“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Amazing Eric Holder

Eric Holder is one amazing guy, isn't he?

After all, how many other AG's could so savage Arizona's recent law regarding illegal aliens without having actually read the law?

Holder has been captured on video commenting in a faux-pompous, knowing manner, despite admitting, later, that he hasn't even read Arizona's new law.

It's not hard to find the actual text of the Arizona law online. And the text clearly indicates that the law may only be applied in the context of an otherwise-normal stop by a law enforcement officer,

"B. For any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of this state or a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency of a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state in the enforcement of any other law or ordinance of a county, city or town or this state where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien and is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released. The person’s immigration status shall be verified with the federal government pursuant to 8 United States code section 1373(c). A law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution. A person is presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the following:...."

Of course, it's entirely believable that Holder could have had one of his staff secure a copy of the law directly from the Arizona governor's or AG's office.

Even a cursory reading of the online text I found shows that part of the bill which has gained the most attention is only a long paragraph. The rest of the text can be skimmed fairly quickly by anyone with decent reading comprehension skills and education, both of which it is reasonable to assume Holder possesses.

It's not as if Holder even explained that, while he didn't have the time to personally read the entire bill, an aide did and highlighted, for his attention, the key passages in the law.

No, Holder simply went on his apparent guess as to what the law says, rather than reading it.

For that matter, it would appear the governor of Arizona's neighbor, California, did the same. He recently addressed a commencement event with a joke about rescinding an invitation to address an Arizona commencement ceremony, for fear of being arrested and deported by local authorities.

I guess Arnold was planning to commit some illegal acts while in Arizona, thus attracting the attention of law enforcement officials.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

WellPoint's Angela Braly Refutes Wonderboy's Lies

Thank God someone finally called Wonderboy on his bald-faced lies about health care in the US.

Angela Braly, CEO of WellPoint, a much-maligned health insurer, wrote a letter to our First Rookie over the weekend explicitly refuting his lies concerning WellPoint's actions towards women with breast cancer.

Wonderboy accused the firm, though not explicitly by name, in a radio address,

"when we found out that an insurance company was systematically dropping the coverage of women diagnosed with breast cancer, my administration called on them to put an end to this practice immediately."

Braly shot back, in her letter,

"I was disappointed to hear you repeat false information regarding WellPoint's coverage of breast cancer...To be absolutely clear: despite your claims, WellPoint does not single out women with breast cancer for rescission. Period."

Additionally, Braly requested to meet with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. This request has gone unmet and unanswered. Perhaps Sebelius is busy finding more lies to give to Wonderboy to tell the American people in his many public appearances.

As WellPoint notes, health insurance, being, well, insurance, is heavily regulated at the state level. There really isn't, and historically has not been a major role for the federal government in private health insurance.

Thus, presidential scapegoating is way over the top. Plenty of state regulatory commissions- 50, in fact....or 57, if you count the number of states the way Wonderboy does.

Once again, we see this administration bullying a private company. This time, by lying about the company's practices. Not misinterpreting, but simply lying about the company's actions.

What a friendly place the US has become to do business, eh?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Utah's Bob Bennett Runs Afoul of Tea Party Sentiments

Looks like the Tea Party activists have struck again.

Bob Bennett, the sitting Senator from Utah, failed to be nominated to run as a Republican candidate in the primary for his own Senate seat.

Among the pieces I read covering this was a very humorous one in the Wall Street Journal by James Taranto. Taranto cited many Democratic pundits and office-holders who registered shock that Bennett has been so unceremoniously retired.

They all claimed that Bennett was already very conservative, so the Tea Party was, again, pushing for fringe candidates. And lamented that the Republicans in Utah had furloughed such a long-serving, dependable Senator.

Kind of makes you think of Br'er Rabbit, doesn't it? I mean, if so many Democrats miss the guy, maybe he was already planning to join Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter in running across the aisle to become a Democrat, too.

I don't pretend to know the details of the Utah situation, but I respect Dick Armey. Armey has been leading the charge to dump Bennett and elect a more reliably conservative Senator in his stead.

It should be noted that Bennett voted for the TARP and backed health care insurance mandates.

It's not really so hard to see why those in Utah think they can do better from the Republican party, is it?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Our First Addict Lectures Us On Avoiding Information

Isn't it rich that our First Addict is now lecturing our youth on the need for them to avoid modern, technologically-advanced sources of information? In effect, admonishing them to turn from independent, often critical (of him) sources of information which strengthen democratic institutions?

I saw the video clip of Wonderboy instructing recent college graduates, at a commencement address, to swear off their iPods, iPhones, iPads and such. That they are becoming too addicted to these wonderful electronic means of communications and entertainment.

Assuming the First Rookie isn't simply taking aim at Apple Corporation, it sure seems that one addict calling other people addicts is pretty ironic. And laughable.

Here's a guy who rammed through punitive healthcare measures, lecturing one and all on the high costs of medical care, while he chain smokes in private.

Now, though he has been seen glued to his Blackberry and admitted having certain music on his iPod, he claims to not know how to operate the latter. And is lecturing youth to foresake their electronic toys.

More evidence our current president is a study in unprincipled behavior and the notion that others should do as he says, but not as he does.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Illinois- Poster Child For Fiscal Failure

I read a troubling piece in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend describing Illinois' budget woes and fiscal desperation.

Amy Merrick's piece in Friday's Journal detailed how out of control the state's financial condition has become. Among the antics occurring are: the state's legislature adjourning nearly a month early and tossing the problems to the governor; the governor's proposed income tax hike on hold; a doubling of the state's cigarette tax to help plug the budget gap, and; a plan to sell the state's tobacco settlement payment stream for a lump sum, a la J.G. Wentworth.

Ms. Merrick writes,

"As a result, Illinois, along with other states, routinely has postponed paying its bills, short-changed pension plans and spent more than it collects in revenue."

The governor's budget has a $10.6B shortfall, which is to be partially addressed through- borrowing.

State tax revenues have predictably fallen- some 8% from last year. The state's cash position, according to its Comptroller, will be, at June 30, "exceedingly difficult."

Ms. Merrick notes that Illinois owes billions of dollars in payments to "hospitals, universities, social-service providers and others." The total is expected to top $5.5B by the end of June.

California, New Jersey and New York figure prominently in most articles about troubled state finances. Now, my home state, once a solvent industrial power, is counting on long term borrowing to meet current obligations.

Does it not make you wonder what our First Rookie learned in his few years as a member of this dysfunctional state's dysfunctional legislature?

Certainly, fiscal rectitude and balancing a government's spending and revenues wouldn't appear to have been among the lessons, would it?