U.S. labor force
Calling attention to a "growing phenomenon" of illegal immigrants entering the United States to give birth to a child — in order to take advantage of U.S. "birthright citizenship" — Rep. Tom Tancredo says it’s time "we yank back the illegal-alien welcome mat."
The Colorado Republican notes that an estimated 300,000 children of illegal aliens are born in the United States every year and immediately become U.S. citizens, thanks to a "peculiar" U.S. policy that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens.
The congressman recalled a recent interview by CBS News with Joe Riley, CEO of the McAllen Texas Medical Center near the Texas-Mexico border, who said he’s seen "mothers about to give birth that walk up to the hospital still wet from swimming across the river in actual labor, dirty, wet, cold, here to have a child in the United States."
That was Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, reminding his colleagues this week that it was just over 750 days ago when the soon-to-become House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, running for re-election in California, said: " ‘Elect us and we will produce a common-sense plan to help bring down the price of gasoline at the pump.’
"Unfortunately, the price of gasoline at about the time that she took office as speaker of the House was about $2.33 a gallon, I believe. And now, of course, it is about $3.75 a gallon."
Who needs TV?
That was a fly on the wall of the greenroom of the Fox News Channel in Washington listening to Frank Luntz, the former Republican Capitol Hill strategist-turned-Fox pollster-pundit, tell network associates that House Republicans are headed for a 20-seat loss in November based on their "inability and unwillingness to drive an effective message."
Mr. Luntz, who was exiled by the current Republican minority leadership, but still has close ties to many members, said off-air that congressional Republicans are in even more trouble now than they were in 2006, when he went public before the election to warn that their majority was in real danger.
Asked before a taping of the show "Hannity & Colmes" whether things could turn around for the Republicans between now and Election Day, Mr. Luntz’s response was emphatic: "When the wrong people say the wrong words at the wrong time to the wrong constituency, you’ll never ever get it right, and the members — the rank-and-file — will suffer."
He then reminded his greenroom audience that former House Minority Leader Bob Michel of Illinois, who failed to lead House Republicans to a majority, didn’t retire voluntarily. Instead, he was "pushed out" by future House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Republicans won the majority the very next election.
"There’s a lesson there," Mr. Luntz said.
All of this was spoken before election results Tuesday night showed Republicans dropping yet another House seat — in Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, a previous Republican stronghold — to the Democrats.
Grab a crowbar
Sen. Sam Brownback was having trouble finding the temporary entrance to the Heritage Foundation when he showed up to give the opening remarks at the recent forum on U.S.-European relations.
The venerable conservative think tank on Capitol Hill has been undergoing renovation, and the Kansas Republican cited the construction as a metaphor.
"The conservative movement needs a bit of renovation," he said. "We have to learn ways to do things differently."
There must be something in Oklahoma’s drinking water that breeds conservatives.
The American Conservative Union is out with its annual list of five senators who scored a "perfect 100 percent" in the ACU’s annual Ratings of Congress: Tom Coburn and James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Jon Kyl of Arizona, and John Barrasso of Wyoming.
Readers will recall the uproar among Republicans and sports fans alike last autumn when Democratic House staffers were immunized against a host of major illnesses before attending NASCAR races during a public health fact-finding mission.
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who at the time was conducting a study of homeland security measures at mass gatherings, considered the immunizations — including hepatitis A and B, diphtheria and tetanus — before the NASCAR races in Alabama and North Carolina solid preventive policy.
"I am sure you would agree that providing immunizations to personnel involved in public safety is good public health policy, and there is no need to exclude staff from taking the preventative measures that the public health community recommends — regardless of why and where mass gatherings are taking place," Mr. Thompson explained.
"Since committee staff members are visiting hospitals and other health care facilities available at or near these venues … I believe that the recommendation that our congressional staff receive these same immunizations was sound."
This past week, his party issued its report, "Public Health, Safety, and Security for Mass Gatherings," which one Republican operative, who asked not to be identified, called a failed attempt to give Democrats some political cover for last fall’s "NASCAR cooties" incident.
The Republican said the report fixates on examples from NASCAR events, including a scenario in which a white supremacist disperses a biological agent over an event in a small plane.
Boat for Barry?
If the late senator’s supporters in Congress have their way one of the nation’s future nuclear aircraft carriers will be christened the USS Barry M. Goldwater.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, is behind a resolution to name one of the U.S. Navy’s new carriers after the former Arizona senator, who was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and later a major general in the Air Force Reserve.
Born in the Arizona Territory in 1909, Mr. Goldwater was elected to the Phoenix City Council in 1949 and went on to become U.S. senator from 1953 to 1965 and again from 1969 to 1987. He was nominated by the Republican Party as its candidate for president in 1964.
Mr. Tancredo praised Mr. Goldwater for being an "avid a proponent of a strong national defense as he was a staunch opponent of communism and totalitarianism."
The Barack Obama campaign will show its solidarity with Israel on the National Mall in Washington on June 1, after President Bush last week appeared before the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, to denounce those who would negotiate with "terrorists and radicals" — a remark many believed was aimed at the top Democratic presidential candidate.
"Wear your Obama gear to this huge festival-style event on the National Mall honoring Israel’s 60th anniversary. Pass out bumper stickers, Hebrew ‘Barack Obama ’08’ lapel stickers, and distribute Israel fact sheet flyers upon request," encourages associated groups including Israelis for Obama, Jews for Obama, and Jewish/Zionist Americans for Obama.
Myron Ebell, director of energy and global-warming policy at Washington’s Competitive Enterprise Institute, thought he’d read everything surrounding the causes and effects of climate change — that is, until he picked up Saturday’s edition of the Times of India:
"Latest research indicates that global warming could have another unwanted spin-off — it may spur the formation of kidney stones. Dehydration, particularly in warmer climes and higher temperatures, will only exacerbate this effect."
The findings were presented at the 103rd annual meeting of the American Urological Association.
"Global warming is an offense against God, and God is going to hold us accountable if we don’t do something. He is going to judge us."
So warns conservative Republican Richard Cizik, the District-based vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, in an interview with the Covenant News Service.
Fans of the long-running "The Carol Burnett Show" will remember co-star Vicki Lawrence, who morphed into the sharp-tongued matriarch Thelma Harper, the main character on "Mama’s Family."
Now, in plenty of time before the November elections, Miss Lawrence has a new book out: "Mama for President: Good Lord, Why Not?" In the book, she poses questions you won’t hear the candidates ask, like "why aren’t our borders run like Disneyland?"
As for annoying airport security: "As long as we have to take our shoes off, I will install a shoe-buffing brush inside the X-ray machine so your shoes will get a little shine as they go through."