Sunday "Life is Good" Open Thread

A great Sunday morning here. Homemade blueberry pancakes, maple syrup, bacon, fresh-squeezed orange juice and piping hot coffee. It's so much fun to have a kid around to cook for -- even if he's all grown up.

We saw Darjeeling Limited yesterday which included the ten minute short Hotel Chevalier. I really liked both (Adrian Brody is outstanding in Darjeeling) although Hotel Chevalier is a much stronger film. Here's an interview in today's Observer with Natalie Portman about it. Next up to see: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, blogger Brian Linse's (Ain't No Bad Dude)new film.

What's going good in your life today?

And yes, this is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    Debunking Undocumented Immigrant Myths (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 03:31:04 PM EST
    From Maggie Joechild:

    I am seriously hankering to see intelligent discussion about immigration, and it must begin with sorting wheat from chaff. Here are the questions to begin with:

    Are you concerned about all immigration or primarily that focused along the US-Mexico border?
    Which immigration "question" are you primarily campaigning about?
    ----Terrorist risk
    ----Economics based on lost jobs for American workers
    ----Economics based on diverted social services for Americans
    ----The criminality arising from declaring an entire segment of the population "illegal"
    Does your list of solutions including "building a wall"?

    "In Texas, for example, nearly seven percent of the state's population was comprised of undocumented immigrants in 2005. The state's health care costs for undocumented immigrants that same year were a mere $58 million. Yet state revenues collected from undocumented immigrants exceeded what the state spent on social services provided to these immigrants such as health care and education by $424.7 million.

    "In 2001, the Social Security Administration concluded that undocumented immigrants "account for a major portion of the billions of dollars paid into social security that don't match SSA records," which payees, many of whom are undocumented immigrants, can never draw upon. As of July 2003, these payments totaled $421 billion."

    Well worth a read via digby.

    You are wrong. (none / 0) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 08:58:57 PM EST
    Are you concerned

    And the answer is.... All of the above...!

    In Texas, for example

    Laying aside the fact that this is not an economic issue, but a legal issue of national sovereignty it is plain that if the jobs had been taken by US citizens, the economic results would have been the same, or better. In other words, the jobs would have existed with or without the illegal aliens so the economics arguments are mox nix.

    The social issue can be looked at two ways.

    The first is if the number does not exist, I fail to see how social security admin can credit it to anyone. If that is the case an investigation should immediately be launched to see why this is the case.

    Perhaps the Democratic Congress could be convinced to actually do something worthwhile...

    If the number does exist, and is actually someone else's, then what we have is identify theft by the illegal alien.

    As for the illegal alien "losing" the money, it occurs to me that someone committing a crime does not have the right to the fruits of that crime.

    The numbers are also suspicious just in themselves. The 2006 population of Texas was 23,507,000 and if the population was 8% illegal aliens that means that of the 13.9% of those "foreign born," 58% are illegal aliens.

    This doesn't match well with Arizona's Udall Report which showed 29%. A 100% variation does not inspire confidence in either report.

    But if you just accept the 8% number then the number of illegal aliens is around 1,840,000. Using the post's numbers of $58 million cost and $424.7 million "profit," then the gross revenue of $486 million paid to the state is a whooping $262.00 per illegal alien... That doesn't cover cost.

    If we assume a family of 4, that's around $1000. Said another way, if the family also has two kids in school then just the cost of school is in the $9000 plus range. Legal citizens are picking up the difference of $8000 or so.

    Anyway you look at it, illegal aliens are a costly proposition to everyone except the employers who use them to beat down US citizen laborers and those who want cheap "under the counter" day labor for house cleaning, baby setters, yard work, etc.

    Udall Report

    Quick facts census.

    And, of course, the Demos who want the vote.

    If an election can turn on a sentence, this could be the one: "You don't need papers for voting."

    On Thursday night, Francine Busby, the Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District, was speaking before a largely Latino crowd in Escondido when she uttered those words. She said yesterday she simply misspoke.



    I just like... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 03:34:37 PM EST
    I just like Darjeeling, in fact I'm drinking some right now!

    Also it is my 16th wedding anniversary. This year it didn't coincide with Turkey Day. :)

    Liberated.... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 03:51:00 PM EST
    "Iraqi women were once the most emancipated in the Arab world," says correspondent Tom Aspell. "Educated, encouraged to work and vote; even allowed to divorce."

    Women in US-occupied Iraq, in sharp contrast, are frequent targets of violence at the hands of Shiite militiamen and "religious zealots," according to the Iraqi government, especially in the southern city of Basra.

    "I'm sorry to say that we've started to lose," says Iraqi MP Safia al-Souhail.

    In Basra, over fifty women are known to have been murdered, often after being humiliated, but police are often too scared to investigate.

    Says al-Souhail, a lot of women are killed for how they dress, wearing makeup, or for having jobs.

    Abu Omar (none / 0) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 06:53:14 PM EST
    While we are waiting for Italy's Constitutional Court's decision on the stalled case against 26 Americans, all but one CIA agents, who were involved with the "rendition" of Omar from the streets of Milan, Jeff Stein has talked to the Italian prosecutor Armando Spataro who wisely opines:
    "We can't have different kinds law for different kinds of people," Spataro says, now exercised. "It's not only racist, it spells the end of any cooperation from the Muslim community."
    "Relations between Italian authorities and Muslims in Milan have improved since the case against the CIA personnel was launched," Spataro says.
    His critics, Spataro says, "see a trial in absentia of the Americans as an obstacle to fighting terrorism," meaning that it wrongly targets the CIA, one of the very agencies leading the fight against the terrorists.
    "But we," he stresses, "see following the law as central to the fight against terrorism."

    via Laura Rozen

    A four hour mountain bike ride (none / 0) (#6)
    by Repack Rider on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 09:59:02 PM EST
    We covered over 30 miles with plenty of climbing and rough trails.  That was on top of our epic ride on Thanksgiving to work up an appetite.  I'll be 62 next month, and I'm glad I can still do this stuff.

    I'll bet there are people my age who can't.

    I'll bet (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 10:13:12 PM EST
    you're right.  Good for you!

    Me? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Packratt on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 11:29:21 PM EST
    I'm still fuming over the Department of Justice findings in their investigation of Seattle's King County Jail (KCCF). (news article here)

    The DOJ found numerous cases so severe that they were determined to be civil rights violations and life-threatening, finding also that at least one death was directly attributed to these abuses.

    The city of Seattle's reply was that they do not deny that the abuses cited by the DOJ occur, but that these abuses are not violations of anyone's civil rights.

    In other words, the city argues that abusing prisoners to the point where their lives are endangered should not be considered a violation of their rights.

    Therefore the city of Seattle maintains the right to abuse anyone merely accused of a crime since such abuses, according to them, are not in violation of constitutionally protected rights... if their argument is caried to it's ultimate conclusion at least.

    It's pretty frightening here, quite frankly I'm scared by this, especially in combination with the Seattle Police Department's record of abuse cases lately.

    Taser: The Next Generation... (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 11:10:27 AM EST
    Antoine di Zazzo, billed as one "of the biggest Taser representatives outside the US," tells AFP that, really, tasering's no big deal. "You cannot call it real pain," he said.

    Sure, and Robert Dziekanski didn't really die. The RCMP put him on a plane and he's in Poland right now.

    And Robert Knipstrom, 36, didn't die after cops used a taser, pepper spray, and batons on him because he was "acting erratically in a store." This follows the death of a Nova Scotian man while in police custody.

    Governments all across the world apparently agree with Mr. di Zazzo because they are buying the damn things like hotcakes:

    There are already about 250,000 of the stun guns in use, mainly in North America, but about 70 other countries are buying or trying Tasers -- including Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

    But apparently Mr. di Zazzo will not be satisfied until whole crowds are tasered. "Di Zazzo's French company is also developing a mini-flying saucer like drone which could also fire Taser stun rounds on criminal suspects or rioting crowds. He expects it to be launched next year and to be sold internationally by Taser."

    Imagine the potential: thousands of protesters "stunned" into submission while they protest in their "free speech" pens.

    As it was in the beginning.... etc., etc. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 04:41:30 PM EST
    Spencer Ackerman this morning at TPM:
    So it begins. After years of obfuscation and denial on the length of the U.S.'s stay in Iraq, the White House and the Maliki government have released a joint declaration of "principles" for "friendship and cooperation." Apparently President Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed the declaration during a morning teleconference.
    A "democratic Iraq" here means the Shiite-led Iraqi government. The current political arrangement will receive U.S. military protection against coups or any other internal subversion. That's something the Iraqi government wants desperately: not only is it massively unpopular, even among Iraqi Shiites, but the increasing U.S.-Sunni security cooperation strikes the Shiite government -- with some justification -- as a recipe for a future coup.

    Also from Ackerman today:

    Could Congress stop a Bush administration-brokered deal to garrison U.S. troops in Iraq indefinitely? Not according to General Douglas Lute, the so-called "war czar." Here's Lute at today's gaggle:

    Q General, will the White House seek any congressional input on this?

    GENERAL LUTE: In the course of negotiations like this, it's not -- it is typical that there will be a dialogue between congressional leaders at the negotiating table, which will be run out of the Department of State. We don't anticipate now that these negotiations will lead to the status of a formal treaty which would then bring us to formal negotiations or formal inputs from the Congress.