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Flames of Ferguson Illuminate Age of Obama

November 25th, 2014 - 8:13 am

When history remembers the Obama administration, the flames of Ferguson will light up our memories. It wasn’t just an AutoZone and Jade Nails burning up in the fires of Ferguson, it was also the “Hope” of 2008 going up in smoke.

Instead of hope, the age of Obama has been characterized by racial division and discord.

Obama and Holder commanded the police to behave themselves. The police behaved, and look what happened.

Last week, members of the New Black Panther Party were arrested by state officials for plotting to use pipe bombs against the St. Louis Gateway Arch and for purchasing guns in a plot to kill as many policemen as possible.

Notice it was state officials who made the arrests. The Washington Times had a no-longer-surprising quote from an Obama administration official characterizing the plot to blow up the arch and kill (presumably) white police officers as “not a serious threat.”

Why do avoidable subplots involving the New Black Panthers keep shadowing this president? From the time he marched with them in Selma in 2007, to this past weekend, there has been a strange ambivalence toward their racially soaked radicalism.

Why would an administration official say anything to downplay a gun and bomb charge against New Black Panthers? Better yet, why didn’t the Justice Department bring their own domestic terrorism charges against these New Black Panthers?

Critics will say all these questions about the administration coddling the New Black Panther Party are getting old and tiresome, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Obama and Holder stoked division, strife and anger in Ferguson, culminating in last night’s violence.

Sure, President Obama called for calm in Ferguson. But that was after the damage was done. Calls for calm came after Attorney General Eric Holder tripped the time bomb during his visit to Ferguson by meeting with activists and agitators and assuring them the administration was on their side against the police.

When Holder complained about the police, when Obama talked about problems with policing in the United States, everyone understood the administration’s loyalties.

President Obama’s call for calm in Ferguson provided the administration deniability that the administration bore any responsibility for the riots, even after Holder flooded the zone with swarms of FBI agents and Civil Rights Division lawyers to investigate the police.

The Obama administration led their legions to believe that if Officer Wilson was not charged, it was due to racial injustice, racial injustice Obama would help remedy one way or another. Holder and Obama made the protesters think their cause was just and correct.

It was no accident that President Obama named Vanita Gupta acting head of the Civil Rights Division weeks ago. Gupta is beloved by the radical left for her militant hostility toward law enforcement officers. It’s why another Justice Department lawyer, Karla Dobinski, who illegally railroaded police officers in Louisiana, still hasn’t been fired.

Today, Holder announced that a federal criminal investigation will be ongoing. Holder is barely telling the truth.

Here’s some news that I suspect the mainstream media will ignore. My sources familiar with what is happening on the ground in Ferguson say DOJ Criminal Section lawyers have been encamped in Missouri. Nevertheless, sources familiar with the federal process say federal charges are very unlikely due to lack of evidence of a crime by Officer Darren Wilson.

Yet Holder will maintain the charade that federal civil rights charges might yet come.

Maintaining the pretense of an expensive investigation, too, is another dual message. Just like calling for calm while stoking the protests, prolonging the promise of a federal indictment against Officer Wilson keeps the folks energized on the side of the administration. Obama will use their anger, for example, to implement anti-police policies at the Justice Department while he outlasts the short memories of the protesters.

After all, the folks firebombing the AutoZone probably don’t spend much time watching cable news.

Capture

This is the same game Holder has played with George Zimmerman the last two years. Activists, like the New Black Panthers, hold out hope that Zimmerman will eventually face federal civil rights charges. Meanwhile, sources with direct knowledge have told me that FBI agents have repeatedly told FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Eric Holder that there is no federal civil rights case to be made against Zimmerman.

But the phony Zimmerman “investigation” rolls on. Karla Dobinski’s Criminal Section at DOJ is still trolling for tips at Sanford.Florida@usdoj.gov.

So why doesn’t Holder announce the Zimmerman case is closed? The answer is obvious, and the same sick storyline may play out in Ferguson.

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Obama, Our Modern John C. Calhoun

November 20th, 2014 - 7:04 am

One of the ideas that plunged America into the bloody Civil War was the belief that federal laws could be nullified by those who disagree with them. Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina was a chief proponent of the doctrine that Southern states could nullify federal laws if states disagreed with them. In announcing a lawless amnesty edict tonight, President Obama is our modern John C. Calhoun.

Elementary school civics class has taught the same thing for two hundred years: Congress makes the laws, the president enforces the laws, the judiciary interprets the laws. The reason this is so is because individual liberty thrives when government is hobbled by division of power. People live better lives when federal power is stymied.

When President Obama announces that he will be suspending laws to bless the illegal presence of millions of foreigners in the United States, he will have adopted the most basic philosophy of John C. Calhoun: some laws can be tossed aside because his ends justify the lawlessness.

John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun

Make no mistake about why Obama wants millions of foreigners to remain in the United States. He told us exactly why in 2008: he aims to “fundamentally transform” America.

One way to transform America is to import populations with cultural and legal traditions foreign to American traditions. Central and South America has a cultural tradition of instability in government, of graft, corruption, and civil strife. People from those countries bring an expectation that the systems are rigged against them, because oftentimes they are.

Obama wants to transform America by transforming who Americans are. Even if these millions are not granted the right to vote (immediately), their children, yet unborn, will be granted it by virtue of being natural-born citizens. Obama is playing the long game.

Obama learned the history of the 20th century: when radical statists take power quickly, openly, and brazenly, Americans will stand in the breach. Whether on the blazing beaches of Saipan, in the Ardennes snow, or in dark alleys in Bucharest, Americans will risk it all. But Americans are less familiar with a slow-moving threat to American values. The long game isn’t as recognizable to us.

The long game is what Putin plays in Eastern Europe, what radical Islam plays everywhere, and what Obama now plays domestically with amnesty. Obama just had to reach back and borrow some ideas from one of the most vociferous defenders of Southern slavery, and nullify laws he took an oath to enforce.

Take some comfort in this: executives acting lawlessly is a transgression as old as human history.  Charles I similarly ignored the law when he went so far as to dissolve a Parliament with which he disagreed. When he started running out of money to conduct his wars with France and Spain, he violated Magna Carta by imposing a forced loan on the monarchs without the consent of Parliament.

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The nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general is a deft political decision by President Obama.  Lynch’s nomination satisfies the racial interest groups yet doesn’t carry the toxic record that other possible nominees carried.  Al Sharpton promised he would play a role in selecting Holder’s successor, and it appears he did.

Lynch promises to be Eric Holder’s sequel, particularly when it comes to federal enforcement of civil rights laws.  What she provides the White House is a clean slate.  She provides the false promise  of luring some Republicans into thinking the Justice Department may improve once Holder is gone.

That hope ignores the fact that Holder, while lawless as can be, was the symptom of an institutional problem when progressives wield power at the most powerful federal department.  Holder may go, but hundreds who think just like him will still be managing affairs – from the top political appointees to the lowest (and newly hired) line attorney.  Lynch will arrive to oversee a transformed culture at the Department of Justice.  And that’s just the beginning.

But first, it’s worth noting one good thing about Lynch.  She is coming from a United States attorney’s office.  Justice Department offices outside of Washington, D.C., are often reservoirs of professionalism compared to the progressive stranglehold the left has on Main Justice in Washington.  In fact, the Eastern District of New York is one of the more important districts in the nation, and Lynch will bring her experience managing career professionals rather than swarms of progressive crusaders who populate Main Justice.

Of course not every U.S. attorney’s office is pure, but generally speaking, Lynch’s most beneficial qualification is being an outsider in an era where the DOJ insiders have turned the department into a plaything to appease the most extreme elements of the Democratic Party. Her experience as a two-time U.S. attorney is the one bright spot in her nomination.

That’s where the good news about Lynch ends.

Most notably, she seems to be a devotee of the fable that Jim Crow is coming back, and that laws designed to ensure election integrity are really a plot to disenfranchise minorities.  She specifically attacked voter identification laws.  She called them an effort “to take back” what Martin Luther King had won.

Opposition to voter ID is designed to scare minority voters and help Democrats win turnout wars.

Her misplaced opposition to voter ID portends a broader problem.  The department under Holder has undertaken racially selective law enforcement.  While DOJ officials bluster about criminal civil rights cases that never happen, such as against George Zimmerman and in Ferguson, they brazenly refuse to prosecute civil rights cases when white victims are subject to racially motivated violence.  Incident after incident after incident has occurred in the last few years, and Matt Drudge routinely catalogs them at the Drudge Report.

A single prosecution of these cases, nay, even an investigation, would deflate Holder’s critics, myself included.  But these cases have not been prosecuted under Holder because the prosecutors oppose using civil rights laws to protect white victims of hate crimes.  Holder even said so himself in congressional testimony – saying that hate crime laws are designed to protect traditional racial minorities.

