03/29/17

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IS NOW AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE DECEMBER 2000…WOW THIS IS HOPE AND CHANGE!

By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

President Obama was elected on “Hope and Change.” He left the office with relatively high approval ratings even though “His Hope and Change” did not materialize into confidence.

Donald Trump is referred to as many things, has low approval ratings, but invokes incredibly high consumer optimism. A rough analogy is that Trump is the inverse of Obama.

Consumer Confidence surged last month, greatly exceeding all estimates, and is now at the highest level since December 2000. The “Present conditions gauge” is the greatest since August 2001 and the “measure of consumer expectations” for the next six month is at the highest since September 2000.

Wow! Talk about great expectations and “Hope and Change!!”

President Trump has uncaged the proverbial animal spirits; animal spirits that have been caged for the last eight years, the result of regulatory and tax over reach of the administrative state.

I am not dismayed by the defeat of the repeal of Obamacare. The “Establishment” has declared Trump dead 2,914 times and he has come back.

I think the Republicans will coalesce around tax and regulatory reform, for this is what the electorate — as evidenced by the confidence data — is demanding.

Against this backdrop, I believe the surprising aspect of 2017 will be growth over 3%, the first such year of annual growth of over 3% in 10 years, a record that eclipsed the previous record of 4 years from 1930-1934. Radical thought? No, if the animal spirits have been uncaged as the data suggest.

The advance in the market was led by energy and the financials, two sectors that were beaten down in recent sessions. Both sectors represent considerable value and will be a direct beneficiary if growth exceeds 3%.

Oil was also aided by a disruption in deliveries from a major Libyan pipeline; daily deliveries for the beleaguered nation are now under 550,000 versus 750,000-800,000. It is not known how long this pipeline with be off line.

What will happen today?

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.37%, Paris was up 0.09% and Frankfurt was up 0.46%. China was down 0.36%, Japan was up 0.08% and Hang Sang was up 0.19%.

The Dow should open little changed. The 10-year is up 4/32 to yield 2.41%.

03/28/17

Trump Continues Obama Policies

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The Heritage Foundation article, “We Don’t Have to Choose Between Putin and George Soros,” is a very effective rebuttal to claims in the media that conservatives who oppose the influence of billionaire George Soros in foreign affairs are therefore siding with another billionaire, Russian ruler Vladimir Putin. The author, Mike Gonzalez, looks into the global struggle playing out on the international stage between these two major figures, and how conservatives are smeared as members of the Putin camp by liberal media outlets like Politico.

Gonzalez focuses on the small country of Macedonia, where “Soros and the U.S. Embassy have thrown their support behind parties contending against the conservative party VMRO—imperfect as many political parties around the world no doubt are, but very much pro-U.S. and pro-NATO.” Gonzalez examines Soros’s far-left agenda of open borders, abortion on demand and homosexual/transgender rights, and comments, “If for lack of a conservative alternative, VMRO turns to Putin to counter this far-left agenda coming from outside the country, that is our fault—and Soros.”

It is “our fault,” he says, because the State Department continues to facilitate Soros operations to transform the culture and politics of foreign countries.

Of course, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can change this, but they have been resistant to putting conservatives in place to change the course of U.S. foreign policy.

Gonzalez had previously examined how Soros money was corrupting the political process in Macedonia, with the assistance of the U.S. State Department. He noted that the Obama-appointed U.S. ambassador in the capital of Skopje, Jess Baily, has shown a political bias against the Macedonian conservative party, VMRO, and was promoting a left-wing coalition.

Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate had asked Baily to explain reports that his embassy had selected Soros’ Open Society Foundations as the main implementer of U.S. Agency for International Development projects in Macedonia. The State Department’s response “was thin on details regarding funding for Soros’ foundation and groups it controls,” Gonzalez reports.

Gonzalez has put his finger on a dialectical maneuver that plays into Putin’s hands. In response to official U.S. support for “liberal progressive policies around the world,” conservatives and moderates in foreign countries believe they have nowhere else to go except Putin, the former KGB officer now operating undercover as a religious conservative touting traditional values and national identity.

