When it is only a question of frequency

This “triggers on border security” thing is interesting to me because I don’t see how they’ll quantify any of it. Will it be number of illegals crossing the border, frequency of patrols, height of border wall, number of sharks with frickin’ laser beams in the border moat? This seems like exactly the kind of thing the GOP loves: some tough-sounding, poorly-defined measure that allows them to justify however they vote:

One, Marco Rubio and Republicans considering any comprehensive immigration reform want a “trigger” to make sure that border enforcement comes before legalization. “Unless there’s real enforcement triggers, we are not going to have a bill that moves on the opportunity to apply for a green card,” Rubio told Rush Limbaugh yesterday. (The big question here, of course: What would these “triggers” be?)

Could see it going either way: YES to immigration reform because we’ve got the moat now (read: because we want to avoid political suicide) or NO because the moat’s not wide enough (read: because we’re afraid of getting primaried by Teahdist). Probably the latter though.

110 replies
  1. 1
    GregB says:

    Rubio is really going to broaden his appeal among the larger Hispanic community by genuflecting to that grotesquely racist sack of rotten cabbage and cigar spit.

    Go for it Marco, Rush is the voice of the downtrodden masses and recent immigrants.

    What an asshole.

  2. 2
    Maude says:

    Rubio is going to regret those words. The wall at the border of Mexico has been disaster, so they’ll propose building higher as well.

  3. 3
    shortstop says:

    I don’t wanna be hung up, strung up when you don’t call up.

  4. 4
    Doug Galt says:



  5. 5
    schrodinger's cat says:

    I don’t understand this fixation on border security between Mexico and the US. What about the northern border? Also what about people who overstay their visas?

  6. 6
    The Dangerman says:

    If memory serves, Boeing was building a monster camera system on the border which has been a complete clusterfuck. Trigger sounds like more money for the Mil/Ind Complex folks.

  7. 7
    Turgidson says:

    Seems like a transparent maneuver to create a way for non-insane GOPers who don’t want to lose the Latino vote 80-20 forever to be able to vote for a reform bill, comforted by the knowledge that the ZOMG AMNESTY! part doesn’t actually happen because twits like Jan Brewer have veto power.

    Considering how black-and-white and skeptical of nuance the knuckledragging base is, it might be too clever by half. They either voted for amnesty, or they didn’t, in the end. The nativists don’t give a shit about any triggers except the ones on their precious, precious guns.

  8. 8
    shortstop says:

    Similar to the Herman Cain candidacy, this is all part of the GOP’s brilliant plan to increase their percentage of the white vote by proving their non-racist bona fides to white conservatives who dearly want to think of themselves as non-bigoted. With the addition of this hugeass demographic to their ranks, they can lap the growing Latino vote. Wait, what?

  9. 9

    Dammit shortstop, I was going for name that tune victories in two straight threads.

    This is totally obvious, and everything, but if the GOP cared about stopping illegal immigration, they’d push to fine employers $1000 per day for every undocumented immigrant they employ. After all, it’s not like folks are coming here to become welfare queens and have anchor babies; they’re coming to work. That’s why net immigration from Mexico has been zero since around 2007, as the economy collapsed.

    And yet, Republicans always seem to focus on building a giant fence, and having more armed minutemen patrolling the border. It’s almost as if they’re motivated by something other than concern for enforcing currently written law…

  10. 10

    Funny how they don’t mention that deportations are at an all time high under Obama. Most of the goals in the 2007 bill that didn’t pass have been met.

  11. 11
    Shrillhouse says:

    What about the northern border?

    Don’t worry. My compatriots and I have no intention of leaving our sochulized medicine-enjoying, maple syrup-fuelled utopia.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    It’s going to be tough for Republicans who are thinking they’d like to get those Hispanic votes– after decades of selling fear, the rock is meeting the hard place.

  13. 13
    jibeaux says:

    I’m glad that, at least, they are beginning to see that inaction on immigration reform — which has pretty much been their policy for lo these many years — has a political cost. Of course, any immigration reform worth its salt will have a political cost for them too. I think they’ll find a way to weasel it into something that sounds comprehensive-y but means little, that at best creates basically an expanded guestworker program where people have no citizenship rights until some amorphous point that will never come or be defined, where the border is sufficiently secured.

