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)


Obama: “Will no one rid me of this troublesome Congress?”

July 17, 2013
"My will is enough!"

“My will is enough!”

Politico’s Glenn Thrush today reports, in an article on Obama’s second-term strategy, that, soon after reelection, the top-most question on his mind apparently how to figure a way to govern without Congress:

After the emotional high of his reelection dissipated, Obama convened his top advisers for a series of sober meetings in the West Wing to map out strategies for dealing with the fiscal cliff negotiations. Aides remember Obama’s mood changing, like a man returning from a vacation to find a ransacked house.

“Guys, I don’t want politics to be a limit of what you recommend to me,” Obama told senior aides David Plouffe, Lew, Dan Pfeiffer and Pete Rouse a couple of weeks after his reelection, according to a White House aide with direct knowledge of the meeting.

“Let’s come up with an agenda, then let’s figure it out from there as best we can,” he said, prodding them to adopt a more muscular approach to the use of executive power. “We can’t let the driving force of what we pass be Congress.”

Wait minute. I have to check the owner’s manual on this thing…. Ah! Here it is:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

That’s Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution, Mr. President. Try as I might –and I’ve really looked hard!– I don’t see anything in there about you getting to pass anything. In fact, now that I think about it, I think these old, hard-to-understand and so very flawed words mean that Congress is the driving force of what gets passed.

I dunno, Boss. I know you’re a constitutional scholar and all, but maybe you should try reading the document, sometime.

via Charlie Spiering

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Tyrant Governor of New York will not tolerate dissent from his underling sheriffs

May 25, 2013

Who does this guy think he is, Mike Bloomberg? Angered by county sheriffs opposed to the draconian gun law the Governor recently rammed through the legislature, Andrew Cuomo has evidently threatened to use a rarely invoked power to remove dissident sheriffs from office:

Opposition to the new law has simmered in upstate areas since Cuomo signed the law in January. Many county sheriffs oppose it, particularly its expanded definition of banned assault weapons, and have spoken out around the state. In January, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association wrote Cuomo with an analysis, and later suggested tweaks.

Cuomo invited its leaders to the Capitol last month, people briefed on the meeting said. The group included Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Peter Kehoe and Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss.
“We didn’t get a response (to the analysis) from him, but we could tell after the budget was passed that none of those recommendations were taken into consideration,” Moss said. “When we got there, we never got to the contents of the letter.”

Instead, Cuomo pushed the sheriffs to stop publicly speaking out against the act, Moss said.

“The governor was of the opinion that the sheriffs around the state should not be interjecting their personal opinions in reference to the law,” Moss said, adding that Cuomo said sheriffs can’t do that and enforce the law.

One person briefed on the meeting said Cuomo threatened to remove sheriffs from office, a little-used power afforded the state’s chief executive under the state constitution. Moss would not confirm this. He did say the meeting was heated at times, but overall he described it as “cordial.”

It’s one thing to use this power to remove a corrupt sheriff, or one unable to continue in his job because of health. But, to use it to bludgeon into silence men sworn to uphold the law and the state and federal constitutions, and who themselves have the right of free speech? I think that’s called “tyranny.” Somewhere, Hugo Chavez nods in approval.

Via Bryan Preston, who’s right: this has a lot in common with the scandals coming out of the Obama administration, for both represent abuses of power and the authoritarian heart of progressivism.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Did Eric Holder lie to Congress, a judge, or both?

May 24, 2013
"I am not a crook!"

“Caught in his lies”

I’ve been saying for years that Eric Holder is the worst, most dangerous Attorney General since A. Mitchell Palmer and that he should be removed from office. The list of his offenses against the law and the Constitution over the years reads like an honor roll of shame: the New Black Panther voter intimidation case; the failure to protect the voting rights of Whites in Noxubee county, Mississippi; an overall racialist agenda that sees American civil rights law as a means of “payback,” not an instrument of equal justice for all; Operation Fast and Furious, a gun-running operation run by the DoJ and ATF that resulted in roughly 300 Mexicans dead and at least one US federal agent; the seizure of phone records from the AP that seems to have been nothing more than an act of petulance; tracking reporter James Rosen’s movements and emails in what looks like an effort to criminalize journalism; and… and… Help me out here, folks, I’m sure I’m missing something.

And for all that, Eric Holder has escaped anything worse than the contempt of those who have been paying attention and have a sense of decency and respect for our laws and traditions. He hasn’t resigned, the president hasn’t fired him (presumably because he agrees, let’s be frank), and he’s been able to skate by claiming he didn’t know what was going on, he never read the memos, he recused himself, no one told him, and so on and so forth to the point one wonders what does he do in his office, besides spinning in his chair. But now I can claim vindication.

He’s told a lie too many and finally tripped over one.

In the Rosen case mentioned above, NBC reports that Holder personally signed off on the warrant that gave investigators access to Rosen’s emails:

Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on a controversial search warrant that identified Fox News reporter James Rosen as a “possible co-conspirator” in violations of the Espionage Act and authorized seizure of his private emails, a law enforcement official told NBC News on Thursday.

(…)

Rosen, who has not been charged in the case, was nonetheless the target of a search warrant that enabled Justice Department investigators to secretly seize his private emails after an FBI agent said he had “asked, solicited and encouraged … (a source) to disclose sensitive United States internal documents and intelligence information.”

But, not a week ago, Holder said in sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee:

In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material. This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.

