In a surprise move, the Obama Justice Department filed suit today against the State of Michigan and Macomb County for prosecuting a Washington Township man for bank robbery, under its controversial and tough bank robbery statute.
Scott Edward Berry, 38, was arraigned in May in Macomb County District Court, after being arrested by the county Sheriff.
"Bank robbery is a federal crime," Holder said in his press conference. "We can't have states just making up their own laws about this serious federal matter."
The federal lawsuit further noted that if states are left up to their own devices to prosecute bank robbery, that it could "place an undue burden on the federal government."
"We are concentrating on robberies in which guys accompanied by women in red dresses shoot up the bank with Tommy guns," Holder pointed out. "If local cops take it upon themselves to arrest every bank robber who walks into a bank with just a threatening note, it will clog up the system and create chaos."
Possibly because Berry is white, the lawsuit contained no reference to racial profiling, though Holdersaid the Justice Department is watching Michigan—and particularly Macomb County—carefully, and a follow up lawsuit on that basis is possible.
"Michigan has a history of racist legislation," Holder alleged. "In 2006, the people of the state adopted a constitutional amendment outlawing affirmative action by any institution that receives state funding—including colleges and universities. That effort was organized by a Macomb County legislator named Leon Drolett. Therefore, we will monitor the situation to make sure that enough white bank robbers are arrested while we are working to overturn the law."
Michigan's Canadian-born Governor Jennifer Granholm was surprised by the move, but says she understands. "This federal/state jurisdiction thing can get very confusing," she admitted. "And it just goes to show how racist practice of outlawing the consideration of race in hiring and college admission can give a state a big black eye—oops, I mean damage its progressive reputation."
The Detroit News reports that Barry was, indeed, a non-violent offender:
But federal officials say that the fact that Berry turned himself in, does not absolve the Macomb County Sheriff or the State of Michigan. "Many times the fact of one's immigration status is revealed to authorities in an act of inadvertent self-reporting," Holder pointed out, "And we do not want local authorities to intervene in that area, either."
Whenever the budget becomes a potent political issue, liberals target two areas in the defense budget–military demonstration teams, and weapons that assure America's future dominance.
Lately, conservatives have started to join that bandwagon, to show they are not reflexively against defense cuts. This is a mistake.
The pride and patriotism stirred by the Blue Angels pays an irreplaceable dividend– and that is why liberals want to cut it. To Barack Obama is the military is a necessary evil, not something to be glorified and cheered by thrilled audiences.
This 4th of July, both were on awesome display at the Traverse City Air Show, kicking off the northern Michigan city's Cherry Festival, as one of the opening acts for the famed Blue Angels flight team was an F-22 Raptor doing a solo show off of its capabilities.
As the F-22 stood on its tail at low altitude and rocked into a straight up climb and disappeared from view in a few seconds, I understood why the Russians and Chinese would want the project scuttled. It was less clear why the United States Congress would halt a program whose costs are about 90% already incurred.
As for the Blue Angels, I talked to people who were thrilled as much by the fact that the pilots mixed with the people the day before the show, taking pictures with kids, signing autographs and being personal ambassadors for the United States Navy. However, here is just a sampling of the real event, the display of power and skill that made everyone wish they were crack Navy pilots for a thrilling hour yesterday.
All photos by David Forsmark
What "isn't like a John Wayne movie"is what the pontificators describe as "a John Wayne movie."
It's become the new cliche. Every Memorial Day, a teacher/historian/columnist or such has to think of something to say, and inevitably we hear a phrase something like, "War is not like a John Wayne movie." OK, but who the heck ever said war was like a John Wayne movie? Life is not like many movies. Even movies that are based on real, heavily documented events – Titanic, for one – don't hold up well to close scrutiny. So why pick on John Wayne?
If you want to choose an example of what war is not like, this seems a curious place to start. Is war less like Sands of Iwo Jima or They Were Expendable than other movies? Hardly. Both movies depict selfless heroism by American forces in World War II, but what's wrong with that? They also are pretty unflinching in the portrayal of the heavy price GIs paid for their service.
Even in the more propaganda-minded movies the Duke starred in – The Fighting Seabees, Flying Tigers and the extremely well done Back to Bataan – there was none of the Schwarzenegger stand-in-plain-view-and-mow-down-scores- of-the-bad-guys-with-a-machine-gun-in-each-hand nonsense. In fact, it was the main characters – and sometimes Wayne's – who were dropping like flies.
Even the first major Western Wayne made after the war, John Ford's masterful "Fort Apache," was an indictment of arrogance in the face of the enemy and martinet-style military leadership.
(This tendency to downgrade Wayne in this way also extends to these critics when they discuss the West, "It wasn't like a John Wayne movie," they feel obligated to point out. But Wayne's "Hondo" showed great respect for the American Indian way of life well before "Dances With Wolves," and "The Searchers" presents a much more complex view of the Indian wars than current politically correct history.)
What "isn't like a John Wayne movie"is what the pontificators describe as "a John Wayne movie."
So why pick on Wayne? First, we have this postmodern tendency to tear down anyone whose reputation gets too big. This makes even the most important (and possibly most heroic) figure of the last millennium, George Washington, a target.
But more likely, Wayne is still paying for The Green Berets, his heavy-handed pro-Vietnam War flick of 1968. But even here, war is hardly portrayed as cartoonish fun.
I think what REALLY outraged critics about The Green Beretswas how the cynical journalist played by the under-appreciated David Janssen gets an education about the true nature of the Communist enemy.
Besides, Special Forces veterans will tell you the movie is no less realistic – or propagandistic – than Oliver Stone's Platoon.
No death scene in any John Wayne movie is as unrealistic as this one from Platoon
Why don't any of the boomer-aged critics ever point out that war is also not very much likeApocalypse Now?
And every Iraq veteran I've talked to doesn't think it's much like The Hurt Locker, either.
An even less precise blanket indictment is, "War is not like OLD war movies." Really? Like The Best Years of Our Lives? How about Twelve O'Clock High? Both were made in the 1940s, and both focused on the high price of war.
Look, there have been more and less realistic war movies made during every era of film making. It's worth noting that critics now seem to find "realism" in "anti-war" films– and vice versa. I've seen Blackhawk Down and Saving Private Ryan described as "anti-war." Why? Probably because movie critics of a certain age think they can only praise a movie if it has that label– and because they labor under the delusion that young men will only volunteer for combat units if they think it's a big fun easy adventure.
Truth be told, war is most "not like" newer post-John Waye action movies. It wasn't until the 1960s that major Hollywood films began portraying World War II as an adventure, and it is the newest crop of action heroes who easily kill dozens of the bad guys with one burst of a machine gun.
Worst of all, they even seem to get sadistic pleasure out of it, a reaction that would have horrified John Wayne.
True, war may not be like a John Wayne movie. But it's a heck of a lot less like a Sylvester Stallone or Matt Damon movie.
Liberals like to accuse Ronald Reagan of confusing facts with the movies. But Baby Boomer liberals constantly define situations by movies. Chris Matthews was recently warning about "Seven Days in May" coming true, spinning some wild conspiracy theory about the military and the Tea Party.
But as he got excited about the BP oil spill, Chris went so far off the reality track that he was lucky his guest was the Rev. Jim Wallis, a man too polite– or too stupid– to laugh in his face:
Really, THIS is your plan?
Uhhh, maybe they aren't down there because the pressure at that depth would crush the hull of even our deepest diving Seawolf submarine like an egg, you ninny! Frogmen? Really? A mile down?
Hey, Chis, aren't you the guy who asked Mike Pence if he'd ever taken a biology class? (Click NewsRealBlog link above for video)
Yep, you are. So, the question must be asked– did your Catholic elementary school teach Physical Science? Did the high school teach Physics? You'd get a ruler to the knuckles for this one, son, if you were trying it on the religious leaders who tried to educate you.
Latter, Wallis tried to talk "science" with Chris, but it turns out his faith in politicized science is a bigger leap that the one he purports to have in the Gospel.
Note that Wallis does not correct Matthews' absolute stupidity about water pressure at the bottom over the ocean, but they are both convinced about man-made Global Warming, even though climate is so complex that scientists can't be sure about TOMORROW'S weather.
Here's the full quote from Matthews Nemo outburst:
Right, dumping dirt off the side of a ship and having it fall a MILE through WATER wouldn't dilute and disperse it beyond all use… It's really getting hard to tell the real Chris Matthews from the Darrell Hammond Saturday Night Live caricature.
This all started Monday, as Chris interviewed environmental writers Abrahm Lustgarten of Propublica and Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones, who were practically members of the Club for Growth compared to Chris's rants, (which included the possibility of excecuting BP's CEO like the Chinese would) and when they tried to talk scientific reality to him, he let them have it.
And the next night to Salon's equally loopy Joan Walsh:
Either NBC News has no one in their crack research staff who can talk sense in to Chris Matthews, or are unaware of the problem, because they aren't watching– just like the rest of America.
Maybe now that Olbermann seems to be phoning it in, Chris figures there's an open niche at MSNBC for Resident Lunatic.
In every bit of polling I've seen this year, anyone trying to appeal to white, middle aged or older Catholic voters (the "religious bitter gunners" of Pennsylvania fame) needs distance from Barack Obama.
Congressman Joe Sestak got a lot of attention for saying that the White House tried to buy him out of the Democrat primary against Arlen Specter by offering him a job. White House mouthpiece Robert Gibbs's rather lame line of defense today was "trust us, nothing happened."
Political observers can be forgiven for jumping to the conclusion that this is more evidence of "the Chicago Way."
But Sestak has every incentive to make up this story.
And there are also reasons to doubt that the White House would be this ham-handed, or that the allegations are true.
If I were advising Pat Toomey, I would tell him to cast doubt on Sestak's truthfulness and his motives—or at least find some surrogates to do it– until he comes clean. There is only ONE reason why he cannot come clean about the details in point 3 above.
If it never happened.
Chris Matthews can't let simple laws of physics get in the way of a good rant this week. After calling for the execution of BP execs for not putting men on the ocean floor, he tried to make the oil spill a religious issue with the Rev. Jim Wallis, the liberal evangelical flavor of the month and Obama apologist. (click NewsReal link above for video)
That was the closest Rev. Wallis got to scripture, then he immediately went to pure psychobabble:
Right, and I'm sure Jim Wallis got to the solar and wind powered Hardball studio on his bicycle or by rickshaw… Why don't you try to function without your apparent food addiction, Jim. Or your oxygen addiction—then you would create less carbon dioxide!
Chris and Jim then went into a discussion of Glenn Beck's criticism of Christians who worship at the altar of Global Warming, with the two men affirming their absolute faith in the "science" of Global Warming, and Wallis playing the old stewardship saw again.
Uh huh. This happened right after Mr. Wizard Matthews once again wondered why nuclear submarines weren't "down there" like "Captain Nemo" on the ocean floor with soldering irons—and Wallis was too ignorant to argue with him.
Speaking of science fiction, Chris went all week without his crack staff at MSNBC explaining to him that people cannot operate in mile deep ocean, that it's more than TWICE the depth that our deepest water nuclear submarine can operate at… but we will get into the fact tomorrow that Chris, who constantly mocks conservatives who think God had a hand in creation or aren't sure about the junk science of global warming can't do simple water pressure calculations.
Then Wallis, who trumpets himself as a unifier of Christians around public moral principles, allowed Matthews to make a demagogic and almost deranged statement about the beliefs of Christians who believe in economic freedom:
Actually, Chris NO ONCE BELIEVES THAT. But Wallis let the slander against his fellow believers stand:
But of course, he never talks about Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And I bet Glenn, Rush, Bill and even Sean know that you can't send frogmen with soldering irons a mile deep to the ocean floor…
Sounds like the Gospel of Al and Barack to me.
Apparently former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn isn't the only Obama admirer with an affinity for Maoist methodology.
On Hardball Monday night, Chris Matthews began a week long rant about the BP oil spill that had him calling for the imprisonment of the whole BP board, possibly their execution, and for the President to nationalize the oil industry.
Environmental activist writers Abrahm Lustgarten of Propublica and Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones were left gasping for air (Click the NewsReal link above for video) as Matthews vociferously displayed an appalling ignorance of anything having to do with reality.
Later, Matthews spun a wild, completely illogical conspiracy theory as to why the leak has not been fixed yet. Matthews' complete lack of a grip on reality continued to befuddle his guests, who patiently tried to explain to Chris that a mile deep in the ocean is an impossible environment. (more on this in a future post)
In fact, after Lustgarten and Sheppard, who are incidentally both completely AGAINST offshore drilling, tried to talk reality to Chris, he burst out:
A few nights later, Chris was still frothing, going even farther in condemning the company than Salon's Joan Walsh was willing to go, as she conceded she thought that everyone, including the company, was doing their best to contain the oil leak.
Later, Matthews went on another tirade to Walsh, which could be construed as another recommendation for a death sentence to BP execs– except it is blatantly obvious that Matthews is too stupid to know that humans have never operated at more than 2,000 feet down, much less 5,000.
Matthews has been thoroughly radicalized since the election of Obama, first with the Wall Street meltdown, and now his apocalyptic vision of an oil well that is about to ruin the East Coast forever. Here is his real point:
Sure, Chris, socialist countries never have environmental disasters…
For the lamestream media today, the top legal story is that NFL Hall of Famer and all around moral idiot Lawrence Taylor has been arrested for rape. At ABC News, a story that all-time bad movie Troll 2 has a devoted fan base makes their news home page. On MSNBC, mother/daughter plastic surgery recipients are a big story; while at CBS, among their top legal stories is the fact that owners of noisy dogs can face $100 fines.
But if you want to hear the great news that Matthew McCabe, the last of three Navy SEALs court-martialed for giving a terrorist leader a "fat lip" was acquitted, well, you'll get nothing more than the standard AP report.
Why? Because Americans who hear the story do not think well of a Commander-in-Chief who let this go forward.
At Fox, Brett Baier bumped several stories in order to secure a live interview with McCabe, who was fresh from the trial, and interrupted the broadcast as the verdict came out, as Breaking News. (click Newsreal link above for video)
McCabe, without a trace of bitterness, described himself as "Ridiculously happy right now.
Once again, the prosecution made the disgusting argument that convicting Navy SEALs over an alleged fat lip – an accusation based solely on a mass murderer's testimony – would be the sign that "we are better than the terrorists." Right, a slap in the face that apparently never occurred is the same thing as ambushing people, dragging their bodies through the street, burning the corpses and hanging them from a bridge. Or, as we saw only a few days ago, as setting car bombs to kill innocent civilians. Right.
McCabe, for his part, refused to be anything but upbeat about both the process and the verdict, saying that "it was in the best interest of everyone," that things happened as they did.
Perhaps. And while it's refreshing to hear this young hero say that he and his mates are "getting on" with their careers, and he "never wants to think about it again," this should give us pause.
In his book, Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell relates how the SEAL team worried about legal repercussions at a critical part of their mission, and that their actions after that led to the circumstances that killed all but one of their team, and a helicopter filled with would-be rescuers.
And the issue Luttrell was dealing with had to do with killing in cold blood. If SEALs and other American warriors know in the back of their minds that a fat lip on a bad guy can get them a 6 month legal battle, it's hard to see how that's a good thing for their effectiveness.
This decision, thankfully, did not cost these fine young men their careers. That's great. However, the process could still cost American lives – and that should worry all of us.
For 40 years the "Southern Strategy" has been a staple of liberal political history. The story goes that Republicans under Nixon got tough on crime in order to appeal to racist white Southerners– who apparently would have been okay with rising rape and murder rates as long as rednecks were the primary suspects.
But now, Obama and the Democrats are doing precisely what they accuse (mostly dead) Republicans of having done. They are deliberately picking a fight over immigration reform and fanning fears of cops stopping people for LWL–Living While Latino– in order to fire up the base and make Hispanic voters afraid to vote Republican.
Harry Reid is blatantly pushing for the issue because he needs Latino voters to show up in droves for him to have any chance of winning; and Obama would love to have the issue for the next 2 years, if need be, to help with his re-election– though he'd MUCH rather have 12 million new voters!
The President was pretty open about it: (Click NewsReal link above for the video)
Yep, notice anyone missing? Kind of openly cutting somebody out. Hmmm who could it be?
So much for the post-racial President.
Hoping to gain attention for his failing sitcom, Countdown, Left Cable's biggest mouth, Keith Olbermann regularly makes outrageous charges against hosts with (way) bigger ratings, hoping to draw them into a fight and get his little program some attention.
Not for the first time, Olbermann took on Rush Limbaugh, who steadfastly refuses to give the MSNBC ranter the audience he craves by responding. Olbermann tried something that got Bill Clinton slapped around in the wake of Oklahoma City:
When Bill Clinton trotted this chestnut out in 1995, the public reaction immediately made him backtrack and weasel his way out of it by insisting he didn't mean Limbaugh, but fringe ham radio operators. (click NewsRealBlog link above for video)
Ironically, Game Change author John Heilemann made the point Olbermann objects to on the Chris Matthews Show– while accusing Limbaugh of seditious behavior!
Don't hold your breath waiting for Keith to be outraged by Heilemann. Keith Olbermann knows Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were not Dittoheads. But staying within the bounds of reason won't get him quoted on higher rated programs.
I would quote one of Keith's heroes by asking, "Sir, have you no shame?" But that would define wasting my breath.