May 6, 2012

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Charles Krauthammer says Obama has become the “divider in chief.”

Poor Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.Once again he’s been pilloried for fumbling a historic Supreme Court case. First shredded for his “train wreck” defense of Obamacare’s individual mandate, he is now blamed for the defenestration in oral argument of Obama’s challenge to the Arizona immigration law.

The law allows police to check the immigration status of someone stopped for other reasons. Verrilli claimed that constitutes an intrusion on the federal monopoly on immigration enforcement. He was pummeled. Why shouldn’t a state help the federal government enforce the law? “You can see it’s not selling very well,” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

But Verrilli never had a chance. This was never a serious legal challenge in the first place. It was confected (and timed) purely for political effect, to highlight immigration as a campaign issue with which to portray Republicans as anti-Hispanic.

Hispanics, however, are just the beginning. The entire Obama campaign is a slice-and-dice operation, pandering to one group after another, particularly those that elected Obama in 2008 — blacks, Hispanics, women, young people — and for whom the thrill is now gone.

What to do? Try fear. Create division, stir resentment, by whatever means necessary — bogus court challenges, dead-end Senate bills and a forest of straw men.

Why else would the Justice Department challenge the photo ID law in Texas? To charge Republicans with seeking to disenfranchise Hispanics and blacks, of course. But in 2008 the Supreme Court upheld a similar law from Indiana. And it wasn’t close: 6 to 3, the majority including the venerated liberal John Paul Stevens.

Moreover, photo IDs were recommended by the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter. And you surely can’t get into the attorney general’s building without one. Are Stevens, Carter and Eric Holder anti-Hispanic and anti-black? …


Jennifer Rubin lists the president’s five favorite canards.

President Obama would like to talk about anything — Osama bin Laden, women, George Bush, “Forward” — rather than the economy. And when he does, his major themes are built on shaky facts or out-and-out untruths. Let’s look at five of them.

1. Income inequality worsened, leading to a credit boom and bust and now is slowing our recovery. Jim Pethokoukis quotes from the second study in recent months to debunk this:

“Using data from a panel of 14 countries for over 120 years, we find strong evidence linking credit booms to banking crises, but no evidence that rising income concentration was a significant determinant of credit booms.

Narrative evidence on the US experience in the 1920s, and that of other countries in more recent decades, casts further doubt on the role of rising inequality.”

Pethokoukis observes: “A long period of economic moderation made people both richer and overconfident about the economy’s stability in the future. So they took too many risks. Oh, and the Fed may have left interest rates too low for too long. So now we have this study. And we have an earlier blockbuster study from researchers at Cornell University that found median household income — properly measured — rose 36.7% from 1979-2007, not 3.2% like inequality alarmists (and White House faves) Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez argue.”

Obama seeks “fairness” and soaking the rich for ideological reasons. It is not a plan for increasing economic growth. …


Alana Goodman says the White House’s bin Laden bragging has brought out a “swift boat” contingent. 

The group is called Veterans for a Strong America, and they’ve already released one ad blasting President Obama’s handling of the bin Laden death anniversary. BuzzFeed reports there’s more on the way:

‘In the wake of a warm conservative reception for a web video trashing the president for “spiking the football” on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death, the conservative group Veterans for a Strong America plans to gather Navy SEALs and Special Forces operators to criticize the White House during the 2012 campaign.

“We’re looking to [put together] a coalition, to field SEALs and operators that want to come out publicly,” executive director of Veterans for a Strong America, Joel Arends, tells BuzzFeed. “I’ve had a lot of discussions with former SEALs and current SEALs. I’ve been talking to operators in the community. There is palatable discontent.” ‘ …

Here’s the video produced by the Veterans for a Strong America.

Kimberley Strassel on the modern day “enemies list.” 

Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check.

Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. His campaign brands you a Romney donor, shames you for “betting against America,” and accuses you of having a “less-than-reputable” record. The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money.

Are you worried?

Richard Nixon’s “enemies list” appalled the country for the simple reason that presidents hold a unique trust. Unlike senators or congressmen, presidents alone represent all Americans. Their powers—to jail, to fine, to bankrupt—are also so vast as to require restraint. Any president who targets a private citizen for his politics is de facto engaged in government intimidation and threats. This is why presidents since Nixon have carefully avoided the practice.

Save Mr. Obama, who acknowledges no rules. This past week, one of his campaign websites posted an item entitled “Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney’s donors.” In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having “less-than-reputable records,” the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that “quite a few” have also been “on the wrong side of the law” and profiting at “the expense of so many Americans.”

These are people like Paul Schorr and Sam and Jeffrey Fox, investors who the site outed for the crime of having “outsourced” jobs. T. Martin Fiorentino is scored for his work for a firm that forecloses on homes. Louis Bacon (a hedge-fund manager), Kent Burton (a “lobbyist”) and Thomas O’Malley (an energy CEO) stand accused of profiting from oil. Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of a home-products firm, is slimed as a “bitter foe of the gay rights movement.”

These are wealthy individuals, to be sure, but private citizens nonetheless. Not one holds elected office. Not one is a criminal. Not one has the barest fraction of the position or the power of the U.S. leader who is publicly assaulting them. …


OK back to Elizabeth Warren a story we cannot leave alone. John Fund says she was just looking for a play date.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic candidate running against Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, claimed for a decade in law-school directories that she was Native American even though her only evidence for her status was family “lore.”

After days of stonewalling, she now says she claimed minority status only in order to find others with tribal roots. “I listed myself in the directory in the hopes that it might mean that I would be invited to a luncheon, a group something that might happen with people who are like I am. Nothing like that ever happened, that was clearly not the use for it, and so I stopped checking it off,” she told reporters this week. …


Chris Cillizza says she won WWW – Worst Week in Washington.

… Warren’s campaign, sensing crisis, sought to stamp out the controversy by noting that she is proud of her heritage and that identifying as a Native American had nothing to do with her hiring at any job.

And yet, there was Warren on Wednesday offering an extended — and personal — riff on the role that her Native American ancestry had played in her life. The story involved a picture on her mantel of her grandfather and his “high cheekbones” (really!).

Elizabeth Warren, for turning a small hole into a yawning political ditch, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.


Jim Geraghty says Harvard tried to help. They should have stayed quiet.

Harvard University tries to help Elizabeth Warren, and only hurts themselves in the process:

Harvard Law School lists one lone Native American faculty member on its latest diversity census report — but school officials and campaign aides for Elizabeth Warren refused to say yesterday whether it refers to the Democratic Senate candidate.

Warren — who has been dogged by questions about whether she used her claims of Cherokee lineage to further her career — has insisted she never authorized Harvard Law to count her as a Native American in the mid-1990s, when the school was under fire for not having enough minority professors.

Here’s the current faculty directory. Anyone else stand out as a potential Native American? (Although I suppose that the example of Warren demonstrates that someone who does not look like a Native American, have a Native American name, or have any known work on Native American issues could still be considered a Native American under university criteria.) …


Howie Carr weighs in. 

… Who can forget Elizabeth Warren’s “rise from poverty.” That hasn’t been mentioned much since we found out that by 1965, her family had three cars, one of which was Granny’s white MG, a car that was, the Globe sadly informed us, “beat up.”

And you say Pocahontas Warren hasn’t got a right to sing the blues?

Then there was Granny’s $168,000 gig working for Travelers Insurance when they were trying to fend off lawsuits from victims of asbestos poisoning. Kind of like Deval Patrick being on the board of subprime monster Ameriquest, or Barack’s dealings with convicted racketeer Tony Rezko.

All of them, they’re better than you, because you’re an oppressor. They’re the oppressed — they went to Harvard Law

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