Saturday wrap

Obama's vaunted Stimulus mired in ugly labor racial discrimination ... Three months after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, Black contractors and advocates say they have yet to see a fair share of capital from the stimulus package that promised to disperse billions of dollars in construction projects. According to John Macklin, president of the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors, and regional vice president for the northeast region of the association which extends from Maine to Virginia, states in his region are being affected by project labor agreements that permit projects to be awarded exclusively to union contractors, which only represent 15 percent of the workforce, he said. “That means the union discriminates against more than eight out of ten construction workers who would otherwise be able to work on a construction project if not for a union-only project labor agreement,” said Macklin. “Those contracts that are subject to project labor agreements typically discourage minority contractors and non-union contractors from bidding…” (stlamerican.com)

Unprecedented: Obama drops case U.S. had won by default ... Justice Department political appointees overruled career lawyers and ended a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense of wielding a nightstick and intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place last Election Day, according to documents and interviews. The incident - which gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube - had prompted the government to sue the men, saying they violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by scaring would-be voters with the weapon, racial slurs and military-style uniforms. Career lawyers pursued the case for months, including obtaining an affidavit from a prominent 1960s civil rights activist who witnessed the confrontation and described it as "the most blatant form of voter intimidation" that he had seen, even during the voting rights crisis in Mississippi a half-century ago. (washingtontimes.com)

Related video: Securing Philly polling places

Management rights to be curtailed by Obama NLRB pick ... Never mind Big Labor’s continuing all-out push to take away workers’ right to a secret ballot in the workplace with Card Check, which is officially and misleadingly known as the Employee Free Choice Act. Even if Card Check fails in Congress, the game will be rigged against small business owners and the managers of private corporations if President Obama wins Senate approval for Craig Becker as a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Presently associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Becker wants to use new bureaucratic regulations to interpose government between workers and the alleged atmosphere of compulsion created in the workplace by owners and managers. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Related video: Meet Craig Becker, AFL-CIO Obamunist

Obama preps Sotomayor for typical under-the-bus routine ... "Her word choice in 2001 was poor," spokesman Robert Gibbs said, seeking to settle what has become an early stumbling point for President Obama's nominee as she prepares for her Senate confirmation battle. "I think she would change that word," Mr. Gibbs said, adding that he based his comment on "discussions with people that have talked to her." (washingtontimes.com)

Update: The ACORN-U.S. Census ... Judicial Watch said the documents describe 18 different areas of responsibility that ACORN asked to be given. The Obama administration has downplayed ACORN's involvement, saying the organization with which Obama worked earlier in his political career, would be allowed to "recruit" census workers. But the documents show that ACORN also is an "executive level" partner with the ability to "organize and/or serve as a member on a Complete Count Committee." The census documents regarding ACORN also show the organization also signed up to "encourage employees and constituents to complete and mail their questionnaire; identify job candidates and/or distribute and display recruiting materials; appoint a liaison to work with the Census Bureau; provide space for Be Counted sites and/or Questionnaire Assistance Centers, sponsor community events to promote participation in the 2010 Census." The documents also show the Census Bureau wants ACORN to teach other organizations about the process, Judicial Watch said. "Given its history of illegal activity and fraud, ACORN should be nowhere near the 2010 Census," said Fitton. "And shame on the Obama Commerce Department for continuing to demonize conservatives by lumping together law enforcement and anti-immigration groups with 'hate groups.' This discriminatory policy raises First Amendment concerns. Indeed, these documents provide further evidence that the Obama administration is politicizing the 2010 Census." U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, meanwhile, has called for congressional hearings into ACORN's finances that apparently includes a procedure called a "forensic audit." (wnd.com)

Related video: Beck takes on ACORN-U.S. Census

Obama, Reid disgruntle moderate desert Dems, too ... Does Mr. Saloisen really believe it is only Republicans submitting letters about being disgruntled with an administration that is leaning so far left to appease the minions of the George Soros-led Moveon.Org, the far-left leaning arm of the Democrats and the ultra-liberal ACLU? This is not “moving into the future.” I recommend he take a look around him at the disappointed independents and moderate Democrats, where I place myself, who may have supported change but didn’t expect such a far-left ideology permeating the White House and the Congress. He might be very surprised if he tested the temperature of those waters. As for the 2010 U.S. senatorial race in Nevada, every disgruntled independent and moderate Democrat will vote his conscience and the results may be far from Mr. Saloisen’s prognostication and liking. Nevada Sen. Harry Reid may be on life support, or else the president wouldn’t have made a trip to Nevada to take him off the resuscitator. (lasvegassun.com)

Congress' Culture of Corruption: It's Dems Turn Now ... Rep. Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana Democrat, said Friday he has been subpoenaed in a federal grand jury probe of the lobbying firm PMA Group, the first tangible sign that the corruption investigation of the well-connected firm has spread to Capitol Hill. The 13-term congressman is one of several lawmakers linked to the Alexandria-based lobbying firm, which shut down after it was raided last year by the FBI. The investigation appears focused on the firm's campaign contributions and millions of dollars in spending earmarks that lawmakers targeted for PMA's defense contractor clients. (washingtontimes.com)

Intolerant union leader quits Stern-Burger SEIU ... I believe the new union is misappropriating funds and telling lies. I no longer can represent the members honestly. Appointed, not elected, SEIU Director K. Sermersheim sent a letter to the supervisors and county department heads requesting immediate implementation of layoff procedures. This is bargaining? Why spend $250K and travel to Puerto Rico in 2008? The answer: "That was a mistake." SEIU is $45 million in the red. SEIU gave disgraced Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich $800,000 in return for collective bargaining rights for 37,000 home health-care workers and gave him $1.8 million for his two runs for governor. The Los Angeles Times reports that SEIU President Andy Stern is under federal investigation. Union Executive Tyrone Freeman misappropriated funds to his wife's day-care center for $1.1 million and still remained in office for seven years. I want to join a union that is fair and represents the members. You lose nothing by changing unions. Your current contract continues and remains in place. Some 106,000 members have petitions to decertify from SEIU. We are fed up with high dues and no representation. (thecalifornian.com)

SEIU-fueled feud fells Raynor ... The long-simmering clash between rival factions at the labor union UNITE HERE grew increasingly bitter Friday as its general president resigned and accused his opponents of breaking into his office to steal sensitive files. Bruce Raynor said he was being forced out of his post and would take another top spot at a newly formed union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. UNITE HERE represents roughly 400,000 hotel, restaurant and clothing workers (indystar.com)

Workers decertify striking Teamsters but strike boss digs in ... A day after Metalworks President Tom Paine announced that Teamsters Local 406 had been voted out by Metalworks, workers represented by the union were still carrying signs and looking very much like strikers in front of the company’s freight entrance on Sixth Street. The only change since the announcement has been an increased police presence, strikers said. A City of Ludington Police Tahoe sat on Fourth Street near Conrad Industrial Drive while a Mason County sheriff’s cruiser sat on Sixth near the freight entrance of Eagle XPress, next to Metalworks. Union Steward Gregg Wilbur said on the 212th day of the strike that the union members are still of the belief they’re on strike. “People are still doing what they need to do,” Wilbur said. (ludingtondailynews.com)

IBEW strikers suspected in attempted blackout ... In the midst of a severe thunderstorm late Wednesday night, vandals damaged a Pennsylvania Electric Company (Penelec) radio tower and other specialized electrical equipment in Clearfield County. Were it not for the prompt response of company employees working in that area as part of Penelec's workforce continuity plan - implemented May 21 after members of IBEW Local 459 went on strike - this act of vandalism could have resulted in lengthy power outages to customers. A failure alarm for the radio tower was received at the Penelec regional dispatch office in Erie that alerted the company there was a disturbance. The specialized equipment located at the site includes radio-controlled switches that help Penelec dispatchers maintain electric service throughout the region. Once the problem was identified, crews were dispatched and the necessary repairs were made. As a result of the suspected sabotage, Penelec is enhancing its security around company facilities. The Pennsylvania State Police and local authorities are investigating. In addition, the company has notified the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and has contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security. (news.prnewswire.com)

Police union official embezzler down ... This week's cover story, "Officer Down," traces the rise and fall of Calvin Hullett, a former Metro PD lieutenant and head of the local police union now serving a 10-month prison term for embezzlement. At the center of the case against Hullett are two surveillance cameras installed at the Andrew Jackson Police Youth Camp, footage of which can be found in the video above. (blogs.nashvillescene.com)

