Patterico's Pontifications


Obama: Who Would Be Good for AG? Hey, How About That Woman Who Erected the Wall Between the FBI and DoJ? That Sounds Good!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:30 pm

Is this a joke? It has to be a joke.

Certainly Barack Obama can’t be seriously considering nominating Jamie Gorelick as Attorney General. He can’t truly be considering hiring the woman who erected the wall between FBI counterintelligence agents and DoJ with a memo that said:

We believe that it is prudent to establish a set of instructions that will more clearly separate the counterintelligence investigation from the more limited, but continued, criminal investigations. These procedures, which go beyond what is legally required, will prevent any risk of creating an unwarranted appearance that FISA is being used to avoid procedural safeguards which would apply in a criminal investigation.

Beldar says that “the prospect of Jamie Gorelick heading up the Department of Justice is worth filibustering, if anything or anyone is.”

Damn right.

This is the first test of the few conservatives we have left in Congress.

Did Illegal Immigrants Decide This Election? The L.A. Times Seems Remarkably Incurious . . .

Filed under: Blogging Matters,Crime,Dog Trainer,General,Immigration — Patterico @ 1:51 pm

In a front-page article in today’s Sunday edition, the L.A. Times tells us that the Latino vote increased heavily in this past election. So much so, in fact, that Texas may be a battleground state in the future. The article explains:

A major shift in the Latino vote took place in Florida and the Southwest, where the Obama campaign spent at least $20 million on targeted appeals and organizing, including one television ad in the final days featuring the candidate reading Spanish from a script.

Latinos made up a greater share of the electorate than in the past in every Southwestern state, according to exit polls compiled by CNN.

What explains these increases? A massive in legal immigration? A massive increase in the turnout of legally registered Latino voters?

Might some part of the increase be due to illegal immigration?

The article seems remarkably uninterested in that last possibility.

The article does drop some hints, such as when we were told of Obama’s campaign: “Much of the campaign’s attention in that effort focused on Latinos in the Rio Grande Valley.” Which, it just so happens, is right next to Mexico.

But the article makes absolutely no effort to determine whether these numbers have been in any way affected by massive increases in illegal immigration over the past several years. Indeed, the subject of illegal immigration comes up only as a way to rebuke Republicans for focusing on it: “Many Latinos, for instance, are angry at Republicans for the harsh anti-illegal-immigration rhetoric used by some in the party in blocking a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.”

Several days ago, I asked you: “What do you think is the single greatest source of voter fraud in this country?” To me, the answer is obvious and intuitive: votes cast by illegal immigrants.

By all accounts there are far more than 10 million illegal immigrants in this country. Most estimates are around 12-13 million; some are 16-17 million; some are as high as 20 million. We have gotten about 500,000 new illegal immigrants per year every year since 2004; from 2000-2004 this number was even higher, ranging from 800,000 to 850,000 new illegals every year.

We all know that these illegals do much of what citizens do: drive, work, receive health care, etc.

Many do these things off the books, driving without licenses and working without documentation. But many others do these things with phony documentation, obtaining fraudulent licenses and filling out work papers with bogus information.

Why wouldn’t they vote, too?

It certainly seems logically possible that there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of illegal votes cast in this past election. If this is true, it is possible that illegal immigrants decided this election.

Tell me where I’m wrong.

But of course, none of this comes up in the article. This is a newspaper that loves to talk about the ills facing our society in general, and Southern California in particular — but somehow, the most obvious cause of those ills never gets mentioned.

P.S. You need to understand that this problem is self-perpetuating. The more illegal immigrants we let in, the more will vote. Even if you utterly discount the idea that illegal immigrants vote, it’s clear that Latinos in general are voting more heavily Democrat because they perceive an anti-immigrant bias from opposition to illegal immigration. See, for example, here (.pdf). This means that, more and more, politicians will feel the need to cater to that constituency. Meaning that our policies will get more and more lax still. Meaning still more illegal immigrants will be let in. And so on.

We have already lost the battle. We lost it long ago.

P.P.S. In the extended entry, I’ll take a quick stab at analyzing some of the numbers that the L.A. Times fails to analyze.


Obama’s First Acts (Updated)

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 8:48 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Washington Post reports a team of Obama advisers have been working for months to identify executive orders an Obama Administration could immediately implement to reverse President Bush’s policies in several areas, including abortion. According to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“We have been communicating with his transition staff” almost daily, Richards said. “We expect to see a real change.”

In addition, Obama has said he plans to “quickly reverse the Bush administration’s decision last December to deny California the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles.” California sought to mandate fuel economy standards of 36 mpg by 2016.

The transition team is also working on sweeping new orders regarding stem cell research, the environment and greenhouse gas emissions, climate change (assuring that climate change gets “lots of attention in the White House”), food and drug regulations, and immigration enforcement.

GOP voters and politicians will be upset when the Obama Administration changes President Bush’s policies on stem cells, abortion, and other hot-button social issues but that’s the downside of losing an election. However, it’s the environmental, climate change, and greenhouse gas policies that will impact us the most … and primarily in our wallets. Specifically, the Obama Administration will almost certainly implement rules that support cap-and-trade policies and possibly a carbon tax that I expect Congress will pass in a revised version of the Boxer-Lieberman-Warner bill.

UPDATE: Jules Crittenden analyzes Obama’s plans in more detail.


Mankiw’s Economic Advice for Obama

Filed under: Economics — DRJ @ 1:23 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Harvard Economics Professor Greg Mankiw has four suggestions for Barack Obama:

Listen to your economists.

“Pay close attention to what they have to say. They will often give you advice quite different from what you will hear from congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.”

Embrace some Republican ideas.

“Your best chance of delivering what they want requires that you abandon some of your past positions and pursue a more moderate, bipartisan course [as Bill Clinton did].”

Mankiw also recommends that Obama embrace McCain’s refundable health insurance tax credit. Mankiw describes this as the Furman-McCain plan because it was advanced by Jason Furman, a former student of Mankiw’s and Obama’s director of economic policy, before McCain ever proposed it.

Pay attention to the government’s budget constraint.

“[D]uring the campaign, you promised that you would cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans, that you would vastly expand health insurance coverage, and that you would never cut Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age. You will almost surely have to renege on some of these promises.”

Recognize your past mistakes.

“Your economists can explain to you why these [isolationaist] positions [you voted for] were wrong-headed. Economic isolationism is not in the national interest.”

Good advice that I suspect will fall on deaf ears.


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