Sunday, June 27, 2010

Political Digest June 27, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. Nor that I disagree with them, of course.
White House Picks Critic of Local Immigration Enforcement for Key Role at ICE
He wonders why his poll numbers are tanking, but keeps putting leftwing fringe types in key positions. Duh. Excerpt: The Obama administration has tapped an outspoken critic of immigration enforcement on the local level to oversee and promote partnerships between federal and local officials on the issue. The Obama administration has tapped an outspoken critic of immigration enforcement on the local level to oversee and promote partnerships between federal and local officials on the issue. Harold Hurtt, a former police chief in Houston and Phoenix, has been hired as the director for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of State and Local Coordination. Starting July 6, Hurtt will supervise outreach and communication between ICE, local law enforcement agencies, tribal leaders and representatives from non-governmental organizations. "Chief Hurtt is a respected member of the law enforcement community (BULLSH*T!)and understands the concerns of local law enforcement leaders," said John Morton, the Homeland Security assistant secretary for ICE. "His experience and skills will be an invaluable asset to the ICEs outreach and coordination efforts." But as a police chief, Hurtt was a supporter of "sanctuary city" policies, by which illegal immigrants who don't commit crimes can live without fear of exposure or detainment because police don't check for immigration papers.

Petraeus Ready to Loosen Rules of Engagement in Afghanistan
Excerpt: It looks like McChrystal’s resignation may be a blessing in disguise…General Petraeus will likely modify the controversial rules of engagement and make it easier for U.S. troops to engage in combat with the enemy according to a source close to the general.

Does Congress have the guts to fix what court gutted? Honestly, no.,0,7364095.column
John Kass is worth the price of my Tribune subscription. Excerpt: It's not every day that President Barack Obama and the Congress are handed an easy campaign issue by the Supreme Court on the touchy subject of political corruption. And who isn't against political corruption? On Thursday the Supreme Court gutted a key tool used by federal prosecutors to fight white-collar political corruption. It's known as the "honest services" clause. It deals with the tangible right of Americans to expect honest service from their elected officials. Even in Illinois. The court decided that the law was too vague. And since it was also used to convict business crooks like Enron CEO Jeffery Skilling and Chicago media baron Conrad Black, their lawyers are overjoyed. But the ruling will have its biggest impact on political prosecution cases, because the justices limited theft of honest services to direct bribery and extortion. Such thinking is simplistic. Big-time political corruption isn't about greasy envelopes stuffed with cash, passed in some alley behind a tavern. Rather, high-level corruption is circular, buffered and layered. Elected Official A helps Donor B to compensate Contractor D, who takes care of Regulator C as A's nephews get rich

Brewer: Most illegal immigrants smuggling drugs
Excerpt: Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday reiterated her assertion that the majority of illegal immigrants are coming to the United States for reasons other than work, saying most are committing crimes and being used as drug mules by the cartels. Brewer's remarks are an expansion of comments she made last week during a televised debate between the four Republican gubernatorial candidates. In the first exchange, she was responding to opponent Matt Jette of Apache Junction, who opposes the state's tough new immigration law and is pushing a moderate platform that includes calls for comprehensive immigration reform. In the debate, Jette said that most people who cross illegally into Arizona are "just trying to feed their families." Brewer disputed that, saying, "They're coming here, and they're bringing drugs. And they're doing drop houses, and they're extorting people and they're terrorizing the families." The governor, who has become a national media figure since signing Senate Bill 1070 into law on April 23, went further on Friday, saying that the "majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming (into) the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels." (EDITOR: One of your headlines is, Brewer: Most illegal immigrants smuggling drugs. This may come as a shock, but I'm sure that the Governor has intelligence reports that verify that statement. It is no shock to me. From Nov 1974 to Oct 2001, I worked as a California Highway Patrol Officer in San Diego County. We worked closely with Customs and the Border Patrol. There was an often-repeated story. An Illegal would successfully get to a major California urban location. He would work his way up, and acquire symbols of achievement as he progressed. First, was a Stetson hat, then some $400+ western boots. The ultimate was a four wheel drive pickup. The man would then drive down into his hometown in Mexico to show the populace there that he had made it big in the US. Often, a cartel member would see this, and tell the man he was going to haul drugs. If he refused, his family would be butchered. –Dave H.)

Maywood to hire others to run the city
My correspondent says they are a Sanctuary City. Is this the future of such? Excerpt: The L.A. County community, facing a $450,000 budget deficit, plans to lay off its employees, disband its Police Department and contract its operations to the Sheriff's Department and the neighboring city of Bell. Experts say it is the only city in the state to take such drastic action.

