I attempted, from my GRENDEL to correct a spelling error on my last post. Heh and the fat finger progression (several) led to, not a correction but an obliteration of said last post.
I ain’t hardly rethinking anything I said with regard to Holder’s contempt of Congress, except for the misspelling of Jason Statham’s name.
And yes, between Silk browser and my fat fingers this IS a GRENDEL, not a Kindle.
My apologies for the bad comedy. The absence of the document is nothing more than dumbfoolery on the high interweb.
Let’s talk about immigration, no, let’s talk about inmate costs, well, both of them, and throw in a sample of how crappy unintended deliberately misinterpreted and probably profitable laws are crafted in the hallowed halls of Congress.
My last post was, sort of, about White House fibbing; largely the prevarications of the immigration policy it’s forwarding, with a dash of their fictitious healthcare policy advertising tossed in for spice. My head was kind of in the Immigration game, and it’s my amateur opinion we ought not hand out citizenship to 11 million people based merely on the qualification they could sneak in without being caught. I don’t want to hear how I’m a racist and hate immigrants. I’m only 2nd generation American myself. My great grandparents, documentably, could neither read nor write in English. When I’m in a lighter mood maybe I’ll do a post about how great I think a nation of immigrants really is (note to self…)
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions issued a critical alert yesterday questioning the legitimacy of the claim that Barack Obama is now “Deporter in Chief of the United States”. Sessions points out that what we used to consider deportation, which was catching them in the heartland and removing them, is now what we call catching them at the border. Border enforcement isn’t deportation, unless you work for the same administration that pretends our unemployment rate is 6.7% these days. I was glad to hear we were catching them at the border. Not real happy deportations from the interior are down. And definitely not happy that the numbers are being used to mislead. I wandered down that path a little but was having a hard time getting really exercised there. When you get lied to nationally on a daily basis by half a dozen official government agencies, it loses it’s anger generating potential after a bit.
Not that I didn’t try. That was when I ran across a mention of immigrant inmates in privately run prisons going on a hunger strike. So I checked that out. During that zig off the path I ran across this thing called ‘the bed mandate’.
The bed mandate deals with incarceration of potential deportees, be they illegal immigrants or now undesirable legal immigrants. If you’re curious, you can do a search on ‘the bed mandate’ but I included some links below. Here’s a nifty link to a Bloomberg article on it that mostly does it justice.
According to a lot of folks, the ‘bed mandate’ requires our various rounding up agencies, ICE, Border Patrol, etc under DHS (we have waaaaaay too many agencies that are responsible for rounding up people in my opinion) to lock up 34,000 illegal immigrants a day.
Remember now it’s called the bed mandate, not immigrant detention mandate.
Like a cop ticket quota (but which they swear is NOT a quota), they’ve decided they have to have some fixed number of PEOPLE in jail for immigration reasons every day, 365 days a year, every year since 2009 when Robert Byrd, sainted Democrat and former KKK grand wah-zoo, added the ‘mandate’ to the Federal budget (which doesn’t exist, but let that slide, after all, we’ve let it slide for 6 years and counting…). Out of partisan waspishness I remind that when statesman Bob “Klansman of the Senate” Byrd added it the Democrats owned the Senate and the House, and the White House. Damn those evil immigrant hating Republicans and their colored folk hating laws!
Before anyone starts doing three cheers and a tiger for the GOP recognize they’ve allowed it to continue,
I’m not going to bore you with the statistics on prison populations, or cost per inmate per day in private prisons versus cost per day in Federal, State, local government prisons and holding facilities. It’s a lot of samolians, let’s just say that. We can assume it’s profitable or private corporations wouldn’t do it (except in Moonponeia where companies don’t worry about making profits ).
Most of the articles I read say this year we’re mandated to keep 34,000 people locked up every day. Again and again and again, (I could go many more agains) they insist we must incarcerate 34,000 people, specifically illegal immigrants to fill a bed, every day. The Bloomberg article points out that Texas Republican Congresscritter Michael McCaudoes insists that not doing so is a violation of the statute. Then again ICE seems to think that’s what it means also, so maybe that’s why all the various and sundry aforementioned do too.
We go out and hunt people down, illegal aliens, to fill the 34,000 beds a day? I mean, something that, I don’t know, ridiculous Soviet factory quota Stalinesque, must be a statute of a least a couple of paragraphs full of ‘heretofores’ and ‘with respect to’s’ and ‘as governed bys’. There must be stipulations or guideline or …you see where I’m going don’t you, you perceptive devils.
I got crazy and looked at the budget (hah, reconcilitation) for this year.
It’s not a section, or paragraph, hell, it’s barely it’s own sentence. As tortuous as these bills are, and this is the usual, the ‘mandate’ is a ‘furthermored’ chunk of a run on sentence that even I wouldn’t write. It’s about 20 words, if you count a date as one word.
It says “That the Secretary of Homeland Security shall prioritize the identification and removal of aliens convicted of a crime by the severity of that crime: Provided further, That funding made available under this heading shall maintain a level of not less than 34,000 detention beds through September 30, 2014:…“
BEDS? Not raids and roundups? Beds. That must be why it’s called the bed mandate.
There must be a disconnect here. I don’t see where it says I have to have a person IN the bed or even in the room where the bed is, or even in the building where the room where the bed is. I see budgeting for minimum capacity sheltering. My inexpert reading says I have to have accommodations (a bed) for no less than 34,000 immigrants in detention on any given day. It does NOT say I MUST arrest 34,000 immigrants and lock them up. I’m not a genius or hot doggin government cool guy, so I could be wrong but this doesn’t mention being required to arrest people to fill (n) number of beds.
How ICE gets “you must arrest and detain (n) immigrants” out of that is curious. But I personally think the senior agency people say that to try and convince us we need to cut their funding because they’re big meanies. Head of ICE won’t lose their job, right? Someone has to do the harrumphing and phoney baloney work because I doubt this President appoints anyone to head ICE who is really extra primo keen on enforcing immigration law. That ain’t how this administration rolls.
Yes Franz Kafka would recognize this one. You just know they’ve striven mightily to go to the effort of rounding up the bed minimum number of immigrants a day and locking them up, or keeping them locked up to ensure capacity usage. The average stay turns out to be between 26 to 29 days a month. The system has managed to keep suspiciously close to whatever number the budget specifies for whatever budgetary year after 2009. People, admittedly illegal aliens, locked up, every day, for the last few years to meet a quota. And when they caught more than the minimum allowed, being part of the executive branch and trying to let us know how awful it was that someone would hold the President to HIS plan they let some go to punish us for the sequester, remember?
Is it about enforcing immigration law or meeting a quota? I’d be happier if I thought it was enforcing the law, but I don’t believe that. I’ll let you figure out what happens if they accidentally catch more a day on a regular basis than they can hold.
Now somewhere there are rules and laws on minimum prisoner facility requirements. Housing, feeding, medical care, security requirements. Some government accountant can probably be made to convince us that it costs as much to have the bed as it does to keep someone IN the bed, and watch them, and feed them. I don’t know if they give them a nice orange jumpsuit to wear for a month or so. But those laws, rules, whatever, weren’t considered when an old coot added 20 words to a budget item without any thought to the actual cost. I don’t know if he helped ICE misinterpret them once they were approved.
A few hopeful lights suggested that isn’t what that sentence should mean. and that including a quota like minimum number reduces ICE’s flexibility in dealing with immigrant incarceration and handling and in the end costs more than we might otherwise have to spend. But Congress and the Executive branch, they’re still arguing over how many people they’re going to lock up, not if that’s what those 20 words actually mean or even if those words should really be there.
At least, that’s what this New York Times Magazine cover made me think:
Here’s the side-by-side:
(If you don’t follow Internet humor trends, Annoying Orange is the star of some hit videos on YouTube. Just go there if you want to see them.)
And while I have your attention, Bill Quick is doing one of his very infrequent fund-raisers. Give him a hand if you can. Besides being one of the strongest voices for liberty on the Interwebs, he also loves Dale’s auto reviews.
