Monthly Archives: November 2011
Herman Cain seems to think immigration and US citizenship are issues for the states to deal with.
“The way I would deal with those that are already here, which has been my stated position: empower the states to deal with the illegals that are already here, not some, big, grandiose, national one size fit-all. I believe that the states should be empowered to deal with the illegals that are already here,” Cain said CNN’s State of the Union this morning.
In response to whether that meant the states could allow illegal immigrants to “be put on a path toward legalization and toward citizenship,” Cain answered, “It would be up to the states as long as they did not break the federal law.”
Actually we do need to have a “big, grandiose, national one size fit-all” scheme. Why? Because the Constitution actually calls for one. It’s right there in the enumerated powers of Congress in Article I, Section II.
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,
Given his position on immigration, the right to bear arms, the prohibition on religious tests and the First Amendment, one has to wonder if Cain has even a passing familiarity with the US Constitution.
No doubt in the future Rubin will point to this as evidence she’s fair to all candidates when it’s called for. Or alternatively, it’s safe to praise a guy who is now at 5% in the polls and no immediate threat to Mitt “The Chosen One” Romney. That she can also use Perry to bash Newt Gingrich, who is very much a threat to Romney, is an added bonus.
Now, that’s just Rubin being Rubin at this point. What really makes this post shine is this exchange with Gingrich’s spokesman.
I tried to get answers from the Gingrich camp on his positions. The conversation via e-mail went like this. Me: “Does Gingrich support an increase in defense spending? Does he have a specific level of defense spending (% of budget or of GDP) in mind? Does he believe we need to expand the U.S. Navy?” Spokesman RC Hammond: “In what context am I answering?” That one threw me for a loop since he’s a presidential campaign spokesman and I’m a journalist. So I responded that I was asking in his capacity as a campaign spokesman to ascertain Gingrich’s position on defense issue. Hammond e-mailed back, “Try again.” (This is a campaign that has absorbed its candidate’s complete contempt for the media.) I replied that I wanted to know his positions on the issues, was doing a piece on national security and these were the sort of questions other candidates had addressed. He then asked to call me but never did.
I love the way he jerks her chain there.
Rubin probably realizes but is too dishonest or proud to admit no one who pays any attention to her thinks she’s a journalist. Hammond was insinuating what many people think (myself included)…at this point Rubin is nothing more than an operative for the Romney campaign. Why in the world should Hammond or any other campaign treat her as a remotely disinterested party that will get a fair hearing from her? Well, maybe if Gingrich drops back in the polls she’ll be fair to Newt. That’s what a “journalist” does, right Ms. Rubin?
(I’m putting this up to make it easier for AoSHQ readers to find this entire exchange)
CNN National Security Debate Immigration Section.
BLITZER: Speaker Gingrich, let me let you broaden out this conversation. Back in the ’80s — and you remember this well. I was covering you then. Ronald Reagan and you — you voted for legislation that had a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, as you well remember. There were, what, maybe 12 million, 10 million — 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States right now.
Some called it amnesty then; they still call it amnesty now. What would you do if you were President of the United States, with these millions of illegal immigrants, many of whom have been in this country for a long time?
GINGRICH: Let me start and just say I think that we ought to have an H-1 visa that goes with every graduate degree in math, science and engineering so that people stay here.
GINGRICH: You know, about five blocks down the street, you’ll see a statue of Einstein. Einstein came here as an immigrant. So let’s be clear how much the United States has drawn upon the world to be richer, better and more inclusive.
I did vote for the Simpson-Mazzoli Act. Ronald Reagan, in his diary, says he signed it — and we were supposed to have 300,000 people get amnesty. There were 3 million. But he signed it because we were going to get two things in return. We were going to get control of the border and we were going to get a guest worker program with employer enforcement.
We got neither. So I think you’ve got to deal with this as a comprehensive approach that starts with controlling the border, as the governor said. I believe ultimately you have to find some system — once you’ve put every piece in place, which includes the guest worker program, you need something like a World War II Selective Service Board that, frankly, reviews the people who are here.
If you’re here — if you’ve come here recently, you have no ties to this country, you ought to go home. period. If you’ve been here 25 years and you got three kids and two grandkids, you’ve been paying taxes and obeying the law, you belong to a local church, I don’t think we’re going to separate you from your family, uproot you forcefully and kick you out.
