new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged investment fraud lawyer

THE "GREAT MAN" WOULD EVIDENTLY BE ALL THINGS....TO ALL PEOPLE.....ALL OF THE TIME.......HE LIED OF COURSE

 

Barack Obama's Campaign Promises.... made at various times and to various groups 2008 this is only a partial list............the full list is here......... conventions.nationaljournal.com/campaigns/2008/wh08/promi...

 

HEALTH CARE

Prevent insurance companies from discriminating

"And as someone who watched his own mother spend the final months of her life arguing with insurance companies because they claimed her cancer was a pre-existing condition and didn't want to pay for treatment, I will stop insurance companies from discriminating against those who are sick and need care most."—11/3/08, Jacksonville, Fla.

Provide universal health care

"I have made a solemn pledge that I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year."—6/23/07, Hartford, Conn.

Prosecute insurance monopolies

"We'll investigate and prosecute the monopolization of the insurance industry. And where we do find places where insurance companies aren't competitive, we will make them pay a reasonable share of their profits on the patients they should be caring for in the first place."—5/29/07, Iowa City, Iowa

Spend $10 billion a year on implementing electronic health system

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will invest $10 billion a year over the next five years to move the U.S. health care system to broad adoption of standards-based electronic health information systems, including electronic health records."—BarackObama.com

Expand nurse-family partnership program

"Obama will expand the highly successful Nurse-Family Partnership to all 570,000 low-income, first-time mothers each year."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Help individuals purchase private health insurance

"The Obama plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Require children to be insured

"Obama will require that all children have health care coverage."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Expand eligibility for Medicaid and SCHIP

"Obama will expand eligibility for the Medicaid and SCHIP programs and ensure that these programs continue to serve as a critical safety net."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Address women's health issues

"Obama will invest in research to examine gender and health disparities. Obama will also establish community-outreach programs in underserved areas to help make sure women have health care and maintain healthy lifestyles."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Appoint adviser to address violence against women

"Obama will appoint a special adviser who will report to him regularly on issues related to violence against women. Obama will also pass legislation that provides job security to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Establish loan forgiveness program for rural doctors and nurses

"He will attract providers to rural America by creating a loan forgiveness program for doctors and nurses who work in underserved rural areas."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

 

AGRICULTURE

Improve rural schools and availability of doctors

"He will improve rural schools and attract more doctors to rural areas."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Try to toughen rules on animal feeding operations

"Barack Obama will work for tougher regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to prevent air and water pollution."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Implement payment limitation to help family farmers

"Obama will implement a $250,000 [farm commodity] payment limitation so that we help family farmers, not large corporate agribusiness. Obama will close the loopholes that allow megafarms to get around the limits by subdividing their operations into multiple paper corporations."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Strengthen anti-monopoly laws

"Obama will strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets, control over their production decisions, and fair prices for their goods."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Help organic farmers and promote regional food systems

"Obama will help organic farmers afford to certify their crops and reform crop insurance to not penalize organic farmers. He also will promote regional food systems."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Give new farmers tax incentives

"[Obama] will also provide tax incentives to make it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm. Obama will increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands and forests."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Provide farmers capital and help rural small businesses

"Obama will provide capital for farmers to create value-added enterprises, like cooperative marketing initiatives and farmer-owned processing plants. He also will establish a small-business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Create rural revitalization program

"Obama will create a rural revitalization program to attract and retain young people to rural America."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

Clean up the Justice Department

"I will rid the department of ideologues and political cronies…the Civil Rights Division will actually be staffed with civil rights lawyers who prosecute civil rights violations, and employment discrimination, and hate crimes."—09/28/07, Washington, D.C.

Toughen hate crime laws

"Obama will strengthen federal hate crimes legislation and reinvigorate enforcement at the Department of Justice's Criminal Section."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Work to lift ban on gays serving openly in the military

"Obama will work with military leaders to repeal the current [Don't Ask, Don't Tell] policy and ensure we accomplish our national defense goals."—Barackobama.com

Push to outlaw job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

"I will place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."—02/28/08, Obama letter to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans

Advocate equal treatment of same sex couples

"As your president, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws."—02/28/08, Obama letter to LGBT Americans

Keep commitment to gay rights

"I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans."—02/28/08, Obama letter to LGBT Americans

Remove discriminatory obstacles to voting

"Obama will remove discriminatory barriers to the right to vote."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Penalize vote fraud

"Obama will sign into law his legislation that establishes harsh penalties for those who have engaged in voter fraud and provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Work to overturn Supreme Court's ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear

"Obama will work to overturn the Supreme Court's recent ruling that curtails racial minorities' and women's ability to challenge pay discrimination."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Fight age discrimination

"Obama will fight job discrimination for aging employees by strengthening the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and empowering the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to prevent all forms of discrimination."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Ensure equal pay for women

"Obama will also pass the Fair Pay Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Create prison-to-work program

"I will create a prison-to-work incentive program modeled on the successful Welfare-to-Work program."—6/5/07, Hampton, Va.

Make criminal justice system trustworthy

"As president, I will also work every day to ensure that this country has a criminal justice system that inspires trust and confidence in every American, regardless of race or background."—9/28/07, Washington, D.C.

Forgive school loans of public defenders

"We'll recruit more public defenders to the profession by forgiving college and law school loans."—9/28/07, Washington, D.C.

End disparity in crack versus powdered cocaine sentencing

"That will end when I am president."—9/28/07, Washington, D.C.

Steer nonviolent offenders into rehab

"We will give first-time, nonviolent drug offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug-rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior."—9/28/07, Washington, D.C.

Not pardon real estate developer Tony Rezko

Attributed to Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt,—6/5/08, Chicago Sun-Times

Fully fund community policing and development programs

"That's why I'll fully fund the COPS [Community Oriented Policing Services] program, restore funding for the Community Development Block Grant program, and recruit more teachers to our cities, pay them more, and give them more support."—6/21/08, Miami

Combat methamphetamine use

"As president, he will continue the fight to rid our communities of meth and offer support to help addicts heal."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Ban racial profiling

"Obama will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

 

DEFENSE

Safeguard all nuclear material within four years

"I will lead a global effort to secure all nuclear weapons and material at vulnerable sites within four years."—4/23/07, Chicago

Keep nonproliferation commitment

"We will not pursue unilateral disarmament. As long as nuclear weapons exist, we'll retain a strong nuclear deterrent. But we'll keep our commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty on the long road towards eliminating nuclear weapons."—10/2/07, Chicago

Strengthen nonproliferation treaty

"Obama will crack down on nuclear proliferation by strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty so that countries like North Korea and Iran that break the rules will automatically face strong international sanctions."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Stop development of new nuclear weapons

"He will stop the development of new nuclear weapons; work with Russia to take U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles off hair-trigger alert; seek dramatic reductions in U.S. and Russian stockpiles of nuclear weapons and material; and set a goal to expand the U.S.-Russian ban on intermediate-range missiles so that the agreement is global."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Open "America Houses" in Islamic countries

"We will open 'America Houses' in cities across the Islamic world, with Internet, libraries, English lessons, stories of America's Muslims and the strength they add to our country, and vocational programs."—8/1/07, Washington, D.C.

Support a global education fund

"I will support a $2 billion global education fund to counter the radical madrassas."—8/1/07, Washington, D.C.

Ban torture

"When I am president, America will reject torture, without exception."—8/1/07, Washington, D.C.

Close Guantanamo Bay detention center

"As president, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act and adhere to the Geneva Conventions."—8/10/07, Washington, D.C.

Establish quadrennial review of homeland security threats

"I will establish a Quadrennial Review at the Department of Homeland Security—just like at the Pentagon—to undertake a top-to-bottom review of the threats we face and our ability to confront them."—8/10/07, Washington, D.C.

Increase funding to train police to gather intelligence

"I will increase funding to help train police to gather information and connect it to the intelligence they receive from the federal government."—8/1/07, Washington, D.C.

Address al Qaeda prison recruitment efforts

"I will address the problem in our prisons, where the most disaffected and disconnected Americans are being explicitly targeted for conversion by al Qaeda and its ideological allies."—8/1/07, Washington, D.C.

Expand Army and Marine Corps

"I will add 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines to relieve the strain on our ground forces."—8/21/07, Kansas City, Mo.

Provide soldiers with necessary equipment

"As president, I will ensure that every service member has what they need to do the job safely and successfully."—8/21/07, Kansas City, Mo.

"Obama will give our troops new equipment, armor, training, and skills like language training."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Set fixed term for director of national intelligence

"I will make the director of national intelligence an official with a fixed term, like the chairman of the Federal Reserve."—10/2/07, Chicago

Consult national security experts in Congress

"I will call for a standing, bipartisan consultative group of congressional leaders on national security. I will meet with this consultative group every month and consult with them before taking major military action."—10/2/07, Chicago

Consult military commanders

"When I am commander in chief, I will seek out, listen to and respect the views of military commanders."—3/12/08, Chicago

Target every source of fear in the Americas

"That is why there will never be true security unless we focus our efforts on targeting every source of fear in the Americas. That's what I'll do as president of the United States."—5/23/08, Miami

Create information declassification center

"He will institute a national declassification center to make declassification secure but routine, efficient and cost-effective."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Ensure military has enough training

"Obama will rebuild trust with those who serve by ensuring that soldiers and Marines have sufficient training time before they are sent into battle."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Strengthen civilian agencies

"He will also strengthen our civilian capacity, so that our civilian agencies have the critical skills and equipment they need to integrate their efforts with our military."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Give National Guard appropriate equipment, rest

"He will permit them adequate time to train and rest between deployments and provide the National Guard with the equipment they need for foreign and domestic emergencies."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Add National Guard chief to Joint Chiefs

"[Obama] will also give the Guard a seat at the table by making the chief of the National Guard a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Combat terrorism

"Obama will fight terrorism and protect America with a comprehensive strategy that finishes the fight in Afghanistan, cracks down on the al Qaeda safe haven in Pakistan, develops new capabilities and international partnerships, engages the world to dry up support for extremism and reaffirms American values."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Require national security officials to hold broadband town halls

"Obama will bring foreign policy decisions directly to the people by requiring his national security officials to have periodic national broadband town hall meetings to discuss foreign policy."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Create international anti-terrorism network

"As president, I will launch an effort across our government to stay ahead of this threat [bio-terrorism].… I've proposed a Shared Security Partnership that invests $5 billion over three years to forge an international intelligence and law enforcement infrastructure to take down terrorist networks." —7/16/08 West Lafayette, Ind.

Make cyber-security a federal priority

"As president, I'll make cyber-security the top priority that it should be in the 21st century. I'll declare our cyber-infrastructure a strategic asset, and appoint a National Cyber Advisor who will report directly to me." —7/16/08 West Lafayette, Ind.

 

DIVERSITY (this one cracks me up...ss&ss)

Have a senior Native American policy adviser

"I'll appoint an American Indian policy adviser to my senior White House staff to work with tribes. I'll host an annual summit at the White House with tribal leaders to come up with an agenda that works for tribal communities." —5/19/08, Crow Agency, Mont.

 

ECONOMY

Improve options for displaced workers

"Obama and Biden will also modernize and expand the existing system of trade adjustment assistance to include workers hurt by changing trade patterns. They will also create flexible education accounts that workers can use to retrain. And they will fully fund apprenticeship programs to help workers get credentials and skills in crafts that reward that investment with a middle class income and benefits."—BarackObama.com

Increase regulation of financial industry

"I'll put in place the common-sense regulations and rules of the road I've been calling for since March -- rules that will keep our market free, fair, and honest; rules that will restore accountability and responsibility in our corporate boardrooms."—10/9/08, Dayton, Ohio

Advocate free market

"I will always be a strong advocate for a market that is free and open."—9/17/07, New York City

Add consumer credit protections

"I'll institute a five-star rating system to inform consumers about the level of risk involved in every credit card. And we'll establish a credit card bill of rights that will ban unilateral changes to a credit card agreement, ban rate changes to debt that's already incurred and ban interest fees on late fees."—11/7/07, Bettendorf, Iowa

Reform bankruptcy laws

"Obama will reform our bankruptcy laws to protect working people, ban executive bonuses for bankrupt companies and require disclosure of all pension investments."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

"We'll make sure that if you can demonstrate that you went bankrupt because of medical expenses, then you can relieve that debt and get back on your feet."—2/13/07, Janesville, Wis.

"Obama will work to eliminate the provision that prevents bankruptcy courts from modifying an individual's mortgage payments."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Help community and small business development agencies

"Obama will provide additional resources to the federal Community Development Financial Institution Fund, the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies, especially to their local branch offices, to address community needs."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

 

GOVERNMENT SPENDING

Restore earmark spending to pre-1994 levels

"Barack Obama is committed to returning earmarks to less than $7.8 billion a year, the level they were at before 1994."—Obama's "The Change We Need In Washington"

Cut federal contract spending by at least 10 percent

"Barack Obama will reform federal contracting and reduce the number of contractors, saving $40 billion a year."—Obama's "The Change We Need In Washington"

Improve contracting operations

"Barack Obama will hire more contract managers and improve training."—Obama's "The Change We Need In Washington"

Cut waste in federal budget

"I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less..."—8/28/08, Denver

Pay for job programs by cutting spending elsewhere

"I'll pay for every part of this job-creation agenda by ending this war in Iraq that's costing us billions, closing tax loopholes for corporations, putting a price on carbon pollution, and ending George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans."—2/24/08, Lorain, Ohio

Reinstate PAYGO

"Obama will reinstate pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules, so that new spending or tax cuts are paid for by spending cuts or new revenue

 

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

End American dependence on foreign oil in ten years

"And that's why if I am president, I will put the full resources of the federal government and the full energy of the private sector behind a single, overarching goal -- in ten years, we will eliminate the need for oil from the entire Middle East and Venezuela."—8/6/08, Elkhart, Ind.

Increase number of plug-in hybrid cars

"First, we'll commit ourselves to getting one million 150 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid cars on our roads within six years."—8/6/08, Elkhart, Ind.

Double renewable energy within four years

"Second, we'll double the amount of energy that comes from renewable sources by the end of my first term."—8/6/08, Elkhart, Ind.

Reduce electricity demand by 15 percent in ten years

"Third, I will call on businesses, government, and the American people to meet the goal of reducing our demand for electricity by 15 percent by the end of the next decade."—8/6/08, Elkhart, Ind.

Cap carbon emissions

"As president, I will set a hard cap on all carbon emissions at a level that scientists say is necessary to curb global warming -- an 80 percent reduction by 2050."—10/8/07, Portsmouth, N.H.

Require government vehicles to have flexible-fuel tanks

"When I'm president, I will make sure that every vehicle purchased by the federal government does [have a flexible-fuel tank]."—5/7/07, Detroit

Give annual energy speech

"I will report to the American people every year on the state of our energy future."—10/8/07, Portsmouth, N.H.

Sign law to phase out incandescent light bulbs

"I will immediately sign a law that begins to phase out all incandescent light bulbs."—10/8/07, Portsmouth, N.H.

Create new green-collar jobs

"My energy plan will put $150 billion over 10 years into establishing a green energy sector that will create up to 5 million new jobs over the next two decades, including jobs right here in Ohio that pay well and can't be outsourced. We'll also provide funding to help manufacturers convert to green technology and help workers learn the skills they need for these jobs."—2/24/08, Lorain, Ohio

Consider Al Gore for Cabinet-level climate change position

"Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem."—4/2/08, Philadelphia

(In response to question)

Take steps to lower oil prices

"We'll also take steps to reduce the price of oil and increase transparency in how prices are set so we can ensure that energy companies aren't bending the rules."—4/25/08, Indianapolis

Work to solve energy crisis

"As president, I'll work to solve this energy crisis once and for all." —4/25/08, Indianapolis

Help U.S. automaker adapt

"I'll be a president who finally keeps the promise that's made year after year after year by providing domestic automakers with the funding they need to retool their factories and make fuel-efficient and alternative fuel cars."—5/14/08, Warren, Mich.

Foster international relationships to protect the environment

"We'll establish a program for the Department of Energy and our laboratories to share technology with countries across the region."—5/23/08, Miami

Reduce oil consumption

"Obama will reduce oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent, or 10 million barrels of oil, by 2030."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Help manufacturers go green

"Obama will establish a federal investment program to help manufacturing centers modernize and Americans learn the new skills they need to produce green products."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Double clean-energy funding

"Obama will double science and research funding for clean-energy projects, including those that make use of our biomass, solar and wind resources."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Create Green Jobs Corps

"Obama will also create an energy-focused Green Jobs Corps to connect disconnected and disadvantaged youth with job skills for a high-growth industry."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Invest $10 billion per year in clean technologies fund

"Obama will create a Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund to fill a critical gap in U.S. technology development. Obama will invest $10 billion per year into this fund for five years."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Require 25 percent of electricity to come from renewable resources

"Obama will establish a 25 percent federal renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to require that 25 percent of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources, like solar, wind and geothermal by 2025."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Increase money for low-carbon coal technologies

"Obama will significantly increase the resources devoted to the commercialization and deployment of low-carbon coal technologies."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Push cellulosic ethanol

"Obama will invest federal resources, including tax incentives, cash prizes and government contracts into developing the most promising technologies with the goal of getting the first 2 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol into the system by 2013."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Boost renewable fuel requirements

"Obama will require 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be included in the fuel supply by 2022 and will increase that to at least 60 billion gallons of advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol by 2030."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Double fuel economy standards

"Obama will double fuel economy standards within 18 years."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Set goal of making new buildings carbon neutral

"Barack Obama will establish a goal of making all new buildings carbon neutral (that is, producing zero emissions) by 2030."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Create energy-efficiency grant program

"Obama will create a competitive grant program to award those states and localities that take the first steps to implement new building codes that prioritize energy efficiency."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Create Global Energy Forum

"Obama will create a Global Energy Forum that includes all G-8 members, plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

 

ETHICS REFORM

Increase protections for whistleblowers

"Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government."—Obama's The Change We Need In Washington"

Ban executive employees from taking gifts from lobbyists

"Barack Obama will issue an executive order banning registered lobbyists or lobbying firms from giving gifts in any amount or any form to executive branch employees."—Obama's The Change We Need In Washington"

Stop misuse of no-bid contracts

"I will end the abuse of no-bid contracts in my administration."—6/22/07, Manchester, N.H.

Be open with American people

"But I can promise you this: I will always tell you what I think and where I stand."—9/3/07, Manchester, N.H.

Restrict lobbyists

"When you walk into my administration, you will not be able to work on regulations or contracts directly related to your former employer for two years. And when you leave, you will not be able to lobby the administration throughout the remainder of my term in office."—6/22/07, Manchester, N.H.

Put agency meetings with lobbyists online

"When there are meetings between lobbyists and a government agency, we won't be going to the Supreme Court to keep it secret like Dick Cheney and his energy task force. We'll be putting them up on the Internet for every American to watch. And instead of allowing lobbyists to slip big corporate tax breaks into bills during the dead of night, we will make sure every single tax break and earmark is available to every American online."—6/22/07, Manchester, N.H.

Disclose contractor lobbying

"Obama will create a 'contracts and influence' database that will disclose how much federal contractors spend on lobbying, and what contracts they are getting and how well they complete them."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Put federal spending information online

"We'll put government data online and use technology to shine a light on spending."—6/16/08, Flint, Mich.

Post bills online before signing them

"When there is a bill that ends up on my desk as president, you will have five days to look online and find out what's in it before I sign it."—6/22/07, Manchester, N.H.

Fight for independent oversight of congressional ethics violations

"Obama will use the power of the presidency to fight for an independent watchdog agency to oversee the investigation of congressional ethics violations so that the public can be assured that ethics complaints will be investigated."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Require Cabinet members to hold broadband town hall meetings

"Obama will bring democracy and public policy directly to the people by requiring his Cabinet officials to have periodic national broadband town hall meetings to discuss issues before their agencies."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Disclose regulatory conversations between officials and outsiders

"Obama will amend executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Require public meetings

"Obama will require his appointees who lead the executive branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public, so that any citizen can watch these debates in person or on the Internet."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

 

FOREIGN POLICY

Withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq

"I will begin to remove our troops from Iraq immediately. I will remove one or two brigades a month and get all of our combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months. The only troops I will keep in Iraq will perform the limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al-Qaida."—10/02/07, Chicago

Not build permanent bases in Iraq

"Obama will make it clear that we will not build any permanent bases in Iraq."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Expand Iraq refugee services

"He will provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries, and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find a safe haven."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Expand U.S. forces in Afghanistan

"As president, I would deploy at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan to reinforce our counterterrorism operations and support NATO's efforts against the Taliban."—8/1/07, Washington

Provide more non-military aid to Afghanistan

"We will start with an additional $1 billion in non-military assistance each year, aid that is focused on reaching ordinary Afghans."—3/19/08, Fayetteville, N.C.

Expand diplomatic relations

"I will challenge the conventional thinking that we can't conduct diplomacy with leaders we don't like."—1/13/08, Denver "Obama will set up an America's Voice Initiative to send Americans who are fluent speakers of local languages to expand our public diplomacy."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Tie strings to aid to Pakistan

"As president, I would make the hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional. And I would make our conditions clear: Pakistan must make substantial progress in closing down the training camps, evicting foreign fighters, and preventing the Taliban from using Pakistan as a staging area for attacks in Afghanistan."—8/1/07, Washington

Give "State of the World" addresses

"I'll give an annual 'State of the World' address to the American people in which I lay out our national security policy."—10/2/07, Chicago

Boost U.S. humanitarian efforts

"I will invest in our civilian capacity to operate alongside our troops in post-conflict zones and on humanitarian and stabilization missions."—3/19/08, Fayetteville, N.C.

Increase aid to the Americas

"I will substantially increase our aid to the Americas and embrace the Millennium Development Goals of halving global poverty by 2015. We'll target support to bottom-up growth through micro-financing, vocational training and small enterprise development."—5/23/08, Miami

Reinstate special envoy for Americas

"I will reinstate a special envoy for the Americas in my White House who will work with my full support."—5/23/08, Miami

End restrictions on Cuban-Americans

"I will immediately allow unlimited family travel and remittances to the island [of Cuba]."—5/23/08, Miami

Maintain Cuban embargo

"I will maintain the embargo."—5/23/08, Miami

Continue anti-drug efforts abroad

"When I am president, we will continue the Andean Counter-Drug Program and update it to meet evolving challenges. We will fully support Colombia's fight against the FARC. We'll work with the government to end the reign of terror from right-wing paramilitaries. We will support Colombia's right to strike terrorists who seek safe haven across its borders."—5/23/08, Miami

Defend Israel

"Let there be no doubt: I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel."—6/4/08, Washington, D.C.

Provide $30 billion to Israel

"As president, I will implement a memorandum of understanding that provides $30 billion in assistance to Israel over the next decade, investments to Israel's security that will not be tied to any other nation."—6/4/08, Washington, D.C.

Pursue diplomacy with Iran

"He will lead tough diplomacy with the Iranian regime and offer Iran the choice of increased international pressure or incentives if it stops its disturbing behavior."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Work for two-state solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

"He will make a sustained push -- working with Israelis and Palestinians -- to achieve the goal of two states, a Jewish state in Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Open new consulates in challenging places

"To make diplomacy a priority, Obama will stop shuttering consulates and start opening them in the tough and hopeless corners of the world, particularly in Africa. He will expand our Foreign Service and develop the capacity of our civilian aid workers to work alongside the military."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Work to halve poverty worldwide

"Obama will embrace the Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme poverty around the world in half by 2015, and he will double our foreign assistance to $50 billion to achieve that goal."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Push for NATO changes

"Obama will rally NATO members to contribute troops to collective security operations, urging them to invest more in reconstruction and stabilization operations, streamlining the decision-making processes and giving NATO commanders in the field more flexibility."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Work to make China play by the rules

"He will maintain strong ties with allies like Japan, South Korea and Australia; work to build an infrastructure with countries in East Asia that can promote stability and prosperity; and work to ensure that China plays by international rules."—Obama's Blueprint for Change

Encourage investment relationships between American and Africa

"Obama will also strengthen the African Growth and Opportunity Act to ensure that African producers can access the U.S. market and will encourage more American companies to invest on the continent."—BarackObama.com

Help African countries access green technology

"He will launch the Global Energy and Environment Initiative to ensure African counties have access to low carbon energy technology and can profitably participate in the new global carbon market..."—BarackObama.com

Stop genocide in Darfur

"As president, Obama will take immediate steps to end the genocide in Darfur by increasing pressure on the Sudanese and pressure the government to halt the killing and stop impeding the deployment of a robust international force."—BarackObama.com

Launch agriculture initiative and reform the World Bank and International Monetary Fund

"Obama will expand prosperity by establishing an Add Value to Agriculture Initiative, creating a fund that will extend seed capital and technical assistance to small and medium enterprises, and reforming the World Bank and International Monetary Fund."—BarackObama.com

New hope in 2009

有段話我覺得不要翻成英文比較好,老美看了大概會不爽,這張圖我弄好後覺的很像黑人牙膏的mark說....TT我應該把它作成貼紙印出來的!以下就轉貼他的生平:

"Barack" and "Obama" redirect here. For other uses, see Barack (disambiguation) and Obama (disambiguation).

Barack Obama

   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

44th President of the United States

Incumbent

Assumed office

January 20, 2009

Vice President Joe Biden

Preceded by George W. Bush

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

United States Senator

from Illinois

In office

January 3, 2005 – November 16, 2008

Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald

Succeeded by Roland Burris

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Member of the Illinois Senate

from the 13th district

In office

January 8, 1997 – November 4, 2004

Preceded by Alice Palmer

Succeeded by Kwame Raoul

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Born August 4, 1961 (1961-08-04) (age 47)[1]

Honolulu, Hawaii, United States[2]

Birth name Barack Hussein Obama II[2]

Nationality American

Political party Democratic

Spouse Michelle Obama (m. 1992)

Children Malia Ann (b. 1998)

Natasha (a.k.a. Sasha) (b. 2001)

Residence Chicago, Illinois (private)

White House, Washington, D.C. (official)

Alma mater Occidental College

Columbia University (B.A.)

Harvard Law School (J.D.)

Profession Community organizer

Attorney

Author

Professor

Politician

Religion Protestant Christian[3]

Signature

Website WhiteHouse.gov

This article is part of a series about

Barack Obama

Background · Illinois Senate · U.S. Senate

Political positions · Public image · Family

2008 primaries · Obama–Biden campaign

Transition · Inauguration · US Presidency

 

Barack Hussein Obama II (pronounced /bəˈrɑːk hʊˈseɪn oʊˈbɑːmə/; born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama was the junior United States Senator from Illinois from 2005 until he resigned following his 2008 election to the presidency. He was inaugurated as President on January 20, 2009.

 

Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. He worked as a community organizer, and practiced as a civil rights attorney in Chicago before serving three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. He also taught Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Following an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000, Obama was elected to the Senate in November 2004. Obama delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July 2004.

 

As a member of the Democratic minority in the 109th Congress, Obama helped create legislation to control conventional weapons and to promote greater public accountability in the use of federal funds. He also made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. During the 110th Congress, he helped create legislation regarding lobbying and electoral fraud, climate change, nuclear terrorism, and care for U.S. military personnel returning from combat assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan

Early life and career

Main article: Early life and career of Barack Obama

Barack Obama was born at the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu, Hawaii,[4][5] to Stanley Ann Dunham,[6] a White American from Wichita, Kansas,[7][8][9] and Barack Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Nyanza Province, Kenya. Obama's parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.[10][11] The couple married on February 2, 1961.[12] Obama's parents separated when Obama was two years old, and they divorced in 1964.[11] Obama's father returned to Kenya and saw his son only once more before dying in an automobile accident in 1982.[13]

 

After her divorce, Dunham married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. When Soeharto, a military leader in Soetoro's home country, came to power in 1967, all students studying abroad were recalled and the family moved to Indonesia.[14] There Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, such as Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School, until he was ten years old.

 

He then returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham, while attending Punahou School from the fifth grade in 1971 until his graduation from high school in 1979.[15] Obama's mother returned to Hawaii in 1972 for five years, and then in 1977 went back to Indonesia, where she worked as an anthropological field worker. She stayed there most of the rest of her life, returning to Hawaii in 1994. She died of ovarian cancer in 1995.[16]

  

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, with their mother Ann Dunham and grandfather Stanley Dunham, in Hawaii (early 1970s).Of his early childhood, Obama has recalled, "That my father looked nothing like the people around me — that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk — barely registered in my mind."[17] In his 1995 memoir, he described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage.[18] He wrote that he used alcohol, marijuana and cocaine during his teenage years to "push questions of who I was out of my mind."[19] At the 2008 Civil Forum on the Presidency, Obama identified his high-school drug use as his "greatest moral failure."[20]

 

Some of his fellow students at Punahou School later told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that Obama was mature for his age, and that he sometimes attended college parties and other events in order to associate with African American students and military service people. Reflecting later on his formative years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: "The opportunity that Hawaii offered — to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect — became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear."[21]

 

Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles, where he studied at Occidental College for two years.[22] He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations.[23] Obama graduated with a B.A. from Columbia in 1983. He worked for a year at the Business International Corporation[24][25] and then at the New York Public Interest Research Group.[26][27]

 

After four years in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago, where he was hired as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (Roseland, West Pullman and Riverdale) on Chicago's far South Side. He worked there for three years from June 1985 to May 1988.[26][28] During his three years as the DCP's director, its staff grew from one to thirteen and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000. His achievements included helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization in Altgeld Gardens.[29] Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.[30] In mid-1988, he traveled for the first time to Europe for three weeks and then for five weeks in Kenya, where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.[31]

 

Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year,[32] and president of the journal in his second year.[33] During his summers, he returned to Chicago where he worked as a summer associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990.[34] After graduating with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude[35][36] from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago.[32]

 

Obama's election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review gained national media attention[33] and led to a publishing contract and advance for a book about race relations.[37] In an effort to recruit him to their faculty, the University of Chicago Law School provided Obama with a fellowship and an office to work on his book.[37] He originally planned to finish the book in one year, but it took much longer as the book evolved into a personal memoir. In order to work without interruptions, Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled to Bali where he wrote for several months. The manuscript was finally published in mid-1995 as Dreams from My Father.[37]

 

From April to October 1992, Obama directed Illinois's Project Vote, a voter registration drive with a staff of ten and seven hundred volunteers; it achieved its goal of registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African Americans in the state, and led to Crain's Chicago Business naming Obama to its 1993 list of "40 under Forty" powers to be.[38][39]

 

For twelve years, Obama served as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School teaching Constitutional Law. He was first classified as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996 and then as a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004.[40] He also joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a twelve-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2002.[26][41][42]

 

Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993.[26][43] He served from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and also from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation.[26] Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995 to 2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995 to 1999.[26] He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center.[26]

  

Political career

 

State legislator: 1997–2004

Main article: Illinois Senate career of Barack Obama

Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, succeeding State Senator Alice Palmer as Senator from Illinois's 13th District, which then spanned Chicago South Side neighborhoods from Hyde Park-Kenwood south to South Shore and west to Chicago Lawn.[44] Once elected, Obama gained bipartisan support for legislation reforming ethics and health care laws.[45] He sponsored a law increasing tax credits for low-income workers, negotiated welfare reform, and promoted increased subsidies for childcare.[46] In 2001, as co-chairman of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, Obama supported Republican Governor Ryan's payday loan regulations and predatory mortgage lending regulations aimed at averting home foreclosures.[47]

 

Obama was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998, defeating Republican Yesse Yehudah in the General Election, and reelected again in 2002.[48] In 2000, he lost a Democratic primary run for the U.S. House of Representatives to four-term incumbent Bobby Rush by a margin of two to one.[49][50]

 

In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate's Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority.[51] He sponsored and led unanimous, bipartisan passage of legislation to monitor racial profiling by requiring police to record the race of drivers they detained and legislation making Illinois the first state to mandate videotaping of homicide interrogations.[46][52] During his 2004 general election campaign for U.S. Senate, police representatives credited Obama for his active engagement with police organizations in enacting death penalty reforms.[53] Obama resigned from the Illinois Senate in November 2004 following his election to the U.S. Senate.[54]

  

2004 U.S. Senate campaign

See also: United States Senate election in Illinois, 2004

In mid-2002, Obama began considering a run for the U.S. Senate; he enlisted political strategist David Axelrod that fall and formally announced his candidacy in January 2003.[55] Decisions by Republican incumbent Peter Fitzgerald and his Democratic predecessor Carol Moseley Braun not to contest the race launched wide-open Democratic and Republican primary contests involving fifteen candidates.[56] Obama's candidacy was boosted by Axelrod's advertising campaign featuring images of the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and an endorsement by the daughter of the late Paul Simon, former U.S. Senator for Illinois.[57] He received over 52% of the vote in the March 2004 primary, emerging 29% ahead of his nearest Democratic rival.[58]

 

In July 2004, Obama wrote and delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.[59] After describing his maternal grandfather's experiences as a World War II veteran and a beneficiary of the New Deal's FHA and G.I. Bill programs, Obama spoke about changing the U.S. government's economic and social priorities. He questioned the Bush administration's management of the Iraq War and highlighted America's obligations to its soldiers. Drawing examples from U.S. history, he criticized heavily partisan views of the electorate and asked Americans to find unity in diversity, saying, "There is not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America."[60] Though it was not televised by the three major broadcast news networks, a combined 9.1 million viewers watching on PBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and C-SPAN saw Obama's speech, which was a highlight of the convention and confirmed his status as the Democratic Party's brightest new star.[61]

 

Obama's expected opponent in the general election, Republican primary winner Jack Ryan, withdrew from the race in June 2004.[62] Two months later and less than three months before Election Day, Alan Keyes accepted the Illinois Republican Party's nomination to replace Ryan.[63] A long-time resident of Maryland, Keyes established legal residency in Illinois with the nomination.[64] In the November 2004 general election, Obama received 70% of the vote to Keyes's 27%, the largest victory margin for a statewide race in Illinois history.[65]

  

U.S. Senator: 2005–2008

Main article: United States Senate career of Barack Obama

Obama was sworn in as a senator on January 4, 2005.[66] Obama was the fifth African-American Senator in U.S. history, and the third to have been popularly elected.[67] He was the only Senate member of the Congressional Black Caucus.[68] CQ Weekly, a nonpartisan publication, characterized him as a "loyal Democrat" based on analysis of all Senate votes in 2005–2007. The National Journal ranked him as the "most liberal" senator based on an assessment of selected votes during 2007; in 2005 he was ranked sixteenth most liberal, and in 2006 he was ranked tenth.[69][70] In 2008, Congress.org ranked him as the eleventh most powerful Senator.[71] Obama announced on November 13, 2008 that he would resign his senate seat on November 16, 2008, before the start of the lame-duck session, to focus on his transition period for the presidency.[72][73] This enabled him to avoid the conflict of dual roles as President-elect and Senator in the lame duck session of Congress, which no sitting member of Congress had faced since Warren Harding.[74]

  

Legislation

See also: List of bills sponsored by Barack Obama in the United States Senate

 

Senate bill sponsors Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Obama discussing the Coburn–Obama Transparency Act.[75]Obama voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and cosponsored the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act.[76] In September 2006, Obama supported a related bill, the Secure Fence Act.[77] Obama introduced two initiatives bearing his name: Lugar–Obama, which expanded the Nunn–Lugar cooperative threat reduction concept to conventional weapons,[78] and the Coburn–Obama Transparency Act, which authorized the establishment of USAspending.gov, a web search engine on federal spending.[79] On June 3, 2008, Senator Obama, along with Senators Thomas R. Carper, Tom Coburn, and John McCain, introduced follow-up legislation: Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008.[80]

 

Obama sponsored legislation that would have required nuclear plant owners to notify state and local authorities of radioactive leaks, but the bill failed to pass in the full Senate after being heavily modified in committee.[81] Obama is not hostile to Tort reform and voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 which grants immunity from civil liability to telecommunications companies complicit with NSA warrantless wiretapping operations.[82]

 

In December 2006, President Bush signed into law the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act, marking the first federal legislation to be enacted with Obama as its primary sponsor.[83] In January 2007, Obama and Senator Feingold introduced a corporate jet provision to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, which was signed into law in September 2007.[84] Obama also introduced Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act, a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections[85] and the Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007,[86] neither of which have been signed into law.

