Monthly Notes

Briefly Noted: August 2013


President Obama’s Alinskyite street army, Organizing for Action is falling far short of fundraising targets. OfA has been forced to cut in half its first-year fundraising goal of $50 million. According to the Washington Post, the decision “came after the group reversed course and said it would not accept corporate funds.” OfA used to be called Organizing for America when it was a project of the Democratic National Committee. After Obama’s re-election, it took its current name and incorporated as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.

It isn’t often that a leftist thought leader calls out her comrades for making common cause with Islamists out of hatred of the U.S., but that’s exactly what Meredith Tax does in her new book. In Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights, published recently by the London-based Centre for Secular Space, the American activist writes that over the last decade some left-wing groups have allied with Muslim organizations “that stand for religious discrimination, advocate death for those they consider apostates, oppose gay rights, subordinate women, and seek to impose their views on others through violence.” She reminds readers that “wherever Islamists have gained power, they have wiped out the left—see Algeria, Indonesia, Iran, Sudan, and, of course, Afghanistan.” Tax criticizes Michael Ratner, the anti-American Marxist who serves as president of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, for blaming the existence of the terrorist detention camp in Guantanamo on “Islamophobia.” Islamists scare off critics by wielding this word the same way community organizers discourage criticism by calling their detractors racist. The term “does more to confuse the issues than clarify them,” Tax writes, and is used in “efforts to criminalize free expression and dissent.”

Catherine Engelbrecht, president of Houston-based True the Vote, a good government group, praised a recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down part of the Voting Rights Act that gave left-wing groups a distinct advantage in federal elections. The high court recognized that the law’s anti-discrimination provisions, which gave federal bureaucrats a veto over changes in state election laws, may have been needed when the law was enacted in 1965, but no longer. For decades “ideological bureaucrats have used this law to exact a form of racial justice on their presumed enemies while ignoring the country’s demands for basic election integrity measures,” said Engelbrecht. “Thankfully, the Court stripped Washington of a power that was only being used as a weapon today.” Election lawyer J. Christian Adams described the court opinion, which clears the way for enforcement of much-needed state-level voter ID laws, as “one of the most important decisions in decades.”

Capital Research Center’s valuable work in exposing ACORN is acknowledged in investigative journalist James O’Keefe’s new book, Breakthrough: Our Guerrilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy. O’Keefe is founder of Project Veritas, which describes its mission as “investigat[ing] and expos[ing] corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions in order to achieve a more ethical and transparent society.” O’Keefe carried out the 2009 undercover video operation that uncovered corruption and criminality at ACORN—which forced the group to disband—with the help of Hannah Giles, who later founded another good-government group, the American Phoenix Foundation.

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 writes and speaks widely on ACORN and other radical advocacy…
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