National Review, Newsmax Get In On Right Wing Racket

I’ve written many times recently about the many scams being distributed to the mailing lists of right wing news and blog sites. Conor Friedersdorf recently got an email from the National Review and Newsmax promising to tell seniors how to get government funding to send them on vacation.

The email was sent out to National Review subscribers but came from Newsmax, which is often involved in pitching these absurd schemes to credulous conservatives:

Dear Reader,

Retirees have received an insulting 1.32% annual increase to their Social Security checks under the Obama Administration. And the rumors around D.C. suggest certain politicians want to drastically decrease your payments, and soon! So when we stumbled upon this weird trick that can add $1,000 to monthly Social Security checks, we knew we had to share it with you.

Click Here for Details

Your friends at Newsmax.

If you click on the link it says:

Grab up to $20,500 of the trillions in money, services, and other goodies that Uncle Sam may have ALREADY allocated for your family for 2013 — and find out about more than 40 unclaimed government grants, giveaways, and subsidized trips.

Did you know that the U.S. government is “committed” to distribute more than $1 trillion in money, services, free trips, and other giveaways?

According to our source, it’s true!

Despite the budget battles and sequester, that money is still there and has already been allocated. On a percentage basis, every family’s share of the pie comes to around $20,500. What’s more, only 12% of the money in these programs is designated for the poor.

Many people mistakenly believe that you have to be destitute to receive government money and giveaways. However, the truth is that a larger percentage of rich people than poor people are eligible for government money — such as 100% fully paid “cultural exchange” trips to other countries.

Unfortunately, most people don’t even know about the thousands of government-giveaway programs available to them. That’s because most of these programs are funded by Washington but administered through either the states or little-known organizations — and 75% of the programs have no income thresholds.

Of the $1 trillion in free government money given away each year, only about $378 billion is distributed as grants. The rest is distributed as direct payments, venture capital, or special “loans” you do not have to pay back.

You can’t find these programs on Google. Most government officials often don’t even know these programs exist. That’s why many ordinary people miss out — and let the tiny handful of “connected” folks get all the freebies.

Literally BILLIONS in free money and bargain adventures go unclaimed every year!

Well isn’t that great news, “according to their source.” All of this is a lie, of course. The notion that more than 25% of the federal budget is available to pay for trips abroad — the picture on the page has an elderly couple standing at the Eiffel Tower — is absolute nonsense. But hey, whatever works. And since they probably paid as much as $100 per 1000 email addresses on the list, it clearly works. Friedersdorf hammers the message of this email:

The whole thing is such a fascinating mix of truth and untruth, and so ideologically dissonant. “Now you can get YOUR fair share,” the email goes on. Your “fair share” of free money, including “government-subsidized trips to vacation resorts worldwide.” Why, “there is a special agency, in fact, that helps older people gain access to services and free programs no one knows about — including subsidized vacations to places like Disney World.” But no Obamaphones. That would be socialism.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that, for a sizable number of people at least, conservative media outlets and blogs are really just a big con game, a way to fleece the masses.

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  • aroough

    Ed: Could not figure out how to email this article direct to you, so am using this comment section. Enjoy. NH is a pretty conservative state, so I was glad to see this, even if a bit late. But the editorial does state that, so it’s good news for our team. Aroough





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    Editorial: Praying mother doesn’t belong at Concord High

    Monday, July 29, 2013

    (Published in print: Monday, July 29, 2013)



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    In retrospect, the most curious thing about the curious case of Lizarda Urena is that the Concord School District ever condoned her activity in the first place. And, once condoned, that it went on for so long.

    Urena is the mother of Concord students and a Christian who, for months, spent 15 minutes each morning praying on the steps of Concord High School for the safety of the student body. Her practice began after two bullets were found in a school bathroom. She prayed aloud, with arms outstretched. Her message, she told Monitor reporter Kathleen Ronayne last spring: “Just love each other in the name of Jesus.”

    After some initial complaints, she was asked to pray silently, rather than out loud. And now, after an atheist group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation protesting, she will not be allowed back at all.

    It shouldn’t have taken such complaints for school officials to do the right thing.

    Public schools can’t be seen as endorsing religion in general or, in this case, Christianity specifically. By letting Urena pray on school grounds, the school district was giving its implied stamp of approval to her conduct.

    It’s easy to see why officials might have seen her message as benign; after all, she was praying for the safety of their students. But it’s also easy to imagine similar scenarios in which a nonstudent peddling a more controversial religious message would have been accused of trespassing and swiftly escorted off school property. Consider what might have happened if Urena wanted to assert that God won’t let gays into heaven; that Allah be praised; that there is no God.

    Public schools are not the same as public squares. Nonstudents don’t have the right to preach or pray or proselytize there. Some Concord clergy and readers have wondered: Who was Urena hurting? But students on their way in and out of school – even just a single student – shouldn’t be made to feel like outsiders if they don’t believe what a school-approved prayer leader is promoting. And the schools certainly shouldn’t be in the position of approving some religious messages but not others.

    In this country’s long history of church-versus-state battles, skirmishes over Scripture readings in school or the distribution of Bibles in classrooms are more familiar and, perhaps, more clear. But Concord isn’t the first district to wrestle with a nonstudent using school property to pray. A couple years back in Florida, a minister made a habit of leading prayers on the grounds of local elementary schools, often drawing a large crowd. There, too, the Freedom From Religion Foundation stepped in and rightly put an end to it.

    We can understand why Superintendent Chris Rath chose not to comment to a Monitor reporter this week; after all, it seems she had assured the Freedom From Religion Foundation that Urena wouldn’t be praying on school grounds anymore before actually delivering the message to Urena herself. Nevertheless, the issue is a good one for students to wrestle with.

    When school resumes next month, we encourage teachers and school officials to lead some thoughtful discussions at Concord High about the presence and now absence of Lizarda Urena.




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    DesertFox wrote:


    The editors of Concord Monitor got it wrong. Ms. Urena was not proselytizing any sort of religious slant. She was simply praying for the safety of her children and the safety of the students at CHS. The next time there is an incident at CHS it could have been avoided by a praying Mother. The power of prayer works and it does wonders. Shame on the school administrators for turning Mr. Urena away.

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  • Randomfactor

    The Long Con:

    (A disabled vet friend of mine is a devoted Fox viewer…and on every sucker list imaginable. Interlocking con games.)

  • slc1

    Just goes to show what a low opinion the shitheads who run Newsmax and the National Review Online have of the intelligence of many of their readers.

  • What’s doubly funny in this one is that those “certain politicians” are the very same ones that the Newsmax/National Review readers are enthusiastically supporting. I like how they blame the Obama Administration for the measly increase as well. Doesn’t Congress set the rate?

    The irony of telling people that they can go for their “fair share” is great as well. The underlying hypocrisy is stunning: If it’s money or services for me, then it’s nothing less than I deserve. If it’s money and services for other people, well, they’re just mooches freeloading off of everyone else’s hard work.

  • raven

    It is true that the government has lots of grant type programs for old people.

    And most old people take advantage of them.

    The two most common are Social Security and Medicare. There are others, SS Disability, Medicaid, and so on.

    But they aren’t really “free”. People pay into them until their 60’s and then take out payments.

    You don’t need to click on a dubious email from a dodgy source to know this..

  • skemono

    So now they approve of government handouts and redistributing wealth?

  • naturalcynic

    So how does this jibe with the movement to refuse Obamacare? I thought they were noble enough to refuse government largesse.

  • dugglebogey

    This is a magazine subscription scam. They send all this useless information about gov’t grants they can’t qualify for, (probably via e-book) and as part of the sign up process the sucker unknowingly signs up for a magazine, then they get billed for the magazines they don’t remember subscribing to.

  • a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Learn this one WEIRD TRICK that will prevent you from losing money in scams! —

    Don’t click on ads that use the phrase “Weird trick”.

  • Michael Heath

    As long as you demonstrate your hatred for the uppity black guy who usurped control of the White House, then seeking government hand-outs isn’t socialism.

  • leskimopie

    They’re not even doing the scam right, everyone knows the proper way to offer methods to get people free money from the government is to scream wildly about it at national landmarks while wearing a jacket covered in question marks. Everything else is just half-assing it.

  • @4: “I like how they blame the Obama Administration for the measly increase as well. Doesn’t Congress set the rate?”

    There is an automatic cost of living adjustment that is pegged to some index or another. It’s gone up by a tiny amount over the last several years because inflation has been very low, in spite of what some people believe.

    Yeah, it’s amusing (as in, extremely irritating) to see right-wingers accuse Obama of holding back SS benefits when their greatest policy goal is to gut the entire program.

  • Basically, Newsmax sells the idea that the government is constantly throwing money away on undeserving loafers, then these advertisers tell you that you can make this work for you.

  • Ah, but the people who read Newsmax are good, loyal, patriotic Americans, not Evil Socialist Quislings like the people who usually get all that money. If they successfully apply for those grants that’s one less Evil Socialist Quisling who will be getting money.

    Hmm, I wonder what government handouts the free market fanboys at Newsmax get.

  • Childermass

    skemono @ 6: “So now they approve of government handouts and redistributing wealth?

    Socialism: When the government gives handouts to those people.

    Not socialism: When the government gives me a handout I so utterly deserve.

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