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May 15, 2006


Will the National Guard please report to the Prop Department on soundstage 6.....

There is also the problem of Bush responding to every problem with the military. As an initial plan, I might add. Saddam? Military. Iran? Military. Bird Flu? Military quarantine. Border patrols? Military. Katrina? Military.

But at least his NG border plan will provide opportunities for a bunch of nice photo-ops. Time to drag that codpiece back out of the closet.

But it *is* a short-term crisis -- the Republicans are in grave danger of losing control of Congress in just a few short months!

The cheesy political Kabuki (is that too mixed a metaphor?) goes without saying. And kenB provides a good answer to those who worry about an indefinite commitment.

But unfortunately, I do have to take issue with the substance of the post. Because the NG have no authority to make arrests anyway, they'd only be backing up the BP. And they'd do that mostly by just sitting and watching. In other words, the necessary equipment consists of transportation, binoculars, a radio, some means of eating and drinking, and probably some kind of sun shade. They get stationed like fire rangers, at high points and in problem areas, and they call in the cavalry whenever they think it's necessary.

So, from the point of view of the logistics of the mission, it doesn't seem like much of a problem to me.

In December Bush signed legislation to expand the number of border patrol agents by 10,000. but in his Feb budget we learned he had only funded 210 or them.
Now, he is calling out the National Guard.

Soulds like a "flip-flop" to me.

bleh: Yeah, but some of the things they're short on are trucks.

"What on earth makes anyone think that the National Guard would be particularly good at this?"

But the Department of Agriculture is tied up giving speeches!

Oh, and semi-off-topic, but I think you'll appreciate the barefaced nature of this lie, Hilzoy:

As for the argument that the cuts mainly benefited affluent Americans, Rove said the tax changes have "shifted more of the burden onto the wealthy."
Impressive, innit?

Gary: they never cease to amaze.

The photo-op presidency rolls on. At least this time they're not pulling firefighters off Katrina cleanup duty to walk around with the President all day.

Well, the whole proposition is silly anyway. I think the equipment necessary to set up and occasionally relieve and re-supply a string of watch-posts would be minimal, presuming it was really a problem they wanted to deal with, and they were happy to leave NG troops in the middle of the desert for a week or two at a time. ("Brokeback Border" anyone?) The Forest Service does just fine with equipment that's a drop in the ocean compared to, e.g., the NG and Reserve fleets.

But as pretty much everyone recognizes, this is just short-term theater. They may CALL for 5,000 troops, but few enough of those will ever be deployed anywhere, and the media will lose interest in a tiny fraction of the time that would be necessary to get something like this set up and running.

About the only equipment they'll actually need will be the shiny new ATVs and 5/4-ton trucks they'll set up for another codpiece moment. (Not to mention, of course, all the equipment and fuel necessary to transport the imperial retinue to the latest photo-op.)

It would be nice if we could spend some of that money on, oh, schools, say, or ESL education.

Well, yes, the burden falls more on the wealthy, but only to the extent that the wealthy have become even more wealthy. Neat.

but only to the extent that the wealthy have become even more wealthy.

This reminds me of when I taught at an English language summer camp for the children of rather wealthy Spanish families and I overheard one of kids talking to the other and the conversation went something like this

spoiled rich kid 1: This year, I had to pack myself!
spoiled rich kid 2: Really?
SPRK 1: Yeah, I had to tell the maid I wanted which clothes I wanted. Can you believe it?

Being wealthy can be a crushing burden.

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Hey, trackback spam. How original.

I think I've come down on the side of enforcing existing laws before, and enforcing them (in particular) by cracking down on employment. I think as long as it's easy for illegals to obtain employment, it's going to be a daunting task to stem the flood. Slow it down to a trickle and you can stop up the leaks at the border.

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