Inside the Beltway

LIFE OF THE PARTY

President Obama may have stopped for a supersized sub in a working-class New Jersey neighborhood for a session with local mayors, small-business owners and cheering bystanders. But wait. Hours later, on Wednesday evening, he graced a pair of glittering Democratic fundraising affairs in Manhattan, and he will host another five moneymaking events in the next week.

“This is real evidence that there is a big disconnect between this administration and ordinary America,” former New York Gov. George Pataki tells Inside the Beltway. “The White House rails against Wall Street but has no qualms about reaching out to the big donors. This is not the time for politicians to be saying one thing and doing another.”

RAZING ARIZONA

The dramatic tableau has been assembled: Arizona’s immigration law, S.B. 1070, has been defanged by federal Judge Susan R. Bolton, but Gov. Jan Brewer vows to soldier on. Let the howling begin. Victory celebrations and protests alike are under way as the fate of the statute hangs in the lurch. At least 40 rallies are planned in 27 cities by scores of groups — including the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, University of Arizona Students Against SB 1070, the Border Action Network, We Reject Racism Campaign, Jewish Voice for Peace, Interfaith Worker Justice, the Alliance for Global Justice, the Tucson YWCA and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

There’s anger and resolve on the other side, however. Jesse Kelly, a former Marine running as Republican candidate for Arizona’s 8th Congressional District against Democratic Rep. GabrielleGiffords, says the original legislation should stand.

“The Obama administration attacked Arizona for trying to defend itself. The courts leave our state defenseless against the violence and murders caused by illegal immigration. This is a travesty. And Arizona has every right to defend itself, given Gabrielle Giffords’ failure to secure the border,” Mr. Kelly tells the Beltway.

Adds William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, “President Obama and Judge Bolton sided with illegal aliens against the American public. The president is required by the Constitution to protect all states from invasion, while assuring states a republic form of governance. With this court case, Obama has deprived Americans of both. It is hard to find the words to express the anger and dismay.”

TILT-A-WHIRL

Law, what law? Broadcasters have made an entire cottage industry out of bashing S.B. 1070, framing the legislation in melodramatic or negative terms and ignoring opinion polls that found a majority of the American public supports the legislation, says Tim Graham of the Media Research Center (MRC). Coverage has been slanted against the law to the extreme, he says.

“Networks have aggressively demonstrated their dislike of Arizona’s state law ‘cracking down on illegal immigrants,’ a law that ‘pits neighbor against neighbor.’ An MRC review of morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS, and NBC from April 23 to July 25 found the networks have aired 120 stories with an almost ten-to-one tilt against the Arizona law — 77 negative, 35 neutral, 8 positive,” Mr. Graham notes.

“The sound-bite count was also tilted over the last three months — 216 to 107, or an almost exact two-to-one disparity,” he continues. “Network anchors and reporters sided against defenders of border control and championed sympathetic illegal aliens and their usually American-born children. In 120 stories, they never described ‘immigrants rights activists’ as liberals or on the left.”

RUN FOR THE HILLS

“Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream.”(A new book by Arianna Huffington, to be published Sept. 7)

“Third World America: It’s a jarring phrase, one that is deeply contrary to our national conviction that America is the greatest nation on Earth, as well as the richest, the most powerful, the most generous and the most noble,” Ms. Huffington writes.

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