They’d Still Be Allowed To Hire Illegals, But Not Educated Legal Immigrants

Schumer’s Second Thoughts (Or: This Is Why Reading Legislation Before Voting Is a Good Idea) – Kathryn Jean Lopez – The Corner on National Review Online

The amendment to the stimulus bill, proposed by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Chuck Grassley, D-Iowa, originally would have banned the visas for any company that received money from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP. A compromise lifted the ban, but companies will still be required to hire from the growing pool of laid-off American workers first. Advocates say that the mandate is so onerous that it will virtually stop banks from bringing foreign workers into the country.

But the Senate took out the provision requiring contractors doing work under the stimulus to check their employees through e-verify.

The Democrats are OK with uneducated illegal immigrants, it’s the educated, legal ones that they worry about.

DeFazio: Unions And Lobbyists Can Spend Stimulus Better Than You Can.

DeFazio a no on stimulus; Obama still needs him.

Lots of ink and electrons today for Oregon Rep. Peter DeFazio, the only member of the House to switch from voting yes on the stimulus bill to voting no on the second go-around.

As DeFazio told my colleague Charles Pope, the bill is simply too larded with tax cuts – as opposed to infrastructure spending – for him to accept the final version.

What DeFazio means is that you and I, being ordinary people, are too stupid to know what to do with the money. He would like the money to go through his committee so that he can control who benefits. With DeFazio that means Lobbyists and Unions. Since with 60% of his funding coming from out-of-state sources, that doesn’t even mean Oregon Lobbyists and Unions.

With DeFazio, if you’re not kicking some of your paycheck back to the Union, which in turn finds its way into his campaign coffers, you don’t matter.

Voting against it will also give him an out when it blows up.

That’s DeFazio. He’s a “maverick,” meaning that he’ll do his best to pretend to be on your side, no matter what side that is.

Skullduggery! What Happened To E-Verify?

Several times I have posted supporting the requirement that contractors receiving funds under the “stimulus” bill be required to use e-verify to ensure that their workers are citizens or legal residents.

It seemed to me to be a no-brainer and not too intrusive.

I was amazed to find out that it indeed was part of the House Bill. At least our “stimulus” money would be stimulating our economy instead of Mexico’s. We send quite enough their was through the use of narcotics. Why send more?

But somewhere in the House version and the final bill, it disappeared. No one seems to know what happened to it. They assure us that they checked the conference room and looked under the table, but it just got lost and no one seems to know what happened.

I think we need to know. I am going to write my Senators (both Democrats) asking them to find out. I suggest that everyone write to their Senators too. Someone knows what happened to it.

S2012 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—SENATE February 9, 2009

Mr. Sessions: E-Verify is being used by over 100,000 businesses across America. It is a free, voluntary system set up by the Department Homeland Security. E-Verify allows any employer who has an interest in making sure they hire legal workers to simply punch in the Social Security number, and within a few minutes it shows whether there is a problem with that number. Ninety-six percent of the persons queried are approved immediately.

Employers can feel good, even feel safe in hiring those approved by the system, even though that is not absolute proof of the legal status of that applicant.

I simply want to offer in this amendment exactly the same language that was accepted, without a vote, in the House bill. Furthermore, the language that extends the E-Verify program passed the House by a vote of 407 to 2 last July. The amendment simply extends the E-verify program, No. 1, and also says that if a company gets stimulus money, money which is supposed to create jobs for Americans, they ought to take the 2 minutes to check to make sure that the people they are hiring are lawfully here. We want to make sure that only citizens and people who are here legally can be hired. This includes green card holders and temporary workers who are here on valid visas. This amendment would ensure that only people who are illegally here don’t get hired.

The leadership in the Senate, for some reason, has made up their minds that they are not going to let us vote on it. If we had a vote on it, it would pass. It already passed the House, and if it passes the Senate, it must be a part of the final bill. It cannot be taken out in conference without real sculduggery undertaken, and I think it would be in the final bill.

The game here is clearly to subtly and otherwise keep this vote from occurring, let this bill be forced out of here. It will not be in the Senate bill. It will be in the House bill. And the conferees will meet and they will decide to take it out. That is what is happening. If the American people want to know, if the Members of Congress would like to know why people are so upset with us, it is this kind of game playing. All the Members of the House who voted for it can tell their constituents: I voted for it. I don’t know why it wasn’t in final passage. And people in the Senate could say: I didn’t vote on it. I would have been for it if I didn’t get to vote. But the net result is it is not part of the law.

I cannot imagine why persons would not want this amendment to be in any legislation that would at least take the steps to see that those who are illegally in the country do not get this money.

What kind of skullduggery happened behind those closed doors? Any why were the doors closed in the first place? What happened to “transparency”? Or was that just empty rhetoric for the rubes?

My Congressman and Senators Don’t Think They Need To.

Pray Your Members of Congress Took Speed Reading Lessons : The Sundries Shack

It is now 7 PM and the Democrats in Congress have yet to give their Republican counterparts a copy of the final Stimulus Bill for them to read. Steny Hoyer says that the House is going to move toward a vote starting at 9 AM tomorrow.

Today’s version of the bill clocks in at 1,434 pages and that’s not the final version. What Congress will likely vote on tomorrow (because President Obama has practically demanded that he sign it on Monday) is likely going to be larger.

My Congressman is Peter DeFazio and my Senators are Ron Wyden and some guy named Merkley. They don’t speedboat and they don’t think they need to. They’re Democrats.

I think a nice thing for everyone to do would be to pick sections of the bill and write them asking detailed questions and reasons for something was included in the bill, since the justification given is “stimulus.”

Here’s a link to both versions with some commentary. The Democrats haven’t released the text of the 1,434 page bill that they want everyone to vote on tomorrow. I guess those promises to make sure all bill were posted for 48 hrs before the vote were just so much Washington bilge water. But it points out how well the Democrats keep their promises.

Remember what Larry Summers said; “Temporary, Targeted and Timely” I beleive he mentioned as the criterea for “stimulus”. Write your Congressmen and ask them why the military appropriations for Operations and Maintenance (a recurring expense) is included as part of a “stimulus”. You could also ask them about the board who will be appointed to oversee our medical care and insure that we don’t use non-approved treatments or medicine. (Say goodbye to those cutting edge drugs and treatments. No incentive to do that anymore)

I’m sure that with very little effort you can find all kinds of things to question them about.

Don’t get nasty and watch your language. Be polite and ask the question without rancor. Just be specific about what you are asking about and insist that you get an answer. For best effect write only your own Senators and Congressmen. They normally won’t answer people from outside their districts.

You want to put your own Senator or Congressman on the spot. Let them know that their answers, or lack of them, will be posted on a blog. If you don’t have a blog put it on someone else’s. Ask the proprietor, of course. I think that most would have no problem wit that.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Munich and the Continuity Between the Bush and Obama Foreign Policies | Stratfor

While the Munich Security Conference brought together senior leaders from most major countries and many minor ones last weekend, none was more significant than U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. This is because Biden provided the first glimpse of U.S. foreign policy under President Barack Obama. Most conference attendees were looking forward to a dramatic shift in U.S. foreign policy under the Obama administration. What was interesting about Biden’s speech was how little change there has been in the U.S. position and how much the attendees and the media were cheered by it.

After Biden’s speech, there was much talk about a change in the tone of U.S. policy. But it is not clear to us whether this was because the tone has changed, or because the attendees’ hearing has. They seemed delighted to be addressed by Biden rather than by former Vice President Dick Cheney — delighted to the extent that this itself represented a change in policy. Thus, in everything Biden said, the conference attendees saw rays of a new policy.

It is looking more and more like Obama is Bush in regard to Foreign Policy.

Judging from the lack of significant differences, other than on Gitmo (which may have to be rethought), in the foreign policy department it’s the same old, same old.

It looks to me like Obama’s main focus right now is cementing Democrat political control of Domestic Policy. From his first move on the “stimulus” bill it appears that he is using the economic troubles to extend bureaucratic control into more and more areas. The “stimulus” bill has been found to contain a host of things that have nothing to do with economic “stimulus” but have a lot to do with extending government control into areas never considered.

The fact that a proposal by Congressman Barney Frank to control executive salaries in private businesses that the government has no stake in is an example of the kind of nutty things that are being bandied about in Congress. It looks like Obama looked at what happened to Bill Clinton after the 1994 elections and decided that he would try to push as much of the Democrat agenda as he can through under the cover of a “stimulus” package.

John Kerry Puts His Finger On The Problem With Tax Cuts

John Kerry: You Know What’s the Problem With Stimulus Tax Cuts? All That Freedom.

I’ve supported many tax cuts over the years, and there are tax cuts in this proposal. But a tax cut is non-targeted.

If you put a tax cut into the hands of a business or family, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to invest that or invest it in America.

They’re free to go invest anywhere that they want if they choose to invest.

Yup. That’s the problem. Too much freedom

Sometimes The Best Part Is The Comments

Ron Paul: Republicans Acting Like “Born-Again Budget Conservatives” -Comment from A Jacksonian

Having come from the federal sector and now retired, I can say that the on an equal job basis government is, at best, 65% as efficient as their private counterparts. The extreme overhead on federal workforce time and need for accountability drain money, reduce efficiency and drag out projects.

Mind you, Congress exempts itself from the very same health, safety and workforce regulation they impose on others… so there is a coccoon effect where they think they way they can order their staff around is how the rest of the world works… or the rest of the federal government works. If you tried to purchase the Federal Acquisition Regulations you would be devoting three to six feet of bookshelf space (depending if you got the DFAR also), and even in digital format it requires expert knowledge and navigation to get through. When you see $X billion for a project, make that, at best, 65% of the total with some agencies falling into the 45% category. All that regulation, ‘oversight’ and such reduced accountability on projects: the more you layer on the less well spent the money is and the less end-accountability you get. Increase ‘oversight’ and you increase regulations, forms to fill out, meetings to go to, time wasted and spent on that ‘oversight’ which reduces efficiency and dilutes accountability.

Why people think a ‘stimulus’ will work coming from government is beyond me. Most of the money spent doesn’t go to goods or services requiring flow-through in the economy, but to the place where investment in the economy happens at the lowest rate possible. Even the smartest person in a federal position can’t spend money efficiently due to the regulations involved. And in case folks have missed it, a large number of Ivy League degrees have gone into making this financial mess in the first place.

You are the best judge of spending money. It takes government to really create a huge and intractable problem. I don’t blame those taking insane loans they couldn’t pay back, they should suffer the problems of taking them. I can and do blame government for changing the accounting regulations and putting loan quotas so that money gets pushed out of the door in non-sound ways in the first place… and those regulations are *still* on the books. The source of the problem has gone un-fixed.

What Negotiations Take Away, The Conference Committee Will Reinstate.

Officials say tentative stimulus deal reached

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, told reporters he and others hoped that some of the funds on the chopping block would be restored next week when negotiations open on a House-Senate compromise.

All this negotiation among the Senate Democrats and some Republicans is a sham anyhow.

What usually happens and what’s sure to happen this time, is that everything that was cut during negotiations will be put right back during the conference. They might even “airdrop” some more spending in.

Obama’s Straw Man Editorial

Hit & Run > What Are the “Failed Theories That Helped Lead Us Into This Crisis”? – Reason Magazine

Why do people oppose the stimulus? Here are a few actual reasons: There is no strong evidence that stimuli work, and plenty of evidence that they don’t (a relevant consideration, no?). Like the deeply flawed PATRIOT Act, the deeply flawed Iraq War resolution, and the deeply flawed bank bailout, it is being rushed through the legislature in an atmosphere of pants-wetting crisis and presidential warnings of impending doom. It is filled with special interest giveaways, big-government featherbedding, and “Buy American” considerations that have about as much to do with stimulating an economy as playing violin has with putting out fires. By taking from fiscally responsible states (like South Carolina) and giving to fiscally irresponsible states (like California), it violates basic notions of fairness and creates still more moral hazard in an already hazardtastic universe. These will do for starters; there will be more and better reasons in the comments.

One problem with this “stimulus” is that it is setting the scene for trillion dollar deficits forever, and that’s not possible.

Another is the continuing of the myth that if the lawmakers in Washington DC just pass the funding for the right programs and if everyone just does what they’re supposed to do and we all hold our mouths just right; that all our problems will be solved and everyone will have a satisfying job that pays well, receive the same medical care as the residents of Central Park West, and retire with enough cash to spend their declining years traveling the globe.

Ain’t gonna happen. Ever!