Continuing my series on the excellent book written by David Horowitz and Richard Poe entitled "The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party" in which I excerpt key portions to highlight the danger America faces from the new left.
In the first post I posted about the overview the authors gave of The Shadow Party, the second post was about the first of Seven Sisters comprising the Shadow Party, MoveOn.org. Now I present the second sister, the Center for American Progress:
The Center for American Progress is widely understood to be what one inside source called, "the official Hillary Clinton think tank" – a platform designed to highlight Hillary’s policies and to enhance her prestige as a potential presidential candidate.
Robert Dreyfuss reported in the 1 March 2004 edition of The Nation, "the idea for the Center began with discussions in 2002 between [Morton] Halperin and George Soros, the billionaire investor…Halperin, who heads the office of Soros’ Open Society Institute, brought Podesta into the discussion, and beginning in late 2002 Halperin and Podesta circulated a series of papers to funders."
Soros and Halperin then recruited Harold Ickes – chief fundraiser and former deputy chief of staff for the Clinton White House – to help organize the Center. It was launched on 7 July 2003 as the American Majority Institute, but has operated under the name Center for American Progress since 1 September 2003.
The official purpose of the Center was to provide the left with something it supposedly lacked – a think tank of its own. Where was the Left’s Heritage Foundation? Asked Soros and Halperin. Of course, the left had plenty of think tanks, including the Brookings Institute, the Urban Institute, the Economic Policy Institute, the Center on Budget and Polic, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the Progressive Policy Institute – not to mention the Kennedy School for Government at Harvard and numerous similar academic institutions firmly under leftist control. But Shadow Party Leaders seemed to be looking for something different – something that no existing institution on the Left offered – perhaps a think tank tied directly to their own political operations.
Regarding the alleged need for the Center, Hillary Clinton told Matt Bai of the New York Times Magazine on 12 October 2003, "We need some new intellectual capital. There has to be some thought given as to how we build the 21st century policies that reflect the Democratic Party’s values." Expanding on this theme, Hillary subsequently told the Nation’s Dreyfuss, "We’ve had the challenge of filling a void on our side of the ledger for a long time, while the other side created an infrastructure that has come to dominate political discourse. The Center is a welcome effort to fill that void."
Soros and Hillary seemed to understand the need for the new Center, even if they did not always succeed in explaining it to others. They found fault with every existing left-wing think tank. Even Bill Clinton’s personal favorite, the Progressive Policy Institute, was too moderate, too middle-of-the-road for their purpose. But what was their purpose?
Hillary Clinton tries to minimize the depth of her involvement with the Center for American Progress – as indeed she habitually does in all matters concerning the Shadow Party. Beltway insiders are not fooled, however. Persistent press leaks confirm that Hillary calls the shots at the Center – not its director, John Podesta. "It’s the official Hillary Clinton think tank," an inside source confided.
Many ideological purists on the left dismiss the Center as a platform for HIllary’s presidential ambitions. No doubt, they are right. Dreyfuss notes the abundance of Clintonites on the Center’s staff, among them Clinton’s national security speechwriter Robert Boorstin, Democratic Leadership Council staffer and former head of Clinton’s National Economic Council Gene Sperling, former senior advisor to Clinton’s Office of Management and Budget Matt Miller, and so on. Commented the Nation’s Dreyfuss, "The center’s kickoff conference on national security in October, co-organized with The American Prospect and the Century Foundation, looked like a Clinton reunion featuring Robert Rubin, Clinton’s Treasury Secretary; William Perry, his Defense Secretary; Sandy Berger, his National Security Adviser; Richard Holbrooke and Susan Rice, both Clinton-era Assistant Secretaries of State; Rodney Slater, his Transportation Secretary; and Carol Browner, his EPA administrator, who serves on the center’s board of directors." Hillary Clinton also attended the event.
"In looking at Podesta’s center," Dreyfuss muses, "there’s no escaping the imprint of the Clintons. It’s not completely wrong to see it as a shadow government, a kind of Clinton White-House-in-exile – or a White House staff in readiness for President Hillary Clinton.
Another of the Center’s missions is to carry out "rapid response" to what it calls conservative "attacks" in the media. The Center’s website vows to build its capacity for "responding effectively and rapidly to conservative proposals and rhetoric with a thoughtful critique and clear alternatives." To this end, the Center offers a stable of talking heads – coiffed, credentialed and fully briefed – available for appearances on national talk shows. Notable among the Center’s line-up of talking heads are the Nation’s Eric Alterman – who claims expertise on the subjects of media and democracy – and Morton H. Halperin, who offers to speak on national security.
The Center for American Progress immediately helped to launch a fraternal project, Media Matters for America, better known for its website, MediaMatters.org. Inasmuch as Media Matters aspires to serve as a media watchdog, monitoring the inaccuracies of "rightwing" journalists for ethical infractions and errors, it is peculiar that writer David Brock is appointed its President and CEO. Brock is a former conservative journalist who defected to the left amidst and outpouring of dramatic public confessions that he had built his career on lies, writing political hit pieces filled with flimsy evidence. Whatever Brock lacks in credibility, he more than makes up for in currying influence. Brock told the New York Times that he conferred with Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Tom Daschle and former Vice President Al Gore before launching the website.
