03/28/15
Glenn Beck and Grover Norquist

Grover Norquist – The Enemy From Within… On The Right

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton


Glenn Beck speaks on his television program March 26, 2015. (Photo: TheBlaze TV)

It’s all about money and political correctness. Money has bought tolerance. It has bought admittance onto some of the most prestigious corporate boards out there. It has bought control over conservative conclaves and it controls the GOP. A famous literary Nobel laureate by the name of Thomas Mann who escaped Germany in 1928 and became an American, wrote in one of his books, tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil. That’s where we are today as a nation and that especially applies to conservatives. Conservatives have welcomed with open arms a known agent of influence — an obvious enemy from within — Grover Norquist. He brings money and power to the table and he wields a massive amount of power within the GOP. He is our modern day Alger Hiss. This infiltrator is being funded by the likes of Karl Rove, who gave him $26 million in 2012 alone, via American Crossroads, donated to American Tax Reform. Norquist also receives a great deal of money from the Koch brothers. Does anyone honestly believe these power brokers don’t know what they are buying? Who they are putting in control?

Grover Norquist has made his bones on the portrayal that he is a small government guy and a warrior against taxation. That sounds great – sounds very, very conservative… until you see what else he is up to. Until you dig just a bit. He is a big time conservative operative that has been around forever and knows everyone. If he doesn’t like someone or approve of his actions, that person becomes persona non grata in the GOP. This is a man who sits on the boards of CPAC and the NRA. He’s also allegedly behind increasing exclusion of conservatives — counterterrorist experts and other vocal bloggers — who are also against radical Islam, from CPAC in recent years. More and more are being turned away from CPAC, not being allowed in. I’m one of them. At the 2011 CPAC conference, Norquist told the Soros-funded organization Think Progress that Islam “is completely consistent with the US Constitution and a free and open society.” In early November 2011, Hoover Institution fellow Paul Sperry described Norquist as someone who “dress[es] up [Muslim] Brotherhood agents who underwrite him as patriotic conservatives in order to give them political cover and gain the trust of the GOP establishment. Then with the backing of duped party leaders secured, he promotes these neo-Islamists to positions of power inside government.” Remind me again the difference between this and what Obama is doing with the Muslim Brotherhood.

In addition to his work with ATR, ACU, and the Islamic Institute, Norquist serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including GOProud, the Hispanic Leadership Fund, the Indian-American Republican Caucus, the Nixon Center and ParentalRights.org.

Agents of Influence from Glenn Beck:

Glenn Beck should be commended for taking on Grover Norquist. He should have been outed years and years ago. Beck devoted two shows to Norquist this week. The first laid out his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. In the second show, he had Grover on to defend himself. The weasel did a very bad job of defending his record. His demeanor and posturing screamed that he was lying. He only went on Beck’s show after he petulantly emailed Beck that he was backing out and then reversed himself because he realized how bad it made him look.

Here’s the full interview between Glenn Beck and Grover Norquist. It is one of the most painful exchanges I have ever seen. Watch and cringe:

A little background on Norquist. He was born in 1956 and grew up in Massachusetts. His father was a vice president of Polaroid Corporation. He first became involved in politics when he volunteered for Nixon’s 1968 campaign. Norquist went to Harvard where he earned his BA and MBA. He describes himself as a “boring white bread Methodist.” In 2004, he married a Palestinian Muslim named Samah Alrayyes, a Kuwaiti PR specialist who was formerly a director of the Islamic Free Market Institute and specialist at the Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs at United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The couple has adopted two children, both girls, one of whom was adopted from the city of Bethlehem. According to friend and former roommate John Fund, Norquist’s devotion to his political causes is “monk-like” and comparable to that of Ralph Nader. Monk-like … sounds so much better than obsessive.

Norquist is the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that opposes all tax increases and a co-founder of the Islamic Free Market Institute. A (so-called) libertarian-leaning Republican, he is the primary promoter of the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” a pledge signed by lawmakers who agree to oppose increases in marginal income tax rates for individuals and businesses, as well as net reductions or eliminations of deductions and credits without a matching reduced tax rate. Prior to the November 2012 election, the pledge was signed by 95% of all Republican members of Congress and all but one of the candidates running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Monk-like. Conservative. “Libertarian.” Free market. The man is obnoxiously “right wing” buzz word compliant.

Norquist has close professional and personal ties to Islamic political activism. He co-founded the Islamic Free Market Institute together with Khaled Saffuri and Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi. Norquist’s wife is a Muslim, born in Kuwait to Palestinian Arab parents. His sister Lorraine is married to Majed Tomeh, founder of the Islamic Institute. In 2010, Norquist emerged as an outspoken Republican foe of politicizing the mosque-in-Manhattan issue, calling it a “distraction.” He was a big supporter of the Ground Zero Mosque. Right-wing-buzz-word-compliant … with just a dash of Islam.

