Wednesday Chronicle

Chronicle

May 26, 2010

The Foundation

“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic.” –Joseph Story

Editorial Exegesis

Palladium of liberties or source of Mexico's troubles?

“Felipe Calderon received liberal plaudits for falsely claiming Arizona’s new immigration law uses racial profiling, but that wasn’t the only baloney the Mexican president peddled during his state visit. Over four minutes of his Thursday address to Congress was spent lecturing Americans to renew the federal Assault Weapons Ban that sunset in September 2004. His justifications for the ban were all garbage. Mr. Calderon claimed that guns covered by the federal ban were particularly ‘powerful weapons.’ While the term ‘assault weapons’ may conjure up visions of military hardware, the inside guts of these feared guns are essentially the same as deer hunting rifles. The firing mechanisms in semiautomatics and machine guns are completely different. … ‘If you look carefully, you will notice that the violence in Mexico started to grow a couple of years before I took office in 2006,’ Mr. Calderon said. ‘This coincides, at least, with the lifting of the [U.S.] assault weapons ban in 2004.’ … Mr. Calderon’s claim that 80 percent of guns used in Mexican crimes come from the United States is completely false. Most weapons seized in Mexico have traceable serial numbers that show they come from countries other than the United States. The 80 percent number reflects how many guns sent to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tracing end up being from America. Most weapons seized in Mexico aren’t transferred to U.S. authorities, so that figure is meaningless for calculating overall totals. It is offensive for Mr. Calderon to come here as our guest and make up facts to blame America for Mexico’s many problems. But it was more frightening to witness Democratic House and Senate members jump up and give a standing ovation when the foreigner called for renewing the Assault Weapons Ban. That’s a warning all American gun owners should heed.” –The Washington Times

Upright

“Memo to Republican National Committee: this is the branding opportunity of a lifetime. Mr. Calderon whacking decent Americans and being cheered by leftist Democrats is an election-year dream come true. What could be better than a thirty-second commercial showing the power center of a bankrupt political party taking the side of a shamelessly hypocritical foreigner over their fellow Americans? One could even envision a voice-over announcer asking the ultimate brand-reinforcing question: Are Democrats the political party you want representing American interests in Washington, D.C. after the November election?” –columnist Arnold Ahlert

“The fact is, Mexico has two big exports: Oil, and their second biggest export is poverty to the United States – from which, in remittances sent back to Mexico, they get $21 billion a year. Mr. Calderon has a stake in illegal immigration to our country.” –columnist George Will

“Washington keeps pushing the envelope on craven. For his part, President Obama is a virtuoso at talking out of both sides of his mouth on immigration. He calls the immigration system broken, then proposes to fix the system by paving a path to citizenship for those who broke the law. He has called SB1070 misguided in order to appeal to the lathered-up pro-illegal immigration corner. Then he appeals to ‘misguided’ voters by assuring them that he is gung-ho when it comes to enforcing the immigration laws.” –columnist Debra Saunders

“When President Obama discussed the new Arizona immigration law with Mexican President Felipe Calderon at the White House Wednesday, he was doing something he has never done with the governor of Arizona. Although Obama has repeatedly criticized the law, he has not once talked about it with Gov. Jan Brewer, nor is any such discussion in the works. … The bottom line is that Obama, the Justice Department, and the entire executive branch are on Mexico’s side in this dispute. On the other hand, the majority of the American people are with Arizona.” –columnist Byron York

“Voters said: ‘It’s not the incumbents, stupid. It’s how they voted. It’s what they stand for.’ No incumbent who voted against the Bush/Obama bank bailouts, the ‘stimulus’ package and ObamaCare lost his or her job. Voters hate the bank bailouts. They hate the government takeover of car companies. They do not believe that the $800 billion stimulus package stimulated anything but bigger government. They reject ObamaCare and think it’s costly and likely to worsen health care. Incumbents who voted for these things now face the music.” –columnist Larry Elder

Insight

“It is incredible how as soon as a people become subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and willingly that one is led to say that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.” –French judge, writer, philosopher Estienne de la Boétie (1530-1563)

“Justice, like liberty and coercion, is a concept which, for the sake of clarity, ought to be confined to the deliberate treatment of men by other men.” –economist Fredrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)

“A judicial activist is a judge who interprets the Constitution to mean what it would have said if he, instead of the Founding Fathers, had written it.” –former senator Sam Erving (1896-1985)

Dezinformatsia

Blame America: “Why do so many Mexicans risk their lives to pick our fruit and cut our lawns? They are fleeing a country where life is cheap and honest jobs are getting harder to find. And that, without question, is partly our fault. We have a right to enforce our own laws. Every country does. But we have an obligation not to arm the gangsters who are destroying the quality of life in Mexico, scaring away tourists (and in turn taking away decent jobs) and gunning down innocents – all in the hopes of making money from our insatiable demand for illegal drugs. … I understand that some folks, especially in Arizona, will take offense at the criticism of a foreign leader. But before we throw too many stones, we should take a look at just what we’re doing to destroy their country and foster the very migration about which we legitimately complain.” –Fox News commentator Susan Estrich

What goes around comes around? “President Bill Clinton went to the Great Hall of the People and when Jiang Zemin was President of China. I heard President Clinton say, ‘what you did in Tiananmen Square was wrong.’ He lectured. We all said, that’s terrific because it was the ox being gored on the other side. President Calderon represents Mexico. And he said what a lot of Americans are also saying, that that Arizona law is discriminatory and it ought not to have been on the books.” –ABC’s Sam Donaldson (“That law is actually supported by a majority of Americans, according to polling. And I can’t believe that you’re actually comparing it to Tiananmen Square, right? I mean, you’re not?” –ABC’s Jake Tapper)

