Another 2nd Amendment win in California

March 6, 2014

"Crime stopper"

“Self-defense”

Okay, someone has put something in the water at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; this is the second ruling in a row where they’ve defended the right to bear arms in self defense against hyper-restrictive California laws. This time, they smacked down the Yolo County Sheriff:

Just weeks after striking down the San Diego County “good cause” requirement as burdensome to the exercise of the Second Amendment, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Yolo County, CA’s requirement that a concealed carry applicant “prove they face a threat of violence or robbery” before being allowed to carry a gun.

The Court in its new-found crush on the Bill of Rights found that the application of the “good cause” rule in Yolo “impermissibly” infringed the plaintiffs 2nd Amendment rights. While the ruling only applies to the county in question, it seems to me this is another wedge in the door that opens the way for a state-wide ruling.

Civil liberties — what a concept!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Grim Times for Gun Grabbers

February 20, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

The biggest hypocrisy of the gun-grabbers seems to be “Bodyguards for me, no self-defense for thee, peasant!” (Note: My apologies, folks, but the reblogged post doesn’t seem to be showing up, right now. You can find the original here.)

Originally posted on International Liberty:

I’ve already explained why leftists must be depressed about their failure to restrict private gun ownership.

They’ve suffered brutal electoral setbacks in Colorado, and more and more states have strengthened the right to keep and bear arms.

Moreover, it’s hard for them to claim their agenda is about safer streets when cops overwhelmingly reject the premises of the anti-gun zealots.

And they also have to deal with something very troubling that further undermines their campaign against the Second Amendment.

That troubling thing is facts and data.

Because the more information that we learn, the more evidence we have – as John Lott often reminds us – that more guns equal less crime.

Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley peruses some new data from the FBI. Here are some key excerpts.

A new FBI report says that violent crime continues to fall nationwide, which might annoy liberals because…

View original 648 more words


Ninth Circuit overturns California gun law

February 13, 2014

law constitution bill of rights

When even the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says progressive gun-grabbers have gone too far, it’s something to take note of:

The court concludes that California’s broad limits on both open and concealed carry of loaded guns — with no “shall-issue” licensing regime that assures law-abiding adults of a right to get licenses, but only a “good cause” regime under which no license need be given — “impermissibly infringe[] on the Second Amendment right to bear arms in lawful self-defense.” The Ninth Circuit thus joins the Seventh Circuit, and disagrees with the Second, Third, and Fourth Circuits. (State courts are also split on the subject.)

“Shall issue” vs. “may issue” has been a big bone of contention among gun rights advocates here in California, as high-handed county sheriffs and city police chiefs have used the distinction to deny otherwise law-abiding citizens their right to carry a weapon.

Given the differences between the various circuit courts, expect this one to go to the federal Supreme Court.

PS: The Washington Post genuinely upgraded the paper by letting Ezra Klein go and adding Prof. Eugene Volokh, founder of The Volokh Conspiracy.

via PJM.

RELATED: More analysis. What next?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh, gee. Another illegal #Obamacare delay by King Barack I

February 11, 2014
"My will is enough!"

“We have a pen and a phone!”

Legal dictionaries define the word “usurpation” thus:

The illegal encroachment or assumption of the use of authority, power, or property properly belonging to another; the interruption or disturbance of an individual in his or her right or possession.

The term usurpation is also used in reference to the unlawful assumption or seizure of sovereign power, in derogation of the constitution and rights of the proper ruler.

–West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

In which case, what are we to make of this news:

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it was again extending the ObamaCare enrollment deadline for people with pre-existing conditions.

The administration said it would extend the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP), slated to end Jan. 31, until March 15.

“As part of our continuing effort to help smooth consumers’ transition into Marketplace coverage, we are allowing those covered by PCIP additional time to shop for new coverage while they receive the ongoing care and treatment they need,” Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement.

The deadline was originally at the end of December, but last month, the administration pushed it back through January because of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov.

