Tarheeltalker

Roiling On

And on it goes, rolling, rolling, rolling to borrow from the Rawhide theme song of years gone by. What is it ? For our purposes, it is the continuing controversy or fight or debate ( although there seems to be precious little  in the way of real debate)  or any such word of your choosing about immigration of the illegal variety and the state of Arizona.

There have been untold thousands of words written and opinions expressed. There have been boycotts , threatened boycotts, angry demonstrations, considerable name calling and now federal intervention in the form of  a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department. And now we have a ruling by federal judge  Susan Bolton halting the implementation of significant parts of the law. A big deal, yep! A  comment by Yale immigration law  professor Peter Schuck  to the  New York Times  called her decision  a ” rush to judgment. ” Wonder why? Without knowing  any better I would have guessed that perhaps there was some pressure exerted from somewhere to get  a quick stay from what was perceived as  a favorable source. But I doubt I would have thought that was  the case since federal judges should be somewhat immune to such pressures, right?  Judge Bolton, nominated by Bill Clinton, but recommended by Senator Jon Kyl. has served on the  U S District Court for the District of Arizona since 2000. Bet she never expected to be smack dab in the middle of such controversy. Sorry for the digression. One more statement from Professor Shuck. His opinion is that her quick decision reflects  pressure from the feds ( Justice Department or higher?)  to get this done quickly.

So, where do we stand now and what happens next? Governor Brewer is condidering an appeal and pondering some revisions to the law. Whether the boycotts continue or not or how successful they have been I don’t know. I don’t have the answer to this but I wonder if an individual state has been boycotted before? Thankfully, Commissioner Bud Selig  has had the good sense not to move the 2011 All-Star game.

But  my real question is what are people protesting against or boycotting? Do they know or have many/most just been  agitated or encouraged to yell and scream angry things in front of cameras and photographers without a clear of understanding of what or why? And not for one minute do I buy the opinion that Arizona’s actions go against the truths expressed so eloquently  on the Statue Of  Liberty or violate the great American tradition of immigration.

I have two acquaintances, one whose father immigrated from Italy, legally, making him 1st generation American and another who immigrated from Mexico legally and  earned citizenship. I applaud them and many like them. Those who are illegally and remain here illegally, with no thought towards becoming citizens are not  the historical norm of immigration.

One closing thought which may be a repeat from another post. Find out how the country of Mexico deals with illegal immigrants. ( This is not an issue that will go away nor is it one easily solved. I fervently hope that ther can be a solution, not only for Arizona but for the country as well.)

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August 1, 2010 Posted by | Culture, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is there any truth in there anywhere?

Jon Kyl is the junior Senator from the state of Arizona and is now serving his third term. Recently he and President Obama had an Oval Office meeting  on immigration, legal and otherwise. It appears that there are different perspectives on the substance of that  sit down.

Senator Kyl  was asked an immigration related question at an event last Friday in Tempe. The question basically asked if Obama was in fact going to challenge the controversial Arizona law. Senator Kyl said this:

                           “…… the problem is, he said ( he being the President) if we secure the border, then you all won’t  have any reason to support  comprehensive immigration reform. In other words, they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to  secure the border unless and until  it combined with  comprehensive immigration reform.”

That was Sen Kyl’s statement. The White House wasted little time in responding.  Deputy White House Press Secretary Bill Burton plainly said that Kyl lied about what was said at the meeting. Going  still further on Monday, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told ABC’S Jake Tapper that Obama  didn’t say that and Kyl knows it.

So, there you have it, two quite different points of view. The thing I find a bit interesting is that neither White House official actually stated what  Obama did say. They only said what he didn’t say. Confused yet, so am  I. Guess one  must speculate  on what was actually said, huh? Perhaps this tidbit can be  a  guide. Yesterday, I posted about Secretary Clinton’s assertion that a lawsuit was definitely going to be filed against the Arizona law. She said that and then was backed  in what she said. Today we learn from Justice that no decision has been made. To paraphrase Casey Stengel from his time managing the woeful Mets teams  of the early 1960’s, can’t anybody here play this game?

