Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Eric Holder’
December 3rd, 2014 at 2:41 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Eric Holder’s Plan to End Racial Profiling
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

September 30th, 2014 at 7:25 pm
HHS’ Burwell Caught Low-Balling Congress on Cost of Healthcare.gov

A new report by Bloomberg Government indicates that Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), gave a potentially misleading answer when she told Congress that Healthcare.gov – the federal government’s ObamaCare portal – cost taxpayers $834 million to build.

Nicole Kaeding at the CATO Institute teases out some of the unstated, but related, costs that balloon the overall price tag to $2.14 billion, far north of Burwell’s testimony.

I’ve summarized them here as bullet points:

  • $300 million contract to process paper applications to serve as backups to electronic files
  • $387 million for real-time interfacing between the IRS and Healthcare.gov to verify income and family size for insurance subsidy calculations
  • $400 million in accounting tricks HHS used to pay for creating Healthcare.gov when 26 states refused to take federal start-up grants to build their own. Congress made no appropriations to build Healthcare.gov, so HHS shifted money from other units to fund the project.
  • $255 million in spending between February 2014 – the end of Burwell’s timeline – and August 20, 2014, the most recent information available. Bloomberg also included projected spending at current levels through September 30, 2014, the end of the fiscal year.

These are the kinds of expenses that Members of Congress would expect the HHS Secretary to include when testifying about full cost of a program. The fact that Burwell gave a low-ball estimate when these figures were easily accessible to her or her staff weakens her credibility as an honest broker of information. As her departing colleague Eric Holder knows, once Congress loses its ability to trust a Cabinet official, the gloves come off.

September 29th, 2014 at 9:50 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Holder Resigns
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

September 25th, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Eric Holder’s Legacy at DOJ: Not Enforcing the Law

Eric Holder, the controversial face of the Obama Justice Department, is stepping down as United States Attorney General.

The timing seems odd. If Democrats lose control of the U.S. Senate in this year’s midterm elections – a very likely prospect – it will be impossible for President Barack Obama to win confirmation for a replacement as polarizing as Holder.

That would be a good thing for the Republic.

Among the many blemishes on Holder’s tenure as AG – such as the Fast and Furious scandal, his unprecedented Contempt of Congress citation, his failed attempt to prosecute the 9/11 conspirators in a civil court instead of a military tribunal – it’s the so-called “legacy” actions Holder took that should give observers the most pause.

According to NPR, “Holder most wants to be remembered for his record on civil rights: refusing to defend a law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman; suing North Carolina and Texas over voting restrictions that disproportionately affect minorities and the elderly; launching 20 investigations of abuses by local police departments; and using his bully pulpit to lobby Congress to reduce prison sentences for nonviolent drug crimes. Many of those sentences disproportionately hurt minority communities.”

Notice what’s missing?

Only one achievement on the list actually enforces the law. (And even this area, prosecuting allegedly abusive local police departments, tells us a lot since it’s directed at cops and not, say, verified abuses by the New Black Panthers.)

Everything else – from refusing to defend a traditional marriage statute to playing a prison reform lobbyist – are actions designed to undermine the law as written.

Eric Holder shouldn’t worry. His legacy is clear. His will be remembered as the time when activism replaced lawyering and the rule of law suffered.

Hopefully, it’s not the start of a trend.

August 26th, 2014 at 7:57 pm
DOJ: We Have Lois Lerner’s “Lost” Emails

Apparently, you can lie to Congress but not to Judicial Watch.

The conservative watchdog organization is publicizing an admission by the Department of Justice that government officials can access emails reportedly lost in a hard drive crash.

The messages – correspondence to and from former IRS manager Lois Lerner – have been sought by congressional investigators seeking more information about the agency’s targeting of conservative advocacy groups filing for tax-exempt status.

In sworn testimony, IRS officials have told members of Congress that thousands of emails sent from Lerner’s government account could not be retrieved because a back-up system had also been erased.

But now attorneys at the DOJ are singing a different tune.

“Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said Justice Department lawyers informed him that the federal government keeps a back-up copy of every email and record in the event of a government-wide catastrophe,” reports the Washington Examiner.

That includes Lerner’s IRS emails.

But don’t expect them to be produced anytime soon. The DOJ is claiming that the newly revealed back-up system would be “too onerous to search,” but did say that Treasury Department inspectors are looking into it.

While the litigators wrangle, we’re left with yet more evidence that the Obama administration doesn’t mind playing fast and loose with the truth – even under oath.

The House of Representatives already voted back in May to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify; making her the second administration official after Attorney General Eric Holder to receive such a dishonor.

