Archive for September, 2010
I say let’s get out of the U.N. altogether!!! They are corrupt and should get no more support from the US.
Obama Endorses Global Taxes on Eve of U.N. Summit
By Cliff Kincaid | September 16, 2010
Obama has been a major U.N. supporter since he was in the Senate and sponsored a bill, the Global Poverty Act (S 2433), to force U.S. compliance with the MDGs.
In a classic case of misdirection, while the media are preoccupied with the fate of the Bush tax cuts, President Obama is preparing to attend a United Nations summit next week to endorse “innovative finance mechanisms”—global taxes—to drain even more wealth out of the U.S. economy.
A draft “outcome document” produced in advance of the September 20-22 U.N. Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) commits the nations of the world to supporting “innovative financing mechanisms” to supplement foreign aid spending.
The term “innovative financing mechanisms” is a U.N. euphemism for global taxes. But the document actually goes further, praising the “Task Force on International Financial Transactions for Development” for its work on the subject of mobilizing additional “resources” for countries to achieve the MDGs. This is a body tasked with proposing and implementing global tax schemes.
“We consider,” the document says, “that innovative financing mechanisms can make a positive contribution in assisting developing countries to mobilize additional resources for financing for development on a voluntary basis. Such financing should supplement and not be a substitute for traditional sources of financing.”
In other words, the revenue from global taxes should be in addition to foreign aid spending.
The document recognized the “considerable progress” made in this area, an acknowledgement that an international tax by some nations on airline tickets is already in effect and producing several billions of dollars of revenue for world organizations to fight AIDS and other diseases.
In an article in The Christian Science Monitor, under the headline, “Small global taxes would make a big difference for world’s ‘bottom billion,’” the foreign minister of France and other officials of foreign nations endorse various forms of “innovative development financing.” One of their proposals is a tax on international currency transactions that could generate $35 billion a year.
The proposal, popular at the United Nations for decades and long-advocated by Fidel Castro, is called the Tobin Tax and named after Yale University economist James Tobin. Steven Solomon, a former staff reporter at Forbes, said in his book, The Confidence Game, that such a proposal “might net some $13 trillion a year…” because it is based on taking a percentage of money from the trillions of dollars exchanged daily in global financial markets.
He is referring to the fact that once such a tax is in place, it could be easily raised to bring in hundreds of billions of dollars or more a year to the U.N. and other global institutions.
Such financial transactions through banks and other financial institutions are commonplace on behalf of Americans who have stock in mutual funds or companies that invest or operate overseas. Hence, such a global tax could affect the stocks, mutual funds, and pensions of ordinary Americans.
The term “small global taxes” brought a stunned reaction from Senator David Vitter, when he was told of what is being proposed in advance of the U.N. summit. Vitter introduced Senate resolution 461, “Expressing the sense of the Senate that Congress should reject any proposal for the creation of a system of global taxation and regulation,” to put the Senate on record against any such measure. He has vowed to maintain pressure on the world body to avoid implementing any of these schemes and thinks that the Congress has to use whatever financial leverage it has to frustrate U.N. demands for more power and authority in world affairs.
The Vitter resolution was sent to the liberal-controlled Senate Finance Committee, which declined to act on it.
Obama has been a major U.N. supporter since he was in the Senate and sponsored a bill, the Global Poverty Act (S 2433), to force U.S. compliance with the MDGs. Joseph Biden, then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tried to get it passed into law but ultimately failed.
As President, Obama is in a position to actively promote global taxation measures and clearly has done so. The “outcome document” his administration has already endorsed will be formally approved at next week’s summit.
The document affirms the so-called “Monterrey Consensus” that committed nations to spending 0.7 percent of Gross National Product (GNP) on official development assistance (ODA), otherwise known as foreign aid. It says that “The fulfillment of all ODA commitments is crucial, including the commitments by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 percent of gross national product (GNP) for ODA to developing countries by 2015…”
Over a 13-year period, from 2002, when the U.N.’s Financing for Development conference was held, to the target year of 2015, when the U.S. is expected to meet the Millennium Development Goals, this amounts to $845 billion from the U.S. alone, according to Jeffrey Sachs of the U.N.’s Millennium Project.
“We have fully embraced the Millennium Development Goals,” Obama told the U.N. in 2009.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Infuriating! The media slammed Bush at every opportunity and there wasn’t a problem. Now that a reporter says something negative (and true) about Obama and the Dems, he gets fired. I hope he SUES them for every cent they have!! The MSM is such a joke.
WJLA-TV fires veteran anchor Doug McKelway, cites insubordination, misconduct
By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 17, 2010
WJLA-TV has fired veteran anchorman Doug McKelway for a verbal confrontation this summer with the station’s news director that came after McKelway broadcast a sharply worded live report about congressional Democrats and President Obama.
McKelway was placed on indefinite suspension in late July after his run-in with ABC7’s news director and general manager, Bill Lord. In a letter to McKelway this week, the station said it was terminating his contract immediately, citing insubordination and misconduct.
Amid the ongoing BP oil spill in July, McKelway covered a Capitol Hill demonstration by environmental groups protesting the influence of oil-industry contributions to members of Congress.
In his piece, McKelway said the sparsely attended event attracted protesters “largely representing far-left environmental groups.” He went on to say the protest “may be a risky strategy because the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama, who accepted $77,051 in campaign contributions from BP.”
After a brief taped segment updating efforts to cap the BP well, McKelway added that the Senate was unlikely to pass “cap-and-trade” legislation this year, because “the Democrats are looking at the potential for huge losses in Congress come the midterm elections. And the last thing they want to do is propose a huge escalation in your electric bill, your utility bill, before then.”Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Not surprising! This is why Obama’s stimulus plan is NOT working- the money is not being used wisely!!!!!
CITY CONTROLLER RELEASES AUDITS OF HOW LOS ANGELES HAS USED FEDERAL STIMULUS MONEY
$111 Million in ARRA Funds Has Only Created 55 Jobs So Far
Los Angeles City Controller Press Release
More than a year after Congress approved $800 billion in stimulus funds, the Los Angeles city controller has released a 40-page report on how the city spent its share, and the results are not living up to expectations.
“I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million,” said Wendy Greuel, the city’s controller. “With our local unemployment rate over 12 percent we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work.”
According to the audit, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works spent $70 million in stimulus funds — in return, it created seven private sector jobs and saved seven workers from layoffs. Taxpayer cost per job: $1.5 million.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation created even fewer jobs per dollar, spending $40 million but netting just nine jobs. Taxpayer cost per job: $4.4 million.
Greuel blamed the dismal numbers on several factors:
1. Bureaucratic red tape: Four highway projects did not even go out to bid until seven months after they were authorized.
2. Projects that were supposed to be competitively bid in the private sector went instead went to city workers.
3. Stimulus money was not properly tracked within departments
4. Both departments could not report the jobs created and retained in a timely fashion..
“I would say maybe in a grade, a B- in creating the jobs,” Greuel told Fox News. “They have started to spend those dollars but it took seven months to get some of those contracts out. We think in the city that we should move quickly and not in the same usual bureaucratic ways.”
Overall, the Departments have received $111 million in federal stimulus funds out of the $594 million the City has been awarded so far and created or retained 54.46 jobs.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
How can people honestly say that birthright citizenship is a good thing for this country?
The Costs of Birthright Citizenship
Hans A. Von Spakovsky
There have been numerous debates about “birthright” citizenship in recent weeks. As the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, the claim that the 14th Amendment confers citizenship on the children of visitors or illegal aliens is mistaken. Neither the text nor the legislative history supports such an interpretation.
Perspective is needed. How many other countries have birthright citizenship? How many such children are there in the United States, and how much is this costing us? The Center for Immigration Studies has just released a study by Jon Feere that gives some answers. The report didn’t get the attention it should have — perhaps because it has some very inconvenient truths.
Feere’s research found that the “overwhelmingly majority of the world’s countries do not offer automatic citizenship to everyone born within their borders.” Only 30 countries out of 194 offer automatic citizenship, CIS confirmed. Of the 31 counties listed on the International Monetary Fund’s list of advanced economies, only the United States and Canada grant automatic birthright citizenship.
No country in Europe, a continent many liberals often cite for its supposedly superior views on everything from government health care to high tax rates, grants automatic citizenship. The trend has been toward eliminating it in the few countries that grant it. Australia, Ireland, India, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom have all jettisoned this policy.
CIS estimates there are 300,000 to 400,000 children born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. each year. There were 2.3 million such children in 2003; there were four million in 2008 – and that number doesn’t include children who are older than 18 or who are married. Texas says that between 60,000 to 65,000 of the children born in Texas every year have parents who are not citizens or 16% of the total births in the state — 542,152 from 2001 to 2009.
And the hundreds of thousands of such children are no accident. Many of them are the result of a deliberate effort by illegal aliens and foreign tourists to exploit our law and use these children to keep themselves in the country. Such children provide access to welfare benefits that would otherwise be off-limit to the parents and can “ultimately initiate chain migration of the child’s extended family and in-laws,” the CIS study notes.
Take federal welfare programs. Although illegal aliens normally are barred from accessing them, they can obtain benefits such as Medicaid, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and food stamps on behalf of their U.S.-born children. Since cash welfare benefits and food stamps are fungible within a household, there is no question that welfare spending directed at the children of illegal immigrants will also benefit the parents. It is also quite likely that a substantial portion of the medical costs of births to illegal aliens are funded through the Medicaid program.
CIS estimates that 40% of illegal alien households nationwide receive some type of welfare despite federal prohibitions. That rate is even higher in states with larger numbers of illegal aliens such as New York (49%), California (48%), and Texas (44%).
Contrast that very high rate with the fact that only 19% of households headed by a native-born citizen receive welfare benefits. CIS cites data released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services showing that the children of illegal aliens in the county received $50 million in welfare benefits just in February 2010. So much for federal efforts to bar illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded public assistance.
As for chain migration, CIS points out that when a child becomes an adult, he can “legalize his parents, and also to bring into the United States his foreign-born spouse and any foreign-born siblings. The sponsored spouse can, in turn, sponsor her own foreign-born parents and siblings, and the siblings can, in turn sponsor their own foreign–born spouses, and so on, generating a virtually never-ending and always-expanding migration chain.” This type of immigration is almost uncontrollable. It “accounts for most of the nation’s growth in immigration levels,” and it continues to grow every year “because of the ever-expanding migration chains that operate independently of any economic downturns or labor needs.”
According to CIS, America’s citizenship policy has also led to the growth of a “birth tourism” industry since the State Department is “not permitted to deny a woman a temporary visitor visa simply because she is pregnant.” This may be a relatively minor problem relative to the hundreds of thousands of children born to illegal immigrants who reside in the country. But it illustrates how some foreigners who don’t even live in the U.S. are taking advantage of this policy. The fact that it can exist at all even on a limited scale is very troubling.
The Tucson Medical Center in Arizona, for example, “actively recruits in Mexico” for expectant mothers and offers them a “birth package.” Three California Chinese-owned “baby care centers” recruit foreign mothers to give them the ability to have their babies in the United States and “take advantage” of the law according to the owners (who started the business after coming to the U.S. to have their own child). Turkish doctors and hotel owners (including the Marmara Hotel in Manhattan) have set up a birth tourism business that has “reportedly arrang[ed] the U.S. birth of 12,000 Turkish children since 2003” in order to obtain U.S. citizenship because, as one of the Turkish mothers said, “American citizenship has so many advantages.”
Birthright citizenship is not mandated by the 14th Amendment and the Supreme Court has never held that children born of individuals who are in the United States illegally are citizens — only that the children of individuals who are born to legal permanent residents are citizens. Conferring citizenship on those whose parents are here illegally is a policy that has developed almost by default by the executive branch, with no deliberation by Congress through the normal legislative process used to decide important public policy issues.
“Americans are justifiably upset with a policy that has become standard practice without their approval,” CIS notes. Small wonder, since not only are our laws being taken advantage of by those who are seeking to evade our normal immigration rules, but the economic costs to the country and the average citizen-taxpayer are enormous.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
More religious freedoms being taken away. If you’d like to contact the principal to let him know how you feel about this, you can email the principal at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Principal threatens to fire teachers who help Christian club
Earns warning from civil rights organization
September 03, 2010
By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
A principal who reportedly threatened to fire any teacher who helped with the organization of a campus Fellowship of Christian Athletes club is getting a warning letter from a civil rights organization.
The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties group, sent the letter to Don Curtis, principal of Wilson Middle School in Fishersville, Va.
“By intimidating teachers, through threat of termination, into refusing to provide the same types of administrative assistance to the FCA as are made available to other student groups, Principal Curtis has pitted himself in direct opposition to the spirit of the First Amendment,” said Rutherford President John W. Whitehead.
