Saturday, March 28, 2015

Here Is Voter Fraud

Here Is Voter Fraud
Eric Holder’s claim that voter ID is intended to suppress black voting is just cynical.
By Thomas Sowell 

Justice Is Blind--The case of dueling DOJ reports on Ferguson, Missouri

Justice Is Blind

The Justice Department’s evidence for “intentional discrimination” is even thinner than its statistical analyses. The agency criticizes city officials who used the term “personal responsibility” to explain law enforcement disparities among “certain segments” of the community. The phrase is a code word for “negative stereotypes about African Americans,” the federal lawyers believe. In reality, denouncing any invocation of “personal responsibility” as racist is a code word for liberal blindness to underclass culture. 
DOJ’s alleged smoking gun is half a dozen racist jokes emailed by two police supervisors and a court clerk. While juvenile and offensive, the emails are far from establishing that the police department’s law enforcement protocols are intentionally discriminatory. 
Justice’s final salvo against Ferguson is the charge that its officials view traffic and misdemeanor enforcement as a revenue generator for the city. The revisionist history of the riots, hastily cobbled together after the collapse of the Brown execution myth, now holds that they were triggered by compounding traffic fines as much as by the shooting. But if Ferguson uses traffic violations for revenue, so do the majority of municipalities across the country. DOJ does not come close to showing that the reason that the city wants to raise money from enforcement is to discriminate against blacks. 
To be sure, Ferguson’s system of fees and warrants for failure to pay those fees or to show up in court—like identical systems throughout the country—needs reform to avoid any possibility of punishing people for being poor. Making community service more available for offenders who cannot afford their fines is a good idea. But if those offenders ditch their community assignments, the court system will be back to the same dilemma of how to induce their compliance. Hapless Ferguson officials used the taboo term “personal responsibility” to try to explain to their Washington investigators why some people face an escalating series of fines for repeated failures to attend their court hearings. The DOJ attorneys were scandalized yet again. But this explanation is not unique to “racist” Ferguson. The black mayor of a neighboring town defended similar fees and enforcement methods under his own government. “Everyone is saying, ‘Oh, no, that’s cities just taking advantage of the poor,’ ” he told the New York Times. “When did the poor get the right to commit crimes?” 
For the last 20 years, America’s elites have talked feverishly about police racism in order to avoid talking about black crime. The Justice Department’s second Ferguson report is just the latest example of that furious attempt to change the subject. 
On March 11—hours before two police officers were shot at protests in Ferguson, either targeted directly or the unintended casualties of a gang dispute—a 6-year-old boy named Marcus Johnson was killed by a stray bullet in a St. Louis park. There have been no protests against his killer; Al Sharpton has not shown up to demand a federal investigation. Marcus Johnson is just one of the 6,000 black homicide victims a year (more than all white and Hispanic homicide victims combined) who receive virtually no attention because their killers are other black civilians. 
The police could end all their lethal uses of force tomorrow and it would have almost no effect on the black death-by-homicide rate. Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 die from shootings at more than six times the rate of white and Hispanic male teens combined, thanks to a 10 times higher rate of homicide committed by black teens. Until the black family is reconstituted, the best protection that the law-abiding residents of urban neighborhoods have is the police. They are the government agency most committed to the proposition that “Black Lives Matter.” While police departments must constantly reinforce their duty to treat everyone lawfully and with respect, the relentless effort to demonize them for enforcing the law will leave poor communities vulnerable to anarchy. 
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of Are Cops Racist? 

