Monthly Notes

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.”

For years, American Enterprise Institute scholar Peter J. Wallison was a prophet without honor as he warned that the stage was being set for financial disaster, thanks to bad government housing policy that was largely driven by radical pressure groups like ACORN. Then the housing bubble burst, proving Wallison right, yet the Left quickly pivoted to claim that the problem stemmed from insufficient government regulation, and Americans were saddled with the Dodd-Frank Act and similar regulatory messes. Now Wallison has written the definitive study of the housing collapse for Encounter Books, but the subtitle makes another disturbing prediction: Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s financial records from his New York mayoral run in 1997 and for the presidency in 2003 were destroyed in suspicious fires, National Review Online discovered. Sharpton, who heads National Action Network, used the convenient combustions as excuses for not complying with tax and campaign disclosure laws. From the beginning, investigators deemed the 1997 fire that started in the beauty salon below his campaign headquarters “‘suspicious’ because of ‘a heavy volume of fire on arrival’ and because many of the doors remained unlocked after hours, according to the New York Fire Department’s fire-and-incident report.” A Sharpton aide claimed just about everything in the headquarters went up in flames, “but a source knowledgeable about the investigation tells National Review Online that Sharpton’s office was mostly empty, and that the damage was not extensive.”

Meanwhile, a suspected mobster from the Genovese crime family who had been Sharpton’s friend has pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges related to extortion and gambling. Daniel Pagano was facing two decades in prison but plea-bargained and is now expected to receive a sentence of between 27 and 33 months. Sharpton has been named as an FBI informant who was active when Pagano’s father, also a reputed gangster, was under investigation. Sharpton denies it.

Matthew Vadum

The author of Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers (WND Books, 2011), Vadum, former senior vice president at CRC, writes and speaks widely…
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