Rand Paul Walking Away from Gang of 8 Deal? Says Legalization Before Securitization is "Fatal Flaw" of Bill
Important vote. It had been thought his libertarian agenda would push him towards supporting the bill.
SARA EISEN: As this debate heats up among your colleagues on the floor of the Senate, what has been the reception to some of your proposed amendments?
SEN. RAND PAUL: Well, you know, we haven't had a full airing or discussion yet, but I'm one of the Republicans who favors immigration reform, but I think that any legalization of those who are here illegally should be dependent upon border security, and unfortunately we're hearing from the Gang of Eight they want the opposite. They want legalization not dependent on border security, but I think most conservatives in the country want to see the border secured, and then they're willing to go ahead and give documentation to workers that are here illegally. But we can't do it if we're not going to secure the border first.
EISEN: So if you do not get that dependent, that factor, that amnesty is tied to border security, will you then not vote for the bill?
PAUL: Really, I think it's a fatal flaw of the bill. If the bill does not allow for Congress to vote on whether or not the border's secure, and if the documentation process is not dependent on the borders being secure, I think the whole concept is fatally flawed.
But he's not necessarily against some kind of amnesty. He proposes a form of incrementalism, which he calls Trust But Verify, which would require Congress to vote each year to confirm that the required securitization metrics are being reached.
Honestly I expect something like this to be the final deal. Something like a limited amnesty for, say, those 18 and and younger after Year 1, but only after Year 1 targets are met, then for those 18-25 after Year 2, but only after Year 2 targets are met, and so forth, up to, say, a Year 5, which would be general amnesty but only after the Year 5 metrics (as Paul Ryan calls them) are satisfied.
Video at the link. Via @allahpundit
Irish Lawmaker to Government: You've Made Us a Nation of Pimps, With Your Ridiculous Slobbering Over Obama
The lawmaker is a liberal and is revolted at the temperamentally-pacifist nation -- Ireland having been an outspoken critic of the Iraq War (and not a fan of World War II, for that matter) -- sucking up to President Dronestrike as he's about to arm Al Qaeda-affiliated guerrillas in Syria. (Then again, as you now know, the only difference between a Warmonger and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate is the latter's ability to say he feels conflicted n' stuff about killing.)
Parliamentarian Clare Daly said her country's government had showcased the country “as a nation of pimps, prostituting ourselves in return for a pat on the head,” The Irish Times reports.
The “unprecedented slobbering” during Obama's two-day visit to Northern Ireland, she said, had even led to speculation that “you were going to deck the Cabinet out in leprechaun hats decorated with a bit of stars and stripes to really mark abject humiliation.”
Here's a bit of verbiage from the article: "a do-down." A "do-down," an Irish construction, is a putting down of something. So one guy says this woman has given Irish morale a "do-down."
Yeah I'm not adding that to my own vocabulary. Just pointing it out.
Meanwhile, Obama made some controversial remarks in Northern Ireland, blaming violence on his old standby, Christian religiosity.
Likening religious schools to segregation--a racist system that forced blacks to attend different schools and use different facilities than whites in the American South--President Barack Obama told a town hall meeting for youth in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Monday that there should not be Catholic and Protestant schools because such schools cause division.
"Because issues like segregated schools and housing, lack of jobs and opportunity--symbols of history that are a source of pride for some and pain for others--these are not tangential to peace; they’re essential to it," said Obama. "If towns remain divided--if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs--if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation.
You have to be a real Special Specimen to go all Bull in a China Shop in a foreign country with its own very complicated history and start offering up bromides that are simultaneously childishly naive and completely offensive.
Hey, all you have to do to achieve peace is to give up the central pillars of your identity.
Well why didn't you say so?! That's easy! Let me get started on that right now.
Consider how stupid and counter-productive such statements are. If peace requires sacrificing the central pillars of the self, it's not terribly attractive, is it?
Could peace be had without making such a determined effort at self-abnegation? Could people have differences and retain their basic identities and yet still have peace?
Apparently not. Christian schools will just have to go. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey, and nothing of value lost, anyway. Christianity doesn't have the beauty that Islam does, you know.
But Obama knows everything about peace. That's why they gave him the Nobel Peace Prize, and that's why the world is, of course, wholly at peace.
Thanks to @noahcrothman for both.
Is the media talking about Obama's very undiplomatic version of diplomacy? Of course not, Gaffes Are For Republicans.
Those are still by @rexharrisonshat and @championchapua. I never understood why they didn't get all viral 'n stuff.
Close it up
CNN: IRS Audited an FAA Whistleblower
Notably, Bryan Preston, um, notes, this is being reported by CNN, rather than, you know, not reported at all.
DHS official P. Jeffrey Black tried to fix problems that he saw in the Department of Homeland Security’s air marshal program. He testified before Congress about it. He appeared in a documentary about it.
Then the IRS magically showed up at his door. What are the odds, huh?
He had taken a long list of complaints to lawmakers about how the air marshals service was run, ranging from problems keeping marshals on flights to allegations of ineptitude and favoritism by managers. The same year he retired, he appeared in “Please Remove Your Shoes,” a documentary critical of the airline security measures travelers endure on every trip.
Then came the audit, which an Internal Revenue Service agent told him about the same day the movie premiered — “almost to the hour,” he said.
They told me that if I voted for Romney, we would see The Burning Times, and they were right.
Ted Cruz Tweet: Will Obama Be Conducting Background Checks on the Syrian Fighters He Wishes to Arm?
I have a mixed mind on this one. It's zingy and snarky. But there's a real question here, which I think might be undermined, rather than advanced, by the zingy, snarky, take-that form.
Capitol Hill Police Attempt to Block the Tea Party From Attending an Pro-Immigration Rally
The Tea Party has gathered in DC for an anti-IRS-targeting rally. But there was also a pro-immigration rally, featuring elected Representatives as speakers, going on at about the same time.
The Capitol Hill Police, who know who sign their checks but seem to have forgotten who actually pay their salaries, attempted to keep citizens from attending a rally in a public space featuring their elected representatives.
Capitol Hill police left a voicemail for Kevin Mooneyhan, Deputy Executive Director of Tea Party Patriots, saying that "your people" only are permitted to assemble for the event on the west side of the Capitol. The activists' presence at the immigration event on the east side, supposedly violates the terms of the Tea Party's permit. Mooneyhan was instructed to move any activists who planned on attending the Tea Party rally away from the immigration event.
Keep in mind, the immigration event is hosted by sitting members of Congress. The notion that citizens can't attend an event featuring duly elected Representatives in a public space is absurd.
The Capitol Hill Police seem to have backed off.
Being There: Without Teleprompter, Matthews Declares Obama "Really Struggling With the Text"
By the way, Matthews declares the big takeaway from Obama's struggling-with-the-text on surveillance to be "balance."
Note that in every single question put before him, President Present votes for "balance."
This is both stupid and smart. "Balance" obviously poll tests well and means whatever Obama wishes it to mean.
So why aren't we ourselves using the word for our own purposes?
Vince Flynn Dead at 47
Minnesota author Vince Flynn has died after a long battle with prostate cancer.
WCCO-TV has learned that Flynn died Wednesday morning at United Hospital in St. Paul.
Flynn has authored 15 novels centered around the character of Mitch Rapp, an undercover CIA agent. The majority of those novels have made it to the New York Times bestseller list.
Wednesday Morning News Dump
- Government Is Just Another Name For Things We All Do Together..Like Intimidate Whistleblowers And Their Children
- The Regulated States Of America
- Obama Greeted With A Yes We Scan Sign In Germany
- The IRS Drags Out A 'Seminar Caller' Conservative Republican Employee To Defend The Tea Party Targeting
- IRS To Pay Out 70 Million In Bonuses
- Red Green Colorblindness Causes Deadly Train Wreck
- MSNBC Really Is Like The Inside Of A Psych Ward At This Point
- Handgun Attached To A Drone
- We're All Dick Cheney Now
- Serena Williams Weighs In On Steubenville Rape Case
- Elbert Guillory Switches To The Republican Party
- What Happens When A Reporter Asks Tough Abortion Questions To A Democrat
- Airlines Finally Recognizing That Some Customers Are Too Fat For Their Seats
- Obama Makes A Big Blunder While In Ireland
- Buzzfeed Reporter Dies In Car Accident
- Houston Man Arrested For Threatening To Kidnap And Murder Ted Cruz
- The Art Of The Movie Trailer
- Allen West To Primary Rubio?
- Feel Good Self Defense Story Of The Day
- Stories Like This Make Me Hate My Fellow Man
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Top Headline Comments 6-19-13
Sorry guys. Fighting a cold and just didn't get up early enough to dig up some links. Open thread.
Overnight Open Thread (6-18-2013)
By PJ O'Rourke.
The individual is the wellspring of conservatism. The purpose of conservative politics is to defend the liberty of the individual and - lest individualism run riot - insist upon individual responsibility.On why we're only as free as the wild Stephanopoulos.
The great religions (and conservatives are known for approving of God) teach salvation as an individual matter. There are no group discounts in the Ten Commandments, Christ was not a committee, and Allah does not welcome believers into Paradise saying, "You weren't much good yourself, but you were standing near some good people." That we are individuals - unique, disparate and willful - is something we understand instinctively from an early age. No child ever wrote to Santa: "Bring me - and a bunch of kids I've never met - a pony, and we'll share."Virtue is famously lonely. Also vice, as anyone can testify who ever told his mother, "All the other guys were doing it." We experience pleasure separately; Ethan Hawke may go out on any number of wild dates, but I'm able to sleep through them. And, although we may be sorry for people who suffer, we only "feel their pain" when we're full of baloney and running for office.
But what about the old, the poor, the disabled, the helpless, the hopeless, the addled and the daft?
Conservatism is sometimes confused with Social Darwinism or other such me-first dogmas. Sometimes the confusion is deliberate. When those who are against conservative policies don't have sufficient opposition arguments, they call love of freedom "selfish. " Of course it is - in the sense that breathing is selfish. But because you want to breathe doesn't mean you want to suck the breath out of every person you encounter. Conservatives do not believe in the triumph of the large and powerful over the weak and useless. (Although most conservatives would make an exception to see a fistfight between Norman Schwartzkopf and George Stephanopoulos. If all people are free, George Stephanopoulos must be allowed to run loose, too, however annoying this may be.)But some people cannot enjoy the benefits of freedom without assistance from their fellows. This may be a temporary condition - such as childhood or being me when I say I can drive home from a bar, just fine, thank you very much, at three a.m. - or, due to infirmity or affliction, the condition may be permanent. Because conservatives do not generally propose huge government programs to combat the effects of old age, illness, being a kid or drinking 10 martinis on an empty stomach, conservatives are said to be "mean-spirited."
Read the rest here.
Yet another reason why I'm not a fan of Mark Levin.
Snowden seems to have been a guy who chose to work for two different spy agencies yet has objections to the idea of spying in general and now just wants to hurt the US government as much as possible. How else do you explain his divulging of details of American spying against China and Russia?
He may have rendered a public service by revealing the full depth of NSA domestic surveillance but more and more that seems to have been just a side benefit of his desire to become another celebrity leaker.
"The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the State of Texas earlier today in a murder trial where the defendant, prior to be taken into custody, had been questioned by the police and chose to remain silent on key questions. This fact was bought up at trial and used to convict him. Most of us have seen at least enough cop shows to know police must read a suspect their Miranda rights when placing them in custody. The issue was a bit murkier here in that the defendant had not yet been detained and while we all probably thought the freedom from self-incrimination was an implicit right as stated in the Constitution, apparently SCOTUS now thinks you have to claim that right or at least be properly mirandized first."
When you voluntarily talk to the police but then refuse to answer certain questions, that selective omission can be brought up at the trial. Reason #59 why you should never talk to the police without an attorney present.
Can you guess them without looking?
Answer: The football coaches at Army, Navy and Air Force.
The Dutch treat verus that 100-year old document:
On April 29, Sir Jay Merchant was knighted by Ambassador Rudolf Bekink on behalf of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. Merchant is the "international relations adviser" in the Office of the Administrator of CMS, which is the agency's highest executive office.
While this may seem like just a neat factoid for inside-the-Beltway water-cooler amusement, there's actually a constitutional problem that precludes this gallant story from having a fairytale ending.
To wit Article I, Section 9, Clause 8:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
But of course Sir Jay never got permission from Congress nor has he renounced the knighthood.
Welcome to the new feudalism - in this case literally.
Here Bob Owens by way of WeaponMan's blog explains why .22 has been so scarce.
1. There's a ton of new shooters, and shooters with new guns. Tens of millions have new guns have found new owners, and retailers tell us a high percentage of them are first-time buyers, and another large segment is people long away from shooting or gun ownership that are coming back to it. The entire demographics of shooting is changing, as a visit to a range will show you. These new shooters need ammo, and their mentors and trainers need ammo to train them with. That's not all of it, but it's one factor.
2. Economists know that when the price or availability of a desired good rises, one predictable effect is the consumption of an alternative good in its place. The .22 rimfire is the long-standing alternative to expensive and scarce centerfire calibers like 5.56, 7.62, 9mm and .40. As a result, the shortage of any one of these calibers becomes, in time, a shortage of .22; and to a lesser extent it becomes a shortage of all of these calibers.
3. People who were comfortable buying shooting and hunting ammo day-of or day-before have been spooked by the shortage into carrying an inventory. The longer the shortage continues, the more of these guys there are, the more of an inventory they feel they need. Exercise for the reader: if you shoot 500 rounds a week, how many rounds do you need to weather six months' disruption in supply? Before you say we'll never have six months' disruption, stop and think: we're in about month eight of a shortage right now. People who never stored ammo before are hoarding it now, and people who hoarded it already are hoarding more. This is probably the single biggest factor.
4. People who concentrate on preparedness, for example the readers of Jim Rawles's website and novels, have realized that .22LR ammo is a lasting store of value that has more stability in good times and bad than currency or even gold. (If the rule of law collapses, gold may still have value but may be difficult and risky to exchange). We think this is a larger factor. A lot of people who aren't going to get fully on board with preparedness and move to the mountains like Jim recommends, will still take incremental actions like storing necessities: food, drinking water, and .22 ammo
Whew. Now you can sit back and relax with a beer until the authorities arrive. Wait - what the fuck was that noise?!
Why else would they put tourist-killing terrorists in charge of the most popular tourist attractions?
