Monday, May 31, 2010

Flag Code

It is too bad that our president can't follow the rules for respecting the flag! (Note the Bold Parts.)

Flag Code
The laws relating to the flag of the United States of America are found in detail in the United States Code. Title 4, Chapter 1 pertains to the flag; Title 18, Chapter 33, Section 700 regards criminal penalties for flag desecration; Title 36, Chapter 3 pertains to patriotic customs and observances. These laws were supplemented by Executive Orders and Presidential Proclamations.

United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag

§1. Flag; stripes and stars on
The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars [Note that sec. 2 which follows provides for additional stars. Today the flag has fifty stars representing the fifty states — Webmaster], white in a blue field

§2. Same; additional stars
On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission

§3. Use of flag for advertising purposes; mutilation of flag
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, in any manner, for exhibition or display, shall place or cause to be placed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, drawing, or any advertisement of any nature upon any flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America; or shall expose or cause to be exposed to public view any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign upon which shall have been printed, painted, or otherwise placed, or to which shall be attached, appended, affixed, or annexed any word, figure, mark, picture, design, or drawing, or any advertisement of any nature; or who, within the District of Columbia, shall manufacture, sell, expose for sale, or to public view, or give away or have in possession for sale, or to be given away or for use for any purpose, any article or substance being an article of merchandise, or a receptacle for merchandise or article or thing for carrying or transporting merchandise, upon which shall have been printed, painted, attached, or otherwise placed a representation of any such flag, standard, colors, or ensign, to advertise, call attention to, decorate, mark, or distinguish the article or substance on which so placed shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100 or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or both, in the discretion of the court. The words "flag, standard, colors, or ensign", as used herein, shall include any flag, standard, colors, ensign, or any picture or representation of either, or of any part or parts of either, made of any substance or represented on any substance, of any size evidently purporting to be either of said flag, standard, colors, or ensign of the United States of America or a picture or a representation of either, upon which shall be shown the colors, the stars and the stripes, in any number of either thereof, or of any part or parts of either, by which the average person seeing the same without deliberation may believe the same to represent the flag, colors, standard, or ensign of the United States of America.

§4. Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.", SHOULD be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men SHOULD remove any non-religious headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left Shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform SHOULD remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute. [See Congressional Notes re use of "under God."]

§5. Display and use of flag by civilians; codification of rules and customs; definition
The following codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag of the United States of America be, and it is hereby, established for the use of such civilians or civilian groups or organizations as may not be required to conform with regulations promulgated by one or more executive departments of the Government of the United States. The flag of the United States for the purpose of this chapter shall be defined according to title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1, Section 1 and Section 2 and Executive Order 10834 issued pursuant thereto.

§6. Time and occasions for display
a. It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.
b. The flag SHOULD be hoisted briskly and lowered ceremoniously.
c. The flag SHOULD not be displayed on days when the weather is inclement, except when an all-weather flag is displayed.
d. The flag SHOULD be displayed on all days, especially on
o New Year's Day, January 1
o Inauguration Day, January 20
o Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, third Monday in January
o Lincoln's Birthday, February 12
o Washington's Birthday, third Monday in February
o Easter Sunday (variable)
o Mother's Day, second Sunday in May
o Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
o Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May
o Flag Day, June 14
o Father's Day, third Sunday in June
o Independence Day, July 4
o Labor Day, first Monday in September
o Constitution Day, September 17
o Columbus Day, second Monday in October
o Navy Day, October 27
o Veterans Day, November 11
o Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November
o Christmas Day, December 25
o and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States
o the birthdays of States (date of admission)
o and on State holidays.
e. The flag SHOULD be displayed daily on or near the main administration building of every public institution.
f. The flag SHOULD be displayed in or near every polling place on election days.
g. The flag SHOULD be displayed during school days in or near every schoolhouse.
§7. Position and manner of display
The flag, when carried in a procession with another flag or flags, SHOULD be either on the marching right; that is, the flag's own right, or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line.
a. The flag SHOULD not be displayed on a float in a parade except from a staff, or as provided in subsection (i) of this section.
b. The flag SHOULD not be draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat. When the flag is displayed on a motorcar, the staff shall be fixed firmly to the chassis or clamped to the right fender.
c. No other flag or pennant SHOULD be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea, when the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for the personnel of the Navy. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof: Provided, That nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.
d. The flag of the United States of America, when it is displayed with another flag against a wall from crossed staffs, SHOULD be on the right, the flag's own right, and its staff SHOULD be in front of the staff of the other flag.
e. The flag of the United States of America SHOULD be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of States or localities or pennants of societies are grouped and displayed from staffs.
f. When flags of States, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter SHOULD always be at the peak. When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States SHOULD be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag's right.
g. When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags SHOULD be of approximately equal size. International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace.
h. When the flag of the United States is displayed from a staff projecting horizontally or at an angle from the window sill, balcony, or front of a building, the union of the flag SHOULD be placed at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag SHOULD be hoisted out, union first, from the building.
i. When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union SHOULD be uppermost and to the flag's own right, that is, to the observer's left. When displayed in a window, the flag SHOULD be displayed in the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.
j. When the flag is displayed over the middle of the street, it SHOULD be suspended vertically with the union to the north in an east and west street or to the east in a north and south street.
k. When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, SHOULD be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the flag of the United States of America SHOULD hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the clergyman's or speaker's right as he faces the audience. Any other flag so displayed SHOULD be placed on the left of the clergyman or speaker or to the right of the audience.
l. The flag SHOULD form a distinctive feature of the ceremony of unveiling a statue or monument, but it SHOULD never be used as the covering for the statue or monument.
m. The flag, when flown at half-staff, SHOULD be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flag SHOULD be again raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day. On Memorial Day the flag SHOULD be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff. By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law. In the event of the death of a present or former official of the government of any State, territory, or possession of the United States, or the death of a member of the Armed Forces from any State, territory, or possession who dies while serving on active duty, the Governor of that State, territory, or possession may proclaim that the National flag shall be flown at half-staff, and the same authority is provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia with respect to present or former officials of the District of Columbia and members of the Armed Forces from the District of Columbia. The flag shall be flown at half-staff 30 days from the death of the President or a former President; 10 days from the day of death of the Vice President, the Chief Justice or a retired Chief Justice of the United States, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; from the day of death until interment of an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, a Secretary of an executive or military department, a former Vice President, or the Governor of a State, territory, or possession; and on the day of death and the following day for a Member of Congress. The flag shall be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers Memorial Day, unless that day is also Armed Forces Day. As used in this subsection —
1. the term "half-staff" means the position of the flag when it is one-half the distance between the top and bottom of the staff;
2. the term "executive or military department" means any agency listed under sections 101 and 102 of title 5, United States Code; and
3. the term "Member of Congress" means a Senator, a Representative, a Delegate, or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico.
n. When the flag is used to cover a casket, it SHOULD be so placed that the union is at the head and over the left SHOULDer. The flag SHOULD not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.
o. When the flag is suspended across a corridor or lobby in a building with only one main entrance, it SHOULD be suspended vertically with the union of the flag to the observer's left upon entering. If the building has more than one main entrance, the flag SHOULD be suspended vertically near the center of the corridor or lobby with the union to the north, when entrances are to the east and west or to the east when entrances are to the north and south. If there are entrances in more than two directions, the union SHOULD be to the east.
§8. Respect for flag
No disrespect SHOULD be shown to the flag of the United States of America; the flag SHOULD not be dipped to any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are to be dipped as a mark of honor.
a. The flag SHOULD never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
b. The flag SHOULD never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.
c. The flag SHOULD never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free.
d. The flag SHOULD never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It SHOULD never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, SHOULD be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.
e. The flag SHOULD never be fastened, displayed, used, or stored in such a manner as to permit it to be easily torn, soiled, or damaged in any way.
f. The flag SHOULD never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
g. The flag SHOULD never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.
h. The flag SHOULD never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
i. The flag SHOULD never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever. It SHOULD not be embroidered on such articles as cushions or handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins or boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use and discard. Advertising signs SHOULD not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
j. No part of the flag SHOULD ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, SHOULD be worn on the left lapel near the heart.
k. The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, SHOULD be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning
§9. Conduct during hoisting, lowering or passing of flag
During the ceremony of hoisting or lowering the flag or when the flag is passing in a parade or in review, all persons present in uniform SHOULD render the military salute. Members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute. All other persons present SHOULD face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, or if applicable, remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left SHOULDer, the hand being over the heart. Citizens of other countries present SHOULD stand at attention. All such conduct toward the flag in a moving column SHOULD be rendered at the moment the flag passes.

