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June 28, 2007


Other Tom

Funny you should mention Rush. I seldom hear him these days, being glued 24/7 to sportstalk. But I'm tuned in at the moment because it's such a golden moment for very serious gloating. As I write, he's gleefully playing some excerpts of Teddy Kennedy going cuckoo. I believe the man had a bit of the Johnnie Walker Red in his cornflakes today.


Speaking of cornflakes, Nifong was a no-show at his hearing this morning.



Via Malkin:
"“When the U.S. Senate brought the Amnesty bill back up this week, they declared war on the American people. This act created a crisis of confidence in their government. Thankfully, the American people won today,” said Senator DeMint. “This is remarkable because it shows that Americans are engaged and they care deeply about their country. They care enough for their country to get mad and to fight for it, and that’s the most important thing of all. Americans made phone calls and sent letters, and convinced the Senate to stop this bill.”

“The Senate rejected this bill and the heavy-handed tactics used to ram it through. Americans do not want more of the same – amnesty and broken promises on the border. Americans want legislation to be written in public – not in secret – and they want Congress to engage in an open and fair debate.”

“There is a better way forward without this bill. The President has said that the border security measures can be implemented over the next 18 months, and they can be done under current law. Now the Administration needs to prove it and stop holding border security hostage for amnesty.”

“Once we have secured the border and restored trust with the American people, we can begin to take additional steps.”

Tom Maguire

being glued 24/7 to sportstalk

Groan. Normally, these are the golden months for sportstalk - no foolish hockey fans or demented Knocks fans to waste my time, and football hasn't started yet so in-depth discussions of some right tackle's left knee aren't filling the air waves either.

Summertime is all Mets and Yankees. Unfortunately, that means I have to be reminded of my once proud Yankees... *AND* listen to Mets fans.

Could be worse. I could be in Boston...


Or Texas. ::sigh::

Jeff Dobbs

Sue, keep your chin up.

Above water!


Sue, keep your chin up.

Above water!



NRO The COrner:
"Looking at That Roll Call [Ramesh Ponnuru]

Republican strategists allied with the White House have said that the GOP needed to pass this bill to stay competitive in such states as Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and even Texas. Most of the actual Republican officeholders in those states evidently disagreed. Even a Democrat from New Mexico voted no.

06/28 12:53 PM"

Jeff Dobbs

being glued 24/7 to sportstalk


Well, yes. Groan. papa hit and run and I drove to Idaho Falls yesterday. Sportstalk the whole way.

Nearly 2 hours of Keith Olbermann (with Dan Patrick).

Serenity now!


OK, again I'm going against the tide. My great-grandfathers' parents were immigrants at a time when a greater proportion of the US population were foreign-born.

The same arguments made now were made then. (FWIW, as recently as the 1930's the KKK was burning crosses on their co-religionists lawns in MO.) I'm ashamed of McCaskill's and Bond's votes to kill this bill. (Aside to Pofarmer: Still think that McCaskill is a Dem. loon?)

As a result of this action, we will continue to have ~4% of the US population living and (sometimes) working with no records, no background checks, and no ability to focus enforcement upon those likely to do us harm rather than provide us with cheap labor.


And the Cardinals are not providing a positive distraction!

attached photos

The politicians who used the illegal immigrants as a personal mob haven't been indicted. Law enforcement, which refused to do law enforcement hasn't paid either.

The bill can't pass because America has a responsibility to the illegal immigrants; they were used by politicians to make money and law enforcement refused to enforce the laws that protect them and us.


When you ancestors came over, were they encouraged to sneak in against the law or were they legally admitted? Did they learn English or were they told their own language was good enough--leaving their sole source of information about politics to partisan publications in their own langurage? Did someone offer them free medical care and in-state or free college tuition ? Were they told that if they didn't care to work the state would take care of them? Did they pass medical and character tests or was it ok to slip in and have this country pay for the overwhelming costs of treating diseases like AIDs and that it was fine if they broke the law, they could still stay here?


I favor a solution involving better border security and an open easy guest worker program for those not intent on becoming citizens but work to build capital and go back. Such a program would be good for Mexico and promote prosperity there and encourage responsible government. Mexico needs to be a better neighbor on this subject and a carrot and stick approach to achieve that would be fine with me. If that means looking tough up front, so be it.

Should the guest workers want to become citizens, they wait in the same line as anybody else for that.


Well, Walter, back in the 1850's, it was called "Nativism." And, it done in the WHIGS.

Still, we've been getting floods of arrivals from Mexico. In the beginning? Hardworking and honest men. No more. Now we get the gang-bangers. And, the money flows to the drug dealers. Making whole neighborhoods HELL. It's not just a "border problem."

Dubya? He's just out of touch. You wonder how the staff works it out at the White House? Does he not ask "how am I doin?"

At least the Internet hasn't been locked up, with impenitrable borders, around it.

And, in more ways than one, we've been saved by technology since the 1980's. Even with "bubbles." And, "pops." Our economy keeps thriving. (Israel's does, too.) So lots of politicians are gonna recognize they've been THE PROBLEM. Not the solution! (Which is currently DeLay's line against Newt's new-new political offering.)

Drudge is also headlining that the senate got so many phone calls, they've shut their phone service down.

Not exactly an American public that doesn't pay attention.


The undocumented illegals should be given a choice, guest worker status or deportation. That may mean moving dependents back to Mexico while they work as guests and wait their turn for citizenship.



There were assimilation issues. You've seen the same thing in New York and Boston with the Irish as we did in the Midwest with the Bohemians. My great-grandfather (whom I was lucky enough to get to know) spoke German as a first language but was dropped into English-language schooling (and yes, the immigrants built, paid for, and operated their own schools).

Own language publications?
In 1870, the number and circulation of german-language publications in St. Louis and vicinity exceeded those written in the English language.

Medical care, college tuition?
What constitutes state-of-the-art medical care in the 19th century? FWIW, they also developed, built, paid for, and operated their own parallel heathcare system--which still survives to this day.

