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Molly Ivins: ‘Yes, I Am Actually Calling Them Racist’

Posted on May 22, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas—Last week, Bush visited Yuma, Ariz., to tour a portion of the U.S.-Mexico border by Border Patrol buggy. Maybe Jorge was doing a little measuring for the $3.2-million-a-mile fence the Senate recently approved, which I guarantee will be really helpful.

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Are they insane? As Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano observes, “Show me a 50-foot wall, and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder.”

Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate have constructively declared English the national language. That’ll fix everything. Every foreigner at our borders will stop and say: “Gosh, ma foi! English is the national language here. Good thing to know. I’ll begin speaking it immediately.”

Yes sir, you want a solution, call a Republican.

Of course, I am enchanted to discover that the entire project will be turned over to Raytheon, General Dynamics and other military contractors—think Halliburton with noncompetitive bids, anyone? Because this outsourcing stuff is just working like a charm. Another Republican solution.

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Naturally, in Texas, National Laboratory for Bad Government, we do it all first and worst. We started with this dandy plan to outsource applications and enrollment for social service programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. In theory, we were to save millions—though I never could understand it myself. You see, Texas has one of the cheapest state governments on the continent, but when we hire outside contractors, they expect to make a profit. Add profit, add cost. Oh well.

So the state hired this firm based in Bermuda on an $899-million, five-year contract. So far, the health and human services commissioner has been forced to ask 1,000 state employees who were scheduled to be laid off by the end of the year not to leave after all—and to offer each of them a $1,800 bonus to stay. Oops.

Among other errors, the private consortium mistakenly dropped 6,000 children from the children’s health insurance program. The state comptroller (who is running for governor against the incumbent, Goodhair Perry) says the program is “a perfect storm of wasted dollars, reduced access to services and profiteering at the expense of Texas taxpayers.”

With a record like that, of course, Republicans want more outsourcing. Ted Koppel suggests in The New York Times that we outsource war: “Blackwater and other leading security companies are seriously proposing to officials at very high levels of the government that their private forces could relieve a number of the burdens now being shouldered (or not) by American troops. ... The Pentagon ... is nonetheless struggling to come to terms with what it now calls ‘the long war.’ There is every expectation that the fight against global terrorism and the most extreme forms of Islamic fundamentalism will last for many years. This is a war that will not necessarily require aircraft carriers, strategic bombers, fighter jets or heavily armored tanks. It will certainly not enable the United States to exploit its advantages in nuclear weapons. It is a war, indeed, that favors the highly mobile and adaptive fighting skills of the former Special Forces soldiers and other ex-commandos ....”

“Will”? Hell! Did and does. This is a war that is being fought with the wrong tools—and, in Iraq, at the wrong time, in the wrong place and against the wrong enemy.

It never did call for tanks, jets or carriers—just a combination of good detectives and good intelligence. In other words, smart, clever people with language skills. All of which we have fully available to us because of ... immigration. Lebanese, Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians, Pakistanis and Indonesians have all become Americans, and in so many cases we got the bravest of the brave—those who fought Saddam, the ayatollah and Assad, Lebanese who saw their country torn apart by religious factions. These are Americans who know the culture and language of the Middle East and other Islamic countries, and who care deeply about how it all comes out.

By all means, reform immigration with this deep obeisance to the Republican right-wing nut faction and their open contempt for “foreigners.” But do not pretend for one minute that it is not a craven political bow to racism (yes, racism—I am actually calling them racists, although they pretend it hurts their feelings. Try reading their websites and see for yourself), and to nativism, to xenophobia and to Know-Nothingism. Just don’t forget what you are throwing away in the process.

To find out more about Molly Ivins and see works by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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By OZZY, June 7, 2006 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment
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Janet Napolitano observes, “Show me a 50-foot wall, and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder.”

OZZY says, “Show me a border littered with Mexican bodies riddled with bullets, and I’ll show you an immigration problem solved. That is the most effective no trespassing sign there is.”

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By Kevin, May 29, 2006 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment
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I find it very hard to believe that anyone can take Molly Ivins seriously. If someone were to write an opinion column for the purpose of lampooning the Left it would read very much like a Molly Ivins column. Her weekly demogogary reminds me of the Five Minutes of Hate in 1984. I think she’s laughing all the way to the bank.

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By Rommel, May 26, 2006 at 2:43 am Link to this comment
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About 12 million people are going to become American citizens at one stroke from Bush’s pen. The majority are poor Mexicans for whom employment in the US Army is a bonanza and would be willing recurits for the Army.  The middleclass and rich Americans should be happy that the US administration will not have to make drafting into the US Army mandatory to solve the problems of new recruits for the Army.

I am sure most of you would hate to be forced to go to dangerous foreign battle fields fighting illegal wars just to help the American military industrial complex (the Congressmen are literally the salesmen for this complex) garner huge contracts.

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By Peter, May 25, 2006 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Open the borders to everyone, because I don’t want to be a racist.

If we just limited our open border policy to ONLY those from Mexico, Central and South America, we would be racist. So we need to accept anyone from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and everywhere else.

Of course, once we have 100 million or so refugees, I mean immigrants, arrive here in the next five years, we’ll need to make a few changes. Since we don’t have a national language, we must print all government forms and all signs (including road signs) in practically every language. To just limit it to English and Spanish would be racist.

Since we don’t have the housing for the amount of people arriving, practically every person with a house will need to plan on opening your home and give up a bed or two. If you don’t, you’re a racist.

I’m thinking that for every $1000 of income you make, you should give up $250 to go toward food, clothing and medical expenses to help our new countrymen. We may have to up that number though. Anyone who complains is a racist.

Now since there obviously won’t be enough jobs and because most of the new citizens will be unskilled, everybody with an unskilled job will need to split their hours with a new worker. Look at the positive side, since your income will drop severely, that $250 per $1000 won’t be as bad because you have less to split. Now don’t be a racist and frown.

Of course we’ll have a bit of a teacher shortage, and the teachers will have to be trained in additional languages, so don’t be suprised if your children’s school schedule will be cut back to two days a week. On a positive note, a lot people will need additional child care, so they can hire their new roomates to watch them. Now don’t be a racist and be hatin’.

I’m not going to touch the healthcare changes right now, because I don’t want to be creating racists.

Yes, our standard of living will drop, crime will rise, education will make become pathetic and we won’t have near the quality of health care we are used to, but at least we won’t be racists.

Open those borders!!!!!

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By Lynn B, May 25, 2006 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
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Molly Ivins for President.

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By sonofthewest, May 24, 2006 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
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Molly,
my only comment: Chalibi and others of their ilk who fled their own countries are often just traitors and carpet baggers waiting for a chance to lie their way back into power and will climb across American dead to reach the promised land.

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By Michelle Klein-Hass, May 24, 2006 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Don’t criticize an “illegal alien” with your mouth full.

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By CJ, May 24, 2006 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Love you, Molly!
Now that English is our national language, would it be possible for Americans to learn how to spell?  THAT would be a relief!

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By John Earl, May 24, 2006 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Racist? Boy, calling them that makes them madder than a wet wasp!

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By NOLA Creole, May 24, 2006 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My mother was one of those Old New Orleans families that had been there since it was French. She spoke French at home before learning English as a second language, and laced French idioms through her speech all her life. We also lived in Hawaii for many years and so Hawaiian idioms were also commonplace.

Mostly people got the definition from context, and it was just more colorful speech. If we banned non-english from public speech, with all the French and German (much less other languages) there would not be a lot said.

As well there are plenty of folk whose English is less than comprehensible and plenty more who would have trouble with anything beyond “Dick & Jane”. If they want an “English only law” they had better include a dictionary.

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By Chris, May 24, 2006 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
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I wish there was a Democratic candidate for ANY office who had the conviction and guts to say what Molly Ivins continues to say week after week. That’s what a Democrat should sound like….

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By La Dreamer, May 24, 2006 at 8:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Wall: Its plain stupid,immigrants will still keep coming and Bush is waisting his time and the country’s money to build that crap, also allowing the fact that building that wall will take (not one or two years) but more than what he expects. Also if he wants that wall build, Who is going to build it? He isnt going to get immigrants to do it for him ; Deporting: its too much work and you can’t deport all immigrants (thats millions and millions of people) back to their country, And if they do decide on deporting, Who will do all immigrants work? Picking crops, building houses & buildings, fixing streets, and other sorts of things. See the government should think about that more often.

