- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2006

Bordering on insanity

“There are at least as many illegal aliens now in the United States as all English, Irish and Jewish immigrants who came to America in 400 years. Every month, the border patrol apprehends 150,000 illegal aliens; one in every 12 people breaking into the U.S. illegally has a criminal record,” Philadelphia Daily News columnist Michael Smerconish observed yesterday, gleaning his facts from Pat Buchanan’s new book, “State of Emergency.”

These border-crossing hopefuls are “not playing by the rules. Most important, many have no desire to be American. So why does it continue?” Mr. Smerconish asks.

“The status quo is enabled by multinational corporations anxious to topple sovereign borders, a Hispanic media that depends for its survival on the perpetuation of bilingualism, and gutless politicians. Political correctness is a major factor. Witness how many seek to dismiss Buchanan’s analysis as the work of a white guy uncomfortable with the realization that his kind is losing its dominance and control. Or they try to label him a racist or xenophobe.”

A productive public debate on illegal immigration “will happen if Republicans get some guts and stop deluding themselves into thinking they’ll get Hispanic votes sooner or later. Democrats, after all, are a winner on this issue. They’re already getting this bloc, and soon the political dynamics will be such that no candidate for president will be willing to go to California, Arizona or New Mexico and speak the truth about immigration.”

Mr. Smerconish concluded, “It’s time to close and defend our borders.”

No finger-wagging

Run for the hills. The “rollout” on Bob Woodward’s new book is scheduled to begin this weekend as the Watergate veteran releases “State of Denial: Bush at War, Part III,” his “top secret” volume of political observations, intriguing and otherwise. There will be excerpts in The Washington Post and Newsweek, and a nice fat interview with Mike Wallace of CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

“The timing is remarkable. A current best-seller by New York Times columnist Frank Rich criticizes Woodward for being too cozy, in two previous books, with the Bush administration’s spin on the Iraq war,” Editor & Publisher noted yesterday.

There won’t be any finger-wagging in this Wallace interview, not like that encountered by Wallace-the-younger — Chris Wallace — on Fox News with former President Bill Clinton almost a week ago. Mr. Woodward divulges to Mr. Wallace that Henry Kissinger often advises the president, and the Bush administration has not told the truth about the amount of violence in Iraq.

“Now what’s Kissinger’s advice?” Mr. Woodward tells CBS. “In Iraq, he declared very simply, ‘Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy.’ This is so fascinating. Kissinger’s fighting the Vietnam War again because, in his view, the problem in Vietnam was we lost our will.”

Drake rocks MIT

Life may get a little easier for the Mining Information Team (MIT), a small but seminal office within the U.S. Geological Survey, which was scheduled to lose much of its operational funds earlier this year — thus shuttering the only federal entity that tracks the sources, costs and status of 100 of the nation’s strategic minerals, which are critical in defense and high-tech sectors.

Our stockpiles depleted, we now import more than 75 percent of non-fuel minerals and metals, a higher percentage than our dependence on foreign oil. Some observers fear overseas suppliers could hold America hostage for vital mineral resources — “a new ‘Cold War’ for resources between China and the West, with India somewhere in the picture,” the London-based Mining Journal recently pointed out.

The long-term, institutional knowledge within MIT is the source of “information that is critical to the economy and national security of the United States,” businessman Drew Meyer on behalf of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association told a House Resources subcommittee last week.

Now MIT has ROCK, however. Rep. Thelma Drake, Virginia Republican, has introduced H.R. 6080, the Resource Origin and Commodity Knowledge Act. The bipartisan legislation will tuck MIT into the Department of Interior as an independent agency with a tidy $30 million annual budget. The 122-member office now operates with $23 million a year.

MIT’S survival will make us all sleep a little better; the bill has gone to subcommittee and most likely will go to markup in November, said a source close to the situation.

Mazel tov, Joe

“Ned Lamont has lost momentum. He’s gained only two points in six weeks. He’s going to have to do something different in the next six weeks or Senator Joseph Lieberman stays in for another six years,” said Douglas Schwartz, director of polling at Quinnipiac University.

The newly minted independent holds a 10-point lead over Democrat Ned Lamont in the Senate race in Connecticut, according to a poll released by the campus yesterday. Mr. Lieberman, a three-term incumbent and the 2000 Democratic vice-presidential nominee who lost to millionaire businessman Mr. Lamont in the party primary, held a 49 percent to 39 percent lead.

Does he pine for his Democratic chums? Well, maybe not.

Asked by the online group Pajamas Media whether he could forgive Al Gore, Sens. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut and Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts for endorsing Mr. Lamont, Mr. Lieberman had a terse reply.

“I can forgive,” he said. “But I probably won’t forget.”

The Quinnipiac poll of 1,181 likely voters was conducted Sept. 21 through Monday and had an error margin of 2.9 percentage points.

Borat in USA

Borat, the fictional TV reporter from Kazakhstan, may have gotten under the skin of Kazakh officials but he couldn’t get past the gates of the White House yesterday, Reuters news agency reports.

Secret Service agents turned away British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as the boorish, anti-Semitic journalist, when he tried to invite “Premier George Walter Bush” to a screening of his upcoming movie, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

Also invited to the screening: O.J. Simpson, “Mel Gibsons” and other “American dignitaries.”

Mr. Cohen’s stunt was timed to coincide with an official visit by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is scheduled to meet with Mr. Bush today. The movie comedy has been a crowd favorite at film festivals and is scheduled for a November release.

Mr. Cohen’s “Borat” routine, part of his “Da Ali G Show” on HBO, has drawn legal threats from the Kazakh government, which keeps a tight lid on criticism in its press. Kazakh press secretary Roman Vasilenko said he was worried that some may take the Borat routine seriously.

“He is not a Kazakh. What he represents is a country of Boratastan, a country of one,” Mr. Vasilenko told Reuters.

Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper @ washingtontimes. com or 202/636-3085.

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