Monthly Archives: July 2010

Issue #84

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Stephen Combs in Orlando, Florida

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton’s order of preliminary injunction was just as clear in what it did not say as in what it said: Arizona does not have the right to defend itself, even if stranded alone on the desert with no help from the mother ship. It’s too early to tell, but the effect could be almost immediate if the voluntary repatriation of illegal aliens suddenly stops. Voluntary exodus had been increasing steadily in the weeks approaching the intended start date of Arizona’s now castrated immigration law.
            There is nothing like a dose of resolve to get criminals – and that’s every person who entered this country illegally – to do something the government could not make them do: Go home. Now these lawbreakers who have no respect for our sovereignty are pretty much free to roam the countryside with impunity. And even though federal immigration law requires aliens to carry their credentials – green card or visa – police are not even allowed to ask for identification. Try refusing to produce your driver’s license and vehicle registration the next time you’re pulled over, and let me know how it turned out. How was the food? Did you have visitors? Was your cellmate an engaging person with interesting observations of world affairs?
                As expected, White House-friendly media gave the story a pro-government spin, albeit subtly. Writing in The Los Angeles Times, reporters Nicholas Riccardi and Anna Gorman said that Bolton “forbade Arizona from making it a state crime to not carry immigration documents, and struck down two other provisions as an unconstitutional attempt by Arizona to undermine the federal government’s efforts to enforce immigration policy.” They failed to mention that the federal government is not enforcing immigration policy or law on our southern border. Judge Bolton’s apparent reasoning is that if the federal government cannot or will not enforce a valid law, then neither may a state.
            The judge, a Clinton appointee, did not explain how states may not enforce immigration law but are expected to enforce federal laws against bank robbery or interstate flight to avoid prosecution. This is the great contradiction of her decision. Why? The answer is, there is no answer.

Ultimately, the case will be decided in the Supreme Court, unless the leftist 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (what Michael Savage calls “the 9th Jerkit Court of Schlemiels”) denies certiorari.1  In the meantime, Arizona must endure the destruction caused by Judge Bolton’s decision. Look, too, for an increase in Democrat voters in Arizona. These “undocumented Democrats” may not be challenged when they register to vote. I can think of no quicker way to destroy our civilization.
             It gets worse, if you can imagine that. As Investor’s Business Daily noted Thursday, under Bolton’s ruling the state trooper who stopped Timothy McVeigh for speeding in 1995 could not have questioned him about the Oklahoma City bombing or arrested him for it. McVeigh would have paid a small fine and then walked. 
            Here’s what else IBD had to say Wednesday night on the ruling: “One could almost hear the cheers from the badlands of Durango and Sonora, home of the biggest Mexican drug and people-smuggling cartels, to read District Court Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling effectively striking down Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070. . . . So now a van driver arrested by a state trooper for driving 120 miles per hour with 30 people stuffed under his floorboards will still get a speeding ticket, but the officer can’t ask about his immigration status. Nothing to see here; move along.”

Still, it’s early in the play with many acts to follow, “a bump in the road,” Gov. Jan Brewer calls it. In Road Dog, my book about serial killer Glen Rogers, my co-author John Eckberg quotes from a piece called “Living on Death Row” by Michael Hunter, who was awaiting execution in California. The appeal process, Hunter said,
            “has been much more like a lazy baseball season. Lots of games are played, many of them go into extra innings, and even if you lose a game, no one panics, no one dies. You move on and play another game in a new park before new umpires/judges and the season loafs on and on and on.”
            Barack Obama and the Left are counting on this. Slow the process, jam the gears of justice, delay relief and continue to force its will on the people. This is the stuff of tyranny. We must never get used to it, never accept it. States need to show the federal government a dose of their own resolve by continuing to produce tough immigration laws like Arizona’s, defying Obama and the Left to take on the entire country.

NOTES:
1. Schlemiel is a Yiddish term for unlucky. Dr. Savage uses the term to refer to the most overturned of the circuit appeals courts.

