Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

For those that understand what this day means, it is a reminder of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to preserve, protect, and defend this great nation. This is the day set aside so that we may honor their memories and that sacrifice. It is the ultimate price to lay one's life down for his nation, his family, and his friends. The men that have served this nation, and given their last full measure deserve the respect and honor of a grateful nation. The nation can never repay the debt we owe these men and women, but we can attempt to repay a little bit of it when we remember them each year on this day.

God Bless each and every one of them for giving their all so we may remain free.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Team Barry doesn't have time to deal with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico ...

... but he has plenty of time to do a whirlwind fundraising tour for Democrats in California, especially for Senator Barbara Boxer:

President Barack Obama began a 19-hour sweep into the Bay Area on Tuesday night to raise money for Democrats and visit a Fremont solar plant that has become a poster child for his administration's stimulus bill.

Obama attended a series of fundraisers for Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is facing a fierce battle in the fall to win a fourth term. It was his second trip to California in as many months to assist the liberal Democrat.

"We've got a lot on our plate right now, so I don't travel for just anybody," Obama told Democratic donors Tuesday night at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel. "But when it comes to Barbara Boxer, I'm a lot like you: When she calls and says she needs help, we're gonna give her some help."

HT to Hugh Hewitt for that story, and I'd like to point out that there isn't one mention in the story about Barry doing a damn thing about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It's now Day 36 since the Deepwater Horizon exploded, and millions of gallons of oil began flooding the Gulf. The New York Times has an interactive map showing the extent of the spill as of 24 May.

Governor Bobby Jindal is fighting mad that the federal response has been beyond slow to act. In fact, he's willing to to go to jail, if that's what it takes, to build the barriers he's been screaming for since the slick occurred. His fishing economy is wrecked, thanks to the slow response from Team Barry. The Army Corps of Engineers has to approve of the permits to build the barriers he's proposing, but they're too busy studying the environmental impact of putting those barriers up.

HELLLOOOOO? What about the environmental impact of millions of barrels in the Gulf, washing up on the Louisiana coast, the Florida coast, etc. It's clear that Team Barry doesn't give a rat's ass about the oil slick, but, by God, when Barbara Boxer calls, he leaps into action.

This is a disgusting display of incompetence and partisanship that should have every voter in America calling for the president's political skull on a platter. The press and liberal sycophants savaged President Bush for the federal response to Hurricane Katrina (though they forget that legally he couldn't do one damn thing until Governor Kathleen Blanco opened up her inept yap, and asked for help) but they're not going after Barry. President Bush was on top of the hurricane before it's second landfall -- the one that devastated New Orleans -- and federal response was on the ground 48 hours after Katrina had savaged the Gulf coast region. Barry waited twelve days to even take notice of the spill, and now, 36 days later, he's throwing tantrums and hissy-fits over stopping the flow of oil into the Gulf.

This spill is Barry's Katrina. He owns this. And his actions -- jetting off to San Francisco for Democrat fundraisers -- shows everyone exactly what he thinks of this nation when a disaster strikes it. He doesn't care. His frustration is apparent and that frustration comes from the fact that he is in over his head. This is what happens when the nation elects inept, narcissistic, and ill-prepared leaders.

Publius II

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The North and the South are no longer speaking to one another

No, not here in America. This North/South dust-up is between the two Koreas. In response to the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel, and after an investigation pointed all fingers at the North the South announced on Monday that they were ceasing trade relations with the North. Today, the North responded by severing all ties to the South:

KCNA said the North was also expelling all South Korean workers from a jointly-run factory north of the border.

The move comes after an international report blamed North Korea for sinking a South Korean warship.

Pyongyang denies it torpedoed the Cheonan near the inter-Korean maritime border on 26 March, killing 46 sailors.

South Korea says it plans to refer North Korea to the UN Security Council, and is seeking a unified international response to the incident. 'Puppet army gangs'

Tuesday's KCNA reports announcing the severing of all ties - including communications - said the North was also banning South Korean ships and planes from its territorial waters and airspace.

"The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea... formally declares that from now on it will put into force the resolute measures to totally freeze the inter-Korean relations, totally abrogate the agreement on non-aggression between the North and the South and completely halt the inter-Korean cooperation," KCNA reported.

Pyongyang has also accused South Korea of trespassing in its waters.

In a warning to South Korea's navy, a newsreader on North Korean state television (KRT) said: "South Korean puppet army gangs have been recently trespassing our territorial waters without restraint.

"They have conducted provocative acts which severely irritate us, by making dozens of warships intrude upon our waters from 14 to 24 May."

The newsreader said that if this "deliberate provocation" continued, the North would "put into force practical military measures to defend its waters".

As Captain Ed notes, no one wants to see the Korean War start back up again. (Remember, these two nations are under a cease-fire; no peace treaty was signed, and neither nation surrendered.) As of right now the North seems to be rattling its saber towards the South, and Kim Jong-Il might want to step lightly right now. Ban Ki-moon is urging toe UN Security Council to act against North Korea, and the US has stated it will be conducting maneuvers with the South Koreans shortly. (No, we're not holding our breath on the UN's response to this as the Security Council has been reluctant to deal with North Korea, as a whole, but tougher sanctions could ratchet up the pressure on the North to cool their heels.)

The North desperately needs the South. South Korea has been sending food and humanitarian aid to the North for some time now, staving off the potential collapse of the country. Kim Jong-Il already has a starving populace, and he has been the target of at least three coup attempts. The last one was reported back in 1998, and it involved his 6th army corps. Why? Because his military was starving, as well. So that could be a possible scenario if tensions continue to grow, and Kim doesn't back down. No doubt he'll be appealing to China for assistance soon enough, but back in 2006 Chinese officials voiced sentiments that China might be willing to back a coup removing Kim Jong-Il from power. So, Kim is still stuck between a rock and a hard place. He can't afford a new, armed conflict because we would back the South. Additionally, if China backs our play, Kim will have more headaches than he knows what to do with.

Personally, I think a lot of the bluster from the North is simply hot air. The South's investigation of the sinking of their ship was quite conclusive. It was torpedoed, or it hit a mine. Either way, the North is responsible for this provocation. It'd be a lot simpler if Kim simply apologized to the South, but pride and hubris are keeping him from doing that.

Do I see much coming from this stand-off? Not right now. But the ball isn't back in the South's court. It's still stuck in Kim's court, and cutting off his nation's nose to spite it's face wasn't exactly the smartest diplomatic move.

Publius II

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Throwing down the gauntlet

As of the beginning of May 73% of those polled by Pew supported Arizona's new immigration law. Rasmussen reports that 55% of the public would support such a bill enacted in their state, and 69% support the law's provisions that allow law enforcement officers to enforce the federal laws. (The Rasmussen poll was conducted May 14-15.) So, it's pretty clear that the people of this nation have sounded off, and they like what Arizona did. As residents of Arizona, we applaud Governor Jan Brewer for signing this bill into law. (If you're like the LA City Council, President Barack Obama, DHS Secretary Janet "Incompetano" Napolitano, or Attorney General Eric Holder, and you haven't read the law, you can download it here. It's 17 pages long, and could be read, easily, while you're at lunch.)

