Kerry the Magician:
Courtesy of ZH.
In an earlier post on Chicago’s declining murder rate, the decline didn’t seem to prove anything about gun control or gun ownership (in any direction) and I asked “So, what happened?”
V the K suggested a different explanation by sending this link, The Truth About Chicago’s Crime Rates. Short answer: Someone has been cooking the books.
On October 28, a pathologist ruled the death of Tiara Groves a homicide…the Chicago Police Department should have counted Groves’s death as a murder. And it did. Until December 18. On that day, the police report indicates, a lieutenant overseeing the Groves case reclassified the homicide investigation as a noncriminal death investigation…
The change stunned officers. Current and former veteran detectives who reviewed the Groves case at Chicago’s request were just as incredulous.
Was it just a coincidence, some wondered, that the reclassification occurred less than two weeks before the end of the year, when the city of Chicago’s final homicide numbers for 2013 would be tallied? …
For the case of Tiara Groves is not an isolated one. Chicago [Magazine, the authors] conducted a 12-month examination of the Chicago Police Department’s crime statistics going back several years…We identified 10 people…whose cases were reclassified…, downgraded to more minor crimes, or even closed as noncriminal incidents—all for illogical or, at best, unclear reasons.
This troubling practice goes far beyond murders…Chicago found dozens of other crimes, including serious felonies such as robberies, burglaries, and assaults, that were misclassified, downgraded to wrist-slap offenses, or made to vanish altogether…
Does the problem start at the top? Evidently:
Many officers of different ranks and from different parts of the city recounted instances…One detective refers to the “magic ink”: the power to make a case disappear. Says another: “The rank and file don’t agree with what’s going on. The powers that be are making the changes.”
…sources describe a practice that has become widespread at the same time that top police brass have become fixated on demonstrating improvement in Chicago’s woeful crime statistics…
…the see-no-evil, hear-no-evil pols on Chicago’s City Council have mostly accepted the police department’s crime numbers at face value. So have most in the media. You can hardly turn on the news without hearing McCarthy or Mayor Rahm Emanuel proclaiming unquestioned: Murders down 18 percent in 2013! Overall crime down 23 percent! Twelve thousand fewer crime victims! “These days, everything is about media and public opinion,” says one longtime officer. “If a number makes people feel safe, then why not give it to them?”
There’s much more, including a Part 2 yet to come.
Sheila Jackson Lee is a senior Democrat member of the US House of Representatives. The Congressional Black Caucus wanted her to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security.
“Maybe I should offer a good thanks to the distinguished members of the majority, the Republicans, my chairman and others, for giving us an opportunity to have a deliberative constitutional discussion that reinforces the sanctity of this nation and how well it is that we have lasted some 400 years, operating under a constitution that clearly defines what is constitutional and what is not,” she said.
The scary part is, she is actually smarter and better informed than most of the people who voted for her. Like that troll we used to have who thought the Constitution mandated budget priorities and had sections about welfare.
In related news of Democrat accomplishment, President Obama apparently does not know how to use a credit card machine, which is odd for someone who is better at running up debt than all other presidents combined.
The administration—whose latest foray into unobstructed, unlegislated, we’ve-got-this, go-it-aloneism was the fabulously ‘effed up roll-out of HealthCare.gov—is going to make 2014 the year of the Executive Branch takes on the world without the messiness of involving the People’s Branch of the federal government?
This’ll be something to see…
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)
If you follow me on Twitter (and you should)…. you’ll know that I’ve been giving out the daily #ToxicLittleQueen Award for the past few weeks. The origins of the award come from none other than Alec Baldwin. Daily recipients show similar disregard for tolerance and decency.
Yesterday, I realized that despite just starting the honor several weeks ago…. I really should bestow the Toxic Little Queen of 2013. But there were SO many suggestions, that I’ve had to break it into two categories.
Feel free to vote for your favorite each day.
Winners will be announced on Twitter on Christmas Eve.
Wow. Just… Wow
Larry Summers, former head of the National Economic Council, thought having Jarrett represent the White House was a mistake. Business leaders “felt patronized and offended by Valerie,” Summers told Woodward, largely due to her tendency to insist that she spoke for the president, and an approach to problem-solving that involved little more than scheduling multiple lunch meetings. One CEO complained to Alter that “when we go to the White House, we talk to people we wouldn’t hire.” Alter himself has likened Jarrett’s role in the White House to “the CEO putting his sister in charge of marketing.”
Or putting a former slumlord in charge of the entire presidency.
In the Obama Administration, you can completely botch the Obamacare launch, run guns to Mexican drug gangs, let four people die in Benghazi on your watch, commit egregious transgressions against freedom of the press, and break the law by targeting political opposition with IRS, call for a race war against white people and still keep your job. But insult Valerie Jarrett in an anonymous tweet? Clean out your desk.
kak·is·toc·ra·cy: – [kak-uh-stok-ruh-see] government by the worst persons; a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.
And close to 40% of the population still support this administration? Good Lord. I expect Brawndo to go on the market any day now and Fuddruckers to change its name to something inappropriate but in keeping with this exciting new era of American politics.
…is to protect rights to life, liberty and property so that people in all walks of life can produce and trade in peace. And a big part of that is making sure that violent crime is a non-issue in people’s lives.
While President Obama fiddles with Obamacare, violent crime in America is going up.
In other words: Even as federal and State governments become engrossed in a matter that isn’t government’s job (and in which government violates everyone’s rights on a huge scale), society is losing ground on a more basic matter that is indeed government’s job. Coincidence?
Violent crime rose 15% in the past year, a time of (supposed) economic recovery and rising employment. I’ll hate to see what happens, when the next recession hits.
Via The Economic Collapse blog, which gives further information on rising crime.
If the “science” of economics has two consistent findings, they are:
Do left-liberals care? Noooooo. With their unreasoning devotion to Big Government as Fantasy-Mommy-Daddy Which Picks Our Food From Unicorn Bushes, they continually advocate both rent control and minimum wage hikes.
But the U.S. already has a fairly high minimum wage, as shown on this neat-o infographic from ZH:
Note that Australia’s vaunted minimum wage is under $10, in real terms (adjusted for PPP). Add in the fact that Australia is actually a freer country than the U.S. – #3 for economic freedom, where the U.S. under Obama has sadly sunk to #10 – and a resource-producer for China, and one can see why Australia has not had more glaring damage from their minimum wage…yet.
I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and others will not rest until the U.S. is “Number One!” in minimum wage – and in unemployment.
Victor Davis Hanson published a memorable piece in the National Review last week entitled “America as Pill Bug.” The pill bug or the roly-poly bug is one that turns itself into a ball when it feels threatened. Hanson writes:
That roly-poly bug can serve as a fair symbol of present-day U.S. foreign policy, especially in our understandable weariness over Iraq, Afghanistan, and the scandals that are overwhelming the Obama administration.
On August 4, U.S. embassies across the Middle East simply closed on the basis of intelligence reports of planned al-Qaeda violence. The shutdown of 21 diplomatic facilities was the most extensive in recent American history.
Yet we still have over a month to go before the twelfth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, an iconic date for radical Islamists.
Such preemptive measures are no doubt sober and judicious. Yet if we shut down our entire public profile in the Middle East on the threat of terrorism, what will we do when more anti-American violence arises? Should we close more embassies for more days, or return home altogether?
Hanson makes an excellent point about the way the Obama administration’s closure of embassies is likely to be viewed in the Arab world and around the globe. Although, as Jeff pointed out in a post last week, the administration may have ulterior motives–by trying to create a distraction–by closing the embassies in this manner, the reality is that the interpretation of the administration’s actions by our international foes is likely to proceed in a manner similar to that Hanson envisions in his article.
