Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll has formulated a modest proposal that a certain person or persons unnamed STOP APOLOGIZING! She writes:

You may remember when The Lightbringer first got coronated, that he went on a world-wide Apology Tour, apologizing for any crime, real or imagined, that the Unexceptional Country he was elected to represent had committed. Can you name one country with which we have better, healthier relations now than before Obama took it upon himself to apologize on our behalf? This is a lesson learned in every gradeschool playground when confronted with bullies: Groveling never works. It only inflames and encourages them.

Fast forward to the other day when The Great Shirt Scare drove Ebola off the front pages. A genius scientist with the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Project achieved an almost impossible feat (after 10 years!) of landing a space probe on comet 67P. And at the jubilant presser he wore a shirt designed for him – by a close woman friend no less — which featured some cartoon cuties in something other than a burqa. And a few jealous, perpetually-enraged feminists, who couldn’t land a minnow using dynamite, lost what passes for their minds.

Then came the traditional groveling, tearful apology from the humiliated scientist, very possibly with his job hanging in the balance. He’ll probably be fired anyway; like the abrupt resignation of Larry Summers following Harvard faculty’s “no-confidence” vote. Let me repeat that groveling never works, never satisfies the slavering lynch mob.

So you may as well die on your feet as live on your knees. Here is what the young scientist should have said instead. You will recognize the third paragraph homage to The Awesome Bard because some battle cries can’t be improved upon:

I will wear this shirt every day until it falls off me in tatters. You will be able to smell me coming in time to flee in terror. If you feel ‘unsafe’ – a popular feminist weasel word – in the presence of cloth cartoon women, let me assure you that you are completely safe. They aren’t real and can’t hurt you, though they may invite invidious comparisons. You are much safer than the body politic that caves time and again to intolerant loudmouths like you.

Upon this silly harmless shirt, we shall make our stand. When my envious critic accomplishes what I have accomplished, then she can wear a prom dress with her bra on the outside, or a plaid flannel shirt and sweatpants, and I won’t say a mumblin’ word. Until that time, she can shut her piehole. Now and forever I will wear whatever I damn please.”

This story shall the good man teach his son.
From this day to the ending of the world
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers
Shall wear this shirt. Or any others.
And Pajama Boys on Mommy’s insurance to age 26
Shall think themselves accurs’d they lack this shirt so full of chicks.
And hold their cocoa and their puny manhoods while any speaks
That fought with us upon St. Crispins Day for science geeks.

Ammo Grrrll plans to order this shirt to wear to Chick-Fil-A on the way back from shooting at pictures of baby seals at the Tactical Range. If there were some other way to offend the sensibilities of these bullies, I would do that, too. Plastic bags? Carbs? A flag pin? An “I Heart Men” button? A rare steak, glass of bourbon and a Lucky Strike? John should run his Miss Universe contest photos every day. Throw in some cheerleaders. Heck, yeah!

I have had it with these tedious, humorless harridans speaking in my name for the last half century. As Obama advised his supporters, we need to “get in their faces,” albeit far enough back to avoid the perpetual flying spittle. So, let this be the moment when we begin to heal this sick culture, and we lower the ocean of bullshit. Enough! No more apologies to totalitarian harpies who hate individualism, free speech, differences of opinion and half the human race.

AMMO GRRRLL ADDS THIS NOTE: Mollie Hemingway has written a terrific screed expanding on many of these same points in Tuesday’s Federalist. Since my column is but once a week, it’s tough to be timely. However, I wrote this before I read her article, swearsies. Read hers too. She’s a wonderful writer.

Some consequences of Obama’s unlawful amnesty

There are no silver linings to President Obama’s unconstitutional nullification of our immigration laws. The affront to our system is too great.

But there are collateral effects, and not all of them are bad.

The political impact of Obama’s move is uncertain. However, it is likely, on balance, to be adverse to the Democrats for the reasons set forth by Jennifer Rubin.

Moreover, as Rubin also argues, Obama’s grant of amnesty is probably the end of the line for pro-illegal immigrant reform in the foreseeable future. Last year, the Senate, with significant Republican support, passed legislation that created a path for citizenship for illegal immigrants. That legislation also had considerable Republican support in the House. One could imagine it passing within, say, the next four to six years.

But a path to citizenship is off the table now. Republicans won’t permit it. In Rubin’s words:

From here on out all Republicans will be able to agree: The executive order is illegitimate, it must go away and border security must precede other issues. From Gov. Jeb Bush to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), Republicans can speak with one voice.

None of this begins to compensate for the damage to our constitutional system that inheres in Obama’s lawless executive order. Nor does it compensate for the primary practical impact of the order, namely the wave of future illegal immigration it almost certainly will induce.

Solace will come only if conservatives are able to overturn Obama’s usurpation of power. I expect that in the coming days we’ll have much to say about the prospects of accomplishing this.

On Obama’s Illegal Usurpation, Jeff Sessions Speaks For Us

We will have more to say about President Obama’s unconstitutional nullification of the nation’s immigration laws in the days to come; likely, before the night is over. But for now, let’s quote Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been the hero on this issue for a long time. Better than anyone else, Sessions has drawn the connection between the open borders movement that is supported by business magnates and those who live in gated communities, and American workers who are already suffering, and whose wages will be driven down by mass immigration of low-skilled workers. Which is the whole point, if you are the Chamber of Commerce:

President Obama’s executive amnesty violates the laws Congress has passed in order to create and implement laws Congress has refused to pass. The President is providing an estimated 5 million illegal immigrants with social security numbers, photo IDs and work permits—allowing them to now take jobs directly from struggling Americans during a time of record immigration, low wages, and high joblessness.

This amnesty plan was rejected by the American people’s Congress. By refusing to carry out the laws of the United States in order to make his own, the President is endangering our entire Constitutional order.

We can’t say it too often: under Article II of the Constitution, the President’s most fundamental duty is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Barack Obama has made a mockery of his oath of office. He is a scofflaw.

The President’s plan will apparently also allow many illegal immigrants to receive green cards and become legal permanent residents—meaning they can access almost all U.S. welfare programs, have lifetime work authorization, obtain citizenship, and sponsor foreign relatives to join them in the U.S.

I didn’t listen to Obama tonight–duty has its limits–but I’m pretty sure he didn’t mention welfare or chain immigration.

Law enforcement has warned this unprecedented amnesty will unleash a “tidal wave” of new illegal immigration flooding into American neighborhoods at taxpayers’ expense.

The President’s plan also calls for boosting foreign worker programs for IT companies that experts tell us displace U.S. workers and keep wages low.

The President’s unconstitutional action is a direct threat to our republican system of government and will have catastrophic consequences for the American people. It must be stopped. And the way to stop it is by using Congress’ power of the purse.

The House should send the Senate a government funding bill which ensures no funds can be spent for this unlawful purpose. If Reid’s Senate Democrats vote to surrender their own institution to an imperial dictate and block the measure, then the House should send a short-term funding measure so the new GOP majority can be sworn in and pass a funding bill with the needed language.

Congress has no higher duty than to protect the American people and our Constitution. The President’s action is a threat to every working person in this country—their jobs, wages, dreams, hopes and futures. For years, the American people have begged and pleaded for a lawful system of immigration that serves the nation and makes us proud—but the politicians have refused, refused, refused.

It is time to stand strong for the American people. It is time to champion the interests of those constantly neglected on the question of immigration: the men and women and children we represent—the citizens of this country to whom we owe our ultimate allegiance. Every American must ask their Senator where they stand.

That is, of course, the bottom line: to whom does our federal government owe its loyalty? To Americans who are struggling in the evolving world economy, made worse by the current administration’s inept economic policies? Or to citizens of Mexico, Honduras and other nations, who already have a home but–understandably!–would prefer to take their chances in the U.S.? It seems obvious to me that the President of the United States owes a fiduciary duty, not to human beings generally, wherever they may reside and of whatever country they already are citizens, but rather to Americans.

But that is not how Barack Obama sees it. Worse, he is willing to act in an obviously unconstitutional manner, not to benefit Americans, but to benefit citizens of other countries. It is hard to imagine a worse betrayal of his oath of office.

Bombshell: Attorney General Targeted Attkisson

Judicial Watch has slowly been prying Fast and Furious documents out of the desperate grip of the Obama administration. The Department of Justice has now produced around 40,000 pages of documents–a tiny amount–which Judicial Watch has posted on its web site. So far, the most explosive document to emerge is an email thread between Tracy Schmaler, who headed Eric Holder’s Office of Public Affairs, and White House Deputy Press Sectary Eric Schultz. The emails are dated October 4, 2011. Here they are; as usual, you read up from the bottom. Click to enlarge:

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 6.43.59 PM

The context of the emails is concern about news reports that put Eric Holder at the center of the Fast and Furious scandal. In the first email, at 7:46, Schmaler says that there were no Fast and Furious stories from the NY Times, the Associated Press, Reuters, the Washington Post, NBC or Bloomberg. But there is one person out of step: Sharyl Attkisson. Schmaler writes:

I’m also calling Sharryl’s editor and reaching out to Schieffer. She’s out of control.

Which is highly revealing: the Obama administration expects reporters to be under control. As, of course, they generally are, like the Times, the Post, AP, etc. Schultz replies:

Good. Her piece was really bad for AG.

We can’t have that. We need to get the one reporter willing to dig into the story under control. But Schultz can’t seem to believe the White House’s good fortune:

Why do you think no one else wrote? Were they not fed the documents?

Apparently the others are all loyal Democrats. Schultz adds:

I sent [National Journal's] Susan Davis your way. She’s writing on Issa/FandF and I said you could load her up on the leaks, etc.

Three days later, as Judicial Watch notes, Ms. Davis published a hit piece on Issa that was later labelled “definitive” by another left-wing journalist.

It is obvious that the Department of Justice has withheld other emails that are relevant to the above exchange. Schmaler’s reference to “Sharryl” is out of the blue. There must have been prior references to her, but they do not show up in a search of the documents that have been produced. That means that they have been either redacted or withheld. Still, what we have is bad enough: the Obama administration targeted the only reporter who was following up on Fast and Furious, and went to her editor and to elder statesman Bob Schieffer to pull her off the case–to get her, as they said, under “control.”

Schultz and Schmaler were concerned about Fox, too. This exchange is entertaining; again, the earlier email is at the bottom. Click to enlarge:

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 7.01.19 PM

Any way they can “fix Fox”? Probably not. But note that the government’s production redacts the information that Schmaler gave to the NY Times, NBC and NPR. Why? The redaction note is “DP,” which stands for deliberative privilege, a much-misused species of executive privilege. I think it is impossible that the deliberative privilege could apply, since the redacted material is what Tracy Schmaler gave to various news organizations. But that is the Obama administration’s MO: assert countless frivolous claims of privilege, stonewall furiously, and by the time the snail’s pace of our judicial system requires documents to be produced, the administration will be out of office.

The Obama administration is rotten to the core, and Eric Holder is among the rottenest of its rotten apples.

A Tangled Webb for 2016?

There’s been some talk of former Virginia Democratic Senator Jim Webb running for president in 2016, and yesterday he took the official first step, launching the obligatory “exploratory committee” to begin raising funds and sponsoring campaign activities.  Below is his 14 minute YouTube video explaining the idea. That’s longer than it should be, and you can read the text of the video here.

Webb doesn’t fit today’s Democratic Party, which is one reason he didn’t run for re-election to the Senate in 2012.  But might be run as an independent?  2016 might be another one of those seemingly open windows for a third party candidate that always seems to close up as the actual campaign approaches.

In Re: Bill Cosby

Having been a Bill Cosby fan since I first heard the punch line, “Noah—how long can you tread water?” as a kid, the charges piling up against him are sickening. Whether or not they can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, his career appears to be over and his reputation will be forever in disgrace..

Equally sickening is how the left is already exploiting Cosby’s downfall as a means of implicitly telling other blacks not to depart from the party line that white racist oppression explains everything. As is well known, Cosby provoked a firestorm on the left with his self-critical comments on contemporary black culture before the NAACP and other audiences a few years back, and it was these heterodox comments that the comedian Hannibal Buress had in mind with his viral standup act last month:

Cosby is “the f–king smuggest old black man public persona that I hate. He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the ’80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.’ Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.”

I’m skeptical this came out of nowhere, and it would be interesting to find out with whom Burress discussed this subject prior to including it in his act.

Writing in The New Republic yesterday, Rebecca Traister says the charges against Cosby, though previously reported, were willfully disregarded because Cosby made white people feel just too good about themselves:

One reason that we have collectively plugged our ears against a decade of dismal revelations about Bill Cosby is that he made lots of Americans feel good about two things we rarely have reason to feel good about: race and gender. . .

White people loved “The Cosby Show,” especially liberal white people. . . Any suggestion that white people were culpable in the history of racism that the show addressed mostly through reference to mid-twentieth-century activism. White audiences were never made to feel bad about themselves or confront any hard questions about how they had benefitted from American systems from which black Americans had not benefitted. .

But when Cosby began to do his moralizing on race and responsibility, some of the cracks in the show’s gender politics were exposed. It became clear that he placed a lot of blame for racial inequality not just on black people, but on black women who were not like Clair Huxtable. . . This was a brutal language of misogyny, blaming women—women unattached to men—for the social disintegration of the family.

Message received and understood: depart from the liberal party line at your peril.

Actually I think the whole racial angle on Cosby should be turned on its head: How come Roman Polanski’s film career wasn’t ended after a conviction for rape? Or Woody Allen’s career after the facts of his behavior emerged? And if we’re now going to end careers over old charges, can Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey now get their due against Bill Clinton, whose sexual assaults didn’t end his career. To the contrary, he is honored as if he were the Dr. Huxtable of politics. The double standard here is obvious: if you’re a powerful (liberal) white man, you can survive being a rapist. Maybe the liberals are ironically right for a change.

Reagan and Bush 41 provide no precedent for Obama’s amnesty by executive order

Tonight, President Obama will override Congress and effectively declare amnesty for at least several million illegal immigrants. As Scott has noted, Obama himself has repeatedly admitted he lacks the constitutional power to make this move.

Some of Obama’s defenders claim that the president was mistaken when he acknowledged his lack of power to override the immigration laws. One supporter (I don’t remember who) said that Obama received bad legal advice. Apparently, the “constitutional lawyer” was misled by his legal team.

The most common argument in favor of Obama’s power to declare amnesty by executive order is that Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did it. Juan Williams, among others, has made this claim.

It is baseless. Unlike what Obama is about to do, Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 issued immigration regulations that were expressly authorized by a law passed by Congress.

In 1986, Reagan signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The Act required him to adjust the status of certain illegal immigrants to the category of “alien lawfully admitted for temporary residence.”

The Act also authorized the Attorney General to allow other illegal immigrants who did not qualify for the amnesty to remain in the U.S. if needed “to assure family unity.”

Accordingly, in May 1987, the Justice Department issued regulations that interpreted the the term “family unity” as calling for the maintenance of the “family group.” Family group was defined as including “the spouse, unmarried minor children under 18 years of age who are not member of some other household, and parents who resided regularly in the household of the family group.” Thus, not all spouses and children were included.

This regulation was not an exercise of prosecutorial discretion or the assertion of a generalized right to suspend “oppressive” immigration laws. Rather, the administration made it clear that it was carrying out the direction of Congress. It even cited the section of the law that provided this direction (section 245(d)(2)(B)(i) of the 1986 Act).

House Democrats, including one of the authors of the 1986 Act, criticized Reagan for interpreting too narrowly the executive authority they had granted him. They wanted all spouses and children to receive amnesty in the name of family unity. If anything, then Reagan acted too cautiously, exercising less than the full discretion afforded him by Congress.

Enter President George H.W. Bush. In 1990, he expanded the Reagan DOJ’s interpretation of “family unity” to encompass all spouses and children. Like Reagan, Bush merely interpreted the 1986 Act, as Congress called on the executive to do.

Bush’s interpretation was the more expansive one that Democrats had urged the Reagan administration to adopt. Both the Reagan and Bush interpretations were reasonable, though differing, attempts to effectuate congressional intent.

Obama, by contrast, will not be fulfilling a congresional mandate to interpret a new statute. He will be overriding the immigration law in the name of “prosecutorial discretion” on the ground that Congress hasn’t enacted a new statute.

It will be an unprecedented, unlawful, and dangerous assertion of executive power. It might well create a constitutional crisis.