5/5/09

Tuesday wrap

Governing Cloward-Piven crisis mentality ... The president's ability to exploit crises is reminiscent of the controversial teachings of Columbia University political scientists, Frances Fox Cloward and Richard Andrew Piven. Inspired by the Obama mentor -- radical community organizer Saul Alinsky -- these two sixties social revolutionaries taught that upheaval is something that should "never be wasted" and that political change can be fostered through "...orchestrated crisis." Two skills Barack Obama proficiently exercises every chance he gets. (americanthinker.com)

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com


Leftwing columnist finds humor in criminal, union-backed, tax-funded fraud group ... On Monday, we were reminded that in Nevada the activity of ACORN was more to be laughed at than feared. Its activities during the 2008 election, as outlined in a criminal complaint and supporting affidavit filed by Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Chief Deputy AG Conrad Hafen, was a veritable slapstick routine riddled with pratfalls and political pies in the face. It's a wonder Masto, Secretary of State Ross Miller, and Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax could keep straight faces. According to the criminal complaint and supporting affidavit, this ACORN outfit figures to star in a comedy of errors titled, "The Gang That Couldn't Cheat Straight." A vaudeville routine this lame usually comes with a "no cover, no minimum" label. In a nutshell, ACORN is charged with 26 counts of compensation for registration of voters and 13 counts of principal to the crime of compensation of registration of voters. In Nevada, it's legal to hire someone to register voters. It's not legal to compensate through a mandated quota system. Lomax compiled a compelling analysis of ACORN's Clark County efforts that illustrates the group's hilarious ineptitude. ACORN claimed to have generated 91,002 "completed" applications, but actually turned in 62,905 completed new voter registration applications in 2008. Of those: • 28,097 were duplicates; • 39,719 of the newly registered didn't vote. (Just 23,186 did.) • In an election with an 80.1 percent voter turnout, just 36.9 percent of the ACORN "voters" cast ballots. That's what makes ACORN's Nevada efforts the stuff of comedy. (lvrj.com)

Related video: ACORN does Las Vegas



The Ins and Outs of 'Spread the Wealth' ... Who says socialists and liberals can’t learn? With just a bit over 100 days of the Obama regime behind us, the Hard Left is realizing one of the great truths of American politics; a hard fact that conservatives have known and suffered under for quite a long time. When all is said and done, there are no “Democrats” or “Republicans” or “liberals” or “conservatives” in Washington, D.C. There are only those “in” and those “not in.” The establishment structure is no more concerned with petty differences of ideology or party labels than they are with adhering to the Constitution. For them, such considerations are plebian and only useful to keep the rabble confused and diverted. (netrightnation.com)


Those aren't bugs, they're features! ... Which may be why The One is smiling so broadly these days, not only from ear to ear but from sea to shining sea. Whether giggling about the parlous state of the economy on 60 Minutes, bowing happily to the Saudi king, slipping Hugo Ch├ívez some skin, or merrily listening to Comandante Ortega denounce Amerikkka for an hour, the former Barry Soetero is having a hell of a good time. Nevermind that the Social Security trust fund just went negative, unemployment is soaring, the market is flatlining, Air Force One buzzed lower Manhattan just because it could, and Chrysler went belly-up at the point of a gun; as they say in computer lingo: Those aren’t bugs, they’re features! Or, to put it another way, if BHO II actually were the nutbag Right’s worst nightmare, a crypto-Muslim Marxist bent on the destruction of the Principal Enemy, as our friends the Soviets used to call us, how would he act any different? (nationalreview.com)


Bank of America = Bank of Andy Stern ... Juan Gonzalez: Well, it turns out that I discovered, in reviewing the annual financial statements of the union, that Bank of America is the number one creditor, has been for years, of SEIU. And actually, SEIU, while it’s been organizing rallies around the country against Bank of America, has been increasingly borrowing more money from the same bank—it now owes $87 million to Bank of America, by far its largest creditor—and also that it was taking out a substantial loan from another union that it is now seeking to wrest members from, the Amalgamated Bank, which is owned by UNITE HERE. SEIU took out a $15 million loan last September from the Amalgamated Bank. And the members of UNITE HERE, who are now involved in an internal battle, are saying, in essence, that SEIU borrowed money from the bank to try to then use that money to take over the union. There’s a continuing negotiations going on within the labor movement over how this nasty split between SEIU and UNITE HERE will be worked out. There were negotiations in Washington yesterday that did not bear much fruit. But I noted that it is a little hypocritical for the SEIU to be launching a nationwide campaign from Bank of America while it’s borrowing millions and millions of dollars from the same bank. (democracynow.org)


