Watching the Walls, or, Hooray for the Two-Party System!

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As Kerry noted below, on the agenda for the Senate today is consideration of a House-passed bill to construct 700 miles of good old American wall, to keep out people who might actually want to work for Americans or buy things from us. This story from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune has some wonderful insights into the range of choices two party's give us:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said they expect many Democrats to support the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

"Democrats are solidly behind controlling the border, and we support the border fence," Feinstein said. "This is all meant to box Democrats in to voting `no' and we're not going to fall for it."

Added Reid, "Democrats are for border security, and when the roll is called you'll find Democrats on that roll."
…….
[Repubican Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho] and Feinstein said they will try to attach a bill originally written by Rep. Howard Berman that would legalize about 500,000 undocumented farm workers.

As of Tuesday night, however, it appeared unlikely that [Sen. majority leader Bill] Frist would accept any amendments.

Feinstein said she will vote in favor of the fence even if no guest worker provisions are included.

"We've got to get tough on the border," she said. "There's no question that the border is a sieve. What I regret is that it's not going to solve the problem."

Ah, but at least it will build a wall and protect Democrat asses on one of the strangest policy manias of our time: making sure people can't engage in mutually profitable agreements with willing Americans to sell labor or buy goods and services without having their papers in order, at any cost.

NEXT: Coupblogging

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  1. Yeah,

    You wouldn’t want to vigorously address the economic issues in Mexico (through smarter trade policy), or enforce existing laws on American employers…that would never work.

    Worth reading, despite the obvious position of the source organization…
    http://www.citizen.org/documents/NAFTA_10_mexico.pdf

    The US Government’s view
    http://www.ita.doc.gov/td/industry/otea/nafta/CoverPage.pdf

  2. Yeah, a 700 mile fence on a 2000 mile border will totally help keep all of those nasty brown people from picking fruit for a pittance!

  3. If the Wall was combined with reforms that actually allowed “people who might actually want to work for Americans or buy things from us” to enter the country legall, it wouldn’t be so bad.

    But then, if we had that sort of reform, we wouldn’t need a wall. 99% of the people currently crossing illegally would just line up peacefully at the gate to get their papers stamped, and the border patrol would be left with a much smaller problem, one which their existin resources would be able to handle.

    Jello Biafra’s name for Diane Feinstein was “Diane Feinswine.” I think he was onto something.

  4. Who was it that said, “I really hate conservatives…but I hate liberals more.”

    I’m with that guy.

    Ya know…I was thinking just yesterday during an NPR piece discussing the various discords amongst the Republican party members and how the Democrats were stepping back and just watching what was going on.

    As much as I despise conservatives and really want to see some of those venal idiots sent packing, if there’s one (well, there’s more than one really) good reason NOT do vote for Democrats, it would have to be that.

    Any group of fools who choose to “sit back and wait” refusing to take a stand or a lead while their opponent(s) are vulnerable due to leadership failures of their own… really don’t deserve a vote. Especially a protest one.

  5. I hope we’re going to send a bill to Mexico for the wall.

  6. The nationalism and xenophobia in this country are reaching disturbing heights, remeniscent of about a century ago.

  7. This is great:

    “What I regret is that it’s not going to solve the problem.”

    Then why do it? Are they really so desperate to appear tough on immigration that they will support a crazy plan they already admit won’t work?

  8. Let’s see now. I notice a reference to Idaho Senator Larry Craig’s Idaho farmers having wide expanses of potatoes that need harvesting. The solution? Hire itinerant non-American laborers for low pay = problem solved. . . . .

    Duh. . . .

    According to the latest information on their website, (which is dated March 10, ’06), Idaho’s employment rate was 3.3 per cent. (Remarkably low by anybody’s standard). That’s not many missing trees if you only look at the entire forest. But it does amount to 32,500 Idaho citizens out of work and drawing unemployment benefits. See: http://cl.idaho.gov/lmi/uirates.htm

    In all the hoopla about “jobs Americans won’t do” it seems to me something is not being considered at all. Simply put, we have Americans out of work, drawing taxpayer funded unemployment benefits so they can eat and pay their utility bills while we fuss and fume over minimum wage, and during it all we hire imported cheap labor, knowing full well that the pay they earn is going to to leave the country and go to their families in some other country.

    Somehow I expect harvesting potatoes is not a year round occupation. I don’t have any real basis for that supposition, but it sure seems a reasonable one to me. I mean, do they harvest potatoes in Idaho in the winter, when snow obliterates the landscape?

    It also seems that good Americans out of work also don’t look want it to be a year round circumstance. So how about us considering a policy of combining a new “America first” policy on cheap labor and unemployment benefits.

    A little background may help. A few years ago our welfare system finally got the attention of our policymakers and today that problem has largely been reduced. Not eliminated mind you, , , just reduced. It was done by telling welfare recipients that their benefits would eventually expire. The result was that many of them seemed to suddenly, (well maybe not ex-ACTLY suddenly), found they actually “could and did” find work, after all.

    So, okay, what’s my recommendation? It’ll muddle your brain with it’s simplicity.

    It seems to me that if a state’s economy includes farming, with it’s associated low paid labor, when that state has people drawing unemployment benefits paid out of the taxpayer’s pockets, it could find a way to satisfy both problems without resorting to strawman rhetoric about “jobs Americans won’t do”.

    If Idaho has 32,500 people drawing unemployment benefits while Idaho farmers need potato harvesters, why not have some of those unemployeds harvest potatos. If the pay is less than unemployment benefits, let the state pick up the difference. That would keep Idaho money in Idaho, and would reduce the taxpayer burden of paying unemployment benefits, and reduce the need for “cheap foreign labor”.

    . . . . . It seems to me, that is.

    Of course I’m neither out of work, (thank goodness), nor in need of cheap foreign labor, so maybe I’m missing something.

    As I type this I’m listening to Senator Barbara Boxer raamble eloquent about the shortage of people willing to take low paying jobs in state after state after state. Until now I have not heard her solution. All I hear from her is that she objects to the fence.

    I say build the fence.

  9. Who was it that said, “I really hate conservatives…but I hate liberals more.”

    That was one of the guys who created Southpark. I can’t remember which one.

  10. on those occaisions I couldnt work for cash- “off the books”- and was forced to pay extortion for the, uh, “privelefge” of working in the country of my birth, every week funds were taken for “unemployment compensation”.
    Dont get me wrong. Often enough, in Norther Vermont, in the winter, that was the only income I had.
    But it wasnt at all what you describe, sport…..

    >>>>>>Simply put, we have Americans out of work, drawing taxpayer funded unemployment benefits so they can eat and pay their ……>>>>>

    More than enough outfits hire seasonally. If they are big enough, they get massive Gvt subsidies, unlike the folks who actually do the work.
    Look at the year No Snow Fell, in Varmint……that was in the late 80’s. Ski resorts, run as writeoffs by such Mom & Pop outfits as IBM & Disney: lotsa dough. Guys who depended on plowing snow: squat. And “rooting out fraud” pretty much starts & ends with the guys runnin snowplows. Thier OWN plows, to clarify.
    Gvt subsidies:? bullshit, pretty much, unless you are talking about indemnifying actual food growers for the vagaries of Ma Nature.
    But why do I hear a lot of sniveling about retail subsidies of , say, families, and a thiundering silence about the usual State/Capital mutual blowjobs?

  11. I live in Texas and I see the illegals all over the place here. You can see it every morning drivng to work. Usually 5 or 6 to a truck driving to a constructin site. Usually 5 or 10 mph under the speed limit. Our crime rate is up and house values are down. It won’t be long before we are overrun and just an extension of Mexico. There are simple ways to fix the problem though:

    national ID card needed for all public services, jobs, schools, AND VOTING!!!!

    jail time for all employers caught with illegals

    reward fone lines for tips on employers using illegals

    eliminate US citizenship for babies of illegals born here

    eliminate income tax and tax all sales of goods instead. This will force illegals to pay taxes should they slip thru the above steps.

    Yep very simple. It is time to act we are under siege with this invasion and unless we act the whole USA will be lost.

  12. Wow, CW, so the solution is a police state.

    What’s sad is that your sentiments are not that uncommon so I guess we’ll get one yet.

  13. Mexico needs a Ronald “Tear down that wall!” Reagan.

    End the War on Drugs and the War on Workers and the U.S./Mexico border’s big problem would once again be kids sneaking across to buy a little booze or nookie.

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