Obama’s Enforcer, Eric Holder, Exits Stage Left

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Hat Tip: BB

I should be thrilled at the news of Obama’s number one henchman stepping down. Instead, I find myself cringing in dreaded anticipation of what follows next. You just know it can’t be good.

The first thing I heard was that Holder was stepping down because of Fast and Furious. Though he is leaving the scene of the crime, he is still under Congressional investigation. A judge has denied a delay requested by the DOJ concerning the document list connected to the case. The documents had previously been withheld under Obama’s claim to executive privilege:

The list, better known as a Vaughn index, was requested through a June 2012 FOIA filing by government watchdog Judicial Watch. When DOJ didn’t respond to the FOIA request in the time required by law, Judicial Watch sued in September 2012, seeking all documents DOJ and the White House are withholding from Congress under executive privilege claims. President Obama made the assertion on June 20, 2012 just moments before Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt. In July 2014, after two years of battling for information, Judge Bates ordered the Department of Justice to release the Vaughn Index by October 1. DOJ responded by asking for a month long delay in releasing the list with a deadline of November 3, just one day before the 2014-midterm elections. That request has been denied. A short delay was granted and DOJ must produce the Vaughn index by October 22.

“The government’s arguments for even more time are unconvincing,” Bates said in his ruling. “[S]eventy-five days—plus another twenty-one, based in part on Judiciary Watch’s consent—is enough time for the government to prepare the index that this Court has ordered, given that this matter has been pending for over two years. The Court will therefore extend the Department’s Vaughn index submission deadline to October 22, 2014—and no further.”

“The government argues that it must devote significant numbers of attorneys to this matter if it hopes to comply with the current Vaughn index deadline … But the Department has known about its Vaughn index obligations since July 18, 2014 … At best, it means the Department has been slow to react to this Court’s previous Order. At worst, it means the Department has ignored that Order until now,” he added.

The House Oversight Committee is also suing for the release of the Vaughn index and earlier this month U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered DOJ to produce requested information to lawmakers by November 1.

This scandal and Holder’s flat out refusal to cooperate, landed him a Contempt of Congress charge, which he is still subject to. Most legal experts, though, believe he will walk. Sigh. However, that being said, Judicial Watch believes they are very close to nailing Holder’s hide to a wall:

It is no coincidence that Holder’s resignation comes on the heels of another court ruling that the Justice Department must finally cough up documents about how Holder’s Justice Department lied to Congress and the American people about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, for which Eric Holder was held in contempt by the House of Representatives. Over the past several months, Judicial Watch also exposed how Holder’s Justice Department was implicated in the IRS scandal and how Justice Department lawyers helped defend the illegal stonewall that kept secret key material related to Benghazi.


“In Eric Holder, President Obama found his John Mitchell – an attorney general who would lie, obstruct investigations, and ignore or simply not enforce the law in order to advance his president’s unbridled will,” Fitton said. “As the press is writing his political epitaph, I hope it is also remembered how Holder lied to Congress and how his agency assaulted Freedom of the Press by collecting the private email correspondence of reporters, seizing their phone records, and tracking their movements as part of an investigation of perceived leaks. ‘Justice’ took a holiday during Eric Holder’s reign at the Department of Justice. The man can’t leave office soon enough.”

Indeed, not soon enough and good riddance.

Obama was tearful when making the announcement. Horsepuckey… Holder isn’t going anywhere… he’s shifting. And one possible shift is just too horrific to contemplate. Rush Limbaugh floated the possibility that Holder is stepping down so he can be nominated for the Supreme Court. Words fail me and the cringe thingie is getting worse. By all that is Holy, please let Rush be wrong this one time. Please.

Truth Revolt

Holder is a huge racist and let’s not forget that golden oldie where he called us a nation of cowards. Civil liberties hero, my ass. Holder has the lowest approval rating of any political figure and he’s earned it. He has shamed the office of Attorney General and besmirched the office he rules with an iron, hate-filled fist. Trust me when I say this evil Marxist will never go away if he has his way.

If you can believe it, race hustler extraordinaire, Al Sharpton, claims he is helping pick the next Attorney General. Racists of the White House unite! There’s enough hate and power mongering to go around for all. Sharpton claims to be ‘advising’ on this… he’s such a braggart and so full of himself, it may just be so much bullcrap, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he was helping with the selection. Let’s see… his credentials include: racist — check; hate monger — check; Marxist — check; Progressive — check; corrupt official — double check… looks like he fits the bill for the Obama Administration.

But there are those that will fight this tooth and nail, Ted Cruz is chief among them. He called for Holder’s impeachment and now he intends to make sure Conservatives have a say in the next Attorney General of the United States. And Cruz has a plan:

Cruz, who has previously made the case for impeaching Holder in an attempt to have a special prosecutor investigate the IRS, doesn’t want a confirmation battle to take place during the lame-duck session.

“To ensure that justice is served and that the attorney general is not simply replaced with another extreme partisan who will likewise disregard the law, the Senate should wait until the new Congress is sworn in before confirming the next attorney general,” Cruz said in a Thursday afternoon statement.  “Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced.”

Republican senators have the ability to slow down the process.

“With Republican opposition, any nominee could take as long as three weeks before even clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee, because of rules that guarantee them, as the minority party, a chance to delay the vote,” the Los Angeles Times explains. “Following that, the Senate floor debate could take a week to clear all the procedural hurdles at the Republican minority’s disposal to stall the vote.”

Get em, Ted! He seems to be one of the very few in our halls of power with the stones to take on the bad guys. Why, his actions are almost Presidential! 😉

Obama’s enforcer, Eric Holder, is exiting stage far Left… Let’s hope that Ted Cruz and his brethren make their advance from the Right and take the field. Bring the action.


Obama Administration Fails the Transparency Test

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

We have often pointed out the incestuous relationship that exists between the Obama administration and the mainstream media—a media that have largely bought the administration’s line that matters such as Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, and the IRS abuses amount to phony scandals. Throughout his presidency, President Obama has assumed control over media messaging by restricting the information and sources that journalists can access, while simultaneously providing prepackaged products that serve as government-sponsored press releases that the media are welcome to use. And, so far, the media have bent to these restrictions with little protest.

Where, for example, is the mainstream media protest that they are not allowed to embed with the soldiers conducting the air war against the Islamic State? “As the United States ramps up its fight against Islamic militants, the public can’t see any of it,” states one of eight criticisms from Sally Buzbee, Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief. “News organizations can’t shoot photos or video of bombers as they take off—there are no embeds. In fact, the administration won’t even say what country the S. bombers fly from.”

In fact, the information regarding Syrian attacks is provided by the government. “At a briefing for reporters, military officials showed photographs and video of before and after shots of the targets hit in Syria,” reported The New York Times on September 23. Perhaps the Obama administration doesn’t want reporters embedded in the fight against the Islamic State because it fears that the closer to the front line they are, the more journalists may be kidnapped and beheaded by terrorists and videos of such beheadings disseminated as vile propaganda. Or maybe they don’t want the world to see the collateral damage that will surely occur.

The dearth of first-hand journalism allowed by the administration has resulted in creative maneuvers by the press here at home, as well. The Washington Post ran a video on its website’s Post TV that was little more than a clip of a Whitehouse.gov segment—without commentary to clarify President Obama’s speech. And, during our border crisis and rapid influx of illegal immigrants, the Obama administration forbade the press to take pictures or ask questions during their visit to Fort Sill. Instead, government officials promised they would provide sanctioned photographs later.

Now, The Washington Post reports how even the most minute details are deleted or massaged by the White House from press pool reports. Such pool reports “are supposed to be the news media’s eyes and ears on the president, an independent chronicle of his public activities. They are written by reporters for other reporters, who incorporate them into news articles about President Obama almost every day,” reports Paul Farhi for the Post.

“Journalists who cover the White House say Obama’s press aides have demanded—and received—changes in press-pool reports before the reports have been disseminated to other journalists,” reports Farhi. “They say the White House has used its unusual role as the distributor of the reports as leverage to steer coverage in a more favorable direction.”

What exactly is going on with the most “transparent” administration ever? Doesn’t it value press freedom? And what about a little self-respect from the media, which would never allow a Republican administration to treat them this way?

Perhaps the media won’t be silent on this issue for much longer. The Associated Press’ Sally Buzbee voiced her frustration with President Obama’s media obstructionism at a recent conference. A colleague provided Buzbee’s eight examples of how the administration is obstructing the media on the Associated Press blog:

  • The administration won’t allow journalists to embed in the war against the Islamic State, leaving the U.S. with a dearth of media coverage;
  • Access to the President’s meetings with foreign leaders is “rarer” than before. “Think about the message that sends other nations about how the world’s leading democracy deals with the media: Keep them out and let them use handout photos,” writes Buzbee.
  • Reporters aren’t allowed to see nonclassified materials in real-time for the upcoming 9/11 trial so that they can understand information brought up during the hearings.
  • Information regarding hunger strikes at Guantanamo used to be released under President George W. Bush, and isn’t now.
  • Buzbee cites “day-to-day intimidation of sources,” and asserts, “Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad.”
  • Press officials often have to sue to get anywhere with their Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • FOIA requests are being forwarded to political appointees.
  • The administration has begun trying to keep state and local information secret, as well. A recent article in The Washington Post highlights how the FBI is trying to get the state and local police to “keep quiet about the capabilities of a controversial type of surveillance gear that allows law enforcement to eavesdrop on cellphone calls and track individual people based on the signals emitted by their mobile devices.”

Buzbee’s list highlights the systematic, top-down, attempt by the Obama administration to keep all unfavorable news from coming to light and to ensure that only positive media coverage of the administration makes it onto the front page.

We have also covered how the administration is going after journalists who talk to leakers. “Are we doomed to an escalation of government intrusion upon the press?” I asked earlier this year. This escalation, as highlighted by Buzbee’s examples, is already in the works.

Buzbee’s comments got superficial coverage from a media more interested in covering for the Obama administration and preserving their journalistic access. Politico, The Washington Post, and the Washington Examiner at least referred to her eight examples.

Accuracy in Media has filed numerous FOIA requests, and is suing the government for answers regarding the Benghazi attacks; Judicial Watch has had to do likewise. And, as I reported in March, “Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, a common accountability tactic used by journalists and citizens alike, now serve as a testament to the White House’s desire to control all messaging. …with the normal avenues for gaining information closed off, and the secret ones penalized by the Espionage Act, the press is left to work off of one source—the Obama administration—through press releases, press conferences, and propaganda.”

The Associated Press’ allegations regarding FOIA requests have already ruffled some feathers in the administration. Erik Wemple of The Washington Post was contacted by the Department of Health and Human Services, which contended that HHS does not use political appointees for its FOIA process. “That is categorically false,” said the HHS spokesman, who also said that it is career staff who work on FOIA requests for the Department. The AP’s Paul Colford wrote in response, asserting that the AP “has had to deal directly with Ms. [Dori] Salcido [a political appointee] on some FOIA-related matters…In one instance last year, as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs (Media), she would adjudicate our administrative appeal of an HHS decision—that’s what we were told in a letter.” In other words, the AP can cite a specific example in which they had to work with a political appointee on a FOIA request.

Wemple also failed to inform his readers regarding another lawsuit on this issue by a group called Cause of Action (COA). COA, “a nonprofit watchdog group led by former congressional investigator Daniel Epstein, recently filed suit against a dozen federal agencies claiming they allowed White House officials to determine how they responded to multiple FOIA requests” in the name of “White House equities,” reports Mark Tapscott for the Washington Examiner. “The Cause of Action suit is now making its way through the federal court system.”

New York Times reporter James Risen also spoke at the conference where Buzbee made her presentation. “Media shouldn’t shrink before the challenge, Risen said,” according to the AP. “The only response…is to do even more aggressive investigative reporting.”

If only we could trust the mainstream media to follow that advice, and push back against the administration’s attempts to ensure its positive reputation at all costs.


If Leninade, Why Not Hitlerpop?

By: Diana West

Soda pop is for sale this week at the University of Maryland under the hammer & sickle, symbol Communism, whose 20th century toll is conservatively estimated at 100 million killed. Not only does the stench of death not follow this murder-cult, the brand lives. Such is the resilience of the Big Lie that still separates the toll of communism from communism itself. The reason we don’t see a bottle of Hitlerpop next to the Leninade is because the toll of Nazism has never been separated from Nazism.

This double standard is examined in depth in American Betrayal, as below amid the story of ex-Socialist journalists Eugene Lyons’ 1931 lecture tour during which he knowingly withheld from American audiences the truth of the Soviet regime he covered as Moscow bureau chief for United Press.

From American Betrayal, pp. 98-99:

All the way home across Europe and the Atlantic in 1931—the land and sea odyssey back to the safe haven of the Statue of Liberty, New York City— [Eugene] Lyons “wrestled with the problem of how much of what I had seen and what I had thought I should tell,” a problem that reveals his internalization of the totalitarian taboo. Such candor is refreshing if also disturbing. As a vital source of public information, Lyons was torn by a dilemma that was in fact no private matter, particularly once United Press dispatched its star correspondent on a public lecture tour (having plugged his recent series summing up his three years in Russia in foot-high letters on delivery trucks: THE TRUTH ABOUT RUSSIA). It was here that Lyons succumbed to emotional currents he felt emanating from his Depression-era audiences. “I had intended to paint a more realistic picture,” he writes of a lecture stop in Youngstown. “But the simple believing people, their eyes pleading for reassurance, . . . could not be denied.”56 And remember, Lyons had already concluded (and declared privately) that the USSR was a terror-state.

It all seemed far away from Youngstown and the other twenty cities in the throes of economic crisis that Lyons toured in the northeast, so far away that, he writes, “your mind imposed its own favorite designs upon the Soviet contradictions, choosing, discarding, arranging, hastily repairing the damage wrought by three years of immersion.” He continues, “Whatever your American lectures may have done to the listeners, they almost convinced the lecturer. By compromising with your experiences you nearly sneaked back into the comfortable groove of uncritical faith . . . [The] dead are dead and the maimed are dying, and what if another million dung-colored Russians are driven into the marshes and forests and deserts, if the great idea marches forward.”57

Chilling words. After all, “What if?” here means “So what?” Anything to keep the “great idea” moving forward—particularly if it were only millions of “dung-colored Russians” standing in the way. It’s hard not to hear a shocking echo: The dead are dead and the maimed are dying and what if a million dung-colored Jews are driven into the ovens just a few years later, if the great idea marches forward . . .

But that’s different.

Is it?

The difference I see is that the Nazi totalitarian “great idea” was always inseparable from its toll, but the Soviet totalitarian “great idea” was always separated and protected from its toll. We never ask why one Holocaust matters when multiple holocausts do not, why one “great idea” of totalitarianism was only totalitarian and the other was only great. We condemn the German population of a police state for looking the other way from and doing nothing about Jewish annihilation under way in Nazi concentration camps; we never think to question ourselves living large in a free world and looking the other way from and saying nothing about ethnic, political, class, and religious annihilation under way in Soviet concentration camps. This split vision derives from the triumph of Communism’s unceasing world revolution against “traditional” morality, objective morality, a morality of fixed standards by which men navigate, or at least perceive the shoals of evil and treacherous behaviors. Such morality tells us there is no separating the idea from its toll. This is the lesson we have erased from our slate. …