The Daily Caller shows how CRC investigates and exposes the Left

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Capital Research Center is in the headlines for the work it does educating the American people about the network of radical left-wing nonprofit groups and super wealthy funders that want to fundamentally transform the country.

Ginni Thomas of the Daily Caller News Foundation interviewed Scott Walter, who became CRC president earlier this year.

In the video interview Walter boiled down what we do at Capital Research Center and why we do it.

The Left has a “Borg-like” consciousness he said, offering an homage to the Star Trek franchise. Walter said left-leaning people are much more open to emotional appeals than conservatives who tend to prioritize real-world facts in policy discussions. To combat the Left, it is important to understand that first and foremost the Left is about power.

In other words, conservatives care most about ideas; those on the Left care most about power.

Highlights from the interview:

Continue reading →

The Miss Universe hoax, or ‘No good deed goes un-Clintoned’

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[Continuing our series on deception in politics and public policy.]

“Clinton Shaming Trump for His Alleged ‘Miss Piggy’ Comment Was Maybe Her Best Moment,” proclaimed the online magazine Slate.

After accusing Donald Trump of attacking women—of saying, for example, that “women don’t deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men”—Hillary Clinton, in Monday night’s debate, brought up “a woman in a beauty contest.”

CLINTON: He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name—

TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this?

CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado.

TRUMP: Where did you find this?

CLINTON: And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet—

TRUMP: Oh, really?

CLINTON: —she’s going to vote this November.

TRUMP: OK, good. Let me just tell you—

(APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR LESTER HOLT: Mr. Trump, could we just take 10 seconds and then we ask the final question—

Coming near the end, 96.3 percent of the way through the event, the “Miss Piggy”/”Miss Housekeeping” accusation—he didn’t even use her real name!—won the debate for Clinton. That it did so for Clinton is appropriate, since it was based on a claim that is utterly unsubstantiated and is almost certainly a lie.

If it was, in fact, a fabrication, its status as fake made it particularly effective. As experts on deception know well, true accusations are easy to prepare for, because the guilty person knows what’s coming. False accusations, on the other hand, catch the victim unprepared and vulnerable.

The background: Actress/model Alicia Machado became Miss Universe in May 1996. Asked what she would do to celebrate her victory, she said, in Spanish, “Eat! Eat! Eat!” Over the ensuing months, Machado gained a large amount of weight—a major problem, given that part of her job was to promote products associated with a healthy lifestyle, including swimsuits and breakfast cereal for dieters.

More than five months into her reign, and more than two months after pageant officials reportedly threatened to fire her, Donald Trump bought a share of the beauty pageant organization that included the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants. According to the news accounts that appeared at the time, Trump hired a trainer, gave her access to a gymnasium he owned, and helped her get into better physical condition so that she could keep her job.

The Trump purchase was announced at the end of October 1996 and finalized in November. (The ultimate deal, in which Trump partnered with CBS, was announced in January.) Stories about her weight gain and the possible loss of her job had appeared in the news media the previous August: “Those extra kilos could cost Miss Universe her crown,” declared Agence France Presse (the French press agency) on August 19, 1996. “Venezuelan beauty queen Alicia Machado, the reigning Miss Universe, has been told to go on a crash diet or risk losing her crown, according to Venezuelan beauty contest officials,” reported the Newark Star-Ledger, August 20. The Miami Herald, August 21, headlined: “LOSE THE POUNDS OR THE CROWN?” The Scottish Daily Record reported on August 23 that “Miss Universe Alicia Machado gives her defiant verdict on the order to diet or lose her beauty crown. The gutsy 18-year-old from Venezuela has been told to shed 27lb in a fortnight but was snapped wolfing a hot dog in LA … with relish.”

“Alicia Machado and her waistline were the talk of the town in Las Cruces, New Mexico, this week,” noted Canada’s Globe and Mail on August 24, 1996. “The dusty resort city on the Rio Grande was awash with young beauties, but all eyes were on the reigning Miss Universe in the wake of rumours that she would be stripped of her title if she didn’t shed 27 pounds.”

“Earlier this week, Miss Universe Alicia Machado, the reigning symbol of interplanetary beauty, became the object of furor over whether she was expanding just a little too much for this galaxy,” wrote Louis Kiernan in the Chicago Tribune, August 25. (Kiernan was writing sarcastically, defending Machado.)

Remember: This happened months before Trump bought a share of the Miss Universe pageant.

Continue reading →

The Assault on E-Cigarettes

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E-cigarettes have a lot of enemies, some of whom make for strange bedfellows: Bureaucrats, Big Tobacco, and now…liberals?

Jason Healy, president of Blu Cigs, and Craig Weiss, president of NJOY, were recently grilled by the Senate Commerce Committee. Senators accused the companies of targeting kids by putting flavors in their e-cigs and placing ads during the Super Bowl and on a Sports Illustrated model’s swimsuit. This led Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to assert, “You are using the same tactics and ads used by Big Tobacco that proved so effective.”

Actually, it’s the critics of e-cigs who are borrowing the tactics used against Big Tobacco.

Whether the cause is taking away Second Amendment rights or telling people what they can and cannot eat, liberals often brand their efforts as children’s campaigns.

For example, during the anti-smoking crusades of the 1990s, there was a widely cited study showing children could successfully match Joe the Camel to his product: Cigarettes. The study’s authors focused on just 23 six-year-olds—21 of whom made the Joe to Cigarette connection.

That is a surprisingly high number. However, a sample size of 23 toddlers is simply too small to be taken seriously. Furthermore, the results of this study were never replicated. Yet a single study—poorly designed and never repeated—became a major talking point for a movement.

Violators of the Constitution never stop at violating the rights of bad guys. Eventually, using the same deceptive techniques, they come for the rest of us.

For more, you can read the September edition of “Green Watch” here.

This blog post was adapted from Part II of the September edition of Capital Research Center’s “Green Watch,” by Steven J. Allen.

Left-winger urges agitating for gun control within 60 minutes of a mass shooting

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)

Gun grabber Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) thinks his comrades should push gun control after mass shootings while the victims’ blood is still hot.

Full speed ahead before any of the facts are known!

Murphy said politicizing mass shootings should get underway “within an hour” of an incident.

You cannot accept the premise that there is any waiting period after a tragedy to start engaging in political action, I think you need to be unapologetic about that. I am talking about legislative action within an hour of a shooting. These shootings won’t stop unless we move seamlessly from tragedy to action.

This is mobocracy, something that is truly un-American.

The Constitution was written to stop exactly this kind of thing dead in its tracks.

 

Saul Alinsky: a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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There is a new documentary film out about community organizing guru Saul Alinsky.

It’s called A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing.

Here is what Joseph Pronechen at the National Catholic Register has to say about the movie:

Do you want an understanding of where so much of society’s problems originated and how things went radically wrong in everything from culture to family life to politics?

You’ll find out from A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing …

The film is no less than riveting. By the brilliant team of Richard and Stephen Payne, the father-son filmmakers who head Arcadia Films, it explores the life and beliefs of one Saul Alinsky, often called the father of community organizing.

You can purchase the movie at its website or watch it on EWTN on the evening of October 1.

Overridden

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Another first was achieved in the Obama administration yesterday but it is not a first the president is happy about.

Congress successfully overrode President Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, making the bill law without his signature. The veto was 12th of his presidency but the very first to be overridden.

The measure cleared the Senate on a vote of 97 to 1. The sole dissenter was Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who leaves office in a few months. The House vote was 348 to 77.

“This is what we have been fighting for over a decade,’’ said Terry Strada, head of the 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism.

“In our polarized politics of today, this is pretty much close to a miraculous occurrence,” said Senate Majority Leader John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) added, “We cannot in good conscience close the courthouse door to those families who have suffered unimaginable losses.”

The new statute allows lawsuits against the government of Saudi Arabia for its alleged involvement in 9/11 to move forward. The 9/11 commission failed to uncover evidence of Saudi government participation in the 9/11 attacks but survivors’ families and insurance companies reject that finding. Of the 19 hijackers who slammed jetliners into the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and a field in western Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001 were Saudi citizens.

“The measure essentially creates an exception to sovereign immunity, the doctrine that holds one country can’t be sued in another country’s courts,” according to USA Today. “It allows plaintiffs to sue other nations in U.S. federal courts for monetary damages in cases of injury, death or property damage caused by acts of international terrorism in the United States.”

