7/25/09

Saturday wrap

Obama: Silences tax-funded Congressional dissent, economic experiments deconstructed, GatesGate stupidly re-exposes BLT.

Mismanagement: Union bigs H8 transparency, hefty ACORN corrupts elections, D.C. Job-Killers on steroids, Dirty Money Watch shows GOP gains, socialists urge GovMo factory occupations.

International: LatAm leftist thug in risky photo-op, Chávez flouts rule of law and runs out of Joe, Putin hearts Chávez.

Obama-Pelosi Speech Police crack down on dissenters ... Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), the secretary of the House Republican Conference and a former District Court Judge, is having his messages to constituents censored by Democrats on the Franking Commission. Republicans are no longer allowed to use the words “government run health care” in the communications to their constituents. Carter received an email from the Franking Commission informing him of the censorship. “It came to me from the Franking Commission and I have the email from the Franking Commission here if you’d like to see it,” Carter said. “We held a telephone town-hall… When you hold telephone town-halls you have a recorded message that introduces the town-hall and the subject matter you’re going to be talking about. You have to now submit that language to the Franking Commission. (humanevents.com)


New Prog Experiment: Anti-investment agenda has predictable outcome ... “Candidate Obama promised change,” Steele said in a speech at the National Press Club. “President Obama is conducting an experiment.” Steele went on to accuse Barack Obama of carrying out dangerous experiments with the nation’s health care, with the economy, with taxpayers’ dollars. “Experiment” didn’t come from nowhere. “The term bubbled up from a set of focus groups we did with swing voters, independents, soft Republicans and soft Democrats,” says one strategist involved in an extensive RNC research effort nationwide and in key states like Virginia, Colorado and Florida. “It’s something that a vast majority of voters believe is true, that Obama is running what amounts to an experiment with our future.” The RNC researchers came away convinced that Americans are scared. Certainly voters expected Obama to do things. But they are frightened by the sheer scope of the president’s proposals, the fiscal dangers they present and, perhaps most of all, the astonishing speed with which the administration is trying to enact such fundamental and far-reaching changes. “When Americans voted for change, it was for a change from the uncertainty and economic unpredictability at the end of the Bush years,” says Alex Castellanos, the Republican message master who helped shape the RNC campaign. “But the president is giving them economic unpredictability on steroids. There is the clear sense out there that he is moving so fast on so many fronts that his health care plan cannot be well thought out.” (washingtonexaminer.com)


We don't need no stinkin' union financial transparency ... Obama administration officials will conduct a thorough review of union financial disclosure requirements, John Lund, deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), said Tuesday at the Department of Labor. At issue are the annual financial disclosure reports unions with receipts of $250,000 or more are required to file under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). Elaine Chao, President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor, strengthened the reporting requirements to give union members credible information about how their dues money was being spent by union officials and to expose “no show jobs” that benefit union coffers. Union representatives told Lund during Tuesday’s meeting that Chao’s disclosure requirements were unfair and costly burdens, and they asked that the Labor Department allow them to file the annual reports in their pre-Bush format. (washingtonexaminer.com)


GatesGate: Obama makes another 'stupid' mistake ... President Barack Obama displayed the calm of Star Trek's Mr. Spock during his press conference on health care, carefully picking his way through Congress' dense reform packages. But when he got asked about the alleged racial profiling this week of black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., Mr. Obama was all emotion, channeling the rashness of "Bones" McCoy. Cambridge police acted "stupidly," the president said — a snap determination from a constitutional scholar who should know a thing or two about due process. Turns out the arresting officer instructs recruits on how to avoid racial profiling. Racial profiling is a horrible act that has no place in a just society. But it remains to be seen whether what happened to Mr. Gates qualifies. Mr. Obama ought not to have passed judgment. (orlandosentinel.com)

Related video: Unions rip Obama



Obama re-introduces U.S. to Marxist 'Black Liberation Theology' ... Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard professor at the center of the current national race controversy, has recruited radical black activists to his university department, is a prominent supporter of reparations for the descendents of slaves and has immortalized a communist and socialist activist. Since 1991, Gates has been teaching African American studies at Harvard, where he serves as the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. De Bois, an American civil rights activist, sociologist, historian and author, was an avowed communist and also a socialist sympathizer. Serving as director for the Harvard institute immortalizing Du Bois, Gates cultivated black radicals to his race studies department, most prominently bringing in Cornel West, a controversial adviser on Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March with close ties to socialist and black extremist groups. West is a declared personal friend of Farrakhan. Gates also lured to Harvard socialist sympathizer Kwame Anthony Appiah, a Ghanaian philosopher, cultural theorist and novelist, as well as William Julius Wilson, who is close to the Democrat Socialists of America. Gates authored two books with West, a long-time member and honorary chair of the Democrat Socialists of America. From a young age, West proclaimed he admired “the sincere black militancy of Malcolm X, the defiant rage of the Black Panther Party … and the livid black [liberation] theology of James Cone.” Cone's theology spawned Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's controversial pastor for 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ. (wnd.com)


Welcome to the New DINO Era ... President Barack Obama, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and other Democratic candidates received support from the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) in violation of tax and election laws, according to a new congressional report. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), ranking minority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, released the document on behalf of the panel’s minority members Thursday. “Committee investigators have unearthed documentation that ACORN and its affiliates conducted meticulous research that fed aggressive campaign initiatives designed to elect Democratic candidates in targeted races,” the report said. “ACORN forged both formal and informal connections with former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and President Barack Obama, among others. 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. These actions are a clear violation of numerous tax and election laws,” the report said. The report cited multiple passages from ACORN’s 2005-2007 Strategic Plan for “progressive voters.” (washingtonexaminer.com)


ACORN: We don't need no stinkin' elections ... Congressman Steve King today introduced an amendment to the Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill prohibiting any taxpayer money in the bill from going to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) or any of its 174 affiliates. Liberals on the House Rules Committee ruled King’s amendment out of order. This is the seventh amendment addressing ACORN liberals have denied King from offering. King has previously introduced amendments to keep ACORN from receiving taxpayer money and to bar ACORN from helping with the 2010 census. “John Conyers is right: the ‘powers that be’ in this Congress will do all they can to protect ACORN,” King said. “ACORN is corroding the integrity of our electoral process by attacking the sanctity of the ballot box and using taxpayer dollars to do so, and Nancy Pelosi and Democrats on Capitol Hill are complicit in ACORN’s cover-up. Shielding ACORN from oversight ensures that this liberal get-out-the-vote machine will continue its shady practices. It is time for every member of this Congress to go on record on taxpayer funding for ACORN.” (canadafreepress.com)


GOP: Probe union-backed, tax-funded political fraud unit ... A new report issued by congressional Republicans alleges fraud and widespread political corruption in the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). A Pittsburgh attorney who sued ACORN for election law violations last year says if Democratic leaders don't exercise their duty of oversight, there needs to be a call for a special prosecutor. Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report yesterday accusing ACORN of violating several tax and election laws by using tax dollars to support its liberal political agenda. According to the report, ACORN provided contributions of financial and personnel resources to indicted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, and Barack Obama when he was running for president. Heather Heidelbaugh, vice president of the Republican Lawyers Association, says ACORN has received $53 million from taxpayers and has access to $2.8 billion in the Obama administration. (onenewsnow.com)


Job-Killers focus like a laser beam ... “I don’t see anything that is being done to fix the elements in this bill that are dangerous to the rights of workers and to the job providers who are already struggling with a faltering economy,” said Katie Packer, WFI’s executive director. “This is just a ploy to get enough votes for cloture but I don’t see this going anywhere. There are senators who simply can’t vote for binding arbitration.” With opinion polls showing growing opposition to card check, it is not surprising to find that labor allies in the Senate are attempting to reshape the bill, said Greg Mourad, NRTW’s legislative director. But Mourad believes the changes under consideration are “window dressing” that would still give labor 95 percent of what it wants. (washingtonexaminer.com)


Change to Win: Unrepentant Job-Killers ... "Today's minimum wage increase is an important step in recovering our economy, rebuilding the middle class and renewing the American Dream for America's workers. But it is only one of three prongs necessary to create a real economic stimulus package for working families. In addition to a minimum wage indexed to inflation, workers need a major overhaul of our health care system and passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation that would allow workers to bargain with employers for better wages, benefits and job security. Worker consumption is what drives our economy. In order to expand America's purchasing power, we need to expand the paychecks of workers. Even with this new wage increase, millions of working Americans are struggling to make ends meet. By implementing the President's bold reforms - from health care to the Employee Free Choice Act - we can put working families on a pathway out of poverty and back on the road to achieving the American Dream." (news.prnewswire.com)


We don't need no stinkin' private sector ... In the article, "Labor leader speaks in support of Card Check bill," I would like to applaud Jerry Gorski of Associated Builders and Contractors and Nancy Keefer, president of the Chamber for their intuitive input into the misconceptions of Card Check legislation. As a local contractor, I also oppose this legislation and the government-aided union control of business. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is an anti-worker, job-killing piece of legislation that will undercut any effort to stimulate our economy. The bill will drive up costs for employers, especially small businesses, at a time when they can least afford it. First, the main provision of EFCA effectively eliminates secret ballot voting in union elections. Secret ballots are the backbone of the democratic system. Taking away this right will open workers up to unnecessary intimidation tactics. Second, the bill also contains a less known provision that would impose government-mandated labor contracts on employers who are unable to reach agreement with unions after only four months of negotiations. This binding arbitration will be overseen by individuals from the federal government who may know nothing of my business. (pottstownmercury.com)


Militant D.C. union operatives act up ... Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is telling unionists they will have to go out and push for the Employee Free Choice Act, but with a promise of verbal support from the Obama administration. And unionists didn’t even wait for that message, which she delivered near the end of a July 15 speech in Washington to more than 2,000 teachers and school paraprofessionals attending AFT’s Quest Conference. Instead, union members and their allies are staging mass rallies and marches for the act, labor’s #1 legislative priority, even in hostile areas: 1,500 people turned out for a recent march for EFCA in Little Rock, Ark., a “red state” represented by two Democratic senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, who are on the fence, at best, about the law. (workdayminnesota.org)


GOP officials placed on Dirty Money Watch ... Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-FL; Rep. John Carter, R-TX; Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS); Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME); Rep. Charlie Dent, (R-PA); Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, (R-NJ); Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH); Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Rep. John Campbell (R-CA); Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO); Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH); Rep. John McHugh (R-NY). (washingtonexaminer.com)


Dem officials placed on Dirty Money Watch ... Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas); Rep. Allen Boyd, (D-FL); Rep. Chet Edwards (D-TX); Rep. Chris Carney (D-PA); Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA). (washingtonexaminer.com)


Socialists urge occupation of GovMo factories ... SsangYong Motor is not exactly a household name, even among autoworkers here. Smaller than Hyundai, Kia and GM-Daewoo, this Korean auto firm only produces vehicles for the domestic market. Members of the United Auto Workers, however, need to pay close attention to a fierce battle taking place at a SsangYong plant in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. At first the situation bore a remarkable similarity to GM and Chrysler’s restructuring-by-bankruptcy, but on May 27 the Korean Metal Workers Union took the struggle in a very different direction. The KMWU members did not choose the path of concessions and retreat. After a series of sporadic strikes beginning in April, the 1,700 workers who were going to be laid off occupied the plant, bringing vehicle production to a standstill. (workers.org)


Teach your children well: Typical teachers unionist rips market-based economics ... Ultimately, the problem is not bad teachers; the problem is the system itself. Capitalism prioritizes making profits for a few over meeting the fundamental needs of the public, like education. The federal government should slash the military budget, and infuse education with hundreds of billions of dollars to hire more teachers and build new schools. At the state level, corporations and millionaires should be taxed heavily and stripped of all tax breaks they currently receive as an incentive to "do business" there. Huge urban school districts such as LAUSD should slash their immense bureaucracies, including mini-districts, and funnel the funds saved into the classrooms where they belong. (pslweb.org)


International Collectivism

Disgraced, Obama-backed Honduran Leftist pulls symbolic stunt in Nicaraguan border town ... In an apparent symbolic move, ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya crossed briefly into Honduras and then stepped back into Nicaragua to avoid arrest. Before stepping across the border of the two central American nations, in the small Nicaraguan frontier town of Las Manos, Zelaya, surrounded by supporters and reporters, directly challenged the acting president Roberto Micheletti and the military. He said, "Today is a day to look each other in the eye. It's a good day to die for our country. But let that death be in the cause of development. Let him come, I'm ready to face the cannons and the rifles." (presstv.ir)


Chávez: Global scofflaw ... It is significant that it has been announced, including photographs, that the Venezuelan Foreign Relations Minister, Nicolás Maduro, following instructions from his boss, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, left Managua on his way to the boundary with Honduras accompanying, in a calculatedly brazen way, deposed President Zelaya in his attempt to return to Honduras. Thus, it is fair to ask, what is the top representative of Venezuela diplomacy doing accompanying a deposed Honduran president in an effort that runs contrary to the juridical normality of his country? The fact that the present constitutional government of Honduras is not recognized by the government of Venezuela and others around the world, in no way authorizes these governments to take part in an act against public order in Honduras. On the contrary, this would be an act of hostility, in this case against the sovereignty of the Honduran state. In accordance with International Law, the existence of a state is independent of its recognition by the governments of other states. (diariolasamericas.com)


Putin hearts Chávez ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has pledged that his government will strengthen the nation’s military might, while alleging that the US is trying to turn Colombia into an “Israel” in the neighbourhood. “What is important is to continue strengthening the republic’s military power,” Chávez said at an official ceremony broadcast live on all radio and television stations Friday. A day before, he had announced intentions to double the number of tank battalions and said that those plans have been officially communicated to the Russian government, the principal supplier of arms to Venezuela since Washington cut off military sales to Caracas. Caracas has in the last few years purchased from Russia 100,000 combat rifles, 24 Sukhoi-30 fighter-bombers and 50 helicopters. “It is necessary to increase our defensive power” in the wake of the developments in the neighbourhood, Chávez said. (thaindian.com)


Bolivarian Workers Paradise runs out of Joe ... It really takes a certain amount of cunning, if not good sense, to turn a coffee exporter, one acknowledged to produce some of the finest Arabica in the world, into a place where it is now difficult to get a cup of coffee. But that is indeed what Hugo Chávez has just managed to do in Venezuela. How is it possible to do this? Well, first set the price at only half what it is in neighbouring Colombia. Then watch as some 250,000 quintales (around 100lbs in a sack) get smuggled over the border into that country. Then gasp in amazement as less coffee is harvested domestically, the crop falling from the usual 1.5 million quintales to 1-1.2 million. Then congratulate youself on how you've been able to make coffee cheaper for the masses: demand has risen to 1.8 million quintales. The final coup de grace is of course that you've got to go and find some more coffee somewhere (adamsmith.org)

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