Patterico's Pontifications

10/23/2014

U.S. Released Immigrants Charged with Sex Offenses and Homicide, Misled Congress About It

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 am

All in a day’s work:

The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.

. . . .

In hearings last year, Republican lawmakers pressed then-ICE Director John Morton for specifics on the criminal records of the people the agency had freed. At one, Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., asked Morton directly, “No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?”

Morton answered, “They were not.”

He told lawmakers that, to his knowledge, none had faced child pornography charges.

White House spokesman Jay Carney similarly described them as “low-risk, non-criminal detainees.”

A spreadsheet ICE officials prepared listing the detainees includes one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child, as well as others charged with armed assaults or assaulting police officers. Another immigrant released from Miami had been charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. Two detainees from Boston had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon. One in Denver had a sexual assault charge. The agency released the spreadsheet to USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.

ICE’s records do not indicate whether the detainees were convicted of those crimes or merely charged with them. The agency said it would not release information identifying any of the detainees because doing so would invade their privacy, so it was impossible to examine the details of their cases.

Our government, which monitors our Internet traffic and mines our phone data, is suddenly concerned with “privacy” when it comes to information that might embarrass the government.

They are failing in government’s most fundamental task: protection of the public. Worse, one suspects it’s part of a pro-immigrant policy on the part of the Obama administration. Any way you slice it, the ICE director provided false information to Congress, and there may be murderers and sex offenders walking around in our midst. Somehow, I don’t think the government is motivated by concerns for “privacy.”

It’s good to see USA Today starting to hold the administration’s feet to the fire. Turn up the flame.

10/22/2014

They Said This Would Not Happen – Part Deux

Filed under: General — JD @ 1:41 pm

[guest post by JD]

California is forcing all insurance plans to cover elective abortions.

So, despite their transparent and hollow claims in the Hobby Lobby case, that it was a for-profit business that drove their support for a mandate, not a Church, it seems that they have no compunction with compelling Churches to cover not just medically necessary abortions, but elective abortions.

Slippery slope.

—-JD

Attacks in Canada [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:33 am

[guest post by JVW]

Shots were fired near Parliament in Ottawa earlier today. At roughly the same time, a Canadian soldier was killed at a nearby war memorial. This on the heels of a vehicular attack on two soldiers in Quebec Monday by an alleged jihadist which left one soldier dead.

The news story linked to above contains the following unsubstantiated tidbit:

A Canadian official told Fox News witnesses described one of the suspects as having long, dark curly hair and a tan complexion and said he was wearing a white bandana and white hoodie. They said there was no license plate on the Toyota Corolla.

Canadian officials had recently raised the terror threat from low to medium due to an increase in Internet chatter among members of ISIS, al Qaeda, and other extremist groups.

It’s a developing story, so feel free to share updates in the comments.

[updated to fix typo; thanks Hoagie.]

UPDATE: The Ottawa Sun seems to have the most comprehensive coverage, including a video of the attack (the gunman isn’t visible, however). The suspect is Canadian born and — surprise, surprise — a convert to Islam.

- JVW

Significant Evidence Supports Officer’s Version in Ferguson Shooting

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:28 am

It’s hard to see how there could be an indictment with these facts.

Searching For A Reason To Live And Other Inquiries

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:04 am

[guest post by Dana]

In light of their plight, how do these women find a reason that makes life still worth living? Below the flesh and bone, all the way down to the gut of the soul, what is there for them to grab hold of or is this simply the point when death becomes a welcome friend?

Further, does this impact your view on whether the U.S. should be more involved in the fight against ISIS or are these spoils of war just the natural result of an active evil that is not our obligation to stop because protecting our own is first priority? If you do see it as a further reason to become more involved, how so, and with what limits or contingencies? I’d be most interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

A young Yazidi woman forced into sex slavery by the Islamic State begged the West to bomb the brothel where she was being held after militants raped her 30 times in just a few hours, it is claimed.

The unidentified woman is understood to have been kept as a prisoner of the jihadists somewhere in western Iraq having been captured by ISIS during the Sinjar massacre in early August.

A group raising awareness of ISIS’ persecution of women in the vast swathes of the Middle East under its control said the woman had contacted Kurdish peshmerga fighters by telephone to plead for the brothel to be bombed to put the women held as sex slaves out of their misery.

She allegedly told the fighters she had been raped so frequently that she could no longer use the toilet, adding that the ordeal has been so harrowing that she plans to commit suicide even if freed.

Details of the woman’s brutal experience at the hands of the Islamic State emerged during an interview with Kurdish activists staging demonstrations in London to raise awareness of the plight of women in the Middle East.

During an interview with BBC World Service, a man identified as Karam described how a friend embedded with the peshmerga took a phone call from the Yazidi woman.

Describing the woman as crying on the phone, Karam quoted her as saying: ‘If you know where we are please bomb us… There is no life after this. I’m going to kill myself anyway – others have killed themselves this morning.’

‘I’ve been raped 30 times and it’s not even lunchtime. I can’t go to the toilet. Please bomb us,’ he claimed the woman added.

I realize both issues being considered in the post are complex and not easily addressed, but those are what I immediately began thinking about upon reading this and wanted to put it out there for your thoughts.

–Dana

10/21/2014

President Obama: Apathy Keeps Minorities From Polls

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama made an interesting and provocative admission today during a radio interview with Rev. Al Sharpton when discussing voter i.d. laws:

“Most of these laws are not preventing the overwhelming majority of folks who don’t vote from voting,” Obama said during an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton. “Most people do have an ID. Most people do have a driver’s license. Most people can get to the polls. It may not be as convenient, it may be a little more difficult.”

“The bottom line is, if less than half of our folks vote, these laws aren’t preventing the other half from not voting,” Obama said. “The reason we don’t vote is because people have been fed this notion that somehow it’s not going to make a difference. And it makes a huge difference.”

It’s ironic, too, considering the Obama Justice Dept. charge that voter i.d laws suppress (Democratic) voters by placing undue hardships on poor and minority voters, as well as Holder’s own claims of voter i.d. laws amounting to a poll tax.

On a side note, commenter Charlotte made a smart observation on the Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter I.D. Law thread:

How is it that Mozambique, with a per capita GDP of $ 435 and an illiteracy rate of 48%, has just held an election requiring photo ID for its electorate, but so many on the left baulk when similar requirements are legislated in the US.

–Dana

Non-political Post – Great TV

Filed under: General — JD @ 9:00 pm

[guest post by JD]

It never ceases to amaze me at how much better FX, USA, and the other smaller cable networks are at producing original content than the big networks are. My personal favorites, Sons of Anarchy and Justified, are in a league that the major networks could never even dream of. Downtown Abbey, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, White Collar, Burn Notice, Covert Affairs …. all leaps and bounds beyond the mainstream crap.

What say you? What are your favorites?

—JD

White House Edits Embarrassing Joke By Obama Out of Official Transcript

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:54 pm

The Blaze:

The official transcript of a fundraiser speech President Barack Obama delivered at a private residence in Chicago Monday afternoon failed to include a joke he made about finding unpaid bills on his Chicago home’s desk.

“One of the nice things about being home is actually that it’s a little bit like a time capsule. Because Michelle and I and the kids, we left so quickly that there’s still junk on my desk, including some unpaid bills — I think eventually they got paid — but they’re sort of stacked up. And messages, newspapers and all kinds of stuff,” Obama said during his address, according to the pool report.

That joke about unpaid bills, however, didn’t make it into the official transcript.

Instead, as noted by Politico’s Jennifer Epstein, the quote leaves out the reference to finding the stack of bills. It only quotes the president as saying that “there’s still junk on my desk, including some — newspapers and all kinds of stuff.​”

The Associated Press’ Josh Lederman explained on Twitter that finding the quote required reviewing the tapes of the event.

At Hot Air, they reveal that the transcript now says “inaudible” instead of the bit about Obama not paying his bills. Hmm. It was audible to the reporters. Funny how it got inaudible exactly at the embarrassing part!

The joke is obvious and others have already made it:

Is this why his credit card got declined?

But in all seriousness: you can’t trust a thing they say.

David Corn Falsely Smears Rand Paul as a Truther

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:05 am

David Corn, lefty hack from Mother Jones, has a hit piece designed to take out Rand Paul. It’s full of spin and exaggerations, but let me highlight one particularly nasty piece of dishonesty:

Jones’ show has also been a hub of the so-called truther movement, which claims that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government. During Paul’s 2010 Senate campaign, it was revealed that his campaign spokesman was a truther (as well as a death-metal musician with racist and satanic tendencies). When a Kentucky newspaper asked if Paul agreed with this view, his campaign replied that it was a “complicated situation” with “truth on both sides.”

Well. That’s a strong charge. First Corn claims that Paul’s campaign spokesman was a 9/11 truther, defined as someone who “claims that the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government.” Then Corn claims that Paul’s campaign sanctioned this view.

I looked into this. It wasn’t hard. What Corn says simply isn’t true.

Paul’s campaign spokesman was dismissed after several aspects of his online life were distorted in the press. Relevant here is a letter he wrote to a Kentucky newspaper in which he defended Ron Paul’s position that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated in large part by the United States’s military actions in the Middle East. Ron Paul, an adamant noninterventionist, has long argued that the United States’s penchant for becoming embroiled in military expeditions overseas has unintended consequences. One of those consequences is that it motivates people to plot terrorist attacks on the United States.

The point of my post is not to defend this claim on its merits — although it is certainly beyond dispute that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated in part by the U.S. presence in the Middle East, as is evident to anyone who has read bin Laden’s diatribes. I don’t think this mitigates the terrorists’ responsibility for their awful and indefensible actions on 9/11, but I don’t know if Ron Paul (or Rand Paul) thinks that either.

What I do know is that this argument is very different from saying that “the 9/11 attacks were mounted or permitted by the US government.”

And when Paul’s campaign said the issue was complicated, with truth on both sides, they weren’t saying: “Maybe the government was behind 9/11. Who can say?” They were saying: “We don’t want to be distracted by this controversy, which is why we have fired this guy, but there are aspects of what he said about U.S. foreign policy and interventionism that we can’t honestly disavow.”

That’s very different from what Corn claims.

In short, David Corn is simply lying. Shocking, I know.

(Corn’s claim about the spokesman’s supposed racist tendencies appears to be more exaggeration, for what it’s worth. You can follow the links and see for yourself.)

This post, by the way, is not link bait. Although Rand Paul recently linked this blog when it defended his comments about what the CDC says about Ebola, I doubt very much that he will be linking this post — although he is certainly welcome to, if he likes. The post speaks the truth, but it’s my impression that Paul is currently downplaying the aspects of his previous foreign policy statements that might make GOP donors nervous. My guess is that, even though this post shows that Corn is lying about him sanctioning Trutherism, Paul will take a pass on anything that draws further attention to his noninterventionist statements from the past.

The details, for those who are interested, are in the extended entry.

(more…)

Feds Preparing For A “Surge” Scenario

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

Of course, while given the perfect cover of a public very distracted by Ebola, the administration has been quietly working to prepare for an expected surge of immigrants to live and work in the U.S.:

Unnoticed until now, a draft solicitation for bids issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Oct. 6 says potential vendors must be capable of handling a “surge” scenario of 9 million id cards in one year “to support possible future immigration reform initiative requirements.”

The request for proposals says the agency will need a minimum of four million cards per year. In the “surge,” scenario in 2016, the agency would need an additional five million cards – more than double the baseline annual amount for a total of 9 million.

“The guaranteed minimum for each ordering period is 4,000,000 cards. The estimated maximum for the entire contract is 34,000,000 cards,” the document says.

The agency is buying the materials need to construct both Permanent Residency Cards (PRC), commonly known as green cards, as well as Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards which have been used to implement President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program. The RFP does not specify how many of each type of card would be issued.

How big of a surge are we really talking? Consider this:

Jessica Vaughan, an immigration expert at the Center for Immigration Studies and former State Department official, said the document suggests a new program of remarkable breadth.

The RFP “seems to indicate that the president is contemplating an enormous executive action that is even more expansive than the plan that Congress rejected in the ‘Gang of Eight’ bill,” Vaughan said.

In conjunction with this, one should take note of current unemployment rates across the country.

I think we can assume that this indicates the president’s plans are likely to be far more wide-reaching than we originally anticipated.

–Dana

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