Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Restatement of My Immigration Bill Criticism

Even if the Bill stated that a 200' tall, 10' thick wall made of stainless steel with a 60' wide moat dug that contained sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads be built and dug across both borders, it would still be a bad bill.

Even if capitol punishment were involved in voluntarily hiring illegal aliens, the bill would not suffice.

And to top it off, even if all costs were forcibly extracted and paid for from profits from John Edward's hedge fund and pirate booty, it would still not be enough.

The problem is that there is no belief that any enforcement provision that is passed will actually be enforced, NONE! This applies to existing laws and to future laws. Nothing written into a bill can solve this. No amount of words can regain this trust.

In addition, I would make the argument that the actual situation is made worse because immigration laws are often capriciously enforced on the few occasions that they are enforced, which can breed cynicism and contempt in the immigrant population. Talk to a few local attorneys about this issue, about how some seemingly good intentioned immigrants are punished disproportionately to illegals who actually are criminals. There is not really any rhyme or reason from month to month who will get punished or let go. Capriciousness can be worse that simply not enforcing the laws.

The only way to fix this is to pass a few enforcement provisions that do not contain "comprehensive" elements and enforce them stringently and consistently. Or even perhaps begin to enforce existing law. Were this done, and done in an effective, timely manner, then a whole new argument can be opened up for amnesty, amnesty lite, and other overall reforms. There would be support out there for it. Hell, I might even support some of it.

What the Rasmussen poll shows is that people are wise to the empty promises of the last congress, and more importantly, to this one.

The bill is dead. It's just a question of who it takes down with it.

No doubt a plot by Randy Pullen. . .

I noticed that my well-intentioned left-of-center friends often like to cite poll numbers that show there to be majority support for a comprehensive immigration plan. Often such polling revolves around the false choice of forcibly deporting 12 million illegal immigrants or giving amnesty. However when the real bill is put into play for perusal, this is what you get.

There’s a simple reason the immigration bill being debated by the U.S. Senate is unpopular with voters—the general public doesn’t believe it will reduce illegal immigration. And, in the minds of most voters, that’s what immigration reform is all about.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 16% of American voters believe illegal immigration will decline if the Senate bill is passed. Seventy-four percent (74%) disagree. That figure includes 41% who believe the Senate bill will actually lead to an increase in illegal immigration.

If voters had a chance to improve the legislation, 75% would “make changes to increase border security measures and reduce illegal immigration.” Just 29% would” make it easier for illegal immigrants to stay in the country and eventually become citizens.”

Voters who believe that the current bill will succeed in reducing illegal immigration favor its passage by a 51% to 31% margin. Those who believe the bill will lead to even more illegal immigration oppose its passage by a 70% to 12% margin.

Oh, and here is a special note for our Representative Gabby Giffords:

Unaffiliated voters are now more opposed to the bill than either Republicans or Democrats. Among those who don’t identify with either of the major parties, 22% support the Senate bill while 57% are opposed.

It is quite possible however that the Arizona 8th district leans far to the left of average America, however, so go with your gut.

Again, I don't think the issue is so much about what the bill contains, but a perception that there is an unwillingness to enforce the law, no matter what laws are passed. Until this is fixed, nobody is going to be excited about the wholesale marketing of carrots.

And finally, more signs that Kyl is not going to ride this all the way down:
Some supporters of the bill have tried to suggest it is politically popular by citing polling data for selected features of the bill. However, President Bush yesterday implicitly acknowledged the strong public opposition to the bill by stating that elected officials will need political “courage” to pass the measure. Senator Jon Kyl (R), a major supporter of the legislation, acknowledged in interviews that the lack of support measured by Rasmussen Reports is an accurate reflection of the public mood.
Again, it may be possible that Arizona leans far to the left on this issue, but I would hope that Kyl's situational awareness has improved. He has shown enough in the past that I believe in him.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why Some Employers Like Illegals

I came across an interesting article in the latest Human Resource Executive magazine under the heading, Executives Charged With Employing Illegal Workers. It seems owners of Rosenbaum-Cunningham-International, based in Las Vegas, has employed illegal aliens all over the country. About 200 of them were arrested in raids conducted by the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency.

Owners Richard M. Rosenbaum, Edward Scott Cunningham and Christina A. Flocken were collecting income, Social Security, Medicare and employment taxes for the workers, but found better uses for the money than the feds. They used 60% of the money to pay company bills and divided the rest among themselves to purchase luxury boats and cars, race horses, lavish homes and other lifestyle-enhancing activities.

I guess it's not all about jobs nobody else wants.

Kyl on the radio

I listened to Senator Kyl on a local radio show this morning. He was strong, conciliatory, and defended his decisions in a calm, collected manner. His main contention was that the core Immigration Bill is a good bill, it just needs to be explained and sold more convincingly. He then took the blame for not explaining and vetting the bill to his constituents correctly.

Before revisionism continues to creep in (this was less than 2 weeks ago people!) let's remember the way this "compromise was introduced (via CNN:)

The estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States could be put on the path to citizenship under a new immigration bill agreed upon Thursday by a bipartisan group of senators.

"The agreement we just reached is the best possible chance we will have to secure our borders, bring millions of people out of the shadows and into the sunshine of America," Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts said.

President Bush expressed gratitude to the senators for their work.

"I really am anxious to sign a comprehensive immigration bill as soon as I possibly can," he told reporters outside the White House. "Today, we took a good step toward this direction."

The bill is going to the Senate next week and if it passes, will then proceed to the House.

Therein lies the problem. There was really going to be no effort to educate anybody on the merits of the Bill before the vote. Had Jon Kyl at that time called a press conference and began the education right at that point, and convinced people that there would be a full vetting and discussion before an actual vote, the reaction would have been less vociferous. Instead, it looks like he allowed President Bush to step over him with, "I really am anxious to sign a comprehensive immigration bill as soon as I possibly can," and John McCain's "We can and must complete this legislation sooner rather than later. We all know that this issue can get caught up in extracurricular politics unless we move forward as quickly as possible."

Indeed neither of these quotes came from Kyl, so it is possible that almost immediate passage was never his ultimate desire. One, however, should be able to see why many of the rank and file thought that they were being railroaded. Indeed, the suddenness guaranteed the protest that ensued. Not that there wouldn't have been some protest anyway, but had Kyl stepped forward and set a reasonable timeline for debate, like he explained on the radio show, then I believe the protest would never have reached the same tenor.

It was also interesting to see that Kyl left himself a large back door should amendments change any part of the bill. Don't be too surprised if an amendment centered around "family unification" passes and allows Kyl to move away from the bill. Jon already admitted that such an amendment was in the works, and it would be a deal-breaker for him.

If I were a gambling man, I would bet that Kyl and his core constituents will be reunited again real soon, and despite Democrat hopes, much of the damage will be repaired rather quickly. The very fact that people are trying to call his office and turn him around shows that, at some level, they believe he can be "brought back." You don't do that with traitors.

Opportunity to Communicate With Gabrielle Giffords

We don't do a great job of posting opportunities to speak to our congressmen, but in light of the furor over the immigration bill, we figure someone on the east side would be interested.

Here are the details:

Tonight, Tuesday, May 29, 7-8:30 p.m.

Academy Village, 13701 E. Old Spanish Trail

No charge. Call 647-0980 for further information.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will discuss border issues and congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day: A Day for Memories not Exploitation

Memorial Day: A Day for Memories not Exploitation
By Frank Antenori
May 27, 2007

Ever since its inception 139 years ago by the Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, General John Logan, in his General Order No. 11; Memorial Day has symbolized the sacrifice of those many brave men and women who have fought and died so we could be free. I hope many will take a few moments from their day off of barbequing and watching baseball to appreciate what Memorial Day really stands for.