“School administrators need to act immediately to correct the erroneous impression conveyed by the principal’s e-mail that religion has no place in the public schools,” he said.
According to a report from WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg, Va., Curtis denied he meant for the note to teachers to stir up controversy or deter the group from forming. He told the station the “tone” of his memo to faculty members “was taken out of context.”
The note, according to WHSV, explained students were trying to form a Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“As I trust common sense and your elementary knowledge of the law should remind you, the Constitution includes an amendment that expects ‘The government will not establish any religion.’ This has been legally stated and supported through case law, interpreted to mean for schools that the school or its employees will not perpetuate, support or establish any religion at school,” the principal’s note said.
“This means teachers can’t support or participate in religious activities while in the official role of a teacher. … Be as religious as you want when you’re not in your official role as a teacher. Your official role as a teacher starts anytime you’re involved with students.
“Please check with me or your attorney if you need clarification so I can avoid termination proceedings for those of you that don’t believe me or wish to test this concept,” Curtis wrote. “I’m being somewhat of a smart a&*, but I trust ‘You’re feeling me!'”
He subsequently explained that the e-mail was sent to faculty to remind teachers “to be professional.”
“I presented this in my candid style, intended for my faculty. I’ve been told it was intimidating but I had no intention other than to remind the staff of my expectations of their legal and professional behavior,” he explained.
There’s actually a little more to it than that, Whitehead wrote in his letter today to Curtis.
“While the First Amendment does prohibit the government from establishing a religion, it likewise prohibits the government from exhibiting hostility toward religion, interfering with the free exercise thereof, and discriminating against expressive activities based on the religious viewpoint of the expression,” he explained.
“The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment does not permit government – including school officials – to subject religious individuals or groups to unique disabilities,” Whitehead said.
“The United State Supreme Court has specifically addressed the issue of faculty involvement with religious student groups, and has ruled that such involvement does not conflict with constitutional principles where teachers or other school employees are merely involved with the club for purposes of administration or oversight,” he said.
“I hope this information is helpful to you, and that you will use it to immediately correct the impression conveyed by your e-mail that the budding FCA group should be shunned by your staff,” Whitehead wrote.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
The Mosque Controversy
By Thomas Sowell
The proposed mosque near where the World Trade Center was attacked and destroyed, along with thousands of American lives, would be a 15-story middle finger to America.
It takes a high IQ to evade the obvious, so it is not surprising that the intelligentsia are out in force, decrying those who criticize this calculated insult.
What may surprise some people is that the American taxpayer is currently financing a trip to the Middle East by the imam who is pushing this project, so that he can raise the money to build it. The State Department is subsidizing his travel.
The big talking point is that this is an issue about “religious freedom” and that Muslims have a “right” to build a mosque where they choose. But those who oppose this project are not claiming that there is no legal right to build a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center.
If anybody did, it would be a matter for the courts to decide — and they would undoubtedly say that it is not illegal to build a mosque near the site of the World Trade Center attack.
The intelligentsia and others who are wrapping themselves in the Constitution are fighting a phony war against a straw man. Why create a false issue, except to evade the real issue?
Our betters are telling us that we need to be more “tolerant” and more “sensitive” to the feelings of Muslims. But if we are supposed to be sensitive to Muslims, why are Muslims not supposed to be sensitive to the feelings of millions of Americans, for whom 9/11 was the biggest national trauma since Pearl Harbor?
It would not be illegal for Japanese Americans to build a massive shinto shrine next to Pearl Harbor. But, in all these years, they have never sought to do it.
When Catholic authorities in Poland were planning to build an institution for nuns, years ago, and someone pointed out that it would be near the site of a concentration camp that carried out genocide, the Pope intervened to stop it.
He didn’t say that the Catholic Church had a legal right to build there, as it undoubtedly did. Instead, he respected the painful feelings of other people. And he certainly did not denounce those who called attention to the concentration camp.
There is no question that Muslims have a right to build a mosque where they chose to. The real question is why they chose that particular location, in a country that covers more than 3 million square miles.
If we all did everything that we have a legal right to do, we could not even survive as individuals, much less as a society. So the question is whether those who are planning a Ground Zero mosque want to be part of American society or just to see how much they can get away with in American society?
Can anyone in his right mind believe that this was intended to show solidarity with Americans, rather than solidarity with those who attacked America? Does anyone imagine that the Middle East nations, including Iran, from whom financial contributions will be solicited, want to promote reconciliation between Americans and Muslims?