Medical and character tests?
Well, they made it through Ellis Island. Your call as to whether that is more or less rigorous than requiring the ability to walk, carring all you care to import, 50 miles through the desert.

If they broke the law, they could stay here?
They really didn't want to break the law. While US prisons were far more hospitable than those in the country they left, they paled in comparison to the opportunity afforded those who played by the rules and attempted to integrate into society.

Snuck in or admitted?
Well, the standards were a bit looser then. There wasn't much of a benefit to sneaking in when the US accepted the poor huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

My more recent experience (Part I of III):
During the 90's, I prepared tax returns for low-income folks as part of my pro bono service. Uniformly, the foreign-born taxpayers were eager to pay their fair share and participate in the great American ritual display of subservience to the IRS. A plurality of the native-born, however, solely to receive refundable tax credits. It was quite discouraging to be cursed by those I spent my time aiding without recompense because they didn't qualify for "reparations credits" or a refund exceeding 3x their taxes paid. OTOH, however, I frequently had to discourage the immigrants from paying me or plying the other volunteers with homemade gifts.


In 1969 I was in boot camp with a guy who was a Mexican citizen. He explained that military service was part of his plan to become a U.S. citizen. Joining the Marine Corps, during the Vietnam War, seemed to him to be a small price to pay to improve his chances!


The reaction of the American public to this bill reminded me of the famous cartoon by Carl Rose, captioned by E. B. White:

Mother: "It's broccoli, dear."

Child: "I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it."

Congress has got to give us something we can agree upon, whatever it is, moreover, its got to taste good. :)

Vail Beach

"...evidently, plenty of fence-sitters had no desire to provide the 59th vote in a losing cause."

Wonderfully Kerryesque.

Other Tom

"The same arguments made now were made then."

I don't think so, Walter. I believe that at the time your great-grandparents arrived, the US had essentially open borders. Provided one had no infectious disease, one could freely and lawfully enter the country. Various racial exclusions have been in effect at various times, but I don't believe German immigrants have ever been excluded.

What distinguishes the current crop of twelve million illegals from your ancestors, in my mind, is the adamant refusal of large numbers of them to assimilate; the existence of a generous welfare system; the fact that they have been in willful violation of the law; and the potential for murderous zealots to acquire the benefits protected legal status and eventually of citizenship. These arguments were not made against your great grandparents.

I kind of like Mickey Kaus's proposal for "benign neglect" with respect to these 12 million, coupled with immediate and vigorous enforcement measures to prevent a continued influx. The children of these illegals will be born US citizens; they themselves will eventuall die.



I neglected to thank you earlier for your Posner citation. This part caught my eye:

Judge Richard Posner, a supposedly liberal-leaning jurist regarded by many as a future US Supreme Court candidate...

While J. Posner may be Liberal in the classical sense, I can only hope with respect to his Supreme Court prospects, that, as de Tocqueville suspected, outsiders see us better than we see ourselves.

Other Tom

I have never before seen Posner identified as a liberal, and I can't imagine the term applying to him in any other than the classical sense. When I first learned of him he was on the cutting edge of the University of Chicago law and economics theories, which I've always understood to be consevative or libertarian.


I'm sorry, I'm with AJ on this one -- the perfect is the enemy of the good. What did you accomplish? Keeping the system that we have. You know, the one where the number of illegals has quadrupled over 20 years. The one where Atta gets his visa renewal mailed out to him months after murdering a few thousand Americans -- well, not really Americans, according to you folks, since New Yorkers are considerably more likely to be immigrants, illegal or legal, a lot of immigrants, legal and illegal, went down in the towers that day.

The system where a young man leaves his family behind in Mexico and sneaks across the border, and can't go home, because the risk is too big that he can't get back. So he abandons his family and starts a new one here. In the old days, before the unions killed off the guest worker program, we had real guest workers who came in and worked the fields, and then went home for a few months each winter. So they didn't destroy the fabric of their towns back in Mexico to the same extent as today.

The system where valid-looking ss cards are easy to forge, and the government has collected tens of billions of dollars in tax payments where they don't know where the money came from.

The one where criminals get away with crimes horrendous and petty because when you are an illegal you aren't going to call the cops. The system where illegals are arrested, tried, convicted, serve their sentences and are released, all without anybody bothering to check whether they are illegals or not.

And I agree with AJ that this is the last chance to make any change to immigration laws for at least 10 years. The Democrats were never really interested in reform (they are into dependence, so they like their immigrants scared, downtrodden and dependent) Malkin and friends has turned this into the new "third rail" for Republicans.

So I hope you really like the status quo -- we're going to be living with it for the next 10-15 years.

well, not really Americans, according to you folks, since New Yorkers are considerably more likely to be immigrants, illegal or legal, a lot of immigrants, legal and illegal, went down in the towers that day.

Yeah. It was fairly obvious to me that everyone cheered that day since we didn't really lose any Americans, legal or illegal. Cheap shot, Cathy. An AJ tactic.

We would have had the status quo anyway if this bill had passed with one exception. 12 to 20 million new citizens.


Other Tom,

I agree that, while the arguments (assimilation, they're taking our jobs, changing our culture, don't assimilate in the first generation, hold some allegiance (d*mn papists--now 75% of them disagree with the Pope) to a foreign power) are similar, none were actually enacted.

And I agree that lack of assimilation is the biggest issue. I think that we can provide more incentives (and disincentives) to encourage the integration of assertive, motivated, and risk-taking immigrants to join the American experiment. While I won't walk the streets to promote "English-only" laws, I will (and do) protest silly "enjoy your driving/citizenship/voting responsibilities without bothering to learn the dominant tongue" nonsense.

And don't get me started on Welfare. A hand up, not a hand-out, is my philosophy. And, like I mentioned with the tax work, I have and continue to put that principle into practice. You want to better youself, you have my admiration and my aid. You want to relax on my dime, not so much.

My personal experience is that both problems exist more frequently (sometimes in far more dangerous forms) in those born in this country more so than those who choose to come here and brave obstacles to do so.

I don't wish to denigrate the experience of those living in LA or SD, but in SF immigrants were by far a net positive.

