[BOOKS] The Silencers 

The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech, by Kimberly Strassel (Twelve Press, 396 pp., $30)

I Find that Offensive!, by Claire Fox (Biteback Publishing, 179 pp., $14.95)

Fred Siegel writes: 

…Strassel’s chapters on the politicization of the IRS in Obama’s hands make for a striking summary of Chicago skullduggery. In 2012, an election year, the IRS, led by liberal operative Lois Lerner, systematically sidelined conservative (often Tea Party) organizations. The broadest and deepest scandal in IRS history is more than three years old, but there is little chance that Obama’s Chicago-ized Justice Department will hold anyone accountable. Strassel also discusses the attempts led by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Dick Durbin of Illinois to criminalize criticism of the standard-issue UN position on Unknownclimate change. The senators insist that manmade climate change is a matter of “settled science.” But climate is always changing, and science is never settled.

[Order Kimberly Strassel’s book  “The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech from Amazon.com]

In late 2008, after Democrats took control of all three branches of government, the Left realized, writes Strassel, that it could use the federal bureaucracy to deploy campaign finance laws selectively against its opponents. The Left could also call upon “the extraordinary new power of the Internet and social media” to convince “a credulous public” that its assaults on opposition political activity “were aimed at ‘cleaner’ and ‘more open’ elections.” This dynamic constitutes what Strassel calls “the modern intimidation game” that “now defines American politics.”

[Read the full review here, at City Journal]

In Wisconsin, Democrats enraged by Governor Scott Walker’s successful effort to limit the collective bargaining rights of public employees played the intimidation game even while out of power. The state’s Progressive-era laws, designed to ensure fair elections, and its unique Government Accountability Board were turned against conservative activists who supported Walker. Democratic Party county prosecutors pressed an array of lawsuits and used armed sheriffs’ deputies to stage early-morning raids, guns drawn, on the homes of conservative activists suspected of having marginally violated state campaign finance laws—in this case, the heinous crime of having outside committees coordinate campaign expenditures with Governor Walker’s cover_9781849549813electoral efforts. Further, the accused were forbidden by state law of telling anyone, except their lawyers, about the raids. Most of this, as Strassel accurately notes, was “simple harassment.”

[Order Claire Fox’s bookI Find that Offensive!from Amazon.com]

As for real wrongdoing, the Obama administration, as Strassel explains, has slow-walked documents required for the investigation into the IRS scandals and the Justice Department’s Fast and Furious fiasco, in which the federal government inadvertently armed Mexican drug cartels. Moreover, the House committee examining the Benghazi debacle still doesn’t have tens of thousands of Hillary Clinton emails. But the investigation did inadvertently expose the former secretary of state’s home-brewed email server. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] New Video, Radio Transmissions During Baltimore Riots Released

Demonstrators throw rocks at police in Baltimore after the funeral of Freddie Gray on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

“He got hit with a brick. We’re going to standby here. I can’t leave these officers here by themselves.”

BALTIMORE — Gina Cook reports:  When riots erupted in Baltimore in April, 150 cops were hurt as the city descended into chaos. Newly released video and radio transmissions are providing an additional viewpoint into just how confusing and tense it was for Baltimore Police.

“Hold the line! Do not go forward and do not chase them!”

Some of the audio makes it clear the leaders of the police department realized their officers were ill equipped for the escalating situation, Domen reports.

Surveillance video taken at the corner of North and Pennsylvania avenues shows the progression of the riots and looting.

The following video was obtained by the Baltimore Sun:

(NO AUDIO) City surveillance video obtained by The Sun shows the intersection of Pennsylvania and North avenues over the span of several hours on April 27, 2015. That intersection, one of several locations in Baltimore that saw disturbances that night in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death, became the epicenter for violence and protests for several days. (Baltimore Sun)

“Some of the audio makes it clear the leaders of the police department realized their officers were ill equipped for the escalating situation, Domen reports.”

WNEW’s John Domen reports police radio transmissions also provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the panic officers experienced during those hours. Read the rest of this entry »


Federal Autopsy Released in Ferguson Shooting

Fed-Autopsy-Wilson-Brown

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal autopsy in the Ferguson police shooting reached similar conclusions to those performed by local officials and a private examiner hired by 18-year-old Michael Brown’s family, documents show.

The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System’s autopsy on Brown, conducted at the request of the Department of Justice, was among grand jury documents that St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch released Monday with little explanation. Other documents include transcripts of eight federal interviews of possible witnesses to Brown’s shooting in early August; police radio traffic; and an alleged audio recording of the shots fired by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

Many of the documents contained information that was similar or identical to the materials that McCulloch released on Nov. 24 after a grand jury decided not to indict Wilson in Brown’s death. A transcript of testimony from an Air Force pathologist who performed the Justice Department autopsy was included in the November documents, but the autopsy report itself was not released until Monday.

The transcripts of the witness interviews that were released Monday were already included in previously released testimony heard by the grand jury.

The Justice Department autopsy found that Brown died from multiple gunshot wounds and had severe head and chest injuries, though it noted that the chest injury might have been an exit wound from a shot that entered Brown’s arm. The autopsy also found a minor gunshot wound to Brown’s right hand was evidence of close range discharge of a firearm. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Missouri Lt. Governor: Did the Obama Administration Pressure Governor Jay Nixon to Keep Out the National Guard?

At The Corner, Brendan Bordelon: Missouri lieutenant governor Peter Kinder expressed anger over the the Missouri National Guard’s absence from Ferguson during riots on Monday night, speculating that the Obama administration may have leaned on the Missouri governor to keep the soldiers back.

“Where were they last night? The law-abiding citizens and business owners and taxpayers of the St. Louis region have the right to ask this governor to answer some questions.”

Kinder, a Republican, lashed out at Democratic governor Jay Nixon for his failure to send the National Guard into the city while protesters looted and burned over a dozen businesses. Despite activating the Guard a week ago, troops were not deployed to Ferguson until Tuesday morning….(read more)

“Here’s my question that the governor must answer. Is the reason that the National Guard wasn’t in there was because the Obama administration and the Holder Justice Department leaned on you to keep them out?”

 more….National Review Online