UC President Napolitano Hid $175 Million Office Slush Fund While Raising Tuition| Apr 28, 2017

Napolitano Deserves Boot Over Latest UC Scandal

|| Spectator.org

“The University of California warned Californians early this year that if tuition weren’t significantly raised or public funding increased, education at the 10-campus system — with its staff of 200,000 and $28.5-billion-plus budget — would suffer. “We’re at the point where if we don’t do this, if we don’t invest, the quality of education is going to suffer,” a UC spokesperson told the media. The Board of Regents promptly approved tuition hikes.

I’m the parent of a UC student, but the main reason the deal upset me was that it spotlighted the system’s waste-filled bureaucracy. There’s insufficient oversight of UC’s spending. Instead of cutting back on programs battling micro-aggressions” and other PC nonsense or trimming obscene levels of pay and benefits for UC employees, officials spend like crazy and then take it out of the hide of students and taxpayers who fund about a quarter of its budget.

As it turns out, conservative critics of the university and its President Janet Napolitano, the scandal-plagued former head of the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, were just scratching the surface. A report released Monday by the California State Auditor detailed plenty of waste, but also alleges that the Office of the President did not disclose $175 million in reserves.

This scandal should lead to the firing of Napolitano and others at UC who took part in this alleged budget-hiding game. Basically, the state audit argues that UC officials were sitting on a budget that was not disclosed to regents, legislators, or the public. That’s at the same time they were crying poormouth, and hitting up students for an additional $88 million annually to assure that the university could continue to provide the same level of “quality” education.”

….Continue reading more @ Spectator.org

 

UC President Janet Napolitano hid $175 million while raising tuition, paying excessive salaries to personal staff

|| HotAir

“A state audit released Tuesday concludes that the University of California Office of the President, led by former Obama administration DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, hid away $175 million while paying excessive salaries to staff and raising tuition on students. Auditor Elaine Howle also says someone from Napolitano’s office interfered with questionnaires sent to various UC campuses as part of the audit. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The UC Office of the President amassed millions in the secret reserve funds in part by overestimating how much it needed to run the 10-campus university system — and then spending less than budgeted, the audit said. From 2012 to 2016, the office sought increased funding based on the inflated estimates, not actual spending, according to Howle…

About $32 million of the $175 million that Howle’s audit found in the secret reserve came from campus assessment fees — money that the auditor said could have been spent on students and should be returned to the campuses.

Even as it accumulated the campus fees, Napolitano persuaded the Board of Regents to increase those fees in two of the four years audited, Howle said.

There are nearly 1,700 people working in the Office of the President. The audit notes that number is significantly higher than other similar offices. This chart makes the comparison. Note that the California State system has more than twice as many campuses and nearly twice as many students but manages to get by with 1/3 the amount of staff of the UC system:

In addition to having an outsized staff, the Office of the President was also paying significantly higher salaries than comparable state workers were earning, plus offering a special retirement plan, and other questionable expenses. From the LA Times:

The audit said: “10 executives in the Office of the President whose compensation we analyzed were paid a total of $3.7 million in fiscal year 2014-15 — over $700,000 more than the combined salaries of their highest paid state employee counterparts.”

On benefits, the Office of the President provided a regular retirement plan but also offered its executives a retirement savings account into which the office contributes up to 5% of the executives’ salaries—about $2.5 million over the past five years, the audit found.

“The Office of the President also spent more than $2 million for its staff’s business meetings and entertainment expenses over the past five years—a benefit that the State does not offer to its employees except in limited circumstances,” the audit said.

.. ..

For the record, Napolitano has denied the claims made in the audit. She says the reserve fund was only $38 million which was set aside as a reserve in case of emergency. But needless to say, all of this stinks to high heaven. Howle, the auditor, told the SF Chronicle, “I’ve never had a situation like that in my 17 years as state auditor.” Lawmakers plan to hold a hearing on the results of the audit next week.”

….Continue reading more @ HotAir

| Note: For the record Janet Napolitano had no administrative experience running an academic institution the size, reputation and importance like the University of California. She needs to resign. /CJ

 

| U.S. Constitution: Bill Clinton lost the Line Item Veto in 1998

That pesky Presentment Clause of the Constitution

|| Heritage.Org

“The Presentment Clause is commonly viewed as a provision that protects the President’s veto power, an association reinforced by the clause’s name. Yet, the Presentment Clause has a broader function: The clause prescribes the exclusive method for passing federal statutes, indicating that all bills must pass both Houses of Congress and be subject to the President’s veto. Thus, with some justification, one might call the provision the Lawmaking Clause.

