Big Media Lobby for Immigration Bill

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Big media corporations are lobbying for passage of the Gang of Eight’s 844-page immigration bill, S. 744. Critics call it amnesty.

In addition to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (the parent of Fox News), the companies include:

  • Walt Disney Co. (owns ABC News)
  • Hearst Corp. (owns 15 daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle, Albany Times Union and San Antonio Express-News. Also, Hearst Television Inc., which comprises 29 television and two radio stations)
  • Time Warner Inc. (owns Time magazine and CNN)
  • Viacom Inc. (owns Comedy Central and MTV)
  • Time Warner Cable Inc. (one of the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the United States)
  • Thomson Reuters (owns Reuters, the world’s largest international news agency)

The heads of these corporations are members of the Partnership for a New American Economy, and are counting on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to push the bill through the Senate in June. It has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with a group of illegal aliens in the White House on May 21. “As the meeting was wrapping up, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year,” the White House said.

Michael W. Cutler, an immigration enforcement expert with 30 years of experience as an Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) agent, wrote a special report for AIM saying the Senate bill should be known as the “Terrorist Assistance and Facilitation Act”

Rupert Murdoch, chairman, CEO & Founder of News Corporation, is one of the co-chairs of the Partnership for a New American Economy, which is working with two other groups, Republicans for Immigration Reform and Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action (OFA). The latter is the Obama campaign apparatus that was turned into a tax-exempt, non-profit organization and claims to be a “social welfare” organization within the meaning of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

However, Rebekah Metzler of U.S. News & World Report reports that Organizing for Action has not yet filed for tax-exempt status. Conservative groups applying for this status have been targeted for added scrutiny and long delays by the IRS.

These three groups are part of “The March for Innovation,” which claims that the “outdated immigration system is costing our economy talent, jobs, and innovation…,” and supports so-called “immigration reform.” Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, the largest online news outlet in the U.S., is one of the group’s “partners” in the coalition.

With most of the major media lined up in favor of the bill, opponents of the legislation are counting on a fair hearing from Fox News.

But ABC News notes that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, Australian born and a naturalized U.S. citizen, “has become an outspoken advocate for immigration reform and mass legalization of the country’s undocumented immigrants…” The story went on, “Whether Murdoch’s personal views will percolate through his network, or at least temper criticism on the airwaves of those who don’t share it, remains to be seen.”

The opposition to S. 744 includes more than 150 conservative and Tea Party leaders, immigration officer unions, and several Fox News contributors.

“The liberals are at it again working to impose amnesty on the American people, just as they tried in 2007,” says conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly, President and Founder of Eagle Forum. “This bill puts responsibility for securing the borders and reforming our immigration system solely into the hands of the Obama Administration, which has made a policy of refusing to secure the borders and enforce immigration law. This is particularly problematic as we are learning more each day about the Administration’s Obamacare failures and abuses, and especially now in light of the shameful scandals involving the IRS and Associated Press. We cannot trust the Obama Administration. This is the wrong bill at the wrong time!”

A letter signed by these conservatives claims that the bill:

Is bloated and unwieldy along the lines of Obamacare or Dodd-Frank;

  • Cedes excessive control to an administration that has repeatedly proven itself to be untrustworthy—as recent scandals again vividly demonstrate;
  • Legalizes millions of illegal immigrants before securing the borders, thus ensuring future illegal immigration;
  • Rewards law breakers and punishes law enforcement, further undermining the constitutional rule of law—as ICE agents have testified;
  • Hurts American job-seekers, especially those with less education;
  • Threatens to bankrupt our already strained entitlement system;
  • Expands government by creating new bureaucracies, authorizing new spending,
    and calling for endless regulations; and
  • Contains dangerous loopholes that threaten national security.

Despite Murdoch’s role in promoting the bill, six Fox News contributors signed the letter opposing it. They are:

  • Monica Crowley, Ph.D., Nationally Syndicated Radio Host
  • Erick Erickson, Editor of RedState
  • Laura Ingraham, Nationally Syndicated Radio Host
  • Michelle Malkin, author of Invasion, and syndicated columnist
  • Sandy Rios, Vice-President Family PAC Federal and Morning Host for AFR Talk
  • Former Rep. Allen West

In a piece headlined, “Fox News Contributors Sign Letter Urging Immigration Reform Defeat,” the George Soros-funded Media Matters group accused these individuals of “unethical behavior” for expressing their opinions.

On the other hand, Fox News and radio host Sean Hannity says his views on immigration have “evolved” and that he now favors a “a pathway” to citizenship for illegal aliens.

The National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council, a union of more than 12,000 immigration agents, says it “was not consulted in the crafting of the Gang of Eight’s legislation. Instead, the legislation was written with special interests—producing a bill that makes the current system worse, not better. S. 744 will damage public safety and national security and should be opposed by lawmakers.”

Chris Crane, President of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council, says, “The legislation before us may have many satisfactory components for powerful lobbying groups and other special interests, but on the subjects of public safety, border security, and interior enforcement, this legislation fails. It is a dramatic step in the wrong direction.”

Demonstrating that Fox News continues to cover both sides, at least for a while, Crane has appeared on the Lou Dobbs show on the Fox Business Network. What’s more, FoxNews.com ran a story highlighting criticism of Obama from Senator Jeff Sessions and Rep. Bob Goodlatte for meeting with illegal aliens but refusing a meeting with representatives from the National ICE Council.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].


What Is This?

Arlene form Israel

It passes for “diplomatic” news of a sort, but consists in good part of unmitigated nonsense.

The World Economic Forum in Jordan has just ended; in attendance were Israeli President Shimon Peres, Secretary of State John Kerry and putative president of the PA Mahmoud Abbas — all of whom spoke.

And it was the words of President Peres that caused many here in Israel to want to tear their hair out. His statement included, first, this:
“…President Abbas, you are our partner and we are yours. You share our hopes and efforts for peace, and we share yours. We can and should make the breakthrough…”

And then, far worse:

“The ‘Arab Peace Initiative’ is a meaningful change and a strategic opportunity. It replaces the strategies of war with the wisdom of peace.”



It is essential that I correct Peres here. As I have already written, there has been no change. A delegation representing the Arab League in Washington conceded the “possibility” of a change, but the entire Arab League did
not sign off on it:

Arab League head Nabil Elaraby has stated clearly that there have been no amendments to the 2002 plan.


In any event, that change, had it been accepted, would have been miniscule, and would certainly not have represented a “strategic opportunity.” The reference was to “minor” land swaps, with the ’49 armistice line still considered the basis for negotiations (and eastern Jerusalem to be Arab), and with insistence upon retention of the “right of return.” It is nothing more than a plan for weakening Israel.


That Peres touted it the way he did is particularly disturbing, because the world has the impression that he officially speaks for Israel. He does not. His position is largely ceremonial, although that rarely stops him from making inappropriate statements.

(You can see the official description of his office here: http://imra.org.il/story.php3?id=61098)

Many government ministers were incensed by Peres’ statements. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said, before yesterday’s Cabinet meeting:

“I didn’t know that Peres became the government spokesman. I think the government has its own spokespeople. The position of the president of Israel is respected, but the government makes policy decisions, and I think that every declaration of this sort, certainly on the eve of negotiations, does not help Israel’s stance.”

Credit: TimesofIsrael

Well stated. But, “on the eve of negotiations”? Does he know something we do not?


Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beitenu), for his part, alluded to the well-known observation by former foreign minister Abba Eban that the pre-67 lines were “Auschwitz borders.”

Credit: Presstv

He observed that (emphasis added):

“What country would start talks that aim to break down its ability to defend itself? I hear people talking about a Palestinian state that must be established. There’s a long list of Arab states that are falling apart — Syria, Libya, Yemen. The Palestinian Authority, with which we once signed an agreement, split into Judea and Samaria, and Gaza. Why would we work to create a state with unclear chances of survival?” (See article below by Dore Gold for much more on this.)

“Whoever wants something serious should stay away from the idea of a Palestinian state.”



While Trade Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) said (emphasis added):

“…most of Israel opposes an agreement involving pre-’67 lines and understands that it will lead to Hamas terror reaching the coastal plain and the center of the country.

“The Israeli public, which experienced the results of Oslo — thousands of deaths — knows with its healthy judgment that the way to peace and security is through strength and not weakness and withdrawals.”


Credit: flashtrafficblog

And Amen again.


Abbas, for his part, made requisite statements about peace and the readiness of the PA to work for it, but called for the same old freeze on building, release of prisoners, and eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. He also made clear that there would be no acceptance of temporary borders or an interim state (which proposals I’ve discussed recently).

And he added something else here — taking down the security fence, which he refers to as the “apartheid wall.”



As to Abbas as a “peace partner,” it’s instructive to see this Palestinian Media Watch release regarding a PA TV show that called for raising Palestinian flags “at the entrance to every village and town in Palestine to declare that this land is the land of Palestine.” By “Palestine,” they mean anywhere between the river and the sea. This is made obvious by the call for those flags in cities solidly within the Green Line, such as “Jaffa, Nazareth, Haifa, Acre, Lod, and Ramle.”


It’s important to keep tabs on such declarations, and to share them, so that there is no doubt about what Abbas stands for when he’s not double-talking for the West.


In fact, let’s look at one more indictment of the PA:

Remember Evyatar Borovsky, father of five small children, who was recently knifed to death by Salam Al-Zaghal. Three days after that horrendous terror attack, Sultan Abu Al-Einein praised it. Al-Einein? Formerly an advisor to Abbas, and currently Head of the Palestinian Council for NGO Affairs.

On PA TV, he said:

“We salute the heroic fighter…he went against the settler and killed him. Blessings to the breast that nursed Salam Al-Zaghal.”


You can see a video of his extended statement on this site.

The blood runs cold at this, and to suggest that Abbas is someone who “shares our hopes” is slightly (if not seriously) obscene.


And then there’s Kerry, who made his big announcement at the Forum: A $4 billion economic plan to “revitalize” the Palestinian Authority. That’s not pocket change. Tony Blair is to head this initiative, about which not much is yet known. While Kerry envisions enormous growth in the Palestinian Authority, my attitude is far more wait and see. I suspect he’s underestimating the degree of corruption in the PA, and the capacity of its leaders to avoid self-sufficiency. That’s only a start regarding the potential flaws in what he’s attempting.

To his credit, Kerry allowed that this economic plan is not a substitute for a “political process.” And he stated that the “political process” was his top priority.

You can see Kerry’s full remarks, plus some comments by IMRA’s Aaron Lerner, here:



Two rockets hit in Shiyah, a Shi’ite neighborhood of Beirut, yesterday in what is thought to be an attack on Hezbollah inside of Lebanon by Sunni rebel forces from Syria in retaliation for Hezbollah support of Assad. It is considered no accident that this happened after Hezbollah head Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah declared intention to keep fighting with Assad to the end. Lebanon is itself shaky and divided — with significant Sunni/Shi’ite tensions, and this may signal not only exacerbation of that situation, but the more direct involvement of Lebanon in the Syrian civil war.

It seems to me significant that the rockets were launched from inside Lebanon. Hezbollah fighting is fierce in the battle in Qusayr, which is not far from the Lebanese border.


Rumors regarding the status of the S-300 missiles Russia is supposed to deliver to Syria have not stopped. One story had it that Netanyahu, on his visit to Russia, convinced its leaders not to send the missiles.

Yesterday, the Times of Israel ran a story, citing a “senior Israeli official” who denied that this had happened. However, it was the assessment of this official that ultimately Russia would renege on the deal: “It’s likely that the Russians will try to stall for time and use this as a bargaining chip without following through on the deal.”

Two factors seem to play into this assessment. One is the sizeable Russian Jewish population in Israel. Russian officials do take into consideration the impact of their policies on this expatriate group. And Netanyahu, along with National Security advisor Ya’akov Amidror, had impressed upon the Russians the damage that these missiles would be able to do to planes landing and taking off at Ben Gurion Airport.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who attended the meeting in Russia as a translator, would say only that, “it would be wrong to classify the meeting as a failure.”

All of this is reassuring.

The official cited, however, said that the Russians expected that Israel would refrain from further attacks inside Israel on armaments bound for Hezbollah.



I find this Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) briefing — “Is Egypt Heading toward a Military Regime” — by Col. (ret.) Dr. Jacques Neriah, to be of particular interest.

Months ago I was advised by one of my Arabic-speaking academic sources that the Egyptian army, which opted to remain quiet for the moment, still wielded some power and might move in due course. After I had reported on this, there was no apparent sign of this happening, until now…

“Today, Egypt is on the verge of chaos. Amid a sudden popular wave of affection and longing for the Mubarak days, there is renewed talk of the army retaking power. As Morsi’s government fails to achieve true democracy, respect human rights, restore security, or improve economic welfare, an increasing number of people are calling on the army to return to the political scene as Morsi’s only possible replacement. A recent poll found 82 percent supporting such a move.”


