Thursday, June 28, 2012

On A Happier Note...

85 days until Oktoberfest! And yes, I have the Oktoberfest app. Don't judge me.

The Supreme Court Awakens Resolve and Determination

Romney has raised a lot of cash today.  I just made a donation.  You can too.

As of right now, the Romney campaign has raised over $1.5 million today:

Reaction to the Supreme Court opinion from around the web:

I linked to this yesterday but I want to be sure you see it.  The Supreme Court decided that ObamaCare is a "tax."  In fact, it's at least twenty new taxes.

Mitt Romney's response:

The stock market plummeted in the hour after the decision came down.  When I was blogging this morning the market was at -135.51.  It's now at -156.78.

Professor Glenn Reynolds:
I do expect a lot of re-energization among Tea Party folks who had perhaps grown a bit complacent. 

Via The Foundry, the Senate may consider repeal through reconciliation:
Now that the individual mandate has acquired the official constitutional status of a “tax”, there is no longer any doubt that the Congress, and more specifically the Senate, can repeal it pursuant to the simple majority vote threshold available under the Budget Act’s reconciliation process. Some Senate insiders were concerned that the reconciliation process would leave too much of Obamacare intact, including the individual mandate. But today’s decision, while alarming in so many other ways, dispels with that concern. 
The mandate is now a revenue provision. Therefore, it is germane and not subject to a Senate parliamentary point of order to strike it from a repeal bill. The Senate’s filibuster process that would require a supermajority of 60 Senate votes to approve repeal is now irrelevant.
The thread at Memeorandum grows.

American Power:
I'm not surprised by today's ruling. I noted previously (somewhere around here) that the Court's decision on Arizona's SB 1070 was a warning against premature football-spiking. Chief Justice John Roberts, I suspect, is being extremely careful about preserving the institutional legitimacy of the Court --- and by extension, the legacy of "the natural court" under his leadership. 

Sister Toldjah:
The fight over ObamaCare has never been just about what’s allowed under the Constitution or some spurious notion of a “right” to health care. At the core is a conflict of visions over the nature of government and the relation of citizens to that government: Is it a federal government of limited, specific powers and a freeborn citizenry with inherent rights that cannot be revoked, or is it a paternalistic State of unlimited power, with citizens reduced to wards?
In the end, ObamaCare is a political question of the purest, most basic kind: What is the nature of our polity?
Doug Powers:
Though Obama and the Democrats have won the day, given the lack of popularity of the health care law (two thirds of Americans wanted the Supreme Court to overturn at least some part of the law), in just a few months they may very well look back and view this time as the moment that was the last straw for voters and the end of the president’s re-election hopes. We’ll see. 

And be sure to read the reaction at NRO:
The Court has failed to do its duty. Conservatives should not follow its example — which is what they would do if they now gave up the fight against Obamacare. The law, as rewritten by judges, remains incompatible with the country’s tradition of limited government, the future strength of our health-care system, and the nation’s solvency. We are not among those who are convinced that we will be stuck with it forever if the next election goes wrong: The law is also so poorly structured that we think it may well unravel even if put fully into effect. 

That's good advice.  Take heart and keep fighting.  Stronger than ever.

Check out the 2012 Senate races.  We need to take the Senate.

The sleeping giant awakes.

The ObamaCare Verdict Live-Blog

Here we go.

As we wait for the long anticipated Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare here are some links you might be interested in.

Legal Insurrection is on the story and will be updating.  Professor Jacobson's analysis is always spot on.

ScotusBlog will have the ruling immediately at their live blog site here.

Tabitha Hale outside the Supreme Court and offers this picture of the chaos outside:

Stay tuned for updates.

Update 1:  More coverage at CSPAN.

Ed Morrissey has an open thread up at Hot Air.  His prediction?

 I think there’s still a decent chance that the court might uphold it, but a slightly better chance that the whole thing will get tossed, more out of convenience than anything else, but the mandate will still be the key. 

The only prediction I'm making is that the ObamaCare ruling will be the last one.  There are other rulings to come in like the Stolen Valor case.

Update 2:  Here come the opinions.

Alvarez case:  the decision of the Ninth Circuit is affirmed.  Stolen Valor is unconstitutional but Congress may be able to do a new law.

Update 3:  Mandate is unconstitutional via Fox.

The opinion is authored by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Wait:  SCOTUS blog says the individual mandate survives as a tax.  Everyone is trying to figure it out.  The mandate may have been struck down in the commerce clause but struck down as a tax.

Don't panic yet.

Update 4:  It appears that the mandate survives; Chief Justice joins the left side of the court on the mandate.  The law will stand.

The law will stand.

Well, this buts Romney in a difficult position, doesn't it?  One of his campaign points is that he will repeal ObamaCare on day one.

Update 5:  Obama will speak within the hour on the decision.  I won't be watching that one.  Sorry.

Professor Jacobson has a pep talk.

Update 6:  There will be a lot of parsing to come.  I'm no legal expert by any means.  But it seems to me that what they've said is that if you don't buy insurance then the government can "tax" you.  The government can mandate that you buy insurance and if you don't, they can tax you.  Can't we repeal taxes?

You want to read the decision?  Here it is.

Let's find some more informed commentary.

Shannon Bream broadcasting from the steps of the Supreme Court, says that the Court holds that Congress cannot penalize states by taking away their Medicaid funding, under the ruling if the states refuse to accept the new influx of new Medicaid patients..

Statement from Mitch McConnell:

“Today’s decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law. Obamacare has not only limited choices and increased health care costs for American families, it has made it harder for American businesses to hire. Today’s decision does nothing to diminish the fact that Obamacare’s mandates, tax hikes, and Medicare cuts should be repealed and replaced with common sense reforms that lower costs and that the American people actually want. It is my hope that with new leadership in the White House and Senate, we can enact these step-by-step solutions and prevent further damage from this terrible law.”  

Nothing yet from Romney.

Update 7:  On Twitter, Michelle Bachmann:

Ed Morrissey:
So what now?  Mitt Romney and Republicans can now run on repeal as a big issue in the campaign.  They should emphasize the tax argument when they do, because this tax hits everyone.  The ruling may alleviate some of the bad polling the ACA has received, but probably not by much.  It’s going to remain deeply unpopular for the next few months.  On top of that, the decision to uphold the law also means that the fight is still on over the HHS contraception mandate.  We can expect the Catholic bishops to keep up the pressure on the Obama administration’s attempt to define religious expression for the purpose of controlling and limiting it — and we can probably expect the challenge to it to reach the Supreme Court, too. 

 Eric Cantor has announced that the House will vote (again) to repeal the health care law on July 11.  For all the good that will do.  Why bother?  The Senate will laugh and throw it back.

Update 8:  As the folks at SCOTUSBlog parse the opinion, Amy Howe notes that "those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo health insurance and pay higher taxes, or buy health insurance and pay lower taxes."

It seems to me now that the thing to do is to defeat Obama in the fall and take the Senate.  That's never been more important.

For the record, the stock market is currently tanking.

Update 9:  Check out this "calculator" at WaPo to see how ObamaCare will affect you.

Current Drudge screenshot:

Certainly this all becomes a political issue now.  ObamaCare is the largest tax in American history.

Via Twitter, the Romney campaign says they've raised over $100,000 since the ruling came down.

Update 10:  Juan Williams:  "We live in very partisan political times."  That's why they pay him the big bucks to comment on Fox News.

Awaiting comments now from John Boehner and Mitt Romney.  I won't be covering Obama's comments.  You can find that on your own if you're so inclined.

Via Twitter:


Update 11:  Lots of reaction at Memeorandum.

Update 12:  So much for civility in discourse.

Marco Rubio on Fox:  "You don't have to buy health insurance but if you don't you're out of compliance and you have an IRS problem."

Jeffery Lord says this could be the beginning of a political revolution:
Obama…who adamantly insisted the individual mandate was not a tax…has now been saddled by the Supreme Court as the taxer-in-chief.This in fact can be a huge potential victory for -- Mitt Romney.This is Romney's moment to lead the charge against tax increases, in this case the ultimate insult -- a tax for simply drawing a breath. A tax mandated by the Supreme Court and propagated by his opponent.
Still awaiting comments from Romney.

Update 13:  Ann Coulter tweets:

And VP contender, Bobby Jindal:

Romney in his speech now vows to repeal ObamaCare.

"What the court did today was say that the court does not violate the Constitution."   Romney says the law is bad law and raises taxes on the American people by $500 billion dollars and cuts Medicare by $500 billion dollars.  Romney says up to twenty million Americans will lose their current insurance under ObamaCare and that ObamaCare is a job killer.  "Most troubling of all is that ObamaCare puts the federal government between you and your doctor."

Romney wants to keep in place pre-existing conditions coverage.  He also vows to help lower the cost of health care and health insurance.

"This is the time for the American people to make a choice," he says.  Are you comfortable with more deficits?  Bigger government?  Or do you want to return to a time when consumers make their own choices in health care.

If we want to get rid of ObamaCare we have to get rid of Obama, he says.

"We must replace ObamaCare."

Romney took no questions.

The stock market is -135.51 right now.

I'm going to sign off here for now.  We've still got the Eric Holder contempt vote today so maybe there will be some nugget of fun today.

Do no be disheartened.  Regroup and reload.  We have the ballot box in November and like it or not, your best shot right now is Mitt Romney.  Get involved and do whatever you can to support Romney and get him elected.

Retake the Senate.

Never give up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Congressional Black Caucus Works Itself Into a Snit

Well, this is mature:
The Congressional Black Caucus plans to walk off the House floor during tomorrow’s votes to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress, according to a letter being circulated among members of Congress.
The CBC says in the letter that they refuse to participate "in any vote that would tarnish the image of Congress...".

In that case, they should have walked out during the ObamaCare vote.

It's difficult to read this with a straight face:
“We adamantly oppose this partisan attack and refuse to participate in any vote that would tarnish the image of Congress or of an attorney general who has done nothing but work tirelessly to protect the rights of the American people.  We must reflect upon why we are elected to this body and choose now to stand up for justice,” 

Like the right to vote without intimidation?

Like the right to purge illegals from your voting rolls?

What about Brian Terry's rights?  Did Eric Holder protect those?

The CBC claims that the case against Holder is a partisan waste of time.  Suddenly, now, they'd rather be "creating jobs."  They should have worried about that three years ago instead of wasting all our time with ObamaCare.

And by the way, the government doesn't "create" jobs.  That's part of the problem.

Like a Dog Waiting for an Earthquake

It feels as if we're on the precipice of something big here.  Everything is pending.  It's just a feeling in the air.  Like how a dog will cower when he senses an earthquake or a tornado is coming.  Tension.

The ObamaCare ruling is coming tomorrow.

The Eric Holder contempt vote is coming tomorrow.

And then there's that election in November.

I can hardly wait for this ObamaCare ruling tomorrow; if this goes against the petulant man-child in any way at all I can only imagine the wrath that will come down upon us from him.  Just look at what he did to Arizona after he lost one of the four points in his suit against the state.

Rush Limbaugh:
I said yesterday on this program that the Obama regime told Arizona to drop dead. Last night on Fox News on the Greta Van Susteren show, the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer -- we admire Jan Brewer here -- went on Fox News and she said, "The Obama administration told Arizona to drop dead," and that is exactly what's happened. This is unbelievable. I don’t know how this guy is going to get over 20% of the vote in November. I don't believe what is happening in this country. I literally can't believe it, folks. 
I am sitting here, my mouth agape -- wide open -- in stunned disbelief! And that's not accurate because I know these people. I shouldn't be surprised, but, nevertheless, I am. And I'm scared. I am scared of what these people are doing to this country. This is not... For an administration, after winning, to react the way this one did and basically tell Arizona, "As far as we're concerned, you don’t even exist"? As we told you yesterday on this program, the regime said it is suspending existing agreements with Arizona police over enforcement of federal immigration laws.
I know what Rush means when he says "my mouth agape."  I've felt that way for the past four years.  Stunned amazement.

How can a sitting president refuse, just flatly refuse, to enforce the laws of this country?  The laws he took an oath to uphold?

The oath:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. 
It's that simple.

Screw you, Arizona.  You're on your own.

That's just great.  What are they supposed to do now?

If this is Obama's reaction to losing one of his four points against Arizona, what in the world will he do if he loses on ObamaCare?   Will he revive it with a stream of Executive Orders?

We have a dictator, folks.  And if this man is not voted out of office in November, we're screwed.  I know that sounds alarmist and "extreme," even.  But this is the most lawless, dangerous, self-absorbed, incompetent man ever to hold the office.  Jimmy Carter wasn't bright but this goes to a whole new level.

Hugh Hewitt has a new book out:  The Brief Against Obama:  The Rise, Fall, and Epic Fail of the Hope and Change Presidency.  I haven't read the book yet but Hewitt talks with Kathryn Jean Lopez here.

An excerpt of that interview:
LOPEZ: You accuse the president of abuses of office worse than any other president. Is he really worse than Nixon? Clinton. 
HEWITT: Nixon turned over the tapes. Clinton agreed to the deposition and the disbarment. President Obama’s assault on the Constitution via his unilateralism is still unchecked and unrepented. And the leaks about national security in an age of terror are astonishing and deeply troubling. Former CIA director Michael Hayden has referred to why these leaks are so damaging, and they make the “crimes” of Watergate and Monicagate seem minor-league by comparison. 
LOPEZ: Why is Fast and Furious so important? 
HEWITT: There is a body count, and it includes an American law-enforcement agent, Brian Terry.
It boggles the mind how anyone can continue to support this president.

And speaking of books, if you haven't yet read David Limbaugh's book The Great Destroyer, order it now.  I'm not finished with it but as I've been reading I've made a list of Obama's offenses, blunders, lawless actions, and just plain incompetence.  I'm up to 65 examples and am only halfway through the book.  The book is so thoroughly documented and footnoted that its content is irrefutable even to the most ardent supporters.  A great review can be found here.

Last night I started re-watching the John Adams mini-series.  The series was so well done and, to my mind, so artfully conveyed the intentions of the founders as they debated independence and wrote the Constitution for this country.  It made me sad watching it last night because we have strayed so far, so far, from their intentions.

From now until November this blog will focus with a renewed dedication on the defeat of Barack Obama in his bid for re-election.

Never has so much rested on one election.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Add Marco Rubio to the List

Marco Rubio joins the growing list of those calling for Eric Holder's resignation:

Summer at SIGIS

First day of summer.  It's currently 91 degrees and so humid you can't even go outside.  And it's going to get even better!

It's sort of an anti-climactic day it seems.  After yesterday's wall to wall coverage on Fast and Furious, I got up today hoping for exciting news from SCOTUS.  In a way, I was hoping the ruling on Obamacare would come down but on the other hand, I'm glad it didn't.

If the ruling had come today, we'd all be talking about that instead of Fast and Furious and I think everyone needs to know about Fast and Furious.  I bet the Obama administration was hoping that Obamacare ruling would come today.  Distraction.

Have you read Katie Pavlich's book on Fast and Furious?  I have not but it's on my list.  Right now I'm reading (in my ADD fashion) The Great Destroyer by David Limbaugh, American Son by Marco Rubio, and The Prince of Frogtown by Rick Bragg.  Two of those are on my Kindle app and one is hardback.  (BoR will be proud of me).

So, with no SCOTUS news to blog about, I got out and did my part to stimulate the economy a little; I bought my mother one of those portable ice machines.  The ice maker in her refrigerator went out a while back and for what they're going to charge me to fix it, I could buy a new refrigerator.  That would be silly because the refrigerator works just fine and isn't that old.  So, I've ordered one of these ice machines.  Steve has one at his office and assures me they are wonderful.

I'm also in the market for an iPad, I think.  I've been using my Dell Streak but it's dying.  The battery life has always been short but now it just won't hold a charge.  I'm going to play around with it and do some things but if I can't get it worked out then I'll be finally biting the expensive bullet and buying an iPad (which I covet anyway so it will be okay).

