See Who Is Actually The Most Powerful Person In DC. (Hint: It’s Not Obama, Pelosi, Or Reid)

The most powerful man in Washington today is not President Obama.  Nor is it Sen. Harry Reid. It is a California billionaire named Tom Steyer, whose promise to spend $50 million and raise another $50 million to help the Democrats maintain control of the U.S. Senate has given him veto power over one of the most critical projects in America — the Keystone Pipeline.

As America struggles to get back on its feet economically, the Keystone Pipeline is an opportunity to put tens of thousands of blue-collar workers back on the job.  Many unions who have held hands with the environmentalists (for hopes of unionizing green energy jobs that never materialized) are pleading to the White House to allow the project to move forward, but to no avail.  Mr. Steyer has what these workers do not — a billion dollars in his checkbook and the willingness to spend it on politics.

With a critical deadline looming for the president to approve the project, Mr. Steyer’s political advisor Chris Lehane issued a threat.  If the president approves the pipeline, Mr. Steyer will not be writing any checks.  It was extortion, pure and simple — and it worked. The project was delayed again a few days later, and Rolling Stone reports that the president will drive the final nail in the Keystone coffin shortly after the November elections.

Senator Everett McKinley once quipped, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.”  That’s why Steyer is not working alone in the effort to write big checks for the Democrats.  He is part of the Democracy Alliance, a shadowy organization founded with the help of George Soros, that gathers millionaires and billionaires together to pool their resources to push the country left.

The Democracy Alliance just met in Chicago with a key speech coming from New York Mayor Bill de Blazio. Comically, the theme of his speech was “income inequality.”  It hasn’t seemed to dawn on the group of the uber-rich that the policies they are promoting are causing income inequality.

Opposing Keystone will kill tens of thousands of blue collar jobs.

Pushing Ethanol drives up the price of food for families.

Killing the coal industry and preventing fracking will put tens of thousands on the unemployment lines.

Taxing carbon will destroy the economy, turning the country into an economic basket case.

Those are just some of the issues at stake this November.  Should Steyer and his ilk buy enough Senate races to keep Harry Reid in power, the uber liberal rich will still have their money; but blue collar Americans will suffer to an even greater extent.  There is income inequality in this country; but when you can afford to write $50 million checks to politicians, you might be able to talk about it. Still, you can’t admit you are causing it.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

A Tale Of Two Democratic Donors

To the casual observer, it appears that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling will be destroyed by the media because he is a bigot, a racist, and a despicable person. He is, of course, all of these things; but that’s not why he will be destroyed by the media. Consider the contrast between him and George Soros.

Soros has been convicted of a serious crime he committed in France and cannot set foot in Europe without facing extradition to Paris for immediate imprisonment.

Up to now, the media has covered for both of these men, primarily because they are Democrat donors. Although no amount of Democrat donations should be enough to keep a convicted felon wanted by an ally from being sent back, George Soros has no worries about being shipped back to France to start his prison stretch. He is a big Democrat donor.

Donald Sterling is a moron who has shown himself to be an enemy of minority people because of their race, but he has not been convicted of a crime. Nevertheless, he has been hounded out of the NBA – as he should be- by the same liberal media that never mentions Soros’ criminal record. He is a small time Democrat donor. That is the essential difference between these two examples of Democrat manhood.

The Sterling “gotcha” tape that is circulating through the media may actually be a fake. Listening to it puts to mind the dialogue of a daytime soap opera. It is stilted and virtually devoid of the genuine emotion that should accompany an “argument” between two lovers who are breaking up.  That is now beside the point.

The tape reveals that Sterling has a problem with his girlfriend bringing Magic Johnson – who is not only black but the AIDS-infected father of a gay son – to Clippers games. To be sure, this is an ugly thing. Johnson is a totally innocent person in this matter. His only “crime” in Sterling’s eyes is being black. This latest incident and Sterling’s track record as a bigoted landlord and bigoted team owner will be front page news for a while.

It is a good thing Democrat donor Sterling is as cheap as he is a creep because if he was a heavy donor like George Soros, the media would find a way to protect him.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

What Does This Secret Group Of Super-Wealthy Liberals Have In Store For America?

The Koch Brothers are all over the liberal media these days. The famous brothers are hated by liberals because the brothers’ deep pockets go to help fund a variety of right-wing causes.

However, are the Koch Brothers and their allies just a phenomenon of the right, whereas the liberal treasure chests are filled merely by humble commoners hoping to band together against right-wing big shots? Well, as most Western Journalism readers know, the answer is no. However, it is not just billionaire George Soros donating big money to help the radical feminists, environmentalists, and atheists fuel their agenda.

Instead, there is an entire organization of wealthy people that meets behind closed doors to determine the direction they want for America.  In fact, the Democracy Alliance, as it is called, will be holding its annual spring meeting this time in Obama’s hometown, good ol’ Chicago. The meeting will not be composed entirely of wealthy liberal donors, though. They will also be joined by union bigwigs and progressive stars such as Bill de Blasio. de Blasio will be delivering a keynote speech at the Ritz Carlton as the conference kicks off.