Although Norquist claims to be Tea Party, saying it should serve as the exoskeleton for the GOP, he is for massive illegal immigration. He is definitely not Tea Party regardless of his claims. “Immigration” — illegally — has another descriptor: hostile colonization. Increasingly, our right-wing-buzz-word-compliant hero is shaping up to be arsenic labeled as sugar.

In October 2012, for example, he said:

“It’s the most important thing to focus on if you’re concerned about the future of the country both as an economic power and as a serious leader of the world, or simply as a successful society. It’s not only good policy to have more immigrants in the United States — dramatically more immigrants than we do today, to having a path forward for those people who are here. It’s not only a good idea, but it’s good politics.”

He is intimately aligned with the national Chamber of Commerce which should tell you all you need to know. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. This is a politician who says one thing, espousing what conservatives want to hear on smaller government and lower taxation, while on the other hand, he does the opposite. He is for reduced defense spending, he minimizes fighting terrorism everywhere he goes… and he is aligned with and aiding those who are terrorists and support terrorism. Okay, so maybe more than a “dash” of Islam. The man is an unmitigated danger to this country.

Beck likens Norquist to the Right’s version of George Soros without all the money. I would agree with that. He has that kind of power, influence and sway over the GOP. Grover is listened to within the GOP and feared as much as he is respected. Norquist, along with Karl Rove, was the co-architect of the Bush wins and he was the leader in Muslim outreach after 9/11.

From Discover the Networks:

An early 2001 White House memo, intended to coordinate Muslim and Arab-American public liaison events, showed that Norquist’s Islamic Institute played a vital role in establishing Islamist connections with the Bush administration. A leading Arab-American pollster, John Zogby, said that “absolutely, [Norquist is] central to the White House outreach.” Among the key players involved in Norquist’s outreach efforts were:

After 9/11, Norquist supported the NCPPF’s efforts to weaken and/or repeal the PATRIOT Act. He was the featured speaker at a November 2003 NCPPF event where he joined actor Alec Baldwin and People For the American Way president Ralph Neas in condemning the Act.

Norquist founded the Islamic Institute which he claims promotes the free market within Islam. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on his Islamic connections.


American for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Abdul Rahman Al-Amoudi

One of Norquist’s connections is Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi. Al-Amoudi was held up as a moderate Muslim. He founded the Islamic Society of Boston Mosque in 1981. That is the mosque that the Tsarnaev brothers emerged from as radical Islamists and then went on to commit the Boston Marathon bombing.

After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, he campaigned on behalf of Mohammed Salameh, who was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. In 1994, al-Amoudi also denied that Hamas was a terrorist organization. He vocally declared support for Hamas leader, Marzouk, saying: “I have known Musa Abu Marzuk before, and I really consider him to be from among the best people in the Islamic movement.” Federal authorities caught him expressing frustration that no Americans died in 1998 in the US Embassy bombing in Kenya. He recommended more operations be conducted there. It doesn’t end there… in 2000, al-Moudi stood across from the White House and pronounced vehemently his support for the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.

Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute accepted at least $20,000 from Abdurahman al-Amoudi, who allegedly raised money for al Qaeda and is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence on terrorism charges.

More on al-Amoudi from Discover the Networks via The Right Planet:

In September 2003, British customs officials arrested Alamoudi at Heathrow Airport as he was returning from Libya with $340,000 in cash given to him by President Muammar Qadhafi to finance a plot involving two U.K.-based al Qaeda operatives intending to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince (later King) Abdullah.

Alamoudi was subsequently extradited to the United States. In October 2003, he was arrested at Dulles Airport on charges of having illegally accepted $10,700 from the Libyan mission to the United Nations.

With Alamoudi in custody, federal authorities released a transcript of a telephone conversation in which he had: lamented that no Americans had died during al Qaeda’s 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya; recommended that more operations be conducted like the 1994 Hezbollah bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people died; and clearly articulated his objective of turning America into a Muslim nation.

Alamoudi was indicted not only for his illegal dealings with Libya, but also for tax evasion and immigration fraud. He ultimately plead guilty to, and was convicted of, being a senior al Qaeda financier who had funneled at least $1 million into the coffers of that terrorist organization. He also acknowledged that he had pocketed almost $1 million for himself in the process. In October 2004, Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison.

During the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) trial of 2007, which examined evidence of HLF’s fundraising on behalf of Hamas, the U.S. government released a list of approximately 300 of HLF’s “unindicted co-conspirators” and “joint venturers.” Alamoudi was named in that list. To view the names of additional noteworthy individuals and groups listed, click here.

