Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ted Cruz Was Right, Again

My article in today's American Thinker is called "Ted Cruz Was Right Again" is getting a lot of attention.

On Facebook nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin called it an "[e]xcellent opinion piece."

Here it is:

Ted Cruz Was Right, Again

By Matthew Vadum

The usual suspects are attacking Ted Cruz for doing his job.

Republicans and a chorus of conservative commentators are dumping on the sole conservative Republican senator from Texas because – the horror! – he dared to force his Senate colleagues to publicly take sides on President Obama's shameful extralegal unilateral immigration amnesty.

Apologists for Republican cowardice claim to be upset with Cruz because, as they claim, his parliamentary maneuvers to stymie the amnesty somehow allowed some objectionable Obama nominees to move forward in the confirmation process.

Of course, they're lying.  All Obama nominees are objectionable – remember, our president is a red diaper baby – yet the Senate eventually caves to Obama on more or less all of them.  Any Senate that can confirm a full-on racist, pro-terrorist, America-hating, kooky, in-your-face Marxist like Tom Perez as labor secretary is going to give its blessing to just about anyone Obama sends over.  Who really cares if a few bureaucrats who will be approved anyway by the incoming Republican Senate in the new year get to work a few weeks or months early?

What really infuriates namby-pamby Republican senators is that Cruz forced them to take a public stand on the president's unilateral amnesty.  They know that the Republican Party base is mad as hell over the amnesty, and they don't feel the need to answer to mere hoi polloi.  Bought off by the crony capitalist lobby, they support amnesty but don't want to face the electoral consequences for their betrayal of the American people.  Just as Democrats don't want to get rid of poverty, Republicans in leadership don't want to stop the amnesty (or get rid of Obamacare, for that matter).  They need villains against which to rail.

Friday, December 12, 2014

An Ominous Omnibus

My article from the Dec. 11, 2014 issue of FrontPage magazine:

An Ominous Omnibus

By Matthew Vadum

A mammoth spending bill aimed at preventing a repeat of the last government shutdown is coming under heavy fire from conservative groups for green-lighting President Obama’s executive immigration amnesty and continuing to fund Obamacare.

Republicans in Congress are inexplicably rushing through a catch-all $1 trillion-plus spending bill to prevent the government from running out of money at midnight tonight. The measure, which would keep the government funded through the end of the federal fiscal year (Sept. 30, 2015), is being called a cromnibus, which is a portmanteau of CR, as in continuing resolution, and omnibus, as in omnibus legislation.

The measure contains hundreds of policy provisions including a new prohibition on the legalization of marijuana in the District of Columbia and new funding to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Ebola virus in West Africa. It would continue funding two wildly unpopular Obama initiatives, Obamacare and President Obama’s extra-legal immigration amnesty. The Department of Homeland Security would be funded only for a few months, allowing lawmakers to delay a fight over amnesty until springtime.

“Importantly, the bill does nothing to block President Obama’s unilateral, unlawful actions which include granting quasi-legal status, work permits and Social Security numbers to those who are in the country illegally,” said Heritage Action for America spokesman Dan Holler.

“I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s taken the Republicans all of 35 days to drop that ball in spectacularly disappointing fashion,” Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots said in a statement. 

“Make no mistake, this bill DOES fund Obama’s executive amnesty, and so much more.”

The measure makes sure that illegal aliens benefiting from Obama’s amnesty receive Social Security benefits and spends almost $1 billion to help illegals integrate into communities across the country. It also blows apart the budgetary ceilings agreed upon by House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

There is, of course, no reason for Republicans to pass in a frenzied rush an all-encompassing bill funding almost all of the federal government. They could easily draft a stopgap spending bill to carry them over to January when Republicans will control both chambers of Congress and have greater bargaining power in negotiations with President Obama.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Uncovering Obama's Enemies List

My article from the Dec. 4, 2014 issue of FrontPage magazine:

Uncovering Obama's Enemies List

By Matthew Vadum

More proof has emerged that President Obama is using the IRS as a weapon against his perceived enemies as the administration abruptly canceled the release of 2,500 damning documents reportedly showing that the IRS illegally shared taxpayer files with the White House.

The existence of the documents is yet more proof that Obama maintains an extensive enemies’ list and that he treats the IRS as his personal plaything while he closely collaborates with senior IRS officials who have practically taken up residence with him in the White House. To Obama, the IRS is an instrument of political repression and taxpayer terror. Although it isn’t exactly breaking news that Obama is doing Machiavellian things with the IRS that the nearly-impeached President Nixon only fantasized about doing, hard documentary evidence of wrongdoing has been slow in coming.

The abortive document dump comes as former IRS mandarin Lois Lerner remains at liberty. Instead of becoming a long-term guest of the Bureau of Prisons, the unrepentant left-wing Democratic activist continues to live a life of luxury in Bethesda, Md., a fancy suburb of Washington, D.C. Despite the severity of her crimes, she doesn’t even have to wear a monitoring anklet. She hasn’t even been charged with breaking the law, an oversight that may be corrected by the incoming Republican-dominated Congress.

With Lerner taking the lead, Obama’s IRS targeted conservative “social welfare” nonprofits seeking tax-exempt status under section 501c4 of the Internal Revenue Code. Evidence establishes that hundreds of groups affiliated with the Tea Party movement were bullied and intimidated from engaging in constitutionally protected political activism. The IRS also subjected conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status to heightened scrutiny, harassment, and extended processing delays that may have hindered their activities during previous election cycles.

But now the Obama administration, which barely acknowledges the historic electoral whooping it received last month, has placed the 2,500 documents that are apparently not related to Lerner’s escapades in limbo as it hides behind privacy laws that are supposed to protect taxpayers, as opposed to corrupt government officials.

Ferguson Lynch Mob Leaders Convene at the White House

My article from the Dec. 2, 2014 issue of FrontPage magazine:

Ferguson Lynch Mob Leaders Convene at the White House

By Matthew Vadum

A week after grand jurors in Ferguson, Mo., did their civic duty and resisted pressure from President Obama on down to lynch an innocent police officer, Al Sharpton and Ferguson riot leaders gathered at the White House yesterday to make plans to further exacerbate the racial tensions they created in order to cripple the economy and attack civil society.

These domestic subversives refuse to accept the official finding Nov. 24 that no probable cause existed to charge police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, in the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, who was black.

The finding of “no true bill” contradicts the Left’s preferred narrative that racist white cops are gunning down innocent blacks with impunity. The failure to indict Wilson, who has since resigned from the Ferguson police department, has driven left-wingers and racial grievance mongers into an exquisite state of apoplexy. They refuse to accept that the evidence considered by the grand jury overwhelmingly, indisputably demonstrated that Brown tried to seize Wilson’s gun in an attempt to do the officer harm. To put it more bluntly, there is proof that in their fateful 90-second encounter Brown tried to kill Wilson, even though the media has consistently identified Wilson as the aggressor.

But facts are rarely obstacles when left-wingers set their minds on something.

At the initial White House meeting of the Michael Brown truther brigade, Obama proceeded from the demonstrably false assumption that a tragic injustice was done to the late teenaged thug. The president said:
As I said last week in the wake of the grand jury decision, I think Ferguson laid bare a problem that is not unique to St. Louis or that area, and is not unique to our time, and that is a simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color. The sense that in a country where one of our basic principles, perhaps the most important principle, is equality under the law, that too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.
To remedy this problem that was far less of a problem before Obama was inaugurated, the president announced he was appointing two left-wing establishment puppets to head a useless task force
to reach out and listen to law enforcement, and community activists and other stakeholders, but is going to report to me specifically in 90 days with concrete recommendations, including best practices for communities where law enforcement and neighborhoods are working well together — how do they create accountability; how do they create transparency; how do they create trust; and how can we at the federal level work with state and local communities to make sure that some of those best practices get institutionalized.
Even though there is no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Darren Wilson, police officers are going to receive stricter scrutiny. Obama also proposed spending $263 million to put body cameras on cops.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson In Flames

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

Ferguson In Flames

By Matthew Vadum

Grand jurors in Ferguson, Mo., refused to indict local police officer Darren Wilson yesterday, heroically resisting pressure from President Obama on down to lynch an innocent police officer who fought off a violent attacker.

The decision is infuriating left-wingers across America because it rebuts the underlying assumption they embrace which is that white police racism caused the death of Michael Brown, a young black thug who tried to seize Wilson’s gun in an attempt to do the officer harm.

As fresh rioting was already underway in the St. Louis area, the decision also angered President Obama who could barely contain his hostility in a disgraceful, unprecedented television appearance following the release of the announcement about the non-indictments. Obama urged activists to refrain from using violence. The president himself bears direct responsibility for fomenting the combustible situation, however.

The county’s elected prosecuting attorney, Robert McCulloch, calmly explained the process in detail last night that the grand jury employed in choosing not to return indictments in five potential charges from first-degree murder to lesser offenses.

McCulloch is a white Democrat who has come under heavy fire from race-baiting members of his own political party. His partisans hate him because he does not share their antipathy for police officers, and presumably, because he is the wrong color. McCulloch easily secured the Democratic nomination for his office in a primary election four days before Brown was killed. In that contest, he handily beat former state public defender Leslie T. Broadnax, a black woman, by a margin of 71.4 percent to 28.6 percent.

McCulloch said many witnesses gave testimony that was not believable. Witnesses fabricated events, admitted they were in error, clung to discredited factual accounts, or gave evidence inconsistent with the physical evidence.

McCulloch said grand jurors were “the only people who heard every witness … and every piece of evidence.”
“These grand jurors poured their hearts and soul into this process,” he said. The grand jury consisted of nine whites and three blacks and was meeting every week since Aug. 20 to hear evidence in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. The panel convened for 70 hours and heard from 60 witnesses.

Perhaps in a conciliatory gesture to those who wanted Wilson strung up, McCulloch referred to the death of Brown and the events surrounding it as tragic. Obama too used the word tragic.

But that is the wrong word.

Recall that Brown, an 18-year-old black male, was killed in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9 by white police officer Darren Wilson after he attacked Wilson and tried to grab his handgun. Brown’s defenders characterize him as a gentle giant even though a few minutes earlier he was captured on video committing a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store, roughing up a much smaller clerk in the process. At autopsy Brown’s height was 6′ 5″ and his weight was 289 lbs. As previously reported, autopsy results were consistent with witness accounts that Brown reached for Wilson’s gun during their fateful altercation.

Brown’s death was not tragic. He was a villain. The evidence shows that he initiated potentially deadly force against an officer of the law and suffered the consequences of his actions. Grand jurors only needed a little bit of evidence to indict Officer Wilson. The evidence needed only to establish that probable cause existed to charge Wilson with a crime. The prosecution couldn’t even satisfy that low legal bar. The Wilson case may never have made it to a grand jury at all were it not for the antics of left-wing racial grievance groups working with and taking directions from the Obama administration.

The decision not to indict Wilson is not a tragedy. Far from it. The decision is just, proof that the grand jury system that was created to prevent governments from railroading unpopular defendants still works.

The tragedy is that Wilson had to be subjected to a three-month-long circus in which he was wrongfully accused of being a racist, murdering cop. He was demonized in the media day in and day out, a process that continues in the nation’s newsrooms even after last night’s announcement.

Friday, November 21, 2014

To Amnesty 5 Million

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

To Amnesty 5 Million

By Matthew Vadum

Ignoring the brutal, historic slap-down angry American voters gave his party this month, President Obama unveiled plans for a unilaterally imposed amnesty that will shield an estimated 5 million illegal aliens from deportation.

Whether Republicans, now in possession of a thunderous mandate to fight Obama tooth and nail, will fight this despotic usurpation of the lawmaking powers of Congress remains to be seen.

Obama doesn’t care. He is pressing on, hoping to fill America with millions of new Democrat voters. And he’s going to kill American jobs in the process.

“We expect people who live in this country to play by the rules,” said the president. The address from the White House came yesterday, which just so happened to be Revolution Day (also known as Civil War Day) in Mexico.

“We expect those who cut the line will not be unfairly rewarded,” the president continued. Yet Obama went on to propose just such a reward in the form of a special “deal” for unlawful immigrants:
So we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is.
Strangely, Obama, who routinely flouts the Constitution, still acknowledges some limits to his power. The deal, he said, does not apply to recently arrived illegal aliens or illegals who have yet to sneak into the country.

“It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive,” Obama said. “Only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.”
Whether the benefits illegal aliens receive are as generous as benefits that citizens receive is beside the point. Illegal aliens are already eligible for extensive benefits from the government and Obama is a big believer in getting poor people addicted to welfare. No serious person believes illegals won’t have access to social programs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

FBI Warns of More Ferguson Rage

My article from the Nov. 18, 2014 issue of FrontPage magazine:

FBI Warns of More Ferguson Rage

By Matthew Vadum

The FBI is warning that extremist protesters will probably threaten or physically attack police officers or federal agents when a grand jury investigating the death of Michael Brown decides whether to indict the policeman who shot him.

Brown, an 18-year-old black male, was killed in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9 by white police officer Darren Wilson after he beat Wilson and tried to grab his handgun. Brown’s defenders characterize him as a gentle giant even though a few minutes earlier he was captured on video committing a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store, roughing up a much smaller clerk in the process. At autopsy Brown’s height was 6′ 5″ and his weight was 289 lbs. As previously reported, autopsy results were consistent with witness accounts that Brown reached for Wilson’s gun during their fateful altercation.

Grand jurors’ decision about whether Wilson will face criminal charges could be handed down at any time. Some activists are not content to wait. A group called RbG Black Rebels is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who provides the location of Wilson, who has reportedly gone into hiding. Taking a page from Niccolo Machiavelli, the Renaissance era courtier who urged the powerful to kill not only their enemies but also their families of their enemies, the group is also offering $1,000 for information on the whereabouts of Wilson’s close relatives.

Whenever the grand jury acts, loathsome leftists like Al Sharpton will be there to further stir the pot. Mob rule, that is Marxist mobocracy, is the model of governance preferred by Marxist community organizers like Sharpton and Barack Obama. Civil unrest is an opportunity, not a tragedy. The more bodies, the better.

The FBI’s expectation of violence shouldn’t surprise anyone. Radical leftists have long held that terrorizing people leads to change. Violence is part of the Left’s stratagem for sociopolitical change. Just one tool in the box. As one organizer in Ferguson recently said, “We’re not going to get change in this society unless white people are just a little bit afraid.”

The organizer is echoing the words of the late neo-communist activist Richard Cloward. As I explained in my book, Subversion Inc., Cloward and his wife Frances Fox Piven devised a strategy to force change by flooding the nation with welfare recipients.

Cloward wanted the poor to rise up violently against The System. Poor people would benefit more than other groups “from a major upheaval in our society,” he said. The poor only make progress “when the rest of society is afraid of them.”

Monday, November 17, 2014

Washington Braces for Amnesty

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

Washington Braces for Amnesty

By Matthew Vadum

Republicans in Congress are struggling to put together a strategy to combat President Obama’s expected unilateral immigration amnesty as the administration moves closer to pulling the amnesty trigger by year’s end.

Their deliberations came as Vice President Joe Biden met Saturday with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, and Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren. One of the topics was how to facilitate even more immigration from those poor Third World countries to the United States.

Biden said next month the U.S. would create what the White House called “an in-country refugee/parole program in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, to allow certain parents who are lawfully present in the United States to request access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for their children still in one of these three countries.”

Although fighting President Obama’s unprecedented threatened power grab by allowing a shutdown of the federal government is a possibility, Republican lawmakers acknowledge they haven’t warmed to the idea.

“It doesn’t solve the problem,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“But look, we’re having those discussions… We’re going to continue to meet about this. I know the House leaders are talking about, the Senate leaders are talking about it,” he said. “Republicans are looking at different options about how best to respond to the president’s unilateral action, which many people believe is unconstitutional, unlawful action on this particular issue.”

On ABC’s “This Week” House Deputy Majority Whip Tom Cole (R-Okla.) was cool to the idea of a shutdown. “I think the president wants a fight. I think he’s actually trying to bait us into doing some of these extreme things that have been suggested. I don’t think we will.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) is opposed to a shutdown. “There’s a wide diversity of thought as to how effective that would be,” he said. A shutdown “is not a good solution.”

One of the less appealing suggestions is to sue Obama. There is a huge problem with legal standing and is it by definition an abdication of the constitutionally-stipulated power of the purse held by Congress. Lawmakers don’t have to go to court to stop Obama.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Intifada in Ferguson

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

Intifada in Ferguson

By Matthew Vadum

The same violent protesters in Ferguson, Missouri demonstrating against the killing of Michael Brown have also been taking it to the streets in Detroit and elsewhere to press for the release of a Palestinian terrorist who killed two Israelis.

Activists are blackmailing the grand jury that is now hearing evidence against Wilson. If the grand jurors refuse to indict Wilson, radical activists are promising even more mayhem. The message is unmistakable: indict the cop, and there will be peace; don’t, and Ferguson will burn.

Brown is the young, black, 6’4″, 292-pound man who was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. When media outlets describe Brown they usually omit the fact that he viciously assaulted Wilson and tried to seize his handgun, presumably in an effort to do the officer harm. Journalists also tend to downplay the fact that minutes before Brown attacked Wilson he robbed a convenience store.

The Palestinian terrorist is Rasmea (also spelled Rasmieh) Odeh who was convicted by a Detroit jury on Monday of immigration fraud. Prosecutors accused Odeh of killing Israelis in the Sixties and then lying about it in U.S. immigration papers.

Odeh was previously convicted in Israel “for her role in the 1969 bombings of a supermarket and the British Consulate in Jerusalem, which were carried out on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization,” according to the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Prosecutors said one of the supermarket bombs killed two people and injured others. Odeh received a sentence of life imprisonment but was released after 10 years as part of a prisoner swap.

Odeh used to live in Michigan and resided in Chicago until her bail was revoked Monday. In Chicago she was employed as associate director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), which was founded by terrorist promoter Rashid Khalidi and his wife, Mona. Khalidi, a Columbia University professor and former director of the PLO’s press agency, is a well-known friend of Barack Obama. AAAN, which is hostile to Israel, claims “to challenge government policies that violate the civil, political and human rights of the Arab American and Arab immigrant community.”

The seditious collaboration in Ferguson between anti-American left-wingers, some of whom are well-funded, and anti-American Islamofascists isn’t all that unusual in U.S. politics but it receives scant attention from the media.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Obama's Amnesty By Blackmail

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

Obama's Amnesty by Blackmail

By Matthew Vadum

Ignoring voters’ historic coast-to-coast repudiation of his disastrous policies this week, President Obama is now threatening to move forward unilaterally with a massive immigration amnesty by the end of the year.

At his first post-election press conference Wednesday, instead of embracing conciliation as a responsible adult might do, Obama, the petulant Chicagoland thug, pulled a switchblade. Obama tried to blackmail newly emboldened congressional Republicans, vowing to enact amnesty through executive fiat if Congress doesn’t play ball.

Republicans’ newly won control of the Senate and enhanced majority in the House of Representatives means the Republicans who just gave Obama’s Democratic allies a savage electoral beat-down are now in a better position to give Obama the unprecedented immigration amnesty he wants. As the president said,
So before the end of the year, we’re going to take whatever lawful actions that I can take that I believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system … at the same time, I’ll be reaching out to both [incoming Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell, [House Speaker] John Boehner, and other Republican as well as Democratic leaders to find out how it is that they want to proceed. And if they want to get a bill done — whether it’s during the [approaching] lame duck [session of Congress] or next year — I’m eager to see what they have to offer.
Although McConnell and Boehner have been all over the map on immigration amnesty in recent months, since the election they have said they will not be pushed around by the president on the issue of amnesty.

Acting unilaterally on immigration would be “a big mistake” akin to “waving a red flag in front of a bull,” McConnell said. Such action “poisons the well for an opportunity to address a very important domestic issue.”
Boehner also said unilateral action would “poison the well.” The House Speaker warned Obama, “when you play with matches, then you take the risk of burning yourself, and he’s going to burn himself if he continues to go down this path.”