Rand Paul: ‘I mostly blame politicians’ for Ferguson

Following a Missouri grand jury’s decision against filing charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) weighed in on the situation in Ferguson with a call for government reform.

In an op-ed for Time, Paul said that the situation in Ferguson is largely the result of the failed policies born out of the government’s “wars” on drugs and poverty in America.

“In the search for culpability for the tragedy in Ferguson, I mostly blame politicians,” Paul wrote. “Michael Brown’s death and the suffocation of Eric Garner in New York for selling untaxed cigarettes indicate something is wrong with criminal justice in America. The War on Drugs has created a culture of violence and put police in a nearly impossible situation.

“In Ferguson, the precipitating crime was not drugs, but theft. But the War on Drugs has created a tension in some communities that too often results in tragedy,” the senator continued. “One need only witness the baby in Georgia, who had a concussive grenade explode in her face during a late-night, no-knock drug raid (in which no drugs were found) to understand the feelings of many minorities — the feeling that they are being unfairly targeted.”

Paul has previously noted that War on Drugs policies lead to disproportionate incarceration of America’s minorities. But in his Time op-ed, he argues that the nation needs to rethink more than the criminal justice system.

“Reforming criminal justice to make it racially blind is imperative, but that won’t lift up these young men from poverty. In fact, I don’t believe any law will,” he wrote. “For too long, we’ve attached some mythic notion to government solutions and yet, 40 years after we began the War on Poverty, poverty still abounds.”

In creating changes that prevent future situations like the unrest in Ferguson, Paul argued, requires breaking the nation’s poverty cycle by encouraging personal liberty and responsibility.

“Escaping the poverty trap will require all of us to relearn that not only are we our brother’s keeper, we are our own keeper,” he wrote.

Read the senator’s full op-ed at Time.

Ferguson-area school district cancels classes next week

One school district on the east side of Ferguson, Mo. has cancelled classes early next week, in anticipation of potential security concerns that could arise if a grand jury doesn’t indict officer Darren Wilson for violating the law when he allegedly shot and killed Michael Brown.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Jennings School District has already cancelled class for Monday and Tuesday (with the remainder of the week off for the Thanksgiving holiday).

The decision didn’t stem from any revelation school officials received ahead of the expected announcement of the grand jury’s decision, according to the report. “With the heightened anxiety and activity, we thought it would be better for students and staff to extend the holiday at this point,” superintendent Tiffany Anderson told the Dispatch.

Other school districts may follow suit. “Jennings is the first of what could be several school districts to cancel school, giving students and staff a week-long Thanksgiving break,” the Dispatch wrote.

White House: Things have changed since Obama’s ‘I am not the emperor’ remark

During a press conference this week, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said things have changed since President Obama said “I am not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”

On Tuesday, ABC reporter Jonathan Karl asked Earnest, “Does the president still stand by what he said last year when he said, ‘I am not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.’ Is that still operative?”

“Absolutely,” answered Earnest.

“Not a king, either?” Karl continued.

“That’s right,” said Earnest.

Karl then explained why he asked the question.

“[Obama] was asked very specifically about the idea of expanding the deferred action executive order for the DREAMers to their parents,” he said. “And he said September 17th last year, Telemundo, very clearly: ‘If we start broadening that, then essentially I would be ignoring the law in a way that would be very difficult to defend legally so that is not an option. Is that still operative — when the president said specifically that expanding the DACA executive order is not an option because it would be ignoring the law? Does he still believe that?”

Earnest said that things may be different now because the Obama administration has reviewed its options.

“Well Jon, I don’t want to get ahead of — what — any sort of announcements that the president may make, before the end of the year, about executive actions that he may take to fix our broken immigration system,” the press secretary said. “Since [the Telemundo] interview aired, the president did direct the attorney general and the secretary of homeland security to conduct a review of the law to determine what, if any, authority he could use to try to fix some of the problems that House Republicans have refused to address. So this is something that has been under consideration for some time…”

On Wednesday, Earnest insisted that Obama wears GOP allegations of executive lawlessness as a badge of honor.

“We’ve heard this kind of rhetoric about lawlessness from House Republicans for some time,” he said, adding that Obama is “willing to examine the law, review the law and use every element of that law to make progress for the American people.”

“If that is something that Republicans are critical of, then that’s, you know, maybe a criticism that the president wears with a badge of honor,” Earnest said.

The Obama administration’s secret to success: Don’t tell ’em (the truth)

Video satirist Remy is back with a new video skewering the Obama administration for its, ahem, lack of transparency in communicating the president’s true agenda to the American voter. As usual, it’s funny and spot-on.

The White House unwittingly made critics’ jobs a lot easier by blessing the Department of Health and Human Services’ contract with MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, whose recently-revealed candor about how the administration would push Obamacare’s individual mandate through (take advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter”) has provided all the fodder any Obama critic could ever need.

The classic Pelosi clip at the end is a nice touch.

H/T: Reason TV

A great mashup of Obama contradicting himself on this, that and the other

Yes, the president’s infamous “if you like your doctor” lie is included in this compilation, but there are plenty of other Obama flip-flops and busted promises, too — many of which have either faded into the slipstream of ancient political history or never got their due attention in the first place.

Media Research Center’s Dan Joseph clipped this piece together, inspired, he wrote Tuesday, by MIT economist, Obamacare schemer and all-around great condescender Jonathan Gruber.

Obamacare, ARRA, red lines, Benghazi, ISIS and more. Does anyone remember who voted for this guy in the first place? What were they thinking? Are they stupid?


Watch: Cop flips out when civilians ask him not to litter

A pair of concerned citizens confronted a police officer in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, after they saw his passenger allegedly throw a candy wrapper from the window of his patrol car on U.S. Highway 425. The cop lost his cool and began hurling insults.

“I saw your passenger roll down the window and throw out a piece of candy wrapper on the road back there, and I just wanted to let you know that’s not right,” Marcus Smith said to the officer after they caught up with him.

“Let me tell you what you do,” the officer, identified as Lee Williams by local media, said. “You worry about you.”

“I’m worried about you because you would pull over and write a ticket…,” Smith continued

“How do you know what I would do?” the cop said, asking the men why it mattered.

“It’s against the law and you are there to uphold the law,” the second man, Randall Garrett, chimed in.

“Go do something about it,” the cop said.

After the two informed the officer that they had filed a complaint with dispatch, the officer said it didn’t matter.

The officers then went on to insult the two for several minutes and, at least twice, accused them of crimes. The officer first accused Smith of speeding and then claimed that Garrett had threatened him.

At the end of the confrontation, as the two men pulled away, the officer said, “You go file a complaint, boy.”

Gruber video of the day: Insulting concerned citizens to frame Obamacare his way

Tired of the seemingly endless stream of Jonathan Gruber videos that reveal the Obama administration’s condescension toward stupid American voters?

Neither are we.

Today’s clip was publicized by Watchdog.org, which received notice of the video’s existence from its original owner, TrueNorthReports.com, earlier in the week. It features Gruber in 2011, deriding a concerned Vermonter’s questions about whether his Obamacare theory will have ill effects on health care costs and institute new taxes to bridge the gap.

“As Gruber sits listening, the committee chair reads a comment from a Vermonter who expresses concern that the economist’s plan might lead to ‘ballooning costs, increased taxes and bureaucratic outrages,’ among other things,” Watchdog explains.

“After hearing the Vermonter’s worries, Gruber responds, ‘Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?'”

Ho, ho.

Oddly enough, no kid came up with that question, despite Gruber’s insulting ad hominem.

“It was actually written by a former senior policy adviser in the White House who knew something about health care systems,” its author, former Vermont State Sen. John McClaughry, told Watchdog.

Cartoon roundup

Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons

So now we know for sure. It is no longer a theory. President Barack Obama believes Americans are stupid. And, in fact, he counts on it. One of the key architects of Obamacare repeatedly admitted that the “stupidity of the American voter” was instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Those same American voters just handed Obama and his Democratic minions their asses on a platter. How’s that for stupid?


Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch
Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com
Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com

Towns near Ferguson advise residents to get ready for a SHTF scenario

What at first appeared to be an Internet trollfest has turned out to be, well, real: Town governments in the vicinity of Ferguson, Missouri, are warning residents to steel themselves for potential human-caused disruptions if a grand jury doesn’t indict the police officer who allegedly shot Michael Brown.

The City of Berkeley, Missouri, has come up with this flier to advise people on weathering riots, severed infrastructure, supply scarcity and what have you — “just as you would in the event of a storm.”

berkeley mo letter

KTVI-TV, a Fox News affiliate, reports that at least one other city has sent out a similar warning letter to its residents.

The precautionary statements come only two days after news outlets reported local police had invested $100,000 in riot gear to counter any protests of a non-indictment, should those demonstrations become violent.

Bill Clinton loves watching fictional politicians get away with murder

Appearing on daytime television Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton talked about his appreciation of political thrillers like “House of Cards” and “Scandal” before lamenting that he didn’t have any Frank Underwood-style political murders under his belt.

“[T]he thing about ‘Scandal’ and ‘House of Cards’ that makes it fun to watch is that I can’t imagine that either a President Spacey or the president’s chief of staff on ‘Scandal’ could really get away with murder,” Clinton joked, when asked about the political shows.

“I wish I’d known about that when I was in office,” Clinton continued. “You know, think of all the opportunities I’ve missed … so little time … so many people had it coming. Crazy.”

We’ll just leave the rest up to the commenters…