I'm blogging and working from under some evergreen trees, enjoying the breeze, and the amazing fresh air. The in-laws neighbours, who go to the same church as they do, have a wireless connection I can reach only from the front yard picnic table.
Tomorrow morning its off to church, and then camping for the rest of the day and evening. Let's not forget the heroes who make our celebrations possible through their sacrifices. Take a moment to remember and pray for our men and women in combat--for the safety and continued success.
Letting Vicente Take Credit for the Immigration Bill
Publius Pundit gives us something positive that can result from the mushy immigration bill that came out of the Senate. If you have been following the news of Vicente Fox's visit to the US, you might have heard that he is taking credit for the passing of the immigration bill. A.M. Mora y Leon had this to say.
Go on, let him take credit.
Vicente Fox’s center-right, free-market PAN party, and its candidate, Felipe Calderon, is likely to reap big.
This is good news for everyone, including us in the U.S.
The PAN party is running on a platform of job creation, and of opening Mexico’s closed energy sector to put Hugo Chavez out of business and provide more oil for us since the clowns in U.S. Congress still don’t get it about offshore drilling.
Mexico’s gains in transparency, in better market regulation, in sound stable currency, in fiscal discipline and in a rising stock market - and believe it or not, job creation - will continue apace and not be rolled back by an inward-looking Hugo-Chavez-style populist in Mexico.
Let's hope that greater transparency means reduction in corruption, and better opportunities for every hard working Mexican--not just those with connections.
Critics Say Bill Diminishes Due Process for Immigrants?
Diminishes due process? They are here illegaly! The bill is meant to secure the borders, and yes--enforce the LEGAL (due) process of immigrants. Hidden traps--thats what they call enforcement...hmm.
The legislation approved by the Senate yesterday would offer many illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship. But advocates of expanded immigration rights complain that "hidden traps" woven through the bill's 300 pages erode significant due-process protections for all foreign-born people living in the United States.
A coalition of civil rights, religious and legal groups says the legislation would make it easier for the government to detain or deport immigrants -- whether in the country legally or not -- while making it more difficult for them to prove they deserve asylum or naturalization.
Well, if you have a hard time proving you deserve asylum or naturalization, perhaps it will make others consider immigrating legaly...now thats a novel idea!!
Whatever it is that passed in the Senate yesterday is NOT what will be law. Thank God! But it is yet to be seen what comes out of conference. One thing I know HAS to stay there is a good solid fence--physical and electronic. The question of the year is--at what cost?
Like all good politicians, this bill has turned into an entitlement giveaway and in its present state, it is full of large holes! Spend, spend, spend--even if we don't have enough to go around. But, what else is new? And never mind about the details of how we are going to enforce the specifics of the law...
The Senate approved a wide-ranging overhaul of immigration laws Thursday, voting 62-36 to bolster security at the Mexican border and to grant many illegal immigrants a path toward citizenship.
But the inclusion of that path sets the stage for a battle with the House of Representatives, which passed a stricter bill in December.
Several senators said after the vote that President Bush's participation in the political maneuvering will be key to crafting a compromise.
"I believe we can do it," Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, told reporters. "I believe the president will put a very heavy shoulder to the wheel."
The way they split who is eligible for what is what has me most concerned about this bill--it is just asking for abuse. What sort of proof do they require? From what I have heard, its a lot easier to fake than a Social Security card--and we know illegals can easily get those!
Under the Senate bill, he said, those who have been in the country two to five years would enter a temporary-worker program, while those inside longer would be eligible for legal status or citizenship after an 11-year probationary period. They would first have to meet other criteria, including learning English, and paying a penalty and back taxes.
Under the Senate legislation, illegal immigrants in the United States less than two years would be returned to their home countries.
Authorizes enhanced border security measures, including the addition of a 370-mile, triple-layer fence along the border.
Authorizes President Bush's plan to send 6,000 National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexican border.
Bars those convicted of felonies or three misdemeanors from becoming legal residents or citizens.
Punishes employers who hire illegal immigrants with a fine up to $20,000 and three years in prison after an electronic verification system is established.
Creates a guest-worker program that would allow workers to work in the country for three years and be eligible for a three-year extension. The number of temporary-worker visas would be limited to 200,000 per year.