Khaled Saffuri

Al-Amoudi’s right hand man was Khaled Saffuri. Saffuri was a deputy at the American Muslim Council, one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s front organizations. He was founder of the Islamic Institute. Saffuri was very influential in the Bush administration as well. He led talks with the administration in opposition of Operation Green Quest. Karl Rove tapped him for Muslim outreach. He voiced displeasure after the decision to shut down the Holy Land Foundation for funding Hamas and was distraught that they were deemed a terrorist front group. Norquist is also connected to Saffuri.

From Discover the Networks:

Alamoudi’s longtime deputy, Khaled Saffuri, became the founding director of Norquist’s new Islamic Institute, whose associates would periodically make presentations at the Wednesday Group Meetings on such topics as: the plight of Palestinians under Israeli occupation; the allegedly misunderstood Islamist government of Sudan; the innocent nature of the process whereby Muslim chaplains were being selected for the U.S. armed forces; and the honored status of women in the Muslim world.

In 2000, as a result of Norquist’s influence, Khaled Saffuri was named the National Advisor on Arab and Muslim Affairs for the Bush presidential campaign. Holding out the promise of votes and donations in key battleground states with significant Muslim populations (especially Michigan, Florida, and New Jersey), Norquist and Saffuri were able to persuade the Bush campaign’s chief strategist, Karl Rove, to entrust them with the task of identifying the groups and individuals upon whom Bush should rely to elicit such support. In the summer of 2000, moreover, Norquist persuaded Bush to sit down with leaders of the Muslim American Political Coordinating Committee, a confederation of community groups that included, among others, Alamoudi’s American Muslim Council, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Sami Al-Arian

Sami al-Arian is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood and was a professor at USF. He was caught soliciting donations for a Palestinian terrorist to kill an Israeli Jew. He also paid homage to ‘the march of the martyrs and to the river of blood that gushes forth and does not extinguish.’ Al-Arian also said, ‘Let us damn America to death.’ He is another nefarious connection to Norquist. Al-Arian plead guilty to supporting a terrorist organization and was recently deported by the Obama administration. Sami al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to “make or receive funds … for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

From Human Events:

Norquist, reported Wolf, “also associated with terror financier Sami Al-Arian, according to Mary Jacoby’s reporting in March 2003, in the St. Petersburg Times. Al-Arian pled guilty in 2006 ‘to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a specially designated terrorist organization, in violation of U.S. law,’ and is under house arrest, according to a Department of Justice press release. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s ‘paramilitary wing—the al-Quds Brigades—has conducted numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings,’ according to the National Counterterrorism Center.”

Suhail Khan

Another connection to Norquist is through Suhail Khan. He is the whitewashed Islamic version of Van Jones when it comes to nefarious characters and the Muslim Brotherhood. He looks good and sounds good. Along with the others, he campaigned against the DOJ’s secret evidence agenda. But his parents tell a different story altogether. They were prominent leaders in Muslim Brotherhood front groups. The annual ISNA award is given each year in his father’s name. The mosque funded by Khan’s father, hosted the Blind Sheikh shortly before he bombed the World Trade Center. He has a network of terror friendly organizations and he made it possible for Osama bin Laden’s number two, Al-Zawahiri, to actually covertly visit the United States undetected in 1995. He played a key role in founding CAIR. He was also praised by al-Amoudi at an award ceremony.

Jamal al-Barzinji

Norquist is also aligned with Jamal al-Barzinji who is the founding father of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. He played a crucial role in creating and organizing the web of Brotherhood front groups that followed: ISNA, the Muslim American Society and IIIT. Al-Barzinji founded a radical mosque in Virginia. He’s known for his ties to Islamic terrorists from Hamas to al Qaeda. He’s also an officer of the SAAR Foundation, which is suspected of funding terrorist groups.

So … way more than a “dash” of Islam. Ever had one of those awful moments when you go to season a soup or stew with your favorite seasoned salt … and the cap comes off, dumping the whole container into the pot? That’s the kind of “dash” of Islam we’re talking about here. It gets worse: as you contemplate how much you will have to dilute the soup, you happen to check the ingredients of your “seasoned salt” and discover it’s rat poison. And you have considerably more than a “dash” in your dish.

All of this, in my view, points to Grover Norquist having a strong connection to the Muslim Brotherhood and an affinity for radical Islamists and terrorists. Norquist claims that Frank Gaffney has been spreading conspiracy theories about him for 15 years. Well, maybe it’s time America listened to those theories – carefully. If the GOP is controlled by the likes of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist, the party needs an enema and in fact, may be beyond saving. The Muslim Brotherhood has long sought and stated that it wanted to infiltrate our government. They infiltrated the Democrats easily. Now it looks like they infiltrated the Republicans almost as easily and no one dares say a thing. The GOP has to clean house and Grover Norquist – an infiltrator and an enemy from within on the Right – is an excellent place to start.

