Hillary In

Well, it’s official. Hillary has announced her candidacy. I know that’s a shock. Personally, I think she should go with this slogan:

The 2008 election was very fun to blog because so much was uncertain. Hillary seemed inevitable but then Obama beat her. McCain was declared dead but roared back. It was completely unpredictable. 2012 was fun, in its way, but we all knew it would be Romney in the end.

I’m dreading this election because what is there to say? We’ve had 24 years to see how corrupt and petty the Clintons can be and yet there are enough kool-aid drinkers to make this happen. Our only hope is that some even more massive corruption is found (always a possibility with these people). But even then, I think the Democrats will go ahead and nominate her. She could club baby seals and they’d still nominate her. She could throttle orphans on TV and they’d still nominate her. Hell, she could announce that she’s a Republican and wants to bust unions and they’d still probably nominate her. The thought of 4-8 more years of the Clintons may be enough to get me to vote Republican for the first since 2000.

I don’t, however, think Clinton’s ultimate election is unavoidable. To quote me:

What the hell is Hillary’s campaign going to be about?

Seriously. What issues is she going to run on? She can’t run on Obama’s record since it isn’t that hot and Obama is unpopular. But she can’t run against it without splitting the party.

Healthcare? That used to be her issue but we have Obamacare and that’s quite enough, thank you. Foreign policy? The economy? None of those are winners for her. In the end, I suspect Hillary’s campaign will come down to “it’s my turn” and I just don’t see the voters jumping on that. They didn’t with McCain in 2008. Or Dole in 1996.

As I see it, she has two options. One is to hope that the economy is doing great, the world is settled down, the scandals blow over and Obamacare becomes popular. Then she can run on a campaign of continuing those policies. And also doing something about all the pigs flying through the air.

The other option … and I suspect that given the realities of Obama’s tenure, this is where she’ll go … is Republicans Be Crazy. She’ll attempt to portray them as deranged lunatics who want to end Medicare, take away your health insurance, crash the economy and start a war. She’ll rally the various parts of the Democratic coalition and try to isolate the Republicans to only representing old white Christian men. Such a campaign would be nasty and divisive but I strongly suspect this is the road she’ll take.

Because, that’s the other reminder in this story. The Clintons talk nice when they have nothing to gain or lose. But when it comes to something they want — be it a plea bargain or the White House — they will scorch the fucking Earth to get there.

It will require a tremendous and concentrated effort by the Republican Party to derail her train, but it can be done. Especially as I think a lot of people are contemplating Clinton II with the same dread I am.

Right now, the only official Republican candidates are Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. I don’t think either of them has much of a chance. While the GOP may flirt with outsider candidates, they always end up nominating someone mainstream: Reagan, Bush, Dole, Bush II, McCain. Romney was so sensible you could have marketed him as a floor wax.

But that may be a strength this year. The Democrats and their allies are so busy portraying Cruz and Paul as crazy nutjobs that when the Republicans end up nominating someone sensible like Scott Walker or Jeb Bush, what are they going to say? I know what they’ll say but why would people listen?

(This was a similar dynamic to 2012. The Democrats kept telling us that Newt was crazy, Caine was crazy, Santorum was crazy, Bachman was crazy. So when Romney won the nomination, they were out of ammunition. Romney lost, of course, but he did outpoll the Republican Party nationally and was even leading for a while. And I don’t see Clinton as having Obama’s political guile.)

Gun to my head, I would say the GOP candidate is most likely to be Jeb Bush or Scott Walker. Rick Perry could surprise as could Rick Santorum. But I keep getting this sneaking suspicion in my gut that the future GOP nominee is someone we’re not talking about right now.

Election 2016 is still dull and a long way away. But it could get exciting fast if the right Republican comes along.

(Possible thread for the comments: put out your own dark horse GOP candidate and how you think he’d do.)