Washington’s Redundant Fracking Regulations

Washington’s Redundant Fracking Regulations
Congress has reserved that authority for states, but Democrats have elbowed in.
By Jillian Kay Melchior 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Israel: Beware of Obama

Israel: Beware of Obama

First he comes for the banks and health care, uses the IRS to go after critics, politicizes the Justice Department, spies on journalists, tries to curb religious freedom, slashes the military, throws open the borders, doubles the debt and nationalizes the Internet.
He lies to the public, ignores the Constitution, inflames race relations and urges Latinos to punish Republican “enemies.” He abandons our ­allies, appeases tyrants, coddles ­adversaries and uses the Crusades as an excuse for inaction as Islamist terrorists slaughter their way across the Mideast.
Now he’s coming for Israel.
Barack Obama’s promise to transform America was too modest. He is transforming the whole world before our eyes. Do you see it yet?
Against the backdrop of the tsunami of trouble he has unleashed, Obama’s pledge to “reassess” America’s relationship with Israel cannot be taken lightly. Already paving the way for an Iranian nuke, he is hinting he’ll also let the other anti-Semites at Turtle Bay have their way. That could mean American support for punitive Security Council resolutions or for Palestinian statehood initiatives. It could mean both, or something worse.
Whatever form the punishment takes, it will aim to teach Bibi Netanyahu never again to upstage him. And to teach Israeli voters never again to elect somebody Obama doesn’t like.
Apologists and wishful thinkers, including some Jews, insist Obama real­izes that the special relationship between Israel and the United States must prevail and that allowing too much daylight between friends will encourage enemies.
Those people are slow learners, or, more dangerously, deny-ists.
If Obama’s six years in office teach us anything, it is that he is impervious to appeals to good sense. Quite the contrary. Even respectful suggestions from supporters that he behave in the traditions of American presidents fill him with angry determination to do it his way.
For Israel, the consequences will be intended. Those who make excuses for Obama’s policy failures — naive, bad advice, bad luck — have not come to grips with his dark impulses and deep-seated rage.
His visceral dislike for Netanyahu is genuine, but also serves as a convenient fig leaf for his visceral dislike of Israel. The fact that it’s personal with Netanyahu doesn’t explain six years of trying to bully Israelis into signing a suicide pact with Muslims bent on destroying them. Netanyahu’s only sin is that he puts his nation’s security first and refuses to knuckle ­under to Obama’s endless demands for unilateral concessions.
That refusal is now the excuse to act against Israel. Consider that, for all the upheaval around the world, the president rarely has a cross word for, let alone an open dispute with, any other foreign leader. He calls Great Britain’s David Cameron “bro” and praised Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohammed Morsi, who had called Zionists, “the descendants of apes and pigs.”
Obama asked Vladimir Putin for patience, promising “more flexibility” after the 2012 election, a genuflection that earned him Russian aggression. His Asian pivot was a head fake, and China is exploiting the vacuum. None of those leaders has gotten the Netanyahu treatment, which included his being forced to use the White House back door on one trip, and the cold shoulder on another.
It is a clear and glaring double standard.
Most troubling is Obama’s bended-knee deference to Iran’s Supreme Leader, which has been repaid with “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” demonstrations in Tehran and expanded Iranian military action in other countries.
The courtship reached the height of absurdity last week, when Obama wished Iranians a happy Persian new year by equating Republican critics of his nuclear deal with the resistance of theocratic hard-liners, saying both “oppose a diplomatic solution.” That is a damnable slur given that a top American military official estimates that Iranian weapons, proxies and trainers killed 1,500 US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who in their right mind would trust such an evil regime with a nuke?
Yet Netanyahu, the leader of our only reliable ally in the region, is ­repeatedly singled out for abuse. He alone is the target of an orchestrated attempt to defeat him at the polls, with Obama political operatives, funded in part by American taxpayers, working to elect his opponent.
They failed and Netanyahu prevailed because Israelis see him as their best bet to protect them. Their choice was wise, but they better buckle up because it’s Israel’s turn to face the wrath of Obama.


