8/2/09

Sunday wrap

Obama: Overexposed, shines on BLT, follows Alinsky roadmap, keeps odd company, intimidates as Bush, defines Dems downward, fans LatAm winds of war.

Mismanagement: Leftwing bails out failing GovCare, radical bigs enrage rank-and-file, AARP smacks itself down, Islamo-fascist prisoners party together, union bigs eye Tar Heels, MA cracks down on non-union labor, SEIU's Golden State strike notice, IUOE on strike, union bigs get huge raises.

International: Correa FARC'd, Chávez creates gerrymandered Workers Paradise, Castro Bros. wreck socialism.

Obama suffers from premature overexposure ... Even so, Obama is approaching this challenge as he did the one in 2008 — at least in style, for top advisers recognize that Obama himself is his presidency's best asset. The strategy comes with a risk of overexposure, a diluting of the Obama "brand" advisers are so careful to protect. Many politicians over the years have had difficulty translating campaign success into governing success. So far, it seems that Obama's postelection campaigning has helped convert his popularity into support for his policies. He successfully lobbied for passage of the economic stimulus only to watch the public grow skeptical of its effects. He scored a major victory with House passage of climate-and-energy legislation but the bill didn't go as far as he had wanted, and its fate is less certain in the Senate. Whether Obama's approach works on health care remains to be seen. (sfexaminer.com)


There's always time for a little BLT Marxism ... We are in the middle of two wars overseas, and instead of worrying about health insurance or solving war issues, or taxes, I see all over Yahoo's home page that President Obama's friend, college professor Henry Louis Gates, was mistreated. Well, I've never seen law enforcement act in a wrong way in that area. I have visited that area several times over the last 10 years and everyone is treated the same unless you get a mouth and start running it — which some of the first news reports said Gates did. So if that's why he was arrested then Obama needs to stay out of it and if his friends are like that then he shouldn't be bragging they are his friends. (southbendtribune.com)

Related video: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on racial preferences



Obama's leftwing roadmap revealed by investigators ... While numerous sources were cited, the research and writing most critical to this exercise was James Simpson's "Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis." This was to date, the most revealing study of the Marxist operations leading up to the Obama regime, including the work of Saul Alinsky, Richard Cloward/Frances Fox Piven, George Soros, "community organizations," SDS/Weathermen madmen, and alas, my PUMA friends, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton. It also began to point out a systematic intentionality behind the well-timed and so highly effective "mortgage meltdown" — an intentionality we have begun to see spreading beyond those we have tended to understand as Marxist, to a greater evil collaboration of those seeking a globally controlled society. After all, evil, godlike control over our lives (and deaths) is the shared aim of all the world's "ubers," of all super-elites.

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


(renewamerica.com)


MM: Judge Obama by the company he keeps ... Fortunately, not everyone on the Left remains paralyzed in an irreversible state of Obama inebriation. This book would not have been possible without the contributions of some brave and lonely liberals -- whistleblowers at the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), independent journalists and government watchdogs -- who rejected the excuse-making and white-washing of Obama's culture of corruption. While Obama sycophants in the mainstream media celebrated his "hipness"23 and his "swagga,"24 a few principled progressives finally began to question the cult. But they are still in the minority. And there will be more predictable excuses. As I document in this book, Obama's cronies of color (beginning with his own wife) reach for the race card when their dubious judgment is questioned. And when all else fails, there's always the "I inherited the problem" alibi. To which I reply: Read the book. Barack Obama owns this cabinet of tax cheats, crooks, and cronies. It is his and his alone. In the era of "new politics," judge him as you would judge other mere mortals. Judge him not by the company that preceded him. Judge him by the company he keeps. (mediamatters.org)


Obama: Now it's my turn to intimidate ... Despite entering the presidency with the thinnest of resumes of any candidate in American history, Barack Obama has demonstrated an uncanny ability for getting legislation passed quickly. However, back on Nov. 22, 2004, Mr. Obama made the following statements regarding the Bush Administration to liberal radio host Randi Rhodes on Air America. You can find it on YouTube.com. “When you rush these budgets that are a foot high and nobody has any idea what’s in them and nobody has read them …” “And it gets rushed through without any clear deliberation or debate, then these kinds of things happen. And I think that this is in some ways what happened to the Patriot Act. I mean, you remember that there was no real debate about that. It was so quick after 9/11 that it was introduced that people felt very intimidated by the administration.” (newsleader.com)


Obama-Dems aim to boost costs, inefficiency ... Government must not do to health care what they've done to our educational system. A government takeover will bring us runaway costs and a bureaucratic mess. President Barack Obama expressed it well in his inauguration speech, "The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness." The U.S. Constitution clearly defines the jurisdiction of the federal government, and health care is not included. Health care is a private matter, left to the individual patient and doctor. The way to bring down health care costs and improve efficiency is by decreasing government meddling — not the reverse. (dailyrecord.com)


Forced-dues blood money colors campaign for unpopular ObamaCare ... Labor unions and liberal advocacy groups will spend between $10 million and $20 million this month to twist lawmakers’ arms over the stalled healthcare reform effort in Congress. Much of the grassroots activity and television ads will be aimed at persuading centrist Democrats and Republicans to support the creation of a robust government-run health insurance program. Many centrists have balked at the cost of pending healthcare proposals and are reluctant to embrace government competition in the insurance markets. The AFL-CIO and affiliated unions are planning a massive dual offensive on healthcare reform and labor law reform in August, budgeting $10 to $15 million on the effort, according to a senior labor official. The labor unions’ advocacy will consist of mass mailings, running phone banks and distributing policy fliers at worksites. (thehill.com)


Radical leftist Dems infuriate America ... When a group of older folks refused to leave California Sen. Diane Feinstein's West Los Angles office last week, it could be a sign that Democrats will have to find a places in which to cower to avoid the anger coming from the public. When Feinstein refused to talk to them about Medicare, they remained in her outer office for six hours until the police used a ruse to eject them. Some may be tried for trespassing on property that is being paid for the taxpayers. As the Democrats leave Washington on their August holiday, many are finding that there have no places to hide from people in their districts who are livid over the Stimulus program, Cap and Trade and what they are trying to do to health care in America. No matter where they go in their districts, they will be met by angry constituents who want answers to why they and their progeny for generations to come are being burdened by trillions of dollars of debt. Some Democrats are already afraid of holding town meetings because of questioners and protestors, calling them "mobs" when they are not adoring fans. Just the sight of a protest sign throws them into a panic and a call to police to rescue them from voters who are not happy about their tax and spend programs. (examiner.com)


Better Government Association advertises in USA Today


(bettergovernmentassociation.com)


Tapscott: AARP goes off the reservation, risks self-annihilation ... Here's an interesting addition from Gallup to the discussion about AARP's lobbying for Obamacare and the massive financial support for Obama and other Democratic candidates and causes from members of the association's Washington staff: Seems that seniors are the group most skeptical of Obamacare. When asked if they believe a new healthcare reform law will improve or worse health care quality in the U.S., 43 percent of respondents 65 years of age or older said it will worsen care, while 34 percent said it will improve it. That compares to 45 percent of those age 50-64 who think it will improve care quality, and only 33 percent who think it will worsen care quality. Note that those two categories essentially cover the Baby Boom generations and their surviving parents. Go here for the rest of Gallup's explanation of its numbers. I have asked AARP for a response, which I will post here in an update as soon as it becomes available. You should also read AARP's response to my Thursday column about the group's Democratic leanings and why Obamacare could kill the organization. (washingtonexaminer.com)


We don't need no stinkin' solitary confinement for Islamo-fascist terrorists ... Self-styled human rights champions who made the Guantanamo Bay detention center a false symbol of barbarism have turned to easing the ultra-secure domestic imprisonments of fanatic jihadists. They say that the likes of shoe-bomber Richard Reid, serving life in the Super Max prison in Florence, Colo., and American Taliban John Walker Lindh, held in tough confinement in Indiana, have a constitutional right to pray with fellow Muslim inmates. Those include Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui and Wadih el-Hage, one-time aide to Osama Bin Laden, who was convicted of an embassy bombing that killed 247 people in 1998. You can imagine the kinds of things that might come up in such an Arabic-speaking prayer group. Absolute isolation is necessary and neither cruel nor unusual for a class of inmates who will wreak mayhem wherever then can, inside prison or out. Lest you doubt, recall what happened in 2006 when three of the Trade Center bombers had mail privileges: They sent 90 cheerleading letters to terror networks that were printed in Arabic newspapers and used as recruiting flyers. The perversity of wielding the First Amendment to claim that radical crazies have a constitutional right to exercise their religion together, not separately, is beyond breathtaking. And yet, in this day and age, it is not simply being laughed right out of court. (nydailynews.com)


I'm a union organizer, and I'm here to help ... During last year's election, organized labor made a major gamble in North Carolina, the least unionized state in the country. Unionists poured at least $4.7 million into Tar Heel political campaigns, and they put at least 1,000 boots on the ground, knocking on doors, putting up signs and handing out literature. Labor played a role in helping sweep its Democratic allies into office: President Barack Obama carried the state, Kay Hagan was elected to the U.S. Senate, Larry Kissell was elected to the U.S. House and Beverly Perdue was elected governor. But it is not clear whether organized labor's investment has paid any dividends. (newsobserver.com)


Labor-state cracks down on non-union workers ... A new state law requires sheet metal workers to be licensed, as plumbers and electricians are. The impact of how the law is implemented will be felt far beyond the construction industry. Sheet metal is involved almost every time someone comes to your home to work on air conditioning equipment or a furnace, and it's a big part of public construction projects that are funded with your tax dollars. Licensing could result in higher standards for professionalism and safety. But those aren't the unions' goals. Freedom from onerous work rules allows the 80 percent of the Massachusetts construction industry that chooses not to affiliate with a union to routinely under-bid union contractors. But construction unions are trying to use the new Board of Examiners of Sheet Metal Workers to change that by forcing the bloated union cost structure on open shop contractors. If they succeed, consumers will be the losers. (wickedlocal.com)


Gov't-union strike OK'd: Typical labor-state bargaining tactic ... California's largest state employees' union voted on Saturday to approve a strike authorization measure to protest furloughs of state workers and pressure state officials to ratify its labor contract. A spokesman for Service Employees International Union Local 1000 said a strike was not imminent but that the vote authorized union officers to initiate certain job actions, including a strike if necessary. The SEIU represents about 95,000 state employees, including clerical workers and teachers. (reuters.com)


Contradictory union big leads workers out on strike over ideology ... If you want to get a feeling for the unease in the American economy, go down I-44 just west of St. Louis to the Fabick CAT complex in Fenton. Local 513 of the International Union of Operating Engineers is on strike. That in itself is not so unusual. The Operating Engineers had a strike in 1994. But that one was about economics. The union wanted more than the company was offering. To union people, that kind of strike represents a happier era in which management and labor fought over what seemed to be an ever-expanding pie. This time, the dispute is not about wages or benefits. "We're fine with the company's financial offer," said union business representative John Henry Smistik. "We're worried about job preservation." (stltoday.com)


Union bigs grant themselves huge raises as rank-and-file dues-payers suffer ... Trade union leaders have received increases in their pay packages of up to 20%, despite many of their members having their wages frozen or even cut. The union “fat cats” include those whose members are causing serious disruption to the public over the summer through a series of strikes. The biggest winner is Tony Woodley, joint general secretary of Unite, Britain’s biggest trade union with 2m members. His pay and benefits package increased by 20% from £88,359 to £105,761 last year, according to official accounts. The revelation comes as Unite members who work as cabin crew at British Airways (BA) are threatening industrial action over proposed job cuts and a pay freeze. (timesonline.co.uk)


International Collectivism

Leftist Rafael Correa all FARC'd up ... Ecuador President Rafael Correa received US$400 thousand from Colombia's largest rebel group FARC, Spanish newspaper reported Saturday after comparing e-mails of rebel commander Raul Reyes with money transfers to Correa's election campaign. The newspaper writes that in one message of Reyes, found on his computer, the FARC commander "announces in October 2006 the support of 400 thousand dollars. This figure coincides with the amounts deposited on these dates into the bank account fo Alianza Pais, the party of the then candidate Correa and with the expenses of the campaign that never were clarified before electoral authorities." According to the newspaper, everything indicates that, even though Correa so far dienied, there had been contact between the FARC and someone close to Correa. (colombiareports.com)


Chávez creates Workers Paradise in Venezuela ... Ten days in San Cristobal, Venezuela, talking with family and friends about everything from daily life and their children to politics and economics, well, called for a bit more wine with dinner than usual. Unfortunately, crime is off the charts and insecurity is the prevailing theme. On top of the concrete wall that runs the perimeter of the family home now sits a high-voltage electric fence. Motion detectors and alarms attached to doors are just some of the "new normal"-type necessities for the average Venezuelan home. A month ago, during the last home invasion, the walls, iron bar-clad windows and doors and watchdogs were no deterrent for thieves who managed to saw through bars and take everything but the large pieces of furniture. Oh, and this same story could be told by almost everyone you run into. The good news? No one was killed or kidnapped. (pittsburghlive.com)


Leading LatAm Progressive accused of gerrymandering ... Venezuelan lawmakers approved an election law on Friday that President Hugo Chávez's opponents say will give his party a big advantage in next year's congressional vote. The law authorizes the National Election Council to redraw the boundaries of voting districts ahead of the election, and opposition leaders warned of possible gerrymandering in favor of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, of PSUV. Four of the council's five members are widely perceived as pro-Chávez. Tomas Sanchez, one of a dozen lawmakers who voted no on the measure, said he expects the body to "change the district lines, mixing up places where the opposition is stronger with places where the PSUV usually wins, and thereby weaken the opposition." (google.com)


Obama fans winds of war in Latin America ... In Bilbao’s view, an evaluation of the first few months of the Obama government make clear that he “has not consistently defended any of the promises he made”. Moreover, Obama finds himself in a situation that is “seemly reaching its limits”. He noted how only a few days ago, Obama was forced to reschedule a televised speech on his proposed health program after the CBS network refused to grant him its prime time 9pm slot — sticking to its scheduled programming of a well-known pop singer. This clearly demonstrated the “political weakness of the government”, Bilbao said. This weakness “is leading to a fracturing of the US imperialist bourgeoisie”. “We can not ignore this fact, but neither should we ignore the result of this complex relationship of forces: the coup in Honduras; the installation of bases on the border with Venezuela; the provocation launched in Colombia [with allegations about the supposed arming of the FARC with Venezuelan rifles]; and the destabilisation policy that the US embassy is carrying out in Paraguay to bring down President Lugo. If war breaks out, ALB’s response will be firm. “But, beyond ALBA’s response, is the response of the people [of Latin America]. A people that today is advancing slowly towards an anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist perspective.” In a context of regional war, “revolutionary armed forces will reappear across all of Latin America, guerilla forces will reappear, as will clandestine and violent forms of combat. If all other channels are closed off, there is no doubt this is how the people will respond.” (greenleft.org.au)


How to destroy socialism ... Raul Castro says Cuba will cut spending on education and health care, weakening the building blocks of its communist system to try to revive a floundering economy. But Castro vows that anyone waiting for fundamental political change when he and his brother Fidel are gone is "doomed to failure." He told parliament Saturday, "I wasn't elected president to return capitalism to Cuba or surrender the revolution." He said he was "elected to defend, build and perfect socialism, not destroy it." (google.com)
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