Search This Blog

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Howard Dean on the Coulter-Berkeley Controversy: The First Amendment Doesn't Protect 'Hate Speech,' You Know

Guy Benson

This man was the governor of a state, a leading presidential candidate, and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and he evidently (and wrongly) believes that the Constitution doesn't protect "hate speech" -- a term of art that is by its very nature subjective. In fact, the Constitution protects nearly all speech, with extremely limited exceptions.  In response to the disgraceful flare-up over Ann Coulter's scheduled appearance at Berkeley, a New York Times writer dug up and highlighted one of her more inflammatory jokes, the proper response to which is: Okay, so what?  I don't find it especially funny at all, and I fully understand why someone at the Times would take offense, but it's quite clearly protected speech.  But not according toAngry McDeanScream:


Again, yes it is.  And the standard by which we test and uphold the American value of free speech is how we safeguard people's right to engage in unpopular speech.  And Dean may want to rethink his position on this issue.  As numerous people pointed out on Twitter, in the not too distant past, Dean was suggesting (joking?) that perhaps Donald Trump was a cocaine user.  I'm sure many Trump supporters would argue that this was slanderous and hateful trolling.  Under Dean's restrictive view of the First Amendment, is it time to lock him up?  No place for H8, etc.  In fact, Dean and other pro-censorship puritans scolds are at least bordering on justifying threats of violence and mob rule to shut down speech to which they strongly object.  But again, be careful what you wish for, leftists -- a point made succinctly by David Burge in a delightfully simple formulation that we've showcased before:


Resist and ban hate speech! Interesting. Would you like President Trump and Attorney General Sessions to decide what qualifies? Oh, you would not? Okay, that's sort of the point.  After Dean dashed off his Coulter tweet, conservative writer Ben Shapiro blasted the hard Left's selective, ideologically-self-serving hostility to the First Amendment:


Hyperbole? Perhaps. But many Democrats have habitually demonstrated their disdain for religious freedom and speech protections when they conflict with their secular-statist governing project. Senate Democrats proposed amending the First Amendment to curtail political speech in 2014, and the Obama administration fought Catholic nuns in federal court to try to force them to facilitate the purchase of birth control products that violate the tenets of their faith. The Constitution acts as an indispensable buffer against the ruling party's excesses, which often proves frustrating to coercive Statists.  But on a purely transactional, ends-justify-the-means level, is Shapiro right?  Allahpundit reminds us of a 2015 YouGov survey in which members of one political persuasion -- and only one -- strongly supported making "hate speech" a criminal offense:


Democrats were in favor of this form of (easily abused) government censorship by a two-to-one margin, while Republicans and independents broke against the idea.  I wonder how these results might shift if a new survey asked whether the Trump administration should be allowed to criminalize speech deemed to be hateful toward Christians, white people, or heterosexuals.  Democrats may suddenly lose their appetite for federally-enforced gag orders -- and I fear that some Republicans may abruptly experience an unexpected surge in enthusiasm for authoritarian.  Partisan tribalism is one hell of a drug.

Census Data Paints Bleak Picture for Unemployed, Minorities, Millennials

Census Data Paints Bleak Picture for Unemployed, Minorities, Millennials

Friday - April 21, 2017

RUSH: The Washington Free Beacon has another report on the U.S. Census. I think this is Census data. Anyway, here’s the upshot. In one out of every five families, 20% of American families, there’s not a single person working. I guess the numbers would make sense if you run those numbers against food stamps, unemployment, Social Security, disability. It probably makes sense.

No family member was employed in 16 million U.S. families last year or 19.6% of families, according to data, it’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 1995, 18.8% of families had nobody working. The percentage peaked at 20.2% in 2011. It’s been steadily declining. Black and Hispanic families remain more likely to have an unemployed member in the family than white or Asian families. Not a real surprise there.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: From NBC News of all places: “Most Millennials Are Finding it Hard to Transition into Adulthood.” More Census news here. “In 1975, only 25% of men 25 to 34 had incomes less than $30,000. By 2016, 41% of young men earned less than $30,000 a year.” You put this together with Millennial women claiming to be ashamed and embarrassed if they earn more than their boyfriends or spouses. “Trouble transitioning to adulthood.” I wonder why that might be. We should discuss this further.

Longtime close Hillary aide confirms physicalsymptoms of Trump Derangement Syndrome widespread among Beltway journalists

President Trump: Seriously vs. Literally

Trump’s Budget Chief Says Money for Border Wall a Must


Budget Director Mick Mulvaney speaks about President Donald Trump's budget proposal for the coming fiscal year during daily press briefing at the White House, in Washington, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Money for the wall President Donald Trump wants to build along the U.S. border with Mexico must be part of the massive spending bill Congress is preparing, the White House budget director says.

Additional funding also must be included to hire more immigration agents, Mick Mulvaney told The Associated Press in an interview in which he laid out the top priorities of the president.

Lawmakers hope to unveil the catchall spending bill next week. Democratic negotiators are likely to resist providing the down payment that Mulvaney says Trump wants for construction of the wall, but the former GOP congressman from South Carolina adds that “elections have consequences.”

Mulvaney also said the administration is open, though undecided, about a key Democratic demand that the measure pay for cost-sharing payments to insurance companies that help low-income people afford health policies under the Affordable Care Act.

The $1 trillion-plus legislation is leftover business from last year’s election-season gridlock and would cover the operating budgets of every Cabinet department except for Veterans Affairs.

Talks on the measure have hit a rough patch as a deadline to avert a government shutdown looms late next week. Trump’s presidency is approaching the symbolic 100-day mark, but his GOP allies in Congress have been tempering expectations that the president would emerge as a big winner.

Democratic votes are likely to be needed to pass whatever bill emerges from the talks, and Senate Democrats could bottle it up entirely if they object to provisions that they deem to be “poison pills” -- such as the money for the wall. Trump campaigned for president on the promise of building the wall and sticking Mexico with the tab.

GOP leaders on Capitol Hill are eager to avert a shutdown, and the slow pace may make it necessary to enact another temporary spending bill to avert a shutdown next weekend. Mulvaney’s hard line could foreshadow a protracted impasse and increases the chances of a government shutdown.

“A shutdown is never a desired end and neither is it a strategy,” Mulvaney said.

Democrats are confident that Republicans, controlling both House and Senate, would bear the blame for any shutdown, even as Democrats wield power in the talks.

“We have the leverage and they have the exposure,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told fellow Democrats on a Thursday conference call, according to a senior Democratic aide.

Mulvaney said the White House delivered an offer to negotiators Wednesday night, with funding for the border wall a top demand. Other items on the White House priority list, Mulvaney said, are a $30 billion request for a cash infusion for the military and a controversial provision to give the administration greater latitude to deny certain federal grants to “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement by federal authorities.

“We want wall funding. We want (immigration) agents. Those are our priorities,” Mulvaney said. “We know there are a lot of people on the Hill, especially in the Democratic Party, who don’t like the wall, but they lost the election. And the president should, I think, at least have the opportunity to fund one of his highest priorities in the first funding bill under his administration.”

He said the wall is “something that’s a tremendous priority for us and that clearly was a seminal issue in the 2016 presidential race.” In spite of Trump’s promise, the cost of a border wall, expected to exceed $20 billion, would likely be borne by taxpayers. And some Republicans are opposed to the wall as well, instead preferring to spend more on technologies such as sensors and drone aircraft to beef up border security.

Democrats have taken a hard line against any money for the border wall and insist that the measure include the “Obamacare” payments to insurance companies.

At issue are cost-sharing payments that are a key subsidy under the health care law to help low-income people enrolled through the law’s insurance marketplaces with their out-of-pocket expenses. Trump has threatened to withhold the payments as a means to force Democrats to negotiate on health care legislation.

The cost-sharing payments are the subject of a lawsuit by House Republicans, and Trump threatened in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week to drop the payments, which experts warn would severely disrupt Obamacare’s marketplaces.

Mulvaney said the White House isn’t enthusiastic about Democratic demands on the Obamacare payments but is open to them as part of a broader agreement.

“The president has been quoted several times and said he’s inclined not to make them and I can’t tell you that I’m interested in dissuading him from that position,” Mulvaney said. “That being said, if it’s important enough to the Democrats, we’d be happy to talk to them about including that in sort of some type of compromise.”

Added Mulvaney: “If Democrats are interested and serious about compromise and negotiation, the ball is in their court.”

“Everything had been moving smoothly until the administration moved in with a heavy hand,” countered Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Not only are Democrats opposed to the wall, there is significant Republican opposition as well.”

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



Read More Here

Justice Depart. Intensifies Warning to Sanctuary Cities


Sessions border visit

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration intensified its threats to crack down on so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration authorities, warning nine jurisdictions Friday that they may lose coveted law enforcement grant money unless they document cooperation.

It sent letters to officials in California and major cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and New Orleans, all places the Justice Department’s inspector general has identified as limiting the information local law enforcement can provide to federal immigration authorities about those in their custody.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has warned that the administration will punish communities that refuse to cooperate with efforts to find and deport immigrants in the country illegally. But some of the localities remained defiant, despite risking the loss of funds that police agencies use to pay for everything from body cameras to bulletproof vests.

“(Bay Area) officials seemed more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next” Justice Department

“We’re not going to cave to these threats,” Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic said, promising a legal fight if the money is pulled.

Playing off Sessions’ recent comments that sanctuary cities undermine the fight against gangs, the Justice Department said the communities under financial threat are “crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime.”

After a raid led to the arrests of 11 MS-13 gang members in California’s Bay Area “city officials seemed more concerned with reassuring illegal immigrants that the raid was unrelated to immigration than with warning other MS-13 members that they were next,” the department said in a statement.

The federal law in question says state and local governments may not prohibit police or sheriffs from sharing information about a person’s immigration status with federal authorities.

The money could be withheld in the future, or terminated, if local officials fail to prove they are following the law, wrote Alan R. Hanson, acting head of the Office of Justice Programs. The grant program is the leading source of federal justice funding to states and local communities.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly threatened additional consequences for local police that don’t deliver people in custody, saying the alternative is immigration agents searching neighborhoods.

“Ideally the best place for us to pick up these illegal criminals is in jails and prisons,” Kelly said at a news conference with Sessions in San Diego, next to a border fence topped with razor wire. “If they don’t do that, then we have to go into neighborhoods. We have to go into courthouses. We have to go wherever we can find them and apprehend them.”

Leaders in Chicago and Cook County, which shared a grant of more than $2.3 million in 2016, dismissed the threat. So did the mayor’s office in New York City, which received $4.3 million. The Justice Department singled out Chicago’s rise in homicides and said New York’s gang killings were the “predictable consequence of the city’s soft-on-crime stance.”

New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the “soft on crime” statement made his blood boil.

“To say we’re soft on crime is absolutely ludicrous,” O’Neill said.

He said his police department, by far the nation’s largest, locked up more than 1,000 people in 100 gang takedowns last year. “Maybe we should ask them if we’re soft on crime,” he said.

The jurisdictions also include Clark County, Nevada; Miami-Dade County, Florida; and Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

They were singled out in a May 2016 report by the Justice Department’s inspector general that found local policies or rules could interfere with providing information to immigration agents. Following the report, the Obama administration warned cities that they could miss out on grant money if they did not comply with the law, but it never actually withheld funds.

The report pointed to a Milwaukee County rule that immigration detention requests be honored only if the person has been convicted of one felony or two misdemeanors, has been charged with domestic violence or drunken driving, is a gang member, or is on a terrorist watch list, among other constraints.

It also took issue with a New Orleans Police Department policy that it said might hinder communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That city received nearly $266,000 in grant money through the program in fiscal year 2016. New Orleans has used Justice Department funding to pay for testing DNA kits, police body cameras, attorneys for domestic violence victims and other expenses.

Zach Butterworth, Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s executive counsel and director of federal relations, said the city drafted its policies in consultation with federal immigration and Homeland Security officials. It was reviewing the Justice Department’s letter.

“We don’t think there’s a problem,” he said.

___

Associated Press writers Michael Kunzelman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Ivan Moreno in Milwaukee; Sophia Tareen in Chicago; Karen Matthews in New York; Amy Taxin in Santa Ana, California; Elliot Spagat in San Diego; and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 



Read More Here

North Korea Warns China Of "Catastrophic Consequences" For Siding With U.S.


Having repeatedly threatened the annihilation of its neightbor to the south, and most recently warning of a "super-mighty preemptive strike" against the US, one day after it emerged that Pyongyang appeared to have resumed activity at its Punggye-ri Nuclear test site, North Korea asked China not to step up anti-North sanctions, warning of "catastrophic consequences" in their bilateral relations.

Pyongyang issued the warning through commentary written by a person named Jong Phil on its official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which was released Saturday.

As South Korea's Yonhap news agency writes, it's rare for Pyongyang's media to level criticism at Beijing, though the KCNA didn't directly mention China in the commentary titled "Are you good at dancing to the tune of others" and dated Friday. The commentary instead called the nation at issue "a country around the DPRK," using North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"Not a single word about the U.S. act of pushing the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a war after introducing hugest-ever strategic assets into the waters off the Korean peninsula is made but such rhetoric as 'necessary step' and 'reaction at decisive level' is openly heard from a country around the DPRK to intimidate it over its measures for self-defense," the commentary's introduction in English read.

"Particularly, the country is talking rubbish that the DPRK has to reconsider the importance of relations with it and that it can help preserve security of the DPRK and offer necessary support and aid for its economic prosperity, claiming the latter will not be able to survive the strict 'economic sanctions' by someone."

Then, the KCNA commentary warned that the neighbor country will certainly face a catastrophe in their bilateral relationship, as long as it continues to apply economic sanctions together with the United States.

"If the country keeps applying economic sanctions on the DPRK while dancing to the tune of someone after misjudging the will of the DPRK, it may be applauded by the enemies of the DPRK, but it should get itself ready to face the catastrophic consequences in the relations with the DPRK," it said.

North Korea watchers here say the commentary appears to be Pyongyang's response after Chinese experts and media have recently called for escalating sanctions against the North, including the suspension of oil exports, in case of its sixth nuclear test.

An angry and provocative op-ed slamming what until recently was considered North Korea's shadow advocate in the region, suggests a level of growing desperation at the top echelons of NK's government, and hints that Kim Jong-Un is even more irrational and unpredictable than "normal."



Read More Here