As far as violation of the law is concerned, I don't wish to minimize the severity of that offense. But, I don't wish to overvalue it as well. If someone breaks a law, let the punishment be proportional to the harm to society. If they broke a law in order to become (otherwise) law-abiding productive members of the polity, seems a fine would be sufficient. Deport the violent (& detain them pending deportation).

"Murderous zealots..." Eh, you neglect the anarchists. Killed a president, started WWI, etc. But I see your point. My point is that a system that expends the vast majority of its resources to pick up those with established homes and regular jobs is extremely likely to miss those who are here (as the 9-11 hijackers were) without visible means of support and ties to the community.

A personal anecdote (Part II of III):
I've had the good fortune to be the point person between a 200,000+ person employer and the IRS and Social Security Administration (little known fact: The employer is required to balance books between the IRS and SSA annually. I once spent a couple weeks trying to find the reason for an $11 discrepancy in a $600,000,000 return. (I offered to just write a check, but they wanted answers D*mnit!))

Guess where I had the greatest issues--natives or immigrants? Bingo! To my recollection, the IRS and SSA rejected only one immigrant, but we had ~30 people per quarter who we had to sanction on the Service's behalf because they refused proper withholding on their W-9's.

I also had the opportunity to audit our subcontractors for employment law compliance...guess what? Every form filled out, every selected individual legally eligible to work. The I-9 and other enforcement procedures are working, especially for large employers. The large raids about which you read? They are evidence that the system works--violators are caught and punished. Severely.

As a result of this action, we will continue to have ~4% of the US population living and (sometimes) working with no records, no background checks, and no ability to focus enforcement upon those likely to do us harm rather than provide us with cheap labor.

lol, as if anything in the bill being debated was going to do a single positive thing regarding enforcement.

Also, while there are some who are against any immigration into the US (which is not automatically an unreasonable position) I think it's safe to say the vast majority simply want the current laws enforced.


I could be in Boston...

Yeah it's tough here being in FIRST PLACE!


Cathy, I'm wondering just how much of a benefit the governments, federal and state, are getting from withheld taxes that are not refunded to illegals. Until a back injury, I was employed with a company that had large numbers of illegals. They would brag to me and others that they would claim a large number of dependents to eliminate withholding. Then, when the authorities started looking for the returns, they would quit and be hired back with yet another phony identity. Before you ask why I didn't blow the whistle, you need to know that these folks often made very explicit threats if they suspected any co-workers of turning them in. Oh, as far as the employers not knowing of illegal status, our human resources officers would welcome them back and laugh about their new identities. Even in small-town Middle America, they've brought in violent gang activities. I say to fence, prosecute employers, and expedite the deportation of those caught. I fail to see how anyone here illegally can claim a right to continue that status. With enforcement, the problem will take care of itself. I should add that Congress passing clarification legislation about the clause in the Fourteenth Amendment about "subject to the jurisdiction of" would address the anchor baby issue, and defuse the family separation concerns.



Turn 'em in now.

If you are concerned about retribution, send me an email and I'll give you landline or snail mail contact info and report it confidentially on your behalf.

"The system works..."

...if we work together.


being glued 24/7 to sportstalk

Groan. Normally, these are the golden months for sportstalk - no foolish hockey fans or demented Knocks fans to waste my time,
Tom..It's NBA draft night..I'm as giddy as a little girl at her first dance..
I'm placing Bets that Larry Bird will draft us another undersized slow white guy and trade our best player away ( JO) and declare how we are building for the future...( Hoopster needs a crown & coke)


Walter--go to instapundit who's printed an email from a legal immigrant professor who with his wife (also a professional) have been trying to become citizens and see how much harder we make it for valuable, legal immigrants than we do for illegals to get the point of a great deal of oppo anger.
The last survey I saw BTW showed that 44% of Hispanic voters approved the Bill and an identical percentage opposed it.


Thanks Clarice.

I may seem combative, but I understand that there are valid, non-bigoted, and substantive arguments against unfettered (and less-fettered) immigration. For the most part, I don't subscribe to them--or, as in the case of Other Tom's arguments, I think that they are over- and under-inclusive in their targets.

I'll support without qualification the immigration and naturalization of a hard-sciences or engineering PhD and with very limited reservations those of medical, law or economics professionals. I'm just not sure that they are disadvantaged by others gaining citizenship as well.

Unless, of course, there is some necessary cap on legal immigration or naturaliztion. With such cap, I'll of necessity disagree. After spending two weeks in a car and tent, I'll attest that there is plenty of space to fill before we reach the population density of Japan, Singapore, or the Netherlands.


There are indeed very stringent caps on legal immigration--some based on national origin (with Europeans hit hard by it) and others based on employment classifications.


Walter, you don't want to even think of an America so crowded that we would resemble Japan, Singapore or the Netherlands. That open space is important to all of us, not just tree-huggers. Thanks for the offer of help on blowing the whistle on illegals, but why bother, given your views? Anyway, too much time has lapsed since my back injury removed me from that workplace for me to have any substantial information for the immigration authorities.

Other Tom

Cathyf, you seem to assume that people like me approve of the status quo, or that any departure from the status quo would be an improvement. If so, both of your assumptions are false.

The status quo has largely come about because of the abject failure of our government to do what it promised to do in 1986, the last time it rammed an ill-conceived immigration measure down our throats. It would take an unusually credulous citizen to believe that any of the promises in the current bill would actually be carried out (take those 24-hour background checks, for starters), even if we believed that any of the bill's supporters had the will or the intention, let alone the ability, to deliver on those promises.

US history is full of examples of an unacceptable status quo being made far worse by governmental action, from the Kansas-Nebraska Act to the Smoot-Hawley tariff. I believe in the very limited capacity of the government--particularly this one--to do good, and its almost unlimited capacity to do harm. The hell with those bastards.

Other Tom

One feature of this fiasco has been the crystallization in my mind of how much and how viscerally I detest the US Senate as an institution. I would be hard-put to identify a single sitting Senator of either party for whom I have the slightest respect or admiration.

