Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Here's to affirmative action

The Supreme Court has ruled on the New Haven Firefighters case and perhaps now we can return to a time of reason. But we have a long way to go.
Affirmative action is alive a well. It is deeply entrenched in our society, to the point of being absurd.

For example, our local community college is greatly concerned about the "underserved" or "underrepresented" students, namely "minorities, women and persons with disabilities." Meetings and money are devoted to "outreach."

The goal is to have the college reflect the general demographics of the community...well, except they want extra "minorities, women and persons with disabilities."

Here are two charts that accompany a call for more Hispanic outreach for minority students and faculty.
On the far right (under the heading "District 509 %") is the make-up of the general population served by the community college. The other three columns show the race/ethnicity of the students each year.

One would conclude that we need to reach out to black and white students, but the college is actually reaching out to Latino students instead.

Here we have the percentage of new faculty hires from 2003 to 2005, compared to the general population.

A rational person would conclude that they aren't hiring enough whites. Blacks could use some emphasis as well. And yet the college is looking for more Hispanic teachers.

Meanwhile, Senator Dick Durbin continues to push his DREAM Act, making sure illegal aliens get their college education.

It really isn't a matter of fairness or statistical balance, it is postmodernism and it's crusade to kill western civilization. The Eurocentrists have had their day, preaching their "truth" to students.

The time has come for them to step aside and allow others to teach their "constructs" for a while.

In the news this week we have been given shocking details about the politically connected getting preferential treatment at Illinois universities.

Between minority outreach, Durbin's deportables, and the families of elected officials it seems impossible for a white kid with good grades to get into college these days.

Whenever Sotomayor talks of her preferential treatment as a student I picture in my mind's eye a white boy from Jersey with an A average who was bumped from Princeton so Sonya could be admitted. Where is he today? Perhaps he would be a better choice for the Supreme Court.

But in our day we have long since practiced Critical Legal Theory, the idea that the rule of law is less important than shifting the power to the underserved. They say the law cannot be neutral; it is colored with the wishes of those in power.

And Sotomayor is a firm believer that law is power and has been in the hands of white men far too long. And such an attitude leaves no room for the rule of law.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Schumer plan

Senator Chuck Schumer from New York (Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration) offers this plan for comprehensive immigration reform on June 24th, the day before the Obama summit at the White House.

“1. Illegal immigration is wrong, and a primary goal of comprehensive immigration reform must be to dramatically curtail future illegal immigration.”
He’s right; deterrence is a key element.

“2. Operational control of our borders--through significant additional increases in infrastructure, technology, and border personnel--must be achieved within a year of enactment of legislation.”
Remember when Dad used to promise you he was going to take you fishing? It was always “later”, never “right now.” His phrase “within a year of enactment” doesn’t exactly do much for me. Remember House Bill 4437 in December of 2005. That would have been a good time to get serious about enforcement rather than debate it.
Schumer touts a decline in border crossing traffic. Duh! We don’t have any jobs right now.
The picture he paints of the current level of border security is far too rosy to reflect reality. Perhaps Schumer should read some of the recent reports, like the Operation Red Zone report from May 14th of this year.

“3. A biometric-based employer verification system—with tough enforcement and auditing—is necessary to significantly diminish the job magnet that attracts illegal aliens to the United States and to provide certainty and simplicity for employers.”
Come now, Senator. After fighting mandatory E-Verify all these years and keeping the funding in limbo you can’t make this suggestion with a straight face.
Surely you know that most illegal aliens working today did not have high quality forged documents and would have been denied employment under Basic PILOT or E-Verify.
As for biometric ID, we have neither the time nor the resources to create another US-VISIT fiasco.

“4. All illegal aliens present in the United States on the date of enactment of our bill must quickly register their presence with the United States Government—and submit to a rigorous process of converting to legal status and earning a path to citizenship—or face imminent deportation.”
Well, I guess you weren’t listening to Kris Kobach when he testified before you in April. Simple math reveals that we don’t have any way to process 12 million people coming forward at one time.
And your statement suggests that there will be no time test for qualifying. In 1986 it was four years. This plan implies no date. May I suggest that if this idea gets any traction at all we’ll see hordes at the border trying to be here by the date of passage.

“5. Family reunification is a cornerstone value of our immigration system. By dramatically reducing illegal immigration, we can create more room for both family immigration and employment-based immigration.”
Family reunification is a demographic disaster with no end in sight. It is perhaps the fatal flaw of 1965. Chain migration is unacceptable. Period.

“6. We must encourage the world’s best and brightest individuals to come to the United States and create the new technologies and businesses that will employ countless American workers, but must discourage businesses from using our immigration laws as a means to obtain temporary and less-expensive foreign labor to replace capable American workers.”
Roy Beck says the golden age of immigration was 1925-1965, when we truly were admitting the world’s best and brightest.
Was Schumer’s hidden message to the SEIU? That he understands and agrees with their demand that guest worker programs are unacceptable to the union leaders? That they want these workers to be permanent with a path to citizenship? I think so.

“7. We must create a system that converts the current flow of unskilled illegal immigrants into the United States into a more manageable and controlled flow of legal immigrants who can be absorbed by our economy.”
Perhaps a better plan would be to employ our own people first, especially the unskilled and entry-level (teen) workers. Certainly Schumer recognizes that foreign workers not only impact wages but benefits and working conditions as well.

Schumer’s plan gives the appearance of action but in reality merely seeks license to allow amnesty and increase quotas…with a promise to fix the problems they’ve neglected. He’s learned well from the master, Ted Kennedy.

Read Schumer’s press release here:
http://schumer.senate.gov/new_website/record.cfm?id=314990

Obama's misconceptions on immigration reform

“We need a (sic) effective way to recognize and legalize the status of undocumented workers who are here.”

Amnesty is not widely accepted in the United States. If you phrase the question “just so” you’ll get a majority. But if you point-blank ask if we should reward those who entered the country illegally with amnesty, the majority will tell you “no.”

Schumer is fond of saying that America approves of the immigrant but disapproves of the illegal alien. He’s right. But then Washington gets busy with the lipstick and Americans can see right through it.

And with people taking to the streets in Illinois for social services, they don’t want freeloaders from other countries competing for a piece of the pie. Health insurance? Well, look at the foreign-born and tell me sponsorship is working. It isn’t.

“I have asked my Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Janet Napolitano, to lead up a group…” It was wrong for Bush to use Chertoff and it’s wrong for Obama to use Napolitano. Her job is to enforce the law and look for terrorist threats; and she has a very full plate. She has no business lobbying for amnesty. Wanna solve 12 million problems at ICE? Legalize them and,“Viola!”, the problems go away. What nonsense!

“I am confident that if we enter into this with the notion that this is a nation of laws that have to be observed…” Did he just say that right after telling us that we need to legalize 12 million people who are here illegally? Does that make any sense?

How do you send the message that we are serious about our laws when we offer to legalize the very people who have shown a complete disregard for those laws?

So that’s the start on June 25th at the big summit on comprehensive immigration reform.

Release from White House here:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-after-meeting-with-members-of-Congress-to-discuss-immigration/

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Iran question

The way I see it, Obama is wise not to say too much about Iran. If you don't like the way Iraq is shaping up, you really won't like Iran.

Like Iraq under Sadam, Iran is being run be a tyrant. Unlike Iraq, that tyrant happens to be a Muslim cleric. And the Ayatollah calls all the shots. That's why he declared the winner of the recent election.

This guy Ahmadinejad has about as much real power as Joe Biden. He's great for funerals but isn't in charge of anything.

Iran is 89% Shia and the world's #4 oil producer.
Iraq is 60-65% Shia and #13 for oil.

So the strident Iranian foreign policy comes to us from the Ayatollah. Who in their right mind wants to fight a theocracy, right after we told the world in Egypt how we want to embrace Islam.

