Archive for June 19th, 2009

June 19, 2009

Matthew Vadum, Rock Star!

Folks, if you missed the 5:15 p.m. segment of the Glenn Beck Show today, you missed a brilliant seminar on the history of the American Left and its connection to Obama and ACORN.

What tied it all together was the discussion of what’s known as the “Piven-Cloward Strategy,” named for Columbia University professors Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who outlined it in a 1966 article in The Nation. Cloward and Piven were instrumental in founding the National Welfare Rights Organization, which sought to implement their ideas for bankrupting “The System” (i.e., capitalism) by purposefully overwhelming the urban social welfare infrastructure.

In discussing it in his inimitably manic way, Beck made all this sound just a wee bit tinfoil-hat, but it was all real, and has been described in several very reputable books. You can read about Cloward and Piven’s ideas and the influence of NWRO in Fred Siegel’s fine book on liberal urban policy, The Future Once Happened Here. The militant approach to social programs was also famously described in Tom Wolfe’s famous essay, Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers. And if you want some good case-studies of the disastrous results of all this, I would urge you to check out Chapter 8 (“Scene of the Crime”) in Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party.

Here’s the thing: The ’60s theorists of the New Left were such radical freaks, whenever any conservative tries to describe their actual agenda, it tends to make the conservative sound kooky. Youre natural reaction is, “Aw, there could never have been any such wild scheme to bankrupt America in order to lay the groundwork for a socialist revolution.”

Except there was such a scheme. It’s all true. And the foot-soldiers of that socialist revolution were people like Bill Ayers and the founders of ACORN.

The problem is that so many conservatives have a fearful flinch reaction about sounding like a “kook” in describing this ’60s New Left ideology, so you rarely hear it described in a calm, factual way. Kudos to Beck for having the erudite Matthew Vadum help him document all this. Vadum described the ACORN connection last October:

ACORN’s overall strategy has a name. It’s called the “Cloward-Piven Strategy” of manufactured crisis (named after two anti-capitalist sociologists) and it calls for packing the welfare rolls to encourage dependency on the government and to overload it with financial demands in order to hasten the collapse of American capitalism.
ACORN founder Wade Rathke, who created ACORN in 1970, was previously an organizer for the now-defunct National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) that was founded in 1967 by the two sociologists.

There is no need to be alarmist about the Left. Ronald Reagan, you will recall, actually faced off against Communist Party union activists in Hollywood in the 1940s, and never once sounded kooky when he called them what they were. The Left has been defeated before; we just need calm courage and we will defeat them again.

June 19, 2009

IG Investigation: ‘Dominoes Fall’

From my exclusive report for Pajamas Media:

Describing the probe into the dismissal of the AmeriCorps inspector general, one Capitol Hill source on Thursday compared Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s demand for facts in the case to a row of dominoes ready to tip over.
Grassley is asking questions, a team of Senate investigators is poring over documents in the case, and where the investigation proceeds now “depends on what dominoes fall next,” explained the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. . . .
Beyond the legal and political ramifications, Republicans in Washington acknowledge that the potential scandal could aid their policy battle against the effort by the White House and congressional Democrats to push sweeping new proposals on health care, energy and financial regulation.
In background discussions Thursday, several GOP strategists spoke of the contrast between Democrats’ effort to impose new government “reforms” while, at the same time, the Obama administration appears to be muzzling inspectors generals, who are tasked with providing independent oversight to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in federal agencies. . . .
Grassley’s team on the IG probe is led by Charles Murphy, a veteran Capitol Hill investigator. Both Grassley and Murphy were unavailable for comment Thursday, but sources with knowledge of the investigation expressed confidence in the meticulous research of Murphy’s team. . . .

There’s lots more, so read the whole thing at Pajamas Media, and watch for updates at

UPDATE: As I said yesterday, a potentially big scandal like this has an innate appeal to journalists:

Every political reporter in Washington is sniffing around this story now, and I just got off the phone with Matthew Vadum, who’s catching the Acela train to New York for a 5 p.m. live appearance on “The Glenn Beck Show.”

Before we got off the phone, the last thing I said to Matthew was, “Drop my name, dude.”

UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers! Updated news and commentary on IG-Gate at Now, if only Vadum can remember to look for an opportunity to tell Beck, “Well, as Stacy McCain reported today . . .”

Probably not, though. Never mind. We’ve got our own cartoon, which ought to be enough . . .

UPDATE III: Verrry interesting! Eric Rasmusen points out how TARP money seems to buy Obama loyalty even from Republicans.

June 19, 2009

Get Down With

Chris Muir’s “Day By Day” gets sexy with the no-tie-required down-and-dirty news bloggregator:

Of course, this is just the PG-13 family-friendly version. Bloggers featured in “Day By Day” get the original uncut strip. In this case, although decorum prevents a explicit description, the uncut version is 12 panels. Jan is amazingly limber . . . but she’s “Day By Day’s” token liberal, so I suppose she’s got to be very flexible like that. features a just-the-facts-ma’am Joe Friday way of aggregating news, blogs and commentary. Barely more than two weeks old, the site has already generated about 10,000 visits.

One of the things has done from the start is to provide solid economic and financial coverage. Yesterday, while I was in D.C. to do reporting on the IG-Gate scandal, Jimmie Bise Jr. compiled the “Wall Street P.M.” report, a daily aggregation of stock market results and other financial-sector news.

Because includes RSS feeds from numerous news sources and blogs, it is “auto-updating” — readers can refresh the page periodically and see how the sidebars change to include the latest items. Jimmie, Smitty and I hope to add more bloggers to the team at, building it out to include more original reporting, in addition to the regular “300 Words Or Less” editorials. (Interested bloggers should contact Jimmie or Smitty.)

Meanwhile, speaking of reporting, I’m on deadline for this IG-Gate scandal story, so I’ll leave it up to readers to imagine what comes next at Like that “Day By Day” cartoon, the best is yet to come.

Again and again, yet still begging for more.

June 19, 2009

Burge Alert: Iowahawk on Rampage

by Smitty

As if yesterday’s Iranian Basketball post wasn’t brutal enough, today’s [NSFW] superfly post, replete with Instapundit cameo, brought tears to my eyes. In trying to add something to this sublime brilliance, I came across an apropos scene from [NSFW] Stir Crazy:

What’s interesting is how, almost thirty years on, Wilder and Pryor in a prison cell form a metaphor for Biden and Obama dealing with Middle Eastern diplomacy.