Revising Finders Keepers

Much like the death penalty, asset forfeiture laws have been mangled, compromised, bastardized and manipulated to the point that they are unrecognizable to original intend. And as such, much like the death penalty, something I supported until its current application made it unworkable and a mockery to anything remotely resembling justice, asset forfeiture laws (AFL) have been abused to the point of being an enemy to individual civil liberty, and also a mockery of justice. Too bad, since the original intend was both noble and just, namely to deprive convicted criminals of their ill gotten gains, and who could argue with that? If a meth dealer was stopped on the highway for speeding, carrying several pounds of the illegal drug along with 50 grand in cash, the idea was that if the property (the cash and his brand new Benz) could be linked to the crime (say he hasn’t held a real job in 3 years and has been living on public assistance), then upon conviction he loses these items, tough luck sucker. But alas, greed and laziness came in to the picture, police agencies would seize property, anything they could grab, upon arrest (not conviction) even with a tenuous link between property and crime. Innocent people were getting screwed because cash starved public agencies wanted their stuff and had a legal avenue to steal it.

Enter the top choice (so far) for the VP slot on the next GOP presidential ticket, NM governor Susan Martinez, who just grabbed some low hanging fruit and made herself even more relevant;

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill to abolish civil asset forfeiture Friday.

She signed just before the noon deadline that would have pocket vetoed the legislation.

“As an attorney and career prosecutor, I understand how important it is that we ensure safeguards are in place to protect our constitutional rights,” Martinez said in a letter announcing her decision. “On balance, the changes made by this legislation improve the transparency and accountability of the forfeiture process and provide further protections to innocent property owners.”

Civil asset forfeiture is a practice where police can seize your property and keep it even if they don’t convict or charge you with a crime. Then, you must go through the difficult, and often unsuccessful process to get your property–whether it’s a vehicle, cash or your home–back from the police.

No, she is not abolishing the entire practice, nor do I think she should, just bringing it back to the original intent. Even the ACLU is on board (wait a minute, maybe we should rethink this).

Requiring demonstrable facts linking the crime to the property (no more, “Well, he was in the vicinity, good enough”) independently reviewed by an Appeals Board before anything can be seized, then holding said property in “Trust” until any convictions, yes, we are getting closer to what the law as actually written to do.

No doubt many would like all AFL abolished in toto, anymore end arounds or subverting intent and we just might go that route.

AFL, like the death penalty, should be used judicially and sparingly, under the spotlight of public review, both serve a purpose. Guys like that turd Tsarnaev and Maj. Hasan, I want them dead. And not 25 years from now dead. justice delayed in justice denied, a year appeals max, then give them the cocktail.

It Is What It Is

Two months ago I wrote a series of posts in an attempt to resuscitate what I believed was a dying blog. “Collaboration Is Needed’, “Suggestion Box”, and “Entering Hard Hat Area” were all written to provide the impetus for some needed change, change that would give us more eyeballs and make us more relevant. Aside from the structural problems of posting, we needed a fresh face, more updated features to attract new commenters , but most of all we needed a path by which new members could sign up and join the community. Many of the regulars provided what I thought were some really good ideas, workable stuff that would make us more vibrant.

Some movement did happen. We got JimK to surface, to voice his apathy with the blog and his desire to abdicate and turn the car keys over to someone else. Thrill stepped up and volunteered to handle admin duties. I thought this was fortuitous since he has experience at blog running and a desire to improve the blog. Both Alex and Hal also stepped up, saying they would collaborate and share admin duties. That was indeed a time of optimism, a time where I thought we were on our way to being part of something that, well, we could really be proud of.

Knowing Rome was not built in a day and that you have to walk before you can run, I expected fits and starts, some wheel spinning. We even had one day where the site went down entirely, still not sure what happened there.

So where are we now, two months later? JimK never got back to Thrill and updated his “admin” status, so he is basically still flapping in the wind. And it appears that the other admin guys are happy with the status quo, despite all the changes we had talked about, some new buttons or features on the home page,some easier functionality on posting comments, and the fact that still no new members can sign up.

In different posts through out the years I have often said ,”You get the government you deserve”, as one explanation for our convoluted chaotic government and the typical low information voter that facilitates their power grab. You also get the blog you deserve. If everyone is happy with the status quo, the one or two posts every other day with less than a handful of comments, well, that is what we have now. I think we can do better but am also reminded of that idiom of pissing in to the wind.

Paul Officially In

Rand Paul has officially thrown his hat into the Presidential ring, unveiling his agenda and opening up a website. I don’t think Paul has much of a chance of the nomination or the Presidency, given some of his unorthodox views. And, for obvious reasons, I’m a little dubious of half-term senators running for President. But I do like having him out there. He’s another voice outside the GOP establishment. He brings to the fore a number of issues — mass incarceration, the War on Drugs, NSA surveillance, aggressive foreign policy — that the GOP needs to confront.

And … he drive the Left Wing absolutely berserk. Today’s stories have alternated headlines of “Paul’s no different from other Republicans” to “Paul is a crazy far out Republican”. They’ve been putting up factually challenged rants about how he wants to return us to the 19th century. They’ve been accusing him of being sexist based on a testy interview with Savannah Guthrie. The Left Wing has a lot invested in the idea that all Republicans are sociopathic, racist, sexist shitlords who only care about rich people. Paul is one of the biggest challenges to that.

But there’s something else I’m picking up on. One of my favorite responses to Paul’s candidacy has been from whichever semi-literate intern wrote Paul Krugman’s column today. He puts up an idiot’s version of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz and then claims, based on no data whatsoever, that there are no libertarians1. Everyone in America is either economically and socially liberal or economically and socially conservative. Because apparently the polls showing a large libertarian center don’t exist.

Why is American politics essentially one-dimensional, so that supporters of gay marriage are also supporters of guaranteed health insurance and vice versa? (And positions on foreign affairs — bomb or talk? — are pretty much perfectly aligned too).

Well, the best story I have is Corey Robin’s: It’s fundamentally about challenging or sustaining traditional hierarchy. The actual lineup of positions on social and economic issues doesn’t make sense if you assume that conservatives are, as they claim, defenders of personal liberty on all fronts. But it makes perfect sense if you suppose that conservatism is instead about preserving traditional forms of authority: employers over workers, patriarchs over families. A strong social safety net undermines the first, because it empowers workers to demand more or quit; permissive social policy undermines the second in obvious ways.

And I suppose that you have to say that modern liberalism is in some sense the obverse — it is about creating a society that is more fluid as well as fairer.

This is mind-bogglingly stupid. 40% of self-described Republicans now support legal same-sex marriage, including 60% of young Republicans. 60-70% of independents support same sex marriage. And despite claims by liberals, actual polls show that a clear majority of independents and the vast majority of Republicans oppose single-payer healthcare. So this “actually very few” people who support same sex marriage and oppose single-payer health is approximately half the electorate.

Mankiw:

Similar to Krugman, I would define a libertarian voter as one who leans left on social issues (such as same-sex marriage) and right on economic issues (such as taxes and regulation). I certainly put myself in that camp, and I don’t think I am as lonely as Krugman suggests. I meet lots of students with similar views (though, admittedly, Harvard students are hardly a representative sample of voters).

I also meet a lot of students with similar views at my big state university. Mankiw also reminds us that far “challenging traditional hierarchies”, the Democrats supported them up until about last week:

Many libertarian voters I know (including those students) often vote for Democratic candidates because they weight the social issues more than the economic ones. I usually vote for Republican candidates because I weight the economic issues more than the social ones.

One reason is that I don’t view the Democratic Party as a leader on social issues. Remember that Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Barack Obama was against same-sex marriage when he ran for President, and then he “evolved” (aka flip-flopped) on the issue. On this social issue and many others, our elected leaders are really followers. The leaders are the American people.

