DOJ: No Contempt Charges For Lois Lerner – Sen. Menendez Indicted

Let’s see. We’ve got two corrupt individuals, here, but two very different treatments under the law.

One of the above did everything she was asked to do and more, kept her mouth shut and destroyed evidence. She gets a gold star.

The other person did bad. He was critical of the administration’s negotiations with Iran and embarrassed the president. He gets indicted.

As Ace says, The masks are all off now.

The DoJ won’t press contempt charges against her for her busted attempt to plead the fifth (Here Is a Statement of Alleged Facts I Want to Introduce Into the Record/Having Done That, I Now Say I Don’t Want to Speak for the Record).

Supposedly the DoJ is still considering bringing some sort of charges against her over the Tea Party Targeting.

(Pssssst: There will be no meaningful charges. You read it here, first!)

As for Democrat Bob Menendez, (who earlier this year suggested that the  White House gets its talking points from Tehran) we have this: 

This is the the quasi fascist state of law enforcement in America today where the DOJ selectively and capriciously decides to enforce the law to the benefit of some and the detriment of others – depending on political considerations.

SEE ALSO:

Judicial Watch: Judicial Watch Accuses Obama Administration of Misleading Court on Hillary Clinton Email Scandal:

Judicial Watch accused the Obama administration of stalling and withholding information from a federal court in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top aide’s emails.  Last week, Judicial Watch attorneys sought a status conference over the issue of the Hillary Clinton’s and other secret email accounts in order to “avoid further undue delays, prejudice and potential spoliation.” In response, the Justice Department, on behalf of the State Department, told the federal court handling the matter (U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth) that there was no need for a hearing until at least late April and that, contrary to statements by Mrs. Clinton and various administration spokesmen, it was not aware of the secret email issue until recently.  In its response (Reply in Support of a Motion for a Status Conference), Judicial Watch cited Mrs. Clinton’s press statement:

Secretary Clinton was the head of the agency and the State Department cannot claim it was unaware of the State Department’s failure to records-manage agency emails from the Office of the Secretary. In fact, the “Statement from the Office of Former Secretary Clinton” states that “[h]er usage [of non-“state.gov” email for State Department business] was widely known to the over 100 Department and U.S. government colleagues she emailed.”

Judicial Watch also accused the Obama administration of continuing to thwart the FOIA:

The State Department has yet to demonstrate how it is satisfying its obligations under FOIA in light of recent revelations that Secretary Clinton’s emails were not being properly managed, retained and produced. This also applies to emails received or sent by other officials or employees within the Secretary’s office to conduct government business who used non-“state.gov” email addresses. To determine the adequacy of the State Department’s search, both Judicial Watch and the Court should be informed by the Department directly of the details surrounding the retention of agency emails within the Office of the Secretary and the extent of the Department’s ability to search, request and retrieve those records …

Had Judicial Watch not challenged the State Department’s search, this case would most likely have been dismissed before any public revelations were made about the unlawful arrangement relating to the State Department’s handling of agency emails during Secretary Clinton’s tenure at the State Department …

Obama Backed Progressive Muslim Candidate Wins In Nigeria

Obama finally won one.

In an election that the Washington Post heralded as “historic,”  former dictator Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the presidency in Nigeria.

This election represents the first time since 1999, when Nigeria returned to civilian democracy, that an opposition party has defeated a sitting government party. Jonathan, whose party had never lost an election under civilian democracy, has seen his national popularity and international image plummet over his administration’s struggles to contain Boko Haram as well as his failures on tackling corruption and the economy. There were expectations that Jonathan and his party would not give up power so easily, especially considering that it spent staggering amounts of money for this election, touted as the most expensive in African history.

Wow – so Jonathan lost because of his poor response to Boko Haram – which is  partly due to his inability to procure arms and military assistance from the United States.

Help may finally be on the way for Nigerian Christians. Secretary of State John Kerry did hint in January meetings with both Jonathan and Buhari that the Obama administration might allow weapon sales after the election.

Obama’s guy – the former dictator, Muhammadu Buhari – seized power in a December 1983 military coup, before being overthrown 19 months later. This time, with the help of a political consulting group founded by Obama strategist David Axelrod, he won a legitimate election with 54% of the vote.

Nigerians must have short memories: 

According to Decree Number 2 of 1984, the state security and the chief of staff were given the power to detain, without charges, individuals deemed to be a security risk to the state for up to three months.[32] Strikes and popular demonstrations were banned and Nigeria’s secret police service, the National Security Organization (NSO) was entrusted with unprecedented powers. The NSO played a wide role in the cracking down of public dissent by intimidating, harassing and jailing individuals who broke the interdiction on strikes. By October 1984, about 200,000 civil servants were retrenched.[33]

Critics of the regime were also thrown in jail, as was the case of Nigeria’s most popular artist and one time presidential contender, afro-beat singer Fela Kuti.[34] He was arrested on September 4, 1984 at the airport as he was about to embark on an American tour.Amnesty International described the charges brought against him for illegally exporting foreign currency as “spurious.” Using the wide powers bestowed upon it by Decree Number 2, the government sentenced Fela to 10 years in prison. He was released after 18 months,[34] when the Buhari government was toppled in a coup d’etat.