§10. Modification of rules and customs by President
Any rule or custom pertaining to the display of the flag of the United States of America, set forth herein, may be altered, modified, or repealed, or additional rules with respect thereto may be prescribed, by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, whenever he deems it to be appropriate or desirable; and any such alteration or additional rule shall be set forth in a proclamation
United States Code Title 36
§301. National anthem
a. Designation. — The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
b. Conduct During Playing — During rendition of the national anthem —
1. when the flag is displayed —
A. individuals in uniform SHOULD give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
B. members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
C. all other persons present SHOULD face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, SHOULD remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left Shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
2. when the flag is not displayed, all present SHOULD face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.
§302. National motto
"In God we trust" is the national motto.

§303. National floral emblem
The flower commonly known as the rose is the national floral emblem.

§304. National march
The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled "The Stars and Stripes Forever" is the national march.

§901. Service flag and service lapel button
a. Individuals Entitled To Display Service Flag.— A service flag approved by the Secretary of Defense may be displayed in a window of the place of residence of individuals who are members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.
b. Individuals Entitled To Display Service Lapel Button.— A service lapel button approved by the Secretary may be worn by members of the immediate family of an individual serving in the Armed Forces of the United States during any period of war or hostilities in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.
c. License To Manufacture and Sell Service Flags and Service Lapel Buttons.— Any person may apply to the Secretary for a license to manufacture and sell the approved service flag, or the approved service lapel button, or both. Any person that manufactures a service flag or service lapel button without having first obtained a license, or otherwise violates this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.
d. Regulations.— The Secretary may prescribe regulations necessary to carry out this section.

Hot Air » Obama, ACORN and Stealth Socialism

Obama, ACORN and Stealth Socialism

posted at 5:00 pm on May 29, 2010 by Anita MonCrief

As an ex-ACORN insider and ex-radical who used Democrat donor lists to raise money for ACORN alter-ego Project Vote and designed the ACORN 2005, 2006 and 2007 Political Operations Year End PowerPoint presentations, I know that President Obama (for whom I now regretfully admit I proudly voted) was an ACORN guy for many years and realize that he became the instrument for the implementation of its stealth socialism agenda.

National Journal rated Obama the most “liberal” United States Senator, even more “liberal” than avowed socialist Bernard Sanders of Vermont (for whom then Senator Obama campaigned), because he earned it.

In her sensational New York Times no. 1 bestseller, “Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies,” published in 2009, intrepid Michelle Malkin generously gave me “special thanks” for daring to expose ACORN corruption and wrote about it and the New York Times cover up of the Obama/ACORN relationship in detail at pages 244-49. (Since that material was added after the manuscript had been sent to the printer, I did not make the index.)

Stealth socialism in vogue

It’s not surprising that on May 3, 2010 Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliot released “The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists” and on May 15, 2010 former Speaker Newt Gingrich released a book titled “To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular Socialist Machine.” Of course they are right about Obama’s radical ties and “secular socialist machine.” (I’m looking forward to Laura Ingraham’s “The Obama Diaries,” out on or about July 13, 2010, but I bet President Obama isn’t.)

Even though on October 21, 2008 The New York Times killed the Obama/ACORN expose on which I been reporter Stephanie Strom’s source and I decided to blow the whistle myself and appeared on Laura Ingraham’s radio show before the end of the month, Bill O’Reilly of Fox News apparently did not learn about it until March of 2009 (the month in which attorney Heather Heidelbaugh, for whom I voluntarily became a witness in the Pennsylvania ACORN, testified before a Congressional committee about ACORN voter registration fraud and the New York Times cover up), it was inevitable that the truth about Obama, ACORN and “stealth socialism” finally would become generally known as the socialist agenda was implemented. After all, the idea was for Obama to deliver as President on that “fundamental change” that he promised as a presidential hopeful.

After an appealing generality becomes an examinable specific and the cost calculations are done, putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t fool nearly as many people. For example, Obamacare is a massive wealth redistribution program and–no surprise–not long after it was enacted, an Obama Administration official acknowledged it and we learned that Obamacare would be much more expensive than it had been officially estimated before it was passed.

Defining stealth socialism

Graham L. Strachan explained the “stealth socialism” path this way:

“Why did the Western media persist in calling the social system in the Communist bloc ‘Communism’ instead of Socialism? They did it to manufacture a false reality: to protect the reputation of another form of Socialism which existed in the West….so-called ‘Democratic Socialism’, socialism by stealth, socialism achieved through the ‘permeation’ of existing political institutions by members of organisation such as the Fabian Society, in order to influence the policies adopted by those institutions towards socialism.

“Democratic Socialism itself was based on a lie: that Socialism could be implemented peacefully through the ballot box. The implication was that if the voters didn’t like it they could vote it out again. That was a hoax. Since Socialism does not permit private ownership of property, it cannot be ‘democratic’ in the sense of allowing a choice of political Parties. This is not a matter of ideology, but of logistics. It would be impossible to have a two Party system of genuine democracy, for example, under which the state nationalised all property including business when the Socialists were voted into power, then sold it all back to the people again when they were voted out. The intention of Democratic Socialism was (and still is) to be democratic just long enough to gain power. Then it will declare the ‘end of history’ and entrench itself forever, enforcing its politically correct speech and thought on everybody, and being just as tyrannical as its Marxist revolutionary counterparts.”

How to make a socialist the ACORN way

As an ACORN insider my indoctrination as a socialist was a slow but steady progression from radical liberalism to embracing the stealth socialist methods that had made ACORN a powerful force in American electoral politics. Two years ago, in the mist of a heated presidential election year, I noticed a Facebook page of Socialism 2008. The graffiti-like picture beckoned young Socialists to Chicago, Illinois on June 19th, 2008. I RSVPed for the event on Facebook without fully understanding what had just taken place. The line between radical, liberal Democrat and socialist was almost invisible at this point.

Working for ACORN/Project Vote facilitated my crossing the “socialist”threshold and I had become what insiders termed “one of the true believers.” True believers were instrumental in the survival of ACORN and the process of making an employee a true believer began on the very first day.

Inside ACORN offices across the country, young, idealistic liberals were being ingrained with the Saul Alinsky style of Organizing. Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals was never mentioned by name, but Alinsky’s tactics were used on employees and ACORN members.

ACORN’s strategy of stealth socialism was aimed at gaining power through duplicity and somewhat assimilating into society. Alinsky, the “father of community organizing,” taught that the path to power necessitated the use of people who would serve as pawns.

“Organizing for power was Alinsky’s political end, not political party influence. When he asked his new students why they wanted to organize, they would invariably respond with ’selfless bromides about wanting to help others,’ according to Ryan Lizza writing in The New Republic. Alinsky would then “scream back at them that there was a one-word answer: “You want to organize for power!’”

Saul Alinsky almost single-handedly invented the modern art of community organizing…

He was a master teacher of others, and left a legion of trained disciples and organizations, including Obama and Clinton.”

Every ACORN employee was given a copy of the ACORN Organizing Model, bylaws and various information on running campaigns, but the real education was in how ACORN operated behind the scenes. Like Alinsky, ACORN openly organized to build power, but ACORN’s ace in the hole was the black community.

Community organizers became the “information police” for minorities in dozens of cities. As the official representative for its members, ACORN was able to frame the debate in ways that aligned with its People’s Platform. The platform is based on the socialist idea of sharing the wealth. Members were asked, even coerced, to attend rallies and protests for issues ACORN had decided would lead to power.

As students exited schools with a “liberal arts” education and a desire to help, ACORN stood ready with the social justice flag in one hand and a cigarette lighter and American flag in the other. Attending such events like Socialism 2008 was the culmination of two years of looking the other way and accepting a little bad in order to save the “movement.” Some leave ACORN at this point but the ones who stay are trusted just a little more.
The Road from radical terrorists to professors and community organizers

With greater access comes greater understanding of the true subversive nature of ACORN. As stated last summer in my article “Liberal Fallout Zones“:

“Poverty is big business and a predicate for class warfare intended to perpetuate political power in the masters of that big business. In the current climate special interest groups are writing bills and influencing votes amid a huge liberal spending binge.”

That spending binge is more like a bender now because ACORN, recognizing the past mistakes of other radical groups like Weather Underground and Students for a Democratic Society decided the best way to gain power as was to pass unnoticed in mainstream America. Radicals like Frances Fox Piven and her husband Richard A. Cloward retreated into the world of Academia where they penned papers on Socialism peppered with Alinsky tactics and a new name:

The Cloward-Piven strategy

On May 2, 1966, Columbia’s Professor of Social Work Richard A. Cloward, and his then research associate Frances Fox Piven, wrote a pivotal article in The Nation, articulating “a strategy to end poverty.”