I use the Streak primarily as a reader but I know there is so much more I would do with an iPad.  If you have one, share with me what your favorite apps are.  I have an iPhone but for reading purposes, it's really too small.

On another note, Mr. SIGIS and I are headed to Minden Saturday to celebrate Milly Rose's birthday.  I'm excited about that!  We may (or may not) go back down to Coushatta tomorrow for more veggies.  And next month we've got an exciting trip to Jefferson planned; we're meeting up with blog buddies Mike & Beth and will be staying at The Excelsior House again, this time in the Diamond Bessie suite!  Can't wait!

And meanwhile, we're still on baby watch!

Other than that, I'm procrastinating yard work and watching the dogs sleep.

And so it goes at Chez SIGIS.


Busted By Nancy Pelosi

Darn it, Nancy Pelosi has Republicans all figured out.  The cat is out of the bag:
Republicans are attacking Attorney General Eric Holder to help states purge their voting rolls ahead of November's elections, the top House Democrat charged Thursday. 
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday's committee vote to hold Holder in contempt of Congress — and next week's scheduled floor vote on the same resolution — represent a thinly veiled Republican scheme to distract the attorney general from his fight against state laws that have erected new hurdles to voting and registration, hurdles that would suppress areas that tend to vote Democratic.

Because if you were going to stage a scheme to set up Eric Holder, isn't Fast and Furious what you'd come up with?

Someone stage an intervention for this woman, please.

(H/T: memeorandum)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Even After a Contempt Citation Holder Still Blames Bush

In response to the vote today from the House Oversight Committee finding him in contempt of Congress, Attorney General Eric Holder has issued a statement.  The statement in itself is indicative of what got Holder in this mess in the first place.

All I could think of as I read it was an ostrich with his head in the sand.

Denial is not just a river in Egypt, as they say.

Let's look at it.  Here's his first paragraph:
“In recent months, the Justice Department has made unprecedented accommodations to respond to information requests by Chairman Issa about misguided law enforcement tactics that began in the previous administration and allowed illegal guns to be taken into Mexico.  Department professionals have spent countless hours compiling and providing thousands of documents -- nearly 8,000 -- to Chairman Issa and his committee.   My staff has had numerous meetings with congressional staff to try and accommodate these requests and yesterday, I met with Chairman Issa to offer additional internal Department documents and information that would satisfy what he identified as the Committee’s single outstanding question.
"Misguided law enforcement tactics" he says.  I'm sure that makes Brian Terry's family feel better. Their son's murder was a result of "misguided law enforcement tactics."  Not only that, but these "tactics" are all George Bush's fault.

He is, of course, referring to the operation "Wide Receiver" but there is a big difference between the two.  Wide Receiver was conducted with the cooperation of the Mexican government while Fast and Furious was not.  In Wide Receiver some of the weapons were fitting with tracking devices.  The operation was much smaller in scale than the estimated 2,000 weapons involved in Fast and Furious and when some of those guns went missing the operation was shut down.  No border agent was killed as a result of Wide Receiver.

For Holder to insist that this is a continuation of that operation is ludicrous.  The oversight of Fast and Furious was non-existent as more and more weapons continued to disappear while agents were directed to look the other way.

But, back to Holder's statement.  Most of those 8,000 documents to which he refers are from operation Wide Receiver - NOT the documents Issa and the committee are looking for.

Next paragraph:
“Unfortunately, Chairman Issa has rejected all of these efforts to reach a reasonable accommodation.  Instead, he has chosen to use his authority to take an extraordinary, unprecedented and entirely unnecessary action, intended to provoke an avoidable conflict between Congress and the Executive Branch.  This divisive action does not help us fix the problems that led to this operation or previous ones and it does nothing to make any of our law enforcement agents safer.  It's an election-year tactic intended to distract attention -- and, as a result -- has deflected critical resources from fulfilling what remains my top priority at the Department of Justice:  Protecting the American people.  
This is ridiculous and is an attempt to make this whole mess seem like Issa's fault.  He's so unreasonable, he has "rejected all of these efforts to reach a reasonable accommodation."  Reasonable?  Holder has had months, months to produce the requested documents.  When you are under subpoena to produce documents, or discovery, you don't get to just choose the ones you want to turn over.

The "unnecessary action" of a contempt citation could have been avoided if Holder had complied with the subpoena.  Contrary to Holder's assertion that Issa simply wants to "provoke an avoidable conflict between Congress and the Executive Branch," it is Holder who brought that action about by his refusal to comply.  Mr. Holder is not above the law.

Holder asserts that "this divisive action does not help us fix the problems" and he's correct that no justice for Terry's family will come as long as he dithers.

AG Holder suggests that this whole proceeding is an "election-year tactic" meant to distract and embarrass the administration.  I would suggest that Holder is the distraction and embarrassment.  Had he provided the documents requested there would be no contempt proceeding and no need for executive privilege which can only serve to push all this to the front of the mainstream media who, so far, had been doing a pretty good job not reporting on Fast and Furious.

Next paragraph:
“Simply put, any claims that the Justice Department has been unresponsive to requests for information are untrue.  From the beginning, Chairman Issa and certain members of the Committee have made unsubstantiated allegations first, then scrambled for facts to try to justify them later. That might make for good political theater, but it does little to uncover the truth or address the problems associated with this operation and prior ones dating back to the previous Administration. 
What "unsubstantiated allegations" does Holder mean?  Brian Terry's murder?  I don't think that's debatable.  Has anyone denied that the weapon that killed him came from the Fast and Furious operation?

While Holder might think all this is "good political theater" he would be better served to appreciate the seriousness of the situation and the gravity of the proceedings.  As far as doing "little to uncover the truth," well, Holder is doing just fine at keeping the truth covered up, with a little help from his boss.

And he again blames Bush.

“I have spent most of my career in law enforcement and worked closely with brave agents who put their lives on the line every day.  I know the sacrifices they make, so as soon as allegations of gunwalking came to my attention – and well before Chairman Issa expressed any interest in this issue -- I ordered the practice stopped.  I made necessary personnel changes in the Department's leadership and instituted policy changes to ensure better oversight of significant investigations.  And, I directed the Department's Inspector General to open a comprehensive investigation.  That investigation is ongoing, and the American people and Congress can count on it to produce a tough, independent review of the facts. 
He "ordered the practice stopped"?  After how many guns disappeared?  Certainly plenty of them.  As far as what Holder knew and when he knew it, that's almost beside the point.  As head of DOJ the buck stops with him.  Emails and other documents certainly prove that he knew about the operation; the operation was ridiculous to start with.  To let these guns just walk across the border untracked was an exercise in incompetence.

Holder's attempt to have the DOJ investigate itself is too ridiculous to respond to.

“When Chairman Issa later began his own investigation, I made it clear that the Department would cooperate with all appropriate oversight requests, while still adhering to our legal obligations to protect information involving ongoing law enforcement investigations, legally-protected grand jury material and other sensitive information whose disclosure would endanger the American people or our agents investigating open cases.   
AG Holder says here that he "made it clear" that he would cooperate.  So far, he has not.  He can certainly turn over requested documents to the Oversight Committee without endangering the American people or agents.  It would appear that agents had more to worry about from Fast and Furious than from Holder's cooperation in the investigation.

In conclusion Holder says,
“The American people deserve better.  That is why, I will remain focused on, and committed to, the Justice Department’s mission to protect the rights, safety, and best interests of my fellow citizens and to stand by my brave colleagues in law enforcement.” 
 The American people certainly do deserve better.  And if I was in law enforcement and Holder was standing beside me, I'd duck.

Now all we need is the idiots in the media to start screaming racism and the obfuscation is complete.  Oh, wait...

(H/T:  memeorandum)


On a 23-17 vote, Eric Holder is voted in contempt of Congress for withholding subpoenaed documents.

What's next?

The measure goes to the House for consideration.  A sitting attorney general has never been held in contempt before.

Another historic (or hysteric?) milestone for the Obama administration.

A Distraction? Explain that to Brian Terry's family

The White House has denounced Fast & Furious as "a distraction."

Tell that to Brian Terry's family, okay?

Via Roll Call:
With House Republicans set to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt over the “Fast and Furious” gun-walking investigation, the White House dismissed the action as a political distraction from the struggling economy. 
“With millions of Americans still struggling to pay the bills, Republicans announced at the beginning of this year that one of their top priorities was to investigate the administration and damage the president politically,” White House spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement emailed to reporters.
Note: That statement came via e-mail; the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, conveniently did not have a press conference today.  Go figure.

The statement also laments that Congress has not passed a transportation bill or acted on student loan rates, yet fails to mention that the Senate hasn't passed a budget in well over 1,000 days.  And Brian Terry's family has been waiting over a year for justice.

Even more incredibly, the White House is blaming Fast and Furious on George W. Bush.
Pfeiffer dismissed the Fast and Furious fiasco as “a field-driven tactic that dated back to the previous administration” and credited Holder with ending it.
You just can't make this stuff up.

Obama's War on Coal Moves Forward

Meanwhile, while the Obama administration cloaks Eric Holder in the invisibility shield, the Democrat controlled Senate defeated a Republican bill today aimed at blocking the runaway EPA in their latest salvo on the war on coal.

Via The Foundry:
Citing mercury pollution and air pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered businesses to install the “Maximum Achievable Control Technology” (MACT) to control emissions from their plants. Known as Utility MACT, this is no ordinary regulation. So stringent are the standards that potentially dozens of coal-fired power plants will close rather than incur the unsustainable costs of compliance. 
The EPA estimates the rule will cost $9.6 billion annuallyto be paid by utilities and customers alike for new equipment, monitoring and reporting, loss of generating capacity, and higher electricity rates. Industry insiders consider the agency figures to be a lowball estimate.
And so while Obama has sent his forces out to insist that there is no war on coal in this administration, his EPA just blew us back to the dark ages:

Southern [Company} warned that it would bring “more power plant closures, spikes in electricity prices, job losses, and increased power outages.” Plants that can’t be upgraded in time must be taken offline in 2015. With less power available on the grid, electricity prices are forecast to spike by 11.5 percent nationwide in 2016, causinghundreds of thousands of job losses across the economy, according to National Economic Research Associates. 

Don't forget, he promised to do this.

The vote was 46-53:
Five Democrats — Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb of Virginia,Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska — voted with Republicans. 
Five Republicans — Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee — joined Democrats in voting the measure down.
Just in time for your summer cooling bills.

Executive Privilege (UPDATED)

Well this ought to make things interesting.

Eric Holder, unwilling to turn over requested documents, asked Obama last night to invoke executive privilege over said documents.  Thus, "the most transparent administration ever" steps big into a Fast and Furious cover-up.

The vote on contempt is still on.

Contemptible indeed.

Stay tuned for links and updates.  Also stay tuned to Memeorandum where this is now a thread.

Update 1:  Remember, Bush invoked executive privilege six times.  This is how Obama felt about that:

Michelle Malkin has Holder's letter to Obama.

Pirate's Cove:
It does make one wonder what Eric Holder and the Obama administration are hiding in refusing to produce all the relevant documentation. When it comes to government, there is nothing wrong with the saying “if they have nothing to hide, they would produce the documents.” Except when it is national security. 
There's no question that Obama's intervention raises the stakes significantly; if nothing else it will now force the mainstream media to report the story.

More to come.

Update 2:  You can watch the Holder hearing online here.

On Fox, Juan Williams even says, "This looks bad for the White House."  

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA) speaking in the Holder hearing says "the facts are leading us to very legitimate inquiries."

Update 3:

Twitter reactions:

Update 4:
Wow.  Rep. Quigley (D-IL) says "IF this is about Bryan Terry..."; he goes after gun shows where "mentally ill" people can buy guns.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ):  "I am convinced that holding the Attorney General in contempt is the only way to send a message to this administration" and ones following that nobody is above the law.

Rep. Danny Daivs (D-IL) says the hearing is "partisan and rancorous."  

In a released statement, Sen. Grassley says:
How can the President assert executive privilege if there was no White House involvement? How can the President exert executive privilege over documents he's supposedly never seen? Is something very big being hidden to go to this extreme? The contempt citation is an important procedural mechanism in our system of checks and balances. The questions from Congress go to determining what happened in a disastrous government program for accountability and so that it's never repeated again.” 
And this is now at the top of Memeorandum.

Update 5:

Ann Althouse:
I think a lot of Americans, when they hear "executive privilege" think of Nixon. And, unfortunately for Obama, we've been hearing plenty of talk about Watergate lately, what with the 40-year anniversary of the break-in. Most notably: "Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought." Ironically, that was a mainstream media effort to help Obama.  
But Obama has suddenly chosen to look like Nixon. It must be worth it. And without the documents, we must speculate about what is in them. 

Rush is talking about this, of course, today.  He points out that "the regime" is blaming the Bush administration for all of this, then "why won't they release" the documents?  

Update 6:

A valid point by Victor Davis Hanson:
Would that the Obama administration had cared as much about protecting the security secrets involving the Predator drone program, the bin Laden raid, the operations on the Afghan border and in Yemen, and the cyberwar against Iran as it is does about protecting the unknowns of Fast and Furious. 
No lie.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Reading Rubio

Are you going to read Marco Rubio's book?

I am.  I just haven't decided whether to do the hardback version or the Kindle version.  If I get the Kindle version I can't get him to sign it should I ever meet him.



"Doing Fine"

Gun makers, that is:
Gun manufacturing is the one private-sector industry “doing fine” on Mr. Obama’s watch. Sturm, Ruger & Co. sold 1 million firearms in the first quarter of 2012 - an amazing 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011. The jump was so steep that the company stopped accepting orders from March to May to catch up with demand for its products. 
Last month, Smith & Wesson announced a firearm-order backlog of approximately $439 million by the end of April, up 135 percent from the same quarter in 2011. Sales in that period were up 28 percent from 2011 and 14 percent over its own predictions to investors. NSSF estimates the industry is responsible for approximately 180,000 jobs and has an annual impact on the U.S. economy of $28 billion.

While Time attributes the boon partially to zombies (no, really), it is also noted that it could have something to do with the upcoming election:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Olin’s ammunition sales have risen strongly during the first quarter of 2012, increasing 8% overall and 13% among civilians. During an April conference call with analysts, Olin’s CEO said the increase in sales “may be related to the election.”

What do you think?  Are you stocking up on ammo?

At least some portion of the economy is booming.

Rep. King Promises a Lawsuit While Romney Takes a Knee

There's a poll out today from Bloomberg reporting that 64% of likely voters approve of Obama's decision to stop enforcing immigration laws:
Sixty-four percent of likely voters surveyed after Obama’s June 15 announcement said they agreed with the policy, while 30 percent said they disagreed. Independents backed the decision by better than a two-to-one margin.
That said, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air took a look at the Bloomberg polling data and has a few questions about the results.  He notes the absence of any demographic data as well as the absence of any party affiliation, so it's difficult to weigh the bias of the poll.  As to whether or not Obama "is winning" the immigration discussion, Morrissey also questions that:
Furthermore, we have other consistent data to check.  For instance, Gallup’s tracking polls would have already shown a significant bump in the rolling averages if this issue really moves the needle as Team Obama hopes.  As of this morning, Obama’s approval in the three-day cycle that included Friday and the two days following the announcement sits at 46/47.  The addition of Sunday’s data added a point to his approval and deducted two from his disapproval, which means Obama got some small bump over the weekend … but hardly a game-changer.  The seven-day rolling average on the head-to-head race went from Romney up over Obama 46/45 to a 46/46 tie. 
 And if you go by Rasmussen, according to Morrissey, "there's even less impact."

So did this dictatorial fiat help Obama?  Probably not, in the end.

Rep. Steve King was on Fox News this morning discussing his intent to sue Obama over the immigration mandate.  King insists this is an over reach and a rule "by edict."  He expressed even more Constitutional outrage in pointing out that "we take an oath to uphold the Constitution, too.  Our Founding Fathers envisioned that each branch of government would jealously protect the authority granted to it in the Constitution."  He called this a "vast and insulting" over reach.

King is suing on the separation of powers issue;  he also points to Article 2 that the laws of this nation be "faithfully executed" not created by the president.  Watch the whole thing:

The point is clear that this edict, or "mandate by press conference" that Obama has thrown down is a political move.  It's another pandering move by a politician who doesn't have a record to campaign on.  It's a continuation of his intent to separate and divide us all and initiate class warfare among Americans.  It's all he knows how to do.

Obama issued this edict intentionally before Sen. Marco Rubio could introduce his version of the DREAM Act which, according to Daniel Foster, has a passing chance at legitimate, bipartisan, lawful immigration reform:
It’s simple. On Friday, retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) told National Review editors that he expected the version of DREAM he cosponsored with Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) to be greeted with “tolerance by our most conservative friends, and enthusiasm from the rest.” 
Of course he said this even as the Obama administration was Friday-dumping the DHS memo on the public. Forty-eight hours later it was clear any momentum a Republican-friendly version of DREAM had was dead. As Rubio put it: “People are going to say to me, ‘Why are we going to need to do anything on this now. It has been dealt with. We can wait until after the election. . . . And it is going to be hard to argue against that.”
This is a dangerous precedent that Obama has initiated and it must be struck down.  Lawful reform must prevail.

Romney's response to the whole mess was dispiriting.  Milquetoast.  Weak.  John O'Sullivan has what Romney said when asked if he would overturn this edict and what he SHOULD have said:
Interviewer: But would you repeal it? 
Romney: I hope that when I am inaugurated, this illegality will already have been withdrawn or ruled unconstitutional. It is not too late for the president to have wiser second thoughts. But if it is still standing, then of course I will withdraw it and ask Congress to consider a wider and more thoughtful review of immigration law — one that strengthens our borders and ensures that immigration and citizenship are determined by the American people and their elected representatives. You cannot have our immigration laws determined by some people who smuggle people into America and others who manage to evade the police once here. You cannot have U.S. citizenship granted to people who break into our country and manage to have a child before they are caught. You cannot have two presidents in succession breaking their vow to uphold the Constitution. The people must be able to trust those they elect.
Romney should take a lesson from O'Sullivan and from Rep. King.  The weak-kneed response he gave just reinforces the concerns that conservatives had about him in the first place.

Charles Krauthammer says Romney's deference is the correct move and he makes a valid point; Krauthammer says that any day Romney is not talking about the economy is a day that Obama wins.  I think the two issues are linked and Romney should make that clear.  With up to 800,000 new work permits on the line, that must certainly figure into American unemployment numbers.

Krauthammer suggests it is Congress who should be outraged and offended as Obama has usurped their power.  Unless we have a cadre of fighters like Rep. Steve King in Congress, I'm not expecting much from them.

(More at Memeorandum)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: Father's Day 2012 Edition

It's a lazy Father's Day at Chez SIGIS.  I've done some mundane things around the house and then went with Steve to get a case for his tablet.  We ran a few other terribly exciting errands where I bought a new melon baller, a mouse pad, and a patriotic pinwheel and he bought some candy and a bottle of water.  We lead exciting lives.

Now we're flipping back and forth between the U.S. Open and the Rangers game.  I'm watching the weather trying to figure out if I'm going to be able to grill these hamburgers I've got for supper.

I've been unable to read the blogs much this weekend; Steve had to talk me down off the ledge after Friday's amnesty drop but I'm okay now.  My blood pressure is back in normal range.

Via The Lonely Conservative, David Plouffe insists Obamnesty isn't political.  Heh!  Okay.  Doug Powers notes that just last year Obama himself insisted he didn't have the authority to do this.

Via Paco, Eric Holder's number may be up.

Saberpoint has a nice tribute to Stacy McCain who is still in hiding and covering the Kimberlin story.

Guess what Obama did today for Father's Day?  Left the kids at home and went to play golf, of course.  Redstate.

Doug Ross has given Romney a handy list of ten Executive Orders he should write once he's elected.

American Power remembers Rodney King who was found in the bottom of his swimming pool today.

The Pirate's Cove has his Father's Day linkfest (on which I'm not mentioned, but it's okay) and also some silly campaign games.

Pundette has her traditional Father's Day post.

The Foundry list five devastating effects ObamaCare will have on young adults.

Political Junkie Mom highlights Victor Davis Hanson's column this week which asks "Are We in Revolutionary Times?"

Political Clown Parade reports on the dismantling of the relationship between the U.S. and America thanks to Obama and also has one of her classic PhotoShop illustrations!

On that note, I'm going to take my chances and fire up the grill.  Burgers with sharp cheddar cheese and Steve's favorite:  Zapp's Voodoo potato chips for dinner.

Friday, June 15, 2012

We Are Now Under the Rule of a Dictator: "It's Not Amnesty!" (UPDATED)

I spent a lovely morning shopping four great estate sales today picking up a few little treasures for my various collections.  On the way home I stopped at the grocery store to get a few things and was tickled to see that they had three six-packs of my Sam Adams favorite, Latitude 48 IPA in stock.  It's a good thing I bought all of them because when I came home, fired up the computer and saw that Barack Obama is enacting the DREAM Act by fiat I had to go open one of those IPAs just to get my blood pressure back down to normal.

In case you haven't heard, from the New York Times:
Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will be able to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation under a new policy announced on Friday by the Obama administration.
Obama says these illegal immigrants are "essentially Americans" and that this makes the immigration system "more efficient, more fair, and more just."  

