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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 28, 2010

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.

BLAH BLAH BLAH

Uh-oh. President Obama now has to give CBS equal time. The network is launching a new daytime serious-female-talk show called "The Talk" to compete with ABC's "The View," which has hosted Mr. Obama -- as candidate and president -- three times now. There's already some turmoil, though, with news that Julie Chen, wife of CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves, has been chosen to host the show.

"The elephant in the room is that Julie is on the show, but she happens to be terrific," says CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler.

JUST SO YOU KNOW

With approval from President Dmitry Medvedev, Russians officially have celebrated a new holiday to mark the nation's conversion to Christianity in 988; Muslims have complained that it "excludes them," according to Reuters.

"Abandoning the historical significance of the baptism of Russia means discarding the supporting pillar of our entire civilization," Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill told state-run television.

POLL DU JOUR

  • 53 percent of Americans say it's no longer possible to "work hard and get rich" in the U.S.
  • 30 percent disagree, 17 percent are unsure.
  • 48 percent say it's possible for "just about anyone" to work their way out of poverty.
  • 42 percent believe it's still possible for motivated people to find work in the U.S.
  • 42 percent disagree, 16 percent are not sure.
  • 19 percent say today's children will be better off than their parents.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted July 23-24.

Murmurs, happy talk, complaints to jharper@washingtontimes.com

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