I was about to suggest that the number of people who actually think that this outfit is the "world's greatest deliberative body" is exactly 100 (and we know who they are), but I suppose we could add in a number of their various sycophants and staffers and swell the number to the low four figures--but that is surely it.

A turning point for me ("tipping point," if you like) was when these preening peacocks began referring to themselves in the third person as "this Senator." A huge hat-tip awaits the JOMer who can summon up the first use of this grandiloquent little bit of bombast. For some reason I imagine it being one of the empty, orotund phrases of the insufferable gasbag Specter, but I'm really not sure. Anyone remember?


Boy, did you nail it OT--on both points/

I seriously mean it. No Senator who's worth his salt can ignore this mood.They better start a systematic review of the giant federal maw they've been shoveling out bucks into with so little to show for it.


As you all know I have been very supportive of the Mexican-American community in general be they legal or illegal immigrants, since I know quite a few and generally believe them to be the kind of people this country was built on. That being hard working, family oriented patriots. They are not the villain here in this sordid tale.

Sometimes nothing is better than rash and ill considered action. For now I am on the side of this being one of those times. A bitpartisan nightmare that clearly many Senators did not know what the details of the bill were, was pushed onto a sidetrack where some thoughtfulness and debate can perhaps find it some grace. If not, there is no reason not to push for better enforcement of our current laws, but forget about trying to deport 12 million people. It cant be done, and it would cause economic problems, shortages and higher prices etc.

Jeff Dobbs

I'm sorry, I'm with AJ on this one -- the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Is it possible that the worse is the enemy of the bad in this case?


99 only OtherTom. Johnson is still too sick to ever show up or spend much energy thinking about anything other than the next breath. Well unless you unconsciencely bought into Dick Cheney's little bit about being a member of the Senate and were counting him too...


OT - I agree with you on your estimation of the US Senate, mostly. I would like to offer up my two senators; Tom “Train Wreck” Coburn, and James “Bomb Thrower” Inhofe. Senator Coburn got his moniker from opposing the pork projects on both sides of the isle, and Senator Inhofe got his from the hot earth crowd. Sen. Coburn was on local talk show this morning speaking of a “ground swell” that would be taking our party back from those who are out of touch with the grassroots. IMHO I believe there is something to respect in both of these gentlemen, if nothing else, neither seem to go off on a tangent when the polls indicate they are on the wrong side of the majority, or the drive by writes a less than complementary editorial.


I'm hopeful that this indeed will be a come- to-Jesus moment for our senators and representives. However, given the size of the egos involved, I doubt it. What I do think it shows is a ripening of the internet that cannot be ignored. We are actually having an impact, both in being informed and in making our wishes known.

And you know, I'm not sure I visit any place where anyone was actually for this immigration bill, but I don't hear much carping from the left. Has anyone else?


comment of the day at the corner

"The real victory today for conservatives is that now all the presidential candidates on our side are free to run against Bush — they've just robbed the Dems' of their most potent weapon."

heh...Bush took one for the team...that's how I'm spinning it

PS up thread about Mexican real estate, it's still a good bargain but not cheap, more US citizens own property in Mexico than any other foreign country, here in Vallarta you can still get a nice oceanfront condo for 500k, taxes and maintanence are a joke, the same quality costs 2 million in Hawaii, over a mil in Florida, in 2-3 years it will be close to a million here.


To make room for Paris, Larry King bumped Michael Moore. Meaning that propaganda was bumped for shallow plasticity — a step forward, if you ask me.

another quote of the day from JG

Pal2Pal (Sara)

I'm sorry, I'm with AJ on this one -- the perfect is the enemy of the good.

Count me on Cathyf's and AJ's side on this one.

I want reform, but that reform has to come about with the ironclad tools for border agents and employers, good databases, fast turn around for checking status and criminal backgrounds, clearing out our jails and deporting those already convicted. This whole immigration issue was ginned up for the 2006 elections. Dems thought they had THE issue and then the Malkinites with their stupid "shamnesty" red herring just made this country much less safe. Babies, I don't know how she can look herself in the mirror. It is terrorists and stopping them that counts. The economic problems of illegals is secondary.

Rick Ballard

"but I don't hear much carping from the left."


Aside from the brain dead progs and a small portion of the Hispanics, which Dem bloc was the bill supposed to cheer up? The unions, the blacks and the mendicant clients were all against the bill to varying degrees.


which Dem bloc was the bill supposed to cheer up?

Unless the issue was to provoke Republicans into saying things that would alienate the Hispanic vote.

Rick Ballard


Sure it was. That's what the "Grand Compromise" was all about - 'compassionate conservatives' tried their darnedest to pull the wo resolve the issue in a caring, feeling manner.

And they fought to the bitter end too!!! snicker What a magnificant struggle for [insert slogan]!!!

The result is a helluva lot better than CFR.

Other Tom

I don't think there's much doubt that this event will hurt the Republican party with citizens of Hispanic descent. And that's regrettable. But this was a bad bill, and it deserved to be defeated.

This was a "Grand Bargain?" Between whom and whom? Ted Kennedy and John Kyl? Give me a break--that kind of grandiloquent term is just another instance of these clowns believing themselves to be some combination of the Twelve Apostles, the Holy Ghost and El Cid. They wanted the bill enacted without public discussion or understanding, and to the extent they themselves knew what was in the bill they tended to lie about it. And, as with the orotund fraud Dick Durbin, they didn't hesitate to apply every sort of derogatory label to those lowly citizens who disagreed with them. Something really galls me about that fat sack of shit telling me what my motives are.

Pal2Pal (Sara)

Unless the issue was to provoke Republicans into saying things that would alienate the Hispanic vote.

Of course it was. Dems knew from the git go that this bill would never fly. They played it to a tee and used it to further weaken President Bush and the GOP in the eyes of the public. And they got away with it because the "Shamnesty" crowd took the lead for them and led the charge so they can now sit back and say, "hey, not us, they're the bad guys. Vote Donk in 2008."


which Dem bloc was the bill supposed to cheer up?

Good question. I should have realized the dems would oppose it the day Bush supported it.

So I wonder, is Ted Kennedy feeling like he lost today, or is it just another day at the office?


I still can't believe I actually watched senators begging to read the amendments they were being asked to vote on.


Vote Donk in 2008.

a good portion of legalized immigrants did not support this bill, and I am pretty sure the independent voting block did not, and that's bigger than the latin vote.

anyone seen as a DC insider has no chance in 08, voters are gonna throw a monkeywrench next year.


well, not really Americans, according to you folks, since New Yorkers are considerably more likely to be immigrants, illegal or legal, a lot of immigrants, legal and illegal, went down in the towers that day.

Yeah, that argument doesn't work for me either. I'm certain among those that went down in the towers that day were wife beaters, child molesters, and drug dealers.

Rick Ballard

"They wanted the bill enacted without public discussion or understanding"

I don't think so. I think that everybody involved got what they wanted. Windansea is right about legalized immigrants - they split pretty evenly. El Jefe Supremo comes off as sympathetic to the Latinos, the base got to flex their muscles and the Congressional Clown Corps got to perform at center ring without paying any real price.

It's a shame that we can't have similiar shows all year long.

Rick Ballard

Oh. And nobody told McCain the inside joke. Bushwhacked again.


since New Yorkers are considerably more likely to be immigrants

been to SoCal lately? or the fastest growing population in the USA...Texas

wonder what they share in common?


Judge Posner said the US was "a law-saturated society where even non-lawyers tend to think ofproblems in terms of legal categories".

"Criminal justice and war are the two responses we have to terrorism. Each comes with its own legal institutions and doctrines and regimes but the struggle against international terrorism doesn't fit either very well."


richard mcenroe

Today Along the Rio Grande



I don't have anything against otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants. I'm kinda opposed to flagrantly violating the tax code. As I mentioned above, I've helped corporations, partnerships, citizens, legal immigrants and illegal immigrants comply with their tax obligations.

Illegal immigrants have the same duty as the rest of us to pay taxes on income earned in the US (and, in certain circumstances, their worldwide income). While it used to be easier to apply, an undocumented worker can still get an Individual Taxpayer Id Number (ITIN) to use to file their returns if they do not qualify for a Social Security Number. I've used that procedure for more than one taxpayer without documentation.

I'm peeved with the employer. I make my clients comply with the laws (employment verification and tax law). Companies like your former employer should not get a competitive advantage over companies like my clients that play by the rules.

Also, the practices you describe suggest that the employees are using not just false SSNs, but ones belonging to real individuals. As that kind of identity theft wreaks great havoc in general and is virtually impossible to clear up with the IRS, I am wholeheartedly opposed to it.

Personal anecdote III (of III)
I had mentioned earlier that I knew Vik Amar. Although he taught at UCD while I was there, I was never one of his students. Aside from the normal social interactions, my only significant contact with him was helping out on a pro bono project he was leading in conjunction with a student-staffed legal clinic. My part? Preparing and filing three years of back tax returns for an immigrant applying for legal residency.



From CQ

Two House votes in the last few minutes offer some insight into the workings of the lower chamber. The first, on an amendment by Rahm Emanual, would strip funding for the office of the Vice President, a snarky swipe at the assertion by Dick Cheney's counsel that the Vice President isn't part of the executive branch. That motion failed, but only by seven votes, 217-210 -- and produced a round of catcalls at the end.

The second is the Pence amendment to forbid the FCC from re-enacting the Fairness Doctrine. I live-blogged the debate on this amendment earlier today, and the voice vote at the time was said to carry Pence to victory. He wanted a recorded vote and got it. The final result: an overwhelming rejection of the Fairness Doctrine, 309-115, with 1 vote present. The Democrats split almost exactly, while all voting Republicans voted for the amendment.

Not a bad day's work for the GOP today. The immigration bill got killed, for the moment at least, and the Fairness Doctrine got stopped before the Democrats could get it started.


re Cheney subpoena

from Findlaw, wherein Hillary saves Cheney's bacon

Why the Hillary Clinton Case Suggests Cheney's Privilege Claim May Prevail

The relevance of this complex case to Cheney's situation is straightforward: The D.C. Circuit thought that executive privilege might extend to conversations between executive officials and persons outside the government. And any appeal in the Comptroller General's case against Vice President Cheney would go to the D.C. Circuit (before possibly going to the U.S. Supreme Court).

Thus, a claim of privilege by the Vice President could succeed - particularly if GAO were to go beyond its current requests and seek not only the names of people with whom Cheney consulted, but also the content of deliberations. The D.C. Circuit's speculation as to the breadth of the executive privilege indicates that even if private industry representatives acted as members of the Energy Group, the Group's deliberations may still be privileged, and thus not subject to FACA disclosure.



Other Tom-

...when these preening peacocks began referring to themselves in the third person as "this Senator." A huge hat-tip awaits the JOMer who can summon up the first use of this grandiloquent little bit of bombast. For some reason I imagine it being one of the empty, orotund phrases of the insufferable gasbag Specter...

A work of art! My money would be on Graham, but I'll look some this evening-Rocco will beat me to it.

Guest worker program, we tried it before

Germany has one too

A quick link If memory serves (though I haven't been able to find anything) Germany reformed the citizenship law in 98 or 99 to provide some relief to Turks whom were 2nd and 3rd generation.

The Philippines use it as national policy



Not sure if this is what you are referring to but here you have Senatory Bill Nelson of Florida.

In the wee hours of the morning, an amendment was passed by unanimous consent, sponsored by Senator Sessions, Senator Shelby, this Senator from Florida, and Senator Graham of Florida.



Apparently, it could have been anyone of them. John Warner, R-Va. http://www.senate.gov/~warner/pressoffice/statements/20070123a.htm>Source

I feel very strongly that there should be benchmarks, benchmarks which are specified so we know beforehand what they are, and benchmarks that they must meet, in this senator's judgment, if we're going to continue successive operations in Baghdad.


Sorry, I messed the link up, but seriously, there are thousands of hits at google where they refer to themselves as "this senator".

