I’m sure you’ve been following this bizarre story about the left’s attempt, through various blue Attorney’s General, to use the RICO statute to
persecute prosecute so-called “climate deniers”. One of the targets was the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CEI wasn’t going to take it lying down and punched back:
A libertarian nonprofit group is seeking damages from the U.S. Virgin Islands’ chief law enforcement officer, alleging a politically motivated legal campaign designed to stifle the group’s policy advocacy activities.
Attorneys representing the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a motion in a Washington, D.C. court on Monday alleging that Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker violated a D.C. law designed to prevent frivolous legal actions targeting policy groups’ rights to free speech and government redress.
The motion is the latest chapter in a developing legal battle between conservative and industry groups that oppose Democratic attorneys general in 17 states who are pursuing racketeering charges against oil giant Exxon Mobil.
Walker subpoenaed CEI last month as part of the anti-Exxon campaign. He demanded a decade’s worth of internal documents and communications about the group’s work on energy and environmental policy.
CEI told Walker to stuff it and shot back:
Andrew Grossman, a BakerHostetler attorney representing CEI, called the subpoena “offensive,” “unlawful,” and “un-American” in an April reply. He vowed to fight the subpoena, which was filed in D.C., where CEI is headquartered.
An attorney representing a group of AGs, including Walker, in their Exxon probe replied on Friday, telling CEI that it is abandoning its subpoena but reserving the right to restart the effort at any point in the future.In response, Grossman and his BakerHostetler colleague David Rivkin filed a motion to vacate the subpoena entirely. They are also asking the court to reimburse CEI for its legal fees and levy additional penalties on Walker’s office as a means of discouraging abuses of the D.C. legal system.
Walker’s “bad faith purpose in wielding this Court’s power to subpoena … warrants sanctions,” the attorneys wrote in a Monday motion. “Sanctions are necessary here ‘to punish abuses of the judicial process and to deter future abuses,’” they wrote, quoting a prior case involving D.C.’s anti-SLAPP statute.
The acronym SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” and refers to efforts to shut down an opposing party’s speech or political advocacy through frivolous lawsuits.
This is what has to be done to stop this foolishness. All it costs the AG is your tax money. So, in reality, it cost them nothing. But the people or organizations they target actually end up having to reach deeply into their own pockets to defend themselves from these frivolous lawsuits.
Here’s hoping CEI is able to whack this nonsense in the head quickly. As their attorney said, it’s “offensive”, “unlawful” and “un-American.” It is also an obnoxious and obvious abuse of power. Time to reel this bunch ideological hitmen back in and do quickly. And it wouldn’t hurt at all if the lawsuit found some of the AG’s personally responsible and made them pay fines out of their own fund for the abuse of their office (not that it will happen … I understand that, but I guy can wish). Short of that, running them out of office will suffice.
Consider yourself a climate skeptic? Well that’s dangerous ground if the new fascists have their way. And who are these fascists? Why a group of 20 Attorney Generals from blue states. The Federalist Society has the goods:
The twenty Democratic AGs’ (“Green 20”) concerted investigation against ExxonMobil (Exxon) and organizations deemed “climate change deniers” represents a threat to core constitutional commands of free speech, limited and constitutional government and the rule of law. This latest incarnation of regulation by litigation which seeks to punish climate change wrongthink has crossed a line that lies at the core of the First Amendment—a government imposing its orthodoxy upon its citizens. Declaring the need for “transformational” action on climate change as a settled question, Virgin Islands’ AG, Claude Earl Walker, announced, “We cannot continue to rely on fossil fuel. Vice President Gore has made that clear.” (Glad that’s all settled!)
As the United States Supreme court has noted: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion.” Further, punishing Exxon for its own research that expresses concern about climate change disincentivizes research and development and criminalizes the expressions of doubts, theories and concerns that are essential to the scientific method.
So, as others try to paint them as the “Green 20”, I’ll call them what they are – the Fascist 20. They are the very definition of fascists, or at least this part of the definition – “
You may roll your eyes at the latter part but isn’t their goal precisely that, i.e. deciding what industries is acceptable and which aren’t? And attacking those which “aren’t”. First it was the tobacco industry. That worked. So now, using the same sort of tactics and laws, they’re going after the fossil fuel industry, climate skeptics and anyone else they rope into this gaggle they want to eliminate.
This can also be likened to the Inquisition since it is clear, to many, that the “science” of climate alarmism has now become a religion, and it is time, since they can’t prove their point scientifically, to go after the heretics who are badly damaging their scam/religion.
