Friday, April 07, 2006

Down Goes The Immigration Bill

The legislation that Senators were working on in order to crack down on illegal immigration will have to take a back seat for now. The compromise failed to gain enough votes to move forward in its process of becoming legislation:

The Senate sidetracked sweeping immigration legislation Friday amid partisan recriminations, leaving in doubt prospects for passage of a measure that offered the hope of citizenship to millions of men, women and children living in the United States illegally.

The bill gained only 38 votes on a key procedural test, far short of the 60 needed to advance.

The vote marked a turnabout from Thursday, when the Senate's two leaders had both hailed a last-minute compromise as a breakthrough in the campaign to enact the most far-reaching changes in immigration law in two decades.

But Republicans soon accused Democrats of trying to squelch their amendments, while Democrats accused the GOP of trying to kill their own bill by filibuster.

The obstructionism of the Democrats is obvious here. The Dems refused to debate on all of the specific pieces of the bill, insisting that it instead go through as a weak "compromise" without further input from the senators. They refused to debate the issue of a fence --which we need-- and instead sought an "as is" passage of the bill.

But after what we saw with the Supreme Court confirmation process, we shouldn't be surprised by the stalling tactics of the Dems. However, the only way to break such tactics is with a strong and committed GOP majority. At the moment we do not have that. Instead, we have senators like John McCain and others of the Gang of 14 who cave in on nearly every issue that matters.

It's time that the Republican senators figure out what a great opportunity they have if they would only stick together. The GOP must be firm on immigration. With a majority in both houses of Congress and control of the White House, there is no excuse for the kind of capitulation we've seen from the GOP. Unless the majority party starts acting like it and standing up for what it claims to be its agenda, it will suffer in the upcoming mid-term elections.

And that can hardly be seen as a desirable result. Would you really trust the future of America to a Majority Leader Reid?

I wouldn't.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Flip-Flopping Harry Reid

Democratic Sen. Harry Reid can't seem to make up his mind about his immigration policy. Back in 1993 he was in solid support of strict illegal immigration laws, but now he says he's changed his mind in order to fall in line with the Democratic Party's position.

He said he changed his mind way back in 1993, but it turns out Sen. Reid was arguing for strict immigration laws for some time after his claimed "conversion":

A few days after introducing the bill in August 1993, Mr. Reid said in a near whisper as many senators looked on in amazement, his wife -- the daughter of immigrants -- confronted him after a meeting in Las Vegas and scolded him about his anti-immigrant views. She and other associates of his "pointed out the errors of my way" and ever since, Mr. Reid said, he's favored a more inclusive approach to immigration reform.

His errant ways, he said, "for which I'm so apologetic to my family, mostly lasted about a week or two."

But seven months later, Mr. Reid introduced his bill again, according to Senate records. That bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee in March 1994.

Later that summer, he testified before the Judiciary Committee and advocated cutting legal immigration from 1 million people annually to 325,000.

"A gluttonous admission of new people every year will have a pernicious effect on our infrastructure and our environment," Mr. Reid said, according to Associated Press reports at the time.

"We cannot continue to feed, clothe, house, educate and employ unlimited new populations," States News Service quoted him saying.

Sen. Reid's office claimed last night that he switched his position after he introduced his immigration legislation for the second time in 1994, but that he couldn't remember how long after that he changed sides.

Seems a little fishy to me. John Hinderaker at Power Line concludes:

They can't give an exact time line, I suspect, until they've done a Nexis search and figured out when Reid last gave an anti-illegal immigration speech that was reported in the press.

Potential Jail Time Is 20/20

As a grand jury prepared to hear Rep. Cynthia McKinney's case, she suddenly realized the error of her actions:

Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., expressed "sincere regret" Thursday for her altercation with a Capitol police officer, and offered an apology to the House.

"There should not have been any physical contact in this incident," McKinney said in brief remarks on the House floor. "I am sorry that this misunderstanding happened at all and I regret its escalation and I apologize."

It really is amazing how the prospect of jail time can just sharpen your focus about reality. When faced with the consequences, McKinney suddenly realizes that she was wrong in slugging a Captiol Police officer. It seems all too convenient to me.

Just yesterday she was still up to the race-baiting game. It just goes to show you how absurd her claims of racism were in the first place. Most often, public officials who play the race card in situations like this are just coverning their own misdeeds, and Rep. McKinney is no different.

Now all we need is her apology for labeling the Capitol Police as racists.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

McKinney Goes To Trial

A federal grand jury will begin hearing evidence about Rep. Cynthia McKinney's run-in with a Capitol Police officer in the very near future.

This is undoubtedly the right move. Being a member of Congress does not excuse you from obeying the law, and McKinney's trial must exhibit that. But before the trial, note some simple observations:

From U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer:
"McKinney turned the officer's failure to recognize her into a criminal matter when she failed to stop at his request, and then struck him.

He reached out and grabbed her and she turned around and hit him. Even the high and the haughty should be able to stop and say, 'I'm a congressman' and then everybody moves on."

From House Speaker Dennis Hastert:
"This is not about personality. It's not about racial profiling. It's about making this place safer."

But apparently not for Rep. McKinney. She is still completely wrapped up in the racism angle --an angle that is completely bogus, as Chief of Police Terrance Gainer explains:
"I've seen our officers stop white members and black members, Latinos, male and females. It's not an issue about what your race or gender is. It's an issue about making sure people who come into our building are recognized if they're not going through the magnetometer, and this officer at that moment didn't recognize her."

If you feel like Gainer is over-simplifying things, he's not. It really is that clear-cut. You don't hit a Captiol Police officer. Ever. For Rep. McKinney to play the race card is a complete cop-out, and can only be seen as a frantic last-minute effort to cover her tail.

Former Rep. Tom Delay understands, and sheds some light on Rep. McKinney's past:
"Cynthia McKinney is a racist. She has a long history of racism. Everything is racism with her. This is incredible arrogance that sometimes hits these members of Congress, but especially Cynthia McKinney."

I can only hope that Rep. McKinney gets convicted of assault against an uniformed officer, and serves time for her crime. She should be an example of how NOT to behave as a U.S. representative.

Bird Flu Hits Scotland

From BBC News:
Preliminary tests have confirmed the H5 avian flu virus in a sample from a swan found dead in Fife, health officials have revealed.

The exact virus strain is not known, but tests were continuing and further results were expected on Thursday.

The Scottish Executive said restrictions had been put in place around Cellardyke, east of Anstruther.

If the disease is confirmed as the deadly H5N1 strain there may be further restrictions set up.

The virus' slow movement westward continues, and very ominously at that. It is still highly like that the Avian Flu will arrive in America, and state and local governments must continue to gather supplies and establish plans of action for its arrival. Ample warning has been given by the federal government, so if anything does go wrong, we only have our local officials to blame.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Playing Catch Up

Apologies for the absence these past couple days, I've been a bit under the weather. I'll be updating again regularly starting tomorrow, but for now, here are some quick links:

Tom Delay resigned from his seat in Congress. I'd hoped it wouldn't come to this, but of course it's not my decision to make. Nonetheless, I'm still confident that the politically motivated prosecution of Delay by Ronnie Earle will be exposed as baseless and untrue. Huge reaction roundup from Wizbang and Michelle Malkin.

Not surprisingly, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, the woman who accosted a Capitol Hill Police Officer, is being called "a distraction" by fellow Democrats. Even her own party sees her publicity stunt for what it is. I hope they recognize her criminal actions as well.

Katie Couric is leaving NBC's Today Show for the CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes. I'm sure the goal is some form of a ratings boost. Better luck with that when they drop the softball questions and the agenda journalism.

Remember the immigration rallies that swept the nation last week? Well they were organized by none other than International A.N.S.W.E.R., which, by the way is a Communist organization and a front for the Workers World Party. Most recently, the WWP and ANSWER have supported dictators like Saddam Hussein and North Korea's Kim Il Jong. What does this have to say about the immigration rallies? Details over at Power Line and The Washington Times.

Hamas blatantly lied to the U.N. and the international officials over there ate it up. Just goes to show you that all U.N. officials really want from rogue nations is an "I promise not to be bad" or some other non-binding, zero-consequences statement and that's good enough for them. LGF has the story.

Lastly, there's word floating around that some judges might get confirmed --or at least get the up-or-down vote they deserve-- in the near future.