As it turns out, the speech by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t the communication to Congress that got the Obama administration most upset. Today’s Wall Street Journal reveals in a report from Adam Entous that Israel’s intelligence service had penetrated the talks with Iran, both through human intelligence and signals intelligence. That allowed Israel to make an international case against the emerging deal in an attempt to derail Barack Obama’s desperate desire to reach a rapprochement with Tehran.
And even that didn’t generate the most ire in the White House. No, that came when Israel had the temerity and the nerve to inform a group considered by the Obama administration as a dangerous gathering of subversives … right down Pennsylvania Avenue from the West Wing….
European governments, especially France, helped Israel get the details about Obama’s anti-Israel Iran treacheries. Obama did not want congress to know and Israel told congress so Israel is the bad guy???
“People feel personally sold out,” a senior administration official said. “That’s where the Israelis really better be careful because a lot of these people will not only be around for this administration but possibly the next one as well.”
As many know by now, yesterday at the Obama Dimocratic convention there was at least a strong minority, but to our ears a strong majority, which did not want the word “God” restored to the platform. The same numbers did not want the Obama Dimocratic platform to mention that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel or that Hamas is a terrorist organization which should be at least shunned, or that Israel’s borders are no longer the 1967 borders (something Barack Obama has already demanded Israel accept). [snip]
It was clear that many Obama supporters were content to leave out a reference to God in the platform and most importantly stab Israel in the back. [snip]
Barack Obama, according to Jim Vandehei, personally demanded the anti-Israel attacks be included in his platform. Mitt Romney could have used Obama’s platform changes to great effect in Florida. Mitt Romney could have targeted warnings about Obama’s anti-Israel hatred to every American that supports Israel. But Romney only commented briefly about Obama’s anti-Israel convention and then the issue disappeared into a campaign binder somewhere.
The Barack Obama authored attack on Israel at his very own convention is not the first time, nor the last time, Obama has attacked Israel. A few days after the anti-Israel attacks authored by Barack Obama we wondered “Anyone seen Mitt Romney?”
It’s September 11, 2012. The date has a certain resonance for Americans. For Obama it’s “Hate Israel Day.”
In Egypt the American Embassy was attacked, the stars and stripes torn down. The flag of Al-Qaeda, the killers of Americans on 9/11, was raised in Old Glory’s stead.
It’s imperative that Mitt Romney make sure that Americans know what happened at the DNC when it comes to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the softening towards HAMAS, and the borders of Israel. Mitt Romney has a new hammer to pound on these important issues.
Mitt Romney must declare in a most public way that Barack Obama must be forced to change his mind and be forced to be “present” and not his usual “not present”. Mitt Romney must demand that Barack Obama stop his campaign of hate against Israel and meet with the Israeli Prime Minister.
Mitt Romney must declare in a most public way that Barack Obama clear his schedule and meet with Benyamin Netanyahu at this crucial time. Mitt Romney should immediately declare that he is willing to meet with Netanyahu on September 25 or on a mutually convenient date this month. [snip]
Cruz: Imagine a President Who Stands Unapologetically With Israel
Yeah, just imagine.
Ted Cruz received a standing ovation at the world’s largest Christian university today, Liberty University, when he asked the students to imagine, instead of a president who “boycotts Prime Minister Netanyahu,” one who “stands unapologetically with the nation Israel.”
I say as a Jew, thank God Israel has conservative Christian allies. Because if it had to rely on the liberals most of my fellow Jews associate themselves with, Israel would be sunk.
That Israel was a massive applause line for Cruz is a sure sign Republicans will make support for the Jewish state a central theme of their primary campaigns, and of the upcoming contest with a Democratic candidate.
Against the backdrop of the tsunami of trouble he has unleashed, Obama’s pledge to “reassess” America’s relationship with Israel cannot be taken lightly. Already paving the way for an Iranian nuke, he is hinting he’ll also let the other anti-Semites at Turtle Bay have their way. That could mean American support for punitive Security Council resolutions or for Palestinian statehood initiatives. It could mean both, or something worse.
Whatever form the punishment takes, it will aim to teach Bibi Netanyahu never again to upstage him. And to teach Israeli voters never again to elect somebody Obama doesn’t like.
Apologists and wishful thinkers, including some Jews, insist Obama realizes that the special relationship between Israel and the United States must prevail and that allowing too much daylight between friends will encourage enemies.
Those people are slow learners, or, more dangerously, deny-ists. [snip]
For Israel, the consequences will be intended. Those who make excuses for Obama’s policy failures — naive, bad advice, bad luck — have not come to grips with his dark impulses and deep-seated rage.
His visceral dislike for Netanyahu is genuine, but also serves as a convenient fig leaf for his visceral dislike of Israel. The fact that it’s personal with Netanyahu doesn’t explain six years of trying to bully Israelis into signing a suicide pact with Muslims bent on destroying them. Netanyahu’s only sin is that he puts his nation’s security first and refuses to knuckle under to Obama’s endless demands for unilateral concessions. [snip]
Most troubling is Obama’s bended-knee deference to Iran’s Supreme Leader, which has been repaid with “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” demonstrations in Tehran and expanded Iranian military action in other countries. [snip]
Yet Netanyahu, the leader of our only reliable ally in the region, is repeatedly singled out for abuse. He alone is the target of an orchestrated attempt to defeat him at the polls, with Obama political operatives, funded in part by American taxpayers, working to elect his opponent.
They failed and Netanyahu prevailed because Israelis see him as their best bet to protect them. Their choice was wise, but they’d better buckle up because it’s Israel’s turn to face the wrath of Obama.
Ted Cruz is probably not going to win the Republican nomination. But Ted Cruz already is a winner because of his support of Israel and because he will force support for Israel to one of the top issues in 2016.
A federal judge threatened Thursday to sanction the Justice Department if he finds that government lawyers misled him about the rollout of President Obama’s plan to shield up to 5 million people from deportation.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, visibly annoyed, confronted a U.S. deputy assistant attorney general over previous government assurances on the timing of the program.
He asked why he shouldn’t grant a discovery request for internal federal immigration documents — a request filed Thursday by 26 states that are suing over Obama’s executive actions on immigration. [snip]
At a one-hour hearing in Brownsville, Hanen gave the Justice Department 48 hours to file a motion in response. He said he would then rule promptly on whether to require the government to produce documents concerning applications under Obama’s deferred action program. [snip]
Hanen’s barbed comments left little doubt that he sympathized with lawyers for the 26 states, who said they suffered “irreparable harm” when federal officials granted more than 100,000 applications for deferred action after Obama announced the program Nov. 20. He said government lawyers had assured him that “nothing was happening” regarding the applications.
The outcome of the hearing further delayed the administration’s attempts to resolve the court case and proceed with the immigration program during his last two years in office. The program, one of the president’s signature initiatives, is opposed by Republicans, who control legislatures in most of the 26 states suing, led by Texas.
Hanen said Justice Department lawyers had assured him at a previous hearing that the administration had not begun implementing the deferred-action plan, designed to protect qualified immigrants from deportation for three years.
“Like the judge, the states thought nothing was happening,” Hanen said with exasperation. “Like an idiot, I believed that.” [snip]
Hartnett said lawyers immediately notified the court when they realized “we may have inadvertently caused confusion.” Hanen corrected her, asking, “So you waited three weeks to tell me you were doing it?” [snip]
But the judge appeared unconvinced, saying the three-year reprieves were covered by the lawsuit.
When Hanen asked Hartnett whether American taxpayers would ultimately pay for any sanctions imposed on the Justice Department, she offered a noncommittal response.
“Answer my question,” the judge demanded.
“Ultimately, yes,” Hartnett responded.
Angela Colmenero, a lawyer for Texas and 25 other states, said she understood “that this is a big, complex federal program.” But she said the states needed to rely on “additional documents and not just the words” of Justice Department lawyers. [snip]
“The plaintiffs were more than surprised by this disclosure,” she said. [snip]
Hanen asked Hartnett bluntly whether Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson or other senior officials could be trusted on the immigration plan.
“I can trust what Secretary Johnson says … what President Obama says?” the judge asked.
“Yes, your honor, of course,” Hartnett replied.
The Fifth Circuit will not intervene if Judge Hanen orders expedited discovery for plaintiffs regarding Obama’s Justice Department lies. The Fifth Circuit will not want to overrule Judge Hanen if they believe the government lied and further discovery reveals the lies. The case will persist until Obama is out of office. Time is against Obama on this “signature” issue.
Netanyahu and Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat are once again chasing each other as headlines. Netanyahu enjoyed a spectacular election victory yesterday and tomorrow there is an immigration lawsuit court hearing in Texas. The last time we wrote about the lawsuit against Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat was the day before Netanyahu spoke to the American Congress.
Thus far our predictions and prognostications from 2014 about this lawsuit have been right on target. Hang on to your girdles, fasten your bonnets extra tight, there have been plenty of shocking developments in the lawsuit against Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat for us to discuss (which we will after a brief history of the lawsuit thus far).
Then Bingo. A lawsuit was filed by 17 states. We ruminated on the decisions that led to the lawsuit and why a lawsuit was the way to go because Republicans in Congress would not be able to get the job done. On January 15 a hearing before Judge Hanen was held. We, along with just about everyone else expected Judge Hanen to rule on behalf of the plaintiff states. But, we’ll revise one prediction we made in that article. Now we doubt the 5th Circuit will overturn Judge Hanen’s decision. Why do we reverse that prediction? “Unleash The Kraken”!!!
Judge Hanen is the Kraken. The Kraken has been released!
We thought Judge Hanen would side with the now grown to 26 plaintiff states and we along with many were correct in this easy prediction. But we also thought the Fifth Circuit would reverse Judge Hanen on appeal. We understood the Fifth Circuit was the most conservative district in the nation. But we still thought they would reverse and allow the plaintiffs a quick appeal to the Supreme Court well before the 2016 elections were in full swing and Obama could use that opportunity to attack the Supreme Court – which is what he did on ObamaCare and which Chief Justice John Roberts was terrified of. We figured the Supreme Court will eventually squash Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat. But now we think things are much rougher for Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat. Why? We did not foresee, could not imagine, the astonishing developments that took place in Judge Kraken’s Hanen’s courtroom.
Once both sides filed their briefs in mid January Judge Hanen withdrew to his chambers. Judge Hanen as promised, did not issue a ruling until after January. Judge Hanen worked on his ruling privately and without hurry. Then Judge Hanen struck on February 17.
As Bibi Netanyahu prepared his speech to Congress, Obama thugs plotted an attack against Judge Hanen’s Preliminary Injunction. Obama’s thugs struck exactly one week after Judge Hanen’s ruling was released. On Monday, January 26, Obama’s lawyers demanded Judge Hanen rule by Wednesday on a Motion they had filed that very same Monday. It was a short notice threat against the judge.
We documented the play by play, brief by brief, sword by sword. Obama’s lawyers threatened Judge Hanen they would file a motion with the Fifth Circuit to remove Hanen’s Preliminary Injunction on Wednesday, two days hence, if Judge Hanen did not himself lift the stay. The 26 plaintiff states asked Judge Hanen for a week to reply to Obama’s thug lawyers. Thrust. Counter-thrust. Then the Judge himself spoke thunderously: Judge Hanen allowed the 26 plaintiff states a full week to file their response to the Obama lawyers. It was Judge Hanen punching Obama thugs in the face. This is what we wrote (predictions included):
Obama tried to thug Judge Hanen. For Obama “thug” is the default play. Judge Hanen knows how to deal with thugs. Contra the claims by Politico, the judge in his order blocked the appeal to the Fifth Circuit.
If Obama lawyers try to ignore the judge’s order and go the the Fifth Circuit. It is our belief that the Fifth Circuit will tell them to wait until Judge Hanen does what he will do. The Fifth Circuit can easily note that the Obama lawyers waited a full week to file their “emergency” so it can’t be such an “emergency”. The Fifth Circuit can note that it is fair to the plaintiffs to give them the same time as Obama lawyers. So wait until Judge Hanen is good and ready.
Judge Hanen? We won’t be surprised if Judge Hanen schedules a hearing in days or weeks to come after Plaintiffs file their motion next Tuesday. Judge Hanen can wait and we believe the Fifth Circuit will wait too. We’ll find out next Tuesday.
Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! We were correct on all points. Judge Hanen will be deliberate and will hold as many hearings as necessary. Judge Hanen will not be thugged. Obama’s lawyers did not file with the Fifth Circuit as threatened and the plaintiff states filed their response.
That’s the story thus far. That’s the sum of our coverage. Now, THE SHOCKING DEVELOPMENTS IN THE OBAMA ILLEGAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION DIKTAT LAWSUIT AS WE PREPARE TO WATCH THE KRAKEN RELEASED:
Obama’s thug lawyers prepared for a Sauron style two pronged counterattack against Judge Hanen. First they would issue a new threat, a new deadline against the Judge’s Preliminary Injunction. This was to be followed up with a for-real-this-time filing in the Fifth Circuit to overturn Judge Hanen’s Preliminary Injunction. Second, get a gaggle of states to file a ridiculous brief saying the most ridiculous things to back them up. That was the plan. But the truth is their enemy.
As they prepared the counterattack it turned out that they had been lying to Judge Hanen all along. You shouldn’t lie to a federal judge in a federal court. You might as well kick a Kraken. The Kraken is gonna stomp on your ass. And that is what has happened.
