Morning Briefing for September 22, 2009

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1. REDSTATE EXCLUSIVE: A Review of ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis’s Rolodex Suggests Strong White House Ties

On Sunday, Barack Obama played ignorant on the situation with ACORN. Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, “Frankly, it’s not really something I’ve followed closely. I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money.” Never mind that Barack Obama used to work for ACORN.Based on information obtained by RedState, we think Barack Obama may live to regret those words.With everybody focused on ACORN these days, what if we could dig around and see who in the Obama administration shows up in Bertha Lewis’s rolodex? Bertha Lewis is the CEO of ACORN.Bertha Lewis is considered one of the 100 most influential women in New York according to Crain’s New York Business. She is an activist, organizer, and radical of the far left. When she calls, union bosses and others pick up the phone.It’s not that hard to look into her contacts. RedState has seen a list of Bertha Lewis’s contacts. We did not seek it out. It just showed up one day unsolicited. We did not ask for it. We did not expect to get it. But now that we have it, we should see who is in there.The contacts came from a credible source who is no fan of ACORN. An ACORN employee gave it to him. Having examined the file for a week and after consulting with others, we believe the list is legitimate. It fits a recent pattern of leaks out of ACORN as the rats scramble from the sinking ship.The list contains the private email addresses and cell phones of scores of powerful and influential people from Al Sharpton to Charlie Rangel. It contains several people inside the Barack Obama administration including one of the closest ties to Barack Obama other than his wife.Please click here for the rest of the post.

2. Dissent Will Not Be Tolerated

Today brings news that the government is investigating a major insurance company. What’d they do this time? Rescind the coverage from an old lady while she was falling down the stairs? Collude with a competitor to fix prices?No, according to the Associated Press, the government is investigating Humana for sending out a mailer that could be construed as opposing Democratic Party policy.Please click here for the rest of the post.

3. From Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: Cap and Trade: The Wall Street Tax

The cap and trade national energy tax is being sold to the American people as a free-market answer to environmental problems. Dressed in green as it is, people are led to believe that it was a scheme hatched by the environmentally conscious. The truth is that cap and trade is a product of the very same minds that gave us subprime loans and market bubbles, credit default swaps and the financial meltdown. Cap and trade is actually a child of Wall Street. But, nowadays, that doesn’t help in the marketing, does it?Cap and trade is based on government setting a cap on the total amount of carbon that can be emitted nationally. Companies will then be allowed to buy or sell permits to emit carbon dioxide. So, at a time when Congress is already grappling with the appropriate solution for restructuring our nation’s financial regulatory system, Congress also wants to simultaneously introduce a new, and potentially the largest, commodity market into the mix? As Tyson Slocum, director of energy for Public Citizen, has stated, “You have to ask yourself if it is wise policy to create a new derivatives market on the heels of the collapse of derivatives markets.”Please click here for the rest of the post.

4. If we take back 45 seats, we make Biden wear a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit

Promises from Joe Biden:”Vice President Joe Biden said today that if Democrats were to lose 35 House seats they currently hold in traditionally Republican districts, it would mean doomsday for President Obama’s agenda.”Please click here for the rest of the post.

5. Honduran coup may be imminent, abetted by Obama administration

Multiple sources (Reuters) (AP) report that ousted and exiled former president Manuel Zelaya is back in Honduras, hidden for the moment in somebody’s embassy and therefore out of the reach of authorities, who have promised to arrest him and try him for treason if he re-appears on sovereign Honduran soil.By the way, when you hear the name Manuel Zelaya, you should think pal and disciple of Venezuelan thug dictator Hugo Chavez.Zelaya was ousted in what has widely been reported in the American press as a “coup” on June 28. The United Nations, the Obama administration, the OAS and other dubious characters like Hugo Chavez have roundly condemned the constitutional government in Honduras and have worked diligently to bring pressure to bear to reverse events in Honduras. The Reuters link above includes the assertion that “Soldiers toppled Zelaya”.Please click here for the rest of the post.

6. Obama “Not Interested In Saving Face In Afghanistan”

Barack Obama inherited a ‘war on terror’ (along with an aspiring ‘nuclear’ Iran) that he told us during the campaign was high on his list of priorities and concerns. He assured us he would spend a lot of energy focusing on these things were he elected President. He hasn’t, other than to throw a few thousand more troops into harms way with no real strategy to back it up hoping that would shut up us security hawks and buy a little time to figure a way to get himself OUT of this mess.Please click here for the rest of the post.

7. A roundup of the NEA propaganda scandal.

There’s not much to say about the NEA propaganda scandal that hasn’t been said by others, but a link round-up will be hopefully useful for those getting up to speed.

  • We begin here with the Big Government articles themselves. Summary: transcripts and audio reveal that the conference call of August 10th involving the federal agencies NEA, United We Serve, and the Office of Public Engagement; and various artist groups‘ involved the explicit recruitment of said artists’ groups to assist in pushing the administration’s legislative agenda.
  • This despite claims by the NEA that said call did not pursue any legislative agenda.
  • Note also that OPE Deputy Director (and Valerie Jarrett crony) Buffy Wicks has long-standing ties with ACORN.
  • Patterico points out the obvious: that both the NEA and the administration lied when they claimed that no legislative agenda was addressed. Despite the fact that this call was ostensibly hosted by Michael Skolnik, Skolnik explicitly stated that he was working on the behest of the NEA and the White House – a claim that was not refuted either by Deputy Director Wicks or at-the-time NEA Director of Communications Yosi Sergant (both of whom were on the call). For that matter, the primary interest of Nell Abernathy, director of outreach for United We Serve (also on the call) is to make clear that Skolnik is the cutout between the artists’ groups and the government.
  • I should point out at this point that Sergant is, of course, linked with Shepard Fairey, who had his own representative on the call.
  • Ace of Spades notes that Winner & Associates were on the conference call as well. You may remember them; they were a Axelrod-affiliated PR group that got traced back as being behind some rather nasty anti-Palin fake grassroots astroturf during the election last year. They were apparently on the call at the invitation of OPE Director Wicks.
  • You can refresh your memory of the Winner Incident here at The Jawa Report. How interesting that they were there, and invited by an administration official, no less.
  • Ace of Spades, again, quotes Slublog on the Hatch Act. As in, this is actually technically forbidden by federal statute (I personally note ‘technically’ because Hatch Act prosecutions are few and far between).
  • Ed Morrissey has what is probably the line of the day (“We do not fund the NEA for it to produce Leni Riefenstahl-type art”), and notes that the Washington Times would like help tracking down some of the call participants.
  • And finally, I would like to remind everybody reading this that groups involved in pushing the administration’s health care agenda had racked up roughly 2 million dollars in grants from the NEA prior to it.

Please click here for the rest of the post.