Over the last few days, the internet has been abuzz with the possibility that the Obama campaign was about to be nailed with a major foreign donor scandal, with some even speculating that the President was so distracted by the pending story, that it contributed to his horrible debate performance.
Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner wrote:
President Obama’s reelection campaign, rattled by his Wednesday night debate performance, could be in for even worse news. According to knowledgeable sources, a national magazine and a national web site are preparing a blockbuster donor scandal story.
The campaign tried desperately to block the story, indicating its importance.
Now, the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) has released the report that shows the campaign has been using social media portals to solicit foreigners for donations, using data mining techniques to gain information about people who may not have actually visited the campaign site, and even operating a website for internet users outside the United States.
This, to put it mildly, would be a violation of federal election laws.
The Daily Caller reports (emphasis mine):
President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has been soliciting foreigners for donations, an explosive report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute (GAI) shows. Those foreign donors are allegedly visiting the Obama campaign’s donation solicitation Web pages through a social media website the campaign controls, and through an outside website that serves mostly Internet users from outside the United States.
About 20 percent of visitors to the “my.barackobama.com” social media website “originated from foreign locations,” the report found. That Web address is owned and controlled by the Obama re-election campaign.
“At no point during the [website’s] subscription process is a visitor asked whether he or she can legally donate to a U.S. election,” GAI notes.
The report adds that once a visitor signs up for the website, they are immediately solicited for campaign donations. “In fact, numerous foreign nationals report receiving solicitation letters and thank you emails from the campaign for their support.”
In a report accompanying the GAI report’s release, former U.S. Attorney Ken Sukhia concluded that the Obama campaign is clearly soliciting donations from foreign nationals.
They also add that the campaign site employs various techniques to mine e-mail and other data from “friends and associations” of members of the site. An example:
Neither President Obama nor his campaign owns Obama.com. Sukhia said data show that 68 percent of traffic to that website comes from foreign users, all of whom are redirected to Obama fundraising Web pages.
Obama.com was registered in September 2008 to Robert Roche, an Obama campaign bundler living in Shanghai, China, according to GAI.
“By October 2, 2008, Obama.com began redirecting all visitors to specific content on my.barackobama.com,” GAI wrote. “Upon arrival to my.barackobama.com, visitors were asked for their name, email, and zip code and presumably were sent solicitation letters, like every other visitor who provides that information to the campaign.”
The report then goes on to demonstrate other tactics that the websites use to gather information, such as e-mail addresses, and continues to redirect viewers to the campaign donation web page.
The donation web page seems to be the crux of the foreign donations activity.
For instance, the campaign website has disabled industry standard credit card verification methods, eliminating the necessity to provide the Card Verification Value (CVV) code on the back of a credit card. The Mental Recession reported on this several months ago, as conservative bloggers were easily demonstrating that the Obama campaign websites were allowing very real donations from some very fake names – Nidal Hasan and Hitler as an example.
Some in the media were pointing out this tactic all the way back to the 2008 presidential campaign, oddly enough spurred on similarly by a record breaking fundraising overhaul reported in September. Back in 2008, Obama had raked in $150 million. This September, $181 million, a massive increase from the donations submitted to his campaign the previous month. The release raised eyebrows, as it was announced quietly via Twitter on a Saturday morning, when it clearly should have been touted as a news story to energize his base.
What’s more, a vast majority of those donations – 98% – are not required to be reported, leaving the door open to the possibility that multiple millions in donations were generated from illegal foreign entities.
An excerpt from U.S. election code reads:
It shall be unlawful for –
(1) a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make –
(A) a contribution or donation of money or other thing of
value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a
contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State,
or local election;
(B) a contribution or donation to a committee of a political
The President himself has griped about American elections being bankrolled by foreign entities. Here is an excerpt from his 2010 State of the Union address (video below):
“With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.”
Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama.
The media and the voters didn’t seem to care about these illegal tactics in 2008, will it matter this election?
Update: Other high profile Democrats not using the CVV security measure on their campaign donation pages include House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.
Update: Download the full report here…
It was just over a year ago that Defense Secretary Robert Gates was hailing the President’s decision to raid the Osama bin Laden compound as a “gutsy call” and “one of the most courageous” he’s seen a president make.
Question: Is it still considered a ‘gutsy call’ if you avoided making the decision three times prior to finally pulling it off?
A campaign ad from team Obama previously questioned whether or not Mitt Romney would have the courage to make such a decision, but now it appears the President himself couldn’t pull the trigger on raiding the bin Laden compound on multiple occasions.
In a new book due to be released in August titled, Leading from Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him, author Richard Miniter reveals that President Obama may have called off the mission kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions.
Part of the book description on Amazon reads:
Obama delayed and canceled the mission to kill Osama bin Laden three times and then committed an intelligence blunder that allowed dozens of high-level members of al Qaeda to escape.
A new report from the Daily Caller cites a portion of the chapter in Leading From Behind which deals with the topic.
At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears…
… Richard Miniter writes that Obama cancelled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book.
Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning. Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision.
Perhaps Obama doesn’t, as Joe Biden once claimed, possess “a backbone like a ramrod” after all.
Here is a clear-cut example of not really thinking things through very carefully – Republicans in the New York State Assembly have proposed legislation that would ban online comments made anonymously.
As a blogger, I can’t tell you how infuriating it is sometimes to watch people make nasty, ill-informed comments under the guise of being anonymous. It allows people to say things and stoop to levels they wouldn’t normally go, because they are protected by the lack of identification.
That said, this proposal has one law professor referring to it as “clearly unconstitutional”, a violation of speech protected under the First Amendment. Thomas O’Mara, the Republican sponsor of the bill, told the Daily Caller that “he had not initially considered that the legislation might ban First Amendment-protected speech.”
He wasn’t the only one however, as Assemblyman Jim Conte wrote a release which urged his colleagues to “promote the Internet Protection Act (A.8688/S.6779)” because it will combat cyber-bullying, crack down on anonymous criticism of local businesses, and “cut down on the types of mean-spirited and baseless political attacks that add nothing to the real debate…”
Additionally, the Daily Caller report indicates that nearly half of the Republicans in the Assembly have supported the legislation.
Ohara explained, “I certainly didn’t introduce the legislation with the thought that it was violative of the First Amendment. We’re certainly looking forward to any and all input.”
The input is this – the legislation is a violation of free speech. The cyber-bullying works both ways. Not allowing some instances in which readers can post comments anonymously could lead to them being harassed by the owner of the site or others who post online. When you run a site that allows for commenting, you’re assuming the risk involved.
Wired.com adds that the measures have yet to be voted on but, “unless the First Amendment is repealed, they stand no chance of surviving any constitutional scrutiny even if they were approved.”
They also humorously note the following:
Had the Internet been around in the late 1700s, perhaps the anonymously written Federalist Papers would have had to be taken down unless Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay revealed themselves.
The anonymous comment legislation is a clear example of over-legislating by lawmakers in New York. Sadly, it was just a couple of weeks ago that judges in the state were ruling that merely viewing child pornography online did not constitute a crime.
No crime for child porn, but a proposed fine for commenting anonymously… Republicans in the Assembly need to redirect their efforts to items of import.
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson unavailable for comment…
Ironically, the image (seen below) was released by ABC News, the same group who hastily released video that allegedly showed no marks on Zimmerman’s head – that is, until conservative bloggers enhanced the video to demonstrate otherwise.
ABC News exclusively obtained a graphic photograph of George Zimmerman’s head covered in blood that was taken just three minutes after the shooting that left 17-year-old Trayvon Martin dead. This news comes as Zimmerman is set to go before a judge in a bond hearing on Friday. The picture shows two cuts on the back of Zimmerman’s head with blood trickling down.
Zimmerman, who shot and killed 17-year-old Martin on February 26 in a gated Sanford community, claimed he killed Martin in self-defense. Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for the shooting death of Martin.
The photograph appears to be the first publicly disclosed piece of evidence that could help support Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense. Sources tell ABC News that investigators have seen the photograph and are aware of the photographer’s story.
Sadly, ABC is still trying to justify their shoddy journalism regarding the video, saying:
Zimmerman was treated at the scene, then transferred to the police station, where his wounds appear to be less visible in surveillance video.
He was treated and cleaned up at the scene, just as the Daily Caller and Breitbart.com were alleging was a possibility from the beginning.
Is there any doubt that new media has eclipsed the main stream media any longer?
After demonstrating a thorough lack of knowledge regarding the system of checks and balances in government, with his veiled threat directed at the Supreme Court, President Obama certainly raised some eyebrows.
“I used to think some of these right-wingers were kind of nutty demanding to see Obama’s college and law school transcripts. I want to see them now,” Ann Coulter said.
