Wednesday, November 26, 2014

THE FIRE THIS TIME


Watching the Ferguson mob rioting for fun and looting for the traditional reasons live on television last night, I didn’t see much “anger” in evidence. The arson and destruction looked premeditated and deliberate, an orgy of opportunity.
Was it an accident that the orgy commenced as President Obama urged calm? (The White House has posted the text of his remarks and a video of his statement here.) It was either a remarkable coincidence or yet another example of the Obama touch. The man is King Midas in reverse.
Obama was the last man we needed to hear from last night. He could have served a useful purpose if he had asked Al Sharpton to pack it in and stay away from Ferguson, but the racial hustle is the family business.
If anger was not obviously in evidence among the mob in Ferguson, the same could not be said about the mob in Washington. As he read his statement, Obama was seething. He took the failure of reality to conform to the prescribed racial script personally.
As well he might have. Obama had already invoked events in Ferguson in his speech at the United Nations this past September. Mentioning ISIS and its famously non-Islamic “violent extremism,” Obama juxtaposed it with America’s “failure” and “our own racial and ethnic tensions” in “the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri.”
“Failure” is right. “[T]here are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in discriminatory fashion,” Obama intoned last night. Was the “feeling” warranted in this case?
Obama wasn’t saying. Of course, he’s made a fruitful living on the feeling and the Democratic Party has staked its future on it.
We hear incessantly of racial disparities in law enforcement, school discipline, and everything else down the line. We never hear of the underlying behavioral disparities that are reflected in the numerical racial disparities.
“I’ve instructed Attorney General Holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations between communities and law enforcement,” Obama said last night. Again, Obama could have served a useful purpose ordering Holder to stay put until his time in office is up. His “work” with cities is all about suppressing “racial disparities” by ignoring behavioral disparities, including the behavioral disparities that the rioters in Ferguson have put on display for all to see.
Speaking of disparities, I return to the disparity between Obama’s words urging calm and his seething anger over the outcome of the state’s grand jury proceedings. It’s not over yetand Obama is not conceding an inch to the reality that has failed to conform to the prescribed script.

TRAYVON AND MIKE


Last night, basketball player Lebron James tweeted this graphic:
Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 6.34.40 PM
As many have noted, there are obvious parallels between the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases. Both were young black men who were, as we were told countless times, unarmed. Both were shot by men portrayed as white authority figures–Darren Wilson, a police officer, and George Zimmerman, a “white Hispanic” who, as a neighborhood watch volunteer, was a sort of honorary policeman, just as he was an honorary white man.
Supporters of Martin and Brown would prefer to leave the similarities there. But there are more: Martin thought he was a tough guy, a martial arts aficionado, and had been kicked out of high school for burglary. Brown was high on marijuana and had just robbed a convenience store when he encountered Officer Wilson.
Martin attacked Zimmerman and was seen by an eyewitness sitting on top of Zimmerman and punching his face. The 300-pound Brown likewise attacked Officer Wilson, calling him a f****** p***y and apparently attempting to wrest his gun away. They both made the same mistake: they attacked (unintentionally in Martin’s case, intentionally in Brown’s) a man with a gun. As a legal matter, both killings were rather obviously justified as self-defense, although my own opinion is that Wilson probably could have handled the situation better.
It is striking that the activists and race-baiters have chosen to raise two such weak cases to mythic status. In both instances, they were wrong on the facts. They claimed that Zimmerman shot Martin “execution style,” when in fact Zimmerman was on his back, getting his head banged into the pavement by Martin and in fear for his life. They said that Brown was trying to surrender–”hands up, don’t shoot!”–when in fact, he attacked Wilson inside Wilson’s police vehicle and was advancing on him again when the fatal rounds were fired.
Why did activists bet so much on two such weak cases? Can no instances be found where African-Americans have been shot by whites when it was NOT in self-defense? That can’t possibly be true. But those whites probably weren’t policemen, or even neighborhood watch volunteers. Maybe the activists just didn’t have any better cases to politicize.
Beyond that, though, I wonder whether the activists are really disappointed that, once again, their campaign to imprison a white man has failed. In their world of perpetual grievance, failure is success. If there had been a strong case against George Zimmerman, he would have been convicted. If there had been a strong case against Darren Wilson, he would have been indicted. But those results would not have advanced the Left’s preferred narrative: America is still a racist country.
For leftist race-baiters, failure is success. When they press a weak case and it fails, they claim vindication. With the grand jury declining to indict Darren Wilson, President Obama could say:
We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for Ferguson, this is an issue for America. [T]here are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up. …[T]here are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in discriminatory fashion. … [T]hose who are only interested in focusing on the violence and just want the problem to go away need to recognize that we do have work to do here, and we shouldn’t try to paper it over. …America isn’t everything that it could be.
Keeping African-Americans perpetually down is a core goal of the liberal movement and the Democratic Party. So Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin have to be victims, not aggressors.
Still, the truth is that they were victims. Not victims of a mythical white power structure–the concept is laughable as applied to either George Zimmerman or Darren Wilson. And certainly not victims of a racist judicial system. On the contrary, in both cases America’s court system rendered the right verdict under tremendous pressure to bend the truth to political expedience.
Rather, Martin and Brown were victims of an African-American culture in which the family has been pretty much destroyed, government checks have largely replaced employment, education is disparaged, criminality is respected, and racial animosity is a sign of authenticity. That culture has worked well for the Democratic Party, but it has been an utter disaster for millions of young black men like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

