Credit Avik Roy for being open-minded. A week after unveiling his ambitious – and controversial…
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Avik Roy Updates His ObamaCare Alternative

Credit Avik Roy for being open-minded.

A week after unveiling his ambitious – and controversial – reform of ObamaCare, Roy, a well-respected health policy expert, is incorporating some of the best criticisms as amendments to his plan.

Most of the changes are highly technical, and not worth delving into in a short blog post. For readers interested in specifics, here is the link to Roy’s updates page.

What’s refreshing about Roy’s response to his fellow conservatives is his willingness to defend his ideas, but not to the point of brushing aside legitimate improvements.

As to the biggest concern – that preserving ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges makes it possible that Democrat congressional majorities in the future might use them as a springboard to a single-payer system…[more]

August 21, 2014 • 02:38 pm

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Gang’s Immigration Bill Funnels $100 Million to Leftwing Community Organizers Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, May 09 2013
[A] close reading of the text reveals that the structure, membership and funding requirements are all designed with one goal in mind – creating a publicly financed slush fund for radical leftwing activists.

A little-noticed section of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill could funnel up to $100 million in taxpayer-provided funds to leftwing community organizers for helping to “integrate” newly legalized immigrants into American society.

At the heart of the 24-page scheme (pp.383-407) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The entity, called the “United States Citizenship Foundation” (USCF), will be created by politically appointed immigration officials to disperse $100 million in congressionally appropriated grant money to private organizations specializing in outreach to immigrant communities. 

In addition, because of its non-profit status, USCF will be able to receive large donations from private individuals to supplement its $10 million annual operating budget.

According to the proposed statute, the purpose of USCF is to use its grant-making power to “coordinate immigrant integration with State and local entities.”

But a close reading of the text reveals that the structure, membership and funding requirements are all designed with one goal in mind – creating a publicly financed slush fund for radical leftwing activists.

Let’s start with the structure.

Creating a non-profit corporation allows those overseeing USCF to move at least one step outside of direct congressional oversight. As a government-run private enterprise, it’s unclear how much access Congress can demand into its internal operations, such as funding and spending decisions.  

Moreover, seeding the foundation with $100 million in grant money for its first five years loosens Congress’ hold on the purse strings, since the Gang’s bill, if passed, makes an immediate appropriation that will last until 2018.

The foundation’s ability to receive donations from private parties also opens the door to contributions from leftwing financiers like George Soros, who could use the tactic to conceal funding to ideologically aligned groups.

In this scenario, Soros could cut a check to USCF knowing that the money will find its way into the hands of groups he supports, but avoiding a direct paper trail.

How could he be sure?

Check out the membership.

Of the twelve people who will sit on USCF’s “Council of Directors,” only two will be public officials – the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Chief of the Office of Citizenship and New Americans.

The other ten directors will be appointed by the two public officials above, and will be drawn “from national community-based organizations that promote and assist permanent residents with naturalization.”

As the criteria implies, membership on the Council will be limited to people representing groups that already fulfill that requirement.

John Fonte of the Hudson Institute provides a helpful snapshot of which groups are likely to qualify.

In Illinois, it will be outfits like the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR); a group whose integration bona fides include getting “state support for illegal immigrants’ access to in-state college tuition, preschool, and health benefits, and secured recognition for foreign-consular (matricula consular) identity cards.”

ICIRR also helped Islamic groups resist “law-enforcement examinations of suspicious Muslim charities.”

Another likely beneficiary is CASA de Maryland, a recipient of $1.5 million from Hugo Chavez from 2008 to 2010.

Both ICIRR and CASA de Maryland work closely with state and local politicians on immigrant outreach initiatives. They are also heavily involved in mobilizing voters.

Other usual suspects Fonte mentions include notable leftwing activist groups such as the Service Employees International Union, La Raza, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund.

With Directors like those on board, all that’s left is to prioritize who gets the taxpayers’ money.

The Gang of Eight bill does that too.

USCF funding goes to “qualified entities that… use matching funds from non-Federal sources, which may include in-kind contributions;” or “demonstrate collaboration with public and private entities to achieve the goals of …[integration].”

Whatever supporters say, this much is true: If the USCF provision becomes law, it will create a cycle of potential and difficult-to-uncover corruption that allows leftwing activists and their financiers to siphon off taxpayer money while using the federal government as a tax and liability shield.  

Question of the Week   
On which one of the following dates during the War of 1812 did British troops march into our nation’s capital and set fire to the city?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"These are the worst people on earth. They openly, proudly crucify enemies, enslave women and murder men en masse. These are not the usual bad guys out for land, plunder or power. These are primitive cultists who celebrate slaughter, glory in bloodlust and slit the throats of innocents as a kind of sacrament.  We have now seen what air cover for Kurdish/Iraqi boots on the ground can achieve. But…[more]
 
 
—Charles Krauthammer, Syndicated Columnist
— Charles Krauthammer, Syndicated Columnist
 
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