2 years ago

Did President Obama run a scandal-free administration?

(Wikicommons)

Upon hearing that former President Barack Obama recently boasted that he had a scandal-free administration, my first thought after regaining my faculties was: How can I possibly cram all the evidence refuting this in a little bitty column?

Then I read that what he actually said was, “We didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.” At first blush, that sounds better, right? Because I assume he doesn’t mean he’s incapable of being embarrassed. After a little more thought, though, it occurred to me that this construction just highlights the real reason he has apparently deluded himself into thinking he served eight honorable years: The liberal media had his back the entire time, even when he treated them like dirt.

In fact, Obama was a perpetual power-abusing machine. He was so routinely high-handed and selectively contemptuous of the rule of law that people were beginning to think presidential authoritarianism was the new normal. How ironic that so many of Obama’s enablers are now projecting these sins onto President Trump, who — to this point, at least – hasn’t actually crossed the line into flouting the Constitution. The left believes — and acts on the belief — that the ends justify the means, and so, it naturally assumes we will do the same. Obama was hell-bent on fundamentally transforming America as founded, and he was willing to scratch, bite, kick, steal and flush the rule of law to accomplish it — and he did, like no president before him. In other words, Obama’s lies were OK because lies are sometimes necessary for the greater good.

For your review, let me just give you a list of examples, many of them snatched from my two Obama books, which chronicled his two disgraceful terms. Not all technically qualify as scandals, but enough do.

–Benghazi: In addition to the scandalous betrayal and death of our people, Obama and his cohorts concocted and disseminated the lie that the attack on our consulate was caused by an anti-Muslim video. Later, Judicial Watch obtained a smoking-gun email from top-level Obama aid Ben Rhodes, sent to a dozen members of Obama’s inner circle, that contained talking points to prepare then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for the Sunday talk shows. Three of the four main bullet points Rhodes was advising Rice to convey were patently false, including the lie about the video. They knew, because the CIA made it clear, that the attack was not the result of a spontaneous protest to an anti-Muslim video but preplanned by al-Qaida. The Obama administration manufactured this canard to insulate Obama from criticism two months before the November 2012 election, as he had boasted that he had al-Qaida on the run.

–Obama’s IRS conspired to target conservative and pro-Israel groups for discriminatory treatment in acquiring tax exemptions.

–Obama and then-Attorney general Eric Holder’s Justice Department was never held to account for its actions on the gunrunning scandal known as Operation Fast and Furious, in which an American was murdered with weapons this administration deliberately put into the hands of Mexican cartels.

–This same Justice Department was also under a cloud due to scandals involving its massive culling of Associated Press reporters’ phone records concerning a leak investigation, slandering Fox News reporter James Rosen over classified information, and monitoring Rosen’s phone calls and emails.

–Obama’s lies on Obamacare were legion and scandalous: He knew from the jump we couldn’t keep our plans or our doctors, and that Obamacare would reduce rather than increase people’s access to care. He knew it wouldn’t reduce premiums by $2,500 for the average family of four. He deceived us when he said no federal dollars would be used to fund abortions. He grossly distorted the picture of the true number of uninsured. His goal, proved on videotape, was always single-payer. He used budgetary accounting gimmicks to grease Obamacare by the CBO, including the double counting on Medicare.

–After Obama’s failure to pass cap-and-trade legislation through Congress to purportedly reduce the global temperature by suppressing traditional energy production and consumption, his Environmental Protection Agency unilaterally and unconstitutionally issued a decree to accomplish his goal administratively. Some called this one of the biggest power grabs in American history, as the EPA had positioned itself to regulate fuel economy, set climate policy for the nation and amend the Clean Air Act — powers never delegated to it by Congress.

— The Obama administration flagrantly defied a federal court order on his moratorium on offshore drilling when his interior secretary, Ken Salazar, said he would just reimpose the moratorium based on information that wasn’t fully developed earlier.