Unaccustomed to not getting his way with Congress, a petulant President Obama scolded lawmakers.

Obama said the veto override was a “mistake” and “basically a political vote.”

“If you’re perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that’s a hard vote for people to take,” Obama said. “But it would have been the right thing to do.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest condemned the override calling it “the single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done possibly since 1983.”

“Ultimately these senators are going to have to answer their own conscience and their constituents as they account for their actions today,” he said.

No one seems to have any idea what event in 1983 or later Earnest is talking about.

(graphic from: http://apgovernment2010.yolasite.com/ch12.php)

Pepe the Frog is now a hate symbol?

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Or so our politically correct betters have decreed.

The cartoon amphibian associated with the so-called alt-right and now found everywhere on the Internet should have lawyered up when he had the chance because he is no longer kosher according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The alt-right — which I first heard of only a few months ago even though I study political activism (pretty intensely at times) for a living — is officially very bad and everyone is required forthwith to disapprove of this aquatic reincarnation of Hitler.

(I previously wrote about my doubts about the bigness and badness of the alt-right.)

And what did this beloved pond dweller do to earn this newfound infamy?

Apparently the wrong people started using him.

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People in the alt-right. In other words people who like GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. (The name sounds like Michigan J. Frog, doesn’t it?)

According to The Next Web:

Pepe the Frog started off as a fun, light-hearted reaction image. Today it’s recognized as a hate symbol comparable to the swastika. […]

After its inception on 4chan around 2008, Pepe had grown to be one of the most recognizable memes on the internet. Along with his trademark catchphrase ‘feels good man’, he would give commentary on whatever had been posted before.

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But according to the (fairly awful) Daily Beast, Pepe made some bad new friends who made him do terrible things that irrevocably associated him with racism and in particular anti-Semitism.

Pepe didn’t need to be associated with Jew-hatred to be despised by the Left, which, for what it’s worth, is the real beating heart of anti-Semitism today.

The fact that Pepe likes the wall Trump wants to build on the southern border is more than sufficient to make him the Devil in liberal-progressive eyes.

The Anti-Defamation League, which pretty clearly has too much time on its hands, recently started listing Pepe in its database of hate symbols, alongside the confederate battle flag and the swastika.

Pepe displayers can take advantage of a loophole to avoid the eternal damnation of their immortal souls, the ADL says.

It’s called context.

However, because so many Pepe the Frog memes are not bigoted in nature, it is important to examine use of the meme only in context. The mere fact of posting a Pepe meme does not mean that someone is racist or white supremacist.

 

So big of them.

Climate change fascism

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Another reminder why you should not give money to universities.

If you don’t agree with the climate change cult, well, you’d better not study at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

The College Fix reports:

Three professors co-teaching an online course called “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age” at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs recently told their students via email that man-made climate change is not open for debate, and those who think otherwise have no place in their course.

“The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,” states the email, a copy of which was provided to The College Fix by a student in the course.

Signed by the course’s professors Rebecca Laroche, Wendy Haggren and Eileen Skahill, it was sent after several students expressed concern for their success in the course after watching the first online lecture about the impacts of climate change.

“Opening up a debate that 98% of climate scientists unequivocally agree to be a non-debate would detract from the central concerns of environment and health addressed in this course,” the professors’ email continued.

“… If you believe this premise to be an issue for you, we respectfully ask that you do not take this course, as there are options within the Humanities program for face to face this semester and online next.”

The professors also note this ban on debate extends to discussion among students in the online forums. Moreover, students who choose to use outside sources for research during their time in the course may select only those that have been peer-reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the email states. […]

(graphic source: http://en.paperblog.com/episode-162-climate-change-fascism-in-science-clothing-1243527/)

Bureaucrats and Big Tobacco Attack E-Cigarettes

ECig + Vape Pen

The Food and Drug Administration has joined with Big Tobacco to crush the small businesses that make up most of the e-cigarette industry. In the process, bureaucrats are endangering millions of lives.

Obviously, that doesn’t make much sense. But neither does this story’s beginning. In May, the FDA announced it would regulate e-cigarettes—which don’t contain tobacco—as tobacco products. That’s no small change: It means, the FDA estimates, that e-cigarette products now face costs of approval from $265,000 to $2.6 million, taking 1,713 hours per application. And those estimates aren’t per e-cigarette firm; they’re per item.

For the fledgling e-cig industry—largely small manufacturers and shops—these hurdles might as well be orders to shut down. For Big Tobacco, it’s a clever strategy: Call for costly regulation, weather the storm, watch your competition sink, and emerge as the new provider of your original product’s greatest rival.

Big Tobacco’s pivot to the electronic market is powered by the realization that they’re losing ground on two fronts: (1) Long-time smokers are using e-cigs to help them quit, and (2) young people are using e-cigs instead of starting to smoke.

E-cigarettes deliver nicotine, but none of the nearly 7,000 chemicals associated with real cigarettes, including 60 carcinogens. This, among other observations, led Public Health England, a government agency in the United Kingdom, to conclude that e-cigs are 95 percent safer than cigarettes.

American bureaucrats believe otherwise. The Centers for Disease Control argue that e-cigarettes will cause people to start smoking instead of stop, citing two studies as support. The problem is neither study lines up with the CDC stance on e-cigs. In fact, one explicitly states: “We cannot conclude that e-cigarette use directly leads to smoking.” (Read the in-depth analysis here.)

It’s also worth noting two large facts that the CDC leaves out. In 2015, teen smoking in America dropped to single digits for the first time ever, while smoking rates increased in states that banned e-cigarettes.

Between FDA regulations and CDC cheerleading, bureaucrats are obstructing proven harm-reduction strategies and handing a jumbo check to Big Tobacco.

For more, you can read the September edition of “Green Watch” here.

This blog post was adapted from Part I of the September edition of Capital Research Center’s “Green Watch,” by Steven J. Allen.

The Community Garden That Is So Much More

In my conversation with the co-founder of the Turkey Thicket Gardeners Association, I expected to learn about how to create a community garden, the challenges of dealing with government bureaucracy, and the benefits that people receive from being a member of a community garden.

To my surprise, I instead learned about what a community is, the cultivation that a community needs to exist, and the benefits received from living in and being part of a community.

Brookland, a neighborhood in northeastern Washington, D.C., is a community. Or, at least, a community exists in Brookland. One of the people actively trying to nurture and cultivate that community is Chenelyn Barker. Ms. Barker founded the Turkey Thicket Gardeners Association with a few other Brooklanders three years ago.

Barker is from Portland, Oregon, where growing a garden is “a lifestyle for us,” she told me. “When I saw the advertisement for folks to get involved in managing the garden—what would soon become the TTGA, Turkey Thicket Gardeners Association—I jumped on board. Living in the district,” she continued, “you have very minimal land space, so although, I do have a backyard, it’s not enough for a full-grown garden. I really wanted to be part of making a garden.”

“Who doesn’t love fresh vegetables?” she added. Continue reading →

Billionaires love Hillary Clinton, not so keen on actual billionaire Donald Trump

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has taken in $21.1 million for her campaign and its supporting political action committees from U.S. billionaires, more than 20 times the $1.02 million Republican Donald Trump has taken in from billionaires, Bloomberg News reports.

While the role the wealthiest play in American politics has come under increased scrutiny with growing attention to income inequality fueling the rise of populist candidates, contributions from U.S. billionaires on the Bloomberg index amount to 3 percent of the $708 million raised by the two candidates, as of the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Hedge fund billionaire George Soros is the biggest spender among donors on the index, giving almost $11.9 million to Clinton’s cause. A Hungarian immigrant to the U.S., Soros is the 17th-richest person in the country with $24.7 billion, according to the index.

Among Clinton’s billionaire backers, the top five donors are:

George Soros                            $11.9 million
James Simons                          $7 million
Steven Spielberg                    $1.4 million
Alice Walton                              $356,000
Laurene Powell Jobs            $205,000

Among Trump’s billionaire backers, the top five donors are:

Bradley W. Hughes Sr.          $449,000
Richard LeFrak                        $100,000
Thomas Peterffy                     $100,000
Daniel “Andy” Beal               $100,000
Kelcy Warren                            $100,000

Bloomberg notes that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Home Depot Inc. co-founder Bernard Marcus, wrote op-eds endorsing Trump earlier this year.

Marcus reportedly pledged to give Trump’s campaign $3 million and Adelson is still considering giving Trump $5 million.