Rick Ballard


The first formal guest worker program with Mexico dates to 1917. Informally it began a lot earlier than that. In the Central Valley in the 1890's grape farmers would worry about when the Mexicans would show up in January. Pruning is just about as much fun as picking and they didn't want to hog all that joy...

Other Tom

Thanks for the comments about the fabulously annoying "this Senator" crap. I haven't resorted to Google yet (but will), but I do remember it from perhaps ten or more years ago. John Warner may have been the first I saw use the phrase, but it also may have been Specter. I'll try to see what I can find. I intend to start a public campaign to shame these blowhards into stopping it altogether, as perhaps a first step towards coming down to earth.

As for those who support their own Senators, I know that many people (obviously) do, and I have no doubt that some of them may even deserve it. My two are Boxer and Feinstein, so my view is undoubtedly jaundiced.


I have the very lovely Kay Bailey Hutchison and the ever so clever John Cornyn. I'm happy with them. KBH sometimes makes me sit on the edge of my seat, but she usally comes through in the end.


What distinguishes the current crop of twelve million illegals from your ancestors, in my mind, is the adamant refusal of large numbers of them to assimilate; the existence of a generous welfare system; the fact that they have been in willful violation of the law
Other Tom:
( Keep in mind, little crown & coke here)

The last 10 years has really changed with this influx of illegals.
Here in Indiana it seems the entire near westside of indy has turned into Mexico.
I have conflicted views..
I have no issues with mexicans..Hell I think they are pretty cool people, But something isn't right..those jobs they work at used to be the jobs our high school and
younger kids used to have..
Go to the local McDonalds and nobody speaks english..ok it doesn't affect me at all but it used to be kids got their start at low paying jobs and worked thier way up.
Americana at it's best..Now where do they start..programmer for microsoft?
Bush wants cheap labor..what about our kids future?



...The first formal guest worker program with Mexico dates to 1917. Informally it began a lot earlier than that...

I didn't know that-learn something new everyday. I wasn't trying to spam the thread with the links, but part of the "fix" for immigration is to eliminate agri subsidies and to seal the southern border. It will make agri business from Mexico more competitive by driving export growth and employment. And by drying up the labor pool here, agri business would have to adopt labor replacing technology faster.

Another thing the White House might work on-is figuring out why something upwards of 7 million people (Mexico alone) would leave their home over the last 30 years for a better life up here. Improve Mexico and the immigration issue takes care of itself...


Improve Mexico and the immigration issue takes care of itself...
Yep -- happened with the Irish. Up until the early 90's, Chicago, Boston, NY were full of Irish illegals. Then the Irish economic miracle (low taxes, mostly) and now all the Irish have gone home to be rich.
Rick Ballard

Rich & Cathy,

As Peter noted, something like that is happening right now.

In 2010 the US will begin a ten year period where our demographics are going to be upside down. There simply aren't enough kids in the pipeline to offset retirement and provide for economic growth. The Employment-Population Ratio has been pretty much stable at around 63.5% since 1990. As the Boomers ease out the problem is going to become glaringly apparent.

It doesn't matter who the next President is wrt the employment rate and wages because demand is going to force wages high enough to get the EPR moved up again. (I think they call that "inflation".)





A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.

I suppose the TCS article isn't one of the classics, but everytime I see something I could have written, I think of the above.

And this really is a side note: These guys came up with a "dark matter" theory to explain the current account deficit. I looked at their longer paper-and one of the issues that I was looking at exploring [within their data set] is the role that remittances and overseas labor play in creating this "dark matter."[They had some interesting findings with the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Mexico] I always get side tracked, maybe I'll take it back up. I wanted to look at it in a political-economy context: the institutions and the transmission lines (courts, media, educations)

As for immigration-shoot, I'm waiting to get my passport renewed and a work visa to get approved-still waiting!




educations...educational institutions/academy


Pal2Pal (Sara)

Hoosier: Here in Indiana it seems the entire near westside of indy has turned into Mexico.

Huh? I lived in Brownsburg, a bedroom community on the westside of Indy for 9 years and just sold our house there last year and never once saw a Mexican. Vietnamese yes, Mexicans no. Where are you talking about? Where we lived it was white bread all the way.

Pal2Pal (Sara)

Security Measures

Pal2Pal (Sara)


I only know this from TV, but Marine recruits at boot camp are not allowed to say "I". They must say "this recruit". A few of those senators may have come by that affectation honestly.

We have 8 majority Hispanic schools in my NC county of just over 100,000 (according to the census).

JM Hanes


"The same arguments made now were made then. (FWIW, as recently as the 1930's the KKK was burning crosses on their co-religionists lawns in MO.)"

Why simply disagree, when you can actually offend?


"So I hope you really like the status quo -- we're going to be living with it for the next 10-15 years."

And if the pols try to fix it the same way 15 years from now, it'll be another 15 before they get a third chance to screw it up. Public proponents of this legislation have posed nothing but False Dilemmas from the start, and demonized anyone who begged to differ.

You think the bill would be an improvement on the status quo, but I'm not the least bit convinced that it won't make the mess 15 years out look considerably worse. It creates a multi-billion dollar bureaucracy based as much on wishful thinking and questionnable assumptions as on any evidence that what's proposed will actually work, and on any number of particulars considerably evidence that it won't. Given the conflicting objectives amongat bargaineers, I think there is every reason to believe that the shape-shifting would begin the minute the ayes were counted.

Insisting on the omnibus or nothing, and ignoring the potential advantages of staged reform altogether was a political calculation, and as the results suggest, a politically misguided one.

JM Hanes


I haven't read Emerson for years, and I'd forgotten just how beautifully he manages to capture fundamental truths. Thanks!

Pal2Pal (Sara)

They should have stuck with Bush's 5-point plan, starting with border security and enforcement. They lost sight of why the illegal alien question even came to the forefront as an issue -- securing the border from terrorists. As soon as the "feel gooders" got involved, the whole thing was doomed. The "shamnesty" crowd successfully changed the subject and made it all about those already here instead of concentrating on keeping the really bad guys from getting here thru illegal means or legally thru loopholes in the existing system.


