Clarice's Pieces

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.

Traditionally, when a nation went to war, it had to invest its blood and treasure, but today's joystick-wielding drone pilots can launch a missile strike from here at home, then hop in the minivan to meet the wife and kids for dinner. War couldn't get any more impersonal.

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.

When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering," Bolden said in the interview.

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.

This is a new height in fatuousness[.] ... NASA was established to get America into space and to keep us there. This idea to feel good about their past and to make achievements is the worst combination of group therapy, psychobabble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy.

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:

  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program in the New York Times: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program in the Washington Post: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on NBC Nightly News: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on ABC World News: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on CBS Evening News: 0.

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:

There's an allegation being made that there is a group in the southwestern US which is indifferent if not actively hostile to our nation's values, and if they are not checked they will overwhelm the system with demands for government services. This allegation is being made by the federal government, against Arizona's law enforcement community. Arizona for its part says it is merely doing a job the United States of America won't do, namely enforcing federal law in a nondiscriminatory manner.

It's hard not to sympathize with the feds' budgetary concerns. Between translating voter registration forms into Spanish, translating ballots into Spanish, and providing small arms training to Democratic poll watchers, money is tight, not to mention the expense of reconfiguring the shuttle's last mission to skywrite the lyrics to Bette Midler's "You are the Wind Beneath Our Wings" in Arabic from orbit (temporarily delayed until we can bum some solid rocket fuel from the Chinese, the Thiokol Corporation in Brigham City Utah having been placed under quarantine as an understandable safety precaution in the wake of the Gulf oil spill). It's also true that federal attorneys are so busy many of them don't have time to respond to subpoenas. Or permission, for that matter.

At the same time, if anybody should be sympathetic to Arizona's claim that they wouldn't have to do anything at all if not for the failures of the executive branch over the past decade, it's Barack Obama, who has said exactly that every fifteen minutes for the past eighteen months.

To use a sentence nobody's written with a straight face since the eighties, the solution comes from California. Several municipalities have announced boycotts of Arizona over their mean-spirited support of federal law, but as far as I can tell Palm Springs is not among them. It is imperative for Arizona to get Palm Springs to boycott. Once the state has repositioned itself from "outpost of white reactionaries fighting against Change" to "plucky desert dwellers suffering under Jewish embargo", they'll be able to build a 20 foot wall along the border using nothing but federal and international aid checks.
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.

Traditionally, when a nation went to war, it had to invest its blood and treasure, but today's joystick-wielding drone pilots can launch a missile strike from here at home, then hop in the minivan to meet the wife and kids for dinner. War couldn't get any more impersonal.

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.

When I became the NASA administrator -- or before I became the NASA administrator -- he charged me with three things. One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science ... and math and engineering," Bolden said in the interview.

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.

This is a new height in fatuousness[.] ... NASA was established to get America into space and to keep us there. This idea to feel good about their past and to make achievements is the worst combination of group therapy, psychobabble, imperial condescension and adolescent diplomacy.

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:

  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program in the New York Times: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program in the Washington Post: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on NBC Nightly News: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on ABC World News: 0.
  • Total words about the NASA Muslim outreach program on CBS Evening News: 0.

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:

There's an allegation being made that there is a group in the southwestern US which is indifferent if not actively hostile to our nation's values, and if they are not checked they will overwhelm the system with demands for government services. This allegation is being made by the federal government, against Arizona's law enforcement community. Arizona for its part says it is merely doing a job the United States of America won't do, namely enforcing federal law in a nondiscriminatory manner.

It's hard not to sympathize with the feds' budgetary concerns. Between translating voter registration forms into Spanish, translating ballots into Spanish, and providing small arms training to Democratic poll watchers, money is tight, not to mention the expense of reconfiguring the shuttle's last mission to skywrite the lyrics to Bette Midler's "You are the Wind Beneath Our Wings" in Arabic from orbit (temporarily delayed until we can bum some solid rocket fuel from the Chinese, the Thiokol Corporation in Brigham City Utah having been placed under quarantine as an understandable safety precaution in the wake of the Gulf oil spill). It's also true that federal attorneys are so busy many of them don't have time to respond to subpoenas. Or permission, for that matter.

At the same time, if anybody should be sympathetic to Arizona's claim that they wouldn't have to do anything at all if not for the failures of the executive branch over the past decade, it's Barack Obama, who has said exactly that every fifteen minutes for the past eighteen months.

To use a sentence nobody's written with a straight face since the eighties, the solution comes from California. Several municipalities have announced boycotts of Arizona over their mean-spirited support of federal law, but as far as I can tell Palm Springs is not among them. It is imperative for Arizona to get Palm Springs to boycott. Once the state has repositioned itself from "outpost of white reactionaries fighting against Change" to "plucky desert dwellers suffering under Jewish embargo", they'll be able to build a 20 foot wall along the border using nothing but federal and international aid checks.

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