Thursday wrap

Obama: Hearts Craig Becker, puts SEIU in charge, remakes P2P economy, hearts double-standard, hearts social justice fraud.

Mismanagement: ACORN-South Park, ACORN extortion exposed, Rathke fail, ACORN agonistes, Newhouse-SEIU, teachers on strike, Teamster embezzle.

International: We have met the Evil Empire, VeneProgs gain, Teamsters strangle.

SEIU-Obama hand: We don't need no stinkin' Congress ... One of Big Labor's priorities in Washington is to place allies in key government jobs where they can overturn existing labor policy without battles in Congress. This is a very good reason for the Senate to hold a hearing on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Mr. Becker is associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is most recently in the news for its close ties to ACORN, the disgraced housing shakedown operation. President Obama nominated Mr. Becker in April to the five-member NLRB, which has the critical job of supervising union elections, investigating labor practices, and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do this by regulatory fiat, without a vote of Congress. (online.wsj.com)

Related video: Meet Craig Becker, AFL-CIO Obamunist

How far will SEIU go to protect its political power? ... Instead, Groves, the SEIU and several pro-illegal amnesty groups recently launched “a historic campaign” to target “the estimated 50 million Latinos living in the United States.” Inclusion of the massive illegal alien population has resulted in a radical redrawing of the electoral map. More people equals more seats. More illegal immigrants counted equals more power — for ethnic lobbyists, Big Labor and the Democratic Party. Alas, watchdogs can’t call attention to the politicization of the census enumeration process and its bureaucratic woes too loudly. Three weeks ago, a part-time census worker was found murdered in rural Kentucky. Bill Sparkman was tied to a tree by the neck (his feet touching the ground when discovered), and the word “fed” had been scrawled on his chest with a felt-tip pen. (dailynews-record.com)

Obama takes credit for economic recovery ... President Obama traveled across the Potomac on Wednesday to celebrate the start of work on one stimulus road project - the Fairfax County Parkway Extension - and to tout the jobs created through Virginia's use of the stimulus money. The parkway extension is the state's largest stimulus-funded project. "One of the reasons our economy is in better shape today is because we voted to move forward, boldly and swiftly, to pass [the stimulus bill]," Mr. Obama said. The bill "spurred job creation and economic growth with projects like the one that I'm talking about here today." (washingtontimes.com)

P2P: It's the only game I know ... President Obama yesterday asked Congress to fund a new mini-stimulus package -- billions more for seniors, veterans and the disabled. The boost will come in the form of $250 "economic recovery payment" checks sent directly to nearly 60 million people. "Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession," Obama said in a prepared statement. The administration estimated that the proposal for stimulus No. 2 -- before Congress adds any additional spending of its own -- will cost US taxpayers $13 billion. The cash infusion comes even as about $450 billion of the first $729 billion stimulus has yet to be spent. (nypost.com)

Obama shuns Reagan's tired, failed ideas of the past ... President Obama has taken the polar opposite approach to President Reagan's to reignite the economic-growth engine. Reagan pushed for cuts in marginal tax rates to encourage people to work, save and invest in an effort to spur the supply side of the economy as well as the demand side. Mr. Obama has chosen only to greatly increase government spending in an attempt to increase demand while, at the same time, many of his new labor, environmental, energy and other regulations are impeding the supply side of the economy. (cato.org)

U.S. plagued by Prog double-standard ... President Obama pledged his administration would be "transparent." Why, then, a gag order on insurance companies preventing them from sending information on health care to their clients? Why are Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doing their best to prevent the Democratic process by calling protestors of the health-care proposal and big government spending and control "un-American?" Pelosi has even gone so far as to say tea party and freedom march attendees are inciting violence. The double standard continues in the Democrat party. (newschief.com)

