- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Minutemen go north

Former Yonkers, N.Y., Mayor John Spencer is joining with the Minutemen to bring the all-volunteer patrol to America’s northern borders.

The Minutemen have concentrated their efforts in the Southwest to discourage illegal immigration from Mexico. What about New York, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont?

Mr. Spencer will meet with the Minutemen on Saturday at an American Legion Hall in Babylon, N.Y. He is intent on organizing and training volunteers to patrol the northern border in those four states.

“Those immigrating are not the enemy; the drug dealers, the criminals and the potential terrorists hiding among them are the enemy,” Mr. Spencer said yesterday calling the Minutemen “force multipliers.”

Mr. Spencer is a candidate for the Republican nomination to challenge New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2006.

One judge to another

Robert H. Bork, the Reagan-era Supreme Court nominee rejected by the Senate after his 1987 confirmation hearings devolved into public spectacle, says he wants JudgeJohn G. Roberts Jr. to be confirmed as the next chief justice.

Speaking at the National Press Club yesterday, Mr. Bork suggested it’s unlikely Supreme Court confirmation hearings ever again will resemble “any dignified process.”

“Today’s confirmations are political struggles, political circuses, and there may be no going back,” said Mr. Bork, a former federal judge.

“Mr. Bork offered Judge Roberts, and any other upcoming nominee, advice for a Senate hearing:

“Don’t write or say anything about the Constitution. Judge Roberts has already satisfied that requirement. The second: Don’t commit your vote at the hearings on any issues. If you are drawn into a commitment to how you will vote, you’ll only be ratifying the corruption of the confirmation process. And third, don’t make it obvious that you think some of the senators’ questions reveal that they haven’t a clue about the Constitution or its interpretations.”

Dad to the rescue

Former President George Bush is fed up with unreasonable attacks on his son, President Bush.

“The media has a fascination with the blame game,” the senior Mr. Bush told CNN. “There was one particularly vicious comment that the president didn’t care, was insensitive on ethnicity, insensitive about race. That one hurt, because I know this president, and I know he does care.”

Mr. Bush continued: “Huge numbers of dollars have been appropriated or signed off on for the Congress, both Senate and the House, and he had to push forward. He cannot listen to every critic from the editorial page of the New York Times.”

The former president also questioned certain media reports.

“I talked to Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, yesterday because some people were saying, ‘Well, if you hadn’t sent your National Guard to Iraq, we here in Mississippi would be better off.’ He told me ‘I’ve been out in the field every single day, hour, for four days and no one, not one single mention of the word ‘Iraq.’

“Where does that come from?” Mr. Bush asked. “Where does that story come from if the governor is not picking up one word about it?”

17, 5 and 2

“The New York Times today seemed so excited to see former President Bill Clinton involved in hurricane relief that it practically ignored his partner in this pursuit, former President [George] Bush,” the Media Research Center noted yesterday.

According to one analysis, one Times story cited “Mr. Clinton by name at least 17 times, his wife five times, while the former President Bush is actually only named twice. From this, one would think that he’s such an afterthought that this effort should be called the Clinton-Clinton Katrina Fund,” the watchdog noted.

Celeb update

The trail of Hollywood hand-wringers grows in the wake of Katrina.

Among the stars who have either sounded off about — or arrived in — New Orleans for better or worse: Oprah Winfrey, the gray-bearded ex-James Bond Pierce Brosnan, Halle Berry, John Travolta and Sean Penn, who sank in his own ill-fated rescue boat.

Some showbiz types take action, though. Talk-radio host RushLimbaugh has announced he will stage a benefit performance for hurricane victims in Manhattan. “Rush On Broadway” will have a single show Oct. 18 at New York’s New Amsterdam Theater.

The event also will feature a special introduction by Fox News and talk-radio host Sean Hannity.

An insoluble woe?

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday said that U.S. problems with immigration along its porous border might be insoluble, reports Shaun Waterman of United Press International.

Speaking on efforts to address what he called government’s “biggest challenge” — the country’s immigration policy and border-control regime — Mr. Ashcroft said: “We’re a long way from home there, and I don’t know if we’ll ever get that solved.”

He spoke during a conference organized by the New America Foundation on terrorism and U.S. security.

Mr. Ashcroft said that the border’s intractability mostly stems from conflicting goals, and also the sheer scale of the issue.

“We’ve got to try and find a way to welcome people and facilitate people who are bringing productivity and industry into the country,” he said, “while at the same time we’re careful about welcoming people who would bring devastation into the country.”

“The real big problem is we’ve got 550 million border crossings a year,” he said. “Think about that.”

Question of attitude

Scripps Howard columnist Star Parker yesterday denounced statements by the Congressional Black Caucus, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others that imply rescue efforts in New Orleans were impeded by racism.

“It is grossly irresponsible to imply that racism is at work here,” said Miss Parker, founder of the Los Angeles-based Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education.

“The relevant question to ask is: ‘Why, after these many years, does our African American population remain disproportionately poor?’” she said. “Those who assert that rescue efforts were impeded because of racism also assert that black poverty persists because of racism. It is this attitude, the welfare-state mentality, that has contributed in no small part to the tragedy we have witnessed.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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