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The complete history of Barack Obama's second term -- click Views/Repies for top stories
 
 
 


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #26 

Obama "has no legal authority" to make bathroom decree

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Greg Corombos (WND) says, "they're making it up as they go. They're going to lose this in a challenge."

The Obama administration launched another offensive in the battle over public accommodation Friday, telling all public schools to allow students to use facilities based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex, a directive that Liberty Counsel President Mathew Staver says is blatantly unconstitutional and part of a larger Obama goal of rubbing God out of the public square.

Officials at the Justice and Education departments released a letter providing "guidance" as to how school districts should comply with the policy. The letter also made it clear that states or schools that did not fall in line could face federal lawsuits or a denial of federal education funds.

"Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student's sex, including a student's transgender status. The guidance makes clear that both federal agencies treat a student's gender identity as the student's sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX," stated the latter.

Staver told WND and Radio America the idea that lawmakers considered gender identity in the context of sex discrimination 44 years ago is absurd.

"Common sense says that in 1972, no one was thinking that 'sex' included somebody's fictitious mind games of thinking they are the opposite gender," Staver said.

Not only does he believe Congress did not intend the expanded definition of sex, but Staver points out that lawmakers have repeatedly defeated attempts to make such a change to Title IX.

"(The Obama administration demand) eviscerates the statute and has nothing to do with its intent," Staver said. "In fact, Congress, multiple times over the past 10-15 years, has rejected attempts to include sexual orientation or gender identity in any of the federal laws. They've specifically rejected those attempts."

He also urged parents and all citizens to carefully watch how local officials react to the government's demands.

"If any school buckles to this nonsense, we encourage families and communities to hold those school officials and those school boards accountable for the sexual assaults that no doubt will come in light of these policies and agendas," Staver said.

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While many conservatives fear another long court fight will result in another disappointing decision from the Supreme Court, Staver is confident the administration will lose this battle.

"It absolutely is contrary to the law," he said. "They're making it up as they go. They're going to lose this in a legal challenge."

The governors are responding already:

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Beckwith

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Arizona Sheriff says Obama’s blatant disregard of the law is costing innocent lives

Jim Hoft (GatewayPundit) is reporting that two illegal aliens pled guilty to second-degree murder and assisting to second degree murder this week.

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Reinol Vergara and Edson Benitez will spend decades in prison after tying up 90-year-old farmer Earl Olander in Minnesota and beating him to death last April.

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Prosecutors say Earl Olander struggled, and may have suffered for hours before he died. (KSTP)

Today Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu blamed Obama for disregarding immigration law and costing innocent American lives

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Beckwith

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US Army captain files lawsuit against Obama over unconstitutional war against the Islamic State

pic110.jpg Tim Brown (FreedomOutpost) is reporting that Army Captain Nathan Michael Smith has said he is honoring his oath by filing a lawsuit against Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah that would demand that he get constitutional authority from Congress in order to wage war in Iraq and Syria.

The 53-page suit states that Smith has been deployed to the Kuwait headquarters of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, which commands all forces in support of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The Army Captain is seeking a declaration that Obama's war against ISIS is illegal because Congress has not authorized it.

Under the 1973 War Powers Resolution, when the President introduces United States armed forces into hostilities, or into situations where hostilities are imminent, he must either get approval from Congress within sixty days to continue the operation, in the form of a declaration of war or specific statutory authorization, or he must terminate the operation within the thirty days after the sixty-day period has expired.

Since Obama did not get authorization within the allotted time, Smith believes he is in violation of federal law. I would say it's worse than that since our Constitution, under Article II, Section 2, only allows for the president to actually be Commander-in-Chief and take control of America's military once Congress actually declares war, something they have not done since World War II.

According to Smith's filing, he is calling on the court to "issue a declaration that the War Powers Resolution requires the president to obtain a declaration of war or specific authorization from Congress within sixty days of the judgment, and that his failure to do so will require the disengagement, within thirty days, of all United States armed forces from the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria."

"Captain Smith suffers legal injury because, to provide support for an illegal war, he must violate his oath to 'preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States'," the filing claims.

Additionally, the filing points out:

Finally, the Take Care clause required the President to publish a sustained legal justification, within the sixty-day period required by the War Powers Resolution, to enable Captain Smith to determine whether he can reconcile his military actions as an officer with his oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." In contrast to past practice, the President has failed to publish an opinion prepared by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel or the White House Counsel to justify the war against ISIS. He has instead left it to Administration spokespersons to provide ad hoc and ever-shifting legal justifications for a military campaign that is constantly changing its strategic objectives and escalating its use of force. This pattern of lawlessness is inconsistent with the President's obligation to "faithfully execute" the War Powers Resolution.

Well, I'm glad to see one serviceman that is taking the oath seriously enough that he is willing to defy the usurper-in-chief's illegal actions. Congress sure isn't doing it even though they have threatened it.

If you recall, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta justified the illegal actions of the administration in Libya because he had international consent and thumbed his nose at Rep. Jeff Sessions' Armed Services Committee about asking Congress for authorization when there was an international coalition.

Following Panetta's testimony, North Carolina Representative Walter Jones put forth a resolution that read, "Expressing the sense of Congress that the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution."

Indeed, no resolution was necessary as Obama should have been impeached because he was in violation of the Constitution.

A year and a half later, former Democrat congressman Dennis Kucinich echoed Jones' sentiments that Obama could face impeachment if he went around Congress and attacked Syria. And what happened? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

Due to the inaction of Congress to do their duty because of political expediency, we are facing troops on the ground again, without Constitutional authority in Iraq, and possibly troops on the ground in other countries without Congress declaring war. Because Congress has not done their duty and impeached Obama, it has only emboldened him to act even more lawlessly.

Let's support Captain Smith in his endeavor.



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The man who would be king

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John Hinderaker (PowerLine) says we have argued strenuously that Barack Obama’s orders suspending enforcement of various immigration laws are unconstitutional because they violate the Take Care Clause. Law professor and former appellate judge Michael McConnell makes that point powerfully, reviewing the long struggle in Great Britain over royal prerogatives, the context of the founders’ inclusion pf the Take Care Clause in the Constitution, and its subsequent legal history in the U.S. The case seems to me to be not just persuasive, but overwhelming:

One of the most closely watched cases before the Supreme Court this term is United States v. Texas, the immigration case that is scheduled to be argued on April 18. The Supreme Court surprised most observers when it asked the parties in that case to address a question they did not raise in their briefs: whether Barack Obama’s “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans” (DAPA) order violates the “Take Care Clause” of Article II of the Constitution. …

The Take Care Clause, found in Article II of the Constitution, the Executive Power Article, is comprised of only nine words: the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But an understanding of those nine words requires an appreciation of their roots in English history. Like many other structural features of the United States Constitution, the Take Care Clause derives from the long struggle between Parliament and the Crown over the extent of “prerogative powers”—that is, the monarch’s asserted powers to create laws or otherwise to act unilaterally. …

The most important struggles over prerogative during the Restoration period (1660-1688) involved the suspension and dispensing powers: the power to suspend the execution of a law, and the power to grant dispensations or indulgences permitting people or corporations to act in ways that would otherwise be unlawful, notwithstanding (or non obstante) the law. As defined by a leading historian, “the power to suspend a law was the power to set aside the operation of a statute for a time. It did not mean, technically, the power to repeal it. The power to dispense with a law meant the power to grant permission to an individual or a corporation to disobey a statute.” …

When the Framers met in Philadelphia in 1787, they too discussed the royal prerogative to suspend laws or grant dispensations. … On July 26, the Convention referred the executive power question to the Committee on Detail, which was chaired by Rutledge and dominated intellectually by Wilson, two of the delegates who had expressed concern about executive prerogative on June 1. The draft Constitution at that point vested a “single person” with “power to carry into execution the national laws.” The Committee changed this to read: “he shall take care that the laws of the United States be duly and faithfully executed.” As a result, the execution of the law became a duty rather than power, as indicated by the word “shall.” This effectively precluded any assertion of a dispensing or suspending power.