Hanson looks at the example of Libya and Syria to illustrate that the administration’s “lead from behind” strategy is not working, and that it appears to be counterproductive:
Instead, the terrorists are getting their second wind, as they interpret our loud magnanimity as weakness — or, more likely, simple confusion. They increasingly do not seem to fear U.S. retaliation for any planned assaults. Instead, al-Qaeda franchises expect Americans to adopt their new pill-bug mode of curling up until danger passes.
Our enemies have grounds for such cockiness. President Obama promised swift punishment for those who attacked U.S. installations in Benghazi and killed four Americans. So far the killers roam free. Rumors abound that they have been seen publicly in Libya.
Instead of blaming radical Islamist killers for that attack, the Obama reelection campaign team fobbed the assault off as the reaction to a supposedly right-wing, Islamophobic videomaker. That yarn was untrue and was greeted as politically correct appeasement in the Middle East.
All these Libyan developments took place against a backdrop of “lead from behind.” Was it wise for American officials to brag that the world’s largest military had taken a subordinate role in removing Moammar Qaddafi — in a military operation contingent on approval from the United Nations and the Arab League but not the U.S. Congress?
No one knows what to do about the mess in Syria. But when you do not know what to do, it is imprudent to periodically lay down “red lines.” Yet the administration has done just that to the Bashar al-Assad regime over the last two years.
Hanson sees the Obama administration’s foreign policy as a disastrous replay of the Carter doctrine, once again illustrating Glenn Reynolds’ frequent observation that a replay of Jimmy Carter is simply the “best-case scenario” for Obama.
While I believe Hanson is right in his characterization of the big picture and the likely consequences of Obama foreign policy, I’d differ from him in seeing Obama as being as feckless and weak as Carter. I’d maintain that Carter’s foreign policy was guided by a number of naive precepts about the nature of the world. At least during the years of his presidency, I’d contend that Carter “meant well” in the way the phrase is commonly used to describe a hopelessly incompetent bumbler who seems incapable of recognizing his own shortcomings. Likewise, early in the Obama administration, Tammy Bruce started referring to Obama as Urkel, the nerdy, awkward, inept kid from the TV show “Family Matters” who had an uncanny ability to mess up almost everything he touched. That certainly is one narrative for what Obama is doing in the world of foreign policy, but I’m not sure it is the right one.
As I contemplate Obama foreign policy, though, particularly in the Middle East, I find myself thinking more and more that although incompetence might be the simplest explanation, it might not be the best or the right one. I see no good intentions in the administration’s domestic policy, so why should its foreign policy be exempt from charges that it is motivated more by malevolence to the United States and its role in history than by a supposed set of “liberal” ideals?
This is an administration that seems bent on alienating all of our historical allies as quickly as possible, while taking it easy on our geopolitical foes. Obama seems to want our allies to view us as unreliable and untrustworthy while making sure our enemies view us as weak, indecisive, and either unable or unwilling to use force to protect our interests or to enforce our stated policy goals. If there is a better explanation of the administration’s ultimate foreign policy goals, I’d sure like to know what it might be.
In writing about the IRS Tea Party Snooping Scandal, Ace’s CDR M asks a question about the official response which could also apply to administration’s response to the Benghazi talking points:
Does anyone in position of authority know anything in this administration?
Once again, conservatives should not let up on this issue until we know who sanctioned the targeted investigations – and who crafted the crazy things they asked Tea Party groups.
Basically, the excuse the Obama team is offering is that, oh, we’re not corrupt, we’re just incompetent.
*And the Benghazi talking points doctoring.
UPDATE: Seems they know a lot. Just caught this on Yahoo!’s home page, AP Exclusive: IRS knew tea party targeted in 2011:
Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general’s report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.
Ed Morrissey has more.
Some signs of the times:
35 public educators indicted in a massive cheating scandal. Are they unionized, by any chance? Why, yes they are.
Obama pushes banks to make subprime loans. It was a big part of the earlier housing bubble, folks, that government wanted the banks to abandon prudent lending practices. But lefties don’t need to learn from the past. When our new housing bubble bursts, they’ll just blame the banks’ alleged “greed” again.
Stockton, CA bankruptcy moves forward. Old news, but worth noting. Why Stockton? Picture the busted housing bubble, combined with California-style public employee unions / pensions, mismanagement and unemployment.
Government-funded researchers wanted to prove that whites do more mass shootings – and they fluffed it. As Bob Owens notes, Asians (both Far Eastern and Middle Eastern), Hispanics and blacks are all over-represented in mass shootings, meaning that whites are kind of under-represented. But the white ones get more media coverage, for some reason.
Gun control news:
UPDATE: A guy got a sub-prime auto loan, by giving up his gun. Sub-prime lending as gun control, a leftie wet dream!
( Actual greed would be if the bank wanted to be paid back, when it made a loan. Also known as stringent lending. It’s a good thing.)
Sorry, that headline is a bit of sarcasm.
…the smell of wood smoke lingers everywhere at night…few residents here can afford heating oil…Overnight, the price of heating a small apartment for the winter shot up to about $1,900 from $1,300…
…the government seems to be losing money on the measure…Many Greeks…are simply not buying any heating oil this year…[the government] appears to have lost…about $190 million…in revenue…Meanwhile, many Greeks are suffering from the cold.
Closer to home, Gov. Pat Quinn of IL thinks it’s time for a $10 minimum wage.
“It’s obvious the governor feels such an increase will be good for the economy and good for workers who drive our economic growth. So many people are struggling to make ends meet earning the basic minimum wage — and these ends never get met,” the source said.
Problem is: minimum wage hikes kill jobs. Illinois’ lower-wage workers are going to suffer (not gain), if the measure passes.
Will statists ever learn that government can’t simply decree good outcomes? Probably not: they don’t want to learn it.
Did John Kerry really say “I have some big heels to fill?” Yes, yes he did. (H/T Michelle Malkin)
Maybe he didn’t want to make any jokes about pantsuits. As if the thought of John Kerry playing the part of Secretary of State weren’t bad enough, now we’ve got to imagine Kerry playing the part of Secretary of State in drag. In all truth, though, by using this sort of humor to introduce himself, he only reminds many of us (especially those of us who didn’t vote for him in 2004) about this photo.
The administration has hit the “reset button” with the State Department once again, and somehow I don’t expect the second go-around will be any better than the first.
Meanwhile, here at home, the “Department of Homeland Security” (in quotes because I can’t imagine it being any more ironically named at this point) is advising people faced with “an active shooter situation” to “huddle like sheep and die,” in the words of William A. Levinson at American Thinker. Levinson writes:
The bottom line is that the Obama administration, of which DHS is a part, has published a training video whose guidance can easily kill anybody who relies on it. These are the same people who want to tell us what kind of firearms are “reasonable” for us to own for self-defense. FrontSight, by the way, posted an interview with a senior citizen who needed 11 rounds of 40 caliber — that’s one more than Dianne Feinstein and four more than Andrew Cuomo thinks he needed — to stop two armed home invaders
If huddling like a sheep doesn’t work, then DHS advises the use of improvised weapons like scissors.
And if scissors don’t work, I’m sure you can use things like tacks and glue on the floor, since those kinds of techniques worked so well in Home Alone.
Karl Marx wrote that “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” With events like the ones described above, it’s hard not to view these first few weeks of Obama’s second term as a farce, but I’m certainly not laughing.
HotAir kindly posts this picture of the good Senator:As Ed Morrissey puts it:
…did no one ever tell Feinstein to keep her finger off the trigger of a firearm unless ready to shoot? Shouldn’t a politician attempting to lecture us on gun safety know something about it herself?
For the record, here are FrontSight’s Four Universal Firearms Safety Rules:
1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle (the front of the weapon) cover (point at) anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger OFF the trigger and, in fact, outside the trigger guard.
