8/6/09

Thursday wrap

Obama: Channels Wilson-Nixon-Orwell, manufactures outrage, hoisted by Alinsky petard, engages speech thugs, hearts economic leveling, cannibalizes Dems, mum on Carpenters fraud.

Mismanagement: Norman Thomas remembered, Culture of Corruption #1, private sector health fail, two-faced union bigs, UAW strike fail, 9-term Dem convicted, hubristic union bigs rebuked, ACORN picks fines over disclosure, mega-rich unions plundered, AFSCME strike fail, AFSCME rips Red Cross, teachers dues embezzled, D.C. P2P scored, AFSCME blames privatization.

International: Privatization frees hostages from Communists.

Unprecedented paranoia grips Obama White House ... In a letter to Obama Tuesday, Republican Sen. John Cornyn wrote that, given Phillips' request, "it is inevitable that the names, email address, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House." Cornyn warned the president that "these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program." "I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward emails critical of his policies to the White House," Cornyn continued. "I urge you to cease this program immediately." Senate Judiciary Committee lawyers studying the proposal say that although there is no absolutely settled law on the matter, the White House plan is likely not covered by the Privacy Act, which prohibits government agencies from keeping any records "describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statue or by the individual about whom the record is maintained." Therefore, it appears the White House can legally keep records of the emails and other communications it receives in response to Phillips' request. Those lawyers also point out that the White House is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, which means it would not have to release any information on the plan to members of the public who make a request. In addition, the lawyers say the collected emails likely will be covered by the Presidential Records Act, which requires the White House to preserve and maintain its records for permanent storage in a government database. (washingtonexaminer.com)


Obama-Dems smack down manufacturers ... As the DNC and the White House desperately attempt to marginalize and bully the majority of Americans who oppose the government takeover of healthcare, they're increasingly relying on their media allies to paint the widespread, genuine opposition as "manufactured" outrage voiced by "mobs" of "angry radicals." It doesn't take a Ph.D. in psychology to conclude this knee-jerk demonization may represent an acute case of projection. Today's Democratic party is led by a man who spent much of his adult life specializing in the art of public agitation. Acting as a top organizer for radical groups like ACORN, Barack Obama devoted years to prodding underprivileged Chicagoans to channel their political anger by orchestrating activist mob scenes—designed to coerce businesses and elected officials. (media.nationalreview.com)

Related video: Enough Manufacturing



Labor-state New Progs stymied by Alinsky-style counterinsurgency ... When the "manufactured" outrage the Left is trying to demonize lines up so inconveniently with public polling, it's sometimes necessary to create evidence for the "manufactured" storyline. Enter Think Progress, which unearthed this shocking, secret memo from the leader of a small grassroots conservative organization in Connecticut, which allegedly instructs members on "infiltrating town halls and harassing Democratic members of Congress." Right Principles PAC was formed by Bob MacGuffie and four friends in 2008, and has taken in a whopping $5,017 and disbursed $1,777, according to its FEC filing. "We're just trying to shake this state up and make a difference up here," MacGuffie told me during a telephone interview. He's surprised at his elevation to national rabble-rouser by the Left. Right Principles has a Facebook group with 23 members and a Twitter account with five followers. MacGuffie describes himself as an "opponent of leftist thinking in America," and told me he's "never pulled a lever" for a Republican or Democrat on a federal level. Yet this Connecticut libertarian's influence over a national, orchestrated Republican health-care push-back is strong, indeed, if you listen to liberal pundits and the Democratic National Committee, who have crafted a nefarious web out of refutable evidence. Think Progress highlighted his memo's directives to "‘Yell,’ ‘Stand Up And Shout Out,’ ‘Rattle Him’," calling it a "right-wing harassment strategy against Dems." The attempt to paint him as a professional, funded operative is off-base, MacGuffie said, laughing. "I guess they don't believe that people in America will stand up and fight back when government gets overbearing," said MacGuffie, who added that he originally e-mailed the memo to 8-10 Connecticut activists in June. As is often the case, MSNBC anchors and the DNC alike have taken Think Progress' inaccurate sleuthing at face-value, elevating the humble Right Principles to heretofore unknown levels of national importance. (weeklystandard.com)

