Tuesday, January 09, 2007

THE FIRST 100 HOURS OF LEGISLATION BEGINS

WASHINGTON D.C.--It's on, and at the top of the Democratic list is implementing some of the remaining 9/11 Commission recommendations that the Bush administation has neglected (half of them). The best-one so far: all containers coming-into the US by air will have to be inspected, with completion in four-years. This still doesn't cover all ground shipping-containers and ones coming-in through the ports of America--further facilitated by NAFTA-deregulation of Customs searches. Still, it's a good-start, and it's likely to be expanded over-time. Remember: entire 18-wheelers cross our borders every day without thorough-inspection under NAFTA. We can assume a good-percentage are smuggling-drugs and acting as "coyotes" with their human-cargoes of illegales. On the drugs-side, we know this is alarmingly true, but that's another issue not-entirely related to our immediate security.

You at least have to have some structure and knowledge as to who and how-many people are entering and leaving our nation, agreed. Interestingly, that's not the main-issue with immigration from Mexico, it's about the illegales who are already here and how they are going to continue to be exploited by the business-community. Let's see some firmer language on employing illegal-aliens. Punish the businesses for illegally-exploiting them, not punishing the desperate and vulnerable illegals. Naturalization for them is inevitable, they aren't going anywhere, we know this.

More legislation has me underwhelmed: raising the minimum-wage is a step in the right-direction, but we should be looking to a maximum-wage, a living-wage that is mandatory by law. In-other-words, we should be working towards an economic Bill of Rights. Speaking of our rights: we need to repeal the Military Commissions Act too, restoring Habeus Corpus, and gut key-provisions of the Patriot Acts. About all the GOP critics have to say is how fast this agenda is being pushed, when they did this on a larger-scale, and with greater intensity, during the last four-years. One main reason that some security recommendations haven't been implemented in airports--thus endangering the lives of Americans and international travellers--is because the GOP didn't want to allow provisions allowing security screeners the right to join or form unions, as well as whistleblowing protections. Both are crucial in keeping operations transparent and honest, ensuring a smooth-flow in protecting travellers leaving and entering the United States.

But, nothing applies to the GOP, if you ask the GOP. It's the fault of someone else. They aren't to blame for anything they say or do. This arrogance will likely keep them in the minority for several more years. Ignoring the November 7th midterms of 2006 will be at their own peril. Individuals who are incapable of accepting responsibility for their actions are sick, as we all know. Should they remain in-office? The next election will decide, and I'm including those Democratic hawks who have become silent, and pushed to the background by the election results. Yes, one of them is Joe Lieberman, but then you have Hillary Clinton and John Kerry who have voted for appropriation-after-appropriation for the war in Iraq. They are hardly-alone, but it's becoming clear that they're becoming marginalized, as figures like Ted Kennedy, Russell Feingold, Dan Byrd, and many-others enter the the foreground of the debate and agenda-setting. We'll see, but it looks good at this point. Maybe the Democrats have finally gotten the message that the public wants their government to deliver for them on the social contract. We have to honestly decide if we are a nation of laws or not.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/01/09/house.agenda/index.html