Glenn Beck: Obama's #1 foe


Stanley Kurtz

GLENN: We have Stanley Kurtz on the phone. He writes regularly for publications like the National Review, Weekly Standard, has a Ph.D. from Harvard, also is in the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He's with us now. This is the guy that he was supposed to be on WLS in Chicago and the reason why I wanted to have him on is because the Obama campaign did everything they could to stop him from that broadcast and I don't like anybody trying to shut down anybody's voice, especially Stanley Kurtz, who has credibility here and has something to say. Now, we told you earlier this week that we found something and we couldn't get all the documentation and that's what Stanley's been working on, couldn't get all the documentation of a lawsuit, a class action lawsuit in 1994, 1995 against Citigroup or CitiBank. Stanley is here to bring us up to speed on what this is. Stanley, welcome to the program.

KURTZ: Glenn, thanks for having me.

GLENN: Sure. What is this class action lawsuit that we stumbled onto?

KURTZ: Glenn, I haven't been following that lawsuit as closely as I've been following Obama's larger ties to this group ACORN. I think the lawsuit you're talking about was on behalf of ACORN against a bank trying to --

GLENN: From 1994, 1995. I'm sorry, sir, I thought somebody had briefed you on this one. We found documentation this week that Barack Obama was the attorney, I believe the lead attorney on a class action lawsuit in Illinois back in '94 and '95 about unfair practices in the Chicago area and it was settled out of court and we can't get any more information. So is this the same lawsuit that you've been looking at?

KURTZ: Probably. But as I say, Glenn, I haven't been focused on that lawsuit as I have for Obama's general support for ACORN. And ACORN, of course, was not just in that particular suit but in general was running a campaign for years against Chicago area banks trying to intimidate them essentially into making high-risk loans to customer with poor credit. That suit was certainly part of the picture but it was only a part of a much larger and very frightening picture that is very much at the root of the current economic crisis.

GLENN: Tell us, because a lot of people are like ACORN, and they may not understand. Tell us who ACORN is. Tell us some of the things that they have done.



KURTZ: Well, Glenn, ACORN is a group of community organizers, probably the most militant group of community organizers. ACORN grew out of something called the National Welfare Rights League which was another militant group in the Sixties. They used to flood into welfare offices, kind of shut them down with protests and demand a great expansion of welfare coverage. And in recent decades that has morphed into ACORN. And ACORN leaders see themselves as unreconstructed far leftist, unafraid to use radical and militant tactics. They follow Saul Alinsky's direct action, which is another name for these intimidation tactics.

For example, if ACORN wants a bank to start making these high-risk loans, they might break into the office of a banker and flood it with protestors and basically scare the heck out of the guy trying to get him to change the bank's loan policy. They will even go and protest at the homes of bankers, scare their families. They'll flood protestors into the lobby of a bank, scare the customers away and, of course, in that way intimidate the banks into doing what they want. And so ACORN uses these Alinsky-ite intimidation tactics. Of course, those are tactics that were studied by Obama, and Obama has had a very close relationship with ACORN for many, many years. He never -- that was never --

GLENN: It's not just an association. He was actually training new people, was he not?

KURTZ: That's right, Glenn. Back in the late Eighties when Obama was doing his initial organizing work in Chicago, well, he worked for another group called the developing communities project which was part of the Gamma Leo Foundation, which is yet another radical Alinsky-ite group which used very similar tactics and also deployed them against banks. But in the course of his work for that group, he ran into a woman named Madeline Talbott. Madeline Talbott at that time was a high official of ACORN and eventually became the head of Chicago ACORN, and Madeline Talbott had first viewed Obama as sort of a competitor from another community organizer group, but as she got to know him, she became she impressed. She saw him as a partner and she invited him to train her personal staff. So then Obama went away, went to law school and he came back from law school to Chicago. And at that time Talbott remembered him, remembered the good work he had done training her staff and that is why ACORN approached Obama to start doing some of its legal work. Not only the case you were mentioning but the work for ACORN on the motor voter bill that Obama did and --

GLENN: Why is the motor voter idea a bad idea? How is ACORN -- give me a little bit here before we come back to some of the other financial stuff. Give me just a slice of how ACORN is involved in voter fraud.

KURTZ: ACORN does an awful lot of voter registration work, some of it directly, some of it through sort of an offshoot of ACORN. Now, they claim that this offshoot is nonpartisan but in fact what they do is to go into neighborhoods that they feel confident will vote Democratic and they try to register voters, but they are, shall we say loose about the legality of what they do and there seem to be a lot of names coming back that aren't quite legitimate, maybe even illegal aliens that are being registered and ACORN tends to favor and Obama tends to favor any legislation that will make it easier. I think in Ohio now, is it Ohio? One of these states is now passing legislation that allows same-day registration, which makes it almost impossible to check on how legitimate the person is who has registered. ACORN favors --

GLENN: Wait, is that an ACORN move?

KURTZ: I don't think that's an ACORN move but that's the sort of thing that ACORN and Obama have always supported legislatively. I don't know that ACORN is specifically doing that. But effectively they try for analogous legislative moves and sometimes they just do that on the street, so to speak, whether it's legal or not, all in behalf of these Democratic candidates. In fact, ACORN, an ACORN organizer put out an article in a journal called Social Policy. Her name was Tony Foulkes. And she -- the whole article described how ACORN was able to register voters and get them to the polls to elect Barack Obama as state senator and then senator, but she had to frame the whole article very carefully because technically that would all be illegal. ACORN's not supposed to be supporting any particular politician and, in fact, it's very shaky because when Obama was on some of these foundation boards, he was channeling money to ACORN. So it would have been quite illegal for ACORN to become his precinct workers. So they pretend they are acting as individuals rather than as representatives of ACORN. But what you have here is kind of very shady nexus that even if it ends up being just the edge of what's legal verges on conflict of interest for Obama when he was on his foundation boards channeling money to ACORN which would then go out and register voters that they thought would vote for Obama, pass out literature. They would claim to be working as individuals but a lot of people think they were basically working as ACORN members.

GLENN: Stanley, you say -- by the way, we're talking to Dr. Stanley Kurtz. He writes for the National Review, Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, he is also with Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington. You said earlier about ACORN, a very Saul Alinsky organization. Who is Saul Alinsky and who is the role that Saul Alinsky has played in Barack Obama's life?

KURTZ: Well, Saul Alinsky, Glenn, was really the man who created this notion of being a community organizer. This was back in the Thirties and Forties, and he wrote a series of books in which he was very unashamed about saying, hey, I'm a radical. One of the famous ones was called Rules for Radicals. And Obama really became a student of Alinsky's work, an expert on it, learning his notions of power, his notions of organizing, and it was Alinsky who originated this idea of what he calls direct action, which was this use of intimidation tactics intentionally militant and scary, both to intimidate politicians and business leaders into doing what these radical groups wanted and also frankly as a kind of organizing tactic because going out and confronting and intimidating people is very exciting and gets a lot of members into your organization. So Obama became a student of all this. And as I was saying earlier, after his initial stint of training the personal staff of this Madeline Talbott who was an expert in this direction action intimidation stuff, when he came back to Chicago from law school, Talbott had him doing leadership training seminars for ACORN. Now, we don't know whether he was focusing on these direct action tactics, but he was certainly giving a lot of training to the up and coming leadership of ACORN and these were essentially, you could say the officers in the army that Madeline Talbott was setting out against these banks to try to force them to make these high-risk loans. They were getting a lot of training from Barack Obama. And as I mentioned earlier, Obama was actually funding this activity through his position as a board member on the Woods Fund and also at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, even though that was focused on education, another board that Obama was on.

GLENN: Wait, can you go in there, just for a minute can you just go on what -- because this is to his link with William Ayers and what they were trying to teach in school. What exactly was that connection?

KURTZ: Well, back in 1995 Bill Ayers who, of course, is notorious as one of the founders of the Weather Underground and himself a Weather Underground terrorist in the Sixties who helped to bomb the Pentagon and he and his comrades planned the bombing of the Capitol and other bombings again that were used to intimidate the families of federal prosecutors who were moving against groups like the Black Panthers and such. So Bill Ayers, very notorious along with his wife Bernardine Dohrn who was another major leader of the Weather Underground terrorist organization. Bill Ayers, he went on the lamb after a decade or two and finally resurfaced and became a professor of education and people say that Bill Ayers reformed himself, but the truth is he never repudiated any of his bombings and he never repudiated his philosophy. And actually if you read his education work, you'll see it's extremely radical. It's based on the idea that the United States is an intrinsically racist and oppressive country. Essentially it's a close cousin of Jeremiah Wright's philosophy. And Bill Ayers created an education philosophy that was centered around teaching students to resist America's racist and oppressive.

GLENN: Right. It explains why Barack Obama didn't hear this from his pastor because he's used to hearing it. He thinks that's normal. He hearsay this a lot. He's surrounded by poem who think this way. Agree?

KURTZ: That's absolutely right. And Barack Obama, we don't know how many, if any, education books by Ayers Obama read, but we know that he read and recommended publicly in the Chicago Tribune a book on juvenile justice by Bill Ayers which was very radical which embodied many of these ideas and which included a lot about education. So Obama was very aware of this in reality, and Bill Ayers, when he heard in late 1994 that a very well-to-do Republican philanthropist named Walter Annenberg had decided to give $500 million to different groups around the country to improve education in America's cities, as soon as Bill Ayers heard that, he wrote a grant proposal and succeeded in winning $50 million from this conservative philanthropist. Of course, this is a great example of how radical professors are often able to capture money from moderate or conservative donors without their realizing what's going on. And so he gets this $50 million to be used on a 2:1 basis to get matching funds. So in the end this foundation that Bill Ayers creates gets about $150 million. And when Ayers gets this grant, they set up a foundation and someone has to be chosen as chairman of the board and lo and behold, who gets chosen but Barack Obama.

GLENN: Okay. Stanley, I am out of time unfortunately. I'd love to have you back next week because this is going to continue. Do you have time? Can you come back? Because I want to get back into this and what specifically -- because you've been -- they have been trying to keep you out of the paperwork and you've been hunting for all of the paperwork and you've uncovered some amazing things in that and also on ACORN as a developing story. Can I invite you back, sir?

KURTZ: Sure, Glenn.

GLENN: Okay, great. Stanley Kurtz. Stu, let's see if we can get Stanley to rebook again next week. We just need more time with him.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.