Obama’s Imperial Transformation Is Now Complete

Obama’s Imperial Transformation Is Now Complete
The president has become everything he ran against.
By Charles C. W. Cooke

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Alinsky Does Amnesty

Alinsky Does Amnesty
The only limit on the president’s power that he recognizes is political expediency.
By Andrew C. McCarthy

REAGAN AND BUSH 41 PROVIDE NO PRECEDENT FOR OBAMA’S AMNESTY BY EXECUTIVE ORDER


Tonight, President Obama will override Congress and effectively declare amnesty for at least several million illegal immigrants. As Scott has noted, Obama himself has repeatedly admitted he lacks the constitutional power to make this move.
Some of Obama’s defenders claim that the president was mistaken when he acknowledged his lack of power to override the immigration laws. One supporter (I don’t remember who) said that Obama received bad legal advice. Apparently, the “constitutional lawyer” was misled by his legal team.
The most common argument in favor of Obama’s power to declare amnesty by executive order is that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did it. Juan Williams, among others, has made this claim.
It is baseless. Unlike what Obama is about to do, Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 issued immigration regulations that were expressly authorized by a law passed by Congress.
In 1986, Reagan signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The Act required him to adjust the status of certain illegal immigrants to the category of “alien lawfully admitted for temporary residence.”
The Act also authorized the Attorney General to allow other illegal immigrants who did not qualify for the amnesty to remain in the U.S. if needed “to assure family unity.”
Accordingly, in May 1987, the Justice Department issued regulations that interpreted the the term “family unity” as calling for the maintenance of the “family group.” Family group was defined as including “the spouse, unmarried minor children under 18 years of age who are not member of some other household, and parents who resided regularly in the household of the family group.” Thus, not all spouses and children were included.
This regulation was not an exercise of prosecutorial discretion or the assertion of a generalized right to suspend “oppressive” immigration laws. Rather, the administration made it clear that it was carrying out the direction of Congress. It even cited the section of the law that provided this direction (section 245(d)(2)(B)(i) of the 1986 Act).
House Democrats, including one of the authors of the 1986 Act, criticized Reagan for interpreting too narrowly the executive authority they had granted him. They wanted all spouses and children to receive amnesty in the name of family unity. If anything, then Reagan acted too cautiously, exercising less than the full discretion afforded him by Congress.
Enter President George H.W. Bush. In 1990, he expanded the Reagan DOJ’s interpretation of “family unity” to encompass all spouses and children. Like Reagan, Bush merely interpreted the 1986 Act, as Congress called on the executive to do.
Bush’s interpretation was the more expansive one that Democrats had urged the Reagan administration to adopt. Both the Reagan and Bush interpretations were reasonable, though differing, attempts to effectuate congressional intent.
Obama, by contrast, will not be fulfilling a congresional mandate to interpret a new statute. He will be overriding the immigration law in the name of “prosecutorial discretion” on the ground that Congress hasn’t enacted a new statute.
It will be an unprecedented, unlawful, and dangerous assertion of executive power. It might well create a constitutional crisis.

