Saturday, June 30, 2012

Obama Contributor, Who Helped Enact Assault-Weapons Ban, Ran ‘Fast and Furious’

Good background information on what we currently know about the players in the Fast and Furious scandal:

Dennis K. Burke, who as a lawyer for the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 1990s was a key player behind the enactment of the 1994 assault-weapons ban, and who then went on to become Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff, and a contributor to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, and then a member of Obama’s transition team focusing on border-enforcement issues, ended up in the Obama administration as the U.S. attorney in Arizona responsible for overseeing Operation Fast and Furious.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Friday, June 29, 2012

No, It's Not a Tax - from the Dissent

The following is taken from the dissent from the majority ruling in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act cases.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The mandate survived. Will the market?

The penalty—now a tax—for failing to purchase insurance in 2014 is $95–for the entire year. That is far less than the monthly insurance premium even young healthy people would pay. It rises to $695 in 2016, or 2.5 percent of income, and increases with inflation thereafter. For a young person trying to afford rent and pay a student loan, the decision is clear. Delaying an insurance purchase is money in the bank, and the tax is too small to matter.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Looking for a Silver-Lining: A Victory For Limited Government (maybe)

ObamaCare is constitutional because it's really a tax! The Supreme Court doesn't care what Obama said at the time or what the solicitor general said during oral arguments, they just read the text of the law (unlike most of the congressmen who voted for it) and decided they'd better find a way to let it stand.

So Chief Justice Roberts is like the basketball ref who doesn't want to call a potentially game-changing foul late in the fourth quarter. "Let 'em play!" Well, I don't like the decision, but in the long run, it's better to settle this politically rather than in the courts.

Rand Simberg writes:

> The bill was allowed to stand only because Justice Roberts declared that it passed constitutional muster under the Congress’s ability to tax (presumably under Article I, Section 8), and that while it had been fraudulently passed (that’s why the president had to lie about it being a tax — he knew that if he admitted it, he would not only lose whatever “moderate” support he had for it, but that he would be going back on his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class), that didn’t make it unconstitutional. Here is a key phrase from his opinion: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

> The nation made a terrible political choice in 2008. It started to fix it in 2010, largely driven by this monstrosity. We have another chance in November to fix it once and for all, with a new president and Senate, and I suspect that’s going to happen. But going forward, future courts will recognize that the Commerce Clause is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for any tyrannical thing that the federal government chooses to do. If we want to continue to rein it in, an amendment of the taxing clause might be useful going forward.

> People have been asking in comments which house this bill originated in. I thought that it was the House, but apparently the original House bill isn’t the one that finally passed — the one that the court just ruled on originated in the Senate. This opens up an entirely new line of legal attack, because any revenue bill must originate in the House. No one had bothered to make this argument in the past, because no one had considered the mandate a tax. But now that the court has declared it to be so, it could be struck down as unconstitutional because of the process.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Andrew McCarthy: Fast and Furious and OCDETF

Why is President Obama denying Congress and the public access to critical information about his administration’s part in a shockingly ill-conceived investigation that resulted in the murder of Brian Terry, a heroic federal Border Patrol agent and veteran U.S. Marine. And when I say “his administration’s part,” that, too, is intentional.

When the president intervened with an eleventh-hour privilege assertion as the House committee verged on citing his obstructive attorney general for contempt, the Obamedia storyline, naturally, was that Obama was protecting Holder. But if we know anything after a half-decade of closely watching Barack Obama, it is this: The One is in it for The One. The president invoked executive privilege because he is protecting himself.

There is little doubt that the wiretap applications would show that senior DOJ officials were aware of the gunwalking tactic long before Agent Terry was gunned down on December 14, 2010. But that’s not the half of it. Bet your bottom dollar that gunwalking was discussed in the consideration of whether to make Fast and Furious an OCDETF case in the first place. OCDETF investigations, moreover, are carefully monitored by the Justice Department throughout, to ensure that the extraordinary flow of funding continues to be worthwhile. I’m wagering that senior DOJ officials — which is to say, Obama-administration political appointees — knew about the gunwalking for close to a year before Agent Terry’s death.

Read the whole thing.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Obama’s Claim of Executive Privilege: It’s Frivolous

Power Line:

Today Deputy Attorney General James Cole advised Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, that the Department of Justice will not respond to the committee’s subpoena of certain documents relating to the Fast and Furious scandal. Instead, the Obama administration is asserting a claim of executive privilege for the reasons laid out in Eric Holder’s letter to President Obama dated June 19.

Holder’s letter is a remarkable document. Viewed from a strictly technical standpoint, it is a terrible piece of legal work.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Obama Invokes Executive Privilege

What’s next? A House Government Reform Committee vote, followed by a full House vote, then a referral to the U.S. attorney, who will decline to prosecute contempt because of the privilege invocation (or the House may simply bypass that step, given its frivolousness). Failing a criminal prosecution for contempt, if Issa and company remain resolute, a House civil suit to enforce the subpoena will follow, as happened in the Rove/Miers contempt situation.

On the political side, one thing now is clear. Fast and Furious is owned, lock, stock and barrel, by the president. No longer is this a merely DOJ problem. The president’s invocation of his privilege makes the problem his own.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Sunday, June 10, 2012

SWAT-ting bloggers

Chambliss and Marchant called specific attention to one terrifying tactic against these bloggers: SWAT-ting. These hoaxes occur “when a perpetrator contacts local police to report a violent incident at a target’s home.” Callers disguise their true identities and locations in order to provoke SWAT and police forces into descending on targets’ homes in a high-firepower response that is potentially deadly.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Saturday, June 09, 2012

John Yoo: Obama, Drones and Thomas Aquinas

The administration has made little secret of its near-total reliance on drone operations to fight the war on terror. The ironies abound. Candidate Obama campaigned on narrowing presidential wartime power, closing Guantanamo Bay, trying terrorists in civilian courts, ending enhanced interrogation, and moving away from a wartime approach to terrorism toward a criminal-justice approach. Mr. Obama has avoided these vexing detention issues simply by depriving terrorists of all of their rights—by killing them.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama

Great picture on Jonah Goldberg’s article about Bill Clinton…

The funny thing about Clinton is that he just pretends everything is hunky-dory, like the guy who tries to suppress a grin as he watches you drink the laxative-spiked punch, or Vizzini in The Princess Bride when he thinks the Dread Pirate Roberts is the one about to die from iocane-powder poisoning. Bill does what Bill does. Just ask Hillary.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican