Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

McCaskill tows party line on Trump’s immigration order

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is following Democrat talking points in opposing President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily halting travel to the United States from seven countries with ties to terrorists. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, McCaskill expressed outrage over temporary delays in travel for certain cherry-picked Muslim travelers and Trump’s direction to give priority to Christians for allowing entrance into the U.S.

The referenced delayed traveler, Hameed Darweesh, is an Iraqi man who had reportedly helped the U.S. as an engineer, interpreter and contractor and who possessed a valid visa. Darweesh was then vetted pursuant to the government’s new vetting process and was allowed to proceed into the U.S. less than 24 hours after arrival. According to the Post, McCaskill said that made her “want to throw up.”

McCaskill’s Republican colleague, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), explained the situation in more measured tones. While noting his own opposition to a blanket travel ban on Muslims, Blunt explained that Trump’s order increased vetting of people traveling from countries with extensive terrorist ties or activity. He properly prioritized keeping Americans safe.

Democrats have falsely claimed that the countries selected by Trump to be subject to the restrictions were selected because of their Muslim majorities, and that Trump had excluded Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and other Muslim countries with Trump business ties. Trump selected the seven countries because people traveling from those countries provide the greatest risk to the security of the U.S. They were the same seven countries that the Obama Administration singled out for exception under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. The Muslim nations with Trump business ties were also not excepted by the Obama Administration under the visa law.

The Post also referred to a McCaskill statement criticizing Trump’s willingness to give Christians facing persecution preferential consideration for refugee resettlement. Apparently McCaskill either didn’t notice or didn’t care that Christians in those nations were disproportionately the victims of Islamic terrorist violence. When ISIS refers to “infidels,” they mostly mean Christians. That is exactly who should be allowed to enter as refugees. Trump’s order was in direct contrast to the Obama Administration’s admission of Muslim “refugees” while leaving most Christians refugees behind to die. The Clinton Administration policy of allowing Bosnian Muslim refugees in the 1990s was consistent with the fact that Muslims were the ones then being persecuted. Priority should be given to identified groups who are at risk of genocide and pose no ascertainable risk to the U.S. It is appropriate to single out specific religions when religion is the motivation of the persecution.

McCaskill is following the Democratic Party line. Her fellow Democrat senators, including those who, like her, are facing tough reelection campaigns next year, followed the same script as McCaskill. Democrats want to characterize everything Trump does as racist or xenophobic, regardless of their merits. Embarrassed by losing an election they expected to win, Democrats are trashing the new president at every opportunity. McCaskill is piling on.

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Rubio is more Tea Party than ‘establishment’

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

I continue to read, in both the lamestream media and conservative outlets like Fox News, that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is competing with Jeb Bush in the “establishment” subprimary for the Republican presidential nomination. Well, if “establishment” donors want to help a principled conservative like Rubio win the nomination, I’m fine with that, but don’t burden Rubio with the “establishment” label. It’s false.

Let’s remember Rubio’s rise to national prominence. In 2010, when the Republican establishment wanted then-popular (and then Republican) Gov. Charlie Crist to take the open Republican-held senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez (and appointed successor George LeMieux), Rubio challenged Crist from the right. When polls showed Rubio ahead, Crist pulled out and ran as an independent. Rubio won. In the senate, Rubio teamed up with two other newly elected principled conservatives, Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT), joined two years later by Ted Cruz (R-TX), to form a solid conservative bloc in the dysfunctional, moderate U.S. Senate.

Rubio was a conservative hero. He still is.

Most conservative disappointment in Rubio stems from his joining Sen. John McCain and six others (the notorious “Gang of Eight”) to support a bad plan for so-called immigration reform. Rubio’s motives were based in the feelings of his base in the conservative Cuban-American community. To his credit, he listened to the bill’s critics who attacked him for his position, he realized that the bill was a mistake, and he backed off. While it’s best to have instincts that make you right the first time, I also appreciate the ability to see one’s mistake, admit it, and fix it. Rubio did.

