Tuesday wrap

Obama: Remaker-in-Chief, Brain Trust fail, hearts union thug P2P, BOHICA consumers, hearts BigGov.

Mismanagement: AARP fail, union bigs lie, SEIU hogties GOP, tax-funded organizers, BigMoney hearts BigLabor, unions buck change, NYC fail, SEIU swamp, wrist-slap for ACORN, bye-bye Beth, SEIU Taj sold, teacher-strike fail.

International: Hugo: New Prog hero, Lula hearts Trotsky, Iran.

Barack Obama: The Remake ... If Barack Obama had campaigned on what he has actually done in his first 300 days in office, would he have been elected? That's the question so many are asking today. If Obama had told us he would appoint 34 czars, reporting only to himself and not vetted or confirmed in the constitutional way, building a powerful unitary executive branch of government, would he have been elected? What if he had told us that his green jobs czar had been a Communist, that the science czar wrote in a college textbook that compulsory "green abortions" are an acceptable way to control population growth and that the diversity czar has spoken publicly of getting white media executives to "step down" in favor of minorities? (townhall.com)

AARP traps seniors under the bus ... Insurance companies’ dire message that health care legislation will drive up premiums for people who already have coverage comes as a warning shot at a crucial point in the debate and threatens President Barack Obama's top domestic priority. Democrats and their allies scrambled on Monday to knock down a new industry-funded study forecasting that Senate legislation, over time, will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical policy. "Distorted and flawed," said White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass. "Fundamentally dishonest," said AARP's senior policy strategist, John Rother. "A hatchet job," said a spokesman for Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. (cnsnews.com)

Experts: Union Thugs Lie ... As Congress considers the most significant reforms to labor laws in nearly a century, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today released a study debunking the arguments behind “academic” studies used by organized labor and their allies to push for these changes. “Proponents of EFCA repeatedly cite the same studies to support their claims for overhauling our labor laws,” said Randel K. Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president for Labor, Immigration, and Employee Benefits. “But this single study exposes the lack of credibility to their arguments. They say changes are needed because employer tactics create a coercive environment during organizing drives. But these studies show no pattern of employer coercion and certainly don’t justify overthrowing our current system of labor laws.” (capefearbusiness.com)

GOP: Owned by SEIU ... Public documents search shows Republicans have received political donations from SEIU, as Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) had to acknowledge when calling for the census to sever ties with the massive union. In addition to Kirk's $2,500 donation in 2003, SEIU has given a few thousand here and there to House Republicans, including Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). Documents show the Republican Governors Association has taken more than $750,000 in donations from SEIU since 2004, including a $100,000 check on March 5, 2007. Also taking SEIU cash? The GOP's host committee for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, to the tune of $50,000. And Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who scored $2,500 from the SEIU political action committee in October 2006 just before the GOP lost power in Congress. These numbers are tiny compared with the fundraising and active campaigning SEIU has done for the Democrats, and it's no secret which party the unions prefer. (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)

Taxpayer-funded union organizing exposed ... In the last few years, a conservative legal organization has filed complaints and extensive information requests to at least 11 colleges and universities with regard to labor centers that conduct research about and offer programs for unions. The American Association of University Professors, which has tracked the complaints, issued a statement about them Friday, charging that they are an attempt to violate the academic freedom of the academics who work in these programs. (insidehighered.com)

Meet Obama's Brain Trust ... The following thumbnails describe a very small sampling of the locust horde of Leftist bureaucrats President Barack Hussein Obama has deliberately chosen to help him grasp the helm of America's ship of state, strip it from the American people, and steer it hard to port. The Obama Administration is plainly subverting democracy in America, wildly careening our previous 230-year history of democracy so dangerously Leftward that after a mere nine months we are in terrible danger of sinking. In these thumbnails, three dominant themes of the Obama Administration emerge - fanatically uncompromising anti-capitalism, dangerous and blatant anti-Semitism, and the societal inculcation of dogmatic Leftist, Socialist "faith" through indoctrination of American school children beginning with the earliest ages - a practice instituted by Lenin in Communist Russia and now pounding its way into the American academic mainstream through the prolific efforts and influence of self-proclaimed Communist, Obama friend, and likely "autobiography" ghost writer, William Ayers, as well as Obama appointees like Charles Freeman and Kevin Jennings. Make no mistake. These people are about Socialism, and they are about power. Their power. A sampling of President Barack Hussein Obama's morally bankrupt White House "Brain Trust": 1. Valerie Jarrett, 2. Patrick Gaspard, 3. Eric Holder, 4. Cecelia Muñoz, 5. Samantha Power(s), 6. Charles Freeman, 7. Scott Gration, 8. Rahm Emmanuel, 9. Ezekiel Emmanuel, 10. Cass Sunstein, 11. Van Jones, 12. Carol Browner, 13. John Holdren, 14. Kevin Jennings, 15. Chai Feldblum, 16. William Ayers. (americanthinker.com)

