June 9, 2007

Immigration as a GOP Talking Point in 2008

Hatched by Dafydd

With the deep freeze of the immigration bill, spin season begins now. We cannot afford to wait until the Democrats establish the storyline that the immigration bill died because "Bush didn't push the radical right hard enough;" that would be politically catastrophic for Republicans candidates in the next election, branded as both extremist and feckless.

The best position to take -- and the one that, coincidentally, is closest to the truth -- is that it was Senate Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 95%), a Democrat, who pulled the plug on the immigration bill... not because there wasn't enough enforcement, but because it was becoming clear that conservative Republicans were making headway in getting more enforcement into the bill.

Democrats were upset at Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-MA, 100%) deal to expand the list of criminal offenses that would bar illegals from getting a Z visa, which was the only reason that the similar but harsher amendment by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX, 96%) was defeated. And there were upcoming amendments, e.g., to force the deportation of illegal aliens convicted of crimes within the United States after they served their sentences and a good shot at revisiting the issue of "sanctuary cities" -- either in this bill or (more likely) via other federal legislation. (I can picture the campaign Democrats would have to run against such a measure.)

Republican supporters of the immigration bill were far more amenable to increased enforcement measures than were Democratic supporters; Republicans such as Sen. Jon Kyle (R-AZ, 92%) were the ones who insisted upon the strong enforcement measures in the bill in the first place, including the triggers. And judging from the mood of the country, Republicans might well have been able to increase the "trigger level" for the fence, for example, to construction of the entire thing, rather than just half, before any regularization could occur.

The other element that most bothered conservatives was that the "Parole Cards" (as Kyl called the provisional Z visas) were open-ended: Once an illegal signed up and got one, there was no inherent pressure to upgrade to a full Z visa; the only pressure was that it was a necessary step for citizenship, so only those immigrants who ultimately wanted to become citizens were motivated to move any farther than a Parole Card.

But with the pressure from not only Republicans but even Democrats and independent voters for much stronger border-security measures, I think it entirely possible -- especially as the bill worked its way through the House of Representatives -- that the Parole Card would have been given an expiry date, forcing illegals who received one to take steps towards actually undergoing the deeper background check, paying the larger fine, and having the head of the household leave the country in order to apply for the full Z visa (the alternative is to be deported when the Parole Card expires -- a strong incentive).

Thus, any reasonable analysis of the bill is that, in order to pass through both the Senate and the House, it would have to become tougher on border security and enforcement in a number of ways.

And the longer the process continued, the closer it got to passage, the more the onus would be on the majority party, the Democrats, to make whatever compromises and sacrifices were necessary to drag it over the finish line: With enough modifications, even former opponents like Sen. Cornyn and Rep. John Boehner (R-OH, 88%) could defend to their constituents. With the proper amendments, the bill would become very, very hard for Democrats to kill. (No, I don't mean an amendment to strip out everything but enforcement; that would be easy for the majority to kill without suffering any pain at the polls.)

So I believe the Democrats were becoming increasingly worried about the monster they had created by allowing Kennedy to bulldoze them into agreeing to the enforcement measures, especially "triggers," in the first place. I suspect the Majority Leader was starting to think the Democrats had made a big mistake by starting this snowball rolling... and if they didn't find some opportunity to kill it, it would roll right over them in 2008.

So Reid forced a pair of premature cloture votes, knowing that even Republican bill supporters would vote against them, since they had given their word to bill opponents to give them an opportunity to amend it. And when the second cloture vote failed -- even though it did much better than the first -- Reid seized the opportunity to pull the bill from consideration... and blame President Bush and the Republicans.

I believe we must move quickly to prevent the Democrats from spinning this as some "failure" of the GOP. Let us make clear that the GOP was willing to embrace any level of security to make the bill palatable to voters... but it was the Democrats who panicked and yanked the bill in order to prevent future border-security amendments from passing.

That leaves only one culprit for the failure of immigration reform... and he hails from Searchlight, Nevada.

If the president is incapable of communicating this to the American people (likely), then it's up to the Republican candidates for president to stop attacking Bush and stop attacking those Republicans who supported this bill -- and instead fix the blame where it rightly belongs: On the Democrats who demanded a "grand deal" as their price for border security, then broke their word when it looked as though they might get more border security than they meant.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 9, 2007, at the time of 7:24 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Dafydd, I'll link to your post from my latest in a few minutes. First I'll reply to one of your comments on the last post while it's fresh in my mind. Yes we do, apparently, live in different worlds. In my world once a politician has demonstrated he can't be trusted you quit trusting him. George W Bush has demonstrated clearly that his promises wrt to immigration enforcement are worthless. That being the case, there are a large number of us who'd rather see nothing of any sort happen on the immigration front for the duration of his administration than a bill with Amnesty "Parole" Cards and worthless promises to start enforcing our immigration laws. If he's serious about wanting a new immigration reform bill passed his first step needs to be to implement the enforcement provisions in our existing immigration laws, including the fence that was authorized last summer.