South Park takes on ACORN

Union-backed fraud group also excels at extortion ... In December 2004, Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch sued Capital One for failing to state in its advertisements that it could increase interest rates on credit cards. As part of a 2006 settlement, Capital One paid $749,999, of which $249,999 went to ACORN, $250,000 went to the nonprofit Legal Aid, and $250,000 to the State of Minnesota. ACORN's political action committee had endorsed Mike Hatch for attorney general in 1998 and 2002, and in 2006 for governor. In 2008, Minnesota's Legislative Auditor, James Nobles, conducted a review of the Capital One settlement and payment to ACORN. By letter, he asked Hatch's successor, current state Attorney General Lori Swanson (who was given a grade of A+ from ACORN in 2008) for information about the settlement. (americanthinker.com)

ACORN forensic sleuths probe SEIU, Rathke Bros, Pike ... After ACORN’s internal “discovery” of the embezzlement, ACORN Founder, SEIU Local 100 officer, and SEIU International Board member Wade Rathke took charge of SEIU Local 880’s books. Dale Rathke’s name has been replaced with Wade Rathke’s name on Local 880’s original 2002 Department of Labor LM-2 union financial disclosure report, pictured below. After the ACORN embezzlement became public knowledge in 2007, SEIU Local 880’s 2002 union financial report, the form LM-2 pictured below, was resubmitted to the U.S. Department of Labor on May 16, 2007. This is about five years after the original 2002 report that was filed by ACORN chieftain Wade Rathke. That 2007 amended filing by SEIU 880 allows federal investigators to open up SEIU 880’s 2002 financial records for a federal investigation. The two trustees who signed the 2007 submission of the SEIU 880 2002 LM-2 are criminally liable for any false statements made on the report. When the Wade Rathke version of SEIU Local 880’s LM-2 2002 union financial report was amended in 2007, curious differences appeared. The amended 2002 report filed in 2007 shows a drop of about $500,000 in membership dues from the original filing ($3,032,338 compared to the original filing of $3,525,995 of dues received.) This should raise some eyebrows. (biggovernment.com)

Folks care about ACORN's social justice fraud ... For some time now ACORN has actually been the subject to criticism the right-wing and the media don’t care about: its labor practices. Nationwide, the group has been known to give its organizers long hours at pay bringing them close to the poverty line. The National Labor Relations Board even found that one ACORN affiliate had acted with anti-union animus when it fired several organizers who were trying to unionize the staff. It might seem odd for a group that fights Wal-Mart and pushes living-wage legislation to fight worker organizing. But there are many groups like ACORN that hold a double standard, and inside the labor movement there is a deep split on the issue of whether union staffers should have their own unions. (Note to reader: Your correspondent was an active member in his staff union, the Federation of Union Representatives, while employed at Unite Here from 2006 to 2007.) (thefastertimes.com)

Union-backed fraud group cited in Ohio ... In an effort to get back a majority in the State, guest speaker Ohio Senator Jon Husted (R-OH6), announced he is running for the position of Secretary of State against local opponent Representative Jennifer Garrison (D- OH93). Saying that past secretaries of state had perhaps conducted themselves poorly, Husted called particular attention to Ohio’s role in presidential elections and controversy over voter registration. “Political games will stop and I will conduct myself with honor and integrity,” Husted said. “When I’m secretary of State, ACORN will not come to Ohio and perpetrate voter fraud.” (mariettaregister.com)

Progressives guilty of infighting ... Both sides insist that criticism earlier this week of President Obama wasn’t the main reason for Tuesday’s firing of Louisiana ACORN Beth Butler, but comments from the national ACORN office both before and after the firing hint otherwise. A local volunteer in New Orleans had criticized the itinerary of Obama for not including a visit to the Lower Ninth Ward. (southernpoliticalreport.com)

ACORN-SEIU on the docket ... The political advocacy group ACORN and ex-regional supervisor Amy Busefink are scheduled to appear in District Court today. They'll be arraigned on charges of illegal voter registration. Prosecutors say ACORN and Busefink allowed a field director to run a cash incentive program to encourage workers to register voters during 2008's Presidential campaign. They claim the incentive program rewarded employees with five-dollars extra each shift if they brought in 21 or more completed voter registration cards. ACORN could lose its non-profit status in the state if it's convicted at trial. (kxnt.com)

