Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, we remember those who have died in service to our country. Their sacrifice the ultimate price, but one they paid willingly. To them, and to their families, who have also made tremendous sacrifices, we thank you.

I would add, "and girls" who have sacrificed as well.

As a special thank you to those soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, come hell or high water, I offer this report by Chris Wallace about the guards:

Thank you to those soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknowns morning, noon, and night. Your dedication and devotion to those who were lost and have yet to be identified is awe-inspiring.

We can remember those who have died in service to the country together today. The Memorial Day Foundation states:
The National Moment of Remembrance was created by President William Clinton to observe a moment of silence to occur at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on each Memorial Day. This is to encourage Americans everywhere, to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all...(Click HERE to read a copy of the official White House Press Release announcing "The National Moment of Remembrance.") To learn more about the National Moment of Remembrance, go to

We remember you. We will not forget you. From a grateful nation, we thank you.
We remember you. We will not forget you. From a grateful nation, we thank you.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gov. Brewer Suspends State AG For Not Doing His Job

Oh, things are heating up down in Arizona. Like they weren't already hot enough. Governor Brewer is demonstrating in no uncertain terms that she is a force to be reckoned with, as this article highlights, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Abruptly Suspends State's Attorney General From Illegal Immigrant Law Defense.

Hold the phone for a second - just what IS the job of the State Attorney General if not to uphold the laws of the state? Just asking. Perhaps that's what Gov. Brewer wants to know, too:
A sudden new twist in the ongoing rhetorical and legal struggle over Arizona's tough new law to round up illegal immigrants.

Late Friday night as the Memorial Day weekend began, Arizona's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, in effect, suspended the state's Democratic attorney general from defending the new law in upcoming legal challenges. The measure, known as S.B. 1070, is due to take effect this summer and, among other things, allows local police under federal guidelines to check the immigration status of people they stop. (For a full list of background stories, see Related Items below.)

The governor's abrupt action against Terry Goddard, her likely Democratic opponent in this fall's gubernatorial election, came after months of disputes between the two and at the end of a long day of legal maneuvering in both Arizona and the nation's capital.

As the state's chief lawyer, Goddard would be expected to take the lead in defending Arizona against challenges to the Legislature's action, which erupted after years of state frustration with the federal government's inability to secure the state border with Mexico against illegal immigrants, drugs and criminals.

However, Goddard has vocally opposed the measure, so much so that the Legislature gave the governor advance authority to hire outside legal counsel.

On Friday, Goddard met with the Obama administration's Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in Washington, then held a news conference just hours before Brewer's handpicked attorneys were to meet with Holder, an outspoken critic of the law.

Brewer said, "I believe the federal government should use its legal resources to fight illegal immigration, not the State of Arizona."

Seeing apparent collusion between the two Democrat lawyers, Brewer pulled the plug Friday night.

Hmmm. Sounds like there is some monkey business going on with the person who is supposed to be on the side of the state, not the party. Gov. Brewer is not taking this collusion lying down:
Her statement (full text below) said:

Due to Attorney General Goddard’s curious coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice today and his consistent opposition to Arizona’s new immigration laws, I will direct my legal team to defend me and the State of Arizona rather than the Attorney General in the lawsuits challenging Arizona’s immigration laws.

Despite widespread criticism in the media and the Obama administration, whose officials including Holder admitted they had not actually read the legislation, numerous polls have shown deep support for the measure nationally and within Arizona.

And that approval has transferred over to Brewer, who was trailing Goddard early this year in polls of a hypothetical matchup come Nov. 2. Brewer inherited the governor's office last year when Janet Napolitano resigned to accept the man-caused nomination of Homeland Security secretary from President Obama.

Brewer has sought to meet with the now-vacationing Obama during a trip to Washington next week. But the Democrat has been unable to fit the Republican governor and the border issue into his impossible schedule.

Imagine that - the one who is trying to enforce federal law is actually going up in ratings, while those who seem to want porous borders with no enforcement are going down. Hmm. I wonder what message can POSSIBLY be taken away from THAT?

And how about Obama not meeting with Gov. Brewer while she is in town? She is going to be in town because Obama appointed her to a Special Council a while back. But he refuses to meet with her to discuss this issue about which HE has made an issue. Wowie zowie. Perhaps we should change his title to "Petulant In Chief."

You gotta give it to Governor Brewer - she is one helluva strong woman. Obama choosing not to meet with her says way more about him than it does about her. He has no qualms throwing out barbs and zingers, but when he is faced with someone who will stand up to him, he hides. What a bully he is, and what a coward. He could take some lessons - a lot of them - from Gov. Brewer, don't you think?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Continuing Oil Spill Is Taking Its Toll **UPDATED**

Hope remains that the Top Kill method currently employed by BP will finally, finally cap this horrible, devastating oil spill in the Gulf, though it is still uncertain.

UPDATE: Sadly, BP has announced the Top Kill method is NOT working. Back to the drawing board and other possible strategies. for stemming the tide of oil oozing across the Gulf.

It is with that effort underway that President Obama made his second trip to the Gulf on Friday since the oil spill began April 20th. Obama had this to say:

Is it just me, or does Obama sound a bit petulant in his remarks? Not exactly reassuring to those who are suffering as a result of this oil spill. Gov. Jindal's response to the lackadaisical effort by the government is spot on.

Perhaps Obama's petulance is in response to Gov. Jindal, or perhaps he is responding to some of his supporters like James Carville (thanks, SFIndie). Carville, a native of Louisiana, is absolutely blasting Obama on his response, or lack thereof, to the Gulf spill:

Carville makes a lot of good points, especially regarding BP. I wonder how Carville, or even Obama, will respond to the news that BP bused in a bunch of people, 400 of them, to LOOK like they were involved in the cleanup while Obama was there? Are you kidding me??

But it isn't just anger and frustration that are the hallmark emotions of this disaster. There is also great sorrow, as demonstrated by Rep. Melancon during a hearing recently:

We cannot forget how hard this is for people in Louisiana. They have suffered so much already, and this spill is nothing short of catastrophic. I know the people of Louisiana have worked hard to restore their wetlands, to bring back to life the dead area in the Gulf. To have this event, so soon after Katrina, is a hardship most of us can scarcely imagine. The need our support on both an individual and government level (talking to YOU Obama). They need our help, and they need our prayers. Let's do anything and everything we can to help the people of the affected area, the injured and endangered wildlife, and the environment.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pitting Citizen Against Citizen

That would be President Obama in his recent press conference. Now I understand why this "eloquent" "brilliant" "orator" does not do more of these things. Wow. We thought Bush was bad. But eve Bush never pitted one American citizen against another like this:

Obama said claimed that the US has a history as "a nation of law and as a nation of immigrants." Yes, but that does not mean we should be a nation of ILLEGAL immigrants, and I am pretty sure our nation's laws deals with that very issue of people coming here illegally.

"I'm President of the United States (stop reminding us). I don''t endorse boycotts or not endorse boycotts..." I'm sorry, WHAT did you say?? You cannot flat out, categorically condemn the boycotting of an entire STATE by municipalities in other states for implementing a law that MIRRORS federal law, and is taking action where you are NOT? So much for that "nation of law" bullshit.

