No Papers Required

July 29, 2010

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton today ruled parts of Arizona’s immigration law to be illegal.  Illegals’ advocates and activists hailed the ruling.  Arizona Governor Brewer vowed to appeal.

Bolton is  a Clinton-era appointee.  Her opinion ruled against parts of the law, and kept others in place.  She rules that immigrants need not carry their papers at all times, and that they don’t need to prove their status when applying for a job.

She let stand the prohibition against hiring on the street corner.

I see two problems with this.  The first is in what she let stand.  In effect, she said it’s illegal to hire someone for day labor.  Papers or not, she says I can’t hire my neighbor to come help fix my fence, my kitchen or my garden, unless he’s got a contractor or business license.

She said that when I do some writing for a local business, I’m breaking the law, because I don’t do it enough to get a business license in their city.  I report the income – paid in cash – but according to Judge Bolton, if I do it again, I’ll be breaking the law.

On the bright side, next time the police pull me over when I’m in Arizona on business, I don’t have to show them my license.

Our Absent President

July 26, 2010

No president in recent memory has been on vacation as much as Mr Obama.  Mr Reagan spent quite a bit of time in California, working the ranch, but kept in touch.  GWBush did the same, only better.  He made many trips to his ranch in Texas, but tended to “vacation” by working the ranch half days, saving time for staff meetings and press conferences. Even Mr Clinton, who vacationed in expensive locations that made the rest of the working classes jealous, only took a couple of them a year.

This president seems to have trouble finding his way back to the White House.  7 vacations so far this year, not counting the “date night” to New York City, the command performances at the White House, and the extended summits and visits to visit the troops.

Today we hear that his wife, freshly back from a family trip to Maine, is jetting off to Spain.  Not a simple trip to visit an old friend.  She’s not flying coach.  She’s taking an official government plane, staying in 30 rooms at a 5-star resort.  (It takes that many for all the friends and bodyguards that are going with them.  She’s taking 9-year-old Sacha, but not her husband.  He will join them in the Florida panhandle for next week’s vacation.

Rather than buckling down to do the work of governing the country, President Obama is getting a reputation of King Barry, spending our money to help the already big and powerful, spending our money to give a pittance to out of work citizens, and spending our money for personal luxury.  It’s a good gig if you can get it.

White House Hiding Deepwater Public Data

July 13, 2010

The list of foreign offers of help to close the leaking BP Deepwater oil well was finally announced on June 29.The US will accept 22 offers of assistance from 12 of the 27 countries and international bodies that have volunteered to help.  It includes 2 oil skimmers from Japan.

The official memo is available on the Department of State website.  It mentions a chart of who and what, posted at:

But when you click on the link, the referring page returns “File Not Found.” I did a search through the site, and it’s not there. I was clearly there at one time, but not today.

It’s day 70 and not making much progress. What’s the White House trying to hide?

Vietnam Revisited

July 8, 2010

Looking around the Rasmussen site today, I read  Tony Blankley ‘s commentary about the Obama Administration’s “conceptual confusion that is leading us to defeat in [the Afghan] war.”

The Afghan War may be the first one we lose primarily because our civilian leadership did not understand the effect of its public words on our government, our allies and our enemy.

The military had been talking about winning, but in December, the President and his key staff began declaring an exit strategy by a date certain, July 2011, and saying  ‘winning’ was not an objective.

Blankley suggested the Administration started criticizing Afghan President Karzai, calling him “irredeemably corrupt and incompetent,”   That didn’t work, even drove him to make nice with the Taliban.  The war went from bad to worse.  Obama tried to turn it around with rhetoric, but the military didn’t get the memo:  Gen McChristal’s staff got caught mimicking the old party line, and got their boss fired.

CBS says President Obama and his staff don’t know the difference between political spin and formal policy.  When you’re running for office nobody believes what you say, but when you’re in charge of the the most powerful country on the planet, people – especially professional politicians around the world – trust you mean what you say.

Which is why I worry when the President says, as he did in December at West Point, that he was going to send another 30,000 U.S. troops.  That phrase brought to mind an old Tom Paxton song from the mid60s:

Lyndon Johnson told the nation,
“Have no fear of escalation.
I am trying everyone to please.
Though it isn’t really war,
We’re sending fifty thousand more,
To help save Viet nam from Viet Namese.”

(hear it here)

Obama Flips on Immigration

July 1, 2010

On Thursday, President Obama spoke again on Immigration.  It was a mastery of doublespeak.

I agree with him when he said that “no matter how decent” the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. are, they should be held accountable for breaking the law” and ““The presence of so many illegal immigrants makes a mockery of all those who are going through the process of immigration legally.”

This just doesn’t match his earlier actions.  He’s still unwilling to defend the border from illegals entering, and continues to criticize Arizona for attempting to keep their citizens safe from illegals bringing drugs into the state and others taking Arizona jobs from its citizens.
He says he wants  a “pathway to legal status that is fair, reflective of our values and works.”  But we haven’t heard anything significant
Obama actually had the audactity to claim he’s “ready to move forward.”  And then he waxed nostalgic for the bipartisan support that existed in Congress “just a few years ago.”  Wasn’t that when the Republicans were in charge and took pains to include the Democrats, who have refused to return the favor once they took over?

What I believe most was the statement at the end of the speech:  “But the fact is, we cannot solve this problem.”  We know, Mr President.
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