Mr. President, Do Your Job - Warning Signs Don't Secure the Border
Must watch video by the AZ Governor. Forget Palin, Brewer in 2012! Excerpt: Earlier this month, Governor Jan Brewer sat in the Oval Office with President Barack Obama to discuss the critical issue of border security. The Governor personally related to the President the concerns of millions of Arizonans over the lack of security on Arizona’s southern border. During their visit, President Obama committed to present details, within two weeks of their meeting, regarding his plans to commit National Guard troops to the Arizona border and commit to spend $500 million in additional funds on border security. Two weeks have come and gone and still it’s all talk and no action. Two days ago, Brewer sent a letter to the President outlining her Four-Point Border Surge Strategy.

Labor Dept. Offers to Assist Illegals
Just because they are breaking the law with impunity, no reason to let businesses break the law. Excerpt: Republican lawmakers are expressing shock over a Labor Department ad campaign that offers government assistance to illegal immigrants who think they're getting shortchanged for their work -- and at least one of them is planning to write to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis for an explanation. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he wants to know why taxpayers are being asked to spend money to ensure that illegals get assistance for fair wages while millions of unemployed Americans struggle to find jobs. "That's insane," Chaffetz told on Wednesday. "That's just unbelievable." But the Labor Department stood by the campaign, saying in a written statement to that "through Democratic and Republican administrations, the Department of Labor has consistently held that the country's minimum wage and overtime law protects workers regardless of their immigration status."

The Law? How Quaint
We are well into revolutionary times, but perhaps not in the way we traditionally think of political upheaval. Instead, insidiously, the law itself is becoming negotiable — or rather, it is becoming subservient to what elite overseers at any given time determine is a higher calling of social change. Of course, progressive federal judges have been creating, rather than interpreting, law for decades. Yet seldom in memory have we seen such a systematic attack on our framework of laws as the present assault from the executive branch. Federal immigration statutes mandate a clearly defined American border, which aliens may not cross without authorization. Yet the Obama administration not only does not fully enforce those statutes (in this regard, it is not behaving much differently from the prior administration), but also is preparing to sue the state of Arizona for implementing enforcement that follows the intent of neglected federal laws on the books. Apparently, the president believes that enforcement of existing law is a bargaining chip that can be used to obtain “comprehensive immigration reform” — a euphemism for blanket amnesty. Other states and even cities are now marching in lockstep to boycott Arizona. Meanwhile, the president of Mexico recently blasted Arizonans from the White House Rose Garden, no less, apparently counting on the president of the United States to go along with this demonization of one of his own states. All this is eerie; it has a whiff of the climate of the late 1850s, when the federal government was in perpetual conflict with the states, which in turn were in conflict with one another, and which often appealed to foreign nations for support. Recently, as if on cue, the secretary of labor, Hilda Solis, produced a video advising workers to contact her office should they feel that they have been shorted wages by their employers. Fair enough. But then she goes on to explicitly include workers who are not documented and to promise them confidentiality, i.e., de facto federal protection for their illegality: “Every worker has a right to be paid fairly, whether documented or not.”

Teen shot by Border Patrol had arrests
Excerpt: A 15-year-old Mexican boy shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent was among El Paso's most wanted juvenile immigrant smugglers, according to federal arrest records reviewed by The Associated Press. The records show Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca had been arrested at least four times since 2008 and twice in the same week in February 2009 on suspicion of smuggling illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border. Hernandez was repeatedly arrested along the U.S. side of the border near downtown El Paso, not far from where he was killed, but was never charged with a crime by federal prosecutors. A Border Patrol agent shot and killed Hernandez June 7 while trying to arrest illegal immigrants crossing the muddy bed of the Rio Grande. Some witnesses said a group of people on the Mexican side were throwing rocks at the agents. Agents are generally permitted to use lethal force against rock throwers. The records show that in at least one case Hernandez was to be paid $50 a person for smuggling four people into the U.S.

Widow of Houston Officer Killed by Illegal Immigrant 'Shocked' at ICE Appointment
Excerpt: The widow of a Houston police officer killed by an illegal immigrant was "shocked" to learn that the city's former police chief has landed a top immigration job with the Obama administration, her lawyer told on Friday. That's because Joslyn Johnson, whose husband, Rodney Johnson, was killed in 2006, is suing former Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt for failing to enforce federal immigration laws. She claims her husband would be alive today if the city had bothered to check up on the gunman's immigration status. Now that Hurtt is taking a job to oversee partnerships between federal and local officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Johnson -- and other critics -- say they're concerned the official who resisted immigration enforcement in Houston will now be in charge of promoting it.

Lawmakers on the local level take matters into their own hands
Excerpt: In Virginia, the chairman of Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Corey A. Stewart, is pushing what he calls the “Virginia Rule of Law Campaign.” The campaign is an effort to get the state legislature to adopt a law that is already on the books in Prince William — a law that is similar to Arizona’s. The county’s proposed law requires police officers to inquire into the immigration status of all those arrested or suspected of a crime. Last month, a California town did something similar. In May, Costa Mesa passed a resolution to call itself a “Rule of Law City.” The resolution is Costa Mesa’s way of officially declaring it does not condone illegal immigration. And in Oklahoma, state Rep. Randy Terrill is preparing to introduce a bill similar to the one in Arizona, making it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant. But Terrill’s bill would crack down even harder, punishing illegal immigrants with asset-seizure and forfeiture provisions. Further still, state lawmakers in Utah, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Texas and Georgia are pushing for legislation that mirrors Arizona’s immigration policy. The trend is clear: The impetus for implementing immigration law is the local response to the failure of the federal government.

Family of US Army Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Slams Obama Over Strict ROE, “They Couldn’t Return Fire, the Taliban is Laughing at us”…

Gun grabbers treat criminals as victims
Excerpt: The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Violence Policy Center (VPC) are peddling the notion that concealed-handgun permit holders are a danger to society. Last month, the center released a report claiming that in the past three years, 166 people were killed by holders of concealed-weapon permits. A closer look at the evidence suggests that many of the so-called victims of gun violence were criminals. Because more than 6 million Americans hold permits, it is important to set the record straight. As one of the most populous states with a right-to-carry law, Florida has the most concealed-handgun permits. Between Oct. 1, 1987, and May 31, the state issued them to 1.8 million individuals. So far, just 167 permits have been revoked over any type of firearms-related violation. Most of those involved trivial, nonviolent infractions. To put that figure into perspective, the annual revocation rate is a minuscule 0.00017 percent, with just three revocations since January 2008. More people are killed every year by falling vending machines than by holders of a concealed-weapon permit.

What Is “Negrophilia” and Why Does It Matter?
If this book gets any traction, it will create a fire storm. Excerpt: I recently finished reading the book “Negrophilia: From Slave Block to Pedestal–America’s Racial Obsession,” by Erik Rush, a black American author whose articles sometimes appear on ChronWatch. I thought it worth sharing what this term means in the context of what is happening in America. The information in Rush’s book needs to be disseminated throughout the country if we are to survive Barack Hussein Obama. If I may paraphrase, the condition of negrophilia, spawned from political correctness (PC), is the irrational state of refusing to see evil in some blacks and attributing to all blacks a mythical “holiness.” Sort of a twisted reasoning that blacks can do no wrong because they have suffered so much. Never mind that other races and groups have suffered as much or more, whites (even the sane ones) have been so indoctrinated through PC that they can’t see the idiocy in this thinking. That is deadly.

Pakistan offers Karzai a separate peace, including Al-Qaeda ally
Excerpt: Seeing Obama's weakness, Pakistan sheds its mask yet again and offers Karzai a deal including one of his chief rivals, a key al-Qaeda ally. And since Karzai himself has spoken about joining the Taliban, and making peace with it in a power-sharing arrangement, it is hard to see what the downside would be for him. "As US falters, Pak plays Haqqani card in Kabul," by Jane Perlez, Eric Schmitt and Carlotta Gall in the Times of India, June 26 (thanks to Puneet): ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is exploiting the troubled United States military effort in Afghanistan to drive home a political settlement with Afghanistan that would give Pakistan important influence there but is likely to undermine American interests, Pakistani and American officials said. The dismissal of Gen Stanley McChrystal will almost certainly embolden the Pakistanis in their plan as they detect increasing American uncertainty, officials said. Pakistan is presenting itself as the new viable partner for Afghanistan to President Hamid Karzai, who has soured on the Americans. Pakistani officials say they can deliver the network of Sirajuddin Haqqani, an ally of al-Qaida, who runs a major part of the insurgency in Afghanistan, into a power-sharing arrangement. In addition, Afghan officials say, the Pakistanis are pushing various other proxies, with Pakistani army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani personally offering to broker a deal with the Taliban.

UK jihadist misunderstands Islam, says it's not a Religion of Peace™
Didn’t get the memo.

Hooded gunmen kill 4 commuters in Philippines
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: About 30 hooded attackers, believed to be Abu Sayyaf militants, shot and hacked horrified victims as they ran for their lives in the southern Philippines, police said Thursday. Four people died and six were wounded in the ambush on a village road. The suspected al-Qaida-linked militants apparently were trying to divert government troops from a weekslong offensive in a nearby town, said Antonio Mendoza, police chief for the island province of Basilan.

"Moderate" Palestinian Authority TV host to children: Jews are "our enemies"
Gee, even the moderates didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: But deep down, they really, really want peace! Note that this is Fatah TV. Fatah is the "moderate" Palestinian Authority faction that the U.S. government favors with money and even military training. "PA TV host to children: Jews are 'our enemies' - Israeli soldiers are 'wild animals,'" by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook for Palestinian Media Watch, June 25: The host of a program about prisoners on official Palestinian Authority television described Jews as "our enemies" and Israeli soldiers as "wild animals" when she interviewed young children.