  

Obama and U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) visit a Russian mobile launch missile dismantling facility in August 2005.[87]Later in 2007, Obama sponsored an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act adding safeguards for personality disorder military discharges.[88] This amendment passed the full Senate in the spring of 2008.[89] He sponsored the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act supporting divestment of state pension funds from Iran's oil and gas industry, which has not passed committee, and co-sponsored legislation to reduce risks of nuclear terrorism.[90][91] Obama also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.[92]

  

Committees

Obama held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs through December 2006.[93] In January 2007, he left the Environment and Public Works committee and took additional assignments with Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.[94] He also became Chairman of the Senate's subcommittee on European Affairs.[95] As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Obama made official trips to Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He met with Mahmoud Abbas before he became President of the Palestinian Authority, and gave a speech at the University of Nairobi condemning corruption in the Kenyan government.[96][97][98][99]

  

2008 Presidential campaign

Main articles: Barack Obama presidential primary campaign, 2008 and Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008

Wikinews has related news: Barack Obama elected 44th President of the United States

On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.[100][101] The choice of the announcement site was symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858.[102] Throughout the campaign, Obama emphasized the issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care.[103]

  

Obama stands on stage with his wife and two daughters just before announcing his presidential candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, Feb. 10, 2007.During both the primary process and the general election, Obama's campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations.[104][105][106] On June 19, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.[107]

 

A large number of candidates initially entered the Democratic Party presidential primaries. After a few initial contests, the field narrowed to a contest between Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton, with each winning some states and the race remaining close throughout the primary process.[108][109][110][111] On May 31, the Democratic National Committee agreed to seat all of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegates at the national convention, each with a half-vote, narrowing Obama's delegate lead.[112] On June 3, with all states counted, Obama passed the threshold to become the presumptive nominee.[113][114] On that day, he gave a victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota. Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed him on June 7.[115] From that point on, he campaigned for the general election race against Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee.

 

On August 23, 2008, Obama announced that he had selected Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate.[116]

  

Obama delivers his presidential election victory speech.At the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Obama's former rival Hillary Clinton gave a speech in support of Obama's candidacy and later called for Obama to be nominated by acclamation as the Democratic presidential candidate.[117][118] On August 28, Obama delivered a speech to 84,000 supporters in Denver. During the speech, which was viewed by over 38 million people worldwide, he accepted his party's nomination and presented his policy goals.[119][120]

 

After McCain was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate, there were three presidential debates between Obama and McCain in September and October 2008.[121][122] In November, Obama won the presidency with 53% of the popular vote and a wide electoral college margin. His election sparked street celebrations in numerous cities in the United States[123] and abroad.

  

Election victory

Main article: Presidential transition of Barack Obama

 

President-elect Obama meets with President George W. Bush in the Oval Office, November 10, 2008.On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the general election with 365 electoral votes to McCain's 173[124] and became the first African American to be elected President of the United States.[125][126][127][128] In his victory speech, delivered before a crowd of hundreds of thousands of his supporters in Chicago's Grant Park, Obama proclaimed that "change has come to America".[129]

 

On January 8, 2009, the joint session of the U.S. Congress met to certify the votes of the Electoral College for the 2008 presidential election. Based on the results of the electoral vote count, Barack Obama was declared to have been elected President of the United States and Joseph Biden was declared to have been elected Vice President of the United States.[130]

  

Presidency

Main article: Presidency of Barack Obama

The inauguration of Barack Obama as the forty-fourth President, and Joe Biden as Vice President, took place on January 20, 2009. The theme of the inauguration was "A New Birth of Freedom," commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.[131]

 

In his first few days in office, Obama issued executive orders and presidential memoranda reversing President Bush's ban on federal funding to foreign establishments that allow abortions (known as the Global Gag Rule),[132] and changed procedures to promote disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act,[133] directing the U.S. military to develop plans to withdraw troops from Iraq,[134] and reducing the secrecy given to presidential records,[135] and closing Guantanamo Bay detention camp "as soon as practicable and no later than" January 2010, and "Immediate Review of All Guantánamo Detentions".

  

Political positions

Main article: Political positions of Barack Obama

A method that some political scientists use for gauging ideology is to compare the annual ratings by the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) with the ratings by the American Conservative Union (ACU).[136] Based on his years in Congress, Obama has a lifetime average conservative rating of 7.67% from the ACU,[137] and a lifetime average liberal rating of 90% from the ADA.[138]

  

Obama campaigning in Abington, Pennsylvania, October 2008.Obama was an early opponent of the Bush administration's policies on Iraq.[139] On October 2, 2002, the day President George W. Bush and Congress agreed on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War,[140] Obama addressed the first high-profile Chicago anti-Iraq War rally in Federal Plaza,[141] speaking out against the war.[142][143] On March 16, 2003, the day Bush issued his 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq before the U.S. invasion of Iraq,[144] Obama addressed the largest Chicago anti-Iraq War rally to date in Daley Plaza and told the crowd that "it's not too late" to stop the war.[145] Although Obama had previously said he wanted all the U.S. troops out of Iraq within 16 months of becoming President, after he won the primary, he said he might "refine" that promise.[146]

 

Obama stated that if elected he would enact budget cuts in the range of tens of billions of dollars, stop investing in "unproven" missile defense systems, not "weaponize" space, "slow development of Future Combat Systems," and work towards eliminating all nuclear weapons. Obama favors ending development of new nuclear weapons, reducing the current U.S. nuclear stockpile, enacting a global ban on production of fissile material, and seeking negotiations with Russia in order to take ICBMs off high alert status.[147]

 

In November 2006, Obama called for a "phased redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq" and an opening of diplomatic dialogue with Syria and Iran.[148] In a March 2007 speech to AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby, he said that the primary way to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons is through talks and diplomacy, although he did not rule out military action.[149] Obama has indicated that he would engage in "direct presidential diplomacy" with Iran without preconditions.[150][151][152] Detailing his strategy for fighting global terrorism in August 2007, Obama said "it was a terrible mistake to fail to act" against a 2005 meeting of al-Qaeda leaders that U.S. intelligence had confirmed to be taking place in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas. He said that as president he would not miss a similar opportunity, even without the support of the Pakistani government.[153]

 

In a December 2005, Washington Post opinion column, and at the Save Darfur rally in April 2006, Obama called for more assertive action to oppose genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.[154] He has divested $180,000 in personal holdings of Sudan-related stock, and has urged divestment from companies doing business in Iran.[155] In the July–August 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs, Obama called for an outward looking post-Iraq War foreign policy and the renewal of American military, diplomatic, and moral leadership in the world. Saying that "we can neither retreat from the world nor try to bully it into submission," he called on Americans to "lead the world, by deed and by example."[156]

  

Obama speaking at a rally at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.In economic affairs, in April 2005, he defended the New Deal social welfare policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and opposed Republican proposals to establish private accounts for Social Security.[157] In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Obama spoke out against government indifference to growing economic class divisions, calling on both political parties to take action to restore the social safety net for the poor.[158] Shortly before announcing his presidential campaign, Obama said he supports universal health care in the United States.[159] Obama proposes to reward teachers for performance from traditional merit pay systems, assuring unions that changes would be pursued through the collective bargaining process.[160]

 

In September 2007, he blamed special interests for distorting the U.S. tax code.[161] His plan would eliminate taxes for senior citizens with incomes of less than $50,000 a year, repeal income tax cuts for those making over $250,000 as well as the capital gains and dividends tax cut,[162] close corporate tax loopholes, lift the income cap on Social Security taxes, restrict offshore tax havens, and simplify filing of income tax returns by pre-filling wage and bank information already collected by the IRS.[163] Announcing his presidential campaign's energy plan in October 2007, Obama proposed a cap and trade auction system to restrict carbon emissions and a ten year program of investments in new energy sources to reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil.[164] Obama proposed that all pollution credits must be auctioned, with no grandfathering of credits for oil and gas companies, and the spending of the revenue obtained on energy development and economic transition costs.[165]

 

Obama has encouraged Democrats to reach out to evangelicals and other religious groups.[166] In December 2006, he joined Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) at the "Global Summit on AIDS and the Church" organized by church leaders Kay and Rick Warren.[167] Together with Warren and Brownback, Obama took an HIV test, as he had done in Kenya less than four months earlier.[168] He encouraged "others in public life to do the same" and not be ashamed of it.[169] Addressing over 8,000 United Church of Christ members in June 2007, Obama challenged "so-called leaders of the Christian Right" for being "all too eager to exploit what divides us."[170]

  

Family and personal life

Main articles: Early life and career of Barack Obama and Family of Barack Obama

 

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama.In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson, who later became his wife, when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin.[171] Assigned for three months as Obama's adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date.[172] They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.[173] The couple's first daughter, Malia Ann, was born in 1998,[174] followed by a second daughter, Natasha ("Sasha"), in 2001.[175] Because of Michelle Obama's employment with the University of Chicago, the Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School.[176]

 

Obama was known as "Barry" in his youth, but asked to be addressed with his given name during his college years.[177]

 

Applying the proceeds of a book deal, in 2005 the family moved from a Hyde Park, Chicago condominium to their current $1.6 million house in neighboring Kenwood.[178] The purchase of an adjacent lot and sale of part of it to Obama by the wife of developer and friend Tony Rezko attracted media attention because of Rezko's indictment and subsequent conviction on political corruption charges that were unrelated to Obama.[179][180]

 

In December 2007, Money magazine estimated the Obama family's net worth at $1.3 million.[181] Their 2007 tax return showed a household income of $4.2 million—up from about $1 million in 2006 and $1.6 million in 2005—mostly from sales of his books.[182]

  

Obama playing basketball with U.S. military at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti in 2006.[183]In a 2006 interview, Obama highlighted the diversity of his extended family. "Michelle will tell you that when we get together for Christmas or Thanksgiving, it's like a little mini-United Nations." he said. "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher."[184] Obama has seven half-siblings from his Kenyan father's family, six of them living, and a half-sister with whom he was raised, Maya Soetoro-Ng, the daughter of his mother and her Indonesian second husband.[185] Obama's mother was survived by her Kansas-born mother, Madelyn Dunham[186] until her death on November 2, 2008, just before the presidential election.[187] In Dreams from My Father, Obama ties his mother's family history to possible Native American ancestors and distant relatives of Jefferson Davis, president of the southern Confederacy during the American Civil War.[188] Obama's maternal and paternal grandfathers fought in World War II. Obama's great-uncle served in the 89th Division that overran Ohrdruf,[189] the first Nazi camp liberated by U.S. troops.[190]

 

Obama plays basketball, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school's varsity team.[191] He is an avid sports fan. Obama follows the Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls and West Ham United F.C.[192][193][194][195] While he has never been a heavy smoker, Obama has tried to quit smoking several times, including a well-publicized and ongoing effort which he began before launching his presidential campaign.[196] Obama has said he will not smoke in the White House.[197]

 

Obama is a Protestant Christian whose religious views have evolved in his adult life. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama writes that he "was not raised in a religious household." He describes his mother, raised by non-religious parents (whom Obama has specified elsewhere as "non-practicing Methodists and Baptists") to be detached from religion, yet "in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I have ever known." He describes his father as "raised a Muslim," but a "confirmed atheist" by the time his parents met, and his stepfather as "a man who saw religion as not particularly useful." In the book, Obama explains how, through working with black churches as a community organizer while in his twenties, he came to understand "the power of the African-American religious tradition to spur social change."[198][199] He was baptized at the Trinity United Church of Christ in 1988 and was an active member there for two decades.[200][201]

 

Besides his native English, Obama speaks Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia), at least on a colloquial level, which he learned during his four childhood years in Jakarta.[202] After the APEC summit in November 2008, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono related a telephone conversation with Obama in Indonesian to Indonesian media. Obama had told Yudhoyono that he missed Indonesian food like Nasi Goreng, Bakso or Rambutan.[203]

  

Cultural and political image

Main article: Public image of Barack Obama

With his black Kenyan father and white American mother, his upbringing in Honolulu and Jakarta, and his Ivy League education, Obama's early life experiences differ markedly from those of African-American politicians who launched their careers in the 1960s through participation in the civil rights movement.[204] Expressing puzzlement over questions about whether he is "black enough", Obama told an August 2007 meeting of the National Association of Black Journalists that the debate is not about his physical appearance or his record on issues of concern to black voters. Obama said that "we're still locked in this notion that if you appeal to white folks then there must be something wrong."[205]

 

Echoing the inaugural address of John F. Kennedy, Obama acknowledged his youthful image in an October 2007 campaign speech, saying: "I wouldn't be here if, time and again, the torch had not been passed to a new generation."[206] A popular catch phrase distilled the concept: "Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run; Obama is running so our children can fly."[207]

  

From left: Presidents George H. W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter meet in the Oval Office on January 7, 2009.Obama has been praised as a master of oratory on par with other renowned speakers in the past such as Martin Luther King, Jr.[208][209] His "Yes We Can" speech, which artists independently set to music in a video produced by Will.i.am, was viewed by 10 million people on YouTube in the first month,[210] and received an Emmy Award.[211] University of Virginia professor Jonathan Haidt researched the effectiveness of Obama's public speaking and concluded that part of his excellence is because the politician is adept at inspiring the emotion of elevation, the desire to act morally and do good for others.[212] Obama used these communication skills in a series of weekly internet video addresses during his pre-inauguration transition period;[213] he has suggested he will make a series of broadcast and internet addresses similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous fireside chats throughout his term as president to explain his policies and actions.[214]

 

Many commentators mentioned Obama's international appeal as a defining factor for his public image.[215] Not only did several polls show strong support for him in other countries,[216] but Obama also established close relationships with prominent foreign politicians and elected officials even before his presidential candidacy, notably with then incumbent British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom he met in London in 2005,[217] with Italy's Democratic Party leader and then Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni, who visited Obama's Senate office in 2005,[218] and with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who also visited him in Washington in 2006.[219]

 

Obama won Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Awards for abridged audiobook versions of both of his books; for Dreams from My Father in February 2006 and for The Audacity of Hope in February 2008.[220]

 

In December 2008, Time magazine named Barack Obama as its Person of the Year for his historic candidacy and election, which it described as "the steady march of seemingly impossible accomplishments."[221]

  

Notes

^ "President Barack Obama". www.whitehouse.gov.

^ a b "Birth Certificate of Barack Obama". Department of Health, Hawaii. PolitiFact.com (August 8, 1961). Retrieved on 2008-12-12.

^ "Obama's church choice likely to be scrutinized". Associated Press. msnbc.com (November 17, 2008). Retrieved on 2009-1-20.

^ Maraniss, David (August 24, 2008). "Though Obama Had to Leave to Find Himself, It Is Hawaii That Made His Rise Possible", Politics, Washington Post. Retrieved on 27 October 2008.

^ Serafin, Peter (March 21, 2004). "Punahou grad stirs up Illinois politics" (Article), Special to the Star-Bulletin, Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved on November 30 2008.

^ For Stanley Ann's first name, see Obama (1995, 2004), p. 19

^ "Born in the U.S.A.". FactCheck (August 21, 2008). Retrieved on October 24, 2008.

^ Hutton, Brian (May 3, 2007). "For sure, Obama's South Side Irish", Politics, The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 23 November 2008.

^ "Tiny Irish Village Is Latest Place to Claim Obama as Its Own - washingtonpost.com". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved on 2008-11-08.

^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 9–10. For book excerpts, see "Barack Obama: Creation of Tales", East African (2004-11-01). Retrieved on 13 April 2008. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.

^ a b Jones, Tim (2007-03-27). "Obama's mom: Not just a girl from Kansas: Strong personalities shaped a future senator", Chicago Tribune, reprinted in The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved on 27 October 2008.

^ Ripley, Amanda (2008-04-09). "The Story of Barack Obama's Mother", Time. Retrieved on 9 April 2007.

^ Merida, Kevin (2007-12-14). "The Ghost of a Father", Washington Post. Retrieved on 24 June 2008. See also: Ochieng, Philip (2004-11-01). "From Home Squared to the US Senate: How Barack Obama Was Lost and Found", East African. Retrieved on 24 June 2008. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. In August 2006, Obama flew his wife and two daughters from Chicago to join him in a visit to his father's birthplace, a village near Kisumu in rural western Kenya. Gnecchi, Nico (2006-02-27). "Obama Receives Hero's Welcome at His Family's Ancestral Village in Kenya", Voice of America. Retrieved on 24 June 2008.

^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 44–45.

^ Serafin, Peter (2004-03-21). "Punahou Grad Stirs Up Illinois Politics", Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved on 13 April 2008. See also: Obama (1995, 2004), Chapters 3 and 4.

^ Ripley, Amanda (2008-04-09). "The Story of Barack Obama's Mother", Time. Retrieved on 24 June 2008. See also: Suryakusuma, Julia (2006-11-29). "Obama for President... of Indonesia", Jakarta Post. Retrieved on 24 June 2008.

^ Obama (1995), pp. 9–10.

^ Obama (1995), Chapters 4 and 5. See also: Serrano, Richard A (March 11, 2007). "Obama's Peers Didn't See His Angst" (paid archive), Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on 4 January 2008.

^ "Obama Gets Blunt with N.H. Students", Associated Press, Boston Globe (November 21, 2007). Retrieved on 4 January 2008. In Dreams from My Father, Obama writes: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it." Obama (1995), pp. 93–94. For analysis of the political impact of the quote and Obama's more recent admission that he smoked marijuana as a teenager ("When I was a kid, I inhaled."), see: Romano, Lois (January 3, 2007). "Effect of Obama's Candor Remains to Be Seen", Washington Post. Retrieved on 4 January 2008. Seelye, Katharine Q (October 24, 2006). "Obama Offers More Variations From the Norm", New York Times. Retrieved on 4 January 2008.

^ Hornick, Ed (August 17, 2008). "Obama, McCain talk issues at pastor's forum", CNN.com. Retrieved on 4 January 2009.

^ Reyes, B. J (February 8, 2007). "Punahou Left Lasting Impression on Obama", Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved on 4 January 2008. "As a teenager, Obama went to parties and sometimes sought out gatherings on military bases or at the University of Hawaii that were mostly attended by blacks."

^ "Oxy Remembers "Barry" Obama '83". Occidental College (2007-01-29). Retrieved on 2008-04-13.

^ Boss-Bicak, Shira (January 2005). "Barack Obama '83", Columbia College Today. Retrieved on 9 June 2008.

^ "Curriculum Vitae". The University of Chicago Law School. Archived from the original on 2001-05-09. Retrieved on 2008-11-03.

^ Issenberg, Sasha (2008-08-06). "Obama shows hints of his year in global finance: Tied markets to social aid", Boston Globe. Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ a b c d e f g Chassie, Karen (ed.) (2007). Who's Who in America, 2008. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who. p. 3468. ISBN 9780837970110. www.marquiswhoswho.com/products/WAprodinfo.asp. Retrieved on 2008-06-06.

^ Scott, Janny (2007-10-30). "Obama's Account of New York Years Often Differs from What Others Say", The New York Times. Retrieved on 13 April 2008. Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 133–140; Mendell (2007), pp. 62–63.

^ Secter, Bob; McCormick, John (2007-03-30). "Portrait of a pragmatist", Chicago Tribune, p. 1. Retrieved on 6 June 2008. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Lizza, Ryan (2007-03-19). "The Agitator: Barack Obama's Unlikely Political Education" (alternate link), New Republic. Retrieved on 13 April 2008. Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 140–295; Mendell (2007), pp. 63–83.

^ Matchan, Linda (1990-02-15). "A Law Review breakthrough" (paid archive), The Boston Globe, p. 29. Retrieved on 6 June 2008. Corr, John (1990-02-27). "From mean streets to hallowed halls" (paid archive), The Philadelphia Inquirer, p. C01. Retrieved on 6 June 2008.

^ Obama, Barack (August–September 1988). "Why organize? Problems and promise in the inner city". Illinois Issues 14 (8–9): 40–42. reprinted in: Knoepfle, Peg (ed.) (1990). After Alinsky: community organizing in Illinois. Springfield, IL: Sangamon State University. pp. 35–40. ISBN 0962087335. Tayler, Letta; Herbert, Keith (2008-03-02). "Obama forged path as Chicago community organizer", Newsday, p. A06. Retrieved on 6 June 2008.

^ Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 299–437.

^ a b Levenson, Michael; Saltzman, Jonathan (2007-01-28). "At Harvard Law, a unifying voice", The Boston Globe. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Kantor, Jodi (2007-01-28). "In law school, Obama found political voice", The New York Times, p. 1. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Kodama, Marie C (2007-01-19). "Obama left mark on HLS", The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Mundy, Liza (2007-08-12). "A series of fortunate events", The Washington Post, p. W10. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Heilemann, John (2007-10-22). "When they were young". New York 40 (37): 32–7, 132–3. www.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?action=cpt&titl.... Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Mendell (2007), pp. 80–92.

^ a b Butterfield, Fox (1990-02-06). "First black elected to head Harvard's Law Review", The New York Times, p. A20. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Ybarra, Michael J (1990-02-07). "Activist in Chicago now heads Harvard Law Review" (paid archive), Chicago Tribune, p. 3. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Matchan, Linda (1990-02-15). "A Law Review breakthrough" (paid archive), The Boston Globe, p. 29. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Corr, John (1990-02-27). "From mean streets to hallowed halls" (paid archive), The Philadelphia Inquirer, p. C01. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Drummond, Tammerlin (1990-03-12). "Barack Obama's Law; Harvard Law Review's first black president plans a life of public service" (paid archive), Los Angeles Times, p. E1. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Evans, Gaynelle (1990-03-15). "Opening another door: The saga of Harvard's Barack H. Obama", Black Issues in Higher Education, p. 5. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Pugh, Allison J. (Associated Press) (1990-04-18). "Law Review's first black president aims to help poor" (paid archive), The Miami Herald, p. C01. Retrieved on 15 June 2008.

^ Aguilar, Louis (1990-07-11). "Survey: Law firms slow to add minority partners" (paid archive), Chicago Tribune, p. 1 (Business). Retrieved on 15 June 2008. "Barack Obama, a summer associate at Hopkins & Sutter in Chicago"

^ Adams, Richard (2007-05-09). "Barack Obama", The Guardian. Retrieved on 26 October 2008.

^ Mendell, David. "Barack Obama (American politician)". Retrieved on 2008-10-26.

^ a b c Scott, Janny (2008-05-18). "The story of Obama, written by Obama", The New York Times, p. 1. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Obama (1995, 2004), pp. xiii–xvii.

^ White, Jesse (ed.) (2000). Illinois Blue Book, 2000, Millennium ed.. Springfield, IL: Illinois Secretary of State. p. 83. OCLC 43923973. www.sos.state.il.us/bb/toc.html. Retrieved on 2008-06-06.

^ Jarrett, Vernon (1992-08-11). "'Project Vote' brings power to the people" (paid archive), Chicago Sun-Times, p. 23. Retrieved on 6 June 2008. Reynolds, Gretchen (January 1993). "Vote of Confidence". Chicago 42 (1): 53–54. www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/January-1993/Vote-of-.... Retrieved on 6 June 2008. Anderson, Veronica (September 27–October 3 1993). "40 under Forty: Barack Obama, Director, Illinois Project Vote". Crain's Chicago Business 16 (39): 43.

^ University of Chicago Law School (2008-03-27). "Statement regarding Barack Obama". University of Chicago Law School. Retrieved on 2008-06-10. Miller, Joe (2008-03-28). "Was Barack Obama really a constitutional law professor?". FactCheck.org. Retrieved on 2008-06-10. Holan, Angie Drobnic (2008-03-07). "Obama's 20 years of experience". PolitiFact.com. Retrieved on 2008-06-10.<

^ Robinson, Mike (Associated Press) (2007-02-10). "Obama got start in civil rights practice", The Boston Globe. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Pallasch, Abdon M (2007-12-17). "As lawyer, Obama was strong, silent type; He was 'smart, innovative, relentless,' and he mostly let other lawyers do the talking", Chicago Sun-Times, p. 4. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. "People" (paid archive), Chicago Tribune (1993-06-27), p. 9 (Business). Retrieved on 15 June 2008. "Business appointments" (paid archive), Chicago-Sun-Times (1993-07-05), p. 40. Retrieved on 15 June 2008. Miner, Barnhill & Galland (2008). "About Us". Miner, Barnhill & Galland – Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved on 2008-06-15. Obama (1995, 2004), pp. 438–439, Mendell (2007), pp. 104–106.

^ "ARDC Individual Attorney Record of Public Registration and Public Disciplinary and Disability Information as of October 17, 2008 at 12:52:13 PM". Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Retrieved on 2008-10-19.

^ Public Allies (2008). "Fact Sheet on Public Allies' History with Senator Barack and Michelle Obama". Public Allies. Retrieved on 2008-06-06.

^ Jackson, David; Ray Long (2007-04-03). "Obama Knows His Way Around a Ballot", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 14 January 2008. [dead link] White, Jesse (2001). "Legislative Districts of Cook County, 1991 Reapportionment". Illinois Blue Book 2001–2002. Springfield: Illinois Secretary of State. p. 65. State Sen. District 13 = State Rep. Districts 25 & 26.

^ Slevin, Peter (2007-02-09). "Obama Forged Political Mettle in Illinois Capitol", Washington Post. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. Helman, Scott (2007-09-23). "In Illinois, Obama dealt with Lobbyists", Boston Globe. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. See also: "Obama Record May Be Gold Mine for Critics", Associated Press, CBS News (2007-01-17). Retrieved on 20 April 2008. "In-Depth Look at Obama's Political Career" (video), CLTV, Chicago Tribune (2007-02-09). Retrieved on 20 April 2008.

^ a b Scott, Janny (2007-07-30). "In Illinois, Obama Proved Pragmatic and Shrewd", The New York Times. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. See also: Pearson, Rick; Ray Long (2007-05-03). "Careful Steps, Looking Ahead", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008.

^ Allison, Melissa (2000-12-15). "State takes on predatory lending; Rules would halt single-premium life insurance financing", Chicago Tribune, p. 1 (Business). Retrieved on 1 June 2008. Long, Ray; Allison, Melissa (2001-04-18). "Illinois OKs predatory loan curbs; State aims to avert home foreclosures.", Chicago Tribune, p. 1. Retrieved on 1 June 2008.

^ "13th District: Barack Obama" (archive). Illinois State Senate Democrats (2000-08-24). Archived from the original on 2000-04-12. Retrieved on 2008-04-20. "13th District: Barack Obama" (archive). Illinois State Senate Democrats (2004-10-09). Archived from the original on 2004-08-02. Retrieved on 2008-04-20.

^ "Federal Elections 2000: U.S. House Results - Illinois". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved on 2008-04-24.. See also: "Obama's Loss May Have Aided White House Bid". and Scott, Janny (2007-09-09). "A Streetwise Veteran Schooled Young Obama", The New York Times. Retrieved on 20 April 2008.

^ McClelland, Edward (2007-02-12). "How Obama Learned to Be a Natural", Salon. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. See also: Wolffe, Richard; Daren Briscoe (2007-07-16). "Across the Divide", Newsweek, MSNBC. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. Helman, Scott (2007-10-12). "Early Defeat Launched a Rapid Political Climb", Boston Globe. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. and Wills, Christopher (2007-10-24). "Obama learned from failed Congress run", USA Today. Retrieved on 20 September 2008.

^ Calmes, Jackie (2007-02-23). "Statehouse Yields Clues to Obama", Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on 20 April 2008.

^ Tavella, Anne Marie (2003-04-14). "Profiling, taping plans pass Senate", Daily Herald, p. 17. Retrieved on 1 June 2008. Haynes, V. Dion (2003-06-29). "Fight racial profiling at local level, lawmaker says; U.S. guidelines get mixed review", Chicago Tribune, p. 8. Retrieved on 1 June 2008. Pearson, Rick (2003-07-17). "Taped confessions to be law; State will be 1st to pass legislation", Chicago Tribune, p. 1 (Metro). Retrieved on 1 June 2008.

^ Youngman, Sam; Aaron Blake (2007-03-14). "Obama's Crime Votes Are Fodder for Rivals", The Hill. Retrieved on 20 April 2008. See also: "US Presidential Candidate Obama Cites Work on State Death Penalty Reforms", Associated Press, International Herald Tribune (2007-11-12). Retrieved on 20 April 2008.

^ Coffee, Melanie (2004-11-06). "Attorney Chosen to Fill Obama's State Senate Seat", Associated Press, HPKCC. Retrieved on 20 April 2008.

^ Helman, Scott (2007-10-12). "Early Defeat Launched a Rapid Political Climb", Boston Globe. Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ Davey, Monica (2004-03-07). "Closely Watched Illinois Senate Race Attracts 7 Candidates in Millionaire Range", The New York Times. Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ Wallace-Wells, Ben (2007-04-01). "Obama's Narrator", The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ Davey, Monica (2004-03-17). "From Crowded Field, Democrats Choose State Legislator to Seek Senate Seat", New York Times. Retrieved on 13 April 2008. See also: Jackson, John S (August 2006). "The Making of a Senator: Barack Obama and the 2004 Illinois Senate Race" (PDF), Occasional Paper of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Southern Illinois University. Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ Bernstein, David (June 2007). "The Speech", Chicago Magazine. Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ Obama, Barack (2004-07-27). "Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention" (text or video). BarackObama.com. Retrieved on 2008-04-13.

^ . (2004-08-02). "Star Power. Showtime: Some are on the rise; others have long been fixtures in the firmament. A galaxy of bright Democratic lights", Newsweek, pp. 48–51. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Samuel, Terence (2004-08-02). "A shining star named Obama. How a most unlikely politician became a darling of the Democrats", U.S. News & World Report, p. 25. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Lizza, Ryan. "The Natural. Why is Barack Obama generating more excitement among Democrats than John Kerry?", The Atlantic Monthly, pp. 30, 33. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Davey, Monica (2004-07-26). "A surprise Senate contender reaches his biggest stage yet", The New York Times, p. A1. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Leibovich, Mark (2004-07-27). "The other man of the hour", The Washington Post, p. C1. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Milligan, Susan (2004-07-27). "In Obama, Democrats see their future", The Boston Globe, p. B8. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Seelye, Katharine Q. (2004-07-28). "Senate nominee speaks of encompassing unity", The New York Times, p. A1. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Broder, David S. (2004-07-28). "Democrats focus on healing divisions; Addressing convention, newcomers set themes", The Washington Post, p. A1. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Bing, Jonathan; McClintock, Pamela (2004-07-29). "Auds resist charms of Dem stars", Daily Variety, p. 1. Retrieved on 15 November 2008. Mendell (2007), pp. 272–285.

^ "Ryan Drops Out of Senate Race in Illinois", CNN (2004-06-25). Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ Lannan, Maura Kelly (2004-08-09). "Alan Keyes Enters U.S. Senate Race in Illinois Against Rising Democratic Star", Associated Press, Union-Tribune (San Diego). Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ Liam, Ford; David Mendell (2004-08-13). "Keyes Sets Up House in Cal City", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ "America Votes 2004: U.S. Senate / Illinois", CNN. Retrieved on 13 April 2008. Slevin, Peter (2007-11-13). "For Obama, a Handsome Payoff in Political Gambles", The Washington Post. Retrieved on 13 April 2008.

^ "About Barack Obama". Barack Obama U.S. Senate Office. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.

^ "Breaking New Ground: African American Senators". U.S. Senate Historical Office. Retrieved on 2008-06-25.

^ "Member Info". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved on 2008-06-25. See also: Zeleny, Jeff (2005-06-26). "When It Comes to Race, Obama Makes His Point—With Subtlety", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 25 June 2008. Archived from the original on 16 February 2008.

^ Nather, David (2008-01-14). "The Space Between Clinton and Obama", CQ Weekly. Retrieved on 25 June 2008. See also: Curry, Tom (2008-02-21). "What Obama's Senate Votes Reveal", MSNBC. Retrieved on 25 June 2008.

^ "Obama: Most Liberal Senator In 2007", National Journal (2008-01-31). Retrieved on 25 June 2008.

^ KnowLegis. "Power Rankings: Senate". Retrieved on 2008-09-07.

^ Mason, Jeff (2008-11-16). "Obama resigns Senate seat, thanks Illinois". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved on 2008-11-21.

^ Sidoti, Liz (2008-11-13). "Obama to Resign Senate Seat on Sunday". Time. Time Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-11-22.

^ Baker, Peter (2008-11-14). "ON THE WHITE HOUSE; If the Senate Reconvenes, Two Seats May Be Empty". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved on 2008-11-21.

^ "President Bush Signs Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act.". White House (2006-09-26).

^ U.S. Senate, 109th Congress, 1st Session (2005-05-12). "S. 1033, Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act". Thomas. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.

^ "Latinos Upset Obama Voted for Border Fence", CBS 2 (Chicago) (2006-11-20). Retrieved on 27 April 2008. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.

^ "Lugar–Obama Nonproliferation Legislation Signed into Law by the President". Richard Lugar U.S. Senate Office (2007-01-11). Retrieved on 2008-04-27. See also: Lugar, Richard G; Barack Obama (2005-12-03). "Junkyard Dogs of War", Washington Post. Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ McCormack, John (2007-12-21). "Google Government Gone Viral", Weekly Standard. Retrieved on 27 April 2008. See also: "President Bush Signs Coburn–Obama Transparency Act". Tom Coburn U.S. Senate Office (2006-09-26). Retrieved on 2008-04-27. and USAspending.gov

^ S. 3077: Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008 Govtrack.us, 2007-2008 (110th Congress)

^ McIntire, Mike (2008-02-03). "Nuclear Leaks and Response Tested Obama in Senate", The New York Times. Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ Daniel Fisher (August 11, 2008). "November Election A Lawyer's Delight". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved on 2009-01-11.

^ "Democratic Republic of the Congo". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (April 2006). Retrieved on 2008-04-27. "The IRC Welcomes New U.S. Law on Congo". International Rescue Committee (2007-01-05). Retrieved on 2008-04-27.

^ Weixel, Nathaniel (2007-11-15). "Feingold, Obama Go After Corporate Jet Travel", The Hill. Retrieved on 27 April 2008. Weixel, Nathaniel (2007-12-05). "Lawmakers Press FEC on Bundling Regulation", The Hill. Retrieved on 27 April 2008. See also: "Federal Election Commission Announces Plans to Issue New Regulations to Implement the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007", Federal Election Commission (2007-09-24). Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ Stern, Seth (2007-01-31). "Obama–Schumer Bill Proposal Would Criminalize Voter Intimidation", CQPolitics.com, The New York Times. Retrieved on 27 April 2008. U.S. Senate, 110th Congress, 1st Session (2007-01-31). "S. 453, Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2007". Thomas. Retrieved on 2008-04-27. See also: "Honesty in Elections" (editorial), The New York Times (2007-01-31). Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ Krystin, E. Kasak (2007-02-07). "Obama Introduces Measure to Bring Troops Home", Medill News Service, The Times (Munster, Indiana). Retrieved on 27 April 2008. "Latest Major Action: 1/30/2007 Referred to Senate committee." U.S. Senate, 110th Congress, 1st Session (2007-01-30). "S. 433, Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007". Thomas. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.

^ "Nunn–Lugar Report" (PDF). Richard Lugar U.S. Senate Office (August 2005). Retrieved on 2008-04-30.

^ "Obama, Bond Hail New Safeguards on Military Personality Disorder Discharges, Urge Further Action". Kit Bond U.S. Senate Office (2007-10-01). Retrieved on 2008-04-27. See also: Dine, Philip (2007-12-23). "Bond Calls for Review of Military Discharges", St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ "Obama, Bond Applaud Senate Passage of Amendment to Expedite the Review of Personality Disorder Discharge Cases".

^ Graham-Silverman, Adam (2007-09-12). "Despite Flurry of Action in House, Congress Unlikely to Act Against Iran", CQ Today. Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ "Obama, Schiff Provision to Create Nuclear Threat Reduction Plan Approved". Barack Obama U.S. Senate Office (2007-12-20). Retrieved on 2008-04-27.

^ "Senate Passes Obama, McCaskill Legislation to Provide Safety Net for Families of Wounded Service Members". Barack Obama U.S. Senate Office (2007-08-02). Retrieved on 2008-04-27.

^ "Committee Assignments" (archive). Barack Obama U.S. Senate Office (2006-12-09). Retrieved on 2008-04-27.

^ "Obama Gets New Committee Assignments", Associated Press, Barack Obama U.S. Senate Office (2006-11-15). Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ Baldwin, Tom (2007-12-21). "Stay-At-Home Barack Obama Comes Under Fire for a Lack of Foreign Experience", Sunday Times (UK). Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ Larson, Christina (September 2006). "Hoosier Daddy: What Rising Democratic Star Barack Obama Can Learn from an Old Lion of the GOP", Washington Monthly. Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ Goudie, Chuck (2006-01-12). "Obama Meets with Arafat's Successor", WLS-TV. Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ "Obama Slates Kenya for Fraud", News24.com (2006-08-28). Retrieved on 27 April 2008.

^ Wamalwa, Chris (2006-09-02). "Envoy Hits at Obama Over Graft Remark", The Standard (Nairobi). Retrieved on 27 April 2008. Archived from the original on 10 October 2007. Moracha, Vincent; Mangoa Mosota (2006-09-04). "Leaders Support Obama on Graft Claims", The Standard (Nairobi). Retrieved on 27 April 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007.

^ Pearson, Rick; Long, Ray (February 10, 2007). "Obama: I'm running for president", Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on 20 September 2008.

^ "Obama Launches Presidential Bid", BBC News (2007-02-10). Retrieved on 14 January 2008.

^ "Presidential Campaign Announcement" (video), Obama for America, Brightcove.TV (2007-02-10). Retrieved on 14 January 2008.

^ "Barack Obama on the Issues: What Would Be Your Top Three Overall Priorities If Elected?", Washington Post. Retrieved on 14 April 2008. See also: Falcone, Michael (2007-12-21). "Obama's 'One Thing'", The New York Times. Retrieved on 14 April 2008.

^ Malone, Jim (July 2, 2007). "Obama Fundraising Suggests Close Race for Party Nomination", Voice of America. Retrieved on 14 January 2008.

^ Cummings, Jeanne (September 26, 2007). "Small Donors Rewri

Ship of Fools: Obama's Intimates and Advisors

By Mac Fuller

The following thumbnails describe a very small sampling of the locust horde of Leftist bureaucrats President Barack Hussein Obama has deliberately chosen to help him grasp the helm of America's ship of state, strip it from the American people, and steer it hard to port.

  

The Obama Administration is plainly subverting democracy in America, wildly careening our previous 230-year history of democracy so dangerously Leftward that we are in terrible danger of sinking.

  

In these thumbnails, three dominant themes of the Obama Administration emerge - fanatically uncompromising anti-capitalism, dangerous and blatant anti-Semitism, and the societal inculcation of dogmatic Leftist, Socialist "faith" through indoctrination of American school children beginning with the earliest ages - a practice instituted by Lenin in Communist Russia and now pounding its way into the American academic mainstream through the prolific efforts and influence of self-proclaimed Communist, Obama friend, and likely "autobiography" ghost writer, William Ayers, as well as Obama appointees like Charles Freeman and Kevin Jennings.

  

Make no mistake. These people are about Socialism, and they are about power. Their power.

  

____________________________________________________________

   

A sampling of President Barack Hussein Obama's morally bankrupt White House "Brain Trust"

   

1. Valerie Jarrett

  

2. Patrick Gaspard

  

3. Eric Holder

  

4. Cecelia Muñoz

  

5. Samantha Power(s)

  

6. Charles Freeman

  

7. Scott Gration

  

8. Rahm Emmanuel

  

9. Ezekiel Emmanuel

  

10. Cass Sunstein

  

11. Van Jones

  

12. Carol Browner

  

13. John Holdren

  

14. Kevin Jennings

  

15. Chai Feldblum

  

16. William Ayers

  

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

   

1. Valerie Jarrett -- Obama Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Ms. Jarrett, a product of two decades in rough-and-tumble "Chicago way" politics, and a 17-year friend of the Obama's, is described as "the other side of Barack Obama's brain." Born in Iran, Jarrett, who speaks Persian, moved to the United States as a child. A product of an elite, private, New England boarding school, she is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.

  

Jarrett served in the administration of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington (who, prior to his election, failed to file income tax returns for 19 years and during it maintained dubious Socialist ties) as well as in the scandal-ridden, current Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Her step-father, Vernon Jarrett was associated with Frank Marshall Davis, the youthful Barack Obama's mentor from age 10 until college - a Chicago Communist Party (USA) member who moved to Hawaii from Chicago. Frank Marshal Davis is now immortalized in President Barack Hussein Obama's "autobiography" as "Uncle Frank" -- conveniently with no mention of his last name nor who he was.

  

According to the Washington Post, Ms. Jarrett was for many years both Michelle and Barack Obama's "tutor." Virtually every mainstream media outlet has not only done an over-the-top puff piece on Valerie Jarrett (as they repeatedly have with Mr. Obama and his wife), but all agree that neither the President not Mrs. Obama makes a move without first consulting Ms. Jarrett. Ms. Jarrett was personally responsible for bringing self-described Communist Van Jones into the White House as President Obama's environmental "Green Czar." [1]

   

2. Patrick Gaspard -- White House Political Director (this is the position Karl Rove held in the Bush Administration). Prior to coming on board as President Obama's right-hand man, Mr. Gaspard was a registered federal lobbyist for the SEIU - the union members (thugs?) called-in by the Administration to run interference (sometimes violent) between Democrat members of Congress who support ObamaCare and their own constituents. Prior to that, Gaspard worked for ACORN - the community organizing front which Barack Obama worked for as a trainer, represented as a lawyer, helped as a politician, and funneled money to as a presidential candidate.

  

The President Obama is as much a product of ACORN as it is of him. He worked closely with the "community organizing" group for many years, represented them in court, and was a member of the board of Chicago's Woods Fund at the time it funneled $200,000 to an ACORN affiliate. Mr. Obama praised the organization extravagantly both during and after his election, and his campaign "donated" over $800,000 to an offshoot group controlled by ACORN (Citizens Services, Inc.) - to "get out the vote."

  

Gaspard worked directly for now-ACORN chief Bertha Lewis as her political director for the main ACORN office which is located in New York. ACORN is mired in long-standing as well as new and growing allegations of fraud, voter-registration fraud, corruption, and massive embezzlement of funds - ACORN operative organizations have received tens of millions of dollars in federal grants.

  

ACORN pledged $35,000,000 for voter registration drives in the 2008 election cycle.

  

In 2004, Patrick Gaspard served as National Field Director for America Coming Together (ACT), a group which was later fined $775,000 in civil penalties by the federal government. ACT hired felons - some convicted of sex offenses, assault and burglary - to conduct door-to-door voter registration drives in Missouri and at least two other swing states, and also employed felons as voter canvassers in major metropolitan areas in Missouri, Florida, Ohio. [2]

   

3. Eric Holder -- Attorney General of the United States. A handpicked Obama/Jarrett selection, who earlier this year referred to the United States as "a nation of cowards" on race relations, Mr. Holder is a shiningly despicable example of everything wrong when politics and personal ambition dictate the parameters of American justice.

  

Prior to grasping the brass ring of the department where he'd toiled during the Clinton Administration, Mr. Holder was responsible for these widely-reported miscarriages of justice: (1) He streamlined the Clinton Administration's pardon of fugitive billionaire Marc Rich by steering Rich's representatives to a former White House counsel, then helped lobby the President to pardon Rich ("an unrepentant fugitive wanted on extensive fraud, racketeering, and trading-with-the-enemy charges"). Holder did so for personal gain, later admitting he hoped this would help him become Attorney General in a Gore administration. Mr. Holder concealed the pardon negotiations from other prosecuting and investigative agencies to prevent their opposition. Mr. Rich's wife was a generous donor to both President Clinton's library as well as his legal-defense fund.

  

(2) "In 1999, over the objections of the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, and prosecuting attorneys, Holder supported Clinton's commutation of the sentences of 16 FALN conspirators. These pardons - of terrorists who even Holder has conceded had not expressed any remorse - were issued in the months after al-Qaeda's 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.... The commutations were nakedly political, obviously designed by Clinton to assist his wife's impending Senate campaign by appealing to New York's substantial Puerto Rican vote."

  

(3) Holder was also instrumental in the "stealth pardons" of two Weather Underground terrorists, Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans (both closely associated with President Obama's terrorist friends, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn). Rosenberg and Evans had been serving decades-long sentences for bombings targeting American government facilities. Again Holder helped circumvent the pardon process and evade objections from prosecutors regarding the terrorists' jail terms.

  

Just this summer, now-Attorney General Holder dismissed prosecution of an obvious case (it was filmed) of voter intimidation by members of the New Black Panthers, while also instigating prosecutorial investigations into CIA interrogation techniques of terrorist combatants. Attorney General Holder is a strong advocate for the release of the Islamofascist enemy combatants currently held at Guantanamo Bay. [3]

   

4. Cecelia Muñoz -- White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Prior to being summoned to the White House by President Obama, Ms. Muñoz was Senior Vice President of The National Council of La Raza. La Raza (literally, "The Race") is the largest Hispanic lobbying organization in America, and is committed not merely to a socialist agenda, but, essentially, the return of California, if not larger portions of the American West, to Hispanics. It lobbies heavily for completely open borders with Mexico, as well as amnesty for all illegal aliens. In order to carry out this agenda, the U.S. federal government awarded over $15.2 million in grants to the organization in 2005 alone.

  

La Raza is intimately involved with the "the radical racist group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan (MEChA), one of the most anti-American groups in the country, which has permeated U.S. campuses since the 1960s, and continues its push to carve a racist nation out of the American West." Aztlan's goal is the formation of a Chicano state. The closing two sentences of Atzlan's motto are: La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada": "For The Race everything. Outside The Race, nothing." Which ought to be as chilling as the idea of the U.S. government funding these people.

  

President Obama's recent appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, has also long been deeply involved with La Raza - a fact which all Democrat Senators ignored during her confirmation hearing.

   

5. Samantha Power -- Senior Director, Multilateral Affairs, National Security Council. Ms. Power, a professor of public policy at Harvard [who is married to President Obama's Leftist fringe academic Cass Sunstein, the Administrator of the White House Office of Administration and Regulatory Affairs] was only seemingly thrown under the Obama campaign bus for referring to Hillary Clinton as "a monster" during the 2008 Democrat primary. In 2009 President Obama, tapped her to occupy her senior White House foreign policy position.

  

Ms. Power, a "fierce critic of Israel,... was indisputably Barack Obama's closest foreign policy adviser during the campaign. They go back years." Ms. Power is a notorious acolyte of appeasement-challenged, Neville-Chamberlain-clone Zbigniew Brzezinski (former President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser) who recently stated that the U.S. should shoot down any Israeli planes which, out of self-preservation, might fly through Iraqi air space to destroy Iran's developing nuclear facilities. Ms. Power agrees with the Charles-Freeman-published Walt-Mearsheimer-essay school of thought that America is run and being destroyed by a cabal of Jews. Power promotes the policies of disgraced anti-Semitic, Israeliphobic, pro-PLO, pro-Syria, Obama adviser Robert Malley who advocated not merely talking with Hamas, but funding the terrorist organization because he feels their policies and governance mirror that of Israel. The Obama Administration cut visible ties with Malley shortly after the election.

  

Power, who stridently criticized the invasion and "occupation" of Iraq, repeatedly calling for the removal of American forces from that nation, curiously advocates that America send armed military forces, "a mammoth protection force" and an "external intervention", to impose a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. While giving the PLO, Fatah, Hamas and other obviously terrorist Arab state organizations a pass, Ms. Power views Israel, the only democratic and non-totalitarian, nation in the Middle East, as guilty of war crimes. She favors slashing, if not eliminating, United States aid to Israel - which is surrounded by several hundred million Muslims who daily pray for its total annihilation - and, apparently, giving the money to the Palestinians instead.

  

Ms. Power, and virtually all of her truth-through-force ilk ignore the fact that on the day Israel gained independence it was immediately attacked by the surrounding Arab neighbors who erroneously believed they could destroy the nascent country in a matter of hours. "Palestinians" (there is no such country, nor has there been since Biblical times) who now form the "Palestinian problem" were not forced to leave Israel but instead chose to do so because Israel became a Jewish state. Hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish Arabs remained and now form a large core group of Israeli citizenry. The approximately 750,000 "Palestinians" who left, now number approximately 4,000,000. They constitute a "problem" because of all the Arab countries only Jordan has allowed them to become a part of its society. The other Arab countries bordering Israel keep the "Palestinians" in enormous desert internment camps. And they have done so to their Arab brethren for 60 years. Ms. Power and her comrades exquisitely fail to note that Jews were forced to leave Arab countries and relocate to the newly-formed Israeli state.

  

Like her pro-Arab "realist" co-religionists Charles Freeman, Robert Malley, Zbigniew Brzezinsk, billionaire George Soros (an influential Obama supporter), and others of their stripe, Powers opposes the "Israel lobby." She, as they, adamantly rejects the participation of American supporters of Israel, including Christians, in foreign policy discussions of the Middle East.

  

For all Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's public visibility, it may not be much of a conjecture that her job has been outsourced to the alpha female who once referred to Mrs. Clinton as a "monster." [5]

   

6. Charles Freeman -- Nominated, but not confirmed, as Chairman of the (United States) National Intelligence Council - which is responsible for producing national intelligence estimates for the president and his advisors. Mr. Freeman has a distinguished résumé of long service in both the State and Defense Departments, however, his "distinctive political views and affiliations" include: troubling financial ties to King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia who funds the Middle East Policy Council (formerly the American Arab Affairs Council) which Mr. Freeman heads; organizational support for professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt's lengthy, controversial, and essentially anti-Jewish essay, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"; his stated viewpoint that "the primary reason America confronts a terrorism problem today is "the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation"; praise for the terrorist organization, Hamas, as the only "democratically-elected" government in the Middle East; and, bizarrely, unabashedly siding with the Chinese government over the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989 - Mr. Freeman criticized the Chinese government for being "overly cautious."

  

Once Leftist liberal, New York Senator Chuck Schumer spoke against Freeman's nomination, the gentleman withdrew - but not without "blaming his own disgrace on a Jewish conspiracy."

  

During his Congressional investigation, Mr. Freeman was charged with "[p]romoting public schools textbooks which the independent Textbook League describe ‘a vehicle for disseminating disinformation, including a multitude of false, distorted or utterly absurd claims that are presented as historical facts. ...[with] three principal purposes: inducing teachers to embrace Islamic religious beliefs; inducing teachers to embrace political views that are favored by the...Middle East Policy Council (formerly the American Arab Affairs Council)...; and impelling teachers to disseminate those religious beliefs and political views in schools." [6]

   

7. Scott Gration -- President Obama's Special Envoy to the Sudan. His diplomatic policy is, quite literally the following:

  

"We've got to think about giving out cookies," said Gration who was appointed in March, "Kids, countries -- they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement."

  

As even that bastion of liberal blather the Washington Post noted, "U.S. diplomacy has remained mostly in the hands of Obama's special envoy to Sudan, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, who is pushing toward normalized relations with the only country in the world led by a president indicted on war-crimes charges."

  

While President Obama's handpicked "Special Envoy" was tempting genocidal Muslim radicals with "cookies" and "gold stars," marauding bands of guerrillas in the Sudan crucified seven Christians. [7]

   

8. Rahm ("dead fish") Emanuel -- White House Chief of Staff. Mr. Emanuel is the notorious hardball political player from Chicago's North Side which he represented in Congress prior to his current incarnation as President Obama's political henchman and myrmidon. The ironically named Mr. Emanuel ("God with us") is "relentlessly partisan," thereby quite succinctly putting the lie to Mr. Obama's campaign claim to "post-partisanship."

  

Nicknamed "Rhambo," President Obama's Chief of Staff - the highest ranking office of the Executive Branch of the President of the United States - is well-know for the following accomplishments:

  

(1) a casual conversation style addictively laced with the most outrageous profanities and gutter language at any and all times;

  

(2) sending a 2½ foot-long dead and decomposing fish to lobbyist Allen Secrest with whom he was angry;

  

(3) threatening then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair just prior to a joint appearance with then-President Bill Clinton: "This is important. Don't f--- it up.";

  

(4) at dinner the night after Bill Clinton was elected President in 1992, "Rhambo" ranted about a long list of people who were the subject of his ire. As he shouted each "enemy's" name, Mr. Emanuel punctuated his rage by forcefully stabbing the dinner table and screaming, "Dead!"

   

Outside of murdering a Congressional page, it is relatively difficult to improve upon these glowing characteristics of mental stability and leadership. [8]

  

Rahm Emanuel is Ezekiel Emanuel, "Dr. Death's," brother.

   

9. Ezekiel Emanuel -- President Obama's Special Advisor for Health Policy to the Office of Management and Budget. Nicknamed in the press "Dr. Death" after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former New York Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey pointed out Dr. Emanuel's "healthcare" role assisting the White House in the preparation and administration of federal budget recommendations for guiding healthcare and healthcare initiatives, Dr. Emanuel (again, application of the absurdly ironic name, "God with us") is a "bioethicist." He is also hailed as President Obama's "Rationer-in-Chief." Generally, Emanuel's idea of healthcare rationing is to greatly restrict many treatments, medicines, and procedures to anyone over 40 and more particularly to anyone over 65. Dr. Emanuel feels similarly about the newly born until they have attained several years of age at which time he begins to view them in Malthusian terms of potential communitarian utility.

  

As Lt. Governor McCaughey noted, "In numerous writings, Dr. Emanuel chastises physicians for thinking only about their own patient's needs." This is the man who was personally tapped to guide ObamaCare health initiatives - not only by President Obama and his Chief of Staff... but also by "the other side of Barack's brain," Valerie Jarrett.

  

Mr. Emanuel is yet another in a tedious yet frighteningly long line of unqueried, unquestioned, and unvetted Obama advisors and "czars" about whom nothing can be known until pulled from beneath labyrinths of liberal camouflage by interested citizens, conservative Internet bloggers, and the staffs of conservative talk shows. Mainstream media long ago forfeited its credibility as well as its societal role as the fourth estate.

  

Dr. Emanuel is a member of the President's Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (curiously enough authorized under the dazzling rushed-through and unread by a single Congressman, American Recovery and Investment Act... "the Stimulus Bill") which, if allowed, will make decisions about the validity, "relative strengths and weakness of various medical interventions" as well as give clinicians...information to make decisions that will improve the performance of the U.S. health care system. Not improve medical care much less your medical care, but the "system." It's called "rationing," and it will very likely result in unnecessary and preventable early deaths. On a very large scale.

  

One final point. Due to the ambiguity of the relevant language in the Stimulus Bill as well as in the various ObamaCare "reform" proposals, there will not only be great latitude for interpretation of various laws' meaning, but these interpretations will require being instituted, oversight, and, of course, regulation. The necessity of regulation allows President Obama's Administrator of the White House Office of Administration and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein carte blanche to regulate whatever he likes.

  

Mr. Emanuel is the brother of White House Chief of Staff, and former North Side Chicago Congressman (5th District of Illinois) Rahm ("dead fish") Emanuel. [9]

   

10. Cass Sunstein -- Administrator of the White House Office of Administration and Regulatory Affairs. He is a Harvard Law School professor and newly-minted husband of President Obama's Senior Director, Multilateral Affairs, National Security Council, the Israel-phobic Samantha Power (one of several husband-wife teams in the Obama White House). Mr. Sunstein's belief structure could understandably be called "Leftist kook" or "fringe" if not downright lunatic. Herewith:

  

In a 2007 speech at Harvard, Sunstein called for banning all hunting in the United States. All. Everywhere.

  

He actually put in writing, in his 2004 book, Animals that, "Animals should be permitted to bring [law] suit, with human beings as their representatives...."

  

"[T]here should be extensive regulation of the use of animals in entertainment, in scientific experiments, and in agriculture."

   

Mr. Sunstein, who openly argues for bringing socialism to the U.S. and even lends support to communism, wrote, "The absence of a European-style social welfare state is certainly connected with the widespread perception among the white majority that the relevant programs would disproportionately benefit African Americans (and more recently Hispanics)..."

  

"[A]lmost all gun control legislation is constitutionally fine. And if the Court is right, then fundamentalism does not justify the view that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms."

  

Were Mr. Sunstein to succeed as President Obama's head regulator of all things American, what might happen to those millions of hunting rifles and shotguns he doesn't want gathering dust in your cabinet?

  

Mr. Sunstein is a reputed "1st Amendment scholar." Having attended law school myself and actually practiced law for a quarter century rather than retreat to the head-swelling-brain-shrinking environs of academia, I can assure you that if he is, America is in very deep trouble. President Obama has made clear his White House Masterregulator is intended to regulate virtually every aspect of American's lives - including the environment, healthcare, finance, and the economy - regardless of your feelings about such matters much less your freedom and liberty. Sunstein has argued in his prolific literary works (one bookstore tour de force was a whopping 84 pages) that the Internet is anti-democratic because of the way users can filter out information of their own choosing. He went on to assert: [10]

  

A system of limitless individual choices, with respect to communications, is not necessarily in the interest of citizenship and self-government... Democratic efforts to reduce the resulting problems ought not be rejected in freedom's name.

  

As WorldNetDaily noted:

  

"It's hard to imagine President Obama nominating a more dangerous candidate for regulatory czar than Cass Sunstein....Not only is Sunstein an animal-rights radical, but he also seems to have a serious problem with our First Amendment rights. Sunstein has advocated everything from regulating the content of personal e-mail communications, to forcing nonprofit groups to publish information on their websites that is counter to their beliefs and mission.... If it were up to Obama and Sunstein, everything we read online - right down to our personal e-mail communications - would have to be inspected and approved by the federal government."

   

11. Van Jones -- President Obama's former White House Environmental Adviser ("Green Jobs Czar"). Mr. Jones remains a self-defined Communist community organizer from the San Francisco Bay area (Oakland, California). He is also an Whites-hating racist with a criminal arrest record, as well as a "9/11 Truther" true believer. The 9/11 Truther organizations proselytize that former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Richard Cheney either planned or knew about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks conducted by 19 Islamofascist members of Al-Qaeda who, aside from slamming a passenger jetliner into the Pentagon, did the same in New York City totally destroying the Twin Towers and killing almost 3,000 Americans.

  

When Mr. Jones, an ardent racist and Communist, was hired into the White House by "the other half of Barack's brain," Ms. Valerie Jarrett, she expressed overflowing praise in the press and in video-taped interviews for Mr. Jones and his work, noting that "we have been watching him for a long time. [11]

   

12. Carol M. Browner -- Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy. Ms. Browner is a Socialist sycophant of Al Gore's conclusion that the earth is going to evaporate tomorrow. A former EPA director, Ms. Browner is married to Leftist lobbyist Thomas Downey and remains an ardent Socialist activist. She is one of 14 leaders of Socialist International's, "Commission for a Sustainable World Society," which calls for "global governance."

  

As Van Jones was an admitted Communist, Ms. Browner is an admitted and very active Socialist. What more really need be said about her with reference to President Obama who has been fully informed of her moral relativity and anti-Americanism for years since she has hardly kept it secret from either her associates, the public, nor the press. [12]

   

13. John Holdren -- Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Other than Mr. Holdren's well known and oft repeated morally relativistic denial of American exceptionalism, one and only one thing need to be said here about President Obama's "Science" Czar - he is Barack Obama's twin on the matter of abortion and has advocated compulsory abortion. Here it is again: President Obama searched for, reached out, and chose as his chief "science advisor" a plasma physicist who advocates compulsory abortion.

  

As John Griffing wrote of Holdren in "Enough is Enough," for American Thinker:

  

...for a true outrage, consider new Czar of Science, John P. Holdren, who, in a stunning display of unabashed evil, has actively advocated "compulsory abortion":

  

There exists ample authority under which population growth could be regulated...It has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.

  

If that doesn't send a chill down your spine, consider his words, "All the children who are born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to a desired level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the death of grown persons." Let that sink in: an American official supports forced abortion and the death of "grown persons." We know what that looks like. It has been official policy for years in Communist China.

  

President Obama quite literally has the single worst record of any elected official on the question of abortion. While in the Illinois legislature he single-handedly prevented that state's Born Alive Infant Protection Act from leaving his committee much less being made into law. As a result, for three more years until legislator Obama became U. S. Senator Obama, Illinois hospitals and doctors were permitted to allow otherwise healthy infants who survived an abortion to receive no medical attention whatsoever until they died. They were simply, and quite literally, "shelved." The evidence of Mr. Obama's actions and callous disregard for the lives of infants is overwhelming. [13]

   

14. Kevin Jennings -- President Obama's Safe Schools Czar. Jennings is a former schoolteacher who has very successfully advocated promoting homosexuality in schools, written about his past drug abuse, unashamedly and vituperatively expressed his utter contempt for religion, and detailed an incident in which he did not report to authorities his knowledge that an underage student told him he was having sex with older men - Jennings instead counseled the boy to "use a condom. " In 1990, as a teacher in Massachusetts, [Jennings] founded the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), which now has over 40 chapters at schools nationwide. He has also published six books on gay rights and education...."

  

In the past, Mr. Jennings has praised Harry Hay, the frequent and vocal defender of NAMBLA - the North American Man-Boy Love Association, which promotes the legalization of sexual abuse of young boys by older men.

  

His organization, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, has successfully prodded some schools into making October the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Month, as well as established November 28th as "Transgender Day of Remembrance."

  

None of this belongs in any school anywhere, any time, and the fact that the Obama Administration chooses to support such people with such goals and then put them in positions of great authority and power should make even the most dyed-in-the-wool middle-class liberal Democrats cringe at the depth of either their negligence, uncaring, or stupidity regarding the real Barack Hussein Obama.

  

And I bet all the teachers in America didn't know this - according to Mr. Jennings (at a New York University "Education Policy Breakfast):

  

"... you cannot be an effective teacher if you are not aware of how [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] biases can influence how you interact with your students. Pure and simple."

  

To which Mr. Jennings added,

  

"It should be impossible to graduate from NYU or any other school of education without coursework - required coursework - that address issues of [LGBT] bias in the classroom and how it might influence your teaching. [It] should be a graduation requirement."

  

In 1999, Mr. Jennings wrote the foreward for an elementary education instruction book, Queering Elementary Education, the description of which states that it examines "five broadly-defined areas in elementary education: foundational issues; social and sexual development; curriculum; the family; and gay/lesbian educators and their allies. It seeks to provide scholarly insights, pedagogical strategies, and curricular resources for use in schools. At the core of the book is the belief that public school educators have the responsibility to affirm sexual diversity..." In elementary school?

  

It is Jennings himself, Obama's "Safe-School Czar," who coined the term "safe school" as a euphemism for "pro-homosexual" school. Children's physical safety had nothing and has even less to do now with Mr. Jennings educational background, "expertise," or agenda. "Jennings was obviously chosen for this job because of the safe schools aspect... defining 'safe schools' narrowly in terms of 'safe for homosexuality'," says Peter Sprigg, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.

  

"Safe school" is hardly the only word commandeered by Jennings and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to support propagandizing his model "safe school" into mainstream elementary education. Others include, and parents should be alert to "seemingly innocuous terms as ‘safe school,' ‘anti-bullying,' ‘safe space,' ‘hate-free, ‘tolerance,' ‘respect differences,' ‘be an ally,' ‘no name calling day,' ‘be who you are,' ‘free to be fully me,' ‘day of silence,' and so forth. If these terms are present [in school instructional materials], they are [probably] defined by Jennings, not Webster, and the accompanying curricular material will probably be objectionable. Jennings' jargon and the mythical bullying epidemic even showed-up in the recent Presidential address to school children."

  

The Obama Administration was certainly aware of these facts long before the President and Ms. Jarrett selected Mr. Jennings, just as they selected Van Jones, and all the other members of the Obama Administration discussed here.

  

This is the type of colossal lack of judgment the President of The United States has not merely chosen to surround himself with, but in fact personally displays every day.

  

Feeling any "safer" about your kids? [14]

   

15. Chai Feldblum - Obama nominee to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission who signed a manifest seeking, inter alia, to legalize polygamy ("to protect households in which there is more than one conjugal partner"). See, online petition entitled Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families and Relationships. Feldblum is an outspoken homosexual rights activist and Georgetown University law professor. She is "co-director of Workplace Flexibility 2010, which she described at [a] UCLA symposium as a homosexual rights group that aimed to change ‘the American workplace and revolutionize social mores. This is a war that needs to be fought,'' Feldblum asserted, "'and it's not a war overseas where we are killing people in the name of liberating them." [15]

   

16. William Ayers -- Obama friend, neighbor, fellow board member, "respected" national educator, virulently anti-American, and dramatically unrepentant radical terrorist bomber. Mr. Ayers famously stated:

  

"I am a radical, Leftist, small ‘c' Communist...Maybe I'm the last Communist who is willing to admit it.... The ethics of Communism still appeal to me."

  

Perhaps Mr. Ayers most notable statement was made to the New York Times in a story released on September 11, 2001:

  

"I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough,"

  

It has gradually come to light that Mr. Ayers, far from the casual acquaintance President Obama made him out to be during the 2008 election, is quite likely the real author of Mr. Obama's "autobiography," Dreams of My Father. [16]

  

Mr. Ayers approach to education is as authoritarian as is his approach to society as a whole - otherwise he would not have planted terrorist bombs in an effort to compel his personal beliefs upon the rest of society. As Sol Stern of City Journal wrote:

  

Ayers's influence on what is taught in the nation's public schools is likely to grow in the future. Last month, he was elected vice president for curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association (AERA), the nation's largest organization of education-school professors and researchers. Ayers won the election handily, and there is no doubt that his fellow education professors knew whom they were voting for. In the short biographical statement distributed to prospective voters beforehand, Ayers listed among his scholarly books Fugitive Days, an unapologetic memoir about his ten years in the Weather Underground. The book includes dramatic accounts of how he bombed the Pentagon and other public buildings.

  

....

  

Ayers's politics have hardly changed since his Weatherman days. He still boasts about working full-time to bring down American capitalism and imperialism. This time, however, he does it from his tenured perch as Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Instead of planting bombs in public buildings, Ayers now works to indoctrinate America's future teachers in the revolutionary cause, urging them to pass on the lessons to their public school students. [17]

  

The Ayers-Obama Socialist-conversion mission carried out with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge's $100,000,000 was a total failure, producing zero results in student learning, but succeeded in massive transfers of wealth to Leftist, Socialist, and even the Communist causes of long-time Ayers ally, Mike Klonsky, a former S.D. S. leader, college professor and Director of the Small Schools Workshop. However, neither Mr. Ayers nor President Obama have given up on their radical Leftist agenda. [18]

  

Ayers is married to unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bernadine Dohrn who was once jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating other Weather Underground members' robbery of a Brinks truck, in which a guard and two New York State Troopers were killed. Like her husband, she remains involved and influential in school programs.

  

For Mr. Ayers, Mr. Freeman, Mr. Jennings, Mr. Chu, and President Obama's Secretary of Education, yet another Chicagoan, Arne Duncan - and far too many others in the Obama Administration - education is solely about pursuing then mandating the radicalization of children through indoctrination in Leftist policies, "social justice" curricula, and Socialism itself in public schools.

  

____________________________________________________________

   

The Obama Administration is currently making thousands of federal bureaucratic appointments.

  

Make no mistake. These people are about Socialism, and they are about power. Their power.

 

www.americanthinker.com/

 

ift.tt/2PK3zfT

 

On Tuesday, November 6, the Arab American community must rise to the challenge and exercise their right and duty to vote. Now more than ever Arab American voters are needed at the polls to share history in the making. Rashida Tlaib won a historic race and was on her way to capitol Hill to be the first Arab American and Muslim woman to have a seat in the U.S. Congress. But, Brenda Jones decided to make this journey a little more challenging for the energetic and unyielding Rashida.

 

Donald Trump won Michigan in the 2016 presidential race by a mere 11,000 votes. Now more Trumpets are trying to follow suit. But there is a wave in the making to stop them and turn the tide of racism and hatred. Arab Americans can be an important force in this wave, but only if they vote in large numbers.

 

There is a lot at stake this midterm election— from congressional to gubernatorial to school board races. Lots of hopes are hinged on every single race and nothing should be taken for granted.

 

Michigan is getting ready to change its colors; November is usually the time to do so and Tuesday, November 6 could be the beginning.

 

The Arab American News has since its inception and during every election season tried very hard to pick the candidates we believe best serve our country and our community. This election season we have teamed with the Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC), like we have been doing for the past 21 years, to select and present to our readers and voters in the Arab American community a list of candidates whom we strongly believe best serve the interest of the people, the state and the country.

 

We hope that you consider them and grant them your confidence by voting for them on November 6.

 

Our endorsements for the November midterm elections 2018:

 

Gretchen Whitmer

 

Michigan Governor

 

Gretchen Whitmer— D

 

Gretchen Whitmer is a lifelong Michigander and has visited all 83 counties in the state during her campaign to listen to residents’ issues. As Senate Democratic leader, she negotiated with Republicans to expand health coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders through Healthy Michigan and negotiated a raise of the minimum wage. Because of the work she did, the minimum wage went up for the fourth time this year. She also brought workers, labor unions and businesses together to fight anti-worker legislation. When Governor Snyder and Lansing politicians locked people out of the capitol to pass right-to-work without public hearings, she opened the doors of the capitol and led the protest from her office.

 

Jocelyn Benson

 

Michigan Secretary of State

 

Jocelyn Benson – D

 

Jocelyn Benson is the author of Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process, the first major book on the role of the Secretary of State in enforcing election and campaign finance laws and promoting fair, accessible and secure elections. As the former dean of the Wayne State University Law School she froze tuition and expanded access to scholarship funds for all students. She also established programs to promote government oversight, provide free legal services for veterans and help aspiring entrepreneurs participate in Detroit’s economic revival. Benson is currently CEO and executive director of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a national nonprofit.

 

Dana Nessel

 

Michigan Attorney General

 

Dana Nessel – D

 

Dana Nessel began her career as an assistant prosecutor in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. For more than a decade, she was assigned to elite units within the office and handled some of Wayne County’s most difficult cases in the Child & Family Abuse Bureau, Police Conduct Review Team and Auto Theft Unit. In 2005, she left the Prosecutor’s Office to open her own legal firm. She is also the president and founder of the Fair Michigan Justice Project, a first of its kind task force that investigates and prosecutes hate crimes. So far, the Justice Project has charged more than 20 capital offenses, including homicides, sexual assaults, armed robberies, child abuse, attempted murder and carjackings. The Fair Michigan Justice Project has a 100 percent conviction rate.

 

Nessel is running for this office because she understands that the job of an attorney general is to first and foremost be the people’s attorney.

 

Debbie Stabenow

 

U.S. SENATE RACE

 

U.S. Senator

 

Debbie Stabenow – D

 

As ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and as a member of the Senate Energy, Finance and Budget Committees, Sen. Stabenow has shaped our nation’s manufacturing, health care and agriculture policies, which are critical to our future. She has cut taxes for small businesses and passed initiatives to revitalize our manufacturing sector. She has authored a bipartisan farm bill that is strengthening Michigan agriculture and making unprecedented investments in protecting the Great Lakes. She has played a leading role in making positive reforms to health care and successfully passed reforms to improve our nation’s mental health system. She is a true friend and fighter for Michigan.

 

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RACES

 

Andy Levin

 

Ninth District U.S. Congress

 

Andy Levin – D

 

Andy Levin is running for U.S. Congress during this time of political trial for our nation because we need a new movement for our middle class and all who aspire to it – a movement focused on creating good jobs, education and training, protecting our environment and restoring faith in our government through transparency and inclusiveness. Levin has spent decades fighting and winning battles for the middle class, both inside and outside of government. He is also running as a member of a long family tradition dedicated to public service. If elected, Levin will continue his career-long dedication to working hand-in-hand with the Arab American community.

 

Debbie Dingell

 

12th District U.S. Congress

 

Debbie Dingell – D

 

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell represents the 12th District of Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before being elected to Congress, Dingell was chair of the Wayne State University Board of Governors. For more than 30 years she served one of Michigan’s largest employers, General Motors, where she was president of the GM Foundation and a senior executive responsible for public affairs. She co-chaired One United Michigan, which sought to preserve and support programs that ensure equal opportunity in Michigan. She chairs the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, a statewide organization that brings business, labor and government together to find commonality on issues. Dingell resides in Dearborn with her husband, retired Congressman John D. Dingell.

 

Rashida Tlaib

 

13th District U.S. Congress

 

Rashida Tlaib

 

Rashida Tlaib is a born and raised Detroiter, the eldest of 14 children born to Palestinian immigrants. Tlaib made history in 2008 when she was the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature and she served her full three terms as a State Representative for Detroit, River Rouge and Ecorse. Tlaib rose to become the ranking Democrat on the powerful Appropriations Committee and her one-of-a-kind neighborhood service center helped thousands in her district. After being term-limited, she worked as a civil rights attorney at the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice. Earlier this year, she won the Democratic primary to succeed U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. in Washington, likely becoming the first Muslim woman to be elected to Congress.

 

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

 

Kelly Tebay

 

MSU Board of Trustees

 

Kelly Tebay – D

 

Kelly Charron Tebay is a passionate Michigan State alumna who is not far removed from her own time on campus. In 2008, Tebay graduated from MSU with a B.A. in international relations and a Muslim studies specialization. In 2011, she earned her M.S. in law enforcement intelligence and analysis with certificates in homeland security and critical thinking. She said she feels the pain students and alumni are facing today, but also shares the complete frustration with the university’s handling of its cultural problems. As a survivor of sexual assault she experienced at MSU, she personally understands this pain that so many students have gone through. She has 10 years of professional finance experience in varying capacities. She currently connects private sector organizations with those in need across Metro Detroit. Every day, she helps those who don’t have opportunity gain access to it and she sees how hard life is when one doesn’t have either economic privilege or education. She spends a great deal of time listening to the community and addressing their needs while connecting them with those who have the opportunity to provide it.

 

Brianna Scott

 

MSU Board of Trustees

 

Brianna Scott – D

 

Brianna Scott grew up in Muskegon and graduated from MSU with a B.A. in marketing and from Wayne State with a juris doctorate. She was hired as the first African American assistant prosecutor in Muskegon County before moving on to establish the first minority law firm in the county, where she employs a staff of five. Diversity, equality and inclusion are part of her overall campaign goals, along with accessibility to the trustees and accountability to all students and employees and an affordable educational experience for all who attend.

 

MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT RACES – NON PARTISAN

 

Justice Kurtis Wilder

 

Michigan Supreme Court

 

Justice Elizabeth T. Clement

 

Justice Elizabeth Clement serves as the 113th, and 11th female, justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. A lifelong Michigan resident, she received her undergraduate and law degrees from Michigan State University. Following several years in private practice focusing on family law, she entered into public service as legal counsel to the senate majority leader and the governor before joining the Court. Clement has served in all three branches of government and respects the separation of powers and proper role of the judiciary. She lives in East Lansing with her husband and four children.

 

Justice Elizabeth T. Clement

 

Michigan Supreme Court

 

Justice Kurtis T. Wilder

 

Justice Kurtis T. Wilder was appointed to the bench in 2017. He previously served as one of 28 judges on the Michigan Court of Appeals, having been appointed to that position in 1998. Before that, he served as chief judge of the Washtenaw County Trial Court. He is a former chairperson of the State of Michigan Community Corrections Advisory Board and member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Standing Committee on Justice Initiatives and Subcommittee on Judicial Ethics. Judge Wilder is the chairperson of the board of trustees of Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW), trustee of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, secretary of the board of directors of the Sphinx Organization and member of the President’s Advisory Council at Walsh College.

 

JUDGES RACES – NON PARTISAN

 

Judge David A. Perkins

 

Wayne Probate Court

 

Judge David Perkins

 

Perkins is currently a judge on the 36th District Court. He also served as a referee in the Wayne County Juvenile Court for 17 years, where he presided over neglect cases and delinquency cases. He also volunteered on Monday evenings to preside over a Juvenile Drug Court Docket and volunteered as a jurist for a Saturday morning teen-court program. He received a degree in biology from Rutgers University and his law degree from Howard University. Judge Perkins is an adjunct professor at Wayne County Community College District, a lifetime member of the NAACP, member of the Detroit Urban League, member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and a member of the Detroit Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen.

 

Regina Thomas

 

Wayne County Circuit Court

 

Regina Thomas

 

Regina Thomas is an attorney and the director of Lakeshore Legal Aid’s Counsel and Advocacy Law Line, which provides civil legal assistance to under resourced residents in 46 counties, including Wayne County. She graduated from Cass Technical High School in Detroit and received her bachelor of science degree from Tennessee State University and her doctor of jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University School of Law. Her prior legal experience includes serving as deputy chief counsel of the Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Civil Law Group; as an adjunct professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School; an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office; chief counsel for the Juvenile Law Group of the Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc., and an assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan.

 

Suzette Samuels

 

Wayne County Circuit Court

 

Suzette Samuels

 

Suzette Samuels was born and raised in southwest Detroit. She received her bachelor of arts degree from Wayne State University and her juris doctorate from the Detroit College of Law. Samuels has been an attorney for 24 years. Her early years were spent in private practice, handling cases in the areas of family law, probate, personal injury and criminal defense. Samuels was an assistant city attorney for the city of Dearborn. Nearly 20 years ago she was recruited to join the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. She is currently a lead attorney with the prosecutor’s office. Most notably she has handled cases of child abuse, homicide and criminal sexual conduct. She has a reputation for being fair, respectful, hardworking and knowledgeable of the law.

 

Bridget Mary Hathaway

 

Wayne County Circuit Court

 

Bridget Mary Hathaway

 

Bridget Mary Hathaway spent her career litigating a broad range of cases in the Wayne County Circuit Court. As a litigator for some of the region’s most successful companies, Hathaway has litigated complex business disputes. As a city prosecutor, she has prosecuted cases that affected citizens in our community. As a criminal defense attorney, she has defended the accused in misdemeanor and felony cases. If elected, Hathaway will bring her diverse legal experience, professionalism, diligence and commitment to service with her to the bench. Hathaway is a partner at Bodman PLC and a graduate of Wayne State University Law School.

 

Judge Mariam Bazzi

 

Wayne County Circuit Court

 

Judge Mariam Bazzi

 

In 2017, Judge Mariam Saad Bazzi was appointed to the Wayne County Circuit Court bench by Governor Snyder. She was previously appointed to the Middle Eastern Affairs Commission in 2015 and to the Environmental Justice Task Force in 2017. She is an active member of the Dearborn/Dearborn Heights League of Women Voters, among other local organizations, and previously served as AAPAC’s president for four consecutive years. Prior to her judicial appointment, Bazzi served as the president of the Dearborn Board of Education and chair of Henry Ford College’s Board of Trustees. Bazzi worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Wayne County. During her tenure as a prosecutor, she was assigned to lead the Deed and Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which specializes in complex mortgage and real estate property-related fraud.

 

Julie Gatti

 

Macomb County Circuit Court

 

Julie Gatti

 

Julie Gatti is a 22 year legal veteran who has practiced law in every courthouse within Macomb County. Her background, service to the community and invaluable courtroom experience make her the right candidate with the right experience for the bench. Gatti has practiced law in every one of the eight district courts within Macomb County and in the circuit courts of Macomb, Wayne, Oakland and St. Clair counties. She makes time to give back to the legal community. She has held a long list of titles and roles in positions that help to unify, grow, educate and otherwise benefit the legal community.

 

Judge Alexis Krot

 

31st District Court

 

Judge Alexis Krot

 

Judge Alexis G. Krot is the chief judge of the 31st District Court with jurisdiction over the city of Hamtramck. Since her appointment to the bench, Judge Krot has instituted a night court program, online ticket and payment plan negotiation, extended the amnesty program and included an online amnesty tool as well as scheduling a regular interpreter docket with Arabic and Bengali interpreters. Judge Krot is married to David Salamas and they are restoring their historical home in Hamtramck.

 

Judge Aliyah Sabree

 

36th District Court

 

Judge Aliyah Sabree

 

As a native Detroiter, Judge Sabree fully understands the socioeconomic challenges Detroiters face on a daily basis. On each case she administers the rule of law with compassion, integrity and fairness. As a former assistant prosecuting attorney and attorney for the city of Detroit, she has followed in the footsteps of her parents and grandparents and has dedicated her life to public service. She is committed to continuing a legacy of equality and justice for our community.

 

Judge Sam Salamey

 

19th District Court

 

Judge Sam Salamey

 

Judge Salamey was elected to the 19th Dearborn District Court bench in 2012 and is the first Arab American judge to serve on that bench. In 1993 he was appointed as a 19th District Court judicial magistrate, a position he held for 14 years. Judge Salamey has contributed time and resources to numerous community organizations, including municipal boards such as the city of Dearborn Board of Ethics. He was appointed to the board as a commissioner and was elected by his fellow commissioners to chair the board. Judge Salamey has and remains committed to contribute to the greatness of Dearborn and its residents.

 

MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

Isaac Robinson

 

State Representative, Fourth District

 

Isaac Robinson – D

 

Isaac Robinson, the Democratic nominee in the Fourth State House District, has a 20 year history advocating for social and economic justice. Robinson gained years of public policy experience as a legislative aide working for the United States Congress, Michigan Legislature and Detroit City Council. A long-time Democratic Party organizer, Robinson has a deep connection with the labor movement. A former SEIU organizer, UAW law clerk and political coordinator for the AFL-CIO, Robinson served for many years as the Michigan Teamsters political director. He is currently a lawyer in private practice.

 

Karen Whitsett

 

State Representative, Ninth District

 

Karen Whitsett – D

 

Karen Whitsett won the Democratic primary race for the Ninth State House District, which includes portion of Dearborn and part of Detroit. She is a graduate of Cody High School and an entrepreneur, having owned several businesses. Whitsett is a community organizer; she fought for reduced auto insurance rates and for neighborhood improvement projects. She helped lead efforts in Michigan to improve education in urban communities. As state representative, Karen Whitsett is committed to protect vital senior citizen services, help entrepreneurs secure resources to develop their businesses, champion accessible healthcare and environmental justice for all and improve public education.

 

Abdullah Hammoud

 

State Representative, 15th District

 

Abdullah Hammoud – D

 

Over the past two years in the Michigan House of Representatives, State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud has emerged as a strong voice for civil rights and a leading mind for health policy. He represents the 15th House District, comprised of his hometown city, Dearborn. Hammoud has fought to lower insurance premiums; secured increased funding for our public schools; protected earned benefits and healthcare for our first responders and held corporate polluters accountable. As a proud son of immigrant parents, Hammoud has been unwavering in his commitment to Michigan and Dearborn for more than a decade. Hammoud has consistently given back to the community that fostered his growth and success.

 

John Cherry

 

State Representative, 49th District

 

John Cherry – D

 

In 2015 Cherry ran the position of Flint charter commissioner, a low-profile position with a large workload and impact on the community. He served as vice-chair of the Commission, which proposed Flint’s first new charter in more than 40 years. The charter, which put in place new provisions concerning ethics, accountability, transparency and public involvement, passed by a nearly 2-1 margin in August 2017. Cherry and his wife, Teresa, own the Flint Coffee Company, which includes a roasting facility in Flint. He values conserving our environment and making sure that Michigan always has wild places for its citizens to explore.

 

Rebekah Warren

 

State Representative, 55th District

 

Rebekah Warren – D

 

Rebekah Warren currently represents District 18 in the Michigan Senate, with her term ending this year. She is seeking a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives for District 55, which covers Ann Arbor, Barton Hills and Milan in Washtenaw County. Throughout her 12-year tenure in the Michigan Legislature, Warren has fought to make our state a forward-thinking, progressive and inclusive place to live. With an eye toward the future, she not only strives to protect our day-to-day civil liberties and quality of life, but also leads policies to safeguard our state’s rich natural resources and ensure economic opportunity for generations to come.

 

WAYNE COUNTY RACES

 

Warren C. Evans

 

Wayne County Executive

 

Warren C. Evans – D

 

Warren C. Evans was elected as Wayne County’s fourth county executive in 2014.

 

Evans restored fiscal stability to Wayne County, when many thought the county was headed for bankruptcy. Wayne County’s financial turnaround has earned repeated credit rating upgrades to investment. Under Evan’s leadership, Wayne County also recently approved a deal with Rock Ventures that will bring closure to the unfinished jail on Gratiot Ave. and result in a state-of-the-art criminal justice center for the county. Evans was honored with the 2016 County Executive of the Year award by the National Organization of Black County Officials for his work to turn around Wayne County’s finances and improve operations. His dedication to public service began as a jail deputy for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. He became the youngest-ever sergeant at age 26 and youngest-ever lieutenant at age 28. In 2003, he was appointed Wayne County sheriff and was elected to a full term in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.

 

Martha Scott

 

Wayne County Commission, Third District

 

Martha G. Scott – D

 

Commissioner Martha G. Scott (D-Highland Park) was elected to the Wayne County Commission in November 2010 and is serving her fourth term representing Hamtramck, Highland Park and part of Detroit. Early in her career, she was appointed to the Wayne County Board of Commissioners. She has served as vice-chair of Wayne County Civil Service Commission; president of the Highland Park City Council and in 1988, she became her hometown’s first woman, and first African American woman, to be elected mayor of a Michigan city. Scott was also previously elected to the Michigan House of Representatives and later to the Michigan Senate, serving multiple terms.

 

Sam Baydoun

 

Wayne County Commission, 13th District

 

Sam Baydoun – D

 

Sam Baydoun is a Dearborn resident, community leader and a longtime real estate broker. He is a proud husband of 30 years and father of four children. Baydoun believes the time has come for him to step forward and serve the district in which he resides. His passion for public service, decades of community involvement and development, and extensive experience as real estate broker have prepared him to be the next Wayne County commissioner representing Dearborn and Allen Park. Baydoun is a nationally recognized real estate agent and broker; he serves on multiple community boards and is commissioner on the Dearborn Zoning Board of Appeals.

 

SCHOOL BOARDS RACES

 

Salwa Fawaz

 

Crestwood School Board

 

Salwa Fawaz

 

Salwa Fawaz comes from a traditional Arab home in a Midwest city (Troy) that means she represents her go getter Lebanese roots while flaunting her Midwest can-do attitude. That’s why when she was told she better stay home, she worked three jobs, went to college and became a mother with a supporting husband and now she wants to be a bridge to her children and the children of the entire community to support and guide them.

 

Mary Lane

 

Dearborn Board of Education

 

2-year-term

 

One seat – Vote only for one

 

Mary Lane

 

Mary Lane is the dean of the Dearborn School Board. She has served on the board for almost 18 years. During her tenure, Dearborn Public Schools witnessed academic improvements while maintaining fiscal responsibility. Lane is a proven leader who isn’t afraid to make difficult decisions to protect the interests of the students and their families in the district. She presided several times over the presidency of the board and throughout the last 18 years contributed to the stability, diversity and expansion of the district.

 

Aman Fidama

 

Dearborn Board of Educattion

 

6-year-term

 

2 seats – Vote only for two

 

Aman Fidama

 

Aman Fidama is the first Yemeni American woman to seek public office in the state of Michigan. Fidama has a unique life experience which distinguish her from all other candidates and sitting trustees. She was born and raised in Dearborn and was fortunate to attend Dearborn Public Schools despite social and cultural difficulties. She worked very hard to give her children the best education that Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford College affords. Fidama has lived with, dealt with and understands the many challenges that students and their families face as they try to assimilate in the new culture and attain a good education to compete, excel and succeed. She will focus on quality education, fiscal responsibility, safety and healthy environment for all students.

 

Cindy Parrelly

 

Cynthia Parrelly

 

Cynthia Parrelly was born and raised in Dearborn. She attended Dearborn Public Schools, earned a business degree from Henry Ford College and a bachelor’s degree in applied science from Siena Heights University. Parrelly recently retired from Henry Ford College, where she served three presidents as an executive assistant, after more than 30 years of service. She is running for school board to continue shaping lives of the students in the district using her knowledge and experience.

 

PROPOSALS ON THE BALLOT

 

Henry Ford College Millage Continuation Proposal – Vote YES

 

This millage proposal would continue the existing 1 mill ($1 per $1,000 of taxable property value) levied by the Dearborn School District and allocated to Henry Ford College for general operating purposes for five years from 2019 through 2023 inclusive to continue to provide funds for operating expenses of Henry Ford College. This millage was approved by the Dearborn voters in 2013 for five years and which will expire at the end of 2018.

 

– Michigan Proposal 18-2 – Redistricting. Vote YES

 

This proposal is for a Constitutional amendment that would create a commission of citizens with exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan House of Representatives, State Senate and U.S. Congress, every 10 years.

 

– Michigan Proposal 18-3 – Voting – Vote YES

 

This proposal will authorize automatic and Election Day voter registration, obtain an absentee voter ballot without providing a reason, cast a straight-ticket vote for all candidates of a particular political party and add current legal requirements for military and overseas voting and post-election audits to the Michigan Constitution.

 

– Michigan Proposal 18-1- Legalization of Marijuana

 

No endorsement

 

The New York Palace Hotel (formerly The Helmsley Palace)

455 Madison Avenue at 50th Street

New York, NY 10022

 

A grand staircase leads up from the lower lobby to the Madison Avenue entrance and the oval Villard Ballroom.

-----------------------

The Villard Houses were brownstone residences built by Henry Villard in 1884. Villard was a railway promoter and financier, who took over the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1881. The architect was McKim, Mead & White. The firm also designed the Pennsylvania Hotel in Manhattan. The six residence building was clad in quarried brownstone and wrapped around a u-shaped courtyard representative of a 15th century Italian palazzo. Four homes opened onto the courtyard while two had entrances on 51st Street.

 

Villard moved into the corner residence at 451 Madison, at the corner of 50th Street for just a short while before declaring bankruptcy. Much of the interior decoration is still visible today in the restaurant Gilt (formerly Le Cirque 2000).

 

In the 1940’s the Villard House was known as Women's Military Services Club. It served women in the military that could stay there for .50 cents a night. By the late 60’s the Archdiocese of New York owned the complex.

 

In the early 70’s Harry Helmsley found the perfect location in which to build his dream hotel. The Villard House was located on New York's Madison Avenue, across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 

Helmsley negotiated a 99 year lease on the site from the the Archdiocese of New York and proposed gutting the interiors of the Villard and putting a 51-story hotel on top of it. The preservationists prevailed and Helmsley’s plan was changed to save most of the interiors of the Villard houses, though the buildings' rear facades were demolished and incorporated in to the new 51-story hotel. long-term ground lease, which runs for decades. The Archdiocese of New York receives $10 million annually in ground rent.

 

Helmsley commissioned architects Emery Roth & Sons and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer to design the modern structure and integrate the 1884 houses. The tower’s façade is a dark bronze reflective glass that was to blend with the Villard Houses. Started in 1977, the 905-room hotel project was completed in 1980.

 

Leona Helmsley spent a great deal of time and energy managing the decorating and staffing of the hotel. Leona took seriously her role as President of Helmsley Hotels and was determined to give her guests unprecedented service.

 

On September 15, 1980, the opulent Helmsley Palace Hotel opened. At the time The Helmsley Palace had the highest hotel rates in the city. An early print advertisement featuring Leona had the by-line: “It’s the only palace in the world where the Queen stands guard”

 

The hotel has four Triplex Suites. Situated at the top of the tower and occupying the four corners, each 2-bedroom suite is spread over three floors and include a private roof terrace.

 

In 1982, the limited partners in the Helmsley Palace Hotel partnership forced an arbitration proceeding after Harry Helmsley, in his role as general partner demanded more money from the limited partners for cost overruns in building the hotel. The limited partners said the Helmsley’s had mismanaged the business and had hurt the partnership through several self-dealing transactions. The arbitrators ruled in favor of the limited partners and forced the Helmsley’s to pay the cost overruns and an additional $3.5 million to the partnership.

 

Leona Helmsley, was convicted of income tax fraud in August 1989 - (“We don’t pay taxes … only the little people do”). Leona was convicted of 33 felony counts of trying to defraud the government and IRS, including mail fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns (essentially running millions of dollars of personal expenses through the Helmsley Palace and Park Lane books)

 

Harry Helmsley was indicted on similar charges in 1988, but was found too ill to stand trial. He died in 1997.

 

Following appeals Leona Helmsley was imprisoned from 1992-1993.

 

The limited partners in the Palace partnership were rightfully concerned during the Helmsley’s legal mess that the hotel was in desperate need for another general partner. The limited partners contended Helmsley Enterprises breached its fiduciary duties in managing and operating the partnership. They sought through the courts to remove the Helmsleys as general partner, and to appoint a receiver until a new general partner and manager can be found or the hotel be sold. They also sought restoration of any money the Helmsleys may have diverted to their affiliates through self-dealing.

 

Helmsley operated the Helmsley Palace hotel until 1992. She was known to fire managers from her jail cell.

 

Interstate Hotels was appointed by the court as the hotel’s receiver. The hotel changed its name to The New York Palace Hotel. The receiver received 6 qualified bids for the hotel.

 

In November 1993 The Royal Family of Brunei agreed to buy the New York Palace for $202 million (the highest offer). The agreement to buy the Palace is with Amedeo Hotels Limited Partnership, an investment company in Brunei. The Sultan of Brunei, through its development company, Amedeo Limited, contracted with Harman Jablin Architects for the complete renovation of the hotel and Villard Houses.

 

The hotel is comprised of three structures: the899-room 55-story hotel tower, the 5-story Villard House, and the 2-story Maloney & Porcelli restaurant.

 

The wealth of the royal family of Brunei, a tiny oil-rich sultanate on the island of Borneo, is controlled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, whose estimated worth of $33 billion makes him one of the world's richest men. He and his family also own the 263-room Beverly Hills Hotel in California, bought for $187 million in 1987, and the Dorchester Hotel in London, bought for about $85 million in 1985.

 

The Royal Family’s new wealth comes from a constant flow of royalties into their private bank accounts from Shell Oil, who they joint ventured with to extract Brunei’s only natural resource.

 

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah younger brother is Prince Jefri Bolkiah who was the finance minister of Brunei from 1986 to 1998 and thus the chairman of The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) responsible for overseas investments. He was known for his extravagant lifestyle, which included a private Boeing 747 and 2,000 automobiles. Hotels he controlled included The New York Palace Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and Plaza Athénée in Paris.

 

Following an audit in 1987 The Brunei government charged Prince Jefri with embezzling $14.8 billion and he was removed as chairman of BEI.

 

In July 2008 BEI signed management contracts with the Dorchester Group to operate the New York Plaza and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

 

Prince Jefri’s two main legal and financial advisors, the British husband and wife lawyers Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman were dispatched by the Prince to the New York Palace in 2004 to protect his interests. The two were involved in many aspects of Prince Jefri’s business affairs and they held powers of attorney to act of his behalf.

 

So In November 2005, Zaman claims Jefri gave them a 17-year lease on a 2,800-square-foot apartment on the third floor of the hotel, which rented as a suite for $20,000 a night. The prince gave the apartment to them rent-free for the first five years After that, the charge would be $500 a month, with an option to renew for 51 years. According the Vanity Fair this was done so the sultan if ever was successful in taking over the hotel, he would have to deal with them for the rest of his life.

 

In February 2006, John Segreti, the managing director of the Palace, dropped dead at 52 of a pulmonary embolism. Segreti formerly was the chief operating officer at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in Hong Kon).

 

In March 2006 Faith Zaman was appointed Managing Director of the Palace. Her annual salary included 5 percent of the hotel’s gross operating profit, a car allowance of $100,000 per year, and free use of the company credit card for personal expenses. Also the prince gave her control of a second lease at a low price for the Maloney & Porcelli steak house on the hotel’s ground floor, on East 50th Street.

 

Meanwhile Derbyshire was working hard on finding a way for Jefri to cash in on two of his biggest assets the New York Palace and Hotel Bel-Air. A prospective buyer, Ty Warner (owner of the Four Seasons New York), was found who had agreed to acquiring the two hotels for $800 million. The sell certainly would have breached the government of Brunei’s freeze of Prince Jefri’s assets and further, what bank in the world could be used to deposit the proceeds and hide it from the government of Brunei.

 

The sell never occurred. Prince Jefri filed a suit against Derbyshire and Zaman seeking to recover $7 million in questionable expenses, Derbyshire and Zaman countersued for $13 million in contractual wages never received. In December 2010 the New York City jury awarded Derbyshire and Zaman $21 million.

 

Prince Jefri, a father of 17 with four wives, has swapped a decadent lifestyle for a fugitive existence. He is reported to have been allowed back in Brunei.

 

In 1997, with a new name--Le Cirque 2000--the restaurant moved from the Mayfair to the New York Palace Hotel and its landmark, the Villard Houses. Designer Adam Tihany gave Le Cirque its dazzling new look, and, as the opening approached, Siro Maccioni told New York magazine, "They're either going to give us a medal or exile us to Kilimanjaro."

 

In 2006 Siro Maccioni moved Le Cirque from the Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg building on East 58th Street.

 

John Segretti, the hotel’s managing director, decided The Palace Hotel should operate its own restaurant in the Villard space. In December 2005 it opened the 52-seat restaurant GILT with the interior design done by Patrick Jouin. The executive chef was Paul Liebrandt. The NY Times food critic panned Gilt two months after opening describing some entrees as “no larger than a hockey puck”. Shortly after Liebrandt was fired. In 2009 GILT was awarded Twp Michelin Stars under the direction of Executive Chef Justin Bogle.

 

In July 2011 Northwood Investors acquired the New York Plaza for approximately $400 million. The price is low by NYC standards – held down due to the $10 million dollar a year ground lease. The seller Brunei Investment Agency also owns the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels. The New York Palace is no longer affiliated with the Dorchester Collection.

 

Northwood Investors is a privately-held real estate investment advisor that was founded in 2006 by John Z. Kukral, the former President and CEO of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. It also owns the Alden Houston Hotel and The Radisson Hotel Boston.

 

Northwood has appointed David Chase to general manager of The New York Palace. Most recently he was the pre-opening general manager of Trump SoHo New York.

 

The New York Palace Hotel (formerly The Helmsley Palace)

455 Madison Avenue at 50th Street

New York, NY 10022

 

The Villard Houses were brownstone residences built by Henry Villard in 1884. Villard was a railway promoter and financier, who took over the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1881. The architect was McKim, Mead & White. The firm also designed the Pennsylvania Hotel in Manhattan. The six residence building was clad in quarried brownstone and wrapped around a u-shaped courtyard representative of a 15th century Italian palazzo. Four homes opened onto the courtyard while two had entrances on 51st Street.

 

Villard moved into the corner residence at 451 Madison, at the corner of 50th Street for just a short while before declaring bankruptcy. Much of the interior decoration is still visible today in the restaurant Gilt (formerly Le Cirque 2000).

 

In the 1940’s the Villard House was known as Women's Military Services Club. It served women in the military that could stay there for .50 cents a night. By the late 60’s the Archdiocese of New York owned the complex.

 

In the early 70’s Harry Helmsley found the perfect location in which to build his dream hotel. The Villard House was located on New York's Madison Avenue, across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 

Helmsley negotiated a 99 year lease on the site from the the Archdiocese of New York and proposed gutting the interiors of the Villard and putting a 51-story hotel on top of it. The preservationists prevailed and Helmsley’s plan was changed to save most of the interiors of the Villard houses, though the buildings' rear facades were demolished and incorporated in to the new 51-story hotel. long-term ground lease, which runs for decades. The Archdiocese of New York receives $10 million annually in ground rent.

 

Helmsley commissioned architects Emery Roth & Sons and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer to design the modern structure and integrate the 1884 houses. The tower’s façade is a dark bronze reflective glass that was to blend with the Villard Houses. Started in 1977, the 905-room hotel project was completed in 1980.

 

Leona Helmsley spent a great deal of time and energy managing the decorating and staffing of the hotel. Leona took seriously her role as President of Helmsley Hotels and was determined to give her guests unprecedented service.

 

On September 15, 1980, the opulent Helmsley Palace Hotel opened. At the time The Helmsley Palace had the highest hotel rates in the city. An early print advertisement featuring Leona had the by-line: “It’s the only palace in the world where the Queen stands guard”

 

The hotel has four Triplex Suites. Situated at the top of the tower and occupying the four corners, each 2-bedroom suite is spread over three floors and include a private roof terrace.

 

In 1982, the limited partners in the Helmsley Palace Hotel partnership forced an arbitration proceeding after Harry Helmsley, in his role as general partner demanded more money from the limited partners for cost overruns in building the hotel. The limited partners said the Helmsley’s had mismanaged the business and had hurt the partnership through several self-dealing transactions. The arbitrators ruled in favor of the limited partners and forced the Helmsley’s to pay the cost overruns and an additional $3.5 million to the partnership.

 

Leona Helmsley, was convicted of income tax fraud in August 1989 - (“We don’t pay taxes … only the little people do”). Leona was convicted of 33 felony counts of trying to defraud the government and IRS, including mail fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns (essentially running millions of dollars of personal expenses through the Helmsley Palace and Park Lane books)

 

Harry Helmsley was indicted on similar charges in 1988, but was found too ill to stand trial. He died in 1997.

 

Following appeals Leona Helmsley was imprisoned from 1992-1993.

 

The limited partners in the Palace partnership were rightfully concerned during the Helmsley’s legal mess that the hotel was in desperate need for another general partner. The limited partners contended Helmsley Enterprises breached its fiduciary duties in managing and operating the partnership. They sought through the courts to remove the Helmsleys as general partner, and to appoint a receiver until a new general partner and manager can be found or the hotel be sold. They also sought restoration of any money the Helmsleys may have diverted to their affiliates through self-dealing.

 

Helmsley operated the Helmsley Palace hotel until 1992. She was known to fire managers from her jail cell.

 

Interstate Hotels was appointed by the court as the hotel’s receiver. The hotel changed its name to The New York Palace Hotel. The receiver received 6 qualified bids for the hotel.

 

In November 1993 The Royal Family of Brunei agreed to buy the New York Palace for $202 million (the highest offer). The agreement to buy the Palace is with Amedeo Hotels Limited Partnership, an investment company in Brunei. The Sultan of Brunei, through its development company, Amedeo Limited, contracted with Harman Jablin Architects for the complete renovation of the hotel and Villard Houses.

 

The hotel is comprised of three structures: the899-room 55-story hotel tower, the 5-story Villard House, and the 2-story Maloney & Porcelli restaurant.

 

The wealth of the royal family of Brunei, a tiny oil-rich sultanate on the island of Borneo, is controlled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, whose estimated worth of $33 billion makes him one of the world's richest men. He and his family also own the 263-room Beverly Hills Hotel in California, bought for $187 million in 1987, and the Dorchester Hotel in London, bought for about $85 million in 1985.

 

The Royal Family’s new wealth comes from a constant flow of royalties into their private bank accounts from Shell Oil, who they joint ventured with to extract Brunei’s only natural resource.

 

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah younger brother is Prince Jefri Bolkiah who was the finance minister of Brunei from 1986 to 1998 and thus the chairman of The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) responsible for overseas investments. He was known for his extravagant lifestyle, which included a private Boeing 747 and 2,000 automobiles. Hotels he controlled included The New York Palace Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and Plaza Athénée in Paris.

 

Following an audit in 1987 The Brunei government charged Prince Jefri with embezzling $14.8 billion and he was removed as chairman of BEI.

 

In July 2008 BEI signed management contracts with the Dorchester Group to operate the New York Plaza and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

 

Prince Jefri’s two main legal and financial advisors, the British husband and wife lawyers Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman were dispatched by the Prince to the New York Palace in 2004 to protect his interests. The two were involved in many aspects of Prince Jefri’s business affairs and they held powers of attorney to act of his behalf.

 

So In November 2005, Zaman claims Jefri gave them a 17-year lease on a 2,800-square-foot apartment on the third floor of the hotel, which rented as a suite for $20,000 a night. The prince gave the apartment to them rent-free for the first five years After that, the charge would be $500 a month, with an option to renew for 51 years. According the Vanity Fair this was done so the sultan if ever was successful in taking over the hotel, he would have to deal with them for the rest of his life.

 

In February 2006, John Segreti, the managing director of the Palace, dropped dead at 52 of a pulmonary embolism. Segreti formerly was the chief operating officer at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in Hong Kon).

 

In March 2006 Faith Zaman was appointed Managing Director of the Palace. Her annual salary included 5 percent of the hotel’s gross operating profit, a car allowance of $100,000 per year, and free use of the company credit card for personal expenses. Also the prince gave her control of a second lease at a low price for the Maloney & Porcelli steak house on the hotel’s ground floor, on East 50th Street.

 

Meanwhile Derbyshire was working hard on finding a way for Jefri to cash in on two of his biggest assets the New York Palace and Hotel Bel-Air. A prospective buyer, Ty Warner (owner of the Four Seasons New York), was found who had agreed to acquiring the two hotels for $800 million. The sell certainly would have breached the government of Brunei’s freeze of Prince Jefri’s assets and further, what bank in the world could be used to deposit the proceeds and hide it from the government of Brunei.

 

The sell never occurred. Prince Jefri filed a suit against Derbyshire and Zaman seeking to recover $7 million in questionable expenses, Derbyshire and Zaman countersued for $13 million in contractual wages never received. In December 2010 the New York City jury awarded Derbyshire and Zaman $21 million.

 

Prince Jefri, a father of 17 with four wives, has swapped a decadent lifestyle for a fugitive existence. He is reported to have been allowed back in Brunei.

 

In 1997, with a new name--Le Cirque 2000--the restaurant moved from the Mayfair to the New York Palace Hotel and its landmark, the Villard Houses. Designer Adam Tihany gave Le Cirque its dazzling new look, and, as the opening approached, Siro Maccioni told New York magazine, "They're either going to give us a medal or exile us to Kilimanjaro."

 

In 2006 Siro Maccioni moved Le Cirque from the Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg building on East 58th Street.

 

John Segretti, the hotel’s managing director, decided The Palace Hotel should operate its own restaurant in the Villard space. In December 2005 it opened the 52-seat restaurant GILT with the interior design done by Patrick Jouin. The executive chef was Paul Liebrandt. The NY Times food critic panned Gilt two months after opening describing some entrees as “no larger than a hockey puck”. Shortly after Liebrandt was fired. In 2009 GILT was awarded Twp Michelin Stars under the direction of Executive Chef Justin Bogle.

 

In July 2011 Northwood Investors acquired the New York Plaza for approximately $400 million. The price is low by NYC standards – held down due to the $10 million dollar a year ground lease. The seller Brunei Investment Agency also owns the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels. The New York Palace is no longer affiliated with the Dorchester Collection.

 

Northwood Investors is a privately-held real estate investment advisor that was founded in 2006 by John Z. Kukral, the former President and CEO of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. It also owns the Alden Houston Hotel and The Radisson Hotel Boston.

 

Northwood has appointed David Chase to general manager of The New York Palace. Most recently he was the pre-opening general manager of Trump SoHo New York.

 

The New York Palace Hotel (formerly The Helmsley Palace)

455 Madison Avenue at 50th Street

New York, NY 10022

 

Steps to the lobby from the Madison Avenue entrance.

------------

The Villard Houses were brownstone residences built by Henry Villard in 1884. Villard was a railway promoter and financier, who took over the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1881. The architect was McKim, Mead & White. The firm also designed the Pennsylvania Hotel in Manhattan. The six residence building was clad in quarried brownstone and wrapped around a u-shaped courtyard representative of a 15th century Italian palazzo. Four homes opened onto the courtyard while two had entrances on 51st Street.

 

Villard moved into the corner residence at 451 Madison, at the corner of 50th Street for just a short while before declaring bankruptcy. Much of the interior decoration is still visible today in the restaurant Gilt (formerly Le Cirque 2000).

 

In the 1940’s the Villard House was known as Women's Military Services Club. It served women in the military that could stay there for .50 cents a night. By the late 60’s the Archdiocese of New York owned the complex.

 

In the early 70’s Harry Helmsley found the perfect location in which to build his dream hotel. The Villard House was located on New York's Madison Avenue, across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 

Helmsley negotiated a 99 year lease on the site from the the Archdiocese of New York and proposed gutting the interiors of the Villard and putting a 51-story hotel on top of it. The preservationists prevailed and Helmsley’s plan was changed to save most of the interiors of the Villard houses, though the buildings' rear facades were demolished and incorporated in to the new 51-story hotel. long-term ground lease, which runs for decades. The Archdiocese of New York receives $10 million annually in ground rent.

 

Helmsley commissioned architects Emery Roth & Sons and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer to design the modern structure and integrate the 1884 houses. The tower’s façade is a dark bronze reflective glass that was to blend with the Villard Houses. Started in 1977, the 905-room hotel project was completed in 1980.

 

Leona Helmsley spent a great deal of time and energy managing the decorating and staffing of the hotel. Leona took seriously her role as President of Helmsley Hotels and was determined to give her guests unprecedented service.

 

On September 15, 1980, the opulent Helmsley Palace Hotel opened. At the time The Helmsley Palace had the highest hotel rates in the city. An early print advertisement featuring Leona had the by-line: “It’s the only palace in the world where the Queen stands guard”

 

The hotel has four Triplex Suites. Situated at the top of the tower and occupying the four corners, each 2-bedroom suite is spread over three floors and include a private roof terrace.

 

In 1982, the limited partners in the Helmsley Palace Hotel partnership forced an arbitration proceeding after Harry Helmsley, in his role as general partner demanded more money from the limited partners for cost overruns in building the hotel. The limited partners said the Helmsley’s had mismanaged the business and had hurt the partnership through several self-dealing transactions. The arbitrators ruled in favor of the limited partners and forced the Helmsley’s to pay the cost overruns and an additional $3.5 million to the partnership.

 

Leona Helmsley, was convicted of income tax fraud in August 1989 - (“We don’t pay taxes … only the little people do”). Leona was convicted of 33 felony counts of trying to defraud the government and IRS, including mail fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns (essentially running millions of dollars of personal expenses through the Helmsley Palace and Park Lane books)

 

Harry Helmsley was indicted on similar charges in 1988, but was found too ill to stand trial. He died in 1997.

 

Following appeals Leona Helmsley was imprisoned from 1992-1993.

 

The limited partners in the Palace partnership were rightfully concerned during the Helmsley’s legal mess that the hotel was in desperate need for another general partner. The limited partners contended Helmsley Enterprises breached its fiduciary duties in managing and operating the partnership. They sought through the courts to remove the Helmsleys as general partner, and to appoint a receiver until a new general partner and manager can be found or the hotel be sold. They also sought restoration of any money the Helmsleys may have diverted to their affiliates through self-dealing.

 

Helmsley operated the Helmsley Palace hotel until 1992. She was known to fire managers from her jail cell.

 

Interstate Hotels was appointed by the court as the hotel’s receiver. The hotel changed its name to The New York Palace Hotel. The receiver received 6 qualified bids for the hotel.

 

In November 1993 The Royal Family of Brunei agreed to buy the New York Palace for $202 million (the highest offer). The agreement to buy the Palace is with Amedeo Hotels Limited Partnership, an investment company in Brunei. The Sultan of Brunei, through its development company, Amedeo Limited, contracted with Harman Jablin Architects for the complete renovation of the hotel and Villard Houses.

 

The hotel is comprised of three structures: the899-room 55-story hotel tower, the 5-story Villard House, and the 2-story Maloney & Porcelli restaurant.

 

The wealth of the royal family of Brunei, a tiny oil-rich sultanate on the island of Borneo, is controlled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, whose estimated worth of $33 billion makes him one of the world's richest men. He and his family also own the 263-room Beverly Hills Hotel in California, bought for $187 million in 1987, and the Dorchester Hotel in London, bought for about $85 million in 1985.

 

The Royal Family’s new wealth comes from a constant flow of royalties into their private bank accounts from Shell Oil, who they joint ventured with to extract Brunei’s only natural resource.

 

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah younger brother is Prince Jefri Bolkiah who was the finance minister of Brunei from 1986 to 1998 and thus the chairman of The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) responsible for overseas investments. He was known for his extravagant lifestyle, which included a private Boeing 747 and 2,000 automobiles. Hotels he controlled included The New York Palace Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and Plaza Athénée in Paris.

 

Following an audit in 1987 The Brunei government charged Prince Jefri with embezzling $14.8 billion and he was removed as chairman of BEI.

 

In July 2008 BEI signed management contracts with the Dorchester Group to operate the New York Plaza and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

 

Prince Jefri’s two main legal and financial advisors, the British husband and wife lawyers Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman were dispatched by the Prince to the New York Palace in 2004 to protect his interests. The two were involved in many aspects of Prince Jefri’s business affairs and they held powers of attorney to act of his behalf.

 

So In November 2005, Zaman claims Jefri gave them a 17-year lease on a 2,800-square-foot apartment on the third floor of the hotel, which rented as a suite for $20,000 a night. The prince gave the apartment to them rent-free for the first five years After that, the charge would be $500 a month, with an option to renew for 51 years. According the Vanity Fair this was done so the sultan if ever was successful in taking over the hotel, he would have to deal with them for the rest of his life.

 

In February 2006, John Segreti, the managing director of the Palace, dropped dead at 52 of a pulmonary embolism. Segreti formerly was the chief operating officer at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in Hong Kon).

 

In March 2006 Faith Zaman was appointed Managing Director of the Palace. Her annual salary included 5 percent of the hotel’s gross operating profit, a car allowance of $100,000 per year, and free use of the company credit card for personal expenses. Also the prince gave her control of a second lease at a low price for the Maloney & Porcelli steak house on the hotel’s ground floor, on East 50th Street.

 

Meanwhile Derbyshire was working hard on finding a way for Jefri to cash in on two of his biggest assets the New York Palace and Hotel Bel-Air. A prospective buyer, Ty Warner (owner of the Four Seasons New York), was found who had agreed to acquiring the two hotels for $800 million. The sell certainly would have breached the government of Brunei’s freeze of Prince Jefri’s assets and further, what bank in the world could be used to deposit the proceeds and hide it from the government of Brunei.

 

The sell never occurred. Prince Jefri filed a suit against Derbyshire and Zaman seeking to recover $7 million in questionable expenses, Derbyshire and Zaman countersued for $13 million in contractual wages never received. In December 2010 the New York City jury awarded Derbyshire and Zaman $21 million.

 

Prince Jefri, a father of 17 with four wives, has swapped a decadent lifestyle for a fugitive existence. He is reported to have been allowed back in Brunei.

 

In 1997, with a new name--Le Cirque 2000--the restaurant moved from the Mayfair to the New York Palace Hotel and its landmark, the Villard Houses. Designer Adam Tihany gave Le Cirque its dazzling new look, and, as the opening approached, Siro Maccioni told New York magazine, "They're either going to give us a medal or exile us to Kilimanjaro."

 

In 2006 Siro Maccioni moved Le Cirque from the Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg building on East 58th Street.

 

John Segretti, the hotel’s managing director, decided The Palace Hotel should operate its own restaurant in the Villard space. In December 2005 it opened the 52-seat restaurant GILT with the interior design done by Patrick Jouin. The executive chef was Paul Liebrandt. The NY Times food critic panned Gilt two months after opening describing some entrees as “no larger than a hockey puck”. Shortly after Liebrandt was fired. In 2009 GILT was awarded Twp Michelin Stars under the direction of Executive Chef Justin Bogle.

 

In July 2011 Northwood Investors acquired the New York Plaza for approximately $400 million. The price is low by NYC standards – held down due to the $10 million dollar a year ground lease. The seller Brunei Investment Agency also owns the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels. The New York Palace is no longer affiliated with the Dorchester Collection.

 

Northwood Investors is a privately-held real estate investment advisor that was founded in 2006 by John Z. Kukral, the former President and CEO of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. It also owns the Alden Houston Hotel and The Radisson Hotel Boston.

 

Northwood has appointed David Chase to general manager of The New York Palace. Most recently he was the pre-opening general manager of Trump SoHo New York.

 

The New York Palace Hotel (formerly The Helmsley Palace)

455 Madison Avenue at 50th Street

New York, NY 10022

 

Istana, the hotel's American style brasserie.

---------

The Villard Houses were brownstone residences built by Henry Villard in 1884. Villard was a railway promoter and financier, who took over the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1881. The architect was McKim, Mead & White. The firm also designed the Pennsylvania Hotel in Manhattan. The six residence building was clad in quarried brownstone and wrapped around a u-shaped courtyard representative of a 15th century Italian palazzo. Four homes opened onto the courtyard while two had entrances on 51st Street.

 

Villard moved into the corner residence at 451 Madison, at the corner of 50th Street for just a short while before declaring bankruptcy. Much of the interior decoration is still visible today in the restaurant Gilt (formerly Le Cirque 2000).

 

In the 1940’s the Villard House was known as Women's Military Services Club. It served women in the military that could stay there for .50 cents a night. By the late 60’s the Archdiocese of New York owned the complex.

 

In the early 70’s Harry Helmsley found the perfect location in which to build his dream hotel. The Villard House was located on New York's Madison Avenue, across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 

Helmsley negotiated a 99 year lease on the site from the the Archdiocese of New York and proposed gutting the interiors of the Villard and putting a 51-story hotel on top of it. The preservationists prevailed and Helmsley’s plan was changed to save most of the interiors of the Villard houses, though the buildings' rear facades were demolished and incorporated in to the new 51-story hotel. long-term ground lease, which runs for decades. The Archdiocese of New York receives $10 million annually in ground rent.

 

Helmsley commissioned architects Emery Roth & Sons and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer to design the modern structure and integrate the 1884 houses. The tower’s façade is a dark bronze reflective glass that was to blend with the Villard Houses. Started in 1977, the 905-room hotel project was completed in 1980.

 

Leona Helmsley spent a great deal of time and energy managing the decorating and staffing of the hotel. Leona took seriously her role as President of Helmsley Hotels and was determined to give her guests unprecedented service.

 

On September 15, 1980, the opulent Helmsley Palace Hotel opened. At the time The Helmsley Palace had the highest hotel rates in the city. An early print advertisement featuring Leona had the by-line: “It’s the only palace in the world where the Queen stands guard”

 

The hotel has four Triplex Suites. Situated at the top of the tower and occupying the four corners, each 2-bedroom suite is spread over three floors and include a private roof terrace.

 

In 1982, the limited partners in the Helmsley Palace Hotel partnership forced an arbitration proceeding after Harry Helmsley, in his role as general partner demanded more money from the limited partners for cost overruns in building the hotel. The limited partners said the Helmsley’s had mismanaged the business and had hurt the partnership through several self-dealing transactions. The arbitrators ruled in favor of the limited partners and forced the Helmsley’s to pay the cost overruns and an additional $3.5 million to the partnership.

 

Leona Helmsley, was convicted of income tax fraud in August 1989 - (“We don’t pay taxes … only the little people do”). Leona was convicted of 33 felony counts of trying to defraud the government and IRS, including mail fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns (essentially running millions of dollars of personal expenses through the Helmsley Palace and Park Lane books)

 

Harry Helmsley was indicted on similar charges in 1988, but was found too ill to stand trial. He died in 1997.

 

Following appeals Leona Helmsley was imprisoned from 1992-1993.

 

The limited partners in the Palace partnership were rightfully concerned during the Helmsley’s legal mess that the hotel was in desperate need for another general partner. The limited partners contended Helmsley Enterprises breached its fiduciary duties in managing and operating the partnership. They sought through the courts to remove the Helmsleys as general partner, and to appoint a receiver until a new general partner and manager can be found or the hotel be sold. They also sought restoration of any money the Helmsleys may have diverted to their affiliates through self-dealing.

 

Helmsley operated the Helmsley Palace hotel until 1992. She was known to fire managers from her jail cell.

 

Interstate Hotels was appointed by the court as the hotel’s receiver. The hotel changed its name to The New York Palace Hotel. The receiver received 6 qualified bids for the hotel.

 

In November 1993 The Royal Family of Brunei agreed to buy the New York Palace for $202 million (the highest offer). The agreement to buy the Palace is with Amedeo Hotels Limited Partnership, an investment company in Brunei. The Sultan of Brunei, through its development company, Amedeo Limited, contracted with Harman Jablin Architects for the complete renovation of the hotel and Villard Houses.

 

The hotel is comprised of three structures: the899-room 55-story hotel tower, the 5-story Villard House, and the 2-story Maloney & Porcelli restaurant.

 

The wealth of the royal family of Brunei, a tiny oil-rich sultanate on the island of Borneo, is controlled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, whose estimated worth of $33 billion makes him one of the world's richest men. He and his family also own the 263-room Beverly Hills Hotel in California, bought for $187 million in 1987, and the Dorchester Hotel in London, bought for about $85 million in 1985.

 

The Royal Family’s new wealth comes from a constant flow of royalties into their private bank accounts from Shell Oil, who they joint ventured with to extract Brunei’s only natural resource.

 

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah younger brother is Prince Jefri Bolkiah who was the finance minister of Brunei from 1986 to 1998 and thus the chairman of The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) responsible for overseas investments. He was known for his extravagant lifestyle, which included a private Boeing 747 and 2,000 automobiles. Hotels he controlled included The New York Palace Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and Plaza Athénée in Paris.

 

Following an audit in 1987 The Brunei government charged Prince Jefri with embezzling $14.8 billion and he was removed as chairman of BEI.

 

In July 2008 BEI signed management contracts with the Dorchester Group to operate the New York Plaza and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

 

Prince Jefri’s two main legal and financial advisors, the British husband and wife lawyers Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman were dispatched by the Prince to the New York Palace in 2004 to protect his interests. The two were involved in many aspects of Prince Jefri’s business affairs and they held powers of attorney to act of his behalf.

 

So In November 2005, Zaman claims Jefri gave them a 17-year lease on a 2,800-square-foot apartment on the third floor of the hotel, which rented as a suite for $20,000 a night. The prince gave the apartment to them rent-free for the first five years After that, the charge would be $500 a month, with an option to renew for 51 years. According the Vanity Fair this was done so the sultan if ever was successful in taking over the hotel, he would have to deal with them for the rest of his life.

 

In February 2006, John Segreti, the managing director of the Palace, dropped dead at 52 of a pulmonary embolism. Segreti formerly was the chief operating officer at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in Hong Kon).

 

In March 2006 Faith Zaman was appointed Managing Director of the Palace. Her annual salary included 5 percent of the hotel’s gross operating profit, a car allowance of $100,000 per year, and free use of the company credit card for personal expenses. Also the prince gave her control of a second lease at a low price for the Maloney & Porcelli steak house on the hotel’s ground floor, on East 50th Street.

 

Meanwhile Derbyshire was working hard on finding a way for Jefri to cash in on two of his biggest assets the New York Palace and Hotel Bel-Air. A prospective buyer, Ty Warner (owner of the Four Seasons New York), was found who had agreed to acquiring the two hotels for $800 million. The sell certainly would have breached the government of Brunei’s freeze of Prince Jefri’s assets and further, what bank in the world could be used to deposit the proceeds and hide it from the government of Brunei.

 

The sell never occurred. Prince Jefri filed a suit against Derbyshire and Zaman seeking to recover $7 million in questionable expenses, Derbyshire and Zaman countersued for $13 million in contractual wages never received. In December 2010 the New York City jury awarded Derbyshire and Zaman $21 million.

 

Prince Jefri, a father of 17 with four wives, has swapped a decadent lifestyle for a fugitive existence. He is reported to have been allowed back in Brunei.

 

In 1997, with a new name--Le Cirque 2000--the restaurant moved from the Mayfair to the New York Palace Hotel and its landmark, the Villard Houses. Designer Adam Tihany gave Le Cirque its dazzling new look, and, as the opening approached, Siro Maccioni told New York magazine, "They're either going to give us a medal or exile us to Kilimanjaro."

 

In 2006 Siro Maccioni moved Le Cirque from the Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg building on East 58th Street.

 

John Segretti, the hotel’s managing director, decided The Palace Hotel should operate its own restaurant in the Villard space. In December 2005 it opened the 52-seat restaurant GILT with the interior design done by Patrick Jouin. The executive chef was Paul Liebrandt. The NY Times food critic panned Gilt two months after opening describing some entrees as “no larger than a hockey puck”. Shortly after Liebrandt was fired. In 2009 GILT was awarded Twp Michelin Stars under the direction of Executive Chef Justin Bogle.

 

In July 2011 Northwood Investors acquired the New York Plaza for approximately $400 million. The price is low by NYC standards – held down due to the $10 million dollar a year ground lease. The seller Brunei Investment Agency also owns the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels. The New York Palace is no longer affiliated with the Dorchester Collection.

 

Northwood Investors is a privately-held real estate investment advisor that was founded in 2006 by John Z. Kukral, the former President and CEO of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. It also owns the Alden Houston Hotel and The Radisson Hotel Boston.

 

Northwood has appointed David Chase to general manager of The New York Palace. Most recently he was the pre-opening general manager of Trump SoHo New York.

 

Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released its 2013 list of Washington’s “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians.” The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

 

•Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)

•CIA Director John Brennan

•Senator Saxby Chambliss

•Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

•Attorney General Eric Holder

•Former IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller / Former IRS Official Lois Lerner

•Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano

•President Barack Obama

•Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)

•Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

 

Dishonorable Mentions for 2013 include:

•Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

•Outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) / Incoming Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D)

•Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ)

•National Security Adviser Susan Rice

  

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH):

 

House Speaker John Boehner has apparently become a master at what Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer calls the “Tollbooth Strategy.” As Schweizer explains in his new book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets: “You pay money at a tollbooth in order to use a road or bridge. The methodology in Washington is similar: if someone wants a bill passed, charge them money to allow the bill to move down the legislative highway.” According to Schweizer, Boehner apparently used the Tollbooth Strategy to collect more than $200,000 in political donations from executives just days before holding votes on bills critically important to their industries.

 

The first bill was the Wireless Tax Fairness Act. Strongly supported by big phone companies like AT&T and Verizon, it sailed through the House Judiciary Committee, and was expected to immediately come to the floor for a full House vote. Instead of scheduling the bill for a vote, however, Boehner allowed it to languish on the calendar for the next three months. What finally prompted Boehner to bring the bill to a vote? As Schweizer explains it: “The day before the vote, Boehner’s campaign collected the toll: thirty-three checks from wireless industry executives, totaling almost $40,000.”

 

According to Schweizer, two more bills on which Boehner employed the Tollbooth Strategy were the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act and the Small Company Capital Formation Act. Brokers and venture capitalists and investment firms strongly supported the proposed law. Explains Schweizer in Extortion: “The Speaker of the House took in $91,000 in the forty-eight hours of October 30 and 31 from investment banks and private equity firms, two days before the vote. During the same time period, he took in $46,500 from self-described ‘investors’ and another $32,450 from bank holding companies. With the tolls paid, the votes took place on the full House floor. Both passed easily.”

  

CIA Director John Brennan:

 

In mid-December 2013, Judicial Watch obtained and released the full transcript of a May 7, 2012, teleconference between then-White House top counterterror adviser (now CIA Director) John Brennan and various TV terrorism consultants in which Brennen revealed that the U.S. and its allies had “inside control over any plot” in its efforts to thwart a May 2012 terrorism bomb plot, thus blowing the cover on undercover agents within al Qaeda.

 

The Brennan revelation of “inside control” – an intelligence community euphemism for spies within an enemy operation – reportedly helped lead to the disclosure of a previously well-kept secret at the heart of a joint U.S.-British-Saudi undercover terrorism operation inside Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). According to a Reuters May 18, 2012, report:

 

The next day’s headlines were filled with news of a U.S. spy planted inside Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who had acquired the latest, non-metallic model of the underwear bomb and handed it over to U.S. authorities.

 

At stake was an operation that could not have been more sensitive — the successful penetration by Western spies of AQAP, al Qaeda’s most creative and lethal affiliate. As a result of leaks, the undercover operation had to be shut down.

 

In the transcript obtained by Judicial Watch, Brennan led the teleconference where he addressed the top terror consultants for ABC, NBC, CNN, and CBS including Caitlin Hayden, Frances Townsend, Richard Clarke, Roger Cressey, and Juan Zarate. In an apparent attempt to soft-peddle the thwarted terrorist attack, Brennan twice exposed the covert operation; first at the outset of the call, then as the conference drew to a close:

 

BRENNAN: The device itself, as I think the FBI statement said quite clearly, never posed a threat to the American public or the public … Well, as we, well know, Al Qaeda has tried to carry out simultaneous types of attacks, and so we were confident that we had inside control over the – any plot that might have been associated with this device.

 

CLARKE: If it gets asked. There was no active threat because we had insider control …

 

BRENNAN: I would not disagree with the way you put that, at all.

 

It should also be noted that records obtained by Judicial Watch in May 2012, through a Freedom of Information lawsuit, indicate that Brennan helped orchestrate the administration’s attempt to influence the storyline of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.” A transcript of a July 14, 2011, meeting between Defense Department officials, including Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Michael Vickers, and filmmakers Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reveals that Boal met directly with White House officials on at least two occasions regarding the film: “I took your guidance and spoke to the WH and had a good meeting with Brennan and McDonough and I plan to follow up with them; and they were forward leaning and interested in sharing their point of view; command and control; so that was great, thank you,” Boal said according to the transcript. During Brennan’s February 2013 CIA confirmation hearings, he confirmed he had met with Boal “on how White House officials viewed the opportunities and risks associated with a film about the raid that killed bin Laden.”

 

Brennan, of course, was not the only Obama administration official who attempted to curry favor with “Zero Dark Thirty” filmmakers. In early December Judicial Watch released more than 200 pages of documents from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), including a previously unreleased CIA internal report, confirming that former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed classified information at a June 24, 2011, bin Laden assault awards ceremony attended by filmmaker Mark Boal. Significantly, the entire transcript of the Panetta speech provided to Judicial Watch by the CIA was classified “Top Secret.” More than 90 lines are redacted for security reasons, further confirming that significant portions of the speech should not have been made in front of the filmmaker who lacked top security clearance.

  

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA):

 

Sen. Saxby Chambliss makes the “Ten Worst” list for what he actually did in 2012, but which was finally exposed in 2013. Just as with House Speaker Boehner, Chambliss’s misdeeds were revealed in Peter Schweizer’s book Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. In fact, Chambliss is highlighted as one of the key abusers who used leadership PAC loopholes to convert campaign cash into lavish lifestyle upgrades for themselves and their family members.

 

As the New York Times reported:

 

The book details the extravagant expenses of Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, for instance, whose leadership PAC spent $10,000 on golf at Pebble Beach, nearly $27,000 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and $107,752 at the exclusive Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Fla. The amount Mr. Chambliss spent at the Breakers in the 2012 election cycle, the book reports, is three times what the senator gave to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the same period.

 

When Chambliss’s campaign was asked about the flagrantly lavish spending, they responded that all spending was reported according to the law. Though it may be legal, it is a clear abuse. And one has to wonder if the hardworking Georgians who sacrificed their scarce funds to support Chambliss’ re-election would be comfortable knowing their campaign contributions were used to support the “lifestyles of the rich and famous.”

  

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

 

On January 23, 2013, outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified to congressional committees regarding the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which led to the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American citizens. At times evasive, at other times defensive and aggressive, Clinton delivered her version of events in the days before and after the murders in Benghazi. And, in the end, the Secretary of State pretended to take “responsibility,” but gave a predictable response regarding who is to blame: “…the level of responsibility for the failures…was set at the Assistant Secretary of State level and below,” Clinton said, referring to an investigation of the incident. In other words, this was not my fault.

 

At one point in her testimony, in what is, perhaps, the epitome of Obama-era contempt for accountability, Clinton yelled “What difference does it make?” in response to a reasonable question about why the attack transpired and why the administration told an obvious lie about an obscure Internet video as the cause of the attack.

 

If the mere mention of the contrived video scenario triggered Clinton’s emotional outburst, it is certainly understandable. Remember, it was Clinton herself who was instrumental in advancing the false narrative that the video sparked the attacks. For example, at a September 14, 2012, event honoring the victims, Clinton said, “We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen the rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful video that we had nothing to do with.” To this day, she has not set the record straight.

 

In addition to Hillary Clinton’s apparent cover-up of the role she played in the Benghazi tragedy and its aftermath, she left office in another ethical cloud about conflicts of interest in the activities of her longtime top aide Huma Abedin. Abedin left the State Department in February 2013, and in May 2013, Politico broke the story that, since June 2012, she had been working as a “special government employee” (SGE), a consultant position allowing her to represent outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. While working as an SGE, Abedin’s outside clients included Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant to Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 SGE compensation.

 

And compounding the corruption scenario were the potential for conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State and Bill Clinton’s international ventures, which grew increasingly controversial in late 2008 when the former president released a list of donors to his library and foundation in what he termed “a deal between” Obama “and Hillary.” According to an Associated Press wire story, “Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to $25 million to the foundation. Other government donors include Norway, Kuwait, Qatar, Brunei, Oman …”

  

Attorney General Eric Holder:

 

Attorney General Holder has become a regular on the Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians list.

 

In May 2013, Holder may well have committed perjury when he was involved in a back-and-forth with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) about whether the Department of Justice (DOJ) could prosecute reporters under the Espionage Act for publishing classified material. In response to Johnson’s interrogatories Holder made the following statement: “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material – this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

 

Since Holder made that statement, NBC news reported that the attorney general had approved a search warrant for the email account and phone records of Fox News reporter James Rosen. As Hotair.com said at the time: “There is no other way to view this except as a lie. Even if Holder wasn’t under oath, that would constitute a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. It certainly should produce at least a resignation, and almost assuredly would require the appointment of a special prosecutor ….”

 

Time and again in recent years, Judicial Watch has had to take legal action to prevent Holder’s DOJ from bludgeoning states over taking steps to prevent voter fraud. After a June Supreme Court ruling striking down a Voting Rights Act requirement requiring certain states and local jurisdictions to get permission from the DOJ or a federal judge before enacting voting law changes, Holder announced his intention to skirt the law. In a speech in September at a convention of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Holder vowed that the DOJ would find ways to try to accomplish the goals of the section of the law that was struck down.

 

As a result, Judicial Watch went to court in North Carolina in early December to defend the State of North Carolina against a DOJ lawsuit to prevent enforcement of the state’s recently passed law HB 589, which simply requires that voters present a photo ID before casting their ballots. As PJ Media explains it:

 

Judicial Watch uncovered collusion between radical leftist groups and the administration to attack voter integrity laws around the nation. Indeed, the [Judicial Watch] brief notes:

 

On July 29, 2013, a group of political activists attended a meeting at the White House with Attorney General Holder, Labor Secretary (and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights) Tom Perez, and President Obama. Those attending included representatives from the ACLU, the NAACP, and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Mr. Sharpton told an interviewer for MSNBC that, based on what he heard at that meeting, he expected action regarding North Carolina ‘when this governor signs the bill.’

 

The DOJ is similarly assaulting Texas in federal court as part of this ideological effort to suppress efforts to protect election integrity.

 

More than a dozen states—including Kansas, Indiana, Tennessee and Wisconsin—have similar laws that require voters to show government-issued photo identification at the polls, and Obama’s attorney general has launched a campaign to challenge them all.

 

The Holder DOJ is clearly hostile to the idea of one person, one vote, one time.

 

Yet, even with all of that, Holder’s malfeasance doesn’t stop there. In August Judicial Watch released DOJ documents highlighting over $4.2 million in accrued travel expenses by Mr. Holder from March 2008 until August 2012; of which $697,525.20 were personal travel expenses. All, of course, at taxpayer expense. Add to this Holder’s continued stonewalling on the “Fast & Furious” gun-running scandal and it is all too obvious that Eric Holder’s corruption knows no limits.

  

Former IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller / Former IRS Official Lois Lerner:

 

Steve Miller, then head of the IRS, resigned in May 2013, after admitting to the targeting of anti-Obama Tea Party groups during the 2012 presidential election, which he offhandedly tossed off as “horrible customer service.” Under Miller, the IRS purposely stonewalledthe approval of nonprofit applications from “Tea Party” and other conservative groups that were seeking tax exempt status. According to a report by the agency’s inspector general released in May 2013, for more than 18 months beginning in early 2010: “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.”

 

As reported by CNN:

 

Among the criteria used by IRS officials to flag applications was a “Be On the Look Out” list, or a BOLO, which was discontinued in 2012 according to the report. The criteria on the BOLO included:

•Whether “Tea Party,” “Patriots” or “9/12 Project” was referenced in the case file.

•Whether the issues outlined in the application included government spending, government debt or taxes.

•Whether there was advocating or lobbying to “make America a better place to live.”

•Whether a statement in the case file criticized how the country is being run.

•Whether it advocated education about the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

 

Miller was eagerly aided in his suppression of conservative groups by former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner. Subpoenaed to testify before Congress in May 2013, Lerner disdainfully refused to answer inquiries, demanding full immunity concerning her role in the targeting scandal. Eventually, the IRS acknowledged that while she was in charge, IRS agents improperly targeted Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status from 2010-2012. Lerner retired from the IRS on September 23 with full benefits, even after an internal investigation found she was guilty of “neglect of duties” and was going to call for her firing, according to news reports.

 

Subsequent to Lerner’s lavish retirement, Judicial Watch, in October 2013, obtained email exchanges between her and enforcement attorneys at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicating that under Lerner’s direction, the IRS provided detailed, confidential information concerning the tax exempt application status and returns of conservative groups to the FEC – in violation of federal law.

 

Not only did Miller and Lerner deliberately target conservative organizations for IRS harassment, they both lied about it in separate appearances before Congress. In July 2012, Miller was asked at a congressional hearing, “What kind of … action is taking place at this time that you are aware of” to address complaints that groups seeking nonprofit status were being harassed. Claiming that an overload of applications had caused the problem, Miller covered up the fact that he had learned two months earlier that conservative groups were being inappropriately singled out for extra scrutiny. In May 2013, Lerner told a congressional committee that she found out about the harassment when she read about it “in the press” in early 2012. But, according to the IG report timeline, she was informed in June 2011 about the IRS’s BOLO criteria that included words such as “Tea Party” or “patriots.”

 

The true damage wrought by the Miller/Lerner witch-hunt may never be fully known. One can certainly speculate as to impact the Tea Party movement could have made had Miller and Lerner not cowed much of it into silence with their ruthless, reckless assault on Barack Obama’s political opponents. In short, the Obama IRS duo may have perfected the formula for stealing an election in plain sight.

  

Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano:

 

In August 2013 Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stepped down from her post expressing both “pride and regret” – the regret stemming from her failure to help push through the so-called Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The truth is, however, that Napolitano actually played a major role in doing an end run around existing immigration law by helping President Obama implement his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) directive in lieu of DREAM Act passage.

 

Documents obtained by Judicial Watch in June 2013 revealed that Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) abandoned required background checks in 2012, adopting, instead, costly “lean and lite” procedures in effort to keep up with the flood of amnesty applications resulting from the DACA directive.

 

The documents also revealed that, contrary to Napolitano’s claim that DACA applied only to minors who came to this country illegally “through no fault of their own,” the directive actually created a new avenue of chain migration, whereby immediate relatives of DACA requesters could be approved for amnesty. As a result, according to an agency memo from District 15 Director David Douglas, “some of the districts closer to the U.S./Mexico border have been inundated.”

 

The Obama/Napolitano stealth amnesty policy received a setback in July 2013 when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas left DACA hanging by a string as he dismissed a challenge strictly due to jurisdictional issues. While the court determined that it did not have authority to hear the case, Judge Reed O’Connor agreed that program is likely unconstitutional, saying, “[T]he Court finds that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim challenging the Directive and Morton Memorandum as contrary to the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

 

In an earlier ruling handed down in April, Judge O’Connor stated clearly that, “DHS does not have discretion to refuse to initiate removal proceedings when the requirements of Section 1225(b)(2)(A) are satisfied.” That section requires the agents to place aliens who are not “clearly and beyond a doubt entitled to be admitted” to the United States into removal proceedings.

 

DHS malfeasance did not stop there. And, in fact, according to a court order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on December 13, DHS has actually enabled cartel trafficking of minors, delivering those minors to illegals living inside the United States and completing criminal transactions for illegal immigrants. The court document details a guilty plea from Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez for being paid to smuggle a 10-year-old El Salvadoran female into the United States. Nava-Martinez was hired by Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, the mother of the 10-year-old, who was living illegally in Virginia after being denied legal entry into the U.S. in 2001. According to U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen who wrote the court order: “The DHS officials were notified that Salmeron-Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron-Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivers the child to her – thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. This DHS policy is a dangerous course of action.”

 

Napolitano’s legacy is one that has gutted, for political reasons, the very immigration laws she swore to uphold.

  

President Barack Obama:

 

President Barack Obama actually tops this “Top Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” list for 2013 as the driving force behind so many of the misdeeds. This is Obama’s seventh straight year on the list, dating back all the way to 2007 (in 2006, he earned a “Dishonorable Mention”). He is a master at catch-me-if-you-can, corrupt politics. This year, he has again acted as a one-man Congress, rewriting entire sections of federal law on his own. Not only is his administration secretive and dishonest; its callous disregard for the rule of law undermines our constitutional republic. Examples include:

•Perhaps Obama’s most outrageous actions over the past year were his continual lies about the ability of Americans to keep their own health insurance under Obamacare. According the Free Beacon, Obama misled the American people a total of 36 times between 2008 and 2013 with his promise, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” And according to NBC News, Obama knew, even as he repeated his lie, that “more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them:”

 

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date – the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example – the policy would not be grandfathered.

 

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

 

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

•Throughout 2013, the Obama family continued to use the White House as its own personal travel bureau and the taxpayers as their personal expense account.

•Though Obama quickly disavowed any knowledge of the IRS assault on Tea Party and other conservative groups leading up to the 2012 presidential election, the fact is that it was the president himself who fingered the groups for what might be called “special handling.” Consider Obama’s own hostile and aggressive statements, made just as his IRS officials were gearing up their assault:

 

August 9, 2010: During his weekly radio address, Obama warned of “attack ads run by shadowy groups with harmless-sounding names.” The President said: We don’t know who’s behind these ads and we don’t know who’s paying for them . . . you don’t know if it’s a foreign controlled corporation. … The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.”

 

September 20, 2010: Speaking in Philadelphia, Obama once again warned that “nobody knows” the identities of the individuals who support conservative groups.

 

September 22, 2010: Speaking in New York, Obama warned against groups opposing his policies “[posing] as non-for-profit social and welfare trade groups” and he claimed such groups were “guided by seasoned Republican political operatives” and potentially supported by some unidentified “foreign controlled entity.”

 

October 14, 2010: Obama attacked organizations with “benign sounding” names as “a problem for democracy.”

 

Little wonder that after their boss sounded the call to attack, Obama’s IRS appointees obeyed the command. And even less wonder that, caught red-handed, Obama first claimed total ignorance and, when the ploy failed, simply labeled it all a “phony scandal.”

•According to the Galen Institute, Obama has now unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law as passed by Congress 14 times by executive fiat, with the majority of those changes coming in 2013. Those changes include such major overhauls as the congressional opt-out, eviscerating the individual mandate, and delaying the employer mandate. The latest Obama fix came on December 20, when he suddenly moved to allow hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone “catastrophic” plans. As National Review observed, “Of course, like every other exemption from Obamacare the latest fix is supposed to last only a year, raising the prospect that people will be kicked off their catastrophic coverage as soon as the 2014 election is safely in the political rear-view mirror.”

  

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV):

 

Last year, Harry Reid made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list for his influence-peddling scandal involving ENN Energy Group, a Chinese “green energy” company for which Reid “applied his political muscle” – and which just happened to be a major client of the Nevada law firm in which Reid’s son, Rory, is a principal.

 

This year Reid makes the Ten Worst list again. His “friends” list is examined by Frontpage.com:

 

On Monday, Harry Reid’s close friend and donor, Harvey Whittemore was sentenced to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election committee in 2007 …

 

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Reid and Whittemore go way back; four of Reid’s sons were hired by the law firm in which Harvey Whittemore was a senior partner. Sen. Reid and Whittemore were involved in very big land deals, including federal legislation to help the development of Coyote Springs.

 

None of which is surprising, since Reid has long-since made funneling money to his family’s enterprises his stock-in-trade. According to Peter Schweizer, writing for Fox News, “Sen. Reid has sponsored at least $47 million in earmarks that directly benefitted organizations that one of his sons, Key Reid, [RW1] either lobbies for or is affiliated with.”

 

While not teaming up with family members to fleece taxpayers, Reid was teaming up with President Obama to use executive authority to skirt the law. Obama and Reid have long opposed a proposed nuclear waste dump in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has already cost U.S. taxpayers an astounding $15 billion, according to various federal audits. So, Obama simply instructed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission(NRC) to decline to conduct the statutorily mandated Yucca Mountain licensing process, essentially destroying the project.

 

In mid-August, a federal appellate court ruled that Obama “is simply flouting the law.” According to the court, “It is no overstatement to say that our constitutional system of separation of powers would be significantly altered if we were to allow executive and independent agencies to disregard federal law in the manner asserted in this case by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

 

Topping off the year, on November 21, 2013, – a day which should live in congressional infamy – Reid gutted the long-standing filibuster rules of the U.S. Senate in order to grease the path for Barack Obama’s court appointees. The new Reid rule prevents the minority party from filibustering any nominations other than nods to the Supreme Court. And to effect the change, Reid first triggered the “nuclear option,” which allows a change to Senate rules by majority vote (and which he had adamantly opposed in 2005, calling it “illegal” and “unAmerican”). Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Reid of attempting “break the rules of the Senate … in order to change the rules of the Senate.” Not surprisingly, as the Wall Street Journal editorialized, an ancillary benefit of the rule change is that it will get judges on the DC Court of Appeals who are more friendly to Reid’s agenda.

  

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:

 

It’s a wonder Secretary Sebelius was still around to do damage in 2013 after last year’s fiasco for which she appeared on the Ten Most Wanted list. The Obama administration’s own lawyers determined Sebelius could be fired for violating federal law when reports surfaced that she had campaigned for Obama while acting in her official capacity as an executive branch official during the last presidential campaign. This made Kathleen Sebelius the first member ever of a president’s cabinet to be found guilty of violating the Hatch Act.

 

In 2013, rather than solicit votes, Sebelius solicited financial support for President Obama’s huge health care disaster. In May, Secretary Sebelius was caught hitting health care companies up for cash to fund Obamacare after Congress rejected all of the administration’s requests.

 

But, that was just for openers – because in October Sebelius redefined the term “incompetence” when she oversaw the disastrous launch of the Obamacare website. As Mercedes Schlapp wrote in US News:

 

She refused to listen to the IT experts who expressed serious concerns about the launch as early as March of 2013. Henry Chao, deputy chief information officer said in a meeting that he was “pretty nervous” about the exchanges being ready for October 1. Prior to the launch, one insurance executive also stated, “the extent of the problems was pretty enormous.”

 

Yet the American people are forced to settle for mediocrity from their leaders who play political games rather than deliver effective products.

 

Pressed by Congress to explain the disastrous, costly website rollout, Sebelius rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and caustically replied, “Whatever” blithely dismissing the lies and the fraud that have become part and parcel of Obamacare. The fact is, were Sebelius in the private sector, she would probably be prosecuted for fraud.

 

Dishonorable Mentions

  

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg:

 

In late December, documents obtained by Judicial Watch revealed that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently used his top mayoral staff to work on Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) – of which Bloomberg is a co-founder – at taxpayer expense. Included in the documents were emails revealing that Bloomberg aid John Feinblatt worked closely with MAIG executive Mark Glaze on the following:

•On December 14, 2013, Glaze and Feinblatt discussed MAIG lobbying efforts in the state of Colorado.

•On the day following the Sandy Hook tragedy, Glaze and Feinblatt conferred on how they could “”keep the mayor ahead of congress, the white house, the press.”

•On December 17 and 18 and email exchange makes it clear that Feinblatt was involved in the day-to-day operations of MAIG, including media buys by the organization.

•On December 19, an email from Glaze to Feinblatt indicates that Feinblatt was directly involved in MAIG finances.

  

Outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) / Incoming Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D):

 

The citizens of Virginia got a dubious “twofer” in 2013, as both their outgoing and incoming governors were revealed as having been embroiled in apparently shady dealings, to put it mildly.

 

In April 2013, outgoing Governor McDonnell became the subject of an FBI probe because of his possible quid-pro-quo dealings with Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the chief executive of Star Scientific, a company that makes a tobacco-derived dietary supplement. Williams allegedly paid $15,000 to cover catering expenses at the June 2011 wedding of McDonnell’s daughter at the time the McDonnell family was actively promoting the supplement. And that’s just the beginning. According to The Washington Post report on the relationship, “Williams’s company donated $28,500 worth of flights to McDonnell’s successful 2009 campaign for governor and $80,000 worth of air travel to his political action committee after the election, the Post reported. Williams also allowed the governor’s family to borrow a Ferrari and stay at a western Virginia vacation home he owns in July 2011.”

 

In mid-December, federal prosecutors told McDonnell that he and his wife would be charged in connection with the scandal. Senior Justice Department officials delayed the decision, however, reportedly to wait until after McDonnell leaves office.

 

For his part, incoming Governor Terry McAuliffe is preparing for his inauguration with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation hanging over his head. Perhaps Mother Jones magazine best explains the latest McAuliffe scandal:

 

When McAuliffe in 2009 created GreenTech, a now-troubled electric-car company, he turned to an old pal for assistance in courting foreign investors: Tony Rodham, who is best known as one of Hillary Clinton’s embarrassing brothers. A former repo man, prison guard, and private eye, Rodham by then had a long history of trying to cash in on his famous sister’s connections and generally causing problems for her…

 

But McAuliffe somehow thought Rodham was just the guy to help him with his electric-car venture. Rodham owns a company that solicits foreign investors for American projects (deals that allow these foreign investors secure US visas). GreenTech relied heavily on foreign investors.

 

According to The Washington Post: “In May, the SEC subpoenaed documents from GreenTech Automotive and bank records from a sister company, Gulf Coast Funds Management of McLean. The investigation is focused, at least in part, on alleged claims that the company ‘guarantees returns’ to the investors, according to government documents.”

  

Former Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ):

 

Former three-term Republican Congressman Rick Renzi first made the Judicial Watch Ten Worst list back in 2008, when was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy, extortion, money laundering and wire fraud. At the time, we said, “He allegedly used his influence on a House Natural Resources Committee to orchestrate a land swap with the federal government that financially benefited himself and his associates. The 49-year-old lawmaker, who owns an insurance business, is also charged with embezzling more than $400,000 from insurance clients to fund his congressional campaign.” Well, now we can drop the “allegedly” – because in June, 2013, Renzi was convicted on 17 counts of extortion, racketeering and other federal charges. And in October, he was sentenced to three years in prison.

  

National Security Adviser Susan Rice:

 

Last year, Susan Rice shared Ten Worst dishonors with Hillary Clinton for their dual roles in the high-profile campaign to portray the deadly attack on the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as solely related to a privately produced YouTube video that was offensive to Muslims. On the Sunday following the attack, Rice repeatedly stated on five different network TV news programs that the Benghazi assault had been a spontaneous reaction to an obscure online video mocking Mohammed, rather than a planned terrorist attack.

 

This year, Rice makes the Ten Worst list all on her own by joining with Barack Obama to add insult to injury by pulling an end-run around the United States Congress. Realizing that after her campaign of deception involving Benghazi, she could not be approved by the Senate for the job of Secretary of State she so clearly coveted, Rice accepted the position of National Security Advisor, which requires no Senate approval. Thus, her duplicity could be rewarded – without the American people having any say whatsoever in the matter.

 

The New York Palace Hotel (formerly The Helmsley Palace)

455 Madison Avenue at 50th Street

New York, NY 10022

 

The entrance to GILT

------------------

The Villard Houses were brownstone residences built by Henry Villard in 1884. Villard was a railway promoter and financier, who took over the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1881. The architect was McKim, Mead & White. The firm also designed the Pennsylvania Hotel in Manhattan. The six residence building was clad in quarried brownstone and wrapped around a u-shaped courtyard representative of a 15th century Italian palazzo. Four homes opened onto the courtyard while two had entrances on 51st Street.

 

Villard moved into the corner residence at 451 Madison, at the corner of 50th Street for just a short while before declaring bankruptcy. Much of the interior decoration is still visible today in the restaurant Gilt (formerly Le Cirque 2000).

 

In the 1940’s the Villard House was known as Women's Military Services Club. It served women in the military that could stay there for .50 cents a night. By the late 60’s the Archdiocese of New York owned the complex.

 

In the early 70’s Harry Helmsley found the perfect location in which to build his dream hotel. The Villard House was located on New York's Madison Avenue, across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 

Helmsley negotiated a 99 year lease on the site from the the Archdiocese of New York and proposed gutting the interiors of the Villard and putting a 51-story hotel on top of it. The preservationists prevailed and Helmsley’s plan was changed to save most of the interiors of the Villard houses, though the buildings' rear facades were demolished and incorporated in to the new 51-story hotel. long-term ground lease, which runs for decades. The Archdiocese of New York receives $10 million annually in ground rent.

 

Helmsley commissioned architects Emery Roth & Sons and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer to design the modern structure and integrate the 1884 houses. The tower’s façade is a dark bronze reflective glass that was to blend with the Villard Houses. Started in 1977, the 905-room hotel project was completed in 1980.

 

Leona Helmsley spent a great deal of time and energy managing the decorating and staffing of the hotel. Leona took seriously her role as President of Helmsley Hotels and was determined to give her guests unprecedented service.

 

On September 15, 1980, the opulent Helmsley Palace Hotel opened. At the time The Helmsley Palace had the highest hotel rates in the city. An early print advertisement featuring Leona had the by-line: “It’s the only palace in the world where the Queen stands guard”

 

The hotel has four Triplex Suites. Situated at the top of the tower and occupying the four corners, each 2-bedroom suite is spread over three floors and include a private roof terrace.

 

In 1982, the limited partners in the Helmsley Palace Hotel partnership forced an arbitration proceeding after Harry Helmsley, in his role as general partner demanded more money from the limited partners for cost overruns in building the hotel. The limited partners said the Helmsley’s had mismanaged the business and had hurt the partnership through several self-dealing transactions. The arbitrators ruled in favor of the limited partners and forced the Helmsley’s to pay the cost overruns and an additional $3.5 million to the partnership.

 

Leona Helmsley, was convicted of income tax fraud in August 1989 - (“We don’t pay taxes … only the little people do”). Leona was convicted of 33 felony counts of trying to defraud the government and IRS, including mail fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns (essentially running millions of dollars of personal expenses through the Helmsley Palace and Park Lane books)

 

Harry Helmsley was indicted on similar charges in 1988, but was found too ill to stand trial. He died in 1997.

 

Following appeals Leona Helmsley was imprisoned from 1992-1993.

 

The limited partners in the Palace partnership were rightfully concerned during the Helmsley’s legal mess that the hotel was in desperate need for another general partner. The limited partners contended Helmsley Enterprises breached its fiduciary duties in managing and operating the partnership. They sought through the courts to remove the Helmsleys as general partner, and to appoint a receiver until a new general partner and manager can be found or the hotel be sold. They also sought restoration of any money the Helmsleys may have diverted to their affiliates through self-dealing.

 

Helmsley operated the Helmsley Palace hotel until 1992. She was known to fire managers from her jail cell.

 

Interstate Hotels was appointed by the court as the hotel’s receiver. The hotel changed its name to The New York Palace Hotel. The receiver received 6 qualified bids for the hotel.

 

In November 1993 The Royal Family of Brunei agreed to buy the New York Palace for $202 million (the highest offer). The agreement to buy the Palace is with Amedeo Hotels Limited Partnership, an investment company in Brunei. The Sultan of Brunei, through its development company, Amedeo Limited, contracted with Harman Jablin Architects for the complete renovation of the hotel and Villard Houses.

 

The hotel is comprised of three structures: the899-room 55-story hotel tower, the 5-story Villard House, and the 2-story Maloney & Porcelli restaurant.

 

The wealth of the royal family of Brunei, a tiny oil-rich sultanate on the island of Borneo, is controlled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, whose estimated worth of $33 billion makes him one of the world's richest men. He and his family also own the 263-room Beverly Hills Hotel in California, bought for $187 million in 1987, and the Dorchester Hotel in London, bought for about $85 million in 1985.

 

The Royal Family’s new wealth comes from a constant flow of royalties into their private bank accounts from Shell Oil, who they joint ventured with to extract Brunei’s only natural resource.

 

The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah younger brother is Prince Jefri Bolkiah who was the finance minister of Brunei from 1986 to 1998 and thus the chairman of The Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) responsible for overseas investments. He was known for his extravagant lifestyle, which included a private Boeing 747 and 2,000 automobiles. Hotels he controlled included The New York Palace Hotel, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and Plaza Athénée in Paris.

 

Following an audit in 1987 The Brunei government charged Prince Jefri with embezzling $14.8 billion and he was removed as chairman of BEI.

 

In July 2008 BEI signed management contracts with the Dorchester Group to operate the New York Plaza and the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

 

Prince Jefri’s two main legal and financial advisors, the British husband and wife lawyers Thomas Derbyshire and Faith Zaman were dispatched by the Prince to the New York Palace in 2004 to protect his interests. The two were involved in many aspects of Prince Jefri’s business affairs and they held powers of attorney to act of his behalf.

 

So In November 2005, Zaman claims Jefri gave them a 17-year lease on a 2,800-square-foot apartment on the third floor of the hotel, which rented as a suite for $20,000 a night. The prince gave the apartment to them rent-free for the first five years After that, the charge would be $500 a month, with an option to renew for 51 years. According the Vanity Fair this was done so the sultan if ever was successful in taking over the hotel, he would have to deal with them for the rest of his life.

 

In February 2006, John Segreti, the managing director of the Palace, dropped dead at 52 of a pulmonary embolism. Segreti formerly was the chief operating officer at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in Hong Kon).

 

In March 2006 Faith Zaman was appointed Managing Director of the Palace. Her annual salary included 5 percent of the hotel’s gross operating profit, a car allowance of $100,000 per year, and free use of the company credit card for personal expenses. Also the prince gave her control of a second lease at a low price for the Maloney & Porcelli steak house on the hotel’s ground floor, on East 50th Street.

 

Meanwhile Derbyshire was working hard on finding a way for Jefri to cash in on two of his biggest assets the New York Palace and Hotel Bel-Air. A prospective buyer, Ty Warner (owner of the Four Seasons New York), was found who had agreed to acquiring the two hotels for $800 million. The sell certainly would have breached the government of Brunei’s freeze of Prince Jefri’s assets and further, what bank in the world could be used to deposit the proceeds and hide it from the government of Brunei.

 

The sell never occurred. Prince Jefri filed a suit against Derbyshire and Zaman seeking to recover $7 million in questionable expenses, Derbyshire and Zaman countersued for $13 million in contractual wages never received. In December 2010 the New York City jury awarded Derbyshire and Zaman $21 million.

 

Prince Jefri, a father of 17 with four wives, has swapped a decadent lifestyle for a fugitive existence. He is reported to have been allowed back in Brunei.

 

In 1997, with a new name--Le Cirque 2000--the restaurant moved from the Mayfair to the New York Palace Hotel and its landmark, the Villard Houses. Designer Adam Tihany gave Le Cirque its dazzling new look, and, as the opening approached, Siro Maccioni told New York magazine, "They're either going to give us a medal or exile us to Kilimanjaro."

 

In 2006 Siro Maccioni moved Le Cirque from the Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg building on East 58th Street.

 

John Segretti, the hotel’s managing director, decided The Palace Hotel should operate its own restaurant in the Villard space. In December 2005 it opened the 52-seat restaurant GILT with the interior design done by Patrick Jouin. The executive chef was Paul Liebrandt. The NY Times food critic panned Gilt two months after opening describing some entrees as “no larger than a hockey puck”. Shortly after Liebrandt was fired. In 2009 GILT was awarded Twp Michelin Stars under the direction of Executive Chef Justin Bogle.

 

In July 2011 Northwood Investors acquired the New York Plaza for approximately $400 million. The price is low by NYC standards – held down due to the $10 million dollar a year ground lease. The seller Brunei Investment Agency also owns the Dorchester Collection of luxury hotels. The New York Palace is no longer affiliated with the Dorchester Collection.

 

Northwood Investors is a privately-held real estate investment advisor that was founded in 2006 by John Z. Kukral, the former President and CEO of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. It also owns the Alden Houston Hotel and The Radisson Hotel Boston.

 

Northwood has appointed David Chase to general manager of The New York Palace. Most recently he was the pre-opening general manager of Trump SoHo New York.

 

SS.......AND MAYBE... QUITE PROBABLY (wink wink) A CRIMINAL TOO

======================================================

First Whitewater prosecutor says 'serious crimes' were uncovered in probe

Robert Fiske's new memoir provides fresh look at investigation into Clintons

 

The first federal prosecutor to probe the financial dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton says he was poised to bring high-profile indictments against top Arkansas political and business figures — based in part on testimony from a chief witness against the then president — when he was abruptly replaced by a panel of federal judges, throwing his investigation into turmoil.

 

"I was angry, frustrated and above all disappointed that I was not going to be able to carry through and finish bringing the indictments," writes Robert Fiske, a former U.S. attorney who served as the original independent counsel in charge of the Whitewater investigation, in a forthcoming memoir, "Prosecutor Defender Counselor."

 

Fiske — ever the punctilious prosecutor — offers no judgments on the conduct of the Clintons, nor on that of the man who replaced him, Kenneth Starr.

 

But in his first extensive public comments on his Whitewater investigation, in his book and in an exclusive Yahoo News interview, Fiske contends his removal had a devastating impact on the agents and prosecutors working the case: It ultimately caused the Whitewater probe to stretch on for years longer than it needed to under Starr, a conservative former federal appellate judge who had no prosecutorial experience.

 

"The simplest way to put it, after I was replaced, the lawyers on the staff in Arkansas said the agents for the FBI and IRS were totally demoralized," Fiske said in the Yahoo News interview. "They thought we were on the brink of doing all these great things, and now that was not going to happen."

 

The long-ago Whitewater probe seems likely to be revived by political foes if, as is widely expected, Hillary Clinton runs for president. (The Clinton library is due to release new documents, including some that are expected to include Whitewater files, this Friday.) For years, the Clintons have sought to portray the entire investigation as a politically inspired witch hunt, pushed by partisans hunting for any ammunition they could find to damage the president and first lady.

 

"I'm still waiting for them to admit that there was nothing to Whitewater," Bill Clinton said in a recent appearance.

 

But the new account of Fiske, a pillar of the New York legal community, offers a more complicated picture. He describes how he had quickly uncovered "serious crimes" in the Whitewater investigation but that his probe was cut short after conservatives falsely accused him of a "cover up."

 

"There were indictments, there were convictions," said Fiske when asked about claims that there was "nothing" to the investigation. "People went to jail. There was never any evidence that was sufficient to link the Clintons to any of it, but there were certainly serious crimes."

 

Appointed by Janet Reno in January 1994, Fiske describes how he moved aggressively from the start, carving out a wide-ranging mandate and hiring a top-flight staff of veteran prosecutors. One of his first moves was to subpoena Hillary Clinton's law firm billing records — documents that were later found under mysterious circumstances in the White House living quarters.

 

By the summer of 1994, Fiske says, he was preparing to bring eight indictments against 11 defendants, including criminal charges for fraud against Jim and Susan McDougal (the Clintons' Whitewater business partners), Webster Hubbell (then an associate attorney general and formerly Hillary Clinton's law partner) and Jim Guy Tucker (Clinton's successor as governor of Arkansas).

 

A key witness in these cases was David Hale, a former municipal judge and the owner of a federally subsidized small-business lending company. It was Hale who had made the most serious allegation against Bill Clinton: Hale had claimed that Clinton, while Arkansas governor, had pressured him to make a fraudulent $300,000 federally backed loan to a marketing company owned by Susan McDougal that was really intended to pay off the two couples' debts in their Whitewater real estate investment. ("My name can't show up on this," Hale claimed Clinton had told him, an account that President Clinton later denied.)

 

Defenders of the Clintons have long depicted Hale as an inveterate liar who was put up to his allegations by bitter political enemies of the then president and first lady.

 

But Fiske devotes a chapter of his book to how he cut a plea deal with Hale, titling it "An Early Breakthrough," and describing how Hale's information "moved us forward."

 

"You used David Hale as a witness. You believed he was credible?" Fiske was asked by Yahoo News.

 

"Yes, we did," Fiske replied. He noted that FBI agents and prosecutors working for him (including famed Texas trial attorney Rusty Hardin) had closely vetted Hale's story.

 

"He provided very valuable information to us," Fiske said about Hale.

 

But Hale was also a confessed felon, who had pleaded guilty to defrauding the government. "Standing alone, nobody was going to bring a case based on what he was telling us," Fiske said — unless there was corroboration from other witnesses and documents. "But from what we had seen of him, we thought the story was plausible and was certainly worth pursuing," said Fiske.

 

Despite Fiske's efforts to find more evidence, he soon ran afoul of conservatives in Congress and on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, who accused him of pulling his punches. In late June, he issued two reports — one clearing the Clintons and White House officials of any wrongdoing in trying to influence a regulatory agency review of Jim McDougal's savings and loan, and a second one concluding that Vince Foster, another law firm partner of Hillary Clinton's, who was serving as White House counsel, had committed suicide in Fort Marcy Park overlooking the Potomac River and was not the victim of foul play.

 

In his memoir, Fiske contends that the evidence that Foster took his own life was overwhelming. But Fiske writes, "conspiracy theorists" attacked his findings, suggesting that Foster may have been murdered elsewhere and his body dumped in the park. Fiske recounts how an Indiana congressman, Dan Burton, even sought to disprove his findings by shooting a watermelon in his backyard. And soon Fiske was also being accused of conflicts of interest and protecting the Clintons. "The Fiske cover up," ran the headline on one Wall Street Journal editorial.

 

In August 1994, just as his investigation in Arkansas was gathering steam, Fiske was jolted when a panel of three federal judges — two of them strong conservatives — removed him on the grounds that he was not independent enough (because he had been appointed by Clinton's attorney general) and replaced him with Starr.

 

Fiske says he sought to reassure his dejected staff. Starr "has no experience as a prosecutor, so things may move a little slower but these indictments will happen," he told them.

 

The indictments were ultimately brought by Starr — only in some cases more than a year after Fiske's removal, and by then, Starr was widely being depicted by the White House and its allies as a conservative partisan. In that sense, Fiske's removal may have been a turning point that ended up undermining public confidence in the entire Whitewater probe, said Ken Gormley, the dean of Duquesne University School of Law and the author of "The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr," an exhaustive study of the investigation.

 

"Painting the whole thing as a witch hunt would have been much harder" if Fiske had not been replaced, said Gormley. And, he believes, Fiske would likely not have expanded the probe, as Starr did, to include Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. "Fiske was a lawyer's lawyer," said Gormley. "He was the consummate principled prosecutor."

 

HERE'S SOME BACKGROUND . . .

 

~ — MARCH, 2013 — ~

 

POLITICO Report by MJ LEE 3/14/13

JPMorgan taken to the congressional woodshed

 

Top officials at Wall Street giant JPMorgan misled investors, regulators and the public as they maneuvered to mask the size of the more than $6 billion in losses the firm suffered last year when its “London Whale” trades went haywire, a congressional committee charged in a report released Thursday.

 

The report throws the bank back on the defensive after it spent months trying to downplay the losses and convince investors it had taken care of the problem.

 

It also promises to be a headache for all Wall Street banks, adding fuel to the increasingly heated debate over whether Washington needs to move aggressively to crack down, and even shrink, the country’s biggest banks.

 

“There were many, many failures here by JPMorgan, some of which I believe are serious and indeed egregious,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that released the report Thursday and will hold a hearing on the matter Friday.

 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the panel’s top Republican, said the report is a warning to Wall Street.

 

“JPMorgan and the banking industry need to know that they’re not too big to fail, they’re not too big to manage and they’re not too big to jail,” he said.

 

JPMorgan, which cooperated with the investigation, first announced the losses in May and the subcommittee began digging into the details in July.

 

Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO, has testified twice before Congress on the issue and the bank conducted its own internal report, released in January, that found risk practices at the unit in question were not up to snuff.

 

In a statement Thursday, the bank said it acknowledged mistakes and worked to correct problems, but it made clear it disagrees with the committee’s assertion that there was any intent to mislead.

 

“Our senior management acted in good faith and never had any intent to mislead anyone,” said a JPMorgan spokesman.

 

Dimon will not be among the JPMorgan officials testifying Friday, but he takes some hits in the report.

 

The committee charges that he sought to withhold information — reports on its investment banking activities — sought by its regulator, the Comptroller of the Currency, in early 2012 because he thought it was too much information to share with them.

 

When the regulator complained and asked that delivery of the reports resume, another top bank official — Douglas Braunstein — complied. The move irked Dimon.

 

“At a meeting shortly thereafter in which both Mr. Braunstein and Mr. Dimon were present, according to the OCC, when Mr. Braunstein stated that he had ordered resumption of the reports, Mr. Dimon reportedly raised his voice in anger at Mr. Braunstein,” according to the report.

The 301-page report focuses on the early months of 2012, when the trades started to go awry.

 

In short, it tells a tale of how a unit created in 2005 to invest the bank’s excess deposits changed into a division driven to find profits — and how, when faced with big losses in early 2012, it took steps to mask the size of these problems in a way that misled the bank’s investors, counterparties and regulators.

 

Subcommittee staff pored through 90,000 documents, more than 200 phone conversations and instant messages, and conducted over 25 interviews with JPMorgan and regulatory officials.

READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE

 

~ — NOVEMBER, 2014 — ~

The Truth Comes Out ... The Whistleblower

ROLLING STONE Report by Mike Taiibi 11/9/14

Meet the woman JP Morgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking

 

She tried to stay quiet, she really did. But after eight years of keeping a heavy secret, the day came when Alayne Fleischmann couldn't take it anymore.

 

"It was like watching an old lady get mugged on the street," she says. "I thought, 'I can't sit by any longer.'"

 

Fleischmann is a tall, thin, quick-witted securities lawyer in her late thirties, with long blond hair, pale-blue eyes and an infectious sense of humor that has survived some very tough times. She's had to struggle to find work despite some striking skills and qualifications, a common symptom of a not-so-common condition called being a whistle-blower.

READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE

 

~ — TODAY — ~

A DEMAND FOR JUSTICE

 

Federal prosecutors have told the public for years that they lack the clear evidence to bring criminal charges against big banks for mortgage security fraud.

 

But Alayne Fleischmann—a former securities lawyer who worked as a diligence manager for J.P. Morgan Chase—personally witnessed wrongdoing (as reported in a breathtaking account in Rolling Stone magazine) and even attempted to notify her superiors.

 

For eight years, Fleischmann told her story of fraud to regulators and government lawyers—only to watch the Department of Justice settle with J.P. Morgan Chase out of court with no admission of guilt, and a much lighter penalty that they were able to write off on their taxes.

 

Alayne Fleischmann could face legal, financial, and career repercussions for sharing her story. It’s up to us to make sure it isn’t in vain.

 

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION

Thank you!

 

A warning to all professional women…if you receive an offer for membership to the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), please be aware that it is a scam*.

 

Recently I received an unsolicited notice from NAPW indicating that I was eligible for membership at “no cost or obligation.” The membership offer was sent to my work address and contained my official job title, so I’m assuming that my contact information was sold to them by a conference I have attended in the past or through a separate professional organization I recently joined at the request of my company. I went to the NAPW website to do a bit of research. They seemed legit – offering local and national networking opportunities; seminars/webinars; discounts; etc. In hindsight, my research should have continued into the realm of consulting the all-knowing Google....however, it didn’t**. I filled out the initial membership application with the code the mailing provided. Upon submitting the information the website informed me that my application would be reviewed and I would be notified at a later date if I was accepted.

 

So today…on Friday, my favorite day of the week…I received a call at work (luckily I provided them my work number three times instead of giving them “required” mobile and home numbers as well during the application process) from “Nancy” representing NAPW. She introduced herself, was (at first) quite cordial, and indicated that she had a few questions about my application before being able to determine if I was eligible/accepted. We chatted for 15 minutes or so about my job, my skills, what I like about my position, where I want to be in a few years, how I want to advance my career. She indicated that based on the information I provided and my professional goals she had no reservations about accepting my application. Yay!! I was a member of NAPW…all for the super low, bargain basement cost of an Elite membership to the tune of $900+ dollars…all she needed was my credit or debit card number. (Do you smell the rubber burning from how quickly the tires in my brain skidded to halt there?) HELL-to-the-EFFing no I was not paying that much money for a professional society membership and I sure as shit wasn’t giving “Nancy” my credit/debit card information (I just got through having to set up credit monitoring on my credit card and bank account because of the Target data breach debacle). So I in my most pleasant (of what remains of my) Southern charm informed “Nancy” (bless her heart) that I was only interested in the “no cost or obligation” membership that was offered in the invitation I received and that I was not interested in paying for a higher membership level until I’d had a chance to spend some time as a member of the organization. I wanted time to utilize my basic/no cost or obligation membership and determine if the benefits would be worth a more robust membership investment. “Nancy” immediately began pitching me lower memberships to the tune of $700+ or just $199…or I could try it out for 6 months for a mere $99. I chortled and informed “Nancy” that if there was no actual free membership available (you know the “no cost or obligation” one indicated on the invitation) then I had no interest in NAPW. That was the end of “Nancy.” No cordial thank-you, no final pitch. Suddenly “Nancy” was just a memory and a dial-tone. I realized here (and perhaps should have realized much sooner) that “Nancy”…my sweet “Nancy”…was nothing more than a commissioned telemarketer. Oh “Nancy”…where did we go so wrong.