Holder signed off on that warrant in 2010. It strains credulity, to say the least, that he wouldn’t remember that and could say with a straight face that this was something he’d “never heard of.” So there we have a very strong indication of perjury before Congress.

And he may have lied before a judge, too, observes Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post:

He is also in potential trouble himself, which necessitates an investigation (obviously not by Justice) beyond his departure. His behavior in the James Rosen and Associated Press matters raise serious questions.

First, the affidavit (paragraph 45) asserts that DOJ exhausted all means available to get the material from Rosen’s e-mails and phone, and “because of [Rosen’s] own potential criminal liability in this matter,” asking for the documents voluntarily would compromise the integrity of the investigation. Moreover, the affidavit asserts that the “targets” of the investigation (including Rosen) were a risk to “mask their identity and activity, flee or otherwise obstruct this investigation.” It is highly questionable whether Holder believed any of that to be true. (Really, he imagined a Fox News reporter would flee the country? He thought Rosen would don a disguise?) Was the affidavit a sort of ruse to get Rosen’s records (or later to pressure his cooperation)? Did Holder intentionally mislead a judge when he signed off on the affidavit? That is worth exploring.

Of course, to answer the question in the subject, it’s quite possible he did both.

Lots of sites Right and Left are calling for Holder to resign or be fired — even the Huffington Post! But, you know what? I don’t want either, though I think one or the other is just a few days away, at most.

No, I want Holder and his boss to tough it out; they’re friends, after all and, Lord knows, Obama has stuck with him long past the point most presidents would have stuck with a troubled cabinet member. Such loyalty is to be admired, even among crooks.

Besides, it will give me what I really want: the impeachment and trial of Eric Holder. Ladies and Gentlemen (and Occupiers), I give you Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Emphasis added. Hello, Mr. Attorney General!

The House clearly has the grounds to begin hearings on impeachment, both for lying to Congress and possibly to a judge. And I think, in this case, even a heavily Democratic Senate would be forced to convict: few senators would want to be seen backing an obvious perjurer and none of them, I’m willing to bet, want to endorse the man behind the AP and Rosen warrants and then have to face the press. Not with an election year coming up. No, I’m thinking you could find 67 votes for removal.

What a way to cap off a career; first cabinet officer impeached, convicted, and removed from office. (1)

And Eric Holder richly deserves it.

Footnote:
(1) Grant’s Secretary of War, William Belknap, was impeached, but he resigned and was never convicted.

RELATED: More at Hot Air, still more Hot Air, Matt Vespa, The Right Sphere, and Gateway Pundit.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#IRS scandal: Democrats make clear where they stand on the 1st Amendment

May 16, 2013

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a resolution condemning the Internal Revenue Service for trampling the Constitutional rights of Americans. (For example) It didn’t get very far:

Today, Senate Democrats placed a hold on Sen. Rand Paul’s recent resolution that condemns the targeting of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and calls for an investigation into this practice.

“This resolution is not about Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal. It is about arrogant and unrestrained government vs. the rule of law. The First Amendment cannot and should not be renegotiated depending on which party holds power,” Sen. Paul said. “Each senator took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, yet Senate Democrats chose to block my resolution and thus refused to condemn the IRS for trampling on our First Amendment rights. I am incredibly disappointed in Washington’s party politics and I am determined to hold the IRS accountable for these unjust acts.”

I’m not sure why anyone would find this surprising: as the party of arrogant, unrestrained government, the leaders of which think the Constitution is obsolete, well, of course they would shoot this resolution down.

It threatens their very reason for existence, after all.

via Stephen Green.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Reid gun bill criticized by radical conservatives at… the ACLU

April 4, 2013
"Post-constitutional"

“Post-constitutional”

From The Daily Caller via Ed Morrissey:

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller, a top lobbyist for the ACLU announced that the group thinks Reid’s current gun bill could threaten both privacy rights and civil liberties.

The inclusion of universal background checks — the poll-tested lynchpin of most Democratic proposals — “raises two significant concerns,” the ACLU’s Chris Calabrese told TheDC Wednesday.

Calabrese — a privacy lobbyist — was first careful to note that the ACLU doesn’t strictly oppose universal background checks for gun purchases. “If you’re going to require a background check, we think it should be effective,” Calabrese explained.

“However, we also believe those checks have to be conducted in a way that protects privacy and civil liberties. So, in that regard, we think the current legislation, the current proposal on universal background checks raises two significant concerns,” he went on.

“The first is that it treats the records for private purchases very differently than purchases made through licensed sellers. Under existing law, most information regarding an approved purchase is destroyed within 24 hours when a licensed seller does a [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] check now,” Calabrese said, “and almost all of it is destroyed within 90 days.”

Calabrese wouldn’t characterize the current legislation’s record-keeping provision as a “national gun registry” — which the White House has denied pursuing — but he did say that such a registry could be “a second step.”

You know there’s a problem with proposed legislation when both the NRA and ACLU are criticizing it.

As Ed points out, it’s not that the ACLU has become a staunch defender of the right to bear arms, but they have do have serious concerns on 4th Amendment grounds, the retained database contributing to violations of rules against unreasonable searches and thus privacy.  Over at Protein Wisdom, Jeff Goldstein thinks a national registry –a step enabling a future confiscation– is just what the Democrats have in mind:

That they were discovered here watering down language to open the way for the beginnings of a national gun registry means only that, should they now be defeated in their plan by strong arguments and sunlight, they’ll merely try again later, in some other way, using some other bill or some other crisis to reach their ends.

That is, if the full-frontal approach doesn’t work, they’ll return to the incremental approach — and with respect to their gun control aims, the contours to that approach are already quite clear:  empower the AG to expand the parameters for what is included in a background check, wherein a partisan agent is given the power to determine what group or groups of people come to constitute a potential danger; cross-reference ObamaCare, with its governmental access to health and prescription records, with other databases, using medical professionals and (they hope) mental health professionals to create the conditions under which they can argue for “sensible” prohibitions on firearms ownership; use Democratic majorities in various states to drive draconian gun control measures through the state legislatures on a party-line vote, then see which of those state laws stand up to court challenges and which do not; use agencies such as the CDC to lend an air of scientific and medical emergency to the “gun violence” “epidemic” — as if gun violence is contagious in any way other than through some strained sociological metaphor — then demand action to combat the crisis or “epidemic” (regardless of what the crime statistics show).

We are living in a time when our government is looking for ways to usurp our rights, pressuring them from every angle, waiting for us to “compromise” if only to make them relent.

Jeff also notes the same simultaneous push at the federal and state levels I wrote about the other day with regard to healthcare. He’s right: this isn’t the old Democratic Party, anymore.  Having been taken over by Progressivism and then the New Left, they’re now the party of “constitutional deconstruction,” stripping the parts they don’t like at the moment of any meaning, something those who care about constitutionalism must struggle against constantly.

Thus making “strange bedfellows” of conservatives and the ACLU, at least in this case.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


This just in: If you oppose gun control, you might just be an Antisemite

March 25, 2013

According to MSNBC, that is.

Background: loathsome nanny-state Mayor (1) Mike Bloomberg has been on a crusade since the Aurora and Newtown mass killings to take New York City’s extremely restrictive (and, in my opinion, unconstitutional) gun laws nationwide, spending millions of his own money to pressure (2) Congress and various state legislatures. In reaction, defenders of the right to bear arms have been very critical of Bloomberg, both on policy grounds and his overall infatuation with statism. (3)

On America’s “lean forward” network, however, it couldn’t be that you oppose Bloomberg because you believe in the right to bear arms or that, in general, government should stay out of people’s private lives. Nope. If you oppose Bloomberg, it must be because you hate Jews:

According to MSNBC contributors Mike Barnicle and Al Sharpton, opposition to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun-control push is partly the result of anti-Semitism. “Let’s get down to it, Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, there’s a level of anti-Semitism in this thing directed towards Bloomberg,” Barnicle argued on Morning Joe, “It’s out there.” “No doubt about that,” Sharpton responded.

“If he was not a big-city Jewish man and was from another ethnic group, in some parts, I think it would be different,” Sharpton continued. 

If you can’t win on the facts, fight with slander.

At PJM, Bryan Preston reminds us that both Barnicle and Sharpton are a bit lacking in the ethics department:

Mike Barnicle, who a few years back was caught plagiarizing, and Al Sharpton, who a few years before that built his career by accusing an innocent man of rape, have resorted to smearing those of us who think New York Mike Bloomberg should at least confine his overbearing nannyist instincts to the city that actually elected him.

So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised at this latest bit of poo-flinging.

It’s all they have left.

Footnotes:
(1) That Allahpundit has such a way with words.
(2) Or buy, judging by the results of the recent primary election in IL-2.
(3) And that’s putting it nicely. Michael Walsh comes right out and calls Bloomie a liberal fascist.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Guncontrol – Colorado Democrats to ban popular shotgun?

March 2, 2013

Yet another “solution” that won’t do a thing to deal the problem of mass shootings, but will trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens:

A popular hunting shotgun could be banned under one of the bills moving through the state Capitol.

A pump or semi-automatic shotgun is the gun most hunters in Colorado use. It’s a gun state Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, says could be banned under a bill that’s already passed the House and Gov. John Hickenlooper says he’ll sign.

“They’re coming after the standard shotgun,” Brophy told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd.

And what would this bill do? It bans the dreaded “high-capacity magazine,” which affects this model because it can be adapted to hold more than eight shells. If the bill becomes law, it would impose draconian rules:

“The law is specific as of July 1. You can keep it, but only if you maintain continuous possession of it,” Brophy said. “If it breaks, you can’t give to a gunsmith even to fix it. You can’t hand it to your son to use. It’s all now outlawed because of this 1224, the bill that Gov. Hickenlooper says he’s going to sign … this is most extreme thing anybody’s ever done related to firearms.”

Like many of the gun-grabbing bills pushed by progressives (whose real intent is a de facto ban via onerous regulations), this bill ignores the facts about firearms-related violence in America, including the fact that the vast majority of mass shootings involve handguns. It pays no attention to what may well be the real problem, the deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill.

There is a problem, but taking advantage of tragedies to ram through  legislation that only gives the appearance of doing something to solve it really does nothing.

Except punish the law-abiding.

PS: The article goes on to report that Democratic legislators promise an amendment to deal with this issue. Forgive for thinking that’s an offer to sell the Brooklyn Bridge.

via Liberty Unyielding

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#GunControl: Proof that Washington State Democrats don’t give a damn about the Bill of Rights

February 20, 2013

At least, State Senator Adam Kline (D – Seattle) doesn’t.

First go back and read my post from yesterday. The digest version is that Democratic state senators, including Kline, were following the post-Newtown party line on gun control and introduced a bill that would, among other things, permit the local sheriff to enter a gun owner’s home for inspection once per year without a warrant.

