1.) State Budgetocalypse is not going away, America (Nope) — It is only getting worse, reports the New York Times: “The State of Illinois is still paying off billions in bills that it got from schools and social service providers last year. Arizona recently stopped paying for certain organ transplants for people in its Medicaid program. States are releasing prisoners early, more to cut expenses than to reward good behavior. And in Newark, the city laid off 13 percent of its police officers last week.” How big is the tab? Trillions of dollars. And unlike, say, the U.S. Government, underwater states and towns can’t just print money or quantitatively ease themselves (though another round of QE could be used to buy state debt). And while no state has defaulted since the Great Depression, this is a new millennium and anything is possible.
2.) Federalism to make brief appearance in U.S. Congress this week — The antiquated political philosophy known as “states rights” will make a brief appearance in the U.S. Senate this week, thanks to Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker. “The legislation, called the 10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act, mirrors a bill introduced by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) on March 25, two days after the president signed healthcare reform into law,” reports The Hill. “It would allow designated state officials to file a legal brief challenging the constitutionality of proposed regulations during the time when they’re open for comment.” Once a state objects, federal agencies will have to respond on their websites, explaining how and why their proposed regulations do not violate the 10th Amendment. Wicker told The Hill that his proposal was in response to Obamacare, and thus not to any of the other myriad offenses to federalism that Washington has forced on states during Wicker’s three years in the Senate.
3.) Southern Poverty Law Center goes off the rails on a crazy train — “The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) says it will not back down from its decision to label the Family Research Council and other socially conservative groups as hate groups, on par with the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nations, for their views about homosexuality,” reports contributor John Rossomando for The Daily Caller. “SPLC’s Winter 2010 edition of its ‘Intelligence Report’ magazine lists the Family Research Council as a hate group alongside the American Family Association, the Traditional Values Coalition, and 11 other social conservative groups. The report, titled ’18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda,’ also lists five other organizations as being anti-gay – such as Concerned Women for America and the National Organization for Marriage — but refrains from classifying them as hate groups.” Remember a year or so ago, when Americans began to realize that the people in charge are all insane, and the SPLC burst onto the scene with all these neon pink pamphlets warning us that Satan was going to send Timothy McVeigh back to Earth to run as a Tea Party candidate? No? Shut up, racist.
4.) Organ for Democratic Party now defending treason — The Nation magazine, which recently reminded the world of its existence by publishing something incredibly stupid about TSA pat-downs, has also been busy defending communist spies. According to a piece in The New Republic describing the far left’s most recent attempt to vindicate Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, former Nation editor Victor Navasky once again attempted to argue that what happened to the Rosenberg’s was much ado about nothing. (Nothing, of course, being the Rosenberg’s passing of nuclear secrets to the Russians.) “Now, so many years later, when the intellectual community largely acknowledges the Rosenbergs’ guilt—a 2008 public confession by former Soviet spy Morton Sobell, who was tried along with the Rosenbergs, made continued denial impossible—Navasky has written what is possibly the last-ditch attempt to redeem the Rosenbergs,” writes Ronald Radosh. “The truth that still escapes Navasky is that these Soviet spies were recruited out of the U.S. communist movement, whose leaders knew of and covered up the Rosenbergs’ espionage, and, when they found out that those arrested would not talk, waged a worldwide propaganda campaign to portray the Rosenbergs as victims of America’s imperial thrust.” Don’t forget to buy The Nation credit card!
5.) ICE under Obama met quotas by cutting corners — “When ICE officials realized in the final weeks of the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, that the agency still was in jeopardy of falling short of last year’s mark, it scrambled to reach the goal. Officials quietly directed immigration officers to bypass backlogged immigration courts and time-consuming deportation hearings whenever possible,” reports the Washington Post. “Instead, officials told immigration officers to encourage eligible foreign nationals to accept a quick pass to their countries without a negative mark on their immigration record, ICE employees said.” While saving time, the “voluntary return” option also means that ICE sent wife-beaters, drunk drivers, and committers of misdemeanor assault back to their home countries, rendering them free to return to the U.S. whenever they want.
6.) Hillary Clinton was right about Mexico — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was right on the money when she said in September that Mexico is beginning to resemble Colombia of 20 years ago, according to leaked diplomatic cables. “These drug cartels are now showing more and more indices of insurgency; all of a sudden, car bombs show up which weren’t there before,” Clinton said two months ago, earning the rebuke of the Mexican Government and also Pres. Barack Obama. And here is the text of a 2010 cable released over the weekend: “The [Government of Mexico’s] inability to halt the escalating numbers of narco-related homicides in places like Ciudad Juarez and elsewhere — the nationwide total topped 7,700 in 2009 — has become one of Calderon’s principal political liabilities….Prosecution rates for organized crime-related offenses are dismal; two percent of those detained are brought to trail. Only 2 percent of those arrested in Ciudad Juarez have even been charged with a crime.” Perhaps now that the cables are in the public domain, Pres. Obama can read a few of them before publicly condemning his secretary of state for basing her opinions in reality?