If it’s true that top IRS brass lied under oath to Congress about the whereabouts of Lerner’s potentially damaging emails, one wonders what message House leadership would send to this latest act of executive defiance.

August 4th, 2014 at 2:21 pm
Obama’s CIA Caught Spying on Congress

Obama’s CIA Director was caught lying to Congress about spying on a Senate investigative committee, and so far it looks like his only punishment will be an apology tour.

In March, CIA Director John Brennan took issue with a line of questioning by U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) alleging that the agency had hacked into a computer system used by Senate investigators. “Nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn’t do that,” he said.

His cover blown, Brennan is facing bipartisan calls for his resignation. Despite his earlier claim, the embattled director is hoping his apology will quiet the critics and spare him the same fate as David Petraeus, his predecessor who was hounded from office by revelations of an extra-marital affair.

I’m no fan of firing people to make a point, but one does wonder what Congress could and should do now that the CIA – an executive branch agency – has been shown to be spying on a portion of the legislative branch.

Glenn Harlan Reynolds provides some answers.

“Congress can, of course, charge Brennan with contempt of Congress, or refer him for prosecution under the False Statements Act. But in both cases, the decision to prosecute would be made by Attorney General Eric Holder, who seems to see his role not as administering justice, but as running interference for the Obama administration and protecting its officials from consequences.”

Perhaps better, then, to make the agency as a whole feel the brunt of punishment for acting badly. “Probably the best that Congress can do is to punish the entire CIA by using its budgetary power to make employees’ lives worse: Cutting back on bonuses, raises, conferences, and other perks.”

None of these answers are completely satisfying. Punishing everyone for the misdeeds of a few can be precisely as unjust as the initial bad act. The truth is we want and need competent, honest public servants whose tenure in office won’t trigger massive expenditures of time and money cleaning up their messes. Until the man in the Oval Office sets a better example for following the rule of law, we’ll likely continue to see his subordinates faithlessly executing their duties.

April 26th, 2014 at 5:57 pm
Bad News: Holder Says He’s Staying

Any hopes the GOP had that Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation as HHS Secretary might convince fellow Obama Cabinet member Eric Holder to do the same were quashed on Friday.

“The Attorney General does not plan to leave before the mid-terms,” said a Justice Department official. “That does not mean that he is definitely leaving after the mid-terms, just that he is at least staying through that time.”

Prior to Sebelius taking the fall for ObamaCare’s disastrous rollout, it was Holder who was the face of bureaucratic scandal. Though voted in Contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives, Holder continues to stonewall investigators on details surrounding the “Fast and Furious” program that led to the deaths of at least one American and dozens of Mexicans.

Credit Sebelius with this much – At least the department she ran wasn’t responsible for killing anyone on her watch.

April 24th, 2014 at 8:58 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Color Blind
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

October 25th, 2013 at 1:10 pm
DOJ Steps Up Thuggishness in Louisiana School Choice Case
Posted by Troy Senik Print

The idea that this disservice to poor, primarily African-American children is is the product of the nation’s first black Attorney General, serving at the pleasure of its first black president is appalling. From Elizabeth Harrington at the Washington Free Beacon:

The Justice Department is attempting to block parents from defending the Louisiana school voucher program in court, according to a brief filed Tuesday.

… The DOJ is seeking a permanent injunction against the school choice program, which would block access to vouchers beginning in 2014 unless a federal judge approves them. The lawsuit claims the vouchers are “impeding desegregation” because some recipients were in the racial minority at their failing school. Vouchers are awarded randomly by lottery.

The DOJ said in a motion filed Tuesday that parents whose kids have benefited from the program have no legal standing to become defendants in the case.

The racial bean-counting is (A) a fig leaf for the Administration’s real goal of scoring a win against school choice and (B) a window into the collectivist’s soul: they care more about the amalgamation of pigment in any given classroom than the lives of the children living within that skin. Now add to that injury the insult of being told by your government that you have no right to defend your child’s right to a decent education.

Shameful and wrong. Let us hope that the DOJ is defeated—and that the courts treat it with the scorn it so richly deserves,

September 17th, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Three MORE Stupid Ways the Government Wastes Your Money

1) No manned space missions to Mars will be possible for at least 25 years, according to NASA projections. Still, NASA spends about $1 million a year “researching and building the Mars menu.” According to Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual “Wastebook” publication, NASA passed out an additional $947,000 in 2012 to researchers at Cornell University and the University of Hawaii to pretend they were on Mars and eat food that could be served on the Red Planet.

2) Because the federal government couldn’t actually afford to fund President Obama’s ill-conceived $833 billion stimulus debacle, American taxpayers will continue to pay for the scheme for years to come — with interest.

