Cam Cardow, Cagle Cartoons
So did you hear? This week, the White House hosted a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism — and in his typical namby-pamby way, not once did Barack Obama utter the phrase “Islamic terrorist.” In fact, he went out of his way to explain why he and members of his administration will not use the phrases “Islamic extremism” or “Muslim terrorists.” Excuses, excuses. The leader of the free world might as well have led a chorus of “We Are The World.”
There have to be times — lots of them, we’re guessing — when President Obama wishes they made a human-size Thundershirt so he could strap it onto Vice President Joe Biden.
What, you think we’re talking about finding some way to idle Biden’s ladyfingers? Not at all — we’re talking about substantive things that Biden says that tend to indict the policies of the Democratic president who’s now in his sixth year of trying to do things the Obama way.
Here’s Biden in North Carolina on Feb. 18, telling a bunch of Americans how terrible they’ve got it under Obama — and how an Obama-backed infrastructure bill can help:
“No. 1: The middle class is being killed,” said Biden. “The middle class has been slammed. They are in worse shape than they’ve been anytime since the ’20s, relative to the rest of the community.”
By whom, Uncle Joe? By whom?
Biden doesn’t say, of course, pivoting instead to a soft-peddling of Obama’s latest infrastructure proposal. It’s a plan, according to Biden, that will prod the private sector into a “virtuous cycle” of middle-class prosperity.
“What’s the way to grow the middle class? Jobs! What’s the way to get jobs? Generate a virtuous cycle where, in fact, you generate more opportunity; more employers; more concentration of work in our communities.”
Because nothing says “virtue” like sending Virtue Proselytizer Vice President Joe Biden into any mixed-company situation.
Debbie “in a blue dress” Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and a House Representative in Florida’s 23rd legislative district, could have her sights set on the Senate.
According to POLITICO, Wasserman Schultz may attempt to win the Senate seat currently held by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) if Rubio decides to enter the race for the 2016 presidential nomination.
“Driving Wasserman Schultz’s interest: the increasing likelihood that Sen. Marco Rubio will run for the White House and that he ultimately won’t seek reelection in 2016, Democratic insiders familiar with her thinking say,” POLITICO reported Tuesday. The website also quoted Andrew Weinstein, a prominent Democratic backer who said Wasserman Shultz’s interest in the seat is a no-brainer.
“Of course she’s considering it: Open Senate seats are pretty rare. If you’re a nationally known candidate with a strong fundraising record and a good relationship with your constituents and supporters, you would definitely look at it,” Weinstein said.
In addition to past controversies over gaffes she’s made at the expense of causes she professes to support, Wasserman Shultz drew unwanted attention last week when she showed up with fellow House Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) in a candid red-carpet picture at the Grammy awards.
Wasserman Schultz said she used campaign funds to pay for her Hollywood trip because her attendance at the Grammys was nothing more than research into the interests of the entertainment industry.
Secretaries of state in several U.S. states are cautioning the Obama administration that the president’s temporary deportation amnesty includes features that will make it difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether illegal aliens who attempt to register to vote are telling the truth about their eligibility.
Obama’s amnesty doesn’t offer a legal path for illegals to register to vote; that’s still against the law. But, according to state officials who testified last week before the House Oversight Committee, it essentially makes the process enforcement-proof, particularly when dealing with the large number of people targeted by the amnesty.
Here’s a portion of the testimony offered by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach:
On June I5, 2012, the Obama Administration unlawfully granted deferred action to approximately 1.8 million illegal aliens willing to claim that they entered the United States before the age of 16 (the “DACA Directive”). And on November 20, 2014, the Administration extended the same executive amnesty to another approximately 4 million illegal aliens. I describe these executive actions as ”unlawful” because the only two federal courts that have addressed the question both concluded that the President acted in violation of the law…
The Directives authorize U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to issue employment authorization documents to these amnesty recipients. The aliens can then use their employment documents to obtain driver’s licenses in any states. Whether or not a particular state will issue driver’s licenses to these aliens is a question of state law. In some states, such as Wisconsin, state law compels the department of motor vehicles to issue driver’s licenses to all deferred action recipients… In other states, namely those states within the Ninth Circuit (California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Hawaii), a flawed Ninth Circuit holding now compels those states to give driver’s licenses to DACA aliens if the state gives driver’s licenses to any other deferred action aliens… In a dozen other states, the state legislatures are considering bills that would make clear that recipients of this unlawful amnesty are not entitled to driver’s licenses in those states.
Where a deferred action alien is able to obtain a driver’s license, doing so allows the alien to easily satisfy one of the documentation requirements of the Help America Vote Act. However, even if the alien resides in a state that does not provide driver’s licenses to such aliens, the alien will still be able to obtain a Social Security Number, another acceptable form of identification. Provided that the alien is willing to sign the application stating that he is a U.S. citizen – something that occurs all the time either because the alien does not understand that he is declaring U.S. citizenship or because the alien is intentionally breaking the law – he will almost certainly become registered in one of the 46 states that do not require proof of citizenship. If the alien registers using the federal voter registration form in Kansas, Arizona, Georgia, or Alabama, he will succeed in registering to vote in federal elections (unless and until the U.S. Supreme Court grants a writ of certiorari to review the Tenth Circuit’s holding in Kobach v. Election Assistance Commission and reverses the court of appeals).
Ohio Secretary of State Husted said that election officials must have access to the names, birthdates and last four digits of each illegal alien’s Social Security number, “so they can cross-check that data with election rolls and reject non-citizen registrations,” according to of The Northeast Ohio Media Group’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.
But few Republicans at the Oversight hearing were optimistic about the possibilities of orchestrating such a feat on the scale the Obama amnesty would require.
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News
Earlier this week, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany got together in Belarus, talked for 16 hours and agreed to a cease-fire in Eastern Ukraine, which is set to begin Sunday. And because we all know that Russian President Vladimir Putin is an honorable man of his word, there’s no reason to doubt that things will go smoothly. Right?
The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was conducting “research” when she used her congressional campaign funds to attend the Grammy awards Sunday in Los Angeles — not merely having a good time and finding an excuse to dress up around the glitterati.
Judging from the Twitter picture that captured DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) staring straight into an E! Entertainment Network camera Sunday, that’s almost believable.
Almost. Lee is over to the left of the infotainment reporter; Schultz, covered in makeup and wearing blue, is on the right. Despite the fresh paint, they both look dour, considering the occasion.
— Jacqueline Alemany (@JaxAlemany) February 9, 2015
Wasserman Schultz spokesman Sean Bartlett explained that the DNC chair/Congresswoman “was in Los Angeles to attend a series of official and political events during Grammys weekend and at the Grammys, where she joined her colleagues on both sides of the aisle in learning more about pressing issues before the music industry as Congress prepares to take up related legislation.”
Hey, man, if you say so.
“‘I let my staff, they handle all of my information, and I let my staff handle it, and I will address the question,'” she said.
“KPRC2 attempted to follow up with another question regarding the reported social media backlash.”
Jackson Lee’s chief of staff told KPRC that she paid for the Grammy trip “with her own money.”
Because nothing speaks to Democrats’ passion for reducing income inequality like jetting off to the Grammys.
By his own admission, outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder got nearly everything right during his time at the Department of Justice. In fact, he only had one single failure: failing to advance federal gun control.
Reflecting on his career with a sympathetic interviewer, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry, Holder modestly confessed his lone misstep.
“It is the single failure that I point to in my time as attorney general — that I was not able to, along with other members of the administration, convince Congress to follow the will of the American people, which is to enact meaningful, reasonable gun safety measures,” he said.
When it comes to a litany of other court defeats, politically motivated subversions of the Constitution and power-mongering moves, Holder’s conscience is clear.
“Holder does not view his false testimony in the ‘Fast & Furious’ gun running scandal a failure,” snarked the Media Research Center Tuesday. “Nor does he see his decision not to prosecute IRS officials after it was discovered that they specifically targeted conservative groups as a failure. When his DOJ authorized a criminal investigation against James Rosen of Fox News for no apparent reason? Nope. Big success there.
“Being held in contempt of Congress. Taking sides in the George Zimmerman case before the facts were known. His botched attempt to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 plotters in federal court in New York City…”
The list goes on. Just today, Holder lost a major gun control court case when a federal judge ruled that a federal ban on state-to-state handgun transfers between private parties is unconstitutional and violates the 5th Amendment’s due process clause.
During a speech at the Legislative Conference of the National Treasury Employees Union last week, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said that many Americans don’t understand what motivates people to seek jobs in government.
“People do not seem to understand that so many people come to government knowing that they are not going to make the kind of money that they would make in the private sector but they come to government to feed their souls,” Cummings said.
That’s why the lawmaker says he’s dedicated to increasing wages for federal workers.
“So what are my priorities? What’s my reason for being here?” Cummings said. “My ardent priority is to do whatever I can to help federal workers obtain fair compensation and meaningful pay raises.”
“President Obama’s budget for the next year recommends a 1.3 percent pay raise for federal employees I believe this is too low. I love the president but I believe this is far too low, far too low.”
Even in exceptional, snowbound circumstances, one New Jersey town has managed to remain faithful to its ordinance forbidding door-to-door solicitation without a permit — even though the “culprits” were just a pair of teenagers offering to shovel snow for local residents.
The duo — Matt Molinari and Eric Schnepf — had reportedly been shoveling snow for money in their hometown of Bridgewater, New Jersey. Then a major snowstorm came along in late January, and they decided to branch out into nearby Bound Brook, where the police stopped them.
“They need a permit, un-permitted solicitation is not allowed,” was the reception Molinari told CBS New York they received in Bound Brook. But, according to the same story, Bound Brook Police Chief Michael Jannone said the city was only trying to keep people off the streets during a “state of emergency” and wasn’t trying to strenuously enforce a permitting ordinance.
Yet the two young men maintain the police cited the ordinance as the reason for shutting down their snow-shoveling enterprise — even though, as Molinari said, the cops “weren’t jerks” about it.
“[T]he real jerks in this case are the local officials who made the [permitting] rules,” Watchdog.org’s Eric Boehm retorted in a Monday report:
To get a permit for door-to-door solicitation in Bound Brook, Molinari and Schnepf would have had to pay the borough $450 (and the government-issued permission slip is only good for 180 days at a time, which is fine if you’re trying to run a snow-shoveling business, but not so great if you’re trying to offer services year-round).
At that cost, they’d have little chance of making any profit — unless the fine folks of Bound Brook are willing to pay $100 to have their driveways and front walks cleared.
While such ordinances are conceived to keep scammers and fly-by-night salesmen from taking advantage of local residents, they “have to take a back seat to common sense at times,” Boehm emphasized.
California prankster and liberty activist Mark Dice has again revealed alarming stupidity of some Americans. For his latest video, Dice racked up signatures to a petition to help “continue the spread of illiteracy” in the U.S.
“It’s part of an Obama administration education program,” Dice told one woman as she signed.
“A lot of kids just aren’t reading these days and a lot of adults just aren’t paying any attention at all,”
Dice added as she handed back the clipboard. “Thank you for demonstrating that.”
“A lot of people just aren’t paying any attention, aren’t reading, aren’t comprehending anything,” Dice told another man.
“They’re stupid,” the man responded as he signed the petition.
Throughout the video Dice is careful to repeatedly tell signees that the petition is aimed at encouraging and spreading “illiteracy.” And, though he may have selectively edited the footage, not a single person questions Dice as to why he would want to increase the number of people unable to read.
“Illiteracy, is that just more literacy? … Improving the mind,” one man pondered as he signed the petition.
It’s been a bad week for NBC’s Brian Williams. The newsman has been relentlessly mocked online since being called out for a 10-year-old lie about taking fire in Iraq. And it isn’t just the Internet that’s out to get Williams. According to an unnamed source, former “Nightly News” host Tom Brokaw wants Williams’ “head on a platter” over the malfeasance. The phrasing of Brokaw’s request must have jogged Williams’ memory: Tune in to “NBC Nightly News” next week to hear Williams recant how he lost his head once before at a palace called Machaerus.
Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News