Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WAL-MART HAS TO PAY UP! Hillary Clinton Must Be Beside Herself! SAY IT AIN'T SO!

It’s all about keeping wages depressed!
When Hillary Clinton was on Wal-Mart’s board of directors, do you think she spoke out about Wal-Mart, the largest employer in American, paying miserable wages???

Appeals court affirms Wal-Mart settlement

Bloomberg News

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s settlement of as much as $85 million with hourly workers who sued over allegations of unpaid wages was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
Questions raised on appeal were so "insubstantial as not to require further argument," the court said Tuesday. The three-judge panel affirmed the Nov. 2 decision by U.S. District Judge Philip Pro in Las Vegas to approve the settlement.
The accord was part of a global $640 million resolution of wage-and-hour claims reached in December 2008.

USA TODAY - More Kids In U.S. BORN TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - Should Mexico Start Paying?

Dane said many illegal immigrants are searching for
jobs. But he said many others come to have an
"anchor baby" that is entitled to a wide array of
government benefits and can eventually help the
parents become citizens as well. He calls the
practice a "corruption of the rule of law."

Report: More kids in
U.S. born to illegal

Updated 20m ago

By Alan Gomez, USA TODAY

Four million children in the U.S. were born of illegal
immigrant parents but were granted U.S. citizenship
because they were born on American soil, according
to a report released today.

Those children represented about 5% of all the
children in the U.S. under the age of 18 in 2009,
according to the report from the Pew Hispanic
Center. That percentage will increase in the future,
however, as an estimated 340,000 of the 4.3 million
babies born in the U.S. in 2008 — about 8% — came
from illegal immigrant parents, the report says.

The study comes as some legislators, including U.S.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are calling for a
revision of the 14th Amendment that grants
automatic citizenship to anyone born in the United

Bob Dane, a spokesman for the Federation for
American Immigration Reform, which wants lower

levels of legal and illegal immigration, said
automatic citizenship for children born in the U.S. is
one of the two main magnets for illegal immigration.

IMMIGRATION DEBATE: One Ariz. town speaks up

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS: Leaving U.S. also risky

AFTER ARIZONA: States rethink illegal immigrant

FULL COVERAGE: Immigration policy

Dane said many illegal immigrants are searching for
jobs. But he said many others come to have an
"anchor baby" that is entitled to a wide array of
government benefits and can eventually help the
parents become citizens as well. He calls the
practice a "corruption of the rule of law."

Ali Noorani, executive director of the National
Immigration Forum, which supports a process for
some illegal immigrants to become citizens, said
stripping away birthright citizenship for the
children of illegal immigrants would be a colossal

"It puts the United States of America on the brink of
legalizing apartheid," he said. "To take such an
extreme move and create a permanent population
without a nation is scary."

Noorani said some people have always fought for a
change to the 14th Amendment's birthright clause
but he has been shocked to see how it is suddenly
being embraced by high-ranking members of
Congress. He thinks the upcoming November
elections are the reason.

"This is a pathetic attempt to gin up a (voting) base,"
he said. "This is political fear-mongering."

STUDY LOOKS at BABIES BORN to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - The Ever Expanding Mex Occupation

August 11, 2010
Study Looks at Babies Born to Illegal Immigrants
About 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 — or 8 percent — had at least one parent who was an illegal immigrant, according to a study published Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group in Washington.
Because they were born in this country, the babies of illegal immigrants are United States citizens. In all in 2008, four million children who were American citizens had at least one parent who was in the country illegally, the Pew study found.
Children of illegal immigrants make up 7 percent of all people in the country younger than 18 years old, according to the study, which is based on March 2009 census figures, the most recent data on immigrant families. Nearly four out of five of those children — 79 percent — are American citizens because they were born here.
About 85 percent of the parents who are illegal immigrants are Hispanic, the Pew Center reported.
The Pew study comes as lawmakers in Washington have been debating whether to consider changing the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States. The controversy erupted after Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said in July that he might offer an amendment to revoke birthright citizenship for the American-born children of illegal immigrants.
Mr. Graham’s comments touched a nerve with many Americans, who called in to talk shows to question whether the children of immigrants who have violated the law by remaining in the United States should be granted citizenship. But it was less clear that there was strong support for altering the Constitution to address the problem.
A nationwide survey in June by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, a group affiliated with the Hispanic Center, found that 56 percent of those polled opposed changing the 14th Amendment, while 41 percent supported it.
The study by the Pew Hispanic Center casts light on an issue raised by Mr. Graham that prompted the current debate. In an interview with Fox News last month, Mr. Graham said that many illegal immigrants were crossing the border to have babies in this country to gain citizenship for their children. “They come here to drop a child,” Mr. Graham said.
The Pew figures showed that over 80 percent of mothers in the country illegally had been here for more than a year, and that more than half had been in the country for five years or more, said Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center and the co-author of the study, along with Paul Taylor, the center’s director.
“The combination of the growing undocumented population through 2007, with more staying in the country longer, creates a situation where we have seen increasing numbers of these births over the last six or seven years,” Mr. Passel said. “Because the immigrants are staying here, this is a young population, and they get married and form families.”
Republican leaders and conservatives have been divided over Mr. Graham’s proposal for a constitutional amendment.
“What the Pew estimate underlines is that this is a big problem,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a research group in Washington that advocates reduced immigration. “It really is a subversion of national independence for people who break into your country then to demand that their kids be U.S. citizens.”
But Mr. Krikorian, a conservative, does not favor an immediate effort to amend the citizenship clause of the Constitution. He said he wants to see tougher enforcement to reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the country.
“The point is to shrink the illegal population and prevent new illegals from coming in,” he said, “before it’s appropriate to have the constitutional debate.”


The horror show underlining the nation's lingering employment crisis
By Bob Herbert

Syndicated columnist

The employment situation in the United States is much worse than even the dismal numbers from last week's jobless report would indicate. The nation is facing a full-blown employment crisis and policymakers are not responding with anything like the sense of urgency that is needed.

The employment data for July, released by the government Friday, showed that private employers added just 71,000 jobs during the month and that the unemployment rate remained flat at 9.5 percent. But as bad as those numbers were, if you look beyond them you'll see a horror show.

Government workers were walking the plank from coast to coast. About 143,000 temporary census workers were let go, and another 48,000 government employees at the budget-strapped state and local levels lost their jobs. But the worst news, with the most ominous long-term implications, was that the reason the unemployment rate was not higher was because 181,000 workers left the labor force.

With many of them beaten down by the worst jobs situation since the Great Depression, they just stopped looking for work. And given the Alice-in-Wonderland way in which we compile our official jobless statistics, they are no longer counted as unemployed.

Charles McMillion, the president and chief economist of MBG Information Services, is an expert on employment and has been looking closely for years at the issue of labor force participation.

"Over the past three months," he said, "1,155,000 unemployed people dropped out of the active labor force and were not counted as unemployed. Even ignoring population growth, if these unemployed had not dropped out of the labor force, simple arithmetic shows that the official unemployment rate would have risen from 9.9 percent in April to 10.2 percent in July, rather than — as it has — fallen to 9.5 percent."

Because of normal growth in the working-age population, the labor force increases by roughly 150,000 to 200,000 people per month. If those folks were factored in, said McMillion, "unemployment now would be even higher than 10.2 percent."

We are not even beginning to cope with this crisis, which began long before the onset of the so-called Great Recession. The economy is showing absolutely no sign of countering the nation's staggering jobs deficit.

"We have a large number of people who have just given up hope of finding a job," said McMillion. He pointed out that there are record numbers — "I mean lights-out record numbers" — of long-term unemployed people who are still looking for jobs. Of the 14.6 million men and women officially counted as unemployed, nearly 45 percent have been out of work for six months or longer.

The New York Times' Michael Luo wrote a moving article last week about the people who have started calling themselves the "99ers," meaning they have been out of work for more than 99 weeks and thus have exhausted the maximum in unemployment benefits. Nearly a million-and-a-half people have been out of work for at least 99 weeks — and not all qualified for jobless benefits.

