The Green-Card Racket For Beltway Cronies

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Can we stop putting America up for sale to the most politically connected bidders yet? Where is our self-respect?

Since 2001, I’ve warned about the systemic and bipartisan corruption of America’s EB-5 immigrant investor visa program. The latest report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general — which outlines the meddling and pandering of No. 2 DHS official Alejandro Mayorkas, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, Democratic bagman Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, former Pennsylvania. Gov. Ed Rendell, and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, to name a few — provides yet more sordid evidence that the green cards-for-sale scheme should be completely scrapped.

Created under an obscure section of the expansionist 1990 Immigration Act, EB-5 promised bountiful economic development for the U.S. in exchange for granting permanent residency (and eventual American citizenship) to foreign investors. A few years later, Congress conjured up the idea of EB-5 “regional centers” — government-sanctioned business groups and corporate entities acting as middlemen to administer the immigrant investments and facilitate the visa peddling.

Beltway cronyism was embedded in EB-5’s DNA from the get-go. The original Democratic House sponsor and his spokesman went on to establish for-profit companies that marketed the program and provided consulting services. Former federal immigration officials from the George H.W. Bush administration formed lucrative limited partnerships to cash in on their access and EB-5 expertise. An entire side industry of economic book-cookers arose to supply analyses of the “job creation” benefits of EB-5 projects and to gerrymander Census employment data to fit the program’s definition of “targeted employment areas” in order to qualify for lower investment thresholds (as was done in New York City’s Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park EB-5 deal).

Think Solyndra and federal stimulus math on steroids.

Since the program’s inception, rank-and-file adjudicators have tried to enforce the investment standards. But senior managers leaned on them to reverse EB-5 rejections when wealthy donors, law firm pals, and political hacks complained.

Fast-forward to 2015. The blood pressure-spiking DHS IG report released last week confirmed what whistleblowers have been telling Capitol Hill for years.

Behind the scenes, the IG found, Dirty Harry Reid pressured Deputy DHS Secretary Mayorkas to overturn his agency’s rejection of expedited EB-5 visa applications for Chinese investors in a Las Vegas casino hotel, which just happened to be represented by Reid’s lawyer son, Rory. Adjudicators balked at the preferential treatment. Mayorkas steamrolled the dissenters, who reported on shouting matches over the cases. Reid’s staffers received special briefings from Mayorkas to update them on the project’s progress.

One underling called it “a whole new phase of yuck.”

Meanwhile, in the words of one DHS official at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau, Mayorkas “absolutely gave special treatment” to electric car racket GreenTech, which zealously sought EB-5 visas for another group of deep-pocketed Chinese investors. McAuliffe helmed the company after it was spun off from a Chinese venture. He plugged in Rodham as president of Gulf Coast Funds Management, which won designation as an EB-5 regional center certified to invest foreign capital in federally approved commercial ventures in Louisiana and Mississippi, including GreenTech. Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Mississippi GOP Gov. Haley Barbour both signed letters urging DHS to approve Gulf Coast as a regional center.

After adjudicators dismissed the company’s job claims as “ridiculous,” “flawed,” and “not approvable,” McAuliffe personally leaned on then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, “complaining about the denial of the Gulf Coast amendment and requesting her assistance to get the amendment approved and to expedite more than 200 investor petitions.”

In violation of recordkeeping and disclosure rules, Mayorkas met with McAuliffe in February 2011 after USCIS denied GreenTech’s requests. Mayorkas mysteriously took no notes and could not recall just exactly how many phone calls he took from McAuliffe and what exactly they discussed (though he did remember the “caustic” Democrat yelling “expletives at high volume.” Mayorkas met personally with senior staff to urge the agency to reverse its denials and give McAuliffe and company what they wanted, and even offered to write the reversals himself.

On a third front, Mayorkas intervened on behalf of EB-5 petitioners seeking green cards by investing in Hollywood studios such as Sony Pictures and Time Warner. He had received pressure from the L.A. mayor’s office, where an aide helpfully mentioned she knew a mutual acquaintance of his from his old law firm, O’Melveny and Myers, and from Rendell, a paid consultant to the EB-5 regional center representing the foreign investors. Mayorkas reversed his staff’s rejections of more than 200 suspect EB-5 applications and set up a special “deference review board” to bow to Hollywood.

Two decades ago, when the program’s failures were first exposed, Rep. John W. Bryant, a Texas Democrat, protested on the House floor: “This provision is an unbelievable departure from our tradition of cherishing our most precious birthright as Americans.”

