American Elephants


Supreme Court Upholds Central Provision of Arizona Law by The Elephant's Child

The Supreme Court decided the Arizona Immigration law, S.B. 1070. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. Cornell Law professor William Jacobson explained:

The court struck the provisions dealing with state criminal penalties and other provisions which imposed procedural requirements on illegals in the state. Among the provisions the court struck is the one requiring that a person be detained if the police officer believes the person is removable.

The Court upheld the central provision requiring a check of immigration status for persons otherwise detained. This was a significant slapdown for the administration. Arizona celebrated this as the key part of Arizona’s law.

The Obama administration said that it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws, and said it has issued a directive telling federal authorities to decline man of the calls reporting illegal immigrants that the Homeland Security Department may get from Arizona police.

So Arizona police can immediately begin calling to check immigration status — but federal officials are likely to reject most of those calls. Federal officials said they’ll still perform the checks as required by law but will respond only when someone has a felony conviction on his or her record. Otherwise ICE will just tell local police to release the person.

Arizona, along with New Mexico and Texas, has real problems with illegal immigration on the border, and with the drug wars going on just across the border. A significant border fence was promised but it is far from complete. Democrats’ election strategy always includes a special appeal to minorities, including illegal immigrants. Minorities often favor Democrats, believing all the electioneering about doing nice things for minority communities, which usually end when the election is over.

Democrats are apt to favor open borders. Republicans, portrayed by the Left as anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic in every campaign, are neither. They want laws that limit immigration, and they want the laws to be enforced. Congress largely wants to avoid the question until their side has a controlling majority. Immigration is an enormously complicated problem.

Do we honor Emma Lazarus poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty —”Give me your tired, your poor,” “huddled masses,” “wretched refuse,” and concentrate on the poor of other countries looking for a new start? Or do we look for the brilliant, the well-to-do, the well-educated, who can immediately put their considerable gifts to work? Many have called out our practice of granting advanced degrees (in technology, physics, mechanical engineering, all those  disciplines in which we claim shortages) to foreign exchange students and then send them home. Mitt Romney has suggested stapling a green card to every PhD diploma. Not a bad idea.

On the other hand, are Tucson hospitals who advertise for wealthy Mexican expectant mothers to come for a vacation, and give birth to an American citizen. Birth tourism is popular in some Asian countries as well, where wealthy mothers want to give a child the option of American citizenship, just in case. And what do we do about an immigrant’s relatives? And how far do we go beyond the nuclear family?

Do we make immigration from Europe more difficult because so many Americans are of European heritage, or easier? Do we favor certain countries, and if so why? You can see why Congress, knowing absolutely that this has to be dealt with, doesn’t want to touch it. Whatever they decide to do will be met with considerable anger and hatred and make their reelection chances even worse. Don’t expect any great rush to reform immigration.



That $3 Dinner With Obama Might Really Raise Your tax Bill. by The Elephant's Child

The Obama campaign has been widely advertising “Dinner with Barack,” a raffle to win a dinner with the President. There is no charge, but a $3 contribution is suggested. The ad says “We’ll Cover Your Airfare.”

Law professor William Jacobson notes that :

Technically, such raffles are “sweepstakes” because you can enter without paying anything. This not only adds to Obama’s mailing list, it increases the number of donors and lowers the average donation, both of which figures are used in Obama’s campaign spin.

The teeny print approximates the “retail value” as $4,800.  The Obama dinner contest rules break down the retail value at $1600 per package, if airfare is included and $200 if it’s not. The IRS treats such winnings as taxable ordinary income, so you might want to be aware of what that will do to your tax bill. If you win it will cost  you more than $3.



The Left Values Intent, The Right Values Results. Competence Helps. by The Elephant's Child

The Obama administration, and the Obama campaign have a problem. Obama has no record to run on. Though he has tried to blame the recession (after 3½ years) on George W. Bush, the recession officially ended in June of 2009, and what he has tried to do to fix the economy has not worked, but made it considerably worse.

Convinced that global warming is actually a problem that can be addressed by his EPA and Energy Departments, he has poured taxpayer funds into “clean energy” — wind and solar, and attempted to shut down as much of our reliable fossil fuel energy as possible, thereby endangering the power grid.

He has spent more than all previous presidents put together, and spent more than any government ever, and we have nothing to show for it.  So with nothing to run on, he expects to campaign by attacking Mitt Romney. Mitt has had an extraordinarily successful career in business, rescuing and developing companies, and the Obama administration, who just lost the only person in the whole administration who actually had some experience in the private sector, the Commerce Secretary, has resigned.

So they want to portray Bain Capital as some terrible, greedy, rapacious organization that does evil things to ruin the American economy; but they don’t understand the free market, or capitalism or private equity enough to keep from making a hash of it.Their attempts so far have been embarrassing.

A private equity company puts up the partner’s money, and investors money to purchase or invest in failing companies or struggling companies, or small companies with great prospects but no capital; and by turning them around with better management or more capital or better ideas — make them profitable and successful, which can create a good return on investment for their shareholders. Sometimes it is hugely successful, sometimes it doesn’t work and they have to close the company down.

The Washington Post tried to do a big exposé showing how Bain Capital and Mitt Romney were pioneers in shipping U.S. jobs overseas. Well, those Washington Post reporters aren’t much more familiar with the workings of private enterprise than the Obama people  are. They are experts in beltway bureaucrat watching, not the free market which isn’t particularly popular in the nation’s capitol at the moment.

James Pethokoukis explains, for AEI, how the WaPo blew it in labeling Romney an offshoring ‘pioneer.’ The “gotcha” was about call centers overseas, but they were for calls from overseas locations so they could be answered in the native language. Jimmy P takes the Post’s bad examples one after another and explains how the WaPo should be embarrassed. Fun reading, and interesting to see how complex international business is. Do take a few moments to follow the links to understand the problems with the Obama machine attacks.

Mitt Romney is not particularly “cool.” He’s an extremely competent adult who, because of long experience in private industry and in government, knows what he is doing. He may be handsome with a handsome and impressive family, but he’s not a celebrity type. More of a Dad type, if you’re talking really impressive Dads.

Surely you remember the Salt Lake Winter Olympics, about to collapse under a tangle of red ink and bad publicity. Mitt turned it around to make it one of the most successful Winter Olympics ever.

There is a clear and precise need for competence and experience in the White House. Our economy is spiraling down into that ditch that Obama liked to use as a metaphor so much. The spending and the debt are about to overwhelm the country and Democrats’ in Congress only answer is more stimulus and more government borrowing and spending, and it’s long past the time when anyone could even pretend that would work.




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