Recently, the Supreme Court has reviewed a different departure from the traditional lawmaking process—the conferral of cancellation authority on the executive—and held it to be unconstitutional as a violation of the Presentment Clause. Clinton v. City of New York (1998). In 1995, Congress enacted the Line Item Veto Act, which despite its name, did not provide the President with veto authority, but instead authorized him to cancel certain spending provisions. This cancellation authority was similar to an ordinary delegation of administrative authority in that it conferred discretion on the executive, subject to a statutory standard, to take certain actions. Cancellation authority, however, differs from an ordinary delegation since it is generally narrower. Whereas an ordinary delegation allows the executive to promulgate a rule of his choosing, cancellation authority permits him only to accept or reject a statutory rule. For example, in the appropriation law area, ordinary delegations under traditional appropriation laws permit the President to spend any sum between the amount appropriated and zero, whereas cancellation authority only permits him the choice to spend the appropriated amount or to cancel the appropriation and spend nothing.

Reviewing the cancellation authority provided by the Line Item Veto Act, the Supreme Court found it unconstitutional. In the Court’s view, cancellation authority was similar to the power to repeal a law, because the authority could eliminate an appropriation. The exercise of cancellation authority therefore needed to conform to the Presentment Clause. Of course, if cancellation authority is similar to repealing an appropriation, then the executive’s authority under a traditional appropriation to decide how much to spend is similar to enacting an appropriation, because the executive can “legislate” the amount that should be spent. Under the Court’s reasoning, then, ordinary delegations may also logically violate the Presentment Clause, but the Court continues regularly to permit such delegations. The Court has yet to resolve this double standard whereby cancellation authority is unconstitutional even though such authority is generally narrower than ordinary delegations.”

….Continue reading more @ The Heritage Foundation

 

Can the President Legally Not Spend Funds Appropriated by Congress?

|| Justia

Impoundment of Appropriated Funds

“In his Third Annual Message to Congress, President Jefferson established the first faint outline of what years later became a major controversy. Reporting that $50,000 in funds which Congress had appropriated for fifteen gunboats on the Mississippi remained unexpended, the President stated that a “favorable and peaceful turn of affairs on the Mississippi rendered an immediate execution of the law unnecessary… .” But he was not refusing to expend the money, only delaying action to obtain improved gunboats; a year later, he told Congress that the money was being spent and gun-boats were being obtained.628 A few other instances of deferrals or refusals to spend occurred in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, but it was only with the Administration of President Franklin Roosevelt that a President refused to spend moneys for the purposes appropriated. Succeeding Presidents expanded upon these precedents, and in the Nixon Administration a well-formulated plan of impoundments was executed in order to reduce public spending and to negate programs established by congressional legislation.629

Impoundment630 was defended by Administration spokesmen as being a power derived from the President’s executive powers and particularly from his obligation to see to the faithful execution of the laws, i.e., his discretion in the manner of execution. The President, the argument went, is responsible for deciding when two conflicting goals of Congress can be harmonized and when one must give way, when, for example, congressional desire to spend certain moneys must yield to congressional wishes to see price and wage stability. In some respects, impoundment was said or implied to flow from certain inherent executive powers that repose in any President. Finally, statutory support was sought; certain laws were said to confer discretion to withhold spending, and it was argued that congressional spending programs are discretionary rather than mandatory.

There is no satisfactory definition of impoundment. Legislation enacted by Congress uses the phrase “deferral of budget authority” which is defined to include: “(A) withholding or delaying the obligation or expenditure of budget authority (whether by establishing reserves or otherwise) provided for projects or activities; or (B) any other type of Executive action or inaction which effectively precludes the obligation or expenditure of budget authority, including authority to obligate by contract in advance of appropriations as specifically authorized by law.” 2 U.S.C. § 682(1).”

.. ..

On the other hand, it was argued that Congress’ powers under Article I, § 8, were fully adequate to support its decision to authorize certain programs, to determine the amount of funds to be spent on them, and to mandate the Executive to execute the laws. Permitting the President to impound appropriated funds allowed him the power of item veto, which he does not have, and denied Congress the opportunity to override his veto of bills enacted by Congress. In particular, the power of Congress to compel the President to spend appropriated moneys was said to derive from Congress’ power “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution” the enumerated powers of Congress and “all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or officer thereof.”

The President’s decision to impound large amounts of appropriated funds led to two approaches to curtail the power. First, many persons and organizations, with a reasonable expectation of receipt of the impounded funds upon their release, brought large numbers of suits; with a few exceptions, these suits resulted in decisions denying the President either constitutional or statutory power to decline to spend or obligate funds, and the Supreme Court, presented with only statutory arguments by the Administration, held that no discretion existed under the particular statute to withhold allotments of funds to the States.633 Second, Congress in the course of revising its own manner of appropriating funds in accordance with budgetary responsibility provided for mandatory reporting of impoundments to Congress, for congressional disapproval of impoundments, and for court actions by the Comptroller General to compel spending or obligation of funds.”

….Continue reading more @ Justia

Question: A question that seems to present itself is for example, if the executive decides in the event of a major flood for example to defer or reserve funding from discretionary funding of a program to another more tactical in nature or by deletion of the funding by line item of the now uneeded program.  How could the Court hamper the powers of the executive in such a way, and in such a permanent fashion as in the Impound Act of 1974?

This is fascinating subject as it includes the question of whether the president can or cannot withhold funds appropriated by Congress. There may be no simple answer to this conundrum, as each ‘solution’ to the problem creates new issues. /CJ

Impoundment of appropriated funds | Wiki 

 

Obama DOJ Official who fought Arizona AB 1070 law on immigration now tries to block Trump Sanctuary City EO | Apr 27, 2017

Judge Blocking Sanctuary City Order Apparently Still Thinks He’s Part of Obama Admin

|| LawNewz

“A judge just declared taxpayers must give money to a city that refuses to enforce federal immigration law while at the same time refusing to give any redress for the family of dead Kate Steinle due to that same sanctuary city policy. Judge William Orrick, a legacy of the liberal gentry whose grandfather founded one of the big corporate law firms in San Francisco, whose father also sat on the federal bench (and the left complains of nepotism?), and who, according to Public Citizen, bundled nearly a quarter of a million for Obama’s campaigns, blocked Trump’s executive order defunding sanctuary cities by claiming sanctuary cities’ refusal to actually enforce immigration law is an act of “immigration enforcement strategy.”

This, in the city that freed the killer of Kate Steinle just before he killed her. Oh, and by the way, liberal judges in the city also said that Kate’s family can’t sue the city for the sanctuary city policy that killed her.

Already infamous for intervening on behalf of abortion advocates to prevent the public from seeing exposes of their misdeeds and his prior litigation under Obama’s DOJ of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch fame where Orrick spent years trying to prevent Arizona and Alabama from enforcing their immigration laws, Orrick now extended sanctuary city status as a right of local governments to choose their own “immigration enforcement strategy.” That’s right — a federal judge called a city’s refusal to enforce federal immigration law a “strategy” of “immigration enforcement.”

Welcome to liberal legalese: refusing to enforce the law is now an act of “enforcement” of the law.

This should come as no surprise as Orrick had an implicit conflict with Trump’s efforts. It was Orrick, at Obama’s Department of Justice, who supervised the office of immigration litigation, and fought state-level immigration enforcement efforts in Arizona and Alabama and elsewhere.

In other words, the same judge who said Trump cannot dispute a local government’s immigration actions filed suit to stop Arizona and Alabama from enforcing their own local immigration actions. Welcome to results-oriented legal jurisprudence of Obama judicial appointee liberalism where legal precepts, logical consistency and historical precedent have no role, just as the life of foreign criminals now enjoy more legal protection than the citizens safety of the Kate Steinles of America.

The irony is the Supreme Court appeared to invalidate Orrick’s judicial basis for his order when it validated Orrick’s own prior litigation theory while working for Obama, as reflected in the Supreme Court’s Arizona v. United States decision. Justice Kennedy declared the federal government’s authority to govern immigration as so “broad” and “undoubted” that it “preempted” many of Arizona’s attempts to have its own local immigration enforcement strategy.

The Supreme Court did not allow Arizona to pursue any “immigration enforcement strategy” as an “impermissible” intrusion on the exclusive power of the federal government, even to the degree that “even complementary state regulation is impermissible.”

Anything that could be an “obstacle to the full purposes and objectives of Congress” was considered “preempted” and prohibited.  It is Congress that mandates no “state or local law” nor “state or local government entity or official” may “prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.”

Yet, Orrick just ruled San Francisco can overrule both Congress and President Trump, and further that President Trump cannot interfere with San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” choice because the Judge claimed a right of San Francisco to its own “immigration enforcement strategy,” after the Supreme Court said no such right exists.  Then how can Orrick rule consistent with the Supreme Court? He can’t. So, no surprise, Orrick mutilates the precedent on that issue.

How can Alabama and Arizona be prohibited from actually enforcing immigration law but San Francisco, the city that freed the killer of Kate Steinle, be given federal funds for its ignoring federal immigration law? When the federal judge still thinks he’s part of the Obama administration.”

….From the article by Robert Barnes @ LawNewz

 

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Part of Trump’s Immigration Order on Sanctuary Cities

|| Legal Insurrection

“A federal judge in California blocked a portion of President Trump’s January Immigration Executive Order Tuesday.

Jude William H. Orrick of United States District Court for the Northern District of California targeted the Trump administration’s promise to cut federal funding from “sanctuary cities” or cities who refused to cooperate with federal law enforcement concerning immigration matters.

From the New York Times:

The judge, William H. Orrick of United States District Court for the Northern District of California, issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the administration, directing it to stop trying to cut off aid to sanctuary jurisdictions.

That said, the decision is pretty weak (NYT continued):

But the order does not prevent the federal government from moving forward on designating certain places as “sanctuaries,” nor does it keep the administration from enforcing conditions for doling out federal money if they already exist, as the Justice Department has already begun to do with some law enforcement grants.

San Francisco and Santa Clara County, which had asked the judge for an injunction, “have a strong interest in avoiding unconstitutional federal enforcement and the significant budget uncertainty that has resulted from the Order’s broad and threatening language,” the judge wrote, referring to Mr. Trump’s January executive order on immigration.

..

In March, AG Sessions announced the DOJ’s commitment to enforce 8 U.S.C. 1373, which allows the federal government to strip grant money from cities who willfully refuse compliance with federal communications guidelines as they pertain to local law enforcement and federal immigration officials:

“This guidance requires local jurisdictions to comply and certify compliance with Section 1373 in order to be eligible for OJP grants,” said Sessions. “It also made clear that failure to remedy violations could result in withholding grants, termination of grants, and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants. The Department of Justice will also take all lawful steps to claw back any funds awarded to a jurisdiction that wilfully violates 1373.”

All of this smells far more politically motivated than anything derived from sound legal doctrine. As I blogged in March:

If there is a legal mechanism to penalize sanctuary cities, we haven’t found it. It’s likely none exists because, despite threats, no administration has carried out a threat to withhold federal monies from disobedient rogue local governments.

There’s speculation aplenty as to how the Supreme Court might interpret a legal challenge to anti-sanctuary city guidance. Printz v. United States (highly cited in relation to this particular part of immigration discussion) held, “Congress may not compel a state or local government to implement federal regulatory programs, even if they are temporary functions.” Enforcing federal law is the responsibility of the federal government, thus immigration enforcement cannot and should not be delegated to local law enforcement. However, as 1373 indicates, local law enforcement are expected and required to communicate certain information to federal authorities.

Trump’s administration doesn’t seem afraid of legal tests, given his first immigration executive order, but it’s clear that sanctuary cities are in the crosshairs.”

….Continue reading more @ Legal Insurrection

 

Recent History | Arizona’s AB 1070 |  Jun 2012

Supreme Court Overturns Three Sections of Arizona Immigration Law, Upholds Papers Check

|| ABA Journal

“The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down three contested sections of an Arizona law designed to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion (PDF) upholding just one contested section of the law—at least for now. The provision requires state and local police to check the immigration status of people who are stopped, detained or arrested on legitimate grounds, if there is a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally.

“At this stage, without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume [the status-check provision] will be construed in a way that creates a conflict with federal law,” Kennedy said. “This opinion does not foreclose other pre-emption and constitutional challenges to the law as interpreted and applied after it goes into effect.”

The court overturned three other provisions on pre-emption grounds. “Arizona may have understandable frustrations with the problems caused by illegal immigration while that process continues, but the state may not pursue policies that undermine federal law,” Kennedy said.

The provisions struck down by the court:

• Make it a crime for immigrants to fail to obtain and carry federal registration documents. “Permitting the state to impose its own penalties for the federal offenses here would conflict with the careful framework Congress adopted,” Kennedy wrote.

• Make it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or apply for work. Federal law imposes civil rather than criminal penalties for illegal immigrants who engage in unauthorized work, Kennedy said. Although the Arizona law “attempts to achieve one of the same goals as federal law—the deterrence of unlawful employment—it involves a conflict in the method of enforcement,” Kennedy said.

• Authorize warrantless arrests when there is probable cause to believe a person has committed a public offense warranting deportation. Under federal law, an administrative document is issued when an alien is subject to deportation; the attorney general has discretion to authorize an arrest pending a removal decision. The state law authorizes arrests without federal input. “The result could be unnecessary harassment of some aliens (for instance, a veteran, college student, or someone assisting with a criminal investigation) whom federal officials determine should not be removed,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy was joined in his opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the case.

“It is fundamental that foreign countries concerned about the status, safety, and security of their nationals in the United States must be able to confer and communicate on this subject with one national sovereign, not the 50 separate states,” Kennedy wrote.

Justice Antonin Scalia would have upheld all four provisions, he wrote in a concurring and dissenting opinion. States had a long-time role in regulating immigration, and the Constitution did not eliminate their power to do so, he said. “Arizona has moved to protect its sovereignty—not in contradiction of federal law, but in complete compliance with it,” he wrote. “The laws under challenge here do not extend or revise federal immigration restrictions, but merely enforce those restrictions more effectively. If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign state.”

