Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Boehner says Civil Suit forthcoming in Fast and Furious

On June 29th, Rep. Jason Chaffetz said there were three courses of action the House could take with respect to moving the ball forward after finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The first was to go through the U.S. Attorney; that's out because Deputy Attorney General James Cole has already sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner, informing him that the DOJ will not be prosecuting Holder (big surprise).

That leaves two courses of action, one of which is instructing the Sergeant at Arms to arrest Holder. Chaffetz refused to discount that option but implied that a civil lawsuit would be the preferred course before slapping the cuffs on Holder. The encouraging news is that House Speaker Boehner told Face the Nation that a civil suit is exactly what the House will be doing. It is good to see this just a few days after the contempt vote.

Via Reuters:
"We are also going to file in District Court a civil suit over the issue of executive privilege," Boehner told the CBS program "Face the Nation."

"I would expect that to be coming in the next several weeks, but it needs to happen," Boehner said.

The lawsuit could lead to a prolonged court fight while a judge weighs the House demand against the Obama administration's claim of executive privilege to protect the documents.

In a letter to Boehner on Friday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said Holder properly withheld the documents under executive privilege, which allows President Barack Obama to keep private documents on internal government discussions.

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew on Sunday accused the House Republicans of carrying out "a political witch hunt." The timing of the planned lawsuit comes in the run-up to the November 6 election in which Republicans are trying to deny Obama a second term in office.

"What they're looking for now is internal kinds of documents that they know are not appropriate," Lew said on CNN's "State of the Union" program.

"The facts are that this was a bad plan, the Fast and Furious. It is something that started in the Bush administration. The attorney general did not know about it. ... And when the attorney general learned about it, what he did was stop it," Lew added.
First, while it is refreshing to see Boehner say this publicly so soon after the contempt vote, his doing so is likely more of a testament to the bulldogs on the Oversight Committee like Reps. Trey Gowdy, Jason Chaffetz, and Chairman Darrell Issa. That said, Boehner deserves some credit but he's someone who needs constant constituent supervision so don't take your eye off of him.

As for Lew, his "political witch hunt" meme is pathetic. There is enough evidence in the public domain right now to have a grand jury - if our system worked this way - indict high ranking DOJ officials for conspiracy to commit murder by intentionally placing guns in the hands of bad guys whom they knew would kill innocent people - all in the name of gun control.

Lew's contention that this is all about election year politics is even more absurd. The congressional investigation into Fast and Furious started in January of 2011. On February 4, 2011 Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich signed a letter to Senator Charles Grassley that was demonstrably false. It led Congressional investigators on a wild goose chase until December of 2011, when the DOJ formally retracted the letter as being "inaccurate."

The reason this scandal is reaching a crescendo in an election year is the fault of the Justice Department that Lew claims is being victimized.


Justice John Roberts: Genius or Judas?

U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is now saying there are legitimate indicators that Supreme Court Justice John Roberts changed his decision on Obamacare.

Via Philip Klein (h/t Hot Air) at the Washington Examiner:
What happened?

“I don’t know,” Lee said in a telephone interview. “I didn’t see this coming. I confer with a lot of Supreme Court watchers, liberal and conservative alike and nobody saw this coming, this particular outcome. This is not what I expected, not what I wanted, but it happened.”

I asked Lee about speculation that the joint dissent filed by Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas and Alito – which argued for invalidating all of Obamacare – was originally drafted as the majority opinion. Among other things, the dissent spends much of the time attacking the government’s arguments, as well as a dissent from Ginsburg, and only passingly refers to the actual majority opinion. This has been seen by some as a strong indication that Roberts may have changed his vote.

“I noticed the same thing,” Lee said. “Although I don’t know exactly what happened within the Court, these are the kinds of signals you tend to see when something like that does happen. It made no sense to me that the dissent referred repeatedly to the ‘Ginsburg dissent’ instead of the ‘Ginsburg concurring opinion,’ for example. And it was written like it was expected to be a majority opinion. And although I don’t know exactly what happened there, that is the sort of thing you tend to see when somebody switches their vote.”
Lee went on to say that he believed the Obama administration did attempt to influence Roberts but stopped short of speculating on whether it did. If, in fact, the decision was leaked back to Obama, odds are good that Kagan would have been the most likely to do it.

All that aside, if Roberts was intimidated in any way, he has no business being on the bench and should be impeached (which will not happen). If he was not intimidated, he wrote law from the bench. That's really the bottom line here.

Frankly, I'm tired of reading the illogic of George Will and Charles Krauthammer when it comes to the decision rendered by Roberts when it comes to the Obamacare decision. The Individual Mandate was sold by the administration as something that was absolutely not a tax; it was a penalty. The legislation itself said the same thing.

Yet, we're supposed to buy the argument that Roberts made some grand political calculation and ruled that the law stands but that the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional. How'd he do that? Well, he ruled the Mandate is a tax which, by the way, is the kind of tax that's not permitted by the Constitution. It's certainly not covered under the Sixteenth Amendment (h/t Barrackaid #34).

To those who think Roberts' decision was a stroke of genius... Supreme Court Justices are strictly prohibited from issuing rulings based on political calculations or some grand strategy akin to a chess move no one saw coming that puts the other side in checkmate. Roberts isn't supposed to play chess; he's supposed to uphold the Constitution, devoid of any political calculations whatsoever.

In short, even if the decision was politically calculated, it was a violation of his oath to issue a ruling on those grounds.

I'm afraid Justice Roberts moved the United States one step closer to soft genocide.

That sounds like a stroke of Judas, not genius.

**UPDATE** Well, via NewsBusters, while on Face the Nation, CBS political consultant claimed that she had sources who told her that Roberts changed his mind after initially deciding to rule against Obamacare. It shouldn't be overlooked that the Obama administration did attempt to intimidate Roberts. If anything, if Roberts were truly courageous, any attempts to intimidate him should have been met with even firmer resolve.

If he changed his decision, that's not what happened.

Video: Obama Chief of Staff latest to channel Jim Carrey's 'Dick' Character

The premise is simple. Obama Chief of Staff Jack Lew was carted out onto the Sunday shows to do the best he could to explain the contradiction between what the administration has said all along - that the Individual Mandate in Obamacare is not a tax - and what the Supreme Court ruling said it was - a tax.

Watch as Lew attempts to twist himself into a pretzel by insisting that the Court did not rule the Mandate a tax despite the fact that the man who wrote the majority opinion - John Roberts - said it was. Stick with this video though because Chris Wallace lowers the boom at around the 3:00 mark when he actually plays audio of the White House attorney during oral arguments in the case.

Hint: the White House Attorney said it was a tax.

Via GWP:

The latest Obama administration member to channel Jim Carrey in this scene.

Congratulations, Jack Lew, you're it.

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