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August 31, 2010

Major Schadenfreude Alert

Another excuse bites the dust:

fs_chart_fed_deficits_397x224.jpg

...and the hits just keep on comin':

"Relative to the size of the economy, this year's deficit is expected to be the second largest shortfall in the past 65 years; 9.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), exceeded only by last year's deficit of 9.9 percent of GDP," CBO wrote.

...According to an analysis by the American Thinker's Randall Hoven, the cost of the Iraq war from 2003-2008 -- when Bush was in office -- was $20 billion less than the cost of education spending and less than a quarter of the cost of Medicare spending during that same period.

... and comin':

"It's frustrating to see both the president and vice president jumping up and down saying, 'Look what we did, look what we did,' when if we actually followed the policies they were calling for ... we would have left early and we would have left in shame," Mr. Hegseth said, noting their opposition to the surge of forces in Iraq.

...and comin':

"He has been slow to realize he is the president, and what that means for handling the military," Ricks said.

Referring to Obama's surprise when a roomful of generals stood when he walked into the room for the first time as president, he said, "I don't think he realized that they were standing for the system, not for him personally."

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you "smart power". It is impressive, no es verdad?

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The dissing continues!

... recently released polling data from Gallup indicates that the Iraqi people approved of the job performance of the American leadership more under President George W. Bush, who invaded their country and overthrew the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein, than they do under Obama, who opposed the invasion of Iraq and has repeatedly vowed to have all U.S. troop out of that country by the end of 2011.

So much for restoring our legitimacy in the eyes of the Arab world. Dang... this leadership thing is turning out to be harder than it looked from the campaign trail.

Posted by Cassandra at August 31, 2010 08:11 AM

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Comments

Your last link isn't fair. It starts off by saying, "Analysis: Obama Resigned..."

What a letdown the rest of the article is after that!

Posted by: Grim at August 31, 2010 10:45 AM

*snort* :)

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2010 10:51 AM

Wow. I shouldn't be surprised anymore at the low intellectual ability of the Left...but I am. Sheesh.

Posted by: Maximus Decimus Meridius at August 31, 2010 11:06 AM

Cassandra, thank you for the opportunity to post.

It's a wonder that the staff at the CBO hasn't been cashiered; and don't believe the GOP will do anything with the information presented by this graph.

Posted by: DaveO at August 31, 2010 11:52 AM

This is laughable stuff from Fox News. Fox even stoops to citing the absurdly unreliable website American Thinker.

The $709 billion it dwells upon represents only part of the cost of the Iraq War...that is to say, it's the pricetag from 2003 to 2010 for putting troops and diplomats in Iraq. The figure doesn't add in all the other "indirect" costs, which a CBO report estimated will be $1.9 trillion by 2017 and which economist Joseph Stiglitz says will eventually reach 3 trillion. These "indirect" costs include the high cost of caring for injured war veterans (perhaps $700 billion), the cost of replacing depleted equipment ($17 billion per year) and abandoned/donated equipment, and the cost of borrowning money to pay for the war rather than paying for it with regular revenues. These are actual, known, and in many ways quantifiable costs.

Thus, within a few years the Iraq War will have cost the US government at least 3 times as much as Fox News would have us believe. That doesn't include the other costs to the nation, of shattered lives and families, and of work here at home not being done by the Guard troops stationed overseas.

Big surprise, the partisan propaganda outlet Fox is trying to dupe its audience with half truths.

Posted by: smintheus at August 31, 2010 12:29 PM

...within a few years the Iraq War will have cost the US government at least 3 times as much as Fox News would have us believe. That doesn't include the other costs to the nation, of shattered lives and families, and of work here at home not being done by the Guard troops stationed overseas.

At least three times is nothing compared to the cost overruns incurred by virtually every entitlement since their original CBO estimates:

The chart above is based upon figures from this article. It shows the huge discrepancy between CBO estimates of the cost of new entitlement programs (the red line at 100% on the chart) and their actual costs as implemented (the blue bars). Note that with the sole exception of the Prescription Drug bill, every single health care entitlement passed by Congress has grossly exceeded its original estimated cost. Every single one.