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2007 8:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: lsusportsfan

Bill Faith:
George W Bush has demonstrated clearly that his promises wrt to immigration enforcement are worthless.

I dont think that is the case at all. At some point some analysis of what is quickly becoming a talking point has to be examined.

What indication is there that Bush is dragging his heels on Enforcements or the the Fence bill that was passed last year? Just repeating it a million times doesnt make it true. I know I have posted this article but PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD put this in your analysis and other articles like this:
On Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Ralph Basham canceled a meeting in which he was expected to field questions from local government leaders. Landowners and news media were to be barred from the meeting.

“They’ve never sat down to talk to the people who it’s really going to affect,” said Noel Benavides, an alderman in Roma. “It’s a very touchy subject when it comes to us because we’re right here.”

After Basham’s cancellation, U.S. Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar gave a hastily arranged address Friday in McAllen to the Texas Border Coalition. Aguilar told the group of mayors, businesspeople and environmentalists that the federal government would have the final say.

Uhlhorn said he talked with Border Patrol officials Friday, but he still has questions.

“They just said they wanted me to know nothing has been set in stone and they’re still evaluating alternatives for the locations and type of fence,” Uhlhorn said.

“They’re going to build the fence. We just don’t know where or what the fence is going to look like. … All I can do is wait and see.”

For landowners like Fermin Leal, a long list of questions surrounds the project, which threatens the farm business he has built up since 1966.

“If we don’t know where the fence is going to be built, we won’t know where we’re going to farm,” said Leal, who farms 3,200 acres that stretch from San Pedro to El Ranchito. “That would divert our operations.”

Federal officials have scrapped the plans outlined on a map showing that a fence would run across long stretches from Brownsville to Roma.

The map, designed by Customs and Border Protection officials, was leaked to the media early last month.

“The map that you have was a snapshot of planning and progress but not reflective of final decisions,” said Russ Knocke, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C.

Congress allocated $1.2 billion for construction of 370 miles of fencing by the end of 2008. The law calls for 153 miles of fencing along the Texas border.
Overall, the project calls for 700 miles of fencing across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Federal officials have not determined specific sites for construction, Knocke said.

“No final decisions about border infrastructure projects in South Texas have been made but we continue to talk with local officials … in moving forward with plans for border infrastructure projects,” he said.

Border terrain will determine the type of fencing to be constructed, Knocke said.

“There are a handful of different types of fencing that we use along the border. The fencing is going to vary depending upon geography. The topography would be different in one location than another area,” he said.

Three primary types of fencing include metal panels, wire mesh and cable barriers made up of multiple bands of cable, Knocke said.

Other barriers include steel poles designed to stop vehicles from crossing the border, he said.

The project will also feature a “virtual fence” made up of high-tech devices such as underground motion sensors, ground-based radar and unmanned surveillance aircraft, he said.

We are working … to map out every inch of the border and make determinations where we will use traditional fencing, vehicle barriers and a virtual fence,” Knocke said.

Federal officials have not awarded contracts in the project, Knocke said.

Last month, local officials railed against Homeland Security’s move to call for bids for as much as $250,000 worth of work to construct fencing in Laredo.

But Knocke said the request for proposals was misunderstood. Its purpose is to set up the process for a contract bid so the bid process can begin once federal officials determine construction sites, he said.

Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, is in charge of the project, Knocke said. Greg Giddens, director of the Secure Border Initiative Net, or SBI Net, oversees the project, he said.

Uhlhorn said he doesn’t want to be a “poster boy” for a cause — he just wants answers.

Hey, the decision is already made that they’re going to do it, and they’ve got the Patriot Act behind them to negate any need to take heed of any input from other stakeholders,” he said.

“I don’t want to come off as too hard on the Border Patrol. It’s not their fault.

“The decision was made around a large committee table in Washington, D.C., that the fence is what we need, without considering the implications of a fence along a river … and the private landowners.”

What is happening while you yell that BUsh can't be trusted we have people on the border are yelling that the Govt is moving too fast and in violation of the law that it is in the bill itself

The above hissed in response by: lsusportsfan [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2007 10:27 PM

The following hissed in response by: lsusportsfan


I feel confident that this coming back up in a few weeks in the Senate. We shall know a lot more when Bush gets backs into town From what I am reading he is about to do a full Court offensive on this bill.

Ruben Navarette with the Washington Post touched on this briefly in his McCain article and he puts its squarely on the Democrats shoulders.

I think the guest worker provisions was the main problems. Unions etc

Grahm says he has talked with Reid and this is coming back up soon. Graham also says he knows where the 60 votes are.

But you are right we cannot let the story be Bad Bush or Bad GOP we need to be highlighting the laeadership people like Kyle, Martinez and others are giving

The above hissed in response by: lsusportsfan [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2007 10:33 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

What indication is there that Bush is dragging his heels on Enforcements or the the Fence bill that was passed last year?

And how many miles of that fence have actually been built? With all of this country's industrial might it's supposed to take 5 years to build a simple fence? Yes, I know it gets warm along that border. So prefab the blasted thing and put it in place a piece at a time by helicopter. Just build it. If Halliburton can't figure out how call in the Army. Just build it. If the Army can't figure it out maybe the Israelis can explain it to them. JUST BUILD IT!

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2007 10:53 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Re: Bill Faith at June 9, 2007 10:53 PM

I can foresee a situation, where to build a fence on the actual border, contractors would have to build a road first (up to the fence) that would in future make it easier for smuggling accomplices (on the American side) to transport their cutting torches up to the fence more easily, pick up their "customers" more easily, and get them out of the area even faster.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2007 11:46 PM

The following hissed in response by: The Yell

Dafydd, any Republican candidate--or combination of candidates-- offering that hash would be blown into high orbit.

1. The Radical Right did refuse to listen to Bush. Bush said so. On video. At that federal law enforcement commencement, remember?

2. Republican enforcement amendments were being shot down left and right. The Cornyn amendment to bar document fraud felons and the undeportable failed. An amendment to make temprorary visaholders return home between visa terms failed. These are matters of record.

3. Republican Senators backing the bill deliberately cast their support in terms of necessary, joyful agreement with Senate Democrats. On video. Sen. Lott praising Kennedy as a policy master. Sen. Specter saying the Senate would be humiliated if it didn't pass the "grand bargain" ASAP.

The ad practically writes itself, and it would be right up there with the Bush spot of Sen. Kerry saying "I did vote for the $87 billion--before I voted against it".

I really don't see how they can lie down with the Donks for a policy goal, and then use the episode as proof of the need to roust the Donks. Probably, if the Republicans go into November 2008 still talking about June 2007, they're sunk. The memory has got to be overshadowed by the next 17 months.

The above hissed in response by: The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2007 11:53 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Bill Faith:

George W Bush has demonstrated clearly that his promises wrt to immigration enforcement are worthless.

Maybe you can explain this one to me. I have no idea what the heck you're talking about.

A build-a-fence bill was passed last year. The fence is currently under construction. Three different senators -- one a bill opponent -- have agreed that 75-80 miles of fencing are currently under construction (in Arizona, I believe).

So exactly how did Bush "demonstrate" that his word on this issue was worthless?

"Under construction" on a federal project -- any federal project -- doesn't mean Congress votes on Monday and some illegal Mexican labor starts pickaxing the dirt on Wednesday.

Exactly ten years ago, for a story in Free Space ("Nerfworld," ©1997 by Dafydd ab Hugh), I extensively researched what is required after Congress appropriates money for some project. It has been less than a year, and nobody should expect to see scores of miles of fence yet. It just doesn't work that way, and there is absolutely nothing George Walker Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, or Ronald Wilson Reagan can do to change that.

After appropriating, you must wait until the money is actually transferred; then you must get additional authority to spend the money that has been shifted to the administration's control.

Then there is the question of contractors. Who gets to build it? Oh, did I forget to mention that's usually determined by the senior members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees? The deal goes to the company in the district of whoever wins the arm-wrestling competition on the committees.

Uh oh, an election! The Democrats took over... now there is a whole new dynamic of power in the committees, and we have to shuffle all the contractors around (because now they're based in the wrong districts, the districts of the top Republicans, when they need to be based in the districts of the top Democrats).

Have we laid any track yet?

Fine, we've got our contractors. Now we're ready to... determine the all-important minority and female hiring quotas goals and timetables that will define the teams to actually commence construction --

Which cannot start just yet, because we haven't determined the precise route yet! I guess I forgot in all the excitement, but you can't build a fence until you know, down to the inch, where you're going to build it. And across whose land. And across which loach-eating blue-speckled toad preserve. You do know about EISes, don't you? Environmental Impact Statements? Even with "notwithstanding other laws" language in the bill (which it does have), preventing environmental laws from actually stopping or turning the project, you still must file EISes for every inch of fenceline.

EISes take months to produce. And then they must be submitted not only to the Department of the Interior and DHS, but to OSHA, to the EEOC, to the local communities, to the homeowners who might be affected, and to the unions; any one of these can file objections in federal court, which must be heard at least to the extent of finding no standing and chucking them out. But which takes more months.

