Get PJ Media on your Apple

Rule of Law

Gitmo Detainees Coming to a Town Near You?

June 5th, 2014 - 8:21 am

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says Obama may be impeached if the Obama administration “flows prisoners out of Gitmo.” So what happens when Obama flows them straight into Graham’s own state, like the brig at Joint Base Charleston? What will Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) do when Gitmo detainees show up at the brig at Camp Pendleton?

President Obama defended the release of five top Taliban terrorists by saying that’s what happens when “wars end.”  Never before have we had a president so detached from the realities of the world as we do now, at this moment. The war in Afghanistan is still on — even by Obama’s own absurd timetables for quitting it — and Obama’s justification of the prisoner swap should give Senators like Graham and Feinstein a taste of what’s to come.

Here’s the simple way to decode every dumb thing this administration does: their radical ideology makes them brazenly unconcerned about the consequences of their outrageous actions.

This militant approach to governance explains a great deal about the last six years. Think Gitmo, Bergdahl, Fast and Furious, IRS abuse, Benghazi, the New Black Panthers, Holder’s attack on election integrity and Voter ID, attacks on religious liberty, attacks on free speech, and an unmatched record of losing 9-0 at the Supreme Court.

Consequences don’t matter to the radicals populating the Obama administration. The crusade matters, as per Saul Alinsky: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up … As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. Attack, attack, attack.” The blueprint is right there for anyone to read for just $8.44.

Part of that ideological crusade is closing down Gitmo. Because people throughout the administration — in the White House, National Security Council, State Department, Justice Department and Defense Department — think Gitmo is an evil place outside the norms of international law, they will do anything to shutter it. That explains the last week.  It’s easy to understand their behavior if you understand what drives them. The Bergdahl for Taliban swap wasn’t an error; it wasn’t incompetence.

The swap represented radical ideology in action.

But impeachment? Nothing sounds more delightful to the ears inside the White House. If you ever get around to reading Alinsky’s Rule for Radicals, focus on how important “overreaction” is to an Alinskyite. Overreaction is the one way the administration might emerge from the fallout of the Gitmo detainee for probable-deserter swap.

Why is impeachment an overreaction right now, this day? Because the public doesn’t support it. Re-read the last sentence. Impeachment is a political act, not a legal one.

It is strange how anyone needs to be reminded of this lesson, barely twenty years old. I was in the House chamber the moment President Bill Clinton was impeached. The gallery erupted in applause. Who knew they were cheering a boomerang that led to a wipeout in the 1998 elections and the death of the 1994 GOP surge?

In favor of impeachment? Get back to me when more than 50% of the public supports impeachment. I’ll give you a discount — get back to me when just 47% support it. Get back to me when you have a winner. Until then, make the case with your friends and neighbors, minus any spittle or froth.

In the meantime, Obama may help your cause. Gitmo needs to be emptied. (Or as they would say in my hometown of Pittsburgh: “Gitmo needs emptied.”) There is nothing Obama and his radical aides would like to do more than open the Gitmo gates and say goodbye.

If the firestorm following the Sgt. Bergdahl swap does anything positive, it may scrap that dream.

Pages: 1 2 | 41 Comments»

When your opponent keeps running the same play and keeps beating you, you had better adjust. That’s what the Obama administration has been doing since 2009: they do something illegal that offends the Rule of Law and outrages sensible Americans, and they keeping doing it over and over again.

Outrage is an inadequate defense.

The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is just the latest example of lawlessness. The bizarre tale of Sgt. Bergdahl’s release reads like a satire of a leftist academic American apologist ascending to the presidency and behaving like a leftist academic American apologist. “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” has become national defense policy:

YouTube Preview Image

It just so happens that the Obama administration seems to have broken a law by releasing five high-value Islamic terrorists in exchange for Bergdahl. Under the law, Congress was required to be notified before the release of any Gitmo detainees.

Law? What law? By now, six years into this drama straight out of James Madison’s worst nightmares, you should be used to Obama administration lawlessness. The law is a suggestion to this crowd, and usually a nuisance; something to be twisted and reinterpreted. When it stands in the way of progressive policies, it is something to be ignored. The singular theme of the Obama age is lawlessness.

You saw the full potential of this acid philosophy on display last week, when Obama griped about the Constitution — specifically Article One, Section Three. That’s the part that creates the Senate. That’s the part that respects the core American architecture, where states voluntarily create the federal government and maintain their unique role as sovereigns. States are equal sovereigns in the United States Senate, and each gets two senators — both Wyoming and Illinois. At least for now.

This design promotes freedom. It means you get to do more things you want to do. That’s why Obama complained about the design, calling it a “structural” problem impairing his goal of growing federal power.

