Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

National Review and Weekly Standard agree: kill the immigration bill

Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard) and Rich Lowry (National Review) write about immigration reform in National Review.

Excerpt:

We are conservatives who have differed in the past on immigration reform, with Kristol favorably disposed toward it and Lowry skeptical. But the Gang of Eight has brought us into full agreement: Their bill, passed out of the Senate, is a comprehensive mistake. House Republicans should kill it without reservation.

[...]The bill’s first fatal deficiency is that it doesn’t solve the illegal-immigration problem. The enforcement provisions are riddled with exceptions, loopholes, and waivers. Every indication is that they are for show and will be disregarded, just as prior notional requirements to build a fence or an entry/exit visa system have been – and just as President Obama has recently announced he’s ignoring aspects of Obamacare that are inconvenient to enforce on schedule. Why won’t he waive a requirement for the use of E-Verify just as he’s unilaterally delayed the employer mandate? The fact that the legalization of illegal immigrants comes first makes it all the more likely that enforcement provisions will be ignored the same way they were after passage of the 1986 amnesty.

Marco Rubio says he doesn’t want to have to come back ten years from now and deal with the same illegal-immigration problem. But that’s exactly what the CBO says will happen under his own bill. According to the CBO analysis of the bill, it will reduce illegal immigration by as little as a third or by half at most. By one estimate, this means there will be about 7.5 million illegal immigrants here in ten years. And this is under the implausible assumption that the Obama administration would administer the law as written.

The bill’s changes in legal immigration are just as ill considered. Everyone professes to agree that our system should be tilted toward high-skilled immigration, but the Gang of Eight bill unleashes a flood of additional low-skilled immigration. The last thing low-skilled native and immigrant workers already here should have to deal with is wage-depressing competition from newly arriving workers. Nor is the new immigration under the bill a panacea for the long-term fiscal ills of entitlements, as often argued, because those programs are redistributive and most of the immigrants will be low-income workers.

Finally, there is the sheer size of the bill and the hasty manner in which it was amended and passed. Conservatives have eloquently and convincingly made the case against bills like this during the Obama years. Such bills reflect a mistaken belief in central planning and in practice become a stew of deals, payoffs, waivers, and special-interest breaks. Why would House Republicans now sign off on this kind of lawmaking? If you think Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are going swimmingly, you’ll love the Gang of Eight bill. It’s the opposite of conservative reform, which simplifies and limits government, strengthens the rule of law, and empowers citizens.

My position on immigration is simple. Build the fence first. Implement e-verify for employers and harsh penalties for hiring anyone without a work permit. Automatic green cards for skilled workers who prove they can work here, pay taxes, obey the law, and not collect federal benefits of any kind, for a period of six years (cumulative). A robust program to allow temporary low-skilled workers to work here temporarily, with no path to permanent residency or citizenship. No permanent residency for illegal immigrants. No path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

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Explosion at government-run Amuay refinery, nationalized by Venezuela in 1976

Are Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez very different?

Are Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez very different?

In the United States, we’ve been seeing some efforts by the Marxist Obama administration to nationalize the auto industry and health care, too. This is what communists favor as the alternative to the free-market system. It makes sense, then, to look at how well the nationalization of assets, especially those owned by foreign-owned private companies, works out in the real world.

Let’s see:

The Creole Petroleum Corporation was an American oil company, formed in 1920 to produce fields on Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.[1] The company was acquired by Standard Oil of New Jerseyin 1928. Until 1951 Creole Petroleum was the world’s number one oil producer.[2]

In 1950, Creole opened its refinery at Amuay.[3] This is now a part of the Paraguaná Refinery Complex.

The Venezuelan assets of Creole Petroleum Corporation were nationalized along with those of other foreign oil firms on January 1, 1976, becoming part of Lagoven, a Venezuelan government-owned operating company.[4]

And here is the latest triumph of Marxist economics in Venezuela:

A huge explosion rocked Venezuela’s biggest oil refinery early Saturday, killing at least 24 people and injuring more than 80 others in the deadliest disaster in memory for the country’s key oil industry.

Balls of fire rose over the Amuay refinery, one of the largest in the world, in video posted on the Internet by people who were nearby at the time.

At least 86 people were injured, nine of them seriously, Health Minister Eugenia Sader said at a hospital where the wounded were taken. She said 77 people suffered light injuries and were released from the hospital.

Officials said those killed included a 10-year-old boy, but that most of the victims were National Guard troops stationed at the refinery.

Filthy capitalist dogs! Making money on the backs of the poor workers! Making them work in filthy, unsafe – oh, wait. When workers are left free to take their skills to a number of private employers, then those employers are pressured to provide them with better working conditions, wages and benefits. Otherwise the employees leave for better companies. The only problem is that it doesn’t work if all the industries are state-run monopolies. Then, you just get KA-BOOM!

All you have to do to understand economic systems is to compare capitalist Chile with communist Venezuela. The people are the same, and both started out poor. One embraced free trade and privatization, and now that one is rich. The other one gets Chernobyl explosions because they elected a Marxist.

Venezuela’s economic policy is the same economic policy that Barack Obama wants to force on us with his takeover of General Motors, his frequent bailouts, his give-aways to campaign fundraisers, his blocking of free trade deals, his heavy-handed anti-business regulations, and his other intrusions into the private sector. Our entire economy is going KA-BOOM right now because of Marxism.

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Iran launches Spanish-language TV channel in Venezuela

Political Map of South America

Political Map of South America

From the NY Daily News.

Excerpt:

As tensions with the United States continue to heat up, Iran is looking for some new allies — with Spanish speakers.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Tuesday that the country had launched a Spanish-language TV network meant to deal a blow to “dominance seekers” — which apparently means the U.S. and other Western countries, the Associated Press reported.

The Spanish-language channel, Hispan TV, will run 24 hours a day with Iranian movies, news and documentaries.

The channel is most likely targeted at countries that are friendly with Iran in Latin America, including Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba.

Ahmadinejad said the channel had already been on the air on a trial basis since October.

“The new channel will limit the ground for supremacy of dominance seekers,” Ahmadinejad said during a Tehran ceremony marking the inauguration, according to the AP. “It will be a means for better ties between people and governments of Iran and Spanish-speaking nations.”

This is the kind of thing that we should have been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan instead of pulling our forces out and handing Egypt and Libya to the Islamofascists. You don’t have to fight a war to project power and influence, you just have to have ideas and convictions.

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Full video of the CNN Republican primary debate on foreign policy

The video is here:

I highly recommend this debate.

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Michele Bachmann wins foreign policy debate, Santorum second

Here’s a summary from the highly-biased pro-Romney Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post.

Excerpt:

The foreign policy debate Tuesday night was a surprise on many counts. It was lively and serious, which many debates haven’t been. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) exceeded expectations. Rick Santorum showed personal restraint (not complaining about the lack of attention) and displaying his depth of knowledge.

[Bashes Gingrich for a while]

[...]At the other extreme was Bachmann who was poised, informed and knowledgable throughout. She made clear that Obama’s lack of leadership is responsible for Iran’s progress on a nuclear weapon. She defended aid to Pakistan which is in our national security interest. She made an excellent point about sending our dollars to China, which in effect builds up its military at the expense of ours. She pivoted on an energy question to chide Obama for delaying on the Keystone pipeline. If she performs this well in future debates, look for her to make progress reclaiming support in Iowa.

[Praises Romney for a while]

[...]Santorum also had a strong night. He turned the conversation on the “war on terror” to a discussion of jihadism. He defended foreign aid (a smart, but not popular position). On the immigration issue he wove in his support for an economic plan focused on reviving American manufacturing. And he got Romney to agree in the closing round that we have an acute national security problem in this hemisphere. He was calmer and more presidential than he has been in past debates.

However, Gingrich definitely got stung by his support for amnesty. He may be smart, but he’s quite moderate on many issues. Not as liberal as Romney, though.

I think it’s time that the Republican party give Michele Bachmann another look. And I think Santorum is a solid on social and foreign policy issues. He’s just moderate on fiscal issues.

More about Michele Bachmann

Speeches:

Reactions from her first debate performance:

Profiles of Michele Bachmann:

And here are some of her media interviews and speeches in the House of Representatives.

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