The No Justice Dept.

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly has been at the forefront of the story of voter intimidation occurring in 2008.

Members of the Black Panther Party stood in front of a poll in Philadelphia, dressed in military gear, one brandishing a nightstick. It was videotaped and a lawsuit was filed weeks before Barack Obama took office. However, after the inauguration, the Department of Justice more or less dropped the case. One of the department’s lawyers, J. Christian Adams, turned whistle blower and accused his colleagues of protecting only minority rights.

Adams appeared on Kelly’s Fox News show this summer, detailing his charges and saying others would substantiate his words. One of his bosses, Christopher Coates, a highly respected voting rights official, stepped forward this morning.

Since many people may have missed this, here is Kelly’s report this afternoon:

“Dramatic testimony this morning from a current, sitting attorney at the Department of Justice. Testimony given under oath that says the Voting Rights Division at the Department of Justice is no longer in the business of justice for all. After 12 months – almost – of being ordered by his bosses at the DOJ to ignore lawful subpoenas that had been served upon him, long time DOJ attorney Christopher Coates today defied orders from his bosses and made some powerful and stunning allegations against his employer, claiming the full protection of the whistle blower statute. In testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights about a voter intimidation case from 2008, Coates offered evidence under oath that race and politics are driving decisions at the Dept. of Justice.”

At the hearing today, Coates said about the previous inquiries that “(one of the officials) Ms. Fernandez responded (to the case) by telling the gathering that the Obama administration was only interested in bringing traditional types of Section 2 cases that would provide equality for racial and language minority voters. And then she went on to say that this is what we are all about or words to that effect.”

According to Ms. Kelly, “Chris Coates is testifying that there is a mandate within the department of Justice not to enforce the voting rights laws for the benefit of white victims.”

Noting that Christopher Coates did not want to testify at first, reporter Steve Centani calls it “some damning testimony of a culture of injustice within the DOJ. As Coates puts it there is a ‘long term hostility to race neutral enforcement of the voting act. That is, the policy is the unwritten, but sometimes spoken policy,’ made very clear to him, that minorities will be protected when it comes to voting rights but not necessarily whites. All the emphasis, all the focus should go to minorities. That’s the main thrust of what he said today. He made some very strong allegations against some of the people who have this belief in the department who have now risen to higher positions in the Obama administration and who are in control here.”

Centani continues that Coates goes on to say, “I don’t think it exists to the same degree to every employee in the voting section, but generally there has been that air of hostility that has been the point of view of major civil rights groups.”

The Department of Justice, according to Kelly, has denied the allegations. However, she notes that Coates has been moved to South Carolina and is no longer in charge of the voting rights division. He stepped forward because he had “had enough.”

Kudos to Fox News for staying on the story. Will other news outlets pick up something that is a direct threat to democracy – the right to vote for all people without intimidation? Let’s hope so.

Back at You

Comment seen on a blog site: “Every time I get an unsolicited subscription offer for the New York Slimes in the mail, I carefully wrap a brick and tape their ‘pre-paid postage’ return mail card on the outside and send it back to them marked, ‘not just no, but Hell no.’ In terms of a subscription I don’t even want it in my home.”

The Pledge

Today Republicans officially unveiled “The Pledge.” As with the 1993 Contract With America, although longer, it states what the GOP will do if they hold the majority in Congress.

Reactions in the blogosphere, talk radio and cable news outlets has been mixed. Here’s a compendium of opinions heard this morning.

National Review Online gives it a thumbs-up and says it is bolder than “The Contract With America” which merely promised to hold votes on popular bills that had been bottled up during decades of Democrat control of the House. The pledge commits Republicans to work towards a broad conservative agenda that, if implemented, would make the federal government significantly smaller, Congress more accountable and America more prosperous.”

In addition, they find it “shrewd politically” because it forces Democrats to take unpopular views by opposing having a law posted online 72 hours before passage, objecting  to a check  on a bill’s constitutionality, saying they don’t want  to hold Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid accountable and declaring  they want to continue TARP stand in opposition to current popular sentiment.

For AP, The Pledge is “a manifesto.” It has “familiar proposals to slash taxes and is rife with grassroots rhetoric.”

On talk radio, Rush Limbaugh says it is “a basic, common sense position.” He likes the contrast of  Obama promising American money in his U.N. speech at the same time the Republicans are at a hardware store trying to save the economy.

Laura Ingrahm disagrees about the roll out. She slammed its unveiling at the hardware store and asks if Ronald Reagan would do something there.

Redstate calls it “a pledge to nowhere.”  Ear catching, but the phrase has the taste of something cooked up before the Pledge was even announced. “Hogan” faults it for not addressing the debt, and failing to cut earmarks. He doesn’t like repeal and replace for the health care reform and wants a plan like a balanced budget amendment.

Riehl World View favors it and quotes former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who said, “You go to war with the army you have.”

On CNBC Larry Kudlow asks if “part of the exercise with its emphasis on spending restraints and easing big government (the Republicans) are saying that this is no longer the big spending George W. Bush Republican Party and that they got the message.” Panelists on his show discussed the wisdom of releasing it, but noted that it prevents the Democrats from calling Republicans the Party of No. If Republicans succeed in taking back the House in a landslide they can also claim they have a mandate.

The Daily Caller has an article, “The Seven Things to Know About The Pledge.” They acknowledge the nods to the Tea Party in the document. Paul Ryan’s ideas not included in the Pledge causes some disquiet and they find that there is little about social conservative issues. Minority leader John Boehner had wanted it embargoed until today and was not happy it got leaked. The decision to release it while Obama was away from Washington is seen as a time when the White House would have trouble reacting to it. In general, they find few things for the Democrats to knock in the outline.

Democrat congressman James Clyburn had linguistic fun in saying it was “a plague on American” rather than a pledge. That tactic was also  taken by Clinton,  who called the Contract with America the contract on America.  That tactic  failed to be effective, however.

How will America react? Hard to say, but I applaud the targeting of Obamacare in the Pledge. Other things stood out, too. Any plan to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is spot on and long overdue. A full acounting of Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid gets applause and the promise to end federal funding of abortion works, too.

On the Pledge, Midtown Republican approves this message.