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May 03, 2006

The Daily Snarkpit: Backlash Edition

According to the WaPo, the immigration marches are not having quiiiiite the intended effect:

Congressional leaders in Washington have gotten bricks in the mail from a group that advocates building a border fence, states in the West and South have drawn up tough anti-immigrant laws, and ordinary citizens, such as Janis McDonald of Pennsylvania, who considers herself a liberal, are not mincing words in expressing their displeasure.

"Send them back," McDonald said. "Build a damn wall and be done with it."

Democratic strategists, however, with their unerring instinct for political analysis, hastened to clue us in on who's really to blame for the backlash:

"This is going to be like a tug of war," he said. "I think Republicans are trying to exploit voter concerns about immigration. It's not a winning strategy. I think voters are more concerned about health-care costs, the cost of higher education and gasoline and energy than immigration."

Apparently he hasn't been to Herndon. We wouldn't want to consider the costs of illegal immigration, because that would be racist:

Immigration opponents are also concerned about the costs of public services immigrants use at the expense of taxpayers. Don Stewart, a spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), said his state spends $2 billion a year on health care and education for people in the country illegally. Arizona and California officials said their expense for detaining illegal immigrants who commit crimes is a combined $950 million per year, a fraction of which is reimbursed by the federal government.

Egad. Bloody fascists...

Millions of dollars contributed by a handful of donors have allowed a small network of theologically conservative individuals and organizations to mount a global campaign that has destabilized the Episcopal Church and may break up the Anglican Communion.

Incroyable. To hear the NY Times tell it, even John Forgainst Kerry's much-vaunted law enforcement approach to terrorism amounts to "domestic spying":

The paid police informer who is the central witness at the trial of a Pakistani immigrant charged with plotting to blow up the Herald Square subway station testified yesterday that he collected a wide range of information on his visits to two city mosques, from the tenor of the sermons to how many people attended the services.

The informer, Osama Eldawoody, 50, secretly recorded roughly two dozen conversations about the plot with the immigrant, Shahawar Matin Siraj, in the summer of 2004 — many of them incriminating. He was questioned by Mr. Siraj's lawyer about the information he provided to the police on his frequent visits to mosques in Brooklyn and Staten Island. The visits occurred over roughly 13 months in 2003 and 2004, both before and after the informer met Mr. Siraj.

Regardless of the outcome of the trial for Mr. Siraj, 23, who faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, Mr. Eldawoody's testimony is shedding light on what seem to be new police tactics to uncover terrorist plots before they come to fruition. While a federal judge gave the police expanded powers in 2003, critics have nonetheless raised objections to the use of informers in places of worship, political events and other gatherings.

Mr. Eldawoody had earlier testified that he had been told to keep "his eyes and ears open for any radical thing," but many of the details that came out during questioning seemed mundane: How many people attended a service. How long it lasted. The name of the imam who spoke.

...Under questioning by prosecutors last week, Mr. Eldawoody, a nuclear engineer who became a naturalized citizen after coming to America in 1986, said he began working as an informer to protect his new country.

Mr. Stolar, who has suggested that Mr. Eldawoody's motive was financial, asked the witness if he was spying in the mosque.

"I don't see it that way — that I was spying," he said. "If there is anything wrong that would hurt the United States, I would be the one to defend the country."

Mr. Stolar has said he intends to put the Police Department's tactics on trial, and at the beginning of his cross-examination, which he said would last several days, he suggested that he would focus closely on Mr. Eldawoody's actions and how the department supervised him.

The half-vast editorial staff wonders precisely when the Times thinks it's acceptable to watch terrorists who plot to blow up American targets? Perhaps after they've committed the attack, so long as they can prove every single piece of information reported led directly to an arrest and conviction?

We're so glad we cleared that up.

The minions of the Patriarchy strike back:

Every year since 1989, in about 25 percent of the sexual assault cases referred to the FBI where results could be obtained, the primary suspect has been excluded by forensic DNA testing. Specifically, FBI officials report that out of roughly 10,000 sexual assault cases since 1989, about 2,000 tests have been inconclusive, about 2,000 tests have excluded the primary suspect, and about 6,000 have "matched" or included the primary suspect."

Dominique de Villepin (who we are reliably informed is still a man) is in big trouble...

De Villepin has come out fighting, denying all the charges and telling the National Assembly: “I've been the victim in recent days of a terrible campaign of slander and lies, a campaign which has profoundly shocked and wounded me.” Meanwhile, Sarkozy has signed onto a law suit by those named in the forged document claiming “slanderous denunciation.”

...to which HVES can only reply, "Courage, mon ami."

Those critics of the administration who have raised their eyes to the heavens and wondered out loud, "What Would Madeleine Do?" now have their answer, though it may not be the one they expected:

Albright is the wise woman of the Democratic Party on national security. Her prestigious Georgetown salon operates as a crash course in international relations for Dems with presidential ambitions. So, her work on the role of religion in foreign policy is required reading for anyone who wants to understand what a Democratic administration would do differently. After finishing it, the conclusion I came to was: surprisingly little. Yes, Albright bashes the Bush administration for Iraq, Guantanamo, and its religiously tinged language. But when she starts talking about the future rather than the past, she sounds none too different from her father’s most famous -- and favorite -- pupil, Condoleezza Rice. Albright’s call to “blend realism with idealism,” by promoting democracy at a gradual pace, wouldn’t sound out of place in any of Rice’s speeches about the administration’s goals in the Middle East. All of which suggests that, the democratizing baby won’t be thrown out with the Bush bath water and supports Jai's argument that Middle Eastern tyrants hoping to wait out Bush are wasting their time.

More analysis here. The readership will no doubt pardon us for snickering just a bit:

The Secretary took three or four questions, including an "excellent question" -- her words, not mine -- from me regarding Iran policy during the Clinton era. I reminded her (politely) of her speech "apologizing" to Iran for past transgressions -- which was greeted with the diplomatic equivalent of a stiff arm -- and the decision not to retaliate for Khobar Towers in the wake of Mohamed Khatami's election in 1997. I observed that the Clinton era policy toward Iran was, in broad brush strokes, somewhat gentler than that of either the preceding or the succeeding administration. My question was, in light of what she knows today, if she had it to do all over again would she advocate a policy toward Iran that was gentler still, or one that was more confrontational? She dodged the question, although she did mount a nuanced defense of the Clinton era policy and further suggested that the Bush administration initiate direct talks with Tehran. Easier said than done, and certainly easier for her to say than do.

The nerve of some people... guess this means we're going to have to pull his card:

In her new memoir, NOW IT'S MY TURN(Simon & Schuster/Threshold Editions, 2006), Mary Cheney writes that when she told her parents she was gay, the first words out of her father’s mouth “were exactly the ones that I wanted to hear: ‘You’re my daughter, and I love you, and I just want you to be happy.’”

CWCID: The fascists at ReichWing News

Dear Lord.

And last but not least, this morning's coffee snorter:

MR. RUSSERT: Mr. Secretary, if, if demand is up but supply is down, why are the profits so high?

MR. BODMAN: For that reason.

Mr. Russert, your cluepon. H/t, Beth at My Vast Reich Wing Conspiracy

Posted by Cassandra at May 3, 2006 07:29 AM


Dear Cassandra,
You seem to have some anger issues here. I would suggest a daily dose of:

onecosmos.blogspot.com, with Gagdad Bob.

