Friday wrap

Obama: Hoisted by Alinksy, attracts detractors, dismisses critics, obsessed with enemies, casts poor reflection, Change smacks down Hope.

Mismanagement: Fascism resurfaces, CP-USA for Obama, Post-Constitutional Era fail, spread-the-wealth fail, SEIU thugs take spotlight, leftwing buys astroturf, P2P lives, Hoffa defends racism, AFSCME rips Dave Bing.

International: Marxists H8 limits, swine flu rocks Ecuador leftists, LatAm democracy fail, Trouble in Paradise.

New Progs hoisted by Alinsky's Rules ... The 20th-century community organizer who used 21st-century tools for his people-powered White House campaign now finds himself besieged by citizens airing their grievances at 19th-century-inspired town-hall-style meetings. President Obama's top legislative goal hangs in the balance, and his popularity is suffering as critics co-opt his tech-savvy organizing methods, tag him as a boogeyman and disrupt local gatherings on his proposed health-care overhaul. Is the groundbreaking campaigner, whose White House political arm is aptly called Organizing for America, being outmaneuvered? "That's a fair summary of where things are at the moment," said Sanford Horwitt, a biographer of Saul Alinsky, the father of community organizing. "The other side has the anger and the intensity, and Obama's side doesn't," Horwitt said. Harking back to the presidential campaign's tactics and success, Horwitt said, "This really first-rate community organizing has not revealed itself in the first months he's been in office, particularly when it comes to the health-care issue." (azstarnet.com)

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

Anti-socialist protesters get up in Obama-SEIU's face ... What originally was going to be an “anti-Obamacare rally” Saturday at Lincoln Park, miles from the Central High School location of President Obama’s health-care reform town hall, has morphed into a major opposition event. Organizers of what’s now known as a “Hands Off My Health Care” rally are expecting 3,500 to 4,000 people in Lincoln Park at 10 a.m., including tea-party and other activists from the Front Range and Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico. “We are asking everyone to wear a solid red, white or blue shirt, show our patriotism and to contrast the purple shirts worn by SEIU activists,” Nancy Rumelt of Loveland said in an e-mail, referring to the Change for America campaign of the Service Employees International Union. (gjsentinel.com)

Welcome to the Hotel California ... In the previous post, I pointed out that the most insidious part of fascism is that by the time it's finally obvious to absolutely everyone that these people are dangerously out of control, it's too late to do anything about it. Early warnings are even more valuable here than they are in most domains. And since futurists are -- more than anything -- in the business of early warnings, it falls to me to step up there and point out that according to at least a few of the more reputable atlases in the glove box, this looks a lot like the last turn into the parking lot of downtown Fascist Hell. The good news is: we're not yet parked and locked, let alone committed to entering the building. (Which is good, because the doors appear to be all one way, just like in the Hotel California.) We've still got a few minutes left to change our minds, back out of this, and go spend our future somewhere else. But we are now actively in the process of choosing, whether we're aware of it or not. There are things happening now that are setting us on a course that may prove impossible to change. (thepeoplesvoice.org)

Communist Party USA fights for ObamaCare ... "Within our country, the Obamajority is needed to take to the streets in support of health care with a public option paid for by reversing the obscene tax giveaways to the super rich during the Bush years. If health care reform fails, it will be a giant step backwards for the Obama administration and for working people, the labor movement, African American, Latino, Asian-Pacific Island communities, women and youth on every issue including the economy, peace and democracy ... This fight for health care is a fight for the ability to win on every other issue starting with Employee Free Choice and all the way to state budget priorities. It is a fight for unity against the ultra-right. What happens at the grassroots will in large part decide what happens in Congress. Now is the time for the Obamajority to act." (weeklystandard.com)

Obama dismisses mounting criticism ... I’ve read the blogs, and many conservatives feel that it is they who are being told to shut up by the President of the United States, by a man who would sit down with dictators like Hugo Chávez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Those conservatives who express their constitutional rights to meet with their representatives in town halls, who strive to let their leaders know who they are by showing their numbers in tea parties across the nation, have already been dismissed by other leaders. They have been called Astroturf, angry mobs, and paid cronies to the insurance industry. So you can understand why they would be so incensed when they feel that the President of the United States of America is telling them that their point of view will not be considered. (examiner.co)

We don't need no stinkin' Constitutions ... The Senate recently confirmed Sonia Sotomayor as the 111th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, but it needn’t have bothered. The Obama Administration apparently believes Supreme Courts can be ignored. Following the removal of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was quick to condemn the move, saying it could create a “terrible precedent.” What terrible precedent did she think might be established? A Latin American country actually following its constitution? (canadafreepress.com)

Big government spending fail ... The country's financial crisis started long before the recession officially began 21 months ago and will persist until lawmakers from Capitol Hill to California change their view that spending creates more jobs and economic growth, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday. "The crisis is real," Mr. Gingrich said at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute. "People think they don't have to rethink things, just pay for them ... For 25 years we've been lying to ourselves." (washingtontimes.com)

Obsession distracts from Dem goals ... What health care reform needs right now is more popular support for the plans in Congress. Given this, every progressive should ask him or herself the following question: exactly how will portraying health care protesters as astroturf extremists increase support for current health care reform efforts? Personally, I can't figure that one out. Growing to dislike protesters is not the same thing as growing to like the target of the protests. I know I am starting to sound like a broken record here, but progressives are focusing too much of their attention on attacking the protesters. I just don't see how focusing on them gets us closer to our goal of passing health care reform. It is a big distraction. (openleft.com)

A poor reflection on Obama ... The question is not what gives; it’s WHO gives. President Obama either had no legitimate plan prior to his election or has lost control of his people. Either way, it reflects poorly on the president. The truth is that we cannot afford the president’s liberal agenda unless spending is reduced dramatically or taxes for all citizens are increased dramatically. Do the math, or better yet, ask the Chinese. They are lending us the money to pay for this garbage, and they don’t care about his sound bite campaign promises. (timesrecordnews.com)

Obama Hopeless ... With great sorrow and deep consternation, we hereby declare the death of the latest hope. Perhaps rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase the famous quote by Mark Twain, but the fears are being validated day after day. Barack Obama's America is not delivering the goods. Sharing a glass of beer with a racist cop and a pat on the back of Hugo Chávez are not what we hoped for; wholesale negotiations on freezing settlement construction are also not what we expected. Just over six months after the most promising president of all began his term, perhaps hope has a last breath left, but it is on its deathbed. (haaretz.com)

Dennis Miller takes on SEIU ... Gibbs will say whatever gives him the biscuit. They give him the biscuit if he goes out and trashes FOX. He reminds me of those PC vs. Mac commercials. He reminds me of the PC guy. He's a little bit outmoded. But the weird thing is Barack's starting to remind me of Johnny Friendly a little, you know? They have these town halls. You can hear all the SEIU guys outside, tapping the baseball bats, like they're in the church basement with Karl Malden. And I'm not surprised when Barack shows up to one of these himself why nobody wants to speak up. He's proven in the past, this guy, he will trash you if he construes you to be a rube. I've seen him raise that eyebrow about Joe the Plumber. I've heard the "cling to their God and gun" thing. You don't want the most popular guy in the world singling you out and calling you a square. So I think Barack's a — he plays hardball here. He's like a Chicago pol, and I can see why nobody wants to step up and get in his bad graces. (foxnews.com)

SEIU owns the union thug label ... Who are the real thugs? Democrats attack congressional town hall protesters as "Brown Shirts" — likening taxpayer activists across the country to Hitler's storm troopers. But it's the Big Labor hoodlums clad in identical purple shirts — the uniform of Service Employees International Union members — who own the mob label. Margarida Jorge, a former SEIU organizing director who now serves as national field director for the deep-pocketed, left-wing coalition Health Care for America Now, sent out a memo to her foot soldiers last week on how to counter ObamaCare opponents. "You must bring enough people to drown them out and to cover all our bases so as to marginalize their disruptive tactics," she exhorted. Local SEIU chapters echoed the call to brass knuckles. "It is critical that our members with real, personal stories about the need for access to quality, affordable care come out in strong numbers to drown out their voices," urged the leaders of SEIU's Local 2001 in Connecticut, according to a memo exposed by the Weekly Standard's Mary Katharine Ham. At town hall meetings in St. Louis and Tampa, Fla., last week, purple-shirted SEIU members engaged in physical confrontations with critics of the Democrats' health care takeover plans. (ibdeditorials.com)

Union thugs strike back ... The word is getting out to union members across the country that voices of working families must be included—and heard—in the growing health care reform debate taking place at town hall meetings across the country this August. Yesterday, union members in Portsmouth, N.H., and Houston, Texas, were among those making sure participants at town halls could discuss the real facts about the health care proposal. Stirred up by a lie-filled campaign from extremist groups—some funded by corporate donations and backed by extremist Republican leaders vowing to kill health care reform—loud and aggressive groups hijacked several early August meetings with lawmakers back home for the congressional recess. (pww.org)

SEIU's raids enrage unionists ... Since Bruce Raynor and other former UNITE members left UNITE HERE to join SEIU, many wonder whether Raynor is worth the trouble. To allay these doubts, the newly installed SEIU Executive Vice-President launched a publicity blitz that will likely cause SEIU even more problems. For example, Raynor issued an August 10 press release seeking to embarrass Terrence O’Sullivan of the Laborers Union at a time when Stern is seeking rapprochement with fellow labor leaders. And on August 7, Raynor issued a release praising SEIU’s efforts to decertify – i.e., raid – 2100 UNITE HERE workers employed at airports by Delaware North – in the face of Stern’s insistence that his union is not conducting raids. (beyondchron.org)

