Rule of Law

Rule of Law

Dreams Into Dust: The Speech on Race Obama Will Never Give

May 6th, 2015 - 11:09 pm

2008 seems so long ago. When running for president, then-Senator Obama held himself out as post-partisan and above the fray; calm, cool, and different. Americans bought in.

Obama’s “hope” and “change” campaign signaled a new direction, fresh ideas, and appealed to a new generation of voters. Young voters saw the perfect amalgam of a national leader: biracial, attractive, well-educated, and urban cool.  Black Americans looked up to him as a standard bearer, a hip yet erudite man of the world. His election was historic, as it signified to all Americans and the world that there are no racial barriers to achieving the American dream.

Many Americans, whether they voted for him or not, believed Obama when he said: “There is not a black America or a white America or a Latino America or an Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” When he gave that speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he was an instant national sensation.

Post-racial, unifying, uplifting, and all from a Harvard-educated, married black American. With his election, so many Americans thought that we were finally leaving behind the divisive racial politics of the past, the inflammatory demagoguery of Al Sharpton-type agitators and self-promoters, the evil of seeing race.

It all seems so long ago now.

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After six years of this administration, we now know the real Barack Obama. President Obama could have finished the job of binding up this nation’s wounds. But this man was never about healing racial wounds. Instead, he used the office of the presidency to fan racial tensions and to exploit select, isolated incidents, all while pretending he is a uniter, not a divider.

Imagine how different race relations would be in this country today if, starting in January 2009, President Obama used his office to better the black community and race relations. What a difference this could have made in places like Baltimore and Ferguson, where racially motivated violence has set cities ablaze.

Imagine how things might be different if, rather than give the speech he actually gave, Obama had given the following speech at the NAACP National Convention in July of 2009:

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The Supreme Court has been asked to allow Kansas and Arizona to verify that only United States citizens are registering to vote in those states. (See PJ Tatler’s coverage here). Unfortunately, a single federal bureaucrat refused to allow the two states to weed out non-citizens trying to register to vote.

Meet Alice Miller, the acting executive director of the Election Assistance Commission.

Miller alone, from her inside-the-Beltway office, refused to amend the Kansas and Arizona version of a federal voter registration form to include state laws requiring proof of citizenship. Backed by a swarm of left-wing groups, Miller, by herself, made it easier for foreigners to vote in Kansas and Arizona.

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You might wonder how a single federal bureaucrat could have so much power over how elections are run in Kansas and Arizona. Federal law, commonly known as Motor Voter, requires states to accept a form drawn up by the Election Assistance Commission to register voters in their state. But states can ask the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to revise the version for their state to include state qualification laws. In Kansas and Arizona, registrants must establish that they are citizens to be qualified to register. When Kansas and Arizona asked the EAC to print new forms with those state law requirements, Miller refused.

Kansas and Arizona sued, and a federal court ordered the EAC to reprint the forms. However, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and held that Miller had the power to deny Kansas and Arizona new forms.

The Supreme Court has been asked to take the case, a case which implicates both the integrity of American elections as well as the reach of federal bureaucrats.

Normally, the commissioners at the EAC decide what versions of a form the states can use, but the EAC lacked a quorum. Into this vacuum swept Miller.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation has filed an amicus brief for the American Civil Rights Union with the Supreme Court. The brief asks the Court to take the case and to restore the constitutional balance which Miller has disrupted.

Once source familiar with Miller’s power grab tells PJ Media:

There was no Executive Director at the EAC. She was a line staff member who was illegitimately thrust into an “acting” executive director role by a “line of succession” document written by the General Counsel, who was in the Acting Executive Director position when he wrote it. That line of succession policy was never voted on by the Commission. So, there are layers of illegitimacy here that Alice Miller and the Holder DOJ relied on for her authority to make a decision in this case. Adding state law updates to the form instructions should be a ministerial function of the EAC, just as it has been when performed by the FEC when it was assigned this function.

So who is Alice Miller?

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My appearance on Fox and Friends discussing this article at PJ Media:

 

 

President Obama’s amnesty by edict has always been about adding new Democrats to the voter rolls, and recent action by the Department of Homeland Security provides further proof. Sources at the Department of Homeland Security report to PJ Media that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is reallocating significant resources away from a computer system — the “Electronic Immigration System” — to sending letters to all 9,000,000 green card holders urging them to naturalize prior to the 2016 election.

This effort is part of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.”

PJ Media has obtained an internal “Dear Colleague” letter written by Leon Rodriguez, the “director and co-chair of the Task Force on New Americans.”  The letter refers to a White House report called “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents.”

Leon Rodriguez has a tainted history — not only was he a central player in the radicalization of Eric Holder’s Civil Rights Division, he also “undertook a purportedly illegal search” of a government employee’s computer in Montgomery County, Maryland.  (Messy details are at the Washington Post.)

The Rodriguez letter states:

This report outlines an immigrant integration plan that will advance our nation’s global competitiveness and ensure that the people who live in this country can fully participate in their communities.

“Full participation” is a term commonly used to include voting rights.  To that end, resources within DHS have been redirected toward pushing as many as aliens and non-citizens as possible to full citizenship status so they may “fully participate” in the 2016 presidential election.  For example, the internal DHS letter states one aim is to “strengthen existing pathways to naturalization and promote civic engagement.”

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Naturalization plus mobilization is the explicit aim of the DHS “Task Force on New Americans.” Multiple sources at DHS confirm that political appointees are prioritizing naturalization ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Empirical voting patterns among immigrants from minority communities demonstrate that these new voters will overwhelmingly vote for Democrat candidates.  If the empirical rates of support for Democrats continued among these newly naturalized minority voters, Democrats could enjoy an electoral net benefit of millions of new voters in the 2016 presidential election.

Other DHS sources report that racial interest groups such as La Raza (translated to “The Race”) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association have been playing a central and influential role in rewriting the administration’s immigration policies — both the public policies as well as internal and largely unseen guidelines.

One DHS official who disagrees with the administration’s policies told me DHS “intends to ‘recapture’ ‘unused’ visas from years past to grant more visas and LPR [green card] status. In addition to this ‘visa blizzard,’ the agency will allow folks to jam in applications during the blizzard, knowing that the visa applicant/beneficiary is not eligible for the visa.”

This means that DHS is not only rushing green card holders toward citizenship before the next election, but also jamming previous visa holders toward green card status.  These policies and priorities add to the brazen public positions of the president toward enforcing immigration laws.

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This week, representatives from the Department of Defense met with concerned citizens in a contentious meeting inside the Real County Courthouse in Leakey, Texas.  What took place at that meeting, and what Defense Department officials said, reveals a great deal about Jade Helm training exercises across the United States.

Some have speculated that Jade Helm is the military’s response to a possible attack by a weapon of mass destruction.  Others have noted that the training seems to be focused on putting down domestic political disturbances.

Monday, an overflow crowd for the Real County Commissioners Court meeting, heard Lt. Col. Daniel Pawlak explain why the United States military has begun training inside the United States in unprecedented ways.

Sources in attendance in the Real County Courthouse told PJ Media that Pawlak said the military would be in Texas to train for “unconventional warfare suited to large land, low population areas.”  There would be no aircraft, he said, but there would be firing of blank ammunition and grenade simulators. He said that the participants would be clearly marked with orange arm bands on their left arms.

This contradicts earlier reports that participants in Jade Helm would be indistinguishable from the general population.

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According to someone in attendance, Pawlak assured the crowd he was there to obtain the support of the community but also revealed that private land had already been secured nearby Leakey to serve as a staging area for the exercises.  One participant told PJ Media:

Dozens of citizens expressed concern and opposition.  A high degree of respect was displayed and on many occasions [it was] expressed that we were extremely pro-military but mistrusted our current commander in chief.

Others in attendance report that the citizens sought to ask questions and that county officials said no questions would be allowed from the floor.  Those in attendance were so angry and concerned that they refused to be silenced and shouted questions from the floor to Pawlak and to the Commissioners Court.

Despite overwhelming opposition from the community, the Real County Commissioners Court (the governing body for the county) voted 5-0 to approve Jade Helm exercises in the county.  The presentation by Defense Department representatives was item number 11 on the official public notice of the meeting of the Commissioners Court.

WOAI News from San Antonio had representatives at the meeting Monday.  Neither WOAI television nor WOAI-AM appears to have reported on the events.

Planned Parenthood Action has responded to Rand Paul’s announcement today that he is running for president by launching a Twitter barrage against the GOP senator.

Planned Parenthood Action enjoys tax-exempt status from the IRS pursuant to 501(c)(4):

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“Not my candidate?” So who is the candidate for Planned Parenthood Action? After all, a 501(c)(4) can’t have as their primary purpose the endorsement of candidates.

But you sure wouldn’t know that if you followed @PPact today:

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Ah yes, the familiar progressive meme of demonizing the 1950s. You remember the 1950s, right? That was the decade when Detroit hadn’t become a place to hunt pheasants, when less than five percent of babies were born out of wedlock, when federal spending as a percentage of GDP was about a quarter lower, and when the middle class family wasn’t being eroded away by the federal monster.

But abortion is more important than any of this to the folks at Planned Parenthood, so bash on:

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See that?

The 501(c)(4) tax-exempt Planned Parenthood Action wants a certain president, especially one that supports the right to terminate life with no questions asked, and no concern whatsoever for the stage of the pregnancy.

The ghouls who support this ghoulism are also loaded with cash. Just last year they brought in $23,000,000 according to their IRS 990 form:

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The IRS 990s also reveal that Jennifer Allan Soros is a vice-chair of the board. The documents do not reveal if she is related to the convicted felon of the same name.

The employees of this tax-exempt abortion advocacy group do quite well, also. Dawn Laugens, for example, makes $219,286/year as the “Chief Experience Officer,” whatever that is. In fact, four employees alone account for over a million dollars in the group’s budget according to the group’s 990 form.

The group also gave large contributions to the Virginia Democratic Party and Battleground Texas.

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The group also paid O’Brien, McConnell and Pearson $1,903,212 in 2013 alone for “consulting.” The firm is a D.C.-based organization that advises leftist groups on how to raise millions of dollars in cash to advocate. It also donated $35,000 to the NAACP National Voter Fund.

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The irony is stinging. A group with roots in the anti-black eugenics movement now donates tens of thousands to the NAACP political operation.

A 501(c)(4) organization cannot have as its primary purpose political advocacy. Yet the Twitter trail and IRS forms left by Planned Parenthood Action raise questions about what the primary purpose of Planned Parenthood Action is.

Today, at least, it was all about wrecking the candidacy of one politician with #NotTheirCandidate. I hadn’t realized their tax-exempt status allowed them to have one, and to spend most of their time working to defeat or elect one.

Lois Lerner Gets Justice Department Favors

April 3rd, 2015 - 6:03 am

Lois Lerner has dodged another bullet, this time courtesy of the Justice Department. United States Attorney Ronald Machen announced that Lerner will not be prosecuted for being found in contempt of Congress. That’s hardly a surprise from Eric Holder’s Justice Department — a Department which, these days, specializes in protecting friends and attacking enemies.

But once upon a time, the Department of Justice took contempt of Congress seriously, as we shall see.

In the meantime, Republicans in Congress have vowed to utilize the sternest of measures against the Department’s refusal to prosecute Lerner. That means more angry press statements.

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Machen said Lerner preserved her Fifth Amendment rights when she refused to testify to the House, even though she first made a long statement proclaiming her innocence. Conveniently, she did not allow herself to be cross-examined about her statement.

The Fifth Amendment means you can keep your mouth shut. It doesn’t mean you can keep your mouth shut except when you are professing your innocence. Lerner got the good without the bad, which was precisely her plan.

The entire IRS scandal can be understood very simply as a reaction to Citizens United, the case where the Supreme Court defended free speech rights and allowed Americans to talk about issues important to them. Obama and the Left hate free speech, and that’s why he used the 2010 State of the Union to mau-mau the Supreme Court that was assembled before him.

You may remember that Justice Samuel Alito responded just like Representative Joe Wilson did in another State of the Union address, though Alito didn’t use words.

The House of Representatives found Lerner in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to testify and answer questions, even about her statement. Naturally, this finding will serve primarily to increase Lerner’s status among the fringe interests that have taken over the Democrat Party.

In another era, Lerner would be a pariah even to Democrats.

Speaking of another era, Americans might rediscover the saga of Gerhart Eisler. If you watch movies like Jim Carrey’s The Majestic, you might think people like Eisler didn’t exist.

Eisler was the real deal — a genuine Soviet agent working inside the United States with the full support of Hollywood leftists.

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According to Allan Ryskind in Hollywood Traitors (Regnery 2015), Eisler was a Comintern agent trained by the Soviets to “capture a city … seize the most vital means of communication, lighting, water supply and … food.” Eisler was inside the United States to alter the direction of the United States.

But to Hollywood, that only made him a hero.

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Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey, Kansas City

March 31st, 2015 - 10:54 am

Just a short note that I’ll be speaking at the University of Missouri School of Law, Wednesday, April 1, at noon.

The topic is Voting, Elections and Race Polarization in America.

I’ll be talking about many of the issues covered here at PJ Media, namely how elections have become the latest contentious area involving race and civil rights issues.  I’ll also discuss how various interests benefit from a racially divided and polarized electorate.  Voter ID, the events in Ferguson and other election laws are part of an overarching fight involving color, politics and process.

The event is free and sponsored by the Federalist Society.

Nightcrawling the Internet

March 27th, 2015 - 8:10 am

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In the movie Nightcrawler, we meet Lou Bloom, a new breed of reporter. Bloom races around the nighttime streets of Los Angeles and isn’t beyond dragging a bloody corpse a few feet for a better story. Played by Jake Gyllenhaal, Bloom is a megalomaniac who fancies himself a media pioneer gathering video for stories nobody else can get. The movie is a cautionary tale for the new media desperate for clicks at any cost.

It wasn’t long ago when a small stable of sources were the news. Those of us old enough to spend evenings with Walter Cronkite remember an age when credibility, no matter how illusory, permeated the news. Those replacing the Cronkite age might contemplate the allure of excess, the excess we see in Lou Bloom.

It may seem difficult to separate the excessive new media pioneers from the rest. Perhaps a moral and self-reflective approach makes all the difference. While the left loathes Matt Drudge and what the Drudge Report represents, an observer of the editorial choices of the Drudge Report cannot miss the profound morality that guides his editorial choices.

For example, the Drudge Report is a chronicle of good and evil in the world. Drudge reports on chaos of the sort conveyed by the wolf in Lars von Trier’s Antichrist. Indeed, “chaos reigns” in the world, and the Drudge Report chronicles it.

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But Drudge isn’t all about man’s drift toward mayhem. He isn’t all about capturing the gory stories of scandal and brutality. It is also about the dignity of life, and goodness, and so often about faith and Pope Francis’ message of mercy and love. One cannot read the Drudge Report and not see it through religious eyes.

Drudge may be a modern echo of C.S. Lewis, showing us daily in sparse black and white, that “there is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan.”

Others in the new media world I have come to know have been guided by a similar sense of measured humility. But not all have, which takes us back to Lou Bloom racing through Los Angeles to get to the story before anyone else can, even if he has to make things up along the way.

In Nightcrawler, Lou Bloom routinely invades the personal dignity and space of victims. In a central scene, Bloom wanders into a mansion where a mass killing has taken place, and videos the slain where they fell. A woman stares at the ceiling with her chest opened by a shotgun blast. Bloom delivers the close-up. Naturally, Bloom considers all of this newsworthy. It would be like a newspaper routinely publishing the names of sexual assault victims.

Gyllenhaal’s character is base and amoral. His “reporting” reflects this lack of character.

The love of money drives Bloom. He is a reporter with a videotape in one hand, while he holds out the other hand for cash.

At the core of Bloom’s reporting is exaggeration and embellishment. Upon arriving at a fatal head-on crash before the fire department, Bloom drags a bloody corpse ten yards to get a better shot. He teases stories as something bigger than they really are. He concocts myth and packages it as news.

Bloom’s shady reporting is accompanied by a megalomaniacal dose of self-importance, combined with a persistently loathsome self-promotion. He is openly sanctimonious about his work, because he is oh-so-important.

“The name of my company is Video Production News,” he lectures a news director. “A professional news gathering service. That’s how it should be read and that’s how it should be said. You will take me around and introduce me as President of Video Production News, and remind them of my many other stories.” (You Tube video here.)

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His “many other stories.” You can almost hear Bloom complaining about other people stealing his work. His self-importance is matched by his lack of self-awareness.

Bloom also attacks others in his line of work. After first seeking advice from fellow video reporter Joe Loder (played by Bill Paxton), Bloom burns bridges. He tampers with Loder’s vehicle, resulting in a bloody accident where Loder is seriously injured. Naturally, Bloom makes his scalp part of the news — capturing video of Loder covered in blood being hauled into an ambulance.

Bloom is a self-important narcissist for whom the truth matters little. What matters is capturing a story of human lives in peril, of helping to create that peril and then pretending to be a neutral reporter reporting on the peril.

Bloom uses lies about his company to lure people toward his vision, such as his employee Rick (played by Riz Ahmed). Rick pays a heavy price for placing any faith in Bloom’s business model.

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Bloom loudly rejects the old ways of the news industry.

But like some corners of the new media, Bloom can’t find a moral equilibrium to replace the old ways. Is rage and selling sludge any more appealing than three networks a night reporting news?

Bloom’s version of the news comes from a dark place. It is a dark place where people are destroyed, where Bloom puts himself in the center of the news story, and proclaims moral legitimacy like some arbiter of justice, deciding whose reputation shall live, and whose reputation shall die. With his hand out for cash, Bloom’s version of the news is all about delighting in lives destroyed where exaggeration becomes the headline and the body.

His is not a version of the future, thankfully, that very many in the new conservative media share.

The Supreme Court has dealt a heavy blow to efforts — often by the Republican Party — to draw legislative districts that pack black voters into majority black legislative districts in order to elect black representatives.

In a case decided today arising out of Alabama state legislative plans, the Supreme Court held that the Voting Rights Act does not require the preservation and protection of legislative districts with percentages of black voters designed to produce black elected officials. Republicans and black politicians often argue that the Voting Rights Act requires line drawers to preserve proportional black representation by creating districts where black candidates are sure to win election. These plans help Republicans by bleaching out surrounding areas helping to elect Republicans.

Instead, the Court ruled that what must be preserved is the “ability to elect” minority preferred candidates of choice — who need not necessarily be minority candidates themselves. This means legislatures can dip below numeric thresholds which create majority black districts, and not necessarily offend the Voting Rights Act.

The opinion is here.

Here is the most important part, from the syllabus:

The District Court’s final alternative holding — that “the [challenged] Districts would satisfy strict scrutiny” — rests upon a misperception of the law. Section 5 does not require a covered jurisdiction to maintain a particular numerical minority percentage. It requires the jurisdiction to maintain a minority’s ability to elect a preferred candidate of choice.

Hence, nobody can claim now that the Voting Rights Act — either Section 5 or Section 2 — requires the packing of black voters into districts forever and ever at the same levels. Legislatures are free to use other alternative means to maintain the ability of minorities to elect candidates of choice. This undermines the argument, frequently used by those seeking to pack, that the Voting Rights Act requires proportionality of representation or black majority enclaves.

This part of the opinion makes it seem the days are gone where redistricting efforts must aim to preserve black faces in legislative bodies at all costs. Preserving a specific minority population percentage is NOT required by the Voting Rights Act, despite years of hearing from some people that it is. From the Court syllabus:

Here, however, the District Court and the legislature both asked the wrong question with respect to narrow tailoring. They asked how to maintain the present minority percentages in majority-minority districts, instead of asking the extent to which they must preserve existing minority percentages in order to maintain the minority’s present ability to elect the candidate of its choice. Because asking the wrong question may well have led to the wrong answer, the Court cannot accept the District Court’s conclusion.

Justice Clarence Thomas dissented on procedural grounds and noted the relationship between the DOJ and racial interest groups:

Long ago, the DOJ and special-interest groups like the ACLU hijacked the Act, and they have been using it ever since to achieve their vision of maximized black electoral strength, often at the expense of the voters they purport to help.

The case will be remanded to decide a number of remaining issues.