novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

Our entire area is filled with lobbyists, cronyists, bureaucrats, special interest sharks, and political insiders. Welcome to the new America where one is either an oligarch getting rich on tax subsidies, or struggling and living on some form of federal assistance:

Chart via American Enterprise Institute:

There is also a very good article on this theme by Scott Beyer of the American Enterprise Institute. Read it here

A little local news to cleanse the palate. Loudoun County Public Schools are considering asking Richmond for permission to charge students for riding the bus.

I saw this story and it made me ask: “Why are we having such budget problems in Loudoun that local officials are actually considering making parents pay for bus rides to school?” (Read the full story is here)

Some are saying that this is proof that sprawl does not work and that taxes are too low in Loudoun

A few takeaway questions:

- Considering that children pay for lunch, why would it not be reasonable to pay for the bus ride?

- Are taxes too low in Loudoun? If the county is spending too much, then where’s the waste? (not saying there’s no waste, just want to know). Also consider that Loudoun County can’t afford to build new roads because the new developments are so spread apart.

- Are our local elected officials focused too much on policies that promote sprawl? Considering that we can not even transport our children to school with out having to consider levying some type of fee because schools and housing are too far flung and budgets are not covering the needs, the answer to that question is probably “yes”.

- If we are having budget troubles now, just imagine how much fun it will be once Loudoun has to pitch in to pay for the Metro in about 5 years or so.

You all should know well by now that I am no fan of unions. I don’t like their focus, their tactics, the politics or their ways of doing business. Here is yet another example. The dock workers and longshoremen in Tacoma and Seattle, now also LA and San Diego, have been working without a contract since July 1st. That they continue to work under an old contract is admirable. To slow things down to get their way is not. Yes, they do have the option to strike, which would probably speed negotiations up since it is believed that each day of a strike could cost a billion dollars or more. That ain’t chump change. The ports handle about 29% of our GDP and that is a force to be reckoned with. It appears that there are other contributing factors at work here, and have been for many years. That a letter was sent to the Obama administration for arbitration is a good thing. That they have waited this long is not. Many businesses are and have been suffering because of this slowdown, through no fault of their own. Unions don’t seem to really care about who they hurt at times. In a time of plentiful cheap labor (being pushed by big business and Obama), the unions seem to be cutting their own throats. But that seems to be what big business wants. Who will win in the end between big business and unions is anyone’s guess. The losers will be small business and consumers. That never bodes well for the economy.

By the way. It is racist to refer to these Ferguson protestors as “looters”. I suggest “undocumented shoppers”:

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Undocumented shopper snaps a picture after shopping spree!

Undocumented shopper snaps a picture after shopping spree!

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Undocumented shoppers making their way out of the store with much needed free stuff

 

My, my! What a nation we will be leaving to the Mexicans…

Looks like the “nobody knows him” Obamacare architect Gruber will go before Congress to see just what the hell type of scam the Dems and their cronies were perpetrating on American citizens (and the rest of the world was surely watching). It is about time.

Meanwhile, Chuck “I’m so lost” Hagel is resigning. Why? I don’t like or respect the guy and think he was way over his head in that post, so it doesn’t matter who flinched first. Rumors have it that Obama wanted this. Maybe Hagel has had enough of Obama. I feel that this will be the first of many as Obama re-arranges his cabinet to more fit his radical push going forward. That’s just my guess. Anyone that may make Obama feel irrelevant at this juncture needs to go because this loser in the WH wants his library and needs SOMETHING, ANYTHING that he can attribute to his tenure. Well, he has plenty contributed to him, just none of it “positive”. Poor, lost, dictator. Poor, retched man.

I didn’t want to say anything but it will be all over the news for the next week here; about how controversial and good he was. Go to the WaPo story if you don’t know the man. I have had to live through his exploits.

When I think of Marion Barry (which only happens when his name is thrown up), I think of three things: corruption, home rule, and corruption. Sure, we all have our faults and, yes, he will have to make it right with God. He has left a following to be reckoned with, which is a tribute to his achievements. Those achievements would be how he helped those with his social programs. All he really showed is that DC politicians are basically corrupt (they’re Dems you know) and that home rule, or even statehood, does not belong to the District of Columbia. But things haven’t changed and, I’m fairly certain, won’t in the future. Best let it be that another corrupt politician has left this earth and he will have more company soon to follow in the near future. When corrupt politicians have no more influence on the people (death is a strong indicator of such) then it is a better day for the people on the whole. I just hate having to hear the tripe about this guy for a week. Like I did with Ted Kennedy.

Well, the Dear Leader has given his much-anticipated speech on illegal immigration.

Let’s dissect it, shall we?

My fellow Americans…

0bama’s an American?  Can he prove that?  Can we see his school records to see whether he was here as a foreign student?  No?  Never mind, then.

…tonight, I’d like to talk with you about immigration.

No he doesn’t.  He wants to talk to us or at us, but not with us.  That would require dialogue, in which autocrats have no interest.

For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations.  It’s kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial.  It has shaped our character as a people with limitless possibilities – people not trapped by our past, but able to remake ourselves as we choose.

No, our tradition of assimilating legal immigrants has done all that.

But today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it.

It is broken because 0bama and his ilk have refused to enforce the laws.  They broke it, now they say they’re going to fix it?!  Enforce the laws.  Then see whether the system is broken.  Try the system first before you say it doesn’t work.

Families who enter our country the right way and play by the rules watch others flout the rules.  Business owners who offer their workers good wages and benefits see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants by paying them far less.  All of us take offense to anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America.  And undocumented immigrants who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities see little option but to remain in the shadows, or risk their families being torn apart.

If they wanted those responsibilities, they would have entered legally.  They flout the rules because they do not want to obey the rules.

It’s been this way for decades.  And for decades, we haven’t done much about it.

And he’s not going to do anything about it, either.  It is illegal to hire people who are here illegally.  Is he going to increase prosecutions of those employers?  Is he going to put those employers out of business?  No.  That’s the crux of the problem, and 0bama won’t do anything about it.

When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system.  And I began by doing what I could to secure our borders.

That’s a good one!

Today, we have more agents and technology deployed to secure our southern border than at any time in our history.  And over the past six years, illegal border crossings have been cut by more than half.  Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years.  Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s.  Those are the facts.

And how can we possibly know that?  If we know they are crossing illegally, why don’t we stop them?

Meanwhile, I worked with Congress on a comprehensive fix, and last year, 68 Democrats, Republicans, and Independents came together to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate.  It wasn’t perfect.  It was a compromise, but it reflected common sense.  It would have doubled the number of border patrol agents, while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship if they paid a fine, started paying their taxes, and went to the back of the line.  And independent experts said that it would help grow our economy and shrink our deficits.

But no mention of H.R.3846, The United States Customs and Border Protection Authorization Act, which passed the House Ju;y 29th and was totally ignored by the Senate?

Had the House of Representatives allowed that kind of a bill a simple yes-or-no vote, it would have passed with support from both parties, and today it would be the law.  But for a year and a half now, Republican leaders in the House have refused to allow that simple vote.

And what if the Demonrat leaders of the Senate had allowed a simple yes-or-no vote on H.R.3846?  Would you have signed that if it passed?  When the next Congress passes an immigration bill, will you sign that?

Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law.  But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President – the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican Presidents before me – that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.

No, they haven’t.

Tonight, I am announcing those actions.

First, we’ll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings, and speed the return of those who do cross over.

I’ll believe it when I see it.  He’s had six years to do that.

Second, I will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.

And day laborers and criminals, too, I’m sure.  You know — the ones who commit crimes that Americans won’t.

Third, we’ll take steps to deal responsibly with the millions of undocumented immigrants who already live in our country.

That would be deporting them.

I want to say more about this third issue, because it generates the most passion and controversy.  Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws.