The new extension is just the latest in a string of unilateral delays the administration has implemented to buy time after the disastrous rollout of HealthCare.gov.

By “unilateral,” the author means “done without any statutory authority from Congress, the body charged under the constitution with writing and rewriting our laws.”

Or, in a word, “usurpation.”

But that’s not the only one (hat tip ST):

Republicans renewed their calls to delay or repeal ObamaCare Monday after the Obama administration announced another delay in the requirement for businesses to provide health coverage to workers, giving some employers a reprieve next year while phasing in the mandate for others.

The administration had already delayed the implementation of the so-called employer mandate by a year, initially pushing the requirements off until 2015 — past the midterm elections. In a concession to business, though, Treasury Department officials announced Monday that the administration would not enforce the rules across the board next year.

(…)

As a result of the delay, the administration will let employers with 50 to 99 employees off the hook in 2015. They’ll be required to report on how many workers are covered but will have until 2016 before being required to cover full-time staff or pay a penalty. Americans would still be required to obtain health insurance through what’s known as the individual mandate.

In other words, they’re giving a break to some employers, but not others, with, again, no legal authority to do so. This isn’t “prosecutorial discretion,” as the administration has tried sometimes to claim, but the seizure of legislative authority by the Executive to effectively rewrite an inconvenient law.

Usurpation.

And, in the same article, Gabriel Malor found this gem:

To answer Gabe’s question, I’m willing to bet one could look high and low in the ACA and never find the authority.

But think about that highlighted portion and what follows: the Treasury, an executive department under the presidency, is unilaterally creating a criminal offense, a felony. Legislature? They don’t need no steenkin’ legislature! They’ll just rewrite the law as they see fit and then declare it a crime not to obey. (1)

To usurpation, then, let’s add “tyranny:”

a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler; especially :  one characteristic of an ancient Greek city-state.

“Tyranny” and “usurpation” have a much more meaningful ring to them than “overreach,” don’t you think? Why, I can hear Jefferson sharpening his pen, even now.

Under our Madisonian system, institutional jealousy is supposed to keep the various branches from encroaching on each other’s constitutional prerogatives, but, for various reasons, those barriers eroded over the last century, especially since the New Deal.

The remedies Congress has for these usurpations are few and clumsy, the two most relevant being the refusal to allocate funds, and impeachment. So why not impeach President Obama?

Like Andrew McCarthy, while I’m convinced impeachment is well-warranted, I don’t believe the necessary political will among the public yet exists to carry it out. (2) In fact, I contend that the resulting political crisis, given that the Senate would never convict absent direct evidence that Obama ax-murdered someone in the Oval Office, wouldn’t be worth the destruction of Republicans’ electoral prospects in the coming midterm elections, which, thanks to Obamacare, are looking better and better. With control of both chambers starting in 2015 (3), Republicans and conservatives will be in a much better position to geld the White House and send Obama even more often to the links.

And that’s the real solution to Obama’s usurpations and petty tyrannies: a good, old-fashioned election. As Clint Eastwood said, “We own this country.” It’s time for the owners to take charge.

PS: Some relevant humor from Slublog.

RELATED: Obamacare and the corruption of the rule of law. Yuval Levin on the “Adhocracy.”

Footnote:
(1) God, but I’d love to see this tested in federal court and watch a judge shove this back in the administration’s face like a grapefruit wielded by Jimmy Cagney.
(2) This was the big mistake of the Clinton impeachment, which was also merited: Clinton was well-liked by the public, and so the public consensus did not exist that would otherwise have pressured senators into convicting him. A drastic move like this in a republic requires public support a priori to be successful.
(3) I hope.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


If there’s a war on women, they’re arming

January 7, 2014
"Not defenseless"

“Not defenseless”

Interesting statistics from the FBI (PDF) via Townhall: Not only was 2013 a record year for guns sales, but who were the biggest purchasers?

Women.

I guess they’d rather not have to wet themselves in self-defense, contrary to progressive best practice.