So, what's the point of this post? Well, as you all know the LA City Council acted "stupidly," and voted to boycott the state of Arizona:

The City Council voted Wednesday to boycott Arizona businesses, making Los Angeles the largest city to take such action to protest the state's tough new law targeting illegal immigration.

The 13-1 vote, which came after emotional discussion in which several council members recounted their immigrant ancestors, was largely symbolic since only a small percentage of the city's business dealings are affected.

"An immigrant city, an international city, (Los Angeles) needs to have its voice heard," Councilman Ed Reyes said. "It is crucial this great city take a stand."

Of the $58 million in business the city of Los Angeles does with Arizona, only about $7.7 million could legally be dropped. So the boycott was largely symbolic, and akin to a child throwing a temper-tantrum because it didn't get the toy it wanted. (Additionally, the LA City Council apparently doesn't read the laws in the state of California because California has a law that is very similar to our own law, and it's a tad more strict as it makes illegal the so-called "sanctuary cities" like San Francisco.)

Needless to say, some of our lawmakers have gotten sick of this crap. Gary Pierce, one of the commissioners on the Arizona Corporation Commission has penned a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa:

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

I was dismayed to learn that the Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott Arizona and Arizona-based companies — a vote you strongly supported — to show opposition to SB 1070 (Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act).

You explained your support of the boycott as follows: “While we recognize that as neighbors, we share resources and ties with the State of Arizona that may be difficult to sever, our goal is not to hurt the local economy of Los Angeles, but to impact the economy of Arizona. Our intent is to use our dollars — or the withholding of our dollars — to send a message.” (emphasis added)

I received your message; please receive mine. As a state-wide elected member of the Arizona Corporation Commission overseeing Arizona’s electric and water utilities, I too am keenly aware of the “resources and ties” we share with the City of Los Angeles. In fact, approximately twenty-five percent of the electricity consumed in Los Angeles is generated by power plants in Arizona.

If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona’s utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona’s economy.

People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill.


Commissioner Gary Pierce

We applaud Commissioner Pierce for this move, and unlike the LA City Council's mostly-empty threat to boycott Arizona, the Arizona Corporation Commission isn't kidding around. Under no circumstance should the state of Arizona be brow-beat to turn a blind eye to it's citizens. California has its fence constructed, and their illegal alien problem isn't nearly the problem that Arizona has. Additionally, they're not dealing with a drug war on their border that is spilling into their state where citizens and law enforcement are being shot and killed.

The federal government has dropped the ball badly on this problem, and we acted in our state's best interests. The state of California acted years ago by enacting 834B of the California Penal Code:

(a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. (b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following: (1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The verification process may include, but shall not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status. (2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States. (3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity. (c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.

California did as Arizona did years ago in enacting a law giving state law enforcement the ability to deal with illegal aliens, so as far as the LA City Council goes, they should rename themselves "hypocrisy." What is this, enforcement for me, but none for thee? I think not. And I'd also remind the LA City Council that the WaPo uncovered a 2002 DOJ memo that backs up the ability for state law enforcement personnel to enforce immigration laws; a fact that could make it difficult for Barry & Company to challenge the law in federal court.

This garbage has gone on long enough. The LA City Council has worked hard to make @$$es out of themselves, and now they're the laughingstock of the nation. Citizens in America, for the most part, support what Arizona has done. Lawmakers huffing and puffing about this would be wise to pay attention to the people. After all, we, the people can see November from our houses.

Publius II

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An imaginary GOP dilemma

The nomination of Elena Kagan has, in some respects, presented the GOP with an interesting situation. On one hand, they can go through all the steps in the confirmation process, acting more like adults than the Left has with other nominations (such as Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Sam Alito). Or they can stand firm in opposition to Ms. Kagan, and attempt to stop her. Byron York discusses this puzzling affair today in the Washington Examiner. (HT to Hot Air's Headlines)

There's an intense debate going on behind the scenes among Republicans involved in the Elena Kagan Supreme Court nomination. It's about whether the GOP should to try to stop Kagan, because that's what Democrats would do in the same situation, or whether Republicans should concede that Kagan is qualified and vote to confirm her because the president has the right to expect the Senate to approve qualified nominees.

The debate began almost immediately after Kagan stood next to Barack Obama at the White House announcement May 10. In an interview with MSNBC, Kenneth Starr, the former judge, independent counsel and solicitor general, urged the Senate to confirm Kagan, whom he called "so smart and so able."

"President Obama has chosen someone who is very qualified," Starr concluded.

[First, I disagree with Mr. Starr. Yes, she is educated, and yes she is smart, but I'd hardly call her qualified. Her past views regarding the First and Second Amendments clearly shows, at least to me, that she doesn't understand either amendment, or the rights guaranteed to the citizens of the United States. In my opinion, to sit on the high court and deal with matters concerning the Constitution, one should at least have a plenary understanding of the document, and that which was written 233 years ago.]

A few days later, former Bush appeals court nominee Miguel Estrada sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging that Kagan -- a friend from their days together at Harvard Law School -- be confirmed. (At the same time, Estrada pointed out that Kagan is without doubt a liberal, no matter the spin about her supposed centrism.) "Elena Kagan is an impeccably qualified nominee," Estrada wrote. "[She] possesses a formidable intellect, an exemplary temperament and a rare ability to disagree with others without being disagreeable."

Estrada's letter resonated among Republicans because to many in the GOP, he is the living symbol of a conservative judicial nominee mistreated by Senate Democrats. Smart, credentialed, with a fine record and impressive personal story, he was nominated by George W. Bush for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals in May 2001. Democrats blocked his nomination and ultimately resorted to a filibuster against him in 2003. In September of that year, Estrada withdrew his nomination. (Despite their friendship, Kagan, then a law professor at Harvard, didn't write a letter on Estrada's behalf.)

[Before anyone steps up in an attempt to crucify Mr. Estrada, they need to take into consideration that he wrote the letter, without any prompting by Ms. Kagan, on her behalf. This was a favor to a friend that wasn't asked for, but he felt it was necessary, despite how he was treated by Senate Democrats during President Bush's terms in office. His endorsement of Ms. Kagan is literally no different from Sarah Palin's endorsement of John McCain in his Senate reelection bid. People need to remember that these sorts of favors happen all the time, and while we may disagree with them, it doesn't change the person who passed along the favor.]

Today, the conservative expressions of support for Kagan have disappointed a number of Republicans who want a shootout over the nomination. They fully expect Democrats to cite that support ("Even Ken Starr says ...") over and over again during Kagan's confirmation hearings.

But the bigger problem conservatives see is that the pro-Kagan statements put Republicans at a disadvantage before the confirmation even begins. "What Miguel and Ken are trying to demonstrate is that the president deserves to have his nominees confirmed as long as they are qualified," says one GOP Senate aide. "The problem is the Democrats don't do that, and so you unilaterally disarm."

[That aide is correct, and this is where the crux of the GOP's dilemma comes from: The Democrats will cite those that are friendly to Republicans as examples of those supporting her based on her qualifications. The problem is, and Republicans will have to find a way to do this, is that until the hearings start they can't make an argument over her qualifications. And while the president is afforded his constitutionally-mandated powers to nominate federal officers, the Senate still has a job to do. They still need to vet her, and her hearings will be where the fight takes place. If she is qualified, she'll pass out of committee handily. If not, then there will be a fight.]

Indeed, among Republicans "unilateral disarmament" has become shorthand for the divide between two competing ways of approaching the Kagan nomination. "This debate is the people who have a traditional way of looking at these procedural questions -- 'This is the way it's been done and this is the way to do it' -- versus the people who say the Democrats have changed the rules and we should respond in kind," the aide says.

That's not an exaggeration. Regardless of all the talk about a nominee's qualifications, some leading Democrats have for years worked to establish a new, openly ideological standard for judicial confirmations. In 2001, Sen. Charles Schumer, one of Kagan's top supporters, held a hearing titled, "Should Ideology Matter?" His position was (and is) that senators should reject qualified nominees simply because of their views on issues. Schumer would like to put an end to the idea that the Senate owes the president confirmation of qualified nominees.

"This unwillingness to openly examine ideology has sometimes led senators who oppose a nominee to seek out non-ideological disqualifying factors, like small financial improprieties from long ago, to justify their opposition," Schumer said at the 2001 hearing. "This, in turn, has led to an escalating war of 'gotcha' politics." Schumer's solution was for the Senate to dump nominees who hold views unacceptable to Charles Schumer.

[Schumer is a moron. Ideology -- political ideology -- should have nothing to do with these hearings. If one is a self-described liberal, but upholds the rule of law, and the belief that the Constitution says what it means, and means what it says, then there shouldn't be any opposition to such a nominee. Our general dislike of Ms. Kagan has nothing to do with her political ideology. It has everything to do with her judicial philosophy -- how she views the Constitution, and the limits of a Supreme Court justice's powers. If she is an activist, believing in the rule of judicial fiat (and her past views paint that sort of picture) then she shouldn't be confirmed. And another thing that should be taken into account is the fact that two sitting SCOTUS jurists were rather unimpressed by her when she argued the Citizen's United case before the Supreme Court, and they were equally frustrated with her apparent inability to answer their questions.]

Over at NRO's Bench Memos Ed Whelan has a solution to the dilemma that was offered by Eugene Volokh yesterday:

"It seems to me that the sensible thing for Republicans to do is to use the Kagan nomination as a means of persuading the public that the Republicans’ vision of the Constitution is sounder than the Obama Administration’s vision of the Constitution.… So the Republicans could talk about (say) gun rights, the use of foreign law, same-sex marriage, the use of religious symbolism in government speech, and so on — not with an eye towards to defeating Kagan in the Summer, but to defeating the Democrats in November. That, I think, is a strategy that might actually succeed, and might actually help advance conservative political and legal ideals."

Now, why take this approach? Because it comes down to simple numbers, folks. the Democrats have the majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and they have fifty-nine guaranteed votes in the Senate. And mark my words, there will be Republican defectors that will vote for her confirmation. Last week the WaPo reported that both Scott Brown and Susan Collins have "warmed" to the idea of her being confirmed. So with that in mind, the Democrats have at least sixty-one votes, and there is no way to block her confirmation to the Supreme Court. Does this mean we should just give up? Not hardly. I recall a post up at SCOTUS Reports where they quote from a recent article by Rick Garrett:

Rick Garnett, professor of law and associate dean of University of Notre Dame Law School, and former law clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist: “Elections matter, and the election of President Obama has turned out to matter a great deal for the future decisions and direction of Supreme Court. With the nomination of Solicitor General Kagan, the President has taken a significant step toward reshaping the Court and its work for generations. No one should think that this nomination is inconsequential, or that it changes little because it involves merely replacing one liberal justice with another. A conservative might someday win back the White House, but any future Republican president will be playing defense with his or her Supreme Court selections. With his second Supreme Court pick — and, to be clear, he will almost certainly have more — the President is on the way to having had more influence over the Court than any President since Reagan, and perhaps even Roosevelt. Future elections might undo some of the President’s policies, but his more liberal views about the Constitution, the powers of the national government, and the role of unelected federal judges, are now being locked in securely.”

And then there is the laundry list of concerns from Ed Whelan regarding Ms. Kagan.

Elections do have consequences, and we seem to reaping quite a bit of them right now. But just because Barry won, and he has the right to nominate federal officers doesn't mean they should all be confirmed. This is an ideal time to truly make a distinction between the GOP's view of America, and of the Constitution (as Eugene Volokh as offered), and the Democrats. Make no mistake. The Democrats will win this fight, but it could cost them the war in November.

Publius II

Friday, May 14, 2010

If I were president, and Eric Holder was my AG ...

... I'd call him into the Oval Office, tell him to have his resignation on my desk in one hour, and his desk cleaned out in two hours. (Actually, if I were president, I never would have had such an incompetent fool as my Attorney General.) What did he do now? Why am I so steamed about the Attorney General? I'm ticked at him for the same reason why I'm ticked at a lot of critics of Arizona's new immigration law. Like them, he admits he hasn't read the law:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who has been critical of Arizona's new immigration law, said Thursday he hasn't yet read the law and is going by what he's read in newspapers or seen on television.

So, in other words, he's taking the word of newscasters and pundits that, like himself, haven't read the law. He's taking the word of idiots like Keith Olbermann and Chris "Tingles" Matthews, who seem to like espousing their opinions, but present little in the way of facts.

Mr. Holder is conducting a review of the law, at President Obama's request, to see if the federal government should challenge it in court. He said he expects he will read the law by the time his staff briefs him on their conclusions.

I realize that our new law is a tad lighter than what the morons in DC are used to reading (TEN pages as opposed to the 1000 page-plus legislation that Congress, and the administration, don't read), but it isn't that hard, folks. I have it right here in front of me. It's pretty cut and dry, especially with the clarification law that was passed just a couple short days after Governor Jan Brewer signed the initial law.

"I've just expressed concerns on the basis of what I've heard about the law. But I'm not in a position to say at this point, not having read the law, not having had the chance to interact with people are doing the review, exactly what my position is," Mr. Holder told the House Judiciary Committee.

This weekend Mr. Holder told NBC's "Meet the Press" program that the Arizona law "has the possibility of leading to racial profiling." He had earlier called the law's passage "unfortunate," and questioned whether the law was unconstitutional because it tried to assume powers that may be reserved for the federal government.

Rep. Ted Poe, who had questioned Mr. Holder about the law, wondered how he could have those opinions if he hadn't yet read the legislation.

"It's hard for me to understand how you would have concerns about something being unconstitutional if you haven't even read the law," the Texas Republican told the attorney general.

The Arizona law's backers argue that it doesn't go beyond what federal law already allows, and they say press reports have distorted the legislation. They point to provisions in the law that specifically rule out racial profiling as proof that it can be implemented without conflicting with civil rights.

But critics said giving police the power to stop those they suspect are in the country illegally is bound to lead to profiling.

Mr. Holder said he expects the Justice and Homeland Security departments will finish their review of the Arizona law soon.

Mr. Holder, you're fired. That's what I'd tell him today. I can find a more competent Attorney General by looking under the nearest rock. Hell, I'd appoint the rock instead because it's probably got more brains than Holder does.

