Who Are the Real Saboteurs of Immigration Reform?

Solving the illegal immigration problem should not be hard. No one knows how many foreign nationals are residing illegally in the United States — estimates range from 11 million to 20 million. But everyone understands that it is an untenable situation that must be addressed.

The two extreme positions of the Left and Right probably have little public support — on the one hand, blanket amnesties and open borders, and on the other, deportation of all foreign nationals who reside here without legal authorization.

Polls show that most Americans want something in between.

Close the border. Allow entry only to those who have legal permission. Ensure that employers hire only those foreign nationals who have valid green cards. Permit those who have resided here for a while, who are without criminal records and are employed, to apply inside the U.S. for either a pathway to citizenship or legal residence.

Require that those residing here unlawfully pay a fine for breaking the law and wait in line until immigrants who followed the law are first processed. Reform legal immigration to make it ethnically blind and predicated on skill sets and education rather than on proximity to our borders or on family connections to those residing here unlawfully.

Most would agree with those sensible reforms, but I doubt that we will see any such grand bargain. The trouble is not, as the Democratic and Republican establishments allege, because of xenophobic and nativist bigots. Only a minority now favor sending every undocumented immigrant home without a chance for the hard-working and law-abiding to stay here while they apply for citizenship.

The problem instead is that the establishments of both parties talk in high-minded fashion but in fact act selfishly. Unfortunately, identity-politics elites and Democratic Party activists, along with employers of undocumented workers, do not support such a grand bargain.

Why not? Because Democrats and the members of the identity-politics industry believe that they have gained millions of new constituents. The more slowly huge surges of undocumented immigrants assimilate, the more they are likely to remain bloc constituents for particular causes and politics.

Some employers have profited from employing some of the millions of inexpensive, unskilled workers without legal documentation. The desperation of millions of undocumented workers drives down costs for manual labor, both legal and not.

Other employers do not necessarily want future legal immigrants to be selected mostly on the meritocratic basis of skill sets, or for those already here to integrate quickly into American society and move beyond low-wage jobs.

Mexico is also heavily invested in the present system of unmonitored immigration that has ensured it billions of dollars annually in remittances. Millions of impoverished Mexican citizens heading northward serve as a safety valve for political disenchantment over Mexico City’s reactionary policies. The Mexican expatriate population in America also seems far more supportive of Mexico when it resides far from it.

So Mexico would object vehemently if U.S. immigration enforcement were to mirror Mexico’s own tough immigration laws, which demand strict border enforcement and prohibit unlawful residence or employment within Mexico.

Already we can see immigration compromises evaporating. While many conservatives are now willing to allow working foreign nationals to remain in the country while seeking legal citizenship, many liberals are against finishing the promised border fence. They do not wish to deport those who have committed a felony or a serious offense like driving under the influence. Indeed, some liberal politicians are already horse-trading to allow two or more such crimes before deportation.

They also want to grant amnesties to those who are not working and on public assistance — despite the common assurance that all foreign nationals supposedly came to the U.S. only to work.

So far, La Raza activists and Democratic operatives do not seem eager to divorce immigration policy from ethnic considerations and preferences. They do not support the idea that all potential legal immigrants be judged equally on criteria such as job skills or education that ensure those living abroad a fair shot at immigrating and more likely a smoother transition to profitable U.S. citizenship.

Instead, “comprehensive immigration reform” is shaping up as little more than another divisive campaign opportunity in 2014 to call opponents all sorts of names rather than to seek real compromise.

Too many special interests have profited from the present mess, which is illiberal and reactionary to the core — involving a perfect storm of inexpensive labor, ethnic-identity chauvinism, political cynicism, selective enforcement of the law, and de facto discrimination against immigrants who play by the rules.

The obstacles to reform are not bogeymen who want to deport everyone, but the disingenuous who prefer to deport no one. The culprits are not mustachioed villains who want to close the border, but the more sophisticated who want it to stay wide open. And the real reactionaries are not those seeking to make ethnicity incidental to legal immigration, but those who want to ensure that it remains absolutely essential.

via Who Are the Real Saboteurs of Immigration Reform? – Victor Davis Hanson – Page full/TownHall.

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Young Republicans support same-sex marriage

There’s a generational gap among those who support gay marriage, as well as a partisan one.

About 6 in 10 Republicans under 30, or 61%, are in favor of same-sex marriage while 35% are opposed, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center. That compares to about 3 in 10 Republicans over 50, or 27%, who support gay marriage.

The attitudes of younger Republicans on gay marriage are more closely aligned with those of Democrats, regardless of their age. Pew says nearly 7 in 10 Democrats and independents who lean toward the party, or 69%, support same-sex marriage. That contrasts with 39% of Republicans and those who lean toward the GOP.

Pew’s findings are consistent with other polls that show people under 30 are among the strongest supporters of gay marriage.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia now allow same-sex marriage — a number that has increased since last June when the U.S. Supreme Court allowed gay men and lesbians to marry in California and struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Public opinion polls have shown growing support for same-sex marriage, with a record-high 54% of Americans in support in Pew’s surveys.

via Young Republicans support same-sex marriage | OnPolitics.

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Carter Campaign Manager: “We’re in Trouble”

The Jason Carter gubernatorial campaign has sent a message to supporters claiming it doesn’t have enough money to buy TV ads.

Campaign manager Matt McGrath is asking for $5 donations “to help get Jason’s message out.”

Here’s the message:

“We’re in trouble.

“Gov. Deal just spent more than a million bucks to plaster his new commercial on every TV across the state.

“I’ve been looking over our budget, and we simply can’t afford to go on the air to tell Jason’s story yet. So we need your help.

“Chip in $5 to help us get Jason’s message out.

“Deal has spent years stockpiling millions of dollars for his campaign. There are a lot of deep-pocketed special interests who want to beat Jason in this race. We need to count on you to stand against them.

“Deal’s ad is full of distortions about his weak record as governor. But until we can afford to match his ad buy, it’s the only message that most Georgians will hear about this race.


Matt McGrath

Campaign Manager

Carter for Governor”

via Peach Pundit – Georgia Politics.

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Federal Share of Total State Revenue Increases

A new study by a nonprofit called State Budget Solutions shows Georgia as having the second highest percentage point increase between 2001 through 2012 in the amount of revenue being funded by federal dollars. In 2001, 29.09% of state revenue came from the federal government, while in 2012, it was 38.06%, a difference of 8.97%. Only Louisiana had a higher percentage increase of 12.54%.

The average over the period had 35.48% of state revenue coming from the federal government. That’s enough to put the Peach State at 14th when compared to the other 49 states. Mississippi, Wyoming and South Carolina had the highest percentage of federal dollars, while Nevada, Virginia and Delaware had the lowest.

The Washington Examiner takes this a bit further, showing that on a per-capita basis, federal revenue went from $878 in 2001 to $1,424 in 2012.

Georgia’s state government receives less federal money per capita than 43 other state governments, but it’s rapidly losing its budget autonomy.

Federal dollars made up up 38 percent of the Peach State’s budget in 2012, up from 29 percent in 2001. The state received $5.6 billion for public welfare programs and $2.9 billion for education in 2012, along with $1.2 billion for highways.

The Republican Governors Association rightly notes Governor Deal’s leadership in keeping state taxes low and promoting economic growth. If voters approve a constitutional amendment in November, the state will be prevented from raising income taxes.

By keeping state taxes low, the amount of federal funding of the state’s budget is likely to increase, and that poses risks. As the State Budget Solutions study states,

Growing reliance on federal funding in state budgets is a dangerous trend. It threatens the financial stability of all 50 states, as well as the federal government. As federal debt skyrockets, Congress must look for ways to reduce spending. In the many states that count on the federal government for over one-third of their general revenue, every congressional spending reduction proposal puts the state at risk of a serious financial shortfall.

States must recognize that this funding arrangement also harms fiscal federalism. Federal funding usually comes with strings attached, and that means less chance for local control. When states cannot stand firmly on their own financial footing, they will lose the ability to make the best, locally-based, independent decisions for their residents.

Would you be willing to trade an increase in state tax revenue for a reduction in federal funding of state operations?

via Peach Pundit – Georgia Politics.

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Republican Gubernatorial Candidate To Make Major Announcement

Former Dalton mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Pennington will be making a “major campaign announcement” tomorrow in the state capitol right outside of the Governor’s office:

ATLANTA, GA – David Pennington, the only Conservative running for Governor of Georgia, will be making a major campaign announcement outside of the Governor’s Office at the State Capitol tomorrow.

This comes on the heels of the recent court ruling regarding Nathan Deal’s near constant ethics scandals over campaign funds and private, personal business dealings.

When: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Where: Outside of Governor’s Office, Georgia State Capital, 203 Capitol Place SW, Atlanta, GA 30334

What: David Pennington Major Campaign Announcement

via Peach Pundit – Georgia Politics.

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John Paul Stevens: What Is This Second Amendment Crap Anyway?

Whenever a liberal sets out to make something better, you need to run for cover. You need look no further than the Great Society, the War on Poverty, or Obamacare to see what happens at that nexus of good intentions, no sense of proportionality, and the coercive power of the state.

Last Friday, the Washington Post ran an op-ed under the byline of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Justice Stevens: The five extra words that can fix the Second Amendment which is extracted from his new book called “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.”

The Second Amendment expressly endorsed the substantive common-law rule that protected the citizen’s right (and duty) to keep and bear arms when serving in a state militia. In its decision in Heller, however, the majority interpreted the amendment as though its draftsmen were primarily motivated by an interest in protecting the common-law right of self-defense. But that common-law right is a procedural right that has always been available to the defendant in criminal proceedings in every state. The notion that the states were concerned about possible infringement of that right by the federal government is really quite absurd.

As a result of the rulings in Heller and McDonald, the Second Amendment, which was adopted to protect the states from federal interference with their power to ensure that their militias were “well regulated,” has given federal judges the ultimate power to determine the validity of state regulations of both civilian and militia-related uses of arms. That anomalous result can be avoided by adding five words to the text of the Second Amendment to make it unambiguously conform to the original intent of its draftsmen. As so amended, it would read:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

What Stevens does in this essay is reprise the record he established on the bench which was aggrandizing the power of the regulatory state at the expense of individual liberty and favoring the federal government over state governments.

In his essay, Stevens argues, indirectly, that self-defense is not a legitimate right and accuses the majority in Heller v District of Columbia in manufacturing an excuse for finding an individual right to bear arms. He also argues that the right to bear arms only exists in the context of a state militia and finally, he states that states should be unencumbered in their ability to regulate firearms any action by the federal courts to interfere in any state firearms regulation regime is a violation of state sovereignty.

The easiest argument here, of course is the last. Over time all of the Bill of Rights have been incorporated. Stevens’ lack of respect for the very Constitution he was pledged to “support and defend” is demonstrated in his claim that federal courts imposing a unified understanding of constitutional rights is an offense against state sovereignty. Stevens would certainly never hold that for any other right, one only has to see his tortured, results-oriented jurisprudence on the death penalty.

The other claims are equally easy to dismiss. The Bill of Rights was, from its very conception, a charter of individual rights. There are no collective rights enumerated in the Constitution or its amendments. And, as Justice Scalia pointed out in Heller, the right to self-defense has been associated with the right to bear arms since before the United States existed.

That Stevens’ book is a polemic for the mouth-breathing left rather than a serious exercise is demonstrated by yet another section of his book advocating an “anti-commandeering” amendment to overturn Printz v. United States which held that the federal government could not require state officials to carry out federal tasks. This was a reaction to overreach by the gun control movement’s Brady Bill. If Stevens’ philosophy had triumphed, the Second Amendment would have been a right that only existed on paper.

When you lay them side by side, on the one hand you have Stevens castigating the majority in Heller for running roughshod over states’ rights. On the other hand you find him castigating the majority in Printz for not requiring states to do what the federal government wants. The difference, of course, is that Heller acknowledges the plain English reading of the Second Amendment and Printz prevents the federal government from restricting gun ownership.

What Stevens has done in this essay, and is his book, is to dishonestly rewrite the history of various amendments in a way that is so laughably transparent that, unlike Stevens’ tenure on the bench, it is probably harmless.

via John Paul Stevens: What Is This Second Amendment Crap Anyway? | RedState.

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MUST SEE: Citizens Rise Up – The Real Nevada Story the Media Won’t Show You

The media’s version of the end of the Bundy Ranch siege is that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) simply “left” the ranch and “returned” the cattle out of the goodness of their hearts. CBS News even outrageously reported that the BLM “released the cattle to help restore order and avoid violence“! This despite widely-seen video of BLM thugs tasing Bundy’s son and shoving a pregnant woman to the ground. And the protesters never threatened violence in any way during the nearly one-week siege.

The real story was that the BLM refused to give back the cattle, and would not leave the property or disarm, to which they had agreed. The result was an epic standoff that reporter David Knight described as being like “something out of a movie.”

Supporters of Bundy advanced on a position held by BLM agents despite threats that they would be shot at, eventually forcing BLM feds to release 100 cattle that had been stolen from Bundy as part of a land grab dispute that threatened to escalate into a Waco-style confrontation.

WATCH and then SHARE using the links above…

via MUST SEE: Citizens Rise Up – The Real Nevada Story the Media Won’t Show You (Video) | Top Right News.

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The GOP’s Intra-Party Primary Wars

Tea-party conservatives have become so suspicious of the primary recommendations of establishment GOP figures such as Karl Rove that they dismiss them out of hand. That’s wrong. There are times when Republicans need to sound the alarm bells to avoid catastrophic candidates whose nomination can only help Democrats.

Rove was in my hometown of Sacramento, Calif., last week for a speech to the National Federation of Independent Business. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Rove was asked his opinion of the two major GOP contenders vying to oppose Governor Jerry Brown this fall. Rove said he wouldn’t formally endorse anyone but that he had met with Neel Kashkari, a former Bush Treasury Department official. According to someone present, Rove told NFIB members that “if Republicans have to pick someone to lose to Jerry Brown, they’d be stupid not to pick” Kashkari.

He then turned his attention to Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican who is currently on track to do well enough in California’s open primary in June to snag a runoff spot in the November election; the top two finishers in June’s primary will advance regardless of party affiliation. “The comments that the other guy has made in the past are going to damage the party with Latinos on Election Day,” Rove said, referring to Donnelly.

That’s an understatement. The Los Angeles Times reported last week that in March 2006 Donnelly used inflammatory language in railing against illegal immigrants at a rally. “I am a descendant of Jim Bowie, who died at the Alamo,” Donnelly, a founder of the Minuteman border-patrol group, told Minuteman members: “It is rumored that [Bowie] took a dozen Mexican soldiers to their deaths before they finally killed him. How many of you will rise up and take his place on that wall?”

Donnelly also had words for some of the people who had marched earlier that day in Los Angeles in support of illegal immigrants. Some waved Mexican flags, prompting Donnelly to argue: “We are in a war. You may not want to accept it, but the other side has declared war on us.” Illegal immigrants were part of a “growing insurgency,” he added. “We need to begin to root out the insurgency in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, just as we are doing in Baghdad, Samarra, and Tikrit, 9,000 miles away. Right now, in the United States of America, there are 850,000 gang members, two-thirds of whom are illegal aliens.”

Donnelly defended his remarks after the story appeared: “I am not backing away from the fact that we are in a war.” He appeared to step back only slightly from that last week when he insisted he was not inciting violence or racism: “Everybody who knows me knows that,” he said. “I was giving a call to action in a historical context, for people to join our group. . . . I have stood up against the cartels who don’t just traffic in drugs, but in kids and women.” So “these are serious issues. . . . I’m grateful they brought it back up.”

But it’s untrue to say that “everybody who knows” Donnelly agrees his remarks were acceptable. Rosario Marin, who served as the U.S. treasurer under President George W. Bush, is “just appalled” by Donnelly’s remarks. “It’s an embarrassment not only to himself and the efforts I am involved in,” she says. “It makes my job much more difficult.” In 2010, Jerry Brown defeated Republican Meg Whitman by 13 points statewide, but by 33 points among Latinos.

Neel Kashkari, Donnelly’s opponent, is no conservative dreamboat. A former Goldman Sachs executive and Treasury’s first administrator of the TARP financial bailout, he is clearly a competent administrator who approaches issues from a pragmatic rather than ideological perspective. But his detailed plans to give tax holidays to firms locating in California, dump Brown’s white-elephant high-speed-rail line, and expand charter schools do address the root causes of much of the Golden State’s rot. Debates between him and Brown would be substantive and revealing. Having a son of immigrants from India run for office would also improve the Republican name brand in an increasingly diverse state.

via The GOP’s Intra-Party Primary Wars | National Review Online.

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Rep. Graves Named Top Conservative By American Conservative Union

American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Al Cardenas and ACU Foundation Chairman Carly Fiorina have named U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) an “ACU Conservative” for his achievements in the 2013 ACU Ratings of Congress. Since 1971, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization has annually graded Members of Congress based on their votes on key conservative issues.

“ACU Conservatives” are members recognized for scoring 80 percent or higher. Rep. Graves scored 92% in 2013 and has a lifetime score of 98%.

“The conservative movement is about taking power from Washington and transferring it back to the American people,” said Rep. Graves. “Clearing out the barriers and burdens of government means new jobs and opportunities today, and prosperity and security for future generations.”

“Conservatives have a responsibility to fight the out-of-control growth of government in Congress. We are proud to honor the fine work of Tom Graves in that battle,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas.

ACU Ratings provide a comprehensive analysis of the legislative landscape over the preceding year, as opposed to emphasizing just one specific area, like taxes, defense, or social policy. ACU’s scored votes are not announced in advance, a system they believe provides a more accurate reflection of an elected official’s philosophy of government.

“The 2013 Ratings show a continued commitment by Tom Graves to the conservative principles that will contribute to the revitalization of America,” said ACU Foundation Chairman Carly Fiorina.

The ACU tracks a wide range of issues before Congress to determine which bills serve as the best barometer for identifying representatives who defend liberty and founding principles such as constitutionally limited government, individual liberty, free markets, a strong national defense and traditional American values.

The full 2013 ACU Ratings of Congress guide is available at www.conservative.org.

via Rep. Graves Named Top Conservative By American Conservative Union | Congressman Tom Graves.

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Conservative radio host forming super PAC to help GOP win Senate majority

A conservative radio host is forming a new super PAC to get involved in the most competitive Senate races in 2014, with the aim of helping Republicans win back the majority.

Martha Zoller, a radio host who ran as a Republican for Congress in Georgia in 2012, will be the face of the grassroots network that’s been named “Project 51,” she told The Daily Caller on Wednesday.

The focus of the efforts will be on helping Republican nominees in tight Senate races with grassroots campaigning, Zoller said. They do not plan to get involved in primaries.

“As we saw in the 2010 and 2012 cycles, Republicans spent too much time immediately following tough primaries trying to heal wounds among different factions,” a one-pager on the effort, obtained by TheDC, explains. “While Republicans tried to address these issues, the Democrat candidates took advantage of the Obama campaign apparatus and continued to motivate voters through turnout operations.”

Project 51 is being organized both as a 527 Super PAC and a 501(c) 4. According to the document, the 527 will work to elect Republican Senators while the 501(c)4 will focus on voter registration among historically hard to reach demographics, like women, minorities and youth voters.

In an interview in Washington on Wednesday, Zoller said the group doesn’t plan to spend its money on large media buys but rather on on-the-ground efforts in a variety of states.

“It’s all grassroots on the ground,” she said. “We’re not Karl Rove, $30 million dollars, with air wars going on. It’s about after a primary, saying to whomever wins the primary, ‘here are some tea party and establishment folks that are going to help you.’”

Zoller said the group has raised the initial seed money to get itself off the ground but is actively seeking funds. She said they would like to raise several hundred thousand to be able to play in the most competitive races.

via Conservative radio host forming super PAC to help GOP win Senate majority | The Daily Caller.

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