Briefly Noted: June 2013

In the wake of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombing of April 15, a new 501(c)(3) charity, The One Fund Boston, was created at the request of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. The new charity’s Victim Relief Fund will be used to assist families of the victims who were killed and the victims who were most seriously affected by the bombing and its aftermath. At press time The One Fund Boston had raised $30.4 million in donations.

President Obama’s controversial Organizing for Action advocacy group has already broken its pledge to “not directly lobby elected officials on behalf of the policies it supports” and to refrain from hiring “lobbyists to do so.” OfA has registered as a lobbying group in New York State in order to press for stricter election finance laws, the Washington Free Beacon news website reports. Executive director Jon Carson said the push was aimed at giving “New Yorkers the campaign finance system they want and deserve.” OfA chief of staff Grant Campbell told state ethics officials in March that his group “will exceed the $5,000 threshold for lobbying.” OfA grew out of the president’s re-election campaign and was previously called Organizing for America.

IRS officials refused to award tax-exempt status to two pro-life organizations—Coalition for Life of Iowa and Texas-based Christian Voices for Life—because they oppose abortion and protest the political heavyweight group Planned Parenthood, reports the Washington Examiner. An IRS agent said the agency would not approve the tax exemption for the Iowa group unless its board members signed a statement that “under perjury of the law, they [would] not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” according to the Thomas More Society, a nonprofit public interest law firm. The Texas group “was subjected to repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities,” the law firm said.

MoveOn is urging the New York Times and other big media outlets to stop calling illegal aliens illegal aliens because it hurts feelings. The group launched a petition against “ethnic or racial stereotypes” and is urging the press to use the word “undocumented” instead of “illegal” when referring to people present and working in the U.S. who have no right to be here or to be working here. The petition lamely opines, “It is never too late to stand on the right side of history.” The Associated Press already caved in to pressure from the left-wing language police. In April it changed its stylebook entry on the term “illegal immigrant.” The entry now includes this sentence: “Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant.”

Think Progress, a blog run by the left-wing Center for American Progress Action Fund, is whining about the comparatively miniscule cost of keeping Congress open during votes to repeal the fiscal train wreck known as Obamacare. “The current Congress is on track to be the most unproductive since the 1940s, but still has time to hold votes that won’t result in actual legislative change,” moans the blog—as if having a “productive” Congress, meaning one that constantly manufactures costly new programs, is desirable. According to an estimate the blog cites, the total cost of all of House Republicans’ 37 votes since 2011 to repeal or partially repeal Obamacare is about $55 million. “There are many other priorities lawmakers could focus on instead and better ways to spend taxpayer dollars.… At a time when lawmakers have implemented $85 billion in across-the-board cuts on top of $1.5 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade, no dollar can be spared.” Of course, all of the taxpayer resources used up in considering expensive, government-expanding legislation supported by the Left would dwarf a piddling $55 million.

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