Said McMillion: When you combine the long-term unemployed with those who are dropping out and those who are working part-time because they can't find anything else, it is just far beyond anything we've seen in the job market since the 1930s.

They may be thinking about this in Washington, but they sure aren't doing much about it. The politicians' approach to the jobs crisis has been like passing out umbrellas in a hurricane. Millions are suffering and the entire economy is being undermined, and what are they doing? They're appropriating more and more money for warfare while schizophrenically babbling about balancing the budget.

At some point we're going to have to claw our way out of this denial. With 14.6 million people officially jobless, and 5.9 million who have stopped looking but say they want a job, and 8.5 million who are working part time but would like to work full time, you end up with nearly 30 million who cannot find the work they want and desperately need.

We've got more and more people in our working-age population and fewer and fewer jobs to go around. McMillion says there are now 3.4 million fewer private-sector jobs in the U.S. than there were a decade ago. In the past 10 years, we've seen the worst job-creation record since 1928 to 1938.

We're not heading toward the danger zone. We're there. The U.S. will not remain a stable society if this great employment crisis is not addressed head-on — and soon. You cannot allow joblessness on this scale to fester. It's wrong, and the blowback will be as destructive and intolerable as it is inevitable.

Bob Herbert is a regular columnist for The New York Times.


“We could cut unemployment in half simply by reclaiming the jobs taken by illegal workers,” said Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, co-chairman of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. “President Obama is on the wrong side of the American people on immigration. The president should support policies that help citizens and legal immigrants find the jobs they need and deserve rather than fail to enforce immigration laws.”


The president’s attention is a favor to Senator Harry M. Reid, the Democratic majority leader, who faces a tough re-election battle in Nevada and promised to pursue immigration legislation in an appeal to his state’s growing Hispanic population.

“The principal beneficiaries of our current immigration policy are affluent Americans who hire immigrants at substandard wages for low-end work. Harvard economist George Borjas estimates that American workers lose $190 billion annually in depressed wages caused by the constant flooding of the labor market at the low-wage end.” Christian Science Monitor


Amnesty In Disguise
Posted 08/10/2010 06:51 PM ET
Border: After suing Arizona to assert federal supremacy over states on immigration, it turns out that ICE, Washington's immigration cop on the beat, isn't enforcing the law at all. This is amnesty by another name.
Oh, what a hullabaloo the Justice Department made last month over Arizona's SB 1070, arguing before a federal district judge that the law must be struck down because the federal government has "pre-eminent authority to regulate immigration matters."
Arizona's effort was depicted as some sort of secessionist usurpation of federal prerogatives, despite the fact that SB 1070 mirrored federal law.
Incredibly, Judge Susan Bolton, an appointee of President Clinton, agreed and issued an injunction on those grounds.
In practical terms, her decision means that Arizona's 15,000 lawmen could not help federal agents enforce the law on America's largest and most dangerous immigrant-smuggling corridor.
Now it's obvious why: The Justice Department isn't interested in enforcing the law.
Last week, 259 representatives of the union that represents 7,000 Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents handed down a unanimous vote of "no confidence" in ICE leaders, whose policies keep them from doing their job.
Based on those policies, agents can no longer arrest illegal immigrants even if they announce their status on a sandwich board.
According to a June 29 memo from ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton, ICE must now "prioritize the apprehension and removal of aliens who only pose a threat to national security and/or public safety, such as criminals and terrorists."
Given that all police agencies look for such targets, such a premise is absurd. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, after all, was arrested by a traffic cop, not a fancy anti-terror strike force, in 1995.
And aside from wondering why terrorists are being released at all across a border they'll have no trouble recrossing, Morton's policy effectively means no one is looking for illegal immigrants once they make it past the Border Patrol.
This is taking pick-and-choose law enforcement to an extreme and runs counter to best police practices, such as James Q. Wilson's "broken window" theory of criminology. This holds that enforcement against minor crimes in an area helps prevent an escalation into more serious crime.
ICE's Morton claims the agency has limited resources, so it can deport only 400,000 illegal immigrants a year. From a government agency with a $2.6 billion detention and removal budget, that comes to about $6,500 per deportee, a de facto statement of government inefficiency and waste. And it affects only 4% of all illegal border-crossers.

Former HPD police chief takes job with ICE
June 23, 2010, 8:53PM
Mayra Beltran Chronicle
Former HPD Chief Harold Hurtt, 63, said Wednesday that he accepted the position as director of ICE's Office of State and Local Coordination.
Former Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt, who has been a vocal critic of a controversial program at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has taken a high-profile job at the federal agency.
At ICE, Hurtt will act as the new director in charge of outreach with local and state law enforcement and non-governmental organizations.
Hurtt, 63, said Wednesday that he accepted the position as director of ICE's Office of State and Local Coordination, which is primarily tasked with outreach efforts, not oversight of ICE's partnerships with local law enforcement. He will officially start the job, which he said pays about $180,000 a year, on July 6.
Hurtt, who served as chief in Houston until he resigned in December, criticized one of ICE's key programs involving local law enforcement during his tenure here and in his former role as head of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
He said in his new role, he plans to focus on providing accurate information on illegal immigration to law enforcement partners to "avoid emotional responses" to the issue. He also said he hopes to create a stakeholder group to help improve ICE's outreach efforts.
Hurtt and former Mayor Bill White faced harsh criticism during their tenures over the city's role in immigration enforcement. Much of the conflict during the past year focused on HPD's participation — or lack thereof - in ICE's 287(g) program, which trains local law enforcement to assist ICE with immigration screening.
Backlash to policy
Hurtt and the former mayor announced in spring 2009 that the city would participate in 287(g), provided it was confined to the city's jails. Hurtt steadfastly opposed having Houston officers question people in the field about their immigration status.
That decision resulted in backlash from some members of the police union and anti-illegal immigrant advocates but won him praise of leaders in Houston's immigrant community.
Hurtt said Wednesday that his reluctance stemmed in part from HPD's "resource capabilities."
"I had concerns about officers in the field concentrating their efforts and resources on the enforcement of immigration," Hurtt said.
He also said he feared that having officers question suspects in the field could result in fewer members of immigrant communities coming forward to report crime.
"I think that was a legitimate concern and still is," Hurtt said.
The city eventually backed away from participating in 287(g) and instead chose another ICE partnership, called Secure Communities, which runs fingerprint-based immigration history checks on all suspects booked into the local jails and notifies ICE automatically of any "hits" in the system.
Hurtt said that in his new role, he will support local law enforcement agencies' decision to participate in any ICE program of their choosing, even if it involves questioning suspects on the street about their status.
"That's a decision that needs to be made at a local level," he said.


'Extremely hypocritical'
Curtis Collier, with the Spring-based U.S. Border Watch, said it was "extremely hypocritical" for Hurtt to take the position.
"There's no way you can head up an office if you don't believe in what the office is supposed to do," Collier said. "Immigration and Customs Enforcement's primary mission is to protect the American people. If this guy believes any of these programs should not be enforced, he's certainly going to be a very weak advocate for them."
Cesar Espinosa, a Houston immigrant advocate, said Hurtt was always "welcoming and open" to the concerns of immigrant advocates.
"We felt that as chief, he actually believed that the main focus of police should be to protect the community as a whole, regardless of immigration status," Espinosa said.
John Morton, Homeland Security assistant secretary for ICE, praised Hurtt's appointment.
"Chief Hurtt is a respected member of the law enforcement community and understands the concerns of local law enforcement leaders," Morton said.


Before heading up the 7,000-strong HPD in 2004, Hurtt served as the police chief in Phoenix, Ariz.