My initial choice for president in 2016 was Gov. Scott Walker. I don’t know why his support evaporated when Donald Trump entered the race, but it did, Walker bowed out, and that’s that. Every day I am more convinced that Rubio is the real deal. If you subscribe to the Buckley Rule, the most conservative choice in the current field who is electable is Rubio. He is not “establishment.” If establishment types want to support him, that would be a great help in securing Rubio’s win, and it would be a great first step on the part of the establishment to make peace with the Tea Party.

Lessons from Ferguson

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Democrat pols are busily seeking to take political advantage of the Ferguson tragedy by linking voter registration to the protests. Perhaps the Democrats should be careful what they wish for.

The Ferguson tragedy occurred just days after the first African American St. Louis County Executive was ousted by a white challenger in a racially charged Democratic primary. Primary victor Steve Stenger made a point of viciously trashing the African American incumbent. A key element of the campaign was the endorsement by Democratic County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who made vague accusations of corruption even though he never brought charges or convened a grand jury on the subject. Yes, that’s the same Bob McCulloch who is resisting protesters’ demands for charges against the police officer who killed Michael Brown.

The other key players are also Democrats. Although nominally non-partisan, it is inconceivable that Ferguson city officials like Mayor James Knowles could have been elected without the blessing of local Democratic leaders. Embattled Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson was placed in office by the mayor and city council, all likely Democrats. County police chief Jon Belmar is a “non-partisan” political appointee of a police board appointed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, who is under fire for his delayed, then ambiguous and ultimately inadequate reaction to the Ferguson riots.

More significantly, almost all of African Americans long-term problems have been brought on by a parade of policy failures by Democrats. Blacks remain proud of and loyal to President Obama, but their economic plight has worsened during his administration. While overall unemployment has rebounded back to the level when the President took office, black unemployment remains high. Democrat economic policies have eliminated full-time jobs, replaced them with part-time jobs without benefits. Cuts in military personnel are cutting off a major avenue of African American advancement. Meanwhile, a soaring stock market, driven by cheap-money monetary policies, makes the top 1% even richer, thereby worsening the very income gap between the races that the party rails against. And now, the President’s encouragement of illegal immigration threatens to provide competition for the poorest blacks for the low-wage entry-level jobs that they need for subsistence.

So, let’s get this straight. Stenger. McCulloch. Nixon. Social and economic woes brought on or worsened by Democratic office holders. This is what African Americans are expected to rally and support?

In contrast, on the same day county Democrats were denying renomination to the black county executive, a contested Republican primary in predominantly white southwest St. Louis County resoundingly nominated Ballwin Alderman Shamed Dogan, an African American former aide to former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), for a seat in the Missouri legislature. Dogan now runs unopposed for the safely Republican seat in the general election. And during the Ferguson crisis itself, while prominent Democrats were jockeying for time on camera, the St. Louis Tea Party Coalition organized a BUYcott to help Ferguson shops that had been devastated by the riots.

For sure, African Americans have supported Democratic candidates since the Great Depression, but the popular definition of insanity is the repeating the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Apparently Democrats are counting on African American voters being crazy.

What should concerned African Americans learn from the Ferguson debacle? A better strategy for this election year would be to stand down and refuse to validate their Democrat oppressors. Ferguson underscores how their leaders have misled them. While significant ticket splitting for Rick Stream, the Republican candidate for county executive, would send a powerful message, standing down and refusing to vote at all would send an even stronger message. Instead of being reliable votes for a Democratic Party that takes them for granted and fails to produce for them, African Americans would be better served by listening and giving serious consideration to different approaches. Iowa farmers get whatever they want from Congress because they shift their votes back and forth depending on whichever party best serves their interests. African Americans should learn from their example.

The spontaneous Tea Party BUYcott demonstrated that conservatives aren’t out to get African Americans and do really care. Democrat opportunists seeking to fan the flames of violence demonstrated that Democrats really don’t.