  14. 14
    grape_crush says:

    > Marco Rubio and Republicans considering any comprehensive immigration reform want a “trigger” to make sure that border enforcement comes before legalization.

    That was the same argument used to kill immigration reform in the last go-round.

  15. 15

    We just need to hire a few East Germans to build a border wall with machine gun towers.

    I’m sure the irony will be lost on those real ‘Murikan conservatives who would embrace this idea to keep out the Messicans and yet think President Obama is a Marxist.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    So drastically lowered rates of cross-border in-migration from Mexico (and whatever originating nation) is a sign that it’s the most urgent thing to talk about right now ever.

    Smuggling of people and drugs, especially marijuana, persists across the U.S.-Mexican border. But the changes seem dramatic. In April, a landmark study by the Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, D.C., determined that, after accounting for Mexican immigrants who return to their homeland, the net in-flow of Mexicans to the United States has dropped to zero. The reasons include tougher defenses, stepped-up deportations, a long-term decline in Mexican birth rates and the simultaneous slump in the U.S. economy and growth of the Mexican economy.

    Even if the U.S. economy improves, the demographic and economic evolution of Mexico appears to have ended the era of massive Mexican migration to the United States, according to experts and officials.

    “Everybody agrees there’s going to be some vacillation in the numbers, but I don’t know of any serious observer or analyst who thinks we are going to revert to pre-2008 levels of Mexican immigration,” said Doris Meissner, a former U.S. immigration commissioner and now a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. “I don’t see any evidence of that happening, not in the structural changes in Mexico such as birth rates, not in the enforcement at the border, and not in the forecasts of what kind of economy is to come in the United States.”

    Yeah, sure, whatever, fence, taller, deeper, posses, drones, etc.

  17. 17
    burnspbesq says:

    The trigger concept is two mints in one: (1) raw meat for the terminally stupid republican base and (2) a vague and internally inconsistent set of metrics that can be used to indefinitely delay progress.

    It’s the worst idea I’ve heard this morning. Any Democrat who falls for this canard should be pilloried.

  18. 18
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @The Dangerman:

    You nailed it; the wars are winding down and the Mil/Ind Complex is desperately searching for another cash cow. There’s already talk of adding more drones along the Mexico/US border even though drones have a poorer record of sightings and are more expensive than manned aircraft.

  19. 19
    schrodinger's cat says:

    BTW all the tough anti-immigrant rhetoric and shouting “illegals” at every opportunity is turning off more than Hispanic voters.

    From Slate

    Naturalized citizens comprise more than 8 percent of eligible voters, two-thirds of whom are not Latino They constitute a discrete, and increasingly powerful, voice in favor of immigration reform.
    As has been widely recognized, Latino voters strongly supported Democrats in 2012, but the naturalized vote shouldn’t be confused with the Latino vote. Only a third of naturalized voters are Latino, another third is Asian, and the rest are non-Hispanic whites and blacks. This racially and ethnically diverse group of foreign-born citizens supports Democrats over Republicans

    Please proceed Republicans…

  20. 20
    Haydnseek says:

    The border will never, ever be sufficiently “secure” for the rethugs. “We really wan’t the green cards to rain down like confetti! We want you to vote for us because we really care! But our hands are tied! Don’t look at us! Once the border is “secure” well let you know. Oh, and it’s all because the dems don’t really care about this issue! They’re just trying to buy your votes! This is why you can’t have nice things….

  21. 21
    General Stuck says:

    I haven’t sat down and read the details of both plans from O and the senators, and now will come a plan from the House. There seems to be three moving parts involved. Border securing, path to citizenship, and a guest worker program. It seems to me as logic would have it, as long as the concentration of first things first is on a viable guest worker plan, then that should largely dry up the heavy traffic norte for folks looking for work. If they can bypass the coyotes and now drug cartel involvement, not to mention risking a painful death from heat stroke, then they will take a robust guest workers plan. If the wingnuts are angling to suppress that along with a path to citizenship until we put the 82 airborne on the border , then there won’t be any deal. So the trigger with securing the border first, then citizenship seems moot pending a real guest worker program.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:


    maple syrup-fuelled utopia

    Fueled by a lot less maple syrup now, no, what with that – ahem – shortage in the cartel’s warehouses?

  23. 23

    @Turgidson: I hope so. If it’s based on numbers crossing illegally from Mexico, that’s been down around zero for quite a while now because the employment situation is better there than it is here, so ZOMG amnesty could start right away. That’s Obama’s trickster style, to make what looks like a crippling concession to GOP that turns out to be meaningless. See El CId @16.

  24. 24
    Suffern ACE says:

    @General Stuck: What would a good guest worker program involve. Just asking. I know that the one proposed last time was criticized for being too much like indentured servitude and was a poison pill for Democrats. So what would be a fair one?

  25. 25
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I find it amazing that immigration ‘reform’ hinges on a freshman senator whose main accomplishment is having a last name that ends in a vowel.

  26. 26
    Yoodow says:

    @Comrade Dread:


  27. 27
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Hunter Gathers:
    It really doesn’t, he is just the new recipient of the MSM fellowship for bright young GOP things. Paul Ryan was the previous recipient.

    @Shrillhouse: Didn’t a couple of the 9-11 bombers cross the border from the Canadian side? But I have never heard a peep about it from the GOP.
    There are couple of places in Maine, where there are may be a couple of bored looking border security agents at the border crossing.

  28. 28
    Punchy says:

    When O repeals OCare, somehow the border will be secure. But not before then.

  29. 29
    SatanicPanic says:

    The Cuban presence out here in the west is pretty small, so I could be totally off base here, but I would guess that a Cuban guy lecturing other Latinos on immigration wouldn’t go well. Cubans don’t exactly face the same obstacles to entry the rest of Latin America does.

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    What would a good guest worker program involve

    I have no idea, but would need to be drawn so as to discourage folks from staying, which is where a path to citizenship seems vital. I don’t have a good feeling about any of this right now. The whole thing smells like a ruse by wingnuts to corner obama and dems into sharing the blame with republicans, by running a con of un serious intent for immigration reform. They know that any good faith deal with amnesty will be explosive in the GOP, but the lizard brain will look for a politically beneficial bait and switch. I’m certain that Obama and team will keep an eye on them with some plan to turn that back on the republicans.

  31. 31
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Suffern ACE: For the EB category unless you can prove that you have extraordinary ability, your employer has to sponsor you and then you are stuck with that employer till the whole process is complete, so making self petitioning easier would be a good start. This should make the the H1-B much less like indentured servitude. I am not familiar with H2 visa provisions.

  32. 32
    shortstop says:

    @SatanicPanic: Shhhhhhh….this has not occurred to the GOP yet.

  33. 33
    burnspbesq says:

    The trigger concept is no longer the dumbest thing I’ve heard this morning.

    This is.


  34. 34

    @burnspbesq: I read the post at the link. I don’t even understand what they are trying to say. It is like they are speaking in code, which I don’t have the key to.

  35. 35
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Didn’t a couple of the 9-11 bombers cross the border from the Canadian side? But I have never heard a peep about it from the GOP.

    I recall some grumbling about that in the aftermath of 9/11, where some idiots actually tried to blame Canada for allowing them into the US. How that works, I don’t know.

  36. 36
    Shrillhouse says:

    Beware of wingnut myths….

    Wiki sez:

    U.S. Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano stated in May 2009 that the 9/11 Commission found that none of the hijackers entered the United States through Canada.

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I don’t even understand what they are trying to say.

    My takeaway (assisted by Dan Larison) from it was roughly that Hagel can’t be SecDef because his service as a grunt makes him less likely to go along with irrational war-mongering.

    Call me crazy, but I’m inclined to see that as a feature, not a bug.

    Of course it could just be “whatever Obummer wants, ah’m agin’ it.”

    Here’s the Larison dismemberment.


  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Because Hagel’s service was in the enlisted ranks, he should be summarily disqualified from being SecDef? Revenge?! Wha?

  39. 39

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: As far as I know they were in the US on valid visas. So all this focus on illegals and the southern border is a bit misleading
    and just another way for the GOP to do nothing about immigration reform. The immigration system is complex and needs an overhaul. Also not all the people without proper documentation are from Mexico.

  40. 40
    cathyx says:

    What about the northern border?

    Most Mexicans don’t have the means to enter this country through Canada.

  41. 41

    @Shrillhouse: OK I stand corrected then.

  42. 42
    SatanicPanic says:

    @shortstop: I know, but I think as long as we don’t make a coloring book showing the difference between Cubans and other Latinos I think we’ll be OK.

