Briefly Noted: May 2015

To the Left, only some black lives matter: Weather Underground terrorist and convicted cop killer Kathy Boudin recently signed her name to a “black lives matter” mini-manifesto on the website of the Columbia University School of Social Work, where she is an adjunct professor. That wouldn’t necessarily be newsworthy except for the fact that Boudin was convicted of murdering a black police officer when her radical leftist comrades robbed an armed truck in 1981. She served 22 years in prison for murdering Waverly Brown of Nyack, N.Y.—his village’s first African-American patrolman—along with another police officer, and a security guard. The Columbia School of Social Work, long a hotbed of radical activism, has received grants from left-wing philanthropies including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Another person has been convicted of voter fraud, the crime the Left says is a figment of conservatives’ imagination. A jury convicted 49-year-old Lesa Coleman in seven cases of felony absentee ballot fraud in connection with a local government election in Dothan, Alabama. The election was decided by just 14 votes, good government group True the Vote reports. Another individual in the case already entered guilty pleas to eight counts of absentee ballot fraud. A woman who has yet to stand trial is charged with 44 counts of absentee ballot fraud.

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Philanthropy Notes: April 2015

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley A. Strassel mocked the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, referring to it in a headline as “The Clinton Foundation Super PAC.” With the revelation that foreign governments have been plying the philanthropies with large gifts, “it’s long past time to drop the fiction that the Clinton Foundation has ever been a charity. “ The Clintons “have simply done with the foundation what they did with cattle futures and Whitewater and the Lincoln Bedroom and Johnny Chung – they’ve exploited the system,” Strassel wrote. The Clinton Foundation was profiled in the September 2014 and February 2008 issues of Foundation Watch.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is demanding that the Internal Revenue Service investigate U.S. government funding given to OneVoice (PeaceWorks Network Foundation), a radical anti-Israel group that aimed to drive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in that country’s March 17 parliamentary elections. In a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, Cruz said the Obama administration ought to be focused on Iran, not Israel. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States,” Cruz reportedly wrote in the letter. “Yet the Obama administration seems much more interested in regime change in Jerusalem than in Tehran.” The U.S.-based group receiving federal money, OneVoice International, in turn is working with V15, an “independent grassroots movement” in Israel, according to Ha’aretz. OneVoice has hired Obama campaign aides such as Jeremy Bird of political consulting powerhouse 270 Strategies to take on Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Bird was national field director for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

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Briefly Noted: April 2015

Hypocrisy alert: Although Media Matters for America head David Brock has taken the lead as Hillary Clinton’s foremost defender in the deleted-email scandal, arguing she did nothing illegal, another group he helps to run once attacked another Democrat for his use of private email accounts. The George Soros-funded Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) last year raked New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who may be Clinton’s rival for the Democrats’ presidential nomination, over the coals for using private email. “Government officials who use private email or untraceable text messages to keep their dealings secret from the public that elects them and funds their salaries and whom they claim to represent must be held accountable for their conduct,” said CREW’s then-director Melanie Sloan. ”If Governor Cuomo doesn’t want voters to know what he’s doing, maybe he is doing something he shouldn’t.”

A Boston-based hub of terrorism associated with a top Islamic State propagandist and producer of hostage-beheading videos was welcomed to a recent anti-terrorism conference at the Obama White House. The terrorist-friendly Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), which is a known front for Islamist terrorist groups, operates mosques in and around Boston. Social media guru Ahmad Abousamra, who is now the chief propagandist for the Islamic State, regularly attended ISB’s Cambridge mosque. Americans For Peace and Tolerance warned that ISB “and its political arm, the Muslim American Society, [which are] seen as the go-to groups for civic and law enforcement partnerships, have links to many extremists who are either in jail, in flight from federal authorities, or have been killed during terrorist attacks.”

The radical left-wing National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) has criticized federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen as racist and xenophobic, because he temporarily enjoined the Obama administration from carrying out its planned executive action regularizing the status of illegal aliens. Pablo Alvarado, NDLON’s executive director, called the decision “judicial vigilantism.” By contrast, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said the court ruling was a “major victory for the rule of law” and “a major turning point in the fight to stop Obama’s lawless amnesty.”

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Doubling Down on Disaster: Conservative Filmmakers Need Your Help

Politicians here in Washington, D.C., don’t seem to have learned from the policy mistakes they made that caused the mortgage market collapse of 2007-8.

Conservative documentary filmmaker Cornelia Mrose and author Paul Sperry are making a movie that tries to prevent history from repeating itself.  Their film exposes the true causes of the financial crisis and warns that the culprits are using it to justify policies that are leading America into the next and even greater crisis.

It’s important to understand that bad government policies are the chief cause of the subprime mortgage bubble that burst in 2007, causing widespread misery across the nation.  Winning the argument about what caused the crisis will allow the victors to determine whether America unburdens itself from the crazy financial policies now in effect or doubles down and makes the regulatory environment even worse.

As Sperry wrote in The Great American Bank Robbery, “Like the Great Depression, the debate over the causes and cures of the Great Recession is a generational one that will shape the future of not only the American economy but the political landscape. Whoever wins this debate wins Washington and gets to determine the size of government.”

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) played an outsized role in the market calamity that hurt and demoralized the American people and helped to vault the radical left-wing group’s former employee Barack Obama into the Oval Office.  (I wrote a book about ACORN and Obama called Subversion Inc.)

As Edward Pinto, former chief credit officer of Fannie Mae, says in the above promotional video, “And now we found out, 20 years later, more than 20 years later, that ACORN had been behind the effort to force Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it turns out, to not do just pilots but to expand their programs tremendously, and they were working behind the scenes lobbying Congress to get changes the Fannie Mae statute.”

Mrose blames groups like ACORN and politicians like former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) who “were pursuing their delusional dream of economic justice.”

Sperry adds that “This dream turned into a financial nightmare, the worst since the Great Depression. Those they wanted to help most, African-Americans and Hispanics, were hurt the most.”

“Many of these same social engineers are back at it,” says Mrose. “Now they are calling the shots from inside the Obama administration cooking up another economic crisis which we call Subprime 2.0.”

Mrose and Sperry need your help now to make this important film called Subprime 2.0: Doubling Down on Disaster.

If you’d like to help with a donation, visit their Indiegogo page.

Briefly Noted: March 2015

Supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign are becoming quite tired of requests to donate to her campaign when she still hasn’t gotten around to declaring that she is actually running, Politico reports. “I’m not going to be ready for Hillary until she announces she’s running for president,” said Mary Tetreau of Londonderry, N.H., a longtime Democrat who called the early-and-often email approach of the political action committee Ready for Hillary “annoying.” Democratic activist Bill Verge adds, “I’ll be ready for Hillary when Hillary’s ready for Hillary.” He considers himself a likely Clinton supporter who is turned off by what Politico calls the “aggressive fundraising on behalf of a candidate who appears intent on postponing an official entry into the race possibly until July.”

Fundraising professionals aren’t worried about alienating potential donors. “The best practice used to be that you would only send a couple per day at max,” said Michael Whitney, an email campaigning specialist at Revolution Messaging. Although email solicitors have become increasingly aggressive in recent years the feared backlash hasn’t materialized. The new consensus is that nonstop emailing “might annoy a lot of people, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to unsubscribe and it doesn’t mean they’re not going to donate in the future.” “Three years ago, the idea of sending more than two emails a day was considered abusive,” Whitney said. “That’s gone out the window.”

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Philanthropy Notes: March 2015

Supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign are becoming quite tired of requests to donate to her campaign when she still hasn’t gotten around to declaring that she is actually running, Politico reports. “I’m not going to be ready for Hillary until she announces she’s running for president,” said Mary Tetreau of Londonderry, N.H., a longtime Democrat who called the early-and-often email approach of the political action committee Ready for Hillary “annoying.” Democratic activist Bill Verge adds, “I’ll be ready for Hillary when Hillary’s ready for Hillary.” He considers himself a likely Clinton supporter who is turned off by what Politico calls the “aggressive fundraising on behalf of a candidate who appears intent on postponing an official entry into the race possibly until July.”

Fundraising professionals aren’t worried about alienating potential donors. “The best practice used to be that you would only send a couple per day at max,” said Michael Whitney, an email campaigning specialist at Revolution Messaging. Although email solicitors have become increasingly aggressive in recent years the feared backlash hasn’t materialized. The new consensus is that nonstop emailing “might annoy a lot of people, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to unsubscribe and it doesn’t mean they’re not going to donate in the future.” “Three years ago, the idea of sending more than two emails a day was considered abusive,” Whitney said. “That’s gone out the window.”

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Briefly Noted: February 2015

Radical hedge fund manager George Soros gave a whopping $33 million to troublemaking activist groups that contributed to civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and around the nation after a grand jury there failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the Washington Times reports.

Through grants issued by his Open Society Foundations (OSF), Soros “spurred the Ferguson protest movement through years of funding and mobilizing groups across the U.S., according to interviews with key players and financial records reviewed” by the newspaper. Among the left-wing groups were Sojourners, Advancement Project, Center for Community Change, and the ACORN successor group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE). “Helping groups combine policy, research [and] data collection with community organizing feels very much the way our society becomes more accountable,” said unrepentant OSF director Kenneth Zimmerman.

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Thomas Sowell Lays Into Obama and the Left

Capital Research Center alumnus David Hogberg conducted an interview with the always interesting Dr. Thomas Sowell. The three-part interview was published by FrontPage magazine.

Hogberg is now a senior analyst at the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR).

Here is the interview in its entirely:

Thomas Sowell, Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and one of America’s premier economists, has just released the 5th edition of his best-selling book, Basic Economics. He sat down recently for a lengthy interview not only on the topics in his new book, but also on current events. In part one of this three-part interview, Sowell discusses Ferguson, the Eric Garner case, and civil rights in America.

David Hogberg: Why did Ferguson and the Eric Garner cases create so much social unrest? Other people are shot by police every year, black men are shot by other black men, and none of that generates even a smidgen of interest. So why are these cases different?
Thomas Sowell: Oh, because there are professionals out there who are in the race industry, and this is an opportunity for them. It so happens a white teenager was shot and killed by a black policeman down in Alabama, during this very period, and it has practically not been heard of. Larry Elder is one of the few people who has given it any publicity.
DH: By professionals I assume you mean folks like Al Sharpton and Bill de Blasio, correct?
TS: Yes, and there is a whole army of them going right on down to the community organizer level.
DH: What do you think motivates Al Sharpton and Bill de Blasio to involve themselves in these incidents? Is it in any way really a concern for civil rights?
TS: Not in the slightest. It is obvious that for de Blasio it suits his political interests and for Sharpton it suits his power and income interests. De Blasio hopes to use this to turn out the minority vote next time around. As for Sharpton, well, he owes, I think it is literally, millions of dollars in back taxes. I have never owed millions of dollars in back taxes. Alas, I never had any reason to be owing millions of dollars. So, really, a man of fairly modest accomplishments is living very high on the hog, on the strength of his ability to exploit the guilt of white people and the gullibility of such blacks as he can get to follow him.

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Obama Administration Funding Anti-Netanyahu Campaign in Israel Election

Capital Research Center’s Matthew Vadum weighs in today at FrontPage magazine on a fascinating development:

 

Obama Funding the Anti-Bibi Campaign

By Matthew Vadum

The Obama administration is using taxpayer dollars to fund a radical anti-Israel group that aims to drive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in March parliamentary elections.

And the U.S.-based group receiving the U.S. government money, OneVoice International, in turn is working with V15, an “independent grassroots movement” in Israel, according to Ha’aretz. V15’s unofficial motto is said to be “anyone but Bibi,” a reference that includes the prime minister’s nickname.

OneVoice has reportedly hired Obama campaign aides such as Jeremy Bird of political consulting powerhouse 270 Strategies to take on Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Bird was national field director for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, but now he is apoplectic, frothing at the mouth as he spouts conspiracy theories over House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) invitation to Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress in coming weeks.

“What do you think [GOP mega donor Sheldon] Adelson promised GOP in exchange for this insane BiBi [Netanyahu] House visit? Blatant attempt to bolster Israeli PM before elections,” Bird tweeted.

President Obama too is angry about the unexpected Netanyahu visit. The administration claims Boehner violated “protocol” by extending the invitation on his own initiative instead of sending a request for the executive branch to extend an invitation. The sure-to-be-televised congressional address counteracts Obama’s efforts to unseat the prime minister whose electoral fortunes at home can only be helped by the speech. This infuriates Obama whose newly feigned interest in “protocol” is hard to take seriously from a man who rammed Obamacare through Congress without regard to proper procedure and who just weeks ago issued a kingly fiat granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

In a recent interview Obama offered a flimsy excuse for his refusal to meet with Netanyahu on the upcoming visit. “We don’t meet with any world leader two weeks before their election,” said the president. “I think that’s inappropriate.”

OneVoice International has reportedly taken in two grants from the U.S. Department of State over the last year. The group describes the agency as a “partner” on its website.

OneVoice development and grants officer Christina Taler told Washington Free Beacon’s Alana Goodman that her group is not using this taxpayer money to intervene in the Israeli election. That money has been used to “build public campaign support for the [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations” led last spring by Secretary of State John Kerry, Taler said.

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Briefly Noted: January 2015

More proof emerged last month that President Obama is using the IRS as a weapon against his perceived enemies when the administration abruptly canceled the planned release of 2,500 damning documents reportedly showing the IRS illegally shared taxpayer files with the White House. The inspector general’s office for the U.S. Department of the Treasury is making the novel claim that privacy laws prevent releasing documents. Dan Epstein, executive director of watchdog group Cause of Action, was skeptical. Treasury is using “sophisticated” lawyering to worm out of producing the documents, he said.

National Action Network president Al Sharpton has visited the White House an astounding 61 times since Obama became president. This fact tends to support Sharpton’s boasts about the influence he wields over the Obama administration, including his claim that he was instrumental in selecting U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch as nominee for the U.S. attorney general post.

A recent march in New York City organized by Sharpton’s group, whose motto is “No justice, no peace,” got ugly. Marchers demanded that new federal laws be enacted to limit the use of physical force by local and state police agencies. Protesters had their own ideas. According to reports, many chanted “What do we want? Dead cops!”

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