The U.S., not Putin, should be promoting Western values. But Obama’s State Department promoted a form of cultural imperialism that reflected the “fundamental transformation” of the United States. That is, multiculturalism, gay rights, abortion rights and even the rights of prostitutes!

Then there is Soros’ long-standing pro-drug legalization agenda, as we documented 12 years ago in our special report, “The Hidden Soros Agenda: Drugs, Money, the Media, and Political Power.” The leftist billionaire is accelerating his activities in Latin America on behalf of pro-drug interests.

In Costa Rica, for example, conservatives are alarmed by the push to legalize marijuana under the cover that the drug supposedly has “medical benefits.” One of them told me, “What we fear is that drug traffickers will shield themselves under regulations included in the medical marijuana bill if it passes, making it easier for them to send illegal substances to other countries, including the U.S.” He said the U.S. embassy in Costa Rica has been alerted to how Soros-backed organizations are putting pressure on the country’s Congress to pass a so-called medical marijuana bill. “We hoped for a change of mentality from the U.S. Embassy since President Trump was elected,” this source added, “but these officials are from the Obama administration and they stopped communicating with us after we mentioned Soros.”

In his column, “Vetting Trump’s Foreign Policy Team,” my colleague Roger Aronoff examined some of Trump’s high-profile picks and concluded that “…Trump needs to do a better job of filling key positions and vetting the people who are making and carrying out his policies. Otherwise, his administration could turn out to be a disaster.”

Looking at various selections in the foreign policy and national security fields, Aronoff asks, “Are these rookie mistakes or does Trump not care if his campaign promises regarding Israel, combating the Islamic jihadis, and ripping up the Iran deal go unfulfilled?”

Incredibly, as Aronoff notes, Trump himself “has signaled his unwillingness to fill many of his political appointee posts” with committed conservatives.

By continuing Obama’s policies and keeping Obama personnel in place, as Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation demonstrates, Trump is actually furthering the foreign policy goals of Putin. If this continues, it will constitute a form of collusion between the Trump and Obama administrations.

Perhaps that was the goal of the so-called “silent coup” all along—to keep in place the Soros policies financed by the Obama administration. If so, it appears that Trump has lost another big battle that will make his health care defeat seem like small potatoes.


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

03/26/17

Susan Rice is the Wrong Person to Attack Trump’s Credibility

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

In a recent opinion column for The Washington Post, former United Nations ambassador and national security advisor to Barack Obama, Susan Rice, had the temerity to lecture President Donald Trump about telling the truth. She writes that “our friends must be able to trust the word of the U.S. president.”

This extends far beyond hypocrisy coming from a person who visited five Sunday talk shows to peddle administration falsehoods about the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya. In addition, she served in those positions during a period of other disastrous foreign policy decisions—deceptively sold to the American people—such as the Iran nuclear deal and the entire Libyan debacle.

Regarding her appearance on five Sunday shows the weekend following the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Rice said that “Based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present, is in fact it began spontaneously in Benghazi, as a reaction to what had transpired hours earlier in Cairo, where of course as you know there was a violent protest outside of our embassy, sparked by this hateful video.”

In other words, Rice lied and said that the origin of the Benghazi attacks was a protest sparked by the “Innocence of Muslims” video. In reality, the attacks were premeditated and organized by jihadists who attacked the U.S. Special Mission compound without warning. “Again, sir,” said former head of AFRICOM General Carter Ham, “I think, you know, there was some preliminary discussion about, you know, maybe there was a demonstration. But I think at the command, I personally and I think the command very quickly got to the point that this was not a demonstration, this was a terrorist attack.” That discussion took place between Ham and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey the night of the attack.

As we have pointed out, Rice was preceded on CBS’s “Face the Nation” by Mohamed El-Magariaf, then Libyan National Congress president, who characterized the attacks as “preplanned” and perpetrated by extremists. In her comments immediately following Magariaf’s, Rice stuck to the false story that this was really about the YouTube video.

But where did Rice get these ideas in the first place? The Washington Examiner reported that the House Select Committee on Benghazi found that “before going on TV, Rice was briefed only by Obama’s political team, not anyone from the FBI, CIA or the Defense Department.” In other words, Rice was peddling an official administration narrative.

Yet Rice has the gall to lecture President Trump about truthfulness when she and Obama were caught telling numerous lies. It also shows the lengths that The Washington Post will go to in its constant campaign to discredit and undermine the Trump presidency. Rice writes, “To lead effectively, the United States must maintain respect and trust. So, when a White House deliberately dissembles and serially contorts the facts, its actions pose a serious risk to America’s global leadership, among friends and adversaries alike.”

If the left-wing, mainstream media had any say about how the Benghazi scandal was covered, both Rice and Obama would emerge unscathed from their deceptions. NBC News, in its reporting on her column, left mention of Rice’s deceit to the last paragraph and then characterized the controversy as one manufactured by Republicans. “Rice had been lined up to replace Hillary Clinton as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state,” Alastair Jamieson reports, “but dropped out of the running after she was criticized by Republicans for initially characterizing the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as opportunistic when evidence later emerged that it was a premeditated attack.” While Jamieson claims that “evidence later emerged,” we have noted that there was evidence that this was a premeditated, terrorist attack on the very night of the attack. Hillary’s emails proved that she knew it was al-Qaeda related, based on her emails to her daughter, as well as communications with the president of Libya and the prime minister of Egypt. President Obama and his administration simply chose to lie about its nature.

This wouldn’t be the first, or the last, of Obama’s falsehoods. The intervention in Libya was based upon the false assertion that Muammar Qaddafi was about to massacre tens of thousands of innocent civilians in Benghazi. Yet later in his term Obama stood by while hundreds of thousands died due to the conflict in Syria. While the initial intervention into Libya was based upon a limited mission of establishing a no fly zone, this was quickly turned into a vendetta to help the rebels remove Qaddafi. As the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has revealed, Qaddafi was prepared to negotiate his abdication under a white flag of truce; the administration scuttled that offer.

Obama was not honest about the unsigned Iran deal, either. While he claimed that this political arrangement would prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, the agreement is, in fact, designed to legitimize the Iranian nuclear program. The mainstream media have been dishonest about the deal, as well, referring to it as signed when it is little more than a collection of political commitments. Obama has referred to it as signed as well, when he obviously knows it is not.

In her article, Rice boasts that “Obama built broad coalitions to combat the Islamic State.” The truth is that this phony coalition stood by as ISIS grew from being the “JV,” as Obama described it, to having committed 140 terrorist attacks in 31 countries, as reported by CNN last month. That doesn’t even count the beheadings, endless slaughter and misery caused by these Islamic jihadists.

Obama as president also lied about the state of the economy by focusing on the unemployment rate while ignoring the abysmal labor participation rate. And he lied about whether Americans could keep their doctors if they wanted to under Obamacare. He lied about his administration’s IRS scandal, and about his knowledge of his administration’s national security scandal tied to his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton’s, use of a private, unsecured email server for classified material, including Top Secret documents.

“When the American people question the commander in chief’s statements, his ability to harness public support to confront a national crisis is undermined,” writes Rice for the Post. Rice is certainly holding Trump to a higher standard than she did her own boss, Barack Obama. But she isn’t alone. The same media were in constant protect-and-defend mode for their favorite president. Now that Trump is President, they have rediscovered their inner-journalist.

Rice herself refuses to admit that she lied to the public. In 2013 she told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that she didn’t have time for a “false controversy.” And in 2014 she told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she had “commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning, was provided to me and my colleagues, and indeed, to Congress, by the intelligence community. And that’s been well validated in many different ways since.”

While Rice claims that it is Trump who is on “vacation from veracity,” she clearly has problems with accepting and telling the truth herself. Her empty justifications and refusal to atone for, or even admit to, her dissembling means that she is uniquely unqualified to lecture our current president about honesty. So while Trump is fair game, and should certainly be held accountable for the accuracy of his statements as well, surely the Post could find a better source to make that case.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.

03/17/17

Patriotic CIA Officers Abandoned by Obama

By: Cliff Kincaid | America’s Survival

President Obama ended the counterterrorism program known as rendition and put his people in place at the agency. Former CIA operations officer Bradley Johnson talks with Cliff Kincaid about the damage done by the Obama Administration to the CIA and why President Trump and his CIA director Mike Pompeo have to clean house.

03/10/17

Obama’s CIA Embarrassed by Another Mole

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

It was a case of incredibly bad timing on the part of CBS News. On the same day we learned that there had been a massive leak of classified information engineered through President Obama’s CIA, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley featured one of Obama’s former CIA directors arguing that Trump was being irrational by criticizing the intelligence community.

Obama’s former CIA director, Leon Panetta, wondered about the “trust of the American people in the credibility” of Trump, when his own credibility was in question.

The bizarre spectacle was another indication that the liberal media have come completely unglued over President Trump’s unorthodox way of doing business in Washington, and his willingness to confront the issue of corruption in the intelligence community.

The question, in the wake of the WikiLeaks disclosures of some of the CIA’s most important secrets, should have been what Leon Panetta and other Obama CIA directors, such as John Brennan, were doing when all of this classified information was being stolen.

It is apparent that CBS and other media organizations are too close to the intelligence community to question what is really going on. Indeed, in retrospect, it might seem proper to ask whether the anonymous sources in the intelligence community leaking derogatory information against Trump are trying to divert attention away from the infiltration of their own ranks by agents for Russia, China, or other American enemies or adversaries.

In somber tones, as the CBS News website put it, Pelley wondered what Panetta thought of Trump’s “various outbursts in recent weeks, including the unproven charge that Mr. Obama ordered surveillance on Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential election.” Pelley asked, “Is it appropriate to ask whether the President is having difficulty with rationality?”

How can the charge be “unproven” when the liberals’ favorite newspaper, The New York Times, covered the use of “wiretapped data” against Trump, and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported on private conversations involving former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn?

Does CBS think the American people are stupid?

No wonder the people trust Trump’s tweets over fake news from the media.

It would have been more appropriate to ask why Obama’s CIA has been leaking like a sieve, and what, if any, benefit the American people are getting from what Watergate reporter Bob Woodward calls the $50 billion a year “espionage establishment.”

Under Obama, a series of moles in the intelligence community have been uncovered, including Army intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning, CIA/NSA contract employee Edward Snowden, and now, with the WikiLeaks disclosures, another “anonymous” leaker has come forward. The latest came when Obama was president and Brennan was CIA director. The documents are only being released now.

As noted by Trump press secretary Sean Spicer, “…all of these [leaks] occurred under the last administration—that is important.”

To make matters worse, and to show his disdain for the concept of protecting America’s secrets, Obama commuted the espionage sentence for Manning, facilitating his release from prison on May 17 of this year.

Manning’s treachery “put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets,” noted House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS).

But Manning was in the process of changing from a man to a woman, after having served openly in the Armed Services as a practicing homosexual. So he was special and different.

Obama’s commutation was a “dangerous precedent,” Ryan noted, which indicated that those who “compromise our national security” won’t be held accountable for their crimes.

Obama, who couldn’t have passed a background check, nominated Panetta as CIA director in 2009. Panetta served two years in that position, and went on to become Secretary of Defense. He started his career in the Democratic Party as a far-left congressman from Santa Cruz , California, with a laundry list of connections to communists and socialists, including suspected espionage agent and Communist Party member Hugh DeLacy,  himself a one-time Democratic member of Congress.

As noted by journalist Wes Vernon, researchers found a “Dear Hugh” letter from then-Rep. Panetta that offered a summary of a report on U.S. military operations unavailable for public distribution. In the letter, Panetta wrote, “If there is anything I can do for you in the future, Hugh, please feel free to call on me.” When DeLacy passed away in 1986, Congressman Panetta spoke at his memorial service.

Panetta also had deep links to the Marxist Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

If there had been serious congressional panels in the Senate and House—and security agencies like the FBI—that conducted real background checks, Panetta would never have been confirmed as Obama’s CIA director. Back in 2011 we noted, “no evidence that the Panetta-DeLacy relationship was ever examined by the FBI or the Senate when Panetta was being considered and confirmed for the post of CIA Director.”

Panetta was followed as CIA director by David Petraeus, who was convicted of mishandling classified information, and then John Brennan, who voted communist before joining the CIA and reportedly converted to Islam while stationed in Saudi Arabia.

“The new leaker may very well have been hired as a result of CIA Director Brennan’s decision to lower standards for CIA hiring because he wanted to create a more diverse CIA workforce and Brennan rushed to staff his new cyber office,” commented former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz of the Center for Security Policy.

Brennan promoted the hiring of transgenders and pioneered a multi-year “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (2016 – 2019)” for the agency that is still in effect.

A different approach might have been to hire people based on their love of country and loyalty to the Constitution.

Trump’s “outbursts” seem mild compared to the records of disaster and destruction of American national security that characterize the tenure of Obama’s CIA directors.

Pelley hyped the fact that Panetta was CIA director when Osama bin Laden was killed, although his al-Qaeda successor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is still on the loose, and al Qaeda has proven to be a resilient organization that President Trump has had to target with military might in Yemen.

Reportedly, the FBI is investigating the leak from the CIA. But as we have pointed out on numerous occasions, the FBI still hasn’t solved the post-9/11 anthrax attacks, despite evidence that al-Qaeda infiltration of U.S. labs explains why the anthrax that was used to kill five Americans was made in the U.S.

The entire intelligence community, including the FBI, seems to be thoroughly infiltrated and compromised, and unable to identify the nature of the corruption that constantly eats away at U.S. national security.

Panetta frets about Trump’s “credibility” on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley when Panetta and the president he served had none to begin with.

All of which proves Trump’s claim that the media are the enemy of the people.


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

03/10/17

Obama’s Role in Undermining Trump’s Presidency

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

The media continue to publish and broadcast stories about how Donald Trump won the election with the help of the Russians, calling this “collusion,” though no such evidence has surfaced. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has stated that he had “no knowledge of evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.” Assertions of Russian influence have been latched onto by Democrats and a liberal media with the sole intention of delegitimizing the Trump administration.

After all, the media, and Democrats, clearly would prefer to return to the age of Obama. While hearings are planned for March 20 by the House Intelligence Committee to look into the issue of Russian influence in the presidential election, as well as President Trump’s claim that Obama ordered wiretaps and surveillance on parts of his campaign—charges that have repeatedly been called “baseless”—there are other tracks that I have suggested that investigators and journalists should probe.

If Congress is looking for something to investigate, it should perhaps start first with the shadow apparatus that Obama has erected for himself after leaving office. Our former president has set up shop just a couple of miles from the White House, and brought along his top adviser, Valerie Jarrett, who has reportedly moved into the Obama’s new home. Obama is continuing to influence Washington, D.C. and nationwide politics through the mobilization of tens of thousands of volunteers under the umbrella of Organizing for Action (OFA). Oddly, on Twitter, Obama continues to identify himself as president, rather than as a former president.

“Unbeknownst to most Americans, Barack Obama is the first ex-president in 228 years of U.S. history to structure and lead a political organization, a shadow government, for the explicit purpose of sabotaging his successor—duly elected President Donald Trump,” writes Scott S. Powell for American Thinker. Obama’s group, OFA, has been organizing with the Soros-linked Indivisible.

Powell writes that “The modus operandi of OFA comes right out of Obama’s support and sympathy for Marxism and his background as a left-wing community organizer. It’s a combination of agitation and propaganda—much like old-style Soviet agitprop, and Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.”

Indivisible’s tactics are designed to thwart the democratic process. One Louisiana chapter, Indivisible Acadiana, run by James Proctor, attempted to override the input of district residents at a local town hall organized by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). According to Breitbart, local radio station KPEL captured audio of Proctor saying, “Game plan number one is to fill as many seats as we can, right? If it’s all of us in there and the poor people of Breaux Bridge are sitting behind us, well then tough luck for them.”

“If we can arrange it so he doesn’t hear one sympathetic question—great. That only magnifies our impact,” he said. In other words, the protestors want to drown out local residents’ voices in favor of pushing a radical agenda.

“The [Indivisible] manual…advises protesters to go into halls quietly so as not to raise alarms, and ‘grab seats at the front of the room but do not all sit together,’” writes Paul Sperry for the New York Post. “Rather, spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposes the Republican host’s positions. ‘This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.’ It also urges them to ask ‘hostile’ questions—while keeping ‘a firm hold on the mic’—and loudly boo the GOP politician if he isn’t ‘giving you real answers.’”

OFA endorses similar tactics. According to Powell, “A week before the town halls started, OFA released its ‘Congressional Recess Toolkit;’ a training manual for activists and demonstrators, invoking them to go in groups and get to meeting halls early and ‘spread out…throughout the front half of the room, [which] will make the perception of broad consensus a reality for your member of congress.’”

“So perception drives fake news which is intended to drive reality,” writes Powell. This type of astroturf feeds the liberal media narrative that Trump has no mandate and is opposed by the public.

Although not as serious, these tactics are reminiscent of the “bird-dogging” tactics which Project Veritas connected to Democratic operative Robert Creamer. “Creamer was exposed by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas as the key figure in a complex scheme involving a tactic called ‘bird-dogging,’ which involved planting trained activists at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies and other Republican events,” reports Breitbart. “The activists were trained to provoke members of the audience into reacting violently, and to provide footage to the media.”

Creamer is a convicted felon, and husband of Democratic congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL). He visited the Obama White House 340 times, including 45 visits with Obama himself. By comparison, and an indication of priorities, Obama’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) director of two years, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn (Ret.), never met once with Obama.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has argued that some of the protesters are being paid to disrupt town halls. “Unfortunately, at this time there are groups from the more violent strains of the leftist ideology, some even being paid, who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc and threaten public safety,” he said. Politifact ranked this assertion as “false,” but that misses the big picture. Similarly, Politico printed the story, “No evidence town hall protestors are being paid.”

The big picture is that these groups are organizing together, both paid and unpaid.

Politico’s and Politifact’s assertions may not be the whole story. According to a 20-minute documentary by Trevor Loudon, “America Under Siege: Civil War 2017,” Scott Foval, National Field Director for Americans United for Change, said, “I’m saying we have mentally ill people, that we pay to do s–t, make no mistake.”

Similarly, Foval said, “The campaign pays DNC, DNC pays Democracy Partners, Democracy Partners pays the Foval Group, the Foval Group goes and executes the s–t on the ground.”

It is unrealistic, then, to assume that all of the organized protestors are unpaid.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the Capital Research Center, has noted that “At least three of the group’s [Indivisible’s] five principals…have ties to organizations funded by George Soros.”

“He’s [Obama is] working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular ‘America First’ agenda,” asserts Sperry of the New York Post.

As the media continue to obsess about the Russians, and what influence they may have exerted during the presidential campaign, few reporters are taking a hard look at Obama’s continued political influence over organized protests meant to undermine Trump. As Loudon explores in his documentary, the protests are being organized by members of the Workers World Party and Freedom Road Socialist Organization. If the press wants to investigate subversion, it should refocus its sights on these organizations, as well as Organizing for Action, not bogus claims about Russian influence.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.

03/9/17

How Taxpayers Fund Anti-Trump Protests

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

On “Fox & Friends,” President Donald Trump declared, in regard to the protests against him, “I think that President Obama’s behind it because his people are certainly behind it.” Once again, Trump has struck gold. It’s “gold” in the form of taxpayer money. In addition to funding from billionaire hedge fund operator George Soros, we find a federal financial connection to some of the anti-Trump protests.

The good news for Trump in this case is that his administration, supported by Republicans in Congress, can cut off the federal money.

One anti-Trump organizer, Dan Nejfelt of the George Soros-funded faux Catholic group, Faith in Public Life (FPL), serves as a case study of how a modern-day “community organizer” is made and paid. As the training director of FPL, he previously served as the “policy and messaging adviser” to the chair of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Faith in Public Life was exposed in documents obtained and released by DCLeaks as a conduit for Soros money designed to move the Catholic Church in a left-wing direction. The “We Stand with Pope Francis” on climate change ad was an example of what this group did in 2016. The pope has been critical of capitalism, embraced the “climate change” agenda of deindustrialization, and opposed strong measures to assure border security for the United States.

FPL has informed its members in recent emails that President Trump’s new executive order “banning refugees from Muslim-majority countries” will have to be countered in the media. The response was designated as “Standing with Refugees in Word and Deed,” rather than focusing on their possible terrorist connections.

We are told that Nejfelt has been part of the FPL’s “most exciting achievements,” including involvement in “passing the Affordable Care Act,” otherwise known as Obamacare, and “defeating discriminatory religious exemptions bills in Georgia.” Despite the reference to “discriminatory,” the bills in question were designed to protect the religious liberty of conservative Christians who object to being forced by the government to condone or approve of homosexual behavior and conduct.

Earlier this year I reported on how Faith in Public Life held a “special briefing” on “Faithful Resistance to Rising White Nationalism,” with a left-wing operative from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Before FPL,” his bio says, “Dan taught remedial literacy in rural Arkansas as a Teach For America corps member, then studied investigative reporting, magazine editing and strategic communications at the Missouri School of Journalism. A long time ago, he got a B.A. in history at the College of William & Mary.”

The connection to Teach For America is significant. We are finding it in a growing number of cases of “community organizers” working in the “progressive” movement.

Teach For America is one of several charter programs of the federal government’s AmeriCorps, a project of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget requested $1.1 billion for CNCS.

But the Trump administration does not seem to agree. “Popular Domestic Programs Face Ax Under First Trump Budget” was the scare headline in The New York Times regarding proposed cuts affecting the CNCS, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and others.

During the main event of Teach For America’s 25th Anniversary Summit, President Barack Obama sent a special message to the 50,000 plus TFA corps members, alumni, and partners who were “working for educational equity in our country.” This includes, according to their own website, support for “a pathway to citizenship” for illegal aliens.

An alumnus of the group featured on the website is Michael Johnston, a former Democratic state senator in Colorado now running for governor. “During the two terms I served in the Senate,” he says, “I helped pass major progressive legislation, like the Dream Act, so undocumented students who had spent most of their lives in Colorado could get a fair shot at college…” He previously served as a senior education advisor to President Obama.

Teach For America’s official policy positions include support for:

  • Protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and passage of the DREAM Act and pathways to citizenship for individuals brought to our country as children.
  • SAFE classrooms for LGBTQ youth and teachers
  • Safe classrooms for Muslim students and teachers

According to its 2015 annual report, 12 percent of the funding for Teach For America comes from the federal government. Government grants and contracts were listed in the amount of $69,756,254. So-called “federal partners” were listed as AmeriCorps, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Education.

Nejfelt, the Teach For America alumnus now at Faith in Public Life, was trained at the Missouri School of Journalism but also served as a research assistant and copy editor at Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE), where he “edited and fact-checked articles for the IRE Journal, a bimonthly publication providing resources and professional development for more than 6,000 investigative journalists worldwide.”

His bio also lists work at an organization called the New Organizing Institute, a “progressive grassroots organization” located in Washington, D.C. which “has suspended operations” and has “passed the torch” to Wellstone Action, a group named after the former Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone (D). It is dedicated to “building progressive power coast to coast.”

Over the past 14 years, Wellstone Action says, “we’ve propelled over 850 alumni into elected office and guided over 3,500 winning campaigns.”

Through federal programs like the Corporation for National and Community Service, taxpayers are helping to make it possible.


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

03/8/17

Investigate This: Russia, Obama, Trump and Hillary

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

Once again the dominant media narrative has shifted overnight. Last week the media exploded with stories about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ admitted contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., the latest attempt to somehow derail and delegitimize the Donald Trump presidency. It is part of the narrative concocted by the Democrats and their allies in the media to claim that Trump won the election thanks in part to help from Russia. Collusion has been the word of choice, though no evidence has surfaced to support it.

The narrative changed over the weekend when President Trump sent out a series of tweets asserting that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped him “during the very sacred election process,” and that it was “Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”

It turns out that the Obama administration, according to reports, did go to the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court to gain permission to spy, or electronically eavesdrop, or wiretap some members or elements of Trump’s campaign. They apparently were turned down back in June, and approved in October, after taking Trump’s name out of the request.