–Obama rigged the playing field to secure for his labor-union friends a bigger stake in his new General Motors than was warranted by their actual ownership interest. He robbed secured creditors of their preferred-creditor status and the value of their investment by using the power of his office to strong-arm a restructuring of the company. When Democratic Party donor and super-lawyer Tom Lauria opposed this plan on behalf of his client, according to Lauria, the White House threatened to destroy his client’s reputation.

–The Obama-Hillary Clinton FISA scandal, the egregiousness of which is being casually dismissed by many, will someday be fully exposed.

–Then, there’s the Iran nuclear deal, Obama’s unprecedented federal land grabs; his dismissal of a voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party that had already been won; his bullying of doctors and insurance companies when it served his purposes; his endless stirring of the racial pot; his bullying and fact-starved attack on BP that culminated in his authoritarian command, “Just plug the damn hole”; his stable of unaccountable “czars”; his war on Fox News, which preceded Trump’s battles with the press that Democrats find so horrifying; the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal; the Solyndra scandal; the deliberate targeting of the coal industry; the shakedown of banks; the massive redistribution scheme disguised as an economic stimulus program; the federal commandeering of the student loan program; his public dressing down of the Supreme Court; his whispered hot-mic pledge to Russia to be more flexible on missile defense; his cavalier treatment of Arizona !
and its immigration laws; and gobs more.

I truly could go on, but I trust you get the picture.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

13 hours ago

Former Etowah Co. sheriff sues ALdotcom, law enforcement officers over damaging story

Former Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin is suing for defamation the individuals involved in a 2018 news story in which a woman accused him of illegal activities, including statutory rape.

The defendants listed in the suit include current Etowah County Sheriff Jonathan Horton, Oneonta Police Chief Charles Clifton, the parent company of Alabama Media Group’s AL.com and reporter Connor Sheets.

Horton was Rainbow City’s police chief at the time the story was published. He later beat Entrekin in a Republican primary to become the county sheriff.

The news story at the center of the lawsuit was published in 2018 under the headline “Police investigating allegations Alabama’s ‘Beach House Sheriff’ had sex with underage girls.”

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Entrekin was given the moniker ‘Beach House Sheriff’ because of a widely shared report from earlier in 2018 that detailed how he used an old Alabama law to keep for himself hundreds of thousands of dollars meant for feeding the county’s prisoners; the beach house had a similar price tag to the amount of money he kept.

Entrekin’s lawyers argue in the suit that the publication of the article alleging rape was “reckless and malicious” and in their mind more due to a collective animus from the defendants than proper journalistic and policing practices.

The claims at the center of the 2018 article are made by a woman named Mary Elizabeth Cross, who alleged that Entrekin committed statutory rape by having sexual relations with her at drug-fueled parties in 1992 when he was 29 and she was 15. Cross was age 41 in 2018 when she came forward with the allegations.

Entrekin told AL.com at the time, “I’ve never had sex with any 15-year-old girl or had drugs around or anything. I have never done drugs in my life. That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard of. Never, ever has anything like that happened before.”

Cross brought the accusations to Horton in 2018, who was police chief of Rainbow City at the time. Horton was also then running against Entrekin in a campaign to be Etowah County Sheriff, so he referred the case to Oneonta Police Chief Charles Clifton.

Entrekin’s lawyers argue in the suit that Oneonta Chief Clifton has been “harboring a personal grudge against” against Entrekin “since the 1990s” that stemmed from “past professional interactions.”

The AL.com report says Clifton is the individual who contacted reporter Connor Sheets about the allegation, and two reporters and law enforcement officers interviewed her together during a long drive.

The lawyers for the former sheriff make similar claims that both Sheets and Horton participated in the article out of personal dislike for Entrekin.

Horton’s dislike, they argue, stems from what was in 2018 his ongoing campaign against Entrekin for the county sheriff position.

Sheets, they allege, harbors “a demonstrated dislike for Alabama sheriffs generally, and Mr. Entrekin in particular.”

In addition to Sheets, the suit names Advance Local Media, which publishes AL.com, along with the cities of Oneonta and Rainbow City, which employed Clifton and Horton respectively at the time of the article’s publishing.

The AL.com report cited a friend of Cross’, who the reporter allowed to remain anonymous, as corroborating the existence of the parties where young girls were with older men around the time of the alleged criminal behavior.

Entrekin’s complaint says that he did not purchase the lakeside property until 1995, three years after the incidents are reported to have happened. Additionally, a boat structure cited in the allegation against Entrekin was not built until 2009, his lawsuit contends as evidence in his favor.

The attorney for Entrekin filed the lawsuit in Etowah County Circuit Court. It can be accessed here.

The defendants in the suit did not return calls for comment left by the Gadsden Times, the paper closest to the relevant officials.

Entrekin’s lawyers said in a statement that their client “seeks to correct the record and repair some of the damage these defendants have done to his reputation and employment possibilities.”

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

14 hours ago

Officials say Alabamians cannot be required to wear a mask in order to vote

Secretary of State John Merrill on Friday released guidance from his office and Attorney General Steve Marshall saying face masks cannot be a requirement in order to vote in Alabama’s July 14 primary runoff election.

A release from Merrill’s office outlined that the secretary of state has received numerous inquiries from county and city officials questioning the legal authority to require or not require voters to wear masks. Various localities in the state have enacted general mask ordinances recently.

In public response to those inquiries, Merrill confirmed that state law does not place limits on an individual’s right to vote, citing Article III, Section 177(a) of the Constitution of Alabama, which reinforces the inherent right of eligible citizens to vote.

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Additionally, Merrill’s office advised that a notice from the attorney general’s office dated June 30 declared, “Though the Attorney General strongly recommends that voters and poll workers follow CDC guidelines when in public places and behave in a manner that is respectful of poll workers and fellow voters, it is clear that state law does not allow for an individual’s qualification to vote to be contingent upon the wearing of a mask or face covering, respecting social distancing, using gloves, or having a temperature in a normal range.”

Merrill stressed the bottomline.

“While it can be ‘strongly recommended’ that an individual wear a mask, it cannot be required,” he stated. “In our state, we will continue to see that the right for every eligible Alabamian to vote is protected.”

You can view CDC guidance for voters and election polling places here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

14 hours ago

How to save the 2020 college football season

The sports media and the political media world are gathering to undo college football.

Why? I can’t even begin to understand it.

But with the Ivy League ending their fall sports and the Big 10 ending non-conference games, with other conferences to follow, it is becoming increasingly clear that the game we all love will be killed by the end of the month, if not sooner.

The ending of non-conference games makes absolutely no sense.

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Look at the University of Florida and their schedule: They have a game with the University of Kentucky at home and an away game at Florida State. Which game do you think will get played (if there is a season)?

Kentucky, because it is in the same conference.

But Lexington and Gainesville are 708 miles away, while Gainesville and Tallahassee are around 150 miles away from each other.

So logistically, having Kentucky come to Florida is a bigger “hassle” but that game might get played.

If you can rationalize this using science, medicine, politics, logic, common sense or wild guesses, let me know.

This ridiculous decision all but dooms a season because it is indefensible and silly.

So, how do we fix this?

Throw out the conferences for a season and replace them with 50 state divisions and reset the schedule completely.

If the distance is an issue, and that’s the best reason I can come up with to end non-conference games, this eliminates that.

This will force every state to play all games in their home state, with no exceptions. These are trying times after all.

Here is a potential Alabama schedule:

9/5 – Alabama A&M  at Alabama
9/12 – Faulkner at Alabama
9/19 – Alabama at Samford
9/26 – Alabama at Troy
10/3 – UAB Blazers at Alabama
10/10 – Birmingham-Southern Panthers at Alabama
10/17  – Alabama at West Alabama
10/24 – Alabama at Alabama State
11/7 – Jacksonville State at Alabama
11/14 – North Alabama at Alabama
11/21 – Alabama at South Alabama
11/28 – Auburn at Alabama

This will be good for these schools to play the powerhouse. Maybe fans eventually get to see these games in person; the schools could even get some of that sweet TV revenue.

The rankings can be done, the same with the coaches’ and media polls.

When this schedule is done, have your conference championships and College Football Playoff as normal.

Is this the perfect system? No.

This is going to require innovation and new ideas. If you want an actual college football season, this is the best bet.

Any conference that thinks it is going to continue on, as usual, is crazy. The sports media is set for self-destruction with their thirst to insert politics into America’s avenues for escape. Killing the college football season is their goal.

They will chip away at them until they relent.

Economies will be further destroyed, jobs will be lost (in their industry as well), and lives will be changed forever.

When college football is officially canceled, we will all know things have changed for good.

It will happen.

15 hours ago

Five Guys workers who refused to serve cops have been fired, suspended

The Five Guys employees who reportedly refused to serve members of the Daphne Police Department have been fired and suspended, according to a statement from the company.

Yellowhammer News detailed earlier this week a report first made by WKRG that three Daphne police officers were refused service at a Five Guys location.

The national headquarters of the restaurant released a statement saying, “The actions the Daphne, AL franchise have taken include termination and suspension of the employees involved. The store has temporarily closed for further education and customer service training with a representative from the Daphne Police Department and will reopen at 4PM today, July 10th.”

“The actions and sentiments of a few employees in Daphne, AL do not represent Five Guys or the local franchisee,” added the company on Twitter.

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The incident caused uproar on social media from citizens angry that members of a police department were being refused service based on the uniform they wore.

“The Daphne Police Department appreciates the outpouring of support from our community and from supporters of Law Enforcement across the country. We also want to thank Five Guys on a corporate and local level. We have been working through this situation and there has been total cooperation. The Daphne Police Department does not think that the actions of a few employees represents Five Guys as a whole,” the Daphne police told FOX10 on Thursday, while the investigation was still underway.

The department also dispelled rumors that the officers were not wearing masks, saying, “All three officers were wearing masks the entire time they were inside of the establishment. The events that occurred while the officers were in the restaurant were unfortunate.”

Five Guys added on Friday that the chain was committed to “fair, respectful, and equal treatment for all customers.”

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

15 hours ago

U.S. Attorney Jay Town resigns to join private sector

U.S. Attorney Jay Town announced Friday that he is resigning his post with the Department of Justice and will take a job with a defense contractor in Huntsville later this year.

Town, 46, has been serving as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama since he was nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by Congress in 2017.

“It was an honor to be a part of this Administration with an unrivaled class of United States Attorneys from around the nation. I will forever remain thankful to those who supported my nomination and my tenure as the U.S. Attorney,” Town said in a statement.

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Before his appointment, Town served in the U.S. Marine Corps and as a judge advocate. He has also worked in the Madison County District Attorney’s Office.

“I offer my gratitude to Jay Town for his three years of service as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. Jay’s leadership in his District has been immense,” said U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr.

“His contributions to the Department of Justice have been extensive,” continued Barr, before adding, “I appreciate his service to our nation and to the Justice Department, and I wish him the very best.”

Town said of his new role, “I have accepted an incredible opportunity to work for a privately held defense contractor and cybersecurity solutions company located in Huntsville operating in both the government and commercial sectors. My role, which will begin later this year, will be significant but also has the virtue of allowing me to remain much closer to home. There will be an announcement by the company in a few weeks further explaining my position.”

As head federal prosecutor in the Northern District, Town oversaw the federal prosecutions for crimes committed in Huntsville, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Oxford and many other cities.

“My service as the U.S. Attorney has been the highest honor of my legal career. I am saddened to depart, but it is undeniable that I leave behind an incredibly competent and talented team that will always fight for justice here in the great state of Alabama,” Town commented on Wednesday.

“The Attorney General of the United States will announce my replacement in the coming days or weeks,” he concluded.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95