Perhaps I wasn't clear enough ( who knew? )
I was speaking of the westside of the City of Indianapolis..Not out in Bulldog suburb country where pray tell no one making 10 bucks an hour is going to afford a home there anyway..Sorry about the misunderstanding on location...I'm willing to change topics now, I really don't want it to sound like I care what nationality a person is, cause i don't..I tried to just make a point about low paying jobs for kids in the summer being scarcer than when i was young..my bad


JM Hanes,

I am sorry you are offended. As I noted prior to your comment, I well recognize that there are substantive non-bigoted reasons to oppose more open borders.

To make it absolutely clear, not only did I not intend to allege that any here were making racist arguments, I am firmly convinced that virtually every commentator here opposes racism in any of its various manifestations.

I fear, however, that I am not convinced that racist considerations play no role in the immigration debate. And I recall that the Irish were referred to (and treated as) "blacks" when they came in large numbers. I could substitute the example of the Chinese in 1800's California, the Vietnamese after 1973, or the Bosnians after 1993, if that would make you more comfortable. My point was to indicate that, despite the dire predictions of cultural suicide that attended their entry, quite a few ethnic groups have integrated successfully and added value to our overall culture.

So, again, I'm sorry to have given offense. I will try to phrase my historical references more artfully in the future.


not convinced that racist considerations play no role in the immigration debate

Nor am I.

However a much greater factor is white guilt.

Together they preclude rational discussion orpolicy.


Swear I hit preview ...

white guilt


Interesting, isn't it, that on both the school cases and the immigration bill you got better info about the decisions online than in the WaPo or NYT and that none of the candidates seem to have understood the school cases decision nor the mood of the people--of course, they never put their kids in public school and so they've no idea what it means to have your kids sitting for hours everyday commuting to schools far from home..
EJ Dionne has a piece saying as a result of the decision the Dems must refuse to confirm any further additons to the SCOTUS by Bush no matter who he offers up in the case of a vacancy . I think oppo researchers surely found some gold in that non-debate.

Other Tom

This is a magnificent time to bash the US Senate, ain't it? While we're engaged in that joyful pursuit, let's dredge up some of the wisdom of Patrick Leahy on the subject of executive privilege, as that wisdom crystallized when a Democrat was the executive in 1999:

"Executive privilege is used by the President and the executive branch to shield presidential communications, advice, and national security information from disclosure in judicial proceedings, congressional investigations and other arenas. While the proper scope of executive privilege is the subject of much debate, at a minimum, it covers presidential communications, and may also protect the decision-making, or deliberative process, of the executive branch in general.

"Courts have recognized a 'presumptive privilege' for presidential communications that is grounded in 'a President’s generalized interest in confidentiality' and is viewed as important to preserving the candor of presidential advisors and protecting the freedom of the president and his advisors to 'explore alternatives in the process of shaping policies and making decisions and to do so in a way many would be unwilling to express except privately.' U. S. v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683, 708, 711 (1974); In re Sealed Case, 121 F.3d 729, 743 (D.C. Cir. 1997). This privilege is 'inextricably rooted in the separation of powers under the Constitution' and 'flow[s] from the nature of enumerated powers' of the President. Id., 418 U.S. at 705; 121 F.3d at 743.

"According to a recent D.C. Circuit case, '[t]he President can invoke the privilege when asked to produce documents or other materials that reflect Presidential decision making and deliberations and that the President believes should remain confidential.' Id., 121 F.3d at 744. As to the scope of this privilege, the court found, in the context of the criminal proceeding, it to cover 'communications made by presidential advisers in the course of preparing advice for the President, . . . even when these communications are not made directly to the President.' Id. at 751-52.

"I recognize that the presidential communications privilege is not absolute. For instance, in the context of a criminal case (one of the Watergate cases), the Supreme Court found that an assertion of executive privilege 'based only on the generalized interest in confidentiality . . . must yield to the demonstrated, specific need for evidence in a pending criminal trial.' 418 U.S. at 713. In the context of a congressional investigation, the privilege would be more difficult to overcome and require a showing that the information sought to be obtained is demonstrably critical to the responsible fulfillment of the Committee’s functions.'Senate Select Committee v. Nixon , 498 F.2d 725, 731 (D.C. Cir. 1974). This would be a difficult task in this matter given the peculiarly executive nature of the clemency process."

Is the clemency process any more "peculiarly executive" than the firing of US Attorneys?

Over to you, Patrick...



I was proud of McCaskill on this vote. She has sounded reasonable here. We'll see how she handles herself in September.

Maybe I'm racist, maybe I'm not. One of the guys roofing my house this week was probably illegal. He had to appear in court for DWI and driving without a license. He was in court one day, and back on the roof the next day. If nothing else, we at least need a system that's serious about the problem. I've seen no indication that this bill would have solved any problems, or was even intended to.


Sara, you are correct.

This has always been about border security from the conservative side. Once the border is secure, we can work on the systems that are broken. Some of the horses are out of the barn. Let's shut the door and keep the remaining ones in, then we can start looking for the escapee's. You don't go chasing the escaped horses while the doors still open and there are more inside.


Oh, and Walter. I'm still offended by McCaskill's remarks that "People were left to die in New Orleans because they were poor, they were black, and they were Democrats."

That was inexcusable, and she'll never, ever, get my vote for that.



I like Shelby Steele's writing, and I don't disagree with that piece.

I think that there are strong arguments on both sides without reference to race or white guilt. I mentioned it first here. Bad idea. I'm sorry I brought it up at all, as it obviously didn't address anyone else's concerns and distracted some from my main points:

Immigration is a good thing in general. Similar debates have taken place in the past. America (I'm including Canada here) is a better place for having welcomed people who share the desire to improve their lot and live in an economically and socially mobile society. I don't believe that human nature has changed so dramatically since the last time 10% of our country was foreign-born that what has proven to be a valuable (though contraversial) strategy in the past is now a dangerous one.

As Rick mentioned, finding the workforce to sustain our standard of living is important. In Europe, Japan and Russia birth rates are below replacement levels. Population levels in the US have been sustained despite a similar decline in birthrate by the influx of immigrants (both by their numbers and because they have larger families once they arrive).

