Tuesday wrap

U.S. as Banana Republic: Obama sends in the Federal Czars ... I’m not going to discuss his reckless decision to allow the private Federal Reserve Banking System to serve as the czar of the financial industry. However, it appears that his appointment of numerous czars without senate approval is unconstitutional. Let me just say this. It should be clear to anyone who has the slightest idea what’s going on that the Federal Reserve is most responsible for this economic mess. The Federal Reserve strong-armed banks, perhaps even Paulson and others to act in a predatory, defiant, and illegal manner. And now Obama wants to grant the Fed absolute control of the financial industry? Are you kidding me? I can’t believe what I’m witnessing. I’ve been in disbelief now for over a year. Someone please wake me up when this nightmare ends; but not a minute before. (seekingalpha.com)

Honduras explained ... What do you do if you're a term-limited president in Latin America? Mel Zelaya, who until this weekend was President of Honduras, decided to call a referendum to rewrite the nation's Constitution. That he had no authority to call such a referendum was not supposed to matter; Zelaya is a friend of Hugo Chávez, after all. The Honduran Supreme Court ruled Zelaya's actions unconstitutional. The nation's attorney general found that the referendum was illegal. Nevertheless, with support from Chávez, Zelaya determined to carry out the illegal referendum that would allow him to extend his term in office and potentially recreate the entire Honduran regime in his own image. And so? Other Latin American leaders have gotten away with such shady shenanigans with barely a yawn from the rest of the world. Not in Honduras. Acting apparently on orders from their Supreme Court, the Honduran military arrested Zelaya and kicked him out of the country. A new president was appointed; this was also apparently done according to Honduran law. The nation's Constitution remains intact, regular elections--including for president--remain scheduled for November, and a wannabe strongman has been sidelined. All this has touched off a firestorm of criticism from a mix of Chávez cronies and other law-bending world leaders made nervous by the fall of one of their own. Some on the political left are even calling for "solidarity" with Zelaya, apparently because he shares their Progressive disdain for the United States and the rule of law. (libertylive.org)

Obama OK's counter-strike against Honduras Constitution ... Mr Zelaya announced his return in the capital of Nicaragua, Managua, where he has been attending a meeting with his leftist allies in the region, including Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. Mr Zelaya said he would fly home on Thursday, together with the head of the OAS. "I'll be finishing my term of four years whatever you - you groups of oligarchs, you the owners of the media - may want," he said. It is unclear how Honduras's current leaders would react but they have previously said that Mr Zelaya would be arrested and jailed if he set foot in the country. They say he was legally removed because he violated the constitution. Mr Obama said he would work with the OAS to restore Mr Zelaya to office. (news.bbc.co.uk)

Obama clears path for EFCA, taps unionist lawyer as top Fed Mediator ... George H. Cohen, Nominee for Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Director. George Cohen has had an extensive and distinguished career as a labor lawyer, negotiator, and mediator. During the period 1966-2005 he was a senior partner at Bredhoff & Kaiser, a Washington, D.C. law firm with a national practice, specializing in representing private and public sector labor organizations in collective bargaining involving a wide variety of industries and government entities. (whitehouse.gov)

Obama Perestroika: 'Light touch' exposed ... "I am a firm believer in the power of the free market," President Obama told the Wall Street Journal recently. The "irony" surrounding his public image as a collectivist, the president insisted, was that "I actually would like to see a relatively light touch when it comes to the government." Either Obama is as confused about the definition of irony as pop singer Alanis "rain on your wedding day" Morrisette, or he was being disingenuous. Given the president's ambitious, state-bloating agenda and longtime disdain for free enterprise, the latter is more likely the case. The president is hell-bent on further extending government control over Americans' health care, and the administration-backed cap and trade bill that passed the House Friday, would, among other things, create a national building code. A "light touch," indeed. Nearly half of Americans now think the unspent portion of the stimulus package should be cancelled. Fewer than half approve of Obama's "speculator"-denouncing, CEO-firing approach to the auto bailouts, and six in 10 tell pollsters that he lacks a clear plan for taming our burgeoning deficit. Cap-and-trade is likely to stall in the Senate, and with the Congressional Budget Office scoring the leading health-care bill at $1.6 trillion over 10 years, "sticker shock" may kill Obamacare as well. Obama's popularity remains substantially higher than that of his policies. But that gap can't persist indefinitely. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Sotomayor compares unfavorably to rejected SCOTUS nominee ... Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor has been overturned again. President Barrack Obama’s choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy being created by the retirement of Associate Justice David Souter had another of her rulings overturned today when five of the high court justices upheld an appeal by 20 firefighters from New Haven, Connecticut, who had passed their test for promotion only to have all promotions cancelled because none of the African-American candidates passed the test. Sotomayor was part of a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York that unanimously dismissed the appeal. The full circuit court later declined to hear the case. The ruling in Ricci et al. v DeStefano et al. (pdf) would appear to add to the statistical challenge the nominee will likely face at her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sotomayor has been overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on 60 percent of her appealed rulings. Those with long memories may recall that Nixon nominee G. Harold Carswell, rejected by the Senate in 1970, was considered “mediocre” by many of the senators because he had been overturned on 58 percent of the appeals of his decisions. (thenewamerican.com)

Labor-state shows Congress how to kill jobs ... Three years ago, I stood on the floor of the California Senate and watched a similar celebration over a similar bill, Assembly Bill 32. And I have spent the last three years watching as that law has dangerously deepened California's recession. It uses a different mechanism than cap and trade, but the objective is the same: to force a dramatic reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Until that bill took effect, California's unemployment numbers tracked very closely with the national unemployment rate. But then, in January of 2007, California's unemployment rate began a steady upward divergence from the national jobless figures. Today, California's unemployment rate is more than two points above the national rate, and at its highest point since 1941. What is it that happened in January 2007? AB 32 took effect and began shutting down entire segments of California's economy. Let me give you one example from my district. (ibdeditorials.com)

ACORN Housing: Union-backed foreclosure fraud exposed ... Kansas-based blogger Nancy Armstrong (MsPlacedDemocrat.com) reports that St. Louis, Missouri, gave a $100,000 grant to ACORN and that $82,000 of it is unaccounted for. The money was given to ACORN for loan modifications, that is, to help struggling homeowners refinance their mortgages. ACORN reportedly charges $750 for each loan modified and says it has completed 24 of them, which means it is entitled to $18,000 from the grant. Read more about it on Armstrong's blog here. (spectator.org)

"Health care by lobbyists thwarts your rights and can be stopped here." ... Voters in Arizona will decide next year whether residents will be subject to mandates in the pending health care reform that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are promoting. The Arizona Legislature introduced an initiative (HCR2014), which if passed, would amend the state constitution to codify that no resident would be required to participate in any public health care option. Arizonans will vote on the initiative in November 2010. “HCR2014 is proactive and will protect patients’ fundamental rights,” Arizona State Rep. Nancy Barto, a Republican, said in a statement. “We are a front-line battle state to stop the momentum of this powerful government takeover of your health care decisions. Health care by lobbyists thwarts your rights and can be stopped here.” (cnsnews.com)

Oakland: Police unionists holds out ... City workers represented by the Service Employees International Union have overwhelmingly agreed to a contract with the city that includes compensation reductions of 10 percent, the union said. "City workers have acknowledged these difficult times and once again have delivered for the Oakland community," said Brad Walters, SEIU's Oakland Chapter President in a statement. SEIU Local 1021, which represents more employees than any other city union, became the first of the city's four major unions to vote to accept a 10 percent compensation reduction as the city faces a projected $83 million general fund budget deficit. The 10 percent reduction comes in part from anticipated city shutdown days in the upcoming year and in part from increased retirement contributions from employees. The City Council is relying heavily on employee concessions to balance its budget. Besides Local 1021, the council also has a tentative agreement with Local 55 of the International Association of Fire Fighters and is close to a deal with Local 21 of Professional & Technical Engineers. Council members remain at loggerheads with the Oakland Police Officers Association, however. Unlike the other three unions, the police union had a contract in place when Oakland's budget crisis deepened this year, and talks to restructure that contract have thus far left both sides frustrated. (insidebayarea.com)

Social justice for union-backed, tax-funded fraud group ... Another ACORN worker was ordered held for trial on election law charges following a 20-minute hearing today before Senior District Judge Richard H. Zoller. Eric E. Jordan, 20, of North Braddock will stand trial on charges of soliciting a voter registration and interference with county voter registration officials. Jordan is the sixth worker from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now ordered to face trial in Allegheny County. A seventh defendant faces a preliminary hearing next month. Jordan already was in custody on unrelated charges. The cases stem from an investigation into allegations of voter registration fraud by District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. Jordan, like five of the other defendants, was hired as a canvasser. (pittsburghlive.com)

Toronto police hassle citizenscab.com ... “Roofer Dave” Batterton hopes that the city workers strike lasts a good long time. He has suspending his roofing business for the duration of the walkout, and begun picking up garbage, starting with the homes of his clients. Fortunately for Mr. Batterton, he has put slate roofs and copper eavestroughing on some of the stateliest piles in Rosedale and Forest Hill. These folks don’t want to wait on a picket line at a transfer station. “If this goes on, this may be a good living,” he said today, after accepting 10 bags of garbage from two big brick homes (with slate roofs) on Maple Street in Rosedale. “People are just happy to give me money and I’m getting rid of their garbage.” He has registered a domain name, fivebucksabag.com, where customers can register their address, and he’ll come and get their trash. The business idea came to him Friday night. He parked his truck near the end of a one-kilometre line of cars waiting to drop off trash at the Bermondsey Transfer Station, in the summer heat. As each car arrived, he asked the occupants for $5 a bag, and threw their trash in his truck, so they wouldn’t have to wait around. “Two bylaw enforcement officers came up and said, ‘We’d rather you didn’t. We’ve called the cops.’ I said, ‘I’m not causing trouble.’ But the officers said, ‘You gotta go.’ ’’ (network.nationalpost.com)

International Collectivism

LatAm Marxist wins over Obama ... The so-called "military coup" in Honduras was a successful effort by Honduran patriots to preserve their constitutional system of government from an international alliance of communists and socialists backed by Iran. Not surprisingly, America’s Marxist President has come down on the anti-American side. If all of this is news to you, consider yourself a victim of the "state-run media," as Rush Limbaugh calls it. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted that the problem was that the deposed president, Manuel "Mel" Zelaya, was "moving to re-write the Honduran constitution to extend and expand his power, while retaliating against those who stand in his way." (familysecuritymatters.org)

Unified Leftists H8 term limits ... During his campaign, President Obama made a big deal of criticizing leaders who are elected democratically but don't govern democratically. He's had a chance to show that it mattered in Honduras. He didn't. That's the sorry story as Honduras' now ex-president, Mel Zelaya, last Thursday defied a Supreme Court ruling and tried to hold a "survey" to rewrite the constitution for his permanent re-election. It's the same blueprint for a rigged political system that's made former democracies like Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador into shells of free countries. (ibdeditorials.com)

Honduras defends its Constitution ... Thank you to all the visitors, commenters, and bloggers linking to my coverage of yesterday’s events in Honduras. Here is more information on Mel Zelaya’s move: * Zelaya couldn’t get the ballots printed in Honduras since the referendum had been pronounced illegal by the country’s Supreme Court AND the electoral board. Therefore, the government couldn’t print them. No private printer was willing to break the law, either. So Zelaya had the ballots printed in Venezuela and flown in. * The Supreme Court instructed the military (who would be the ones doing the job) NOT to distribute the ballots to the polling stations. * Zelaya then "led thousands of supporters to recover the material from an air force warehouse before it could be confiscated." His supporters broke into the military installation where the ballots were kept. * Zelaya’s supporters started distributing the ballots at 15,000 voting stations across the country. This act placed him in outright defiance of the law, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court. (faustasblog.com)

Chávez flies Zelaya to Nicaragua for ALBA emergency confab ... Yesterday, in response to the coup in Honduras, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez put his military on alert, threatening action if his country's embassy or diplomats were threatened. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, a leftist ally of Chávez, also threatened military action if his country's diplomats were put in danger. Chávez, true to form, also broached the notion that Washington was behind the coup. "They will have to get to the bottom of how much of a hand the CIA and other imperial bodies had in this," he said. The White House has denied any U.S. participation in the coup. "There was no U.S. involvement in this action against President Zelaya," a White House official told Reuters. The U.S. has stated it will not recognize any other government in Honduras. Chávez also said if a new government was sworn in after the coup, it will be defeated (the president of the Congress, Roberto Michelleti was sworn in as provisional president yesterday). "We will bring them down, we will bring them down, I tell you," shouted Chávez to hundreds of Zelaya supporters in Venezuela. Chávez has convened an emergency meeting of his Bolivarian Alternative to the Americas (ALBA) coalition in Nicaragua today to discuss the implications of the coup and what actions to take. Ousted president Manuel Zelaya will attend the meeting. (examiner.com)

U.N. swayed by Chávez, ALBA ... After analyzing the circumstances that have arisen due to this Coup d’Etat, and the serious violations of human rights, the existing multilateral agreements of our countries with the Republic of Honduras, and in view of the total rejection that the International Community has expressed towards the dictatorial government that intends to take power, the member States of ALBA have decided to order our Ambassadors to leave their posts, leaving the minimal diplomatic representation in Tegucigalpa instead, until the legitimate government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales has been reinstated. Accordingly, we will recognize only the Honduran diplomatic representation appointed by President Zelaya in our countries, and under no circumstances will we accredit any personnel appointed by usurpers. Also, as member states of the different integration systems of the continent, we call upon our brother nations of UNASUR, SICA, CARICOM, The Rio Group, The UN and OAS to act against the aggressors of the people of Honduras, as we have. (pww.org)
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