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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Ever since PJ Media’s blockbuster Every Single One Series documented the radical partisan lawyers hired as career civil servants in the Obama DOJ, many have asked me how this is accomplished. One way is that only attorneys are hired who have resumes which have obvious ideological histories. The Every Single One series provided the public copies of these resumes. They are filled with cues that were used in the hiring process to exclude some and include others.

But Eric Holder is also personally furthering the cause of ideological hiring. One way Holder is accomplishing this goal is by recruiting from within identity politics organizations. PJ Media has obtained an announcement from the DOJ internal intranet stating:

“On August 23rd Attorney General Eric Holder deliverred [sic] remarks at the annual Lavender Law Conference in Washington D.C. The conference marked this year’s largest minority recruiting event in the nation, bringing together hundreds of legal practitioners and law students from across the country.

The event included multiple representatives from the Department of Justice, including five U.S. Attorneys, who were introduced by the Attorney General as ‘strong LGBT allies: Melinda Haag, from the Northern District of California; David Hickton, from the Western District of Pennsylvania; Amanda Marshall, from the District of Oregon; Steve Wiggington, from the Southern District of Illinois; and Robert Pitman, from the Western District of Texas.”

Here is the program for the Lavender Law conference Holder attended. Some events included “Building a Queer-Friendly Legal Academy: Accomplishments and the Road Ahead – Sponsored by Patton Boggs LLP,” “Religion-based Arguments Against Legal Protections for LGBT People” and ”LGBT Issues from an African-American Lens – Sponsored by Greenberg Trauig LLP.” Notable is the pervasive sponsorship of the event by large law firms.

Let’s get something straight, pun unintended: there is nothing wrong with hiring gay lawyers. The better question is whether the government should be actively recruiting people based on involvement in an identity politics group. Rest assured, there is no discrimination within the DOJ toward gay, black, or for that matter, transgender lawyers. So the standard excuse that pervasive discrimination demands such steps does not apply here. (See also the in-house version of Lavender Law, DOJ Pride.)

AAG Tom Perez and Holder at a DOJ Pride event. (DOJ photo).

Other high level Department of Justice officials have attended events from other left-leaning organizations to recruit. Each year the Civil Rights Division sends lawyers to other conferences  around the country, such as the NAACP conference, to recruit lawyers and law students.  These identity politics recruitment efforts have the intentional effect of funneling particular sorts of applicants toward DOJ jobs. Be assured that Holder and his gang aren’t recruiting at conferences sponsored by the NRA. So the ideological hiring program at Holder’s DOJ is done through recruitment at identity politics organizations combined with hiring people who include involvement with ideologically correct groups on their resumes.

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In the days following the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, a bizarre press conference took place in Berlin.  Hermann Goering stood before the foreign press corps and explained why Hitler’s regime had the obligation to murder hundreds of Germans in the dead of night without due process.  The farce is described in Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts.

At the time, Germany still had one foot barely in in the democratic past and the other foot dragging the Reich toward indescribable madness.  One wonders what the unrecorded thoughts were of the assembled journalists.  Some might have considered this an aberration, a frightening yet short fit of madness by a man trying to reverse Germany’s malaise.  Such apologists were particularly common in Roosevelt’s State Department.  Others reporters surely had enough human decency to recognize the warning signs of a democratic and enlightened people experiencing a rapid moral collapse.

Goering, however, as was his way, had no shame in standing before representatives of the foreign free press and justifying murder.  It should have been obvious to everyone listening to him that the Nazis were a demonic sort, capable of anything, and afterwards equally capable of justifying their twisted behavior.

Today’s revelation by Matt Boyle that the Justice Department is coordinating attacks on private citizens (including me) and coordinating with Media Matters on a wider scale than I first reported some months ago here at PJ Media provokes the question — why?

I raise this German history not to compare the events of that era to events today in America, but rather to note peculiar characteristics common to political thuggery, regardless of the degree or nationality of the thuggery.