That the President of the United States has joined the chorus of those calling the Ground Zero mosque a religious freedom issue tells us a lot about the moral dry rot that is undermining this country from within.
In this, as in other things, Barack Obama is not so much the cause of our decline but the culmination of it. He had many predecessors and many contemporaries who represent the same mindset and the same malaise.
There are people for whom moral preening has become a way of life. They are out in force denouncing critics of the Ground Zero mosque.
There are others for whom a citizen of the world affectation puts them one-up on those of us who are grateful to be Americans, and to enjoy a freedom that is all too rare in other countries around the world, even at this late date in human history.
They think the United States is somehow on trial, and needs to prove itself to others by bending over backwards. But bending over backwards does not win friends. It loses respect, including self-respect.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )
I can’t begin to tell you how disgusted I am with Obama!! What an ungrateful, unpatriotic, disloyal, backstabbing, ignorant traitor he is. There is no way that anyone with a brain can think that Obama loves this country and is doing what is best for us. He is undermining us, helping our enemies, making the world hate us more, and showing his contempt every chance he gets. He is NOT fit to be president and , in my opinion, should be impeached. How dare he send a report to the UN listing the supposed human rights violations taking place in the US!!! I’m sure our enemies just loved that!!!! Meanwhile countries who really are committing human right violations – rape, murder, etc – are getting a pass. He sickens me!
What American President Would Do That?
Other presidents have been wrong. Other presidents have been misguided. Other presidents have been weak and pusillanimous and pathetic.
Only one truly disdains America. His name is Barack Obama.
How else to explain his latest outrage against the country that elevated him to the ranks of world leadership? Last week, the Obama State Department submitted a report to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on the supposed human rights violations taking place in the United States. According to the Washington Times,
the report describes how the United States discriminates against the disabled, homosexuals, women, Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics and those who don’t speak English. There is the expected pandering to Muslims…the report notes that until recently, the U.S. engaged in torture, unlawfully detained terrorist suspects and illegally spied on Americans communicating with terrorists … but the report assures readers that Mr. Obama has been putting a stop to all that.
Beyond the outrage felt by Governor Jan Brewer, whose move to protect Arizonans’ human rights was offered up as an example of an abuse of human rights by Mr. Obama’s State Department report (gotta protect those drug cartel murderers!), for many citizens, this report is a rank anti-American manifesto and the last straw. Many believe it to be outright evil, that there is no other word to encompass Obama’s disgraceful and indefensible decision. This odious report has placed America — us — on a list of human rights violators that includes Iran, North Korea, and Sudan. And Mr. Obama and his administration have done it purposefully, intentionally, and with malice aforethought.
The truth, on the other hand, is that every demographic group mentioned in the report as victimized by America is better off in America than in any other country on earth. That’s why they stay here. If they don’t like America, they’re free to leave at any time. We’re not the Soviet Union or China, restricting population flow. European glories are only a plane ticket away.
But they don’t leave. That’s because the people of America have a higher standard of living, more opportunity for high-quality health care (at least for a little while longer), a better shot at a decent education, and more personal freedom to pursue occupations of their choice — and life, liberty, and happiness — than in any other place on the planet.
But according to Obama, splinter groups of Americans (including women, who compose a majority of the population) are hapless and defenseless victims of our “downright mean” country, a description coined by Mrs. Obama during Mr. Obama’s campaign for president. The State Department report is a typical liberal look-at-America-through-a-toilet-seat perspective, construing every minor problem as systemic and considering all forms of law enforcement discriminatory. The report is unseemly and deeply offensive to the American people.
Worse, it’s not just Obama and his thumb-sucking minions whining about America to other Americans — at least that wouldn’t be purveying false notions about America outside our borders. No, lying to Americans about the cruelty of their country isn’t enough for Obama — he must preach it to the world. Because in Obama’s worldview, the world is the ultimate arbiter of America, even though that quaint document, our Constitution, specifically grants such responsibility to the American people alone.
It’s nonsensical from a legal point of view, and Obama’s a lawyer. One of the chief notions in legal academia is that a judge’s political perspective shapes his decisions no matter how hard he attempts to be objective. The same holds true for countries — Iran will judge us through the Iranian anti-Semitic, anti-American, anti-freedom, fundamentalist Islamic perspective it uses for everything else. Yet Obama inexplicably sees the judgment of countries like Iran as important and wants to lay bare before the world each of our minute flaws — some real, some imagined — for careful examination and exploitation by our most implacable enemies, with much of that exploitation dangerous to our national security and to ordinary Americans.