Bonus links:
Summary of Saul Alinsky's 'Rules for Radicals'
• More Saul Alinsky stories: here
'Rules for Radicals' at amazon.com


Arkansas anti-socialists employ Alinsky's Rules against the Left ... An unruly Little Rock crowd heckled and shouted at two Arkansas Democratic congressmen Wednesday, accusing them of supporting a government-backed health plan that would take away Americans' personal choice and freedom. At one point, U.S. Rep. Mike Ross sat with his head in his hands while the crowd shouted. He and fellow Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder told audience members at a forum at Arkansas Children's Hospital that they wouldn't support a completely government-run, single-payer health insurance plan. "But that's what Obama wants!" an audience member shouted, leading to more heckling. (washingtonexaminer.com)


Norman Thomas was right ... I recently ran across a quote by Norman Matton Thomas (1884-1968), six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America (the communist party). "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened. I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform. Thank you, Democrats, for adopting socialism." I think this quote speaks for itself. (wpcva.com)


Another inconvenient book: MM debuts at #1 on NY Times list ... On July 27, we launched Culture of Corruption on the Sean Hannity radio and tv shows. Tonight, Sean announced that the book will debut at #1 on the New York Times best-seller list for the week of August 16. It happened without a single review in a mainstream newspaper — unless you count this sneering Washington Post blog post that regurgitated Bill Maher’s attack on the book and on conservative authors. (michellemalkin.com)


Independent political group raps New Prog speech thugs ... Libertarian National Committee Communications Director Donny Ferguson released the following statement Wednesday, after Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse released a statement Tuesday accusing private citizens opposed to the proposed government takeover of health care of being part of a paid, organized conspiracy against the president: “Whether it’s having the Franking Commission censor congressional opponents’ outgoing mail, sliming private citizens who question their agenda or urging their followers to report critics directly to the White House, desperate Democrats have only one way of dealing with Americans’ overwhelming opposition to their radical agenda — using the power of government to silence dissent. After years of paying ACORN radicals to show up at events and having union members take paid vacations to go protest, I can see how Democrats are now incapable of recognizing free speech when they see it. They appear to have conceded the fact their government takeover of health care sends costs skyrocketing, innovation plummeting and waiting lists growing. Unable to sell Americans on the virtues of government control, Democrats have now resorted to trying to silence them." (smallgovtimes.com)


We don't need no stinkin' private insurance sector ... The goal of the Democrats' plan for health-care reform is coming more and more out into the open: they want to eliminate health insurance. This has turned out to be the most passionate source of public opposition to the Obama health-care bill. People are terrified that they will be deprived of any choice or any control over their own health care if their only option is to depend on the government to pay their medical bills. Astoundingly, the Democrats' answer to this has not been to reassure people that they will be allowed to keep their existing coverage—since this lie has proven too transparent to maintain—but instead to vilify the health-insurance companies. This is the line of attack the Democrats have chosen as they go into the August recess: private health-insurance companies are evil, and big government is here to save us from them. (realclearpolitics.com)


Union bigs smack down anti-socialist counterinsurgency ... Apparently organized labor has found some violence that it doesn't like. It's just terrible, these protestors showing up at congressional town hall meetings opposing nationalized health insurance. Complains the AFL-CIO:" The extremist fringe of the anti-health care reform movement - with a wink and a nod from more mainstream health care opponents - is using mob rule to disrupt town hall meetings and community forums set for the congressional recess. Mob rule tactics stopped the Florida vote count during the contested 2000 presidential elections, ultimately turning the presidency over to George W. Bush - a strategy now emulated by the anti-health care reform lobby." Terrible, just terrible. It's not as if unions every resort to, oh, shall we say "enhanced" protest techniques. Such as blatant violence and intimidation. It's nice of the AFL-CIO to be concerned about the democratic process. Perhaps labor officials should start by campaigning against violence within their own movement. (spectator.org)