And Andy McCarthy hits the nail on the head -- Eric Holder is basically profiling the state or Arizona, and it's law enforcement officers:
(HT to Captain Ed Morrissey)

He hasn't read the Arizona immigration law, even though reading the law is the basic duty of any lawyer (let alone the U.S. Attorney General) who is called on to assess a legal situation.

Thus, he hasn't got reasonable suspicion that Arizonans are violating the Constitution, even though reasonable suspicion is the basic investigative standard we expect law-enforcement to satisfy before officials harass Americans with stepped up scrutiny.

And we know he has a bias because he told us, unabashedly, that he thinks Americans are "cowards" on matters of race.

[I dug up the link above. It is not included in Mr. McCarthy's comments.]

Think about it this way: If a police officer, without taking elementary investigative steps to inform himself about the facts of a situation, and thus without reasonable suspicion, simply assumed a person must be guilty of wrongdoing based on the police officer's avowed prejudice, what would Eric Holder call it?

Eric Holder is an idiot. He's also a race-baiter, and is inherently racist, himself. How else can we describe a man who basically calls an entire state racist, but lets the New Black Panthers slide on charges of voter intimidation? This administration has been using race politics since being put in office. The president's supporters have accused anyone who doesn't support Barry of being racist, even though I know of no one who has ever even mentioned his race. We have complaints with his policies and agenda, not his race.

Before Eric Holder speaks up next time on an issue like this, it might be smarter for him to actually do the research and footwork on the issue in question. It'd get him a bit farther, and avoid the lambasting that he rightly deserves.

Publius II

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

UN experts condemn new Arizona law

The UN doesn't exactly have a bang-up track record when it comes to human rights. In fact, some have started raising a stink about the UN's own pitiful record. (There are numerous stories -- Story after story after story after story after story -- available on the Internet detailing the sex abuse scandals perpetrated by UN peacekeepers, and the attempts by the UN to cover them up.)

But now this ineffective, corrupt, and outdated organization is b*tching about Arizona's new immigration law. And just like every other critic out there, it's apparent they haven't read the bloody thing:

Arizona's new law on illegal immigration could violate international standards that are binding in the United States, six U.N. human rights experts said Tuesday.

The basic human rights regulations, signed by the U.S. and many other nations, regard issues such as discrimination and the terms under which a person can be detained, the experts said.

"A disturbing pattern of legislative activity hostile to ethnic minorities and immigrants has been established with the adoption of an immigration law that may allow for police action targeting individuals on the basis of their perceived ethnic origin," the experts said.

Arizona's new sweeping law targeting illegal immigration has provisions that include requiring police enforcing another law to question a person about his or her immigration status, if there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the United States illegally. It also makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.

In America, critics have said the law violates the U.S. Constitution's provisions against unreasonable search and seizure and will result in racial profiling of Hispanics. Supporters deny that and say the law will pressure illegal immigrants to leave the country on their own.

In their statement, the six U.N. experts said: "States are required to respect and ensure the human rights of all persons subject to their jurisdiction, without discrimination."

"Relevant international standards require that detention be used only as an exceptional measure, justified, narrowly tailored and proportional in each individual case, and that it be subject to judicial review," the experts said.

The law could result in potential discrimination against Mexicans, indigenous peoples and other minorities in Arizona, the U.N. officials said.

They also said they are concerned about the enactment of a law prohibiting Arizona school programs featuring the histories and cultures of ethnic minorities because everyone has the right to learn about his own cultural and linguistic heritage.

The six U.N. human rights experts, who are unpaid, are

--Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants Jorge Bustamante of Mexico;

--Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance Githu Muigai of Kenya;

--Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people James Anaya of the United States;

--Independent Expert in the field of cultural rights Farida Shaheed of Pakistan;

--Special Rapporteur on the right to education Vernor Munos Villalobos of Costa Rica; and

--Independent Expert on minority issues Gay McDougall of the United States.

Let me go point by point here ...

First, I could give a rat's @$$ about the "binding" international standards. Know why? Because the Arizona law reinforces FEDERAL LAW! All this law did was extend to local law enforcement the ability to check on a person's immigration status at their discretion. It's the officer's call as to whether or not they check. They're not told to do it, compelled to do it, and they won't be doing it on everyone they stop. That's especially true if the person in question happens to have ID on them. That is basically what our new law says: IF you have ID, you're OK.

Second, the law specifically forbids police from stopping anyone based solely on perceived ethnicity or race. Period. The police won't be using racial profiling. This law doesn't allow such a thing. And if the UN, along with the rest of the critics, had read the bloody law they'd know this, especially since we're basically backing up US federal law; laws that the federal government hasn't enforced!

Then there's this little tidbit above: "Arizona's new sweeping law targeting illegal immigration has provisions that include requiring police enforcing another law to question a person about his or her immigration status ..." That's an outright lie! There is NOTHING in the law "requiring" police officers to do this. Police have the right and ability to check on that if they have reasonable suspicion that the person they have stopped may be here illegally. BUT, the law explicitly states that if the person has a legal ID (driver's license, state-issued ID card, Mexican consular card, Mexican electoral card, passport, etc; basically any valid ID accepted by the state of Arizona) then they're fine. Write them their ticket for the infraction, and they're on their way. They won't be detained.

Fourth, the critics who claim this violates the Fourth Amendment clearly don't understand the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment reads [emphasis mine]:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Now because the UN dislikes our Constitution (see the Second Amendment for reason #1 why they don't like it) it's clear that, as in the case of Arizona's new law, they haven't read the US Constitution either. At the very least they don't seem to understand it. The Fourth Amendment precisely refers to the protections against unlawful and unreasonable searches and/or seizures. In other words, the government can't come into our homes with the intent to search and/or seize anything we own without a warrant, based on probable cause. In the case of the new immigration law, that is also distinctively detailed within the provisions of the law. Law enforcement must have probable cause (or reasonable suspicion) that the person in question is here illegally before they can check on their immigration status.

Now I'm going to touch on the other law that these six morons are referring to. There has been another law passed that has quite a few knickers in a twist. That law bans the teaching of certain ethnic studies. What are those studies exactly? The sort perpetuated by La Raza, of course, and they seem to be the main group with their panties in a wad:

After making national headlines for a new law on illegal immigrants, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill Thursday that would ban ethnic studies programs in the state that critics say currently advocate separatism and racial preferences.

The bill, which passed 32-26 in the state House, had been approved by the Senate a day earlier. It now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature.

The new bill would make it illegal for a school district to teach any courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, promote resentment of a particular race or class of people, are designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

Michelle Malkin has done yeoman's work documenting the Reconquista movement perpetuated by groups like La Raza, MECHa and Aztlan. Back in 2008, Ms. Malkin highlighted the details behind a La Raza-backed history class in Tucson. A Tucson high school teacher recounts exactly what was going on in his class with his students:

During the 2002-2003 school year, I taught a U.S. history course with a Mexican-American perspective. The course was part of the Raza/Chicano studies department.Within one week of the course beginning, I was told that I was a “teacher of record,” meaning that I was expected only to assign grades. The Raza studies department staff would teach the class.

