Monday wrap

Biden Exposes Obama Stimulus Corruption ... This week, the White House released its first quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the $787 billion stimulus bill. Reaction on Capitol Hill was swift: Republicans think it's a joke, while Democrats don't want to talk about it. The report was unveiled not by President Obama but by Vice President Joe Biden, who said it "shows early progress providing immediate financial relief for American families and jump-starting billions of dollars in job-creating projects." In a press release, Biden claimed the stimulus has so far "created or saved" 150,000 jobs, and that "over 3,000 transportation construction projects have been funded in 52 states and territories." You don't have to look too hard to find problems with Biden's work. First, nobody seems to know precisely where the figure of 150,000 jobs comes from. When President Obama used it in a speech on April 29, the website FactCheck.org pretty much demolished the claim. Previewing the Biden report on May 11, a "senior administration official" held a conference-call briefing with reporters and seemed unprepared when asked where the created-or-saved jobs actually are. "In terms of exactly where and in what sectors, that's not something I have numbers on," the official said, "because, precisely, we don't yet have any of the reporting." The real news about the stimulus is buried inside the Biden report. It says that as of May 5, $88 billion has been "obligated" for spending. "Obligated" is federalese for money that has been committed but not yet spent. A much smaller number, $28.5 billion, has actually been shoved out the door -- that is, $28.5 billion out of the stimulus total of $787 billion has so far been spent. And where did it go? More than 95 percent has ended up in just two places: the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor. (washingtonexaminer.com)

In case you missed it: The Union News weekend
Sunday: No Choice: Obama throws rank-and-file workers under the bus
Saturday: The price of Andy Stern's political power: SEIU's looming bankruptcy

Saul Alinsky takes the White House ... As the campaigning was winding down and the financial market was coming unglued, the Obama campaign adopted the theme, "A crisis is too good to waste." Every speech prior to his inauguration and afterward, the term crisis was always invoked in an effort to convince the public that we were on the brink of total collapse and if we did not dump trillions of dollars into the market this country was history. As we now see all of this was to allow him to gain governmental control of the banking industry and the manufacturing industry and at the same time allow the unions to become majority stockholders in the auto industry. All of this was payback to the unions for their support during the elections. His fear mongering of the financial sector caused millions of people to dump the stock holdings for, in some cases, pennies on the dollar, totally wiping out their retirement funds. He has spent his entire first 100 days in office paying back all of his election supporters, the gay and lesbian community, the pro-choice coalitions, the Bush bashers, the unions and the community organizers ACORN. He has done very little to meet the needs of the people who put him in office. (gulflive.com)

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

No social justice for ACORN's U.S. Census workers ... While much criticism is directed at ACORN, though, the problem is more complex. A group intended to better our communities is a thing that should be commended. Unfortunately, a small cadre of powerful but corrupt ACORN executives have warped the organization's mission into a high-powered, big-money machine that treats its well-intentioned, idealistic staff horribly. Consider ACORN's record for its staff: The group has sought minimum wage increases (yay!) but sued to get out of paying its own staff the minimum wage (boo!). ACORN campaigns for seven sick days a year but only gives its staff five. ACORN short-changed employees, while the founder's brother embezzled nearly a half-million dollars. ACORN has founded unions but busts unions when its own employees try to organize. And every time the organization's machine creates voter fraud allegations, the group throws its poorly trained temporary workers under the bus. Just since starting our "Speaking Truth To Power" campaign to achieve justice for ACORN workers within the last year, I've heard firsthand stories of temporary workers - like those who will be hired for the Census project - not getting paid the agreed wage (and some not getting paid at all), being dropped off in locations for 10-14 hours a day with no one answering calls to relieve them or save them from heat exhaustion. Some even say they were misled about why they were gathering signatures. The plight of ACORN's full-time staff is hardly better. Most complain of the group's "crony" management system. And many say they've been coerced into lying to ACORN's low- and moderate-income membership about how their "dues" will be spent. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Related video: ACORN: Ongoing union-backed, tax-funded fraud

SEIU's ultimate campaign pay-for-play scheme ... "We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama -- $60.7 million to be exact -- and we're proud of it," boasted Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, to the Las Vegas Sun last week. The behemoth labor organization's leadership is getting its money's worth. Whether rank-and-file workers and ordinary taxpayers are profiting from this ultimate campaign pay-for-play scheme is another matter entirely. Through a series of local chapter takeovers and bully campaigns to destroy the reputation of executives who refuse to submit to their will, Stern and his scandal-plagued lieutenants have consolidated low-skill service workers to create a 21st-century labor empire. Obama champions the SEIU's top legislative priorities: expansive government health care (paid for with regressive sin taxes) and the Employee Free Choice Act to do away with private-ballot union elections. He has SEIU-blessed bureaucrats installed in every corner of his administration to carry out the agenda. The SEIU scored not one but two Cabinet appointees: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. Former SEIU chief lobbyist Patrick Gaspard served as the Obama campaign's national political director and transition deputy director of personnel. During the 2004 election cycle, he led the George Soros-funded group America Coming Together (ACT) as national field director. (pittsburghlive.com)