Establishes a three-tiered path-to-citizenship program, which divides the 11 million to 12 million illegal workers in the United States into three groups:
Illegal immigrants here for more than five years could gain their citizenship after working for six years, learning English and paying a penalty and back taxes.
Illegal immigrants here from two to five years would have to return to an entry point and apply for a guest-worker program.
Workers here less than two years would have to return to their countries of origin.
Declares English the "national" language of the United States.
Also declares English the "common and unifying" language of the United States.
UPDATE: I got to sit in on the show during the start of the second hour, so I missed this. He's right--to many talking heads doing a lot of talking, without having read what they are talking about. This is why I have not talked about it.
You owe it to yourself to know what this guy is saying, and about the looming confrontation we're facing as a nation, and what the next two elections here will say about whether we're going to face up to it or not.
But, during the second segment (I think) of the second hour, Hugh made a striking comment on the similarities Iranian's expatriates are feeling these days--seeing how Mahmoud Ahmadinejead is destroying Iran,--and what Cuban's feel about what castro has done to Cuba. It's not very often you hear that sort of comparison.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejead and Castro--two monsters of the same kind. After all, its not about ideology, about making life better for the people, or even about any sort of religious beliefs. Like Hugh's guest said, at the end its all about power.
This was the second reading of economic growth for the first three months of the year. The government revises the data twice after each initial estimate and its final tally of first-quarter performance will not be available for another month.
Somewhat surprisingly, spending on housing was moderately stronger than had been initially thought, growing at a revised 3.1 percent rate instead of 2.6 percent estimated a month ago. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress last month that one of the reasons economic growth was likely to moderate in coming months was that housing markets were showing signs of softening.
But of course, no one is going to give credit where credit is due--less taxes among other things. Remeber those words come election: "Reduce the taxes" Democrats won't do it. Republicans will. Its a choice.
Diario La Prensa, Spanish language Honduran newspaper, reports that approximately 150 Cubans have arrived in Honduras escaping castro's prison island. Four women and 13 men where the last to arrive on the 20th, taking them 12 days in open seas due to bad weather.
A married couple, Rodyn Brito and Eslen González said their objective was to get to the US, as "they could no longer live in Cuba."
Would you be willing to risk your life and spend 12 days in open seas in bad weather to find freedom? What sort of country would cause such desperation? Think about that next time you read some pro-castro propaganda in the papers.
Enforcement becomes more and more urgent. Half-baked enforcement will only continue to endanger lives, and enrich coyotes willing to risk human life for a buck. I'm glad to hear about more use of technology, improved detection methods, etc. Read this story.
The stocky 28-year-old from Oaxaca had followed the smuggler into a vast labyrinth of drainage pipes under Otay Mesa, a booming commercial area of San Diego 15 miles southeast of downtown.
The 23-mile network leads to about 500 manholes scattered across about three square miles. From those openings into the bowels of the city, mud-covered migrants crawl out into streets, busy intersections and parking lots, creating a dizzying guessing game for U.S. Border Patrol agents.
"They're popping up all over the place," said Joe Perez, the agent in charge of the area.
The migrant traffic below truck-clogged streets and new office parks underscores the persistence and desperation of people faced with crossing one of the most heavily fortified sections of the border.
Illegal crossings will soon get even tougher. President Bush is sending 6,000 National Guard troops to the border, Congress is mulling its own enforcement plans and starting next month this busy frontier across from Tijuana will be monitored by remote surveillance cameras.
Mexican President Vicente Fox said Wednesday that immigration is the most pressing challenge to the relationship between his country and the United States, but is also their greatest opportunity.
Oh, ya--he left out the part about how embarrassing it is that so many Mexicans can't find work, and don't want to live there.
How about the embarrassment that US dollars sent back by families is higher than the total profits from oil sales to the US! He is an embarrassment to his people--him and all corrupt government officials that line their pockets and sink their people further into poverty.
Sometimes, I wish I had the powers of the Joshua of Biblical times, who in need of a few more hours to defeat their enemies, called out to the sun to stop on its path. Scripture says the sun stayed in its place--I forget for how long--allowing Joshua and the Israelite armies to defeat their enemies.