The Creeble Foundation is a very good red card program that says you get to be legal, but you don’t get a pass to citizenship. And so there’s a way to ultimately end up with a country where there’s no more illegality, but you haven’t automatically given amnesty to anyone.
BLITZER: Congresswoman Bachmann, you agree with the speaker?
BACHMANN: Well, I don’t agree that you would make 11 million workers legal, because that, in effect, is amnesty. And I also don’t agree that you would give the DREAM Act on a federal level. And those are two things that I believe that the speaker had been for, and he can speak for himself.
But those are two areas that I don’t agree with. What I do think, though, is what Steve — what Steve Jobs said to President Obama. He had said to President Obama that he had to move a great deal of his operation over to China because he couldn’t find 30,000 engineers to be able to do the work that needed to be done.
That’s what we want to do. We do want to have people. And I agree with the speaker, people like chemists and engineers, and people who are highly skilled.
We think about the United States and what’s in the best interests of the United States. If we can utilize these workers, like Steve jobs wanted to, then we need to offer those visas. That will help the United States. But I don’t agree that we should make 11 million workers who are here illegally legal.
BLITZER: Let me let the speaker respond to that.
GINGRICH: Well, I mean, two things, first of all, in the DREAM Act, the one part that I like is the one which allows people who came here with their parents to join the U.S. military, which they could have done if they were back home, and if they serve on it with the U.S. military to acquire citizenship, which is something any foreigner can do.
And I don’t see any reason to punish somebody who came here at three years of age, but who wants to serve the United States of America. I specifically did not say we’d make the 11 million people legal.
I do suggest if you go back to your district, and you find people who have been here 25 years and have two generations of family and have been paying taxes and are in a local church, as somebody who believes strongly in family, you’ll have a hard time explaining why that particular subset is being broken up and forced to leave, given the fact that they’ve been law-abiding citizens for 25 years.
BLITZER: Congresswoman Bachmann, you want to respond?
BACHMANN: If I understood correctly, I think the speaker just said that that would make 11 people — 11 million people who are here illegally now legal. That’s really the issue that we’re dealing with. And also, it would be the DREAM Act, the federal DREAM Act, which would offer taxpayer-subsidized benefits to illegal aliens. We need to move away from magnets (ph), not offer more.
BLITZER: Let’s broaden it out.
Governor Romney, where do you stand? Are you with the speaker, that some of those illegal immigrants — I think — he didn’t say all — some of them, if they have roots, they belong to a church, for example, should be allowed to stay in this country? ROMNEY: Look, amnesty is a magnet. What when we have had in the past, programs that have said that if people who come here illegally are going to get to stay illegally for the rest of their life, that’s going to only encourage more people to come here illegally.
The right course for our immigration system is to say we welcome people who want to come here legally. We’re going to have a system that makes that easier and more transparent. But to make sure we’re able to bring in the best and brightest — and, by the way, I agree with the speaker in terms of — I’d staple a green card to the diploma of anybody who’s got a degree of math, science, a Masters degree, Ph.D.
We want those brains in our country. But in order to bring people in legally we’ve got to stop illegal immigration. That means turning off the magnets of amnesty, in-state tuition for illegal aliens, employers that knowingly hire people that have come here illegally.
We welcome legal immigration. This is a party, this is a party that loves legal immigration. But we have to stop illegal immigration for all the reasons the questioner raised, which is, it is bringing in people who in some cases can be terrorists, in other cases they become burdens on our society.
And we have to finally have immigration laws that protect our border, secure the border, turn off the magnets, and make sure we have people come to this country legally to build our economy.
BLITZER: Just to precise, and I’ll give Speaker Gingrich a chance to respond. Are you saying that what he’s proposing, giving amnesty in effect, or allowing some of these illegal immigrants to stay, is a magnet that would entice others to come to this country illegally?
ROMNEY: There’s no question. But to say that we’re going to say to the people who have come here illegally that now you’re all going to get to stay or some large number are going to get to stay and become permanent residents of the United States, that will only encourage more people to do the same thing.
People respond to incentives. And if you can become a permanent resident of the United States by coming here illegally, you’ll do so. What I want to do is bring people into this country legally, particularly those that have education and skill that allows us to compete globally. (APPLAUSE)
GINGRICH: I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families, and expel them.
I do believe if you’ve been here recently and have no ties to the U.S., we should deport you. I do believe we should control the border. I do believe we should have very severe penalties for employers, but I would urge all of you to look at the Krieble Foundation Plan.
I don’t see how the — the party that says it’s the party of the family is going to adopt an immigration policy which destroys families that have been here a quarter century. And I’m prepared to take the heat for saying, let’s be humane in enforcing the law without giving them citizenship but by finding a way to create legality so that they are not separated from their families.
BLITZER: Governor Perry, are you with the speaker or with the governor, Governor Romney?
PERRY: Here we go again, Mitt. You and I standing by each other again and you used the words about the magnets. And that’s one of the things that we obviously have to do is to stop those magnets for individuals to come in here.
But the real issue is securing that border. And this conversation is not ever going to end until we get the border secure. But I do think that there is a way. That after we secure that border that you can have a process in place for individual who are law- abiding citizens who have done only one thing, as Newt says, 25 years ago or whatever that period of time was, that you can put something in place that basically continues to keep those families together.
But the idea that we’re having this long and lengthy conversation here, until we have a secure border is just an intellectual exercise. You’ve got to secure the border first. And I know how to do that. I’ve been dealing with it for 10 years.
And we have to put the boots on the ground and the aviation assets in place, and secure that border once and for all, and be committed to it.
BLITZER: Let me let Governor Romney respond.
ROMNEY: Yes, I don’t disagree with what Governor Perry indicated. Certainly we have to secure the border. And we talk about people who have been here 25 years, that is the extreme exception…
BLITZER: You would let them stay.
ROMNEY: … not the rule.
BLITZER: You would let them stay?
ROMNEY: I’m not going to start drawing lines here about who gets to stay and who get to go. The principle is that we are not going to have an amnesty system that says that people who come here illegally get to stay for the rest of their life in this country legally.
The answer is we’re going to have a system that gives people who come legally a card that identifies them as coming here legally. Employers are going to be expected to inspect that card, see if they’re here legally. On that basis we’re going to be able to bring you to this country.
The number of people that we need to power our industries, whether that’s agriculture or high tech, we welcome people in here with visa programs. We have a whole series of legal programs. But the idea of focusing a Republican debate on amnesty and who we’re going to give it to, is a huge mistake.
Secure our border, protect legal immigration, and return to a system that follows the law.
Anti-Romney forces should be candid
So says the woman who won’t admit to carrying water for Romney but just happens to attack every challenger who comes up against dear Mittens.
Click the image for a link to the whole post.
Image courtesy of the <a href=”https://twitter.com/#!/slublog”>Slushop Collection</a>.
The silver lining to all of this is that it is increasingly hard to fake your way through a rigorous presidential primary season. Cain’s past and his current lack of knowledge have caught up with him. Perry’s lack of rhetorical skills and policy chops have done him in. All that “fly-speaking,” as Cain calls it, has its benefits.
Mitt? Not a fake bone in his body. He’s totally authentic and dreamy but mostly dreamy.
Click the image for a link to the whole post.
Image courtesy of the Slushop Collection.
Things move fast these days. In less than 14 hours Rick Perry’s inability to remember the 3rd federal department he’d shut down (energy! Energy! For the love of God say ENERGY!) has gone from a game-ender to a possible (possible) game changer.
Everything Perry has done since walking off the stage in Michigan to now has been brilliant. Whether that holds up tonight on Letterman and the Daily Show is yet to be seen
When confronted with a moment so excruciatingly painful and embarrassing as Perry last night, a candidate can either ignore and try and play through or just embrace it as tightly as possible (the other option is get pissy like Obama does when he screws up). By embracing it and appearing on every network morning show, Laura Ingrham’s radio show, FNC this afternoon and apparently talking to anyone with a mic and a camera Perry has made the most of this “gaffe”. People are quickly going from laughing at him (which is fatal) to laughing with him (which can be powerful). It also helps that at some pint in a venue large or small, we’ve all been there. It’s an endearing and humanizing moment that basically means a chance for Perry to make a first impression for the second time.
