Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Democrats freed nearly 68,000 illegal aliens with criminal convictions in 2013

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

The federal government let nearly 68,000 illegal aliens with criminal records go free in 2013. When it’s law and order vs. future votes for Democrats, we all know which wins under this administration.

A new study from Washington’s Center For Immigration Studies (CIS) found that the Obama administration in 2013 released 67,879 illegal aliens who had been convicted of a criminal offense — 35% of the total number of the aliens with criminal convictions encountered by law enforcement.

The vast majority, the CIS report said, were due to “the Obama administration’s prosecutorial discretion policies, not because the aliens were not deportable.”

So much for President Obama’s claim last June that “today, deportation of criminals is at its highest level ever” because “we focused our enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally and who are endangering our communities.”

[...]How can our government let so many criminals go instead of deporting them, as the law demands?

“Eleven million people living in the shadows, I believe, are already American citizens,” Vice President Joseph Biden told the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

And the repeat crimes so many of these illegals with criminal records will commit against Americans is a perfectly acceptable price to pay, apparently, to win millions of new Democratic votes Obama’s aggressive, lawless open-door immigration policies in the years ahead.

Here’s an example of one of the people that Joe Biden believes is already an American citizen from National Review.

Excerpt:

Meet 27-year-old Julio Miguel Blanco-Garcia. An illegal alien from Guatemala, he has lived and worked in Fairfax County, Va., for at least eleven years. The region is a notorious “sanctuary” for immigration lawbreakers where elected officials and big business look the other way in exchange for cheap labor and cheap votes.

When he wasn’t working illegally as a construction worker in the government-fueled Boomtown ’burb or getting himself high on drugs, Blanco-Garcia was building up a lengthy rap sheet. According to Fairfax County court records cited by the Fairfax City Patch.com, Blanco-Garcia has been arrested for:

  • Public swearing/intoxication in March 2010.
  • Petit larceny in September 2011.
  • Concealment/price alteration of merchandise in April 2012.

With the feds granting blanket amnesty waivers by administrative fiat and refusing to fix the deportation abyss, coupled with brazen “don’t ask, don’t tell” sanctuary policies by local officials, Blanco-Garcia managed to escape detention and deportation for more than a decade. In December 2012, the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force (which includes U.S. Marshals staff, Fairfax County police, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and D.C. fugitive-operations officers) finally caught up with Blanco-Garcia. They detained him after determining “that he was in violation of U.S. immigration law.”

But it was too late for 19-year-old college freshman Vanessa Pham. In July 2010, the bubbly art student’s decision to be a Good Samaritan to open-borders beneficiary Blanco-Garcia cost Pham her life. After getting her nails done at a Fairfax Plaza salon, she encountered the illegal alien and his infant daughter in the parking lot. Blanco-Garcia was strung out on $400 worth of PCP.

According to prosecutors, he asked Pham to take him to the hospital. She let the man and his baby into her car. When Pham took a wrong turn, Blanco-Garcia turned on her — stabbing her more than a dozen times with a knife he was carrying. She veered into a ditch; he coldly wiped her blood off of his hands with a baby wipe and clambered out of the sunroof with the child.

Cops found the blade of the murder weapon, with the killer’s DNA, under Pham’s seat. But for nearly three years, her friends and family agonized as the DNA remained unidentified and the case unsolved. The investigative break? Illegal-alien Blanco-Garcia continued his criminal havoc — surprise, surprise — and attempted to steal several bottles of champagne from a local grocery store. He was convicted of larceny in April 2012. By December, law enforcement had tied his fingerprints to Pham’s murder. Blanco-Garcia’s trial begins next week.

True to form, the whitewash media have ignored Blanco-Garcia’s immigration status and the public-policy implications of our government’s systemic, bipartisan refusal to enforce the laws already on the books. The Washington Post (which employed illegal-alien reporter turned amnesty activist Jose Antonio Vargas for years and glorified the amnesty mob marches in 2006 and 2007) conveniently failed to mention Blanco-Garcia’s illegal-alien status. Some crimes are more equal than others.

Here’s another case where an illegal alien murdered an 18-year-old after he was offered a ride home by the victim. Again, the mainstream media ignored the story.

Which political party is more interested in protecting taxpaying citizens from criminals? Well, it’s not the Democrats, that’s for sure. On the one hand, they want to disarm law-abiding citizens. On the other hand they want to be lenient with illegal aliens who commit crimes against law-abiding citizens. It seems to me that government should exist to prevent crimes – not to grant favors to groups that they know will vote for their agenda.

Just to be clear, I favor more skilled immigration and faster naturalization of skilled immigrants who come here legally, pay their own way for some long period of time (10 years, cumulative?) and do not break the law in that time. But that’s not what the Democrats are promoting here, they want the criminals to stay. Even if it means that innocent taxpayers have to die for their political plans.

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Americans using student loans to pay for living expenses

Student Loan Bubble

Student Loan Bubble

The Wall Street Journal reports on the $1.1 trillion of student loan debt.

Excerpt:

Some Americans caught in the weak job market are lining up for federal student aid, not for education that boosts their employment prospects but for the chance to take out low-cost loans, sometimes with little intention of getting a degree.

[...]A number of factors are behind the growth in student debt. The soft jobs recovery and the emphasis on education have driven people to attain more schooling. But borrowing thousands in low-rate student loans—which cover tuition, textbooks and a vague category known as living expenses, a figure determined by each individual school—also can be easier than getting a bank loan. The government performs no credit checks for most student loans.

College officials and federal watchdogs can’t say exactly how much of the U.S.’s swelling $1.1 trillion in student-loan debt has gone to living expenses. But data and government reports indicate the phenomenon is real. The Education Department’s inspector general warned last month that the rise of online education has led more students to borrow excessively for personal expenses. Its report said that among online programs at eight universities and colleges, non-education expenses such as rent, transportation and “miscellaneous” items made up more than half the costs covered by student aid.

The report also found the schools disbursed an average of $5,285 in loans each to more than 42,000 students who didn’t log any credits at the time. The report pointed to possible factors such as fraud in addition to cases of people enrolling without serious intentions of getting a degree.

Capella Education Co., which runs online schools, examined student costs and debt at institutions— public and private —in Minnesota and concluded that between a quarter and three-quarters of loans taken out by students were for non-education expenses. At one of Capella’s master’s programs, the typical graduate left with about $30,200 in student debt even though tuition, fees and book costs totaled roughly $18,800. Borrowers are prohibited under federal law, except in rare instances, from discharging student debt through bankruptcy.

The share of student borrowers taking out the maximum amount of loans—$12,500 a year for undergraduates—has risen since the recession. In the 2011-12 academic year, federal Education Department data show, 68% of all undergraduate borrowers hit the annual loan ceiling, up from 60% in 2008.

Research suggests a fair chunk of that is going to non-education expenses. In 2011-12, about a quarter of student borrowers took out loans that exceeded their tuition, after grants, by $2,500, according to research by Mark Kantrowitz, a higher-education analyst and publisher of the education site Edvisors.com.

Some students say they intend to get a degree but must borrow as much as possible because they can’t find decent-paying jobs to cover day-to-day expenses.

Here are some examples of how this is working out:

Tommie Matherne, a 32-year-old married father of five in Billings, Mont., has been going to school since 2010, when he realized the $10 an hour he was making as a mall security guard wasn’t covering his family’s expenses. He uses roughly $2,000 in student loans each year to stock his fridge and catch up on bills. His wife is a stay-at-home mother who also gets loans to take online courses.

“We’ve been taking whatever we can for student loans every year, taking whatever we have left over and using it to stock up the freezer just so we have a couple extra months where we don’t have to worry about food,” says Mr. Matherne, who owes $51,600 in federal loans.

Some students end up going deeper into debt. Early last year, when Denna Merritt lost her long-term unemployment benefits, the 49-year-old Indianapolis woman enrolled part-time at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s online program, aiming for a degree in graphic design. She took out $15,000 in federal loans, $2,800 of which went to catch up on unpaid bills, including utilities, health-insurance premiums and cable.

Mr. Selent, of Fort Lauderdale, knows he is getting himself deeper in a hole but prefers that to the alternative of making minimum wage. In his 20s, he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from a local for-profit school but couldn’t find a job in the field after graduating and began falling behind on his student-loan bills. He is now taking courses for a degree in theater so he can become an actor.

Meanwhile, federal loans allow him to cover any needs that arise during the semester. Says Mr. Selent: “It keeps me from falling apart.”

Wow. Communications and Theatre. Do you think a private bank would have given him money to do a degree in theater? I don’t think so. A private banker might give a loan to someone trying to get a STEM degree, like computer science or nursing, but not for theater. So how did the theater major get the loan, then, if no sane private sector banker would give it to him?

This article from the Heritage Foundation think tank explains how he got the money.

Excerpt:

The Obama Administration’s overreach into the student loan industry has been wide-sweeping. In what The Wall Street Journal deemed “that other government takeover,” a provision buried deep in Obamacare effectively nationalized the student loan industry by ending government subsidies to private lenders and putting the federal government in charge of originating and servicing federally backed student loans.

The Obamacare provision came in addition to the Administration’s decision in 2011—made through executive order—to forgive student loan debt after 20 years. And it comes in addition to the Administration’s gainful employment regulations restricting access to student loans for students attending for-profit institutions.

But the current debate’s origins are in separate legislation passed in 2007 whereby the federal government set interest rates on student loans artificially low, cutting the rates in half temporarily for four years. Now that the interest rates are set to increase, President Obama is pressing Congress to keep rates low.

So the Democrats are repeating the mortgage lending recession they caused in 2008 by again transferring risk away from private banks and onto the backs of the taxpayers. Anybody can get a loan for anything, whether it be basket-weaving or women’s studies or… theater.

It’s just more vote-buying from the Democrat party

The government is giving away these loans to students, no questions asked, in order to buy their votes. These are the students who cheered when Obama promised that they could stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they were 26. The Democrats get the moocher vote, and the students get their loans forgiven in 20 years. Everybody wins – except that the next generation of Americans gets stuck with the bill for this vote buying scheme.

