- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 29, 2010

ENOUGH ALREADY

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has come to the defense, more or less, of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed off on tougher immigration laws and sparked a flood of public criticism from elected officials, editorial cartoonists and extremists who likened Arizona to a Nazi police state — and its governor to Hitler.

“We are seeing these offensive and inappropriate Nazi and Holocaust comparisons come to the fore in the public debate once again. We saw it in the health care debate, and now we are seeing it with Arizona,” says ADL director Abraham H. Foxman. “Comparisons to the Nazis may be politically expedient and serve an agenda of demonizing those who supported the bill, but in the end they do great damage to the memory of 6 million Jews and the millions of others and soldiers who fought to defeat Nazism.”

Mr. Foxman cited Rep. Jared Polis, Colorado Democrat, and Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles among the offenders. But he’s not keen on the new law himself.

“We will continue to speak out against Arizona’s legislation, and will encourage others to loudly do so, but also while bearing in mind that their criticism should never cross the line into comparisons to Hitler or the Holocaust, which are a terrible disservice to history and memory and ultimately serve to diminish an otherwise important message,” he adds.

READY TO RUMBLE

Local tea partiers hail him as the “Maryland miracle.” His motto is “A new day for Maryland,” and he’s taking on House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. Conservative Republican Charles Lollar formally files his candidacy at high noon in Annapolis on Thursday; the U.S. Marine Reserve major, Iraq war veteran and father of four has garnered support from former Gov. John Sununu of New Hampshire and fellow Marylander Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., among others.

“Some people cast this race as David and Goliath. But it’s not a bad idea to remember who won that match,” notes a source familiar with things.

GRIST FOR CRIST

“My gift to editors hunting for a Charlie Crist-goes-indie headline: ‘Crist Rises From the Dead.’ You’re welcome.” (A Wednesday afternoon Twitter by Joshua Green, a writer for the Atlantic.)

SENSING A CENSOR

In the past, terms like Islam, Muslim, Shariah, jihad, Hamas and Hezbollah saw regular use in government documents, including the “9/11 Report,” where the words appeared some 600 times. Now they’ve gone missing from the government narrative since 2008, according to an analysis by Pajamas Media TV, which is calling for both the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to launch an inquiry of censorship within the U.S. government.

“If government employees are censored in the terminology they can use, then their resulting analysis and plans are also censored,” says Roger L. Simon, CEO of the online news group.

“Did the federal government develop a style guide which prevents the use of these Islamic phrases? We should be calling it what it is, and it’s time for Sens. Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut independent, and Susan Collins, Maine Republican, to lead a probe into this sudden change.”

TEACHABLE MOMENT

A little workshop for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, perhaps. The Senate does much to keep its folks up to speed on many levels. Along with a two-hour office communications course, a three-hour procedural primer on how to nominate a Supreme Court justice and a four-hour CPR certification class, comes this offering for next week:

“Be Open to Resistance Rather Than Fight or Ignore It.”

That’s only 90 minutes.

CIVIC-CENTRIC

Americans are now veteran witnesses to health care reform debates and partisan rancor. They’re fierce, they’re interested — but now what? There is a shortage of “civic skills” for a meaningful follow-through, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.

“Political passions run high, civic skills are running dry. People get mobilized in episodic bursts, like with health care debates or ‘tea party’ rallies these days. But what do they do in the aftermath? American skills are very uneven when it comes to formal politics, speaking and listening, communicating alternative points of view or collaborating, and organizing fellow citizens,” center director Peter Levine tells Inside the Beltway.

“The problems we face as a country require broad engagement. It’s become so complicated and so divisive, and we’re not going to solve such problems with a law. People need to be engaged here,” Mr. Levine adds.

The center is releasing a study at the National Press Club on Thursday that reveals, uh, the shortcomings. Details on Friday.

POLL DU JOUR

• 79 percent of U.S. voters say illegal immigrants are not entitled to “the same rights and basic freedoms” as U.S. citizens.

• 72 percent say “major immigration reform” is needed.

• 71 percent support “guest-worker” programs for those here illegally.

• 66 percent say their congressional representatives should support “more restrictive” immigration regulations.

• 60 percent say U.S. law should protect “basic human rights” of illegal immigrants.

• 64 percent of conservatives and 60 percent of Republicans disagree.

• 49 percent say illegal immigrants are “a burden”; 33 percent were undecided;16 percent say immigrants are a benefit.

Source: A Zogby Interactive poll of 2,108 likely voters conducted April 16 to 19.

Polite notifications and crabby observations to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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