It’s an especially sacred day to those that have served in the military, particularly those that have served in combat and have lost close buddies in war.

However, for others, it now seems to have a different meaning. You see, there is someone that is running for President that has asked his supporters to use Memorial Day as an opportunity to protest the war in Iraq. Not only that, he is asking them to protest along side parade routes, at memorials and near cemeteries where traditional Memorial Day ceremonies will be held. I’m not going to bother to mention his name because I now consider him scum, not worthy of mentioning.

Memorial Day is very personal to me. It’s a day I reflect and remember my good friends and relatives who have died fighting so dirt bags like this guy who have never lifted a finger to defend this great country, never served under her flag and never broke a sweat let alone spilled a drop a blood to protect our fine Constitution, can exercise the rights he takes for granted.

I remember relatives like my Great Uncle Gino J. Merli, a first generation American who volunteered for the Army while he was still a junior in high school. A year after dropping out he ended up on the second wave of the Normandy invasion, landing on Omaha Beach. A few months later he was awarded the Medal of Honor for holding his position behind his machine gun and covering his buddies as they withdrew to safety.

That scrappy 20-year-old son of Italian immigrants held off hundreds of Germans, feigning death, not once but twice, when his position was over run. After the Germans passed him, he jumped up, spun his machine gun around and continued to fire. In the morning, when his unit counter attacked, they found Gino still sitting behind his gun with 52 dead German soldiers, many just a few feet in front of him.

Refusing to be evacuated, Gino asked if they could take him to the nearest church so he could pray. Gino said a prayer not only for the buddies he lost, but also for the German soldiers he had killed. Gino died on June 13, 2002 at 78 years old. Freedom of religion tastes a lot different when you had to fight for it and right up until the day he died, Gino thanked God for being alive and for living in a country that gave him that freedom.

On Memorial Day I’ll take a moment to say a prayer for several good friends like Dan Petithory and Jefferson “JD” Davis, men I served with in the Special Forces. When Dan and I were young and single sergeants, we’d go out to a local night club to drink a few beers and check out the local wildlife. JD and I were instructors together at the Special Forces training course; training future Green Berets. We worked many long hours side by side, longing for the day when we would both get back on an A-Team and back into the action. We both got that wish. I ended up being a Team Sergeant in the 3rd Special Forces Group, and Jeff ended up being a Team Sergeant in the 5th Special Forces Group as well as Dan Petithory’s Team Sergeant.

During the initial invasion of Afghanistan, on December 5th 2001, just a few weeks after September 11th, Dan and Jeff became the first Americans killed in action. They died far away from their families on a cold mountain top in the middle no where. They died avenging the deaths of 3000 of their fellow Americans.

Then there’s Jason Cunningham, a young Air Force Pararescueman (PJ) that I trained at Fort Bragg in the late 90's. I ran into him again a few years later in Afghanistan. While we were sitting on the steps of what was the make shift headquarters of the Joint Special Operations Task Force at Bagram Air Base, Jason relayed the story of how, a few days earlier, he and his fellow PJs saved the lives of six crewman of a C-130 that had crashed.

I felt like a proud father listening to the sound of accomplishment in Jason’s voice as he detailed the medical care he administered and how he later safely evacuated them to Germany. It would be the last time I would seem him. The following day, both of us would be involved in Operation Anaconda to root out the last hold outs of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the mountains surrounding the Shai i-Kot Valley.

On the first day of the operation, a small group of Navy SEALs had been wounded and were surrounded by the enemy on a snow covered mountain top. Jason and his fellow PJs once again answered the call and along with a platoon of Army Rangers, set off as a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) to rescue their fellow Americans. When the CH-47 helicopter they were flying in approached the landing zone it was hit by a rocket propelled grenade and crashed landed.

Jason scrambled from the burning wreckage and immediately began treating the wounded. As bullets riddled the fuselage, Jason pulled soldier after soldier from the burning helicopter to safety behind some nearby rocks. When Jason saw some additional Rangers that had been wounded after exiting the helicopter he exposed himself to direct enemy fire to save them.

Jason was hit in the abdomen by an enemy bullet, just below his body armor. Because of the heavy fighting the wounded could not be evacuated and for the next two hours, he slowly bled to death. He was awarded the Air Force Cross, the second highest award for bravery. He died saving his buddies, living up to his unit’s motto "So That Other's May Live." He left behind a wife and two little daughters who will never know their father. He died defending the country he loved and freedom he cherished.

Dan, JD and Jason are just a few of the eighteen close friends I have lost since this war began. I wish I could relay all of their heroic actions; someday I might. I will be remembering all of them tomorrow. I will be honoring their sacrifice along with many of my fellow veterans as well as those patriotic Americans that appreciate what they have done for us.

That said, you’ll have to forgive me for my anger when I hear or see what I consider scum, wrapping themselves in the flag that these brave men fought for then spitting on their memory. I’m sorry that it irks me to no end to hear some pathetic coward claim it’s their “First Amendment Right” to exploit the bravery of the fine young men and women that gave their life defending the Constitution that these punks take for granted.

Politics stops at the grave of the brave souls that have fallen defending freedom and no one has the right to use this solemn day for political gain. So to that candidate running for President that has stooped to the deepest depth of immoral behavior, you’re finished. It will be a cold day in hell before you sit in the Oval Office, me and the 20 Million other veterans in this country will see to it. For the rest of those scum bags that intend to jump on your dishonorable bandwagon and protest on this sacred day I leave you with this quote:

"War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares about more than his personal safety; is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. " - John Stuart Mill

Frank Antenori is a retired U.S. Army Sergeant First Class and Special Forces Soldier that saw combat in Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Lookie, Lookie. . .

A majority of Blogs go out of business within their first year. We at least made it past that milestone!

I'd like to thank all of our readers and contributers (even the unofficial ones) for making us what we are today. When you think that a political blog that concentrates on such a small geographical area and focus can boast the readership that we do, it is pretty amazing. It has also been nice to see the local blogs grow over the past year that I have been involved in blogging.

We hope to plan a non-virtual event in the near future to commemorate this milestone and show appreciation to our readers. We also have some more content announcements in the hopper that are pretty exciting.

Again, thank you for your readership and participation.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Michael Medved in Tucson

I had heard this on the Radio, and just got the email from Pima County GOP Headquarters:

One of my favorite national talk radio show hosts, Michael Medved, will be coming to Tucson for a free appearance.

When: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: Christ Community Church, 7810 E. Kenyon Drive, Tucson

Medved's topic will be “The Four Big Lies about Israel and the Middle East Conflict." For those who have never listened to Medved's show or heard him as a guest on other shows, you will certainly not regret the chance to see him live. This is especially true for my liberal friends out there.

For further details, contact Doug Martin: (520) 790-2440

"Party Pragmatism" by Randy Graf

Party Pragmatism
By Randy Graf
May 17, 2007

I am writing this missive, partly in response to Frank Antenori’s article (May 13th) titled “Consensus over Compromise”, but mostly in response to what I have seen written and to what I have heard around Arizona since last November’s election. And it directly applies to today’s editorial in the Arizona Daily Star.