I was assigned to be a “teacher of record” because some members of the Raza studies staff lacked teaching certificates. It was a convenient way of circumventing the rules.I stated that I expected to do more than assign grades. I expected to be involved in teaching the class. The department was less than enthusiastic but agreed.Immediately it was clear that the class was not a U.S. history course, which the state of Arizona requires for graduation. The class was similar to a sociology course one expects to see at a university.

Where history was missing from the course, it was filled by controversial and biased curriculum.

The basic theme of the curriculum was that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites. In this narrative, whites are able to maintain their influence only if minorities are held down. Thus, social, political and economic events in America must be understood through this lens.This biased and sole paradigm justified teaching that our community police officers are an extension of the white power structure and that they are the strongmen used “to keep minorities in their ghettos.”

It justified telling the class that there are fewer Mexican-Americans in Tucson Magnet High School’s advanced placement courses because their “white teachers” do not believe they are capable and do not want them to get ahead.

It justified teaching that the Southwestern United States was taken from Mexicans because of the insatiable greed of the Yankee who acquired his values from the corrupted ethos of Western civilization.

It was taught that the Southwest is “Atzlan,” the ancient homeland of the Aztecs, and still rightfully belongs to their descendants – to all people of indigenous Mexican heritage.

As an educator, I refused to be complicit in a curriculum that engendered racial hostility, irresponsibly demeaned America’s civil institutions, undermined our public servants, discounted any virtues in Western civilization and taught disdain for American sovereignty.

When I raised these concerns, I was told that I was a “racist,” despite being Hispanic. Acknowledging my heritage, the Raza studies staff also informed me that I was a vendido, the Spanish term for “sellout.”

THIS is the sort of education that is now banned in the state of Arizona. We have no problem touching on other cultures, but we will no longer support, encourage, or condone the sort of education La Raza supports. They teach racial divide. They teach animosity. They teach hostility towards America. They don't teach the real history when it comes to America and Mexico. No, they want to incite hostility, and at times they encourage violence. This is the sort of "ethnic studies" we have ended.

If the UN has a problem with this, tough sh*t. This is America, and we have a right to do what we see fit to protect ourselves. And because the federal government has continuously dropped the ball when it comes to immigration enforcement, the state of Arizona has asserted it's Tenth Amendment rights to take steps to protect the citizens of the state. We have recurring incursions across our Southern border by drug gangs, human smugglers, and even the Mexican military. We're facing a shooting war on our border, and all the federal government can do is yawn about it.

The UN can pound sand. Take their six "experts'" opinions and stick it where the sun doesn't shine. We didn't ask for their opinion, and it's not wanted. I'll tell readers this: When the UN actually starts doing it's job, cleans up it's act, and respects the sovereignty of ALL nations, then we might pay attention to the crap they're shoveling.

Publius II

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A world without nukes? Dream on, Barry

The president has clearly stated he wants a world without nuclear weapons. While on it's face, that seems like a good idea, it's wholly implausible. Mona Charen at National Review calls it naive, and takes the president to task over his pipe dream:

When I was a little girl, at the height of the Cold War, I used to wish, deeply and fervently, that nuclear weapons had never been invented. An accompanying fantasy placed me at the center of world events. Just as the two superpowers were preparing to launch a devastating exchange of nuclear weapons, I would step between the two. Seeing an innocent child, the hard-boiled men of the world would soften and reconsider their terrible course.

In other words, at the age of seven or eight, I was a liberal. As I grew, I came to understand a) that it was not possible to put the nuclear genie back in the bottle; and b) that the way to safety lay not in arms control but in strength prudently pursued.

This is a lesson the president has apparently failed to grasp. While nuclear weapons are devastating when used, they do have their uses. People today still criticize the fact we used nuclear weapons on Japan to end World War II without taking into account the primary reason we did drop those bombs. It wasn't to necessarily take life. It was to save lives, namely the lives of US Marines that would end up storming the beaches of Japan that some experts say would have cost us millions is lost lives. (Here is a breakdown of what we could expect with an invasion of Japan, and based on this information President Truman opted to use the A-Bombs to end the war.)

The fact that both the US and Russia had nuclear weapons prevented the world from witnessing a nuclear holocaust. The strategy was called Mutual-Assured Destruction, or MAD, and it kept the world safe for decades. The president should have known this, but it appears he doesn't believe in it, just as his liberal colleagues didn't. Ms. Charen continues:

Liberal approaches to foreign policy continue to rely more on wishful thinking than on realism or maturity. But even in the context of liberalism, President Obama’s recent policy declarations on the matter of nuclear weapons are juvenile and disturbing.

Speaking in Prague, the president declared, “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Has the president really thought this through? Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine that all of the existing nuclear powers agreed that their weapons were more of a threat to “peace and security” than they were worth, and voluntarily destroyed them all. Would the world immediately become a safer place? No. It would become far more dangerous. The North Koreans would have lied about destroying their weapons, just as they lied repeatedly, for years, about building them. So, one outcome might be that North Korea would instantly become a superpower. And surely the prospect of becoming nuclear-armed would be all the more enticing to the mullahs of Iran if only North Korea would be in possession of similar weapons. Who would want to live in that world?

“I’m not naïve,” the president continued. “This goal will not be reached quickly. . . . But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change. We have to insist, ‘Yes, we can.’” That’s security policy by bumper sticker.

As they say, read it all. It's well worth the read to understand that the president clearly has no clue as to what he's doing with regard to US nuclear policy. That was more than evident when he publicly revealed the total number of nuclear weapons the US possesses. (And yes, there were calls for his impeachment over this revelation because it was a classified secret, and he made the US vulnerable in announcing it. But we all know there's no way in Hell the Democrats would ever impeach him over that; to them he's a hero.)

He says he's not naive, but he couldn't intelligently argue that with any national security or military expert. Ms. Charen takes note of both North Korea and Iran, and the fact that neither nation has played by the rules. Even if all of the peaceful nations of the world gave up their nuclear arms, you know damn well these two regimes won't. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton penned a piece for the 3 May issue of National Review where he outlines not only the problems in the "new START" treaty that Barry wants ratified immediately with regard to Iran and North Korea, but more importantly with regard to Russia. Whether people want to believe it or not, Russia is ascendant once again, and this new treaty will give the Russians a better position while weakening the US nuclear posture. Naivete seems to be the president's strong suit regardless of what he says.

The only nation that will ever disarm itself of nuclear weapons will be America, and all based on a utopian naivete that the Left has been living in for decades. "Oh, if we'd just get rid of our nukes, the world will follow in our footsteps." No, they won't. Poland is already anxious over the fact that Barry has cancelled the missile defense shield that was promised by President Bush, and it was nixed for nothing more than to have Russia quit kvetching at us over it. The missile defense system had the Russians worried, and they should have been. That system was a way to keep our allies under a protective umbrella where they didn't have to worry about the Russians, but also so they wouldn't be concerned with Iran.