Perhaps it’s because Obama has spent most of his life in a Christian country that he doesn’t understand how the world works — over here, we don’t cast the first stone. Instead, we target the most egregious human rights violators and try to curb their violations. Maybe Obama thinks the rest of the world will act in truly Christian fashion, too, and focus on the true human rights violators even if we expose ourselves to the tyrants, dictators, and mullahs. That would make him an idiot.
More likely, Obama just doesn’t give a tinker’s damn whether the world flays us because he thinks America’s minor flaws are major ones. It is possible that Obama dislikes America because this is the country that produced his rootless life and gave leeway to his drunk, child-abandoning Kenyan father. More likely, Obama is displeased with this country because he spent his childhood wandering from identity to identity until he found one that justified his alienation — identity as a Marxist racialist — an elevated identity in the left’s hierarchy of the victimized.
Whatever the reason, Obama has no soft spot for America. The unpresidential condescension he feels for our country and its religion- and gun-clinging citizens oozes from his pores and spills out of them in unguarded moments. And that disrespect — the kind that comes only from those who are clueless about leadership — gives both aid and comfort to our enemies and leaves those who wish to share in the bounty of our freedom and liberty in the dark.
What American president would do that?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
Imagine what would have happened if the Education Secretary had urged his employees to attend the Glenn Beck rally. People would have been up in arms saying that the gov’t should NOT be partisan and has no business promoting a conservative event. But when it’s a liberal event, they can shove it down our throats. I wish someone would sue over this. I am so sick of liberalism being shoved down our throats through official channels such as schools, colleges, gov’t agencies, etc. I want it stopped!
Education Secretary Urged His Employees To Go To Sharpton’s Rally
By: Lisa Gartner
Examiner Staff Writer
August 30, 2010
President Obama’s top education official urged government employees to attend a rally that the Rev. Al Sharpton organized to counter a larger conservative event on the Mall.
“ED staff are invited to join Secretary Arne Duncan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and other leaders on Saturday, Aug. 28, for the ‘Reclaim the Dream’ rally and march,” began an internal e-mail sent to more than 4,000 employees of the Department of Education on Wednesday.
Sharpton created the event after Glenn Beck announced a massive Tea Party “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where King spoke in 1963.
The Washington Examiner learned of the e-mail from a Department of Education employee who felt uncomfortable with Duncan’s request.
Although the e-mail does not violate the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from participating in political campaigns, Education Department workers should feel uneasy, said David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute.
“It sends a signal that activity on behalf of one side of a political debate is expected within a department. It’s highly inappropriate … even in the absence of a direct threat,” Boaz said. “If we think of a Bush cabinet official sending an e-mail to civil servants asking them to attend a Glenn Beck rally, there would be a lot of outrage over that.”
Russ Whitehurst, director of the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution’s Brown Center of Education Policy, said nothing like this happened when he was a Department of Education program director from 2001 to 2008: “Only political appointees would have been made aware of such an event and encouraged to attend.”
Officially, Sharpton’s event commemorated the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
“[Conservatives] think we showed up [to vote for Barack Obama] in 2008 and that we won’t show up again. But we know how to sucker-punch, and we’re coming out again in 2010,” Sharpton said.
Obama avoided comment on Saturday’s dueling rallies, but Duncan took the podium alongside Sharpton and 30 other speakers on the football field of Dunbar High School. Thousands of mostly blacks listened — and a lone man booed — as Duncan called education “the civil rights issue of our generation.”
“Educators, we have to stop thinking of [poor-performing children] as other people’s children,” he said.
Speakers at the Sharpton rally praised Obama and took jabs at the Tea Party.
“Dr. King gave us a miracle in 2008. He gave us the first African-American president, and we must let them know today that we support [Obama],” said John Boyd, Jr., president of the National Black Farmers Association.
D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said Beck’s rally “would change nothing. … We will move right over you.”
Education Department spokeswoman Sandra Abrevaya defended Duncan’s decision. “This was a back-to-school event,” she said.
Duncan was chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools for seven years before Obama nominated him in December 2008.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
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