President Bush said opponents hadn't read the bill, when diligent bloggers combed through it line by line. They gave the bill the markup -- the detailed process of amendment -- that it never got in committee because there was such a rush to passage. Even the procedural shenanigans that the bill's supporters relied on to try to get it through were subject to the intense glare of publicity. Instead of helping the bill's cause -- as such arcane maneuvers would have in the past -- they hurt it by adding to the sense of chaos and unfairness around the process.
Once, the Senate leadership would have been able to lean on members opposed to the bill to do a dishonest two-step to pass it. First, vote for cloture to end debate over the bill, which requires 60 votes and was the toughest hurdle. Then, vote against it on final passage, which takes only 50 votes -- so there would be more wiggle room for "no" votes. This way, the Senate leadership would have gotten its bill, and senators opposed to it could tell constituents back home that they had voted against it. But bloggers and talk-radio hosts blocked that dodge by sending up a cry, "A vote for cloture is a vote for amnesty."
Friday, June 29, 2007
This has been a good day for America.
For a while, it didn't look like Washington was going to listen to us regarding real immigration reform. Thankfully, we've been spared a serious mistake, but I wonder if things would have turned out the way they did without the work done by the bloggers, talk radio and the American people. Rush, Hannity, Laura Ingraham, RedState, Powerline, Pajamas Media and a lot of others have done a great job. Take that, Fairness Doctrine.
Then, yesterday morning, word went 'round that the required five senators had changed their minds. The immigration bill appeared headed for defeat. That's when a squeaker became a stampede.What were the senators thinking? Well, everybody knew that if the bill died, it would stay dead, probably for a long time. That would mean their vote on cloture would stand, certainly up until next year's elections, as their final position on the "amnesty" bill."It was one of those things where people were prepared to vote for it — if it was going to pass," says a plugged-in Senate source. "But they didn't want to fall on their swords for a failed bill, and on the last vote on this issue for a long time."
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Our finding of a direct correlation between variations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate indicators (called "proxies") is not unique. Hundreds of other studies, using proxies from tree rings in Russia's Kola Peninsula to water levels of the Nile, show exactly the same thing: The sun appears to drive climate change.
Solar scientists predict that, by 2020, the sun will be starting into its weakest Schwabe solar cycle of the past two centuries, likely leading to unusually cool conditions on Earth. Beginning to plan for adaptation to such a cool period, one which may continue well beyond one 11-year cycle, as did the Little Ice Age, should be a priority for governments. It is global cooling, not warming, that is the major climate threat to the world, especially Canada.
Dear Mr. President:We respectfully ask that your Administration enforce the border security laws that have already been authorized by Congress regardless of whether the Senate passes the immigration reform bill. The bill assumes that several critical border security benchmarks can be achieved within 18 months. These security triggers are already authorized under current law and can be completed without the immigration bill. We believe these enforcement measures are vital and should not wait until Congress passes additional immigration reforms.Securing the border is the best way to restore trust with the American people and facilitate future improvements of our immigration policy.Sincerely,U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R – South Carolina), Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma), Mike Enzi (R – Wyoming), David Vitter (R – Louisiana), Jim Inhofe (R – Oklahoma), Jim Bunning (R – Kentucky), Charles Grassley (R – Iowa), John Ensign (R – Nevada) and Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama).
The illegal immigration question is an interesting test of government in action, at least when it comes to core responsibilities like defense of the nation. When critics of this "comprehensive" immigration bill demand enforcement of the borders, the administration says: Boy, you're right there! We're with you on that! We want enforcement, too. But we can't get it as long as you're holding up this "comprehensive reform."
Why not? There are immigration laws on the books right now, aren't there? Why not try enforcing them? The same people who say that government is a mighty power for good that can extinguish every cigarette butt and detoxify every cheeseburger and even change the very climate of the planet back to some Edenic state so that the water that falleth from heaven will land as ice and snow, and polar bears on distant continents will frolic as they did in days of yore, the very same people say: Building a border fence? Enforcing deportation orders? Can't be done, old boy. Pie-in-the-sky.
In such a world, let us salute a far rarer politician than Nanny Bloomberg: "What is at risk is not the climate but freedom," said the Czech president Vaclav Klaus this week. "I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning."
Monday, June 18, 2007
The salient facts are these. First, the accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998. Oddly, this eight-year-long temperature stasis has occurred despite an increase over the same period of 15 parts per million (or 4 per cent) in atmospheric CO2.
Second, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements, if corrected for non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, show little if any global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).
Third, there are strong indications from solar studies that Earth's current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades.
Over the last several years, I've noted the following immigration backlogs that continue to plague our homeland security system:
Sunday, June 10, 2007
After the cloture vote failure at noon on Thursday, Harry Reid could not get unanimous consent to call up amendments to the bill because Jim DeMint refused to give his consent. This was extremely problematic for Reid because he wanted to get in votes on 6 more amendments before the last try at a cloture vote.
At that point, all the senators who were participants in the "Grand Compromise" AKA the "Masters of the Universe" by the opponents of the bill, leaned on DeMint to try to get him to give consent for the bill to move forward. Unfortunately for them, DeMint wouldn't budge. This essentially killed the entire afternoon that the pro-amnesty side hoped to use to shore up support for the bill.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
"I am deeply concerned about the numerous loopholes we have found in this legislation. They are more than technical errors, but rather symptoms of a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation that stands no chance of actually fixing our broken immigration system," Sessions said. "Many of the loopholes are indicative of a desire not to have the system work."
President Bush ceaselessly protests that the Senate bill is not amnesty. In a certain sense, he is right: The bill goes way beyond amnesty. The root of the word "amnesty" is to forget. In a normal amnesty the crime is "forgotten" and penalties are waived. S. 1348 goes far beyond waiving penalties for all those who broke U.S. immigration laws; it rewards them with access to government benefits and citizenship.
Consider a criminal who has stolen a car. Under a simple amnesty, the crime would be forgotten and criminal penalties waived. By analogy, S. 1348 not only waives those penalties, it allows the thief to keep the car, and gives him $300,000 in benefits as well. This is not merely amnesty, but amnesty with a cash bonus funded by the taxpayer. America deserves better.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Here are a couple of Youtube videos with Freeman Dyson talking about Global Warming mania.
If Congress passes the current immigration bill being debated in the Senate, President Bush will sign the legislation, and in so doing, offer immediate amnesty to over 12 million illegal immigrants who currently reside in our country. Bill supporters call it "probationary status," but the effect will be to give law breakers legal status and thus access to Social Security, Medicare, some welfare services, and our court systems. And just like that, the main purpose of this immigration bill will have been realized.
Monday, June 04, 2007
On May 17th, Sandy Berger, President Bill Clinton's National Security Adviser, voluntarily gave up his law license and with it the right to practice law. That is a stunning move for an accomplished lawyer, one of the nation's most influential public officials. Someone should take note. In fact, everyone should.
Berger previously entered a deal with the Department of Justice after he was caught stealing and destroying highly sensitive classified material regarding the Clinton Administration's handling of terrorism issues. That deal allowed him to avoid jail time, pay a modest fine, and keep his law license. It also allowed him to avoid full explanation of what he had taken and why he had taken it.
What information was worth risking his reputation, his career, and his freedom to keep hidden? And who was he risking that for?
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Pham Xuan Am served on the staff of Time magazine during the Vietnam War – and he also served as a communist spy for the Viet Cong. This should have been the cause of great embarrassment for liberal media outlets like Time. Instead, in 1990, former Time reporter H.D.S. Greenway wasn't irate at his colleague, but expressed his anger in the Washington Post at the "right-wingers [who] seized on the An story to say that the press had fallen victim to a fiendish disinformation plot."
Friday, June 01, 2007
What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration. They are not resisting, fighting and thereby setting down a historical marker--"At this point the break became final." That's not what's happening. What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future.