The Spectacle Blog

Immigration Reform? A Better Idea

By on 1.10.06 | 8:52AM

The Central American clown show -- meeting in Mexico City -- reportedly demanded that the US allow more immigration and legalize the illegals already here. I have a better idea.

Those nations - especially Mexico - that, as government policy, export their troubles to us, should pay a high price for doing so. All of these countries are on the dole. We should deduct $100,000 from their foreign aid grant for every illegal from their nation captured here (with double the penalty for everyone caught more than once). I'm just throwing that figure out. It may be far too low.

The tinfoil-hat crowd that rules most of these nations might get the message if illegal immigration started costing them money, instead of us.

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Blunt Talk

By on 1.10.06 | 8:47AM

Interesting the the Blunt camp last night was spinning to folks that they almost had the election wrapped up for GOP Leader.

This election does not have the feel of one that will be short and sweet. We're hearing that both sides are whipping each other's "confirmed" endorsements pretty aggressively. That's not an indicator that anyone is confident that they are close to victory.

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Shadegg Shaking Things Up?

By on 1.10.06 | 8:45AM

Word this morning is that some conservative House colleagues of Rep. John Shadegg (AZ), who has insisted that he is not seeking the House Majority Leader position, are looking for an opening to press him into challenging Reps. Boehner and Blunt for the job. Shadegg is viewed by many off Capitol Hill - in the blogosphere and among party activists - as the "true conservative" option to Boehner and Blunt. This is interesting, if only because the "Two B's" running both have stellar conservative pedigrees and voting records. The fact that Shadegg's name continues to be floated would indicate that the zeal for "reform" that is being tossed about isn't being addressed as readily as perhaps the "Two B's" whip operations believe with their candidates, and that there is a well spring of support for a third candidate.

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The Big Alito Yawn

By on 1.10.06 | 8:41AM

It's official. While the Beltway/legal/political world is watching the confirmation hearings for Judge Alito as Supreme Court justice like most folks watch the Super Bowl, the rest of the country just doesn't care.

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The Judean Authority

By on 1.9.06 | 11:56PM

Source in Jerusalem reports a breakaway clique of West Bank settlers calling themselves the Judean Authority is challenging the authority of the Israeli Government to evict them from their homes and turn over their homesteaded land to the terrorists called the Palestinian Authority. The settlement that houses these vigorous rebels is approximately 40 minutes from Jerusalem in the barren rolling hills of what is called Judea. The Israeli police have already identified the clique as hostile and led a raid on the settlement's guard dog training kennel last weekend in order to intimidate the hotheads. However in the way of the world when the state turns its brute force against its own patriots, the nascent Judean Authority grows stronger as the state becomes ridiculous in its fears of dissidents. The leadership crisis in Jerusalem, with no Sharon successor in sight, means there is rich ground for mischief on the basis of the settlements.

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Pushing Chafee

By on 1.9.06 | 3:43PM

Just in on the fax: Family Research Council is launching a pro-Alito/pressure-Chafee ad campaign in Rhode Island (a best buy political move since Providence-New Bedford market blankets the state), heavily playing the Italian Catholic card. (Brief tangent: it's a wondrous sight to see a predominantly evangelical group, Catholic employees aside, going this route.) Read the text here. Though Rhode Island is heavily Democratic, at 63 percent it's also the most Catholic state in the country -- the one state this tactic may work.

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Flaking Out

By on 1.9.06 | 3:34PM

So Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ) gets the ball rolling to push Rep. Tom DeLay out the door, but he's unhappy with the chaos he created. Both Flake and his colleague, New Hampshire Rep. Charlie Bass, are now circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter chastising their fellow Republican caucus members for so aggressively endorsing and campaigning for open, or potentially open, positions.

To be sure, their broader message -- that publicizing support undercuts the caucus's ability to force real change and reform -- is the right one. But shouldn't this have been something they tried to impart before they blew the whole thing up on Friday?

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Whipping Support

By on 1.9.06 | 3:30PM

As we reported this morning, Rep. Mike Rogers (MI) this afternoon circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter announcing that he is challenging Rep. Eric Cantor for the Republican Whip position.

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Does Boehner Get It?

By on 1.9.06 | 3:05PM

Flipping through his campaign booklet, "A Majority That Matters," I have my doubts. He tosses about keywords such as trust and vision. He has a road map for compiling a vision.

More substantially, he correctly diagnoses the power of the budgetary process as part of the Abramoff problem. His solution is vague and not compelling:

We need to get our arms around the power that our budget represents. We need to distinguish, for example, between legitimate earmarks with a clear local need and those for which the merits are less well demonstrated.

Congressman, I'll help you get your arms around it: It's too much. The government's too big. Any significant reform of the House, the Republican Party, or the "process" must involve a firm commitment to smaller government.

So I searched the document for the word "spending." The results were not encouraging. It's mentioned seven times:

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