Maybe it was naïve for Mr. Obama to make the C-SPAN promise. But it was his pledge to do business in a different way, and it likely helped him win over swing voters. Mr. Obama even talked this week about "changing the way Washington works."
But we can see that Mr. Obama's preferred style is backroom legislative drafting and what that style produces—sweetheart deals like Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson's "Cornhusker Kickback" and dozens of other special-interest provisions that benefit one state or a group at the expense of good policy. Mr. Obama should insist that every last payoff be removed from whatever bill is cobbled together.
This all plays into a broader narrative: Mr. Obama is not the centrist or new-style bipartisan leader he presented himself to be. On many of the most basic issues raised in the campaign, and in describing the kind of leadership he would practice, Mr. Obama misled voters.
[N.B. click on image for 'Fonzie Jumps the Shark' video]
Related video: Obama - C-SPAN - You Lie (Remix)
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'Fundamentally transforming the U.S.A.'
'The fundamental flaw of this country'
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights last month propounded interrogatories and document requests to the Justice Department seeking answers as to why the New Black Panther Party case of voter intimidation was dismissed, who was involved, what outside groups participated in the decision, and what this portends for the enforcement of federal civil rights laws. The Justice Department has responded, I have learned.
In a letter to the commission’s chairman, Joseph Hunt, director of the Federal Programs Branch, contends that the department is limited in what it can provide out of concern for its “deliberative processes” and so as not to “undermine its mission.” He doesn’t invoke “executive privilege” per se, but he does assert attorney-client privilege (which some legal gurus tell me doesn’t really “work” between government entities and agencies as a valid objection).Although the answers largely consist of boilerplate objections, the department does argue that “career attorneys” with more than 60 years of experience made the call to dump the case and that an injunction was obtained against one individual defendant who actually brandished a weapon.
Despite the work of the trial team (which sources inform me had ample factual and legal grounds for bringing the case against additional defendants), the Justice Department now says that unnamed career attorneys determined that it should drop the case against those additional defendants. And, of course, the response says politics played no role in the decision.
Related video: Securing Philly voting for Obama
Shame on U.S. Dept. of Social-Justice Fraud
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown yesterday accepted the endorsement of the Police Department's two major unions.(from telegram.com)
Local 911, New England Police Benevolent Association, and Local 504, International Brotherhood of Police Officers, handed their endorsement to the state senator. The endorsement comes one day after a debate in which Mr. Brown and his main opponent, Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley, squared off. The special election to fill the seat formerly held by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy will be held Tuesday.
Sgt. Donald E. Cummings, president of Local 504, said Mr. Brown's service in the National Guard shows that he knows the threat of terrorism is real, and understands the role public safety personnel play in protecting residents.
California ACORN has broken away from its embattled parent organization to form a new nonprofit group, a move that observers say might foreshadow other defections that would seriously undermine one of the nation's largest and most politically powerful community organizations.(from latimes.com)
The new group will have the same mission, will be staffed by many of the same employees who worked for ACORN, and will be funded by most of the same donors, said Amy Schur, the former head organizer for California ACORN.
Schur sits on the interim board of directors for the new group, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which was incorporated in California on Monday. ACCE is seeking federal nonprofit status.
A spokesman for ACORN declined to comment.
In 2008, it was revealed that top ACORN leaders had tried to hide the embezzlement of nearly $1 million from the organization nine years ago by the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke.
John Atlas, a New Jersey writer who recently completed a history of ACORN, said that members with similar complaints in other states were considering following California's lead. He and others said donor support has plummeted.
"The foundations that have been keeping ACORN going, they've cut ACORN off at the knees," said Peter Dreier, a professor at Occidental College who teaches community organizing.
Only weeks ago the New York Post reported that former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger gave a whitewash to ACORN, the shady community action/organization that specialized in voter fraud and sucking up public funds. Harshbarger, a liberal democrat whose career was funded by the same Labor unions who fund ACORN, is hardly an unbiased analyst.
More ominously, the New York Post predicted a similar Whitewash of the Working Families Party.
An ACORN front, the WFP hired former Judge Judith Kaye, a Pataki appointee to look at their books and pronounce them kosher. Pataki, you will recall, was endorsed by SEIU, the lefty public employee union that …funds ACORN.
In a BIG GOVERNMENT EXCLUSIVE we can now report that Justice Kaye has a prior association with the WFP leadership and in fact ruled for the WFP Bosses in a lawsuit. This is a stunning conflict of interest. Justice Kaye is in the tank.
The Working Families Party in under investigation for illegal campaign financing in Staten Island, absentee ballot fraud in Upstate New York and the New York Times reported Federal subpoenas raining on this criminal enterprise.
WFP endorsed candidates are stooges of the very unions whose sweetheart compensation, retirement and pension benefits are bankrupting New York. The WFP endorsement is the Mark of the Beast. New York voters are starting to catch onto this. The WFP endorsement will be an albatross this coming November.
We at NUTBUSTERZ won’t rest until Bertha Lewis – political boss at the Working Families Party – is dragged from her office in handcuffs. We fervently hope she resists arrest so that authorities can use nightsticks on this arrogant, criminal bitch.
When First Lady Michelle Obama planted an organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn in March 2009, she hoped to both set an example of healthy eating and to grow tasty edibles for her daughters and husband. But Michelle's organic dream has been dashed by a nasty toxic legacy lurking in the soils of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It turns out that a previous Presidential gardening team had used sewage sludge for fertilizer.(from dailyfinance.com)
This is a fairly common practice with one huge problem. Sewage sludge tends to be laced with anything that people pour down the drain and often contains heavy metals. Not surprisingly, the National Park Service tested the dirt beneath Michelle's garden and found the plot has highly elevated levels of lead averaging 93 parts per million. That's below the 400 ppm that the Environmental Protection Agency says is a threat to human health. But I'd wager that Sasha, Malia and Barack won't be getting arugula or tomatoes from this garden any time soon.
The likely source of the toxic sludge that has ruined Michelle's garden? The Clinton White House apparently used a sludge-based product to fertilize the lawn during the 1990s! Aside from casting a shadow on the first White House vegetable garden since Eleanor Roosevelt resided there, the sludge ensures that Michelle's garden will never attain organic status. Organic certification processes strictly prohibit the use of sludge as a fertilizer substitute.
The White House has sought to downplay the issue, and a number of experts have pointed out that 93 ppm of sludge in soil is somewhat normal for older urban locales. However, the EPA recommends not growing food in soil that has 100 ppm. Several major food producers, including H.J. Heinz and Del Monte, won't accept produce grown in sludge. That's despite decades of U.S. government efforts to encourage farmers to use solid sewage wastes in lieu of traditional fertilizer products.