ACORN’s October Surprise
Like a zombie in a horror movie, ACORN is alive! Even worse, it’s still in the business of registering Mickey Mouse and dead people to vote—and the person running its get-out-the-vote operation is under indictment for felony voter registration fraud.
But first, some background. The radical group staged an elaborate prank on April Fool’s Day by pretending to die. That’s when chief organizer Bertha Lewis said ACORN would dissolve its national structure. But the group still exists and continues to send out direct mail solicitations for funds.
Disturbingly, Project Vote, ACORN’s scandal-plagued voter registration and mobilization division, remains open for business. Project Vote has been part of the ACORN family since at least 1992 when Barack Obama ran a successful voter drive in Illinois.
Although legally separate entities, in practice the two are the same, as the congressional testimony of former ACORN/Project Vote employee Anita MonCrief can attest. They share office space, employees, and budgets. Project Vote continues to operate out of ACORN’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Even worse, its voter drive is being run by Amy Busefink, an ACORN employee under indictment in Nevada for violating election laws. It might be understandable for an employer not to fire an employee until she is actually convicted of a crime, but this is ridiculous. Busefink should not be running a voter drive.
ACORN and Project Vote did collect more than one million voter registration applications in 2008, but 400,000 applications “were rejected by election officials for a variety of reasons, including duplicate registrations, incomplete forms and fraudulent submissions,” the New York Times reported.
In May 2009, Nevada Atty. Gen. Catherine Cortez Masto, and Secretary of State Ross Miller, both Democrats, made public charges against two senior ACORN employees—Busefink, ACORN’s deputy regional director at the time, and Christopher Edwards, then ACORN’s Las Vegas field director. Both were implicated in a conspiracy in which they and ACORN as a corporate entity were charged. Edwards pleaded guilty and has turned state’s evidence. The trial of ACORN and Busefink is scheduled to begin on November 26.
The state’s charges list 26 felony counts of voter fraud and 13 of providing unlawful extra compensation to those registering voters, a practice forbidden under Nevada law because it incentivizes fraud. Canvassers were allegedly paid between $8 and $9 an hour and based on a quota of 20 voters per shift.
Project Vote is working with eight groups on voter drives. One is Pennsylvania Neighborhoods for Social Justice (PNSJ), a “new” group operating out of ACORN’s offices in Philadelphia. Longtime ACORN national board member Carol Hemingway is on the board of PNSJ and its sister nonprofit, Pennsylvania Communities Organizing for Change (PCOC).
Although ACORN closed many of its offices, Lewis has been working with a skeleton staff. Congressional investigators say she is consolidating power and hoarding assets. They estimate ACORN has $20 million in cash and that its affiliates hold another $10 million.
ACORN plans to resurface under a new name soon, according to John Atlas, author of Seeds of Change, a book sympathetic to ACORN. ACORN chapters in at least 13 states and the District of Columbia changed their names and obtained separate nonprofit status.
How ACORN Survives -- and Thrives
The Obama administration is stonewalling efforts on two fronts to investigate the still-operating ACORN and uncover what aid administration officials offered the radical advocacy group infamous for its thug tactics and election fraud.
The Obama administration is sitting on Capital Research Center's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that seeks correspondence between Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and ACORN. HUD rules state that FOIA requests must be answered within 45 days, but at this writing our request has been pending for just over seven months.
The request was filed because Donovan is a longtime ACORN collaborator. He worked closely with ACORN for five years when he was New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's housing development commissioner.
"Perhaps no administration official has had more interaction with Acorn than" Donovan, the New York Times reported. ACORN chief organizer Bertha Lewis admitted as much. "We grew to respect him, and he grew to respect us."
Ever since hidden-camera videos surfaced last year showing ACORN employees helping undercover conservative activists with financial and tax planning for a brothel for pedophiles, Donovan has remained silent about his relationship with ACORN. It's unclear what Donovan is hiding.
And if you thought conservatives were the only ones urging the Obama administration to conduct a proper federal racketeering investigation of ACORN, you'd be wrong.
The whistleblowers of the left-leaning "ACORN 8" group are learning the hard way that the Obama Department of Justice is just as adept at stonewalling as Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). Longtime ACORN benefactor Nadler is the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, civil rights, and civil liberties who refused to initiate a probe even when confronted with powerful evidence of ACORN's wrongdoing. (To make matters worse, in a breathtaking conflict-of-interest Nadler devised a novel legal strategy ACORN used to defend itself.)
ACORN 8 is a group that broke away from ACORN in 2008. It is headed by Marcel Reid, a former member of ACORN's national board. She was expelled from ACORN after demanding to see financial documentation related to a million-dollar embezzlement perpetrated by the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke. The brother, Dale Rathke, blew his ill-gotten gains on spending sprees at Neiman Marcus, limousine rentals, and other accoutrements of the Mercedes Marxist set. Big brother Wade and other high-ranking ACORN officials covered up the theft for eight years until it was discovered two years ago.
"I was attracted to the mission of ACORN to help people, to alleviate poverty," Reid said previously. "We asked to see the books because the promissory note indicated a theft had occurred. They played games with us."
Leftist cartoonist can see no faults in Obama
"There are none so blind as those who will not see"
From an interview with Gary Trudeau in Slate:
Slate: Who's the hardest politician to satirize, and why?
Trudeau: Believe it or not, Obama's very tough for business. The contradictory characterizations of him as fascist or socialist only serve to confirm the truth—he's a raging moderate. And satirists don't do well with moderates, especially thoughtful ones. In addition, Obama rarely makes gaffes and has no salient physical or temperamental features. And sinking popularity isn't a critique.
Rats deserting the ship
"Nancy Pelosi said Monday that 'we haven't really gotten the credit for what we have done,' and the Speaker is right. However, it appears that her party will get that credit on November 2, which is why so many Democrats are now jumping the liberal ship, at least symbolically, to save their seats. ...
Mississippi Democrat Gene Taylor ... [said] that he won't support Mrs. Pelosi for Speaker, another revelation considering his vote for her in 2009. 'I'm very disappointed in how she's veered to the left,' Mr. Taylor said, as if Mrs. Pelosi's ideological predispositions were ever hidden.
Mr. Taylor joins a growing list of Democrats who voted for Mrs. Pelosi in 2009 but now profess to be shocked by her left turn. They include Idaho's Walt Minnick, Pennsylvania's Jason Altmire, Alabama's Bobby Bright and Texas's Chet Edwards, endangered incumbents all.
Brett Carter, who is hoping to replace Tennessee Democrat Barton Gordon, has gone even further and requested that Mrs. Pelosi not even run again for the Speakership. 'Voters in my district believe that you do not represent their values, and my opposition has little to offer apart from critiquing your leadership,' Mr. Carter wrote in a September letter. ...
Over in the Senate, the prize for distancing himself from his party goes to West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, who ran the famous TV ad featuring him literally putting a bullet through the 'cap and trade bill.' Apparently that wasn't politically far enough away from the Washington Democrats he hopes to join, so Mr. Manchin declared on Fox News Sunday that he would have voted against ObamaCare too. ...
Remind us again why these folks are running as Democrats?"
Voting fraud continues
Suspicious voting-machine malfunctions and cheating candidates are the stuff of banana republics, not America. With Democrats about to suffer historic losses, is our election's integrity in question?
'It can't happen here," most Americans would say about the chances of voting one way and seeing your votes recorded the opposite. But that's what happened in early voting in North Carolina's unfortunately named Craven County last week.
Voter Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern found that "an electronic voting machine completed his straight-party ticket for the opposite of what he intended," the New Bern Sun Journal reported.
Laughinghouse "pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked," the local paper reported. "He cleared the screen and tried again with the same result."
Election personnel eventually straightened it out, but clearly a less observant Republican voter would have inadvertently voted for every Democrat on his ballot. Chuck Tyson, chairman of the Craven County Republican Party, told the Sun Journal he "got two or three calls" from voters experiencing the same problem and is not satisfied with state election officials' efforts to fix it.
In Boulder City, Nev., meanwhile, where voters use computer screens, another disturbing episode was reported by Fox News. When voter Joyce Ferrara and her husband went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, they — and several others, according to Ferrara — found that Democratic incumbent Harry Reid's name was already checked. The county registrar's explanation: The high-tech voting screens are sensitive.
The Nevada case is especially disturbing because the seat of the most powerful Democrat in the Senate is at stake.
My Tea Party: "The Tea Parties are just one of a number of historically pivotal developments (including the Internet, conservative talk radio, and perhaps even on-demand publishing) that became necessary to get over, under, around, and through the Great Wall of the Northeastern Liberal Establishment and its numberless, faceless hordes of duly appointed gatekeepers. In that sense, the Tea Parties are exactly what the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left always aspired to be and never really were.”
Charity and generosity that aren’t: "In a recent stump speech urging people to keep Democrats in power, President Obama told his audience that America is a country based in large measure on the principle that ‘we are all our brothers’ keepers.’ This is not true, but even if it were and even if that idea were itself a good one, President Obama’s political philosophy has nothing to do with it. What the president and those who share his politics believe in is the coercive welfare state, not in charity or generosity.”
Obamacare feeds insurance oligarchs: "Like all regulations declaredly subduing Big Business predominance over consumer’s lives, the new laws synthesize ‘public’ and ‘private’ — both of which are ultimately meaningless in our system — boosting an already corporatist economy for health services. As we might have foreseen, the politicians’ solution nurtures a condition whereby smaller ‘carriers will collapse under the new mandates and higher overhead.’ So in the face of everything the President said about ‘not accept[ing] the status quo as a solution’ in health care, ‘Obamacare’ delivered for Big Insurance, a cartel that loathes competition and welcomes impenetrable regulation.”
The madness of King Jon: "The history of the present chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Jon Leibowitz, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of absolute tyranny over the people of the United States. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.”
Government kills businesses: "The Institute for Justice released a fun video today revealing the trevails of ‘Chuck’ — a poor sucker who wants to start a small business. The video makes a compelling case for how hard it is to start a business in America today. My favorite part is when ‘Chuck’ goes thru the maze of trying to get a street vendor’s permit in the city of Miami. … This video should be required watching for every government official who is getting ready to pass more regulations. ESPECIALLY those who are getting ready to pass more regulations and say that they also want to ‘create jobs.’ When will they learn that the best way to ‘create jobs’ is to LEAVE US ALONE?”
A revolution in sovereignty: "At the end of the 19th century, Nietzsche famously announced that God is dead, which was never a pronouncement of his atheism (though he was one), but more of a statement about the dissapearing authority of the ’spiritual.’ Because of a moral vacuum left by this waning authority, he prophesized that in the next century men would project onto the state a spiritual life they fooled themselves into thinking science had explained away. The terms would be different, but the emotional resonators would remain the same, only at terrifying scale. And that disgruntled German was right. All too right. Nowadays it is by no means an exaggeration to say we live under the Church of Unlimited Government.”
France Returns to Normal after Senate Pension Change: "Strike season in France appears to have ended with a whimper. The French Senate today finalized a vote on pension reform, a college students’ strike barely materialized, and workers at five of France’s 12 oil refineries voted to start work again. After a month of protests, which created excitement and temporarily immobilized parts of the country, union leaders appeared largely unified on a deal to call off the walkouts in exchange for further debate on unemployment aspects of pension reform.”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)