Bear with us as we document the Obama thug lawyer counterattack. First the new threat and the new deadline, as reported by Politico:
Feds press judge to rule by Monday on immigration order stay
The Obama administration has set a new deadline, of sorts, for a federal judge to halt his order blocking President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
In a court filing Wednesday evening, Justice Department lawyers handling the case told U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen that if he doesn’t rule on their stay motion by the end of the day Monday, the federal government could seek to bypass him by seeking a stay directly from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Absent a ruling by close of business on Monday, March 9, 2015, Defendants may seek relief from the Court of Appeals in order to protect their interests,” the DOJ lawyers wrote in their new submission (posted here).
Hanen could be tempted to think that the federal government is crying wolf, since back on Feb. 23, the Justice Department leveled a similar threat to proceed to the 5th Circuit if he didn’t rule on the stay by Feb. 25.
Hanen didn’t rule by then and, in fact, made clear that he’d wouldn’t be ruling until the middle of this week at the earliest. The government’s milestone came and went, with no drive to the 5th Circuit. [snip]
Some legal experts view the stay effort as a longshot, but activists fear that Obama’s immigration actions could lose momentum if they’re on hold for months or longer while an appeal plays out. [snip]
In addition to asking Hanen to stay his ruling pending appeal, the administration asked him, alternatively, to narrow its scope to the State of Texas. Justice Department lawyers said the evidence presented to Hanen was limited to Texas, but lawyers for the states said at least a couple of other states also submitted proof of harm from the Obama executive actions.
The Obama administration has filed an appeal of Hanen’s ruling, but such appeals take an average of nine months to be resolved in the 5th Circuit, which is based in New Orleans. There has not yet been a move by either side in the case to expedite the pending appeal.
So the new red line in the sand set by the Obama thugs was Monday, March 9. On March 9 itself, Obama prostitute Greg Sargent reported the next moves by Obama’s thugs:
In the next few days, approximately a dozen states will call on an appeals court to lift an injunction — imposed by a conservative Texas judge — on President Obama’s executive actions shielding millions from deportation, arguing that they support those actions and see them as being in their economic interest, I’m told.
The move could precipitate an argument among the states over Obama’s policies, and will raise a question: If some states have successfully gotten the courts to block Obama’s actions nationwide, what should happen if other states want those actions to proceed? The bid by these states also could make it more likely that the courts lift the injunction and allow his deportation relief to move forward, at least in some states, while the legal battle over them plays out. [snip]
Thus, the latter states will argue that, at a minimum, the 5th Circuit should lift the injunction for them, because they stand to suffer economic harm if the injunction proceeds. They will also argue that Texas is the only state that has demonstrated it will suffer harm, so the injunction nationwide — and on them — is inappropriate. [snip]
In other words, if Texas can halt Obama’s actions on the basis of strong feelings about prospective harm, then other states can now petition to reverse Hanen’s injunction on the basis of economic research that his injunction harms them.
When President Obama announced his sweeping unilateral executive action on immigration last November, administration officials stressed that the new edict would not take effect immediately. [snip]
The administration’s schedule shaped the schedule of those challenging the president’s action. On Feb. 16, federal judge Andrew Hanen issued an order stopping the program, noting in his opinion that “the DHS’ website provides February 18, 2015 as the date it will begin accepting applications under DACA’s new criteria, and mid-to-late May for DAPA applications.” Hanen barred the administration from implementing “any and all aspects or phases of the expansions (including any and all changes)” to DACA and also “any and all aspects or phases” of DAPA.
So everyone involved knew the score. Changes to DACA, which had been scheduled to start Feb. 18, were on hold. DAPA was also on hold. And everyone assumed those dates to be accurate. But now, the administration is telling a different story.
In a “Defendants’ Advisory” filed with Hanen’s court late Tuesday, the Justice Department notified the judge that it has already implemented significant parts of the Expanded DACA program, and indeed that it has already granted expanded DACA protections and work permits to “approximately 100,000” people.
In the advisory, which began by claiming the administration has followed Hanen’s order to temporarily stop the implementation of the program, Justice Department lawyers added this:
Out of an abundance of caution, however, Defendants wish to bring one issue to the Court’s attention. Specifically, between November 24, 2014 and the issuance of the Court’s Order, USCIS granted three-year periods of deferred action to approximately 100,000 individuals who had requested deferred action under the original 2012 DACA guidelines (and were otherwise determined to warrant such relief), including the issuance of three-year Employment Authorization Documents for those 2012 DACA recipients who were eligible for renewal. These pre-injunction grants of three-year periods of deferred action to those already eligible for 2012 DACA were consistent with the terms of the November Guidance…Defendants nevertheless recognize that their identification of February 18, 2015, as the date by which USCIS planned to accept requests for deferred action under the new and expanded DACA eligibility guidelines, and their identification of March 4, 2015, as the earliest date by which USCIS would make final decisions on such expanded DACA requests, may have led to confusion about when USCIS had begun providing three-year terms of deferred action to individuals already eligible for deferred action under 2012 DACA.
Led to confusion? That’s an understatement. It also led to the conclusion that the administration has misled not only Judge Hanen but everyone in the United States about the president’s immigration action. [snip]
Despite all the administration talk about a three-month period to begin the new policy, Johnson simply declared the DACA changes effective last November 24. On the basis of his memo, administration officials gave expanded DACA protections to those 100,000 people — a breakneck pace, apparently pursued to get as many changes in place before legal challenges could catch up.
Yet in court, administration lawyers claimed that Obama’s changes wouldn’t take effect until Feb. 18. In a motion filed Jan. 14, the Justice Department asked for a two week extension of the deadline to file a brief. “Plaintiffs will not be prejudiced by the two-week extension sought in this Motion,” the administration argued, “because U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not intend to entertain requests for deferred action under the challenged policy until February 18, 2015, and even after it starts accepting requests, it will not be in a position to make any final decisions on those requests at least until March 4, 2015.” Even as the government lawyers wrote those words, the administration was racing to grant immediate extended status to as many illegal immigrants as possible.
The day after filing the motion, Jan. 15, Justice Department lawyer Kathleen Hartnett appeared in Hanen’s court to emphasize that there was no problem delaying things for a while because the administration wasn’t implementing the president’s changes.
“In that [motion] we reiterated that no applications for the revised DACA — this is not even DAPA — revised DACA would be accepted until the 18th of February,” Hartnett told the judge, “and that no action would be taken on any of those applications until March the 4th.”
A moment later, just to be sure, Hanen said to Hartnett, “But as far as you know, nothing is going to happen in the next three weeks?”
“No, your honor,” Hartnett said.
“OK,” Hanen answered. “On either?”
“In terms of accepting applications or granting any up-or-down applications,” Hartnett said.
“OK,” said Hanen.
“For revised DACA, just to be totally clear,” Hartnett said.
Hartnett did not mention the 100,000 illegal immigrants to whom the administration had already rushed to grant longer protections and work permits under the president’s order.
In its fess-up advisory to the court Tuesday night, Justice Department lawyers said the administration has now stopped granting three-year deferred status to anyone — even though it maintains it had the authority to do so all along. But the Justice Department said it will not undo what it has already done for the 100,000 illegal immigrants already covered.
Obama’s thug lawyers lied to Judge Hanen in Judge Hanen’s court. Obama’s thug lawyers lied to Judge Hanen in a filed brief as well.
The government’s lawyers essentially admitted that they were disclosing this fact because it was contrary to what they had previously told the court. That has led to a motion by the State of Texas to be allowed to conduct discovery to find out what happened. Here is Texas’s brief in support of that motion. It is damning:
The lies told by Obama’s lawyers delayed and prevented actions the plaintiffs could have taken to block Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktats. Obama’s lawyers lied to plaintiffs’ lawyers. Obama’s lawyers also kicked the Kraken. The Kraken is not happy.
Was it smart of Obama’s lawyers to kick the Kraken in light of the fact that they want the Kraken to rule in their favor or at the very least to issue a ruling, any ruling, so they can move the case forward? Uh, no. You don’t kick the Kraken in the Kraken cave when you want something from the Kraken.
A federal judge signaled Monday that he has no plans to act soon on the Obama Administration’s request to stay an order blocking President Barack Obama’s latest round of executive actions on immigration.
U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen said in an order issued Monday afternoon that he views as serious claims that federal government lawyers may have misled the court about the implementation of new immigration policies the president ordered in November.
The group of 26 states whose lawsuit persuaded Hanen to block the Obama immigration actions recently filed a motion calling the federal disclosure “surprising” and asserting that Justice Department lawyers had assured the court that no action would be taken to implement Obama’s new policies until mid-February.
Obama’s moves announced in November expanded eligibility for the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program and initiated a new program for illegal immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, there was a third part to Obama’s new actions: he extended the “deferred action” period protecting certain immigrants from deportation from two years to three, and authorized the issuance of three-year work permits as well.
Hanen, who sits in Brownsville, Texas, said Monday that he wants a more complete explanation of what happened.
“Due to the seriousness of the matters discussed therein, the Court will not rule on any other pending motions until it is clear that these matters, if true, do not impact the pending matters or any rulings previously made by this Court,” Hanen wrote. He set a hearing on the matter for March 19 and ordered that Justice Department lawyers “be prepared to fully explain to this Court all of the matters addressed in and circumstances surrounding” the notice the feds sent the judge last week. [snip]
Hanen’s decision appears to indicate that he won’t be meeting a deadline of sorts the Justice Department set last week, warning it could move to an appeals court to block Hanen’s original injunction if he didn’t act on a stay request by the close of business Monday.
Whatever slim chance Obama had of getting a ruling from Judge Hanen or the Fifth Circuit just went up in a puff of Kraken smoke.
Judge Hanen will now, as we predicted from the very beginning, commence a series of hearings and discovery proceedings that will last into forever or until Obama is gone from the White House.
The Fifth Circuit? Obama’s lawyers have asked the Fifth Circuit to rule on their motion by March 26. The plaintiff states have until March 23 to respond.
Whatever chance of the Fifth Circuit taking up the appeal filed by Obama’s lawyers is gone. The Fifth Circuit will now wait until Hell freezes over and the Kraken has done his job to completion before they even think about thinking about thinking about even considering to consider the appeal from Obama’s lawyer on Obama’s illegal illegal immigration diktat.
Judge’s new order makes it harder for Obama to restart immigration moves
After President Obama in November announced plans to shelter millions of people from the threat of deportation, immigration officials wasted no time in carrying them out.
Thousands of young people who had applied for two-year reprieves from deportation instead were given three years free from the threat of being kicked out of the country. About 100,000 applications were approved before last month, when U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Texas ordered a freeze on Obama’s executive actions on immigration.
Now, the administration’s disclosure that it approved those applications has added yet another complication, and potentially weeks of more delays, to its attempts to restart the ambitious immigration initiatives. Hanen said in a filing this week that he wanted Justice Department lawyers to “fully explain” why they didn’t mention the three-year permits before last week.
He set a hearing for March 19. [snip]
“It’s vital that we get to the bottom of the recent actions by the Obama administration, and this hearing will be key in obtaining the truth about what appears on its face to be the administration’s clear misrepresentation of the facts in this case,” said Cynthia Meyer, deputy press secretary for the Texas attorney general’s office. [snip]
The current wrangling is over what Justice Department lawyers told the judge during recent hearings as scheduling matters were discussed. In January, lawyers said nothing would be happening before Feb. 18.
Last week, government lawyers, “in an abundance of caution,” disclosed to Hanen that they had been granting the three-year permits since November to DACA applicants who qualified under the 2012 rules. The talk of the Feb. 18 date “may have led to confusion,” said the brief signed by six Justice Department lawyers.
Lawyers for Texas and the other states said the actions were “difficult to square” with the lawyers’ earlier statements in the case.
For the administration, the bottom line of the dispute may mean more problems in moving the case through the courts — and more trouble in getting the immigration program in place before Obama leaves office.
The Israeli elections took a dramatic turn in the early morning hours on Wednesday as official tallies from nearly all precincts indicate that Likud has opened up a significant lead over Zionist Union, a far cry from the virtual dead heat that television exit polls had reported Tuesday evening.
With nearly 95 percent of precincts reporting before dawn on Wednesday, the Likud has emerged as the clear, undisputed victor in the elections.
4:44 A.M. With 99.5 percent of the ballots counted, Likud is increasing its lead with 29 Knesset seats, compared to the Zionist Union’s 24.
That’s our Bibi boy! More Irish in him than the Cheekbone Charlatan, the Cherokee “one drop” from the Codfish State has Native American blood in her. Yup, Bibi should get dual citizenship from the Emerald Isle now that the Blarney Stone kissed him. But if Bibi is the winner, who is the boob?:
Bibi wins big
As Netanyahu seems set to return to power, his relations with the Obama White House appear to reach a new low. [snip]
“Sure loser: Obama,” tweeted Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, a major Netanyahu booster.
In particular, defending a nuclear deal with Iran would have been easier for Obama absent the protests of Netanyahu, who has warned Congress that Obama is striving for “a very bad deal” with Iran. Herzog also questioned the pending deal with Iran, but in more muted tones.
Obama thought he could bypass the American congress and instead have his “executive to executive” agreement passed by the Security Council at the United Nations. Without Netanyahu to protest Obama would have had the UN lift sanctions against his pals in Iran and thereby be able to ignore the Constitution and the American congress would have been unable to stop Obama as they watched the world-wide sanctions against Iran lifted and Israel eventually obliterated.
Netanyahu’s reelection (a record fourth term) as Prime Minister of Israel has just thrown Obama’s plots into the crapper.
The polls close there at 4 p.m. ET. Here’s your thread for following results, which should be updated regularly at the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, the New York Times, the BBC, and, well, pretty much every other major western news outlet with a decent international section.
Israeli voters have spoken. We’ll find out soon what they said. A Channel 2 exit poll has it Likud (Bibi) 28, Zionist Union (Herzog) 27. Channel 10 and Channel 1 have it at 27 for both. If Likud loses expect a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Obama’s legacy will be Armageddon.
Livni forgoes rotating premiership with Herzog
Zionist Union’s No. 2 drops bombshell 12 hours before election; Netanyahu, Herzog accuse each other of ‘panicking’
The Zionist Union’s Tzipi Livni announced Monday evening that she would give up the rotation of the premiership with the slate’s leader, Isaac Herzog, an agreement the two made months ago when her Hatnua party merged with his Labor Party. [snip]
The bombshell came 12 hours before polling stations were set to open, in an apparent last-ditch effort to garner additional votes. [snip]
In a response to the announcement, Netanyahu told Channel 2 that the decision reflected the Zionist Union’s “panic” — an accusation echoed by Herzog, who in turn said Netanyahu was the one “panicking.”
Netanyahu told the TV station that the move proved two things: “One, that they’re lying. Either they lied earlier [when they announced the rotation], or they’re lying now. And the second thing is that they can’t deal with any pressure. They can’t deal with the pressure of the polls, how will they be able to deal with international pressure?” [snip]
On Sunday, Haaretz reported that during a Zionist Union campaign meeting, Livni said she was willing to forgo the rotation. But strategist Reuven Adler opined that such a move, announced so close to the election, would be detrimental.
Two hours before the announcement, Herzog emphatically denied that the two were set to cancel the rotation agreement. “There was no discussion about [whether to cancel the rotation] in the past week. It’s not on the agenda, period. The partnership between Livni and me brought us to [where we are] today. It is an important partnership,” Herzog told Army Radio.
“It’s not on the agenda, period.” Sounds like an Obama “period”. Watch out Israel!
We’re not experts on Israeli politics but this appears to be good for Netanyahu and bad for Herzog. “Two hours before the announcement…” Hmm.
Obama’s gonna need a bigger bus as number of opponents grows.
Benyamin Netanyahu is under threat by Barack Obama. The stories seep out daily. Obama used American government resources to destroy Netanyahu’s election chances. Obama operatives are in Israel to mobilize against Netanyahu and defeat him.
Opinion polls released in Israel today show the left-wing “Zionist Union” party (a combination of the venerable Labor party and Tzipi Livni’s group) holding a 3-4 seat lead over the right-wing Likud party. However, the total size of the right and left wing blocs in the Knesset would be equal. Thus the nature of the government that will be formed will ultimately depend on the center-right, brand-new Kulanu party, and the two mainstay haredi parties.
Add to the multi-party complications the ban on published polls close before an election – so we are somewhat flying blind – those Friday 13 polls are the last that will be published. Netanyahu might win or lose or win/lose or lose/win:
The results echoed surveys released earlier Friday — the final day that opinion polls could legally be published before Tuesday’s election — which both predicted a win for the Zionist Union.
But Israel’s complex electoral system, where many parties are vying for power, means the task of forming a new government does not automatically fall to the winning candidate or list.
Israel’s new premier will be the one who can build a coalition commanding a majority of at least 61 seats in the 120-strong Knesset.
That task will be all the harder as there are at least 11 party lists to reckon with from across the political spectrum as well as ultra-Orthodox and Arab parties.
Under the proportional system, voters choose party lists rather than individual candidates, with seats distributed according to the percentage of the vote received.
Analysts believe the next three days will be crucial, as 20 percent of voters have said they are undecided.
Netanyahu has run a campaign focused squarely on security issues, arguing that only he is capable of protecting Israel from an Iranian nuclear threat and warning that security will be at risk in case of victory for his rivals, the centre-left Zionist Union.
But on the street, voters appeared more concerned by the increasingly unmanageable cost of living and the Jewish state’s housing crisis.
With the last opinion polls showing a consistent erosion in support for his rightwing Likud, Netanyahu on Sunday launched a last-ditch charm offensive to lure the support of centre-right Kulanu.
Barack Obama might score a Chicago style St. Valentine’s Day style massacre hit against Netanyahu on St. Patrick’s Day. But there is another….
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, who talks to Netanyahu ‘a lot,’ says his country is in danger of collapse
CAIRO Since the army took power from Mohamed Morsi in 2013 with popular support, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi says he’s been fighting to keep the forces of anarchy at bay. On the eve of a large investment conference this weekend, he invited The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth to the massive white presidential palace for a conversation about Egypt’s problematic relationship with Washington, how to defeat the Islamic State, and his fears and hopes for his country. Edited excerpts follow.
Sissi: Do you remember the last time we met [in August 2013], what I said?
Yes, you said you felt the U.S. had turned its back on Egypt. What is your opinion today?
I believe we have a miscommunication. It seems we can’t convey our voice in as clear a fashion as it should be. However, the dangers surrounding this region are clear, and I believe the United States is following closely how terrorism is threatening [it].
What do you think the U.S. should do?
Support Egypt, support the popular will of the Egyptians.
Do you mean the U.S. should stand by you?
Sissi reflects the popular will of Egyptians.
In 2013, President Obama withheld F-16s and other arms until Egypt moves toward a “sustainable, inclusive and nonviolent transition to democracy.” Your reaction?
I just want to ask, who is resorting to violence here in Egypt? Those who did not want to participate constructively in the path to democracy in the wake of the 30th June [when the Sissi-led army ousted Morsi].
You mean the Muslim Brotherhood?
[Nods.] They chose confrontation with the state. Have you seen the state of Egypt taking actions against anyone in Sinai except those who carry arms, threaten and kill members of the military and police and even innocent civilians? We are facing violence inside Sinai and on our western border with Libya and even within parts of [this] country. There is no security in Libya to prevent the flow of weapons and foreign fighters who come into Egypt and threaten our national security. Who is bombing electric grids, putting explosives at the bus and train stations? Who is killing civilians in the streets?
What is the answer?
Do you mean extremists like the Muslim Brotherhood?
The Muslim Brotherhood is the parent organization of extreme ideology. They are the godfather of all terrorist organizations. They spread it all over the world.
Are they the godfather of ISIS?
All extremists derive from one pool. This extreme mind-set is nurtured by religious rhetoric that needs to be reformed.
You made a speech on that subject on Jan. 1.
It was the truth. Religious rhetoric is a problem. It has certain ideas that just promote confused thoughts about religion when adopted by people. People resort to violence when they adopt these wrong religious ideas.
We praised Al-Sisi’s January 1 speech and suggested Congress invite him to speak. The Congress invited Netanyahu instead. Al-Sisi’s voice still needs to be heard in the halls of Congress.
Barack Obama wants to punish American ally Egypt with economic and military sanctions yet wants to lift sanctions against American enemy Iran. Obama protects the murderous Muslim Brotherhood and attacks American ally Al-Sisi.
Al-Sisi is sending a strong message in barely veiled language which does nothing to hide contempt for Barack Obama and support for Netanyahu and Israel:
You feel there is a vacuum of U.S. leadership?
I didn’t say that.
But do you feel that way?
Egypt has a population of 90 million. If this country fails, the whole region will slide into a cycle of anarchy that will represent a grave danger to all countries in this region, including Israel, and would extend to Europe.
How do you see the threat from Iran? Do you agree they should not have a nuclear weapon?
We understand that President Obama is engaged in a lot of actions in order to tackle this issue. We should give him time. . . . Meanwhile, we have to understand the Israeli concern.
We have been honoring the peace treaty with Israel since the day it was signed. . . . One example that reflects the magnitude of trust and confidence between the two parties is that the [treaty] does not allow Egyptian troops in the middle and eastern sections of the Sinai — the area that overlooks the joint border. But the Israelis said it was fine to have Egyptian troops in those areas. This means the hostile mood and skepticism have diminished with peace with Israel. This can happen with the other Arab countries and Israel if a two-state solution is reached.
You speak to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a lot?
Israel’s voters should know that Barack Obama hates Netanyahu and Al-Sisi and is for all appearances by his actions in love with the Muslim Brotherhood and those who hate Israel. Obama’s treacheries against Israel and for Iran multiply daily. Netanyahu and Al-Sisi know of Obama’s treacheries against Israel and Egypt and on behalf of Iran. Obama’s treacheries are such that even Obama Dimocrats are prepared to fight Obama.
Al-Sisi of Egypt is on a campaign to reelect Netanyahu. The Washington Post interview is one in a series of public pronouncements and interviews to discuss security issues in the Middle East and to warn of the danger. Al-Sisi knows Netanyahu’s message to Israel’s voters is about security. Al-Sisi is trying to help elect Netanyahu. Will Israel’s voters listen?
A huge thug bully by the name of Michael Brown was justifiably shot by a police officer on August 9, 2014. That police officer, Darren Wilson, was vilified by Big Media and was so persecuted he was forced to resign from his job. Barack Obama and Eric Holder stoked hatred against the police officer. Barack Obama and Eric Holder beatified the thug.
Public officials, many in the Congressional Black Caucus, took up the phony cry of the thug’s defenders and exclaimed the lie “hands up, don’t shoot.” It was all a lie. It was all a phony race-baiting lie. Barack Obama and Eric Holder helped perpetuate the lie.
All across America idiots took up the thug’s banner. The Grammy Awards further propagandized the phony “hands up, don’t shoot” lie. Football players at football games turned the thug bully Michael Brown into a black community hero. But Michael Brown was a thug and a bully and a criminal.
For months after the justified death of thug Michael Brown, Barack Obama and Eric Holder continued to race-bait. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder investigated the police officers who protected the community. The thugs and criminals were aided and abetted by Barack Obama and Eric Holder. Finally the whole stinking Obama/Holder lie was exposed as even the investigators of the Department of Justice came to the obvious conclusions:
The encounter between Wilson and Brown took place over an approximately two-minute period of time at about noon on August 9, 2014. Wilson was on duty and driving his department-issued Chevy Tahoe SUV westbound on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri when he saw Brown and his friend, Witness 101, walking eastbound in the middle of the street. Brown and Witness 101 had just come from Ferguson Market and Liquor (“Ferguson Market”), a nearby convenience store, where, at approximately 11:53 a.m., Brown stole several packages of cigarillos. As captured on the store’s surveillance video, when the store clerk tried to stop Brown, Brown used his physical size to stand over him and forcefully shove him away. As a result, an FPD dispatch call went out over the police radio for a “stealing in progress.” The dispatch recordings and Wilson’s radio transmissions establish that Wilson was aware of the theft and had a description of the suspects as he encountered Brown and Witness 101.
As Wilson drove toward Brown and Witness 101, he told the two men to walk on the sidewalk. According to Wilson’s statement to prosecutors and investigators, he suspected that Brown and Witness 101 were involved in the incident at Ferguson Market based on the descriptions he heard on the radio and the cigarillos in Brown’s hands. Wilson then called for backup, stating, “Put me on Canfield with two and send me another car.” Wilson backed up his SUV and parked at an angle, blocking most of both lanes of traffic, and stopping Brown and Witness 101 from walking any further. Wilson attempted to open the driver’s door of the SUV to exit his vehicle, but as he swung it open, the door came into contact with Brown’s body and either rebounded closed or Brown pushed it closed.
Wilson and other witnesses stated that Brown then reached into the SUV through the open driver’s window and punched and grabbed Wilson. This is corroborated by bruising on Wilson’s jaw and scratches on his neck, the presence of Brown’s DNA on Wilson’s collar, shirt, and pants, and Wilson’s DNA on Brown’s palm. While there are other individuals who stated that Wilson reached out of the SUV and grabbed Brown by the neck, prosecutors could not credit their accounts because they were inconsistent with physical and forensic evidence, as detailed throughout this report.
Wilson told prosecutors and investigators that he responded to Brown reaching into the SUV and punching him by withdrawing his gun because he could not access less lethal weapons while seated inside the SUV. Brown then grabbed the weapon and struggled with Wilson to gain control of it. Wilson fired, striking Brown in the hand. Autopsy results and bullet trajectory, skin from Brown’s palm on the outside of the SUV door as well as Brown’s DNA on the inside of the driver’s door corroborate Wilson’s account that during the struggle, Brown used his right hand to grab and attempt to control Wilson’s gun. According to three autopsies, Brown sustained a close range gunshot wound to the fleshy portion of his right hand at the base of his right thumb. Soot from the muzzle of the gun found embedded in the tissue of this wound coupled with indicia of thermal change from the heat of the muzzle indicate that Brown’s hand was within inches of the muzzle of Wilson’s gun when it was fired. The location of the recovered bullet in the side panel of the driver’s door, just above Wilson’s lap, also corroborates Wilson’s account of the struggle over the gun and when the gun was fired, as do witness accounts that Wilson fired at least one shot from inside the SUV.
Although no eyewitnesses directly corroborate Wilson’s account of Brown’s attempt to gain control of the gun, there is no credible evidence to disprove Wilson’s account of what occurred inside the SUV. Some witnesses claim that Brown’s arms were never inside the SUV. However, as discussed later in this report, those witness accounts could not be relied upon in a prosecution because credible witness accounts and physical and forensic evidence, i.e. Brown’s DNA inside the SUV and on Wilson’s shirt collar and the bullet trajectory and close-range gunshot wound to Brown’s hand, establish that Brown’s arms and/or torso were inside the SUV.
