theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director

Monday, November 30, 2015


Public rips: 'We don't need more shirtless selfies of you on the Internet'

Geraldo Rivera with his wife Erica Levy and daughter at an estate near Lake Cuomo in Italy (Facebook)
Geraldo Rivera with his fifth wife Erica Levy and daughter at an estate near Lake Cuomo in Italy (Facebook)


After Rivera’s initial announcement Nov. 25, the 72-year-old journalist, whose birth name is Gerald Michael Rivera, commented again about the loss of his radio gig, as he tied it into his coverage of the climate-change summit in Paris.
“I’ll be reporting on the progress of the conference during this week from Paris and elsewhere this week beginning on ‪#‎FoxFriends‬ this morning at 7 AM ET,” wrote Rivera. “Unfortunately, my longtime ‪#‎WABCradio‬ audience will not be able to hear my reports since the new management has locked me out of my show. My conflict will be easily resolved via the courts. Resolving climate change will be a more difficult.”
He also published an in-depth commentary about his removal from the radio airwaves, in a post he titled, “This is the End (Chapter One):
Radio has always appealed to me as an intimate way to speak with an audience that on television is usually far removed and anonymous. In the four years since I joined 77 WABC radio in my hometown of New York I have enjoyed uneven success, but managed to establish an open-mined core following which was cosmopolitan enough to listen to more than just reinforcement of established right-wing ideology that characterizes most of AM radio and has since Rush Limbaugh 27 years ago made the medium the conservative antidote to main stream i.e. left-wing liberal mass media.
In the last two years, my employer Cumulus Media, the owners of WABC and the second largest radio conglomerate in the country suffered both organic and self-inflicted financial distress as evolving technologies and overly aggressive expansion drove the stock price from a high this year of over $4.50 to its current penny stock status.
As the company tanked, the men who employed me, the honorable brothers John and Lew Dickey ultimately found themselves in financial peril, over-extended and prey to hedge funders who gobbled up enough clout to oust them as managers and install someone who had no experience in broadcasting but who apparently impressed those adventurous investors.
I’ll speak more about the shortcomings of the new Cumulus management as this bitter saga wears on, but trust me they have already cost their stock holders hundreds of thousands in lost ad revenue tied to my show.
In locking me out of my studio as of last Friday even though my contract does not expire until December 31st and in refusing to honor the 2016 deal negotiated by the ousted Dickeys, they have breached my contract.
That slight will not go unanswered.
Trust me on this it is not about the money. I have enough and give away to various charities more than most. But because of their unforgivable disrespect I will fight them and they will end up costing their battered company far more in damages than they expect to save in my salary.
“Not red, not blue, but red, white and blue,” my show at 10AM ET on 77 WABC has provided a forum for views that varied from right to left and in between. It has been the favored show of the NYPD and the other uniformed metro area services, active duty and retired.
For me, the pity is this misguided management has deprived my loyal New York audience a program that they have followed and engaged with during a turbulent time of crucial interest, Paris, Planned Parenthood, Ferguson, the cops killed, ISIS, the presidential races, etc.
Don’t get more wrong. Many of my colleagues at the station are talented and experienced broadcasters, like Curtis and Kuby and especially my skilled, long-time sidekick and blood brother Noam Laden. Don Imus is a hoot that I’ve known and loved for over four decades. But his irreverent comedy aside, with the elections less than a year away I believe our New York audience deserves to hear more than strident support for the usual suspects. To be continued.
Rivera’s comments about his ouster have been met with a variety of colorful comments, including one from David Spiel on Facebook, who told Rivera, “Should have more wine with your whine … NO WAIT! Please don’t drink we don’t need more shirtless selfies of you on the Internet.”
That remark was in reference to a provocative photo of the broadcaster that Rivera himself posted on Twitter.
Geraldo's infamous tweet of himself
Geraldo’s infamous tweet of himself
Other online commenters seem to have little sympathy for Geraldo:
  • “Oh cry me a river! You’re the FIRST person EVER to lose a radio job. We’re all in shock! A new company management team decided on a different direction, and you aren’t part of it. Why that’s the first time that has EVER happened to anybody in the history of radio. Put on your big girl panties, and go sign another affiliate.”
  • “15 years in radio and I never saw a successful transition from film or TV to radio. I have, however, seen several successful examples of transitions the other way, from radio into other media. [Geraldo] got fired from radio because he lacked radio talent. The industry cannot support the below average of the industry today.”
  • “Your bitterness and desire to punish is below you. Take the high ground and move on. There are plenty of liberal radio stations and almost all main stream media is liberal. There is a place for you out there. [George] Soros owns plenty of left media. Ask him.”
  • “Using Paris as a bargaining tool is about as classy as exploiting your daughters terror fears on national television. Pathetic.”
  • “Perhaps Fox News could follow suit and dump his overbearing, condescending, narcissistic butt. He brings nothing to the table except his ego and when disagreed with threatens physical retaliation. Could his career, such as it’s been, be over now? Please?”


Clinton email classification rate rises

325 messages deemed ‘classified,’ one deemed ‘secret’ in new batch

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking at the at New Hampshire Democrats party's annual dinner in Manchester, N.H., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)

Photo by: Cheryl Senter
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pauses while speaking at the at New Hampshire Democrats party's annual dinner in Manchester, N.H., Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter

The classification rate for former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s government emails rose again Monday, as the department released more than 5,000 additional messages and deemed at least 6 percent of them to contain information that had to be kept from the public.

All told, some 325 messages in the new batch of emails were deemed “classified,” and one was deemed “secret.” Most of the classified messages were exchanged with fellow State Department employees, but a few of them were between Mrs. Clinton and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and others involved Sidney Blumenthal, a controversial confidante of the Clintons.
In the newly released emails, Mr. Blumenthal gave Mrs. Clinton advice on peace negotiations in Northern Ireland, and in one instance Mrs. Clinton even gave Mr. Blumenthal marching orders, asking him to confirm details he had shared with her about one of the factions involved in the peace negotiations.
Mrs. Clinton had previously said Mr. Blumenthal’s messages to her were unsolicited.
One document simply labeled “PLAN” was redacted entirely, including the name of the author and the date of the document. And another document, which the department filing system listed as a letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and addressed to “President,” was also redacted in full.
The document labeled “secret,” meanwhile, was another copy of an email released during the initial set of Benghazi-related messages. Many of the 21,360 emails that have now been released are duplicates or parts of back-and-forth exchanges, so repeats are common.
The classified documents are routinely marked as relating to information derived from a foreign government or concerning a foreign power’s activities, which would cover messages such as Mr. Blair’s.
The new emails are part of the more than 30,000 messages Mrs. Clinton returned to the State Department last year, or nearly two years after she left her job as secretary. She revealed that she had rejected use of a account and instead used a server she set up at her New York home — and she kept the messages when she left government service.
After prodding by the congressional probe into the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack, Mrs. Clinton turned the messages back over to the administration, and under a court order the State Department is making them public.
The department has now released 21,360 emails, with another two sets still to come — one at the end of December and another at the end of January, or just days before the Iowa presidential caucuses.
Earlier in November the State Department released the standard nondisclosure agreements Mrs. Clinton, and her two top aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, signed when they joined the department. In those documents the three women promised to properly care for classified information.
The department also released separation agreements from Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills in which they asserted that they had returned all official government documents. No such agreement for Mrs. Clinton has been found in the department’s files.
Mrs. Clinton and her aides have returned tens of thousands of documents to the State Department that they sent during their time in government and that should have been kept in the department all along.
Mrs. Clinton’s email messages are all being released publicly, while her aides’ messages won’t be released in full, but are being searched in response to dozens of open-records requests.
The Associated Press, which filed one of the requests seeking Mrs. Clinton’s schedules, reported Monday that she met or spoke by phone with nearly 100 corporate executives and longtime financial backers in what the news organization described as stark planning for the 2016 campaign even while she was still holding office under Mr. Obama.


Pamela Geller warns that nation 'may never recover from catastrophe'


In her 239-year history, America has made three colossal mistakes. These do not, however, overwhelm the fact that the idea of America is wholly unique to mankind.
America was the first moral government based on individual rights and freedom. No other government in the history of mankind was based on such a concept. Man’s value and his inalienable rights were paramount to the Founding Fathers. Extraordinary. Everything noble and magnificent that this great nation achieved was in accord with the principle of individual rights.
The idea of American exceptionalism – a concept that President Obama not only scorns but has absolutely no understanding of – is synonymous with the concept of individualism. What is American exceptionalism except individual exceptionalism?
Individualism regards every man as an independent being who possesses an unalienable right to live his own life, dream his own dream and be the master of his own destiny; no group, no mob, no special interest has rights other then the individual rights of all of its citizens.
The social system of a nation based on individualism is capitalism. The best description that comes to mind is from “Atlas Shrugged”: “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.” Indeed, this is what made America great.
But there have been these three principal mistakes:
1) Slavery
At the time of the American founding, slavery was common practice. Blacks were sold into slavery by other black tribes. Africans and Muslims sold slaves to European and American slave traders.
But slavery was an assault on the very idea of America. A country based on individual rights could hardly reconcile that with the idea of slavery. Capitalism is the only system incompatible with slavery. Our Founding Fathers knew this, and they fought long and hard with the slave states, but those states were having none of it. During the Constitutional Convention and all of the debates concerning the Constitution, the best men wanted to abolish slavery right away, and, clearly, they should have. The South, however, would not join the Union without slaves. Without the South, the fledging country would not win a war against the British. So they compromised.
In any deal between good and evil, evil profits. Ayn Rand said, “In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win.” And so it did. Slavery led to the catastrophic Civil War. Approximately 650,000 Americans died so slaves would be free, to the great honor of this country (something the haters never mention). That horrible wrong was corrected at an unfathomable cost.
2) Jimmy Carter
Before Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter was easily the most disastrous president this country ever had. Many of the troubles we have today in the Middle East, and the rise of the global jihad, can be attributed to his policies.
Carter began the destabilization of the Middle East and the rollback of secularism there when he betrayed the shah, our great ally in a critical region, and enabled his overthrow at the hands of the bloodthirsty mullahs who established the Islamic Republic of Iran.
That betrayal bore immediate poison fruit with the 1979 hostage crisis, during which Carter dithered impotently and gave to the world an indelible image of American weakness. When the mullahs freed the hostages on Jan. 20, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated president, they showed the world what they thought of both Carter and his successor.
Imagine if we had backed the shah. Hollywood has churned a number of movies and TV series (Amazon has one right now) imagining what the world would have looked like had the Nazis won. Current reality reflects the inversion of this. Imagine if we had backed the shah – what a wonderful turn for the world. Iran would not be the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. There would be no Hezbollah (an Iranian proxy). The U.S. would have had a staunch ally in the Middle East – a powerful alliance.
Carter lasted only one term, but those terrible four years established that America was not a reliable ally, and would abandon those nations who had been our faithful friends (a precedent Barack Obama has followed many times). In unleashing the mullahs, Carter’s presidency set another precedent as well: It established that America would underestimate, misunderstand and downplay the threat from jihadis and pro-Shariah Islamic supremacists – another precedent Obama has faithfully followed and expanded upon.
3) Barack Obama
Nothing has ever happened to the United States that is worse than the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama. A committed Marxist collectivist, he has stood throughout his presidency against that very principle of individual rights that made America great. In abandoning our allies and aligning with the Muslim Brotherhood and other sinister groups, he has aligned with the most evil forces of the 21st century and overturned the order of the world. In abandoning and even actively turning against our allies (most notably Israel), he has made the United States of America, for so long the beacon of freedom in the world, into an untrustworthy ally, a nation that cannot be taken at its word.
We will be paying for Obama’s presidency for decades to come. The full dimensions of the damage he has caused – the gutting of the economy, the new polarization of the races, the Iran nuclear deal and more – is likely only to be known once he is out of office. And America may never recover from this catastrophe.
If it does, however, it will be because it recovered respect for the principle of individual rights. As Reagan once said, “With all its flaws, American remains a unique achievement for human dignity on a scale unequaled anywhere in the world.” That is still true. The shining city on the hill can shine again. But at this point, that will take a massive change in our political and media culture.



What comes next is political.

China’s Renminbi Is Approved by I.M.F. as a Main World Currency

Daniel McDowell

Monday afternoon, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board voted in favor of allowing China’s currency — the yuan (or renminbi) — tojoin the ranks of the world’s most elite monies. On Oct. 1, 2016, the yuan will officially be added to the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket of currencies, which previously included only the dollar, euro, yen, and pound sterling.  The decision to include the yuan in the basket indicates the board felt the yuan meets the required “freely useable” standard, meaning it is widely used to settle international transactions and widely traded in foreign exchange markets.
The move legitimizes the yuan as a global reserve currency — an important designation that I will explain below. And which governments will start investing most significantly in yuan? Those that dislike the U.S.-led international order, as I will explain.
What is a reserve currency?
Just like individuals, governments maintain their own investment portfolios that function as a sort-of “rainy day fund.” Typically, central banks operate as their country’s investment managers, regularly making decisions about how best to allocate the government’s financial assets.
A key part of this process is deciding on the currency denomination of their investments. For example, if a central bank decides to invest heavily in Treasury bonds, that means the country holds a lot of U.S. dollars in reserve. Investments in German government bonds, conversely, represent euro holdings. These assets are appropriately referred to as “foreign exchange reserves.”
Central banks typically hold a blend of currencies in their foreign exchange reserves. Today, the U.S. dollar is the world’s most popular reserve currency, representing roughly 64 percent of global reserve assets. The second most popular is the euro, at about 20 percent, and the pound sterling and yen come in at about 5 and 4 percent respectively.
That means roughly 93 percent of the world’s foreign exchange reserves are held in one of these four currencies. Typically, when people use the term “reserve currency” they are referring to this exclusive group.
These are the four currencies listed in the IMF’s SDR basket. In practical terms, the SD­R’s primary function is as a unit of account for the IMF, with official IMF documents reporting the institution’s own assets and liabilities in SDR terms. Its value, which changes daily, is based on the exchange rates of the four — soon to be five — currencies in the SDR basket.
Why does the IMF’s decision matter?
The IMF’s opinion means something to reserve currency managers and financial markets. Including the yuan in the SDR basket can be thought of as the IMF’s Good Housekeeping “Seal of Approval,” signalling that it is ready for the big time as a global investment and trade settlement currency.
Recently, one major global bank predicted that SDR classification could lead asset managers, including central banks and private investors alike, to shift a whopping $1 trillion into yuan. Issuing a top reserve currency tends to be quite beneficial. For example, the dollar’s role as a top reserve currency is one of the reasons the U.S. government is able to borrow from foreign creditors so cheaply. These low rates are transferred on to American citizens. Estimates suggest that top reserve status confers an estimated $100 billion on the U.S. economy, annually.
If global demand for the yuan grows, Beijing would benefit in similar ways.
Of course, SDR classification alone will not propel the yuan to challenge the dollar for the position of top global reserve currency. Reserve decisions are largely driven by the economic attractiveness of particular currencies.
Governments that issue top reserve currencies need to provide large and open financial markets where foreign investors — including central banks — can buy and sell assets in the currency freely and quickly. China is slowly moving in this direction.
A relatively stable exchange rate also enhances a reserve currency’s economic attractiveness. Similarly, the more the yuan is used in trade settlement and debt markets, the more likely central banks are to increase their holdings of the currency.
But economics are not everything. Governments also select their reserve currencies in part as votes about which global political order they prefer, asSteven Liao and I argue in a forthcoming article at International Studies Quarterly.
The geopolitics of choosing a reserve currency choice
Increasingly, scholars and observers are arguing that the ideas and principles that underlie the existing, U.S.-led liberal order are being contested. China is the key challenger to the status quo order based on U.S. military preponderance, democratization, human rights, and the globalization of free market capitalism
Liao and I explore whether a state’s decision to hold yuan should be influenced by what international order it prefers. The dollar’s position as top reserve currency is a potent symbol of American power. Consequently, national decisions to invest in yuan may be symbolic repudiations of American dominance, and endorsements of an alternative world order with Chinese characteristics.
We argue that countries that support the U.S.-led order should be less inclined to diversify their reserves into yuan. Conversely, states that are less supportive of the U.S. order should be more likely to shift reserve assets into yuan.
In our paper, Liao and I identify 37 central banks that added yuan to their foreign exchange reserves between 2010 and 2014 (prior to the IMF’s SDR classification). We then estimate a statistical model of reserve currency choice.
Using a new measure of satisfaction with the U.S. order by Michael Bailey, Anton Strezhnev and Erik Voeten, we find that the single best predictor of an official investment in yuan is a country’s (dis)satisfaction with the U.S.-led order. In fact, this measure clearly outperforms a battery of measures designed to account for variation in the economic attractiveness of the currency.
Our findings suggest that the trajectories of new reserve currencies are influenced by geopolitical forces. At least in this early stage, China’s position as America’s geopolitical rival seems to have increased interest in the yuan as a reserve currency among countries that are dissatisfied with the U.S. order.
Ultimately, the economic attractiveness of the yuan will have the greatest impact on the currency’s position in the global reserve system. China must also further open its domestic financial markets to foreigners and remove its grip on the yuan’s exchange rate if it is to truly challenge the dollar.
If Beijing can accomplish these things, the yuan’s share of global reserves should grow. Our results imply that the yuan will be most popular among countries that share a distaste for U.S. primacy. Thus what may emerge over time is an increasingly politicized global reserve currency system where geopolitical preferences influence the “blend” of currencies central banks hold in their coffers.

University president rebukes 'self-absorbed, narcissistic' students

Todd Starnes

A chapel sermon on love left a student at Oklahoma Wesleyan University feeling “offended” and “victimized.”
But instead of capitulating to the offended young scholar, OWU President Everett Piper pushed back with a blistering rebuke of what he called “self-absorbed and narcissistic” students.
“This is not a day care. This is a university,” he wrote in a blog that has since gone viral.
Back home in Tennessee, we call that a “Come to Jesus” moment. 
“Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic,” he wrote. “Any time their feelings are hurt, they are victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them ‘feel bad’ about themselves, is a ‘hater,’ a  ‘bigot,’ an ‘oppressor,’ and a ‘victimizer.’”
Oh behalf of a grateful nation, I say, thank you, Dr. Piper.
It’s refreshing to see a grown man with advanced degrees willing to stand up to a generation of perpetually-offended nincompoops and bullies.
Dr. Piper’s brilliant take on the current state of affairs on college campuses came about after a student complained about a chapel sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 – the Bible’s love chapter.
The student felt offended because the “homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love,” he explained. “In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.”
Dr. Piper offered some wise advice for the young man.
“If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for,” he wrote. “If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.”
For weeks we’ve watched academically-castrated university presidents capitulate to the outrageous demands of students.
But finally – there’s a Christian university willing to stand up and say, “Enough!”
“The bottom line is that at the end of the day I would argue that college is not about safe spaces or being a safe place,” Dr. Piper told me in a telephone interview. “OWU is not a safe place.”
He said the nation’s universities should be ashamed for educating a culture of “selfish individuals.”
“The university needs to recognize that our obligation is to challenge bad thinking and bad ideas and not coddle individuals in their self-absorption and narcissism,” he said.
The modern-day collegian is a fragile snowflake – who needs psychological help for such atrocities as reading the works of a white author or attending Taco Night at the campus dining hall.
Humorous? You bet!
Dangerous? Absolutely.
A recent Pew Research poll revealed that 40 percent of millennials support a crackdown on offensive speech.
Dr. Piper warned that could set the stage for a problem that transcends college campuses.
“Do we want ideological fascism or do we want intellectual freedom and academic freedom,” he asked. “Because really what we have right now is an argument for ideological fascism. You must submit. You must agree. You must be one of us. And if you don’t, we will silence you. We will crush you.”
The nation needs more academic leaders like Dr. Piper – a grownup willing to say what needs to be said to coddled collegians.
It’s time to put on your big-boy pants, kids.

De-Bolshevization and the March of the Useful Idiots

Bruce Walker

Nazi Germany and the ideology which inspired it was so evil that when we won the Second World War, "de-Nazification" was the remedy.  The Nazis had murdered millions of innocent people, conspired to begin an aggressive world war that plunged most of mankind into bloodshed and destruction, and preached a gospel of hate and lies and infected millions.  De-Nazification was the right thing to do.
When the Soviet Union imploded twenty-five years ago, there was a compelling case to be made for de-Bolshevization.  Communists had murdered many more innocent people than the Nazis – 100,000,000 is the conservative number French leftists calculated in The Black Book of Communism – the first mass genocide in modern Europe was not the Holocaust but the Holodomor, a term virtually unknown to most Americans.
The Second World War was begun not by Hitler, but by Hitler and Stalin.  Nazi Germany, until June 1941, had no more slavish lackey and no more devoted helper than Soviet Union and no greater "Fifth Column" in the democracies than communists in those nations.
As awful as Hitler and the Nazis were, the Soviets were worse.  The hundreds of Gulag camps swallowed perhaps eighty million people, whose pathetic stories filled books before Hitler came to power.  The Iron Curtain stretched thousands of miles, with barbed wire, minefields, and attack dogs to keep the people who lived in Communist lands from leaving, something unknown until then in human history.
The horror of Communism extended even deeper.  The Soviet Union, uniquely in human history, had life expectancy grow progressively shorter.  The standard of living of Russian peasants in 1960 was lower than in 1913, the last year before the First World War.  Science completely atrophied.  Art and culture died.  The Soviet Union managed to be both virulently anti-Semitic and detestably anti-Christian. 
What could be worse than those party functionaries who presided over this wretched empire, which had been the loyal ally of Nazism?  How about those fortunate enough to live safely in America, living in relative comfort and ease because of America, serving a foreign monstrosity like Communism while they sneer hatefully and mockingly toward the land that blessed them?  How about some hideous creature like Dalton Trumbo?
There were men who idealistically embrace Communism and then recoiled in horror when they experienced firsthand its diabolical nature.  Max Eastman, Eugene Lyons, Benjamin Gitlow, and Louis Budenz were among the most prominent Communists in America before they rejected The God that Failed, as one book's title explained their journey from Marxism.
Men like Dalton Trumbo and women like Betty Friedan, however, stayed slavishly devoted to this modern-day Beelzebub.  They moved beyond just "Communist" into an even lower level of Hell, "Stalinist."  When Hitler tied himself to Stalin, Stalin promised much more than just oil, cotton, grain, minerals, and other resources and much more than just the diplomatic support of the Soviet Union for every aggressive action by the Nazis.  Hitler sought – and Hitler got – the active support of communists in America.
Betty Freidan protested America helping Britain fight Germany until Russia was attacked.  Dalton Trumbo, when pacifism served the interests of the Soviet Union during Stalin’s alliance with Hitler, published his anti-war book Johnny Got His Gun, but when war fever helped Stalin, when Hitler invaded Russia, Trumbo became passionately pro-war.  He withdrew Johnny Got His Gun from publication, and when Americans who truly hated war begged him to put the book back in publication, he turned their names over to the FBI as suspected traitors.  Trumbo rediscovered his pacifism in the Korean War, which history shows was one of the few good wars fought in modern history. 
The failure of de-Bolshevization means that creeps like Friedan and Trumbo, who are morally indistinguishable from the George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party in 1959, are eulogized as heroes by ignorant Americans who have never heard of just how bad they were.
Worse, the old canard "McCarthyism" is raised, ignoring the sobering fact that when the archives of the Soviet Union were opened by President Yelstin, Western scholars discovered, to their horror, that the penetration of American government by Soviet agents was dramatically greater than even men like McCarthy had alleged. 
Hollywood, which has yet to produce a film about the Gulag or the Holodomor or the Great Terror, has also never made a film about the very real evil of communists in their midst – and, we can be sure, it never will.  We pay a dear price for the failure of de-Bolshevization.

Clinton/Obama Gamed Financial System to Expand Party's Power

Michael Bargo, Jr.

