Bertha Lewis, ACORN's chief organizer, appeared on Fox News Sunday yesterday, and even though Joe Wilson was nowhere to be found in the studio, you could hear his unspoken words as she misrepresented the fates of several of her employees.
Lewis's performance during the interview with U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and host Chris Wallace was the finest in liberal arrogance and dishonesty. Throughout, she didn't bother to acknowledge Issa with eye contact and she often evaded their questions so she could continue to assert ACORN does so much good for poor, working class minorities.
Following two clips Wallace showed of the undercover videos filmed by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles at ACORN offices in Baltimore and Brooklyn, this exchange between Wallace and Lewis took place:
WALLACE: I want to point out, because you've also attacked FOX, FOX did not produce, did not make, did not buy those videos. We've just put them on the air like everybody else now has. You were brought in a year ago to clean up ACORN. Is this the new and improved ACORN?
LEWIS: Well, what did I do? Immediately these folks were terminated. Immediately...
The word terminated was used by Lewis four times in the interview to describe the status of employees that have been caught on these undercover videos. But, in Bertha's world, terminated, sometimes means suspended without pay. New York Post reported 2 days ago:
Unlike other ACORN workers nabbed on undercover video, two Brooklyn ACORN employees have not been fired -- nearly a week after they were exposed in their office giving helpful advice to a fake pimp and prostitute on how to launder money. A spokesman for New York ACORN Housing Corp. told The Post that the employees, Volda Albert and Milagros Rivera, have been suspended without pay.
Thus far we've heard various stories about the status of employees that have engaged in unethical behavior to advise the conservative couple posing as a pimp and prostitute with a plot to begin a child prostitution ring and evade paying taxes on their earnings. From what we can tell, employees from offices in Baltimore, D.C., and San Diego have been fired, but the organization has defended Tresa Kaelke of San Bernadino and only suspended without pay Volda Albert and Milagros Rivera.
The question that has to be raised is why have these two only been suspended without pay when they clearly committed offenses that warranted immediate termination?
A further look into the backgrounds of these two individuals may explain why.
Volda Albert has been with ACORN's NY office, where Bertha Lewis was the Executive Director before her promotion last May, since at least 2002. In 2006, she was highlighted for her work counseling members of the United Federation of Teachers.
Milagros Rivera has been the Office Administrator since at least 2007, when ACORN used her to testify before the New York City Council's General Welfare Committee in order to get a homelessness prevention measure passed.
Milagros Rivera lives at 1889 Sedgwick Avenue, #6H, Bronx, NY, 10453. It is a former Mitchell Lama building owned by landlord Larry Gluck. Her landlord refused to accept her Section 8 voucher. Her rent is over 90% of her income. She can only pay it by borrowing money from friends and family. If this bill passes, her landlord will have to accept her Section 8 voucher and her rent will be approximately $200 a month.
Perhaps Lewis is just looking out for a couple of her own, but in the case of Albert, she's been with the organization for at least 7 years. Given her depth of experience, is she someone they want to turn into a disgruntled former employee with intimate knowledge of the organization's operations?
Tara Benigno was the third employee in the Brooklyn video and somehow went unmentioned in the Post's article. She perhaps is the most important employee of them all. Benigno has been a housing developer with ACORN since 1999 and was named the 2004 Housing Developer of the Year. She also works with the Mutual Housing Association of New York which serves as one of ACORN's many fronts and operates out of the same office at 2-4 Nevins Street.
In the case of these three employees, in terms of titles and experience, we can no longer believe the original myth perpetrated by ACORN that all of these individuals were just junior level type employees who out of nowhere decided to go rogue. If anything, these three women understand the inner workings of the liberal criminal enterprise they work for and the behavior we saw on the videos was just business as usual.
Big Business and the Democratic Party
Ever since FDR was elected president in 1932, the Republican Party had been vilified by liberals and the news media as the party of large corporations and the defender of greedy capitalists. That claim is not supported by the facts. In the last decade, large corporations in many industries have contributed far more money to the Democratic Party and democratic candidates than to Republicans.
As the housing finance crisis illustrates, Wall Street investment firms, large banks and even government sponsored agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac made large contributions to the Democratic Party and democratic candidates especially Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and Barrack Obama to prevent tightening of borrower credit standards and the regulation of new financial instruments like derivatives. The Federal government’s promotion of home ownership without regard to credit worthiness drove up house prices and ultimately cost small investors one third of their personal savings, including 401k retirement accounts.
In the health care debate, large insurers and hospital groups have spent millions of dollars on Democratic supporters and spent additional millions running radio and TV ads to promote government healthcare. Clearly these firms believe that Nationalized Health Care will help their bottom line instead of resulting in savings for the taxpayer.
In the energy policy debate, large utilities and other industries have already reserved a large portion of the carbon credits without cost. These same industries provided significant campaign contributions to the Democratic legislators writing the bill.
One of the few benefactors of Cap and Trade legislation will be the Wall Street firms that will trade the carbon credits that are not already reserved. These firms have made significant contributions to Democratic candidates or are actually managed by politically influential Democrats such as Al Gore. Cap and Trade legislation will drastically increase the energy costs for the average American, however it will drastically increase the profitability of certain large firms that are politically well connected. By promoting government intervention into the natural supply and demand for energy, Wall Street firms will be able to achieve excessive profits at the expense of average taxpayers just as they did in the housing finance industry.
Large corporations have found that the party of free enterprise and limited government no longer serves their interests. They have found that the policies of the Democratic Party which allow government, not the marketplace, to determine the economic success of a firm are much more profitable. However, that may explain why millions of jobs have left this country for China and India and 70% of all jobs created in the last 10 years have been created in small businesses.
Small businesses still believe in self reliance, free enterprise and limited government. Perversely, it is the owners and employees of small businesses that pay the vast majority of the taxes collected in this country, and then those taxes are used to fund programs that thwart self reliance and free enterprise.
The antidemocratic Left
Voting is undemocratic, apparently. Sort that one out! Leftist Doublespeak again
Smart people should rule the world. That, anyway, is what certain folks who consider themselves far smarter than you or me tend to think. These clever souls hang out with other brainy people, all of whom are very impressed with the intelligence they find around themselves — at places, say, like the Northwest Progressive Institute.
Yes, for the good of everyone, they must rule. Without such leadership, after all, how would the little people — those of us less brilliant, less progressive — know precisely how much revenue, how much of “our common wealth,” should be obtained by state government through taxes and then spent on various programs?
You ask: What programs? Programs these really smart people think up, of course. But, if you live in Washington state and favor the work of the “strategy center,” The Northwest Progressive Institute, you have a problem. A roadblock. A hurdle. A very large brick wall. His name is Tim Eyman.
Mr. Eyman is the state’s “initiative king,” meaning there are necessarily millions of accessories to his evil plots: Washington voters. Eyman, along with several hundred thousand of these voters signing petitions, placed Initiative 1033 on the ballot . . . to be decided, in roughly six weeks, by the state’s unwashed masses. The measure, if passed, would cap the year-to-year growth of state spending to the growth of population and inflation, allowing the caps to be overridden only with express approval from these same plebes.
But this democracy idea doesn’t sit so well with Andrew Villeneuve, who tells us on the Northwest Progressive Institute’s blog that “I-1033 is the boldest assault yet in Tim Eyman’s war on representative democracy.” Villeneuve believes permitting mere citizens to occasionally vote directly on taxes and spending, on economic policies, is somehow illegitimate — and destructive of the delicate brain surgery done by legislatures.
Oh, he freely admits that the first Americans to raise the banner of Progressivism brought us initiative, referendum and recall. But many of today’s self-described progressives now say “thanks, but no thanks” to the idea of empowering the actual people on the receiving and funding ends of government. The little guy has apparently outworn his welcome.
Everyman (or -woman) might not vote the right way — that is, the “left” way. Thus, all decisions must be made by special-interest barnacled politicians. Otherwise, disaster lurks. “If all public services were dependent on voter approval to exist year to year, Washington would not even be a State,” claims the hyperbolic Villeneuve. “Our beautiful corner of America would be known as The Evergreen Chaos.” Such Chicken Little statements have little to do with the reality of Eyman’s proposal. I-1033 will not require any program to be re-upped by voters yearly.
More troubling, though, is Mr. Villeneuve complete lack of faith in the voters. Villeneuve is mistaken on the merits of I-1033, but he is dangerously unbalanced in arguing against the right of the people to check the actions of their government through initiative and referendum. “The initiative and referendum were not intended to replace the Legislature,” he says. But of course, legislators aren’t being replaced, merely overruled. By their bosses.
James Madison, an authority on republican values at least on par with Mr. Villeneuve, wrote in Federalist 49: "As the people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived, it seems strictly consonant to the republican theory to recur to the same original authority . . ."
In his online rant, Villeneuve turns to a different source: “Even those who argue that representative democracy is flawed cannot disagree with Winston Churchill’s famous conclusion that it ’is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.’” Funny how Villeneuve edited Churchill. Britain’s prime minister did not use the term “representative democracy” at all. He actually said, “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
In 1944, Churchill also said this about the lowly voter: “At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper — no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point.”
Villeneuve’s last refuge is to denounce the entire concept of voter initiatives for one additional reason. “Every time we the people of Washington State are forced to vote on Tim Eyman’s measures, it costs each of us a pretty penny,” he writes. “Eyman seems to have forgotten that holding elections — like every other public service the government provides — carry a price tag.” Oh, sure, democracy is nice and all, but it costs too much. Perhaps a king would be cheaper?
Dangerus has got some good graphics and captions up at the moment.
Muslim fund-raiser for Obama 'in $335 million fraud': "Hassan Nemazee, a fund-raiser for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats, has been indicted for defrauding Bank of America, HSBC and Citigroup out of more than $US290 million ($335 million) in loan proceeds, US prosecutors said overnight. The announcement follows last month's indictment of Mr Nemazee, head of a private equity firm and an Iranian American Political Action Committee board member, on one count of defrauding Citigroup's Citibank. The new indictment adds allegations that he defrauded two other banks, Bank of America and HSBC Bank USA, in a similar fashion by falsifying documents and signatures to purportedly show he had hundreds of millions worth of collateral. The office of the US Attorney in Manhattan and the FBI said he used the proceeds of his scheme to make donations to election campaigns of federal, state and local candidates, donations to political action committees and charities. He bought property in Italy and paid for maintenance on two properties in New York."
Obama turns parrot when breaking talk show record: "President Obama proved he was a man who could stay on message yesterday when he became the first US President to appear on five talk shows in one day. As anchors from CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC and Univision took turns in the hot-seat opposite the President in the West Wing, Mr Obama didn't bother to vary his statistics, turns of phrase, seating position or even jokes. Talking to ABC's George Stephanopoulos and then CNN's John King, the President even repeated the same hand movement while saying the same sentence about al-Qaeda. The interviews were given to the five major networks to try to gain ground in the nationwide debate over healthcare reform. Each network sent a full crew over to the White House for 15 minutes of the President's time. While some have praised the strong "media management" of the White House in ensuring the President dominated the networks on Sunday morning, others found the practised, parrot-like turns-of-phrase a step too far."
FDIC nearly broke: "Tired of the government bailing out banks? Get ready for this: officials may soon ask banks to bail out the government. Senior regulators say they are seriously considering a plan to have the nation’s healthy banks lend billions of dollars to rescue the insurance fund that protects bank depositors. That would enable the fund, which is rapidly running out of money because of a wave of bank failures, to continue to rescue the sickest banks.”
Groups spar over US offshore drilling plans: "Environmental and pro-drilling advocates pitched dueling messages about expanded offshore oil and natural gas production to the U.S. Interior Department on Monday, as the comment period on a Bush-era energy plan came to a close. The draft five-year offshore drilling proposal offered in the last days of the Bush administration would allow drilling along the East Coast and off the coast of California. Drilling was banned in most of the offshore areas of the United States outside the Gulf of Mexico for more than 20 years until Congress allowed the prohibition to expire last year.”
China says military arsenal comparable with West: "China’s military now possesses most of the sophisticated weapon systems found in the arsenals of developed Western nations, the country’s defense minister said in comments published Monday. Many of China’s systems, including the J-10 fighter jet, latest-generation tanks, navy destroyers, and cruise and intercontinental ballistic missiles, match or are close to matching the capabilities of those in the West, Liang Guanglie said in a rare interview posted on the ministry’s website.”
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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)