On Sunday, President Morsi appointed Adel al-Khayat of the Gamaa al-Islamiyya party as Governor of Luxor, a region home to the ruins of two temples and several monuments, widely known as the "open air museum." The party, Gamaa al-Islamiyya, not only holds conservative views against sunbathing, women wearing shorts, and alcohol, but is also responsible for the 1997 attack in Luxor that killed 60 tourists.
And of course Gamaa al-Islamiyya just issued a fatwa against building anything for tourism:
"A fatwa, or religious decree, published on the Gamaa al-Islamiyya's Web site advised members of the group not to build tourist accommodations. 'Because tourist villages have aspects that anger Allah, including alcohol, gambling and other forbidden things, building these hotels and villages is considered aiding their owners in sin and aggression, and is not permitted,' the decision read."
Eh - that 11% of Egyptian GDP and 90% of jobs in Luxor was overrated anyway. Allah will provide.
At least according to Google Street View.
Tonight's post brought to you by Garland, Lamarr, and Turner:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
Close it up
Squee: Latest Fad is for Bachelorettes to Strip to Skivvies or to the Raw for a Cute Group Picture!
Rhetorical question, because it has no answer: Are people just getting more narcissistic, dumb, and awful, or do we just have more reporting on the narcissistic, dumb, and awful?
I don't really object to this on moral grounds. I suppose my question is simply: Why? Why do you want a semi-nude shot of you and your maids of honor hugging each other?
What does this do for you, inside? What message does this send, what hurt does this heal?
I think people just want to be Movie Stars Like They See On The Covers of Magazines, and such tasteful (?) nudity is common there. So I guess this is some kind of Star Fantasy for brides-to-be.
Oh, and there's porny boudoir shots, too. I guess maybe that's... I don't know, marital aid? I guess that's a gift for the husband, so I guess I get that more.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to pop off and kill myself.
A Rope, A Chair & A Rafter
My last remaining comforts in this world.
Piers Morgan: Nannying Mayors Are Needed, Because "People Need Nannying"
Remember, Piers Morgan won The Celebrity Apprentice, not The Celebrity Genius.
This is a crap post so I'll add this from @rdbrewer4 and hope that makes it into something.
The Amnesty Shills Have Lied to Us Constantly.
But We Should Trust Them Now.
We are supposed to trust them, despite their constant lying to us.
McCain cast himself as a border hawk for 2008 and then again in 2010, and of course voted against the border fence today (which he previously vowed to build).
McCain is particularly proud of his personal honor. So why does he lie so frequently, so casually, and so thoughtlessly to us? Why does he break promises without a hint of remorse?
Well, let me explain: Honorable behavior is only owed to the honorable. That has historically been the rule of martial honor/chivalry -- other honorable knights were owed honorable conduct, but not brigands and ruffians.
Point is, the overly-proud-of-his-personal-honor McCain feels free to break his Word of Honor to conservatives because he considers brigands and ruffians to whom no honor in conduct is owed.
So absolutely, sign me up for your Amnesty Bill, John McCain! As I know your promises to me mean absolutely nothing -- I am too low, socially, to be owed your Word of Honor -- of course I'll happily accept your new promises about your future intentions and about the alleged "triggers" in the bill.
Senator John McCain
He's kept every promise he's made to Chuck Schumer.
Television and Political Correctness' Safe Harbor for the Stupid
A recent Matt Lewis column mentioned a book called Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman, which was published in 1985. Yes, It's Old (TM). Its central thesis struck a chord with me: That freedom and reason will be lost in America not in an Orwellian way, but in a Huxleyan one. Orwell's vision was of a government ruthlessly suppressing books and changing written accounts of the past in order to change the thinking of the present.
Rick Tempest spoke about this at the end of the most recent AoSHQ podcast. Rick doesn't read much, so when he does finish a book, it's like The Only Thing He Can Talk About.
Anyway, Huxley's vision was that no totalitarian state was needed for such a descent into infantilization and restriction of thought: That all that was necessary was that the means of distraction and infantilization be provided to the population, and the people would voluntarily choose that path, no Mintruth needed, no black-armored thought police required. Orwell's vision was therefore of a forcible lobotomy, conducted by the state; Huxley's was one of a voluntary one, people checking in to an outpatient clinic every day to have bothersome parts of their brains excised.
The idea of the book (which, frankly, is better than the book itself) is an elaboration of Marshall McLuhan's aphorism, "the medium is a message." Which is something Rick Tempest never understood until reading this book. The aphorism stands for the proposition that every medium -- whether it be writing, speaking, song, epic poetry, telegraph reports, news journalism, or television -- has embedded deep within it a preference for certain modes of expression and certain types of stories, and thus each medium contains within it an embedded philosophy of thought which cannot be wholly separated from the actual content of the communication.
Thus, the medium itself, to an extent not appreciated enough, is part of the message it carries.
Now, Postman's book contrasts two different media, print and television. His book documents the long fall of America from a print-based method of political discourse to a television-based one. The early New England colonists, he points out, had a literacy rate of 95%, which was unheard of in the world at the time (and is rather high even today). They consumed printed material -- pamphlets, books, all of it -- and even spoke in that fashion. For example, he notes that Lincoln's speechifying, which may sound overly-complex for spoken argument today, was in fact fairly common of the style of rhetoric at the time, and people had no particular trouble following it.
Nowadays, we've lost our ear for long spoken sentences with lots of dependent clauses, and it's all we can do to make sense of them even in print, where we can take our time parsing them out.
This is part of his point: The method of communication breeds a certain method of thought in a population. To Americans living from 1730 to 1870, Lincoln's speeches were not overly-complicated or difficult to follow. They were accustomed to long complicated thoughts in political speech.
This has all changed since the television became the chief conveyance of not merely pop entertainment but, crucially, of political expression and culture itself. I will not belabor the long litany of sins he lays at the feet of television. Suffice to say that he believes that much of the superficiality and stupidity of the modern world is due to television's promotion of a certain style of thought, which is to say a certain style of thoughtlessness: Fast cuts, short sentences, information stripped of context, a disdain for abstractions -- indeed, a disdain for anything that cannot be filmed occurring in the here-and-now.
And the carnival barking-- Dear Lord, the carnival barking. Everything on TV is the best, the latest, the most spectacular, the weirdest, the most shocking. That sort of endless Hype of the Present Moment seems to give a big middle finger to All History Which Has Come Before.
Now, Postman is a liberal Democrat (or so parts of his book seemed to indicate), and, in 1985, he thought that television and the particular style of stupidity it encouraged was Reagan's secret weapon.
I disagree with that conclusion but I agree with Rick Tempest that most of his other conclusions are spot-on.
Rick Tempest's big disagreement is as to which side of the politico-cultural war television's maudlin, emotional, hot-button-pushing, no-abstract-thought-or-hypotheticals-allowed style of discourse favors. I think that there's a softness of thought to television-based thinking that strongly favors a regime of Political Correctness and thereby strongly favors soft liberalism as a default, risk-free safe harbor for the stupid.
Anyway, interesting idea, I think. I don't know if I'd recommend the book so much as I'd recommend the idea, which I've just shared with you. It's a decent book, though. Although, oddly enough, for a book which rants against superficial analysis, its evidence of TV's dire impact on our thinking is very anecdotal, superficial, and news-clipping-ish. You think that a book about the virtue of rigor and depth would exemplify that itself.
And yet, a fast easy TV-like read.