That’s code for, if you aren’t one of “his people” the law won’t protect you.  This is an issue that affects real Americans and the safety of real families.  Instead of flinching, senators should push.

Will Lynch commit to keeping quiet about DOJ investigations, or will she stoke racial division, as Eric Holder did in Ferguson?

The Senate should bore into Lynch’s views on the same, and hard.  There are plenty of skilled questioners on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Armed with the list of racially motivated attacks over the last few years, they should extract a commitment from her that she will break with Holder’s racially selective law enforcement.

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Big Law’s Battle With Christians in Texas

November 5th, 2014 - 2:45 pm

Amongst the least recognized foes of constitutional conservatism are lawyers at giant law firms. Big Law lawyers have served as mercenaries for a wide spectrum of fringe causes. Unlike mercenaries, however, they are doing the left’s bidding for free. In Houston, they’re doing it to attack Christian pastors who speak on theological matters.

But it isn’t just attacks on Christians. These “pro bono” efforts by lawyers at large law firms have undermined America’s energy independence, the integrity of our elections, and the security of the nation.

And paying clients of the firms are unwittingly funding this political agenda.

Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker used pro bono lawyers from big law firms to attack religious freedom by issuing subpoenas to them. (Read one here.) One of the attorneys who issued the subpoenas is Kristen Schlemmer at Susman Godfrey, LLP. Her firm page is here.

Kristen Schlemmer

Kristen Schlemmer

Mayor Parker had been unapologetic about attempting to bully and intimidate local pastors by subpoenaing their sermons and communications with their church members. She finally has backed down after vigorous criticism, which included a call-to-arms from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Houston has withdrawn its subpoenas after it was “deluged with telephone calls, letters, emails” and hundreds of Bibles and sermons according to Fox News. Texas Attorney General (and now governor-elect) Greg Abbott also criticized the city, calling the subpoenas a “direct assault on the religious liberty guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor, has displayed both an astonishing ignorance of and an astounding contempt for the First Amendment in her quest.

But just as bad is the help she has received from three Houston law firms — Susman Godfrey, Fulbright & Jaworski, and Haynes & Boone — in attempting to subvert the most fundamental principles of religious freedom protected by the Bill of Rights.

This controversy arose after the city government passed an “Equal Rights Ordinance,” which among its effects would allow men who identify as women to use a women’s bathroom and vice versa. Denial of actual gender strikes at the heart of Judeo-Christian theology of God’s will. Thus, critics gathered more than 50,000 signatures to put the “bathroom ordinance” on the ballot so the residents of Houston could vote on it. A lawsuit was filed after Parker and her lawyers threw out the petitions claiming there were too many invalid signatures.

The only relevant issue in this type of election lawsuit is the validity of the signatures of the Houston residents who signed the petitions, and what standards the city used to determine their validity. Yet the mayor subpoenaed the sermons and communications of local pastors who weren’t even parties to the lawsuit, seeking anything that discussed the ordinance, the petition, and everything from “restroom access” to “the topics of equal rights, civil rights, homosexuality, or gender identity.”

As Peter Kirsanow, a commissioner on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, said in a letter to Mayor Parker, “the pastors’ understanding of the ordinance and the petition is irrelevant to the litigation.” Their religious views on civil rights, equal rights, homosexuality, and gender identity also “have nothing to do with whether there are enough valid signatures to place a referendum on the ballot.” According to Kirsanow, these subpoenas were a “blatant attempt to punish these pastors for expressing their religiously-based political views.” It was an “abuse of government power” and Kirsanow found it troubling that “given the number of lawyers involved, someone did not raise the First Amendment implications.”

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Targeting Louisiana at the Justice Department

October 19th, 2014 - 11:44 am

(Editor’s note: J. Christian Adams’ Crimes Against the Republic is available free for a limited time only, exclusively through the PJ Store.)

On the day that the Supreme Court struck down the part of the Voting Rights Act that required states to submit all election law changes to Justice Department employees for approval, possible attorney general nominee and current Secretary of Labor Tom Perez had soothing words.  Not to worry, Perez told these federal employees who no longer had anything to do after the Supreme Court’s holding in Shelby v. Holder striking down federal powers over state elections.  Louisiana, Perez told them, would be the full employment state, keeping them busy and employed because they would cook up ways to sue the Pelican State under civil rights laws.