But instead of releasing those college transcripts, Harvard is now offering a course in how to better understand the President. Because as always, it’s not him, it’s you that is a moron.
Via the Daily Caller:
Not every Harvard Law School alumnus has a class devoted to him — but then, President Barack Obama is not just any alumnus.According to the Harvard Law School course catalog, professor Charles Ogletree will be teaching a reading group called “Understanding Obama” for one classroom credit during the 2013 spring term.“This reading group will focus on the way in which race, religion, and politics have impacted the development of President Obama as a leader,” the Harvard Law School Course Catalog explains. “We will explore his views as a biracial child, his time as a student at Harvard Law School, the successes and failures of his political campaigns, and the way religion and his views on faith nearly derailed his campaign. Finally, time will be spent analyzing the challenges he faces as president of the United States in establishing both his domestic and global policies.”Obama graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991. He was elected the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review in 1990.Ogletree was a mentor to both President Obama and Michelle Obama while they were Harvard law students.In an interview, Ogletree explained to The Daily Caller that the reading group will deal with both the positive and negative issues surrounding Obama and his presidency.
Then again who knows, maybe studying his grades and his research papers will be part of the curriculum.
ABC News has been caught in a clear-cut case of journalistic malpractice this past week. No matter your feelings on the Trayvon Martin case, this is indisputable evidence of the media trying to advance a narrative – and failing miserably.
ABC was apparently so excited about having obtained exclusive police surveillance video last week, that they posted it and subsequently came to their own conclusions. The headline blasted, “Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman.”
Other media lapdogs ran with it, to the point where the lawyer for Trayvon Martin’s parents referred to the video as “the smoking gun“.
You know who actually went out of their way to perform research and produce actual journalism regarding the video? Conservative blogs.
The Daily Caller posted a still image the following day which appeared to show a laceration on the back of George Zimmerman’s head. Liberal’s such as Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher mocked the Caller’s attempt at video analysis, while posting the original ABC video yet again.
But then, Dan Riehl over at Big Journalism followed up on the video report, finding further evidence that ABC had falsely presented the clip as evidence that Zimmerman had lied about being assaulted.
Riehl’s report read:
A new High Definition clip from the same video appears to make clear that Zimmerman had a gash or wound of some kind on the back of his head. That would be totally consistent with his version of events on the night in question and opposite the impression ABC News gave its viewers.
Big Journalism called the ABC video-based report reckless and revealing of nothing after it first aired. ABC’s presumed ability to enhance and review video before airing only makes their report all the more outrageous. Given analysis by Breitbart Media and the Daily Caller already performed, the ABC video appeared to be inconclusive, at best.
The new High Defintion clip from the police video Breitbart TV is releasing means that any determination beyond that the video is inconclusive is shoddy, if not intentionally unethical, journalism. To date, ABC has offered no official response to the broad and convincing criticism of the disingenuous nature of their aired report.
And now the DC and Big Journalism have had their vindication, with ABC News having to issue a ‘clarified’ version of the video, showing gashes and welts on Zimmerman’s head.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
ABC News has re-digitized video of George Zimmerman taken shortly after Trayvon Martin’s shooting.
The video was unveiled as an exclusive this morning on “Good Morning America.” ABC was the first news organization to show the original tape.
Reporter Matt Gutman said the clearer video shows “what appear to be a pair of gashes or welts on George Zimmerman’s head.”
Neighborhood Watch volunteer Zimmerman has said he shot 17-year-old Trayvon in self-defense. The video shows Zimmerman arriving at the Sanford Police Department within an hour after the shooting.
Gutman said the video had been “clarified” by Forensic Protection Inc. Former FBI Special Agent Brad Garrett told ABC that the clearer video shows “marks on the back of Mr. Zimmerman’s head.”
I’m glad ABC finally took the time to have the video reviewed by experts and clarified, but perhaps they should have done that in the first place.
Whether or not the clarified video will receive as much coverage as the original remains to be seen. But one thing is for certain – none of the hard working journalists at the Daily Caller and Big Journalism will receive any credit for revealing the failed media narrative pushed by ABC. ABC alone will receive praise, none of it deserved.
Methinks she’s not quite sure of the meaning of the word ‘literally’. Literally.
AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker solved the case of the Trayvon Martin shooting by telling the Daily Caller that what caused his death was “conservative, right-wing policies”.
“The same folks who want to kill workers’ rights in the work place are the same folks who want to kill voters’ votes … and now they are literally supporting legislation that is literally killing our children.”
Baker told TheDC that conservative policies, like Florida’s “stand your ground” law — which states that an individual has the right to defend himself if he feels that his life is in imminent danger — are to blame.
“When you look at whose behind it, you find that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a very conservative think tank comprised of corporations and very conservative representatives at the state level are behind this.”
Say, you know who has also been accused of being responsible for somebody’s death? Baker doesn’t have to look far to find the President of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka.
From Freedom @ Work:
As president of the United Mine Workers (UMW) union, Trumka led multiple violent strikes. Trumka’s fiery rhetoric often appeared to condone militancy and violence, especially against workers who dared to continue to provide for their families by working during a strike. As a Virginia judge ruled in 1989, “violent activities are being organized, orchestrated and encouraged by the leadership of this union.”
Take the murder of Eddie York, a nonunion contractor, who was shot in the back of the head and killed while leaving a worksite in 1993. Trumka and other UMW officials were charged in a $27 million wrongful death suit by Eddie York’s widow.
Michelle Malkin adds:
… when it comes to terrorizing workers, Trumka knows whereof he speaks.
Meet Eddie York. He was a workingman whose story will never scroll across Obama’s teleprompter. A nonunion contractor who operated heavy equipment, York was shot to death during a strike called by the United Mine Workers 17 years ago. Workmates who tried to come to his rescue were beaten in an ensuing melee. The head of the UMW spearheading the wave of strikes at that time? Richard Trumka. Responding to concerns about violence, he shrugged to the Virginian-Pilot in September 1993: “I’m saying if you strike a match and you put your finger in it, you’re likely to get burned.” Incendiary rhetoric, anyone?
A federal jury convicted one of Trumka’s UMW captains on conspiracy and weapons charges in York’s death. According to the Washington, D.C.-based National Legal and Policy Center, which tracks Big Labor abuse, Trumka’s legal team quickly settled a $27 million wrongful death suit filed by York’s widow just days after a judge admitted evidence in the criminal trial. An investigative report by Reader’s Digest disclosed that Trumka “did not publicly discipline or reprimand a single striker present when York was killed. In fact, all eight were helped out financially by the local.”
Perhaps Ms. Baker would do well to look in-house before making wild claims about a case in which little has been proven. May we also suggest the purchase of a dictionary to look up the word ‘literally’.
As if yesterday’s report on the massive ballot fraud case in upstate New York wasn’t disconcerting enough, here is a video provided by James O’Keefe and the Daily Caller, showing ballots being handed out in New Hampshire in the names of dead people. Shockingly enough, one of the election workers specifically says they can get away with this because in New Hampshire, “no ID (is) needed”.
Aren’t the Democrats the ones vehemently trying to fight voter ID requirements on the grounds that it’s racist?
In an op-ed yesterday, Newt Gingrich explains why requiring identification, something the Obama administration and Eric Holder have fought tooth and nail, is imperative for the integrity of one of our most important civic duties: voting.
But requiring a photo ID to vote is a common-sense security measure that helps ensure those without legal citizenship don’t vote, those with multiple homes or properties only vote once and that no one votes in place of another. Voters are harmed when illegal or fraudulent votes are cast, as they dilute or discount legitimate votes cast by honest Americans.
Bada** doesn’t begin to define this woman. In an attempt to protect her infant son during a break in, an Oklahoma woman requested permission from a police dispatcher to shoot the intruders – and then in fact, pulled the trigger.
Via the Daily Caller:
Eighteen-year-old Sarah McKinley called police as two men were trying to break into her home on New Year’s Eve. One was armed with a 12-inch hunting knife, Good Morning America reported. McKinley, whose husband died of cancer on Christmas day, was at home alone with her baby.
As the men were trying to gain entry to her house, McKinley reportedly “quickly got her 12 gauge, went into her bedroom and got a pistol, put the bottle in the baby’s mouth and called 911.”
That’s when the mama grizzly’s claws came out:
She then explained the situation to the dispatcher.
“I’ve got two guns in my hand — is it okay to shoot him if he comes in this door?” she asked, explaining, “I’m here by myself with my infant baby, can I please get a dispatcher out here immediately?”
“I can’t tell you that you can do that,” said the dispatcher in response to whether McKinley could shoot the intruders, “but you do what you have to do to protect your baby.”
One of the intruders managed to get into the woman’s home, and went after her with a knife. That particular intruder experienced an unfortunate outcome. He was shot and killed.