The Take Care Clause’s rejection of the suspending and dispensing powers is so unambiguous that it has been accepted even by the executive branch. …

Apart from its subject matter, the executive action challenged in this case precisely parallels James II’s use of the dispensing power. The Immigration and Naturalization Act defines persons who entered this country without authorization and do not fall into any of its specific exceptions as being here unlawfully. That includes the beneficiaries of the DAPA order. Among the consequences of unlawful presence are ineligibility for work permits and for many social welfare programs. Moreover, the INA expressly provides that every day a DAPA beneficiary spends in the United States should accrue as time under the individual’s unlawful-presence clock. These consequences were set by Congress for the purpose of discouraging illegal immigration. And unlike deportation, which necessarily involves enforcement discretion, these consequences are absolute—unless there is an explicit statutory exception, these consequences apply to every person in this country unlawfully.

The constitutional argument against Obama’s partial suspension of the immigration laws is, I think, overwhelming. Since DAPA was invalidated by the court of appeals, I don’t think Justice Scalia’s absence will be critical. Still, at a minimum, the application of his penetrating intellect to this fundamental issue will be missed.

Readers may also be interested in this rather sardonic post, in which I suggested that any ambiguity about Obama’s power to suspend enforcement of the immigration laws could be eliminated by amending the Constitution to add this crystal clear language: “The President shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”



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Barack Obama: Obstructer In Chief?

AJFavish (FreeRepublic) says 0n April 10, 2016, Barack Obama appears to have obstructed justice while discussing Hillary Clinton's email server with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. During the interview they discussed Obama's interview on October 11, 2015, in which he discussed the issue with Steve Kroft of CBS' "60 Minutes":

Steve Kroft: Do you think it posed a national security problem?

Barack Obama: I don't think it posed a national security problem. . . .

Steve Kroft: You think it's not that big a deal--

Barack Obama: . . . I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.

After playing the latter part of the "60 Minutes" clip, Wallace asked Obama about it:

Chris Wallace: Since then we've learned that over 2000 of her emails contained classified material. Twenty-two of the emails had top-secret information. Can you still say flatly that she did not jeopardize America's secrets?

Barack Obama: I've got to be careful because, as you know, there have been investigations. There are hearings. Congress is looking at this. And I haven't been sorting through each and every aspect of this. Here's what I know. Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy. . . .

Chris Wallace: But last October you were prepared to say she hadn't jeopardized and the question is can you still say that?

Barack Obama: I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America's national security. . . .

Obama admits that he has not been "sorting through each and every aspect of this." He admits that he has "to be careful because . . . there have been investigations" and "[t]here are hearings." Obama obviously misspoke here by putting the investigations in the past tense because he obviously knows that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the matter. Nevertheless, the important point is that Obama is aware that he does not know all of the facts and the matter is presently under FBI investigation.

Despite this knowledge, and knowing that Clinton had over 2,000 classified emails on her server, including twenty-two that contained top-secret information, he affirms his statement from October 2015 that Clinton did not endanger national security, by stating his belief "that she has not jeopardized America's national security." Obama added that Clinton "would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy."

Based on the publicly available information, there is no basis for concluding that Clinton never endangered or jeopardized America's national security, or that she never intended to do so. If Obama does not have all of the facts about on ongoing investigation, as he admitted, on what basis can he legitimately say that Clinton did not jeopardize national security and would never do so intentionally? There is no such basis. Yet, he makes these statements to Chris Wallace and the American people with a perfectly straight face, as if the investigation has been concluded.

Obama then tells Wallace that he does not talk to the Attorney General and the FBI Director about pending investigations, as he is publicly doing exactly that:

Chris Wallace: . . . Some people I think are worried whether or not the decision whether or not, how to handle the case, will be made on political grounds, not legal grounds. Can you guarantee to the American people, can you direct the Justice Department to say Hillary Clinton will be treated as the evidence goes, she will not be in any way protected?

Barack Obama: I can guarantee that. . . . I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI Directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it. . . .

Chris Wallace: Just to button this up.

Barack Obama: . . . I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case. . . .

Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1505is entitled "Obstruction of Proceedings Before Departments, Agencies, and Committees. It states:

. . .

Whoever corruptly . . . or by any . . . communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States . . .

Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years . . . .

Title 18 U.S. Code § 1515(b)defines the term "corruptly" as used in section 1505, as meaning "acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing another, including making a false or misleading statement . . . ."

At the very least, Obama is publicly endeavoring to influence the Attorney General and FBI Director about how to conclude their investigation regarding Clinton. Just because Obama is not telling them these things privately does not mean that he is not trying to influence them.

Obama may be the most brazen politician to obstruct justice, but not the first. The smoking gun audiotape used against President Richard Nixon was a recording of Nixon telling his Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, that the Central Intelligence Agency should be instructed to tell the FBI to refrain from further investigating the money trail and other matters involved with the break-in at the Watergate hotel. Nixon did this on the pretense that further investigation would "open the whole Bay of Pigs thing up again" and "would be very detrimental" to the country. Disclosure of this audiotape caused Republicans who previously resisted impeachment, to support the impeachment of Nixon. Before he could be impeached, Nixon resigned.

Apparently, Nixon knew that if he was going to obstruct justice, he should do it in private because there were enough people in government who still believed in enforcing the law, and would thwart his effort if he did it in public. Obama does not feel so constrained it today's America, and is apparently correct in believing that he can get away with acting unlawfully. It is one thing for a president to be corrupt. It is another thing for the American people to tolerate it. America can probably survive the former; it will not survive the latter.

In order to defend Hillary, Obama criticized the classification system.

I've worked with a lot of classified stuff. There's no mystery to it.

TOP SECRET stuff contains or IS information that unauthorized disclosure of could result in "exceptionally grave danger" to the United States of America.

The handling of TOP SECRET stuff is spelled out in the Department of Defense Manual; NUMBER 5200.01, Volume 3.

And Hillary Clinton was briefed on its contents. During these briefings a copy of the manual is distributed.


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Beckwith

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Obama claims he has the power to give illegal aliens Social Security and disability

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Terrence P. Jefferey (CNSNews) asks: Does Barack Obama have the power to unilaterally tell millions of individuals who are violating federal law that he will not enforce that law against them now, that they may continue to violate that law in the future and that he will take action that makes them eligible for federal benefit programs for which they are not currently eligible due to their unlawful status?

Through Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Obama is telling the Supreme Court exactly this right now.

The solicitor general calls what Obama is doing "prosecutorial discretion."

He argues that under this particular type of "prosecutorial discretion," the executive can make millions of people -- in this country illegally -- eligible for Social Security, disability and Medicare.

On April 18, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case. Entitled United States v. Texas, it pits Obama against not only the Lone Star State, but also a majority of the states, which have joined in the litigation against the administration.

At issue is the policy the administration calls Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, which would allow aliens in this country illegally who are parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents to stay in the United States.

"The Executive Branch unilaterally created a program -- known as DAPA -- that contravenes Congress's complex statutory framework for determining when an alien may lawfully enter, remain in, and work in the country," the attorney general and solicitor general of Texas explained in a brief submitted to the Supreme Court on behalf of the states seeking to block the policy.

"DAPA would deem over four million unlawfully present aliens as 'lawfully present' and eligible for work authorization," says the Texas brief. "And 'lawful presence' is an immigration classification established by Congress that is necessary for valuable benefits, such as Medicare and Social Security."

In the administration's brief, the solicitor general admits that Obama's DAPA program does not convert people illegally in the United States into legal immigrants. He further asserts that the administration at any time can decide to go ahead and remove these aliens from the country.

"Deferred action does not confer lawful immigration status or provide any defense to removal," he says. "An alien with deferred action remains removable at any time and DHS has absolute discretion to revoke deferred action unilaterally, without notice or process."

Despite this, he argues, the administration can authorize aliens here illegally on "deferred action" to legally work in the United States.

"Without the ability to work lawfully, individuals with deferred action would have no way to lawfully make ends meet while present here," says the administration's brief.

Nonetheless, the solicitor general stresses that "deferred action" does not make an illegal immigrant eligible for federal welfare.

"In general," he says, "only 'qualified' aliens are eligible to participate in federal public benefit programs, and deferred action does not make an alien 'qualified.'... Aliens with deferred action thus cannot receive food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, temporary aid for needy families, and many other federal benefits."

But, he says, aliens here illegally with deferred action will be eligible for "earned-benefit programs."

"A non-qualified alien is not categorically barred, however, from participating in certain federal earned-benefit programs associated with lawfully working in the United States -- the Social Security retirement and disability, Medicare, and railroad-worker programs -- so long as the alien is 'lawfully present in the United States as determined by the (Secretary),'" says the solicitor general.

The "secretary" here is the secretary of Homeland Security.

