- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Scout 1, Union 0

We reported in this space last week about a Service Employees International Union branch that had threatened to sue to stop an Allentown, Pa., Boy Scout from cleaning up a park pathway.

Michelle Malkin, who devoted her syndicated column to the fracas, updated her popular conservative site by noting victory for 17-year-old Scout Kevin Anderson, as Nick Balzano and seven other local SEIU executive officers resigned.

Mr. Balzano had threatened at a recent Allentown City Council meeting to file a grievance over the aspiring Eagle Scout’s putting in more than 200 hours of volunteer work to clear a walking path in an eastern Allentown park for his Eagle service project. He also said the union would “be looking into” the Scout.

“Three days of taking body blows nationally from conservative pundits, a rebuke from the Lehigh Valley’s congressman and even a lashing from his own union led Balzano to voluntarily resign his position Thursday as head of the local Service Employees International Union,” the Allentown Morning Call reported, adding that Mr. Balzano said, “I am proud of the work I and the rest of the executive board have done over the years.”

Conservative bloggers spent the weekend crowing.

“Looks [like] the utter arrogance of the local SEIU President, Nick Balzano, has done him in … Will Eagle Scout Anderson get an ‘SEIU Hunting’ badge, or Balzano a ‘Dope of the Week’ award?” Skip Murphy “wondered” at his site Granite Grok.

“The thuggery of Chairman Zero’s union cronies has blown up in their troglodyte faces,” wrote Van Helsing at Moonbattery. “It’s a start.”

‘The Thrill is Gone’

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews was one of the first of the punditocracy to go head over heels for Barack Obama — the notorious quote was “I felt this thrill going up my leg.”

However, several bloggers — on the left and the right — noted the first signs of a cramp last week.

“On ‘The Chris Matthews Show’ Matthews broke the cardinal rule of speaking about the Obamamessiah … he actually compared Obama to Jimmy Carter. … It’s an unbelievable occurrence when the liberal MSM actually reports on Obama’s short comings and in this case his recent ‘Carteresque’ mistakes like bowing to the Emperor of Japan, having terrorists tried in NYC and going to Asia and getting nada back in return,” wrote conservative blogger Scared Monkeys.

And while the left-leaning Huffington Post put a different spin on Mr. Matthews’ words Friday on “Hardball” — saying the host “took a page out of Dick Cheney’s book and accused the president of ‘dithering’ over Afghanistan” — the same trend was noted.

“‘President Obama has his chin out on just about every hot issue out there. Health care. Terror trials. Job losses.’ Matthews began. He then launched a series of aggressive questions going after many of the president’s recent decisions. ‘Is he just too darned intellectual? Too much the egghead? Why did he bow to that Japanese emperor? Why did he pick Tim Geithner to be his economic front-man? Why all this dithering over Afghanistan? And who thought it was a wonderful idea to bring the killers of 9/11 to New York City, the media capital of the world, so they could tell their story?’” HuffPo wrote.

Iran vs. Marines

While Chris Matthews accuses President Obama of “dithering,” his Justice Department didn’t dither on another front in the war with Islamist terror.

“Obama and his pro-Islamic Department of Justice (DOJ) have stabbed the families of the Beirut bombing victims in the back,” Christopher Logan wrote at Islam in Action.

Mr. Logan linked to a Boston Globe report that provided the details: “A federal judge ruled in 2007 that Iran was liable for $2.65 billion in damages to be shared by 150 families seeking restitution” for Iran’s role in the 1983 attack on the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, which killed 241 service members.

“But now, the Obama administration is going to court to try to block payments from Iranian assets that the families’ lawyers want seized, contending that it would jeopardize sensitive negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and establish a potentially damaging precedent. In a little-noticed filing in federal court, the Justice Department is arguing that giving the money to the victims ‘can have significant, detrimental impact on our foreign relations, as well as the reciprocal treatment of the United States and its extensive overseas property holdings,’” Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe reported.

“Nice job Barack, choosing your sham ‘negotiations’ with the Mullahs over Americans who lost their loved ones to a Hezbollah suicide bomber,” wrote pseudonymous blogger Zip at Weasel Zippers.

Arlene Kushner at Israpundit noted that Mr. Obama had just issued a statement that Iran’s intransigence on the nuclear issue required “a consequence … Obama’s position is that Iran’s intransigency will increase the willingness of the international community to resort to punitive measures.”

“Our expectation is that, over the next several weeks, we will be developing a package of potential steps that we could take, that would indicate our seriousness to Iran,” she quoted the president as saying before concluding that the Marine bombing case proved talk about consequences was all hat and no cattle.

“But here’s the kicker … the Obama government is going to court to try to block this … Here’s a chance to zap it to Iran, big time, and Obama would rather not do it,” she wrote.

Sarah Pariah

Some San Francisco bookstores, particularly those not affiliated with major chains, are too open-minded to stock Sarah Palin’s book but not so open-minded that they won’t stock white separatism; Sept. 11 “Truther” books; the works of Ward Churchill, William Ayres and Lyndon LaRouche.

“Don’t jump to conclusions. It’s not that the retailers are closed-minded. It’s their customers who are closed-minded,” mock-explained AllahPundit at Hot Air, before backtracking: “Well, okay. Some of the retailers are closed-minded too.”

“Our customers are thinking people … They’re not into reading drivel.” Nathan Embretson of Pendragon Books in Oakland told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Anything like that we wouldn’t carry,” clerk Emily Stackhouse of Cover to Cover Booksellers in Noe Valley added. “We’re a small store, and it would probably gross us all out. Some things you carry because of freedom of speech, but a book like that is just gross.”

“AllahPundit” dryly noted: “If I recall correctly, the ‘that’s gross’ exception to free speech was articulated in the landmark case of Ohmigod v. Ewww.”

David Steinberg of Pajamas Media picked up on the “drivel” comment and looked to see what Pendragon Books considers to be “non-drively, thinky-type books … per the Pendragon Books Web site:

• ‘Inside Job: Unmasking the 9-11 Conspiracies’ (Paperback) By Jim Marrs. ‘Inside Job’ is the definitive journalistic account of the hidden role of the Bush Whitehouse in perpetrating the 9/11 attacks.

• “‘On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U.S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality’ (Paperback) By … Ward Churchill.

• “‘Fugitive Days: Memoirs of an Anti-War Activist’ (Paperback) By William Ayers.

• “‘Cold Fusion: Challenge to U.S. Science Policy’ (Hardcover) By Lyndon H. Larouche.

• “‘J.Lo: The Secret Behind Jennifer Lopez’s Rise to the Top’ (Paperback) By National Enquirer, Sarah Gallick.”

Victor Morton can be reached at [email protected]

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