Friday, September 29, 2006

Sensenbrenner goes to the dogs

Sensenbrenner is single-handedly holding up a bill, in the final days of the Congressional session, to crack down on cockfighting and dogfighting -- a bill sponsored by 324 House members, including Mark Green, F. Jim's Wisconsin colleague and candidate for governor.

His resistance brought a full page newspaper ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Thursday, sponsored by the Humane Society. It says F. Jim's on the wrong side of the fence.

What is it about Sensenbrenner and fences anyway?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Protecting the northern border

NY Public Broadcasting:
Deal to Delay Passport Requirement Fails

BUFFALO (2006-09-27) A deal reached in Congress Tuesday to delay the passport requirement along the northern border has fallen apart.

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter says lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agreed early Tuesday to delay the passport requirement along the U.S.-Canada border until June 2009.

But just before the vote, Slaughter says Wisconsin Republican James Sensenbrenner objected and convinced House Speaker Dennis Hastert to remove the extension.

Killing the delay at the last minute angered members of the Western New York Congressional delegation.

"This one really took us by surprise," Slaughter said.

Congress approved the passport requirement in 2004 as a way to prevent terrorism and crackdown on illegal immigration. It is scheduled to take effect in January 2008.

The passport requirement is causing widespread anxiety in Western New York, Southern Ontario and other northern border communities that depend on frequent travel to and from Canada for their local economy.
Folks probably won't be too happy about it in Detroit, northern Minnesota, or other northern outposts, either.

UPDATE:The Canadians are unhappy, not that Sensenbrenner would care. CanWest News Service reports:
WASHINGTON - Congressman James Sensenbrenner is a ruddy-faced politician known around Capitol Hill as one of Washington's most mercurial and uncompromising lawmakers.

A 28-year veteran of the House of Representatives, the border security-obsessed congressman from Wisconsin is perhaps best known for authoring immigration legislation which last year triggered massive street protests among Latinos from Los Angeles to New York.

As of Thursday night, Sensenbrenner was also the lone Republican leader blocking legislation to delay new U.S. rules for Canadian travellers that have incensed Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
UPDATE: The bill passed, but Sensenbrenner won a concession. CanWest reports:
WASHINGTON - Legislation to delay new border identification rules for Canadians traveling to the United States has survived a backroom power struggle among congressional Republicans, clearing the way for its final approval in Congress.

The House of Representatives passed the legislation 412 to six in a vote Friday evening, and the Senate was expected to approve the bill later Friday or early today.

The agreement, reached after four days of high-stakes politicking on Capitol Hill, will give Canadians up until the middle of 2009 before they must obtain a passport or tamper-proof equivalent document to cross land borders into the U.S.

But in order to appease the most vocal opponent of the border ID delay House judiciary committee chairman James Sensenbrenner Republican leaders publicly urged the Bush administration to implement the controversial program well before the new deadline.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Profile in Pandering

By Keith Schmitz

Today’s editorial in the New York Times charges that many in Congress are being truly soft on crime with the consideration of a bill which would make it harder to control the flow of guns used in crimes.
House sycophants of the National Rifle Association are aiming this week to hobble the federal government’s power to revoke the licenses of rogue gun dealers who arm the underworld. A shameless proposal would replace existing law with wrist-slapping penalties and an impossible definition of “willful intent” that would hamstring efforts to close lawless marketers.

This shameless pandering unfortunately has consequences to society.
What makes this gun decontrol measure truly brazen is recent data from the Justice Department, which reported a startling jump of nearly 50 percent last year in gun crime victims, to 477,000.

You can’t outlaw the NRA, but this is yet another example of why we as Americans should start ostracizing this organization, which is largely made up of good people but is run by a band of baboons:
No one can yet say whether this is related to an earlier N.R.A. “victory” — the decision of the Bush administration and Republican leaders in Congress not to renew the 10-year-old ban on the sale of military assault weapons to civilians. Any analysis is hampered by another gun lobby “victory” — Congress’s barring the federal gun control agency from searching out criminal trends in its own records of weapon sales.

The editorial closes with a smack down on F. Jim, that once again brings home the national embarrassment for those of us living in the 5th CD that have to bear having him as our Congressman.
Representative James Sensenbrenner, the Wisconsin Republican so alarmed of late about threats from the immigrant tide at the nation’s borders, shows no comparable concern about armed thugs shooting people in the inner cities. “Crybaby!” snarled Mr. Sensenbrenner in excoriating the mayor of Milwaukee for testifying on behalf of more, not less, gun control.

Of course Charlie Sykes has been cheerleading Sensenbrenner’s feud with Barrett while conveniently overlooking that the issue of crime is only fueled by this bill, which is a profile in pandering. Sykes makes a bogus claim that civic leaders have been trying to put a happy face on our local crime problem while neglecting that problem. But since when has Cheap-Shot Charlie ever stood up for anything positive?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sensenbrenner ducks debate

Sensenbrenner a no-show at La Casa debate
Spokesman: Forum sponsors consistently oppose congressman

WAUKESHA - Incumbent U.S. Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner was in Waukesha County on Saturday, but he wasn’t at a candidates’ forum for those running for his seat because the longtime congressman viewed the proposed debate as not "true and fair," his press secretary said.

Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who currently represents the state’s 5th District in Congress, declined the invitation to participate in the community forum at La Casa de Esperanza in Waukesha, instead serving as the keynote speaker for the grand opening of the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Riverwalk in Delafield.

Raj Bharwani, Sensenbrenner’s press secretary, explained the decision.
I'm sure the explanation was a dandy, but you can't read the rest unless you are a Waukesha Freeman subscriber.