Former federal prosecutor and journalist for National Review Andy McCarthy examined how disingenuous the denial coming from an Obama spokesman was. In essence, it comes down to, “It depends on what the definition of ‘surveillance’ is,” and who is a “White House official.”

The media called foul after Trump’s tweets, and the word of the day became “baseless,” as in baseless accusations by Trump. They said he had “no evidence” to support these very serious charges against his predecessor, Barack Obama.

But the allegations of Russian influence were largely orchestrated by the Obama administration, and were ramped up when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in November. That is when he decided to impose new sanctions and expel Russian diplomats, which never would have happened if Hillary had won.

Now, using his group Organizing for Action (OFA), Obama intends to continue influencing the political scene with a shadow government apparatus. OFA has been coordinating with groups such as the Soros-linked Indivisible. “Obama is intimately involved in OFA operations and even tweets from the group’s account,” writes Paul Sperry for the New York Post. “Run by old Obama aides and campaign workers, federal tax records show ‘nonpartisan’ OFA marshals 32,525 volunteers nationwide.” It has also raised over $40 million, according to Sperry.

The New York Times recently reported that Obama’s intelligence agencies kept documents related to the alleged Russian influence operation “at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government—and, in some cases, among European allies.’”

In other words, President Obama wanted information potentially damaging to his successor kept at the forefront of the national discussion whenever possible. It could be even better for Obama if there were Congressional investigations; that might distract Trump from rolling back Obamacare or the unsigned Iran deal. The Times also reports that the administration “sent a cache of documents marked ‘secret’ to Senator Benjamin Cardin of Maryland days before the Jan. 20 inauguration.” These documents were shared with Congressional Republicans, as well.

It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration would be aggressive, since the Obama administration waged a war on leakers, prosecuting more cases than all previous administrations combined, while harassing numerous media figures.

But while Trump appears to have stumbled by not producing evidence to support his claim, in fact his move may result in changing the narrative once again. Now the investigation could include Obama’s and Hillary’s ties to the Russians. After all, the same Russian ambassador who met twice with then-Senator Sessions visited the Obama White House at least 22 times during Obama’s presidency, including four times in 2016. Were any of those meetings about presidential politics? Hillary’s ties to the Russians have been well documented, including the Uranium One deal and Skolkovo, the Silicon Valley of Russia that provided them with dual-use technology and handed millions of dollars to Hillary’s campaign manager, John Podesta.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) argued on Fox News Sunday this past weekend that based on statements from Trump’s Cabinet appointments, they will be much tougher on the Russians than the Obama administration, including Hillary. Cotton said:

“If you want to know what a pro-Russia policy would look like, Chris, here’s some elements of it. You’d slash defense spending. You’d slow down our nuclear modernization. You’d roll back missile defense systems. You would enter a one-sided nuclear arms control agreement. And you’d try to do everything you could to stop oil and gas production. That was Barack Obama’s policy for eight years. That’s not Donald Trump’s policy.”

He might have added that you empower Russia’s ally Iran with more than $100 billion dollars, and a pathway to becoming a nation with nuclear weapons, to go along with its current status as the number one state sponsor of terrorism.

We at Accuracy in Media find the allegations of Russian interference in the election to be flimsy at best.

And as Andy McCarthy points out in another piece, the new Obama/media narrative that his administration was never surveilling the Trump campaign for ties to Russia, cuts against what they have been arguing for months now:

“Now that we’re supposed to believe there was no real investigation of Trump and his campaign, what else can we conclude but that there was no real evidence of collusion between the campaign and Russia…which makes sense, since Russia did not actually hack the election, so the purported objective of the collusion never existed.”

Monday night’s Nightline on ABC picked up on this theme, with reporter David Wright stating that “It’s important to note that there’s an equally outlandish narrative on the other side [besides Trump’s claim about Obama]. The other narrative, also in the mix, is that the Trump campaign may have colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election. Again, allegedly. No proof of that either. No smoking gun of collusion.”

Brian Ross then added that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he had seen no evidence of collusion when he left the government in January. With the Republicans controlling every committee in Congress, as well as the executive branch, they should be able to shape the scope of the investigations. We hope they are just and honest, as well as tough and fearless.


Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.