BOMBSHELL: ATTORNEY GENERAL TARGETED ATTKISSON [UPDATED]


Judicial Watch has slowly been prying Fast and Furious documents out of the desperate grip of the Obama administration. The Department of Justice has now produced around 40,000 pages of documents–a tiny amount–which Judicial Watch has posted on its web site. So far, the most explosive document to emerge is an email thread between Tracy Schmaler, who headed Eric Holder’s Office of Public Affairs, and White House Deputy Press Sectary Eric Schultz. The emails are dated October 4, 2011. Here they are; as usual, you read up from the bottom. Click to enlarge:
Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 6.43.59 PM
The context of the emails is concern about news reports that put Eric Holder at the center of the Fast and Furious scandal. In the first email, at 7:46, Schmaler says that there were no Fast and Furious stories from the NY Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, the Washington Post, NBC or Bloomberg. But there is one person out of step: Sharyl Attkisson. Schmaler writes:
I’m also calling Sharryl’s editor and reaching out to Schieffer. She’s out of control.
Which is highly revealing: the Obama administration expects reporters to be under control. As, of course, they generally are, like the Times, the Post, AP, etc. Schultz replies:
Good. Her piece was really bad for AG.
We can’t have that. We need to get the one reporter willing to dig into the story under control. But Schultz can’t seem to believe the White House’s good fortune:
Why do you think no one else wrote? Were they not fed the documents?
Apparently the others are all loyal Democrats. Schultz adds:
I sent [National Journal's] Susan Davis your way. She’s writing on Issa/FandF and I said you could load her up on the leaks, etc.
Three days later, as Judicial Watch notes, Ms. Davis published a hit piece on Issa that was later labelled “definitive” by another left-wing journalist.
It is obvious that the Department of Justice has withheld other emails that are relevant to the above exchange. Schmaler’s reference to “Sharryl” is out of the blue. There must have been prior references to her, but they do not show up in a search of the documents that have been produced. That means that they have been either redacted or withheld. Still, what we have is bad enough: the Obama administration targeted the only reporter who was following up on Fast and Furious, and went to her editor and to elder statesman Bob Schieffer to pull her off the case–to get her, as they said, under “control.”
Schultz and Schmaler were concerned about Fox, too. This exchange is entertaining; again, the earlier email is at the bottom. Click to enlarge:
Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 7.01.19 PM
Any way they can “fix Fox”? Probably not. But note that the government’s production redacts the information that Schmaler gave to the NY Times, NBC and NPR. Why? The redaction note is “DP,” which stands for deliberative privilege, a much-misused species of executive privilege. I think it is impossible that the deliberative privilege could apply, since the redacted material is what Tracy Schmaler gave to various news organizations. But that is the Obama administration’s MO: assert countless frivolous claims of privilege, stonewall furiously, and by the time the snail’s pace of our judicial system requires documents to be produced, the administration will be out of office.
The Obama administration is rotten to the core, and Eric Holder is among the rottenest of its rotten apples.
UPDATE: More here.

Don's Tuesday Column

THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson  Red Bluff Daily News   11/25/2014

Electoral stupidity or conservative intellectual superiority

Before providing readers with some hopefully refreshing candor and critical analysis of Mr. Obama’s (or, by his own admission, Emperor Obama’s) fiat approach to creating new immigration laws and policies, I’d like to revisit what Jonathon Gruber described as “the stupidity of the American voter.” By the way, I’ve seen next-to-nothing on the devastating (to Obamacare) revelations—Gruber’s assertions—on mainstream network news (MSM). A slight mention on CBS, a literal blackout on NBC and ABC, and minimalist coverage by the Associated Press, has been pretty much it. Last week’s column had more revelations than all MSM on “Gruber-gate.”

Conservative blogger Jim Treacher provided this appropriate quote: “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.” Hence, the Democrat/MSM complex deigns to categorize as “stupid” that part of the American electorate that has somehow formed convictions and opinions contrary to the delivered wisdom and narratives of the Beltway elite. When Gallup announces a “New numerical low” for Obamacare—yet another polling data point of rejection of the program conceived, promoted and legislated through massive deception and false promises—the political and media upper class simply assign mental deficiency to the obstinate populace.

A 2004 book by Thomas Frank, “What’s the Matter With Kansas,” is informative on why the liberal elites have such condescension toward the center-right voting majority. Look it up on Wikipedia.org by title and you will find the theme that allows the intellectual left to dismiss the firmly-held sentiments of such Americans: Their true best interests are served by the programs and policies of the establishment progressive movement. Meanwhile, conservative leaders try to distract those same Americans from that reality by creating liberal “bogeymen” and villains ever determined to make life harder for otherwise free people.

Get it? In the liberal paradigm, our collective rejection of expansive government programs, benefits and tax burdens—which undermine paramount ideals of self-sufficiency and industriousness—condemns us to intellectual inferiority vis-à-vis our wise, statist overlords.

Don’t take my word for it. Bloomberg’s Clive Crook is a center-left journalist and self-admitted supporter of Obamacare and the Democrat’s policy positions (he “wants to see them succeed”), and was being honest in “Why Do Democrats Look Down on Voters?” “Here’s what counts about Gruber’s comments: His views on the stupidity of the American electorate express the party’s reflexive disdain for the very people it hopes (in all sincerity) to serve…but some (political salesmen) respect their customers, whereas others look down on them.

“The Democrats’ brand of disapproval has a particular quality that puts their party and its good ideas at a perpetual electoral disadvantage…Liberals have an exaggerated respect for intellectual authority and technical expertise…(They) have an unduly narrow conception of the values that are implicated in political choices…(and become convinced) that if you disagree with Democrats on universal health insurance or almost anything else, it can only be because you’re stupid.

“Voters recognize this as insufferable arrogance and, oddly enough, they resent it.” Leftist critics of this column would be wise to look up Mr. Crook’s column by name and read all of it before heaping scorn on my positions, which clearly reflect large majorities of local and national voters. Stupid? Not!

Conservatives often echo Rush Limbaugh’s “low information voter” descriptor for the Democrat base. Is this just our arrogance and condescension reversed against our political opposites? I don’t think so, in the sense that there’s anecdotal and empirical basis for such a descriptor. After the 2008 election, videos surfaced of Obama voters being asked all sorts of basic questions about our government, major political figures and prominent news. The revealed ignorance (i.e. not knowing who Obama’s vice president was, or thinking that Sarah Palin really said she could see Russia from her house) was breathtaking.
Timothy H. Lee analyzed the most recent poll on the subject, “Republicans More Informed Than Democrats, According to Pew Research,” (10/08/14) regarding Pew’s “What Do Americans Know” survey. Look it up by title, or go to DonPolson.blogspot.com and find it posted on 11/19.

To summarize, “Out of 12 questions asked, Republicans outperformed both Democrats and Independents on 10,” with double-digit leads on several issues and small Democrat leads on 2 topics (all listed in article). Moreover, there seems to be a pattern: “In 2012, Republicans outscored Democrats on 11 of 12 items…In the 2011 Pew survey, Republicans outperformed Democrats on every single one of 19 questions,” and on 10 of 12 in 2010.

Additionally, in a study that must have stunned the liberals at the New York Times, in 2010 the Times reported “Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier and More Educated” than their opponents. Those knuckle-dragging Neanderthals were “more likely to possess a college degree…a graduate degree…some college and even to have graduated from high school.” Perhaps conservative suspicion and rejection of expansionist, “transformational” government and ballooning benefit programs is actually a result of superior intellect and knowledge. Just sayin’.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Time for the People to Choose

Time for the People to Choose
There’s still great hope for America, now as in 1964, if we choose wisely.
By Ted Cruz

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/391253/time-people-choose-ted-cruz