D.C. organizers insist on ending private balloting ... Peter Kirsanow, NRO "Corner": "... One would think that any discussions concerning an EFCA "compromise" would include those senators who voted against EFCA the last time it was introduced, but it appears only those who supported EFCA are involved in the negotiations. ..." To overcome the unpopularity of card check and its abridgement of the secret ballot, Kirsanow says one idea being floated is that of mail-in ballots, but, he says, "mail ballots retain many of the same infirmities as card check". Jennifer Rubin warns against "an innocuous sounding compromise that will permanently tip the scales in favor of increased unionization." (pointoflaw.com)

Andy Stern wrecks the SEIU brand ... By voting down contract changes last week, SEIU 1021 set the stage for 1000 layoffs and devastating public service cuts. Few workers support such results, so why did 56% reject the contract? The answer is not, as some might suspect, that SEIU’s bargaining team presented a “sellout” proposal. To the contrary, SEIU negotiated a remarkable deal for city workers in a time of economic crisis, capitalizing on Mayor Newsom’s need to keep good relations with the union for his Governor’s race. Instead, what killed the contract was SEIU’s failure to devote sufficient resources toward educating its workers on the merits of the deal, despite knowing that many 1021 workers were angry at the SEIU brand. SEIU knew that its battles with its former UHW leadership (now NUHW), and with UNITE HERE, have turned many local members against the SEIU international leadership. To address this, SEIU needed to provide additional staff and hire members as “lost timers” to build enthusiasm for the contract. But the union did not do so, despite having routinely taken such actions in the past. SEIU President Andy Stern has prioritized raids against another union over dispatching staff to assist current members, leading even the SEIU 1021 Executive Board and staff union to pass a resolution last week criticizing this “misusing of scarce resources.” SEIU 1021’s rejection of the contract deal reached by its bargaining team has sent shockwaves through San Francisco, and should cause SEIU President Andy Stern to rethink his allocation of resources. When members turn down a great contract, it reflects deep distrust toward the SEIU brand, and the union’s failure to address rank and file skepticism by increasing education and outreach. (beyondchron.org)

Obama sets apology for U.S. role in WWII, Cold War ... Do any of President Barack Obama supporters still think he has a silver tongue? His tongue is as forked as they come. I am a World War II Navy combat vet. Your majority made a great mistake. We didn't fight World War II and all the wars since to succumb to an American government that is so far to the left. George Soros and big labor bought the American government in 2008. John Sweeney, an avowed socialist, leads the AFL-CIO. He boasts he would spend $1 billion to elect left-wing Democrats. Forced dues by many workers that don't agree with union policy, but have to pay — or no job. Out-spent Republicans running for government office 2 to 3 to 1. The Democratic government we have today is totally owned by big labor, George Soros and Hollywood. You don't think this man has a forked tongue? Heaven help us all. To hell with political correctness. I hate the left-wing socialist road that the left-wing Republicans seem to agree with. (poconorecord.com)

ACORN: Racist, oppressive employer ... White liberals who run the Association of Community Activists for Reform Now (ACORN) have marginalized and exploited their pre-dominantly African-American employees to avoid being questioned about allegations of voter registration fraud and financial mismanagement, according to a former member of the organization Instead of protecting its voter registration workers, ACORN leaders foster a climate that encourages fraud, then blame lower level works, said Anita MonCrief, who was with ACORN and its affiliated Project Vote from 2005 to 2008. “There were two groups here. There were convicted criminals, crack heads and people with bad character who were easy to blame,” MonCrief said. “But there was a second group, people who did not have convictions or felony charges before they went to work for ACORN. They certainly didn’t understand the process and certainly didn’t know they were committing crimes.” ACORN officials would “just throw them under the bus” when allegations of fraudulent registrations were made, a practice MonCrief found “morally repugnant.” (washingtonexaminer.com)

Exposed: How NYT spiked ACORN for Obama ... Acknowledging what the blogosphere has known for weeks, the New York Times finally went on record to admit that just before last Election Day it killed a politically sensitive news story involving corruption allegations that might have made the Obama campaign look bad. But the admission on Sunday, which came seven months after NYT staff reporter Stephanie Strom's reporting about possibly illegal coordination between the Obama campaign and ACORN last year, took the form of a snarky column from Clark Hoyt, the Old Gray Lady's "public editor." Hoyt used the word "nonsense" to describe the allegations of impropriety leveled against ACORN and the Obama campaign. But PowerLine's John Hinderaker skillfully dissects Hoyt's sophistry, writing: "Hoyt also argues that the story about Obama and ACORN would not have been a "game-changer" in that it would not have swung the election to John McCain. I agree. But since when is that the standard? Is Hoyt telling us that the Times' policy is only to print stories that have the potential to change the result of a Presidential election? Of course, if the story did have the potential to change the outcome of the election, that, too, would have been offered as a reason not to print it." Hinderaker also argues that "the facts as related by Hoyt don't rebut the charge; they support it." Read Hinderaker's commentary on the case and decide for yourself if the New York Times was right to end its probe. (spectator.org)

Leftwing labor-state tree-killer sues Teamsters ... As it continues to try to extricate itself from bankruptcy, the Star Tribune on Sunday filed suit against Teamsters Local 638 in an attempt to cancel its fleet drivers' contract and stop funding their pension plan. The company and the union have been negotiating for almost a year on a new collective bargaining agreement. The company said the two sides had reached agreement on almost $4 million in savings but stalled over management's effort to withdraw from the Teamsters' Central States pension plan. In a redacted copy of its filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, the company said that withdrawing from the pension would save another $1 million per year. Under the plan's regulations, such a withdrawal would trigger a $20 million liability, which the company is asking the court to cancel. (startribune.com)

NYT in the tank ... I find it interesting that the New York Times went full frontal with an unsourced and untrue story about Republican John McCain last year, but ignored a pretty damning story about Democrat Barack Obama. The McCain story was a rumor that the senator had an affair with a lobbyist. No one said this on the record. The Times had nothing. So the rumor topped a boring story on campaign finance. To the casual reader, it looked like they had a lengthy piece on this scandal, when all the Times had was sizzle not steak. Compare that too the wait-until-he-confesses coverage give Democrat John Edwards and his lengthy and well-documented affair with Rielle Hunter. Even after the National Enquirer published a photo of them with their child, the Times ignored the story. So did everyone else in the mainstream media. But the real inappropriate relationships in last year’s presidential campaign were between ACORN and the campaigns of both Obama and Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Times ignored that story. Unlike the McCain affair, multitudes of reporters were not rushed to flood the zone on this game changer. (blogs.dailymail.com)

Divisive President throws U.S. Constitution under the bus, rewarded with honorary degree ... Today’s controversial commencement ceremony has ended at the University of Notre Dame, an event that included a 20-minute address by President Barack Obama, drew thousands of protesters on both sides of the abortion issue and included dozens of arrests around campus over the weekend. Obama, who received his honorary Doctor of Laws degree to a standing ovation, was let out first, making his way out the back of the arena, but not before shaking a few graduates’ hands on his way out. (indystar.com)

International Collectivism

The Left learns the pitfalls of arrogance ... The astounding outcome for the Communist Party of India Marxists, which is a rout in West Bengal and a debacle when the Kerala results are added to its total haul in this general election, is the people's verdict. The impact of the punch delivered by the vote of no confidence in the CPM's leadership has pole-axed the comrades. In West Bengal and in Kerala the CPM-led Left Front has been decimated; of the 42 seats in West Bengal, the Left struggled to salvage a third, while the Trinamool Congress and its ally the Congress picked up the rest, barring Darjeeling where the Bharatiya Janata Party won with the support of the separatist Gorkha Janamukti Morcha. In Kerala, the Left was down to five seats out of 20 and only in Tripura did the comrades manage to retain the two seats. (dnaindia.com)

Neo-communism takes hold ... In his program Alo Presidente last week, Hugo Chávez once again revealed his totalitarian bent and clarified, more precisely, the similarities between his neo-communist revolution and Fidel Castro's. That day he blurted out that, in Venezuela, "there is no private land," arrogantly adding, "I say so!" According to Chavez, "land is not private, it's the property of the Nation," despite the fact that the Constitution establishes precisely the opposite. It seems that Hugo Chavez is prepared to wipe out any vestige of private property in Venezuela by taking a leap forward in his revolutionary project, making good his promise at the start of the year. The Social Property Bill currently being "debated" in the National Assembly will play a key role in making this leap forward in consolidating Chávez' neo-communist project possible. The bill introduces some articles of the rejected constitutional reform that will impose a number of illegalities. One is the intention to create the a series of new types of property -- indirect social property, delegated social property, and mixed social property -- which will apparently coexist with a much diluted concept of private property. It seems that this bill recognizes private ownership by individuals and corporations over "assets for use, consumption, and disposal and legitimately acquired means of production." It is worth noting that the bill introduces two conditions (that ownership is "recognized over" assets, and the idea that said assets shall be "legitimately acquired"), both to be determined at the whim of the President and his government officials. (vheadline.com)

Chávez puts gov't workers on trial ... Eight police officers were ordered to stand trial in connection with the robbery and vandalism at the Tiseret Israel Synagogue in the Mariperez district of Caracas around midnight on January 30 this year. In all, 11 individuals will be tried in the case and face prison sentences if they're convicted. The accused were named as Francisco Perez Diaz, Frank Pinate Lunar, Edgar Alexander Cordero, Jose Gregorio Montilla, Angelo Jesus Charlys and Jose Alonso Milla Mesia, all of the Metropolitan Police. Also charged were Luis Castillo Guerrero, an officer with the municipal police in the Libertador municipality in west Caracas and Yadira Soledad Torres, a female detective with the scientific and investigative police, CICPC. Amid suspicions that there might be a political connotation to the case -- only shortly before the incident, President Hugo Chávez had roundly criticized Israel's military action in the Gaza Strip and voiced support for the Palestinian cause -- the government quickly came under pressure to take action, and vowed to do so. (vheadline.com)
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