  43. 43

    @cathyx: Not all Mexicans may be, but as I said before not everyone who is out of status is from Mexico.

  44. 44
  45. 45
    cathyx says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: You don’t get it. The only people they want to keep out are poor brown people.

  46. 46
    kindness says:

    Rubio going on Rush to ‘promote’ immigration reform…isn’t that kinda like Hitler holding a Sader?

  47. 47
    shortstop says:

    @SatanicPanic: Zackly! And dog forbid that Glenn Beck should make one of his famous charts.

  48. 48
    shortstop says:

    @cathyx: That made me laugh.

  49. 49

    @cathyx: I get it alright. I was just pointing out that the GOP is being hypocritical about this issue.

  50. 50
    LGRooney says:

    We have a very large contingent of Iraq-Afghanistan vets returning home. Couldn’t someone offer up their assistance at watching the borders? Hell, most probably don’t have gainful employment waiting for them and this could provide some of that sweet DoD Keynesianism.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:


    The charts are a by-product of using their construction as a vehicle to eat the paste.

  52. 52
    cathyx says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: And that’s so unlike them to be hypocritical.

  53. 53

    @cathyx: They are arguing in bad faith, like on every other topic. I don’t see what we are arguing about. Since we seem to be saying the same thing.

  54. 54
    General Stuck says:


    More tales of fail from the front for the wingnuts. ABC poll now has Obama at 60 percent approval. And liberals just simply lurves them some Kenyan Usurper with a 87 percent approval clip.

    In other news, republican approval now on par with recurrent Herpes

  55. 55
    Ed Drone says:


    Rubio going on Rush to ‘promote’ immigration reform…isn’t that kinda like Hitler holding a Seder?

    At the seder:

    Child: Who is that extra plate for?

    Onkle Adolph: Ich weiss nicht, but his papers had better be in order!


  56. 56
    El Cid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The only people who know how to run a nation’s war effort are those who have only been ordering the firing, and never have been fired upon.

    Plus, no enlisted people ever issued orders and were responsible for command functions whatsoever. If you were enlisted you were merely a mindless grunt sent to carry out the orders of real, thinking humans with gold and silver decorations on their caps & shoulders.

    Hell, I’m surprised they even let an enlisted man in the Senate — the ancient Roman Senate was a group of 100 elders under King Romulus which became the patricians! Why should commoners be let into a place like that?

    No, you need a real commanding officer, someone like Dick Cheney.

  57. 57
    cathyx says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I’m not arguing. Pointing out that this is once again an example of republicans being hypocrites is a waste of time. As Garrison Keillor has said, republicans have made their peace with hypocrisy a long time ago.

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: There is a cost currently to sponsoring someone, so a lot of employers won’t do that. Or at least that is what my HR tells me. I wonder if it would pay to stop lumping everyone into one group and and perhaps segment this by class. The people who are most likely to pay a fine and back taxes are probably the spouses or dependents of legal immigrants who don’t themselves have work permits and the students who stayed on after they left school (with or without degrees) and are looking for for middle class jobs. Those immigrants are in very different situations than immigrants coming to work in agriculture or the hospitality industries.

  59. 59
    quannlace says:

    The border will never, ever be sufficiently “secure” for the rethugs.

    For them, since you can’t 100% guarantee to stop all gun violence, it’s useless to pass any gun laws. But the border should, must and can be made 100% secure.

  60. 60
    gene108 says:

    We need to build a wall on both our borders. Not a stinking tiny wall either.

    I’m talking about a force of nature wall.

    A wall a 1,000 feet high running across both our northern and southern borders, along every inch of those borders.

    To hell with all the railroad and highway crossings into Canada and Mexico. If those people want to get into the country let them take an airplane.

    Also, we need to build sea walls for the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, so no unsavory types sneak in by sea.

  61. 61

    @Suffern ACE: Once you are out of status, it is very hard without a good lawyer to get back into USCIS’s good books.

  62. 62
    danimal says:

    The trigger is simply a way to maintain their options and give the GOP the opportunity to posture and grandstand. I don’t think they really know whether they actually want a bill to pass at this time, so this gives them a way to kill the bill or let it become law, depending on their political needs.

    Also, too, Reps looking to establish ‘moderate’ bona fides and Reps looking for Tea Party cred can soak up some of that sweet, sweet camera time for the folks back home while the real decisions are made in the back room.

  63. 63
    jl says:

    I go with commenters above who say that the frenzy of racist base is the real trigger. Not sure what the trigger is for. Could be either a trigger to mollify them (probably won’t work) or a device to delay (let the frenzy cool in hopes that racist base will see that nothing is happening by midterm elections and at least cool down, if not mollfied)

    With another commenter above, I wonder who well a Cuban will wear over time as the one national Hispanic face of the GOP.

  64. 64
    Suffern ACE says:

    @gene108: For a construction project that large, I’m guessing we’ll need to recruit workers from Pakistan and India.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @El Cid: I find the idea that one has to have served in the military in order to be SecDef to be a bit stupid. The argument can be made that someone who served will be subject to the prejudices and viewpoints of his or her service.

  66. 66
    El Cid says:


    Also, we need to build sea walls for the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, so no unsavory types sneak in by sea.

    Also, so no unsavory seas can sneak in.

  67. 67

    @gene108: And a missile shield to prevent an alien invasion, from outer space.

  68. 68
    Zifnab says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I think we all remember the sage warnings of Canadian Bacon. A shame our leadership has not.

  69. 69
    danimal says:

    @gene108: No sharks with lasers on their heads? No moat with underfed alligators? C’mon, use some imagination.

  70. 70

    @Suffern ACE: BTW spouses and dependents (<18 years old) of permanent residents can become permanent residents also.

  71. 71
    El Cid says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Actually, we only need to take such an effort to protect the most valuable and emblematic part of our heartland, so that we can most efficiently use our resources in preserving from the muddying factors of immigration our most valuable citizens.

    We should choose some place in the South or West for the Real Americans to be able to locate themselves and then we can make sure and protect them from all the harm outside by protecting them within 1,000 foot walls and a completely covering dome, while those of us outside will unfortunately have to get used to a world in which we encounter these ultimate patriots much less frequently.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gene108: An ice wall?

  73. 73

    @Zifnab: I actually prefer Canadian bacon. *Hangs head in shame*

  74. 74
    jl says:

    Oh uh. A Very Serious white man GOP (diaper) daddy starts to lose his nerve, patronizes the “naive” national Hispanic face of the GOP.

    Well, it is the white man’s burden to talk some sense into silly brown people and us silly/sinister liberals, right?

    Did you know that amnesty will start immediately? I did not but, was hoping it would. Fine by me.

    David Vitter Says Marco Rubio Is ‘Amazingly Naive’
    Benjy Sarlin

    Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) slammed his colleague, Marco Rubio (R-FL), over his support for an immigration reform bill in a radio interview with Laura Ingraham.

    “I love and respect Marco, I think he’s just amazingly naïve on this issue,” Vitter said. “This is the same old formula that we’ve dealt with before… promises of enforcement never materialize, the amnesty happens immediately the millisecond the bill is signed into the law.”

    Vitter said that if Rubio, who appeared on the show defending his plan earlier the same day, believes illegal immigrants would not rapidly gain citizenship under his plan, “I think he’s nuts.”


  75. 75
  76. 76
    NotMax says:


    Perfect employment opportunity for the armies of human-animal hybrids some on the right still bewail.

  77. 77
    jl says:

    Off topic, but I wonder if it still possible in this country to have a presidential speech or a congressional hearing on guns without having it interrupted by another shooting break in the news?

    Sadly Apt
    Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly breaks news of yet another workplace shooting during Senate hearing on gun violence. Watch.


  78. 78
    Roger Moore says:


    For them, since you can’t 100% guarantee to stop all gun violence, it’s useless to pass any gun laws. But the border should, must and can be made 100% secure.

    Exactly. Any uncertainty or inability to get something to 100% can always be used to argue in favor of the Republicans’ policy preferences. For example, any uncertainty about Global Warming is proof that we shouldn’t do anything about it, but a 1% of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction should be treated the same as absolute certainty. Similarly, because we can’t stop 100% of welfare fraud, we should eliminate the program, while inability to stop 100% of income tax evasion is proof that it’s not worth bothering raising taxes on the ultra-rich.

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    President Obama has already deported more people in 4 years than Shrub did in 8. The ‘securing the border’ scam is just that – A FRIGGIN’ SCAM!

  80. 80
    gene108 says:


    No sharks with lasers on their heads? No moat with underfed alligators? C’mon, use some imagination.

