Monday, December 6, 2010




The Senate is set to vote on a controversial immigration bill. If it fails, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez tells Bryan Curtis he’s prepared to ditch Obama and the Democrats—and take the movement to the streets.
It’s zero hour for the DREAM Act, a bit of immigration legislation that has taken on a hulking importance among Hispanic leaders. For two years, Barack Obama failed—or, if you prefer, refused—to nudge along a major immigration bill. The last-ditch hope is that departing Democrats, and a few Republicans, somehow band together in the lame-duck session and pass a law allowing illegal immigrants who came to the United States as minors to gain citizenship. Harry Reid promised to bring up the bill for a Senate cloture vote this week. Republicans vowed to scuttle it, just as they did in September.
But as Chicago congressman Luis Gutiérrez prepares for a rally at a church in Brooklyn a few weeks before the vote, the DREAM Act seems like the end of his interest in congressional gamesmanship rather than the start. Gutiérrez is one of several Hispanic leaders who have found themselves politically estranged from the president. Moreover, they are numbed by the legislative process that denied them a vote on immigration reform, much less a victory, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. “If we couldn’t do it when Democrats were nearly 260 in the House and 59 in the Senate, how do we propose to tell people we can do it now?” Gutiérrez tells me. “The opportunity to have gotten it done is gone.”
The DREAM Act, Gutiérrez says, is for now his final legislative maneuver. He’s finished waiting for the mythical 60th vote to materialize in the Senate. No, when the lame duck ends, Gutiérrez and his movement allies will ask for a divorce—from the Democratic Party, from the entire lawmaking process. To hear Gutiérrez tell it, Hispanic leaders are about to stage a full-tilt campaign of direct action, like the African-American civil-rights movement of the 1960s. There will be protests, marches, sit-ins—what César Chávez might have called going rogue. The movement will operate autonomously, no longer beholden to wavering Democrats, filibustering Republicans, and—perhaps most tantalizingly—no longer beholden to Barack Obama.
Gutiérrez, 56, is a wiry, handsome man whose childlike features mask his penchant for roaring oratory. He is a master of the bilingual stemwinder, toggling between English and Spanish in alternating sentences, judo-chopping his applause lines. A recent Pew Hispanic Center poll named Gutiérrez as the second-most important Latino leader in America, behind only Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As we speak in a room inside St. Brigid’s Church, a Mexican-Dominican-Ecuadorean congregation in Brooklyn, journalists from New York’s Spanish-language papers pry open the door to peek at us. They look at me and give me the cut sign across the neck so that they, too, can get a word with Gutiérrez.
Protestors participate in a "March For America" demonstration calling for immigration reform on Mar. 21, 2010 in Washington DC. (Photo: Astrid Riecken / Getty Images)
If Gutiérrez is leaving the legislative process behind, the move will follow a long and strange odyssey. Gutiérrez has been attempting to write reform legislation since the Bush administration. (George W. Bush, like Obama, supported immigration reform.) The election of a longtime ally who promised to push for reform within one year of taking office seemed to offer new hope.
But after the deadline expired, Hispanic leaders began to look at Obama less as an ally than an antagonist. In January, President Obama devoted only a single sentence of his State of the Union to immigration reform, when many reform advocates expected it to be a centerpiece of the speech. In the spring, after Obama excluded illegal immigrants from a provision of the Affordable Care Act, Gutiérrez blasted him in an op-ed. “Barack Obama has delivered ‘change,’” he wrote. “It’s been a change for the worse.” In a move to ratchet up pressure on Obama, Gutiérrez got himself arrested outside the White House at a May rally.
In September, Gutiérrez met with Obama in the Oval Office. Immigration reform still hadn’t budged, but he was thinking big. “Let’s do comprehensive in the lame duck,” Gutiérrez recalls telling Obama. “It’ll be our last chance, Mr. President. Because if things are bad now, imagine what it’s going to be like with new Republicans coming in, Tea Party, the Senate…” The key word here is “comprehensive.” Gutiérrez was suggesting that Obama bypass piecemeal reform like the DREAM Act and go for the whole enchilada—a path to citizenship for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants. According to Gutiérrez, Obama agreed then to push a comprehensive plan in the lame duck. (The White House wouldn’t comment on the conversation.)
As the election neared, Gutiérrez was bent on holding the president to his word. On October 30, he collared Obama on the O’Hare tarmac as he stepped off the plane for a rally. Gutiérrez told the president he wanted to meet right after that Tuesday’s election to plot strategy. Obama apologized and said he couldn’t make it—he was off on a scheduled 10-day trip to Asia.
“We lost two weeks, which is probably half of the lame duck,” Gutiérrez laments now. In the push for immigration reform, it was a typically baffling setback. Gutiérrez and his allies shelved their grand plans and decided to make a play for the DREAM Act instead.
“It’s what we call Plan B,” says Jorge Ramos, a news anchor for the Spanish-language network Univision and an advocate for reform. These days, Ramos—who finished two spots behind Gutiérrez in the Pew survey of Latino leaders—speaks with the same wariness of the legislative process as the congressman. For it was Ramos, back in 2008, who extracted the promise from Obama to push immigration reform within one year.
“The real story behind everything has to be that we missed a great opportunity to have immigration reform approved when Barack Obama and the Democrats had true control of both chambers,” says Ramos.
“I think Hillary Clinton was right,” he adds. “When she was running for president, she said that immigration reform needed to be done during the first 100 days. Of course, she didn’t win and that didn’t happen, and look where we are right now.”
“If we couldn’t do it when Democrats were nearly 260 in the House and 59 in the Senate, how do we propose to tell people we can do it now?” Gutiérrez says. “The opportunity to have gotten it done is gone.”
None of this is to say Latino voters have dumped Obama. “The honeymoon is not quite over,” says Fernand Amandi, the managing partner of the polling firm Bendixen & Amandi. A June Gallup poll showed Obama down more than 10 points among Hispanics. But as the midterms neared, the immigrant salvos of candidates like Jan Brewer and Sharron Angle made the president seem more appealing to Hispanic voters. If Obama had once looked like the hesitator-in-chief, next to Brewer and Angle he looked like César Chávez. Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for Democrats.
This, then, is the dilemma for Hispanic leaders: They find themselves wedded to a president and a party that is their only conceivable hope to pass immigration reform. But the president and the party—because of the GOP, or because of internal priorities—could not pass immigration reform.
Which brings us to the divorce. “I haven’t thought this out completely,” Gutiérrez says in the church. Then he begins tentatively spelling out a plan to sever the immigration-reform movement from the Democrats.
“We need to decouple the movement for comprehensive immigration reform and justice for immigrants from the legislative process and from the Democratic Party process,” Gutiérrez says. “They are too linked.”
“When black people in this country decided they were going to fight for civil rights and for voting rights, they didn’t ask if the majority leader was with them and when they were going to tee up the bill. They said, ‘We’re sitting where we need to sit on the bus! We’re integrating this counter! We’re going to march!'”
Gutiérrez is pacing around the room and his voice is rising. “Their actions propelled the nation. It’s the way changes are made. Look at John F. Kennedy—he was president. Martin Luther King, I don’t think he was real concerned whether he was going to reelected in 1964.”
This is a pretty radical notion, especially for a sitting congressman. And Gutiérrez is quick to suggest the goals of the Democrats and immigration movement may not jibe. “Is it reelect the president?” Gutiérrez asks. “Is that your priority? Or is it get comprehensive immigration reform? Those things can be in contradiction with one another.”
“The Democratic Party is the party of immigrants. But its leader—in this case, Barack Obama—has to continue to be challenged.”
“I’m not the only one thinking this way,” he adds.
In the broad strokes, the kind of divide Gutiérrez is talking about is not only reminiscent of the African-American civil-rights movement, but the arms-length distance the Chicano Movement kept from the political establishment during most of its late-1960s heyday.
As the rally begins in the sanctuary of St. Brigid’s Church, the extent of the divorce is already becoming clear. A letter is passed around demanding that Obama sign an executive order to stop deportations, one of the acts the president can authorize without Senate approval. “You just need a pen,” the petition reads. Gutiérrez’s dual roles as a powerful legislator and civil-rights leader put him in the crosshairs, too. Some of the students who would become eligible for citizenship under the DREAM Act have tweeted at Gutiérrez, asking him to stop appearing on cable TV on their behalf. When the immigration-reform movement has divorced Gutiérrez, it has truly gone rogue.
Gutiérrez says the moment for direct action to make its mark is now, and over the next several months, before a presidential campaign once again reduces the political world to a binary choice. Until then, Barack Obama will no longer have Luis Gutiérrez and his allies inside the tent raising a ruckus. They will be on the outside holding a sign.
Bryan Curtis is a national correspondent at The Daily Beast. He was a columnist at Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine, Slate, and Texas Monthly, and has written for GQ, Outside, and New York. Write him at bryan.curtis at

