Misc Commentary For April 28, 2006

— The economy is still rolling:

“The report out this morning shows that the U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual pace of 4.8 percent between January and March.”

Too bad that high gas prices and the liberal bias of the MSM are keeping Bush from getting the credit he deserves. His perfectly timed tax cuts have a lot to do with the economic boom we’ve been experiencing.

Rush Limbaugh is FINALLY in the clear on those doctor shopping charges in Florida. In the end, he didn’t have to plead guilty, he only paid a $30,000 fine (which is nothing for a guy who makes as much as Limbaugh does), and he doesn’t have to do anything but stay out of trouble for 18 months. All and all, this is a big win for Rush and a big loss for the prosecutor, who, let’s face it, only went after Rush because he’s Rush. If Joe Smith, a mechanic, had been in the situation, the chances of the prosecutor going after him would have probably been close to zero.

— The LA Times has brought the hammer down on Michael Hiltzik for using sock puppet identities to attack his enemies and defend his work in the comment sections of other blogs:

The Times is discontinuing Michael Hiltzik’s Golden State column, which ran in the Business section, because the columnist violated the newspaper’s ethics guidelines. This follows the suspension last week of his blog on latimes.com, which also has been discontinued. Hiltzik has acknowledged using pseudonyms to post a single comment on his blog on latimes.com and multiple comments elsewhere on the Web that dealt with his column and other issues involving the newspaper.

On the upside for Hiltzik, at least they didn’t fire him. Although I have no love for Hiltzik, I think the LA Times really overreacted. A little slap on the wrist and a warning not to do it again would have been plenty of punishment given the minor nature of his offense.

— Polls may tell you how many people favor or dislike a particular policy, but they often have trouble truly capturing the level of intensity — and that’s a problem. 30 or 40 intense voters may produce significantly more votes and/or campaign contributions than 60 or 70 lukewarm voters…….

Which brings us to immigration and some polling questions asked by Rasmussen. What do you think these numbers say about the energy and intensity of the anti-illegals crowd:

The survey also asked respondents how they would vote if “a third party candidate ran in 2008 and promised to build a barrier along the Mexican border and make enforcement of immigration law his top priority.”

With that option, support fell sharply for both major parties. The Democrats still come out on top with support from 31% of Americans. The third party candidate moved into a virtual tie at 30% while the GOP fell to 21%.

This result probably reflects unhappiness with both parties on the immigration issue rather than a true opportunity for a third party. Historically, issues that drive third party candidates get co-opted by one of the major parties as they demonstrate popular appeal. Most Americans favor a barrier along the border and enforcement of existing law prior to other reforms.

With the immigration issue candidate as an option, 36% of conservative voters opt for the Republican candidate while 35% take the third party option. Among political moderates, 34% pick the Democrat while 32% prefer the third party option.

The pro-illegal Republicans in the Senate should look at those numbers and tremble.

— Bush is wrong about a lot of things in the illegal immigration debate, but he’s right about this:

“I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.”

It’s bad enough that you have illegals who don’t respect our laws marching in the streets, telling Americans what to do in Spanish while they wave foreign flags and threaten to close down American cities. But now, they’re going to disrespect our national anthem? Why in the world would we want to allow people like this to remain in the United States or worse yet, allow them to become citizens? We didn’t ask them to come here, we don’t want them here now, and their behavior has been disgraceful. Can we deport them all faster please?

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