reason he gets no credit for this is sad and simple - people do not tend to pay attention to 'downstream' issues but only the top concerns, which is why borders and immigration were ignored by so many Congressmen and even Republicans for his first term. Also, people like Tancredo, who have turned a valid perspective and honest discussion into personal empires and 'face time' for influence advantage, have soured discussion and destroyed opportunities, because they refuse to work under the leadership of the elected Chief Executive, instead using him to blame for every petty arrogance.

None but a few have ever brought up this issue before recent days, and those jabbering jackdaws who insult President Bush are unaware of the many visits and discussions Bush has had with foreign leaders on this issue, and with Congressional leaders. And I won't even get started here on the number of people who trash Dubs before they even bother to read the text of his proposals, or confirm his actual position, if they ever get around to it.

The President is the Executive of the nation, not its lawmaker. All this stuff about 'he's responsible for not doing xxxx' when they know full well that this President at least allows the Constitution to be properly employed, and restrains the use of Executive Order to avoid confrontations with Congress, allowing them the opportunity to do their duty. These people want some mindless idiot who does what he hears the "base" of his party wants, without regard to its consequences or the effect it has on the nation or the construction of new legal consequences. Whatever their claims, they are asking, demanding frankly, for another Bill Clinton. Bush thinks deeper and acts on the longer scale and with better preparation and insight to the people affected than anyone seems willing to understand or grant.

The problem is that far too many people of strong opinion are not considering the effect of their methods. The defense by the President’s supporters, mocked though we are, is a natural response in defense of a man most unfairly attacked, by people who pretend to be Conservatives, which consequence is more likely to help the Democrats politically and damage efforts to find a functional solution than any thing else.

Tancredo is a good example. Once a voice of reason warning about a major concern and danger, he now refuses to even discuss anything but complete acceptance of his plans and allegiance to his personal perspective. He has shouted down committee chairmen and party leadership, and he has slandered the President through personal insults and false claims. As a result, he is doing far more harm than good to his cause, even if he is completely right in his plans and intentions.

And yet the Rabies Wing continues to deny they have overstated anything, misconveyed any image, or betrayed the twice-elected leader of the nation.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want - If Your Name Is Zogby, At Least

I don't like or trust Zogby's polling, except to slant Left. So it is interesting to read his latest look at the Senate races, via the Wall Street Journal. The numbers are interesting, but the basics are these:

The Republicans hold 55 seats, the Democrats hold 44, and one seat belongs to Indecision. Assuming a 5-point or more lead represents a good hold, of the 17 races considered, Republicans incumbents are in good position to hold their seat in 7 races, the Democrats incumbents are in good position to hold their seats in 7 races, and of the remaining three races, two are tied (one Democrat incumbent, one Republican incumbent) and one race shows a Democrat running for a Democrat-held seat leading by less than a point. So even Zogby is admitting, in the numbers if not in his headlines, that the Republicans look good right now to hold what they have.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

When Evil Pays For The Band, I’d Decline To Dance

Harold C. Hutchison over at “Called As Seen” linked to a chilling report about just who is spinning all the attacks against President Bush and leading Republicans in the claim that they are somehow weak on addressing border security and immigration reform (Called As Seen: Just what is going on here?)

Hutchison links to an article in The Pink Flamingo, which notes connections between up-front people like Tom Tancredo, Barbara Coe, Jim Gilchrist, Pat Buchanan, and Michelle Malkin, with some pretty slimy groups.

Groups like “Stormfront”, “Solar General”, and the “American Renaissance”. The first two are neo-Nazi groups, and the American Renaissance is anti-Immigration in a loud and nasty way. The article also notes links to the KKK.

A key quote from SJ Reidhead says “Now the press release:

announcing the picketing of Lindsey's office. Yep, people with direct ties to the Neo-Nazis are picketing Lindsey because of his immigration stance. I don't know about you, but when RINO conservatives like Rush, Hannity, and Tancredo go after Lindsey, I'd rather be on the side of the 'good guys'. My father is a vet of WWII - remember the war with Germany and Hitler. We were fighting these guys - now they are the darlings of the RINO conservative media. Something's wrong here, don't you think?”

Yes, Mr. Reidhead, something is very, very wrong. If Tancredo, Malkin, and the others don’t know what sort of people are funding their rants, you have to wonder why they didn’t bother to check them out. And if they knew, but hid those connections, that is a much more serious concern. Read the whole article, and think about what is going on behind the noise.

Sure, Let's Redeploy

... I'm thinking let's send a few divisions to, say, TEHERAN?

A Bad Poll By Deceitful People

My friend Kimsch at Musing Minds sent me a poll she described as “so incredibly rotten you can smell it from Denmark”, and she’s right. Time for a fisking, hmm?

The poll was published in the Chicago Sun-Times, and Kimsch found it via The Capitol Fax Blog, whom I will have to visit again.

The poll, as is the trend these days, was treated as if it was news, rather than spin. The first sentence from ‘Fran Spielman’ reads “Chicagoans overwhelmingly favor wage and benefit standards for Wal-Mart and other "big-box" retailers, even if it places jobs at risk, according to a new poll commissioned by proponents to turn up the heat on the City Council.” OK, first thing you should notice, aside from the idiocy of believing that anyone would rather trash a company and lose jobs, rather than work out a fair arrangement, is the fact that this poll was paid for by people who wanted a specific outcome. Ahem, that’s called a ‘push poll’, and it is reliable the same way ‘Baghdad Bob’ was reliable. And that starting point just hints at more of the same as you go on.

One thing which made me chuckle was the way the poll was described. “84 percent want aldermen to require newly built and existing stores ... to pay employees who work more than five hours a week at least $10 an hour in wages and $3 an hour in benefits.” When told that Wal-Mart says they won’t build new stores if that ordinance is imposed on them, support for the ordinance drops to 69%. Wording on the same question shows double-digit fluctuations in support, not a good sign for a poll’s veracity. Which reminds me; the most critical part of any poll is its methodology. And when a poll hides its methodology, that pretty much means they are fooling around with the numbers. The Sun-Times describes the poll only as a “poll of 500 registered voters ... conducted by Washington D.C.-based Lake Research Partners and was commissioned by the Grassroots Collaborative”. Well, one thing I know is that “Lake Research Partners” is a polling firm which did polling for the Democratic Party during the 2004 Federal Elections. And don’t believe that claim that the poll “has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent”, because that is only true if valid statistical measures and nominal RDD processes are followed. With no demographics cited, no range or dates or times when the poll was taken, no discussion of method (telephone, street, or how?) or sampling parameters, no evidence of weighting to match known census figures, there is no reason to believe the claims made.

There is a reason the newspaper neither cited the internal data, nor a way for readers to check out the claims for themselves.So, a big city MSM outlet is lying, no surprise there. But as we move into the summer and fall, count on fake polls being used more and more by Liberals, when facts just won’t support them.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

House of Representatives 2006

I did some looking around at DC’s Political Report, to do some research on the races for this fall. They have a nice color-coded map for each category of races, but what I found especially interesting is the choice of information options. In my case, I want to make up my own mind, and so I prefer raw data if at all possible. DCPR provides its own information, but also links to many other sources. One thing I keep finding despite this wealth of information, whether from DCPR, Cook Political Report, Real Clear Politics, or any of the other services out there, is the lack of definitive data on the House races. Yes, a lot of these services will sell you a subscription which opens the polling they have on those races, but ‘caveat emptor’ folks, the polling is a bit less than trustworthy as a barometer, for all the reasons any poll should be taken with a measure of salt. In the first place, the respondent pool is often not identified to any great degree, the size is too small for satisfactory accuracy, the methodology is not transparent, and the polls are not taken often enough to establish a realistic pattern.

So, without the polls, what is there to ride on? Well, there’s news and there’s news. The first news is History, which is both bad and good. Incumbents tend to get re-elected, unless they trip badly in the public view. This is both bad and good, because it means that the arrogance of your average elected official tends to only grow with time and re-election, but it also suggests that the present Republican majority in Congress (231 Republicans, 201 Democrats, 1 Independent, 2 Ghosts) is more likely to continue than the press contends. Since every House seat is to be decided this fall, the Conventional Wisdom suggests that unhappiness with the Republicans could lead to a change in leadership, but a closer look does not support this contention. While the possibility of a Democrat takeover is possible, the chances of it happening is a bit less than they claim.

You can figure this out by simply scanning headlines. Basically, two things make for change in the House; scandal and retirement. Retirements affect individual seats, so we’re really looking then on whether there is something to make the voters mad enough to make the switch to the other party. For that, you need at least two components – people have to be mad enough at the governing party to kick them out, and the other party has to offer some reason to believe they would be better. The 1994 ‘revolution’ in the House was built on both factors, and so was the 1930 change. Most of the changes, especially in the House, have otherwise been gradual, and for the Republicans to lose control, they need to lose 15 seats of the 231 they hold, and they must lose them to Democrats. That is, 15 out of 231 and assuming no incumbent Democrat loses. If, say, 3% of the Democrats lose their seats, that’s 6 seats so the Republicans would then need to lose 21 of their 231 for the Donks to gain control, or 9% of their position, three times the Democrats’ loss rate. While President Bush has recovered steadily in Approval since May, the same is not true for Congress, and Democrats do not enjoy a significant position of confidence, relative to Republicans.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This Is Not A Drill

North Korea puts long-range missile on pad, refuses to declare its intentions. U.S. increases alert status, moves interceptor missile defense system to 'operational'.

Bush’s Comeback? He NEVER Left!

It never occurs to some CINOs that the President was always right, and THEY were the ones who left?

Haditha, the Marines, and the Duty of Every American

In November 2005, something happened in the Anbar province town of Haditha. The twenty-four civilians who died November 19 included children, which is the sort of repugnant atrocity to turn any stomach. The questions are many, however, including who actually killed whom. The only rational course is to let the investigations work their way through the system, and to refrain from emotional rants or rash assumptions. It is also important to take note of known conditions:

• John Murtha, while it is true he once served in uniform, has unquestionably disgraced his service by his quick accusation of guilt and a cover-up, when in fact there is no evidence at all of any sort of cover-up, nor has responsibility for the killings been established. The man is now an immoral traitor, willing to defame Marines serving in combat zones simply to pursue his political agenda.

• There is no previous instance known where a squad or platoon of U.S. Marines has ever engaged in the conduct of deliberately killing civilians. In over two hundred years of service, this has never happened.

• On the other hand, terrorists in Iraq are infamous for the deliberate targeting of civilians, and show no regard for children or known innocents. Also it must be noted that terrorists and their allies have made false accusations before; it is not at all uncommon, given the desire by the thugs to damage the reputation of the Americans if they can do so, for terrorists to lie to the media and to investigators.

• Haditha is not a town of honest, law-abiding people, but a hotbed of insurrection and violence. The Marines went there to find arms caches and terrorists, after all, and they were there. The families and friends of terrorists are hardly reliable witnesses to tell a court what Americans did there.

So what does all this mean? We get fooled by shows like ‘CSI’, believing that any and all actions can be analyzed and quickly prove the guilt or innocence of a suspect. Real life is hardly so obliging, especially in a war zone. Most people do not even realize that basic forensics could not be performed in Haditha; there are no ‘incident scene’ photos or trajectory maps. There have not even been autopsies on the bodies, because Muslim tradition opposes disinterment and the families have resisted the NCIS investigation. The bodies have been buried, and with them the best opportunity to prove what really happened. Since the witness testimony is extremely biased at best and no forensic data will be available, the investigators are facing a difficult situation, where the actions must be inferred rather than conclusively determined. In all likelihood, the most likely course for the Judge Advocate General will be a series of interrogations, to see whose story fails to stay together, and what falls out from the repeated talks. It’s going to be a rough year for the Marines accused, even if it turns out that they did nothing wrong at all.

A word should be said here about Marines. I have a deep and serious respect for anyone who wears the uniform of my country, even more for those men who have had to go into combat. As a result, I do not like to delineate between the Reserves and the Regular Army, much less pick over details between the services. Each is unique and worthy of its honor. That said, when bullets start flying and the President wants a group on which he can depend, it most often falls to the Marines to do the hardest job, take the biggest risks, and bear the heaviest burden. When a man joins the Marines, he’d better plan on getting into a war somewhere, because the Marines are usually the first sent in, and often with less support than they need, and unfortunately they also receive less credit than they deserve. Liberals hate the Marines, because Marines are everything Liberals hate:

They are proud
They are strong
They are unabashedly patriotic
They love America, warts and all
They wear the sharpest uniforms, and carry the sharpest blades
They bathe regularly
They speak in proper English
They do not fail
They stick by each other like the closest of brothers

Small wonder then, that terrorists like al-Muhajer and their traitorous supporters like Murtha would want to smear the Marine Corps. Our duty, yours and mine, as Americans is clear – keep an open mind and let the investigation and the courts reach their conclusions, but in the meantime do not fail our military. Respect the men who wear the uniform and do not assume guilt where none has yet been proven, nor give credence to a vermin who would use politics to slander our bravest and truest heroes. If these men should be guilty, it will be determined and they would be unfortunate aberrations of a noble group, but if they prove innocent, we should be able to say we stood with these men when they needed us, not against them because some coward told a lie to the media.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Netwar versus Roachwar

Liberals have been cheering, albeit subtly, for the terrorists in the Middle East, especially since Osama bin Laden became the figurehead for Al Qaeda in the middle 1990s. While not quite praising him, some of the Left have used his organizational style to praise the effectiveness of a new type of conflict management, called “Netwar”. While the concept of Netwar is interesting and a valid innovation in some ways, it is not everything claimed for it, nor has Al Qaeda properly conducted a Netwar worthy of the name.

Netwar is not commonly understood outside of academia and think tanks, but in essence, Netwar is generally identified as a conflict managed through a decentralized command, bordering on diffused-authority. Netwar also involves the conditions of autonomous reaction, which enables “swarming”, an attack/defense action where all available forces converge where they are needed in effectively an instant response. The common interpretation by academics is usually that Netwar is more spontaneous than a defense can react to, and adapts to the enemy in such fluid motion to qualify as a significant force multiplier. The academics almost always make statements to the effect that governmental or military organizations (e.g. “state actors”) are unable to counter a functional Netwar effort. My contention, after examining real life conditions, is that Netwar is a sometimes-useful term for discussing tactics, but it should not be confused with strategic value, nor should bias be allowed to occlude significant facts from the discussion.

Since cheering for an organization which has tortured and murdered thousands of innocents, the academics shy away a bit from openly praising Al Qaeda, yet the implied respect for the terrorist group’s methods and structure is made evident by the way in which media and symposiums baldly claim that the group’s nature and almost egalitarian practices means that the Coalition forces cannot achieve their main objective, to wipe out Global Terrorism as a strategic threat. The bias in favor of the Left is further evidenced by studies of Netwar conflicts, such as the one by the RAND Corporation released in 2001; the report specifically pits the presumed ‘nonstate’ Netwar actors against an archaic and slow-responding 'Hierarchical State' actors; the report goes so far as to use the timid responses by the Clinton Administration as examples of contemporary American military abilities and postures. The Middle Eastern terrorists are favorably compared to such other Netwar cases as the 1999 “Direct Action Network” shutdown of the WTO conference, the actions of drug cartels in Colombia during the 1990s, and the rebels of East Timor in 1999. Such a one-sided and hasty assumption reflects the bias inherent in the practice, more than a little like judging a prize fight by only the first punch thrown. Arrogance has invalidated more than a few academics, and so it is here.

Netwar is a valid phenomenon to consider, but the issue should be seen in greater scope and better focus than the academics have been willing to consider up to now. For instance, the American military in Operation Desert Storm, especially the Armored forces, was a perfect example of Netwar well-designed and executed. Iraqi forces had far greater numbers, but the American tanks cooperated in seamless action, and their GPS-assisted navigation and communication not only avoided tank traps and bottlenecks, but also allowed U.S. forces to move rapidly and change plans on the fly; intercepted Iraqi communications released after the war showed disbelief that the Americans could move and adapt so fast as they did. And long before the term “swarming” was developed, AirLand doctrine taught on-scene commanders how to bring maximum force to bear on a selected target. It is a foolish mistake to compare modern American doctrine and training with any other nations, and a fatal one for a military commander opposing an American force. The mistakes which allowed Al Qaeda to survive and thrive prior to the 9/11 attacks were political, not military, and a matter of character much more than tactics.

In the time since the 9/11 attacks, the clear superiority of American Doctrine has been made evident by the results. Afghanistan is free from the Taliban, and women have voted there for the first time in that nation’s history. Saddam Hussein is sitting in a prison cell, on trial for some of his many atrocities. Uday and Qusay are quite dead, having failed to understand what it meant to be the focus of an American “swarm”. A number of infamous terrorists from recent history are also dead, including Abu Nidal and Carlos “The Jackal”. Most of Al Qaeda’s leadership is either dead or captured, including the noted and particularly vicious Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, amongst whose personal effects are significant intelligence prizes, including significant evidence that Al Qaeda is in desperate straits. Obviously the U.S. Army and Marine Corps have been much better at Netwar than the academics ever suspected “state actors” could manage, but what of Al Qaeda? In their case, what the academics called Netwar turned out instead to be merely Roachwar.

Roaches are the bane of any homekeeper; as soon as you see one you know there are many more in hiding, and it’s very difficult to get rid of them all. And if you take down to that level, what roaches do appears to be a lot like Netwar. After all, what one roach knows all roaches know, their communication is instant and they have been “swarming” when they felt like it for thousands of years. But any individual roach is not all that hard to kill. And roaches, like Al Qaeda, are not really all that adaptable. And more to the point, no matter how many roaches you are going up against, if you are serious about the matter you certainly can control the problem, and while it takes a while and some serious effort and thinking, the critters can be eradicated. Al Qaeda is proving to be much the same; carriers of a serious (moral) disease and numerous, indefatigable in their appetite and possessing no mind comparable to a normal person, that you might reason with them. But in the end, the imitation is no match for the real thing, and no roach ends up as anything more than a dirty carcass. So also Al Qaeda, if we are resolute and support the men clearing the Middle East of their infestation.

Why Republicans Are Better Than Democrats, Reason #10,247

A couple months backwhen the site owner of my old group digs started posting some very incendiary columns which I found unreasonable (and said so), I began receiving some interesting mail. Pretty much, the mail was from people who agreed with me, but wondered why I stuck around at that place, since I was clearly at odds with the site owner. When the site owner reached the decision that his group writers would be shown the door, I received more mail to the tone that the site owner of the old place had really blown his situation, and that I would be reasonable in showing him the back of my hand and basically deliverng a broadside. Without divulging the private communications between us, some of the other group writers were unhappy with the way the site owner addressed the situation, especially as statements were made, by him and by the first person he brought on board to replace us, which were distinctly lacking in accuracy and courtesy. These things happen, of course - even when people do not mean to do so, it is all to easy to say the wrong thing. Anyway, it surprises no one to hear, I am sure, that most of the former group writers have moved on to their new locales, and have not paid much, indeed if any, attention to their old group site. I, being weird, have seen things differently, and it seems to me worthwhile to explain.

First off, I am not deaf and dumb and blind to the things said. Without going into details of little interest outside the circle of people involved, I found that I was blamed for things I could literally never have done, and some of the other former group hosts have been badly insulted, and neither the site owner nor his new guest hosts has corrected these slanders. This is unfortunate and dishonorable of them, and I mention it only because it is why some the previous group hosts at are in no mood to promote the site. On the other side, to the best of my knowledge none of the former group hosts have made any false or defamatory statements against the site owner or any of his new guest hosts. One of our former number has criticized the site and its tone, but not beyond reason or merit.

Anyway, you might think that I would be giving the place a miss. Not at all, for a number of reasons. First off, I admit to a certain curiousity; the place was a home of sorts for two years, and one likes to know how family is getting on. Also, Oak Leaf in particular is - on the whole - an honorable and honest man, who has done a lot to keep the place running and post interesting and informative articles. Also, Oak Leaf has been kind enough to link to me and to certain other sites he finds worthwhile, and this in the face of some derision by his readers, showing a character that deserves respect and attention. I find rather a bit like I do Michelle Malkin or La Shawn Barber’s Corner; there are fascinating articles and I respect the individual, but I cannot in good conscience commend their sites, because all three have disrespected the office and the man of our sitting President. No big deal there, I have all the cumulative political influence of a stray dog, but it still matters to me that I am true to myself.

Anyway, finally getting to the point of this piece, I have seen a lot of mail suggesting I should tell off these sites, and it occurs to me that it is important to measure the response. Michelle Malkin, for example, is dead wrong in the way she disrespects George W. Bush on Immigration, just as others are, but she still makes valid points in other areas, and it is also critically important that we Republicans understand the distinctions. That is, Republicans do not and should not respond to challenges the way Democrats do. George W. Bush deserves much better support and respect than he gets from Republicans, but it is still valid to challenge him when you disagree, especially in a way which moves the debate towards a better result. Democrats tend to either fall behind the leader or shout down ideas; it never occurs to them to work through a matter to reach a functional result. Even the staunchest Conservative was willing to reconsider the possibility that the Iraq War was a mistake, but no leading Democrat has ever been willing to publically consider whether Bush’s decision was right - including many Democrats who actually voted for the war. This is actually typical of Democrats; they never consider that a considered evaluation, even of their opponent, could lead to more productive results. Not to be mean, but this is the same think-lock which killed off the Soviet Politburo - when the five-year plans started failing, they never stepped back and reconsidered other, better, options. Every decision, especially after the death of Breshnev, was all-or-nothing, and they ended up with ‘nothing’. So, annoying as it is to read unwarranted insults lobbed at Dubya from self-proclaimed ‘conservatives’, it is actually a healthy sign for the party. We can listen to our wingnuts, chuckle, and make the right decision. The Democrats listen, it seems, only to their wingnuts moonbats.

UPDATE - I have been advised that the correct technical term for the Left is 'moonbat', not 'wingnut'. Thanks Mark!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Pence Bill

Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind) has submitted a bill for Immigration Reform and Border Control. It takes a while to read, so I am posting a few brief observations, and will post more when I have digested the thing.

First off, this is going to test the study skills of Congressional staffers. At 280 pages, no politician is going to read it. That means the smart ones will ask their staff what it says, and follow up later with questions about specifics. The dumb ones will ask what they should say, and parrot the party line. As a point of trivia, if every Congressman has five staffers print out this baby, it will eat up 1,230 reams of paper.

With fourteen "titles" in it, this is a freaking omnibus type thing, but at first glance, I found the following sections worth pointing out:

Title XIV - Temporary guest Worker Program - Section 1402 creates a new "nonimmigrant" visa category, Section 1405 restricts eligible benefits, Section 1406 has an English requirement, and Section 1407 notes a fee for this certification. This is a good place to start, because it's likely to be the most controversial.

Title I, Section 101 notes "Achieving operational control on the border".

Section 111 addresses airspace security, which is a key focus to border control.

Section 117 notes "consultation" with businesses and firms, indicating that specific requirements and penalties may still be in planning, although Title VII addresses Employment, particularly Section 702 for the verification process, and Section 706 for penalties.

Title II ratchets up penalties for smuggling, noted in Section 205. Section 219 addresses reducing the immigration backlog, which is important to decreasing demand for illegal crossings by non-violent entrants. Sections 221 and 222 discuss how to bring State and Local law enforcement onto the same page for enforcing the law, and also how to pay for it.

Title IV, Section 410 discusses making sure immigration violators are added to the NCIC database.

Title VI addresses the more dangerous illegals, especially terrorists, criminals, gangs, drunk drivers, and producers of false credentials (Sections 601, 602, 603, 604, 606, 618, and 619)

Title X addresses fencing and walls, with Section 1002 focused on construction improvements, consolidation, and cost.

Title XII enforces an "Oath of renunciation and allegiance". You can cheer for Mexico in the World Cup, but if you are going to be here, you better promise to be an American (Section 1202).

All in all, you might find it interesting how much this looks a lot like what Dubya promised all along, just this one has a lot of detail, and is harder for cynics to heckle.