April 4th, 2012
(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday said it was preparing to sue Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department for violating civil rights laws by improperly targeting Latinos in a bid to crack down on illegal immigrants. The sheriff's high-profile crackdown on illegal immigrants has helped thrust the issue onto the national political stage with some states passing tough new laws aimed at pushing out those in the country illegally. The administration's Justice Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office have been in settlement talks for months over allegations that officers regularly made unlawful stops and arrests of Latinos, used excessive force against them and failed to adequately protect the Hispanic community. Those negotiations have broken down because of a fight over the Justice Department's demand that an independent monitor be appointed by a federal court to oversee compliance with the settlement, which has now reached 128 pages in draft form, according to the Obama administration.
(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday said it was preparing to sue Arizona county sheriff Joe Arpaio and his department for violating civil rights laws by improperly targeting Latinos in a bid to crack down on illegal immigrants.
The sheriff's high-profile crackdown on illegal immigrants has helped thrust the issue onto the national political stage with some states passing tough new laws aimed at pushing out those in the country illegally.
The administration's Justice Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office have been in settlement talks for months over allegations that officers regularly made unlawful stops and arrests of Latinos, used excessive force against them and failed to adequately protect the Hispanic community.
Those negotiations have broken down because of a fight over the Justice Department's demand that an independent monitor be appointed by a federal court to oversee compliance with the settlement, which has now reached 128 pages in draft form, according to the Obama administration.
"We believe that you are wasting time and not negotiating in good faith," Roy Austin, deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's civil rights division, said in a letter to the lawyer for Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO).
Austin said in the letter that Arpaio's team demanded that a meeting slated for Wednesday include for the first time negotiations over the monitor and previously had demanded that the Justice Department provide more details about its findings.
"MCSO's refusal to engage in good faith negotiations requires us to prepare for civil (court) action," Austin said. He added that the Justice Department has recently discovered more information about the "failure to reasonably investigate sex crimes" by Arpaio's office.
The Justice Department in a December report outlined numerous alleged civil rights violations, including that Latino drivers were four to nine times more likely to be stopped than non-Latinos by Arpaio's force.
The sheriff has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and lashed out at the Obama administration for targeting his department and failing to deal with the problem of illegal immigration with some 11.5 million believed to be in the United States.
In a strongly worded statement on Tuesday, Arpaio said the appointment of a monitor would force him to abdicate responsibility for his police force, including decisions about policies, operations, jail programs and enforcement.
"To the Obama administration, who is attempting to strong arm me into submission only for its political gain, I say: This will not happen, not on my watch!" Arpaio said in the statement.
Arpaio's force has been under investigation by federal authorities since 2008 during the Bush administration. Obama's Justice Department spent months fighting for access to documents and to some of his deputies. Arpaio was interviewed twice during the probe.
(Additional reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix; Editing by Anthony Boadle)
April 3rd, 2012
We at Conservative Refocus predicted this exact outcome in an earlier article published on 4/1 as follows:
According to the Washington Posts' Eric Wemple, NBC News has started an internal investigation into why the Zimmerman 911 audio was selectively edited by NBC apparatchiks.
This will most likely end up with NBC later coming out with a conclusion of "it was simply journalistic oversight," with NBC taking pains to "make sure this doesn't happen again,"
NBC has completed its investigation into the mishandling of the police dispatcher’s conversation with George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. And the process ends with a finding of error, plus an apology. Here is the statement just issued by the network:
During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.
That apology addresses the “Today” show’s failure to abridge accurately the conversation between Zimmerman and the dispatcher in this high-profile case. This is how the program portrayed a segment of that conversation:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.
And here is how it actually went down:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.
No matter how you feel about Zimmerman, that bit of tape editing was unfair to the truth and to Zimmerman’s reputation, such as it is. Reaction on Twitter and elsewhere to my previous post on this matter, was brutal toward NBC, with many comments suggesting the worst about the network’s motivations, reliability and so on.
Does the statement adequately address those concerns? On the good front, it acknowledges the mistake and apologizes to viewers for the bad editing. It’s a forthright correction and spares us any excuses about the faulty portrayal. On the bad front, the statement is skimpy on the details on just how the mistake unfolded. Nor does it articulate an apology directly to George Zimmerman, the “viewer” who is most aggrieved by the screw-up. In light of all that’s happened, Zimmerman may be a tough person for a news network to apologize to, but that’s just the point: Apologies are hard.
So, CR here again, can we call em' or what?
April 3rd, 2012
Spokane Conservative Examiner
By Joe Newby
On Tuesday, President Obama donned the mantle of national Editor-in-Chief as he encouraged news editors to treat him as a "centrist" while painting Republicans as radicals - as if they really needed any prodding.
“So, as all of you are doing your reporting, I think it is important to remember that the positions I’m taking now on the budget and on a host of other issues, if we had been having this discussion 20 years ago or 15 years ago, would have been considered squarely centrist positions," he told an annual meeting of the American Society of News Editors.
“What’s changed is the center of the Republican Party,” he added.
The Daily Caller added:
Obama used the same high-pressure tactics on the Supreme Court, which is now considering whether his far-reaching health care overhaul law expands government power beyond the limits set in the Constitution.
“I’m sure those folks are taking their responsibilities seriously. … [They] won’t strike it down,” he said.
Obama’s comments about the Supreme Court came in response to a question about his statement yesterday that it would be “unprecedented” for the high court to strike down a law passed by a duly-elected Congress.
April 3rd, 2012
BLS Note: I resisted the urge to also write within the title "God help us all." Like it or not, it's now time to get our heads and hearts right and propel this man into the office that so needs him and his Capitalist expertise, and then pressure him into staying Right of Center. Remember when you said "Anyone but Obama?" Well , now it's time to live it, folks...Ok, I'll go first:
Gee.... that wasn't so hard, and by the way, his Wisconsin speech was "Brilliant" and I do mean that. Oh, and after Obama's "BS" over the last two days, you have to ask yourself "What would Romney do?"
You already know the answer to that question....
Mitt Romney pulled off a three-primary sweep Tuesday night, bolstering his bid to quickly pivot from Republican front-runner to presumptive nominee.
The former Massachusetts governor won the contests in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia, Fox News projects. In doing so, he left Rick Santorum an increasingly distant second while solidifying his own lead and enabling his campaign to turn toward what it hopes will be a November matchup between him and President Obama.
Romney, in some of his clearest language to date, used his victory speech in Milwaukee to map out what appeared to be his general election message. He portrayed Obama as an enemy of business, himself as its promoter. He portrayed Obama as the steward of a "government-centered society," himself as the champion of a revitalized "opportunity society."
In the most memorable line of the night, Romney accused "out-of-touch liberals like Barack Obama" of saying they want a strong economy while showing they "don't like" business.
"It's a bit like saying you like an omelette, but you don't like eggs," Romney said. He said Obama's vision would lead to high unemployment, "crushing debt" and "stagnant wages."
Romney also crossed a symbolic threshold Tuesday night, passing the halfway mark in his march toward the 1,144 delegate needed to clinch the nomination. He now has well over 600 delegates, more than twice the number Santorum claims. Romney will win most of the 92 delegates at stake Tuesday.
Santorum, though, pledged to press on Tuesday night and outlined a path -- however narrow -- to victory in the nomination battle.
He hammered the point that only half the total delegates available in the GOP contest have been awarded, and predicted the April 24 primary in his home state of Pennsylvania could turn the tide.
"We have now reached the point where it's half-time," he told a Pennsylvania crowd, having long since left Wisconsin. "Who's ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?"
Santorum continued to say Republicans need to pick somebody who can demonstrate a clear contrast with Obama in the fall.
"We don't win by moving to the middle," he said, claiming Republicans win by getting the middle to "move to us."
Though four other states are also voting on April 24, Santorum predicted a Pennsylvania win would effectively reset the mood.
"The clock starts tonight," he said. "After winning this state, the field looks a little different in May."
According to the latest delegate tally, though, Romney is at 646 delegates. Santorum is far back at 272, followed by Newt Gingrich at 135 and Ron Paul at 51. Santorum would have to win an overwhelming majority of the remaining delegates to surpass Romney. Even preventing Romney from hitting 1,144 before the convention is becoming increasingly difficult.
Romney dominated the field in Tuesday's contests. He appeared to have a double-digit lead over Santorum in Maryland, though his Wisconsin victory was a bit tighter. He blew past Gingrich and Paul in D.C., where Santorum had failed to qualify for the ballot.
With Romney moving ever-closer to the nomination, Obama's team is training its attention on the GOP front-runner. His campaign launched a new TV ad blasting Romney for the first time by name -- accusing him of backing "Big Oil" at a time of high gas prices.
Romney fired back in his Wisconsin speech, telling Americans that when they drive by the gas pump, "Ask yourself, 'Four more years of that?'"
Santorum has claimed all along that Romney is buying his support by spending millions on TV ads, and that his own campaign is backed by grassroots conservatives.
Indeed, Romney continues to face questions about his appeal among the conservative base going forward. Exit polls in the contests held Tuesday, though, showed the former Massachusetts doing well across several different demographic groups.
In Maryland, he captured almost half of the Tea Party vote and won 61 percent of support among seniors.
In Wisconsin, Romney saw some of the strongest support to date among those who describe themselves as very conservative. Romney captured 46 percent support among those voters, compared with 40 percent for Santorum.
April 3rd, 2012
ABC News / Rachel Rose Hartman
Loath to allow Republicans to dominate the 2012 energy discussion with attacks, President Barack Obama's campaign responded to coordinated Republican attacks on the administration's energy policy with a new campaign ad of its own on Monday, which also takes aim at Mitt Romney.
"Why is big oil attacking him? Because he's fighting to end their tax breaks," a voice-over states about Obama in the new commercial. "Mitt Romney stood with big oil for their tax breaks."
The commercial is airing in the key battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia—the same states where the American Energy Alliance group (which Democrats say is funded by the billionaire oil magnates David and Charles Koch) is running a $3.6 million campaign blasting the president on energy.
The campaign's decision to invest directly in this tit-for-tat suggests that gas prices combined with the Solyndra scandal are a real concern for the president's supporters.
It also highlights Romney as the campaign's biggest opponent. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement Monday that "it's no surprise President Obama is spending his soon-to-be $1 billion war chest to attack Mitt Romney and deflect blame for his failure to control gas prices." Saul repeated Republican attacks highlighting Energy Secretary Steven Chu's 2008 statement about the benefits of European-level gas prices.
Monday's commercial is only the second television ad to be released by the Obama campaign itself. It is the first television commercial from the campaign to directly identify Romney.
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