You missed one. While channel surfing last night, I caught a few minutes of John Bolton being quizzed by Dennis Kucinich, the Clueless one from Cleveland, on C-SPAN
Dennis wanted Big John to read an article from 'The New Yorker' about some alleged operation where Marines were in Iran (!), and John replied,"No, I'm really too busy to read any fiction right now."
That cruel Bolton, harshing Dennis's mellow. Man, you could just see the hurt in his little puppy eyes. Sniff!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 3, 2006 10:29 AM

That's hysterical :)

I haven't watched the news in at least a week. Come to think of it I haven't seen any TV except for a bit of basketball Sunday afternoon.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2006 10:36 AM

> a handful of donors have allowed a small network of theologically conservative individuals and organizations to mount a global campaign that has destabilized the Episcopal Church

Posted by: Igotbupkis at May 3, 2006 12:11 PM

'This is going to be like a tug of war," he said. "I think Republicans are trying to exploit voter concerns about immigration. It's not a winning strategy. I think voters are more concerned about health-care costs, the cost of higher education and gasoline and energy than immigration."'

Ya, that's it ... almost 5 years into the war on terrorism and our borders are still so porous that it's a miracle that we haven't been hit again; at least one year of persistent articles telling us that a devastating pandemic is soon to wipe us out, yet we let millions of medically unscreened illegal immigrants into this country; Still fighting a decades long war on drugs with a border that allows the flow to continue unabated, now compounded by Mexico's intent to make drugs legal there; Huge costs to the taxpayers in the form of medical treatment and other services for illegals who generally don't have health care insurance or pay taxes; a corrections system full of illegal immigrant violent offenders, most of whom if they had been screened properly would never have been allowed in ... add to that the day to day stuff like the millions of dollars lost in car accidents caused by uninsured illegal immigrants, the number of legal immigrants and citizens who compete against preferences to illegal immigrants in our state colleges ... ya, the Republicans are exploiting a non-issue.

The one hope is this will bite the Democrats where it counts, namely in financial and other support provided by big labor.

Posted by: Frodo at May 3, 2006 01:01 PM

> a handful of donors have allowed a small network of theologically conservative individuals and organizations to mount a global campaign that has destabilized the Episcopal Church

Yes, it's a "small network" of individuals doing that.

It can't possibly be a grass roots response to the fact that the Episcopal Church has decided to pretty much ignore the Bible

Posted by: OhBloodyHell at May 3, 2006 01:39 PM

Master Frodo,
It was explained to me last weekend that much of 'Big Labor' is all for welcoming and enfranchising the illegal immigrant, because then they will be a big source of Union dues.

Plus, the Big D party still hopes to turn them into voters in short order.

And the band plays on...

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 3, 2006 01:43 PM

Well, if big labor wants that, the only way it will happen is if they become legal ... otherwose they undercut union labor. My brother was telling me several of his construction sites are having problems and delays because rumors hit about possible INS raids and no one shows up for work ... the smart money is that the unions are doing this because of the lost union jobs.

Posted by: Frodo at May 3, 2006 03:09 PM

Well, yes, that's one possible outcome. But then really, the unions don't really care if all their members work, they just want to collect the union dues. Big unions are big business, and the union stewards are only intent on collecting those dues. I know of several frustrated 'union' members (in the skilled trades) whose union didn't do bupkus for them, because they weren't 'connected', as they weren't somebody's brother, cousin, etc.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 3, 2006 10:25 PM

I come out of a Union household,and it is hasbeens and relics like Sweeney who are hurting the unions now.Basically it is idiots like him who want these crooks not rank and file members.My dad worked in a tire plant and busted his ass for almost thirty years defended ingrates!He also was a steward,after the plant closed down they realized that they had it better financially under the unions.Also,the reason the plant closed is that they kept hiring people who lived 50 to 100 miles away,these folks didn't do didly squat when they came to work.In fact,when my dad was a stewart they had a bunch of illegals at the job and they called the local INS people to tell them that they were there on the premises.So,Frodo,the rank and file doesn't like the illegals,and as you say the Dems are missing the boat again,you would think with these people's past judgements that they would be more careful in what they say!The the liberals are even split on this,and they are too stupid to see it!So,they better not get too cocky either because everybody knows that they are looking for new voters;sad thing is,these aren't the people they should be looking for!

Posted by: Lisa Gilliam at May 5, 2006 03:13 AM

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