Personal Anecdote IV of III:
Force of habit, sorry. I really only had three worth sharing.


Last year I was at a pre-trial conference (held in the Judge's chambers) where the opposing side didn't show up. So while the Judge and I were biding our time and I asked him how many people in his Courtroom on a given day were illegal. He said it was against the law for him to ask that question.

So when someone shows up in his Courtroom without a registered vehicle or a license, he gives them a day to cure. If they don't he knows they are illegal - not than he can do anything about it.



She'll probably not get my vote either. Just saying she's not a complete loon.

And I'm pretty certain it's not racist to be concerned about a roofer with a drinking problem, no matter what he looks like. (These storms have been brutal. Sorry to hear you had your shingles off in the middle of them.)

Other Tom

John Podhoretz pretty much parallels my own views:

"I write as someone out of step with my fellow conservatives on the issue, as someone with a very liberal view of immigration, including illegal immigration. And yet the more I read about the bill, the more it was clear to me it was an unholy mess and that the nation would be far better off without it.

"Neither the president nor any of the bill's supporters was able to make a convincing argument that illegal immigration would be 'reformed' in any way. The bill was a classic case of a supposed fix that would only make things worse. It would have levied significant penalties on those who chose to play by the rules without punishing those who remained outside the boundaries in any credible way.

"And the bill's opponents made a very strong case that its passage would only lead to an even greater human flood across the border - a case no one on the pro-bill side ever even bothered to address substantively."

Rick Ballard

Wrt "securing the border against terrorists" - it's not possible and the attempt is to do so is not justifiable simply on an economic rationale. Terrorism is too cheap and terrorists far too expendable for border security to be an effective preventive measure. A single freighter plying the west coast could drop off enough terrorists in small craft in international waters, to mount a very successful campaign with a minimum amount of effort.

All while sturdy defenders on the southern wall did their utmost duty.

Terrorism has to be stopped at the source - Tehran, Riyadh, Qum, Mecca and Medina. Baghdad used to be on the list.


I'm with JPod, too, OT. I made no decision about the Bill itself until I read it--something the President and Senators who pushed it would have been well-advised to do.

We are so evenly divided a nation on these major issues, anything labeled "comprehensive" right now is sure to be a fools' paradise of inconsistent provisions which put together miss the mark.

(See energy bill for another example). In both cases, Congress avoids the hard, rational choices and largely tags business with accomplishing miracles which they cannot accomplish thru rational debate and genuine compromise.
One from Column A
One from Column B
No way to legislate.

JM Hanes


"So, again, I'm sorry to have given offense. I will try to phrase my historical references more artfully in the future."

I'm afraid I must admit, I was offended before I ever got to this thread yesterday. While a slew of advocates & pundits have complained about Talk Radio, and internet buzz machines stirring up ugly antagonism to the immigration bill, my own active hostility derives from listening to Senators,on the Senate floor itself, saying things like: "We're not going to let the bigots win" or that the opposition wants to "develop a type of Gestapo here to seek these people that are in the shadows."

In trying to force the issue into an all or nothing template proponents started out deliberately casting the issue as a contest between pro-immigrant forces (Statue of Liberty) and anti-immigrant forces (Burning Crosses). Are there racists who oppose the bill? Sure. There are pro-bill pols looking to bag Latinos for their votes too, and claiming Martin Luther King would approve. Unfortunately, one of the main reasons that the whole argument has been reduced to demagoguery is because the bargaineers decided to flout anything resembling due legislative process for this baby. They pushed the bill onto the Senate floor without routing it through any committee for mark-up, without holding a single hearing, and ultimately, emblematically, demanding that Senators vote on amendments they hadn't even been able to read. When a bill requires as much trust in government as this one does, that's just not a good sign.

Even the ironies are telling. When Chertoff was out insisting that immigrants would have to pay their taxes, the White House was deep-sixing the back tax provision. McCain apparently expects folks to believe that you can put Humptey Dumptey back together again. The issue of whether or not there ought to be a back tax provision Is not what concerns me. It turns out that there is no provision requiring that the touted $4.4 billion for security would actually have to be spent on security. In an almost unnoted irony, you have Rep. Souder over in the House where they're debating actual funding for Homeland Security, saying he's got absolutely no idea where all the money for the measures required by the Senate bill is going to come from. Here's another sample of the kind of economic assumptions underlying the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act. Can believing that border control alone is not enough really be sufficient reason to support a bill that purports to cover every base and quite probably would not work, even if it did?

Do most people have any idea how this bill will impact non-immigrant citzens? Does being pro-immigration mean, for example, supporting this?:

• The bill requires employers to submit biometric, financial and other personal information about every employee to a new mega-database to be maintained by the Department of Homeland Security
• Every worker in the U.S.—all 130 million of us—will have to be certified by DHS as eligible to work.
• We will have to be DHS-recertified as eligible to work every time we change jobs.
• The new certification process—the Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS)—is based on the much more modest PILOT system, which has proved to be flawed and unreliable.
• It’s ridiculous to think that a program that doesn’t work well now will somehow work better when it’s radically expanded to encompass every employer and employee in America.

I happen to be intensely pro-immigration. I just don't think a virtual nightmare of bad law, bogus provisions, impossible deadlines, misleading, if not phonied up stats and pseudo-triggers is going to make things better. Just how bad does it have to get before it's worth considering the alternatives -- like the incremental reforms that most Americans actually support?">http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/poll_voters_want_smaller_steps_to_immigration_reform_with_focus_on_enforcement">support? If you pretend there isn't any alternative, apparently you can pass a bill that's very, very bad, indeed.


Brilliant post,jmh.

Interestingly, when they mention the racist opposition to the Bill and run pics of snaggle toothed Wal Mart shoppers as typical they leave out folks like Mickey Kaus, as adamant opponent of the Bill you could find anywhere and CNN's own Lou Dobbs.

The Bill lost because it was a phony mishmash designed under cover of darkness with no credible means of securing what the people reasonably wanted.

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