After the initial shooting in side the SUV, the evidence establishes that Brown ran eastbound on Canfield Drive and Wilson chased after him. The autopsy results confirm that Wilson did not shoot Brown in the back as he was running away because there were no entrance wounds to Brown’s back. The autopsy results alone do not indicate the direction Brown was facing when he received two wounds to his right arm, given the mobility of the arm. However, as detailed later in this report, there are no witness accounts that could be relied upon in a prosecution to prove that Wilson shot at Brown as he was running away. Witnesses who say so cannot be relied upon in a prosecution because they have given accounts that are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence or are significantly inconsistent with their own prior statements made throughout the investigation.
Brown ran at least 180 feet away from the SUV, as verified by the location of bloodstains on the roadway, which DNA analysis confirms was Brown’s blood. Brown then turned around and came back toward Wilson, falling to his death approximately 21.6 feet west of the blood in the roadway. Those witness accounts stating that Brown never moved back toward Wilson could not be relied upon in a prosecution because their accounts cannot be reconciled with the DNA bloodstain evidence and other credible witness accounts.
As detailed throughout this report, several witnesses stated that Brown appeared to pose a physical threat to Wilson as he moved toward Wilson. According to these witnesses, who are corroborated by blood evidence in the roadway, as Brown continued to move toward Wilson, Wilson fired at Brown in what appeared to be self-defense and stopped firing once Brown fell to the ground. Wilson stated that he feared Brown would again assault him because of Brown’s conduct at the SUV and because as Brown moved toward him, Wilson saw Brown reach his right hand under his t-shirt into what appeared to be his waistband. There is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety.
Ballistics analysis indicates that Wilson fired a total of 12 shots, two from the SUV and ten on the roadway. Witness accounts and an audio recording indicate that when Wilson and Brown were on the roadway, Wilson fired three gunshot volleys, pausing in between each one. According to the autopsy results, Wilson shot and hit Brown as few as six or as many as eight times, including the gunshot to Brown’s hand. Brown fell to the ground dead as a result of a gunshot to the apex of his head. With the exception of the first shot to Brown’s hand, all of the shots that struck Brown were fired from a distance of more than two feet. As documented by crime scene photographs, Brown fell to the ground with his left, uninjured hand balled up by his waistband, and his right, injured hand palm up by his side. Witness accounts and cellular phone video prove that Wilson did not touch Brown’s body after he fired the final shot and Brown fell to the ground.
Although there are several individuals who have stated that Brown held his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to Wilson shooting him dead, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson. As detailed throughout this report, some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time. Certain other witnesses who originally stated Brown had his hands up in surrender recanted their original accounts, admitting that they did not witness the shooting or parts of it, despite what they initially reported either to federal or local law enforcement or to the media. Prosecutors did not rely on those accounts when making a prosecutive decision.
While credible witnesses gave varying accounts of exactly what Brown was doing with his hands as he moved toward Wilson – i.e., balling them, holding them out, or pulling up his pants up – and varying accounts of how he was moving – i.e., “charging,” moving in “slowmotion,” or “running” – they all establish that Brown was moving toward Wilson when Wilson shot him. Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and “charging” at Wilson.
It wasn’t individuals that Holder called “racist” it was an entire department. The evidence consisted of emails with jokes such as “President Obama would not be president for very long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years.” The joke of that joke is that it reads as if it was sent and read by Obama supporters and donors from Hollywood.
After the emails were uncovered, the Ferguson Police Department either fired or began investigations of the officers who sent and received the offending emails. The police chief of the department resigned as well as five others including one judge who simply thought it was not worth all the threats to his life to continue to do his job.
Sorry: The Justice report doesn’t prove disparate treatment, let alone discrimination.
In fact, it looks more like something ginned up to distract from the embarrassing fact that Justice (in another report released the same day) wound up fully validating the findings of the Ferguson grand jury.
Racism is serious, and those engaging in it should be shamed — but we should have real evidence before accusing others of it. And every one of the Justice report’s main claims of evidence of discrimination falls short.
Starting with the primary numerical claim. The report notes on Page 4: “Ferguson’s law-enforcement practices overwhelmingly impact African-Americans.
“Data collected by the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 shows that African-Americans account for 85 percent of vehicle stops, 90 percent of citations, and 93 percent of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67 percent of Ferguson’s population.”
Those statistics don’t prove racism, because blacks don’t commit traffic offenses at the same rate as other population groups.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ 2011 Police-Public Contact Survey indicates that, nationwide, blacks were 31 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over for a traffic stop.
Ferguson is a black-majority town. If its blacks were pulled over at the same rate as blacks nationally, they’d account for 87.5 percent of traffic stops.
In other words, the numbers actually suggest that Ferguson police may be slightly less likely to pull over black drivers than are their national counterparts. They certainly don’t show that Ferguson is a hotbed of racism.
Critics may assert that that “31 percent more likely” figure simply shows that racism is endemic to police forces nationwide.
Hmm: The survey also reveals that men are 42 percent more likely than women to be pulled over for traffic stops. Should we conclude that police are biased against men, or that men drive more recklessly?
In fact, blacks die in car accidents at a rate about twice their share of car owners.
A 2006 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that black drivers who were killed in accidents have the highest rate of past convictions for speeding and for other moving violations. This suggests that there are a lot of unsafe black drivers, not racism.
The Justice report on Ferguson continues, “African-Americans are at least 50 percent more likely to have their cases lead to an arrest warrant, and accounted for 92 percent of cases in which an arrest warrant was issued by the Ferguson Municipal Court in 2013.”
Again, this pretends that a mere difference is evidence of discrimination.
But the report’s statistic doesn’t even look at whether people pay their fine or appear in court — something that makes a big difference in whether to issue a warrant.
Could it be that blacks are more likely to face particularly serious charges?
Since Justice has gone through the case files, it could easily have answered the questions. Perhaps it didn’t like the answers. (Unfortunately, no national data are available for comparison.)
Another major complaint in the Justice report: “Most strikingly, the court issues municipal arrest warrants not on the basis of public-safety needs, but rather as a routine response to missed court appearances and required fine payments.”
If you think that this is unique to Ferguson, try not paying your next speeding ticket.
As for the anecdotal evidence Justice offers to bring home this complaint, well, here’s an anecdote from Washington, DC — a town with a black mayor and black-majority city council.
Megan Johnson, a black DC woman, recently failed to pay 10 parking tickets within the allotted 30 days. The city doubled her fines from $500 to $1,000, then booted, towed and sold her car — and charged her $700 for towing and impounding it.
DC sold the car at auction for $500 and won’t even credit that amount to what she owes. It’s now attaching her tax refunds.
Justice’s Ferguson anecdotes no more prove racism than Megan Johnson’s experience proves the DC government is racist.
Finally, for “direct evidence of racial bias,” the report describes seven emails from Ferguson police officers from 2008 to 2011 that Justice describes as offensive to blacks, women, Muslims, President Obama and his wife, and possibly people of mixed race.
But this begs some big questions: Did only one or two of the 53 officers send the emails? Did the objectionable emails end in 2011 because those officers no longer worked for the department or were told to stop?
The Justice Department’s report reads as a prosecutor’s brief, not an unbiased attempt to get at the truth, with evidence carefully selected and portrayed in the strongest possible light.
Differences don’t necessarily imply racism, but the Obama Justice Department doesn’t seem to care.
As anyone watching the elections in Chicago knows, Rahm Emmanuel is in great trouble due to the many red light cameras Emmanuel has installed on city streets. Is Chicago and the Chicago Democratic Party a hotbed of racism as is the District of Columbia if we look at the crime statistics and those trapped by red light cameras? Are red light cameras “racist”?:
Also last week, the Justice Department, with much fanfare, announced that the Ferguson police department for which Darren Wilson used to work is guilty of racist policing and, indeed, is extracting money from African-American through its law enforcement practices. Relying on this claim, Eric Holder attempted to defend the violent and lawless response of Ferguson residents to the justified shooting of Michael Brown, characterizing it as an understandable reaction to the “highly toxic environment” created by the Ferguson police over the years.
For leftists like Holder, violence and lawlessness by African-Americans are never the fault of the perpetrators.
But what about the merits of the DOJ’s report condemning the Ferguson PD? [snip]
The Justice Department finds that Blacks make up 67 percent of the population of Ferguson, but 76 percent of those with outstanding arrest warrants. Most outstanding arrest warrants stem from (a) a violation such as speeding or a parking ticket and (b) a failure to appear in court and/or pay the ticket.
There is no basis for inferring racism from the disparity between African-American representation in the general population compared to African-American representation in the population of those with outstanding arrest warrants. The disparity might be explained by Black over-representation among (a) violators of traffic and parking laws and/or (b) those who fail to appear in court or pay their fines.
With respect to speeding, DOJ found that Blacks in Ferguson represent 72 percent of those detected speeding through radar or laser verification methods. Thus, it appears that Blacks are, in fact, more likely than Whites to speed in Ferguson.
Are radars or red light cameras racist? We doubt it even as we don’t doubt that some police officers might be racist. Eric Holder and the Department of Justice certainly had the resources to produce a well researched report that produced facts and conclusions from those facts that could not be disputed. Instead Holder served up a report of innuendo by the use of statistical non sequiturs.
Eric Holder and Barack Obama have produced a culture of justification for thugs to feel justified in their thuggery. Thugs become heroes. Real heroes are vilified.
“The illegal alien dreamer that murdered my son only served four months of an eight month sentence for assault with a deadly weapon and battery on a police officer,” Shaw said. “He was released from the county jail the day before he executed my son. Why was this violent illegal alien allowed to walk the streets of America instead of being deported?”
“Do black lives really matter or does it matter only if you are shot by a white person or a white policeman?” he added, before alluding to the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ saying that became popular following the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo. “My son was shot in the head by an illegal alien gang banger while he lay on his back with his hands up. he still shot him through his hand into his head and killed him.”
Because of Barack Obama and Eric Holder the police officers who protect the community are shot, as in Ferguson, and sometimes killed as in New York City.
Barack Obama and Eric Holder have blood on their hands.
A good place to start if you are on a traitor hunt is Obama policies. Obama policies appear to be designed to provide sufficient time and sufficient cover for Jarrett’s country of descent to acquire nuclear weapons and missiles equipped with nuclear weapons sufficient to destroy Israel and achieve hegemony over the Middle East.
Recently, 47 Republican senators concerned about Obama’s treacherous policies on Iran sent a letter to Iran. These Republican senators are rationally concerned about Barack Obama’s attempts to circumvent congress and the constitutional requirement that congress approve all treaties between this nation and foreign powers.
This letter has led to charges on Twitter and some of the nation’s Big Media publications that the 47 Republicans exercising their rights and prerogatives are #47Traitors. Even Hillary yesterday threw some red meat to the ravenous dogs of Big Media with an ill-advised condemnation of the 47 courageous and correct Republican letter writing senators.
The Republican soon-to-be-majority in the U.S. Senate along with their fortified army in the House of Representatives must make it their top priority to defeat this Barack Obama fifth column move to assure that Iran acquire nuclear weapons.
Republicans in the House and Senate should move to defund any and all activities in the State Department, White House, Pentagon, in any and all agencies that plot to negotiate with Iran in any way without notification to the American Congress and approval by the Congress.
Barack Obama would threaten to veto, then veto, any such law passed by Congress. But we believe that even prominent Obama Dimocrats such as Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Robert Menendez would bolster Republicans and vote to override an Obama veto. Robert Menendez seeks to stop the threat to American security of a nuclear Iran:
Vindictive Charges Against Menendez Stink Of Chicago Politics
Politics: Sen. Bob Menendez has wallowed in New Jersey’s Democratic political swamp for years. So it’s peculiar for the Justice Department to ready corruption charges right after he dissents with Obama’s policies.
Just who do these people think they are fooling?
As word leaked of coming corruption charges against Menendez — supposedly for using his Senate office to advance the business interests of a Democratic donor in exchange for gifts — the mind turns to the same sort of allegations against Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, New York Democrats Charles Rangel and Charles Schumer, and the husband of House Democratic Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
None of those political animals is facing charges, nor do they have any fear of it.
Why? Because, it seems, they toe the party line. [snip]
The one Democrat who dared stand up to President Obama on his atrocious cave-in deal with Iran, as well as his no-preconditions diplomatic relations with Cuba and his abuse of Israel, suddenly faces corruption charges.
Washington insiders say that the plan against Menendez is to get him removed as the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where, knowing foreign policy, he has had no choice but to oppose the president’s policies that run counter to U.S. interests — even as the president fantasizes about getting another Nobel Peace prize or a Nixon-In-China place in history.
Muscling a critic like this smacks of Stalin-style show trials, where offenders suddenly fall from favor to become nonpersons. It smacks of Argentina’s Medici-politics of silencing its president’s prosecutor.
And going after Menendez is little more than dirty Chicago-style politics that’s so obvious to everyone it stinks.
Menendez is finding out that Obama’s initials are not “B.O.” for nothing. Obama stinks. Obama policies stink. So we applaud those who stand up forthrightly to oppose stinky Obama’s treacherous policies.