Why are so many liberals freaking out about Rand Paul? Why are so many reduced to sheer hysteria by the prospect of a “libertarian moment”? Because libertarianism and libertarian-conservatism put the lie to the liberal conceit, espoused above by Krugman, that Democrats are mavericks who challenge traditional hierarchies. I couldn’t imagine anything further from the truth. Democrats were the party of slavery. Democrats were the party of segregation and Jim Crowe (especially progressive hero Woodrow Wilson). Democrats support massive government power, including the surveillance state and Obama’s wars. They have only supported social change when forced. They bomb countries, they violate civil liberties, they jail people by the millions and they always, always seek to expand the scope and power of our government. That’s not being a maverick and challenging social hierarchy. That’s being a conformist. It was, in fact, progressive hero Woodrow Wilson who said, “Conformity will be the only virtue. And every man who refuses to conform will have to pay the penalty.”

Rand Paul isn’t a dangerous loon. And he’s not the antichrist. What he is is a heretic, challenging the religion that is Progressivism. We should be grateful they’re not calling for him to be burned at the stake.

Yet.

Paul says he is not a libertarian and his views would be best described as conservative. But he draw enormous support from libertarians and libertarian-conservatives.

Double Standard

Following along the same vein as my previous post about Indiana’s new Religious Freedom law, and Hal’s followup, I found this interesting.

Jack, of Castle Rock, Colo., is making national headlines over an experiment he conducted in the wake of attacks on Christian business owners who refuse to provide services for same-sex marriages.

Last year, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled that the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple who wanted a wedding cake. Jack Phillips, the owner of the cake shop, is a devout Christian, and his attorneys argued that to force him to participate in the gay wedding would violate his religious beliefs.  The Civil Rights Commission saw it differently.

So if Christian bakers who oppose gay marriage are compelled under law to violate their beliefs – what about bakers who support gay marriage? Would they be compelled to make an anti-gay marriage cake?

 Jack, who is a devout Christian, asked three bakeries to produce two cakes – each shaped like an open Bible. On one side of one cake he requested the words, “God hates sin – Psalm 45:7.” On the other side he wanted the words, “Homosexuality is a detestable sin – Leviticus 18:22.”

On the second cake he asked them to write another Bible verse: “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us – Romans 5:8” along with the words “God loves sinners.”  And finally, Jack wanted the bakers to create an image – two grooms holding hands, with a red “X” over them – the universal symbol for “not allowed.”

Now if you read the national news accounts of Jack’s experiment – you would’ve read that he wanted gay slurs written on the cakes. But that wasn’t true.

According to the commission’s own report, there’s no mention of Jack using any gay slurs – unless you consider Bible verses to be gay slurs.

Mark Silverstein, the legal director for Colorado’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, accused Jack of wanting obscenities written on the cakes.  “There’s no law that says that a cake-maker has to write obscenities in the cake just because the customer wants it,” he told the Associated Press.

Does the ACLU consider the Bible to be obscene?

As you probably guessed, the bakeries rejected Jack’s request for what some would call “anti-gay” cakes.  “If he wants to hate people, he can hate them not here in my bakery,” Azucar Bakery owner Marjorie Silva told 7NEWS. She called the writing and imagery “hateful and offensive.”

So Jack filed a discrimination complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission – just as the gay couple did in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.  Using the commission’s logic – if a Christian baker is forced to violate his beliefs, shouldn’t all bakers be forced to violate theirs, too?

Absolutely not, says the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  It ruled that Azucar did not discriminate against Jack based on his creed. It argued that the bakery refused to make the cakes because of the “derogatory language and imagery,” The Denver Channel reported.

Seems like a pretty clear double-standard to me.  One cake maker was forced by the government to defy their beliefs.  The other cake baker was not forced by the government to defy their beliefs.  Because one was for religious reasons, and the other wasn’t, that makes it OK somehow?  The freedom of religion is guaranteed in the US Constitution.  Shouldn’t that make it even more sacrosanct in this regard?

 

The left is not just permeated by stupid: it has a lot of evil too

Real life has been kicking my rear end and I have been busier than a one legged man at an ass kicking contest. That has limited my participation here as of recent. There has been a lot going on these days and I figure that I should drag up an oldie but goody that explains all the “bad luck” the last 6 years of “Progressive Libertopia” have been causing us. One of my favorite reality checks is the interview Yuri Bezmenov, as Soviet Defector, gave back in 1984 to G. Edward Griffin. Listen carefully to what he talks about and note the parallel with the shit we have been going through for the last 6 or so years.

Now contrast that with all the crap in the news today. The left, in these last 6 years, most of it with them controlling the levers of power exclusively, has gone beyond my wildest fantasies and predictions of idiotic crap and destructiveness, and it shows. When the idiotic shit they believe in and practice fails miserably, it’s everyone else’s fault. They are pissed people are focusing and pointing out that the facts don’t back up their narrative, and it shows. That’s why we had the kangaroo court proceedings and scandal after scandal – all ignored by a complicit and compliant media – exposed as such, be explained away as nothing important, or even more baffling, as falsehoods perpetrated by people with the facts.

Lies, lies, and more lies!

They don’t even realize the parody of their own making. You can’t make up this level of stupid. And no, it isn’t incompetence – even though there is so much of that going around by default when credentialed leftist elite morons are involved – but all by design as that interview with Yuri, over 30 years ago, clearly illustrates. The old Soviets must kick themselves daily when they see that hanging on just another 2 or 3 decades would have given them complete victory due to all the useful idiots looking for free shit that permeate our crumbling society today.

Rolling Stone Learned Nothing

So the Columbia Journalism review released their report on Rolling Stone’s sensational and false story of a gang rape at UVa. It’s very damning, showing that RS basically ignored red flags and any journalistic standards to get the story. They’re not going to fire anyone over it. But they insist that they feel really really bad for having slagged the reputation of a few dozen men, a fraternity and an entire university (one I am an alumnus of and retain an affection for).

So … yeah. No responsibility at all.

There are numerous good takes on this story, including Megan McArdle, Doug Mataconis and Conor Friedersdorf. But I want to spin out one little thread.

In politics, I often harp on about the process. I demand that the President go to Congress before going to war. I’m big on checks and balances. I’m vocal in my support for the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eight amendments. I support these things because I think that a good process will, more often that not, lead to a good result. If the President has to get the permission of Congress to go to war, he’s going to make sure he can make a case for it. We’ll still mess up (see Iraq) but it will minimize the mistakes.

By the same token, our civil liberties, in part, protect us from government error. Requiring that cops and prosecutors gather evidence and have a trial before a jury is not a guarantee of a just outcome. But it makes it a lot less likely that injustice will be done, that errors will be made.

Our system of civil liberties and checks and balances is not designed to produce “good government” (often defined as “big government”). It’s not designed to be efficient. An “efficient” government would jail people without trial and engage in whatever endeavors it thought necessary. No, the system is designed to keep mistakes to a minimum. As much as our government messes up, think how much more often they’d mess up without the Bill of Right and the Balance of Powers. The Constitutional process is about minimizing mistakes, even if that means results that are slower and less dramatic than some of us would like.

Almost all endeavors in life have their own set of checks and balances designed to minimized mistakes. Mine has the scientific method and peer review. Journalists minimize mistakes by confirming what details can be confirmed. They talk to as many sources as possible. They check the honesty of all sources. They apply common sense. It’s not perfect … but it does minimize the mistakes.

The CJR report make it clear that Rolling Stone ignored those checks and balances. They didn’t talk to Jackie’s friends. They made only a pro forma inquiry with the fraternity. They didn’t research her background. They did these things because they wanted the story to be true. They got so focused on the result — a sensational horrifying story about a culture of gang rape at a prestigious Southern university — that they said, “to hell with the process”.

McArdle:

Erdely’s statement focuses on her fear of retraumatizing Jackie, something that also comes up in the CJR report. But something less salutary also appears: the fear of losing a really good story. These things seem to have sort of gotten blended together, so that when problems emerged with the reporting, everyone involved at Rolling Stone was able to convince themselves to go forward anyway on the grounds that Jackie is a trauma victim and it’s dangerous to retraumatize her. Yet they don’t seem to have been worried about retraumatizing her by running her story in a national magazine.

Because most of my readers are not journalists, it seems worth noting that if this story had not fallen apart, it likely would have walked away with a National Magazine Award. It checks all the boxes: important social issue, beautiful writing, a vivid and gruesome event at its core, a heart-rending miscarriage of justice. When Jackie threatened to slip away, she was threatening to torpedo Rolling Stone’s major coup. There were certainly other stories that Erdely could have used instead, but less sensational stories that are more typical of campus rapes would not get the kind of readership or professional recognition that the magazine would earn for uncovering a clear-cut and horrific crime that the university had inexplicably failed to pursue.

That is the lesson here: RS became so focused on the goal and so fearful of not reaching that goal that they ignored the steps needed to get there. They pushed the process aside because the story (and the issue) were too important to be bothered with such mundane details as talking to the accused. They might have gotten it right anyway, by sheer luck. But bypassing the fact-checking process left open the possibility that they would be proved dramatically and disastrously wrong, as indeed they were.

This is something to keep in mind as we go forward on campus sexual violence. The Obama Administration has been pushing universities toward looser and looser standards of justice on campus sexual assault: requiring a “preponderance of evidence” standard, for example. There are numerous campuses where, had Jackie made this accusation to the University, the fraternity would have been disbanded and some members expelled. Indeed, there are at least two dozen men suing universities claiming they were railroaded.

The Rolling Stone debacle reminds us of just how badly wrong you can go when you focus on the goal of stopping campus sexual violence instead of the process of ferreting out the truth. Let’s not make the mistakes Rolling Stone made and seems indifferent to. Let’s look at their rush to judgement as something we shouldn’t do.

The Outline of a Deal

It’s not official, yet. Right now it’s just the framework. But the basics of the nuclear deal with Iran look … not that bad, actually. Iran will cut down it’s centrifuges by two-thirds and not enrich uranium past 3.67 percent. They’ll cut their stockpile of enriched uranium by 97% and not build any new facilities for 15 years. IAEA will have access to all of their facilities. This is the most important part:

U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.

Sanctions related to support of terrorism will remain in place.

Israel is unhappy, but Israel will be unhappy with just about any deal. The GOP and many Congressional Democrats are objecting, but they’ll object to almost any deal. Obviously a better deal would eliminate their nuclear facilities completely. But Ed Krayewski makes a good point:

That’s the reality a lot of critics of the Iran deal don’t want to admit. President Obama even briefly touched on it yesterday—a country won’t do something just because America wants it to. For starters, the country’s political leadership would have to be historically illiterate to even consider it. Following American diktats provide no guarantee of not becoming a target of American ire in the future (i.e. Qaddafi giving up WMDs and then getting regime-changed by the West anyway). Could the U.S. continue sanctions against Iran? Certainly. The Israeli government would appear to consider that a better option. But sanctions aren’t effective at compelling compliance. Cuba’s been the subject of sanctions for more than half a century—neither did the sanctions break the communist regime nor were they even able to accomplish the more limited goal of extracting reimbursements for property seized by the Cuban government. And, most importantly, sanctions rarely hurt the ruling class of a country. The Ayatollahs, the Castros, the Kims, they’re all authoritarians of very different stripes, but none have known hunger or deprivation because of the sanctions their actions may have triggered.

While I agree that our ability to force Iran’s hand is limited, I’d disagree that the sanctions haven’t been a big factor here. Iran is much closer to a democracy than Cuba is and the bad Iranian economy has clearly put the leadership in jeopardy of popular uprising. I don’t think Iran would be at the table at all had it not been for the sanctions. This is good: it indicates a sliver of pragmatism laced within the fundamentalist dipshittery that infests Iran’s leaders.

As always, the devil is in the details. We’ll see how the final deal looks and how the inspections go down. But so far … this doesn’t look half bad … if the inspections and the conditional nature of withdrawing sanctions are as strong as the State Department is claiming.

No Pizza For You

Indiana has suddenly become the latest front in the Culture War. As noted by Xetrov below, Indiana passed a Religious Freedom Act similar to the federal RFRA. However, the association of several rabid anti-gay activists with the bill has raised concerns that it will allow discrimination against gays (even though no RFRA in the country does that). Pence wants to clarify this in the bill. In a reasonable world, that clarification would pass and we’d move on.

But what’s the use of being reasonable? Tarring and feathering some poor sap is just so much more fun:

Someone please tell me if my progression here is inaccurate in any way:

1) Family owners of small-town Indiana pizzeria spend zero time or energy commenting on gay issues.

2) TV reporter from South Bend walks inside the pizzeria to ask the owners what they think of the controversial Religious Restoration Freedom Act. Owner Crystal O’Connor responds, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no….We are a Christian establishment.” O’Connor also says—actually promises is the characterization here—that the establishment will continue to serve any gay or non-Christian person that walks through their door.

3) The Internet explodes with insults directed at the O’Connor family and its business, including a high school girls golf coach in Indiana who tweets “Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?” Many of the enraged critics assert, inaccurately, that Memories Pizza discriminates against gay customers.

4) In the face of the backlash, the O’Connors close the pizzeria temporarily, and say they may never reopen, and in fact might leave the state. “I don’t know if we will reopen, or if we can, if it’s safe to reopen,” Crystal O’Connor tells The Blaze. “I’m just a little guy who had a little business that I probably don’t have anymore,” Kevin O’Connor tells the L.A. Times.

Yelp has been working overtime to delete shrieking negative reviews of the place. Conservatives have responded with a GoFundMe campaign that has, at present, raised over $100,000 to help out the pizzeria owners.

This is insane. All the owners of this establishment did was answer a reporter’s question honestly and they’re suddenly being hounded by the entire Left Wing Echosphere. It reminds me of something Clark wrote over at Popehat (I’ll link when their site is back up). The Culture War is basically over and the Left has won the field. Gays are out of the closet, sodomy laws are dead and gay marriage is legal in 39 states. Birth control is so available that the government will force your employer to buy it and the Republican compromise position is to make it available over the counter. Despite a spate of anti-abortion laws, we still have one of the most liberal abortion regimes on the planet.

And is the Left responding to this with joy and reconciliation? They are not. As Clark put it, they are going around the battlefield shooting the survivors of the losing side. They hounded Brendan Eich out of a job, they’re boycotting the entire state of Indiana and now they’re hounding some poor restaurant owners whose crime was not realizing a reporter was baiting them.

Well knock me over with a feather

Obama’s DOJ has declined to prosecute Obama’s IRS attack dog in regards to the contempt charges Congress requested.

The Justice Department has declined to pursue contempt of Congress charges against Lois Lerner for refusing to testify about her role at the IRS in the targeting of conservative groups.

The department announced the decision in a letter Tuesday to House Speaker John Boehner, whose Republican-controlled chamber made the request to prosecute, after holding Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify at committee hearings.

Just one more glaring example of the lengths this administration will go to to protect its own backside.  I will be very surprised if the DOJ actually prosecutes her for her clearly illegal activity.

Yet the MSM is largely silent – no mention of the story on the main page of CNN, MSNBC, CBS News, or ABC news.  Anyone out there doubt that this would be front page news on all of them if Bush was still in the White House with Albert Gonzales still Attorney General, and it was liberal organizations that were targeted?