In 1984, Buhari passed Decree Number 4, the Protection Against False Accusations Decree,[35] considered by scholars as the most repressive press law ever enacted in Nigeria.[36] Section 1 of the law provided that “Any person who publishes in any form, whether written or otherwise, any message, rumour, report or statement […] which is false in any material particular or which brings or is calculated to bring the Federal Military Government or the Government of a state or public officer to ridicule or disrepute, shall be guilty of an offense under this Decree”.[37] The law further stated that offending journalists and publishers will be tried by an open military tribunal, whose ruling would be final and unappealable in any court and those found guilty would be eligible for a fine not less than 10,000 naira and a jail sentence of up to two years. Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor of The Guardian were among the journalists who were tried under the decree.[36]

Decree 20 on illegal ship bunkering and drug trafficking was another example of Buhari’s tough approach to crime.[38] Section 3 (2) (K) provided that “any person who, without lawful authority deals in, sells, smokes or inhales the drug known as cocaine or other similar drugs, shall be guilty under section 6 (3) (K) of an offence and liable on conviction to suffer death sentence by firing squad.” In the case of Bernard Ogedengebe, the Decree was applied retroactively.[39] He was executed even if at the time of his arrest the crime did not mandate the capital punishment, but had carried a sentence of six months imprisonment.[39]

In another prominent case of April 1985, six Nigerians were condemned to death under the same decree: Sidikatu Tairi, Sola Oguntayo, Oladele Omosebi, Lasunkanmi Awolola, Jimi Adebayo and Gladys Iyamah.[40]

In 1985, prompted by economic uncertainties and a rising crime rate, the government of Buhari opened the borders (closed since April 1984) with Benin, Niger, Chad and Cameroon to speed up the expulsion of 700,000 illegal foreigners and illegal migrant workers.[41] Buhari is today known for this crises; there even is a famine in the east of Niger that have been named “El Buhari”.[42]

One of the most enduring legacies of the Buhari government has been the War Against Indiscipline (WAI). Launched on March 20, 1984, the policy tried to address the perceived lack of public morality and civic responsibility of Nigerian society. Unruly Nigerians were ordered to form neat queues at bus stops, under the eyes of whip-wielding soldiers. Civil servants[43] who failed to show up on time at work were humiliated and forced to do “frog jumps”. Minor offences carried long sentences. Any student over the age of 17 caught cheating on an exam would get 21 years in prison. Counterfeiting and arson could lead to the death penalty.[44]

His regime drew the critics of many, including Nigeria’s first Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, who, in 2007, wrote a piece called “The Crimes of Buhari”[45] which outlined many of the abuses conducted under his military rule.

Two years ago, Buhari asked the Jonathan Government to “stop the clampdown of Boko Haram insurgents.” Because it’s not their fault they’re slaughtering Christians, burning down churches and kidnapping schoolgirls. Or something.

Nigeria’s new president is a also big fan of Sharia Law.

IN 2001 at an Islamic seminar in Kaduna, Buhari was given an opportunity to choose between Nigeria’s secularism and fundamentalist Islam, this is what he said; “I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria”, he then added that; “Allah willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country”.

It’s hard to imagine what Nigerian Christians see in the guy, but since Boko Haram started their murderous rampage, there are fewer Christians around to vote in Nigeria.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – April Fool’s Edition

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The People’s Cube, Seraphic Secret, Maggie’s Notebook and The Independent’s Howard Jacobson earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

Megyn Kelly Blisters Harry Reid For Lying About Mitt Romney’s Taxes (Video)

I know that headline looks dated – after all, it was back in 2012 that Dingy Harry shamelessly lied about Romney’s taxes to help Obama win reelection.

But Megyn Kelly saw the interview Dingy did with CNN’s Dana Bash, today and was infuriated to hear him claim he has no regrets about his past “McCarthyite” behavior -(no offense to Joseph McCarthy who doesn’t deserve the comparison.)

“Well, they can call it whatever they want,” Dingy simpered. “Um…Romney didn’t win, did he?”

Oh boy. Megyn Kelly didn’t cotton to that at all.

“That’s his response?” Megyn seethed.  “The Senate (now) Minority Leader says it doesn’t matter that he lied to the country repeatedly and the stakes were a presidential election? All that matters is that Romney lost. Think about that. And the response from our other officials .. has been crickets! After one of our top elected leaders shares with us his complete lack of integrity, complete lack of honesty – never mind respect for the American people! And none of his peers have so far seen fit to be at least a little bit ashamed? What does this say about Washington? About America? About our politics these days?”

Megyn’s guest, Dana Loesch said Harry Reid is “one of the most insufferable people in the history of the Congressional body” and should be censured for his “ends justify the means” dirty politics.

You can stop watching after Dana’s segment is over because liberal Democrat Richard Fowler has nothing to add to the conversation but his weak and pathetic talking points. Seriously, skip it – you don’t have time for his dumb inanities.

Earlier this month, Megyn Kelly slammed the media for not correcting the record on Ferguson, and she got results. Both the Washington Post and NYTs issued retractions.

Now it’s Congress’s turn to be shamed into action. At the very least they should censure the son of a bitch.

SEE ALSO:

AoSHQ: What the Hell Really Happened to Harry Reid?

Reporters are just accepting the claim that he was attacked by an ornery exercise band, huh?

John Hindraker of Powerline wonders about what really might have happened.

When a guy shows up at a Las Vegas emergency room on New Year’s Day with severe facial injuries and broken ribs, and gives as an explanation the functional equivalent of “I walked into a doorknob,” it isn’t hard to guess that he ran afoul of mobsters. Yet the national press has studiously averted its eyes from Reid’s condition, and has refused to investigate the cause of his injuries. To my knowledge, every Washington reporter has at least pretended to believe Reid’s story, and none, as far as I can tell, has inquired further.

So he was working out late on New Years Eve, huh?

Let’s consider what would really happen if someone where hit this badly by an exercise band.

I work out with exercise bands. I am in fact often afraid that they will either snap or, more likely, slip free of where they’re anchored, and hit me in the face.

I don’t know if this is a real possibility or not. I do know the possibility of a face hit by an exercise band has occurred to me.

But here’s why I don’t believe it in the case of Harry Reid:

Why isn’t he warning people about this being a real possibility?

I’ll tell you what, if this happened to me, believe me, I’d be on the blog telling you about it, and warning you to be very careful with these bands. In fact, if an exercise band took my right eye away from me, I’d be telling you to wear goggles at all times when using them.

Actually I think I’d tell you to join a gym — it’s safer.

Our Weasel Of The Week Nominees!!

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It’s time once again for the Watcher’s Council’s ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the award of the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations!

Here are this weeks’ nominees….

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America’s Favorite Closet Islamist, Grover Norquist!!

The Noisy Room : My nomination this week is Grover Norquist. Glenn Beck should be commended for taking on Grover Norquist. He should have been outed years and years ago. Beck devoted two shows to Norquist this week. The first laid out his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. In the second show, he had Grover on to defend himself. The weasel did a very bad job of defending his record. His demeanor and posturing screamed that he was lying. He only went on Beck’s show after he petulantly emailed Beck that he was backing out and then reversed himself because he realized how bad it made him look.

The best line of the whole interview by Beck to Norquist: “If I take you at face value, you’re the most unlucky person … I’ve ever met in my life,” Beck said. “Only Barack Obama is this unlucky with a string of friends who are radicals.” I think that pretty much says it all.

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 The Leadership of the Christian Church Disciples of Christ

 Rhymes With Right :In 1993, this mainline denomination offered its enthusiastic support for the passage and signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  In 1997, the denomination filed an amicus brief supporting the law when it was challenged before the Supreme Court.  Last week, the leaders of the Indianapolis-based denomination voiced their strong objection to the passage of a RFRA by the state of Indiana, and threatened to remove its 2017 biennial General Convention from Indianapolis declaring the following:

Purportedly a matter of religious freedom, we find RFRA contrary to the values of our faith – as well as to our national and Hoosier values. Our nation and state are strong when we welcome people of many backgrounds and points of view. The free and robust exchange of ideas is part of what makes our democracy great.

As a Christian church, we are particularly sensitive to the values of the One we follow – one who sat at table with people from all walks of life, and loved them all. Our church is diverse in point of view, but we share a value for an open Lord’s Table. Our members and assembly-goers are of different races and ethnicities, ages, genders and sexual orientations. They have in common that they love Jesus and seek to follow him.

We are particularly distressed at the thought that, should RFRA be signed into law, some of our members and friends might not be welcome in Indiana businesses – might experience legally sanctioned bias and rejection once so common on the basis of race.

This is a particularly weaselly declaration from these denominational leaders.  After all, the denomination itself permits its congregations to decide to whether or not to permit gay weddings in their sanctuaries, and allows its clergy the same freedom regarding whether or not to officiate gay weddings.  This is in stark contrast to the demand that the state of Indiana require all of its citizens, regardless of religion, to conform to a very different standard with regard to participating in gay weddings.

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Christian Bashin’ Bureaucrat Elizabeth Ashack

The Right Planet: An economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Elizabeth Ashack, decided to jump aboard the hate wagon against my own state of Indiana in protest to the recent passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

Ashack sent out the following Tweet:

“[P]eople in the red states vote for nazis to govern, and then call themselves Christian, it will not end well for them. #BoycottIndiana”

Ashack then quickly deleted her Tweet, but not before a few people managed to get screenshots of her original Tweet. She then removed any mention of her connection to the Department of Labor in her Twitter profile. Now, Ashack claims her Twitter account was hacked:

“On Friday, March 24 both my work and home computer were hacked. An investigation is underway. Twitter and LinkedIn accounts were compromised.”

If that were true, why did she delete that Tweet as well? Now, that’s what I call a weasel!

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Tax Cheat, Race Pimp And Undying Opponent Of The English Language Al Sharpton

The Independent Sentinel :Al Sharpton is my choice for weasel of the week. In response to the Indiana Religious Freedom Act, he said this:

“This is a key moment for the country. Too often in our history, we’ve seen religion used to justify attacks on other people’s rights, from slavery, to Jim Crow, to women’s right to vote. That same fight is with us today, and we can’t let it stand.”

Similar laws to the Indiana law exist in 19 other states. The Indiana law is essentially the same as the federal law. The law in liberal Connecticut is much stricter than the one in Indiana.

Sharpton was not the lone hyperbolic fool these past few days. There was the NCAA shooting their mouths off, Cher saying it was the same as ‘slavery’, there was that great sage Miley Cyrus calling Gov. Pence an @$$hole, and economist Elizabeth Ashack calling people in the red states Nazis. Still, the whole Jim Crow thing had a special touch coming from the greatest race-baiter of this century.

Well, there it is. What a despicable group of  Weasels…ANY OF THEM COULD WIN! Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know

Pushing Back Against The Left’s Attack on Religious Freedom

For the left, (and I include most of the MSM, here) Gay Marriage has overtaken Abortion as their holiest sacrament.

That is why we are witnessing this fierce and unhinged push-back against the Indiana law which was designed to protect religious liberties. It is a defensive law, not an offensive one – because for years, religious liberties have been under vicious assault by the secular left and they show no sign of stopping.

Gay rights activists are no longer satisfied with tolerance or even acceptance. They insist that religious objectors not only approve of same sex marriage – they must also participate in their nuptials – under penalty of law.  Christian bakers, florists, photographers, and wedding venue owners are no longer allowed to have freedom of conscience or freedom of association. Those rights are to be trampled underfoot and replaced with “you will be made to care” by people who have no interest in compromise. The next stop down the “my-way highway” is the church’s front steps.

The principle; “That which is not forbidden is mandatory, and that which is not mandatory is forbidden” has been wholly embraced by the totalitarian left.

There have been a number of great pieces by conservative thinkers in recent days, pushing back against the unhinged liberal onslaught. But sadly, Mike Pence, the conservative governor of conservative Indiana, has already capitulated to the mob – even to the point of repeating one of their insipid SSM bumper sticker slogans.

In a press conference Tuesday morning, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced that he was asking his state’s legislature to amend a bill it passed last week to make explicit that discrimination against same-sex couples by businesses is not acceptable. That had emerged as the key point of contention following the passage of so-called “religious freedom” legislation, with liberal and gay groups arguing that the law would allow precisely that type of discrimination (thanks in part to Indiana’s lack of protections elsewhere). Putting a fine point on it, Pence embraced inclusivity, saying, “I don’t think anyone should ever be mistreated because of who they are or who they love.”

Oh, good grief.

That’s from the Washington Post piece, “The political war over gay culture is over, and the gays won.”

As Ross Douthat wrote last year after Governor Brewer vetoed the Arizona law, “we are not really having an argument about same-sex marriage anymore, and on the evidence of Arizona, we’re not having a negotiation. Instead, all that’s left is the timing of the final victory — and for the defeated to find out what settlement the victors will impose.”

A year later, Douthat updated his thoughts For Indiana’s Critics:

One of the difficulties in this discussion, from a conservative perspective, is that the definition of “common sense” and “compromise” on these issues has shifted so rapidly in such a short time: Positions taken by, say, the president of the United States and most Democratic politicians a few short years ago are now deemed the purest atavism, the definition of bigotry gets more and more elastic, and developments that social liberals would have described as right-wing scare stories in 2002 or so are now treated as just the most natural extensions of basic American principles. (Rod Dreher calls this the “law of merited impossibility,” in which various follow-on effects of same-sex marriage are dismissed as impossible until they happen, at which point it’s explained that of course they were absolutely necessary.) Of course all of this is happening because underlying attitudes have changed rapidly, and what’s politically and socially possible is changing with them; that’s all understandable. But the pace involved is unusual, and its rapidity makes it very easy to imagine that scenarios that aren’t officially on the table right now will become plausible very, very soon.

Read on – Douthat has a number of questions for RFRA critics.

More Push-back:

Gabe Malor, the Federalist: Your Questions On Indiana’s Religious Freedom Bill, Answered:

What Is a RFRA?

This legislation sets the same minimum standard for burdening the exercise of religion. Under the various RFRAs, a state or the federal government—by law or other action—may not substantially burden an individual’s exercise of religion unless the burden is in furtherance of a compelling government interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest. Twenty states, including Indiana, and the federal government have RFRAs.

What? Government Interest?

Yeah. It’s a lot more nuanced than the news media has allowed. It’s a balancing test for litigation. It puts exercise of religion on one side of the scale and then government interest on the other. If the government’s interest is not important enough—literally compelling—it cannot outweigh an individual’s right to practice his religion as he sees fit.

So RFRAs Don’t License Discrimination?

No. RFRA is a shield, not a sword. It can be used to defend oneself against lawsuits or administrative action. It can’t be used affirmatively to try and deprive others of the protections of law.

Hunter Schwartz in WaPo’s The Fix: 19 states that have ‘religious freedom’ laws like Indiana’s that no one is boycotting:

Forty percent of U.S. states have something similar to Indiana, as does the federal government.

A federal RFRA signed by President Clinton in 1993 shares language with Indiana and other states’ bills, prohibiting the government from “substantially burdening” individuals’ exercise of religion unless it is for a “compelling government interest” and is doing so in the least restrictive means.

The fact that legislation like this is so widespread probably gave Pence some confidence in signing the bill, despite the controversy in Arizona last year over its bill that was ultimately scrapped, and in other states, likeGeorgia, which are considering similar measures this year (the NCSL found 13 additional states are considering their own RFRA legislation).

Ben Domenech, The Federalist: The End of Tolerance And Enforced Morality:

Are you having a fun Culture War 4.0? It’s certainly been a crazy ride for Indiana state representatives, who appear to be caving to pressure to “clarify” RFRA language after being assaulted for being anti-gay. Across the country, the opportunity for grandstanding has been seized by the sort of unserious people you would expect: the Washington governor and Seattle mayor have banned official travel to Indiana in the wake of the law. Connecticut’s governor displayed his own inability to understand the law in his state by banning travel there as well. And I’m fine with that, because hey, government officials shouldn’t be using taxpayer money to travel all over the place anyway, even if it does mean Washington and Connecticut officials will miss out on the memorial service for Lil’ Sebastian.