The critical role of Congress in the adoption of international agreements was clearly laid out by our Founding Fathers in our Constitution. And it’s a principle upon which Democrats and Republicans have largely agreed.
In fact, then-Sen. Joe Biden once reflected on this very topic, writing that “the president and the Senate are partners in the process by which the United States enters into, and adheres to, international obligations.”
It’s not often I agree with former senator and now Vice President Biden, but his words here are clear. The Senate must approve any deal President Obama negotiates with Iran by a two-thirds majority vote.
Anything less will not be considered a binding agreement when President Obama’s term expires in two years. This is true of any agreement, but in particular with the nuclear deal President Obama intends to strike with Iran.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the Obama administration has so far completely bypassed Congress in its negotiations with Iran.
The administration cares little about what will win congressional approval — only complete nuclear disarmament — and more about just reaching some sort of deal.
Regrettably, it appears the deal President Obama is negotiating with Iran will not be a good one. In fact, if reports are correct, it will be a bad one that will ultimately allow Iran to continue its nuclear program and ultimately develop a nuclear weapon.
That is why this week, I, along with 46 of my fellow senators, wrote Iranian leaders to inform them of the role Congress plays in approving their agreement. Our goal is simple: to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
Barack Obama wants to circumvent the Constitution. These Republican senators want to obey the supreme law of the land, the Constitution. Today, these Republican senators might have won.
Even John Kerry says the Iran deal is not legally binding
Credit Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) for raising the issue. Without a letter reminding the White House, Congress and the American people that a deal must be approved by the Senate in order to be binding, we might never have learned from Secretary of State John Kerry that “we are not negotiating a legally binding plan.” Oh, really? [snip]
What then do the Iranians think they are getting? No wonder the White House threw a fit. Cotton, as he did in an op-ed today, is reminding everyone of a simple fact: The deal goes away when Obama leaves office. [snip]
This has several ramifications. First, it becomes the main issue for the 2016 campaign. Every candidate will have to signal whether they will walk away from any deal. George W. Bush walked away from the nonbinding deal with North Korea, and the next president can do the same with regard to a faulty Iran deal. Do Democrats want to run defending an Iran deal with a 1- year sunset? Good grief. Not even Bill Clinton could do that. Over 80 percent of Americans oppose just such a deal.
Second, the Iranians cannot be sure they are getting more than a couple of years of sanctions relief; that may be all they want and enough to break the back of sanctions in Europe and elsewhere. But without Congress — just like Cotton said — they don’t get rid of sanctions.
Third, Congress should rethink its strategy. If it wants to leave the bulk of sanctions in place, it need do nothing more. If it wants to increase sanctions, as the Menendez-Kirk legislation envisions, lawmakers need to make certain they have enough votes to override a veto. And as for an up-or-down vote, Congress can certainly deliver a sense-of-Congress resolution — which is not subject to a veto — but it can simply hang tight, see what happens in 2016 and refuse to abandon sanctions.
This is a pretty huge deal and should cause some serious rethinking about what the administration is doing. If all it can promise is, in effect, disruption of the sanctions regime during the lame-duck president’s remaining time in office, his conduct may undercut future presidents’ leverage. Is this just about getting a piece of paper as a legacy and leaving others to deal with the mess? It sure looks that way.
Obama wants a trip to Iran to sign an agreement. Valerie Jarrett can’t wait to visit home.
[edited: Kerry testimony video at link http://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=69016&siteSection=washingtonexaminer&videoId=28706898
The Botox must have Kerry befuddled. Kerry thinks that an “executive-to-executive agreement” somehow will lift sanctions on Iran even though only Congress can lift the Iran sanctions. Here’s Kerry under the influence of Botox:
“When it says that Congress could actually modify the terms of an agreement at any time is flat wrong. You don’t have the right to modify an agreement reached executive to executive between leaders of a country,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which does not include Senator Tom Cotton, the Republican from Arkansas who wrote the letter.
The Obama administration won’t submit any deal limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions to Congress for approval because it won’t be legally binding, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday.
“We’ve been clear from the beginning we’re not negotiating a legally binding plan. We’re negotiating a plan that will have a capacity for enforcement,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. [snip]
As he spoke, committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who did not sign the letter but is a sponsor of legislation to require approval of any deal, cut him off.
Corker later noted that as a senator, Kerry had demanded congressional approval of a proposed agreement with Iraq on the status of U.S. troops there.
The news we have for those that believe Hillary’s press conference was a “trainwreck” is “you’ve just been fu*ked and you don’t even know it.”
Why do we say this? Because we have seen it before. Remember Hillary’s billing records? That was the “scandal” that would destroy her. Add your favorite anti-Hillary moment here. Remember Hillary was destroyed never to be seen again in 2008? What happened?
At today’s press conference Hillary fu*ked then disemboweled her inquisitors. Remember all those questions about Hillary’s server being insecure and the pearl clutching over that? Hillary said it was built around hubby Bill’s electronic communications system safeguarded by Secret Service or what4ever. Result: security issue gone. Why was the system set up? “Convenience” she said, and it was permissible from the State Department viewpoint. “Personal emails?” Everyone understands the privacy issue and it resonates more emotionally with the American public than the evidence gathering rationales of investigators than Hillary/Bill detractors understand. Bill and Hillary know how to communicate and where the priority is when making an argument against an attack. [Hint: the political will always trump the legal.]
For every question Hillary had an answer. The search is now on to disprove everything she said. Bill only emailed twice in his life, she really had multiple devices, etc. etc. It won’t matter. The battle is over. At some point Hillary will permit some sort of inspection of the server when no one cares anymore and after her negotiation starting point expressed today of no inspection is long past useful.
Today Hillary anally abused her interrogators. Hillary also reset the landscape and put herself in the role of victim fighting off an irrational clown posse that wants to go through her daughter’s panty drawer and peek into her yoga emails, mother’s funeral emails, little girl’s wedding emails. Strategically, Hillary has them right where she wants them and the funny part is, once again they think they won.
It’s easy for dullards to see Hillary, Bill, and Barack as one corrupt whole. But that is shadowbox analysis and you do not win boxing shadows. For Republicans to win, or Obama opponents to win it is imperative to see beyond the shadows and tackle the shadow making machinery and players.
What do we mean by all this? We mean that most Republicans, conservatives, and otherwise sane Obama opponents assume Hillary Clinton will be the next nominee of the Obama Dimocrat party and that Barack Obama will do everything to get Hillary the nomination because (a) he owes his reelection to Bill Clinton’s oratorical skills and Hillary Clinton’s silence; (b) some sort of deal was worked out with Bill to secure Hillary the nomination and the presidency. This is all wrong.
Barack Obama and his minions will do everything in their power to destroy Hillary Clinton and make sure she does not get the nomination in 2016 let alone the presidency.
There is no way that the crazed Obama left is going to go back to the hated paradigm of clinton-bush-clinton-bush interrupted by Obama for clinton-bush years. The crazed left minions might think they love Hillary Clinton now, but wait until their overlords decide they will oppose Hillary and the minions will fall back into the Hillary hate line.
Ol’ “Serpenthead” Carville has woken up to what we wrote so long ago. Carville now accepts that the Left will attack Hillary and not have her pillows fluffed:
This is very good. Hillary better wake up. Big Media is not about to help Hillary in any way let alone in the overwhelming way Big Media helped Obama – by ignoring scandals and attacking anyone that noted the scandals. The Big Media that never looked for and has forgotten all those missing Obama records is not going to help Hillary.
Anyone remember those Obama legislative records that would speak to Obama’s relationship with Antoin “Tony” Rezko? Did state legislator Obama get calls from freezing tenants trapped in Rezko’s tenements that Obama helped Rezko purchase? We never found out because Big Media ignored the Obama scandals and anyone who raised questions was a “racist”.
We’re all for openness and think present day public officials need to be forced to comply with the law. That applies to Hillary. That applies to Menendez. But the law, openness and forced transparency should apply to all fairly.
The timing of the Menendez charges is also politically suspicious. The Senate Democrat is a leading critic of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy on Russia, Cuba and Iran. Mr. Obama recently accused critics of his Iran diplomacy of bowing to their political donors—that is, to Jewish Americans. According to the New York Times, Mr. Menendez rose at a private meeting of Democratic Senators to tell the President he was personally offended by those remarks. The negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are coming to a head this month, and it doesn’t hurt the President if a prominent critic is operating under an ethical cloud.
All of which is to say that it’s important to look closely at the evidence and charges in this case and test them before a jury. This Justice Department deserves to be treated with as much doubt as any New Jersey politician.
Is Menendez a crook? As with any politician our immediate response is “Yup! Hang the bastard from the lampposts to teach the whole lot of them that here the people rule and their days of being the ruling class lording it over all of us, exempt to the laws they write for us to obey, apply to them too.” But then we look at the timing of this indictment and we fully understand that Menendez is a crook about to be punished by bigger and more lethal crooks. So we pause. Put down the rope. Wave it at the prosecutors instead.
“This is an Obama scandal,” Levin said of the firestorm over Clinton’s use of a private e-mail. Levin cited former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s use of an email under the the pseudonym “Richard Windsor” and former Deputy EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe’s use of private email during his time at the EPA, and Justice Department stonewalling of public records requests.
Levin continued, “This is an Obama scandal, Hillary, yes, no question. But it is an Obama administration scandal, it is happening in department after department and agency after agency, and the entire purpose is to prevent us, the American people, from finding out what’s going on in our own government.
Levin’s flashlight is lighting up the wrong dark corners. There is a real email scandal that is being lost to the detriment of the nation.
Several years ago we wrote that it was impossible to deny that, like a thieving clerk whose “mistakes” fall in the same direction – which is to short change customers, Barack Obama always makes decisions that benefit Muslim terrorists over American security and power. Victor Hanson makes the same observation today. For us this is the real email scandal the nation confronts:
How America Was Misled on al Qaeda’s Demise
The White House portrait of a crumbling terror group is contradicted by documents seized in the bin Laden raid.
In the early-morning hours of May 2, 2011, a small team of American military and intelligence professionals landed inside the high white walls of a mysterious compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The team’s mission, code-named Operation Neptune Spear, had two primary objectives: capture or kill Osama bin Laden and gather as much intelligence as possible about the al Qaeda leader and his network. A bullet to bin Laden’s head accomplished the first; the quick work of the Sensitive Site Exploitation team accomplished the second.
It was quite a haul: 10 hard drives, nearly 100 thumb drives and a dozen cellphones. There were DVDs, audio and video tapes, data cards, reams of handwritten materials, newspapers and magazines. At a Pentagon briefing days after the raid, a senior military intelligence official described it as “the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever.”
The United States had gotten its hands on al Qaeda’s playbook—its recent history, its current operations, its future plans. An interagency team led by the Central Intelligence Agency got the first look at the cache. They performed a hasty scrub—a “triage”—on a small sliver of the document collection, looking for actionable intelligence. According to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the team produced more than 400 separate reports based on information in the documents.
But it is what happened next that is truly stunning: nothing. The analysis of the materials—the “document exploitation,” in the parlance of intelligence professionals—came to an abrupt stop. According to five senior U.S. intelligence officials, the documents sat largely untouched for months—perhaps as long as a year.
The White House provided 17 handpicked documents to the Combatting Terror Center at the West Point military academy, where a team of analysts reached the conclusion the Obama administration wanted. Bin Laden, they found, had been isolated and relatively powerless, a sad and lonely man sitting atop a crumbling terror network.
It was 2012. Six months before the election. Treasure trove be damned. Obama withheld valuable national security emails, documents, analysis, in order to be reelected. A Muslim mole agent could not have done more harm to American security than Obama wreaked:
It was a reassuring portrayal. It was also wrong. And those responsible for winning the war—as opposed to an election—couldn’t afford to engage in such dangerous self-delusion.
“The leadership down at Central Command wanted to know what were we learning from these documents,” says Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the transcript of an interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier for a coming Fox News Reporting special. “We were still facing a growing al Qaeda threat. And it was not just Pakistan and Afghanistan and Iraq. But we saw it growing in Yemen. We clearly saw it growing still in East Africa.” The threat “wasn’t going away,” he adds, “and we wanted to know: What can we learn from these documents?”
After a pitched bureaucratic battle, a small team of analysts from the Defense Intelligence Agency and Centcom was given time-limited, read-only access to the documents. The DIA team began producing analyses reflecting what they were seeing in the documents.
At precisely the time Mr. Obama was campaigning on the imminent death of al Qaeda, those with access to the bin Laden documents were seeing, in bin Laden’s own words, that the opposite was true. Says Lt. Gen. Flynn: “By that time, they probably had grown by about—I’d say close to doubling by that time. And we knew that.”
This wasn’t what the Obama White House wanted to hear. So the administration cut off DIA access to the documents and instructed DIA officials to stop producing analyses based on them.
Like the Rezko documents, like his entire history, Obama disappeared these national security documents. National security was sacrificed to reelect Obama. The real email scandal:
Even this limited glimpse into the broader set of documents revealed the problems with the administration’s claims about al Qaeda. Bin Laden had clear control of al Qaeda and was intimately involved in day-to-day management. More important, given the dramatic growth of the terror threat in the years since, the documents showed that bin Laden had expansion plans. Lt. Gen. Flynn says bin Laden was giving direction to “members of the wider al Qaeda leadership team, if you will, that went all the way to places like West Africa where we see a problem today with Boko Haram and [al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb], all the way back into the things that were going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Bin Laden advised them on everything from specific operations in Europe to the types of crops his minions should plant in East Africa.
To date, the public has seen only two dozen of the 1.5 million documents captured in Abbottabad. “It’s a thimble-full,” says Derek Harvey, a senior intelligence official who helped lead the DIA analysis of the bin Laden collection.
You want a national security scandal? You want documents? You want to know how to stop this?:
There is a real email scandal. It’s the hidden Osama bin Laden emails. Barack Obama hid and hides bin Laden’s communications and we still have not heard Big Media demand Obama explain why the emails and documents have been hidden.
Bob Menendez, after years of questions, find himself about to be indicted. He spoke out against Iran in the same way Hillary did when she threatened to “obliterate” Iran. Menendez will be lynched, not for his corruptions, but to save Iran. Hillary will be obliterated to save Iran.
In the bin Laden email/documents treasure trove the link between Iran and Al Quaeda and ISIS is exposed. The documents will remain hidden from the American public. Iranian Valerie Jarrett and Barack Obama smile – their email scanal is safe.
Lee Smith wonders: Who ordered the Code Red on Hillary, and why? Why, when we’ve known for two years that she used private e-mail thanks to the “Guccifer” hacking, was this the week that all of this suddenly blew up?
Or to put the question another way, why did Hillary Clinton become the Obama administration’s bête noire this very week, the same one during which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled all of the world’s focus onto the issue of the administration’s negotiations with Iran?
The answer is because the two are related: This week’s tarring of Hillary Clinton is part of the White House’s political campaign to shut off debate about its hoped-for deal. It’s not hard to see why they’re anxious. With Netanyahu’s speech forcing lawmakers and editorial writers to face up to the proposed agreement’s manifest problems, the administration fears the prospect of Democrats jumping ship and signing on to Kirk-Menendez sanctions legislation that also would give Congress oversight on the deal. So far, the White House has managed to keep Democratic lawmakers in line, no matter how much they seem to question the wisdom of the proposed deal. Hillary Clinton, gearing up for a 2016 run in which she is likely to put some distance between herself and Obama’s dubious Middle East policies, is the one major national Democratic figure who can give Democrats in Congress cover.
In other words, it was a nightmare week for Barack Obama. The only respite for Obama was a squirrel that captured the national attention.
Now maybe in this squirrelly matter we are influenced by the two Cate Blanchett period movies about Elizabeth I and the Golden Age. In the past few weeks we have watched these two movies repeatedly (aired by the Ovation channel). In one of the moves, after an assassination attempt on the queen her shrewd counselor Walsingham is asked “who did it?” Walsingham notes that for various reasons it could not have been France (Elizabeth was at the time pretending to consider a marriage proposal from the transvestite Duc D’Anjou) nor Spain (the ambassador was present at the assassination attempt). Walsingham’s suspicions are immediately drawn to the treacherous Duke of Norfolk. As to Hillary’s emails we will answer “who did it?” much like Walsingham.
Fact: Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail account when she was secretary of State was lawful. The law restricting such private accounts by public officials was changed in 2014.
Fact: The 2009 Archives Preservation Law was not violated. [snip]
Fact: Thousands of State Department officials and others received e-mails from Secretary Clinton during her tenure, and all knew that she was using a private e-mail address. This flat out contradicts all the baseless innuendo that she was attempting to hide her use of a private e-mail address.
Back to Walsingham. So who then “dunnit?” It wasn’t the Benghazi Select Committee. Who? Try the treacherous boob who stabs everyone in the back (Mary, Spain, Elizabeth, his wife) the Duke of Norfolk a.k.a. Barack Obama.
For weeks Barack Obama plotted ways to disrupt Netanyahu’s speech on March 3. Charles Krauthammer joins us today it calling Netanyahu’s speech “Churchillian”. But Krauthammer is no Walsingham:
Netanyahu’s Churchillian warning
Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Obama came up empty in his campaign to preemptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran negotiations.
On the contrary. The steady stream of slights and insults turned an irritant into an international event and vastly increased the speech’s audience and reach. Instead of dramatically unveiling an Iranian nuclear deal as a fait accompli, Obama must now first defend his Iranian diplomacy.
We agree with Krauthammer that the attacks on Netanyahu drew more attention to Netanyahu’s speech on March 3. Krauthammer misses with his assertion that “Obama came up empty in his campaign to preemptively undermine Netanyahu”.
Contra Krauthammer, as March 3 dawned, a squirrel captured the national attention. The New York Times on March 3 published a report on Hillary’s emails. Hillary bypassed government email systems and established her own server and email system at her home in Chappaqua, reported the Hillary hating left wing Times.
Netanyahu’s speech and ObamaCare should have dominated the national headlines without respite this past week. Instead Republicans/conservatives and Obama Dimocrats/leftists fixated on the squirrel to the detriment of what should have been to undisturbed topics of conversation – Netanyahu and ObamaCare.
Think we’re nuts talking about squirrels? Consider, the Republicans on the House Select Committee on Benghazi knew about Hillary’s email system since August 2014. August 2014! But someone released that squirrel on March 3 which disrupted news coverage of the Netanyahu speech and lessened coverage of the ObamaCare fiasco the very next day (not to mention the relevance of Israel v. Iran Purim on March 5, 2015). As soon as Netanyahu’s speech was over it was Hillary email squirrels on the headlines. As soon as the Supreme Court ObamaCare arguments were over it was back to Hillary email squirrels.
Representative Mike Pompeo evades Greta Van Susteren’s repeated questions about why the Benghazi committee knew since August 2014 about Hillary’s email system but never issued a subpoena. We’re not attacking the Benghazi Select Committee, we’ve supported the creation and the work of the Benghazi Select Committee. Our point Walshingham-like is the Benghazi Select Committee knew since August 2014 about the Hillary emails – so the Committee is not a likely suspect in the release of the Hillary email squirrel on March 3, 2015 which has removed Netanyahu and ObamaCare from the headlines.
Mark Levin believes that the recent leaks about Hillary’s private emails and email server are an inside job by the Democrats who either want to take her down a notch or want to take her out completely:
Bingo! “This is an inside job.”
Levin is misinformed when he says that Republicans did not know about Hillary’s emails and private server. Republicans knew but they did not have the MOTIVE.
For Republicans the smart move was to confront Hillary with their “bombshell” at a public hearing of the Benghazi Select Committee. Better timing for Republicans would be to drop this story the minute Hillary announces (if ever).
So who has the motive?
Sean Hannity, always ready to blame Bill or Hillary Clinton says this entire email release is a ploy by Bill and Hillary to get the bad news out early to bleed it dry of news value before Hillary announces. Sean is sure Hillary will run for president.
Hannity’s theory has some merit to it. In fact, it has a great deal of merit to it. If Hannity’s theory is correct then Hannity and Republicans and Conservatives and Hillary haters are dancing to Hillary’s tune and helping Hillary Clinton 2016. Indeed, if Hannity’s theory is correct Hillary should send free ReadyForHillary merchandise to every Republican, Conservative, and Hillary hater so fixated and focused and in love with the Hillary email story. It’s as if Hillary’s server is serving up the heads of her Mary Queen of Scots style detractors. Hannity’s theory is most definitely tasty.
But Hannity’s tasty theory is not very nutritious. For one thing, if true, Hillary could have waited until she had a full complement of campaign workers hired and ready for her announcement – prepared to fight back against the email story she according to Hannity released herself
Also, if Hannity is correct Hillary undertook a risk that without a response team ready the story might then acquire “legs” and keep going for months and months. Bottom line is that Hannity’s theory does not hold up. So Walsingham goes back the Mark Levin theory.
Going into the campaign season, President Johnson was the heavy favorite (as Clinton is now) but many on the left were urging Robert Kennedy to run (as they are now urging Warren to do).
Kennedy lacked the guts to challenge LBJ, but Eugene McCarthy was up for the fight. Though McCarthy didn’t defeat Johnson in the New Hampshire primary, he did well enough to cause Kennedy to enter the race. Soon thereafter, Johnson announced that he would neither seek nor accept his party’s nomination.
I would expect Warren to follow Kenney’s example and enter the race if Clinton were to withdraw or falter in 2016. Warren’s challenge will resemble Kennedy’s in terms of ideology, though she will be nothing like the campaign trail dynamo Kennedy was in 1968.
With Johnson out of the race and with two left-wing antiwar candidates fighting for the nomination, Vice President Hubert Humphrey announced his candidacy and attempted to rally the party establishment around him. Would Joe Biden do the same in 2016? I believe he would.
Bingo! Bingo! Bingo! All that is needed now is a willing dupe to set the stage like Eugene McCarthy for the Massachusetts Mohican, the Bay State Squaw – Speaking Bull. How?
With all the coverage of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, another bit of political news has been largely overlooked. At a press conference in Baltimore on Tuesday, Martin O’Malley, the former Democratic governor of Maryland, said that he won’t seek the U.S. Senate seat that Barbara Mikulski, Maryland’s five-term Democratic senator, has announced she will vacate in 2016. Rather than entering a Senate race in which he would immediately be the favorite, O’Malley appears set to go all-in and challenge Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Officially, O’Malley is still merely considering a bid. But his travel schedule suggests otherwise. Last weekend, he was in South Carolina; this weekend he’s headed to New Hampshire. He has also scheduled trips to Iowa this month and next.
In 2013, The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza posed a question: “If not Hillary Clinton in 2016, then who?”
For the once great Democratic Party that has been taken over by Obama (we now refer to it as the Obama Dimocrat Cult) there really is only one candidate. Only one candidate that can win. Blue collar, well known, not afraid to tell the truth to a nation hungry for truth, if not Hillary then there is only one candidate that can run and win. Warren can’t win. O’Malley can’t win. Webb can’t win, Schweitzer can’t win, Cuomo (baring prosecution in the Silver scandal so he can even run for president) can’t win, Gilibrand can’t win, the Castro brothers (not Raul and Fidel) can’t win, Michelle can’t win. If Hillary doesn’t run and says “screw you” to Obama Dimocrats, there is only one candidate that can get the nomination and win the general election.
So where does this all leave us? Let’s summarize:
(1) We think as is typical for Republicans when it comes to Hillary and Bill, they are overplaying their hand. An email “scandal” is not going to hurt Hillary in any meaningful way (meaningful meaning keep her from the Oval Office as President).
(2) We do think it is smart for Republicans/conservatives to continue to dig for information against Hillary especially through the Benghazi Select Committee. But let the facts speak for themselves without spin or hyperbole because history should inform everyone that when Republicans go up against the Clintons, Republicans lose and Clintons win.
(3) Elements in the left who want Elizabeth Warren to run but who know she won’t run as long as she is sure Hillary will win intend to pave the path for her. The left wants a stalking horse to weaken Hillary (think Johnson in 1968 or stalking horse for Bill Clinton Tom Harkin in 1992). The left wants Warren.
(4) The left sprung the leak. Someone got spooked when it was announced that Hillary would announce in April. They needed to move fast.
(5) Barack Obama hates Hillary and wants Warren. Obama unleashed Axelrod but Axelrod alone or with other Obama goons won’t get the job done. Obama pulled the trigger on Hillary this week to big foot Netanyahu.
(6) Everyone politically inclined who is not Hillary loves this “scandal”. We like it because we think it will teach a lesson we’ve been trying to teach Hillary. The left loves this “scandal” because the left wants to destroy Hillary (they would rather rule in Hell with Warren than serve in Heaven with Hillary). The right loves this “scandal” because they think it will either destroy Hillary or weaken her. Big Media loves this “scandal” because they hate Hillary and Bill and because it provides something to get attention and readers/viewers. The public that is not politically inclined, does not care.
(7) Why did Hillary set up a private server and private email service for herself? It wasn’t to keep documents from the government. Hillary knew eventually she would have to produce all her emails. Hillary set up her private system to keep Obama’s nose out of her business.
(8) This is a great “scandal”. This might be what Hillary needs to wake up. Hillary has to realize that her enemies are in the left.
(9) How should Hillary respond to the attacks on her?
Update IV: Tomorrow is a big day at the Supreme Court for ObamaCare. The Justices will sit down for private deliberations on the latest ObamaCare case. It was no surprise therefore, that advocates on both sides of the issue took their arguments pro and con public today for one last thrust at the nine Justices. Most of the propaganda/discussion is about Justice Kennedy and his words/intentions (we speculated about that in an update below).
Yesterday, ObamaCare defenders tried to convince themselves that Justice Kennedy was on their side. Ruth Marcus today tries to keep the drum rolling but is forced to admit that maybe (as we argued) things are not as clear as ObamaCare shills HOPE:
Kennedy’s concern involved whether prohibiting subsidies on federal exchanges would be unfair — not to citizens denied subsidies, mind you, but to states themselves. States, Kennedy noted, would be put to the coercive choice of either setting up their own exchanges or being stuck with the ensuing disaster.
“From the standpoint of the dynamics of Federalism, it does seem to me that there is something very powerful to the point that if your argument is accepted, the States are being told either create your own Exchange, or we’ll send your insurance market into a death spiral,” Kennedy told Michael Carvin, the lawyer representing four individuals challenging the federal subsidies. “It seems to me that under your argument, perhaps you will prevail in the plain words of the statute, there’s a serious constitutional problem if we accept your argument.”
Kennedy’s point has contradictory implications, one tilting in favor of those challenging the subsidies, one in the government’s direction. On the pro-challenger side, he could find that (a) the law clearly does not provide for federal subsidies and (b) is unconstitutional because it effectively forces states to establish their own exchanges.