The Administration's Phantom Immigration Enforcement Policy
According to DHS’s own reports, very little of our nation’s borders (Southwestern or otherwise) are secure, and gaining control is not even a goal of the department.
By Ira Mehlman
Published on 12/07/2009
The setting was not quite the flight deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln with a “Mission Accomplished” banner as the backdrop, but it was the next best thing. Speaking at the Center for American Progress (CAP) on Nov. 13, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano declared victory over illegal immigration and announced that the Obama administration is ready to move forward with a mass amnesty for the millions of illegal aliens already living in the United States.
Arguing the Obama administration’s case for amnesty, Napolitano laid out what she described as the “three-legged stool” for immigration reform. As the administration views it, immigration reform must include “a commitment to serious and effective enforcement, improved legal flows for families and workers, and a firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here.”
Acknowledging that a lack of confidence in the government’s ability and commitment to effectively enforce the immigration laws it passes proved to be the Waterloo of previous efforts to gain amnesty for illegal aliens, Napolitano was quick to reassure the American public that those concerns could be put to rest.
“For starters, the security of the Southwest border has been transformed from where it was in 2007,” stated the secretary. Not only is the border locked up tight, she continued, but the situation is well in-hand in the interior of the country as well. “We’ve also shown that the government is serious and strategic in its approach to enforcement by making changes in how we enforce the law in the interior of the country and at worksites…Furthermore, we’ve transformed worksite enforcement to truly address the demand side of illegal immigration.”
If Rep. Joe Wilson had been in attendance to hear Secretary Napolitano’s CAP speech he might well have had a few choice comments to offer. But since he wasn’t, we will have to rely on the Department of Homeland Security’s own data to assess the veracity of Napolitano’s claims.
According to DHS’s own reports, very little of our nation’s borders (Southwestern or otherwise) are secure, and gaining control is not even a goal of the department. DHS claims to have “effective control” over just 894 miles of border. That’s 894 out of 8,607 miles they are charged with protecting. As for the other 7,713 miles? DHS’s stated border security goal for FY 2010 is the same 894 miles.
The administration’s strategic approach to interior and worksite enforcement is just as chimerical as its strategy at the border, unless one considers shuffling paper to be a strategy. DHS data, released November 18, show that administrative arrests of immigration law violators fell by 68 percent between 2008 and 2009. The department also carried out 60 percent fewer arrests for criminal violations of immigration laws, 58 percent fewer criminal indictments, and won 63 percent fewer convictions.
While the official unemployment rate has climbed from 7.6 percent when President Obama took office in January to 10 percent today, the administration’s worksite enforcement strategy has amounted to a bureaucratic game of musical chairs. The administration has all but ended worksite enforcement actions and replaced them with paperwork audits. When the audits determine that illegal aliens are on the payroll, employers are given the opportunity to fire them with little or no adverse consequence to the company, while no action is taken to remove the illegal workers from the country. The illegal workers simply acquire a new set of fraudulent documents and move on to the next employer seeking workers willing to accept substandard wages.
In Janet Napolitano’s alternative reality a mere 10 percent of our borders under “effective control” and sharp declines in arrests and prosecutions of immigration lawbreakers may be construed as confidence builders, but it is hard to imagine that the American public is going to see it that way. If anything, the administration’s record has left the public less confident that promises of future immigration enforcement would be worth the government paper they’re printed on.
As Americans scrutinize the administration’s plans to overhaul immigration policy, they are likely to find little in the “three-legged stool” being offered that they like or trust. The first leg – enforcement – the administration has all but sawed off. The second – increased admissions of extended family members and workers – makes little sense with some 25 million Americans either unemployed or relegated to part-time work. And the third – amnesty for millions of illegal aliens – is anathema to their sense of justice and fair play.
As Americans well know, declaring “Mission Accomplished” and actually accomplishing a mission are two completely different things. When it comes to enforcing immigration laws, the only message the public is receiving from this administration is “Mission Aborted.”
Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, September 28, 2009

And T.J. BONNER, president of the National Border Patrol Council, will weigh in on the federal government’s decision to pull nearly 400 agents from the U.S.-Mexican border. As always, Lou will take your calls to discuss the issues that matter most-and to get your thoughts on where America is headed.





ON THE IMMORALITY OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION…. But hey, it’s not profitable for Wall Streeters to pay living wages! Hence, most of the FORTUNE 500 are generous donors to LA RAZA, “The Race”… the virulently racist political party for Mexican supremacy!
Editorial Reviews