Watching the watchers: “We think the [New York] Times should investigate some of its investigative reporting.” –MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan chastising the Times for its report that Connecticut Attorney General and Democrat Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal has been lying about his military record

Heaven forbid: “Textbooks must now include mention of the conservative resurgence of the ‘80s and '90s, the National Rifle Association, the Moral Majority, and include the idea that our Founding Fathers may not have intended a separation of church and state. Even some vocabulary would change. The world 'imperialism’ would be replaced with ‘expansionism’ in describing America’s land acquisitions. … Critics say the board is whitewashing history.” –NBC’s Rehema Ellis on the “new” social studies curriculum guidelines passed by the Texas State Board of Education

Newspulper Headlines:

Does Anyone Really Win This Sort of Fight?: “City Winning Bird Feces Fight” –Mountain View Voice (Palo Alto, CA)

Questions Nobody Is Asking: “Moonshine or the Kids?” –The New York Times

Answers to Questions Nobody Is Asking: “What the Tea Party Can Learn From Jimmy Carter” –The Washington Post

Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control: “Public Trust of Federal Government Has Increased” –WFED-AM website (Washington)

Bottom Stories of the Day: “Obama Campaigns Against Bush – Again” –Politico.com

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto)

The Demo-gogues

President of what country? “I want everyone, American and Mexican, to know my administration is taking a very close look at the Arizona law. We’re examining any implications, especially for civil rights because in the United States of America no law-abiding person – be they an American citizen or a visitor or tourist from Mexico – should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.” –Barack Obama

Sí, se puede: “Mexican-American families have been here for centuries, as well as those who continue … our proud tradition as a nation of immigrants. All of whom strengthen our American family and who join us today. Mr. President [Calderon], your visit speaks to a truth of our time in North America and the world. In the 21st century, we are defined not by our borders but by our bonds. So I say to you and to the Mexican people, ‘Let us stand together. Let us face the future. Let us work together.’ Trabajemos juntos!” –Barack Obama

Spoken like a true leader: “Plug the damn hole.” –Barack Obama on the oil spill (That’s what we say every time he opens his mouth.)

Non Compos Mentis: “Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.” –Barack Obama (Pearl wasn’t “lost,” he was beheaded by terrorists.)

Classy: “I want to see the schools work… I want to see hospitals work. I don’t think the Republicans share that point of view. Why would you put people in charge of government who just don’t want to do it? I mean, you wouldn’t expect to see al-Qa'ida members as pilots.” –Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) comparing Republicans to terrorists

Belly laugh of the week: “The Democratic Congress and the Obama administration share a strong commitment to fiscal discipline and common sense in our budget, and we must continue to do everything in our power to boost our economic recovery, rein in the deficits we inherited, and remain responsible stewards of the public purse. After President Bush and Republicans in Congress turned record surpluses into record deficits and nearly doubled the national debt, Democrats are returning our nation to a course of fiscal responsibility.” –House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on her own party’s quadrupling of the deficit

Village Idiots

Global village: “There is one issue where Mexico needs your cooperation. And that is stopping the flow of assault weapons and other deadly arms across the border. … I would ask Congress to help us, with respect, and to understand how important it is for us that you enforce current laws to stem the supply of these weapons to criminals and consider reinstating the assault weapons ban.” –Mexican President Felipe Calderon in an address to Congress

No free market: “Please don’t put your faith in market forces [emphasis in original]. It’s a popular idea: that Adam Smith’s invisible hand would do a better job of designing care than leaders with plans can. I find little evidence that market forces relying on consumers choosing among an array of products, with competitors fighting it out, leads to the healthcare system you want and need. In the U.S., competition is a major reason for our duplicative, supply driven, fragmented care system.” –Dr. Donald Berwick, nominated by Barack Obama to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that runs Medicare

Goose and gander: “My carbon footprint, I think I can say confidently is much bigger than most people’s because I travel in a bus. … What I try and do is try and, with the knowledge that I have, is offset my contribution to [carbon emissions]. I think people that don’t move around as much as me can take a bike when it’s a nice day.” –rocker Dave Matthews

“Too bad if we have to pay a little extra money for gasoline, if we have to pay a little extra money for coal, or if we have to curb our appetite with what we pull out of the ocean. That’s what we have to do, or else we’re giving up on our children. So, that’s what I would hope happens.” –Dave Matthews (Matthews earns about $20 million each year and is worth roughly $250 million.)

Short Cuts

“I mentioned last week the attorney general’s peculiar insistence that ‘radical Islam’ was nothing to do with the Times Square bomber, the Pantybomber, the Fort Hood killer. Just a lot of moments ‘capturing the world’s imagination.’ For now, the jihadists seem to have ceased cutting our heads off. Listening to Obama and Eric Holder, perhaps they’ve figured out there’s nothing much up there anyway.” –columnist Mark Steyn

“Attorney General Eric Holder was grilled in Congress … about Arizona’s new immigration law. He’s denounced the Arizona law as unconstitutional while admitting he hasn’t read it. He’s read the law, it’s the Constitution he’s never seen.” –comedian Argus Hamilton

“[Obama] came into office promising rainbows and puppies for everyone and has, like Pizza Hut during a blizzard, failed to deliver.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg

“By this time, I’m sure we’ve all seen those posters of George W. Bush captioned ‘Miss Me Yet?’ I, personally, think things have gotten so bad in Obama’s America that I wouldn’t be surprised if we begin seeing those same posters springing up with Jimmy Carter’s picture.” –columnist Burt Prelutsky