Thursday, July 30, 2009

Back by popular demand

I'm a little worried about this Main Street stimulus business. It seems like we are back to the old tricks of giving loans to people who can't afford it.

Now, it's the Democratic thing to do. "A chicken in every pot," and that sort of thing.

But I wonder if Obama has thought this one through.

For example, the $8,000 bonus for buying a house. Sounds good on the surface, though we don't really have any money to back it up with and it'll just be added to the debt. (The debt we can only afford to pay the interest on at the moment. Apply the new credit card rules to that pile of bills and you've got a real mess on your hands.)

The idea is to get the market going and hand out money to people who otherwise couldn't afford to buy right now. Say, doesn't that sound familiar? We just learned a hard lesson that getting into a home and being able to afford to stay are two different matters. Is this $8K bonus simply setting up poor people to foreclose again? Think about it.

The second program is that if you have an old car and are willing to trade it in for a brand new car, Obama will shell out $4,500 of national debt money to help you buy it.

Who owns the gas-guzzlers? Not the rich people. So, you are dangling this free money in front of poor people and stipulating that they buy a brand new car to get the deal. Again, are we setting people up here?

Now, I think the cash for clunkers program is wrong on a couple of points. The fact that you can spend the bonus on a foreign car rubs me the wrong way. And I'm not convinced that the government can control this program to the point that smoke puffers stay off the streets. Every junk yard in the country is on their approved salvage list so I see little real control.

But my real problem is that people who can't afford a new car are being tempted by the government to sign the loan papers. That can't be good.

So, we haven't really learned anything about credit/debt and saving despite a collapse of the financial system that shocked the world. We're right back playing the same beyond our means.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Coming into focus

Washington is abuzz with reports that the healthcare reform bill as it now stands provides medical care for illegal aliens. The Hispanic Caucus is pleased with current wording that gives care to everyone.

Now, why would we do that? Why would we take an already costly system and add to it? Why would we invite people to come here illegally? Why would we tempt the third world to use our hospitals?

Perhaps this explains it.
A recent Pew survey shows that 69% of Mexicans (living in Mexico) have a favorable view of the United States, up from 47% when Bush was in office.

But Rasmussen reports that only 29% of Americans strongly approve of Obama’s job performance. 40% strongly disapprove. For the first time, the difference between the two groups has hit double digits (minus 11%).

And if you go to Arizona, Obama’s troubles are even deeper. They say:
Fix the illegal alien problem first (51%).
Only 45% want him to work on healthcare first.
65% say fix the border rather than give amnesty.
57% appreciate the work of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

For the record, 948,648 Arizona voters chose Obama last November. That’s 45% in McCain’s own state.

So, I guess Obama is playing to the people who appreciate him. They live south of the border.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Being President...

...means never having to say you're sorry.
In an odd mix of Carter (naivete) and Clinton (act on poll data) President Obama spoke out again about the Skip Gates affair.

His response is even better than the favorite political apology of recent decades: "Mistakes were made."

I believe Obama has created an even better non-apology. The new phrase of choice will be: "I could have calibrated those words differently."

What's that supposed to mean?

I'll tell you. It means he's an egomaniac (not the first politician with that diagnosis) who has trouble saying, "I fouled up. I should never have said the police acted stupidly. From what I know now the police acted correctly and Mr. Gates was wrong to escalate the situation."

So, use his response as a yardstick for his other answers on more important matters. He would rather proceed as though he were right than admit he is wrong.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weaknesses exposed

The 287g program has exposed the two fatal flaws in our immigration enforcement program, namely DRO and BIA.

DRO stands for Detention and Removal Operations. They are essentially charged with finding beds for illegal aliens awaiting their appeal/hearing…and, of course, their flight back home.

BIA is the Board of Immigration Appeals, part of the Department of Justice/Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Before we even get started with the local enforcement problem, ICE has its own people out looking for illegals who failed to show up on their scheduled deportation date. These fugitives number about 600,000. In a record year they are able to find about 35,000 of them.

So, these fugitives compete for beds as well. And, believe it or not, they sometimes go back for a new hearing and clog up the BIA. (Remember Obama’s aunt?)

So, the point Napolitano was making last week with her veiled and well-spun announcement is that 287g is too successful. Would the agencies please stop sending back those who commit minor crimes. We don’t have beds for them. We don’t have room on the docket for hearings. We don’t have space on our planes to send them home.

Now, these 287g agencies represent only 66 police/sheriff departments nation-wide. And keep in mind that a 287g agency is typically in an area where the political will allows it to exist. You won’t find sanctuaries like LA or Chicago on the list. Too many illegal aliens at risk in places like that.

So, here’s the rub. There are 12,766 police departments in the United States, 3,067 county sheriffs, and 49 state police departments. If 66 agencies can overwhelm our system, what hope do we have of servicing the other 15,000 or so? None.

Put another way, only 0.09% of the police departments in the US have 287g authorization. (That NOT 9%, it's 9 one hundreths of ONE percent.) Can you see the problem? And none of the police departments are big cities, the largest being Phoenix and Las Vegas. What about LA? Or Houston? Or even Tucson? Chicago? No way.

Despite warnings over the years, we still don’t have enough detention beds or hearing officers.

And so Napolitano announces 11 more 287g contracts (MOUs) as though it were important. It isn’t. The important part of her announcement is that she wants the agencies to slow down with their deportation requests. Prioritize.

That’s not protecting the public.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

More on Critical Legal Theory

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."
- Plato (427-347 B.C.)
From the book, "The Death of Truth", pg 166

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

You can't fix stupid

...or, sometimes it doesn't pay to get up in the morning.

Man arrested after drugs found in ankle monitor
Published: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 12:51 p.m. MDT
From the Deseret News

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A man learned over the weekend that his ankle monitor wasn't a good hiding place when police say they found drugs there.

Police pulled over a man about 12:30 p.m. Sunday who was driving erratically, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller. The man handed the officer a driver's license, which turned out not to be his, he said.

When he had the man step out of his car, the officer noticed a plastic bag with a white rock stuffed between his leg and ankle monitor. The white rock was confirmed to be cocaine, Keller said.
Dung Nguyen, 41, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of felony drug possession, giving false information to a police officer and was being held on an immigration detainer.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sotomayor is dangerous...

…for precisely the same reason Obama likes her.

As Gary Saalman so eloquently explains, most people believe “that law is a set of rules and principles by which society maintains order and preserves freedom.” Saalman goes on: “Nearly everyone, furthermore, would agree that legal rules and principles should be neutral, that is, they should apply to everyone equally, regardless of race, creed, or gender.” (The Death of Truth, p. 164)

But ivy league law schools have become advocates for Critical Legal Theory, the idea that our laws are based on the thinking of white males and therefore were created to maintain power over women and minorities.

Here is a fascinating account of the paper chase years of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, written long before Obama entered the White House. (And it has some great photos of the kids.)

You will note that Obama is clearly a proponent of Critical Legal Theory rather than the Rule of Law, despite his comments on the campaign trail that "I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution."

In context or out, over the years Sonia Sotomayor has proven that she believes the Constitution is flawed, that it is a tool to be manipulated in order to shift power to one group or another.

In her world, there are no absolutes, no firm foundation of truths within the law. This notion goes beyond affirmative action cases. It permeates the functions of the police in investigating crimes. It is present in cases involving the rights of illegal aliens. It can be found in research labs, hospitals, and clinics where the sanctity of life is in question. It reeks in the prosecution of war criminals and terrorists.

Always under the surface is her agenda of using precedence to shift power away from white males, regardless of what that does to the Rule of Law.

This movement gains strength and legitimacy with each court appointment. Sotomayor would be a big win for the Critical Legal Theorists.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Obama hunts the employers

Nice move, Mr. President. I don’t often say that, but going after American Apparel was a stroke of genius.

The owner is Canadian. One of those immigrants who employs lots of people. And he’s got a mouth on him. He was a ringleader during the LA May Day parades for amnesty.

He’s pro-gay.

His ads push the envelope of decency.

And he says he complies with the law when hiring workers. (I suppose that means he fills out the I-9 forms and ignores “No Match” letters.)

Well, here are the results. ICE investigated American Apparel. Of the 4,500 employees…1,600 presented bogus ID to get hired. Oh, and another 200 IDs could not be validated.

Let’s see, that means his illegal workforce is in the 35 to 40 percent range.

All in favor of revoking his “Made in America” seal please raise your hand.

Now what, Mr. Obama? The company says they didn’t know anyone was illegal so you can’t prosecute them unless you can prove they deliberately hired illegals.

Will you deport the workers? That would make sense, but that isn’t what you did in Bellingham, Washington.

So, we are back to 1994. We need E-Verify. We need to make it mandatory. We need to warn employers with “No Match” letters and demand that they clear up the discrepancies.

Otherwise, the employer is obeying the law. Like the owner of American Apparel told NPR, "Everyone who works here, we check their documents — but we don't over-document or under-document. We follow the law in a very precise manner."

You can’t fine a guy for using the loopholes you put in the law.

If this was meant to be a show of enforcement, it fails the test. If it is a “shot across the bow” I’d suggest you tighten up the regulations if you want it to be effective.

Separated at birth?