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By bruce D., May 24, 2006 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
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No one on Truthdig seems to care what they are saying as long as it stirs up hatred for your own country and as ling as the policies they endorse will cause division. They are “right”...everyone else is “wrong.” VIVA LA REVOLUCION! Everything in this country could be straight and they’d find a fight…screw em.

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By George, May 24, 2006 at 6:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Racisit? Since when is it racist to ask that business owners not higher illegal aliens? Or that immigrants obtain a visa? Or that good wages be paid to poor American citizens rather than undercutting their ability to make a decent living by exploiting cheap labor? Or that high school kids earn a good summer’s pay by not having to compete with an indegent foreign work force? This is a matter of economic self-determination, not racism.

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By William Day, May 24, 2006 at 4:18 am Link to this comment
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Hell, Molly, if racism was this administration’s only sin, we just might could work around it. But, with leading the nation into an unnecessary war based on trumped up WMDs and imminent threats, trashing the constitution with signing statements and illegal wire tapping, driving the nation into financial ruin, leaking information to support his butt, loss of world respect for the nation, etc. etc., racism seems to be a small sin to put up with. History will prove this president to be the worst in the nation’s history—surpassing even tricky dick and Warren Harding!

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By Brendog, May 23, 2006 at 9:43 pm Link to this comment
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Molly and everybody else:

No manner of gun will win this “war” on “terrorism”. If you want to stop people from being willing to die to harm you, fight for their minds.

Good “intelligence” will stanch the flow of blood for a split second, but for every 1 you kill, there are 20 more waiting.

Elevate those 20 out of poverty, help them build lives worth living, with dignity, security, and hope for a future for themselves and their kin, and you will end the war.

Continue to exploit them, their lands and their wealth of natural resources, and you will be fighting them forever.

Send in Blackwater at your peril.

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By Jim Slater, May 23, 2006 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

G0-MOLLY-GO !!!

For the Um-Teenth time: MOLLY WILL YOU MARRY ME?!!!!! 
We could make a beautiful life together—Waking up each morning and surgically dissecting republican DumbAss-ity, then revelling in their newest cowardly dirty tricks unveiled upon “We the People”!

If I can’t have you, then no one can! (Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh can lust all they want—- but NO CIGAR!!)
Sweetheart: Keep hittin’‘em where they hurt, and I’ll keep worshipping you from afar, with a song in my heart!! Yours Always-
Jim Slater, 
Oak Point, TX

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By Ponder, May 23, 2006 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment
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Are you a Republican and tired being called a racist?? Tired of being called intolerant?  THEN STOP TOLERATING IT FROM YOUR OWN DAMN PARTY AND CHANGE IT.  You are the founding party of (dont protest change the system from the inside) so there it is go fetch it sparky change it.  Or would you rather sit back and watch them deport some people that do not look like you and have lived here for 5 yrs or so.  If you allow the government to ignore the corporations breaking the law and creating the problem by hiring them, then to want to seek vengance now on people leaving a country that is a puppet government of our own(do you really think we give foriegn aid to help countries?  we give foriegn aid to keep our friends in power no matter what they do)then you are either a racist or severly twisted or and there is another option a wuss.  I think thats the problem with the nonbigot nonracist factions of the republican party when those in the Dem’s screamed down any hinted racisim that they perceived the Repugs had to sit and deal with it if they wanted to win elections and that makes them wuss’s who refuse to stand up for what is right and would sell there own mothers into prostitution to make enough money to invest in more companies that are part of our wonderful military industrial complex.  Hold on, not ready not ready, ok I bought it start the bombing.  Its about money folks, and some people sell there votes and then call it a future tax cut.

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By Fadel Abdallah, May 23, 2006 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THE STORY OF THREE APARTHEID WALLS!

Modern human history has witnessed the stories of two apartheid walls and a third in the making. During the Cold War between Communism and Capitalism, the communists erected the infamous Berlin Wall. When the wall was brought down in 1989, the event was hailed as a victory of good over evil. And the then Teflon President Ronald Reagan, made big noise about it, claiming personal achievement in bringing that evil wall down.

The second wall story comes from evil and trouble-maker Israel, where the construction of its “apartheid wall” was started in 2002; of which 470 miles have been completed, and the work continues despite international condemnation and the World Court declaring it illegal. In all this, the U.S. has been silent, while continuing to provide Israel with unspecified billions of dollars and equipment.

At best, one can describe these two historical walls as simple solutions to divide people, where diplomacy and wisdom failed to prevail. At worst, these can be described as evil militaristic schemes to solve political issues. In any case, they can be fairly described as “apartheid walls” that attempt to curtail free human movement, and thus go contrary to the concept of civility and the progress of human civilization.

Now, in regard to issue of the Mexican immigration to the north, one troubling sign is Bush’s decision to send national guards to control the border. What is worrisome for liberal humanists like myself, is the sad fact of the militarization of the border.

Yet what is even worse is the plan to build another apartheid wall, courtesy of Bush and his Republican rednecks. And here where the story of the third evil wall of modern human history starts. It is no secret that one of the proposals on the table is to erect a 700 miles of walling across the Mexican border. I read, at least, one major article, where the underlying theme talks about “West Bank Fence Provides Example for U.S.” The idea of the American apartheid wall is no doubt borrowed from evil Israel, and most likely the experise will come from there too.

The unholy alliance between Israel and the political-military establishment of the U.S. is a very sad and evil story of Biblical proportions. For many years since its illegitimate establishment on Palestinian occupied lands, Israel was helped in its aggression and brutal occupation by untold billions of dollars from American taxpayers, and unlimited supply of weapons of mass destruction. Now, when American incompetent politicians fail to solve their problems through diplomacy, communication and wisdom, they resort to copying the uncivilized apartheid methods of constructing apartheid walls. Even in the so-called medieval times, we have not heard about such large scale walls. America and Israel are two countries that are constantly going backward in the progression of civilization. No wonder they are both hated by the majority of the world! They are both the most arrogant political establishments modern history has seen. But the good news for those who don’t like what they see is that “arrogance comes always before the fall.”

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By mike in Seattle, May 23, 2006 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment
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DAMN STRAIGHT!!  Nice piece of writing.  Too bad the I-Me-Mine Party won’t bother reading it for what it means and not how it feels in their gut.

Racist yes.  Selfish and intolerant is more to the point of the whole lot of them!

Peace.

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By R. Harper, May 23, 2006 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
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So now that English is our national language, will we be deporting people who can’t speak English? If so, we better start preparing the deportation papers for george bush, because that guy can’t speak English for sh*t.

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By Margaret W. Ostrom, May 23, 2006 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry, Molly dear, but you’ve really gone round the bend on calling those who want to get tough on illegal immigration “racist.”  It’s time to stop the inpouring of illegals and get control of our borders and governmental functions.  I know that’s asking a lot, but we have to make a start.  The U. S. cannot go on admitting freely anyone who wants to run across our vast borders.  We have to set limits and priorities.  I hope you will rethink what you have said.  It’s the easy way to disagree with others. 
Margaret W. Ostrom

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By casey, May 23, 2006 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment
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Mells comment is obviously rhetorical as well as redundant and begs the question: does he understand english? moronic and evil? read it again, mell, and see if you can draw the correct conclusion which is: molly is always lucid and does not need redundancies such as ” moronic and evil” to describe this administration.

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By tom, May 23, 2006 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
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for the dogs to devour. Republicans are not the source of all corruption and until you learn that nothing will ever change. People are people, regardless of color, politics or religion. There are bad Democrats, Republicans and lefties. Very arrogant or stupid of you to think you’re any better and reason 35 of why the fringe-left should and will not ever hold national power.

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By Mel, May 23, 2006 at 5:49 am Link to this comment
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You’ve now called this administration crazy and racist, are you prepared to go all the way and to call them moronic and evil?

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By John Brown, May 23, 2006 at 5:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We are watching two imperatives of capitalism at work in the immigration debate. It happened in the recent Dubai Ports World controversy too. Capitalism feeds itself on profits and will always seek to maximize those profits. So the ruling class craves after a guest worker program and the UAE’s petrodollars. But then racism is its major tool for splitting the only real threat it’s existence—the working class. Normally the ruling class can have its cake and eat it too but in these cases the rabid anti-immigrant and anti-Arab bias they have loosed in US society have come back to bite them.