June 21, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Here Comes the Suit

The lawsuit that is. And word of it comes from a somewhat unlikely source. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said  just over a  week ago  that the Administration would be suing  the state of Arizona. Her phrase was that the  Justice Department “will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”

Her comment  has finally been confirmed by an unnamed U. S. official speaking on condition of anonymity. An Administration official commenting on the evil Arizona law does not want his/her name used. You would think it would be an honor to be against this travesty of a law. I’m surprised that Obama spokespersons were not standing in line to confirm this announcement.

It is amusing to me that word first came from someone other than Attorney General Eric Holder or even Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, the previous governor of Arizona. But especially puzzling that Holder was not involved since he is over the Justice Department. Perhaps he is finally getting around to reading the law.

Got a feeling that Governor Brewer is not all that upset with the announcement of a forthcoming lawsuit. The suit would perhaps be the opportunity for a long needed discussion on immigration reform which is after all under the purview of the federal government. But since this  administration has failed to act on said issue as did the Bush administration, Arizona has made the issue  a priority. Obama  had made such reform a major campaign promise which has obviously not been the case until now.

An article that I read just yesterday made that very claim, using the phrase “highest prioities” when referring to the  overhauling  of  immigration law. Yeah, right.

Oh, one last tidbit. Governor Brewer has met with the President just  about 2 weeks ago, in a session labeled as cordial. Wonder what that means in Washington words. There  was no yelling and screaming and the meeting closed with a don’t call us, we’ll call you?  Brewer actually did invite the President to come to Arizona and see what the situation is like on the front lines of immigration reform. Answer, no commitment for a visit at this time.

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama and the BCS

Well, guess what the Obama Administration is up to now. Why, its college football. Specifically it is the Bowl Championship Series that is in place to decide a national champion. We need not be surprised since President-elect Obama made reference to this issue in 2008. The phrase was “throw my weight around a little bit.” Now, we have a letter from Utah senator Orrin Hatch and ominous sounding words from Assistant Attorney General  for the Office of Legislative Affairs, Ronald Weich.

Mr Weich is apparently considering  an investigation into the possible violation of antitrust laws by the BCS.Mnay fans and critics are unhappy with the system now in place, but Senator Hatch may be the most vocal and influential. His ire was raised when the University of Utah was denied a spot in the  championship game last year, after going undefeated. This year, two other teams, Boise State and TCU fell into the same group.

Yes, there is a lot of money involved in the  BCS, primarily from television. Perhaps, the system could use some tweaking to make it more fair. I have often wondered, even before there was  a BCS, why  a playoff was not in place. My alma mater  Appalachian State plays in the  what is now known as the Football Championship Subdivision for schools a bit less high-powered. This division has had a playoff system in place for some time. It would seem that the big boys could make use of a similar system, incorporating a number of the existing bowl games.

What I do not want to see is the feds once again jumping into the middle of an issue and completely mucking things up, no mater their intentions. Shame on you Senator Hatch, a Republican no less, providing the administration an opening, which they seem to relish.

Besides, I think that Eric Holder and the Justice Department have much bigger things on their plate. Maybe a terrorist trial and whether to have it in New York City,hmm?

Sports and politics- not  a good combination.

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will This Fix California?

The great state of California is in a mess. The state has no money to pay its employees and has even resorted to the use of IOU’S. Yes, this is a state, that if it were a country, would have one of the top 10 GNP’s in the world. After convoluted wrangling, they passed  a budget. Yet, a mere  10 weeks after its passage,the budget is in the red. What is  a governator to do? A spokesman for Arnold, H D Palmer, said there is concern, but whether short or long term, they do not know.

There has even been talk in recent weeks that California could become the first failed state. To add insult to injury, the state is losing population to the likes of Nevada and risks the loss of  a Congressional seat, which could be  a good thing.

There may be hope on the horizon to fix many of these ills or maybe just to help Californians deal better with their trial and tribulations. Marijuana advocates are working at getting enough signatures to place three pot legalizing measure on the ballot next year. And, we know how they loc=ve their ballot initiatives out on the left coast’

A law passed in 1996  allows people to smoke the happy weed for medicinal purposes, uh huh. Thus there is already a healthy marijuana industry in the state. But, one  teensy  pronblem exists. The feds are against legalization. Federal drug czar Greg Kerlikowske says that  legalization is not in either his or the president’s vocabulary.Curiously, the Supreme Court has ruled that the feds can crack down on those in California, both distributor and user, who comply with state law. Now that seems to be a conundrum.

But, if the state legalized the drug, no longer would there likely be  federal state co-operation in making drug busts. Since state officials usually take the lead, that would create issues. The most interesting scenario would be one that would allow local governments to make city by city decisions on legalization. Hello, San Francisco, Berkeley, etc, And if the measure or one of its counterparts becomes law, cities and perhaps the state could very well see a gold mine of new tax revenue.

I close with these interesting counterparts to the statement made earlier by Obama’s drug czar. Attorney  General Eric Holder has said that the Justice Department would defer to state law on  marijuana. And, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy,Doug Richardson, said the office is currently re-evaluating its policies on marijuana and other drugs.

Remember what Rush is wont to say on an issue, follow the money. If the state sees that the money gained would be worth its while, things out west could become interesting . the smog over Los Angeles could have an entire new component.

October 10, 2009 Posted by | Culture, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Think The T-Bird’S Been Taken Away

For you young whippersnappers, the reference is to a Beach Boys song from a lifetime ago entitled “Fun, Fun, Fun” and yes I still listen to it. Apparently, there are federal agencies and powerful  individuals who do not heed that song.

Just to name a couple, the Justice Department and Department of Agriculture are “encouraging”  their employees to hold meetings in tamer locations. The two cities that seem to be high on the avoid list are Las Vegas and Orlando. Las Vegas, NV of course, home  state of Harry Reid who is  up for re-election next year. We all know about Florida  and  its importance in presidential elections. Now, Senator Reid was disturbed enough to send a letter to the White House on June 26 requesting that the informal policy against federal meetings in Vegas be reversed. Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel replied on July 14  that he agreed that policy should not dictate location. All is well, right? Wrong!

In at least one federal agency, “robust justification”, whatever that is, must be provided to have approval for  a resort area meeting. It gets better. There is apparently a list of preferred destinations. Notice 2 in particular.

  • Chicago                                 Milwaukee
  • Denver                                   Phoenix
  • Portland, Or
  • St Louis
  • Washington, D C

Anything jump out , of course, Chicago. And you know, federal employees in Washington wold dearly love having their meetings there. Just gotta cross the street. Thought I would throw in some additional choices, just as a    public service. During the summer, meet in places like  Amarillo, Tx or Lincoln, Ne. In the winter,try Billings,Mo or  Boise, Id. No offense intended and I have never been to any of those cities. Give them a chance. Almost forgot, the Obamas love  Hawaii and Marthas Vineyard. Wonder if they are on another list? (Oh yeah, cant go anywhere in Texas, might run into someone there.)

A goverment blacklist that  includes  Mickey Mouse doesn’t seem to fit, does it?

July 22, 2009 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet Eric Holder

Our new Attorney General, Clintonista Eric Holder, has come out of the box on the attack.In a speech to employees of the Justice Department on Wednesday, he described the United States as “essentially a nation of cowards” on matters of race.He also said that we do not talk enough with each other about matters of race, that is, we as average Americans do not.He called for greater levels of comfort and tolerance in such conversations with each other. Justice Department employees were told they have a special responsibility to advance racial understanding. Well, that is quite  a sermon or whatever you might choose to call it. Assuming for the moment that he is somewhat accurate, try the following comment on for size.

Rep James Clyburn, Democrat, SC has said that opposition to the stimulus is an insult to him and a slap in the face of African-Americans. His spokesman, Hope Derrick, said he didn’t mean that those governors who had expressed opposition to the stimulus  were racially motivated. By the way, one of the guvs in question is Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, the son of Indian immigrants.

So, we can we say about all this. Is there racism in this country still, sure. Will it always exist, probably in some degree or another. Should we work at its elimination?  Certainly, we should. However,  I take some issue with some of what Mr Holder said. For example, average Americans probably doesn’t include Washington insiders, which, of course, he is. Calling people as a group, as an entire nation; basically, cowards, doesn’t seem to me to  be an approach designed to improve the climate of discussion.

Perhaps, the most telling thing he said  may have sounded the most innocuous. He, the country’s top law enforcement official tells  Justice employees they have a special responsibility in this area. Well, who are the employees of the Justice Department? Among groups that come to mind are the FBI, ATF, U S Marshals, U S Attorneys and so on. Folks, these people and others among enforce laws. Surely he doesn’t mean that the government would deign to involve itself even more in people’s lives and relationships? Guess we will have to wait and see.

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Culture, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment