Archive for November 25th, 2009


Cloward-Piven Government

By James Simpson

It is time to cast aside all remaining doubt. President Obama is not trying to lead America forward to recovery, prosperity and strength. Quite the opposite, in fact.

In September of last year, American Thinker published my article, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis. Part of a series, it connected then-presidential candidate Barack Obama to individuals and organizations practicing a malevolent strategy for destroying our economy and our system of government. Since then, the story of that strategy has found its way across the blogosphere, onto the airwaves of radio stations across the country, the Glenn Beck television show, Bill O’Reilly, and now Mark Levin.

The methodology is known as the Cloward-Piven Strategy, and we can all be grateful to David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks for originally exposing and explaining it to us. He describes it as:

The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven were two lifelong members of Democratic Socialists of America who taught sociology at Columbia University (Piven later went on to City University of New York). In a May 1966 Nation magazine article titled “The Weight of the Poor,” they outlined their strategy, proposing to use grassroots radical organizations to push ever more strident demands for public services at all levels of government.

The result, they predicted, would be “a profound financial and political crisis” that would unleash “powerful forces … for major economic reform at the national level.”

They implemented the strategy by creating a succession of radical organizations, most notable among them the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), with the help of veteran organizer Wade Rathke. Their crowning achievement was the “Motor Voter” act, signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993 with Cloward and Piven standing behind him.

As we now know, ACORN was one of the chief drivers of high-risk mortgage lending that eventually led to the financial crisis. But the Motor Voter law was another component of the strategy. It created vast vulnerabilities in our electoral system, which ACORN then exploited.

ACORN’s vote registration scandals throughout the U.S. are predictable fallout.

The Motor Voter law has also been used to open another vulnerability in the system: the registration of vast numbers of illegal aliens, who then reliably vote Democrat. Herein lies the real reason Democrats are so anxious for open borders, security be damned.

It should be clear to anyone with a mind and two eyes that this president and this Congress do not have our interests at heart. They are implementing this strategy on an unprecedented scale by flooding America with a tidal wave of poisonous initiatives, orders, regulations, and laws. As Rahm Emmanuel said, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.”

The real goal of “health care” legislation, the real goal of “cap-and-trade,” and the real goal of the “stimulus” is to rip the guts out of our private economy and transfer wide swaths of it over to the government to control. Do not be deluded by the propaganda. These initiatives are vehicles for change. They are not goals in and of themselves except in their ability to deliver power. They and will make matters much worse, for that is their design.

This time, in addition to overwhelming the government with demands for services, Obama and the Democrats are overwhelming political opposition to their plans with a flood of apocalyptic legislation. Their ultimate goal is to leave us so discouraged, demoralized, and exhausted that we throw our hands up in defeat. As Barney Frank said, “the middle class will be too distracted to fight.”

These people are our enemies. They don’t use guns, yet, but they are just as dangerous, determined, and duplicitous as the communists we faced in the Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, and bush wars across the globe, and the Nazis we faced in World War II.

It is time we fully internalized and digested this fact, with all its ugly ramifications. These people have violated countless laws and could be prosecuted, had we the political power. Not only are their policies unconstitutional, but deliberately so — the goal being to make the Constitution irrelevant. Their spending is off the charts and will drive us into hyperinflation, but it could be rescinded, had we the political power. These policies are toxic, but they could be stopped and reversed, had we the political power. Their ideologies are poisonous, but they could be exposed for what they are, with long jail sentences as an object lesson, had we the political power.

Every single citizen who cares about this country should be spending every minute of his or her spare time lobbying, organizing, writing, and planning. Fight every initiative they launch. It is all destructive. If we are to root out this evil, it is critical that in 2010 we elect competent, principled leaders willing to defend our Constitution and our country. Otherwise, the malevolent cabal that occupies the government today will become too entrenched.

After that, all bets are off.

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EDITORIAL: Obama’s sacked inspector general


Even as congressional investigators demolish White House explanations for its firing last summer of a key inspector general, new documents show that an entire second area of misleading administration statements has gone largely unexplored. Each new revelation in the case suggests that Gerald Walpin, the fired IG for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), ought to be reinstated to his job.

We’ll get to that second area of dispute in a few moments; it’s a doozy. First, though, because this is all rather confusing, a review of the particulars is in order.

By law, inspectors general can be “removed” by the president only with 30 days’ notice to Congress that is accompanied by an explanation for the removal. The goal is to protect the independence of the IGs. However, after Mr. Walpin issued two reports critical of close allies of the Obama White House, he was removed by a phone call, without prior notice, on June 10 and placed on administrative leave, without access to his office or his e-mails. Only the next day was Congress told, without explanation, that he had been fired. On June 16, the White House finally and belatedly provided several members of Congress with more explanations. None of those explanations has held up.