I know that Barack Obama fancies himself a grand strategist the likes of which the world has never seen. (Okay, that may be true, but not in the way he thinks.) In an important essay last month at Mosaic, Michael Doran drew a revealing portrait of “Obama’s secret Iran agenda” that cast light on dark corners.
If you want to understand Obama’s strategery, Doran’s essay is the place to go. Today Steve Hayes adds a timely update in his Weekly Standard editorial “Obama’s Iran agenda.”
Whatever the sophisticated thinking behind it, Obama’s strategy looks like appeasement. It certainly has a lot in common with it. Indeed, we seem to have entered the tertiary stage of appeasement, in which wishful thinking and self-deception are the dominant characteristics.
To take one example, I give you President Obama’s annual statement on Nowruz, the Persian new year. The Wall Street Journal has posted the text of Obama’s statement here. The White House has posted the video below of Obama reading the statement. It is addressed to “the people and the leaders of Iran.”

In his statement Obama says: “My message to you—the people of Iran—is that, together, we have to speak up for the future we seek.” Obama addresses the people of Iran as though they are free to speak their minds.
That is immediately followed by this: “As I have said many times before, I believe that our countries should be able to resolve this issue peacefully, with diplomacy. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon.”
As we have noted several times, the alleged fatwa doesn’t exist. Obama’s citation of it is evidence that we have entered the tertiary stage of his diplomatic vision.
But wait! There is more.
Obama’s citation of President Rouahani’s statement as though it is worthy of belief is laughable. This is the guy who bragged openly on Iranian state television about how he had helped flout a 2003 agreement with the IAEA in which Iran had promised to suspend all uranium enrichment and certain other nuclear activities.
And of course we must have a classic iteration of his political opponents’ position: “[T]here are people, in both our countries and beyond, who oppose a diplomatic resolution.” He didn’t say they favor war, or call out the Jooz, but he didn’t have to. His target audience understands.
There is so much that is wrong with this short statement; it warrants the closest examination. The charitable interpretation is that Our Supreme Leader is a Supreme Fool.
UPDATE: No one better than Michael Doran to note this:

Mike Doran @Doranimated
Highlight of Obama's Nowruz message: the way he says "Tehran." Soon he'll be saying "Moskva" & "Meh-hee-Ko" | 


Obama administration officials have leaked to the Associated Press an outline of the deal they are pursuing with Iran’s mullahs. What is striking is how little benefit Iran’s adversaries will receive in exchange for the immediate lifting of sanctions, even assuming that Iran honors the agreement:
Officials said the tentative deal imposes new limits on the number of centrifuges Iran can operate to enrich uranium, a process that can lead to nuclear weapons-grade material. The sides are zeroing in on a cap of 6,000 centrifuges, officials said, down from the 6,500 they spoke of in recent weeks.
When the negotiations began, the U.S. and its allies wanted a limit of 500 to 1,500. Iran currently is operating around 10,000 centrifuges.
But U.S. officials insist the focus on centrifuge numbers alone misses the point.
That’s true.
Combined with other restrictions on enrichment levels and the types of centrifuges Iran can use, Washington believes it can extend the time Tehran would need to produce a nuclear weapon to at least a year for the 10 years it is under the moratorium. Right now, Iran would require only two to three months to amass enough material if it covertly seeks to “break out” toward the bomb.
So, best case, assuming that Iran doesn’t cheat and follows the agreement to the letter, Iran can have a nuclear weapon within 12 months rather than two or three? And then, after ten years, all bets are off? Such an agreement obviously will not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and is not intended to do so.
The AP confirms that the “agreement is unlikely to constrain Iran’s missile program,” which means that Iran will continue to develop ICBMs. So when Iran decides to go nuclear, it will have the ability to deliver nuclear warheads to–for example–New York City. So much for the Great Satan.
Apparently the Obama administration has pushed for a ten-year expiration date. France wanted the agreement in place for 25 years. “More feckless than the French” sums up President Obama’s foreign policies quite well.
One more thing: adding insult to injury, “[a]s an added enticement, elements of a U.N. arms embargo against Iran could be rolled back.”
The proposed agreement will invigorate Iran’s economy, strengthen the mullahs’ grip on the country, legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, and lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. (Indeed, the arms race has already begun, in anticipation of the deal going forward.) How anyone in the West can see this as a desirable outcome is beyond me.
UPDATE: The future, per Michael Ramirez. Click to enlarge: