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THE DREAM ACT

Do you Remember the Dream Act?

The Piece of legislation that  would have allowed the children of  Illegal Immigrants to eventually gain citizenship by either going to college or joining the military…and Republicans killed it?

Dream Act Response – from the Right! BACK THEN!

Well now Florida Senator Marco Rubio (a Mitt Romney supporter) and other Republicans, IN A BID TO BUY THE HISPANIC VOTE, are drafting similar legislation of their own…

I’m writing an article about THAT – but first:

HERE is some background on the Dream Act…from the GOVERNMENT’S Congressional Budget Office…information Republicans will no doubt NOW start to preach! Without even holding their nose!!!

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

December 2, 2010

 

S. 3992: Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2010

As introduced on November 30, 2010

SUMMARY 

S. 3992 would authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant conditional non-immigrant status to certain unauthorized residents in the country. Individuals with conditional non-immigrant status could lawfully live and work in the United States and would be eligible for some refundable tax credits, Social Security, and Medicare benefits, assuming they meet other program requirements. In addition, the bill would make conditional non-immigrants eligible for federal student loans.

S. 3992 would affect federal revenues in a number of ways.

The increase in authorized workers would affect individual and corporate income taxes, as well as social insurance taxes. On balance, those changes would increase revenues by $2.3 billion over 10 years, according to estimates provided by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT). Newly authorized workers also would be eligible for some refundable tax credits (included in the spending total below).

CBO estimates that enacting S. 3992 would increase net direct spending by $912 million over the 2011-2020 period. That amount reflects changes in spending for refundable tax credits, Social Security, Medicare, student loans, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS would charge fees to certify legal status under the bill. Because

DHS’s costs for implementing the bill would be covered by those fees, CBO estimates that implementation by DHS would have no significant impact on spending subject to appropriation. CBO has not estimated other potential effects on discretionary spending, but any such effects would probably be small.

Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the bill would reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion over the 2011-2020 period. That result reflects an increase in on-budget deficits of about $1.4 billion over that period and a decrease in off-budget 2 deficits of about $2.8 billion over the same period. Only the on-budget effects are counted for purposes of enforcing the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.

Although the legislation would not have a large impact on deficits over the 2011-2020 period, the eventual conversion of some of the conditional non-immigrants to legal permanent resident (LPR) status after 2020 would lead to significant increases in spending for the federal health insurance exchanges, Medicaid, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Pursuant to section 311 of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 (S. Con. Res. 70), CBO estimates that the bill would increase projected deficits by more than $5 billion in at least one of the four consecutive 10-year periods starting in 2021.

This bill contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA). Some state and local colleges and universities may experience increased enrollment as a result of this bill, but any associated costs would not result from intergovernmental mandates. S. 3992 also contains no private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.

BASIS OF ESTIMATE

For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted by January 1, 2011. Under the bill, unauthorized residents could qualify for conditional non-immigrant status if they:

 Were less than 16 years of age when they entered the country

 Lived in the United States for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment

 Are high school graduates or high school students who have been admitted to an institution of higher education or have a general education development (GED) certificate, and

Meet other requirements.

After 10 years, individuals could have their status adjusted from conditional nonimmigrant to LPR status if they have received a degree from an institution of higher education, completed at least two years toward a bachelor’s (or higher) degree, or served at least two years in the military.

CBO estimates that by 2020, there would be approximately 1.1 million residents with

conditional nonimmigrant status. Individuals with that status could lawfully live and work in the United States and would be eligible for certain tax credits, Social Security, Medicare, and federal student loans. However, to be eligible for most other federal benefits, individuals must be legal permanent residents.

Revenues. Because some unauthorized workers would become authorized workers under the bill, JCT anticipates that S. 3992 would lead to increased reporting of employment income, which would add to receipts from both social insurance taxes (a portion of which would be recorded as off-budget revenues) and individual income taxes. However, the reporting of that income also would result in larger tax deductions by businesses for their labor compensation, which would reduce their profits.