DREAM Act to pit McCaskill vs. McCaskill

The Unablogger

The Unablogger

Since the November, 2010 midterm elections, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), President Obama’s cheerleader in chief, has been hitting the national talk shows trying to put as much distance as she can between herself and her party’s unpopular president. But if the so-called DREAM Act comes up to a vote in the lame duck session, we will see where McCaskill’s loyalties lie when the chips are down.

The DREAM Act is the current version of amnesty for illegal immigrants. Under the bill, any illegal immigrant under age 35 who came to the country before he was 16, has been here for five years, and has succeeded in avoiding deportation is allowed to apply for permanent residency, just by saying he or she wants to go to college or join the military. (Like a 34-year-old foreigner would be interested in first joining the military or starting college. Yeah, right.) Absence of documentation means there is no way to verify the applicant’s current age or age at entry, and there is no verification of subsequent entrance into either college or the military. The bill also leaves intact the “chain migration” system that allows illegals to bring in their entire families with them. It’s a sham to open the flood gates.

The current lame duck session is Obama’s last realistic chance to pass an amnesty bill, because the Republican majority that takes over the House in January is unlikely to do so. In the Senate, the lame duck session represents Democrats’ last chance to pass it over a GOP filibuster while needing to draw only two GOP RINOs. But doing so requires a united Democrat majority for the bill, and that includes McCaskill.

When McCaskill campaigned for her seat in 2006 against then-Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), she was an anti-immigration hawk. The non-profit non-partisan web site OnTheIssues.org documented the stands that she put on her campaign web site that year. Here’s what she had to say then about immigration:

This [George W. Bush] Administration has failed to secure our borders. Claire does not support amnesty. As a former prosecutor, Claire believes people who break the law should be held accountable, both illegal immigrants and the employers who exploit them for cheap labor. Claire does not believe we need any new guest worker programs undermining American workers.

McCaskill said this about the proposal to build a fence along the border:

While building a fence along the border in some of our most porous areas is an appropriate first step, rampant illegal immigration will not be resolved until Washington [focuses on] securing our borders [instead of] cheap-labor.

And in an eerie foreshadowing of Arizona’s controversial 2009 law and the Obama Administration’s litigation against it, Claire said this in 2006:

The states have had to unfairly shoulder [sic] the costs of enforcing immigration laws because Washington has been shirking its duty. Claire will fight to make sure our states have the resources they need and to hold Washington accountable for its failures to secure our borders.

Consistent with those positions, in 2007 McCaskill voted against the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill and for a bill to make English the official language of the United States.

But McCaskill changed gears in March, 2008, after she had endorsed Obama’s presidential candidacy. She voted to table (i.e., kill) a bill to create a reserve fund to ensure that Federal assistance does not go to “sanctuary cities” that ignore the immigration laws of the United States and create safe havens for illegal aliens and potential terrorists.

After Obama’s election, McCaskill ramped up into cheerleader mode and enthusiastically backed Obama’s agenda. While her Congressional Quarterly “presidential support index” for 2009 was 80% (relatively low for a Democrat), numbers backing her so-called independence were padded by votes on inconsequential issues. McCaskill was there for Obama to back his controversial bailouts, the failed stimulus bill, the health care takeover and Big Labor’s pet “card check” bill (which wasn’t pulled from consideration until after McCaskill had announced her support).

With her own seat on the line in 2012, whose side will McCaskill take in the lame duck session, the president who needs her vote or the Missouri voters who put her there based on her promises to oppose amnesty? I think it depends on whether her vote is decisive. If the DREAM Act is going to lose anyway, she will pander to the voters and pile on against it, but if her vote is the difference between victory and defeat, Obama can count on her as usual. We’ll see.

Update: On December 18, 2010, McCaskill chose loyalty to Obama over fidelity to her campaign promises, even though DREAM was five votes short on the cloture vote.