Eric Holder’s racialist hypocrisy

August 28, 2013

Remember when Eric Holder threatened to seek civil rights charges against George Zimmerman in the wake of his acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin? Remember how he sued states,  claiming that their voter identification laws harmed the civil rights of minority Americans? Remember how he sued Louisiana for providing school vouchers, charging that they reinforced segregation?

Well, you can forget it, if the victim is White.

A woman who said she was brutally attacked by a group of black teenagers in Pittsburgh’s North Side Sunday said the girls savagely beat her while calling her racial slurs.

(…)

Police said Slepski was savagely beaten after the girls threw a bottle at her car on Concord Street and she stopped to confront them.

“I was mad. I knew they were younger. I thought they were in their early 20s. I got out and said, ‘What is your problem?’” Slepski said.

All four African-American girls then called her names before getting physically violent.

“They yelled, ‘Shut up white [expletive].’ The other said, ‘Get that white [expletive],’” Slepski said.

Slepski said she tried to get back into her car but the girls grabbed her by the hair.

“The one punched me in the head and I was on a set of concrete steps and my head hit the concrete so hard,” said Slepski. “Then they all got on top of me and all their hands were in my hair. They kept telling each other to, ‘Kick her in the head. Kick her head in the concrete.’”

Writing at PJMedia, Christian Adams, who’s made a second career out of tracking Holder’s dedication to racial injustice, says Holder is no better than the old segregationists:

Well here’s an easy case Eric. It won’t be too hard to prove a violation of 18 USC 249 or 18 USC 245 in this context. No outrageous self-defense defenses here.

But like in all the other similar cases you refuse to prosecute, the victim here wasn’t one of “your people.” Ginger’s parents didn’t endure the sort of garbage that your wife’s parents did down south. So she isn’t entitled to equal protection of the law, right?

Make no mistake, Ginger isn’t the only victim who won’t get justice from Justice, just because of her race. Neither will the parents who were beaten at the Wisconsin State Fair. Nor will the parents in Ohio who saw thugs come on their lawn shouting racial slurs before they beat them.

In the United States, we like to say Justice is blind, holding all equal before the law. In Eric Holder’s America, however, Justice peaks out from under her blindfold to check your skin color, first.

RELATED: Adams has written an excellent book on Holder’s Department of Injustice.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Syria: President Short-Pants starts a war to avoid being mocked

August 28, 2013
Don't you dare mock him!

Don’t you dare mock him!

Oh, good God. Is this what our foreign policy has come to? That the President of the United States, heir in office to giants such as Washington, Lincoln, FDR, and Reagan, is going to attack another country so he won’t be called a wimp?

Hey, that’s not my description. Ask the infamous “unnamed US official:”

Some experts said U.S. warships and submarines in the eastern Mediterranean could fire cruise missiles at Syrian targets as early as Thursday night, beginning a campaign that could last two or three nights. Obama leaves next Tuesday for a four day trip to Sweden and Russia, which strongly supports Assad’s government, for the G-20 economic summit.

One U.S. official who has been briefed on the options on Syria said he believed the White House would seek a level of intensity “just muscular enough not to get mocked” but not so devastating that it would prompt a response from Syrian allies Iran and Russia.

“They are looking at what is just enough to mean something, just enough to be more than symbolic,” he said.

And there you have it, friends. We have officially returned to the Clinton-era policy of “lob a few missiles to send a message” that worked so well against al Qaeda that we wound up with a smoking crater in Manhattan a few years later. It’s a finely calibrated public relations effort, meant to show that Urkel is really The Hulk, not really to stop Assad’s gassing of his own people.

There’s an old saying: “If you strike at a king, you must kill him.” Roger L. Simon quotes Bret Stephens, who describes what Obama must do, if he’s going to war:

Should President Obama decide to order a military strike against Syria, his main order of business must be to kill Bashar Assad. Also, Bashar’s brother and principal henchman, Maher. Also, everyone else in the Assad family with a claim on political power. Also, all of the political symbols of the Assad family’s power, including all of their official or unofficial residences. The use of chemical weapons against one’s own citizens plumbs depths of barbarity matched in recent history only by Saddam Hussein. A civilized world cannot tolerate it. It must demonstrate that the penalty for it will be acutely personal and inescapably fatal.

If we fail to do that, if we just lob a few missiles in a weak version of Operation Desert Fox, then Assad will climb out of his bunker at the end and rightfully claim a victory — he stood up to the mighty United States and he’s still here.  Imagine how Tehran, Moscow, and Beijing will interpret that “message.”