Among the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s more outrageous expenditures was a $20,785 handout to the Miccosukee Indian Village in Florida that funded, among other things, a high school-age alligator wrestler. Two other alligator wrestlers from the Miccosukee Tribe have been severely injured performing with gators in recent years. Now, thanks to Obama, taxpayers are helping to pay for a kid to engage in the senseless stunt.

3) In February the Government Accountability Office revealed that American taxpayers spent millions to shuttle the Attorney General and the FBI Director around in two high-tech luxury jets.

The pair of Gulfstream V jets were supposedly purchased for counterterrorism purposes, but were used more than 60 percent of the time for “non-mission flights” from 2007 to 2011. Flying Attorney General Eric Holder, his predecessor in the Bush administration and FBI Director Robert Mueller around on those “non-mission flights” cost taxpayers $11.4 million.

August 14th, 2013 at 12:01 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Obama-Holder DOJ
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

July 30th, 2013 at 9:59 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Holder Justice Department
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

July 25th, 2013 at 5:02 pm
Holder Can’t Wait to Revive Stricken Piece of Voting Rights Act

Less than a month after the Supreme Court lifted an outdated “preclearance” formula off the backs of states like Texas, Eric Holder’s Justice Department is trying to reinstate the restrictions by inviting judicial activism.

The move comes in response to the Supreme Court’s invalidation of a coverage formula in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Previously, states with a history of racial discrimination had to seek Justice Department approval – preclearance – before enacting any changes to their election laws. The problem for states like Texas is that the formula for deciding which jurisdictions are required to submit to preclearance hasn’t been updated in decades, making it virtually impossible to get out from under the federal government’s thumb.

In striking down Section 5’s coverage formula, the Court said that Congress is free to create a new formula based on current data. But with the legislative branch divided, few think any action is imminent.

And so, in keeping with the Obama administration’s motto “We Can’t Wait,” Attorney General Holder announced today that his department won’t wait for Congress to update the law. Instead, lawyers at Justice are filing lawsuits against Texas and other jurisdictions seeking to reinstate preclearance on a case-by-case basis.

The cost to taxpayers will be huge, since both sides of the “v.” are government employees. Each federal judge hearing a case will act as a mini-Congress by making factual findings before crafting a rule of law to determine the outcome. Of course, these decisions will be litigated up the lengthy federal appellate chain; all the way to the Supreme Court, if possible.

What makes this an affront to the constitutional design of separation-of-powers is the deliberate intent of one arm of the executive branch to invite members of the judiciary to make laws that Congress will not pass.

Granted, for well-connected attorneys like Holder it’s cheaper to litigate the Left’s pet projects on the taxpayer’s dime rather than as a private lawyer working pro bono. But as Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry said in response, Holder’s actions really amount to “utter contempt for our country’s system of checks and balances.”

July 19th, 2013 at 5:49 pm
Senate Dem Using ‘Stand Your Ground’ Hearings to Target ALEC, NRA

In the days since a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, liberal politicians and pundits have tried to argue that without the state’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law providing a defense, Zimmerman would be guilty.

The problem with this argument is that Zimmerman’s lawyers never invoked ‘Stand Your Ground’ as a defense in the trial. ‘Stand Your Ground’ was irrelevant to the verdict.

But that hasn’t stopped liberals like Attorney General Eric Holder from using the mere existence of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws as a pretext for unmerited lawsuits. In a speech to the NAACP this week, Holder encouraged members of the NAACP to agitate for the repeal of such laws in the 30+ states where they exist.

Now, Congress is upping the ante.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) is promising to hold congressional hearings about the effects of ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws, including such topics as “when racial profiling and ‘stand your ground’ laws mix,” according to a press release.

Amid all the racially charged theater, Durbin also announced what has to be his real motive behind the hearings – scrutinizing the roles that the NRA and ALEC played in promoting ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation.

Durbin has no right to subject either organization to an investigative fishing expedition designed to criticize private groups for exercising their First Amendment rights. If Durbin follows through with his threat, someone in the Senate GOP needs to throw some brush-back pitches in Dick’s direction. After the politician-inspired IRS scandal, it’s time for liberals to be held accountable for their wild-eyed accusations.

June 28th, 2013 at 2:33 pm
IRS Scandal Could Net Congressional Contempt Citation

Lois Lerner impliedly waived her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, according to a party-line vote in the House Government Oversight Committee today.

Lerner entered a brief statement declaring her innocence before invoking the Fifth Amendment during a May 14 appearance before the committee to discuss her role in the IRS scandal targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

Soon after, Lerner was placed on administrative leave from the IRS.

The resolution is the first step in a process that could result in a Contempt of Congress citation against Lerner. If so, she would be the second Obama administration political appointee to receive the highest form of censure by a congressional chamber.

The other person: Attorney General Eric Holder.

H/T: Washington Post

June 6th, 2013 at 1:44 pm
House GOP’s Move after Holder Misses Deadline

Readers know we’ve taken an interest in Eric Holder’s, at best, misleading testimony to Congress about his role in the James Rosen search warrant because, most likely, it’s the clearest evidence yet that the Attorney General should be removed from office.

But to find out whether Holder perjured himself, Congress needs to know all the facts. That means getting Holder to clarify his conflicting statements about whether he intended to prosecute Rosen as a criminal, or just allege the accusation as a smokescreen to get unprecedented – and unlawful – access to the Fox News reporter’s personal communications.

Holder made his misleading statement under oath on May 15. The Judiciary Committee gave him until the close of business yesterday (June 5) to clarify. With that deadline now passed, it’s up to House Republicans to make the next move. For the sake of the truth, it better be good.

May 31st, 2013 at 6:57 pm
DOJ Defends AG Holder, Says No Perjury Committed

Officials at the Department of Justice say boss Attorney General Eric Holder did not commit perjury when he lied to Congress under oath.

Okay, that’s a little unfair (but only a little).

Here’s the way CNN phrases it: “Attorney General Eric Holder’s sworn testimony before lawmakers this month was ‘accurate and consistent with the facts,’ a Justice Department spokesman stressed late Thursday.”

Apparently, those facts are these: Since Holder and DOJ are not intending to prosecute Fox News reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator in a national security leak investigation, Holder was telling the truth when he said under oath that prosecuting journalists “is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

But as I said yesterday knocking down a similar argument, that’s fallacious. There is zero chance a federal judge would have approved of the Rosen search warrant had investigators not labeled him a co-conspirator, implying that he too would be prosecuted.

Wrong too is any idea that anyone in the Justice Department is going to say or do anything to question their boss’s fitness for office.

That job belongs to Congress. And, if the evidence they uncover convinces a majority that Holder is unfit to be Attorney General, they should impeach him.

May 30th, 2013 at 4:30 pm
Carney Can’t Save Holder’s Misleading Testimony to Congress

Yesterday a reporter read Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent congressional testimony to White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Responding to a question last week about prosecuting journalists as co-conspirators under the Espionage Act of 1917, Holder told a House committee: “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material – this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

Unfortunately, it came to light soon after that Holder was, in fact, involved in potentially prosecuting a journalist for espionage – James Rosen of Fox News, three years before he made the statement above to Congress.

And yet, in full spin mode and with a straight face, Carney said, “Clearly what the attorney general said is accurate.”

The Hill summarizes Carney’s position as, “media reports indicate that no prosecution of Rosen is being contemplated, and that therefore Holder’s statement regarding potential prosecution is correct.”

But Carney’s characterization changes the timeline. Holder said it’s “not something I’ve ever been involved in,” meaning Holder was never involved in potentially prosecuting a journalist. That’s clearly false. What Carney is trying to do by stressing the current reality that no prosecution is pending is to make it seem like Holder’s failure to prosecute now renders his previous support irrelevant.

Nice try, Jay, but it won’t fly with Congress or the American people.

As I wrote in my column this week, if Holder can’t be trusted to tell the truth under oath – and his track record proves he can’t – then he is unfit for the office he holds. If he won’t step down voluntarily, then Congress will be under the duty to investigate and, if necessary, impeach.

May 30th, 2013 at 2:29 pm
Press Boycotts Holder’s Off the Record Discussion of First Amendment

It looks like there’s at least one crack emerging in the mainstream media’s impenetrable defense of the Obama administration.

The heads of the Associated Press, New York Times, Huffington Post and CNN will not attend an off-the-record meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss new guidelines for conducting leak investigations involving journalists, reports CNN’s Political Ticker.

Their absence will deprive Holder of a much needed credibility boost as he tries to rehabilitate his standing among the media’s power brokers.

The Attorney General is already reeling from two trust-destroying revelations. First, that he stepped aside to allow subordinates at the Department of Justice to go on a fishing expedition by subpoenaing “thousands and thousands” of phone calls from the AP in an unprecedented attempt to identify the source of a leak. Second, that he personally signed off on a search warrant of James Rosen that called the Fox News reporter a “co-conspirator” for gathering information.

Now, with these pillars of the liberal media establishment boycotting Holder’s secret confab, it looks like the AG needs to do the one thing he hates most: Speak candidly in public.

May 30th, 2013 at 10:34 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Holder Investigation
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez. 

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.