Because businesses operate in both corporate and non-corporate form, those deductions would reduce both corporate and individual income tax receipts, offsetting some of the increases discussed above. In addition, some of the revenue increases would be offset because some currently unauthorized workers who have income taxes withheld would file tax returns and claim refunds. Furthermore, because those workers would be able to work legally in the country, they would become eligible for many of the tax-reducing provisions available to workers with children, including the dependent exemption, child tax credit, earned income credit, and head-of-household filing status. Application of those provisions would either reduce income taxes or increase outlays from refundable tax credits.

In total, JCT estimates that  S. 3992 would increase revenues by $2.3 billion in the 2011-2020 period. 

Direct Spending Refundable Tax Credits. Outlays for the refundable tax credits discussed above would increase by $961 million between 2011 and 2020. 

Social Security and Medicare. By granting conditional nonimmigrant status to individuals who are currently unlawfully present in the United States, S. 3992 would allow those individuals to receive benefits from the Social Security and Medicare programs. Individuals can earn eligibility for Social Security by meeting the program’s age or disability criteria and by paying payroll taxes for a required period. Younger adults with disabilities, for example, can meet that “quarters of coverage” requirement in as few as two years. Individuals who receive Social Security Disability Insurance are automatically eligible for Medicare after a 24-month waiting period.

Individuals affected by S. 3992 would tend to be younger and healthier than the rest of the U.S. workforce. As a result, CBO expects that relatively few of the people directly affected by S. 3992 would qualify for Social Security and Medicare benefits in the 2011-2020 period. Based on information from the Current Population Survey, CBO projects that 1,800 people—less than 0.2 percent of the affected population—would qualify for Social Security by 2020. CBO estimates that enacting S. 3992 would boost Social Security outlays by $77 million and Medicare outlays by $29 million over the 2011-2020 period.

Department of Homeland Security. CBO expects that DHS would charge fees totaling about $700 per case to provide certifications of conditional non-immigrant status. (Those fees are classified as offsetting receipts, a credit against direct spending.) Thus, we estimate that DHS would collect several hundred million dollars each year in fees from individuals who would be affected by the bill. The department is authorized to spend such fees without further appropriation. Spending of the fees would lag behind collections each year, so we estimate that enacting the legislation would reduce net outlays for DHS by $155 million over the 2011-2020 period.  

Student Loans. S. 3992 would allow individuals granted conditional nonimmigrant status to participate in the federal student loan program. CBO assumes that those students would be less likely than other students to participate in the student loan program for two main reasons. First, those students are more likely to be enrolled in lower-cost community colleges where the need for financial assistance is lower. Second, they would be less willing to submit financial aid forms and expose other family members who are unlawfully present in the country. Assuming that approximately 15 percent of enrolled students obtain student loans, and based on CBO’s subsidy rates for the student loan program, we estimate the bill would have a negligible effect on federal spending for student loans between 2011 and 2020.

Medicaid and SNAP. CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not affect Medicaid or SNAP spending for the 2011-2020 period because individuals with conditional non-immigrant status would not be eligible for either program. Spending for Medicaid and SNAP would increase outside the 2011-2020 period for individuals who obtain LPR status and meet program eligibility requirements. Under current law, legal permanent residents are eligible, after a five-year waiting period, to enroll in SNAP and in Medicaid if they reside in a state that elects to provide Medicaid coverage to LPRs. 

Health Insurance Exchanges. S. 3992 would prohibit individuals with conditional non-immigrant status from receiving subsidies toward health insurance purchased through health insurance exchanges. As a result, CBO estimates that the bill would not affect federal spending for premium and cost-sharing subsidies for exchange plans over the 2011-2020 period. There would be, however, increased federal spending for those subsidies after 2020 as individuals become legal permanent residents and may become eligible for exchange subsidies.

PAY-AS-YOU-GO CONSIDERATIONS

The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 establishes budget reporting and enforcement procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or revenues. The net changes in outlays and revenues that are subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table. Only on-budget changes to outlays or revenues are subject to pay-as-you-go procedures. 

ESTIMATED IMPACT ON STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS

This bill contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in UMRA. Some state and local colleges and universities may experience increased enrollment as a result of this bill, but any associated costs would not result from intergovernmental mandates.

ESTIMATED IMPACT ON THE PRIVATE SECTOR

This bill contains no private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.

 

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Trayvon Martin – Proceed with Caution

Florida teen Trayvon Martin’s death (Feb 26/2012) has turned the lowly Hoody/Hoodie into a Political or is it a Racial — Exclamation Point!

Trayvon Martin

 People are donning Hoodies and what…daring vigilantes to shoot them…?

In rallies, marches and online petitions, people are demanding that the 17-year-old’s alleged killer George Zimmerman should be arrested…that the police chief be drummed out-of-town!

Hoodies have become a national symbol of Oppression…?

I URGE CAUTION!

Over and over again we see examples where we rush to judgment, especially in cases including race, WITHOUT waiting for ALL the facts to fall into place. Wait! Maybe there are no MORE facts – but wait!

Yes – 28-year-old Zimmerman could be a racist – maybe! Or a hotheaded vigilante – maybe!

The town of Sanford (median family income 2009: 50K) describes itself as: “one of Central Florida’s oldest incorporated cities, is home to brick lined streets, towering oaks, elegant store-fronts and large, nineteenth-century Victorian homes.”

Yes – police in Sanford could be morons and insensitive racial-profiling jerks – maybe!

Trayvon Martin could be a saint – maybe!

Sanford, FL - Lake Monroe

 BUT WE DON’T KNOW…

Those of us who were not there, who get their news from third-party sources like TV or the internet, who have NOT spoken to either of those involved, who do not KNOW the individuals involved, should NOT rush to try, convict and demand execution at this point.

There are things we know – and things we don’t know. Or do we?

OK, things that make sense – and things that don’t make sense – to non-legal brains like mine!

For instance, Zimmerman’s claims of self-defense under Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.

People are blaming the law. Just because people abuse the law does not mean it’s a bad law! If someone wants to f-uss with you, just shoot ’em all. Self Defense…YOU ARE STANDING YOUR GROUND. 

Sanford, FL

Unless the law does not care what circumstances lead up to the feeling of being threatened? So I can punch you, but if you pull out a knife than I can shoot you…? YOU follow the person and, I suspect, don’t just follow at a distance, silently, (person stops-you stop) far enough away to observe but not interact…?

  • Cops tell you DON’T follow the person, but you follow anyway…?
  • YOU create an environment of provocation where a likely outcome is either you confront  the person or the person confronts you…?
  • THEN shoot and kill in self-defense…? Because now you’re feeling threatened…? Is that why you were following and baiting the person..? You were afraid? STANDING YOUR GROUND?
  • Seems to me your left your ground a ways back – way over there!

I’m obviously missing something ’cause I don’t get it.

So who was Trayvon Martin? What kind of kid was he? Information now coming out paints Trayvon in a less than stellar light. Police have leaked some information about Trayvon being suspended from school over issues like marijuana possession – traces found in his bag? Does marijuana possession make you a bad person? ‘Cause then some Presidents are going down!

What if Trayvon was the worst thug know to police.  “Just walking along, minding his business in a thug kind of way?” Even then, based on what I’ve heard SO FAR, seems to me Zimmerman would still be wrong.

But…? Yeah – but! Do we know ALL? Maybe. Maybe not!

Might there be more to know? Maybe yes. Maybe no.

Still – Let’s wait. Zimmerman’s friends and counsel are hinting that there is more. Bring it! What if there is more…?

Trayvon Martin's Parents

I can’t see many scenarios that would make Zimmerman look better. The kid was holding a bottle of Iced Tea and a bag of candy, for goodness sake! Not a spiked club!

Did Trayvon grab the gun? If I got into a scuffle with somebody packing a gun, I’d try to grab that gun too!

Last I checked, anyone, including blacks, can walk a public area in America without being considered guilty of a crime UNTIL the person’s actually committed a crime. We can’t shoot and kill people just because WE think the person looks likely to commit a crime.

What if I locked myself out of my home, got a ride to work, then called and asked someone to go to my house and break a window to get my keys?

Should a neighborhood watch vigilante who does not know the person I sent shoot and kill that person?

Trayvon Rally

No! Mr./Ms. Neighborhood vigilante should call the cops, who will come and do their job – meaning they will not assume that my relative, friend, co-worker is a thief who is trying to break in, but will order the person to climb down and explain him/herself. Then they will call me and I’ll explain – and they’ll say sorry, misunderstanding, and I’ll say: You were doing your job.

That’s THEIR job! The cops. Paid and trained by you to handle such cases. That’s why you/we wait…for the cops to arrive.

Why we should wait now, before rushing to judgment. Much as it looks like a cut and dried case, WE DON’T KNOW.

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton go home!!! Just go home. If it turns out that the version we’re hearing is indeed what happened, THEN come back!

In the meantime, my advice to some kids:

  • No hoodies

    Sanford Police Chief

  • No Skittles
  • No bottled drinks!

Any one of these can be construed as a liability. But apparently when combined, all three constitute enough of a threat that Stand Your Ground Law or NO Stand Your Ground Law, you won’t have a leg to stand on!

Silent Center Starts to ROAR! Amen!!!

It’s about time for this nation’s MAJORITY — the middle-of-the-road Americans who make up the “Silent Center”  — to wake up and roar. THANK GOD that you are beginning to…finally!

For too long you’ve chickened out, burying your head in the sand, while you let a handful of posturing kooks and haters set the agenda and shape the political debate.

So where have you been?

The majority of Americans are NOT racists. The majority of Americans are NOT haters. The majority of Americans are sensible, level-headed people who understand that compromise is NOT a dirty word. In short, the majority of Americans are realistic, LEVEL-headed people who have NO problems electing a black president…and would elect a green, blue or striped president, if they liked what he or SHE stood for.

But until the shoe started to pinch you, Silent Majority, YOU didn’t care, did you? You happily let the country go to hell, gave politicians carte blanch to engage in unnecessary wars, to desiccate Healthcare Reform with one hand — while accepting money from the Health Care Industry with the other hand.

YOU, the silent majority, allowed your kids/families to be burdened with crippling student debt and other bad consumer loans. You let Republicans defeat and stymie attempts to regulate business. You looked the other way because YOU were too busy engaged in a buying frenzy you couldn’t afford – rushing to buy another prop you did not need, or another piece of materialistic flotsam that was cobbled overseas.

Did you NOT understand that there would be a price…for not caring? Now you’re waking up…hi ho!

Here’s just one example where you turned the other cheek. IMMIGRATION REFORM. (I use Immigration as a mirror to reflect several other issues of key importance, like the Iraq war, where you turned a blind eye with negative consequences.)

Where were you in 2006/7 when you let a minority of extremists on the right, led by racism and political posturing instead of practicality and human decency, set the agenda over IMMIGRATION REFORM?

Where were YOU when Ted Kennedy and John McCain (he was a different McCain – a principled McCain, back then) and President George W. Bush came so close to passing The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, (110th U.S. Congress)? If you think ILLEGAL Immigration is bad, LEGAL immigration is even worse – it’s a nightmare!

The law would have overhauled America’s broken Immigration system, INCLUDING providing legal status/a path to citizenship (PATH – as in working your way towards a goal) for the approximately 14 to 20 million illegal immigrants currently residing in this country.

What is the convincing argument that you can come up with to keep millions of undocumented people in this country remaining IN THE SHADOWS? There were ONLY two options. Assimilate or Repatriate. Now, Republicans have added a third: Limbo! Not deporting, not assimilating – just hanging around!!!

Think of it. There are up to/or more than 20-thousand people living in this country without official documentation. Meaning, most are NOT in government databases. So authorities have NO idea WHO these people are, WHAT they are…or even WHERE they are. What a haven for terrorists!

Some of these people have been here for 10, 15, 20 years. They come from EVERY country in the world, EVERY race, including an estimated 20 thousand undocumented Irish. But Republicans focus ONLY on the Hispanics. Why? There are thousands of Chinese, thousands of Vietnamese, thousands of Africans, Cape Verdeans, Caribbean…Haitians, WHITE Europeans, Russians, Brazilians etc…

(Please note that as far as I am concerned, immigrants of any kind who rape, kill, pillage etc…should be deported immediately, without process. I am NOT asking for hardened criminal immigrants to remain here. My case is for honest, hard-working people who come here to WORK, who come seeking a better life or who are fleeing persecution and hunger, famine, disease.)

