Curious omission

April 29, 2009

Republic details criminal activities and arrests, but culprits go unnamed

The daily features a lengthy article on highly organized shoplifting gangs that are targeting Valley merchants. These sticky fingered “boosters” are in in for more than satisfying their kleptomaniac urges. They are well-oiled thievery rings whose business is resale — on eBay and or in their own homes — which they’ve turned into shop-off-the-rack stores.

The group detailed in today’s newspaper report is a central Phoenix family which has several homes and no legitimate means of support. Eleven members of the single family have been charged in the Valley-wide criminal organization..

In just over an hour at one mall three women and a 15-year-old boldly stole approximately $7,500 in clothing and other household merchandise. The haul was so hefty it required numerous trips to get the bulging bags from the mall to their car.

In hopes of thwarting such schemes, State Sen. Linda Gray, (R-Dist.10), has introduced SB 1059 that would make organized retail theft a separate criminal charge from shoplifting and stiffen the penalty.

Under current state laws a shoplifter can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the goods, and be punished by up to two years in prison. Under Gray’s bill, organized retail theft — defined as shoplifting with the intent to resell or trade the merchandise — would be a felony, regardless of the value of the stolen goods. It would be punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison.

Sen. Gray’s efforts are laudable.

These crimes are skyrocketing in Arizona cities, harshly impacting merchants who are seeing fewer customers due to the rough economy. Additionally, the loss of sales-tax revenues negatively affect the communities where the crimes are occurring.

It would be interesting to know why the Arizona Republic chose to omit the names of the family members charged with these brazen criminal offenses.

Last month, FOX News reported on a widespread shoplifting crime organization and named Michelle Stanton, 29, as the ringleader of that five-person operation.


Pandemic? Pestilence? Black Death? Don’t expect Napolitano to close the border

April 29, 2009

With the cases of the Mexican flu (that is the country where it originated, after all) spiraling, why does Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano say the costs of closing the border outweigh the medical benefits of doing so?

Although Cuba and Argentina have already banned flights from Mexico, Sky Harbor International Airport continues to run 18 daily nonstop flights between Phoenix and cities in Mexico, according to a report on KPHO.

Napolitano has said closing the border with Mexico, as many have recommended, would not help the situation, “given the speed with which the disease has spread.” Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) has become the first member of Congress to call for halting travel between the two countries. His thoughtful statement is here.

But Napolitano remains insistent even as the confirmed cases and deaths continue to climb. “Closing the border is something one would do if one had a realistic hope of containment, but given that we already have outbreaks in at least five states and probably more, and in at least two provinces in Canada, that really wouldn’t make sense,” Napolitano said. “We are simply in preparation mode, we do not yet know how widespread this flu will be within the United States.”

“And, of course, closing the border is not only complicated but would really cost millions of dollars in terms of trading commerce. So that, right now, is not something that we are looking at,” she stated.

We’re already doing passive surveillance at the border,” Napolitano said. “You would close the border if you thought you could contain the spread of disease, but the disease already is in a number of states within the United States.”

Noting that those infected with the flu may not show symptoms for a few days, Napolitano said  “more draconian enforcement steps are not yet necessary,” even as she acknowledged that officials ”anticipate confirmed cases in more states.”

In other words, no matter the severity of the situation she will remain entrenched in her illogical policy.

KTAR reports on the administration’s “passive surveillance” policy here.

Rosa Brooks: Leftist billionaire George Soros’ mole in the Pentagon

April 28, 2009

Before she was a far-left columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Rosa Brooks was once counsel to Soros’ Open Societies Institute. Now she’s the “principal adviser” to Undersecretary of Defense Michele Flournoy, the Pentagon’s No. 3 official and top policymaker.

So begins the Investor’s Business Daily report, guaranteed to make you sit up and take notice at the insidious intrusions into the highest areas of government.

As an example IBD writes: Rosa Brooks has echoed the assertions of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and others that we had it coming on 9/11 and that al-Qaida was an exaggerated threat exploited to invade Iraq. In a September 2006 column titled “Our Torturer-In-Chief,” (referencing President George W. Bush) she wrote: “Today the chickens are coming home to roost.” Sound familiar?

