Newt Gingrich on solving the illegal immigration problems

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When he’s not slamming the President as the worst president since Jimmy Carter, Newt Gingrich is well-worth the read/listen, and his “Practical Steps to Solving Immigration, American Identity, and Border Security” piece is no exception. The suggestions involve common sense, something seriously lacking in the out-of-control rhetoric being tossed back and forth by many in the immigration debate (with the exception of a few – most noteably, the well-versed commenters to this blog!).

Check it out, and let me know what you think.

Hat tip: ST reader Great White Rat

What’s up?

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Illegitimacy, that’s what: John R. Lott, Jr. takes a sobering look at the unintended consequences of legalized abortion.

Unfortunately, along with illegitimacy, the number of abortions in the US is up, too – as I noted a few days ago. And they’re also up to “record highs” in the UK.

This, my friends, is what they would call “progressive.” Leaves a pretty sour taste, doesn’t it?

Semi-related: Good news via the AP: Bush Plans to Veto Stem Cell Bill

NJ Walk-A-Thon for the Hydrocephalus Association

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My friend Michael Illions sent this request on Father’s Day but obviously I missed it as I am behind on email (sorry Michael!). In any event, he wrote about an event going on in New Jersey in September that you may be interested in supporting:

I want to wish all the fathers a Happy Father’s Day. As a father myself, this day is especially important and special to me. As many of you know, my son Cole was born with Hydrocephalus, commonly known as “water on the brain”.

Cole Illions
Cole Illions

Cole will be 2 years old next month and this year, thankfully, was a lot better than his first year. On September 9th, 2007, we will be holding a Walk-A-Thon in New Jersey to benefit the Hydrocephalus Association to help find a cure for this illness. Right now there is only a treatment.

I’ve created a fund-raising page for Cole and would really appreciate whatever the blogging community can do, $5, $10, anything to help me reach my personal goal of $500.00.

We proved the Doctor’s wrong when they advised us to terminate the pregnancy because our child was going to be “very sick” and “incompatible with life.”

We chose life when the Doctor’s offered death.

The Fund-raising page is HERE
Cole’s story is HERE

As you can see from the “Cole’s story” page, Cole is a special, strong young man and I know the love, care, and support his parents have given him have only made him stronger. I hope that you will consider supporting the Illions family as they prepare to walk for a cure for hydrocephalus.

To learn more about hydrocephalus, go here.

Dems oughta listen to their own ‘experts’

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I missed this article the first time around, but ST reader Sev passed the link on via email and I just now had time to check it out:

During Sunday night’s Democratic presidential debate, the candidates cited an oft-repeated source of the mess in Iraq: The White House’s refusal to heed knowledgeable advice.

Indeed, it has often been said that the president got into Iraq because he disregarded advice from the true regional experts: foreign-policy “realists” who put together the Gulf War I coalition and counseled President George H.W. Bush against regime change; “moderate” Sunni Arab Governments; and the U.S. intelligence community.

But what if today these groups were actually advising against an American withdrawal?

Consider Brent Scowcroft, dean of the Realist School, who openly opposed the war from the outset and was a lead skeptic of the president’s democracy-building agenda. In a recent Financial Times interview, he succinctly summed up the implication of withdrawal: “The costs of staying are visible; the costs of getting out are almost never discussed. If we get out before Iraq is stable, the entire Middle East region might start to resemble Iraq today. Getting out is not a solution.”

And here is retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, former Centcom Commander and a vociferous critic of the what he sees as the administration’s naive and one-sided policy in Iraq and the broader Middle East: “When we are in Iraq we are in many ways containing the violence. If we back off we give it more room to breathe, and it may metastasize in some way and become a regional problem. We don’t have to be there at the same force level, but it is a five- to seven-year process to get any reasonable stability in Iraq.”

A number of Iraq’s Sunni Arab neighbors also opposed the war as well as the U.S. push for liberalizing the region’s authoritarian governments. Yet they now backchannel the same two priorities to Washington: Do not let Iran acquire nukes, and do not withdraw from Iraq.

A senior Gulf Cooperation Council official told me that “If America leaves Iraq, America will have to return. Soon. It will not be a clean break. It will not be a permanent goodbye. And by the time America returns, we will have all been drawn in. America will have to stabilize more than just Iraq. The warfare will have spread to other countries, governments will be overthrown. America’s military is barely holding on in Iraq today. How will it stabilize ‘Iraq Plus’?” (Iraq Plus is the term that some leaders in Arab capitals use to describe the region following a U.S. withdrawal.)

I heard similar warnings made repeatedly on a recent trip to almost every capital in the Persian Gulf–to some of America’s closest allies and hosts of our military.