We haven't broken ground yet, but we're getting closer...

Once we navigate those hurdles and every important politician has gotten his sticky fingers in the till, we have to settle the screams and squawks from Mexico, which will claim in international court that 17 of the 750 proposed miles are actually on Mexican land, or at least land that is under dispute, or possibly at least land the building upon which will affect Mexican land. This can be negotiated while undisputed sections are being built, but it still occupies time administrators could otherwise use to ensure that the project is actually moving forward.

At this point, just before the project begins, the first cost overruns are filed. Each must be dealt with promptly, because often the contractor (who underbid for the project and is now trying to make it up on overruns and mandatory bonuses for nothing) will refuse to work until the dispute is settled in his favor.

Each of these tie-ups requires going to the arbitrator; each takes a couple weeks or more and usually ends with the contractor being told to go soak his head, he has to live with the bid he made.

Bill, Bill, are you starting to get the point? This is why federal projects hurry like a snail. Bush has nothing to do with the intricacies of the federal bureaucracy. "Men may go and come, but red tape abides."

Honestly, the fence is proceeding at the most rapid pace that any federal project can muster. If you think that Bush is sitting on the fence and preventing it from being built, or even slowing it down, then like Rick Blaine, you've been misinformed.

Alas, it has now become "lore" that Congress voted the fence and now George Bush won't even let it be built. It's a complete fabrication, but it has taken in a large number of honest, intelligent Americans... who cannot understand the deeply disfunctional world of federal building projects.

Trust me on this: If workers are already laying even one inch of steel on a federal project that was only authorized and appropriated last year, then we're stunningly ahead of the usual schedule.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 3:03 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

How can anyone who lives in the United States and has ever dealt with the federal government honestly think they can throw up a 750 mile fence in a matter of months?

I have news for these people, half of Mexico could be up here before the feds get that fence built...I don't care who the President is. Bush can not even get a lousy guest worker program in the bill and keep it there so what makes people think he can just command a huge bureaucracy and it responds with lightning speed to his directives?

Bush has asked that Congress deal with the issue, he is not the one who wrote the Senate Bill. He wants to see a consensus reached and a bill produced that he can sign. He is the president, that is what he is supposed to want. Unless of course he just wants to use the issue to promote himself while accomplishing nothing, like some folks on the right seem more than happy to do.

I was a farmer for years and I dealt with the USDA. I remember once I went in to the local office after I got notice that some of my base was "gone" and I was informed that I did not own that land. God, I not only owned it, I had owned it for years and the person telling me that was a neighbor and knew I owned it too. It took months to straighten that out. Months.

I think Republicans and Democrats both screwed themselves on this. The right has asked for more they can get and the left does not want to give as much as the people want them to. So there is this big ugly gaping hole in the middle.

I know the right thinks Fred will go up to Nancy and Harry and make all sorts of demands and they will just fold. But I think they will light a match to his proposals and then in true Republican fashion he will throw himself on the floor and kick his heels and hold his breath until his face turns blue while the country looks on in wonder at the spectacle. Because that is what the right is becoming, a spectacle. They are more interested in demonizing their own president than they are in finding a realistic solution to a problem most of them were more than willing to ignore for decades.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 5:29 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

In fact if someone wants to get a realistic look at how long and complicated the process has been for Israel to build its fence they can go Here This process has been going on for years in a country the size of New Jersey.

In the last year increased border enforcement has slowed down crossings here as well, but that does not deal with the people already here of course.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 5:47 AM

The following hissed in response by: patrick neid

i can see the usual anti fence crowd is trotting out the canards. the fence is dragging because homeland security, the congress and the president want it to drag because they are against the fence. it's that simple. combat engineers could have the whole fence up in less than one year.

i'm just reprinting this from another site because i'm tired of typing the same answer to you excuse makers.

.....sister who? she’s as delusional as the rest of the hypochondriacs you so famously talk about. the collapse of this bill had nothing to do with the far right or the far left. keep deluding yourself with these little vignettes of illegal immigrants.

this bill went down in flames because it did not enforce the border. the Secure Fence Act signed last october called for over 700 miles of double reinforced steel fencing to be completed by the end of 2008–with most of it to be completed in 18 months from the date of signing. the bill that they tried to sneak by called for half that with most of it being reduced to guard rails and electronic fencing. the senate could not even enforce the provisions of a bill passed just last october.

“To date, only 12 miles of the 854 miles of border fencing called for in the Secure Fence Act have been constructed. While it’s a start, the 370 miles of fencing promised by DHS represents a significant departure from what’s required by federal law. Let’s be perfectly clear: it’s not enough. Even the 854 miles of fence legislated last year is only a beginning. Legislation presently under consideration by the U.S. Senate to reform our immigration system also reaffirms DHS’ decision to only build 370 miles of fencing. This legislation is weak on enforcement, comprehensively fails to make border security a priority and wrongly retreats from the mandates of the Secure Fence Act. ” congressman duncan hunter co-sponsor

and why we don’t trust virtual fencing: from the washington post

“Since 1995, spending on border security has increased tenfold, from $1.2 billion to $12.7 billion, and the number of Border Patrol agents has more than doubled, from 5,000 to 12,319, according to the House Appropriations Committee. Yet the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has jumped from 5 million to more than 11 million.

In that same time no less than 2 “virtual fences” have been tried and failed. They obviously don’t work and other than someone scratching someones business buddies back to the tune of $2.5 billion in taxpayer money, the latest “virtual fence”, called the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet) awarded to Boeing, is doomed to failure as well.

The Department of Homeland Security and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service spent $429 million since 1998 on video and remote surveillance on the borders. But nearly half of 489 planned cameras were never installed, 60 percent of sensor alerts are never investigated, 90 percent of the rest are false alarms, and only 1 percent overall resulted in arrests, the Homeland Security inspector general reported in December.”

and why we don’t trust politicians or the white house any longer:

The incoming Democratic chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee says his top priorities would be ensuring that all cargo containers are scanned before arriving at U.S. seaports, increasing funding and security for rail and mass transit systems, passing an authorization bill for the Homeland Security Department, and possibly reversing legislation that calls for building a 700-mile fence along the border with Mexico.
“It’s a good time to be a Democrat,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the ranking member of the committee who is poised to take over the helm when the new Congress convenes in January.

72% of americans could care less about the mindless trivia of who’s on first, they care only about closing the southern border before ANYTHING else is done. no temp cards, no triggers no nada.

when border security is completed to the minimum requirements of the secure fence act the rest of the bill will pass in a landslide. but hey, don’t let the obvious keep you from typing away……..

Left by patrick neid on June 10th, 2007

The above hissed in response by: patrick neid [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 9:18 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye


I am not anti fence I am just not stupid.

I realize that to some people with narrow minds anything but mindless and unthinking obedience to the likes of Tancredo is perceived as anti fence, but that is just nonsense.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 9:58 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

And that fence the Isrealis want to build is 233 miles long and it is not done yet, is that Bush's fault too? That started years ago and they don't have to deal with DHS or Mexico.

I mean Bill's idea that we prefab it and drop it with helicopters is entertaining, but a pick ax and a shovel could get around that.

No, to get the kind of fence that the hardliners will be satisfied with will take some time. That is just a fact. They can blame Bush, Homeland Security, Congress, the Illumaniti, whatever, it is not going to change the fact that this will require some time and it will run into all sorts of unforseen complications. So why don't we all act like grownups and accept that?

Sometimes people who have never had to do big things or who have no idea what it actually takes to do big things think that something like a 700 mile fence is about as complicated as mowing the lawn. Add to that a dose of paranoia and a delusional thought process and rational debate of the subject becomes almost impossible.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 10:07 AM

The following hissed in response by: Martin Hague

Then why don't we wait until the fence is built, the flow of illegal immigrants has slowed to a trickle, the employer controls are in place, and illegals start leaving, before we grant 12 million people living 'in the shadows' a right to stay here.

The above hissed in response by: Martin Hague [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 10:53 AM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Dafydd, a simple fact that you and Jorge need to face up to is that people like me are not just a small fringe minority. We're getting more organized by the day and we aren't going away. We may not win this latest battle but we'll go down fighting. Personally, I pretty much ignored the political scene for years, right up till the time a phony war hero who was on tape calling me and a lot of my friends baby killers decided he wanted a country to run. I voted against Jean Fraud Kerry with no delusions that his opponent agreed with me about anything but the war on islamism, hoping against hope that he'd come to his senses about some other things that mattered. Now I find out he's not even serious enough about national security to consider our borders worth guarding.

So, they've started building a little bit of fence in Arizona. Wonderful. Wonderful. Just f***ing wonderful. (I'm sure my fellow Namvets reading this remember Little Johnny.) Actually, the symbolism of starting there is sorta cool, but we need a lot more than symbolism at this point.) One little fence, to go with the one Duncan Hunter finally managed to get built in San Diego. When the U.S. decided 145 years ago to connect the coasts with a railroad, someone was smart enough to come up with the novel idea of starting at both ends and meeting in the middle. If they'd had the ability to transport the necessary equipment to some points along the route without waiting for the railroad to reach those points people that smart might have even have had multiple segments under construction at the same time.  And we're going to start a fence in Arizona and work out to the endpoint's gradually?

When the Brits set out to design a radar system to detect German planes over the Channel their motto was "Second best, tomorrow," a reflection of the fact that getting something in place soon was better than getting the best of all possible systems in place eventually. Maybe we could learn something from them. Two berms with a ditch between them might not stop everyone wanting to pass through the area, but they'd sure play hell with wheeled traffic. And yes it's possible to tunnel under an Israeli type wall, but it takes enough time and effort that with UAV's overhead and a reasonable number of Border Patrol agents and National Guard troops on call it could be made pointless.  It took 44 months and 8 days from the time the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor till the day they signed surrender documents. How many tanks and fighters and bombers and battleships and aircraft carriers did this nation produce in that length of time? We've known since 9/11/01, 69 months ago tomorrow, that there are people in this world who really are serious about destroying this country. And we've built under 100 miles of border fence?

Maybe I'm not being completely rational about this. Maybe part of my attitude stems from living right next to a crime-ridden Texas barrio for several years. Maybe part of it's just not believing 58,000 of my brothers died for open borders; that damned sure wasn't what I had in mind when I enlisted and volunteered for Nam, nor was it what Daddy and a bunch of my uncles went off to WW2 to fight for.

I've given up hope on seeing a solution to our illegal immigration problem before the '08 elections. The best we can hope for there is that a few good men like Jeff Sessions can continue to keep Harry and Nancy and Ted an Jorge from giving the country away between now and then. I haven't given up hope on seeing an administration that can get some things done elected in '08. Jack Kelly did a pretty good job of explaining yesterday why the Republicans still have a good chance next year, and why we need to nominate someone as un-Bush as possible. Until then the best way for George Bush to prove his intentions are honorable is to quit pushing for new legislation just start enforcing what's already on the books.  

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 12:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: lsusportsfan

Bill Faith
"Dafydd, a simple fact that you and Jorge need to face up to is that people like me are not just a small fringe minority"

What is exactly the point of referring to the President as Jorge

"And we're going to start a fence in Arizona and work out to the endpoint's gradually?"

We are spending 1.2 billion for 371 miles. Again I am wondering if this Fence is the best use of money to solve the problem or just symbolism. Seems like a Republican version of the War on Poverty that LBJ did. I am not for buildig a fence in areas where one is not needed just to say we did it

"George Bush to prove his intentions are honorable is to quit pushing for new legislation just start enforcing what's already on the books."

The Currentr laws are unenforceable. Thsi was predicted in 86 because of the lack of workplace verification and ID. Also our spending on the border has increased from 200 million to over 3 billions on our all our borders. We have dramactically increased the border patrol from 86. TH eillegal population in this COuntry actually ehld pretty steady till 95. It was in 96 we had a amssive rush because of our economy. All this indicates to me that we new soultions inclusing Guest worker and commonsense reforms

The above hissed in response by: lsusportsfan [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 12:48 PM

The following hissed in response by: lsusportsfan

IN the end I hope this bill passess. It actually deals with the reality of the situation.

PEople say oh combat folks say we could have had this fence built in a year. That again forgets the provisons that are in the bill about landowner concerns. We do not own the land on the border. But people say the heck with that lets just build it. However that is not what the law says. We have good indications this all on schedule. But that is all ignored.

If people think its smart politcs to say Bush is deceiving folks or we cant trust him fine. I think that is not ggod politcs and is infact counterproductive.

Show where the President of the adminstration is slowing down on this fence. LINK PLEASE

The above hissed in response by: lsusportsfan [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 12:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

As soon as I read the words Jorge Bush I stop reading. That is an insult to the president and the office.

Where were all these people back when it might have made a difference? If all of this is so damn important they can call the Commander in Chief Jorge why did it get to this place?

Do these people think that wall would have been built by Al Gore or John Kerry? I doubt if they would have ever even brought the issue up.

I have lost a lot of respect for the right over this. I have to admit it.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 2:41 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Bill Faith:

I haven't given up hope on seeing an administration that can get some things done elected in '08.

And who would that be? Have somebody in mind?

Until then the best way for George Bush to prove his intentions are honorable is to quit pushing for new legislation just start enforcing what's already on the books.

I have just explained to you, at great, great length, that you were misinformed when you thought that Bush was not enforcing the law.

Your response to all that is -- well, back in the nineteenth century, they built smallish things quicker because they didn't have to deal with the vast lattice of legislation we suffer under today.

True but irrelevant. That was then, this is now. The problem is not the physical ability to mill steel or dig foundations; the problem is a raft of laws that were not on the books in the 1860s, when the transcontinental railroad was built, or even in the 1940s, when we were producing vast numbers of ships during WWII.

But the laws are on the books now; and since we are a nation of laws, we must obey them, just as much as we much obey the Secure Fence Act.

Or do you suggest that the president should declare martial law, adjourn Congress, and rule via military dictatorship? I don't understand your point about the Army Corps of Engineers: They must obey the same laws as everybody else when they're working inside the United States, unless you want the Commander in Chief to suspend the law.

Your entire knowledge of Fred Thompson comes from his eight years as the undistinguished senior senator from Tennessee, who had no legislative accomplishments of note... and who was pretty moderate for a Southern conservative; his closest friend and ally in the Senate was John McCain.

Rudy Giuliani is a fairly liberal Republican former mayor of NYC. Mitt Romney is probably the most conservative of the bunch, but even he is far more of a centrist than, say, Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi... for for that matter, Gov. and Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia, a Democrat.

And then there's John McCain.

Arrayed against them are Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and the once and future candidate, Albert Arnold Gore, jr.

The next President of the United States will be one of these 8 humans. Not a one of them could get the fence built any faster than Bush is doing, and half of them would simply ignore the law and not built it at all.

If you cannot see a difference between George W. Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton, there is little to talk about.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 5:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: JenLArt

As soon as I read the words Jorge Bush I stop reading. That is an insult to the president and the office.

Where were all these people back when it might have made a difference? If all of this is so damn important they can call the Commander in Chief Jorge why did it get to this place?

Do these people think that wall would have been built by Al Gore or John Kerry? I doubt if they would have ever even brought the issue up.

I have lost a lot of respect for the right over this. I have to admit it.

Me, too, Terry! Thanks for saying it first...
If they call the President that name or start they're argument with the following phrases:
--"What part of 'illegal' don't you understand?"
--"All we have to do is enforce the laws already on the books..." (Laura Ingraham thinks this is brilliant analysis)
--"All we have to do is deport a few of 'em and the rest will 'self-deport..."
--"If Congress doesn't pass an enforcement only bill first, I'll never vote Republican again." (That one just kills me!)
I've lost a lot of respect for a lot of the Right over this, but this is considering that I'm on the Right myself. Help!

The above hissed in response by: JenLArt [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 10, 2007 8:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: MJS

Dafydd ab Hugh:

Rudy Giuliani is a fairly liberal Republican former mayor of NYC.
Huh? Your shorthand reference to Giuliani as being "fairly liberal" conveys a superficiality I don't normally expect from you, Dafydd.

To wit:

He ran one of the most conservative economic administrations in our country's history, and in one of the most liberal areas in the country, NYC, truly enemy territory for economic conservatives.

He single-handedly destroyed the mob and cleaned up NYC, while getting rid of porn shops, junkies, and other miscreants, and in one of the most liberal areas in the country, NYC, truly enemy territory for law-and-order conservatives.

He ended affirmative action, entrenched in NYC government for decades, by fiat as one of his first acts in office, and in one of the most liberal areas in the country, NYC, truly enemy territory for "color-blind" conservatives.

He is strong on national security, and unhesitatingly calls for strength in Iraq and strength in confronting Iran. He clearly sees the threat of radical Islamic fundamentalism for what it is, and has demonstrated such clarity for a long time, in fact even before 9/11, throwing the late terrorist Yasser Arafat out of a city-hosted UN event, much to the shock and protestations of those in one of the most liberal areas in the country, NYC, truly enemy territory for national defense conservatives.

He (now) forcefully backs 2nd Amendment rights and enthusiastically lauds the recent DC Circuit discussion on gun rights in Washington.

While you may disagree with him on the issue, he is clearly not in favor of the recently proposed immigration bill, faulting it on the basis of its lack of enforcement and security measures.

He is strongly against gay marriage and is for upholding the institution of marriage as it historically has been undersood, though he is for "civil unions" (while this may be a "moderate" position, it is far from "fairly liberal" as I understand liberal thinking to be defined today.)

In ONE area many (though not me) would agree with you that he is "fairly liberal." The would be in his support for Roe v. Wade and for "a woman's right to choose." Yet, he forcefully speaks of abortion as being a blight, himself as pro-life, and of his serious desire to increase adoptions and of the results he achieved with his adoption policy in NYC as mayor. This is "fairly liberal?" Sure, his ambiguity on his feelings about a judicial overturning of Roe is by no means conservative, but he does advocate for strict constructionists "in the mold of Scalia, Roberts, Alito." Tell me of some other "fairly liberal" politicians or pundits who advocate for and defend those three justices or who call for judges to be guided by strict constructionist jurisprudence?

Even if I were to stipulate that his abortion views make him a baby killer who would be unperturbed by the though of actual infanticide, and that he is no different than any of the most far left liberal abortion advocates, please tell me how he is "fairly liberal" on any other issue, or, for that matter, not "fairly conservative," if not conservative, on any other issue.

