7/30/09

Thursday wrap

Obama: Stimulus fail, Snake Oil fail, confuses journalists, union-only Town Halls, GatesGate agonistes, abandoned in VA.

Mismanagement: Pension fraud blamed, our illiterate Congress tramples liberty, RICO made for ACORN, SEIU fail, union fight airs dirty laundry, 'no-vote' unionism alive and well, union abandons contract & worker-dues, Red Cross oppresses, iconic Leftist remembered, London on strike.

International: LatAm leftists to invade U.N., Toronto strike persists, meet ChávezCare, Chávez smacks down press & threatens war v. Honduras, Communists on strike in Nepal, ACORN fail in Moldova.

Black eye for Obama's vaunted Stimulus transparency ... On a scale of zero to 100, it can't get worse than the big goose egg. That's the embarrassing rating Illinois received in a report released on Wednesday that concludes the state is worst in the nation when it comes to information available online about how federal stimulus money is being spent. The 50-state study by the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog Good Jobs First sought to assess how well states are living up to President Barack Obama's pledge that the $787 billion federal stimulus bill would seek "an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability." To fulfill that and similar promises from governors, state Web sites were supposed to play a central role as one-stop shops where watchdogs, reporters and citizens could go to track stimulus cash. While Illinois' official stimulus site garnered a zero, most states also scored poorly - with an average rating of just 28. (newsmax.com)


ObamaCare: Nasty mess exposed
(blog.heritage.org)


Obama struggles to sell Snake Oil to union rank-and-file ... President Barack Obama was greeted by about 200 people protesting his health care overhaul at a Virginia supermarket Wednesday and he told UFCW members that the government was not taking over the system. Obama was met with signs that read: "Obamacare is political malpractice" and "Keep your hands off my health care." "I saw some signs," he told about 100 Kroger cashiers, baggers, deli workers and managers. He said he knew "folks were all riled up." "First of all, no one is talking about a government takeover health care plan," Obama said after he took the podium for the town hall meeting near the produce section. (washingtonexaminer.com)


Journalists confused by Obama rush to grand experiments ... George Orwell is alive and writing new fiction about Congress legislating expanded government control of health care. Or at least it seems that way. A growing and ominous trend lately is the inversion of language to couch further government intervention in the name of liberating "reform." For instance, if you want to eliminate the secret ballot in union-organized elections and force workers to vote in clear sight of their employer and a union enforcer, call it "The Employee Free Choice Act." There are many more flagrant examples of doublethink in the debate on health care. And it becomes increasingly difficult to have a sane discussion when too many words are used as the opposite of their proper meaning. It can even confuse journalists. (lvrj.com)

Related video: MSNBC hearts ObamaCare



Union pension fraud keys anti-business Obama-Dem agenda ... With President Obama's health care reform push seemingly stalled for the summer, Republicans turned their fire Tuesday back toward card check legislation. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., attacked any compromise bill, even one that cuts out card check itself. He called any such deal a Trojan horse for Big Labor to push through another long-sought goal: mandatory arbitration. "We suspected from the beginning that binding arbitration was packaged with the elimination of the secret ballot in order to create a straw man they could take down later," DeMint told reporters. "We are still in danger of this passing. When they come back and say we have got a bipartisan compromise, we are in trouble." DeMint tied the issue to underfunded union-run pension plans. (news.yahoo.com)


Potemkin Village exposed: Obama 'Town Hall' audiences are union-only ... President Barack Obama will hold health care town hall meeting at the Bristol, Virginia, Kroger grocery store today – Wednesday, July 29 at 4:00 p.m. Workers at this store are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Local 400, and are speaking out for quality, affordable health care for all. “We’re honored and excited to host President Obama,” said Vera Lewis, a member of the UFCW and a floral designer at the Bristol Kroger. “Like President Obama says, health care reform can’t wait. We need a health care system that covers everyone and brings down costs now.” (businesswire.com)


GatesGate exposes Obama warpage ... Escalating fallout from President Obama's castigation of a Massachusetts police officer could damage the credibility of a leader who speaks boldly about complex foreign policy matters without showing comprehension of the underlying issues. If Obama rushed to judgment without knowing all the facts about an arrest in Cambridge, what does this tell us about the basis for his foreign policy pronouncements? Indisputably, the President knows less about the Middle East and other overseas regions than he does about Cambridge, where he spent three years at Harvard Law School. Obama's initial reaction --castigating the policeman for supposedly acting "stupidly" -- was based on assumptions (some would call them prejudices) anchored in the President's belief system. On several different fronts, Obama's foreign policy initiatives are likewise being challenged as based on warped analysis. (americanthinker.com)


We don't need to read the stinkin' bills ... Democrats say the full House of Representatives will not vote on sweeping health care legislation until September. It is part of a three-way deal between conservative Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House. Under the deal, the last of three House committees will be able to finish work on the legislation this week. But lawmakers will have time to review the 1,000-page bill before a floor vote in September. Originally, Pelosi wanted the House to vote by the end of this week, before the monthlong August break. (washingtonexaminer.com)



