Ouch!

This is featured on Drudge at the moment:

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The link goes to this Reuters story:

President Barack Obama made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Sunday with a rally to support the Democratic candidate for governor in Maryland, but early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity.

When liberal news outlets talk about Obama in such blunt terms, things are grim. More:

Most candidates from his party have been wary of appearing with him during their election races because of his sagging popularity. …

A steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke, however, and a heckler interrupted his remarks.

Far be it from me to kick a man when he is down, but note that those who walked out on Obama were all–presumably–Democrats. They didn’t leave because they disagreed with the president, but rather because they were bored by him. Which highlights a point I have made before: contrary to assurances the Democratic Party press has been giving us for eight or ten years now, Barack Obama is a mediocre public speaker, at best.

The New Normal and Millenial Voters

The Obama administration is in many respects a more sinister version of the Carter administration. Now, as then, we hear talk of a “new normal.” Pundits and news people who recognize that the economy is lousy, but can’t believe that liberal policies are the cause, conclude that we will just have to get used to slow growth, lower incomes, massive underemployment and a fast-rising cost of living. This “new normal” is not so terrible if you are middle-aged or elderly (unless you were laid off in your fifties), but it is something like a death sentence for the young.

As I recall, young people were Ronald Reagan’s best demographic. This was not because Reagan was a hipster steeped in popular culture, but rather because young voters refused to accept the Left’s dictum that America was washed up and that the days of opportunity were over. They voted for opportunity and for the continuation of the American dream.

The same thing ought to happen now, and in 2016. Young people are crazy if they base their votes on gay marriage and the preferences of gazillionaire musicians and actors. If they want a future, they will have to rebel against the new normal that liberals have in store for them. They need to fight–among other places, at the ballot box.

This is the appeal that Republicans need to make to millenials, and some creative types have created images that make the point vividly. Brad Thor tweeted a number of them; I am not sure where they originated, but maybe a reader can add that information in the comments. Here are a couple. There are more where these came from, at the link:

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OK, one more:

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I think these people are on to something. Republican candidates should take note.

The Priebus proviso

I don’t recall hearing anything both witty and true said on one of the Sunday morning gabfests in a long time, but I thought RNC chairman Reince Priebus got it done this morning in his appearance with DNC chairman Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz on FOX News Sunday. Asked by Chris Wallace whether Dems would hold their majority in the Senate, Schultz responded: “We’re going to hold the Senate because over the next couple of weeks and leading up to even today [sic], the one issue voters are going to ask themselves, Chris, is ‘Who has my back?’ And on issue after issue, Democrats have stood up for jobs, for the economy, for investing in education and health care,” and so on and on.

Alluding to leaks that Obama wants to lose Schultz as DNC chairman, Priebus responded: “You guys are losing everywhere, and the president hasn’t had anybody’s back. He hasn’t even had your back.”

I score that an ouch! for the bad guys.

Via Tim Cavanaugh/NRO.

Will Black Voters Turn Out This Year? Why Should They?

There is a lot of buzz today about this article in the New York Times: “Black Vote Seen as Last Hope for Democrats to Hold Senate.”

The confidential memo from a former pollster for President Obama contained a blunt warning for Democrats. Written this month with an eye toward Election Day, it predicted “crushing Democratic losses across the country” if the party did not do more to get black voters to the polls.

“African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014,” Cornell Belcher, the pollster, wrote in the memo, dated Oct. 1. “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.”

That last line sounds like a takeoff on the old joke, Democrats vote on Wednesday. But the broader point is no doubt correct: President Obama was re-elected in 2012 despite his poor record in office because of a historic turnout by African-Americans. There was no similar surge of black voting in 2010, and Republicans swept. Much the same will happen this year unless Democrats succeed in their efforts to motivate African-American voters, which the Times article goes on to describe.

But the Democrats may have a problem here that goes beyond the nuts and bolts of driving turnout. Barack Obama is not on the ballot this year, but as he himself has insisted, his policies are. It is easy to understand why black voters consider Obama to be their guy and support him loyally, but do they have the same motivation to vote for a continuation of the policies of the last six years? Blacks have been hurt more than anyone else by the Obama administration’s economic policies; their labor force participation continues to be alarmingly low. And vastly expanding importation of low-skilled workers, as the Democrats want to do, will further devastate the black working class.

So if blacks don’t turn out this year in the numbers they did in 2012, the reason won’t necessarily be that they don’t know when the election is. It may be that lots of them, like the rest of us, would just as soon see different policies implemented in Washington.

Is it safe to laugh?

The omniscient Glenn Reynolds picked up the image below from a Twitter feed. If Obama’s own incompetence isn’t making him “seethe,” this photoshopped image just might do it. I’m filing this under Laughter is the Best Medicine. All I can say is thanks, I needed that.

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New frontiers in freedom

I may be mistaken, but it has seemed to me for quite a while that the campaign for gay marriage is about something other than “freedom” or “acceptance” or “equal rights.” The point of the campaign seems to me that we are compelled to get our minds right, to borrow the resonant phrase of the jailers in Cool Hand Luke. The proponents of “marriage equality” demand our inner assent. We may not withhold our approval; disapproval is prohibited. If sexual practices are akin to racial characteristics there is a logic to the reorientation that the new civil rights regime means to engineer.

Consider the case of Donald and Evelyn Knapp:

[A] case has arisen in Idaho, where city officials have told ordained ministers they have to celebrate same-sex weddings or face fines and jail time.

The Idaho case involves Donald and Evelyn Knapp, both ordained ministers, who run Hitching Post Wedding Chapel. Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, told the couple that because the city has a non-discrimination statute that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, and because the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Idaho’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the couple would have to officiate at same-sex weddings in their own chapel.

The non-discrimination statute applies to all “public accommodations,” and the city views the chapel as a public accommodation….

The Knapps certainly don’t represent the end of the road we’re on. New frontiers in freedom beckon.

Government case implodes as its former lawyers allege fraud against Holder DOJ

The New York Observer reports that two former Assistant United States Attorneys say the Holder Justice Department engaged in deceit and corruption of justice in connection with the DOJ’s litigation against Sierra Pacific Industries, a California lumber company.

As a result of the allegations, a federal district judge has ordered the recusal from the case of every judge in the Eastern District of California. He reasons that the court may have been defrauded by the government, thus requiring the appointment of an outside judge to handle the matter going forward.

The Holder DOJ brought the case against Sierra Pacific for allegedly being responsible for a wildfire that destroyed 65,000 acres in California. Sierra Pacific maintained that the fire started elsewhere and that state and federal investigators and DOJ attorneys lied about the origin of the fire so they would have a “deep pocket” from which to collect millions of dollars.

Nonetheless, as litigants confronted by the power of the federal government are wont to do, the company settled the case. It agreed to pay $55 million to the United States over a period of five years and to give up 22,500 acres of land.

But now two former DOJ lawyers in the office that prosecuted the action corroborate Sierra Pacific’s claim that the DOJ’s case was based on fraud and deception. Using information provided by these lawyers, Sierra Pacific told the federal court that “the United States presented false evidence to the Defendants and the Court [and] advanced arguments to the Court premised on that false evidence or for which material evidence had been withheld.”

In addition, the United States “prepared key. . .investigators for depositions, and allowed them to repeatedly give false testimony about the most important aspects of their investigation.” The United States also “failed to disclose the facts and circumstances associated with the. . .lead investigator’s direct financial interest in the outcome of the investigation arising from an illegal bank account that has since been exposed and terminated.”

One of the former DOJ lawyers says he was removed from the original prosecution by his boss, David Shelledy, chief of the civil division in the United States Attorney’s office, because he “rebuffed” pressure to “engage in unethical conduct as a lawyer.” According to the Observer, Eric Holder will this week award Shelledy the Department’s highest award for excellence.

It figures.

Another former DOJ lawyer left the prosecution team stating: “It’s called the Department of Justice; it’s not called the Department of Revenue.” He reportedly told defense counsel that in his entire career, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Naturally, the allegations of these former prosecutors made a big impression on the court. As noted, the chief judge of the District, Morrison England, Jr., ordered the recusal of all the Eastern District judges from the case due to evidence that the government defrauded the court. He referred the case to Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, so Kozinski could appoint a judge from outside the Eastern District to handle the case.

In a related case, a California state judge found that the investigation and prosecution of this matter by the state involved “egregious,” “pervasive,” and “reprehensible” abuses that amount to “government corruption.” The state court case “betray[ed] the primary purpose of the judicial system—to reveal the truth,” the judge stated.

The Department of Justice exists to promote justice, not to collect money by winning cases. A lawyer representing a private individual may have to take positions he considers unmeritorious in order to serve his client. Even so, such a lawyer cannot advance his client’s interest through fraud.

A government lawyer should never take an unmeritorious position. If doing so is required to win a case, the government shouldn’t pursue the case. Unlike a private party, the government has no valid interest in winning cases it doesn’t deserve to win.

This view is anachronistic, of course. Government lawyers are as ambitious as private lawyers — maybe more so because they are more likely to be shooting for a judgeship or a move into the lucrative world of private practice. Many government lawyers are also zealots.

Thus, the modern government lawyer has no compunction about trying to sell arguments with scant support in the law or the facts, and there isn’t much anyone can do about it. But when ambition and/or ideology induce government lawyers to rely on facts they know have been invented or to fail to meet the legal obligation to disclose facts, the line has been crossed.

It isn’t surprising that, in the lawless, leftist crony-favoring environment of the Holder DOJ, Sierra Pacific appears to be the victim of a lawless prosecution. The case against it fits a pattern of abuse.

In this instance, David Shelledy, who drove the prosecution against Sierra Pacific, reportedly had a history of resisting the disclosure in environmental cases of evidence the DOJ is required to disclose. The Department’s office of professional responsibility is said to have rejected his positions on this issue in previous cases.

But the Holder DOJ did not rein Shelledy in. And now, it is about to award him for “excellence.”

Shelledy is thus the very model of a Holder DOJ attorney. And if the reports of his conduct in the Sierra Pacific case are accurate, that’s a disgrace.