Tag Archives: Department of Justice

Contempt of Congress by Any Other Name

Initially I was going to start with the line, “It is stunning to think,” but then I remembered I was opining about the Obama Administration, of which I have come to expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to nefarious doings meant to advance his agenda. To be certain, all of the actions (and inactions) taken (and not taken) by this administration – without exception – have been executed to advance his ideological agenda, chief among them the handling of the IRS’s targeting of the administration’s political adversaries.

TheHill.com reports that Ronald Machen, the US attorney for the District of Columbia –an Obama appointee – has not acted on a Contempt of Congress charge for former IRS official Lois Lerner even though the contempt citation has been in his hands since May of 2014. Manchen is set to step down next month.

Search the mainstream media headlines and you find this item far down the list if, in fact, you find it at all. Yet the issue is no less important than that of the Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteed rights themselves; to both “peaceably assemble” and to “petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

There is now no defense, nor believable denial in ignorance, for the illegal actions taken by the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service under Lois Lerner. The facts present as undeniable. Under her direction, applications for organizations with political ideologies antithetical to those of the Obama Administration were treated as politically adversarial, receiving excessive scrutiny and myriad unreasonable demands for discovery; treatment not experienced by organizations whose ideologies were symbiotic with the administration’s. Succinctly, Ms. Lerner executed a political attack on a large faction of the American people for their support of a political ideology anathema to that of the President’s.

Ironically, Ms. Lerner’s claim to have learned of the illegal targeting through the news media failed to afford her the popular cover that has served President Obama well through several sensitive issues; cover that is now beginning to expose the disingenuousness of the claim, much to his chagrin. Ms. Lerner’s refusal to cooperate with the House Oversight Committee in its examination of these events – including her intentional denial of the existence of emails pertaining to her actions – rightfully garnered a Contempt of Congress charge.

But what is the worth of a Contempt of Congress charge if the authority tasked with bringing the weight of that charge to bear abdicates the responsibility of doing so? What punishment is there for transgression in a simple designation?

Citizens in the United States have been guaranteed the right to redress government; to be openly critical of the government’s policies and actions. Further, these defined rights allow them to openly oppose any and all elected officials, regardless of station, in an effort to affect change in political offices under which the people are represented.

So, too, are citizens guaranteed the right to peaceably assemble for political purposes; to create groups and organizations – especially under the banner of educating the public – that enjoy all the rights and privileges afforded under the law, including tax-exempt status, should the qualifying criteria exist.

Ms. Lerner’s action usurped these guaranteed rights, and her refusal to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee not only aggravated that usurpation, but proved – beyond reasonable doubt – that she holds the value of her politics above the rights of the People, and above the guaranteed Rights in our Constitution. Yet, when tasked with executing a Grand Jury referral mandated by a Contempt of Congress charge, Mr. Machen saw fit to prioritize the routine prosecution of dozens of district court financial fraud and local public corruption cases, as if to intentionally ignore the contempt citation. This leads to this question. If the police officer is corrupt – or intentionally abdicates his sworn duty, who do the innocent turn to for justice?

Article II, Section 1, of the House Judiciary Committee’s Articles of Impeachment against Pres. Richard M. Nixon (R) states:

“He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to…cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

If the use of the IRS to target political enemies was enough to bring about impeachment charges that would eventually see the first resignation of a sitting President, how does the exact same criminal act not warrant – at the very least – a referral to a Grand Jury for examination?

The Obama Administration claims the mantle of the most transparent in the history of the United States. In the non-execution of the Contempt of Congress charge against Lois Lerner they are transparent in their tyranny against the American people. Case closed…with prejudice.

Holder’s DOJ Says, “You’re Grounded!”

This week, a prospective merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways stalled, when the United States Department of Justice and six states’ attorneys general filed an antitrust lawsuit. If the merger succeeds, it would create the largest air carrier in the world. The DOJ cited numerous concerns over the effects that a newly merged airline company would mean for consumers.

Bill Baer, assistant-attorney general of  the DOJ’s antitrust division says he worries about the new company’s ability to change airfares unilaterally and sufficiently enough, that it would create price hikes across the industry. Through the company’s pricing power, industry standing, and numbers of slots at airports, the government contends the company would: wipe out special pricing programs and incentives, raise fares, reduce competition, and provide reduced services. The merger, which would leave three legacy carriers, would allow them to raise prices, because non-stop services would be eliminated, in lieu of connecting services.

In a refreshing change, it seems the DOJ is suddenly oriented toward thrift, and consumer protections. It is the government you have always wanted – they are looking out for you. It sounds great, right?

If this were not the same DOJ who turned a blind eye at voter intimidation and whose leader balked at answering questions about investigations of reporters, you might be able to take them at their word. It is also the same DOJ who allowed numerous other airline mergers in the past few years as well, without much criticism. (The lawsuit also uses those past mergers as proof that the new airline would raise prices).

As much as the DOJ would like to paint itself as some sort of a guardian of consumers, it is hard to believe. The remarks on the lawsuit contains several assumptions and suspicions about the prospective airline’s plans. The DOJ also points out that the two companies say they can manage without the merger, that each company stated they would do well without it. That is fine and good, but if the companies think that they can do business better still, with a merger, who is the DOJ to insert themselves (arbitrarily, in this author’s eyes) into the proceedings?

It was a done deal before the government stepped into the midst of the merger. ABCNews, and the Buckingham Group, point out that the merger had a 99% chance of happening. After the DOJ and state lawsuits, that figure dropped to 40%. The article continues to point out that if the merger occurs, the resulting, remaining airline companies would consist of four top airlines, which would control 80% of the commercial air market.

What does all this show us? What is the take away? I see a couple:

One, it seems to be another case of this administration seeking to pick winners and losers. A Blaze article goes so far as to say that the DOJ filed their suit to squeeze more concessions from the companies – this, despite people like Congressman Spencer Bachus mentioning that the airlines’ employees and unions supported the deal.

Two, in its prepared remarks about the merger, the DOJ lays out, step-by-step, the ways in which the merger will affect consumers. In a perfect understanding of market forces, they mention mechanisms such as supply and demand, competitive advantages, and pricing power concerns. Now, with an understanding such as that, how hard is it to swallow what this administration’s done elsewhere, and in other cases, where it has hurt capitalism?

The merger hits a big bump.

The American Airlines/US Airways merger hits a big bump.

FBI requests hold on Zimmerman trial evidence including gun

Daquella manera (CC)

Daquella manera (CC)

While normally George Zimmerman could expect to have his weapon returned to him by authorities by the end of the month, that probably will not happen because the FBI has requested that Sanford, FL authorities maintain custody of all evidence from the trial. Earlier this week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stated at an NAACP rally that he would look into the possibility of a Federal Civil Rights case against Zimmerman.

Fox News reports:

The FBI has asked authorities in Sanford, Fla. to not give George Zimmerman back his gun after he was cleared of all charges in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a Department of Justice official tells Fox News.

The report may serve as further confirmation the Justice Department is taking seriously its investigation into whether or not to pursue a federal civil rights case against Zimmerman, after Attorney General Eric Holder said in an address Tuesday to the NAACP that his department would “consider all available information” before deciding whether to move forward.

DOJ officials may be able to consider testimonies or evidence that had not been presented at trial, because they have made an open request to the public for more information on Zimmerman, particularly anything that could indicate that his actions on the night Trayvon Martin died were racially motivated. Reportedly, some supporters of Zimmerman decided to send emails in response to this public request, suggesting that the DOJ drop the investigation, because it had already been shown in court that there apparently was no racial motivation.

As reported by the Daily Mail, David Letterman and Bill Maher weighed in on the case, and the idea of Zimmerman getting his weapon back:

Comedian and HBO host Bill Maher drew boos from audience members on Tuesday during a taping of The Late Show With David Letterman, by saying that ‘the Florida state law is that he can get his gun back. I say that if he gets a gun, Casey Anthony gets a baby.’

Anthony was acquitted in 2011, also in Florida, of killing her two-year-old daughter in 2008.

Shortly after the verdict was read, death threats started hitting Twitter, and Zimmerman’s brother – Robert Zimmerman, Jr. – has contended since the verdict was read that his brother may be free, but will have to watch over his shoulder for the rest of his life.

James Rosen from Fox News made subject of DOJ inquiry

skpy (CC)

skpy (CC)


The Washington Post broke the story that Fox News Washington Correspondent, James Rosen, had been the subject of an inquiry into leaks out of the State Department. The original article that drew attention to Rosen was on North Korea’s nuclear testing plans in 2009, and the investigation apparently continued on from there. The presumption of the FBI was the Rosen had been acquired classified information from former State Department contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, who has been indicted as a result of the investigation.