See, Iran is close to deploying a long-range missile that has a range that could strike Poland, and other nations in Eastern Europe. Now, as I have often said, Tehran isn't going to play chicken with a couple missiles. They know they'd be wiped off the map should they launch a nuclear strike. But nuclear blackmail isn't out of the question, and that is likely the route Tehran would take. The last thing we need is a nuclear-armed Iran, rattling it's nuclear saber in its region, and against Eastern Europe.

Removing all the nuclear weapons in the world won't make this world safer. It'll make it far more dangerous than it is today. Barry needs to wake up and smell the coffee. A nuclear-armed America keeps the world in check. An America turned into a eunuch by a clueless, childlike, gullible president makes us, and our allies, vulnerable to enemies that are anything but merciful.

Publius II

The Taliban ISN'T on State's terror list? WTF??

I'd love to explain this away as an oversight, but according to Captain Ed Morrissey this isn't a problem with this administration alone. The Taliban in Afghanistan isn't on it either and this seems to go back to the Bush administration. Five senators have sent a letter to Secretary of State Clinton with a demand to know why the Pakistani Taliban isn't on the list, and a request to have them added, ASAP:

Several lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to put the Pakistani Taliban on a State Department terrorism blacklist that would impose sanctions on the group, which officials say is linked to the failed Times Square car bombing.

In a letter Tuesday to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at least five Democratic senators — including those from New York and New Jersey — asked Tuesday that the group, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, be designated a "foreign terrorist organization." The move would freeze the group's U.S. assets and make it a crime for Americans to offer it material support.

U.S. officials have said the Pakistani Taliban provided financing and training to would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, who is believed to have spent five months in Pakistan preparing for the attack.

The decision by the Bush administration to have neither the Pakistan or Afghanistan Taliban on the State Department's terror list is befuddling, to say the least. We did, after all, go after them and al Qaeda in the wake of the attacks on 11 September. So, if we're engaged in hostilities against the Taliban and al Qaeda, and both utilize terrorism as a tactic in this war, why in the Hell is the Taliban not on the list? All of al Qaeda's affiliates are on the list, and the Taliban sheltered and enabled them. It makes no sense as to why the Taliban isn't there.

Of course one possible explanation could be that coalition forces, aided by the UN, have been trying to open up a dialogue with the Taliban. That might explain why they're not on the list right now, but it doesn't explain why they weren't on it when President Bush was in office. The Taliban is as dangerous as al Qaeda is. They have been fighting coalition and NATO forces in cross-border raids for months. Additionally, it is the Taliban who has been working to undermine the Pakistani government. Back in August of 2009 the Times of India reported on three separate attacks launched by Taliban extremists on Pakistani nuclear facilities. It's insane to think that we can negotiate with these people.

It also makes it difficult with regard to the most recent capture of Faisal Shahzad. As Captain Ed notes, the man is facing numerous charges already including hundreds of charges of attempted murder and terrorism. There's also the possibility that he could be charged with treason, though given this administration that's not likely.

The point of placing such groups on the terror list is so that we can initiate sanctions on the group, put a chokehold on assets and money in the US, and make it illegal for any US citizen to give aid and comfort to them. Granted, that last part wouldn't be hard to do seeing as how it is an enemy belligerent against the US. It would be no different than someone knowingly and willfully giving aid or conducting business with the Iranian regime. The difference is that Iran is a nation whereas the Taliban is an organization.

This needs to change, and pronto. Will Barry do it? Probably not as he is content to reach out and offer a hand to the Taliban in an effort to make peace; that comes no matter how many times they try to chop off that hand. It's clear that this administration dropped the ball on this issue as the previous administration did. Barry can change that, and show the nation he does take this war seriously. But again, I doubt he'll do it.

Publius II

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Kagan announcement: Is anyone really surprised by this?

I ask that question because since the speculation about who Barry might choose, Elena Kagan has been at the top of the list. (Never once did we think Janet Incompetano would be his pick because, well, she's literally incompetent, folks.) And this morning, Barry didn't surprise anyone by naming her as his choice to replace Justice Stevens:

President Barack Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court on Monday, declaring the former Harvard Law School dean "one of the nation's foremost legal minds." She would be the court's youngest justice and give it three female members for the first time.

The nomination to replace liberal retiring Justice John Paul Stevens set the stage for a potentially bruising confirmation battle, though mathematically Democrats should be able to prevail in the end.

At 50, Kagan is relatively young for the lifetime post and could help shape the high court's decisions for decades. If confirmed by the Senate, she would become only the fourth female justice in history.

Now the question that arises is "Is she qualified?" Ed Whelan at NRO's Bench Memos blog gives us an answer to that question:

1. I have plenty of respect for Kagan’s intellect and ability, and she deserves considerable credit for her tenure as dean of Harvard law school, including for her generous treatment of conservatives, which has earned her considerable goodwill. But …

2. Kagan may well have less experience relevant to the work of being a justice than any justice in the last five decades or more. In addition to zero judicial experience, she has
only a few years of real-world legal experience. Further, notwithstanding all her years in academia, she has only a scant record of legal scholarship. Kagan flunks her own “threshold” test of the minimal qualifications needed for a Supreme Court nominee.

3. There is a striking mismatch between the White House’s populist rhetoric about seeking a justice with a “keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people” and the reality of the Kagan pick. Kagan is the consummate Obama insider, and her meteoric rise over the last 15 years—from obscure academic and Clinton White House staffer to Harvard law school dean to Supreme Court nominee—would seem to reflect what writer Christopher Caldwell
describes as the “intermarriage of financial and executive branch elites [that] could only have happened in the Clinton years” and that has fostered the dominant financial-political oligarchy in America. In this regard, Kagan’s paid role as a Goldman Sachs adviser is the perfect marker of her status in the oligarchy—and of her unfathomable remoteness from ordinary Americans.

4. Kagan’s record thus manages to replicate the primary supposed defect of the judicial monastery—isolation from the real-world lives of ordinary Americans—without conferring the broader benefits of judicial experience.

5. Kagan’s exclusion of military recruiters from the Harvard law school campus promises to draw considerable attention precisely because—as Peter Beinart, the liberal former editor of the New Republic, has
written—it amounted to “a statement of national estrangement,” of Kagan’s “alienating [her]self from the country.” In her fervent opposition to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law and the Solomon Amendment, Kagan elevated her own ideological commitment on gay rights above what Congress, acting on the advice of military leaders, had determined best served the interests of national security. At a time of war, in the face of the grand civilizational challenge that radical Islam poses, Kagan treated military recruiters worse than she treated the high-powered law firms that were donating their expensive legal services to anti-American terrorists.

6. Kagan has
argued that the Senate should carefully explore a nominee's views on judicial philosophy generally and on hotly contested constitutional issues in particular. Her argument has special force for someone who has been so guarded about her own views. Indeed, its force is all the greater since Kagan has indulged her own ideological views in the one area, gay rights, in which she has been vocal: as law school dean, Kagan embraced an utterly implausible reading of the Solomon Amendment, and as Solicitor General, she has acted to undermine the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law and the Defense of Marriage Act that she is dutybound to defend.

7. Kagan
shows signs of moderation on issues of presidential power and national security. But there’s no basis for hopes that she might secretly harbor conservative legal views on other matters.

8. Kagan’s records from her White House years in the Clinton administration promise to offer important insights into her legal thinking. It makes no sense to schedule her confirmation hearing until it’s clear when those records will be made available.

In other words, she has little in legal writing (strange for a former Dean of Harvard Law), and she generally holds liberal views regarding the Constitution and how to interpret it. So it's easy to assume that Barry is replacing a liberal with another liberal. However, as SCOTUS Reports notes there should be a good deal of concern regarding Ms. Kagan:

Rick Garnett, professor of law and associate dean of University of Notre Dame Law School, and former law clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist: “Elections matter, and the election of President Obama has turned out to matter a great deal for the future decisions and direction of Supreme Court. With the nomination of Solicitor General Kagan, the President has taken a significant step toward reshaping the Court and its work for generations. No one should think that this nomination is inconsequential, or that it changes little because it involves merely replacing one liberal justice with another. A conservative might someday win back the White House, but any future Republican president will be playing defense with his or her Supreme Court selections. With his second Supreme Court pick — and, to be clear, he will almost certainly have more — the President is on the way to having had more influence over the Court than any President since Reagan, and perhaps even Roosevelt. Future elections might undo some of the President’s policies, but his more liberal views about the Constitution, the powers of the national government, and the role of unelected federal judges, are now being locked in securely.”

David McIntosh, co-founder of the Federalist Society and former congressman from Indiana: I’m deeply disappointed that President Obama has chosen to nominate an individual who has demonstrated a lack of adherence to the limits of the Constitution and a desire to utilize the court system to enact her beliefs of social engineering. Solicitor General Kagan has been nominated with no judicial experience, a mere two years of private law practice, and only a year as Solicitor General of the United States. She is one of the most inexperienced nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court in recent memory.

Tom Goldstein at SCOTUS Blog offers up even more insights to Ms. Kagan that seasoned court-watchers should take note of:

Whether they will agree will depend on a number of factors. Kagan’s relatively short paper trail – note the contrast with the nearly two decades of decisions by Sonia Sotomayor – means there is less to review, and thus less time is required prior to the start of hearings. Kagan was also recently confirmed by the same Committee as Solicitor General.

Senate Democrats will prefer to move the process forward quickly for two reasons: so that Kagan is not “left hanging” for nine weeks before she appears before the Committee; and so that the nomination can be moved forward to make room in the calendar for legislative efforts. On the other hand, Republicans, as the opposition, will prefer delay because as more time passes there is a greater chance that something will emerge that justifies defeating (or at least undercuts) the nomination.

Also important will be the speed with which the Administration produces documents – not only the nominee’s questionnaire to the Senate but also the documents it intends to produce from Kagan’s time in the Clinton Administration. A genuine fight over materials could lead to a delay.

Michelle Malkin has a round-up of links about this nomination, and she takes notice of this comment via Twitter: “I love it when the most transparent administration ever picks a nominee because they don’t have much of a paper trail.”

Snarkiness aside, the guy's got a point. Barry has presented a nominee that has less of a paper trail that I do, and I have plenty of friends that tell me I'd be the Constitution's best friend if I were on the high court. (I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I am an originalist, and have probably far more about the Constitution, and the jurisprudence surrounding it, than most of the nominees nominated by liberal/Democrat presidents.)

He chose her because she is so much like her boss as Captain Ed notes in his post announcing her this morning:

While Kagan may be the least objectionable of Obama’s potential appointees, the truth is that she’s a lot like Obama — an academic with no experience for the position she seeks, with a profound lack of intellectual work in her CV. Republicans who oppose Kagan should focus on those shortcomings.

So, we have a nominee with little experience, and one who didn't exactly impress her soon-to-be-colleagues on the high court. Why do I say that? Does anyone really think that something will prevent her elevation to the Supreme Court? She will win confirmation unless some little nugget of dirt is dug up that could ultimately derail this nomination. And if any nugget comes up, it'd better be something akin to Abe Fortas's ongoing problems that led to the first-ever filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee, and his eventual resignation in disgrace. (Of course, there is the Goldman Sachs connection, mentioned in the news report at the beginning of this post, that could serve as fodder for the Judiciary Committee, but I sincerely doubt that's going to bounce her from the nomination.)

For more on Ms. Kagan, I suggest the following:

Ann Althouse

C-Span showing her arguments before the Supreme Court

(For the above, a hat-tip to Glenn Reynolds.)

Carol Platt Liebau and a hat-tip to Hugh Hewitt for that, and he has a couple of posts about Ms. Kagan, as well. Make no mistake he'll be talking about her tonight. Tune in 6-9 PM EST, or tune in to KRLA at 3 PM California time.

Ed Whelan at Bench Memos has plenty on her, with lots of links.

Paul Mirengoff and Scott Johnson have some thoughts regarding her. I'm sure John Hinderacker will join his colleagues at PowerLine in weighing in on her nomination.

Michelle Malkin has a round-up of information about Ms. Kagan.

DrewM at Ace of Spades gives some initial thoughts on the Kagan nomination. So does Jack M at Ace of Spades. I'm waiting to see what Gabriel Malor has to offer up when he gets around to it today. I'm sure will have something to add to the discussion later today when he wakes up from his Val-U-Rite vodka weekend of hobo-beating. (Just kidding, Ace.)

Patterico weighs in on her nomination.

Howard Bashman at How Appealing has a round-up of links from across the 'Sphere on her.

Curt Levey at the Committee for Justice blog has thoughts regarding her views on the military.

Hit SCOTUS Blog and keep scrolling down. I count ten posts on this nomination as of 12:29 PM AZ time, and I'm sure they're not done yet.

Jonathan Adler, Ilya Somin, and Jim Lindgren all give their thoughts and reaction on Ms. Kagan's nomination at The Volokh Conspiracy.

And Real Clear Politics has some choice media and blog commentary on her nomination.

Be sure to hit all of the above for your skinny on this woman. Frankly speaking, neither of us are impressed by this nomination. She lacks the legal experience. She's never been a judge (never a prerequisite to be on the high court). She has little experience before the high court. She has ties to Goldman Sachs. She's been a poor solicitor general. She has personal views that will surely guide her decisions as opposed to the letter of the law, and previous jurisprudence. In short, we oppose her nomination to the high court because she's not the sort of justice we need there. We want originalists/textualists on the high court, not activists, and she has all the earmarks of an activist.

Will the GOP oppose her? Not likely. Sure, they'll hit her with a few high, hard fastballs, and she'll stumble on them. But we're seeing between 70 and 80 votes for her in the Senate; likely closer to the mid-seventies. But she will make it, and Barry will have another ally on the high court.

That's the point that the GOP should really focus on. She has a history with Barry. They worked together throughout their lives, and this nomination smacks of cronyism. We oppose her for the same reasons we opposed Harriet Miers: She was a close friend of President Bush, and was unqualified when it came to constitutional law. That's Elena Kagan to a tee (without the ties to President Bush). She's a Barry cheerleader, and will more than likely cast a vote on the court in favor of his policies. We don't need a packed court, and she marks the second nominee that will side with Barry and his agenda.

Publius II

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another chink in the American national security armor

Michelle Malkin is a superb investigative blogger. She has been on point on a great many issues, and among those issues include illegal immigration, the Democrat's "Culture of Corruption". and most importantly she's been ever-vigilant on issues concerning the war on terror. She has penned an excellent piece today regarding yet another area of weakness regarding how our enemy is able to hurt America:

America’s homeland security amnesia never ceases to amaze. In the aftermath of the botched Times Square terror attack over the weekend, Pakistani-born bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad’s U.S. citizenship status caused a bit of shock and awe. The Atlantic magazine writer Jeffrey Goldberg’s response was typical: “I am struck by the fact that he is a naturalized American citizen, not a recent or temporary visitor.” Well, wake up and smell the deadly deception.

Shahzad’s path to American citizenship — he reportedly married an American woman, Huma Mian, in 2008 after spending a decade in the country on foreign student and employment visas — is a tried-and-true terror formula. Jihadists have been gaming the sham marriage racket with impunity for years. And immigration benefit fraud has provided invaluable cover and aid for U.S.-based Islamic plotters, including many other operatives planning attacks on New York City. As I’ve reported previously:

– El Sayyid A. Nosair wed Karen Ann Mills Sweeney to avoid deportation for overstaying his visa. He acquired U.S. citizenship, allowing him to remain in the country, and was later convicted for conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that claimed six lives.

– Ali Mohamed became an American citizen after marrying a woman he met on a plane trip from Egypt to New York. Recently divorced, Linda Lee Sanchez wed Mohamed in Reno, Nev., after a six-week “courtship.” Mohamed became a top aide to Osama bin Laden and was later convicted for his role in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Africa that killed 12 Americans and more than 200 others.

Embassy bombing plotter Khalid Abu al Dahab obtained citizenship after marrying three different American women.

Embassy bombing plotter Wadih el Hage, Osama bin Laden’s personal secretary, married April Ray in 1985 and became a naturalized citizen in 1989. Ray knew of her husband’s employment with bin Laden, but like many of these women in bogus marriages, she pleaded ignorance about the nature of her husband’s work. El Hage, she says, was a sweet man, and bin Laden “was a great boss.”

– Lebanon-born Chawki Youssef Hammoud, convicted in a Hezbollah cigarette-smuggling operation based out of Charlotte, N.C., married American citizen Jessica Fortune for a green card to remain in the country.

– Hammoud’s brother, Mohammed Hammoud, married three different American women. After arriving in the United States on a counterfeit visa, being ordered deported and filing an appeal, he wed Sabina Edwards to gain a green card. Federal immigration officials refused to award him legal status after this first marriage was deemed bogus in 1994. Undaunted, he married Jessica Wedel in May 1997 and, while still wed to her, paid Angela Tsioumas (already married to someone else, too) to marry him in Detroit. The Tsioumas union netted Mohammed Hammoud temporary legal residence to operate the terror cash scam. He was later convicted on 16 counts that included providing material support to Hezbollah.

– A total of eight Middle Eastern men who plotted to bomb New York landmarks in 1993 — Fadil Abdelgani, Amir Abdelgani, Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, Tarig Elhassan, Abdo Mohammed Haggag, Fares Khallafalla, Mohammed Saleh, and Matarawy Mohammed Said Saleh — all obtained legal permanent residence by marrying American citizens.

I have been saying it for years that our enemy isn't stupid. They're incredibly cagey; shrewd to exploit the legal loopholes that we have in America. Originally, people believed the worst that could happen is these people would over-stay their visas (either authentic or forged), and simple avoid law enforcement while they plotted and planned attacks on the West; America, specifically. And, of course, they have CAIR to fall back on should they get caught, and utilize their team of litigators to avoid deportation or prosecution.

Take note of each person Ms. Malkin lists above. They are only convicted of their crimes AFTER they've evaded law enforcement for a lengthy amount of time. Instead of being thrown out of America for their fraudulent, sham marriages, they're afforded rights that should only be extended to US citizens. "OH, you can't throw Jibril out of America; he's married to a US citizen." Horse hockey, throw them out. Send them home.

Shahzad was moments away from escaping after he planted his Nissan Pathfinder bomb in Times Square. Barry and his team of incompetent "experts" are claiming they had him the whole time. They knew about him, they claim, which is proved by the fact they nabbed him on a plane that was destined for Dubai. BS, folks. The system failed, again, and this guy almost got away. Granted, his bomb wasn't exactly the most sophisticated sort, nor was it constructed competently. But if we're patting ourselves on the back that this bomb didn't do what it was "designed" to do, then we seriously need a reality check. At least the administration does.

Remember that in 1993, al Qaeda tried to bring down the World Trade Center. They failed to do so, but their efforts did kill six people, and wounded hundreds. Just eight short years later they accomplished their task, and killed nearly 3000 people. What's the lesson here?

Our enemy doesn't give up, folks. They never have, and likely they never will until they accomplish their goals. I'm just happy to let al Qaeda know that, despite the general incompetence of this administration, America isn't giving up, either, and we will be there to stop their murderous reign of terror.

Serious reform needs to be made to repair this chink in our national security armor. Ms. Malkin takes note of at least one lawmaker who is trying to enact some level of reform. Senator Joe Lieberman is sponsoring a bill to strip any American citizen of their citizenship should they join, or work to assist, any foreign terrorist group:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is planning to introduce a bill that would allow the government to take away citizenship from Americans who join foreign terrorist organizations.

The proposal would amend current law that bars American citizens from fighting for foreign armies at the price of losing their citizenship.

“I think it’s time for us to look at whether we want to amend that law to apply it to American citizens who choose to become affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations, whether they should not also be deprived automatically of their citizenship and therefore be deprived of rights that come with that citizenship when they are apprehended and charged with a terrorist act,” Lieberman, who helms the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on Fox News.

I know, I know. A lot of people made a hullabaloo about another piece of legislation that Senator Lieberman, with the assistance of Senator John McCain, sponsored recently. (Spare me the comments, folks. The bill doesn't do what most people think it does. The knee-jerk "watchdogs" forget one simple rule about law in America: NO ACT of Congress may trump the US Constitution unless it's an amendment to the Constitution, and you still need three-fourths of the States to approve of that amendment.) But Senator Lieberman is right to bring this sort of reform to the Congress to vote on. It's clear our enemy has adopted a new strategy to exploit the chinks in our national security armor.

This is a lesson we seem to be slow to learn. Our enemy isn't simply going to give up and go away. They're going to keep gunning for us, and they'll exploit any weakness we have. It's high time we fix these weakened areas of our nations armor lest we wish to see another 9-11-esque attack on our soil. As for the administration, their track record on keeping this nation safe isn't exactly stellar. After fifteen months of being in office, Barry and his cronies have dropped the ball four times -- the attack on the Army recruiting office in Little Rock, the attack on Fort Hood, the Christmas Day underwear bomber, and now the Times Square jihadi. Four attempts, two successes, and two dodged bullets. Batting .500 isn't a great stat, especially when we're talking about this war. Lady Luck will only buy you success for so long before she turns on you.

We don't need an administration that's lucky. We need one that's competent, and takes it's primary job -- protecting America -- seriously. And it's clear to me these fools in DC aren't taking anything having to do with this war seriously.

Publius II