 

 


Obama’s top-ten constitutional violations of 2013

December 27, 2013
"Ignored"

“Violated”

From a list compiled by Forbes. Like they wrote, it’s tough limiting yourself to just ten, and a lot of those chosen come under the rubric of “general lawlessness.” Here’s one example:

10. Mini-DREAM Act. Congress has shamelessly failed to pass any sort of immigration reform, including for the most sympathetic victims of the current non-system, young people who were brought into the country illegally as children. Nonetheless, President Obama, contradicting his own previous statements claiming to lack authority, directed the Department of Homeland Security to issue work and residence permits to the so-called Dreamers. The executive branch undoubtedly has discretion regarding enforcement priorities, but granting de facto green cards goes beyond a decision to defer deportation in certain cases.

This is typical of the Obama administration: unable to get want they want through Congress, Obama abuses prosecutorial discretion and the regulatory powers granted by Congress to rewrite or even abrogate the law itself. And this has happened time and again, especially in the last year with regard to Obamacare. These are not the actions of a president under a constitutional republic, but those of a Peronist-style presidente, who only needs the legislature to rubber-stamp his decisions and carry out his directives. Not that I’m saying Obama is another Hugo Chavez or even Juan Peron (though I’ve snarkily referred to him that way, before), but his attitudes and predilections are both lazy and authoritarian. Why should he not do whatever he wants, if he thinks something needs doing? Why should he go to the effort of dealing with Congress, when he already knows what’s right?

Other presidents have tested the limits, of course, and some have gone beyond them. But the prior gentleman had some sense of limits, of boundaries they couldn’t cross, because “that’s not the way we do things.”

I don’t think Obama knows any such limits.

via Allahpundit

EDIT: Deleted a section that, on further review, didn’t fit.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


A Christmas lump of coal for the gun-grabbers

December 24, 2013
"Crime stopper"

“Crime stopper”

It seems concealed-carry cuts down on gun crime:

The purpose of the present study is to determine the effects of state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons laws on state-level murder rates. Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects, the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states. It was also found that assault weapons bans did not significantly affect murder rates at the state level. These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level. The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).

It’s logical: not only would potential victims be able to defend themselves, but the uncertainty of whether said potential victim (or anyone in the area) is carrying a weapon would tend to make a criminal less likely to strike. This woman might have been able to save herself. There’s a reason why the Founders protected the right to self-defense in the Bill of Rights.

Of course, logic, reasonableness, and constitutionalism will continue to be ignored by the Feinsteins, Bloombergs, Schumers, Morgans, and other gun-grabbers in the world.

via RBpundit

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I suspect Secretary Sebelius will resign after the midterm elections. UPDATE: Accusations of “criminal obstruction”

December 11, 2013
"A track record of epic failure"

In hot water

Mostly because, if the Republicans take the Senate and she keeps giving contempt-laden answers like these, she’s sure to face impeachment:

[Rep. John] Shimkus (R-IL)moved on to try and get Sebelius to acknowledge that items the Obama administration is claiming are free now because of Obamacare are not actually free: “I had my phone on and when my phone rang on left on because I wanted to talk to a Democrat state senator from my state of Illinois, who was on the insurance commission and he said mandated preventive services are laid directly on premium prices. So you cannot say as you have numerous times that these preventative care services our, quote, free of charge, can you?”

Again, Sebelius stuck to the party line: “They are free to the consumer.”

This sparked a response from Shimkus, “There is no free lunch, Madam Secretary! If the premiums increase because of the mandated coverage based upon state senator from the state of Illinois, a Democrat, who is in oversight of the insurance of the state of Illinois and he said when you mandate coverage it is ruled directly on premiums, premiums increase, that is paying, you cannot say these are free of charge!”

“Consumers will not have a co-pay or deductible,” Sebelius fired back, and refused to acknowledge that anyone’s premiums have risen due to Obamacare mandates, despite the widely reported fact that millions of Americans have seen their health insurance premiums and deductibles rise sharply since Obamacare’s implementation.

