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TheDC Morning: CBC kinda sorta backs Holder (or possibly not)

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1.) CBC kinda sorta backs Holder (or possibly not) — The cold winds continue to swirl around Eric Holder‘s career, but at least he can count on the half-hearted support of the Congressional Black Caucus. TheDC’s Matthew Boyle reports:

“A Congressional Black Caucus staffer told The Daily Caller on Monday that the ‘general feeling’ of most caucus members is that the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious is warranted. But, the staffer added, most members think the investigation has turned into a ‘witch hunt.’ The CBC hasn’t taken an official stance on Fast and Furious or whether Attorney General Eric Holder is responsible for the scandal-plagued operation. There have been major rifts among its members over the scandal. For instance, Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson, a member of the House Judiciary Committee made infamous by wondering aloud if Guam would capsize from overpopulation, told TheDC last week that he thinks the tea party and the National Rifle Association ‘manufactured’ the scandal surrounding the program that led to the deaths of at least 300 Mexican citizens and Border Patrol agent Brian Terry… But, the House oversight committee’s ranking Democratic member, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, disagreed with Johnson’s claims… During an interview on Monday, Cummings, also a CBC member, told TheDC that he thinks Fast and Furious really is a scandal and wasn’t ‘manufactured’ by the tea party movement and the NRA. ‘No, no, I don’t think so,’ Cummings said. ‘I think what happened is there were some agents on the lower level who — and by the way it did not just start during the Obama administration. We know of three instances of Fast and Furious type operations during the Bush administration…’ Cummings has tried to push the theme that the Bush administration conducted gun walking as an investigative tactic as well — which is true, but unlike Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department, the Bush administration worked with Mexican law enforcement on a plan to track weapons and make arrests, and no Bush-era guns have been linked to murders.”

Which would seem to be fairly significant differences between the two, but Cummings wouldn’t be a Democrat in good standing if he didn’t try to find a way to blame Bush. He also won’t say whether he thinks Holder should resign or hand over those e-mails he hasn’t shown us. Basically, Cummings wants a thorough investigation… as long as Eric Holder isn’t held accountable.

2.) Mexico on DEA money laundering: ‘No sabíamos’ — At least things can’t get any worse for Eric Holder, right? Wellll… Matthew Boyle reports:

“According to a spokesperson for Mexican president Felipe Calderon, Mexico’s government was left in the dark about a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration drug money laundering scheme that allegedly facilitated the transfer of millions of dollars to Mexican drug cartels. The program was similar to Operation Fast and Furious in that the U.S. Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, was allegedly furnishing narcotics traffickers with laundered drug proceeds in an attempt to discern how those funds would move, and to whom. According to a New York Times report, ‘in operations supervised by the Justice Department and orchestrated to get around sovereignty restrictions,’ drug enforcement agents ‘laundered or smuggled millions of dollars in drug proceeds as part of Washington’s expanding role in Mexico’s fight against drug cartels.’ Almost immediately after the Times published the story, and House oversight committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa’s subsequent announcement that he will expand his investigation of Operation Fast and Furious to examine reports of DEA-facilitated money laundering, the Department of Justice released a public statement disclaiming the practice as perfectly ordinary. In that statement, the Obama administration claimed it was ‘working collaboratively with the Mexican government’ on the efforts to fight more widespread money laundering… This weekend’s interview with Calderon’s spokesperson contradicts those Obama administration claims… Leaving Mexico in the dark about operations that cross national boundaries is not a new theme for Eric Holder’s Justice Department. On Dec. 8, Holder testified before the House Judiciary Committee that he still has not briefed Mexican officials, including Attorney General Marisela Morales, about Operation Fast and Furious.”

It’s weird how the Obama administration keeps making claims of fact, but then they keep turning out to be untrue. It really is an odd coincidence how that keeps happening over and over and over and over and over.

3.) How many Occupiers have been arrested so far? — Take a guess. Pick a number. Nope, higher. Nope, nope, higher. Give up? TheDC’s Nicholas Ballasy reports:

“There have been 5,425 arrests at Occupy Wall Street protests in 94 cities as of December 12, according to a collection of news reports conducted by St. Pete for Peace, an Occupy-affiliated group from St. Petersburg, Fla. The most arrests occurred in Los Angeles, New York City, Tucson and Chicago. St. Pete for Peace says its list represents ‘a running total of the number of Occupy protesters arrested around the U.S. since the Occupy Wall Street movement began on Sept. 17, 2011.’ The group says it only tracks ‘confirmed arrests.'”

That may or may not be slightly higher than the number of Tea Party arrests. (Don’t you remember how the Tea Party was on the verge of lashing out at any moment? Yeah, maybe not so much.) The only thing Occupiers love more than chanting is getting arrested, so if they can do both at the same time, bonus. They also dabble in rape, murder, assault, drug-dealing, arson, and assorted mayhem, but they’d really prefer if you didn’t bring that up.

4.) Not All Muslims want you to shut up — See if you can spot the irony from the very first sentence of this report from TheDC’s Neil Munro:

“The State Department began a three-day, closed-door meeting Monday to talk about U.S. free speech rules with representatives from numerous Islamic governments that have lobbied for 12 years to end U.S. citizens’ ability to speak freely about Islam’s history and obligations.”

That’s right: a closed-door meeting about free speech! Munro continues:

“Free speech advocates slammed the event as an effort to gradually curb public criticism of Islam, but it was defended by Hannah Rosenthal, who heads the agency’s office to curb anti-Semitism. The meeting is a great success, she said, because governments in the multinational Organisation for Islamic Cooperation have dropped their demand that criticism of Islamic ideas be treated as illegal defamation. Member countries include Pakistan, Iran, Saudia Arabia and Qatar. In exchange for dropping the demand, she said, they’re getting ‘technical assistance [to] build institutions to ensure there will be religious freedom’ in their countries, she told The Daily Caller… ‘That’s a joke,’ said Andrea Lafferty, a conservative activist who was repeatedly denied information about the meeting… The more realistic explanation for the three-day event, Lafferty said, is that administration officials, progressives and OIC officials are tacitly cooperating to gradually stigmatize speech that is critical of Islam. Lafferty pointed to a July statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which she said that free speech will be protected, but the U.S. government will ‘use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.'”

And they abhor it when you exercise your free speech to say things they don’t like. Criticizing religion is bad, unless the religion is Judaism. Or Christianity.

5.) Breitbart vs. Beck — It’s the Battle of the Husky, Silver-Haired Conservative Guys or something. TheDC’s Matt Lewis reports:

“Conservative new media mogul Andrew Breitbart is pushing back at Glenn Beck after Beck implied tea party activists who support Newt Gingrich’s campaign for president are racist. Appearing on Stephen K. Bannon’s radio show Sunday night, Breitbart called Beck a ‘coward’ and a ‘snake’ — and accused him of playing ‘the race card.’ ‘I don’t care what he does, because he is dead to me,’ Breitbart added.”

Meanwhile, the robots at Media Matters tremble and shake, droning “Error, error, error,” unable to process the paradox.

6.) Today’s words of wisdom from Roseanne Barr’s Twitter feed — “here is how u will know when some1 is a lying piece of s***-they attack lefty activists in times of class struggles. #wagthedog”

VIDEO: Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s says Occupy Wall Street is “adamantly nonviolent” (except for all the violence) and he’s against corporate lobbying (except for Unilever)

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