There you go again, you accident of nature

A sourpuss from Utah who apparently hasn’t had any luck picking up women in Minnesota is behind a ruling in that Socialist state that prohibits taverns from offering free or cheap drinks to women on ladies’ nights. The lawyer who represents the plaintiff in a lawsuit is Roy Dean Hollander. Mr. Hollander apparently attended one of our New Age law schools where constitutional law is seen as a bother and is not part of the curriculum. Here’s what he had to say about the government’s right to keep private businesses from promoting their – hold on, now – businesses.
            “Ladies night is violating a fundamental right because it’s charging guys more money either to enter a club or to pay for a drink based upon an accident of nature.” Could you imagine trying to explain this cockamamie nonsense to Thomas Jefferson?
            An accident of nature? This guy was an accident, for certain. Watch out, Granny. We’re coming after you next. Be careful the next time you go barging into Denny’s waving your AARP card and demanding your codger discount.

#100730 Issue No. 84
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Issue No. 83

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 Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Matthew Falconer for Orange County Mayor (Fla.)

Negative campaigns and the role of Dr. No

Stephen Combs in Atlanta

“No” is a complete sentence if you imply the subject and verb, but will it be enough of a campaign strategy to dislodge Nancy Pelosi from the Speaker’s chair? This is the big question swirling in GOP war rooms these days. Republicans need to consider the question carefully and not be lured into their usual position where they find themselves cornered and on defense, a no-win situation about which they seem to learn little, election after election.
            The Left says Republicans have no agenda but rely solely on just saying no to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid program. They’ve had some success selling this claim with the strong support of major news media. 
            Democrats have good reason to fear a GOP Just Say No campaign. It works.
            “It’s easier to give voters a negative impression of your opponent than it is to improve their image of you,” says a prominent political consultant in a study of negative advertising. “The best way to win is by bringing the other guy down, not by bringing yourself up.”1
            Campaign consultant William S. Bike identifies several conditions for going negative, including “when there is irrefutable information that the opponent has done something wrong.”2  Think of the damage Barack Obama and his team have caused this country in just 18 months. They have seized control of what once were great auto manufacturing companies by confiscating the assets of private investors and giving them to the labor unions. They have taken over banking, student loans and health care. They are creating a new institution of food police to tell us what we can eat. They are pitting state against state, brother against brother, a tragedy not seen since the Civil War. They are making peace with violent savages whose only mission is to kill us. And they are ripping apart two generations of progress in racial harmony. If these are examples of wrong, then Democrats have reason to fear the negative campaign.
            Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, the Republican whip, says “no” is a good place to start. But will it be enough?

Negative attack ads have certainly worked for the Left, especially when the advertising is scurrilous and the claim is false. Democrats, in a desperate stand to keep their empire from unraveling, are now using racial discord as their tactic of choice. It’s not only setting back race relations that their heroes worked so hard to establish, it’s a tactic that will likely backfire. They still don’t comprehend how furious ordinary Americans are about the direction this country is taking, and about these collective attacks on the national character.
            “A racist,” commentator Dick Morris quotes from an unnamed source, “is someone who’s winning an argument with a liberal.” When the argument is slipping away, call your opponent a racist.
            “Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness,” says Mary Frances Berry, a Carter and Clinton appointee who was chairman of the U.S. Commission Civil Rights. Her extended comments appear below.
            In the “Journolist” flap that surfaced this week about the co-ordinated effort of leftist journalists to elect Obama, Tucker Carlson of The Daily Caller uncovered this revealing quote from Spencer Ackerman, who writes for the Washington Independent:
            “If the Right forces us all to either defend (Obama friend Jeremiah) Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put up on us. Instead, take one of them – Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares – and call them racists.” Journolist was a Listserve™ mailing list whose contributors were reporters from such media as Time, the Baltimore Sun, Politico and the Huffington Post.         

