Huff Post’s Ryan Reilly recently had problems telling the difference between earplugs and rubber bullets. He also has long struggled with telling the difference between fact and fiction.
Reilly was recently arrested covering the mob violence in Ferguson, Missouri. He described the loss of his cell phone and communication devices incident to his arrest as “dehumanizing,” which gives you a sense of his priorities I suppose.
But Reilly’s clownish debut on the national stage isn’t news to anyone who has followed his checkered history as a “reporter.”
Reilly formerly worked for a privately owned website that served as a Department of Justice propaganda site called Main Justice. James O’Keefe is currently suing Main Justice for publishing outright falsehoods about him. After a stint at Main Justice, Reilly moved to TPM Muckraker, where he continued to serve in the role of government mouthpiece.
Now he is at the Huffington Post.
Among his scalps was a false report at TPM Muckraker that the election integrity organization True the Vote was under federal investigation for voter intimidation by the Justice Department, a claim which proved to be false, and a claim TPM refused to retract.
But Reilly has also published false information about others, including me. I address his falsehoods in my book Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department, a book which explains more about what is happening in Ferguson and Washington, D.C. than any report Reilly has filed so far from the field.
I note in my book Injustice:
Around this time, a left-wing blog published a false story claiming I was “fighting to testify.” To the contrary, I was afraid of the legal bind in which the subpoena had put me. The story was the fruit of an unsavory alliance between the DOJ and various left-wing blogs that became the DOJ’s mouthpiece as the Panther scandal unfolded. The “fighting to testify” story appeared on a little-read blog called Main Justice whose writers, Ryan Reilly and Mary Jacoby, obviously kept in close contact with my critics at the DOJ. Department officials would use the website to relay smears against me, Coates, and other supporters of the Panther case.
I asked for a correction to Reilly’s false story, but it never came. As such, I won’t give any interviews to him until he corrects the record.
This history has relevance to the unfolding saga in Ferguson because Reilly will be quoted and relied upon by others. Those who do should proceed with caution. You’ve been warned.
With Ebola raging through West Africa, how long would it take for the deadly virus to arrive in the United States? According to flight timetables, about 12 hours. Here are four direct flights from Ebola hotspots straight into the USA.
This flight arrives at 5 in the morning from Lagos, Nigeria, a place where Belmont Club had this frightening account of the intersection of corruption and disease. It involved an Ebola victim, upon learning he was infected, urinating on health care workers in a rage. They too ultimately died. The amazing part of the story is how corrupt officials tried to spring the patient free because of his connections.
If instead of Star Alliance, you prefer SkyTeam when travelling from an Ebola hotspot to the United States, Delta 55 arrives in Atlanta at 5 a.m.
3. Arik Air 107
Arik Air provides the authentic Nigerian airline experience. It is scheduled to arrive into New York’s JFK at 4:31 a.m., but rarely does so on time.
Delta offers Boeing 767 service straight from the heart of the Ebola outbreak — Roberts International Airport in Liberia. The Delta flight stops over at an airport in Ghana, where other victims of Ebola transited. Ghana is also home to the fruit bat, which is a reservoir for the Ebola virus. Delta service from Liberia was scheduled to end later this month before the Ebola outbreak.
The left trumpeted a voter ID decision in Wisconsin as if it were the end of the issue. Let’s see what they do with this one. A federal court today smacked down the Holder Justice Department and refused to enjoin (block) North Carolina’s voter ID law, curtailment of costly early voting and end of fraud-infested same day registration. This means the state’s voter ID law will be in place for the midterm congressional (and Senate) elections in November.
The Justice Department had actually argued that even if black voters turned out at higher rates under voter ID (which they do), because blacks have to take the bus more and their life is generally harder, then voter ID and curtailing early voting violates the Voting Rights Act.
You can read the opinion here. It lays waste to the theories of those opposing North Carolina’s election integrity laws, including the Justice Department.
The Justice Department actually used your tax dollars to pay for an expert to introduce the turnout-doesn’t-matter-because-life-is-harder argument. Enterprising folks will submit a Freedom of Information request to find out how many tens of thousands of dollars that nonsense costs you.
Hans von Spakovsky, former DOJ voting official, says it is going to be a very bad weekend for lawyers at the Justice Department Voting Section. “Eric Holder has been beaten now twice in the Carolinas on voter ID. Today’s ruling shows just how wrong he is when it comes to election law.”
Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch says, “It is an embarrassing defeat for the Holder Justice Department. The court’s decision eviscerates Eric Holder’s politicized and racially inflammatory legal assault on commonsense election integrity measures. The court expressly rejected the Department of Justice’s contention that minorities are harmed by commonsense measures that help secure honest elections. The court’s dramatic rejection of Holder’s legal theory shows that that the DOJ’s lawsuit, which was coordinated with political activists at the White House, was always more about cynical political and racial appeals than upholding the law.”
Big losers today also include Kirkland and Ellis, the firm representing Shirley Sherrod in the lawsuit against Andrew Breitbart’s widow. Kirkland was representing intervening plaintiffs pro bono in trying to shut down North Carolina voter ID.
Big winners today include the North Carolina Republicans who passed the law, Judicial Watch who helped defend it, and Christopher Coates, the former DOJ Voting Section chief who worked on the case for Judicial Watch and tore up some of the silliest arguments that the Justice Department had to offer. Coates said, “The North Carolina decision is similar to the South Carolina case the Department of Justice lost in 2012. Both cases were insubstantial and should not have been brought.”
UPDATE: Catherine Engelbrecht of True the Vote says, “It’s radical to fight against an election administrator’s need to verify voter registrations before handing out ballots. North Carolina and its voters have much to be grateful for with this ruling.”
We are now two weeks into the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife. The United States alleges that the McDonnells traded official acts in exchange for cash, gifts, a Rolex and a borrowed Ferrari. The McDonnells are charged with taking things from Jonnie Williams, a businessman who was pushing a tobacco-based cure-all pill. Williams was desperate to bring credibility to the product (no wonder). Prosecutors allege that he turned to the McDonnells to leverage the offices of state government to give him that credibility. Three curious defenses have emerged in the trial.
1. Don’t trust the prosecution’s star witness, even though we did.
The central problem for the McDonnell defense is that they don’t want the jury to take Jonnie Williams seriously even though the Governor and his wife took him plenty seriously when he was passing out gifts and cash. When the Governor wanted Williams to get an appointment with another state official, Williams got it. When Williams wanted the Governor’s mansion to be used for an event related to the product, he got it. Will a jury buy the argument that Williams shouldn’t be taken seriously when the Governor and his wife seemed to take him more seriously than nearly every other Virginian?
2. We weren’t really giving Williams favors, we were just tricking him to think we were.
A strange defense emerged yesterday at trial. It goes like this: Sure, the Governor arranged all sorts of meetings and access for Williams after receiving gifts and cash, but nothing really came of any of them. One staffer characterized her efforts as a “blowoff email” after a leading question from McDonnell’s lawyer. Really? This defense may be worse than the charges. It’s another way of saying, sure, we received all sorts of money and gifts from Williams, but the most we did is trick him into thinking we were doing something to help him. This is the worst kind of constituent services!
3. She loved him.
The most bizarre defense so far is that Maureen McDonnell had a crush on Jonnie Williams. To help with the visuals, the McDonnells stopped coming to the courthouse together once the jury was in the house. How does this help keep McDonnell out of federal prison? If Maureen was doing it all for love, and not a corrupt motive, then none of the unsavory acts flow to the Governor, and the First Lady might not be subject to the corruption charge because she is not a state official. It’s the cuckold defense. Any port in a storm I suppose. The problem with the defense is that there are plenty of interactions between McDonnell and Williams outlining the contours of their scheme, including a famous plane ride together to California. Go to Defense #1, above, to see how the defense solves that problem.
A picture is worth 1,000 words.
It does not appear from this grainy YouTube video that the swastika being displayed at the pro-Gaza anti-Israel rally in Washington, D.C., yesterday has any context. For example, it does not say something like “Israel = [Swastika].” It appears to be a good old-fashioned Nuremberg-rally-style standalone swastika.
Watch the video for yourself at YouTube (swastika marches by at :32).
h/t Demos Chrissos.
Matt Boyle has this fascinating piece about the inner workings of the legislative battle this week over the border crisis. The bill pushed by the Republican leadership had a number of serious defects.
The story recounted by Boyle is how a small group of activists and congressmen drove the immigration narrative, and ultimately the legislative outcome.
Buried toward the end of Boyle’s piece is a disgraceful statement from Florida Representative Alcee Hastings (D):
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) decried the House GOP lawsuit as he addressed “all the white people in here” during the Rules Committee hearing — which was filled with battles between the Democrats and the newly unified Republicans like Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, who both also commented to the Rules panel.
Forget about Hastings’ impeachable past. What his statement represents is the increasingly open philosophy in Democrat Party circles that race explains everything, including the certain demise of the GOP in time. Instead of acquiescing to this evil, instead of accepting the premise of this immoral racialism, the Republican Party must strike back.
David Horowitz this week said it’s time for Republicans to start calling out the racists in the Democrat Party. He’s right. The response to those who would support Alcee Hastings cannot be outreach. Instead, the GOP must borrow the morality of the civil rights movement and condemn, isolate and ridicule the sentiments of Alcee Hastings and his ilk. If you ignore the cancerous attitude he expressed this week, it will continue to metastasize and block your timid “growth and opportunity” outreach.
No matter how much money the GOP spends, you cannot sow the seeds of opportunity on soil where the enemy has sown weeds. The GOP must first bundle the weeds and burn them.
Tatler has learned that Democrat notaries who engaged in illegal conduct in previous elections in Mississippi (according to a federal court ruling) are now harvesting absentee ballots for the Republican runoff from African-Americans who have always voted in Democratic Party primaries.
Back in 2007, the United States Justice Department sued the chairman of the Noxubee Democratic Executive Committee, Ike Brown. I served on the team that prosecuted that case. Brown was found liable for discriminating against white voters from his perch as the head of the Democrat party.
The federal court discussed the behavior of one particular notary – Carrie Kate Windham. Windham was found to have harvested votes as a notary, sometimes voting the actual ballots of the voters. You can read the whole opinion here (believe me, the conduct is so outrageous it is worth the read). The federal court:
The Government also presented direct evidence of fraud in the collection of absentee ballots by one notary in particular, Carrie Kate Windham, who became a member of the NDEC during Brown’s chairmanship and whose notary application fee and surety bond were paid by Ike Brown. . . .According to Wood, Windham actually marks Wood’s ballot for her and selects candidates when Wood does not know whom she wants to vote for because, as Wood put it, Windham “knows folks” better than Wood does. Wood testified that her daughter lives with her, and although her daughter is not disabled or illiterate and was not going to be out of the county on election day, she was
recruited to vote absentee by Windham. The same was true of Otis Shanklin, who also lives in Wood’s home. Shanklin is not disabled, can read, and is able to go to the poll on election day, yet he casts his vote by absentee ballot in every election and is assisted in every election by Windham; and if he does not know whom to vote for, he has Windham vote for him.
This is the sort of voter fraud that academics and political hacks (but I repeat myself) say is rare and doesn’t really amount to much.
Tatler can report that the notaries who have been engaged in voter fraud going back at least a decade are now in the field once again harvesting absentee ballots from African-Americans in the Republican primary who normally never vote in the Republican primary in Mississippi.
Under Mississippi law, this is illegal. MS Code Ann. 23-15-575 says that one cannot vote in a primary if one does not intend to support the nominee in November. Because nobody reads minds about the intent of the voter, we are left to use common sense about the behavior going on now in some corners of the state.
The bottom line is this: a team of notorious vote fraudsters and absentee ballot con artists are collecting absentee ballots from longtime Democrat voters in Mississippi and delivering these absentee ballots to be counted in the GOP primary. More from the federal court:
Furthermore, while Brown may not have specifically directed Windham’s activities, the court is convinced the two were working together and that he encouraged her actions, or at the very least was aware of and condoned Windham’s tactics, which furthered his agenda.
Tatler of course cannot know for whom these absentee ballots are being collected. Perhaps these long time Democrats are voting for Chris McDaniel. Perhaps they are voting for Thad Cochran. One thing we do know for sure, this is the sort of person now collecting absentee ballots from Democrats to be cast in the GOP runoff. Again, from the court about what happened when one witness testified against the fraud scheme:
After testifying on January 22, Halbert was again called to the stand by the Government on January 29, regarding avisit to her home by Windham and Johnson after she had testified. Halbert testified that as she left the courthouse, she overheardBrown tell Dorothy Clanton, Windham’s sister and also a member of the NDEC, to “Call Carrie Kate.” Twenty minutes after Halbert arrived at home, Windham and Johnson came to her home. According to Halbert, whose testimony the court credits on this subject as well, Windham confronted her about her testimony, told her, “We black people need to stick together,” and suggested that she needed “to tell them that you probably didn’t understand what you was being asked.”
You wondered how some would explain this whipping. This morning I had a comment at a post saying Democrats crossing over to vote against Eric Cantor cost Cantor the election. I assumed it was a unsophisticated crank posting, until I saw Twitter echoing the same excuse.
Guess what — the Democrat crossover excuse can be proven if the data are there. Virginia keeps voter history data. Some of you reading this already have it. It is easy to tell if motivated Democrats were crossing over to vote in the GOP primary. Decide how many Democrat primaries a voter must vote in to be a “Democrat” before crossing over yesterday. Let’s assume it’s just one.
Cantor lost by 8,000 votes out of 65,000. That’s a lot of crossing over.
If you are one of those trying to spin the Cantor loss as a plot by Democrats, you better have the data. How many voters participated yesterday that previously participated in a single Democrat primary? How many participated in two? Three? I suspect it wasn’t anywhere near 8,000. I’d be surprised if it was more than 100. But Team Brat doesn’t have the burden of proof on this narrative, does he?
Until someone pushing the crossover narrative shows us data, this was an epic whipping driven by issues, not by Democrats.
So Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost to a Tea Party candidate. Correction, Majority Leader Eric Cantor was crushed by a Tea Party candidate.
In some ways, Cantor’s exit is a political tragedy. It shows that flirting with the existential enemies of the Constitution, of liberty, and of core Republican principles can bear a very heavy price. I’m convinced that had Cantor resisted the siren calls of the left on two key issues — immigration and giving Eric Holder renewed power over state elections — he would have won tonight.
The moral of the story tonight is that when a Republican flirts with the left, that Republican risks it all. This isn’t 1995 anymore. Party insiders are less equipped to drive a narrative than they used to be. Now, talk radio, conservative media and grassroots organizing can drive an outcome better than a party apparatus. Big Money doesn’t produce the big results it used to. Insurgents, in the right battlespace, can beat the most powerful incumbents if they battle smart.
Back to the two issues that undermined Cantor — immigration and reempowering Eric Holder to control state elections.
Immigration was by far the more dominant of the two issues in the Cantor loss. Others have covered it better than I will here. But something odd happened over the weekend.
First, I, along with other conservative leaders like former Attorney General Ed Meese and Ken Blackwell, sent Mr. Cantor a letter. The letter addressed a bill sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wi) that would reverse a Supreme Court decision and give Eric Holder renewed powers over state elections, including the power to block photo voter ID and citizenship verification procedures. It was a power wickedly abused by the Holder Justice Department (where I used to work) and is regularly used to help Democrats in the name of civil rights. The bill sponsored by Rep. Sensenbrenner explicitly removes white voters from the protection of the law and unleashes all sorts of other mischief and federal mandates on state election officials. The letter to Mr. Cantor stated:
This bill will fundamentally and intentionally change American elections into race-reliant battleﬁelds where, for the ﬁrst time in our history, the United States, as a legal matter, would EXCLUDE a majority of Americans as a class from the full protection of the law – based solely on the color of their skin. As House Majority Leader you alone have the authority to bring this bill to a vote. Therefore, your continued ambiguity on a bill that is so clearly and deeply ﬂawed is troubling to say the least. On behalf of our organizations, and of the millions we collectively represent, we are compelled to reach out to you directly and ask for a meeting to address the issue and your intentions.
There it is. The election in Virginia tonight can be explained by two words: continued ambiguity. The continued ambiguity undermined Cantor’s brand as a fighter for limited government. Cantor went to Selma, Alabama, and marched with some of the most bitter racialists in American politics. It was all part of an effort to cozy up with the NAACP and ethic interest group crowd. Instead of snuffing out the effort to give Eric Holder more power over state elections, the majority leader may have tried to build a bridge with the left.
Now, other Republicans who might have flirted with the idea of moving a bill to give Eric Holder renewed power over state elections can gaze at Cantor’s wipeout. Who would dare to now? Republicans who want to become speaker in the future best not offend delegations from Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina.
The Justice Department will be having a grand celebration today of being gay. The event will take place in the prestigious Great Hall and will feature an appearance by none other than Attorney General Eric Holder. All DOJ employees are invited to attend.
A Justice Department employee snatched a flyer advertising the event from the walls of the DOJ and provided it to PJ Media. A full copy can be had at this link.
If you cannot attend the pride party in person, Justice Department employees can sit at their desks and watch the fete unfold on JTN – the closed circuit Justice Television Network. The flyer:
Notice that the event will feature Pam Karlan. Karlan currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division overseeing election laws. Others have speculated Karlan is headed to the Supreme Court one day. Any Justice Department actions taken this fall in the midterm elections will need to be approved by Karlan.
State and local officials subject to those actions need to understand that Karlan is a dishonest radical academic fresh from a stint at Stanford Law School. Her academic dishonesty hasn’t caused even a blip of discomfort among fellow left wing academics who continue to fawn over her. Karlan’s academic dishonesty appeared in the Duke Journal of Law and Public Policy. Unsurprisingly, her academic dishonesty centered around bashing the Bush administration DOJ as unsympathetic towards black and Hispanics. Karlan race baited with a lie. From Tatler last year:
“For five of the eight years of the Bush Administration, [they] brought no Voting Rights Act cases of its own except for one case protecting white voters.”
This is demonstrably false; any visit to the DOJ website demonstrates this. Karlan says the Voting Section brought no cases to protect minorities under the Voting Rights Act in five of eight years — let’s look at the record.
My article then traces out in detail the lies that Karlan published in a Duke Law scholarly publication.
I contacted the editors of the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law in September 2013 to see if Karlan ever submitted a correction for her false scholarship. She hadn’t.
State and local election officials who tangle with DOJ this fall will have to wonder – if Karlan is willing to publish demonstrably false and unrepentant racialist accusations in a law review article, what questionable allegations will the Department be willing to make against them?
Ed Whelan has covered other instances of Karlan’s dishonesty over at National Review. But no matter — it’s time to party with the Attorney General.
DOJ Gay Day 2014 isn’t the first taxpayer funded celebration of sexual preferences. Gay Day 2013 saw the taxpayers fly in Melissa Etheridge to perform a special taxpayer funded private concert for DOJ employees celebrating Gay Day. Talk about the 1%!
Judicial Watch years ago began seeking documents related to the use of taxpayer funds for these events. Providing an intimate private concert by Melissa Etheridge isn’t without costs paid for by middle class taxpayers who never get private concerts by rock stars. The public has a right to the records. Predictably, one wing of the movement benefiting from the festivities is less focused on tolerance and more focused on orthodox militancy. It described the effort to obtain these public records related to these events as a “witchhunt.”
Ironically, one of the documents DOJ sought to conceal included efforts by top DOJ political leadership to identify potentially gay employees. If Eric Holder’s gang leads the hunt for witches, it’s apparently acceptable.
Such are the ways of the modern left. Lie with impunity in academic journals. Publicly celebrate private choices. Spend your money for exclusive events they like. Create employment opportunities that incorporate fanciful entertainment diversions unheard of in most jobs. Hide facts about how your money was spent. Attack those who ask. Is that what the flyer means by “progress?”
Justice Department sources tell PJ Tatler that former ACLU and DOJ lawyer Mark Kappelhoff has been tapped to head the powerful Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. Here is Kappelhoff’s full resume, which reveals he spent a whopping three years in the private for-profit legal sector in the 26 years since he graduated from law school.
This news follows the embarrassing defeat in the Senate of Obama’s failed nominee Debo Adegbile to lead the Civil Rights Division. Adegbile was deemed too radical by both Republican and Democrat Senators, so much so that he received the support of only 47 Senators in his confirmation vote. (Read John Fund’s excellent accounting of the Adegbile debacle here.)
Adegible came from the most radical strains of the modern civil rights industry. Kappelhoff’s pedigree is less radical in comparison, at least by civil rights group standards. His experience has been less directed at the most radical components of the modern civil rights industry agenda and directed more at issues like human trafficking.
Nevertheless, Kappelhoff is no stranger to the news or readers of PJ Media. Hans von Spakovksy has this piece discussing outrageous prosecutorial misconduct and slanderous allegations in Hawaii which occurred while Kappelhoff was still at the Justice Department.
Kappelhoff also appears in my book Injustice in a number of places, including this one describing his nifty little campaign against the New Hampshire Republican Party from his DOJ perch:
Here’s a similar example: Mark Kappelhoff, who nearly maxed out his contributions to Obama, was the head of the Criminal Section inside the Civil Rights Division during the 2008 election. One could easily forgive a person for lacking confidence in his neutrality. Kappelhoff, who according to Christopher Coates was worried that the Ike Brown case would upset civil rights groups, had been a strong proponent of stretching the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 241 to include a criminal prosecution against James Tobin and other Republican phone bankers in New Hampshire. The statute involves conspiracies to deprive citizens of civil rights, and to Kappelhoff, that included making phone calls to help Republican candidates. Kappelhoff was a zealous salesman of this flimsy legal theory before several courts and a jury embarrassingly quashed it.
Eventually the First Circuit Court of Appeals found that the statute the DOJ used to prosecute Tobin was not even “a close fit” to his behavior. After tossing out the conviction, DOJ lawyers re-indicted Tobin, this time for lying to federal prosecutors, but the federal court dismissed the charges as a vindictive prosecution. The New Hampshire Republican Party, however, was nearly bankrupted by the case. It was left with only $736 in the bank after the DOJ carnage, a mere third of Kappelhoff’s generous contributions to the Obama campaign.
There are plenty of other appearances in the book. It will be interesting to see the reaction of Republicans in Congress to a partisan like Kappelhoff being appointed to head the DOJ Civil Rights Division. Stay tuned.
Yesterday I reported on April Sands, the former Federal Election Commission lawyer who resigned for violations of the Hatch Act. Sands violated the Hatch Act by engaging in political activity to help President Obama’s reelection while on government time and using government resources while actually at the offices of the Federal Election Commission.
You can watch her appear in this Huffington Post LiveStream, an event cited by the Office of Special Counsel which investigated her behavior.
Sands was allowed to resign quietly and anonymously from her $133,264 a year job. Why?
I couldn’t even get the FEC’s press office to tell me whether or not Sands even worked at the FEC anymore. Does the public not have a right to know whether or not someone is paid by the public?
We know that Sands once worked with Lois Lerner when Lerner was at the FEC. Lerner, too, stands accused of using her government office to help political allies.
Like Sands, Lerner was also allowed to resign and continue to enjoy generous federal retirement benefits. Sands had been at the FEC for at least eight years, which means she is likely to receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $853 a month from the taxpayers (to be inflation adjusted) upon reaching age 65 in 20 years or so. Lerner will also ride that retirement wave, much sooner I suspect.
Similarly, if Sands fully participated in the Thrift Savings Plan, that means the taxpayers provided thousands of extra dollars a year for her retirement accounts.
All of this raises the question of whether federal employees who leave federal service after violating the Hatch Act should continue to receive federal retirement benefits.
I tend to believe they should, but I suspect among the American people, I am in the distinct minority.
But here are the bigger questions – why are federal employees who break the law entitled to a quiet and anonymous exit from federal service? Should the public and the press have to pry out the identity of people who violate the Hatch Act? Did some at the FEC do everything they could to help Sands get a fresh start?
When I asked Sands at her Twitter handle (@reignofapril) if she was the ex-FEC lawyer, she immediately shut down her online alter ego, at least at Twitter. But even that won’t work, thanks to Twitchy and Google. What emerges is a very activist federal employee, and that activism was supported by your tax dollars to the detriment of Republicans.
Yesterday, I posted this piece about how the IRS scandal has evolved into something far more sinister than Tea Party groups having their tax exempt applications delayed. Judicial Watch had found emails that show officials at the IRS and DOJ as well as outside left-wing lawyers were tossing around ideas to criminally charge someone to make an example that would frighten other groups from engaging in speech. I also alluded to the fact that many posters (though apparently not all) at Rick Hasen’s Election Law Blog are deliberately ignored if they do not agree with the orthodoxy of the left.
That’s fact. In fact, nobody disputed the facts in my piece.
What some didn’t like is the fact that I mentioned Rick Hasen’s blog, and how it is used to advance the left-wing narrative on election law. As one professor told me by email:
One of the Left’s tricks is to make calling them out seem like a breach of etiquette.
Yesterday, instead of joining in the rightful criticism of what occurred at the IRS, Hasen spent his energy rounding up notes of support from a smattering of conservatives who use his blog.
I don’t suspect we’ll see too much criticism of the IRS emails describing Larry Noble’s plot to have some people made an example of by having criminal charges brought against them. Calling Hasen’s blog out seems to be a bigger breach of etiquette than the IRS abusing the power of the state.
Rick Hasen’s listserv is an institution. A valuable one. Attacks on Rick are unfounded. Civility is the glue that holds democracy together.
I wasn’t sure if Kelner was trying to be funny. Civility and Hasen in the same sentence? Hasen hardly practices what Kelner preaches. Hasen’s blog and his writings have become a forum for repeated personal attacks on people — people who are my friends. He accuses them of deliberate deception, attaching derogatory names to them as a group — the “Fraudulent Fraud Squad.”
Here’s a sample about Thor Hearne, which Mr. Kelner could be forgiven for not having read, as it appeared at Slate. But Hasen didn’t stop with Hearne back in 2007. He repeatedly labels those with whom he disagrees part of the “fraudulent fraud squad.” If “civility is the glue that holds democracy together,” then his blog needs some glue.
Professor Jeff Milyo latched onto civility also:
You consistently achieve a balance between the goals of civility and open participation (a task none of us envy!).
I’ll give Milyo the benefit of the doubt and assume he is unaware of the very uncivil repetitious attacks by Professor Hasen on certain conservatives, questioning their truthfulness. But would it make a difference to the blog participants if they were fully schooled in Professor Hasen’s incivility and name-calling? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Today I had this post about the IRS scandal. It had this lede:
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.
But it also singled out the role of law professor Rick Hasen’s blog in giving the speech regulators a forum to move their regulatory narrative. Dissenting views are often ignored at his blog and listserve or given very short attention.
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. Hasen runs an online meeting hall for all the would-be speech totalitarians. They post, bluster, and kibitz about the latest news on their effort to erode the First Amendment and increase federal power
Hasen obviously felt uncomfortable with the PJ piece. This afternoon he made a pitiful request for notes of praise from conservatives.
I have a favor to ask those who self-identify as conservatives or libertarians.
If you have expressed your support for the listserv (and/or my moderation of it) in a post to the listserv or if you are willing to write a public message about it, please let me know (by sending an email that I can publish your remarks). I will likely include some of them in a post on the Election Law Blog. I only want to post from those persons who are willing to have their names included.
PJ Media will be sure to cross post here any notes of support from conservatives that he receives.
The IRS Tea Party scandal has all the characteristics of abusive government – from lies to threats to jail political opponents.
Remember when Lois Lerner and the Obama administration were blaming the IRS targeting scandal on “low level employees in the Cincinnati office?” It turns out those employees weren’t very happy about it.
New emails obtained by Judicial Watch pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act reveal angry IRS employees who were getting the blame for the targeting of Tea Party groups. The emails reveal a deceptive public relations strategy cooked up in Washington D.C. that the “low level” employees would have no part of.
Cindy Thomas wrote Lerner an email directly.
“Joseph Grant and others who came to Cincinnati last year specifically told the low level workers in Cincinnati that no one would be ‘thrown under the bus.’ Based on articles, Cincinnati wasn’t publically ‘thrown under the bus’ instead it was hit by a convoy of Mack trucks.”
Lerner, realizing by now that email might not be the best way to manage damage control responds “I will be back shortly and will give you a call.” Telephones work better than emails in avoiding Judicial Watch FOIA requests.
The emails also reveal a desire to jail conservative activists working for non-profits. From one IRS email:
As I mentioned yesterday — there are several groups of folks from the FEC world that are pushing tax fraud prosecution for c4s who report they are not conducting political activity when they are (or these folks think they are). One is my ex-boss Larry Noble (former General Counsel at the FEC), who is now president of Americans for Campaign Reform. This is their latest push to shut these down. One IRS prosecution would make an impact and they wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff.
Larry Noble is a speech regulator and heads the First Amendment-hostile organization Americans for Campaign Reform which seeks to limit the reach of the First Amendment. He is also a professor at George Washington University School of Law where he teaches law students his limited views of the First Amendment.
You can read the whole stack of documents Judicial Watch obtained here. Feel free to post other gems you find in the comments below.
Drudge linked to this story which revealed that White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and his wife (CBS News reporter) Claire Shipman adorn the walls of their home with Soviet propaganda posters.
No home decorated in mid-century modern totalitarianism is complete without some German themed posters. Why stop at the 20 million killed by the Soviets that Clarie and Jay like to display while they cook up a Sunday morning brunch of muffins, toast and OJ? (The Carney’s note their favorite thing to do on a Sunday morning is sleep in.) To round out their decorative theme, I’ve got some suggestions.
Here’s one that looks like the Red Army poster in the Carney’s kitchen. Not as colorful, but it has that woodblock feel that Claire must be striving for:
The Carneys seem to like feminine themes, albeit totalitarian ones. Here’s a wonderful poster showing the tenderness of motherhood in 1930′s Germany they might hang in their den:
Here’s an end table that might work perfectly in the Carney’s living room:
Why not thrown in some sculpture? This piece next to the Red Army poster could create a delightful contrast, sort of like Stalingrad.
Naturally, the Carney/Shipman household will not sport images and art representing bloody Nazi totalitarianism. That the White House press secretary doesn’t recognize the moral equivalence of hanging art representing the bloody Soviet version of totalitarianism says a great deal.
A tragic phenomenon has affected President Obama since he became President. The more radical his audience, the more outrageous his lies.
At his appearance before Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Obama called voter fraud claims “bogus” and said his Justice Department has “taken on more than 100 voting rights cases since 2009. ”
This is a bald faced lie. One need merely click this link at the Justice Department’s own website to see it is a lie. The truth is that 39 cases have been brought, not 100, and only 13 relate to protecting minority voting rights – usually foreign language ballot issues. The rest of the cases involve states sending out military ballots (an effort only begun after blistering coverage at PJ Media and elsewhere in 2010).
Thirty-nine does not equal 100, and 13 even less so. Will Stephanie Condon at CBS News correct the false numbers which she so willingly reported? Of course not. She isn’t just biased. She’s part of the administration’s public relations team, even if the federal government doesn’t sign her paycheck.
Here’s the dirty secret no sycophantic reporter will mention: the Bush Justice Department had a significantly more robust enforcement record in voting rights than the Obama Justice Department.
Regarding Obama’s lie that voter fraud is “bogus,” (impressive insightful language from a Harvard man), PJ Media has covered voter fraud so extensively that it is hardly worth rehashing the hundreds of cases of fraud reported over the last few years. If you haven’t been paying attention, Google Melowese Richardson. Her “bogus” case of voting six times for President Obama remains uncharged by Mr. Holder’s Justice Department. President Obama is back to giving cover to criminal behavior in American elections.
But you can forgive President Obama if he felt comfortable lying to Al Sharpton’s audience. They’d believe anything. Remember, Sharpton is a man who blamed the Jews in New York for all manner of conspiracies. Riots he inspired led to chants of “kill the Jew.” The “No Justice, No Peace” mantra emerged out of this violence as a not-so-subtle racial threat to New York Jews and the NYPD that had to deal with the Sharpton-motivated chaos. Both Holder and Obama appeared before a wall containing the same slogan this week. The audience Obama spoke to was already primed to believe outlandish fantasy and racially soaked paranoia. That the President of the United States set foot in the room tells you everything you need to know about the man.
At last, one House Republican is ready to use the Constitutional power of the purse to reign in Attorney General Eric Holder’s lawlessness.
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees Eric Holder’s Justice Department will utilize the power of the purse to withhold funds from the Justice Department.
Eric Holder has been lobbying the Republican controlled House for a larger budget. Wolf says he will withhold $1,000,000 for every instance of failure for Eric Holder to respond to Wolf’s demands for information.
The Constitution vests the House of Representatives with the power of the purse, an enormously effective tool for reigning in abuses by the executive branch. If the House does not allocate money to Obama’s Justice Department, then Holder cannot function.
Wolf has sought dozens of reports required from the DOJ under the FY 2013 Omnibus Act. The reporting requirement was an effort to shine a light on the behavior of the Justice Department. It was an exercise of Congressional oversight. The law required Holder to provide Congress and Wolf’s committee 66 separate reports about DOJ activity.
Not surprisingly, Holder has ignored the law and is in default of the reporting requirement. Wolf vows to withhold $1,000,000 to the DOJ budget for each overdue report. From Wolf’s opening statement to an Appropriations hearing last week:
“There are still 25 outstanding reports and briefings from the FY 2013 bill, and that doesn’t include any of the additional reports directed in the FY 2014 bill, which was subsequently signed into law earlier this year. There are already 18 reports in the FY 2014 bill that are overdue to the committee.
“With a workforce of more than 100,000 employees, I know that the department certainly has the capacity to provide the directed reports. What is lacking is the will to be responsive to the Congress on the part of the department’s leadership. That is what I find particularly disappointing.
“Today, I am announcing a new policy that these overdue reports will no longer be tolerated by the committee. When our FY 2015 bill is marked up this spring, I intend to withhold $1 million for every overdue report from the FY 2013 and FY 2014 bills. The funds will be provided instead to agencies in this bill that comply with reporting requirements. With the current backlog of 43 reports, this could be a significant reduction in funds for the department. But you have now been given fair warning that these overdue reports will now be taken into account when the subcommittee determines your budget.
“For the record, I find it extremely unfortunate that I have to take this action, but I know no other way to encourage the department to follow through on its required obligations to this Committee.”
Wolf might start with the particularly out-of-control Civil Rights Division.
The document dump of IRS emails about Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) contains some very interesting items. One is how eager IRS officials seemed to be to help Cummings in his crusade against the election integrity group True the Vote. IRS officials referred to the Cummings meddling as synonymous with “our hot topic.” Logan Churchwell posts the emails.
After this request, the tax agency that has trouble answering its own phones, snapped into action. Lois Lerner badgered Holly Paz to get Cummings what he wanted. Paz promised quick results, “ASAP.”
After this Friday, January 25 email, Lerner badgered Paz on Monday whether Cummings got his IRS care package about the Texas Tea Party group. When Paz told her the package hadn’t been delivered yet, Lerner snapped – “thanks, check tomorrow please.”
All of the urgency came from officials in an IRS unit which sat on Tea Party 501(c)(3) applications for years.
A key ethics investigator at Eric Holder’s Justice Department has contributed $6,100 to Barack Obama’s election campaign even though she has participated in high-profile investigations of political misconduct at the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility.
Mary Aubry is an attorney in the Office of Professional Responsibility. The office has investigated a wide range of politically sensitive matters including the dismissal of the New Black Panther voter intimidation case, terrorist interrogation techniques, and the “investigation” into the firing of United States attorneys who served at the pleasure of President Bush.
After Hans von Spakovsky drew attention to Aubry’s political contributions in this 2011 article, she was removed from investigation into the New Black Panther dismissal. Years after Aubry’s OPR office issued a bungled report on the New Black Panther dismissal, DOJ’s independent inspector general revealed in a subsequent report the deep involvement of political appointees in the matter.
The investigation of the New Black Panther Party case has dragged on for more than a year and a half. OPR had to remove the lawyer initially assigned to investigate the case (Mary Aubry) after it became public that she had made thousands of dollars of political contributions to Barack Obama, other Democratic candidates, and the Democratic National Committee, with the latest contribution to the DNC coming as recently as July 13, 2010.
More recent FEC data show that Aubry didn’t stop her political participation after von Spakovsky’s 2011 story revealed her thousands in contributions. According to the FEC, Aubry made four more contributions to Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign after von Spakovsky’s article was published, all of them listing her employer as the “U.S. Dept. of Justice.”
U.S. Justice Department prosecutor Mary Aubry, 57, who meditates 1 to 2 hours a day, told the Post she will participate in the Kalachakra, which is dedicated to world peace. “If there’s anything I can do to clean up my own act and spread some goodness, I want to do what I can,” she said.
Aubry also has travelled to Congress for lunchtime training of Hill staff “to help folks unwind.”
There is nothing technically illegal about Aubry’s political contributions to Obama’s reelection. The Department of Justice prohibits certain employees from engaging in political activities such as FBI officials and administrative law judges, but the extension does not extend to Aubry’s key ethics office. This is unfortunate. As I wrote in my book Injustice: “Reports from these units have continually echoed campaign themes from Democratic presidential candidates and, in fact, became central themes of Obama’s candidacy.”
People like Aubry happily advance the narrative inside the DOJ that Democrats like Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) are pushing on the outside. The head of OPR is appointed directly by the attorney general, yet many in the media take reports from the unit seriously. Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, thankfully, did not. Again, from Injustice:
Concluding that Bush-era lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee committed professional misconduct in giving advice about interrogation tactics for suspected terrorists, [an OPR lawyer] recommended disciplinary proceedings be opened against the pair. Kessler’s attack mirrored a major theme of the Obama campaign—the Bush administration’s allegedly lawless interrogation tactics—but it was fundamentally bad lawyering. Dana Perino and Bill Burck wrote of Kessler’s work, “In college, OPR couldn’t pull a ‘gentleman’s B’ for this report, even in the era of grade inflation. Since nobody fails any more, let’s call it D-minus work.”
Moreover, then-Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip recognized the shoddy nature of Kessler’s analysis. They wrote a letter to the OPR arguing Kessler’s work was “based on factual errors, legal analysis by commentators and scholars with unstated potential biases, unsupported speculation about the motives of Messrs. Bybee and Yoo, and a misunderstanding of certain significant … interagency practices.”
Whether it is the battle against Islamic terrorists, the firing of U.S. attorneys, or the dismissal of the New Black Panther case, OPR can always be trusted to memorialize on DOJ letterhead the left-wing narrative and give it an imprimatur of respectability. Sadly, Aubry’s $6,100 in donations to Obama’s campaign reveal OPR is most useful not in rooting out unethical behavior inside DOJ, but in advancing the latest leftist narrative.
Here’s a question I’ll bet nobody ever asked Jay Carney at a White House press briefing: Why does Michelle Obama’s mother live at the White House at taxpayer expense? (If someone has asked, please send link for me to stand corrected.)
Now that Michelle Obama’s mother has caused a disruption on the latest exotic vacation for the first lady, perhaps it is time for some answers about why Marian Robinson is even on the trip to China. Worse, why is she appearing in official photographs with Chinese officials?
Drudge is reporting in big bold lead letters that Marian Robinson is barking orders at hotel staff and generally misbehaving.
How many Americans know that Michelle Obama’s mother is living at the White House at taxpayer expense? Not many, I’d guess.
So why does the mother of the first lady live at the White House? Why not cousins or uncles? Or perhaps brothers from Kenya? After all, White House digs are better than a hut.
What is the reaction inside DOJ to the Senate’s defeat of the Debo Adegbile nomination to head the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice? According to an email sent by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels, the “sacred mission” will continue.
Samuels, in an email late this afternoon to Division staff obtained by PJ Media, said:
I anticipate that last week’s developments will prompt a period of reflection and discussion about civil rights in this country and how we can best achieve our sacred mission. This is healthy, and I am confident that our work will emerge the stronger for it. Division staff have always demonstrated both resilience and an enduring commitment to the principles of equality of opportunity that animate everything we do.
“Sacred mission”? “Equality of opportunity”?
First, Webster has a number of theological definitions of sacred:
1 a : dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity <a tree sacred to the gods>
b: devoted exclusively to one service or use (as of a person or purpose) <a fund sacred to charity>2
a : worthy of religious veneration : holy
b : entitled to reverence and respect
3: of or relating to religion : not secular or profane <sacred music>
This illustrates that to some in the civil rights field, civil rights is their religion. Thus, it becomes sacred.
Regarding the Debo Adegbile nomination, one of the reasons Adegbile lost is because he did not believe in equality of opportunity. He believed in giving out benefits based on race. That’s why he fought to keep Abigail Fisher out of law school simply because she was white. Fisher was not the only victim of the NAACP’s modern-day segregationist agenda, and senators knew it.
Fifty years ago, the NAACP LDF had the moral high ground and fought inequality. In 2014, the NAACP is one of the leading champions of inequality.
So let’s have that discussion about race that Samuels and Senator Harry Reid have been agitating for. Bring it on.
After regular Americans in Peoria learn that the Civil Rights Division supports race preferences and hasn’t done a thing to combat numerous instances of racially motivated violence, I suspect it will be a discussion Samuels and Reid hope ends quickly. Once regular Americans learn about the millions of dollars used by the DOJ to block voter ID and to allocate benefits on the basis of skin color, it will be a discussion Samuels, Reid, and Obama wish had never started.
It will be a discussion that will have ramifications in races for the U.S. Senate in places like North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas and West Virginia.
Right now leftist racialists are in the tiny minority in America. Once we start that racial discussion Reid is agitating for, you can bet the majority won’t be happy to learn what the sacred mission at the DOJ Civil Rights Division is all about.
I’m scheduled to appear on Vicki McKenna’s WISN-AM 1130 AM radio show in Milwaukee today at 12:15 a.m. ET to discuss the very very bad amendments to the Voting Rights Act sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.). The amendments would return to Eric Holder massive federal power over state elections. It would give Holder back the power to block state election integrity laws like Voter ID and citizenship verification that the Supreme Court stripped away last June.
Sensenbrenner is working with far left groups like the NAACP and ACLU to return this power to Holder’s Justice Department. His bill also specifically strips white voters from the protections of some parts of the Voting Rights Act – a long held dream of the militant race left.
Last week Sensenbrenner was the victim of undercover videographer James O’Keefe. In O’Keefe’s video, Sensenbrenner displays an unfortunate lack of knowledge about what is in his own bill. For example, he incorrectly tells a camo-wearing O’Keefe that the bill stops Eric Holder’s attacks on Voter ID. “I got a provision in there that basically gets Eric Holder out of going after photo ID laws.”
Sensenbrenner is wrong. His bill actually gives Holder more tools to attack election integrity laws like Voter ID.
Sensenbrenner was invited to appear on McKenna’s show at the same time I am on. He refused. He will appear on a separate time and day. Let’s hope he has a better understanding of his own law than he did on the Project Veritas video shot by James O’Keefe. (Link to WISN streaming).
PJ Media was the first news outlet to report on Debo Adegbile’s ties to Mumia Abu Jamal. His nomination to head the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department was just defeated 52-47. Democrats Chris Coons, Bob Casey, Joe Manchin, Mark Pryor, Heitkamp, Donnelly and John Walsh joined the GOP in blocking the nomination.
The U.S. Senate has delayed the vote on Debo Adegbile for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights until Tuesday because of the impending winter storm in D.C. A storm of a different sort hit the nomination last Friday. Pennsylvania’s Democrat Senator Bob Casey announced his opposition to Adegbile because Adegbile worked for Mumia Abu Jamal, the killer of police officer Danny Faulkner.
PJ Media was the first news outlet to report on Adegbile’s work for the cop killer.
The Fraternal Order of Police and other law enforcement groups have vigorously opposed Adegbile’s nomination. The question is will other Democrats follow Casey’s lead?
Senators from North Carolina, Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and Alaska face difficult election prospects. Whether they want to vote for a man who opposed religious liberty, fought to keep white applicants out of law school, and routinely fights for racial criteria in hiring remains to be seen. Opponents have two more days to phone their Senators.
Danny Faulkner’s widow is also supporting a petition to oppose Adegbile.
I had missed the Sochi closing ceremonies last week, so I watched them on tape. Well, not quite tape, but that’s what people my age and older call it. We’ll return to that in a moment.
In the ceremonies, the Russian Olympic Committee representative called the games the greatest ever and said the world got to see “the new face of Russia.”
This week we learned the new face of Russia looks quite a bit like the old face of Russia — paranoid, belligerent and skillful in exploiting moments of American weakness.
Back to the tape.
There’s a whole generation now that doesn’t watch things on tape, and never did.
The millennials are ill-equipped to understand the character of this new U.S.-Russian confrontation. They don’t know much about the Cold War, except perhaps that Mikhail Gorbachev brought it to an end. They don’t know a thing about Ronald Reagan’s uncompromising crusade against the evil of Soviet totalitarianism, and if they do, they might find his moral clarity discomforting.
They don’t know much about a bishop from Krakow becoming the bishop of Rome and turning the Eastern Bloc inside out with a message of freedom of conscience and human dignity.
They don’t know much about Maggie Thatcher’s moral certainty in troubled times, despite suffering the domestic-propaganda onslaught from fellow-traveler forces inside the UK seeking a country more like the Soviet Union than “Maggie’s England,” as Roger Waters’ dystopian description proclaimed.
Pink Floyd raises the question: Will the millennials even recognize how the culture, how music, how even ABC played such a destructive role in the Cold War? America was fed a constant diet from Soviet apologists. Nena’s “war machine sprang to life” just as Pershing IIs were being deployed to West Germany. ABC scared the living hell out of children with the apocalyptic docudrama The Day After (aired in Sunday prime time no less), implying the course set by Ronald Reagan would end up with mushroom clouds sprouting up all over the nation.
And now, everyone who understood how to confront the threat of the Soviet Union can say, “I told you so, and we knew how to handle them.” Reagan, Ed Meese, John Paul II, Caspar Weinberger, Strom Thurmond, and thousands of others who shared their moral clarity. Don’t forget, Ted Kennedy was feeding information to Soviet leaders about how to confront Ronald Reagan. Some were on the wrong side of history, some were on the right.
During this era, Obama was on the wrong side.
Remember back in 2013 when some in the GOP were wishing Sen. Ted Cruz would shut up about Obamacare on the floor of the Senate? The debt ceiling, they told us, was where the real battle would take place. So they wanted Cruz to clam up, because after all, there was a GOP plan to go to war over the debt ceiling next time the Democrats wanted to raise the national debt.
Stroll though this National Review piece from last year (“The New Cantor Plan”) and reminisce. At the time, lots of conservatives fell for it. Yes, the debt ceiling, that’s where the real fight will be, they thought. Keep the quotes in mind next time the Republican party is urged to avoid a fight with the argument the fight can be put off to a more “favorable” environment in the far off future.
“We go right to the debt-ceiling fight, and that’s where the real battle is, we feel,” said Representative John Fleming. “It’s kind of like the follow-up plan, assuming that [the CR] fails. . . . The real fight will be on the debt ceiling.”
House budget chairman Paul Ryan also urged colleagues to wage the more serious fight over the debt ceiling. “We have to stay on the right side of public opinion,” he told his colleagues. “Shutting down the government puts us on the wrong side. The fight is on the debt limit.”
In exchange for a debt-ceiling increase, Cantor told colleagues, the GOP will issue a litany of demands, including a one-year delay of Obamacare, construction of the Keystone pipeline, an anti-regulatory bill called the REINS Act, and other spending reforms. The exact combination will be negotiated with President Obama and Reid.
Justice Department lawyer Bradley Heard was in court today trying to stop Kansas from ensuring that only citizens register to vote. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, relying on a United States Supreme Court opinion of last year, asked the federal Election Assistance Commission to permit him to ensure that only citizens were registering to vote.
The Election Assistance Commission said no, so Kris Kobach went to federal court. Enter Eric Holder’s Justice Department, as usual, opposing election integrity measures.
Despite harping about resource concerns (which apparently means that the DOJ can do nothing about corrupted voter rolls), Holder found the time and money to send Bradley Heard to a hearing in Kansas to argue against Kobach’s election integrity measures.
Things didn’t go well for Bradley Heard before Judge Eric Melgren today. The Wichita Eagle:
Judge Eric Melgren repeatedly pressed Department of Justice lawyer Bradley Heard to explain how a Supreme Court decision last year on Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship law allows the federal Election Assistance Commission to reject requests from Arizona and Kansas to add state-law requirements to the instructions for filling out the voting form.
“The single pivotal question in this case is who gets to decide … what’s necessary” to establish citizenship for voting, Melgren said.
Heard said that decision lies with the EAC under the federal National Voter Registration Act, also known as the motor-voter law. He said the law empowers the commission to decide what questions and proofs are necessary to include in the federal registration form.
Take note, Heard argued both that Kobach can’t take steps to prevent foreigners to register to vote, and, that federal government power over state elections is supreme.
So who is Bradley Heard?
Hans von Spakovsky wrote about Heard’s background in the PJ Media Every Single One Series installment on the DOJ Voting Section:
Before joining the Voting Section, Mr. Heard worked for a number of years at the Advancement Project, a radical left-wing voting organization. The Advancement Project has worked closely with the ACLU, NAACP LDF, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and other liberal advocates to oppose voter ID statutes, felon disenfranchisement laws, and citizenship verification regulations, and to take myriad other militant positions on state and federal voting rights laws. Mr. Heard fit right in at the Advancement Project, having previously founded the Georgia Voter Empowerment Project, which describes its mission as increasing the “civic participation levels of progressive-minded Georgians.”
Amusingly, before moving to Washington, Mr. Heard had a nasty breakup with his plaintiff’s civil rights firm in Atlanta. He commenced litigation against his partners, who in turn claimed he was engaging in misconduct. Heard then sought criminal arrest warrants against his former partners, charging that they had engaged in false voter registration and voting by an unqualified elector, both felonies. The court declined to issue the warrants.
When Bradley Heard isn’t suing his law partners or trying to make it easier for non-citizens to register to vote, he runs this “activist” blog called Prince George’s Urbanist. There, Heard rails about various left wing causes like changing the name of the Redskins and urging family unfriendly government mandates on development. His Twitter feed (@BradleyHeard) calls himself a “Voting Rights Gladiator. . . Outside Agitator.”
Governor Bob McDonnell was indicted yesterday for giving favors to a man who loaned him a Ferrari, Rolexes, cash, and jets. Anyone tempted to give the disgraced governor the benefit of the doubt should read this wrecking ball piece on the indictment from the eminent Bryon York. McDonnell appeared on MSNBC today and defended himself in a press conference. These unconventional appearances after an indictment have the trappings of a defendant who will have to draw an inside straight to avoid federal prison. But to beat the wrap, he’ll need cash, lots of it.
Enter the Bob McDonnell “Restoration Fund.” This email went out to this morning to donors to his campaign:
Earlier today former Governor Bob McDonnell released a statement regarding the false indictment built upon discredited witnesses that was filed today in federal court.
Please take time to read below
The Restoration Fund
A MESSAGE FROM FORMER GOVERNOR ROBERT F. MCDONNELL
“My fellow Virginians, earlier today federal prosecutors notified my attorneys that they have filed criminal charges against me and my wife Maureen, alleging that we violated federal law by accepting gifts and loans from Jonnie Williams, the former CEO of Star Scientific. I deeply regret accepting legal gifts and loans from Mr. Williams, all of which have been repaid with interest, and I have apologized for my poor judgment for which I take full responsibility. However, I repeat emphatically that I did nothing illegal for Mr. Williams in exchange for what I believed was his personal generosity and friendship. I never promised – and Mr. Williams and his company never received – any government benefit of any kind from me or my Administration. We did not violate the law, and I will use every available resource and advocate I have for as long as it takes to fight these false allegations, and to prevail against this unjust overreach of the federal government.”
Robert F. McDonnell
Former Governor of Virginia
This looks like a soon-to-be pitch for cash from a legal defense fund. The irony is rich. A government official who finds himself facing federal prison because of cash handouts may be asking for more cash handouts. When will it end?
It won’t end before we are all treated to a photograph of Bob McDonnell driving a Ferrari delivered to him for vacation use from the sugar daddy. The indictment describes Maureen McDonnell emailing the photograph to the sugar daddy, presumably as a thank you for the favor.
It is worth noting that the whole McDonnell mess started to unravel when they treated a chef poorly. The governor and his spokesmen were quick to throw the chef to the wolves and smear the chef’s reputation. They reminded reporters that the chef was facing charges for fleecing the governor’s mansion of some food. How delicious in hindsight — a few hams vs. a Ferrari.
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell has been indicted by a federal grand jury for corruption. So has his wife. McDonnell allegedly took gifts in exchange for favors and special treatment by the Commonwealth of Virginia. He also allegedly used taxpayer dollars for personal purposes. PJ Media has covered McDonnell’s rush to allow felons to vote. Perhaps now it makes sense. The Washington Post:
In exchange, authorities alleged that the McDonnells worked in concert to lend the prestige of the governorship to Williams’s struggling company, a small former cigarette manufacturer that now sells dietary supplements.
The two were charged with 14 felony counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, obtaining property under color of their official office and conspiring to the do the same.
They were also charged with making false statements to a federal credit union.
McDonnell was also charged with making a false statement to a financial institution, and Maureen McDonnell was charged with obstructing the investigation.
Motive? From paragraph 16 of the indictment:
Then, the First Lady called the donor to see if the Ferrari was available for Bob McDonnell to use:
Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner has teamed up with the ACLU and introduced a bill which would radically expand federal power over state elections. It would give Attorney General Eric Holder expansive new federal powers over state elections, including the ability to barge into polling places to monitor the use of foreign language election materials. It would also give Holder the power to block election integrity measures like Voter ID and citizenship verification.
More details to follow. But Roger Clegg has this piece at National Review.
And, indeed, for better or worse the Justice Department and civil-rights groups are now using those other provisions to try to advance their agendas, which amount to a war on voter-ID requirements and ensuring the continued racial gerrymandering and segregation of voting districts. There’s no evidence that the Left needs more weapons in its arsenal; all that’s different in the post–Shelby County world is that now its lawyers have to prove racial discrimination before they can get court relief, which is the way that every other civil-rights law works.
The second point: Much in the draft bill has nothing to do with Shelby County at all. Rather, the Court’s decision is being used as an excuse to enact the Left’s wish-list in voting policy. In particular, the Left wants to promote its plaintiffs’ lawyers to the status of the attorney general in making civil-rights enforcement decisions. All this is a standard demand for the civil-rights groups whenever they (deservedly) lose a case and run to Congress.
The tragic part for Mr. Sensenbrenner, that in the twilight of his career, has gone all-in with the arch enemies of the Constitution. He had vowed to “fix” Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act which the Supreme Court struck down last June. Instead, he has tinkered with a dozen other issues, making it Christmas time for the far left and satisfying their long wish list to expand federal power over elections. Promising to “fix” Section 4 was an honorable choice. But his bill does far more.
Sensenbrenner’s new friends aren’t satisfied. The far left Leadership Conference on Civil Rights issued a statement saying the bill is just a first step. “But this bill is only the first step in the legislative process. As introduced, this bill does not go far enough in protecting language minorities or voters living in states with restrictive voter ID laws.” Comforting.
What is good for the goose isn’t good for the gander. Helena Andrews at the Washington Post has this reckless column about Andrew Breitbart and Shirley Sherrod.
In it, Andrews falsely states that Breitbart “published a doctored video” of Sherrod’s racist confession at an NAACP convention. In fact, Breitbart published all that had been given to him, including the portion of the video where Sherrod is redeemed by confessing that she should not have been making decisions on the basis of race. Breitbart also published the portion where Sherrod admits making adverse decisions toward a white farmer because of his race.
No matter to Andrews. Instead she presents a narrative as if Breitbart cut and pasted and deleted words such as “not” from a video. Claiming the video is “doctored” is patently false. But Breitbart isn’t around to sue Andrews and the Washington Post. The defamation lawsuits only go one way, with Sherrod as a plaintiff trying to enrich herself at the expense of Andrew Breitbart’s widow and children.
Eric Holder’s Justice Department is seeking to hire a Kinyarwanda cultural advisor at a salary up to $115,742 per year. From and email quoting the USA Jobs Posting:
Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking for a Cultural and Linguistic Advisor. This position is located in the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions (HRSP) Section of the Criminal Division.
We discussed the position with a DOJ HR officer but the position was just posted on USA this week so we’ll summarize the position and provide you a direct link.
What you will do:
• Support case development and conduct research in multiple languages.
• Identify potential perpetrators of human rights violations present in the United States, and identify potential victims and witnesses.
• Draft memoranda that identify leads and other relevant information, review foreign language documents, and summarize relevant events.
• Review and catalogue reports on human rights violations and mass atrocities abroad.
• Generate in-house reports on human rights-related accomplishments of HRSP.
• Process internship applications and assign/oversee work of undergraduate interns.
• Conduct outreach events, especially to African diaspora groups and providers of services to refugees and torture survivors in the Washington, D.C. area.
The background/qualifications they are looking for:
• To be found fully qualified for this position, applicants must state, in the body of their resume that they are fluent in the Kinyarwanda language, in both spoken and written form. Applicants not addressing this Selective Placement Factor will be determined not to be qualified for the position and will not receive further consideration.
• Education: you need to have a behavioral or social science degree; or related disciplines appropriate to the position.
• Combination of education and experience that provided the applicant with knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.
• Four years of appropriate experience that demonstrated that the applicant has acquired knowledge of one or more of the behavioral or social sciences equivalent to a major in the field.
AND (in addition to the above)
Specialized Experience: Applicants must possess one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-12 Federal grade level. Examples of specialized experience inlcude:
• Translating records written in Kinyarwanda into English.
• Interpreting from Kinyarwanda into English in real time, in interviews between Kinyarwanda speakers and U.S. government employees lacking fluency in Kinyarwanda.
• Monitoring interpretation quality of paid contract interpreters in U.S. or other courtrooms in which Kinyarwanda is interpreted into English during criminal trials or immigration proceedings.
• Reviewing documents written in Kinyarwanda to summarize content and to compare descriptions of significant human rights violations with other descriptions of these events