8/5/09

Wednesday wrap

Obama: Leans on Rules for Radicals, manufactures anger, all mobbed up, so predictable, no Joker, hearts defense P2P, gives Gitmo North to AFSCME, ducks ObamaCare questions, H8s anti-Communism.

Mismanagement: Congress H8s freedom, GovMo scored, state oppresses folks, Bill Clinton for President?, earmark P2P alive & well in D.C., arbitration that binds OK'd, Illinois empties jails, workers oust UAW.

International: Obama gives Georgia to Putin, U.S. corrupted from within, LatAm thug fail, Chávez apes ObamaCare.

Counterinsurgent anti-socialists use Rules for Radicals against the Left ... It was published in 1971 and its iconoclastic author died the following year, but now "Rules for Radicals" is riding a revival. The book, written by community organizer Saul Alinsky, is a battleplan for transferring power from the haves to the have-nots. It sits at No. 25 on the Amazon political best seller list. If you strip out Kindle versions that duplicate titles on the list, this 1989 paperback edition would be at No. 15. Alinksy, who inspired young liberals such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Paul Wellstone and Barack Obama, is reviled by the right. But conservatives may be aiding sales of his book. They're the only ones talking about it. Neither Obama nor Clinton mentions Alinsky because he is a lightning rod to those eager to portray the administration as a nest of radicals. Obama embraced Alinsky's teachings during his days as a community organizer. The Alinsky method was to rally the poor and powerless in the backyards of Chicago. His goal was social justice through mobilization, a strategy that appealed to Obama's idealism. Obama became adept at the Alinsky technique of drawing out people's stories to discover the self-interest that would ignite their activism. (voices.washingtonpost.com)

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


MM: Left Unhinged ... The activist Left can't stand competition. Last week in Long Island, N.Y., opponents of the Democrats' government health care takeover legislation outnumbered Obama supporters 10 to one. The Tea Party activists toted American flags and signs that read "WE CAN'T AFFORD FREE HEALTH CARE"—prompting one foe to stalk into the peaceful crowd, gesticulate wildly and shout unintelligible threats at the top of his lungs. The same Democrat Masters of Astroturf who encouraged their followers to use "in-your-face" tactics during the campaign season now balk at vocal opposition from their fiscally conservative neighbors and co-workers. Obama's architects of Kabuki town halls have packed public forums with partisan plants. Now they accuse opponents gathering at impromptu rallies against the massive health care takeover legislation (which no one has read) of orchestrating "manufactured anger." Unaccustomed to pushback, the wealthy, astroturfed ground troops for Obamacare—underwritten by unions, liberal philanthropists, the AARP, ACORN and your tax dollars—have resorted to projection. As I've reported previously, the single-payer lobby boasts a $40 million budget and a stable of seasoned political operatives based at 1825 K Street in Washington, D.C. Now that cabal is accusing the broad coalition of taxpayer activists, libertarians, independents, talk radio loyalists, bloggers and first-time protesters against socialized medicine of being, yes, wealthy and astroturfed. (vdare.com)


Chicago mob takes over U.S. government ... Following reports that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has been orchestrating an effort to intimidate members of Congress and Governors who raise legitimate concerns regarding the effectiveness of the stimulus, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to Emanuel saying “While this type of scare tactic may work In Chicago, it will not work to intimidate me or other Members of the United States Congress.” “I and others have dared to bring these facts to the attention of President Obama, the Congress and the American people,” Issa wrote. “You’ve unfortunately reacted by once again resorting to the playbook of the Chicago political machine.” (oversight.house.gov)


America’s Mobocracy Exposed ... There are three overlooked or un-emphasized facets of the Obama administration and Congress’s breathless rush to seize everything in the country that is not nailed down – health care, car production, the used or “clunker” car market, executive pay – the list may prove to be endless, and there may be nothing that is not nailed down exempt from their avarice. These facets should be the principal foci of critics to the point of obsession. A minor facet of the Obama administration itself is the Chicago “gangster government” character of his White House staff and his cabinet and departmental appointees. Not all of his appointees are from Chicago. They just have that odor about them, of professional political parasites who have scurried in and out of sight and up and down the totem pole of Washington politics over the years as their chosen career choices, to a soul advancing or pimping for collectivism, most of them never having worked a productive day in their lives. Heading the list is chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel, who has all the charm and savvy of Meyer Lansky. (One can legitimately wonder if the grandfather of “community organizing,” Saul Alinsky, and Lansky traded pointers on political activism. They were Chicago contemporaries.) The President and his wife, Michelle, of course, live like royalty and behave like it. There are the appointed 32 “czars” lording it over the American economy, and then there are Michelle’s 22 staffers who aid her in her “social” life, all of whose salaries are paid by taxpayers – not all of them in Chicago. (familysecuritymatters.org)