If Perez is nominated to replace Eric Holder, he should have to explain his desire to target one state to keep federal employees busy.

Perez’s disgraceful comments reveal the moral bankruptcy of the modern civil rights movement, and particularly the abuses of power of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division. Perez was then the assistant attorney general for civil rights, and telegraphing a desire on his part to see a series of lawsuits, voluminous enough to employ dozens of lawyers and staffers suddenly with nothing to do.  His remark revealed how this administration views the balance of power between the federal government and the states when it comes to civil rights.

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During the Kennedy administration, Attorney General Robert Kennedy pursued civil rights cases in the south because it was the right thing to do.  In the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder has pursued civil rights cases to give federal employees something to do.

The other reason Holder has pursued voting cases against states like Texas, Louisiana and North Carolina is to help the Democratic Party.  Attacks on election integrity laws, such as voter ID, are crass political crusades to scare minority voters.  Lawsuits against voter ID and election integrity are efforts to scare minorities that Jim Crow is back.  Holder is trying to motivate minority voters through fear.

The Supreme Court this week allowed election integrity laws in North Carolina and Texas to remain in effect for the upcoming election.  This is bad news for Holder, and he knows it.  If elections take place with voter ID and other election integrity laws — and minority voters still manage to vote in regular numbers — then it will look like Holder has been crying wolf.  Justice Department lawyers hoped their theory of disenfranchisement would never be tested in the real world.

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We always knew early voting was an expensive and divisive bad idea, but Ebola has provided another reason to oppose it.  The government’s response to Ebola has become one of the most important, and passionate, issues of the midterm elections.  Surveys show the overwhelming majority of Americans are paying attention, and are worried.

Yet one million Americans have already surrendered their voice on the issue because they voted early.  From the AP:

Midterm elections are less than three weeks away, yet more than 904,000 Americans already have cast their ballots, with almost 60 percent of those early votes in Florida, according to data compiled by The Associated Press from election officials in 11 states.

How unfortunate.  This is the one of the serious problems with early voting — voters making dumb or uninformed decisions about fast-moving events.  If you voted weeks ago, you voted before the administration’s  bungling of the Ebola problem became conventional wisdom.  The list of congressional leaders calling for a travel ban continues to grow.  Yet the Obama administration continues to oppose it for some frighteningly outlandish reasons.

These are the types of critical issues, life-and-death issues, that voters would have been well-advised to consider when Americans have been casting ballots for centuries — on Election Day.  As I wrote at the Washington Times:

First, early voting produces less-informed voters. After they cast an early ballot, they check out of the national debate. They won’t care about the televised debates, won’t consider options, and won’t fully participate in the political process.

Early voting means stubborn voters will make uninformed decisions prematurely. Voting even one week early produces less-informed voters and dumbs down the electorate. …

Those who vote a month in advance are saying they don’t care about weighing all the facts. Early voting encourages stubborn and uninformed voters — something the country could use fewer of, not more.

If you’ve voted early in the past, you should resolve to stop. Wouldn’t you rather listen and learn all you can before you commit?

Folks who vote early should be handed a sticker that says, “I Voted (early without knowing all the facts).” The “I voted” stickers should be reserved for the rest of us who vote on Election Day.

So, vote early, vote dumb.  The people who vote early sacrifice information to make a fully informed, and sometimes terribly serious, decision.

Gay Totalitarians in Texas

October 15th, 2014 - 6:08 am

Churches have received subpoenas issued by the city of Houston demanding copies of sermons.

Houston is probing opposition to a ballot referendum pertaining to an ordinance proposing a local discrimination law affecting gays. (Bryan Preston posted this summary of the lawlessness taking place in Houston.) Over 50,000 petition signatures were gathered opposing the ordinance. Now the city, run by the first openly gay mayor, Annise Parker, is retaliating and demanding that churches turn over sermons.

You read that correctly.

This is the sort of government behavior that used to be confined to two-bit third-world regimes.

The gay rights movement was on solidly moral ground when it sought to end laws criminalizing private consensual conduct between adults. But like so many other elements of the “civil rights” movement, it abandons the moral high ground when it starts using the government to shake down political opponents.

This is the same species of shakedown the IRS conducted. Don’t like your political opponents? Then use government power to harass them. Send them intrusive inquiries and let them know who is boss.

In Houston, the boss is looking for payback.

You wonder if the officials pushing these subpoenas against the churches have ever been to church.  Signs point to no — because how many “sermons” are actually reduced to a document?

Not all of the best ones, I can attest.

Houston Mayor Parker

Houston Mayor Parker

This is the same sort of thuggish behavior we saw out of the Tom Perez-run Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Don’t like Christian and Catholic pro-life activists? Drag them to court on phony charges. Harass them and make them bleed. The process is the pain, never mind the merits.

But every one of these harassing actions requires a signature — a signature of someone willing to act in confederacy with thuggery from other petty officials throughout history.

No doubt the lawyers signing complaints and subpoenas see nothing wrong with what they do. They will offer a litany of reasons why their thuggish actions are justified, and are in fact not thuggish.

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Thought Eric Holder Was Bad? Meet Tom Perez

October 14th, 2014 - 6:53 am

Numerous publications close to the White House have reported that Labor Secretary Tom Perez has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Attorney General Eric Holder. That Perez has a documented and repeating history of dishonesty, racialism, and radicalism shows that this administration feels unrestrained by conventional political wisdom. That the White House is dropping his name before an election should demonstrate to every Republican that Obama is fundamentally transforming politics in corrosive ways that the GOP seems ill-equipped to contain.

So who is Tom Perez?

Perez ran for Maryland attorney general in 2006. But his campaign ended when he was thrown off the ballot for the embarrassing reason that he didn’t practice law.

To Democrats, Perez is the charming, articulate, and politically savvy secretary of Labor. He is the president’s point man on Hispanic and labor issues. But to anyone objective who has paid close attention, Perez is a menace to the rule of law in ways that make Eric Holder seem like a kitty cat.

Much of Holder’s dirty work over the last six years was done by Tom Perez.

tom perez

Perez has a record of duplicity and dishonesty, sometimes even under oath. As assistant attorney general for civil rights under Holder, Perez famously set up a parallel email system so he could conduct his most controversial business using email accounts unreachable by federal law, or even by a Justice Department inspector general. On these private email accounts, he conducted some of his dirtiest dealings, like shaking down St. Paul, Minnesota, to ensure that the Supreme Court wouldn’t get to hear an appeal that might invalidate some of the prized racial set-asides this administration cherishes.

But his dealings with St. Paul were small potatoes compared to everything else he has done.

Perez testified falsely under oath to the United States Commission on Civil Rights — and it isn’t just me who says so.  I am frequently introduced in radio or television interviews as having “resigned over the Department of Justice’s handling of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case.” That isn’t accurate: I was at the Justice Department for over a full year after that case was dismissed.

I resigned on the day that Tom Perez provided false testimony about the case.

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Five Voter Fraud Myths and Truths

October 7th, 2014 - 1:56 pm

PJ Media has put together a new publication about voter fraud called Crimes Against the Republic.

When it comes to voter fraud, there are several myths and several truths of note — enough to leave everyone unhappy.  Here are five:

1. Myth: President Obama won reelection because of voter fraud.  Nonsense.  The margins in key swing states such as Ohio and Virginia were too vast to be driven by voter fraud.  No voter fraud scheme can move tens of thousands of votes.  That’s impossible and would be detected.  The machinery of elections simply doesn’t allow for the possibility of organizing and procuring tens of thousands of votes.  If you are desperate for a singular explanation for Obama’s reelection, you should get to know Catalist.  This massive database and how the modern left uses it to drive turnout among the base are behind Obama’s releection, not voter fraud.  That Republicans and conservatives have absolutely no effective counterpart makes it even more so.

2. Fact: Voter fraud has altered the outcome of elections.  Senator Al Franken (D-Lino Lakes), the Saturday Night Live clown, is in the  United States Senate because of voter fraud.  Franken won his election because Minnesota has same-day voter registration, where a person can register to vote and cast a ballot simultaneously.  Felons were ineligible to vote but did so anyhow — by the thousands (1099 of them to be exact). This means that Franken owes his Senate seats to graduates of Faribault and Lino Lakes.  Remember, Franken won by only 312 votes.  News media in Minnesota contacted many of the felons and they admitted they were proud of their votes for Franken.  Not a one voted for Norm Coleman.  But it’s worse.  Al Franken was the 60th vote to pass Obamacare over a filibuster.  Because of voter fraud, Obamacare passed.

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I will be speaking at noon Tuesday, October 7, at Stetson University School of Law.  The event is sponsored by the Federalist Society.  I will be talking about Eric Holder’s lawlessness at the Justice Department and the impact on this year’s elections.  I am told there is free Chick-Fil-A.  Classroom D.