Peter Schweizer’s Government Accountability Institute is out with a report today on foreign and fraudulent campaign contributions. It is the most comprehensive treatment of the issue to date. The key findings relate to the Obama campaign:
Schweizer also finds that, based on the security measures currently in place, nearly half of Congress is vulnerable to fraudulent and foreign donations. Schweizer provided this statement to Powerline, which covers the report here:
When it comes to money in this campaign all the focus has been on Super PACs. But far more troubling in my mind is the reality of how easily foreign governments or individuals can inject funds in the U.S. presidential campaign. The FEC does not require basic security for internet donations. And in the case of the Obama campaign, the gate appears to be wide open. You need to use the CVV security code on your credit card to buy an Obama hoodie but not make a donation. And there is very real evidence that the campaign is not using the address verification system (AVS) in any real way. There are simply too many contributions they accept with either no zip code or an incorrect zip code. To make matters worse, donations under $200 don’t even need to be disclosed. Twenty years ago that might not matter but in the era of robo-donations its a huge problem.
Update: The irony here is rich, because the president railed against foreign donations in as high profile an address as the State of the Union, and David Axelrod accused both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republican Super PACs for purportedly accepting donations from foreign entities. I’ve collected their remarks here.
From National Review.
Birther Constitution alert. via Abdul Hassan’s Bid For The Presidency Suffers Setback – Business Insider.
Despite a trio of setbacks, a labor lawyer in Queens is still fighting for his right to run for president even though he isn’t a natural-born citizen.
Abdul Karim Hassan has filed a series of lawsuits claiming the Constitution’s stipulation that only naturally born citizens can run for president is discriminatory and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reported Tuesday.
In his opinion, the natural-born-citizens clause “has been trumped by the equal protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution which prohibits the sort of national origin discrimination that is contained in the natural born provision,” Hassan wrote on his website.
Hassan’s lawsuits have already been denied in the First and Second U.S. court of appeals.
And the Tenth Circuit rounded out the trio on Tuesday when it too shut down Hassan’s case.
But Hassan doesn’t seem too upset, telling Law Blog, “It looks like I’m going to have to keep my day job.”
Despite his recent losses, Hassan still has pending cases in the Eighth and Ninth circuit courts. And he has a case challenging a law that allows presidential candidates to receive public money during primaries, according to Law Blog.
“Look, the chances are slim, but if you contribute to the discourse, it might be worth it,” Hassan told Law Blog of his numerous attempts to get on the ballot.
On his website, Hassan states he plans to be the Democratic Party’s candidate in 2012 and “if necessary, in 2016.”
Hat tip to Dr. Kates View who gets to the heart of the matter in her title: Court Rules Natural Born Citizenship Required for Presidency.
Business Insider reported on September 5, 2012, Abdul Karim Hassan’s series of lawsuits claiming his right to run for the Presidency have been denied in the Second, Third, and now Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. A similar ruling was issued September 28, 2012 for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
The significance of these rulings cannot be underestimated as they affirm that the natural born citizen clause of Article II of the U.S. Constitution has not been trumped, abrogated, or implicitly repealed by the Equal Protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment nor the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. These arguments are the same ones used by Obama’s lawyers in fending off the legitimate challenges to Barack Obama’s candidacy and presidency; by the secretaries of state to refute ballot challenges, and by the media, pundits, Congress and the academics to cover up the usurpation of the presidency by Obama/Soetoro. Of course, the corrupt SCOTUS hears nothing, sees nothing, and says nothing.
Read it all.
Republican nominee Mitt Romney gave a highly pumped-up foreign policy speech Monday that hammered President Barack Obama’s foreign policy direction, including his handling of the recent attacks in Libya that left a U.S. ambassador dead.
Here’s the full text of Romney’s speech:
“I particularly appreciate the introduction from my good friend and tireless campaign companion, Gov. Bob McDonnell. He is showing what conservative leadership can do to build a stronger economy. Thank you also Congressman Goodlatte for joining us today. And particular thanks to Gen. Peay. I appreciate your invitation to be with you today at the Virginia Military Institute. It is a great privilege to be here at an Institution that has done so much for our nation, both in war and in peace.
For more than 170 years, VMI has done more than educate students. It has guided their transformation into citizens, and warriors, and leaders. VMI graduates have served with honor in our nation’s defense, just as many are doing today in Afghanistan and other lands. Since the September 11th attacks, many of VMI’s sons and daughters have defended America, and I mourn with you the 15 brave souls who have been lost. I join you in praying for the many VMI graduates and all Americans who are now serving in harm’s way. May God bless all who serve, and all who have served.
Of all the VMI graduates, none is more distinguished than George Marshall—the Chief of Staff of the Army who became Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense, who helped to vanquish fascism and then planned Europe’s rescue from despair. His commitment to peace was born of his direct knowledge of the awful costs and consequences of war.
General Marshall once said, “The only way human beings can win a war is to prevent it.” Those words were true in his time—and they still echo in ours.
Last month, our nation was attacked again. A U.S. Ambassador and three of our fellow Americans are dead—murdered in Benghazi, Libya. Among the dead were three veterans. All of them were fine men, on a mission of peace and friendship to a nation that dearly longs for both. President Obama has said that Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues represented the best of America. And he is right. We all mourn their loss.
The attacks against us in Libya were not an isolated incident. They were accompanied by anti-American riots in nearly two dozen other countries, mostly in the Middle East, but also in Africa and Asia. Our embassies have been attacked. Our flag has been burned. Many of our citizens have been threatened and driven from their overseas homes by vicious mobs, shouting “Death to America.” These mobs hoisted the black banner of Islamic extremism over American embassies on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
As the dust settles, as the murdered are buried, Americans are asking how this happened, how the threats we face have grown so much worse, and what this calls on America to do. These are the right questions. And I have come here today to offer a larger perspective on these tragic recent events—and to share with you, and all Americans, my vision for a freer, more prosperous, and more peaceful world.
The attacks on America last month should not be seen as random acts. They are expressions of a larger struggle that is playing out across the broader Middle East—a region that is now in the midst of the most profound upheaval in a century. And the fault lines of this struggle can be seen clearly in Benghazi itself.
Celebrating Columbus, Brave and Bright
Imposing modern morality on the past is a form of historical illiteracy.
As children, my friends and I knew as a matter of indisputable rhyme that “In fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” and that, by doing so, he both discovered America and proved that the earth was not flat. Few of us, I’d venture, ever questioned whether or not this was true.
Our ignorance was to the clear advantage of the mythmakers, for Christopher Columbus doesn’t do too well when subjected to the eagle eye of the fact-checker. First off, however you elect to parse “discovery,” Columbus wasn’t the first outsider to discover America. As early as 30,000 years ago, human beings started to move across a Siberia-Alaska land bridge named Beringia and then to fan out throughout the Americas. On the Western side of things, Leif Ericson and the Vikings made it to North America around a.d. 1000 but saw fit not to stick around. Strike one for the fable.
Strike two: Contra Mr. Gershwin, “they” did not all laugh “at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round” — primarily because they already knew that. As Stephen Jay Gould has observed, “there never was a period of ‘flat earth darkness’ among scholars.” They had accepted the spherical theory from the time of Socrates, and it had reigned without interruption ever since. Insinuations to the contrary, still pervasive in the public imagination, derive first from 17th-century Protestant attempts to paint Catholics as backwards, and then from the 19th-century atheist movement, which picked up the falsehood and propagated it to demonstrate the supposed benightedness of the religious.
Given that he wasn’t looking for it, Columbus’s hitting upon the New World was something of a happy accident. When he eventually bumped into land, he thought that he was in India, “but,” as the song explains, accurately this time, “India the land was not. / It was the Bahamas, and it was hot.” (This, incidentally, is why the West Indies and “American Indians” are so named.) Alas, the accident was not so happy for all. While lateness and disorientation are excusable at most affairs, it is a truth almost universally agreed upon that killing your hosts is not — which made it all the more regrettable that Columbus’s entourage brought with it the unwelcome gift of smallpox and promptly wiped out large swaths of the locals. Strike three, to be sure.
Three strikes, but not out. The explosion of certain parts of the Columbus myth, along with some more recent discoveries about his less noble proclivities, has led many to disown the man and a few more to protest against the national holiday in his honor. Berkeley, Brown, and — ironically — Columbia universities have abolished recognition of Columbus Day entirely, while others have substituted nebulous celebrations of “diversity” on that day. Journey into any trendy progressive enclave and you will find that Christopher Columbus is persona non grata.
This, like most political correctness, is a grievous mistake. As the historian William J. Connell argues, Columbus may not have been the first of the voyagers to discover America, but he was undoubtedly the most important. “His arrival,” Connell explains, “marks where we as a country and a hemisphere began our identity.” Unlike previous landings, Columbus’s mattered. It was the first to lead to a permanent settlement and the first enduring landing from a civilization that boasted modern ideas such as a belief in science, reason, individual achievement, and Christianity. Ultimately, Columbus’s story serves as the introduction to a story of immeasurable historical importance. To dismiss celebration of the man because he didn’t make it to America first would be akin to declaring that we must scorn Isaac Newton’s contribution to science because he wasn’t actually hit by an apple.
Of the charge that he brought smallpox to the New World and is thus guilty of wiping out untold numbers of the native people, Columbus must be exonerated. The vast majority of the devastation inflicted upon the Indian tribes was inadvertent: As he did not propose that the world was round, he also did not propose germ theory — that would not be proffered until after the invention of the telephone — and it is simply preposterous to postulate that he should have known what would happen when two hitherto unfamiliar worlds collided. If one is to lay the blame at Columbus’s feet for the collapse of the Indian population, one also must blame the Indians for unwittingly giving the visitors syphilis, which they took back with them and which subsequently wiped out upwards of 5 million Europeans. It was an unfortunate quid pro quo, to be sure, but not one for which either side should feel much guilt.
Okay, counter the naysayers, but Columbus was a bit of a bastard. Among the further charges leveled against him are that he considered that the natives he met “would make fine servants” and attempted to convert them to Christianity; that on his second voyage he transported slaves, many of whom died; and that, at least by one semi-reliable account, while he was serving as governor of Hispaniola, his men took to “killing, terrorizing, afflicting, and torturing the native peoples” in order to “prevent” them “from thinking for themselves as human beings.”
Heinous as this behavior was, to impose modern morality on the past is to exhibit historical illiteracy. Contrary to the picture painted by modern progressives, the Pinta, the Niña, and the Santa Maria did not sail nonchalantly through a barrier of enlightened protesters — (Don’t) Occupy America! — on their way to the shore, only to ignore their modernity. Columbus was a man of his time, and we should judge him by the standards of that age, regardless of how we assess them today. He subscribed to an internationally popular Aristotelian precept that those captured in battle were rendered slaves, which distinguished him from nobody; he was desperately ambitious and something of a social climber, qualities without which he would never have made such astonishing expeditions; he was motivated by glory and greed and evangelical fervor, as was most of the world (as is, perhaps, the world today). The fact that he reflected his society is not the interesting or exceptional thing about him. Columbus’s first voyage, like the trip to the moon, is worth celebrating in and of itself, without worrying about whether he’d be invited to the ThinkProgress annual gala.
Judging by the language used against him, one suspects that it is not really Columbus that concerns the anti-Columbus types; rather, they object to Columbus Day because they object to the colonization of America, and they disdain less Columbus qua Columbus than what subsequently flowed from the man’s exploits. There we must part company.
A peculiar but popular view holds that, until the brutish Europeans came and violated its innocence in the name of profit, American Indian culture was the last vestige of Man before the Fall. This notion replaces history with fantasy. As the European crime was not to invent but to buy into a slave trade that had afflicted Africa for almost a millennium, Columbus’s was to mirror the practices of tribal warfare and slavery that were already rife among the natives. He did not impose barbarism on the American continent, but he did fail in many instances to show the better example that many in Europe were in the process of setting. This is enough to disqualify him from being regarded as a great reformer, but it does not disqualify him from being a great explorer. Quite obviously, it is only the latter to which his champions lay claim.
Columbus’s voyage was the overture to a European colonization of the North American continent that has been a net good for the world. He may have practiced much that made the Old World execrable, but he opened the door to a New World that has set itself apart in human history as an incubator and beacon of liberty. Columbus set off a veritable scramble for America that culminated in British triumph, American insurrection, and the eventual glorification of Enlightenment values that have, by virtue of their codification, been protected at home and abroad by American predominance.
As the poem has it:
The first American? No, not quite.
But Columbus was brave, and he was bright.
A great find by Todd Starnes with Fox News and one that should outrage parents everywhere. But I have one question.
Why would Obama For America go to middle schools to register students and why were they given access to it? The article notes that they gave left-wing speeches in the classrooms, but registering anyone less than 18 years old to vote is illegal right? It doesn’t make sense that Pasco County Schools would have given them access to middle schoolers.