Obama is no Joker ... We simply do not get this Obama as the Joker poster that's making the rounds. What does the joker have to do with Socialism? The Joker = anarchy, right? Which is pretty much the antithesis of socialism. It would pass for something resembling humor if it said "Why So Socialist?" but it does not. So no-LOL. There's also the not-so-subtle fact that it depicts the commander-in-chief in white face, and, as you might have heard, Obama is our first black president. (blogs.miaminewtimes.com)


Oppressive New Prog Congress H8s dissent ... Lawmakers need to face the revolution they've fueled with their bailouts and takeovers. Washington has acted like King George III and "erected a multitude of new offices and sent hither swarms of officers to harass" Americans "and eat out their substance." It is meddling in people's lives and has no business going into the private places it is invading. Americans have both the right and the duty to stand up to forces that want to subjugate them. Polite discourse is always preferred, but when liberty is threatened by an aggressive government, civil dialogue is not enough. Voters need to exercise their right to press their representatives and influence legislation. Lawmakers should not be allowed to hide behind claims that they are being accosted by rabble. If they're going to put a boot on people's necks, the people have the right to confront their oppressors. (ibdeditorials.com)


GovMo: Mocking the Rule of Law ... The last time the federal government bailed out Chrysler, Jimmy Carter's administration reached a deal with the carmaker in August 1979, but the agreement did not take effect until Congress approved implementing legislation that December. The Constitution, after all, gives exclusive power of the purse to Congress. This time around, George W. Bush dispensed with the legal niceties, loaning more than $13 billion in taxpayer money to Chrysler and General Motors without any statutory authority. Although he ran on a promise to repudiate Bush's sweeping view of executive power and respect the constitutional role of the legislative branch, Barack Obama applauded his predecessor's illegal loans. Since taking office he has followed Bush's pattern, expanding the bailout without seeking congressional approval. The president's high-handed personal involvement in the pending merger between Chrysler and Fiat, a deal that flouts well-established bankruptcy principles by forcing secured creditors to the back of the line, confirms that when it comes to industrial meddling Obama is no more committed to the rule of law than Bush was. (americanchronicle.com)


We told you so ... After all, we warned about Dr. Jeremiah Wright's unconscionable racist views and Obama's lack of resistance to them while sitting for 20 years under Wright's teaching at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. We wouldn't be shocked to see our national debt rise to unimaginably high levels with the promise of fixing a troubled economy. We wouldn't be surprised when Congress is pressed to bailout a banking system collapsing under the weight of unpaid mortgages doled out to folks who really didn't have the income to justify such huge debt. After all, Obama's work as a community organizer with ACORN was well known. And the national ACORN organization and its sister Service Employees International Union thrives by pushing for "affordable housing" to those unable to qualify for loans. We wouldn't be stunned when Obama sits patiently as an animosity-filled world leader insults and demeans America. We wouldn't cringe when he bows to a vowed enemy of democracy and is jovial when a communist dictator greets him with a book brimming with anti-liberty propaganda. We tried to tell them the president launched his Illinois political career in his Hyde Park community with the help of SDS activists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. In the 1960s, the SDS' publicized goal was to destroy America from within. We wouldn't be appalled when we watch the world's best health care fall into the federal government's insensitive, controlling hands. (southtownstar.com)