How about this, Mr. President, you are SUPPOSED to be the president of all 50 states and all LEGAL citizens, whether they voted for you or not. Perhaps you could try something more like: "I cannot condone the boycott of one state by another, or by cities in another state over people crossing our borders illegally. We have a serious issue with illegal immigration in this country. It is an issue that has been long in developing, and short on solutions by the Federal government in the past. I am going to work hard to change that now, to protect our borders, to give our border states all the help they need to protect their borders, and their border towns. Not just for those states, but for all states in our Great Union who are feeling the financial strain of illegal immigration through elevated costs for housing, medical care, and education.

Moreover, in these difficult economic times, we do not need to have cities and states threaten other states with economic hardship. We must pull together now, not fracture and splinter apart. We are not just Californians, or Arizonians. We are AMERICANS, and we must work together."

Just a thought, Mr. President. Feel free to use any and all of that - no charge.

My other favorite quote was Obama saying they were reviewing the AZ law because we can't have "a patchwork of immigration laws." Well, holy crappydoo, if the current laws were ENFORCED, states would not be forced into this situation now, for crying out loud. Again, ironically, CA has a FAR stricter law on the books than AZ, which the elected officials there clearly, willfully, ignore on a regular basis.

Guess who has joined Arizona in crafting a stronger law? Massachusetts has with a new proposed amendment, as this article highlights, Mass. Senate Passes Crackdown On Illegal Immigrants:
With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln's respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years.

In a surprising turn of events, the legislation replaced a narrower bill that was passed Wednesday over the objections of Republicans.

The measure, which passed on a 28-10 vote as an amendment to the budget, would bar the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring illegal immigrant hiring. It would also toughen penalties for creating or using fake identification documents, and explicitly deny in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.

The amendment would also require the state’s public health insurance program to verify residency through the Department of Homeland Security, and would require the state to give legal residents priority for subsidized housing.

Ohmygosh, say WHAAAA?? People are going to have to PROVE they are here legally?? Show ID?? It's an outrage, I tell you!!!! Are Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco, and school administrators in IL going to boycott MA now?? Ahem. Here's more:
The amendment will now be part of negotiations with the House as part of the entire state budget.

Supporters, especially Republicans, struck patriotic notes and spoke of the sanctity of the law as they spoke on the Senate floor.

“It was President Lincoln -- and I’m going to paraphrase here -- who suggested that respect for the law should be preached from every pulpit taught by every mother to every child,” said Senator Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican.

But one supporter said that the measure was being passed for practical purposes and would hurt people.

Senator Frederick E. Berry, a Peabody Democrat, complained that one of the Republican sponsors acted like the "Patriots had just won the Super Bowl. ... I am going to vote for it, but I don’t think we ought to rejoice."

Democrats had resisted such a sweeping proposal, but spent last evening negotiating today’s measure, shortly after a new polled showed 84 percent of the liberal-leaning state’s voters supported tough immigration rules barring state services to illegal immigrants.

Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Boston Democrat who opposed the amendment, said the measure had not been properly vetted and would add undue obligations to businesses and state government when they could ill afford it. She said it would cost the state money, while programs for children and public safety are being cut and people in her city are being shot at.

"I just don't think this is an appropriate time to be enforcing an additional cost burden on the state, doing things that are not our job," Chang-Diaz said.

Huh? I lived and worked in MA. I can tell you for a FACT that I was asked to produce my original Social Security card and other documentation which was photocopied and put into my file. This was at a non-profit organization. Why did they do that? Because it was the LAW. No one complained that it was an undue burden, certainly not me, and I am sure the pennies it cost to make that copy didn't break the organization, which also received state funds. It was done to comply with state law. So what is this excuse about how it will "hurt" companies doing business with the state? If they aren't complying with the law, they shouldn't be allowed to do business with the state. It's as simple as that. Again, in these economic times, I bet there are any NUMBER of companies who engage in legal hiring practices that willb e willing to work for the commonwealth.

And the amendment would do even more:
The measure would also close what supporters say is a loophole that allows businesses to register cars under a company name, without identifying the owner by Social Security number and federal tax identification number. It would also crate (sic) a toll-free hot line for anonymous reporting of companies that employ illegal immigrants.

The measure comes weeks after immigration measures failed in the House, and amid heightened debate over illegal immigration fueled by the state's election season and Arizona's passage in April of the toughest immigration law in the nation.

Recent polls have found that, while voters supported blocking illegal immigrants' access to public benefits, they were split over whether the Bay State should have a law such as Arizona's.

Thursday's Senate amendment would also authorize the state attorney general's office to broker an agreement with federal authorities to help enforce immigration law. That would be a stark departure for Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has increased outreach to immigrants, encouraging them to file employment complaints, regardless of their legal status. Scores of immigrants whose bosses allegedly failed to pay their wages have turned to her for help in recent years.

The legislation also would increase penalties for driving without a license, one of the main problems facing illegal immigrants in Massachusetts. In November, a panel commissioned by Governor Deval Patrick urged him to push to grant driver's licenses and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, among many other recommendations. Patrick sent the recommendations to his cabinet for study and pledged to return with a proposal in 90 days, but the results have not been made public.

Most immigrants in Massachusetts are here legally, but an estimated 190,000, or 20 percent, are here illegally, according to the census.

Gosh. How draconian they are in Massachusetts. I wonder when Obama is going to come out and challenge THIS new amendment, huh? Is he going to turn Eric Holder loose on Massachusetts? I doubt it.

So riddle me this, Bat-people: why did he do it to Arizona? Why did he and his Justice Department attack Arizona without even reading the damn law first?? He hasn't attacked California's. Or any other state - all states? - who have illegal immigration statues on the books currently. So why Arizona? Just for votes? Is that the only reason he is using our tax dollars to have the Justice Department work day and night looking to sue them? Just for votes? I'd sure like to know.

And since we are talking about illegal immigration, I will leave you with this video courtesy of my fellow NQ writer, Linda Anselmi. If you were wondering what has happened to Bertha Lewis since she helped lead ACORN down the tubes, wonder no more:

Maybe there is some justice in this world, even if her arrest wasn't for all of the nefarious activities of ACORN...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Possible New Border Czar?

So much going on today, like: DADT may be coming up for a vote in the House, but its repeal is far from guaranteed, especially with the Chiefs of the Four branches speaking out against repeal; The LA Times reported the hole was finally closed using the Top Kill method of pushing mud and stuff into it, but unfortunately, the news was a bit premature (it is slowing it down, though); and border issues still causing a stir, with the troops Obama wants to allocate going to deal with drugs and guns, not illegal immigrants, even in the face of a TERROR Alert being issued by homeland security. Just like Mexico told him to do - deal with guns and drugs, not stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the US. Hmmm. That sounds like dereliction of duty to me, not protecting the borders as required in the Constitution, but I'm not a lawyer, so...

Whew - makes me tired just thinking about it, not to mention angry, worried, and upset. I need a break. Maybe you do, too. Oh, this will still be political, but hopefully, it will also make you laugh, too.

Here's the thing. There's this "reporter" named Joe McGinniss. He is not a fan of Sarah Palin's to put it MILDLY. McGinniss is currently writing an unauthorized biography of the former governor of Alaska. So, what did he do? He rented the house next door to hers so he could watch her morning, noon, and night for months. Oh, and when I say next door, I mean 15 feet away from her family. I am not kidding. Check it out:

Holy moley. So, let me understand this - McGinniss threatens a reporter with the police for trespassing, while "invading the space" of the Palin family on a daily basis. I got ya. That sounds about right for the Palin haters. "Okay for me, not for thee" sort of thing. Seriously, though - McGinniss pulling this stunt says a whole lot about him, and his character. The sheer arrogance and hubris of such a move, figuratively and literally, is telling indeed.

But how about Todd's skills with a saw? Here's a closer look at the wall (from Greta van Susteren):

Now, that's a good looking fence. Todd can come to my house and do carpentry work anytime.

Michelle Malkin has another suggestion given the quick wall building skills of Todd Palin and friends:
I nominate Todd Palin for border czar.

If only our federal government acted as swiftly and decisively to protect the nation’s borders from intrusion…

No kidding, huh? Someone who doesn't drag his feet when decisive action is required. Obama could take a lesson from Todd. That'll be the day...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

If DADT Is Finally Repealed, Give Credit Where It Is Due **UPDATED**

And that ain't Obama. That would be inaccurate, to say the least. Obama wanted to wait for the completion of a study to be conducted on the impact of changing DADT, with a target date of early December. His Justice Department regurgitated assertions used by Colin Powell 16 years ago that Powell says he no longer believes to support DADT.

So you'll forgive me when I take this headline with a pound of salt, "Obama Backs 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Compromise That Could Pave Way For Repeal." Obama has done jackshit but give lip service on repeal. There are others who actually HAVE been working on this issue, especially Rep. Patrick Murphy, along with several US Senators (e.g, Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin). But Patrick Murphy is the one who has really been pushing this, as the following video makes clear:

Note the date on that video - 2008.

The other person pushing for repeal is Senator Lieberman, along with Sen. Carl Levin:

It is not that Obama is insisting that this be brought now. Rather,it seems he is making a political calculation since it has become clear the House is going forward with this, not because it is the right thing to do:
President Obama has endorsed a "don't ask, don't tell" compromise between lawmakers and the Defense Department, the White House announced Monday, an agreement that may sidestep a key obstacle to repealing the military's policy banning gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces.

The compromise was finalized in meetings Monday at the White House and on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers will now, within days, vote on amendments that would repeal the Clinton-era policy, with a provision ensuring that any change would not take effect until after the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops. That study is due to Congress by Dec. 1.

In a letter to lawmakers pushing for a legislative repeal, White House budget director Peter Orszag wrote Monday that the administration "supports the proposed amendment."

"Such an approach recognizes the critical need to allow our military and their families the full opportunity to inform and shape the implementation process through a thorough understanding of their concerns, insights and suggestions," he wrote.

While gay rights advocates hailed the move as a "dramatic breakthrough," it remained uncertain whether the deal would secure enough votes to pass both houses of Congress. Republicans have vowed to maintain "don't ask, don't tell," while conservative Democrats have said they would oppose a repeal unless military leaders made it clear that they approved of such a change.

Even if the compromise language passes, a legislative repeal would take effect only after Obama certified that the change would not harm the nation's military readiness.

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said the announcement "paves the path to fulfill the President's call to end 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' this year and puts us one step closer to removing this stain from the laws of our nation."

The White House had initially hoped that Congress would wait until after the Pentagon study was completed before bringing up a repeal, but senior lawmakers made it clear that they intended to push ahead on the issue, with or without administration support. Now the controversial issue will return to the national conversation as fall reelection campaigns gear up.

"...but senior lawmakers made it clear that they intended to push ahead on the issue, with or without administration support." Again, this is not exactly Obama PUSHING for this.

Memo to Joe Salmonese - this is not the President wanting "to fulfill the President's call." This is Obama seeing the writing on the wall, IMHO, and trying to cover his backside.

He is not the only one, though:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is running for reelection and had previously supported a repeal of the law, said at a recent congressional hearing that the legislation is "imperfect but effective" and that "we should not be seeking to overturn."

Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), a member of the House GOP leadership, said Monday of a repeal: "The American people don't want the American military to be used to advance a liberal political agenda. And House Republicans will stand on that principle."

While some Democrats, particularly in the House, wanted to wait for the Pentagon study to be finished, more-liberal Democrats were pushing for an immediate repeal. The compromise is designed to satisfy both concerns.

"We can live with this and we're asking, enthusiastically, members to support and vote for it," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), the lead sponsors of repeal legislation, promised Monday night to pursue their goal quickly.

The White House letter clears the way for votes Thursday in the House on the overall spending bill, which Democrats expect will include Murphy's amendment. The same day, the Senate Armed Services Committee will vote on its version of the spending bill, and Lieberman will introduce the same repeal language.

"It is our firm belief that it is time to repeal this discriminatory policy that not only dishonors those who are willing to give their lives in service to their country but also prevents capable men and women with vital skills from serving in the armed forces," Lieberman and Murphy said in a statement.

If the compromise is approved, the 1993 policy could be removed from the nation's law books within weeks. That would satisfy one of the most significant promises Obama made to the gay community during his campaign.

Once in office, however, Obama moved slowly, often causing frustration among his gay supporters.

That's what I am talking about, right there. Obama has been dragging his feet on this issue. Again, he's not the only one:
In February, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, said they supported a repeal of the policy. Mullen said, "I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

But Gates angered some activists by requesting time to assess how best to make the cultural shift within the ranks.

The effort to reverse the ban accelerated with Obama's one-sentence endorsement of a repeal in his January State of the Union address, sources close to the negotiations said. The next morning, advocates began a multimillion-dollar effort to convince six moderate members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

On Sunday, White House officials invited gay rights leaders to the White House for a Monday-morning meeting with Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and administration lawyers, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Here's the thing - I would be delighted to have this horrible bill repealed. At the time, it was far better than what they had, but it has been flawed from the get-go.

However - Obama has done NOTHING to change this law. He has a history of claiming credit for accomplishments he didn't earn, and with which he had nothing to do. We saw that time and time again with Candidate Obama, taking Hillary Clinton's policies whole cloth, claiming work done on committees as a US Senator, as an IL state senator,and as president. It is infuriating that he will get credit for the repeal of this law (should it pass Congress) when he has done NOTHING to effect that change itself to essentially say he won't stand in the way.

I will rejoice when DADT is repealed, absolutely. But unlike HRC's Joe Salmonese, among others, I'll give credit where credit is due: Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Rep. Patrick Murphy, and Senators Joe Lieberman and Carl Levin.

Obama does not belong in that list, not by a long shot. The long list of homophobic associates and close friends of his speak volumes to me. Don't even get me started his new appointee, Jonathan I. Katz, a RAGING homophobe who refers to gay people as "sodomites," among other things. So, uh, yeah - not a ringing endorsement, if you ask me.

Repeal DADT for sure, and give credit where credit is due. That's what I think. How about you?

UPDATE: Ellen D at No Quarter queried what would be in DADT, and what would REALLY happen if it was passed. Excellent question. And now I have an answer for her. This is from Adm. Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I have to say, the news is not all that good:
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday that he’s comfortable with proposed legislation that seeks to repeal the law that bans gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the military because it includes “very clear language” that gives senior leaders the final say in whether it’s implemented.

The proposed amendment, which Congress could put to a vote as soon as this week, wouldn’t immediately go into effect if passed, Navy Adm. Mike Mullen told about 500 servicemembers at a town hall session here.