"An alien with deferred action is considered 'lawfully present' for these purposes," says the solicitor general.

So, as explained to the Supreme Court by Obama's solicitor general, when DHS grants an alien here illegally "deferred action" under Obama's DAPA policy, that alien is not given "lawful immigration status" and can be removed from the country "at any time." However, according to the solicitor general, that alien will be authorized to work in the United States and will be "considered 'lawfully present'" for purposes of being eligible for "the Social Security retirement and disability, Medicare, and railroad-worker programs."

The U.S. Constitution imposes this straightforward mandate on the president: "(H)e shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

When the Supreme Court agreed in January to hear U.S. v. Texas, it made a telling request. It asked the parties to argue whether Obama's DAPA policy "violates the Take Care Clause of the Constitution."

The Obama administration has taken care of just one thing here: It has constructed a convoluted -- and unconvincing argument -- it hopes will provide the activists on the Supreme Court with a cover story to explain why Barack Obama need not faithfully execute the nation's immigration laws.  



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The National Border Patrol Council confirms lawless intent of Obama Administration's immigration policies

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Scott Morefield (BizPacReview) is reporting that the National Border Patrol Council -- the same group that recently endorsed Donald Trump for president -- has come out swinging against Barack Obama's immigration policies. In a recent letter, Brandon Judd, president of the American Federation of Government Employees National Border Patrol Council, states that last August he and two other agents personally discussed concerns with Obama's "catch and release" policy with Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The meeting with Mayorkas confirmed what many have feared all along, that Obama does not intend to actually remove illegal immigrants. According to the letter, Mayorkas told the agents, "Why would we NTA [issue a Notice to Appear to] those we have no intention of deporting? We should not place someone in deportation proceedings, when the courts already have a 3-6 year backlog."

Judd's letter decries Obama's refusal to enforce current laws, a refusal which only encourages more illegal immigration. According to Judd, "Rather than take the steps necessary to end the border surge, the Obama administration is encouraging more to come by forcing Border Patrol agents to release unlawful immigrants into the United States with no intention of ever removing them."

In 2015, 331,000 illegals were caught by the Border Patrol, down from 480,000 the year before. Local Border Patrol council president Chris Cabrera insists this is because agents are being forced to "babysit" large groups of illegals instead of actually covering the areas they are supposed to be covering. The result? Even more illegal immigrants who never get caught.

What happens to the ones who are caught? Cabrera says, "What they are doing is like a backdoor amnesty or an amnesty through policy. They can't get everybody in the right way so they are just going to release everybody on their own recognizance pending a court date that hasn't been set, knowing that over 85 percent of the people don't show up for the court date."

Meanwhile, according to Breitbart News, the radical leftist group Not1More has organized to try and to get the National Border Patrol Council, a union organization that represents 80 percent of Border Patrol agents, kicked out of the AFL-CIO for their unprecedented endorsement of the one person they believe can actually fix the problem, Donald Trump.


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Border agents who don't like Obama's increased lawlessness are told to quit

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S. Noble (IndependentSentinel) is reporting that Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske told agents that if they have a problem with Barack Obama's deportation amnesty, they should quit. This is at the same time hiring can't keep up with attrition.

The new Obama rules are completely lawless. All the illegals have to do is "say" they came before January 2014 -- no proof needed.

House GOP leaders will take a vote to join the lawsuit to halt amnesty which is unprecedented but what would be better is if they hauled Obama's butt out of the White House and into prison for violating our laws.

This executive amnesty is a direct attack on the Congress's Article I powers under the Constitution," House Speaker Paul Ryan said. "The president is not permitted to write law. Only Congress is. The House will make that very clear."

Obama announced his unlawful amnesty in November 2014 and while it's been held up in the courts, he's doing whatever he wants anyway.

The lawless president set some new rules for border and interior agents this year, telling them they can only deport recent illegal immigrants and those with "serious" criminal records.

He wants to keep all those petty and less serious criminals.

In testimony to Congress last month on February 4th, Brandon Judd, chief of the National Border Patrol Council, the labor union that represents line agents, said they've been told to reinstate the maligned catch-and-release policy of a decade ago.

Mr. Judd said illegal immigrants without serious criminal convictions have learned that by claiming they came before 2014 — without even needing to show proof — they can be released immediately, and they disappear into the shadows.Mr. Kerlikowske on Tuesday objected to that description. He said every illegal immigrant over the age of 14 who is encountered by agents is supposed to be fingerprinted, interviewed and put through the usual process, including being turned over to ICE for decisions on deportation."

Judd testified that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are being told to release illegal immigrants and no longer order them to appear at deportation hearings, essentially a license to stay in the United States.

"We might as well abolish our immigration laws altogether," suggested agent Judd.

"The willful failure to show up for court appearances by persons that were arrested and released by the Border Patrol has become an extreme embarrassment for the Department of Homeland Security. It has been so embarrassing that DHS and the U.S. attorney's office has come up with a new policy," he testified before the immigration subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

The biggest change: Undocumented immigrants are no longer given a "notice to appear" order, because they simply ignore them. Judd said that border agents jokingly refer to the NTAs as "notices to disappear."

Adding insult to injury, the agency has been told not to track the illegals.

"Not only do we release these individuals that by law are subject to removal proceedings, we do it without any means of tracking their whereabouts. Agents believe this exploitable policy was set in place because DHS was embarrassed at the sheer number of those who choose not to follow the law by showing up for their court appearances. In essence, we pull these persons out of the shadows and into the light just to release them right back to those same shadows from whence they came," he said.

Kerlikowske questioned Judd's veracity and said the union isn't the most knowledgeable.

He also said, "if you really don't want to follow the directions of your superiors, including the president of the United States and the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, then you really do need to look for another job," he said.

Shawn Moran, vice president of the NBPC, took "great offense" to the commissioner's remarks."

This so-called commissioner is telling agents that if they complain they are not following the law by following Obama law, they can find another job.

Moran said agents do follow orders but they have the right to express their opinions.

"This is part of the administration's strategy to demoralize and disrupt agents and completely dismantle immigration enforcement," he said. "They're going to make the job so unbearable because they know they have a very motivated workforce, a very patriotic workforce that wants to uphold the laws, yet we have the president of the United States and the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection directly going against the rule of law."

Cartels are sending kids pouring over the border to distract agents. There are more children coming in than ever but there is a media blackout.


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Obama caught making illegal move that makes ObamaCare look even worse

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Randy DeSoto (WesternJournalism) is reporting that Barack Obama has been caught -- once again -- seeking to circumvent the law related to ObamaCare by diverting billions in funds intended for the U.S. Treasury to cover private insurance companies' losses.

In 2014, Sen. Marco Rubio inserted language into the omnibus spending bill which specifically barred the Department of Health and Human Services from dipping into the general funds of the Treasury to bailout failing insurance companies, the Washington Post reported.

Marc Thiessen, writing for the Post, observed that the provision is "quietly killing" ObamaCare, while the New York Times headlined in December, "Marco Rubio Quietly Undermines Affordable Care Act." The Hill called the provision, "the biggest blow in the GOP's five-year war against ObamaCare."

Both the Post and the Times pointed out that private insurers have been taking heavy losses participating in the healthcare exchanges, and to entice them to stay, Team Obama had been subsidizing the companies with taxpayer dollars.

According to the Times, in 2014 "insurers lost $2.9 billion more than expected on ObamaCare. Thanks to Rubio's provision, the administration was allowed to pay only 13 cents of every dollar insurers requested. Without the taxpayer bailouts, more than half of the ObamaCare insurance cooperatives created under the law failed."

Several insurers have pulled out of the remaining exchanges. United Healthcare and Aetna, two of the nation's largest providers, have indicated they are considering pulling out of ObamaCare altogether, due to the billions in losses they have sustained.  

As a means of mitigating the disastrous financial impact of the law on insurers, the Obama administration announced earlier this month it will hand out $7.7 billion to companies from fees collected through the ACA. The only problem is $2 billion of that money is supposed to go the Treasury's general funds.

Doug Badger, a senior fellow with the Galen Institute, writes the "reinsurance fee" is $107 for every man, woman and child with a private health plan, which adds up to billions in collections each year.

"The law states a fixed share ‘shall be deposited into the general fund of the Treasury of the United States and may not be used' to offset insurance companies' losses. But the administration gave all of it to the insurance companies last year, and got away with that heist. So they're trying it again," Betsy McCaughey wrote in Investors Business Daily.

According to Badger, the amount the Treasury is supposed to receive -- but won't because the Obama administration has directed it be paid to private insurers -- is $3.5 billion over the two years.

The Daily Signal reported Thursday that the House Energy and Commerce Committee is investigating the multi-billion dollar transfer of taxpayer money.

"[Earlier this month], the administration announced that they would be using billions of taxpayer dollars to make payments to insurance companies under the ObamaCare reinsurance program," Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Penn., a member of the committee said Wednesday during a hearing with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. "The announcement that the administration made represents an illegal wealth transfer from hardworking taxpayers to insurers." 

The Ways and Means Committee has also taken up the issue. Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas; Subcommittee on Oversight Chairman Peter Roskam, R-Ill.; and Subcommittee on Health Chairman Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, asked Burwell for documents related to the reinsurance program in a letter sent Feb. 9.

"It appears that the administration has illegally diverted funds from the U.S. Treasury to fund the transitional reinsurance program established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," they wrote. "Not only is this diversion inconsistent with past policies promulgated by the administration but it is incompatible with clear congressional instructions contained within the ACA. We ask that HHS immediately submit to the Treasury all diverted funds."

Barack Obama's diversion of funds is just the latest example of changing provisions of ACA without congressional approval. Other instances included delaying implementation of the employer mandate twice, delaying the individual mandate for two years, and not creating a means to adequately verify whether those signing up were actually eligible for health care subsidies.



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Team Obama ignores the law -- again

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Francesca Collins (BizPacReview) is reporting that Team Obama's deadline to present a plan to defeat Islamic State to Congress by Feb. 15 has come and gone, with no strategy presented.

The report, which is required by law, is officially passed due, according to a press release by House Committee on Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry. When contacted by The Daily Caller News Foundation about the delivery of the report, committee communications director Claude Chafin actually said he triple checked, and the report had not been delivered.

"Unsurprisingly the Administration cannot articulate a strategy for countering violent extremists in the Middle East," said Thornberry's press release. "Time and again, the President has told us his strategy to defeat extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaida is well underway. Yet, months after the legal requirement was established, his administration cannot deliver that strategy to Congress."

"I fear the President's failure to deliver this report says far more about the state of his strategy to defeat terrorists than any empty reassurance he may offer from the podium," noted the release.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan sent the White House a deadline reminder Feb. 10. The email said the administration is "required to submit to Congress a real, comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS" Feb. 15 in order to comply with the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

"I guess President Obama takes his deadlines as seriously as he does his red line," said Rep. Peter J. Roskam to TheDCNF via email. "I can't say I'm surprised President Obama still underestimates ISIS or, as he likes to call them, the 'JV squad.'"

"This is a president who claimed ISIS was 'contained' just nine hours before Paris and blamed NRA for the horrific terrorist attack in San Bernardino," continued Roskam.

When contacted, Rep. Adam Smith's office, the Democratic ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, respectfully declined to comment on the administration's failure to deliver the strategy.

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The DCNF made an inquiry to the White House press office to ask about the status of the plan, but was directed to the Department of State and the Department of Defense, the two agencies responsible for formulating the strategy, as outlined in the NDAA.

When contacted, a State Department spokesperson then redirected back to the White House.

"Without a strategy, this amounts to leaving our troops in the wilderness with a compass, but no map," noted Thornberry's statement. "Failing to comply with the report deadline represents more than a failure of strategic vision for the White House.  It is a lost opportunity for the Administration and Congress to work together on a common approach to face this threat."

Like Obama gives a fig!



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Maybe they are waiting until he is out of office.  Can he pardon anyone who hasn't been indicted or tried before his term ends?  This is why I think Biden will be the Dem nominee, to preserve the cover-ups and illegal activity.
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Federal agencies are protected by the scofflaw Obama administration

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John Hinderaker (PowerLine) says the saga of Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service is almost unbelievable. After "joking" years ago that he would audit his enemies, it turned out that Obama's minions were in fact delaying or blocking routine applications for 501(c) status by conservative organizations, in order to help the Democratic Party. When Congress tried to investigate, the Obama administration stonewalled at every turn. Evidence mysteriously disappeared and the key player in the scheme, Lois Lerner, pled the Fifth rather than answer Congress's questions.

Obama's stonewall strategy has generally worked well. Scandals fade from the front pages when there are no new developments, and if information finally emerges, Democratic Party reporters treat it as old news. So the IRS scandal has pretty much disappeared from public awareness. Nevertheless, via InstaPundit, we learn that yet another IRS computer hard drive has been destroyed. How many is that now? I've lost track.

IRS officials are being lambasted today for erasing yet another computer hard-drive, this time one that a federal judge had previously ordered to be preserved. House Oversight and Government Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Subcommittee Chairman Jim Jordan told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen erasing hard-drives has been a continuing problem….

"It is stunning to see that the IRS does not take reasonable care to preserve documents that it is legally required to protect," said Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, and Jordan, an Ohio Republican, in a letter to Koskinen made public late Thursday. The hard-drive is involved in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Microsoft. A federal judge hearing the FOIA lawsuit told IRS to preserve the hard-drive. Then it was erased.

Most people probably don't realize how astonishing this is. I practiced law for 41 years before retiring at the end of last year, all of it doing litigation. Preserving evidence is a routine obligation in lawsuits; it doesn't depend on a court order. But if a federal judge has ordered a party to preserve a hard drive, as happened here, you can be assured that the hard drive will be protected like the crown jewels. Every company in America understands this: if a court has ordered you to preserve evidence, you guard it with your lawyers' lives.

And yet, time after time, the IRS has either inadvertently or intentionally destroyed hard drives that courts have ordered them to preserve. In the private sector, this is unthinkable. Private companies obey court orders. They know that if they don't, millions of dollars in sanctions are likely to result, and executives will lose their jobs. Only in government agencies do we see this kind of irresponsible scofflaw behavior. This is because most bureaucrats have a deep loyalty to the left-wing cause, and there is no accountability.

Many similar instances could be cited, but for now, let's just remember the Colorado river that the Environmental Protection Agency turned orange with toxic chemicals. This kind of thing happens a lot with federal agencies.

Is this because federal agencies are corrupt, or because they are unusually inept? The familiar adage is that one should never presume malice when incompetence is a sufficient explanation. But here, I think we are going beyond ineptitude. Are federal agencies the only employers who can't hire people who know how to follow court orders? No. Incompetence may play a part, but it is hard to avoid the conclusion that federal agencies led by left-wing bureaucrats, including but not limited to the IRS, view themselves as above the law and protected by the scofflaw Obama administration, and therefore entitled to thumb their noses at the federal courts.

This is a new development in our democracy. Until now, we have never experienced an extra-legal administration like that of Barack Obama. Will the rule of law survive the 2016 presidential election? I don't know. That wheel is still spinning.


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How Obama and Hillary created ISIS -- from Benghazi to Baghdad

Underneath roaring metal guitar riffs and confusing camerawork, Judge Andrew Napolitano asks a series of rhetorical questions that, when pieced together, fully explains how the futility of America's foreign policy of arming rebel groups and the ignorance of American leaders to tell the good rebels from the bad, led to the rise of the Islamic State.

RealClearPolitics says that following the failure of the "Arab Spring" to overthrow the anti-American governments of Libya and Syria by the end of 2011, Team Obama decided to help speed the arc of history along by arming rebel groups fighting against Qaddafi and Assad.

Unfortunately, things got a little bit out of hand.


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How Dinesh D'Souza became a victim of Obama's lawless administration

Andrew McCarthy says precious were the recriminations after the first Democratic presidential debate. Putative nominee Hillary Clinton, amid what is more a coronation than a contest, had proudly boasted of making the Republicans her "enemy."

"How despicable," GOP graybeards gasped. After all, this is just politics, not war. At the end of the day, we're all fellow patriots, all in this together: not "red states and blue states," as that notorious bipartisan, Barack Obama, framed it in the 2004 convention speech that put him on the map, but "one people . . . all of us defending the United States of America."

Dinesh D'Souza begs to differ. He would tell you that Hillary hit the nail on the head, and that we'd better get a grip on that or we will lose the country that we love.

D'Souza has come about this realization the hard way, as he explains in his remarkable new book, "Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party[image]." For his "experience with criminal gangs," to which he alludes in the book's subtitle, the prolific conservative author and filmmaker has Barack Obama to thank. The book, part memoir, part polemic, part prescription, and part Kafka, opens with an account -- frightening because it is so verifiably true -- of one of the grossest abuses of power by this lawless administration -- the prosecution of D'Souza for a campaign-finance offense.