Father Bascio presents a strikingly different perspective on illegal immigration from that of most Christian clergymen. He turns his spotlight on the harm of officially tolerated illegal immigration to America's own struggling workers in the form of joblessness, shrinking wages and poorer working conditions. African-American workers, already plagued by job discrimination, bear the heaviest burden of the illegal invasion, which locks them out of many workplaces or drives wages below acceptable levels. The chronic non-enforcement of immigration laws is no accident: Congress has little stomach for ending something so profitable for their most powerful donors and the voters they can muster. The author fears that many committed Christians are blinded to these abuses by their church leaders' preoccupation with charity toward illegal aliens, while ignoring the plight of millions of low-wage Americans. He deftly rebuts the self-serving myth of employers' and politicians' that illegals "do jobs Americans won't do." Bascio also sees the profit motive behind legal immigration policies that lure the third world's best and brightest to America, stripping poorer nations of their physicians, teachers and scientists. As a Catholic priest, the author admits the unpleasantness of taking a position not shared by his Church's hierarchy, which is driven by the prospect of rising membership. Bascio sees unchecked illegal immigration as having grave consequences for overall U.S. tranquility: disdain for the rule of law, street gangs, document fraud and identity theft, staggering welfare and education costs and creeping "Balkanization" that threatens the national principle of E Pluribus Unum. Father Bascio's book is a resounding appeal to Christians to re-examine their churches' conventional view of illegal immigration and consider the hardship it brings for fellow Americans and its dangers for the nation as a whole.
Product Details
• Paperback: 228 pages
• Publisher: AuthorHouse (September 9, 2009)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1449001858
• ISBN-13: 978-1449001858
May 30, 2010
Blacks in Memphis Lose Decades of Economic Gains
MEMPHIS — For two decades, Tyrone Banks was one of many African-Americans who saw his economic prospects brightening in this Mississippi River city.
A single father, he worked for FedEx and also as a custodian, built a handsome brick home, had a retirement account and put his eldest daughter through college.
Then the Great Recession rolled in like a fog bank. He refinanced his mortgage at a rate that adjusted sharply upward, and afterward he lost one of his jobs. Now Mr. Banks faces bankruptcy and foreclosure.
“I’m going to tell you the deal, plain-spoken: I’m a black man from the projects and I clean toilets and mop up for a living,” said Mr. Banks, a trim man who looks at least a decade younger than his 50 years. “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished. But my whole life is backfiring.”
Not so long ago, Memphis, a city where a majority of the residents are black, was a symbol of a South where racial history no longer tightly constrained the choices of a rising black working and middle class. Now this city epitomizes something more grim: How rising unemployment and growing foreclosures in the recession have combined to destroy black wealth and income and erase two decades of slow progress.
The median income of black homeowners in Memphis rose steadily until five or six years ago. Now it has receded to a level below that of 1990 — and roughly half that of white Memphis homeowners, according to an analysis conducted by Queens College Sociology Department for The New York Times.
Black middle-class neighborhoods are hollowed out, with prices plummeting and homes standing vacant in places like Orange Mound, White Haven and Cordova. As job losses mount — black unemployment here, mirroring national trends, has risen to 16.9 percent from 9 percent two years ago; it stands at 5.3 percent for whites — many blacks speak of draining savings and retirement accounts in an effort to hold onto their homes. The overall local foreclosure rate is roughly twice the national average.
The repercussions will be long-lasting, in Memphis and nationwide. The most acute economic divide in America remains the steadily widening gap between the wealth of black and white families, according to a recent study by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University. For every dollar of wealth owned by a white family, a black or Latino family owns just 16 cents, according to a recent Federal Reserve study.
The Economic Policy Institute’s forthcoming “The State of Working America” analyzed the recession-driven drop in wealth. As of December 2009, median white wealth dipped 34 percent, to $94,600; median black wealth dropped 77 percent, to $2,100. So the chasm widens, and Memphis is left to deal with the consequences.
“This cancer is metastasizing into an economic crisis for the city,” said Mayor A. C. Wharton Jr. in his riverfront office. “It’s done more to set us back than anything since the beginning of the civil rights movement.”
The mayor and former bank loan officers point a finger of blame at large national banks — in particular, Wells Fargo. During the last decade, they say, these banks singled out blacks in Memphis to sell them risky high-cost mortgages and consumer loans.
The City of Memphis and Shelby County sued Wells Fargo late last year, asserting that the bank’s foreclosure rate in predominantly black neighborhoods was nearly seven times that of the foreclosure rate in predominantly white neighborhoods. Other banks, including Citibank and Countrywide, foreclosed in more equal measure.
In a recent regulatory filing, Wells Fargo hinted that its legal troubles could multiply. “Certain government entities are conducting investigations into the mortgage lending practices of various Wells Fargo affiliated entities, including whether borrowers were steered to more costly mortgage products,” the bank stated.
Wells Fargo officials are not backing down in the face of the legal attacks. They say the bank made more prime loans and has foreclosed on fewer homes than most banks, and that the worst offenders — those banks that handed out bushels of no-money-down, negative-amortization loans — have gone out of business.
“The mistake Memphis officials made is that they picked the lender who was doing the most lending as opposed to the lender who was doing the worst lending,” said Brad Blackwell, executive vice president for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
Not every recessionary ill can be heaped upon banks. Some black homeowners contracted the buy-a-big-home fever that infected many Americans and took out ill-advised loans. And unemployment has pitched even homeowners who hold conventional mortgages into foreclosure.
Federal and state officials say that high-cost mortgages leave hard-pressed homeowners especially vulnerable and that statistical patterns are inescapable.
“The more segregated a community of color is, the more likely it is that homeowners will face foreclosure because the lenders who peddled the most toxic loans targeted those communities,” Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, told a Congressional committee.
The reversal of economic fortune in Memphis is particularly grievous for a black professional class that has taken root here, a group that includes Mr. Wharton, a lawyer who became mayor in 2009. Demographers forecast that Memphis will soon become the nation’s first majority black metropolitan region.
That prospect, noted William Mitchell, a black real estate agent, once augured for a fine future.
“Our home values were up, income up,” he said. He pauses, his frustration palpable. “What we see today, it’s a new world. And not a good one.”
Porch View
“You don’t want to walk up there! That’s the wild, wild west,” a neighbor shouts. “Nothing on that block but foreclosed homes and squatters.”
To roam Soulsville, a neighborhood south of downtown Memphis, is to find a place where bungalows and brick homes stand vacant amid azaleas and dogwoods, where roofs are swaybacked and thieves punch holes through walls to strip the copper piping. The weekly newspaper is swollen with foreclosure notices.
Here and there, homes are burned by arsonists.
Yet just a few years back, Howard Smith felt like a rich man. A 56-year-old African-American engineer with a gray-flecked beard, butter-brown corduroys and red sneakers, he sits with two neighbors on a porch on Richmond Avenue and talks of his miniature real estate empire: He owned a home on this block, another in nearby White Haven and another farther out. His job paid well; a pleasant retirement beckoned.
Then he was laid off. He has sent out 60 applications, obtained a dozen interviews and received no calls back. A bank foreclosed on his biggest house. He will be lucky to get $30,000 for his house here, which was assessed at $80,000 two years ago.
“It all disappeared overnight,” he says.
“Mmm-mm, yes sir, overnight,” says his neighbor, Gwen Ward. In her 50s, she, too, was laid off, from her supervisory job of 15 years, and she moved in with her elderly mother. “It seemed we were headed up and then” — she snaps her fingers — “it all went away.”
Mr. Smith nods. “The banks and Wall Street have taken the middle class and shredded us,” he says.
For the greater part of the last century, racial discrimination crippled black efforts to buy homes and accumulate wealth. During the post-World War II boom years, banks and real estate agents steered blacks to segregated neighborhoods, where home appreciation lagged far behind that of white neighborhoods.
Blacks only recently began to close the home ownership gap with whites, and thus accumulate wealth — progress that now is being erased. In practical terms, this means black families have less money to pay for college tuition, invest in businesses or sustain them through hard times.
“We’re wiping out whatever wealth blacks have accumulated — it assures racial economic inequality for the next generation,” said Thomas M. Shapiro, director of the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University.
The African-American renaissance in Memphis was halting. Residential housing patterns remain deeply segregated. While big employers — FedEx and AutoZone — have headquarters here, wage growth is not robust. African-American employment is often serial rather than continuous, and many people lack retirement and health plans.
But the recession presents a crisis of a different magnitude.
Mayor Wharton walks across his office to a picture window and stares at a shimmering Mississippi River. He describes a recent drive through ailing neighborhoods. It is akin, he says, to being a doctor “looking for pulse rates in his patients and finding them near death.”
He adds: “I remember riding my bike as a kid through thriving neighborhoods. Now it’s like someone bombed my city.”
Banking on Nothing
Camille Thomas, a 40-year-old African-American, loved working for Wells Fargo. “I felt like I could help people,” she recalled over coffee.
As the subprime market heated up, she said, the bank pressure to move more loans — for autos, for furniture, for houses — edged into mania. “It was all about selling your units and getting your bonus,” she said.
Ms. Thomas and three other Wells Fargo employees have given affidavits for the city’s lawsuit against the bank, and their statements about bank practices reinforce one another.
“Your manager would say, ‘Let me see your cold-call list. I want you to concentrate on these ZIP codes,’ and you knew those were African-American neighborhoods,” she recalled. “We were told, ‘Oh, they aren’t so savvy.’ ”
She described tricks of the trade, several of dubious legality. She said supervisors had told employees to white out incomes on loan applications and substitute higher numbers. Agents went “fishing” for customers, mailing live checks to leads. When a homeowner deposited the check, it became a high-interest loan, with a rate of 20 to 29 percent. Then bank agents tried to talk the customer into refinancing, using the house as collateral.
Several state and city regulators have placed Wells Fargo Bank in their cross hairs, and their lawsuits include similar accusations. In Illinois, the state attorney general has accused the bank of marketing high-cost loans to blacks and Latinos while selling lower-cost loans to white borrowers. John P. Relman, the Washington, D.C., lawyer handling the Memphis case, has sued Wells Fargo on behalf of the City of Baltimore, asserting that the bank systematically exploited black borrowers.
A federal judge in Baltimore dismissed that lawsuit, saying it had made overly broad claims about the damage done by Wells Fargo. City lawyers have refiled papers.
“I don’t think it’s going too far to say that banks are at the core of the disaster here,” said Phyllis G. Betts, director of the Center for Community Building and Neighborhood Action at the University of Memphis, which has closely examined bank lending records.
Former employees say Wells Fargo loan officers marketed the most expensive loans to black applicants, even when they should have qualified for prime loans. This practice is known as reverse redlining.
Webb A. Brewer, a Memphis lawyer, recalls poring through piles of loan papers and coming across name after name of blacks with subprime mortgages. “This is money out of their pockets lining the purses of the banks,” he said.
For a $150,000 mortgage, a difference of three percentage points — the typical spread between a conventional and subprime loan — tacks on $90,000 in interest payments over its 30-year life.
Wells Fargo officials say they rejected the worst subprime products, and they portray their former employees as disgruntled rogues who subverted bank policies.
“They acknowledged that they knowingly worked to defeat our fair lending policies and controls,” said Mr. Blackwell, the bank executive.
Bank officials attribute the surge in black foreclosures in Memphis to the recession. They say that the average credit score in black Census tracts is 108 points lower than in white tracts.
“People who have less are more vulnerable during downturns,” said Andrew L. Sandler of Buckley Sandler, a law firm representing Wells Fargo.
Mr. Relman, the lawyer representing Memphis, is unconvinced. “If a bad economy and poor credit explains it, you’d expect to see other banks with the same ratio of foreclosures in the black community,” he said. “But you don’t. Wells is the outlier.”
Whatever the responsibility, individual or corporate, the detritus is plain to see. Within a two-block radius of that porch in Soulsville, Wells Fargo holds mortgages on nearly a dozen foreclosures. That trail of pain extends right out to the suburbs.
Begging to Stay
To turn into Tyrone Banks’s subdivision in Hickory Ridge is to find his dream in seeming bloom. Stone lions guard his door, the bushes are trimmed and a freshly waxed sport utility vehicle sits in his driveway.
For years, Mr. Banks was assiduous about paying down his debt: he stayed two months ahead on his mortgage, and he helped pay off his mother’s mortgage.
Two years ago, his doorbell rang, and two men from Wells Fargo offered to consolidate his consumer loans into a low-cost mortgage.
“I thought, ‘This is great! ’ ” Mr. Banks says. “When you have four kids, college expenses, you look for any savings.”
What those men did not tell Mr. Banks, he says (and Ms. Thomas, who studied his case, confirms), is that his new mortgage had an adjustable rate. When it reset last year, his payment jumped to $1,700 from $1,200.
Months later, he ruptured his Achilles tendon playing basketball, hindering his work as a janitor. And he lost his job at FedEx. Now foreclosure looms.
He is by nature an optimistic man; his smile is rueful.
“Man, I should I have stayed ‘old school’ with my finances,” he said. “I sat down my youngest son on the couch and I told him, ‘These are rough times.’ ”
Many neighbors are in similar straits. Foreclosure notices flutter like flags on the doors of two nearby homes, and the lawns there are overgrown and mud fills the gutters.
Wells Fargo says it has modified three mortgages for every foreclosure nationwide — although bank officials declined to provide the data for Memphis. A study by the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project and six nonprofit groups found that the nation’s four largest banks, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase, had cut their prime mortgage refinancing 33 percent in predominantly minority communities, even as prime refinancing in white neighborhoods rose 32 percent from 2006 to 2008.
For Mr. Banks, it is as if he found the door wide open on his way into debt but closed as he tries to get out.
“Some days it feels like everyone I know in Memphis is in trouble,” Mr. Banks says. “We’re all just begging to stay in our h


"The amnesty alone will be the largest expansion of the welfare system in the last 25 years," says Robert Rector, a senior analyst at the Heritage Foundation, and a witness at a House Judiciary Committee field hearing in San Diego Aug. 2. "Welfare costs will begin to hit their peak around 2021, because there are delays in citizenship. The very narrow time horizon [the CBO is] using is misleading," he adds. "If even a small fraction of those who come into the country stay and get on Medicaid, you're looking at costs of $20 billion or $30 billion per year."

U.S. Taxpayers Spend $113 Billion Annually on Illegal Aliens
America has never been able to afford the costs of illegal immigration. With rising unemployment and skyrocketing deficits, federal and state lawmakers are now facing the results of failed policies. A new, groundbreaking report from FAIR, The Fiscal Burden of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers, takes a comprehensive look at the estimated fiscal costs resulting from federal, state and local expenditures on illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children.
Expanding upon the series of state studies done in the past, FAIR has estimated the annual cost of illegal immigration to be $113 billion, with much of the cost — $84.2 billon — coming at the state and local level.



“We could cut unemployment in half simply by reclaiming the jobs taken by illegal workers,” said Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, co-chairman of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus. “President Obama is on the wrong side of the American people on immigration. The president should support policies that help citizens and legal immigrants find the jobs they need and deserve rather than fail to enforce immigration laws.”



206 Most wanted criminals in Los Angeles. Out of 206 criminals--183 are hispanic---171 of those are wanted for Murder.

Why do Americans still protect the illegals??

TEN MOST WANTED CRIMINALS IN CALIFORNIA ARE MEXICANS! They claim all of North America for Mexico! Did you know illegals kill 12 Americans a day? FBI Crime Statistics - Crimes committed by illegals.
Fingerprinting program now includes all border counties
Immigration officials have access to the prints of every inmate booked into jail in all 25 U.S. counties along the Mexican border, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano announces.
By Ken Dilanian, Tribune Washington Bureau
August 11, 2010
Reporting from Washington

Immigration officials now have access to the fingerprints of every inmate booked into jail in all 25 U.S. counties along the Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday, touting the program as a way of identifying and deporting "criminal aliens."

Napolitano's announcement came as immigrant rights activists criticized the fingerprinting program, known as Secure Communities, after obtaining documents showing that more than a quarter of those deported under its auspices had no criminal records.

The program "essentially co-opts police into doing the job of the federal government," said Sunita Patel of the Center for Constitutional Rights, one of several groups that forced the disclosure of documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

That charge is baseless, Homeland Security Department officials said. Secure Communities gives Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the ability to check the fingerprints of those arrested against a database that will show whether they have ever been deported or otherwise had contact with immigration agents.

If the agency determines that the person is in the country illegally, federal agents can institute deportation proceedings. Records show that happens in some cases, but not all.

"The Secure Communities initiative reflects ICE's ongoing commitment to smart, tough enforcement strategies that help ensure the apprehension of dangerous criminal aliens," ICE director John Morton said. "Expediting removals decreases the amount of time these individuals spend in ICE custody — saving taxpayers money and strengthening public safety."

By some estimates, as many as 1 million illegal immigrants now living in the U.S. have committed crimes, Morton has said. ICE is often unaware of them, even when they are in jail or prison.

Secure Communities makes notification automatic. ICE says the program has identified more than 262,900 illegal immigrants in jails and prisons who have been charged with or convicted of criminal offenses, including more than 39,000 charged with or convicted of violent offenses or major drug crimes.

The Homeland Security Department has expanded the initiative from 14 to 544 jurisdictions in the last 18 months. Among the jurisdictions are Los Angeles and San Diego counties, as well as the counties encompassing Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Miami and Philadelphia. ICE plans to implement the program nationwide by 2013.

Overall, ICE expects to remove 400,000 illegal immigrants this year, a record. Although ICE says it focuses on deporting criminals, it continues to expel noncriminals, a practice that has drawn criticism from immigration rights advocates. Other critics say ICE is not tough enough.

In the first 10 months of fiscal year 2010, 142,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records were deported, ICE said — a third more than in the same period of the prior year. About 50,000 noncriminals were removed.

Noncriminals can include those who have failed to show up for deportation hearings, those who recently crossed the border illegally or those who reentered the country after deportation, ICE spokesman Richard Rocha said.

Some of the immigrants deemed to be criminals were convicted of minor crimes, such as disorderly conduct.

The documents obtained by the immigration rights groups show that a total of 47,000 people have been removed since 2008 after being flagged under the Secure Communities fingerprint matching program. Of those, about 28% were noncriminals.

There were a total of 119,000 fingerprint matches, but a match does not automatically mean a person is subject to removal.

The advocates noted that in some counties the proportion of noncriminals removed through Secure Communities was much higher — 82% in Travis County, Texas, for example.

"This indicates that police officers are picking up people on pretexts" to engineer their deportations, said Bridget Kessler of Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law in New York.

A spokesman for the Travis County sheriff said the agency had a policy of not inquiring about the immigration status of its inmates.

A Homeland Security official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing changes not yet announced, said the department was seeking changes to ensure a focus on serious criminals and not on those who commit minor offenses.


SO FAR, I don’t see any evidence that Obama will not be selling us out like the harem of special interests whores for WALL STREET that he has surrounded himself with. Like Bush’s architect for WALL STREET BIG BANKERS’ WELFARE, Timmy Geithner!

Hasn’t OBAMA lied about every single promise he made when Wall Street bought him into the White House? Even after 100 days, he’s sold us out over and over again. Guess that’s what his translation of “change” means. An extension of the twenty years of corporate rape and pillage of BUSH, HILLARY, BILLARY, BUSH. No wonder people are asking if he’s more like Bush or Clinton!

When OBAMA ran for office he claimed that he would restore the bankruptcy provision in the so called “bankruptcy reform” the bankers wrote themselves when they knew their global RAPE AND PILLAGE gig was coming to an end. Second phase of that would be STUPID GRINGOS PAY FOR LOSES.