Justices Clarence Thomas wrote that he would have upheld all four provisions, though he differed with Scalia on the reason. Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. would have upheld three provisions.

The case is Arizona v. United States.

In a press release, ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III applauded the holding striking down three provisions of the Arizona law. “As the ABA argued in the amicus brief it filed in the case, immigration law and policy are and must remain uniquely federal, with states having no role in immigration enforcement except pursuant to federal authorization and oversight,” Robinson said.”

….Continue reading more @ ABA Journal

California’s Role in the Rise of Donald Trump | Apr 26, 2017

DONNELLY: Marlow, Lucas Discuss the Rise of Trumpism in California

|| Breitbart

“What may come as a shock to some of the staunchest liberals in California — who wear their Trump “resistance” as a badge of honor — is that California was the birthplace of “Trumpism,” according to Politico writer Scott Lucas.

Lucas called into Breitbart News Daily Show, hosted by Alex Marlow, on Monday, and for about 14 minutes, one of the most conservative radio hosts and one of the most liberal political journalists had an extremely good conversation—one that was both insightful and respectful.

(Something lacking in the current political climate.)

Marlow and Lucas attended Berkeley together — where they battled on blogs and in the school paper — and still talk occasionally to this day.  Lucas recently penned a piece for Politico entitled, “How California Gave us Trumpism”—and Marlow asked him how it was received.

In response, Lucas quoted a conservative friend from high school, who was a contestant on The Apprentice and “knew Donald Trump a little: “Scott, I feel like this piece does a really, really good job of understanding sort of how I see the world, seeing things through my eyes.”

And that sort of sums up Trump’s appeal.

He saw the world through the eyes of the tired, the forgotten, the everyman — who’d been left behind.

In California, conservatives are the truest of true believers, whose isolation has made them all the more ardent about their beliefs. According to Lucas, it was that environment that gave birth to “Trumpism,” described by Lucas as the “marriage of ‘Constitutional Conservatism’ coming out of the Claremont Institute with a sort of ‘Entertainment Populism’ coming out of Breitbart.”

When asked who were some of the names who sparked what Lucas later in the interview calls “an important intellectual moment,” more than 80% of the names are likely familiar to Breitbart’s audience:

  1. Steve Bannon, former Breitbart CEO, now chief strategist to President Trump;
  2. Stephen Miller, an immigration hard-liner from Santa Monica, now White House policy adviser;
  3. Michael Anton, now a high-level National Security Council aide, raised in Northern California;
  4. Julia Hahn, Bannon’s fellow Breitbart alum, who is now an aide in the West Wing, and who grew up in Los Angeles, where she attended the prestigious Harvard-Westlake School;
  5. Alex Marlow, the editor-in-chief of Breitbart News and another Harvard-Westlake alum, the website that has become the primary media vehicle for Trump’s “populist nationalist” agenda.

One name that came up later would bring the entire discussion full circle — and that was none other than Andrew Breitbart himself, who Lucas noted embodied both schools of thought. Breitbart was on a Lincoln Fellowship at the Claremont Institute when he launched the website that would bear his name, and later help launch one of the most unlikely presidencies in modern times.

What is ‘California Trumpism’?

Lucas says, “’Trumpists’ are people who think California — and by extension the United States — are in decline…that there’s something wrong, something’s on the downslope, and they’re very willing to say that, point it out, try to figure out what to do about it.”

For Lucas, there are two seminal moments in the rise of “Trumpism.”  First, the publication of Michael Anton’s “The Flight 93 Election” — in which Anton, under an alias, lays out the perfect case for why a Trump-like figure can only arise as a Phoenix from the ashes of a corrupt, California-like Republic — and the tragic murder of Kate Steinle, the beautiful 32 year-old woman cut down in the prime of her life by an illegal alien set loose on the streets of San Francisco by liberals’ sanctuary policy.

Lucas was very open about the way he and other liberals were taken by complete surprise by Trump’s election — something that many conservatives in California understood intuitively was a foregone conclusion once Trump made it clear he would stand and fight like Reagan did, instead of cutting and running  like the Mitt Romney wing of the party.  But unlike most liberals, Lucas admitted that he believes it is important to understand how we got here, instead of simply demonizing Trump and his supporters.

“We’re all in this country together, we’re all in this state together — who are you people?” Lucas asks, rhetorically.  “What do you think?”

It seems a very important intellectual moment in bringing together these sort of two strands of Conservatism that have emerged in Southern California.

On the one hand, this idea from the Claremont Institute — that the United States was founded as sort of an expression of ancient political theory coming from Aristotle and people like that.  And that we’re in serious trouble with the rise of Progressive Liberal Government in the 20th Century.

And on the other hand, sort of Andrew Breitbart’s idea that culture is ahead of politics — that you had to create a media vehicle that sort of spoke to people where they are — and bring them along politically after that.

And it struck me that was very obviously the formula for Trump…

Lucas decried the violence and death of free speech in Berkeley (the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement’):  “It’s very disheartening to see people [on the far left and the far right] who’d rather punch each other than talk to each other when they have political disagreements.”

When asked by Marlow if life is going to get better or worse for conservatives in California, Lucas had a warning.

“California is always a decade or two ahead of the United States — and…as goes California, so, too, very often goes the United States…”. He suggested that progressive leftism was likely going to take over the rest of the nation in that time.

Not likely in places like Texas or the heartland of this country, at least not anytime soon.

Maybe there’s another takeaway…

Since “Trumpism” was truly born in California, perhaps there’s hope for the Golden State after all.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

Bloomberg on Sanctuary Cities | ‘Society breaks down if we can all decide what’s right and what’s wrong’ | Apr 25, 2017

Michael Bloomberg on Sanctuary Cities: ‘The Law Is the Law’

|| PJ Media

“Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacked sanctuary cities on MSNBC Tuesday morning, denouncing the idea of cities effectively nullifying federal law.

“What would you do about this issue of sanctuary cities, about the cities who are saying we’re not going to enforce federal law?” economic analyst Steven Rattner asked Bloomberg on “Morning Joe.”

“You cannot, Steve, have everybody be deciding which laws they obey,” the former mayor bluntly declared. “The law is the law.”

Rather than changing or subverting federal law — especially on immigration, the most frequent target of “sanctuary cities” — Bloomberg insisted that people should try to change the law.

“You should obey the law, and if you don’t like the law, get your legislative body to change the law,” the former mayor said. “But society breaks down if we can all decide what’s right and what’s wrong. You can’t do that. We have a system of laws, [you] have to live with it.”

The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent made a solid point, echoing PJ Media’s own Victor Davis Hanson. Sanctuary cities, by attempting to nullify federal law, are following the lead of the Confederacy. This does not mean supporting immigrants is akin to supporting slavery, but rather that the idea of cities rejecting federal authority is akin to states rejecting federal leadership, as they did in the Civil War.

Unfortunately for the rule of law, the current mayor of New York is Bill de Blasio, an advocate of sanctuary cities who led the charge to make the Big Apple one of them. After the Trump administration threatened to cut federal funding to sanctuary cities (a fitting response), de Blasio said he would challenge that decision in court.”

….Continue reading more @ PJ Media

Le Pen destroys Merkel

|| Youtube

Immigration | More Judicial Obstruction on Sanctuary Cities | Apr 25, 2017

Judge blocks President Trump’s sanctuary city funding freeze

|| San Jose Mercury News

“SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge Tuesday halted President Donald Trump’s executive order stripping sanctuary jurisdictions of federal funding, dealing a blow to the Trump Administration’s efforts to punish so-called sanctuary cities and counties.

With Santa Clara County and San Francisco’s landmark motion for a preliminary injunction approved, the section of the executive order applying to sanctuary jurisdictions will not go into effect until the court rules on the county’s Feb. 3 lawsuit against the administration.

District Judge William Orrick issued a ruling less than two weeks after a hearing on the case. Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez called it a victory for immigrant rights.

“We’re fighting for the United States Constitution and we succeeded after the Trump Administration tried to do an end run around it,” Chavez said in a statement. “The court’s decision is a win for the neediest people in our nation. Seniors in need of food, foster youth in need of shelter and children who need medical care. We’ll continue being a welcoming, safe and diverse community.”

Chad Readler, acting assistant attorney general, said Santa Clara County and San Francisco were interpreting the executive order too broadly. The funding cutoff applies to three Justice Department and Homeland Security Department grants that require complying with a federal law that local governments not block officials from providing people’s immigration status, he said.
The order would affect less than $1 million in funding for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco, Readler said. Republican President Donald Trump was using a “bully pulpit” to “encourage communities and states to comply with the law,” Readler said.

The case has placed Santa Clara and San Francisco at the center of a contentious debate about sanctuary cities and counties. Hundreds of jurisdictions around the country have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants, proclaiming they will not turn those immigrants over to federal agents, despite repeated threats from the Trump Administration.

Orrick appeared to sense the ambiguity of the policy, at one point asking, “What would the purpose of the executive order be?”

….Continue reading more @ Mercury News

 

Federal judge blocks Trump’s sanctuary cities executive order

|| Washington Examiner

“A federal judge on Tuesday blocked President Trump’s sanctuary cities executive order.

San Francisco and Santa Clara County both won preliminary injunctions on Tuesday against Trumps’ Jan. 25 executive order that moved to cut off federal funding from cities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration requests.

According to San Francisco-based U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick, the loss of funds would cause cities “to suffer irreparable harm absent an injunction.”

Orrick also cited public comments from Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying the two “erased” any “doubt about the scope of the order.”

However, the federal government is still able to enforce existing conditions of federal grants and does not restrict it from “developing regulations or preparing guidance on designating a jurisdiction as a ‘sanctuary jurisdiction,'” Orrick ruled.

There are at least three other lawsuits against similar language in the executive order.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez called it a victory for immigrants.

“We’re fighting for the United States Constitution and we succeeded after the Trump administration tried to do an end run around it,” said Chavez in a statement. “The court’s decision is a win for the neediest people in our nation. Seniors in need of food, foster youth in need of shelter and children who need medical care. We’ll continue being a welcoming, safe and diverse community.”

The federal government has been taking actions targeting so-called sanctuary cities since the January executive order, such has rolling back Justice Department grants that a city can receive contingent on cooperating with immigration requests under Section 1317 of 8 U.S. Code.

The decision comes only months after courts ruled against key portions of two of Trump’s immigration-related executive orders.”

…..Continue reading more @ WashingtonExaminer

The Danger of Sanctuary Cities | Apr 2016

Sanctuary Cities and the Concept of Federal Preemption and the Supremacy Clause | Nov 21 2016

Now Mexican ‘Immigrants’ Say it’s ‘Canada’s Turn’ | Apr 25, 2017

Canadians Get “A Little Mad” As Refugees Continue To Flood In From U.S.

|| ZeroHedge

“Just over a month ago we highlighted the comments of one recently deported Mexican nationalist who told Reuters that illegally immigrating to the U.S. was over, courtesy of the Trump administration, and that it was “Canada’s turn” to welcome the world’s immigrants with open arms.

 

“For those without documents, I think (the United States) is over. Now it’s Canada’s turn.”

And, with each passing month, new immigration stats from Canada seem to indicate that Reuters’ young border-hopper was a very prescient fellow indeed.  According to stats highlighted by the Financial Times today, “land border asylum claims” in Canada continue to skyrocket with Quebec crossings up nearly 3x YoY and crossings into Ontario surging as well.

Meanwhile, the FT insists that the following propagandastory from a man named Abdi, a Somalian refugee who fled the U.S. out of fear of Trump, is typical of what’s driving the illegal and dangerous migrations north.

“Every time you see the TV, Trump is still talking about deportation, every time,” Abdi says, lounging on a steel-framed bed at a Salvation Army hostel in a gritty stretch of Winnipeg, the capital of Canada’s Manitoba province, where he has slept since sneaking across the border in March. “It scares me, it scares my friends, it scares everybody who is an immigrant living in the US.”

As they gaze out of the window on to central Canada’s prairies, he and two other Somali men recount their journey. Abdi says that if he returns to Somalia, the fragile east African state ravaged by decades of civil war, he would be killed, which is why he slogged through waist-deep snow and -30C temperatures to get to Canada.

“My country for me is fire . . . you see the fire, you run away. So I can’t return . . . but when you see [Trump] talking like that, you don’t feel free either,” he says.

Of course, one day after Trump signed his first immigration executive order back in January (see “Trump Signs Executive Orders To Keep “Radical Islamic Terrorists” From Entering US, Rebuild US Military”), Canada’s ‘progressive’ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent the following tweet as an apparent jab at the new U.S. administration.

And while ‘open borders’ sound super nice in a political speech, the practical reality is that the majority of Canadians, just like Americans, don’t approve of unfettered illegal border crossings that place a massive financial burden on taxpayers and are often accompanied by a surge in crime (see “Half Of Canadians Want Illegal Immigrants Deported“).

Within Canada’s political arena, the issue is becoming hugely divisive, with many of the same debates and sentiments that have been so prevalent in the US. For Mr Trudeau, openness to refugees is a core conviction — part of the progressive image that his father, Pierre Trudeau, who led Canada for 15 years, is credited with shaping. Roland Paris, a former adviser to the younger Mr Trudeau, whose cabinet includes turban-wearing Sikhs and Muslims, says he is “unlikely to back down on this”.

But Canadians are ambivalent about this type of irregular — some say illegal — migration. A recent poll by Reuters showed almost half of Canadians want these asylum seekers to be deported.

Some opposition Conservative politicians have promised to deploy the military to close the border. With Mr Trudeau’s approval ratings at a low of 48 per cent, they sense an opportunity. While Canada has not been shaken by populist tremors in the same way as France or the US, anti-immigrant sentiments are moving into mainstream politics.

Meanwhile, conservatives in Canada, taking a cue from the recent U.S. elections no doubt, have ratcheted up their nationalist rhetoric, with politicians threatening to enlist the army to fortify their border.

“There are significant portions of the population that have expressed discomfort with these arrivals,” admits Mr Paris. “The [Conservative candidates] see this as a potential issue to run with.”

In Emerson, opinion is divided. Some residents spoke of plans to assimilate the Somali families permanently in a town where there is little unemployment and farmers are often in need of help. “We have the space in Canada. It’s not like Europe where you have people on top of each other,” says Mr Janzen, the mayor.

But there is also tension in the town of 678 people. “Canada can’t take care of the whole world and it seems lately like that’s the way it is,” says Wayne Turton, who owns a car repair shop in Emerson. “It makes you a little cranky . . . it makes us a little mad.”

First it was just Trump supporters, but now it’s looking increasingly likely that France and Canada are also filled with a bunch of racist people intent upon protecting their ‘arbitrary’ borders.

…..Continue reading @ ZeroHedge

Obama Spied on Everybody Since April 2009 | Apr 25, 2017

The big, amazing list of people Obama spied on | Sharyl Attkisson

|| WND

 

“The Obama administration isn’t accused of gathering intelligence information to spy for political, and other, purposes just once. Or twice. Or even just three times.

A remarkable timeline assembled by ace investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson shows just how often the Obama administration apparently spied on friend and foe alike.

With all of this information gathered in one place, WND then compiled a list gleaned from Attkisson’s timeline of all those whom the Obama administration is suspected of targeting either by spying, or investigating and/or prosecuting using intelligence information.

And the list is impressive.

  • Former U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.
  • Pro-Israel lobbyists
  • FBI contractor and whistleblower Shamai Leibowitz
  • Tea-party groups
  • WikiLeaks
  • New York Times reporter James Risen
  • NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake
  • Fox News reporter James Rosen
  • CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson
  • Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio
  • Fox News reporter Mike Levine
  • ATF Special Agent John Dodson
  • Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus
  • Associated Press reporters
  • Benghazi whistleblowers
  • President Obama’s vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright
  • Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning
  • CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou
  • NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden
  • Reporter Audrey Hudson
  • FBI agent and contractor Donald Sachtleben
  • Former state department contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Former CIA employee Jeffrey Alexander Sterling
  • Unspecified members of Congress
  • American-Jewish groups
  • Trump adviser Carter Page
  • Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
  • Candidate Donald Trump’s campaign
  • President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team

WND asked Attkisson: Given the sheer number of areas in which it engaged in spying, did it not seem clear that the Obama administration had weaponized the intelligence community?

“I think the facts of the timeline speak for themselves, and people are free to draw their own inferences,” she replied.

But, WND asked, would you not say that what the timeline clearly seems to imply is that spying was a tactic of the Obama administration in numerous areas?

“I think there’s little question that the intel community under the Obama administration utilized its tools tradecraft more aggressively and in a broader scope than had been done previously.”

Attkisson added, “As has been widely reported, it went after more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined, it targeted reporters in ways that had never been done before, and it vastly expanded permission for itself to spy on members of Congress and ordinary U.S. citizens.”

But she saw more to the picture.

“I will point out that I think some of this is less a product of a specific administration and more an outgrowth of the dynamic of government pushing the limits of authorities granted after 9/11.

“Some of the intel officials and bureaucrats calling the shots persisted from administration to administration, Republican and Democrat alike,” Attkisson observed.”

….Continue reading more @ WND

 

Schock Tactics: How The Justice Department Violated The Constitution In Its Aaron Schock Investigation

|| JonathanTurley.org

“Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the investigation of former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill), who attracted notoriety for his use of a Downton Abbey motif for the decoration of his office.  Obviously a preference for haughty interiors should not be enough to generate a massive criminal investigation.  However, the prosecutor in this case has pursued Schock with utter abandon, including trampling over long-established protections accorded to Congress.  Regardless of the merits of the fraud allegations against Schock, the investigation raises troubling questions of constitutional law and Congress should hold hearings into the violation of Article I.

At the start of his famous poem Mending Wall, Robert Frost wrote, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” When it comes to the Justice Department, that statement is particularly true this month. In the prosecution of former congressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), the Justice Department did not simply ignore the wall of separation between the legislative and executive branches, it bulldozed it.

In its invitation of possible fraud by Schock, the FBI enlisted a staff member to record conversations in the office, rummage through files and paperwork, and remove documents for investigators and prosecutors to search of any wrongdoing. It is an egregious violation of the protections afforded members of Congress and, if left unaddressed, would constitute extremely dangerous precedent for our constitutional system.”

….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org