The case was not trumped up. D'Souza forthrightly concedes that he violated the law. Wendy Long, his good friend and Dartmouth classmate, was waging a futile campaign against incumbent U.S. senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.). With the press of business leaving him unable to be more of a campaign presence, D'Souza decided to provide financial support. He had, however, already donated the personal maximum of $10,000. So he convinced two friends to be nominal contributors, with D'Souza reimbursing them the combined $20,000.

The offense was foolish. There are simple devices, such as giving to political-action committees, to circumvent the personal-contribution limit. D'Souza's ignorance of the byzantine campaign laws led him to do illegally what he could easily have done legally. The statute is clear, though: exceeding the personal limit is a felony carrying a potential of two years' imprisonment and a hefty fine.

Yet there were patent mitigating circumstances, starting with the fact that few people actually get prosecuted at all for this offense. Even in the case of gargantuan violations, such as the Obama 2008 campaign's own millions of dollars in illicit contributions, the Justice Department allows cases to be settled with an administrative fine. Furthermore, in the few cases that are pursued criminally, there is unvaryingly a corruption angle -- the donor is dodging the limits in the expectation of a quid pro quo.

In D'Souza's case, there was nothing of the kind. He was trying to be supportive of a friend who had no chance to win (and, in fact, was trounced by 44 percentage points). Add to that the trifling amount involved and the fact that D'Souza had no criminal record (but a record of charitable good works), and it became obvious that this was no federal criminal case.

D'Souza had nevertheless, as Mrs. Clinton might say, made himself an enemy of Obama, a man as vengeful as he is powerful. In the stretch run of the Obama's  2012 reelection bid, D'Souza released his documentary film 2016: Obama's America, which drew heavily on his bestselling 2010 book, The Roots of Obama's Rage, a chronicle of Obama's upbringing in the radical Left. The film was extraordinarily successful and drew sharp rebukes from the White House and Obama allies.

It is no coincidence, D'Souza convincingly argues, that the Obama Justice Department scorched the earth to convict and attempt to imprison him. The brazenness of its aggression took the breath away from such hardened criminal-defense attorneys as Harvard's Alan Dershowitz, an Obama supporter who found the vindictiveness of D'Souza's prosecution shameful, and Benjamin Brafman, the legendary New York City defense lawyer who represented D'Souza.

Among the highlights of the book is the transformation of Brafman, another political progressive, who started out believing that D'Souza was paranoid to think that Obama even cared about his case, much less had it in for him, but ended up convinced that D'Souza had been railroaded. The conclusion is inescapable: His client was indicted in a matter routinely disposed of with a fine. To get bail, D'Souza had to post a bond of $500,000 (i.e., $125,000 more than the mere fine the Justice Department allowed the Obama 2008 campaign to pay in settlement of violations geometrically larger than D'Souza's); to pressure D'Souza to plead guilty, prosecutors gratuitously charged a second felony count -- a "false statements" offense that should not have been added since a campaign-finance violation necessarily involves a false statement; after D'Souza did plead guilty -- rather than risk seven years' imprisonment -- Justice pressed the court to impose a 16-month jail sentence despite the de minimis nature of the crime; and, in so pressing, prosecutors blatantly misrepresented the applicable sentencing law.

The last straw for Brafman was the start of the sentencing hearing, when Judge Richard Berman subjected D'Souza to a bizarre tongue-lashing. Clearly, the jurist appointed by President Bill Clinton was poised to accede to prosecutors' demand for a prison term. The outraged lawyer responded with a tour de force, placing the case and D'Souza's basic decency in context. It worked: Berman was dissuaded from imposing a prison term.

But what he did to appease Justice's baying for blood was arguably worse. Berman sentenced D'Souza to eight months of halfway-house confinement, a form of detention that requires the defendant to spend the nighttime hours in a spartan, dormitory-type facility but to work in the local community during the day.

In D'Souza's circumstances, the sentence was irrational except as a form of abuse. A halfway house is designed to be transitional confinement: a way for a convict who has usually served years in prison to spend the last few months of his sentence gradually reentering the community while otherwise continuing to be monitored. No such transition is called for when, as in D'Souza's case, the defendant was never incarcerated in the first place.

Moreover, had D'Souza been given the 10-to-16-month sentence prosecutors urged, he'd have been sent to a minimum-security prison camp with other low-level offenders. A halfway house, by contrast, is a way station for serious criminals: murderers, rapists, gang-bangers, big-time drug traffickers, and the like.

These would be D'Souza's housemates and confidants for the eight months prior to his release last May. To be sure, it is not the same as encountering such hardened criminals in prison. In a halfway house, the imminence of release and the possibility of being sent back to prison for misconduct are a powerful incentive to good behavior. Still, for a man as foreign to this element as D'Souza was, the prospects were cause for great anxiety -- which was not relieved when, upon arriving at the facility in a rundown part of San Diego, he found that the first order of business was a mandatory class on how to avoid being sexually assaulted. In a flash of bureaucratic idiocy, a leitmotif of the book, D'Souza was informed that, if he were to be raped, he would be entitled to a free pregnancy test.

D'Souza, it turns out, was relieved to find that his companions comported themselves with civility. Characteristically, he used the trying experience as an opportunity to learn and grow.

The principal evolution in the author's thinking involves seeing his political adversaries as, yes, enemies. And as criminals. As a conservative intellectual, D'Souza had assessed progressives as true believers in an utterly flawed ideology. He was a forceful advocate of the conservative counter-case: liberty, limited government, human fallibility, the wisdom undergirding our traditions. Yet implicit in his arguments was the sense of engagement in a real battle of ideas against a bona fide political opponent.

After his harrowing adventure -- first, in the crosshairs of a corrupt executive branch that knows that the administration of governmental processes can ruin even the most innocent of men, never mind one who has actually committed an infraction; then, in the company of lifetime criminals whose lives are mainly about taking what is not rightfully theirs -- D'Souza has changed. Progressives, he now perceives, are engaged in a massive scheme to "steal America," meaning all of its wealth and traditions. Their ideas and the foibles of their interest-group politics are often incoherent because they are not actually meant to cohere. They are, instead, a Machiavellian ploy, a pretense to morality (because the public expects it) that camouflages the remorseless acquisition of power needed to rob the public blind. D'Souza has become convinced that the system is, in fact, unfair -- not for the reasons cited by progressives but precisely because of progressive influence on the system.

The author's new insight has a significant corollary. D'Souza, like most conservatives, used to be dismissive of progressive narratives about social justice that portray common folk as victims of American history's "oppressive legacy," preyed upon by capitalist titans and administrators of the criminal-justice system. Now, he has become convinced that the system is, in fact, unfair -- not for the reasons cited by progressives but precisely because of progressive influence on the system. Their grip on power -- crony capitalism, discretion over prosecutorial decisions, the promotion of favored factions -- robs Americans of economic opportunity and subjects them to abuses of governmental process.

D'Souza's time spent with criminals has revealed for him a symmetry between the operations of gangs and those of progressives, particularly in proceeding through the stages of theft from plan, through recruitment and rationalization, and finally on to cover-up. The means by which gang-bangers and social-justice crusaders extort and justify their ill-gotten gains are, of course, different, but D'Souza sees no appreciable difference in their basic schemes.

At times, this analogy is overstated and Stealing America's effort at thematic connection between criminal heists and political corruption can seem strained. D'Souza's nightmare has persuaded him that the sociopaths with whom he interacted compare favorably with corrupt government officials when it comes to owning up to their flawed character and fraudulent practices. But while rogue politicians and "activists" deserve no defense, I would simply observe -- having spent almost 20 years as a prosecutor -- that criminals are frequently more introspective and forthright when they are in captivity. It has more to do with their circumstances than with any wisdom they have acquired.

Still, this does not detract from D'Souza's overarching thesis. America flourished because it was an anti-theft society: freedom inextricably linked to the protection of private property, unleashing creativity, entrepreneurship, and unprecedented prosperity. The progressive critique of that society is not advanced in good faith; it is, as D'Souza portrays it, a "con." Its purpose -- not its unintended consequence but its aim -- is to seize the wealth and power of achievers. The con is systematized by the Democratic party now under Obama's leadership, with Hillary waiting in the wings.