Union organizers swarm Obamanation ... The cover story of World Magazine investigates how unions are looking for payback “after doling out $450 million in 2008 to elect Democrats in Washington” (”Bargaining Hunting,” 10/24 edition). Emily Belz uses the controversy surrounding the discriminatory and costly government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA) on the new U.S. Department of Labor Job Corps Center in Manchester, New Hampshire to illustrate this point. Brett McMahon of ABC’s own member company Miller and Long, is quoted extensively about the union-payoff of PLAs and the Employee Free Forced Choice Act (EFCA). (thetruthaboutplas.com)

Bill Gates, AFSCME, NEA, SEIU back unlimited state government ... National labor unions and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates are among the donors who have poured nearly $1.5 million of last-minute cash into the campaign against Initiative 1033, a ballot measure that would slow the growth of state and local governments. Major last-minute donations to the opposition campaign included $200,000 each from the Washington, D.C., headquarters of two public-employee unions: The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the National Education Association, which represents teachers. That brought the total donations against I-1033 from each of those unions to more than $300,000, according to campaign-finance reports. Those reports also show big donations from sources closer to home. The state council of the Service Employees International Union wrote two checks for a total $150,000 last week, bringing its total donation to $290,000. (seattletimes.nwsource.com)

BOHICA, U.S. consumers ... It’s not an accident that the same organizations that attack the payday advance business are actively lobbying for the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Nor is it an accident that one of these organizations has been the now-scandal-drenched ACORN. These organizations, which unfortunately have the sympathies of our president and of Barney Frank, have little respect for creative dynamism of free markets. Their business is accumulating and exercising political power. The great economist Milton Friedman once observed, “Many people want government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.” (gosanangelo.com)

Thank goodness for Big Government ... Over the last quarter century the unions lost serious ground. The loss of labor’s influence in the economy is even more pronounced when breaking down the numbers between public and private sector unions. The private sector union rate is less than 10 percent today. Labor’s numbers overall have been inflated by the proliferation of public sector employment at all levels during the steroid era of big government. (spectator.org)

Union political power resists change


ACORN-SEIU unit takes Gotham ... Facing almost overwhelming odds in his quest to defeat Democrat John Liu and become New York City's next comptroller, Republican Joe Mendola tried a new tact last month. "How in heaven's name is he supposed to be an independent auditor of unions and city agencies when he's so tight with them that he’s even having his victory celebration in a union hall?” Mendola said, alluding to Liu's victory celebration at teachers union headquarters in downtown Manhattan. "There's a conflict of interest there that screams at voters." Scream it may but New Yorkers have become accustomed to the roar. Labor has long helped boost politicians in New York. Union endorsements bring financial donations along with members to staff phone banks and ring doorbells. And this year labor has seemed particularly powerful as candidates backed by key unions and the Working Families Party, which includes many of the city's more progressive unions, managed to topple sitting City Council members -- an almost unheard of feat in New York City -- and win the Democratic nominations for public advocate and comptroller. (gothamgazette.com)

SEIU's swamp goes putrid ... It is the smell of rotted food. When you bought it, those peaches were beautiful, sweet and fresh. Now, after two months, forgotten and isolated in the bottom of the crisper drawer, those peaches are black, leaking and growing hair. Now, they must be dug out and discarded before they ruin the rest of the refrigerator contents. The same can be said of the stench emanating from the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, otherwise known as ACORN. For anyone who hasn’t been watching the news recently, ACORN was the target of two investigative filmmakers who decided that they wanted to see what would happen if ACORN was approached about creating a brothel in the local neighborhood. Yes, I said brothel. Whorehouse. House of Ill Repute. Cat House. Democratic Party Headquarters. House of Prostitution. The concept was extremely simple. Get a hidden camera in a briefcase, dress two young people up in hooker/pimp garb, walk into an ACORN office, and ask for assistance in setting up a whorehouse using imported girls from Central America. The response was stunning. In ACORN offices in Baltimore, Washington D.C., New York, San Diego and San Bernardino, ACORN office staff was caught on film advising the couple on home loans and tax evasion, and disguising the identities of the sex workers brought in from El Salvador. To be fair, several ACORN offices did kick the two out. But, by my count, five did not. You can view the videos on YouTube as of this writing. Why is this of any importance other than the obvious titillation value? Because you are paying for ACORN’s activities. Through their allies in the Democratic party, ACORN has received massive amounts in Federal Grants. They also run several labor unions including the powerful Service Employees International Union (SEIU) here in California. (the-signal.com)

Wrist-slap for ACORN voter-fraudster ... A Milwaukee woman was sentenced to three years probation Monday for trying to register some people more than once as part of an ACORN voter registration drive last year. Lewis was the fourth former Milwaukee registrar to face charges stemming from the 2008 election and the only one employed by ACORN. Of three others employed by the Community Voters Project, two pleaded guilty and one remains at large. A 63-year-old Milwaukee man also pleaded guilty Monday in an unrelated election fraud case. (jsonline.com)

Bertha 'remakes' union-backed fraud group ... That scandal was preceded by revelations that ACORN employees had registered dozens of phony voters before the last election. And before that, it emerged that Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN's founder, New Orleans-bred Wade Rathke, had embezzled nearly $1 million from the group. Instead of announcing he'd been caught, selected group leaders allowed him to quietly repay the money over a period of years. The last scandal resulted in the ouster of Wade Rathke, who also happens to be the longtime companion of Butler. The two have lived together for decades and raised two children together, Butler said. Butler, who has worked for ACORN for 37 years, said her real sin in the eyes of the national organization's leaders was a failure to concede to their demands. In particular, she said, she had led resistance to a demand to turn over the land trust, called the ACORN Community Land Association of Louisiana, to the national group. "We were told by national ACORN that we had to give it up to them, " she said. "We got e-mails threatening our jobs because we didn't push the land trust people to hand over property and money to the New York people who took over ACORN." (nola.com)

Wade Rathke's Taj Mahal sold ... Anyone in the market for a creepy former funeral home whose major claim to fame is miraculously housing over 200 organizations? Word is, you’re out of luck. Apparently an offer has been accepted for ACORN’s long-time headquarters on Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans, on the edge of the 9th Ward. SEIU 100, which Rathke founded, was also headquartered in that building. (biggovernment.com)

Teacher strike update ... Ottawa Township High School Supt. John Harrison is believed to have committed suicide. The superintendent of a northern Illinois high school where teachers are on strike, has been found dead in his home. The LaSalle County Sheriff's Office says it appears John Harrison, 41, killed himself. He died at his home in Dayton Township in LaSalle County on Sunday afternoon. Harrison was the superintendent of Ottawa Township High School, west of Joliet. Teachers union president Glenn Weatherford declined comment late Sunday. (cbs2chicago.com)

International Collectivism

New Prog Chávez takes care of business ... "Every day there is more repression, and Chávez's mask slips further. The only thing Chávez cares about is being president for life," he said, seated at a desk in his cell. "This," he said, tapping a pile of legal documents emblazoned with his name, "is a judicial farce". Since April the general has been kept behind three layers of guards and gates at a hilltop military jail in Los Teques, outside Caracas. He has been accused of corruption over £8m which allegedly disappeared during his tenure in government, a charge levelled after he broke with Chávez and joined opposition ranks. (guardian.co.uk)

Trotskyite Lula reaches out to Iran ... As any world leader knows, breaking bread with unsavory regimes is an occupational hazard. But palling around with pariahs is another matter. So when Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva slapped Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the back at the U.N. General Assembly, stoutly defended Iran's nuclear program, and invited Ahmadinejad to visit Brazil, the world took note. What is Lula's game? (blog.newsweek.com)
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