Joe Lieberman is more out of sync with nearly all of his party on one issue, and one issue only -- Iraq and the GWOT -- and relatively more so than Giuliani is out of sync with his party (though quite far from nearly all of them; it's more like 60-70%) on his own against-the-grain abortion stance. Since Joe Lieberman is so in sync with his party's liberalism on nearly every other Democratic issue, as Giuliani is with his party's conservatism on nearly every other issue, would you characterize Joe Lieberman as a "fairly conservative Democrat," without any qualification, based on this one issue, as you have done with regard to Rudy Giuliani?

I wouldn't support any candidate who is "fairly liberal" or even a "fairly liberal Republican." I would heartily support Rudy Giuliani, with no reservations.

The above hissed in response by: MJS [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 11, 2007 7:29 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Huh? Your shorthand reference to Giuliani as being "fairly liberal" conveys a superficiality I don't normally expect from you, Dafydd.

Any "shorthand reference" to anybody's place on the political spectrum is necessarily going to be "superficial," MJS.

First, I'm not talking about what he's saying today; as I do with Mitt Romney (my current choice, but only by a small margin) and Fred Thompson, I look at what he did when he was actually in office.

For the rest, I will hope if he gets elected president that he will follow through on his road to Damascus conversion. But I won't know for sure until he has the opportunity.

For example, look at what he was saying during his aborted Senate run against Hillary, before she conspired with Giuliani's ex-wife Donna Hanover to force him out of the race. He was certainly not running as a conservative.

In fact, it looked highly unlikely that he would even win the nomination of the Conservative Party (which would have made it nearly impossible to win, though I'm sure he would have done better than Rick Lazio). Certainly they withheld their support during his three mayoral runs... he ran on the Republican and Liberal Party lines in all three races.

And you might try explaining how a so-called "conservative" could endorse Mario Cuomo for governor instead of George Pataki during the latter's first gubernatorial campaign. Giuliani endorsed the liberal Democratic incumbent while Giuliani was already mayor.

During his administration, Giuliani was reliably reasonably conservative (especially by NYC standards) on economic issues, which is very important. However, he was a typical anti-gun NYC politician, doing everything he could to blame gun-related crime on the gun's manufacturer and the gun itself, rather than the hand that wields it.

And he was fairly liberal on social issues such as abortion and also "gay rights." If you have examples of him railing against same-sex marriage prior to 2005, please point me to them.

As I recall, his support for civil unions was due to the political impossibility of getting full-blown SSM enacted in the state of New York.

All in all, Giuliani's administration was certainly more liberal than, say, George Pataki's.

You can't call Giuliani a libertarian, because he's gung-ho law and order; but that is not necessarily a conservative trait, as you like to claim, because it also matters what crimes are being prosecuted: As US Attorney, in addition to going after the Mafia (e.g., John Gotti), he was equally relentless in hounding Michael Milken, whose only crime was inventing a new way to practice capitalism: high-yield bonds.

That is a very, very liberal trait... criminalizing an action, not because anybody is hurt -- HYBs led directly to the success of new start-ups or expansions like Apple and Dell and much of the rest of the new technology companies, who were unable to qualify for AAA bond sales -- but simply because one guy is making a lot of money at it.

And Giuliani didn't just put Milken in prison on six charges (I'll bet you cannot list a single one of them without looking it up), he vindictively went after Drexel Burnham Lambert, Milken's company, until he managed to utterly destroy it.

That is not the action of a financial conservative, MJS.

On immigration, Giuliani made NYC essentially into a "sanctuary city" by forbidding city employees from cooperating in any way with INS (the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the predecessor to today's USCIS).

On judges, again, you are simply taking his word today, while running for the GOP nomination for president, that he would appoint "strict constructionists." I frankly doubt he could even name any such judges, if asked without warning; because I doubt he ever thought about the issue until forced to do.

Can you find any trace of Rudy Giuliani talking about how the country needs more judicial conservatives on the bench before he began the most recent phase of running for president? Say, before 2006?

Finally, I would love to see any indication you can give that Rudy Giuliani was either a strong proponent of isolationism (one major conservative foreign-policy philosophy) or else aggressive national defense (the other main conservative foreign-policy philosophy)... prior to 9/11.

At best, he is a "9/11 Republican," as George W. Bush was; but Giuliani was also much more liberal on social and gun issues than the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

That makes him "fairly liberal," my friend. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that; there is no reason to try to cover it up.

He is certainly more conservative than any of the Democrats running today; but he is also clearly the most liberal of the "big four" Republicans running for president (R, T, McC, G).


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 11, 2007 1:31 PM

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