The implication is that the Obama administration is apparently considering the possibility of leveling charges against journalists in general, in it’s relentless search for “leaks”. However, in spite of the recent information that has come out about investigations into the actions of Associated Press journalists, these may be partisan investigations. It has already been stated that the information that Rosen acquired from Kim wasn’t particularly sensitive:

John Bolton, the former undersecretary of state for disarmament, and a noted hard-liner on all matters North Korea, said the disclosures in the Rosen story about North Korean intentions were “neither particularly sensitive nor all that surprising.” It involved the kind of information that could have been gleaned from reading stories in the South Korean press at the time, he noted.

That point is made in contrast with the sensitive and theoretically “classified” information that made its way into Bob Woodward’s book, “Obama’s Wars.”

Brit Hume commented on the situation earlier today on Fox News: [Video]

The Fox News response to the government tracking Rosen’s emails and movements was as follows:

“We are outraged to learn today that James Rosen was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter,” Fox News executive vice president Michael Clemente said in a statement. ”In fact, it is downright chilling. We will unequivocally defend his right to operate as a member of what up until now has always been a free press.”

Read the warrant for the investigation of Rosen here:

1-10-mj-00291-AKwarrant

Also, for bloggers, and anyone else interested in information to prevent attracting this sort of attention from the government, Fox News has offered a page of advice.

Anonymous takes credit for attack on DOJ website

As a show of support for recently deceased Reddit founder Aaron Swartz, hacker group Anonymous has claimed responsibility for hacking into the Department of Justice’s Sentencing Commission website.

The DOJ Sentencing Commission website, www.ussc.gov went dark Saturday morning after a hacking attack by a group of hackers identifying themselves as Anonymous. The group has taken credit for several online attacks and this latest effort was intended to show their anger over Swartz’ suicide earlier this month.

Aaron Swartz was facing up to 30 years imprisonment and $1 million in fines for allegedly using MIT computers and networks to steal millions of articles from online archival and journal distribution service JSTOR.

The attack on the DOJ website is under criminal investigation by the FBI.

White House: Talk About Anything But Our Record

Ever since the 2009 GM bailout by “progressive” big government ended the pensions of 20,000 retirees at Delphi auto parts manufacturing, the White House and the Department of Treasury have laid the blame on the steps of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Internal government emails have been obtained that show the U.S. Treasury Department, run by Timothy Geithner, was behind those termininations.  All 20,000 of the pensions seem to have been ended strictly for the reason that those retirees did not belong to labor unions.

http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/07/emails-geithner-treasury-drove-cutoff-of-non-union-delphi-workers-pensions/

Perhaps the National Labor Relations Board was too busy preparing to harass another private sector company planning to hire non-union workers to get involved.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has yet to file any criminal charges against top Wall Street bankers with connections inside the Department of Justice or who had made political donations to the 2008 presidential campaign of the current White House occupant.

Over the years, both the Oval Office and Holder have talked tough, aggressively attacking big fat cat bankers, blaming their reckless speculation for the 2008 financial collapse.  The Government Accountability Institute has found that Holder still has not “filed a single criminal charge against any top executive of an elite financial institution.”

http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/07/report-cronyism-political-donations-likely-behind-obama-holder-failure-to-charge-any-bankers-after-2008-financial-meltdown/

All talk no action.  Sound tough for the union organized OWS crowd, but do nothing to upset potential campaign donors.  The heck with credibility, the “progressive” Party Pravda will run interference for the re-election campaign.

Overseas, Iran has vowed it will not allow Assad to fall in Syria.

“Iran will never allow the resistance axis – of which Syria is an essential pillar – to break,” said Saeed Jalili, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council secretary.  The “axis of resistance” includes Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, all of which are anti-Western and openly hostile towards Israel and the United States.

Assad reassured Jalili by saying: “The Syrian people and their government are determined to purge the country of terrorists and to fight the terrorists without respite.”

If Assad is overthrown, Iran will lose influence over Syria and a crucial link to Hezbollah.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9459321/Syria-Iran-vows-it-will-not-allow-Assad-to-fall.html

Could it be that Muslim Brotherhood influence over the White House has surreptitiously led to policies that support the creation of a regional Caliphate?  What other way is there to logically explain policies that support rebellions to overthrow some Middle Eastern dictators, but not support rebellions hostile to the Iranian regime or its allies?