That’s what we wrote in our of our updates. Justice Kennedy is actually making another argument for why ObamaCare is UNCONSTITUTIONAL not merely statutorily defective. Kennedy thought the law was UNCONSTITUTIONAL in ObamaCare case #1 and to us it appears clear he still thinks it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
Alito added that, if Congress didn’t want to limit the subsidies to the residents of states that had set up their own exchanges, it could have used more precise language to do so – as it did, for example, in making clear that the District of Columbia (which is not a state) nonetheless qualifies as a “state” for purposes of the ACA.
Justice Kennedy’s concerns about states’ rights resurfaced again during Verrilli’s argument, but this time pointing in the other direction. Responding to Verrilli’s contention that it would not have made any sense for the ACA to include a provision for the federal government to set up exchanges if Congress envisioned that the states would all do so, Kennedy suggested that the fall-back option might have been added so that the states could “show that they had concerns about the wisdom and workability of the [ACA] in the form that it was passed.” Later on, Kennedy also challenged other aspects of the government’s reading of the statute – for example, he cited the Court’s earlier cases to make the point that, if the IRS is going to allow “billions of dollars” of tax deductions for the subsidies, “it has to be very, very clear.”
The problem, at least for the five conservative justices, is that the next case before it really might be the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act, and if they find for the government here, that next case will be evaluated in the shadow of a decision holding that “oil” can mean “butter,” and that “whipped with a blender” can mean “whipped by hand” (notwithstanding a statutory definition in the latter instance). They are just going to be incredibly reluctant to do so, as that would undermine an awful lot of precedent on statutory interpretation that conservatives have worked hard to erect.
The third option open to Kennedy is the trickiest. What if he decides that “established by a State” isn’t unclear, that the plaintiffs are obviously right that “State” means the states only, not the federal government — but that, per the federalism/coercion reasoning of those 1990s cases, that means the statute is … unconstitutional? What happens to the statute then? Is the entire subsidies scheme, not just for federal customers but for state customers, now illegal? That would be an even bigger disaster for the White House than they’re expecting.
Update II: More information is in and it appears that our view in our first update is gaining support from the new reports of what happened/is happening today at the Supreme Court:
Chief Justice John Roberts said almost nothing in nearly 90 minutes of back-and-forth, and Justice Anthony Kennedy’s questions did not make clear how he will come out. Roberts was the decisive vote to uphold the law in 2012. [snip]
“It may not be the statute Congress intended, but it may be the statute Congress wrote,” Scalia said of the provision in question. [snip]
Kennedy voted to strike down the health law in 2012, but on Wednesday he asked questions of both sides that made it hard to tell where he might come out this time.
He suggested that challenger Carvin’s argument raised a “serious” constitutional problem affecting the relationship between states and the federal government.
On the other hand, he seemed less than convinced by Verrilli’s reading of the law to allow the subsidies nationwide.
Justice Kennedy knows ObamaCare sucks and is unconstitutional. Any Obama and/or ObamaCare supporter who takes any solace in what Kennedy asked (see our first update) should also consider the consequences of his state/federal arguments and what that could mean when the immigration case from Texas crawls up the ladder.
Update: The tea-leaf reading has already begun and most of it is uninformed. First, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg tried to demolish the case with a fierce attack on the standing of the plaintiffs. She failed.
But the most controversy, or rather pearl clutching, thus far regards a question and argument Justice Kennedy advanced. Ann Althouse is clutching pearls and declaring all is lost and that Kennedy will vote with the government. Wisely, she advises herself to read the entire transcript once it is released before jumping to pearl clutching. The smart Powerline is discouraged too. All of this pearl clutching jumps to conclusion are based on an early mid-argument report from an ObamaCare supporter at the usually good SCOTUSblog. This is the much too early assessment, via Powerline:
Eric Citron at Scotusblog provides a mid-argument report on King v. Burwell, the vital Obamacare case being heard by the Supreme Court today. According to Citron, the petitioners, who argue that subsidies are not available on the federal exchange faced a troubling question from Justice Kennedy, on whose vote the case may very well turn.
Kennedy, says Citron, “expressed deep concern with a system where the statute would potentially destroy the insurance system in states that chose not to establish their own exchanges – likening this to an unconstitutional form of federal coercion.” Recall that part of the argument in favor of the view that subsidies aren’t available on the federal exchange is the idea that Congress set up Obamacare this way to induce states to establish their own exchanges. This is what Jonathan Gruber famously said.
If I understand the import of Kennedy’s questioning, he’s concerned that such a scheme might be unconstitutional. If so, then he might strain to construe the statute as not “coercing” the states to establish exchanges, and therefore not withholding subsidies to residents of states that opt not to have exchanges.
Let’s see, though, how the questioning of the government’s lawyer goes.
UPDATE: The argument that petitioners lack standing to challenge the statute has not gone well. Of note, Justice Sotomayor seemed to reject. This might mean she wants to the Court to rule on the merits because she’s confident now the government will win.
This is all very pearl clutching worthy. Except that Justice Ginsberg fought tooth and nail to get to the “standing” question. More importantly however, this Kennedy argument can be turned upside down and inside out. What does it mean? The conclusion jumping is based on ObamaCare supporter Eric Citron’s initial report. But Citron has another update to his reports which appear to advise pearl clutchers to put down the pearls:
Until we hear how Justice Kennedy questioned the government, the most important news from the morning’s argument is clearly his focus on the potential consequences for states that choose not to establish their own exchanges under the petitioners’ reading of the statute – that is, that citizens of those states would receive no subsidy and no resulting mandate tax penalty. Trained constitutional lawyers will find it noteworthy that his focus here is on the consequence for states as such, and not for their citizens; Kennedy’s concern is about the federal/state balance and his distrust of a reading that puts a gun to the head of states that fail to set up their own exchanges – threatening them with the almost certain destruction of their statewide insurance systems if they do not comply. That concern might be interpreted (as a matter of legal theory) in a few different ways:
That last sentence is the key. This can be interpreted (until we hear how the rest of the argument goes or we read the transcripts or hear the audio to be released on Friday) in several ways:
Justice Kennedy might believe that Congress would not have intended to set up such a dubious system; he might believe that this reading is required but actually unconstitutional (so that he would strike down the statute’s condition that subsidies apply only to exchanges established by the state); or – perhaps most likely – he might believe that the statute should be interpreted so as to avoid the “serious constitutional problem” he identified. [snip]
He seemed to realize that state legislators would be in an impossible position under that reading – more or less forced to “adopt” or “endorse” the ACA system in order to avoid unmanageable consequences in their states. His plausible conclusion was that Congress either did not intend to put them to that choice, or that the statute shouldn’t be read to have done so, because that’s not typically how our constitutional system works. Instead, the federal government makes and administers federal laws without forcing the states to do some of the work for them. Kennedy seemed to be thinking that this provision should be read more like the typical case, and rather unlike the kind of unusual provision the petitioners suggested.
We have an alternate view which fits all the facts: Justice Kennedy thinks the whole ObamaCare systems sucks. The attempt by the government to force states to establish ObamaCare exchanges sucks (and is unconstitutional as he voted in the first ObamaCare case). Justice Kennedy appears to think that whether Congress intended or did not intend to screw the states the bottom line is the ObamaCare law screws the states and the law sucks.
Bottom line: Justice Kennedy wants to take the gun out of the hands of the federal government. How he will come up with a plan to do so might be the same way he decided in the first ObamaCare case: Dump ObamaCare root, trunk, and branch.
As with the first legal challenge to ObamaCare this second attack was initially mocked by Obama and ObamaCare supporters. No longer. The main line of defense for ObamaCare defenders in this case is designed around the reality that this case, like the first case, could thoroughly gut ObamaCare (and Obama) like a sharp knife slicing rotted fish bloated in the sun.
If the challengers win and ObamaCare is implemented as written then the overwhelming majority of ObamaCare registrants would no longer get subsidies for their coverage and they would have to pay the huge bills and the ObamaCare contraption would fall apart. It would be like prisoners in an expensive jail who have to pay for their own long-term incarceration. At some point the prisoners just want to be set free. And some prisoners already want to be set free:
Dear @CoveredCA – you’ve turned a staunch supporter of #Obamacare into an opponent. Id rather die broke than have to go thru your exchange. [snip]
[A]s of today I’ve stopped making excuses for you and this system. It’s time to get your shit together. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have foregone insurance and taken the tax penalty. In fact, I’d rather be dead and broke than have to participate in Covered California’s health care exchange. [snip]
It saddens me to say this, but I no longer believe that the government should mandate health care. It’s not because I’ve abandoned the basic principles behind health care reform. Quite the contrary. But a great idea, is just an idea, if you can’t execute. And the government has proven time and time again, it can’t execute.
The problems that dupe encountered are in a sense the genesis of the ObamaCare case in the Supreme Court today. It’s not so much that the Obama government was totally incompetent (which it was extraordinarily so). The real problem is that the law as written and as intended to be written was and is a complete and total mess that can never work.
That the ObamaCare law is a total mess that can never work is what is at play here. Let’s repeat that: THE OBAMACARE LAW IS A TOTAL MESS THAT CAN NEVER WORK is what is at play here.
The ObamaCare law as intended and as written was a total mess. What happened then is that Obama elves tried to make the mess work. The contortions Obama elves put themselves through to get the ObamaCare mess to work got many of them in trouble.
The big contortion of the elves was to essentially try to rewrite the law at the morgue of compassion and logic – the IRS. The elves discovered the ObamaCare screws were not an incline plane wrapped helically around an axis but rather large square “screws” attempting to fit tiny triangular “nuts”. The contraption was designed so badly that it would not work no matter what they did so they continued to change and rebuild until little recognizable was left of the original design.
What did these elves do? They decided to ignore the law’s restriction that subsidies only be provided to those in states that established an ObamaCare exchange, and instead, of their own accord, give subsidies regardless of whether or not, as required by the law, the individual states had established an ObamaCare exchange.
The reason the law was written with such a foolish restriction was that without such a foolish restriction (1) there would not have been enough votes to pass ObamaCare in the Senate; and (2) the “penalty” of not having subsides would force the individual states to establish ObamaCare exchanges. Here’s one of the ObamaCare elves explaining further:
Most observers of the legal battle over Obamacare’s subsidies are now familiar with the two clips (one video and one audio) in which economist Jonathan Gruber takes the plaintiff’s side, saying only states which set up an exchange will receive subsidies. But a third example of Gruber saying much the same thing has, so far, received very little attention. [snip]
Here is what Gruber said in a March 2013 interview with Employee Benefit Adviser magazine:
I think the piece that isn’t going so well is the next step with states. A number of states have done a great job and are getting ready to go for 2014. But a lot of states are uncertain and there are other states that are, unfortunately, playing a terrible political game at the cost of their state residents in not developing exchanges.
Through a political compromise, the decision was made that states should play a critical role in running these health insurance exchanges. And the health insurance exchanges are the centerpiece of this reform, because they are the place that individuals can go to shop for their new, securely priced health insurance. But if they’re not set up in a way which is transparent, and which is convenient for shoppers, and which allows people to take their tax credits, and use them to effectively buy health insurance, it will undercut the whole purpose of the bill. Now a number of states have expressed no instance in doing so. [snip]
It’s been a leader in setting up its exchange. It’s a great example. But California is rare. Only about 10 states have moved forward aggressively in setting up their exchanges. A number of states have even turned down millions of dollars in federal government grants as a statement of some sort, that they don’t support health reform.
I guess I’m enough of a believer in democracy to think that—when the voters in states see that by not setting up an exchange, the politicians of the state are costing state residents hundreds and millions and billions of dollars—that they’ll eventually throw the guys out, but I don’t know that for sure. And that is really the ultimate threat is will people understand that, gee, if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens. So that’s the other threat is will states do what they need to to set it up.
That “enough of a believer in democracy” thought he could impose his will on the citizenry by diktat. Obama’s Elf Gruber thought that California was “a leader” in the ObamaCare dream but that woman we quoted from earlier appears to disagree. It was a bad law badly written and now the diseased chickens are coming home to roost.
ObamaCare elves of course deride and attack those that are so brutal “they don’t support health reform”. But what is “health reform” to some is the disease to others. That’s another big part of the defense at the Supreme Court today:
Even if the text of the law is not perfectly crystal clear, the Obama administration plans to argue, the federal agencies should receive deference to sort out details and ambiguities. [snip]
However, opponents of the law say it would be a mistake to let an agency decide to offer tax credits, which affect tax refunds and equate to direct payments out of the U.S. Treasury.
“Decisions of a certain magnitude are not the sort of thing that Congress would delegate to an agency,” Adler said. “It would really be quite something to conclude that Congress had delegated the decision whether to offer tax credits to the IRS.”
It’s not just “tax credits” though. If the ObamaCare subsidies are permitted everywhere regardless of what the law as written says then everyone in every state must comply with the dictates of the law even if effects them adversely. This means that, as the challengers claim, because of the perversity of the IRS interpretation of the law they too will be forced to participate in ObamaCare.
But Congress does not have the power to make the states set up exchanges, so the ACA also instructs the federal government to step in and set one up if a state declines to do so – as thirty-four states eventually did. The exchanges are where the subsidies come in: the ACA provides that you only get the subsidies if you buy your health insurance through an exchange. The federal government reads the ACA to allow subsidies whenever someone buys health insurance on any exchange, whether it’s set up by the federal government or a state.
The challengers in King disagree. They point to the fact that in announcing the formula used to calculate the amount of the subsidies, the Act refers to “an Exchange established by the State.” So, they contend, the subsidies are not available to people who purchase their health insurance through an exchange operated by the federal government.
In 2014, over five million people bought health insurance on exchanges created by the federal government. One of those people was David King, a sixty-four-year-old Vietnam veteran who lives in Virginia and works as a limo driver. Based on his annual income of $39,000, King can purchase a health insurance plan with a monthly premium of $648 for just $275; the other $373 is covered by a subsidy. But King doesn’t want that subsidy. In fact, he doesn’t want to have to buy health insurance at all. And without the subsidy, he wouldn’t have to, because the health insurance would cost him enough that he would qualify for an exemption from the individual mandate.
King and three other Virginia residents filed a lawsuit challenging the government’s interpretation of the ACA as allowing subsidies for anyone who purchases health insurance on an exchange. The lower federal courts rejected their argument, but in November the Justices agreed to weigh in.
In their briefs at the Supreme Court, the challengers say that their argument is so simple that anyone who speaks English can understand it. The text of the ACA directs states to create an exchange. If they don’t, the federal government steps in and creates one itself. But Congress made clear that subsidies are only available for coverage that is “enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State” – and the federal government is not a state. If Congress had wanted subsidies to be available no matter who sets up the exchange, it could have said so, and it certainly wouldn’t have specifically indicated that subsidies would be available only for coverage obtained through exchanges “established by the State.” And reading the ACA to make subsidies available only for insurance purchased through state exchanges, they add, is consistent with what Congress intended because it gives states a strong incentive to create the exchanges in the first place.
When Missouri citizens “specifically voted not to set up a state exchange” there was “public awareness” that therefore the citizens of Missouri would not receive subsidies. The initiative still passed. Somehow ObamaCare defenders today at the Supreme Court will try to argue otherwise.
The arguments at the Supreme Court will conclude this afternoon and we will have updates as to what happened.
The Netanyahu speech at 10:45 a.m. ET (it will probably start closer to 11:00) can be viewed here:
Jeffrey Goldberg has attacked the Netanyahu speech too and is not happy it is being delivered at all. Still Goldberg has some comments to be taken seriously:
I’m fairly sure Netanyahu will deliver a powerful speech, in part because he is eloquent in English and forceful in presentation. But there is another reason this speech may be strong: Netanyahu has a credible case to make. Any nuclear agreement that allows Iran to maintain a native uranium-enrichment capability is a dicey proposition; in fact, any agreement at all with an empire-building, Assad-sponsoring, Yemen-conquering, Israel-loathing, theocratic terror regime is a dicey proposition.
The deal that seems to be taking shape right now does not fill me—or many others who support a diplomatic solution to this crisis—with confidence. Reports suggest that the prospective agreement will legitimate Iran’s right to enrich uranium (a “right” that doesn’t actually exist in international law); it will allow Iran to maintain many thousands of operating centrifuges; and it will lapse after 10 or 15 years, at which point Iran would theoretically be free to go nuclear. (The matter of the sunset clause worries me, but I’m more worried that the Iranians will find a way to cheat their way out of the agreement even before the sun is scheduled to set.)
This is a very dangerous moment for Obama and for the world. He has made many promises, and if he fails to keep them—if he inadvertently (or, God forbid, advertently) sets Iran on the path to the nuclear threshold, he will be forever remembered as the president who sparked a nuclear-arms race in the world’s most volatile region, and for breaking a decades-old promise to Israel that the United States would defend its existence and viability as the nation-state of the Jewish people. [snip]
On Israel, here’s the promise Obama made that stays with me the most: “I think that the Israeli government recognizes that, as president of the United States, I don’t bluff,” he said. “I also don’t, as a matter of sound policy, go around advertising exactly what our intentions are. But I think both the Iranian and the Israeli government recognize that when the United States says it is unacceptable for Iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say.” He went on to say four words that have since become famous: “We’ve got Israel’s back.”
Netanyahu obviously believes that Obama doesn’t have his, or Israel’s, back. There will be no convincing Netanyahu that Obama is anything but a dangerous adversary. But if a consensus forms in high-level Israeli security circles (where there is a minimum of Obama-related hysterics) that the president has agreed to a weak deal, one that provides a glide path for Iran toward the nuclear threshold, then we will be able to say, fairly, that Obama’s promises to Israel were not kept. One of Netanyahu’s most strident critics, Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad intelligence agency, said recently, “A nuclear Iran is a reality that Israel won’t be able to come to terms with.”
He went on to say, “Two issues in particular concern me with respect to the talks between the world powers and Iran: What happens if and when the Iranians violate the agreement, and what happens when the period of the agreement comes to an end and they decide to pursue nuclear weapons?”
History questions: How could this have happened? How could they have been so stupid? How could they have been so blind? How could they not see what was so very obvious? How could they have stood by and not taken action?
When we look to the past we have many questions such as those above. Sometimes we can understand the confusion of policy makers at the time or we realize that the issues were complicated and the best answers not easy to arrive at. But sometimes the truth is obvious and the answer so glaringly there to see that our questions amount to “How could they not have seen? How could they not done what was necessary?”
As an example, Adolf Hitler broke the Versailles Treaty on purpose when he ordered the occupation of the Rhineland. Hitler knew his was a monumental gamble and that if so much as a handgun was raised in opposition to his provocation his reign was over. “If France had then marched into the Rhineland, we would have had to withdraw with our tails between our legs” he wrote after the episode he further described as “the most nerve-racking 48 hours of his life.” Hitler won his gamble.
What happened? Britain and France were war weary after the lost lives and calamities of the Great War we now know as World War I. The ongoing world-wide Great Depression further sapped the strength and will of these nations. Both countries were lost in a dream of peace and appeasement, and a politics of denial and pacifism. One voice did not engage in denial of reality:
Among the public men of influence, only Churchill recognized the profound peril to the world that the Nazis and Fascists represented. He spoke out in Parliament, on the radio, in his newspaper columns, anywhere and everywhere, demanding the government wake up and prepare. [snip]
The men who were, the prime ministers and party leaders, not only disagreed with Churchill but considered him a loose cannon and an annoyance. [snip]
In 1934, in scenes reminiscent of the best spy dramas, Churchill held clandestine meetings at Chartwell, where he was briefed on the actual situation in Germany by the government and military men in his network, men in positions low enough to be without policy-making influence but high enough to know the true facts and statistics being developed (and be in despair at the lack of response from the government). With this information, Churchill shocked Parliament by revealing the true figures of German military production, figures many colleagues refused to believe. [snip]
On March 7, 1936, Hitler invaded the demilitarized Rhineland, which action conflicted with and basically tore up the Versailles Treaty that ended World War I. Hitler chose that date knowing that Ministers of Parliament would be unavailable on that day; the British ruling class was accustomed “to take its weekends in the country,” criticized Churchill, while “Hitler takes his countries in the weekends.” Churchill understood the meaning of this invasion, saying “An enormous triumph has been gained by the Nazi regime,” and stating “The German Army is a dagger pointed at the heart of France.” But many in Britain saw this as Hitler simply getting his own.
Like Obama at the golf course as Americans are beheaded British leadership at the time did not want to listen to the voices which counseled urgent action. To Obama events in the Middle East and attacks against Israel are Arabs/Muslims ‘getting their own.” That is why to Obama who once aspired to be the “Arab’s lawyer” against Israel – it is Netanyahu who is the warmonger. In the 1930s Neville Chamberlain claimed “The real danger to this country is Winston. He is the warmonger, not Hitler.”
Winston Churchill in the political wilderness was not deceived nor beaten down by reality. Churchill said what needed to be said as the darkness gathered:
“All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness…We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude which has befallen Great Britain and France. Do not let us blind ourselves to that…I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost…the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war…And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” [snip]
“Chamberlain had the choice between war and shame. Now he has chosen shame – he’ll get war later.”
Like Churchill, the Prime Minister of Israel has some harsh realities to convey to the American Congress. In this Netanyahu is aided by the vivid brutalities of those that want to destroy Israel.
Isis militants have reportedly ransacked Mosul library, burning over a hundred thousand rare manuscripts and documents spanning centuries of human learning.
Initial reports said approximately 8,000 books were destroyed by the extremist group.
However, AL RAI’s chief international correspondent Elijah J. Magnier told The Independent that a Mosul library official believes as many as 112,709 manuscripts and books, some of which were registered on a UNESCO rarities list, are among those lost.
Mosul Public Library’s director Ghanim al-Ta’an said Isis militants then demolished the building using explosive devices.
The militants shoved [ancient Assyrian] stone statues off their plinths, shattering them on the floor, and one man applied an electric drill to a large winged bull. The video showed a large exhibition room strewn with dismembered statues, and Islamic songs played in the background.
Lamia al-Gailani, an Iraqi archaeologist and associate fellow at the London-based Institute of Archaeology, said the militants had wreaked untold damage. “It’s not only Iraq’s heritage: it’s the whole world’s,” she said.
“They are priceless, unique. It’s unbelievable. I don’t want to be Iraqi any more,” she said, comparing the episode to the dynamiting of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Afghan Taliban in 2001.
These are monsters that hate Israel and want to destroy the heritage and the institutions of the West.
A British man who went to fight with the Kurds against Islamic State has claimed the terror group fed a desperate mother a meal of meat and rice before revealing she had eaten her own son. Yasir Abdulla, 36, from Yorkshire said that the woman had appealed to IS to release her son when they tricked her.
Adbulla told The Sun the woman was offered a seat at IS headquarters, then given a drink along with cooked meat and rice. At first she thought they were being generous, but when she finished the meal they revealed the cooked meat was the flesh of her son, whom they had murdered earlier.
These animals seek to destroy Israel and all Western civilization. They will then rule.
Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said on Saturday that “scaremongering” by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t stop the Islamic Republic and world powers from reaching a final nuclear deal.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the world should not allow the hard-line Israeli leader to undermine peace. He was referring to Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress next week on the emerging nuclear deal that he considers dangerous.
“Through scaremongering, falsification, propaganda and creating a false atmosphere even inside other countries, [Israel] is attempting to prevent peace,” Zarif told reporters during a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni. “I believe that these attempts are in vain and should not impede reaching a [nuclear] agreement.”
Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the US Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the US and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear capabilities, the White House said on Saturday.
“The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran. If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council.
President Barack Obama’s relations with the Israeli government have hit a new low, but the tensions on display this week between him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be reviving another presidential project: Obama’s quest to improve America’s image in the Arab and Muslim world. [snip]
Now, Obama’s return to the question of Israel’s continuing construction in East Jerusalem has signaled an acceptance of some Arab criticism of Israel. At the same time, Obama’s willingness to cross swords with the Israelis comes at a domestic political cost: The pro-Israel group AIPAC released a letter Friday with the signatures of three-quarters of the members of the House, pressing the administration to retreat from public confrontation. [snip]
Obama’s new focus, and the intense pressure his administration has placed on Netanyahu, have stirred deep concern among Israel’s allies on Capitol Hill, they say, because it represents an acceptance of the Arab narrative that Israeli intransigence lies at the heart of the Middle East conflict. And some observers see it in the context of a subtle, but major, shift in American strategy toward resolving it. [snip]
The new model drawing attention from Democratic foreign policy hands, he said, is to build support among Arab leaders for a U.S. plan and then present that to Israel — to serve as the Arabs’ lawyer, rather than as Israel’s, in one formulation used to describe the effort in the region.
That is what Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is up against. Obama sees his role as one that is “to serve as the Arabs’ lawyer” and prosecute Israel.
Showing a graphic he said depicted Iran’s training, arming and dispatching of terrorists on five continents, Netanyahu said Iranians’ “tentacles of terror” reached across the world.
“This is what Iran is doing now – without nuclear weapons. Imagine what Iran would do with nuclear weapons. And this same Iran vows to annihilate Israel. If it develops nuclear weapons, it would have the means to achieve that goal,” he said. “And as prime minister of Israel, I have a moral obligation to speak up in the face of these dangers while there is still time to avert them.”
When Netanyahu walks to the podium of the House of Representatives on March 3, he’ll undoubtedly have in mind an earlier speech given by a foreign leader to a joint meeting of Congress. On December 26, 1941, Winston Churchill addressed Congress, though in the smaller Senate Chamber rather than in the House, as so many members were out of town for Christmas break.
Churchill enjoyed the great advantage in December 1941 of having an American president who, after Pearl Harbor, was a clear and unambiguous ally in the war for the West. Netanyahu has no such advantage. So it might be hard for him to say, as Churchill did, that here in Washington he had “found an Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only the mask of an inflexible purpose and the proof of a sure, well-grounded confidence in the final outcome.”
But Netanyahu won’t be speaking only to the Obama administration, which has, after all, made clear its lack of interest in listening to Netanyahu and whose allies won’t be there to listen. He’ll be speaking to the American people.
Netanyahu’s speech to the American Congress will will be the same speech Winston Churchill repeatedly gave to Great Britain in those years before the Second World War. Netanyahu will quote Churchill and say “There is a great danger in refusing to believe things you do not like.”
On Tuesday, March 3, at 10:45 a.m. Netanyahu will tell the American Congress and the American People many things we will not like. What Netanyahu will say is things we need to hear.