Friday wrap

Obama: H8s old folks, smacked down by WaPo, hyperpartisan uniter, cancels union thug disclosure, boosts HillRod.

Mismanagement: Obamunist down, Spitzer tricks, SEIU strikes oppressive hospital, SEIU smells defeat, GOP disarms, ACORN shakedown, Dem social justice fraud, Rathke gathers Progs, ACORN run amok, union bribery, Newhouse bleeds red.

International: Shocker: Bolívar H8ted Marx, Progs H8 property rights.

Obama heaps more abuse on nation's poorest seniors ... If her check were bigger, 76-year-old Agnes Conti might be able to spring for a better cut of meat for her pot roast. She could afford to send her nine grandchildren more than $20 for their birthdays and Christmas. She'd be able to spring for some nice new clothes, like she sees on QVC, not what she settles for at Walmart. If only. The government has said the Social Security checks Conti and tens of millions of other seniors rely on as their primary source of income will not increase next year as consumer prices have fallen overall. (cnsnews.com)

Can Obama be stopped from violating the Constitution again? ... An opinion of the U.S. attorney general advised, in 1902, that "a simple remembrance," even "if merely a photograph, falls under the inclusion of 'any present of any kind whatever.' " President Clinton's Office of Legal Counsel, in 1993, reaffirmed the 1902 opinion, and explained that the text of the clause does not limit "its application solely to foreign governments acting as sovereigns." This opinion went on to say that the emolument clause applies even when the foreign government acts through instrumentalities. Thus the Nobel Prize is an emolument, and a foreign one to boot. Second, the president has indicated that he will give the prize money to charity, but that does not solve his legal problem. Giving that $1.4 million to a charity could give him a deduction that would reduce his income taxes by $500,000 -- not a nominal amount. Moreover, the money is not his to give away. It belongs to the United States: A federal statute provides that if the president accepts a "tangible or intangible present" for more than a minimal value from any foreign government, the gift "shall become the property of the United States." This is at least the second time that Obama has run afoul of the emolument clause. On June 3, 2009, the day before he gave his speech in Cairo on relations with the Muslim world, he accepted (and even donned) the bejeweled Collar of the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, Saudi Arabia's highest honor, from the hands of King Abdullah. (washingtonpost.com)

Hyperpartisan uniter ... President Obama brought the left and right together, physically at least, as more than 1,000 people with an array of placards, banners and viewpoints gathered behind police barricades Thursday afternoon across from the Westin St. Francis, where Obama was addressing a Democratic fundraiser. Some carried cameras in hopes of a glimpse of the president, but most had come to express varying degrees of disappointment or outrage. The left was more numerous, the right more cohesive, congregating in small groups and focusing almost entirely on Obama's health plan - described, in one sign, as a blend of "the competence of Fannie Mae, the compassion of the IRS, the honesty of the Chicago mob." (sfgate.com)

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

We don't need no stinkin' disclosure ... The Obama Labor Department has been positioning themselves to rollback recent changes to the congressionally mandated union financial disclosure reports for unions with receipts of $250,000 plus. And now they have announced that they are eliminating disclosure designed to protect millions of workers who are forced to pay dues as a condition of employment. The specific disclosures being rescinded, among other things, exposed labor boss perks like John Sweeney’s alleged million dollar payment in 2000. Now, Big Labor Union Bosses who receive special payments can continue to hide these payments from workers who are forced to subsidize them. (biggovernment.com)

Eliot Spitzer up to his old New Prog tricks again ... Eliot Spitzer's commentary in Slate ("Chamber of Horrors,") calling for state pension funds to pressure corporations to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reminds us of his past efforts to climb the political ladder on the backs of business executives. Instead of worrying about the Chamber, state officials should be investigating pension funds for potential conflicts of interest and for using their shareholder standing to advance the left-wing agenda. Spitzer's commentary exposes the left-wing strategy of using public money to advance its cause. Spitzer's political motivation is clear: because the Chamber is fighting cap-and-trade and "Card Check" they need to be taken out. (nationalcenter.org)

Why HillRod hearts Barack ... Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama, but in one respect she now ranks ahead of Obama. The president’s current favorable rating of 56% is down 22 percentage points since January. Over the same time span, Clinton’s favorable rating has changed little, and now, at 62%, it exceeds Obama’s. Clinton’s current favorable rating ranks among her best in the 17 years Gallup has polled Americans about her. (race42008.com)

Bloodsport claims low-ranking Obamunist ... Lorelei Boylan, Presidential Obama's controversial nominee to serve as the administrator of the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, has been withdrawn, according to the White House website. During her time in the New York Labor Department, Boylan ran an initiative, devised by Patricia Smith -- another Obama appointee -- which tasked union members with policing the behavior of businesses. (spectator.org)

SEIU hospital strikers disrupt oppressive healthcare ... Some workers are holding a one-day strike at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, carrying picket signs outside to make demands for a new contract. The strike involves about 500 licensed practical nurses, technical and service workers represented by the Service Employees International Union. (theolympian.com)

SEIU operatives smell defeat in Virginia ... Last year's Democratic victories marked a high in the political fortunes for unions. "Tonight does not simply turn a page but begins a new era for America," bragged SEIU President Andy Stern on election night. Heady on victory and political favors from a new administration, labor turned to replicating their Washington success across the country. Target No. 1: Virginia. The Old Dominion is the northernmost "right to work" state, and one of only two states that bar collective bargaining for state employees—issues that have long grated on organized labor. Mr. Obama's win here nonetheless gave unions reason to hope opinions had changed. This year's election meant a chance at another quick win. Better yet, the Democrat, Mr. Deeds, was a union man through and through. A Virginia victory would be a tactical and symbolic triumph, and pave the way into other union-skeptical states. It hasn't turned out that way. Virginia is instead offering evidence that the unions, in one short year, have overreached. Voters are growing uneasy, even angry, over the growing list of political favors showered on labor, and news of its unsavory connections with outfits like Acorn. Mr. Deeds's union ties are, if anything, proving a liability in his race against Republican Bob McDonnell. (online.wsj.com)

GOP disarmed by Bertha Lewis ... Here's the dirty little secret about political candidates and officeholders labeled by the mainstream media as "moderate Republicans": There's usually nothing moderate about them. Consider the case of "moderate Republican" Dede Scozzafava, the GOP nominee in the New York 23rd congressional district's special election. Scozzafava is an abortion rights advocate who favors gay marriage. It would be one thing if Scozzafava balanced that social liberalism with fiscal conservatism. But as a state assemblywoman, she voted for massive tax increases, Democratic budgets and a $180 million state bank bailout. She also supported the trillion-dollar federal stimulus package—which every House Republican voted against. More troubling, Scozzafava in past elections has embraced the ballot line of the Working Families Party—a socialist outfit whose political DNA is intertwined with scandal-ridden ACORN. ACORN and the WFP have shared office space in New York City, Arkansas and Illinois. ACORN head Bertha Lewis, a close Scozzafava friend and political supporter, wears a second hat as vice chairman of the WFP. The WFP has been listed in ACORN documents dating back to 2000 as an "affiliate." (vdare.com)

Union-backed election fraud group also does shakedowns ... The community activist group ACORN -- where President Barack Obama used to teach classes in street activism, and whose Chicago membership played an important early role in his political campaigns -- is now in trouble over a number of matters. And now Republican lawmakers contend that the way ACORN uses its ability to punish or reward banks by testifying that they either do or don't "do enough" under the Community Redevelopment Act amounts to a shakedown racket. (lvrj.com)

Dems crusade for union-backed social justice fraud group ... The Republican crusade against ACORN continues. Illinois Republican Rep. Judy Biggert introduced legislation Thursday to strip the community-organizing group of its certification to qualify for federal housing dollars. “It’s abundantly clear that ACORN and its affiliates cannot be trusted as a federally-certified entity,” Biggert said in a statement. “Given the group’s clear links to illegal and inappropriate activities, how can we knowingly give them federal certification to divert precious resources from legitimate housing counselors working overtime to help struggling homeowners?” (politico.com)

Obamalosi Dems suffer from union-backed fraud run amok ... Last December, in one of his last acts as New York City’s top urban development official — and just days before President Obama nominated him as the federal housing secretary — Shaun Donovan attended a groundbreaking ceremony in the South Bronx. A complex of 125 apartments had fallen into such disrepair that Bush administration housing officials had foreclosed on the building and transferred it to a group they and Mr. Donovan had come to trust: the New York Acorn Housing Company. Now in Mr. Obama’s cabinet, Mr. Donovan is unwilling to speak publicly about that project or any other work with Acorn, a group with which he at times worked particularly closely during his five years as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s housing development commissioner but whose missteps have allowed conservatives to cast it as a symbol of liberalism run amok. (blueridgenow.com)

Rathke's controversial TIDES blends charity, politics ... Gene Robinson was featured this year in the annual Tides Foundation Conference "Momentum" in San Francisco. The conference, started in 2005, brings together a group of 300 dynamic participants comprised of forward-thinking activists, philanthropists and social entrepreneurs. Robinson address was entitled "Finding the Power Within:On the roles of faith, hope, and love in social justice; and why loving our fellow human beings has nothing to do with liking them. (virtueonline.org)

Typical gov't-union big charged ... Edward W. Rodzwicz, national president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, faces a federal charge of bribery. The union chief was arrested at his home in Avon, Ohio, Oct. 13 on a complaint filed last week, said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Reap in the Justice Department’s St. Louis-based Eastern District of Missouri. He is accused of having accepted two cash payments of $10,000 each from a St. Louis attorney in return for allowing that lawyer to continue handling injury cases for union members under the Federal Employers Liability Act. (joc.com)

Newhouse leftwing glitz and glam empire bleeds red ink ... The carnage at Condé Nast continued as the company sent 19 members of David Carey's Golfing Group packing. The latest round of cuts brings to more than 200 the number of jobs eliminated since last week, when the company closed four magazines. For the year, Condé has eliminated more than 350 positions and shut down six titles. (nypost.com)

International Collectivism

Inconveniently for Chávez, Bolívar H8ted Marx ... The calendar for the new 2009-2010 school year in the states of Miranda and Tachira highlighted the anniversary of Argentine guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara’s death as a historical day and notes Karl Marx's work, according to daily newspaper El Nacional. Leonardo Carvajal, spokesman for the nation’s Civil Assembly Education Association, described such choices "as an aberration and against the interests of the Bolivarian ideals expressed in the Organic Law of Education" by overshadowing the works and actions of local heroes with two such remote figures in relation to Venezuela’s history. "Marx was Simón Bolívar’s most vilified figure, which he described as the most dastardly villain, brutal and miserable," said Carvajal in an interview with the newspaper. (poder360.com)

VeneProg seizes more private property ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said late Wednesday that he had ordered the state to take over a tourist resort on the Venezuelan Caribbean island of Margarita. He claimed the expropriation was necessary because the Margarita Hilton Suites had hindered the African-South American Summit held last month on the island. "When we wanted to hold the ASA Summit we had to request a whole load of permits for security and other things. They want to impose conditions on the revolutionary state, and we are not going to allow that," Chávez said. (earthtimes.org)
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