Now, had this been in the pre-Carter days we might have done something with the CIA's DDT (Department of Dirty Tricks) but those days are over. You know, human rights, self-determination, no regime-change efforts...all that political fodder that has given power to terrorists the world over.

And if I recall, we once left the Kurds high-and-dry in Iraq.

Besides, we've got two wars going already and we owe most of the troops a rest after extending tours of duty over and over again.

So, we have no army and we lack the political will to back up our support for the protesters. Obama can shoot his mouth off but not much else. To overthrow Iran is to overthrow militant Islam.

A little military trivia for you: The Iraqi military modified the SCUD missiles to give them more distance. What did they name the new missile?

Answer: al Hussein

Sunday, June 21, 2009

When your number's up...

Mexican gunmen stop ambulance, kill patient inside
By GUSTAVO RUIZ, The Associated Press
7:10 p.m. June 19, 2009

MORELIA, Mexico — Gunmen tossed a grenade at an ambulance and then opened its doors to kill a patient inside who had narrowly survived an earlier shooting in a drug cartel-plagued Mexican state Friday. Paramedics ran for their lives during the attack.

Vehicles carrying four masked gunmen cut off the ambulance around 2 a.m. as it carried the 23-year-old man to a hospital in Morelia, the capital on Michoacan state, according to a report from the state prosecutor's office.

Assailants tossed a fragmentation grenade at the ambulance, setting it on fire, and the two paramedics ran away, according to the police report. The gunmen then opened the back doors and fired at the patient and his wife, who was accompanying him.

The man died and the 20-year-old woman was listed in serious condition. No arrests have been made.

They always get their man. Yikes!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Reverend's OTHER Job

Elvira Arellano, took refuge in the church of Reverend Walter L. "Slim" Coleman for a year.

Emma Lozano with Governor Quinn receiving a human rights award from the State of Illinois for her Centro Sin Fronteras organization. Lozano is married to Rev. Coleman.

Flor Crisostomo, current illegal alien taking refuge at Coleman's church. She has three children in Mexico and hasn't seen them since the year 2000 when she snuck in to the United States.

And here is Rev. Coleman accepting an award from California Congressman Mike Honda. The award was to honor Elvira, given by a Hispanic media organization.
So, Coleman is very active in the aiding and abetting of illegals. As soon as one moves out, he finds another to live in his church.
Was Elvira worthy of deportation? Apparently so, because as soon as she left the Chicago church she was promptly arrested in Southern California and deported.
So, I just made an interesting connection. Did you know that Rev. Coleman is on the federal payroll? That's right. He works part time for Rep Luis Gutierrez!
Here he is on the staff list:
Rep. Luis Gutierrez ( - Illinois , 4th)
Staff List - Fourth Quarter 2008
Displaying salaries for time period: 10/01/08 - 12/31/08
Payee Name Start date End date Position Amount Notes
Angelo, Natalie M 10/01/08 12/31/08 Staff Assistant $14,793.75
Ayala, Miguel A 11/01/08 11/25/08 Shared Employee $-23,250.00
Cerna, Salvador C 11/01/08 12/31/08 District Director $20,333.33
Cerna, Salvador C 10/01/08 10/31/08 District Co-Director $5,666.67
Coleman, Walter L 10/01/08 12/31/08 Part-time Employee $6,704.17
Collins, Susan M 10/01/08 12/31/08 Legislative Director $28,208.33
Devora, Damaris 10/01/08 12/31/08 Congressional Aide $18,105.01
Dinis, Nicole S 10/01/08 12/31/08 Staff Assistant/Legislative Correspondent $15,625.00
Dreilinger, Rebecca 10/01/08 12/31/08 Press Secretary $17,867.50
Fernandez-Toledo, Enrique 10/01/08 12/31/08 Deputy Chief of Staff $35,437.50
Fuentes, Jennice 10/01/08 12/31/08 Chief of Staff $29,675.01
Galvez, Noemi 10/01/08 12/31/08 Congressional Aide $14,229.99
Ocasio, Veronica 10/01/08 12/31/08 Executive Assistant $29,699.99
Paucar, Theresa 10/01/08 12/31/08 Congressional Aide $14,374.99
Perez, Rosa 10/01/08 12/31/08 Congressional Assistant $18,875.01
Rasmussen, Ana M 10/01/08 12/31/08 Scheduler/Office Manager $17,500.00
Reyes, Teresa 10/01/08 12/31/08 Congressional Aide $14,229.99
Souchet, Monique M 10/01/08 12/31/08 Congressional Aide $12,325.01
Staff, Gregory S 10/01/08 12/31/08 Staff Assistant $16,999.99 Watson, Maria 10/01/08 12/31/08 Congressional Assistant $14,074.99
And...Coleman has been drawing a salary at the same time he's harboring illegal aliens in his church. Here's the take:
FY 2008: $21,025.04
FY 2007: $18,911.13
FY 2006: $20,549.96
FY 2005: $19,366.67
FY 2004: $6,000.00
So, here we have two people who are openly harboring illegal aliens getting awards from politicians and drawing salaries from a congressman.
Here's the link to congressional staff salary information:

Friday, June 19, 2009

The same old problems

Here are quotes (some going back 25 years) that you may find interesting:

March 1, 1981
Final Report of the Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy
under the heading "Structure for Immigration Hearings and Appeals”
“The Select Commission urges that the court be provided with the necessary support to reduce existing backlogs”

June 28, 1995
U S Commission on Immigration Reform
"The Commission strongly recommends that INS adopt and implement as a strategic goal the reduction of processing time and backlogs for naturalization while maintaining rigorous standards in processing applications. The Commission also urges Congress to appropriate sufficient resources to support the implementation of this strategic goal."

September 1997
U S Commission on Immigration Reform
"The Commission recommends fundamental restructuring of responsibilities within the federal government to support more effective management of the core functions of the immigration system: border and interior enforcement; enforcement of immigration-related employment standards; adjudication of immigration and naturalization applications; and consolidation of administrative appeals."

George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site
“Governor Bush believes that immigration is not a problem to be solved, but the sign of a successful nation. As Governor of a border state, he knows first-hand the benefits legal immigrants bring to America. While he is strongly opposed to illegal immigration, he believes more should be done to welcome legal immigrants. Therefore, he will establish a 6-month standard for processing immigration applications, encourage family reunification, and split the INS into two agencies: one focused on enforcement, and one focused on naturalization and immigration services.”

Immigration News Daily
June 18, 2009
"Nearly three years after the Justice Department found that the nation's immigration courts were seriously overburdened and recommended hiring 40 new judges, only a few hirings have taken place and the case backlog is at its highest point in a decade, according to a study released Wednesday. The report, by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a nonpartisan group that analyzes data about federal government performance, found that the shortage of judges had contributed to a 19 percent increase in the backlog of cases since 2006 and a 23 percent increase in the time it takes to resolve them. As of April 12, Justice Department officials said, there were 234 active immigration judges, an increase of 4 judges since August 2006."

And they wonder why we are skeptical about Washington's ability to fix the illegal alien problem.

As I recall, immigration law specialist Kris Kobach was shouted down by Senator Chuck Schumer back in April when Kobach suggested that amnesty was unworkable on the basis of staff workload alone.

And the appeals courts are just a sliver of the issue. It's sickening to read those commission reports as they rehash the same problems we are facing today. Yes, we are skeptical. And fearful that they will pass another amnesty with the same result as 1986.

Can't seem to get a date

People are very busy in Washington. You really must plan way ahead, especially if the meeting involves many groups.

Take the closed-door immigration summit Obama put together for June 8th. It was supposed to include members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, Latino activists, and other "stakeholders".

Well, something came up. How about June 17th? OK. Fine.

Suddenly June 17th was out. Cancelled again at the last minute.

But this time there hasn't been a new date set.

Stay tuned. With that bunch talking amnesty behind closed doors it could be a disaster. Obama hates people looking over his shoulder and challenging his transparency, but he also knows that legalization irks Americans and challenges ethics.

This is the year to get it done because Obama promised he would and no one in the House wants to have to defend that decision in an election year.

Sorry, Mr. President, there is no way to do this one quietly. Good luck.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

NUMB3RS meets the rhetoric

A statistical analysis by Stanford and George Mason professors was recently published by the Society for Risk Analysis. The subject was illegal aliens and enforcement efforts.

The formulae look something like this sample:Their findings aren’t very promising.
1) There aren’t nearly enough detention beds.
2) If you don’t detain them, the likelihood they will actually leave the country is only 13%. (Now you know why Obama’s aunt and nearly 600,000 other fugitive absconders are running around the country.)
3) Expedited removal procedures have shortened the detention time to an average of 19 days before deportation, which greatly increases the probability of deportation.
4) Increasing the number of Border Patrol agents alone will not be effective unless more detention beds are also provided.
5) Not detaining non-violent illegal aliens “until their fourth apprehension is nearly equivalent to not detaining them at all.”
6) Given that Mexican workers can earn 450% more here in the United States, worksite raids and employer fines will have to be increased significantly to offset the value of potential earnings.
7) The probability that a non-Mexican terrorist can successfully enter the United States through our Southern border is 97.3%

The bottom line is that more border agents, more miles of fence, more virtual fence (assuming the manpower is provided for apprehension), and more worksite enforcement really do work. But we are so far behind the curve in these areas that it will take time and money to reverse the trend.

The entire study is, of course, a chalkboard exercise. The researchers themselves tell us, Immigration is a difficult issue to mathematically model: even restricting our attention to the small part of immigration that affects homeland security leads to an unwieldy system of equations and a formidable parameter estimation task. The level of detail in our submodels is dictated by the level of detail in the available data.…and …
Consequently, the model’s numerical output is not intended—and indeed is unable—to capture the quantitative impact of various decisions with any degree of accuracy, and so the model is incapable of directly guiding policy, except in a very crude manner. Rather, this study—by framing the immigration/ homeland security problem in a way that captures most of its salient features—is meant primarily as a vehicle for rational dialog about a complex problem that often elicits strong emotional responses.

Thank you once again, Washington.

The study can be found here:
http://www.stanford.edu/~amotskin/index_files/USMBorder.pdf

Update 2/3/2013.  The link above is broken, but the study can still be viewed here:
http://graphics.stanford.edu/projects/lgl/papers/wlm-ahsumb-09/wlm-ahsumb-09.pdf
 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Taken out of context

US Supreme Court, West Entrance. Themis and Justice (the tiny one wearing a blindfold).

So the spin from the left is that Sotomayor really isn’t culpable for her comments about being better qualified than white men because she is a "wise Latina."

They tell us that the speech was about discrimination cases and the audience was Latino.

Were the shoe on the right foot rather than the left, such comments would disqualify her from making any judgments in minority cases.

Surely such a statement in context would have disqualified her from sitting on a jury in any county in the land.

The context IS part of the problem. Sotomayor simply cannot be unbiased when it comes to cases involving minorities. She's repeated that "wise Latina" line numerous times over the years.

And, like Alberto Gonzalez, Sonia Sotomayor is a proud member of La Raza (NCLR).

We're sorry? For what?

Something didn’t sit right with me when President Obama spoke in Egypt last week. I think I’m finally beginning to understand why.

He began his speech in Cairo by saying:
We meet at a time of great tension between the United States and Muslims around the world -- tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.

Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. All this has bred more fear and more mistrust.

So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end.

I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

He was apologizing, but why?

Was it because we insist that Muslim women show their faces in their driver’s license photos? …or because we restrict their “right” to kneel to pray in the aisle of a commercial airliner?

Surely they are allowed to build Muslim Mosques here with about the same resistance as Mormon Temples and Mega-churches; there are municipal squabbles but somehow they dot the land.

And clearly Muslims are permitted to spread their message as evidenced by the growing number of converts to Islam; converts like the DC sniper, the killer of an Army recruiter, and the soldier who lobbed hand grenades into the tents of fellow soldiers in Kuwait. Would Obama be speaking of our intolerance of these adherents?

