News Roundup for 4/22/10

Mariachi band
Typical undocumented aliens

-Headline of the day-
"Rep. Brian Bilbray Says He Can Spot Undocumented Immigrants Based On The Shoes They Wear."

A new bill in Arizona would give law enforcement the ability to check the papers of anyone they suspected of being an illegal immigrant. Wait, did I say "give law enforcement the ability to...?" I meant, "legally require law enforcement to..."

Of course, the bill has drawn criticism for racial profiling, which is especially bad in a state with such a large Hispanic population. So supporters of the bill are bending over backward to deny that race would have anything to do with it.

According to the report, "Yesterday on MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asked Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) to give a 'non-ethnic' example of how Arizona cops will be able to identify undocumented immigrants..." He didn't do so well.

"They will look at the kind of dress you wear," Bilbray answered, "there's different type of attire, there's different type of... right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes." See, because Mexicans wear clothes that are made in Mexico, while Americans wear clothes that are made in China... And Mexico. What's Bilbray thinking, that illegal aliens walk around in sombreros and bandoliers like the Frito Bandito? The last time I saw footage of some guy jumping the fence, he was wearing a t-shirt, jeans, and a baseball cap. He dressed like a Wisconsin farmer.

Which is bad news for Wisconsin farmers. Don't go to Arizona, guys -- or the cops will think you're an illegal Norwegian and scoop you up right pronto. (Think Progress, with video)

-Not much of a defense-
Apparently, the birthers are gaining traction in state legislatures. This shouldn't come as a big surprise since -- as I pointed out yesterday -- state legislatures have become hothouses of bona fide mental illness. According to the report, the Arizona state legislature has passed legislation "that would require presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates in order to get ballot access for the election." Not extremely constitutional, but neither is that whole illegal alien catchin' scheme, so who even cares?

To discuss this development, CNN's Anderson Cooper spoke with Republican State Representative Cecil Ash, who explained his reasoning for supporting and voting for the measure. It didn't go well.

You'll notice that Cecil's argument in defense of himself basically boils down to "I have no freakin' idea what the hell I'm talking about," in the form of "I haven't investigated that personally" repeated ad nauseam. Anderson did get him to admit the moon isn't made out of cheese, but Cecil wasn't willing to go out on any other limbs -- other than the tiny, creaking, birther one he was already weighing down.

Of course, Cecil's just your typical disingenuous, finger-in-the-wind local Republican. He's just doing what he thinks would be popular. He doesn't give a crap whether the legislation is insane or not. He's just doing what he thinks will get him reelected.

Which begs the question, voters in Arizona: what the fuck is wrong with you? (Huffington Post)

-Bonus HotD-
"Earth Day: 40 years of imminent catastrophe."

An op-ed Laura E. Huggins in the Philadelphia Inquirer informs us all that Earth Day was founded among "apocalyptic tales of disaster," when all the scientist were a'scared of "global cooling." I should probably point out that Huggins is the Director of Development for a rightwing corporate front group called the "Property and Environment Research Center."

See? I told you so. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

-Earth Day bonus fun-
Republicans love them some environment! Today's the 40th Earth Day since it's founding in 1970, so go check out all the fun things the Grand Old Party has to say about this celebration of the little place we call home.

I think you won't be surprised at all. (GOP.com)

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