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Cheney Protesters Got Funding from George Soros

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It really is amazing how many pies far-left zillionaire George Soros has his fingers in. He has a passion for funding Astroturf advocacy groups that churn out biased studies and ginned up protests against conservatives.

I like to think I can spot those phony groups a mile away. They always have some name designed to reassure you it's good people against something bad, they always oppose conservatism, and they always get quoted in newspapers without mention of their radical ties.

While reading the Star's coverage of Dick Cheney's speech in Simi Valley this week, I noticed the closing quote was made by an organizer from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

Before the talk, about 25 local supporters of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture protested Cheney's visit at the library's entrance on Presidential Drive. The campaign has criticized the arguments Cheney conveys throughout his memoir -- that torturing detainees is a useful and acceptable means of punishing and gathering information from them.

"Torture carried out by the past administration has caused one of the darkest stains on our nation's history," said Virginia Classick of Woodland Hills, who organized the protest.

End of story. Call it my reporter's instinct, but something told me that the National Religious Campaign Against Torture isn't some apolitical group made up from run-of-the mill pastors who are concerned about people getting tortured. The name fit the typical Soros organization--National Religious Campaign Against Torture sounds like some concerned citizens making their voices heard.

Strike 1 against the group.

They were demonstrating against a conservative.

Strike 2.

There was no mention of political affiliations. Strike 3. My radar is up.

Two minutes of Googling yielded that Soros gave the group $210,000 in 2010. Suspicions confirmed.

What is the importance of this overlooked detail? Simply that Cheney may have been protested by people with a political ax to grind rather than clergymen with no agenda.

Study concludes risky lending is solution to problem caused by risky lending

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Contradictions don't exist by definition. If a contradiction is reached in any given analysis, one must check the premises that led to that conclusion for in it lay an error.

On Tuesday, the Center for Responsible Lending released a report that "paints a picture of the foreclosure crisis in California, examines the who, the where, and the why of foreclosures in the Golden State and discusses what we should do to prevent as many avoidable foreclosures as possible."

The study was the subject of a subsequent Ventura County Star article entitled "Foreclosure crisis not driven by luxury home purchases." It states:

Largely because they were more likely to receive high-rate loans, the study found that Latino and African-American homeowners were much more likely to incur foreclosures than non-Hispanic whites.

Latinos experienced foreclosure rates 2.3 times that of non-Hispanic whites, the study found, and almost half (48 percent) of all Californians who have lost their homes to foreclosure have been Latinos.

RACIST!

Apologies--that's just a tic I've picked up from my progressive friends whenever someone mentions anything that has to do with race. I have to keep telling myself that it's not racist to report facts.

Half the state's foreclosures were from Latinos. That fits in with the stated government policy to encourage home ownership among minorities, a decision "that contributed to an escalation of subprime lending that is roiling the U.S. economy," according to the Washington Post.

In 2004, as regulators warned that subprime lenders were saddling borrowers with mortgages they could not afford, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development helped fuel more of that risky lending.

Eager to put more low-income and minority families into their own homes, the agency required that two government-chartered mortgage finance firms purchase far more "affordable" loans made to these borrowers.

The Center for Responsible Lending--notice that it's NOT called the Center for Responsible Borrowing, but more on this later--came to this conclusion in its report:

As the nation begins to address a potential restructuring of the entire housing finance system, it is crucial to focus on the need for access to credit for communities of color and lower-income communities.

The Star article ends by noting that the report lauds the new financial reform act signed by President Obama earlier this summer.

And herein lays our contradiction. The Center for Responsible Lending set out to discuss "what we should do prevent as many avoidable foreclosures as possible." Its policy recommendation is to "focus on the need for access to credit for communities of color and lower-income communities."

To quote the Washington Post again, "Eager to put more low-income and minority families into their own homes, the agency required that two government-chartered mortgage finance firms purchase far more 'affordable' loans made to these borrowers."

In short, the Center for Responsible Lending recommended as the solution to the problem the very thing that led to the problem in the first place! How could an objective organization propose such a self-defeating recommendation?  

Don't forget to check your premises.

Who is the Center for Responsible Lending, exactly? The Star article merely identifies it as a nonprofit organization. A reader might assume it's merely a group of concerned people advocating responsible lending--certainly a laudable goal in and of itself.

However, a quick visit to its website reveals that it's funded in part by the Open Society Institute. And who is that you might ask? I'll give you a hint--its website is www.soros.org.

Two clicks! That's all it took to get from this report to George Soros, the Uncle Moneybags of the progressive movement.

This is by no means an isolated incident. It's how progressive opinions are laundered to become fact. A Soros groups funds money to agenda-driven think-tanks. The tanks churn out official-sounding studies. They issue press releases that the mainstream media blindly picks up and reports as hard, scientific fact.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Meanwhile, readers have no idea they're being taken to the cleaners unless journalists make a more concerted effort to put organizations, people, and stories into proper context.

IngeMusings
Topic
This blog attempts to add perspective and context to local and national politics, through a variety of disciplines, such as history, economics, and philosophy--all tempered with common sense. About the author

Eric Ingemunson's commentary has been featured on Hannity, CNN, NBC, Inside Edition, and KFI's The John and Ken Show. Eric was born and raised in Ventura County and currently resides in Moorpark. He earned a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. As a conservative, Eric supports smaller government, less taxation, more individual freedom, the rule of law, and a strict adherence to the Constitution.
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