Dinesh D'Souza implores us to recognize the con for what it is, and work, as he works, to expose it, rather than dignify it as an alternative political philosophy. America, he contends, is well on the way to being stolen. We will lose our country if we fail to reaffirm our anti-theft roots.


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Obama broke the law -- again -- on Taliban 5 deal

Breaking the law? It's what Obama does -- and then his spokesman lies about it.


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Attorney General Lynch's script corroborated criminal intent -- whitewash!

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Kimberly Klacik is reporting that in the most recent House Judiciary Committee's hearing on the oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice, Attorney General Lynch was clearly well rehearsed and stuck to the script. Not only did she agree with the committee's chairman, Congressman Gowdy, that conservative groups were treated "badly" by the IRS when applying for exemption status, she even went a step further noting the actions may have had a discriminatory impact. However, with both findings, AG Lynch, found no evidence of either criminal or discriminatory intent.

Without applying too much commonsense, when Lynch admitted there are signs of discrimination and the groups were treated badly, those two comments alone would give anyone circumstantial evidence of a crime. Unfortunately, Lois Lerner and all other offenders in on the misdeed will not be held accountable for their actions. Astonishingly, the US Department of Justice reported the discrimination impact were due to mismanagement.

Will the IRS reevaluate the conservative applications declined by the IRS? (You read that correctly.) Sure, but if the employees involved in the application process were unchanged, "what difference does it make?"  Those attacking Congressman Gowdy on social media for not pushing for an impeachment of the new AG are seemingly ignoring the underlying message of most oversight hearings. His hands are tied, to the acknowledged blatant corruption enabled by the Obama administration.

Related:  The IRS says you can't sue them unless they say you can

We are all witnesses to the end of the law under Barack Obama and when there is no law there is a dictatorship.



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Leaked DHS memo reveals attempt to skirt courts' ruling

Natalie Johnson is reporting that senate Republicans are asking the Department of Homeland Security to explain a leaked agency memo reportedly revealing that federal officials are planning to evade a federal court order barring some of Barack Obama's executive immigration actions.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, led eight others on the committee in a letter sent to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson last week demanding he clarify the document.

The agency's proposed regulations would allow immigrants, including those in the U.S. illegally, to receive extended work permits if sponsored by an employer, even if the sponsorship is terminated or expired.

The leaked memo states that a benefit of the proposed action would be to "authorize the presence of certain individuals who are not here lawfully and address the needs of some of the intended deferred action population."

The senators charged that such changes would "directly violate" a federal court injunction issued in February suspending Obama's plan to shield roughly 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation through expansions to a program granting extended work permits.

The executive program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), initially granted temporary two-year legal status to immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and attended school in the country.

In 2014, Obama issued an executive order extending the work permits to three years. He also established deportation protections for certain undocumented parents of already protected children.

Twenty-six states filed a lawsuit against the 2014 executive action in a Texas federal court, leading U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen to issue an order placing the programs on hold.

The senators argued that the leaked DHS document appeared to show agency officials "actively engaged in attempting to skirt" Hanen's injunction, constituting "yet another illegal 'executive action.'"

"The authors of the memo openly acknowledge, and offer as a reason to support the proposal, that granting employment authorization to illegal immigrants under the proposed scheme would accomplish, by different means, the de facto legalization of the population intended to be legalized by the enjoined DAPA program," they wrote.

The committee gave Johnson until Nov. 12 to respond.

"We want assurances that the administration will refrain from moving forward with any such proposal that harms the integrity of our legal immigration system and violates the law," they wrote.

The letter was signed by Grassley along with Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana, Orrin Hatch of Utah, John Cornyn of Texas, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Mike Lee of Utah, David Perdue of Georgia, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Ted Cruz of Texas.


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Got law? We don't

Dave Blount says Bill Whittle is absolutely correct: whether Hillary Clinton goes to prison for at least some of her crimes will be determined entirely by the whim of the adolescent punk in the White House and what sort of secret deal he cuts with her:

It appears she and Obama have come to terms. The media will do its best to see that she becomes the next president.

It is an insult to the greatest country in history to refer to the country we live in now as America.

Fortunately the embers of America aren't cold yet; it could still come back, although not with people like Obama, Shrillary, Sanders, et al. in power.


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The perils of Obama's latest undeclared war

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Conor Friedersdorf says without congressional permission, public debate, or any attempt to rally the American public's support, Obama has ordered U.S. ground troops to a war zone, his most flagrantly unconstitutional war-making since he unlawfully helped to overthrow Muammar al-Qaddafi. "The United States is set to deploy troops on the ground in Syria for the first time to advise and assist rebel forces combating ISIS," CNN reports. "The deployment of U.S. Special Operations forces is the most significant escalation of the American military campaign against ISIS to date."

This should perturb even proponents of a U.S. war against ISIS.

As Obama put it prior to the 2008 election: "the president does not have the power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

Now he is engaging in the very actions that he specifically declared to be illegal. And Congress is abdicating its responsibility to either empower him to wage war or to rein him in. Its passivity is enabling Obama to exceed the limits of his power in a way that has, in the past, led to failed wars as catastrophic as Vietnam and as recent as Libya.

Obama's course "marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition," Yale Law's Bruce Ackerman argued long before any ground troops were deployed.

And beyond its illegality, it makes U.S. foreign policy less effective.

As law professor Ilya Somin explains in the Washington Post, "One of the main justifications for the Constitution's requirement that presidents can only initiate a war if they have congressional authorization is to assure that any such war is backed by a large political consensus. If we decide to fight a war at all, it should only be in cases where there is widespread agreement that the war is justified and that we will do what is necessary to prevail. At least so far, Obama's war against ISIS has been a lesson in the dangers of launching a military intervention without that kind of political support."

He acknowledges that the Obama Administration asked Congress to pass a new AUMF earlier this year. "But the draft it submitted to Congress had so many flaws that both Democrats and Republicans voiced strong objections, as did many academic experts," he wrote. "Most Republicans do in fact support fighting ISIS. This is one of the few issues that Obama and GOP conservatives in Congress largely agree on. It should be possible for the two sides to come up with an AUMF that both can sign on to. Both the administration and Congress deserve blame for the failure to do so."

Consider some of the ways that each are to blame.

There is little public debate about this illegal war-making -- despite the fact that we're in the midst of fiercely contested Republican and Democratic primaries -- in part because the White House has been misleading the public about the extent of its actions. Even Friday, addressing special-ops troops sent to operate in Syria, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest declared, "These forces do not have a combat mission."

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has been more forthright.

Testifying last Tuesday about the American troop presence in Syria and Iraq, where a U.S. special forces commando was killed during a raid on ISIS earlier this month, he said that American troops deployed there "won't hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground."

Fox News reports that U.S. forces have engaged in combat missions against ISIS in Iraq for the last year; Colonel Steve Warren told a press briefing in Bagdhad last week that "we're in combat," adding "I thought I made that pretty clear ... That is why we all carry guns. That's why we all get combat patches when we leave here, that's why we all receive an immediate danger badge. So, of course we're in combat."

A candidate who campaigns on that platform owes the electorate a frank explanation if he totally reverses himself once he is exercising power.

Why do journalists have to press exasperated military officials for these overdue acknowledgements as civilians in the White House obfuscate and dissemble? Many legislators apparently remain in the dark. "I don't think Congress is always even close to fully knowledgeable as to what is happening," Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Eli Lake and Josh Rogin.

A few members of Congress, notably Senators Tim Kaine, Jeff Flake, and Rand Paul, have tried to fulfill their responsibility to determine how the war power should be used.

But other members of Congress know that Obama is exceeding his constitutional authority to wage war and are urging him to exceed it even more aggressively.

The New York Times addressed that faction in an editorial:

The Pentagon continues to call the military campaign in Syria and Iraq an "advise and assist" mission, a characterization that was misleading when the campaign began and is now absurd. By incrementally increasing its combat role in a vast, complicated battleground, the United States is being sucked into a new Middle East war. Each step in that direction can only breed the desire to do more. Commanders will want to build on battlefield successes when things go their way, and they will be driven to retaliate when they don't... But before contemplating a more forceful military plan, Congress and the administration must confront the fact that the current one, which includes airstrikes and support for select bands of rebels, lacks a legal framework and an attainable goal.

The first problem could be fixed if the White House and congressional leaders were willing to work together to set clear limits on what the Pentagon is allowed to do. Preposterously, the military campaign that began more than a year ago, and has cost more than $4 billion, is still being waged under the authority of the congressional authorization passed to pursue the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks. With a few exceptions, lawmakers seem completely unconcerned that they are allowing a president to go to war without formal authorization from Congress. Instead, many are calling on the administration to take even bolder steps that range from establishing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria to using American firepower to oust Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president.

The U.S. is ostensibly fighting on two different sides of the Syrian civil war: The Obama administration wants Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to leave power and to defeat ISIS, one of several rebel groups fighting for control of Syria against al-Assad.

Russia and Iran also want to defeat ISIS, but want al-Assad to stay in power.

Al-Assad is a brutal dictator.

ISIS is an evil group that has perpetrated unimaginable atrocities, destabilized numerous countries, and made it hard to imagine anything worse in the areas that it controls. It is easy to understand why many observers believe that U.S. intervention would improve the world and advance or be consistent with our national interests -- and why many others doubt our ability to improve Iraq and Syria, are averse to risking American lives to do so, and fear getting into a proxy war with Russia.

The gravity of what could transpire if the war goes wrong is precisely why Congress and the public ought to have come to a position through democratic debate and Madisonian institutions before the United States chose its present course."History has shown us time and again ... that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch," Obama said in 2007. "It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress." A candidate who campaigns on that platform owes the electorate a frank explanation, at the very least, if he totally reverses himself once he is exercising power.

Instead Obama just keeps pretending that he isn't quite waging war.

If ISIS is worth fighting, Obama should make that case as persuasively as he can to Congress and the public, rallying the support that is necessary for successful wars.

And he should abide by the course set by the people's representatives.

Come 2017, the nation will have a new president. Roughly half the country will mistrust his or her judgment. If you don't want Donald Trump, Ben Carson, or Hillary Clinton empowered to start wars of their choosing without even asking Congress, the time to speak up is now, before John Yoo's view of the Constitution is further entrenched. What George Will observed last autumn, long before recent escalations in Iraq and Syria, still goes. "Regarding war with the Islamic State," he wrote, "the Constitution requires what prudence strongly recommends -- congressional authorization."


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The Constitution's big lie

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Antonius Aquinas says one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon Americans at the time of its telling and which is still trumpeted to this very day is the notion that the U.S. Constitution contains within its framework mechanisms that limit its power. The "separation of powers," where power is distributed among the three branches -- legislative, executive, judicial -- is supposedly the primary check on the federal government's aggrandizement.

This sacred-held tenet of American political history has once again been disproved.

Last Friday (October 23), the Attorney General's office announced that it was "closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges" against former Internal Revenue Service's director of Exempt Organizations, Lois Lerner (or, for that matter, anyone else from the agency) over whether she improperly targeted Tea Party members, populists, or any other groups which voiced anti-government sentiments or views.

The Department of Justice statement read:

The probe found "substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime."

Incredibly, it added:

We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution.

That the DoJ will take no action against one of its rogue departments demonstrates the utter lawlessness and totalitarian nature of the federal government. The DoJ's refusal to punish documented wrongdoing by the nation's tax collection agency shows the blatant hypocrisy of Obummer, who promised that his presidency would be one of "transparency."

It can be safely assumed that Congress will not follow up on the matter, as Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), who chaired a committee to investigate the bureau's wrong doings, admitted that its crimes may never be known. The DoJ and Issa's responses are quite predictable once the nature of the federal government, and, for that matter, all government, is understood.

Basic political theory has shown that any state is extremely reluctant to police itself or reform unless threatened with destruction, take over, or dismemberment (secession). The Constitution has given to the federal government monopoly power where its taxing and judicial authority are supreme. It will not relinquish such a hold, nor will it seek to minimize such power until it is faced with one of these threats.

While it was called a federated system at the time of its enactment and ever since by its apologists, the reality of the matter is quite different. As the Constitution explicitly states in Art. VI, Sect. 2, the central government is "the supreme law of the land." The individual states are inferior and mere appendages to the national government -- ultimate control rests in Washington.

In fact, it was the Constitution's opponents, the much derided Antifederalists, who were the true champions of a decentralized system of government, while their more celebrated opponents such as Madison, Hamilton and Jay wanted an omnipotent national state.

Thus, in the American context, the only method for those oppressed by the federal government is to either threaten or actually go through with secession. Attempts to alter its dictatorial rule through the ballot box or public protests are futile. While there will naturally be outrage at letting the IRS off the hook, focus and anger must be redirected away from participation within the current political system to that of fundamental change.

Congress' refusal to prosecute an executive bureau that has deliberately used (and is still using) state power to oppress and harass opponents of the Obama regime demonstrates the bankruptcy of the idea that separation of power limits tyranny. Federal power and the corresponding tyranny and corruption which it has bred has never been countered by the checks and balances and separation of powers of the supposed "federal republic" created a little over two centuries ago.

Until the "big lie" of the Constitution is realized, agencies like the IRS will continue to target and tyrannize anti-government organizations, groups, and individuals. The Constitution provides no real mechanism for the redress of grievances from the subjects which it rules. Only when the breakup of the federal Union has taken place will American liberties and freedoms be secured.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #46 

DoE "encourages" schools to host "Undocumented Week" for illegal alien students

John S. Roberts says this is one those "say it ain't so" moments…

From Daily Caller via Right Scoop:

The Department of Education is out with a new resource guide encouraging schools and educators to help illegal aliens apply for amnesty under President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The document, which was released on Tuesday, also urges schools to provide welcoming environments for illegal alien students by hosting events such as "Undocumented Week."

"The Department hopes that educators, schools, and campuses will, as they see fit, draw upon the tips and examples in this Guide to better support undocumented youth and, ultimately, move us closer to the promise of college and career readiness for all," reads the 63-page report.

Under a section entitled "DACA Consideration Fact Sheet," the agency encourages educators to inform illegal aliens of the DACA program, which Obama enacted by executive action in 2012.

The program has extended amnesty protection to 680,000 illegal aliens who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. Another 1.5 million are eligible for protection, and another 400,000 will become eligible within the next few years. The Obama administration, including the Education Department, hopes to maximize the number of illegal aliens protected under the law.

This administration's lawlessness knows no bounds, and we're all worse off because of it.

America, under Barack Obama's two disastrous terms in office has gone from a nation comprised of laws, to one that doesn't care anymore.

Illegal aliens are criminals, and there's no two ways around it. We should not entertain them in any fashion!

The Department of Education should never encourage schools to help illegals apply for amnesty.

Why?

Umm, morals? Laws?

But what do I know? Liberals seem to know what's best for the country, don't they?


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Reply with quote  #47 

How Hillary Clinton's lawlessness gets ignored

Hillary Clinton breaks the law, gets people who work for her killed, lies to the American people -- and she's still a media darling? How is that possible?


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Reply with quote  #48 

Obama's Iran deal violates federal law

James Rosen is reporting that some senior U.S. officials involved in the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal have privately concluded that a key sanctions relief provision -- a concession to Iran that will open the doors to tens of billions of dollars in U.S.-backed commerce with the Islamic regime -- conflicts with existing federal statutes and cannot be implemented without violating those laws, Fox News has learned.

At issue is a passage tucked away in ancillary paperwork attached to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 of Annex II provides that in exchange for Iranian compliance with the terms of the deal, the U.S. "shall…license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this JCPOA."

In short, this means that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies will, under certain conditions, be allowed to do business with Iran. The problem is that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), signed into law by Obama in August 2012, was explicit in closing the so-called "foreign sub" loophole.

Indeed, ITRA also stipulated, in Section 218, that when it comes to doing business with Iran, foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent firms shall in all cases be treated exactly the same as U.S. firms: namely, what is prohibited for U.S. parent firms has to be prohibited for foreign subsidiaries, and what is allowed for foreign subsidiaries has to be allowed for U.S. parent firms.

What's more, ITRA contains language, in Section 605, requiring that the terms spelled out in Section 218 shall remain in effect until the president of the United States certifies two things to Congress: first, that Iran has been removed from the State Department's list of nations that sponsor terrorism, and second, that Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of weapons of mass destruction.

Additional executive orders and statutes signed by Obama, such as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, have reaffirmed that all prior federal statutes relating to sanctions on Iran shall remain in full effect.

