Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Morning copy 11.29.2005

President George W. Bush wanted to shift the focus from Iraq to...

Illegal Immigration

So, Bush presented his immigration plan as a twofold strategy: a guest worker program and more border enforcement.

He may wish to shift the focus back to Iraq.

The conservative base is a bit upset, once again. The Washington Times has the following as the FIRST reaction quote to yesterday's speech:
The program would allow illegal aliens to remain in the United States for up to six years, which is anathema to conservatives.

"The president's plan is nothing more than a massive illegal alien amnesty on a six-year time delay," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. "His temporary-worker program, which will be anything but temporary, is the death knell for America's middle class."
"President highlights reforms that his budget underfunded" headlines another Washington Times story on Bush's plan and features this reaction:
"Why now? We've had five years," said Steven A. Camarota, research director for the Center for Immigration Studies. "Why has it taken so long to get to an issue like this? And when he addresses it, he talks about things he himself doesn't support. He talks in vague generalities."
The Los Angeles Times:
Bush devoted the bulk of his 27-minute address to the law-and-order elements of his immigration reform agenda, and spent considerably less time discussing its guest worker provisions.

His tough talk on border security reflected a new push by his administration to respond to increasing public anxiety about the effects of illegal immigration and growing pressure within his own party to crack down on border crossings now and wrangle over guest workers later.
The AP story (via Chicago's Sun Times) has Harry Reid as the kicker:
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Bush should ''stand up to the right wing of your party and stand up for what is right'' by taking more than an enforcement-only approach to illegal immigration.

''Enforcement alone does not work,'' Reid said. ''Unless we address the gap between our immigration laws and reality, illegal immigration will not stop and the situation on the border will continue to be chaotic.''
The New York Times notes two interesting audience members:
In the audience were the two Arizona senators, both Republicans: John McCain, who has co-sponsored a plan to give participants in the guest worker program a path to citizenship, and Jon Kyl, who has co-sponsored a bill to deny temporary workers a path to citizenship.
Mark Krikorian gets the quote of the day in this New York Times story:
From opposite ends of the spectrum, Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, which has supported amnesty for illegal immigrants, and Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates restricting immigration, said Mr. Bush's speech was more spin than substance.

"Instead of leading the country to bipartisan comprehensive reform," Mr. Sharry said, "he runs more of a danger of putting gasoline on the fire."

Mr. Krikorian, who opposes any temporary guest worker program, suggested that the speech would do nothing to placate the grass-roots backlash in Mr. Bush's party.

"The gimmicky nature of this is clear from the fact that they're kicking off next month as Border Security Month," he said. "It's frankly like National Pickle Week."

The Arizona Republic's editorial says that Bush tried to "walk the line" between business interests that benefit from cheap immigrant labor and the law enforcement faction of the GOP. The editorial says that the balance was good politics, and that the president did not side with one faction or the other -- though he did lean to the law and order crowd. However, the editorial's tone is not positive for the president:
Bush closed by pointing out how fortunate it is that Arizona's two senators are working on this issue.

Yes, it is good news that John McCain and Jon Kyl, for whom Bush hosted a fund-raising dinner Monday night, have immigration bills. They've shown leadership with two very different approaches. The president did not take a side.

That may be a good strategy for a politician, although immediate reaction to the speech suggests Bush failed to mollify the "enforcement only" faction of the party.

Nor did Bush satisfy the need for a leader to push for a real solution to the crisis along the border.
There is every reason to believe that Bush's policy -- if he could draft, pass and sign it into law -- would favor the business interests. Me thinks the president doth protest too much.

This plan has already generated more than 12,000 results in a Google Blog Search for Bush amnesty. Tammy Bruce says:
I have to stop there. The president is proposing amnesty no matter how much he denies it. Now, with the remarkable bald-faced pandering here, he thinks you're an empty headed red-neck who supports "vigilantes." This while he borows rhetoric from leftist pond-scum to make his point. This is lovely.
Another immigration debate centers on what it takes to be a citizen. The Investor's Business Daily agrees with Rep. Nathan Deal of Georgia:
The current interpretation of birthright citizenship may have been a huge mistake. And, given the burden illegal aliens have imposed on our welfare, educational, health care and legal systems, it may have been a very costly one.

Becoming a U.S. citizen should require more than your mother successfully sneaking past the U.S. Border Patrol.
Today, it is hard to see the GOP base agreeing on an immigration policy. It appears Bush will have to work hard to convince the right wing about this plan, or he can move to the center.

There is a great deal at stake with this immigration issue. Will it pass? Hard to say. Red state Republicans will have to face the elections in 2006 with this issue hotly contested. That will cost GOP votes. However, in the long term demographics of the United States, Latino votes can be swayed depending on which party provides the best policy in their eyes, so safe seat GOP members may be amicable to something close to amnesty.

The war over the war in Iraq

Two similar stories of import this morning. First, Solomon Moore in the Los Angeles Times:
In recent months, hundreds of bodies have been discovered in rivers, garbage dumps, sewage treatment facilities and alongside roads and in desert ravines. Many of them are thought to be victims of Sunni insurgents, who are known to target Shiite civilians and Iraqi security forces, and even Sunni Arabs believed to be collaborating with U.S. forces or the Iraqi government. But increasingly, the Shiite militias operating within the national police force are also suspected of committing atrocities.
And Dexter Filkins in the New York Times ledes with an ominous insinuation:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 28 - As the American military pushes the largely Shiite Iraqi security services into a larger role in combating the insurgency, evidence has begun to mount suggesting that the Iraqi forces are carrying out executions in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods.
Senator Joe Lieberman (D., Conn.) in the Wall Street Journal:
More work needs to be done, of course, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood--unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.
The Hartford Courant on Senator Lieberman's optimistic tour of Iraq:
"We do have a strategy," he said. "We do have a plan. I saw a strategy that's being implemented."

Lieberman, who is one of Bush's strongest war supporters in the Senate, cited the remarks of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who last month told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the strategy in Iraq was to "clear, hold and build: to clear areas from insurgent control, to hold them securely and to build durable, national Iraqi institutions."
The Manchester Union Leader reports on a Londonderry, New Hampshire based Marine reserve company heading to Iraq.

Money in politics

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R., Ca.) has plead guilty to bribery charges, Los Angeles Times. Arnold Schwarzenegger will have to announce a special election to replace Cunningham, he cannot appoint a replacement, Los Angeles Times.

Jeffrey H. Birnbaum has the following analysis in the Washington Post:
"I've been in town for 30 years, and it seems that every 10 years or so there is an episode of this type," said Jan W. Baran, a Republican ethics lawyer at Wiley Rein & Fielding. "We clearly are at that period now."

"It's gotten to a level that it can't be ignored anymore," agreed Stanley M. Brand, a criminal defense lawyer at Brand & Frulla who used to work for Democrats in Congress.
The issue has a bipartisan tone, according to the AP:
WASHINGTON Nov 29, 2005 — New evidence is emerging that the top Democrat on the Senate committee currently investigating Jack Abramoff got political money arranged by the lobbyist back in 2002 shortly after the lawmaker took action favorable to Abramoff's tribal clients.

A lawyer for the Louisiana Coushatta Indians told The Associated Press that Abramoff instructed the tribe to send $5,000 to Sen. Byron Dorgan's political group just three weeks after the North Dakota Democrat urged fellow senators to fund a tribal school program Abramoff's clients wanted to use.

Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation

"Diamond" Jim VandeHei in the Washington Post reports that Karl Rove's attorney believes testimony from TIME reporter Viveca Novak will help his client.


AP via ABC News:
TORONTO Nov 29, 2005 — Canadian politicians will hit the campaign trail this holiday season after opposition parties seized upon a corruption scandal to bring down the minority government of Prime Minister Paul Martin in a vote of no confidence.
CBC News reports that Martin will ask parliament to dissolve today.

Campaign 2006

President Bush continues to help Republicans raise money, AP via ABC News.

McCain-Romney in 2008?

Peter Canellos in the Boston Globe writes about "maverick" Senator McCain bucking the trend in GOP presidential politics. Canellos notes that the GOP usually nominates its presidential hopeful like a Moose Lodge would, with number two performing dutifully. However, McCain is no such animal. The conclusion:
McCain has also taken on some leaders of the religious right. But his positions on abortion and other social issues are acceptable enough to most conservatives.

And he is the next in line. Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who shares McCain's campaign strategist, Michael Murphy, might be able to look forward to a McCain-Romney ticket. The two match up very well politically and geographically.

And most importantly, Romney would be first in line when the nomination comes open again.


Blogger MnMnM said...

Grand Jury testimony of Time magazine reporter Viveca Novak leaked by Rove-ing reporter (humor).

It is posted at: Novak Tells Grand Jury Who Leaked First
Bobbing and weaving, a tangled web we do. Book him, Danno.
Please keep my identity a secret. Double super Secret.
Middle-aged, Middle-of-the-road, Mid-Westerner

We can only hope that Fitz doesn't fizzle.
I think Mr. Fitzgerald's motto should be: "If you do a white collar crime then you will serve blue collar time." Look where he lodged Judith Miller. A few months in a blue collar jail and she was ready to sing. Unfortunately, she says she forgot the words

The Times & Post They Should Be A-Changin

Bloggers Request:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the Times & Post should be a-changin'.

Good Bye Sulzberger, Keller, Miller, and Woodward!

Fitzgerald's response:

Come politician's, journalists
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For a new jury and more indictments are a-comin'

9:43 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

I'm rather surprised you didn't lead with Lieberman, nor mention Armey (in today's WSJ). Those two editorials are major statements... Lieberman ripped Democrats [and Republicans] for suggesting we do a half-job; he also cleared up large misconceptions about Iraq.

Armey ripped the President and GOP - rightfully - over spending. His policy over politics lines are on the money.

12:39 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Ezzie, thanks for your comments.

A lot of time, I have to make my call on what will be the main focus earlier in the morning. I've had Iraq as the lead for so long, and it will likely lead tomorrow a.m., so I went with immigration.

As for Armey's article, I did not see it because I do not have a WSJ subscription, though I can read it at work. Haven't read it yet, as I am quite busy today.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Oh sorry - I forget that OpinionJournal isn't free, I still get it through one of my emails which is connected to my parents (who pay for it). I never changed emails...

10:28 PM  

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