Gang of 8 Rejects Border Fence Amendment
The Senate, by a 54-39 vote, rejected an amendment put forth by John Thune that called for the completion of a border fence between Mexico and the U.S.
Senators on Tuesday rejected building the 700 miles of double-tier border fencing Congress authorized just seven years ago, with a majority of the Senate saying they didn’t want to delay granting illegal immigrants legal status while the fence was being built.
The 54-39 vote to reject the fence shows the core of the immigration deal is holding. The vote broke mostly along party lines, though five Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio and the rest of the bill’s authors, voted against the fence, and two Democrats voted for it
[Update] The five Republicans who voted against the Thune Amendment are Flake, McCain, Rubio, Murkowski, and Graham. Two Democrats voted for the Thune Amendment, they are Pryor and Manchin.
All I know is that nobody better tell this guy that the fence was voted down. He'll be pissed if he finds out.
Close it up
Barbara Walters: Bill Maher Probably Just Didn't Know "Retard" Was Offensive When He Called Trig That
They're very loyal to fellow members of the Tribe, aren't they?
Flashback: @rdbrewer4 reminded me that Babsy was quick to gently cup Anthony Weiner's package of spin, too.
Breaking: First Interviews with Watergate Burglars Did Not Indicate Any White House Involvement
I mention this because Elijah Cummings has released the transcripts of the interviews with the IRS agents conducted so far, and so far, he says, none of them
report admit to any White House direction.
Merely that the targeting was supervised directly from Washington, despite Lois Lerner's initial claims that this was all a few rogue operators in Cincinnati.
Elijah Cummings, and Salon, think this is a Big Victory for Team Obama that so far, in the earliest stages of the investigation, before the agents who actually performed the targeting have been questioned under oath and without their supervisor Holly Paz being present during the interview, they have only narked a little bit on the Washington Nexus and the higher-level players there.
"11 Million Undocumented Democrats"
Like many things, it took a joke to put this into play.
People feel more comfortable discussing tricky subject areas with jokes.
So, apparently Leno mentioned the amnesty bill for "11 million documented Democrats," and now it's being used as a laugh-line among Republicans, and finally people are talking about it for real.
I'll tell you one thing: The Democrats would never be talking about giving voting rights to 11 million undocumented Tea Partiers.
Big: Boehner Promises to Not Bring Comprehensive Amnesty Bill to Floor Unless a Majority of GOP Caucus Supports It
I kind of don't believe him, and I also kind of think that a majority of our elected Knaves & Fools will support the bill, but at least there's a chance.
“I don’t see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn’t have a majority support of Republicans,” Boehner told reporters following a closed-door House GOP conference meeting…
According to a member who attended the meeting, Boehner argued against the Hastert Rule, but assured his colleagues that he would adhere to it on immigration.
On Monday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher warned that Boehner should lose his gavel if he moved forward on immigration without majority support, saying it would be a “betrayal” of the party…
Asked by reporters if he agreed with Rohrabacher’s assessment, the Speaker considered the question and replied “maybe.”
I'm not a "US person"...
I'm a US Citizen, natural-born and raised, dammit. And it's a distinction that makes a difference to me.
Apparently, though, "US citizenship" is an antiquated device; a relic from an earlier age when Obama's "Founding Founders" were all racists who never embraced or never could have conceived of the transnational "world without borders" view favored by our current President and the creepy, neo-totalitarian progressive radicals that prop him up.
Here is the Obama White House attempting to quell concerns over the intrusive reach of his NSA/Prism operations. Note the terminology:
President Obama: "If you are a U.S. person, the NSA cannot listen to your telephone calls and the NSA cannot target your emails."— The White House (@whitehouse) June 18, 2013
Got that, you US person, you? You're totally safe and all.
Here was my Twitter reaction to it, after spending some time in contemplation of the President's semantic change:
I bet the Founding Founders are proud to have created a country full of US persons. Whoever they are.— Jack's Not 4 Turning (@jackmcoldcuts) June 18, 2013
Isn't construction "US persons" revealing? I think it's an Obamaism to cater to illegal aliens...an "inclusive" phrase for non-citizens.— Jack's Not 4 Turning (@jackmcoldcuts) June 18, 2013
That's further proof of Obama's disdain for America/Americans. He'd rather reinvent the language than stand for concept of citizenship.— Jack's Not 4 Turning (@jackmcoldcuts) June 18, 2013
See, had Obama said "US Citizens" (likely the most common usage which a President would normally employ in a "reassure the nation" statement) he would have done something unforgivable to the left. This transgression would even have occurred if he had used the phase "US residents" (as it could have been interpreted to only include citizens and resident aliens): he would have not been offering reassurances to America's newest privileged class: illegal aliens.
But the construction of "US persons", why that covers pretty much anyone found within the borders! It's about as inclusive as you can get while defending a program operating within the boundaries of the United States. And if we have to sacrifice the concept of "citizenship" to promote "inclusiveness", why that's just a sacrifice we have to make, isn't it?
See, I'm of a mind that the most valuable and precious status a person can hold in this world is that of "US Citizenship". I believe in American Exceptionalism, and I do believe that Americans are different than anyone else in part because we have a common history and unique culture that prizes liberty and elevates individual freedom and governmental restraint (2nd Amendment, anyone?) in a manner that 99% of foreigners simply don't share. The American experiment is different...and it is that innate difference, I would argue, that has long saved America from falling headlong into the depths of Statist tyranny that has long sought favor and refuge in the Socialist halls of 20th Century Europe, or that has expressed itself historically in the Totalitarian/Authoritarian rule of Asian empires (WW2 Japan, Current China), the dysfunctional Banana Republics of Central and South America, or the increasingly Theocratic Islamist spread of the Middle Eastern Mullahs.
"US Citizenship" is a bulwark against those excesses. As long as it stands for something, and carries its historic definition it means that we have a people who have been conditioned to stand guard as the last, shining city on the hill against those who would snuff Lady Liberty's light, or enclose her in a burqa, as soon as look at her. It's also why it should be difficult to obtain in the first place.
And, per Obama's tweet, that, apparently, cannot be allowed to stand.
Make no mistake, Obama's phrasing here is not accidental. It, like the Gang of 8 Amnesty bill has, as a core feature, the intention to water down and overwhelm "American Citizenship" by extending it to tens of millions who have no natural conception of what it means, or what its value truly is. It's about diluting the concept of American Exceptionalism to the point where Americans adopt the Obama approach: where Americans are "exceptional" just like everyone else. Remember his quote on the subject?
I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.
A world where everyone is exceptional means a world where no one is exceptional. To Obama, that's a feature not a bug. It's a major reason why the Amnesty bill, and all those who embrace it, from lowly pro-Amnesty blog shills to glorified elected Senators, must be both repudiated and defeated.
I will also add this: in my family, there is a strong tradition of military service. I grew up listening to my Great grandfather recount tales of World War 1, my Grandfather recount tales of his service in WW2 and Korea, and my Father recounting his service in the jungles of Vietnam. These men fought, and very often bled, in the service of their fellow countrymen. I am proud of them, each and every one.
They didn't put it all on the line to protect "US persons". They put it all on the line to protect "US Citizens." They understood the difference.
So don't tell me it's a meaningless semantic change, Mr. President. I know better. And I'm convinced that there are still enough of us remaining who do as well. I hope so, anyway, because I shudder to think of how emboldened the left will become once they have convinced themselves that the last remnants of those who understand our unique tradition and history, and our traditional preference for limited government and individual liberty, have finally been overwhelmed.
"Standing Man" Protest in Taksim Inspires Hundreds of Others to Join the Vigil
As far as protests go, this one is... eerie.
Turkish man inspires hundreds with silent vigil in Taksim Square
Erdem Gunduz – dubbed 'standing man' – stages eight-hour vigil and is joined by 300 people during silent protest
Reuters in Istanbul
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 18 June 2013 03.30 EDT
Jump to comments (256)
Erdem Gunduz in Taksim Square
Erdem Gunduz stands in Taksim Square during a 'duranadam', or standing man protest, in Istanbul. Photograph: Vassil Donev/EPA
A Turkish man has staged an eight-hour silent vigil in Istanbul's Taksim Square, the scene of violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters in recent weeks, inspiring hundreds of others to follow his lead.
Erdem Gunduz said he wanted to take a stand against police stopping demonstrations near the square, the Dogan news agency reported.
He stood silently, facing the Ataturk Cultural Centre which was draped in Turkish flags and a portrait of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, from 6pm on Monday.
By 2am on Tuesday, when the police moved in, about 300 people had joined him. Ten people, who refused to be moved on by police, were detained.
NSA, Intelligence Officials Testifying Before House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
On CSPAN3, livestreamed here (on the left).
Tuesday Morning News Dump
- Obama: NSA Spying That We Knew Nothing About Weeks Ago Is Transparent
- Citizens And The State: The Problem Is Bigger Than You Think
- Rise In Illegal Crossings Roils Immigration Debate
- Obamaphone Dealers Okay With People Trading Them For Drugs Or Cash
- Our Modern Day Marie Antoinette Continues Her Spending Spree
- Obamacare's Broken Promises
- Fox Cub Gets Head Caught In A Jar
- Obama Seems To Be The Only Person Who Believe New Iranian Prez Is A Moderate
- False Rape Accuser Ordered To Pay 2.6 Million
- Eighth Grader Who Refused To Remove NRA Shirt Could Face A Year In Prison
- Government Compromises Our Trust
- CNN: 47% Believe The White House Ordered The IRS To Target Conservatives
- Is The Momentum For Gay Marriage Real Or Just Media Hype
- Turkish Protestors Accuse Local Media Of Covering Up For Erdogan
- The Muslim Brotherhood Has Turned Cairo Into A Dystopia
- Five Year Old Cap Gun Offender Can't Expunge His Record
- Feel Good Gun Story Of The Day
- Zimmerman Jury Selection Day Six
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Top Headline Comments 6-18-13
"It is not clear if Snowden is referring here to the Gang of 8 tackling immigration reform, or some other Gang of 8." Heh. That Q&A was something else.
Meanwhile, Snowden's father urges him to come back to the U.S., not to commit treason.
While we're thinking about polls, Gallup surveyed public opinion on five potential 2016 GOP candidates. Among GOP voters, Rep. Paul Ryan led among net favorability with 57%. Then it was Sen. Marco Rubio -- 47%, Sen. Rand Paul -- 43%, Sen. Ted Cruz -- 32%, Gov. Chris Christie -- 28%. Among adults (IOW, without the party filter), Christie's net favorable was 32%, followed by Rubio -- 15%, Ryan -- 8%, Cruz -- 6%, and Paul -- 5%.
Now featured on TPB's front page
TPB = The Pirate Bay. It would seem our scandals have truly gone worldwide now.
Overnight Open Thread (6-17-2013)
Because I'm lazy and kinda sick that's why.
The Geek Menagerie
And unlike the NSA they can and will use the information they get against every single American taxpayer.
The Internal Revenue Service is collecting a lot more than taxes this year - it's also acquiring a huge volume of personal information on taxpayers' digital activities, from eBay auctions to Facebook posts and, for the first time ever, credit card and e-payment transaction records, as it expands its search for tax cheats to places it's never gone before.
. . . .
"It's well-known in the tax community, but not many people outside of it are aware of this big expansion of data and computer use," says Edward Zelinsky, a tax law expert and professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Yale Law School. "I am sure people will be concerned about the use of personal information on databases in government, and those concerns are well-taken. It's appropriate to watch it carefully. There should be safeguards." He adds that taxpayers should know that whatever people do and say electronically can and will be used against them in IRS enforcement.
. . . ."Private industry would be envious if they knew what our models are," boasted Dean Silverman, the agency's high-tech top gun who heads a group recruited from the private sector to update the IRS, in a comment reported in trade publications. The IRS did not respond to a request for an interview.
The unidentified kindergartener had brought the toy gun in his backpack because his friend had brought a water gun the previous day. He later told his mother that he "really, really" wanted his friend to see it.
School officials at Dowell Elementary School in the town of Lusby proceeded to question the five-year-old for over two hours before finally calling his mother at 10:50 a.m. By that time, he had wet his pants (which the mother called highly unusual).The Post notes that the principal - Jennifer L. Young, according to Dowell Elementary's website - told the boy's mother that things would have been even worse had the toy gun been loaded with caps. In that case, the school would have regarded the plaything as an explosive and called the police.
At a certain point this was no longer a valid concern for safety and became child abuse at the hands of school authorities. A 60 second inspection of the toy and a 10 minute talk with the boy should have been enough to determine that this wasn't a real gun and that the boy didn't have any bad intent.
To drag the interrogation out for hours and then still suspend the boy implies that the administrators are simply too stupid to be in charge of children or are willing to terrorize little boys out of pleasure/self-protection. I don't see a third possibility here.
Well that's what Warner/Chappell claim about "Happy Birthday" and they will charge you quite a bit to sing it in public. But finally this is being challenged in court.
Now, the documentary film company says it has "irrefutable documentary evidence, some dating back to 1893, [which] shows that the copyright to 'Happy Birthday,' if there ever was a valid copyright to any part of the song, expired no later than 1921 and that if defendant Warner/Chappell owns any rights to 'Happy Birthday,' those rights are limited to the extremely narrow right to reproduce and distribute specific piano arrangements for the song published in 1935."
So why didn't the girls that Castro imprisoned in Cleveland ever try to escape?
For the three kidnapped women in Cleveland, one needs to consider their youth when kidnapped, and more importantly the fact that they were raped, humiliated, and tortured, and under the complete control of their kidnapper 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Only a few days of being plunged into that sort of situation would make most people crack, much less ten years of it. We don't know all the details of how Castro exerted his control, but part of it was apparently by chaining them, starving them, boarding up windows and locking doors securely, as well as tricking the women by pretending to leave the house and then "punishing" them (i.e. torturing them) when they tried to take advantage of his supposed absence to escape.
And this wasn't even the worst kidnapping and imprisonment case - the kidnapping of Colleen Stan was even worse if you can imagine it. I saw a made for tv movie about it a few years ago and what was done to her is the stuff of nightmares.
But my suspicion is that it's simply easier to intimidate and exert long-term mind control over young girls. I doubt a abducted teenage boy would ever be as pliable and controllable - most likely they would attempt to bolt as soon as they had the opportunity or eventually try to subdue or kill the kidnapper.
"Ontario couple Ken Campbell and Nicole Sauve said a recent fence installation led them to discover what is being labeled a historical find. Sauve, who said the duo originally believed the skeleton to be from bones of an animal, called the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate; Forensic Anthropologist Michael Spence confirmed the bones were that of an aboriginal woman who died at age 24 between the late 1500s to the early 1600s. In spite of reporting their find and Spence's evaluation, Suave and Campbell were told they were required to hire an archeologist to assess their property at their own expense under Ontario's Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act. The act, which requires evaluation for all properties found to house human remains, has the Canadian couple stuck with a big bill."
Pro-tip: Destroy any indian remains or any endangered species you find on your property.
Thanks to Flounder.
I vaguely recall the Logan's Run TV series from my childhood and my recollection was that it kinda sucked (and this is coming from a kid who was a complete sucker for anything sci-fi). Clearly I was nowhere near puberty and missed half of the point of the show.
Trivia: Heather Menzies played Louisa Von Trapp in The Sound of Music and also starred in Sssssss.
The Yahoo AoSHQ group. Bla bla bla.
And my twitter thang.
Tonight's post brought to you by 1912 hotties:
Notice: Posted by permission of AceCorp LLC. Please e-mail overnight open thread tips to maetenloch at gmail. Otherwise send tips to Ace.
Close it up
Sharyl Atkkisson: I Think I Know Who Hacked My Computers
“I think I know. But I’m just not prepared to go into that. We’re continuing our investigations. There are multifaceted looks at what to do next… Let me just say, whoever did it, to come into a private citizen’s home, whether I’m a journalist or not, and look in my family’s computer and look into my work computer… Well, it’s outrageous.”
She's pretty much almost saying "It was the government."
State Department Whistleblower: The Government Is Attempting to Intimidate Me Into Silence
Fortunately for him, there's not at all. Whew.
So, here you go: Another story your media will completely embargo.
For some time, it's been the case that if you want the news, the last place on earth you'd look for it is in the so-called American News Organizations. But it gets worse, more Stalinist, every single day.
The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an "intimidation" campaign to stop her.
Last week's leaks by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department inspector general investigator, shined a light on alleged wrongdoing by U.S. officials around the globe. But her attorney Cary Schulman tells The Cable that Fedenisn has paid a steep price: "They had law enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children and attempt to incriminate herself."
Erich Hart, general counsel to the Inspector General, did not reply to a request for comment.
Schulman says the purpose of the visit was to get Fedenisn to sign a document admitting that she stole State Department materials, such as the memos leaked to CBS. Schulman says it was crucial that she didn't sign the document because her separation agreement with the State Department includes a provision allowing disclosures of misconduct. Furthermore, none of the materials were classified.
Schulman charged that sending law enforcement officers to pressure her into signing an agreement was heavy handed. "
Meanwhile, here's another part of what State covered-up.
The soap opera in Italy unfolded in the fall of 2010, when Moore became the Naples consul general after serving in the same capacity at the US Embassy in Port au Prince, Haiti. As a senior foreign-service officer, Moore could make as much as $179,700 a year, State Department data says.
Within days, he allegedly bedded a consulate employee, a single mom who fell in love with him.
“She informed anyone within earshot that she had had the abortion and had her tubes tied at his instruction,” Howard wrote. “Morale continued to sink as this soap opera played out in our workplace on a daily basis.”
Private personal misconduct? Not exactly:
Kerry Howard says she was bullied, harassed and forced to resign after she exposed US Consul General Donald Moore’s alleged security-threatening shenanigans in the Naples, Italy, office.
“It’s cover-up after cover-up. It’s absolutely hideous,” she told The Post. “When our diplomats disrespect the Italians by hiring and firing them because they have seen too much — or use them for ‘sex-ercise’ — we have to question why we have diplomats abroad at taxpayer expense.”
So that's another whistleblower bullied by Hillary's State goons for speaking up about misbehavior.
In addition, the underlying misconduct is about abusing people in the host country of a consulate. Our diplomatic corps is there to make us look good, right?
Arrested Development Arena Fighting Video Game;
Breaking Bad Lego Adventure Game
They say they will make these games -- so long as they can get the licenses. Now, there's no way Lego is going to license a game that features the cast of Breaking Bad.
But Arrested Development one just needs the producers' blessing.
Oh Here's Something Awesome: When you slow the Theme from Seinfeld down 12x (or whatever), it becomes a chilling theme of existential psychological horror.
I'm not exaggerating. Check it out.
It'll haunt ya, man.
Obama Gurl: Holly Paz, Who Donated $4000 to Obama in 2008, Personally Supervised Tea Party Scrutiny
Remember, this is the woman who now claims she thought "Tea Party" could mean "liberal."
$4000 is a lot of money for someone who works for wages and isn't just sitting on a huge pile of wealth.
A Washington-based IRS supervisor acknowledged she was personally involved in reviewing Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status as far back as 2010, Fox News confirms — a detail that further challenges the agency’s initial claim that the practice of singling out those groups was limited to a handful of employees in Ohio.
Congressional sources confirmed to Fox News that Holly Paz, who until recently was a top deputy in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, told congressional investigators she reviewed 20 to 30 applications. Some requests languished for more than a year without action.
The account undercuts the narrative that senior officials only learned of the practice after it had already started in the Cincinnati office.
Holly Paz, a supervisor in the IRS's Washington, DC office that issued rulings on tax-exempt groups, made a $2,000 contribution directly to the Obama for America war chest, and another $2,000 to the separate Obama Victory Fund, both in 2008, according to Federal Election Commission documents.
She has also been named as the attorney who monitored interviews conducted with IRS employees by Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George, as he investigated what would explode in May 2013 as a major crisis for the White House.
And how are the networks reporting this? Simple, they're not.
Remote-Control Helicopter Provides Aerial View of Taksim Demonstrations
I'm linking this for two reasons:
1, as a demonstration of how anti-state propaganda is done.
2, Did you know that a video camera attached to a RC miniature helicopter could possibly produce such clear pictures? Or that a little RC chopper could be made, by electronic gyroscopes I assume, into such a stable photography platform? (Update: @comradearthur notes there are twitch-elimination programs people run on video after it's shot, such as VReveal, to produce stable-looking imagery.)
Because I did not. I've got a little bit of tech-shock here: Sure, I knew the government would have access to this level of quality electronics, but I didn't know it was something someone could just buy at the store.
Amusingly, a lot of protesters on the ground keep shooting lasers up at the RC chopper's camera to obliterate the picture. They assume it's a government probe -- they too assume, like me, that Only a Government could afford such a wonder.
Nope. Some citizen owns this eye in the sky. Possibly like this one, which you can have for under a grand. Bye-bye privacy, S. Weasel says.
Meanwhile, one man is staging a Lonely Protest, standing alone in the middle of Tasksim:
Meanwhile, government-worker and professional unions have joined the protests. And Erdogan is threatening to deploy the military to stop the protests if the police's tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets can't.
That would be interesting, because the military is supposed to defend the secularist vision Turkey.
Turkey's government warned Monday it may deploy the military against protesters who continue to defy officials by taking to the street in what the interior minister called "illegal" demonstrations.
The warning is the first time the Islamist-rooted government has mentioned use of the military to restore public order. The military establishment traditionally has been seen as a bastion of secularism in Turkey and a foe of past Islamist political figures.
"First, if necessary we will deploy the police," Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on Monday. "If that's not enough we will call on the (national guard). But if events still require further action, and the governor so wishes, we will resort to calling on the military to contain these protests."
Five major unions representing public sector workers, doctors, engineers and architects have called their rank-and-file out on a one-day strike and march in city centers across Turkey. One analyst said it would be a "major move" if the Turkish government were to involve the military in its attempts to control the protests.
Below, video from the government crackdown on the demonstrators from June 15. The aftermath of it -- including children choking on tear gas -- is at around 4:20.
Science: Meet the Whale-Taming Woman Who Swims Butt-Naked With Beluga Whales
There are pictures, and she is butt-naked in them, but remember, this is Science, and she's learning about swimming naked with Beluga whales.
Well actually it's not about Science (TM) per se, it's about taming whales, about getting them to be okay with human beings and confinement so they can be carted off to aquariums -- "dolphinariums," this article calls them -- around the world.
She swims butt-naked in arctic ice, by the way.
The average human could die if left in sub-zero temperature sea water for just five minutes.
However, Natalia is a yoga expert and used meditation techniques to hold her breath and stay under water for an incredible ten minutes and 40 seconds.
Not so much "news" as "I can't believe that's a job."
(In which American workers just couldn't cut it, of course.)
Oh: I know the original expression is "buck naked," but since Eddie Murphy said "butt-naked" in his first HBO special, that's been the way to say it, at least for me.
Holly Paz's Alibi: I Thought "Tea Party" Could Mean "Liberal"
When front-line tax agents in Cincinnati used the term “tea party,” they didn’t just mean conservative groups. Instead, a “tea party” case could refer to an application for tax-exemption from any group – including liberal ones – believed to be engaging in political activity, one IRS official told congressional investigators.
“Since the first case that came up to Washington happened to have that name, it appeared to me that that’s what they were calling it that as a shorthand, because the first case had been that,” said Holly Paz, the Internal Revenue Service’s director of rulings and agreements. She said “tea party” could mean any political group, just like “Coke” is often used as a generic term for soda, or people refer to tissues as “Kleenex.”
Uh-huh. Nice try. Telling this blatant a lie after-the-fact is evidence of the guilty mind during the fact.
Holly Paz seems to be one of those workers who, for lack of a better term, just can't cut it.
Sharyl Atkisson: My Computer Woke Itself Up in the Middle of the Night for Unknown Reasons; The Only Thing I Was Working on Was... Benghazi and Fast & Furious
Given that she's got forensics experts saying she was hacked, the "waking up" business seems to be more than a Windows update, more like unauthorized remote access.
“Whoever was in my work computer, the only thing I was working on were work-related things with CBS were big stories I guess during the time period in questions were I guess Benghazi and ‘Fast and Furious.’ The intruders did have access to personal information including passwords to my financial accounts and so on, but didn’t tamper with those, so they weren’t interested in stealing my identity or doing things to my finances. So people can decide on their own what they might have been trying to do in there.”
Rubio Aide: "There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can't cut it."
“‘There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it,’ a Rubio aide told me. ‘There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly.’”
We should discuss this publicly, as this is one of the most important issues in play in the immigration argument.
Restricting the right to work in America to Americans is a form of protectionism towards American workers. Of course it is. It creates, of course, a legal barrier to entry against foreign workers.
Of course. That's the point of it.
Now, the effect of this is the same as any other form of protectionism: The favored class, the American workers, can demand higher wages, and in fact work less hard than they otherwise would, because they know they have some level of protectionism favoring their work. Their work doesn't have to be quite as good as the Very Best in the World, because Very Best in the World aren't all competing for American jobs.
Any form of protectionism creates the ability of the protected to ask for higher prices and/or produce lower quality. That doesn't mean all workers will take advantage of this ability, but surely some will, and the net aggregate cost of production will rise, and/or the net aggregate quality of production will probably fall.
There are some who see this as a bad thing-- that protectionism like this is always bad.
I don't see this as a bad thing. First of all, Americans have got to work, right? Either they are going to get money from wages from a job or -- and this is important -- they are going to get money from the government for not working at a job, and we should not be indifferent between these two options.
For the sake of a hypothetical, let's blow this situation up and talk about if we followed the Amnestias' logic to its natural end-point. We could just go bananas with "Let's just import all-new workers from Third World countries where people are so hungry and desperate that they'll gladly undercut the prevailing American wage and work harder, too" plan and invite, say, 200 million new workers to make their abode in America, thereby displacing virtually all American workers.
At least those workers who aren't willing to work for truly low wages, and those workers who are effectively competition-proof either due to having some difficult-to-replace skill, etc. A certain class of worker will tend to be protected due to having an attribute foreigners don't usually have -- native fluency in English, for example. I don't mean this as a shot against the media, but the media would be naturally protected, at least for a while, under this Go Crazy With It scheme, simply because their own Native English skill is not easily acquired by a non-Native-English-speaking foreign competitor, no matter how hungry he is.
Okay, Big Business sort of might like this idea, because now, of course, they're making their product for less money and are more competitive.
So long as you're looking at just that one side of the ledger -- lowest costs for your products. But there are other parts of the ledger one should look at, too.
For example: In America, Americans are used to some sort of social safety net, and furthermore, can vote themselves a more generous social safety net if they like. If 200 million foreign workers displace 200 million American workers, it's not quite true that our products are now cheaper and more "competitive" in the market, because the money to pay for all these now-permanently-unemployed Americans has to come from somewhere.
Might as well tax Big Business, then. So the actual cost of labor is not just the wages you pay to your actual employees -- the cost of labor is really:
The cost of wages you pay to your employees
The costs imposed by government in taxes, especially those required (in this scenario) to now put 200 million formerly-working Americans on the dole
So when we think about American labor costs, we always have to keep this second factor in mind.
Now some will object, "But that's silly, we're not talking about displacing 200 million American workers."
No, you're only talking about displacing 20 million. So yes, that would be only 10% as bad.
But I'm afraid "only 10% as bad as a catastrophe" still isn't good. I blew the scale of this up to demonstrate that if you'd object to such a plan in Super Size Form, you should also probably object to it in the Value Size. Ten grams of poison is fatal. One gram, while perhaps survivable, is still poison.
Another thing to consider is that as a moral, political, and psychological matter, it is far better to have a country in which most of its voting citizens have the self-worth and natural connection to the economy that a job provides, as opposed to having more and more citizens taking the government dole, knowing they are essentially worthless to the nation, so many useless mouths to feed.
That breeds cynicism, lack of responsibility, and lawlessness, and we see it in every community in which taking the dole because almost as common as (or actually more common than) working for wages.
Finally, I'm afraid I don't get the basic idea of this "We're all the same and should all compete equally" notion. We're not all the same. We're Americans. And yes, we do favor Americans over foreigners. That doesn't mean that foreigners are less human than Americans. But it does mean that people naturally favor their family first, then their community, then their state, then their nation, and only after that very-extended-family do people begin to think about those in foreign nations.
It is simply not the case that we should be just as hopeful for a Dominican's economic well-being as an American's. We should look out for the American first. That is the whole point of country -- we treat those within the country as countrymen, and we look out for them.
We do not treat an American as if he is a perfect stranger no different than a foreign citizen. The foreign citizen should be treated well, of course, or at least as well as circumstances (and budgets) allow. But it's only to the American that we really owe any sort of allegiance or favor.
What sticks in the craw of most Americans about this Amnesty deal is this idea underlying the whole project that Americans should be perfectly indifferent as to whether it's Mexicans working good-paying construction jobs or Americans. That we shouldn't be so gauche or so jingoistic to wish to favor Americans holding those jobs.
Outsourcing permits companies to ship most factories overseas so that they can produce products using cheap foreign labor and then import the finished products back to America.
There are a tiny few jobs left for blue-collar workers that cannot be so exported to other countries -- jobs in which the work must be done in America, due to circumstances. Construction is the paradigmatic type of this sort of work -- you can't build a bridge intended for Vermont in China. You have to build it here.
So, there are very few manufacturing-type jobs left -- doing jobs, making jobs -- where the natural advantage of the American worker has not been undermined by outsourcing to other countries.
This whole Amnesty bid is an attempt to do an end-run around that. We can't export these jobs to other countries? Fine, then: We'll import the workers to this one.
All I can do is ask again: When the Citizens-of-the-World type well-heeled Republican donor class, the businessmen and so forth, succeed in reducing even more millions of Americans to permanent unemployment, do they not understand that they will pay those unemployed Americans far, far more on the back end than they could ever possibly save by utilizing foreign workers?
Work is not just an economic boon; it is a moral boon. It connects, in a man's mind, a virtue (industriousness) directly to a reward (a paycheck). It creates a connection between past (the work and training you did) to future (the paycheck you will receive), and thus promotes delayed gratification, planning for the future, and a whole host of socially-important virtues.
Worklessness does the exact opposite. It teaches that there is no connection between virtue and reward, and thus encourages a pirate or brigand mentality. Worklessness severs the connection between past effort and future reward because there is none. A magic government check just arrives twice a month -- you did nothing to earn it, except to exist.
A nation can survive a limited number of citizens who have been deprived of the moral instruction of useful work, but not many of them, and certainly not a majority of them.
Make no mistake: Depriving millions of Americans of gainful employment does have a cost, and a large one, and that cost will be reflected in our economy -- as well as in our morality, politics, and general level of social wellness.
One last question: American workers are a bit less hungry than foreign workers because, well, they're a bit less hungry. A desperate, hungry man will work plenty hard. A man who expects a certain level of compensation, and who knows he can vote for politicians who will help him get that, will work a bit less hard.
Point is, it's not that these workers are culturally American that makes them a bit less hard-working than the competition. Americans aren't naturally lazy. (Quite the opposite, although government choices are making us lazier by the day.)
What makes them work a bit less hard is knowing that they're citizens, and citizens can vote themselves some protection, so they can take it a little easier.
So, the point: Yes all these new foreign workers may be harder working now. But they won't be harder working once they, too, are American citizens, and they too are entitled to the full suffocating generosity of the American dole.
So, having now displaced millions more Americans in favor of foreigners, who are now to be made citizens: What happens when the former-foreigners-now-citizens start taking it easy, too? Do we just find the next country full of desperate and hungry workers, and put the new Amnesty class of citizens on the dole, too?
Close it up
Am I Alive?
Is this for real? This is earth, right? The place where Harry Reid failed to pass a budget for four freakin' years? I'm not losing my mind here, am I? That all actually happened?
It's been 86 days since the Senate passed a budget. Republicans, stop obstructing us from proceeding to conference. pic.twitter.com/DiQ4oEuNvH— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) June 17, 2013
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For First Time, Majority of Public Finds Obama Untrustworthy, According to CNN Poll
Plus -- "Who is he?," The Hill wonders, which Instapundit can't help noticing was a damn fine question... five years ago.
“A CNN/ORC survey released Monday shows Obama with a 45 percent approval rating, down from his 53 percent mark in mid-May. Fifty-four percent say they disapprove of how Obama is handling his job. The poll also finds that 49 percent believe Obama is honest to 50 percent who do not, the first time a majority have not found the president to be trustworthy.”
Surprise! The Strongest Rebel Group In Syria Is The One Affiliated With Al Qaeda
John E. made a very good point on last week's podcast...under the terms of the 2001 Authorization of Use of Military Force, the US has a stronger legal basis for going after the Syrian rebels than it does in helping them.
But help them we will.
Concern about the Syrian al Qaeda-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front, is at an all-time high, according to the analyst, with as many as 10,000 fighters and supporters inside Syria. The United States has designated al-Nusra Front as a terrorist group with links to al Qaeda in Iraq.
That assessment is shared by some Middle Eastern intelligence agencies that have long believed the United States is underestimating the Sunni-backed al Qaeda movement in the country, according to a Middle East source. It is also believed that Iran is running training camps inside Syria for Hezbollah and that other Iranian militia fighters are coming into the country to fight for the regime.
The analyst has been part of recent discussions with the U.S. intelligence community, which is urgently working to understand what is going on inside the war-ravaged country and is consulting outside experts. The analyst, who declined to be named because of the sensitive nature of the information, stressed that all assessments about Syria are approximate at best because of the lack of U.S. personnel on the ground.
The report also says the rebels are trying to get their own chemical weapons. Fantastic.
Victor Davis Hanson is worried.
U.S. influence in the Middle East and North Africa is at a new postwar low. That Iran supposedly plans to send 4,000 fighters to Syria suggests that it is not too afraid of anyone preempting its nuclear facilities or of the supposedly crushing oil boycott.
There is no guarantee that American air support or close training might not end up in some sort of American ground presence — the only sure guarantee that so-called moderates might prevail should Assad fall. Of course, any costly intervention would eventually be orphaned by many in the present chorus of interventionists in a manner that we also know well from Iraq. We are told that dealing a blow to Iran and Hezbollah would be a good thing, and no doubt it would be. But in the callous calculus of Realpolitik, both seem already to be suffering without U.S. intervention.
The last part is key...we should do enough to keep the fight going but not enough to help the rebels win. Let them fight and bleed for another year, two or more. I don't care. Once they are wasted away from killing each other we can figure out what comes next.
Arizona's Voter Registration Proof Of Citizenship Requirement Thrown Out By Supreme Court
This wasn't part of the illegal immigration enforcement bills from a few years back but rather a voter imitative law put in place in 2004.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that states cannot require would-be voters to prove they are U.S. citizens before using a federal registration system designed to make signing up easier.
The justices voted 7-2 to throw out Arizona's voter-approved requirement that prospective voters document their U.S. citizenship in order to use a registration form produced under the federal "Motor Voter" voter registration law.
Federal law "precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself," Justice Antonia Scalia wrote for the court's majority.
It's a fairly straight forward preemption issue. The federal government has mandated a use of a specific registration* form through the Motor Voter Act and the court is simply saying that states can't add qualifications to it.
What the Court didn't seem to say is that such a requirement would be unconstitutional. So, it's time to press House and Senate candidates to add this to the federal form. Ideally, they'd repeal Motor Voter all together but that's not going to happen so fixing this oversight is probably the best we can hope for. Of course, that's likely a bridge too far.
*Apparently some people are confusing proof of citizenship at the time of registration with being able to vote. Just to be clear, SCOTUS didn't find a right to vote for non-citizens or say states couldn't stop non-citizens from voting.
That's why I said this was more a simple preemption case than an earth shattering voting rights case. Still, I think it's something states should be allowed to do and with political will it's a simple fix.
(I added "Registration" to the title to help avoid confusion)