Talk of consensus, but little change
Down under. Excerpt: In April, the government delayed its emissions trading scheme until at least 2013, sparking a massive collapse in public support for Labor and Mr Rudd in opinion polls. In his final statement as Prime Minister yesterday, Mr Rudd said he was proud of the fact the government tried three time to pass an emissions trading scheme, ''although we failed.'' ... His comments are being interpreted as a parting shot at the ALP's New South Wales right-wing faction, led by Senator Mark Arbib, who pushed for the government to dump the emissions trading scheme. Senator Arbib and the NSW Right were also instrumental in bringing down Mr Rudd's leadership. A final decision to shelve the emissions trading scheme until 2013 was made in April by a cabinet subcommittee made up of Mr Rudd, Ms Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and outgoing Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner. Ms Gillard and Mr Swan - now Deputy Prime Minister - both actively campaigned within the government to defer the emissions trading scheme. Ms Gillard said yesterday she did not want to ''in any way seek to diminish my role in making that decision. I came to that decision because I fundamentally believe that if you are going to restructure our economy so that we can deal with a carbon price and deal with all of the transformations in our economy that requires, then you need community consensus.''

Shocker! ABC says UHI making cities hotter!
Excerpt: So reads the headline on the ABC website, as if it’s something we don’t know. Obviously, as cities increase in size, the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect will also increase. However, the latest “research” bolts this on to the IPCC’s incorrectly exaggerated warming predictions, to give some even scarier scenarios.... Unfortunately, this is another GIGO [Garbage In, Garbage Out] case, where the results from the IPCC’s incomplete models, which vastly overstate the sensitivity of the climate, are plugged into further models of UHI effects (which may or may not be accurate). However, satellite temperatures are continuing to diverge from the IPCC’s predictions, which means that research based on them is the stuff of fairytales. (This is linked through WUWT because they have some pictures and graphs that make it easier to understand. Also, there are several links to the original material. –Ron. P)

The Chaos Factor
Excerpt: With apologies to Rod Serling and his classic "Twilight Zone" TV series, there is a signpost up ahead in America, and it reads, "The Chaos Zone." The firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal is just one piece of a jumbled public policy puzzle that now threatens the presidency of Barack Obama.

Sen. Harry M. Reid building war chest by tapping donors beyond Nevada
The connected kick in. Excerpt: Harry M. Reid needed money, and lots of it. Last spring, the Senate majority leader was looking ahead to a tough reelection fight. Polls showed that the voters back home in Nevada who sent him to Washington four times had tired of him. Republican Party fundraisers had all but declared him their No. 1 target for defeat. Taking them on would be expensive, and he wasn't drawing nearly enough cash from contributors inside Nevada. So Reid did what politicians in his position do: He picked up the phone. The senator began dialing old and new friends across the country, asking for their help. Many had one thing in common: They had a financial stake in legislation that Reid, as the most powerful member of the Senate, helps control. One of the calls Reid placed seeking cash was to trial lawyer John Morgan. At a party held at his home near Orlando in March, Morgan raised about $96,000 for Reid's reelection battle.

What the Obama administration has wrought: the world's first "Oilcane."
Excerpt: Art Horn, writing at, describes the catastrophic potential of an oil-infused hurricane in the Gulf. Consider the series of missteps by the White House that has led up to this point, wherein the entire Gulf waits on pins and needles for the impending "Oilcane": The "Obama administration knew about Deepwater Horizon['s] 35,000-foot well bore, green-lighted [it] and fast-tracked the project"...Disregarded and underestimated the impact of the tragic explosion and spill for over a month...As of last week, had deployed only 20 of 2,000 skimmer (clean-up) vessels...Fought Louisiana's use of sand berms to prevent damage to the Gulf coast tidal region...Forced Louisiana to stop using 16 barges that were sucking up thousands of gallons of oil daily out of the Gulf...Refused to waive the Jones Act, which prevented foreign vessels and crews from cleaning up the Gulf, even though "American shippers who generally support the ban said they wouldn’t object to lifting it to fight the spill"...

North Korea to hold rare party meet 'to elect leaders'
Excerpt: North Korea's ruling communist party is to hold a rare meeting of its political bureau, state media have said. The session will be held in September to select new leaders for the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), the North Korean Central News Agency said. Analysts say the move may signal a transition of power in the secretive country. Leader Kim Jong-il is believed to be in ill health and grooming one of his sons, Kim Jong-un, to succeed him. The meeting is "for electing [the party's] highest leading body reflecting the new requirements of the WPK", the announcement said.

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