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Inside the Beltway

- The Washington Times - Monday, February 14, 2011

HOLA AMERICA

"I'm an immigrant myself. It was a tough road to come to America and work. The American Dream is seductive — but there is a legal way to do it — and there would be more jobs here for people if it was honored. I would have been scared to death to come here and work illegally."

(Canadian-born siren/actress Pamela Anderson, in an essay for Playboy magazine.)

HOLA DOS

Some Latinos are not particularly happy with the White House for framing Republicans as enemies of Latin Americans, just as the 2012 presidential campaign season dawns.

"President Obama — and now first lady Michele Obama — keep going on Spanish-language TV and radio to tell us that the administration is committed to doing something on immigration, but so far they haven't done anything serious to move the issue forward. We are not going to fall for that condescending rhetoric from the White House," says Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles.

"As usual, the first lady blamed Republicans for not wanting to work on immigration and for not voting for the 'Dream Act' during the lame-duck session, even though her husband hasn't lifted a finger to seriously engage the Republican leadership on this issue," Mr. Aguilar continues, citing Mrs. Obama's recent appearance on Univision.

"Don't they realize Latinos can see through their political gimmickry? It's clearly in their best political interests to just talk about immigration, instead of actually doing something. They want to use the immigration issue politically so they can continue to blame Republicans as the 'enemies' of Latinos, hoping this will allow them to garner the majority of the Latino vote in the next election," he adds.

HACKADEMIA

Minding student liberty is worth a little something.University of Delaware education professor Jan Blits received the $10,000 Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation's Jeane Kirkpatrick Prize for Academic Freedom, awarded at CPAC. Mr. Blits was deemed "an intellectual warrior" for duking it out with liberal rivals for two decades, most recently on his own campus, where he took on a mandatory re-education program for 7,000 students that used "intimidation and humiliation, coercion and indoctrination, to inculcate a hard-left, anti-American stance."

Among other things, students were required to confess privately their "sexual identity" and feelings of "oppression" to residence staffers; those who protested were labeled "troublemakers," Mr. Blits says. Staffers kept files on students and monitored mandatory group meetings that required participants to take public stands on hot-button issues.

"Where the one-on-one sessions intruded upon the private, even intimate, lives of the students, the group sessions publicly pressured them to adopt specific views," the professor notes. "The former violated the students moral autonomy, the latter compelled them to profess views not their own. Publicly, the administrators claimed that the program was teaching only 'democracy,' 'civility' and 'citizenship' — the usual reassuring buzz-words."

BECKONING

Just so you know. Political satirist Daniel Kurtzman has created the online "Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory Generator" that confabulates "fair and balanced paranoia delivered on demand," he says.

"I created it because I'm a true admirer of Glenn Beck's ability to spin wacky conspiracies by connecting random bits of information, and I wanted to see if it was possible to beat him at his own game by creating a Mad Libs-style Internet script," Mr. Kurtzman tells the Beltway.

"What's funny is that some people say they aren't sure whether it's satire or if they're reading actual Beck quotes, which I guess means I managed to channel him effectively. Anyway, I hope that both critics and fans of Beck take it in the spirit of good fun."

Judge for yourself: http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/bl-glenn-beck-conspiracy.htm.

BRONTOBUDGET

More on the miasma of White House budget numbers that continue to deluge Congress.

"President Obama's federal budget for fiscal year 2012 proposes $3.73 trillion in discretionary, entitlement, and interest spending and a deficit of $1.65 trillion. For reference, George W. Bush had proposed the first-ever $3 trillion U.S. budget. In fact, President Bush was also the first to propose a $2 trillion federal budget — in 2002, only nine years ago," says Wayne Crews, vicepresident for policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

"To be sure, many other countries' governments consume more of their national output than the U.S. government does. However, in absolute terms, the U.S. government is the largest on planet Earth, whether one looks at revenues or expenditures or deficit spending," he continues.

"This record spending is increasing pressure to regulate instead. And sure enough, the costs of regulatory compliance, according to the Small Business Administration, now exceed $1.7 trillion — almost the level of the entire federal budget of just over a decade ago."

POLL DU JOUR

• 73 percent of Americans say religious faith is important in their daily life.

• 23 percent say religious faith is not very important in their daily life.

• 65 percent favor prayer in public schools.

• 24 percent are opposed to prayer in schools, 11 percent are not sure.

• 61 percent of Americans pray at least once a day.

• 29 percent pray several times a day.

• 15 percent rarely or never pray.

Source: A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults conducted Feb. 3 and 4.

Hue and cry, miasmas to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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