Wednesday wrap

Obama: Hearts Gaspard, P2P Alinskyites, H8s republics, know-tows to union bigs, 'not helping', scores for ACORN, approved by ACORN, rewards young voters.

Mismanagement: ACORN stretches, WFP-SEIU-ACORN fail, ACORN on desert docket, NYT fail, Rathke moves to D.C., trust Wade Rathke?

International: Obama melts LatAm ice, fascism rising, Labour Party out of bounds.

Obama's top political operative all messed up with ACORN, SEIU ... Patrick Gaspard, considered one of the most powerful figures in the Obama White House, is a "longtime ACORN operative" and former union official, according to a report posted Monday on the American Spectator's online blog. Gaspard's name recently surfaced as the official President Obama dispatched to urge beleaguered New York Gov. David Paterson not to run for another term. Paterson insists he'll continue to run for governor even without Obama's support. Gaspard has extensive ties to organized labor and community-organizing groups. One measure of his influence in the White House: He holds the same "political affairs director" title that belonged to Karl Rove during the Bush administration. (newsmax.com)

Alinskyites heart Obama ... A newly publicized video shows leaders of a Chicago-based community organizing group called the Gamaliel Foundation held a rally shortly after President Obama's election and "prayed" to him, seeking his intervention in their difficulties. "Hear our Cry Obama. Deliver us Obama," the organizers chanted as a single leader recited the organization's perceived problems, based on the philosophies of Saul Alinsky, the radical father of community organizing. (wnd.com)

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

Related video: Pray to Obama

Union-backed fraud exposé reveals vast, leftwing global scam ... Why is ACORN's chief organizer friendly with the Marxist anti-American governments of two South American countries? Within ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis's storied rogues gallery of a rolodex may be found contact information for then-Bolivian ambassador Gustavo Guzman and for Sabine Kienzl, a professional propagandist employed by the Venezuelan embassy. The listing for Guzman contains what appears to have been a direct office telephone number. An ACORN insider I spoke with confirmed the authenticity of the rolodex which I have seen. Erick Erickson of the website RedState recently did an excellent job unveiling the rolodex. (spectator.org)

Obama H8s 'small r' republicanism ... We all know that President Obama has a Republican problem, namely the 200 or so Republican members of Congress who refuse to go along with his health care reform plans. However, I think he might also be developing a republican problem. Namely, I think he is having trouble keeping his ego within the boundaries of an office that fundamentally reflects the republican quality of this country. It is difficult to nail down precisely what "republicanism" means. It has had different meanings in different places at different times. In the United States, it conjures up the notion of self-government: the people are capable of ruling themselves, and the authority of the leaders derives from the consent of the governed, rather than some aristocratic pedigree or superior position in life. (realclearpolitics.com)

Obama kow-tows to Union Bigs ... There are multiple examples of how President Barack Obama has reneged on his promise to bring "transparency and accountability" to Washington, D.C., but fewer are more egregious than his cow-towing to labor leaders on the issue of union financial disclosure. By rescinding Bush-era disclosure requirements for labor union leaders, Obama is swinging the door wide open to rampant corruption and systemic abuse. This decision represents a dangerous shift in federal policy – one that will no doubt be exacerbated by Obama's appointment of top labor leaders to key enforcement positions within the federal government. Instead of fulfilling his promise of "accountability," Obama has now put the fox in charge of guarding the hen house with respect to U.S. labor policy. And instead of honoring his pledge of "transparency," Obama has decided to strip away one of the few tools the public had at its disposal to hold union leaders accountable. Why are these latest Obama hypocrisies worth noting? First, they represent "pay-to-play" corruption on a sweeping, fundamental level. Labor unions gave Obama and Democratic Congressional candidates over $100 million during the last election cycle. In addition to these contributions, Obama and Democratic candidates also benefited from the efforts of a 450,000-strong "voter registration and mobilization" army of union employees. This is where the most glaring hypocrisy comes into play. (reviewmessenger.com)

Union-backed fraud groups stretch the imagination ... Between 2005 and 2008, the years immediately available online, labor unions reported giving a total of $8,618,092 to ACORN. The big spender was the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) with $4,019,606 of the $8,618,092. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) came in 2nd with a total of $2,189,270. Also, of interest is that the totals were pretty even for the years. 2005 - $2,469,139; 2006 - $1,985,921; 2007 - $2,032,856; 2008 - $2,135,176. The unions attributed these expenditures to different types of activity, as is required by regulations. Of the total, $7,013,081 was attributed to "Representational Activities"; $768,027 to "Political Activities"; and $592,783 to "Contributions, Gifts & Grants." I've got some suspicions about this. It is a real stretch of the imagination to think how giving money to ACORN can be regarded as a “representational activity,” but by so doing the union set it up so that they can collect contributions for ACORN from agency fee payers who object to paying for anything but the cost of union representation. (unionfreeamerica.com)

Why the President is 'not helping' ... A few brave legislators, including Democrat Ron Wyden, are willing to say as much. But as Max Baucus put it in an unguarded comment to the Washington Post: "Basically the president is not helping." Mr. Obama may be "not helping" because he doesn't understand or believe in the role of absent price tags in creating our current woes. He may genuinely favor a system in which government decides who will receive what care. However, he's certainly also "not helping" because his base in organized labor doesn't want real reform. Union members not only like the tax-free, open-ended health -care benefits they're used to getting. More important and often overlooked, organized labor itself is increasingly made up of health-care workers who benefit from an incentive system that artificially force-feeds great gobs of GDP into the industry's maw. (online.wsj.com)

Obama scores booty for ACORN ... Earlier this month and despite the public scrutiny over the voter fraud and felony criminal activity associated with ACORN, the Department of Homeland Security went ahead and granted $997,402 to ACORN under the FY 2008 Fire Prevention and Safety Program. To most people, the timing and the amount of the grant would seem off base, but when you take into account the fact that DHS awarded ACORN–an organization with no clear expertise in fire safety and prevention–a fire prevention and safety grant, it’s just plain offensive. (biggovernment.com)

Working Families Fraud: ACORN ... The Working Families Party and local Democratic Party Officials are at the center of a massive voter fraud scandal in Troy, NY. According to the Times Union: "Dozens of forged and fraudulent absentee ballots from people registered to vote on the Working Families Party line were filed in the Sept. 15 primary elections in Troy. Documents at the county Board of Elections show the fraudulent ballots were handled by or prepared on behalf of various elected officials and leaders and operatives for the Democratic and Working Families parties. There may be as many as 50 absentee ballots that were forged, according to people close to the case. Countywide, there were 126 absentee ballots applied for on the Working Families Party line." What isn’t mentioned is that WFP is nothing more than a front group for ACORN. Or as Roger Stone put it: "The Working Families Party is not about working people or families and it isn’t really a party. The WFP is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACORN. Bertha Lewis co-chair of the Working Families Party is the Executive Director of New York ACORN. New York ACORN leader, Steven Kest was the moving force in forming the party and WFP headquarters are located at the same address as ACORN’s national and New York office at 88 Third Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. WFP is essentially a money funnel which pays for an aggressive door to door canvas. Largely funded by unions, the WFP is ACORN’s “political arm” in New York State. Candidates supported by the Working Families Party and issues supported by ACORN are both advocated on the door steps of target voter homes as they share one major voter canvas." (biggovernment.com)

Union-backed fraud group on the docket ... Trial or no trial? That remains the question in the case against ACORN, the grass-roots community organizing group. Six and half hours wasn’t long enough to finish a preliminary hearing Tuesday that will determine whether ACORN and a co-defendant will stand trial for allegedly approving an illegal voter registration scheme in Las Vegas. Las Vegas Justice of the Peace William Jansen will likely decide Wednesday afternoon whether prosecutors have met the burden of “slight or marginal evidence” needed to send the case against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now and Amy Busefink to District Court for trial. Prosecutors allege ACORN and Busefink permitted a local field director to run an illegal cash incentive program to encourage employees to register voters. Prosecutors also say ACORN had an illegal quota policy that forced employees to register a certain number of people per shift or face termination. (lvrj.com)

ACORN proves Obama is corrupt ... ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has a long and checkered history of playing fast and loose with voter registrations. You may recall that ACORN is the organization that submitted phony voter registration forms for Mickey Mouse as well as members of the Dallas Cowboys prior to last year's presidential elections. ACORN has been accused, in several states, of committing voter registration fraud. In spite of all of this, ACORN was one of the organizations that the Obama administration had selected to hire and staff the 1.4 million workers needed to conduct the U.S. census. As a big contributor to the Obama campaign, it was no wonder they were given such a large and profitable political plum. Given President Barack Obama's work as an attorney for the group in the past, it is no wonder they are very close to his political heart. (visaliatimesdelta.com)

Old Gray Lady fail ... The New York Times, still smarting after losing scoops to Fox News, has thrown in the towel, vowing to avoid future embarrassment by monitoring the cable channel. We have a better idea — it's called reporting. An Illinois senator rises to the highest office in the land on pillars of a spectacularly slimy political organization, a group with a long record of voter fraud, theft, thuggery and partisanship. As sexy as such a story might seem, the New York Times didn't consider it news. That's why the Times got scooped by outlets such as Fox News, for which it has nothing but contempt, on revelations that led to the fall of community organizing behemoth ACORN. (investors.com)

Alinksyite ACORN-SEIU founder Wade Rathke relocates to D.C. ... "It's a Katrina-like storm for ACORN; they are in a perfect storm, " said Rathke, who left ACORN's leadership a year-and-a-half ago amid revelations about the alleged embezzlement of nearly $1 million from the community organization by his brother, Dale. The money has since been repaid. But Rathke, who lives in New Orleans where the national organization has had its headquarters -- it is relocating to Washington -- said he expects large and well-rooted chapters, such as the one in New Orleans, to survive. "We've been in Louisiana a long time, since 1976, and they haven't built a stick big enough to chase us out of Louisiana, and it isn't because they haven't thought about it," Rathke said. (nola.com)

In Wade Rathke We Trust? ... The dispute between Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum and Politico.com's Ben Smith over whether White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard was ACORN Chief Organizer Bertha Lewis's political director in New York is a distraction from which important lessons can be learned. On September 28, 2009, Vadum posted an article titled "ACORN's Man in the White House" that begins, "Newly discovered evidence shows the radical advocacy group ACORN has a man in the Obama White House." I loved that title as soon as I saw it but wondered what was the newly discovered evidence. After all, President Obama himself is ACORN's Man in the White House and the evidence of that was available long ago to those who looked for it. But Vadum was referring to a "power behind the throne...longtime ACORN operative Patrick Gaspard." Vadum identified Gaspard as Lewis's political director in New York and warned, "With Gaspard at work in the White House, Lewis might as well be speaking to President Obama through an earpiece as he goes about his daily business ruining the country." To those wondering how "we actually know...Gaspard...was Lewis's right hand man," Vadum answered: "Because Gaspard's employment with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is acknowledged by no less an authority than ACORN founder Wade Rathke himself" and quoted Rathke's blog statement "that [SEIU] 1199's former political director, Patrick Gaspard...was ACORN New York's political director before that...." No doubt about it: that's what's in Rathke's blog. But should Rathke be trusted? (webcommentary.com)

ACORN knows about playing politics ... Gov. Haley Barbour last week put out a notice ordering the state Department of Finance and Administration to determine whether any public funds have gone to the controversial ACORN organization. But an official with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now said the group has received no money from the state and that Barbour was "playing politics" when he said the state would cut off ACORN funding. (hattiesburgamerican.com)

Rampant WFP-ACORN-SEIU ballot fraud exposed ... Documents at the county Board of Elections show the fraudulent ballots were handled by or prepared on behalf of various elected officials and leaders and operatives for the Democratic and Working Families parties. A Troy housing authority employee, Anthony Defiglio, who sources said oversees vacant properties for the Troy Housing Authority, also handled many of the fraudulent ballots, according to public records and interviews with voters who said they were duped. Victor Gonzalez, a resident of Griswold Heights, told the Times Union he was visited several weeks ago by Defiglio and another man who asked him to sign an absentee ballot application. Gonzalez is registered on the WFP line. But Gonzalez, like many other people interviewed, never saw, signed or submitted the absentee ballot later filed at the Board of Elections under his name. Also, someone else wrote on the Gonzalez’s ballot application that he couldn’t vote in person because of a work conflict. ”I’ve been out of work for about six to eight months. I’ve been laid off and looking for work,” he said. (timesunion.com)

SEIU: Hopping Mad ... San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has become used to uninvited guests showing up in unexpected places. They're members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021, and they're hopping mad over 500 layoffs this month of clerical workers and certified nursing assistants. Their loud chants forced a Monday evening reception for the new police chief from the mayor's balcony into his office. They've disrupted two previous City Hall receptions, staged die-ins in front of his SUV and, according to Newsom, threw ketchup on his wife at June's Pride Parade. And they're just getting going. (sfgate.com)

Gov't-union workers surf for science ... Employee misconduct investigations, often involving workers accessing pornography from their government computers, grew sixfold last year inside the taxpayer-funded foundation that doles out billions of dollars of scientific research grants, according to budget documents and other records obtained by The Washington Times. The problems at the National Science Foundation (NSF) were so pervasive they swamped the agency’s inspector general and forced the internal watchdog to cut back on its primary mission of investigating grant fraud and recovering misspent tax dollars. “To manage this dramatic increase without an increase in staff required us to significantly reduce our efforts to investigate grant fraud,” the inspector general recently told Congress in a budget request. “We anticipate a significant decline in investigative recoveries and prosecutions in coming years as a direct result.” (washingtontimes.com)

Obama rewards young voters? ... As the Labor Department reports the unemployment rate for young Americans has soared to 52.2% -- a post-World War II high -- millions of the nation’s youth are converting their Obama for President campaign signs to read “Will Work for Food.” The massive federal spending bill President Obama signed into law provided no help to small businesses, which create 70% of the country’s jobs. And with Congress’ passing a minimum wage hike, which discourages the employment of new, inexperienced workers, and illegal immigrants helping to crowd out some teens from the workforce, more young adults are now finding themselves having to move back into their parents’ house. (optoons.blogspot.com)

International Collectivism

Obama secretly melts Cuban ice ... Three State Department officials say a senior American diplomat has held unannounced, high-level talks in Havana with the Cuban government. The officials tell The Associated Press that the talks were the first of their kind in years between representatives of the two countries. They say State Department official Bisa Williams met with Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Dagoberto Rodriguez during a six-day trip to Cuba this month. (newsmax.com)

State Capitalism = Fascism ... If we are to keep the term "capitalism" at all, then, we must distinguish between "free-market capitalism" on the one hand, and "state capitalism" on the other. The two are as different as day and night in their nature and consequences. Free-market capitalism is a network of free and voluntary exchanges in which producers work, produce, and exchange their products for the products of others through prices voluntarily arrived at. State capitalism consists of one or more groups making use of the coercive apparatus of the government — the State — to accumulate capital for themselves by expropriating the production of others by force and violence. (mises.org)

Is the Labour Party finished? ... Elected on a wave of revulsion with the Tories in 1997, New Labour today is in crisis. The party faces wipeout at the next election. Opinion polls predict it could lose 17 of its 44 MPs in London alone. Millions who hoped that Labour would be different are now asking questions – about why the party attacks ordinary people, what that shows about the nature of Labour, and whether the party has a future. (socialistworker.co.uk)
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