9/21/09

Monday wrap

Obama: H8s dissent, cheers Job-Killers, jumps the shark, flatters self, ACORN-Care fail, class warrior, plays dumb.

Mismanagement: Why Dems heart ACORN, ACORN slumlord, social justice fail, SEIU fail, Wade Rathke exposed, the next ACORN, ACORN on break, RICO ACORN, RottenACORN.com, ACORN 75 + 7, Meet Richard Trumka, political corruption solved.

International: U.S. lost the Cold War, Obama meddling muddles H8ted republics.


We don't need no stinkin' freedom ... Genachowski will outline the rules for net regulation at a speech at the Brookings Institution this morning. Not only will he announce that the federal government will regulate how citizens' online activity is managed by Internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon, he will also announce that for the first time the federal government will actively monitor how citizens' wireless Internet access is managed. "For them to say that this isn't government regulation, that this is just about fairness and giving everyone the same thing, is just not true," says a Republican Energy and Commerce staffer, who has been working on the issue of "net neutrality" for several years. "Someone has to be monitoring all those networks, all that activity to make sure the networks remain 'neutral.' Who is that going to be? Free Press? George Soros?" (spectator.org)


In case you missed it: The Union News weekend
Sunday: Political Class on thin ice
Saturday: Why does Obama lie about ACORN-Care?


Job-Killer thugs grow impatient ... But while incoming AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, Communications Workers President Larry Cohen, AFL-CIO Legislative Director Bill Samuel and others are all predicting it would pass by the end of this year, there are obstacles in the way. Obama is not one of them. He brought the house down at the convention on Sept. 15 when more than 3,000.people stood and cheered as he declared its passage is one key to restoring the U.S. middle class. It was one of many ovations Obama got. “That’s why I stand behind the Employee Free Choice Act -- because if a majority of workers want a union, they should get a union,” he said. But that’s all he said. Asked after Obama’s speech what, in private talks, the president promised he would do to get the law through a balky Senate, Trumka said Obama “uses the ‘everything’ word.” Trumka added that “if it (the bill) is stuck, it’ll be on the details.” (workdayminnesota.org)


Obama jumped the shark ... Well, it's official. The Obama phenomenon is over. Permanently. It's not just that Obama's favorite weapon, the Big Speech, no longer moves public opinion. (Last Wednesday's health-care speech produced a slight "bounce" in public support for the health-care bill, but it disappeared in less than a week.) What really ends the era of Obama is this: a major part of Obama's appeal was his symbolism as the first black president, which was supposed to give Americans an opportunity to put the whole ugly history of racial politics behind them. Yet here we are, less than eight months into Obama's administration, and the racial politics are worse than they have been in a long time. (realclearpolitics.com)


Narcissistic New Prog Obama flatters self ... The president likes to equate the resistance he’s facing with that met by Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal. It’s nice that Obama wants to put himself in such elite presidential company, but Roosevelt’s first year saw the passage of at least 10 major pieces of domestic legislation and two constitutional amendments. Obama has so far managed to produce two very large spending bills, keep his predecessor’s bailouts going and little else. Roosevelt actually changed the country in his first eight months. And did it with a quarter of the work force idled and the banks out of money. People were afraid that the republic might fail and mostly welcomed FDR’s boldness. Today, Americans aren’t so much afraid as they are tired of treading water economically and pessimistic that anything the government can do will make it better. Even so, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel last week compared the president’s detractors to Father Coughlin, the racist, populist radio priest whose anti-Roosevelt rants were the targets of some of the first free-speech restrictions on the airwaves. (washingtonexaminer.com)


ACORN-Care: 51 new boards, commissions ... The top House Republican says President Barack Obama's proposed health care overhaul would create 51 new boards or commissions and isn't needed. Ohio Rep. John Boehner says Washington doesn't have to throw away the existing system. Boehner says Democrats want a bigger role for government in health care — "a giant takeover," he calls it — and he says that's just not needed. He says people are "scared to death" about what may happen to the system. Boehner spoke to NBC's "Meet the Press." (washingtonexaminer.com)


Only the rich will pay? ... President Barack Obama insisted he can overhaul the U.S. healthcare system and keep a campaign pledge not to raise taxes for anyone but the wealthiest Americans, in a media blitz Sunday to promote his top domestic policy priority. A Gallup poll last week found that by 60 percent to 38 percent, Americans do not believe the government can expand healthcare coverage without raising taxes on the middle class or affecting the quality of care. (nypost.com)


Obama plays dumb on ACORN ... STEPHANOPOULOS: But have your — have some of your allies made it easier for — handed your opponents some ammunition, like ACORN, for example… OBAMA: Well, look, the — you know, I think that — are there folks in the Democratic camp or on the left who haven’t — haven’t always operated in ways that I’d appreciate? Absolutely. STEPHANOPOULOS: Congress said they should cut off all funding for ACORN. OBAMA: Is — is — is… STEPHANOPOULOS: … all funding for ACORN. Are you for that? OBAMA: Is that true on the other side, as well? Of course that’s true. STEPHANOPOULOS: How about the funding for ACORN? OBAMA: You know, it’s — frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money. STEPHANOPOULOS: Both the Senate and the House have voted to cut it off. OBAMA: You know, what I know is, is that what I saw on that video was certainly inappropriate and deserves to be investigated. STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’re not committing to — to cut off the federal funding? OBAMA: George, this is not the biggest issue facing the country. It’s not something I’m paying a lot of attention to. (michellemalkin.com)

Related video: Not paying attention?



Why Obamalosi Dems heart ACORN ... The July 23 investigative report by the Republican staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform carried the provocative title, “Is Acorn Intentionally Structured as a Criminal Enterprise?” While the report undoubtedly has a political agenda, its allegations are as disturbing as the videos. Acorn has, the report asserts, evaded taxes, obstructed justice, abetted a cover-up of embezzlement, committed investment fraud, engaged in racketeering and submitted false filings to the Internal Revenue Service. Another allegation in the report might explain why Democrats looked the other way. The report says Acorn had close connections with numerous political campaigns, including Obama’s. “Each of these campaigns received financial and personnel-resource contributions from Acorn and its affiliates as part of a scheme to use taxpayer monies to support a partisan political agenda,” the report says. “These actions are a clear violation of numerous tax and election laws.” Moreover, as I wrote last year, Acorn employees have been engaged in voter scams that have likely generated countless fraudulent ballots for the Democrats. (bloomberg.com)


The Big Apple's biggest slumlord: Union-backed, tax-funded fraud group ... New York ACORN and a tangled web of affiliates own or manage nearly 1,500 housing units across three boroughs and draw in an estimated $5.7 million in rents, fees and profits from sales. The properties are controlled by an opaque collection of nonprofits, holding companies and development funds. Many have generic names, like the 385 Palmetto Street Housing Development Fund or the Mutual Housing Association of New York, leaving no clue of their ties to the national ACORN conglomerate. (nypost.com)


Shame on social justice fraud group ... There's something almost too delicious for words about a self-styled "social justice" organization which does not pay the medical bills of its workers. Or its taxes--its contribution supposedly for our collective good. A few years ago ACORN even sued the state of California attempting to avoid paying the minimum wage because, well, they said they were so busy promoting social justice that they just couldn't afford to take care of their own workers. Rather like unions which attempt to prevent their own workers from unionizing. You know ACORN is bad when, as Matthew Vadum points out, even Jon Stewart points to the mainstream media's enormous failure in discovering the facts and covering the story. (spectator.org)


Where is ACORN's union? ... I’m beginning to lose track of how many employees ACORN has fired since news broke that the embattled community organizing group was willing to offer advice on running an underage prostitution ring. The questions in my mind are: What about their union? Where is the SEIU? Shouldn’t SEIU’s lawyers be burning the midnight oil writing Unfair Labor Practices for such capricious firings? Where was the hearing? What about the grievance procedure? Was their shop steward notified? Oh, wait, that’s right. ACORN busted the last union that tried to organize its employees. Our friends at the Employment Policies Institute have a handy website called “Rotten Acorn,” which details, among other things, ACORN’s history of union busting: (laborpains.org)


Who is Wade Rathke? ... ACORN grew out of the tumultuous 1960s. Founder Wade Rathke, who was charged with inciting violence in 1970 after a welfare rally he organized turned into a riot, had worked as a draft resistance organizer for the radical group Students for a Democratic Society. SDS splintered over tactics and one faction, the Weather Underground, was led by President Obama's friend Bill Ayers. Rathke was also an organizer for the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO), a group whose members physically occupied welfare offices, intimidating social workers and insisting that they be given every government welfare dollar that the law "entitled" them to. That group followed what has since been called the Cloward-Piven Strategy after sociologists Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward. They defined a model of political and economic subversion that called upon activists to pack the welfare rolls to spread dependency, bankrupt the government, and cause uprisings against the capitalist system. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani blames the Cloward-Piven Strategy for pushing his city close to bankruptcy in 1975. The same year as his arrest, Rathke founded ACORN to carry out the strategy of upheaval and the agenda of welfare entitlement. (spectator.org)

