Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Immegration Reform Must Be Realistic

As this is written, Newt Gingrich is catching a lot of flak because he is willing to allow some people in the US illegally to stay - provided that action is recommended by local citizen boards. Those who read this blog know that I am a conservative who leans towards the Tea Party. That being said, I have to agree with Newt. Here's why:

1) The first and foremost problem we must deal with is the total lack of security on the boarder. It does not good to send anyone "home" if they can simply come back in almost as soon as they get 'home". In addition, the risk of not knowing what or who get over our boarder makes securing it an absolute imperative.

2) We must also take responsibility for the mixed messages that have been sent for decades. By not securing our boarder and not enforcing our laws we have effectively said, "If you want to come to the US, it's OK - just realize you will have to be a second class person." This is wrong, and it has to end - but throwing everyone here illegally is the same as denying responsibility for past policies.

3) It is simply not practical to deport 10-15 million people. The cost would be astronomical and many industries would be very hard hit - even in this economy. The priority must be placed upon finding and deporting the undesirable elements - from criminals to terrorists. This can best be done by encouraging the more desirable elements to come forward and to inform on the less desirable ones.

4) Have any of those advocating for the deportation of all those here illegally given thought the effect upon Mexico? Money sent home is absolutely critical to the Mexican economy. The Mexican government is already on the ropes due to the cartels - sending "all of them home" and cutting off the flow of money is likely to result in its' fall. What would them happen? Marxist government

The choice is not between deportation for everyone and total amnesty. There is a better way.

A guest worker program could be set up for those already here. This program could allow those approved by citizen boards to stay as guest workers - not permanent residents, not as potential citizens. Here is one system that could work:

1) If they want to gain that status, they should be required to return home and apply - and by doing so, they should be excluded from the guest worker program. This would discourage most from even trying to become permanent residents.

2) These workers should be required to pay into the Social Security System at full rates and should have no rights to collect from the US system. They should have the right to collect from the Mexican system, at the expense of Mexico, in return for the right to send cash home. Mexico could finance this by taxing money imported into the country.

3) Guest workers would forfeit any right to remain in the US after they stop working - even if they have relatives in the country would could "sponsor" them. Under US law, their children would be US citizens - but if possible, they should also be prohibited from bringing in not only parents and grandparents, but siblings as well. This restriction may not be constitutional, but even if struck down, these children would have to be adults and earn enough income to sponsor their siblings or grandparents.

4) The commission of any crime greater than one traffic infraction per year would result in immediate removal from the program and deportation. Failure to maintain auto insurance and/or driving without a valid US license (after a short grace period to allow them to obtain one) would also result in termination from the program and deportation.

5) Any state or local jurisdiction not cooperating with the enforcement of immigration laws would immediately lose any and all Federal funding. Any and all elected officials attempting to implement such policies shall be deemed to have violated their oath of office and shall be subject to removal by the Federal government. If a local jurisdiction repeatedly adopts such policies, that government shall be subject to being dissolved and its' authority and function being handed over to the next highest level of government. No more sanctuary cities.

No system is perfect, but something like what is outlined above would be as fair and just as possible, while both avoiding amnesty and being workable in the real world. Both sides need to be open to such a plan.

Asking The Right Questions in the Fast and Furious Scandal

Yesterday the Arizona Republic became the first mainstream media outlet to ask what may be the most important question of the Fast and Furious scandal: WHY?

Today, I would like to unpack that question by applying it to specific aspects of the story:

Defenders of the administration have been quick to point out that guns "walked across" the boarder in a Bush era program known as "Wide Receiver". This was in spite of the knowledge and cooperation of the Mexican government, the placement of tracking devices in the guns and surveillance of the smugglers. Why then would the Obama DOJ conduct a program in which all of these safeguards were expressly forbidden?

Why did William Newell conduct such a program only months after sending a memo to all agents in his division stating that due to the failure of Wide Receiver they would never conduct such an operation again?

In Wide Receiver, the program was canceled because about 400 guns got away. Why did the Obama administration continue to conduct the program when more than 2,000 guns went to the cartels?

Why was the agent in charge of the program "elated" and "giddy" when weapons from the program were recovered at Mexican murder scenes?

Why did this program begin at virtually the same time that multiple sources discredited the administration's claim that most cartel guns came from "US gun shops"?

Why did William Newell, who was running the operation out of the Phoenix ATF Office, have extensive and detailed communication regarding the operation with White House aide Kevin O' Riley?

When the scandal broke, why was Kevin O' Riley "unavailable" to Congressional investigators because he had been reassigned to a position in Iraq?

Why did AG Eric Holder know so little about this program when every one of his immediate subordinates clearly knew of the program?

Why is Eric Holder not responsible for information in memos addressed directly to him? Why is he not responsible for the failures of his personal staff? If he cannot correctly run his own personal staff, how is he competent to run the Department of Justice? As head of DOJ, why is he not responsible for the worst scandal ever to take place in the department?

Finally, the biggest question: How could any program that intentionally allowed firearms to cross the boarder into Mexico without the knowledge or cooperation of the Mexican government serve any law enforcement purpose?

It is wonderful that at least one mainstream news outlet has begun to ask the right questions. Hopefully more news organizations will have the courage and integrity to ask these questions - but no matter what the news media does, Eric Holder is very likely to face many of these questions before a joint hearing of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees on December 8th.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The High Tech Lynching Continues

Those of us who remember the Clarence Thomas hearings may be experiencing "De Ja Vu" this week as the attacks on Herman Cain continue. In the words Justice Thomas, this appears to me to be a high tech lynching for what the liberal establishment considers to be an "uppity black" who thinks for himself.

On Friday we learned that the only known accuser who did anything at the time of the supposed "harassment" was going to speak through her lawyer and remain safely anonymous - just like the rest of his accusers.

Today, we had the first person willing to speak publicly. Flanked by her ultra liberal attorney, she made accusations of outright sexual assault that took place 15 years ago. She did not report it at the time and has no evidence to support her statements beyond her own supposed statements at the time made to a boyfriend and a mentor. (Neither of whom has come forward at this time and neither of whom has been identified by this latest accuser.)

When someone makes such and accusation - and the accused person denies the accusation (as Herman Cain has done) - the character of both people is very important.

What do we know about the accuser? Not much, except she has not been employed in 15 years, has a 13 year child who was born out of wedlock, and she has been involved in multiple lawsuits. There are also reports that she is deep in debt.

What do we know about the character of Herman Cain? We know that he has been married to the same woman for 40+ years. We also know that he worked his way up from poverty in the days of segregation. We know that he is deeply religious. We know that he has been an executive in several business for 30+ years - and that in that time none of the companies he was employed by discovered a single "well founded" case of harassment of any kind. We know that he was employed in positions that would require pre-employment background checks (What big corporation would hire a CEO without thoroughly checking him or her out?)

We also know of one case where an accusation was settled for a relatively small amount of money by Cain's employer. There was no admission of guilt and it appears that the accusation came at the end of this persons employment and the "settlement" included severance benefits. The exact amount has not been disclosed, but is reported to have been well within the "nuisance value" a potential lawsuit. Of course it is common for insurance companies and corporations to pay for a problem to “go away”. Of course, we know that this person continues to hide behind their lawyer so they can avoid the kind of scrutiny Herman Cain is being subjected to. She has offered her testimony in the court of public opinion and has not be subjected to cross examination.

More evidence could come forward to totally change my opinion – but at this point I believe that Herman Cain is getting a raw deal. I think someone is very afraid of him.