Monday wrap

Stimulus Fraud: Corrupt, pro-union racism rules ... An area nonprofit that is waiting on $6.6 million in stimulus funds will have to wait longer. State and federal regulators are rushing to write prevailing wage and contract guidelines for nonprofits that are in line to receive stimulus funds. The glitch is causing some agencies, such as the Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency (SMCAA) to postpone some of its extra weatherization projects on homes owned or rented by low-income owners or tenants. The reason state lawmakers are writing prevailing wage guidelines for nonprofits is because the groups have typically been exempt from following federal prevailing wage law. Called the Davis Bacon Act, the 1931 law requires companies that receive federal funds for construction projects to pay local workers prevailing wages. Under the $787 billion American Reinvestment Act, commonly known as stimulus funds, nonprofits must also follow Davis Bacon rules. Smith said state and federal regulators are creating guidelines to ensure that nonprofits who receive stimulus funds are properly following the 1931 law. (southbendtribune.com)

Shame on IBEW picketers ... We were on 2nd Street in Northern Liberties this afternoon and members of the IBEW Local Union 98 were holding signs in front of the Vino Restaurant that said the restaurant was a “COMMUNITY DESTROYER” and had “SUBSTANDARD CONSTRUCTION.” We asked one of the sign holders what was substandard about their construction and he told us “They used guys from New Jersey.” That made no sense to us, so we asked, “Do you mean they used non-union workers?” and he said, “Yes.” So we still don’t know what was “substandard” about the construction. Is there any evidence to back up that claim? Could substandard work have passed a building inspection? The second part – COMMUNITY DESTROYER – we find particularly galling. According to the Associated Builders and Contractors, “Union construction typically adds 10 percent to 30 percent to construction costs … On a residential project, it may cost 30 percent to 40 percent less to use non-union labor.” Seventy percent of union construction workers do not even live in the city. Notice the words “our community” and “our neighborhood” in the flier above. It seems that their community of choice is usually a non-union suburban one. If we had to choose who is doing more to destroy Philadelphia, a non-union contractor or the city’s building and trades unions, we’d pick the unions.


Communist Party official shares White House's ambitious agenda ... With Obama as president, health care and the economy can be "reformed," U.S. troops can be evacuated from the Middle East, a second stimulus bill can be passed, the criminal justice system can be overhauled and union rights can be expanded – in other words, it's a Christmas list come true – declared the leader of the Communist Party USA. "All these – and many other things – are within our reach now!" exclaimed Sam Webb in a New York banquet speech for the People's Weekly World, the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA. Webb's speech was entitled, "The impossible becomes possible." Webb declared that under Obama, "We can dream again, knowing that the gap between our dreams and reality is bridgeable." (worldnetdaily.com)

Speaker Pelosi boasts collectivist cred ... In the case of Speaker Pelosi, who is second in the line of succession to the presidency after the vice president, there is increasing concern about whether she can be trusted with national security secrets. But the concern not only involves her unsubstantiated charges against the CIA over what officials told her about the treatment of terrorists, but her close personal relationship with pro-Castro Rep. Barbara Lee and the "progressive" Hallinan family of San Francisco, once under scrutiny by the California Senate Fact-finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities for their pro-Soviet propaganda efforts. The names of the Hallinans, including some of their sons, are included in the annual volumes of the California State Senate Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities. The subcommittee was a well-regarded investigative body which examined not only communist activities in California but right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society and the Minutemen. In the case of the Hallinans, there was a lot to examine. Vincent Hallinan, a lawyer who died in 1992, was a founding member of the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, officially designated a front of the Communist Party, and defended secret Communist Party member and labor leader Harry Bridges. In addition, he was a self-described "roaring atheist" who specialized in attacks on the Catholic Church. In one case, according to the New York Times, he "sued the Roman Catholic Church for fraud, demanding that it prove the existence of heaven and hell." Vincent Hallinan also ran for president on the ticket of the Progressive Party, "a creature of the Communist apparatus, and completely dominated by the Communist Party from start to finish," the subcommittee said. (rightsidenews.com)

Picketers pick, freeze, personalize, polarize union-backed Dem ... These pictures were of the protest that was held on May 23, 2009 at Senator Feinstein's multi-million dollar mansion in Pacifica Heights. Reports were made about the union busting at ProTransport ambulance company and the closure of the Whole Earth store in Noe Valley to avoid unionization. Despite the fact that the unions have given Democratic Senator millions of union dollars Feinstein is opposing the card check bill backed by the AFL-CIO and Change To Win. Some speakers called for independent labor candidates to run against Feinstein. (indybay.org)

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

ACORN: Racketeering-influenced, corrupt organization ... A federal racketeering probe into the activities of the radical activist group ACORN is all the more urgent after the recent filing of felony election fraud charges against the group and ex-employees this month in Nevada and Pennsylvania. And this time the spin doctors at ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), known for its bank sit-ins and illegal squat-ins at homes slated for foreclosure, can’t hide behind the specious excuse that Republicans were behind the push to prosecute because, this time, all of its accusers are Democrats. But with its vast network of more than 100 tax-exempt nonprofit affiliates and mounting evidence of wrongdoing, ACORN is becomingly difficult to ignore. ACORN and similar left-wing nonprofit advocacy groups will be eligible this year for up to $3 billion in federal funding from President Obama’s stimulus package and a separate $5.5 billion set-aside for grants in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s fiscal 2010 budget. The group has been implicated by former officials and employees in schemes involving election fraud, extortion, mail fraud, and campaign-finance violations. The network, a tangled mess of interlocking directorates and affiliated organizations that routinely swap seven-figure checks, owes millions of dollars in back taxes and may also be involved in money laundering and who knows what else. There is no question that ACORN founder Wade Rathke’s brother Dale embezzled close to $1 million from the group around 2000 and that management covered up the theft for eight years. When it was discovered, the Rathke brothers were expelled from the group and both were supposed to sever all ties to ACORN. Yet Wade Rathke remains on the boards of at least three ACORN affiliates, including New Orleans-based Local 100 of Service Employees International Union, ACORN International Inc. (a nonprofit group that aspires to spread the gospel of Saul Alinsky across the globe), and Affiliated Media Foundation Movement Inc. (which helps to start leftist community radio and TV stations). The SEIU local, which serves Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, even re-elected Rathke as its troublemaker-in-chief in November. (humanevents.com)

Mayor suggests going over the head of strike bosses ... With the city's strike situation at a standstill after talks collapsed over the weekend, Mayor Eddie Francis said Sunday that council has discussed bypassing CUPE leadership and offering a deal directly to union members. Francis said in a phone interview that there is a provision in the labour laws that allows the city to hold a "board-supervised vote," in which the city's last offer would be put before the membership to vote upon. "It would be supervised by the Ministry of Labour," the mayor said. Francis said the move has only been discussed as an option at this stage. "We have to weigh the pros and cons of that, because we only get one shot," he cautioned. "Council would want to make sure that, if we decide to do it, it's the right time to do it. "It's an option that's always been on the table. I don't think that we're there yet, in terms of asking for it. But ... I don't want to rule that out." (windsorstar.com)

International Collectivism

Three Prog Amigos take on free press ... The presidents of Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela have held a series of meetings in the Ecuadorian capital Quito. The three socialist presidents Rafael Correa, Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez were in Quito to commemorate the Battle of Pichincha, which heralded the end of Spanish colonisation 183 years ago. In a speech, Ecuadorian President Correa said that in spite of the victory in 1822, Latin America still did not have real democracy. He announced a socialist revolution and further radicalisation of Ecuador, following the example of Presidents Chávez and Morales. He also made a proposal to UNASUR, the South American cooperation organisation, on behalf of all three presidents to set up a commission to protect governments from the press. The Ecuadorian president described the press in Ecuador as a corrupt instrument of an oligarchy and as an enemy of change. (radionetherlands.nl)

Venezuela's farm seizures show results ... This vast ranch used to be filled with grazing herds of cattle, but the green pastures are now overgrown with weeds and dotted with patches where poor farmers grow corn and beans. The cows have vanished. The 32,000-acre (12,950-hectare) El Charcote Ranch in central Venezuela was meant as a showcase for President Hugo Chavez's agrarian revolution, turning a country with food shortages and runaway inflation into one that could feed itself. But since troops and peasants seized the land from a British agribusiness company four years ago, beef production has dropped from 2.6 million pounds (1.2 million kilograms) annually to zero. The ranch and many like it across the country raise the concern that the dream of a Venezuela living off its own land is just one more socialist promise heavy on rhetoric and light on results. The Chavez government says it has taken over more than 5.4 million acres (2.2 million hectares) of farmland from private owners. Yet food imports have tripled since 2004, the year before Chavez began his aggressive reform program. (google.com)

Socialist takes on Fascism ... Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan President, has tightened the noose on the last opposition news channel broadcasting freely in the country after government agents raided the offices of Globovision’s president amid threats to take the station off the public airwaves. The channel, which is vehemently opposed to Mr Chávez’s socialist project, has been in the President’s crosshairs for weeks. He says that the private media are “fascist bourgeoisie” that are “inciting hate — even war” and has ordered Globovision to be investigated under legislation that allows the Government to shut broadcasters down. The moves are the latest in a series of strikes against opponents as Mr Chávez seeks to deepen socialism in the Opec nation, one of the world’s largest oil exporters. (timesonline.co.uk)
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