Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

by Liberty Chick

If you want to take a pulse on the political vibe in this country, one need only look at Wisconsin.  The state has become the barometer for judging not just the public’s appetite for political battle, but the competitive landscape as well.  The spotlight on anything that has six degrees of separation from a Koch brother has been great drama for Wisconsin’s ongoing soap opera, but audiences in the state and nationwide might get a better show by turning their attention leftward.  Few have examined the strange pattern of money and favor trading that’s been pervading Wisconsin’s beloved circle of progressive politics.

The activity in Wisconsin over the last few months becomes crucially pertinent as the state gears up for the 2012 Wisconsin Senate race.  It’s worth looking at the financial innards  of the Supreme Court race and the protests against Governor Scott Walker in order to assess what the fight for the Wisconsin Senate seat, soon to be vacated by retiring Democratic Senator Herb Kohl, will look like.  What many don’t realize is that this race could have broader implications – not just in national politics, but in specific policy areas, like health care and your personal medical records, for example.  Lots of money, fueled by liberal business interests and an ever-growing progressive movement in Wisconsin, has already been freely flowing.

But is anyone watching? Who are some of these donors?

Let’s start by looking back at the recent Wisconsin protests and the Supreme Court election, and then dissecting some of the money trail.

The hostility stemmed from the union reform bill signed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on March 11th as a stand-alone portion of the overall budget repair bill.

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[original post 12/12/2010]

The woman known as the “Queen of Labor” is living up to her promise to focus on “building a sustaining progressive infrastructure.”  Anna Burger, former SEIU Secretary-Treasurer, has just joined the board of directors at the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP Action).

CAP Action is a sister organization to the liberal think tank, Center for American Progress.  While the Center for American Progress focuses on developing new policy ideas and on “critiquing the policy that stems from conservative values,”  CAP Action focuses on how to put those policies into action – by organizing liberal grassroots groups, labor unions and other progressive partners as advocates.

John Podesta, Chairman of the Board of Directors for CAP Action, offered the following statement in the organization’s December 9th press release:

“The Center for American Progress Action Fund is pleased to welcome Anna Burger to our Board of Directors. She has been a longtime friend of the Center for American Progress and CAP Action and we’re very happy that she has agreed to help us advance our mission by serving in this new capacity.

Anna Burger has been fighting hard for progressive ideas and policies for nearly 40 years, including the visionary leadership she has provided for the progressive movement over the past decade. We face numerous opportunities and many challenges over the next two years and look forward to Anna’s help in charting our course. As we continue to push for an economy built on a strong middle class that works for all Americans, Anna’s continued leadership and experience could not come at a more important time.”

In addition to her previous post at SEIU, Burger has held many prominent positions that have played significant roles in advancing the progressive movement, including:

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[original post 11/20/2010]

The blogosphere is all abuzz over yesterday’s comments from Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, in which he opined about the annoyance of today’s cable news television programming.  Apparently cable news gets in the way of his desire for American citizens to do nothing but worship our government, rather than challenge it.

We need new catalysts for quality news and entertainment programming.  I hunger for quality news.  I’m tired of the right and the left.  There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: Out. Off. End. Goodbye. It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future.

Many are making this solely about the issue of the Fairness Doctrine or of Net Neutrality.  And to some extent, this is true.  But there really is a much larger picture at play here – a transition period to government-run media.

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[original post 11/2/2010]

For the last few weeks, I’ve been finalizing some intensive research and was in the process of writing up a multi-part post that was to be published after the mid-term elections.  One of the installments in the series will focus on the left’s push for a public takeover of the media – touching upon everything from the historical aspect of traditional media’s financial collapse, to the left’s “Media Reform” project and “New Public Media” plan, to the complete portfolio of George Soros’ media investments.

However, in light of the most recent onslaught of attacks against Andrew Breitbart and the Big sites, I thought it might be prudent to extract a few different elements from this future series and publish an early post today.  Because given the concerted efforts to use a variety of media and advocacy outlets to manufacture falsehoods in an attempt to intimidate and silence the voice of conservatives, I thought it important for others to see how –and why – some of these media outlets are connected.  Because it extends well beyond Media Matters, NPR, and Huffington Post.

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While the debate continues to rage over the prospect of defunding National Public Radio (NPR) of its federal taxpayer dollars in the wake of Juan Williams’ firing, the left is busy tending to its strategy.  They’ve once again taken to opining about their Utopian notion of a national public media system, hoisting it as the antidote to partisan viewpoint peddling.  And by partisan viewpoints, they mean those that aren’t *their* viewpoints.

The left’s fantasies were further spotlighted by several recent developments in the media industry, only weeks and days apart from one another.

  • On October 2, NPR announces $1 million grant from the Knight Foundation
  • On October 7, Center for Public Integrity, an often cited source for liberal journalists, announces a $1.7 million grant from the Knight Foundation.  CPI has also received millions in funding from George Soros’ Open Society Institute, including another recent grant of $100,000.
  • On October 17, NPR announces a $1.8 million grant from George Soros’ Open Society Institute
  • On October 18, the Huffington Post announces the merger of its non-profit journalism arm into the Center For Public Integrity, with an additional $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation for the merger.
  • On October 20, Media Matters announces a $1 million grant from George Soros’ Open Society Institute
  • On October 26, Google announces a $2 million grant to the Knight Foundation for media innovation

In the midst of this funding blitz, the left quickly summoned its boycotts and attempts at silencing voices against the right: (more…)

[original post 10/20/2010]

It’s official.  There have been whispers in recent days, but George Soros decided to go public today.  He’s giving Media Matters a million bucks.  Why?  Because FOX News and Glenn Beck must be stopped!

In a statement released today by Soros and Media Matters:

“Despite repeated assertions to the contrary by various Fox News commentators, I have not to date been a funder of Media Matters,” Soros said. “However, in view of recent evidence suggesting that the incendiary rhetoric of Fox News hosts may incite violence, I have now decided to support the organization. Media Matters is one of the few groups that attempts to hold Fox News accountable for the false and misleading information they so often broadcast. I am supporting Media Matters in an effort to more widely publicize the challenge Fox News poses to civil and informed discourse in our democracy.”

See, now there you go again, George Soros.  Making FOX News out to be the evil (deceptively named) Ministry of Truth from George Orwell’s 1984, pushing out packaged Newspeak.

As Politico reported:

Soros figured prominently in the conspiracy theory that allegedly drove convicted felon Byron Williams to arm himself and set out to kill staffers at the Soros-funded Tides Foundation the ACLU this summer.  Although Williams said he had first heard of the theory from other sources, he told Media Matters in a jailhouse interview that Glenn Beck was a “schoolteacher” who “blew my mind” on such topics. He told the interviewer to watch Beck’s June shows to get more information about Tides.

On Friday, Drummond Pike, the founder and CEO of the Tides Foundation, said “there will be blood on many hands” if the next assassin succeed, and called for a network-wide advertiser boycott of Fox News in response to Beck’s rhetoric. This morning Media Matters launched a website to join the effort.

Might we remind readers that Mr. Soros has donated money to, among many other organizations, the Tides Foundation.

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[original post 7/29/2010]

Thursday morning at 12:01 a.m. local time, Arizona’s well publicized anti-illegal-immigration law will  finally go into effect.  Or at least parts of it will.  U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled today to block several provisions of the law that some consider controversial (even though these mimic federal law).   However, the judge has allowed the remainder of the law to move forward as planned while the case is being litigated.  This includes allowing the state of Arizona to stop rogue state officials from implementing “sanctuary city” policies, and allowing the state to pursue civil lawsuits over sanctuary cities.  In addition, Arizona will still be permitted to implement the portion of the law that makes it a crime to pick up day laborers, an issue that law enforcement and officials say has become a major problem in the state.

While yesterday’s ruling is being praised by opponents of the law, it won’t stop their protests, it will prolong them.  For years.  In fact, hordes of angry protesters are scheduled to descend upon the state first thing Thursday morning.  And the propaganda machine on the left continues to run at full speed, cranking out intentionally misleading statements, disinformation, and outright lies.  We’ve watched the boycotts.  We’ve watched as the protests have erupted into hate events, directed not from the right against illegal immigrants as the left portrays them, but from the left and illegal immigrants against peaceful people on the right (and many in the center!).

Meanwhile, as the left continues their manufactured barrage of anger at Andrew Breitbart for supposedly taking things out of context in the Shirley Sherrod story, they fabricate their own version of context propaganda on video in examples like this one from the SEIU:

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[original post 7/26/2010]

George Soros, celebrity hedge fund billionaire and darling of the left, has been a busy man the last fifteen years.  While his capitalistic business ventures that began in the 1970s may have brought him his fortune and international financial fame, it’s his activities in the 1990’s that are having the most impact here in America today, on our television and Hollywood movie screens.

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We’re especially reminded of this in recent times, as we see the overabundance of falsely portrayed stories on film and video, and at the same time the complete absence of other stories from the mainstream view.

That’s no accident.

Soros gained his political reputation this last decade largely by staunchly opposing the Iraq war and publicly comparing former President George W. Bush to the Nazi Regime.  Drawing on his proclaimed expertise on Orwellian propaganda techniques and modern day mind-control marketing, George Soros once vowed to dismantle the conservative infrastructure, a pledge that hoisted him to the mantel of hero to the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.  By 2004,dozens and dozens of Soros’ political advocacy organizations had been erected and pumped full of millions of dollars aimed at evicting George W. Bush from the White House.

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[original post 7/24/2010]

Andy Stern has just gained yet another job.  Earlier this month, Stern also accepted a position on the Board of Directors for SIGA, a producer of anti-viral and biological warfare defense products.

But this job seems to have some policy teeth, with a think-tank title akin to Media Matters or the Center for American Progress, and it comes with perhaps some welcome company as well.

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From The San Francisco Chronicle:

Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, is joining Georgetown University’s public policy school as a research fellow.

Stern, 59, retired in May after building his union into one of the largest in the labor movement and increasing his own influence with President Barack Obama and Democratic lawmakers.

Stern will coordinate research at Washington-based Georgetown on wage reform, labor policy and retirement security, according to an announcement on the school’s website.

Stern of course maintains his position as an adviser on Obama’s deficit-reduction commission, a post to which Obama appointed him in February of this year.

This announcement comes only weeks after the announcement that Ed Montgomery, who has been serving in the White House as both a member of President Obama’s Task Force on the Auto Industry and as the Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, will leave the Obama administration to take over as Dean of Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute.  As very active leaders in the labor movement, both Mr. Montgomery and Andy Stern certainly know one another, and have shared visits at the White House for such activities as Obama’s White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth.

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[original post 7/21/2010]

In November of 2007, with support from George Soros’ Open Society Institute, Live from the New York Public Library presented the conference, “There You Go Again: Orwell Comes to America.”  The conference brought together noted journalists, linguists, political consultants and others to discuss the practice of deceptive political speech in the arena of public discourse today, or as the conference referred to it, “propaganda and the new face of American politics.”

The title itself was a blend of the quote made famous by Ronald Reagan in his 1980 presidential debate retort to Jimmy Carter, and George Orwell’s writings and their application to media in politics today.

George Soros presented a session at the conference that in hindsight draws some striking parallels to what we have been witnessing in politics and the media today.  When viewed consecutively in their entirety, the three videos in which Soros makes his presentation are compelling and bring clarity to where so much of the rhetoric on the left has been bred over the years.

It starts with Soros’ description of how propaganda has taken root in American politics and replaced truth with strategic deception.  Yet, considering the blatant manipulation of the truth in so many of today’s news stories, it reads more like a psy-ops manual for the left-wing media, labor unions and community organizers of today:

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[original post 5/20/2010]

By now, you’ve probably seen the mob-scene that developed on the front lawn of the private residence of Greg Baer, deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America.  This was planned for some time by the SEIU as part of a larger national event, their Showdown on K Street, which was shared with National People’s Action and thousands of other activists from MoveOn.org and other left-wing groups.

Prior to the main event on K Street in Washington DC, SEIU and company made a little pit stop.  According to Fortune magazine Washington editor Nina Easton, 14 busloads of riled up protesters unloaded on Baer’s private property and stormed up to his doorstep, while his teenage son was home alone.  Easton is a neighbor of Baer’s and had called to check on her neighbor’s son when she heard and saw all the commotion outside. Easton writes,

“Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack — alone in the house — locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.

Baer, on his way home from a Little League game, parked his car around the corner, called the police, and made a quick calculation to leave his younger son behind while he tried to rescue his increasingly distressed teen. He made his way through a din of barked demands and insults from the activists who proudly “outed” him, and slipped through his front door.

“Excuse me,” Baer told his accusers, “I need to get into the house. I have a child who is alone in there and frightened.”

Imagine what you would have done if your child were inside that house and that mob was on your front lawn as you tried to reach him.

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