Sunday, October 12, 2008

A bit more about the current election

I really don't want to talk about this stuff on my birthday. (Yep. It's the big 5-3 for me. I made my first appearance in the world on Columbus Day 53 years ago.)

But I need to get this out of my system.

I did some more research yesterday and came up with the following regarding ACORN's history of malfeasance:
  • First of all, I commend to you this article first written in 2003 and last updated in 2004: The Real ACORN: Anti-Employee, Anti-Union, Big Business.

    Clearly, it's a piece written by someone disturbed by the hypocrisy of the left: they are "all about" everyone needing to do the right thing as they see the right . . . unless they find themselves inconvenienced. [Sad to say, I'm afraid, much the same could be said about the right, too: they, too, are "all about" everyone doing the right thing . . . unless it's themselves. . . . Which is why I'm rather in favor of a limited-government, libertarian view.]
  • Then there is this article from the National Review. It, too, is from 2004.
  • But why am I talking about ACORN? . . . Oh! That's right! . . . Because it appears Barack Obama is far more closely tied to this group than he and his cohort are willing to let on.

    Consider this article by Toni Foulkes, a Chicago ACORN leader and member of ACORN's National Association Board, about ACORN and Obama. It was published in Social Policy, "a quarterly review of contemporary movements for social change in the workplace, the community, and the world." Foulkes writes:
    ACORN noticed [Obama] when he was organizing on the far south side of the city with the Developing Communities Project. He was a very good organizer. When he returned from law school, we asked him to help us with a lawsuit to challenge the state of Illinois' refusal to abide by the National Voting Rights Act, also known as motor voter. . . . Obama then went on to run a voter registration project with Project VOTE in 1992 that made it possible for Carol Moseley Braun to win the Senate that year. Project VOTE delivered 50,000 newly registered voters in that campaign (ACORN delivered about 5000 of them).

    Since then, we have invited Obama to our leadership training sessions to run the session on power every year, and, as a result, many of our newly developing leaders got to know him before he ever ran for office. Thus, it was natural for many of us to be active volunteers in his first campaign for State Senate and then his failed bid for U.S. Congress in 1996. By the time he ran for U.S. Senate, we were old friends. . . .

    It seemed to us that what Obama needed in the March primary was what we always work to deliver anyway: increased turnout in our ACORN communities. . . .

    As it turned out, Obama won the primary handily, pulling white wards as well as African American. But no one knew that that would be the case.

    In each election we must act as if our work is critical for our communities. That is what we did in the primary, and we learned something in the process.
    So much for the supposedly nonpartisan character of this organization that is heavily funded by the U.S. government--i.e., you!

    Oh. And, since we're on the subject . . . get this opening paragraph (actually, the second paragraph in the article):
    ACORN is active in experimenting with methods of increasing voter participation in our low and moderate income communities in virtually every election. But in some elections we get to have our cake and eat it too: work on nonpartisan voter registration and GOTV, which also turns out to benefit the candidate that we hold dear.
  • From American Thinker, September 28th.

    How did we get into the financial mess we face at the moment as a result of failed mortgages? Slide on down about halfway through the article to the "Mortgage Crisis" subhead . . . and then begin reading.

    Pretty devastating stuff.

    And, of course, don't miss the chart that
    puts Barack Obama at the epicenter of an incestuous stew of American radical leftism. . . . Taken together, they constitute a who's who of the American radical left, and guiding all is the Cloward-Piven strategy.

    Conspicuous in their absence are any connections at all with any other group, moderate, or even mildly leftist. They are all radicals, firmly bedded in the anti-American, communist, socialist, radical leftist mesh.
    Nor should you miss a the description and documentation of Obama's ties to the big-wigs in many of the failed and failing financial institutions that have been recently or are now being bailed out:
    As a community activist for ACORN; as a leadership trainer for ACORN; as a lead organizer for ACORN's Project Vote; as an attorney representing ACORN's successful efforts to impose Motor Voter regulations in Illinois; as ACORN's representative in lobbying for the expansion of high risk housing loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the current crisis; as a recipient of their assistance in his political campaigns -- both with money and campaign workers; it is doubtful that he was unaware of ACORN's true goals. It is doubtful he was unaware of the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

    Fast-forward to 2005 when an obsequious, servile and scraping Daniel Mudd, CEO of Fannie Mae spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus swearing in ceremony for newly-elected Illinois Senator Barack Obama. Mudd called, the Congressional Black Caucus "our family" and "the conscience of Fannie Mae."

    In 2005, Republicans sought to rein in Fannie and Freddie. Senator John McCain was at the forefront of that effort. But it failed due to an intense lobbying effort put forward by Fannie and Freddie.

    In his few years as a U.S. senator, Obama has received campaign contributions of $126,349, from Fannie and Freddie, second only to the $165,400 received by Senator Chris Dodd, who has been getting donations from them since 1988. What makes Obama so special?

    His closest advisers are a dirty laundry list of individuals at the heart of the financial crisis: former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson; Former Fannie Mae CEO and former Clinton Budget Director Frank Raines; and billionaire failed Superior Bank of Chicago Board Chair Penny Pritzker.

    Johnson had to step down as adviser on Obama's V.P. search after this gem came out:

    An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report[1] from September 2004 found that, during Johnson's tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998.[2] A 2006 OFHEO report[3] found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson's compensation. Originally reported as $6-7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million.

    Obama denies ties to Raines but the Washington Post calls him a member of "Obama's political circle." Raines and Johnson were fined $3 million by the Office of Federal Housing Oversight for their manipulation of Fannie books. The fine is small change however, compared to the $50 million Raines was able to obtain in improper bonuses as a result of juggling the books.

    Most significantly, Penny Pritzker, the current Finance Chairperson of Obama's presidential campaign helped develop the complicated investment bundling of subprime securities at the heart of the meltdown. She did so in her position as shareholder and board chair of Superior Bank. The Bank failed in 2001, one of the largest in recent history, wiping out $50 million in uninsured life savings of approximately 1,400 customers. She was named in a RICO class action law suit but doesn't seem to have come out of it too badly.

The stench of our current political process is turning my stomach. But I am stuck back at the comments of a local political commentator.

--Scan down about halfway in my A little more about politics . . . post yesterday. Look for "Mike Rosen."

So now I'm wondering if, indeed, I am going to vote Republican . . . not because I have any faith in their party, but because I have less faith in the Democrats.

Rosen's article is truly distressing to me. . . .
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