Friday wrap

Dems, AFSCME rip anti-Socialists ... In the latest sign of the combative environment, Democratic and progressive groups announced Thursday that they were launching an Internet and television campaign to promote Obama's goals and -- in some cases -- to paint Republicans as obstructionist. The Democratic National Committee, which has absorbed Obama's campaign operation, unveiled a Web video calling the GOP the "Party of No." The ad is a montage of party leaders voicing objections to Obama's policies, ending with the words: "100 days of no." The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the group Americans United for Change will air a similar national cable ad beginning today. The ad rattles off a series of bills that have passed since Obama took office. "Just days into the new session of Congress, Democrats expanded health insurance for children; the Republicans said no," the ad begins. "The Democrats passed equal pay for women; the Republicans said no." In a news conference Thursday, AFSCME President Gerald McEntee blamed Republicans for the divisiveness. "They're not interested in collaboration with this president," McEntee said, adding: "I haven't even seen a healthcare plan from these birds yet." (latimes.com)

Related video: Progs back to kicking the dog

Alinskyite scapegoaters suffer from 'displacement of rage' ... That's what Barack Obama taught his ACORN followers in all his Community Agitator classes in Chicago. That slogan defines mob scapegoating, of course. It is an exact prescription for whipping up mobs -- by race, by gender, by ethnicity, by religion. If you want to know how to whip a mob of Pakistani Taliban fascisti to whip a young girl for flirting with a young man in public, this is exactly what you do: Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personality It, and Polarize It. And notice that "the target" is no longer a human being. It's an "It." Try substituting the word "victim" for "target," and you see how it works. This is exactly what the Dixiecrats did to blacks in the Jim Crow South, and what President Obama does today with capitalists who run General Motors and Wall Street. So the purported comedienne Janeane Garofolo interprets the anti-tax tea parties as obviously racist. You see, Ms. Garofolo can read minds, in spite of all the obvious decency of the tea party protesters. And Obama's Department of Homeland Security has now pinpointed our chief terrorist danger: It's "right-wing extremists," including Iraq War vets coming back home. In psychiatry, scapegoating is called "displacement of rage," and it is often said to be a low-level defense, one that comes easily to people who are already emotionally troubled or impaired. (americanthinker.com)

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

The Union for Radical Political Economics

Obama flunks economics, diagnosed with 'multiple personality disorder' ... One conclusion fits the data: Obama doesn’t understand the economics of trade. There’s no coherence between his policy positions because they’re not grounded to any common base of economic thinking. For Obama, there’s no hard foundation of academic belief underlying his views on trade, just an ever-contested quicksand, shifting back and forth between the near-unanimous support for free trade by economists on one hand, and the plaintive cries of labor unions and incumbent industries on the other. Obama is trying to square the circle and come up with a world-view in which both camps are right, but it can’t be done; Adam Smith was not a mercantilist. In psychology, the way to excise a multiple personality disorder is to bring the conflicting personalities to the surface and have them battle each other until one remains. Or, maybe that’s the premise of a John Cusack movie (again, I’m Course 14, not Course 9) — whatever, the point is this: Obama is surrounded by MIT-trained economists. One of them needs to sit Obama down and tell truth to power, explain to him why economists support free trade, and how, as much as Obama would like them to, his policies do not share a common intellectual heritage. Maybe in the end, Obama will still choose the Teamsters over the professors, but at very least he won’t be laboring under the delusion that his current actions serve both. In 2008, economists gave Obama the benefit of the doubt. If the next four years are anything like the first 100 days, Obama won’t be so lucky in 2012. (tech.mit.edu)

Obama organizers revolutionize U.S. military ... While organizing veterans and active-duty soldiers, many different struggles throughout history can be studied and learned from. Over the course of the last year, veterans and active-duty service members who were also seasoned activists and leaders in the anti-imperialist movement joined together to create the Veterans and Service Members Task Force. We in the Task Force feel we must make a broader plea to all veterans and service members, not to simply organize against this or that particular war but against all forms of imperialism. The fight against imperialism and injustice is the heart of our struggle. We take a different approach to organizing veterans and service members. We view the rank-and-file enlisted servicemen and women as workers. Marxist theory holds that collective labor produces everything of value to society. Furthermore, we understand that the ability of workers to withhold their labor is what gives them their immense power. If we apply, by analogy, this same theory to U.S. soldiers, we find that this product—imperialist war—is completely dependent on them. Labor gives the Pentagon and the military the capacity to fight its wars and to kill and destroy entire nations of peoples. Just as the workers' most valuable weapon is withholding their labor, the soldiers or marines also have that power when they refuse to aim their rifles. (pslweb.org)

Party Unity My Ass: Criminal probe looms ... The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint brought by Barack Obama’s presidential campaign against a so-called 527 group that aired millions of dollars of ads during the Democratic primary praising Hillary Clinton and accusing Obama of being unable to back up his lofty rhetoric with action. Obama’s lead campaign lawyer Bob Bauer had alleged that the union-backed group, American Leadership Project, was flouting federal laws, and he memorably warned that its officers and donors would face “a reckoning.” But the FEC, in a split 3-2 vote, ruled for the union-backed group and against Obama. Summary made public Thursday afternoon, rejected Bauer’s claim that the group violated election laws by failing to register as a political committee, accepting huge contributions over the federal limit and not reporting to the commission its contributions or expenditures. The vote was split along party lines, with three Republican commissioners siding with American Leadership Project and two Democratic commissioners siding with Obama. The third Democratic commissioner, Ellen Weintraub, a former law firm colleague of Bauer’s, recused herself, but did not respond to an email asking why. Obama’s lawyer Bauer did not respond to a request for comment. But in the heat of the prolonged Democratic primary between Clinton and Obama, Bauer alleged that ALP was "a very clear runaway case of lawbreaking" and compared it to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that savaged 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and waseventually fined $300,000 by the FEC for evading election laws. In an effort to stymie ALP’s fundraising, Bauer warned during the campaign that donors and aides to the group could face criminal liability. “There’s going to be a reckoning here," he said in a February 2008 conference call. "It’s going to be rough — it’s going to be rough on the officers, it’s going to be rough on the employees, it’s going to be rough on the donors." He added "whether it's at the FEC or in a broader criminal inquiry, those donors will be asked questions." (politico.com)

Does anyone here know how to play this game? ... Whether one believes that the rebels are correct (about whether or not he is a socialist and whether or not Steele should call him as such) is irrelevant in so far that the controversy proves that Steele has a major problem. He has not been the leader I hoped he would be. When the race for RNC chair was on, I supported Steele because I thought he was a true leader. Thus far, he has disappointed me tremendously. In any case, I think that it is true that Obama has been influenced by collective ideologues but I would not call him a socialist. I think he is a social democrat. The two have some similarities, but also many differences. They are collectivist, however, and rooted in the belief that government can and should fix if not all, than at least most problems. Is it wise to call Obama a socialist? I think it is not. Not constantly, at least. Voters will get tired of the label if they hear it over and over again, especially if they believe it is used incorrectly. What is more, Obama is still quite popular. Calling him a socialist may actually help socialism become mainstream and accepted. “If that is hardcore socialism,” some will argue, “it is not that bad, is it?” No - if you are going to use ideological terms, just call Obama a ’social democrat.’ (poligazette.com)

Serious discussion avoided by Obamunists ... What’s behind the modern “Tea Party” sentiment? I believe that it’s rooted in citizen anger and frustration that the federal government just spends and spends and spends, with no evident heed for tomorrow. The justification for heedless increases in government spending — even worse, increased spending with borrowed money — is along the lines of Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s famous comment that “If we borrow funds, then we owe it to ourselves.” The modern justification, as a Federal Reserve official once explained to me, is that “As long as we can afford to pay the interest on the debt, it’ll be OK.” But the people are not blind, let alone stupid. It is clear that the federal debt just grows and grows. How much longer can this last? Today many informed citizens understand that the national debt is way too big. The rate of growth is out of control. We don’t “owe it to ourselves.” We owe it to the Chinese, the Japanese, the Middle Easterners. And we cannot afford to pay the interest anymore. Well, not if we want to be able to do anything else as a nation except work like tax-slaves to pay interest on past debt. By any technical measure, the federal government is insolvent — except for that quaint custom of inflating the currency with fiat dollars. So really, the nation is long overdue for a national discussion on the fundamental nature of its money. Hence the Tea Parties. (howestreet.com)

Obama: Keep rank-and-file in the dark ... The Obama Administration took another step away from union accountability this week by seeking to rescind certain union transparency rules and delaying others. The rules date from the Bush Administration, which had taken steps to modernize union financial disclosure and make the data available online. Obama's "pro-transparency" administration seems to have left union members in the dark. We've written before on Obama's movement away from union transparency. According to the Department of Labor, the changes are meant to "permit unions to delay costly development and implementation of any necessary new accounting and recordkeeping systems and procedures." An AFL-CIO attorney echoed that sentiment: "From our perspective, the only interest served by this rule was to harass unions." Where have I heard this before? Oh, yes! Back in 2003 the AFL-CIO claimed it would cost organized labor more than $1 billion to comply with the increased transparency requirements. The real cost of compliance for the AFL-CIO: just $54,150. These rules weren't meant to harass unions. They were meant to help workers find out more information about their unions. It's a shame unions and the current Department of Labor are actively trying to keep American workers ignorant. (libertylive.org)

Underwriting union-backed, tax-funded fraud group with bank bailout cash ... Top recipients of federal bailout money should get their own financial houses in order before they funnel any additional grants in the direction of self-described community activists such as the controversial group called ACORN. ACORN (the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now) is one of the left-wing groups that have finagled millions in aid from some of the very banks now being bailed out with American taxpayer dollars. Bank of America, Citigroup, and JP Morgan are among the top recipients of funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and they also happen to supply sizable grants to ACORN Housing Corporation, one of the group’s many affiliate organizations. These banks owe it to their customers, to say nothing of the larger American public, to re-evaluate their relationship with ACORN at a time when it is under investigation for vote fraud in at least 12 different states. It’s worth noting that two former board members have petitioned federal law enforcement officials to investigate embezzlement allegations that involve almost $1 million. Bank of America has contributed almost $3 million to ACORN Housing Corp. since 2005, according to the Capital Research Center (CRC), a conservative watchdog group. CRC has reported that the largest grant on record, in the amount of $740,000, went to ACORN’s Las Vegas office, which was raided by federal authorities last year because of suspected voter fraud. Edward Anguilla, a spokesman for Bank of America, told The Examiner that the grants funneled to ACORN Housing were part of a larger effort address the foreclosure crisis and were set up specifically for home retention and foreclosure mitigation work. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Smithfield workers use oppressive NLRB secret-ballot to reject UFCW organizers ... Employees at Smithfield Packing Co.'s bacon plant in North Carolina have voted against joining a workers union that last year won a landmark election at the company's largest hog slaughterhouse, company and union officials said Thursday. Workers voted 338-181 on Wednesday against joining the United Food and Commercial Workers union in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. The company released the results, which were confirmed by a union spokeswoman. (online.wsj.com)

Workers overcome SEIU lies, mud-slinging ... In a defeat to SEIU and a resounding victory for hotel and food service workers in Los Angeles and Orange County, members of UNITE HERE Local 11 voted overwhelmingly (77% in favor) to approve a dues increase to boost resources for on-the-ground, new worker organizing campaigns. UNITE HERE Local 11 has active new organizing campaigns at the Hilton LAX on Century Blvd. and the Long Beach Hilton, and is planning to open up other new organizing drives by the end of the year. In an attempt to derail the vote, SEIU and their political consultant Steve Rosenthal, sent mailers to the homes of UNITE HERE Local 11 members and financed robo-calls urging members to vote no on the dues increase. SEIU's interference in this vote is part of its ongoing assault on UNITE HERE's membership and jurisdiction. In Locals across the country, SEIU's campaign of intimidation and harassment includes: 1) a barrage of phone calls to members' homes, peddling lies and half-truths. When members ask who is making these calls, they hang up. 2) mud-slinging mailers to members' homes worthy of the worst anti-union corporations, and 3) SEIU staff invading UNITE HERE workplaces and pressuring workers. (earthtimes.org)

Left-stream media covers SEIU collectivist protest ... The school district's food service union is protesting a proposed privatization of their operation by a board of education subcommittee that studied the food service department. Union representative John Silvano said the cafeteria workers are worried that contracting a private company to prepare and serve food in the schools would drive down quality and increase the risk of allergic reactions. The union has offered to not fill a vacancy and to work with the district to find efficiencies. According to survey results posted on the district website, many parents and students felt that healthier food choices could be offered in the schools. Silvano said the cafeteria workers are willing to work on offering more healthful choices. To display their opposition, the union members have been wearing pins and displaying signs to keep the operation under district supervision. Any changes require a board vote at a future meeting. (courant.com)

SEIU caregivers continue strike against oppressive Red Cross ... Red Cross home-care workers brought their one-day rolling strikes to Brockville and Smiths Falls yesterday, continuing a campaign the provincewide SEIU local began in late March. SEIU Local 1 represents 3,000 home-care workers with the Red Cross, which is one of the largest agencies under contract with the provincial government to provide home care. Workers provide services at home to seniors, people with disabilities, people recovering from surgery and children with special needs. (recorder.ca)

City strikers to blockade private garbage dumps ... "That continues to be our position having considered all the options," Tyagi said. "A vast majority of residents are co-operating. We've had one full week of these strikes. Yes, we've had some dumping by a small minority who are unfortunately not co-operating. If you look at the garbage produced each week, the dumping is a small fraction. I'm not suggesting it's acceptable, but I don't really see it as a major problem." The city's alternate garbage disposal plan calls for dumpsters to be used and emptied by a private contractor. Tyagi would not say where the dumpsters might be located nor when the city might turn to this proposal. Tyagi said he hopes the strike will end before the dumpsters would be needed. (www2.canada.com)

Unionists picket over labor-state carcass ... Picketers from Iron Workers Local 550 lined the sidewalk in front of the hospital along Beall Avenue in protest of Adena Corp., the Mansfield-based, non-union shop contracted to erect the steel package for a two-story expansion of the Women's Pavilion. According to Billy Sherer, business agent for Local 550, the picket was a peaceful, informational protest against Adena doing the work, because it is not a company employing local workers and because it does not employ workers under their local collective bargaining agreement. "We're not here to deny anybody access to the hospital," Sherer said. "This has nothing to do with (the hospital), it has to do with the contractor chosen. We're just trying to stress that this is a contractor not from this community, and this is about employing people from the city of Wooster, where the tax base stays right here. We have about 150 members laid off right now, and we'd like to see some of our guys on this project. All we are is a bunch of guys trying to supply a decent living wage and benefits for our members and their families." Tim Litman, business manager for Local 550, added, "There are so many jobs in this state being outsourced, and now with more and more undocumented workers coming in, what does Ohio have left?" (the-daily-record.com)

International Collectivism

Obama punk'd by Chávez ... When Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez handed President Obama a copy of "Open Veins of Latin America" in Spanish last Friday, many in the U.S. scrambled to find out anything about the book. Two days later, the book had shot to No. 2 on Amazon’s best-seller list, but the initial reporting on the book was sort of amusing if not revealing. Many media outlets didn’t even give the name of the author. Among many Latin Americans, the tome is considered a sort of bible of anti-U.S. and European imperialism. But in the United States, it has been relegated "mostly [to] classroom use," said Yates. "It’s an accessible, well-written and dynamic book," he adds. "Galeano gives you such a powerful overview. It’s an emotionally charged book." In the work, subtitled "Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent," Galeano, now 69, summarizes the abuse of Latin America’s natural resources since Columbus’ trips, blaming Western imperialism for most of the region’s long-lasting poverty. But to others, it’s just leftist propaganda. "It is a poorly researched diatribe against everything to the right of Karl Marx," wrote one reader on Amazon. "Socialism is the cause of the problems in Latin America today, not the solution." (nydailynews.com)

Like lambs to the slaughter ... Because Putin is far more cynical, cunning and crafty than Bush. While Bush was brought up in a well-off bourgeois family, Putin used to be a street hooligan as a teenager. He became used to deceiving the rich boys very easily. So let me begin with this question Mr.Bukovsky: Will Putin be able to do the same with Obama as he did with Bush? Vladimir Bukovsky: It will be much easier for Putin to do it with Obama, because the leftist politicians love Russia and immediately yield to it. I am sure that now the Kremlin psychologists are creating a psychological portrait of Obama in order to find the key to him. The Americans have forgotten that KGB officers are ruling today’s Russia. And the KGB officers do not accept relations of partnership. They recognize you only either as a collaborator or as an enemy. Let us see what kind of key they will find for Obama. As for Bush, the key for him was a naïve story about Putin’s neck cross. According to this story, in 1996, Putin’s country house in the suburbs of Saint Petersburg was burnt down through arson. And only one thing was found in the ashes: an aluminum neck cross, presented to Putin by his mother. At that very moment Putin understood that the highest spiritual forces are ruling this world. Though this story would never seem convincing to us Russians, it deeply impressed Bush. Because he became a believer in his middle age and acquired the most heartfelt respect for religion. It made him decide that he and Putin had spiritual integrity. Preobrazhensky: And Bush believed it. But Putin forgot to tell him that he had begun his KGB career in the “fifth line” of the Leningrad KGB. The “fifth line” was aimed at destroying the Church. Preobrazhensky: And in terms of the evidence before us, how do you see Russian-American relations ensuing under Obama? Bukovsky: As it stands now, and if there is no drastic rethinking and reformulating, a chain of endless concessions by America. (frontpagemagazine.com)

Communists make progress perfecting Democracy ... There’s democracy in Cuba and it doesn’t divide the people, affirmed Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, during his appearance on the Special Round Table aired on Wednesday by Cuban radio and television. He indicated that is necessary to know Cuban democracy and compared it to that imposed on other peoples, which creates division and even wars; these are the Empire’s guidelines. However, the Caribbean archipelago has a model that doesn’t divide its citizens. (cubanews.ain.cu)

Latin leftists fine-tune democracy, term limits ... President Rafael Correa's radical transformation of once unstable Ecuador, including a new constitution that would grant him greater powers, is expected to propel the leftist economist to easy re-election on Sunday. The 46-year-old Correa, who blames the global economic crisis on capitalism's "structural flaws," has spooked foreign investors with a moratorium on debt payments and tough dealings with oil companies and other multinationals. Under the country's new constitution, approved by 64 percent of voters in a September referendum, Correa would be eligible to run for a second consecutive four-year term in 2013. Correa's critics acknowledge his popularity in this Andean nation of 14 million, but warn that like his ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, he benefited politically from oil prices that skyrocketed last year but have since come down to earth. (google.com)
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