Leftwing buys astroturf from union thugs ... It’s time for the Left to quit pretending that conservative activism is artificial and orchestrated, but liberal activism is genuine. They haven’t presented credible evidence that the huge crowds at town hall meetings are paid shills. But there’s plenty of evidence that the Left relies on huge numbers of paid workers to hit the streets and show up at meetings. The biggest proof is an announcement made in January—long before the town hall flare-ups—by the SEIU labor union (Service Employees International Union). This is the union whose purple shirts are so visible in town hall altercations. SEIU announced it would hire over 1,000 people to work in 35 states on behalf of the Obama agenda, which it calls “Change That Works”. (blog.heritage.org)

AFL-CIO big: Bend over, America ... The President of the AFL-CIO recently announced that the union would jump into the healthcare fight to help out “working people.” John Sweeney also said that the healthcare fight is “the next big step in our march to turn around America.” But unions already have their own healthcare plans and Obama promised — for whatever an Obama promise is worth — that union plans would be untouched by Obamacare. So, what are the unions in the fight for if it doesn’t really touch them? The answer to that question appears in the House bill on page 65, section 164 where unions are to receive a $10 billion dollar infusion of taxpayer’s money to supplement their failing plans through a program called the “reinsurance plan.” In his open letter, Sweeney said that one of the union’s goals was to seek “relief for company/union funds providing pre-Medicare retiree coverage.” This would be people that retired from the unions before they are eligible for Medicare. In other words, the union is looking for federal funds to relieve expenditures from his over extended pension plans. Well, low and behold the House healthcare bill has included in it a “Reinsurance Program for Retirees” (section 164). This section stipulates that $10 billion will be set aside for this program of “reinsurance” for those older than 55 and not yet eligible for Medicare. This program will reimburse eligible “retirees” for 80% of the costs of their medical care. This would go a long way to help unions defer costs to their own plans. So, no wonder the unions are so hot to help Obamacare pass. It will be a boon to their overextended pension plans. (theunionlabelblog.com)

Hoffa defends racist Davis-Bacon Act ... Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa stressed the importance of promoting diversity to help strengthen the labor movement during a speech today at the annual meeting of the Teamsters National Black Caucus in New Orleans, Louisiana. (news.prnewswire.com)

Rep. Tim Holden placed on Dirty Money Watch ... WHO: Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.) WHAT: Holden received the following dirty money: PMA Group (PAC) $4,000 in 2008 election cycle; $4,000 in 2006 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 HOLDEN GIVE IT BACK: Holden 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 • Gave donation to charity: Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) YOUR TURN: You can reach Rep. Holden's Washington D.C. office at 202-225-5546. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Detroit: AFSCME thugs rip new Mayor ... Bing told union leaders this week that the department's divisions are broken and costing the city potentially millions of dollars. Their response: groans and shouts of profanity. "It was shocking to us," said Leamon Wilson, president of chairman of the presidents of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees locals, which represent city employees. "He said, 'There are a bunch of problems with it and it's not working, so I'm privatizing it.'" About 100 city workers would be affected by privatizing payroll and tax collection. (freep.com)

International Collectivism

Swine flu plagues Leftists ... Ecuador's President Rafael Correa was under medical observation after it was confirmed that one of his ministers and two people on his security team contracted swine flu, officials said. (zeenews.com)

Obama lines up P2P for LatAm leftist thugs ... "The same critics who say that the United States has not intervened enough in Honduras are the same people who say that we're always intervening and the Yankees need to get out of Latin America," Obama said in a joint press conference with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. "You can't have it both ways. If these critics think that it's appropriate for us to suddenly act in ways that in every other context they consider inappropriate, then I think what that indicates is that maybe there's some hypocrisy involved in their approach to U.S.-Latin American relations that certainly is not going to guide my administration's policies," Obama continued. In a statement the next day to Agence France-Presse, Roy Chaderton, Venezuelan ambassador to the Organization of American States, called Obama's "interpretation" of the situation "arbitrary and mischievous." (thehill.com)

Trouble in Workers' Paradise ... If you ever wonder why we so resist socialism, consider the latest news out of that collectivist island paradise known as Cuba. Central planners announced this week that they were fresh out of money to buy toilet paper — yes, toilet paper — for the island's 9 million citizens. But not to worry. A nameless official for state-run monopoly Cimex and quoted by Reuters assured that "the corporation has taken all the steps so that at the end of the year there will be an important importation of toilet paper." The predicament would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. But toilet tissue is hardly the only item Cuba is lacking. Food itself is in short supply, with red bean and chickpea rations cut by a third, according to the Miami Herald. Special hard-currency-only stores for the elites have mysteriously failed to open after last week's "inventory," with no explanation given. There's no gas, either. The Associated Press this week reported that state planners have decreed that oxen — yes, oxen — would replace tractors in the fields, a bid to conserve fuel. This, despite the fact that Cuba gets 100,000 barrels of oil a day from Hugo Chávez's Venezuela — effectively free, because Cuba never pays its bills. (ibdeditorials.com)
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