To be perfectly clear, Eric Holder is no Hermann Goering, so the flying monkeys at Media Matters can abandon that meme. Others, at Investor’s Business Daily, for example, are willing to make comparisons I do not:

After the acts, the DOJ then praised them: “Great piece,” gushed Schmaler after Media Matters attacked DOJ whistle-blowers J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates. . . .

Incredibly, this isn’t happening in some totalitarian dictatorship or banana republic, but here in the U.S.

Now we see something else — Media Matters acting as an ideological goon squad of the Justice Department to enforce the kind of press Obama wants.

This thuggish meddling crosses the line into dictatorship, and calls for a congressional investigation.

Some time has passed since Matt Boyle broke the story today about the close coordination between Tracy Schmaler, head of the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), and Media Matters. Megyn Kelly’s Fox report notes that Schmaler writes “great piece” after attacking former Justice Department Voting Section Chief Christopher Coates.  Coates is one of the most decent and courteous lawyers I have ever met.  An attack on him by the head of OPA while he was still employed at DOJ is a disgrace.

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For more than a year, PJ Media has been reporting on the corrupt press shop inside the Department of Justice. The unit is headed by Press Harpy Tracy Schmaler. We broke a story in July about this relationship after a PJ Media public records request revealed communications between Media Matters’ Matt Gertz and Schmaler about Fast and Furious. (More on the corrupt DOJ press shop: “Tracy Schmaler’s (and Eric Holder’s) Trip to the Tropics,” “DOJ Leaks to TPM Muckraker Florida Will Be Sued Over Voter Rolls,” “Tracy Schmaler – DOJ Shrieker in Chief.“)

Tracy Schmaler

Today, Matthew Boyle blows the lid off of the relationship between the United States Department of Justice press shop and the leftist activists at Media Matters, particularly flying monkey Matt Gertz.

Boyle first documents Schmaler’s work with the Soros-funded Media Matters to attack former DOJ officials, including me!  Boyle writes:

Emails sent in September and November 2010 show Schmaler working with Media Matters staffer Jeremy Holden on attacking news coverage of the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation scandal.

Holden attacked former DOJ Civil Rights Division attorneys J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky on Sept. 20, 2010 for what he called an attempt “to reignite the phony New Black Panther Party scandal.” . . .

Before Holden posted his article at 7:52 p.m., Schmaler sent him several emails with information helping him attack both former DOJ oficials.

Holden attacked Adams again, and Christopher Coates — another now-former DOJ  attorney.

After Holden published that piece, Schmaler sent him an email titled “Great  piece…” and continuing in the body of the message, “On USCCR investigation.’” One minute later, Holden responded, writing, “Thanks!”

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Roundup of Basseley Nakoula No Big Deal

September 16th, 2012 - 1:36 am

It’s not often that I disagree with some of my fellow columnists in these parts, but this time I do.  The roundup, or arrest, of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula by “brownshirts” was neither a shock nor odd.  When I heard that one of the conditions of Nakoula’s probation was that he not interact with the Internet, I thought, why on earth haven’t they taken him in for questioning on whether he violated the terms of his release from prison?

Sure enough, they eventually did.

People in prison want to get out really badly.  They are willing to make deals, deals that to me and you seem odd – like promising not to touch a keyboard connected to the world wide web.  But Nakoula did just that, and in exchange, he got to eat lunches made of something other than cold cheese sandwiches and creamed corn.

An aside, I have been in many prisons, having sent a number of people there in my career.  They are unpleasant places.  The first thing one notices is the noise.  The second is the smell.  If I were stuck in a prison, I’d probably promise not to go online for five years too.  Think about some of the side benefits.  You’d forget that Maureen Dowd or Tom Friedman even exist.

So Nakoula made a deal.  He got out of jail for the price of no more Internet.

He broke the deal, it seems, and the feds have some questions.  When you break the terms of your release, your release can end instantly.  So, contrary to my esteemed fellow columnists, the Rule of Law is more important here.  Pacta sunt servanda – agreements should be kept.