I’d recommend that Madame Secretary read Bastiat’s “That Which is Seen” essay, as well as anything by Thomas Sowell, for a reminder that nothing comes without cost. But that would assume she’e even interested in learning such things, which she isn’t.

In fact, the former-governor’s answers at this committee hearing were indicative of utter contempt for those charged with spending the public’s money and, by implication with overseeing how that money is spent. She simply would not give Mr. Shimkus a straight answer, until he gave up and said it was like dealing with North Korea.

This isn’t the first time the HHS secretary has given non-answers to legitimate questions posed by a co-equal branch of the government. Indeed, it’s a pattern with this whole administration; one just has to recall any number of Eric Holder’s appearances before House committees, or Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s patent lies to Congress. Granted, this happens to one degree or another in all administrations, especially when the opposition is on an obvious fishing expedition, but that isn’t the case, here. Republicans are posing valid questions in pursuit of their constitutional duties of oversight, and members of the administration are duty-bound to answer.

But, more and more, Obama administration officials are doing the equivalent to answering with “lovely weather, isn’t it?” and acting as if they have no responsibilities to the public at all.

There is an answer for this. I refer the reader to Article 1, sections 2 and 3 of the United States Constitution:

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

…and…

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

I would argue that Kathleen Sebelius’s utter disregard for the constitutional proprieties, such as giving a straight answer to a straight question from a member of the legislature, merits impeachment, as much to send a warning to other government officials as to punish her. Now, it would never get through a trial in the Senate as currently constituted. That’s fine; we have more pressing matters to deal with, such as taking control of said Senate in next year’s elections. We must control the tool before we can wield it.

But, after that, some salutary execu… er… impeachments may well be in order; I’ve come to the conclusion we don’t do it often enough. (1)

Which is why I think we’ll see a few key resignations starting in late November, 2014.

BREAKING UPDATE:

Just as I was finishing this post, the following news broke:

In a letter addressed to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) accuses the Department of criminally threatening the vendor that developed troubled Healthcare.gov website. Issa chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has been investigating the extremely rocky rollout of Healthcare.gov on October 1.

Issa cites a December 6, 2013 letter that HHS sent to Creative Computing Solutions, Inc. In that latter, “the Department claimed that the company is contractually precluded from producing documents to Congress. The letter further stated that the Department will respond to requests from Congress on the company’s behalf.” Issa’s letter states that other Healthcare.gov vendors received similar letters.

But Issa notes that the actual HHS contract precludes vendors from sharing documents with other companies, not Congress, which is charged by the Constitution with overseeing the actions of the executive branch.

“The Department’s attempt to threaten CCSI for the purpose of deterring the company from providing documents to Congress places the officials responsible for drafting and sending the letter on the wrong side of federal statutes that prohibit obstruction of a congressional investigation,” Issa states in the letter to HHS. He cites Section 1505 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code,…

Be sure to read the rest. Sebelius may be leaving sooner than I thought.

Footnote:
(1) While I agree completely with Andrew McCarthy that President Obama himself merits impeachment and removal from office, I don’t think we’d ever have enough votes in the Senate (2) to convict him. However, “bumping off ” one or two cabinet-level appointees might convince him to spend more time on the golf course and less abusing his power for the time he has left.
(2) Of course, it’s always possible Obama will leave Congress no choice, whether they’re sure of the votes or not.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Anti-gun NFL: National Frauds’ League

December 4, 2013

I saw the commercial in question the other day. Nothing offensive about it, at all, even from a moderate pro-gun control PoV. This is just the NFL being politically correct, and ridiculously so. Goodell is killing the League.


Another gun company leaves New York

November 5, 2013

pistol

Via the Washington Free Beacon, this makes the third gun company to head for more welcoming locales:

Nearly 10 months since New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) signed the SAFE Act, opposition to the law continues to increase, three gun companies have announced plans to leave the state, and a key provision in the law has been quietly delayed.