The notable thing about Culture War 4.0 is its consistent rejection of tolerance in favor of government enforced morality. Remember your Muad’Dib: “When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles.”

Rod Dreher, the American Conservative: Indiana: The Holy War of the Left:

Today’s Indianapolis Star front page uses the headline approach usually reserved for war. Because that’s what this is: culture war, and the mainstream media, as a vital part of the progressive movement, is waging total war for a cause they believe is holy. I’m not exaggerating. To most of the media, there is no other side in the gay marriage debate, or on anything to do with gay rights. There is only Good and Evil. And so we have the spectacle of a moral panic that makes a party that is a chief beneficiary of the First Amendment — a newspaper — taking unprecedented steps to suppress a party that is the other chief beneficiary of the First Amendment: religious dissenters. In my experience, it is impossible to overstate how sacred this cause is to American elites, especially journalists.

If you thought this was ever about fairness, justice, tolerance, or reason, you now ought to have had your eyes opened.

The spirit of jihad has so overtaken the left that the Democratic governor of Connecticut has forbidden his state government to travel to Indiana on state business. Has that ever happened in America? Back when there was actual segregation, did states do that to each other? And get this: Gov. Dan Malloy is such a crusading idiot that he doesn’t even realize that his own state has a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that it passed in 1993!

Malloy’s act, like the Indy Star‘s, are characteristic of liberalism’s unhinged reaction to Indiana’s law. If you are not watching this and seeing the future of religious liberty in this country, if you are not observing and taking note of the power the Establishment — political, media, big business — is deploying to crush a law that even a pro-gay liberal like Boston University’s Stephen Prothero says is a fair and necessary measure to support a fundamental liberal value (religious freedom), and if you are not thinking about the Supreme Court and the next presidential election — if you are not watching and learning, you are a fool.

Red State: Indiana’s RFRA law and the left’s change of heart on religious freedom:

What the Indiana law does is summed up very well in the statement by President Bill Clinton when he signed the federal RFRA into law:

So today I ask you to also think of that. We are a people of faith. We have been so secure in that faith that we have enshrined in our Constitution protection for people who profess no faith. And good for us for doing so. That is what the first amendment is all about. But let us never believe that the freedom of religion imposes on any of us some responsibility to run from our convictions. Let us instead respect one another’s faiths, fight to the death to preserve the right of every American to practice whatever convictions he or she has, but bring our values back to the table of American discourse to heal our troubled land.

The people protesting the Indiana law have given away their game. They oppose the Indiana law because private citizens can use it to defend themselves from harassment and intimidation by homosexual activists and their catchfarts. It upsets their agenda of suing Christians and Christian organizations into submission and reveals their claim to want “equality” to be the lie we’ve always known it is.

Guy Benson, Townhall: The Fact-Free Meltdown Over Indiana’s New Religious Freedom Law:

As you may have gathered via breathless headlines and hyperbolic social media rants, Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed into law a draconian attack on LGBT rights under the guise of “religious liberty.” This unprecedented assault on equality, or whatever, has elicited strident condemnations and boycott threats from a number of celebrities and organizations.  Almost all of this hyperventilating is rooted in some brew of abject ignorance, mindless alarmism, and ostentatious moral preening.  The latter, anti-intellectual phenomenon is especially widespread: “Look at me, I’m a good person because I’m outraged about this terrible law, about which I know very little. Those who disagree with me are exposing themselves as bad people who support discrimination against gay people, which offends my tolerant and progressive sensibilities, of which I’m reminding everyone right now.”  

National Review: Liberals against Religious Liberty in Indiana:

RFRA enjoyed wide bipartisan support until the Hobby Lobby case reminded Democrats that they care a great deal more about Obamacare and contraceptive subsidies than they do about the religious liberties of people who hold views that inconvenience the Democrats’ political platform. RFRA, in both the federal and the Indiana versions, is a piece of law aimed at allowing for the emergence of social compromise. RFRA reasoning does not give religious persons or institutions the power to simply ignore laws that conflict with their consciences; rather, it compels the government to demonstrate a compelling government interest when it burdens religious expression, and to accomplish any substantial burdening of religious liberty in the least invasive manner. Both of those requirements — compelling government interest, least burdensome means — are open to a considerable degree of interpretation, which is of course by design: That is what allows a modus vivendi to emerge. Gay-rights activism is, just at the moment, very much oriented toward preventing the emergence of any social compromise on the matter of homosexual marriage, which is why tradition-minded florists and bakers, generally conservative Christians, are being targeted for prosecution as enemies of civil rights.

Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg: Tim Cook Needs to Do Some Homework:

Tim Cook, the chief executive officer of Apple, is spreading misinformation about a new religious-freedom law in Indiana.

That law and similar ones, he writes in the Washington Post, “say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law.” He goes on to claim that they “rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality.”

Discrimination against gay customers or employees is what opponents of the law are especially concerned about. But that’s a strange argument to make in the context of Indiana, which lacks any state nondiscrimination law on sexual orientation for people to resist. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is legal almost everywhere in the state, and was before this religious-freedom law passed.

Cook may not be aware of this point or others that cut against his argument because reporting on this controversy has been abysmal. Cook may also be unaware that the “wave of legislation” that he fears has largely already happened. A very similar religious-freedom law has been on the federal books for 22 years, and that law itself codified a Supreme Court doctrine that had been in place for most of the previous few decades. Nineteen states besides Indiana have similar laws. The laws don’t seem to be abetting a rising tide of discrimination based on sexual orientation, or based on anything else.

AoSHQ: Apple’s Gay CEO Tim Cook Wants to Boycott Indiana for Its Allegedly Anti-Gay RFRA, But Will Gladly Sell You an iPhone At Its Boutique in Riyadh, Where They’ll Stone You to Death For Being Gay:

I would seriously pin Apple’s ears back over this. If you’re a stockholder, write to them. Demand they stop selling iPhones in any country in which homosexuality remains a crime. (Homosexuality is an on-the-books crime in most countries, still, not just the ones where they actually stone gays to death.)

Tim Cook, and all the rest of the gay leftwing bullies, are of course bullying people.

As usual.

Few people ever refused service to gays at bakeries before gay marriage. There was not some great scourge of people refusing service to gays.

What people are doing is refusing to take part in a gay marriage ceremony.

Mental Recession: Cuomo Bans Government Travel to Indiana:

The RFRA has been intolerantly attacked by those in the LGBT and far-left communities as being a license to discriminate, a completely false argument to say the least.  Multiple states have had RFRA laws in effect, none of which allow for discrimination.

Stanford law professor Michael McConnell, a former appellate court judge, told The Weekly Standard: “In the decades that states have had RFRA statutes, no business has been given the right to discriminate against gay customers, or anyone else.”

Still, Cuomo has taken directives from his far-left base and issued the travel ban.

Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist: Meet 10 Americans Helped By Religious Freedom Bills Like Indiana’s:

If it’s not some new-fangled invention designed to hurt gay people, what is it about? No better way to learn than by looking at some recent RFRA cases at the state and federal level.

If you oppose Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, these are the real people you are hurting.

1) Most recent RFRA winner: Lipan Apache religious leader Robert Soto

Just a few weeks ago, on March 10, the federal government returned the eagle feathersit had seized nine years prior from a Native American religious leader and famed feather dancer Robert Soto. He had appealed the seizure of the eagle feathers, for which he faced 15 years in a federal penitentiary and a $250,000 fine, on Religious Freedom Restoration Act grounds.

The feds had sent undercover agents to a powwow in 2006 to confiscate the feathers, which are central to Soto’s Native American faith. The federal government prohibits possession of eagle feathers without a permit and only grants permits to museums, scientists, zoos, farmers, large power companies and federally recognized tribes. Even though the Lipan Apaches are recognized by the State of Texas, historians and sociologists, they’re not recognized by the feds.

Quin Hillyer, National Review: Baking Liberty of Conscience into the Cake:

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, as Chambers tend to do, ran kow-towingly for the nearest microphone to assure all the trendy-sensitive hordes that it recognizes the new law as “divisive and unnecessary.” As usual, it seems as if corporate bigwigs care only selectively about First Amendment liberties, valuing the Citizens United freedoms that let them buy political influence while being perfectly willing to ignore protections for other speech, religious exercise, and conscience. Meanwhile, Friday brought a horrendous, indeed vicious, decision by a county court in Washington State ordering a 70-year-old grandmother to pay attorney’s fees to Washington’s attorney general, who sued her because she refused to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex ceremony. “It’s about freedom, not money,” wrote the florist, Barronelle Stutzman, to the attorney general, Bob Ferguson, back in February. “I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important. . . . You chose to attack my faith and pursue this not simply as a matter of law, but to threaten my very means of working, eating, and having a home.” Flowers and wedding cakes are neither public conveyances nor necessary for human sustenance; and a choice to hold a ceremony is far from an immutable characteristic like skin pigmentation. There is no shortage of businesses that will gladly serve people choosing non-traditional arrangements. This is not Mississippi Burning; it’s just a conscientious decision not to engage in purely voluntary commerce in a free society.

Bookworm Room: Jesus would have supported RFRA:

The RFRA fight is not about protecting gays from discrimination. While the ignorant sheeple who are going around screaming about boycotting Indiana are incapable of understanding this, the people spearheading the charge know perfectly well that RFRA is in essence a shorthand for the established constitutional principle that states may not impose on religion without a compelling reason.

These same operators have a clear ultimate goal, which is to see religion overturned. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Castro, and all the other Leftists who took over Judeo-Christian countries understood that traditional religion, with its emphasis on personal responsibility, justice, morality, and grace, is the enemy of socialism and tyranny. In America, though, because the Constitution precludes direct attacks on Christianity, gay marriage represents a back door way to destroy both the faith and the faithful.  The tactic is working too, as Gov. Pence has already pretty much surrendered.

Conservative HQ: Liberals Want the Right to Persecute Christians:

Christians are the world’s most persecuted faith according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, but you don’t have to look across the ocean to find the latest and, given America’s foundation of religious freedom, one of the most egregious examples of the economic persecution of Christians – it is happening in Indiana USA right now.

An assortment of radical leftwing groups and liberal corporate interests have declared war on Christians and other persons of faith and are threatening Indiana’s conservative Governor Mike Pence with an economic boycott over the passage of the state’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act would protect believers like Jack Phillips, the baker-owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop in Lakewood, Colorado refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple and has been driven out of business by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

It would protect New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguenin who was likewise persecuted for refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding.

It would protect Aaron and Melissa Klein who own and operate Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Portland, Oregon and found themselves the target of a lesbian couple who filed a complaint with the state, accusing the shop owners of discrimination because they refused to participate in the couple’s same-sex wedding by baking them a wedding cake.