Naturally, good people are shocked by gangsters, so the primary response to Obama for six years has been shock and outrage. “That’s against the law!” has been the defensive play, called over and over and over and over again.

The release of five Gitmo terrorists for Bergdahl was illegal. Get over it. The bigger question: What are you going to do about it? 

Pages: 1 2 | 88 Comments»

One of the relics of Vietnam still pushed by the left is that America sends mostly poor and underprivileged minorities off to die in foreign wars. Creedence Clearwater Revival bemoaned the absence of any “fortunate sons” in the jungles of ‘Nam, two years after the very fortunate son John McCain began his seven-year visit to the Hanoi Hilton.

YouTube Preview Image

These days, America’s professional volunteer soldiers tend to be more white, more educated, and more rural than the general population — unless Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) gets his way. Gutierrez wants to recruit the desperate, poor, and marginalized into the military through immigration amnesty. Gutierrez spoke at a recent congressional field hearing in support of proposals to enlist young illegal aliens, calling them “men and women who wish to serve our great country.” But do those individuals really have those goals in mind?

Ponder the case of a different Gutierrez:  Jose Gutierrez. Jose (no relation) was an illegal alien from Guatemala who lied to U.S. immigration authorities about being eligible for asylum so he could serve in the military. Contrary to the congressman’s claim, this young illegal alien did not really wish to serve for love of the United States. His actual aim was chain migration. Time reports:

There was a reward he hoped to claim by joining the armed services: citizenship. And once he was an American, he’d be able to bring his sister over.

Jose illegally entered the United States as a teenager to get amnesty for himself, and he entered the military in order to get amnesty for his sister.

When Jose Gutierrez enlisted, was he really doing so freely, and was he prepared to take on the sacrifices that come with military service? We may never know. As lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, Jose Gutierrez gave his life in defense of the United States, even though he was not legally an American. Jose Gutierrez was one of the first servicemembers killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since he died less than a year after enlistment, he never got the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship, his true goal.

Pages: 1 2 | 32 Comments»

Jim Crow Prowls Paradise

May 23rd, 2014 - 8:40 am

Imagine if a state didn’t let someone vote in an election because their grandfather wasn’t the correct race. Surely lawyers in Eric Holder’s Justice Department would be typing up a lawsuit as fast as fingers could fly across the keyboard. After all, Obama is the president who boasted he was a champion for voting rights, falsely we’d later learn. Eric Holder compared voter ID to a modern version of Jim Crow. But a recent federal court opinion shows Jim Crow is alive and well, and living in paradise. This week, the United States District Court in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) struck down a law that prevented American citizens from voting in a referendum on a constitutional amendment if they were not of “Northern Mariana descent.” The plaintiff, John Davis, should have enjoyed the help of the United States Justice Department Voting Section in wiping out the law. From the federal court:

Northern Mariana descent, as defined by [the CNMI law] is a racial classification, and under federal law it may not serve as the basis for preventing otherwise qualified voters from voting on proposed amendments.

The federal court granted summary judgment against the CNMI on a federal voting rights statute enforced by the Justice Department, 42 U.S.C. 1971(a). Summary judgment means it wasn’t even a close call. It means Holder could have brought and won the case easily. His failure to enforce the Voting Rights Act in the CNMI was perhaps more egregious than his dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case in Philadelphia. Let’s see if the same stooges in academia and the media who defended the New Black Panther dismissal now defend Holder’s inaction against a brazenly racially exclusionary law in the CNMI. But the CNMI isn’t the only Pacific paradise where Jim Crow prowls and Eric Holder is doing nothing to enforce federal voting rights. The same movement to allocate political power to only people of color in the CNMI is alive and well in Hawaii. The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has created a racially exclusionary voter roll to conduct a state-run election. (The materials from the office must be seen to be believed.)  A 2011 Hawaii law limits registration on this roll to only those who had an ancestor who lived on Hawaii in 1778 or received race-based land benefits in 1921. It also allows anyone with a “significant connection” to the “Native Hawaiian community” to register for the roll, which should nicely scoop up the radical academics who have flocked to the University of Hawaii to agitate for exactly this sort of race-based separatism.

Materials produced by Hawaii Government

Materials produced by Hawaii Government

The Hawaii law is being implemented with great fanfare, including a plan for racially correct Hawaiian voters to elect delegates to an “Aha,” or Constitutional Convention to draft a governing document for the new Native Hawaiian nation. Remember, this nonsense is being paid for and administered by the government of Hawaii. Never mind that the United States Supreme Court spanked Hawaii in 2000 for creating an almost identical racially exclusionary election. Surely the Justice Department Voting Section has rushed to stop the brazenly discriminatory creation of a race-based voter roll? Surely the interests of the United States run counter to a separatist movement funded and run by the Hawaiian government? Think again. Eric Holder is too busy worrying about Texas and North Carolina voter identification laws, which creates an irony we will return to momentarily. First let’s visit Guam, a beautiful and strategic Pacific island, one round trip south of Tokyo in a B-29.

Pages: 1 2 | 62 Comments»

Here’s everything you need to know about immigration reform: last year the Obama administration released 36,000 criminal aliens into the United States population. The jailbreak was deliberate and included 193 murderers.

The Center for Immigration Studies obtained the information and released a report documenting the number and nature of the crimes committed by the aliens.

If 36,000 criminal aliens walking around your community wasn’t enough, Obama’s Department of Homeland Security is aiming to make it even easier for aliens to be released from detention. That’s what the groups agitating for immigration reform are demanding. That’s what the groups are likely to get.

The 2013 jailbreak included rapists, kidnappers, arsonists, burglars, sex offenders, and car thieves. That’s merely for 2013.

The criminals that Obama administration policies set free are unlikely ever to be deported. Detained aliens facing deportation are highly unlikely to ever be deported once they are set free into the general American population. They don’t show up for their deportation hearings, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t have the manpower or money to hunt down tens of thousands of criminal aliens.

That’s a heaping helping of criminality the Obama administration just introduced into America.

After five years of Obama, it’s clear and undeniable that his presidency repeatedly takes the side of lawless criminals over law-abiding Americans. This is a common philosophy that runs through multiple Obama policies, ranging from attacks on the police, to nominating Debo Adegbile for a top Justice Department post, to failing to prosecute election criminals who supported President Obama, sometimes six times in one election.

Releasing 36,007 alien criminals into America is just the latest example of this philosophy. Never before has America suffered under a president so aligned with the depraved and malignant.

Speaker John Boehner says immigration reform isn’t moving because his caucus doesn’t trust Obama to enforce any new immigration laws. If a lack of trust is the issue, then immigration reform should be dead and buried. Anyone using their gift of eyes to see and ears to hear knows that Obama cannot be trusted to enforce immigration law, even laws already on the books. Immigration reform advocates simply do not understand the lawless architecture of the Obama administration. They don’t understand and appreciate that law to this gang is a mere suggestion.

Pages: 1 2 | 55 Comments»

Many in the Republican Party don’t understand the political ramifications of amnesty.  If they did, they wouldn’t support it.

GOP reform advocates don’t understand that Democrats are pushing immigration reform because they want the country to turn permanently Democrat and to lurch leftward and unhook from America’s founding principles of individual liberty and limited government.

Republicans who support amnesty don’t understand the inertia of culture.  They think the new citizens who will benefit from their amnesty can be reasoned with and persuaded by the force of argument to vote for Republicans.

Seriously.

The problem is these former illegal aliens and their children won’t even see the GOP narrative.  Culture is a more powerful force than reason, and certainly more powerful than the Republican Party’s ability to generate and penetrate with a narrative.  Race groups like LULAC have built a cultural edifice around these populations that no RNC Growth and Opportunity Project tweet will penetrate.

Establishment Republicans clamoring for amnesty can’t point to a single victory of the moderate GOP narrative against the cultural-media-money edifice of the left.  Go ahead, name one.

The closest thing to a “victory” from the moderate pro-amnesty wing of the GOP usually consists of being subsumed by the agenda of the left.

That isn’t a victory.  That’s eradication.

Instead of a Republican or conservative narrative, the former illegal aliens, now American citizens, will see the narrative created by folks like the four individuals who landed in my email box today.

A left-wing group sent me an email announcing a crop of “FirstGEN Fellows” to work on immigration issues.  These are the people who want the GOP-driven immigration amnesty.  Let’s meet them. First, Genesis Garfio. From the press release:

genesis

Genesis Garfio is a DREAMer who attends Columbia University. She is studying political science and economics in the prelaw track. Garfio is a member of Chicano Caucus, an organization dedicated to provide members of the Columbia University student body who self-identify as Chicano, Mexican, or Mexican-American, with an environment that will help them to fulfill their educational goals and to promote cultural consciousness. She is also a member of the Columbia Democrats. Garfio is heavily involved with the LGBTQ community on campus and serves as an SAT/college prep tutor for students in Harlem. She considers Houston, Texas her home, but is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. She will be placed with the Washington, D.C., office of the National Immigration Law Center.

Genesis the Dreamer is the just sort of activist in training who will be sure to remind those who “self-identify as Chicano” that conservative ideas are the enemy of “Chicanos” everywhere.

Meet FirstGen Fellow Nirvana Felix:

nirvana

Nirvana Felix attends the University of California, Berkeley, as a social welfare major with intended minors in public policy and education. She is currently part of an organization on campus called Inside the Living Room, which assists immigrants and refugees in completing political/LGBTQ/domestic violence asylum. Felix is passionate about empowering and educating people of color, especially Pilipinos, in their endeavors to maneuver their way towards higher education and beyond. She currently interns for the bridges Multicultural Resource Center and has assisted in the planning and implementation of the Graduate School Tour, a weeklong trip during which undergraduate students are given the opportunity to tour various East Coast graduate schools. Felix hopes to one day work for a nonprofit organization focused on education reform. She was born and raised in San Jose, California, and will be placed with the Lawyers’ Committee.

Meet more dreamers who want the GOP-driven immigration amnesty on the next page.

Pages: 1 2 | 52 Comments»

A lawyer for the Federal Election Commission has resigned after being found to have engaged in prohibited political activity to help President Obama’s reelection on government time. The Federal Election Commission is the agency charged with regulating campaign finance for the presidential campaigns and serving as a purportedly neutral federal agency. The Washington Times reports on a finding by the Office of Special Counsel about the actions of this FEC lawyer:

The employee, a lawyer whose name wasn’t divulged, solicited campaign donations for Mr. Obama and other political campaigns, and even took part in a web broadcast from an FEC facility where the employee criticized the GOP and Republican 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity on government time or using government resources to aid the election of candidates.  The most serious penalty possible for violation of the Hatch Act is loss of federal employment.  Criminal charges are not available for violations of the Hatch Act.

The Washington Times did not identify the lawyer who engaged in prohibited political activity at the FEC, but PJ Media has identified the former FEC attorney as April Sands.

This Huffington Post live stream includes a lawyer named April Sands making statements which match the Washington Times description of the lawyer’s improper activity.  April Sands is the name of a lawyer who worked in the General Counsel’s office of the Federal Election Commission.

April Sands from Huff Post Live Sttream

April Sands from Huff Post Live Stream

PJ Media contacted the FEC press office and asked if April Sands is the lawyer who resigned after the finding of improper political activity at the FEC.  The FEC official declined comment.

PJ Media also asked the FEC if April Sands is still employed as a lawyer at the FEC.  Again, the official declined comment.  Efforts to reach April Sands by telephone at the FEC were also unsuccessful.

I also contacted the Twitter handle contained in the Huffington Post live stream for April Sands (@reignofapril) and asked if she was still employed by the Federal Election Commission.  The April Sands in the Huffington Post live stream replied by Twitter that she had no idea what I was talking about.

r

People familiar with the former FEC attorney April Sands confirm to PJ Media that the April Sands who participated in the Huffington Post live stream is in fact one in the same person, despite her false denials on Twitter to the contrary.  Immediately after falsely denying to PJ Media any awareness of the facts in the Washington Times story, April Sands made her Twitter account private.

block

April Juanita Sands is a member of the Maryland Bar.  Bar records list her current employer as the Federal Election Commission. Bar records also indicate she was admitted to practice in 1994 and graduated from the University of Texas law school.

Sands is the latest example of federal employees being found to have engaged in prohibited political activity to help Democrats.  It illustrates a significant problem across the civil service that will be difficult to undo even in a Republican administration.  Federal employees donate overwhelmingly to Democrats and view the ministerial state through an activist and ideological lens.  Whether at the IRS, EPA or DOJ, partisans inside government use their power to advance a partisan agenda, and despite the resignation of Sands, few are caught and purged from the civil service.

A New, More Sinister IRS Scandal

April 17th, 2014 - 6:51 am

Yesterday was a significant day in the IRS abuse scandal. The scandal evolved from being about pesky delays in IRS exemption applications to a government conniving with outside interests to put political opponents in prison.

Emails obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act reveal Lois Lerner cooking up plans with Justice Department officials to talk about ways to criminally charge conservative groups that are insufficiently quiet.

Larry Noble, a law professor now with the Soros-funded Campaign Legal Center, was cited in the emails as someone agitating to jail conservatives who “falsely” report on IRS forms that they are not engaged in political speech. Lerner talked about setting up meetings with Justice Department election lawyers who wanted to talk about making Noble’s dreams a reality — this after Senator Sheldon Whitehouse raised the idea of criminal charges for conservatives who are not sufficiently quiet, charges that they falsely completed an IRS tax exemption form.

Larry Noble

Larry Noble

Their theory is a favorite among speech regulators in the Soros-funded left and academia. It goes like this: “Too much speech is bad (unless unions do it.) Groups who talk about things leftists find uncomfortable are necessarily political and thus should never have 501(c) tax exempt status. Criminally charge any group that said on their IRS tax exempt form that they were not political if they say things the left finds uncomfortable. Get Eric Holder’s Justice Department on the case.”

The emails obtained by Judicial Watch reveal this is essentially what was going on behind the scenes at the IRS, DOJ, and with outside leftist interests.

The emails, so far, only name a few of the speech regulators involved. But there are many who don’t appear in the latest document dump that give life to the cause of limiting the First Amendment.

Hans von Spakovsky, a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, is intimately familiar with the scope and power of the speech regulators. He said: “Ever since I came to Washington, I’ve been shocked at the liberal politicians like Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, advocacy groups like Democracy 21 and Fred Wertheimer, and government bureaucrats at the FEC and the Justice Department who want to use the power of government to censor their opponents. They hate the First Amendment and would fit right into the Soviet Union.”

All roads in the IRS scandal run through Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that sent the speech regulators into a frenzy when it allowed private citizens to spend money to express their views without government regulation. Even President Obama attacked Citizens United in a State of the Union address. Justice Samuel Alito mouthed his opinion about Obama’s truthfulness during the speech.

Citizens United, in timing and substance, was the genesis of the IRS scandal.

So who are the speech regulators seeking to impose government limits on the exercise of the First Amendment?

Like bats in the belfry, they tend to congregate online at University of California at Irvine Law Professor Rick Hasen’s election blog.

Pages: 1 2 | 80 Comments»

If you suspect that politics might have played a role in the Justice Department bringing charges against conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, consider the financial support to Barack Obama from a key DOJ lawyer in the U.S. Attorney’s office that filed the charges.

Each U.S. Attorney’s office has a lone District Election Officer (“DEO”). The DEO is the singular point person in each U.S. Attorney office for any matter related to an election or campaign finance. The U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York is the office which brought the campaign finance charges against D’Souza.

David Kennedy is the designated District Election Officer in the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York.  According to Federal Election Commission records, Kennedy is also a campaign contributor to Barack Obama as well as to John Kerry.  Kennedy has also contributed to state campaigns, including New York Democrat Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

David Kennedy

David Kennedy

D’Souza’s case is called a “conduit” case.  The Justice Department alleges that he provided funds to other people to contribute to a candidate for United States Senate, thereby avoiding the maximum contribution limits.

D’Souza’s film 2016 portrays Barack Obama as a product of a third world hostility toward Western colonialism and having an fierce aversion to American values of individual liberty, self-reliance and the rule of law.  It is the 4th highest grossing documentary of all time.

Hans von Spakovsky, a former counsel to an Assistant Attorney General at DOJ who was responsible for election matters, described the central role of the DEO in any election matter which touches a U.S. Attorney’s office. “All election-related prosecutions go through the DEO in the offices of United States attorneys located across the country,” he said.

DEOs at the Justice Department received specific training on how to search public records and look for conduit cases.  DEOs were trained by lawyers from the DOJ Public Integrity Section how to use public FEC files to look for data patterns and information which may betray a possible conduit case.  David Kennedy has been the DEO for the Southern District of New York at least since 2010.

Not only is DEO Kennedy a Obama campaign contributor, he also has a reputation as a proud and vocal liberal, not afraid to boast about his ideological worldview.

One lawyer familiar with Kennedy at DOJ told me, “Kennedy did not try to hide his political views, and they were liberal.”

Pages: 1 2 | 35 Comments»

Until this morning, the federal government could limit the amount of money you contribute for political speech.  Today in McCutcheon vs. FEC, the Supreme Court invalidated overall contribution limits.  The federal government limited individual campaign contributions to $48,000 overall and $123,200 to everything (PACs, candidates, national parties) each cycle.

The Supreme Court struck down the limits, holding that the government’s justification for limiting free speech rights – to keep money out of politics and the avoid the appearance of impropriety – failed.

This decision cuts at the heart of the leftist narrative on free speech attacks.  The heart of the narrative on the left (and among a smattering of GOP Senators) is that money in politics is bad and that large financial contributions create the appearance of corruption.

The Court rejected these justifications squarely:

Significant First Amendment interests are implicated here. Contributing money to a candidate is an exercise of an individual’s right to participate in the electoral process through both political expression and political association. A restriction on how many candidates and committees an individual may support is hardly a “modest restraint” on those rights. The Government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse.

After the page break, we’ll explore the driving force behind the decision.

Pages: 1 2 | 9 Comments»