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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 03-03-17, 08:44 PM   #1
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Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/vid...shakedown.html

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The Obama administration funneled billions of dollars to activist organizations through a Department of Justice slush fund scheme, according to congressional investigators. "It’s clear partisan politics played a role in the illicit actions that were made," Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, told Fox News. "The DOJ is the last place this should have occurred." Findings spearheaded by the House Judiciary Committee point to a process shrouded in secrecy whereby monies were distributed to a labyrinth of nonprofit organizations involved with grass-roots activism.
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Originally Posted by Huckabee...
worse than a mafia shakedown, because at least if the mafia shakes you down for protection, your store doesn't burn down. This is a case where the liberals have played Robin Hood -- They've stolen from the government, taxpayers, and they've given to their pals. It is really outrageous.
Now it all makes sense. Distract from an upcoming scandal of amazing proportions and dollar amounts...and focus on unverified facts and accusations of Russian equivalency.

Now it all makes sense why key Democrats are so purposely distracted with the Trump Administration.
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Old 03-03-17, 09:15 PM   #2
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

The article that you posted doesn't even adequately describe what happened or whether it is legal. Based on a different story that I just read at Fox News, this practice is apparently legal. Some Republicans supposedly want to end the practice, but others are probably singing a different tune given that the GOP is now in charge of the DOJ.

Quote:
When big banks are sued by the government for discrimination or mortgage abuse, they can settle the cases by donating to third-party non-victims. The settlements do not specify how these third-party groups could use the windfall.
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Both the Government Accountability Office and Congressional Research Service have concluded that the settlement agreements do not violate Congress’ power of the purse. But others disagree.
Quote:
While legislation sputtered last year, lawmakers have resurrected an effort to quash the practice with companion bills in the House and Senate.

“Democrats thought it was an attack on Obama,” said Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., speaking to Fox News. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but one of good government. Actions settled by the federal government should go back to the federal government, back to the taxpayer.”
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Old 03-03-17, 10:12 PM   #3
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

Yes, you've really blown the doors of this whole "giving money to charity" scandal.
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Old 03-03-17, 10:47 PM   #4
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

Quote:
...shrouded in secrecy whereby monies were distributed to a labyrinth of nonprofit organizations involved with grass-roots activism.
That makes it sound like they (the reporters) don't know where funds really went, and don't yet have proof of any sort. Which leaves it not much more substantiated than any given conspiracy theory.

How long has this been the process for the DOJ? Is it new under Obama (my guess is no)? Is there a verifiable paper trail? What's the spin on why this exists? Couldn't the offenders just pay the US government, in lieu of 'donating to charity'? Does it have something to do with not admitting guilt?

And it doesn't always appear to be "grass roots activism" groups. They also funnel funds to radical leftists groups like Fish and Game Departments.
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Old 03-03-17, 10:56 PM   #5
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

I guess Polizei got tired of having his ass handed back to him in the alternative facts thread he had to start some bullshit thread to deflect. Sounds about right.

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Old 03-03-17, 11:12 PM   #6
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

I don't see it like that. It's always interesting to find out how these things work. The DOJ allowing for "donations" in lieu of "fines" is quite interesting.

I can look at it objectively and ask questions. It's good that it was brought to light. I'd like to read about where this started, why this exists, where the money goes.
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Old 03-04-17, 07:45 AM   #7
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

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Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
I don't see it like that. It's always interesting to find out how these things work. The DOJ allowing for "donations" in lieu of "fines" is quite interesting.

I can look at it objectively and ask questions. It's good that it was brought to light. I'd like to read about where this started, why this exists, where the money goes.
It's interesting to imagine how all of the "speed trap hamlets" would behave if those fines didn't go straight to into their general fund. In a perfect world, no one responsible for the law should profit from enforcing it. Enforcement should be done solely for the good of society. Fines should only exist to punish (and fund clean up/repair from these specific activities), not fill coffers.
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Old 03-04-17, 09:05 AM   #8
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

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Originally Posted by Why So Blu? View Post
I guess Polizei got tired of having his ass handed back to him in the alternative facts thread he had to start some bullshit thread to deflect. Sounds about right.

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Old 03-04-17, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Stiffler View Post
I don't see it like that. It's always interesting to find out how these things work. The DOJ allowing for "donations" in lieu of "fines" is quite interesting.

I can look at it objectively and ask questions. It's good that it was brought to light. I'd like to read about where this started, why this exists, where the money goes.
It's interesting to see how those things work, but when the OP says "The Democrats are talking about Russia to distract from this bombshell!" And it's not a bombshell and it's not the reason people are talking about Russia, that's deflection.
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Old 03-04-17, 11:37 AM   #10
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

Charitable donations in lieu of fines is the business equivalent of community service, and it happens at all levels. One of Trump scandals during the election was that he was using his foundation to make such donations for judgments leveled against Mar-a-lago in Florida.

I love how on the right "grass-roots" organizations are a huge boogieman. I guess that's an offshoot of "community organizer" becoming a dirty word. People working to make their community better is just horrible.
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Old 03-04-17, 11:53 AM   #11
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

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Charitable donations in lieu of fines is the business equivalent of community service, and it happens at all levels. One of Trump scandals during the election was that he was using his foundation to make such donations for judgments leveled against Mar-a-lago in Florida.
Right, paying his fines with other people's money. Realistically I'm sure they knew they were lining Trump's pockets with it, but hey, they got a writeoff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
I love how on the right "grass-roots" organizations are a huge boogieman. I guess that's an offshoot of "community organizer" becoming a dirty word. People working to make their community better is just horrible.
That was the biggest load of bullshit. I remember Jon Stewart saying "Community organizers? Fuck you guys for trying to make lives better in your community!"
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Old 03-04-17, 12:27 PM   #12
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

The starting of this thread has the stink of desperation.
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Old 03-04-17, 12:29 PM   #13
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

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The starting of this thread has the stink of desperation.
most grundle DP threads do
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Old 03-04-17, 12:54 PM   #14
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

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Old 10-26-17, 09:44 AM   #15
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

On Tuesday night, the House passed Goodlatte’s bill Stop Slush Funds Acts of 2017 that “permanently bars federal agencies from requiring defendants to donate money to outside groups as part of settlement agreements, and requires that settlement money goes either directly to victims or to the Treasury.” He released this statement after the passage:

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“An investigation by the House Judiciary Committee last Congress revealed the Department of Justice’s abuse of power: using settlement agreements to direct money away from victims toward organizations of their choosing and away from those they disliked. DOJ’s actions contradict the spending power given explicitly to the Legislative Branch and undermine Congress’s most effective tool to hold the Executive Branch accountable. Regardless of which party is in the White House, subverting Congress to funnel money to outside organizations is unacceptable and unconstitutional.

“I applaud the passage of this bipartisan bill that bans settlement payments to non-victim third parties permanently for future administrations. There should be no excuse or justification for this banned behavior, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to defend Congress’s constitutional interests and support H.R. 732.”
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Old 10-26-17, 09:52 AM   #16
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

I thought the only thing this government was capable of passing was gas.
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Old 10-26-17, 09:57 AM   #17
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

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I'm glad this thread was bumped, or I never would have seen this gif.

Also: real clear politics dot com. okay.
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Old 10-26-17, 10:00 AM   #18
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

I did enjoy seeing that giphy again too.
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Old 10-26-17, 10:07 AM   #19
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

Personally I don't think the House is going far enough, and I won't be happy until they start impeachment hearings on Obama.
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Old 10-26-17, 10:53 AM   #20
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

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Personally I don't think the House is going far enough, and I won't be happy until they start impeachment hearings on Obama.
And after that, they can set their sights on removing Clinton! #draintheswamp
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Old 10-26-17, 10:54 AM   #21
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

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And after that, they can set their sights on removing Clinton! #draintheswamp
Both of them!
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Old 10-26-17, 12:21 PM   #22
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

After Obama sued Citigroup and Bank of America over their actions regarding the collapse of the housing bubble, Obama told these banks that they would only have to pay 50 cents on the dollar if, instead of paying the settlement money to the actual victims, they “donated” the settlement money to some of Obama’s favorite left wing community organizing groups, including NeighborWorks and La Raza.


https://www.forbes.com/sites/georgel.../#36aa7da04717

The Obama Administration's Disrespect For The Rule Of Law Hits A New Low

May 31, 2016

The lawlessness of the Obama administration has been astounding.

Entire books have been written about President Obama’s notion that he should be and is free to do whatever he wants (such as Lawless by Professor David Bernstein, which I wrote about here). No doubt more will be.

One remarkably brazen instance I recently learned about is his administration’s funneling of money from lawsuit settlements into the pockets of left-wing activist groups. It makes you wonder if there is anything this administration won’t try to get away with.