What Perry does with the second chance in the coming days will likely be the difference between an early demise for his campaign or a another legitimate shot at the nomination.
I don’t know if the stiff and lifeless Perry we’ve seen at the debates is the “real” Perry or if the looser, quirkier one we are seeing now (and in the famous NH speech) is closer to the truth. If it’s the latter I hope he just lets that fly and sees where it takes him. Personally I’ve gotten the sense from Perry that he’s so uptight, so worried about saying the wrong thing he’s basically gone flat (maybe his apparent lack of preparation for this run was the cause of his caution). That was not the concern I had about him when he launched his bid. I thought his supposedly outsized personality would be too hot, to “Texas” for many voters. Well, cautious Rick Perry was struggling to hang on to the tail end of the 2nd tier at about 6% support before last night. If you’re going to go down, go down with your best pitch Rick. Throw it all out on the table and see if it works.
Even a looser, more comfortable Rick Perry is still going to face problems on immigration, his ability to communicate effectively and concerns about his grasp of national issues. While all of those things are important, so is personality and the voters ability to feel comfortable with a candidate and his judgement. After all, no one knows every possible issue a President will face in 4 years so we are betting we are picking someone with the right traits to deal with the expected and unexpected when the time comes.
Of course with another debate coming up on Saturday focusing on foreign policy, Perry’s 2nd look window is small. He needs to come off as loose, confident and in command of the issues. Another brain freeze (and you know the moderators will try and trip him up with a question about the Prime Minister of East Nowhereastan) or even one of his regular debate checkouts and the new New Hotness will be the old Old and Busted: Perry’s Done.
Republicans May Bring A Balanced Budget Amendment To The Floor That Doesn’t Require A Super Majority To Raise Taxes
Are Republicans really this stupid? Of course they are, they’re Republicans after all.
The House GOP “overwhelmingly” supports holding a vote on a “clean” version of the balanced budget amendment as opposed to a version that makes it harder to increase taxes, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the author of both versions of the legislation, said Wednesday.
The key difference between the two measures is that the clean version only requires a majority vote to raise taxes. The other version, which is supported by Grover Norquist and his group Americans for Tax Reform, would require a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers to raise taxes.
Fewer Democrats support the latter version, since the two-thirds vote would set up a high hurdle for raising taxes to reduce the deficit.
Goodlatte said that the GOP members made their views clear in a Friday caucus meeting. He said those supporting the clean version believe it is the only one with a chance of winning approval.
I hate when conservatives adopt a “don’t just stand there, do something!” approach. No Balanced Budget Amendment is better than a lousy one which will almost certainly lead to higher taxes. But the BBA is popular with the base so…of the cliff we go!
Personally, I don’t favor a BBA of any kind.
First of all, balancing the budget for the sake of balancing the budget isn’t a priority for me. The number one thing we have to get a handle on in this country is spending. I’d much rather have a smaller more reasonable deficit on a budget that is at a significantly lower percentage of GDP than a balanced budget at a higher level of spending like Simpson-Bowles would have by locking in discretionary spending at 2010 post-”stimulus levels”.
A BBA is a magical thinking solution to a real and growing problem. Just saying “you must balance the budget”doesn’t mean that it will simply happen. Look at the enforcement language in the clean BBA that passed the House in 1995 and came close to winning passage in the Senate, it’s said to be the model for this year’s attempt.
`SECTION 6. The Congress shall enforce and implement this article by appropriate legislation, which may rely on estimates of outlays and receipts.
That likely means some combination of CBO and OMB estimates. Do you really think there aren’t enough clever minds on the Hill or at OMB to game that system? One need look no further than the ridiculous “savings” they came up with for ObamaCare to see how that works. And what happens when they fudge the numbers up? Is someone going to sue? Who would have standing to sue? And even if you could find someone who did have standing, do people really want to get the federal courts involved in the budget process? The damage that would do not only to the fiscal health of the country but also the very notion of representative democracy is almost unimaginable.
The only way we are ever going to get our fiscal house in order and grow the economy is to shrink the size and scope of the federal government. A BBA doesn’t do that and in fact could lead to the exact opposite. The real solution is to convince the American people that they will be better off in the long run if they expect less from the federal government. Anything short of restoring the proper relationship between the people and the federal government is either going to be a gimmick or at best a Band-Aid.
I was going to write a long post about my issues with The Walking Dead (more precisely my issues with season 2 of the show to date) but Jonah Goldberg beat me to most of what I was going to write. This is good because it saves me effort and he’s a better writer than I. Still, I have a few thoughts to add or expand on.
Let me say I come to this as someone who is hooked on the show but mostly out of habit and hope at this point. I criticize because I care. Also, I presume you watch or at least know about the show and are up to date (if not…spoilers).
The overarching problem with the show this season is they are simply ignoring they are living in a post-zombie apocalypse world. I know the idea is to see the toll this takes on the survivors who are the real walking dead (see what Robert Kirkman did there?) but so much of what they are exploring could be dealt with a pre-zombie apocalypse setting.
The first four episodes have spent a lot of time dealing with the problems between Rick and Lori. There’s the added element of Shane and his previous relationship with Lori. As a sidebar, we’re treated to the tension between Dale and Andrea. Oh and Glenn is pretty excited to get laid.
None of this has much to do with dealing with the survival needs in a a zombie infested world. All of this could have been explored more or less if this were the real world and they all worked in a law firm. Rick and Shane are old college buddies who went to law school together and now work at the same firm. They each have a history with Lori, the popular cheerleader from college. Dale the goofy but well meaning senior partner is working out his issues with his estranged daughter Andrea who took up the law not because she wanted to but because as Dale’s daughter (he always wanted a son!) she was expected to and he took away her choice! Glenn is fresh out of law school and his really taken with the wise and confident para-legal (sorry, that last one is USA’s Suits).
In a sit-com, the “sit” stands for situation and is really just a vehicle for the characters to interact. In a post-zombie apocalypse world, the situation really, really maters. It’s a big thing, it should in a sense be a character itself, a menace that’s always there. Too often this season on The Walking Dead the big set zombie pieces feel contrived and thrown in to placate people who think a zombie drama should have some zombies (think the “swimmer” in the well or the hanging zombie).
So far this season the big zombie (and presumably character) moment was Shane shooting Otis. Ok, this is good. That was a choice he wouldn’t have had to make were there not zombies. Shane has crossed a moral bright line and it’s going to pay off by….having him cut his hair and whine to Andrea? I’m sure (more hope at this point) they’ll be a bigger payoff later but my patience is running thin.
Where are the concerns and torment Jonah talks about? Where’s the sadness for the lives they’ve lost, loved ones dead and gone? And why the hell aren’t they more curious about the civil defense announcement they heard on the highway? When they got to the Greene’s farm, how come there was no exchange of questions about what happened, how did you survive, what do you know? None of that.
Speaking of the Greene’s farm…the reason they are there (aside from tending to Carl) is they are supposedly looking for Sophia. Does anyone watching the show really care if they find her? She’s just a cipher, a plot device used to plop the gang down here and give them some business to do.
This is the other big problem with the show…which character would you be sad to see killed? Personally, any of them could be eaten (action? yay!) and I wouldn’t care. I don’t know any of these people and I am simply not invested in any of their survival.
When one episode started with a flashback of Lori talking to a friend before the zombies showed up, I thought the show was in trouble if they were resorting to that kind of thing. Now after having watched the webisodes chronicling how the “bicycle zombie” got that way, I think the show NEEDS flashbacks. Right now I have no sense of who these characters are, what they’ve lost, how they survived. Worst of all the writers have given me no reason to care.
What this show is missing is a character that stands in for the viewer. Someone who is clearly a fish out of water and as they learn to navigate this strange new world so does the viewer. I guess the writers don’t think they need this kind of character because the world itself isn’t that important to them.
Last season the show did have that sort of character in Rick. Like us viewers he was thrust into this world with out any preparation or slow build up. When he met Morgan and his son, we learned together the basic outlines of what happened and what people had gone through. When Rick met Glenn in Atlanta we learned more about the new realities people were facing and some of the tricks it would take to survive.
