Wednesday, October 13, 2010


"When you point your finger 'cause your plan fell through
You got three more fingers pointin' back at you"
-Dire Straits, Solid Rock

American Chambers of Commerce
During the year 2009, President Obama was preparing how the 2010 census was going to be gathered, and unlike presidents before him, he chose to take the process away from the Department of Commerce*. Instead, it would be done by people reporting directly to the president (and out of the sight of any independent Inspector General) under hard left partisan Rahm Emmanuel. This led many to suspect that the numbers would be less than reliable, and combined with the use of community organizers to collect data and a flood of reports of problems with Census collection, concern over its accuracy and how that will be used arose in early 2010.
*For extra credit, read this hilarious Media Matters "mythbusting" post from 2009 in which nearly every thing they say is a myth actually turned out to be true. "Myth" number one? Obama is going to take the census from the Commerce Department.
Now, President Obama finds himself clashing with the US Chamber of Commerce (CoC), an organization representing the nation's business and industry. The Chamber of Commerce is worried about an apparently hostile attitude of the Obama administration toward business, particularly when it comes to "cap and trade" legislation and the recent health insurance bill Democrats rammed into law over the loud and continual opposition of the American public. The most recent charge President Obama has brought (and now Vice President Biden continues) is that the CoC is taking foreign money in violation of US law.

When pressed on the subject, the White House noted that it doesn't have any actual evidence of this occurring, and Obama Senior Advisor David Axelrod asked Bob Scheiffer “Do you have any evidence that it’s not?” Now the White House is calling for the CoC to prove it is innocent of such activity by disclosing its funds; in other words they demand the CoC prove it isn't guilty, the opposite of US jurisprudence and basic logic. The burden of proof is on the accuser in all cases, except when it comes to politics.

However, people have not yet forgotten President Obama's fund raising efforts in which his website omitted the always-included security feature to ensure credit card donations were from genuine card owners, a feature which also determines what country the donation is originating from. As a result, donations such as $33,000 from a refugee camp near Israel were discovered, and donations were found to have come from as far away as France, Uganda, and Singapore in Federal Elections documentation. Some donations even came from the terrorist organization Tamil Tigers.

By now those donations and the curious manner in which the Obama team was gathering money had all but fallen out of the public's mind, but this new accusation against the Chamber of Commerce has resurrected those memories. Is the CoC guilty of taking foreign funds to use in US governmental interests? I doubt it, but if so, then heads should roll and the law should come down with its full force.

But then, it should also come down against President Obama as well, for his electoral campaign which illegally took foreign dollars in the 2008 Election. One advantage of winning the presidency is that you control the Federal Elections Commission and Justice Departments.

And recently we found out that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), who openly solicited and received foreign funds to use in electoral campaigns and political efforts. Kyle Olson writes at Big Government:
During the 2008 campaign, SEIU, the Obama campaign and other left-wing organizations created a “Fight the Smears” website, from which the following was taken:
What about foreign nationals who want to be involved but can’t give to COPE [Committee on Political Education]?

There are a large number of fully lawful immigrant members of SEIU who wish to participate through their union in the critical policy debates going on in the country, yet cannot fund or participate in SEIU COPE because they are foreign nationals.

For those immigrant members, as a lawful alternative to participation in SEIU COPE, SEIU has established a program encouraging its immigrant members to participate in policy advocacy outside of the electoral realm on issues such as immigration reform.
COPE is a PAC. While the “alternative program” is not identified by SEIU, clearly the union is admitting to an alternative stream of foreign money coming into the American political discourse.

What was this money used for? If the Obama administration is truly concerned about foreign money being involved in the US electoral process maybe they should start a bit closer to home, rather than use it as an attack on an organization that dares to question his policies and point out problems with their results.

This commerce department story originated with Thinkprogress blogger Lee Fang on an October 5 Countdown with Kieth Olbermann in a festival of lies, idiocy, and ridiculous mythology. Fang has done this before, telling lies that seem plausible enough for rabidly leftist news organizations like MSNBC to pick them up and give the story legs for a few days before it falls apart humiliating everyone involved.

The origin of this particular story seems to be in the shape of American Chambers of Commerce, which is an organization worldwide not associated with the US Chamber of Commerce (or the GOP). As Pat Cleary wrote for Chamberpost*:
The confusion - willful though it was - stemmed from the various American Chambers of Commerce (known as "AmChams" by any US ex-pat who has ever lived abroad) around the world. There are 115 of them and the first one was founded in France in 1896. Not exactly a new development. The truth (anybody remember the truth? ) is that AmChams are independent organizations, not controlled in any way by the US Chamber, and whose money does not in any way pay for US political activity.
Amcham, US Chamber of Commerce, whatever. They're all evil business related organizations. Perhaps that's what the story came from... and perhaps not. Yet this explanation makes a lot more sense than anything the left is offering, which boils down to "we say its happening and its up to the CoC to prove otherwise.
*For extra credit, read the hilariously hateful and bitter comments from lefties at the Chamberpost.

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