This is the best thing that could happen not only for Egypt, but for the sake of Israeli and Western interests as well. When Mubarak was thrown out, it was thought that movement would be towards a more “democratic” and less repressive regime. But this, of course, is not what happened.

The military would not only stabilize the situation, acting against radicals, it would introduce a more pro-Western tone.

Far more significant is an article by Dr. Dore Gold, president of the JCPA, who suggests that we are on the cusp of some radical shifts in the Middle East.

During World War I, “Sir Mark Sykes, representing Britain, and Charles Francois Georges-Picot, representing France, reached a secret understanding dividing the…territories of the Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence that would be dominated by [each country].” This is referred to as the Sykes-Picot Agreement. When the League of Nations assigned Mandates after the war, they reflected this agreement:..”the borders of at least five Middle Eastern states would eventually be determined by the original Sykes-Picot Agreement.” These states’ borders were “artificial” or arbitrarily drawn for political reasons.

Now, says, Gold, there are serious analysts talking about a breakdown of what had been established a century before, as a result of “the Arab tsunami and its aftershocks.”

The focus is particularly on the Syrian-Iraqi border and the possible break-up of Syria. There is also growing influence of Turkey to be considered — with Turkey aspiring to regain sovereignty over areas lost with WWI. As well. there is the increased strength of Kurdish groups in Syria, northern Iraq and Turkey — leading to the establishment in time of Kurdistan. Ultimately Iraqi could also disintegrate.

Gold anticipates the possibility of cross-border cooperation of Sunni Muslims. “If they are politically dominated by the same branch of al-Qaida, then the emergence of a new Afghanistan in the heart of the Arab world might be the result. If more moderate forces among the Iraqi Sunnis emerge, then it should not be ruled out that they might consider some federal ties with their western Sunni neighbor, Jordan, which would give them an outlet to the Red Sea.”

Writes Gold, “however the political systems in Syria and Iraq evolve, it is clear that the map of the Middle East is likely to be very different from the map that the colonial powers fixed during World War I…It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this change should it transpire.” (Emphasis added)



Gold observes that:

“The only boundary in the Middle East that Western diplomats have become rigidly obsessed with, despite the far more profound changes that are occurring across the region, is not even formally an international border under international law, but only an armistice line from 1949 — what is inappropriately called the 1967 border. While a solution to this territorial dispute must be addressed, the final borders drawn between Israel and it’s neighbors will have to take into account the current dramatic strategic shifts.” (Emphasis added)

As Uzi Landau suggests, above, there is something exceedingly myopic about trying to establish a new Arab state just when other Arab states are falling apart. We might call it obtuse. Or dumb. Certainly a very important reason for not moving to negotiations now.


A special Memorial Day tribute to a military dog killed in action on March 11, 2013

Living with Rottweilers

Memorial Day Tribute to military dog, Bak, killed in action in Afghanistan

FORT STEWART, Ga. – The bond between a military police and his military working dog is very special. This bond is built upon a high level of trust and companionship. When joined together, they become a working team that stretch beyond the battlefield.

KHanrahan (h/t Savage) When an MP loses the other half of his working team on the battlefield, it can be very hard to deal with.

On March 11, Staff Sgt. Bak, a military working dog, along with his handler, Sgt. Marel Molina, both assigned to the 93rd Military Working Dog Detachment, 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade, were injured by enemy gunfire in a blue-on-green attack. Bak passed later that day during surgery from wounds he received.

On May 14, the Fort Stewart community paid tribute to Bak at a Memorial Ceremony held at the MWD Kennels at Wright Army Airfield.

There was nothing better than seeing those Afghan mountain peaks slowly turning from brown to white. It seemed that, as the snow melted away, US Army Sergeant Marel Molina and his Military Working Dog Bak’s time remaining in Afghanistan withered away day by day.

But Sergeant Molina couldn’t think about going home today, even though he was a short two months away. He had work to do.

No, that wasn’t right. He and MWD Bak had work to do.

Keeping his Green Beret team alive was hard work.

Sergeant Molina listened intently as Captain Pedersen, his Green Beret Alpha Team leader, discussed that day’s mission with the Afghan local policemen. But Molina barely understood a word of their exchange.

He was always impressed that many of these Green Berets could speak Pashtun, one of the predominant languages in Afghanistan.

Looking over his shoulder he spied the 100-pound working dog lying in the back of the Razor, his thick mahogany coat with black tipping made him a picture-perfect German shepherd, fit for the movies. The dog dozed in and out of wakefulness, but Sergeant Molina knew in a snap of his fingers MWD Bak would be focused on one thing—finding buried explosives.

The Green Beret team knew this as well. MWD Bak had already used his extraordinary explosive-sniffing skills to unearth six improvised explosives that surely would have wiped out the entire team by now.

His Majesty MWD Bak could lounge anywhere he wanted. It didn’t matter when, where, or with whom. The three-year-old shepherd was always ready for duty.

Sergeant Molina scanned the group of Afghan local policemen and thought he recognized a few of them. The Green Berets frequently patrolled with the local men, trained with them, and tried to assist them in policing their country. But it was hard to keep them all straight with their constant turnover.
The Afghan men were a ragtag bunch with look-alike uniforms in varying states, pockets and pouches stuffed with who knew what, in gear strapped to their chests that included an American AK-47.
Today for patrol, their motley crew consisted of a squad on infantry from the 3rd Infantry Division, a handful of Green Berets, Sergeant Molina, and MWD Bak. Captain Pedersen shook the hand of the Afghan local policemen’s leader and turned to brief the Americans. Then all hell broke loose. Gunfire, screaming, and pleas for help filled the air.

An Afghan local policeman turned his AK-47 on the group and shot wildly into the group of Americans. Sergeant Molina felt something slice through the left side of his neck. He dropped to the ground next to Captain Pedersen.

Pedersenwas lifeless, shot through the head. The man never stood a chance. The same bullet that had ripped through Pedersen’s head was the one that ripped through Sergeant Molina’s neck. It was ironic to think that being shot through the neck was lucky. But in Afghanistan everything is relative.

In seconds the shooting was over and the rogue Afghan local policeman was gunned down by a Green Beret. But not before the policeman had injured a handful of American soldiers, killed Pedersen, and members of the infantry squad participating in that day’s mission.

Blood flowed from Sergeant Molina’s neck, but he couldn’t feel the pain yet. He stood up and his knee felt like he had hit it on a rock or gotten a “charlie horse.” Then he saw blood dripping from his right knee and a hole in his pants.

Adrenaline rushed through his body as he wobbled over to a fallen comrade and began to conduct first aide on the fallen man. The soldier was a lot worse than Molina. He would be lucky to make it.

Once a medic relieved him, Molina pulled security on the other Afghan policeman and then assisted in disarming them. With the threat neutralized and the adrenaline subsiding, Sergeant Molina realized he hadn’t heard from MWD Bak.

Initially when Molina had dropped to the ground he had seen Bak lying calmly on the Razor vehicle. The dog had nerves of steel; he had been hit before with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade and barely whimpered. “Bak, come here boy.” A spike of fear shot through his body when Bak didn’t move.

He rushed to his dog and panic ripped through him as he realized Bak’s once mahogany hind legs were wet and dark with his own blood.

“Medic,” screamed Molina as he ripped open a box of field bandages and tried to locate the entrance wound. As he touched Bak, the dog’s eyes fluttered and Molina knew he was losing consciousness. He would go into shock next. The medic arrived and handed a catheter to Molina who inserted it into Bak’s leg. The dog needed fluids immediately.

“It’s all right buddy, Daddy is right here, pal. You’re going to be fine,” said Molina as he watched his battle buddy gasp for air. Molina knew the dog had internal bleeding. Molina wondered what that bullet had ripped through inside Bak.

The MEDVAC chopper landed and loaded them all. Molina lay by Bak’s side the entire time. Sometime during the flight Molina began losing consciousness, but he kept an arm around Bak, reassuring him that everything would be all right, praying that everything would be all right. But it wasn’t.

As Molina lay in a hospital bed at Bagram Airbase awaiting surgery, the veterinarian came in with a somber face. Tears streamed down Molina’s cheeks. He already knew what was the veterinarian was going to say. “I’m sorry, Sergeant, but Bak bled out internally. He’s left us.” They had been so close to going home. Now only one would go.

Sergeant Marel Molina received lifesaving surgery at Bagram Airbase Afghanistan, was evavced to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and then to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, DC. He has moved from crutches, to a cane, to walking on his own. He has high hopes for being completely off aids soon and is very close to a full recovery.

Physically he will heal, but mentally he will never be the same. He will never forget his battle buddy Military Working Dog Bak and the images of him lying on that chopper, bleeding out, and Molina powerless to help him.

Bak wasn’t a piece of equipment, and he wasn’t just a dog, Military Working Dog Bak was a fellow soldier, who died fighting for this country. Sergeant Molina and many other soldiers are alive today because of their fellow soldier, Military Working Dog Bak.

As a country we celebrate Memorial Day to remember the men and women who fought and died for this country. But for those that fought beside them, we also think of our four-legged soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Please remember Military Working Dog Bak and the others like him who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.


This Memorial Day May 27, 2013

Right Side News

This Memorial Day weekend 2012, we turn to God and give rememberance to those who have died for our country. Freedom is not free.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.

There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920).

While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Gen Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all. Read More…

Remember the fallen, from Normandy to Pearl and all the many wars and battles that have kept our country free.

he following prayer is offered by James Simpson:

This is the day we remember those who have fallen in battle, thereby making the supreme sacrifice in service to our great nation. Too many of us don’t fully recognize what this day symbolizes. So I am offering a Memorial Day prayer, both to give my thanks and hopefully help us all be a little more appreciative. Here it is:

Dear God:

I pray for the fallen, those brave souls who gave their all for this country, never flinching from their duty, whatever they were called to do, and whether the leadership decisions that brought them to their last mission were well considered or not. They have given all they had, without question.

But I pray especially for the fathers and sons, mothers and daughters of these fallen princes, for they have to live on without, and doubtless would have taken their place without question, even if only to save themselves from such unbearable pain. Nothing can compare to the suffering endured by a mother who loses her child, or a child who loses his mother or father before their time. The fallen sacrifice their lives; the family sacrifices the rest of their lives. They will never see what their beloved’s life could have become, will no more share life’s trials and triumphs with them, never again see their smile or share their warmth on a cold winter’s night. They live in a sea of grief and will carry that wound for eternity. So, please God, bestow Your Tenderness and Grace especially on these families, whose loss can never be repaid.

But God, I pray also for the rest of us, for we lose too. We lose what could have been, from among the most selfless, principled, promising souls of our living generations. I would gladly exchange any ten Harvard graduates for one serviceman who willingly walks at the knifepoint. He has more guts, more integrity, more fortitude and likely more resourcefulness than the lot of them combined.

So, God, please let not their ultimate sacrifice be in vain. See to it that the objectives they were deployed to obtain are achieved. See to it that we have the satisfaction of realizing their missions successfully concluded. God, preserve this country for which they gave their lives, and give us all the wisdom, humility, and virtue to fully comprehend and gratefully acknowledge their sacrifices for what they are; for “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13).


Originally posted at Truth & Consequences on Memorial Day, 2008


Looking for my DD-214

By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

It’s Memorial Day, a chance to express our gratitude for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of liberty. If you happen to drive past a national cemetery you might see an American Flag stationed at each and every burial plot; hopefully this tradition has been passed along to honor those who died as a result of military service.

Some folks confuse Memorial Day with Veteran’s Day; but let’s not split hairs, both are designed to give everyone a chance to say thank you to those who have served. Some folks get their shorts twisted in knots over this; kind of like getting upset over Daylight Savings time costing them an hour in the fall and forgetting they get it back in spring.

While going through Facebook yesterday I noticed an offer from the Old Faithful Holster company, a chance for Veterans and Military folks to get a very nice concealed handgun holster at half the regular price. I’d been holding off buying one; the nicer holsters are more expensive so half price caught my attention.

I read through the requirements and figured I’d send a copy of my DD-214 as proof of service; and that would have been fine except I couldn’t find that form in any of our important paper folders. I went through lots of file folders; cars we haven’t owned in years, houses we’ve sold long ago, insurance forms, warranty folders for every washer, dryer, refrigerator, mixer, drill and saw we’ve ever owned; but no DD-214 form.

There were files folders for log cabin designs we thought we might build on that piece of property in Colorado, the property we sold several years ago. I found folders with IRS returns going back years and years; wonder if we’ve been targeted for being conservatives with Tea Party leanings? There were folders for health issues with our children’s names for injuries or illnesses they had twenty years ago; but still no DD-214.

I was beginning to think the form might have been lost; but I knew I’d seen it somewhere, just couldn’t put my finger on where. The DD-214 is proof that you served in the military; you need it when you apply for a job so your employer knows that particular obligation has been met.

That’s an odd thought; the idea individuals are somehow obligated to have served in the military. I guess I’m showing my age.

You’ll never guess where I eventually found my DD-214; stuck inside with a bunch of important family related stuff in my genealogy stack. I found my grandfather’s Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, Marriage Certificate and Death Certificate. There in the middle of the stack were several Army forms all stapled together; my certificate showing I completed AIT training as a Military Policeman from Fort Gorden, Georgia was on top. Sure enough, a couple of pages down was my DD-214; I could prove I’d been there, ahhhh…

So a while ago I got on the internet and placed an order for a holster for my Beretta , making sure to attach a copy of my DD-214 form to get the discounted price. I even sent a copy of an old snap shot, a picture of me standing in my father’s front yard back in 1971 wearing my dress greens. If the name tag isn’t clear in the photo then the folks offering the discount wouldn’t be obligated to extend the half price offer; glad I found my DD-214.

That about covers this morning; think I’ll kick back and have some bar-b-que this afternoon with some friends who also served in the military. Enjoy Memorial Day and remember to be grateful for those who gave their lives defending your liberties.


Left Tries to Redefine IRS Scandal

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

The liberal media, liberal non-profits, and Congressional Democrats are urging the public to look the other way from the IRS targeting scandal. The problem, they argue, is the presence of 501(c)(4)s that engage in political activity—instead of being “exclusively” social welfare organizations. What, exactly, do they mean by social welfare? These liberals assert that a regulation by the IRS, active since 1959, which contradicts a U.S. statute, is to blame.

Such was the argument recently promoted on the MSNBC show, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” “The original statute passed by Congress requires [that] 501(c)(4) organizations engage exclusively in social welfare activities,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on the May 22 show. “But in 1959, [the] Treasury Department issued a regulation that requires these entities only to be primarily engaged in social welfare activities. As a result, many groups now believe they can spend up to 49 percent of their funds on campaign-related activities,” he asserted.

O’Donnell, who bragged and gloated that “you heard it here first,” uses quotes from eight liberal Democratic Congressmen and Congresswomen to make his point. “And so, the real scandal here is not that the applications were delayed but that they were ever approved,” he said (emphasis added). He further said, “But by either standard, the standard of the law written by Congress or standard of the regulation as misinterpreted by the IRS, any organization with the name of a political party in its title of any size from the Democratic Party to the Tea Party to local Tea Parties to Socialist Workers Party to the Green Party—every single such application should have been rejected for 501(c)(4) status as a matter of law.” O’Donnell made similar assertions on his show throughout the week.

Others have made similar points. ProPublica, a liberal non-profit organization that does investigative journalism, at least offered a more substantive argument than O’Donnell. They recently outlined six facts they believe are being left out of the IRS scandal story. Among them are that social welfare non-profits are supposed to be engaged “primarily” in social welfare activities, not politics, and that “Most of the money spent on elections by social welfare nonprofits supports Republicans.” They said that “Of the more than $256 million spent by social welfare nonprofits on ads in the 2012 elections, at least 80 percent came from conservative groups, according to FEC figures tallied by the Center for Responsive Politics.” Is this supposed to be a fact they object to, or do they believe that the mere fact that conservatives are more successful at using these groups means prima facie that conservative 501(c)(4)s deserve further scrutiny?

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) authored a letter, dated May 23rd, to the new IRS Commissioner asking about this same regulation. “The Subcommittee asked the IRS why it was not enforcing the 501(c)(4) statute which states that social welfare organizations should be used ‘exclusively for the promotion of social welfare’ and instead enforcing the more lenient IRS regulation which states that a social welfare organization may be used ‘primarily’ for social welfare,” stated the letter.

MSNBC’s O’Donnell—and its entire primetime lineup of liberal activists—typically operates as a defense team and apologist—as well as a mouthpiece—for President Obama’s narratives. In fact, part of the original justification for the IRS “mishandling” of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status was the ambiguity in the law, which has been mirrored in the President’s statements. “The vagueness of the law may have contributed to the problems, President Obama said Thursday in his response to the controversy, reported the Los Angeles Times on May 16 (emphasis added). “Congress and his administration need to ‘look at some of the laws that create a bunch of ambiguity in which the IRS may not have enough guidance,’ he said.”

We really don’t have to look very hard to see who considers the actions of the IRS to be inappropriate, or worse. While O’Donnell and the others are trying to justify or downplay the actions of the IRS, others are not so forgiving. “As acting commissioner I want to apologize on behalf of the IRS for the mistakes that we made and the poor service that we provided,” said former IRS commissioner Steven Miller about the scandal. President Barack Obama called these actions “outrageous” and “unacceptable.” “White House spokesman Jay Carney…called the IRS action ‘inappropriate’ and said the Obama administration supports a full investigation, suggesting the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration would have jurisdiction,” reported USA Today. IRS official Lois Lerner also apologized. “That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate,” said Lerner. Former IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said he regretted that the IRS actions happened on his watch and was “deeply saddened” by them, but refused to apologize at a hearing, reported The Washington Post on May 21.

So while these people acknowledge that what occurred was wrong and inappropriate, they argue it wasn’t politically motivated. They would have been much better off trying O’Donnell’s line of defense. Their defiance might have paid off, and the media most likely would have backed off. But they’ve already admitted doing the deed. They just claim that it was incompetence and lack of clear guidance that caused it.

Not enough guidance? As Accuracy in Media has outlined in a number of stories, the IRS deliberately targeted conservative groups while approving applications by liberal groups for tax-exempt status. Not only did USA Today describe this as a 27-month “Tea Party moratorium,” but at the same time, according to The Daily Caller, the Barack H. Obama Foundation was approved in a single month. (The ProPublica piece completely ignores the selective targeting of conservative groups, instead focusing on what it sees as the bigger picture.)

Now we learn that the decision to target these groups may have come from a single manager. “Because all six of our IRS workers have different individual and territory managers, Cindy Thomas is one manager they all have common,” reported Fox19.com. “The independent journalism group ProPublica says in November of 2012 they had requested information on conservative groups that had received non-profit status.”

“Along with that information, the IRS released private information on nine conservative groups that had not yet been approved and personal information had not been redacted,” reported Ben Swann for Fox19. “The person who signed off on that release, Cindy Thomas.”

With abuses like these, it becomes cold comfort to rely on the IRS to further regulate political speech. In addition, don’t social welfare organizations actually have something to say about politics without endorsing candidates? John Podhoretz, writing for Commentary magazine, said that the IRS’s policing power means that it should revoke a 501(c)(4) status following misconduct, not that it should presume guilt of organizations who are applying for tax-exempt status.

“Talking heads like MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell bloviate that many Tea Party groups (and similar groups on the left like the President’s Organizing for America) are not social welfare organizations,” wrote Steve Klein of the Wyoming Liberty Group for Canada Free Press. “However, these critics provide no definition of ‘social welfare.’” In fact, any government attempt to devise what constitutes social welfare activity is prone to problems. “Money contributed to politicians should be regulated and large amounts disclosed,” he argued, while “money spent on messages that criticize or praise a candidate for his or her position on a certain issue should not.”

As Senator Orrin Hatch, R, Utah, pointed out, Democrats “calling for a ban on political activity by 501(c)(4) groups have not supported a similar ban on political activity by labor unions,” according to an article by Alana Goodman of The Washington Free Beacon.

If the IRS did change the word “exclusively” to “primarily” in its regulations back in 1959, this is little different from what presidents, especially President Barack Obama, do today. The Administration has selectively enforced the Defense of Marriage Act, and issued its Dream-Act mirroring executive order. Its 20,000-plus pages of regulations added to Obamacare have certainly altered the meaning of this law. And now the Administration has provided 37 states and the District of Columbia with waivers to get around No Child Left Behind’s provisions.

The President has also continued the practice of signing statements, which then-candidate Obama criticized the Bush Administration for. “Candidate Barack Obama criticized President Bush for using ‘signing statements’ to ignore the will of Congress,” reported The Daily Beast in January 2012. “But as the president now seeking reelection in 2012, on at least 20 occasions Obama has embraced the same tactic he criticized George W. Bush for using, raising allegations of double-dealing in Congress and questions of constitutionality from the American Bar Association.”

There is also the issue of the cover-up. Often the cover-up is worse than the scandal itself. But at this point it’s hard to say which is worse. The story has changed almost daily about what key White House people knew, when they knew it and what they did with the information.

Clearly, more needs to be solved at the IRS than a single regulation which has been in effect since 1959, liberal assertions aside.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at [email protected].