IBD further asserts that in 2007, Brooks dismissed Osama bin Laden’s group as “little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well-financed and intermittently lethal, but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull.” Tell that to the people of New York, Madrid, London or her colleagues at the Pentagon who remember one of al-Qaida’s “intermittently lethal” little pinpricks.

According to her, “On 9/11, they got lucky . . . . Thanks to U.S. policies, al-Qaida has become the vast global threat the administration imagined it to be in 2001.” Imagined it to be? This is the person who will be a Pentagon adviser on policy?

The complete report can be read here. We encourage readers to take a couple of minutes to become fully informed. Knowledge is power.

Another teleprompter glitch or BO ego-centrism?

April 28, 2009

While addressing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today — on the organization’s 100th year celebration, President Barack Obama had another one of his increasingly frequent “Oops!” moments.

No doubt thinking of his own 100 days in the White House rather than the Bureau’s century of service to the United States of America, he told the assembled agents, “There is much to celebrate about these first 100 days.”

And the Democrats berated George W. Bush for what they called Bushisms. Obamisms are falling out of Obama’s mouth at a rapid pace.  Wonder if the left is keeping track?

Is his exit news? Specter left the Republican Party long ago

April 28, 2009


“I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans”

Although he had disavowed a party switch as recently as March 17, Sen. Arlen Specter, 79, a registered Republican with impeccable liberal credentials, has finally legitimately jumped ship.

His quote at the time was: “I’m staying a Republican because I think I have a more important role to play there,” he said. “I think the United States very desperately needs a two-party system. … And I’m afraid that we’re becoming a one-party system, with Republicans becoming just a regional party.”

But today, Specter, a fifth termer, announced, “I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.”

President Obama, obviously delighted with the gift of a nearly 60-vote filibuster-resistant majority in the U.S. Senate, greeted the news with a rousing welcome. “The Democratic Party is thrilled to have you, ” an ecstatic Obama declared.

Breitbart News reports Specter faced an extraordinarily difficult re-election challenge in his home state in 2010, having first to confront a challenge from his right in the Republican primary before pivoting to a general election campaign against a Democrat in a state that has trended increasingly Democratic in recent elections.

He has publicly acknowledged in recent months that in order to win a sixth term, he would need the support of thousands of Pennsylvania Republicans who sided with Obama in last fall’s presidential election.

“I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate,” he said in the statement. Asked by a reporter what he had to say to his constituents, Specter replied with a smile, “I don’t have to say anything to them. They said it to me.”

Seeing Red AZ has reported on the betrayals of liberal Republicans Arlen Specter (PA), Susan Collins (ME) and Olympia Snowe (ME) who joined with Democrats voting in support of passage of the bloated and pork-laden “stimulus” spending package.

Specter was the subject of this report in February.

Legislature releases Joint Draft Budget Proposal

April 28, 2009

Republican leadership, balking at a proposed tax increase to deal with the multibillion-dollar state deficit, released a budget proposal last evening that has the look of success.

The House and Senate have put together a “Joint Draft Budget Proposal” for Fiscal Year 2010. The complete proposal is available here.

Hat tip to the Arizona House Republicans for the update.

The daily covers the plan here.

Bloomberg confirms students infected with swine flu had been in Mexico

April 28, 2009

This is a couple of days old.  Although the subject matter is serious, there is an element of entertainment that astute readers are sure to find acceptable.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, speaking in both English and Spanish, reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that the pupils at New York’s St. Francis Preparatory School now ill with swine flu were infected after some had returned from Spring break in Cancun, Mexico, two weeks ago.

St. Francis Preparatory School, the nation’s largest Catholic high school, has been closed until further notice.

As a means of assuaging public fear, he assured his audience he has spoken with Homeland Security Chieftain, Janet Napolitano.  Smart move, Mayor. That’s a sure way to calm public distress.

The newscaster described the mayor’s use of Spanish language as tied to the fact that he’s running for reelection.

Buenos dias.