Seen today on an MSN newsfeed:
What does it say? It says the GOP is more screwed than we ever understood.
The “old ladies” are still predominant and now are fighting among themselves and attacking the Tea Party, which should, if you believe GOP propaganda, be a natural ally.
As long as that condition prevails, the GOP will remain a minority party in national politics. And yes, I know, there are some new faces attempting to emerge. But between the left, the media and the old ladies, their chances of emerging anytime soon without having their character assassinated are likely slim and none.
Well, I’d just have to wonder about your humanity. Tragedies like Newtown are gut wrenching, horrifying, just about any emotional descriptor to signal dispair you can imagine. It’s simply horrible to see murders on that scale, but it is even more horrible when those murders are of children.
As adults we all live with the understanding that there is such a thing as “evil” and we, as a whole, we know we have to deal with that. We understand both the concept and the risk. What we saw on 9/11 was a manifestation of evil. Timothy McVeigh’s attack on the Federal building in Oklahoma City was also such a manifestation.
In both cases, none of the perpetrators in either mass killing used a gun.
The point, of course, is the instrument of the killing isn’t the problem, it’s just the instrument. Evil is the problem.
And no matter how many laws we pass or bans we put in place, evil will find a way to do it’s dirty murderous work. As we mentioned last night on the podcast, the number one murder weapon in the US is a baseball bat.
It’s not about the weapon, it’s about the evil person. 3,000 people were killed on 9/11 – with airplanes. 168 were killed in OKC.
One of the things we have to keep in perspective is the nature of the problem. Feel good bans aren’t going to solve a thing. Those bent on murder are going to find a way to murder and contrary to reason, many seem to feel the way to stop that is to disarm. It makes no sense, logically, and, if you need examples, just look at Europe and other countries where firearms have been banned.
It’s not about guns – it’s about people and evil. It is those seemingly obvious facts we appear to want to ignore when we talk about “banning guns”. It’s the simple, feel good “solution” that the graphic above shows is worthless, and, in fact, gives people and evil a leg up.
We need to understand that one of the fundamental rights any human being has is the right to self defense. And as much as we may hate the necessity, perhaps the way to limit the work of evil people is to not ban guns, but to arm ourselves instead.
(Inspired by Insty, of course.)
We have been saying for, oh I don’t know, forever, that when the goal of government run health care is to make it less costly and better, you can only have one of the two. They are naturally conflicting goals. And anyone who thinks government can make anything less costly or better isn’t a student of history. Finally, whether anyone likes to admit it or not, “less costly” means rationing. Period.
The latest example of the point is our usual whipping boy – the UK’s National Health Service. Seems it wants it’s pregnant patients to take one for the state:
Family doctors are being told to try to talk women out of having Caesareans and very strong painkillers during birth to save the NHS money.
New guidelines drawn up for GPs urge them to encourage women to have natural labours with as little medical help as possible.
But for many women the prospect of giving birth without the painkillers is unthinkable.
And critics have said the move has been made without any thought for the women themselves.
The guidelines also remind doctors to tell women to consider having their babies outside hospital in midwife-run units or in their own homes.
Of course the “move” is being made “without any thought for the women themselves”. The job of bureaucrats isn’t to please patients. It is to “save money”. So guess where the priority and focus shift. Not to those they’re ostensibly serving, but instead to numbers.
The result? Well given the last sentence, a move back to the 19th century.
If there is anything “natural” it is the inevitability of this outcome given the goals of the system. It isn’t about patient care. It is about “saving money”. Result? Well right now its a suggestion. At some point, it may move beyond that. Ignore the advice, however, and it may become more than a suggestion.
Of course, by handing over your health care to unaccountable nameless and faceless bureaucrats, that should have been expected, huh?
Interest rates on bonds, CDs and money market accounts — staples of the retirement crowd’s portfolio — are at historic lows. (I’m always shocked to see what banks are touting. Really? 0.35% — that is, 35/100 of a percent — on a money market? 0.90% on a CD? Yep.) Stocks are nothing to write home about, still well below their highs of five years ago. As for those real estate investments? Forget about it.
The squeeze is real. Some years ago, when earning say 5% on your money was realistic, a $360,000 portfolio of CDs would produce $18,000 a year in interest — that’s $1500 a month. Couple that with an unexceptionalSocial Security payment of about the same amount, and that’s $36,000 a year, $3,000 a month. Nothing fancy, but enough to get by.
Now change that 5% to 0.9% and you’re earning $3,240 per year, or about $270 a month. Add that to $1,500 a month in Social Security and you’ve got $1,770 a month to live on; just $21,240 a year. That’s a brutal 41% cut in income. And it is why many senior citizens around the country are being forced to draw down savings to make ends meet.
Now, you’re saying, well yeah, got it but is that the President’s fault? In a political system that considers all things that happen under a president’s watch to be “his”, yes. If president’s are going to claim responsibility for good occurrences, then they also get the responsibility for the bad things as well. And if I remember correctly, the current president promised to fix all this stuff. But, this is reality:
The Federal Reserve’s low interest rates are a boon to overextended banks and to the borrowers who owe them money. (As well as the world’s greatest debtor, the U.S. Treasury). But these benefits come at the expense of savers — both those who hope to see their savings grow enough that they can retire someday, and those who have already retired expecting to live on interest at rates far higher than those that prevail today. The low rates are, basically, a tax on savers for the benefit of borrowers and those who made bad loans.
Couple that with the spendthrift ways of the past few years, with little to show for it, and you sort of have the perfect political storm don’t you.
The point about the seniors is their retirement income has been materially effected. That’s totally real to them – they live with it daily. And, frankly, they’re going to blame someone. 4 years ago they probably blamed Bush. But now, well now they’re going to blame the guy who has had ample time, in their estimation, to do something about this … and hasn’t.
And who is the guy on the hook? Right or wrong it’s the prez.
As if what is described above isn’t bad enough, there’s more:
For senior citizens, it’s a double squeeze. While incomes for retirees are going down, costs are going up. Gasoline is now roughly double what it was whenPresident Obama took office and, in many places, it’s back up in the neighborhood of $4 a gallon.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ground beef recently hit a national average of more than $3 a pound, the first time in history it’s reached that level. (When Obama was inaugurated, it was $2.35). Anyone who has spent time in a grocery store knows that this sort of thing is happening on every aisle — coupled with “shrinkage,” as manufacturers reduce the amount of product in a box while keeping the price the same, a way of hiding price increases from (they hope) inattentive consumers. And it’s going to get worse, according to the Department of Agriculture, when this summer’s drought hits food prices in a few months.
Heard anything about all of this? Yeah, me neither. Glenn Reynolds hasn’t either and he’s pretty sure he knows why:
In fact, with this double squeeze, we have the makings of a major national crisis. There’s only one thing missing: the kind of news media attention you’d usually get with this many senior citizens suffering in an election year.
I’ve been watching these developments for a while, and by now you’d expect a lot of sad news coverage about old people who diligently saved for retirement being squeezed by high prices and federal policies, being forced to choose between medicine and food or having to let go of pets and move in with children because things have just gotten too expensive, living on cat food and the like. But actually, we’re not hearing much.
And we all know why? When the 4th Estate becomes a 5th Column, you’re unlikely to hear much about the things that might reflect on their chosen one.
Report it or not, it remains a real problem and those suffering from this turn around are likely to want to point the finger at someone. And usually that someone is whoever is in charge on election day.
9 years ago today, QandO was launched on the Blogger platform. Jon Henke started it up by putting up a two or three line post about “first post” jitters. Since then we’ve migrated to many different platforms, literally thousands of posts have been written, over 60,000 comments have been made and over 8 million have viewed QandO’s pages.
This blog has been a labor of love for all those associated with it. By far not the biggest of the blogs out there, it is one of the older ones (think dog years as a metaphor for blog years). We started back when there were just hundreds of us. Now, there are literally millions of blogs.
Thanks from the QandO gang to all our loyal readers and commenters. You’re the incentive that keeps us writing.