    Well I was thinking to not build the wall right up on the border.

    Have an area as a “deadman’s zone” between the wall and the actual border mined with not only land mines, but with a few nukes thrown in all linked to detonate, if one of them is set off leading to the nuclear fall out scenarios, those of old enough to have watched The Day After grew up with.

    Make a wrong step and we all die.

    That’ll teach people to stay on their side of the border.

  81. 81
    Roger Moore says:


    I think we all remember the sage warnings of Canadian Bacon.

    You can’t fool me! Canadian bacon is made with maple syrup. Sage is what you put in breakfast sausage.

  82. 82

    Matt Yglesias made much the same ‘argument’ (ie “Hagel has no administrative experience”) on twitter over a month ago. So this isn’t just a Winger meme.

    How much ‘administrative experience’ did Hilary Clinton have when she was appointed?

    Or, vice versa, in 2001 Donald Rumsfeld had decades of ‘administrative experience’ on his resume, both public and private. How well did that experience serve him as SECDEF?

  83. 83
    rikyrah says:

    the thing is…this can pass already.

    get rid of the Hastert Rule and Nancy Smash will bring it over the finish line with a handful of GOPers.

    tell Turtle Lips to sit down, and let it come to an up or down vote in the Senate all we need is 50 votes – Ride or Die Joe can cast vote #51.

  84. 84
    jl says:

    On border security, maybe we could go back to the moat idea. Could tie it into the planned(!?) libertarian Citadel community with turrets and stuff in Idaho.

    Might fool the base with it.

    Then, you could have sharks with fricken laser beams on their heads in the moat.

    And armadillos too! I think armadillos with fricken laser beams on their heads wandering along the moat would be cool.

  85. 85
    NotMax says:

    @schrodinger’s cat

    Though not in the heartland, an apt spot would be the town of Taft, California, provided enough votes could be gathered to return it to the name it proudly sported before being changed to Taft.

    Which was…

    (wait for it)



  86. 86
    handy says:


    Look at that, diaperman calling someone nuts.

  87. 87
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore:

    quannlace and you nailed it.

    If we criminalize immigration, only criminals will immigrate.

    Then… pretty soon we will be like.. I dunno.. Australia?

    Sounds OK to me.

  88. 88
    Chris T. says:

    You misunderstand. They want literal triggers. Attached to Bushmaster AR-15s, aimed at brown people, of course.

    [edit to add: /sarcasm. I think.]

  89. 89
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    “Secure the border first” is always “kick the can down the road on reforming the system.” Always has been, always will be.

    Reforming the system is hard. The system as it stands is a multi-decade clusterfuck. The people who have to turn the patchwork quilt of laws into a set of administrative practices are underfunded, understaffed, and represent a part of government that, by definition, most Americans have no interaction with.

    Bullshitting about security is easy.

  90. 90
    Joe Buck says:

    They will try to have it both ways: tell the Latino audience that they are doing something, and tell the teahadists not to worry, that they aren’t. The problem is that it is much more difficult to do that kind of selective messaging any more, because word leaks out that difference audiences are being fed different stories.

  91. 91
    burnspbesq says:

    @Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches:

    Matt Yglesias made much the same ‘argument’ (ie “Hagel has no administrative experience”) on twitter over a month ago. So this isn’t just a Winger meme.

    I’ve also heard the weak form of that argument on NPR, i.e., “Hagel will be OK as long as he picks an expericenced Deputy Secretary who knows how the building works.”

    Crapola. “How the building works” is one of the things that needs fixing. Part of the reason I’m cool with Hagel is that he’ll come in with a clean sheet of paper.

  92. 92
    srv says:

    If we have triggers, then we need targets.

    We know what they want. They want watch towers with .50 cals and spotlights. Video steams of illegals getting blasted while they chuck popcorn into their mouths.

  93. 93
    gene108 says:

    For people, who are upset at Obama for nominating a Republican, Hagel, for Sec of Defense, I must say watching the Republicans eat one of their own makes for an entertaining bit of political theater.

  94. 94
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Judas Escargot, Bringer of Loaves and Fish Sandwiches: Dick Cheny didn’t have any when he moved to Secretary of Defense from Congress. (I don’t think he was a lousy Secretary of Defense. He WAS A LOUSY VP AFTER HIS STINT AS A CEO, go figure). Les Aspin? William Cohen? I’m not seeing a pattern here that calls for former officers or former government administrators to have this role.

    I’m thinking that what everyone wants is William Gates to come back. Well, he retired. Buck up.

  95. 95
    Steve M. says:

    I don’t see how they’ll quantify any of it.


    Republican president: borders secure!

    Democratic president: Invasion USA!

  96. 96
    Roger Moore says:


    Video steams of illegals getting blasted while they chuck popcorn into their mouths fap.


  97. 97
    TooManyJens says:

    @burnspbesq: Wow.

    First enlisted man to head the Pentagon? Who better to run America’s international war effort than a guy whose view of the military was through the wrong end of the telescope?

    That is breathtaking.

    I bet Michael Walsh would claim he “supports the troops,” too, unlike us DFHs.

  98. 98
    NotMax says:

    @Steve M.

    Democratic president: Invasion USA!


  99. 99
    Hoodie says:

    This “triggers on border security” thing is interesting to me because I don’t see how they’ll quantify any of it.

    Interesting? Maybe, but it’s sure looks like they have no intention of quantifying because the vagueness is exactly the point. It’s a get out of jail free card for congressional republicans. They won’t have to implement this,thus leaving the actual interpretation of the trigger to the executive branch. The sole purpose of the bill was to get the media to quit talking about how hostile Republicans are to Latinos without having to commit to anything. Not sure the republican base is buying it and that stands to fuck up the plans of devious shits like Rubio. Dems should do exactly what Obama did, add stuff that will piss of the Republican base, e.g., LGBT rights and no trigger.

  100. 100

    @pseudonymous in nc: Exactly, that’s why you here utter nonsense like, they should just come legally, like my grandparents did. As if legal immigration is a piece of cake. For anyone. Unless you happen to be the spouse of an American citizen, even then it is hardly a simple process.

  101. 101
    Suffern ACE says:

    @TooManyJens: Hmmm. It would be interesting to find out what other jobs former enlisted men aren’t qualified to have. You run a business. You become a Senator, but you are discharged as a corporal 40 years ago and you obviously were in way over your head the whole time you did other things.

  102. 102
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Fueled by a lot less maple syrup now, no, what with that – ahem – shortage in the cartel’s warehouses?

    Not unrelated, the Bank of Canada banished the sugar maple from new currency, replacing it with a norway maple leaf.
    The Bank of Canada says that it is a stylized combination of the 10 maple species native to Canada. Botanists respectfully disagree.

  103. 103
    Calouste says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    One of the symptoms that nicely shows how much of a clusterfuck immigration law is at the moment, is that part of the application for a Green Card is a medical examination for contagious diseases (to the tune of $300). Now that might have made sense when every immigrant arrived at Ellis Island, but now that most Green Card applicants have already lived in the US on visa for a number of years before they are even allowed to apply for a Green Card, and so had more than ample opportunity to spread whatever contagious disease they might have been carrying, it’s just a waste of everybody’s time and money.

  104. 104

    @Calouste: I think many people don’t realize that most of the people who get green cards have already been living and working in the US for many years.

  105. 105

    @Suffern ACE: Is it too late to Godwin the thread? You know who else was a Corporal?

  106. 106
    Suffern ACE says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I almost Godwinned myself. But you know, things would have been different if he were a colonel or higher, like most military dictators of the proper type.

  107. 107
    pseudonymous in nc says:


    part of the application for a Green Card is a medical examination for contagious diseases (to the tune of $300).

    In many cases, you also have to get a medical exam (at the same price, cash only please) before you get the visa that allows you into the US in the first place. But you’re right — having it as part of the green card process is stupid.

    Both include a set of tests that made sense in the 1950s, because that’s when the relevant law was largely written and they haven’t bothered to update it since, except to include HIV. Oh, and there’s also a set of vaccination requirements that make no sense, either.

    The places that run those exams are the same as the ones that do drug screening for workplaces. Nice little cash cow for them.

  108. 108
    johnny aquitard says:

    @El Cid: The Citadel: Reloaded

  109. 109
    Mike in NC says:

    Clearly, border security can only be entrusted to Chuck Norris and Steven Seagal.

  110. 110

    We have tons of border enforcement, at least on the Mexican side. No matter how much a Dem president pours into border security, it will never ever be enough.

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