Certainly all the indicators are there: the teleprompters to maintain eye contact; the tennis match back-and-forth from left to right, to address the audience in equal increments; hand gestures to dramatize his rhetorical points; and the long, cool and studied gaze over the heads of congressmen and senators, looking upward to the balcony—hands folded on the lectern—waiting for applause to die down.
The lugubriousness of the drama was offset only by the flibbertygibbety antics of Nancy Pelosi, who could be counted on to be the first to spring from her seat like a jack-in-the-box on sundry applause lines for Democrats.
With manipulative tone and carefully crafted rhetoric, Obama’s performance resembles not so much the obligatory SOTU addresses that presidents make every January; rather, it has eerily taken the cast of televised speeches by certain Latin American caudillos like the Castro brothers, or more recently, Hugo Chávez.
Socialist politicians like Chávez use television as vehicles to hector their opponents in marathon speeches and to stoke passions in their followers, particularly during times of domestic hardships or foreign entanglements. In practice, they try to consolidate their hold on power by stifling dissent, outlawing independent media, nationalizing key industries, manipulating the currency, replacing skilled employees with political cronies, raising taxes and pumping up public spending—ultimately bringing their countries to economic and social ruin.
But does Barack Obama bear any similarities with these guys? First, he has a hard-left background from his early days, as well as a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress that is in thrall to the party’s hard left. Using a rationale based on both real and imagined crises, Obama has been able to aggregate more power to the government by bringing the financial industry—both banking and Wall Street—to heel by either partial ownership/control through taxpayer loans or by threatening punitive regulation.
Obama’s ideological proclivity would be to make the country over through collectivist means instead of free market capitalism. Thus his takeover of General Motors became an excuse to pay favors to the UAW, as well as thump for his “green power” campaign hobbyhorse. The insurance and medical care industries are still in his crosshairs for a thinly disguised government takeover unless the public pushes back even harder against creeping socialized medicine.
With national scrutiny on ACORN and local scrutiny on the Working Families Party, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis quietly departed as state co-chair of the Working Families Party.
Lewis was a founding co-chair of the Party. According to Working Families spokesman Dan Levitan, Lewis stopped serving as co-chair “about a year ago,” though many people familiar with the Party were unaware of that change and Lewis was identified as a current co-chair in an interview on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show as recently as September.
The change in leadership comes as the Working Families Party and many of its endorsed candidates are providing extensive email and other documentation in response to December subpoenas from the United States Attorney’s office in New York. Lawyers are also preparing to return to Staten Island Supreme Court on Feb. 23 for the lawsuit being brought against the WFP’s company, Data & Field Services, and the campaign of now-Council Member Debi Rose by Randy Mastro on behalf of five Republican-connected residents of her Staten Island district.
After being warned by a judge in mid-January about delays in producing documents, Data & Field Services says that it met the Feb. 5 deadline to provide the remaining information with over 1,000 pages of information.
Mastro confirmed that his office had received discs of information late Friday, but said that he could not comment further until he and his fellow attorneys had time to print them out and review.
The lawsuit, however, may not be the only legal action on the horizon. The trial was stopped short in January by Judge Anthony Giacobbe after Rose’s treasurer, David Thomas testified that he had neither written nor was familiar with the information provided in affidavits to the Campaign Finance Board. That may result in attention from Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan—“there’s a very strong possibility of a perjury case here,” according to local legal sources.
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(from David Limbaugh at patriotpost.us)
Plouffe said: "Politics is a comparative exercise. This isn't just a referendum on Democrats. ... It's a choice. ... Republicans right now are just sitting back and slinging arrows. We need to ... shine some light over their side of the fence."
Plouffe said he would remind voters that Democrats have spent two years trying to fix problems, whereas Republicans want to wheel a "Trojan horse" into Washington and spill out bankers and health insurance executives. Sure, why not vilify bankers and insurers when it helps your guy avoid accountability for his policies?
It's shamelessly Machiavellian of Democrats to accuse the GOP of going negative, when Democrats use Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" (e.g., "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it") as an instruction manual. But hey, they're out of fresh ideas, so what other choice do they have?
Notice how liberal Democrats frame almost any issue: stressing their supposedly good intentions and the Republicans' alleged lack of compassion to avoid a genuine debate and scrutiny of their policies. Consider:
On welfare, Democrats insist on ever-greater redistributionist programs with the ostensible goal of "ending" poverty. Nearly a half-century and $5 trillion since the war on poverty was initiated, we've barely made a dent in poverty. In fact, prior to the Republicans' Contract with America in 1994, we were losing ground in all relevant categories -- with black families, particularly black children, being the hardest hit.
• Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
• 'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com
Related video clips:
|'Fundamentally transforming the U.S.A.'||'The fundamental flaw of this country'|
The progressive movement is often difficult to pin down because allied groups use multiple names and organizations to spread confusion and give the appearance of both overwhelming numbers and independent expenditure.
We should not be fooled by this host of political malcontents attempting to co-opt state and local politics in the name of a national agenda. Examining the tactics of these groups gives us the key to understanding the purpose of organizations like the Secretary of State Project, ACORN, and Project Vote. Our states are under concerted judicial assault from progressive lawyers, and they are many.
Let us first address the networks of influence. Project Vote is the legal arm of ACORN, and in the cases we’ll study, conducted all of the informational build-up to bring suits against potential swing states. It works like this: Project Vote files state versions of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, gathers relevant data, conducts studies, and contacts various state officials to coordinate these activities. Once Project Vote gathers the minimal amount of information needed, ACORN then files a complaint in federal district court. A rotating pinwheel of other progressive groups join the suit and, often, The Brennan Center for Justice provides additional help through legal counsel.
The lawsuits at issue all involve violations of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). The NVRA requires states to conduct voter registration through (1) motor vehicle registration agencies, (2) mail, and (3) public assistance agencies. HAVA (1) provides funds to states to improve election administration, (2) establishes minimum election administration standards for states, and (3) creates the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). NVRA and HAVA require states to designate a “chief state elections official” to coordinate and implement state responsibilities under the acts. Most states have designated their secretary of state as the chief state elections official. Project Vote directs information-gathering to the secretary of state for each targeted state. If the secretary of state becomes a stumbling-block to the efforts of Project Vote, SoSP targets that secretary of state for removal. If the secretary of state aids and abets Project Vote, SoSP supports that secretary of state for re-election.
We start with a look at the past suits brought against the states.
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President Obama's overall approval rating has sunk to a new low -- and independent voters who propelled him to the White House have gotten downright sick of the job he's doing, according to a devastating poll released yesterday.(from nypost.com)
Obama's overall approval among all registered voters hit a new low of 44 percent, the lowest of any poll that uses people to survey voters.