You all remember the November, 2006 election? As Republicans, we lost control of the United States House of Representatives and Senate. As Republicans, we lost seats in our Arizona House of Representatives and Arizona Senate. Locally, we failed to maintain the Republican seats of Congressional Districts 5 and 8 and an Arizona House and Senate seat in Legislative District 26. Just two years prior, we lost two Tucson City Council seats. Does anyone notice a pattern?

I agree with much of Frank Antenori's post in this blog. There is much more that unites us as Republicans than divides us and it is this common area that we need to concentrate on. Unfortunately, this unity did not happen in November, 2006 and we need to honestly assess why that happened so that we can overcome it in the future.

In the spring of 2006 RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman paid a visit to Tucson. He met with all five candidates for CD8 and County Party Leadership and made promises that were never kept. Unprecedented NRCC involvement in this open seat primary created and helped foster an atmosphere of resentment that rendered the General Election cycle to nothing more than an eight week exercise in futility. Our former Republican Congressman all but looked to be helping the opposition candidate. To put is succinctly, the establishment failed us.

The Republican establishment, while exercising their majority in Washington D.C. failed their national membership. New heights in spending epitomized and underscored a lack of leadership that should be the hallmark of our party. The presidential debates flatter us conservatives as each of the ten candidates do their best to proclaim their conservative credentials! It gives us hope as a party, the trick however is to maintain this thought process after the election. Senator Hillary Clinton recently commented on Social Security that, "We can't afford to have that money go to the private sector. The money has to go to the federal government because the federal government will spend that money better than the private sector will spend it." I trust that all Republicans, liberal and conservative, would stand against this statement that seems to be endorsed by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

I have been addressing the past, but now to the future. I have titled this column “Party Pragmatism”. I am amused by those who suggest we need to vote for someone in the primary that can beat Hillary or Barrack, etc. You know the statement, “we need to nominate someone who is electable”. Another local blog falls all over itself with this concept and it is fostered by good and thoughtful people like Margaret Kenski who insist that conservatives cannot win in Southern Arizona. Does anyone honestly believe that conservatives need not apply to run for office? These energies need to be redirected.

While a majority of Republican primary voters supported Al Melvin for the Arizona Senate in LD26 last September, this Republican majority district failed to elect him in the general election, an obvious failure in Republican pragmatism. A lack of pragmatism in the CD8 general election (with a 19,000 Republican voter edge!) has given us a Congresswoman who votes with San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi 96% of the time.

Mr. Antenori suggests that conservative coalition of members of our Party are contemplating a scorched earth policy in the upcoming election cycle, yet he fails to acknowledge the obvious that many of the more liberal members of our party did just that in the 2006 general election. Last year proved that conservative Republican candidates cannot win general elections without liberal Republicans support. A logical assumption would be that liberal Republican candidates cannot win without conservative Republican support. Ronald Reagan’s “Big Tent” theory was to unite Republicans of all colors, race and creed who believe in our platform. A “Big Tent” with members who do not believe in the platform will always cause divisiveness and that is what we have today.

Folks, the primary election is to elect our nominee, plain and simple. This is where differences among candidates are vetted and the Republican voters decide who best represents the views of the district. Get out and work your tail off for the Republican candidate of your choice in the primary. I hope these candidates will embrace our ideas of lowering taxes and lowering spending, standing up for families and marriage, and understand that we need a strong national defense. Pragmatism is to be saved for the general election. Pragmatism is Republican voters working for and voting for our Republican nominee in the general election, even if they were not your primary choice.

It is because of these experiences that I support Don Goldwater for Arizona National Committeeman. Mr. Goldwater will take a conservative approach when speaking and voting for us at the Republican National Committee, an organization that needs reminding that we win when we act like Republicans, not when we act like Reids and Kennedys. Do we aid and abet an RNC that seems out of touch, or do we move them in the right direction? Don will be a great voice for Arizona working for positive change at the national level. While we have a number of fine candidates for the position, my vote as a Member at Large to the State Committee will go to Don Goldwater.

Who ever our next National Committeeman is, he will have my full support in promoting the Republican Party. Mr. Antenori is dead on with the Team GOP concept. The truth is that while coming from different experiences and from different backgrounds, we all understand that the Republican Party is the best hope for this nation’s future!

I understand the reluctance in opening this discussion, but we must. Having an honest debate and laying all the cards on the table is the only way for us to move forward successfully. I submit that we are all on the same coin, perhaps opposite sides of that coin on an issue or two, but it is a Republican coin! We must prove that 2006 was our “Rock Bottom” and that we are prepared to win again. It is vital for our party and our nation. And only by having this conversation can we do just that.

Randy Graf is a former Legislative District 30 State Representative and 2006 Republican Nominee for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District.

Time for Housecleaning in Homeland Security

A source in the U.S. Border Patrol has been telling us for some time that the rift between the 11,000 union members and border patrol chief Aguilar is widening. In February, the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) passed unanimously a no-confidence vote against Aguilar due to the outcry from the rank-and-file agents who feel they get no support from the chief. The agents say they are afraid to use their weapons because if they do, Homeland Security will go after them and Aguilar is playing along to save his job at the expense of agents trying to do their jobs.

The NBPC says corruption in leadership is killing the agency. Leaders are more concerned with their political careers than supporting agents in the trenches. Here are a few recent examples: Compean and Ramos are serving 11 and 12 years for shooting a known drug smuggler. In their case, both a field supervisor and a 1st line supervisor were at the scene and didn't feel a report was necessary. In a worse-case scenario, the failure to report would be considered an administrative violation with a harsh penalty of termination. Instead, they are doing time while the drug smuggler was allowed to continue smuggling drugs with federal protection.

In Agent Corbett's case, he was confronting a group of seven illegals when one attempted to throw a large rock at Corbett. Corbett felt threatened and opened fire killing one of the illegals. Later, the Naco station supervisor, Darcy Olmos, who refers to illegals as "my people" allowed the Mexican consulate to coach them to change their stories. Corbett is now being accused of murder. An almost identical case previously brought a 3-day suspension.

Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez shot out a tire of a van full of illegals when his bullet hit a woman hiding in the back of the vehicle. He's also serving time.

All of these cases were investigated and prosecuted by Homeland Security after the Mexican Consulate pressured Homeland Security leadership to punish the officers. In one case, investigators stated they had no intention of pursuing the case until they received pressure from superiors after being contacted by the Mexican Consulate. In all cases, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton is leading the prosecution and has been caught in admitted perjury, witness tampering, withholding and falsifying evidence and other blights on Sutton's office. Sutton is now also under investigation for his role in the Tijuana House of Death. Sutton is said to have been behind the joint ICE and DEA undercover operation that allowed 10-11 murders and reports of widespread torture. ICE agent and supervisor Sandallo Gonzales exposed the operation to higher authorities in order to halt the murders identifying Sutton's role in the process. Sutton's attempts to destroy Gonzales in retaliation have resulted in a lawsuit against Sutton under the Whistleblower Protection Act.

It shouldn't be any surprise that border patrol agents are fed up. This housecleaning needs to go deep and needs to include the U.S. Attorney's office—not just the incompetent attorneys, but the dirty ones as well. It's remarkable that in the face of such problems with border security, there are actually congressmen advocating amnesty programs. Under the circumstances, why bother? The only people labeled as criminals seem to be the ones trying to protect our border. Hey, maybe we're focusing on amnesty for the wrong people!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Insights Into A Guest Worker Program

One of many current "guest worker" programs doesn't look so attractive. It seems that payoffs and murders have crossed the border as much as the workers. Here are some excerpts from the article at

In April, Mr. Benavides’s co-worker Santiago Rafael Cruz was bound and beaten to death at the union’s office in Monterrey, in northern Mexico.

The Ohio-based union, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, says the killing was a political attack after the union cleaned up corrupt practices of recruiting workers, like charging them a fee to be hired.

The recruiters charge the Mexicans hundreds of dollars, sometimes more, for the job and the temporary visa that comes with it.

Last year the United States issued about 37,100 temporary visas for agricultural workers, said Todd Huizinga, a spokesman for the United States Consulate in Monterrey. Mexico accounted for 92 percent of them.

Aside from the agreement reached in North Carolina, there is nothing to stop the recruitment abuses, experts on the guest worker program say.

“Other recruiters are still charging workers,” he added. “Everybody makes money out of these guys.”

The starting rate is typically $600, he said. That figure includes an unspecified fee that is split between the local recruiter and the agent who has been contracted to supply workers to the American employer.

Once workers return home with money from their work, it is common for the recruiter to stop by again. Workers know that a couple of hundred dollars in cash, or maybe a goat or a sheep, will get them on the list next year.

Two years ago, Juan Bonifacio González gave about $450 to a woman here everybody knew as “La Tolentina,” who promised to get him a legal guest worker visa. After months of promises she disappeared. Mr. González borrowed the money from a local moneylender and says he is still paying back his loan, which has tripled with interest.

There are no jobs in this town of 14,000, lost in the steep hills of the state of San Luis Potosí. The mayor recently invited the farm workers’ union to come and speak about legal job opportunities in North Carolina, where the federally mandated wage for agricultural guest workers is $9.02 an hour.

That seems a fortune to the mostly Nahuatl-speaking Indians here, where the average wage is less than $4 a day.

A few had worked in North Carolina and wanted to go back. Florencio Hernández Angelina spent the past three harvests there. This year he wanted help in changing employers. The grower splits her work force between legal guest workers and illegal migrants. “She gives us fewer hours,” Mr. Hernández said.

She prefers the illegals, he said, because she pays them less.

Short essay on the Immigration Bill

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Democrats talking sense

Remember Bob Kerry, Democrat and former member of the 9/11 commission? He has very important op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal. Rumors are that the Democratic Presidential Candidates are now going to retreat from Nebraska and the WSJ as well. From the article:

The critics who bother me the most are those who ordinarily would not be on the side of supporting dictatorships, who are arguing today that only military intervention can prevent the genocide of Darfur, or who argued yesterday for military intervention in Bosnia, Somalia and Rwanda to ease the sectarian violence that was tearing those places apart.

Suppose we had not invaded Iraq and Hussein had been overthrown by Shiite and Kurdish insurgents. Suppose al Qaeda then undermined their new democracy and inflamed sectarian tensions to the same level of violence we are seeing today. Wouldn't you expect the same people who are urging a unilateral and immediate withdrawal to be urging military intervention to end this carnage? I would.

American liberals need to face these truths: The demand for self-government was and remains strong in Iraq despite all our mistakes and the violent efforts of al Qaeda, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias to disrupt it. Al Qaeda in particular has targeted for abduction and murder those who are essential to a functioning democracy: school teachers, aid workers, private contractors working to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, police officers and anyone who cooperates with the Iraqi government. Much of Iraq's middle class has fled the country in fear.

With these facts on the scales, what does your conscience tell you to do? If the answer is nothing, that it is not our responsibility or that this is all about oil, then no wonder today we Democrats are not trusted with the reins of power. American lawmakers who are watching public opinion tell them to move away from Iraq as quickly as possible should remember this: Concessions will not work with either al Qaeda or other foreign fighters who will not rest until they have killed or driven into exile the last remaining Iraqi who favors democracy.

The key question for Congress is whether or not Iraq has become the primary battleground against the same radical Islamists who declared war on the U.S. in the 1990s and who have carried out a series of terrorist operations including 9/11. The answer is emphatically "yes."

This does not mean that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11; he was not. Nor does it mean that the war to overthrow him was justified--though I believe it was. It only means that a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq would hand Osama bin Laden a substantial psychological victory.

Now if only we could get him to run against Chuck Hagel.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Randy Pullen On the Immigration Reform Bill

The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007

On behalf of the more than one million registered Arizona Republicans who care very deeply about this state and have a tremendous love for our great nation, I am very disappointed in this new legislation about to be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week. The bill would allow all 12 million plus illegal aliens to remain in this country indefinitely and provides them, as well as their immediate families, a path to citizenship. This is amnesty, as they will be working and living in the United States, while those who have applied legally for Visas are still awaiting entry.

Furthermore, the bill does not require certification that our borders are secure. Instead, enforcement “triggers” such as building 370 miles of fence along a 2,000-mile border and increasing our Border Agents from 14,000 to 18,000 are to be certified. There are no requirements that theses triggers be shown to be effective before the granting of sweeping amnesty. If Senator Kennedy and his Democratic friends were serious about securing the border, they would have agreed to real standards for border security in the bill.

Over the past several days, the Arizona Republican Party has had hundreds of calls and e-mails from activists, voters of all partisan persuasion, precinct committeemen and women, and even chairs of legislative districts and county committees questioning the judgment of our elected officials in Washington, D.C.

We here in Arizona are living each day on the front lines of the immigration debate because it’s our children who are subjected to the drugs first coming across the border and appearing in our schools. It’s our hospitals here in Arizona that treat the millions who have crossed the desert to get here illegally and our Arizona taxpayers who must foot the bill. It’s our Arizona communities that have become the battlegrounds for the thousands of gang members who traffic in people, drugs, weapons and stolen vehicles.

To Congress we say: This proposed law with 790 pages of new bureaucracy and window-dressing will not solve the immigration problem. This legislation is an over complicated answer to problems it’ll never adequately address and will do more to encourage illegal immigration than to discourage it. Instead, prove your commitment to securing our borders by finishing the fence, adding border security technology, letting Border Patrol do their jobs and authorizing more National Guard to assist the Border Patrol.


New Dem Enters the Race

New Mexico governor, Bill Richardson, has announced he is entering the presidential race as one of the Democrat presidential contenders. It will be interesting to see how this shakes up the debate and from whom he will steal support. See details at: Chicago Tribune.

Immigration Bill Will Fail

Tonight, the Senate plans to vote on the compromise immigration reform bill. Despite all the hoopla, it's been dragged kicking and screaming through the process since Day 1 beginning when Senator Kyl was tapped by the Bush administration to lead the charge in hopes of appealing to amnesty-hating Republicans. The Kyl-Kennedy partnership has done little to appease any major constituency, however. Kennedy's sponsorship has done nothing to satisfy unions or open borders groups, and Kyl has only managed to at best, dissappoint, and at worst, infuriate many Republicans.

Here's a little example of the pressure felt by senators: Friday, Senator Cornyn of Texas criticized the bill's provision giving illegals numerous judicial appeals. Senator McCain who has been absent through most of the debate was enraged. Although McCain has been claiming a relatively minor role in the overall debate, he claimed he knew "more than anyone else in the room" and emphasized the point by using the F-word against Cornyn. No doubt some of the stress was brought on by McCain's campaign activities, but it also shows that this bill is anything but a slam dunk. In fact, Harry Reid's attempt to push the bill to a quick vote thinking to get the job done before things heated up any further resulting in threats of a filibuster.

Will the bill pass tonight? Not likely. Here's the evidence:

1) Even McCain, an ardent supporter, has backed off of publicly endorsing the bill due to pressure from Republicans. (Romney has been the most outspoken against the bill and Guiliani supports it.) Of course, McCain will vote for it, but his behavior demonstrates that he feels the pressure that every other politician is feeling. On the Democrat side, Obama is opposing the bill based on his opposition to guestworker provisions, and Hillary, who also opposes the guestworker piece, isn't saying how she'll vote.
2) Although the Senate is considered to be split nearly 50/50 on the bill, a third of the senators are keeping their positions well hidden.
3) Republican party leaders in many states are speaking out. Check out the statement from Arizona State GOP Chairman Randy Pullen on another post on this site.
4) The largest human resources organization in the country, SHRM, opposes the bill.
5) The largest union organization, the AFL-CIO, adamantly opposes the bill.
6) Business groups oppose the bill.
7) Every major conservative group opposes the bill.
8) Open borders and rights groups such as ACORN oppose the bill.

Here are some of the sticking points:
—The Z-visa will grant amnesty to illegals who pay $1000 over some undermined period of time and take an English class. They can continue to stay in the country and work as before.
—Employers will be forced to use the failed government's Basic Pilot legal status verification process.
—Expanded guest worker visas (est. 13 million).
—The border fence (now only 350 miles in the bill).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sometimes, its not what you say. . .

While watching the Republican debate (note to spineless Democrats, FOX at least knows how to hold a good debate), I was somewhat taken aback at Mitt Romney's shot at John McCain concerning his Immigration and Campaign Finance bills. Certainly both deserve their share of criticism, but I though it was too early to engage McCain in that manner. It especially seemed inopportune when Rudy stepped up and squashed that gnat, Paul, probably winning the debate.

In retrospect however, Romney must have known something that we didn't know. I suspect that this move will help him in the end, more than showing up Paul would have.

Keep in mind, I am not a McCain basher, in many if not most areas I respect and admire the man. He is a national hero. I'm not even inclined to completely hate his immigration plan, as long as he crafted it with same iron-clad enforcement guarantees. I would submit, however, that you should not say this about your bill:
We can and must complete this legislation sooner rather than later. We all know that this issue can get caught up in extracurricular politics unless we move forward as quickly as possible.
Those people that he refers to that get caught up in "extracurricular politics" are your primary voters that you will need to win the nomination. And, indeed, more time would be appropriate for a 1000 page bill that hasn't even been finished yet. This would be a good opportunity to educate the people on why this is a good bill, and reassure the Republican base that the enforcement provisions are solid. You could even OWN that portion of the bill and trumpet it. Right now it appears that McCain wants this thing passed before anyone can read it, or before any Senator has to face their constituents over Memorial Day weekend. Even if that is not the case, it certainly LOOKS that way.

Enter Romney and Fred Thompson:


“I strongly oppose today's bill going through the Senate. It is the wrong approach. Any legislation that allows illegal immigrants to stay in the country indefinitely, as the new 'Z-Visa' does, is a form of amnesty. That is unfair to the millions of people who have applied to legally immigrate to the U.S.

“Today's Senate agreement falls short of the actions needed to both solve our country's illegal immigration problem and also strengthen our legal immigration system. Border security and a reliable employment verification system must be our first priority.”


“With this bill, the American people are going to think they are being sold the same bill of goods as before on border security. We should scrap this bill and the whole debate until we can convince the American people that we have secured the borders or at least have made great headway.”

Romney has even cut a new ad:

In under one minute, Romney lays out a sensible enforcement policy that is easily implemented and enforced, coming in well under 1000 pages. How can McCain combat that with his current position? He probably couldn't even lift the unfinished bill over his head in that amount of time.

The support that Romney and Thompson could generate is far beyond what sparring with Ron Paul could do for them.

Things could, however, get much worse. It is very possible that the compromise could crumble. Should that happen, McCain would reap all of the blame and get no benefit for the bill passing. That would be disastrous and could possibly end his campaign. The last person you want in your corner when a "bipartisan compromise" goes bad in the arena of public opinion is Teddy Kennedy. Ask President Bush how long it took to remove the "No Child Left Behind" dagger from between his shoulder blades. Hint, it's still there.

The bottom line is that if McCain really believes in this compromise, he had better start selling it, day in and day out. Hurrying it through in secrecy is adding insult to injury. Otherwise it is a good thing that the trip back to Arizona faces toward the sunset. It will be highly convenient.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Consensus over Compromise

Consensus over Compromise
By Frank Antenori
May 13, 2007

Back in 2006, during one of our many debates in the Republican primary race for Congressional District Eight, Mike Hellon made a profound statement that illustrated the current state of the Republican Party.

“My opponents and I probably agree on 90% of the issues,” Mike stated, “but during these debates, we’re forced to draw attention to that 10% of the issues where we disagree in order to separate ourselves from our opponents.”

That quote has been stuck in my head for the past year, but it wasn’t until last week’s Pima County Republican Party, All Districts Meeting that I decided to resurrect it with my personal perspective and opinion.

There are essentially two factions trying to take the helm of the Grand Old Party. Both believe they have a sound strategy for leading us to victory in 2008.

The first wants to build consensus; to take that 90% of the issues we all agree on and build on it. They want to pull together a united team that will breathe energy back into the broad coalition that formed the Republican Party during the 1980’s. Ronald Reagan coined the phrase the “Big Tent” for that coalition of issues and it led him to overwhelming victories in both of his Presidential campaigns.

Newt Gingrich took a play from the Reagan play book in 1994 and made a list of the ten things all Republicans, and for that matter, a majority of Americans could agree on. He called it the Contract with America and it swept Republicans into control of the House of Representatives in 1994 for the first time in over 40 years.

I have seen this same approach work during my time in the military. Building a team is difficult when you have to bring together a diverse group of people from a variety of social, economic and ethnic backgrounds. My Special Forces A-team was comprised of the true melting pot America had to offer. We came from the four corners of the country, we had different political views, we had a broad array of white, black, Asian and Hispanic racial and ethnic backgrounds, and we had different definitions of values and morality.

Instead of allowing those differences to define us and divide us, we instead found what we all had in common: Our love of country, our sense of duty, our desire to defend freedom and help people around the world living under oppression to fight for their own freedom. Then we built on that and formed the comradeship that became the glue that held our team together. That team went on to do amazing things under some of the most trying conditions and situations. Despite our differences, we untied for a higher cause much like our party needs to do.

The second group vying for control wants to employ the tactic of compromise. Instead of trying to find out what we have in common, they want to apply an ideological litmus test to prospective candidates and leaders within our party.

Instead of identifying that 90% with which we agree and build on it, they want to ferret out that 10% in which we differ. They then want to force those candidates and leaders to compromise on that 10% to be more in-line with their own vision of what the Republican Party’s position should be or face being labeled something derogatory.

Politics is a game of ideas, whether those ideas are Republican or the Democrat, conservative or liberal, the group that is able to present their ideas in a way that is the most appealing to the American people will be the one that wins on Election Day.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to sell your ideas to others through healthy and heated debate. We should feel free to discuss and define those issues within our party and the path forward that our party should take. I fully understand it will be passionate, contentious and at times may get nasty, and that’s perfectly acceptable. However, at the end of the day we need to emerge from our “Big Tent” with a united front, based on that 90% we have in common and not dwell on the 10% of our differences.

The 10% of the issues, in which we disagree, will remain in the arena of ideas and will continue to be debated and discussed. It is perfectly appropriate for conservative candidates and their supporters to advocate their positions with as much purity and enthusiasm as they can muster. With time a majority may come to accept their ideas and they’ll emerge from the tent to become a position we’ll all have in common. But until that happens; it's crossing the line when those in our party adopt a scorched-earth policy towards their fellow Republicans, just because they don't agree 100% on every single issue.

I’ve had plenty of opportunities listen to and speak with both Don Goldwater and Bruce Ash. I see both men as fine Republicans, patriots and public servants. But it was after they both addressed the members of the Pima County Republican Party that I decided to support the one candidate that agreed most with the premise that building consensus is a far better strategy than forcing compromise.

I know there is still some resentment within the Party over what the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) did in last year’s Republican primary. Being in the middle of it myself, I can fully understand why that anger and resentment exists, but we need to put that behind us and move on for the betterment of our party. If we don’t we’ll continue to lose to the Democrats.

It is also important to realize that sometimes the messenger is just as important as the message. The tone one takes, their demeanor, their desire to listen and their openness to new and different ideas, is just as important as what their ideological beliefs are. Since the National Committeeman is our messenger responsible for assisting the RNC in developing and promoting the Republican political platform as well as coordinating fundraising and election strategy, that messenger must be well rounded, present broad appeal and be focused on building a united Republican team.

Therefore after long consideration and analysis I have to offer my support and personal endorsement to Brush Ash for Arizona Republican National Committeeman as it is my belief he is best suited for the role of uniting our party and charting the course for victory in 2008.

I know my decision to support Bruce may not sit well with some in the party and I know endorsements come with political risk. Many of you have come to know me well over the past few years and therefore know I’m definitely not risk averse and I tend to do what I believe is right. You also know I’m the quintessential team player and hold in my heart a sense of duty to do what is best for our country, our state and our party.

Regardless of the outcome of the National Committeeman election, I will support the winner and work with him for the good of the party and our candidates just as vigorously as I did for Randy Graf and our party after I myself lost in the 2006 primary.

After all it’s about Team GOP and not about the individual personalities that make up our party. The sooner all of us realize it’s all about teamwork and working together to form consensus rather than forcing compromise, the sooner our party will emerge victorious.

Frank Antenori is a retired Special Forces Soldier and veteran of Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq. He is also a former candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in Congressional District Eight.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bruce Ash message on Harry Reid

Thanks to Bruce again for sending along his latest editorial.

If there is interest in adding more audio content in addition to Bruce, and perhaps even longer podcast interviews and such, please let us know and we'll see what could be done.

The barrier to entry is not what it used to be for that type of operation. It could probably even be done on our budget.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Gabby, Gabby, Gabby. . .

As everyone reading this site knows, I am not a Giffords supporter. I have questioned her sincerity as a moderate and her overall vision for America. I have never yet questioned her intelligence, until now.

In an interview with the Douglas Dispatch Gabby drops the following bit of wisdom:

While there are terrorists in Iraq, Giffords, D-Ariz., said Wednesday that they are less of a problem than places where threats are located or growing. "There is not a huge terrorist presence in Iraq," Giffords said during a telephone interview with Wick News Service.

She made her comments while waiting for the roll call vote in the House on the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act - the bill commonly referred to as the Iraq supplemental. She voted for the act, which also provides funds to support the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.She also emphasized that the supplemental calls for a goal to start leaving Iraq later this year, with a deployment of combat troops by early next year.
Not a huge terrorist problem in Iraq? Lets just go to the tape:

In 2007 (from Wickipedia)

  • January 17: A suicide bomber and a car bomb killed 70 and wounded 170 at the entrances of Mustansiriya University, the university is located just inside the Shia millitia stronghold of Sadr city. [64]
  • January 22: 88 people were killed and 170 wounded in a suicide car bombing in a crowded market place in cental Baghdad, the attack took place in the Shiite district of al-Shaqi. [65]
  • January 24: 4 police officers were killed and 3 civilians were wounded when a suicide bomber target a police patrol west of Baghdad. [66]
  • January 27: A suicide bomber followed up with a car explosion killed at least 13 people and wounded 42 in a busy market place south of Baghdad. The area was a mainly Shiite area.[67]
  • February 1: Two suicide bombers blow themselves up in a crowded Shiite market in the city of Hillah killing 73 and wounding 150. [68]
  • February 3: A suicide bomber driving a truck attacked a food market in a Shiite district of Baghdad killing 135 and wounding 339. The attack was the single deadliest insurgent attack to have been carried out since the US led invasion in 2003. [69]
  • February 7: Al-Qaeda linked millitants shoot down a US helicopter with an anti-aircraft missile killing all 7 onboard northwest of Baghdad. [70]
  • February 12: 2 car bombs explode within a minute of each other killing 71, the bombings took place in the busy market district of Baghdad. [71]
  • February 18: 63 people are killed and 127 wounded when 2 car bombs explode in an outdoor market in Baghdad. The bombs struck the mainly Shia area of New Baghdad. [72]
  • February 19: A coordinated attack including a suicide car bomber on an American combat post in Baghdad leaves 2 US soldiers killed and 17 wounded. [73]
  • February 21: 13 People are killed in the holy Shiite city of Najaf when a suicide car bomber attacks a police checkpoint in the city. [74]
  • February 24 A suicide truck bomber explodes near a Sunni mosque in in Anbar killing 40. The mosque was apprently targeted due to criticism against insurgent groups including Al-qaeda in Iraq by the imam, the imam criticised insurgent groups for attacks on US forces. Additionally many in the attacked area work for Iraqi military and police forces. [75]
  • February 25 A suicide bomber strikes a college in eastern Baghdad killing 42 and injuring 55. The college is part of al-Mustansiriyah university and is owned by the Shiite Mahdi millitia. It is the second time the college has been attacked. [76]
  • Februay 26: 13 people are killed and 10 wounded when a suicide bomber strikes a police checkpoint in Ramadi. [77]
  • February 27: A suicide car bombing in Mosul kills 6 policemen and wounds 38 civilians. In another separate suicide bombing in central Baghdad, 5 people are killed and 13 wounded when the bomber strikes an area filled with restaurants and ice-cream parlors. [78]
  • March 2: 14 bodies of policemen were found north east of Baghdad after an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group claimed responsibility for the kidnappings of 18 interior ministry employees many of them being police officers. The group claimed the kidnappings was in response to the reported rape of a sunni lady at the hands of the police forces. [79]
  • March 5: A suicide car bomber struck Baghdads oldest book market leaving 38 dead and 105 wounded. [80]
  • March 6: 2 suicide bombers blow themselves up among a large crowd of Shiite pilgrims in the town of Hillah killing 120 and wounding over 150. [81]
  • March 7: 30 people are killed when a suicide bomber blows up in a cafe northeast of Baghdad. [82]
  • March 10: 20 people are killed in the Shia millitia stronghold of Sadr city in Baghdad when a suicide bomber attacks a police checkpoint. [83]
  • March 11: A suicide car bomber rammed a truck carrying Shiite pilgrims from Karabala killing 32 and wounding 24. The attack occurred in the capital Baghdad. [84]
  • March 15: 8 Iraqi policemen are killed in Baghdad when a suicide bomber targeted a joint Iraqi army-police checkpoint. [85]
  • March 17: Three separate suicide truck bombings in anbar province leave 2 Iraqi policemen dead. The bombers used trucks containing large amounts of chlorine which left around 350 people feeling sick including US servicemen. [86]
  • March 19: A series of car bombs in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk leave 12 dead and dozens wounded. [87]
  • March 23: Iraq's deputy prime minister is wounded when a suicide bomber wearing an explosive device detonates killing 9 people and wounding 14 others, among the dead includes the deputies advisor and five of his bodyguards. The attack took place in a mosque near the green zone in Baghdad. [88]
  • March 24: Five separate suicide bombings around Iraq kill 44 and wound 82. The deadliest of the attacks was a suicide truck bombing against a police station in a Sunni area of Baghdad killing 20 thirteen of them being police officers. A second suicide truck bombing struck a Shiite mosque in a town south of Baghdad killing 8. A third suicide bomber wearing an explosives device detonated in a pastry shop killing 10 in the town of Tal Afar north of Baghdad. And 2 suicide car bombers struck a police station in the town of Qaim located near the Syrian border killing 6 people 5 of whom were police officers. [89][90]
  • March 27: Two truck bombs targeting markets kill 154 and wound dozens in the mostly Shiite city of Tal Afar, one of the truck bombings killed 153 people alone making it the single deadliest attack since the war began Elsewhere a suicide bomber attacks a restaurant in the Sunni city of Ramadi which is frequented by police officers killing 10 people. And also the leader of the major Sunni insurgent group 1920 Revolution Brigades Harith al-Dari is assassinated in Abu Ghraib west of Baghdad, the assassination shows the widening escalating rift between Al-Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent groups, the 1920 Revolution Brigades has been in talks with the Iraqi government to rout out Al-qaeda millitans. Also a suicide bombing in Baghdad kills one and wounds three in a police checkpoint. [91] [92] [93]
  • March 29: 122 people are killed when 5 suicide bombers hit several Shiite markets North east of Baghdad and a town North of the capital. The attacks are one of the deadliest attacks during the US led invasion of the country. [94]
  • April 1: A suicide car bomber followed up with a suicide truck bombing hit Iraqi army headquarters in the city of Mosul leaving 2 soldiers dead and 22 others wounded, 15 of the wounded were soldiers. [95]
  • April 2: A suicide truck bombing hits a police station in the northern oil rich city of Kirkuk killing 15 and wounding dozens including a US soldiers. 4 other US soldiers were among the wounded and one American humvee was badly damaged. [96]
  • April 6 A suicide truck bomber containing chlorine attacked a police checkpoint in the city of Ramadi located in the insurgent stronghold of Anbar province. The attack left 27 dead and dozens wounded. [97]
  • April 10: A female suicide bomber blew herself up among 200 police recruits killing 16 in the Sunni city of Muqdadiyah. [98]
  • April 12: A suicide bomber blew himself up in the Iraqi parliaments cafeteria killing 8 including 3 lawmakers. The attack shows the insurgents capabilities to literally strike any target within the country. In another major attack, a suicide truck bomber detonanted on al-Sarafiya bridge killing 10 and destroying the bridge. The bridge connected eastern and western Baghdad and is considered as one the cities famous monuments. [99]
  • April 14: A suicide car bomber killed 40 and wounded dozens at a bus station in the holy Shiite city Kerbala. The bombing took place just 200 meters away from the Imam Hussein shrine. A second suicide car bombing took place in Baghdad killing 10, the bomber struck near a police checkpoint. [100]
  • April 15: 2 car bombs exploded within minutes of each other in a shopping area southwest of Baghdad killing 18. A suicide bomber also blew himself up on a minibus killing 6 and wounding 11. In central Baghdad a minibus rigged with explosives was parked and detonanted killing 11 and wounding 15. [101]
  • April 18: a parked car bomb blew up at Sadriyah market located in central Baghdad killing 127 and wounding 148, it is the single deadliest car bombing in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003. Elsewhere a suicide car bomber slammed into a police checkpoint just at the entrance of Sadr city killing 41 and wounding 76. The attacks are a major blow the latest US-Iraqi surge plan to secure Baghdad as Al-Qaeda millitans have shown that they are still capable of carrying several deadly attacks. [102]
  • April 19: The Islamic state of Iraq announced that Abu Ayyub al-Masri the head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq is the minister of war for the insurgent coalition. Also posted on the video is the execution of 20 captured Iraqi security forces. In further violence a suicide bomber blew himself up in a Shiite district of Baghdad killing 12. [103]
  • April 21: A roadside bomb killed the mayor of Musayyib 40 miles south of Baghdad, one of his bodyguards was also killed in the attack and 4 others were wounded. [104]
  • April 22: Two suicide car bombers attacked a police station in Baghdad leaving 13 dead and dozens wounded. [105]
  • April 23: A suicide bomber struck a group of police officers in Baquba killing 6 including a police general. In Ramadi a suicide car bomber struck a restaurant killing 20 and wounding 35, the restaurant was often frequented by Iraqi secutiry forces. In another suicide car bombing in Ramadi, a suicide car bomber struck a police checkpoint killing 4. In further violence a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt detonated in a restaurant in Baghdad that is often frequented with Iraqi security forces killing 6. And in Northern Iraq near Mosul a suicide car bomber struck Kurdish Democratic Party office in Tal Uskuf, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20. [106]
  • April 24: 2 suicide truck bombers struck an American patrol post killing 9 marines and wounding 20 northeast of Baghdad. The Islamic state of Iraq which is headed by Al-Qaeda in Iraq soon claimed responsibility for the attack. [107] [108]
  • April 25: A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a police station northeast of Baghdad killing 4 police officers and wounding 16 people. [109]
  • April 26: A suicide car bomber struck a secutiry check point killing 10 soldiers, the attack took place 50 miles north of Baghdad. In another separate attack two suicide bombers attacked an office of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani killing three guards, the attack took place in Zumar, 45 miles west of Mosul. [110]
  • April 27: A suicide truck bomber struck the home of a police chief in Anbar province killing 15 includin 9 Iraqi soldiers who were protecting the house, the police chief escaped with his familly. [111] [112]
  • April 28: A parked car exploded near one of Shiite Islam's most holiest shrine killing 68 and wounding dozens. [113] [114]
  • April 30: A suicide car bomber targeting an interior ministry convoy struck an Iraqi checkpoint killing 4 including 2 Iraqi commandos, the attack took place in western Baghdad.In a separate attack a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt detonated in Shiite funeral killing 32, the attack occurred in a province just north of Baghdad. [115][116]
  • May 2: A suicide car bomber struck near a police station in the Shiite Mahdi millitia stronghold of Sadr city leaving 9 dead and 34 wounded. [117]
  • May 5: A suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt among a group of Iraqi recruits killing 15, 5 of the dead were Iraqi soldiers, and the other 10 were would be recruits for Iraqi security forces. The attack took place in the town of Abu Ghraib which is located west of Baghdad. [118]
  • May 6: A car bomb hit a market in Baghdad killing 30. Elsewhere in the city of Samara, a car bomb and shooting attack hit a police headquarters killing 12 police officers which included the police chief. [119]
So either Giffords is that intellectually vacuous, or she is trying to deliberately mislead. Remember that she has recently been to Iraq and serves on the Armed Services Committee. You make the call.

PAF Not a PAC?

This is another example of what Espresso Pundit referred to in his "Way Over the Line" post exposing the Project for Arizona's Future PAF) for what it is: a liberal PAC masquerading as a "moderate" public policy organization. There's no secret here. Spotlighting together in a mass mailer to LD26 voters the conjoined representatives Democrat Lena Seradnick and Republican Pete Hershberger, both from LD26, is a clear attempt to prepare voters for the next election cycle. It's certainly not coincidence that the two reps from the same district happened to appear on the mailer to voters in their district.

But don't expect liberal Democrat Terry Goddard to step up and protect the interests of state citizens from this group. He's way too connected. Major personalities from this group include Lauren Kryder and Kelly Ward who played principal roles in Harry Mitchell's campaign, Mark Bergman who was a spokesman for the Virginia Democrat Party, and PR person Tom Ziemba from John Edwards campaign staff. Even token cross-party member Republican Steve May is hardly a moderate in politics.

Although the PAF website is cleverly worded, reading statements written by it's leaders reveals that PAF generally positions itself to the left on an interesting array of issues. PAD supports amnesty for illegal aliens, opposes border security measures such as crossing barriers, opposed voter identification and proof of citizenship for voting, supported all-day kindersitting, supports more taxpayer funding for clean elections, supports a fraud-laden shift from in-person voting to all-mail voting, supports more statewide taxpayer funding for Phoenix downtown development projects, supports increased socialization of health care, opposes growth, supports light rail and greater public transportation subsidies, opposed tax cuts, and never saw a bond it didn't like.

As for candidates it supports? It seems conservatives are camera shy and never make it onto their campaign literature unless they have a target drawn on their mugs.

Not a PAC? If it quacks like a duck...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Belated Republican Debate Reaction

Debate setup- First of all, Chris Matthews should never, NEVER be able to moderate a debate. He is horrible, and it is not even a conservative-liberal thing. You don't cut the candidates off, and nobody is interested in You, Chris. You host a show watched by dozens of not hundreds of people. These people are campaigning as the Leader of the Free World. Even the lesser candidates are far more important than you will ever be.

And, for the record, Democrats are pansies. Did you notice the debate bookended by moonbat Keith Obermann? Did you see any of the candidates pitch a hissy fit over that? Obermann couldn't even carry Brit Hume's lapel microphone. How are we supposed to trust Democrats to stand up to Islamofacism when they can't even face down Fox News paired with the Congressional Black Caucus?

And finally, 10 candidates is way too many. They need to find a way to cut it to at least 6 or 7 by the next debate, with eventual further winnowing thereafter.

Now to the scorecard.

Rudy Giuliani- The only bigger loser last night was Dirk Nowitzki. Honestly, if you are Rudy your goal for the less than nine minutes that you are going to going to be speaking is to show yourself to be articulate and in command and stay off the YouTube blooper reel. Guess what?

His initial comments on Roe v. Wade could only have been worse if he had used profanity to express his thoughts. When asked if it would be a good day if Roe v. Wade was abolished, his initial answer was "That would be OK." How does that make anyone happy? He did try to clarify himself, but the damage was already done. That one sentence will probably be the one thing that most of America sees of the debate.

He seemed somewhat disjointed for other questions as well, although I think that the Sunni v. Shiite was just childish and unfair. Rudy will need to step up and show better, or Fred Thompson's eventual entry will doom him.

Mitt Romney- Accomplished everything that he had to do to stay afloat and perhaps gain on the leaders. He turned in the performance that John Edwards should have in the Democratic debates. For those who saw Romney for the first time, they had to be impressed. He was engaging, articulate, appropriately passionate, and handled challenges about his flip-flopping well. He also was appropriately dismissive of Matthews at certain points which earned big points in my household. For those Republicans looking for a "communicator," Romney fir the bill tonight.

John McCain- Perhaps inappropriately angry at times, he definitely did not suffer from momentary bouts of apparent disinterest that plagued Giuliani. There are Republicans that are looking for a little righteous anger, and McCain fit that bill, channeling Zell Miller circa 2004. This approach could wind up working well for McCain, as long as he does not allow it to become his entire stump. He needs to find some positive to go with his message as well. Overall, he didn't hurt himself with those who are still truly undecided.

Tommy Thompson- Tommy is done. Not as big of disaster as Giuliani, because not a lot was expected, but did absolutely nothing to justify his presence on that stage. The sad part is that at one time he was a Republican rock star, and now he acts like he is older than McCain.

Duncan Hunter- Did well enough that he should get another invite. As always he was knowledgeable, poised, and, if he could raise money, able to compete.

Jim Gilmore- Again, he earned the right to hang around for another debate with his performance. I knew little of his platforms and individual ideas before, but I liked what I saw. I would put his performance above Hunter and even Brownback's.

Sam Brownback- A solid Social Conservative with good morals, and domestic ideas. I saw nothing from him to convince me that he would have any type of handle on foreign affairs or diplomacy. He risks becoming as one note as Tancredo, if he doesn't get to issues other than his strong pro-life resume. He makes a very good senator from Kansas, but I cannot see him as president. I would like to keep him around for a while as his voice is important.

Tom Tancredo- I love ya Tom, but I need to vote you off as well. I'm not sure that your presence was helping the issues that you are trying to put forward. I liked the Compeon and Ramos mention, but it was hurried and not as strong as it could be. I can't help but think that border hawk money could be spent better elsewhere than a Tancredo presidential campaign.

Mike Huckabee- Of the second tier challengers, I believe that Huckabee did the most for himself. He was likable, articulate, and passionate where appropriate. I had a hard time believing him when he expounded on tax cuts, knowing his past record, but with enough work, he could probably convince me. If the field were not so crowded, he could possibly be a strong candidate for the VP slot.

Ron Paul- Guy belongs in a museum. Honestly, there were probably people right outside with the tranquilizer guns, as it is not often you get to bag a true "Big L" libertarian. It also brought me satisfaction that our "loonie" wasn't actually all that crazy like that Gravel fossil the Democrats showed up with. As I have mentioned before, Libertarians are good entertainment, but they will never win due to the fact that they have a "stick in the eye" for every possible voter. It is valiant in principle, but hopeless in reality. Keep him for another debate, then let him go.

Overall, I thought the debate was more substantial, and overall better than the Democratic demabte despite the lousy moderator and overwhelming numbers.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

That was fun while it lasted

If I were a gambling man, I would go ahead and drop a tidy sum on Fred Thompson NOT finishing in the top three if there is any truth to this article. The important part:

Thompson, his wife and advisers in Washington and Tennessee also are drawing up plans for a new style of campaign that would rely heavily on technology and his celebrity status to avoid some of the slogging through the snow in Iowa and New Hampshire that is normally required of White House hopefuls.

The advisers say Thompson, who plays District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's "Law & Order," is researching ways to use technology -- including the Web, videoconferences and teleconferences -- to harness the enthusiasm for his candidacy among grass-roots bloggers and activists. The campaign also would rely on large events, such as those that have in part supplanted country-store campaigning for some in the Democratic field.

"Well-known candidates can do things a little differently," explained one adviser. "You show up, you're accessible, but you don't have to go to every county seat several times."

Quite honestly, whoever is selling Thompson on this strategy needs to be slapped. . .TWICE. We are not at the point where you can do this as a primary strategy. It can be helpful as part of a strategy, but cannot be your entire campaign.

Thompson's celebrity is quite simply not that big. People know him, but not in a way that transcends everything. He will need to slog it out in the snow or he will be in a lot of trouble. What is the age of the average voter voting in the Republican primaries? Is using "the Web, videoconferences and teleconferences -- to harness the enthusiasm for his candidacy among grass-roots bloggers and activists" going to grab these voters? I'm big on the technology and politics, but we are at least a decade away from the Internet having a large effect on electioneering.

Actually, if Thompson were to hire me, I would advise him to talk to Joel Surnow and sign on to play the President in next season's edition of 24. Get people to get used to the idea that way. I guarantee that it would be a far more effective strategy that what is laid out here.