Judicial Watch • Obama

Obama Archives | Page 11 of 15 | Judicial Watch

In its continuing effort to make the U.S. environmentally friendly, the Obama Administration is dedicating tens of millions of dollars to train the “next generation of industrial energy efficiency experts.”It marks the latest of many costly, taxpayer-funded projects required to transform the country into a leader in “green” technology. At least that’s what the commander-in-chief wants Americans to believe while he keeps throwing their money at a number of dubious projects.Just a few months ago the administration doled out around $35 billion to politically-connected businesses that promise to launch “clean energy” startups that help reduce pollution. A chunk of the cash went to one of Obama’s top fundraisers, who just happens to be an adviser to the cabinet official (Energy Secretary Steven Chu) who regulates his industry. Read all about that scandal here.The administration has also wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on so-called biomass energy plants that, in many cases, actually infest the air with a “toxic brew of pollutants”that includes nitrogen and sulfur dioxide as well as ammonia and carbon monoxide. That scandal was recently exposed by an investigative journalism group that published a scathing report on its web site.This month’s green project du jour will give universities $30 million to train the next generation of industrial energy efficiency experts. Taxpayers may reasonably wonder what exactly that entitles so the Department of Energy, which is handing out the cash, tries to explain though it fails miserably.An industrial energy efficiency expert conducts “energy assessments” in a broad range of manufacturing facilities and helps companies reduce waste, save money and become more economically competitive. Energy Secretary Chu assures that these skills are necessary to transition to a “clean energy economy,” which he says is a “growing global sector.”

The Obama Administration is celebrating the second anniversary of its imaginative program to bring “social equity” to underserved communities by bragging that three federal agencies have doled out more than $2.5 billion in “assistance.”The taxpayer dollars help low-income communities improve access to affordable housing, increase transportation options and lower transportation costs while protecting the environment. At least that’s how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes it in apress release. Keep in mind that this is the same agency that has spent enormous sums to bring “environmental justice” to poor communities.While related to that mission, this particular project—known as Partnership for Sustainable Communities—is separately funded (with taxpayer money of course) and aims to promote “equitable development” while addressing the “challenges of climate change.” To accomplish this, communities must create and maintain “economic and environmental health” by, among other things “promoting social equity.”This is clearly another publicly funded, Obama Administration program that aims to redistribute wealth. There are too many to name here, but follow Judicial Watch’s investigations to see some of the outrageous projects that this administration is funding with tax dollars. Obama even created the first-ever White House Rural Council to promote economic prosperity and qualify of life for the poor.The Partnership for Sustainable Communities has distributed huge chunks of cash to more than 200 rural communities in dozens of states. Most of the money has come via grants from the EPA, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). Obama’s HUD secretary, Shaun Donovan, calls it an “unprecedented effort to helpAmerica’s rural, urban and suburban communities realize their visions for building more livable, walkable and environmentally sustainable regions.”

A year after launching a nationwide campaign to protect illegal immigrant workers in the U.S., the Obama Labor Department has entered formal agreements with two foreign countries vowing to preserve the rights of their migrants.Signed this week by the U.S., Guatemala and Nicaragua, the declaration will make it easier to protect the rights of migrants from those Central American countries who work in the United States. Under the decree, Labor Department regional offices will team up with local Guatemalan and Nicaraguan embassies and consulates to distribute information to their citizens about their “rights” in the U.S.It’s part of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’s plan to help illegal aliens, who she refers to as “vulnerable” and “underpaid.” Last year Solis, a former California congresswoman with close ties to the influential La Raza movement, deployed 1,000 new field investigators to enforce labor and wage laws in industries that typically hire illegal aliens without reporting anyone to federal immigration authorities.Also this week, Solis announced another initiative (Water Rest Shade) to help landscapers and farm and construction workers avoid illness and death related to heat exposure. Thousands of workers die annually after becoming sick from heat exposure on the job, according to the new government web site promoting that project.It goes on to say that “Latino workers suffer disproportionately from on-the-job heat injuries and illnesses,” which is why the heat campaign will “particularly reach out to those workers” with Spanish materials and publicity campaigns.To make its point, the Obama Administration uses the case of a pregnant, teen-age illegal immigrant farm worker who collapsed from heat exhaustion during a shift at a Californiavineyard. Two days later she died, according to the government story that points out there was no shade or water available to any worker on the site.In a related matter, a separate federal agency is holding a special forum this week to explore ways the nation can honor the contributions of Latinos. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will headline the powwow along with a “broad spectrum” of influential scholars and business and cultural leaders from the Latino community. The goal is to “better integrate and highlight” past and ongoing contributions of Latino women and men into the National Park Service.

In a scandal ignored by the mainstream media, President Obama quietly stacked the Department of Justice with campaign donors, issuing key posts to supporters who raised big bucks for his 2008 presidential campaign and are expected to collect more cash for his reelection.Additionally, the commander-in-chief rewarded dozens of big donors and fundraisers with lucrative federal contracts, stimulus cash and premium government jobs and ambassadorships. The chilling details were revealed this week in the expose of a journalism nonprofit that sorted through mountains of government records and campaign finance databases related to Obama’s “mega donors,” their businesses, employers and relatives.It reveals that, more than two years after taking office, nearly 200 of Obama’s top donors have landed plum government jobs and advisory posts, multi million-dollar federal contracts for their businesses or attended elite White House meetings and social events. This certainly contradicts the president’s main campaign promise of eradicating the powerful forces of special interests in his administration.While this practice is rampant in politics and certainly quite common among U.S. presidents of both parties, Obama deserves extra scrutiny because he virtually guaranteed Americans that he would end it as part of his “change” revolution. Just enter the key words “special interests” on the White House web site and check out the president’s ongoing rhetoric about reducing such damaging influences in Washington “on behalf of the American people.”Among the more alarming examples listed in the investigative piece involves the DOJ, the agency that enforces the law, ensures public safety against foreign or domestic threats and defends the nation’s interests. Obama appointed seven campaign bundlers to the DOJ, including Attorney General Eric Holder who raised $50,000 in 2008.A George Washington University law professor (Spencer Overton) who bundled at least half a million dollars was appointed principal deputy attorney general in the DOJ’s Office of Legal Policy. Five other donors also landed jobs at the agency, including a Harvard buddy of Obama’s who got the No. 3 DOJ policy job and a Georgia bond lawyer who became a deputy associate attorney general.At the Department of Energy, four fundraisers who gathered around $1.6 million have held staff jobs or advisory posts, according to the probe. A telecom executive (Donald Gips) who raised more than half a million dollars for Obama in 2008 became his White House hiring director before moving on to an ambassadorship in South Africa. His company also received millions of dollars in government stimulus contracts, according to the investigative news report.The story includes a number of other examples and a break down of information by donor. It also points out that many of the “Class of 2008” donors and bundlers are, of course, expected to gather more contributions for Obama’s re-election, which could cost around $1 billion.

In his never-ending expansion of government, President Barack Obama has created the first-ever White House Rural Council to promote economic prosperity and qualify of life for the poor.Created by executive order this month, the new council will help low-income residents in rural communities access public funds for “economic growth” and will “promote innovation” and improve access to health care and education.It will also focus on job creation in those areas, bringing access to credit, creating “digital and physical networks,” expanding “ecosystem markets” and developing “renewable energy projects.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide the taxpayer money and administrative support for the new committee.Obama’s Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, will chair the rural council and the heads of all major federal agencies will serve as members and key advisors. Among them are the secretaries of the Treasury, Defense, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Education and Energy. Attorney General Eric Holder will also serve on the new panel.Their job will be to coordinate programs across government and “increase the impact of federal dollars” to “improve the quality of life in rural America.” The entire country will benefit from this federal investment because “strong rural communities are key to a strongerAmerica,” according to the president.This new USDA venture comes on the heels of several other like-minded and costly Obama initiatives at the agency. In the last few months the USDA has doled out tens of millions of dollars to bring healthy foods to the inner city, recruit more food-stamp recipients and track what minority public school children eat for lunch.Just a few days ago the agency dropped $10 million on a Farmers Market Promotion Program that will bring fresh and healthy cuisine to low-income neighborhoods (“food deserts”) across the country. Last month the USDA launched a sophisticated internet-based mapping tool (Food Desert Locator) that identifies areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.”