If the United States goes to war, then it has to be done in such a way that there is no doubt who the biggest dog in the junkyard is.

George W. Bush understood this well, when we liberated Iraq: he had the military hunt down Saddam’s sons and kill them, and Saddam himself was dragged from a hidey-hole to be hanged. All the top Baathists were targets. The goal was to show the world that not only were these men beaten, they were unmistakably crushed and wouldn’t be coming back.

Now, in the age of Smart Power, the goal is to avoid being laughed at.

I weep.

via PJM

UPDATE: John Steele Gordon also notes the “all about me” angle.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#IRS: Going after veterans’ groups?

August 28, 2013
"Thanks for your service?"

“Thanks for your service?”

Well, here’s a surprise (he wrote in sarcasm): while harassing Tea Party and other conservative groups –and interfering with their ability to participate in the 2012 elections, coincidentally enough– our public servants in the IRS decided it would be a good idea to audit veterans organizations, the members of which are largely opposed to the Obama administration.

Coincidentally.

From The Army Times:

A Kansas senator wants the IRS to explain why veterans groups are being asked to prove their members actually served in the military.

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said he is “troubled” by an IRS rule that could make veterans service organizations provide DD-214 separation documents “for every member at posts around the country.”

The American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans group, has about 2.4 million members and 14,000 posts. Veterans of Foreign Wars, with 1.5 million members, is the nation’s second largest veterans group. It has more than 7,600 chapters

The policy that has Moran and others excited was published in January 2011 in an Internal Revenue Service Manual chapter covering tax-exempt veterans’ service organizations. Apparently, the policy is just now getting attention from veterans’ groups.

The tax code sets requirements for veterans groups to qualify for exempt status; for example, 75% must be current or former members of the Armed Services. That’s reasonable enough, but what has Moran and others up in arms is the apparent lack of notification to these groups that they have to provide DD-214s and that failure to comply can mean fines of up to $1,000 per day.

As you can imagine, American Legion, VFW, and other groups are pretty upset, and Moran has some questions for IRS Acting Commissioner Werfel that he wants answered. Now.

From Bridget Johnson at PJM:

  • What legal authority does the IRS have in carrying out a mandate for personal, military service records? Was this mandate reviewed by IRS general counsel? Please provide documentation that gives the IRS the authority to collect this information;
  • Under whose leadership was this mandate initiated, for what direct purpose, and who had approving authority for this mandate?;
  • Were veteran service organizations ever specifically notified of the requirement? If so, please provide the documentation that was issued to these organizations. If not, please explain why organizations were not notified; and
  • Is it true that an organization unable or unwilling to provide this information could be charged penalty fees of $1,000 per day? Please provide clarification regarding the penalty for noncompliance.

I can see auditing groups about which there have been reports of fraud. But that would be on an individual, case-by-case basis when there’s been credible reports of a violation. But this kind of blanket “prove to us you’re not doing anything wrong” sweep looks like more of the “We don’t like small-government/conservative types, so we’re going to make their lives miserable” arrogance that we’ve seen plenty of already from our “Lois Lerner” bureaucracy. Rather than a conspiracy, it seems like Leviathan has developed an attitude problem towards their bosses — us.

And it looks like an attitude adjustment is in order.

PS: But I do want to thank the IRS for handing every Republican candidate in veteran-heavy areas even more wonderful material for campaign commercials. You guys are the bestest!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Some questions before we bomb Syria

August 27, 2013

Syria_Topography

Threat Matrix, the blog of The Long War Journal, has some questions that need answering before President Obama, having decided Syria has crossed his ill-advised “red line,”  gives the “go” order. Here are a few of most interest to me:

3. Is there a possibility that the Aug. 21 attack was an accidental hit — of chemical stocks belonging to either the regime or the rebels — by the undisputed massive regime bombardment in the area at the time? It is known that the regime has been frequently moving its chemical weapons to keep them out of rebel hands, and it is also known that rebel fighters, including al Qaeda-linked groups, have sought and reportedly had access to chemical weapons also. The Al Nusrah Front is known to have pursued chemical weapons; credible reports of the group plotting to conduct sarin and mustard gas attacks have emerged from Iraq and Turkey over the past several months.

(…)

6. The regime has much to lose by mounting chemical weapon attacks, and especially while UN inspectors are in country and the world’s eyes are turned toward Syria. Why now? Is the basic vagueness of the US’s accusation due to a Western decision that now is the time to intervene militarily, regardless of who perpetrated the attack, since there is clearly a very distinct danger of the spread of chemical warfare in the region at this point?

…and…

8. What happens if the US actually succeeds in killing Assad and overthrowing the government? Will Islamist terror groups such as the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq dominate the political scene in Syria, as they have dominated the fighting? Is that in the best interests of the US and the West, or, for that matter, those of Syria and the region? The West’s efforts for a resolution to the conflict in Syria ultimately hang upon the fragile hope that moderate forces will prevail, in a situation where the two strongest forces, the Assad regime and its largely Islamist opponents, each offer only harsh alternatives.

These are darned good questions, especially that last one. In one sense, it’s easier to deal with brutal, but secular, dictators; one can find mutual interest and cut a deal, even if that interest is simply survival. But apocalyptic minded fanatics who think conquering or destroying you is a divinely ordained mission? They simply don’t operate in the same paradigm we do, and coming to a genuine modus vivendi (other than “we surrender”) is usually impossible.

In the Telegraph, Tim Stanley asks a question related to number six, above: Why would Assad do something that would guarantee Western intervention in a war he’s winning?

Second, why would the Assad regime do something so stupid? It must know that by using chemical weapons it would isolate itself from any international support and invite a Western military response. More importantly, Assad was already winning the war – so why bother to use WMDs during the last lap to victory? Indeed, the only people who have anything to gain by Assad using chemicals are the rebels, because that would internationalise the conflict in a way that they have long lobbied for.

And yet there is a good case for intervention. Daniel Hannan weighs the arguments pro and con from a British national-interests point of view and, while he finds the interventionist arguments inconclusive, he concedes their strengths. Meanwhile asking a question for the pro-interventionists, Jim Geraghty (sorry, newsletter only) asks: If Assad has used chemical WMDs, are we prepared to accept the consequences of doing nothing:

The world has actually made good progress at eliminating existing stockpiles of chemical weapons. Most regimes have concluded the diplomatic and public relations cost isn’t worth keeping their aging stockpiles around. But . . . if an embattled regime like Assad’s successfully uses them to put down an insurrection with no major consequence short of rote international denunciation . . . how quickly will the cost-benefit calculus change? How certain could we be that Pyongyang, or some other embattled regime, wouldn’t feel the temptation? These sorts of weapons are cheap and relatively easy to make using regular civilian chemical equipment.

That’s not an easily dismissed possibility. It’s not for nothing that chemical weapons have been called the “poor man’s nukes.”

I myself have no good answers, though I’ve favored some sort of limited intervention since the civil war started, since hurting Assad hurts his patrons in Iran, the real source of much of the trouble in the Middle East and which, as Michael Ledeen persuasively argues, should be the focus of our efforts.

As for the administration having the answers…. Heck, I doubt they’ve even asked the right questions.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Even European Commission Bureaucrats Realize that Taxes Can Be Too High!

August 27, 2013

When taxes are too high even for Eurocrats, maybe the (Social) Democrats here in America should take notice. Nah, they never will. The addiction is just too strong. (Okay, that graphic came out a bit… wrong.)

International Liberty

I’m not a big fan of the European Commission. For those not familiar with this entity, it’s sort of the European version of the executive-branch bureaucracy we have in Washington. And like their counterparts in Washington, the Brussels-based bureaucracy enjoys a very lavish lifestyle while pushing for more government and engaging in bizarre forms of political correctness.

But just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, it appears that the European Commission is right once every century. Or perhaps once every millennium would be more accurate. Regardless, here are parts of a story I never thought would appear in my lifetime.

According to the UK-based Independent, the European Commission – or at least one European Commissioner – now realizes that there’s such a thing as too much tax.

Tax increases imposed by the Socialist-led government in France have reached a “fatal level”, the European Union’s commissioner…

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In which The Maltese Falcon explains why defunding Obamacare won’t work

August 26, 2013

satire film Bogart Greenstreet Maltese Falcon

On an emotional level, I sympathize one hundred percent with the move fronted by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to fight Obamacare by passing a continuing budget resolution that funds all the operations of government except for Obamacare. The idea would be to put the onus for a government shutdown on Obama and the Democrats, thus forcing him to sign the bill to keep the government (and his constituency of federal employees) running.

The strategy, however, is dangerously flawed. And there’s a scene in The Maltese Falcon (1) that I think illustrates why defunding won’t work. Bear with me a bit, and imagine Obama as Sam Spade and Ted Cruz as Kasper Gutman:

Spade: “If you kill me, how are you going to get the bird? If I know you can’t afford to kill me, how are you going to scare me into giving it to you?”

Gutman: “Well, sir, there are other means of persuasion besides killing and threatening to kill.”

Spade: “Sure, but they aren’t much good unless the threat of death is behind them. See what I mean? If you start anything I’ll make it a matter of your having to kill me or call it off.”

Gutman: “That’s an attitude, sir, that calls for the most delicate judgment on both sides — because, as you know, sir, in the heat of action men are likely to forget where their best interests lie and let their emotions carry them away.”

Trouble is, I don’t think Cruz, Lee, Paul, and others in the “defund it” caucus have exercised that delicate political judgment and conservatives itching for a fight are letting their “emotions carry them away.”

In today’s Conservative Intelligence Briefing, David Freddoso explaining why this is a bad plan, and it’s for the same reasons Gutman couldn’t afford to kill Spade. Here’s an excerpt:

1) Even if you like this tactic, it’s important to understand first that it is indeed a threat to shut down the government, despite its advocates’ protestations to the contrary. This tactic cannot work, even under the most optimistic scenario, unless its advocates shut down the government for a very long time and eventually force President Obama to cry “uncle.”

You can’t make Obama sign a bill defunding Obamacare over the mere threat of a government shutdown. Not only is the actual shutdown necessary, but it will have to last several weeks, months, or even straight through until the next election before he’ll sign such a bill.

Obama sacrificed control of Congress to get his health care law. He isn’t going to sign a bill defunding it now because he’s spooked by the prospect of a couple of days of embassy, Library of Congress, passport office and National Park closures. He’d much sooner let the shutdown happen and take political advantage of the consequences — stories of government workers going months without a paycheck and Americans forced to cancel international travel because they can’t get passports renewed. And even if it gets to the point that Obama really, really wants to cry uncle, he probably won’t ever get the chance to do it, because the Democratic Senate will not pass any appropriations bill that defunds Obamacare.

Two points, in my opinion, are key: first that the Democratic-controlled Senate will never pass a defunding resolution that comes out of the House. Budget bills are immune to filibuster under Senate rules, so all Reid has to do is pass his own resolution that funds Obamacare (he’ll only need 51 votes) and send it to conference committee to work out a “compromise” with the House. And then, if the House holds firm, it will be endless cries of “extremist, heartless Republicans,” which I guarantee you the MSM will support wholly. It would be a PR battle I very much doubt our side could win and which could cost us heavily in the coming elections.

Second, if a resolution does pass the Senate, he can veto it safe in the knowledge that it won’t be overridden. Heck, Reid could let a few vulnerable Red-state Democrats vote for it, giving them cover in the 2014 elections, and then sustain the veto. (He’d only need 33 or 34 out of his caucus.) As Freddoso points out, Obama has already shown himself willing to sacrifice his own caucus to win passage of Obamacare; what makes anyone think he, not facing reelection, will cave now knowing that he can probably win the messaging war?

No, the better plan is to fight this anti-constitutional monstrosity where it’s weakest and where we have strong public support: its failure to lower the costs of health care, its burdensome taxes and regulations, its disruption of existing health care arrangements, and the unfairness of its blatant cronyism, for example delaying the employer mandate (illegally) while leaving the individual mandate in place. Attacking on those fronts is not only realistic, but it would keep the Democrats on the defensive.

Do that, pick our battles wisely, and we can still beat this thing.

Footnote:
(1) On my list of top-ten movies, ever.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obamacare: A Get-Rich-Quick Scheme for Washington Insiders

August 26, 2013

When government tries to control the economy, the real winners are those who can manipulate the laws in their favor. As in so many cases, it’s true with Obamacare, too.

International Liberty

Want to know why – as shown by this map – most of America’s richest counties are part of the metropolitan DC region?

Part of the answer is that federal bureaucrats are overpaid. Another part of the answer is that the Washington area is filled with consultants and contractors, and this shadow government workforce also is overcompensated by taxpayers.

But I’m guessing that DC’s vast population of lobbyists and influence peddlers dominate the upper end of the income spectrum.

And that community of back scratchers and deal makers are getting even richer thanks to Obamacare. Here’s some of what The Hill is reporting today.

ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside. More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K…

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