This so called “bankruptcy reform” was headed up by the most corrupt whore in American history, OBAMA’S DIANNE FEINSTEIN. You saw her at the inaugural speaking to the nation, while her pimp-husband sat behind Obama picking pockets for deals. FEINSTEIN IS GEORGE W BUSH’S WAR PROFITEER WHORE, that is when she’s not working hard as RED CHINA’S ADVOCATE in Congress.

Feinstein has long been bought and paid for by nearly all special interests in the country. BIG BANKS, BIG AG BIZ, BIG OPEN BORDERS = CHEAP ILLEGAL LABOR, RED CHINA, WAR INTERESTS. She avoids prison by virtue of the fact her pimp-husband, RICHARD C BLUM, hands out big campaign bribes so fellow corrupts dem whores keep their big mouths shut about Feinstein’s long history of corruption and self-serving conflicts of interests that have enabled her to acquire $50 million in mansions while in elected office. Her last being the WAR WHORE PROFITS mansion in San Francisco that costs $17 million. Feinstein’s pimp-husband has paid out bribes to OBAMA, CLINTON, BOXER, KENNEDY, KERRY and of course the other WAR WHORE, JOE LIEBERMAN!

Feinstein also makes sure the entirely worthless and equally corrupt BARBARA BOXER is on the SENATE’S NO ETHICS COMMITTEE to vote against any ethics, and any investigation into Feinstein’s crimes.


Feinstein is the original front-whore for the bankers’ “bankruptcy reform”. After taking big bribes from criminal bankers WELLS FARGO and BANK of AMERICA. She pushed their “reform” agenda despite the fact that 55% of those declaring bankruptcy did so because of staggering medical bills. Well, we know these same whores also work hard for the specials interest drug companies! Sitting right next to whore Feinstein voting on behalf of bankers’ interests were whores BOXER, PELOSI, WAXMAN, CLINTON, and of course BIDEN. Biden has long taken bribes from BIG BANKERS in the form of “consultant fees” he siphons off to his son. Barbara boxer has siphoned a massive fortune to her son similarly and voted against stopping this form of corruption each time.


OUR BANKERS’ WHORES, Feinstein, Boxer, Biden, Pelosi, Waxman and certainly OBAMA, voted for each and every BIG BANKERS’ WELFARE PACKAGE with NO STRINGS that could possibly help consumers!

OBAMA BROKE YET AGAIN ONE OF HIS PROMISES THAT IS IF YOU BELIEVED HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE WHEN HE CLAIMED HE WOULD RESTORE THE BANKRUPTCY PROVISION. Having selected JOE BIDEN, the bankers’ boy, as VP was signal to Wall Street, that there would be NO “CHANGE” coming down the wind to impact the rape and pillage by Wall Street and the bankers!

Now that the criminal bankers have had all their loses covered by welfare bailout, what’s left for the people? NADA!

Millions and millions of homes in foreclosure, and the value of those NOT having plummeted, and not a word comes out of whore Feinstein’s mouth, or her harem of bought bankers’ whores.
California has the highest number of foreclosure, and Feinstein continues, as always being the whore she is.

On the next agenda of OBAMA AND HIS HAREM OF BANKER’S WHORES is amnesty for 38 million Mex flag wavers, despite the fact that those state with the most foreclosure are the most infested by illegals! California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida!

Interestingly, whore Feinstein’s BIG BANKER PAYMASTERS, WELLS FARGO and BANK of AMERICA are both major LA RAZA DONORS. Of course, Feinstein, and now OBAMA are eager to con the American people with one more dem amnesty. Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, made massive profits from marketing to illegals. The both currently illegally open bank account for illegals and they both have a policy against HIRING AMERICAN BORN EMPLOYEES. THEY’RE ALL THIRD-WORLD VISA PEOPLE!

There are virtually no members of Congress not pushing for the Wall Street – La Raza open borders amnesty. One that opposes it is Congressman Dan Tancredo who knows what devastation the Mexican invasion and occupation causes. In his Congressional seat there are more than 10,000 foreclosure owned by Illegals. Who pays? YOU ALREADY HAVE, STUPID GRINGO!

Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, November 12, 2007

Mortgage giants Wells Fargo and Countrywide Financial are accused of slapping dubious fees on homeowners struggling to save their homes. With fewer new mortgages being written, these
companies appear to be leaning on these lucrative fees to stay profitable—with devastating consequences for homeowners. We’ll have that report.

States that border Mexico caused the meltdown (simply loans to ILLEGALS)
September 25, 2008

It’s also no accident that the vast majority of the mortgages already defaulted on or about to default come from states where illegal immigration is the most rampant. According to the New York Times: California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. It was time to scam America internally and externally.


The mortgages, with an average size of about $450,000, were Alt-A loans — the kind often referred to as liar loans, because lenders made them without the usual documentation to verify borrowers’ incomes or savings. Some of the loans came only via an on-line application with no appearance of the person getting the loan was needed. Nearly 60 percent of the loans were made in California, Florida and Arizona, where home prices rose — and subsequently fell — faster than almost anywhere else in the country.

But there’s so much more, according to blogger and journalist Michelle Malkin:

Regional reports across the country have decried the subprime meltdown’s impact on illegal immigrant “victims.” A July report showed that in seven of the 10 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates, Hispanics represented at least one-third of the population; in two of those areas – Merced and Salinas-Monterey, Calif. – Hispanics comprised half the population. The amnesty-promoting National Council of La Raza and its Development Fund have received millions in federal funds to “counsel” their constituents on obtaining mortgages with little to no money down; the group almost succeeded in attaching a $10 million earmark for itself in one of the housing bills past this spring. ( Proving corruption in high levels of our government) our SENATORS are opperating in a Clandestine manner.

(A clandestine operation is an intelligence or military operation carried out in such a way that the operation goes unnoticed).

Come on people it is 1776 all over again. Some of the owners of the Federal Reserve live in England and Germany. The largest shareholder in the illegal stock of the Federal Reserve lives in England, by the way, this is why England's money is worth the most on earth. Gold prices are set in London each morning. The Euro is the second strongest currency followed by the USA.....we are mere puppets for paying the piper to make these people rich beyond imagination.

So, once again, U. S. citizens will pay for the lawlessness of our leaders and their friends on Wall Street. It is a very bad time for our country!


"The bill actually cuts $11.9 billion from food stamps by ending a provision in last year’s stimulus package that increased the amount of aid given to families to buy groceries. It also rescinds advance refunds of the earned income tax credit, which benefited poor families."

US Federal Reserve reassures markets, offers no help to the unemployed
By Barry Grey

11 August 2010

The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday acknowledged the slowdown in US economic growth and moved to reassure the financial markets, while taking no measures to seriously address the worsening jobs crisis.

Concluding a one-day meeting in Washington DC, the central bank’s policy-making Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced a largely symbolic decision to use the cash from maturing mortgage debt, mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bills that it holds to purchase new Treasury securities, rather than allowing its $2.3 trillion balance sheet to decline.

The Fed stopped short of resuming outright its purchases of Treasuries and mortgage bonds backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a policy that it called “quantitative easing” and which amounted to printing up money to keep the housing market afloat.

The Fed also said it would keep its key short-term lending rate at zero to 0.25 percent, and reiterated its mantra since March of 2009 of maintaining the interest rate at “exceptionally low levels” for “an extended period.”

With these actions, the Federal Reserve signaled to Wall Street that it would continue to ensure that major financial firms have access to virtually free credit and would inject additional liquidity into the markets, without taking any radical measures that might significantly reduce unemployment. US corporations, aided by the Obama administration’s policies, are reporting sharply higher profits this year on the basis of ruthless cost-cutting, mainly in the form of layoffs, wage cuts and speedup. They are using mass unemployment to force workers to accept these attacks on their working conditions and living standards.

The FOMC statement was fairly blunt, by the standards of such announcements, in painting a gloomy picture of the state of the economy. It began by declaring that since its last meeting in June, it had concluded that “the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months.” It noted, among other signs of deterioration, “Housing starts remain at a depressed level. Bank lending has continued to contract.” It then admitted that the pace of “economic recovery” was “likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated.”

In plain words, this means no relief from the worst economic and social crisis since the Great Depression, and the likelihood of a further rise in the jobless rate.

