When Barack Obama – the son of a black father and white mother – was elected president in 2008, many hailed it as a monumental step forward for racial reconciliation in the U.S.
But five years into his presidency, is the Obama White House actually making racial tensions worse?
That’s the charge of Russ Vaughn, who posits in an American Thinker commentary that Attorney General Eric Holder’s treatment of the “Knockout Game” phenomenon is revealing the White House’s racial agenda is more concerned with retribution than reconciliation.
“The Obama administration and the Holder Justice Department are deliberately disinclined to prosecute hate crimes where blacks are the perpetrators and whites are the victims,” Vaughn writes. “It is becoming increasingly disturbing that it is not just the Obama administration and the brown-nosed media that have attempted to sweep this new criminal activity under the rug, but [also] local police departments. It’s happening all over the country, and not just in the major urban centers. I call this racialization of the law and criminality the Holder Effect, for it was the relatively new attorney general who famously announced that his Justice Department would side with ‘his people.’”
Vaughn’s column alludes to the Knockout Game, a violent trend wherein young thugs deliver unsuspecting victims a single blow to the head in an attempt to “knock out” the target. Dozens of examples in recent months have shown the Knockout Game is particularly popular among black youths targeting white or Jewish victims.
Read more here.
Barack Obama’s Internal Revenue Service was caught this year targeting conservative groups with harassment that included invasive probes into the content of prayers and unwarranted delays.
That issue is being worked out in court. But the IRS, nevertheless, remains on the attack, proposing new regulations that would silence the president’s critics.
Mathew Staver, founder and chief counsel of Liberty Counsel, said that after “being caught intentionally targeting conservative groups in the prior two elections, now the president wants his IRS to totally silence the voices of his political adversaries.”
New rules proposed in the Federal Register, Staver said, are “designed to silence and greatly restrict the activities of Liberty Counsel Action and other 501 (c) 4 nonprofit organizations during the upcoming election year.”
Read more here.
Department of Justice Spokesperson Brian Fallon is being accused of trying to “silence the press with an effective threat” after an unfriendly email exchange between him and a USA Today reporter was published online Thursday.
As seen in the email chain, investigative reporter Brad Heath presses Fallon for information on a report he wrote on the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The reporter had apparently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and was seeking information about why the DOJ didn’t address judges’ concerns about the NSA’s broad scope of surveillance power.
“If you have answers to my questions, please share them. If not, I don’t see that we have any alternative but to write what we have been told. Please let me know by noon,” Heath wrote.
Fallon sent a brief and cold response: “I’m done negotiating. Go forward if you want, and I will work with someone else afterwards explaining why what you reported is off base.”
Heath argued he was not trying to “negotiate,” but rather get “answers to basic questions.”
The DOJ official then flat-out denied Heath’s request for information based on an assumption that he was not “open-minded” enough to present the story in the appropriate way — as seen fit by the DOJ apparently.
“You are not actually open-minded to the idea of not writing the story. You are running it regardless,” Fallon replied. “I have information that undercuts your premise, and would provide it if I thought you were able to be convinced that your story is off base.”
Read more here.
The U.S. Justice Department says in a legal filing leaders of an atheist group qualify for the same housing tax exemption priests receive.
The paradoxical position comes in response to a lawsuit by the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis., which seeks to end the parsonage tax break granted to priests, ministers, rabbis and other clergy by the U.S. government. The tax break allows them to claim part of their income as a tax-free housing allowance.
Annie Laurie Gaylor, who receives a $15,000 housing stipend from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, is suing the federal government because she has to pay taxes on that money while “ministers of the gospel,” as the law defines priests, do not.
In response, the federal government said rather than agree to end the parsonage exemption it could be extended to Gaylor because she is the leader of a religious movement — albeit one that does not believe in God.
And what charitable things do these atheist groups do for the sick and poor? And here I thought organized atheist groups were just political movements…that oppose religious movements.
The Justice Department spent thousands of dollars and dedicated manpower toward efforts to convince Florida authorities to press charges against George Zimmerman, a revelation a former Obama Justice Department attorney says is taking a racial agenda to a new level.
According to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the watchdog group Judicial Watch, the Justice Department spent more than $5,300 after being “deployed” to Florida to “work marches, demonstrations and rallies related to the shooting death of an Africa-American teen by a neighborhood watch captain.” It was all related to the public pressure for prosecutors to charge Zimmerman with murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The effort was conducted by the Community Relations Service within the Justice Department. Its job is traditionally to maintain calm in the midst of a volatile atmosphere, influenced by race or any other factor.
“They go down wherever there’s a hot spot, and they’re supposed to act as a buffer between the two sides. They’re supposed to explain to people how to behave, explain to the opposing sides what to do and what not to do, essentially just to calm things down. They’ve been doing this since the 1960s,” said J. Christian Adams, who served in the civil rights division of the Justice Department under President Obama.
Adams told WND it’s clear the Justice Department had no intention of being a buffer in this case.
“What’s troubling about it is that Justice only showed up after jokers like New Black Panther Malik Zulu Shabazz were holding press conferences demanding bounties be put on George Zimmerman’s head. Did Community Relations Service come down and lecture Malik Zulu Shabazz about such incendiary language? I very much doubt it. This is the same Malik Zulu Shabazz whom I sued in federal court and (Attorney General) Eric Holder cut loose in the voter intimidation case out of Philadelphia. Like so many other things with this Justice Department, the Community Relations Service seems to be on one side, stoking racial resentment,” he said.
Read more about the show trial here.
In a meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder, executives from several news organizations said the attorney general pledged to change the way the Justice Department conducts investigations that involve reporters.
Government officials said they would work to change guidelines on issuing subpoenas in criminal investigations involving reporters and ensure searches that have raised concerns recently about freedom of the press are not repeated, the editors said.
The news executives made the comments Thursday after meeting with Holder and some of his aides.
The discussion took place following an outcry from news organizations over the Justice Department’s secret gathering of some Associated Press reporters’ phone records and some emails of a Fox News journalist.
Last week, President Barack Obama ordered a review of the Justice Department guidelines.
One of the news media participants, Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, said the news executives told the department officials that reporters were concerned about using their email and concerned about using their office telephones.
“It was a constructive meeting,” said Baron. “They expressed their commitment to the president’s statement that reporters would not be at legal risk for doing their jobs.”
Jerry Seib, Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, said that in addition to the commitment to change the guidelines, there also was a renewed commitment to support a federal shield law for journalists. Such laws in force in many states protect journalists from having to reveal confidential sources.
Read more here.
The New Yorker reported:
Rosen, according to recent reports, did not learn that the government seized his e-mail records until it was reported in the Washington Post last week…
…The government, which accused Rosen of being an “aider, abettor, and/or co-conspirator” in the Kim case, cast a wide net in its search of Rosen’s e-mail. Among other things, the search warrant requested access to:
—“Records or information related to Stephen Kim’s or the Author’s knowledge of laws, regulations, rules and/or procedures prohibiting the unauthorized disclosure of national defense or classified information.”
—“Any classified document, image, record, or information, and any communications concerning such documents, images, records, or information.”
—“Any document, image, record, or information concerning the national defense, including but not limited to documents, maps, plans, diagrams, guides, manuals, and other Department of Defense, U.S. military, and/or weapons material, as well as sources and methods of intelligence gathering, and any communications concerning such documents, images, records, or information.”
—“Records or information related to the state of mind of any individuals seeking the disclosure or receipt of classified, intelligence and/or national defense information.”
In addition, the Justice Department searched the account for any Internet services Rosen may have accessed and records of “data transfer volume,” suggesting the government was looking for evidence that Rosen downloaded large quantities of potentially classified information.
The new documents show that two judges separately declared that the Justice Department was required to notify Rosen of the search warrant, even if the notification came after a delay. Otherwise: “The subscriber therefore will never know, by being provided a copy of the warrant, for example, that the government secured a warrant and searched the contents of her e-mail account,” Judge John M. Facciola wrote in an opinion rejecting the Obama Administration’s argument.
Machen appealed that decision, and in September, 2010, Royce C. Lamberth, the chief judge in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, granted Machen’s request to overturn the order of the two judges.