States Sue Over Obama’s Immigration Action + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Thu 12/04/2014 by

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“Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 1823

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS

States Sue Over Obama’s Immigration Action

Seventeen states filed a federal lawsuit against Barack Obama’s immigration action claiming that his change of the law violated the Constitution. Texas leads the charge, as it has borne the brunt of Obama’s neglect of border security. “The President’s unilateral executive action tramples the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause and federal law,” Texas Attorney General and Governor-elect Greg Abbott said in a statement. “The Constitution’s Take Care Clause limits the President’s power and ensures that he will faithfully execute Congress’s laws – not rewrite them under the guise of ‘prosecutorial discretion.’ The Department of Homeland Security’s directive was issued without following the Administrative Procedure Act’s rulemaking guidelines and is nothing but an unlawfully adopted legislative rule: an executive decree that requires federal agencies to award legal benefits to individuals whose conduct contradicts the priorities of Congress.” With Republicans making little progress defunding Obama’s immigration projects, this may be the most effective way in reigning in an unconstitutional president. More…

Republicans Split on Spending Bill Strategy

The House has a week to pass a spending bill before the government shuts down, and Republicans can’t decide on a strategy for counterbalancing Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive action on immigration. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) proposes funding most of the government until Sept. 30, and only funding the agencies that will enact Obama’s immigration action until March. But Republicans disagree on political strategy. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) says House Republicans might not have enough votes to pass the bill. “There were opinions all over the place,” Pompeo said. “There were members that were adamant that we shouldn’t vote for anything that funded any of these institutions surrounding these executive orders or soon to be set of actions. There were others who were simply saying, ‘Hey, let’s do a short-term CR for the whole thing’ … and then there were others who said, ‘Hey look, let’s get this thing done.’” This gives House Democrats more bargaining power, as Republican leadership will have to work with Nancy Pelosi and her minions to get the votes necessary to send the bill to the Senate. More…

MoH Recipient Dares ISIL to Come to His House

Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer is no stranger to danger. Responding to FBI advisements regarding social media and targeting from ISIL, Meyer said, “I take the threat seriously, but you are talking about a bunch of cowards. We’re not cowards. We’re the most feared nation on the face of the planet, and we’re worried about some radical group, some extremists that prey on the weak? I mean, that’s like sheep preying on lions.” In fact, Meyer declared it would be a “dream come true” if Islamic State terrorists showed up at his door: “Hopefully one of these a–holes actually shows up. They’ll definitely get more than they want at my place!” He concluded, “I’m just tired of us as Americans living in fear. I want people to know: Stand up to this; stand up to these people. I don’t want to put anybody else in harm. They can come after me.” Semper Fi!

Soap Opera Producer Now a U.S. Ambassador

So why is the Obama administration trying to send the producer of the soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful” to Hungary as ambassador? And why did the Senate confirm her nomination? The only reason White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest can muster is that Colleen Bell has a “distinguished private sector career” making women swoon for hulky men since 1987. The press secretary told reporters, “She is somebody who retains confidence. Well, let me say it this way. Ambassador Bell has the president’s confidence that she will do an excellent job representing the United States and maintaining the important relationship the United States has with the government and the people of Hungary.” It’s surely not because Bell helped Barack Obama raise millions of dollars for his campaigns because she retained the confidence to suck money from political donors for Obama. Fortunately, Hungary should be a safe choice – it’s not like it’s in Eastern Europe, right in the front yard of Russia or anything. More…

Harkin Regrets Making ObamaCare So Complicated

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is leaving Congress and Republican Joni Ernst will take his seat. And regrets? He’s got a few. Namely that ObamaCare was probably too complicated because of efforts to placate various “centrist” Democrats (many of whom are gone now) and constituent groups. “We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified health care, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin said. “So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all. What we did is we muddle through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively.” That’s a pretty good summation, though he hasn’t exactly seen the light. Harkin insists Democrats should have done “single-payer right from the get-go or at least put a public option would have simplified a lot.” Somehow, we doubt that even more government control would have healed ObamaCare’s ailments.

For more, visit Right Hooks.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column

Read Black Privilege, on how it’s all still about the color of skin instead of content of character.

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RIGHT ANALYSIS

NYPD – a Ferguson Replay?

Garner resisting arrest

While a lot of media attention has been focused on Ferguson, Missouri, will another grand jury decision in New York City be the subject of a race-relations replay?

On July 17, 2014, several white New York City police officers were involved in a takedown of a black man, Eric Garner, after he resisted arrest. One of the officers, Daniel Pantaleo, used a chokehold as part of the effort to get the 350lb Garner to the ground. The use of that particular hold does not comply with NYPD policy because it is associated with prior injuries and deaths – though the hold is not illegal. Garner died shortly after the takedown, and his death raises reasonable questions.