03/27/15
Barack Obama - Bowe Bergdahl

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 03/27/15

The Watcher’s Council

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Too much of what is called ‘education’ is little more than an expensive isolation from reality. – Thomas Sowell

Academia is to knowledge what prostitution is to love; close enough on the surface but, to the nonsucker, not exactly the same thing. – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. – GK Chesterson

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1ndmEdQX3AM/Tv04FWJ3kTI/AAAAAAAAAzg/P-WNaJRST6Q/s400/Bookworm%2B3.jpg

This week’s winning essay, Bookworm Room’sWhen it comes to campus fascism, revolutions always eat their own is a tour de force on how radicalism is taking 0ver America’s college campuses. Here’s a slice:

One of the truisms I grew up hearing is that “revolutions always eat their own.” I have understood this to mean that, in any revolutionary movement, the second generation, having been marinated longer in the revolutionary brine, is more extreme than the first generation and invariably purges that first generation. Both the French and the Russian revolutions prove this point.

We in America have had a revolution too. It’s been a very slow-moving revolution of the kind that the British used to call a Fabian Revolution. It involves advancing revolutionary goals, not through violence, but through slow, reformist means. As Ferguson shows, the violence then comes after the revolution. Indeed, Ferguson is one of the best manifestations of that revolution.

The other obvious manifestation is the American college campus. On campuses throughout America, a Nanny state fascism is the norm. That didn’t happen overnight. It happened through Fabian gradualism, with hard-Left revolutionary principles being slowly introduced in the classrooms (increasingly open, aggressive Marxist teaching), in the administrative buildings (read Heather MacDonald’s Multiculti U for the best discussion about the hard Left Fabianism in college administration), and in the dorms (which had a slow Progression away from same-sex dorms, same-sex floors, same-sex bathrooms, and same-sex rooms, which a completely unsurprisingly commensurate uptick in rape claims).

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. It’s kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that you’re going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which America’s young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just can’t bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

One of the biggest slow-mo revolutions in academia was the whole concept of trigger warnings. When the idea got started, nobody said that trigger warnings were going to be censorship. Instead, they were sold as good manners and sensitivity. It’s kind and polite to warn people who might have delicate sensibilities that you’re going to talk about something shocking, such as mass murder, or blood, or something else most people agree is disgusting or revolting. It turned out, though, that at the average college campus an amazing number of kids have heightened sensibilities. More interestingly, it also happened that, thanks to the Leftism in which America’s young have been pickled since preschool, the things that they just can’t bear to hear without horrific mental suffering are facts and ideas that run counter to their Leftist ideology.

Over the last few months, however, something interesting has happened: The Fabian revolution’s Founders are getting disgusted with their progeny’s extremism. It began when Jonathan Chait questioned the stifling effects of the new orthodoxy. In his article challenging the orthodoxy, he still oozed contempt for conservatives having a say in things, but he was definitely perturbed by modern young people’s inability to tolerate any opposing opinions, ideas, or facts. I wonder if Chait was surprised by the subsequent Leftist demand that he be silenced.

The next salvo from old revolutionaries against new happened when Laura Kipnes wrote about the sexual paranoia that is the norm in academia. Kipnes too was excoriated. Michelle Goldberg, writing at the hard-Left Nation, describes the attack on Kipnes and, as part of the same article, also suggests that the revolution has gone too far.

One week later, Judith Shulevitz got an opinion piece published in the New York Times entitled “In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas.” She too is shocked to see that sensitivity has morphed into censorship. (Jonah Goldberg, author of the informative and prescient Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, would not have been shocked at all. He explained in his book how the next revolution was being ushered in, not with guns, but with stifling nanny statism.)

I certainly appreciate the effort these old revolutionaries are making to stem the flood waters they first let loose. I doubt they’ll be successful, though. I see them as this revolution’s Robespierres. He, of course, ended up on the same guillotine to which he had so mercilessly consigned others.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was James Simpson with a superb article in Accuracy in Media, Obama Accused of Obstructing Battle against Boko Haram to Promote Axelrod’s Nigerian Muslim Client submitted by Nice Deb.

Apparently Israel’s election isn’t the only one this president is trying to subvert. Read about his deliberate schemes to do his best to oust another friend of the West in Nigeria and replace him with a Muslim with ties to Islamists, including Boko Haram.

Here are this week’s full results. Only Ask Marion was unable to vote this week, but was not subject to the normal 2/3 penalty for not voting:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

03/27/15
VA

CNN Shines a Light on Ongoing VA Scandal

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

While the Obama administration may have rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic, in this case the Department of Veterans Affairs, it is still a sinking disaster. On March 13 President Barack Obama traveled to the Phoenix VA medical center, which CNN’s Anderson Cooper called “ground zero in the scandal, a place where as we reported, at least 40 veterans died while waiting for appointments.” “You know, some things have changed, no doubt about it,” said Cooper on his show. “There has been progress.”

After Eric Shinseki resigned last year in the midst of the VA scandal, the administration appointed Bob McDonald to take his place. But it is hard to argue that the situation has gotten better for our veterans. It seems to have gotten worse—or, at the very least, the worst abuses are now coming to light.

The media’s claim that there has been progress toward solving the maltreatment of veterans only serves to bolster the administration’s reputation at the expense of our former soldiers’ ongoing neglect and suffering.

Indeed, the CNN broadcast was dedicated to exposing the fact that, as correspondent Drew Griffin reported, “Thousands of patients at the greater Los Angeles Veterans Medical Centers have been waiting more than three months just for an appointment.”

Cooper ran tape of Representative Dan Benishek (R-MI) asking Dr. Sky MacDougall how long the average wait time for a new patient is at the Greater Los Angeles Medical Center. Dr. MacDougall replied that “The average wait time for a new patient right now is about four days.”

Griffin then said, “That statement is simply not true. According to these VA documents, and a half dozen doctors and administrators within the hospital who spoke to CNN, the average wait time is 10 times greater. It’s not four days. It’s 44 days. The delays are even taking place at the Los Angeles Clinic for Mental Health where documents show more than 300 veterans seeking mental health care have been waiting 30, 60, even 90 days.”

Griffin pointed out that Dr. MacDougall told Congress that the average wait time for mental health patients was also just four days. But, he added, “Again, according to VA documents and a half dozen sources interviewed by CNN, that is not true…as of March 1st new mental health patients in Los Angeles are waiting an average of 36 days just to get an appointment.”

“You know…we tried to get an explanation,” said Griffin. “They simply will not talk to us. They won’t explain their numbers to us.” Congressional investigators are now looking into this report.

Some in the media are taking note of the ongoing VA scandal. But, as with FEMA’s scandal, and even this recent CNN report, the media act as if the Obama administration’s leadership has nothing to do with the ongoing corruption and mismanagement. Yet CNN does deserve credit for exposing the incompetence and dishonesty within the system.

The President admitted the same day as this show aired that there were deficits with the way the VA is being run, but asserted that this was a case of bad apples and systems run awry. “…because just the fact that there have been a few bad apples, mistakes that have been made, systems that aren’t designed to get the job done, I don’t want that to detract from the outstanding work of a lot of people inside this organization,” he said.

It’s easy to blame bad apples and broken systems, just as the President blamed a few Cincinnati IRS workers for the IRS scandal. But as the VA scandal drags on, some in the media should start to at least suspect widespread corruption and mismanagement at the very top levels—despite their ongoing efforts to keep any scandal, of any size, from tarnishing Obama’s legacy.

News regarding the mismanagement of VA facilities has surfaced each month in 2015. In some cases these reports expose how the corruption is still costing veterans’ lives.

“Doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Tomah hand out so many narcotic painkillers that some veterans have taken to calling the place ‘Candy Land,’” reported Aaron Glantz of The Center for Investigative Reporting for the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel in January. “They call the hospital’s chief of staff, psychiatrist David Houlihan, the ‘Candy Man.’” Patients would sometimes lose their narcotics five times and still request refills, alleged the hospital’s former chief pharmacist, who left in 2013, according to Glantz.

Houlihan “was disciplined by the Iowa Board of Medicine for being ‘inappropriately engaged in a social relationship with a patient,’ hiring a current or former patient and bringing a patient’s medicine home with him,” and, according to Glantz, “downplayed” the discipline in an interview as part of a “contentious” divorce.

After this became news, Houlihan was placed on administrative leave and “the VA, the VA Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration have launched separate probes into allegations against the hospital,” according to the Associated Press.

In other words, the VA is spending its time putting out fires across the country as they emerge.

But Glantz’s January reporting actually alleged a bigger problem: “runaway opiate prescription practices throughout the VA health care system.”

And in Colorado, Denver VA Medical Center Director Lynette Roff retired on March 1. News reports had revealed that her facility had a secret list of veterans waiting for appointments at a sleep clinic back in 2012.

“Veterans on the sleep lab list were waiting for overnight testing of sleep disorders, including potentially deadly sleep apnea,” reported Melissa Blasius for 9News last month. “Roff says her employees did the right thing in 2012, transferring veterans’ sleep lab appointment requests to the VA’s official Electronic Wait List,” she reports.

Roff pointed to an internal investigation as proof that there were no ongoing secret lists at the Denver VA and blamed a “fragmented process” for the original practice.

Yet Roff gave her staff the following warning: “Once you talk to the media, you are on your own …The VA does not support you, and you are not representing the organization. The only thing you are representing is yourself, and then, once you are in hot water, nobody will help you.”

What, exactly, did she want kept from the public?

Widespread failures across states and throughout the VA system demonstrate that the administration is failing to fulfill its basic obligation to provide adequate care for those who sacrificed everything to go to war so that other American citizens don’t have to. Disrespect for their resulting conditions is disrespect for their great sacrifice.

But the debacle in Colorado extends beyond Roff’s mismanagement, or secret waiting lists, or individual patients. It runs bigger.

“The VA’s aging Denver hospital is due to be replaced by a state-of-the-art medical center in Aurora,” reported The Denver Post in February. The Washington Post reports this month that the VA originally estimated the cost of the hospital to be $328 million.

Now the VA is asking for a project “by far the most expensive in VA history,” according to Emily Wax-Thibodeaux of the Post—with a new estimated price tag of $1.73 billion for just one facility.

“The hospital is one of four VA medical center projects—including sites in Las Vegas, Orlando and New Orleans—that were listed as behind schedule and over budget, with a total cost increase of $1.5 billion and an average increase of $366 million, according to a Government Accountability Office report in 2013,” she reported on March 18.

Last week, Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, called for the firing of two leaders involved in this VA project. “There is no way around it: in order for VA reform to succeed, those who caused the department’s massive scandal must be purged from the payroll. If that doesn’t happen, it will only be a matter of time before we’re talking about the next VA scandal,” asserted Rep. Miller on March 13.

All of this makes the latest unwanted attention seem like chump change. It was revealed this week that Diana Rubens is being paid $288,000 in “relocation payments” to move 140 miles from Washington, DC to Philadelphia, where she will head up the VA regional benefits office, which, as Chuck Ross wrote for The Daily Caller, is one of many benefits offices around the country “currently being investigated over benefits claims.” Last year Rubens was paid $181,000. Chairman Miller said that “For VA to pay such an outrageous amount in relocation expenses at a time when the department is continually telling Congress and taxpayers it needs more money raises questions about VA’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, transparency and true reform.”

The VA scandal never really resolved itself, even if the media spotlight conveniently moved on. This issue is clearly a pressing one for both Congress and the administration, and deserves more coverage than the occasional news report by a mainstream media more interested in safeguarding Obama’s legacy than holding our leaders accountable.

03/27/15
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Benghazi Remains a Major Scandal Even Without New Revelations

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

As with so many issues, when it comes to Benghazi, the media are divided into two camps. The liberal, mainstream media condemn any and all concerns about the 2012 Benghazi attacks as a phony scandal, while many in the conservative media wonder what damaging information the Clinton emails and the Select Committee on Benghazi investigation could bring to light. However, the Benghazi scandal has moved well past the question of whether a cover-up has occurred, and whether or not it can be proven.

The record of what has already been released definitively demonstrates that a government cover-up of Benghazi is ongoing, far-reaching, and damaging to America’s interests at home and abroad. The question is not who is responsible; the question is, when will the ringleaders be held accountable?

It appears that reporters such as Michael S. Schmidt of The New York Times cannot stomach the idea that anything about Hillary Clinton’s duplicitous behavior on EmailGate might add legitimacy to citizens’ concerns about that cover-up. His March 23 article serves as damage control for the administration while simultaneously exposing Mrs. Clinton’s lies about who, exactly, sent emails from their private accounts.

Yet this front-page article states that the as-yet-unreleased Clinton Benghazi emails provide “no evidence that Mrs. Clinton…issued a ‘stand down’ order to halt American forces responding to the violence in Benghazi, or took part in a broad cover-up of the administration’s response, according to senior American officials.”

That’s right: according to “senior American officials.” In fact, Schmidt’s entire news report is based on bold assertions by “four senior government officials” who refused to go on the record, but “offered” Schmidt “descriptions of some of the key messages.”

“The emails have not been made public, and The New York Times was not permitted to review them,” writes Schmidt. In other words, the Times couldn’t verify what it reported before the story went to print. Anonymous sources are fine, but the information they provide should stand up to scrutiny when set against the known record.

Schmidt and The New York Times appear to have been so eager to get this momentous scoop defending the administration narrative on Benghazi that they were willing to violate basic journalistic practices in the process. If the sources wouldn’t show them the documents, why are they so confident that what they are being told is the truth—especially if the information is self-serving to the administration, as these revelations clearly were.

Schmidt’s resulting article is full of the politically motivated holes, inaccuracies, and half-truths we’ve come to expect from the Times, especially after David Kirkpatrick’s December 2013 article claiming that al Qaeda was not involved in the Benghazi attacks.

Within weeks of that article, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued a report establishing exactly the opposite—al Qaeda was involved. How much of Schmidt’s reporting will be proven false?

The most recent New York Times report serves as another attempt to bolster the administration’s beleaguered reputation on Benghazi—once again at the expense of the truth.

Schmidt focuses on the idea that Mrs. Clinton was not to blame for the “stand down” debacle.

The Washington Post gave Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) four Pinocchios last year for expressing “suspicions” that Clinton had “told Leon [Panetta] to stand down” regarding military personnel in Tripoli, Libya. Yes, Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson has walked back Gregory Hicks’ assertion that he was told to stand down when he wanted to travel from Tripoli to Benghazi to aid the defenders. Lt. Gibson told lawmakers he was not told to “stand down,” but to “remain in place.”

But there is more than one “stand down” scandal. “On the day of the attacks in Benghazi, whether or not there was an official order to stand down, the result was the same,” the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi wrote in its April 2014 interim report. “The failure to attempt to rescue these Americans amounts to a dereliction of duty.”

Later that year I noted that the “stand down” order was issued—to the members of the Annex Security Team (AST) by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Schmidt selected the most convenient target he could find, and ignored these revelations.

Three members of the AST have gone public with their book, 13 Hours, and outlined how they were told, repeatedly, that they should stand down and not leave to aid the Diplomatic Security agents under attack at the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, because an al-Qaeda-linked militia was responsible for their safety.

The other half of Schmidt’s carefully worded sentence, that Mrs. Clinton took no part in a possible government cover-up, is also untrue.

Judicial Watch’s emails gleaned through the Freedom of Information Act have already definitively demonstrated that Mrs. Clinton had “guilty knowledge” of Benghazi as a terror attack before she issued a statement blaming it on an inflammatory video.

The cover-up is real and ongoing. “Document after released document shows that the Secretary of State, the Defense Secretary, the head of AFRICOM, and the President of the United States himself, were informed, shortly after the attack began, that Benghazi was an attack by terrorists,” I wrote last month. “Yet most of the media, such as New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, defensively maintain the official narrative years later that the attack ‘was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made video denigrating Islam.’”

This most recent Times report is clearly based on shady facts and assertions, yet outlets such as Politico mostly reprinted its findings. This, despite the fact that The New York Times went to great lengths to avoid discussing basic facts about Emailgate that it had itself reported.

“In December, Mrs. Clinton turned over 30,000 of her emails to the State Department, and the department sent the House committee the 300 related to Benghazi or Libya,” writes Schmidt.

In other articles, but not this one, Schmidt and his colleagues extensively detailed how

Somehow, despite Schmidt’s lack of access to the original emails from Clinton’s server, he is able to report excerpts from communications by Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff, verbatim.

“Mr. Sullivan’s message was brief, but he appeared pleased by how it had gone,” writes Schmidt. “[Former United Nations Ambassador Susan] Rice, on the show, described it as a spontaneous eruption of violence, triggered by an offensive anti-Muslim video.”

“She did make clear our view that this started spontaneously then evolved,” wrote Sullivan.

Yet, Schmidt reports, Sullivan later “told Mrs. Clinton that he had reviewed her public remarks since the attack and that she had avoided the language that had landed Ms. Rice in trouble.”

Sullivan wrote Secretary Clinton to tell her that “You never said ‘spontaneous’ or characterized their motivations.”

Mrs. Clinton actually issued a statement on the night of September 11, 2012 stating, “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” a clear reference to the Internet video. This was shortly after she spoke with President Obama, according to her testimony, around 10 p.m. that night. The White House initially denied that phone call took place, but changed their story and acknowledged it following Mrs. Clinton’s testimony.

Schmidt’s report blatantly omits that Sullivan was directly responsible for working with the intelligence community on the controversial talking points, and that he spoke with Rice’s office about them while they were being developed.

“I spoke to Jake immediately after the [secure video teleconference] and noted that you were doing the Sunday morning shows and would need to be aware of the ?nal posture that these points took,” wrote Eric Pelofsky to Rice and others the afternoon before her shows. “He committed to ensure that we were updated in advance of the Sunday shows. I speci?cally mentioned Erin Pelton as the one coordinating your preparations for the shows and also strongly encouraged him to loop in Rexon during the process.”

That same email describes how CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell took a “heavy editing hand” to the talking points.

In his 2014 testimony Morell asserted that those talking points never mentioned the video. “When she talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something that the analysts have attributed this attack to,” claimed Morell.

Could the idea have started with the Secretary of State or her staff?

Without seeing the actual emails, in their original unvetted form, America may never know where the false YouTube narrative originated. But despite The New York Times’ reporting, it is, becoming increasingly apparent that this narrative was a convenient fiction sold to the American people during a presidential reelection campaign.

More importantly, what the CCB, and The Washington Times, have revealed is that the U.S. government, partly through the maneuvers of Mrs. Clinton, deliberately and blindly pushed America into intervening in Libya. The result was a conflict ridden, unstable nation serving as a breeding ground for terrorists. As we further documented in our CCB interim report, the Obama administration also facilitated the delivery of arms to al-Qaeda-linked jihadists and refused an opening for truce talks with Moammar Gaddafi, who expressed a willingness to abdicate and leave the country.

Unable to accept the truth about a cover-up, the Times, through Schmidt and others, continues to manipulate the truth hoping this scandal will just disappear. Four brave Americans are dead. The administration lied about the reasons. This is a major scandal based on what is already known, and it’s not going away despite media attempts to smooth it over.

03/27/15
Grover Norquist

Glenn Beck and Grover Norquist Face Off

By: Brent Parrish
The Right Planet

Grover-Norquist-by-Gage-Skidmore

I was surprised and bit buoyed recently when I saw that Glenn Beck has been taking a hard look at Grover Norquist’s very questionable ties to Islamic radicals. I was even more surprised when I read that Glenn Beck would be interviewing Grover Norquist on his show tonight.

Initially, Norquist rebuffed Glenn Beck’s request for an interview, as the following Twitter exchange will attest.

Norquist-Refusal-Glenn-Beck-Tweet

But, apparently, Grover has a had a change of  heart, for whatever reason.

Here’s a slice from Beck’s interview with Norquist:

WATCH the full interview here

Via the The Blaze:

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, appeared on The Glenn Beck Program Thursday to defend himself against accusations that he is an “agent of influence” for radical Islamists. Norquist set up the Islamic Free Market Institute roughly 20 years ago, and through the organization, Beck said, he crossed paths with a number of controversial figures, including two now-imprisoned terrorists.

“When we set up the Islamic Free Market Institute in the mid-nineties it was because I had seen in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the end of the war against the Soviet Union, this radical strain of anti-Americanism and statism in the Muslim community from people who you would think would’ve be more supportive of the United States,” Norquist explained. “I was looking around for, how do we make the case for a reformation in Islam focused on something that I know something about, which is free market economics.”

“That sounds like an unbelievably noble goal,” Beck said. “Now here is the question that leaps to mind: if that’s my goal, gosh, how do I take a check from a guy like [Abdurahman Alamoudi]?”

Beck explained on his television program Wednesday that Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute accepted at least $20,000 from Abdurahman Alamoudi, who allegedly raised money for Al Qaeda and is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence on terrorism charges.

Grover Norquist is founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist has been under some scrutiny for a while now concerning his ties to Islamic radicals. Former Asst. Sec. of Defense Frank Gaffney has been trying to alert Americans about the concerning infiltration by Islamic radicals into the American political process for several years now.

Norquist joined forces with Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi in the 90s to found the Islamic Institute, later renamed the Islamic Free Market Institute.  Norquist is also connected with Khaled Saffuri, who worked with al-Amoudi for years. Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi is currently serving 23 years in a federal prison.

Via Discover the Networks (emphasis mine):

In September 2003, British customs officials arrested Alamoudi at Heathrow Airport as he was returning from Libya with $340,000 in cash given to him by President Muammar Qadhafi to finance a plot involving two U.K.-based al Qaeda operatives intending to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince (later King) Abdullah.

Alamoudi was subsequently extradited to the United States. In October 2003, he was arrested at Dulles Airport on charges of having illegally accepted $10,700 from the Libyan mission to the United Nations.

With Alamoudi in custody, federal authorities released a transcript of a telephone conversation in which he had: lamented that no Americans had died during al Qaeda’s 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kenya; recommended that more operations be conducted like the 1994 Hezbollah bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people died; and clearly articulated his objective of turning America into a Muslim nation.

Alamoudi was indicted not only for his illegal dealings with Libya, but also for tax evasion and immigration fraud. He ultimately pled guilty to, and was convicted of, being a senior al Qaeda financier who had funneled at least $1 million into the coffers of that terrorist organization. He also acknowledged that he had pocketed almost $1 million for himself in the process. In October 2004, Alamoudi was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison.

During the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) trial of 2007, which examined evidence of HLF’s fundraising on behalf of Hamas, the U.S. government released a list of approximately 300 of HLF’s “unindicted co-conspirators” and “joint venturers.” Alamoudi was named in that list. To view the names of additional noteworthy individuals and groups listed, click here.

Some of Norquist’s Islamic ties are Suhail A. Khan, David Safavian, Jamal al Barzinji, and others, including Sami al-Arian, who was sentenced to 57 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to “make or receive funds … for the benefit of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

Via Human Events:

Norquist, reported [Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA], “also associated with terror financier Sami Al-Arian, according to Mary Jacoby’s reporting in March 2003, in the St. Petersburg Times.  Al-Arian pled guilty in 2006 ‘to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a specially designated terrorist organization, in violation of U.S. law,’ and is under house arrest, according to a Department of Justice press release.  The Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s ‘paramilitary wing—the al-Quds Brigades—has conducted numerous attacks, including large-scale suicide bombings,’ according to the National Counterterrorism Center.”

Keep reading …