Andy Stern, Economic Saviour, yea right

Everything you need to know about President Obama’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and cost containment can be summed up in two words: Andy Stern. The profligate, corruption-coddling head of the powerful Service Employees International Union was named to the White House debt commission last week.

If Obama thinks Stern holds the cure for our government spending woes, you can be certain his latest health care prescription will be fiscal hemlock.

Obama extolled Stern and his other federal debt panel appointees as “distinguished individuals” who’ll bring a “sense of integrity” to the job. Tell that to rank-and-file SEIU members across the country who have watched their hard-earned dues go down the tubes under Stern’s thugocracy.

While fat-cat union bosses toss hundreds of millions of dues into Democratic coffers, low-wage SEIU members’ pension funds are eroding and the organization’s debt is piling up. And federal prosecutors are reviewing requests that the union be investigated for potential illegal lobbying activities at the White House.

More damning: As head of the 2.2 million-member labor union, Stern directly installed a cadre of labor management stooges embroiled in financial scandals across the country.

SEIU crony Tyrone Freeman, like Obama, began his career as an urban community organizer. In 1994, Stern plucked Freeman from Georgia and set his loyalist up as head of Local 6434, the sprawling home-care workers’ chapter in southern California that represents an estimated 160,000 workers who make about $9 an hour caring for the elderly and disabled. Stern then named him a national vice president. It was part of Stern’s grander plan to consolidate power by merging locals into statewide chapters.

An extensive investigation by the Los Angeles Times exposed how Stern’s protege siphoned off hundreds of thousands of dollars in dues money for his personal enrichment and pleasure. Moreover, the paper alleged, Stern helped cover up the scandal. Freeman lived large — piping $600,000 in union contracts to his wife’s video production and entertainment ventures. The local also paid his mother-in-law $8,000 a month to babysit his daughter and other union employees’ children; footed a $13,000 bill for membership at a Beverly Hills cigar club; and forked over $8,000 in union dues to cover expenses for Freeman’s Hawaiian wedding.

Stern’s handpicked flunky also created a nonprofit training shop called the “Homecare Workers Training Center” — ostensibly to provide educational opportunities for nurses. In practice, the nonprofit served as a conduit to subsidize a childcare business operated by Freeman’s mother-in-law. Freeman’s local also paid another $106,000 to Hollywood talent agency William Morris for “advice and counsel.”

SEIU’s top officials were warned of Freeman’s plundering six years before the paper blew the whistle. After dragging its feet and being forced to act to quell public embarrassment over the Times investigations, SEIU finally threw Freeman under the bus. He rebounded with a new career as a Los Angeles sports agent.

Rickman Jackson, another Stern administration protege and former chief of staff to Freeman, headed Michigan’s largest SEIU chapter before being “reassigned” for three years to a staff organizing job after the revelation of financial shenanigans tied back to Local 6434. While collecting a six-figure annual salary in Michigan, Jackson was drawing a second salary in California and accepted $33,500 in housing payments on a residence listed as the business address of Freeman’s bogus nonprofit housing corporation.

Another Stern administration protege, Annelle Grajeda, rose to power after Stern installed her as president of the 80,000-member Local 721 in Los Angeles. She ascended to positions on the union’s state council and international executive board. Like Freeman and Jackson, Grajeda had been voted onto Stern’s official administration at the SEIU convention in 2008.

Whistleblowers detailed how Grajeda’s ex-boyfriend, SEIU official Alejandro Stephens, collected multiple salaries and consultant fees from the union while also pocketing a salary as a Los Angeles County health services employee. Grajeda arranged for her ex-lover to get an eight-month leave of absence from the job. He was fired after he refused to return to work.

Grajeda quit her California posts after catching public flak and found a new job — as special assistant to SEIU secretary-treasurer (and Obama stimulus panel appointee) Anna Burger in Washington, D.C. Grajeda now oversees efforts to “partner with the Obama administration” to secure more public funds for SEIU projects involving infrastructure and core public services, including care for the elderly, health care, education and social services.

More recently, San Diego SEIU Local 221 came under fire last month for squandering dues on a cozy $107,000 severance package and consultancy deal for Stern’s former appointee Sharon Frances-Moore.

Freeman, Jackson, Grajeda and Moore were all groomed by Stern and personally appointed by him to the posts they exploited.

Like Obama, Stern has managed to pass the buck while pretending it stopped at his desk. These fiscal responsibility fraudsters now back a massive expansion of government’s role in health care that they promise will rein in costs and root out fraud. Insert laugh track here.

Article by Michele Malkin

Necessary or Intolerable

We Americans have forgotten founder Thomas Paine’s warning that “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
concludes Walter E. Williams. He goes on to say
Politicians love pitting us against the rich. All by themselves, the rich have absolutely no power over us. To rip us off, they need the might of Congress to rig the economic game. It’s a slick political sleight-of-hand where politicians and their allies amongst the intellectuals, talking heads and the news media get us caught up in the politics of envy as part of their agenda for greater control over our lives.

Who Poses the Greater Threat?

Health Care Summit, yea right

I am sure no one believed that anything would come from the great bipartisan health care summit.

Congressman Paul Ryan describes the Real Dollar Cost of the Democratic Health Care Bill

Vice President Joe Biden on what the American people think. Uh?
“I think it requires a little bit of humility to be able to know what the American people think, and I don’t. I can’t swear I do. I know what I think. I think I know what they think, but I’m not sure what they think,” said Biden.

The President closes with this statement.
“I’ve put on the table now some things that I didn’t come in here saying I supported,” Obama said. “I’d like the Republicans to do a little soul searching and find out, are there some things that you’d be willing to embrace that get to this core problem of 30 million people without health insurance.”

If they “can’t close that gap,” he said, there will be “a lot of arguments about procedures,” indicating that reconciliation would be used to ram his bill through.

The president asked Republicans to see if they could reach a compromise with Democrats ” in a month’s time or a few week’s time or six weeks time.”

“If we can’t then I think we’ve got to go ahead and make some decisions, and that’s what elections are for.”

Who is Rashad Hussain? w/ Video

Cal Thomas writes
President Obama’s appointment of Rashad Hussain, his deputy associate counsel, as special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations, charged with safeguarding and protecting “the interests of the Muslim world,” should be of serious concern to Congress and the American public. Especially since Hussain, a devout Muslim, has a history of participating in events connected with the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the Chicago Tribune, “the world’s most influential Islamic fundamentalist group” whose goal is to create Muslim states throughout the world.

In 1991, a memo written by Mohamed Akram for the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood spelled out the objective of the organization. Akram said the Muslim Brotherhood “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” I am unable to find any “revelation” that has repealed that objective. Quite the contrary. Terrorists seem on track for implementing it.
TownHall.com

The Washington Post reports
Obama made the announcement in a video conference to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar. In his message, Obama called Hussain “an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff,” who would strengthen his policy of outreach to the world’s Muslims.
——————–

Robert Spencer writes
Someone is covering up for Rashad Hussain. But who?
And what did Barack Obama know, and when did he know it?

Rashad Hussain is the Obama administration’s newly appointed special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the thuggish international organization that is engaged in a full-scale campaign to intimidate Western governments into adopting hate speech codes that will effectively quash criticism of Islam – including jihad violence perpetrated in its name. Rashad Hussain is an apposite choice for this position, since several years ago he defended a notorious U.S.-based leader of a jihad terrorist group.
————

J.C. Arenas writes
Questions are rightfully being raised as to how a terrorist sympathizer has risen to such a position within the president’s administration.

A quick look into Hussain reveals that he has the background of a typical Obama administration official: Ivy League education, career in public service, and an added bonus, a connection to the Soros family.

In 2003, Hussain was named a Fellow to the Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation. Paul Soros is the elder brother of George Soros, the anti-capitalist billionaire who drives the Democrat Party–and an early supporter of Barack Obama.

Surprised at this revelation? I’m not.

We must understand that the president and his radical minions didn’t randomly meet each other while using public transportation. They are all members of an increasing network of radical individuals whom share a common belief system and they’re working together for a common purpose; to fundamentally change America.

If you find one radical, you will find a connection to another.
——————–

Any review of the implementation of Sharia law anywhere in the world (or of Sharia itself) shows it to be brutal, cruel, misogynistic, anti-homosexual, anti-free speech, supremacist, anti-democratic, and anti-freedom of religion among its many unpleasant qualities. Even in Afghanistan as late as 2006, a Muslim Afghan convert to Christianity was sentenced to death for leaving Islam. Only American outrage prevented the implementation of the Sharia death penalty.

This on Sharia law
To conclude, it should be clear with but a cursory analysis, because Shariah calls for the destruction of our constitutional republic and for our conversion, subjugation, or murder it is criminal. There simply is no basis to suggest that either Judaism or Christianity, or in fact any other well-known religious dogma or doctrine, falls within the statutory coverage of our extant laws criminalizing sedition.

Should we Reduce Federal Holidays?

If one looks around on several federal holidays, it appears that the vast majority of Americans are at work while the Federal Government takes off, in particular on Washington’s Birthday and Columbus Day.

We see wages for federal employees climbing while most Americans are struggling to make ends meet, except for the 17% or so that would like to have a full time job and can not find one.

According to USA Today
The number of federal workers earning six-figure salaries has exploded during the recession.

Federal employees making salaries of $100,000 or more jumped from 14% to 19% of civil servants during the recession’s first 18 months — and that’s before overtime pay and bonuses are counted.

The growth in six-figure salaries has pushed the average federal worker’s pay to $71,206, compared with $40,331 in the private sector.

In addition, the number of federal government employees is climbing each month as the government continues to grow now approaching 3 million employees, whom we pay their salary.

In January, the federal government added 33,000 jobs, including 9,000 temporary positions for Census 2010. Because state and local government must be responsible and balance their budget, employment in state and local governments, excluding education, continue to trend down.

Number of Government Employees
January 2010 January 2009
Federal Govt 2,840,000 2,772,000
State Govt 5,064,000 5,116,000
Local Govt 14,438,000 14,583,000
Total for US 22,342,000 22,471,000

With the Federal deficit the highest it has ever been, and no hope in sight for reducing it, do you think the 10 federal holidays should be reduced to 8?

Take the Poll Here

Stossel on Crony Capitalism, video

Part 1 of 6, January 14, 2010
Many window-making companies struggle because of the recession’s effect on home building. But one little window company, Serious Materials, is “booming,” says Fortune. “On a roll,” according to Inc. magazine, which put Serious’ CEO on its cover, with a story titled: “How to Build a Great Company”.

The Minnesota Freedom Foundation tells me that this same little window company also gets serious attention from the most visible people in America.
More from Real Clear Politics

Harry Knox, Faith Based Advisory Council

This man should be fired from Obama’s Faith Based Advisory commission. Harry Knox expresses a open vocal opposition to Catholics, the Pope, Catholic organizations (including the Knights of Columbus), the Catholic faith and the faith of several other Christian groups. He is an open political bigot promoting an aggressive gay rights agenda attacking religious groups seeking a change in their faith to accept gays, transgendered and females as priests and religious leaders in-spite of their faith or moral judgements.

Chicago’s Real Crime Story

by Heather Mac Donald

Why decades of community organizing haven’t stemmed the city’s youth violence

Barack Obama has exploited his youthful stint as a Chicago community organizer at every stage of his political career. As someone who had worked for grassroots “change,” he said, he was a different kind of politician, one who could translate people’s hopes into reality. The media lapped up this conceit, presenting Obama’s organizing experience as a meaningful qualification for the Oval Office.

A detailed article on City-Journal.org