Reportedly strapped for cash, the U.S. government is on a full-throttle spending frenzy to transform the inner-city diet by providing “low-income” neighborhoods with healthy foods prevalent in more affluent suburban tracts.The Obama Administration has dedicated tens of millions of dollars to the cause in the last few weeks alone and this month it announced another $10 million infusion. It’s part of the First Lady’s $4.5 billion effort to bring affordable healthy fare such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk to neighborhoods determined to be “food deserts.”Basically the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disperses huge sums of money to community groups that promise to make available affordable healthy foods in poor neighborhoods. A few days ago the agency announced that it is doling out $10 million in grants as part of a Farmers Market Promotion Programthat will bring fresh food to rural and urban food deserts across the country.Last year the program received half the funding, according to the USDA’s own announcement. The $10 million will go to agricultural cooperatives, local governments, nonprofit corporations, tribal governments and public benefit corporations, according to the USDA press release announcing the program.Last month, the USDA launched a costly internet-based mapping tool (“Food Desert Locator”) that identifies areas with “limited access to affordable and nutritious foods.” The sophisticated online program will assist efforts to expand the availability of healthy foods in low-income communities that lack “ready access” to it, according to Obama’s USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack.A few days later the administration announced that more than $100 million in Obamacare grants to “reduce health disparities” between minorities and whites will also go to conquering food deserts in urban areas. In fact the agency dishing out that stash of taxpayer money, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is encouraging groups that can help eliminate “food deserts” to apply for the new “community transformation grants.”

In the latest outrage involving President Obama’s disastrous stimulus, a federal probe has determined that thousands of companies that got cash under the fraud-infested program have cheated the government out of hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.At least 3,700 recipients of stimulus money owe Uncle Sam more than $750 million in taxes, according to a report published this week by the investigative arm of Congress known as the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The recipients got a combined $24 billion in Recovery Act funds, according the probe, which also found that more than a dozen likely committed crimes.The offenders include individuals, businesses and other entities. Examples listed in the report include a security firm that owed more than $9 million in payroll taxes when it got $100,000 in stimulus funds, a healthcare nonprofit that received over $100,000 despite bailing on $4 million in payroll taxes and a construction firm that got around $1 million even though it owed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over $700,000.The taxpayer dollars were carelessly disbursed with little scrutiny as part of Obama’s $787 billion plan to jumpstart the economy and put Americans back to work. Instead, the stimulus has been rife with fraud and corruption that’s been well documented in various federal, news and congressional reports. Tens of billions of dollars have gone to wasteful projects, including $5 billion for a “weatherization” program to make low-income houses energy efficient, $20 million to buy road signs claiming the stimulus is “putting Americans back to work” and $3 million for a Florida turtle crossing.Last summer a scathing U.S. Senate report revealed that tens of millions of stimulus dollars went to frivolous projects like international ant research, to study why monkeys react negatively to inequity and a “tunnel to nowhere” in Pennsylvania. The same probe discovered that recovery funds also bought state-of-the-art cell phones for low-income smokers trying to quit, fancy digital music players for high school students in one state and advertising to promote the stimulus.In the meantime, unemployment remains at record highs and the economy has definitely not been revived as Obama promised when he sold Americans on his so-called recovery plan.

In the Obama Administration’s shameless effort to appease Muslims, a federal raid on a southFlorida mosque with terrorist ties was conducted under new rules of engagement to assure cultural sensitivity towards Islam.The culturally sensitive raid led to the arrest of a Pakistani imam (Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan) at a Miami mosque and five others, including his sons, daughter and grandson. All were charged with providing financial and material support for the Pakistani Taliban. The terrorist organization is associated with Al-Qaeda and has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks against American interests, including a 2009 suicide bombing at a U.S. military base inAfghanistan.Khan founded an Islamic school that supports the Taliban’s jihad while living in Pakistan and continued controlling and funding it as an imam in Miami, according to the federal indictment. He used the school to provide shelter and support for Taliban soldiers and to train children how to kill Americans in Afghanistan, the indictment says. The rest of the family helped create a network that flowed money from the U.S. to Pakistan to purchase guns for the Taliban, according to the feds.Considering the seriousness of the charges it’s inconceivable that federal agents made cultural sensitivity a priority during arrests. The unbelievable details of how the “kindler, gentler arrests” went down are featured in a local newspaper that reports federal agents actually waited for prayer service to end before moving in out of respect for Muslims. They also took their shoes off before entering the mosque as per Islamic tradition.The Obama-appointed federal prosecutor in charge of the area, U.S. Attorney Wilfredo Ferrer, went out of his way to assure that the case has been handled under the administration’s new rules of engagement to show more sensitivity toward religious practices. He stressed that most Muslims are “as American as apple pie” and should not be branded by the alleged terrorist actions of just a few.As part of its nationwide outreach efforts, the Obama Administration has conducted a series of meetings with Muslim groups throughout Florida, including training workshops to help law enforcement officers become more sensitive about Arab, Muslim and Sikh communities. Ferrer, who prosecutes federal crimes in the entire region, says Muslims shouldn’t feel isolated because he’s their U.S. Attorney too.

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