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.”

Republicans Conquer the Senate

My article from the Nov. 5, 2014 issue of FrontPage magazine:

Republicans Conquer the Senate

By Matthew Vadum

Republicans wrested control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats last night, setting the stage for potentially dramatic legislative showdowns with President Obama during the final two years of his already-catastrophic presidency.

After a GOP electoral wave wiped out several Democratic senators who supported Obamacare, around 11:15 p.m. Eastern time major media outlets projected Republicans would hold at least 51 seats in the Senate in January. In the approaching 114th Congress both chambers will be under GOP control and in a position to hinder Obama’s agenda if lawmakers so choose. It also clears the way for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to become the Senate’s first Republican majority leader since Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) left the post at the beginning of 2007.

The first big confrontation between Obama and Congress, a massively unpopular immigration amnesty that could trigger a major constitutional crisis, is already on its way. Several hours before the first polls closed in the East, ABC News reported that White House officials said the president would move forward with an executive order on immigration reform “no matter how big a shellacking Democrats” got Tuesday.

And what a shellacking Democrats received.

In Arkansas challenger Tom Cotton (R) picked off incumbent Mark Pryor (D). In Colorado Cory Gardner (R) defeated incumbent Mark Udall (D).

In Georgia, David Perdue (R) dispatched Michelle Nunn (D). Perdue garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, thereby avoiding a runoff election. The seat is currently held by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).

In Iowa Joni Ernst (R) triumphed over Bruce Braley (D), a sitting congressman. The seat is now held by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D). In Kansas, incumbent Pat Roberts (R) beat back a fierce challenge from Greg Orman, an Independent with close ties to Democrats.

In the Bluegrass State, incumbent Mitch McConnell (R) easily bested challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), Kentucky’s current secretary of state. Grimes refused in the closing days of the campaign to say if she voted for Obama for president.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Understanding Obama's Ebola Psychosis

My article in today's American Thinker:

Understanding Obama's Ebola Psychosis

By Matthew Vadum

Many Americans believe that the Obama administration's schizophrenic behavior during the unfolding Ebola crisis is proof that Barack Obama is an incompetent chief executive.

They are wrong.  Obama is a competent leader.  That's the problem.  He's good at implementing bad ideas.  And he's a self-described citizen of the world whose first loyalty is not to the United States.

President Obama has been rolling out the red carpet for Ebola.  His policy is not designed to keep the American people safe from the deadly airborne virus that is ravaging West Africa.  Instead of treating foreign Ebola patients overseas, the president is now making plans to import them into the United States, a move that jeopardizes American lives for no reason other than the fulfillment of his ideological objectives. 

It is to share the burden, a redistribution of both wealth and health, much like Obamacare, which itself is an instrument of socioeconomic leveling posing as a health care system.

To Obama, the U.S. is nothing special.  America is just another country, or as he has put it, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

Obama is unburdened by traditional American values.  Instead, his behavior is guided by his radical left-wing principles, repulsive as they may be to normal Americans.  He is embarrassed by America. 

Obama's neo-Marxist, multiculturalist, identity politics-infused worldview holds that America is an imperialistic, systemically racist, rotten, unjust country that has victimized other nations merely by being wealthy and powerful.  America must be punished and deprived of its power to abuse brutal third-world dictators who fatten themselves while keeping their countries in desperate poverty, he believes.