Friday, May 26, 2006

The Tipping Point in the Immigration Discussion

For months now, as immigration has been discussed almost nightly on Lou Dobbs (which I never watch) or fairly regularly on Glenn Beck (which I listen to when I can) I've had trouble getting worked up over the issue. I know it should matter to me whether immigrants that came here illegally can stay or go or have a job or get in-state does matter, I guess. I mean, I often have an opinion on such issues, but can't bring myself to engage in a lot of dialogue about them.

Until now.

Before today, all I really knew about the Immigration Bill passed in the Senate this week, was that it provided for a fence, which I saw as an improvement over no fence. Then I heard Glenn say this morning that the Senate bill (among other things) gives in-state tuition to immigrants and actually asks for less fence then the House bill. (by the way, Beck said also that he thinks that Senate isn't as serious about immigration because only 1/3 of the members are answerable to the people in November, while the entire House is up for re-election.)

So, while those items were frustrating, they didn't hold my ire.

NRO has an editorial this morning about the bill, here's what really showed me that what is going on in the Senate is, in fact, Temporary Madness:

The bill forbids the federal government to use any information included in an application for amnesty in national-security or criminal investigations. Any federal agent who does use that information would be fined $10,000 - which is five times more than an illegal alien would have to pay to get the amnesty. The Senate, on a tie vote, defeated John Cornyn's (R., Tex.) attempt to rectify these provisions.

You have got to be kidding me.

Where's the uproar over this? Why is it sticking out in an editorial, but no where else? Where's the list of Senators who voted this down?

It's one thing to say that people have amnesty, and will not be punished for illegally coming into this country in the first place, but it's something else entirely to say that they are also protected from investigations involving national security.

Consider the following scenario:
Terrorist X, proud member of Al Qaeda, is living in the US. He snuck over the border from Mexico a few months before 9/11, and he knew some of the bombers, but not well. More importantly, he knows some guys that are here legally, that are making some plans. Terrorist X wants to be involved and to have official documents in order to ride planes with his pals. He's excited over the amnesty program, and knows that he doesn't have to worry about making up stories for his paper work because the Federal authorities can't use any of it to capture other terrorists.

Unbelievable. I mean, I just made that all up, but it isn't that far outside the realm of possibility.

If these provisions are not left out of the final bill, and if I had the money, I'd start a fund for the federal agents to help them pay their $10,000 fines for national-security investigations.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Like I was saying...

Things are going pretty well with America's economy:
It's a steady economy.

Economic pundits keep telling us about the impending slowdown. Well, they've been waiting for a slowdown for years. Actually, I've heard about this slowdown for 25 years, ever since Reagan restructured and revived American capitalism through low tax rates, deregulation, and disinflation.

The reality is about 3.5 percent growth since the early 1980's with very few interruptions. Total employment and wealth creation have soared during this entire span of time.

There's a lesson here: Tax incentives matter. Price stability matters. Markets are smarter than central planners.

Yes, those things matter. Much like Republican majorities in the Senate :)

(HT: Instapundit-even though he has a little less grace for Congress...)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Purpose, Contentment & Motivation

Tonight I was reading the May 22nd issue of Newsweek (that sounds current, but it came out last week, I got it second hand). There was an article written by a woman with a Master of Science degree...but she wasn't really using it. She was delivering pizzas. And she had chosen this job. Twice. She claims to love it, and I believe her. There's a lot of things I do that I love...but I don't know that I always like that fact that I'm doing some of them as a job instead of a different job. And after reading it I thought, I don't want to be like this when I'm 43. I don't want to be working at a restaurant or baby-sitting or tutoring and also be happy about it.

One of the big reasons that I am willing to give away my hard earned money to the Republican senate candidates, is because I believe Republican majorities are good for the economy and thus good for my job-finding prospects. The President may have sad approval ratings and people may answer polls saying they think the country is going in the wrong direction or whatever...but the reality is that none of this is stopping everyone from spending money. High gas prices aren't stopping people from buying new cars - even SUVs, or driving around town all day or driving across country on vacation. The economy is in great shape, and I sincerely believe Republicans in Congress will help keep it there and keep me hopeful about getting a full-time job that doesn't involve cash tips :)

And, whether you like DeWine or not, we need to look at the big picture :)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Bleeding Red

Well, Hugh Hewitt has done it again. He has posted a list of links to all the GOP Senators and Senate candidates that need monetary help in this year's election. Why is it important? Well, as Hugh says:
It is a lot of money, but the stakes are incredibly high, including success in the war and the ability to confirm good judges to the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts.

In fact, no matter what the problem is, the answer can't be more Democrats.

That's exactly right. We can argue about all the things that Republicans may be doing wrong, but at least we can agree that the Democrats won't be doing anything more right. :)

Now, I may still be getting mail from South Dakota's Sen. Thune, Alaska's Sen. Lisa Murkowski and others to whom I gave money in '04, but it was worth it. Except in the case of that guy from Florida....

Anyway, it's short list, and I'm only mildly self employed and still willing to give. So far I've hit Sen. Kyl, Mark Kennedy and of course, Mike DeWine. Go Buckeyes!

It doesn't take very long at all. In fact, I think it will take longer to set up this post than to make those 3 contributions. So, what are you doing today to keep the Senate in GOP hands? I saw Ted Kennedy live on the Senate floor last week, and we really don't need to see him in charge of any committees, please :)

UPDATE: After I wrote this post, I went and hit
* Santorum (because PA is right next door)
* Steele (because I'm always hearing about the vast amount of liberal influence in Maryland)
*Talent (because Missouri is a good swing state in which to have republican Senators for '08)

I don't usually talk about charitable contributions - but afterall, this isn't charity, it's the Senate majority...conservatives in charge of every committee. (Taxes are more like charity than this is...)

And, since Hugh kindly used me as an example this afternoon, I thought I should probably add the updates.

Monday, May 08, 2006

"Israelis Foil Hamas Plot to Kill Palestinian President"

Who knew about this?
Cliff May wants to know: Why isn't this big news?

That's a good question. The Ranger said the same thing yesterday. My guess: If the Israeli government is willing to help the Palestinian President stay alive in the face of assassination, that shows integrity on their part and casts Hamas in a relatively bad light. That is something the press would not want to do. It's much better to cast the Palestinians as civilian "freedom fighters" and the Israelis as military oppressors.

Email Image

Special thanks to Joe at Evangelical Outpost for his Yak Shaving Razor Anniversary Edition because it pointed me to the Email Icon Generator. As you can see, my email address is now displayed as an image. I'm hoping this will decrease the amount I spam I get to my email account, but we will see.

Also, I am a relative novice at displaying images on a blog, so I didn't know how to turn a web address into a displayed image. So I viewed Joe's source code to find out. I was planning to display the html code here, but I couldn't figure out how to display the code instead without meaning it to be actual code. So you can go to View -> Source
here on my page to find out how I did it, or send me an email.

And hey, if you know how to display code without making it code, that would be a great email too. Thank You!

Friday, May 05, 2006

On-going Goss

I was tired of psychotically updating this post, so I thought I'd start a new one about the Goss resignation. However, there's not much to say. Blogs are writing about the story, but there's not too much to say. With all of Shep Smith's Studio B assertions that he'd find the story, no one knows anything.
Though I think there might be something to John Podhoretz's observations:
doubt there's a big scandal here, if only because the president chose to appear with Goss to announce the resignation. If Goss were somehow implicated in matters relating to Duke Cunningham, say, there's no way on earth Bush would have made such a friendly show of his departure. Seems more likely to me that there was some kind of showdown between Goss and Negroponte and Negroponte said, "Either he goes or I go," and there Goss went.

Either way, it seems that the idea of the "White House shake-up" is becoming less and less accepted. Score another one for Bill Kristol and his initial skepticism.

Jim's Contribution

From TKS:
Dear Central Command,

A quick thought and piece of advice on the tape of Zarqawi not understanding how to use the machine gun, and his idiot buddy burning his hand on the barrel, etc. Great work, but next time, add wacky sound effects. Promote it as "al-Qaeda's Funniest Home Videos." Have Ashton Kusher appear and declare that Zarqawi has been "punk'd."

And if you can fiddle with the audio, give Zarqawi the voice of Minnie Mouse. Can you imagine his followers' mortification if their fearless leader had a squeaky little "girly man" voice?

Just thinking outside the box here. Keep up the good work,


Ha :)

Die-hard Ohio Republicans

I missed this earlier in the week, but here's a tidbit of what Michael Barone has to say about Ohio and the Primary this past week: [via Hugh Hewitt]:
Now we have more than polls to go on: Ohioans voted yesterday in the two parties' primaries. There's some bad news in the results for Republicans, but not as bad as I expected. Ohio does not have party registration, so every voter gets to choose which party's primary he will vote in. The aggregate of those choices has some relevance to the general election result. It can't be considered anything like a precise forecast, of course. But one of the hypotheses strategists of both parties have been considering is that Republican turnout may be down this year relative to Democratic turnout. Republicans are downcast, the theory goes, angry at their party's high spending and their president's stand on immigration; and in Ohio that goes double, for Ohio's Republican state government has raised taxes. Democrats, on the other hand, the theory goes, are fired up, angry at George W. Bush and the Republican Congress and, in Ohio, at Taft and the Republicans.

That's right. It's a THEORY. John Kerry has been trying to sell the badness of Ohio since the election. The place is not burning down and Republicans are not discouraged. Furthermore, the lack of party registration is a huge thing to consider. In the '04 primary I took a Democrat ballot because I wanted to vote among the Democrat candidates, knowing that President Bush was (thankfully) a forgone conclusion for the Republican nomination.
Anyway, Barone continues:
Republican primary turnout in total votes was the highest this year in the past 25 years.

The Republican percentage of primary turnout was 51.6 yesterday, down 2.6 percentage points from 2002 (when turnout for both parties was a 25-year low) but almost exactly the same as in 1998 and 1994.

People may be turned off by politics and politicians, but they're still voting like crazy—or at least in greater numbers than in the recent past. And people may be turned off by Republicans, but a lot of Republicans are still voting. ... Somehow, despite all the discouraging news and dismal poll numbers, there are a lot of plodding, dull, dutiful people, too stubborn to take instruction from their betters in the mainstream media, who insist on going out and voting Republican. Hard to explain. But that's what the numbers seem to say.

If you want a lot more numbers, read it all. Barone has a lot of numbers and a lot of good analysis.

What's the deal with Goss?

He's resigning. Any guesses why?

I'm seriously asking that question because it's been less than two years and apparently this was his dream job. I hope he's not resigning because a handful of big mouths who work for him can't keep from leaking whatever they feel like leaking to their buddies in the press.


UPDATE: Bill Kristol is predicting on FoxNews that neither President Bush nor Porter Goss wanted this to happen so "something else" must have happened to cause this "sudden resignation." And Bill Kristol is after all the star predictor.

UPDATE #2: Chris Wallace is reporting that he talked to someone who said that this was part of the "White House" shake-up. Hmm. I suppose, but...Porter Goss doesn't work in the White House.

UPDATE #3: Bill Kristol is skeptical of Chris Wallace's info. But Goler is reporting again that this is part of a shake-up. We shall see.

Monday, May 01, 2006

If Only...

CNN's current graphic is calling this "A Day Without Immigrants."

I wonder if the person who came up with that title is himself a protestor...or not.

Because when I see that I think "We can only have one day? Is there any way to extend the offer?"