How much more evidence do you need that this foreign investor pay-for-play swindle makes an irremediable mockery of the American Dream? The only effective way to “reform” this abomination is to kill it.

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

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

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Dem Rep. On Benghazi Committee: Clinton Emailed Classified Material

YouTube/Rising Response

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., believes Hillary Clinton is not telling the truth when she said she did not send classified information through her personal email account.

Clinton confirmed at a press conference last month that she had exclusively used her personal email server and had no government email accounts. When questioned about the security implications raised by using her own server and email account to email the president, for example, Clinton responded: “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”

Many, including government watchdog organization Judicial Watch, questioned the truthfulness of the former Secretary of State’s profession, given that by her own admission, she sent or received over 30,000 work-related emails through her personal email server.

Judicial Watch’s president Tom Fitton noted:

Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that she didn’t send classified information is belied by productions in our Benghazi lawsuits. A review of the documents shows material sent to Susan Rice and other top State Department officials was withheld under exemptions for classified material. None of these emails (or any similar emails) were ever received or sent by Hillary Clinton?”

Apparently, Rep. Duckworth agreed with the assessment that classified material came through Clinton’s email account. The representative, who recently announced she will be running for the U.S. Senate, told an Illinois audience: “All of her official emails should be released to the American people. They should be able to read them all. There are going to be some that are classified and those that are classified—then show those to a bipartisan group of members of Congress.”

Duckworth–a member of the Benghazi Committee–also said, “I am going to hold her accountable,” adding, “She needs to come before the Benghazi Committee and testify as well.”

h/t: Daily Caller

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

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Martin O’Malley On Presidency: ‘Not Some Crown To Be Passed Between Two Families’

Martin O'Malley

Former Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., took a little jab at potential 2016 candidates Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton in a discussion with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week.

Potential 2016 Democratic candidate O’Malley said he may have the upper hand if he chooses to run in 2016 due to two polarizing presidential candidates and their prominent families.

“Let’s be honest here,” O’Malley said. “The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families. It is an awesome and sacred trust to be earned and exercised on behalf of the American people.”

“Any two families,” he added, when Stephanopoulos asked if the two families were the Bushes and Clintons.

O’Malley – who once was a strong supporter of Clinton in 2007 – has now changed his mind and concluded that she is no longer “the best choice” for the country in this day and age.

h/t: Red Alert Politics

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

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Holder’s DOJ Just Made A Massive Announcement About Lois Lerner’s Future. Some Love It And Some Hate It.

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The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it will not pursue contempt charges against former IRS official Lois Lerner.

The DOJ explained in a seven-page letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, that the department’s attorneys determined that Lerner did not waive her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination; and therefore, her refusal to testify before Congress in March of 2014 did not constitute criminal contempt. The House of Representatives voted in May of 2014 to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.

Outgoing U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald Machen wrote in his letter to Boehner: “Ms. Lerner did not waive her Fifth Amendment privilege by making general claims of innocence…The Constitution would provide Ms. Lerner with an absolute defense if she were prosecuted for contempt.”

Lerner was called to testify twice before the House Oversight Committee regarding her involvement in the targeting of conservative groups while she served as the director of the IRS’s tax exempt unit. In her first appearance in May of 2013, she gave an opening statement claiming her innocence. However, when then-Chairman Darrell Issa sought to question Lerner, she invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Issa argued that due to Lerner pleading her innocence, she waived her Fifth Amendment right; so he brought her back before the committee to testify in March of 2014. Lerner again invoked her Fifth Amendment right and refused to answer any questions.

The House Oversight Committee issued a detailed report that same month entitled, Lois Lerner’s Involvement in the IRS Targeting of Tax-Exempt Organizations, outlining her self-admitted wrongful conduct towards these conservative groups and her obstruction of the committee’s investigation.

In addition to voting to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress, the House also passed a resolution calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate her conduct while serving at the IRS.

As Western Journalism reported, the IRS Inspector General determined in February that over 30,000 emails, reported by the IRS Director to have been lost, have been recovered and will likely shed further light on Lerner’s involvement in the scandal.

Politico pointed out that Lerner and other IRS officials are still under investigation by the FBI for the targeting of conservative groups.

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

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PC Police Ban Historical Garment From American College Campus

Wikipedia/University of Georgia

According to recent reports, the University of Georgia implemented a new policy that prohibits students from wearing hoop skirts during activities organized by certain Greek clubs on campus. The garment, popular during the same period in which slavery in the American South was commonplace, has been deemed inappropriate by two university councils.

Students reportedly received a notification earlier this month from the presidents of the school’s Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council informing them that hoop skirts will not be allowed “in the context of some events,” prompting a swift reaction from many students.

