The Jake Files

May 10, 2006

Local News Roundup for Wed May 10

Raises to Bring Workers' Pay Up to Standards – Edythe Jensen,

Just a thought: How enthusiastic were the councilmembers to increase pay PRIOR TO the Pentz forced resignation?  I know this has been a study in the works for a while, but it was the first thing I cynically thought of when I saw the headline.

GOP Spins Democrats' Signs – Paul Giblin, East Valley Trib

Haven't paid much attention to Pederson yet, as I think he's going to get pasted in the election.  The whole slogan "No one's senator but ours" is, I think, a loser, as it turns on the electorate feeling like Senator Kyl's in someone's back pocket, a la Duke Cunningham. 

Workers Welcomed as Long as They're Legal – Sarah N. Lynch, East Valley Trib

Huge Intel Layoffs 'Unlikely' – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Notice how they say "Huge" layoffs, and don't say "NO layoffs?"

Budget Reflects Changing Focus – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Anger to Draw More to Polls? – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Downtown's Future to Rely on Past – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

KTAR Gains AM-FM Simulcast – Diane Arthur, The Business Journal

It will be interesting to see how this impacts the talk radio market in Phoenix.  We already had Stern on FM prior to his defection to satellite, and now they're advertising Tom Leykis for the afternoons.  Will the KTAR simulcast prompt KFYI and/or KKNT The Patriot to do the same?  Personally, I hope so.  KFYI has a great signal, but KKNT960 could really use the additional audience that FM would provide. 

New Poll: Napolitano, Kyl Maintain Leads in Re-election Bids – Mike Sunnucks, The Business Journal

AOL to Layoff 300 in Tucson Call Center – The Business Journal

Residents Begin Recall of Sepulveda, Orlando – Laurie Fagen, San Tan Sun News

Council Runoff Election Q&A – Laurie Fagen, San Tan Sun News



April 25, 2006

McCain’s Sun Lakes Visit

From the Chandler Independent:

 Sen. McCain covered numerous topics but the overriding issue was illegal immigration.

Time and again questioners in the standing-room-only audience of 600 peppered him with demands for a hard line, focusing on border protection. (more…)

January 9, 2006

Arizona State of the State Address

Filed under: Arizona,Border Security,Illegal Immigration,Politics — Amazing Jake @ 2:49 pm

I heard a little bit of Janet Napolitano’s State of the State address on the radio.  I missed most of it, but will look for a transcript and update the post later.

What grabbed my attention was her 4 part plan to address illegal immigration.  She says she will propose $100 million to fund these initiatives:

  • Address criminal activity by illegal immigrants and criminal syndicates
  • Strengthen border security and increase DPS funding.  She has asked Secretary Rumsfeld to invoke some statute that would allow for federal funding for National Guard troops to be stationed at the border.
  • She wants us to “get real” about the root cause of illegal immigration.  She referred to an executive order issued last year on the subject of prohibiting state business with employers that hire illegal immigrants.  (Not sure how this is enforced)  She is proposing “substantial” fines and penalties for all employers that hire illegals.
  • My phone rang during point #4, but it had something to do with encouraging immigration reform at the federal level.

At first blush, these seem like fairly conservative ideas.  My only other reaction so far is, it sure beats the defeatism of the 51 foot ladder:

 “You show me a 50-foot wall and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border. That’s the way the border works,” Napolitano told the Associated Press.

Will have to get the transcript later. already has a brief recap here.


Border Fence

Good old-fashioned ingenuity in Iraq solving real problems:

SINIYAH, Iraq (AP) – Villagers watched from rooftops as U.S. military bulldozers heaved a wall of sand into snaking lines around their homes Saturday in an attempt to trap insurgents believed to be hiding among them.

The drastic tactic in Siniyah came after weeks of increasingly bold insurgent attacks, including almost daily roadside bombs targeting 101st Airborne Division soldiers patrolling the village, 250 kilometres north of Baghdad.

“This is not in any of the courses they teach in the army,” said Maj. Shawn Daniel, who oversees operations for the 3rd Brigade’s 33rd Cavalry Regiment. “But if bad people are coming to Siniyah to attack coalition forces, let’s catch them at the gate.”

Spanning 10 kilometres and broken by watchtowers to be manned by Iraqi security forces, the three-metre tall crude barrier is the army’s latest tool to rout out insurgents.

Construction was expected to last several days. (emphasis mine)  Once complete, all vehicles leaving or entering the village will be stopped as soldiers look for known insurgents, bomb-making materials and illegal weapons.

So, the army can erect a crude barrier in a matter of days to keep terrorists out of an Iraqi town, using nothing but what they already have on hand in Iraq.  The estimates for a fence on the southern US border with Mexico run $1.5 to $2 million PER MILE:

WASHINGTON — The House voted last night to build nearly 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border as it began the first major floor debate in years on enforcing immigration laws.
    The vote, 260-159, came on an amendment to a border-security and employer-verification bill that is scheduled for a final vote today.

Mr. Hunter’s plan calls for 698 miles of fence at five locations along the 1,940-mile border. The barrier would be modeled from the San Diego fence, a two-layered reinforced fence with roads, surveillance cameras and sensors. Cost estimates run from $1.5 million to $2 million per mile.

So, some quick math leads me to believe it would cost $1 billion to $1.4 billion for just the 698 miles proposed in the bill on December 15th.  To cover the whole border with Mexico, it would cost between $2.9 and $3.9 billion.

If the military can use their initiative to solve a problem like this in short period of time with just the tools they have available, why can’t the Congress and the Dept of Homeland Security do the same thing at home?

The answer:  the political will to do it.

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