In what became known as the Cloward-Piven strategy, the article argued a revolutionary approach to mobilizing the poor in the form of class warfare against capitalist forces viewed as exploiting labor and oppressing the poor.

David Horowitz, a long-time student of leftist political movements in the United States, characterized the Cloward-Piven strategy as seeking “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.”

Cloward and Piven argued a “guaranteed annual income” should be established as an entitlement for the poor, a right the poor could assert and demand to be paid.”

Other radicals like ACORN founder Wade Rathke and former Project Vote executive director, Zach Polett formed organizations and began implementing their socialist agenda while using the poor and minority communities as a defense if anyone dared question their actions. According to its website, ACORN planted its seed in American politics long ago and continues to play an “insider’s game” to maintain it.

“Finally, ACORN® began playing the insiders’ game in American politics. Congressional lobbying is practiced by ACORN® staff. Leaders and members became a central part of the insiders’ games, too. Members elected to office or serving on APACs acquired experience and skill applying power from the inside of the political process. Instead of confronting opponents in actions (something ACORN® will never stop doing), members could trade and negotiate from inside positions of power. ACORN®’s work on the savings and loan bailout provided effective means of developing and applying power for low- and moderate- income people. ACORN® members won appointment to the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) to help determine the management of the billions of dollars of assets the government seized. The payoff to these activities came, and still comes, when substantial numbers of ACORN® members developed the ability to move inside the political sphere that has for so long been closed to low- and moderate-income people.”

Wade Rathke and Zach Polett learned the path to power quickly and utilized their influence to pass the 1996 National Voter Registration Act (the “Motor Voter” bill). Polett, seated below to the far left in a dark suit and tie, had officially brought the Arkansas based ACORN to Washington.

Interestingly, on the same page with their tales of insider dealing, ACORN discusses how the network of unions, non-profits and corporations were created for the express purpose of pushing ACORN’s socialist agenda.

“The national lobbying arm of ACORN® is only one example of the diversification within ACORN® that was basic to its success. The ACORN® Housing Corporation worked to create affordable housing in conjunction with banks and state and local government. The United Labor Unions, now Locals 100 and 880 of the Service Employees International Union, became labor organizing arms of ACORN® which organize people where they work. ACORN® Services, Inc. and the canvassing operations enhanced ACORN®’s ability to create the financial resources needed to grow. The Arkansas Institute for Social Justice became the means for developing leadership skills and political talents among the ACORN® members. What was once a relatively simple organization of community groups has became a diversified system of institutions capable of applying specialized skills to solving the kinds of problems ACORN® encounters in its work.”

Along came a socialist

In late 2006 the atmosphere in the office changed and it appeared that the senior staff were energized. Efforts to function as a real office were implemented. Project Vote began using a donor database instead of a box and attempts were made to reconcile the accounting records. In anticipation of what ACORN began calling a “once in a generation opportunity.” John Podesta from the Center for American Progress gave a speech called “Preparing for Power: The Next Cycle?” in December of that year.

After two years with ACORN I understood how they operated and took the close relationship with the Democrat party for granted. The relationship between Democrats and ACORN was that the party needed ACORN to retain their seats and ACORN needed them to pass their agenda items. ACORN’s belief that indeed, all politics is local, allowed them to place people strategically in positions that would allow a run for higher office.

In 2007 when Zach Polett bragged about supervising Barack Obama and that “ACORN produces leaders,” his purpose was to energize the employees so that we would go out there and deliver. ACORN’s voter registration goals and budget were unmatched and the stakes were high.

When Obama’s campaign called the Project Vote offices in late 2007, I could barely contain my excitement as I relayed the information to my supervisors. After receiving the Obama 2007 2nd quarter donor list from Karyn Gillette, I had another look away moment. Were we violating FEC rules by targeting Obama’s maxed out donors? Did I really want Obama to win this way? Believing that the bigger goal was helping people by implementing the ACORN agenda, I put my doubts aside and worked on pulling donors from the list (which included ALL Obama donors, not just the bigger donors required to be reported to the Federal Elections Commission).

From October 2005 until 2008, I did fundraising work with ACORN and used political donor lists. All Democrat: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Democratic National Committee. When I appeared as a guest on “The O’Reilly Factor” last year, I said that ACORN had served for years as an unofficial arm of the Democratic Party, but Bill O’Reilly didn’t discuss that with me. Ignoring it is exactly what the stealth socialists want.

I once asked Marcel Reid, former ACORN national board member and President of DC ACORN, how it was possible for ACORN to push its agenda and she replied “We never use the word Socialism.” ACORN’s appeal was to simply implement a Socialist agenda without ever saying the word. When Wade Rathke was interviewed by Megyn Kelly of Fox News, Kelly asked Rathke whether he would describe himself as a socialist, and Wade answered no. Kelly proceeded to point out that the ACORN People’s Platform sounded socialism. Rathke weakly tried to defend ACORN against the Socialist label by pretending the “share the wealth” philosophy was not in the ACORN Platform. You can watch the video here.

Eventually Rathke conceded that the share the wealth language was indeed present, but cited some language about the right to be rich and free.
The People’s Platform (or ACORN’s socialist wish list)

ACORN People’s Platform can be found here and it defines what rich and free meant, and it certainly is not capitalism!

“Our riches shall be the blooming of our communities, the bounty of a sure livelihood, the beauty of homes for our families with sickness driven from the door, the benefit of our taxes rather than their burden, and the best of our energy, land, and natural resources for all people.

“Our freedom is the force of democracy, not the farce of federal fat and personal profit. In our freedom, only the people shall rule. Corporations shall have their role; producing jobs, providing products, paying taxes. No more, no less. They shall obey our wishes, respond to our needs, serve our communities. Our country shall be the citizens’ wealth and our wealth shall build our country.

“Government shall have its role: public servant to our good, fast follower to our sure steps. No more, no less. Our government shall shout with the public voice and no longer to a private whisper. In our government, the common concerns shall be the collective cause.”

Marcel Reid’s explanation described “stealth socialism.” Aggressive tactics like ACORN’s protests and rallies were to gain the credibility that would allow the acceptance of a radical socialist agenda. While Reid was president of DC ACORN they proposed a plan to redistribute wealth in the Washington, DC metro area. This plan was proudly presented to the organization at the 2006 ACORN Year End, Year Beginning meeting in New Orleans. The excerpt below is from page 191 of the 2006 ACORN YEYB Annual Report (click to enlarge).

DC ACORN readily admits that “this proposal would essentially be a redistribution of wealth across the board,” but stealth socialism is so effective that even conservative watchdogs have been fooled by the ever changing names of the ACORN empire.

Obama’s agenda mirrors the ACORN People’s Platform as evidenced by a review of the healthcare and energy sections of the platform. On healthcare, the ACORN’s socialist people’s platform wants to “require the federal government to provide for the health care needs of recent immigrants. ACORN’s position on Energy shows shades of Cap and Trade with goals like:

Prevent any single corporation or conglomerate from owning major interest in more than one of the following resources: oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy, and coal; or more than one of the following categories: source, refinery, shipping, or outlet.”

Pay no attention to the white liberal behind the curtain

The “Liberals” who elected Obama President may have a “tower of Babel” moment as gay rights, civil rights, immigration rights, environmental extremists, pro-choicers and all the other special interests that supported the Obama presidential campaign strive to push America further to the left and shed all inhibitions. As with ACORN itself, it seems impossible that the coalition that put Obama in the White House and gave Democrats huge majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives will continue to work smoothly together now that Obama and the Congressional Democrats are in control and America is learning what Obama really meant by the seductive-sounding “hope and change.” ACORN needed the cloak of stealth socialism to maintain its hold on the poor. ACORN’s image is synonymous with blacks and other minorities and the race card has become the last bastion of its “hope.”

During its greatest crisis, ACORN replaced its white leader with a black woman in order to hide behind Bertha Lewis’s skin color. What they didn’t want the public to see were the white liberal leaders behind the scenes who have been staying in Executive suites and partying in the mountains.

ACORN Political Operations Retreat November 2007 (among the pictured are senior staff Patrick Winogrond, Jessica Angus, Nathan Henderson-James, Kimberly Olson, Amy Busefink and Johanna Sharrard)
Restoring the balance

Stealth socialism allowed ACORN to set the stage for Obama’s “regime” as they called it internally. Wade Rathke was willing to fall on his sword in 2008 to protect Obama, and to attain what nearly 40 years organizing the country towards socialism promised. After the embezzlement scandal, ACORN board members and staff assembled at meetings across the country and as insiders revealed, and I testified about, “fighting Capitalism” was listed as one of the things “great about ACORN.”

Obama has shown himself to be unrelenting in his quest to pass healthcare, take over American industries and weaken our national security. America can’t afford to be fooled by increasingly obvious tactics of the Far Left. It’s time for the great majority of Americans to turn the tables back on the Far Left by getting involved and organized and voting out incumbents who vote against the traditional American way. We need a morning in America, but it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two more Census workers blow the whistle -

Two more Census workers blow the whistle


Last Updated: 1:23 AM, May 25, 2010

Posted: 12:42 AM, May 25, 2010

You know the old saying: "Everyone loves a charade." Well, it seems that the Census Bureau may be playing games.

Last week, one of the millions of workers hired by Census 2010 to parade around the country counting Americans blew the whistle on some statistical tricks.

The worker, Naomi Cohn, told The Post that she was hired and fired a number of times by Census. Each time she was hired back, it seems, Census was able to report the creation of a new job to the Labor Department.

Below, I have a couple more readers who worked for Census 2010 and have tales to tell.

But first, this much we know.

Each month Census gives Labor a figure on the number of workers it has hired. That figure goes into the closely followed monthly employment report Labor provides. For the past two months the hiring by Census has made up a good portion of the new jobs.

Labor doesn't check the Census hiring figure or whether the jobs are actually new or recycled. It considers a new job to have been created if someone is hired to work at least one hour a month.

One hour! A month! So, if a worker is terminated after only one hour and another is hired in her place, then a second new job can apparently be reported to Labor . (I've been unable to get Census to explain this to me.)

Here's a note from a Census worker -- this one from Manhattan:

"John: I am on my fourth rehire with the 2010 Census.

"I have been hired, trained for a week, given a few hours of work, then laid off. So my unemployed self now counts for four new jobs.

"I have been paid more to train all four times than I have been paid to actually produce results. These are my tax dollars and your tax dollars at work.

"A few months ago I was trained for three days and offered five hours of work counting the homeless. Now, I am knocking (on) doors trying to find the people that have not returned their Census forms. I worked the 2000 Census. It was a far more organized venture.

"Have to run and meet my crew leader, even though with this rain I did not work today. So I can put in a pay sheet for the hour or hour and a half this meeting will take. Sincerely, C.M."

And here's another:

"John: I worked for (Census) and I was paid $18.75 (an hour) just like Ms. Naomi Cohn from your article.

"I worked for about six weeks or so and I picked the hours I wanted to work. I was checking the work of others. While I was classifying addresses, another junior supervisor was checking my work.

"In short, we had a "checkers checking checkers" quality control. I was eventually let go and was told all the work was finished when, in fact, other people were being trained for the same assignment(s).

"I was re-hired about eight months later and was informed that I would have to go through one week of additional training.

"On the third day of training, I got sick and visited my doctor. I called my supervisor and asked how I can make up the class. She informed me that I was 'terminated.' She elaborated that she had to terminate three other people for being five minutes late to class.

"I did get two days' pay and I am sure the 'late people' got paid also. I think you would concur that this is an expensive way to attempt to control sickness plus lateness. I am totally convinced that the Census work could be very easily done by the US Postal Service.

"When I was trying to look for an address or had a question about a building, I would ask the postman on the beat. They knew the history of the route and can expand in detail who moved in or out etc. I have found it interesting that if someone works one hour, they are included in the labor statistics as a new job being full.

"I am not surprised that you can't get any answers from Census staff; I found there were very few people who knew the big picture. M.G."

When I received my Census form in the mail, I filled it out. Nobody had to knock on my door.

I answered truthfully about the number of people living in my household. But I could have just as easily dou bled the number. Why not? Didn't Census ad vertisements imply that my community would get more federal money if the popula tion were larger?

I'm glad people are finding work with the Census. For some it's the only work they have had this year and the chump change they are making for a few hours' work is a godsend.

But wasting taxpayers' money on busywork isn't going to do much for the economy.

Glenn Beck's departure from Fox News, Part 1

Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Glenn Beck's departure
from Fox News, Part 1
Exclusive: Robert Ringer says 'Washington oligarchy'
cannot long abide 'real-life version of Howard Beale'
Posted: May 26, 2010
10:01 pm Eastern

By Robert Ringer

On rare occasions, a unique figure bursts onto the national stage and has a dramatic impact on politics, culture, or both. Glenn Beck is one of those figures. He is surely the biggest, fastest, most controversial star in the political commentary business in my lifetime.

Beck is a real-life version of Howard Beale, the fictional television commentator in the 1976 film classic "Network." Beale whipped his cultish TV audience into a frenzy, exhorting them to stick their heads out the window and chant, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Much to the chagrin of the oligarchy in Washington, however, Glenn Beck is not a fictional character. He's real, and he has succeeded in enlightening his audience far beyond Beale's simple rants about the unfairness of life. Beck is much more knowledgeable, much more factual, much more rational and much more focused on the key issue: America's loss of liberty.

I find it more than just a bit ironic that ultra-liberal CNN Headline News gave Beck his first forum on television. There, he created a huge stir with his "rodeo-clown" antics and his willingness to talk openly about his drug- and alcohol-addicted past. But as he increasingly added his political views to the mix, people started asking, "Why isn't this guy on Fox News?"

What will it take to restore common sense and rein in out-of-control government? Get Glenn Beck's book inspired by Founding Father Thomas Paine

Of course, Roger Ailes was closely observing Beck all along, and, in January 2009, he brought him to Fox and fit him into the 5 p.m. time slot. While Beck had been moving more and more toward political commentary at CNN Headline News, from the moment he came to Fox his transition to near-total politics was swift.

Combining his incredible talents with the work of his equally incredible research staff, Beck became a household name seemingly overnight. In truth, of course, he had been in media for 30 years, but he had never before had a forum like Fox News.

Beck's show is so good that I'm convinced if a person doesn't watch it on a regular basis, it's almost impossible for him to understand the true causes of the moral and economic collapse of the United States – or even that it is collapsing – because no one else on TV covers most of the stories he dissects in impeccable detail. His modus operandi has been to expose the bad guys through their own words by playing audio and video of them shooting off their mouths and by quoting their writings.

For quite some time now, I have believed that Beck has become so good at exposing the truth, so well-respected and so powerful that the Forces of Darkness in the White House and Congress view him as a major threat to their aspirations to eliminate the Constitution, the rule of law and individual sovereignty in the United States. (In fact, they now refer to him as "the Beck problem.")

But, as I have written in the past, the Obamafia is in a no-win situation with Beck. If its leaders ignore him, he will continue to disrobe Chairman Obama and his malevolent progressive pals through their own spoken and written words.

On the other hand, as they have already discovered, the more they try to discredit Beck, the more attention they draw to him – and the more people will learn about the details of how they plan to fundamentally transform America. Worse, their childish mudslinging is no match for Beck's 60 minutes of hard-core truth five days a week (not to mention his three-hour daily radio show).

So Beck keeps raising the ante, and there is no question in my mind that the oligarchy in Washington sees him as a major obstacle between where they are today and their ultimate goal: a firmly entrenched, all-powerful federal government that controls every aspect of people's lives.

Listening to Beck this past year has convinced me that he senses he has been chosen by a Higher Power to lead the charge against the evildoers in government. If so, it's not the first time God has surprised the world with his choice of a messenger.

(Column continues below)

In laying down the gauntlet, Beck has pointed out that as a recovering alcoholic, he's already been at the bottom, so nothing scares him. "The worst thing that can happen in my life," Beck has said, "is to lose my honor and to return to my Heavenly Father without honor – without doing what I was supposed to do." When people talk like this, it represents a very big problem for those in power.

Beck has made it clear that he is not afraid of losing everything if that's what it takes to convey the truth to as many people as possible. And, as the far left knows all too well, a man who is willing to lose everything can be a huge obstacle to its achieving its socialist objectives.

The willingness to lose everything is, in fact, a key to being a successful revolutionary, or, in Beck's case, a counter-revolutionary. How many people do you know who are prepared to lose everything to fight for what they believe in?

Not long ago, Beck came right out and said, "I'm going out swinging." That statement carried with it some very strong implications. Clearly, something has to give.

My best guess? I hope I'm wrong, but I have long had the feeling that Glenn Beck will be leaving Fox News other than through old-age retirement.

How might his departure come about? The way I see it, there are four possible avenues of exit, which I will discuss in detail tomorrow in Part 2 of this column.

50 Stupid Laws From 50 States

50 Stupid Laws From 50 States
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50 Dumb Laws from 50 States Of America
Laws are made to function a seemingly healthy community in a stable and disciplined fashion. However, when some of those laws become increasingly absurd, that you giggle your way through even reading them, one wonders what the law makers were thinking while coming up with such classical dumbness. Here we have gathered for you at least one dumb law from a state each.
Law: You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time.

Why would you have an ice cream cone in your back pocket in the first place?
Law: Moose may not be viewed from an airplane.

Isn't it highly unlikely for the human eye to view a moose from an airplane? Nevertheless, expect your eyes to be scooped out if you break this law!
Law: It is illegal to manufacture imitation cocaine.

Perhaps manufacturing original cocaine is no longer illegal. The creator of this law might just be on crack.
Law: Dogs may not bark after 6 PM.

Taping your dog's mouth for this one might not get you a fine. How can one stop dogs from barking after a specific time?
Law: No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.

Do the law makers expect moving vehicles to be without drivers?
Law: It is legal to challenge a police officer, but only until he or she asks you to stop.

How can one challenge an officer while on the 'go' is a mystery! This law is against the law of 'motion' in physics for sure!
Law: It is unlawful to walk backwards after sunset.

Walking backwards after sunset may well be a believable myth. Only a complete retard would walk backwards continuously.
Law: Alcohol may not be served in nightclubs if dancing is occurring on the premises at the same time.

Intoxication may lead to over enjoyment, which may lead to one dancing, how expression of joy is illegal here, is beyond the logical mind.
Law: It is considered an offense to shower naked.

This rule really means for one to shower with their clothes on, and if not done so, someone might just barge in the bathroom and fine you stark naked! This is absolutely mind boggling.
Law: Members of the state assembly cannot be ticketed for speeding while the state assembly is in session.

Duh! As the members of the state assembly, may not be driving at that time and be sitting in the assembly that is in session.
Law: All residents may be fined as a result of not owning a boat.

So those not-so rich blokes who cannot afford a boat, have to pay a fine for being poor?
Law: A person may not be seen in public without a smile on their face.

Simply, if you are having a rotten day, some massive grievance just struck you, just keep smiling! No matter what!
Law: The English language is not to be spoken.

If the English language is not to be spoken in the state of Illinois, a state of a nation whose official language is English, then what is to be spoken? Gibberish, perhaps!
Law: Baths may not be taken between the months of October and March.

Convenient law for the not-so hygienic!
Law: A man with a moustache may never kiss a woman in public.

This law is a simple example of discrimination against a man with a moustache against a clean shaven one.
Law: Pedestrians crossing the highways at night must wear tail lights.

Sigh! Since when were pedestrians an equivalent to vehicles? Tail lights on human beings? The must be kidding when creating this law!
Law: A woman may not buy a hat without her husband's permission.

It won't come as the slightest surprise if this one was formed somewhere in the 17th century and they forgot to amend it, considering we are living in 2010!
Law: One could land in jail for up to a year for making a false promise.

A great law for the vengeful people, but this one being considered as a serious statute is rather comical.
Law: You may not step out of a plane in flight.

You don't say! Are not all doors tightly jammed and the risk of getting out might as well land you on the seventh heaven?
Law: It's illegal to take a lion to the movie.

It is probably illegal to take a cannibal simply anywhere, not just the movies, for heaven sake!
Law: Snoring is prohibited unless all bedroom windows are closed and securely locked.

They actually made this a statute! Uproarious!
Law: A woman isn't allowed to cut her own hair without her husband's permission.

This one would have the feminists going riotous.
Law: It is illegal to sleep naked.

Sure! The law makers would step onto your private property, have you checked for sleeping naked and charge you if found guilty while you are stripped!
Law: If one is a parent to two illegitimate children, that person will go to jail for at least one month.

So perhaps being a parent to one illegitimate child is legal then!
Law Single men between the ages of twenty-one and fifty must pay an annual tax of one dollar (enacted 1820).:

This is law is pretty much going against the Bill of Rights, tarnishing a single, very happy man's life, pushing him for marriage or to pay taxes, quite the same torture in a varying degree!
Law: Seven or more Indians are considered a raiding or war party and it is legal to shoot them.

Murder is legal through this law!
Law: Sneezing or burping is illegal during a church service.

But thy Lord is forgiving, thee humans!
Law: It's still "legal" to hang someone for shooting your dog on your property.

This law simply breaks two laws; firstly it is fine for someone to 'shoot' your dog and secondly, it is totally 'legal' for you to hand that person to death! Outrageous!
New Hampshire
New Hampshire
Law: You may not run machinery on Sundays.

Dishwashing, washing machine, irons, blenders, microwave ovens etc, are not to be used on a Sunday, else you will be charged for committing a felony! Intriguing really!
New Jersey
New Jersey
Law: It is illegal to wear a bullet-proof vest while committing a murder.

Why would a murderer feel the need to wear a bullet-proof vest? Baffling!
New Mexico
New Mexico
Law: Idiots may not vote.

Idiots should not be elected either!
New York
New York
Law: The penalty for jumping off a building is death.

No way! As if jumping off the building may not result in death, and if it doesn't, the law offers its generous help by giving you a death sentence!
North Carolina
North Carolina
Law: All couples staying overnight in a hotel must have a room with double beds that are at least two feet apart.

Supreme lavishness or complete absurdity of a law such as this is a debatable question!
North Dakota
North Dakota
Law: It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.

This act is considered as a felony is just so completely incongruous.
Law: No one may be arrested on Sunday or on the Fourth of July.

They should amend this law and add Christmas holidays in exclusion list to make it more stupid.
Law: People who make "ugly faces" at dogs may be fined and/or jailed.

What kind of a silly person would indulge in making faces at a dog, and what kind of a law maker would think of creating this law?
Law: It's illegal to walk down a sidewalk and knock a snakes head off with your cane.

Even if a snake seems to be remotely threatening to you, you still will be charged with a federal felony of trying to protect yourself from a snake!
Law: Dynamite is not to be used to catch fish.

Of course dynamite should not be used to catch fish, for you won't catch the fish, you might just find nothing of the fish. Sense so common that everyone has it, yet it's a prescribed statute!
Rhode Island
Rhode Island
Law: Any marriage where either of the parties is an idiot or lunatic is null and void.

What a super idiotic excuse of getting out of a commitment made for a lifetime.
South Carolina
South Carolina
Law: Horses may not be kept in bathtubs.

This law can not be more dumb! How can a horse possibly even fit in a bathtub? Moreover, why would you want to keep a horse in a bathtub!!
South Dakota
South Dakota
Law: If there are more than 5 Native Americans on your property you may shoot them.

Murder is made legal!
Law: No Christian parent may require their children to pick up trash from the highway on Easter day.

Picking up trash is a capital offense!
Law: The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.

As if the formula for making beer is only in the Encyclopedia. How silly to ban a treasure of information!
Law: Birds have the right of way on all highways.

So a speeding car has to give way to a bird. Birds travel via roads is simply a marvel!
Law: All residents shall bathe every Saturday night.

Do the law makers seriously check every household member to have bathed every Saturday night?
Law: It is illegal to tickle women.

Is that even a crime? Making it a crime should be a crime!
Law: No person may walk about in public if he or she has the common cold.

Common cold maybe infectious but it's not as deadly as STD's! The person who made this statute was probably really ticked off at getting the common cold from bystanders!
West Virginia
West Virginia
Law: It is illegal to snooze on a train.

It could just not get more absurd than this!
Law: Whenever two trains meet at an intersection of said tracks, neither shall proceed until the other has.

Ever heard of rail diversion tracks? Modern modes of commuting allow two trains to divide their tracks if they pass one another. On the other hand, obviously if that was not a possibility, no one would want a collision!
Law: Any person who fails to close a fence is subject to a fine of up to seven hundred and fifty dollars.

It's like saying that if someone is comfortable with the main door of their home open, is going to be charged for committing the freedom of doing such an act.

Monday, May 24, 2010

National Debt by President

65% Now Hold Populist, or Mainstream, Views - Rasmussen Reports™

65% Now Hold Populist, or Mainstream, Views
Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters nationwide now hold populist, or Mainstream, views of government. That’s up from 62% last September and 55% last March.

Mainstream Americans tend to trust the wisdom of the crowd more than their political leaders and are skeptical of both big government and big business (see crosstabs). While Republicans and unaffiliated voters are more likely to hold Mainstream views than Democrats, a majority of those in the president’s party (51%) hold such views.

Only four percent (4%) now support the Political Class. These voters tend to trust political leaders more than the public at large and are far less skeptical about government.

When leaners are included, 81% are in the Mainstream category, and 12% support the Political Class.

Polling conducted from January 18 through January 24 found that 76% of voters generally trust the American people more than political leaders on important national issues. Seventy-one percent (71%) view the federal government as a special interest group, and 70% believe that the government and big business typically work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors. On each question, a majority of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters share those views.

These results help explain why most voters are angry at the policies of the federal government, and most think that neither political party understands what the country needs.

“The American people don’t want to be governed from the left, the right or the center. The American people want to govern themselves," says Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “The American attachment to self-governance runs deep. It is one of our nation’s cherished core values and an important part of our cultural DNA.”

In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Rasmussen explains, ““In the clique that revolves around Washington, DC, and Wall Street, our treasured heritage has been diminished almost beyond recognition. In that world, some see self-governance as little more than allowing voters to choose which of two politicians will rule over them. Others in that elite environment are even more brazen and see self-governance as a problem to be overcome.”

The book can be ordered on the Rasmussen Reports site or at

The Political Class Index is based on three questions. All three clearly address populist tendencies and perspectives, all three have strong public support, and, for all three questions, the populist perspective is shared by a majority of Democrats, Republicans and those not affiliated with either of the major parties. We have asked the questions before, and the results change little whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge of the government.

Over time, we have found that those with Mainstream views often have a very different perspective from those who support the Political Class. In many cases, the gap between the Mainstream view and the Political Class is larger than the gap between Mainstream Republicans and Democrats.

Initially, Rasmussen Reports labeled the groups Populist and Political Class. However, despite the many news stories referring to populist anger over bailouts and other government actions, the labels created confusion for some. In particular, some equated populist attitudes with the views of the late-19th century Populist Party. To avoid that confusion, and since a majority clearly hold skeptical views about the ruling elites, we now label the groups Mainstream and Political Class.

The questions used to calculate the Index are:

-- Generally speaking, when it comes to important national issues, whose judgment do you trust more - the American people or America’s political leaders?

-- Some people believe that the federal government has become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Has the federal government become a special interest group?

-- Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors?

To create a scale, each response earns a plus 1 for the populist answer, a minus 1 for the political class answer, and a 0 for not sure.

Those who score 2 or higher are considered a populist or part of the Mainstream. Those who score -2 or lower are considered to be aligned with the Political Class. Those who score +1 or -1 are considered leaners in one direction or the other.

In practical terms, if someone is classified with the Mainstream, they agree with the mainstream view on at least two of the three questions and don’t agree with the Political Class on any.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports Election Edge™ Premium Service offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage available anywhere.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports January 18-24, 2010. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Soros-funded group urges media run by government

Soros-funded group urges media run by government
Marxist-led study has close ties to Obama White House officials
Posted: May 19, 2010
9:58 pm Eastern

© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Free Press founder Robert W. McChesney

NEW YORK – A George Soros-funded, Marxist-founded organization calling itself Free Press has published a study advocating the development of a "world class" government-run media system in the U.S.

A newly released book, meanwhile, documents Free Press has close ties to top Obama administration officials.

"The need has never been greater for a world-class public media system in America," begins a 48-page document, "New Public Media: A Plan for Action," by the far-left Free Press organization.

"Commercial media's economic tailspin has pushed public media to the center of the debate over the future of journalism and the media, presenting the greatest opportunity yet to reinvigorate and re-envision the modern U.S. public media system," argued the Free Press document, which was reviewed by WND.

The hot new best-seller, "The Manchurian President," by Aaron Klein reveals the inside story on Team Obama and its members. Now available autographed at WND's Superstore!

The Free Press study urges the creation of a trust fund – largely supported by new fees and taxes on advertising and the private media – to jump start the founding of a massive government-run public media system that will ultimately become self-sufficient.

"We believe local news reporting should become one of public media's top priorities," said Free Press Managing Director Craig Aaron, one of the paper's co-authors.

"We should redeploy and redouble our resources to keep a watchful eye on the powerful and to reliably examine the vital issues that most Americans can't follow closely on their own," Aaron stated.

Free Press is a well-known advocate of government intervention in the Internet.

Avowed Marxist

A new book, "The Manchurian President," documents the founder of the Free Press, Robert W. McChesney, is an avowed Marxist who has recommended capitalism be dismantled.

The book, subtitled "Barack Obama's ties to communists, socialists and other anti-American extremists," also documents the close ties between Free Press and leading Obama administration officials. The new work was written by WND senior reporter Aaron Klein and co-author Brenda J. Elliott.

McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois and former editor of the Marxist journal Monthly Review.

In February 2009, McChesney recommended capitalism be dismantled.

"In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick-by-brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles,'" wrote McChesney in a column.

The board of Free Press has included a slew of radicals, such as Obama's former "green jobs" czar" Van Jones, who resigned after it was exposed he founded a communist organization.

Obama's "Internet czar," Susan P. Crawford, spoke at a Free Press's May 14, 2009, "Changing Media" summit in Washington, D.C, revealed "The Manchurian President" book.

"Manchurian" shows Crawford's pet project, OneWebNow, lists as "participating organizations" Free Press and the controversial Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.

Crawford and Kevin Werbach, who co-directed the Obama transition team's Federal Communications Commission Review team, are advisory board members at Public Knowledge, a George Soros-funded public interest group.

A Public Knowledge advisory board member is Timothy Wu, who is also chairman of the board for Free Press.

Like Public Knowledge, Free Press also has received funds from Soros' Open Society Institute.

Issues of restrictions on speech are not limited to Crawford.

WND previously reported Obama's "regulatory" czar, Cass Sunstein drew up a "First Amendment New Deal" – a new "Fairness Doctrine" that would include the establishment of a panel of "nonpartisan experts" to ensure "diversity of view" on the airwaves.

WND also reported that in a recently released book, "On Rumors," Sunstein argued websites should be obliged to remove "false rumors" while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such "rumors."

In the 2009 book, Sunstein cited as a primary example of "absurd" and "hateful" remarks, reports by "right-wing websites" alleging an association between President Obama and former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers.

Sunstein also singled out radio talker Sean Hannity for "attacking" Obama regarding the president's "alleged associations."

Ayers became a name in the 2008 presidential campaign when it was disclosed he worked closely with Obama for years. Obama also was said to have launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser in Ayers' apartment.

Meanwhile, in a lengthy academic paper, Sunstein, argued the U.S. government should ban "conspiracy theorizing," WND reported.

Among the examples of speech that should be banned, Sunstein offered, is advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.

Sunstein also recommended the government send agents to infiltrate "extremists who supply conspiracy theories" and disrupt the efforts of the "extremists" to propagate their theories.

Earlier this week, a video at showed Sunstein proposing Congress hold hearings about mandates to ensure websites post links to a diversity of views on issues.

"The Manchurian President," meanwhile, which just hit the New York Times best-seller list, alleges Obama has deep ties to an extremist nexus that has been instrumental not only in building his political career but in crafting current White House policy.

With almost 900 citations, "The Manchurian President" bills itself as the most exhaustive investigation ever performed into Obama's political background and radical ties.

Klein began investigating Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign and broke major national stories. He first exposed the politician's association with Ayers in a widely circulated WND article.

The story prompted the Nation magazine to lament, via the CBS News website, that "mainstream reporters now call the Obama campaign to ask about Klein's articles."

It was in a WABC Radio interview with Klein that Ahmed Yousef, chief political adviser to Hamas, "endorsed" Obama for president, generating world headlines and sparking controversy. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and Obama repeatedly traded public barbs over Hamas' positive comments.

Klein was among the first reporters to expose that Obama's "green jobs" czar, Van Jones, founded a communist organization and called for "resistance" against the U.S. government. The theme was picked up and expanded upon by the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck, leading to Jones' resignation last September.

Elliott, meanwhile, is a historian, author and investigative researcher known for her blogging during the 2008 presidential election about William Ayers, Tony Rezko and other controversial figures linked to Obama.

New coal plant equal to 2,000+ wind turbines | Face the State

New coal plant equal to 2,000+ wind turbines
August 13, 2009
By Face The State

Face The State Staff Report

As the Comanche unit 3 coal plant near Pueblo is scheduled to start commercial operation this fall, utilities are also seeking ways to comply with a 2004 ballot measure that requires 20 percent of the state's electricity to come from "renewable" sources. A Face The State analysis explores the relative power of Comanche versus two large wind and solar projects.

Comanche 3, under constructionaflcio/Flickr

In 2004, Colorado voters approved a statewide renewable energy requirement that mandates top utility companies to provide an increasing percentage of their retail electricity sales from renewable sources. Xcel Energy, the state's largest utility, already gets 10 percent of its power from renewable sources and must reach 20 percent by 2020. Meanwhile, Xcel began constructing the new coal-fired electric generating unit in January of 2006. It was Xcel's first new coal plant in nearly 30 years, and will likely be the company's last in Colorado. When the Comanche 3 unit is complete, the site will provide enough electricity for about one third of Colorado’s communities. The plant is also designed to serve as 24-hour backup to less consistent renewable sources.

Environmentalists have come out strong against Comanche 3's construction. WildEarth Guardians has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, asking the judge to order Xcel to stop construction on the Comanche 3 unit. They argue that coal-fired plants produce unacceptable levels of greenhouse gases, endangering the environment.

WildEarth's objections and those of other environmental groups aren't likely to stop Comanche 3 from coming online. But what would it take in green energy terms to replace its output with wind or solar power?

Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter has made his "new energy economy" a policy centerpiece since taking office in 2007. He praised SunEdison for building a solar plant in Alamosa and BP America for constructing a wind farm in Weld County. These projects have taken advantage of generous government subsidies, and feed into the state's grid to help Xcel and other utilities meet their Constitutional mandate.

While solar and wind power are cleaner, they are not cheap and demand a larger geographic footprint than more traditional sources and other alternatives like nuclear. Face The State's analysis shows how the PV solar plant in Alamosa and the Cedar Creek wind farm in Weld County stack up to the the energy production of the Comanche 3 coal plant.

Comanche 3 is expected to generate 750 Megawatts of power at peak output (a Mw is a unit of power representing 1 million watts.) A standard light bulb is 100 watts, while a hair dryer or toaster demand around 1,000 watts. To generate as much power as the 750Mw Comanche plant, SunEdison would need 92 plants like the one in Alamosa operating constantly in prime conditions - with 24 hours of sunlight every day. The plant of course won't operate at night, and due to the earth's rotation around the sun produces less in the winter. Put another way, SunEdison expects to produce 17,000 Killowatt hours from the project per year, a Kw hour being 1,000 watts delivered to a retail user for 1 hour. Comparatively, Comanche 3 will produce energy 24 hours a day, and up to 18,000KwHr in one day, more than the expected yearly output of the SunEdison solar plant. In order for SunEdison to match the maximum output of Comanche 3, it would need to install 386 solar plants covering 30,720 acres, or 48 square miles.

Like the sun, wind has varying degrees of intensity. To compensate for this, industry standards dictate that it would take three wind farms spread out around the state to ensure continuous energy production. To match Comanche 3's output, the consortium behind the farm would need to more than double the size of the current Cedar Creek installation and build two more just like it in other parts of the state. That would total 2,051 wind turbines operating on 240,000 acres, or 375 square miles.

To provide constant output to match retail demand, each watt of energy produced by renewable resources needs to be backed up by a secondary source, like coal or natural gas. Comanche 3 is designed to meet this backup need as Xcel takes older plants offline and replaces these sources in part with renewables.

The numbers:

Comanche Unit 3 coal power plant - Xcel Energy, rural electric co-ops
Maximum output: 750Mw
Cost: $1.3 billion
Location: near Pueblo
Cost per Mw: $1.73 million

Photovoltaic Power Plant - SunEdison
Maximum output: 8.2 Mw
Cost: $60 million
Acreage: 80 acres
Location: Alamosa
Cost per Mw: $7.3 million

Cedar Creek wind farm
Joint venture between the investment firm Babcock & Brown and BP America
Maximum output: 300.5 Mw
Number of turbines: 274
Cost: $480 million
Acreage: 32,000 acres
Location: North-central Weld County, 8 miles east of Grover
Cost per Mw: $1.6 million

Politics aside, litigation to stop ObamaCare could have real legs | Face the State

Politics aside, litigation to stop ObamaCare could have real legs
May 13, 2010
By Peter Blake

The lawsuit filed in March against ObamaCare was widely dismissed in the media as a no-hoper, a mere political stunt promoted by a baker’s dozen Republican attorneys general seeking higher office, or at least re-election.

Not so fast. The number of states suing has grown from 13 to 20, and the amended complaint to be filed Friday in the northern district of Florida will include significant new plaintiffs.

The states’ biggest challenge may be establishing their right to sue. If they can get over the hurdle of standing, they could win on the merits, considering the current conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court. Elena Kagan’s confirmation wouldn’t change that.

As Colorado Attorney General John Suthers put it, “The federal government does not want this to reach the Supreme Court.”

The additional plaintiffs will include the National Federation of Independent Business and some of its individual members. Their claim: We can afford to be self-insured and do not want to buy insurance or pay the penalty required by the law.

This is the key element in the constitutional challenge. The federal government has never before required anyone to buy specific goods or services as a condition of legal residence in the nation.

Yes, it can tax your income, but that was established by a separate constitutional amendment. Yes, it can draft you, but that comes under its power to “provide for the common defense.”

Suthers, in an interview this week, said his main reason for joining the suit (he was one of the original 13) was his “strong belief” that the Constitution’s commerce clause should never be expanded “to allow Congress to punish an individual American’s economic inactivity, for sitting on his butt on the couch.”

If we are forced to buy health insurance, then Congress has “total control over our independent economic decisions; they can force us to buy the fuel-efficient car they want; they can force us to buy healthy food.”

There’s nothing magical about health care, Suthers continued. “It just happens to be the vehicle they’re pursuing at the present time.”

Heretofore, Congress has regulated actual economic activity. “Here, they’re saying because you‘re a citizen and you’re not doing what we want you to do ... we’re going to fine you 2 percent of your adjusted gross income,” Suthers said.

He noted that starting in 1994, during the Clinton health care debate, the Congressional Budget Office has warned Congress regularly that “a mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”

The states have another concern more important to them than mere individual liberty: The explosion of their Medicaid budgets because of ObamaCare’s mandates. Currently, Medicaid covers those whose incomes are equal to the designated federal poverty level. Under the bill, the coverage would rise to 133 percent. And the federal government won’t provide the dollars.

In Colorado, said Suthers, that means the state will have to extract an extra billion dollars from taxpayers between 2014 and 2020.

So why can’t states that don’t like the bill simply drop out of the Medicaid program? That’s not so simple, Suthers said. The way ObamaCare works, even if your state doesn’t participate, you still have to pay for everyone else. “It’s so coercive you don’t have a choice.”

As it says in the complaint, the new health care law “converts what had been a voluntary federal-state partnership into a compulsory top-down federal program in which the discretion of the plaintiffs and their sister states is removed.”

Suthers joined the lawsuit on behalf of Colorado despite the unhappiness of the legislature. Most of the majority Democrats signed a letter urging him to withdraw, but they took no further action since he is empowered by the state constitution to act independently.

Is Suthers, who is running for re-election in November, just pandering to his Republican base? If so, he has an odd style. At a speech the other day, after his GOP audience applauded his stand against ObamaCare, he told them that Arizona had gone too far with its new law turning illegal immigration into a state crime. The audience didn’t like his objections, the Arizona law being very popular with most conservatives.

“You loved me when I said there’s no enumerated [federal] power over health care,” he told the crowd, “but there happens to be an enumerated power over immigration. You gotta live with that.”

A successful suit wouldn’t nullify the entire health care bill, but it would require Congress to do a major overhaul. If the plaintiffs are successful, he said, Congress would have to “incentivize” state cooperation instead of mandating it.

That’s how it got states to pass seat-belt laws and minimum DUI standards. Establish them, or surrender federal highway cash. Still nasty, but not as bad as what ObamaCare demands.

Peter Blake writes Thursdays on Face The State. E-mail him at

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

American Thinker Blog: Graph of the Day for February 28, 2010

American Thinker Blog: Graph of the Day for February 28, 2010


Graph of the Day for February 28, 2010
Randall Hoven
"This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the ‘peer-reviewed literature'. Obviously, they found a solution to that--take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering ‘Climate Research' as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board..." Michael Mann, "hocky-stick" climatologist.

Source: Pajamas Media.

Hoven's Index for February 28, 2010

Percentage of people polled in March 2009 (before Climategate) who were "worried a great deal" about eight specific environmental problems:
Pollution of drinking water: 59%

Water pollution: 52%

Toxic soil/water: 52%

Fresh water supplies: 49%

Air pollution: 45%

Loss of rain forests: 42%

Plant and animal extinction: 37%

Global warming: 34%

Source: Gallup.

American Thinker Blog: Graph of the Day for May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010
Graph of the Day for May 19, 2010
Randall Hoven
"The feds assume a relationship between the economy and tax revenue that is divorced from reality. Six decades of history have established one far-reaching fact that needs to be built into fiscal calculations: Increases in federal tax rates, particularly if targeted at the higher brackets, produce no additional revenue... a ratio of federal revenue to GDP of no more than 18.3% would be realistic."
David Ranson, Wall Street Journal.

Source: David Ranson, Wall Street Journal. HT: sedonaman.

