Sentencing Delayed in Palin Email Theft

The incident where David Kernell was accused of hacking into Sarah Palin’s email and releasing it during the presidential race in 2008 has gone under the radar.

However, Kernell was found guilty in April 2010 of obstruction of justice and unauthorized access to a computer. Sentencing was schedule for late September. It has been rescheduled to October 29. U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips refused to throw out the convictions, but Kernell’s lawyer is appealing the case to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Kernell could face 15 to 21 months in prision.

Kernell is the son of state representative Mike Kernell, D-Memphis, who is up for election Nov. 2. He does have a Republican opponent. Tim Cook is running for the District 73 seat Kernell has held for 36 years. The Democrat is a friend to the more taxes faction and has pushed for a state income tax.

It’s a shame that Cook hasn’t run more aggressively for this seat. The district, which includes parts of East Memphis, has a good number of Republicans who, if this case is called to their attention, would remember the harm done to the Palin family and be dissuaded for voting for Kernell.

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.

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.

A Glance Over the Left Shoulder at Mayberry

"Sheriff" Andy
"Sheriff" Andy of Mayberry

Ever since Andy Griffith started touting Barack Obama’s health care reform by popping up on commercials, I’ve had to take a new look at Mayberry.

The oh so homey, all American town that was the backdrop for “The Andy Griffith Show”, was watched (and still is) by millions who considered it to be mild mannered entertainment. But ever since Andy started telling us how we WILL LIKE Obamacare, and his liberal past has been discussed, I’m not so sure. Continue reading “A Glance Over the Left Shoulder at Mayberry”

Bergmann Opens Campaign Headquarters

Charlotte Bergmann's HeadquartersPlainly declaring she “Can Win,” Charlotte Bergmann opened her 9th Dist. Congressional Headquarters at Poplar and Yates Tuesday

Charlotte Bergmann and Mark SkodaCharlotte Bergmann and Mark Skoda compared notes before Mark put Charlotte on his radio program.

Charlotte Bergmann and Virginia VagenCharlotte Bergmann and Virginia Vagen, Georgeann King’s mother, get a picture at the opening.

My Economic Barometer

Empty SuitEvery day seems to bring more dire economic news, but Barack Obama says the recession ended in June 2009.

Data tell us that our household net worth has dropped, one in seven in the U.S. are in poverty, the unemployment rate nears 10%, foreclosures continue to mount. Yesterday a woman at a town hall asked Obama if “the American dream dead for me?”

All of these are valid indicators, but I have my own barometer of the state of the U.S. economy. It doesn’t depend on any government indicators. It isn’t the stock market or the price of gold.

It’s Joseph A. Banks.

I started noticing in 2008 that the previously staid clothier began to offer deals. Business being down, it seemed they needed to encourage shoppers with buy one get one free type offers. A little bit odd for suit buying, but it must have worked because they upped the ante. I noticed it got to buy one get two free. This spring I noted a buy one get five items free. There’s a whiff of desperation in that one.

Since the “summer of recovery” hit, Joseph A. Banks’ deals didn’t stop. June, July and August saw a plethora of deals and increased frequency of their ads. Today advertises a buy one suit, get two free.

Do you think the economy is better? Joseph A. Banks apparently doesn’t.

Pence Stays on Winning Streak

Fresh from his win at the Values Voters Summit, Mike Pence addressed Hillsdale College with another rousing speech.

Clearly, he is interested in running  for President. In fact, the presidency was the topic of this speech delivered at  the conservative college.

“A president who slights the Constitution is like a rider who hates his horse; he will be thrown, and the nation along with him.” Calling for a return to first principles, Pence articulates that the “president sets the tone for the other branches and spurs the expectations of the people.  We are not to be ruled and not to be commanded. A republic is about limitation,” he says.

Today, the presidency “has run off the rails. The president is not our teacher.” His disgust with  Barack Obama comes through when he says that we must “be wary of a president who seems to float upon his own greatness.” And Pence does not think that bowing to a king, as Obama did several times to the Saudi king and Japan’s emperor, fits with the nation’s profile.

Pence goes on to outline the duties of the president from role model to foreign policy strategist to Commander in Chief. He also slams the idea of a living constitution and the attempts to use youth as a propaganda tool in the way  Obama has. He slaps down the Democrat Congress as “legislators who knit laws of such insulting complexity that they are heavier than chains.”

With Reagan like optimism he sees “us like those in Philadelphia in 1776. Danger all around, but a fresh chapter, ready to begin, uncorrupted, with great possibilities.”

Something makes me wonder if he needed a teleprompter for this speech. He probably didn’t have to turn his head side to side as Obama does, as if he’s watching a tennis match rather than giving his heartfelt opinions.  It doesn’t sound like he needed to wag his finger at us, either.

More likely, it came from the heart.

President Pence? The New Reagan?

Mike Pence
Mike Pence at the Values Voters Summit

Is Mike Pence the new Ronald Reagan?

If you listen to him give a speech, such as the one he gave at last week’s Values Voters Summit, you can’t help but think of the Gipper. Like Reagan, his speech had humor, patriotism and a common sense approach to our national problems. Like Reagan, he has an easy and happy manner that sweeps you in and makes you feel that he’s expressing your own thoughts. Reporting on the summit, “The Atlantic” took note of this, too.  Jim DeMint preceded Pence at the event,  “but Pence blew him out of the water an hour later. The audience loved the congressman from Indiana, who’s a member of the House Republican leadership, and Pence knew just how to get them going.” No wonder he was voted top choice for president by the attendees. Continue reading “President Pence? The New Reagan?”

A Don’t Miss Event in 9th District

Charlotte Bergmann
Charlotte Bergmann

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 21, you’ll want to attend the grand opening of the Charlotte Bergmann campaign.

The media has failed to tell us much about her or profile her, so this is an opportunity for interested people in the 9th District to come and meet her in person. The Cohen camp has also refused to debate her, so if you have any questions on her stance on the issues, this is an occasion to question the candidate yourself.

The headquarters is at 925 S. Yates and the event begins at 5:30. It should run til 7.