And so, it is understandable that Democrats would accuse Republicans of having only one arrow in their quiver, the negative attack ad. Their aim is to scare Republicans away from using this effective campaign strategy because they know it works. They’ve been successful in spooking Republicans in the past. They hope to draw their best chance this election year from the same well.
            The GOP will keep it up because it, too, knows that negative ads work. At the same time, Republicans need to explain with unequivocal clarity their platform of low taxes, limited government, individual responsibility and freedom, a healthy business environment for the creation of jobs, protection of our borders and a strong national defense.
            How to explain to an unemployed person why limitless extension of jobless payments is bad for the economy is not an easy task. Neither is explaining why high taxes on the wealthy only discourage economic activity and job creation. But economists like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams know how to explain this and other concepts in plain English. We should be turning to them for help, for the need is urgent. 

Notes:
      1. Quoted by Lau, Richard R. et al, “The Effects of Negative Political Advertisements: A Meta-Analysis Assessment.” American Political Science Review. 93 (4), December 1999, p. 851.
      2. Bike, William S. “Negative Campaigning.” Completecampaigns.com. ¶ 3.

 Extended remarks of Mary Frances Berry

             “Tainting the Tea Party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There’s no evidence that the Tea Party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one’s opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness.”

Issue #82

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The life of a one-armed juggler

Stephen Combs in Orlando, Florida

With the Dog Days soon upon us, we seem to be suffering from Obama Fatigue, and my guess is that our adolescent President couldn’t be happier. Barack Obama keeps firing round after round onto the national beachhead with the numbing ferocity of the U.S.S. Wisconsin’s 16-inch guns. How much more can we take?
            As we have noted before on these pages, Obama attacks this country on so many fronts simultaneously that repelling all of them at once is impossible. We have no more chance of deflecting this legislative and regulatory blitz than a goaltender trying to fend off pucks from all six opponents shooting at the same time.
            Keeping us Americans sidetracked is easy enough, given our attention deficit disorder. While the gulf oil disaster, soon to begin its second quarter, reminds us of the stark contrast in leadership ability between Obama and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the situation does give Mr. Obama some cover. First (in his twisted way of thinking), he has the perfect excuse to shut down offshore drilling, drive away the rigs (one has already departed) and destroy the economy of the backward Cajuns and the hated British Petroleum Ltd. The perfect storm.
            Second, and just as important, the oil mess diverts our attention from other events swirling around Mr. Obama as reminders of his failed but very dangerous presidency. Without a reliable data base, we can’t even name them all, but here’s a short list: 

            Confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Did you even hear that Senator Sessions is considering a filibuster?

            State-sponsored discrimination through new regulation of financial institutions to include more power for unions, minorities and Democrat-aligned special-interest pressure groups. The law will create 20 “offices of minority and women inclusion” at Treasury, the Federal Reserve and other federal agencies.

            Cap and trade legislation, waiting in the wings until after the mid-term election. The law would raise taxes on every American, including the poorest of the poor.

            Approval to begin federally-funded abortions under the new government health care law.

            Un-indicted conspiracy by the American Civil Liberties Union, now an organized crime affiliate of the White House, to reveal the names of CIA agents. Does anybody remember Valerie Plame (who was not a covert agent) and the false accusations against Vice President Cheney?

            The success of Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder in making the Black Panther voter intimidation story go away. In this endeavor they are aided by their state-friendly news media affiliates.

            The government’s war on Arizona. If your news comes from NBC or the New York Times, you might be unaware that nine states are supporting Arizona with friend-of-the-court briefs.

            Confusion on the part of Attorney General Eric Holder, who can’t seem to understand the hypocrisy of challenging Arizona’s Constitutionally solid law but not those of so-named “sanctuary cities” that interfere with legitimate law enforcement. Try preventing a cop from arresting your buddy for DUI, and when you get out, let us know how it turned out. 

            Mortgage lenders are on target to repossess more than 1 million homes this year. Reuters reports they took back 269,962 in the second quarter, up 5% from the first quarter and 38% more than a year ago.

            Directive to the NASA administrator to thank Osama Bin Laden’s ancestors for inventing the number zero a few hundred years ago. Or something like that. 

            Also not getting much air time at the dinosaur networks is the appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to head Medicare and Medicaid Services. His will be in charge of rationing medical services under government health care. (See his comments on the In their own words page at our website, http://fridayletter.com.

            Appointment of Susan Crawford as Internet Czar. She is affiliated with a Marxist think tank, Free Press, that advocates government control of the Internet.

            The escalating war on McDonald’s and other purveyors of salt and fat-loaded stuff that tastes good.

            We have no more chance of success in keeping up with this guy than a one-armed juggler. Sorry to be such a broken record, but the best we can do is cool him off while we wait for the November election. There is no better place to start than a filibuster of Elena Kagan’s confirmation process.

We have passed the point where shock has much value. Just this morning Al Sharpton appeared on Fox and Friends to claim (yawn) that tea party rallies are full of “racism.” (Al could start by looking up the definition of racism in an unabridged dictionary. He might be surprised.) Despite his or anyone else’s inability to produce any evidence, Sharpton is making a desperate attempt to be relevant. He is many things: race pimp, bigot, fear-monger among them. But relevant he is not. Does Fox News Channel give this pathetic hater a platform to be seen as fair and balanced? Al Sharpton on TV is as meaningful as a re-run of Car 54, Where Are You? Fox News should stick with principled black liberals like Juan Williams and Mark Lamont Hill, and let the race agitators wallow in the sewer where they belong.

We have argued on these pages that Senator Scott Brown, Republican of Massachusetts, should get a pass for not having a strong conservative voting record. He represents a very liberal state, and although there are limits (we keep pointing them out), we have to be reasonable in understanding that Senator Brown just might want to get re-elected. That said, his vote on the financial services bill is inexcusable. Democrats suckered him into this vote with a promise to use TARP money to “reduce the deficit.” What Harry Reid was saying was, “We will fill the shallow end of the pool by taking water from the deep end.” Get on board, Scott, or you won’t make any difference.

California Republicans should forget about electing Meg Whitman governor. She opposes meaningful immigration control and opposed Proposition 187, which voters passed in 1994 to deny benefits to illegal immigrants. Californians might as well elect Gov. Moonbeam and let him take responsibility for the state’s unstoppable collapse. She has no chance – none – as a vice presidential prospect in 2012.

Quote of the week

            “The financial reform bill expected to clear Congress this week is chock-full of provisions that have little to do with the financial crisis but cater to the long-standing agendas of labor unions and other Democratic interest groups.
            “Principal among them is a measure to make it easier for unions, environmental groups and other activist organizations that hold shares to put their representatives on the boards of directors of every corporation in the United States.” – Patrice Hill in the Washington Times.

Overheard at the White House

            Now that the YMCA has changed its name to just “The Y,” President Obama is considering an order to his new Internet czar, Susan Crawford, to strike the famous Village People song lyrics from cyberspace. First, the lyrics are now irrelevant. Second, they are sexist:

            Young man, there’s no need to feel down.
            I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
            I said, young man, ’cause you’re in a new town
            There’s no need to be un-hap-py.

            It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.
            It’s fun to stay at the y-m-c-a.

            One question, though. Now that they have shortened their name, will the Y folks also shorten their rich-only membership dues? Just asking.

#100716 Issue No. 82
Please send subscription information (Name, town and email address) and letters intended for publication  to subscribe@clf.rr.com. Please send letters intended for publication to combs@fridayletter.com. Letters must include name and town and may be edited for brevity. Subscriptions are free, and we do not share subscriber information.  

Please forward this letter to your email contacts and invite them to subscribe to The Friday Letter. We do not send this unsolicited. Readers may quote from it, with proper attribution.

Confidence Can’t Be Proclaimed, It Must Be Earned

On the financial reform bill

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“This legislation includes provisions totally unrelated to the financial crisis which may disrupt America’s fragile economic recovery.”  — John J. Castellani, president of the Business Roundtable. July 14, 2010, Washington Times.

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