Is he talking of Homeland Security's fixation with young Arab-looking men? (See above for a better understanding of this “racial profiling.”)

For a prime example of our respect of Islam I present General Order #1 written to the troops in 1990 by General Norman Schwarzkopf. It details the rules for soldiers while stationed in the Middle East while evicting Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

Read it here: http://www.3ad.com/history/gulf.war/general.order.1.htm

And, Mr. President, did you broach the subject of allowing Christians to proselyte in the Middle East? Or is that just another one-way street?

Given the documented connection between terrorism and Islam, I’d say we’ve done remarkably well as Americans accepting the Muslims living among us.

There is a great danger in Obama’s choice of words as it relates to Muslims and America. Earlier he declared that America is not a Christian nation. Well, it’s easy to prove that his statement is simply not true.

He should have said that America is not a theocracy, that religion is kept at arms-length from the government, that when policy-makers deal with moral and religious issues they consult a variety of church groups…Christians of all types, Jews from Orthodox to Reform, Hindus, and yes, even Muslims.

And when he talks of building bridges with Islam he is legitimizing a political entity that only exists among terrorists and radicals. As a nation we should be talking specifically with NATIONS…Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen…not with a highly fragmented religion.

In the style of the Belfast Accords, shall we broker a truce between Sunni and Shia? Or shall we pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan altogether?

How much of the terrorism we fight around the world today has its roots in Islam? Is Islam compatible with democracy? Why do they see us as the “great Satan” of the West? Can we really teach them to be less violent and more tolerant of our customs?

I fear that Obama exalts Islam and minimizes Christianity in an effort to “meet them half way” when in fact we are already well into their territory when it comes to accommodating them.

Such talk only strengthens the argument of those in the Arab world who would undo the nations as now created and return to a united whole, something like a nation of OPEC. We seem to have trouble sorting out a united Iraq; how well do you suppose the entire Middle East could get along?

It would seem that the President is attempting to appease the parties involved as he would street gang violence in Chicago, calling on his Community Organizer skill set. But these are not the Bloods and the Kings; these are nations of the earth with wealth, power, resources, and armies…and, most dangerous to the West, filled with splinter groups flying the banner of Islam.

Obama’s speech addresses them directly and apologizes for our fear and mistrust. His Kumbaya diplomacy is na├»ve and dangerous. It is true that there are hundreds of millions of peace-loving Muslims around the world.

But we must not forget that of all the religious movements of our day, factions of Islam are the most violent and ruthless. We hang on every detail of a case where one of our own goes berserk and kills an abortion doctor at church. Yet, the regular suicide bombings and beheadings in the name of Allah are scarcely noted.

Instead, our President needlessly apologizes for our behavior towards Muslims.

This is a special case. Don’t hold your breath for a speech where he reaches out to Buddhists or even Jews. Nor will he dare talk religion in China.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

He really does have a halo

Off by a few million

Remember back in early February when it was reported that the White House was going to supervise the 2010 Census? They even named Rahm Emanuel as the supervisor. That was the FLIP.

Then Judd Gregg cited the take-over as one reason he didn’t want to be Secretary of Commerce and withdrew his name.

Now, here comes the FLOP. On February 16th Obama’s press secretary denied the plan and said the White House was going to let Commerce run things, with “consultation” from Obama. It seems when they get caught, they back off.

It’s a good thing Obama isn’t doing the counting. In his now-famous Cairo speech today, the president told the crowd there are “nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today.”

As it turns out, he was off by about five million.

I’d say the White House needs to stay far away from numbers, especially when they are as important as the census.

Unscheduled stop

Debris from Air France 447 has been spotted near Saint Peter and Saint Paul Rocks in the Atlantic near the equator.

This "island" is only four acres but is huge under the ocean's surface.
I never even knew The Rocks existed.

The "Fun" House

Committees are formed in Congress to provide thoughtful review of possible legislation. These committees study specific topics like education, health care, immigration, energy and commerce...

And as we know, committee membership is highly partisan. The chairman is usually from the ruling party with a ranking member selected from the other party. The ruling party usually gets the majority of voting seats. Needless to say, it has little to do with the most qualified.

But it is expected that the committee reads and understands the bill before they vote on it, because it then goes to the floor and often becomes law.

So, you have a 900 page Cap-and-Trade bill before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The GOP wants to slow things down a bit so they ask that it be read.

To be cute the Democrats hire a speed reader, designate him a clerk, then ask him to read the bill. Well, the committee doesn't want to hear him read the whole thing in gibberish so they vote to pass it on without a reading.

Below is a U Tube of the proceedings. Note how many empty seats are in the committee room, typical for the day-to-day business of Congress. (No wonder Pelosi wasn't sure if she was briefed about torture; she sent an aide to listen for her.) Note how much fun it is for our fine Congressmen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_SB7g_Yb-0

So, these are the people running our country. Cap-and-Trade is a most serious proposal with dire consequences for taxation and energy use. I'm so glad they can laugh about it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reaction time

Did you notice that the Pentagon was broadcasting reports that there is no terrorist link in the Air France plane crash? They were saying that BEFORE they even located the plane. They have no clue what happened but they were sure to get that tidbit out.

Contrast that to the fact that it took the government WEEKS to even mouth the word "Mexico" when talking about tainted tomatoes or the swine flu.

Remember when Bush was out there on 9/11 before the dust even settled telling Americans that Muslims are generally a peace-loving people and that we must not retaliate with individual acts of violence against Arabs living in the United States?

I missed the government announcement after Dr. Tiller was gunned down telling us that most Pro-life people are peace-loving citizens.

Then again, there is the blatant gap in coverage about the Army recruiters gunned down by an Islamic convert in Little Rock a couple of days ago.

Just for grins, here's a Harris survey from March 2008 on our level of media trust:




Monday, June 1, 2009

Our car czar

Steven Rattner is calling some pretty high-level shots for us, the American taxpayers.

Who is he? A Democrat fundraiser with a load of dough. His summer place under construction on Martha’s Vineyard is going to cost $15 million. Not to worry, Steve’s got a nice place in Manhattan while it’s being finished.

Ten years ago Steve was a reporter for the New York Times. Then he got in the money business, finally forming his own investment company, Quadrangle Group.

Now he’s the Treasury Department's special advisor to the auto industry. Like other Obama appointments, Rattner has a cloud over his head regarding a New York State Pension deal.

Enough of the rumors; here’s what Rattner said on March 17th of this year:
“We are open minded about committing additional resources to ensuring a viable domestic car industry.”

“We will bring all the resources of the government to bear on these various stakeholders and try to reach a fair compromise, a set of compromises.”

“Bankruptcy is not our goal nor a desirable outcome.”


“We’re not going to simply hand out dollar bills on Pennsylvania Avenue,” Rattner said, adding that stakeholders might sense “the government will end up solving all problems, and it’s just not going to happen here.”

“There’s a lot of uncertainty,” he said. “There are a lot of peoples’ lives at stake here in terms of their careers. I think they’re all entitled to some guidance from us as to how we’re thinking about this, so we’re very much hoping to do that.”

Bondholders “are very effective in looking out for their own interests,” Rattner said.

“I hope all stakeholders will recognize the gravity of the situation and the need for everybody to engage in shared sacrifice, but the government cannot solve all the problems of all the stakeholders in this situation.”

“The UAW has been very constructive and very thoughtful,” Rattner said. “They don’t want to be the only ones giving blood or even necessarily being the first ones giving blood.”

Rattner said that while avoiding bankruptcy is a goal, “certainly there’s been no decisions made.” Nor is the government in a position to dictate to the automakers how many workers to have or plants to close, he said.

“We’re not in the business of running these companies,” Rattner said. “It’s not what we’re paid to do, that’s what management does. Our job is to figure out how the government can be helpful.”

Did I mention that GM filed bankruptcy today? Oops.