American Tactical Imports is the third gun company to announce it would be leaving the state and will be investing $2.7 million in its new facility and creating 117 new jobs in South Carolina.

The delayed provision is the real-time background check for all ammunition purchases; no reason has been given for the hold-up. Maybe they hired the same company that designed healthcare.gov.

Read the rest for some jaw-dropping instances of people being arrested for ticky-tack violations of the state’s new ammunition limits. I swear, the best way to get people to realize how bad progressivism is as a governing philosophy is perhaps to just them have power for a while and sit back while they tick everyone off.

RELATED: Earlier 2nd amendment posts.

UPDATE: Welcome Hot Air readers, and thanks for the link, Jazz!


. @DanHannanMEP for president in 2016?

September 25, 2013
Signing of Magna Carata

Signing of Magna Carta, A.D. 1215

Look, if they could forge a birth certificate for Obama… (I kid! I kid!!!)

Seriously, Conservative Member of the European Parliament and right-wing  rock star Daniel Hannan once again shows he “gets it” when it comes to what makes the Anglo-American civilization exceptional. This video is from a brief address Hannan gave to the Freedom Association at Runnymede during a gathering to honor Magna Carta, the great charter that is the ancestor of our own Constitution and one of the foundations for our idea of the Rule of Law.

Take a few minutes and enjoy; it’s an inspirational lecture on what Hannan calls “a secular miracle:”

You know, if this whole EU parliament thing just doesn’t work out, I’d be happy to offer Dan one of California’s seats in the US Senate.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Navy Yard shooting: an AR-15 *was* used there. Updated.

September 18, 2013

All too predictably, gun control advocates raced to take advantage of the atrocity of yesterdays’s mass shooting at the Navy Yard to press their case, this time by decrying the use of an AR-15 in the killings, the semi-automatic rifle having become the fear-object of choice for people who hate the Second Amendment (1).

Trouble is, the shooter didn’t use an AR-15. From what can be reconstructed, he entered the base armed with a legally-purchased shotgun (Joe Biden’s “Good Weapon”) and at some point obtained a pistol. But, gun-rights defenders are also wrong: there was at least one AR-15 involved in the shooting.

It was used by the police to kill the bad guy.

Sorry, gun-grabbers.

PS: After the last mass shooting, at Newtown, there was a lot of talk about the dangers of gun-free zones. So, will someone please explain, why, of all places, are military bases still  gun-free zones, per a Clinton-era regulation? These are people trained to use firearms and respond to combat situations. Why are we forcing them to be sitting ducks?

via Doug Powers

Footnote:
(1) And check out how this Advanced Placement Exam textbook mangles the Second Amendment. That is either gross ignorance or deliberate deception.

UPDATE: Based on a couple of comments on Twitter, I should clarify something. The point isn’t to argue over what kind of weapon was used, per se, but to correct the misinformation the reactionary Left uses to advance its agenda for an eventual gun ban. (Regardless of what they say, that’s where gun-control logic leads.) If left uncorrected with the truth at all times, the lie becomes the dominant narrative and the momentum goes to the gun-grabbers.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Liberal racism in action: The Black NRA

September 16, 2013

Like AlfonZo Rachel and his friends say in the video below, comedienne Sarah Silverman and her friends may have had good intentions in mind with their “Funny or Die!” piece, but the message, when you think about it, is pretty danged racist.

In that patronizing, condescending way that progressives do so well.

Watch, and see if you agree:

Pretty amazing, no? And I bet none of those “enlightened, socially aware” people in Silverman’s video will ever get why.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Illinois Supreme Court overturns state ban on carrying firearms

September 14, 2013

Here’s a surprising victory for constitutional rights in one of the most gun-restrictive states in the nation:

In an unusually forceful and straightforward opinion in the case of People v. Aguilar, the Supreme Court of Illinois unanimously held that the state’s “comprehensive ban” on the “use of an operable firearm for self-defense outside the home” is invalid on its face under the Second Amendment. The NRA had participated in the case with an amicus brief.

The court surveyed the Supreme Court’s recent Second Amendment decisions, as well as state and federal precedents from courts in Illinois. Regarding the significance of the Supreme Court’s opinions, it declared: “neither Heller nor McDonald expressly limits the second amendment’s protections to the home. On the contrary, both decisions contain language strongly suggesting if not outright confirming that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms extends beyond the home.” It also characterized the Illinois law as “a wholesale statutory ban on the exercise of a personal right that is specifically named in and guaranteed by the United States Constitution….” According to the court, “In no other context would we permit this, and we will not permit it here either.”

And this was in Illinois. Maybe there’s hope for overturning California’s draconian gun laws, yet.

via ST on Facebook

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Rubio, Jindal, and Cruz eligible to be president

September 3, 2013
Our Canadian president?

Our Canadian president?

There’s been a controversy… well, not “raging,” but always there in the background, about whether Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and Governor Bobby Jindal are eligible to serve as President of the United States based on the Constitution’s “natural born” clause. It’s the modern version of the controversies surrounding the candidacies of Barack Obama and John McCain. Heck, it’s been “in the air” since the presidency of Chet Arthur (1), who was accused of being born in Canada.

I’ve always assumed these men (and McCain and Obama) were eligible, since it seemed like the most reasonable reading of the Constitution and the Framers’ intent. But, I’ll also admit the question does not avail itself of clear, bright-line answers. Well, today at Legal Insurrection, William Jacobson takes a long look at the eligibility question and concludes that, given the preponderance of law, logic, and constitutional theory, the three men in question are, by a reasonable standard of interpretation, eligible, and that the burden of proof lies with their opponents. Here’s an excerpt from his introduction:

The arguments that the term “natural born Citizen” excludes Rubio and Jindal (because their parents were not citizens) or Cruz (because he was born abroad to a citizen mother only) at most raise doubts.  Those doubts, however, never rise anywhere near the level of making the case that Rubio, Jindal and Cruz are excluded.  Most of the counter-arguments are historical conjecture, at best, and rely on speculation not connected to the text of the Constitution or any demonstrable actual intent or understanding of the Framers.

In the circumstance of candidates who appear to qualify based on the text of the Constitution and the traditions upon which “natural born Citizen[ship]” is believed to derive, and as to whom there are at worst some doubts raised, I believe the proper constitutional outcome is to leave the issue to the political process.  To exclude apparently eligible candidates based on speculation as to what the term “natural born Citizen” might have meant is no better, and I would argue much worse.

Remember, these are merely eligibility requirements, not requirements that a person be elected.  It would be consistent with the Framers’ demonstrable concerns to consider loyalty to the United States as a political factor, even if not absolutely legally disqualifying.  If you don’t trust the loyalty of a candidate because of how he or she became a “natural born Citizen,” don’t vote for the person.

Like I said, it’s a long post, but well-worth your time if you’re interested in the topic.

Footnote:
(1) Or, as I like to refer to him, “the great Chester A. Arthur.” :)


Sun King Obama to peasant reporter: “Do not bother me with lawyers!”

July 30, 2013
"My will is enough!"

“My will is enough!”

We’ve already noted President Le Roi Soleil Obama’s speech at Galesburg, Illinois, last week, in which he (again) revealed himself to be something of a schmuck. But, in addition to the neo-Marxist, class-warfare theme of the speech itself, something else came from that trip. In an interview with audience granted to Jackie Calmes and Michael Shear of The New York Times, Juan Peron Obama had this to say when asked about his unilateral, illegal, and unconstitutional decision to grant a delay in enforcement of the Obamacare employer mandate:

NYT: People questioned your legal and constitutional authority to do that unilaterally — to delay the employer mandate. Did you consult with your lawyer?

MR. OBAMA: Jackie, if you heard me on stage today, what I said was that I will seize any opportunity I can find to work with Congress to strengthen the middle class, improve their prospects, improve their security –

NYT: No, but specifically –

MR. OBAMA: — but where Congress is unwilling to act, I will take whatever administrative steps that I can in order to do right by the American people.

And if Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case. But there’s not an action that I take that you don’t have some folks in Congress who say that I’m usurping my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency. And I don’t think that’s a secret. But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions — very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers.

I am concerned about the folks who I spoke to today who are working really hard, are trying to figure out how they can send their kids to college, are trying to make sure that they can save for their retirement. And if I can take steps on their behalf, then I’m going to do so. And I would hope that more and more of Congress will say, you know what, since that’s our primary focus, we’re willing to work with you to advance those ideals. But I’m not just going to sit back if the only message from some of these folks is no on everything, and sit around and twiddle my thumbs for the next 1,200 days.

Keep that in mind: he first dodges the question of whether he consulted with White House legal staff (or the staff of any relevant cabinet department) and then asserts that his critics are mere gadflies because they, unlike he, are not constitutional lawyers.

Translation: “Silence, you ignorant bitter-clinger!”

Let set the record straight: Obama taught con-law (a course on the 4th amendment, as I recall) and was regarded as faculty, but he was no great scholar. Really. Search the literature, and you’ll find next to nothing.  For him to dismiss the many well-read, educated people who have criticized his actions because they don’t have “esq.” after their names is the height of ivory-tower arrogance. And typical for the academic elitists from whose ranks he comes.

But look at that second paragraph: If Congress refuses to do what Obama wants, Obama will do it anyway, regardless of any grant of authority by the legislature, the only body constitutionally allowed to make laws. This isn’t the first time he’s dismissed Congress as a bother. From “I won” to issue after issue, he’s used the vast (too vast) administrative power of the Executive to make or rewrite law, and then stretched the limits of Executive power even further than anyone since FDR or Nixon. Think I’m exaggerating? Consider how many times Obama and his minions have been smacked down nine-to-nothing (9-0!) by the Supreme Court. That includes liberal Justices Ginsberg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, and the latter two were Obama appointees! If even those three think Obama’s White House has lost any constitutional moorings…

What we have here is a man who sees himself as a supercharged Mayor of Chicago, ruling as he wishes and only paying attention to the “city council” when he absolutely has to, not as the head of one branch of government dealing with a constitutionally equal branch, respecting the powers, boundaries, and traditions of both. “Consensus” means to Obama “do it my way.” And, when stymied, he feels no need to consult with anyone else, no need to wait for the people’s elected representatives to grant him authority, nor even any need to obey the law as written. His will be done. Even after five years, his arrogance is breathtaking.

And there’s a word for people who think they can rule on their own.

via Byron York

LINK: More from PJM’s Rick Moran.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) Hello, I’m from California. Please nuke my state, now.

July 10, 2013
"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

“Even the monkey is embarrassed”

A noted 9-11 Truther circulates a petition to help Obama streamline government by eliminating the Bill of Rights… and people sign it!

The Blaze describes the man with the mission:

Well, to put it plainly, he’s … interesting.

A noted 9/11 truther and Illuminati enthusiast, Dice has been featured in documentaries including Invisible Empire, The 9/11 Chronicles, and has been featured on the History Channel’s Decoded, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, and the Sundance Channel’s Love/Lust: Secret Societies.

So, your garden-variety activist… if it happens to be a garden in Venice  or San Francisco.

As the writer notes, some people will sign anything to get rid of the petition taker, or because they think the idea is so outrageous, it would be funny to sign.  But… eliminate the Bill of Rights? Dude, put down the bong and back away.

It may surprise you, but there are times when my faith in the Golden State is shaken. At least a bit. smiley headbang wall

via birthday boy William Teach

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


You’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you, @SharylAttkisson

June 14, 2013

A few weeks ago, I mentioned CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s strong suspicions that her home and work computers had been accessed by unknown persons. Coming in the wake of revelations about the government’s seizure of phone records for journalists and editors at the Associated Press and a secret warrant for phone records and email belonging to Fox reporter James Rosen charging him with being an unindicted co-conspirator under the Espionage Act of 1917, Attkisson’s accusations couldn’t be dismissed as paranoia or mere attention-seeking.