Obama-Dems vow to smack down liberty before recess ... Congressional Democrats are determined to show progress on health care overhaul by pushing President Barack Obama's top domestic priority through two critically important committees before they head home for their August break. They're closer, but they're not there yet. (cnsnews.com)


Obama welcomes friends to U.S. ... According to U.N. sources, the general assembly, which officially begins Sept. 23, has a roster some have referred to as "rogue's gallery" of the diplomatic world. Coincidentally, Gadhafi briefly met Obama on the sidelines of the recent G20 Summit in London. The U.S. president may have another face-to-face with the Libyan at a VIP lunch to be hosted by U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon during the opening day of the general assembly's debate. Joining Gadhafi will be Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has made the U.N. debate a yearly pilgrimage. Ahmadinejad, coming off a controversial electoral victory in June, will be joined by another U.S. antagonist, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Chávez will be accompanied by his newest "best buddy" – ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. A voice from the past will also travel to New York this September. Sandinista leader and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega will return to the Big Apple after a 23-year hiatus. (wnd.com)


Dem bigs abandon Obama's sinking ship ... In Virginia, however, state Sen. Creigh Deeds has taken a different tack. He’s been far more circumspect about his relationship with the president, using him to raise money and win support from the Democratic base but showing little desire to introduce Obama as a central character in his race or make the contest a referendum of the administration’s policies. (politico.com)


Union-backed, tax-funded fraud group termed a 'criminal enterprise' ... The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, deservedly has received enormous amounts of bad press over the past couple years. The New Orleans-based nonprofit network of radical activists, with hundreds of affiliates in more than 40 states, has been at the center of investigations into voter registration fraud, unauthorized use of taxpayer funds for lobbying and other forms of partisan politics, phony tax filings, and an embezzlement scandal that cost its founder and chief organizer his job a little over a year ago. Now a key Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives has weighed in, releasing last week the results of a full-length probe by committee staffers. The report concludes that ACORN fits the definition of a criminal enterprise under the Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organizations Act (RICO). That's especially ominous in light of the group's imminent huge boost in federal subsidies in the Obama era. (nlpc.org)


SEIU thug fail ... As the old saying in Washington goes: if you can’t attack the message, attack the messenger. Nobody knows this strategy better than the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a big labor union known for bullying anyone it disagrees with into submission. And that is why they are turning their “activists” against the Lewin Group, a nonpartisan, independent health care research firm. In the past couple weeks, thousands of conservatives have taken to Twitter to say #handsoff and push for health care reform that leaves medical decisions in their hands and not the government’s. Now SEIU leaders are urging their members to tweet “Lewin Group FAIL” to Members of Congress on Twitter. FAIL being the ultimate dig on the social networking site. And by doing this they are showing that without a coherent health care message, they have shamefully resorted to attacking those who crunch economical models for a living. (blog.heritage.org)


SEIU airs its dirty laundry ... It was just seven months ago, in late January, that a nasty feud between Sal Rosselli’s United Healthcare Workers West local and its SEIU parent and president Andy Stern escalated into a trusteeship that tossed Rosselli and crew out of office. The culmination of years of tussling over policy, power and union bank accounts, the inter-union squabble has morphed into a legal wrangle between defendants Rosselli and his former UHW honchos, who now run a new rival union, and plaintiffs Service Employees International Union and some of its officers. And the latest legal document in that U.S. District Court case is full of juicy tidbits. A July 27 order [.pdf] granting a preliminary injunction requiring defendants to return documents and other property notes that Rosselli and other defendants – who now run the rival National Union of Healthcare Workers – were forced by an earlier TRO to turn over 60 boxes of allegedly pilfered documents, along with a separate batch of 550,000 pages of paperwork. District Court Judge William Alsup, quoting the earlier TRO, wrote that the defendants apparently “filched or sabotaged” UHW property as they launched the rival union, or aided and abetted those who did so. (sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com)


We don't need no stinkin' secret-ballots ... The National Right to Work Committee took to the airwaves yesterday to pressure Virginia Sens. Jim Webb and Mark R. Warner to vote against proposed "card-check" legislation. The two Democrats are said to be undecided on the legislation, sought by labor unions and opposed by the business community. The Springfield-based Right to Work Committee has bought $2 million in television ads in five states, including Virginia, urging viewers to call wavering senators. "The truth is, passage of card check would be a massive expansion of union bosses' power over workers at the expense of their privacy and freedom," Dennis Fusaro, executive director of the committee, said during a news conference at the Doubletree Hotel Historic Richmond. (timesdispatch.com)

Related video: Union militants disempower workers



How to get rid of unwanted union thugs ... The conflict arose when the air traffic controllers filed a deauthorization petition with the National Labor Relations Board. If carried through, the move would have allowed the controllers to stop paying dues to the NATCA without otherwise affecting their relationship with the union. The move came out of the workers’ desire to end their union representation while an active contract was in place between NATCA and the Capital City Airport, explained Will Collins, a spokesman for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which worked with the controllers on the petition. “Unless the union contract with the employer expires, you are not allowed to file a decertification petition to get rid of the union entirely,” Collins said. Had the contract been at its end, the workers could have effectively declined to renew it and remove NATCA entirely, rather than file the deauthorization petition, Collins said. A vote on the deauthorization was scheduled for late July and then canceled when NATCA pulled its representation. Because all union members must pay dues in order to maintain the bargaining services of the organization, the move left NATCA few options except to contest the election that resulted in the petition or simply withdraw from the relationship, NATCA spokeswoman Alex Caldwell said. (cumberlink.com)


Militant gov't-union strike big cancels workers' vote ... A stop to Toronto’s six-week civic strike came into view earlier this week, but the process stalled Wednesday, preventing the immediate resumption of garbage pickup, daycare and summer camps. Revving up the city’s engine came to an abrupt halt when one of the two ratification votes set to begin Wednesday morning was effectively cancelled. Instead of proceeding forward with plans for 6,000 outside workers to cast their ballots, union leadership directed members of CUPE Local 416 to stay home until the road map to getting back on track was decided. (thechronicleherald.ca)


Shame on oppressive Red Cross ... Middle-Tennessee Red Cross employee Erroll Groves say intimidation is what kept his fellow co-workers from forming a union over the past several years, and that a union is necessary. They say because they're being asked to work every weekend, put in long hours, and work non-mandatory overtime. Just last month the head of the National Teamsters Union accused the Red Cross of replacing nurses with unlicensed supervisors, forcing employees to work up to seven days a week and turn blood collection into "an assembly line process". (wpsdlocal6.com)


International Collectivism

Progs of a Feather: ObamaCare apes ChávezCare ... Besides being one of the most mind numbingly stupid statements I have ever read it reminded me that these ideologues have formed their misinformed opinions based on lies. Chávez is every bit the fascist dictator. He packed his Supreme Court to keep ultimate power, he suppresses his opposition by force and coercion, he has abolished democracy, taken over the media, made criticism of his government a crime and has taken over the infrastructure of private enterprise. Chávez is so crooked and despised that Human Right’s Watch released a 233 page report detailing just a small amount of his gross record [.pdf]. Of all the lies and justifications that leftists have made concerning Chávez however it is the claim that he empowered the poor by providing them state run health care that hits home the most. Like Democrats today, Chávez made his empty promises and his supporters ran with the lie (as they still do today). (watcherofweasels.org)


New Prog Era: Chávez cracks down on press ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is taking steps to tighten restrictions on the media despite mounting opposition by private media to a series of proposed reforms that would expose them to criminal prosecution. Chávez supporters argue that the measures limiting broadcasting rights for radio and television will lead to a significant "democratization" of the media, which has been controlled by a handful of owners. "We will launch a strong fight for the democratization of communication, to break the media oligarchy in Venezuela," Communication and Information Minister Blanca Eekhout said recently. (google.com)


Chávez threatens war over term limits ... Honduras' interim government Tuesday ordered Venezuelan diplomats to leave the country as the international community threatened new sanctions on the Central American nation if negotiations fail to resolve the crisis. Venezuelan Embassy charge d'affairs Ariel Vargas said he received a letter from the Honduran Foreign Ministry ordering his diplomats to leave in 72 hours. Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez has been the most vociferous critic of what he calls the "gorilla" government that overthrew his ally, Manuel Zelaya, on June 28. The interim government accused Venezuela of meddling in Honduran affairs and of threatening to use its armed forces against Honduras, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Associated Press. (ethiopianreview.com)


Communist teachers union out on strike ... All schools throughout the country have remained closed starting Wednesday due to a three-day strike called by the Maoist affiliated Nepal Educational Republican Forum (NERF). The teachers’ body has demanded implementation of the agreements reached with the erstwhile Maoist-led government. The announcement of closure came after the talks between the government and NERF on Tuesday could not reach an agreement. (asiantribune.com)


Leftwing icon recalled ... “Krankheit” in German is pronounced the same as the “Cronkite” following “Walter.” The German word means “sickness” while the “Walter” word means the man who infected TV news with the gazillion dollar-salary Star Anchor larger than the news he is supposed to be presenting. I don’t say that to be mean-spirited or disrespectful of a man who was “the most trusted man in America,” but nobody else appears to be pointing out that Cronkite was actually a liberal ideologue; an advocate of a politically correct, totalitarian world government who used his trust to influence public policy in accordance with his own beliefs. (bighollywood.breitbart.com)


Strike disrupts workers in London ... London commuter rail lines were brought to a near-standstill today by the start of a 48-hour strike. National Express East Anglia services to and from Liverpool Street station were crippled with just a skeleton service for its thousands of passengers. More than 150,000 passengers faced major disruption, with many taking hours longer to get to work and some giving up and going home. (thisislondon.co.uk)


Communists failed to hire ACORN ... Moldova’s pro-Western opposition parties appear to have unseated Europe’s last ruling Communist Party in repeat parliamentary elections that have become a test of whether the impoverished former Soviet republic aligns with the European Union or Moscow. With 97 percent of the vote tabulated, the Communist Party seems to have lost the majority it held for eight years in Parliament, winning about 45 percent of the vote, Moldova’s Central Elections Commission said. (nytimes.com)

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