Friday wrap

Obama Dems party on lavishly during Job Freeze ... Straw huts, hula dancers and kids playing with hula hoops were all on display Thursday evening in the White House's backyard — not the typical congressional picnic. President Barack Obama wanted it this way for the annual picnic for members of Congress and their families. "I just want to say to all the members of Congress, you've been working hard. I wish I could give you all trips to Hawaii," Obama said in his brief remarks. "But I figured since, given our budget crunch we can't do that, that we'd at least bring Hawaii to you." (washingtonexaminer.com)

Dems revolt against Obama-Fed power-grab, secrecy ... U.S. lawmakers, during a hearing Thursday on the central bank's role in Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch, attacked the Federal Reserve as a secret agency unworthy of new enhanced regulatory powers. "It's time to yank the shroud off the Fed and shine some light on these events," said U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., who in an opening statement repeatedly described the Fed as being "shrouded in secrecy." "I believe that before Congress acts on the president's financial services reform proposal, we need to have a thorough understanding of what caused the current financial crisis and how the federal government responded." (money.cnn.com)

Canada rejects Obama's Guantanamista ... Omar Khadr is the only Western national still being held at the American detention centre. Opposition parties in Canada have demanded that the 22-year-old alleged terrorism suspect be brought home in light of the court decision. A judge ruled in April that Ottawa's refusal to repatriate Khadr offended fundamental justice. But Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said publicly that Canada will not be a safe haven for anyone that the United States considers a terrorist. Lawyers for his government were in an Ottawa court today to officially file an appeal. The charges against Khadr are before an American military commission but hearings are on hold pending a review of his case. Khadr is accused of killing a US serviceman in Afghanistan in 2002. He was 15 years old at the time. (abc.net.au)

Enabling Fraud: Who are 'the powers that be'? ... House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. has backed off his plan to investigate wrongdoing by the liberal activist group ACORN, saying "powers that be" put the kibosh on the idea. Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, earlier bucked his party leaders by calling for hearings on accusations the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN) has committed crimes ranging from voter fraud to a mob-style "protection" racket. "The powers that be decided against it," Mr. Conyers told The Washington Times. The chairman declined to elaborate, shrugging off questions about who told him how to run his committee and give the Democrat-allied group a pass. (washingtontimes.com)

Related video: Beck takes on Wade Rathke

Colorado establishment rips anti-corruption law ... Now a district judge has reached the same conclusion. Judge Catherine A. Lemon temporarily halted implementation of Amendment 54, arguing that it violated First Amendment rights to free speech. Good for Judge Lemon. We hope other judges will see it the same way as the measure is inevitably appealed. Amendment 54 was one of a handful of ballot measures put on the ballot last year — dubbed “poison pill” amendments — that were in direct response to several pro-labor measures. All of the other ones were defeated. Amendment 54 prohibits labor organizations that represent public employees, such as teachers’ unions, from contributing money to any political candidate. It also bans individuals and private companies from giving money to political candidates if they have a sole-source contract with any state or local government. (gjsentinel.com)

Political corruption unleashed by Judge Lemon's order ... Gov. Bill Ritter's re-election campaign appealed for donations Thursday, saying a court ruling this week makes it easier for his opponents to raise money to go after him. Of course, the ruling also makes it easier for Ritter to raise money. "In short, this race just got more expensive," David Kenney, Ritter's campaign director, said in his fundraising e-mail. Kenney said the campaign set a $25,000 "grassroots" fundraising goal before Tuesday's ruling on Amendment 54, which restricts campaign donations in certain instances. A Denver district judge on Tuesday temporarily shelved the voter-approved measure, agreeing with opponents that there are constitutional concerns. The ruling allows those affected by the amendment to resume contributing. (denverpost.com)

'Labor Peace' really means 'Extortion' ... The Rhode Island carpenters union Local 94 has been out on strike since Monday after voting to reject a final contract offer from the Rhode Island Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. The carpenters voted 400-to-1 in favor of the strike last Saturday, according to the union Web site. “All building and heavy/highway members of Local 94 are instructed not to report to work,” a post on the Web site said. However, three major projects – the new Blue Cross & Blue Shield Rhode Island and Women and Infants Hospital buildings in Providence, and FM Global’s new headquarters in Johnston – are not being affected by the strike because they are operating under a project labor agreement, the union said. (pbn.com)

Union-backed, tax-funded fraud group, by any name, still stinks ... ACORN, the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, is changing its name. Why? Because the ACORN franchise has become so tarnished they feel they can't continue under the original name. The Washington Examiner reports that ACORN has changed its name to "Community Organizations International." Shall we call them "coy?" If they were "Community Organizations National" we could call them "con" because that's still exactly what they are. A con by any other name is still a con. But, will changing their name help? Quite the contrary. By calling themselves what they really are -- community organizers -- they will expose, once and for all, what that really means. Remember, Barack Obama's claim to fame was that he was a community organizer. That's a code phrase for a radical, left-wing, partisan hack who helps build a political machine from the grassroots level. Obama likes to portray himself as some sort of savior to the disenfranchised and the poor. What he was as a community organizer was a user of the ignorant and exploiter of the misinformed. Obama has always been closely associated with ACORN and he cannot disassociate himself from their fraud. (marshalltribune.com)

ACORN wins the lottery ... The state of Missouri agreed Thursday to pay $450,000 to a community organizing group to help settle a voter registration lawsuit filed last year. The money will pay lawyers hired by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, in its suit against the Missouri Department of Social Services. (kansascity.com)

Ex-Sandanista big 'entertained' by typical U.N. corruption ... Despite the low level turn out for his summit on the global financial crisis, General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann is reportedly already trying to name members to a proposed working group which would follow-up on the whatever is accomplished or agreed to at the summit. D'Escoto is already under fire for having put two of his relatives, a nephew and a niece, on his staff for the summit, paying them with UN funds. Now, sources tell Inner City Press, attempts have been made to get both of them positions with the financial working group, to stay on even after d'Escoto must step down. D'Escoto has refused to explain his reasoning in paying two relative with UN funds. Inner City Press first reported the story on June 9, and on June 23 Inner City Press asked d'Escoto about it. D'Escoto snidely encouraged Inner City Press to "continue with its speculation" which he found "entertaining." (innercitypress.com)

Ecuador Leftist to WSJ: FARC Off! ... Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Thursday denied published allegations his government has ties to Colombian leftist rebels, saying he will sue The Wall Street Journal for printing the story. In a column published on June 22, Mary Anastasia O'Grady said she obtained fresh evidence taken from the seized computer of a slain rebel commander, Raul Reyes, that links Correa's leftist government to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. "We will sue this newspaper because we are sick of their lies," Correa told reporters after addressing the U.N. General Assembly's Conference on the world financial crisis. (reuters.com)

ALBA appeals to Obama ... he member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), a Latin American integration project which describes itself as "socialist and anti-imperialist," backed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and rejected "foreign interference" in Iran's domestic issues. In the final declaration of the 6th Summit of ALBA, the presidents of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez; Bolivia, Evo Morales; Nicaragua; Daniel Ortega; and Ecuador, Rafael Correa, condemned a "smear campaign against this brotherly country" after the results of the vote held last June 12 were made known and challenged by the opposition, AFP reported. ALBA leaders "reaffirmed their support to the Islamic Revolution of Iran, to the institutions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and rejected foreign interference and the smear campaign unleashed against the brotherly country," the text reads. (english.eluniversal.com)
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