Naturally a furor resulted when this was discovered and the offending section was removed. Senator Kline went so far as to tell Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat:

I spoke to two of the sponsors. One, Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, a lawyer who typically is hyper-attuned to civil-liberties issues, said he did not know the bill authorized police searches because he had not read it closely before signing on.

“I made a mistake,” Kline said. “I frankly should have vetted this more closely.”

In my original post, I voiced strong suspicion regarding Kline’s protestations that it was an accident, pointing out that progressivism disdains our founding documents and the philosophy behind them. But, in the back of my mind, I wondered if I was being too hard on Kline and his colleagues. Maybe it was just a simple error of oversight.

I shouldn’t have worried; it turns out I was right.

Via Bryan Preston look at what The Sure Things of Life found:

Senator Kline was a sponsor of an assault weapons bill in the 2009-2010 session which contained the EXACT SAME  PROVISION.  From Bill 6396:

“(5) In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing the assault weapon shall do all of the following:

 (a) Safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection;”

 And from a bill he sponsored in 2005, Bill 3475:

“(5) In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing the assault weapon shall do all of the following:

 (a) Within ninety days following the effective date of this section, submit to a background check identical to the background check conducted in connection with the purchase of a firearm from a licensed gun dealer;

(b) Unless the person is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, immediately register the assault weapon with the sheriff of the county in which the weapon is usually stored;

(c) Safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection;

Senator Kline didn’t “make a mistake”. 

No, he didn’t. He knew just what he was doing.  It seems subverting the 4th amendment is a bit of a hobby for Senator Kline. Maybe his voters should start asking themselves if they want someone in office who takes their liberties so lightly, before he goes after their other remaining rights.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#GunControl: Washington State Democrats forget a little thing called the 4th amendment

February 19, 2013

Quick synopsis: Democrats in Olympia have heard their master’s voice from D.C. and have decided to “do something” about gun violence, even if that something does nothing but trample on the constitutional rights of Washington’s citizens. Hence a new gun-control measure was introduced in the legislature to “sensibly regulate” firearms and ban those assault weapons that aren’t really assault weapons but look scary. (1)

And it also gave local sheriffs the right to inspect your home without a warrant:

Forget police drones flying over your house. How about police coming inside, once a year, to have a look around?

As Orwellian as that sounds, it isn’t hypothetical. The notion of police home inspections was introduced in a bill last week in Olympia.

That it’s part of one of the major gun-control efforts pains me. It seemed in recent weeks lawmakers might be headed toward some common-sense regulation of gun sales. But then last week they went too far. By mistake, they claim. But still too far.

“They always say, we’ll never go house to house to take your guns away. But then you see this, and you have to wonder.”

That’s no gun-rights absolutist talking, but Lance Palmer, a Seattle trial lawyer and self-described liberal who brought the troubling Senate Bill 5737 to my attention. It’s the long-awaited assault-weapons ban, introduced last week by three Seattle Democrats.

Responding to the Newtown school massacre, the bill would ban the sale of semi-automatic weapons that use detachable ammunition magazines. Clips that contain more than 10 rounds would be illegal.

But then, with respect to the thousands of weapons like that already owned by Washington residents, the bill says this:

“In order to continue to possess an assault weapon that was legally possessed on the effective date of this section, the person possessing shall … safely and securely store the assault weapon. The sheriff of the county may, no more than once per year, conduct an inspection to ensure compliance with this subsection.”

In other words, come into homes without a warrant to poke around. Failure to comply could get you up to a year in jail.

The column’s author, Danny Westneat, points out that the offending section has been excised from the current version of the bill. And I’ll point out that a self-described liberal is the one who first spotted the worm in the apple.

But something smells about Democratic claims that they didn’t know the provision was in there, that it surely would have failed constitutional muster, and that it was the fault of an unnamed staffer. (2) More likely they knew very well that the bill included a warrantless search and thought they could slip it through. The fact is that progressives, going at least as far back as Wilson, and whether they know it or not, despise the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the theory of natural, unalienable rights on which they are based, because they stand in the way of progressives remaking society in their utopian vision.

This is also another example of the parallel track progressives are following on their anti-Second Amendment quest: Feinstein’s “assault weapon” ban is likely dead in D.C., but they’re trying to achieve much the same thing in as many state capitals as they can: New York, California, Minnesota, Washington, wherever Democrats are strong and there’s little chance of people paying much attention because the news is so D.C.-centric these days.

While I think the Washington provision would have been chucked out in court, it’s a reminder to us all that the price of liberty is unceasing vigilance — abroad and especially at home.

RELATED: I’ve been saying for a while that an assault weapons ban would be useless, and now it turns out a high-power sourced agrees with me — the US Department of Justice. Go ahead, call them bitter-clingers. Meanwhile, it yet another example that gun-free zones are a tragedy waiting to happen, Pirate’s Cove reports that Adam Lanza, the psycho who attacked the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut, did so in part because it was an “easy target.” Res ipsa loquitur.

Footnotes:
(1) If you’re detecting a whiff or sarcasm and scorn in that passage, you’re not having hallucinations.
(2) They claim they just didn’t read the bill. Gee, where have I heard that before? If true, then they’re only incompetent, not malevolent.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Unaccountable Government: in which @JimGeraghty depresses me

January 24, 2013

The depressing part, of course, is that he’s right.