PJ Media has learned that a team of career lawyers, expert analysts, and supervisors in the Justice Department Voting Section recommended that South Carolina’s photo voter identification law be precleared under the Voting Rights Act as non-discriminatory.  Presidential appointees in the Justice Department then disregarded the career recommendation and an objection followed, blocking South Carolina’s voter ID law.

South Carolina filed suit in federal court, and a trial concluded a few weeks ago.  The parties are briefing the case and a decision is expected shortly. (See “DOJ Lawyers Waste Your Money Over Fonts” at PJ Media.)

This information directly contradicts a central theme of Attorney General Eric Holder’s civil rights enforcement — that career civil servants have been placed back in charge of Voting Rights Act enforcement.  It also raises questions about political interference during an election year that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs from a federal court lawsuit to defend the decision by political appointees to overrule the career recommendation.  Had voter ID been precleared, South Carolina would not have needed to sue Eric Holder for approval in court.

Democrats have pushed the narrative that Bush political appointees overruled the recommendation of career lawyers inside the Voting Section and precleared Georgia voter ID in 2005.  This story is false because the career civil servant in charge of the Voting Section recommended that Georgia voter ID should be precleared, and the political appointees followed his recommendation.

That didn’t stop Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) from saying “the Washington Post ran two front page articles detailing how President Bush’s political appointees within the Division were overriding career litigators’ recommendations on crucial voting rights cases. . . .There are disturbing reports that career lawyers have been shut out of the Division’s decision-making process.”

Even then-Senator Barack Obama joined in, attacking now-PJ Media contributor Hans von Spakovsky’s role in approving Georgia voter ID: “Reports indicate that Mr. von Spakovsky joined other senior officials in overruling the recommendations of several career staff lawyers who had reviewed the Georgia voter ID law and determined that it would unduly hinder the ability of black voters to cast their ballots.”  The actions of the Bush-era Voting Section became a central campaign theme of candidate Obama, as I document in my book Injustice.

Once upon a time, the opinion of career staff at the Voting Section about a voter ID submission was the lodestar to Leahy and Obama.

The South Carolina voter ID law was reviewed by civil rights analysts, a veteran attorney reviewer, the deputy chief in charge of Section 5 enforcement, and ultimately the section chief.  Extensive and detailed memos were prepared by career staff recommending that South Carolina voter ID be precleared.  There was a very small difference in voter ID possession between blacks and whites – only a 1.6% difference.  South Carolina made photo ID free and allowed anyone with a reasonable impediment in obtaining one to vote anyhow after completing an affidavit. Based on these facts, career staff recommended preclearance.

But according to DOJ staff familiar with subsequent events, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matthew Colangelo then overruled the career staff and ordered that the Department of Justice object to South Carolina’s voter ID – precisely repeating the same behavior that Leahy and Obama had falsely accused the Bush Justice Department of conducting.

Tom Perez

This revelation is also damning because it means there is extensive DOJ documentation supporting South Carolina’s lawsuit.  DOJ lawyers did not reveal to the three-judge federal panel the internal preclearance recommendation stating that the law did not discriminate.  Nor did the Justice Department provide these documents to South Carolina in discovery.

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With unemployment chronically exceeding 8% under President Obama and with explosive federal deficits, you would think Justice Department lawyers would have more important things to worry about than font size and enrichment programs on Obamacare.  But you’d be wrong.

The Voting Section is currently fighting South Carolina over implementation of voter ID — a policy supported by more than eighty percent of Americans. Bradley Heard, one of the lawyers for the DOJ, has found the time to bicker about 12-point font, even filing a brief in federal court about it.  (Don’t miss PJ Media’s profile of Heard, including his nasty law firm breakup, here in the ”Every Single One” series.)

