Sunday wrap

Obama: Needs reframing, gives off stench, hails New Prog Era, hearts patronage, Leninoid, Czarist.

Mismanagement: Big Labor plunders U.S., Obama-Florida-SEIU, Teddy Kennedy ad nauseum, IAM agonistes, Iowans heart Khrushchev.

International: Authoritarianism creep, ACORN-SEIU in Kabul, Cubans prosper, solving Hugo.

We don't need no stinkin' reframing ... A central challenge for President Barack Obama is rebranding health care reform into something shiny, new and salable, in the short window before lawmakers return from recess in September. The political atmosphere is fluid. Raucous town halls, troubling new federal deficit projections and a poll showing Obama with a new, low public approval rating may have substantially changed the game. "I don't know what Obama's got left in his bag of tricks that he hasn't already used before," said Michael F. Cannon, a health policy expert at the Cato Institute. "Nothing seems to be going their way." The same old pitch hasn't been working. (washingtonexaminer.com)

Heavy stench emanates from Obama-Dems, Richardson ... While the investigation against Richardson did not produce a criminal indictment, it did uncover a shadowy world where the governor's political contributors reaped millions for acting as middlemen in state investments. CDR Financial Products Inc. pocketed almost $1.5 million in fees from the state during 2004 and 2005 for advising on transportation bonds. The company and its chief executive, David Rubin, contributed $110,000 to Richardson political committees, including a $75,000 donation less than a week before it was selection by the state, The Associated Press reports. Frank Foy, a former chief investment officer for the state's educational retirement fund, has alleged in a civil case that the investment board was pressured by the governor's office to invest in a company called Vanderbilt Capital Advisors, which had contributed to Richardson's presidential campaign. That investment ended up costing the state $90 million. Foy's case has yet to go to trial. (scsun-news.com)

ObamaCare = More Big Labor Plunder ... One reason the public so distrusts the health care plan being considered by Congress is that so many troublesome details keep bubbling out of the massive legislation. The latest example is the $10 billion taxpayers will be asked to shell out to prop up the United Auto Workers' retiree health insurance program. That provision is tucked deep into the bill passed by the House. In effect, it would ask every taxpayer, regardless of whether they'll have health insurance coverage themselves after they retire - and most won't - to chip in to maintain the UAW's coverage, which even after the union's givebacks is still better than what the average American worker receives. The helping hand is a recognition by Congress that the union's volunteer employee benefit association, or VEBA, can't possibly stay solvent if it is asked to cover all of the union workers taking early buyouts from the Detroit automakers. So the union's supporters added language to the House's gargantuan health care bill that requires the federal government to pick up most of the cost of catastrophic claims for union retirees age 55 to 64. The biggest beneficiary would be the UAW, which got $60 billion from the Big Three in exchange for taking on the obligation for retiree health care. (detnews.com)

Welcome to the New Progressive Era ... Never have I seen or heard words spoken that so poignantly call into question the very existence of America. Even though Officer Cheeks’ words (captured on YouTube SEE BELOW ), responding to a peaceful Obama protester’s attempt to exercise his, yours and my lawful expressions of political speech through a simple hand held sign, were calmly spoken; they should reverberate in every home, village, town and city as a warning. “It ain’t (America) no more, OK?” This handful of words, sanctioned by a police officer’s badge, manifesting intolerance and the casual acceptance of surrender of precious freedoms that have been paid for with blood, must strengthen every American’s resolve. Americans, of every ilk and heritage bonded together with the knowledge that each person’s reflection and voice is protected from those who would oppress, suppress, or silence MUST BE resolved to defend (for ourselves and especially for those with whom we disagree) each and every right or freedom flowing from the Constitution of the United States. If we don’t, cherished rights will be eroded or dissolved by those gaming the system for their own purpose(s). It may be that some (or all of us) will have certain rights; but they could be at the whim of those in power. (australia.to)

Related video: It ain't America no more, OK?

SEIU to hold Florida for Obama in 2012 ... There is no organized opposition lined up yet, but Republican lawmakers with a stake in protecting their majority are likely to mount an aggressive campaign against it. Though prominent Republicans, including former comptroller Bob Milligan and lawyers Thom Rumberger and Nathaniel Reed are among FairDistrict's co-chairmen, it is heavily funded by Democratic-leaning groups such as the Service Employees International Union. State House Majority Leader Adam Hasner sounded the alarm last weekend at a state GOP conference. "It is a stealth agenda funded by the left to do in the courts what they can't do at the ballot box," Hasner thundered. "This is the top priority of Democrats in 2010 and it must be stopped. … The 2010 election is still not going to be easy. The permanent Obama campaign — Obama 2.0, Organizing for America — is already setting up shop right here in Florida." (tampabay.com)

Obama's Royal Arts Patronage Program? ... For the first time in its 40-year history, the federal National Endowment for the Arts convened a conference call to launch a government project encouraging artists to promote the Obama Administration's policies on health care and energy issues. Throughout the conversation, artists were reminded of their ability to “shape the lives” of others. They did not need to be reminded that the NEA is the country's largest annual funder of the arts. Obama formally announced the new program at the unveiling ceremony, stating "We've drawn many of our most hallowed traditions from England, including our common law legal system and, most recently, socialized medicine. Today we institute in America the old English system of royal patronage for the arts in which creative people are funded by the government to promote the grandeur of its blessed monarchs." Hip up-and-coming artists embraced the opportunity. "Thanks to this government program," said one, "sucking up is cool again." (optoons.blogspot.com)

We are all Leninoids now ... And yet, without losing sight of those facts, the similarities are too strong for mere coincidence. So I'm going to make up the word "Leninoid," as a reminder that Obama isn't Lenin -- but he must have hired the same Hollywood scriptwriters. I don't know why. I'm just pointing to what I see. It was Lenin, not Stalin, who first introduced the Cult of Personality to raise his profile to superhuman status after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Even today, some Leftists talk about Lenin as a Jesus figure, who only murdered four million people out of necessity. Wikipedia writes that "The late Australian historian and leftist intellectual Manning Clark described Lenin as "Christ-like, at least in his compassion." Obama's entire election campaign was based on a Cult of Personality, deliberately whipped up by PR honcho Axelrod and shamefully effective with many Americans. The Obama-as-Jesus theme has been sounded by Obama himself, followed by his millions of acolytes. Hollywood Lefty Susan Sarandon has said: "He is a community organizer like Jesus was ... And now, we're a community and he can organize us." (americanthinker.com)

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

Obama's unconstitutional Czarism exposed ... Here’s a question that has been nagging me for months. Are Obama’s ever-growing number of “czars” constitutional? I am not a constitutional scholar, but I have read the document. “Article II. Section 2. “He (the President) shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consults, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein provided for, and which shall be established by law; but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.” As I read it, the Constitution is very specific about whom the President may appoint and he can do so only within parameters “established by law” and this applies specifically to the “heads of departments.” I interpret this to mean Cabinet Secretaries, all of whom must be vetted and approved for their positions by the Senate. The Republican National Committee’s conservative caucus recently passed a resolution expressing their concern noting that “The U.S. Constitution explicitly states government officers with significant authority (called ‘principal officers’) must be nominated by the President and are subject to a vote of the U.S. Senate.” Obama’s appointments are clearly “principal officers” though it will be argued that they are only advisors to the office of the President. Clearly, Obama’s appointments are not heads of departments, but they appear to have been granted an unknown degree of influence and control as regards their responsibilities. They function “in the dark.” (canadafreepress.com)

Teddy Kennedy, 77, was poster boy for term limits ... People in both political parties will agree on this important lesson that can be learned from the long tenure of Sen. Ted Kennedy: America can and does benefit from the power and experience of public servants who are not limited by term limits. Nothing else can replace the value of that experience. (sltrib.com)

The truth about Teddy Kennedy will be remembered ... And yet, however willing he was to do deals behind the scenes, in public Kennedy was often the most partisan of partisans. He was the first to suspect his political opponents of ill-will, the first to accuse Republicans of holding un-American, unconstitutional, even fascist views. It is worth quoting in full, for example, his notorious pronouncement on Robert Bork, the highly qualified, widely admired, controversial judge whom President Ronald Reagan nominated to the Supreme Court in 1987. "Robert Bork's America," Kennedy declared, "is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens." That image – the women in the back alleys, the doors shutting on the citizens' fingers – was powerful enough to prevent Bork from winning Senate approval. It is thus not unfair to say that the vitriol that has surrounded Supreme Court nominations ever since is one of Kennedy's legacies, too. Most of all, though, there was always something deeply contradictory about Kennedy's self-declared role as America's leading advocate for the poor and downtrodden. After all, from start to finish, Kennedy's career was built on family connections, family money and the willingness of police officers to give anyone called "Kennedy" a second chance. Expelled from Harvard for cheating, he returned a few years later and managed to graduate. Having left a woman drowning in an overturned car at Chappaquiddick, he received a suspended sentence – any ordinary mortal would have gone to jail – and returned safely to his Senate career. Numerous instances of bad behaviour were swept under the carpet; numerous speeding tickets were not given; numerous women were persuaded to keep quiet, so as not to harm the last Kennedy brother's career. (telegraph.co.uk)

Dead Kennedy unites criminal class ... Republicans and Democrats came together Friday night in a bipartisan spirit to celebrate the life of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, but politics seeped into the event, with Sen. John Kerry declaring that Congress will pass health care reform "in his honor." (washingtontimes.com)

Kennedy's treasonous legacy exposed ... On 9-10 May of this year, Senator Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant J. Tunney was in Moscow. The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Center Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov. Senator Kennedy, like other rational people, is very troubled by the current state of Soviet-American relations. Events are developing such that this relationship coupled with the general state of global affairs will make the situation even more dangerous. The main reason for this is Reagan’s belligerence, and his firm commitment to deploy new American middle range nuclear weapons within Western Europe." However, according to Kennedy, the opposition to Reagan is still very weak. Reagan’s adversaries are divided and the presentations they make are not fully effective. Meanwhile, Reagan has the capabilities to effectively counter any propaganda. In order to neutralize criticism that the talks between the USA and the USSR are non-constructive, Reagan will grandiose, but subjectively propagandistic. At the same time, Soviet officials who speak about disarmament will be quoted out of context, silenced or groundlessly and whimsically discounted. Although arguments and statements by officials of the USSR do appear in the press, it is important to note the majority of Americans do not read serious newspapers or periodicals. Kennedy believes that, given the current state of affairs, and in the interest of peace, it would be prudent and timely to undertake the following steps to counter the militaristic politics of Reagan and his campaign to psychologically burden the American people. In this regard, he offers the following proposals to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Y.V. Andropov: (examiner.com)

IAM big: We don't need no stinkin' jobs ... Mercury Marine's union is awaiting word from its international headquarters on the legality of voting on a contract a second time. Dan Longsine, chief negotiator with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and Aerospace Workers Local 1947, said union officials should receive a directive from their grand lodge by noon today on whether the union can consider voting a second time on Mercury's "best and final" labor contract proposal. After that, it would be up to local union chiefs from District 10 in Milwaukee to decide if a new vote is the right move for its force of union workers. The company's final offer was rejected in an Aug. 23 union vote. Mark Schwabero, Mercury president, said the consequence of the " no" vote would move the manufacturing portion of Fond du Lac's operation, affecting about 850 workers, to Stillwater, Okla. (fdlreporter.com)

Iowa subsidy suckers recall rent-seeker Khrushchev fondly ... A half-century after his historic visit to Iowa, former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev was remembered as a politician passionate about agriculture. "He was a political leader who wanted to feed his people, and that is one of the best things that can be said about any leader," said Alex Nikitin, part of the post-communist generation of Russians and who manages a milk and cheese plant in Russia. Nikitin spoke to a gathering Friday at the Hotel Fort Des Moines that is part of the commemoration of Khrushchev's visit in 1959. (desmoinesregister.com)

International Collectivism

Trotskyite Lula bends over for NGOs, Putin, Chávez ... The Non Governmental Organizations, NGOs, from "European metropolis, not from Iberia" are the real threat for Brazilian interests in the Amazon, as well as the Indian reservations with no boundaries, writes Rocha Paiva in the São Paulo newspaper. In the article the general also criticizes the Brazilian government "for not having expressed and opinion when Venezuela president Hugo Chávez proposed to Russia the establishment of military bases in Venezuelan territory." (brazzilmag.com)

Obama bends over for LatAm leftists ... The Obama Administration is about to cut off humanitarian aid to Honduras, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Earlier, the Obama Administration blocked travel to the United States by the people of Honduras. Both actions are foolish responses to a recent ruling by the supreme court of Honduras refusing to approve the return to power of the country’s bullying ex-president and would-be dictator, Mel Zelaya. Zelaya was earlier arrested by soldiers acting on orders of the Honduras Supreme Court, replaced by his country’s Congress with a civilian successor, and forced into exile. Zelaya’s removal came after he systematically abused his powers: he sought to circumvent constitutional term limits, used mobs to intimidate his critics, threatened public employees with termination if they refused to help him violate the Constitution, engaged in massive corruption, illegally cut off public funds to local governments whose leaders refused to back his quest for more power, denied basic government services to his critics, refused to enforce dozens of laws passed by Congress, and spent the country into virtual bankruptcy, refusing to submit a budget so that he could illegally spend public funds on his cronies. (examiner.com)

Ecuador's leftwing despot exposes ugly underbelly of New Prog Era ... Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa announced Saturday he is seeking to definitively shut down a private television station that he accused of "espionage" on his office. The station Teleamazonas, a private broadcaster that has been critical of Correa and his government, has already been fined multiple times for breaking broadcasting law, notably for reporting opposition charges of voter fraud during April's general elections. (google.com)

ACORN-Obama-SEIU forces surface in Afghanistan ... President Hamid Karzai widened his lead over his main challenger in election returns released Saturday, creeping toward the 50 percent mark that would enable him to avoid a run-off in the divisive presidential contest. Karzai's top challenger Abdullah Abdullah stepped up his fraud charges, raising doubts whether the former foreign minister's followers would accept the incumbent if he wins in the first round. Accusations of fraud in the Aug. 20 vote have poured into the Electoral Complaint Commission, which must investigate the allegations before final results can be announced. (google.com)

Free market solves strategic Cuban shortage ... What is happening is that retirees on the island are going to newspaper printers. They're picking up the unsold surplus newspapers (and given what the Government controlled press actually prints, there's quite a lot of them) and then selling them to householders to use as said toilet paper. The profit margins are quite wondrous: "The man, who requested anonymity to prevent trouble with authorities, said the seniors buy the newspapers, including the Communist party's Granma, for 20 Cuban cents -- about .7 U.S. cents. They then resell them to neighbors for up to 20 Cuban pesos, about 71 U.S. cents, for use as toilet paper." (examiner.com)

Otto Reich: How to solve a problem like Hugo ... Chávez' generals are in no mood to face the Colombians or anyone else. Corruption and politicization have weakened Venezuela's military, despite its acquisition of billions of dollars of Russian and other foreign weaponry. Plus, in his 10 years in power, Chávez has only ever pointed his guns at defenseless Venezuelan civilians. Bullies like him do not forewarn their intended victims. He does not fight openly, preferring to intervene covertly -- either directly or through his regional "anti-imperialist" alliance, the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), a collection of the highest-decibel, lowest performing leaders in the region, from countries including Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and, until June, Honduras. Honduras has been the most recent target of Chávez' subversion. Q: Faced with this and much more damning evidence, some still classified, of Chávez' covert war, what should the US response be? First, call Chávez what he is: a supporter of drug trafficking and terrorism. Second, designate Venezuela as an official state sponsor of terrorism. The National Security Council has made this recommendation since 2003. Some US officials, well-meaning but misguided, feel that diplomacy alone will convince Chávez to change his ways. It has not and will not. Third, end the self-defeating US dependence on the Venezuelan oil that finances Chávez' anti-democratic and anti-American aggression. The United States can find new sources for 8% of its imports much more quickly than Venezuela can find an alternate market for 72% of its exports. (vheadline.com)
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