The Obama administration said Mr. Walpin appeared “confused” or “disoriented” at a May 20 CNCS board meeting, raising questions about his competence. However, not a single shred of evidence, before or since, has emerged to suggest any lack of mental acuity by Mr. Walpin.

The administration said the board was dissatisfied that Mr. Walpin often telecommuted between New York and Washington. However, the telecommuting arrangement was, by design, an experiment to be reviewed at the end of June anyway. Nobody, not even once, has identified any work that fell through the cracks because of the arrangement.

The administration made much of an ethics complaint filed against Mr. Walpin by the acting U.S. Attorney in Sacramento, Calif., but the complaint itself contained flagrant inaccuracies. In October, it was formally and summarily dismissed by the Integrity Committee of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

Meanwhile, Mr. Walpin’s most contentious charges against political allies of President Obama’s have held up quite well. He said Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson had misused AmeriCorps funds for private services. That was true. He said the arrangements for Mr. Johnson and his previous nonprofit organization to repay the government were weak. They were. He said there appeared to have been an attempt to cover up e-mail evidence in Mr. Johnson’s case. The FBI indeed found reason to investigate that matter.

Finally, a report prepared by Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican, disclosed a previously unknown controversy involving allegations that Mr. Johnson had made inappropriate sexual advances to AmeriCorps workers. Officials testified that D.C. Schools Superintendent Michelle A. Rhee, now Mr. Johnson’s fiancee, said she would intervene in the case and that shortly thereafter, other officials offered the purported victims what appeared to be “hush money.”

Finally, on Friday afternoon, the White House released a portion (but only a portion) of the remaining documents requested by Mr. Grassley for his investigation. Those documents seem to show the administration scrambling in the days after the firing to come up with a justification for having done so.

Here is where the new, largely unexplored second area of dispute arises. In addition to the report about Mr. Johnson, Mr. Walpin had issued a report critical of one of the largest of all AmeriCorps programs, a teaching fellowship at the City University of New York (CUNY) that Mr. Walpin said wasted “upwards of $80 million of taxpayer money.” Other than in a June 16 editorial in The Washington Times, the report on the CUNY program has gone almost entirely overlooked.

Yet just two days after Mr. Walpin was removed from his job, as the administration hustled to try to find retroactive justification for the firing, CNCS press aide Ranit Schmelzer drafted, for distribution to all CNCS board members, a memo of “suggested guidance in the event you get press calls on IG Walpin.” At that time, all reports on the matter had focused on the Sacramento case alone. Yet the Schmelzer memo, in a strange fit of defensiveness, included this talking point: “If asked whether this was connected to Walpin’s action in the CUNY case, say no. The decision was made before Walpin’s reports on CUNY were issued.”

That is false. On April 2, Mr. Walpin’s office issued its draft report on CUNY, which was critical of both CUNY and of the CNCS board for lax oversight. On April 30, CUNY responded. On May 4, the CNCS management responded. On May 5, Mr. Walpin told Senate staff that he feared CNCS management would “retaliate” against him. On May 20, before Mr. Walpin supposedly became “disoriented” at the board meeting, the major reason for the contentiousness of the meeting was that Mr. Walpin excoriated the board for its failures related to CUNY. On June 4, the IG issued his final report on the CUNY matter. Yet the White House did not fire Mr. Walpin until June 10.

How, pray tell, could it be that “the decision [to fire Mr. Walpin] was made before Walpin’s reports on CUNY were issued” if the reports were issued on April 2, May 20, and June 4, while the firing came on June 10? And why would the memo specify that the board members should “say no” about the CUNY connection while the memo mentioned not a word about a single other specific, potential line of press questions?

This looks like the classic case in which an administration “doth protest too much.” Defensiveness about one issue, and only one, when nobody has yet raised the issue, is often a telltale sign that there is something to hide. This is especially the case when the information provided is demonstrably false.

Former White House counsel Bernard W. Nussbaum, who served under former Democratic President Bill Clinton, had this to say last week: “I think the Obama administration made a mistake here.” He’s right, and it’s a big mistake at that.

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The bloom is off the rose until the tea party movement finds its purpose and coalesces around it.

I.M. Kane


Tea partiers turn on each other

By Kenneth P. Vogel

After emerging out of nowhere over the summer as a seemingly potent and growing political force, the tea party movement has become embroiled in internal feuding over philosophy, strategy and money and is at risk of losing its momentum.

The grass-roots activists driving the movement have become increasingly divided on such core questions as whether to focus their efforts on shaping policy debates or elections, work on a local, regional, state or national level or closely align themselves with the Republican Party, POLITICO found in interviews with tea party organizers in Washington and across the country.

Many of these differences date to the movement’s beginnings last winter in an outpouring of anger about the huge increases in government spending enacted by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress. But they were overshadowed by the initial explosion of activism that culminated during the congressional town hall meetings in August.

Now the disagreements and the sense of frustration they have engendered could diminish the movement’s potential influence in state and national politics.

“These groups don’t play as well together as they should,” said Kevin Jackson, a St. Louis-based conservative author and activist who has spoken at dozens of tea party-type rallies and is traveling across the South with a convoy sponsored by the national Tea Party Patriots group.

“They’re fractured at the organization level, I think mainly because there are a lot of people who have not had managerial experience who all of a sudden are thrust into the limelight and become intoxicated with it. And when a potential rift comes up, instead of handling it and maybe agreeing to disagree, they splinter and go off on their own.”

The movement is composed of hundreds of independent local groups, many of which are incorporated as nonprofits and have localized names referencing the tea parties, 9/12 or We the People.

Many of their members also belong to national conservative groups, including FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity and Grassfire, while the local groups often affiliate formally or informally with loose-knit umbrella organizations, including the Tea Party Patriots and Tea Party Nation.

The organizational chaos — combined with a widening apathy at the edges of the movement — has produced a growing consensus among local, state and national tea party leaders that for the movement to evolve from the loose conglomeration of fired-up activists who mobilized this summer to register their dissatisfaction with Obama and Congress at town hall protests and marches across the country into a sustainable bloc with the power to shape the GOP and swing elections, it will require the emergence of a national leader, group or structure.

Ned Ryun, president of American Majority, a nonprofit that has conducted organizer-training sessions for many tea party activists, said “the next three to six months” are going to be critical in determining “what’s going to happen with the tea party movement. Are they going to be a bunch of fingers, or are they going to come together to be a fist?”

Yet, while some tout a planned National Tea Party Convention in February (at which former Alaska governor and tea party darling Sarah Palin is listed as the keynote speaker) as a potentially unifying moment and others point to online coordination efforts, there is deep disagreement about what any national organization would look like and who would lead it.

FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Grassfire, Americans for Limited Government and a host of other groups have helped organize various efforts capitalizing on the energy behind the tea parties, including providing training, online war rooms that help generate phone calls and ready-to-distribute canvassing literature.

But the groups have also jockeyed — mostly behind the scenes — to take credit for leadership of the movement, which — depending on who’s doing the telling — took its name either as an homage to the 1773 Boston tax revolt that played a major role in sparking the American Revolution or from an acronym standing for “taxed enough already.”

Some activists see the turmoil within the movement and the internal clashes as simply a part of maturing.

“Some of these groups may burn out, but this is part of this entrepreneurial process and the competition is good,” said Adam Brandon, vice president of communications for FreedomWorks, a nonprofit chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas.

The group has facilitated some of the efforts demonstrating the potential power of the movement. Those have included the confrontations that erupted at congressional town halls this summer, the massive Sept. 12 “Taxpayer March on Washington” as well as another Washington rally this month and support for conservative third-party candidate Doug Hoffman, who narrowly lost a special congressional election in upstate New York this month despite strong support from many tea party groups and leaders.

Brandon stressed that the strength of the tea party movement is in its grass-roots nature and that FreedomWorks’s goal is to help facilitate the movement, not to control it.

“One thing that’s clear is that anyone who says they own the tea party movement is going to get run over because no one owns the movement,” he said.

Brandon acknowledged the “rivalries and turf battles” now gripping parts of the movement but said “that’s normal because people have different ideas about what they want. That’s what’s happening now, and it’s sometimes a painful process.”

Those fights have been waged over issues that go to the heart of the movement’s purpose and strategy as well as more mundane rivalries and personal feuds.

In Myrtle Beach, S.C., disputes within the local tea party about how much to engage in partisan politics and whether board members were profiting from contracts to print paraphernalia emblazoned with the group’s logo prompted the treasurer to resign and join with defectors from a North Carolina We the People group to form a new organization.

There’s a lot of fighting, and everyone wants to be in charge, and that’s why you have so many splinter groups,” said ex-treasurer Janet Spencer, who charged her adversaries within the tea party with saying “derogatory things about me that were very unprofessional.”

She said her new group, called Patriotic Voices of America/Carolina Patriots, counts about 100 members and will not coordinate with the Myrtle Beach Tea Party, whose treasurer, David Ognek, said the friction is “just group dynamics.”

In Texas, a handful of thriving tea party groups severed their ties from the national Tea Party Patriots group after it ousted, then sued a founding board member who had affiliated with a rival group called the Tea Party Express.

Our fight is in Congress and not with each other or with these other groups,” said Toby Marie Walker, who was the Texas state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots and also co-founded the Waco, Texas, tea party.

This Waco group recently drew an estimated 4,000 people to a rally it organized with the Tea Party Express, which travels the country hosting rallies. The month before, it had pulled out of the Tea Party Patriots after the Patriots group accused the Tea Party Express of steering the movement away from nonpartisan issue-based advocacy, embracing extremist rhetoric and raising questions about the Express’s finances.

The Patriots’ attack and lawsuit worried the Waco group’s board, Walker said, because “if you align yourself with someone who is going to be that malicious, then how do we know they won’t turn on us?”

Other local tea party groups, though, cast their lots with the Patriots, heeding the group’s call to disassociate with the Tea Party Express.

In Granbury, Texas, local tea party organizer Josh Sullivan says he believes the movement’s effectiveness is being compromised by extremism.“You have some interesting folks in the Tea Party movement — some of them I can support, but some of them are kind of out there and radical, and I don’t want to associate myself with them,” he said. In Northern Colorado, meanwhile, a handful of active 9/12 groups — named for the Glenn Beck-encouraged effort to stage the Sept. 12 Washington march — are unhappy with the state 9/12 group’s aversion to fundraising and with its focus on national issues and have discussed forming their own rival statewide group.

People are beginning to become a little bit de-energized — they’re starting to feel like they’re fighting a losing battle, because we send a lot of letters into Washington, D.C., and things like that, and people are saying they’re not listening,” said Brian Britton, who heads the Greeley, Colo., 9/12 group.

That fear is echoed by Glenn Galls, a Hot Springs, Ark., tea party organizer frustrated with the focus of Arkansas’s state-level tea party groups on national races and issues such as cap and trade and health care.

“If the tea party movement is going to continue to thrive and to grow and to have influence,” he said, “it must start coming together and coalescing and finding its purpose in life, because if it doesn’t, the excitement will fade like it does from anything else.” [emphasis mine]

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Navy SEALs Face Assault Charges for Capturing Most-Wanted Terrorist

By Rowan Scarborough

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told FoxNews.com.

The three, all members of the Navy’s elite commando unit, have refused non-judicial punishment — called an admiral’s mast — and have requested a trial by court-martial.

Ahmed Hashim Abed, whom the military code-named “Objective Amber,” told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it.

Now, instead of being lauded for bringing to justice a high-value target, three of the SEAL commandos, all enlisted, face assault charges and have retained lawyers.

Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.

Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.

Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.

The three SEALs will be arraigned separately on Dec. 7. Another three SEALs — two officers and an enlisted sailor — have been identified by investigators as witnesses but have not been charged.

FoxNews.com obtained the official handwritten statement from one of the three witnesses given on Sept. 3, hours after Abed was captured and still being held at the SEAL base at Camp Baharia. He was later taken to a cell in the U.S.-operated Green Zone in Baghdad.

The SEAL told investigators he had showered after the mission, gone to the kitchen and then decided to look in on the detainee.

“I gave the detainee a glance over and then left,” the SEAL wrote. “I did not notice anything wrong with the detainee and he appeared in good health.”

Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, spokeswoman for the special operations component of U.S. Central Command, confirmed Tuesday to FoxNews.com that three SEALs have been charged in connection with the capture of a detainee. She said their court martial is scheduled for January.

United States Central Command declined to discuss the detainee, but a legal source told FoxNews.com that the detainee was turned over to Iraqi authorities, to whom he made the abuse complaints. He was then returned to American custody. The SEAL leader reported the charge up the chain of command, and an investigation ensued.

The source said intelligence briefings provided to the SEALs stated that “Objective Amber” planned the 2004 Fallujah ambush, and “they had been tracking this guy for some time.”

The Fallujah atrocity came to symbolize the brutality of the enemy in Iraq and the degree to which a homegrown insurgency was extending its grip over Iraq.

The four Blackwater agents were transporting supplies for a catering company when they were ambushed and killed by gunfire and grenades. Insurgents burned the bodies and dragged them through the city. They hanged two of the bodies on a bridge over the Euphrates River for the world press to photograph.

Intelligence sources identified Abed as the ringleader, but he had evaded capture until September.

The military is sensitive to charges of detainee abuse highlighted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. The Navy charged four SEALs with abuse in 2004 in connection with detainee treatment. [emphasis mine]

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