For example, the review act -- sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Foreign Relations Committee, and signed into law by Obama in May -- stated that "any measure of statutory sanctions relief" afforded to Iran under the terms of the nuclear deal may only be "taken consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action." The continued presence of Iran on the State Department's terror list means that "existing statutory requirements" that were set forth in ITRA, in 2012, have not been met for Iran to receive the sanctions relief spelled out in the JCPOA.

As the Iran deal is an "executive agreement" and not a treaty -- and has moreover received no vote of ratification from the Congress, explicit or symbolic -- legal analysts inside and outside of the Obama administration have concluded that the JCPOA is vulnerable to challenge in the courts, where federal case law had held that U.S. statutes trump executive agreements in force of law.

Administration sources told Fox News it is the intention of Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran's foreign minister and five other world powers, that the re-opening of the "foreign sub" loophole by the JCPOA is to be construed as broadly as possible by lawyers for the State Department, the Treasury Department and other agencies involved in the deal's implementation.

But the apparent conflict between the re-opening of the loophole and existing U.S. law leaves the Obama administration with only two options going forward. The first option is to violate ITRA, and allow foreign subsidiaries to be treated differently than U.S. parent firms. The second option is to treat both categories the same, as ITRA mandated -- but still violate the section of ITRA that required Iran's removal from the State Department terror list as a pre-condition of any such licensing.

It would also renege on the many promises of senior U.S. officials to keep the broad array of American sanctions on Iran in place. Chris Backemeyer, who served as Iran director for the National Security Council from 2012 to 2014 and is now the State Department's deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, told POLITICO last month "there will be no real sanctions relief of our primary embargo….We are still going to have sanctions on Iran that prevent most Americans from…engaging in most commercial activities."

Likewise, in a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last month, Adam Szubin, the acting under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial crimes, described Iran as "the world's foremost sponsor of terrorism" and said existing U.S. sanctions on the regime "will continue to be enforced….U.S. investment in Iran will be prohibited across the board."

Nominated to succeed his predecessor at Treasury, Szubin appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing the day after his speech to the Washington Institute. At the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) asked the nominee where the Obama administration finds the "legal underpinnings" for using the JCPOA to re-open the "foreign sub" loophole.

Szubin said the foreign subsidiaries licensed to do business with Iran will have to meet "some very difficult conditions," and he specifically cited ITRA, saying the 2012 law "contains the licensing authority that Treasury would anticipate using…to allow for certain categories of activity for those foreign subsidiaries."

Elsewhere, in documents obtained by Fox News, Szubin has maintained that a different passage of ITRA, Section 601, contains explicit reference to an earlier law -- the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, on the books since 1977 -- and states that the president "may exercise all authorities" embedded in IEEPA, which includes licensing authority for the president.

However, Section 601 is also explicit on the point that the president must use his authorities from IEEPA to "carry out" the terms and provisions of ITRA itself, including Section 218 -- which mandated that, before this form of sanctions relief can be granted, Iran must be removed from the State Department's terror list. Nothing in the Congressional Record indicates that, during debate and passage of ITRA, members of Congress intended for the chief executive to use Section 601 to overturn, rather than "carry out," the key provisions of his own law.

One administration lawyer contacted by Fox News said the re-opening of the loophole reflects circular logic with no valid legal foundation. "It would be Alice-in-Wonderland bootstrapping to say that [Section] 601 gives the president the authority to restore the foreign subsidiary loophole -- the exact opposite of what the statute ordered," said the attorney, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations over implementation of the Iran deal.

At the State Department on Thursday, spokesman John Kirby told reporters Secretary Kerry is "confident" that the administration "has the authority to follow through on" the commitment to re-open the foreign subsidiary loophole.

"Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the president has broad authorities, which have been delegated to the secretary of the Treasury, to license activities under our various sanctions regimes, and the Iran sanctions program is no different," Kirby said.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the G.O.P. presidential candidate who is a Harvard-trained lawyer and ardent critic of the Iran deal, said the re-opening of the loophole fits a pattern of the Obama administration enforcing federal laws selectively.

"It's a problem that the president doesn't have the ability wave a magic wand and make go away," Cruz told Fox News in an interview. "Any U.S. company that follows through on this, that allows their foreign-owned subsidiaries to do business with Iran, will very likely face substantial civil liability, litigation and potentially even criminal prosecution. The obligation to follow federal law doesn't go away simply because we have a lawless president who refuses to acknowledge or follow federal law."

A spokesman for the Senate Banking Committee could not offer any time frame as to when the committee will vote on Szubin's nomination.


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America's descent into lawlessness

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Victor Davis Hanson asks if you remember Lewis "Scooter" Libby?

In 2003, the Department of Justice appointed a special counsel to investigate allegations that Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, unlawfully disclosed the covert status of CIA operative Valerie Plame.

Yet Plame was not a covert undercover agent, based on the formal government definition of that role -- she was an analyst assigned to CIA headquarters at Langley, VA -- but even if she were, it was widely known at the time that Secretary of State Colin Powell's subordinate, Richard Armitage, had most likely disclosed her status earlier.

In other words, Libby was in an Orwellian position of being accused of a crime that may not have existed. But if it had, it was more likely committed by someone else.

Publicity-seeking special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald convinced a Washington, D.C., jury to find Libby guilty of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements to federal investigators -- not the supposed crimes for which he was originally targeted by the media.

Apparently, the very suspicion of improper behavior by high public servants once warranted vigorous legal inquiry -- by supposedly independent and autonomous prosecutors.

In the eight-plus since the Libby trial, the Obama administration has blown up the law as we have known it for centuries.

Barack Obama once warned Latino activists that he had no legal authority to suspend enforcement of federal immigration law, stop deportations and offer de facto amnesties.

But that caution was only a campaigning talking point. After his re-election in 2012 and the midterm elections in 2014, Obama made a mockery of immigration law.

Hundreds of liberal sanctuary cities have announced that federal immigration law does not apply to them. That scary, neo-Confederate idea of legal nullification was sanctioned by the Obama administration -- in a way it never would have been if a city had suspended the Endangered Species Act, emissions standards or gun-control legislation.

As a result, once-detained and later-released immigrants with criminal records have murdered innocent American citizens.

Consider the proposed nuclear deal with Iran. By past custom and practice, the nonproliferation agreement would be treated as what it is -- a treaty.

But ratifying treaties constitutionally requires 67 yes votes from the Senate. Obama could never obtain that margin. So he managed to downgrade the treaty into a mere legal agreement. Then he claimed that the Senate required 67 no votes to override his veto.

Obama also was worried about the political impact of his new Obamacare legislation on the 2014 midterm elections. So he simply suspended by executive fiat the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Had another president done that to the laws of Obamacare, the left would have demanded impeachment.

In Ferguson, Missouri, law enforcement eased off and allowed a city to burn. But the cause of the rioting -- the supposed improper police killing of criminal suspect Michael Brown -- was based on the lie that Brown was shot in the back while fleeing. No matter. The ensuing public outrage seemingly exempted arsonists and looters from arrest.

Just as scary is the application of the law on the basis of the perceived politics of a suspect.

IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner was exposed as a rank partisan whose office gave particular scrutiny to would-be tax-exempt groups deemed opponents of Obama's re-election efforts. She invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify before a congressional committee about her actions at the IRS. Lerner has never been indicted.

Almost everything former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated about her improper use of a private email account and server has been proven false. A State Department staffer who worked on Clinton's private server plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying before a congressional committee about his role in privatizing Clinton's email.

But like Lerner, Clinton has escaped an indictment or jailing.

Not so Kim Davis. She is a conservative Christian court clerk in Kentucky who apparently thought, given the lawless times, that she could ignore without consequence a Supreme Court decision making gay marriage legal.

Davis was jailed for not enforcing the law. That is a justifiable punishment -- if it were applied equally to the progressive mayors of sanctuary cities and all officials who likewise ignore federal law.

In the same manner, rank amateur video maker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was jailed for violating his probation. Why?

Nakoula made a video insensitive to Muslims and thus was falsely blamed for the riotous 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The most likely culprit of the preplanned Benghazi attack was not scapegoat Nakoula, but the inconvenient pre-election truth that al-Qaida was quite alive in Libya and U.S. security quite lax.

America is becoming analogous to the mess in lawless contemporary Venezuela. When the law is suspended or unevenly applied for politically protected individuals and groups, then there is no law.

So we are now seeing the logical descent into the abyss of chaos.


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snowyriver

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Reply with quote  #50 
Sorry we are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic. Not a democracy.
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