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


NEA: ACORN of the Arts ... After breaking the ACORN scandal my friend (from Azerbaijan) Andrew Breitbart promises to bring a new scandal that will rock America for days if not weeks. In his Washington Times column of september 7 he warned the MSM that he at least two different scandals were about to blow. The first hint; ACORN. The ACORN thing did indeed break and had a tremendous impact. The second hint? The National Endowment for the Arts. This weekend he said the second scandal would break this week, late yesterday evening his editors of Big Government (his latest online adventure) and Big Hollywood – Michael Flynn and John Nolte – published a post in which they introduce the new scandal. And yes, it’s clearly about the NEA: (poligazette.com)


The Big Easy: ACORN takes a break ... The announcement stuck to a wall outside the entrance to ACORN's local office in the 2600 block of Canal Street quietly signals the trouble afoot. In English and Spanish, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now tells low-income, walk-up clients that ACORN's housing office has shut itself down for two weeks to immerse itself "in an intensive training program." For all of its controversy, Gueringer said ACORN is widely known and widely respected in the poor New Orleans communities it serves. She said 9,000 local members each donate $10 a month, a figure that could not be independently confirmed. "Where are the phone calls from members telling us to cancel their bank drafts?" she asked. "The phones here are not ringing." (nola.com)


RICO ACORN ... It is apparent that ACORN has been playing a shell game with the Feds with regard to their hundreds of chapters, affiliates, and in some cases, false front organizations (one such organization was used by the Obama campaign last year to channel $800,000 in funds to ACORN - a result of the group's "consulting" on constructing a stage for an Obama campaign event). How long do you think this investigation of ACORN finances by the IRS will continue? Only as long as it doesn't reflect badly on Democrats or the president. Obama has politicized the Justice Department. Why not the IRS? It is incredible how this group has gotten a pass for so many years from the national press. (I don't include the Chicago press who has constantly exposed local ACORN shenanigans over the years - to no avail, of course.) Their criminal activities should have earned them, as Clarice Feldman has said on several occasions, a RICO investigation for racketeering. (americanthinker.com)


Union-backed fraud group rotten to the core ... ACORN, the community activist group shown on Internet videos aiding a couple posing as a pimp and prostitute, started in 1970 to help poor people in Arkansas. It expanded into a multimillion-dollar conglomerate with a mission so far-flung that two New York schools now bear its name, two radio stations are affiliates and a man its political arm endorsed is the president of the United States. Has it grown too big for its own good? (nwaonline.net)


The ACORN 75 + 7 are wrong ... U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., did not represent his constituents well in supporting the controversial, rotten ACORN organization last week. We think most West Virginians are upset about the cozy relationship between the federal government and ACORN - the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Mollohan's excuse for supporting ACORN simply won't wash. During a speech Saturday in Weirton, Mollohan, who represents this region of the state, attempted to defend his vote for ACORN. It was cast on a procedural issue Mollohan accused Republicans of using as a "gotcha" against Democrats. The effect of the measure House members voted on was to cut off federal funding for ACORN, which depends upon taxpayers for millions of dollars in support each year. But Mollohan was incorrect - as he knows - in attempting to portray the ACORN vote as a partisan one. The measure to cut off funding to ACORN passed by a 345-75 vote. One hundred seventy-two of Mollohan's fellow Democrats, as well as 173 Republicans, voted in favor of it. Just 75 representatives, including Mollohan and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, also D-W.Va., voted "no." Mollohan, then, clearly is in the minority even in his own Democratic Party. (theintelligencer.net)


Meet the New Boss ... The labor movement has spent lots of time and money in recent years fighting with itself. The AFL-CIO split in 2005 after Mr. Stern, the president of the Service Employees International Union, took out his two-million-strong outfit and four other unions to form a rival federation called Change to Win. Back in 1996, Mr. Trumka sided with Ron Carey against Jimmy Hoffa in elections to lead the Teamsters. Federal investigators subsequently looked into charges that Mr. Trumka illegally helped steer $150,000 of AFL-CIO money to the Carey camp. He invoked the Fifth Amendment when called to testify before a grand jury and wasn't charged with any wrongdoing. This past hangs over him and complicates any efforts to make up with Teamsters boss Mr. Hoffa, who bolted along with the Stern rebels. The AFL-CIO would love to get the Teamsters back. Though Mr. Trumka insists "Jimmy and I have a working relationship," his aides acknowledge that Mr. Hoffa doesn't forgive and forget lightly. Mr. Trumka brushes off the case and his Fifth plea as ancient history. "You keep indicating that somehow that's some kind of negative," he says. "I mean, what other constitutional right would you have that is a negative." (online.wsj.com)


Solution to corrupt politics offered ... Practically everything Obama has proposed or done thus far in his term as president could be challenged in a court of law as unconstitutional. This appears quite unseemly for a person who gratuitously describes himself as a constitutional lawyer. For example, where in the Constitution does it allow a president to require anyone to purchase health insurance? Where does it allow him to take over publicly owned companies such as General Motors or Chrysler? Where is his authority to fire the CEO of GM? Where is his authority to appoint more than 30 “czars” who are accountable to no one but him? It goes on ad nauseam. The folks marching on Washington were right. We need to rid ourselves of all of the watchdogs in Congress. Not one of them has made a peep. Throw all of the bums out. (blogs.kansascity.com)


International Collectivism

Let's just say we lost the Cold War ... Lech Walesa, a founder of the Solidarity movement and former Polish president, said Obama’s decision marked an unfortunate shift in US thinking in relation to central and eastern Europe, where history has instilled not only a deep distrust of Russia but a suspicion of deals between major powers in which the futures of smaller satellite states are used as stakes at the negotiating table. For people of such a mind, Obama’s declared bid to “reset” relations with the Kremlin is looking dangerously one-sided. Russia has not been made to pay, financially, diplomatically or militarily, for the war it prosecuted with Georgia in the dying days of the Bush administration. Moreover, it continues to undermine the Tbilisi government with warnings of further clashes and a campaign to convince countries to recognise the independence of the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Venezuela has now joined Russia and Nicaragua in acknowledging the sovereignty of these Kremlin-controlled enclaves, with President Hugo Ch├ívez announcing the move during a visit to Moscow that saw him sign a huge arms deal. (irishtimes.com)


Shame on U.S. foreign policy ... The shameful siege of Honduras continues. In the past few weeks, the United States has cut more than $30 million in non-humanitarian aid, suspended most visa services and sided with Venezuela, Cuba and other of Latin America's worst dictatorships in undermining democracy. Meanwhile, the people of Honduras are desperately trying to maintain their freedom and prevent the return of a regime that Washington is committed to forcing down their throats. (washingtontimes.com)


Hillary's warpath exposed ... It seems that Mrs. Clinton is peeved with the court because it ruled that restoring Mr. Zelaya to power under a proposal drafted by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias is unconstitutional. Thus, the State Department decided that in defense of the rule of law it would penalize the members of the Supreme Court for their interpretation of their constitution. Fourteen justices had their U.S. visas pulled. Since the U.S. already had yanked the visa of the 15th member of the court, the one who signed the arrest warrant for Mr. Zelaya, this action completed Mrs. Clinton's assault on the independence of a foreign democracy's highest court. The lesson, presumably, is that judges in small foreign nations are required to accept America's interpretation of their own laws. (online.wsj.com)


Obama's hearts Leftwing LatAm caudillos ... The United States followed the lead of those great democracies Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela in supporting the ouster of Honduras from the Organization of American States (OAS). The State Department suspended non-immigrant and non-emergency visa services, $31 million in scheduled aid and $11 million remaining in the Millennium Challenge account. [Chump change next to the billions in TARP, but a lot of money for Honduras.] After a meeting between Secretary Clinton and Zelaya, a State Department spokesman said, "restoration of the terminated assistance will be predicated upon a return to democratic, constitutional governance in Honduras." ["Return to"? They never left it.] But he said the United States would not recognize the upcoming election. "That election must be... open to all Hondurans... At this moment, we would not be able to support the outcome of the scheduled elections." It sounds more like the United States won't recognize the outcome of any election that doesn't put its guy back in office. Or any election held before its guy is back in office. Why does the United States have "its guy" in Honduras anyhow? (thebulletin.us)


Obama displays international aplomb ... Yesterday marked the 8th month of the Obama administration, and a unifying theme behind their management of our relations with other nations -- an "Obama Doctrine," if you will -- is starting to emerge. And it ain't a pretty one. It seems best summed up thus: "piss off your friends and appease your foes." It doesn't sound like a formula for success, or even well thought out, but it is the best summation that fits the known facts. Witness how things have gone with select nations: (wizbangblog.com)
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