Archive for Constitution

Keep Arms, Deport Illegals

If this doesn’t cement 2nd Amendment rights in perpetuity, I don’t know whay will:

In the case of a Milwaukee man deported over a single .22-caliber cartridge, a federal appeals court ruled last week that even unlawful immigrants can be part of “the public” that enjoys a Second Amendment right to keep a gun for self-defense.

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said even undocumented immigrants can be part of “the people” protected by the Bill of Rights, though it upheld the man’s conviction on a specific law that prohibits most such people from having guns.

“It is now clear that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is no second-class entitlement, (and) we see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded,” Judge Diane Wood wrote for a panel that included Judges Frank Easterbrook and Joel Flaum.

“No language in the Amendment supports such a conclusion, nor, as we have said, does a broader consideration of the Bill of Rights.”

I know many conservatives are fearful of extending rights to illegal aliens, as am I, but there are some rights that are inalienable. You can’t be here, and we’re going to kick your ass out when we catch you, but while you’re here, you can speak without government interference, you can decline to incriminate yourself, and you can pack heat. Having said that, if you’re an illegal, the odds of you owning a gun legally are exceedingly small.

But I still celebrate this ruling. If illegal aliens can own guns, who can’t? The 2nd Amendment has never stood on firmer terra.


Why Trump Is Obama-For-The-Right


I have but one disagreement with Mr. Podhoretz. He believes that we should avoid the excesses of ObamaAmerica. I disagree. We lost the core of our country when we hired a race-baiting community activist to lead us for eight years. It doesn’t matter at all what we do next. I would personally prefer a calmer President – Rubio, Kasich, Perry, whatever – but we have become a bombastic, celebrity-driven society and, most of all, Elections Have Consequences. One of the consequences of the Obama era is that law doesn’t matter anymore.

Donald Trump keeps rolling along, with new polls (caveat: polls stink) showing him far ahead of the GOP pack in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Not content with the evidence that he’s connecting with voters, Trump has continued with his signature campaign approach — insulting people. In the past two days, he’s taken to Twitter to trash-talk bête noire Megyn Kelly of Fox and Sen. Lindsey Graham, a fellow presidential candidate who poses absolutely no threat to him.

Trump’s startling affect — half-borrowed from the World Wrestling Federation’s scripted banter and half-stolen from shock-jock disc-jockeys — is a sea change from past elections.

Sure, they featured all kinds of ad hominem attacks jaw-dropping in their ugliness, but previous sophomoric assaults on media figures and other campaigns were the exclusive province of Red-Bull-chugging campaign spokeschildren who all sounded like they were on the verge of failing the eighth grade.

Trump has cut out the middleman. He is his own spokesman, his own opposition-research director and his own campaign hitman.
That’s why he’s so entertaining, and it’s also why most political professionals have found themselves aghast and agog at his rise. …

So how is this happening? Many say it’s because of his hard line on immigration. Trump believes this. Others, Bill Kristol in particular, have observed cleverly that Trump is the only unrestrained nationalist in the race.

I think there’s something else at play here. Trump has basically declared himself the anti-Obama, an all-American (he still believes Obama was born in Kenya) who has built things and run things and hasn’t just been an egghead and government guy.
In fact, what Trump is promising is simply a different form of Obamaism, and that is what perversely makes him attractive to so many people.

Obama’s astonishing second-term efforts to do an end-run around the constitutional limits of the presidency have given Trump’s approach peculiar resonance with certain conservatives.

They’ve watched in horrified amazement as Obama has single-handedly postponed parts of the Affordable Care Act; unilaterally installed people in federal jobs (at the National Labor Relations Board) that require congressional consent and announced in November 2014 that he’d cease enforcing certain immigration laws and effectively grant protection to 5 million so-called “dreamers” — when it is his constitutional obligation to enforce existing laws passed by Congress.

Trump is, in effect, promising to be a right-wing Obama, to run roughshod over the rules to fix things Obama and other politicians have broken.

Conservatives and others who dislike Obama see him acting with impunity. They believe the media cover for him. They think Republicans in Congress are too weak to challenge him. And so he gets whatever he wants.

So far, so good. Here’s where I disagree:

They’re largely right about the media, but they’re wrong that he gets away with whatever he pleases.
His immigration scheme was basically thrown in a garbage can by a district judge in Texas only three months after his speech, and his appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Right-wing Obamaism is just as dangerous. The American system is designed to restrain our politicians, not to give them a free hand.
Trump is uninterested in such niceties, and he is canny enough to declare that anyone who disagrees with him is simply too weak or cowardly or too controlled by “political correctness” to see that his strongman tactics are the only way to fix what’s broken.
But the answer to Obamaism isn’t more Obamaism. The answer to a president who acts like a strongman isn’t another strongman. The answer is to restore the proper balance to the American government.

Restore proper balance? That ship has already sailed. Notice how he doesn’t mention the unilateral changes to ObamaCare in his defense of our judicial system? Wanna know why? Because Obama did change the law, many times, to suit his fancy. And the courts (insert verb plus angry description of their weak behavior here). In the state of Massachusetts, and self-employed couple earning just over $49,000.00 will pay 1/3rd of that in ObamaCare coverage. And lots of bitter clingers work for themselves and earn very restrained sums. Or how ’bout that Iran “deal”? Shall we just call it by its real name? It is a treaty. And treaties require Congressional approval.

Sorry, but we threw away our Constitution and the results for our nation, whether we elect Trump or Hillary or someone else, are not pretty.

– Aggie

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What Say We Take ObamaCare to the Supremes Again?

Third time’s the charm:

This past week, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, over the vigorous dissent of four judges on that court, denied rehearing en banc (legalese for an entire court rather than just a panel of three judges) in the case of Sissel v. United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Sissel is a case against Obamacare led by the Pacific Legal Foundation, arguing that Obamacare is invalid because it violated the Origination Clause.

Now, the challengers have ninety days to file a writ of certiorari (an appeal) before the U.S. Supreme Court.

This important case deals with the Origination Clause of the Constitution— which reads:

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

The Founders included this clause primarily to balance out the unique powers the Senate wields, and to ensure that the power of drawing revenue from the people by taxing them would be initiated by the branch that was closest to them (remember, at that time the Senate was elected by state legislatures, not by popular vote) and whose members would have to stand for re-election every two years.

Cast your mind back to the time: “taxation without representation” was a big effing deal, as Joe Biden once said of ObamaCare. It is not a mere technicality that the framers of the Constitution explicitly put revenue-raising powers in the House, whose members can (and often should) be tossed out after two years. You want to raise taxes? You’d better be able to make your case to the people.

That was then, as they say. This is now:

But if it’s a tax, shouldn’t the bill have originated in the House?

As it happens, Obamacare “originated” in the House in only a very formalistic sense.

H.R. 3590, the bill that became Obamacare, was originally titled “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009” and had nothing to do with health care.

But to secure passage of Obamacare, the Senate decided to take this bill, which had passed the House, and gut it entirely, replacing the entire text of that bill with the Obamacare title and text and keeping only the bill number.

After it passed the Senate, the House then approved the new Senate-drafted bill through a reconciliation bill.

The problem is that this doesn’t look like the bill “originated” in the House in any meaningful way.

It was as though the Senate bulldozed a house and erected an entirely new structure, but said it was the same house because it had the same address.

And so Pacific Legal Foundation has sued.

Recently, they lost their challenge before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

The Supreme Court, [Judge Nina] Pillard argues, has defined the Origination Clause as a “purposive” clause.

In other words, the original three-judge panel contends that since the main purpose of Obamacare was to expand health insurance coverage, rather to raise revenue for the general treasury—well, then the law is not a bill to raise revenue (even if, as the Supreme Court stated in its NFIB decision, the legislation has the potential to raise “considerable revenue”).

Under this precedent, the Senate could originate any tax bill, so long as some federal court was willing to hold that the “purpose” of the bill wasn’t primarily to raise tax revenue, but to do something else.

If that is the case, so much for the protections provided by the Origination Clause.

So, a law found Constitutional only because it was a tax, cannot Constitutionally be a tax. If this is what Scalia wrote after Round 2, God knows what he’ll write if John Roberts and Co. issue another get-out-of-jail-free card.