Departing Secretary of State Clinton yesterday appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to finally give an accounting for her department’s performance during and after the Benghazi fiasco. The standout moment came when Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) asked her to explain how the administration could claim for several days that the assault arose from a demonstration in front of the embassy, when anyone could see from the video feed that there was no demonstration.

Her exasperated answer (1) is already infamous:

“What difference does it make?”

It matters for a lot of reasons, not least simple questions of the honesty and competence Americans should be able to expect of their government — their employees. Jonathan Tobin at Commentary provides a good rebuttal about why it makes a difference, and I’ll refer you to that.

But this goes beyond the events at and after Benghazi, maddening as those are. It speaks to the responsibility of government officials in general to the voters and taxpayers — the “owners,” as Clint Eastwood once said. We so often hear pious words about “accepting responsibility” and being “accountable,” but it’s an act, especially for progressives. Crocodile tears and feigned outrage and declarations of pride are all shields thrown up to deflect a real accounting, aided and abetted by hacks who put defending “one of their own” ahead of the nation’s interest. (For a nauseating example, see ST’s post on California Senator Boxer’s staged outrage when Senator Paul dared to take Hillary to task.)

In a thoughtful post at NRO’s Campaign Spot, Jim Geraghty identifies the overall problem — there are no standards, anymore:

If the decision making before, during, and after the Benghazi attack is insufficient to get anyone fired, what decision in government will ever warrant that consequence? If Democrats on Capitol Hill can’t take off their partisan blinders for one day to attempt to hold people accountable for decision-making that resulted in American deaths at the hands of extremists, and then lying to the public about it, then when will they ever? If Hillary Clinton can exclaim that it doesn’t matter that the administration spent five days talking about a video when the video had nothing to do with it, and everyone on her side applauds, why should she or anyone else ever respond to an accusation with anything but audacious defiance?

This is it, folks. This is the government we have, and the lack of a public outcry about Benghazi ensures this is the government we will have for the foreseeable future.

The lack of public outrage is part of the problem, I’ll agree. It’s a result of too much trust in government officials, too little adult supervision of them, and a mainstream media that covers for those it favors  — Democrats.

But it’s not just Benghazi. After 9/11, no one from the Clinton administration was genuinely held responsible for what happened, though many of the problems that left us open to attack developed under their watch. When the housing market collapsed in 2008, Democrats again escaped accountability, even though the policies that lead to the bubble and its bursting were largely of their origin.

I’m not excusing Republicans completely; the evasion of responsibility is a bipartisan problem common to the Beltway elite in general, though the Republicans rarely have the MSM covering for them.  But contrast Hillary’s empty declarations and Potemkin outrage with the actions of the Bush administration after the 2006 election, which cost the Republicans the House and Senate, largely because the public was upset over how the war in Iraq was being conducted: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld was fired, generals were sacked, and Bush went before the nation to take responsibility and pledge to fix the problem — and then actually followed through.

Bush was accountable.

And that’s what makes Jim’s analysis so depressing. Not just that we have to deal with four more years of the Obama administration’s arrogance, but that the entire leadership of one of our major political parties feels that it simply shouldn’t have to answer for itself, that democratic audit of its actions is almost an insult. This, I maintain, is partly a function of progressivism, itself: society is too complex to be governed by citizens and their representatives, and so much of it should be left to bureaucratic experts to run. And if one is an expert, one of the elite, then to be questioned seriously by one of the hoi polloi (in this case, a senator from flyover country — and a Tea Party favorite, at that) is exasperating. They just don’t understand, after all. (2)

It’s not democratic, it’s not representative, but it is a problem. A serious one.

And, at the moment, I’m not sure how it gets solved.

Footnote:
(1) Like most members of the limousine liberal ruling class, she was probably exasperated that someone would dare question her at all.
(2) Many Republicans have a similar arrogance, but that comes from being Beltway dinosaurs, not philosophy.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Biden: Obama Might Use Executive Order to Deal With Guns

January 9, 2013

Gosh, what are those words I’m trying to think of? They’re right on the tip of my tongue…. Oh, yeah! Now I remember!

“Tyranny” and “usurpation.”

“The president is going to act,” said Biden, giving some comments to the press before a meeting with victims of gun violence. “There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken. We haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and the rest of the cabinet members as well as legislative action that we believe is required.”

Biden said that this is a moral issue and that “it’s critically important that we act.”

Biden talked also about taking responsible action. “As the president said, if you’re actions result in only saving one life, they’re worth taking. But I’m convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of americans and take thousands of people out of harm’s way if we act responsibly.”

There’s a problem, it must be solved, and we’re going to do something, danggit, even if it solves nothing and takes the Bill of Rights outside to be shot. (1) When a “pragmatic reformer” sees a need (even if it’s only a figment of his imagination, or a flat lie), he’s not going to let hoary old intellectualisms like natural rights and hard to understand pieces of paper get in his way. So what if they were crucial to the founding of this nation and its reason for existence? That was a long time ago, and times change!

And only a racist, mouth-breathing gun-fetishist would disagree.

Seriously, if Obama and Knucklehead Smiff Biden wanted to set off the alarms in the homes of every gun-owner and genuine liberal in America, they couldn’t have done a better job. No chance of getting tighter federal gun laws through Congress? No problem! Our Munificent Sun King (2) The president will just issue an executive order. So let it be written, so let it be done!