Laughable? Try 1700 percent for the Medicaid hospital subsidy? Or over 900 percent for Medicaid? Or over 700 percent for Medicare hospital benefits?

Big surprise, the partisan propaganda outlet Fox is trying to dupe its audience with half truths.

Big surprise. A partisan commenter who either has no idea how much entitlement spending has consistently overrun original CBO estimates or "forgets" to mention that little fact.

By comparison, a 300% overrun (assuming you're right) is small change. But then when you're spending the taxpayers' money, who's counting?

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2010 12:41 PM

Well, to be fair, Cass, the "cost overruns" on the Great Iraq Adventure (if "overruns" is how you'd like to look at it) are far higher than a measely 300 or 700 percent. Iraq was once touted as paying for itself. Oh, happy days, those . . .

On a somewhat different point, readers might want to check out a recent Iraq WaPo opinion piece that I (for one) found tremendously moving. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/27/AR2010082702133.html Highly recommended, indeed.

Posted by: pond at August 31, 2010 12:57 PM

Well, to be fair, Cass, the "cost overruns" on the Great Iraq Adventure (if "overruns" is how you'd like to look at it) are far higher than a measely 300 or 700 percent. Iraq was once touted as paying for itself. Oh, happy days, those . . .

The reason cost overruns matter here is that we are comparing sunk costs (on the war) with projected costs (for future spending). It has been very well documented in the media by various fact checks (the Associated Press, the CBO, etc) that estimates of deficit growth due to the health care bill do not include all the true costs and also that they err on the low side. It's impossible to fairly evaluate a claim that war costs exceed what's being quoted here or there without ALSO acknowledging that estimates of entitlement spending have historically been wrong by an order of magnitude and also that pretty much everyone except the White House admits that the health care estimates undershoot the mark.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2010 01:15 PM

On a somewhat different point, readers might want to check out a recent Iraq WaPo opinion piece that I (for one) found tremendously moving.

Thank you, pond. You're right - it was wonderful.

I saw it earlier but waved off. I will put it in a post.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2010 01:55 PM

Cassandra, don't you just hate those pesky facts with their liberal bias?

Cost overruns aren't relevant to what I commented upon, which was the grossly misleading lowballing of the war's cost by Fox News. And as pond pointed out, it was the Bush administration that lowballed the estimate for the war.

Your post, like your comments, is an incoherent mish mash. Medicare isn't relevant, and anyhow by design it pays for itself. This war was not paid for, by design.

The growth in the deficit in the last few years was predicted because it's almost entirely due to policies enacted under Bush. Nearly all the remainder is due to policies, like the stimulus, needed to ameliorate problems created under Bush. Unlike Bush, Obama and the Dems have tried to pay for new programs rather than just kick the can down the road to the next administration.

By custom everybody, not just generals, is expected to rise when the President enters a room. So the story trying to portray Obama as impossibly green is just transparently silly...as if he knew nothing about such a custom.

Posted by: smintheus at August 31, 2010 06:27 PM

Even the Dalai Lama said he loved George Bush for fighting the jihadis. W. didn't send him out the kitchen door by the garbage cans. Smart power boy should know that is very bad form by Eastern standards. All India saw that photo.

Posted by: Gary Ogletree at August 31, 2010 07:11 PM

The figure doesn't add in all the other "indirect" costs, which a CBO report estimated will be $1.9 trillion by 2017 and which economist Joseph Stiglitz says will eventually reach 3 trillion.

Wow... you're really smart, smintheus. Those FauxNews folks can't put anything over on you.

Who would expect the cost of the last 8 years of war to exclude the following 7 years?

*rolling eyes*


Posted by: Cassandra at August 31, 2010 08:24 PM

Pretty clueless. The "indirect" costs are already built in, even though the last of the bills will come due years later. Obviously the costs of large-scale wars, especially those financed on credit, typically continue to swell long after the last troops return home. Fox wanted to mislead about that true costs of invading Iraq, just as it did in the run-up to the war, for partisan reasons.

Posted by: smintheus at August 31, 2010 10:27 PM

Fox is partisan?!

I never would've guessed.

Regarding the gallup poll conducted in Iraq which has dropped an entire 5 percentage points over the last 3 years from 35% down to 30%. Better to look at polls conducted here, I think:

"In a CBS News poll released last week, 6 in 10 respondents said the United States should have never taken military action against Iraq in the first place, while 7 in 10 said the war was not worth the loss of American lives and other costs. Similarly, 55 percent in the Gallup poll said the United States had made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq. And majorities in polls by Associated Press-GfK and by CNN said they opposed the war."

link:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/31/polls-much-skepticism-about-iraq/

Posted by: Craig at September 1, 2010 12:07 PM

The "indirect" costs of health care "reform" are built in, too.

Just ask anyone who lives in Massachusetts.

As for the supposed "partisanship" of Fox News, I guess that depends on whether you think it's a good thing to have news outlets that cover different stories. My local paper, the WaPo, has completely ignored the Black Panther story. As far as they are concerned, it never happened.

Major news outlets all ignored the John Edwards story until it was all over the Internet and they looked like partisan shills covering for one of their own.

Part of having a watchdog media means that news outlets will be free to report stories you don't like and to say things you disagree with, Craig. I find it amusing that your rebuttal to stories you don't like is either "Oh, but don't look at that - look at this!", or "They're partisan".

The Post has had three ombudsmen in a row who have chided the paper for being left leaning in its coverage to the point where they completely ignore major stories. Maybe you want to live in a country where we only hear the news the press get together and decide we should hear (and let's not even get into the fact that the media are overwhelmingly liberal), but I don't.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 1, 2010 12:34 PM

As far as the Black Panther story goes, I don't know why the WaPo hasn't covered the fact that the Fox News Channel has hosted New Black Panther members Malik Shabazz, Quanell X, and Hashim Nzinga over 50 times the past 10 years.

And I don't know why the WaPo hasn't asked Beck why he gave a "faith" medal to Rev. C.L. Jackson who participated with Quanell X in a February, 2009 town hall meeting held at Pastor Jackson's church.

link:

http://www.defendernetwork.com/index.php/news/local-news/stop-the-killing-peacekeepers-hope-to-curb-black-male-homicides/

I suppose that is partisan of them.

Posted by: Craig at September 1, 2010 02:12 PM

I don't know why the WaPo hasn't covered the fact that the Fox News Channel has hosted New Black Panther members Malik Shabazz, Quanell X, and Hashim Nzinga over 50 times the past 10 years.

Is that a crime? Like, say, voter intimidation?

I didn't think so.

I just wish that partisan FauxNews crowd would allow someone from the progressive side of the aisle to air their views on Fox.

Oh. My bad. That happens all the time, doesn't it? How partisan of them.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 1, 2010 02:17 PM

Oh, you're referring to the 2008 story where the Bush Department of Justice declined to file criminal charges against three New Black Panther members, including its leader, for voter intimidation.

Someone really should take the Bush DOJ to task for their lapse of judgement. They could've fabricated evidence of some kind, after all. They were good at that in the beginning of his administration. I guess they lost their touch at the end there.

Posted by: Craig at September 1, 2010 03:01 PM

Oh, you're referring to the 2008 story where the Bush Department of Justice declined to file criminal charges against three New Black Panther members, including its leader, for voter intimidation.

In which dimension did the Bush DoJ decline to file charges, Craig? It did so in January, 2009 (while it was still the Bush DoJ), and, four months later, the *Obama* DoJ dropped the charges except for those against the ringleader, who was videotaped carrying a nightstick in front of the polling place.

Someone really should take the Bush DOJ to task for their lapse of judgement. They could've fabricated evidence of some kind, after all. They were good at that in the beginning of his administration. I guess they lost their touch at the end there.

Nice try. Next time, get your facts in order. You know, rather than fabricating statements -- which you're not all that good at, to be blunt about it.

Posted by: BillT at September 1, 2010 03:16 PM

Now, now Bill. You can't blame poor Craig for not knowing the facts.

After all, he only listens to those non-partisan news stations. You know, the ones that cover *all* the news without fear or favor?

O'REILLY: OK. What about Howard Kurtz on CNN saying Fox is pushing the story, you know, in a kind of snide way on every hour.

GOLDBERG: Yes.

O'REILLY: And his own guy, the very day that Kurtz on CNN is saying this, his own guy says, you know what? We totally blew this story.

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: Does Howard not read his own newspaper? Or do you think he disagrees with the ombudsman?

GOLDBERG: No, I think during the segment, he mentioned the ombudsman at The Post. I think he said that. But let me answer your question. Of all the media, the people who write about the media, Howard Kurtz is certainly one of the best. I mean, a lot of the others are total bozos. And I don't mean Howard's not a total bozo. I mean, he's good for the most part. He should not have said -- and I think he would agree, frankly, he should not have always said well, you always know a story when Fox is pushing it.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: It's not a matter of pushing it. It's a matter of Fox also pushed the Van Jones story. Fox also pushed the ACORN story. And on both of those, The New York Times public editor slapped the newspaper around for not covering them, just as The Washington Post public editor did it on Sunday.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matt-hadro/2010/07/21/bernie-goldberg-schieffers-ignorance-black-panther-case-media-elites-are#ixzz0yJ8NKtaw

Craig just wishes those pesky folks at Fox would pipe down.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 1, 2010 03:27 PM

You can't blame poor Craig for not knowing the facts.

*head downcast, hands clasped at mid-calf level, lightly scuffing right toe back-and-forth in the dust*

Yes, 'm...

Posted by: BillT at September 1, 2010 03:45 PM

Good morning!

Since you are interested in facts, here are some:

The Bush DOJ declined to file CRIMINAL charges against the New Black Panther members for voter intimidation.

The Bush DOJ did file a CIVIL action.

It obtained default judgements against all three. There was NEVER a trial or evidentiary hearing to prove the allegations, they were technically admitted by the default judgement.

The Obama DOJ then pursued a final judgement and injunction against the one New Black Panther member clearly engaged in threatening actvity(the one with the nightstick). It declined to pursue injunctions against the other two, citing a lack of actual evidence to support the charges.

There was never any evidence of a widespread effort by the New Black Panther Party itself to conduct a voter intimidation campaign. The incident appears to have been an isolated effort by two New Black Panther members.

It is clear that one of the persons acted overtly in a manner that justified prosecution.

The fact that there were no actual complaints filed of voter intimidation indicates that the effort was not very intimidating.

Posted by: Craig at September 2, 2010 06:48 AM

There was never any evidence of a widespread effort by the New Black Panther Party itself to conduct a voter intimidation campaign. The incident appears to have been an isolated effort by two New Black Panther members.

Nice attempt at a red herring, but that wasn't the charge. The charge was that specific Black Panthers attempted to intimidate specific voters at a specific location.

Insinuating that this is no big deal because there was no widespread effort is utterly beside the point (and the law).

The fact that there were no actual complaints filed of voter intimidation indicates that the effort was not very intimidating.

No, it doesn't. .

I'm not sure whether you breezily dismiss an actual case of voter intimidation because it is black on black crime rather than white on black crime or whether you breezily dismiss it because it involves Republicans in some fashion.

What I do know is that during the 2000 election a case investigated as a serious "attempt" at voter intimidation involved a vacant police car parked near a polling place.

No shit. Empty. That's what your party pushed as "voter intimidation". It was taken seriously and investigated.

You are citing the Justice Department's word that they declined to pursue injunctions as "evidence" that this was no big deal but the entire point of the story is that an internal whistleblower has testified that the Obama Justice dept. not only should not have dismissed the case but actively obstructed the efforts of the Civil Rights Commission to investigate their actions:

On the day President Obama was elected, armed men wearing the black berets and jackboots of the New Black Panther Party were stationed at the entrance to a polling place in Philadelphia. They brandished a weapon and intimidated voters and poll watchers. After the election, the Justice Department brought a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party and those armed thugs. I and other Justice attorneys diligently pursued the case and obtained an entry of default after the defendants ignored the charges. Before a final judgment could be entered in May 2009, our superiors ordered us to dismiss the case.

The New Black Panther case was the simplest and most obvious violation of federal law I saw in my Justice Department career. Because of the corrupt nature of the dismissal, statements falsely characterizing the case and, most of all, indefensible orders for the career attorneys not to comply with lawful subpoenas investigating the dismissal, this month I resigned my position as a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney.

But hey, it's far more reasonable to be intimidated by an empty police car than by 3 armed thugs threatening violence.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 2, 2010 07:40 AM

It obtained default judgements against all three. There was NEVER a trial or evidentiary hearing to prove the allegations, they were technically admitted by the default judgement.

There was no trial because the defendants failed to appear in federal court -- hence the default judgement. Saying there was never a trial is a nice attempt at misdirection -- the trial was scheduled, but the defendants were no-shows.

Now, when any defendant fails to appear in federal court, the prosecution usually asks for a bench warrant to be issued for said defendant's arrest. This wasn't done, and, in addition, despite receiving a default judgement against the defendants in this case, the prosecution *dropped the charges* with no further hearings -- over the objections of six career prosecutors, who were overruled by Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, an Obama appointee.

The Obama DOJ then pursued a final judgement and injunction against the one New Black Panther member clearly engaged in threatening actvity(the one with the nightstick). It declined to pursue injunctions against the other two, citing a lack of actual evidence to support the charges.

The Obama DoJ pursuit of "a final judgement and injunction" consisted solely of securing an agreement from him to refrain from carrying any deadly weapon in the vicinity of a polling place until 2012.

Posted by: BillT at September 2, 2010 09:29 AM

Since you are interested in facts, here are some:
The Bush DOJ declined to file CRIMINAL charges against the New Black Panther members for voter intimidation.
The Bush DOJ did file a CIVIL action.

Duh. *All* DoJ lawsuits for violation of the Voting Rights Act have been, by definition, civil suits.

It obtained default judgements against all three.

That wasn't Bush's DoJ any more -- additional affidavits were still being processed from witnesses in March, and the trial wasn't scheduled until May. And again, the default judgements were issued solely because the defendants failed to show up for trial.

Posted by: BillT at September 2, 2010 09:47 AM

The Obama DoJ pursuit of "a final judgement and injunction" consisted solely of securing an agreement from him to refrain from carrying any deadly weapon in the vicinity of a polling place until 2012.

I *knew* something was nagging me about what I wrote -- it's already illegal to carry a weapon within 100 feet of a polling place. The Obie DoJ not only declined to pursue the evidence of a *criminal* act (the video went viral in spring of 2009), but the only thing the "final judgement and injunction" did was secure his word that he wouldn't break the law *again* until 2012.

Posted by: BillT at September 2, 2010 10:04 AM

"...secure his word that he wouldn't break the law [in the vicinity of a polling place] *again* until 2012."

There, FIFY.
No tha ks ecessary.....umm, but I could use some more *n's*.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at September 2, 2010 10:14 AM

*bing-bonggg*

*click-unlatch-boltslide-click-thud-screeeeeeeeeeek*

"Pallet-load of ens for DL Sly. You his daughter, ma'am?"

Posted by: BillT at September 2, 2010 10:40 AM

The charge was that specific Black Panthers attempted to intimidate specific voters at a specific location.

No kidding. That was why the DOJ pursued an injunction against the guy with the nightstick.

What I do know is that during the 2000 election a case investigated as a serious "attempt" at voter intimidation involved a vacant police car parked near a polling place.

Yes, that complaint and others were investigated over a six-month period by the Bush U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, not the DOJ, beginning in January, 2001.

And J. Christian Adams is a well known Bushie and right-wing activist who has admitted to not having first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations.

Posted by: Craig at September 2, 2010 10:50 AM

No kidding. That was why the DOJ pursued an injunction against the guy with the nightstick.

He violated the law, and the Obie DoJ reaction was to require him to refrain from breaking the law again for three years. Since an injunction requires you to refrain from doing something that you're allowed to do in the first place, exactly how does the Obie DoJ qualify as an injunction?

And J. Christian Adams is a well known Bushie and right-wing activist who has admitted to not having first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations.

Anyone who is of conservative leanings is "a well-known Bushie and right-wing activist" according to your playbook, and you cite no reference for your statement that he has no "first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions" he has mentioned. And you are studiously ignoring the statements of the six DoJ prosecutors who agree with what he has said.