Unless they are laws 0bama doesn’t like.  Then he will just choose not to enforce them.

Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable – especially those who may be dangerous.  That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent.  And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security.  Felons, not families.  Criminals, not children.  Gang members, not a mother who’s working hard to provide for her kids.  We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.

That is not what law enforcement does every day.  They do not ignore petty crimes and only prosecute dangerous criminals.

But even as we focus on deporting criminals, the fact is, millions of immigrants – in every state, of every race and nationality – will still live here illegally.  And let’s be honest – tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic.  Anyone who suggests otherwise isn’t being straight with you.

So what?  Tracking down and prosecuting all the millions of minor criminals in the United States is also unrealistic.  But when one is caught, he is prosecuted.  When an someone here illegally is caught, he should be deported.

It’s also not who we are as Americans.  After all, most of these immigrants have been here a long time.

So the more you break the law, the less you should be prosecuted for it?  “Well, he’s been selling weed a long time, you know.  Really worked hard to establish a hardy, high-THC crop and a reliable clientèle.  We should just let him keep doing it.”

They work hard, often in tough, low-paying jobs.  They support their families.  They worship at our churches.  Many of their kids are American-born or spent most of their lives here, and their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are just like ours.

“After all, he’s trying to support his family with that pot business.  He even donates some of the money to the church.  And his kids’ hopes and dreams would be dashed if we destroyed his crop and sent him to jail.”

As my predecessor, President Bush, once put it:  “They are a part of American life.”

So are stupid demonrats — but we don’t have to like it.

Now here’s the thing: we expect people who live in this country to play by the rules.  We expect that those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded.  So we’re going to offer the following deal:  If you’ve been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes – you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation.  You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.

Are those IF clauses ANDed together?  Does one have to have BOTH been here five year AND have children who are American citizens or legal residents?  Now, here’s the thing.  This is being done by executive order, not by law.  As such, it is impossible for these people to get right with the law in this fashion.  The law makes no such accommodation.  Thus, as soon as the next president is elected, he can and should deport all those who register under this deal.   Shout that from the rooftops, folks.  This is why people don’t want to register their guns — because the government will know where they are and come get them.  Now, the government will know where the illegals are, so we won’t have to track them down to round them up and deport them!

Oh, and how, exactly, do you do a background check on an illegal immigrant?

That’s what this deal is.  Now let’s be clear about what it isn’t.  This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently.  It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future.  It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that.  All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.

You don’t have the right to stay here permanently, but we won’t deport you?  Sounds like a non sequitur to me.

I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty.  Well, it’s not.  Amnesty is the immigration system we have today – millions of people who live here without paying their taxes or playing by the rules, while politicians use the issue to scare people and whip up votes at election time.

The current system is amnesty because 0bama refuses to enforce the law.  The law is not the system.

That’s the real amnesty – leaving this broken system the way it is.  Mass amnesty would be unfair.  Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.  What I’m describing is accountability – a commonsense, middle ground approach:  If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law.  If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.  If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up.

There is no accountability in this deal.   There is no fairness in this deal.  How is this in any way fair to those who have played by the rules?

The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century.  And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer:  Pass a bill.

Congress didpass a bill.  Many years ago.  How about enforcing that one before demanding another that you will not enforce?

I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution.  And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.

Oh, really?  So your executive orders will say that they expire as soon as you sign an immigration bill?

Meanwhile, don’t let a disagreement over a single issue be a dealbreaker on every issue.  That’s not how our democracy works, and Congress certainly shouldn’t shut down our government again just because we disagree on this.  Americans are tired of gridlock.  What our country needs from us right now is a common purpose – a higher purpose.

Congress didn’t shut down the government last time.  Congress funded everything except 0bamacare.  0bama chose to shut down the government by not signing that bill.

Most Americans support the types of reforms I’ve talked about tonight.  But I understand the disagreements held by many of you at home.  Millions of us, myself included, go back generations in this country, with ancestors who put in the painstaking work to become citizens.  So we don’t like the notion that anyone might get a free pass to American citizenship.  I know that some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are, or take our jobs, or stick it to middle-class families at a time when they already feel like they’ve gotten the raw end of the deal for over a decade.  I hear these concerns.  But that’s not what these steps would do.  Our history and the facts show that immigrants are a net plus for our economy and our society.  And I believe it’s important that all of us have this debate without impugning each other’s character.

Legal immigration is a net plus.  Illegal immigration is a net minus.

Because for all the back-and-forth of Washington, we have to remember that this debate is about something bigger.  It’s about who we are as a country, and who we want to be for future generations.

Yes, and you want us to be just another Latin American socialist banana republic.  Thank you, no.

Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law?  Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility, and give their kids a better future?

They do have the chance to get right with the law.  Go home, go to an American consulate or embassy, and apply to come here legally like everyone else.  That is how they can make amends.

Are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms?  Or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?

We send criminals to jail, and we do not let their kids go with them.  If they want to take their children with them when they are deported, they should certainly be allowed to do so.

Are we a nation that educates the world’s best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us?  Or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs, businesses, and industries right here in America?

Hey, idiot, those nations send their best and brightest here so that they will go back.  If we allow those students to stay, those countries will stop sending them here.

That’s what this debate is all about.  We need more than politics as usual when it comes to immigration; we need reasoned, thoughtful, compassionate debate that focuses on our hopes, not our fears.

How about some compassion for the poor Americans who cannot compete with the illegal immigrants because the employers can pay the illegals under the table — no Minimum Wage and no payroll taxes?  How about some compassion for the poor shlubs to wait years, even decades, to come here legally, and you spit in their faces and make fools of them by this deal with lawbreakers.

I know the politics of this issue are tough.  But let me tell you why I have come to feel so strongly about it.

Yes, it’s all about feeling.  Thinking is not for demonrats.

Over the past few years, I have seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked two or three jobs, without taking a dime from the government, and at risk at any moment of losing it all, just to build a better life for their kids.  I’ve seen the heartbreak and anxiety of children whose mothers might be taken away from them just because they didn’t have the right papers.  I’ve seen the courage of students who, except for the circumstances of their birth, are as American as Malia or Sasha; students who bravely come out as undocumented in hopes they could make a difference in a country they love.  These people – our neighbors, our classmates, our friends – they did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life.  They came to work, and study, and serve in our military, and above all, contribute to America’s success.

Wait.  You’ve seen these things?  And why did you not prosecute these lawbreakers you saw?

Tomorrow, I’ll travel to Las Vegas and meet with some of these students, including a young woman named Astrid Silva.  Astrid was brought to America when she was four years old.  Her only possessions were a cross, her doll, and the frilly dress she had on.  When she started school, she didn’t speak any English.  She caught up to the other kids by reading newspapers and watching PBS, and became a good student.  Her father worked in landscaping.  Her mother cleaned other people’s homes.  They wouldn’t let Astrid apply to a technology magnet school for fear the paperwork would out her as an undocumented immigrant – so she applied behind their back and got in.  Still, she mostly lived in the shadows – until her grandmother, who visited every year from Mexico, passed away, and she couldn’t travel to the funeral without risk of being found out and deported.  It was around that time she decided to begin advocating for herself and others like her, and today, Astrid Silva is a college student working on her third degree.

Are we a nation that kicks out a striving, hopeful immigrant like Astrid – or are we a nation that finds a way to welcome her in?

Bully for her.  How about this deal — she can stay, and even become an American citizen, but her parents are immediately deported?

Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger – we were strangers once, too.

Even the Devil can quote scripture.

My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants.  We were strangers once, too.  And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship.  What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal – that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.

I thought it was because our ancestors killed all the Indians. How did that unchecked illegal immigration work out for them?

That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us.  That’s the tradition we must uphold.  That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this country we love.

God has blessed America.  But 0bama and the rest of the demonrats want to fundamentally change that.