Strike fail: UAW militants leave path of utter destruction ... That's where Coody and 130 of his co-workers spent their time on strike. Workers were there for 40 months; that was until votes were tallied up leading to UAW Local 364's decertification. "It was depressing," said Coody. "I was depressed yesterday. People are still scared." After fighting as hard and as long as they could, the decision and fates of these union members are final. "We appealed everything," said Coody. "We appealed everything and took it to the last step." Traces from the picket line still remain, like shelters and signs. Some workers believe their lives right now are at the bottom of the barrel. "It's depressing," said Rick Ashcroft. "The jobs are bad, the economy is bad." People like Coody said there's no looking back. "It was a good time," he said. "I enjoyed it while it lasted." Coody said he'll stay positive and move forward, training for a different career. (southbendtribune.com)


Bitter strike-town a metaphor for Obama leveling policy ... For his backdrop, he chose Monaco RV, purchased in June by Navistar International Corp. after its previous owner went bankrupt because of the collapse in the recreational vehicle industry. Indiana's Elkhart-Goshen area had an unemployment rate of 16.8 percent in June. That's up 10 percentage points from last year. In an interview, Obama said it was fair for his presidency's economic performance to be judged on Elkhart's. "Our whole goal is to first of all rescue the economy from the brink," he told MSNBC television. "But the most important thing we're going to have to do is help Elkhart reinvent itself." (washingtonexaminer.com)


Nine-term Dem acquitted on 5 charges ... Former Democratic Congressman William Jefferson was found guilty of 11 of 16 corruption charges today by a federal jury. The jury of eight women and four men returned a guilty verdict following five days of deliberation. In the 16-count indictment, Jefferson was charged with soliciting bribes and other crimes for a series of schemes in which he helped American businesses broker deals in West African in exchange for payments or financial considerations to companies controlled by members of his family, including his brother Mose, his wife, Andrea, their five daughters and a son-in-law. Jefferson, 62, who represented the New Orleans-based 2nd Congressional District for nine terms, will now face sentencing by Judge T.S. Ellis III, who earlier meted out stiff sentences for lesser figures in the case. According to the U.S. attorney's office, Jefferson faced 235 years in prison if convicted on all counts, and will still face substantial prison time. (nola.com)


Unprecedented union operatives' hubris earns rebuke from Dem solon ... In a town where taking credit for things is a given, one union went a little too far. Two senators announced Wednesday they were putting a hold on the nomination of Daniel Elliott to chair the Surface Transportation Board, after the United Transportation Union suggested its campaign donations helped make the nomination happen. The nomination of Elliott, and of Joseph Szabo as administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration — both of whom worked for the UTU — "is tribute to the political influence of the UTU, which flows from the UTU PAC," said Mike Futhey, UTU International President, in a recent press release. "We have good reason to expect President Obama to reach into the UTU ranks for other appointments in the near future." The words were bandied about at Senate Commerce Committee meeting, with chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., referring to "this UTU idiocy." The UTU is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. "In the many years that I've been in this body, that is one of the most embarrassing, ridiculous, self-aggrandizing, inappropriate, harmful, and a few other words, press release I can remember," he said. "If it was written by the (union) president, then God have mercy on his soul." (sfexaminer.com)


Union-backed, tax-funded leftwing operatives prefer wrist-slap to disclosure, compliance ... Campaign finance officials could fine the Washington D.C. Political Action Committee (PAC) for the Association of Community Activists for Reform Now (ACORN)’s up to $2,000 for its failure to observe the deadline for filing a report on receipts and expenditures, according to a hearing notice. ACORN submitted an affidavit with a copy of the delayed report in lieu of sending representatives to appear in person on July 27 for a scheduled hearing, Wesley Williams, the public affairs manager for the Office of Campaign Finance D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics said. The D.C. ACORN (PAC) failed to observe a January 31, 2009 deadline for filing the report, the hearing notice shows. “The hearing officer will determine whether or not ACORN will be fined,” Williams said. “There is no firm deadline but it should take about 30 days or so for a final decision. It is permissible to submit an affidavit in lieu of appearing in person but it is always better to respond to questions face to face.” (washingtonexaminer.com)


Union mismanagement: Defunding the mega-rich Left ... The pension plans that suffered losses as a result of Orecchio's actions covered more than 60,000 participants of the Carpenters Pension Trust Fund of Detroit and Vicinity, Operating Engineers Local No. 324 Pension Fund, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters Annuity Fund, Millwrights' Local No. 1102 Supplemental Pension Fund, and Michigan Teamsters Joint Council #43 Pension Fund. As of April 30, 2006, the pension plans had total assets of approximately $3.1 billion. At various times from 2002 to 2006, the defendants allegedly improperly used $25.9 million of the plans' assets to pay for, among other things, the operating expenses of the firm, renovations to a horse farm, and a strip club owned by Orecchio. In addition, they caused the plans to pay unauthorized fees to AA Capital. (news.prnewswire.com)


Extremist cannibal unionists plague labor-state Dems ... The Seattle Times reports today on punches thrown by a coalition of unions at Hunter, a moderate Democrat, running in the King County executive race. Political consultant Lisa Maclean said in an email to reporters yesterday that the attack, including a web site slamming Hunter's legislative record, is a joint effort of the Washington State Labor Council, Washington Education Association, Service Employees International Union Locals 775 and 1199NW, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21 and Sheet Metal Workers Local 66. (theolympian.com)


Inside job suspected in act against militant strike bigs ... Somebody let locked-out Heartland Human Services employees know how they felt in the wee hours Tuesday morning. When members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees arrived at the shed in front of Heartland from which they picket, they found an unwelcome sight. Vandals had apparently tagged the shed overnight with a variety of obscenities and the phrase “Just Give Up.” AFSCME members have been picketing Heartland for more than two years, first as striking employees and — since last July — as locked-out employees after they offered to come back to work with union negotiations still pending. AFSCME representative Betsy Hastings of Lake County, who is spending a week on Effingham picket lines, said the incident comes across as a hate crime — given the references to sexual orientation and derogatory terms for women written on the shed. (effinghamdailynews.com)


Militant AFSCME unionists protest oppressive Red Cross ... Dozens of employees and labor activists picketed the Farmington offices of the American Red Cross on Wednesday to protest management demands that they say would limit union negotiating power and remove a requirement that registered nurses be on site for all blood drives. Members of Local 3145 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have been working without a contract since spring. They say the Red Cross is making unwarranted demands for concessions from union members. "Management has never explained to us why they need the concessions they want," said Kip Lockhart, the union's chief negotiator. (courant.com)


Typical labor-state teachers union-dues embezzler expects typical wrist-slap ... Administrators say Patricia Susan Lowry was regarded as a trusted union officer and Van Dyke Public Schools employee for nearly two decades. But when the account she managed was overdrawn in May, officials said they learned the 50-year-old union treasurer had been helping herself to more than $110,000 in union dues and school funds over the past six years. On Monday, Lowry turned herself in to police and was arraigned in 37th District Court on two counts of felony embezzlement. She could serve up to 15 years if convicted. (detnews.com)


Rep. Bill Shuster placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) WHAT: Schuster received the following dirty money: PMA Group (PAC) $2,000 in 2008 election cycle. WHY IT'S DIRTY: PMA Group (Paul Magliocchetti and Associates) was a defense lobbying group that is now the focus of multiple federal investigations concerning allegations of influence peddling and other corrupt activities, mostly associated with earmarks. Before it was disbanded earlier this year, PMA Group's employees and its political action committee gave current members of Congress $3.4 million between 1989 and 2008, with 79 percent of that going to Democrats, according to OpenSecrets.org. WILL SHUSTER GIVE IT BACK: Shuster did not respond to The Examiner's request for comment. THE SCORE: Number of Democrats who have given it back: 0 • Number of Republicans who have given it back: 0 • YOUR TURN: You can reach Rep. Shuster's Washington D.C. office at 202-225-2431 (washingtonexaminer.com)


More trouble for pro-Obama union big ... Just over a year after he beat a bribery rap brought by the Manhattan DA's office, Carpenters Union District Council head Michael Forde has again been indicted on bribery charges - this time by Acting US Attorney Lev Dassin. In a 29-count RICO indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court, Dassin alleged that Forde, along with seven other Carpenters Union officials, one construction contractor and a contractors' representative, set up a scheme through which the officials received bribes in exchange for letting contractors avoid paying union wages and benefits at various job sites throughout the city. A spokeswoman in the Dassin's office said the US Attorney's case is not connected to the one brought by outgoing Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau. Forde is expected to surrender later today. I left a message seeking comment on the union's answering machine. So far, no response. It's another black mark for the 25,000-member union, which has remained a powerful force in New York politics despite the fact that it is no stranger to accusations of corruption. (nydailynews.com)


D.C. social workers blame privatization for ills ... City workers in the District continue to protest privatization of their jobs. Their rally in Woodley Park last night brought together a coalition of different industries. The corner of Connecticut Avenue at the Woodley Park Metro elevator was crowded - government workers, taxi drivers and teachers chanting "One Term Mayor," protesting privatization and new regulations that have meant layoffs for hundreds. Dwight Bowman is the Vice President of the American Federation of Government Employees, District 14. He says it's not just abut the jobs. It's also about providing the services to the people of D.C. Bowman represents people like Kathy, who didn't want to give her real name for fear of retaliation. She works for D.C.'s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration. She says she and more than half of her co-workers have been put on administrative leave but don't expect to get their jobs back. (wamu.org)


International Collectivism

Privatization hailed for rescue of NK hostages ... A wealthy Hollywood producer and a major corporation were instrumental in bringing former President Bill Clinton and two American journalists home from North Korea, prompting words of thanks Wednesday from former Vice President Al Gore and the freed reporters during an emotional airport reunion. Stephen Bing, a close Clinton friend and longtime Democratic fundraiser, is the plane's owner, confirmed Marc Foulkrod of Burbank, California, chairman of Avjet Corp., the company that manages the aircraft. Foulkrod said Bing will pick up the bill for the flight. The total has not yet been tallied but will be significant, he said. Fuel alone is likely to cost $100,000 for the 26 hours of flying, he said, and additional costs such as catering and satellite phones could pile another $50,000 to $100,000 onto the price tag. Heir to a New York real estate fortune, Bing raised at least $100,000 for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, in addition to giving the maximum $2,300. He also donated at least $10 million to Bill Clinton's presidential library and charitable foundation. Bing was a multimillion-dollar donor to pro-Democratic groups that ran ads against Republican President George W. Bush in the 2004 campaign. He also donated at least $5 million to pay for a new Democratic National Committee headquarters in 2002, when Clinton loyalist Terry McAuliffe headed the party. Bing has a stake in the Obama administration's actions on the environment. His Shangri-La Construction builds energy-efficient buildings and aircraft hangars — in line with Obama's goal of cleaning up the environment and creating "green" jobs. Its parent company, Bing's Shangri-La Industries, LLC., hired a Washington lobbying firm this year and has spent at least $100,000 lobbying Congress and the Defense Department on energy efficiency in buildings and airplane hangars. (sfexaminer.com)

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