The New York Times generously provided a 1,041-word feature article to announce Brock’s grand opening in May 2004: "Mr. Brock’s project was developed with help from the newly formed Center for American Progress….Podesta has loaned office space in the past to Mr. Brock and introduced him to potential donors." Brock received $2 million for the start-up. His donors include friend-of-Hillary Susie Tompkins Buell, co-founder of the fashion company Esprit; Leo Hindery Jr., former CEO of the scandal-ridden Global Crossing; and San Francisco philanthropist James C. Hormel, whom Clinton appointed ambassador to Luxembourg in the 1990′s.
Media Matters quickly acquired a reputation for lock-step partisanship and reckless disregard for the truth. Brock and his team seem to sleepwalk through their work, rubberstamping, with mind-numbing monotony, virtually every conservative utterance that finds its way into major media as a "lie," a "smear," a "slander," or a "falsehood."
One of Brock’s first projects was to exert pressure on Congress and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to ban Rush Limbaugh from American Forces Radio and Television Service – thus depriving the troops in Iraq of one of the few radio programs they are allowed to hear which wholeheartedly supports them and the cause for which they fight. At the time Brock began his campaign, only one hour of Limbaugh’s three-hour show was broadcast on only on of AFRTS’s thirteen radio channels, five days per week – constituting less than one percent of the network’s total weekly programming. Nevertheless, that was one percent too many for the Shadow Party and its operatives.
Shortly after Media Matters began its campaign, Democrat Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa obligingly proposed an amendment to the 2005 Defense Authorization Act mandating "political balance" on AFRTS. The Senate approved Harkin’s amendment unanimously on 16 June. It stopped short of banning Limbaugh outright, but the amendment effectively required AFRTS to balance Limbaugh with more left-wing commentary. Given the fact that one of the network’s two news channels was airing National Public Radio 24 hours per day, seven days per week, it is hard to imagine how AFRTS could have been expected to broadcast more left-wing commentary than it already was. Even so, Senator Harkin complained in a 17 June Senate speech, "[T]there is no commentary on the service that would even begin to balance the extreme right-wing views that Rush Limbaugh expresses on his program."
Taking a look at Hillary’s think tanks website today we see the messages are:
- Don’t fall for Bush’s talk about scaling down troops, Brian Katulis warns. It’s clear that Bush wants the U.S. to stay in Iraq as long as he’s president.
- Sgt. Geoff Millard, president of the D.C. chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War, talks about ending the war and how we can better serve its veterans.
- Conservative talk may dominate radio, but here’s a by-the-numbers look at a recent CAP report that shows it doesn’t have to be that way.
- Al Gore’s Live Earth concert series is an opportunity to raise awareness about global warming—and spur people to action.
And what Hillary think tank would be complete without socialized medicine. Here is a paper put out by her think tank on caring for the elderly:
Social justice calls for treating people fairly and giving them their due, and it demands that society’s institutions reflect and promote justice. This means, most fundamentally, that resources are equitably distributed and that social norms, economic structures, and decision-making processes enable people—particularly the most vulnerable—to exercise self-determination and live under conditions of equality. Indeed, social justice may be the paramount ethical principle for policy surrounding caregiving.
[...]Care for the elderly should be considered equal to care for the young, women and men should have equal responsibility in family caregiving, and migrant workers should receive the same opportunities as native caregivers
One of my favorites:
Even though caregiving is crucial to the functioning of any society, caregiving lacks social standing and garners little respect in the United States. This could be due in part to our nation’s commitment to individualism and to ideals like independence and self-reliance.
You know, that evil concept of independence and self-reliance…..sigh
Gotta bring out the kleenex for the poor immigrant section also:
For those who leave their home countries in search of employment in the United States, it is far from clear that migration enhances their life prospects. Most would prefer not to leave, and many experience the adverse effects described generally as dislocation.
[...]Migrant caregivers often get lower-tier jobs—and thus lower pay and fewer benefits—than they are promised by unscrupulous recruiters representing for-profit corporations. Depending upon the terms of their visas, they may have to return to their countries of origin and, as a result, often rotate in and out of jobs, losing anticipated opportunities for advancement.
Some migrant caregivers also face discrimination and other indignities as immigrants, yet cannot voice these or other concerns related to the conditions of their work. And as they care for the dependent elderly in the United States, these workers from abroad lose time with their own families, many of whom suffer their own care gap.
Mending the patchwork health care system and designing more coordinated, integrated care that is attuned to the needs of the elderly would allow them and their caregivers to better manage care according to their own goals, thereby promoting respect for human dignity. The principle also calls for ensuring that all people have affordable health care coverage, including those who are working outside the paid labor force.
The writers also mention more student loans, investments in schools and programs, and increasing the pay (we know where the funds for that will come from). Also, those folks caring for their parents should be compensated by tax credits and other taxpayer funded programs:
Creating policies that acknowledge the condition of unpaid caregivers by adequately compensating them for the important work they do is also central to reciprocity. This could take many forms: tax credits, direct subsidies or stipends, or perhaps credit time for Social Security—all options that merit further exploration.
Plus we must stop the inequalities in wages between men and women:
Areas that need particular policy intervention are the gendered and unequal distribution of caregiving labor and the persistent wage gap between men and women.
And lastly, distribution of resources throughout the planet:
Considered in a global context, justice also calls for ensuring a fair distribution of caregiving resources around the world so that we avoid perpetuating inequalities in global health.
There we have it. Hillarycare in all it’s glory from the Center for American Progress. Just one of the organizations that make up the Shadow Party.
Next up…..America Votes.