 

I was livid. I went into DefCon5 Google research mode. I went Westboro Batshit Crazy. I reported this crap to the Better Business Bureau. I Yelp’d my own review. I…did this…and I felt better. Taking the original invite (scratching out my special code, just in case they tried to trace it back to me) I broke out the Sharpies (their scent is so calming). I took their postage paid invitation, defaced it with the truth, and stuck it in the mail (all on their $.46 cents). So here it is...my giant FU to the NAPW...my warning to all my fellow photograpHERs here on Flickr…and wherever else this ends up…beware of this scam.

 

*For legal purposes I present to you (and possibly the lawyers representing the bullshit smouldering somewhere in New York at the NAPW HQs) the definition of scam. Noun: a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle. Verb (used with object): to cheat or defraud with a scam.

 

I am not using the term “scam” to insinuate that NAPW is engaging in ILLEGAL activities…only FRADULENT and IMMORAL activities clearly designed to seperate women from their hard earned money to make the NAPW a quick profit. Clearly their indication that membership benefits are available at “no cost or obligation” is fraudulent and as highlighted in the telemarketer’s high pressure marketing pitch they are looking for a quick profit off of pressuring would be members into paying for ridiculously priced membership levels.

 

**Had I practiced my Google Fu I would have learned what a scam this group truly is sooner. Do a quick search for yourself…go through their Yelp reviews and look at the multiple blog postings of women who have had the exact same experiences.

Harry Reid: A History Of Infamy

  

Harry Reid

 

Over the last two days, we’ve seen a lot of Democrats get busted for corruption. Even for making arms deals for missile launchers with Islamic rebels, and murder for hire.

 

The karma wheel has rolled around to Harry Reid too, who is now being looked at by the FEC for campaign money being paid to his grand daughter. But there’s so much more…

 

Via Free Beacon:

  

Another man might have assumed, correctly, that launching a campaign of insult and insinuation against two billionaires would result in renewed attention to his own finances. Not Harry Reid. The Senate Democratic leader since 2005, and the Senate majority leader since 2007, is not one to reflect before speaking. His mouth runs far ahead of his brain.

 

In recent years Reid has declared an American war “lost” while our troops still fought overseas; praised President Obama for his “light” skin and “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”; asserted falsely and without evidence that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes for a decade; and said “Why would we want to do that?” when asked if he would fund cancer research during the government shutdown.

BY: Matthew Continetti

March 28, 2014 4:59 am

 

Another man might have assumed, correctly, that launching a campaign of insult and insinuation against two billionaires would result in renewed attention to his own finances. Not Harry Reid. The Senate Democratic leader since 2005, and the Senate majority leader since 2007, is not one to reflect before speaking. His mouth runs far ahead of his brain.

 

In recent years Reid has declared an American war “lost” while our troops still fought overseas; praised President Obama for his “light” skin and “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”; asserted falsely and without evidence that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes for a decade; and said “Why would we want to do that?” when asked if he would fund cancer research during the government shutdown.

 

Now, with his majority in danger, his president unpopular, his floor agenda obstructed by members of his own caucus, Reid thrashes about uncontrollably. He calls Obamacare horror stories “untrue.” He says Obamacare numbers are not as high as projected because Americans “are not educated on how to use the Internet.” His Senate Majority PAC launches a $3 million ad campaign tying Republican candidates to two men most Americans have never heard of, two men who, funnily enough, are more popular than Reid.

 

From the floor of the Senate Reid says these two men, Charles and David Koch, are “un-American,” are trying “to buy America.” Without the terrible specter of the Koch brothers Harry Reid would be disarmed. He has no issue for his Democratic Senators to run on; the minimum wage and climate change are not enough. Nor has he another means of inspiring donors to open their checkbooks. He only has fear, fear of the Kochs, fear of extractive industry, fear of the portion of the elite that favors economic freedom. The Koch brothers, Reid says, “rig the system to benefit themselves.” He should know.

 

The fact that Harry Reid’s political and influence operation includes his five children has been established for some time. A few weeks ago, when I first heard Reid accuse private citizens of being un-American, I dredged up a Los Angeles Times article from 2003 with the headline, “In Nevada, the Name to Know Is Reid.” Chuck Neubauer and Richard T. Cooper’s meticulously researched and reported article begins with the story of the “Clark County Conservation of Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002,” a land bill of the sort that puts people to sleep. “What Reid did not explain” when he introduced the bill in the Senate, Neubauer and Cooper wrote, “was that the bill promised a cavalcade of benefits to real estate developers, corporations, and local institutions that were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees to his sons’ and son-in-law’s firms.” I wonder why he left that part out.

 

Firms tied to the Reid family, the Los Angeles Times reported, earned more than $2 million from 1998 to 2002 “from special interests that were represented by the kids and helped by the senator in Washington.” How much more have they earned in the 11 years since this article was published? Land, energy, water, gaming, and mining—the Reids manage a diversified portfolio. They are not financial investors but political ones. Reid’s four sons are lawyers, as is his son-in-law. They make their money furthering the interests of paying clients, clients operating businesses in the state represented by Reid.

 

Those businesses are not necessarily American. After a 2011 trip to China Harry Reid began touting the virtues of ENN Energy Group, a Chinese firm that sought to build a $5 billion solar farm in Nevada. Reid’s son Rory represented ENN, though Rory claimed in a 2012 Bloomberg article never to have discussed “the project with my father or his staff.” Somehow, though, commissioners friendly with the Reid family agreed to sell property to ENN for one-sixth of the land’s appraised value.

 

The senator repeatedly expressed his support for the project. But ENN could not find a customer for its energy, and dropped its plans last June. In another instance Reid pressured Homeland Security officials to approve the visas of Chinese casino investors represented by Rory Reid. Rory’s brothers should not feel left out, however. Hoover Institution scholar Peter Schweizer says Papa Reid has “sponsored at least $47 million in earmarks that directly benefited organizations that one of his sons, Key Reid, either lobbies for or is affiliated with.”

 

Who could have been surprised, then, when the Washington Post in 2012 “uncovered nearly 50 members who helped direct millions of dollars in earmarks to projects that either held the potential to enhance the surroundings of a lawmaker’s own property, or aided entities connected to their immediate family,” and one of those members was Reid. The Post zeroed in on an almost $22 million earmark, passed close to a decade ago, that financed a bridge over the Colorado River. The bridge connects the gambling resorts of Laughlin, Nev., to Bullhead City, Arizona. Harry Reid owns 160 acres in Bullhead.

 

Reid and his family appear to work within the confines of the law, which should not be surprising, because Reid writes that law, and illegal activity hurts the bottom line. Others are not so careful. Last year one of Reid’s longtime donors, Nevada lobbyist Harvey Whittemore, was sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of violating campaign finance laws. Whittemore used associates as “straw donors” to run around donation limits, giving more than $130,000 in dirty money to Reid’s campaign. His sentence is delayed pending appeal.

 

This week we learned that Reid’s willingness to funnel other people’s money to members of his family extends to a third generation. On Wednesday the veteran Nevada journalist Jon Ralston reported that Harry Reid had used $31,000 in campaign funds to buy “gifts for my staff and supporters” from his granddaughter, Rory Reid’s daughter, Ryan Elisabeth Reid, a “performing arts professional” living in Brooklyn.

 

Ryan Reid is the artistic director of the Sprat Theatre Company, which says it receives donations from the likes of the Caesars Foundation, the NV Energy Foundation, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Keep Memory Alive, one Peter Palivos, and the Clinton Global Initiative. The Caesars Foundation is the charitable arm of Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, a Harry Reid contributor. A Caesars spokesman told Real Clear Politics that the Caesars Foundation had funded a proposal from Keep Memory Alive to bring Ryan Reid’s play to Vegas, because she needs the help. Keep Memory Alive and the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health are philanthropies founded by Larry Ruvo, general manager of Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, member of the American Gaming Association board of directors, and donor to Harry Reid’s Searchlight Leadership Fund PAC. Peter Palivos is a Las Vegas developer, Reid donor, onetime client of Rory Reid, and convicted felon. NV Energy is another Reid donor; a spokesman for that company told Real Clear Politics, and should probably tell the Sprat Theatre, that the theatre’s grant proposal is still under consideration. You have heard of the Clintons.

 

I have not seen the Sprat Theatre’s new piece, “One Day in the Life of Henri Shnuffle,” which concerns “moments of the title character’s life, from youth to old age, to demonstrate a fuller understanding of aging, Alzheimer’s, and the way others live,” but I do not doubt for a moment that it is so innovative, so compassionate, so compelling and cathartic that the numerous corporate and private sponsors who are financing its Vegas stint this coming October are writing their checks based totally on merit, without a moment’s thought to who Ryan Reid’s father and granddad are. There can be no other way: We all know the motives of liberal Democrats are pure, their hearts true, their lives guiltless of the favoritism and nepotism and self-interest and ideological blindness of Republicans and conservatives. Harry Reid is willing to go the extra step. He did nothing wrong in handing $31,000 of his donors’ money to his granddaughter, he told reporters, but he plans to reimburse his campaign anyway. What a saint.

 

“I must study politics and war,” John Adams said, “that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.” In Harry Reid’s America a man must win political office so that his sons may have the liberty to practice law and register as lobbyists, engage in rent-seeking and government relations and crisis management and communications, in order to give their children a right to live in Brooklyn, to enroll in the New School, to visit the Vermont Studio Center, to have cronies finance their off-off-off-Broadway shows, to enjoy their allowance from grandpa. This is the arrangement put before the voters this coming Election Day; this is the “system” rigged to benefit the family Reid; this is the configuration of power that Charles and David Koch want to disrupt. How awful of them. How “un-American.”

 

=====================================================

 

REID'S SCANDALS

 

Over the course of his political career, Harry Reid has been implicated in numerous ethics scandals:

 

(1) Real Estate Deals

 

In a 1998 real-estate deal engineered by Jay Brown (a former casino lawyer and a longtime friend of Reid), the senator purchased two undeveloped residential-property lots on Las Vegas’s rapidly growing outskirts for approximately $400,000. Reid bought one of the parcels on his own, and the second one jointly with Brown. One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap supported by Reid.

•In 2001 Reid sold both of his lots for $400,000 to a limited liability corporation created by Jay Brown, but he never disclosed the sale on his annual public ethics report. Nor did he inform Congress that he held any stake in Brown's company. As far as Congress knew, Reid was still the owner of the two lots he had purchased three years earlier.

•In 2004 Brown's company, having negotiated with local officials to rezone the property for a shopping center, sold the land to other developers, and Reid personally took $1.1 million of the proceeds—a $700,000 profit on his initial investment.

•Reid falsely reported the transaction to Congress as a personal land sale. When questioned about the deal during a telephone interview with the Associated Press in October 2006, Reid hung up the phone.

  

(2) Co-Mingling Personal and Political Funds

 

In 2001 Reid paid cash for a $750,000 condominium at the Washington, DC Ritz-Carlton where he currently resides. When he subsequently (in 2002, 2004, and 2005) gave $3,300 in Christmas bonuses to the doorman and other support staff at his building, Reid, in contravention of federal election law, used money that he had acquired from campaign donations rather than his own separate funds.

 

Reid’s campaign falsely listed the bonuses as campaign “salary” expenditures for two of the years in question, and as a “contribution” for the other year. When news of Reid’s misappropriation of campaign funds became public in 2006, the senator’s office said that the listing as “salary” had been a “clerical error.” Added Reid: “I am reimbursing the campaign from my own pocket to prevent this issue from being used in the current campaign season to deflect attention from Republican failures.”

 

(3) Favors for Wealthy Real-Estate Developers

 

In a $286 billion federal transportation bill passed by Congress in 2005, Reid secured $300 million in earmarks for projects in his home state, including $18 million to fund the construction of a bridge spanning the Colorado River. On the Arizona side of that bridge, Reid owned 160 acres of undeveloped land around which many new housing units were being built. The new bridge would cause the value of Reid’s property to skyrocket.

 

Moreover, the circumstances surrounding his acquisition of that land are noteworthy:

 

In 2002, Reid paid $10,000 to a pension fund controlled by his longtime friend, Las Vegas lubricants distributor Clair Haycock. That payment earned the senator full control of the 160-acre parcel of land. Six months later, Reid introduced legislation to address the hardships confronting lubricants dealers whose supplies had been disrupted by the decisions of big oil companies—an issue the Haycock family had previously brought to Reid's attention. As the Los Angeles Times points out: “It is a potential violation of congressional ethics standards for a member to accept anything of value—including a real estate discount—from a person with interests before Congress.”

 

Reid on several occasions has used legislation to move federal land into private hands, and private land into the public realm—invariably portraying these transactions as efforts to preserve scenic and environmentally sensitive areas while making more land available for urban growth.

 

Such was the case with the Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002—a piece of legislation introduced by Reid—which dealt with a variety of boundary shifts and land trades in Nevada. Reid assured his colleagues that the bill was a bipartisan measure that would benefit both the natural environment and the economy in Nevada.

 

“What Reid did not explain,” the Los Angeles Times reported, “was that the bill promised a cavalcade of benefits to real estate developers, corporations and local institutions that were paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees to his sons' and son-in-law's firms.”

 

For example, the Howard Hughes Corporation alone paid $300,000 to the small, Washington-based consulting firm of Reid's son-in-law, Steven Barringer, to promote a provision allowing Hughes to acquire 998 acres of highly valuable federal land situated in the rapidly growing Las Vegas metropolitan area. In federal lobbyist reports, Barringer is listed as one of Hughes's representatives on the measure that Reid introduced.

 

Other provisions of the 2002 bill were intended to benefit (to the tune of several million dollars) a real-estate development headed by Harvey Whittemore, a senior partner in the Nevada law firm that employed all four of Reid's sons. Specifically, Reid intervened to gain monumental government concessions on behalf of Whittemore, who wished to build thousands of homes and numerous golf courses on 43,000 acres of barren land in an area called Coyote Springs, an hour northeast of Las Vegas.

 

This land had a number of federal restrictions on its use: Most notably, one-fourth of it was off-limits to developers because of federal protections for an “endangered” species of desert tortoise that dwelt there; another one-fourth (about 10,500 acres) was government-owned and was subject to a federal power-line right of way; and the Coyote Springs territory as a whole was rife with streams and washes that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had designated as crucial to the health of the desert’s ecosystem, and was therefore generally off-limits to construction.

 

Thanks to Senator Reid’s intercession, however, the Bureau of Land Management agreed to relocate the “endangered” tortoises to an adjacent federal preserve, thereby opening that portion of Coyote Springs to developers. Further, Reid inserted some obscure provisions into a land-management bill that relocated the aforementioned power-line right-of-way corridor by moving it (at no cost to Whittemore) off of Whittemore's property and onto what had theretofore been protected federal wilderness. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Power lines are not permitted on such [federal wilderness] land without congressional approval. In a flurry of technical language, Reid's land bill changed the classification.”

 

At first, it seemed that these maneuvers by Reid would free Whittemore to build on the coveted 10,500-acre parcel previously held by Congress. But the Bureau of Land Management and the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee balked at the deal, and Reid backed away temporarily. Less than two years later, Reid tried allow Whittemore to purchase the Coyote Springs for $160,000—far below market value—but Congress again objected. Finally, Reid negotiated an alternate arrangement where Whittemore was permitted to purchase the land at a fair market rate while the government changed the placement of the corridor.

 

Between 2000 and 2006, Whittemore, his wife, and the Coyote Springs company gave Reid’s senatorial campaign and political action committees at least $45,000. According to the Los Angeles Times: “That included $35,000 for Reid’s leadership PAC, the Searchlight Leadership Fund, which helped him advance as a Senate leader. Most of that money was contributed in 2002 shortly after Reid introduced the Clark County land bill.” In addition, Whittemore gave $5,000 apiece to two of Reid's sons, to finance their efforts to win local seats on the Henderson City Council and the Clark County Board of Commissioners, respectively. The developer also hired one of those sons as his personal lawyer to represent him in his dealings with federal officials.

 

Also profiting from the arrangement negotiated by Reid, which freed up tens of thousands of federal acres for development and annexation, were the governments of three large Nevada cities—Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson. All three were represented by Reid's family members—including his youngest son—who contacted the senator's staff on behalf of their clients.

 

In September 2001, Reid, who candidly condoned lobbying by relatives—on the premise that lobbyists' activities are “very transparent”—sent a letter to his staff explaining that the Senate Ethics Committee had advised him that there was no restriction against a relative lobbying a U.S. senator, and instructing his staff to treat his family members who were lobbyists no better or worse than any other lobbyist. But soon after the Los Angeles Times interviewed him in 2003 about about the lobbying activities his children had conducted during the previous year, Reid did an about-face and decided to ban relatives from lobbying his office. “Sen. Reid has long held that elected leaders must take steps to prevent even the appearance of impropriety,” his chief of staff said in a memo, “and it has become clear this ban is necessary for that reason.”

 

(4) Influence-Peddling in Exchange for Cash

 

Between 2001 and 2004, Reid, in apparent violation of Senate ethics provisions, wrote at least four letters pressing the Bush administration to take action on certain issues of importance to Indian tribes that were clients of the notoriously corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who lobbied on behalf of tribes involved in the gambling casino industry. CBS News reports that “starting in the mid-1990s, he [Abramoff] became a master at showering gifts on lawmakers in return for their votes on legislation and tax breaks favorable to his clients.” Eventually Abramoff was convicted in federal court of corrupting public officials, tax evasion, and fraud, and he served three-and-a-half years in prison.

 

During the 2001-04 period, Abramoff's staff was in regular contact with Reid’s office. Whenever Reid wrote a letter on behalf of the Indian tribes, he collected donations from Abramoff's lobbying partners and clients around the same time period. All told, these donations totaled nearly $68,000. An Associated Press report provides the details:

 

While Abramoff never directly donated to Reid, the lobbyist did instruct one tribe, the Coushattas, to send $5,000 to Reid’s tax-exempt political group, the Searchlight Leadership Fund, in 2002. About the same time, Reid sent a letter to the Interior Department helpful to the tribe, records show.

 

Abramoff sent a list to the tribe entitled “Coushatta Requests” recommending donations to campaigns or groups for 50 lawmakers he claimed were helpful to the tribe. Alongside Reid’s name, Abramoff wrote, “5,000 (Searchlight Leadership Fund) Senate Majority Whip.”

 

Following a pattern seen with Abramoff and Republicans, Abramoff’s Democratic team members often delivered donations to Reid close to key events.

 

Reid himself, along with his Senate counsel Jim Ryan, met with Abramoff deputy Ronald Platt on June 5, 2001, “to discuss timing on [a] minimum wage bill” that affected the Marianas, according to a bill that Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff’s firm, sent the Marianas. Three weeks before the meeting, Greenberg Traurig’s political action committee donated $1,000 to Reid’s Senate re-election committee. Three weeks after the meeting, Platt himself donated $1,000 to Reid....

 

The Marianas, U.S. territorial islands in the Pacific Ocean, were one of Abramoff’s highest-paying clients and were trying to keep their textile industry exempt from most U.S. laws on immigration, labor and pay, including the minimum wage. Many Democrats have long accused the islands of running garment sweatshops. The islands in 2001 had their own minimum wage of $3.05 an hour, and were exempt from the U.S. minimum of $5.15.

 

Republicans were intent on protecting the Marianas’ exemption. Democrats, led by Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Rep. George Miller of California, wanted the Marianas to be covered by the U.S. minimum and crafted a compromise. In February 2001, Kennedy introduced a bill that would have raised the U.S. hourly minimum to $6.65 and would have covered the Marianas....

 

Within a month, Platt began billing for routine contacts and meetings with Reid’s staff, starting with a March 26, 2001 contact with Reid chief of staff Susan McCue to “discuss timing and status of minimum wage legislation,” the billing records say. In all, Platt and a fellow lobbyist reported 21 contacts in 2001 with Reid’s office, mostly with McCue and Ryan.

 

One of the Marianas contacts, listed for May 30, 2001, was with Edward Ayoob, Reid’s legislative counsel. Within a year, Ayoob had left Reid’s office to work for Abramoff’s firm, registering specifically to lobby for the islands as well as several tribes....

 

On March 5, 2002, [Reid] sent a letter to the Interior Department pressing the agency to reject a proposed casino by the Jena band of Choctaw Indians in Louisiana.... The Jena’s proposed casino would have rivaled one already in operation in Louisiana run by the Coushattas, and Abramoff was lobbying to block the Jena. The day after Reid’s letter, the Coushattas wrote a $5,000 check to Reid’s Searchlight group at Abramoff’s suggestion....

 

On Nov. 8, 2002, [Reid] signed a letter with California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein urging Interior Secretary Gale Norton to reject a proposal by the Cuyapaipe Band of Mission Indians to convert land for a health clinic into a casino in southern California. The casino would have competed with the Palm Springs gambling establishment run by the Agua Caliente, one of Abramoff’s tribes.

 

Two weeks later, Reid went to the Senate floor to oppose fellow Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s effort to win congressional approval for a Michigan casino for the Bay Mills Indians, which would have rivaled one already operating by the Saginaw Chippewa represented by Abramoff. “The legislation is fundamentally flawed,” Reid argued, successfully leading the opposition to Stabenow’s proposal.

 

The next month, Reid joined six other Democratic senators in asking President Bush in mid-December 2002 to spend an additional $30 million for Indian school construction. Several Abramoff tribes, including the Saginaw and the Mississippi Choctaw, were seeking federal money for school building.

 

Six weeks after that letter, three Abramoff partners—including Platt and Ayoob—donated a total of $4,000 to Reid’s Senate re-election campaign. Later in 2003, the Agua Caliente contributed $13,500 to Reid’s political groups while the Saginaw chipped in $9,000.

 

Reid sent a fourth letter on April 30, 2003, joining Ensign a second time to urge Interior to reject the Jena casino. Two months later, Abramoff’s firm threw a fundraiser for Reid at its Washington office that netted the Nevada senator several more donations from Greenberg Traurig lobbyists and their spouses. Ayoob was instrumental in staging the event, Reid’s office said.

  

Reid also sponsored a bill to give $100,000 to another tribe represented by Abramoff, because, said the senator, Louisiana lawmakers had sent him a letter requesting it.

 

(5) Accepting Illegal Gifts

 

Between 2003-05, Reid accepted free ringside seats for three professional boxing matches—seats worth between several hundred and several thousand dollars each—from the Nevada Athletic Commission. This occurred at a time when the Commission was trying to influence the senator on federal regulation of boxing. As the Washington Post explained, Reid had been “pressing legislation to increase government oversight of the sport, including the creation of a federal boxing commission that Nevada's agency feared might usurp its authority.”

 

The Senate ethics manual warns against “accepting any gift where it appears that the gift is motivated by a desire to reward, influence, or elicit favorable action.” Reid’s explanation, as the Washington Post paraphrased it, was that he was “simply trying to learn how his legislation might affect an important home state industry.” “Anyone from Nevada would say, 'I'm glad he is there taking care of the state's number one businesses,'” Reid said.

 

(6) Promoting "Green Energy" to Enrich His Family

 

In August 2012, the Las Vegas Review-Journal published a story about how Reid was strong-arming NV Energy, Nevada’s primary electricity provider, to buy more “green energy” from a Chinese solar company named ENN Mojave Energy LLC. This was occurring despite the fact that NV Energy had already exceeded its state-mandated quota for green energy (which generated higher electric bills for customers). “There’s another factor, however,” noted the Review-Journal, “one more personal to Reid: His son, Rory Reid, is one of the attorneys for the ENN Mojave Energy project.... [S]uccess for ENN in finding customers helps Rory Reid, and its failure could cost him a client.”

 

(7) Reid's Donor & Lobbyist Friend Goes to Prison

 

In September 2013, Harry Reid’s close friend and donor, the powerful multimillionaire lobbyist Harvey Whittemore—whom Reid assisted in the aforementioned Coyote Springs matter—was sentenced to two years in prison for having funneled more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Senator Reid’s re-election committee in 2007. Convicted of three felonies, Whittemore was also fined $100,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.

 

(8) Expediting Visa Applications for Foreign Investors

 

In January 2014, the nonpartisan government-accountability organization Cause of Action filed an ethics complaint accusing Reid of violating the Senate's Code of Official Conduct by using his influence to help the politically connected, Las Vegas-based SLS Hotel & Casino—where the senator's son, Rory Reid, and his law firm were legal counsel—get visas for approximately two-dozen Asian investors who were willing to help the hotel fund a major renovation project. Without the visa approvals, the investors would not be permitted to bring their money into the U.S.

 

Initially, in December 2012, career officials inside the Department of Homeland Security had ruled—in what is normally a non-appealable visa decision—that the SLS Hotel request failed to meet the criteria for expedited review. That prompted Reid to personally reach out to Alejandro “Ali” Mayorkas, the top official at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to intervene. According to the Washington Times:

  

"The intervention from Mr. Reid’s staff was so intense at one point a year ago that a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) official reported that it prompted a phone shouting match.... Within a few short weeks of Mr. Reid’s personal intervention, the decision not to expedite the visas was reversed."

  

•) The Inspiration Behind this French Brooch Necklace (•

 

This particular creation was inspired by a French, 13th century gold ring brooch decorated with rubies and sapphires in tall collets encircled with foliage. We have named our own piece with an inscription that was common during this era: "Ami Amet Deli Pencet", which translated from French means "think of a friend who loves you".

 

True to the period we wanted this to be a versatile adornment, so we chose to include a little inspiration from a portrait of Sir Christoper Hatton, circa 1589, in which he wore a cameo suspended from a luxurious set of gold chains around his neck. In our own creation we've substituted the thick chains with fine, gold filgree leaves and stems, cultivating a more delicate art piece to grace a woman's gentle throat, while still being substantial enough for a man.

 

We say "inspired" because we don't recreate pieces, but rather conjure up our own jewelled magic based on the spirit of authentic renaissance adornments that capture our imagination, and that allow us to both explore and share some of the rich, historical context behind them.

 

Jewelry was worn by all ages and genders in the middle ages, and often had functional purposes as well as decorative ones. Pieces were often ornate and elaborate, with courtly love appearing as a central theme in many creations. This is the "intent" that this necklace was infused with during it's creation.

 

As influence increased toward the latter half of the thirteenth century so so the demand for jewellery outside of court circles. As a result, laws were passed in an attempt to prevent the lower classes from wearing jewellery at all. Edward III introduced a law in England in 1363 forbidding the families of artisans and yeoman from wearing "belts,

collars, clasps, rings, garters, brooches, ribbons, chains, bands or seals, or any other thing whatsoever of gold or silver", though this proved a rather difficult thing to enforce. Imagine trying to make that law work in Second Life *grins*

 

Curious about the historical details behind this ring and other jewelry from it's time period? We've shared some of our favourite facts with you on this below.

 

(See the section called: •) This Collection's Historical Roots and Inspirations (• )

  

•) Collection features (•

 

Alchemy is the art of turning something base into something of value, and that's exactly what we have in mind when we dig into the earth for raw metals and stones to conjure up collections of mystical and mythical body art.

 

Our creations draw on an eclectic mix of personal cravings and a desire for authenticity and historical relevance. While many inworld jewellers feature traditional stone cuts, polish and scripted sparkle, we embrace a more natural approach to creation, adopting the beauty of unpredictable earthstone shapes, cabochon cuts and a painstaking attention to the details of natural lighting and shine. We treat our renaissance gems as beautiful pieces of personal, natural art.

 

From baroque trinkets to Byzantine, hammered metal and gusseted jewels, we craft a quixotic mix of personal treasures decadent enough to tantalize the appetites of gypsies, kings and whores.

 

Our second collection draws on the raw decadence of ancient metals and powerful stones, invested with the intent of "courtly love" through a set of real life rituals infused into a delicate sigil concealed against your skin. With a lust for the kind of lavish personal adornment that made Roman and medieval cultures so distinctive in their styles, we set out to drape you in tasteful motifs of jewelled antiquities, metals with rich patinas, delicious age, and a constellation of both powerful and healing talismans and stones.

 

Our "intentional jewelry" is much more than simple adornment. Each piece is a tool that can be used to invoke a level of magic in your own first and second life. A carefully chosen set of first life rituals were used in it's creation, including a combination of incense, oils and candle magic. We anoint our tools (including our computers) with oils blended for consecration, creativity and balance. In the creation of this piece we used both "consecration" and "attraction" oils.

  

Just add magic ...

 

Our "intentional jewelry" is much more than simple adornment. Each piece is a tool that can be used to invoke a level of magic in your own first and second life. A carefully chosen set of first life rituals were used in it's creation, including a combination of incense, oils and candle magic. We anoint our tools (including our computers) with oils blended for consecration, creativity and balance.

 

We've included a little guide to help you understand a bit more about the stones we chose, the planets that they are associated with, and some of the ways that you might use them in your own rituals through this inworld jewelry to invest your intentions.

 

For more information on how we use magic in our work and what our views are regarding magic, please see the "magic" tab on our website for more information. alchemyimmortalis.com

 

The necklace arrives tucked into a bottle of elixir that renames itself and converts to a beautiful alchemy prop when unpacked. We tend to use dual use packagers because we value practicality. Dual use means, once an item or items are unpacked, your unpacker becomes a decorative item. Nifty! It's like recycling. Don't fill up the landfill with prim packaging and risk your mother boxing your ears.

 

The potion bottle that the packaging transforms into is a special edition, containing an authentic Gypsy rose love potion and spell that you can make as part of your own kitchen witchery. We chose this particular potion and spell because of it's relevance to the intention of "courtly love" that this piece of jewelry is infused with.

 

*** Please note that we do NOT advocate using any potion or practice in a way that compromises the free will of/causes harm to another person or thing.

  

And a dash of relentless, loving care ...

 

If your belief system doesn't include magic, we wanted to appeal to your appreciation for realism, quality and thoughtful construction. This item is mostly sculptwork (sculpted prims) so care was taken in minimising LOD falloff by not overstressing the verts. We also used design elements that are more resistant to LOD falloff to camoflague any shortcomings so that enjoyment of this item could be had at reasonable distances.

 

All of the texture work is hand painted on the model directly. The textures are not simply applied but matched to the depressions and curves of every single prim within the design. Although we can easily and realistically cast light using our 3D programme, we hand paint the shadows for a more artistic appearance that better matches our overall sim design and theme. One is not better than the other, as it's like choosing between a photograph and a painting. We actually have a variable mix of both depending on the piece, but tend towards mostly hand painted as it better marries our pieces to our overall sim concept. Each piece you buy from us is crafted as part of a greater whole and lends a finished wholeness to its design.

 

The textures are hand drawn, not photo sourced. Our jewelry is completely created by us and for us, to give our users a rare uniqueness to their items because exclusivity is ultimately what gives a virtual item it's personality when many produced items tend to share particle effect base and texture sources.

 

And a healthy pinch of scripted resource stewardship ...

 

We've scripted this collection to be low lag overall, and anytime we script that is our main objective. We also want something to be extremely easy to use or we know that you simply won't use it. That's no good at all. We like items to move if they are designed to mimic RL elements. The coding behind the scenes is clean and sharp...not very exciting to anyone disinterested in geeky things like that, but believe me when we tell you we celebrate and salivate when we conquer aspects of messy code we've seen inworld in the past. Always expect our items to be cleanly coded, interactive if we can manage it, and have a usefulness beyond simply looking pretty.

  

Here's to living a more magical life!

-- Alchemy and Immortalis Cyannis.

  

•) This Collection's Historical Roots and Inspirations (•

 

Jewelry was worn by all ages and genders in the middle ages, and often had functional purposes as well as decorative ones. Pieces were often ornate and elaborate, with courtly love appearing as a central theme in many creations.

 

As influence increased toward the latter half of the thirteenth century so so the demand for jewellery outside of court circles. As a result, laws were passed in an attempt to prevent the lower classes from wearing jewellery at all. Edward III introduced a law in England in 1363 forbidding the families of artisans and yeoman from wearing "belts, collars, clasps, rings, garters, brooches, ribbons, chains, bands or seals, or any other thing whatsoever of gold or silver", though this proved a rather difficult thing to enforce. Imagine trying to make that law work in Second Life *grins*

 

•) Metals and Stones (•

 

Most medieval jewelry was crafted with gold and silver, decorated with colourful enamels, niello (a black alloy of silver, sulphur and lead) and gemstones. Rubies, sapphires and pearls were favourite choices, and markedly different from the faceted cuts set into jewelry today. Medieval gems were generally polished instead, creating pebble-like shapes with soft pools of colour. This cabochon cut is what gives jewelry from this period such a distinctively rustic look and feel.

 

While the colour of stones added to the beauty of a piece, they were often chosen for their healing or spiritual powers. This was a widely embraced part of the culture during middle ages, and something we personally embrace as we set out to craft new collections of "intentionally created" jewelled art at Alchemy Immortalis.

 

•) Magical Properties and Healing Powers (•

 

Much was written about these powers, including eleventh century references to stones such as sapphires, which were considered to possess the power to protect one against physical injury, fear, fraud and envy, and also to protect one's chastity. While sapphires were revered for their significance as a sign of peace and reconciliation, they were also thought to have the ability to promote the healing of ulcers, eye conditions and headaches. Some gemstones contained fossilized fish teeth (known as toadstones), and were also embedded into jewelry because they were thought to have similar healing powers.

 

You will sometimes find that stones have been drilled. This was done in the belief that it would increase the effectiveness of the stone's power.

 

Because of this belief in the magical and healing properties of many stones, they were often set into jewelry in a way that provided direct contact with the skin. Open-backed settings were a common feature of rings and pendants, thought to increase the effectiveness of a stone's magical or healing powers.

 

In addition to precious stones, other substances were sometimes used to infuse jewelry with special powers. For instance, the "unicorn horn" -- the name given to the horn of the dolphin-like Narwhal at the time -- was sometimes cut into semi-circular pieces and mounted on gold chains as a means of detecting poison.

 

•) Pendants (•

 

Pendants were prolific during the Renaissance, and again worn by both genders and all ages. Men and children tended to wear them hung on a chain around their neck, while women often fixed them to their girdles, bodices, sleeves or ruffles with ribbons or pins. Intended to hang freely, the backs were often as ornately decorated as the fronts.

 

Artisans of the time tended to craft pendants out of gold and enamels, generously nestled in beds of precious stones, such as diamonds or ambergris, and the naturally shaped baroque pearls which became wildly popular at the end of the 16th century.

 

•) Design as a Nod to an Expanding World (•

 

The beginning of the sixteenth century was marked by the excitement of exploration by sea, and the wild and perilous journeys embarked on to trade with distant continents. This was celebrated in the crafting of elaborately jewelled pieces that included galleons, sea monsters and mermaids at the time.

 

•) Personal Expression (•

 

People living in the renaissance often chose pieces of jewelry for the same reasons that many of us do today: as an expression of some unique aspect of their personality or the things they care most about. As we do now, people would sometimes choose jewelled pieces bearing an animal or symbol as a nod to some personal context or joke.

 

Certain animals and talismans had particular significance at the time. For instance, the "salamander" was considered to be a sign of passionate love, as it was believed to thrive in fire. Cupid was another popular symbol during this time, often found on pendants as a sign of courtly love.

 

Insignias were also a popular form of symbolic personal decoration, with the initials of a husband and wife perhaps being engraved into a ring or pendant in celebration of marriage.

 

•) All Roads Lead to Rome (•

 

A revived interest in the arts of ancient Greece and Rome had a heavy influence in the design of much renaissance jewelry. Pediments and pillars were motifs borrowed from

ancient architecture. Historical figures and characters from mythology came to life again through elaborately designed pieces of jewelry bearing their likeness carved into cameos and elements of gold. While religion had long been a major influence in personal adornment, mythical figures such as Hercules, Cupid, Apollo, Daphne, Leda and the Swan began to take their place as prominent fixtures in jeweled art.

 

Greek and Roman craftsman had created highly prized pieces engraved into carnelian and other stones. Carved Byzantine pieces were similarly valued antiquities. The Renaissance fueled a renewed dedication to this intricate art, inspiring a prolific collection of cameos, where the design is carved in relief, and intaglios where the design is a more subtle etching into the surface of a gem.

 

While a variety of gemstones and even shells were sometimes used for these pieces, multi-layered onyx and sardonyx were the preferred materials for this time period, revealing

contrasting shades of glossy brown and white.

  

•) A Guide on the Powers and Use of the Stones(•

 

Ruby

 

Rubies are associated with Mars, which rules physical strength and symbolizes predominantly male energy. Philosophically, Mars represents a need to temper primal urges while at the same to embracing the fire within. Rubies can give the wearer clairvoyance and guards against deception.

 

A ruby can can be useful at times when you want to summon up strength, energy, creativity, sexuality, confidence, courage, adventure. It can also be a helpful stone to set in order to draw success to you when engaging in sports or combat, or entering a new venture that has high risk.

 

The Ruby is a powerful heart stone, healing the heart, protecting against the loss of heart energy, and dissolving emotional congestion. Rubies heal and balance emotions, making you more emotionally aware and helping you to connect with others emotionally. Rubies have an intense and vivid energy, stimulating loving emotions, helping with the expression of love, and facilitating states of passion and bliss.

 

Rubies can also be used to shield you against psychic and emotion attacks. They're a good stone for Aries, Leo and Cancer.

 

Sapphire

 

Sapphires are associated with the planet Jupiter, whose historical alchemical value was it's optimistic characteristics. Jupiter was often called on to temper Saturn's dark moods, and tends to be recognized as a planet of the higher mind. It also represents generosity, goodness and opportunity.

 

Much was written about the powers of stones in the middle ages, including eleventh century references to sapphires, which were considered to possess the power to protect one against physical injury, fear, fraud and envy, and also to protect one's chastity. While sapphires were revered for their significance as a sign of peace and reconciliation, they were also thought to have the ability to promote the healing of ulcers, eye conditions and headaches. Some gemstones contained fossilized fish teeth (known as toadstones), and were also embedded into jewelry because they were thought to have similar healing powers.

 

You will sometimes find that stones have been drilled. This was done in the belief that it would increase the effectiveness of the stone's power.

 

Because of this belief in the magical and healing properties of many stones, they were often set into jewelry in a way that provided direct contact with the skin. Open-backed settings were a common feature of rings and pendants, thought to increase the effectiveness of a stone's magical or healing powers.

 

Jupiter is known as the 'great teacher'. It is associated with wisdom, optimism and honour. It's stones, including sapphires, are associated with higher education, religion, law, philosophy, gurus, rules, law, judges and physicians. These stones are also used in rituals focusing on humanitarian and protecting roles, your values, beliefs, friends and aspirations.

 

They are also used in business and personal rituals based on the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity and good fortune, as well as those focusing on your inner sense of justice and morality, your ideals and higher goals, and mercy.

 

In healing sapphires govern blood and have traditionally been used for rituals involving the liver, pituitary gland and the disposition of fats.

 

Jupiter stones also govern long distance and foreign travel, adventurers, languages and foreign cultures. They are associated with the urge for freedom and exploration, fun and laughter, joy, confidence, optimism, generosity and even sports.

 

You might choose to set the stones in your jewelry to sapphires when you want to focus on financial aspects in your life, or at the start of new undertakings when you are focusing on activities of expansion, philanthropy, gain and increase. They are also used when you are seeking favors from grandparents, aunts and uncles, advisers (doctors, lawyers, accountants, astrologers). You may also use them when you are seeking advice or consultation, including in settling disputes.

 

Bloodstone

 

Like a Ruby, Bloodstone (also known as Heliotrope) is associated with Mars, which rules physical strength and symbolizes predominantly male energy. Philosophically, Mars represents a need to temper primal urges while at the same to embracing the fire within. Bloodstone can give the wearer clairvoyance and guards against deception.

 

It can be useful at times when you want to summon up strength, energy, creativity, sexuality, confidence, courage, adventure. It can also be a helpful stone to set in order to draw success to you when engaging in sports or combat, or entering a new venture that has high risk.

 

Legend suggests that Bloodstone was first formed by drops of blood staining the stones at the foot of the cross at Christ's crucifixion. It is a powerful healing stone, valuable for grounding negative energy and cleansing the body. It can be used to increase enery and strength, and in helping to overcome fearfulness

and worry.

 

You can also set Bloodstone when you want to enhance intuition and creativity, or to combat fatigue, irritability and confusion.

 

Carnelian

 

Carnelian is a stone associated with both the Sun and Mercury. It provides a great stablizing energy, protecting the wearer against envy, fear and rage, and helping to banish sorrow. It can be used in rituals where courage is required to make big decisions and launch new ventures, drawing prosperity.

 

As a sun stone it can also be used for healing and health, and it's alignment with Mercury can be particularly helpful when healing nervous disorders. Sun stones can also be used to summon up the kinds of creative forces that give vitality to endeavors such as acting and the stage, hobbies and activities marking the fun side of life.

 

This stone can also be set when summoning favours from friends or those in a position of authority over you.

 

As a stone associated with Mercury it can pave the way for success in forms of communication such as writing, journalism and giving speeches, as well as fuel success in studies and education. It can be empowering when seeking a new job, and where a reflectivity and rational thinking is required.

 

Hematite

 

Hematite is associated with Saturn, and is a very protective and detoxifying stone. Lore suggests that hematite was formed from drops of dragons blood.

 

It's known as the "stone of the mind", enhancing memory, original thinking and technical knowledge. It can help focus energy and dissolve negativity, calming and grounding you during times of stress or worry.

 

Hematite can also be used to help you find your own gifts and to release any limitations that you may have imposed on yourself. Set Hematite when in need of balance and equilibrium, or when having difficulty focusing energies.

 

While Saturn at times played a role in more sinister alchemical processes, it also represents order and a gravitational pull to balance and moderation. Alchemists drew on the power of Saturn when they wanted to take matters into their own hands, so using it's associated stones can reinforce the desire to call your own energy into focus in a very powerful way.

 

As a stone of Saturn, hematite can be used in rituals where you want to summon physical or emotional endurance and patience during hardships. You can set it when you want to give up bad habits and unhealthy choices, and make repairs.

 

It can be invoked in a focus on longterm goals, gains and planning, including career longevity, rewards and investments.

 

Saturn's stones can also be used when seeking favours from elders who we are not related to, or from difficult people.

 

It can also be used to attract "kind" love.

  

SS.......THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 2008 AS YOU CAN SEE NOW IN 2014.....IT'S ALL WORKING PERFECTLY ........ONE FAKE PHONY CRISIS INCIDENT AND MANIPULATION OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AT A TIME..THE PLANNED AND WELL ORCHESTRATED DESTRUCTION OF GOVERNMENT AND IT'S INSTITUTIONS...(OBAMA USED TO TEACH A CLASS IN IT).............AND IT'S DESTROYING YOUR COUNTRY THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE AND SEIZING YOUR FREEDOM ..............AND MOST OF YOU DON'T EVEN SEE IT HAPPENING ..................

  

September 28, 2008

 

Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

 

By James Simpson

  

Cloward Piven Strategy

      

America waits with bated breath while Washington struggles to bring the U.S. economy back from the brink of disaster. But many of those same politicians caused the crisis, and if left to their own devices will do so again.

  

Despite the mass media news blackout, a series of books, talk radio and the blogosphere have managed to expose Barack Obama's connections to his radical mentors -- Weather Underground bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis and others. David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks.org have also contributed a wealth of information and have noted Obama's radical connections since the beginning.

  

Yet, no one to my knowledge has yet connected all the dots between Barack Obama and the Radical Left. When seen together, the influences on Obama's life comprise a who's who of the radical leftist movement, and it becomes painfully apparent that not only is Obama a willing participant in that movement, he has spent most of his adult life deeply immersed in it.

  

But even this doesn't fully describe the extreme nature of this candidate. He can be tied directly to a malevolent overarching strategy that has motivated many, if not all, of the most destructive radical leftist organizations in the United States since the 1960s.

  

The Cloward-Piven Strategy of Orchestrated Crisis

  

In an earlier post, I noted the liberal record of unmitigated legislative disasters, the latest of which is now being played out in the financial markets before our eyes. Before the 1994 Republican takeover, Democrats had sixty years of virtually unbroken power in Congress - with substantial majorities most of the time. Can a group of smart people, studying issue after issue for years on end, with virtually unlimited resources at their command, not come up with a single policy that works? Why are they chronically incapable?

  

Why?

  

One of two things must be true. Either the Democrats are unfathomable idiots, who ignorantly pursue ever more destructive policies despite decades of contrary evidence, or they understand the consequences of their actions and relentlessly carry on anyway because they somehow benefit.

  

I submit to you they understand the consequences. For many it is simply a practical matter of eliciting votes from a targeted constituency at taxpayer expense; we lose a little, they gain a lot, and the politician keeps his job. But for others, the goal is more malevolent - the failure is deliberate. Don't laugh. This method not only has its proponents, it has a name: the Cloward-Piven Strategy. It describes their agenda, tactics, and long-term strategy.

  

The Strategy was first elucidated in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation magazine by a pair of radical socialist Columbia University professors, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. David Horowitz summarizes it as:

  

The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The "Cloward-Piven Strategy" seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

  

Cloward and Piven were inspired by radical organizer [and Hillary Clinton mentor] Saul Alinsky:

  

"Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules," Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system's failure to "live up" to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist "rule book" with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)

  

Newsmax rounds out the picture:

  

Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation's wealth.

  

In their Nation article, Cloward and Piven were specific about the kind of "crisis" they were trying to create:

  

By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.

  

No matter where the strategy is implemented, it shares the following features:

 

1.The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can.

2.The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits.

3.The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse.

  

Capitalizing on the racial unrest of the 1960s, Cloward and Piven saw the welfare system as their first target. They enlisted radical black activist George Wiley, who created the National Welfare Reform Organization (NWRO) to implement the strategy. Wiley hired militant foot soldiers to storm welfare offices around the country, violently demanding their "rights." According to a City Journal article by Sol Stern, welfare rolls increased from 4.3 million to 10.8 million by the mid-1970s as a result, and in New York City, where the strategy had been particularly successful, "one person was on the welfare rolls... for every two working in the city's private economy."

  

According to another City Journal article titled "Compassion Gone Mad":

  

The movement's impact on New York City was jolting: welfare caseloads, already climbing 12 percent a year in the early sixties, rose by 50 percent during Lindsay's first two years; spending doubled... The city had 150,000 welfare cases in 1960; a decade later it had 1.5 million.

  

The vast expansion of welfare in New York City that came of the NWRO's Cloward-Piven tactics sent the city into bankruptcy in 1975. Rudy Giuliani cited Cloward and Piven by name as being responsible for "an effort at economic sabotage." He also credited Cloward-Piven with changing the cultural attitude toward welfare from that of a temporary expedient to a lifetime entitlement, an attitude which in-and-of-itself has caused perhaps the greatest damage of all.

  

Cloward and Piven looked at this strategy as a gold mine of opportunity. Within the newly organized groups, each offensive would find an ample pool of foot soldier recruits willing to advance its radical agenda at little or no pay, and expand its base of reliable voters, legal or otherwise. The radicals' threatening tactics also would accrue an intimidating reputation, providing a wealth of opportunities for extorting monetary and other concessions from the target organizations. In the meantime, successful offensives would create an ever increasing drag on society. As they gleefully observed:

  

Moreover, this kind of mass influence is cumulative because benefits are continuous. Once eligibility for basic food and rent grants is established, the drain on local resources persists indefinitely.

  

The next time you drive through one of the many blighted neighborhoods in our cities, or read of the astronomical crime, drug addiction, and out-of-wedlock birth rates, or consider the failed schools, strapped police and fire resources of every major city, remember Cloward and Piven's thrill that "...the drain on local resources persists indefinitely."

  

ACORN, the new tip of the Cloward-Piven spear

  

In 1970, one of George Wiley's protégés, Wade Rathke -- like Bill Ayers, a member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) -- was sent to found the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now. While NWRO had made a good start, it alone couldn't accomplish the Cloward-Piven goals. Rathke's group broadened the offensive to include a wide array of low income "rights." Shortly thereafter they changed "Arkansas" to "Association of" and ACORN went nationwide.

  

Today ACORN is involved in a wide array of activities, including housing, voting rights, illegal immigration and other issues. According to ACORN's website: "ACORN is the nation's largest grassroots community organization of low-and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country," It is perhaps the largest radical group in the U.S. and has been cited for widespread criminal activity on many fronts.

  

Voting

  

On voting rights, ACORN and its voter mobilization subsidiary, Project Vote, have been involved nationwide in efforts to grant felons the vote and lobbied heavily for the Motor Voter Act of 1993, a law allowing people to register at motor vehicle departments, schools, libraries and other public places. That law had been sought by Cloward and Piven since the early1980s and they were present, standing behind President Clinton at the signing ceremony.

  

ACORN's voter rights tactics follow the Cloward-Piven Strategy:

 

•1. Register as many Democrat voters as possible, legal or otherwise and help them vote, multiple times if possible.

•2. Overwhelm the system with fraudulent registrations using multiple entries of the same name, names of deceased, random names from the phone book, even contrived names.

•3. Make the system difficult to police by lobbying for minimal identification standards.

  

In this effort, ACORN sets up registration sites all over the country and has been frequently cited for turning in fraudulent registrations, as well as destroying republican applications. In the 2004-2006 election cycles alone, ACORN was accused of widespread voter fraud in 12 states. It may have swung the election for one state governor.

  

ACORN's website brags: "Since 2004, ACORN has helped more than 1.7 million low- and moderate-income and minority citizens apply to register to vote." Project vote boasts 4 million. I wonder how many of them are dead? For the 2008 cycle, ACORN and Project Vote have pulled out all the stops. Given their furious nationwide effort, it is not inconceivable that this presidential race could be decided by fraudulent votes alone.

  

Barack Obama ran ACORN's Project Vote in Chicago and his highly successful voter registration drive was credited with getting the disgraced former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun elected. Newsmax reiterates Cloward and Piven's aspirations for ACORN's voter registration efforts:

  

By advocating massive, no-holds-barred voter registration campaigns, they [Cloward & Piven] sought a Democratic administration in Washington, D.C. that would re-distribute the nation's wealth and lead to a totalitarian socialist state.

  

Illegal Immigration

  

As I have written elsewhere, the Radical Left's offensive to promote illegal immigration is "Cloward-Piven on steroids." ACORN is at the forefront of this movement as well, and was a leading organization among a broad coalition of radical groups, including Soros' Open Society Institute, the Service Employees International Union (ACORN founder Wade Rathke also runs a SEIU chapter), and others, that became the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. CCIR fortunately failed to gain passage for the 2007 illegal immigrant amnesty bill, but its goals have not changed.

  

The burden of illegal immigration on our already overstressed welfare system has been widely documented. Some towns in California have even been taken over by illegal immigrant drug cartels. The disease, crime and overcrowding brought by illegal immigrants places a heavy burden on every segment of society and every level of government, threatening to split this country apart at the seams. In the meantime, radical leftist efforts to grant illegal immigrants citizenship guarantee a huge pool of new democrat voters. With little border control, terrorists can also filter in.

  

Obama aided ACORN as their lead attorney in a successful suit he brought against the Illinois state government to implement the Motor Voter law there. The law had been resisted by Republican Governor Jim Edgars, who feared the law was an opening to widespread vote fraud.

  

His fears were warranted as the Motor Voter law has since been cited as a major opportunity for vote fraud, especially for illegal immigrants, even terrorists. According to the Wall Street Journal: "After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote..."

  

ACORN's dual offensives on voting and illegal immigration are handy complements. Both swell the voter rolls with reliable democrats while assaulting the country ACORN seeks to destroy with overwhelming new problems.

  

Mortgage Crisis

  

And now we have the mortgage crisis, which has sent a shock wave through Wall Street and panicked world financial markets like no other since the stock market crash of 1929. But this is a problem created in Washington long ago. It originated with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), signed into law in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter. The CRA was Carter's answer to a grassroots activist movement started in Chicago, and forced banks to make loans to low income, high risk customers. PhD economist and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm has called it: "a vast extortion scheme against the nation's banks."

  

ACORN aggressively sought to expand loans to low income groups using the CRA as a whip. Economist Stan Leibowitz wrote in the New York Post:

  

In the 1980s, groups such as the activists at ACORN began pushing charges of "redlining"-claims that banks discriminated against minorities in mortgage lending. In 1989, sympathetic members of Congress got the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act amended to force banks to collect racial data on mortgage applicants; this allowed various studies to be ginned up that seemed to validate the original accusation.

  

In fact, minority mortgage applications were rejected more frequently than other applications-but the overwhelming reason wasn't racial discrimination, but simply that minorities tend to have weaker finances.

  

ACORN showed its colors again in 1991, by taking over the House Banking Committee room for two days to protest efforts to scale back the CRA. Obama represented ACORN in the Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 1994 suit against redlining. Most significant of all, ACORN was the driving force behind a 1995 regulatory revision pushed through by the Clinton Administration that greatly expanded the CRA and laid the groundwork for the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac borne financial crisis we now confront. Barack Obama was the attorney representing ACORN in this effort. With this new authority, ACORN used its subsidiary, ACORN Housing, to promote subprime loans more aggressively.

  

As a New York Post article describes it:

  

A 1995 strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act required banks to find ways to provide mortgages to their poorer communities. It also let community activists intervene at yearly bank reviews, shaking the banks down for large pots of money.

  

Banks that got poor reviews were punished; some saw their merger plans frustrated; others faced direct legal challenges by the Justice Department.

  

Flexible lending programs expanded even though they had higher default rates than loans with traditional standards. On the Web, you can still find CRA loans available via ACORN with "100 percent financing . . . no credit scores . . . undocumented income . . . even if you don't report it on your tax returns." Credit counseling is required, of course.

  

Ironically, an enthusiastic Fannie Mae Foundation report singled out one paragon of nondiscriminatory lending, which worked with community activists and followed "the most flexible underwriting criteria permitted." That lender's $1 billion commitment to low-income loans in 1992 had grown to $80 billion by 1999 and $600 billion by early 2003.

  

The lender they were speaking of was Countrywide, which specialized in subprime lending and had a working relationship with ACORN.

  

Investor's Business Daily added:

  

The revisions also allowed for the first time the securitization of CRA-regulated loans containing subprime mortgages. The changes came as radical "housing rights" groups led by ACORN lobbied for such loans. ACORN at the time was represented by a young public-interest lawyer in Chicago by the name of Barack Obama. (Emphasis, mine.)

  

Since these loans were to be underwritten by the government sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the implicit government guarantee of those loans absolved lenders, mortgage bundlers and investors of any concern over the obvious risk. As Bloomberg reported: "It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit."

  

And if you think Washington policy makers cared about ACORN's negative influence, think again. Before this whole mess came down, a Democrat-sponsored bill on the table would have created an "Affordable Housing Trust Fund," granting ACORN access to approximately $500 million in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac revenues with little or no oversight.

  

Even now, unbelievably -- on the brink of national disaster -- Democrats have insisted ACORN benefit from bailout negotiations! Senator Lindsay Graham reported last night (9/25/08) in an interview with Greta Van Susteren of On the Record that Democrats want 20 percent of the bailout money to go to ACORN!

  

This entire fiasco represents perhaps the pinnacle of ACORN's efforts to advance the Cloward-Piven Strategy and is a stark demonstration of the power they wield in Washington.

  

Enter Barack Obama

  

In attempting to capture the significance of Barack Obama's Radical Left connections and his relation to the Cloward Piven strategy, I constructed following flow chart. It is by no means complete. There are simply too many radical individuals and organizations to include them all here. But these are perhaps the most significant.

  

Cloward Piven Strategy

  

The chart puts Barack Obama at the epicenter of an incestuous stew of American radical leftism. Not only are his connections significant, they practically define who he is. Taken together, they constitute a who's who of the American radical left, and guiding all is the Cloward-Piven strategy.

  

Conspicuous in their absence are any connections at all with any other group, moderate, or even mildly leftist. They are all radicals, firmly bedded in the anti-American, communist, socialist, radical leftist mesh.

  

Saul Alinsky

  

Most people are unaware that Barack Obama received his training in "community organizing" from Saul Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation. But he did. In and of itself that marks his heritage and training as that of a radical activist. One really needs go no further. But we have.

  

Bill Ayers

  

Obama objects to being associated with SDS bomber Bill Ayers, claiming he is being smeared with "guilt by association." But they worked together at the Woods Fund. The Wall Street Journal added substantially to our knowledge by describing in great detail Obama's work over five years with SDS bomber Bill Ayers on the board of a non-profit, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, to push a radical agenda on public school children. As Stanley Kurtz states:

  

"...the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago."

  

Also included in the mix is Theresa Heinz Kerry's favorite charity, the Tides Foundation. A partial list of Tides grants tells you all you need to know: ACLU, ACORN, Center for American Progress, Center for Constitutional Rights (a communist front,) CAIR, Earth Justice, Institute for Policy Studies (KGB spy nest), National Lawyers Guild (oldest communist front in U.S.), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and practically every other radical group there is. ACORN's Wade Rathke runs a Tides subsidiary, the Tides Center.

  

Carl Davidson and the New Party

  

We have heard about Bomber Bill, but we hear little about fellow SDS member Carl Davidson. According to Discover the Networks, Davidson was an early supporter of Barack Obama and a prominent member of Chicago's New Party, a synthesis of CPUSA members, Socialists, ACORN veterans and other radicals. Obama sought and received the New Party's endorsement, and they assisted with his campaign. The New Party also developed a strong relationship with ACORN. As an excellent article on the New Party observes: "Barack Obama knew what he was getting into and remains an ideal New Party candidate."

  

George Soros

  

The chart also suggests the reason for George Soros' fervent support of Obama. The President of his Open Society Institute is Aryeh Neier, founder of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). As mentioned above, three other former SDS members had extensive contact with Obama: Bill Ayers, Carl Davidson and Wade Rathke. Surely Aryeh Neier would have heard from his former colleagues of the promising new politician. More to the point, Neier is firmly committed to supporting the hugely successful radical organization, ACORN, and would be certain back their favored candidate, Barack Obama.

  

ACORN

  

Obama has spent a large portion of his professional life working for ACORN or its subsidiaries, representing ACORN as a lawyer on some of its most critical issues, and training ACORN leaders. Stanley Kurtz's excellent National Review article, "Inside Obama's Acorn." also describes Obama's ACORN connection in detail. But I can't improve on Obama's own words:

  

I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career (emphasis added). Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work. - Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007 (Courtesy Newsmax.)

  

In another excellent article on Obama's ACORN connections, Newsmax asks a nagging question:

  

It would be telling to know if Obama, during his years at Columbia, had occasion to meet Cloward and study the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

  

I ask you, is it possible ACORN would train Obama to take leadership positions within ACORN without telling him what he was training for? Is it possible ACORN would put Obama in leadership positions without clueing him into what his purpose was?? Is it possible that this most radical of organizations would put someone in charge of training its trainers, without him knowing what it was he was training them for?

  

As a community activist for ACORN; as a leadership trainer for ACORN; as a lead organizer for ACORN's Project Vote; as an attorney representing ACORN's successful efforts to impose Motor Voter regulations in Illinois; as ACORN's representative in lobbying for the expansion of high risk housing loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the current crisis; as a recipient of their assistance in his political campaigns -- both with money and campaign workers; it is doubtful that he was unaware of ACORN's true goals. It is doubtful he was unaware of the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

  

Fast-forward to 2005 when an obsequious, servile and scraping Daniel Mudd, CEO of Fannie Mae spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus swearing in ceremony for newly-elected Illinois Senator, Barack Obama. Mudd called, the Congressional Black Caucus "our family" and "the conscience of Fannie Mae."

  

In 2005, Republicans sought to rein in Fannie and Freddie. Senator John McCain was at the forefront of that effort. But it failed due to an intense lobbying effort put forward by Fannie and Freddie.

  

In his few years as a U.S. senator, Obama has received campaign contributions of $126,349, from Fannie and Freddie, second only to the $165,400 received by Senator Chris Dodd, who has been getting donations from them since 1988. What makes Obama so special?

  

His closest advisers are a dirty laundry list of individuals at the heart of the financial crisis: former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson; Former Fannie Mae CEO and former Clinton Budget Director Frank Raines; and billionaire failed Superior Bank of Chicago Board Chair Penny Pritzker.

  

Johnson had to step down as adviser on Obama's V.P. search after this gem came out:

  

An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report[1] from September 2004 found that, during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998.[2] A 2006 OFHEO report[3] found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Originally reported as $6-7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million.

  

Obama denies ties to Raines but the Washington Post calls him a member of "Obama's political circle." Raines and Johnson were fined $3 million by the Office of Federal Housing Oversight for their manipulation of Fannie books. The fine is small change however, compared to the $50 million Raines was able to obtain in improper bonuses as a result of juggling the books.

  

Most significantly, Penny Pritzker, the current Finance Chairperson of Obama's presidential campaign helped develop the complicated investment bundling of subprime securities at the heart of the meltdown. She did so in her position as shareholder and board chair of Superior Bank. The Bank failed in 2001, one of the largest in recent history, wiping out $50 million in uninsured life savings of approximately 1,400 customers. She was named in a RICO class action law suit but doesn't seem to have come out of it too badly.

  

As a young attorney in the 1990s, Barack Obama represented ACORN in Washington in their successful efforts to expand Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) authority. In addition to making it easier for ACORN groups to force banks into making risky loans, this also paved the way for banks like Superior to package mortgages as investments, and for the Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to underwrite them. These changes created the conditions that ultimately lead to the current financial crisis.

  

Did they not know this would occur? Were these smart people, led by a Harvard graduate, unaware of the Econ 101 concept of moral hazard that would result from the government making implicit guarantees to underwrite private sector financial risk? They should have known that freeing the high-risk mortgage market of risk, calamity was sure to ensue. I think they did.

  

Barack Obama, the Cloward-Piven candidate, no matter how he describes himself, has been a radical activist for most of his political career. That activism has been in support of organizations and initiatives that at their heart seek to tear the pillars of this nation asunder in order to replace them with their demented socialist vision. Their influence has spread so far and so wide that despite their blatant culpability in the current financial crisis, they are able to manipulate Capital Hill politicians to cut them into $140 billion of the bailout pie!

  

God grant those few responsible yet remaining in Washington, DC the strength to prevent this massive fraud from occurring. God grant them the courage to stand up in the face of this Marxist tidal wave.

 

www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_stra...

Illicit Financial Flows (Dirty Money) and Safe Havens as Enablers of Transnational Organized Crime

  

Remarks

David M. Luna

Director for Anticrime Programs , Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

American Society of Criminology 2012 Annual Meeting, Enablers of Organized Crime Session

Chicago, IL

November 17, 2012

 

________________________________________

As prepared

Good morning.

It is good to be here this morning at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), joining Dr. Ernesto Savona, Director of Transcrime and Professor of Criminology at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, and other distinguished colleagues to discuss enablers of organized crime and the global illegal economy.

I would like to thank the ASC for inviting me to Chicago this week, and I particularly commend Rob Wainwright, Director of EUROPOL, and Dr. Savona for their leadership this year in producing a report under the auspices of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Organized Crime on the chief enablers of organized crime.

While the panel collectively will focus on issues related to cybercrime and internet insecurity, money laundering, and free trade zones, I would like to address an issue that is of increasing concern to those charged with protecting businesses and communities around the world: illicit financial hubs and how the provision of legal and professional services, either wittingly or unwittingly, facilitates the laundering of dirty money through illicit financial transactions. Such activities corrupt the integrity of financial systems around the world and the vitality of legitimate markets.

Money is the common denominator of every type of illicit activity, from terrorism to wildlife trafficking. If kleptocrats, criminal organizations, and terrorists cannot launder their money, they will have a harder time spending it, thereby decreasing their ability to finance their illicit activities and enjoy their wealth.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), kleptocrats and criminal entrepreneurs hide the proceeds of their crimes in legal structures such as offshore shell companies and foundations and then launder most of thatthrough financial institutions into the global financial system. As a result, illicit financial flows are flooding financial centers such as Dubai, London, New York City, Hong Kong, Sydney, and others.

There are instances where facilitators, or gatekeepers, use their expertise and credibility as industry professionals, such as bankers, lawyers, accountants, and other professional service providers, to facilitate and promote illegal financial activity. These corrupt professionals knowingly or through ‘willful blindness’ use their positions to enable criminal activity by facilitating the introduction and movement of illicit funds in the U.S. financial system, often by circumventing the compliance regimes designed to prevent and detect this activity. With the help of the facilitators, criminals are able to disguise the source of dirty money and secure the means to commit more crimes.

The same kinds of entities that, when corrupted, can become the principal facilitators of illicit financial flows, are also the greatest threat to the criminals themselves when they increase their compliance, strengthen internal controls, undertake due diligence to verify beneficial owners when establishing a business relationship with their customers, and expand their corporate social responsibility to protect against illicit actors that abuse their services and damage the integrity of the global financial system.

According to a UNODC Research Report published in 2011, an estimated $1.6 trillion was laundered in the global financial system, of which an estimated $580 billion is related to drug trafficking and other transnational criminal activities. Studies such as these further illuminate the dark corners of the illegal economy and the tangled pathways of illicit trade.

Illicit money flows into the United States through conduits, including facilitators allowing access to the financial system or financial institutions ignoring their anti-money laundering obligations. These illicit channels allow kleptocrats, criminals, and in some cases terrorists or their sympathizers, to inject billions of dollars of illicit wealth into the stream of licit commerce and business, corrupting markets, financial institutions, officials, and communities.

To illustrate the extent of dirty money entering global financial and capital markets, let’s examine a couple of recent U.S. law enforcement cases. In March 2010, Wachovia Bank, one of the largest banks in the United States, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice. Wachovia was charged with willfully failing to maintain an anti-money laundering program from May 2003 through June 2008, in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act. During this time, it failed to effectively monitor for potential money laundering activity involving more than $420 billion in cross-border financial transactions with high-risk Mexican currency exchange houses, including millions of dollars used to purchase airplanes for drug cartels. As part of the agreement, the bank agreed to forfeit $110 million to the United States, which represents proceeds of illegal narcotics sales that were laundered through Wachovia, and FinCEN also assessed a $110 million civil money.

In another recent case, MoneyGram International Inc.— a global money services business—entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice this month and agreed to forfeit $100 million. MoneyGram admitted to criminally aiding and abetting wire fraud and failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.

Ladies and gentlemen, convergence defines the global economy today. The world we live in is one in which legal business transactions and legitimate commerce both facilitate and feed off the illegal economy; one in which illegal arms brokers and narcotics kingpins are acting in practice as the new CEOs and venture capitalists. From Wall Street to other financial centers across the globe, illicit networks are infiltrating and corrupting licit markets.

In the process, they are preventing fair and open markets from reaching their full economic potential, and, in the developing world, keeping communities from building the markets and investment frontiers of tomorrow.

The bottom line: As long as illicit networks are able to launder their money and continue to enjoy the proceeds of their criminal ventures, they are contributing to:

•Insecurity and destabilization in many of today’s geopolitical hot spots;

•Continued looting of national wealth by kleptocrats;

•Weakening the state of the global economy and financial markets;

•Economic stagnation, as criminals sell counterfeit apparel, luxury goods, cigarettes, alcohol, and other goods directly to communities, without any revenue to finance economic development or social services;

•The deterioration of public health, as well as the lives of individuals, as counterfeit medicines appear on streets or on the internet across the developed and developing world, killing people, denying the sick effective treatment and allowing deadly diseases to mutate and become untreatable;

•The deterioration of the environment, climate change and the destruction of vital habitats and ecosystems as endangered wildlife is trafficked, forests are illegal logged, or criminals are allowed to illegally dump for profit toxic waste that contaminates food and water supplies;

•The deterioration of human capital, erosion of families, and the denial of individuals’ basic freedoms and dignity as people of all ages are trafficked for profit, instead of communities investing in education and skills-development training to help emerging economies become the new markets of tomorrow; and

•Increased harms to young children who are becoming drug addicts much earlier, and in some cases as young as 4-8 years of age.

Global criminal activity allows the black market to thrive and depress the value of, and demand for, goods and services produced that are contributing positively to the legitimate economy and therefore contributing to global economic growth. It diverts money from the balance sheets of legitimate businesses and national revenues and keeps cash in the hands of criminals, who build larger and larger illicit networks.

Illicit financial flows and illicit networks threaten the stability of governments and the prosperity of our economies. National revenue and assets intended to finance the future are instead embezzled and stashed away for private gain, impairing the ability of communities and businesses to make the investments necessary to create resilient pathways for economic growth and give people hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Via public-private partnerships and as stewards of global peace, financial stability, and development, we must work together to help meet the governance and security challenges posed by illicit trade and illicit financial flows that threaten the prosperity of all economies and integrity of markets. Greater transparency across the global financial system can help mitigate illicit capital flows.

We must shut down today’s criminalized markets and illegal economy, and not allow policies that lead to crippled, unproductive markets driven by short-term gains and ill-gotten profits by deviant and criminal actors and networks, who siphon national wealth away into offshore accounts hidden from tax and law enforcement authorities, and who pillage national assets, human capital, and natural resources necessary to build tomorrow’s new markets and investment frontiers.

The United States is committed to combating transnational crime, corruption, and money laundering. In July 201l, we released a National Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime: Addressing Converging Threats to National Security. A key pillar of the Strategy is to enhance international cooperation with key partners to combat the lethal nexus of organized crime, narco-trafficking, and terrorism, and to protect our communities from the violence, harm, and exploitation wrought by transnational threat networks.

The Strategy also challenges the U.S. government and our international partners to work together to combat transnational criminal organizations and converging threat networks, and take that fight to the next level by breaking their corruptive power; attacking their financial underpinnings; denying entry to criminal actors; stripping t