With so much baggage for the White House to carry through the campaign, their “Priorities” are to have their “progressive” allies run misleading ads that attempt to tie Mitt Romney to death.

Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting the Oval Office is running a new ad that blames Mitt Romney for a family losing health insurance which contributed to a woman dying from cancer.

It apparently makes no difference to the “progressive” super PAC that Romney left Bain Capital years before the GST Steel bankruptcy in 2001.  In addition, the cancer casualty Ranae Soptic died in 2006, long after the GST plant had been closed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/priorities-ad-ties-mitt-romney-to-cancer-death/2012/08/07/d723d8c0-e084-11e1-8fc5-a7dcf1fc161d_blog.html

In another move to distract attention away from the dismal economic performance of the White House, the Oval Office occupier was overheard whispering to a top fundraiser that GOP presidential challenger Mitt Romney wants to name Gen. David Petraeus as his choice for Vice President.

http://drudgereport.com/flashgp.htm

The White House was more than happy to clutter the news cycle by dismissing the Drudge Report.  Anything to keep the pathetic economic record of the White House out of the headlines will suffice.

Press Secretary Jay Carney reminded reporters to “be mindful of your sources” when asked about the Petraeus rumor.  “I can say with absolute confidence, such an assertion has never been uttered by the president.  And again be mindful of your sources” said Carney.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-disses-drudge-report-be-mindful-of-your-sources/article/2504233

And so it goes for the most open, transparent White House in American history.  They are more than happy to talk about anything but their own record.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/white-house-talk-about-anything-but-our-record/

Fast and Furious and Further Proof That the Obama Administration Is Delusional

Yes, we’ve been saying it all along that Obama and the three-ring circus, otherwise known as his administration, and the Democrats on the Hill, are absolutely delusional. In what should be a futile attempt to protect Attorney General Eric Holder, Nancy Pelosi stepped in it yet again.

Yes, she really is that stupid. No, Nancy, this doesn’t have a damn thing to do with the latest manufactured nonsense from the Democrats about voter suppression. This is about the fact that there is a mother and father out there that wants to know the truth about what happened to their son. But hey, I guess we can give you a pass on the finer points here, since the Obama Administration in general can’t seem to remember that border patrol agent’s name in the first place.

His name is Brian Terry, and he was killed with weapons that Attorney General Eric Holder authorized to be sent across the border, and handed to drug cartels in Mexico. It’s one name, and it’s been repeated countless times in the past 18 months. We all know you’re all a little mentally inept there in the White House, but really? Well, maybe you should get a pass on that as well, since even your own mouthpieces in the press can’t get the story straight.

I guess we can take at least a little solace in the fact that AG Holder was finally cornered on his little blame game. Yes, he finally did acknowledge under oath that “Fast and Furious” was not the same as “Wide Receiver”, but given the history of this administration so far, don’t expect that is the end of the “Blame Bush” meme on this case.

Now, if we expect the Obama Administration to be honest about this case, we’re just as delusional as they are. Perhaps the most disturbing fact in all of this is the apathy surrounding the situation. While it should be, it is not being compared with Watergate. We should be listening to men like Fred Thompson, and more importantly, acting. No, “Fast and Furious” is not a distraction. Yes, the Romney campaign should be focusing primarily on the economy, however some time should be dedicated to this case. It is not just about getting closure for Brian Terry’s family. It is about an administration that has overstepped the bounds, and placed our border patrol personnel in jeopardy. It is about a pervasive arrogance that has consumed not only this administration, but also the political left in this country in general.

I’ve only barely scratched the surface here with this little round-up of information and clips this week. It probably isn’t the last time I’ll say anything about this, but in the meantime, I strongly suggest that you educate yourselves, and read Katie Pavlich’s book below.


Introducing: Richard M. obama

Then Senator obama routinely criticized President George W. Bush for his use of executive privilege. Not surprisingly now that obama is sitting in the Oval Office, his views on the topic have changed…entirely.

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing: Richard M. obama

As was the case with disgraced President Richard M. Nixon, who resigned over participation in the infamous Watergate cover up, the current White House occupant has determined there is enough to hide from the public that it’s time to play the executive privilege card.

What a refreshing switch from playing either the race card or the class warfare card. However, under these newly created circumstances and given the track record of the current administration and its political allies, do not believe for a second that playing one of those cards might inevitably become necessary.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been stonewalling for the past year, refusing to disclose what he and the Department of Justice know about the failed Fast and Furious gun running scandal. Holder has ignored subpoenas while obstructing repeated attempts to obtain important information. It has gotten so bad that Holder is seen as being in contempt of Congress.

What is Holder hiding that is so important that his boss and friend in the White House would risk his entire reputation, as did Nixon, by invoking executive privilege?

As is the case of obama’s personal records (his birth certificate being the most famous), all of which were sealed from public view via executive order on his first day in office, there is definitely information the Chief Executive of the United States needs kept hidden from the general public. This conclusion is not a surprising one. In fact, that is his track record.

If there was never any White House involvement in the failed Fast and Furious gun running operation, which led to the death of hundreds of Mexican civilians and the death of Federal Agent Brian Terry, how is executive privilege justified?

Did the White House know that hundreds of sophisticated automatic weapons were being allowed, with the blessings of the DOJ, to walk across the American/Mexican border in the hands of ruthless, mass murdering criminals? Was this part of a master plan to intentionally inflate the number of American made weapons being found in the hands of drug cartel members at crime scenes, thereby justifying the imposition of gun control in America? Not so coincidently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been making statements insinuating such an objective just prior to news about Fast and Furious coming to light.

The imposition of gun control so strict as to violate the Second Amendment has long been sought by card carrying members of the big government, central planning, control the people leftist fringe, including the fringe leftist currently sitting in the Oval Office.

Holder has a track record of supporting south and central American drug criminals. He has a track record of selective prosecution of American laws based on race, personal and political bias. Holder should be in prison for violating his oath of office. So should his co-conspirators, no matter how far up the food chain they go.

Reposted from: http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/introducing-richard-m-obama/

Does Holder need a time-out?

Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice have quite a To-Do list these days.

The Fast & Furious hearings

Sue Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona over immigration patrols

Lawsuit against the State of Arizona over HB 1070 now in the hands of the Supreme Court

Sue the State of Florida for attempting to purge dead and illegal voters from their voter registration rolls

Deal with the subsequent counter-suit from the State of Florida over the DOJ’s frivolous lawsuit

Anti-trust lawsuit against Apple and other eBook sellers

Sue Texas, South Carolina and other states over state voter ID laws

Potential contempt charges

… and then there’s those pesky national security leaks that he has to deal with.

The Department of Justice seems to be quite busy creating crime and stirring up lawsuits at a time when the department itself claims annual crime data shows a decrease in crimes across the nation.

Attorney General Eric Holder may need to take some time off.  Perhaps he should follow the request of Texas Senator John Cornyn and others who have called on Holder to resign his post.

Eric Holder Demonstrates His Contempt for Congress!

Contempt is defined as: An act of deliberate disobedience or disregard for the laws, regulations, or decorum of a public authority, such as a court or legislative body.

It is no wonder that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will consider holding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress on June 20 relating to the ongoing Fast and Furious ATF gun trafficking scandal.

During the House Judiciary Justice Department Oversight committee hearing on June 7th, it became abundantly clear that Attorney General Eric Holder has complete contempt for congress.

Setting aside for a moment the topic of Fast and Furious – a disastrous ATF operation to allow guns to cross the border into Mexico, and then determine at which crime scene they re-surfaced thereby tracking their purchasers – Mr. Holder’s contempt became clear as congressperson after congressperson asked Mr. Holder why they had not received an answer to a prior inquiry. Mr. Holder made it clear from his answers that he had made little or no effort to follow-up on congressional inquiries, whether they came from republicans or democrats.

In his efforts to obfuscate, delay, or outright refuse to answer questions, Mr. Holder made it clear that he holds himself beyond the reach of congressional oversight, and possibly even believes that the law is whatever Mr. Holder thinks it is at any given moment.

Ms. Lofgren (D-CA) began her questioning by saying “When you were last before us in December, I asked you about a case involving the seizure of a domain name called Jazzone.com for alleged copyright infringement. In December, you said you were unfamiliar with the case, but that you would look into it. Since that time, not only have not heard from you, but new details have surfaced.” It was clear from his answer that Mr. Holder had not looked into the case.

Chairman Lamar Smith then asked Mr. Holder, “Mr. Attorney general a number of members today have made requests from you of information. When can they expect those requests to be responded to, two weeks or so? To which the Attorney General replied, “We will do the best that we can as quickly as we can, I’m a little surprised that we have not responded to at least some of the things in connection with the last time I was here.” Indicating that he had not followed up on any of them.

Mr. King (R-IA) said “Just in picking up on the chairman’s remarks, I point out that I had a series of questions that I asked on December 8th here, and although we haven’t pressed relentlessly for those responses, I haven’t seen them and so I’m going to be submitting a new request from December 8th and additionally for this today.”

Mr Franks (R-AZ) quizzed, “Mr. Holder on April 27, 2011 members of this committee asked you to give us information surrounding the decision by justice to forgo prosecution of the un-indited co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation case. This is the largest terrorism financing case in US history. You refused to comply with this request and you still have not prosecuted despite there being what many consider to be a mountain of evidence against these jihadist groups, at least one of which now says it is working inside your agency to help advise on the purge of counter terrorism training materials. We are told that this mountain of evidence which outlines the jihadist network within the United States amounts to 80 bankers boxes full of documents. This evidence was turned over to the court and much of it was given to the jihadist’s defense lawyers. Members of this committee and other committees would like to review this evidence, whether it has to be on a classified basis or not. Would you commit today to give us provide us with those documents which comprise the government’s case in the Holy Land Foundation trial?”

Eric Holder replied, “It’s hard for me to answer that question.”

Mr. Franks responded, “No it’s not, it’s just will you or will you not?”

Holder: “I will take a look at your request and see if it is appropriate or not….”

Franks: “Well we made the request on April 27th of last year and ah so far it hasn’t happened”

Louie Gohmert (R-TX) also asked Mr. Holder if they would get the documents the government provided to the defendants in the Holy Land Foundation trial, and again Holder evaded. Gohmert then asked if Holder ever demanded to know who authorized Fast and Furious. Holder replied that he asked the Inspector General to look into it.

Mr. Chaffetz (R-UT) asked if Mr. Holder would make himself available to four members of the committee to sit down and answer some questions about what they have seen in the Fast and Furious evidence.

“I’m not sure there is a lot more I can say,” was Holder’s response.

Chaffetz then asked, “did you personally read the letter Speaker Boehner sent to you?” Holder replied, “Yes I got that letter.” Chaffetz asked again, “Did you read it?” “Yes.” Then Chaffetz followed up “Did you respond to it?” Holder replied, “The deputy attorney general replied to it.”

It is evident from his evasionary tactics that the Attorney General of the United States has no intention of being straightforward or forthcoming in providing any detailed information to congress about the activities of his office, and that they ought to just leave him alone to do what he sees as his job.

Congress has no choice but to vote on contempt charges. We will see what the oversight committee decides on June 20th.

Failing the smell test: DOJ to monitor Wisconsin election

Something stinks! Obama’s Department of Justice issued a press release stating that the agency will be keeping close tabs on the Wisconsin recall elections brought about by the labor unions. Unfortunately, they won’t be looking for voter fraud.

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that it will monitor elections on June 5, 2012, in the following jurisdictions to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and other federal voting rights statutes: Alameda, Fresno and Riverside Counties, Calif.; Cibola and Sandoval Counties, N.M.; Shannon County, S.D.; and the city of Milwaukee.

The Voting Rights Act prohibits discrimination in the election process on the basis of race, color or membership in a minority language group.  In addition, the act requires certain covered jurisdictions to provide language assistance during the election process.  Fresno County, Riverside County and the city of Milwaukee are required to provide assistance in Spanish.  Cibola, Sandoval and Shannon Counties are required to provide language assistance to Native American voters.  Alameda County is required to provide language assistance to Hispanic, Chinese, Vietnamese and Filipino voters.

Under the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department is authorized to ask the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to send federal observers to jurisdictions that are certified by the attorney general or by a federal court order.  Federal observers will be assigned to monitor polling place activities in Shannon County based on the attorney general’s certification and in Alameda, Riverside and Sandoval Counties based on court orders.  The observers will watch and record activities during voting hours at polling locations in these jurisdictions, and Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate the federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.

In addition, Justice Department personnel will monitor polling place activities in Fresno County, Cibola County and the city of Milwaukee.  Civil Rights Division attorneys will coordinate federal activities and maintain contact with local election officials.

Taking a stance eerily similar to that taken against Florida’s efforts to clean up illegitimate voters, the Justice Department seems to be totally unconcerned with the voter fraud that Wisconsin election officials have already discovered.