Posted by: BillT at September 2, 2010 01:17 PM

...that complaint and others were investigated over a six-month period by the Bush U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, not the DOJ, beginning in January, 2001.

Yes, and the U.S. Civil Rights commission tried to investigate the handling of the Black Panthers incident too. Unfortunately, the Obama administration refused to cooperate and ordered Justice dept. staff to ignore their subpoenas.

But according to Craig, that's not a problem. Unbelievable.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 2, 2010 01:33 PM

Pourquoi est cela si incroyable pour trouver un Gaucher sans honnêteté intellectuelle, chérie?

Posted by: BillT at September 2, 2010 02:55 PM

""Pallet-load of ens for DL Sly. You his daughter, ma'am?""

*cue blonde-headed, cherub-faced tween*
DLSly? Oh,that'smyMom.Arethoseforher? Dudethat'sareallybigbox.What'sinthere? Isitapuppy? She'sinthekitchen,I'llgo...Oooohh KITTY!!
*tween chases cat into hallway, leaving door wide open*

Posted by: DL Sly at September 2, 2010 06:15 PM

As far as "intellectual honesty" goes (in lib elite French, no less!), I'll leave it to Bush-appointed vice chair of the Republican-dominated U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Abigail Thernstrom to sum up who's being honest here:

"This doesn’t have to do with the Black Panthers; this has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration," said Thernstrom, who said members of the commission voiced their political aims "in the initial discussions" of the Panther case last year.

For more, read her July 27th article here:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/243545/yes-black-panther-case-small-potatoes-abigail-thernstrom

Posted by: Craig at September 3, 2010 08:12 AM

The notion that an inquiry into Justice Department handling could, in any way, "topple the Obama administration" only makes sense if one believes that such an inquiry would reveal wrongdoing.

Fortunately, if you're Craig you can lob stupid accusations like that without ever stopping to think about whether they even make sense. Who cares about enforcing the law? The important thing is protecting the administration.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 3, 2010 08:44 AM

The notion that an inquiry into Justice Department handling could, in any way, "topple the Obama administration" only makes sense if one believes that such an inquiry would reveal wrongdoing.

LOL!

My 13 year-old daughter fantasizes about marrying Justin Bieber. I guess that only makes sense if one believes that such a thing is possible.

Actually, the only reason they believe it could happen is because they know they can count on Faux News to broadcast that Obama's DOJ is racist relentlessly for months on end despite a dearth of actual evidence.

Posted by: Craig at September 3, 2010 11:00 AM

As far as "intellectual honesty" goes (in lib elite French, no less!),

I'm multilingual. It's not only part of my job requirement, it's a running joke here.

BTW, I've conducted more conversations in French with people on the right side of the political fence than with those on the left...

I'll leave it to Bush-appointed vice chair of the Republican-dominated U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Abigail Thernstrom to sum up who's being honest here:

She's not saying what you think she's saying. She agrees that voter intimidation occurred -- she only takes exception to the statements that it was the worst example of voter intimidation to occur in the US. Which was never the point under discussion.

You've also picked a poor example in Mizz Thernstrom to support your point:

"It strikes me as a somewhat overwrought characterization; while a stick or club may be a weapon, I think the word 'armed' usually connotes images of guns or knives in most peoples’ minds..."

Her interpretation is based merely on her personal feelings -- a nightstick is classified as a weapon in Pennsylvania, therefore someone carrying one is, by definition, armed.

Posted by: BillT at September 3, 2010 11:03 AM

From the article I cited (in vulgar english):


"There is certainly no direct or hard evidence of either an effective voter-suppression effort or Justice Department indifference to such cases."


"Nor is it established, McCarthy’s allegations to the contrary notwithstanding, that “voters
approaching the polls promptly turned around and left upon seeing the menacing Panthers stationed out front.” Over the course of the day, some witnesses noticed a few people who approached the polling place and then turned away — but the depositions and testimony heard at the Commission have failed to establish that any of the individuals in question were potential voters who had been frightened away. A picky little legal point, you might think, but the outcome of prosecutions can hinge on such distinctions."


"The Voting Rights Act has governed the conduct of the last eleven presidential elections, 22 congressional elections, and literally thousands of state and local elections. And yet there have been only three successful prosecutions of voter intimidation under Section 11 (b). Is it possible that nothing conceivably intimidating to prospective voters ever occurred in our vast country over such a long span of time? No. Clearly, it is not “quite easy” to prove voter intimidation, or else there surely would be a very different track record to examine."


"DOJ’s assistant attorney general for civil rights, Thomas Perez, testified before the Commission that DOJ was concerned that it could not meet the standard of proof required for these cases. That is a debatable proposition — but that was exactly Perez’s point: This is a judgment call that falls within DOJ’s discretion, not per se evidence of a policy of racial double standards."

Posted by: Craig at September 3, 2010 11:52 AM

First, you dispute the DoJ's actions by stating that J. Christian Adams, who was employed by the DoJ at the time, has no "first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing," and now you're using the statements of someone who isn't even connected with the DoJ, and who can't *possibly* have any first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions, to support your position.

Now, what were you saying about intellectual honesty?

By the way, has Mizz Thernstrom any opinion on the Doj's refusal to comply with her own commission's subpoenas for the relevant documents?

Posted by: BillT at September 3, 2010 12:57 PM

"DOJ’s assistant attorney general for civil rights, Thomas Perez, testified before the Commission that DOJ was concerned that it could not meet the standard of proof required for these cases."

They had affidavits -- sworn testimony -- from witnesses, including one from a Civil Rights attorney. They had a videotape of a confrontation and one of the participants was clearly violating the law against carrying a weapon in front of a polling place. And yet, the DoJ is concerned it can't meet the standard of proof?

Charlie Manson was prosecuted and convicted with less proof than that.

Posted by: BillT at September 3, 2010 01:07 PM

"Nor is it established, McCarthy’s allegations to the contrary notwithstanding, that “voters
approaching the polls promptly turned around and left upon seeing the menacing Panthers stationed out front.”

And that was not *established* because there was no trial.

And there was no trial because the defendants chose not to appear in court.

And because the defendants chose not to appear in court, they were found guilty by default.

And despite being found guilty by default, DoJ dropped the charges.

DoJ didn't *have* to prosecute the defendants any further, because the court determined that their actions were a tacit admission that they were guilty -- instead, DoJ withdrew the charges after the verdict had been rendered.

Posted by: BillT at September 3, 2010 01:17 PM

By the way, has Mizz Thernstrom any opinion on the Doj's refusal to comply with her own commission's subpoenas for the relevant documents?

I imagine her opinion is not one you would agree with since she voted against the CRC's motion to ask Congress for permission to sue the DOJ for failing to honor the CRC's subpeonas.

Posted by: Craig at September 3, 2010 02:17 PM

And that was not *established* because there was no trial.

It was not established because no voters filed any complaints of voter intimidation.

Posted by: Craig at September 3, 2010 02:22 PM

I imagine her opinion is not one you would agree with since she voted against the CRC's motion to ask Congress for permission to sue the DOJ for failing to honor the CRC's subpeonas.

Thus pretty well establishing which side of the political fence she's actually on.

It was not established because no voters filed any complaints of voter intimidation.

Nothing is ever "established" in the legal sense of the word until it has been admitted in evidence at a trial.

"Bartle Bull submitted an affidavit in U.S. v. New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, et al submitted into the record at the Judiciary Committee markup. Bull was an attorney poll observer in Philadelphia on November 4, 2008."

Frank Wolf, senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, stated “I am deeply disappointed that Judiciary Committee defeated my resolution of inquiry on a party-line vote. There has been no oversight, no accountability and certainly no transparency with regard to this attorney general and this Department of Justice.

“After ignoring my seven letters over seven months and failing to comply with subpoenas issued by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the attorney general continues to thwart all efforts to compel an explanation for the dismissal of U.S. v. New Black Panther Party.”

Voter affidavits were among the documents that the CRC subpoenaed and DoJ refused to produce.

Posted by: BillT at September 3, 2010 03:00 PM

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