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Not a smidgen: 100% of 501(c)(4) groups audited by the IRS were conservative

The Wall Street Journal reports.

Excerpt:

A Republican House committee chairman said the Internal Revenue Service targeted tax-exempt conservative groups for audits, widening the scope of GOP ire over the agency’s oversight of political activities.

House Democrats pushed back, saying Republicans were seeking to use the IRS controversy to score political points with their conservative base in an election year.

The IRS has been under scrutiny since an inspector general’s report last May found that the agency had targeted conservative groups for lengthy and heavy-handed review of their applications to become tax-exempt organizations under section 501(c) 4 of the tax code. The controversy led to significant management shakeups at the IRS and generated a slew of congressional investigations, some of which are still going on.

On Tuesday, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) said his committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS also singled out established conservative tax-exempt groups for audits.

“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s,” Mr. Camp said in a statement. “At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.”

Obama says there is not a smidgen of corruption here. Do you agree?

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Chairwoman of Tea Party group targeted by IRS, ATF, FBI: “I refuse to be intimidated”

Real Clear Politics has the transcript.

Snips:

Nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and I never dealt with any government agency, outside of filing our annual tax returns. We had never been audited, we had never been investigated, but all that changed upon submitting applications for the non-profit statuses of True the Vote and King Street Patriots. Since that filing in 2010, my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.

In 2011, my personal and business tax returns were audited by the Internal Revenue Service, each audit going back for a number of years.

In 2012, my business was subjected to inspection by OSHA, on a select occasion when neither my husband nor I were present, and though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant, it still issued fines in excess of $20,000.

In 2012 and again in 2013 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at my place business.

Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted my nonprofit organization on six separate occasions – wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all my files.

All of these incursions into my affairs began after filing applications for tax-exemption. There is no other remarkable event, no other reason, to explain away how for decades I went unnoticed, but now find myself on the receiving end of interagency coordination into and against all facets of my life, both public and private.

Bear in mind, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of this sub-committee, these events were occuring while the IRS was subjecting me to multiple rounds of abusive inquiries, with requests to provide every Facebook and Twitter entry I’d every posted, questions about my political aspirations, and demands to know the names of every group I’d ever made presentations to, the content of what I’d said, and where I intended to speak for the coming year. The answers to these sorts of questions are not of interest to the typical IRS analyst, but they are of great interest to a political machine that puts its own survival above the civil liberties of any private citizen.

The whole video and transcript is worth a look.

What has been the response of the Democrats to these facts? Well, Obama has picked one of his campaign donors to investigate. And Obama insisted in a recent interview that there was not “a smidgen of corruption” in his autocratic socialist regime.

Obama blamed Fox News and said there was not even a smidgen of corruption. In other words, shut up because I am doing this for your own good, you peasants. Believe my lies, because I am your King.

Remember, Obama won the 2012 election in part through intimidation and persecution of these conservative groups, especially the ones like True the Vote that sought to prevent rampant voter fraud by Democrat voters.

It reminds me of a quotation from C.S. Lewis:

If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. . . . In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They ‘cash in.’ It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. . . . Let us not be deceived by phrases about ‘Man taking charge of his own destiny.’ All that can really happen is that some men will take charge of the destiny of others. . . . The more completely we are planned the more powerful they will be.
. . . .

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

C. S. LewisGod in the Dock

Democrats stand for the complete planning of everyone’s lives according to their own secular leftist values, and they want to grow government in order to achieve that control over society.

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Republicans introduce bill to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder

Breitbart News reports.

Excerpt:

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) has introduced an Articles of Impeachment resolution against Attorney General Eric Holder for his role in Operation Fast and Furious and other scandals of President Barack Obama’s administration.

Seven congressman have signed onto the resolution thus far in addition to Olson. They are Reps. Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Phil Roe (R-TN), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Roger Williams (R-TX), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Randy Weber (R-TX).

The Articles of Impeachment has four different sections. The first calls for Holder’s official removal because of his failure to comply with congressional subpoenas relating to Operation Fast and Furious. Holder has been voted on a bipartisan basis into both criminal and civil contempt of Congress for his failure to comply with the Fast and Furious subpoenas from House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA).

The second section of the Articles of Impeachment deals with Holder’s refusal to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Controlled Substances Act, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. The third section calls for Holder’s impeachment on the grounds that he has refused to prosecute any IRS officials involved in the “scandal of unauthorized disclosure of tax records belonging to political donors.”

The fourth section of the Articles of Impeachment goes after Holder for his involvement in the targeting of reporters. Holder testified under oath on May 15, 2013, the resolution states, that he “he was neither involved in nor had heard of a potential prosecution of the press.” Three days later, though, Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) “released documents naming journalist James Rosen as a co-conspirator in an alleged violation of the Espionage Act.” Holder later confirmed to Congress that he had in fact “approved a search warrant on James Rosen.”

See the links below for a review of Holder’s many failures.

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