On Monday, it was reported that Wisconsin officials discovered a large number of absentee ballots being requested by someone not living at the known address of the voter. Further investigation turned up what appears to be an organized effort to steal votes by illegally obtaining absentee ballots to fill out as they please later. Eric Holder’s justice department has no interest in that matter. Instead, their putting “an army of lawyers” into Wisconsin to observe so that should Scott Walker and the Senate Republicans win their recall elections, the Obama administration can use the courts to seek the outcome they feel they deserve.

Virginia Governor McDonnell Signs Voter ID Bill & Challenges Obama Justice Department

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) today issued the following statement concerning the voter identification legislation signed by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell:

“Governor McDonnell’s signature of this voter ID bill is a step in the right direction for the Commonwealth of Virginia and sends a message that the integrity of each and every vote matters,” said Michael Thielen, executive director of the Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA). “The RNLA applauds Governor McDonnell for his leadership and support for election reform.”

In addition to signing the voter ID bill, Governor McDonnell signed an executive order.

Thielen added, “The executive order goes above and beyond addressing the concerns of opponents of voter ID, even though it has the support of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Even liberal Democrats in Rhode Island and former President Jimmy Carter support measures such as this. Should the Obama Department of Justice attack this common sense law much like it has in South Carolina and Texas, it would remove any doubt that Attorney General Eric Holder is anything but an ideologue bent on opposing election reforms irrespective of the law.”

The order does the following:

  • Send every Virginia voter an identification card before Election Day;
  • Engage in a voter outreach campaign between now and the November general election to educate voters about the changes to Virginia’s voter identification requirements; and
  • Inform general registrars and electoral boards that they may contact individuals voting provisionally without an ID about the need to provide one.

For more information on this new law or voter ID generally, check the RNLA blog at http://rnla.org/Blogs/blogs/public/default.aspx

 

Department of Justice defends Obama's illegal recess appointments

 “Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

 James Madison

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Council believes that President Obama’s “recess” appointments last week were legal:

The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel issued a Jan. 6  opinion at the request of the White House, saying that despite so-called pro-forma sessions of the Senate, some as brief as a few seconds, the Senate meetings do not constitute legitimate sessions that would preclude presidential recess appointments.

“Although the Senate will have held pro forma sessions regularly from January 3 through January 23, in our judgment, those sessions do not interrupt the intrasession recess in a manner” that would prevent recess appointments, the OLC opinion said.  “Thus, the President has the authority under the Recess Appointments Clause to make appointments during this period.”

Notice that this defense only addresses the question of whether or not the Senate was in session when the appointments were made.  The OLC makes no attempt to discuss the crystal clear wording and intent in this part of the Constitution.  As I explained earlier this week, it doesn’t exactly take a Constitutional scholar to interpret this clause:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

Article 2, Section 2

Obviously, whether the Senate was in session last week or not is irrelevant.  These vacancies didn’t occur while the Senate was is recess so the president has absolutely no power of recess appointment in this situation.  That fact isn’t even up for debate.

This is why we as citizens must always pay close attention to everything the government is doing.  Anytime that politicians aren’t being held accountable, they will distort the language of the Constitution and the law in new ways to grant themselves more power.

Every president as far back as I can remember has chosen to simply ignore the part of the Recess Appointments Clause that limits his power to vacancies that occur during recess.  It might seem minor on its own but this reinterpretation of the Constitution gives the president just a little more power and weakens the separation of powers.  And we are allowing it to happen.

In how many other ways are public officials in all three branches finding subtle ways to grab a little bit more power without grabbing your attention?  All it takes is a little power here and there.  First through these unconstitutional recess appointments.  And then a little more through the NDAA.  And then a little more through SOPA.  Before you know it, most of the power that we have as individuals to protect ourselves from the government is gone.

The natural tendency for government is to grow and grab more power unless we as citizens are informed and actively engaged in defending our freedom.  No one else is going to defend it for us.  In fact, politicians actually have a whole lot to gain personally in both power and money from taking our freedom and selling it to special interest groups so we always have to be vigilant.

Little bits of power add up much faster than most of us can imagine.  Some people have a hard time getting outraged over the president overreaching on these recess appointments because it’s hard for them to imagine the United States becoming openly oppressive.  I can understand that.  But if we wait to start passionately fighting to defend our freedom until we can see tyranny on the horizon, it will be way too late.

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