Likewise, withdrawal proponents cite career U.S. intelligence professionals as war skeptics, and not without basis. Yet here is what the U.S. intelligence community predicted in its National Intelligence Estimate early this year: “Coalition capabilities, including force levels, resources, and operations, remain an essential stabilizing element in Iraq. If Coalition forces were withdrawn rapidly during the term of this Estimate, we judge that this almost certainly would lead to a significant increase in the scale and scope of sectarian conflict in Iraq. . . .

“If such a rapid withdrawal were to take place, we judge that the Iraqi Security Forces would be unlikely to survive as a non-sectarian national institution: neighboring countries–invited by Iraqi factions or unilaterally–might intervene openly in the conflict; massive civilian casualties and forced population displacement would be probable; al Qaida in Iraq would attempt to use parts of the country–particularly al-Anbar province–to plan increased attacks in and outside of Iraq; and spiraling violence and disarray in Iraq, along with Kurdish moves to control Kirkuk and strengthen autonomy, could prompt Turkey to launch a military incursion.”

If the presidential candidates go on a listening tour, it’s important to consider one additional group: A number of Western reporters who have spent the past few years in Iraq.

Make sure to read it all.

In essence, the writer is reminding us of the fact that Dems were screaming that we should listen to ‘the Generals’ as it related to ousting Donald Rumsfeld, yet wouldn’t listen to them when it came to them advising against withdrawal from Iraq. This type of selective citing of ‘experts’ is all too common within the rank and file in the Democratic party, unfortunately.

Breaking: NY mayor Mike Bloomberg is “leaving” the GOP

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Via WCBSTV:

(CBS) NEW YORK CBS 2 HD has learned New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is leaving the Republican party and has announced he is currently unaffiliated with a political party.

The move will clearly begin advancing rumors that the mayor is gearing towards a presidential run, which he has denied in the past.

In a statement, Bloomberg said:

“I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party. Although my plans for the future haven’t changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our City.”

On Tuesday, Bloomberg was in California attending a conference at the University of Southern California along with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The pair appeared on this week’s cover of Time magazine.

This only makes it ‘official.’ Bloomberg left the party a long time ago. In fact, I’m not ever sure if he truly was a part of it.

Will Chuck Hagel be next, to complete a future ‘Independent’ presidential ticket?

Hillary finds a campaign theme song

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… while at the same time spoofing the infamous end to The Sopranos. Watch the video here.

On a related note, Captain Ed wonders if Hillary is the inevitable Dem candidate. She’s certainly been polling extremely well, but it’s early on so it’s still anybody’s guess.

In spite of the fact that she’s doing as well as she is, John Edwards is trying to drum up support by saying he’s the most “electable” of the Big 3 Dem (including Obama) candidates, because he can supposedly carry swing states. Whatever, Your Royal Arrogance.

Evening Update: Here’s a somewhat interesting, slighly humorous history of what Hillary’s campaign song (Celine Dion’s “You and I”) was really originally written for.

It’s actually a great song, but belongs in a more worthy campaign.

Prior:

The dumbing down of America continues

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Want to be paid $300 for doing well on a school test, or $200 for visiting the doctor? You can be – if you’re poor and live in NYC:

NEW YORK — Poor residents will be rewarded for good behavior — like $300 for doing well on school tests, $150 for holding a job and $200 for visiting the doctor — under an experimental anti-poverty program that city officials detailed Monday.

The rewards have been used in other countries, including Brazil and Mexico, and have drawn widespread praise for changing behavior among the poor. Mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to Mexico this spring to study the healthy lifestyle payments, also known as conditional cash transfers.

In New York, the two-year pilot program with about 14,000 participants will use private funds Bloomberg has raised because he did not want to spend government money on something that is highly experimental. More than $43 million has been raised toward the $53 million goal, Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs said.

The theory behind cash rewards is that poor people are trapped in a cycle of repeated setbacks that keep them from climbing out of poverty. A person who doesn’t keep up with his vaccinations and doctor’s visits, for example, may get sick more often and struggle to stay employed.

Bloomberg, a billionaire Republican, said he believes paying people in such circumstances to make good decisions could help break those patterns. The program “gives New Yorkers in poverty a financial incentive to look ahead and make decisions that will improve their prospects for the future,” he said in a statement.

Granted, this is coming from money Bloomberg has raised, but imagine if city ‘leaders’ view it as ‘successful.’ Then guess whose pockets the money will be coming from? Yours.

What about the motivational incentive to own your own home? Buy your own car? Pay your own way through life? Be a responsible adult and provider? If financial incentives are the only way to get the poor motivated in this country, then we’re in deeper trouble than originally thought.