Hoven's Index for May 19, 2010

Average federal revenues, as % of GDP, over various periods:

1950-59: 17.2%

1960-69: 17.9%

1970-79: 17.9%

1980-89: 18.3%

1990-99: 18.6%

1960-2000: 18.2%

2000-08: 18.2%

Source: US Government via GPO Access, Table 1.2.

American Thinker- Print Article

May 19, 2010
Democrats and Vote Fraud: On the Road to Rigged Elections
By Scott Swett

Lest we forget, Democrats were not given a mandate in 2008 to nationalize General Motors, the insurance industry, and health care. Most Americans want government to be less expensive, less intrusive, and more accountable. Yet despite the looming prospect of electoral dismemberment in November, the Democrats continue pushing a radical agenda: piling up debt and creating new entitlements, with crushing tax increases inevitably to follow. Why the evident lack of concern?

Perhaps they intend to cheat.

Examples of vote fraud by Democrats have not been widely publicized, thanks to the symbiotic relationship between the party and most of the media. In 2000, major TV networks wrongly projected Al Gore as the winner in Florida before the polls even closed in the state's heavily Republican Panhandle. Many prospective voters stepped out of line and went home. Later studies estimated that the error had reduced President Bush's margin by 8,000 to 11,500 votes.

In his book Stealing Elections, writer John Fund suggests that another 15,000+ Bush votes were destroyed in Democrat-controlled Palm Beach County. Palm Beach reported 19,120 "over votes" -- ballots marked for more than one candidate -- representing nearly ten times the error rate for the rest of the state. Former law enforcement officials told Fund that stacks of paper ballots had been altered by pushing a thin prod through the Gore column, invalidating votes for Bush while leaving those for Gore intact. National Democrats hired a telemarketing firm to make thousands of calls to Palm Beach County on Election Day, urging residents to say they were "confused" by the ballot.

Statistician John Lott and others asked for the suspect Palm Beach ballots to be examined when media teams conducted their own Florida recount the following year. The request was ignored.

Motor Voter: opening the door to fraud

In 1993, Congress passed the National Voter Registration Act, better known as the "Motor Voter" law, which requires motor vehicle departments, welfare offices, and other government agencies to provide forms and register voters. Motor Voter made it illegal to check the IDs of applicants and ordered the states to allow registration by mail.

Motor Voter opened the door to a massive increase in fraudulent registrations. For example, the number of registered voters in Philadelphia increased by 24% from 1995 to 2004, even as the city's population declined by 13%. By 2009, an independent study estimated that America's voter registration rolls included more than 16 million invalid voters. This provides fertile ground for ACORN and other groups that seek to turn phony registrations into votes.

Democrats have consistently attacked anti-fraud proposals, claiming that they violate voters' civil rights. In particular, they oppose requiring voters to show identification. A recent poll found that 82% of Americans think a photo ID should be required to vote. However, only 25 states check any form of voter identification, and a photo ID is required by just seven.

A PowerPoint presentation available at describes new election legislation proposed by congressional Democrats. They intend to nationalize voter registration and force the states to eliminate voter ID checks, provide absentee ballots to all voters, register voters on Election Day, and permit felons (who overwhelmingly support Democrats) to vote. Each of these measures would create new opportunities for fraud.

Voting early and often -- the risks of early and absentee voting

In 2001, the bipartisan National Commission on Election Reform reported that the increasing use of absentee ballots and early voting is inconsistent with five key objectives of fair elections:

* 1. Assure the privacy of the secret ballot and protection against coerced voting
* 2. Verify that only duly registered voters cast ballots
* 3. Safeguard ballots against loss or alteration
* 4. Assure their prompt counting
* 5. Foster the communal aspects of citizens voting together

Nevertheless, these trends have continued unabated. "No excuses" early voting (voting early without having to provide a reason) is now allowed by 36 states, starting as early as 45 days before the actual election. Large-scale absentee voting also creates delays in deciding elections -- delays that offer additional opportunities for fraud.

Non-citizens who vote

Many non-citizens use easily-obtained voter registrations to acquire other documents identifying them as U.S. citizens, along with other benefits such as Social Security and even government jobs. According to a recent Heritage Foundation study,

There is no systematic review of voter registration rolls by states to find non-citizens, and the relevant federal agencies -- in direct violation of federal law -- refuse to cooperate with state election officials seeking to verify the citizenship status of registered voters.

Local officials in several states who tried to remove felons and non-citizens from the registration rolls have also been sued by leftist groups alleging civil rights violations.

SEIU International Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina advocates amnesty for non-citizens ("immigration reform") as a way of adding 8 million new Democratic voters.

Manufacturing an election crisis

The changes that have made our election system less manageable, less accountable, and more vulnerable to fraud did not come about by accident. They are entirely consistent with the Cloward/Piven strategy, which seeks to undermine government institutions by overwhelming them with demands for services. The goal is to achieve a socialist state that will redistribute the nation's wealth. ACORN was specifically created to execute this strategy, targeting U.S. elections through its voter mobilization arm, Project Vote. Cloward and Piven themselves were longtime proponents of the Motor Voter Act, and they appeared on the podium with President Clinton for the signing ceremony. Earlier this year, Frances Fox Piven joined the Board of Project Vote.

Author Richard Poe writes:

The stated purpose of Project Vote is to ... secure the rights of minority and low-income voters under the U.S. Constitution. However, Project Vote's actions suggest that its true agenda is more radical. Its activities appear to be aimed at overwhelming, paralyzing and discrediting the voting system through fraud, protests, propaganda and vexatious litigation.

ACORN and Project Vote have been repeatedly cited and investigated for abuses that include turning in fraudulent registrations and destroying applications by Republicans. Nevertheless, ACORN may be slated to receive as much as $4 billion in Obama's fiscal 2011 budget.

Barack Obama ran the Chicago branch of Project Vote in the early 1990s, an effort credited with electing leftist radical Carole Moseley-Braun to the Senate. Multiple scandals and charges of corruption followed, and Moseley-Braun served only one term.

Buying the referee

The Secretary of State Project was created in 2006 by the Democracy Alliance, a 527 non-profit funded by anti-capitalist billionaire George Soros. SOSP seeks to place Democrats in crucial Secretary of State jobs that oversee elections in swing states. SOSP cash played a key role in electing Democrats in Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio in 2006 and in Missouri, Montana, Oregon, and West Virginia two years later.

Minnesota's fraudulent senator

Years of leftist planning and effort came together in Minnesota in 2008, where the nation's closest statewide contest pitted Democrat Al Franken against Republican incumbent Senator Norm Coleman. Presiding over the election was SOSP Secretary Mark Ritchie, whose extensive ties to ACORN were predictably ignored by the media. Shortly before the election, Ritchie was asked to investigate serious problems with the registration rolls, including 261,000 duplicates and 63,000 voters who had listed non-existent addresses. He dismissed the request as an attempt "to create a cloud over an election so people don't accept the outcome." After the polls closed, Secretary Ritchie reported that his office "received no reports whatsoever" of fraudulent voting.

The final tally showed Coleman with a narrow 725-vote victory. It wasn't enough. Over the next four days, his lead fell to 221 as officials "discovered" errors in the vote. Most came from three small precincts controlled by Democrats. Other irregularities included "misplaced" ballots turning up in an official's trunk, and vote total adjustments that affected only the Senate race. The manipulation continued during the official recount, as the Minnesota Canvassing Board detected just enough "ballot errors" to put Franken over the top. John Lott later analyzed the Board's inconsistent decisions, nearly all of which favored the Democratic candidate.

Some 17,000 more ballots were counted in the Minnesota Senate election than there were recorded voters. Mark Ritchie had dismantled the state's ballot reconciliation program, which previously required voting districts to validate the number of votes cast against the number of ballots issued. Outside investigators also found that 1,400 convicted felons had voted illegally.

The Secretary of State Project is supporting Ritchie once again in 2010, pleased with what the organization refers to as "a scrupulously fair and transparent election recount."

A spark in Houston

Last fall, 35 tea party members in Houston signed up to monitor the off-year Texas elections. The new poll watchers came back appalled at the abuses they saw. Precinct judges regularly failed to check voter IDs, and some even filled out ballots to "help" people vote. Investigating further, they made a second unpleasant discovery: Voting violation reports submitted to the District Attorney's office after the 2008 elections had yet to be processed or even reviewed. They resolved to make stopping vote fraud a top priority for 2010.

Now rebranded as the King Street Patriots, the group is greatly expanding its efforts to recruit and train election monitors. With more than 350 already signed up, KSP is well on the way to meeting an ambitious goal -- placing volunteers in each of Harris County's 874 precincts.

Other tea party and patriot groups might consider following suit. Eternal vigilance is often described as the price of freedom, and that promises to be especially true on November 2.

Scott Swett is the author of To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry and webmaster for,, and

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