Just not MORE LEGAL. 

Congress has repeatedly rejected the DREAM Act, but in ObamaWorld, that just doesn't matter:
Republicans were quick to criticize Mr. Obama, saying that he was overstepping his powers in an end run around Congress. But he said he acted only "in the absence of any immigration action from Congress to fix our broken immigration system."
Never mind the rule of law!

Is there no end to what he won't do through executive fiat?

Is there no limit to the blatant political pandering?

Pirates Cove responds:
Even the AP can’t stop themselves in pointing out that this is simply campaign year politics, rather than serious policy. What Democrats always forget when they essentially push some type of amnesty is that these people still can’t vote, and the other illegals that want these policies can’t vote, either. And those who came to the US and obtained their citizenship the proper way aren’t particularly keen on voting for those who give illegals a free pass.
Well, they can vote in Florida where the DOJ is suing to stop the purging of illegals from voter rolls.

Rush Limbaugh:
What's that gonna do to the unemployment number?  Are we gonna count 'em looking for work or not?  If we don't, the number won't drop. If we do, the number will go up.  What's it gonna do for those of you trying to get work to learn that 800,000 new illegals are in the job market who will work cheaper than you do?  And what's next is home mortgages and student loans.  Those are the next two things that are gonna fall.  

Rush is calling this the "Catch, Release, Vote" program.

Janet Napolitano:
"This is not immunity, it is not amnesty," said Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, which oversees immigration enforcement. "It is an exercise of discretion."
Well, that's certainly parsing words.

Ed Morrissey:
So …. he’s going to hand out hundreds of thousands of work permits when unemployment is at 8.2% nominal, 14.8% U-6, and the civilian participation rate is near the 30-year low Obama set last month (now 63.8%)?  The only thing this accomplishes is driving the labor rate further downward and the unemployment rate further upward.  Work permits make sense when you’re creating jobs, but not when jobs are scarce.  I’m not sure that’s going to endear Obama to unions and blue-collar voters struggling to find work already. 

Well, as Rush asked, are we going to count them in the unemployment numbers or not?

Back to the New York Times and the parameters:
The policy, effective immediately, will apply to people who are currently no more than 30 years old, who arrived in the country before they turned 16 and have lived in the United States for five years. They must also have no criminal record, and have earned a high school diploma, be in school or have served in the military. 
My first question is how were they enrolled in school if they were illegal in the first place?

And obviously these age parameters include a whole new voting block for The One.

This will certainly open the borders for many more who want to come on over.  Nobody is going to stop you anymore unless you confess your membership in some drug cartel.  Sounds to me like all you have to do is come on in, go to school, stay for five years and you're all good.  That ought to make all those going through the proper channels feel all warm and fuzzy.

Obama will use Republican outrage as a campaign point in his re-election.  He will say that Republicans are anti-immigration and want to shut the doors on immigration.  This will be false.

All he needs to do is to craft a plan that will get through Congress - a plan that is acceptable for both sides of the aisle.  But the BrilliantOne has been unable to do that.

And so instead, he's going to rule America like a dictator.

Until November, that is.


Mark Krikorian:
The debate over this must not focus on the substance of the DREAM Act. We have a branch of government that does that kind of thing and it’s called “Congress.” The problem with today’s announcement is that it’s an unconstitutional expansion of executive power that can be applied to any area of law. If a future Republican president can’t get Congress to agree to a reduction in tax rates, say, or a change in environmental rules, he can just use this “discretion” to change things on his own. Democrats in Congress should be terrified of this precedent and stand with their fellow members across the aisle to put a stop to it. This is about the rule of law and nothing else.


Rep. Steve King (R-IA)  is suing to stop this unconstitutional ploy:
Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King said Friday that he plans to sue the Obama administration to halt implementation of its newly announced selective illegal immigration law enforcement policy. He told Mike Huckabee on the former Arkansas governor’s radio program Friday that he successfully sued his own state’s governor — and won — over a similar separation-of-powers issue. 
“I will tell you that — I’m not without experience on this — I’m prepared to bring a suit and seek a court order to stop implementation of this policy,” King said

Update 2:

Over at Legal Insurrection, Professor Jacobson reports (and has video & Twitter reaction) of the heckling of Obama at his speech today.

From CNN:

President Barack Obama did not respond kindly Friday to an interruption during his Rose Garden announcement of new immigration rules, telling the man shouting that it was neither the time nor the place to field questions. 
The reporter, who was wearing a temporary press badge, was identified as Neil Munro from the conservative website the Daily Caller. He later told CNN, "I have to ask the questions you all won't ask," referring to the reporters gathered who regularly cover the White House.

Here's the video:

Update 3:

Ed Driscoll reports that the Obamabots are making it a racial issue that Dear Leader was "heckled" or asked a question.

Update 4:

Senator David Vitter responds:
President Obama shows again how he isn't serious about securing our border or reforming our immigration system. He's certainly shown how serious he is about the politics of it. Like other DREAM Act proposals before, Obama's executive action today goes well beyond helping minor children caught in a policy loophole - it essentially grants amnesty to adults almost 30 years old.
Update 5:

Heh.  ABC News calls Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro "eccentric."
President Obama flashed anger for the first time in recent memory today as an eccentric conservative reporter interrupted his speech on immigration in the Rose Garden.
Even more curious, I'm wondering where ABC has been when they suggest that Obama hasn't "flashed anger" recently.  The man is a walking cesspool of anger.

More at Memeorandum and Instapundit.