Thanksgiving Open Thread

For years our Progs have been telling us that Thanksgiving is just the memorial of the racist, white Europeans who invaded the Americas and deliberately with malice aforethought committed genocide against the native peoples. Now that we’ve got to get Obama’s refugees into America, the Progs are all about how if we don’t allow the refugees in, we’re betraying the very idea of Thanksgiving…which, per the Progs, is the idea of invading and massacring. I don’t think our Progs ever think things through.

But what is Thanksgiving, really? Just what it says – giving thanks. To God, boys and girls. For all that we have. And for the overwhelming majority of us, that is quite a lot.

Here ends another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands and the great world around me. Tomorrow begins another day. Why am I allowed two? – G K Chesterton

To be given two days of life is something astounding. And most of us are given many decades of it – and, indeed, an eternity of it, if we want. Be thankful on Thanksgiving – if you are, then you’re doing it right.

That Iran deal thingy? State Department says it isn’t legally binding. At the end of the day, the only legally-binding thing of the Obama Era is ObamaCare – and that only because the Supreme Court re-wrote it for him, twice. The good news here is that the next President is simply not bound by most of what Obama has accomplished.

Rubio might have actually killed off ObamaCare, by the way.

In polling, Trump is still running away with it – but keep in mind that at around this time in 2003, Howard Dean was at 23% and Kerry was at 4%. Things can change massively in a very short time.

Pope Francis Open Thread

He does seem to be the subject of conversation, doesn’t he?

First off, Hillary is thrilled that the Pope is in town – it was the perfect time for her to announce her opposition to the Keystone pipeline. Document Dumps – they are a Clinton specialty.

Bernie Sanders is going to join a group of DC workers out on strike while the Pope is in town.

Democrats celebrate the arrival of the head of the Catholic Church in classic Democrat style – blocking a ban on late-term abortions.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will join in various events surrounding the Papal visit.

Arguably the smartest man in the United States, Thomas Sowell, has a critique of Pope Francis:

…As distinguished economic historian David S. Landes put it, “The world has never been a level playing field.” But which has a better track record of helping the less fortunate — fighting for a bigger slice of the economic pie, or producing a bigger pie?

In 1900, only 3 percent of American homes had electric lights but more than 99 percent had them before the end of the century. Infant mortality rates were 165 per thousand in 1900 and 7 per thousand by 1997. By 2001, most Americans living below the official poverty line had central air conditioning, a motor vehicle, cable television with multiple TV sets, and other amenities.

A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the United States is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the United States has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left.

Pope Francis’ own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.

If you’re going to criticize the Pope, at least do it with the grace, wisdom and deep, historical knowledge of Thomas Sowell. That said, I will point out that George Soros is a capitalist. But even laying aside people like Soros (who pile up the cash while claiming to be for social justice), we do need to look at the whole picture, as I’m sure Mr. Sowell would agree. It is good that America’s poor are relatively rich, compared to past measures and, indeed, in comparison with the poor in other nations. But tens of millions of them don’t work: they live on government hand-outs. It is financially “good” that we can use sweated Chinese labor to produce I-crap so cheap that we can afford to give it to our poor…but I don’t believe this is morally good for our poor, the Chinese workers or any of us. We can do better, folks – and that is all Pope Francis is really saying on matters economic.

It isn’t just me – there are other conservative voices in favor of the Pope:

…Pope Francis has also drawn our attention to issues such as income inequality, the plight of immigrants, or the degradation of the environment. At times, he has gotten quite specific. But here is the clincher that people just don’t seem to get. When it comes to how to tackle these complex and difficult topics, the church steps back and leaves it to policymakers to debate and discuss. Even more important, Pope Francis, true to his Jesuit roots, is inviting debate, disagreement and — what was the word? — differences. Difference of opinion on these issues, termed by the church as prudential policy matters, is welcomed by the church and considered healthy and important by Pope Francis. Even when it means disagreeing with the pope…

The Pope will be driven around in a little Fiat. I think every aspirant to the White House should be asked why he or she should be driven around in anything upscale from that.

Out and About on a Thursday

The Chinese government is buying stocks, so the economy is all better now – please resume your regular Kardashian news viewing.

Kasich viewed as a bigger threat to Bush than Trump is. Uh; well…ok. But being a threat to Bush is akin to being a threat to nothing…Bush hasn’t got a chance at being nominated.

Hillary Clinton is viewed as being dishonest and untrustworthy. This surprises precisely no one. Meanwhile, Joe appears to be Biden is time before he jumps in…

Boehner reportedly calls Cruz a “jackass”…this will, I’m sure, make Cruz more than willing to work with Boehner, assuming Cruz becomes President. If this story is true, then it is time to get another Speaker.

Read that Rubio doesn’t think Trump will win the nomination because we’re not an angry nation. Which is true. We passed “angry” in 2010. By now, we’re a scorching furious nation.

Charges have been dropped against a man for playing the Star Spangled Banner on the Fourth of July. Yes, this is still officially the United States of America. Sorta.

There are 141 counties with more registered voters than living people. And that does appear to be more voters than living people – not more voters than adult citizens. So, voter fraud isn’t a problem.

Debate Open Thread

Carly Fiorina did very well in the early debate. She is a formidable candidate. Can you imagine a Trump/Fiorina ticket? Speaking of Trump, if he can dial down his ego, add more details to his ideas, and act presidential – he just might run away with this. This will be a fun night, well at least for us political junkies.

Rand Paul Filibuster Open Thread

UPDATE:  Paul went 13 hours and laid down the marker:  everyone now knows that there are, for certain, GOPers who will bring things to a screeching halt on matters of principal.

As of this moment, he’s still at it, 8 hours going strong.  Joining in support are Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and even Democrat Ron Wyden.  The issue is Paul’s demand that President Obama answer – without equivocation, yes or no, please – whether or not he’d order a drone strike on an American citizen within US territory.  This is a genuine filibuster and no one can make him stop – only exhaustion, or Obama actually answering the question, brings this to an end.

This is one of the best things I’ve seen in a long time and goes a long way towards restoring faith in our legislative branch.  For too long all Administrations – but especially Obama’s – have managed to skate past oversight simply because no one took oversight duties all that seriously (and forget about it on getting almost all the MSM to find out – the are completely controlled by Obama).  Paul does take this duty seriously.  Now, will we get a straight answer from Obama?  Probably not – but the marker will be laid down that the people have a right to know what the Executive proposes to do, and Obama (and his Democrats) know that Republicans will stand tall at need.

Discuss this and all issues of constitutional government.

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The GOP Establishment Fought Against Ted Cruz

You can watch Cruz’ dismantling of Hagel over at The Right Scoop.   Hagel is ill-informed, often has strayed in to anti-Semitism and is clearly unfit to be Secretary of Defense.  Obama will probably still get him through as Democrats do hold the Senate majority, but it will be clear for all time that Obama picked an unfit man and Democrats approved an unfit man simply because they wanted someone who could twist the GOP…and, of course, be Obama’s willing tool in hollowing out our military and coddling our enemies.

In Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey (all of whom were unwanted by the GOP establishment) we have just the sort of Senators we need – leaders who are well informed, aggressive, capable and able to communicate the truth clearly to the American people.  They are revitalizing the GOP brand as we speak – as we sit here, still in the slough of despond over our loss last year, here is the future…here is where we pick ourselves up and get back in to the fight.


Illegal Immigration: The Issue is Coming to an End

First, a report from the Wall Street Journal:

Net migration from Mexico has plummeted to zero thanks to changing demographic and economic conditions on both sides of the border, a new study says, even as political battles over illegal immigration heat up and the issue heads to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After four decades that brought 12 million Mexican immigrants—more than half of them illegally—to the U.S., the curtain has come down on the biggest immigration wave in modern times.

“The net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped and may have reversed,” says the report, which is based on an analysis of U.S. and Mexican government data by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center…

There are three reasons this is happening:

1.  The Mexican economy, relative to the United States economy, is doing pretty well.  There simply isn’t as much economic need to migrate as their used to be.

2.  The United States economy – especially in home construction – is not as vibrant as it once was, and so there is less need for a pool of cheap labor.

3.  The Mexican fertility rate has cratered – going from about 7 children per woman 50 years ago to just over 2 children per woman today, and continuing to rapidly fall.  Mexico’s fertility rate will probably drop below replacement level in just a few years.  Long term, this means fewer young Mexicans and thus a simply smaller pool of people who would even want to move to the United States.

Of course, once we get rid of Obama, the United States economy could well take off in to boom times and that would act as a magnet for immigrants – but it would also benefit the Mexican economy, thus providing yet more reason for Mexicans to stay home.  Additionally, the trends in Mexican migration are not exactly duplicated in non-Mexican migration, but the fact of the matter is that all south of the border is growing economically and all of those nations are undergoing rapidly declining fertility rates…there might be a little over hang of Salvadorans coming after the Mexicans stop, but it won’t last long.  If anything, our next illegal immigrant problem will come from Africa as people there get wealthy enough to flee nations which are basket cases or likely to become such in the future…but its a long trip from Africa to the United States and we’ll never again have a situation where a large population of potential illegals is separated from us by a mere walk.

My point here is that the illegal immigrant problem, as such, is over or will be very soon.  The problem we have is what to do with those who came in the past 20 years – and in that, my fellow Republicans/conservatives we have a choice:  we can welcome them per Rubio’s plan or we can provide one, last insult which will ensure Democrats getting 70% of their votes for the next 50 years.  What will it be?  You know my answer – I have favored amnesty since 2007 (even back then I knew that the realities were changing – I wasn’t thinking in terms of electoral math but just hard facts:  birth rates declining, economy improving = less and less Mexicans coming across the border; so, why make a gigantic, heart ache issue out of it?).  I’m with Rubio; secure the border (which, at any rate, is mostly about protecting us from cross-border drug/slavery gangs and possible terrorist incursions) and provide a path to legality for those already here.  Issue ended.  Yes, as these people become citizens over the next ten years, they will give a majority of their votes to the Democrats – poor, immigrant groups have always voted for whomever showed willing to pass out some government assistance (and this goes all the way back to when my Irish Great-great-grandfather arrived in the 1850’s…Irish Catholics became dedicated Democrats for more than 100 years because the Republicans didn’t welcome them or offer them any aid); we can break that by welcoming them, providing some aid and while we’ll initially only win 35-40% of their votes, we’ll get their grand-children voting for us at least 50/50 (additionally, we’ll have made Americans out of them because that is what will come along with our welcome and our aid – teaching them of the greatness of America:  right now they are being taught to despise this nation by liberal Democrats…you want that to continue?).

The issue is over – our choice is to decide how we want to wind it up?  I go with welcoming and helping and turning them in to conservative, pro-life, gun-toting, patriotic American TEA Party fanatics…what do you want to do with them?

UPDATE:  Rubio has received some kudos out there for his reform proposal, but he’s also getting some stern pushback from some conservatives.  Allahpundit has the run-down.

The objections seem to revolve mostly around the fact that the 1986 immigration reform act was a complete failure on the enforcement end and, so, a lot of people are worried that Rubio will get rolled by the Democrats – leaving us with toothless enforcement mechanisms while a whole lotta amnesty is going on.  That is a legitimate worry, but Rubio has said he’s firm:  no strong enforcement, no Rubio vote…and if Rubio votes against, I can’t see the proposal getting the necessary 60 votes for cloture in the Senate (a Rubio “no” would give a lot of GOPers cover to go along with the “no”…just as a Rubio “yes” gives a lot of cover for going along with the “yes”).  I can definitely see scenarios where Obama and his Democrats poison-pill immigration reform just so they can race-bait on it going in to the 2014 mid-terms…we’ll see if that eventuates; but it is risky for them…honest Latinos who are not race-baiters (ie, almost all of them) simply want to ensure that family members can’t be deported…Democrats killing the bill by inserting enforcement-destroying provisions might get themselves a bit of a backlash.  At all events, having a prominent, Latino GOP Senator being out front on this issue and essentially giving any honest Latino what he wants vis a vis immigration is already doing well by the GOP.

Another objection is that doing this won’t win the GOP a huge number of Latino voters.  To me, this is a big “no kidding” objection…of course it won’t.  Its not designed to.  It is because we want to be merciful (seriously, I doubt that too many GOPers have to stomach to round up millions of people and send them home…there’s just something un-American in such a concept) and we need to deal with the problem that we move on this…and, in purely political terms, it gets a monkey off our back.  We no longer have to carry around this issue, trying to court Latinos while Democrats are telling them, “those GOPers are going to deport your uncle Jose”.  It clears the field and allows us to compete…and, remember, a crushing victory against liberalism means getting not all of the liberal voters, but just 10 or 15% of them…this will allow us to start doing that.