Newhouse culture bible hails innovative SEIU thug ... Congratulations to SEIU President Andy Stern, who was named one of GQ's "50 Most Powerful People in D.C." yesterday. The architect of an organizing boom that doubled his group's membership while other unions foundered, Stern has established himself as the labor movement's next big boss. "He's a creative, outside-the-box thinker, and that ruffles feathers," said former Speaker Dick Gephardt, who was interviewed for the list. (seiu.org)

Oppressive Judge enrages SEIU strikers ... If Palo Alto's largest labor union were to go on strike, 87 workers would be barred from participating, a Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday. City Attorney Gary Baum succeeded in having 87 members of the Service Employees International Union Chapter 21 designated as "critical" workers, which means they would not be able to participate in any future strike. These include workers at the city's wastewater-treatment plant, police dispatchers and utility workers, City Manager James Keene said Wednesday. (paloaltoonline.com)

Sick of teacher strikes in PA ... For the second time in a little more than a year, teachers in the Saucon Valley School District are on strike. They walked onto the picket line at 8:00 this morning, hoping to get their message across to the community and the district. The Saucon Valley school board's decision was unanimous. Members voted no on the teachers' latest contract proposal. Parents and other community members filled the high school auditorium last night. Most were in support of the board's decision. (wfmz.com)

Parents furious with greedy teacher-strikers ... Some residents are upset with the striking teachers, citing the tough economy. Annual teacher salaries range from $39,800 for starting educators to $83,000 for career teachers with masters degrees plus 60 more graduate credits. Parent Lori VanHorn came to face the picket line with her son to voice their opposition. "They're being greedy, they're not thinking about the welfare of the children," VanHorn said. (abclocal.go.com)

Typical Teamster embezzler gets typical wrist-slap ... Daniel Fortier, former secretary-treasurer of International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 970 and former president of Teamsters Joint Council 32 in Minneapolis, has been sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to three years probation and 150 hours of community service for making false entries in union records to cover theft. He also was ordered to pay $13,556.65 in restitution and a $2,000 fine. (nlpc.org)

International Collectivism

We have met the Evil Empire ... Barack Obama's support for the Honduran ex-president who would be king, Manuel Zelaya, is without American precedent. Zelaya is Hugo Chavez' mini-me, as he, like the vitriolic Venezuelan, sought to subvert his nation's constitution and extend and expand his power. And of this there is no doubt. The Honduran constitution prohibits a president from serving more than one term, and Zelaya, aided and abetted by Chavez and a mob of thugs, was using illegal methods to circumvent the prohibition. This is why Honduras' supreme court ruled against him; it's why he was opposed by the nation's congress, the majority of its people and the Catholic Church. It's why Zelaya was removed from office. In taking the wrong side, Obama has turned what could have been a temporary crisis into a protracted one, a situation that could devolve into bloody civil war. (americanthinker.com)

Progressives gain in Venezuela ... The US-based Hilton hotel chain is "evaluating" the Venezuelan government's seizure of one of its hotels on the Caribbean resort island of Margarita, a spokeswoman told AFP on Wednesday. President Hugo Chavez ordered the "acquisition by force" of the landmark hotel Tuesday, according to Venezuelan officials. he assets will be held by the state tourism corporation Venetur, which reports to the Tourism Ministry, part of an "urgent" effort to boost "the social development side of the tourism and hotel industries in Nueva Esparta state," the Venezuela government's Official Gazette said. Caracas earlier seized the Hotel Hilton in Caracas and re-named it the Hotel Alba, a reference to the Venezuelan-led leftist regional alliance Alianza Bolivariana para las Americas (ALBA). (google.com)

Teamsters strike strangles local economy ... Another victim of the Teamsters strike is the ferry service between Puerto Montt and Natales. The ferry was able to unload on Monday but left yesterday from Natales with “zero cargo and 33 passengers”, said Jorge Biott, Operations manager for Navimag that runs the service which is the main source of supplies for Punta Arenas and Chilean Tierra del Fuego. The Punta Arenas branch of the Chilean Teamsters union is waiting for a delegation from Santiago to arrive and help with negotiations. (en.mercopress.com)

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