TODD STARNES – Florida Republicans are outraged after a school district allowed a pro-Obama organization to conduct student voter registration drives and deliver speeches to classes – but denied the Romney campaign similar opportunities.
Pasco County Schools confirmed to Fox News that volunteers from Organizing For America were given access to as many as a half dozen high school and middle school campuses.
“They did register students to vote,” spokesman John Mann told Fox News. “We don’t know how many children were registered – (but) we have an ongoing investigation.”
According to email correspondence obtained by Fox News, volunteers tried to infiltrate at least three other school campuses – but on-campus officials rebuffed those efforts.
In addition to voter registration, a former teacher was allowed to deliver Obama speeches to a number of senior high school students.
“She got into six classrooms and gave pro-Obama speeches – like way off to the left,” said James Mathieu, general counsel for the Pasco County Republican Party. “That got out to parents and parents complained.”
Matthieu told Fox News he has filed a complaint with the Florida Division of Elections and also contacted the Florida Attorney General’s office.
“We have a liberal culture in our school system and we know that,” he told Fox News. “The problem is someone has used false credentials, false pretenses and there is a security issue.”
Mathieu said that some of the Organizing for America volunteers identified themselves to school officials as being with the local elections office.
“These people have used false pretense to get into the high schools and all they’re giving us is whitewash and lip service,” he said.
But Mann told Fox News that to his knowledge none of the volunteers misrepresented themselves.
“They identified themselves as being with Organizing For America,” he said.
However, according to an email obtained by Fox News – school officials acknowledged there may have been some deceit.
“In at least one case, those individuals said they were from the Pasco Supervisor of Elections Office,” wrote staff member Paula Lesko. “Unfortunately the SOE said that is not the case.”
Is this the best political ad?
Pumpkin Pie Vodka of the Day: Sure, why not — ‘tis the season.
From the makers of Jim Beam.
Obama’s Bible Issue
So why isn’t a publisher of Bibles eligible for a religious exemption from HHS?
‘Tyndale was left with no alternative but to go to court,” explains Mark D. Taylor, president and CEO of Tyndale House Publishers. On the day before the first presidential debate, the company, which Taylor’s parents started when he was eleven years old, filed the 31st lawsuit over the Department of Health and Human Services’ abortion-drug, sterilization, and contraception mandate.
Tyndale publishes Bibles. But that doesn’t make it a religious endeavor. Not in the federal government’s book. Not as of August 1, anyway. That was the day that the HHS mandate — a regulation further defining the health-care legislation that then–Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was right to tell us Congress would be passing before anyone knew what it actually contained — went into effect. Family businesses like Tyndale — which happen to be run by religious folk who want to live their lives true to what they believe — don’t qualify for any kind of “accommodation” or exemption.
“The law does not give any religious-freedom exemption to faith-based operations like Tyndale,” Taylor, who is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, points out. “Instead, it imposes crushing fines on employers who are doing nothing more than following their consciences against abortion-inducing pills. The government is supposed to promote conscience protection, not attack it. The best solution is for Congress or the administration to respect the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by eliminating the abortion-pill mandate. But if they refuse to do their duty, we hope the courts will rule that the mandate is unlawful.”
Tyndale, Taylor says, has always existed “for an explicitly religious purpose — to publish the Bible and other Christian publications, and direct the proceeds to ministry and charity.” And this is quite evident from a visit to Tyndale’ s website or to the religion section of most bookstores.
Continue reading HERE.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A turf battle of sorts is taking place in some neighborhoods.
Raccoons are invading.
They’re getting into garbage cans, backyards and even breaking into homes. And what’s more, these resourceful raccoons are outsmarting the most determined of trappers, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn resident Susan DeBrango snapped pictures of the suspects, their faces masked, trying to get inside her home.
“They are adorable but not in your backyard when they impact your life,” DeBrango said. “When he saw at me he stood up on two legs and hissed at me.”
They are getting more brazen on Washington Avenue, rummaging through trash, and running right up to neighbors. One even went face-to-face with Barbara Mattocks on her own front stoop.
“I don’t want that feeling ever again. I was petrified,” Mattocks said
Tiffany Webb, 37, was a respected educator in New York City public schools for 12 years before she lost her job last December. A principal at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers in Manhattan recommended she be fired after a student showed her photos of Ms Webb that he had found online.
Dumb grenade fishermen?
Vogue and photoshop!
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a fat-thighed wildebeest, but you’d never know it from looking at her Vogue pics. Pravda strikes again.