Meet the Enemy ... Half a century ago, as I was struggling to articulate a social and political philosophy with which my inner voices could find approval, I discovered one of my earliest introductions to what has since come to be known as libertarian thought. I had read – and enjoyed – classical philosophers John Locke, John Stuart Mill, the Stoics, and others who took seriously the plight of the individual at the hands of political systems. Discovering the writings of H.L. Mencken during the early days of my inquiries introduced me to a number of contemporary critics of governmental behavior. It was at this time that I read a book, titled Our Enemy, the State and written by Albert Jay Nock, that began the real transformation of my thinking. I soon became less interested in the pursuit of abstract philosophic reasoning and increasingly focused on the realpolitik of political systems. (mises.org)


22nd Amendment didn't go far enough ... Some lawmakers in Congress are proposing a repeal of the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. That would mean there would no longer be a legal bar to a president serving more than two terms. This could open the way for someone to become "president for life" as has happened with such historical notables as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini and others. One would think that a constitutional amendment would be necessary to create a "president for life" position, but with the dirty politics going on in this country, Congress just might be able to pass an "emergency enabling act" to bypass the constitutional method of selecting a president. The United States does not need a life-time dictator, nor does it need a path by which someone can assume that position. I think it matters not if you are a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent of some flavor, this issue is too important to ignore. I urge everyone reading this to contact your congressman by mail, phone or e-mail and let him know in the strongest terms that the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which limits a president to no more than two terms must not be repealed. In my opinion, this amendment should be extended to cover all members of Congress as well, but that is another matter! (yumasun.com)


Bill Clinton for President in 2012? ... President Obama is a man of mystery and guile. He is also more political than spiritual, more elite than average is, and more territorial when it comes to protecting his space than the wildest of animals. Take for instance, the recovery of two journalists by former President Bill Clinton. Why Bill? After all, Obama has a perfectly qualified, felony-free Clinton in his cabinet. True she is a congenital liar, but so is Bill. What gives here, Mr. President? Misogyny should have no place in the most open and transparent cabinet-gang in American history. Or is it Hillary's age that has Obama in a snit on his own birthday? She is over 60, you know. But again, so is Bill! The answer may be as simple as two words: Termed out, as in the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution. Which means that Bill Clinton is prohibited from running for president again. (newsblaze.com)


Obama-Dem P2P spreads the wealth around to insider deep-pockets ... The same week the Senate voted to cut funding for additional F-22s, for a savings of $1.75 billion, the Senate Armed Services Committee added another $9 billion in earmarks to the 2010 defense authorization bill. Earmarks direct money to a specific program or company in a member’s district for something that has not been requested by the Pentagon and has not been subject to any public review or hearing. It is a gift from a member to a constituent, a gesture that usually is repaid with a generous campaign contribution. (boston.com)


Rep. Brad Ellsworth placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.) WHAT: Ellsworth received the following dirty money: PMA Group (PAC) $2,000 in 2008 election cycle. WHY IT'S DIRTY: PMA Group (Paul Magliocchetti and Associates) was a defense lobbying group that is now the focus of multiple federal investigations concerning allegations of influence peddling and other corrupt activities, mostly associated with earmarks. Before it was disbanded earlier this year, PMA Group's employees and its political action committee gave current members of Congress $3.4 million between 1989 and 2008, with 79 percent of that going to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets.org. WILL ELLSWORTH GIVE IT BACK: Ellsworth 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 Rep. Ellsworth's Washington D.C. office at 202-225-4636. (washingtonexaminer.com)


Obama 'Gitmo North' plan would stimulate Michigan AFSCME ... Michigan Democrats recently unveiled their new economic development plan for Michigan: turning the state into a penal colony for federal prisoners, the detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay and even part of California’s inmate population. In a rush to fulfill an ill-advised campaign promise to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, press reports indicate that President Barack Obama is considering transferring terrorists currently housed there to a prison in Standish, Mich. It is a plan apparently supported by Michigan’s Democratic Senator Carl Levin and U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee. (humanevents.com)


Jumbo teachers union in tiny labor-state OK's binding arbitration ... A change of position by one of the state’s teachers unions could pave the way for the state to adopt binding arbitration as a way to avoid teacher strikes. The Rhode Island Federation of Teachers, which represents teachers in 11 districts — including the state’s three largest, Providence, Cranston and Warwick — has recently dropped its long-standing opposition to binding arbitration, which allows the arbitrator to impose the terms of a contract after negotiations between labor and management have broken down. (projo.com)


Obama's labor-state empties jails first ... The Illinois Department of Corrections is laying off more than 400 employeees because of budget cuts. Department spokeswoman Januari Smith says 419 employees at six prisons will be let go as of Sept. 30. The layoffs are at the East Moline, Lincoln, Logan, Decatur, Vandalia and Vienna correctional centers. They include correctional officers, maintenance workers and food service employees. (chicagotribune.com)


Decert: UAW disgraced as workers regain jobs ... The more than three-year-long strike at Conn-Selmer's Vincent Bach plant has come to an end. The National Labor Relations Board returned a ruling Thursday officially decertifying United Auto Workers Local 364. About 230 plant workers went on strike April 1, 2006 from the musical instrument plant. It specialized in manufacturing student-level trumpets and trombones. The decision affects about 130 people who were still on the picket line. Members will no longer receive $200 weekly assistance checks or insurance paid by the union. UAW Local 364 President Robert Allen said everybody has been notified and pulled off the picket line. A union meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at the Disabled American Veterans hall in Elkhart to negotiate a two-month extension for the weekly checks and insurance. Workers at the plant filed a petition with the NLRB in May 2007 to have the union decertified after it rejected five contract offers from Conn-Selmer. (southbendtribune.com)


Congress faces questions over ObamaCare ... From our own Bob Williams, who was channeling John McCaughey of the Ethan Allen Institute, on questions to ask your Member of Congress when next you attend one of those town hall meetings that seem to be more attempts to sell what's going on in Washington, D.C. Pay particular attention to question 12... 1. The bills impose an individual mandate on me to buy health insurance approved by the Federal government. What will happen to me if I don’t go along? Fines? Wage garnishment? Jail? Will these penalties also apply to millions of illegal aliens, or will they apply only to American citizens and legal aliens? • 2. The bills impose a mandate on most businesses to pay for employee health insurance containing “essential benefits” approved by the federal government. If the businesses don’t do so, they’ll be required to pay a fine. How many small businesses will shrink their operations, or go under, rather than pay this new penalty? • 3. President Obama said that if I am happy with my coverage, I can keep it “no matter what”. Now we learn that I can keep it until my employer changes or drops it, or until I change employers, or until I try to buy individual insurance. Will you stand behind the President’s initial promise, or will you support Congress’s action to break it? • 4. The bills contain a provision allowing health insurance plans bargained by labor unions to continue unchanged – while nonunion workers are threatened with loss of coverage. Is this preference for unionized workers a result of Labor’s strong support of Obama and the Democrats in the last election? Do you support the exemption? • 5. President Obama has said he won’t support a health care reform bill that will add to our exploding deficit. The Congressional Budget Office says this bill will increase the federal deficit. Will you vote against any bill that fails President Obama’s requirement that it will not add to our deficit? • 6. Governors of both parties have strongly objected that the bill’s mandated expansion of Medicaid will put an intolerable fiscal burden on struggling state treasuries and state taxpayers. Will you vote against any bill containing this very costly unfunded mandate? • 7. The bill includes provisions for Federally-designed “comparative effectiveness research”. This is intended to require health care providers to deny health care to elderly citizens, people with disabilities, and others the health of whom certain appointed experts think is not worth improving. Will you oppose any bill that contains such a provision? • 8. The bill requires that “qualified” health insurance plans include all “essential benefits” determined by federal bureaucrats. Democratic majorities have already voted down amendments to exclude elective abortions from the list of “essential benefits”. That means that for the first time taxpayers will be required to subsidize elective abortions. Will you vote for a bill requiring taxpayer financing of elective abortions? • 9. Exploding medical malpractice claims, fueled by the plaintiff’s bar, are driving doctor and hospital malpractice insurance premiums ever upward. Why are there no provisions in any of the bills to ameliorate this problem, which is driving doctors out of practice? Is it because the plaintiff’s bar contributes millions of dollars to the leading sponsors of this legislation? • 10. The bill contains a “public option”, a government-run insurance company “to keep the private insurers honest.” Will this government-run company pay taxes, pay for its own revenue collection and marketing costs, and pay market interest rates on its debt? Or will it enjoy government backing that will enable it to undersell its private competitors, swallow up their customers, and become a new “Medicare for Everybody”? • 11. Speaking of Medicare, the system is $36 trillion out of actuarial balance and will run out of hospitalization benefit funds by 2017. How will the government-run “public option” insurance company avoid turning into another Medicare basket case? And how will our senior citizens on Medicare continue to get medical services? • 12. Finally, if you support this “public option” plan, are you willing to transfer your family and your staff’s families out of the existing Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan, with its choices of many private insurers, into the new government plan? If not, why won’t it be good enough for you? (libertylive.org)


International Collectivism

Abandoning Freedom: Analyst sees Obama surrender to Putin ... A few possibilities off the top of my head for What This Might Mean in addition to the NYT’s “Bulava missile” theory. (1) Russia wants to see how much The One will let them get away with, just as Biden predicted would happen last year. (2) Russia’s pissed at Biden for his crack a few weeks ago about their economy “withering” and is flexing some muscle in response. (3) Russia’s looking to expand its presence in the western hemisphere more generally, which explains its naval exercises with Venezuela in December. (4) Russia’s gearing up to make another move on Georgia and is putting The One on notice that they’re not to be trifled with when they do. (5) Russia’s got a fee-vah and the only prescription is more bare-chested Putin photos, and a display of military strength in America’s backyard makes for nice optics on the front page tomorrow next to Vlad’s pecs. You’re free to vote for more than one theory — they’re hardly mutually exclusive — but as of right now I’m leaning towards number 4. (hotair.com)


Khrushchev was right ... Aristotle warned: "Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms." The Federalist papers show us that the founding fathers understood this all too well. Just as the Roman Senate became more "democratic", so to our own Senate changed from being indirectly elected to direct popular election in 1913. We were founded as a republic partly because democracies become weaker as they grow whereas republics can become stronger. Yet we elect populists, like Chairman Obama, whose unaffordable promises and unconstitutional actions, after the manner of Tiberius Gracchus, Caesar, and Octavian, will be recorded in history as the beginning of the end of our republic. We slip further into a "democracy" of dependence on government and control by it. Inevitably, we too will degenerate into despotism and tyranny. This has already begun. From antiquity through the present, great thinkers like Aristotle and our founding fathers have warned us of the dangers of repeating the mistakes of prior civilizations. Those who survive us will learn how the selfish majority, at the behest of power hungry political elitists, accepted subjugation in exchange for benefits and thereby sowed the seeds (or acorns) of our destruction. Barack Obama: Plebeian politician to Senator to Dictator wannabe. The USA: republic, to democratic dictatorship and then despotism. It not only can happen, but it will, unless we learn from history and prevent its repetition. (americanthinker.com)


Obama H8tes anti-Communism ... The anti-Communist stand of Honduras is getting no support from the United States and, at the United Nations, there’s a debate regarding a new U.N. military doctrine called “Responsibility to Protect” that would be used as a cover to intervene in the sovereign affairs of a nation state. If approved, the first target would likely be Honduras. Observers of events in the region believe that the U.S. would support a UN Security Council Resolution against the constitutional government of Honduras. There is something obscene about a U.S. President opposing the peaceful and lawful transition of power in Honduras while favoring the OAS reinstatement Communist Cuba. But that’s what you get when the first Marxist President of America makes policy. (canadafreepress.com)


Chávez-Ortega-Zelaya fail ... Nicaragua Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on Tuesday launched a new international drive to revive his flagging bid to return to power, but Hondurans who had massed here in support began heading home. In this Nicaraguan town about 10 miles from the Honduran border, where Zelaya had held rallies and launched an abortive attempt to march into Honduras, local authorities told Zelaya supporters to clear out of the municipal gymnasium, where they had been sleeping on the floor and on bleachers. (miamiherald.com)


Chávez apes ObamaCare ... Venezuela Health Minister Jesus Mantilla unceremoniously got the sack for reasons yet to be explained, and was replaced by Carlos Rotondaro Cova via a statement published in the government's Gazeta Oficial. Rotondaro Cova takes over one of the most challenging posts in the government, given the by now legion - and long-running - problems plaguing a state health sector that has long suffered from serious shortfalls in government funding. (laht.com)
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