Do you really believe the reason the economy is bad and you can’t find a job is because of undocumented immigrants? OK, tell me.

How many Undocumented Immigrants killed President Obama’s 447-billion-dollar jobs bill in the Senate? (October 11, 2011)

How many undocumented immigrants are working at NASA? Or assembling train engines at General Electric (GE)? Are at Boeing building jet engines? At Bank of America creating bad mortgage policies? How many jobs did Undocumented Immigrants take at investment banks on Wall Street? At Goldman Sachs? And How many Undocumented Immigrants took home million-dollar bonuses while you lost your home…or voted to bomb Iraq?  

How many towns are laying off teachers, doctors, nurses and closing fire stations because Undocumented Immigrants are taking their jobs? Don’t you understand that the jobs these immigrants take are generally the backbreaking, low paying jobs so necessary to an advanced economy that traditionally the better off natives NEVER WANT TO DO? Even welfare dependents will stay home instead of doing these jobs. (Don’t blame immigrants, blame your system, and the politicians who won’t fix it.)

The Wall Street Journal has a list of major companies that laid off workers in ONLY the FIRST quarter of 2009.

  • UNITED TECHNOLOGIES: 18-THOUSAND
  • GM: 10-THOUSAND
  • NISSAN: 20-THOUSAND
  • PANASONIC: 15-THOUSAND
  • NEC: 20-THOUSAND
  • CATERPILLER: 20 THOUSAND
  • HOME DEPOT: 7-THOUSAND
  • CIRCUIT CITY (Bankrupt): 34-THOUSAND
  • ALCOA: 15-THOUSAND.

I listed some of the bigger companies/biggest job cuts. But go check the list for yourself: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/01/08/first-quarter-layoffs-selection-of-job-cuts-by-major-companies/

Is somebody trying to make YOU believe that UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS are “taking” your jobs? Did they take those jobs in the Journal list? Whom do we blame here?

For the fourth quarter of 2008, follow the Journal link or use this to check company lay-offs: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/12/04/fourth-quarter-layoffs-selection-of-job-cuts-by-major-companies/

How many of you are willing to go to Georgia to dig onions? Why not? Like Republicans claim, Immigrants are taking your jobs. Now the jobs are available. Go do them!  $8 an hour, with little or no benefits. Backbreaking, filthy, baking in the sun all day. Waiting for you.

Lawmakers in Georgia, led by the state’s Republican governor, (naturally)  Nathan Deal, passed a law: House Bill 87 – the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011” intended to drive such individuals “back home.”

What happened? About a-third of the workforce fled Georgia (they didn’t leave America, they left Georgia), crippling Georgia’s largest economic sector: agriculture…by leaving millions of dollars in crops—blueberries, onions, melons and others—to sit rotting in the fields.

Farmers, who were not consulted about the law, (what do farmers know?) and left out of discussions when the law was being crafted…are pissed.

So, you’ll take the jobs if farmers pay more? Say from $8 to $12 per hour? Is 12-dollars an hour acceptable to you? Not YOU, per se…(you’re looking for at least $20 an hour and up) but maybe lesser educated people? OK. Throw in Health Care and other benefits, you argue — to attract American Workers.

Are these the same Health Care/Benefits packages that big companies are trying to get out of? The Post Office says benefits are crippling the service to bankruptcy!  (I’m NOT arguing FOR or AGAINST benefits. Just saying companies claim benefits raise costs, and they do.) Ford, Chrysler and GM had to renegotiate their benefits packages or go bust. Remember, YOU had to then bail them out? Are you willing to pay $5 for a head of lettuce? Why not? Just think of the number of American jobs you’ll be saving…

A factory here in Massachusetts, (employs an acquaintance of mine), shut down and moved operations to Mexico. The company is keeping an office with a skeleton staff in Massachusetts. Who took those jobs? Immigrants – over in Mexico. Since they didn’t actually COME here, and are not immigrants, we’ll call them “potential immigrants-in-waiting.” They didn’t NEED to come HERE because YOUR jobs went to them! Well, I guess that’s better than having them come here, right?

I’d prefer the factory to stay here and at least pay taxes and have the wages they pay be spent HERE and generate economic activity HERE, for shelter, movie passes, food, clothing, furniture – wouldn’t you? I assume Undocumented Immigrants pay rent and buy food and pay bus fare and their phone bills? Or does somebody do THAT for them?

Do you hear Republicans saying anything about these companies that they support, the ones they give tax breaks to, while these companies export jobs overseas? Of course NOT! Big business can send jobs overseas to foreign workers, long as (a) these foreign workers STAY OVER THERE and don’t take these same jobs here, IN America…and (b) as long as these businesses continue to donate to Republicans political coffers!

How many of you, the Silent Majority, believe that every one of these millions of undocumented people in the U.S. should be rounded up and deported?

How many of you believe that every one of these people CAN be bundled up and deported?

How many of you are willing to pay for it? To pay for hiring airplanes and personnel, pilots, law enforcement to accompany deportees, food and shelter to house deportees while they wait, and for the long appeals lawyers/individuals will mount in YOUR courts? Would you mind the government hiring more lawyers, judges, court clerks…while laying off teachers and police?

How many of you believe that the legions of kids born to these undocumented immigrants, who are U.S. citizens by law, should either remain here while their parents are deported – or should be deported with their parents? Or should the parents go – kids stay?

How many of you believe that undocumented students who have excelled in their studies at American schools (at taxpayer expense) should be denied access to university while American kids are failing? Do you blame Undocumented Immigrants for the numbers of American kids, who sit next to the immigrant kids, sharing the same lessons, teachers, facilities and opportunities, but still fail?

How do you expect these bright, intelligent immigrant kids to support themselves when they leave high school with straight A’s but cannot get a job, not even at McDonald’s, because they have no Social Security number? Are you willing to throw these promising kids under the bus – your future scientists, teachers and artists – while shouldering lifetime Welfare Benefits to failing American kids – just because they are American?

So, lets’ re-examine. What did Republicans achieve by killing Immigration Reform? Political gimmickry, pandering to the Right!

Did undocumented immigrants leave? NOPE. Still here, with de facto Amnesty.

Is the problem fixed – or did Republicans manage to sweep one more major issue under the carpet, again?

Do you expect people who braved hell to get here, crossed deserts, sailed rickety boats in shark-infested waters, paid smugglers, sold everything they possess for passage, to endure great hardship and persecution, even rape, along the way, to give up now, that they’ve gotten here? Do you really think that after getting a taste of America, people will return to foraging in garbage dumps for food? To return to drug wars and disease and starvation and political uncertainty and religious persecution and lack of opportunity? Would you?

Would you like a pregnant undocumented  immigrant woman to start labor pains, or get involved in an accident, or suffer a heart attack and go to a hospital and be refused treatment, and be sent away to die? Do you want the hospital to tell the pregnant woman, sorry, we can’t deliver your baby and let the woman and baby die in the parking lot? How would YOU feel if you woke up one morning and there were 20, 50 such cases around the nation?

Or would you proclaim, like the Republican Right/Tea Party crowd (yes, the ones who so zealously appear to believe in a merciful, just, compassionate, forgiving God, the ones who speak for Jesus), because they are very sure that Jesus would also say: “Too bad for you, unwanted immigrants. You should die, so you can get the message and go back to where ever it is that you came from. You are taking away from my plenty – go back to your nothing! Furthermore, I talked to Jesus this morning, and he agrees with me!”

Polls consistently show that a MAJORITY of Americans favor giving undocumented people who are already here, have been here for years, those who are hard-working, upstanding, willing to learn English where necessary, A PATHWAY TO LEGALITY.

So again I ask YOU, the Silent Majority, where were YOU when you let voices on the right prevail, and shallow, scared politicians ducked for cover, and let a MINORITY of right-wing Republicans crush efforts by tying reform to a secure border? Do you plan to build a fence on the Canadian border too?

Now states are passing piecemeal Immigration Laws WHICH THE WHITE HOUSE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THEN GO TO COURT OVER, WASTING THOUSANDS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS, because the Obama White House is AFRAID to take up a bill THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN INTRODUCED (HR 4321 – Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009 by Representative Luis Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat in December, 2009)…because Republicans oppose it.

Most people thought President Obama had a wonderful opportunity to reform Immigration. But he squandered his political capital on a Healthcare Hash and now, instead of having the guts to force a vote, the White House is cowering because they’ve done the math/taken a poll, and apparently do not have enough votes to pass the bill!

Now we are governing by poll? By posturing? We are governing by fear?

Gone are the days when politicians with balls INTRODUCED a bill and DEBATED it and LET Congress VOTE. No, now handlers must first go behind the scenes and find out who is willing to vote for the bill, and tally how many votes they have, and if there are not enough votes, then capitulate and shelve/kill the legislation – EVEN IF IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

Oh Silent Majority, how much you are to blamed for…!!! And now, you protest…

Thanks God slavery is already abolished.

Imagine passing an anti-slavery vote Today. IT WOULD NEVER BE DONE. And thank God Rosa Parks did not go around asking for support BEFORE she sat down on that bus seat!

White House, take note. If the polls allow it…

Cash for Clapboards & Kennedy’s Replacement

Wouldn’t it be nice if the government decided to buy foreclosed homes – invite people to turn in homes they no longer want or can afford – like homes that are not energy efficient? The government could then buy these houses, rehabilitate them and sell them to people who can afford them! 

I suggest we call that program: “<strong>Cash for Clapboards” (CACLAP)</strong>. 

Its forerunner, “Cash for Clunkers” seems to have: 

•          Ignited under new car sales.

•          Thrilled General Motors (GM) so much, the auto maker decided to lend dealers money to run the program…while those dealers wait for the government to reimburse them!

•          Increased vehicle production. GM is adding 60-thousand vehicles in the third and fourth quarters and re-hiring about 1400 laid-off workers. 

Under The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS program), owners traded in their gas guzzlers. That made them eligible to get from 35-hundred to 45-hundred-dollars towards buying a newer model that meets or exceeds higher mile-per-gallon standards. Dealers fronted the money and the government reimbursed them. 

According to the Associated Press, the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program has: <em>revived business at car dealerships, taken gas-guzzlers off the road and given a badly needed boost to struggling auto factories. By many measures, the government’s Cash for Clunkers program has been a success</em>”. 

Well then! My “Cash for Clapboards” (CACLAP) program could similarly inject a substantial infusion of cash into the struggling housing market/industry. 

Under CACLAP, homeowners could trade in that draughty old colonial for that new, energy-efficient detached with the big yard that you’ve been drooling over! Water saving, energy efficient appliances, solar panels on the roof – just think of it! 

Cash for Clunkers ends Monday, August 24, 2009. I say we start “Cash for Clapboards” immediately! 

*****  

I don’t support changing the Massachusetts Succession Law because a situation has developed that could benefit Democrats. 

The Boston Globe says Senator Ted Kennedy (who’s been battling brain cancer since May 2008) has written to Governor Deval Patrick asking the governor and legislative leaders to change the succession law. Kennedy apparently wants to ensure that Massachusetts will have a Senate vote when his seat becomes vacant. 

Massachusetts governors used to have the power to fill Senate vacancies. 

But in 2004, democratic lawmakers didn’t want republican Governor Mitt Romney to fill Kerry’s seat with a Republican if Kerry became president. So Democrats (who also held the majority back then) changed the law and created a five-month vacancy. 

Now that little self-serving trick could come back to bite democrats. President Obama and Democrats may face a close vote to pass health care legislation…and if Kennedy is out of the running, that’s one crucial vote short…unless that seat can be filled quickly! 

I tend to be pro-Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I support everything they do…or want to do. 

Why don’t I support it? <strong>Because it was Democrats who changed the law when it didn’t suit them – and if they changed it solely to tie Romney’s hands – what makes them think they can just as opportunistically change it now</strong>? 

Sometimes just having the required votes and the ability to do something…<em>doesn’t mean you should do it! </em>I like it when people fall into holes that they’ve dug for others! 

At one time Rome was the superpower. At one point it was Egypt. The Huns ruled, the Aztecs ruled…and more recently, Europe ruled. Empires come…empires go. Civilizations come and civilizations go! 

Learn from this. Politicians come and politicians go. Parties come and parties go! 

<strong>Whichever party has a majority should understand that this state of affairs will never last! What use is history is we never learn from it?</strong>

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