Following the collapse of the housing bubble, the federal government initiated several grandstanding, politically-motivated lawsuits against big banks for their allegedly fraudulent conduct with regard to secondary market mortgage-backed securities. Rather than fight the feds and their almost bottomless well of taxpayer dollars, several of the defendants decided to cut their losses and settle.

That enabled federal prosecutors to claim victory and wave some prominent scalps. Siphoning off billions of bank capital is bad enough, but the rule of law problem emerges in two of the settlement agreements, under which the banks (Citigroup and Bank of America) were able to reduce their penalties by making “donations” to favored left-wing activist groups.

Citigroup agreed to donate at least $50 million to “community organizing” groups including NeighborWorks and La Raza and for every dollar above that, the bank gets two dollars knocked off its total settlement sum of $2.5 billion. With Bank of America, the settlement calls for a $100 million contribution to housing-related groups and, again, a two-for-one reduction for donations to community organizing groups.

If Saul Alinsky were still alive, he’d be dancing a jig over this brilliant ploy to transfer wealth from banks into the hands of activist groups that seek to impose collectivism.

Alinskyites don’t care about the rule of law, but quite a few Americans still do and the blatant illegality of this scheme has come to the attention of members of Congress and legal scholars.

As reported here, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Robert Goodlatte and Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling have been looking into these settlements. Rep. Goodlatte is quoted as saying “It seems that the alleged victims are not the primary beneficiaries of these multi-billion dollar settlements. Instead, the terms … look less like consumer relief and more like a scheme to funnel money to politically favored interest groups.”

Does the Department of Justice have any legal authority to make deals like that?

A law that the officials have either overlooked or chosen to ignore is the Miscellaneous Receipts Act. Passed back in 1849, that statute forbids any agent of the government who receives funds belonging to the government to lend, deposit, use or exchange the money with any other person. The purpose of the law was to maintain congressional control over the appropriation of money and keep the executive branch from circumventing Congress whenever it wanted to spend in accordance with its own desires.

The statute, thus, backstops the Constitution’s language in Article I, Section 9 that “No money shall be withdrawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law” by preventing executive branch officials from deciding what to do with federal money before it gets into the Treasury.

Law professor Richard Epstein connects the dots for us in this Hoover Institution essay: “Clearly, in the bank cases, the DOJ seeks to evade the Miscellaneous Receipts Act by redirecting funds before putting them into the Treasury, without receiving Congressional approval. Its shifty claim is that the MRA does not apply to the case because the moneys in question never fell into the government’s possession and custody.”

The obvious weakness of that argument, Epstein observes, is that the Department of Justice has no constitutional authority to make unauthorized gifts. And yet that is exactly what it has done, for transparently political reasons. The beneficiary groups are loyal, zealous allies of the Democratic Party.

Imagine if, under a Trump administration, settling defendants were told that their payments could be reduced by making “donations” to the National Rifle Association. That would be no different than what is going on here.

Epstein foresees growing harm if this practice is allowed to continue: “The widespread use of these settlements creates an open door for the executive branch to circumvent structural limits found in the Constitution. In so doing, it creates the real specter that various interest groups will lobby the DOJ to initiate litigation from which they could hope to receive collateral gain through settlement.”

If this is allowed, we’re far along the path to banana republic status.

Can anything be done to stop it?

As already noted, some congressional Republicans are investigating this matter and at least one non-profit “watchdog” organization, Cause of Action Institute, has taken action.

In this Daily Caller story, Richard Pollock quotes Alfred Lechner, president of the Cause of Action Institute (and a former federal judge) on his organization’s efforts at exposing and stopping this kind of financial chicanery with a rule-making petition to the Departments of Justice and Treasury: “We’re looking at how routing of settlement money to third-party groups without congressional authorization violates the power of Congress to appropriate funds. It appears this money would be better spent, better used for the victims of this mortgage crisis at the time.”

We can hope that the efforts at clawing back the funds and, more importantly, preventing this abuse of power in the future will succeed. But we shouldn’t be very optimistic. The problem here is deeply rooted in the pervasive belief among presidents and their subordinates that the rule of law doesn’t apply to them. Rather, it’s something they apply to other people so long as it helps them remain in power.

Our only hope is to change that philosophy.
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Old 10-26-17, 12:27 PM   #23
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Re: Obama "Slush Fund" Scheme Is "Worse Than A Mafia Shakedown"

All goo arguments for restricting the power of the Presidency. Right, Republicans?
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