And it would protect 70-year-old Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, who was found guilty of violating the Washington’s non-discrimination law in February, after referring a same-sex couple to another florist when they asked her to provide the floral arrangements for their wedding.

In an order making her a judicial slave, Benton County Superior Court Judge Alex Ekstrom’s summary judgement orders Stutzman to pay a fine of $1,001, and forces her to provide services for same-sex weddings. Stutzman is at risk of losing her retirement savings and business as she will be responsible for paying the legal fees and damages incurred by her persecutors, who were represented by the ACLU.

And it would protect any other believer who expressed a belief in Christian values and wish to live them publicly.

Forum: What’s Your Take on The Bowe Bergdahl Situation? What Will The Outcome Be?



Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question
: What’s Your Take on The Bowe Bergdahl Situation? What Will The Outcome Be?

The Glittering Eye : As Lord Sankey said in 1935, the presumption of innocence is the golden thread that runs through the criminal law. That is as true of our code of military justice as it is of our civil code. I’m concerned that too many are forgetting that in the case of Bowe Berdahl. Let the case work its way through the courts. That’s what hearings and trials are for.

I do find it interesting that the editors of the New York Times a) assume that Berdahl is guilty and b) think he should be absolved from that for political reasons. There is another ancient legal dictum that covers that: fiat justitia ruat caelum or let justice be done though the heavens fall.

Wolf Howling : On the night of June 30, 2009, Army Spc. Bowe Bergdahl, then stationed in Afghanistan at Outpost Keating, left a note in his tent stating “he was leaving to start a new life.” Bergdahl left his post and made his way into the surrounding countryside, committing a textbook act of desertion per the UCMJ. The Taliban soon made Bergdahl their prisoner.

In the immediate aftermath of his desertion, Bergdahl’s battalion engaged in repeated efforts to find him in operations that claimed the lives of six soldiers. Moreover, Army Command made a decision that Outpost Keating, then slated for closure, should remain open as a base from which to search for Bergdahl. On October 3, 2009, the base was subjected to the one of the largest and bloodiest attacks of the Afghan War, in what has become known as the Battle of Kamdesh. The battle resulted in eight more American soldiers killed and twenty-seven wounded.

The Obama administration, at some point, began secret negotiations with the Taliban for the return of Bergdahl. In violation of U.S. law, the Obama administration agreed to a prisoner exchange with the Taliban without timely notifying Congress. Despite that, the Obama administration claiming general power to act under the Constitution, unilaterally authorized the deal. On May 31, 2014, Bergdahl was exchanged for five top Taliban commanders who, until then, were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility.

In the wake of criticism, the Obama administration defended their deal, laughably claiming that Bergdahl was a soldier with a distinguished record of service. At least three of the five members of the Taliban Five seem poised to resume their efforts against American and Afghanistan interests. The U.S. military recently charged Bergdahl with desertion.

My take is that Bergdahl should be tried for desertion and, if found guilty, be jailed for life. I also believe that Obama’s decision to trade for Bergdahl was part of a larger plan to close Gitmo, but that pushback in the wake of this trade will stop that. Obama, who has made an industry out of violating the Constitution and the laws of our nation, will suffer no penalty for this trade because Congress is too supine to force the issue. Most if not all of the Taliban Five will return to their positions in the Taliban to again plan the death and destruction of Americans.

At the Daily Caller, W. James Antle III opines on one other possible fallout:

The charges against Bowe Bergdahl are not merely embarrassing to the White House. They will further undermine the already shaky confidence in the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran.

I don’t see that. The Iran negotiations are orders of magnitude more important than the Bergdahl situation, which is little more than a flash in the pan in the grander scheme of things. Obama has already given the nation countless grounds to mistrust his judgment and veracity as regards the Iran negotiations. The administration’s prevarications and poor judgment as regards Bergdahl are merely more straws on a camels back that is already broken. In the very near future, no one will remember this but as one more sad footnote in the history of the Obama administration. At least, that is, until new American deaths can be traced to the recently released members of the Taliban Five, as seems a certainty. Then the impotent howling will commence yet again.

JoshuaPundit : I pretty much said what I had to say here. The Army had to be dragged kicking and screaming into prosecuting this human detritus because the top brass have all seen what happens to generals whom don’t toe the party line…they get booted out. The Army knew as far back as 2010 when the Pentagon originally investigated this that Bergdahl willfully deserted his post, but they’ve kept stalling. The Army even postponed charging Bergdahl until after the 2014 midterms.

So our our commander-in-chief paid a nice ransom and freed 5 top Taliban commanders from Club Gitmo who have undoubtedly been responsible for more attacks on our troops in AfPak now that they’re free. It also doesn’t surprise me that the Obama regime knew Bergdahl was a deserter but lied to the American people about him ‘serving with honor and distinction.’ They simply don’t care anymore, having gotten away with this kind of thing so many times at this point.

The Army does surprise me though, just a bit. Considering that Bergdahl put his unit in danger and that Bergdahl was directly  responsible for the deaths of at least 5 other soldiers whom died trying to find him. I’m convinced the only reason they finally charged him was because this was so blatant it would have resulted in a major morale and discipline issue if they had just swept it under the rug, as they were obviously told to. At  that, what we’ve actually got here is not the prelude to a court martial
but the military equivalent of a ‘grand jury’, to stretch this out for months so the end result can be more or less buried.

The end result? They’ll obviously have to try him, whether they want to or not. There’s just too much evidence, including a little love note he wrote before he left. I’m assuming they will not consider AfPak as actual wartime, so a violation of Article 28 of the UCMJ calls for 2-5 years imprisonment, a dishonorable discharge and loss of all pay and benefits.

By time he’s actually sentenced, at worst he’ll probably get two years , and it will be close enough to January 2017 that he’ll merit a presidential pardon or commutation of sentence after serving a few months. when you compare this with how the Pendleton 8 were treated,(all of them were acquitted after going through sheer hell) it makes you wonder…

GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD: Bergdahl is charged with one count of Article 85 and one count of Article 99.

Article 85 is “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty.” It carries a maximum potential punishment of a dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank of private, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and five years in prison.

Article 99 is “misbehavior before the enemy by endangering the safety of a command, unit or place.” It carries a maximum potential penalty of dishonorable discharge, reduction to the rank of private, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and life in prison.

The UCMJ defines desertion as intent to leave a unit “permanently.”

Army officials associated with Bergdahl’s legal case cannot discuss or disclose the findings of the 2014 investigation while legal actions are pending “out of respect to the judicial process, the rights of the accused and to ensure the proceeding’s fairness and impartiality.”

The date of the hearing has not been announced.

An Article 32 preliminary hearing is similar to a civilian grand jury inquiry. It is designed to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to merit a court-martial.

Based on the outcome of the hearing, a general court-martial convening authority will decide whether to refer charges to a general court-martial, refer the charges to a special court-martial, dismiss the charges, or take any other action deemed appropriate.

One important difference in the military process is that the defendant and defense counsel are present for the hearing and can cross-examine witnesses.

Without a confession from Bergdahl, military lawyers would need to rely on circumstantial evidence to prove his intent, including statements from members of his unit and Afghan villagers who may have come in contact with him after he left the U.S. base.

Depending on the outcome of the Article 32 hearing, Bergdahl’s attorney, could request an administrative solution to his client’s case by requesting that the military discharge Bergdahl in lieu of a court-martial.

Most likely, that is what will happen – a less than honorable discharge.

Personally, “Death To Traitors” may be apropos.

Also, tons of speculation that the Taliban 5 swap for Bergdahl may be the 1st step to shutting down enemy detentions at Guantanamo Bay.

 Bookworm Room: In June 2009, when Bowe Bergdahl vanished, those who were paying attention already knew that he was a deserter at best or a collaborator at worst. His reputation amongst his fellow troops was terrible and, as his email correspondence with his father was being made public, it was obvious that Bergdahl wasn’t simply a lost sheep.

By the time of his release from Taliban hands, in May 2014, the military had, not only lost six good men searching for him, it had also had ample time to study everything about Bergdahl’s life until the point of his captivity — and to get to know his family. His father is quite manifestly a Muslim convert, with his beard and headdress and Pashtun and Arabic prayers. Or he has a really, really, bizarre variation of Stockholm Syndrome, to the point at which he’s identifying with his son’s hosts or captors, depending on which story one believes.

Obama knew all of this, and yet he took Bergdahl back in exchange for five men who undoubtedly have killed many Americans and who, know free, will undoubtedly kill many more. Not only that, but he had his mouthpieces fan out and knowingly tell Americans the lie that Bergdahl served honorably and vanished bravely.

Summed up: At all times relevant to Bergdahl’s release, it was manifestly obvious based upon the widely available evidence — almost all of it from Bergdahl’s and his father’s own keyboards — that this was an act of desertion, pure and simple.

So why the “desertion” charge now? This is going to be a show trial. Bergdahl’s lawyers are already claiming (a) that it’s the military’s fault for allowing him to enlist in the first place; and/or (b) that he was trying to be a good soldier by departing in the dark of night, without any of his equipment, to report to another base about infractions on his base. The military tribunal, assuming it’s been properly staffed with “good soldiers,” will accept one or the other of these defenses, and Bergdahl will vanish into obscurity.

Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason : Since the Bowe Bergdahl trade last May with the Taliban for five high value enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay, many of us were under the impression an Article 32 investigation was underway. The announcement on March 25th reveals that what the Army was conducting all this time was an Article 15-6 investigation, which is a non-judicial investigation utilized for lesser crimes committed while in the military.

We now know Bergdahl has been charged with “desertion with intent to shirk important or hazardous duty” as well as “misbehavior before the enemy.” These charges mean now Bergdahl might receive an Article 32 hearing, essentially like a civilian grand jury hearing, to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to a court-martial.

Many who have been following the case heard statements from his platoon members, who all appear to agree Bergdahl deserted his post and should be court-martialed. Possibly half a dozen of his platoon mates lost their lives looking for Bergdahl.

After all the fanfare with President Obama and Bergdahl’s family in the White House Rose Garden, and with Susan Rice stating on national television that “he served the United States with honor and distinction”, the political pressure on the military must be intense to make this case go away.

I suspect the outcome of this will be Bergdahl’s attorney will ask for, and the Army will grant, an administrative discharge, avoiding an Article 32 hearing altogether. This means he will receive an “other than honorable” discharge and will not serve any jail time.

What is most disturbing is that our military, caving under the political pressure of this administration, delayed and continues to delay bringing the Bergdahl desertion case to court martial.

Well, there you have it!

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