Implementation wouldn’t take place until after a Defense Department study assessing its impact is completed, the chairman explained, and military and defense leaders get to weigh in on the findings.

The review, expected to be completed by December, is progressing well, the chairman said, “but by no means is it over.”

Oh, boy. That doesn't sound all that promising. Neither does this:
Mullen said he’s particularly interested in determining how the law’s repeal would affect “readiness, unit cohesion and our ability to do our mission.” That, he said, requires input from the people directly affected.

“That was what was behind making sure we surveyed our people and our families -- to understand … the potential impact,” he told the group. “And I, as a senior military leader in the country, feel obligated to make sure I understand that, so should it change, I can lead that and understand what the impacts are.”

After reviewing results of the study, Mullen, the service chiefs and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates would provide their recommendations to President Barack Obama. “So having that information will inform me and our leaders about what our recommendations will be,” he said.

Mullen called the “certification trigger” provided in the proposed amendment critical.

“The language in there right now preserves my prerogative – and I believe, my responsibility – to give the best military advice,” he said.

“That trigger is to certify whether we should move ahead with that change, even if the law were to repeal it,” he told a reporter following the session.

Mullen brought up the issue at the end of his town hall session after no one had asked about it. He occasionally gets questions about it when he meets with servicemembers, the chairman told reporters traveling with him, but just as often doesn’t. “I haven’t found it to be a particularly burning issue,” he said.

Am I understanding this correctly? Even if DADT is repealed, it might not change anything? At the very least, even if it was repealed tomorrow, it sounds like nothing will change at least until Dec. 1 when the study is due to be completed. The more things change...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Obama's Thugs Take On A 14 Year Old Boy - UPDATED x2

I have often mentioned SEIU, the union co-founded by ACORN's founder, Wade Rathke. That really should tell people as much as they need to know. Of course, there is more, though. SEIU's recently resigned director, Andy Stern, has been a frequent visitor at the White House. And yes, SEIU helped to get Obama elected.

The SEIU also held California hostage when it was trying to reduce its payouts by bringing in their good buddy, Obama, to tell Ah-nold that he would get NO federal money if he touched the SEIU wages. Must be nice to have friends in high places, right? We are talking a union with only a little over 2 million members. That is some level of influence for so few people relatively speaking (the US has over 307 million people).

There is an even seedier side to SEIU, too. Who can forget this scene when a Tea Party member was assaulted by SEIU members:

That is but the tip of the iceberg. Here is another example of SEIU violence which, ironically, is directed toward people it wants as members:

If you go to YouTube, and do a search on "SEIU violence," you will get more hits than most people have time to watch.

But as Erik Erickson pointed out at , what SEIU did over the weekend is taking their brand of intimidation to a whole new low. As he noted, had there not been a reporter (Nina Easton) living next door to the target house, chances are good we would not have known about their little weekend in Maryland.

And what they did is disturbing on oh-so-many levels, as this eye witness account from Ms. Easton highlights:
What's Really Behind SEIU's Bank of America Protests?

(Photo by Nina Easton)

Every journalist loves a peaceful protest-whether it makes news, shakes up a political season, or holds out the possibility of altering history. Then there are the ones that show up on your curb--literally.

Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that -- in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action -- makes his family fair game.

Waving signs denouncing bank "greed," hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer's steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer's teenage son Jack -- alone in the house -- locked himself in the bathroom. "When are they going to leave?" Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

So these are the depths to which the SEIU, an incredibly powerful (thanks, Obama) union with very close ties to Barack Obama, has sunk. They went to someone's HOUSE to protest, terrorizing - yes, terrorizing - a young teenager:
Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly "outed" him, and slipped through his front door.

"Excuse me," Baer told his accusers, "I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened."

When is a protest not a protest?

Now this event would accurately be called a "protest" if it were taking place at, say, a bank or the U.S. Capitol. But when hundreds of loud and angry strangers are descending on your family, your children, and your home, a more apt description of this assemblage would be "mob." Intimidation was the whole point of this exercise, and it worked-even on the police. A trio of officers who belatedly answered our calls confessed a fear that arrests might "incite" these trespassers.

Yes, "mob" is the perfect word for what the SEIU members did:
What's interesting is that SEIU, the nation's second largest union, craves respectability. Just-retired president Andy Stern is an Obama friend and regular White House visitor. He sits on the President's Fiscal Responsibility Commission. He hobnobs with those greedy Wall Street CEOs -- executives much higher-ranking than my neighbor Baer -- at Davos. His union spent $70 million getting Democrats elected in 2008.

In the business community, though, SEIU has a reputation for strong-arm tactics against management, prompting some companies to file suit.

Now those strong-arm tactics, stirred by supposedly free-floating (as opposed to organized) populist rage, have come to the neighborhood curb. Last year it was AIG executives -- with protestors met by security guard outside. Now it's any executive -- and they're on the front stoop. After Baer's house, the 14 buses left to descend on the nearby residence of Peter Scher, a government relations executive at JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500).

Targeting homes and families seems to put SEIU in the ranks of (now jailed) radical animal-rights activists and the Kansas anti-gay fundamentalists harassing the grieving parents of a dead 20-year-old soldier at his funeral (the Supreme Court has agreed to weigh in on the latter). But that's not a conversation that SEIU officials want to have.

When I asked Stephen Lerner, SEIU's point-person on Wall Street reform, about these tactics, he accused me of getting "emotional." Lerner was more comfortable sticking to his talking points: "Millions of people are losing their homes, and they have gone to the banks, which are turning a deaf ear."

Okay, fine, then why not continue SEIU protests at bank offices and shareholder meetings-as the union has been doing for more than a year? Lerner insists, "People in powerful corporations seem to think they can insulate themselves from the damage they are doing."

Isn't that just typical? Rather than actually addressing Ms. Easton's concerns, she is dismissed as being "emotional." So, let's add "sexist" to the increasingly long list of things SEIU is, sadly too many of which are negative. But to Lerner's accusations:
Bank of America officials dispute Lerner's assertion about the "damage they are doing," citing the success of workout programs to help distressed homeowners, praise received from community groups, the bank's support of financial reform legislation, and the little-noticed fact that Bank of America exited the subprime lending business in 2001.

SEIU has said it wants to organize bank tellers and call centers -- and its critics point out that a great way to worsen employee morale, thereby making workers more susceptible to union calls, is to batter a bank's image through protest. (SEIU officials say their anti-Wall Street campaign has nothing to do with their organizing efforts.) Complicating this picture is the fact that BofA is the union's lender of choice -- and SEIU, suffering financially, owes the bank nearly $4 million in interest and fees. Bank of America declined comment on the loans.

Banks: The new punching bag

But SEIU's intentions, and BofA's lender record, are ripe subjects to debate in Congress, on air, at shareholder hearings. Not in Greg Baer's front yard.
Why the media wasn't invited

Sunday's onslaught wasn't designed for mainstream media consumption. There were no reporters from organizations like the Washington Post, no local camera crews who might have aired criticism of this private-home invasion. With the media covering the conservative Tea Party protesters, the behavior of individual activists has drawn withering scrutiny.

Instead, a friendly Huffington Post blogger showed up, narrowcasting coverage to the union's leftist base. The rest of the message these protesters brought was personal-aimed at frightening Baer and his family, not influencing a broader public.

Of course, HuffPost readers responding to the coverage assumed that Baer was an evil former Bush official. He's not. A lifelong Democrat, Baer worked for the Clinton Treasury Department, and his wife, Shirley Sagawa, author of the book The American Way to Change and a former adviser to Hillary Clinton, is a prominent national service advocate.

In the 1990s, the Baers' former bosses, Bill and Hillary Clinton, denounced the "politics of personal destruction." Today politicians and their voters of all stripes grieve the ugly bitterness that permeates our policy debates. Now, with populist rage providing a useful cover, it appears we've crossed into a new era: The politics of personal intimidation.

To say this "politics of personal intimidation" is unacceptable is a gross understatement. But it seems to be the MO of far too many Obama supporters (e.g., New Black Panthers in Philly, intimidation and machinations of caucuses in Texas, and on it goes). Where does it stop with these people?

Going to someone's house, in 14 buses, no less, on a weekend, with no permit to protest, and a DC police escort to this home in Maryland, terrorizing a 14 year old boy, takes this to a whole new level, or new depth, however you want to spell it. I spell it, "D-E-S-P-I-C-A-B-L-E."

UPDATE: Now the DC Metro Police claim they contacted Montgomery County Police, and broke away at the border. The Chief said one police officer accidentally crossed over. A Montgomery Police Captain claimed since the SEIU dispersed peacefully from the front STOOP of the house, there were no arrests. Thanks to ~~JustMe~~ for the link to the video of the SEIU members. I will keep an eye out for the video of the two police officers making their claims regarding the Metro PD, and the Montgomery PD. Currently, there is a major contradiction between what Captain Paul Stark is saying, and the statement issued by Cpl Daniel Friz who said there was NO courtesy call that a protest was heading toward Montgomery County, and that the DC police were ON SITE in MD. Someone ain't telling the truth here. Wonder why??

FINALLY, here are the two police officers giving their side. Bear in mind that AFTER this interview, the underling in Montgomery County contends there were NO phone calls from Metro DC police:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Follow-Up On Rep. Joe Sestak's Job Offer

Well, this was an interesting weekend for spinning news, especially if you watched Robert Spokesweasel Gibbs at all. But one person, a politician, no less, who has been consistent in his comments on one subject, did so again this Sunday.

That would be Joe Sestak, who continues to affirm he was offered a job to drop out of the race in Pennsylvania against Arlen Specter. Even after beating Specter in the election, he STILL affirms he was offered a job:

Did you catch what Chris Stirewalt said? That the White House investigated itself on whether or not there was wrong doing with offering Sestak a job? Yes, and they found themselves BLAMELESS! I think the following sums it up perfectly:

Does that mean that when anyone of us is accused of committing a crime, or cheating on our taxes, we can investigate or audit ourselves and OUR conclusion is supposed to stand? If so, maybe it's not such a bad thing to emulate the White House, right? Uh, yeah, sure.

Rep. Darrell Issa, though, does not think the White House should be able to commit felonies, investigate itself, or find itself blameless. He continues to push for an investigator. At least that's one person who thinks the White House is not allowed to commit felonies and get away with it. Let's hope there are more.

We are, after all, and despite all current evidence to the contrary (illegal immigration, the White House, Obama's presidency) a nation of laws. It is high time we get back to enforcing them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Finally A State Gets Help From The Feds On Immigration!

Recently, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona went on Greta Van Susteren's show and discussed the new enforcement law, Obama, and the numerous pleas from her state for help with illegal immigrants crossing over the border (among other things). Here she is:

After that empassioned plea, if you are thinking Arizona or Texas, New Mexico, or even California, is the state finally getting federal help on this issue, think again. That would be - wait for it - Illinois.

Yes, Illinois, Obama's home state, even as he lambasts Arizona for wanting to enforce the law, as this article indicates:
Immigration crackdown for Illinois; Feds to step up enforcement

In the midst of an outcry over illegal immigration and Arizona's new crackdown, a top Department of Homeland Security official visiting Chicago on Wednesday said his agency intended to step up enforcement in places such as Illinois.

John Morton, who heads U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said his agency intends to expand the Secure Communities initiative, which gives police and sheriff's departments access to a Homeland Security database that includes fingerprints. The initiative recently grew to include most of Chicago's suburbs.

Morton, a former prosecutor, also said the agency intends to increase scrutiny of employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

"If we're going to bring about meaningful changes in behavior, you have to do that by focusing on the employer," he said during a meeting with the Tribune editorial board.

I think many people believe that is a good step to take, target the businesses which are benefitting from, and using, illegal workers. The effect of this crackdown is what one might expect:
Morton said the government's stepped-up enforcement would result in a "sharp increase" in deportations this year. Last year's 400,000 overall deportations were a record, but this year there has already been a 40 percent jump in deportations of criminals, he said.

Echoing comments by President Barack Obama and others in the administration, Morton said that Arizona's new law targeting illegal immigration is not "good government." The law makes it a crime to be in the state illegally and requires police to check suspects for immigration paperwork.

Morton said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona officials. The best way to reduce illegal immigration is through a comprehensive federal approach, not a patchwork of state laws, he said.

"I don't think the Arizona law, or laws like it, are the solution," Morton said. (

Huh? Let me try and understand this: in Illinois, they are going to ferret out employers who are employing illegal workers, and will deport said workers. Okay. But they will NOT necessarily deport illegal immigrants if they come from the state of Arizona? And that would be WHY, exactly?

Passing laws that attempt to enforce Federal laws are "not the solution"? Enforcing federal laws is not the solution? Arizona law adds nothing more to its law than those already on the books on a Federal level. So is Morton saying Federal law should not be enforced? Wowie zowie, that can open a whole new can of worms.

Moreover, it IS a crime to be in a state, Arizona or Illinois, or any of the other 48 states illegally, not to mention the COUNTRY. So how is that not "good government" for Arizona to try and enforce the law?? The sheer hoops and loops Morton is jumping through with his political double-speak and incredibly faulty logic to emulate Obama's poltiically motived attacks on Arizona are just laughable.

But I bet Arizona isn't laughing.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Going Home

This weekend should be some fun. Ahem. I get to go to my home town, and have a "Family Meeting" with my four siblings. Oh, joy. Of course, this is uncharted territory for all of us, though we lost our father 4 1/2 years ago. But now, both parents are gone, and there is much to be done.

And, there is much to be done at my Mom's house. The lion's share has fallen on my middle brother and his wife, as well as my partner and me. That isn't changing this time, either, as a lot of the weekend will be spent clearing things out.

Recently, one of my favorite shows, "Glee," had an entire episode entitled, "Home." As I get ready to go back to Mom's house for the weekend, the following video, with the fabulous Kristin Chenoweth, speaks to my heart:

Home is where the heart is.

I will be in and out, mostly out. I hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, May 21, 2010

This Is Some Stand Up White House - Not

During the Primary and Election campaigns, many of us felt that the Obama Campaign was getting Google to do its bidding for specific searches. Evidently, it wasn't just a wild conspiracy theory, according to this article by Ken Boehm, White House Staffer Who Did Favors For Google Must Resign:
In a letter today to President Obama, I asked for the resignation of White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew McLaughlin.

Last week, McLaughlin was officially reprimanded for violating its ethics policies. A White House investigation found that McLaughlin, a former senior executive at Google, had repeatedly circumvented both the letter and spirit of White House ethics rules by communicating with former colleagues about Administration policies affecting the company.

The White House confirmed that Mr. McLaughlin used his personal Gmail account when discussing White House business, possibly violating federal archiving rules.

From web privacy to Net neutrality to China’s Internet policies, McLaughlin actively engaged Google’s lobbying team and at least one top company official, in at least one case contradicting the Administration’s public stance.

Well, that last sentence is no surprise to anyone who has really been paying attention. The one area in which Obama has been consistent is saying one thing, and doing another. Back to the article:

In that instance, the Administration was publicly stating that it was fairly and dispassionately evaluating a Court decision that had the potential to materially affect Google. Yet McLaughlin simultaneously leaked highly sensitive material and inside information to a senior Google official via a confidential email that the policy would not change.

President Obama has repeatedly claimed that his Administration would have no tolerance for unethical ‘revolving door’ behavior by officials who are supposed to be working for the taxpayers but instead are granting special access and favors to their former employers. The situation with McLaughlin is a test of President Obama’s ethics commitment.

If the Obama Administration is truly committed to the idea of strict ethical standards McLaughlin’s tenure as a senior official of the Obama White House must end.
So there is that piece - the Obama flunkies using a major search engine as their own personal ad campaign (a bit of hyperbolic license, I admit), but there is yet another, far more serious, infraction by the Obama White House that is clawing its way to the light.

And that would be this, Gibbs Mum On Sestak Job Offer. At first blush, that might not seem like a lot, but in actuality, it is a federal crime:
Don’t ask the White House if Obama aides tried to force Joe Sestak out of the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary by offering him a job. They are keeping mum on the controversy.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs deflected a barrage of questions about reports – stoked by Sestak himself – that he was offered a top position, perhaps Navy Secretary, in exchange for sitting out the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania.

Sestak didn’t – and upended incumbent Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter on Tuesday night.

“I don’t have anything to add today,” said Gibbs, who was forced to repeat that line several more times under intense questioning during his daily briefing.

Gee, I wonder why Gibbs won't say anything. First of all, Obama was backing Specter. But it would seem Obama feared the potential loss by Specter to Sestak so much that he offered him a job in the White House if he would back out. The only problems is, though, that's a felony (actually, three counts for bribery and corruption). And of course, now, Obama has changed his tune:

Sestak, who now has Obama’s support, told a Philadelphia radio station on Wednesday, “Let me just say that both here in Pennsylvania, and down there (Washington), I was called quite a few times… And all I said is look, ‘I felt when a deal is made that it was hurting the Democratic process.’"

Gibbs did say Obama called Specter the night of his loss and left a message. The two finally connected today, but Gibbs didn’t provide details of the conversation.

He said that Obama will continue to back Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) in her upcoming Democratic primary runoff against Bill Halter, but declined to say what form that support would take.

Oh, boy - the possibilities for THAT one just boggles the mind, doesn't it? Feel free to list all of the ways you think Obama will "support" Sen. Lincoln. Does that mean he's going to stump for her? If so, she better start sending out resumes today, and hope her time as a US Senator will actually help her get a job outside of DC. Just saying.

Back to Sestak: just in case the White House tries to eradicate any trace of Sestak's claim of this job offer, there is this:

Just to be clear, this is what Rep. Sestak claimed:
The allegation is that the White House offered Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., a job to abandon his primary challenge against Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa. The allegation first surfaced in an interview in February with Philadelphia television anchor Larry Kane.

Sestak told Kane that he was offered a federal job to exit the race. When Kane asked if the White House offered the position, Sestak replied, "Yes."

Three felony counts - and that is just with Sestak. Now, is Mr. Transparency going to be held accountable to US Federal Law or not? Judging by his support of a foreign leader trashing our laws here, clearly he could care less about them. But WE should. And we should make damn sure the President of the United States does.

Enough equivocating, Mr. Gibbs. And enough dissembling. If Obama and his Cronies violated Federal law numerous times, they, he, MUST be held to account. This is no small thing. The Press must press on until we get to the bottom of this, and so must Congress. Rep. Issa called for a Special Probe back in March, thinking at the time there was a good chance a prosecutor assigned. Huh. Wonder if he still feels that way.

We need answers. The sooner the better. Answer the damn question already, Gibbs!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

DOJ Machinations Coming To Light In NBP Case

You may recall that during the 2008 Election, three New Black Panthers were arrested for voter intimidation in Philadelphia. Below is a recap of the situation at the time:

Well, good. They were arrested. Seemed to be the right thing to do.

Until the Department of Justice decided to drop the charges against them. Yes, that's right. AG Holder decided to drop all charges against them. I am sure that was not the least bit politically motivated. Ahem.

Well, the plot thickens, as this editorial highlights, DOJ Voting Rights Attorney Resigns Over Black Panther Stonewalling. Oh, dear - that doesn't sound good:
A trial attorney with the Department of Justice’s Voting Rights Section has resigned, citing concerns about the government’s refusal to prosecute a case involving voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party. A letter of resignation obtained by The Washington Examiner from a former Justice Department employee makes clear DOJ has refused to allow attorneys in the Voting Rights Section to testify before the congressionally-chartered bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, despite subpoenas that could result in their being held in contempt.In his letter of resignation, J. Christian Adams said:
On the other hand, the events surrounding the dismissal of United States v. New Black Panther Party, et al., after the trial team sought and obtained an entry of default, has subjected me, Mr. Christopher Coates, and potentially at some point, all members of the team, to a subpoena from the United States Commission on Civil Rights. The subpoena is based on an explicit federal statute and seeks answers about why the case was dismissed.

I have incurred significant personal expense in retaining a number of separate attorneys and firms regarding this subpoena in order to protect my interests and advise me about my personal legal obligation to comply with the subpoena. Over the last few months, one of my attorneys has had multiple communications with Federal Programs regarding the subpoena. My attorney suggested to them that the Department should file a motion in district court to quash the subpoena and thereby resolve conclusively any question about my obligation to comply.

Months ago, my attorney advised the Department that a motion to quash would be welcome, and that I would assert no objection to the motion. Further, my attorney has explicitly sought to ascertain whether Executive Privilege has been invoked regarding the decisions of individuals not in the Voting Section to order the dismissal of the case. If Executive Privilege has been asserted, or will be, obviously I would not comply with the subpoena. These options would provide some conclusive legal certainly about the extent of my obligation to comply with a subpoena issued pursuant to a federal statute. Instead, we have been ordered not to comply with the subpoena, citing a federal regulation (emphasis mine).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the attorney is just a bit upset at this turn of events, wouldn't you? There's more:

Adams also cites his knowledge of the criminal character and “violent tendencies of” members of the New Black Panther Party, saying:

As you also know, the defendants in the New Black Panther lawsuit have become increasingly belligerent in their rhetoric toward the attorneys who brought the case. (See eg., April 23, 2010 statement of Malik Zulu Shabazz, case statement.pdf, describing the “phony case” brought by “the modern day racist lynch mob seeking to hang what [we] think .are [our] modern slaves.”) Their grievances toward us generally echo the assertions that the facts and law did not support the lawsuit against them, ab initio. Knowing intimately the criminal character and violent tendencies of the members of New Black Panther Party, it is my profound hope that these assertions are tempered.

This follows the departure of another attorney, who before transferring to South Carolina, read a statement to a surprised “goodbye luncheon” about his opposition to the way the case is handled (see here). More updates to follow. The document is below:

J. Christian Adams resignation letter 051910

UPDATE: The New Black Panthers' website appears to be down. You can read Malik Zulu Shabazz's statement over at Main Justice.

Holy moley. Well, we all knew it was suspicious that these charges were dropped. Just more of the incredibly disturbing trends coming from Obama's Department Of Justice:"Let's bring KSM to New York for his trial!" "Let's sue a state over a law we haven't read! Who cares that there is a Memo that supports their law, along with the Federal Law??" "We're the DOJ, and we operate on the Court of Public Opinion, the law be damned!"

I don't even want to see what is coming next from these people, do you?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just Admit It Already!

By now, you have surely heard about Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's claim that he served in Vietnam:
“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support."

He is right that we need to support our military. But he is wrong about his own service. He received five deferments, and served in the Marine Reserves Stateside. Oops.

Over the years Blumenthal has embellished his record, something that caused concern for his old friend, Christopher Shays, as detailed in this article, "Shays Watched As Blumenthal's Claims Evolved." Apparently, this was over a period of years:
[snip] Mr. Shays, a 10-term incumbent who lost a re-election bid in November 2008, was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. He said he and Mr. Blumenthal began their careers in politics at roughly the same time and frequently addressed the same groups. He recalled that early on, Mr. Blumenthal spoke humbly about his military record, rarely discussing it and always making clear that he had held only desk jobs and had not been in the line of fire, though he remained proud of having been a Marine.

“But as time went on, he would mention it more often, and Vietnam would show up,” even when Mr. Blumenthal was not speaking to veterans, Mr. Shays said.

Eventually, Mr. Shays said, he began hearing Mr. Blumenthal refer to having served in Vietnam. Mr. Shays said he assumed, wrongly, that Mr. Blumenthal had perhaps been a military lawyer there. That alone, he said, was enough for him to have had the impulse to advise Blumenthal to be careful, that people could interpret his remarks as a claim to have seen action there.

“I felt inclined to go to him and say, ‘Dick, in your service in Vietnam, you weren’t on the firing line, you don’t want to overstate that,’ ” Mr. Shays said. “I just felt like he was raising the stakes in a way that was inconsistent with what he’d said in the past. I was actually going to go up and speak to him. And I wish I had.”

Oh dear. Well, CT AG Blumenthal finally addressed his claim:

Um, no one is impugning your character, AG Blumenthal. You did that all by your very own self when you flat out LIED and said you served in Vietnam, and by your dissembling now. I commend you for your decision to join the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. So did my uncle, only he actually DID go to Vietnam. You dishonor those who actually did serve overseas, who lived through a horrendous war, from which many never recovered even though they made it back to these shores. And you blame OTHERS for pointing out what you yourself said, and what is on video?

Blumenthal's opponent, Rob Simmons, actually did serve in Vietnam, and has this to say about such a claim:

I think Mr. Simmons summed this up beautifully. And, the additional insult of Blumenthal appearing at a VFW post did not pass Simmons by. Blumnthal had no right to be there, and compounded his infraction by choosing that locale.

Why can Mr. Blumenthal not just admit he lied?? He DOES owe an apology to those who did serve in country. Moreover, he owes an apology for taking the victim stance he is claiming now. It is unbecoming of someone of his stature, and someone who is a Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine).

Perhaps Mr. Blumenthal has forgotten the motto, Semper fidelis:
Semper Fidelis distinguishes the Marine Corps bond from any other. It goes beyond teamwork – it is a brotherhood and lasts for life.

Latin for "always faithful," Semper Fidelis became the Marine Corps motto in 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission at hand, to each other, to the Corps and to country, no matter what.

Becoming a Marine is a transformation that cannot be undone, and Semper Fi reminds us of that. Once made, a Marine will forever live by the ethics and values of the Corps.

I think that says it all, don't you?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wow, What An Illegal Immigrant Hating Law!!

I feel compelled to share with you the actual text of this illegal immigrant hating law brought to my attention recently(h/t to HARP for providing this). I think you will be surprised when you read the extent of it. Just for fun, I am taking out the name of the state that crafted, this fascistic, police state engendering, xenophobic law (this is snark for those who may not know I can be a little sarcastic sometimes). I'll have the link and answer at the bottom. All sections in Bold are my doing.

Okay, here goes:
Section 834b. (a) Every law enforcement agency in_________ 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 __________ 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.

"Demanding Documentation"?? What? How dare they demand substantiating documentation of someone's legal status. That's an outrage! Ahem.

You may be thinking this MUST be Arizona with this strong language regarding questioning suspected illegal immigrants given the levels of protest. I mean, yikes, that's some pretty strong language there in that entire section. They ain't messing around, that's for sure.

But what really struck me was the threat in #3-C regarding the prohibition against limiting or not cooperating with this law. Why? Because that would include the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, to name just two, which have voted to boycott Arizona over their very similar law. This is California's law on Illegal Immigrants.

Yep. So, when Obama, the President, dismisses out of hand a law that is extremely close to California's own law, that says something. Perhaps Obama can't be expected to know about California's law. But the freaking governor of the state should know about it, especially being a LEGAL immigrant himself. That makes Schwarzenegger's comment regarding Arizona even more surprising:
"I was also to go and give a commencement speech in Arizona, but with my accent I was worried they were going to deport me back to Austria," said Schwarzenegger.

The governor has said he's strongly opposed to the Arizona law. He says the attempt to control illegal immigration will create a "mess.

So, is he admitting that he is failing to follow the laws of his own state, and the Federal Government? Kinda seems that way to me.

Perhaps, instead of Obama criticizing Arizona, he should take a look at why the current federal law is not being upheld. Maybe he could ask if these cities and states who refuse to uphold this law are willing to forgive and all federal tax dollars - OUR dollars - because they are in violation of federal law. Yeah, right. I know, that will happen about the same time our unicorns and Obama cash show up, as my buddy, SFIndie, is wont to say.

I could be wrong, but I was pretty sure that all of these elected officials were required to take oaths of office pledging to uphold the laws and Constitution. Did some of these laws become optional at some point? Sure seems that way since entire cities are willing to take stands saying they REFUSE to uphold laws on the books in their own state. And if they refuse to follow federal and state laws, why should anyone follow what THEY say?

In the meantime, maybe these folks in CA can get off their high horses about Arizona, and maybe take a little look see at their own laws. Just a suggestion. Especially since Arizona is NOT going to take this lying down:

Moreover, this travel thing goes both ways, too. Oh, yes. Arizona residents are basically saying, "You can bite us" to San Diego:
Would-be tourists have notified the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau and some hotels that they are canceling their scheduled travel to the coastal vacation destination, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

I believe this is known as, "Screw me? Screw YOU screw me!" And don't think this isn't affecting San Diego:
That has tourism officials urging Arizonans to consider the resolutions as merely symbolic and local politics at work.

"We're in a very tough environment already because of everything else going on, and we don't need another negative impact to our industry," ConVis President Joe Terzi told the Union-Tribune. "This affects all the hardworking men and women who count on tourism for their livelihoods, so we’re saying, don't do something that hurts their livelihoods."

"I've been approached by a number of hotels who are very concerned because they’ve received cancelations from Arizona guests," Namara Mercer, executive director of the county Hotel-Motel Association, told the newspaper.

Roughly 2 million Arizonans visit San Diego each year but the recession has taken a toll on the hotel industry that was hoping for a comeback this year. Hotels are offering deep discounts to fill up their undersold rooms while the tourism board spends $7 million this spring and summer season to promote travel to the area.

Imagine that. There are actually consequences to the actions taken by these city councils, and Arizonans have no reason to see them as "symbolic."

Add these kneejerk, politically motivated decisions to our elected officials deciding they do not have to follow state or federal laws they decide they don't like. Can you imagine what would happen if we decide there are laws we just areen't going to bother following, and take a step further, demand others not follow, too? Oh, I know - whaddya say we try doing that with our taxes and see how far we get? Yeah, I know - not very far.

Maybe the Governor of Arizona needs to put her law down side by side California's law, and have a little chat with her fellow governor. Let him know this thing goes both ways, and she is not going to sit back while California threatens Arizona simply for enforcing federal law.

And if California refuses to enforce federal laws, I say take their damn funding away. They cannot have it both ways, right? Let's hear it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Tale Of Resurrection

In the midst of so much political wrangling right now, the tremendous devastation in Tennessee and the far reaching effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (thank heavens they have finally found something that is working), something seems to happens to remind us of the magic, the beauty, the strength, and sheer mystery of life.

And that is what the following video depicts. I was just stunned listening to Captain Mantz talk about what happened to him in Iraq, and marveled that he was event here to tell his story. I will leave it to him to explain:

Isn't that just amazing? It is incredible that Captain Mantz is alive, much less that he completed his tour, is still serving his country, is such an amazing spokesperson for the Army, and helps ease the sorrows of others. What an outstanding individual. What a truly astonishing story of dedication, determination, and sheer awe at the mystery of life.

In honor of Captain Mantz, and for all those who have put on the uniform, I leave you with this:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

One Immigrant's Story

In light of recent events in Arizona to strengthen Federal law regarding illegal immigration and the subsequent brouhaha over that law, I asked a friend about her own immigration story. She immigrated from the Pacific Islands some years ago. I wondered what the process was like when she became a citizen, and what her take is on those who come here illegally. She has graciously allowed me to reprint in full her response to my questions. Out of respect for her privacy, her name shall remain anonymous. And now, her response to my many questions.

Just to set the scenario, she came to the country initially to attend her sister's wedding on the West Coast, and to see the country.

So here is my story:

At my sister's wedding, I met her employer, who offered me my sister's job at his company. Not wanting to violate the terms of my visitor's visa, I filed all the necessary documents for a conversion of my visa from tourist to a 3rd preference status with existing employment, before I began working. Four years later, I received a notice from the immigration office that my petition had been denied and I had 15 days to leave the country voluntarily or face deportation proceedings.

I talked to an Indonesian co-worker how he went about his visa application; apprised him of my situation and he gave me the name of his immigration lawyer. The lawyer filed a petition for reconsideration immediately. After about two months, we received a notice that the petition for reconsideration was again denied. A second motion for reconsideration got the same response plus a date to appear in immigration court. I asked the lawyer my recourse in case I lose again in immigration court and he assured me we could go all the way to the Supreme court. Which at that time, I was determined to do. He suggested that perhaps it would be easier for me to just get married (several of my men friends did offer) but somehow, it just did not sit well with me to do that. By the way, the reason they gave me for denying my petition was that I "entered obtained the visa fraudulently; that I had intended to stay all along, etc, etc.

I went to immigration court with my lawyer. I could see from the back of the room my attorney talking to the immigration lawyers and then my lawyer walked over to me and said: "They say that if you were to plead guilty to the charge that you are here illegally, they will give you a green card." I was of course surprised but skeptical. So I asked my lawyer: "How do I know that they are really going to do that; that I am not going to be cuffed right after I plead?" My lawyer assured me that it was an honest-to-goodness offer and he would make sure of it. Imagine my surprise when after I faced the judge; the charge read to me and I was asked, "how do you plead?" The immigration lawyers rattled some legalese and thirty minutes later I was handed my green card!

You can just imagine the emotional distress I had to go through. from the time I filed my first application in 1968 to the time I got my green card in 1977, nine years had elapsed. In 1976, a brother whom I loved dearly died and I couldn't even go home for his funeral. It turns out, according to my lawyer, he convinced them that I was prepared to file a suit in civil court. They knew they would lose because there is no way you could prove intent on my part and that would have set a precedent. The immigration service is usually able to scare people into leaving with the notice: "you have 15 days to leave voluntarily or face deportation proceedings." My lawyer informed me that due process required them to file a suit in immigration court.

So, today, with all the debate about immigration, you can guess how I feel about people who refuse to get in line and go through the process. I learned a lot about due process and working within the system and the many ways the system can be circumvented, in talking to others who had the same problems. For the most part, the American process is based on the honor system. So people who do not subscribe to any personal honor code can circumvent, not only the immigration process but the entitlement programs. I chose to be an American and I resent the idea of the country's finances being drained by illegals.

She's not the only one by a long shot. The Pew Research Center has found a broad support for the Arizona law:
Fully 73% say they approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status if police ask for them. Two-thirds (67%) approve of allowing police to detain anyone who cannot verify their legal status, while 62% approve of allowing police to question people they think may be in the country illegally.

After being asked about the law’s provisions, 59% say that, considering everything, they approve of Arizona’s new illegal immigration law while 32% disapprove.

While young people are generally split on the law, most approve of showing documentation:
[snip] However, even most young people approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status; 61% approve of this element of the law while 35% disapprove. Larger percentages of older age groups support this provision.

In the "More Bad News For Obama" Department, there is this:
As has been the case since last fall, the public is highly critical of Barack Obama’s handling of immigration policy. Just 25% approve of the way Obama is handling the issue, while more than twice as many (54%) disapprove. That is little changed from last month (29% approve) and down slightly from last November (31%).

In the current survey, 76% of Republicans disapprove of Obama’s handling of immigration policy, while just 8% approve. Independents disapprove of Obama’s job on the issue by more than two-to-one (57% to 25%). Even among Democrats, as many disapprove (38%) as approve (37%) of the way he is handling the issue, while a quarter (25%) offer no opinion.

Great thanks to my friend for allowing me to tell her story. It is most relevant to the current climate around Illegal Immigration, and Immigration in general. As more states look to add this type of legislation, as cities and even schools* enact boycotts of Arizona, in essence thumbing their noses at Federal Law, this issue is far from resolved.

Kinda makes you wonder what's going to happen in November, doesn't it?

*IMHO, it was reprehensible for the school superintendent to make this decision. It was purely political to keep a Chicago team from playing at a tournament in Arizona, one for which they had worked HARD, and had absolutely no input into this horrible decision. The claim that it might be threatening to members of the team is ridiculous - none of them are illegal aliens. They let their students go to China, but not Arizona?? For them to have this taken from them for pure politics is reprehensible.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why this is even a matter of debate. It is against the law to enter this country without documentation. What part of "illegal" do these people not understand? Sheesh.