Only some $130 billion in securities held by the Fed, out of a total of about $2 trillion of US securities on its books, will mature over the next year and be reinvested. Such an amount will have little direct impact on the financial markets and even less on production, hiring and consumption. The main purpose of announcing the action is to indicate that the Fed may be prepared to take more drastic action, should the likelihood of a “double dip” recession or descent into deflation increase.

As Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics put it, according to, the Fed’s move was “largely a symbolic gesture, designed to reassure the markets rather than boost the economy.”

The FOMC meeting came four days after the Labor Department released a grim report on employment for July, showing a net loss of 131,000 jobs, an anemic increase of 71,000 jobs in the private sector, and an official jobless rate holding steady at 9.5 percent, only because another 181,000 laid-off workers became discouraged and stopped looking for work.

The beginning of the current week has seen a rash of economic reports that underscore the depth of the crisis and the severe slowdown in economic growth over the past several months. On Monday, the Commerce Department reported that personal incomes fell in virtually every major metropolitan area last year. Personal incomes rose in only 5 of 52 metropolitan areas with populations over one million. In most of those that saw income gains, the reason was a high concentration of federal government and military employment. Private sector compensation fell in these regions.

Overall, according to the Commerce Department, private-sector wages in the US fell 6 percent in 2009.

On Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that non-farm worker productivity unexpectedly fell in the second quarter of this year, down by an annualized rate of 0.9 percent. It was the first productivity decline since the end of 2008. Economists had projected a modest rise following a 3.9 percent jump in the first quarter.

The decline may indicate a certain plateau in the ability of employers to squeeze more and more production out of fewer and fewer workers. But data on wages and labor costs included in the Labor Department report showed that the assault on workers’ pay and benefits is continuing unabated.

Labor costs rose a mere 0.2 percent, compared with a projected rise of 1.5 percent. It was the first increase in labor costs in a year. Unit labor costs had plunged 3.7 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Hourly pay fell by 0.7 percent from the first to the second quarter. Inflation-adjusted compensation per worker was flat in the second quarter after shrinking by 1.5 percent in the first three months of the year.

Commenting on the productivity report, analysts at wrote, according to AFP, “The data suggest that firms are oversupplied with labor for the amount of output they are creating.” The analysts concluded that, at best, employment would hold at its current level.

Barclays analyst Peter Newland suggested that the report was, in general, good news for corporations. “For the time being,” he said, “the backdrop remains very supportive of corporate profit growth.”

Also on Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported an unexpected decline in wholesale inventories in June of 0.1 percent. Stock rebuilding has declined as businesses have scaled back their expectations for sales. The report also showed a 0.7 percent decline in wholesale sales in June, the steepest such fall in over a year. It was the second consecutive monthly drop in sales at the wholesale level. quoted Joshua Shapiro, chief US economist at MFR, as saying about the wholesale inventories report, “Looking ahead, slower growth in output will prompt companies to continue to focus on aggressive approaches to cost-cutting. This will heighten obstacles to a convincing labor market recovery.”

Jan Hatzius, chief US economist at Goldman Sachs, predicted Friday that unemployment would hit 10 percent in the second half of 2011.

Also this week, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that small business optimism fell to a four-month low in July as hope of a rapid economic recovery faded.

As the Federal Open Market Committee was meeting, Obama staged a photo op at the White House to tout the impending passage of a $26.1 billion measure providing federal funds to the states—$10 billion for schools and $16.1 billion for Medicaid. Flanked by Education Secretary Arne Duncan and two teachers threatened with being laid off, Obama demagogically presented the bill as a boon to teachers and other public sector workers.

In fact, the bill provides only half of the funds proposed in an earlier version and will not come close to closing yawning budget deficits at the state and local level. The result will be hundreds of thousands of additional layoffs and sweeping cuts in basic social services.

The bill actually cuts $11.9 billion from food stamps by ending a provision in last year’s stimulus package that increased the amount of aid given to families to buy groceries. It also rescinds advance refunds of the earned income tax credit, which benefited poor families.

OBAMA & JOBS - No Legal Need Apply!


Personal bankruptcies, home foreclosures, evictions, food insecurity and other indices of social distress remain at staggering levels. GET ON THEIR FREE NO ADS EMAILS

Obama’s jobless “recovery”
11 August 2010
In the aftermath of last week’s disastrous jobs report, the Obama administration continues to claim that the US economy is recovering and to reject any serious measures to create jobs or provide relief to the tens of millions without work.
Nearly 30 million Americans—one out of every six workers—are either unemployed or underemployed. Long-term joblessness has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression, with nearly half of the officially unemployed without a job for more than six months. Of these, 1.5 million—the so-called “99ers”—have been out of work for 99 weeks and have exhausted all their benefits and extensions.
Personal bankruptcies, home foreclosures, evictions, food insecurity and other indices of social distress remain at staggering levels.
The debt-ridden states are laying off tens of thousands of public workers, shutting schools and libraries and eliminating services upon which millions of people depend. On Tuesday, congressional Democrats passed a $26.1 billion aid package to the states with inflated claims that the money would save the jobs of 160,000 teachers. In fact, the amount was cut in half from the original $50 billion proposal and falls far short of the estimated $100 billion shortfall for the states. This guarantees additional layoffs and budget cuts as schools open.
The Obama administration has responded with complacency and indifference to the social crisis. Speaking a day after celebrating his birthday at the home of a real estate mogul in Chicago—where Democratic donors paid $30,000 a plate to hob-knob with the president—Obama hailed the July jobs figures as a “good sign” of economic progress.
The administration—which has handed trillions to the Wall Street banks—has rejected any proposals for a government-funded jobs program on the grounds that it would increase the federal deficit. In an interview on CNN Sunday, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin explicitly opposed a second economic stimulus package, saying it would be “counterproductive in creating a lot of additional uncertainty and undermining confidence.”
Instead, Rubin insisted, the administration over the next six months should put in place “a very serious beginning of deficit reduction” that would take effect in two years. This would not be easy, he warned, but it was necessary to “make politically hard decisions.” Only “credible” and “real” reductions in government programs, he said, would boost the confidence of the markets.
Who is Robert Rubin? The multi-millionaire Wall Street banker is a major figure in the Democratic Party and wields great influence within the Obama administration.
As a top executive at Goldman Sachs and then economic adviser and treasury secretary under Bill Clinton, Rubin promoted and defended the high-risk, high-profit speculative trading and unregulated “shadow banking system” that were at the center of the financial meltdown in September 2008. In government, he led the drive to dismantle what remained of the major financial reforms dating from the 1930s and to end all significant government regulation of the banks. The top economic figures in the Obama administration, Director of the White House National Economic Council Lawrence Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, are both protégés of Rubin.
Rubin’s statements reflect the orientation and policies of the Obama administration.
Like every other capitalist government in the world, the US government is abandoning its wholly inadequate stimulus program and preparing a brutal policy of austerity aimed at making the working class pay for the bailout of the financial elite. The White House has already assembled a bipartisan deficit reduction commission to slash bedrock entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The indifference of the government to the plight of millions of unemployed workers has provoked warnings about the possibility of social upheaval. Writing in the New York Times Tuesday, columnist Bob Herbert said, “We’re not heading toward the danger zone. We’re there. The US will not remain a stable society if this great employment crisis is not addressed head-on—and soon. You cannot allow joblessness on this scale to fester. It’s wrong, and the blowback will be as destructive and intolerable as it is inevitable.”
The pleadings of Herbert and other liberal supporters of Obama will be ignored. Mass unemployment is not a mistake, but a deliberate policy of class war, aimed at driving down wages and increasing the exploitation of the working class. This has already led to a 46 percent surge in profits for big corporations in the second quarter of this year and the resumption of multi-million-dollar executive pay packages.
The administration plan for economic “recovery” is based on driving down American wages toward those of brutally oppressed workers in China and other emerging economies, and reviving American manufacturing by turning it into a cheap labor platform for export to global markets. This is at the heart of Obama’s pledge to double exports and his “Make it in America” campaign, as exemplified by the 50 percent wage cut for new hires at GM and Chrysler imposed last year by Obama’s Auto Task Force.
There is enormous anger in the working class. Thus far, resistance has been smothered by the trade unions in the US, which, like their counterparts in Europe, have collaborated in imposing the dictates of big business. This has its limits, however. The more social tensions are suppressed, the more explosively they will erupt.
The Socialist Equality Party encourages mass working class resistance to attacks on jobs and living standards. Our program begins not with what the capitalist system and its spokesmen claim they can afford, but with what is necessary to secure the basic social needs of the working population—the vast majority of society.
The right to a job and secure income must be guaranteed for all. The SEP calls for the launching of a trillion-dollar public works program to hire the unemployed, rebuild the cities and rural areas, repair the crumbling infrastructure and provide essential services. The cost of such a program must be borne by the corporate-financial elite by taxing corporate profits and accumulated wealth.
Economic and political life must be reorganized to meet the needs of modern mass society, not the interests of the super-rich. To break the grip of the financial aristocracy, the SEP calls for the nationalization of the banks and basic industry under the democratic control of the working class, as part of the socialist transformation of the world economy.
The precondition for such a struggle is a break with the trade unions and the establishment of new organizations of industrial and political struggle. Above all, what is needed is a mass political party of the working class, based on a socialist and internationalist program, to oppose the two parties of big business, the Democrats and Republicans, and fight for a workers’ government. Those who see the need for such a party should join and help build the Socialist Equality Party.
Jerry White


Welfare and food stamp benefits soar $3 million higher than September payout. New statistics from the Department of Public Social Services reveal that illegal aliens and their families in Los Angeles County collected over $37 million in welfare and food stamp allocations in November 2007 – up $3 million dollars from September, announced Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. Twenty five percent of the all welfare and food stamps benefits is going directly to the children of illegal aliens. Illegals collected over $20 million in welfare assistance for November 2007 and over $16 million in monthly food stamp allocations for a projected annual cost of $444 million. “This new information shows an alarming increase in the devastating impact Illegal immigration continues to have on Los Angeles County taxpayers,” said Antonovich. “With $220 million for public safety, $400 million for healthcare, and $444 million in welfare allocations, the total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers far exceeds $1 billion a year – not including the millions of dollars for education.”


“Walsh stated. Walsh said his analysis indicating there are 38 million illegal aliens in the U.S. was calculated using the conservative estimate of three illegal immigrants entering the U.S. for each one apprehended.”

Illegal alien population may be as high as 38 million

Study: Illegal alien population may be as high as 38 million A new report finds the Homeland Security Department "grossly underestimates" the number of illegal aliens living in the U.S. Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Studies released a report August 31 that estimates the number of illegal aliens residing in the U.S. is between 8 and 12 million. But the group Californians for Population Stabilization, or CAPS, has unveiled a report estimating the illegal population is actually between 20 and 38 million. Four experts, all of whom contributed to the study prepared by CAPS, discussed their findings at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington Wednesday. James Walsh, a former associate general counsel of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said he is "appalled" that the Bush administration, lawyers on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and every Democratic presidential candidate, with the exception of Joe Biden, have no problem with sanctuary cities for illegal aliens. "Ladies and gentlemen, the sanctuary cities and the people that support them are violating the laws of the United States of America. They're violating 8 USC section 1324 and 1325, which is a felony -- [it's] a felony to aid, support, transport, shield, harbor illegal aliens," Walsh stated. Walsh said his analysis indicating there are 38 million illegal aliens in the U.S. was calculated using the conservative estimate of three illegal immigrants entering the U.S. for each one apprehended. According to Walsh, "In the United States, immigration is in a state of anarchy -- not chaos, but anarchy."

Thoughts on the LA RAZA Invasion
We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of America's finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, "Mexifornia," explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy! America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'"

"Here is how they do it," Lamm said: "First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country." History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: "The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and
tragedy." Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans."

Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, "Invent 'multiculturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and
discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

Third, "We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: "The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we! are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together." Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have
various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities."

"Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."

"My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all
minority failure on the majority population."

"My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" -- From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'Unum,' we will balkanize America as surely as Kosovo."

"Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits; make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe' halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the! doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them."

In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said,. "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book "Mexifornia." His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America. deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book."

There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today.

Discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Even barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.' American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America - take note of California and other states - to date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength."

Governor Lamm walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.




From the Desk of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton:
Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009
1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms a property he owns in Ireland. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year's worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: "The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wi fe of an aide…" The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign's office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.

3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank's intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003 , before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while servi ng on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?) It wasn't until President Obama tapped Geithner to head the Treasury Department that he paid back most of the money, although the IRS kindly waived the hefty penalties. In March 2009, Geithner also came under fire for his handling of the AIG bonus scandal, where the company used $165 million of its bailout funds to pay out executive bonuses, resulting in a massive public backlash. Of course as h ead of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner helped craft the AIG deal in September 2008. However, when the AIG scandal broke, Geithner claimed he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10, 2009. The timing is important. According to CNN: "Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is ten days before Treasury staffers say they first learned 'full details' of the bonus plan, and three days before the [Obama] Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG." Thro w in another embarrassing disclosure in 2009 that Geithner employed "household help" ineligible to work in the United States, and it becomes clear why the Treasury Secretary has earned a spot on the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington" list.

5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won't be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General. Judicial Watch strongly opposed Holder because of his terrible ethics record, which includes: obstructing an FBI investigation into the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him t o Castro's Cuba. Moreover, there is his soft record on terrorism. Holder bypassed Justice Department procedures to push through Bill Clinton's scandalous presidential pardons and commutations, including those for 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that orchestrated approximately 120 bombings in the United States, killing at least six people and permanently maiming dozens of others, including law enforcement officers. His record in the current administration is no better. As he did during the Clinton administration, Holder continues to ignore serious incidents of corruption that could impact his political bosses at the White House. For example, Holder has refused to investigate charges that the Obama political machine traded VIP access to the White House in exchange for campaign contributions—a scheme eerily similar to one hatched by Holder's former boss, Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The Holder Justice Department also came under fire for dropping a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. On Election Day 2008, Black Panthers dressed in paramilitary garb threatened voters as they approached polling stations. Holder has also failed to initiate a comprehensive Justice investigation of the notorious organization the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which is closely tied to President Obama. There were allegedly more than 400,000 fraudulent ACORN voter registrations in the 2008 campaign. And then there were the journalist videos catching ACORN Housing workers advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. Holder's controversial decisions on new rights for terrorists and his attacks on previous efforts to combat terrorism remind many of the fact that his former law firm has provided and continues to provide pro bono representation to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Holder's politicization of the Justice Department makes one long for the days of Alberto Gonzales.

6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama's seat. Three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich. Burris, for his part, apparently lied ab out his contacts with Blagojevich, who was arrested in December 2008 for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. According to Reuters: "Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama...In the latest of those admissions, Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich—later charged with trying to sell Obama's Senate seat—at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor's aides about his desire to be appointed." Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to the Illinois governor appointing him to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explana tions came under oath.

7. President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.) Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National E ndowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control—through fiat and threats—large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity—the political allocation of wealth and opportunity—is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption." Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors—this is Obama's "ethics" record—and we haven't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.

8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2008 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline. These documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include internal Pentagon email correspondence detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft, as well as the speak er's 11th hour cancellations and changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire in April 2009, when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA's use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise. Judicial Watch also obtained documents, including a CIA Inspector General report, which further confirmed that Congress was fully briefed on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Nancy Pelosi has ignored serious incidents of corruption within her own party, including many of the individuals on this list. (See Rangel, Murtha, Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc.)

9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman's largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks—over ten million dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA's offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, "Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills." When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investiga te this serious scandal, according to Roll Call, House Democrats circled the wagons, "cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file." The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha's nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: "Newly obtained Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military."

10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets.) And what did h e do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: "The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That's why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.
Tom Fitton

Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Judicial Watch is dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption and promoting a return to ethics and morality in our nation's public life.