Archive for July 10, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday he opposes a new photo ID requirement in Texas elections because it would be harmful to minority voters and told the NAACP in Houston that he will do everything he can to make sure the law doesn’t stand.

He added the Justice Department “will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”

Under the law passed in Texas, Holder said that “many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them — and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them.”

“We call those poll taxes,” Holder added spontaneously, drawing applause as he moved away from the original text of his speech with a reference to a fee used in some Southern states after slavery’s abolition to disenfranchise black people.

The 24th amendment to the constitution made that type of tax illegal. Holder insinuated the voter ID laws were racist numerous times throughout his speech.

“I will not allow the Texas Voter ID law to happen,” said Holder.

Read more here.

And of course, the Islamic religion that led them to become mass murderers in the first place must be respected. “9/11 accused don’t want hearings during Ramadan,” by Carol Rosenberg for the Miami Herald, July 10 (thanks to David):

Lawyers for accused Sept. 11 attacks mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his four co-defendants are seeking to postpone their Aug. 8-13 hearing at Guantánamo, noting it falls toward the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The trial judge, Army Col. James Pohl, set the date for the hearing in May and specifically ruled out an extension on grounds that it coincided with Islam’s fasting month. He noted in his order then that no defense lawyer at that point had raised objection to a hearing that coincided with Ramadan.

But the attorneys do just that in a June 21 filing currently under seal on the Pentagon’s war court website entitled “Joint Defense Motion for the Military Commission to Respect the Religious Observances of Enemy Prisoners under Common Article 3.”

Pohl is hearing motions in another Guantánamo case next week. But that hearing ends by July 19, before Ramadan starts. The 9/11 case pre-trial motions would be heard toward the end of Ramadan.

“The last 10 days of Ramadan commemorate the night God —Allah— revealed the Holy Quran to the Prophet Mohammed,” said James Connell, the Pentagon-paid defense counsel for Mohammed’s nephew, Ammar al Baluchi. “These 10 days are the most holy period of the Muslim calendar and are typically observed by fasting, prayer, and seclusion.”…

Read more here.

The Obama administration is moving to shut down nine Border Patrol stations across four states, triggering a backlash from local law enforcement, members of Congress and Border Patrol agents themselves.

Critics of the move warn the closures will undercut efforts to intercept drug and human traffickers in well-traveled corridors north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Though the affected stations are scattered throughout northern and central Texas, and three other states, the coverage areas still see plenty of illegal immigrant activity — one soon-to-be-shuttered station in Amarillo, Texas, is right in the middle of the I-40 corridor; another in Riverside, Calif., is outside Los Angeles.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it’s closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border.

“These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America’s borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally,” CBP spokesman Bill Brooks said in a statement. “By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission.”

But at least one Border Patrol supervisor in Texas has called on local officers to “voice your concerns” to elected officials, warning that the “deactivation” will remove agents from the Texas Panhandle, among other places. Several members of Congress have asked Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher to reconsider the plan. And local officials are getting worried about what will happen once the Border Patrol leaves town, since they rely on those federal officials to assist in making immigration arrests.

“It could impact us tremendously since we’ve only got two agents up here now for 26 counties,” Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas told FoxNews.com.

Potter County, in the Texas Panhandle, would be affected by the planned closure of the Amarillo station.

Thomas said that while his area is far from the border, it’s still a major “corridor” for illegal immigrants — and he said his office depends on Border Patrol to respond to their calls.

Read more here.

‘Officers made choice to allow Muslims to silence Christian speakers’

A legal team that has gone to court in the past to protect Christians at Arab events in Dearborn, Mich., is returning to the fray, this time taking on the local sheriff’s department over a decision by officers to threaten Christians with disorderly conduct while angry Muslims were heaving chunks of concrete, stones, bottles and debris at them.

It happened at the 2012 Arab International festival on Father’s Day weekend, and a video of the attacks has gone viral on the Internet.

There, an angry mob of Arabs chanting “Allahu Akbar” is seen throwing concrete and eggs at the Christians who were holding signs about their faith.

Officials with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, however, stood idly by during the attacks and then threatened the Christians with arrest if they did not leave, after a leader of the Christian group asked that officers enforce the law.

Now that Christian leader, Ruben Israel, has begun working with the American Freedom Law Center on a challenge to the police actions.

The AFLC reports that Israel “asked the law enforcement officers present to step in and enforce the criminal law so that the Christians could exercise their right to freedom of speech,” but was “given the option of either leaving the festival or facing arrest.”

WND reported earlier that a video reveals that the crowd – reminiscent of a rock-throwing “intifada” scene from the Middle East – hurled a dizzying barrage of objects at the Christians standing passively with their signs, causing some injuries.

WND later learned that the Christian crowd had been carrying a pole with a pig’s head attached to the top, further angering the Muslim crowd. At the beginning of the video, Christian street preachers shout, “God is good, and God is not Allah!”

Police approached Israel, of OfficialStreetPreachers.com, warning him, “The city of Dearborn has an ordinance, OK, that you guys can’t use the megaphone. So, if you guys continue to use that, you will get a citation.”

Israel noted that the group was allowed to use the megaphone in 2011. Then he asked the officer, “So, if we don’t use a megaphone, can we throw water bottles at the crowd?”

The officer shook his head no.

“So what are you going to do if they throw water bottles at us?” Israel asked.

“If that happens, we will take care of that and address it,” the officer promised.

Read more here.

Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.

The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.

Even if doctors do not quit their jobs over the ruling, America will face a shortage of at least 90,000 doctors by 2020. The new health care law increases demand for physicians by expanding insurance coverage. This change will exacerbate the current shortage as more Americans live past 65.

By 2025 the shortage will balloon to over 130,000, Len Marquez, the director of government relations at the American Association of Medical Colleges, told The Daily Caller.

“One of our primary concerns is that you’ve got an aging physician workforce and you have these new beneficiaries — these newly insured people — coming through the system,” he said. “There will be strains and there will be physician shortages.”

The DPMA found that many doctors do not believe the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will lead to better access to medical care for the majority of Americans, co-founder of the DPMA Kathryn Serkes told TheDC.

“Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not — that a piece of paper that says you are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through government and insurance company bureaucratic hoops,” she said.

Read more here.

Did you know that there’s a new book that intends to show the “softer side of the Taliban?” The literary work, entitled, “Poetry of the Taliban,” is apparently an anthology that includes selections from radical Islamist fighters in Afghanistan.

The extremely controversial book was assembled by European researchers Felix Kuehn and Alex Strick van Linschoten. While critics are dismissing these men and claiming that they have put together a work composed primarily of propaganda, the two, based in Kandahar, Afghanistan, are defending their work. Here’s more, based on an account from the Los Angeles Times (via Stars and Stripes):

But they say the poems help illuminate a much-documented yet little-understood insurgency.

“For some people, it’s going to be offensive, yes – maybe very offensive,” said co-editor Felix Kuehn, who with his collaborator, Alex Strick van Linschoten, has published a number of academic works on the Taliban. “But we think it’s a way to see how they see the world.”

The book, which was published in Britain this year and will be released in the United States this month by Columbia University Press, came about almost by accident.

For years, as the two researchers scoured Pashto-language websites, gathered oral histories and painstakingly cultivated intermediaries with ties to the Taliban, they began running across scraps of poetry, scattered haphazardly among the group’s strident communiques and lengthy policy statements.

So, what do these poems say, you ask? Here’s one of the selections:

“I stoned him with the stones of light tears / then I hung my sorrow on the gallows. … / It might have been the wine of your memory / that made my heart drunk five times.”

Read more here.

A couple weeks ago, the Blaze alerted you to the fact that the Army Reserves was conducting a training with armored vehicles on the residential streets and highways in St. Louis, Mo. Local news stations reported the story to residents saying they shouldn’t be alarmed should they see this training taking place.

Army specialists from Fort Meade were brought to train the 354th MP company in St. Louis on what one of the local reporters called “driver’s ed” for the military. Some, like Brandon Smith from Alt-Market in a guest post to the online publication Zero Hedge, wondered why this training was being conducted in public at all, especially given the fact that the military has some training facilities that model towns just without residents around.

So, why is the army conducting these trainings in public? Glenn Beck on GBTV — soon to be The Blaze TV — posed this question Monday.

“With an exception of parades, have you ever seen military humvees driving through your streets? Let me ask again. Have you ever seen them perform military exercises in the streets? Nope,” Beck said.

Read more here.

At a Democratic fundraiser for Washington senator Maria Cantwell in the Seattle Westin hotel last night, Vice President Joe Biden said that “Republicans have changed the law so you get arrested if you do vote,” according to a pool report. Biden, the pool report states, was “apparently joking.”

But the vice president pointed to states like Pennsylvania and Ohio to back up his point.

Here’s the context, via the pool report:

Recalling a story that Cantwell had told as she was introducing him about crying as a little girl because she thought one of her neighbors had said she wasn’t going to vote and Cantwell feared she would be arrested, Biden said it wasn’t much different today. “Republicans have changed the law so you get arrested if you do vote,” he said, apparently joking. He cited efforts in Pennsylvania, Ohio and elsewhere “to essentially try to intimidate people, taking people off the roles.”

“This is not your father’s Republican Party,” he said.

Read more here.

Jane Pitt, mother of actor Brad Pitt, has been scared into silence by the hate-filled, vulgar and even violent reaction to her public assertion that Barack Obama is “a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.”

Pitt has even been the subject of death threats following her letter to the editor of Missouri’s Springfield News-Leader in which she asserted failure to vote for Republican presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney constituted a vote for Obama.

WND spoke briefly with Pitt and asked about the media assault against her for her comments as a private citizen supporting Romney. With inflections in her voice that conveyed fear and despair, she quietly and politely said she was not interested in talking to anyone in the media about the incident.

When she was told WND supported her right to speak her mind and is appalled by the threats against her life, Pitt expressed gratitude to WND for being one of the few news agencies doing so. Even her thank you, however, was said in a subdued manner laden with heaviness of heart.

Pitt had every reason to be frightened. Following her letter to the editor in her local newspaper, the mainstream media have painted her comments in a vilifying light.

The Hollywood Reporter published a story headlined, “Brad Pitt’s mother pens anti-gay, anti-Obama letter to local newspaper.” The New York Daily News went further, penning an article originally titled, “Brad Pitt’s mom unleashes anti-gay, anti-Obama fury in letter.”

She Knows Entertainment reported that Pitt actually “hates Obama, ‘gay’ people.”

These slants on the story, however, are mild compared to comments posted on Twitter.

Editors of the Twitter-scouring news site Twitchy exclaimed sarcastically, “Time for the left’s self-proclaimed arbiters of tolerance to teach her a lesson with their hateful, misogynist slurs and death wishes.”

Twitchy then spotlighted some of the tweets it found.

Jane Pitt

“Brad Pitt’s mom, die,” wrote Twitter-poster Sandy Kownacka.

Read more here.