Archive for May, 2006

I thought it was laughable when Sen. Christopher Dodd got an amendment passed that we should consult Mexico before building the wall mandated by the Sessions Amendment and the House legislation. If you read anything in to Dick Durbin’s statement from Fox News Sunday, it isn’t a stretch to think that that’s the Democrats’ bargaining chip in the upcoming conference committee.

“To think that we would build a fence without any conversation or consultation with Mexico, that doesn’t make sense,” Sen. Dick Durbin told “Fox News Sunday.” Asked why he felt such consultations were necessary, the top Democrat explained: “Good fences make good neighbors, too. And remember that when it’s all over there will be cities across the border from one another in the United States and Mexico. And you’ll find in most instances they’ll try to find a level of cooperation. “We ultimately want to have the cooperation of the Mexican government,” Durbin insisted.

To think that we’d have to talk to them about securing our border tells you how unserious Durbin and the Democrats are about border security. It also says alot about Mexico’s attitude towards the Mexican-American border.

Think about Durbin’s quote “Good fences make good neighbors, too.” Since when did a country that thinks its citizens should set American immigration policy with their feet become a good neighbor worthy of consultation? If anything, we should beef up border security, build the wall, then dictate to them what we expect of our “good neighbor” to the south.

The Dodd Amendment tells you that Democrats are more worried about whether Mexico likes us than they are about just getting the wall built. The next time I hear a Democrat suggest that they care about serious immigration policy, I’ll remind them that they don’t want to take action that everyone knows we need until we play nice with Mexico. I suggest that you do the same.

An amendment slipped into the Senate bill at the last minute by Sen. Chris Dodd mandates consultations with Mexican officials before any fence construction begins. It reads:
“Consultation Requirement: Consultations between United States and Mexican authorities at the federal, state, and local levels concerning the construction of additional fencing and related border security structures along the U.S.-Mexico border shall be undertaken prior to commencing any new construction, in order to solicit the views of affected communities, lessen tensions and foster greater understanding and stronger cooperation on this and other important issues of mutual concern.”

I’d just tell Mr. Dodd that “Consultation denied.” Simply put, this is a nicety that doesn’t have any business in a serious immigration bill. Let’s hope Representative Sensenbrenner amends that provision to say that we’ll notify Mexico’s federal, state & municipal politicians that we’re building the border fences.

Furthermore, I don’t care about soliciting “the views of affected communities” or to “lessen tensions” with these people. Had they acted in good faith, that’d be another matter. They haven’t and they don’t deserve that type of consultation.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Appearing after John Murtha on AB(DN)C’s This Week, Senate Armed Services Chairman John Warner, (R-VA), “urged Rep. Jack Murtha on Sunday to stop prejudging allegations that U.S. Marines massacred 24 Iraqi civilians after their convoy was attacked by a IED last November.” Here’s more from that interview:

“At this time, particularly on Memorial Day…I think we should be calm and reassuring to the American people that the men and women of our armed forces are admirably and professionally conducting their heavy responsibilities.” The top Republican said: “I respect my friend, John Murtha. I also was privileged to wear the Marine uniform. But we’ve got to let the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the investigation system, proceed before we reach any conclusions on this matter.”

That’s a polite way of telling Murtha that his rantings should stop until the investigation is completed. When Warner says “we’ve got to let the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the investigation system, proceed before we reach any conclusions on this matter”, it’s suggesting that Murtha’s declarations are based on an incomplete set of facts.

On a matter as sensitive as this, the only time a sitting U.S. legislator should comment is when he’s got a complete set of facts based on a complete investigation. Anything short of that is sloppy at best & ill-advised at worst.

Earlier in the broadcast, Murtha said there was “no doubt” that the accused Marines were guilty, adding that he suspected that a cover-up of their war crimes goes “up the chain of command.” “This is very serious,” Warner acknowledged. “But the military is looking at it equally seriously.”
In contrast to Murtha’s pronouncements of certain guilt, the former Navy Secretary said questions remain about “what happened and when it happened and what was the reaction of senior officers in the Marine Corps.” Warner pledged to hold hearings on the Haditha incident, but not until the Uniform Code of Military Justice had “run its course.”

Murtha’s comment that “their war crimes goes ‘up the chain of command'” is reminiscent of his comments about Abu Ghraib. That investigation’s findings didn’t support Murtha’s claims then. It’d be awful if this investigation found that Murtha’s comments weren’t factually supported, too. Based on his history of being wrong on important aspects of past investigations, I’ll hold off on making a conclusion in this current investigation.

Warner’s statement that questions remain about “what happened and when it happened and what was the reaction of senior officers in the Marine Corps” shoots down, at least temporarily, Murtha’s conclusions. If “questions remain about what happened”, how can Murtha be certain? Does he have the ability to pierce the ‘fog of war’ & know with certainty things that the investigators don’t know? Color me highly skeptical of that ‘ability’.

I’ve got another question for Murtha: He’s said that he’s talked with people close to the investigation. My question for him is why he got briefed on this & the Senate Chairman of the Armed Services hasn’t? You’d assume that Sen. Warner would’ve mentioned that during this interview if he’d been briefed. Why should I trust Murtha saying that he’s been briefed when he’s made such categorical statements based on an unfinished investigation?

For more on this, see this post on Residual Forces

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Cross-posted at Murtha Must Go

George Will’s Sunday column outlines a future delicious irony:

First, the mantra of campaign “reformers” is that there is “too much” money in politics. But McCain will shun public funding because it provides too little money. He can raise much more from private interests. (But not from “special interests,” which are interests McCain disapproves of.)

This shows the hollowness of McCain’s convictions. They tell a tale of elitism in the sense that he’s acting like McCain-Feingold doesn’t apply to him, just to others. Saint John isn’t worried that he’ll be corrupted; he’s worried that “the process” is corrupted. He’s here to save politicians from being corrupted by special interests like religious organizations, gun rights lobbies, business organizations and others who’s rights are enumerated in the Constitution.

I’ve said this before: The government isn’t nearly as good at keeping corruption at a minimum as the blogosphere is. We are true campaign finance reform because we’re good at pointing out the bad apples such as extremist groups in both parties.

Second, the reformers revere the McCain-Feingold legislation that expanded government regulation of the quantity, timing and content of political speech. But McCain-Feingold is one important reason why the public funding system is collapsing.

Isn’t that simply delicious? I can’t wait until BCRA is challenged again and makes its way in front of the Roberts Court. That’s when it’ll meet its ultimate demise. Frankly, that moment can’t come soon enough.

Reformers, redoubling their efforts as their goal of total public financing of all campaigns recedes, now propose measures to resuscitate what the public is trying to euthanize with nonsupport.

This is one government program that needs to whither on the vine and die. Based on Mr. Will’s statistics, this program is so unpopular that the only thing keeping it alive are idiots in Washington. As Mr. Will points out, I’d doubt that this program will ever actually die. I suspect, though, that it’ll essentially become a nonentity. Good riddance.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Considering John Murtha’s statements and the media coverage, you’d think that the raid in Haditha was an open and shut case. That might not be the case. Let’s take a look at some things that don’t point in that direction.

The Boston Globe reports that the confrontation was touched off when a roadside bomb struck a supply convoy of Kilo Company, Third Battalion, First Marine Regiment. The explosion killed Lance Corporal Miguel Terrazas, 20, of El Paso, who was on his second tour in Iraq. “Everybody agrees that this was the triggering event,” Paul Hackett, an attorney for a Marine officer with a slight connection to the case, told the paper.
If the roadside bomb was the “triggering event” for the developments that followed, however, then how can it be said that there was “no provocation”? And while that provocation may not have been enough to justify the wanton murder of innocent Iraqis, it’s far from clear at this point that all of those killed were indeed innocent. Or that any innocents who did die were killed in cold blood. In an April report that pre-dates the uproar over the Haditha allegations, a Marine press release describes the Iraqi town as “a hotbed of insurgent activity less than a year ago.” That would be about the time of the so-called Marine massacre. Plainly, not all the residents of this terrorist hotbed were as innocent as Marine media critics are now claiming. The Los Angeles Times reports that after smoke from IED cleared, the Marines quickly determined that it was “a type that would have required someone to detonate it.”

John Murtha said that there wasn’t a ‘triggering event’. Check it out here:

“There was no firefight. There was no IED that killed those innocent people,” said Congressman John Murtha commenting on the outcome of a military investigation. “Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

Murtha assumes that the people killed were innocent. Some might well have been but why would he assume that when Haditha was “a terrorist hotbed”? That’s the last conclusion I’d come to until I saw hard proof pointing me that direction. I don’t consider John Murtha’s conclusions proof, either.

The Los Angeles Times reports that after smoke from IED cleared, the Marines quickly determined that it was “a type that would have required someone to detonate it.” Following standard procedure, the troops searched nearby houses, the closest of which was 50 yards away. That’s close enough for its occupants to have tracked the Marine convoy and timed the explosion. It’s also worth remembering that the press has so far reported only one side of the story.

The LA Times isn’t a Bush schill by any stretch of the imagination. Yet they’re reporting that the Marines determined that the IED “required someone to detonate it.” They also came to the conclusion that the home “50 yards away” might house the terrorist that detonated the bomb.

Furthermore, we know that Iraqis have used human shields in the past. I remember watching a Gen. Schwarzkopf briefing where he showed satellite images of Iraqi military hardware sitting in the midst of a Baghdad neighborhood to protect his tanks and artillery weapons. I also remember the pictures of the men, women and children killed in a bombing that tried killing Saddam during Operation Desert Storm. After the war, Newsweek did a special issue devoted solely to the war.

What Newsweek learned was that Special Forces had intel that said that Saddam used that bunker at least 3 times a week. The people killed during that bombing were his prisoners there.

Knowing all that, why on earth would we conclude that terrorists and/or insurgents wouldn’t have used the same technique to protect themselves in the raids?

Then there’s this intriguing tidbit, again from the Times, which notes that after the IED was detonated: “Marines and Iraqi forces searched houses and other structures in the narrow, dusty streets [of Haditha], jets dropped 500-pound bombs.” Whoever ordered those airstrikes must not have believed the houses of Haditha were filled with Iraqi innocents who knew nothing about planting roadside bombs.

Again, this is the LA Times reporting this. What this means is that Time magazine, the Boston Globe and the LA Times all are reporting things that don’t mesh with Murtha’s account. If “500 lb. bombs” were dropped on these homes, why should we conclude that Murtha’s version of events is even close to what happened?

ABC News, for instance, reported Saturday morning that military investigators had already determined that the killings were unjustified, and that several Marines would likely face murder charges. But instead of quoting anyone in uniform, the report offered a soundbite from a Human Rights Watch spokesman.

This should send out all kinds of red flags. ABC’s reporting is suspect at best, especially after Brian Ross’s report that House Speaker Denny Hastert “was in the mix” of a Justice Department investigation involving Jack Abramoff. ABC’s George Stephanopoulous said that “If true, the effects would be seismic.”

If ABC was running this story, why didn’t they get someone from the military to comment on it? Why would they rely on Human Rights Watch’s statements? At best, HRW’s information was secondhand. They certainly weren’t briefed on this by the military. It’s understatement to say that ABC’s reporting is sloppy at best.

Based on the amount of reporting that’s been done, I’d say that it’s still far from a sure thing that the Marines did anything wrong. Is it possible that they didn’t follow their terms of engagement? Sure. Is it certain that they did? Not at this point, it isn’t.

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I just returned home from a campaign rally for Representative Mark Kennedy, State Senator Michele Bachmann & Jeff Johnson, who I hope will represent me in the Minnesota state Senate this time next year.

Jeff spoke briefly & did a nice job in the 5 minutes that was alloted to him. Jeff’s best line is that being pro life isn’t just a policy position for him & his wife; it’s their way of life. Jeff mentioned that “Some of my wife’s biggest thrills as a doctor” have come from delivering babies. Jeff also said that education is a passion of his because he’s an assistant professor in the Aviation Department at St. Cloud State.

Jeff didn’t have alot of time to give a long, detailed speech on the issues but I was impressed with the speech he gave, especially considering the circumstances.

Michele Bachmann, the woman I’ve described as a GOP superstar in the making, was next to speak. That’s my description of her & I’m sticking to it after tonight’s speech. Michele spoke about the national attention that the CD-6 race is getting. Michele said she was told that the CD-6 race is “one fo the top 5 races” in the entire nation. Michele said that Democrats absolutely have to win this race to retake the House. If that’s true, & I trust Michele’s characterization, then the House is staying in Republican hands because Michele’s such a charismatic candidate & dynamic campaigner.

In fact, I thought Jeff summed Michele up perfectly in his introduction, saying that someone had “paid Michele a great compliment, saying ‘She doesn’t sound like a politician.'” I totally agree with that. In fact, I said something similar in my first post on Michele: “She was articulate in her presentation. She had a ready answer for all of the questions posed to her. Most of the people I talked with said that they were either impressed or very impressed with her speaking skills.”

Michele, in turn, introduced Mark, the night’s final speaker. Mark’s presentation was a strong stating of where he stood on the biggest issues facing the U.S. & Minnesota. Mark made it clear that he wants our troops home “as soon as possible without letting Iraq become” the next sanctuary for al Qaida. That got a big round of applause. Mark told the crowd that he opposed his opponent’s position on taxes, saying the U.S. economy was strong & growing, adding 5 million new jobs over the past 3 years & with the economy growing at “over 5 percent” this year because of the Bush tax cuts. Mark made clear that he would work to make permanent the Bush tax cuts. That got the biggest round of applause.

Finally, he said that he’d vow to confirm judges that take the Constitution seriously. He said that that’s another big difference between himself & his opponent. Ms. Klobuchar said that, not only would she have not voted to confirm Sam Alito but that she wouldn’t have voted to confirm Chief Justice Roberts either. Simply put, that isn’t where Minnesotans are on that issue.

After hearing the three candidates speak, I can honestly say that I’m excited about all of them. All gave very upbeat, issues-oriented speeches. All were articulate, too, which is something that we need more of in the GOP.

There was a little extra buzz in the hall afterwards because MSNBC has assigned a reporter to follow the Kennedy campaign, though I don’t know how long he’ll be following Kennedy.

Another bit of information that was getting talked about was the Ford Bell-Amy Klobuchar debate last night. Word from those attending was that Bell had outperformed Ms. Klobuchar, who they said looked a bit flustered. I’ll have to go to Almanac’s website & check out the video. The people that I spoke with said that Bell put her on the spot in demanding that she adopt his health care initiative.

Here’s a portion of KvM’s post on the debate:

Klobuchar, obviously surprised and frustrated that Bell’s pestering candidacy will continue into the middle of September, lashed out that the philanthropist’s decision would essentially hand the November election to Mark Kennedy. Unfazed by Klobuchar’s likely accurate prediction, Bell assured Klobuchar and the program’s viewers that the DFLers shouldn’t emulate the GOP’s process of “hand-picked” candidates.

The announcement was only the beginning of a poor night for Klobuchar who appeared distracted for most of the debate, attempting as usual to provide a slightly more moderate voice to Bell’s Wellstonesque policies. But Bell’s public decision to forgo the endorsement process seemed only to embolden the Democrat who was in rare form, confidently pushing Klobuchar to the left on issue after issue. Bell’s impassioned defense of universal health care even put the Hennepin County Attorney on the spot to admit that the U.S. needs the Canadian-style health program in one of debate’s few moments lacking any hair-spliting by the DFL frontrunner.

The Canadian health care plan is a single payer system. It’s generally disregarded as the most impractical system to implement and/or run. Frankly, sticking with that plan is a loser for Klobuchar. I’d say that Bell’s just put Ms. Klobuchar in a box: If she sticks with this position, she will have opened herself up as supporting the most far left wing position for health care; if she changes her position, then it’s labeled a flip-flop. I’d have to think that this debate has the Kennedy people smiling from ear to ear.

When Patty Wetterling was endorsed by the DFL to run against Michele, Tarryl Clark characterized Michele Bachmann as “a devil with a blue dress on.” After hearing her presentation tonight, that’s the last impression you could imagine.

I’m in the process of setting up interviews with all three candidates. They’ll most likely start in a week and a half or two weeks. Be sure to check back for those interviews.

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That’s Matthew Dowd’s message to Republicans on the immigration issue. Here’s portions of his memo to Republicans:

RNC senior adviser/BC04 senior strategist…Matthew Dowd urges Republican Nat’l Committee members to favor a “comprehensive” solution to immigration, which the public believes is “unifying, not polarizing.”
Dowd: “Furthermore, majorities of Hispanics back it. Therefore, it is imperative for the Republican Party to talk about immigration effectively and comprehensively and demonstrate leadership on this vital issue as we move toward the mid-term elections.”

This makes all the sense in the world for several reasons. First, it’s the smartest policy in terms of stopping the problem. This isn’t a specific endorsement of the Senate’s McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. Quite the contrary. That bill’s numerous atrocities will be cleaned up in conference, based on Jim Sensenbrenner’s comments the past couple days.

Secondly, policy that’s both tough on illegal immigrants and is supported by “majorities of Hispanics” is proof that smart policy makes the best politics. We shouldn’t be supporting comprehensive immigration reform simply to gain Hispanic votes. That’s been Rush’s biggest complaint this week. That said, if we can get a cleaned up bill out of conference, which I think is likely, and we win majority support from Hispanics, then that’s a win-win situation. Not only is there nothing wrong with that; that’s the most desireable situation to find yourself in.

Dowd’s memo says that an internal RNC poll conducted by Jan Van Louhuzen finds that “overwhelming support exists for a temporary worker program. 80% of all voters, 83% of Republicans, and 79% of self-identified conservatives support a temporary worker program as long as immigrants pay taxes and obey the law.”
More, from the RNC internal poll: “When voters are given the choice of other immigration proposals, strengthening enforcement with a tamper-proof identity card (89% among all voters, 93% among GOP), various wordings of a temporary worker program (the highest at 85% among all voters, 86% among GOP), and sending National Guard troops to the border (63% among all voters, 84% among GOP) score the highest among both all voters and Republican voters.”
Also: “Voters don’t consider granting legal status to those already here amnesty.”

Based on this polling, I’d say it’d be political suicide to not take all of the President’s proposals seriously. The weakest support for any issue is 79 percent. It seems to me that people that are saying that the President is ignoring his base are left without an argument after reading this polling.

I. Public Polling Summary
Public polls show that Americans want the government to solve the immigration problem. The public strongly supports a comprehensive approach. For instance:
Expanding the Border Patrol. Eighty percent (80%) in the FOX News poll (4/4-4/5) support increasing the number of officers policing the border, and Gallup (4/6-4/7) shows 81% believe increasing the number of Border Patrol agents will be an effective way to reduce illegal immigration.
Creating a temporary worker program. More than two-thirds of voters, and equally large numbers of Republicans, support creating a temporary worker program. FOX News (5/16-5/18) found 63% of all voters support a temporary worker program and 63% of Republicans supporting it too. Similarly, CBS (5/16-5/17) found 61% of Americans and 62% of Republicans support a temporary worker program.

Make no mistake: Staying true to one’s beliefs is important. That said, when overwhelming majorities disagree with you, then it’s time that you reconsider your positions by asking: (a) What are they seeing that I’m not? and (b) Are their beliefs logical and reasonable?

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Join US Senate Candidate Mark Kennedy and US Congress Candidate Michele Bachmann for an evening to celebrate the Memorial Day Weekend, meet the candidates, refreshments, games and fun! All are invited and welcomed to attend this free family event.

When: Saturday, May 27, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Where: Stearns Country HistoryMuseum
235 33rd Avenue South
Saint Cloud, MN 56301

RSVP: Luke at luke@michelebachmann.com
Or by phone at 651-735-7512

Directions:

* From Interstate 94, take State Highway 15 north.
* Follow State Highway 15 to 2nd St. S. and turn right or east.
* From 2nd St. S., turn right or south onto 33rd Ave. S.
* The Stearns County History Museum will be on the right.

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As every Minnesotan knows, Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the Twins Stadium bill tonight just before the Twins-Seattle game tonight. Watching the signing ceremony was more emotional than I’d expected, with Twins greats like Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew & Tony Oliva, the first group of Twins I fell in love with watching, along with Bert Blyleven, Dan Gladden, Kent Hrbek, Tim Laudner, ‘Senior Smoke’ Juan Berenguer & supersub Randy Bush there representing the 87 World Championsip team. Jack Morris & Kevin Tapani, key parts of the unforgettable 91 ‘Worst to First’ World Champions (Who can forget Jack Morris’ 10 inning, 7 hit shutout of the braves in what I still think is the hands-down best Game 7 in World Series history?) were on hand, too.

After Twins TV play-by-play man Dick Bremer introduced the former Twins on hand, he turned to the jumbotron to watch a “video recounted the days when the Twins played outdoors in Metropolitan Stadium and some of the famous moments in Metrodome history, including the Twins’ World Series titles in 1987 and 1991.”

Once the festivities concluded, few would’ve complained had the game not been that fun. fortunately Seattle’s 20-year-old Felix Hernandez, nicknamed ‘King Felix’ by the Seattle sportswriters & the Twins’ Francisco Liriano, who’s got the nastiest slider in the bigs to go with a 97-99 mph fastball, put on a pitching display that was all it was hyped to be.

Hernandez retired the last 14 hitters he faced. Unfortunately for him, he made 2 mistakes in the first 3 innings. He threw a fastball that caught too much of the plate to Twins’ DH Rondell White, who hit a screaming line drive down the third base line that Adrian Beltre couldn’t corral. White wound up at 2nd, with Justin Morneau reaching third on the play. Tony Batista’s singleto right plated Morneau, bringing up Twins shortstop Juan Castro, who hit into a double play, scoring White.

Hernandez threw another do nothing fastball down the heart of the plate to Joe Mauer in the third. Rod Carew says that Mauer’s got the best-looking swing he’s ever seen, which says everything I need to know. Anyways, Mauer crushed the pitch, hitting 427 feet over the fence in rightcenter field.

That was all the run support the Twins needed tonight. Liriano overpowered a number of Seattle hitters, finishing the night with his 5 innings with a line that read 4 hits 6 strikeouts & 1 walk.

After that, the Twins bullpen did a nice job, with Matt Guerrier giving up the lone Seattle run on ball that dropped between Justin Morneau & Luis Castillo on what should’ve been the third out. Guerrier struck 3 Seattle hitters out in his 2 innings of work, mostly with a nice curveball.

After that misplay, Guerrier got the next hitter for the third out. Juan Rincon pitched a scoreless eighth before handing the ball to Twins closer Joe Nathan for only his sixth save opportunity of the season. Nathan got 1 strikeout in pitching a pefect 9th for his sixth save of the season.

The highlight of the night, though, came in the fifth. Seattle loaded the bases with no outs. Liriano made some nasty pitches to strike Seattle shortstop Yuniewsky Betancourt out. Ichiro was the next hitter, which virtually eliminated any possibility of him bouncing into a double play. Liriano got ahead of him before he hit a sinking line drive to center. Torii was playing shallow for him & made a shoestring catch just before the ball would’ve hit the turf. Torii made a short throw back to second, completing the routine lineout-throwout inning-ending centerfielder to the shortstop double play. That’s an 8-6 inning-ending double play for those keeping score at home.

The series resumes Saturday night, with Twins’ rookie Boof Bonser facing ancient Seattle lefty Jamie Moyer before wrapping up with Twins’ ace Johan Santana facing Seattle’s Joel Pineiro.

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The AP’s Suzanne Gamboa that Jim Sensenbrenner, (R-WI), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, remains firm in a number of his demands. Here’s some details from her article:

“This will set up a very difficult House-Senate conference committee because the approaches taken by the House and Senate on this issue have been 180 degrees apart,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the Judiciary Committee and principal author of the more stringent House bill. “Amnesty is wrong,” he told a news conference.

Yesterday I wrote that the House, Senate Moving Towards Each Other, based on several quotes, including this Sensenbrenner quote

“I don’t think anything is a deal-breaker,” Sensenbrenner, who will lead House negotiators, said in a CBS appearance. “We can’t have legal proceedings to deport 11 to 12 million people, that is evident.” I’ll take Mr. Sensenbrenner at his word that there won’t be “legal proceedings to deport 11 to 12 million people”.

That said, I think it’s clear that there won’t be an eagerness on his part to establish an earned citizenship program right away.

My best guess is that he’ll demand that there be proof that the border is sealed off before the earned citizenship program would start. I’m also betting that he’ll demand that the silly Dodd Amendment be eliminated and the Sessions Amendment be strengthened in conference. The Dodd Amendment simply says that we must consult with the Mexican government before we build the wall and the vehicle barriers. That thing’s history already. There’s no way that Sensenbrenner will consent to that. I suspect that Sensenbrenner might, at most, agree to a provision that says we’ll notify the Mexican government when and where we’ll build the barriers and walls.

We’ll almost certainly see the Sessions Amendment, which provides for 370 miles of triple-layered walls and 500 miles of vehicle barriers, strengthened to a number much closer to the House’s 700 miles of triple-layered walls.

Bush, walking down the White House Colonnade with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday morning, ignored a shouted question about whether the House and Senate will be able to compromise. But he did say that an effective measure would protect U.S. borders, make employers responsible for people they hire, create a temporary worker program, deal with the illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and “honor America’s great tradition of the melting pot.”

If you read between the lines, you see the outlines for a compromise coming out. Notice that the President is saying that securing the border and holding employers accountable is as much a priority of his as the temp worker program and dealing with illegal immigrants. I don’t think that that’s the type of thing that Ted Kennedy, John McCain and Dick Durbin want to hear.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

In news that’s sure to have reporters upset, Judge Reggie B. Walton “ordered Time magazine to turn over documents for a White House aide to use in his defense to perjury and other charges in the CIA leak case.” Here’s more of his ruling:

The order by U.S. District Reggie B. Walton also said the NY Times might have to turn over some information but reduced the scope of documents the newspaper and other news organizations would have to provide to lawyers for the defendant, former top vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
Citing a lack of relevancy, Walton said that Judith Miller, a former Times reporter, doesn’t have to provide two notebooks, her phone records or appointment calendars to lawyers for Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff. Walton also said NBC News does not have to provide Libby’s defense team with one page of undated notes taken by correspondent Andrea Mitchell because she is unlikely to testify at Libby’s perjury trial, which is set for January.
In granting in part and denying in part Libby’s subpoenas for the media’s records, Walton ruled that reporters do not have a right to refuse to provide notes, drafts of articles or other information in a criminal case. “The First Amendment does not protect a news reporter or that reporter’s news organization from producing documents…in a criminal case,” Walton wrote in a 40-page ruling. Walton said Time magazine must provide Libby’s lawyers with drafts of first-person stories that reporter Matthew Cooper wrote about his conversations with Libby because the judge said he noticed inconsistencies between them.

This is going to get mighty interesting by the time this goes to trial.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative