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Pat Buchanan - Will the GOP embrace amnesty?

During President Eisenhower's first term, 60 years ago, the United States faced an invasion across its southern border. Illegal aliens had been coming since World War II. But, suddenly, the number was over 1 million. Crime was rising in Texas. The illegals were taking the jobs of U.S. farm workers.
Under Gen. Joseph May Swing, the Immigration and Naturalization Service launched "Operation Wetback" and began rounding up and deporting Mexican border-crossers by ship and bus. By the end of Ike's second term, illegal entries had fallen by 90 percent.
Eisenhower, who had tapped his nuclear hole card twice — first, to force the Chinese to agree to a truce in Korea, then to halt their shelling of the offshore islands in 1958 — was a no-nonsense president.
Measured by population and gross national product, Eisenhower's America was but half the size of today's America. Yet, in the 1950s, we were in many ways a stronger and more self-confident country. We had universal military service, and few complained. As for the deportation of the Mexicans, they had broken in, they did not belong here, and they were going back. End of discussion.
Contrast the rigorous response of Ike's America to an invasion across our southern border to the hand-wringing moral paralysis of our political elite in dealing with 11-12 million illegal aliens in our midst. We are to stop using terms like illegal aliens, we are told. For it shows insensitivity. And compassion commands that we bring these folks "out of the shadows" and "put them on a path to citizenship."
One understands Democrats' motives in pushing this amnesty. Perhaps nine of 10 illegals are from Third World countries, and folks of Asian, African and Hispanic descent voted 4-to-1 Democratic in 2012.
Sen. Chuck Schumer and Democrats are writing an immigration bill that will create millions of new citizens who will vote to bury the Party of Ronald Reagan forever. But why are Republicans collaborating in erecting the scaffolding on which their party is to be hanged?
A year ago, the GOP platform declared, "We oppose amnesty because it would have the effect of encouraging illegal immigration and would give an unfair advantage to those who have broken our laws." What has changed since then?
Yet, today, with Cuban-American Sen. Marco Rubio providing cover — a "very positive force," purrs President Obama — Republicans are about to trash their platform and vote an amnesty for 11-12 million illegals. Why?
One reason is the fear, bordering on panic, since Mitt Romney lost the Hispanic vote 71 to 27. Republicans attribute their unpopularity among Latinos to their opposition to amnesty, rather than their commitment to peel back the social programs on which minorities heavily depend.
Another force for amnesty is corporate America. Thousands of businesses have hired illegals in violation of U.S. law. Amnesty for their illegal workers means, de facto, amnesty for them.
Moreover, U.S. corporations and agribusiness also want the right to import foreign workers. And under this new immigration bill, H1-B visas for highly skilled engineers and computer programmers will double to 110,000 a year, and the cap can rise to 180,000. Visas for H-2A agricultural workers will go to 337,000 over three years.
Silicon Valley is not interested in middle-aged Americans who lost jobs in defense industries. They want young foreign students with newly minted advanced degrees, who will work for less. Thus, with 14 percent of our U.S. labor force — more than 21 million Americans — unemployed, working part-time but seeking full-time work or having stopped looking, Congress is going to vote an amnesty for 12 million illegals and bring in a million new immigrants a year — and hand them green cards.
What happened to putting our own country and people first?
Moreover, under the new law, unlimited visas will be issued for spouses, children and parents of permanent residents and citizens.
With all these workers and dependents pouring in, the downward pressure on U.S. wages, stagnant since Gerald Ford was president, will intensify. And the steady rise in the scores of millions of beneficiaries of social welfare programs will continue.
What do Republicans get in return for capitulating and embracing amnesty? The Democrats solemnly promise to secure the border this time. In short, the administration will do its duty and protect the states from another invasion, if the Republican Party will abandon its principled opposition to amnesty. The Republicans will be faithless to those who voted for them on a pledge not to support amnesty, if only Obama will promise a good-faith effort to do his constitutional duty.
Prediction: Once word goes out that the illegals will no longer be sent back, there will commence a new stampede to the border. And once the new law is on the books, Democrats will move to truncate the time for the former illegals to become U.S. citizens.
And Republicans who resist will be accused of being anti-Hispanic, and will then do what comes naturally — capitulate again.
(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Susan Estrich - Hitting home

I'm from Boston. Over the years, I lived in two apartments within a stone's throw of Monday's bombings. Over the years, I stood and cheered marathon runners countless times. I know every square inch of the area in all the pictures, which is hardly unusual. It's the center of Boston. My nephew was around the corner when the explosions went off.
This week's terror hit home for me.
And what to do? That is always the question.
Do you stop going to sporting events? Cultural events? Outdoor rallies?
I was raped around the corner from where the bombs hit. I did not stop going out, didn't quit my job working nights as a bartender. (I was raped during the day, anyway.) I was determined not to let the crazies run my life. I was younger then.
An even harder question: What do we want the government to do?
How much of our liberty and privacy are we willing to give up in the hopes that it might stop terror?
My answer to that now is also different from what it would have been in the days when I lived around the corner from the bombings. Maybe it's because I'm older. Maybe it's because I'm a mother. Or maybe, probably mostly, it's because of the horrors we have seen. The two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11 took off that morning from Boston (my old home) en route to Los Angeles (my current home). Until my children were born, I commuted on those flights from Boston to LA.
So this is my answer: I'd give up a lot. You want to put cameras on every corner? Fine with me. I don't care who pats me down at the airport. Pat away. Keep the confidences of my clients, but otherwise, my e-mail is an open book. Mine my data; listen to my conversations. If it will keep my children safe, I don't care.
But of course, that's not the question, either. I'm a middle-aged, well-dressed (mostly), respectable-looking white woman. No one is really interested in me, terrorism-wise.
So when I ask myself or my students how much liberty we're willing to give up, I'm not really asking about us.
I'm asking about "others" — and we all know which others I mean. As I write this, Monday night, I would not want to be a Muslim going through security at Logan Airport. Just for instance. And I don't blame the TSA if they pay more careful attention. I just want the planes to take off and land.
I ask my students: If there are two security lines at the airport, and one has three white businessmen about to whisk off their jackets, and the other has three Muslim men, which line do you join? I know what I would do. Is that racist? Are we?
As I write this, we don't know who planted the bombs that tore off limbs, took innocent lives, disrupted a race that celebrates "Patriots Day" every year, a race where this year the 26th mile was dedicated to the 26 who died in Newtown. But the media are reporting that a Saudi student was being questioned after the bombings because of his proximity, the nature of his injuries and, yes, his nationality. Racist?
How do you avoid being a racist when you're afraid?
How do you avoid offering up your privacy and liberty — or, more likely, someone else's — when you are terrified of terror?
How do you maintain a free society when you see limbs flying?
It's true these events are rare. It's true that, compared to other countries, we are indeed remarkably free and safe. And perhaps we also are spoiled to believe that in this day and age we can have it all: freedom and safety, privacy and security, not to mention equality.
When I was a kid, we worried about the Russians. We practiced going to the basement of the school in case of a nuclear attack. How odd to see those as less terrifying days — and to long for them.
I hope the Saudi man had nothing to do with it. I hope the culprits, when they are found, will not add to our collective terror of "others." I hope this will not be a case that makes us even more afraid of those who are different from us, even though 99.9 percent of them mean us no harm. I hope.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Michelle Malkin - Bloody Chicago

President Obama's hometown of Chicago still goes by the old nickname "Windy City." But after three miserable decades of strict gun control and permanent Democratic rule, Chicago has cemented its reputation as America's Bloody City.
No amount of statistical whitewashing can cover up the stains of the left's ideological failures there. But as Obama continues to wage war on law-abiding gun owners, his home team is trying its hardest to spread smiley-face lies upon damned lies to downplay Chicago homicide statistics.
On Monday, April Fools' Day, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy held a press conference to tout a "dramatic" drop in the city's homicide rate. The headlines read: "March homicides drop dramatically in Chicago" (USA Today); "Murders fall 42 percent in America's deadliest city: Chicago" (NBC News); and "March homicides drop 69 percent in Chicago" (Las Vegas Sun)."
Emanuel trumpeted the drop as a "good sign." He hyped statistics to the Associated Press showing that first-quarter 2013 murders in Chicago tied the same time period in 2009. Murders decreased 69 percent compared to the same month last year; first-quarter homicides fell by 42 percent compared to the same time frame last year. Emanuel insisted: "We are clearly having an impact on the homicides."
But it's all in how you slice, dice and spin it, of course.
Let's face it. Gun-grabbers in Democratic-dominated cities have an institutional incentive to fudge the numbers. In New York City, which rivals Chicago when it comes to out-of-control gun-control regulations, a New York Police Department whistleblower recently exposed systemic manipulation of crime data.
As anti-Second Amendment crusader Michael Bloomberg made the rounds last spring touting the Big Apple as "the safest big city in America," an internal NYPD report confirmed that more than a dozen crime reports had been manipulated — including felonies downgraded and incident reports deep-sixed — to lower the crime rate. As punishment for exposing the tampering and corruption, the whistle-blowing officer, Adrian Schoolcraft, who secretly taped the manipulation, was suspended and forced into a psych ward. He's still fighting for justice and has never received an apology.
So, call me crazy, but I wouldn't put it past Team Obama's Chicago theater directors to goose their numbers to improve the optics for Dear Leader. Speaking of the lobbyist in chief, he parachuted into Colorado this week and surrounded himself with Denver police officer human props during a gun-control campaign event. The rank-and-filers were none too happy with being exploited for political purposes. "To protect and serve" is supposed to be a public safety imperative, not a campaign imperative.
But back to the Bloody City. In 2012, Chicago racked up the nation's deadliest death toll, with 506 of its residents murdered. The murder rate has simply returned to its bloody business as usual over the past five years. Here's the first-quarter death toll breakdown: 2013: 70; 2012: 120; 2011: 75; 2010: 75; 2009: 70.
The Second City Cop crime blog adds that Emanuel's claim regarding the homicide rate dropping to levels not seen since the 1950s "is based solely on the population decrease in the city of Chicago. This is an amazing abuse of numbers, but as Mark Twain said, 'There are lies, damned lies and statistics.' Welcome to 'statistics.'"
Local Chicago CBS 2 reporter Jay Levine didn't buy the whitewashing bunk, either. He challenged City Hall with a piece entitled: "City Touts Lower Homicide Stats, But Context Reveals Return To Normal." Put simply, "2013's 70 first-quarter homicides was a major improvement over 2012's 120 — but not over 2011 or 2010 or 2009."
While Emanuel sang "Don't Worry, Be Happy" for the press, the Bloody City was still reeling after a 6-month-old baby was shot and killed in gang crossfire. On Easter weekend, a mob of violent teens terrorized shoppers in the Magnificent Mile district. Similar outbreaks of racially driven attacks have escalated in Chicago under the reign of Daley-Emanuel-Obama. By some police estimates, gang violence accounts for up to 80 percent of the city's homicides.
Plagued by juvenile delinquency, organized crime, ruinous government dependency, corruption and out-of-control spending, these liberal-dominated hellholes have proved impervious to progressive "social justice" engineering. It's the insane demagogues blaming guns who need their heads examined.
(Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin is the daughter of Filipino Immigrants. She was born in Philadelphia, raised in southern New Jersey and now lives with her husband and daughter in Colorado. Her weekly column is carried by more than 100 newspapers.)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Roy Sanborn - 3 Real Estate Myths

As of April 1, 2013 there were 936 residential homes on the market in the twelve communities covered by this report. The average asking price was $513,337 and the median price point was $249,900. Our inventory is down a bit from last April when there were 994 homes available which is great news, but the average price and median price point is also a bit lower as well. Our current inventory represents just a little over a 12 month supply of homes on the market. Not too bad...
A recent article on the Fox Business News website by Brendon DeSimone cautioned readers not to be fooled by three real estate myths. Hey, what do you know, Real Estate Mythology! The first myth was that spring is the best time to sell a home. It has long been the conventional wisdom that spring was the time when buyers with families are out looking so they can find a new home to be into by the time the new school year started. No one wants the kiddos traumatized by starting mid-year at a new school. We've got video games for that! In the Lakes Region spring has always been a big selling period. Buyers finally have been able to dig themselves out from under the snow banks and are excited that they can actually see the properties they might want to buy.
But the article says that the best time to sell is actually the holiday season and right after. I can certainly agree that the buyers out looking for property on the second day of Christmas or when the weather is a balmy twenty four degrees are definitely serious! And, many buyers feel that a new year brings bright, new possibilities in home ownership leading them to embark on the search for a castle to call their own.
The following chart shows how many homes were sold each month in the twelve towns in this report. Our biggest sales months come during the summer and the fall. But homes sell all year round. I really think the best time to sell your home is when you have it ready to sell. Make sure it is in the best possible condition with all repairs taken care of, a fresh coat of paint where necessary, and above all make sure it is clean, clean, clean. And, I can also guarantee that no one is going to buy your home unless it is on the market.

RESIDENTIAL SALES CHART 2012 GOES HERE

The second myth is for buyers and that is always to start with your lowest offer on a property. The truth is you don't necessarily want to start with your highest and best, but you almost certainly won't get anywhere with a low ball offer on a well priced home. You will most likely anger the seller to the point where you won't get as good a deal as if you had come in with a more appropriately thought out offer. Now, it is true that some homes are overpriced and probably will sell well off the asking price, but those sellers are generally not very receptive to low ball offers. You may be better off pursuing a more reasonably priced home. That's why you should have the advice of a REALTOR® to help you determine property values and seller motivation before you make an offer. Most of the time, low ball offers will get you nowhere.
The third myth is that a cash offer will trump all others given the risk involved in getting financed today. Buyers always tend to believe that a cash offer is something that seller's can't resist. The article asks you to consider that you received two offers on your home that is listed at $399,000. One was cash for $375,000 and the other was at full price but financed with 25 percent down, a pre-approval letter, and quick contingency periods. The article recommends that the agent for the buyer with financing provide the seller with everything possible to prove that his client can meet the terms of the financing contingency and make the case that his deal is better. He might even arrange that the seller or seller's agent talk with the buyer's lender. It also helps a lot if the lender is someone local and that has a reputation of being able to provide superior customer service and be able to work through the glitches that always seem to pop up.
Other things to consider in the deal would be how much of a deposit that the cash buyer is putting down, the condition of the property, and how well it will fair in a home inspection. Is the cash buyer likely going to try to negotiate more on defects found in the home inspection? Is the value of the home questionable at all and does the cash offer request an appraisal to be done? There's a lot to consider in either offer! Getting financing on any home today can be a little daunting to say the least. But, any deal that can eliminate financing altogether certainly carries a lot of weight by eliminating the appraisal and underwriting process. And that's another reason why you need a REALTOR® to help you evaluate and give you assistance in the decision making process. Maybe next week we'll get into legends...
Please feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data was compiled as of 4/1/13 using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System. Roy Sanborn is a REALTOR® at Roche Realty Group and can be reached at 603-677-8420

Last Updated on Friday, 05 April 2013 10:18

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Jim Hightower - Wall Street hogs still running wild

Wall Street is a beast. And proud of it! In fact, a pair of animals are the stock market's longtime symbols: One is a snorting bull, representing surging stock prices; the other is a bear, representing a down market devouring stock value.
But I recently received a letter from a creative fellow named Charles saying that we need a third animal to depict the true nature of the Wall Street beast: a hog. Not just a little piggy, writes Charles — but a HOG, a really big one.
Yes! And we could name it "Jamie." Jamie Dimon — I mean the multimillionaire, silver-haired, golden-tongued CEO of JPMorgan Chase, America's biggest bank.
For years, Dimon has wallowed in the warm glow of America's financial, political and media limelight, hailed as a paragon of sound management and banker ethics. He's been publicly lauded by President Obama, celebrated by The New York Times and courted by leaders of both parties.
But, suddenly last summer, a big "oink" erupted from Chase, and Jamie's inner hoggishness was revealed. It started when one of Chase's investment arms went awry and lost $2 billion. At first, Dimon haughtily dismissed this as "a tempest in a teapot." But the loss of investors' money soon grew to a staggering $6 billion dollars. Criminal probes began, investors squirmed, media coverage grew testy, and then came the revelation that took all the glitter off of Dimon.
On March 14, a U.S. Senate committee issued a scathing 300-page report documenting that the loss was not a mere "trade blunder" by Chase underlings, but the product of a systemic corporate culture of recklessness, greed and deception. An internal e-mail from Jamie himself, with the words "I approve," traced the stench all the way to the top. Not only did Dimon know what was going on, he enabled it.
JPMorgan's mess stems from the same dangerous combo that rocked America's financial system in 2007 and crashed our economy: ethical rot in executive suites, sycophantic politicians and reporters and willfully blind regulators. Meanwhile, Jamie is still Boss Hog at the giant bank and still drawing millions of dollars in annual pay and perks.
Also, only one week after the Senate report came out, he was even given a media award for best 2012 performance by a CEO facing a corporate crisis. E-I-E-I-O!
For a better performance on containing banker narcissism, our lawmakers might look to Europe. I know that it's considered un-American to like anything those "namby-pamby" European nations do, but still: Let's hear it for the Swiss!
In a March 3 referendum, the mild-mannered, pacifist-minded Swiss people rose up and hammered their corporate executives who've been grabbing rip-off pay packages, despite having made massive financial messes. Two-thirds of voters emphatically shouted "yes" to a maverick ballot proposal requiring that shareholders be given the binding say on executive pay. Violators of the new rules would sacrifice up to six years of salary and face three years in jail. That's hardly namby-pamby.
Indeed, America's lawmakers and regulators are the ones who've been squishy-soft on banksterism. Jamie is not the only one being coddled — none of the Wall Street titans whose greed wrecked our economy have even been pursued by the law, much less put in jail.
It's no surprise, then, that those bankers have gone right back to scamming — and gleefully enriching themselves. Hardly a week goes by without another revelation of big-bank fraud, yet the banks simply pay an inconsequential fine and the culprits skate free.
Forget about too-big-to-fail, banks have become "too big to jail." Our nation's top prosecutor, Attorney General Eric Holder, recently conceded that finagling financial giants are being given a pass: "It does become difficult for us to prosecute them," he told a Senate subcommittee, "when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute — if we do bring a criminal charge — it will have a negative impact on the national economy."
Meanwhile, just four giants — Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo — put nearly $20 million into last year's elections, mostly to back Republicans promising to weaken the few feeble restraints we now have on banker thievery. With such Keystone Kops overseeing them, why would any Wall Streeter even think of going straight? Nothing will change until officials gut it up, go after lawless bankers and bust up the banks that are too big to exist.
(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 10:17

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