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By Bert, May 23, 2006 at 2:57 am Link to this comment
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While one one side of this I do see traces of racism, on the other I view it thusly: Mexico’s largely been living off the United States for years. Had they ever been really successful at implementing any real reforms on behalf of their own people, Mexico would not be living off of the proceeds of drug trafficking, human trafficking, billions in annual remittances, etc. Since they DO have these revenue streams, it implies they need them, which implies that their economy doesn’t have what it takes to stand on its’ own two feet. To ice the top of the cake, the United States sends aid money to Mexico, also.

How many more billions can our economy afford to bleed before the patient finally expires?

There’s 8.4 trillion in red ink on the table.
You can cry ‘racism’ all day long, but it if was Teutonic viking descendants running Mexico the way the hispanic-americans do, my view is that people would still be up in arms about the way that this and previous administrations have addressed our international, yes, relations between two countries, international relations with Mexico. Good fences make good neighbors, and all the sob stories in the world won’t straighten out a corrupt Congress, only top-down, lead-by-example, front-to-back reforms will do that. Nice try, molly, not buying it…

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By frowning furiously, May 22, 2006 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment
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THANKS TO THE HIGHER POWERS FOR MOLLY IVINS !!

A NATIONAL TREASURE AND ONE OF THE BEST WRITERS GOING TODAY !!!

THANK YOU, TRUTHDIG, FOR HOSTING MOLLY IVINS FOR OUR READING PLEASURE AND EDIFICATION !!!

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By rob payne, May 22, 2006 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You will be glad to hear that the Senate is proposing a 370 mile wall that will cost 1 billion dollars and the House of Representatives is trying to outdo the Senate with a proposed 700 mile wall that will cost 2.2 billion. Maybe they can borrow the money from the energy industry who they are giving 8.5 billion, considering their recent profits they could afford it.

However as you have said in the past all they have to do is enforce laws that already exist by prosecuting the thousands of companies that hire illegal aliens but they don’t do that do they, no they would rather spend billions like water looking tough on defense. My own feeling is they should let the illegal aliens work here and stop using them as a political ploy, these people have a tough enough life as it is.

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/14631071.htm

Ted Koppel is going to grow up and be an adult some day though none can say when that day will arrive. What a grand idea, a private war, say this might catch on. Enron could hire its own private army followed by Chevron and Halliburton maybe some say we will see Halliburton declare war on California and depose Schwarzenegger. Or maybe North Dakota could hire its own private army and invade South Dakota and then we would have only one Dakota thus avoiding much confusion. Perhaps Ted Koppel will hire his own private army and invade Fox News, not a bad idea. Koppel says a draft would be too controversial which of course is the reason Rangel suggested a draft during the build up to war in Iraq because a draft would have made invasion unpopular and probably the real reason Rummy wanted to do his invading with too few not that we should have invaded.

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By Mace Price, May 22, 2006 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeh ever hear that ol’ story ‘bout the little boy that cried Wolf for 40+ years Molly?

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By TLB, May 22, 2006 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There certainly are some racists who are opposed to illegal immigration. However, there are also non-racists who are opposed to it. So, trying to portray opposition to illegal immigration vs. support of illegal immigration as a choice between racism and non-racism is false, and all it does is reveal that the Ivins has no argument.

Bush’s fence proposal is simply “boob bait for Bubba” and as Ivins correctly points out it will lead to yet more contracts to connected contractors. On the other hand, she comes to the assistance of similar companies that profit off illegal immigration by attempting to smear those who would stand between them and further profits.

Try reading my website and you’ll learn all the things about this issue that Ivins doesn’t know or won’t tell.

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By Mike #2, May 22, 2006 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You hit the nail on the head again, Molly.  But your best line is about how the Repugs recoil in feigned-pain and self-righteous indignation when they are called racist.  It doesn’t hurt them politically at all - probably helps them win votes in many parts of the country.  Keeping minorities, women, gays, non-Christians and free-thinkers in their place has been their platform for victory for fifty years, and it has been working like a charm.  When the predominantly black neighborhoods of New Orleans were flooded and we saw those people’s faces on TV,  Joe Redneck in Selma, Alabama didn’t feel bad when the government didn’t waste his tax dollar trying to save them.  Good riddance is what he thought.  Publicly very few Americans will express this opinion, but there are many of them - especially in the red states of course.  They’ll vote Republican in 2006, in 2008 and beyond as long as it enforces their racist views.

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