If you don’t think that’s the case, consider this:
The tone taken by these attorneys general at their March 29th press conference with Al Gore reveals all. The calculated hysteria whipped up by Gore’s linkage of natural disasters and the spread of the Zika virus to climate change, was followed by the state AGs startling descriptors of their quarry—“morally vacant forces,” destroyers of this earth, planet destroyers, existential threats, deceivers! Walker announced his offices launch of “an investigation into a company that we believe must provide us with information about what they knew about climate change, and when they knew it,” a catchy formulation that was a verbatim echo of NY AG Schneiderman’s tone of climate McCarthyism.
This vituperative language calls into question these regulators impartiality and professional ethics and rises to abuse of the powers of the office of attorney general. Gore thrummed a bass-line of “fraud” and sensationalized recent weather news as “a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.” Somehow the rise of new diseases that Gore never heard of when he was growing up can be attributed to fossil fuel use (junk science, anyone?). NY AG Schneiderman closed the news conference with a litany of billions and billions of dollars of damage.
This is indeed, junk science and an attempt to use the authority of the law to both intimidate and silence those who find both the science and the arguments of the climate hysterics to be badly wanting.
This is a big “no-go” in terms of how this country is supposed to work. But we now have government agents as, basically, hit men, out to ensure the bosses agenda gets followed. And, obviously, they’ll stoop to any level, to include fascism, to get that job done.
Land of the free …?
Yeah, feast your eyes.
The FBI, in the wake of the San Bernardino terrorist attack, has gone to court and gotten a judge to order Apple to write software to decrypt the iPhones the two terrorists used. The FBI has been unable to decrypt them on their own.
Apple has refused to comply.
After reading much of the back and forth between government and Apple, I’m with Apple. As the Electronic Freedom Frontier said:
The government is asking Apple to create a master key so that it can open a single phone,” it said Tuesday evening. “And once that master key is created, we’re certain that our government will ask for it again and again, for other phones, and turn this power against any software or device that has the audacity to offer strong security.”
It’s about violating your privacy by being ordered to hand the government the key with implied permission to use it. Think Pandora’s Box. Forget security, you may as well not encrypt a phone if a master key is available out there. We’d love to believe the government when it says it will only use that software once, but anyone with a modicum of intelligence (and experience with governments) knows how likely that is. And, well, we also know how well our government does cyber security, don’t we Ms. Clinton?
Er, anyway – the government is using a 18th century law, the All Writs Act, to claim that it can demand such software from Apple.
The law lets judges “issue all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.”
A little word salad that has the government claiming it has every right to make this demand do just about anything it chooses (if it can get a judge to say so).
Marc J. Zwillinger, a lawyer for Apple, wrote in a letter for a related case in October that the All Writs Act could not be interpreted to “force a company to take possession of a device outside of its possession or control and perform services on that device, particularly where the company does not perform such services as part of its business and there may be alternative means of obtaining the requested information available to the government.”
The government says it does not have those alternative means.
Mr. Cook’s statement called the government’s demands “chilling.”
“If the government can use the All Writs Act to make it easier to unlock your iPhone, it would have the power to reach into anyone’s device to capture their data. The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.”
This is another indicator of how corrosive the “War on Terror” has been to our liberties. It’s like slow drip acid, with every drop another assault on what we once took for granted as protections against an invasive government. And our government has been more and more invasive as concerns our privacy since this “war” began.
Sometimes, looking at what the government attempts to do in the name of security, you’d think the terrorists had won, wouldn’t you?
It would have been nice if the Democrats could have at least let the body get cool before making political demands and unleashing the usual hate, but then that is the state of politics in this country.
Frankly, I mourn Antonin Scalia as one of the few important bastions against the “living Constitution”, defined constantly on the fly as whatever the left wants it to be. Lately it’s been all about granting liberties willy nilly (which, the smart person would realize, would mean they can “ungrant” them as well as those that you thought were inalienable, such as your 2nd Amendment right). That was one of Scalia’s greatest fears and why he stood athwart the path that led to that.
And, of course the hate – the woman who tweeted that she hoped, as he’s always want to do, that Clarence Thomas followed Scalia’s example this time.
And the politics – the conveniently amnesiac Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer demanding that the GOP accept and approve the Obama nominee immediately – whoever that might be. And don’t pay any attention to what they’ve said or done in the past, it is the duty of the GOP to play their game.
