Thursday, March 29, 2007

Changing Course on Illegal Immigration?

Real life continues to make comedians look like prophets.

From Yahoo News:

Two executives at a company that once helped build a fence to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the Mexican border were sentenced Wednesday to six months of home confinement for hiring undocumented workers.

Mel Kay, founder, chairman and president of Golden State Fence Co., and manager Michael McLaughlin had pleaded guilty in federal court to knowingly hiring illegal aliens. U.S. District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz ordered each to serve 1,040 hours of community service and spend three years on probation.

Kay, 64, was fined $200,000 as part of a plea agreement, and McLaughlin agreed to pay $100,000.

Federal prosecutors took the rare step of seeking prison time after the men acknowledged hiring at least 10 illegal immigrants in 2004 and 2005. The charges carried a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison.

However, prosecutors were unable to find a previous case in which an employer had been sent to jail for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

"Prosecution is long overdue in this area," Moskowitz said. "Honestly, the government's efforts have been at the border, not with the employer. Obviously, the government has signaled a change with this case."
...either that, or the sheer amount of irony involved in a company using undocumented immigrants to build a wall to keep out undocumented immigrants was just too much to ignore. One set of prosecutions could just as easily signal a prosecutor who had nothing else to do or a prosecutor with an aversion to blatant, arrogant crimes as it could a substantial change in policy.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Image Over Substance

Perusing the conservative blogosphere this morning, this caught my eye. To an extent, all candidates are chosen based on their image. It's why Barack Obama or Rudy Giuliani may someday be President, and Dennis Kucinich never will. What I found interesting is that these people at one of the leading Conservative blogs apparently see nothing wrong with that, and are in fact downright giddy about it:

In a sense, then, [Fred] Thompson looks like the perfect blend of the Allen/Frist/Romney/Gingrich and McCain/Giuliani "factions." He seems to combine the conservatism of the former cluster with at least some of the popularity and stature of the latter pairing. This is not to suggest that Thompson is a national hero like McCain and Giuliani. But in addition to a long and distinguished record of public service, he has the good fortune to play a distinguished public servant on television. Millions of Americans see Thompson exercise sound judgment every week as the district attorney on "Law and Order." I'm reliably informed that the show's creator, Dick Wolf, developed the persona of this fictional D.A. specifically for Thompson, and that the actor/politician protects his image by pushing back when he thinks his lines don't portray him in the proper light. But the point isn't whether we're seeing the real Fred Thompson on the show; the point is that, if Thompson runs, millions of America will see the character when they see the candidate, and to that extent will like what they see.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Clinton spins the war vote

Oh, please...

From The Hill:

Former President Bill Clinton yesterday complained that “it’s just not fair” the way his wife, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is being depicted for her controversial Iraq war vote.

Speaking to hundreds of supporters on conference call, the former president said, “I don’t have a problem with anything Barack Obama [has] said on this,” but “to characterize Hillary and Obama’s positions on the war as polar opposites is ludicrous.

“This dichotomy that’s been set up to allow him to become the raging hero of the anti-war crowd on the Internet is just factually inaccurate.”

The ex-president’s aggressive defense of his wife’s position revealed frustration in the Clinton camp over how the issue is playing into the already-overheated presidential campaign.

On a conference call with Hillraisers, Sen. Clinton’s biggest donors, which The Hill listened to after being provided the call-in information, the former president said there was a stark difference between those who voted for the Iraq resolution and those who wanted to go to war.

In response to a question from one of the supporters on the phone about explaining Hillary Clinton’s Iraq vote to undecided voters, the former president jumped in front of former Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe, saying, “Let me answer this.”

He said he had re-read the Iraq resolution last week, and that his wife had voted only for “coercive inspections.” Clinton justified his wife’s refusal to apologize for her vote by explaining that she was acting out of concern that future presidents might need similar language authorizing “coercive inspections to avoid conflict.”

“It’s just not fair to say that people who voted for the resolution wanted war,” Clinton said.
Does he think anyone's going to buy that? Technically, he's right. Congress voted to authorize "coercive inspections," and for the President to return to the UN Security Council for approval before launching his invasion, and the President did neither. He pulled the inspectors out (and then claimed Hussein expelled them) and did not return to the UN until after he'd invaded to demand the UN retroactively give him authorization. Nobody would've expected the President to do that, right? Nobody except the millions of Americans who were sure he was going to war no matter the evidence or excuse. If the Democrats in Congress who voted for that resolution were among the segment of our population who didn't accurately assess Bush's intentions (which couldn't have been more obvious), that casts serious doubt on their judgement.

Either Bill Clinton is wrong and Senator Clinton did suspect this was a vote for war, or he's right and she was too naive to realize it was a vote for war. There's no way to put a good spin on this, so please, Mr. Clinton, stop trying.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Plame was covert, but Fox won't let go of the myth

...Yet Fox News continues to rely on Victoria Toensing, the woman who, as far as I've been able to learn - has never spoken to either the CIA or Valerie Plame and has never seen any of the classified information regarding Valerie Plame's work or role, as an "expert" commentator.

And by the way, pay attention to the last minute and a half, where Hannity and Toensing try to tell us how it's Plame's and Wilson's fault that Plame's cover was blown. Plame apparently donated $1000 to Al Gore's campaign in 2000 and attended some (gasp) Democratic meetups. In Toensing and Hannity's warped world, Plame should've known that doing so was a dead giveaway that she was a covert CIA agent specializing in monitoring the proliferation of WMD. And Joe Wilson writing that op-ed exposing the lies the President told about uranium tubes from Niger? Well, he should've known better. Naturally the White House was going to expose the name of a covert CIA operative, as well as her entire network of contacts, seriously damaging our ability to follow WMD and possibly resulting in the killing of other undercover operatives - all to discredit a critic. Who wouldn't have expected them to do that?

Also, note how the "Fair and Balanced" network doesn't invite anyone to dispute Toensing:

Friday, March 16, 2007

Jay Kennedy is Dead

Woke up to find this in my inbox:

King Features has the sad duty to announce that Editor in Chief Jay Kennedy died yesterday in a drowning accident while on vacation in Costa Rica.

We do not have the full details yet, but wanted to be in immediate communication with the cartooning community. We will notify you when funeral arrangements have been completed.
When I was just starting out, Jay was one of the big, important, untouchable editors who took the time to write me a personal rejection letter and to talk on the phone with me, give me pointers, and encourage me to keep trying. He was the head of the largest syndicate with the most iconic features (Popeye, etc.), but he took time out of his day to talk to people nobody had ever heard of before. And he was just the same in person. I first stood in the same room with him in 2003 at the San Francisco NCS convention. He introduced himself, told me was sad about being too late to get Candorville (he'd been out of town when I sent him the submission, and wrote to me about it a few days after I'd already signed with the Washington Post Writers Group). And then we just talked for a while. One of the nicest, most genuine pony-tail wearing guys I've ever met. What a loss.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

More Conservapedia Wisdom: Marriage

Today's random bit of wisdom from Conservapedia:

Recently there has been a push by liberals for "same-sex marriage" however this supposed form of "marriage" has no basis in scripture, common law, the constitution, biology, or American social tradition. Then again, interracial marriage was considered to be taboo 40 years ago.

I didn't realize there was a basis for heterosexual marriage in biology. I suppose that would explain the abundance of "just married" signs on dog houses. It's "Rex" and "Daisy," not "Rex" and "Spot."

I also didn't realize there was a "basis" for heterosexual marriage in particular in the U.S. Constitution. I really need to learn to read that document between the lines, since that's where so many Americans seem to find support for their theories.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Conservapedia Reality Check

Sometimes you just want a reality check. You call your Mom to make sure she still loves you, you taste a strawberry to make sure it's still as sweet as ever. You glance at your fingers and toes to make sure they're all still there. I guess that's why I just stopped by Conservapedia, the allegedly "fair and balanced" alternative to Wikipedia. Sure enough, there is still not a single mention of the words "Iran" or "Contra" on the Ronald Reagan page.

All is right with the world.

Monday, March 05, 2007

What's going on with the LA Times?

Readers are writing in today to ask why they don't see Candorville in the LA Times. They also note that La Cucaracha and Mallard Fillmore have been dropped. Honestly, I don't know what's going on and neither does my syndicate. We weren't informed of any change in status, and usually when papers make such a change, they do us the courtesy of informing us beforehand. If you'd like an answer today, or want to talk them out of whatever madness is going on, you're going to have to contact The Times directly.