Letters to the editor
Bush and Cheney ran country into the rocks
Howard Stansell wallows again in the Republican quagmire of denial.
The U.S. “ship of state” was run onto the rocks by Bush and Cheney and by a complicit Republican Congress.
President Obama was charged by the people to rescue the country from Republican malfeasance, and the ongoing Republican-independent-Tea Bagger propaganda-spill does nothing to stem the life-threatening messes that are Bush’s legacy.
Anyone who votes Republican is voting for dead pelicans, toxic wetlands and beaches, bankrupt government, triple-cost health care and a fascist Supreme Court.
Obama asks that we man the metaphorical pumps, and Republicans continue to spit on the Constitution.
Country, state continue to wallow in the mud
Candidate Obama promised to change the way business is conducted in Washington, D.C.
People across America hungered for a candidate who would not only make the promise but bring it to fruition once in office. In their eyes, Mr. Obama was the person who could do it.
Guess what, ladies and gentlemen? The super hero’s promise has withered and blown away in the wind along with all the other toxic dust coming out of Washington, D.C.
Last month (May), President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel recruited President Clinton, no stranger to slime, to call Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Penn.), for the purpose of persuading him not to run against Obama’s choice, Sen. Arlen Specter, the incumbent.
Sestak, according to White House sources, was offered an “unpaid advisory board position” in either intelligence or defense as an incentive. The latest story is that he was offered the secretary of the Navy job.
Rep. Sestak declined and went on to defeat Sen. Specter in the Pennsylvania primary on May 18. Yes!
On June 3, the Associated Press reported that a second job offer had surfaced.
Apparently, last fall, Obama’s deputy chief of staff, Joe Messina, attempted a second back-room deal. He called Colorado’s former House speaker, Andrew Romanoff, and suggested three positions that might be available to him should he not challenge Obama’s choice, Sen. Michael Bennet, the incumbent.
Ironically, both of these deals sound very much like what Gov. Blagojevich of Illinois did when looking to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Obama.
Well, so much for the promise President Obama made, a promise that attracted many voters to his camp and helped catapult him into the White House. I should’ve known that this intelligent and articulate man was just another politician who would sell his mother to win an election.
President Obama and his spokespeople, much like Richardson’s, can deny any wrongdoing until the cows come home. Clearly, the evidence is there. Worse, our senators, Bingaman and Udall, agree nothing illegal was done. They, however, concede the smell of impropriety is there.
In the meantime, New Mexico, as well, continues to wallow in similar mud: millions of tax dollars spent by the governor to fund bogus positions; Bernalillo County’s blatant nepotism problems and accounting discrepancies at the detention center; Bernalillo schools’ wrongful expenditure of state, federal and stimulus dollars; Santa Fe County’s use of public resources to pave a private parking lot largely because the powerful speaker of the House suggested the project be considered; use of Santa Fe County, state and stimulus dollars to fund a film studio that includes the chairman of the state Democratic party as a minority investor; New Mexico paying huge amounts in legal fees to defend a former member of the New Mexico Investment Council; UNM regents and administration problems with faculty, staff and students; a state representative from Grant County, suspiciously, is awarded a lucrative maintenance contract at the Fort Bayard Medical Center because he is the only bidder; and, a multitude of personnel problems at the N.M. Department of Transportation and the corrections department handled in a less than forthcoming fashion.
And, what about the former director of the Spaceport Authority and his questionable acquisition of a sizeable ranch next to the Spaceport that could in time become a part of the Spaceport property? Why did he resign unexpectedly after the matter was revealed?
The list goes on! New Mexico is no better than the cesspool in Washington, D.C. We can only hope that the next round of elections will pump out the sewage which, much like the oil spill off the shore of Louisiana, is contaminating our environment and forcing us to live in squalor much like a third world country.
Immigration laws need funding, enforcement
I think it is high time we recognize the hypocrisy of the illegal immigration hysteria. We need to call some bluffs.
In the period between 1999 and 2003, the agency charged with monitoring and enforcement of immigration, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, was cut by 95 percent, making it impossible for them to carry out their mission.
It was no longer possible to track, investigate, prosecute or manage the flow of illegal workers in any effective way. What followed was the largest increase in illegal immigration in U.S. history. A coincidence?
The second major change during this time was the oversight of employers and the legalities of reporting illegals. Jobs are the major reason that most illegals come to the U.S.
In the aftermath of the recession here, illegal immigration has actually declined and reversed, with the number of illegal immigrants dropping from 12 million to 11.1 million last year.
Prior to the recession however, President Bush and the his administration greatly crippled mechanisms of oversight on illegal hiring and made it legally and procedurally more difficult to find, charge and prosecute employers who hired illegals.
Nearly all the Republicans in both houses supported enabling the employers to more easily use illegals. A 2007 ruling even made it illegal for Social Security to even contact employers (“no match”) to let them know that a worker was illegal, further benefiting employers of illegals who wanted to plead ignorance.
The same Republican Party now wants to pursue an ineffective border fence. Most illegals arrive as legal workers in a bus or train and overstay their permit. The INS would have caught them, but they neutered that. How will the wall help that?
In Arizona, the same Republican Party that voted to cut all the funding to INS now complains it has failed in its task and has decided to burden local law enforcement with yet another task with little increase in manpower or training in the cash strapped state. Does it make sense?
Well, actually, yes, according to their own research. The Government Budget Office under Bush prepared a study that revealed that illegal immigrants pay $7 billion a year in Social Security taxes alone and that even with their use of the education and welfare system, the taxes they pay far outweighed the cost of these programs
In 2005, the administration placed the actual cost to forcibly remove 10 million illegals (in 2005) at $41 billion a year. There is also the problematic economic costs of losing 6 percent of the U.S. population. Illegals own homes, have jobs, spend money on services and goods, pay taxes, provide cheap labor.
Leading economists such as Nobel winner Robert Scrivener estimated that the presence of illegals is a marked advantage for middle class and wealthy Americans. While the presence of illegals is detrimental to poor U.S. workers whose wages and benefits are driven down in competition with what illegals accept, businesses as large as Walmart or Tyson Chicken or as small as your roofer, mechanic, cleaning service or home builder, are able to supply services and offer or produce products more cheaply, and become wealthier and bigger businesses because of the less demanding illegals.
And did you know that many illegals are self-employed, taxpaying small business people themselves? Eleven percent own their own businesses compared to 13 percent of native born Americans. And they offer very competitive prices and good value.
If we were actually really serious about illegal immigration, we would provide the right people, INS or something like it, with the right tools and funding. We would not enable employers to hire cheap illegals over American labor.
Only 6 percent of Arizona employers voluntarily check to see if their workers are illegal. Why not mandate 100 percent compliance?
We shouldn’t try to delude people that a border fence or asking everyone for ID would really make a difference. That may hit some emotional chord for political advantage, but it’ll keep the illegals here, more underground than ever and working cheaper, which is right where they want them.
Hanna Van Arnim