More on Mitt and Tax Amnesty

I had previously posted about the possibility that Mitt isn’t releasing more tax returns because his 2009 return would show that he took advantage of a “general amnesty” the IRS offered those with secret Swiss bank accounts — pay the back taxes and a fine, and we won’t prosecute you.

Today I’m delighted to see that Josh Marshall from Talking Points Memo (who has a few more readers than I do!) has picked up the story (“Is the FBAR FUBAR?”):

Given the radioactive-ness of the whole Swiss bank account issue I’m a little surprised that this whole thing hasn’t gotten more attention.  And I’m also surprised since to the best of my knowledge — hard to prove a negative — Romney or his representatives have never been asked whether he took advantage of the amnesty program.”

The issue is finally getting some traction, as media types connect the dots between the timing of the IRS amnesty and the closure of Mitt’s Swiss account.  At some point, he’ll get asked.

Given Mitt’s vehement insistence against “amnesty” for any illegal immigrants and his priggish defense of his own virtue and uprightness, it would be so great if he were caught with his magic Mormon underwear down,  benefiting from a government “amnesty.”  Maybe we could make him replace his flag pin with a scarlet “T.”

Maybe He Should Write It on His Hand

Mitt doesn’t know what his own immigration policy is.  In an interview with far-right web site Newsmax, Mittens said illegals who come here as children should be able to gain permanent status if they serve in the military or have advanced degrees.  This “advanced degrees” criterion was new and initially seemed to signal a more illegal-friendly policy change.  But his campaign quickly yanked back the leash and said ix-nay on the advanced degrees deal.

Let’s cut him some slack.  When you flip flop as much as he does on just about every issue, it’s not easy to keep track of what’s the policy du jour.

SCOTUS Rules on Immigration

The Supreme Court considered four provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070, and today it struck down three of them.  Eight justices took part because Justice Kagan recused herself, since she had worked on the matter before she joined the Court.

Ruling 5-3, the Court struck down the provision making it a crime for illegals to apply for or have a job in Arizona. The Court held that this provision violated federal preemption of immigration law because Congress has chosen to pursue employers who hire illegals, but not illegal employees.

Also ruling 5-3, the Court struck down the provision allowing the police to arrest someone without a warrant if they suspect that person has committed a crime that could result in his deportation.  The five votes were Kennedy (who wrote the opinion), Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Roberts.  The three against were Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.

Ruling 6-2, this time joined by Alito, the Court struck down the provision requiring all non-citizens to carry papers with them to prove they are here legally.

The Court upheld for now the most controversial provision, 8-0, which allows police to check the immigration status of someone stopped for another reason (such as speeding) if the police have “reasonable suspicion” the person is here illegally.

The challenge to the “stop and check” provision was based on concern that “reasonable suspicion” would lead to racial profiling.  Justice Kennedy wrote that since the law hasn’t been enforced yet, it is too soon to tell if “reasonable suspicion” would be applied in a manner consistent with federal law:

“The Federal Government has brought suit against a sovereign State to challenge the provisions even before the law has gone into effect.  There is a basic uncertainty about what the  law means and how it will be enforced.  At this stage, without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts it would be inappropriate to assume that [‘stop and check’] will be construed in a way that creates a conflict with federal law.

“This opinion does not foreclose other preemption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.”

So the law will have to take effect, some people will have to be stopped and checked and then sue, and their cases will have to work their way back up to the Supreme Court to see if there is racial profiling.

Basically, the Court said “stay tuned” on the “reasonable suspicion” provision.

Overall, this was a victory for President Obama and probably the best outcome he could hope for.  There is a strong sentiment that the Court’s failure to throw out “reasonable suspicion” at this point will energize Hispanic turn out and increase Obama’s votes.

Mitt, who has called S. B. 10170 a “model” for the country, gave a cowardly word-salad reaction to the decision that basically blamed President Obama for not passing immigration reform (which he tried, but failed to do because of the filibuster in the Senate), but didn’t say what he would do about immigration if he were president.

Mitt Finally Responds to Prez

A week after President Obama announced the new DHS policy delaying deportation proceedings for illegal immigrants who came here as children, Mitt finally said that he would overturn it.  He had been asked over and over again what he would do and had previously refused to give a straight answer.

This guy is just too slow on the uptake to be president.  Mitch McConnell may look like a turtle, but Mitt moves like one.

World events don’t move at Mitt’s pace.  I know it’s almost impossible for voters to look past their partisan affiliations, but this guy really doesn’t have what it takes to handle the job.  Everyone says the toughest part of becoming president is having to make decision after decision very quickly, and all of them are complex.  The easy questions never reach the Oval Office.

Last go around the GOP nominated a disaster for Veep, now they’re putting a disaster at the top of the ticket.   This is why I’m so sure Mitt would be a one-termer, with big Dem gains in Congress in 2014.

GOP Offers Expensive, But Empty, Suit

Having had time to think about the Obama Administration’s new DHS directive on immigration, Mitt still didn’t have a position for the Sunday talk shows.  He said we need a “long-term solution” for those who came here illegally as children, while being extremely careful not to indicate what that solution should be.

Democrat or Republican aside, just looking at him as a prospective president, he’s an empty suit.  A leader thinks long and hard about the issues and takes positions based on his core convictions and his vision for the country.  He then uses his leadership skills to convince those he leads or seeks to lead why he is right.

Mitt has no core convictions and no vision for the country.  All he thinks or cares about is what positions will help him win.  When he contemplates what’s “right,” it’s not right as opposed to wrong, it’s right as opposed to left — what exact spot on that spectrum will get him 270 electoral votes.

Mitt Finally Responds on Immigration

First silence, then incoherence.  After initially having no response to President Obama’s new policy of not deporting illegal aliens who came here as children, Mitt said this to reporters covering his bus tour:

“I think the action that the president took today makes it more difficult to reach a long-term solution because an executive order is, of course, just a short-term matter.  It can be reversed by subsequent presidents.”

I’m not seeing the causal connection Mitt does.  It sounds like word salad you’d get from Sarah Palin.  Silence is better than a dumb, incoherent, illogical response.

Mitt Mum on Obama Immigration Plan

So far Mitt hasn’t reacted to Obama’s announcement that he won’t deport some illegals who came here as children.

Spokesman Kevin Madden said that Mitt will stay focused on the economy, which means they were caught flat-footed and are scrambling to figure out what to say.

Mitt, as we know, prefers “self-deportation” for illegals.

Obama Won’t Deport Young Illegals

President Obama won’t deport illegal immigrants who came here before they were 16 and are now younger than 30.  In addition, they cannot have a criminal record and must have graduated from high school in this country or served in our military.

They won’t be granted citizenship, but will have the right to work.  The new policy is technically “deferred action,” not amnesty.

These criteria will apply to about 800,000 young people.  There are believed to be about 12 million illegal immigrants in the U. S.

The Administration’s rationale is that since these young people came here as children, they had no intent to break the law.

Some are questioning whether Obama can do this without Congress, so his action on illegals may itself be illegal.

Obama already has a huge lead over Mitt among Hispanic voters, but this move should help him even more in states like Virginia, Florida, Colorado, and Nevada.

I suspect that those who might vote against Obama over this were going to vote against him anyway.