Obama/Berlin redux

I thought President Obama’s “too busy to attend” stance on the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall had quite plumbed his ahistorical depths and fully explored the psyches of his advisers. I considered it the final word, the last polished insult. I thought his refusal to grace the proceedings, contrasted with his daytrip to Denmark to lobby for the Chicago Olympics and combined with his upcoming journey to arrogate a Nobel Peace Prize, had settled the matter of “what is important.” I was wrong.

The President did not think the message had been made quite clear enough. He appeared at the Berlin ceremony, larger than life, via a video. In the accompanying sound track he failed to mention Khrushchev, Gorbachev, Stalin, the Soviet Union or even East Germany. He made no mention of Presidents Truman or Reagan. He similarly neglected British Prime Minister Thatcher, Polish President Walesa and Pope John Paul.

In a speech on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of a signature moment in the history of free men, the din of those omissions is hard to top; but he did manage it. Reflecting on world changing historical events, he said,

Few would have foreseen on that day that a united Germany would be led by a woman from Brandenburg or that their American ally would be led by a man of African descent. But human destiny is what human beings make of it.

Few could have envisaged an American President so self-regarding as to bring himself up in the same context as the fall of the Berlin Wall after 10 months in office on the basis of his melanin content. Besides which, the assumption of such general ignorance and prejudice in those “long ago” days is not credible. I’m quite certain that if you had asked 1000 random Americans and Germans whether a woman from Brandenburg might ever lead Germany or whether a man of African descent would ever lead the United States, more than half of them would have been able to see both. Almost every one of them would have predicted a united Germany. Hell, the WALL JUST CAME DOWN.

A more pertinent question would have been how many people could have imagined the fall of the Berlin Wall from the perspective of 1969. There you have a hook from which to mention the leaders who most contributed to that fall; should you want to acknowledge this achievement.

Or how about this question? If you had asked 1000 Americans on the day after the Berlin Wall fell whether an American President would refuse to show up in person at the 20th Anniversary, how many would have said “yes”?

P. S. “Human destiny is what human beings make of it.”

I like it. So did Obama. In a 3 minute speech he used the line twice. It’s nearly soaring, but its biggest advantage is that it’s clearly contentless. One could use it as an argument against Pelosicare and stimulus packages – or in favor of them.

The President neglects to specify which human beings are empowered to choose human destiny. On the evidence, he is not thinking of you or me. It’s Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

The Wall

TOC has mentioned Professor Paul Rahe before. Here is a must read analysis of President Obama’s gestures.

Yesterday, I mentioned the President’s midnight call to the Poles announcing his unilateral abandonment of the missile defense shield they, and the Czechs, had risked much to achieve. I forgot that insult was trebled because it came on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland. This could not have been accidental. It was certainly petty.

Poland has 2,000 troops on the ground with us in Afghanistan. Unlike France and Germany, their mission is to fight. Poland has seen 15 of its soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Professor Rahe’s point today is that President Obama’s refusal to go to Berlin on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is a rejection of an achievement unequaled in the history of free men. Rahe’s list of American leaders who fought to bring down that Wall constitutes a lesson in bi-partisanship, and is a catalog of mistakes from which the West learned hard lessons. The Wall was a powerful symbol of totalitarian thuggery. Fallen, it is an even more powerful symbol of freedom.

In 1963, President John Kennedy speaking in Berlin at the Rathaus Schönebergand said, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

In 1987, President Ronald Reagan, at the Brandenburg Gate, demanded of Mikhail Gorbachev, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

In 2008, then Presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke at the Tiergarten, a few kilometers from his preferred location (the Brandenburg Gate, but his presumption was blocked by German Chancellor Angela Merkel). As a mere candidate, the plan to speak at the Brandenburg Gate was widely regarded as unseemly overreach.

During that Tiergarten speech Presidential candidate Obama said this, “I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.” An uttering so bland and general that it need not have been said of any democracy, much less of one’s own on foreign soil.

Today is the 20th anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, and President Barack Obama, who wanted to speak at the Brandenburg Gate in 2008 as a candidate, will not attend the ceremony.

This is the same President Barack Obama who found time late last month to take a day trip to Copenhagen to lobby for the 2016 Olympic games in Chicago. He had sent his close adviser, Valerie Jarrett, to lobby for a Chicago Olympics as early as June.

The contrast seems to say something about his priorities.

The fall of the Berlin Wall was the culmination of a decades long defense of liberty against tyranny. The fall of the Berlin Wall represented American leadership and determination in support of free nations’ insistence on the dignity of man in the face of totalitarian butchers. The anniversary is no small thing to us and it is no small thing to our allies in Germany or Europe. Especially Eastern Europe. It’s only a small thing to a small President.

All I can say is, “We’re sorry.”

Berna Lewis is Shocked…

Shocked!

Outraged” by the behavior of her employees, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis said, “all of our employees, if they’re too stupid to understand that they’re not reaching professional standards, we terminate them.”

One might wonder, given ACORN’s history of trying to avoid paying even the minimum wage to its employees, whether inadequate training expenditures combined with exemplary executive thievery were more to blame than staff stupidity. One should wonder how management could hire so many stupid employees, from New York City to San Diego, and then blame the employees for stupidity. One is compelled to wonder what Ms Lewis means by “professional standards.” Does that simply mean “the ability to get away with it?”

The question arises because this “fired if they’re too stupid to reach professional standards” criterion was not applied to Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder Wayne Rathke. Dale embezzled a million dollars from ACORN, and Wayne covered it up for 8 years. When the board was informed, some directors demanded a comprehensive investigation. They were fired. They have their own website, ACORN 8, founded to help bring some accountability to ACORN.

Ms Lewis promised that ACORN would announce the identity of a “independent investigator” today. This has not worked well in the past, so perhaps she can tell him or her to start here (RTWT):

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has repeatedly and deliberately engaged in systemic fraud. Both structurally and operationally, ACORN hides behind a paper wall of nonprofit corporate protections to conceal a criminal conspiracy on the part of its directors, to launder federal money in order to pursue a partisan political agenda and to manipulate the American electorate.

Emerging accounts of widespread deceit and corruption raise the need for a criminal investigation of ACORN. By intentionally blurring the legal distinctions between 361 tax-exempt and non-exempt entities, ACORN diverts taxpayer and tax-exempt monies into partisan political activities. Since 1994, more than $53 million in federal funds have been pumped into ACORN, and under the Obama administration, ACORN stands to receive a whopping $8.5 billion in available stimulus funds.

Operationally, ACORN is a shell game played in 120 cities, 43 states and the District of Columbia through a complex structure designed to conceal illegal activities, to use taxpayer and tax-exempt dollars for partisan political purposes, and to distract investigators. Structurally, ACORN is a chess game in which senior management is shielded from accountability by multiple layers of volunteers and compensated employees who serve as pawns to take the fall for every bad act.

The report that follows presents evidence obtained from former ACORN insiders that completes the picture of a criminal enterprise.

…First, ACORN has evaded taxes, obstructed justice, engaged in self dealing, and aided and abetted a cover-up of embezzlement by Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke.

…Second, ACORN has committed investment fraud, deprived the public of its right to honest services, and engaged in a racketeering enterprise affecting interstate commerce.

…Third, ACORN has committed a conspiracy to defraud the United States by using taxpayer funds for partisan political activities.

…Fourth, ACORN has submitted false filings to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor, in addition to violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

…Fifth, ACORN falsified and concealed facts concerning an illegal transaction between related parties in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

Reading that paper would give an independent investigator a leg up in figuring out why 5 ACORN offices felt that they were not only qualified, but that it was their duty, to give advice on the specific lies necessary to get Federal funds for the purchase of a house where 13 year old illegal aliens would be used as sex slaves – and to avoid taxes on the proceeds.

The leadership is outraged at the staffers? Why aren’t they handing out bonuses?

Insufficently COI

COI is another acronym for ACORN.

The fact that ACORN employees in Baltimore MD, Washington DC, Brooklyn NY and San Bernardino, CA all gave the same advice to a couple looking for a housing loan is not surprising and is certainly evidence of organizational practice and preference.

If the New York Times is your news source, or if you watch any of the TV networks for news, you would not know the couple were openly posing as pimp and madam looking for a loan to open a brothel, using underage illegal immigrants and to avoid taxes on the proceeds. In all 4 cities ACORN reps gave essentially the same advice: Lie on the loan application, lie about the nature of your business, lie to the IRS, and avoid certain behaviors likely to attract the attention of immigration authorities or vice squads looking for sex slave operations. Not one ACORN rep questioned the morality of the business plan, or even demurred on the concept.

In light of these revelations ACORN has taken several actions. First, they fired the employees who were exposed. This is consistent with the “ACORN defense,” established in the dozen or so cases where they are charged with voter registration fraud: “It was individual employees, not the organization.” This is SOP.

Second, they accused the people who did the filming and anyone who reported it of “smearing” ACORN. The “vast right-wing conspiracy,” don’t you know, tends to be racist. This is a standard ACORN response.

Third, ACORN says workers conduct ‘indefensible’
Suspends, plans audit, in wake of videos

ACORN, calling the actions of some of its employees “indefensible,” has suspended advising new clients as part of its service programs and is setting up an independent review to see what happened.

ACORN chief executive Bertha Lewis said in a written statement that she was “ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN’s service programs until completion of an independent review.”

The actions were taken, she said, “as a result of indefensible action of a handful of our employees.”

Videos of ACORN workers giving tax advice to people posing as prostitutes and other revelations have led to growing criticism of the organization in recent days.

Now, I think I’d suspend operations, too. But it would not be because I thought any reasonable observer (even the Senate has voted 83-7 to withhold funding from ACORN) would think an “independent investigation” would change organizational practices extending from New York to California, or even identify organizational practices as a problem. If that were the result of such an investigation, the “ACORN defense” disappears.

No, I would do it because I wouldn’t want any more of my employees caught on tape telling people how to obtain funding for a prostitution ring using underage illegal immigrants, avoid the law and cheat on taxes – or dispensing extra-credit advice about how to murder a husband and get away with it.

Let us forget

Obama’s Plan to Desecrate 9/11

Sadly, that headline is neither fanatic nor fanciful. RTWT

9/11 is to become the “National Day of Service,” so we will no longer focus on external danger or the 3,000 who died. 9-11 is a past crisis which must be wasted away by Presidential edict.

Despite this attempted revisionism, 9-11 will remain a day of somber reflection, attenuated mourning and thoughts of “never again.” Americans aren’t the dupes Barack Obama and his fringe-left friends imagine them to be. 9-11 is sacred. Attempting to make it a day of celebration of the advent of carbon taxes and ACORN/SEIU/AFL-CIO/FoE/Color of Change organizing is reprehensible.

What’s next, designating December 7th as the “Day of Pan-Oceanic Multiculturalism?”

ACORN gets COI

ACORN is changing their name to Community Organizations International.

ACORN drops tarnished name and moves to silence critics

Sort of like changing “Global Warming” to “Climate Change.” Or “Liberal” to “Progressive.” Or “Terrorism” to “Man Caused Disaster.” Or “Extraordinary Rendition” to “Friends Helping Friends Executive Order.”

New brand. Get rid of the baggage.

I think they missed a bet with BHOGUS, myself. The GUS could be Gutting the United States, for example. A little work might improve that.

If they had to have COI, though, they could have picked from several better expansions –

  • Conflict Of Interest
  • Confluence Of Idiotarians
  • Congress Of Indigents
  • Chicago Oligarchy Imperative

or my personal favorite:

  • Comrade Obama Internationale

And if they’d asked me I could have saved them some money on redoing the signs. Community Organizations Respecting Nothing only requires selling a vowel. It stays in the vegetable kingdom too, instead of rhyming with pampered fish.

Well, here’s to publicizing the fact that ACORN is becoming COI. A nut by any other name…

Update 24-Jun, 7:54PM
Nice related graphic here.

Signs of the long, slow apocalypse

1- Why is the DOJ changing the rules for Federal Firearm Licenses?

…The Department of Justice is amending the regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) to delegate to the Director of ATF the authority to serve as the deciding official regarding the denial, suspension, or revocation of federal firearms licenses, or the imposition of a civil fine. The Director will have the flexibility to delegate to another ATF official the authority to decide a revocation or denial matter, or may exercise that authority himself. Such flexibility will allow ATF to more efficiently decide denial, suspension, and revocation hearings and also whether to impose a civil fine, because the Director can redelegate to Headquarters officials, field officials, or some combination thereof, authority to take action as the final agency decision maker. This will give the agency the ability to ensure consistency in decision making and to address any case backlogs that may occur.

Emphasis mine. The answer is it will make it easier to handle a flood of FFL revocations: ATF shutting down FFL on increase

2- Why is the White House taking direct control of the census? To make it easier to gerrymander Democrat districts as it’s done in Chicago.

3- Why is Fannie Mae to Loosen Rules for Home-Loan Refinancing? Because it worked so well the last time.

4- Why is such a big deal being made over stopping “torture” and “rendition?” Because it was a campaign promise. How is it being done? By redefining words in the style of Bill Clinton. It depends what the meaning of “rendition” is.

5- Why is 84% of the work force being excluded from stimulus spending? Because they don’t belong to a union.

6- How much of the “stimulus” bill is merely spending lacking any special urgency? 78% and rising.

7- Why are we doing this when we know FDR’s stimulus policies prolonged the Great Depression and that when Japan tried it over and over for 20 years, accumulating debt equal to 180% of their GDP, it FAILED? Because it gets the Democrat social policy enacted without debate.

8- Why are all charges against the guy responsible for bombing a US warshiop being dropped? Because that’s the way Obama wants it.

9- Why is Iran demanding an apology for US “crimes” against Iran? Because Obama already apologized twice for US actions. Once, in his inaugural address and again in his first TV interview on Al-Arabiya.

Update: 3:45PM

10- Obama’s NSC Will Get New Power. Maybe this is even a good idea, but the howls from the left if the WaPo had written; “increasing its authority to set strategy across a wide spectrum of international and domestic issues” about the Bush administration’s NSC, would have been deafening.

11- Why is Obama [putting] brake[s] on Afghan surge? Because it’s a campaign promise that had no plan, but unlike “rendition,” it’s hard to redefine “boots on the ground.”

And another possible answer for 2. So he can let ACORN conduct the census.

Update: 4:20PM

I have said I want Obama to fail on the rejection of his statist ideas. Instead, in a fortnight, he may be failing of his own hubris as reinforced by partisan fools like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Victor Davis Hanson points out grave danger, RTWT

…Again, anyone who cares about the U.S., at home and overseas, must be worried, very worried, about the disastrous last two weeks. Even the fawning media — that is responsible in some way for the crisis, given that they chose to be Pravda-like in encouraging the messianic style that got a haughty Obama in his present mess — will soon start bailing in efforts to restore their last fides. If a Dick Morris figure does not come to the rescue soon, Obama’s soaring rhetoric of hope and change will become the stuff of Leno/Letterman and general laughter. Bush was unfairly demonized, but no one abroad thought he was predictably soft and would be so-so about protecting U.S. interests, or that his words and his deeds would be so often in direct antithesis.

And no one thought, even after the Bush Medicaid entitlement, that Bush would bankrupt our great-grandchildren in order to fund, as one example, ACORN.

Update: 7:45 PM

#11 *Now* He’s Asking Questions???

Back in the spring and summer of 2007. Barack Obama was all for charging into Afghanistan on a white horse because Iraq was NOT (we repeat, NOT) the central front in the war on terror.

Contrary to the divisive and mean-spirited rhetoric of his know-nothing opponent, Democrats like Mr. Obama were not soft on national security. Au contraire, mes cheres! “They couldn’t wait to take the fight to al Qaeda! It was just a question of choosing their battles – fighting smarter, not harder:

“We cannot win a war against the terrorists if we’re on the wrong battlefield.” Pointing to al Qaeda’s resurgence along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan, Obama called for troops to be redeployed from Iraq. He promised that when he becomes president, “Nobody will work harder to go after those terrorists who will do the American people harm. But that requires a commander in chief who understands our troops need to be on the right battlefield, not the wrong battlefield.”

During the campaign, Obama was full of contradictory rhetoric. The troop Surge, he opined in an entry later purged from his website, was a failed strategy:

Of course if you think more troops didn’t do a thing to improve the situation in Iraq, what could make more sense than to suggest the same failed strategy in Afghanistan? This is called “thinking outside of the box”.

After months of refusing to admit the Surge did make Iraq more secure, what better way to get badly needed troops for your newest “failed strategy” than to do an about face and claim the Surge (which you just spent months claiming had nothing to do with improved security) has paved the way for accelerated troop withdrawals?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly stimulated

I’m so stimulated I’ve doubled my blood pressure medication and scotch intake. I’m considering hoarding gold and getting more ammunition while the transport systems still work.

I would say it’s unbelievable, but the sad part is that it is not. Morally and methodologically it’s business as usual. The only difference in this case is that there’s a messiah positioned to take advantage of a major crisis. We might expect extraordinary things in these times, and, as in the Chinese curse, we’re getting them.

This is taxation without representation: If, for no other reason (and there are many) than making our distant progeny into wage slaves of the Federal government. And for what? Hoover Dam? The interstate highway system? The TVA? Whatever valid criticism may be leveled against these things, they are still standing. Most of the bill Nancy Pelosi says the Democrats wrote has nothing similar to offer.

Let’s lead off with a headline from the Wall Street Journal and follow with some specifics about what Democrats consider stimulative, “shovel-ready,” infrastructure projects:

A 40-Year Wish List
Subtitled, You won’t believe what’s in that stimulus bill.
Wanna bet?

Republicans Object to Stimulus Dollars for ACORN
As well they might, why not just give the billions directly to the people they’re “organizing” into socialist voting blocs?

Stimulus Plan: Non-Existent Unemployed Climate Modelers Get $140 Million
Maybe it’s not because they’re unemployed, but because their product is similar to sub-prime mortgage bundles?

Pelosi: Contraception is Good Stimulus for the Economy
I’m not sure from this if Nancy Pelosi thinks “stimulus” is battery powered, but don’t you think this provision was deleted because she sounded so stupid when she defended it?

$850 Billion, 1588 pages, and counting… somebody needs to read it!
It could be you. Click the link. There’s even a spreadsheet you can download.

Stimulus Package Includes Millions For The Arts
$50 million, to be exact. Art can certainly be stimulating, but in a economic sense I think this falls into the category of Piss Christ, a previous artistic effort partially funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

And, while contraceptive services may have been eliminated, there’s still, on p 147 of the bill:

(4) not less than $335,000,000 shall be used as

2 an additional amount to carry out domestic HIV/

3 AIDS, viral hepatitis, sexually-transmitted diseases,

4 and tuberculosis prevention programs, as jointly de-

5 termined by the Secretary and the Director;

We don’t need to argue the merits here. Simply, none of this is anything Keynes remotely imagined as stimulative. It’s the Democrat Favorite Causes Special Funding Bill of 2009. The less statist ones even say so:

Conservative Democrats have said the bill is simply a laundry list of longstanding Democratic spending wishes that will not stimulate the economy.

And, let’s not forget education unions as a major “stimulus” area. According to the Wall Street Journal (first link in this post) the Democrats didn’t:

Oh, and don’t forget education, which would get $66 billion more. That’s more than the entire Education Department spent a mere 10 years ago and is on top of the doubling under President Bush. Some $6 billion of this will subsidize university building projects. If you think the intention here is to help kids learn, the House declares on page 257 that “No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools.” Horrors: Some money might go to nonunion teachers.

And just to round out our partial survey, here’s more:

-$6 billion to weatherize “modest income homes.”
-$6 billion to provide internet in “underserved” areas
-$6 billion for “higher education modernization.”
-$20 billion in health information technology to “prevent medial [sic] mistakes.”
-$20 billion to increase food stamp funding
-$87 billion to provide a “temporary” increase in Medicaid funding
-$300 million to provide rebates for people who purchase Energy Star products
-$600 million for the federal government to buy brand new energy efficient cars
-$400 million for state and local governments to buy brand new energy efficient cars

There are 21 more items in that list at the link directly above. That’s still partial.

I am proud of the House GOP and the smattering of Democrats who voted against this today. It won’t stop the carnage, but they didn’t participate in it.

ACORN Obama Axis Update

Further thoughts and links.

ACORN is a “community organizer” master-reseller whose “downstream” contractors are regularly convicted for voter fraud. The fraud is habitual and formulaic, not accidental and creative. ACORN engages otherwise hard-to-employ individuals to register cartoon characters, dogs and dead people as voters.

ACORN is at least as good as Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition at using the race card to shake down businesses (Banks, in ACORN’s victim-industry niche.) for cash and to force loans to be made to people who can’t pay the money back. The Chicago based inventor of this tactic, ACORN executive Madeline Talbott, calls it “affirmative action” for loans. I’d call it predatory thuggery perpetrated on both borrower and lender.

All this is well known. So is it fair to connect any of this to Barack Obama? If you think the company a man keeps over decades, for whom he expresses great fondness and to whom he substantially contributes money is a connection, then the answer must be “Yes.”

I’m not saying Obama directly participated in ACORN’s protection rackets or voter fraud. I am saying he knows about it (how could he not?), and therefore tolerates it. I’m saying he shares ACORN’s radical socialist philosophy. I’m pointing out that he worked for ACORN and funded ACORN. I’m contending the attempt to use the bailout bill to funnel money to ACORN was no coincidence, nor was a similar provision in the $300 billion mortgage bailout bill passed in July.

I’m giving the evidence that Obama’s campaign paid $800,000 to Citizens Services Inc., an ACORN captive corporation, between Feb and May 2008 – and grossly misrepresented the purpose of the payments in the FEC filing. I’m saying Obama wanted to hide the ACORN connection.

Since Obama has argued that his executive experience is proven by the fact that he runs the campaign, an $800K decision can’t be blamed on staff.

FEC reports show that from February-May 2008, Obama paid $832,598.29 to CSI.

The payments were for:

$310,441.20 25-FEB-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$160,689.40 27-FEB-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$98,451.20 29-FEB-08 TRAVEL/LODGING
$74,578.01 13-MAR-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$18,417.00 28-MAR-08 POLLING
$18,633.60 29-APR-08 STAGING, SOUND, LIGHTING
$63,000.00 29-APR-08 ADVANCE WORK
$105.84 02-MAY-08 LICENSE FEES
$105.84 02-MAY-08 LICENSE FEES
$75,000.00 17-MAY-08 ADVANCE WORK
$13,176.20 17-MAY-08 PER DIEM

Interesting services and payments for a nonprofit that supposedly does simple canvassing work on behalf of low-income people. And now, the Obama campaign is going to wave its magic wand and change those services to get-out-the-vote work? What the…?

For your information: The New Orleans building that houses CSI also houses multiple chapters of ACORN and the SEIU– as well as the 527 group Communities Voting Together.

And for your information: A tipster points to shady business by CSI -detected by Maryland Democrat Al Wynn, of all people. His team, which filed an FEC complaint over the matter, linked several suspicious outfits used by his primary opponent to one address: 1024 Elysian Fields in New Orleans. That’s the address of CSI and ACORN.

…There is at least one other example of suspiciously large payments to Citizens Services, Inc. that call into question what kind of work this non-partisan, non-profit is doing.

See here, where liberal group Ohio Citizen Action notes a $907,808 payment to Citizens Services for canvassing and $590,526.10 for “campaign consulting.”

I’m saying Obama knows about this:

Another pre-2007 ACORN document instructs its staff:

Undocumented income is a feature that allows ACORN Housing counselors to capture the applicant(s) total household income. Primarily observed in minority and immigrant communities, this type of income is not reported to the IRS and is also known as under-the-table.

… and is OK with it.

I’m saying that the presence among his advisers of Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, both disgraced CEO’s of Fannie Mae, who both got multi-million dollar golden parachutes, is at least bad judgment and very likely continued political collusion. Fannie was a prime conduit between people who took loans they couldn’t pay and the likes of Bear-Stearns. Fannie worked hand in glove with ACORN. Obama still works hand in glove with Fannie’s detritus. Jim Johnson was head of his VP search committee until the Fannie connection surfaced.

If someone will argue that a politician raised up by the hard-left Chicago machine, of which ACORN is an integral part, is not aware of these connections; that person might also have to grant that the politician couldn’t possibly be considered for any higher office than Drain Commissioner.

Documentation and more info at the sites below.

Newsmax

I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work. — Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007

NY Post

ACORN’s political arm endorsed Obama in February and has ramped up efforts to register voters across the country. Meanwhile, completely ignored by the mainstream commentariat and clean-election crusaders, the Obama campaign has admitted failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were disguised as payments to a front group called “Citizen Services, Inc.” for “advance work.”

Jim Terry, an official of the Consumer Rights League, a watchdog group that monitors ACORN, noted: “ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain. Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama’s political gain.”

NY Post

… Obama spent many years cultivating ties with, working with – and even funding – the very folks who pushed for the risky lending that underlies the current mess.

That is, “community organizer” groups like ACORN.

ACORN is especially noteworthy, not only because of its prominence in the drive to relax mortgage requirements, but also because of its shady tactics.

And its links to Obama.

Various ACORN chapters across the country, led by folks like Chicago’s Madeline Talbott, staged in-your-face protests in bank lobbies and filed complaints meant to hold up mergers sought by targeted banking firms.

Unless the banks agreed to ACORN’s terms – which many (understandably) did.

Talbott & Co. generally wanted them to ease down-payment requirements and ignore weak credit histories. And their intimidating tactics often necessitated police action, as at a ’97 protest at Pulaski Bank & Trust in Arkansas, where activists blocked drive-through lanes.

The movement’s biggest victory, of course, came when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up the riskier loans – providing fresh incentive for banks to make even more of them.

No need to recount where all that led.

Meanwhile, Obama was right there by ACORN’s side all along.

“I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career,” he told the group last November.

Indeed, in the early ’90s, Obama was recruited by Talbott herself to run training sessions for ACORN activists.

ACORN also got funding from two charities, the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation, when Obama served on their boards, and from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge – the radical “education reform” outfit Obama ran from ’95 to ’99.

Ironically, the group stood to be a key beneficiary of the goodies Democrats were loading into Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s rescue plan – including one demand that 20 percent of any profits the feds make from reselling mortgage securities go to fund groups like ACORN.

No Quarter USA

Obama claimed he has no ties to “a group he did some legal work for” back in 1995. Let’s look into that claim.

* In 1995, Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar balked at implementing the federal motor voter law out of concern that letting people register via postcard and blocking the state from pruning voter rolls might invite vote fraud. A young lawyer named Barak Obama, a community organizer himself, sued on behalf of ACORN and won. ACORN later invited Obama to train its staff on voter registration drives.

* In 1996 Obama ran for Illinois State Senate and ACORN became his precinct organization, identifying and turning out the vote.

* When Obama served on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago, the Fund frequently gave ACORN grants to fund its agenda and voter registration activities.

* In 2004 ACORN operates as Obama’s precinct organization in his run for the U.S. Senate.

* In 2007 ACORN’s national political arm endorsed Obama for president, and its “nonpartisan” voter registration affiliate starts registering hundreds of thousands of voters for Obama.

* Obama claims he has no ties to “a group he once did some legal work for.”

* In July 2008 the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, along with NoQuarter researchers, exposes the lie by uncovering $832,598.29 that the Obama campaign funneled through a front company called Citizens Services, Inc.

* ACORN, which receives partial taxpayer funding, used those funds to conduct solicitations for contributions to and raised over $800,000 for Obama in Philadelphia alone.

And some new evidence of fraud just in from North Carolina:

RNC rips group registering voters
Ray Gronberg
Durham Herald-Sun – Sep 20, 2008
requires registration

Durham County Board of Elections Director Mike Ashe wants state officials to check about 80 voter registration forms for possible fraud.

The forms came from a group called the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The group is more commonly known by its acronym, ACORN.

…Ashe’s move this week came after elections officials discovered that ACORN workers had registered a 14-year-old, claiming the youth was born in 1989. The minimum voting age is 18.

They also knew of “less than half a dozen” people who, after receiving a formal notice from the board telling them they’d registered, got in touch with officials to say they’d never filled out a registration form, Ashe said.

In addition, election workers also noticed that ACORN-submitted registration forms so far have included up to 125 duplicate names. It appeared that ACORN registrars — who are paid and subject to a per-shift quota — were using the same names repeatedly, Ashe said.

…Ashe said the group has ignored his advice against hoarding registration forms and using highlighters to mark them. It’s given election workers up to 1,200 forms in one stack and by using highlighters has caused the elections staff “a lot of extra work.”

The more things stay the same, the more things don’t represent “change.”

See also:
Consumers Rights League
Check out James Terry’s testimony.

RottenAcorn
Check out the fraud map.

The Real ACORN
Check out The Ghost of Rathke lingers
ACORN is suing itself and Wade Rathke is still involved with ACORN.

Update: 6:23PM 1-Oct-08Stryker, Rockfeller, Detroit Schools funding story linked to ACORN consulting firm
What this portends, I do not know. But it isn’t anything positive.