Two observations I’ll make about this. First, this is the result of the Congress ceding too much regulatory power to the presidency and bureaucratic agencies. From creating reasonable regulations needed to implement laws, it evolves into anti-democratic, anti-constitutional rule-by-decree. And inevitably there will come a president who does not respect the traditional boundaries and separation of powers that make an largely informal system based on mutual understandings, such as ours, work.

And when that happens, you get “I won” and decrees from the throne.

The second is –and I bet this leapt to to the mind of everyone reading this– the deep, bitter irony of an administration demanding gun control NOW!!!, when that same (mis)administration supplied thousands of weapons to drug cartels in Mexico, weapons that have killed hundreds — including school-age children. The administration is right, the United States does have a gun problem: it’s called Operation Fast and Furious.

Finally, while this may be another of Biden’s idiocies, or some trial balloon soon to be withdrawn, don’t rule out the possibility that this is a deliberate ploy by Obama to keep the pot stirred with yet another crisis, something else he can use to bash Republicans and polarize people in advance of the 2014 elections. That’s how an Alinskyite community organizer works: get everyone angry, bind your side tightly to you in that anger, and then use them to intimidate and browbeat the other side into submission. It worked in Chicago and it’s working in D.C.

And Obama is showing he’s learned his lessons well.

Footnote:
(1) With government-approved, government-owned firearms, of course.
(2) Thanks to Jim Geraghty for the apt description.

LINKS: More at Hot Air and from Aaron Worthing.

via The Tatler

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


January 5, 2013

Um… no. Just, no. If you want a “President for Life,” Rep. Serrano, Venezuela may be more your style.


Obama’s threat to constitutional liberty

June 19, 2012

Our new national mascot?

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy posted an article at PJMedia yesterday that begins by excoriating President Obama for saying, in his announcement that his administration would no longer enforce a portion of federal law, that the children of illegal immigrants, though not born here, were “Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one:  on paper.”  McCarthy takes Obama to task, because “the paper” the president dismisses is our social contract: the Constitution and the laws enacted under it by a democratically elected legislature, a constitution and laws which Obama has sworn to uphold to the best of his ability.

If that were the end of it, this would be merely an incident in which we would shake our heads at the supposed constitutional scholar’s cavalier attitude toward the Constitution.

But there’s much more. Using this as a jumping off point, McCarthy describes the more fundamental danger Obama’s politics (and, by extension, those of the broader progressive movement) pose to constitutionalism and the rule of law: A Nation of Paper, Not of Men.

Obama is not merely failing to enforce the immigration laws. He is destroying the system on which our liberty depends, a system he swore to safeguard. This oath was a solemn one, of far greater consequence than, say, a pitcher’s oath to testify truthfully to Congress about steroid use — an incident over which the federal government has spent millions of taxpayer dollars in an effort to convict Roger Clemens of a felony, notwithstanding the utter absence of any federal interest in the integrity of professional baseball.

We are entitled to conclude Obama defrauded the American people in taking his oath of office. He prefaced the oath by unabashedly declaring his intention to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” He followed the oath with a series of usurpations designed to do just that. This highlights another mendacious aspect of Obama’s pandering to the hard Left on illegal immigration and, symmetrically, on election fraud (the policing against which he similarly obstructs).

The president says the young illegal aliens he has in mind are “Americans” except on paper. But who is Obama to say what an American is? By his own self-heralding, he is here to transform the United States. His mantra is “change.” He has stacked his Justice Department and the rest of the Executive Branch sprawl with progressive operatives whose obsession is to transmogrify America culturally, economically, and politically — to alter our very nature. When Obama talks about someone being “an American” or something being one of “our values,” he is not talking about the America that is; he is invoking the authoritarian, collectivist, redistributionist, post-sovereign, transnational America of his design.

It ought not matter whether we agree or disagree with Obama’s policy objectives on immigration — or the glut of areas from the use of force to labor relations to state sovereignty to socialized medicine to debt to diet, etc., on which he presumes to dictate rather than honor the law. Our social compact as a body politic demands that policy objectives be pursued within a system of divided powers in which the prerogatives of the president and of the federal government are strictly limited. Obama rejects this bedrock principle. Therefore, we must reject him.

(Emphases added.)

A creature of Chicago’s toxic mix of Leftism and gangster government, the end state of “Obamaism” is the transformation of the United States into a personalist authoritarian regime –a “banana republic”– in which the Leader has almost unfettered power. McCarthy hones in on the heart of the problem: the attitudes behind the policies, attitudes that admit of no real limits to government power, attitudes that transform the citizen into a client dependent on his patron’s favor. It is, at its core, the polar opposite of the Founders’ vision of the role of government.

It is the vision of the tyrant.

We can’t know how far Obama would take us down this road, should he win a second term, but he will try to take us as far as he can, whether with a pliant Congress, or bypassing them through the vast administrative powers of the presidency, or simply declaring it so even when he doesn’t have the authority.

It is the nature of the tyrant.

The transformation of America the left hopes for won’t come about through military coup or canceled elections (those are fantasies from the fever swamp), but through administrative action and, as in ObamaCare, the passage of laws that trample on our natural rights. Gradually, bit by bit, as we adjust in each case to the “new normal.” Per McCarthy, we must reject that and we must reject Obama, lest we acquiesce by our inaction and inattention.

And it is in this upcoming  November, I firmly believe, that we will deliver that rejection with unmistakable clarity.

RELATED: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a speech at AEI the other day on how the Obama administration and others threaten the First Amendment. I think you’ll find it well-worth watching.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Department of Injustice promotes voter fraud

June 3, 2012

To follow up on yesterday’s post about the Obama-Holder DoJ’s efforts to prevent Florida from cleaning up its voter rolls, here’s an excerpt from an editorial at IBD by Andrew Malcolm, who makes no effort to hide his disgust:

Washington has ordered Florida to end its effort to remove ineligible voters from the state’s voter rolls. This is breathtaking. It couldn’t be clearer that the government is actively promoting voter fraud.

(…)

So why shouldn’t voters have to authenticate their identities at the polls and prove they are eligible? Why should voting be so informal and lacking in rules that it invites fraud? Only muddled thinking — or an outright lack of thinking — could fail to make the connection.

It’s sad, but Democrats have made it clear that honest elections are not something they’re interested in. From easy registration that rewards indolence — motor voter laws, for instance — to strident opposition to rules that require voters to show they are who they say they are, the political left clearly likes messy elections.

Why? Columnist George Will answered that more than 20 years ago when he wrote:

“If mild registration burdens are sufficient to defeat a person’s inclination to vote, those burdens probably are filtering out the unmotivated, who are apt to be the uninformed.”

In other words, the Democrats’ opposition to clean elections is their tacit admission that they expect the uninformed to fall for their rhetoric and vote for them.

They also clamor for votes from the felons they coddle, the illegal immigrants they solicit and the criminally minded, politically rabid voters who cast ballots for dead voters or vote multiple times on election day — think of Democratic strongholds like Chicago and Philadelphia, where such shenanigans are common.

Read it all. Andrew’s on fire… and he’s right.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Democrats seeking to disenfranchise Arkansas voters, and PA in play?

May 21, 2012

A few days ago, I wrote about the possibility, albeit it an unlikely one, that President Obama could lose the Arkansas Democratic primary to a little-known challenger. Well, now it seems the Arkansas Democrats, with perhaps a little push from the DNC, are trying to tell angry Arkansans that their votes don’t count, if they’re the wrong votes:

After a poll released this week showed President Barack Obama only beating his Democratic primary opponent John Wolfe Jr. by seven points, 45 percent to 38 percent, in Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District, state Democrats moved to practically disenfranchise Arkansas voters. “[D]elegates Wolfe might claim won’t be recognized at the national convention,” national party officials are telling state Democrats. Wolfe is being accused of not following the party rules.

“They want a coronation,” Wolfe tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “They’re conflating [Obama] with the party. Are we supposed to call him ‘Dear Leader’? Is this some kind of North Korea thing?”

Wolfe insists he’s done the due diligence to qualify for delegates and that the state party is making decisions ad hoc to get the results they desire.  “This is ridiculous,” he says. “These guys are trying to tamp down voter enthusiasm.”

Bear in mind that this comes after Obama gave up 41% of the vote and ten counties to a federal prisoner in West Virginia, while, in North Carolina, he gave up 20% of the vote to “Mr. No Preference.” At Breitbart.com, John Nolte explains why the Democrats are so worried:

As I mentioned in my interview with Wolfe earlier this week, Wolfe’s story is one the media doesn’t want to tell. The Narrative is supposed to be about presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney having trouble consolidating his base, not the Democrat incumbent who is also the media’s chosen candidate.

If the exact same scenario were in play but with players who each had an “R” after their name as opposed to a “D,” I suspect the media would’ve done everything in their power to turn Wolfe into a folk hero by now in an effort to undermine the sitting Republican. Thus far, however, the media’s reaction to Wolfe has been one of almost total radio silence — a position that will be difficult to maintain should Wolfe achieve a respectable showing in a couple of days.

Nolte also points out that Wolfe is on the Texas primary ballot, and the DNC is worried that a good showing by him in Arkansas could lead to more embarrassment in the Lone Star State.

But it isn’t just in the South that Obama has problems, which Obama apologists will no doubt spin as “racism.” (Insert eye-roll as needed.) As I speculated in that same piece last week, the troubles in WV, NC, AR, and possibly TX could be adumbrations of real danger in Pennsylvania, where the Average White Guy/Jacksonian Democrat voter is none too happy right now.

Well, now we’re starting to get some confirmation. From Roll Call:

Pennsylvania is also well-known as a state with a large number of working-class whites, particularly in northeastern (Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton, for example) and western Pennsylvania (Erie, Johnstown and Pittsburgh) — the kind of people one GOP strategist says “have their names on their shirts when they are at work.”

Candidate Obama had problems with those kinds of voters in 2008 — county-level data shows he did worse than Kerry in 2004 in a swath of counties running from southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia through extreme southwestern Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, and into Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. If anything, he seems weaker in those areas this year.

These voters don’t have an automatic cultural connection to Obama (or to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney), and the president’s recent announcement supporting same-sex marriage isn’t likely to be a plus with them. Jobs, of course, remain a big issue with these voters, and whatever hope they had that Obama would turn the economy around has almost certainly evaporated.

Potentially, Romney could outperform most national Republicans in the southeastern corner of the state, as he is a better “cultural fit” there, particularly in Philadelphia’s upscale suburbs (Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware counties).

(…)

Given these considerations, is there enough reason to include Pennsylvania in a short list of swing states? Not yet, for me. But there certainly is enough reason to treat Pennsylvania as a potential battleground and to continue to monitor the presidential numbers in the state.

There’s a lot more in this article, and Stuart Rothenberg is a very experienced analyst. Well-worth reading.