This conference is indeed secretive. Press are barred from the sessions, and participants are not allowed to discuss the proceedings.

The price to be a member of the club is a steep one.  Members have to pay $30,000 in annual dues and give at least $200,000 a year to recommended groups.

What do these recommended groups look like? They include various leftist groups such as Media Matters, the Center for American Progress, and Catalist.

Panels at the conference will focus on pushing various aspects of the leftist agenda, including income inequality, global warming, gun control, and abortion rights.

The conference looks to be moving leftward from its already liberal stances. A new leadership is replacing the Obama and Clinton loyalists who had been running the Democracy Alliance.  One reason this is important is that this club’s members could be important in determining whether Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton gets the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination. Erica Payne, who helped found the club and now leads a liberal nonprofit said the following:

I anticipate the Democracy Alliance becoming both more progressive and more aggressive (emphasis added) in the coming years. That will disturb centrist Democrats, but it will be healthy and productive for the country. They need to be challenged on these things.

So there it is. A “progressive” group filled with wealthy people, labor union officials, and progressive stars will be meeting this next week behind closed doors to discuss the direction they would like America to head.

Is this group really a “Democracy Alliance”  putting forth resistance against the corroding democracy in America? Or is this group meeting in secret to discuss how they can get this country under their grasp once and for all? Feel free to share your thoughts.

 

This post originally appeared at the Sound Money Institute, a site devoted to understanding the current economic problems from a free market perspective. It discusses how these problems can be solved on a political level and also how individuals can successfully navigate these economic problems for themselves.

Photo Credit: Templar 1307 (Creative Commons)

Photo credit: SS&SS (Creative Commons) George Soros

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

This Is Why We Should Fear George Soros, Not The Koch Brothers

Judging from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s nearly daily diatribes on the floor of the U.S. Senate, George W. Bush has been retired as the most despised villain and the cause of all the evils that plague the world. Bush has been replaced by the Koch (a Dutch name, pronounced “Coke”) brothers, who are often maligned by the left for their pecuniary influence in politics. Since those on the left are not equally malevolent toward George Soros, who does the same thing, it’s clearly not the money in politics that bothers them — it’s the ideology.

The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize winning Fact Check granted a “Four Pinocchio” rating to Reid’s latest round of attacks. The Post says Reid is “setting a high standard for deceptive speech,” and concludes that Reid’s party is “reaching blindly” for someone to cast the blame of their own failures on. The paper, critical of the falsity of Reid’s claim, chides him with, “If you want to join a gun fight, don’t fire blanks.”

David and Charles Koch are brothers who run Koch Industries, an oil refinery business that is the second largest private firm in the country. The brothers are tied at number 6 on Forbes top billionaires list with personal net worth of about $41 billion each. They’ve expanded and maintained their fortunes by successfully providing the refined product that keeps America moving – oil.

George Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management, a hedge fund company. Soros is number 27 on Forbes list with a net worth of $23 billion. He’s made his fortune in large part by selling short against international currencies and collapsing financial institutions. In 1997, he was dubbed “the man who broke the Bank of England”; and he was blamed by the Malaysian Prime Minister for collapsing their currency during the Asian financial crisis. He was also convicted of illegal financial dealings in France. His big bet now is collapsing the U.S. dollar and the free enterprise system.

Economist Paul Krugman has been critical of Soros and others like him, “who not only move money in anticipation of a currency crisis, but actually do their best to trigger that crisis for fun and profit. These new actors on the scene do not yet have a standard name; my proposed term is ‘Soroi’.”

The Koch brothers and Soros spend lavishly in politics. They support individual candidates, contribute to political party campaign funds, lobby politicians, bankroll political action committees, and have established foundations and think tanks to influence politics.

The Kochs spend by far the most, but the bulk of it goes to lobbying. The Open Society Institute is one of George Soros’ organizations, and they provide part of the funding of OpenSecrets.org; so even realizing that their data may be skewed toward a more pejorative coverage of the Kochs, I’m going to rely on their data. According to Open Secrets, the Koch brothers have spent (or as liberals typically describe it, “invested”) over $50 million in lobbying from 1998-2010. During that same time, Soros and his primary Lobbying organization, the Open Society Policy Center, spent about $13 million.

Donations to federal candidates, parties, and political action committees give a smaller advantage to the Kochs. They invested $2.58 million vs. Soros’ $1.74 million from 1989 to 2010. When extended to include the past four years, the Koch brothers have contributed $18 million in political donations. This sounds like a great number, until we look at the 58 organizations ahead of them, including 18 different unions, according to Open Secrets. Those unions’ political contributions total over $638 million, almost all of whose funds go to liberal candidates, and is more than 35 times what the Kochs donate. Among those are the American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees ($60,667,379), the National Education Association ($53,594,488), the United Auto Workers ($41,667,858), and the Service Employees International Union ($38,395,690.)

But from here, the money for political influence gets a little more shady. From 2001 to 2010, the Koch brothers invested $1.5 million in other political groups, called 527 organizations, compared to Soros’ whopping $32.5 million.

The proliferation and expanded influence of 527s was made possible by the problematic McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform of 2002, so named because of the tax code, Section 527, that they fall under. As described by Benjamin Dangl, the groups “operate as shadow political campaigns working indirectly for or against a particular candidate.” Once contributed funds get to these groups, they can go anywhere; and the audit trail is virtually non-existent. Some are run totally above board and are very straightforward in their objectives. Many others are not. As Dangl says, “Prominent think tanks and campaign finance reform lobbyists say 527s are ‘illegal loopholes’ that enable the privatization of political campaigns.”

The groups that these men contribute to tell an even more significant tale than the sheer dollar volume they pump into our dysfunctional crony-capitalist, or corporatist, political system. Since the Koch brothers are ideological libertarians, they’re driven by the classical-liberal Jeffersonian philosophy that America was founded on. Perhaps nothing defines this self-defined mission for the brothers better than the mission statement on the Cato Institute website, which states, “The mission of the Cato Institute is to originate, disseminate, and increase understanding of public policies based on the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.”

The Cato Institute, the Koch’s crown jewel, was established 40 years ago with seed money from Charles Koch, and his brother David still serves on the Board of the organization. Cato is recognized as the sixth most influential think tank in the nation, and number 14 internationally, with its scholarly and empirically documented research.

They also have contributed significantly to the Reason Foundation, publisher of Reason Magazine, applying reason and logic to economic and personal liberty issues. Nobel laureate Milton Friedman strongly supported the Foundation. And with a grant of $30 million, the Koch brothers were instrumental in the establishment of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, with similar objectives.

George Soros runs the Open Society Institute and the Soros.org website; and he contributes heavily to many organizations that ideologically are aligned with leftist causes, including Moveon.org. He is reviled abroad for his shady efforts to foment revolution and collapse currencies. His foundations have been accused of shielding spies and breaking currency laws, and he’s invested over $400 million in institutions of higher education to promulgate and teach his extremist ideology.

In short, the Kochs and Soros are heavily invested in politics and are, by all standards, prototypical “one percenters” in income, net worth, and political influence. And it would appear, at least ostensibly, that all three are playing the influence-for-money game according to the rules established by Congress. There is near universal contempt for the crony capitalism and corrupt corporatism that has tainted our political institutions and politicians (and adulterated our free-market system). But Congress has created the rules these players play by. Blaming the Kochs and Soros for using their resources to buy influence is like blaming collegiate athletes for the rules established by the NCAA.

Since most of the Koch’s political money goes into lobbying, their funds are well documented, as required by congressional accounting rules. With most of Soros’ political “investments” going into 527s, the funds are less traceable and has earned Soros the dubious honor of being dubbed the “Godfather to the left.”

The classical-liberal principles of individual freedom and free markets that are so fully embraced and advanced by Charles and David Koch are the very principles the nation was founded upon. They are the principles that made America great. The progressive socialistic agenda advanced by Soros is antithetical to America’s founding precepts; and it is heavily invested in the failure of not only the U.S. dollar, but the collapse of the U.S. economic system.

As distasteful as the pay-for-influence system is, the ideological objectives and uses of that influence should be of even greater concern. Should we fear those who support the ideals that made America great, or the one who seeks to destroy and fundamentally transform the country?

Photo credit: Norway UN (New York) (Flickr)

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Soros Ramps Up Financial Support For Desperate Leftist Causes

cvrcak1 (Creative Commons)

The American left is perpetually outraged by the ostensible influence wielded by conservative activists and billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Despite the fact that recent reports revealed they are nowhere near the most generous or influential political donors on the scene, their vicious detractors continue to portray them as evil incarnate.

In fact, major donors are overwhelmingly unions, which disproportionately support leftist causes with the revenue from their dues-paying members.

While painting the Koch brothers as an enemy for their political passion, however, the radical progressive crowd conveniently omits the staggering amount of money pumped into their own political machine by billionaire George Soros.

His group Open Society Policy Center more than tripled the amount of money it dedicated to partisan causes in just one year, hitting $11 million in lobbying expenditures last year alone.

Executive Director Stephen Rickard said the spike in spending was due to the fact that a number of leftist causes are now being discussed at the legislative level. The Alliance for Citizenship, a coalition dedicated to securing amnesty for illegal aliens, received the biggest chunk of the center’s capital.

The center’s parent organization, the Open Society Foundations, has dedicated over $100 million in support of illegal immigrants over the preceding 16 years, according to a report released in 2013.

Soros’ activism is not limited to throwing millions of dollars through this affiliated organization, of course. He became one of the first official backers of a 2016 presidential candidate about four months ago when he announced the creation of a political action committee called Ready for Hillary.

Despite the fact that the oft-discussed candidacy of Hillary Clinton is as yet unconfirmed, Soros has committed a significant sum of his astounding wealth toward the effort to put another Clinton in the White House.

When the leftist movement is in a bind, its adherents can rely on wealthy benefactors in the worlds of investment and entertainment to bail them out. Soros is just one of the many sources of such financial support.

The fact that these same beneficiaries castigate the Koch brothers as perpetrating some nefarious campaign is likely best described, in the parlance of the Sigmund Freud, as projection.

–B. Christopher Agee

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cvrcak1 (Creative Commons)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom