Congress Needs A Babysitter

No wonder the federal deficit is out of control. Yesterday Judicial Watch sent out the following Press Release:

Obamacare Recruiters Get $1.2 Billion Under Proposed Law

A fraud-infested Obamacare “outreach” program will get an astounding $1.2 billion from American taxpayers if legislation introduced by a veteran congresswoman becomes law. The preposterous measure, introduced by California Democrat Maxine Waters a few week ago, aims to recruit customers for the health insurance exchanges set up under Obama’s disastrous healthcare overhaul. The 14-term congresswoman, investigated by the House Ethics Committee for steering federal funds to her husband’s failing Massachusetts bank, crafted the law because the Trump administration slashed Obamacare outreach funding by more than 90%.

“Our health care system is under attack by a president, administration, and Republican-controlled Congress that – after numerous failed attempts to repeal Obamacare – are sabotaging it for political gain,” Waters said in a statement. “My legislation seeks to reverse their vindictive efforts to undermine and de-stabilize our health care system by ensuring that all consumers are provided with the information they need to make timely and well-informed decisions when purchasing health coverage through the federal and state-run marketplaces.” The bill, Affordable Care Act (ACA) Outreach for the Uninsured, Transformative Recruitment, and Enrollment Action for Compassionate Healthcare (ACA OUTREACH) Act, is cosponsored by 36 other lawmakers. If it passes, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would dole out $300 million annually through 2021 for “navigator” grants. Minority and underserved communities would be especially targeted, according to language in the bill’s text.

The Obamacare navigator program was rife with fraud and corruption and Judicial Watch sued HHS back in 2014 to obtain records that the agency refused to provide under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In 2013, the Obama administration gave dozens of leftists organizations a whopping $67 million to help people “navigate” health insurance exchanges that weren’t even fully established. In a “culturally competent manner” the so-called navigators were tasked with helping people shop for and enroll in plans that would eventually be available on the federal government market places. The money was divided between 105 mostly leftist groups that assisted and recruited the uninsured to sign up for coverage and understand their options.

Here are a few examples of the community organizations that received navigator grants from the government; an Arizona nonprofit called “Campesinos Sin Fronteras” that provides services to farm workers and low-income Hispanics; a south Florida legal group that provided navigators in “racially, ethnically, linguistically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse” communities; three Planned Parenthood branches—in Iowa, Montana and New Hampshire—got a combined $655,000 to serve as navigators. Others include; the Arab Community Center in Michigan, which got nearly $300,000 to reach out to and engage uninsured community members through “multicultural” media. A Black Chamber of Commerce in South Carolina received north of $230,000 to “provide outreach around new coverage options” and a Hispanic aging group in Texas got over $646,000 help members that are “socially isolated due to cultural and linguistic differences.”

Some of the navigator money went to a labor front group called Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York headed by an illegal immigrant activist named Maria Marroquin. The group received navigator funds shortly after Marroquin, an illegal alien from Peru, had been arrested for participating in disruptive demonstrations protesting the deportation of fellow undocumented immigrants and demanding amnesty.

Besides the outrage of hiring an illegal immigrant to promote a U.S. government program, it’s equally disturbing to know that navigators have access to the sensitive personal information of healthcare enrollees. This includes Social Security numbers, which can be used for identity theft, a rampant crime among illegal alien populations seeking to establish residency and land jobs in the U.S.

Navigator funds also went to a nonprofit (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with such a huge history of corruption that Congress issued a federal funding ban. As part of a broader investigation into ACORN Judicial Watch obtained records showing that HHS violated the congressional ACORN funding ban by awarding a Louisiana nonprofit called Southern United Neighborhoods (SUN) a $1.3 million Obamacare navigator grant to recruit customers. Headquartered in New Orleans, SUN is dedicated to combating poverty, discrimination and community deterioration that keep low-income people from taking advantage of their rights and opportunities, according to its website.

This is what Congress is doing with our money.

Voter Fraud Is A Problem In America

The Arizona Daily Independent posted a story yesterday about voter fraud in Ohio.

The article reports:

True the Vote (TTV), the nation’s leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today announced details surrounding its effort to help Cuyahoga and Franklin County officials in Ohio remove more than a thousand duplicate voter registrations ahead of voting in 2016.

Upon receipt of True the Vote’s research, 711 duplicate voter registrations were removed in Cuyahoga County, while 465 sets were processed in Franklin County.

“Because of Ohio’s consistent role as a decisive swing state in America’s elections, it has a duty to ensure that its voter records are in the best shape possible,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said.“Having duplicate voters in Ohio’s poll books not only creates confusion at the polling place, but raises the possibility of fraudulent double voting. The Buckeye State has recently seen first-hand just how far some are willing to go to see their candidate or cause win.”

The article lists one of the organizations responsible for the problem:

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) held a well-established track record of supplying local election officials with questionable voter registration forms across Midwestern and other political battleground states for years. The organization boasted more than 1.3 million voter registrations submitted in 2008 alone. After its formal dissolution, 18 employees were convicted or admitted guilt to committing election crimes. Significant amounts of their work were officially questioned:

  • In Ohio, a Cleveland man claimed he was given money and goods to register to vote dozens times, resulting in subpoenas;
  • In Indiana, more than 2,000 applications were falsified as part of a batch delivered hours before the registration deadline; and
  • In Florida, 11 ACORN workers were arrested after submitting roughly 1,400 applications with approximately 900 of those falsified.

True The Vote originally sued the State of Ohio in August 2012 over allegations of voter roll maintenance failures. Three counties had more registered voters than voting-age residents. The suit was settled in 2014, and duplicate registrations removed. This moves Ohio closer to an honest election in 2016.

Crony Capitalism And The Justice Department

It is extremely dangerous to get on the wrong side of the Obama Administration. If you lose your health insurance and speak out about it, you could be audited (cns news), if you make major contributions to Republican candidates, your company could suddenly be inspected for all sorts of federal regulation violations (rightwinggranny.com), and if you gave to the Tea Party, you could face a partial audit (that happened to me–the first time my husband and I have been audited in 46 years). It does seem as if the government is somewhat out of control. An article at Investor’s Business Daily about the recent settlement between JPMorgan and the Justice Department provides further proof.

The article reports:

They (radical Democrat groups) stand to reap millions. The “consumer relief” portion of the deal by itself totals $4 billion.

If the government “determines that a shortfall in that obligation remains as of Dec. 31, 2017,” the agreement states, “JPMorgan shall make a compensatory payment in cash in an amount equal to the shortfall to NeighborWorks America to provide housing counseling, neighborhood stabilization, foreclosure prevention or similar programs.”

Potentially billions could be distributed to Democrat activists through NeighborWorks, a government-funded “affordable housing” group that supports a national network of left-wing community organizers operating in the same vein as Acorn.

In 2011 alone, NeighborWorks shelled out $35 billion in “affordable housing grants” to 115 such groups, according its website. Recipients included the radical Affordable Housing Alliance, which pressures banks to make high-risk loans in low-income neighborhoods.

The recession has dried up funding for such groups. But Holder’s massive bank shakedown could rebuild their war chests in a hurry.

This is not the way honest people do government.

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This Should Be Interesting

Yesterday the Weekly Standard Blog posted an article on President Obama’s weekly address. The President stated:

“Here in America, we know the free market is the greatest force for economic progress the world has ever known.  But we also know the free market works best for everyone when we have smart, commonsense rules in place to prevent irresponsible behavior,”

That is an amazing statement. First of all, anyone who has children understands that putting rules in place to prevent irresponsible behavior does not always work–allowing people to suffer the consequences of their irresponsible behavior eventually works–sometimes it takes a while. Unfortunately our society has padded the floor too many times and has helped people avoid the consequences of their irresponsible behavior. Controlling the free market is not the answer–allowing the free market to work properly is.

Meanwhile, speaking of irresponsible behavior–what about irresponsible  behavior that was encouraged by the government?

In June of 2012, Free Republic reported the following:

Remember the outrage over the exposure of ACORN travesties including voter fraud and offering advice on tax evasion that led to Congress overwhelmingly voting to defund the scandal plagued organization (345-71 in the House, 85-11 in the Senate)?

Less salacious, but far more economically disastrous was the “starring role” that ACORN played in precipitating the financial meltdown of 2008 initiated by the sub-prime mortgage market meltdown. According to acclaimed investigative journalist Matthew Vadum, ACORN’s “wanton disregard for the economic wellbeing of America” through the very direct involvement for decades in federal housing policy and programs at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, perpetually weakening underwriting standards, and ignoring or even falsifying loan documentation put ACORN squarely at the center of the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage house of cards.

Huge numbers of loans that eventually became the problem trace to ACORN originations. Vadum discovered that ACORN housing brochures openly bragged about how they undermined mortgage loan underwriting standards.

Joe McGavin used to be the director of counseling for ACORN housing in Chicago and operations manager for an ACORN offshoot, Affordable Housing Centers of America (ACHOA). After the scandal-ridden collapse of ACORN, McGavin resurfaced in 2011 as the new director of the Illinois Hardest Hit Program. The Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) is one of many programs established by the Obama Administration to “assist homeowners who have experienced an income reduction due to unemployment or substantial underemployment” during the economic recession.

Mr. President, clean your own house first.

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A Lady Who Speaks The Truth

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a short video of some comments by Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) whistle-blower Anita Moncrief. Ms. Moncrief called for black voters to stop voting for politicians on the basis of their color. She also articulated very well the idea that she was perfectly able to think for herself and speak for herself. Regardless of where they come down on the political spectrum, we need more voters (of all colors) to do their own thinking.

Please watch the video below. Ms. Moncrief makes some very good points!

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Using Taxpayer Money To Support Democrat Candidates

Howie Carr posted a story today in the Boston Herald about the voter registration forms that are being sent out with welfare checks in Massachusetts. What is being done in Massachusetts may be technically legal, but it definitely does not pass the smell test.

The Boston Herald reported yesterday that the group behind the plan to send out voter registration forms with welfare checks is headed by Elizabeth Warren‘s daughter. Elizabeth Warren is the Democrat candidate running against Republican Senator Scott Brown. This little exercise in democracy will cost the Massachusetts taxpayers $275,844. A letter and a voter registration form is being sent with every welfare check issued in the State.

The article in yesterday’s Boston Herald reported:

Demos, a group founded in the late 1990s to counter conservative think tanks, also counts President Obama as a founding board member.

The Herald reported today that the group recently forced the Bay State to send out nearly 500,000 voter registration cards to those on welfare at a cost of $276,000. Demos also has sued nine states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Louisiana.

The Bay State lawsuit, filed in conjunction with the ACORN offshoot New England United for Justice, comes as Warren faces a tight battle with Brown in a nationally-watched battle that could decide which Party controls the Senate.

Brown said he supports allowing all legal voters to register, but said officials shouldn’t do so with taxpayer dollars.

Note the ACORN connection. Unless all of us learn to fight for the integrity of our elections, these people are not going to go away.

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Is The Mainstream Media Planning To Vet Both Candidates ?

Stanley Kurtz posted a story at National Review Online today that included proof of President Obama’s membership in the New Party during the late 1990’s. The New Party was ACORN’s (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) political arm.

The article reports:

The documents reveal that the New Party’s central aim was to move the United States steadily closer to European social democracy, a goal that Mitt Romney has also attributed to Obama. New Party leaders disdained mainstream Democrats, considering them tools of business, and promised instead to create a partnership between elected officials and local community organizations, with the goal of socializing the American economy to an unprecedented degree.

When Stanley Kurtz reported in 2008 that then-candidate Obama had been a member of the New Party, the charge was denied.

The article reports:

The Fight the Smears website quoted Carol Harwell, who managed Obama’s 1996 campaign for the Illinois senate: “Barack did not solicit or seek the New Party endorsement for state senator in 1995.” Drawing on her testimony, Fight the Smears conceded that the New Party did support Obama in 1996 but denied that Obama had ever joined, adding that “he was the only candidate on the ballot in his race and never solicited the endorsement.”

We’ve seen that this is false. Obama formally requested New Party endorsement, signed the candidate contract, and joined the party. Is it conceivable that Obama’s own campaign manager could have been unaware of this? The notion is implausible. And the documents make Harwell’s assertion more remarkable still.

I don’t know if the press will do any better at reporting on President Obama’s ties to the New Party during this election than they were in 2008. Whether the press reports it or not, it is rather obvious by the decisions being made by President Obama that he sees America in a different light than the majority of Americans.

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We Need An Honest Election In 2012

 This article has two sources–GoLocalWorcester and Judicial Watch.

The article at GoLocalWorcester lists some basic facts about the integrity of recent elections and the impact of voter ID laws:

A study by the Colorado secretary of state found that nearly 5,000 noncitizens voted in Colorado’s closely contested 2010 Senate race.

According Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, after a photo ID law in 2008, the number of African-American voters has increased more than ten percent. Additionally, all voting demographics have grown at the rate of population growth. Moreover, prior to the passage, they investigated and penalized hundreds of people guilty of election and voter fraud every election cycle.

An article in the in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette tells us that of 1.3 million new registrations ACORN turned in 2008, election officials rejected 400,000. Do you suppose they caught all of the bad ones?

1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as active voters.

And in our City of Worcester, when the Worcester voter census was finally brought in compliance with state law in 2011, some 45% of voters were classified as “inactive”.

Judicial Watch reports:

As the presidential election approaches, the potential for voter fraud is dangerously high nationwide with nearly 2 million dead people still registered to cast ballots, about 3 million eligible to vote in two or more states and millions more that are inaccurate, duplicate or out of date.

The alarming figures were published this week in a report issued by the non-partisan Pew Center on States. It reveals that approximately 24 million active voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies. The problem, apparently, is an outdated registration system that can’t properly maintain records.

…Preserving the integrity of the election process has been a huge issue for Judicial Watch over the years. Just last week JW launched the 2012 Election Integrity Project to pressure states and localities to clean up voter registration polls in order to comply with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). A lengthy JW investigation of public records indicates that voter rolls in numerous states have more registered voters than voting-age population.

Among the states that appear to contain names of individuals who are ineligible to vote are Florida, California, Texas, Colorado, Ohio, Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana and West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Missouri. This month JW sent warning letters to election officials in Indiana and Ohio as well as letters of inquiry to Florida and California officials as part of the probe into their problematic voting lists.

Meanwhile, in its February 2012 newsletter, Judicial Watch reported that through records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), they have learned that there has been extensive communication between the Department of Justice and Estelle Rogers, a former ACORN attorney currently serving as Director of Advocacy for Project Vote. This close relationship is not healthy for our democracy or for our next election.

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In Search Of An Honest Election

Today’s Daily Caller is reporting that Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler has charged that the Obama Justice Department is using selective enforcement of parts of the federal Motor Voter law to advance a political agenda.

The article reports:

The Obama DOJ filed suit against Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration in July 2011, claiming that the state failed to provide eligible voters with sufficient opportunities to register. Under Section 7 of the Motor Voter law that President Bill Clinton signed in 1993, state health and social service agencies are required to offer voter registration forms to all eligible adults.

Project Vote, an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has filed a separate Motor Voter suit against Louisiana, in partnership with the NAACP.

The lawsuits do not deal with the enforcement of Section 8 of the law, which requires that the states keep voter rolls up to date by purging the names of deceased and ineligible voters in order to reduce the opportunity for voter fraud. Unfortunately, that has not been done in most states, and dead people routinely vote in elections. (See rightwinggranny.com)

Until Section 8 is enforced, the Motor Voter law will be an obstacle to honest elections.

 

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Have You Wondered What Happened To ACORN ?

 

Washington, DC, February 8, 2005 -- Acting Dir...

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Fox News reported on Thursday that New York Communities for Change (NYCC), the new incarnation of Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in New York, is desperately attempting to cover its connections to Occupy Wall Street.

The article reports:

Officials with the revamped ACORN office in New York — operating as New York Communities for Change — have fired staff, shredded reams of documents and told workers to blame disgruntled ex-employees for leaking information in an effort to explain away a FoxNews.com report last week on the group’s involvement in Occupy Wall Street protests, according to sources.

NYCC also is installing surveillance cameras and recording devices at its Brooklyn offices, removing or packing away supplies bearing the name ACORN and handing out photos of Fox News staff with a stern warning not to talk to the media, the sources said.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. There is an amazing section in the article which involves around a discussion of whether or not paying people to carry signs is paying them to protest. The article cites a quote from Jonathan Westin, NYCC’s organizing director, when staffers confronted him with the fact that the group was paying protesters:

‘No your job is to fight for economic and social justice. We just send you to protest.’
That kind of logic makes my head hurt.

 

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The Government Is Suing The Wrong People

On Friday, Market Watch reported that the Federal Housing Finance Agency, overseers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is ready to sue a dozen major banks, claiming they misrepresented mortgage securities they bundled together and sold during the run-up to the burst of the housing bubble. Bloomberg.com ran a similar story on Saturday reporting:

Edward J. DeMarco, head of the U.S. watchdog overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, says his job is protecting taxpayers. His critics think he’s undermining the government’s efforts to shore up the economy. 

I firmly believe that the government is suing the wrong people. There is a video at YouTube I have linked to in the past called Burning Down The House which does a very good job of detailing the history of the housing bubble. It shows Congressional testimony relating to decisions that caused the bubble. It is well worth watching.

In 2010 Republicans on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee issued a report entitled, Follow the Money: ACORN, SEIU and their Political Allies.” The executive summary of the report states:

“ACORN drafted language to loosen underwriting standards and decrease down payments in the housing industry, paving the way for the high rate of subprime loans millions of Americans eventually defaulted on.

“ACORN used provisions in the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 that allowed community groups to challenge bank mergers and acquisitions if a bank did not adequately invest in its own community. These challenges, which featured ACORN’s standard intimidation tactics, successfully forced banks to make lending agreements with ACORN Housing. If banks refused ACORN’s demands, they jeopardized approval of mergers in a timely manner. ACORN Housing moved to become a conventional service provider for the loans. ACORN reaped profits from over a billion dollars in loans to low-income neighborhoods. Because of the policies and financial instruments developed, in part through ACORN’s lobbying activities, borrowers eventually defaulted on the loans. The end result was the bursting of the housing bubble.

“ACORN Housing received a total of $39,925,620.13 from Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., CitiBank, HSBC, CapitalOne, and SunTrust. These lenders and banks also provided ACORN with grants, address and bank account information of at-risk homeowners so ACORN could provide free counseling services. Instead, ACORN used the address and bank account information to target struggling Americans who would be signed up as dues-paying members of ACORN. ACORN’s membership recruiting brought in $48 million a year for ACORN — a boon for their Muscle for Money program.”

The banks were not totally innocent in the financial collapse of the housing market, but they were not entirely guilty either. When the government and ACORN required the banks to make risky loans, the banks dealt with the situation by bundling sub-prime loans with good loans and selling them as a package–thus selling off any mortgages that might not be repaid. That was an understandable business decision. What we need is a local banker who knows his customers and can make decisions regarding mortgages based on that knowledge. Unfortunately, when ACORN began protesting banks that were not making enough risky loans, the game changed. It’s time to let banks be banks and the government be the government. There is some need for regulation, but the overregulation and rules of the 1990’s helped cause the problems. The government is suing the wrong people–but I don’t think they can sue themselves.