From Politico:

Four years after asserting executive privilege to block Congress from obtaining documents relating to a controversial federal gun trafficking investigation, President Barack Obama relented Friday, turning over to lawmakers thousands of pages of records that led to unusual House votes holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt in 2012.

In January, a federal district court judge rejected Obama’s executive privilege claim over records detailing the Justice Department and White House’s response to Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigation that may have allowed as many as 2,000 firearms to pass into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson did not turn down Obama’s privilege assertion on the merits. Instead, she said authorized public disclosures about the operation in a Justice Department inspector general report essentially mooted the administration’s drive to keep the records secret.

Telling the truth slowly.

All the things he needed to hide stayed hidden, and when they were slowly uncovered elsewhere, he can now say that he’s all about “transparency” after 4 years of hiding things.

“In light of the passage of time and other considerations, such as the Department’s interest in moving past this litigation and building upon our cooperative working relationship with the Committee and other Congressional committees, the Department has decided that it is not in the Executive Branch’s interest to continue litigating this issue at this time,” Justice Deparment legislative liaison Peter Kadzik wrote in a letter Friday to House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).

That’s a lie, but I’m not sure if the translation is “we think we’ve stalled long enough to cool out the mark” or “we’ve managed to cover everything up so you’ll find nothing” or “we’ve broken the opposition and they won’t ask any more questions”.

“As we’ve long asserted, the Committee requires and is entitled to these documents,” Chaffetz said in a statement. “They are critical to the Committee’s efforts to complete meaningful oversight. The Committee has a duty to understand and shine light on what was happening inside DOJ during the time of this irresponsible operation. Yet DOJ has obstructed our investigative work for years.”

After getting word that the Justice Department was turning over records, Chaffetz updated his statement, indicating that the House plans to press its appeal to get records beyond the ones the administration is providing.

“Today, under court order, DOJ turned over some of the subpoenaed documents. The Committee, however, is entitled to the full range of documents for which it brought this lawsuit. Accordingly, we have appealed the District Court’s ruling in order to secure those additional documents,” Chaffetz said.

Well go find the rest then, Chaffetz.

The June 2012 claim in the Fast and Furious case was the only formal assertion of executive privilege by Obama to try to defeat a congressional demand for records or testimony, though the administration has raised executive privilege concerns when declining to comply with other congressional inquiries. Most of those were resolved through negotiations. The administration has also asserted executive privilege in response to a variety of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

Much of the claim was that “it was part of an ongoing investigation” which is a wonderful way to make things go away forever.  Never close the case, and never answer.  Investigate yourself, never find wrongdoing, silence whistleblowers, and keep the investigation ongoing so you never have to reveal anything.

Just put “top men” to work on it.

top men raiders

From a little while back, but still a funny takedown of the SJW culture taking over campuses:

Stumbled over this piece on the Daily Beast the other day about how illiberal college students and their enabling leftist professors want to ban history:

Students at Western Washington University have reached a turning point in their campus’s hxstory. (For one thing, they’re now spelling it with an X—more on that later.) Activists are demanding the creation of a new college dedicated to social justice activism, a student committee to police offensive speech, and culturally segregated living arrangements at the school, which is in Bellingham, up in the very northwest corner of the state.

Students have the right to push for robust changes to campus conditions, of course. But if administrators care about free speech at all, they will ignore these calls to create an almost cartoonishly autocratic liberal thought police on campus.

Prefacing the hard-leftist demands with “of course” is an odd thing to include, unless one agrees with almost all of the demands.  Otherwise, it would have gone without saying.  The cartoonishly autocratic “liberal” thought police are exactly what the left wants.

Even a writer for the leftist Daily Beast that sympathizes with them has started to wonder about how far the left has gone, and see much of the problem:

At the heart of this effort lies a bizarrely totalitarian ideology: Student-activists think they have all the answers—everything is settled, and people who dissent are not merely wrong, but actually guilty of something approaching a crime. If they persist in this wrongness, they are perpetuating violence, activists will claim.

It’s not bizarrely totalitarian.  It’s completely understandable.  Their ideas are untenable, fail when left to reality, failed in experience in the past, and so in order to continue they must criminalize dissent to protect those failed ideas.

This is not new, nor is it limited to college speech codes.  It’s endemic to those on the left who know their ideas fail.

Take threats of criminal charges against those who question global warming climate change:

Attorney General Loretta Lynch has considered taking legal action against climate change deniers.

The United States’ top lawyer told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the Justice Department has ‘discussed’ the possibility of a civil lawsuit against the fossil fuel industry.

She said any information her office has received has been sent to the FBI in a bid to build a case.

With evidence of data tampering on the side of Manbearpig believers, with predictions about weather that continually fail to materialize, with even believers of anthropogenic global warming not feeling it’s really a threat, it’s come to finding threats to the Manbearpig orthodoxy and going after them as criminals.

Of course, we’ve already seen this with Mark Steyn being sued and targeted for criticizing the Hockey Stick graph.

I started looking for a video on that specifically, but instead found this video of him talking about criminalizing of dissenters to a goverment panel and citing numerous examples:

It’s relatively short, but hits a few extra places dissent is being criminalized, mostly in the realm of climate “science”.  Because of course one of the critical parts of the scientific method, right after “observation of experiment” and “conclusions of experiment”, is “organize government to punish potential dissenters”.

bernie sign socialism 1

Image  —  Posted: March 9, 2016 by ShortTimer in 2016 Elections, Socialism

Malleable vs Durable Candidates

Posted: March 6, 2016 by ShortTimer in 2016 Elections, Conservatism
Tags:

This is probably the most worthwhile thing Jimmy Carter has ever said:

He’d choose Trump because Trump “changes” whenever it’s convenient, or inconvenient.  Like he has recently on H1B foreign workers… and torture, too.  A dealmaker is someone easy to work with, as they’re eager to deal & eager to please.

Meanwhile, Cruz stays fairly consistent, and stays consistent with his previous votes, and far more consistent with rule of law.  Doubtless a lot of that is why he’s unpopular with congress and the senate, but is popular with the citizenry.

First off, via Breitbart:

Immigration activists are pushing for illegal immigrants to be granted the right to vote in New York City and say legislation to that effect could be introduced later this year.

The New York Postreports that a proposal to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants, allowing them to vote in elections for city-wide offices, was highlighted at a Black and Latino Legislative Caucus event.

“We want to expand the right to vote for everybody, not suppress the vote. What a radical idea,” Bertha Lewis, head of the Black Institute, said according to the Post. The Post notes she said they expect such legislation to be introduced in the spring.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has made extensive efforts on behalf of illegal immigrants, including offering a city identification card. According to the Post, Lewis said she sees the extension of voting rights as part of that effort.

It is a pretty radical idea to be expanding the right of sovereign franchise to determine one’s representatives and government to people who are not citizens of the country and not even in the country legally.

Of course it’s part of the plan.  Disenfranchise American citizens who’d vote against people who’d take their rights away and bring in more people who will vote how the leftist collectivists desire so they can finally get rid of the real problems in America – because the root cause of all those problems are Americans.

And from National Review:

I attended a hearing on Monday afternoon before District of Columbia federal district court Judge Richard J. Leon that was one of the most “extraordinary” federal court hearings I have ever attended, to use Judge Leon’s description of the case. The hearing was over the temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction (PI) being sought by the League of Women Voters and a host of other leftist groups to stop the recent decision of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to allow Kansas, Georgia, Alabama, and Arizona to enforce their proof-of-citizenship voter-registration requirement.

This morning, as I predicted would happen in an article on Sunday, the U.S. Justice Department took a dive and filed a pleading in which it not only failed to defend the actions of the EAC, but agreed with the plaintiffs and consented to both a TRO and a PI. Judge Leon called the pleading “unprecedented” and “extraordinary.” He said he had never seen such a document in his entire experience as a lawyer or a judge. He was obviously astonished that the Justice Department was not defending the agency, and it was soon clear he was not going to allow DOJ to just roll over.

The League of Women Voters, which has a wonderfully innocuous name, is pushing to oppose proof-of-citizenship as a voter registration requirement.  There’s no conceivable reason why they’d want to do this unless they want noncitizens to illegally vote.

The judge issued orders just before the hearing started granting the motions of both the State of Kansas and the Public Interest Legal Foundation to intervene in the case in order to defend the EAC’s position. So Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State of Kansas, was given time to argue against the TRO motion, as was Christian Adams of PILF. The judge opened the hearing by reading into the record an astonishing letter he had just received from the chair of the EAC, Christie McCormick. It informed the court that DOJ had told the EAC that it would not defend the agency, and that it would not allow the EAC to hire its own counsel. McCormick informed the judge that she believed DOJ was not fulfilling its duty and obligation to defend the EAC and had a potential conflict of interest.

It was clear that Judge Leon was shocked at what DOJ had done. While he gave the plaintiffs 20 minutes to argue their case, he gave the lawyer from the Federal Programs Branch of DOJ only five minutes because he said that DOJ was obviously on the same side as the plaintiffs. He also said almost immediately that he would not grant a PI without a complete briefing and arguments on the case — despite DOJ wanting to consent to the PI. Judge Leon made clear that there was “no chance at all — zero” that he would do what the plaintiffs and the Justice Department wanted him to do on that issue.

Let that sink in.  The DOJ, which is charged with enforcing the law, is on the same side of this as people actively trying to circumvent the law.

We’ve known the Obama DOJ has been a political organ dedicated to the ends of the hard left since they covered up Fast & Furious, but this is the DOJ outright defending voter fraud – the same voter fraud the left will try to tell you doesn’t really exist.

Judge Leon talked about all of the cases in which the Federal Programs Branch has been involved in his courtroom, and said he had never seen the type of incomplete brief that DOJ had filed in this case. He said that those briefs “usually cover the waterfront” in terms of raising every legal argument to defend an agency. Leon was very dismissive of the DOJ’s position, its behavior, and its failure to mount a defense consistent with its usual practice. Secretary of State Kobach did a much better job than the plaintiffs in explaining why the plaintiffs had not met the standards for the issuance of a TRO. Kobach pointed out the many errors and mistakes made by the plaintiffs’ lawyer. And he laid out the evidence of noncitizens registering and voting in Kansas — which is why this proof-of-citizenship law is needed.

There is a crystal clear example of why proof of citizenship laws are needed, because noncitizens are illegally voting in elections.  And to this, the DOJ responded:

It was clear that this hearing did not go the way the plaintiffs’ lawyers and DOJ had tried to arrange it to go. They thought the fix was in. In fact, it went so badly, particularly with DOJ being called on the carpet by Judge Leon, that at the end when the plaintiffs’ lawyer got up to try to repair all the holes that Kobach had knocked in their case, the lawyer tried to compare the EAC action to Nazi Germany. He waved the EAC opinion at issue in the air and said “this is what Nazis do behind closed doors!” You know a lawyer is desperate when he tries to equate a dispute over an election administration issue to Nazi Germany.

How bad is it exactly when asking that people who are eligible to vote be asked to prove they are eligible to vote since there are people illegally voting?

And how far have we fallen as a country when the Department of Justice is out saying that any state that wants to abide by elections law, when it has evidence of ongoing illegal voting and states demanding justice, will instead call them Nazis?

Preferences, Pluralities and Primary Elections

Posted: February 25, 2016 by ShortTimer in 2016 Elections

Part of the discussion about the 2016 Republican primaries recently has been about how Trump is “winning”.

Except he’s not really winning the party, he’s winning pluralities.

Right now a doom & gloom poll for Texas says Cruz and Trump are almost tied, with Rubio behind them a bit, and Kasich and Carson and the rest trailing in single digits.

Thing is, much like the last “wins” Trump has, they’re basically pluralities.  There was a piece I read a couple weeks back about the idea of getting a candidate that almost no one likes, and I think that’s what’s coming if we end up with Trump.

I’ve already said my piece on him, and I stand by it.  Beyond the superficial personality issues, politically he’s not conservative, libertarian, or anything but an East Coast NY leftist crony according to his own record.

What should be a clear indicator is that he made a business of running casinos… a business which by it’s very construct exists to swindle people out of their money while giving them fanciful promises.

Thing is, if losers like Kasich (who no one likes), and unfortunate losers like Carson (who everyone likes, but very few people think could be president anymore) stay in the race crowding the ballot, they dilute the vote.  With Cruz and Rubio running head to head, and often for the same voters, they lose because they split their own vote.

Consider the numbers listed in the HotAir link above concerning Oklahoma:

Trump 29%
Rubio 21%
Cruz 20%
Carson 6%
Kasich 5%

29% support… and that means 71% are opposed to Trump.  7 out of 10 do not want him.  He’s good at manipulating the media, and he has a lot of vocal supporters who either haven’t looked at his history, or simply have chosen not to care because they’re swept up in the moment of “winning”… at 30%.

Finally, from Mike V at Sipsey Street Irregulars:

An anonymous future Trump chump takes issue with my post Meanwhile, the Trump cult of personality claims the reputation of another unprincipled useful idiot, saying “Keep bitching about Trump and you better get ready to say hello to president Hilary.”

My reply:

Hillary will never make it past the indictments. The Obamanoids are already pimping without any subtlety the Biden-Warren “savior ticket.” This I predicted some time ago. Hillary will be a footnote to the history about to be manipulated. When that happens, look for Warren in particular to attack Trump’s vicious and shameful treatment of women. He makes Bill Clinton look positively saint-like in comparison. In addition, his appetites for other people’s property will be put on vivid display by the collectivist media machine — eminent domain here, his rapacious treatment of the Scots who sit in the way of his golf course across the Atlantic, his sucking up to various dictatorial regimes to build stuff — you name it. They will make him look like a cross between Simon Legree and the robber barons, which is uncomfortably close to the truth. (The moron actually let himself be videoed sitting out front of a Scottish home owned by a couple of pensioners telling the camera that he doesn’t give a shit about their distress — this is on a full length documentary that is being held until the moment he becomes the GOP candidate.)

The failed Trump run will in the end look like a set-up stalking horse for the Dems when that happens and YOU, not I (for I will be dead by then) will be stuck with the death of the Republic and civil war. I have endorsed no one, including Cruz, but that doesn’t mean I don’t see the future of this about-to-spectacularly-fail demagogue clearly. Believe in Trump’s so-called principles if you like, but you might as well throw in devotion to Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the notion that unicorns shit golden skittles. Look in the mirror then and you will see a Trump chump staring back in regret.

There’s a little more at Sipsey Street, and while I’m not so sure about a Warren-Biden ticket, just consider a Sanders ticket versus Trump and how it would play out.

Sanders, an avowed socialist who basically never held a job in his life and honeymooned in the Soviet Union, is someone opposed to taking little old ladies’ houses, while Trump is on record as actively wanting to use cronies in government to take a little old lady’s house so he could tear it down and build a limo parking lot for his casino.

He’s like a poorly written Disney villain, or maybe a bad guy from a PG rated teen summer movie, where the evil developer wants to tear down the teen rec center/ski lodge/orphanage to build something gaudy, terrible, destructive to the community, and that would be objectively worse.

That’s not someone to celebrate, and that’s certainly not an embodiment of any kind of conservative/libertarian/American principles.  Well, unless you’re Sanders and wanting to point out the evils of capitalism (even though it’s really the evils of cronyism).

Update: Via National Review:

Surprise! Donald Trump is a rank hypocrite on immigration.

Per the New York Times: Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach describes itself as “one of the most highly regarded private clubs in the world,” and it is not just the very-well-to-do who want to get in. Since 2010, nearly 300 United States residents have applied or been referred for jobs as waiters, waitresses, cooks and housekeepers there. But according to federal records, only 17 have been hired.

Or, put another way, Trump has deliberately chosen to hire foreign workers to fill those jobs that “Americans just won’t do.” 17 out of 300? That’s 5.6 percent. 17 out of 500? That’s 3.4 percent. Bad!

So what’s Trump’s excuse? That’s he’s a businessman and that these are the realities on the ground? That, I’m afraid, won’t wash. When Disney behaved like this, there was a loud and sustained outcry from . . . well, no less than Donald Trump himself. In an interview with Breitbart, Trump argued that Disney should be forced to rehire any Americans it had overlooked or replaced.

…the good people of America should realize that they’re being duped by a bad man who doesn’t give a hoot about anybody other than himself.

I don’t like wasting electrons on Trump, but his actions are directly contrary to his words, and directly contrary to the wishes of the great majority of his supporters.

When somebody abuses immigrant visa programs to bring in cheap foreign labor while ignoring American workers, to still have supporters means there’s either ignorance (incidental or willful) or a willingness to overlook and ignore flaws that would be inexcusable in other candidates… and in fact their chosen candidate doesn’t excuse that in others.

This is why the numbers are running at 70% against within his own party (well, his party for the last year or so).  There are still people in the field diluting it and we the voters, both primary voters and national voters – for those who remain independent in closed primary states – end up with a candidate that no one really likes.

We used to end up with the worst establishment candidates because they’d garner a plurality while opposition would be split, now we might be ending up with the worst anti-establishment candidate because the anti-establishment vote is split.