I am astonished that 50 of our nation’s allegedly most gifted legislators could be so stone-cold stupid as to vote down the Ensign Amendment today as reported in the Washington Post. The Amendment would have barred illegal aliens from getting credit for the time they worked here in the US illegally when applying for Social Security benefits after they get the citizenship grant that members of the left and the deluded right seem intent on giving them.
Just to make it clear what the Amendment was looking to prevent, let’s say we have an illegal alien who was smuggled across the border 5 years ago at age 50. This so-called “reform” bill gets passed and Mr. Illegal signs right up for his slap on the wrist so he can get in line for citizenship. He’s 55. Eight years from now, he completes the process and becomes a US Citizen at the age of 63. Four years later he retires with Social Security benefits at the age of 67. So, how long has he worked, so far as his benefits are concerned? The Amendment said he should not be allowed to claim the 5 years he worked illegally which would mean his benefits would be computed on 12 years of work. Without that Amendment, the bill says he’ll get to add in the 5 years for a total of 17. That’s 5 additional years where no verifiable documentation exists that he paid anything in the way of taxes, let alone into Social Security.
Is that fair? I sure as hell don’t get to claim an additional 5 years of benefit accrual with no documentation, and that’s just an example, folks. It could be a lot more than that.
The mind-boggling part is that this list of Senators don’t apparently get that. It’s so cut-and-dried a fairness issue I believe my daughter’s pre-school class would be able to see that’s it’s unfair but these supposed giants of legislation can’t. Democrats voting to kill the amendment I get. After all, a Republican proposed it, so it’s the default position for them to vote against it. The Republicans who voted against it, however, are far less understandable. AllahPundit has the list:
You guys who have tight election contests coming up in November are making it tough to root for you. *cough* DeWine *cough*
Fox News is reporting that BellSouth is denying that it provided any data to the NSA as reported in a USA Today story:
BellSouth Corp. is pressing the newspaper USA Today to retract claims in a story asserting that the telecommunications company provided phone records of its customers to the National Security Agency.
The Atlanta-based company’s chief lawyer, Marc Gary, sent a letter Thursday to the publisher of the newspaper, Craig Moon, and general counsel, Thomas Chapple, asking Gannett Co.’s flagship newspaper to retract “false and unsubstantiated statements” made in a May 11 story, BellSouth spokesman Jeff Battcher said.
It’s starting to look even more like the story is just another canary trap, as I mentioned yesterday. Might be interesting to know who the person was that provided the info to the newspaper since it now appears the paper’s getting burned. Or perhaps just jerked around?
After repeated investigations by European agencies into the “secret prisons” run by the CIA story was leaked resulted in no evidence whatsoever that such prisons existed, it was suggested that the entire story might have been a huge canary trap. It was effective: Mary McCarthy was discovered. With the revelation that more telecom companies weren’t involved – Verizon says they weren’t even asked – several folks have begun to suspect that this story might have been less about the NSA and more about the media, too.
Via Power Line, we have this post from Strata-Sphere:
Is it possible the NSA phone database story was a red herring, put out to leakers and reporters in order to make them break cover? The story, if true, definitely provided some important information on how to evade detection. It seems one target may be Brian Ross from ABC News. Ross has a record of exposing national security information to our enemies at left wing sites. His bio is impressive, but he seems to be a Woodward and Bernstein wannabe. He has high level sources inside the government:
It would be good news, if true. I have no issue with the reported NSA database. All the information within it is already shared by our telecom companies with a whole host of telemarketing firms who then sell the data on to other industries. Virtually everything described in the report is available on the commercial market. But if the story can be used to ferret out a leaker of national security programs, I’m all for it.