Saturday, February 23, 2008

All I Want for Christmas

If you really love me, you'll get me one of these:

Pro-Military Group Targets Berkley for Anti-Marine Stance

I wrote a little over a week ago that while the Berkeley City Council had rescinded its loathsome letter to the U.S. Marine Corps, it had failed to change policies it adopted to prevent the Marines from recruiting effectively in the city. The pro-military group Move America Forward is trying to make sure the city council doesn't get away with a cosmetic change, but is actually forced to live and let live, and to give the Marines the same free-speech rights that all other Americans have. They're airing the ad below in Berkeley, Sacramento, and nationwide on CNN and FOX:

In addition to the continued belligerence toward the U.S.M.C. displayed in the ad, the City Council continues to give Code Pink a special parking permit in front of the recruiting center from which to protest, as well as a weekly noise permit for the same purpose.

it's ironic that the liberals on the City Council are going to such great lengths to deny freedom of speech and freedom of association to the Marines, as well as to potential applicants. Guess some people are more deserving of civil liberties than others.

Increased Penalties for Hiring Illegal Aliens


The Bush administration is rolling out new rules in the coming weeks that will impose requirements and fines on companies that knowingly hire undocumented workers, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Attorney General Michael Mukasey announced Friday. One of the rules will increase civil fines by as much as $5,000, or 25 percent, for employers who hire illegal immigrants, Chertoff and Mukasey said during a news conference. The rule will take effect March 27. The minimum penalty for knowingly employing an undocumented worker will increase from $275 to $375, according to the Justice Department.

The maximum penalty for a first violation will jump from $2,200 to $3,200. And the biggest increase raises the maximum civil penalty for multiple violations from $11,000 to $16,000, the department said. Mukasey said the rule will mark the first time since 1999 that fines on employers have been increased.

An increase of nearly 50 percent in the maximum penalty? One would imagine that this would have to make employers consider more seriously whether it's worth it to hire illegal immigrants. Any immigration lawyers know how frequently these fines are applied?

Leave it to the Bush administration however, to offend conservatives even as it does something they're likely to support. According to the Kansas City Star, Secretary Chertoff gave an odd rationale for why this move was necessary:

The administration contends that the actions are needed in response to congressional failure to pass “comprehensive immigration reform” that would have given illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship and created a large guest worker program.

So because there are not millions of illegal immigrants moving into the legal workforce, we must make it harder for employers to hire them illegally. I suppose that in a way, that makes sense.

Doesn't it sort of call into question the motivation behind the Bush comprehensive immigration proposal, though? It essentially says that the preferred answer to the illegal population was simply to make them all work eligible -- but as long as we're not going to do that, we're essentially compelled to enforce the law.

Not the best way to make people trust your bona fides on illegal immigration.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Inglis Can't Dance

I've long approved of Bob Inglis as an elected official. Now I learn that I approve of him as a dancer, too. You'll either love it, or conclude that he's deeply disturbed:

Inglis' lifetime ACU rating: 82 percent. Makes me glad I donated to the guy.

NRCC Outraises DCCC

This is a surprise:

The National Republican Congressional Committee narrowly outraised its House Democratic counterpart in January, ending a lengthy trend of losing the monthly money battles against the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In FEC reports filed last night, the NRCC reported raising $3.79 million in January, compared to the DCCC’s $3.72 million. The NRCC still badly trails the DCCC in cash on hand, banking just $6.4 million to the DCCC’s $35.4 million.
The same article points out that the Republican Senate campaign committee raised nearly as much as its Democratic counterpart in January. Recall too, (as I wrote yesterday) that the RNC continues to raise significantly more than its Democratic counterpart. When you look at the overall picture, the three Democratic campaign committees (DCCC, DSCC, and DNC) started February with an edge in cash on hand of about $28 million -- a big edge, but not overwhelming.

The Democrats think that 2008 will be a good year for them for several reasons: the better presidential candidate, the edge in money, and the high number of GOP retirements. But it's starting to seem that McCain may be the better candidate in the general election -- no matter who wins the Democratic nod. The latest round of fundraising reports suggests the Democratic money edge may be subsiding (with one notable exception). And while the Republicans will have more retirements no matter what, the vast majority will be seats where the GOP candidate is favored.

Taking Down 5 Year Olds

This sounds about right:


How many 5-year olds could you take out?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

McCain Hit Piece Authored by Democratic Hack?

It's the New York Times, so that's not a bad assumption in general. But in this case, there's a specific reason to wonder about the partisan motivation behind the hit piece. Specifically, Marilyn Thompson -- co-author of the hit piece in the Times today -- previously accepted money from a group out to get Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, to research an attack piece against McConnell in the Lexington Herald-Leader. She was the editor of the Herald-Leader at the time:

In 2006, as editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky, Marilyn W. Thompson wanted her paper to undertake a major project examining Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell's political fundraising practices and suggestions of influence peddling. When she realized her lean newsroom budget alone wouldn't cover it, Thompson got her Knight Ridder bosses' enthusiastic approval to seek a grant from the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting. The California-based center provided $37,500 to underwrite the salary of reporter John Cheves, who took an unpaid six-month leave of absence to do the project, as well as to cover expenses.

Cheves was a staffer for Democratic Senator Ron Wyden at the time. At least this time Thompson's doing her own dirty work.