PowerLine -> Getting rich on poverty law, or something – De Blasio Unplugged

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PowerLine -> Getting rich on poverty law, or something – De Blasio Unplugged

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Getting rich on poverty law, or something
  • What do you mean “we,” lefty
  • That Was Then, This Is Now
  • The many moods of Amy Klobuchar
  • De Blasio Unplugged
Getting rich on poverty law, or something

Posted: 06 Sep 2017 03:42 PM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

We’ve had the number of the ludicrously misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center for a long time. It is a vastly influential left-wing hate cult operating in the form of a non-profit fundraising phenom most famous for its supposed “hate map” and related designations. As such, it recalls the old joke about the Holy Roman Empire. It’s is neither poor nor devoted to law, though I would concede it’s based in Montgomery and may even be a center of something or other.

It’s not just rich. To borrow a phrase I first found in Boswell’s Life of Johnson, it has grown rich beyond the dreams of avarice.

Last week the Washington Free Beacon took a look at the SPLC’s most recent (2015) Form 990. It found more than $50 million in contributions and $328 million in net assets. It’s business income tax return, from the same year, shows that they have “financial interests” in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda.

Well, that piqued the Free Beacon’s interest. Pursuing the issue in a 2014 tax document, the Free Beacon found that the SPLC transferred hundreds of thousands to an account located in the Cayman Islands:

SPLC lists Tiger Global Management LLC, a New York-based private equity financial firm, as an agent on its form. The form shows a foreign partnership between the SPLC and Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P., a pooled investment fund in the Cayman Islands. SPLC transferred $960,000 in cash on Nov. 24, 2014 to Tiger Global Private Investment Partners IX, L.P, its records show.

The SPLC’s Form 926, a Return by a U.S. Transferor of Property to a Foreign Corporation, from 2014 shows additional cash transactions that the nonprofit had sent to offshore funds.

The SPLC reported a $102,007 cash transfer on Dec. 24, 2014 to BPV-III Cayman X Limited, a foreign entity located in the Cayman Islands. The group then sent $157,574 in cash to BPV-III Cayman XI Limited on Dec. 31, 2014, an entity that lists the same PO Box address in Grand Cayman as the previous transfer.

The nonprofit pushed millions more into offshore funds at the beginning of 2015.

On March 1, 2015, SPLC sent $2,200,000 to an entity incorporated in Canana Bay, Cayman Islands, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) records and run by a firm firm based in Greenwich, Ct. Another $2,200,000 cash transfer was made on the same day to another fund whose business is located at the same address as the previous fund in the Cayman Islands, according to SEC records.

What does it all mean? The Free Beacon turned to Amy Sterling Casil for comment. Casil is CEO of a consulting firm for nonprofits. She found the SPLC’s offshore approach unusual: “I’ve never known a US-based non-profit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts,” she said.

She added this pointed remark” “I am stunned to learn of transfers of millions to offshore bank accounts. It is a huge red flag and would have been completely unacceptable to any wealthy, responsible, experienced board member who was committed to a charitable mission who I ever worked with.” The Free Beacon has much more here, all of it of interest.

Today Jeryl Bier follows up on the Free Beacon’s groundbreaking report with this salient fact: “The Southern Poverty Law Center has $69 million parked overseas.” Jeryl secured statements from SPLC President Richard Cohen and SPLC financial advisor Cambridge Associates. They assure Jeryl that this is all par for the course.

That’s one rich “poverty law center” they’ve got there. The recent contributions to SPLC announced by Apple and JPMorganChase (noted in the Free Beacon article) constitute little more than a glorified form of corporate waste by which management can bask in the warmth of its self-love.


What do you mean “we,” lefty

Posted: 06 Sep 2017 02:07 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

Leaders of the National Lawyers Guild in San Francisco have written an opinion piece for the San Francisco Chronicle titled “We are all Antifa.” The truth of the statement depends on the meaning of “we.”

If the authors mean the National Lawyers Guild, their statement is accurate. This outfit is and always has been a far left organization. As Jesse Rigsby wrote in FrontPage Magazine back in 2003:

The National Lawyers Guild embraces every anti-America, anti-capitalist, anti-war, anti-Israel, and “anti-imperialist” cause in vogue among the far left and declares itself “dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system.”

If this strikes the reader as a slight hint that the Guild’s underlying ideology is not exactly laissez-faire capitalism, that is because it is not. While the Guild is not officially communist or Marxist, its membership, leadership, past internal struggles, and adopted stances consistently point to an organization whose underlying convictions could best be described as such.

Antifa is just the latest in a long line of anti-America, anti-capitalist causes the National Lawyers Guild has embraced. It hardly needed to say “we are all Antifa.”

But if by “we” the Guild means the American public, from which it has always been alienated, then the statement is false. This is clear from recent surveys of likely voters by McLaughlin and Associates, a conservative-leaning organization that polled for the Trump campaign.

84.9 percent of respondents said they regard “freedom of speech as a fundamental right.” Only 9.3 percent thought “it should be restricted if it offends some people.” This result is consistent with a recent Rasmussen survey.

McLaughlin also polled about Antifa specifically. The question it posed was: “Given that Antifa advocates violence as the appropriate response to free speech they disagree with, do you support or oppose Antifa?”

The question is a fair one. Antifa is on the record as saying that violence is the appropriate response to speech it passionately disagrees with, including pro-Trump speech.

McLaughlin found that 63 percent of Americans oppose Antifa to the extent it attempts to silence those whose speech it disagrees with. Only 21 percent support Antifa.

Frankly, I’m slightly discouraged that the ratio of those opposing Antifa violence was only 3:1. Plainly, however, we are not “all Antifa.” This is true only of a rabid minority.


That Was Then, This Is Now

Posted: 06 Sep 2017 10:35 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

It’s outrageous how heartless President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are about immigration and the DACA program. Hiding behind “the rule of law” like this:

[T]here are those in the immigrants’ rights community who have argued passionately that we should simply provide those who are [here] illegally with legal status, or at least ignore the laws on the books and put an end to deportation until we have better laws. … I believe such an indiscriminate approach would be both unwise and unfair. It would suggest to those thinking about coming here illegally that there will be no repercussions for such a decision. 

And this could lead to a surge in more illegal immigration. And it would also ignore the millions of people around the world who are waiting in line to come here legally. Ultimately, our nation, like all nations, has the right and obligation to control its borders and set laws for residency and citizenship. And no matter how decent they are, no matter their reasons, the 11 million who broke these laws should be held accountable[Emphasis added]

As I say, a totally cruel and heartless point of view from Tru. . . What’s that? Oh: the person who spoke these lines was President Barack Obama, on June 30, 2010. But as Glenn Reynolds likes to point out, every single one of Obama’s pronouncements come with an expiration date.


The many moods of Amy Klobuchar

Posted: 06 Sep 2017 07:23 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar has been negotiating with the Trump White House over appointments to four federal vacancies in Minnesota (US Marshal, US Attorney and two federal district court judgeships) in exchange for the return of her blue slip blocking consideration of Eighth Circuit nominee David Stras. Stras has received bipartisan support from Minnesota lawyers, judges and former colleagues at the University of Minnesota Law School. It is impossible to conjure a nominee more widely respected for the position than Justice Stras. Klobuchar, therefore, sought to extract partisan benefit from playing along with the Trump administration on this nomination.

Klobuchar, however, didn’t want her machinations over the Stras appointment publicly disclosed. She refused to comment on our reporting about them. She chafed over our disclosure of them. She resented the bad attitude with which we viewed them. She sought to keep the lid on. She denied that she was blocking Stras’s nomination, although she was — pending some arrangement with the White House that would reward her for turning in her blue slip.

Seeking to appease Klobuchar while it tried to reach an agreement with her, the White House reached out to me. The White House had a favor to ask. It requested that I knock off covering the moves of this highly partisan politician with an incredibly thin skin while it worked something out with her. After all, she prefers to present herself (in the title of her memoir) as the Senator next door and the local media have been happy to play along with her. The Star Tribune, for example, has left the story of Klobuchar’s machinations over the Stras nomination untouched.

Yesterday Senator Franken announced that he would not return his blue slip on Stras’s nomination. Franken asserts that President Trump must deliver a “consensus candidate.” This puts to Senator Grassley the question whether Franken will single-handedly block Justice Stras’s from consideration by the Judiciary Committee (Ed Whelan takes up the question here), or whether the Trump White House will turn to a qualified candidate from another Eighth Circuit state to fill the position (Klobuchar takes up the question below). Franken’s statement does not touch on these matters; they are of no concern to his patrons and allies at the SEIU and NEA.

With Franken’s announcement, Senator Klobuchar declared that Stras was at least good enough to get a hearing. She would have turned in her blue slip to allow for it. Or course, she left her use of Stras’s nomination for leverage on the Minnesota vacancies unmentioned, and it remains unmentioned in the Star Tribune story by Jennifer Brooks and Stephen Montemayor today. It apparently takes two reporters to overlook the rest of the story.

Franken is supposedly the funny Senator, but Klobuchar’s statement reads like cold political satire. Whoever wrote this statement for Klobuchar seems to be sending a subversive message: I am a joke! Amy Klobuchar loves everybody:

Justice Stras has served on the Minnesota Supreme Court for seven years. While I don’t agree with all of his decisions, I felt it was important to actually look in depth at his record. I learned that for the vast majority of the cases he has respected precedent and sided with the majority, which has included both Democratic- and Republican-appointed judges. He is also supported by former Supreme Court Justice Alan Page. While Justice Stras was not my choice for the 8th Circuit Court, it is my view that he deserves a hearing before the Senate.

I am also concerned that this position could simply go to a less independent judge from another 8th Circuit state (Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota or South Dakota) since this is not a permanent Minnesota position.

I also respect the fact that Senator Franken has an equal role to play here. Under Senate practice, both Senators from a judicial nominee’s home state must allow that nominee to have a hearing. Like Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, I support the practice as it is a check and balance regardless of whether a state is represented by two Democrats, two Republicans or one Democrat and one Republican. The policy has resulted in decision-making for judges across party lines. This policy has held true throughout the entire Obama administration, including when Republicans ran the Senate and when Democrats ran the Senate. Changing this policy would have serious ramifications for judicial nominations in every state in the country. Given this important policy, and given Senator Franken’s view that Justice Stras should not be allowed a hearing in the Senate, the White House will need to provide additional names for the 8th Circuit position.

I have enjoyed getting to know Justice Stras throughout this process and I know he will continue to serve admirably on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Klobuchar wants us to believe she fits the mold of Minnesota Nice. Her sayonara to Justice Stras in the concluding paragraph, however, shows her to be worse than a phony politician. She is a contemptible human being.


De Blasio Unplugged

Posted: 06 Sep 2017 07:10 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

One of the things I learned taking in the APSA last weekend is how fully today’s radical left rejects the liberal democratic tradition in toto. The rule of law, democratic institutions, and majority rule itself are all tools of oppression that needs to be replaced.

And then there’s New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was interviewed a few days back by New York magazine. He was asked, “In 2013, you ran on reducing income inequality. Where has it been hardest to make progress? Wages, housing, schools?” Take in his answer good and slow:

What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be. I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too. Unfortunately, what stands in the way of that is hundreds of years of history that have elevated property rights and wealth to the point that that’s the reality that calls the tune on a lot of development.

Oh please, please Mr. Mayor, please start a campaign to expropriate the kulaks of New York City, starting with the upper west side. And let’s have mandatory rent control for all rental units in New York, instead of just the fraction of units still caught in the medieval hell hole of the current rent control regime. And while you’re at it, why not propose a wealth tax on the tech oligarchs of Silicon Valley and Wall Street hedge fund titans?


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