Deadbeat Andy Stern sued by forensic accountants ... The Service Employees International union ran up a bill of nearly $2 million with an international security firm specializing in industrial espionage, hired to assist the January takeover of dissident Oakland-based affiliate United Healthcare Workers-West, according to a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court May 1. In the complaint, the security firm OSO Group Ltd claims the union owes it $924,000 in overdue fees, after the SEIU failed to fully pay a guard detail hired to confront purported threats of violence and vandalism from the local healthcare affiliate. The SEIU contracted the OSO Group through Bullock Associates, a security consulting firm hired by SEIU that specializes in executive protection and forensic accounting. The SEIU ran up a bill of $1,834,414 with the OSO Group, of which the union only paid part, the suit alleges. The complaint does not reveal how much the SEIU was billed by Bullock Associates, which the complaint notes was also doing work for the union. (blogs.sfweekly.com)


Obama throws rank-and-file under the bus ... Contrary to campaign promises to increase transparency and accountability, the Obama Administration has announced plans to rescind union accountability and financial transparency regulations implemented by the Department of Labor (DOL) during the Administration of George W. Bush. These regulations make union officials more accountable to union members and deter fraud and embezzlement. The DOL has convicted hundreds of union officials over the past eight years. Rescinding these forms will facilitate fraud and harm union members. (speroforum.com)


Obama throws D.C. school kids under the bus



Obama sides with union bigs over workers ... President Obama has moved quickly to demonstrate his solidarity with the labor movement, making a series of policy and personnel moves dramatically reshaping the landscape to give unions a better foothold. Even though labor's top legislative priority — the so-called "card-check" bill to make it easier to organize workplaces — has stalled on Capitol Hill, Mr. Obama has made up for it in a number of ways, often breaking sharply with policies instituted during the Bush administration. One of Mr. Obama's first acts the day he was inaugurated was to elevate National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Wilma B. Liebman, a former International Brotherhood of Teamsters lawyer, to chair the board. The president has since appointed a succession of union loyalists to top spots in the Labor Department and on the NLRB. He signed four pro-union executive orders, most notably one requiring federal construction projects to favor "project labor agreements" that set aside jobs for union workers. (washingtontimes.com)


Corrupt SEIU operative appointed to Federal Elections Commission ... President Obama's first nomination to the Federal Election Commission has prompted a divided reaction from campaign finance reformers, many of whom are disappointed that the new Democratic president has not pushed for more dramatic reform of the troubled panel. The White House announced late Friday that it was nominating longtime labor lawyer John J. Sullivan to the six-member commission, where work has nearly ground to a halt in recent months because of numerous split decisions along party lines. Sullivan would replace one of two Democrats whose terms have expired; a Republican seat is also up for replacement. Sullivan, who has served as associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union since 1997, was described in a White House press release as "a staunch advocate for election reform and voter protection." But many campaign-finance reform advocates view Sullivan's appointment with suspicion because of his long tenure representing powerful labor unions. (voices.washingtonpost.com)


Post-Constitutional disorder ... The Obama administration and American Leftists have made it clear that foreign-born enemy combatants should be afforded constitutional rights. They should have lawyers. They should have speedy trials. They should not endure to enhanced interrogations. In fact, they could soon be free to establish a new terrorist cell in a neighborhood near you. The soft position on terrorists is certainly consistent with the Obama foreign policy, but there is a bitter irony in the Left’s belated discovery of the United States Constitution. The same administration and the political movement that launched it have declared war on a number of such protections for American citizens. The First Amendment also protects freedom of assembly. Recently, some 500,000 Americans exercised this freedom as part of local Tea Party rallies. Interestingly, a week before the Tea Party demonstrations, the Obama Department of Homeland Security released a threat summary that branded mainstream conservative voices as potential domestic terrorists. Some of the “warning signs” in Secretary Janet Napolitano’s report included rhetoric that is anti-tax, pro-life, pro-constitution, and pro-military. The same woman who as Governor of Arizona refused the push the issue of border security while the citizenry along the border lived in terror has declared proponents of limited government to be enemies of the state. (opinioneditorials.com)


Secretive Obama formulates Perestroika for Big News ... Asked in his Monday briefing if the White House would consider bailing out the newspaper business, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters the government may not have the power to reverse the industry’s decline. “I don’t know what, in all honesty, government can do about it,” Gibbs said in response to a question about the Boston Globe’s financial struggles. Noting that it's a "bit of a tricky area to get into," given the relationship between the White House and the media, Gibbs said President Barack Obama “believes there has to be a strong free press" and expressed "concern and sadness" over the state of the industry. (politico.com)


U.S. sickened by the truth about government ... After nearly four months of frank, honest, and open dialogue about the failing economy, a weary U.S. populace announced this week that it is once again ready to be lied to about the current state of the financial system. Tired of hearing the grim truth about their economic future, Americans demanded that the bald-faced lies resume immediately, particularly whenever politicians feel the need to divulge another terrifying problem with Wall Street, the housing market, or any one of a hundred other ticking time bombs everyone was better off not knowing about. In addition, citizens are requesting that the phrase, "It will only get worse before it gets better," be permanently replaced with, "Things are going great. Enjoy yourselves." "I thought I wanted a new era of transparency and accountability, but honestly, I just can't handle it," Ohio resident Nathan Pletcher said. "All I ever hear about now is how my retirement has been pushed back 15 years and how I won't be able to afford my daughter's tuition when she grows up." "From now on, just tell me the bullshit I want to hear," Pletcher added. "Tell me my savings are okay, everybody has a job, and we're No. 1 again. Please, just lie to my face." (theonion.com)


Why construction costs more: Room reserved for union political kickbacks ... The fiscal debate has included suggestions of tax hikes and compensation concessions by state employees, but one opportunity to close budget gaps should not be overlooked: the elimination of union-only construction. In many of Connecticut's cities, project labor agreements are signed between unions and politicians. The sweetheart deals make it all but impossible for nonunion contractors to bid on public construction projects. Because project labor agreements require that all contractors and subcontractors agree to union representation of all workers, use union hiring halls and conform to restrictive union work rules and job categories, these agreements are expensive. A 2004 study of Connecticut school construction by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, which we underwrote, showed that such agreements raised costs by 17.9 percent. (courant.com)


News Union digs in: No dues cut for NYT members ... Unionized employees at the New York Times Co flagship newspaper and its digital unit ratified a deal on Monday to cut pay by 5 percent, according to a memo obtained by Reuters, paving the way for a reduction in pay for 1,300 employees starting Tuesday. New York Times Co management had reached a tentative agreement with the Newspaper Guild of New York last week to cut union worker pay at the Times in a bid to save $4.5 million. Employees will be given an additional 10 paid days off leave per year. Under the agreement, workers will get reduced pay through the end of the year, though New York Times management rejected a Guild proposal to guarantee that there would be no layoffs during the period in which the pay cut is in effect. (reuters.com)


Blame the maverick Republican leadership ... Are politics and leprosy working hand in hand in our country to destroy us? The way you are acting, it looks like you are becoming a representative of communist dictator Hugo Chavez. I also have a question for blind liberals. Did you guys elect an American president? Or a political neophyte who honors people who do not deserve it? Because that is what he is doing. I believe I have the right to bring this up by complying with our laws, so I can have a voice in the embarrassment of mishandling affairs of our country by a political Mafia that is destroying our faith in what is left of political honesty in America. The real change that President Obama has adopted is 100 percent the Communist platform that only supports the poor who do nothing to improve, as long as they voted for him. If conservative Americans had the courage to express their convictions, things would be different. (theunion.com)


Bait-and-switch: Union attack on secret-ballots morphs into push for binding arbitration ... The chief Democratic sponsor of a measure to promote union organizing says he may have to sacrifice its “card-check” centerpiece in favor of more modest labor-law changes that could clear the U.S. Senate. Senator Tom Harkin said he is in talks with Senate Democrats opposed to the card-check approach to search for a compromise. There’s support to remedy “imbalances” in labor law that favor businesses subject to union-organizing efforts, Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, said in an interview yesterday. “Compromises are going to be made,” said Harkin, 69. “It probably won’t be card-check, because too many people are opposed to it now.” (bloomberg.com)


Sen. Jeff Merkley placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a co-sponsor of the Employee of the Free Choice Act, (aka Card Check). WHAT: Sen. Merkley received the following dirty money: Communication Workers of America (PAC) $5,000 in 2008 election cycle. Boilermakers Union (PAC) $5,500 in 2008 election cycle. American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $5,000 in 2008 election cycle. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $15,000 in 2008 election cycle. Service Employees International Union (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle. United Steelworkers of America (PAC) $5,000 in 2008 election cycle. WHY IT’S DIRTY: Multiple officers and members of these unions, including division presidents, secretary-treasurers and business managers, have been convicted since 2001 of felonies ranging from embezzlement, falsifying official reports to government, mail fraud and conspiracy. The Communication Workers of America and the American Federation of Government Employees have had eight convictions, The Service Employees International Union has had nine convictions and The Boilermakers have had 10 members convicted, while the IBEW has had 14 members convicted. The United Steelworkers of America, which includes Paper, Allied-Industrial Chemical and Energy Workers International Union (PACE), has had 30 convictions among its membership. The amounts of embezzled funds range from over $5,000 to over $100,000. WILL MERKLEY GIVE IT BACK: Merkley did not respond to The Examiner’s request for comment. THE SCORE: Number of Democrats who have given it back: 0 • Number of Republicans who have given it back: 0 • YOUR TURN: You can reach Sen. Merkley’s Washington D.C. office at 202-224-3753. (washingtonexaminer.com)

International Collectivism

U.S. Leftwing teaches the world to hate ... The almost $1 billon that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged as humanitarian and economic development aid for Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the West Bank in 2009 also will be used to promote terrorism and teach the next generation of Palestinians to hate non-Muslims and oppose the existence of Israel, a panel said Monday at the Heritage Foundation. Two of the panelists--Matthew Sinclair of the UK-based TaxPayers’ Alliance and Barbara Crook of the Jerusalem-based Palestine Media Watch (PMW)--said western nations are giving millions to the Palestinian Authority without oversight to ensure the money is not being used to promote terrorism or teach “hate” to young Palestinians. (cnsnews.com)
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