Meanwhile, if I were in the Obama campaign inner circle, I’d be very worried.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Quote of the Day, Obama and the Constitution edition

April 4, 2012

Don’t be shy, Peter. Tell us how you really feel:

In a deep, fundamental way, [Barack Obama] is no longer a serious man. Nor an honest one. His public words are now purposefully bleached of truth. And that is a painful thing to have to say about an American president.

This is what I love about the Left: if pressed, they inevitably reveal their inner anti-democratic, anti-constitutional souls for all to see. People are telling Obama “no,” and President Thin-Skin doesn’t like it. And when he doesn’t like it, he reverts to the Alinskyite community organizer he’s always been.

And that’s going to cost him.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) The merchants of despair

April 1, 2012

Bill Whittle really shouldn’t be so shy about his opinion of the Obama administration — or of The Lightworker himself:

Any further comment would just be gilding the lily.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Anti-democratic Democrats, Jan Schakowsky edition

March 14, 2012

I’ve written before about the Administration’s shameful interference in the 2009 constitutional crisis in Honduras. Strangely quiet during revolts by people demanding fair elections in Iran, they were Johnny-on-the-spot with protests against the removal of a man who wanted to be another Hugo Chavez.

Well, there they go again. Not the White House or State, this time, but in the person of Representative “Red” Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a member of the House Progressive caucus and (as of 2009) a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Schakowsky is continuing her efforts in support of the ousted would-be dictator, Manuel Zelaya, and ignoring his blatant Jew-baiting:

Schakowsky has circulated a letter among Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives (a similar letter exists in the Senate) that asks the state department to suspend aid to the Honduran military and police because of alleged human rights abuses.

(…)

In the wake of his removal, Zelaya incited a wave of anti-Jewish violence in Honduras by claiming that “Israeli mercenaries” had been trying to poison him. Schakowsky visited and embraced Zelaya as he hid in the Brazilian embassy. Her congressional office notes that she “raised serious concerns about the widespread human rights abuses,” yet she failed to say anything about Zelaya’s own abuses or his anti-Semitism. She also co-sponsored of H. Res. 630, calling for Zelaya’s reinstatement as president of Honduras.

Of course, Leftists will answer with the ever-popular “You did it, too!”, pointing out US support for dictatorial regimes in the decades after World War II, such as in Greece, Chile, and South Korea. In that case, though, those were unpleasant choices made in the context of a global struggle (1) with the Soviet Union and Communist China, choices made for a perceived greater good. (2) And they were bipartisan, supported by both Republican and Democratic presidents. I’ve no doubt that some wrong choices were made, that America’s interests in spreading liberty and liberal democracy were sometimes unduly sacrificed on the altar of “realism,” but those decisions can’t be understood without acknowledging the context.

So, let me ask this: When Obama, Clinton, Schakowsky and others among our Progressive Betters (all bow) coddle leftist, anti-American and antisemitic dictators; when they stay silent while oppressed people in other lands fight for democracy and women for basic human rights; and when they coddle and apologize to their oppressors while slapping our allies, what is the context? What is the global struggle that justifies these choices? If there is one, I’m not seeing it.

Unless, of course, it’s the struggle against liberty and democracy, and for American decline.

Nah. Couldn’t be.

LINKS: Linked by Fausta. Thanks!

Footnotes:
(1) Cold or not, it really was a war.
(2) Just as with the US/UK “deal with the Devil” alliance with the USSR to defeat Hitler.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


There’s got to be some mistake

March 13, 2012

I mean, our far wiser, morally superior liberal brethren can’t be more intolerant of those who disagree than moderates and those evil conservatives, could they?

As Richard Dawson used to say, “survey says!

Study: Liberals More Likely To Block Online Friends Over Political Disagreements

People with liberal views are almost twice as likely as conservatives to unfriend someone on social media over political disagreements, according to a new Pew Research survey.

In every category, people who identified as liberal were more likely to shun their connections over political disagreements. Twenty-eight percent of liberal users have unfriended or blocked someone, while 16 percent of conservatives and 14 percent of moderates admitted to doing the same.

I’m really not surprised, though. As I wrote a friend this morning:

It’s [because of] their outraged self-perception of their own superior virtue: they can’t handle it when it’s pointed out to them that the facts don’t justify their faith in progressivism. Also, because they believe they’re on the side of the angels [i.e., “progress”], anyone who disagrees must be evil, or at least a fool espousing evil.

And not just online. I have a number of liberal friends and acquaintances who are sent (and I only exaggerate a bit) into sputtering paroxysms of indignation at the merest suggestion that, for example, the welfare state has harmed African-Americans more than it helped, that private accounts would be a good reform for Social Security, or that the New Deal was an overall failure. They don’t just disagree and offer counter-arguments (or wave away yours with a simple “nonsense”); they act like you’ve just sprouted horns and a pointed tail.

Not that this doesn’t happen on the Right, to be fair. I’ve several times online run into “True Conservatives” who meet any disagreement with all-caps shouts of “RINO!” and worse. There seems to be a certain subset of people who get their sense of self-worth from their politics and who don’t know how to handle an argument when challenged. Call it a question of maturity.

But, as the Pew study suggests, the intolerance is far more common on the Left than on the Right or in the Center. Along with a lack of maturity in some, I suspect, it has much to do with a problem at the core of the Progressive vision, itself: democracy requires disagreement, but Progressives are ambivalent toward democracy, hence they can’t really respect disagreement.

And so, in the end, their arguments come down to “shut up, he explained.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)