Garner, who had 30 previous arrests on his record, was approached by police for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes on the street, although there may have been additional factors that drew their attention to Garner. He had previously been arrested for the same infraction and was out on bail at the time police confronted him. That confrontation was caught on amateur video [language and graphic content warning], and that video – along with a few details from the medical examiner’s report – are all the evidence in this case that anyone, other than the grand jury, has available to assess this tragic incident.

In the altercation, the individual taking the video references a fight that had just taken place, and we don’t know the context for what, if any, role Garner had in that fight. What we do know from the video is that officers attempted to handcuff Garner, who towered over them. He did not comply and it took four officers to subdue him. They wrestled him to the ground as Pantaleo put him in a chokehold.

Garner, an asthmatic, can be heard in the video pleading, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” He soon went limp and died while lying cuffed on the sidewalk.

The New York City medical examiner’s office assessed that Garner’s death was a homicide caused by “compression of his neck, compression of his chest and prone positioning during physical restraint by police.” The designation of “homicide” means that he didn’t die of natural causes, but it is not an accusation of murder. Notably, the report also found that Garner’s tracheal airway had not been damaged in the takedown, and that obesity, heart disease and asthma also contributed to his death.

In other words, despite the media labels that this takedown was a “chokehold death,” there were other complicating factors.

On Wednesday, after hearing months of evidence and testimony, a majority of the 23-person grand jury declined to indict Officer Pantaleo for any crime.

This incident stands apart from the death of Michael Brown in some important ways.

First, Garner’s death was caught on video, meaning that part of the evidence is plain to see. There was not unreliable “eyewitness” testimony as was discredited in Ferguson.

Second, Garner was agitated and resisted arrest, but he did not attack police or attempt to take an officer’s firearm as Brown did. (It may come as a shock to some Democrats and NFL players, but Brown did not have his hands up.)

Third, in New York, manslaughter in the second degree is defined as when an individual “recklessly causes the death of another person.” It is not clear why, then, Officer Pantaleo was not indicted by the grand jury for second-degree manslaughter. Did the grand jury get it wrong, or did the prosecutor even press for that charge, or is there substantial other evidence that influenced the jury’s decision? Notably, last month a grand jury did issue an indictment on a weapons charge – against the man who used his phone to video Garner’s confrontation and takedown.

Fourth, the protests following Garner’s death never turned violent, though race-baiters like Al Sharpton are now on the scene wrongly turning stoking racial grievances.

Fifth, and worth noting, New York’s high and punitive cigarette tax has created a profitable black market for the sale of so-called “loosies” (untaxed cigarettes), which Garner was accused of doing. While Barack Obama, Eric Holder and Sharpton will attempt to frame this case on race, perhaps a little attention should be allocated for asinine taxes and laws. After all, this is the same city whose last Democrat mayor attempted to outlaw large sodas.

As National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke noted, “[I]magine what Sam … Adams would have said at the news that a man had been killed over cigarette taxes.” Indeed, it seems we recall a famous protest over taxes on another kind of leaf.

But notably, this incident is similar to the Ferguson case in one respect. As Mark Alexander wrote this week in “Black Privilege,” Brown, like Garner, believed he was entitled to ignore a lawful police order. Brown and Garner would be alive today had they obeyed those lawful orders.

After being cleared by the grand jury, Officer Pantaleo released a statement, saying, “I became a police officer to help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves. It is never my intention to harm anyone, and I feel very bad about the death of Mr. Garner. My family and I include him and his family in our prayers and I hope that they will accept my personal condolences for their loss.”

We have no doubt Pantaleo did not intend to kill Garner, though it seems fair to say in this case he failed in his expressed intent to “help people and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.” We have no doubt that the confrontation with Garner was not about race. That having been said, there are indisputable cases where police abuse their authority. Such cases are usually the result of one or more officers whose judgment has been callused by day-in and day-out confrontations, primarily in impoverished urban centers.

But there are three things to keep in mind – especially for those who have never walked a day in the shoes of men and women in blue.

First, refrain from drawing conclusions based solely on the video. Even the otherwise erudite Charles Krauthammer failed to follow this most basic rule: “From looking at the video, the grand jury’s decision here is totally incomprehensible. … I think anyone who looks at this video would think that this is the wrong judgment.” But the grand jury didn’t weigh only the video.

Second, the real “racial disparity” when it comes to crime is the grossly disproportionate number of violent crimes committed by black people, almost always against other black people. Last year alone, blacks murdered more than 6,000 people, about 400 of whom were white.

And last, altercations with police resulted in 449 assailant deaths last year – 123 black, 326 white. Meanwhile, over the last decade there were an average of 58,261 assaults against law enforcement personnel each year, resulting in 15,658 injuries and more than 150 deaths per year.

Put it this way: The case isn’t exactly black and white.

Transparent White House Hides Evidence of Collusion With IRS

If the IRS’s illegal targeting of conservative organizations based purely on political persuasions constituted “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the chief revenue collection agency, we can’t wait to hear how Barack Obama is going to characterize the latest outrage.

Turns out the IRS is housing thousands of pages of documents – 2,043 to be exact – related to correspondence between the tax agency and the White House concerning requests for tax returns of individuals or businesses. In other words, the White House asked to see specific tax information of certain Americans. And given the IRS’s stellar track record – not to mention the little fact that the agency is supposed to be entirely apolitical – this is cause for more than a smidgen of concern.

The disclosure comes after two years of investigations and legal efforts by the non-profit government watchdog Cause of Action. In 2012, Cause of Action filed a Freedom of Information request for “records of communication between the White House and the IRS concerning taxpayer information, particularly communications that were not made pursuant to 6103(g) of the tax code, which authorizes the President to request any individual’s tax return information from the IRS.”

No doubt too busy implementing new guidelines for targeting conservative and Tea Party groups, the IRS balked at the request. In response, Cause of Action sued, and a judge sided with the watchdog and ordered the IRS to turn over all related documents by Dec. 1.

Last week, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) – which, ironically, is the office investigating potential IRS wrongdoing – said the IRS would comply and turn over more than 2,000 pages of documents. In an abrupt about-face, however, this week TIGTA sent a letter – dated Dec. 1 – to Cause of Action conceding the existence of 2,043 pages of documents relating to the FOIA request but claiming the IRS can’t turn them over because the information in them is protected under 26 U.S.C. § 6103 and can’t be released without “an express statutory exemption.”

Likewise, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew refused to release documents pertaining to improper disclosures because – wait for it – to do so would be an improper disclosure.

The very fact that TIGTA and Lew acknowledge these documents, however, is a flaming red flag. And Cause of Action spokesperson Dan Epstein said the high number of documents points to wrongdoing and “indicates scandal.”

Indeed, it’s difficult not to come to this same conclusion, considering recent IRS-White House snuggle fests. As Investor’s Business Daily reported, former White House senior economics adviser Austan Goolsbee somehow knew that the Koch brothers “do not pay corporate income tax” through Koch Industries – information he would have known only if he had access to the Koch brothers’ tax records – which the White House should not have access to. And email communication between the IRS and the White House, provided by the IRS to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, contained redactions labeled “6103,” indicating private taxpayer information –information that, again, the White House should not have access to.

Ironically, the revelation of the 2,000-plus potentially implicating documents comes on the heels of the miraculous discovery of 30,000 “lost” Lois Lerner emails – emails that will almost undoubtedly reveal even more attempts by the administration to weaponize the IRS for political aims.

Back in 2009, Obama jokingly threatened to use the IRS against a good-natured adversary. Unfortunately, it was no joke.

Obama might think he can keep tossing out platitudes about commitment to the integrity of the law. But we’ve heard those platitudes before. And if there is one thing truly transparent about this administration, it’s the lies it tells.

Despising the sacred honor of serving as president, Obama has used the privilege of elected office to wage war on Americans. This is the strategy of tyrants, not leaders. And it’s no laughing matter.

For more, visit Right Analysis.

TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS

For more, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

American author Eric Hoffer (1902-1983): “Those who lack the capacity to achieve much in an atmosphere of freedom will clamor for power.”

Columnist Larry Elder: “The media, led by CNN, covers Ferguson as a civil rights story – rather than focusing on the simple question of whether Officer Wilson responsibly used lethal force. Incredibly, Harvard’s Charles Ogletree, once Barack Obama’s law professor, called Ferguson ‘just like the assassination’ of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ogletree said: ‘This reminds us of exactly what happened years ago when I was a young kid to the great man Emmett Till, the young kid who was killed in Mississippi for allegedly whistling at a white woman. This is even worse, because Michael Brown did not break in any law at all, in terms of the police officer.’ Many say Ferguson suffers because its police force ‘doesn’t look like the city.’ Meaning what? That white cops can’t police black areas? That when people call 911, they want an officer who ‘looks like them’? What do the ‘activists’ think Dr. King would say if we assumed cops were bad because of the color of their skin? He’d call it what it is: racially profiling white cops. So much for evaluating people, including police officers, not on the basis of their color – but on the content of their character.”

FRC president Tony Perkins: “[R]ather than use [next week’s budget] deadline as leverage in the amnesty debate, GOP leaders want to punt the issue into next year. Why? Because they’re concerned that the GOP will take the fall for the Democrats’ refusal to deal with the President’s lawless policy. But here’s the irony: they were blamed for last year’s partial shutdown, and voters responded by handing them the keys to both chambers! It’s time for the House to forget what might happen and consider what did happen in November. Republicans just got a mandate from American voters to hold the President accountable – and now is the time to take action. As the editors at Investors Business Daily pointed out, ‘President Obama made the Constitution a welcome mat for illegal immigrants to wipe their feet on.’ And if the House and Senate aren’t careful, they’ll be next.”

Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Obama met civil rights leaders Monday to discuss Ferguson riot grievances. His initial reaction caused panic. When Obama said we’re a nation ruled by laws, the Secret Service agents wrestled him to the ground and demanded to know what he did with the real President Obama.”

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