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Potluck

These items have been all over, and deserve to be noticed here at GayPatriot.

Liberal bias, in media & academia? Why, yes.

More people seeing that the Emperor Has No Clothes? Thankfully, yes.

  • Obama is under water on the Ukraine crisis. 42% approve his handling, 43% disapprove.
  • While a bipartisan majority support sanctions against Russia, they’re mainly older people, because younger people say no. Among the Obama-voting 35-and-under, 55% are against it.

IRS / Tea Party scandal as real as ever? Yup.

  • Great, daily coverage at TaxProf Blog.
  • Yes, Lerner targeted the Tea Party, and even what she called “organizations woven by the fabulously rich and hugely influential Koch brothers”. More Koch Derangement Syndrome. Some people are on too much Koch!
  • Lerner continued last week to plead the 5th. The IRS will give up all her emails, supposedly; I put it that way because enough time has passed that only God knows what they may have scrubbed.

FROM THE (OTHER) COMMENTS: In the other Koch Derangement Syndrome thread, some fine comments are relevant here.

  • runningrn says “The Koch brothers didn’t even crack the top 10 when it came to the top political donors. In fact they are way the heck down the list at number 59…The 6 biggest union donors in American politics gave 15 times more to mostly Democrats…”
  • And Annie gives us the WSJ link.

One should ask why the IRS doesn’t target all that union money? Or target, to coin a phrase, “organizations woven by the fabulously rich and hugely influential George Soros”?

AND SOME FOLLOW-UPS:

  • Rep. Alan Grayson (D – FL) won’t be charged after allegations that he physically abused his wife. GP talked about it here. The video evidence – which was incomplete (having gaps in it) – did not support Lolita Carson-Grayson’s story. Nonetheless, a judge granted her a restraining order against Rep. Grayson. We’re still waiting for the new feminist campaign, “I BELIEVE YOU, LOLITA!”
  • Gary Lyngar answers his son, who had made a splash by claiming “I lost my dad to Fox News”. Hint: The son was about as real and honest with us as you’d expect from a writer who whines about his parent’s politics. As the elder Mr. Lyngar puts it, his son was “dead wrong” and “a lot of it’s his perception of what’s going on and not reality”.

Holder promising not to spy

From rt.com:

United States Attorney General Eric Holder said during an off-the-record meeting Thursday that the Department of Justice will change the way it conducts investigations of reporters amid scandals centered on Associated Press and Fox News journalists.

Several news organizations refused Mr. Holder’s invitation to attend…the few attendees who accepted the invitation said that the DoJ agreed to let some details emerge…

…Mr. Holder hoped to convince journalists that changes are on the horizon for how his office conducts probes into journalists.

The Associated Press revealed earlier this month that the Justice Department subpoenaed two months’ worth of phone records for lines linked to roughly 100 journalists. Soon after, it was acknowledged that the personal emails of Fox News reporter James Rosen were also [taken]…

…Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole “said they are reaching out to editors and counsels for news organizations about how to strike what they called ‘the balance’ between protecting the flow of information and journalists’ ability to do our jobs and what they described as national security damage.”

Got it? Holder, a man currently under investigation for perjury in this matter, and who was found in contempt of the House for his willful obstruction of the Fast and Furious investigation, seeks ‘balance’. Hmm. Doesn’t the wolf do the same, when it’s cornered by the hounds? “Hey guys, let’s compromise, let’s reach a balance.”

The article continues:

…even if the DoJ acknowledged those changes, eyewitnesses say it’s not certain when or how adjustments will be implemented. While most attendees say that Holder and Cole seemed understanding of their grievances, few walked away with feeling fulfilled about promises that have yet to be cemented…

“…I think it’s sort of an opening gambit, an opening discussion,” New York Daily News Washington bureau chief Jim Warren told CNN.

Let’s be clear: Holder should resign, for various of his actions.

But these aren’t normal times; this is the Age of Obama, wherein the once-great United States devolves into a banana republic. So Holder might not resign. I’ll be surprised if he does.

The open question, for me, is: How quickly will the mainstream media forgive Obama and Holder, resuming their boot-licking role? How little will it take to bring them back into the fold? I bet Holder and Obama are pondering the same question.

FROM THE COMMENTS: jimmy nails it: Holder’s stance amounts to “I did nothing wrong, but I promise not to do it any more. But don’t quote me on that.”

Holder being investigated for perjury

From The Hill:

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony on the Justice Department’s (DOJ) surveillance of reporters…

“In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material — this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy,” Holder said during the hearing.

However, NBC News reported last week that Holder personally approved a search warrant that labeled Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case…

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.), the second-ranking Judiciary Committee Republican, told The Hill that Holder should resign. He accused Holder of misleading the panel during the investigation of the Fast and Furious gun-tracking operation, and again when he claimed to not know about the AP probe…

The House voted to find Holder in contempt over his refusal to turn over documents to lawmakers on Fast and Furious…

I feel two ways about this. Part of me says, the AG should not get away with lying to Congress (if he has, in fact, done so). Another part says: what’s the big deal? Holder has a technicality here (he can say that he didn’t lie, because approving a warrant on Rosen with intent to see if he should be prosecuted is not actually prosecuting him). Anyway, the whole thing is the kind of (low) standard that we expect from the Obama administration, by now.

Brit Hume makes what may be a better point, that Obama putting Holder in charge of investigating the DOJ’s spying on the media is a giant conflict of interest.

UPDATE: Showing what sane people are up against in today’s world, Yahoo!’s current lead headline is “Obama, Christie rekindle their bromance”. Really, media machine? You couldn’t find something better to report on?

Will legacy media scrutinize Obama’s record and campaign as they have Romney’s?

Last week, while doing cardio, whenever I caught Piers Morgan on CNN, it seemed he was inquiring into a statement by or a release from (i.e., tax returns) Mitt Romney.  He seemed almost oblivious to the fact that Barack Obama is President of the United States, uninterested in scrutinizing the incumbent’s policies.

Do wonder if any of the cable “news” networks (save FoxNews) have run panel discussions on

  • Bob Woodward’s new book, The Price of Politics and Barack Obama’s practice of governing
  • Obama’s decision to jet off to a campaign in Las Vegas on the day after attacks on our embassy in Cairo, Egypt and our consulate in Benghazi, Libya the latter leaving four Americans, including the Ambassador, murdered
  • The report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General revealing malfeasance by Obama appointees and shoddy management by the Attorney General (also an Obama appointee)
  • Obama’s false statement about the origin of the gunrunning program.

Do let me know if you’ve seen any such segments and provide the links (if available).

UDPATE:  Had my first response within ten minutes of posting this, with a reader reporting, “C-SPAN ran Woodward’s presentation and Q & A of his new book at the Washington, D.C., book fair yesterday.  I watched the whole thing.  It doesn’t fit your specifics, so feel free to write it off. ”  It might not precisely fix my specifics, but it’s something.  Maybe CNN will follow C-SPAN’s lead.

Executive privilege invoked to shield Holder’s shoddy management of Justice Department?

In the wake of the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) Inspector General’s report on the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, the best that can be said about Attorney General Eric Holder is that he is an incompetent manager of the DoJ.  The reports says he “was not made aware of potential flaws in the program until February of last year.

(Not aware of the flaws in the program, but was he aware of the program?)  In what kind of agency is the chief executive (as Holder is at DoJ) not informed of the flaws in this type of operation, particularly given that it involves an another county.  (The operation “allowed weapons to ‘walk’ across the U.S.-Mexico border and resulted in hundreds of firearms turning up at crime scenes in both countries.”)

If, wonders HotAir’s Erika Johnsen Holder “had no knowledge of Fast and Furious before the investigation got going…

then still, why President Obama’s invocation of executive privilege on all those subpoenaed Fast & Furious-related documents? It’s not like this is a matter of national-security sensitivity. If it wasn’t to shield Holder personally, then it still seems that it was at Holder’s request in order to buy him some time to shield his shoddy management of his department, and merely helped to add authority to his uncooperative stonewalling of Congress’s attempt to get to the bottom of the obvious wrongdoing that went down here somewhere. Grossly inappropriate use of executive authority, to say the least? I find myself puzzled.

She’s not the only one who’s puzzled.  One wonders if any report will now ask the president that question:  why did Mr. Obama invoke executive privilege if Holder wasn’t aware of the “potential flaws” in the operation?

UPDATE: IG: Obama shouldn’t have kept Fast and Furious documents from Congress:

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz agreed that President Obama was wrong to assert executive privilege over documents related to Fast and Furious, saying that he “insisted” such documents appear in his report to Congress.

And wasn’t this the president who promised the most transparent administration ever?

UP-UPDATE:  In a more detailed analysis of Holder’s obliviousness to problems going on under his own nose, Jim Geraghty writes, “The most generous interpretation is that he staffed his office with professionals with epically egregious judgment in deciding what the nation’s top law-enforcement officer needs to know.”  Read the whole thing.

UP-UPDATE:  Glenn Reynolds reports, “‘ABC NEWS: President Obama Falsely Claims Fast and Furious Program “Begun Under the Previous Administration.‘ ‘In actuality, the Fast and Furious program was started in October 2009, nine months into the Obama presidency.’”  The adverb, “falsely” is in the ABC News report.  Even some folks in the legacy media are catching on.  (Maybe they decided to cover the Obama administration more accurately, given the latest Gallup report on growing public distrust of the “mass media”.)

ROLL CALL: Issa Puts Secret DOJ Wiretaps Into Congressional Record

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 4:12 pm - June 29, 2012.
Filed under: Fast and Furious

The URL to Roll Call’s story is jammed thanks to a link from Matt Drudge.  So here is the article, in its entirety.  It sounds very damning and raises this scandal to a whole new level.  The wiretap excerpts suggest that thte death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry now seems less a glitch in the Fast & Furious scheme than a feature.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

——————————-

FROM ROLL CALL:

In the midst of a fiery floor debate over contempt proceedings for Attorney General Eric Holder, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa(R-Calif.) quietly dropped a bombshell letter into the Congressional Record.

The May 24 letter to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member on the panel, quotes from and describes in detail a secret wiretap application that has become a point of debate in the GOP’s “Fast and Furious” gun-walking probe.

The wiretap applications are under court seal, and releasing such information to the public would ordinarily be illegal. But Issa appears to be protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech, especially on a chamber’s floor.

According to the letter, the wiretap applications contained a startling amount of detail about the operation, which would have tipped off anyone who read them closely about what tactics were being used.

Holder and Cummings have both maintained that the wiretap applications did not contain such details and that the applications were reviewed narrowly for probable cause, not for whether any investigatory tactics contained followed Justice Department policy.

The wiretap applications were signed by senior DOJ officials in the department’s criminal division, including Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Blanco and another official who is now deceased.

In Fast and Furious, agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed assault guns bought by “straw purchasers” to “walk,” which meant ending surveillance on weapons suspected to be en route to Mexican drug cartels.

The tactic, which was intended to allow agents to track criminal networks by finding the guns at crime scenes, was condemned after two guns that were part of the operation were found at U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry’s murder scene.

Straw purchasers are individuals who buy guns on behalf of criminals, obscuring who is buying the weapons.

(more…)

DECISION DAY

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.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

2007 Barack Obama Must Hate 2012 Barack Obama

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 12:34 pm - June 20, 2012.
Filed under: Fast and Furious

Thank goodness Obama isn’t known for having principles.

Barack Obama, circa 2012:

Just 15 minutes before the House Oversight Committee vote against Attorney General Eric Holder takes place, the Department of Justice has asked the White House to insert Executive Privilege for all Operation Fast and Furious documents according to Chairman Issa’s press secretary Becca Watkins.

Barack Obama, circa 2007 (via Twitchy.com):

In the video clip, Larry King asks Obama, “Do you favor executive privilege?”

Here’s the meat of his answer:

There’s been a tendency of this administration to try to hide behind executive privilege every time there’s something a little shaky that’s taking place. And I think the administration would be best served by coming clean on this.

- Bruce (GayPatriot)

The Attorney General’s not a crook; he’s just incompetent

A week ago, Bruce posted a piece suggesting that the Fast and Furious scandal was worse than Watergate.  Perhaps, it’s not that bad, not a question of administration malfeasance, but just one of bureaucratic incompetence.

Yesterday, Republicans grilled Attorney General Eric Holder when the Democrat testified before the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.  He might have taken his cues in handling testimony from Johnny Friendly‘s (Lee J. Cobb) cronies in On the Waterfront. He was deaf and dumb about what was going on in his outfit.

Well, maybe he really didn’t know.  And if he didn’t, well, the best term to describe his leadership at Justice is incompetent.  So, he claims, he didn’t read the memos (addressed to him) detailing the “operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to allow straw buyers to smuggle guns into Mexico“, a program which “resulted in the deaths of more than 200 Mexican citizens and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.”

Now, of course, the Attorney General is a busy man and can’t read every word of every 100-page memo addressed to him.  But, that’s why he has a big staff.  And you’d think one of his aides would alert the government’s top law enforcement official to a program allowing buyers to smuggle guns — without tracking devices — into Mexico.  Oh, yeah, and the ATF wasn’t informing the Mexican government about this program.

You’d think that when word of this program became public (or at least became known to the Attorney General), he’d fire  – or at least severely discipline — those on his staff who didn’t alert him to a program which resulted in the deaths of Mexican citizens — and a U.S. law enforcement official.  But, as Michelle Malkin reported yesterday Holder only offers a vague statement about making personnel changes and it’s not all he’s “possibly” going to do. (more…)

“Fast & Furious” — Now MUCH Worse Than Watergate

Let’s imagine that George W. Bush’s Department of Justice had a program going that funneled weapons to the drug cartels of Mexico and then that directly to the murder of a US Border Patrol Agent. I have no doubt that the network news would be on full-scale nuke alert and heads would be rolling, including the President’s.

Now let’s imagine the truth:

In the growing Fast and Furious scandal, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry’s death in Peck Canyon, Arizona was previously described as a chance meeting that led to a firefight: an illegal alien “rip crew” working for the Sinaloa cartel was hoping to find other illegal aliens and to rob them at gunpoint. Instead, they stumbled across a Border Patrol unit and murdered Agent Terry.

Last week, the Washington Times offered a new version of the encounter: they reported that the rip crew was not hunting illegals, but Border Patrol teams — with the intention of engaging them in combat.

Sources now tell PJ Media that neither version of events is accurate: the rip crew was not waiting for a chance encounter with other illegals, nor did the members intend to engage American law enforcement agents.

The rip crew was in Peck Canyon that evening with the intention of stealing money and drugs from a specific shipment of which they had prior knowledge.

Sources claim the Department of Justice has been trying for almost a year to hide the key information — how the rip crew knew the shipment was coming through that night.

Criminal informants (CIs) are a common tool of law enforcement agencies. When agencies apprehend criminals, agencies often reduce or drop charges in exchange for information leading to the arrests of higher-ranking criminals. Earlier this year, reports claimed that Operation Fast and Furious weapons smuggled over the border were actually chosen by an FBI informant, and paid for with money provided by the federal government.

The rip crew knew to be in Peck Canyon that December evening because a CI working for the FBI found out about a smuggling run — from the FBI.

It is not clear if the information was provided intentionally, but a possible motivation for the FBI to provide the information is known to exist: the CI had previously lost a shipment of drugs, and wanted to regain the trust of the cartel with an offering of drugs or money. The other possibility is that the FBI mistakenly allowed the CI to discover the information.

The CI used this information to organize an ambush of the drug convoy. A source tells PJM that the FBI knew from wiretaps that the CI was using their information to set up an ambush.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — through its own CIs and communications intercepts — was also aware of the planned assault.

Neither the DEA nor FBI warned Border Patrol about the expected criminal activity.

This is completely outrageous. But the American news media is laying on their backs like supine sheep. Please call your Member of Congress & US Senator TOMORROW and demand that Attorney General Eric Holder resign and that President Obama be held to account for these crimes.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)