July 11, 2010
Clarice's PiecesBy Clarice Feldman
Law Enforcement is the theme of this week's essay. I know that it's hard for non-lawyers to comprehend the nuanced and complicated issues which face the Attorney General and his aides, so I'm taking time this week to do just that.
Before I do so, however, there are two under-reported idiocies that bear special mention.
In the July-August edition of the Atlantic, which is still showcasing insanity per A. Sullivan, the magazine has a special "big ideas" section in which, as Kenneth Anderson explained on the Fourth of July, ABC's chief foreign affairs correspondent, Martha Raddatz, suggests that drone warfare is too impersonal, that our forces have a PlayStation mentality, and worse, that our troops aren't investing enough of their own blood.
Kenneth Anderson at Volokh Conspiracy says Raddatz is six months behind the rest of the "international advocacy" crowd, which has recognized how repulsive that argument is, and has backpedaled from it. He is grateful to her for showing us her unvarnished biases, though.
Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, uttered my second-favorite idiocy of the week. He claimed that his job as head of the space agency is to improve relations with the Muslim world.
I might suggest to Bolden and his boss that if you want to inspire children to get into science and math, get us back into space. If you want to expand our international relationships, do what NASA once did -- be a shining example of American creativity and ingenuity. If you want to make the Muslim nations feel good, find another job, because it is preposterous to link it to yours.
Charles Krauthammer didn't think much of Bolden's remarks, either.
In any event, it's clear that the major media considered this blather something that would not help Bolden or Obama and refused to report it. In other words, if NASA falls from space into a Muslim feel-good program and the voters don't know that, did that really happen?
At the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog (HT Instapundit), Byron York documents the results of some Lexis Nexis searching:
The media was busy shielding us from other stuff this week -- in particular, the news that J. Christian Adams testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission about the dropping of a voter intimidation suit it had already won against the thuggish New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia. Nor did they report his testimony that the NAACP and others pushed the Department to do that and that Obama appointees made clear in this and other cases that they would not prosecute voting rights violations by blacks against whites, nor would they enforce the Motor Voter provisions requiring states to purge from voting rolls the dead and otherwise ineligible voters -- you know, the kind who show up in St. Louis to vote for the Carnahans.
In the case of the Washington Post, this failure was particularly noteworthy because during the Bush administration, any change, no matter how minor, in policies and priorities in the Civil Rights Division made it to the front page with hints that a return to slavery was just around the corner.
It wasn't a good week for the administration in the courts. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected its appeal of Judge Feldman's decision lifting the moratorium on deep-sea drilling, which Interior Secretary Salazar had justified by lying about the record.
But nothing stands in their way. As the decision -- which came down a short ninety minutes after the oral argument (a sign of how weak the case was) -- was pending, the press was reporting that Salazar was just going to issue a new order based, one supposes, on different made-up facts. If NASA lacks the creative, can-do spirit, Salazar apparently doesn't.
So, to recap, the administration is not into enforcing laws that protect all Americans from voting fraud and intimidation and is not above lying to shut down the deep-sea oil drilling industry and will keep trying to do this -- no matter that the "facts" on which this precipitous, economically disastrous move was made were conjured up by Salazar out of thin air.
The Administration is clearly not enforcing our immigration laws. A number of cities and states have declared themselves "sanctuaries" which will not enforce our immigration laws by helping the federal government locate, track, and deport illegal aliens residing there. But the administration is not going to improve its record in order to help the beleaguered border states. It is not going to argue that the sanctuaries violate federal law, which contemplates local law enforcement assistance. Instead, it has decided to sue Arizona, a state that is trying to enforce the immigration laws by enacting a law virtually identical to one passed but not enforced in California, and in place and working with federal assistance in Rhode Island.
In support of this genius move, the government suggests that Mexican President Calderón is unhappy with the law, that it couldn't perform all the extra work Arizona's law would generate for it, and that preemption and supremacy concepts require that the law be enforced uniformly, and not in a patchwork fashion.
As to the last, one might wonder why the non-complying sanctuaries weren't sued instead, or why the federal government didn't just extend to Arizona the cooperation it offers Rhode Island. Maybe Calderón picked Arizona for them. In any event, if you try to enforce the immigration law in a state where it really is a problem, Holder will step in to stop you. If you're in Rhode Island, you'll get a hand. And if you refuse absolutely to follow the federal scheme and help the feds enforce immigration laws, you're home free.
In case this is all too technical for you, my friend bgates has once again explained this clearly: