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Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Old 03-22-10, 11:20 PM
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Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Debbie Schlussel thinks so:

Sean Hannity’s Freedom CONcert Scam: Almost None of Charity’s $ Went to Injured Troops, Kids of Fallen Troops; G5s for Vannity?

By Debbie Schlussel

For the last several years, Sean Hannity and the Freedom Alliance “charity” have conducted “Freedom Concerts” across America. They’ve told you that they are raising money to pay for the college tuition of the children of fallen soldiers and to pay severely wounded war vets. And on Friday Night, Hannity will be honored with an award for this “Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host” at Talkers Magazine’s convention.

But it’s all a huge scam.

In fact, less than 20%–and in two recent years, less than 7% and 4%, respectively–of the money raised by Freedom Alliance went to these causes, while millions of dollars went to expenses, including consultants and apparently to ferry the Hannity posse of family and friends in high style. And, despite Hannity’s statements to the contrary on his nationally syndicated radio show, few of the children of fallen soldiers got more than $1,000-$2,000, with apparently none getting more than $6,000, while Freedom Alliance appears to have spent tens of thousands of dollars for private planes. Moreover, despite written assurances to donors that all money raised would go directly to scholarships for kids of the fallen heroes and not to expenses, has begun charging expenses of nearly $500,000 to give out just over $800,000 in scholarships.

In February 2009, a well-known conservative writer sent me this, about a friend at FOX News:

The guy went on to tell me about Hannity’s “Freedom Concerts,” which are staged across the country with the proceeds going to children of slain soldiers. Of course, as the guy tells it, there’d be a lot more money every concert to go to the cause if Hannity didn’t demand–and get–use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly him and his family/entourage to the concerts; a “fleet” (that’s the word the guy used) of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs for him and his family/entourage; and several suites at really expensive hotels for him and his family/entourage. The promoter apparently values Hannity’s star demands at well over $200,000 per event. The source says he heard that Oliver North pulled Hannity aside at one of the concerts and told him that this had to stop. But that may mean that, from now on, Hannity has to fly on a G4 instead of a G5, gets only a few luxury SUVs, and two or three suites.

North is the founder and honorary chairman of Freedom Alliance.

I began investigating these claims, and lo and behold, I discovered that Freedom Alliance gives very little money to the children of slain troops to pay for college and even less to wounded troops. The stories of injuries to troops and how much Freedom Alliance gives them–$200 for a soldier from a poor neighborhood who lost three limbs–is heartbreaking. Soldiers with traumatic brain injuries, severe wounds to the face from disfiguring burns and explosions, and multiple amputations got $1,000 or less, with only a handful of exceptions.

The tax forms available to the public for the Freedom Alliance–for the years 2006-2008–paint a tragic story, a story of a charity that makes gazillions and spends very little for the purposes it claims, a charity that spends millions more on its small staff and crony consultants than it ever gives in scholarships to the children of the fallen or severely injured troops or in aid to the injured troops themselves. While Hannity’s Freedom Concerts take in millions, only a few hundred thousand go to the claimed intended recipients.

Over a year ago, when I began looking into this story, I contacted both Sean Hannity and the Freedom Alliance seeking comment and an accounting for where the money went. Both declined to answer any of my questions. Hannity refused to respond to an inquiry I sent to his personal private e-mail address asking him about the lavish expenses described in the e-mail above.

Freedom Alliance press secretary Alan Moore scheduled an interview for me with Freedom Alliance president Thomas Kilgannon, who in the past used Freedom Alliance resources to promote a book he wrote on the United Nations. But when Moore asked me what the interview would be about and I answered truthfully, the interview was not granted, and my calls to him were never returned thereafter. I told him I’d be asking Mr. Kilgannon about the expenses paid for Hannity and about the paltry percentage of Freedom Alliance funds actually going to the kids of fallen troops, to severely injured troops, and to anything other than expenses, consultants, and printing. I wanted to know why Freedom Alliance had spent $60,000 for “aviation services” in 2006.

Keep in mind that a charity is considered reputable if no more than 25% of its revenue goes to expenses and no less than 75% of it goes to the intended charity recipients. Given that, Freedom Alliance’s balance sheets are embarrassing in their shamelessness.

According to its 2006 tax returns, Freedom Alliance reported revenue of $10,822,785, but only $397,900–or a beyond-measly 3.68%–of that was given to the children of fallen troops as scholarships or as aid to severely injured soldiers.

On the other hand, 62% of the money went to “expenses,” including $979,485 for “consultants” and an “advisor.” Yes, consultant/advisors got more than double what injured troops and the kids of fallen troops got. The tax forms show that “New World Aviation” got paid $60,601 for “air travel.” Was that for Hannity’s G5? Like I said, neither the charity nor Hannity is talking. And finally, that year, Freedom Alliance spent $1,730,816 on postage and shipping and $1,414,215 on printing, for a total of $3,145,031, nearly half the revenue the charity spent that year and about eight times what the injured troops and the children of fallen ones received.

That’s especially heartbreaking when you compare the hundreds of thousands consultants got and the millions spent on printing and postage to the outrageously small amounts given to wounded soldiers. In 2006, Freedom Alliance gave only $1,000 to a soldier from Bay City, Michigan, whom the charity says was in the following condition:

Face was blown up and lost sight in one eye.

And that $1,000 was relatively generous, when you consider this soldier from Romulus, Michigan, whom Freedom Alliance only gave $200:

SM [serviceman] was involved in roadside bomb incident in Iraq, which caused loss of both legs and left arm.

Romulus is a mostly Black Detroit suburb, which is one of the poorest cities in Michigan and in America. Freedom Alliance gave this brave soldier roughly $67 per limb. That’s sickening.

So is the fact that this soldier, from Alexandria, Virginia, also only got $200 from Freedom Alliance:

SM was wounded in Iraq by an IED explosion. Lost right arm and severe shrapnel wounds to upper body and face.

Also appalling is the fact that in each year’s tax returns soldiers described as having brain trauma injuries, multiple amputated limbs, and severe burns over most of their bodies get a few hundred bucks each from Freedom Alliance and in almost every case, no more than $1,000.

That year, while fat-cat consultants and expenses took millions of Freedom Alliance’s money, seriously wounded troops to whom Freedom Alliance donated received a pathetic average of $785 each and the college student kids of the fallen got a paltry average of $2,943 toward tuition. Yes, out of millions raised that year by Sean Hannity at his Freedom Concerts, only $309,000 was given out in scholarships to 105 students, and only $110,703.82 was given to the wounded soldiers.

Freedom Alliance’s 2007 tax returns aren’t much better. Out of $12,459,317 it raised that year, only $895,347–or just 7%–went to seriously wounded troops and scholarships for fallen troops. 53% went to expenses, including $1,464,627 in postage and $1,151,428 in printing. $604,995 went to “professional fees” and “consultants.” Out of millions paid for Freedom Concert tickets and raised in fundraisers by Hannity listeners, only $596,500 went to college scholarships for soldiers who died in battle, and only $299,897 went to horribly injured troops. 208 student children of the fallen got an average of $2,868 apiece for tuition, though many got only $1,000 or less. 382 soldiers with serious injuries got an average of $785 each.

And, again, that year, the amounts given to soldiers with such grave injuries is despicably tiny. This soldier, from Killeen, Texas, got only $500 from Freedom Alliance:

SM was wounded in Iraq on June 18, 2007 in Digula Province, Baquba, Iraq. An IED exploded on the truck, he took shrapnel to the face, which cut off a piece of his nose. Also had shrapnel in throat and cheeks, which cut open his face and the inside of his throat.

This soldier, from Brady, Texas, also received just $500 from Freedom Alliance:

While serving in Baghdad Iraq, SM was hit with an IED blast. Sustained disfigurement, blindness, and superficial burns on face, hearing loss to right ear, TBI, peppered shrapnel to the face and right upper extremity.

And then, there are the 2008 Freedom Alliance tax forms, which were signed in November 2009 and filed only recently. That year, Freedom Alliance took in $8,781,431 in revenue and gave $1,060,275.57 total–or just 12%–to seriously wounded soldiers and for scholarships to kids of the fallen. Remember, this is well below the 75% required to be considered a legitimate charity. And after claiming in written letters to donors that 100% of the money donated, via the Freedom Concerts or otherwise, to the scholarships would go directly to the scholarships and not to expenses, the Freedom Alliance decided to do the contrary and charge expenses anyway–charging a whopping $436,386 to give out $802,250 in scholarships. That means that 35% of the $1,238,636–all of which was supposed to go to scholarships for these kids of the fallen–went to Freedom Alliance.

Freedom Alliance spent $5,375,654–or 61% of its total revenue earned in 2008–on expenses, but actually 80% of the total revenue spent and given out for that year. That includes $1,055,791 spent on postage and $925,392 on printing. It spent $157,041 on travel. Is this the item that includes the money for the alleged Sean Hannity Gulfstream flights? Like I said, neither the charity nor Hannity will answer questions.

Meanwhile, 167 students got an average of just $4,803.89 each in tuition. With the amount this charity raises, these kids should all be getting a free ride paid for by Freedom Alliance.

And 299 very seriously injured soldiers got an average of just $805.21 each for very grave injuries. And the heartbreak of their stories and the disgustingly low amount donated to them continues. This soldier, from Laurel, MD, got just $1,000:

SM lost both legs and one arm, below elbow, due to IED blast. SM also lost hearing in both ears on April 21, 2008.

Wow, while Sean Hannity and his friends at Freedom Alliance are paying their crony consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars, they’re giving this soldier $200 per limb lost or rendered useless.

This soldier, from Fort Sam Houston, Texas (where my own father was first sent when he was drafted during Vietnam), fared even worse in Freedom Alliance’s “generosity,” receiving only $165:

SM is a bilateral amputee with 30% facial burns sustained during IED blast, 31 May 2008, OEF.

Just $165 for that? Pathetic. And so very tragic.

Since Sean Hannity is always bragging about his phony “investigations” (stuff he just rips off from others) and “investigative” skills, you’d think he could figure out how to read a tax return and bother to look at Freedom Alliance’s. But you would be wrong. He has neither the skills nor the desire. He knows better and is well aware that they waste money on him and his luxe accommodations and travel. But this isn’t about that or truly about helping the troops and the kids of our war dead. It’s about promoting himself, the same way Angelina Jolie and Madonna get the press to film them in Africa.

To make matters worse, Hannity deliberately lied to his radio audience about how much money was going to the kids of the fallen American soldiers. On May 28th of last year, Hannity told his listeners, “Our new sponsor, Boca Java, just pledged $30,000 to the Freedom Concerts. That will provide a full one-year college scholarship for a kid of a fallen soldier.” In fact, Freedom Alliance’s tax forms indicate it has never given any student more than $6,000 in a school year, and usually it’s been far less. Many students only get $1,000, which will barely cover anything at most colleges, today. A Boca Java spokeswoman told me that last year was the coffee purveyor’s last one sponsoring the Freedom Concerts, as it now donates directly to the troops, sending them free coffee and through sales of its Brew of Bravery.

A friend of mine was one of the artists who performed in Hannity’s Freedom Concerts and was shocked when I showed him the tax forms and the expenses. He no longer performs at the concerts because he was tired of the egomania. Now, he’s just angry. “We paid our own way and for all of our costs and expenses to perform because we thought we were helping the troops and their families and that all the money was going to them.”

In investigating Freedom Alliance and its tax forms, I learned that the organizations which evaluate charities are entirely worthless. Freedom Alliance is certified as “Best in America” by the “Independent Charities of America.” It is also rated a “Four Star Charity” by “Charity Navigator.” Both of these “ratings” are posted prominently on Freedom Alliance’s website, misleading donors into believing they are donating to a worthy cause, when in fact they are mostly donating to a black hole of expenses. Even Charity Navigator notes in its strange, illogical, and mostly inaccurate Four Star rating that Freedom Alliance has a fund-raising “efficiency” of only nine cents on the dollar. And, in fact, Charity Navigator’s ridiculous rating formula robotically crunches numbers in a way that considers the money spent mostly on consultants, postage, and printing as having gone to the wounded soldiers and kids of fallen soldiers, when in fact that’s not where it went at all. It simply can’t be taken seriously.

And I’m not the only one who noticed. The comments on Charity Navigator’s Freedom Alliance page are indicative that those who checked this charity’s tax forms also note the scam.

“Wonkling” wrote:

If you look at the actual 990, it breaks down its program expenses. They actually spent more money this past year on postage than they did over the past 4 years on scholarships. They paid 60k to an air company, millions to consultants, marketing, fundraising. Their actual expenditures on funds for children of killed/disabled veterans is far less than what they paid themselves or their consultants. Having a large capacity (4 stars) should not overshadow a cumbersome efficiency rating (2 stars).

“Chickenbone” wrote:

Since 2003 Freedom Alliance has collected in cash $48,241,571! Since 2003 they have spent on the Wounded and Dead Veterans and their Families $1,781,782 or .036 cents on the dollar, according to their own IRS 990’s!

Yes, Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts are just a giant con. His gushing lumpenconservatariat fans and listeners actually believe he’s doing good, while he travels in style around the country feeding his ego. It’s a win-win for him. But it’s a lose-lose for the donors (who are mostly hard-working, Middle Americans who want to help our troops and their families and bought concert tickets and held other fundraisers) and mostly a loser for the kids of the fallen troops and the troops, themselves, who survived with very serious injuries.

You’ve heard the saying, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” I love patriotism, but in this case, Sean Hannity’s “Freedom Concerts” and the Freedom Alliance are Exhibit A of that saying. But they’re not really patriots. Not even close. Their only patriotism is to the faces they see in their mirrors. Hey, Sean, you’re a “Great American.”

Sadly, the real great Americans–the ones who gave their lives and the ones who survived but gave their limbs and their skin for this country–are getting ripped off.
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/6938/...s-for-vannity/

Freedom Works responds:
Freedom Alliance Statement on Debbie Schlussel Attack

This week, false and malicious allegations about Freedom Alliance were posted on the Internet and we want to address them with you. We don't know the motivation for these vicious smears, but we will not allow them to go unanswered.

First, we want to thank you for your support and assure you that Freedom Alliance's record of financial stewardship and programmatic achievements not only meets, but exceeds standards of program efficiency set by most charity evaluators. We are extraordinarily proud of our work at Freedom Alliance and stand by our efforts 100 percent.

False Accusations

1. The blog posting accuses our friend Sean Hannity of personally benefiting from Freedom Alliance. This is FALSE. Freedom Alliance has never provided planes, hotels, cars, limos, or anything else to Sean. Sean gets nothing from Freedom Alliance except our gratitude for his personal generosity and for all he has done to help the troops and our organization. We have never had to ask Sean for anything, he always generously offers his help before we have a chance to ask him. But to be clear Sean pays for all his own transportation, hotels, and all related expenses for himself and his family and friends and staff, which over the years has added up to tens of thousands of dollars. He does not use any Freedom Alliance Funds or Concert funds in any way, period.

2. Sean Hannity has contributed $100,000 to the Wounded Warriors Foundation, over $200,000 to the Freedom Alliance, and over tens of thousands of dollars to other military charities and individuals. We only make this information public because of the outrageous slander against him. Sean has no management or operational involvement in, or control over, Freedom Alliance. He has been a selfless patriot in his efforts to raise funds for the education of children of armed services personnel.

3. The blog posting accuses Freedom Alliance of spending less than 20% of money raised on program activities. This is FALSE. Listed below are the amounts that Freedom Alliance spent for each of the past three years and the categories on which they were spent. The figures are taken from our Federal Form 990 which is filed with the Internal Revenue Service and posted on our web site and audited by an independent auditor using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. This financial record not only meets, but exceeds standards of program efficiency set by most charity evaluators.

4. In 2008, Freedom Alliance spent a total of $6,745,717. Of that:

• 79 percent ($5,317,970) was spent on Program Activities

•14 percent ($945,950) was spent on Fundraising

•7 percent ($481,797) was spent on Management

In 2007, Freedom Alliance spent a total of $7,461,350. Of that:

• 81.5 percent ($6,084,474) was spent on Program Activities

• 13.5 percent ($1,011,501) was spent on Fundraising

• 5 percent ($365,375) was spent on Management

In 2006, Freedom Alliance spent a total of $7,064,839. Of that:
• 77 percent ($5,434,538) was spent on Program Activities

• 18.5 percent ($1,308,414) was spent on Fundraising

• 4.5 percent ($321,887) was spent on Management


5. The blog posting accuses Freedom Alliance of spending money intended for student scholarships on other expenses. This is FALSE. Freedom Alliance has distributed $3.4 million in Scholarships and created a Scholarship Trust Fund with the additional money that we have raised for that program. That fund now contains $15 million, over $10 million of which has been raised by Hannity and the concerts. Our scholarship program is managed with the understanding that it will be needed for at least the next 20 years as there are children who will ultimately receive a scholarship who are now only a few years old. As indicated on our Federal Form 990, these funds are restricted and used only for future scholarships.

6. Our Scholarship Fund is one of four programs operated by Freedom Alliance. Supporters may donate to a specific program or for general operating purposes. In 2008, Freedom Alliance received $2.1 million in scholarship donations. The same year, we awarded $802,250 in scholarships and applied $1.3 million to our Scholarship Trust Fund. The funds donated by Sean Hannity directly -- or through the proceeds of the Freedom Concerts -- and the support of thousands of Americans are used for these purposes:

• Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund: Providing scholarships to those whose parents have been killed or severely injured in their service to our Country. There is now over $15 million in the scholarship fund for the students as they come of age.

• Support our Troops: Many events each year are planned and executed by our staff to show appreciate and provide special opportunities for those actively serving in the military.

• Leadership Academy: A program for high school students in which they are encouraged and trained to serve their country.

These programs would not be possible without the support of Mr. Hannity and many others.

We are proud of our work and numerous accomplishments. We are grateful to our supporters whose voluntary contributions make it possible and we thank you. While it is discouraging to have our record misrepresented in such a malicious way, our work is important and, with your support, it will continue.

Respectfully,


Thomas P. Kilgannon, President

Oliver L. North, Founder & Honorary Chairman
http://spectator.org/blog/2010/03/19...e-statement-on

Schlussel replies:

In fact, the Freedom Alliance “response” doesn’t answer any of the questions I raised and goes on to lie more. They don’t address why they gave a triple amputee only $200—and in fact there are many of these examples provided in their tax return addendum, but I only cited a few for brevity’s sake. They also lie and claim that they gave a lot more money to charity b/c they categorize it as “program expenses.” But I’m sorry—calling $3 million in consulting fees, printing, and postage “program expenses” doesn’t change the fact that it still went to their cronies, not to a fund and not the soldiers who only got on average less than $900 apiece. It also doesn’t change the fact that out of the money spent (I didn’t use the money they claim they raised for their scholarship fund) the vast majority goes to those kinds of expenses.

Also, the “scholarship fund” is really a war chest for something else. We’ve been at war since 2001, when we went into Afghanistan, and we’re winding down in Iraq. Unless the kids were born in 2001 or thereafter, many of these kids are in college now and Freedom Alliance is giving them a pittance toward their college tuition, while they continue to build this massive war chest. With a giant multi-million dollar fund, why aren’t they giving the kids a free, complete ride to college? And how many kids of deceased troops will there be in the future? Enough to exhaust a multi-million dollar fund? Doubtful.

Moreover, because they hoarded millions of dollars, their returns show the fund shrunk by several million dollars with bad investments and market losses. That money could have put these kids through college for the entire time. What’s their excuse for the soldiers with no limbs and with severe burns? Are they waiting for two decades from now when technology is better? $165 for a soldier who is blind and his face blew up? No excuse for that. Their “response” is simply a non-response and an attempt to cover up the fraud. I will be posting more on this and on more fraud at Freedom Alliance, in the coming days. Stay tuned.
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/6938/...s-for-vannity/

Here are the returns (PDF links):
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/wp-co...etaxes2006.pdf
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/wp-co...etaxes2007.pdf
http://www.debbieschlussel.com/wp-co...008taxform.pdf
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Old 03-22-10, 11:35 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

If what she says is true, why has the IRS continued to allow them to remain a charity?
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Old 03-22-10, 11:46 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
If what she says is true, why has the IRS continued to allow them to remain a charity?
I don't know. Does the IRS require a specified percentage of a 501(c)(3)'s income go to its charitable purpose? Maybe it's as sumple as the IRS hasn't audited them yet, or maybe she's wrong. I took a quick glance at the tax returns and they seem consistent with her allegations, but I don't know anywhere close to enough about tax law or 501(c)(3)'s to say that for sure -- she could be flim-flamming me with fancy talk to make the legitimate look illegitimate.

Still, it's hard to see how $1 million in postage and delivery and another million on printing and reprtoduction can be legitimate for a charity with only $7 million in revenue.
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Old 03-22-10, 11:46 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

AmSpec posted an update:

Did Schlussel Smear Hannity?

Regarding this morning's item on Sean Hannity's Freedom Concerts, it seems that much of Debbie Schlussel's report was very misleading. A knowledgeable source tells me: "The reason so little has been paid out from the charity is that the vast majority of the kids the money WILL go to are right now not in college. When they turn 18 they will get the money for college. But because these are the children of Iraq and Afghanistan vets, their kids are mostly not of college age yet."

As for Hannity's private plane, my source says "he pays for it himself," and adds that "he personally has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money to the Freedom Alliance."

http://spectator.org/blog/2010/03/19...-smear-hannity
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Old 03-23-10, 12:03 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

http://www.freedomalliance.org/index...2172&Itemid=21

It does not appear that Hannity is on the board, or is in any way connected other than in fundraising.

I do see these
<img src=http://www.freedomalliance.org/images/stories/CFC_seal.gif><img src=http://www.freedomalliance.org/images/banners/Cn4.jpg>
but I don't know anything about those organizations.
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Old 03-23-10, 12:03 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

It seems strange using a person like this to attack Sean Hannity (who I think is a bonafied moron but hard to imagine corrupt)

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/1193/...-george-soros/

Kind of like using Michael Moore to attack Rahm Emanuel...

March 5th, 2010 10:12 PM
President Obama: Replace Rahm with Me ...an open letter from Michael Moore

Dear President Obama,

I understand you may be looking to replace Rahm Emanuel as your chief of staff.

I would like to humbly offer myself, yours truly, as his replacement.

I will come to D.C. and clean up the mess that's been created around you. I will work for $1 a year. I will help the Dems on Capitol Hill find their spines and I will teach them how to nonviolently beat the Republicans to a pulp.

And I will help you get done what the American people sent you there to do. I don't need much, just a cot in the White House basement will do.

Now, don't get too giddy with excitement over my offer, because you and I are going to be up at 5 in the morning, 7 days a week and I am going to get you pumped up for battle every single day (see photo). Each morning you and I will do 100 jumping jacks and you will repeat after me:

"THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ELECTED ME, NOT THE REPUBLICANS, TO RUN THE COUNTRY! I AM IN CHARGE! I WILL ORDER ALL OBSTRUCTIONISTS OUTTA MY WAY! IF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DON'T LIKE WHAT I'M DOING THEY CAN THROW MY ASS OUT IN 2012. IN THE MEANTIME, I CALL THE SHOTS ON THEIR BEHALF! NOW, CONGRESS, DROP AND GIVE ME 50!!"

Then we will put on our jogging sweats and run up to Capitol Hill. We will take names, kick butts, and then take some more names. If we have to give a few noogies or half-nelson's, then so be it. In our pockets we will have a piece of paper to show the pansy Dems just how much they won by in 2008 -- and the poll results that show the majority of Americans oppose the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and want the bankers punished. Like drill sergeants, we will get right up in their faces and ask them, "WHAT PART OF THE PUBLIC MANDATE DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND, SOLDIER?!! DROP AND GIVE ME 50!"

I know this is the job Rahm Emanuel was supposed to be doing.

Now, don't get me wrong. I have always admired Rahm Emanuel (if you don't count his getting NAFTA pushed through Congress in the '90s which destroyed towns like Flint, Michigan. I know, picky-picky.). He is what we needed for a long time -- a no-apologies, take-no-prisoners fighting machine. Someone who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and pound the right wing into submission. Far from being the foul-mouthed bully he has been portrayed as, Rahm is the one who BEAT UP the bullies to protect us from them.

That's certainly what he did in 2006. After six long, miserable years of the middle-class getting slaughtered and the poor being flushed down the toilet, Rahm Emanuel took on the job of returning Congress to the Democrats. No one believed it could be done.

But he did it. Big time. He put the fear of God into the party of Rush and Newt. They had never been so scared. More importantly, though, he instilled a sense of hope in the Democrats that they could actually score the mother of all hat tricks in 2008 -- and with you, an African American no less, in the pole position!

It worked. The Darkness ended. The vast majority of nation wept with joy on the night of the election (those who weren't weeping went out and bought a record number of guns and ammo). Unlike the last president, you didn't "win" by 537 votes in Florida (although Gore won the popular vote by a half-million), you beat McCain nationally by 9,522,083 votes! The House Democrats got a walloping 79-vote margin. The Senate Dems would caucus with a supermajority of 60 votes unheard of in over 30 years. The wars would now end. America would have universal health care. Wall Street and the banks would, at the very least, be reined in. Hardworking citizens would not be thrown out of their homes. It was supposed to be the dawning of a new age.

But the Republicans were not going to go quietly into the night. You see, instead of having just one Rahm Emanuel, they are ALL Rahm Emanuels. That's why they usually win. Unlike most Democrats, they are relentless and unstoppable. When they believe in something (which is usually themselves and the K Street job they hope to be rewarded with someday), they'll fight for it till the death. They are loyal to a fault to each other (they were never able to denounce Bush, even though they knew he was destroying the party). They dig their heels in deep no matter what. If you exiled them to a lone chunk of melting polar ice cap, they would keep insisting that it was just a normal "January thaw," even as the frigid Arctic waters rose above their God-fearing necks ("See what I mean -- this water is COLD! What 'global *warming*'?! Adam and Eve rode dinos...aagghh!!... gulp gulp gulp").

We thought we were all done with this craziness, but we were mistaken. Like a beast that you just can't cage, the Republicans convinced not only the media, but YOU and your fellow Dems, that 59 votes was a *minority*! Precious time was lost trying to reach a "consensus" and trying to be "bipartisan."

Well, you and the Democrats have been in charge now for over a year and not one banking regulation has been reinstated. We don't have universal health care. The war in Afghanistan has escalated. And tens of thousands of Americans continue to lose their jobs and be thrown out of their homes. For most of us, it's just simply no longer good enough that Bush is gone. Woo hoo. Bush is gone. Yippee. That hasn't created one new friggin' job.

You're such a good guy, Mr. President. You came to Washington with your hand extended to the Republicans and they just chopped it off. You wanted to be respectful and they decided that they were going to say "no" to everything you suggested. Yet, you kept on saying you still believed in bipartisanship.

Well, if you really want bipartisanship, just go ahead and let the Republicans win in November. Then you'll get all the bipartisanship you want.

Let me be clear about one thing: The Democrats on Election Day 2010 are going to get an ass-whoopin' of biblical proportions if things don't change right now. And after the new Republican majority takes over, they, along with a few conservative Democrats in Congress, will get to bipartisanly impeach you for being a socialist and a citizen of Kenya. How nice to see both sides of the aisle working together again!

And the brief window we had to fix this country will be gone.

Gone.

Gone, baby, gone.

I don't know what your team has been up to, but they haven't served you well. And Rahm, poor Rahm, has turned into a fighter -- not of Republicans, but of the left. He called those of us who want universal health care "f***ing retarded." Look, I don't know if Rahm is the problem or if it's Gibbs or Axelrod or any of the other great people we owe a debt of thanks to for getting you elected. All I know is that whatever is fueling your White House it's now running on fumes. Time to shake things up! Time to bring me in to get you pumped up every morning! Go Barack! Yay Obama! Fight, Team, Fight!

I'm packed and ready to come to D.C. tomorrow. If it helps, you won't really be losing Rahm entirely because I'll be bringing his brother with me -- my agent, Ari Emanuel. Man, you should see HIM negotiate a deal! Have you ever wanted to see Mitch McConnell walking around Capitol Hill carrying his own head in his hands after it's just been handed to him by the infamous Ari? Oh, baby, it won't be pretty -- but boy will it be sweet!

What say you, Barack? Me and you against the world! Yes we can! It'll be fun -- and we may just get something done. Whaddaya got to lose? Hope?

Retardedly yours,
Michael Moore
[email protected]
MichaelMoore.com

P.S. Just to give you an idea of the new style I'll be bringing with me, when a cornhole like Sen. Ben Nelson tries to hold you up next time, this is what I will tell him in order to get his vote: "You've got exactly 30 seconds to rescind your demand or I will personally make sure that Nebraska doesn't get one more federal dollar for the rest of Obama's term. And then I will let everyone in your state know that you wear Sooner panties, backwards. NOW DROP AND GIVE ME 50!"

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mi...-michael-moore
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Old 03-23-10, 12:08 AM
  #7  
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

http://www.charitynavigator.org/inde...ary&orgid=6590

This shows how they rate it and why. The expense numbers, etc. jibe with those in the above article. Are "program expenses" money going into scholarship funds or something?
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Old 03-23-10, 12:58 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Hmmm, so she does have a decent track record.
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Old 03-23-10, 05:43 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Are you sure Debbie Schlussel wrote that article? It's actually almost lucid...
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Old 03-23-10, 09:40 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

In her response she says, "...the Freedom Alliance “response” doesn’t answer any of the questions I raised and goes on to lie more." And then mentions a few points she disagrees with. She doesn't address the other 90% of her original charges that were disputed.

She is obviously biased and lacking in real facts. I think it's safe to discount anything she has to say on the subject.
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Old 03-23-10, 09:49 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

They hardly addressed her specific charges and their numbers don't agree even though she's pulling hers from tax returns.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:01 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

"...there’d be a lot more money every concert to go to the cause if Hannity didn’t demand–and get–use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly him and his family/entourage to the concerts; a “fleet” (that’s the word the guy used) of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs for him and his family/entourage; and several suites at really expensive hotels for him and his family/entourage."

If she begins her article with this premise, which is apparently sourced by "the guy", and it is completely wrong, why would I pay attention to anything she writes? And I hate Hannity. I'm just, you know, sane.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:05 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Just a point of math order:
Since 2003 Freedom Alliance has collected in cash $48,241,571! Since 2003 they have spent on the Wounded and Dead Veterans and their Families $1,781,782 or .036 cents on the dollar, according to their own IRS 990’s!
That is 3.6 cents on the dollar not .036. She should know the difference between percentages and decimals. I just noticed this glaring error. I can't really comment on the rest of her assertions. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Sean is actually a huge douche in real life though.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:09 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

So SH has no management or operational involvement in, or control over, Freedom Alliance. He also doesn't get paid, or even reimbursed for his expenses, and has donated thousands to the program. But somehow, he is stealing from veterans.
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Old 03-23-10, 11:10 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

even if the article is true at least he is doing SOMETHING for the troops unlike liberals who are giving NOTHING except comfort to the enemy
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Old 03-23-10, 11:40 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Originally Posted by DeputyDave View Post
"...there’d be a lot more money every concert to go to the cause if Hannity didn’t demand–and get–use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly him and his family/entourage to the concerts; a “fleet” (that’s the word the guy used) of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs for him and his family/entourage; and several suites at really expensive hotels for him and his family/entourage."

If she begins her article with this premise, which is apparently sourced by "the guy", and it is completely wrong, why would I pay attention to anything she writes? And I hate Hannity. I'm just, you know, sane.
What's insane about interpreting a tax form that says $60,000 for "air travel?" The response never addressed that only saying Hannity paid his own way. Why is it on the tax form for the non-profit?
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Old 03-23-10, 11:50 AM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
What's insane about interpreting a tax form that says $60,000 for "air travel?" The response never addressed that only saying Hannity paid his own way. Why is it on the tax form for the non-profit?
Why is the air travel expense an issue? I would guess most charities and companies have this as an expense item. Besides, that amount is less than just the liquor tab on pelosi's flights.
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Old 03-23-10, 12:21 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Originally Posted by cpgator View Post
Why is the air travel expense an issue? I would guess most charities and companies have this as an expense item. Besides, that amount is less than just the liquor tab on pelosi's flights.
Even if that were true (and I know you were just making a joke), how would it matter? Let's stay focused and not drag "names" from the "other side" into this. The only thing that matters in the discussion in this thread are whether or not the original article that was cited is true, whether or not Hannity is a douchebag (I vote "yes," but even a douchebag can do something meaningful and useful once in a while), and whether or not Obama's health care plan is evil.
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Old 03-23-10, 12:41 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

It is true - but i was just trying to show that $60k in travel expenses doesn't seem like a lot of money. They put on concerts all over the country, plus all the other various things they do. I'm very surprised it was only 60k.

And Hannity is not a douchebag. He is just douchey at times.
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Old 03-23-10, 01:41 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
even if the article is true at least he is doing SOMETHING for the troops unlike liberals who are giving NOTHING except comfort to the enemy
The Post-911 GI Bill of 2008 disagrees...amongst others. I'm also kind of looking forward to not going to Iraq again.

Just saying.

Unless that was all the usual Groucho sarcasm...in which case...nevermind.

http://www.gibill.va.gov/pamphlets/c...3_pamphlet.pdf
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Old 03-23-10, 02:11 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Originally Posted by chess View Post
Unless that was all the usual Groucho sarcasm...in which case...nevermind.
Bingo!
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Old 03-23-10, 02:55 PM
  #22  
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

If this "charity" is spending twice as much money on advertising then they are giving the troops that is shameful and I assume they are unless they are lying on their tax returns then it should be shut down.

I know that there are very few legal restrictions on money going to the actual charity but anyone involved in this charity should be humiliated and shamed today.
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Old 03-23-10, 02:59 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Originally Posted by pjflyer View Post
I know that there are very few legal restrictions on money going to the actual charity but anyone involved in this charity should be humiliated and shamed today.
Because you believe she is correct?

Has anyone looked at the ratings for the charity, or are we just flying with this?
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Old 03-23-10, 03:08 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Originally Posted by pjflyer View Post
If this "charity" is spending twice as much money on advertising then they are giving the troops that is shameful and I assume they are unless they are lying on their tax returns then it should be shut down.

I know that there are very few legal restrictions on money going to the actual charity but anyone involved in this charity should be humiliated and shamed today.
Freedom Alliance has distributed $3.4 million in Scholarships and created a Scholarship Trust Fund with the additional money that we have raised for that program. That fund now contains $15 million...
How much have they spent on advertising?
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Old 03-23-10, 03:08 PM
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Re: Is Sean Hannity stealing from veterans?

Why should Hannity be any different than both the Democrats & the Republicans in treatment of the veterans?
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