Now, I'm not fighting any war--other than the war of ideas--but I sure could use a few more hours! This is all just to say sorry for the lack of posts today. I'm on deadline to code some major sections of a new site, and was not able to even take a short break to comment on the events of the day.
I did want to mention that I am now blogging over at TownHall.com's C-Log, under the leadership of Steve Muscatello. Steve and I are now co-workers, since my employer aquired TownHall.com (I know there is a press release somewhere, but I can't find it). Today, to start off, I just reposted some comments already posted here. I hope you will make me look good, and head on over and add it to your blogroll and bookmarks list.
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.
In case you are having a hard time remembering what are the issues at stake:
...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.
I'll ad the protection of marriage, and reduced spending. I know the GOP is not doing great in the area of spending, but over time, we CAN pressure them into changing...the democrats are certainly not going to spend any less!! And, do you expect the left to do anything about the Marriage Protection amendment? Doubt it.
Here is the list. These ten GOP Senate candidates are "best positioned to either retain their seats or take a blue seat red."
I'll be walking the walk, and submitting my contributions first thing in the morning or later tonight, after I have talked it over with the wife. Who can beat me to the punch? If you contribute , let me know, and I'll link to your blog right here.
Update: After talking to my wonderful and frugal wife, I'm sorry to say I won't be able to rise to the full challenge, but I'm not staying sitting down. I've already submitted my first, 25$ to Steele in Maryland. This is my wife's home state and in serious need of some Red Paint. I'll be doing two more tomorrow morning... join in the fun!
Here is McGill's link to put in your support. He wants $1000 to $2000 -- piece of cake for a couple hundred supporters. I'm inviting other bloggers to join me--copy and paste the donate button below and get your readers involved. It's a couple missed Starbuks visits--no big deal!
My opponent Maxine Waters is finally spending money in the primary, for the first-time in her 16 year congressional career. At this point, the best fundraising activity would be through my website. On the homepage of www.carlmcgill.com, there is a fundraiser page link,which leads to credit card or atm (with Visa or Mastercard logo) able donations from $5 to $1,000. If I could receive donations totaling $1,000 - $2,000 in the next couple of days, it would help me with some signs.
If could get 200 or more to donate $10 or $20 through my website, that would be very helpful.
Thank you for your support,
Checks or money orders can be mailed to:
Carl McGill for Congress, 5155 W. Rosecrans Ave. Suite 1022, Hawthorne, CA 90250
Slow weekend--taking a break and enjoying the arts
For the regular readers who may have been wondering where I was over the weekend, I spent it with family, and went on Saturday evening to the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE. We enjoyed Beethoven Symphony No. 9, directed by David Amado and performed by the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. It was magnificent, and an enjoyable time with my wife and the in-laws.
I'm making serious attempts to ensure I prioritize and spend the necessary time with my wife and away from the computer. Since internet is spotty at best at my in-laws, I just relaxed, worked on a few chapters of The History of the American People (by Paul Johnson) and just bummed around! It was great!
This sort of thing will happen from time to time, and I think I won't always be letting readers know. But never fear--I'll always be back and refreshed ready for more. I've already posted a couple quick comments about the news from the weekend. Hope you all had a great weekend.
Brendan Loy: "Mayor who fiddled while New Orleans drowned has been re-elected"
They said it best. I just couldn't believe my ears when I heard. Nagin's incompetence is so evident--why is it that a majority of a city just can't see the facts? What sort of worldview would allow a human being to believe that this major is what's best for New Orleans? It's hard to comprehend--they live in a different dimension!
Glenn Reynolds: Louisiana's political class isn't just greedy -- it's greedy and stupid. Louisiana will pay the price. And probably complain of unfairness when it does.
I was watching the race on TV at a Applebees Saturday night--it's terrible. Everyone in the restaurant stopped talking and eating, and where watching the TV screens when it happened. I hope the horse doesn't have to be put down.
Barbaro sustained "life-threatening injuries" after breaking bones above and below his right rear ankle at the start of the Preakness Stakes.
"You do not see this severe injury frequently because the fact is most horses that suffer this typically are put down on the race track," said Richardson, the chief of surgery for the center. "This is rare."
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