Rep. Corrine Brown placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Rep. Corrine Brown, D-FL, a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act, (aka Card Check). WHAT: Brown received the following dirty money: Boilermakers Union (PAC) $2,000 in 2008 election cycle. American Federation of Government Employees (PAC) $1,000 in 2006 election cycle. The Service Employees International Union (PAC) $10,000 in 2008 election cycle; $3,500 in 2006 election cycle. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (PAC) $4,000 in 2008 election cycle; $10,000 in 2006 election cycle. WHY IT’S DIRTY: Multiple officers and members of these unions, including division presidents, secretary-treasurers and business managers, have been convicted since 2001 of felonies ranging from embezzlement, falsifying official reports to government, mail fraud and conspiracy. The American Federation of Government Employees have had eight convictions, The Service Employees International Union has had nine convictions and The Boilermakers have had 10 members convicted, while the IBEW has had 14 members convicted. The amounts of embezzled funds range from over $5,000 to over $100,000. WILL BROWN GIVE IT BACK: Brown 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. Brown’s Washington D.C. office at 202-225-0123 (washingtonexaminer.com)

Libertyville reader compares Obama, Chávez ... Having watched Barack Obama for the first time in days, it occurred to me that this man could not manage a Citgo station under the national supervision of Hugo Chávez. He has never met a payroll and certainly has no clue about management of a business. His appointees that oversee the treasury, national security, etc. have proven in less than 100 days to be incompetent. Wake up America! It is time to become adults and vote these incompetent people out of office who rely strictly upon appealing to people who never pay taxes to elect them year in and year out. They are nothing but Socialist at best or Communist at worst. They will weaken this country to the point of disaster for your children and your grandchildren. In the next election it is important for you to support the United States and its founding principles so our nation can continue to exist as the greatest in the history of the world in the shortest period of time. That means promote capitalism and the free market. Further, as far as national security is concerned, bullies only understand strength. This administration does not understand that principle. I learned that on the playground at my school when I was a child. My father taught me how to box so I could ward off bullies. It worked like a charm. (dailyherald.com)

International Collectivism

Chávez chides Obama ... President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela has prepared a new gift for his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama. As he spoke on a TV and radio talk show ‘Hello, Mr. President’ Friday, Chavez answered one of its participants who asked him if Obama had read the book ‘The Open Veins of Latin America’ by the Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, which Chávez had given him as a present at the summit of the Americas in April. Chávez said he had no information on this but he was thinking of a new present to hand to Obama at the next summit – Vladimir Lenin’s political work ‘What Is To Be Done?’ It was not immediately clear, however, if Chávez, who is building an original version of Latin American socialism in his country, said it seriously or with a pinch of irony. (itar-tass.com)

Communists suspected in foiled political execution ... Two men are in custody awaiting trial in connection with an assassination plot against the founder of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, police said Saturday. The pair were arrested after a pistol and ammunition were smuggled into Hong Kong from mainland China in August and were due to go on trial soon, said the city's police commissioner Tang King-shing. The men are charged with being involved in a plot to kill Martin Lee, 70, the founder of the Democracy Party, which has pushed for universal suffrage in the former British colony. Lee has for two decades been a hated figure for hardline pro-China factions and was given police protection in the unrest that followed the 1989 fatal crackdown on democracy protests centred on Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Now retired as leader of the Democracy Party, lawyer Lee was campaigning for pro-democracy colleagues ahead of the Legislative Council elections in September when the arrests took place. (earthtimes.org)

Dan Quayle vindicated in Iran ... Two weeks from today, Iran’s presidential election will determine whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust-denying, Israel-hating, America-bashing incumbent, remains in office, whether his country continues its drive to become a nuclear power, and whether a state with a key role in Iraq, Afghanistan and other international flashpoints remains hostile to the West. The stakes could scarcely be higher, but it is the lowly potato that has been grabbing attention. The Government is handing out 400,000 tonnes of free spuds in rural towns. It says that it is merely distributing the surplus from a bumper crop, but Mr Ahmadinejad’s opponents accuse it of bribing the poor. “Death to potatoes,” they chant at rallies. (timesonline.co.uk)
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