[T}his Court’s two decisions on the Act will surely be remembered through the years. The somersaults of statutory interpretation they have performed (“penalty” means tax … “established by the State” means not established by the State) will be cited by liti­gants endlessly, to the confusion of honest jurisprudence. And the cases will publish forever the discouraging truth that the Supreme Court of the United States favors some laws over others, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.

No wonder we label his signature piece of shi—sorry, legislation—with Obama’s name. It is as deceitful and as full of fecal matter as he is.

On a related matter:

Most federal insurance cooperatives created under the Affordable Care Act are losing money and could have difficulty repaying millions of dollars in federal loans, an internal government audit has found, prompting the Obama administration to step up supervision of the carriers.

Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, said that most of the insurance co-ops enrolled fewer people than they had predicted, and that 22 of the 23 co-ops lost money last year.

Even as overall enrollments for insurance have increased, many of the co-ops are still losing money, a review of 2015 data by federal health officials shows.

Is that a Butterfield-ism I just read? Maybe they’re losing money because of increased enrollments.

We’ve covered this before, but I had to stop again to admire a 22-out-of-23 failure rate. That’s impressive, even for government work. Even for Democrat government work. Even for Obama government work.

And what’s this about not paying back loans?

Over all, co-ops have received $2.4 billion in federal loans to help pay start-up costs and to meet state solvency requirements.

“The low enrollments and net losses might limit the ability of some co-ops to repay start-up and solvency loans and to remain viable and sustainable,” Mr. Levinson said in a report analyzing the insurers’ financial condition.

That sounds a lot like “I don’t have your money.” Are you sure that’s what you meant to say?

I didn’t think so.

Dr. Martin E. Hickey, the chief executive of the New Mexico co-op, who is also chairman of the National Alliance of State Health Co-ops, said it was unrealistic to expect them to achieve a surplus right away.

“This is inherently a risky venture, a tough, tough business,” Dr. Hickey said. “There will likely be a handful of co-ops that fail. I don’t deny that. But you will probably see the red ink disappear for some plans starting next year.”

The Kentucky plan lost $50 million last year, more than any other insurance co-op, as it paid out $1.25 in claims for every dollar it collected in premiums.

“We attracted many consumers with serious illnesses,” Ms. Dunlap said. “One of our most popular plans had low premiums, low out-of-pocket costs and a large network of providers. It’s difficult, it’s uphill, but we are energetic and hopeful. Trends are going in the right direction.”

Enrollment in the South Carolina co-op stands at 70,000, up from 46,000 at the end of last year, Mr. Burgess said. “We are still losing money,” he said, “but will break even in 2016.”

With the greatest respect to the late great James Gandolfini, I think Tony Soprano would say something like: “You better fu**in’ hope so, or that’s not all that’s gonna break in 2016! I want my money, you piece of sh*t, every fu**in’ penny of it, or I’ll show you ‘energetic’! You sure picked a ‘tough, tough business’—mine! And I collect. This is me askin’ nicely. I have to ask again, and you’re going to need all those doctors to fix you up after I get t’rough with you.”

God, I miss him.

PS: In my research (if that’s not too grand a word), I noted that we’re now at about 90% coverage rate for health insurance. That number has been greeted with glee. But the number before this cluster[bleep] was around 85%. Ninety is better than 85, I get it, but were those five percentage points worth all this deceit and absurdity? Or couldn’t they have been achieved in a more honest, more direct, cheaper manner? I have to think so.

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As A Conservative, You Are Not Quite A Full Citizen Of The United States

The British have some sort of weird system of citizenship – one bean, two bean, three bean. Maybe someone can write in and explain this to me. Whatever it means, we have obviously developed the same system.

This comes from a site devoted to tax issues, and links to government reports. If you go to the link, you will be annoyed mightily. You have to reload – not once, not twice, but three times – before the ad disappears.

Lois Lerner’s political beliefs led to tea party and conservative groups receiving disparate and unfair treatment when applying for non-profit status, according to a detailed report compiled by the Senate Finance Committee.

Because of Lerner’s bias, only one conservative political advocacy organization was granted tax exempt status over a period of more than three years:

“Due to the circuitous process implemented by Lerner, only one conservative political advocacy organization was granted tax-exempt status between February 2009 and May 2012. Lerner’s bias against these applicants unquestionably led to these delays, and is particularly evident when compared to the IRS’s treatment of other applications, discussed immediately below.”

Ok, what that means is that conservatives have been denied the opportunity to fully participate in the US system We are second class citizens, at best. And, of course, if you own a small business, you pay a disproportionate tax fare, especially when looking at ObamaCare. I don’t know what to do about any of this, other than to complain.

Perhaps the answer is to go Gault?


“Going Galt” doesn’t simply mean getting angry. That would be “Going Postal.” It means having righteous indignation at the injustice of a political system that bails out individuals and institutions for irresponsible behavior and at the expense of those like you who prosper through hard work and personal responsibly.
“Going Galt” means asking in the face of new taxes and government controls, “Why work at all?” “For whom am I working?” “Am I a slave?”
“Going Galt” means recognizing that you’re being punished not for your vices but for your virtues.
“Going Galt” means recognizing that you have a moral right to your own life, the pursuit of your own happiness, and thus to the rewards you’ve earned with your labor.
“Going Galt” means recognizing that you deserve praise and honor for your achievements rather than damnation as “exploiters.”
“Going Galt” means recognizing that you do not need to justify your life or wealth to your neighbors, “society,” or politicians, or bureaucrats. They’re yours, period!
“Going Galt” means recognizing that the needs of others do not give them a claim to your time, effort, and achievements.
“Going Galt” means shrugging off unearned guilt, refusing to support your own destroyers, refusing to give them what Ayn Rand termed “the sanction of the victim.” It means taking the moral high ground by explicitly rejecting as evil the premise of “self-sacrifice” that they sell to you as a virtue— in fact “self-sacrifice” is an invitation to suicide.

Now, in my opinion, Atlas Shrugged is one of the worst written books in the English language. I can’t read it guys. Terrible. But she (Ayn Rand) had real insight into the Age of Obama.

– Aggie


Judge Blocks Release Of More Planned Parenthood Videos [Update]

It appears that the releases are limited to the material from one company, because this came out today. Note: If you don’t want to see the gross stuff, stop at about 8:57. The material leading up to 8:57 is all about money, lawyers, etc. Having said that, the conversation is fascinating and informative after 8:57. Eyeballs, brain, another boy!!

This is what free speech looks like in the Age Of Obama

The pro-life group behind a series of undercover Planned Parenthood videos accused the bioservice firm StemExpress late Wednesday of trying to “cover up this illegal baby parts trade” after the company obtained a court order blocking the release of footage.

The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary injunction Tuesday stopping the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video showing three officials from StemExpress, a company that transfers fetal tissue from abortions performed at Planned Parenthood and other clinics to medical researchers.

I understood that there are nine more tapes. Most of us get it by now, but this is a typically fascist move. Next they will arrest the videographer in the middle of the night, perp walk him to jail, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will blame the riots in Baltimore on him.

– Aggie


Obama: I Could Win A Third Term


President Obama told the African Union Tuesday that he felt he had been a “pretty good” president and if he were allowed to run for a third term, he’d probably be victorious.

Obama made the remarks while criticizing leaders on the continent who wouldn’t step aside at the conclusion of their terms.

“Now, let me be honest with you,” Obama said. “I do not understand this. I am in my second term. It has been an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as the President of the United States. I cannot imagine a greater honor or a more interesting job. I love my work. But under our Constitution, I cannot run again.”

The crowd cheered appreciatively.

“I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he said. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t. So there’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving, but the law is the law.”

The law is the law? Really? I think he’s playing around with the idea of somehow staying in office.

– Aggie

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So True..

You Can’t Keep Up With Obama’s Corruption, Incompetence and Hyperactivity

People ask me if I ever lack ideas for opinion pieces. Au contraire: Like a Malibu firefighter encircled by blazing brush, I can’t decide where to aim my hose. I spent most of Wednesday trying to pick which of that day’s Obama-fueled infernos to douse. I awoke to the news that Obama has fallen way behind on his promise to train moderate Syrians to fight ISIS. After budgeting some $500 million to instruct and equip 3,000 anti-ISIS troops by year’s end, Obama, in fact, has unleashed 60 such combatants. That’s 2 percent down, 98 percent to go. But, hey, what’s the rush? Even before the advent of ISIS, Obama originally touted this effort as a bulwark against the brutality of Bashar Assad, the dictator of Damascus. “We are particularly interested in making sure that we are mobilizing the moderate forces inside of Syria,” Obama declared at a presidential debate on October 22, 2012. Thirty-two months later, Obama’s moderate Syrian force boasts a whopping five dozen members.

“The number 60, as you all recognize, is not an impressive number,” Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday. “The number is much smaller than we hoped for at this point.” Obama exhibits little urgency. His policy recalls what a Jamaican waiter might say after your conch fritters remain unserved after 45 minutes: “Soon come, mon. Soon come.” Apparently, placing non-American boots on the ground is not so important in the battle against ISIS.

“Ideologies are not defeated with guns,” Obama explained Monday. “They are defeated by better ideas and more attractive and more compelling vision.” If only we had deployed copies of The Federalist Papers on Omaha Beach, rather than GIs. We could have crushed Hitler in a jiffy. Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) told Fox News Channel’s Martha MacCallum Wednesday, “In all the years that I have observed different conflicts and American conduct of foreign policy and national-security policy, this is the most bizarre.”

Also, bizarre is the IRS political-harassment scandal. Former IRS official Lois Lerner initially blamed “our line people in Cincinnati” for subjecting conservative and tea-party groups to excessive scrutiny, stifling paperwork demands, intrusive interrogations (“please provide the percentage of time your organization spends on prayer groups”), and endless delays in their applications for tax-exempt status.

Wednesday’s headlines revealed a far broader and darker abuse of power. If you like Obamacare and Obamanet, you will love Obamahood. Having wrecked the medical industry and nationalized the Internet, Obama now wants Washington to dictate the demographic makeup of America’s neighborhoods. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection, and this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining the IRS files of innocent Americans,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. The conservative watchdog group uncovered an IRS document that shows how the agency furnished the FBI with 21 computer disks bearing 1.25 million pages from some 113,000 tax records. This transfer included the improper disclosure of “confidential taxpayer information,” which is covered by two laws that carry criminal penalties: Internal Revenue Code Section 6103 and the federal Privacy Act. Given Team Obama’s Chinese-style stonewalling, congressional investigators are unlikely to solve this mystery. They also lack police power to do much about it. Thus, it’s time for a special prosecutor.

More at the link. What in the world happened to this country? When we were kids, it wasn’t without fault, but it was a decent place. I can’t say that any longer.

– Aggie


Try Not To Let This Destroy Your Faith In The American Justice System

Justice department tied to IRS scandal

Justice Department officials pushed IRS employees to hand over documents before they gave the records to Congress in 2013 as investigators were attempting to dig into the tax agency’s targeting of conservative nonprofits.

The Justice Department knew “that some [IRS] employees have assembled their own set” of documents for the congressional probe in preparation for their scheduled testimonies and told IRS officials it would be “helpful to obtain them” from the witnesses, according to emails published Tuesday by Judicial Watch.

“[W]e would like the unredacted documents,” an unnamed Justice Department official added in the July 16, 2013 email.

The new records, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act, suggests the Justice Department played a larger role in the IRS targeting scandal than previously known.

“These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch.

The records included a memo that described an October 8, 2010 meeting in which Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS tax-exempt unit, sought ways to press criminal charges against nonprofit groups that engaged in “political activity.”

Lerner, other top IRS officials and several representatives from the Justice Department discussed the possibility of using Federal Election Commission laws to open criminal cases for groups that “are actually political committees ‘posing’ as if they are not subject to FEC law,” the memo said.

What a cesspool the Obama administration is.

– Aggie


Just Words


And now:

At 3:34 he references the four words… just words, I guess.

“enrolled … through an exchange established by the state.

I am pretty sure that the court will support Obama, for a number of reasons. I believe the conspiracy theory that says that John Roberts is afraid of somehow losing his adopted kids. I believe it because his ruling on this issue in 2012 was out of character and because there were multiple reports that he changed his mind at the last minute. Beyond that, I think that the court doesn’t want to be subjected to the level of invective that this White House is capable of applying. We don’t really have an co-equal, triple branch of government system anymore. We have a bullying executive branch and both the legislative branch and the judicial branch are very, very weak. So even if the conspiracy “folks” are full of it (an excellent possibility), I still think that the Obama administration will win.

– Aggie


Just In Time For Summer – A New Crime Wave!

BTL writes below about his desire to give the coveted ‘Ya Think?™ award to Caroline Glick, and I am similarly conflicted about the Wall Street Journal. I’ll wait until the NY Times writes about this, I guess. But don’t hold your breath, ok?

The nation’s two-decades-long crime decline may be over. Gun violence in particular is spiraling upward in cities across America. In Baltimore, the most pressing question every morning is how many people were shot the previous night. Gun violence is up more than 60% compared with this time last year, according to Baltimore police, with 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend. May has been the most violent month the city has seen in 15 years.

In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over the same period the previous year. Through April, shootings in St. Louis were up 39%, robberies 43%, and homicides 25%. “Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said St. Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro at a May 7 City Hall hearing.

Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.

Those citywide statistics from law-enforcement officials mask even more startling neighborhood-level increases. Shooting incidents are up 500% in an East Harlem precinct compared with last year; in a South Central Los Angeles police division, shooting victims are up 100%.

By contrast, the first six months of 2014 continued a 20-year pattern of growing public safety. Violent crime in the first half of last year dropped 4.6% nationally and property crime was down 7.5%. Though comparable national figures for the first half of 2015 won’t be available for another year, the January through June 2014 crime decline is unlikely to be repeated.

The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months.

Huh, maybe we should be more tactful in our criticism of police? Or do black lives matter only when killed by police officers?
Or maybe not:

The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months.

Since last summer, the airwaves have been dominated by suggestions that the police are the biggest threat facing young black males today. A handful of highly publicized deaths of unarmed black men, often following a resisted arrest—including Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., in July 2014, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014 and Freddie Gray in Baltimore last month—have led to riots, violent protests and attacks on the police. Murders of officers jumped 89% in 2014, to 51 from 27.

The article goes on to explain that in some places (NY) tribunals or kangaroo courts are being set up to investigate and prosecute police officers. They use different words, but …

The state’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, wants to create a special state prosecutor dedicated solely to prosecuting cops who use lethal force. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would appoint an independent monitor whenever a grand jury fails to indict an officer for homicide and there are “doubts” about the fairness of the proceeding (read: in every instance of a non-indictment); the governor could then turn over the case to a special prosecutor for a second grand jury proceeding.

See what I mean?

Who would want to do police work under those circumstances? I realize that I’ve mentioned this before, but who would do that job? And while I thought that we’d see a crime wave, who guessed it would happen this quickly?

Thanks, Obama. Thanks, Holder. Anyway, much more at the link.

– Aggie

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Elizabeth Heather Coffman Will Spend 4 1/2 Years Behind Bars

for the crime of supporting ISIS on Facebook

I found this in the Israeli media, not in the US media. However, the US media reported her arrest last November.

Virginia woman was sentenced to 4-1/2 years in prison on Monday for lying to US investigators about using social media to promote and recruit for the militant Islamic State group.

Heather Elizabeth Coffman, 29, of Glen Allen, Virginia, pleaded guilty to the charge in January.

She admitted that between approximately June and November last year she used several Facebook accounts to promote the group and claimed to have Islamic State contacts in Syria.

During that time she was in a relationship with an unidentified foreign national outside the United States, whom she tried to help travel to Syria to fight for Islamic State.

I am writing about this because I wonder what she did that was illegal. She was writing positive things on Facebook. That is certainly nasty, but how is it illegal? Perhaps an attorney in Bloodthirstan can explain this to us. Is she going to prison because she lied to investigators or because she promoted ISIS?

– Aggie

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Rove’s List

Remembering the Obama years

At last Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Obama declared he was determined to “make the most of every moment” left in office, saying he had been working on a “bucket list” that included executive action on immigration and climate regulation. Aware that his critics believe he’s often acted lawlessly, Mr. Obama joked that the title for his list rhymes with “bucket.”

Regardless of what items Mr. Obama checks off, he will leave to his successor a staggering array of domestic problems, some he ignored and many he made worse.

Slow economic growth will be at the top of the list of problems. The pattern of American history has been that the more severe the recession, the stronger the recovery. Until now. In Mr. Obama’s recovery, average annual growth has been the slowest since the U.S. began compiling reliable economic statistics near the 20th century’s beginning—a feeble 2.9%. This year is off to an even slower start, with GDP growing 0.2% in the first three months.

The number of jobs also will be on that list. It took from June 2009 to April 2014—nearly five full years—to get back to having the same number of people working as when the recession began in December 2007. That’s a longer period of time to return to the starting point than in any recession in U.S. history. Meantime, roughly 14.7 million people came of age without a job available. The last time the job participation rate was this low was 1978. A third of Americans between 18 and 31 last year were living with their parents, the highest percentage in at least four decades.

The quality of jobs available will be another topic on that list. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 4.5 million Americans were working part time for economic reasons in December 2007, meaning they could not find full-time work. Last month the number was 6.6 million—a 46% increase. More part-time workers are getting fewer than 30 hours a week, in part probably because of ObamaCare.

Then there is the size of Americans’ paychecks. Inflation-adjusted median household income has dropped, from $54,059 in 2009 to $51,939 in 2013 (the latest year available), the only time this has happened during an economic recovery. The president who harps on inequality as a “defining issue of our time” has demonstrated that the middle class fares badly under progressive economic policies.

Mr. Obama will also leave behind a difficult economic climate in which to start a business. According to a recent Brookings Institution study, every year of his presidency more American businesses have died—closed, merged or gone bankrupt—than have been created.

The national debt has risen to 74.1% today from 40.8% the month he took office. This is the largest increase in a six-year period since World War II. The Congressional Budget Office says that within 25 years the public debt will exceed 100% of GDP unless Washington changes its policies.

The ballooning debt reflects the administration’s—and the Democratic Party’s—deficit spending. Mr. Obama compliments himself on reducing the deficit to 2.8% of GDP in fiscal year 2014, down from 8.7%, 8.5%, 6.8%, and 4.1% in the proceeding fiscal years. But 2.8% only matches the average deficit for the last 50 years, and the decline is attributable in large part to Republicans’ controlling the House since the 2010 midterms and slowing spending.

There’s more at the link. My take, for what its worth: The American public voted for this twice. And certain segments of American society – see Baltimore – have voted for this for decades. The only remaining question is whether or not these voters are now at critical mass, meaning that the entire country will become Baltimore. Baltimore isn’t about race, guys, it is about living in La-la-land and refusing to do what is necessary to improve your life. It is about expecting others to do it for you. It is about being so bored sitting around watching paint peel that you turn to mind-numbing drugs and/or alcohol. It is about needing money to support that habit, and, lacking job skills, taking what you need. Don’t get me wrong: Baltimore, our inner-city problems began with race. The white people, by and large, absolutely refused to let the black people participate in society – not at work, not in church, and especially not in the schools. But the remedy, which was badly needed, hasn’t panned out. I think it is because along with the necessary funding and integration laws, the message was defective. The culture allowed the sense of victimhood to replace a sense of agency, of belief in one’s own competence. Large parts of the money went to convincing people that they couldn’t ever make it on their own, that the deck was stacked against them.

Actually, I’m being too negative. The entire country won’t become Baltimore. Instead there will be an ever-widening, impassable divide between competent adults and folks who have chosen … whatever you wish to call it. You know the images of polar bears floating away on small ice floes, the kind the environmentalists use to terrify us all? Let’s mentally borrow the image. The country breaks apart into islands. The islands drift farther and farther apart. (Let’s drop the ice, let’s imagine warm islands with good beaches). Some islands have jobs, good schools, grocery stores, street lights, that kind of thing. Others have just about nothing. As the islands drift apart, those left on remaining mainland (aka the middle-class) will get to decide – quickly – which future they want. They will swim or canoe or glide to the island they choose.

The era when communities worked together to help everyone in need is slipping away, or perhaps already gone. We don’t live together; we don’t raise our kids together; we don’t share the same values. We can soberly tell our friends at the dog park or the coffee shop that we just feel terrible about this, but reality is that we can’t change it.

– Aggie

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