Judicial Watch • Obama

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President Obama’s quest to transform federal courts by appointing unqualified leftist ideologues is worse than previously imagined, according to a mainstream newspaper that reports the notoriously liberal American Bar Association (ABA) has rejected a “significant number” of potential judicial nominees, most of them minorities and women.

This is hardly earth-shattering news considering Obama’s judicial appointments so far. However, the ABA rebuff sheds light into the magnitude of the president’s crusade to stockpile the federal court system, where judges get lifetime appointments, with like-minded activists. In fact, Obama has made it an official policy to “diversify” the federal bench when it comes to gender, race and even life experiences.

But the White House has agreed not to nominate any candidates deemed unqualified by the ABA, the 400,000-member trade association that provides law school accreditation. Though it claims to be an impartial group of lawyers, the ABA usually takes liberal positions on divisive issues and Democratic/liberal nominees are more likely to receive the group’s highest rating of “well qualified” compared to their Republican/conservative counterparts. This has been documented in various studies, including a recent one conducted by political science departments at three Georgia universities.

With this in mind, one can only imagine how deficient Obama’s rejected candidates really are. Their identities and negative ABA ratings have not been made public, but inside sources tell the paper that broke the story this week that nearly all of the prospects were women or members of a minority group. Nine are reportedly women—five white, two black and two Hispanic—and of the five men one his white, two are black and two are Hispanic.

The number of Obama hopefuls stamped “not qualified” already exceeds the total opposed by the ABA during the eight-year administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the story points out. That means Obama’s rejection rate is more than triple what it was under either of those previous administrations.

While alarming, this is not surprising. After all, Obama has tried appointing a number of leftist ideologues with no legal experience such as Goodwin Liu, the California law school professor who suspiciously concealed more than 100 of his most controversial speeches, publications and other background materials from the U.S. Senate committee that screens judicial candidates. After failing to earn Senate confirmation for a federal appeals court seat, Liu landed a spot on California’s Supreme Court which only requires state approval.

Obama’s two Supreme Court appointments (Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan) also have documented histories of bias and favoring liberal causes or favored groups. Sotomayor was a top policy maker at the leftist Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund and a member of the open-borders National Council of La Raza. Her race-conscious and activist judicial philosophy was in full force during her Supreme Court debut when she introduced a pair of new terms aimed at describing illegal immigrants in a more friendly and politically correct way.

Kagan is a liberal activist and political operative with no experience as a judge. This month Judicial Watch obtained internal documents that indicate Kagan was involved in crafting Obamacare during her time as solicitor general. This is important because Kagan will likely participate in the Supreme Court’s upcoming deliberations to review the constitutionality of the controversial healthcare law. As the president’s top advocate Kagan was responsible for drafting the measure’s defense in the event of a legal challenge.   

 

President Obama’s close friend and longtime financial supporter, Chicago businessman Antoin Rezko, has been sentenced to 10 ½ years in prison for operating a massive corruption scheme in which he extorted millions of dollars in kickbacks from investment firms seeking state business.  

For years Rezko was a major donor and adviser to convicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, but his name first surfaced on the national scene during the 2008 presidential election because then-candidate Obama had received hefty campaign contributions from him and the two were longtime pals. In fact, Rezko subsidized a $1.65 million home Obama purchased in Chicago’s South side in 2005 and he hosted a fundraiser for the then- U.S. Senator.

When the feds charged Rezko with extortion, influence peddling and conspiracy, Obama vowed to return all the tainted money—at least $200,000 by some accounts—that his buddy had given him. Rezko was also accused of obtaining a $10.5 million loan from GE Capital through fraud and swindling of group investors.

The Syrian-born businessman has been in jail since his June 2008 conviction but his sentencing was delayed because he was scheduled to testify in Blagojevich’s 2010 corruption trial and retrial this past summer. Judicial Watch covered both Chicago federal trials, which prominently mentioned Obama and his former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who left the post to become the city’s mayor.   

That’s because Blagojevich tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated when Obama got elected president. Obama wanted his close friend Valerie Jarrett to finish his senate term and, as Illinois governor, Blagojevich had the power to make it happen. In return, he wanted a federal job that paid a lot of money or some sort of foreign ambassadorship that could lead to bigger and better things.

A federal jury ended up convicting Blagojevich of 17 corruption charges and the disgraced former governor is scheduled to be sentenced in early December. He will join an all-star lineup of crooked Illinois politicians when he becomes the state’s fourth governor to serve time for corruption in the last three decades.

Of interesting (but not surprising) note is that the mainstream media coverage of Rezko’s sentence this afternoon fails to mention his close ties to the president. A number of headlines describe Rezko as a Blagojevich political fundraiser and adviser, but conspicuously absent is any mention of Obama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following a laughable United Nations declaration that high-speed internet access is a basic human right, the Obama Administration is investing north of $400 million to expand broadband into poor, rural areas of the U.S.

The president has long asserted that broadband access is essential for communities to compete on a “level playing field” and he’s included it among the necessities to improve the lives of rural Americans. The agency in charge of distributing the money—the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)—took it a step further this week, asserting that high speed internet connections will help low-income residents in a variety of unimaginable areas.

For instance, it will “improve healthcare and educational opportunities,” according to Obama’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Broadband will also help the poor “connect to global markets,” Vilsack said, and it will provide “much-needed services to rural businesses and residents.” The investment, presumably on the part of the government, will also “increase jobs” in rural areas, Vilsack assures.

Utility companies in 15 states will receive a combined $410.7 in grants from Uncle Sam to install or upgrade connections in rural and low-income areas that currently don’t have internet access or only have slow, dialup connections. Among them are companies in North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico and Tennessee. It’s all part of Obama’s mission to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities, according to the USDA. How exactly fast-speed internet service will help accomplish this is not explained by the agency.  

Perhaps not coincidentally, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations General Assembly recently determined that, like healthcare, shelter and food, broadband access is a basic human right that allows people to “exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression.” In a lengthy report addressing obstacles that challenge the right of all individuals to receive information through the internet, the U.N. demands that governments worldwide make the internet “widely available, accessible and affordable to all segments of the population.”

Here is the reasoning: “Given that the internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the internet should be a priority for all states,” the famously corrupt world body says in its report. The U.N. also demands that governments offer special “internet literacy skills” training to help the underserved with computer skills. This could very well be the Obama Administration’s next publicly-funded project.

 

The Obama amnesty plan officially begins this week, according to a mainstream newspaper that obtained internal Homeland Security documents outlining “sweeping changes” in immigration enforcement that will halt the deportation of illegal aliens with no criminal records.

Much has been reported about the administration’s intention to implement a stealth amnesty plan if congress doesn’t act to spare the nation’s estimated 12 million illegal aliens, but this is the first confirmation that it’s come to fruition. Beginning this week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will review all deportation cases and start a nationwide “training program” to assure that enforcement agents and prosecuting attorneys don’t remove illegal immigrants who haven’t been convicted of crimes.  

About 300,000 immigration cases are currently pending before overwhelmed U.S. courts and the goal is to expedite them, according to DHS officials cited in the news report. To accomplish this, the agency will focus on removing only those who committed serious crimes or pose a national security risk. Immigration agents will be instructed to close deportations that “fall outside” these department “priorities,” which means a large class of illegal aliens will be granted de facto amnesty.

This backdoor amnesty plan has been in the works for some time and has actually been implemented unofficially for more than a year. In fact, in 2010 Texas’s largest newspaper published an exposé about a then-secret DHS initiative that systematically cancelled pending deportations. The remarkable program stunned the legal profession and baffled immigration attorneys who say the government bounced their clients’ deportation even when expulsion was virtually guaranteed.

Judicial Watch has been a front runner in investigating the Obama Administration’s stealth amnesty program by pursuing DHS records concerning “deferred action” or “parole” to suspend removal proceedings against a particular group of individuals. Earlier this year JW sued DHS to obtain information because the agency ignored a federal public records request that dates back to July 2010.

 

On a mission to narrow the academic achievement gap between minorities and whites, the Obama Administration has ordered the nation’s second-largest public school district to cut back on disciplining black students and develop a special curriculum for those who don’t speak English.The orders come on the heels of a 19-month federal “civil rights investigation” that concludes the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has long failed to provide an equal education to the hundreds of thousands of minorities enrolled in its 730 campuses. How exactly? It’s anybody’s guess since the most transparent administration in history refuses to disclose details of the lengthy probe, which was conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.What we do know is that “English learners” and “African-Americans” are being cheated out of a quality education, according to Obama’s Education Secretary, Arne Duncan. So his agency is forcing the LAUSD to make sweeping changes because the systematic failure has resulted in huge academic disparities that have created a sort of civil rights crisis. (more…)

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Washington, DC — October 13, 2011
Judicial Watch, the public interest organization that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has uncovered an intelligence document detailing the September 2004 attack by Chechen Islamic militants on a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia, in which 380 of the 1,100 hostages (children, parents, teachers, and visitors) held captive for three days were murdered. The document was obtained from the State Department by Judicial Watch in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on August 26, 2005.
The document, jointly released by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is dated October 12, 2004, and analyzes the Beslan terrorist attack with a view toward gleaning lessons for potential attacks on schools in the United States. While the ultimate conclusion of the report is that such attacks pose no immediate threat to the U.S., the bulletin details “several items that law enforcement, school administration and security personnel may consider when developing school security and emergency response plans.”According to the Department of Justice Program Office, the Obama administration blocked out these recommendations, citing a “deliberative process exemption,” which Judicial Watch is appealing.Operational details discussed in the bulletin regarding the raid on the Beslan school include transportation, techniques for overcoming security, prepositioning of weapons and explosives, terrorist surveillance and planning, controlling hostages by separating children from parents and teachers, and terrorist efforts to thwart Russian government counterterrorism techniques and teams. The bulletin highlights Russian failures at the scene include failing to implement a comprehensive response plan and failing to establish an effective cordon around the school during the incident. The bulletin closes with the observation that “Emergency medical treatment for children is significantly different from adults and should be factored into any plan or exercise.”Previously, Judicial Watch uncovered a Defense Intelligence Agency document detailing al-Qaida’s 1998 activities in Chechnya, which included a “direct route to Chechnya from Pakistan and Afghanistan through Turkey and Azerbaijan.”“The alleged purpose of the intelligence briefing was to glean information to help protect school children from a potential terrorist attack. What sense does it make for the Obama administration to keep secret the bulletin’s important recommendations for schools and emergency responders? The Chechen terrorists behind Beslan have been tied to al-Qaida. Importantly, these terrorists groups in Chechnya first used many of the terrorists techniques that became widely adopted elsewhere, such as IED’s and the use of women suicide bombers,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

In the U.S. government’s global warming project du jour, American taxpayers will finance a new research program to determine which populations will be more “susceptible” and “vulnerable” to diseases exacerbated by climate change.One can only imagine what the brilliant scientists at the famously liberal academic institutions responsible for the research will come up with. In fact, the studies have yet to be done and already the Obama Administration is predicting the results; people from low socioeconomic backgrounds and those living in urban areas may be at elevated risk.To be fair, children, pregnant women and the elderly are also predicted to be at risk in the government’sannouncement of the new program this month. To get to the bottom of the mystery, experts will research the risk factors that make people more vulnerable to heart exposure, changing weather patterns, changes in environmental exposures such as air pollution and toxic chemicals. The negative effects of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts will also be studied.This explanation is straight from the National Institutes’ of Health, the country’s publicly-funded medical research agency and a leader in all things global warming. Besides identifying those most vulnerable to ailments caused by climate change, the new initiative will help better understand the direct and indirect human health risks in the United States and globally. The findings will help policy makers in creating health interventions to prevent harm to the most “vulnerable people,” says the NIH official in charge.This particular program is part of a broader NIH effort to fully understand the health impacts of climate change through the “interdisciplinary” and “inter-institutional collaboration” of experts from many research disciplines. Among them are environmental health scientists as well as climatology, modeling risk assessment, public health, communications and education experts.Let’s look at a few examples of what U.S. tax dollars are funding as part of this initiative; the impact of current and projected climate variables on the incidence of gastrointestinal disease in Ecuador. The results will help determine the importance of social factors and infrastructure availability in preventing gastrointestinal disease globally, according to the NIH.Here is another good one; a study to quantify the effects of biological, environmental and socioeconomic factors that make people more vulnerable to extreme heat. There is also a project to develop models to identify vulnerable geographical locations with increased health impacts due to heat waves and air pollution exposures.The Obama Administration has been quite active in its campaign to enlighten Americans about the ills of global warming. Earlier this year a group of esteemed scientists from several public universities warned that climate change will make food “dangerous” and add to the malnourishment of millions worldwide.Before that separate government evaluations revealed that global warming causes mental illness and cancerand that it creates national security threats by spreading disease among people and animals. Authored by government scientists from various agencies, the mental illness/cancer report claims global warming is one of the “most visible environmental concerns of the 21st century” The separate national security assessment, made by intelligence and health officials, says climate change will destabilize developing nations as well as the U.S. economy and military.

In an amusing twist, food contaminated with deadly bacteria is being sold at a Washington D.C. farmers market right outside the headquarters of the government agency in charge of enforcing the nation’s food safety rules.It would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. An open-air market sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) features goods contaminated with two of the most common causes of food poisoning, salmonella and campylobacter. Both are deadly bacteria found in poultry, which ironically, is inspected by the USDA.The shameful discovery was made by a group of college student journalists researching food safety for an impressive investigative project that’s been posted on the internet. Their work has exposed the government’s perpetual failure to adequately secure the nation’s food supply, from domestic poultry, eggs and produce to imported seafood which is notoriously “filthy or tainted.”One of the probes focuses on the USDA’s weekly farmers market, a popular destination for government employees and tourists to shop for fresh produce, poultry and baked goods. The agency sponsors the event adjacent to its headquarters. It’s part of a government-wide effort, led by Michelle Obama, to promote healthy eating. In fact, thanks to the First Lady’s obsession with inner city obesity, the USDA has spent millions of dollars to bring farmers markets to urban neighborhoods across the U.S.It’s unclear if the other USDA-sponsored farmers markets sell infected food as well. In the one outside its D.C. headquarters some of the raw chicken for sale has salmonella, according to laboratory tests conducted as part of the journalists’ investigation. At a farmers market a few blocks away, near the White House, chicken was found to be tainted with campylobacter bacteria. Of interesting note is that it’s the same farmers market where Michelle Obama launched her heavily promoted, healthy eating campaign a few years ago.This may seem unbelievable considering the Obama Administration is obsessed with food safety and, in fact the president signed a sweeping law (Food Safety Modernization Act—FSMA) this year creating the first-ever mandatory national safety standards for produce. The administration says the measure will keep the U.S. food supply safe by shifting the focus of federal regulators from responding to contamination to preventing it.When Obama signed FSMA, his Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner pointed out that the idea of prevention was not new. As an example she said her agency had established prevention-oriented standardsand rules for seafood, juice and eggs and that the USDA had done the same for meat and poultry. That was back in January.

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