Sunday, November 30, 2014
The Che signs can be seen at 1:35 minutes, exposing the big lie behind these so-called "minimum wage" protests.
These are the Bay Area ANSWER hordes, communist revolutionary protesters pushing for the expropriation of capital --- the "$16 billion in profits" --- from the Walmart corporate oppressors.
Frankly, I'm surprised the Che Guevara signs made it into the newscast. Usually the far-left press enables the idiot revolutionary agitators.
More at the Sacramento Bee, "UPDATE: Protests lead to arrests at a Rancho Cordova Walmart, Arden Fair mall."
Here’s a quiz for you folks in the media: What happens if you’re out doing “man on the street” interviews but none of the men on the street fit your “narrative”?Keep reading.
If you’re CNN, you stop interviewing them.
It has been remarkable to watch the last few days as America’s self-styled “most trusted news network” has sent out teams of reporters to various areas of Ferguson, Mo., ostensibly to cover the protests there. While their cameramen are watching cars on fire and stores being looted, the reporters ramble on about how “most people here” are “peaceful protesters.”
Where are these peaceful protesters? The reporters can’t seem to find any. Instead, they turn to outside experts and some carefully vetted religious leaders to talk about “the real message” of the protests.
On Tuesday night, CNN correspondent Jason Carroll was reporting, “Most of the protesting we saw in front of the Ferguson Police Department tonight was peaceful.” Then as he started trying to explain the fires burning behind him, he was approached by three of the protesters, who proceeded to get in his face and yell at him because he was promoting a “certain narrative” — the police narrative. “You don’t understand!” one screamed.
Anchor Don Lemon quickly went elsewhere, saying he was worried about Carroll’s safety. When Lemon returned to Carroll later in the broadcast and asked him what the men were saying to him, Carroll refused to say. The reporter was stonewalling because, he explained, these men didn’t “represent” the peaceful protesters who were really the story...
RELATED: At Hot Air, "Landrieu not seeming to enjoy exciting runoff race."
And from the comments:
This is getting crazy. Yesterday, a lady sat next to me on a flight from Denver to Newark. She had a small dog that she let out of her cage after a few hours. The dog took a crap on her side and she stepped in it. She cleaned up as best she could, but the smell lingered.
Leftists are all gobsmacked, at Memeorandum.
Video via Legal Insurrection, "Lessons of #Ferguson: Don’t Rob Convenience Store, Fight With and Try to Take Cop’s Gun":
At the Other McCain (from last Sunday), "Rule 5 Sunday: Wax Ecstatic."
At Drunken Stepfather, "STEPLINKS OF THE DAY."
And at Knuckledraggin', "Quick, which one would you rather?"
Also at First Street Journal, "Rule 5 Blogging: American Soldiers!"
And from Proof Positive, "...the Obligatory SF 49er Cheerleader4 NO Saints," and "*Best of the Web*."
At Ode's, "Detective Quiz ~OR~ Rule 5 Woodsterman Style."
From Doug Hagin, "THE DALEYBABE SAYUKI MATSUMOTO."
And from Blackmailers Don't Shoot, "#ShirtGate Rule 5: Chicks in Space!"
At Soylent, "Your Sunday Coffee Creamer."
More at 90 Miles From Tyranny, "Morning Mistress."
At Maggie's Farm, "Saturday morning links."
Also, from Egotastic!, "Humpday Huzzah! Ewa Sonnet Glamour Model Honey Dripping Hotness."
Check Goodstuff's, "GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (166th Issue): the history of Catwoman (aka Selina Kyle)."
In a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World has the "Friday Pinup."
And at Randy's Roundtable, "Thanksgiving Football In Dallas."
BONUS: At Popaholic, "Daily Addictions."
From Ed Morrissey, at the Fiscal Times:
Chuck Schumer let the cat out of the bag on Monday, but only Democrats found his remarks surprising in the least. Schumer, a member of the Senate Democratic caucus leadership that will have to transition to the minority in January, tried to acknowledge the verdict delivered by voters three weeks earlier.More.
In a defense of big-government solutions, Schumer allowed that Democrats let their enthusiasm for nanny-state policies get the best of them in 2009, after winning the presidential election, the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
“Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them,” declared the senior Senator from New York. At the time, the middle class had just experienced the economic shock of their lives, and the election was a mandate to change direction from Bush-era economic policies, Schumer told the National Press Club. “We took their mandate,” Schumer explained, “and put all focus on the wrong problem – healthcare reform.”
That’s not to say that Obamacare itself was a mistake, Schumer took care to add, but that the rush to pass a big nanny-state program ahead of economic issues in the middle of a crisis made Democrats appear out of touch with voters. “We should have done it. We just shouldn't have done it first,” Schumer explained.
“We were in the middle of a recession. People were hurting and saying, 'What about me? I'm losing my job. It's not health care that bothers me. What about me?’" Even worse, Schumer argued, the program only provided benefits to “about 5 percent of the electorate,” while “only about a third of the uninsured are even registered to vote.”
Coming from a senior member of Democratic Party leadership, the admission that Democrats blew it with Obamacare contradicts everything the party has argued since the 2010 midterms...
Here's WSJ, "Oil Stocks and the Currencies of Major Oil-Producing Nations Tumble":
Energy company stocks and the currencies of major oil-producing nations stumbled Friday as OPEC’s decision to maintain crude output levels despite a glut rippled across the globe.This is economic warfare. And frankly, a last gasp from OPEC, as markets will reach equilibrium. Established U.S. producers will keep producing and investing. OPEC's income will decline along with the all of the rest.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision knocked down U.S. benchmark oil prices on Friday by 10% to $66.15 a barrel, the lowest level since September 2009.
Uneasy investors dumped energy stocks. Among the hardest hit were U.S. domestic oil producers including Continental Resources Co., the biggest producer in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. Its shares plunged on Friday nearly 20%, to $40.98.
Exxon Mobil Corp. fell 4.2%, BP PLC dropped 5.5% and Royal Dutch Shell PLC lost 7%, all in abbreviated New York trading.
Currencies of most major oil producing nations, including Russia, Nigeria and Canada, weakened. The Russian ruble tumbled almost 3% to an all-time low of 50.57 to the dollar, before recovering slightly. The Mexican peso slid to its weakest level versus the greenback in more than two years. Russia said it would revise or cut government spending.
Pascal Menges, a portfolio manager with Lombard Odier in Switzerland who has shares in U.S. shale oil producers, said OPEC’s decision “created a very uncomfortable situation” for oil companies that must decide whether to curb investments. He predicts the global oil oversupply will decline over the winter and U.S. production growth will slow, preventing prices from falling much more.
If that is the case, he said, the least-indebted North American shale companies should stay profitable. Still, he said, he has cut his fund’s investments in oil producers, moving some of the money to companies that buy and process oil.
According to the article:
Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, a trade group, said in a statement that low crude oil prices will impact some U.S. and global operations. Still, he expects prices to eventually stabilize. “We are confident the market will find an equilibrium,” he said.Keep reading.
From Doug Ross:
At CBS Los Angeles, "Caught On Camera: Brazen Thief Steals Packages From Front Porch In Yorba Linda."
Columbia County, Ark. — There’s no sign of it here in Magnolia, Ark., but the boycott season is upon us, and graduates of Princeton and Bryn Mawr are demanding “justice” from Wal-Mart, which is not in the justice business but in the groceries, clothes, and car-batteries business. It is easy to scoff, but I am ready to start taking the social-justice warriors’ insipid rhetoric seriously — as soon as two things happen: First, I want to hear from the Wal-Mart-protesting riffraff a definition of “justice” that is something that does not boil down to “I Get What I Want, Irrespective of Other Concerns.”More.
Second, I want to turn on the radio and hear Jay-Z boasting about his new Timex.
It is remarkable that Wal-Mart, a company that makes a modest profit margin (typically between 3 percent and 3.5 percent) selling ordinary people ordinary goods at low prices, is the great hate totem for the well-heeled Left, whose best-known celebrity spokesclowns would not be caught so much as downwind from a Supercenter, while at the same time, nobody is out with placards and illiterate slogans and generally risible moral posturing in front of boutiques dealing in Rolex, Prada, Hermès, et al. It’s almost as if there is a motive at work here other than that which is stated by our big-box-bashing friends on the left and their A-list human bullhorns.
What might that be?
The left is intent to make life worse for everyone else.
Mr. Dylan has replaced the fluidity and arrogance of youth with a more genuine, lived-in sense that he has nothing to lose and no one but himself to please. He doesn’t soften what he sees; he inhabits it, baleful and acute.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Via CBS Sacramento:
Proposition 47 reduced the penalties and sentences for low-level drug and property crimes. This means shoplifting, forgery, fraud, and petty theft can now be treated as misdemeanors instead of felons, allowing some criminals in jail to go free.
Leftism is an ideology of hatred. It's Repsac's ideology.
At Truth Revolt.
So this cousin f*ckin Neanderthal Darren Wilson is gonna have a baby. Just what the world needs: A bouncing bundle of racism.— Vision (@VisionPoet) November 26, 2014
At ABC News:
More at PBS: "News Wrap: Black Friday inspires shopping, protests."
Via Twitchy, "‘Oh the irony’: Protesters in Ferguson chant in favor of ‘communist revolution’ [Vine]."
Making people miserable. That's the left in action.
At Instapundit, "Kids Singing At #Seattle’s Christmas Tree Lighting Surrounded by Protesters, All Now Crying."
Give me a gun. Put me in Darren Wilson’s shoes. I’d have shot Mike Brown right in his face.
— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) November 26, 2014
Here's his response, at Red State, "Why I Said I’d Have Shot Michael Brown in the Face."
Supposedly leftists, had they been in Officer Wilson's shoes, would have let "Big Mike" snatch the gun and shoot them. They wouldn't want to be seen as "racist" for defending themselves. Of course, in the real world things don't work out like that. Leftists simply need something to decry as "racist." Indeed, the left is what's wrong with this country. We're going downhill with these f-kers in office. And the culture's already gone to hell. At this point you just got to stock up and batten down the hatches. Shoot the bastards if they try to break down the doors.
More at Memeorandum.
At USA Today, "Arrests across nation as protesters target Black Friday."
And from AP, "Raw: Protests Erupt in Malls, Streets," and CBS News, "Ferguson protestors disrupt Black Friday shopping (VIDEO)."
At LAT, "Big state tax decisions lie ahead for California voters":
Picking a new president might not be the only crucial issue before California voters at the polls in two years' time.More.
They could be faced with as many as four competing initiatives asking them to extend, increase or create taxes that would raise billions of dollars in new state revenues.
Loose coalitions of labor unions and community groups already are researching, polling and building support to extend a temporary boost in top income tax brackets and a sales tax increase passed in 2012. Other groups are working to create grass-roots support for raising commercial property taxes.
Additionally, a team led by Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager from San Francisco, probably will qualify a crude-oil-extraction tax initiative for 2016. And health and child-welfare advocates are pondering a possible $2-a-pack increase in cigarette taxes.
"We anticipate there will be a revenue measure," said Anthony Thigpenn, president of California Calls, a Los Angeles-based coalition of 37 community organizations around the state.
He said that passage of the income tax measure, Proposition 30, two years ago, wasn't enough to put the state on a stable financial footing.
"Proposition 30 stopped the bleeding but didn't restore all the cuts made, even given that the economy is better," Thigpenn said. "It was only the beginning of the discussion."
The state needs such a conversation about how to keep climbing out of the Great Recession, agreed Laphonza Butler, state council president of the 700,000-member Service Employees International Union.
"We have to make choices about investments, revenues and services," she said. "How do we stabilize the state for many years to come?"
Influential business lobbies at the Capitol don't see it that way. Butler's push for more money to pay for schools, roads and health and other programs, if it happens, would make an already expensive California even more costly and slow job creation, they contend.
The hardest fought battle could be over an attempt to change how the state's 36-year-old landmark property tax initiative, Proposition 13, treats commercial property, predicted Rex Hime, president of the California Business Properties Assn.
Currently, buildings and land get reassessed by tax appraisers only when there's a turnover of more than 50% in ownership.
"It will be Armageddon. It will be a huge, huge battle," Hime said.
The oil industry also is ready for a fight with Steyer, who said the state is missing out on $2 billion in new revenues because it's the only major oil-producing state that doesn't collect on every barrel of crude pumped from the ground.
"We haven't seen any indication he has changed his view and his plan to spend some of his wealth trying to persuade Californians to increase taxes on energy," said Tupper Hull, a spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Assn.
Tobacco companies — which spent more than $50 million to defeat a 2012 initiative that would have raised taxes by $1 a pack — are honing their message, arguing that new taxes would be costly to retailers and spur cigarette smuggling.
Health groups and other proponents said they need higher levies on each pack — or even e-cigarettes — to recoup more than $1 billion in revenues lost because fewer people smoke.
Liberal Democrats in the Legislature also are considering an extension of the top state income tax brackets. That boost helped erase a $26-billion budget deficit that Gov. Jerry Brown inherited from his predecessor, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Since then, the state treasury has accumulated a small surplus that the Legislative Analyst forecasts to grow to $4.2 billion by July.
Brown has made numerous public statements emphasizing that Proposition 30 was a temporary fix. Nevertheless, tax-hike proponents suggest that some sort of deal still could be made with the governor and business groups to keep the tax temporary but extend it beyond its current 2018 expiration date.
Friday, November 28, 2014
'I got six kids to feed!' — Trapped Driver Pushes #Ferguson Protester Off I-5 For Making Him Late For Work (Video)
Via Gateway Pundit:
At London's Daily Mail, "The controversial rules for white people who were told ‘not to take up space’ at Michael Brown vigil in Toronto."
Political analysts still are arguing over why the Democratic party was washed away in the midterm election. Since 2008, ascendant progressives had been crowing over a fresh mosaic of energized minorities, newly franchised immigrants, single young urban women, greens, gays, and — less often mentioned — upscale professionals and the 1-percenter super-wealthy.Keep reading.
These groups were united by their support for the expansion of entitlements, higher taxes, neo-isolationism, amnesty, opposition to any restrictions on abortion, curbs on carbon-energy development, and gay marriage. But what really held them together was Barack Obama. His exotic name, his racial background, his leftwing ideology, and his Ivy League training appealed to each of these diverse groups. Without him on the ballot — as in 2010 and 2014 — most of these identity groups apparently were not energized enough to turn out in sufficient numbers to make up for middle-class voters turned off by progressive rhetoric and the by-any-means-necessary distortions to achieve its ends.
Indeed, a cynic would sum up the unlikely liberal coalition as a bridge over the middle class. Wealthy, influential progressives had enough capital and income to support new efforts at government redistribution, higher taxes, and the sort of green projects that, at least in the short term, would slow the economy and cost blue-collar jobs — but not really affect the 1 percenters’ own livelihoods much.
At the other end, the underclass welcomed expansions of federal entitlement programs and the idea of an activist state guaranteeing an equality of result for the less-well-off, with the taxes to pay for it all falling on someone else.
Note that the new progressive coalition was largely abstract. In their own personal lives, the upscale denizens of Santa Monica, Chevy Chase, and the Upper West Side did not put their children in diverse public schools, much less live among undocumented immigrants or give up their Mercedeses and Volvo SUVs for fleets of Priuses. None promised to take two fewer trips by jet each year.
Ideally from its point of view, the new progressive partnership would end up with America looking something like California. Sky-high income, sales, and gas taxes and soaring electric rates, coupled with prohibitive housing costs along the state’s 700-mile-long coastal corridor, have turned the once golden state into two cultures strangely united by a common Democratic party.
The coastal elites champion wind and solar mandates, transgender restrooms in the public schools, gay marriage, and high-speed rail. In the interior, rarely visited by the elites or the journalists friendly to them, the preponderance of poorer and minority residents largely explains why of all the states California has the largest number of welfare recipients and the highest percentage of the population below the poverty line, and why it is nearly dead last in public-school performance.
For liberals for whom power is the true goal, California is seen as a success because there are no more conservatives like Ronald Reagan or Pete Wilson in statewide office. Over the last 30 years, unchecked illegal immigration, an influx of high-income urban liberal professionals to the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas, and a steady exodus of the white middle and working classes explain why this liberal blue state has the largest number of both poor and wealthy people in the nation — and a shrinking conservative percentage of the electorate.
But is the California progressive future applicable throughout the United States? This month’s election suggests maybe not, and for reasons that transcend the fact that Californians can bail out of their state in a way that Americans cannot their country...
Thursday, November 27, 2014
In the fall of 1621, 50 English men and women and 90 Native Americans gathered at New Plymouth in Massachusetts. The colonists had arrived a year earlier on a leaky wine ship, the Mayflower, and built a hillside settlement overlooking the ocean, little more than a few wooden huts in a stockade. The first winter had been terrible: Half their number had perished from malnutrition and disease. They had struggled to farm the land, were poorly supplied from England and relied on their Indian hosts for expertise and food.Keep reading.
But in the end, they did it. According to Edward Winslow, who had buried his wife that March, “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling so that we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor.” The Pilgrims, as they would later be known, celebrated for three days—an event immortalized in American history as the first Thanksgiving.
The story has been heavily mythologized, and the numerous depictions of it that have come down to us are mostly patriotic romances, full of errors about the dress, technology and general atmosphere of the day. What we most tend to overlook in the Thanksgiving tale, however, is the wider context of settlement. English colonists—350,000 of them in the 17th century—were a diverse lot, and more English than you might imagine. Having left the Old World for the New, they clung to their old identities and tried to preserve them. In this, they failed, and yet from that failure, a new national character was born—the primary traits of which are still visible in Americans today...
Also, from President Abraham Lincoln, at Real Clear History, "A Wartime Proclamation of Thanksgiving":
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.More.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
I used to spend Thanksgiving with one family member or another — flying to Washington, D.C., or driving to our family house in the Chicago suburbs. It was hard for all of us to get together with 10 children splashed across North America from California to Canada, from the Midwest to the East Coast. But there were usually gatherings of three or four of us on Thanksgiving which made for a satisfying experience.I like the food, football, family, and the time off from work.
But the last decade, that hasn’t been the case. The Chicago suburban house was sold years ago after my mother died. And usually, I was working or too involved in a project to take the time. I regret those missed opportunities — especially now that travel is physically difficult for me.
But I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. The long skein of memories of Thanksgivings past is more than enough to fill me up with joy and be thankful for what I have in the here and now.
Those cherished memories led me to write of the 10 reasons why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I’m sure you can add a few reasons of your own...
Laughing at the hate-addled nihilist leftists is pretty good too.
They tear down. Never build up. They destroy. Never unite. Like Walter James Casper III.
From Peggy Noonan, at WSJ:
Historical vindication happens. The Obama White House assumes it will happen to them. Thus they can do pretty much what they want.More.
What they forget is that facts largely decide what history thinks—outcomes, what happened, what it means. What they also forget, or perhaps never knew, is that the great ones are always constructive. They don’t divide and tear down. They build, gather in, create, bend, meld, and in so doing move things forward.
That’s not this crowd.
This White House seems driven—does it understand this?—by a kind of political nihilism. They agitate, aggravate, fray and separate.
Look at three great domestic issues just the past few weeks.
PRINCETON, N.J. -- President Barack Obama's job approval rating among white non-college graduates is at 27% so far in 2014, 14 percentage points lower than among white college graduates. This is the largest yearly gap between these two groups since Obama took office. These data underscore the magnitude of the Democratic Party's problem with working-class whites, among whom Obama lost in the 2012 presidential election, and among whom Democratic House candidates lost in the 2014 U.S. House voting by 30 points.Well, it's hard out there for the party of "Burn this bitch down!"
Obama's overall job approval rating has dropped throughout the first six years of his administration, and this downward trajectory is seen both among white Americans who are college graduates and those who are not. But the gap between his approval ratings among college-educated and non-college-educated whites has grown. It was six points in 2009, when Obama had the overall highest ratings of his administration, then expanded to 10 points in 2010 and to 12 points in 2013. The gap between these two groups is at its highest yet, at 14 points so far this year.
Whites in general constitute a political challenge for Democrats and the president given their Republican orientation, as evidenced by Obama's job approval ratings so far this year of 84% among blacks, 64% among Asians, 53% among Hispanics and 32% among whites. About two-thirds of adult whites have not graduated from college, making working-class whites a particularly important group politically because of its sheer size...
And from John Hinderaker, at Power Line, "WHY THE GALLUP POLL MEANS DEEP TROUBLE FOR HILLARY."
They're vermin. Like rats on a sinking ship.
At Twitchy, "Full circle: Liquor store Michael Brown accused of robbing being looted (again) [Vine]."
I would say it’s a fair bet that most of those who witnessed the violence that ensued following the announcement that a grand jury in Missouri declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown were not at all surprised. Indeed, it appeared that many of those anticipating the decision simply could not wait to get started looting, shooting and destroying property.More.
The mob appeared to have a particular penchant for razing and burning local businesses. In fact, dozens of businesses in Ferguson burned on Monday night alone, and these were mostly minority-owned. Obviously, those in the community who worked at these businesses are now out of jobs.
Even assuming the decimated businesses carried adequate insurance, of course the owners and franchisees are out of work too, though many will be able to rebuild. All of this will conspire to depress the economy in Ferguson, something of which the participants in the mayhem and madness remain oblivious.
The catalyst to all of this, as the reader is likely aware, was the fact that a man was found innocent of wrongdoing by a grand jury. When you strip away the race issues, there’s not much more to it than that. One man assaulted another – a police officer – and was killed, probably after attempting to relieve him of his sidearm. Amidst widely publicized accusations of police brutality and race-based police targeting of young blacks, a grand jury determined that the officer had not acted unlawfully. Much of the testimony upon which the grand jury decision was based, we are told, was given by those of the same ethnic group as the decedent Michael Brown. In general, the evidence in favor of Officer Darren Wilson’s account of the events was overwhelming.
There are numerous components to this situation which are engender pathos, well beyond a young man having lost his life, another’s life in upheaval and a community in tatters.
One is the disgusting behavior of the rioters, who found themselves unable to rise above the social and psychological garbage being fed them. Another is the manifest evil of those who have been feeding the aforementioned garbage to black Americans for the last several decades, and that of the agitators with more short-term agendas. With regard to the former, I refer to the politicians and career activists who perpetuate the notion that America remains an institutionally racist nation, and that racist police prowl the streets looking for the slightest excuse to gun down a black individual.
With regard to the latter, I speak of those such as the New Black Panther Party (some of whose members were arrested in the Ferguson area with bombs in the days prior to the grand jury decision), and Muslim activists who sought to enroll blacks in their effort to condemn the actions of law enforcement against militant Muslims in Missouri.
While it is not my intention to address this in depth here, the political manipulation of blacks across America in the name of Michael Brown is more than a mere distraction from the increasing attention being focused on Obama’s dismal reign. (Make no mistake: A measure of the agitation in Ferguson and elsewhere is being directly orchestrated by Obama surrogates and the DOJ itself.) As a landmark in the incremental sabotage of race relations, it is validation to the administration of what it can do, and what will be necessary to ignite even larger fires in the future...
PREVIOUSLY: "Obama and the Roots of the Ferguson Rage."
And so the whirlwind, cultivated by Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, the mainstream media and the army of thugs they enabled, is now being reaped. As the result of a St. Louis County grand jury refusing to indict officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO has become Ground Zero, in what irresponsible Missouri State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadali referred to on MSNBC as “St. Louis’s race war.”More.
One of the race war’s architects pleaded for calm shortly after the decision was announced. Yet even as Obama spoke about that “need for calm” and that there was “no excuse for violence,” he insisted, “We have to try to understand” the anger of those who demanded nothing less than a murder charge absent an ounce of evidence as an “understandable reaction” from people who believe “the law is being applied in a discriminatory fashion.”
Where did those people get that belief? Leave it to Obama to omit that critical information — the same President Obama who met with protest leaders and Sharpton on Nov. 5 at the White House. It was at that unscheduled meeting the president was ostensibly “concerned about Ferguson staying on course in terms of pursuing what it was that he knew we were advocating,” according to Sharpton. “He said he hopes that we’re doing all we can to keep peace.”
One is left to marvel at one of two realities. Either we have a president so utterly naive he believes a hoax-perpetrating, riot-inciting Al Sharpton, who denigrated the grand jury process, pre-organized protest rallies in 25 American cities, and uses his MSNBC platform to fire up racial unrest, is a man of peace. Or the president, who once urged his Latino followers to “punish our enemies,” remains as wedded to the same racial “us against them” mentality as America’s foremost racial arsonist. Is it really possible to believe the former?
Despite Obama’s superficial condemnations of violence, at least 25 businesses were set ablaze, many of which are total losses—and most of which were minority owned. Ten cars were burned at a dealership, and a “lot of gunfire,” as Ferguson Asst. Fire Chief Steve Fair put it, made maintaining control of the streets highly problematic, if not impossible. Reporters were assaulted, the store Michael Brown robbed prior to his confrontation with Wilson was looted, and at least 61 people have been arrested. “What I’ve seen tonight is probably much worse than the worst night we ever had in August, and that’s truly unfortunate,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar Monday at a 1:30 a.m press conference. Belmar further noted that there was “nothing left” along West Florissant between Solway Avenue and Chambers Road, that he heard at least 150 gun shots, and that he was surprised he and Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who “got lit up,” as they drove through the area, weren’t hit by that gunfire.
“We talked about peaceful protest, and that did not happen tonight,” Johnson said. “We definitely have done something here that’s going to impact our community for a long time…that’s not how we create change.”
St. Louis Bomb Suspects Couldn't Afford Explosives Until 'One Suspect's Girlfriend's Electronic Benefit Transfer Card Was Replenished...'
"Hey, we're gonna have to hold off on buying bombs until the girlfriend's EBT card clears."
At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Alleged plot included bombing Gateway Arch, killing St. Louis County prosecutor":
ST. LOUIS • Two men indicted last week on federal weapons charges allegedly had plans to bomb the Gateway Arch — and to kill St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson — the Post-Dispatch has learned.
Sources close to the investigation were uncertain whether the men had the capability to carry out the plans, although the two allegedly did buy what they thought was a pipe bomb in an undercover law enforcement sting.
The men wanted to acquire two more bombs, the sources said, but could not afford to do it until one suspect’s girlfriend’s Electronic Benefit Transfer card was replenished.
An indictment, with no mention of bombs or killings, was returned in federal court here Nov. 19 and unsealed Friday upon the arrest of Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Ali Davis. Their addresses and Baldwin’s age were not available; Davis is 22.
If you tell white folks that they have created a power structure that reinforces their privilege, they will laugh at you.— Thomas H. Crown (@ThomasHCrown) November 25, 2014
The riot in Ferguson reminds me, I hate criminals, but I hate liberals more. They planned this riot. They stoked the fire, lied about the evidence and produced a made-to-order riot.More.
Every other riot I've ever heard of was touched off by some spontaneous event that exploded into mob violence long before any media trucks arrived. This time, the networks gave us a countdown to the riot, as if it were a Super Bowl kickoff.
From the beginning, Officer Darren Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown wasn't reported like news. It was reported like a cause.
The media are in a huff about the prosecutor being "biased" because his father was a cop, who was shot and killed by an African-American. What an assh@le!
Evidently, the sum-total of what every idiot on TV knows about the law is Judge Sol Wachtler's 20-year-old joke that a prosecutor could "indict a ham sandwich." We're supposed to be outraged that this prosecutor didn't indict the ham sandwich of Darren Wilson.
Liberals seem not to understand that they don't have a divine right to ruin someone's life and bankrupt him with a criminal trial, just so they're satisfied.
The reason most grand jury investigations result in an indictment is that most grand juries aren't convened solely to patronize racial mobs. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was basically demanding an indictment of Wilson before Big Mike's body was cold. It was only because of racial politics that this shooting wasn't dismissed without a grand jury, at all...
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Do read his latest screed post-Ferguson, at the Atlantic, "Barack Obama, Ferguson, and the Evidence of Things Unsaid."
Democracy in America is inseparable from the looting of native American land and the enslavement of blacks. It's unavoidable. @ashnavabi— Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates) November 26, 2014
Racism is an actual tool in American history. It serves real purposes. It is not just "white people being mean to black people."— Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates) November 26, 2014
Getting variations of the "go back to Africa" rebuttal. Not how this works. We are here to run you out, not the other way around.— Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates) November 26, 2014
Hey, speak truth to power, brother. I'm sure race talk like that's doing wonders to improve race relations.
@wendyphd Coates is a huckster, actually. He should move to Botswana.— Donald Douglas (@AmPowerBlog) November 27, 2014
L.A. Times Features Michael Brown Stepfather on Front Page: Photo Caption Omits 'Burn this bitch down!'
The paper's photographer, Wally Skalij, would have witnessed Earl Head, the husband to Michael Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden, exhorting the crowd to "Burn this bitch down!" But there's no mention of the violent, profanity-laced exhortation at the newspaper.
Seems like a significant omission, but then again, the media is equally responsible for fanning the flames of racial unrest.
The caption at the photo below reads: "Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown's mother, center, reacts in Ferguson, Mo., to the announcement of the grand jury's decision not to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of her son."
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Highway to Hell
Tired of Waiting for You
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Even The Losers
Last Train to Clarksville
Another Tricky Day
Born to Run
Show Me the Way (Live)
Don't Let Him Go
Creedence Clearwater Revival
The One I Love
Baby Hold On
The Beach Boys
Something About You
At the Hill:
Democratic lawmakers are warning that the GOP intends to mount a “fear campaign" directed at immigrants in the country illegally who are in line to benefit from President Obama’s executive action protecting millions of them from deportation.More.
"There's going to be fear-mongering from the Republican Party,” Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) told reporters Monday, as champions for immigration reform sought to shift their focus from pressuring the White House for action to convincing eligible immigrants to sign up.
“The fear campaign is just starting,” Gutiérrez said during a press call hosted by America’s Voice, pointing to proposals from some GOP lawmakers who want to block the president’s plan via legislation.
“They are trying to keep our immigrants from signing up just like they were trying to keep people from signing up for ObamaCare.”
Monday, November 24, 2014
Witness journal entry in GJ evidence: "Dang if [Brown] didn't start running right at the cop like a football player" pic.twitter.com/cHtTIZnEjN— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) November 25, 2014
Also, "No Indictment in Grand Jury Decision on Michael Brown Shooting (VIDEO)."
And at the New York Times, "No Indictment of Officer in Ferguson Case: Grand Jury Finds No Probable Cause for Any Charge."
And, "Gov. Nixon calls for peace, discusses preparations for Ferguson announcement."
In Northeast Los Angeles, 1,000 people huddled in the evening chill last Thanksgiving as they waited outside a Target store for the chance to snap up Black Friday deals.
Across town at the Grove, the mostly upscale stores such as Barneys and Nordstrom were closed that night. Holiday shoppers didn't start massing until well into the next morning.
This year's annual ritual of conspicuous consumption promises an even greater contrast.
Discounters and mid-priced chains, eager to gain an edge on competitors for limited gift budgets, have again moved their opening times earlier into Turkey Day, with Kmart leading the pack by launching specials at 6 a.m. Higher-end retailers, however, are keeping their doors firmly shut until Friday.
Increasingly, the seasonal shopping surge has become a window into America's class divide, in which high earners have benefited from a booming stock market and rising home prices as many others still grapple with stagnant incomes and lingering financial anxiety.
Consider these opposite scenarios: In 2013, Bloomingdale's went against the grain by offering fewer Black Friday bargains than the year before, according to the advertising experts at bestblackfriday.com. At a Wal-Mart in Duarte, customers elbowed one another to get their hands on Crayola crayon sets, marked down to $11 from nearly $20. (A trending Twitter hashtag last Thanksgiving was #WalmartFights.)
"You have people who really need a bargain — they will sit out for two days to get that deal because that may be the only big thing they can afford for the whole family," said Britt Beemer, founder of America's Research Group. "Luxury retailers don't do very well on Black Friday because their customers are not going to fight the crowds."
Uncertainty is driving both retailers and customers, especially on the lower end.
The National Retail Federation has forecast that spending will climb 4.1% to $617 billion in November and December, compared with a 3.1% increase the same period last year.
But a separate survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted average household spending for the holidays will fall to $684 from $735 last year.
The slump is driven by those who earn less than $50,000, called "survivalists," whose ranks have been growing. This year, 67% of American shoppers fall into that category, up from 63% two years ago, the report said.
These are the families that retailers will fight over Thanksgiving night — ones with limited budgets who are willing to gobble down their apple pie and hustle to the malls to score enough discounts to check off Christmas lists, said Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics Inc.
"Once they have spent their budgets, they are done," Perkins said. "Retailers know if they get them first, they may not have anything left to go to other stores."
Brown allegedly was coming from the commission of a crime where he appeared to threaten a store clerk. The forensic evidence appears to contradict those who insist that Brown was not shot in a struggle but with his hands in the air. There is evidence that Wilson was injured in a struggle, the gun was discharged in the car and Brown was shot at close quarters leaving blood on the gun. Finally, more than a half-dozen black witnesses reportedly gave testimony supporting Wilson. Other scenarios could explain the evidence, and there is still the question of why so many shots were fired. But those questions might never be answered, a reality of some criminal cases.
The law requires us to deal with facts, and when those facts do not support a criminal charge, prosecution is barred regardless of popular demand.
In the end, it rings hollow to cry "no justice, no peace" when you are rioting or looting. There can be no justice if it is merely the result of demonstrations rather than demonstrated facts. Otherwise, the scales of justice become just one more object to throw through the window of an appliance store.
'Briefs laden with the f-word and vulgar references to the female anatomy attempt to provide a crash course on Eminem and Wu-Tang Clan for the justices, whose tastes lean more toward Wagner and Puccini, and illuminate what some scholars say are the misunderstood storytelling attributes of rap...'
Sunday, November 23, 2014
At least WaPo's putting out some decent reporting on the 2016 presidential cycle. Recall, Dan Balz hammered the Dems earlier as the party of old white people. Ouch.
At the New York Times, "A Deep 2016 Republican Presidential Field Reflects Party Divisions" (at Memeorandum):
BOCA RATON, Fla. — Republican presidential primaries have for decades been orderly affairs, with any momentary drama mitigated by the expectation that the party would inevitably nominate its tested, often graying front-runner.Just reading this made me realize how not ready I am for the 2016 presidential cycle. It's on, folks. We're barely out of the midterms and the presidential election is on. Who'll be the first Republican to declare his or her candidacy?
But as the 2016 White House campaign effectively began in the last week, it became apparent that this race might be different: a fluid contest, verging on chaotic, that will showcase the party’s deep bench of talent but also highlight its ideological and generational divisions.
As Democrats signal that they are ready to rally behind Hillary Rodham Clinton before their primary season even begins, allowing them to focus their fund-raising and firepower mostly on the general election, the Republicans appear destined for a free-for-all.
Balance of Power: What 2014 Elections Can Tell Us About 2016: Not Much at AllNOV. 6, 2014
“I can think of about 16 potential candidates,” said Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi and a veteran of Republican presidential politics dating to 1968. “Almost every one of them have a starting point. But there is no true front-runner.”
The sprawling nature of the race was on display Thursday as an array of would-be candidates took steps to position themselves.
At a gathering of Republican governors here, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey sought to capitalize on the party’s victories this year in Democratic-leaning states while at least six fellow governors tested their messages and met with potential donors.
On the same day in Washington, Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, addressed an education conference and tried to tamp down differences with the right on the Common Core standards. On Capitol Hill, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky continued his outreach to African-Americans by having breakfast with the Rev. Al Sharpton, while Senator Ted Cruz of Texas appealed to conservatives by citing Cicero on the Senate floor in a speech castigating President Obama’s executive action on immigration.
And in California, Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, just back from taking a group of evangelicals from early primary states on a trip to Europe honoring Ronald Reagan’s Cold War leadership, venerated Mr. Reagan in a speech at his presidential library.
If the dizzying activity on a single day captured the depth of the Republican field, it also underlined its factions, split among pragmatists, hard-liners and those trying to bridge the blocs.
Also at Randy's Roundtable, "Friday Nite Funnies," and Reaganite Republican, "Reaganite's Sunday Funnies."
Still more at Legal Insurrection, "Branco Cartoon – Poisoning The Well," and Theo Spark, "Cartoon Round Up..."
CARTOON CREDIT: William Warren.
'North Dakota has shed its identity as an agricultural state in decline to become an oil powerhouse second only to Texas...'
It's interesting, although caveat emptor. If the Old Gray Lady can smear and destroy the Bakken oil boom, they certainly will. As with any major economic development, folks need to find a nice compromise between private-sector growth and public-sector regulation. As it is right now, it sounds pretty Wild West and laissez-faire.
At Israel Matzav, "The military option is back on the table."
A lot of factors would have to come together just perfectly for Israel to be able to pull off such a strike. See Whitney Raas and Austin Long, "Osirak Redux? Assessing Israeli Capabilities to Destroy Iranian Nuclear Facilities," International Security (Spring 2007).
At iOWNTHEWORLD REPORT, "This Cartoon Was Scrubbed By the Indianapolis Star":
Also at Twitchy, "IndyStar, ‘newspaper of record for all #Crackerland,’ pulls ‘appallingly racist’ Varvel cartoon." And here's the newspaper's apology, "We erred in publishing cartoon."
Saturday, November 22, 2014
It's good. Really good. Makes me think.
In any case, here's London's Daily Mail, "Listen to Jennifer Lawrence sing The Lumineers' song The Hanging Tree for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1."
Given the president's end-runs around Congress, his shredding of the Constitution and his assault on the authority of the courts, a second term free of electoral restraints may be a frightening prospect.
Judge Andrew Napolitano, a Fox News commentator, raised the question on Neil Cavuto's "Your World" show Wednesday. And while it seems fanciful in light of the safeguards built into our democracy and its institutions, it recognizes the threat posed by the president's policies and actions if left unchecked.
"I think the president is dangerously close to totalitarianism," Napolitano opined. "A few months ago he was saying, 'The Congress doesn't count, the Congress doesn't mean anything, I am going to rule by decree and by administrative regulation.'
"Now he's basically saying the Supreme Court doesn't count. It doesn't matter what they think. They can't review our legislation. That would leave just him as the only branch of government standing."
Obama missed this Scripture in his immigration talk: Romans 13:1. Also Titus 3:1.— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) November 21, 2014
Here are the passages. Romans 13:1:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
And Titus 3:1:
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good...
Maybe the president should name a Bible czar to help him out of the tricky predicament he’s put himself in with his selective quoting of verse to fit his political agenda?
At the New York Times, "Allure of ISIS for Pakistanis Is on the Rise":
LONDON — Across Pakistan, the black standard of the Islamic State has been popping up all over.More.
From urban slums to Taliban strongholds, the militant group’s logo and name have appeared in graffiti, posters and pamphlets. Last month, a cluster of militant commanders declared their allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State.
Such is the influence of the Islamic State’s steamroller success in Iraq and Syria that, even thousands of miles away, security officials and militant networks are having to reckon with the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Its victories have energized battle-weary militants in Pakistan. The ISIS brand offers them potent advantages, analysts say — an aid to fund-raising and recruiting, a possible advantage over rival factions and, most powerfully, a new template for waging jihad.
Although the Islamic State is not operational in Pakistan, just its symbolic presence is ample cause for concern. It is there, after all, that Al Qaeda was founded in the 1980s, followed by other extremist ideologies that easily found the means and support to carry out international attacks...
Leftists put people in danger. Sad.
Friday, November 21, 2014
At LAT, "New report on Newtown shooter: Parental denial, breakdowns, missed opportunities":
In February 2007, Yale clinicians identified in Adam Lanza what they believed were profound emotional disabilities and offered him treatment that could give him relief for the first time in his troubled life.More.
But Adam was angry and anxious, and he didn't want to go. His mother, Nancy Lanza, constantly placating her son, was inclined to pull away from the treatment, prompting a psychiatric nurse to reach out to his father, Peter Lanza, in an urgent email.
"I told Adam he has a biological disorder that can be helped with medication. I told him what the medicines are and why they can work. I told him he's living in a box right now and the box will only get smaller over time if he doesn't get some treatment."
Nancy Lanza rejected the Yale doctors' plan. Adam was 14.
Six years later, Adam, now an emaciated recluse and fixated with mass killers, murdered his mother and massacred 20 children and six educators before turning a gun on himself at the elementary school he once attended in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown.
A report released today by the Office of the Child Advocate pointed to the Yale episode as one of dozens of red flags, squandered opportunities, blatant family denial and disturbing failures by pediatricians, educators and mental health professionals to see a complete picture of Adam Lanza's "crippling" social and emotional disabilities.
While the report does not draw a line between the events in Adam Lanza's young life and the massacre, it points out repeated examples where the profound anxiety and rage simmering inside Lanza was not explored in favor of attempts to manage his symptoms.
For example, at the apex of Adam's increasing phobias and problems coping with middle school, he went to a pediatrician and was repeatedly prescribed a lotion to soothe hands rubbed raw by excessive washing and a laxative to ease constipation brought on by a dangerous loss of weight. Yet, the authors note that there was no effort during these visits to address the underlying causes. A visit to a hospital emergency room was cut short before there was a chance for clinicians to explore Adam's problems at greater depth and schedule him for long-term treatment because Nancy Lanza said that being at the hospital was making Adam anxious.
"This shooting could have been stopped at any point along the trajectory of (Adam Lanza's) life," said Scarlett Lewis, whose son Jesse was one of the first-graders killed in classrooms in the Sandy Hook School.
"Red flags were evident, yet procedures were not in place to effectively deal with the issues. This is a systemic concern," Lewis said.
Lewis has started a foundation in her son's honor called the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation to create and promote social and emotional learning programs for school-aged children.
Indeed, I turned on the TV this afternoon just as Emperor Obama was getting blasted by these assholes.
At National Review, "Never Enough: Immigration Activist Heckles Obama During Amnesty Victory Lap."
At the Los Angeles Times:
Far from settling matters, President Obama’s unilateral action on immigration all but ensures at least two more years of fierce and angry debate over one of the most contentious and polarizing issues facing the country.Still more.
It is a debate that presents opportunity and political risk to both parties, but especially Republicans, who are deeply divided among themselves and badly need to mend relations with a Latino and Asian American population growing bigger and more politically powerful each day.
And, with the loudest, most strident voices likely to dominate the discussion, it is a debate that will continue to mask a broad consensus among Americans, who want compromise and a fix to a decades-old problem — fashioned by Congress and the president working in tandem — rather than more of the partisan brick-throwing that has escalated over the past several days.
Exit polls this month found that nearly six in 10 voters supported legislation that would go further than Obama’s plan by establishing a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million people in the country illegally — a striking ratio for a largely white, GOP-leaning electorate that swept Republicans to power across the country on Nov. 4.
Even here in Arizona, a state known for taking one of the hardest lines on illegal immigration, there is a strong desire to see the political skirmishing end.
“People want a solution,” said Chuck Coughlin, a GOP strategist who has advised two of the state’s top Republicans, Sen. John McCain and Gov. Jan Brewer, who have sometimes worked at cross-purposes on the issue. “They’re tired of the partisan stalemate and the finger-pointing by both sides.”
Immigration is a uniquely difficult and emotional issue, freighted with the weight of family ties and two broad, sometimes conflicting impulses. The United States, as the president suggested in his speech Thursday night, is both a land of laws and a nation of immigrants; squaring that circle and finding agreement somewhere in the middle has exceeded both the imagination and capacity of elected leaders for a generation.
Obama was never going to placate all sides by going it alone, a move he says was forced upon him by hostile, intransigent Republicans in Congress. What he has done, though, has heightened tensions in the short term and cast the conflict forward into the race to succeed him, placing every White House hopeful on the spot for the next two years.
Because Obama’s actions are not binding on his successor “the next president is going to have to decide whether to continue these policies after 2017,” said Matt Barreto, a University of Washington political scientist who conducts extensive polling among Latinos nationwide. “Whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Chris Christie or Marco Rubio, they’re all going to have to take a position, because it’s a policy that the next president, through his or her executive power, will be overseeing.”
The danger Democrats face is alienating the white working-class voters who have never much cared for the president and who could view the influx of newly hirable immigrants as unwelcome job competition.
Moreover there are voters of all stripe who recoil from the notion of rewarding — or at least excusing — those who break the law, which is how many critics portrayed the outcome of Obama’s single-handed move...
His unilateral order will encourage more migrants to come in hope of a future amnesty, without matching the ebb and flow of migration to America’s changing labor market demands. His order also offers no prospect of future citizenship, creating a laboring class with less of a stake in American institutions—and less incentive to assimilate.RTWT.
The politics of immigration is already fraught, and Mr. Obama’s order will make it worse. He is empowering the most extreme anti-immigrant voices on the Republican right, which may be part of his political calculation.
Mr. Obama wants Democrats to get political credit with Hispanics for legalization, while goading the GOP into again becoming the deportation party in 2016. Hillary Clinton would love that, which explains why Bill Clinton is already backing Mr. Obama’s order. Mark this down as one more way in which this President has become the Great Polarizer.
The polls show the American people are uneasy about Mr. Obama’s unilateral law-making, and liberals should be too. Mr. Obama is setting a precedent that Republican Presidents could also use to overcome a Democratic majority. How about an order to the IRS not to collect capital-gains taxes on inflated gains from property held for more than a decade? That policy would be broadly popular and also address a basic lack of fairness.
Mr. Obama’s rule-by-regulation has already been rebuked more than once by the Supreme Court. His “I, Barack” immigration decree is another abuse that will roil American politics and erode public confidence in the basic precepts of self-government.
At LAT, "Review 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' is just a place-holder."
And watch, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Final Trailer – “Burn”."
I'm taking my younger son to see it tomorrow.
One can argue whether this executive order is legal, but it certainly violates the spirit of the founders. They intentionally focused Article One of the Constitution on the Congress and Article Two on the president. That is because the Congress is the body charged with passing laws and the president is the person charged with faithfully carrying them out.
In effect, the Congress was originally seen as the pre-eminent branch and the president more of a clerk. The president's power grew enormously in the 20th century but even so, the Constitution still envisions Congress and the president as co-equal branches of government -- or as the scholar Richard Neustadt observed, co-equal branches sharing power.
For better or worse, Americans have always expected that in addressing big, tough domestic issues, Congress and the president had to work together to find resolution.
For a president to toss aside such deep traditions of governance is a radical, imprudent step. When a president in day-to-day operations can decide which laws to enforce and which to ignore, where are the limits on his power? Where are the checks and balances so carefully constructed in the Constitution?
If a Democratic president can cancel existing laws on immigration, what is to prevent the next Republican from unilaterally canceling laws on health care?
A bad way to start with new Congress
Coming on the heels of midterm elections that were a clear call for a change of course in Washington, starting in the White House, this is also a discouraging way to open the final years of this presidency. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll finds that by 53-40%, Americans feel positive about the election results; by 56-33%, they want Congress to set policy for the country, not the President; by 57-40% they favor a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants but by 42-32%, they disapprove of Obama overhauling immigration through executive order. Why isn't the White House listening to the public?
In retrospect, it would have been far better if coming out of the elections, the President had said he had promised he would act through executive order before the end of the year, but in light of the election results, he would work with the new Congress for six months. If there were no legislation, he would act on his own.
That would have been a much fairer proposition, would have started out with Republicans on better footing, and would have rallied the public behind him if the GOP refused to cooperate.
Sadly, we instead have an action from the White House that will cast a dark shadow over prospects for legislative cooperation, falls short of what the immigrant population had hoped and steers us into deep, unknown waters in our governance.