Monday, April 09, 2007



Let me see if I can remember this exactly right. It was an authoritative CNN voice promo-ing an upcoming segment about immigration. He sure sounded like he knew what he was talking about. If he did, though, it would have meant he was purposely promoting grossly deceptive Republican talking points. The promo said that Bush would be trying to get immigration reform through but with Democrats in charge of Congress could he succeed? I just get the feeling that Fox is a right wing propaganda machine by design and CNN is a right wing propaganda machine by imitation and cluelessness.

This morning Jonathan Weisman at least has a basic understanding of what the issues are here and maybe someone should send his frontpage story in the Washington Post to the bubbleheads at CNN. "President Bush will relaunch his push for an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws today in Arizona, with a fresh speech on the border and a new congressional leadership that is friendlier to his views, but with the same dynamics that scuttled his last attempt: a cooperative Senate but bipartisan opposition in the House." (Emphasis is mine.) Imagine the difference between a CNN "but" and a CNN "and."
In contrast to her approach to other controversial issues, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has told the White House that she cannot pass a bill with Democratic votes alone, nor will she seek to enforce party discipline on the issue. Bush will have to produce at least 70 Republican votes before she considers a vote on comprehensive immigration legislation, a task that may be very difficult for a president saddled with low approval ratings.

After 6 long years someone is finally going to have to explain to Incurious George that the word "bipartisan" doesn't mean "my way or the highway." Another word someone is going to have to explain to Bush is "implacable" because vicious far right attack ads against red-state Democrats around the hot button "amnesty" frame has soured quite a few of them against Bush's approach to immigration.
Democratic conservatives, particularly freshmen who seized their seats from Republicans, weathered a barrage of attacks on the issue before their victories in November and are not anxious to relive the experience, aides and lawmakers say. Some of those lawmakers, such as Reps. Nancy Boyda (Kan.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Nick Lampson (Tex.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.), are implacably opposed to a bill that would grant any of the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants legal residence or citizenship, at least until new border controls are implemented and working.

Bush makes some fancy claims but his "immigration reform" is 100% about cheap labor. The rest-- border security, better enforcement of immigration laws in the interior and resolving "without amnesty and without animosity" status for 12 million undocumented residents-- is all bullshit. He will make promises to every interest group and in the end it will still just be about cheap labor for his corporate backers. Democrats object for a variety of reasons. Beneath the surface, of course, is the desire to protect fair wages for American workers. But Democrats are talking about the unacceptability of Bush's plan in terms of splitting up families "while creating a permanent underclass of temporary workers with no prospects of fully participating in U.S. society."

If Bush-- and his chief henchmen in Congress-- haven't quite come to grips with the concept of solving problems through bipartisanship, some Republicans, with a firmer grasp on the post-November realities, have. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has joined Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) in proposing an alternative approach (the STRIVE Act). "The bill would make illegal immigrants who were in the country before June 1, 2006, eligible for legalization after a $500 fine, a security clearance and proof that they had been actively employed before that date. After six years, immigrants who learn English, stay crime-free and pay an additional $1,500 would be eligible for permanent residency and eventually citizenship. Under the bill, hundreds of thousands of guest workers could enter the United States each year to fill jobs that Americans do not want."

In the Senate, where there was hope that leadership would be provided by a bipartisan effort by Ted Kennedy and John McCain, longtime partners on the issue, McCain has double-crossed everyone and backed away from his own positions in order to placate the extreme hard right as he makes a pointless last ditch effort for the presidency. He handed a man's job over to his little closeted Mini-Me (R-SC) and that pretty much kills any chance for any substantive headway in the Senate. Besides, does Bush have the will or the strength to deal with the Tancredo nativist faction in his own party anyway? Not likley.


I was actually surprised to see Obama address the toxic issue head-on in Iowa this weekend. Looking for bold leadership from Democrats seeking the presidency rarely pays off, but Obama actually stood up and said something controversial that might actually offend Tancredo supports who would never vote for a Democrat anyway.
"I know this generates a lot of passions but I think this is the approach that is the most realistic for us to get out of the situation we're in right now," Obama told a crowd of about 600 people at Iowa Valley Community College in Marshalltown.

Echoing points he made on the Senate floor earlier this week, he said the United States needs stronger border control and must create tougher penalties for employers who hire undocumented workers.

Forcing millions of families who currently live in the United States to leave is impractical, he said. Obama told the crowd that unauthorized immigrants should be given a chance to become citizens, but he said his ideas would not grant "amnesty."

Actually, it kind of boils down to what Bush is saying. Nevermind.

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At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The connection of all the "news" organizations if the gigantic corporations that have ownership .... and gigantic corporations have a kinship with the Republican party ... everyone gets that right? So why all the obsession with O'Rielly, Fox, CNN etc ..... people do realize the internet is perhaps the best place for news presentations?

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am against a guest worker program that simply allows those here illegally to stay with no consequence. I am against allowing skilled workers to come into this country on a work visa unless it is proven that there are no Americans to do the job. Too many Americans are out of work.

I think we need to solve the issues with those here. If the jobs dry up for illegals, then so will the influx.

I am sure there are many in the SW who agree with me and I am a progressive Democrat.

Bush's plan only undercuts the American worker. There should be a way for people to earn citizenship, but I believe there needs to be a consensus on just how to do that. Giving it away is not a solution that I want to live with. Neither is deporting parts of families leaving children stranded.

Real problems need to be solved. Bush has it easy, on the one hand, he can look liberal and compassionate by catering to Big Business while appearing to care for the illegals by offering a guest worker program.

This is not a problem which happened over night. It has been brewing since the 90's, and likely before.

After outsourcing, loss of manufacturing, and guest worker programs who will be left in America with jobs? Certainly not American citizens.


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