Furthermore, the two council leaders explained they are not finished analyzing popular outfits for any sign of possible insensitivity “to ensure the appropriateness for our organizations.”

One of the more outspoken opponents of the ban explained his position to Campus Reform.

UGA College Republicans Vice Chairman Brennan Mancil highlighted the tenuous connection school officials have made between a particular garment and support of slavery.

He said such fashion “is an historical expression, not a political statement.”

Mancil went on to clarify that hoop skirts have been around for nearly a half millennium, adding that their resurgence in popularity during pre-Civil War America is no reason to attach to them a racial stigma.

“If the logic for banning hoop skirts extended to other social practices,” he reasoned, “then we ought to ban mint juleps and chewing tobacco, both of which also became popular during the Antebellum.”

Comments left in reaction to the Campus Reform article indicate Mancil’s concerns are shared by plenty of other Americans.

“This is ridiculous,” one reader wrote. “They wore hoop skirts in the North too. What, exactly, does a style of clothing have to [do] with slavery? I am so tired if [sic] all this PC crap.”

Another commenter apparently thought an absurd policy deserved an absurd suggestion.

“Lets [sic] just ban white students all together,” he wrote.

Share this article on Facebook if you believe political correctness has gone too far in America.

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

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Study: Homeschooled Blacks Perform Better Than Whites In Public School

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The disparate educational performances between the races is an issue that has long been discussed and attributed to various factors. One new study conducted by the National Home Education Research Institute, however, indicates the real issue may have more to do with the type of school than the students attending them.

While research suggests white students overall achieve greater academic success than their black peers, the recent study compared whites in public school settings with blacks being educated at home.

“The black homeschool children’s high achievement test scores were remarkable,” explained NHERI President Dr. Brian Ray. “Parents without teaching certificates helping their children from a traditionally low-achieving minority group excel this way should cause all educators and social advocacy groups to take special note.”

Homeschool blacks in the study performed above the nationwide mean in each of the three core disciplines – reading, language, and math – and scored among the top tertile in reading.

“I wonder how teachers unions, African American advocacy groups, certified teachers, public school administrators, and professors of education will look at these findings,” Ray said. “Will they start encouraging black families to homeschool?”

As Western Journalism recently reported, the current state of public education is enough for the first Global Teacher Prize winner – educator Nancie Atwell – to encourage prospective teachers to find a job at a private-sector school.

The NHERI study also included the most popular reasons black families opted to homeschool their kids, a list that included religious concerns, a desire to provide customized lessons, and to allow “parents to transmit values, beliefs, and worldview to the child.”

h/t: Christian Newswire

Share this article on Facebook if you are concerned about the state of America’s public education system.

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

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Exposed: Obama’s, Muslim Brotherhood’s Orchestration Of Arab Spring, Benghazi

obamaferguson

In 2008, Dalia Mogahed, a former member of Obama’s Advisory Council of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, co-authored a report titled ”Changing Course, A New Direction for U.S. Relations with the Muslim World” for the Leadership Group on U.S.-Muslim Engagement. She, along with other group members (Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf–of World Trade Center Mosque notoriety–and Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Ahmed Younis), sought to foster “engagement and cooperation” with “political Islam” and, specifically, with the Muslim Brotherhood. They wrote:

“The U.S. must also consider when and how to talk with political movements that have substantial public support and have renounced violence, but are outlawed or restricted by authoritarian governments allied to the U.S. The Muslim Brotherhood parties in Egypt and Jordan are arguably in this category. In general, the Leadership Group supports engagement with groups that have clearly demonstrated a commitment to nonviolent participation in politics.”

In June 2009, Obama addressed Muslims worldwide from Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, with prominent Muslim Brotherhood members sitting in the front row. Obama vowed:

[The] partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t.  And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

Obama’s Administration began to transform American foreign policy by embracing political Islam and redefining “terror,” which set the stage for creating the Arab Spring. Although the Arab Spring began in December 2010 in Tunisia, the initial focus was Benghazi, Libya.

Despite repeated U.S. military warnings and recommendations to keep Muammar Qadhafi in power, Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overthrew Qadhafi’s regime, leaving a power vacuum for al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood to fill.

Qadhafi’s weapons were first smuggled to Syrian rebels, which later factioned into what is now ISIS (and potentially reached even Boko Haram).

The mystery surrounding Benghazi can be largely dispelled in a few short paragraphs.

First, the February 17 Martyrs Brigade (aka Ansar al-Sharia, a jihad militia) was hired to guard the compound by the American government.

Second, according to CNN’s Jake Tapper, dozens of CIA operatives were allegedly on the ground during the attack; and the Obama administration went to “great lengths” to obscure their activities. Many speculate Ambassador Stevens was a CIA asset in the State Department.

Third, only hours before the attack on September 11, 2012, Stevens met with a Turkish ambassador at the compound. Turkey was a transshipment point for many Libyan weapons that were later smuggled to jihadists worldwide.

Fourth, Morsi’s Egyptian government (Muslim Brotherhood-controlled) was also involved with the compound’s attack. In fact, some of the terrorists were recorded on video pleading: “Don’t shoot! Dr. Morsi sent us!”

These facts beg the question: If Ambassador Stevens was actually overseeing a gun-running operation to Islamic/jihadist/Muslim Brotherhood militias, why then would the same people kill him, as the American public was repeatedly told?

One theoretical answer endorsed by retired Four Star Admiral James Lyons suggests that Ambassador Stevens was to be traded for the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, a man who had embodied Islamic terrorism to the world for generations and who Morsi wanted released from prison.

However, this plan went spectacularly wrong, resulting in a botched cover-up that succeeded primarily because of the news industry’s negligence in investigating the facts.

In an alarming breach of protocol and sworn duty, Obama Special Advisor Valerie Jarrett ordered the U.S. military to “stand down,” effectively ordering American citizens to be left to fend for themselves against a well-armed jihadist militia.

Next came the now infamous Susan Rice national media blitz, throughout which she delivered identical talking points to numerous news outlets blaming the Benghazi attack on an obscure and poorly produced movie. The talking points she and others later recited were detailed in an email Ben Rhodes, Obama’s 2009 Cairo speechwriter, sent to a list of people–including a George Washington University MSA member copied on the email.

Unsurprisingly, George Soros also was linked to Benghazi. The Obama-appointed lead investigator for the attack was Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who had ties to CAIR–a well-known Muslim Brotherhood organization in the United States. At the time of the investigation, Pickering was Soros’ International Crisis Group co-chair (and still remains a trustee).

Since the Arab Spring, political unrest, violence, and militia rule continue to plague Libya. Its economic infrastructure has nearly deteriorated, and the rule of law remains non-existent there. According to Open Doors USA, Libya is ranked #13 out of the top 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted.

The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi asserted that Obama “switched sides in the War on Terror.”

However, many others assert Obama’s plan to destroy America from within was intentionally planned before he was ever elected to office. Obama was always a Muslim who understood, believed in, and supported political Islam. Over time, this reality became apparent through his claim to “stand with [Muslims] should the political winds shift in an ugly direction” and his declaration to the United Nations that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

Read More.

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

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Iranian Aircraft Buzzes American Helicopter During Nuclear Negotiations

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The proof that Iran is up to no good just keeps on coming in.

Yesterday, CNN reported that an Iranian military observation aircraft buzzed an American Seahawk helicopter, coming within 50 yards. An a former USAF helicopter pilot, I can tell you this is an extremely dangerous maneuver. When two aircraft are that close, even a strong gust of wind can cause a mid-air collision.

An Iranian military observation aircraft flew within 50 yards of an armed U.S. Navy helicopter over the Persian Gulf this month, sparking concern that top Iranian commanders might not be in full control of local forces, CNN has learned.

An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter approaches the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in November 2014.

The incident, which has not been publicly disclosed, troubled U.S. military officials because the unsafe maneuver could have triggered a serious incident.

It also surprised U.S. commanders because in recent months Iranian forces have conducted exercises and operations in the region in a professional manner, one U.S. military official told CNN.

The incident took place as the U.S. and other world powers meet with Iran in Switzerland to negotiate a deal limiting Tehran’s nuclear program. At the same time, Iran has been active in supporting proxies in several hotspots in the Persian Gulf and neighboring regions.

The Navy MH-60R armed helicopter was flying from the deck of the USS Carl Vinson on a routine patrol in international airspace, the official said.

An unarmed Iranian observation Y-12 aircraft approached. The Iranian aircraft made two passes at the helicopter, coming within 50 yards, before the helicopter moved off, according to the official.

The White House would have you, the American people, Israel, and the world believe that Iran’s nuclear intentions are peaceful and that we all have nothing to worry about regarding Iran’s geopolitical agenda. I beg to differ. Just like the Iranian Supreme Leader saying “Death to America” recently, this incident shows they cannot be trusted and are anything but an ally in the Middle East for the United States.

No, they are our adversary.

I suppose President Obama will write this one off as intended for Iran’s domestic audience as well.

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

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