4. Be sure of your target and what’s in line with your target.
Feinstein appears to be violating (possibly) all four rules. She appears to be in a crowded room, on an elevated platform, with people spread out before her (such as the photographer who took the picture from one side), and small awareness of her gun possibly pointing down into some of the people (on the other side). And, her finger on the trigger. None of which is careful handling of the weapon, like it could always be loaded.
Two days ago, the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reminded us of a Democratic failure our friends in the legacy media tend to neglect:
Lawmakers are required by law to pass a budget each year by April 15, but there’s no provision to punish them, or even slightly inconvenience them, if they don’t. In [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid’s case, the Senate last passed a budget in April 2009, 1,351 days ago as of Wednesday.
Not quite sure how to refine a google news search to compare the number of articles written about and amount of broadcast “news” time devoted to Todd Akin’s crazy comments on rape and those on the failure of Reid’s Senate Democrats to meet their legal obligations in passing a budget.
Seems the Missouri Republican fit the legacy media narrative about Republicans being fringe characters, but somehow Mr. Reid’s inaction is at odds with their conviction about the Democrats being the more responsible party.
Just a thought.
It is Sunday evening and I’ve had a very nice weekend away from the magnifying glass of politics. It has been a normal weekend: chores, laundry, dog walking & mindless television.
Sometime during the day, I started tweeting a series of ideas about where the Republican House of Representatives should go from here. My conclusion: Give Obama everything he wants.
Let’s pretend this is a parliamentary system. Let’s pretend the Democrats won and Obama was re-elected as Prime Minister. In that system, everything Obama wants would pass.
Let them have it. I’m not suggesting that Republicans of principle silence themselves and not warn about the consequences of Obama’s economic plans. Those Republicans would include Sens. Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey and Govs. Scott Walker, Susanna Martinez and Nikki Haley. Let them put their stakes of opposition forcefully and vocally in the ground.
But let the House GOP and the Senate GOP get out of the way and allow the Democrats what they want on the economy. No obstruction, perhaps a vote of “present”…. but no other sign of getting in the way.
We, as Conservatives, know that these economic policies are disaster. But Obama is right — Americans voted for higher taxes and more regulation — so let them have it.
We will win the long game. We should have allowed the economy to tank harder than it did in 2008 to begin with. And all that’s been happening since is kicking the can down the road.
So I’m in favor of a hard stop. Let the Democrats’ vision of economic “success” play itself out.
The result will be hardship the likes of which no American has faced since the 1930s. But so be it. Americans voted for it — let them have it.
Conservative policies will win in the long game.
“This administration simply can’t be taken seriously when it talks about debt and deficit reduction when it chooses to spend money researching ‘gaydar’,” said Christopher R. Barron, Co-Founder and Chief Strategist for GOProud – a national organization of gay and straight Americans seeking to promote freedom by supporting freemarkets, limited government, and a respect for individual rights. GOProud is also the only national gay organization to endorse Mitt Romney.
The National Science Foundation spent $30,000 supporting the “gaydar” study conducted by the University of Washington and Cornell University. “At a time when families – gay and straight – are being asked to tighten their belts and make tough decisions about spending because of the disastrous Obama economy it is an absolute insult to hear that federal tax dollars were spent ‘researching’ whether or not you can guess someone’s sexual orientation just by looking at them,” continued Barron.
This study was uncovered as part of the Wastebook 2012, which was released this morning by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). The Wastebook lists 100 wasteful spending projects totaling more than $18 billion.
For crying out loud… Anderson Cooper can just act as a gaydar proxy for the Obama Administration. He does so well being their bitch on every other issue.
We are nearing the top of the hour of 10 o’clock here on the East Coast. The first big decision today — SCOTUS ruling on Obamacare — will be known within the next 30 minutes.
And later today, the U.S. Attorney General will be held in contempt of Congress in a bi-partisan vote.
It is an historic day in Washington, DC. Stay here for analysis and discussion all day long.