Of course, if the GOP has any desire to remain a mainstream party, they better grow a brain, spine and develop some guts and follow Nancy Regan’s advice – “just say no”. Obama’s had 8 years to work his tragic magic on this country, we don’t need to be giving him a lifetime appointment to continue the work.
Finally, the possible silver lining – do Trump supporters really want him naming a SCOTUS justice? Or Hillary, if Trump in the GOP nominee?
Anyone who has ever worked in or around classified material understands how draconian the rules concerning their use are. If revealed to unfriendly eyes, it could mean lives. Namely the lives of sources or their handlers. And, not only that, it would likely give those who oppose us a look at the means and methods by which we gather intelligence.
Hillary Clinton threw that all out the window when she made a decision, at the beginning of her term as Secretary of State, to use a private server located in a bathroom somewhere outside the government’s secure nets. There was no gradual migration to that server for “convenience” (something she first tried to claim), but instead a very deliberate act and decision to circumvent the restrictions she’d face within such a government net. Oh, and to be able to dodge accountability.
So then she dropped back to another excuse. No classified material was ever sent to that server. When that one blew up, the next excuse was that no material “marked” classified was ever sent.
Here’s the thing, however. Unless you’re a complete idiot, you know what does or doesn’t fall within the realm of classified … especially if you’re the Secretary of State. And its not like this was all new to her. She’d served as a US Senator and been privy to classified material before and was certainly briefed on how to handle it. One can’t imagine, given the stringent rules surrounding the handling of classified material, that she didn’t receive additional briefings when she took State.
She chose to ignore them all.
And her latest excuse? Well, Chris Cillizza pretty much declares it dead:
That defense hit a major snag on Friday when the State Department announced that it, too, had found “top secret” information on Clinton’s server — 22 emails across seven separate emails chains. The information, the State Department said, was so secret that those emails would never be released to the public.
The Clintonian response? Well, it’s classic, you have to say that:
The Clinton team quickly pivoted. “After a process that has been dominated by bureaucratic infighting that has too often played out in public view, the loudest and leakiest participants in this interagency dispute have now prevailed in blocking any release of these emails,” said campaign spokesman Brian Fallon.
Calling for the release of the allegedly top secret emails is a smart gambit by the Clinton folks since it makes them look as if they have nothing to hide while being protected by the near-certainty that the State Department won’t simply change its mind on the release because the Clinton team asked them to.
That’s right, ask for the emails to be released and when they’re not, for obvious reasons, claim someone (VRWC) is trying to smear you.
But what were in those emails? John Schindler says it’s pretty volatile stuff … something anyone would know, markings or not, was very highly classified:
Discussions with Intelligence Community officials have revealed that Ms. Clinton’s “unclassified” emails included Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover. Worse, some of those exposed are serving under non-official cover. NOCs (see this for an explanation of their important role in espionage) are the pointy end of the CIA spear and they are always at risk of exposure – which is what Ms. Clinton’s emails have done.
Not only have these spies had their lives put in serious risk by this, it’s a clear violation of Federal law. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, enacted due to the murder of the CIA’s station chief in Athens after his cover was blown by the left-wing media, makes it a Federal crime to divulge the true identity of any covert operative serving U.S. intelligence if that person has not previous been publicly acknowledged to be working for our spy agencies.
You probably recall Valerie Plame was a NOC and the stink her supposed exposure brought. The media was all over that … but this? Yeah, they’ve mostly been forced to report on it, but not very enthusiastically.
If this is the case, Ms. Clinton has committed a very serious breach of security that is and should be punishable by conviction and jail time.
The problem, as has been stated recently, is she’s a powerful politician … not one of the little people. And we’re becoming more and more acquainted with how the “law” works now for the powerful among us, aren’t we?
Anthony DeChristopher over at The Hill thinks the latest finds on Hillary’s email server are a “game changer”. And he makes a good point … it’s a game changer for someone:
Special Access Programs (SAP) is a game changer. It is now undeniably clear that the results of the FBI investigation will be the end of one of two things: Hillary’s bid for the White House or the legitimacy of the FBI—at least when it comes to prosecuting cases on the mishandling of classified material.
The FBI’s reputation has been tarnished in the last decade or so. No longer is it thought of quite in the same way it once was. A series of missteps, scandals and problems have lowered the once sterling reputation of the law enforcement agency.
On the other hand is a powerful political figure that’s in the running for President of the United States and just happens to be of the same party and the presently serving President of the United States. To make it clear, the FBI works for the executive department under the Department of Justice. And, of course, the DoJ is headed by an Obama appointee. Oh, and remember, the Dems want to hold on to the White House.
Hillary Clinton is a “win at any price” person. She badly wants to be the first female President of the United States. Badly. Very, very badly.
The FBI wants to polish up its reputation as the incorrigible and incorruptible law enforcement agency that isn’t swayed or impacted by politics, but simply enforces the law.
Something has got to give.
DeChristopher is apparently a former Special Forces soldier who gives you a brief run down of the gravity of the Clinton offense.
First, when imagery that is classified SECRET//NOFORN (no foreign national) is viewed, regardless of the absence of classification markings, it is distinctly evident. Second, any documents that contain or reference HUMINT is always classified SECRET, and if specific names of sources or handlers are mentioned, they are at a minimum SECRET//NOFORN. Third, SIGINT is always classified at the TS level. It’s not uncommon for some SI to be downgraded and shared over SECRET mediums, however, it is highly unlikely that a Secretary of State would receive downgraded intelligence. Finally, SAP intelligence has been discovered on Clinton’s private server, and many are now calling this the smoking gun. SAP is a specialized management system of additional security controls designed to protect SAR or Special Access Required. SAR has to do with extremely perishable operational methods and capabilities, and only selected individuals who are “read on” or “indoctrinated” are permitted access to these programs. The mishandling of SAP can cause catastrophic damage to current collection methods, techniques and personnel.
Got it? This isn’t something that is hard to figure out, and anyone who has worked at high levels of government for years already knows all this. Now comes the chaser:
In other words, if you have worked with classified material for more than a day, it seems highly implausible that someone could receive any of the aforementioned over an un-secure medium without alarm bells sounding. However, reading about a Special Access Program on an unclassified device would make anyone even remotely familiar with intelligence mess their pantsuit.
You can tell it has put her highness off her stride, but she’s resurrecting the VRWC to cover that.
However this is going to be interesting to watch. There is a large amount of evidence that points to her being directly responsible for a horrific, nay, epic security breach at the highest level.
Will the FBI do it’s job? Or is this, like so many Clinton scandals, going to end up with no action being taken when you can be sure if it was you or I, we’d be frog-marched so fast to the local hoosegow that it would make our heads swim.
But we’re the little people, aren’t we?
I’m sure the title doesn’t particularly surprise anyone who has watched the creep in the White House operate over the past few years. But while the GOP clown car steals all the headlines (because naturally that’s where the mainstream media would prefer to focus), we have this little side show going on where Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has dared to oppose his Royal Emptiness’s desire concerning the awful Iran deal. That has helped even some Democrats realize that this particular Emperor really is naked, his clothes having been a figment of the media and true believers. He’s now reduced to going after his own, in the sense that Democrats are about all that still have any belief in this man’s abilities.
This has led a few on the far left to label Schumer an “Israeli Jew traitor” for his opposition to the deal.
Tablet Magazine isn’t amused at all with the utterings of Mr. Obama, and they tell you why:
Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.
This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.
And shaken they should be. The mask if finally down. Finally. All the pretending in the world won’t change what Obama has said and implied. That’s what he believes. It is extremist and, frankly, extraordinarily biased, but it isn’t anything new for Democrats or the left. Just ask Condi Rice or Justice Thomas. It is identity politics at its finest. And, ironically, it is an attempt to destroy someone who was, once, an ally.
What in the world ever happened to the adults in politics? The statesmen? How have we allowed these creatures to take over our system?
Questions to ponder as, for the most part, the media focuses on Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly.
We’ve recently seen how multiple jurisdictions openly ignoring the law resulted in circumstances that led in the death of Kathryn Steinle at Pier 14 in San Francisco last week. Why? Because, ideologically, they’re opposed to the law as it stands and are refusing to consider its validity, much less enforce it. The results are inevitable. Steinle’s death is just a symptom of a much more wide-spread threat to our nation. The left’s contempt for laws that don’t fit their ideology. Victor Davis Hanson says:
Ultimately, no nation can continue to thrive if its government refuses to enforce its own laws. Liberal “sanctuary cities” such as San Francisco choose to ignore immigration laws. Imagine the outcry if a town in Utah or Montana arbitrarily declared that federal affirmative action or gay marriage laws were null and void within its municipal borders.
Once an immigrant has successfully broken the law by entering and residing in the U.S. illegally, there is little incentive for him to obey other laws. Increasing percentages of unnaturalized immigrants are not showing up for their immigration hearings — and those percentages are higher still for foreign nationals who have been charged with crimes.
The general public wonders why some are selectively exempt from following the law, but others are not. If federal immigration law does not apply to foreign nationals, why should building codes, zoning laws or traffic statutes apply to U.S. citizens?
And that’s the threat. That’s the danger. If our political leadership can ignore the laws at will or only enforce them when the whim strikes them or it is to their political advantage to do so, why should the ordinary citizen follow laws he or she doesn’t like?
If you can’t count on government enforcing the laws on its books, why should one obey those it disagrees with? As Hansen points out, there’s little incentive to do so. And, eventually, you end up with … Greece. Or Mexico. Or any of a number of third world countries who seem to be on the verge of collapse.
There is a process for changing laws one doesn’t like or think need improvement. The fact that the process takes time, leadership and energy doesn’t mean one can arbitrarily ignore laws that aren’t politically useful at the time. But that’s precisely what is happening with immigration laws in this country.
Then there’s the lack of accountability that runs rampant within government circles. Hillary Clinton knew perfectly well that setting up a private email server as Secretary of State was ethically wrong if not illegal. Yet she really had no fear of being held accountable. She merely shrugs the controversy away and cruises along as a potential presidential candidate. She is indicative of an outlaw government, that, we’re finding out, saw the IRS, FBI and other agencies actively meet with an eye to prosecuting political enemies. During the time of this investigation, the IRS has consistently obstructed the investigation, stonewalled and refused cooperation. Has anyone been yet held accountable? Will anyone? If I were a betting man, I’d lay long odds on it ever happening.
Hanson concludes by saying, “Civilizations unwind insidiously not with a loud, explosive bang, but with a lawless whimper.” He’s precisely right. And, given the propensity of this administration to enforce laws by whim or not at all, that’s exactly where we’re headed.
I pretty much agree with Andrew McCarthy:
Already, an ocean of ink has been spilled analyzing, lauding, and bemoaning the Supreme Court’s work this week: a second life line tossed to SCOTUScare in just three years; the location of a heretofore unknown constitutional right to same-sex marriage almost a century-and-a-half after the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment; and the refashioning of Congress’s Fair Housing Act to embrace legal academe’s loopy “disparate impact” theory of inducing discrimination.
Yet, for all the non-stop commentary, one detail goes nearly unmentioned — the omission that best explains this week’s Fundamental Transformation trifecta. Did you notice that there was not an iota of speculation about how the four Progressive justices would vote?There was never a shadow of a doubt. In the plethora of opinions generated by these three cases, there is not a single one authored by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, or Sonia Sotomayor. There was no need. They are the Left’s voting bloc. There was a better chance that the sun would not rise this morning than that any of them would wander off the reservation.
Indeed, if there is any speculation it centers mostly around Justice Kennedy and now, of all people, Roberts. There’s not much of a doubt on any case that comes before the court as to how either the liberal bloc or the conservative bloc will vote. Up for grabs, apparently, are only two votes. And you can expect absolutely tortured verbiage and logic from those two (and others who believe in a “living Constitution”) in order to justify their vote.
Elizabeth Price Foley wants to lay it off on liberals:
But we all know why Thomas, Scalia, Alito and, oh yeah, Roberts, ended up on the Supreme Court. The conservatives believe “law is politics” just as much as the left – they just haven’t been as successful at it recently. There is a reason there are veritable political wars about who gets appointed to the highest bench in the land. This isn’t some sort of scoop.
It’s a pity though. You expect politics in Congress, which is why it’s reputation is so … low. You want a statesman in the presidency. And you expect justice and law from the judiciary.
Instead, we have nothing but politics from all three.
And they wonder why the people’s view of government is at a nadir?
We all know what “politics” means … and it has nothing to do with integrity, justice, the law, statesmanship or what is best for the citizenry.
Apparently they’re no longer a judicial body which weighs the arguments, compares them against the law and finds for the intent of the Constitution. Or said another way, the real Constitution is dead – long live the “living Constitution” that is full of goodies for which others pay.
How do I know this? Easy:
Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the words must be understood as part of a larger statutory plan. “In this instance,” he wrote, “the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.”
Or said another way, to hell with law and the Constitution, the 6 of us have decided this is a good thing and we’ll read it any way we want too. Pay up, suckers.
I saw where someone said the court finally moved left.
Folks the court moved left 10 years ago with Kelo.
It’s just taken a while for some people to realize that.
As the delegates left the building, a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got?”
With no hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Not a democracy, not a democratic republic. But “a republic, if you can keep it.”
And, we couldn’t.