Wednesday, March 19, 2008

They Finally Get It, Sorta-Kinda

The editorial boards of the major news outlets appear to be waking from their long slumber. Some are even beginning to notice that not all is right with the federal government after seven years of Bush mismanagement. Today the NY Times took a look at the agency charged with processing citizenship applications and found it, well, lacking.

The director of the federal Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, Emilio Gonzalez, is stepping down next month, leaving behind a gummed-up bureaucracy and perhaps a million empty promises. That’s about how many people are stuck waiting to have their citizenship petitions approved by the agency, which was swamped last summer by a flood of applications that it failed to predict or prepare for.

The disaster erupted when the agency jacked up the price of its services by an average of 66 percent, a nasty bite for the immigrant families whose fees provide nearly all the money that keeps the rickety system going. Mr. Gonzalez justified the increases by promising that they would lead to better service and shorter waits.

To be fair, the Times' own news staff has been writing about the problems at this agency since the announcement of the unconscionable hike, but the usual editorial follow-up just didn't happen, at least until today. Apparently the light bulb just switched on, probably because it suddenly occurred to folks that, ZOMG!!1!!, the election is less than nine months away and a million people won't be able to vote!

But wait, it gets better:

Maybe it’s a stretch to call this intentional disenfranchisement after hundreds of thousands of Latinos demonstrated in the spring of 2006, chanting: “Today we march. Tomorrow we vote.” Still, the absence of so many would-be Latino voters could benefit the Republicans, who have worked so hard to stoke a rancid anti-immigrant mood in this country.

The processing delays mock America’s respect for those who “play by the rules” and “get in line.” For millions who want to work but have no one to sponsor them and no specialized skills, there is no line to get into: no realistic hope of a visa and no functioning guest-worker program. As for the others who have gone the route of patience and paperwork, they are the ones whose expectations Mr. Gonzalez raised and crushed.
[Emphasis added]

A stretch? Oh, I don't think so, and I am reasonably certain neither does the editorialist, but he or she didn't have the spine to go beyond the hint. But at least the hint was there, punchless or not.

I'm certain that will be some comfort to the million people who will be frozen out of the November elections.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diebold (DBD), based in Canton, Ohio, produces the GEMS tabulator system
, used across the nation to count votes, including in Ohio, Texas, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Virginia. All of these states have pension fund investment in UTX. Members of pension funds in ten states and in Canada, including five teacher pension plans, urged to immediately contact plan to divest from military-industrial conglomerate UTX and all derivative holdings in UTX (mutual funds and hedge funds) due to likely takeover of Diebold (DBD), maker of voting machines.

IM from a lady friend.

8:04 AM  

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