The Shared Agendas of George Soros and Barack Obama

Cloward-Piven Agenda in America

The shared Agendas of President Obama and George Soros

 

While George Soros was busy bankrolling his battalion of established activist groups and launching a few new ones of his own, he quite naturally looked toward the upcoming presidential election of 2008 with great anticipation, eagerly awaiting the day when George W. Bush would finally leave office. The question was, who would replace him? In recent years, all indications had been that Soros favored Hillary Clinton above most, if not all, other potential Democratic candidates for President. But now there was a new face on the scene¯a young, charismatic U.S. senator from Illinois named Barack Obama¯who seemed not only to share virtually all of Soros’s values and agendas, but also appeared to be a highly skilled politician who stood a good chance of getting elected to the nation’s highest office.

In December of 2006, Soros, who had previously hosted a fundraiser for Obama during the latter’s 2004 Senate campaign, met with Obama in Soros’s New York office. Just a few weeks later¯on January 16, 2007¯Obama announced that he would form a presidential exploratory committee and was contemplating a run for the White House. Within hours, Soros sent the senator a contribution of $2,100, the maximum amount allowable under campaign-finance laws. Later that week, the New York Daily News reported that Soros would support Obama rather than Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, though Soros pledged to back the New York senator were she to emerge as the nominee.1 But it was clear that Soros considered Obama to be the more electable candidate of the two. Most importantly, Obama’s economic and political prescriptions for America were wholly accordant with those of Soros.

Anti-Capitalism

Obama’s anti-capitalist background and views are well documented: His father was a communist; his mother was a communist sympathizer;2 in his youth he was mentored by the communist Frank Marshall Davis; he sought out Marxist friends and professors at Occidental College; he attended Socialist Scholars Conferencesin New York; he was trained in the community-organizing methods of Saul Alinsky, a communist fellow traveler; he developed close ties to the pro-socialist community organization ACORN; he developed close personal and political ties to the infamous Marxists (and former domestic terrorists) Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn; he was hand-picked for his first political office by Alice Palmer, a pro-Soviet figure in Illinois; in the 1990s he became a member of the New Party, a socialist political coalition; he had close connections to theMidwest Academy, a radical training ground which author Stanley Kurtz has described as a “crypto-socialist organization”;3 and he spent twenty years attending the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who preaches the Marxist doctrines of liberation theology. As President, Obama appointed Carol Browner, a former “commissioner” of the Socialist International as his “environment czar”;4 he employed a White House communications director (Anita Dunn) who cited Mao Zedong as one of her “favorite political philosophers”;5he appointed a “science czar,” John Holdren, who views capitalism as a system that is inherently destructive of the environment;6 he appointed Van Jones, a longtime revolutionary communist, as his “green jobs czar”;7and he strongly favors the redistribution of wealth, both within the U.S. and across international borders. The list, of course, could go on and on.

George Soros, too, harbors many negative views about capitalism and free markets. “The entire edifice of global financial markets has been erected on the false premise that markets can be left to their own devices,” says Soros. “We must find a new paradigm and rebuild from the ground up.”8 According to Soros, the capitalist “belief that everybody pursuing his self-interest will maximize the common interest … is a false idea.”9 Calling the global capitalist system “deeply flawed,” Soros maintains that “as long as capitalism remains triumphant, the pursuit of money overrides all other social considerations.”10 As Soros sees things, capitalism “is today a greater threat than any totalitarian ideology.”11 Lamenting that “the richest 1 percent of the world’s population receive as much as the poorest 57 percent,”12 Soros suggests that only by reining in “global capitalism” can that gap be narrowed. He further complains that global capitalism, by encouraging the free flow of money across international borders, reduces the vital “ability of the state to provide Social Security to its citizens.”13 “The globalization of financial markets has rendered the welfare state that came into existence after World War II obsolete,” Soros explains, “because the people who require a social safety net cannot leave the country, but the capital the welfare state used to tax can.”14

Soros’s proposed remedy for this problem is a worldwide war on poverty that would transform the entire planet into a global welfare state, a sort of open-society alliance where “a kind of international central bank” could redistribute wealth from rich populations to poor ones.15 Toward this end, Soros announced in September 2006 that he would donate $50 million to the United Nations Millennium Project, a massive redistributive scheme calling for the governments of wealthy countries to commit 0.7% of their GNP to promoting “the economic development and welfare of developing countries.”16 Heading this Project (from 2002-2006) was Jeffrey Sachs, the economist who had worked with Soros in Russia during the Bill Clintonadministration. As evidenced by his participation in the Millennium Project,17 Sachs has radically altered his former pro-capitalist positions. Indeed, in recent times he has praised socialists as “both the heirs and the leaders of the world’s most important and most successful political path”; he has lauded their “strong commitment to universalist ethical principles and fiscal re-distribution”; and he has voiced regret that America’s lack of “commitment to re-distribution” has “enabled a massive underclass to develop.”18

Similarly, George Soros sees “the global capitalist system in its present form” as “a distortion of what ought to be a global open society.”19 He suggests that if the “market fundamentalism in America” were “eliminated,” then “the public interest would be better served” by way of “a more equal distribution of wealth.”20

In a November 2008 interview, Soros was asked whether he supported programs falling under the rubric of “big-government” or “European-style ‘socialism.’” He replied, “That is exactly what we need now. I am against market fundamentalism. I think this propaganda that government involvement is always bad has been very successful—but also very harmful to our society.”21

In October 2009, Soros told a Central European University audience that “there is a deep-seated conflict between capitalism and open society.” He observed, moreover, that “Karl Marx['s] proposition” of communist redistributionism “was a very attractive idea” that might well have succeeded if not for the unfortunate fact that “the communist rulers put their own interests ahead of the interests of the people.”22“The failure of the central planning model did not prove the validity of the free enterprise model,” says Soros. “… There is a better way of looking at the world. It is based on the postulate of radical fallibility, according to which all our constructs are flawed in one way or another. Specifically, both models—Communism and free enterprise, or market fundamentalism, as I have rechristened it—are deficient; the deficiency in each one can be cured only by taking some elements from the other.”23

The Call for Global Government

Soros’s desire for a worldwide welfare structure is consistent with his general preference for some form of global government. In 1998 he wrote that “insofar as there are collective interests that transcend state boundaries, the sovereignty of states must be subordinated to international law and international institutions.” “The greatest opposition to this idea,” he added somberly, “is coming from the United States.”24

Soros has continued to espouse this perspective ever since. At a 2003 event, a questioner asked Soros whether he and his foundations could “help to bring more foreign influence into the United States instead of relying on what is essentially a balance between Democrats and conservative Republicans, which hasn’t worked and is not about to start working.” Soros replied:

“I think you put your finger on a very important flaw in the current world order. And that is that only Americans have a vote in Congress. And yet it is the United States that basically determines policy for the world. That is a flaw in the current setup. I don’t think you can correct it by giving the Chinese government a vote in Congress. But it is a flaw, and I think this is where American leadership is needed, to take into account and respect the interests of others as well, in order to retain the dominant position we currently enjoy.”25

This call for increased “foreign influence” in American political life is congruent with President Obama’s position on the matter. In March 2009, for instance, Obama appointed Harold Koh, the dean of Yale Law School, as legal advisor to the U.S. State Department. Koh is an advocate of transnationalism, a concept arguing in favor of “global governance” as opposed to the constitutional sovereignty of independent nation-states. This perspective holds that the world’s most challenging problems are too complex and deep-rooted for any single country to address effectively on its own. The solution, says Koh, is for all members of the international community to recognize a set of supranational laws and institutions whose authority overrides those of any particular government.26

In March 2007, Koh chastised the U.S. for having “unwisely disengaged from various institutions that promote fundamental human rights, chief among them the International Criminal Court [which would subordinate American criminal-justice procedures in certain cases to those of an international tribunal] and the newly established Human Rights Council” of the United Nations¯a Council whose membership includes a number of nations known for their unrestrained anti-Semitism and human-rights abuses.27 President Obama ultimately announced, in 2009, that the U.S. would join the Council for the first time.28 In November 2010, this Council made headlines when it harshly berated America for its alleged discrimination against Muslims, its barbaric police practices, its use of torture against enemies abroad, and its religious intolerance.29

Another Obama official¯Eric P. Schwartz, the administration’s assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration¯formerly served as director of the U.S. Connect Fund, a Soros-financed organization that promotes global governance.30

Fiscal Policy

Just a few days after Barack Obama was elected President, George Soros stated: “I think we need a large stimulus package which will provide funds for state and local government to maintain their budgets¯because they are not allowed by the constitution to run a deficit. For such a program to be successful, the federal government would need to provide hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition, another infrastructure program is necessary. In total, the cost would be in the 300 to 600 billion-dollar range….”31

Soon thereafter, as one of the first priorities of his presidency, Obama pressured Congress to pass a monumental $787 billion economic-stimulus bill whose text was 1,071 pages long­¯and which few, if any, legislators read before voting on it. Obama stressed the urgency of passing this bill at the earliest possible moment, so as to forestall any further harm to the U.S. economy. Notably, the legislation repealed numerous essentials of the 1996 welfare-reform bill against which George Soros had so strongly rebelled.32 According to a Heritage Foundation report, 32 percent of the new stimulus bill—or an average of $6,700 in “new means-tested welfare spending” for every poor person in the U.S.—was earmarked for social-welfare programs.33 Such unprecedented levels of spending did not at all trouble Soros, who said: “At times of recession, running a budget deficit is highly desirable.”34 In December 2009, Obama concurred again—outlining a set of new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals while explaining that America must continue to “spend our way out of this recession.”35

Taxes

In a 2008 interview with Bill Moyers, George Soros derided wealthy Americans who wished to have their tax burden lightened. According to Soros, such people were selfishly eager to “enjo[y] the fruits” of their affluence even as they viewed the act of “paying taxes” as “an absolute no-no”—indeed something veritably “unpatriotic.”36

By Soros’s telling, taxes are inherently desirable in good times and bad alike. In 2010, for instance, he stated that although the U.S. economy was in the midst of a prolonged downturn, it would be imprudent for lawmakers to extend the Bush-era tax cuts which were due to expire on January 1, 2011; such a course of action, he warned, would be “the wrong policy” and would cause the recession to deepen further.37 Soros proposed, instead, that the existing tax rates be permitted to return to their previous, higher levels, and that whatever extra revenue those elevated rates might generate should be used to finance yet another federal “stimulus” program.38 This suggestion was consistent with the funding priorities Soros has long pursued through his Open Society Institute. A substantial percentage of the organizations bankrolled by OSI favor high taxes to fill the coffers of an ever-expanding, government-run welfare state.

Likewise, Barack Obama’s long track record in support of high income taxes, capital gains taxes, and estate taxes for “the wealthy” is well documented.39 Thus it was not surprising that Obama, through most of his early presidency, adamantly opposed any extension of the Bush tax cuts beyond their scheduled expiration date. But as the economy foundered and the President’s popularity waned—to say nothing of the historic losses suffered by congressional Democrats in the midterm elections—Obama began to restrict his calls for a tax hike only to those in the highest income brackets.40 In the end, the President, recognizing that the electorate fiercely opposed higher taxes for anyone, pragmatically agreed to extend all the Bush tax cuts for two more years—a move that displeased George Soros greatly.41

Soros’s public stance in favor of higher tax rates for the wealthy is nothing short of remarkable, in light of the fact that he himself has taken some noteworthy measures to avoid paying taxes of his own. Consider, for instance, that his multi-billion-dollar Quantum Fund is actually incorporated on the tiny island of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, located in the Caribbean. As such, Soros avoids paying U.S. taxes on it. Americans who invest in his Fund likewise escape the tax man entirely. Their interest, dividends, and capital-gains earnings are taxed only if they are brought into the United States.42 And these investors are precisely the types of high earners who, according to Soros, should be willing to do their “patriotic” duty and pay the taxes that they can well afford; the minimum investment for the Quantum Fund is $100,000.43

By no means has the Quantum Fund been Soros’s only foray into tax-avoiding, offshore business enterprises. Indeed, Soros’s real-estate company, Mapeley Steps, is headquartered in yet another tax haven, Bermuda. In 2001 this firm purchased more than 600 buildings from Inland Revenue (Britain’s equivalent of the IRS) and then leased them to the British government for a princely sum—but paid no taxes, thanks to the Bermuda address.44

Just as Soros has spoken out against calls to reduce income taxes, so has he consistently sided against proposals to lower or eliminate the estate tax (a.k.a. “death tax”), calling it “a valuable taxation” because it “does not interfere with wealth creation” and it “increases social equality.”45 In 2003, Soros and some fellow billionaires went so far as to sign a public letter stating that a repeal of the estate tax “would enrich the heirs of America’s millionaires and billionaires while hurting families who struggle to make ends meet.”46 Yet Soros has creatively found a way for his own heirs to avoid paying any estate taxes, as he once explained:

“A charitable trust is a very interesting tax gimmick. The idea is that you commit your assets to a trust and you put a certain amount of money into charity every year. And then after you have given the money for however many years, the principal that remains can be left [to one's heirs] without estate or gift tax. So this is the way I set up the trust for my children.”47

Environmental and Energy Policy

George Soros is an avid proponent of cap-and-trade,48 a tax-based policy proposal designed to reduce Americans’ consumption of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—and to speed up the nation’s transition to alternate forms of energy such as wind and solar power. The idea of cap-and-trade is founded on the planted axiom that the carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions generated by human industrial activity create a greenhouse effect that is causing the earth’s climate to grow dangerously warm. Under cap-and-trade regulations, companies would be subject to taxes or fees if they exceed their government-imposed limit for CO2 emissions. Economists predict that such legislation, if enacted, would impose colossal costs on businesses¯costs that would be passed on to consumers, who in turn would pay anywhere from several hundred to several thousand extra dollars each year in energy costs.49 But to Soros, such a policy is well worth the price. “Dealing with global warming will require a lot of investment” and thus “will be painful,” he acknowledges, but “at least” it will enable humankind to “survive and not cook.” When asked in 2008 whether he was proposing energy policies that would “create a whole new paradigm for the economic model of the country, of the world,” Soros replied succinctly, “Yes.”50 By Soros’s reckoning, America today has “a great opportunity,” through cap-and-trade, “to finally deal with global warming and energy dependence.”51

In 2009, Soros announced that he intended to spend $10 million over a ten-year period to fund the formation of a new Climate Policy Initiative, designed to address global warming by “help[ing] nations achieve low-carbon development” in “the new energy economy.”52 In remarks he made at a January 2010 Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations, Soros impugned the U.S. as “the laggard” that, by not endorsing the initiatives which that been proposed a month earlier at an international climate-change conference in Copenhagen, had failed to provide adequate leadership with regard to environmental policy.53

Barack Obama, like Soros, is an unwavering backer of cap-and-trade. During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama said: “[U]nder my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations.”54

The principal motive underlying the cap-and-trade policies that Obama and Soros support has been articulated by Obama’s “regulation czar,” Cass Sunstein, a longtime proponent of “distributive justice” whereby America would transfer much of its own wealth to poorer nations as compensation for the harm that U.S. environmental transgressions have allegedly caused in those countries. Sunstein speculates that “desirable redistribution” can be “accomplished more effectively through climate policy than through direct foreign aid.”55

Transforming America Through Immigration

In the spring of 2006 and again a year later, television viewers were treated to innumerable images of massive throngs of demonstrators flooding the streets of cities all across the United States, as they protested America’s allegedly unjust and punitive immigration policies. The participants in these rallies demanded such things as amnesty for illegals, paths to citizenship, expanded guest-worker programs, loosened border controls, an end to workplace immigration raids, and a generalized expansion of rights and privileges for illegal immigrants in the United States. These grievance-filled spectacles generated considerable public anxiety; in their size, scope, and execution, they were reminiscent of the “velvet revolution” demonstrations that Soros had bankrolled in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The following groups — all heavily funded by, or otherwise affiliated with, George Soros and his Open Society Institute — were among the key organizers of the “immigrant-rights” demonstrations: ACORN, the American Friends Service Committee, the Center for Community Change, theLeague of United Latin American Citizens, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Council of La Raza, and theGamaliel Foundation.56

The immigration-related agendas of Barack Obama fit hand-in-glove with those of the foregoing Soros-affiliated activist groups. Indeed, the President has repeatedly called for “comprehensive immigration reform” — a euphemism for incremental amnesty. This is but an extension of the voting record that Obama compiled in the U.S. Senate, where he opposed workplace immigration raids; favored a “path to citizenship” so as to “bring people out of the shadows”; advocated laws that would permit illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses; supported the DREAM Act, which would allow illegals to attend college at the reduced tuition rates normally reserved for in-state legal residents; and opposed a Senate amendment calling for the withdrawal of federal assistance to “sanctuary cities” that flout federal immigration laws.57

In 2007 and 2008, Obama was a featured speaker at the annual conventions of the National Council of La Raza, which lobbies for racial preferences, mass immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens. He lauded those in attendance for having worked so hard to “strengthe[n] America together.” “It’s been the work of this organization for four decades,” Obama said, “lifting up families and transforming communities across America. And for that, I honor you, I congratulate you, I thank you, and I wish you another forty years as extraordinary as your last.”58

While generally adorned with carefully crafted rhetoric of human rights and “family reunification,” there is in fact a more politically sinister motive underlying Obama’s and Soros’s support for groups that would not only transform illegals into U.S. citizens, but would also open the floodgates to further mass immigration from impoverished countries below America’s southern border. Obama and Soros alike are well aware that the vast majority of first-generation Hispanic immigrants, once naturalized, tend heavily to vote Democrat. Thus there is a great imperative to import, naturalize, and register as many of these voters as possible in the most expedient practicable manner.59 The ultimate, long-term objective is to establish a permanent Democratic voting bloc in the U.S. for generations to come.

A “Living” Constitution

With fidelity to his “open society” tenet that truth is an ever-evolving and ever-elusive concept, George Soros firmly rejects the notion that the U.S. Constitution is a document of unique or unrivaled merit¯or, by logical extension, that its original intent must be permanently revered and adhered to, rather than deconstructed or reinterpreted as the changing needs and preferences of the times may dictate. In April 2005, Soros’s Open Society Institute was a leading financial sponsor of a Yale Law School conference called “The Constitution in 2020,” promoted as an effort to produce “a progressive vision of what the Constitution ought to be.” Other major sponsors of the event included the American Constitution Society and the Center for American Progress¯both major recipients of Soros funding.60 Speakers at the conference repeatedly stressed the “evolutionary character of constitutional law”¯a premise crucial to the work of anyone who, like Soros, seeks to fundamentally transform a society.61

Barack Obama, who himself has openly vowed to “fundamentally transform” the United States, shares precisely this same view of the Constitution. In his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote that the Constitution “is not a static but rather a living document and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.” Moreover, he asserted that, if elected to the White House, he would not appoint a strict constructionist — one who seeks to apply the Constitution’s text as it is written and without further inference — to the Supreme Court.62 True to his word, President Obama has thus far appointed two Supreme Court Justices – Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan – both of whom reject strict constructionism.

Sotomayor, for her part, is an advocate of legal realism, which the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) describes as a judicial philosophy that is “diametrically opposed to the concept of strict construction/originalism as advocated by conservative legal thinkers and judges.” TVC adds that according to legal realism: “[J]udges should do more than interpret the law or look to the original intent of the writers of the law or the Constitution. Judges should bring in outside influences from social sciences, psychology and politics, plus their own views, to craft the law….” Suggesting that the public wrongly expects “the law to be static and predictable,” Sotomayor contends that courts and lawyers are “constantly overhauling the laws and adapting it [sic] to the realities of ever-changing social, industrial and political conditions.”63 Meanwhile, Elena Kagan has approvingly cited former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s assertion that the Constitution, “as originally drafted and conceived,” was “defective.”64

Promoting Socialized Medicine in the United States

As noted earlier, George Soros has long favored a greater role for government in the American healthcare system. During the political debate over “Obamacare” in 2009 and 2010, one of the most influential pro-reform coalitions was Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a vast network of organizations supporting, ideally, a “single-payer” model where the federal government would be in charge of financing and administering the entire U.S. healthcare system.65 HCAN’s strategy was to try to achieve such a system incrementally, first by implementing a “public option”—i.e., a government insurance agency to “compete” with private insurers, so that Americans would be “no longer at the mercy of the private insurance industry.”66Because such an agency would not need to show a profit in order to remain in business, and because it could tax and regulate its private competitors in whatever fashion it pleased, this “public option” would inevitably force private insurers out of the industry.

In August 2009, Soros pledged to give HCAN $5 million to promote its campaign for reform.67 HCAN’s organizational members include a host of Soros-affiliated organizations, among which are such stalwarts as the ACLUACORN, the AFL-CIO, the AFSCME, the American Federation of Teachers, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Center for Community Change, the Gamaliel Foundation, the League of United Latin American Citizens, MoveOn.org, the NAACP, the National Abortion Federation, the National Council of La Raza, the National Education Association, Planned Parenthood, the Progressive States Network, and USAction.68 Many of these member groups regularly receive large amounts of Soros funding directly from the Open Society Institute. Some of that money was undoubtedly used to bankroll the healthcare reform crusade, thus we can say with certainty that Soros’s real contributions to the cause far exceeded the $5 million he gave to HCAN.

Terrorism As a Criminal Matter, Rather Than an Act of War

Ever since the al Qaeda attacks of 9/11, George Soros has emphasized that it is “more appropriate” for the U.S. government to treat such events as “crimes against humanity” rather than acts of war, and that a proper response thus involves “police work, not military action.”69 Numerous Soros-funded organizations espouse this view as well, as evidenced by their efforts to ensure that suspected terrorists are tried in civilian courts rather than in military tribunals.70 The latter venues, where military officers serve as the judges and jurors, are designed specifically to deal with offenses committed in the context of warfare. Significantly, they permit prosecutors to use secret evidence that may have been obtained by means of enhanced interrogation methods, whereas civilian courts forbid the admittance of such evidence. Among the Soros-funded groups that look with strong disfavor upon military tribunals are the American Constitution Society,71 the Center for Constitutional Rights,72 the American Civil Liberties Union,73 and Human Rights Watch.74

Their perspective is very much in line with that of Barack Obama. Immediately following his inauguration, in fact, Obama’s first act as U.S. President was to order the suspension of all military tribunals that had been established to adjudicate the cases of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, which continued to house more than 200 al Qaeda and Taliban combatants captured by the American military during its post-9/11 wars in the Mideast.75 Obama, like Soros, favors a criminal-justice-oriented approach to terrorism and thus would prefer to try the perpetrators in civilian court¯where they would enjoy the enhanced rights and protections that such courts afford to all defendants.

This approach to terrorism has set the tone for every member of the Obama administration. In March 2009, for instance, Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano broke with her agency’s traditional practice of warning the American public about potential “terrorist” threats, and instead began referring to acts of terrorism as “man-caused disasters.”76 Two months later the Obama Justice Department¯again demonstrating its preference for treating terrorism as a law-enforcement issue rather than as a military matter¯ordered the FBI to read Miranda warnings to enemy combatants captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan.77 In November, the Obama administration announced that it planned to try five Guantanamo detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy in a civilian court.78

Then, on Christmas Day of 2009, a Nigerian al Qaeda operative boarded a Northwest Airlines flight (from Amsterdam to Detroit) and attempted, without success, to blow up the plane in midair with a powerful chemical bomb. In public remarks soon after the incident, President Obama referred to the man as an “isolated extremist” rather than as a terrorist or a jihadist. In subsequent days the administration announced that it would offer the perpetrator a plea agreement to persuade him to reveal what he knew about al Qaeda operations in Yemen; if such an arrangement could not be worked out, the government planned to try him in federal civilian court.79

In November 2010, al Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani¯responsible for the deaths of 224 people in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania¯became the first Guantanamo detainee to be tried in civilian court and was acquitted on all but one of the charges against him.80
The “Responsibility to Protect

In March 2011, President Obama, without consulting Congress, authorized the involvement of the U.S. military in imposing a “no-fly zone” over Libya, to prevent President Moammar Qaddafi’s forces from bombing rebels who were challenging his regime. On March 21, the White House announced the initiation of “a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.”

According to reportsSamantha Power, Obama’s National Security Council special adviser on human rights, was instrumental in persuading Obama to take this action against Libya. Power is a longtime advocate of the doctrine known as the “Responsibility to Protect,” which encourages the international community to intervene in a particular country’s internal affairs — with military force if necessary — in order to thwart genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or ethnic cleansing. The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, which is the world’s leading advocate of this doctrine, is funded by the Open Society Institute. In a 2004Foreign Policy magazine article, George Soros himself discussed the fundamentals of the Responsibility to Protect, writing:

“If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified. By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states’ borders to protect the rights of citizens.”


Organizations Where the Soros and Obama Agendas Intersect

By way of the many hundreds of pro-Obama groups that George Soros funds on a regular basis, there are literally thousands of political and financial ties that exist between Soros and the President. A comprehensive discussion of these connections could more than fill the pages of a large book. Nevertheless, a few key entities that serve as vital contact points in the Obama-Soros relationship are well worth noting here.

Center for American Progress

The Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP) may well have more influence on the Obama presidency than any other organization in existence. This left-wing think tank formulates policy for the administration and supplies the White House with a steady stream of talking points designed to make that policy palatable to the public. In fact, as of December 2008, before then-President-elect Obama had even taken his oath of office, he had already pledged his intent to fulfill some of CAP’s chief policy recommendations. These included the Center’s call for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq coupled with a buildup of forces in Afghanistan, a plan to implement universal health coverage, and a plan to create “green jobs” designed to combat “global warming.”81 According to Bloomberg.com, CAP “has become … an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals, including many that are shaping the agenda of the … Obama administration.”82

Emblematic of this was the synergy that Obama and CAP displayed in dealing with the disastrous BP oil spillin the Gulf of Mexico in the spring of 2010.83 In May and June of that year, when the crisis was at its height,84 Obama took his cue from the Center on a number of important occasions. For example:

  • On May 4, CAP’s energy and environment expert, Daniel Weiss, advised Obama to create an independent commission to examine the causes of the crisis; eighteen days later, the President did exactly that.
  • On May 21, CAP president John Podesta privately exhorted White House officials to name someone to be the public point person for the oil-spill response. A week later, the Obama administration announced that Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen would fill that role.
  • On May 26, Daniel Weiss advised the White House to demand that BP immediately set up a multi-billion-dollar escrow account to pay damage claims to Gulf-state residents harmed by the spill. Some three weeks later, Obama issued precisely that demand.85

On virtually every policy matter—health-care reform, fiscal policy, civil rights, immigration, housing, labor, national security, foreign policy, media, energy, or the environment—CAP’s recommendations fit hand-in-glove with the Obama administration’s values and agendas. In many cases, as in the examples cited above, the administration actually follows CAP’s instructions. In a very real sense, George Soros dictates his policy recommendations to the Obama White House through the Center for American Progress.
International Crisis Group

One of the more significant beneficiaries of George Soros’s funding is the International Crisis Group (ICG), a nonprofit organization that makes policy recommendations ostensibly designed to foster goodwill among nations.86 In 2008, the Open Society Institute gave a whopping $5 million to this entity,87 on whoseexecutive committee Soros himself sits.88 One of ICG’s leading figures is its Mideast director, Robert Malley, a Harvard-trained lawyer who in 2007 was named as a foreign-policy advisor to the Obama presidential campaign.

Obama has long held Malley, who formerly served in the Clinton administration, in high regard as a policy analyst. Over the years, Malley has penned numerous articles and op-eds condemning Israel, exonerating Palestinians, urging the U.S. to disengage from Israel to some degree, and recommending that America reach out to negotiate with its traditional Arab enemies such as Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas.89 These views are of a piece with George Soros’s “open society” ideal, whose moral relativism leads inescapably to the conclusion that one man’s terrorist is indeed another man’s freedom fighter¯and, by logical extension, that no nation should be so proud as to be unwilling to conduct diplomacy with its foes. In mid-2008, however, the Obama campaign severed its ties with Malley after the Times of London revealed that the ICG official had quietly been in regular contact with Hamas leaders as part of his work for ICG.90

Notwithstanding Malley’s fall from grace, Barack Obama’s foreign policies have been, from the outset of his presidency, very much in line with the recommendations of the Soros-funded ICG. For one, Obama has often emphasized his willingness to negotiate with even the most unyielding enemies of the United States, and has sought to persuade Israel to take that same approach. Six days after his inauguration, for instance, Obama granted his first television interview as U.S. President to Al Arabiya, a Dubai-based network, where hestated: “[A]ll too often the United States starts by dictating … and we don’t always know all the factors that are involved. So let’s listen.” He subsequently called on Israel to drop its “preconceptions” and negotiate for peace with Hamas, the terrorist organization whose founding charter remains irrevocably committed to the permanent destruction of Israel and the mass murder of Jews. Obama further signaled an eagerness to conduct “unconditional talks” on nuclear matters with Iran91¯even as that nation was actively supplying high-tech weaponry to Hamas and Hezbollah, and even after its president had repeatedly declared that “Israel must be wiped off the map.”92 Not long thereafter, the Obama administration announced its desire to negotiate with Taliban “moderates,” with the aim of bringing the war in Afghanistan to a close.93

J Street

J Street was founded in 2008 “to promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli … conflicts peacefully and diplomatically.” Key to achieving this objective, says the organization, will be the development of “a new direction for American policy in the Middle East,” a direction that recognizes “the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state of their own”—where Palestine and Israel exist “side-by-side in peace and security.”94 Toward this end, J Street supports “diplomatic solutions over military ones,” “multilateral over unilateral approaches to conflict resolution,” and “dialogue over confrontation.”95 Israel’s partner in such a dialogue would necessarily be Hamas, which holds the reins of political power in Gaza and steadfastly denies Israel’s right to exist. Yet J Street has cautioned Israel not to be too combative against Hamas, on grounds that the latter “has been the government, law and order, and service provider since it won the [Palestinian] elections in January 2006 and especially since June 2007 when it took complete control.”96 In the final analysis, J Street traces the Mideast conflict chiefly to the notion that “Israel’s settlements in the occupied territories have, for over forty years, been an obstacle to peace.”97

The foregoing positions are largely indistinguishable from those of President Obama, who likewise favors atwo-state solution whereby Israel and “a sovereign Palestine” would live “side by side—in peace.”98 To achieve such a resolution, he says, initiatives to construct additional Israeli settlements in the West Bank “have to be stopped.”99 In October 2009, Obama signaled his support for J Street’s agendas when he sent national security advisor James Jones to deliver the keynote address at a J Street conference.100

Another avid supporter of J Street is George Soros, though the billionaire initially tried to conceal that support from the public—for fear that his controversial reputation might scare off other potential backers. But in September 2010 The Washington Times revealed that from 2008-2010, Soros and his two children—Jonathan and Andrea—had given a total of $750,000 to the organization.101 It is worth noting, moreover, that J Street’s Advisory Council includes a number of individuals with very close ties to Soros.102 Among them are the following:

 

Soros shares J Street’s belief that Israel should recognize, and negotiate with, the Hamas-led Palestinian government. In the April 12, 2007 issue of the New York Review of Books, Soros penned an article titled “On Israel, America and AIPAC,”103 wherein he derided the Bush administration for “committing a major policy blunder in the Middle East” by “supporting the Israeli government in its refusal to recognize a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas, which the U.S. State Department considers a terrorist organization.” In Soros’ calculus, “This precludes any progress toward a peace settlement at a time when progress on the Palestinian problem could help avert a conflagration in the greater Middle East.” Added Soros:

“Israel, with the strong backing of the United States, refused to recognize the democratically elected Hamas government and withheld payment of the millions in taxes collected by the Israelis on its behalf. This caused great economic hardship and undermined the ability of the government to function. But it did not reduce popular support for Hamas among Palestinians … [B]oth Israel and the United States seem to be frozen in their unwillingness to negotiate with a Palestinian Authority that includes Hamas. The sticking point is Hamas’s unwillingness to recognize the existence of Israel; but that [recognition] could be made a condition for an eventual settlement rather than a precondition for negotiations.… The current policy of not seeking a political solution but pursuing military escalation—not just an eye for an eye but roughly speaking ten Palestinian lives for every Israeli one—has reached a particularly dangerous point.”104

By no means is Hamas the only Islamic terrorist organization which Soros views as a legitimate political entity and a suitable negotiating partner for Israel. Indeed, in early February 2011 he cast Hamas’s ideological comrade, the Muslim Brotherhood,105 in much the same light. At the time, a massive wave of violent riotswere taking place in Egypt—ostensibly triggered by public discontent over Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic rule, governmental corruption, and the country’s widespread poverty.106 Meanwhile, there was much speculation that if Mubarak were to be forced out of office, the Brotherhood was likely to fill the power vacuum. Said Soros:

“President Obama personally and the United States as a country have much to gain by moving out in front and siding with the public demand for [a new Egyptian government of] dignity and democracy. This would help rebuild America’s leadership and remove a lingering structural weakness in our alliances that comes from being associated with unpopular and repressive regimes [such as Mubarak's]. Most important, doing so would open the way to peaceful progress in the region. The Muslim Brotherhood’s cooperation with Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate who is seeking to run for president, is a hopeful sign that it intends to play a constructive role in a democratic political system.”107

Soros made that assertion even though:

(a) The Muslim Brotherhood—a supporter of Hamas, al Qaeda, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad108—had made it explicitly clear that it favored the dissolution of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

(b) The Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide, Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef, had stated that his organization has never recognized Israel and never will, adding: “Our lexicon does not include anything called ‘Israel.’ The [only thing] we acknowledge is the existence of Zionist gangs that have occupied Arab lands and deported the residents. If they want to live among us, it will have to be as [residents of] Palestine. If they want their own state, our only option is to object.”109

(c) Muhammad Ghannem, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, told the Iranian news network Al-Alam that “the people [of Egypt] should be prepared for war against Israel,” emphasizing that “the Egyptian people are prepared for anything to get rid of this regime.”110

Notwithstanding the Brotherhood’s unequivocal contempt for Israel and the Jews, Soros lamented that “the main stumbling block” likely to prevent that organization from becoming part of a new “democracy” in Egypt “is Israel.”111 “In reality,” said Soros, “Israel has as much to gain from the spread of democracy in the Middle East as the United States has. But Israel is unlikely to recognize its own best interests because the change is too sudden and carries too many risks. And some U.S. supporters of Israel are more rigid and ideological than Israelis themselves. Fortunately, Obama is not beholden to the religious right, which has carried on a veritable vendetta against him.”112

As Aaron Klein reported in WorldNetDaily on February 6, 2011, the Middle East and North Africa Initiative of the Open Society Institute had recently provided “numerous grants to a wide range of projects that promote so-called democratic issues across the region, including in Egypt.”113 Some four months before the rioting started, OSI was seeking to expand its work in Egypt by hiring a new project manager for its Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which was run in partnership with the Open Society Justice Initiative.114 OSI had also bankrolled the main opposition voice in Tunisia, Radio Kalima,115 a leading promoter of the January 2011 riots that forced Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to resign on January 14.116


American Constitution Society 

Heavily funded by the Open Society Institute, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is a Washington, DC-based think tank that seeks to push American jurisprudence ever-further to the left politically.
In June 2008, ACS board member Eric Holder, whom president-elect Barack Obama would name as his choice for Attorney General five months later, spoke at an ACS convention. Predicting an Obama victory in the November election, Holder told his audience that the U.S. soon would be “run by progressives”¯of whom a “substantial number” were likely to be ACS members.117 By December 2008, several major ACS figures already had secured positions in the forthcoming Obama administration.118 That very month, in fact, one particularly influential former member of the ACS board of advisors, Hillary Clinton, was chosen to serve as Obama’s secretary of state.

ACORN and Project Vote

Manhattan Institute scholar Sol Stern writes that the Shadow Party member-group ACORN, while professing its dedication to “the poor and powerless,” in fact “promotes a 1960s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism, central planning, victimology, and government handouts to the poor”¯pushing for “ever more government control of the economy” and “anti-capitalist redistributionism.”119 ACORN’s Independent Advisory Council has featured such Soros-affiliated luminaries as Andrew Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, and John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress.120

Obama, for his part, was the attorney for ACORN’s lead election-law cases before joining the Illinois legislature.121 Also in the early to mid-1990s, he helped train ACORN’s staff in the art of radical community organizing.122 In 1995 Obama sued, on behalf of ACORN, for the implementation of an Illinois motor-voter law which ultimately would become a breeding ground for voter fraud.123 He also served for several years on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which awarded a number of sizable grants to ACORN.124When ACORN officially endorsed Obama for U.S. President in February 2008, the candidate welcomed the endorsement and told an audience of ACORN workers and supporters: “I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues that you care about my entire career.”125 That same year, Obama’s presidential campaign quietly gave one of ACORN’s front groups some $800,000 to fund a voter-registration drive on the senator’s behalf.126 As of October 2008, ACORN was under investigation for voter-registration fraud in 13 states.127

Project Vote is ACORN’s Soros-funded voter-mobilization arm. From April to November of 1992, Barack Obama was director of the organization’s Illinois chapter.128 In 2008, Obama’s presidential campaign furnished Project Vote with a list of donors who had already given the campaign the maximum sum of money permitted by law. In turn, Project Vote representatives contacted those donors and urged them to make contributions to the ACORN affiliate¯funds which could then be used to support Obama’s candidacy while technically complying with election-law limits on campaign donations.129 That same year, the Open Society Institute gave Project Vote $400,000.130

MoveOn.org

In a massive mobilization aimed at helping Barack Obama win the presidency in 2008, this powerful Soros-affiliated organization dispatched approximately a million volunteers to work on Obama’s campaign nationwide¯600,000 in battleground states and 400,000 in non-battleground states. In addition, MoveOn registered more than half a million young Obama supporters to vote in the battleground states, while adding a million young people to its membership rolls during the summer of 2008. All told, MoveOn and its members contributed more than $58 million directly to the Obama campaign, while raising and spending at least an additional $30 million in independent election efforts on behalf of other Democrats across the United States.131 In November 2003, Soros pledged $5 million to MoveOn.132


More Soros-Obama Connections

Following is a brief overview of some prominent individuals with close political ties to Barack Obama on the one hand, and who also have been influenced in some significant way by George Soros’s money, on the other.

Van Jones

A self-professed revolutionary communist who has long endeavored to ignite transformative revolution in the United States,133 Van Jones spent six months as President Obama’s “green jobs czar” in 2009, until public controversy over his recently exposed radical past forced him to resign.

From 1996-2007, Jones headed the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which, claiming that the American criminal-justice system was infested with racism, sought to promote alternatives to incarceration.134 Between 1999 and 2009, the Baker Center received more than $1 million from George Soros‘s Open Society Institute.135

In 2007 Jones launched Green For All (GFA), an organization “dedicated to building an inclusive green economy” that would provide a vehicle for large-scale wealth redistribution.136 One of GFA’s major fundersis the Open Society Institute ($75,000 in 2008).137

Over the years, Jones has been a board member of numerous environmental and nonprofit organizations, including the Soros-funded Free Press and the environmentalist group Apollo Alliance, which was launched by the Soros-backed Tides Foundation.138 The Apollo Alliance helped craft portions of the $787 billion “stimulus” legislation that President Obama signed into law in early 2009. Specifically, the organization had a hand in writing the “clean energy and green-collar jobs provisions” of the bill, for which $86 billion was earmarked.139

Today, Jones serves as one of twenty advisors to the Colorado-based Presidential Climate Action Project, which makes climate-policy recommendations for the Obama White House.140 Jones is also a senior fellowat the Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP)¯the think tank that promotes virtually all of Obama’s political agendas.141

Andrew Stern

Former New Leftist Andrew Stern served as president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the second-largest labor union in North America, from 1996 until April 2010. He was trained in the tactics of radical activism at the Midwest Academy, which received $10,000 from Soros in 1997. Stern also helped form America Votes, a Soros-funded coalition of grassroots, get-out-the-vote organizations.
And he sat on the executive committee of America Coming Together, to which Soros famously gave $10 million in 2003.142

In 2008, Stern’s SEIU spent approximately $60.7 million to help elect Barack Obama to the White House¯deploying some 100,000 pro-Obama volunteers during the campaign.143 Stern went on to become an immensely influential advisor to President Obama. As of October 30, 2009, the union magnate had visited the White House 22 times since Obama’s inauguration¯more than any other individual.144
In February 2010, Obama appointed Stern to sit on a National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.145

David Axelrod

David Axelrod serves as a key strategist for Barck Obama. In 2004, Axelrod’s political consulting firmreceived at least $229,000 from the Media Fund, a Soros-backed Shadow Party organization which ran some $53 million in pro-John Kerry presidential campaign ads.146

Carol Browner

On January 22, 2009, President Obama named Carol Browner to serve as his “environment czar.” Browner previously had been a “commissioner” with the Socialist International, an umbrella group for scores of “social democratic, socialist and labor parties” in 55 countries. She is currently a board member of the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Center for American Progress, and the League of Conservation Voters¯all of which are funded by George Soros.147



Anna Burger

Called “the most powerful women in the labor movement” by Fortune magazine and nicknamed the “Queen of Labor,” Anna Burger is dedicated to building the progressive movement in the United States. She has had a long career with the SEIU, where she currently serves as international secretary-treasurer.148 In February 2009, President Obama appointed her to his Economic Recovery Advisory Board.
 Burger is also vice chair of the Soros-affiliated Democracy Alliance.149

Kevin Jennings

In 1990 Kevin Jennings established the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a Boston-area organization that is funded, in part, by the Open Society Institute.150 In June 2009, President Obama appointed Jennings as assistant deputy secretary of education¯or “education czar.”

Mark Lloyd

A great admirer of Venezuela’s Communist president Hugo Chavez, Mark Lloyd has served as a consultant to the Open Society Institute and as vice president of strategic initiatives at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a legislative advocacy group that receives financial backing from George Soros. In July 2009, Lloyd, a senior fellow at the Soros-funded Center for American Progress, was appointed as President Obama’s diversity chief at the Federal Communications Commission.151

Jim Wallis

A former member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society, this self-described activist preacher has long championed the cause of communism. Unremittingly critical of the free-market system, Wallis has often impugned capitalism for its historical lack of success. “Our systems have failed the poor and they have failed the earth,” he says. “They have failed the creation.”152 In a January 2006 radio interview with Interfaith Voices, Wallis was asked to clarify whether he was in fact “calling for the redistribution of wealth in society.” He replied, “Absolutely, without any hesitation. That’s what the gospel is all about.”153 Today Wallis is a spiritual advisor to President Obama.
George Soros‘ Open Society Institute has made grants toSojourners, the leftist publication that Wallis founded, in the amounts of $200,000 in 2004,154 $25,000 in 2006,155 and $100,000 in 2007.156
NOTES:

1 http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_43/b4055047.htm

2 http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/barack_obama_red_diaper_baby_1.html

3 Stanley Kurtz, Radical In Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism (2010)

4 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2364 (The reference is to Carol Browner.)

5 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2434 (The reference is to Anita Dunn.)

6 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2368 (The reference is to John Holdren.)

7 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2406 (The reference is to Van Jones.)

8 http://www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pdf/v1293869054.pdf

9 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBbF09-ZkII

10 George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998), p. 102

11 George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (1998), pp. xvii

12 George Soros, George Soros on Globalization, p. 10

13 George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (2000), p. 203

14 George Soros, George Soros on Globalization, p. 3

15 George Soros, “Avoiding a Breakdown: Asia’s Crisis Demands a Rethink of International Regulation,”Financial Times of London (December 31, 1997); George Soros, Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism (2000), p. 276.

16 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/13/AR2006091300283.html ;http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/press/07.htm

17 http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/who/sachs.htm

18 http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2010/12/confirmed-soros-associate-jeffrey-sachs.html

19 George Soros, George Soros on Globalization, p. viii

20 http://www.theblaze.com/stories/open-society-soros-explains-the-anti-capitalist-pro-marxist-tactics-he-uses-to-fundamentally-transform-countries/

21 http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,592268,00.html

22 http://www.theblaze.com/stories/open-society-soros-explains-the-anti-capitalist-pro-marxist-tactics-he-uses-to-fundamentally-transform-countries/

23 George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy (2004), pp. 168-169

24 George Soros, The Crisis of Global Capitalism (2000), p. xxix

25 http://www.apj.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3208&Itemid=2

26 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2385 ;http://pcr.hudson.org/files/publications/2008_Bradley_Symposium_Fonte_Essay.pdf

27 http://www.internationalrelations.house.gov/110/koh032907.pdf ;http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/227209/obama-joins-human-rights-charade-anne-bayefsky (Among the member nations are China, Cuba, Libya, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.)

28 http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/227209/obama-joins-human-rights-charade-anne-bayefsky

29 http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/11/04/united-nations-human-rights-council/

30 http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=185013

31 http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,592268,00.html

32 http://articles.mcall.com/1996-10-01/news/3126013_1_legal-immigrants-welfare-reform-law-rosalind-gold

33 http://townhall.com/Common/PrintPage.aspx?g=f52c747b-298a-465b-9d26-bce95f296633&t=c ;http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=33989

34 http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,592268,00.html

35 http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9CF8SIO0&show_article=1

36 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBbF09-ZkII

37 http://www.cnbc.com/id/39614125/Extending_Bush_Tax_Cuts_Hurts_the_Wealthy_Soros

38 http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2010/oct/05/george-soros-dont-extend-bush-tax-cuts/

39 http://www.issues2000.org/Economic/Barack_Obama_Tax_Reform.htm#Voting_Record

40 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/us/politics/08obama.html?_r=1&pagewanted=print

41 http://www.cnbc.com/id/39614125/Extending_Bush_Tax_Cuts_Hurts_the_Wealthy_Soros

42 Michael T. Kaufman, Soros: The Life And Times Of A Messianic Billionaire, 2002, p. 135; Peter Schweizer, Do As I Say (2005), pp. 164-165.

43 Charles Ellis and James Vertin, Wall Street People: True Stories of Today’s Masters and Moguls, Volume 2 (2001), p. 112.

44 “Revenue Sells 600 Buildings to Bermuda-Based Company.” Trends and Developments, Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2002); Cited in Peter Schweizer, Do As I Say (2005), p. 165.

45 http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0214-01.htm;http://www.capitalismmagazine.com/politics/taxation/3218-the-estate-tax-non-repeal.html

46 David Kay Johnston, “Dozens of Rich Americans Join in Fight to Retain Estate Tax,” New York Times(February 14, 2001)

47 Quoted in Michael T. Kaufman, Soros: The Life And Times Of A Messianic Billionaire; Cited in Peter Schweizer, Do As I Say (2005), pp. 165-166.

48 http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,592268,00.html

49 http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2007/12/Beware-of-Cap-and-Trade-Climate-Bills

50 http://keywiki.org/index.php/George_Soros_-_Political/Financial_Stances

51 http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,592268,00.html

52 http://keywiki.org/index.php/George_Soros_-_Political/Financial_Stances ;http://www.climatepolicyinitiative.org/mission.html

53 http://keywiki.org/index.php/George_Soros_-_Political/Financial_Stances

54 http://tv.breitbart.com/obama-vows-electricity-rates-would-necessarily-skyrocket-under-his-plan/

55 http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=112243

56 Ben Johnson, “Who’s Behind the Immigration Rallies?” FrontPageMag.com (March 29, 2006)

57 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1511

58 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/15/AR2008071501138_pf.html

59 David Horowitz and Richard Poe, The Shadow Party (2006), p. 103

60 Richard Poe, “Soros Rewrites U.S. Constitution,” MoonbatCentral.com (April 9, 2005)

61 Scott Johnson, “The $80,000 Misunderstanding,” PowerlineBlog.com (April 9, 2005)

62 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1511

63 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2396

64 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2398

65 http://healthcareforamericanow.org/site/content/statement_of_common_purpose

66 http://healthcareforamericanow.org/site/content/about_us/

67 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/30/us/politics/30dems.htmlhttp://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/health-care/george-soros-pledges-5-million-to-bankroll-health-care-reform-push-group-says/;http://nation.foxnews.com/george-soros/2009/08/11/soros-gives-5-million-liberal-health-care-group;http://www.newsmax.com/LowellPonte/obama-pelosi-acorn/2009/12/12/id/341854

68 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7488

69 George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy (2004), p. 18

70 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=546; George Soros, The Bubble Of American Supremacy (2004), p. 38.

71 http://www.acslaw.org/taxonomy/term/1476

72 http://ccrjustice.org/learn-more/faqs/faqs%3A-military-commisions-act

73 http://www.aclu.org/national-security/john-adams-project-american-values

74 http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/07/08/us-revisions-can-t-fix-military-commissions

75 http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-mr-obamas-international-overtures-deserve-a-response-1488579.htmlhttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/washington/22gitmo.html?hp

76 http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2009/03/19/obama-speak-homeland-security-secretary-replaces-terrorism-term-man-caus

77 http://jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh061209.php3

78 http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/11/13/khalid.sheikh.mohammed/index.html

79http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/ag_crotch_bomber_civilian_trial_M0RMk1i43uPTx2BUykCxAO

80 http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/11/027710.php

81 http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=aF7fB1PF0NPg

82 http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=aF7fB1PF0NPg

83 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/29/bp-oil-spill-timeline-deepwater-horizon

84 http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/29/bp-oil-spill-timeline-deepwater-horizon

85 http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2010/06/14/wh-takes-cues-from-liberal-think-tank-on-spill/

86 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6218

87 http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org//990pf_pdf_archive/137/137029285/137029285_200812_990PF.pdf

88 http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/board.aspx

89 http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/01/barack_obamas_middle_east_expe.html

90 http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=64162

91 http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=33893

92 http://townhall.com/columnists/BenShapiro/2009/01/28/the_day_america_lost_the_war_on_terror

93 http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=33893

94 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7458

95 http://www.jstreet.org/about/about-us

96 http://www.jstreet.org/page/are-israel’s-goals-attacking-hamas-militarily-achievable

97 http://www.jstreet.org/page/settlements

98 http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=7694664&page=1%20;

99 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6315072.ece

100 http://frontpagemag.com/2009/12/30/blaming-israel-first-by-p-david-hornik/

101 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/24/soros-funder-liberal-jewish-american-lobby/

102 http://www.jstreet.org/supporters/advisory_council

103 http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2007/apr/12/on-israel-america-and-aipac/

104 http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2007/apr/12/on-israel-america-and-aipac/

105 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6386

106 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4020717,00.html

107 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/02/AR2011020205041.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

108 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/Muslim%20Brotherhood.pdf

109http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Articles/Public%20Debate%20on%20the%20Political%20Platform.html

110 http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=206130

111 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/02/AR2011020205041.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

112 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/02/AR2011020205041.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

113 http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=260577

114 http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=260577;http://www.soros.org/initiatives/justice/about

115 http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=260577

116 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12157599

117 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/us/politics/11network.html;http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=6707

118 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/11/us/politics/11network.html (Executive Director Lisa Brown had been named as Obama’s White House Staff Secretary. ACS Board of Directors member Goodwin Liu had been named to the Obama-Biden transition team. Joining Liu on the transition team was another ACS Board of Directors member, Dawn JohnsenFormer ACS staffer Melody Barnes had been selected to direct the Obama administration’s Domestic Policy Council. Former ACS Board member Ronald Klain had been named chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden.

119 http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_2_acorns_nutty_regime.html

120 http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2009/09/21/acorn-independent-advisory-council-member-stern-lets-loose-acorns-critic

121 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NmaZIdz6Vo

122 http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/224610/inside-obamas-acorn/stanley-kurtz; Frank De Zutter, “What Makes Obama Run?” Chicago Reader (December 8, 1995)

123 http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/09/acorn_fannie_mae_and_motor_vot.html

124 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1511 (These grants included $45,000 in 2000, $75,000 in 2001, and $70,000 in 2002.)

125 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1511

126 http://www.capitalresearch.org/pubs/pdf/v1225223330.pdf ;http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/22/acorn-watch-pt-ii-obama-hid-800000-payment-to-acorn-through-citizen-services-inc/

127 http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/225978/identification-required-deroy-murdock

128 http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/22/acorn-watch-pt-ii-obama-hid-800000-payment-to-acorn-through-citizen-services-inc/

129 http://www.politicsdaily.com/2008/10/29/witness-obama-camp-gave-acorn-like-group-donor-list/ ;
http://netrightdaily.com/2010/05/obama-acorn-and-stealth-socialism-dire-domestic-threat/

130 http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org//990pf_pdf_archive/137/137029285/137029285_200812_990PF.pdf

131 http://techdailydose.nationaljournal.com/2008/11/obama-benefits-from-moveons-88.php

132 http://www.dailykos.com/story/2003/11/11/55615/610

133 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2406

134 http://www.ellabakercenter.org/page.php?pageid=19&contentid=151

135 http://spectator.org/archives/2009/08/31/obamas-desecrators-of-911/1

136 http://www.greenforall.org/about-us ; http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7554

137 http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org//990pf_pdf_archive/137/137029285/137029285_200812_990PF.pdf;http://www.aim.org/aim-column/soros-money-financed-communist-van-jones/

138 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2406

139http://apolloalliance.org/feature-articles/clean-energy-provisions-of-stimulus-are-consistent-with-apollo-economic-recovery-act/

140 http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=117548

141 http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/02/van_jones.html

142 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1830

143 http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/28/nation/na-stern28

144 http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/10/30/seius-stern-tops-white-house-visitor-list/

145 http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-names-members-bipartisan-national-commission-fiscal-responsibility-

146 http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/09/the_sorosaxelrod_axis_of_astro.html ;http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0910/Axelrod_and_the_outside_groups.html

147 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2364

148 http://www.seiu.org/a/ourunion/anna-burger.php

149 http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2445

150 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-jennings

151 http://www.netcaucus.org/biography/mark-lloyd.shtml

152 http://www.reachingout.org/programs_5_text.html

153 http://www.examiner.com/political-transcripts-in-national/president-s-spiritual-advisor-obama-feels-he-hasn-t-had-a-chance-video

154 http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990pf_pdf_archive/137/137029285/137029285_200412_990PF.pdf

155 http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990pf_pdf_archive/137/137029285/137029285_200612_990PF.pdf

156 http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990pf_pdf_archive/137/137029285/137029285_200712_990PF.pdf

By Discover The Networks
February 2011

This is How you Affect Political Change

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Former IRS official Lois Lerner has done it again. Nine months after she first pleaded the Fifth before the House Oversight Committee, Lerner again refused to reveal what she knows about the IRS’s targeting of conservative political groups. If there isn’t a smidgen of corruption to the IRS’s targeting of conservatives, then there is no reason for Lois Lerner to plead the Fifth. There shouldn’t be anything incriminating at all in her testimony.

This is what’s in the balance: your ability to organize for the political causes you care about, without being harassed and destroyed by the IRS. It’s about being able to speak truth to power, as Dr. Ben Carson did at the National Prayer Breakfast when he called out President Obama, without being targeted for expensive IRS audits as a form of political retaliation. Your freedom and your ability to affect change politically are on the line.

This week, I’m asking you to take a stand. We’re looking to raise $50,000 in our money bomb to win five Senate races.

We’ve stayed out of the GOP civil war, targeting Senate races where we can flip Democratic seats without risking Democratic gains. If we’re ever going to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal, and hold Lois Lerner and her bosses accountable for their actions, 2014 is critical. From the NSA spying scandal, to the IRS’s targeting of conservatives who speak out and oppose President Obama, this election will determine the future course of our country.

Taking out Barack Obama begins in Congress, and ending his foreign and domestic policy disasters begins by flipping the Senate. Your donation is critical to helping us achieve this, and to defending our ability to change Washington, D.C.’s crony corruption culture in 2014 and beyond.

Click here to donate even $1.00

Please know that your money goes towards defeating Democrats in the Senate. It does not go to sling mud in counterproductive efforts elsewhere. We’re focused on winning the Senate. We’re focused on beating the liberal left, and destroying Barack Obama’s power. Donate today, and help achieve the goal of a Senate under Republican control to end Obama’s obstruction and restore accountability.

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Does A Power Grid Disaster Lurk?

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A sniper attack in April that knocked out an electrical substation near San Jose, Calif., has raised fears that the country’s power grid is vulnerable to terrorism. The upsetting thing is our power grids have been described as the third world of power grids and it doesn’t have to be.

The Mystery Assault on this California Power Grid Raises Alarms. The story reads like a movie script. It was a sniper attack in April where a military style attack by unknown subjects shot out 17 transformers, disabled cameras, and cut underground wires that knocked out an electrical substation near San Jose, Calif.,

It raised fears that the country’s power grid is vulnerable to terrorism. The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Smith wrote about the details first.

Photo: Talia Herman for The Wall Street Journal

These are the facts: It was an attack last April on an electric power station near San Jose, Calif.

Local California officials are calling this the work of vandals. However when you hear the rest of the facts you will see this attack is something far more dangerous. Whether it’s domestic terrorism or a trial run by an individual or an organization bent on damaging the nation’s electric grid; there’s no doubt in my mind. America is not ready for this kind of attack. It’s a vulnerability our government needs to address but politicians are blocking a bill that protects our power grids.

The Wall Street Journal, picked up an earlier report by Foreign Policy magazine, explored that question in a long account about what happened at PG&E Corp.’s Metcalf transmission substation, an event that has received little to no attention until now.

The top of the Journal’s story grabs your attention:

“The attack began just before 1 a.m. on April 16 last year, when someone slipped into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut telephone cables. “Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on a nearby electrical substation.

Then for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 17 giant transformers by shooting them with AR15′s.

The 17 transformers funnel power to Silicon Valley. A minute before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night. To avoid a blackout, electric-grid officials rerouted power around the site and asked power plants in Silicon Valley to produce more electricity. But it took utility workers 27 days to make repairs and bring the substation back to life.

According to Foreign Policy, which was less definitive about whether the attack was the work of more than one person, at least 100 rounds were fired from at least one high-powered AR15 rifle.

No one has been arrested in connection with the attack.

Demand your legislators vote yes on Bill 2417

HR Bill 2417 Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act

Unemployment Biggest Problem Today

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Since the partial shutdown last fall, Americans have said that government/politicians are the single biggest problem facing the country, according to Gallup survey, but today, we’re seeing a small significant shift in voters’ priorities. People are more concerned about unemployment/jobs than any other political issue:20140219-081419.jpg

This poll dropped the same day President Obama celebrated the fifth year since the Stimulus package was signed into office. Republicans call the stimulus a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“If you recall five years ago, the notion was that if the government spent all this money – that, by the way, was borrowed – that somehow the economy would begin to grow and create jobs. Well, of course, it clearly failed,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida said Monday on Presidents a Day in a video statement. Also many Republicans argue the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare is costing Americans jobs as more and more business owners try to limit exposure by cutting back to fewer than 50 employers and that is the reason why the president has unilaterally pushed back the start date of the employer mandate. Kathleen Sebelius seemed uninformed when she said this
“There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act,” she said on Monday.

Heritage Foundation, James Sherk—an economist who doesn’t fall under “every economist,” according to Sebelius—plainly states that “The Affordable Care Act has discouraged companies from creating jobs and workers from accepting them.”

The unemployment rate did tick down to 6.6 percent in January, the labor force participation rate the month before, for example, was the lowest in more than three decades (although this trend can’t be blamed on this president’s alone). Nevertheless, it’s not just Republicans who are overly concerned not enough jobs are being created; respondents from all political parties (including Independents) agree:

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Interestingly, this administration is currently pushing comprehensive immigration reform; but only 3% of Democrats say “Immigration/Illegal aliens” is their top concern. Strange. Why, then, is the president pushing immigration reform when his own party has seemingly bigger and more pressing problems to tackle? I would argue it’s about gaining a political advantage since the party which gives illegal aliens a free pass into the United States will be the party to likely gain those votes. I believe Democrats may think they stand to gain from an influxes of a new voter block. With illegal Hispanics coming into the political scene democrats think they might regain and maintain all political houses. What Democrats don’t seem to care about is what they seem to talk about. They’re not overly anxious about solving income inequality. At most, just 0.5% and 5% of Democrats, respectively, say their top concern is “lack of money” and “Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness.” These are statements I conclude from the statistics I name here.

The obvious takeaway, then, is that Americans from both political parties want leaders in Washington to focus primarily on – not immigration reform, and to the extent the conversation is about healthcare it’s not on ObamaCare. What Americans want is jobs and the economy to get back to normal. Americans need jobs, and neither political party is doing anything about that.

Take Your Government Back Now!

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North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan is facing her critical weakness: her actual record. She’s fallen behind every single Republican candidate in the polls. Hagan trails North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis 43%-42%, and she trails all other candidates by 2% in each head to head polling matchup. She’s even fallen behind in polls taken by left wing organizations like Public Policy Polling, which means that there’s blood in the water in North Carolina.

That means it’s time for a feeding frenzy. Your donation is going to ensure that we take North Carolina’s Senate seat back for the Republican Party. It’s going to ensure that we retire a Senator who votes with President Obama 96% of the time. It means that we’ll be knocking off another one of Harry Reid’s foot soldiers, and we’ll be that much closer to returning Harry Reid to irrelevance as the Senate Minority Leader. It means that the filibuster reform implemented by Harry Reid will come back to bite him come 2015, with a Republican majority in the Senate.

That’s why this race and others are critical. We’ve got a golden opportunity to take down Democrats, and while other conservative right wing PACs and groups raise funds to target their own kind, we should keep our eyes on the prize. Keep your eyes on the prize with me, Kay Hagan votes with President Obama 96% of the time. To eliminate Kat Hagans influence over your tax dollars and exterminate the left you can put your money where your mouth is here

Let’s take back the Senate now!

Legislative Time Bomb Could Outlaw Guns

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Legislative Time Bomb Could Retroactively Outlaw the Possession of Virtually all Guns with Non-Metal parts
Wood stocks could be prohibited

“We look at [the plastic gun ban] as an infringement,” said GOA’s Erich Pratt. “The law does nothing to keep undetectable guns out of the hands of criminals [who have] no regard for the law in the first place.” — The Hill, November 28, 2013

URGENT ACTION: The House did not take up the plastic gun ban yesterday. So please continue contacting your legislators — especially your Representative — with today’s new message. The House will most certainly vote today. If you can, please call your Rep. at 202-225-3121.

Gun ban would be mischief for an anti-gun administration.

Sometimes it takes decades for a poorly-drafted anti-gun law to rise up and bite you. The 1968 gun ban for “mental defectives” sat around for 25 years before an anti-gun Clinton administration decided to use it to disarm more than 150,000 law-abiding veterans who had never been before a court.

The “plastic gun ban” is another massive time bomb sitting in federal law. And it will be reauthorized (for as much as a decade) in the next two weeks — if we don’t stop it.

Unless it existed before December 10, 1988, the plastic gun ban absolutely bans any gun that is not as detectable in a “walk-through metal detector” as a Security Exemplar [18 U.S.C. 922(p)(1)(A) and (6)].

The “Security Exemplar” is a piece of metal that the ATF uses to calibrate how much steel a manufacturer needs to put in the gun to make it beep in the metal detector. Other than the fact that it has to contain 3.7 ounces of steel and look sort of like a gun, anti-gun Attorney General Eric Holder can determine, by regulatory fiat, the characteristics of the Exemplar.

He can determine whether you test guns with a “top flight” metal detector — or a crummy one. He can determine how many times (or thousands of times) a gun has to pass in order not to be banned.

In addition, every “major component” of every firearm has to pass through an airport x-ray in such a way that its shape is “accurately” depicted [18 U.S.C. 922(p)(1)(B)].

The statute contains a list of parts of guns which are definitely “major components.” But is that list exclusive? If we didn’t have a President and an Attorney General who have violated and perverted the law again and again and again, we might be able to conclude that it was exclusive. But the language is not so definitive as to protect us against an administration intent on destroying us.

So what if Holder determines that a wooden stock is a “major component”?

According to an expert we consulted, a wooden stock would produce an x-ray image which is “fuzzier” (less “accurate”) than a metal gun would produce. Interestingly, a wholly plastic gun would also produce an x-ray image, according to this expert, although it would be “fuzzier” (less “accurate”) than that of a metal gun.

So, for those Republicans who are talking about locking us into an extension of this statute that could ban lots of guns … tell them, “please don’t.”

A couple of more points:

* It is simply not true that, if this statute is allowed to lapse, “killers can freely go into airports, courthouses, and schools to commit mass murder and mayhem.”

X-ray machines will pick up the images of plastic guns. And, unfortunately for the safety of the inhabitants, guns in airports, courthouses, and schools will remain illegal under 18 U.S.C. 922(q) and 930.

* And it is foolish to assume that the Jared Loughners and Adam Lanzas of the world — intent on committing mass murder — would somehow be deterred by a plastic gun ban. That genie is already out of the bottle.

* Finally, it appears that New York Senator Chuck Schumer would like to take the potentially significant gun ban and expand it even further.

Thursday, November 21, Schumer tried to pass an expansion though the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent without even usual a standard Senate procedure for notifying other senators, called hot-lining. Almost two weeks AFTER HE TRIED TO PASS IT, the text of the Schumer bill was still not available.

But we do know that Schumer has been working all year to expand the plastic gun ban to shut down every gun manufacturer in America who makes guns using a mold. We also know that Schumer has been trying to extend it even more explicitly to gun parts and magazines — although it’s hard to see what danger a plastic magazine would pose.

ACTION: Click here to contact your senators and representative. Tell them to oppose this effort to ban guns with wooden stocks. Call him or her at 202-225-3121.

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Setting The Bush Record Straight

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Written For Immediate Release
By the Office of the Press Secretary on
October 9, 2008

Setting the Record Straight: Six Years of Unheeded Warnings for GSE Reform
The Washington Times Fails To Research The Administration’s Efforts To Reform Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac

White House News
Setting the Record Straight
In Focus: Economy
Today, the Washington Times incorrectly accused the White House of ignoring warnings of trouble ahead for government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) and neglecting to “adopt any reform until this summer,” when it was too late. “Neither the White House nor Congress heeded the warnings, Fannie and Freddie retained strong bipartisan support during the 1990s and early part of this decade.” (Editorial, “Hear, See And Speak No Evil About Fannie And Freddie,” The Washington Times, 10/9/08)

Over the past six years, President Bush and his Administration have not only warned of the systemic consequences of failure to reform GSEs but also put forward thoughtful plans to reduce the risk that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would encounter such difficulties. In fact, it was Congress that flatly rejected President Bush’s call more than five years ago to reform the GSEs. Over the years, the President’s repeated attempts to reform the supervision of these entities were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems with the GSEs.

2001

April: The Administration’s FY02 budget declares that the size of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is “a potential problem,” because “financial trouble of a large GSE could cause strong repercussions in financial markets, affecting Federally insured entities and economic activity.” (2002 Budget Analytic Perspectives, pg. 142)
2002

May: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) calls for the disclosure and corporate governance principles contained in the President’s 10-point plan for corporate responsibility to apply to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (OMB Prompt Letter to OFHEO, 5/29/02)
2003

February: The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) releases a report explaining that unexpected problems at a GSE could immediately spread into financial sectors beyond the housing market.

September: Then-Treasury Secretary John Snow testifies before the House Financial Services Committee to recommend that Congress enact “legislation to create a new Federal agency to regulate and supervise the financial activities of our housing-related government sponsored enterprises” and set prudent and appropriate minimum capital adequacy requirements.

September: Then-House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Barney Frank (D-MA) strongly disagrees with the Administration’s assessment, saying “these two entities – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – are not facing any kind of financial crisis … The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.” (Stephen Labaton, “New Agency Proposed To Oversee Freddie Mac And Fannie Mae,” The New York Times, 9/11/03)

October: Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE) refuses to acknowledge any necessity for GSE reforms, saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” (Sen. Carper, Hearing of Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, 10/16/03)

November: Then-Council of the Economic Advisers (CEA) Chairman Greg Mankiw explains that any “legislation to reform GSE regulation should empower the new regulator with sufficient strength and credibility to reduce systemic risk.” To reduce the potential for systemic instability, the regulator would have “broad authority to set both risk-based and minimum capital standards” and “receivership powers necessary to wind down the affairs of a troubled GSE.” (N. Gregory Mankiw, Remarks At The Conference Of State Bank Supervisors State Banking Summit And Leadership, 11/6/03)
2004

February: The President’s FY05 Budget again highlights the risk posed by the explosive growth of the GSEs and their low levels of required capital and calls for creation of a new, world-class regulator: “The Administration has determined that the safety and soundness regulators of the housing GSEs lack sufficient power and stature to meet their responsibilities, and therefore … should be replaced with a new strengthened regulator.” (2005 Budget Analytic Perspectives, pg. 83)

February: Then-CEA Chairman Mankiw cautions Congress to “not take [the financial market's] strength for granted.” Again, the call from the Administration was to reduce this risk by “ensuring that the housing GSEs are overseen by an effective regulator.” (N. Gregory Mankiw, Op-Ed, “Keeping Fannie And Freddie’s House In Order,” Financial Times, 2/24/04)

April: Rep. Frank ignores the warnings, accusing the Administration of creating an “artificial issue.” At a speech to the Mortgage Bankers Association conference, Rep. Frank said “people tend to pay their mortgages. I don’t think we are in any remote danger here. This focus on receivership, I think, is intended to create fears that aren’t there.” (“Frank: GSE Failure A Phony Issue,” American Banker, 4/21/04)

June: Then-Treasury Deputy Secretary Samuel Bodman spotlights the risk posed by the GSEs and calls for reform, saying “We do not have a world-class system of supervision of the housing government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), even though the importance of the housing financial system that the GSEs serve demands the best in supervision to ensure the long-term vitality of that system. Therefore, the Administration has called for a new, first class, regulatory supervisor for the three housing GSEs: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banking System.” (Samuel Bodman, House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Testimony, 6/16/04)
2005

April: Then-Secretary Snow repeats his call for GSE reform, saying “Events that have transpired since I testified before this Committee in 2003 reinforce concerns over the systemic risks posed by the GSEs and further highlight the need for real GSE reform to ensure that our housing finance system remains a strong and vibrant source of funding for expanding homeownership opportunities in America … Half-measures will only exacerbate the risks to our financial system.” (Secretary John W. Snow, “Testimony Before The U.S. House Financial Services Committee,” 4/13/05)

July: Then-Minority Leader Harry Reid rejects legislation reforming GSEs, “while I favor improving oversight by our federal housing regulators to ensure safety and soundness, we cannot pass legislation that could limit Americans from owning homes and potentially harm our economy in the process.” (“Dems Rip New Fannie Mae Regulatory Measure,” United Press International, 7/28/05)
2007

August: President Bush emphatically calls on Congress to pass a reform package for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying “first things first when it comes to those two institutions. Congress needs to get them reformed, get them streamlined, get them focused, and then I will consider other options.” (President George W. Bush, Press Conference, the White House, 8/9/07)

August: Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Christopher Dodd ignores the President’s warnings and calls on him to “immediately reconsider his ill-advised” position. (Eric Dash, “Fannie Mae’s Offer To Help Ease Credit Squeeze Is Rejected, As Critics Complain Of Opportunism,” The New York Times, 8/11/07)

December: President Bush again warns Congress of the need to pass legislation reforming GSEs, saying “These institutions provide liquidity in the mortgage market that benefits millions of homeowners, and it is vital they operate safely and operate soundly. So I’ve called on Congress to pass legislation that strengthens independent regulation of the GSEs – and ensures they focus on their important housing mission. The GSE reform bill passed by the House earlier this year is a good start. But the Senate has not acted. And the United States Senate needs to pass this legislation soon.” (President George W. Bush, Discusses Housing, the White House, 12/6/07)
2008

February: Assistant Treasury Secretary David Nason reiterates the urgency of reforms, saying “A new regulatory structure for the housing GSEs is essential if these entities are to continue to perform their public mission successfully.” (David Nason, Testimony On Reforming GSE Regulation, Senate Committee On Banking, Housing And Urban Affairs, 2/7/08)

March: President Bush calls on Congress to take action and “move forward with reforms on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They need to continue to modernize the FHA, as well as allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to homeowners to refinance their mortgages.” (President George W. Bush, Remarks To The Economic Club Of New York, New York, NY, 3/14/08)

April: President Bush urges Congress to pass the much needed legislation and “modernize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. [There are] constructive things Congress can do that will encourage the housing market to correct quickly by … helping people stay in their homes.” (President George W. Bush, Meeting With Cabinet, the White House, 4/14/08)

May: President Bush issues several pleas to Congress to pass legislation reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the situation deteriorates further.

“Americans are concerned about making their mortgage payments and keeping their homes. Yet Congress has failed to pass legislation I have repeatedly requested to modernize the Federal Housing Administration that will help more families stay in their homes, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow state housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance sub-prime loans.” (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/3/08)

“[T]he government ought to be helping creditworthy people stay in their homes. And one way we can do that – and Congress is making progress on this – is the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That reform will come with a strong, independent regulator.” (President George W. Bush, Meeting With The Secretary Of The Treasury, the White House, 5/19/08)

“Congress needs to pass legislation to modernize the Federal Housing Administration, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ensure they focus on their housing mission, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to refinance subprime loans.” (President George W. Bush, Radio Address, 5/31/08)

June: As foreclosure rates continued to rise in the first quarter, the President once again asks Congress to take the necessary measures to address this challenge, saying “we need to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.” (President George W. Bush, Remarks At Swearing In Ceremony For Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development, Washington, D.C., 6/6/08)

July: Congress heeds the President’s call for action and passes reform legislation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as it becomes clear that the institutions are failing.

September: Democrats in Congress forget their previous objections to GSE reforms, as Senator Dodd questions “why weren’t we doing more, why did we wait almost a year before there were any significant steps taken to try to deal with this problem? … I have a lot of questions about where was the administration over the last eight years.” (Dawn Kopecki, “Fannie Mae, Freddie ‘House Of Cards’ Prompts Takeover,” Bloomberg, 9/9/08)

Obamacare Passed by Democrats

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In 2010, a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, without a single Republican vote, passed “ObamaCare” by a margin of 219 to 212. In a staggering act of misfeasance, hardly a single member had read, let alone studied, the 1,900 page law (2,700 pages according to some authorities), which had been dumped into the House only days earlier. The 219 members of that House who voted for ObamaCare were willing to impose massive, and massively expensive, legislation on the American people without any real idea of what they were doing. Had those members been members of the board of directors of a private corporation, their complete and utter lack of due diligence would almost certainly have exposed them to enormous law suits and, quite possibly, criminal penalties.

Largely in consequence of the passage of ObamaCare, the House of Representatives elected later in 2010, contained a substantial Republican majority, which was continued in the elections of 2012, despite Obama’s reelection, and is the basis of the Republicans’ present control of the House.

Today, the Republican majority in the House is exercising its constitutional power over the federal government’s spending by insisting on excluding any funds for the implementation of ObamaCare in the coming fiscal year. This is actually an extremely modest exercise of the House’s power over the budget. It should be seen as giving the Democrats in the House and Senate an opportunity finally to read and study the law they have passed (along with the 20,000 pages of government regulations that have already been written in order to carry out its provisions). Moreover, the elections of 2014 will give the supporters of ObamaCare a chance to present their case to an electorate that can then decide the issue by determining the makeup of the next Congress.

However, instead of agreeing to this very modest and thoroughly justified proposal, the Democrat leadership of the Senate has dug in its heels in a fanatical defense of ObamaCare, to the point of closing down major portions of the federal government in order to implement it, irrespective of not knowing what it is and irrespective of its consequences. The Republican majority in the House does not want to shut down the federal government or have it default on the national debt (which could happen later this month). It is fully prepared to fund the federal government and has repeatedly done so, with the single exception of ObamaCare. It is for the sake of maintaining ObamaCare that the Senate Democrats have shut down the federal government.

The House Republicans could hold fast, even to the point of a default on the national debt, for which the supporters of ObamaCare, not they, would be responsible, if it took place. Their first obligation is to uphold the Constitution of the United States and protect its citizens from a government that knows no limits to its reach and power, as manifested in ObamaCare.

Yes, terrible consequences can result from upholding principles. The United States has fought wars in order to uphold the principle of individual freedom. The House of Representatives should be willing to risk a default on the national debt to uphold that same principle today.

Few people in public life today have any principles, neither Democrats nor Republicans. I always tell people “I’m an equal opportunity offender. Both parties have let us down” Most of them are concerned with nothing beyond favorable “photo-ops” and their standing in the latest public opinion polls. They change their views as though they were outfits of clothing, to be changed whenever doing so will make them look better by some undefined standard. In the same way, they will talk with anyone and negotiate with anyone, no matter how evil and vicious, if they believe that doing so can improve their popularity.

This should imply that if the Republicans do hold fast, the Democrats will yield. The only thing that makes this assessment uncertain is that it well may be that the Democrats in the Senate hate individual freedom and love the augmentation of government power more than they hate or fear anything else. They well may hate liberty more than they fear nuclear weapons in the hands of Iranian religious fanatics or North Korean Marxist fanatics. And if that is the case, then while they would meet and negotiate with the Iranians and North Koreans and in some ways agree to their demands, they will not be willing to be as accommodating to the House Republicans and thus will be willing to bring about an actual default on the national debt.

The only way to deal with this possibility is for the Republicans to do everything in their power to make sure that the American people understand what the issue is. Namely, responsible, knowledgeable legislation consistent with the principle of individual freedom, or reckless, power-grabbing legislation of a kind enacted by Congressmen who might as well have been drunk or asleep as far as their votes for ObamaCare were concerned.

If the American people can be made to understand this, then even a default on the national debt will serve as the basis of a great victory and be well worth the price. It would establish a turning point in American history: the point at which the relentless advance of government power was stopped by unyielding, principled opposition – thank you Ted Cruz.

There are signs that here and there in the Republican Party, there are some men of principle, men who understand what is at stake and are prepared to do whatever is necessary to remove the legislative debacle that is ObamaCare. If their existence can be confirmed by their behavior in the coming months, it will be remarkable indeed, representing a virtual evolutionary leap in the ranks of our country’s politicians. We will see what happens at the next budget battle.

Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner’s pledge, reported in The New York Times of October 5, to avoid default, implies that the Republican opposition would collapse, isolating whatever men of principle there may be in the Republican Party. The pledge not to allow a default should have come from Harry Reid, the Democrat majority leader of the Senate. Yet, somehow, Reid and the other supporters of ObamaCare are thought to be free of any obligation to avoid a default. Only the opponents of ObamaCare are thought to be under such obligation.

This perverse inequality of obligation is taken for granted as proper in the media and probably by most of the general public. Barring some unforeseen development, it will almost certainly result in yet another Republican capitulation rather than in the great victory that is possible if the Republicans stick to their principles. Let the Democrats and the media think of these Republicans as lunatics if necessary. They are almost always prepared to humor lunatics through compromise. This time, let them compromise their statist principles by giving up ObamaCare for the next fiscal year, for the sake of avoiding a default on the national debt. Surely, there is no moral basis for maintaining a law that was passed by men who did not and could not know what they were doing and which as more is revealed about it, can only be expected to wreak great harm.

Facts obtained by:
George Reisman, Ph.D., is Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics and the author of Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics(Ottawa, Illinois: Jameson Books, 1996; Amazon Kindle Edition, 2012). His website is www.capitalism.net. His blog is www.georgereismansblog.blogspot.com. Copyright © 2013 by George Reisman.

Keystone-Yes, Syria-No, A Letter from Newt Gingrich

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Dear Rosie,

Few things illustrate why the Obama Administration is in increasing trouble more than the contrast between its hostility toward the Keystone XL Pipeline and its drift toward an ineffective and probably self-defeating attack on Syria.

Watching all the evolving crises in the Middle East, Americans understand why a strategy of American energy independence would make sense. It would create American jobs in a weak economy. It would grow government revenues without raising taxes. And it would increase American independence from the violent mess that is the Middle East.

The Keystone XL Pipeline would both drive down the cost of oil and gas and guarantee that Canadian energy flows to the United States instead of to China. In fact, getting the pipeline approved is one of the top foreign policy goals of the Canadian government, one of our most consistent allies.

Despite overwhelming support from the American people, 62 votes for the pipeline in the Senate, and the appeals of the Canadian government, the Obama Administration has bowed to pressure from environmental extremists who oppose the project, including one billionaire who has promised a massive anti-Obama campaign if the pipeline is approved.

The result looks like it will be one more delay of the five-year-old proposal. Kicking the Keystone decision into next year is a risk-avoidance strategy by an intimidated administration. Like all of the previous postponements, it will satisfy neither side and accomplish nothing.

The Syrian decision promises to be even more destructive than the Keystone indecision.

The Obama Administration has already announced that any bombing campaign in retaliation for the alleged use by the Syrian regime of chemical weapons will be short and limited. The Obama team has already promised that the campaign would not try to overthrow the Assad dictatorship.

A limited “symbolic” attack against a hardened dictatorship is an absurdity.

The Assad government has an endurance strategy of outlasting its enemies. It is backed by Russia and Iran. They will replace anything the Americans destroy.

Russia is deeply opposed to an American bombing campaign. This will further widen the gap between the two countries.

When the Syrian attacks are over, the American military will have spent a billion dollars or more, including hundreds of millions on munitions alone. That is money the Pentagon does not have given the budget crunch. Exactly how would President Obama propose to replace the weapons he would use so pointlessly?

The Congress should pass a law allowing the Keystone pipeline and blocking any attack on Syria. That would be a major step toward putting America back on a rational, reasonable strategic direction.

Your Friend,
Newt

To Fund or Not to Fund Obamacare THAT is the Question

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Some in Washington claim that defunding Obamacare would not prevent the implementation or enforcement of the law’s statutory requirements and new regulations. They seem to be unaware of the federal Antideficiency Act (ADA), which makes it illegal to spend money in excess of appropriations. If a fight over such a defunding provision led to a shutdown of the government, not all elements of the law could be implemented. Moreover, supporters of Obamacare would be put in the position of trying to explain why they are willing to interrupt the normal functioning of the federal government in order to fund an unworkable law that Americans do not like and do not want to see implemented. Obama’s own administration has already exempted scores of SEIU and other union employees as well as the restaurant association and most recently Congress & their staffers.

Movement to Defund:

Thanks to Senators Ted Cruz (R–TX) and Mike Lee (R–UT) who have been so diligently trying to do away with this bad law known as Obamacare. They have been in the news with the “Defund Obamacare Act” (S. 1292), which Representative Tom Graves (R–GA) has also introduced in the House as H.R. 2682. One of their proposals is to attach it to a must-pass continuing resolution (CR) before the federal government runs out of money on October 1. Under this bill, “no Federal funds shall be made available to carry out any provisions” of Obamacare. No “entitlement to benefits under any provision of” Obamacare will remain in effect, and all “unobligated balances” will be rescinded.

No one disputes that Obamacare would stay on the books and that defunding would not change the existing law. But all federal funds already appropriated for the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare could not be used by any federal agency to take any action—whether it is issuing new regulations or filing an enforcement action against an individual or an employer for not complying with the new health insurance mandates. The termination of all “entitlement to benefits” would stop the automatic appropriation of new entitlement spending for things like the law’s Medicaid expansion. The rescission of “unobligated benefits” would return to the Treasury appropriated funds that have not yet been spent on items such as the payment of outside contractors—navigators—for enrolling participants in Obamacare, although it would probably not relieve the government of the contractual obligation to pay for services already rendered.

There is no question that such a defunding bill can stop entitlement spending. The Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortions and is part of yearly discretionary appropriations bills, has prevented federal funds in the Medicaid entitlement program from being used for abortion coverage for almost four decades.

Antideficiency Act:

This type of appropriations and funding ban is given teeth by the ADA,[1] which prohibits federal employees from:

Making or authorizing any expenditure or obligation in excess of the amount available in an appropriation or fund unless authorized by law; or
Involving the government in any obligation to pay money before funds have been appropriated for that purpose unless otherwise allowed by law.
Section 1342 of the ADA prohibits federal employees from accepting voluntary services or employing personal services not authorized by law. That is one of the reasons that federal employees have to be furloughed whenever Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution—federal employees cannot volunteer their services even if they want to, and the government cannot accept outside assistance.

The ADA has both administrative and criminal penalties as well as a notice requirement. Section 1349 subjects federal employees to “administrative discipline” including “suspension from duty without pay or removal from office.” They can be fined or go to jail: Section 1350 imposes a fine of up to $5,000 and two years in jail. Under Section 1351, the head of any federal agency violating the ADA has to “report immediately to the President and Congress all relevant facts and a statement of actions taken” if anyone in the agency has violated the ADA through unauthorized spending. Pursuant to instructions issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), that report has to include the actions taken to correct the ADA violation.

Federal bureaucrats are well aware of the ADA, and its penalties deter violations.

If a Shutdown Occurs:

The smartest thing the House of Representatives could do is pass a CR as soon as possible that funds the government with the exception of Obamacare. That would force the President and his supporters to explain why they would shut down the government to fund an unfair, unaffordable, and highly unpopular law that is so unworkable that the Administration has itself admitted it cannot manage to implement major portions on time such as the employer mandate to provide insurance.

Senator Richard Burr (R–NC) calls this approach “dumb.” Senator Tom Coburn (R–OK) is circulating a July 2013 research memorandum from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) that concludes that many aspects of Obamacare could continue to be funded despite the ADA if there is a government shutdown.[2] But the CRS memo assumes there is no defunding language passed (as is being proposed) and that the government simply shuts down because there is no CR.

There is an exception in Section 1342 of the ADA for “emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property,” which as the CRS correctly notes, has been “broadly” read by OMB and the Justice Department to give executive agencies a certain amount of discretion over how to spend their remaining funds during a government shutdown. But in 1990, Congress amended Section 1342 in response to a 1981 opinion issued by Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti to make it clear that “emergencies” do “not include ongoing, regular functions of government, the suspension of which would not imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property.”

The CRS concludes, based solely on press reports, that if the government shuts down, the Administration would likely “rely on alternative sources of funding” to continue “substantial” implementation of Obamacare. But to do that during a shutdown, the Administration could only provide funds that are not dependent on annual discretionary appropriations or fit within the exceptions to the ADA outlined in the CRS memorandum.

The CRS says, for example, that “cost-sharing payments to health plans” from Treasury would likely not be excepted. The CRS also speculates that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) might be able to keep its employees involved in Obamacare on payroll, comparing it to the Social Security Administration keeping its employees on payroll during the shutdown fights of 1995–1996 because they were, “by necessary implication,” integral to making entitlement payments.

But this analogy may not work with the Obamacare insurance exchanges, since they are not an entitlement and are not funded by mandatory spending. The entitlement comes through the insurance subsidies, and while IRS employees may be essential to administer the subsidies, HHS employees might not necessarily be essential to administer the exchanges.

The point is that even if a government shutdown occurs without a defunding bill, while the Administration may have some funding available from other sources to continue to implement parts of Obamacare that fall within exceptions to the ADA, it would not be able to legally implement all of the many different parts of the law, and it is doubtful it would have the funds to implement all of the law.

Making Collapse More Likely:

In the absence of full repeal, Americans will be better off if any parts of Obamacare are stopped from going into effect. And the more parts of the law that are delayed because of a government shutdown, defunding, or the Obama Administration’s own incompetence, the more likely it is that this horrendously complicated law, which is built on many different interdependent factors, will fall apart like a house of cards.

References: [1]31 U.S. Code § 1341.
[2]Congressional Research Service, “Potential Effects of a Government Shutdown on Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” July 29, 2013, http://www.coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=0af8b42a-b2b9-484b-b0d4-9d27e2b690ac (accessed August 7, 2013).