“I’m pretty sure this specific topic was a point of discussion among all counsel prior to filing our respective briefs, and each party appeared to recognize the continuing 13-point font requirement,” Heard wrote in the email. “Thus, we were surprised to receive the State’s 12-point font brief.   . . . Heard asked South Carolina’s lawyers to withdraw their court papers and re-file a document with the correct size font. A lawyer for South Carolina, H. Christopher Bartolomucci, responded to Heard at ten minutes before 9 p.m. on September 8 with this: “We do not intend to revise our filing unless of course the Court indicates we should.” Bartolomucci said a revised scheduling order, issued in July, “does not require 13-point font.”

At 10:51 p.m. that day, Heard filed an emergency motion in Washington’s federal trial court urging the panel judges to strike South Carolina’s court brief.

When they aren’t busy wasting your tax dollars litigating over things that don’t matter, they are spending time on things which have noting to do with their jobs.  I received an email from a DOJ Civil Rights Division lawyer advertising an enrichment program being taught at the DOJ Voting Section about Obamacare.

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Losing It in Charlotte

September 7th, 2012 - 6:47 am

Lee Atwater couldn’t have written a better script for the Democratic National Convention that just ended in Charlotte. The Charlotte fiasco was a less violent version of the fiasco in Chicago in 1968, except the lunacy was now inside the venue, not outside.

Tom Brokaw shares the story of how Hubert Humphrey lost the 1968 election after Americans watched television images of the young radicals in Grant Park scaling statues and flying the Viet Cong flag. At that moment, Americans fully appreciated the lawless direction that some wanted to take the country and saw Richard Nixon as the antidote.

The young radicals of 1968 have become the old radicals who now control the Democrat Party. They put on a convention this week characterized by incompetence, radicalism, and race.

President Obama’s lackluster speech was the least of the DNC’s problems. Convention week was plagued by all the drama and broken expectations of Waiting for Guffman. The empty powder-puff blue seats of Bank of America Stadium are the symbolic image of the lost hope from 2008. When it became clear those blue seats would dominate the coverage of Obama’s Thursday speech, the incompetent operatives at the DNC panicked. The DNC hastily arranged busloads of bodies from black churches for hundreds of miles to arrive in Charlotte to fill the empty seats.

But Guffman never arrived, and neither did President Obama at the stadium. Rain, you see, was in the forecast. Except it wasn’t. The Greek columns of 2008 are a long, disappointing bus ride home in 2012.

Then Julia Rodriguez, a credentialed convention delegate from New York (but waving a Puerto Rican flag and sporting a button seeking statehood), said on camera she “would like to kill” Mitt Romney. The unseemly radicals chanting in the Chicago park were now inside the hall in Charlotte.

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We won’t be hearing many details from the DNC podium this week about President Obama’s immigration policies. The DNC can’t talk about details because it combines two main characteristics of Obama’s presidency – job-killing policies and lawlessness.

President Obama has granted effective amnesty to 1.7 million illegal aliens under the age of 31.  He has done so deliberately, turning a blind eye to crimes which may have been committed by some of these illegal aliens. And on cue, lawless open-borders advocates have launched a nationwide bus tour titled “No Papers, No Fear” to promote Obama’s policies

The new policy is called deferred action. (See this PJ Rule of Law story about Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s witch hunt against those who blew the whistle to Congress about this policy.)  The new policy borrows from the long-standing policy of “deferred action,” where DHS can exercise its prosecutorial discretion to delay an alien’s removal on a case-by-case basis based on special humanitarian concerns. An example might be an alien who needs urgent medical care.

Obama’s version of deferred action is properly called “no action.” Deferred action is being granted to broad classes of people based on all-encompassing standards, not unique individual circumstances. It applies to an estimated 1.7 million illegal aliens.  If an illegal alien is younger than 31, and says that he satisfies any number of options, such as working toward a high school education, he gets to stay. The rules don’t even force the illegal aliens to actually prove in an immigration court that this is the case in some instances. It is a word-of-mouth, get-out-of-jail-free card when they are picked up by the Border Patrol.

The administration claims the program is designed as a temporary measure to achieve the goals of the DREAM Act, including allowing young people who came here as young children and were good students who obtained a college degree or entered military service to remain in the United States. While this is a laudable goal, the truth is that the Obama program applies much more broadly.

It applies not only to college graduates, not only to high school graduates, not only to those who have passed a high school equivalency test (GED), but to anyone under 31 who is even enrolled in a GED program. Obviously, an illegal immigrant could enroll in a GED class just to get this new immigration status.

The policy also takes jobs from 22 million unemployed Americans.  It vastly expands the number of immigrants who can work legally in the United States.  Deferred action, which the administration claims its program is authorized by, is listed as a situation by regulations where aliens can get work authorization in the United States if they can show “economic necessity,” which basically means living at or below the poverty line. Yet under  Obama’s plan, applicants are required to apply for work authorization at the same time they apply for the new program.  Thus, illegal immigrants will be given work authorization while they get deferred status.

Contrary to what some say, many of the 22 million unemployed Americans would work in the jobs taken by the non-Americans.

While tens of thousands seek to come to American through the legal process, only aliens who are in the United States illegally are eligible for Obama’s new policy.  If an immigrant meets all of the criteria, such as coming to the United States before age 16, but was in legal status, he cannot benefit from the program.  Thus, the program rewards illegal aliens but punishes those who come to the United States legally. It is another example of rewarding illegal immigration at the expense of legal immigration. Once again, Obama has taken the side of the lawless at the expense of the law abiding.

Not only does the program reward lawless behavior, the program itself is lawless.

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P.S. GOP Alinsky Plan Worked

September 4th, 2012 - 5:56 am

I wrote last week at PJ Rule of Law - The GOP Goes Alinsky on Obama - referring to Clint Eastwood’s chair routine and other convention messages borrowing straight from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.  And it worked out exactly as Alinsky predicted it would when he wrote “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”   AFSCME head Lee Saunders proved the point as he lost his cool and started throwing things:

“Mitt Romney doesn’t have anything to say,” Saunders continued. “Paul Ryan doesn’t have anything to say.”

Suddenly, the tone changed: Saunders, finishing his speech, began to kick the chair, threw it, and yelled “Dirty Harry, make my day! We’re gonna kick ass in November!”

This tantrum doesn’t happen if Eastwood didn’t get under his skin.  Mission accomplished.

But the union bosses have even more to worry about.

Saunders isn’t the only frustrated labor leader at the Democratic National Convention this year. American unions, in the throes of a long slide, have had perhaps their worst run ever facing not only the usual declining membership rolls, but also a public repudiation in a Wisconsin recall vote that centered on the place of public sector workers. Adding to that, the Democratic Party’s choice of Charlotte as the convention was a slap in the face: North Carolina has right-to-work laws and virtually no union presence. The fact that unions couldn’t influence the Democrats’ decision on location a testament to their less-than-omnipotent position.

And while labor leaders and rank-and-file profess to support Obama as much as ever, but the cracks are showing. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told Politico that federation isn’t bringing a full staff or even getting a skybox at the convention center. Battles in Ohio and Wisconsin have badly sapped union resources, a labor operative said. Other unions are focused down-ballot, labor operatives said, focused on saving the seats of true labor allies than of fighting for the national Democratic Party.

Trumka has good reason to worry.  Trumka is a thug, plain and simple.  The tactics he employed as a UMW boss in the coalfields of western Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the 1970s and 1980s were infested with violence and threats.  A visit from Trumka could be a harbinger of coal company windows being shot out by a rifle or, in some instances, coal company buildings burning down at night. (Better yet, Google Jerry Dale Lowe.) Of course Trumka had nothing to do with the behavior, right?  Now that President Obama is waging an ideological attack on fossil fuel production, it is no wonder that rank and file trade union members want nothing to do with him.  Keep the chairs away from Trumka this fall else you might get hurt.