But all too suddenly Rick became the earnest square jawed hero here to save the day. His only faults…he just cares too darn much and feels too much responsibility to lead.
Um, who asked Rick to lead? I’m pretty sure this not so merry little band survived the ugliest times without his help and were managing ok before he showed up. Why does he feel he’s the only one who can get them through when Shane and Daryl are just as competent and heroic? Me thinks Rick thinks just a bit too much of himself and his importance.
Speaking of Daryl, what’s the deal with this guy? Last season he was a menacing presence over the group. Remember how worried Dale was about how he’d react to news of his brother being left behind in the city? Now he’s Mr. Hero, comic relief and oh yeah, he brings a flower to cheer Sophia’s mom up (I don’t know her name, so you can see how much I feel for her)?
One key element of good drama is character arc. If no one is changed, then who cares what they’ve been through? Daryl hasn’t been changed organically from a scary loose cannon to everyone’s buddy, he’s simply been rewritten. I like the guy but I’d like the show better if I didn’t. Give me someone to distrust, someone who gives me reasons to doubt their motives.
Maybe that will develop over the course of the season but we’re 4 episodes into 13, time’s a wasting.
With all the changes in the writing staff, it was probably inevitable that there would be a loss of focus. The show has already been renewed for a third season. Hopefully the writers will realize they are creating a world where they have a lot freedom and stop acting like they are writing a regular prime-time soap.
This will be number 4 for those of you keeping score at home (the two who got settlements and this woman).
This time the accuser will come forward in a 1:30 eastern presser with her lawyer…Gloria Allred.
There some indications that this is beginning to negatively impact Cain’s favorability rating.
I know some won’t believe this but at this point I don’t care about the allegations. Absent any proof or even specific charges, what’s there to get worked up about?
What bothers me is the amateurish way Cain and his team have handled this.
Here’s Cain after his debate/appearance with Newt Gingrich on Saturday night.
“Journalistic code of ethics”?
First, candidates don’t really get to pick and chose what questions reporters ask. They can elect to not answer but to make asking a question out as a violation of ethics is childish.
Second, what “code of ethics” is Cain subject to for charging without any proof that his former consultant, Curt Anderson, was Politico’s original source? Of course there is no candidate code of ethics but you would think Mr. Cain would have a personal code that would have prohibited him from smearing a former employee in a way that could damage that person’s change to earn a living. Or not.
Most importantly Cain fans, this is the kind of thing that scares me most about your candidate.
How do you come to a debate on entitlements and clearly not know the difference between “defined benefit” and “premium support” options?
Both videos via Ben Domenech.
Interesting note about the Cain campaign.
Cain was last in Iowa for an October 22 speech to the Faith and Freedom Coalition. (He also attended Iowa and Iowa State football games.) At that time, he was doing damage control after a series of remarks on abortion that left some voters questioning his pro-life bona fides. He’s next expected in Iowa on November 19. If that is indeed the first time he returns, it will mark a 28-day gap between appearances in Iowa — time Cain spent in Alabama, Texas, Washington DC, and other places that don’t have early caucuses or primaries.
But, but I thought Iowa is entitled to its first up slot because Iowans spend months and months personally talking to the candidates in homes, at country fairs and diners. They vet candidates in ways we mere mortals in other states (aside from New Hampshire) are incapable of. They do this personal work in order to ensure the candidates are up to snuff and ready for the rest of us. In return we pretend ethanol is mandates are good things. This is how the world has worked from time immemorial and how it must MUST continue to do so.
Well, at least the 2nd place candidate, Mitt Romney, has spent tons and tons of time there. Wait, that’s not right either.
So it turns out the voters anointed by God himself to personally inspect each candidate up close and personal for the rest of us are making decisions based on TV spots and news reports like everyone else?
Three things the GOP needs to get a handle on before its next open primary season:
1-Debates. Fewer in number, more realistic thresholds for participation, formats the encourage ideas not cheap rhetorical attacks and less MSM participation.
2-Calendar. Iowa and New Hampshire are not magical places. The world will not spin off it’s axis if they don’t go first. Also, no more January voting.
3-Open Primaries. Close them. If you can’t be bothered to register as a Republican, you don’t get a say in who the party nominates.
Thanks to Slublog for the original story.