Since FDR the Democratic Party has continually developed new strategies to keep itself in power; from taking political control of the largest urban areas of the nation to expanding voter lists with illegal immigrants. In the past twenty-five years, the greatest economic change to the U.S. was the unprecedented growth of government debt and spending. It is interesting to explore whether Democrats played any active role in what is known as the mortgage meltdown and if so, whether their actions were motivated by political gain.
It is widely accepted that the 1992 Community Reinvestment Act fostered the growth of subprime mortgages. At the same time there was an interesting growth in the power and influence of ACORN on Democratic Party elections. Both Obama and Clinton acted to enhance ACORN’s Democratic voter registration activities. 
In 1993 Clinton signed the “Motor Voter” law, empowering ACORN to register hundreds of thousands of Democrats nationwide. Barack Obama becameinvolved with ACORN in 1993 when he agreed to run a successful voter registration drive for ACORN affiliate Project Vote. In 1995 he successfully sued the state of Illinois to enforce the Motor Voter law. He rose to become a trainer of ACORN staff and then joined the board of the Woods Fund where he funneledsubstantial grants to ACORN.
In the 1990s as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started their strategy to lower home mortgage underwriting standards ACORN became the major player in a scheme to use banks to funnel money directly into Democratic campaigns across the nation.
At that time, big banks in the U.S. wanted to merge into mega-banks to achieve economy of scale and greater market access. Congressional Democrats knew this and devised a way to use the banks’ merger plans to give financial support to their activist groups. The scheme involved authorizing activist groups to represent community housing concerns at Federal bank regulator meetings. At these meetings, activists could sway regulators into approving a bank’s merger by giving the bank a high CRA -- Community Reinvestment Act -- rating. 
Banks were then pressured to enter into explicit partnerships with an activist group in advance of a Federal regulator hearing so the activists could help them gain the Feds’ approval. A group called the National Community Reinvestment Coalition published a 101-page guide instructing activist groups on “how to negotiate with banks that were in the process of merging.” 
Activist groups entered into long-term contracts with banks guaranteeing specific commitments for home mortgage and small business lending that would be “channeled through the activist groups themselves.” Financial institutions believed that in the future Federal agencies would cover any potential financial losses[viii] incurred by these high risk mortgages.
The dollar amounts of these agreements were staggering. Between 1977 and 2007 there were 376 such agreements involving credit commitments of $867 billion. In addition, these activist groups were paid “fees and contributions” ofover $9.5 billion. ACORN alone received $39.9 million in fees for administering programs through their community groups. Husock called this the “Trillion dollar bank shakedown.” 
By 2004, ACORN had an annual budget of $40 million and offices in eight hundred fifty poor neighborhoods. That year ACORN and Project Vote registered 1.15 million new voters and mobilized 4,000 workers to get out votes on election day. The tendency for ACORN to abuse registration requirements is now legendary. In Kansas City, Missouri four indicted ACORN workers pleaded guilty to vote fraud and 40% of the 35,000 registrations submitted by ACORN were proven to be bogus.
The entire CRA home lending program was primarily run by Clinton to benefit the urban areas run by Democrats. In a July 1999 speech President Clinton boasted: “over 95% of the community investments… made in the 22 years of that law have been made in the six and a half years that I’ve been in office.” The total value of subprime GSE mortgages created by this government sponsored scheme was $5.25 trillion. The loans done through Federal housing agencies were kept off national books. 
Three Democrat goals were achieved here. The first was to inject liquidity into the large Democratic cities. Secondly, it supported 1990s illegal immigrant home ownership and construction jobs for immigrants, enabling Democrat unions to keep jobs in shrinking cities.
The third goal was to channel the agreement money to national activist groups to finance demonstrations and get-out-the-vote Democrat campaigns. The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) had, by 2012, obtained $13 billion in bank commitments from large banks including Citibank and Bank of America. To this day, NACA brokers home loans requiring no down payment, no closing costs, no fees, no income limit, and poor credit as long as applicants first agree to participate in at least five actions per year, including demonstrations against financial exploitation, economic injustice, black lives matter, etc. This proves the unconstitutional, direct financing of political activities through financial market manipulation.
The growth of high risk mortgage loans and refinancings created the massive bubble that caused the 2008 equities collapse and decimated the value of public pension funds. Obama took unprecedented steps to restore the pensions of public sector unions. By 2014 he used Treasury to purchase $1.8 trillion of the bad MBS debt created by Federal housing programs.
QE programs successfully restored funding levels of the public sector pensions. Since the public unions give one hundred percent of their campaign contributions to Democrats, the money he printed will be kicked back to support his Party’s campaigns. This is the ultimate banana republic-style act of financial corruption: printing money to reward Party loyalists.
The QE program was also done off the books, i.e. without Congressional approval. It is not recorded as national debt, only as a liability on the Treasury’s balance sheet of $4.5 trillion. In effect, the Treasury Dept. was used to bail out government housing programs for the money Clinton made available for housing aid to Democratic cities, public sector unions, and campaign activities of pro-Democrat groups. These were not direct money transfers, but used second and third order actors.
Obama performed another role: he expanded his party’s control of investment banks through Dodd-Frank. That bill puts control of major players of the financial markets into the hands of a few presidential appointees; a financial oligarchy.
All of these actions were taken with the goal of financing the Democratic National Machine.