In fact, she was right:

“A cyber security firm hired by CBS News has determined through forensic analysis that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012. Evidence suggests this party performed all access remotely using Attkisson’s accounts. While no malicious code was found, forensic analysis revealed an intruder had executed commands that appeared to involve search and exfiltration of data.

This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.

CBS News is taking steps to identify the responsible party and their method of access.”

Now, as an expert contacted by the Post’s Erik Wemple points out, this doesn’t necessarily mean it was the government:

Eugene H. Spafford, a Purdue University professor and specialist in computer security, said that Attkisson’s initial statements about computer intrusions left open a wide field of possibilities, from viruses to botnet activity to acquaintances to criminal gangs to the government. 

And an investigative reporter as determined as Attkisson, who’s looked into many sensitive topics –such as Fast and Furious… hmmm…–  could well have alarmed many different types of people who might want to find out what she knows, who she’s talking to, etc.

But, in late 2012, Attkisson was writing a series of articles on the Benghazi massacre that weren’t toeing the government line. Indeed, she was asking some tough questions, especially about the lack of a military rescue mission:

CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.

The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”

But it was too late to help the Americans in Benghazi. The ambassador and three others were dead.

(hat tip: Ed Morrissey for the reminder of this)

That highlighted paragraph indicates anonymous sources. And if the government was forcing access to James Rosen’s phone records and emails (and his parents’ emails), and CBS was talking to anonymous sources giving out information embarrassing to the Obama administration, then it’s not at all hard to look at the break-in into Attkisson’s computers and wonder if something similar happened here.

It will be interesting to see what CBS discovers, and I suspect the relevant committee’s of Congress will have even more work when they do find out who was behind it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


History lesson: The crucial differences between Bush and Obama’s NSA phone surveillance programs

June 6, 2013

Excellent column by Michelle Malkin on the differences between the Bush-era warrantless wiretap program and the Obama administration’s tracking of *all* domestic calls on the Verizon network. This should be read by everyone, especially knee-jerk civil liberties absolutists on the Left and reactionary Libertarians on the Right. I only differ with her in being a little more open to the idea that the Obama effort *may* be legal/justified/needed, etc., but we need much more information in order to judge. Also, she makes an excellent point about the administration’s loss of credibility with the public on national security and constitutional issues, compared to the wide public support for the Bush-era program.


Tales of the #Thugocracy: Oh, so that’s why they raided Gibson Guitar

May 26, 2013
"Nice business you got here..."

“Nice business you got here…”

You might recall a bizarre federal raid on legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson Guitar back in 2011: they were accused of importing illegally harvested wood from India and Madagascar under a century-old law. The feds showed up with automatic weapons, seized “evidence,” and generally disrupted operations to Gibson’s great cost. After all that, no criminal charges were filed, but Gibson had to agree to pay a $300,000 fine and toss $50,000 to an environmental group as penance for being “careless.”

Weird, right? Why all this attention to Gibson, when rival Martin & Co. used the very same “illegal” wood, yet wasn’t raided?

And, just like that, a light goes on:

Grossly underreported at the time was the fact that Gibson’s chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, contributed to Republican politicians. Recent donations have included $2,000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and $1,500 to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

By contrast, Chris Martin IV, the Martin & Co. CEO, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee over the past couple of election cycles.

What would have seemed like a crazy conspiracy theory straight out of the fever swamps just a year ago now looks all too plausible, after the IRS scandal and the news that the Obama people had been targeting conservatives since 2008.

The message here to Mr. Juszkiewicz and people like him is crystal clear: “Thinking about making a political donation? Maybe you should think again.

“First Amendment?” What’s that?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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