“Wherever there’s a Mexican, there is Mexico!”... President Calderone.
As an American living under Spanish speaking Mexican occupation, I would add to this “Where there’s a Mexican, there’s a violent Mexican gang!”



Agendas of MEChA, La Raza, MALDEF, and Southwest Voter Registration Projects These are transcripts of live, recorded statements by elected U.S. politicians, college professors, and pro-illegal alien activists whose objective is to take control of our country "by vote if possible and violence if necessary!" 1. Armando Navarro, Prof. Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside at Latino Summit Response to Prop 187, UC Riverside, 1/1995
"These are the critical years for us as a Latino community. We're in a state of transition. And that transformation is called 'the browning of America'. Latinos are now becoming the majority. Because I know that time and history is on the side of the Chicano/Latino community. It is changing in the future and in the present the balance of power of this nation. It's a game - it's a game of power - who controls it. You (to MEChA students) are like the generals that command armies. We're in a state of war. This Proposition 187 is a declaration of war against the Latino/Chicano community of this country. They know the demographics. They know that history and time is on our side. As one community, as one people, as one nation within a nation as the community that we are, the Chicano/Latino community of this nation. What this means is a transfer of power. It means control."


Art Torres, former CA state senator, currently Chair of California Democrat Party at UC Riverside 1/1995 "Que viva la causa! It is an honor to be with the new leadership of the Americas, here meeting at UC Riverside. So with 187 on the ballot, what is it going to take for our people to vote - to see us walking into the gas ovens? It is electoral power that is going to make the determination of where we go as a community. And power is not given to you -- you have to take it. Remember: 187 is the last gasp of white America in California. Understand that. And people say to me on the Senate floor when I was in the Senate, 'Why do you fight so hard for affirmative action programs?' And I tell my white colleagues, 'because you're going to need them.'"


3. Jose Angel Gutierrez, Prof. Univ. Texas at Arlington, founder La Raza Unida Party at UC Riverside 1/1995 "The border remains a military zone. We remain a hunted people. Now you think you have a destiny to fulfill in the land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. And we're a new Mestizo nation. And they want us to discuss civil rights. Civil rights. What law made by white men to oppress all of us of color, female and male. This is our homeland. We cannot - we will not- and we must not be made illegal in our own homeland. We are not immigrants that came from another country to another country. We are migrants, free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here. We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time. The explosion is in our population."


4. Bill Richardson, New Mexico Governor, former U.S. Congressman, U.N. Ambassador, U.S. Secretary of Energy interviewed on radio Latino USA responding to Congressional Immigration Reform legislation in 1996 "There are changing political times where our basic foundations and programs are being attacked, illegal and legal immigration are being unfairly attacked. We have to band together, and that means Latinos in Florida, Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, South Americans, we have to network better - we have to be more politically minded, we have to put aside party and think of ourselves as Latinos, as Hispanics more than we have in the past."

Mario Obledo, founding member/former national director of Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), former CA Secretary Health/Welfare on Tom Leikus radio talk show "We're going to take over all the political institutions in California. In five years the Hispanics are going to be the majority population of this state." Caller: "You also made the statement that California is going to become a Hispanic state and if anyone doesn't like it they should leave - did you say that?" Obledo: "I did. They ought to go back to Europe."

“WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA.. THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION STATE!”6. Mario Obledo CCIR commentary on Mario Obledo: When CCIR, the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, erected a billboard on the California/Arizona border reading, "WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA, THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION STATE", Mario Obledo, infuriated, went to the billboard location and threatened to blow it up or burn it down. Even after this threat to deny American citizens their freedom of speech, President Clinton awarded Obledo the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. CCIR question to Obledo: "Jose Angel Gutierrez said, 'We have an aging white America, they are dying, I love it.' How would you translate that statement?" Obledo: "He's a good friend of mine. A very smart person."

7. Richard Alatorre, former Los Angeles City Councilman at Latino Summit conference in Los Angeles opposing CA Prop. 209 ending affirmative action in 9/1996 "Because our numbers are growing, they're afraid about this great mass of minorities that now live in our community. They're afraid that we're going to take over the governmental institutions and other institutions. They are right, we will take them over, and we are not going to go away - we are here to stay, and we are saying 'ya basta' (enough!) and we are going to turn... and de... not elect or re-elect people that believe that they are going to advance their political careers on the backs of immigrants and the backs of minorities."


“THE LATINOS ARE COMING... THE LATINOS ARE COMING!!! AND THEY’RE GOING TO VOTE!” 8. Joe Baca, former CA Assemblymember, currently member of Congress at Latino Summit Response to Prop 187 UC Riverside 1/1995 and Southwest Voter Registration Project annual conference in Los Angeles, 6/1996 "We need more Latinos out there. We must stand up and be counted. We must be together, We must be united. Because if we're not united you know what's going to happen? We're like sticks - we're broken to pieces. Divided we're not together. But as a unit they can't break us. So we've got to come together, and if we're united, si se puede (it can be done) and we will make the changes that are necessary. But we've got to do it. We've got to stand together, and dammit, don't let them divide us because that's what they want to do, is to divide us. And once we're divided we're conquered. But when we look out at the audience and we see, you know, la familia, La Raza (the family, our race), you know, it's a great feeling, isn't it a good feeling? And you know, I started to think about that and it reminded me of a book that we all read and we all heard about, you know, Paul Revere, and when he was saying, 'The British are coming, the British are coming!' Well, the Latinos are coming, the Latinos are coming! And the Latinos are going to vote. So our voices will be heard. So that's what this agenda is about. It's about insuring that we increase our numbers. That we increase our numbers at every level. We talk about the Congressional, we talk about the Senate, we talk about board of supervisors, board of education, city councils, commissions, we have got to increase out numbers because the Latinos are coming. Because what's going on right now, with 187, the CCRI (CA Civil Rights Initiative against affirmative action), and let me tell you, we can't go back, you know, we're in a civil war. But we need to be solidified, we need to come together, we must be strong, because united we form a strong body. United we become solidified, united we make a difference, united we make the changes, united Latinos will win throughout California, let's stick together, que si se puede, que no? (it can be done, right?)

9. Antonio Villaraigosa, Chair of MEChA (student wing of Aztlan movement) at UCLA, former CA assemblymember, former CA Assembly speaker, currently Los Angeles City Mayor, and formerly Councilman at Southwest Voter Registration Project Conference in Los Angeles, 6/1997 "Part of today's reality has been propositions like 187 (to deny public benefits to illegal aliens, 1994), propositions like 209 (to abolish affirmative action, 1996), the welfare reform bill, which targeted legal immigrants and targeted us as a community. That's been the midnight. We know that the sunny side of midnight has been the election of a Latino speaker - was the election of Loretta Sanchez, against an arch-conservative, reactionary hate-mongering politician like Congressman Dornan! Today in California in the legislature, we're engaged in a great debate, where not only were we talking about denying education to the children of undocumented workers, but now we're talking about whether or not we should provide prenatal care to undocumented mothers. It's not enough to elect Latino leadership. If they're supporting legislation that denies the undocumented driver's licenses, they don't belong in office, friends. They don't belong here. If they can't stand up and say, 'You know what? I'm not ever going to support a policy that denies prenatal care to the children of undocumented mothers', they don't belong here."


“I’M GONNA GO OUT THERE AN VOTE BECAUSE I WANT TO PAY THEM BACK!”10. Gloria Molina, one of the five in Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors at Southwest Voter Registration Project Conference, 6/1996 "This community is no longer going to stand for it. Because tonight we are organizing across this country in a single mission, in a plan. We are going to organize like we've never organized before. We are going to go into our neighborhoods. We are going to register voters. We are going to talk to all of those young people that need to become registered voters and go out to vote and we're are politicizing every single one of those new citizens that are becoming citizens of this country. And what we are saying is by November we will have one million additional Latino voters in this country, and we're gonna march, and our vote is going to be important. But I gotta tell you, there's a lot of people that are saying, 'I'm gonna go out there and vote because I want to pay them back!' And this November we are going to remember those that stood with us and we are also going to remember those that have stood against us on the issues of immigration, on the issues of education, on the issues of health care, on the issues of the minimum wage."

“LONG LIVE OUR RACE!”11. Vicky Castro, former member of Los Angeles Board of Education at Southwest Voter Registration Project Conference, 6/1996 "Que viva la raza, que viva la raza (long live our race)! I'm here to welcome all the new voters of 18 years old that we're registering now in our schools. Welcome, you're going to make a difference for Los Angeles, for San Antonio, for New York, and I thank Southwest for taking that challenge. And to the Mechistas (MEChA students) across this nation, you're going to make that difference for us, too. But when we register one more million voters I will not be the only Latina on the Board of Education of Los Angeles. And let me tell you here, no one will dismantle bilingual education in the United States of America. No one will deny an education to any child, especially Latino children. As you know, in Los Angeles we make up 70% of this school district. Of 600,000 -- 400,000 are Latinos, and our parents are not heard and they're going to be heard because in Los Angeles, San Antonio and Texas we have just classified 53,000 new citizens in one year that are going to be felt in November!"



“PUNISH OUR ENEMIES”… does that mean assault the legals of Arizona that must fend off the Mexican invasion, occupation, growing criminal and welfare state, as well as Mex Drug cartels???

Friends of ALIPAC,

Each day new reports come in from across the nation that our movement is surging and more incumbents, mostly Democrats, are about to fall on Election Day. Obama's approval ratings are falling to new lows as he makes highly inappropriate statements to Spanish language audiences asking illegal alien supporters to help him "punish our enemies."


The fastest growing political party in America is NOT the tea baggers! It is the Mexican Fascist Party of LA RAZA… “The Race”. .. The House now as 90 members, nearly one-quarter, that are CONGRESSIONAL HISPANIC CAUCUS pushing for AMNESTY, no e-verify, expanded sanctuary cities, open borders, and illegals voting!

LaRaza Calls For Boycott Against Free Speech
No surprise here. Pulling the race/hate card again and using political correctness La Raza goes after cable shows reporting on illegal immigration.

"Murguía said she recognized that ultimately the power to change the debate lies with the Hispanic community itself. “Latinos buy products from the advertisers supporting these programs,” she said. “Latinos vote in primaries and in the general election. We have a significant role to play picking winners and losers in both arenas. We need to make it clear to those who embrace hate that they do so at their own economic and political peril.”

New Stealth Federal Funding Bill for La Raza
Which brings us to an extraordinary matter of some urgency. Several weeks before the White House and its Senate allies announced their big "breakthrough" legislation (S.1348), radicals in the House quietly introduced legislation to pump $5 million directly into La Raza next year — and $10 million per year for "each fiscal year thereafter."
"This country belongs to Mexico" is said by the Mexican Militant. This is a common teaching that the U.S. is really AZTLAN, belonging to Mexicans, which is taught to Mexican kids in Arizona and California through a LA Raza educational program funded by American Tax Payers via President Obama, when he gave LA RAZA $800,000.00 in March of 2009!
H. R. 1999, entitled the Hope Fund Act of 2007, should truthfully be labeled the "Perpetual Funding of La Raza Radicals Act."
“Through love of having children, we are going to take over.” AUGUSTIN CEBADA, BROWN BERETS, THE LA RAZA FASCIST PARTY


The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is not only one of the wealthiest and most politically powerful militant organizations in the country, it is also notoriously racist and subversive. The group's name, "La Raza," means "The Race," by which they are referring to ethnic Mexicans, or more broadly to "hispanics" or "latinos." And it is quite clear from their decades of vitriolic rhetoric — both spoken and written — that the La Raza activists are trying to engender not only race consciousness amongst hispanic U.S. citizens and Mexican migrants, but also racial militancy and animosity toward "Gringo America."
The NCLR grew out of the La Raza Unida (The Race United) Party and the Southwest Council of La Raza in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The key leaders were Marxist-Leninist followers of Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra.

The Coming Latino Revolt

The Coming Latino Revolt

JUDICIAL WATCH - What Next in the Battle Against Illegal Immigration

Please join us for a live webcast of our educational panel discussion

“What Next in the Battle against Illegal Immigration?”
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
2:00 — 3:30 PM EST
Go to to join us live during the scheduled time.
(Please note that the link will not be active until the date and time of the panel.)

This Judicial Watch educational panel discussion will discuss current and upcoming fights over immigration enforcement – including various state actions to help enforce immigration law, amnesty proposals, and moves by Congress to force the Obama administration to enforce immigration law. Panelists include Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the author of Arizona’s immigration enforcement measure SB 1070; and Rep. Steve King, a leader in Congress on immigration enforcement issues.

Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of AZ State Senator Russell Pearce supporting Arizona’s “Legal Arizona Workers Act,” legislation crafted by State Senator Pearce to penalize Arizona businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens.

Tom Fitton
President of Judicial Watch


U.S. Representative Steve King (R-IA)
Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, and the Border

Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce
President-Elect of the Arizona Senate

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
2:00 — 3:30 PM EST
Go to to join us live during the scheduled time.
(Please note that the link will not be active until the date and time of the panel.)

To support this program and all of Judicial Watch’s activities make a tax deductible donation today!

Which Party Works Harder For Illegals? THEY BOTH FLIP OFF LEGALS!



California Republicans are split on possible anti-illegal immigration measure
Opponents of the measure, similar to Arizona's suspended law, fear alienating the fastest-growing voting bloc and further hampering the party's ability to win elections in the state.
By Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times
December 6, 2010

A nascent California ballot measure that seeks to replicate Arizona's controversial crackdown on illegal immigrants is dividing the state's Republicans, with a number of prominent strategists and leaders fearing that it could further harm their party's already fraught relationship with Latinos — the fastest-growing segment of the electorate.

It's unclear whether the ballot's backers will have the financial resources to gather enough signatures to place the measure on the 2012 ballot.

Several Republicans said that even the effort to do so has the potential to increase the chasm between the party's candidates and the voting bloc whose record-breaking turnout tilted races in November and delivered a clean Democratic statewide sweep in a year in which Republicans celebrated major victories in the rest of the nation. They equated it to 1994's Proposition 187, which would have stopped illegal immigrants from receiving any state services had it not been largely voided by the courts.

"It's completely counterproductive to the future of the party as well as counterproductive to the immigration debate and coming to a real solution," said Rob Stutzman, a GOP strategist who advised failed gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman. "It allows those who make a living off the demagoguing of immigrants to continue to do so."

Supporters of the measure counter that the party's nominees suffered deep losses because the party has no clear message on immigration.

"I think a greater damage to the future of the party in this state is that we have no position or message on immigration," said Mike Spence, a conservative Republican activist. "That to me is the bigger problem. I don't see how we can be damaged more than we already are."

The debate mirrors one taking place at the national level. Several prominent GOP candidates who were successful in recent elections have taken a hard line on immigration. Party operatives and leaders who have grown worried about alienating Latinos this week announced a major outreach effort, led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

But while national leaders are looking toward an approaching demographic shift, the clout of Latinos already is in full bloom in California.

In November, one in five voters was Latino; 80% of them cast ballots for Democratic Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, while 15% voted for Whitman despite her multimillion-dollar effort to woo them. Their participation, driven by labor unions who used the Arizona immigration law to pull Latinos to the polls, was nearly double what it was in the last gubernatorial contest. And those numbers are expected to grow.

In California, Republican candidates have long faced a quandary when dealing with immigration, frequently touting their "tough as nails" credentials as they seek the GOP nomination from the party's most conservative voters, then modulating their tone as they try to sway moderate Republicans, independents and Democrats in the general election.

The next elections will be conducted with an open primary, but it's unclear what effect that will have on the tenor of the immigration debate or which GOP candidates might have an advantage.

The California proposal, known as the Support Federal Immigration Law Act, is modeled on Arizona's suspended law, SB 1070, but has tweaks that supporters believe will allow it to survive legal challenges.

The proposal would require law enforcement officers to swiftly check the immigration status of those they stop whom they suspect are in the country illegally, as long as such verification does not hinder an investigation. It would create new hiring requirements for businesses and new penalties for those who knowingly or negligently hire illegal immigrants.

The measure also addresses prospective employees, day laborers, immigrant smugglers and sanctuary cities.

Backers need to collect 433,971 valid signatures by April 21, 2011, to qualify the measure for the ballot, which they hope to do with a combination of paid signature-gatherers and "tea party" volunteers, said Michael Erickson, the initiative's proponent and a former member of the state Republican Party's executive committee.

A key question is whether Erickson will be able to raise at least $1 million to hire signature-gatherers. Another crucial question among Republicans is what effect the effort will have on Latino voters. The issue has become a staple of newscasts in the Spanish-language media.

"What message does that send to Latinos in terms of our commitment to represent their values?" asked GOP strategist Adam Mendelsohn, adding that, based on shared values related to social issues and the economy, "Latino voters should be our voters."

Tony Quinn, a GOP demographer, said that in addition to harming the Republicans' prospects in statewide races, the measure could damage their "last vestige" of power in Sacramento — being able to stop tax increases, which require a two-thirds vote in the state Senate and Assembly.

Legislative districts will be redrawn before the 2012 election, resulting in an increase in competitive contests. Democrats and Latinos will probably be drawn to the polls by a ticket with President Obama at the top and would be further spurred by such an initiative, he said.

"It could contribute to Democrats' winning a two-thirds majority in both houses, which would then make Republicans totally irrelevant on tax matters," Quinn said.

Erickson said these are flawed arguments and said immigration issues cut across party and demographic lines.

"Hispanics who live here legally understand viscerally the necessity for immigration reform. They understand Hispanic communities are the first victim of the violence that is perpetrated by drug cartels and human smugglers and violent gangs," he said.

Polling earlier this year does not bear that out. The May survey by the Los Angeles Times/USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences poll found that 24% of registered Latino voters in California favored the Arizona law, while 71% opposed it. Overall, 50% of voters supported the law and 43% opposed it.

Party leaders have argued, without much luck, that even without a change in the party's position on illegal immigration, a respectful tone would help repair their relationship with Latinos.

"Nobody cares what we think their capital gains tax rate should be if they believe we want their grandmother deported," said Ron Nehring, chairman of the California Republican Party, who declined comment on the proposed initiative.

Other party leaders also have not weighed in on the ballot measure, a lack of reaction that some find troubling.

Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado said he had little faith that party leaders would oppose the measure, a stance that he believes will be a fatal mistake.

"You can pull the life-support machine off the party, just pull the plug," he said. "Because there's no secret, if you look at obituaries and you look at the birth notices in any newspaper, I can tell you what California is going to look like in the next 10, 15, 20 years. If you continue to alienate the fastest-growing population, then you can continue to be a party that is successful in certain areas, but you won't be able to run the state."


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.”


The American Legion Takes A Stand Against Illegal Immigration
The American Legion Takes A Stand Against Illegal Immigration

The America Legion recently released a statement on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, a very pointed statement. The Legion published their policy in a 30 page booklet, spelling their policy out in detail:
The nation’s largest veterans organization released this week a policy bulletin that takes a firm stand against illegal immigration and calls on its members to hold elected officials accountable for implementing and enforcing U.S. immigration law.

The 30-page bulletin is officially titled, “The American Legion20Policy on Immigration: A Strategy to Address Illegal Immigration in the United States.”
It is about time that a group who stands up for veterans of all services, whether they served in peacetime or wartime took a tough stand on a problem that is overwhelming this country. We have roughly 25 million veterans in this country who served honorably to protect the legal residents of this country, not the people who invade our borders nearly unchecked.
More from WND on the American Legion:
“The American Legion members have served in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout the world so that Americans can be safe at home,” the organization’s website explains. “This gives them a unique perspective to the threat that open borders present to their homeland.”
“America is a nation built by immigrants and the American Legion recognizes and celebrates that,” said National Commander David K. Rehbein in a press release. “We do take strong issue, however, with illegal immigration. It’s a matter of national security. The 9/11 hijackers and three of the men who plotted to kill innocent Americans at Ft. Dix were perfect examples of terrorists exploiting our weak immigration laws and our lack of enforcement. This booklet is a good reminder that America has a serious problem that needs to be addressed.”
The Legion’s stance on illegal immigration is clearly stated o n page 1 of the booklet, it stands alone:
“The American Legion is opposed to any person or persons being in this country illegally, regardless of race, sex, creed, color or national origin,” the bulletin states. “We believe the current laws governing immigration should be enforced impartially and equally.”
The America Legion has a long history that dates back to Theodore Roosevelt. The Legion knows something about supporting veterans and the laws of this country. Read on:
Originally founded in 1919 on an idea proposed by Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (the president of the same name’s eldest son), the Legion has now grown to a membership of more than 2.6 million wartime veterans organized in more than 14,000 posts nationwide.
The policy bulletin explains, “Legionnaires subscribe to a creed, ‘To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law and order and to foster and perpetuate a 100 percent Americanism.’ These words are recited in unison at Legion meetings and represent a continuing contract of service to benefit America and it is this commitment by Legionnaires that is the fuel for action on illegal immigration and other national security concerns facing this country.”
The Legion hopes the policy booklet will educate the American public on how “the security, economy and social fabric of the United States of America is=2 0seriously threatened by individuals who are illegally in this country.”
“Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime,” the booklet states. “The poor, minorities, children and individuals with little education are particularly vulnerable. It causes an enormous drain on public services, depresses wages of American workers, and contributes to population growth that, in turn, contributes to school overcrowding and housing shortages. Directly and indirectly, U.S. taxpayers are paying for illegal immigration.”
In financial terms, the booklet cites a report by the Center for Immigration Studies that claims the average illegal alien household in 2003 paid approximately $4,200 in federal taxes while, on average, created $7,000 in costs at the federal level.
The booklet does highlight a real problem that the USA faces despite the formation of the Department of Homeland Security. It spells out that it is about educating all people on the dearth of security issues still face this country today. Not only did they publish this booklet for education purposes but it also contains language that discusses ways to prevent these security issues:
In response to what it sees as a contributing factor to crime, terrorism, unemployment and depressed wages, the Legion proposes the following five-point strategy urging the federal government to enact the following steps:
1. Secure the borders and other points of entry in the United States, including construction of a physical barrier and sufficient Border Patrol presence.
2. Eliminate the jobs magnet and social services benefits that draw illegal immigrants to the U.S. by enforcing laws sanctioning employers who hire illegal aliens, implementing employment eligibility verification and eliminating government benefits for illegal aliens.
3. Eliminate amnesty laws that permit illegal aliens to break the law and remain in the U.S.
4. Reduce the U.S. illegal alien population by attrition through workplace enforcement, interagency and interstate cooperation, rejection of driver’s license plans, mandating English as national language and establishing parameters for noncriminal deportations.
5. Screen and track foreign visitors legally entering the United States. The plan further calls for reforms to current legal immigration policy, including alteration of the non-immigrant visa program that allows some nations’ citizens entrance to the U.S. without a visa application, elimination of the visa lottery that randomly approves visas from countries with low immigration rates and expanding visa allowances for seasonal and temporary workers.
The five step program is a good program. It is workable with some change in legislation and enforcement of current laws. It becomes more important when one considers the following report from WND:
Costs for securing the nati on’s borders are expected to increase 20.6 percent in fiscal year 2009. These include expenses for border patrol, electronic surveillance, the border fence and other security needs. President Bush allocated $44.3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security – a 4.5 percent increase from last year’s budget of $42.4 billion.
“While the U.S. builds a fence across much of the border, many illegals are taking a different route. Underground,” Rubenstein reveals. “Authorities have discovered dozens of illegal tunnels across the international border in recent years. Smuggling of drugs, weapons, and immigrants takes place daily through these underground passageways.”
Illegal aliens also use drainage systems to travel across the U.S.-Mexico border – from El Paso to San Diego.
“One tunnel, actually a system of two half-mile passages connecting Tijuana with San Diego, is by comparison a superhighway,” he wrote.
While the Border Patrol attempts to stop these underground incursions with steel doors, cameras and sensors, harsh weather conditions and human smugglers destroy the equipment and barriers.
These costs, and the expenses of providing “enhanced driver’s licenses” as alternative passports for citizens, RFID chips, government databases and watch lists are expected to soar.
In his research, Rubenstein finds that the average immigrant household generates a fiscal debt of $3,408 after feder al benefits and taxes are considered. At the state and local level, the fiscal debt amounts to $4.398 per immigrant household.
“There are currently about 36 million immigrants living in about 9 million households, so the aggregate deficit attributable to immigrants comes to $70.3 billion,” he writes. “… Immigrants could deplete the amount of funds available for infrastructure by as much as $70 billion per year.”
Rubenstein cites figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, projecting that the U.S. population will reach 433 million by 2050 – increasing 44 percent, or 135 million, from today’s numbers.
A full 82 percent of this increase will be directly attributable to new immigrants and their U.S.-born children.
“The brutal reality is that no conceivable infrastructure program can keep pace with that kind of population growth,” he wrote. “The traditional ’supply-side’ response to America’s infrastructure shortage – build, build, build – is dead, dead, dead. Demand reduction is the only viable way to close the gap between the supply and demand of public infrastructure.”
He concludes, “Immigration reduction must play a role.”
The five step program that the Legion proposes is a sound one. It will require the federal government to tighten immigration policies. The policies don’t appear to require bigger government. It does require ou r Democratic-led government to take a tough stand on illegal immigration, one I believe they will never take. Since our government at this point in time will never toughen the laws, this booklet will go largely ignored by our representatives in DC and that is the shame.
The American Legion wants to remind of us the facts surrounding 9/11 and the plot to kill Fort Dix soldiers, nothing more, nothing less. It is time for Congress to listen to the more than 2 million veterans who claim membership in this organization. It is time to secure our borders, it is time that the American people realize our security is at risk as long as our borders are not secure

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.

Who Will Pay For the Mexican Welfare State In Mexifornia?

Every year California puts out more and more for illegals. CA IS ONE OF MEXICO’S 50 WELFARE STATES!
WELFARE TO ILLEGALS EXCEEDS $20 BILLION PER YEAR, on top of what counties like Los Angeles put out of $600 million.
Add the Mexican crime tidal wave (do a search in your local paper for Mexican gang crime), and you have an instant image of what the LA RAZA DEMS, FEINSTEIN, BOXER, LOFGREN, ESHOO, WAXMAN, and the Mex Fascist Party Members, Becerra, Sanchez, and Baca have done to CA.
California state workers’ pensions under assault
By Kevin Martinez
6 December 2010
The California state budget, passed in early October, mandates brutal cuts to social programs as well as pension plans. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made “pension reform” a precondition before approving any budget plan. California’s budget deficit is now estimated to be $25.4 billion, a far larger number than state officials originally estimated. An offensive is now under way to blame California’s fiscal crisis on pensioners and retirees and make them pay for the deficit.
Before signing the October 21 budget bill into law, Schwarzenegger once more attacked pensioners saying, “Pension debt has become the silent thief of our treasury, robbing vital programs such as education, parks, public safety and environmental protection. With this reform, we will put California on the road to fiscal health.”
As result of the latest budget agreement, the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest pension fund in the US, will see a one-time 3 percent wage increase in exchange for a yearly 3 percent contribution from pensioners, in addition to a five-year increase in the retirement age. Also, the budget stipulates that pensions will now be based on the last three years of employment instead of the pensioner’s highest paid year of employment.
The new stipulations will cut $100 billion from state pensions over the next few years and roll back some pension benefits that were approved by the state legislature in 1999 in a law known as SB 400, which expanded pension benefits and allowed public employees to calculate their pension benefits based on the years immediately preceding their retirement.
A two-tier system, with reduced benefits for newly hired state workers, is now in effect. Many factors contributed to this attack on pensions, not the least of which was the backroom dealing between the governor and the unions, particularly the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The SEIU cynically tried to position itself as a force that the governor could bargain with in carrying out these cuts.
On November 9, 95,000 SEIU members voted for pay cuts after the union presented the vote as the only way to prevent furloughs. SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker boasted, “We’ve done our part to get the state through this unprecedented budget crisis.” Thus, the unions have demonstrated their willingness to implement brutal austerity measures with the government.
As a result of the vote, all workers’ contributions will increase by 3 percent. Current workers may retire at age 55 with pensions equal to 2 percent of their pay for every year they work, while newer workers may not retire with these benefits until they are 60. Furlough days have essentially been institutionalized.
The second major factor in the calls for pension “reform” has been the huge budget deficits CalPERS has incurred as a result of its enormous investment losses during the 2008-2010 financial crises. The state currently is struggling to pay $75.5 billion in pension obligations; $40.5 billion for the teachers’ retirement plan, the California State Teachers’ Retirement Plan (CalSTRS), and $35 billion for the CalPERS fund.
These deficits however, are based on numbers that took place before June 2008, before the worst financial losses for the fund took place. As of this month, CalPERS has fallen to $200 billion in assets as a result of its ill-placed investments on Wall Street, while CalSTRS has dropped to $134 billion. To make matters worse, when CalPERS set aside money for future pension obligations, they based their figures on overly optimistic investment returns at 7.75 percent or 8 percent while the stock market saw zero growth and thus could not meet these obligations.
When current market values are taken into account, the gap between existing plan benefits and actual plan benefits grows from $282.2 billion to $326.6 billion. The California controller has also estimated that retiree health benefits are underfunded by $51.8 billion, bringing the total pension deficit to $378.8 billion.
The pension crisis will only worsen as the years go by. According to a study released by the Milken Institute, the combined pension liabilities of CalPERS, CalSTRS and the University of California Retirement System will exceed the state’s annual tax revenue by 550 percent by 2012. The report calls for the pensions to move away from defined benefit plans to a hybrid of “partial defined” benefits and a partial 401-k-type coverage for newer retirees. Employee contributions will have to increase substantially, in addition to an increase in the retirement age. These are the same proposals that Governor Schwarzenegger requested in a 2005 bill, but was unsuccessful in passing.
Among other findings the report noted that by 2009 pension liabilities cost every working-age adult in California $3,000, and by 2014 will cost every Californian $10,000. The study also noted with alarm that the average pensioner put in 25 years of work for an average of 26 years of benefits. From the standpoint of the ruling elite, pensioners and retirees are simply living too long and costs need to be brought down in order to curb the state deficit and satisfy investors.
In tandem with this all-out assault on public pensions is a vicious propaganda campaign aimed at exposing the supposed lavish benefits that these “grossly overpaid” state workers receive. However, according to a study commissioned by the University of California Berkeley Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, state workers are paid 7 percent less in wages than their counterparts in the private sectors. Even though their benefits are nominally better, there is no “significant difference” between the two. In fact, state workers in California work more hours every year than private workers do. It should also be noted that these numbers are based on pre-furlough figures.
Now these same pensioners who saw their life savings gambled away on the stock market by top CalPERS officials turned Wall Street investors―three of whom are the subject of a state lawsuit for accepting bribes from their well-connected clientele―are now being asked to foot the bill. This outcome is a direct result of the SEIU’s negotiations with the governor and their subordination to the Democratic Party.
Far from an aberration, many CalPERs board members, including Phil Angelides (state treasurer from 1999 to 2007), Willie Brown, and Steve Westley (state controller, 2003-2007), are prominent Democrats who pursued free-market policies when making investments for the fund. Even though many of these investments were shortsighted and cost CalPERS and CalSTRS pensioners billions of dollars on Wall Street, the Democratic Party was behind them all along. The shareholders’ power and influence over CalPERS continued to undermine the interests of the workers during this time.
On November 16, the Los Angeles Times reported that one of CalPERS’ financial firms is the subject of an ongoing investigation by state officials and that the newspaper has requested the pension fund to disclose thousands of documents relating to this investigation, which may uncover fraudulent business deals and “improper relationships” between investors and CalPERS board members.
In line with these corruption scandals are moves on the part of the CalPERS board to further privatize the fund. The investment committee of the fund recently approved a new framework for allocating assets that would combine private and public equities in a new growth category. Two new classifications were also created. The real assets category now includes infrastructure, forestland and real estate while the inflation-linked assets include inflation-linked bonds, commodities and TIPS.
Another move to subordinate pensions to the free market is the decision by CalPERS on November 15 to drop its annual “Name and Shame” list of underperforming companies with which CalPERS engages. Instead the fund will conduct private negotiations with these companies unbeknownst to shareholders and pensioners.
The assault on pensions in California is no doubt being seen as a template for the rest of the US. In the first 10 months of 2010, 19 states enacted pension reforms that would reverse defined pension obligations with increased employer contribution rates, raised retirement ages, and reduced benefits, according to the Pew Center on the States. Many more states will move to bring down pension costs in the coming year as new governors and legislators from both parties arrive in office to proclaim austerity measures. In 2009, 11 states made such changes, compared to eight states in 2008.
Retiree health benefits will also be severely affected as states begin to bridge the gap between pension benefits that were promised and the actual money set aside for these plans. In a February 2010 report entitled “The Trillion Dollar Gap”, the Pew Center estimated that in fiscal year 2008 states and localities underfunded their pension liabilities by $452 billion and owed another $555 billion for retirement health care, bringing the total shortfall to $1 trillion.
Democrat Attorney General Jerry Brown will now assume the office of governor and has made clear his determination to decimate the pension systems. On his web site, Brown not only gave his approval to the new pension reforms, but also said he would have employers contribute more to their pension plans and force new workers to work longer and retire later in life to receive their benefits.
Brown revealed to the Sacramento Bee, “I think a defined pension plan can be very good, but it has to be actuarially sound, and that means you have to contribute. And right now because the stock market is going down it’s not as buoyant as it once was.” The SEIU not only called on its members to vote for Brown but provided his campaign with millions of dollars in dues.
President Obama’s bipartisan budget deficit panel seeks to ram austerity measures in the form of cuts to Social Security, Medicare and state pensions. In the aftermath of the November elections, the government is hell-bent on making workers pay for the economic crisis and the budget shortfalls. The unions will be essential in carrying out these attacks.
These attacks are unfolding on an international stage. The massive strike wave in France against President Sarkozy’s attempt to raise the retirement age and reduce pension benefits is evidence that the ruling elite is seeking to roll back the social safety net in every country, from Greece to the US.

“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 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
If we keep up the enforcement, we can actually get control of this problem; my own Center for Immigration Studies has estimated that a comprehensive enforcement effort could reduce the illegal-alien population by half in five years. Once we accomplished that, we could then consider what to do about the remaining illegal population. Point/Counterpoint: No Need for Immigrants Here.
Debate: Let's Stop Welcoming Undocumented Immigrants
Point/Counterpoint: No Need for Immigrants Here
Debate: Let's Stop Welcoming Undocumented Immigrants

Oct. 2, 2007
There are two questions to consider when deciding whether to stop welcoming illegal aliens. First, do we even need the flow of labor that illegal immigration represents? And second, whatever immigration policy we do adopt, can it be enforced if we make it easy to live here illegally, as we do now?
The answer to both questions is No.
There is no economic need for foreign labor, legal or illegal. There are an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the United States, with perhaps 7 million of them in the labor market either working or actively looking for work. But contrary to myths about "jobs Americans won't do," there is no major job category that is dominated by these illegal workers. The Census Bureau groups all jobs in the country into 473 categories, and in 2003-2004, only three small categories had even the tiniest majority of immigrant workers, legal and illegal. The large majority of America's taxi drivers, housekeepers, janitors, dishwashers, landscapers and construction laborers are native-born Americans.
More generally, the supporters of illegal immigration claim that low-skilled labor is a precious resource, like oil, and because we're running out of it at home, we have to import it from abroad. This, too, is false. On the contrary, immigration (legal and illegal) is actually crowding low-skilled Americans out of the labor market altogether. During the first half of this decade, the highest five-year period of immigration in our history, the percentage of working-age, native-born Americans without a high school degree who were in the labor force fell from 59 percent to 56 percent, and for those with only a high school degree, participation in the labor force fell from 78 percent to 75 percent. And American teenagers (aged 15 to 17) took an even bigger hit, seeing their labor force participation fall from 30 percent in 2000 to 24 percent in 2005.
Apart from the specifics of policy, we need to consider how to enforce whatever path we decide on. And here again, welcoming illegal immigrants is a mistake. The key to enforcement of immigration laws is not simply arresting and deporting violators, though that must continue, and even increase. At least as important is making life as an illegal alien as difficult and unattractive as possible, in order to dissuade new illegal settlers and persuade those already here to give up and go back home. The result would be not a magical disappearance of all illegal aliens but rather a reduction in their numbers over time, allowing American businesses  and even the illegals themselves  an opportunity to adjust to the new reality.
We have been pursuing the precise opposite of this strategy for a long time. Our welcome for illegal immigrants has included driver's licenses, in-state tuition subsidies, mortgages, bank accounts and even de facto permission to work on fake or stolen Social Security numbers. It's a wonder we don't have more illegal aliens than we do.

Obama's Assault On Americans For Wall St. & La Raza Illegals Continues.....

HE’D SELL US OUT TO THE BIG MONEY PEOPLE IN A FLASH… Actually, that’s all he’s done!

“Obama hasn’t done anything,” he continued. “The only thing he’s done is take us to war. He’s no different than any other president we’ve had.”…. get on their free no-ads E-NEWS!

“You have to work to live, and then they want to deprive you of your work.”
Detroit workers face desperate jobs crisis
By Tom Eley and Lawrence Porter
6 December 2010
[Click here to toggle images]
Nowhere in the US is the unemployment crisis more severe than in Detroit and its metropolitan area in Southeast Michigan. Once the hub of the US auto industry and home to some of the best working class jobs, Detroit is now the poorest big city in America.
As the winter months approach, Detroit residents face a desperate situation—continued mass unemployment, the cutoff of extended federal benefits, the ever-present danger of having their utilities shut off or their homes seized. Whatever jobs are available pay poverty-level wages, hardly adequate to keep food on the table.
The unemployment rate in the metropolitan area is 13.4 percent, down two percentage points in one year. However, this decline is largely attributable to the long-term unemployed falling out of the workforce. The real unemployment rate may be 20 percent or higher. In Detroit proper, real unemployment—including those involuntarily working part time and those who have given up all hope of finding work—is estimated at 50 percent.
By refusing to extend unemployment benefits, Congress and the Obama administration are condemning the population of cities like Detroit to mass impoverishment.
Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site recently went to an office of the Michigan Bureau of Workers’ and Unemployment Compensation to speak to workers about the consequences for themselves and their families.
The office is located, with historical irony, in the old headquarters of General Motors, once the biggest private employer in the world. The expansive size of the building, Cadillac Plaza—once the largest single-occupant office building in the world—and its vaulted ceilings and marble, granite, and limestone construction, stand in sharp contrast to its present purpose. In addition to the office for unemployment, the building holds a state lottery claims center and other state offices.
The benefits office was busy; there were perhaps 150 workers waiting in line for assistance. However, this is still a small fraction of the unemployed in Detroit. Most claims and filings now happen on-line or by telephone.
All sorts of obstacles are set up to keep workers from accessing unemployment benefits. There are strict requirements related to the length of steady employment prior to being unemployed. Workers are also required to prove they are actively seeking employment. If benefits can be secured, they are kept low as a punitive means of “encouraging” the unemployed to seek work. In Michigan, weekly benefits are low even relative to the rest of the country and are generally equivalent to the levels prevailing in the Deep South.
The WSWS spoke to Nikita Johnson and her husband Sylvester Strikland. Nikita lost her job in October 2010 following an injury. She worked as a medical technician in an apartment complex for senior citizens. Despite her recovery, the company refused to hire her back.
Nikita said she understood what the long-term unemployed were going through. “I feel that it is wrong to cut off the extension,” stated Nikita. “Even though they were given extensions, they still need the income. What is going to happen if they are cut off? Many of those people will lose their homes and become homeless. A lot of people will lose their families. They don’t understand that people wouldn’t be asking for it if they didn’t need it. It’s like they don’t care.”
Nikita said that a lot of the jobs these days are paying $7, $8 maybe $10 an hour without benefits, and people just can’t live on it.
Sylvester, self-employed as a mechanic, said working people face a terrible jobs situation. “This government should be ashamed,” stated Sylvester. “If they cut off people, and we are talking about 2 million people, what are they going to do for money? It’s going to be a bad situation for everybody.”
“A lot of people are doing whatever they can to get by,” Sylvester continued. “Some people are becoming self-employed like what I am doing. You just can’t find a job.”
Looking at his wife and child with him at the center, Sylvester said, “I know a lot of people are moving in with their families. It is not unusual now to have three families living in the same house hoping that someone is going to get a job.”
Sylvester said he is convinced that the census count in Detroit is skewed because of the number of people living together.
“A lot of people are living with illegal utility hookups, and with ten or more people in a house. It’s tough, but what are people supposed to do?”
Eric Quick is unemployed with children. He is not eligible for benefits because he has been out of work for too long. The decision to allow unemployment benefits to expire is “just going to run the crime rate up,” Quick said. “People are going to steal, rob, and kill to try feed themselves and their families.”
“Not too much has changed with Obama,” Quick said. “Nothing has changed for the poor. Maybe things are better for the rich.”
Levon has been out of work for a year since being laid off from the Thompson Group, a Detroit-area manufacturer. He now gets $300 every two weeks in benefits, with two kids to support.
“There are no jobs. When I put in applications, they say I’m either not qualified or over-qualified,” Levon said. “You have to work to live, and then they want to deprive you of your work.”
“You get into the situation that you can’t afford your heat and gas, you’re not sleeping at night because of the cold, and you’re not eating square meals.”
Levon asked the WSWS about the Wall Street bailout. “What’s going on with all the money the banks have been issued?” he asked. “Why aren’t they issuing that money to people?”
Jose is an out-of-work construction worker, born in Mexico. “There are no jobs. I did asphalt construction, but it’s over,” he said. “I’m hoping that in the spring jobs will come back. Somebody’s got to pay the bills”
Francisco, 31, has been laid off from a landscaping job for seven months. He gets checks every other week for $400. He must support three kids on that income, plus the money his girlfriend earns as a nurse. Francisco hopes to get a job with a friend clearing snow for the winter. He is also considering moving out of Detroit to the suburb of Southfield because he believes insurance will be cheaper.
Francisco is angry that funding for the jobless benefit extension was ended, even as Congress works on extending tax cuts for rich. “That’s what I hate,” he said. “They always look out for the rich people.”
“Obama hasn’t done anything,” he continued. “The only thing he’s done is take us to war. He’s no different than any other president we’ve had.”
“I got arrested and put in prison when I was 18. I was young and dumb. That was 12 years ago, and I can’t get a job because I was a convict. But I was only 18. I’ve tried everything. Nobody’s hiring.”
Francisco says he knows many households that live without utilities. Some of them make “little bonfires” inside their houses to keep warm on cold days, he says. “One of my girlfriend’s friends just got her gas cut off for being $2 short on a bill. She owed $117 and she accidentally sent in $115, so they cut the gas and lights.” He worries about “innocent little kids dying in house fires because they’re in homes without heat or lights.”
These guys profited from puffing up the housing bubble, then got bailed out when the going got tough. (Please see The Looting of America for all the gory details.) Without taxpayer largess, these hedge fund honchos would be flat broke. Instead, they're back to hauling in obscene profits.
These billionaires don't even have to worry about serious financial reforms. The paltry legislation that squeaked through Congress did nothing to end too big and too interconnected to fail. In fact, the biggest firms got even bigger as they gobbled up troubled banks, with the generous support of the federal government. No bank or hedge fund was broken up. Nobody was forced to pay a financial transaction tax. None of the big boys had a cap placed on their astronomical wealth. No one's paying reparations for wrecking the US economy. The big bankers are still free to create and trade the very derivatives that catapulted us into this global crisis. You'd think the billionaires would be praying on the altar of government and erecting statues on Capital Hill in honor of St. Bailout.

While 43.6 million Americans live in poverty, the richest men of finance sure are getting pissy. First Steve Schwartzman, head of the Blackrock private equity company, compares the Obama administration's effort to close billionaires' tax loopholes to "the Nazi invasion of Poland." Then hedge fund mogul David Loeb announces that he's abandoning the Democrats because they're violating "this country's core founding principles" -- including "non-punitive taxation, Constitutionally-guaranteed protections against persecution of the minority, and an inexorable right of self-determination." Instead of showing their outrage about the spread of poverty in the richest nation on Earth, the super-rich want us to pity them?
Why are Wall Street's billionaires so whiny? Is it really possible to make $900,000 an hour (not a typo -- that's what the top ten hedge fund managers take in), and still feel aggrieved about the way government is treating you? After you've been bailed out by the federal government to the tune of $10 trillion (also not a typo) in loans, asset swaps, liquidity and other guarantees, can you really still feel like an oppressed minority?
You'd think the Wall Street moguls would be thankful. Not just thankful -- down on their knees kissing the ground taxpayers walk on and hollering hallelujah at the top of their lungs! These guys profited from puffing up the housing bubble, then got bailed out when the going got tough. (Please see The Looting of America for all the gory details.) Without taxpayer largess, these hedge fund honchos would be flat broke. Instead, they're back to hauling in obscene profits.
These billionaires don't even have to worry about serious financial reforms. The paltry legislation that squeaked through Congress did nothing to end too big and too interconnected to fail. In fact, the biggest firms got even bigger as they gobbled up troubled banks, with the generous support of the federal government. No bank or hedge fund was broken up. Nobody was forced to pay a financial transaction tax. None of the big boys had a cap placed on their astronomical wealth. No one's paying reparations for wrecking the US economy. The big bankers are still free to create and trade the very derivatives that catapulted us into this global crisis. You'd think the billionaires would be praying on the altar of government and erecting statues on Capital Hill in honor of St. Bailout.
Instead, standing before us are these troubled souls, haunted by visions of persecution. Why?
The world changed. Before the bubble burst, these people walked on water. Their billions proved that they were the best and the brightest -- not just captains of the financial universe, but global elites who had earned a place in history. They donated serious money to worthy causes -- and political campaigns. No one wanted to mess with them.
But then came the crash. And the things changed for the big guys -- not so much financially as spiritually. Plebeians, including me, are asking pointed questions and sometimes even being heard, both on the Internet and in the mainstream media. For the first time in a generation, the public wants to know more about these emperors and their new clothes. For instance:
• What do these guys actually do that earns them such wealth?
• Is what they do productive and useful for society? Is there any connection between what they earn and what they produce for society?
• Did they help cause the crash?
• Did these billionaires benefit from the bailouts? If so, how much?
• Are they exacerbating the current unemployment and poverty crisis with their shenanigans?
• Why shouldn't we eliminate their tax loopholes (like carried interest)?
• Should their sky-high incomes be taxed at the same levels as during the Eisenhower years?
• Can we create the millions of jobs we need if the billionaires continue to skim off so much of our nation's wealth??
• Should we curb their wealth and political influence?
How dare we ask such questions! How dare we consider targeting them for special taxes? How dare we even think about redistributing THEIR incomes... even if at the moment much of their money comes directly from our bailouts and tax breaks?
It's true that the billionaires live in a hermetically sealed world. But that doesn't mean they don't notice the riffraff nipping at their heels. And they don't like it much. So they've gotten busy doing what billionaires do best: using their money to shield themselves. They're digging into their bottomless war chests, tapping their vast connections and using their considerable influence to shift the debate away from them and towards the rest of us.
We borrowed too much, not them. We get too much health care, not them. We retire too soon, not them. We need to tighten our belts while they pull in another $900,000 an hour. And if we want to cure poverty, we need to get the government to leave Wall Street alone. Sadly, their counter-offensive is starting to take hold.
How can this happen? Many Americans want to relate to billionaires. They believe that all of us are entitled to make as much as we can, pretty much by any means necessary. After all, maybe someday you or I will strike it rich. And when we do, we sure don't want government regulators or the taxman coming around!
Billionaires are symbols of American individual prowess and virility. And if we try to hold them back or slow them down, we're on the road to tyranny. Okay, the game is rigged in their favor. Okay, they got bailed out while the rest of us didn't -- especially the 29 million people who are jobless or forced into part-time work. But what matters most is that in America, nothing can interfere with individual money-making. That only a few of us actually make it into the big-time isn't a bad thing: It's what makes being rich so special. So beware: If we enact even the mildest of measures to rein in Wall Street billionaires, we're on the path to becoming North Korea.
Unfortunately, if we don't adjust our attitudes, we can expect continued high levels of unemployment and more people pushed below the poverty line. It's not clear that our economy will ever recover as long as the Wall Street billionaires keep siphoning off so much of our wealth. How can we create jobs for the many while the few are walking off with $900,000 an hour with almost no new jobs to show for it? In the old days, even robber barons built industries that employed people -- steel, oil, railroads. Now the robber barons build palaces out of fantasy finance. We can keep coddling our financial billionaires and let our economy spiral down, or we can make them pay their fair share so we can create real jobs. These guys crashed the economy, they killed billions of jobs, and now they're cashing in on our bailout. They owe us. They owe the unemployed. They owe the poor.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was no radical, but he accepted the reality: If America was going to prosper -- and pay for its costly Cold War -- the super-rich would have to pony up. It was common knowledge that when the rich grew too wealthy, they used their excess incomes to speculate. In the 1950s, memories of the Great Depression loomed large, and people knew that a skewed distribution of income only fueled speculative booms and disastrous busts. On Ike's watch, the effective marginal tax rate for those earning over $3 million (in today's dollars) was over 70 percent. The super-rich paid. As a nation we respected that other important American value: advancing the common good.
For the last thirty years we've been told that making as much as you can is just another way of advancing the common good. But the Great Recession erased that equation: The Wall Streeters who made as much as they could undermined the common good. It's time to balance the scales. This isn't just redistribution of income in pursuit of some egalitarian utopia. It's a way to use public policy to reattach billionaires to the common good.
It's time to take Eisenhower's cue and redeploy the excessive wealth Wall Street's high rollers have accumulated. If we leave it in their hands, they'll keep using it to construct speculative financial casinos. Instead, we could use that money to build a stronger, more prosperous nation. We could provide our people with free higher education at all our public colleges and universities -- just like we did for WWII vets under the GI Bill of Rights (a program that returned seven dollars in GDP for every dollar invested). We could fund a green energy Manhattan Project to wean us from fossil fuels. An added bonus: If we siphon some of the money off Wall Street, some of our brightest college graduates might even be attracted not to high finance but to jobs in science, education and healthcare, where we need them.
Of course, this pursuit of the common good won't be easy for the billionaires (and those who indentify with them.). But there's just no alternative for this oppressed minority: They're going to have to learn to live on less than $900,000 an hour.
Les Leopold is the author of The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance destroyed our Jobs, Pensions and Prosperity, and What We Can Do About It Chelsea Green Publishing, June 2009.

Obamanomics: How Barack Obama Is Bankrupting You and Enriching His Wall Street Friends, Corporate Lobbyists, and Union Bosses


Editorial Reviews
Obama Is Making You Poorer—But Who’s Getting Rich?
Goldman Sachs, GE, Pfizer, the United Auto Workers—the same “special interests” Barack Obama was supposed to chase from the temple—are profiting handsomely from Obama’s Big Government policies that crush taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers. In Obamanomics, investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney digs up the dirt the mainstream media ignores and the White House wishes you wouldn’t see. Rather than Hope and Change, Obama is delivering corporate socialism to America, all while claiming he’s battling corporate America. It’s corporate welfare and regulatory robbery—it’s Obamanomics.
Congressman Ron Paul says, “Every libertarian and free-market conservative needs to read Obamanomics.” And Johan Goldberg, columnist and bestselling author says, “Obamanomics is conservative muckraking at its best and an indispensable field guide to the Obama years.”
If you’ve wondered what’s happening to America, as the federal government swallows up the financial sector, the auto industry, and healthcare, and enacts deficit exploding “stimulus packages,” this book makes it all clear—it’s a big scam. Ultimately, Obamanomics boils down to this: every time government gets bigger, somebody’s getting rich, and those somebodies are friends of Barack. This book names the names—and it will make your blood boil.

Obama Is Making You Poorer—But Who’s Getting Rich?
Goldman Sachs, GE, Pfizer, the United Auto Workers—the same “special interests” Barack Obama was supposed to chase from the temple—are profiting handsomely from Obama’s Big Government policies that crush taxpayers, small businesses, and consumers.
Investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney digs up the dirt the mainstream media ignores and the White House wishes you wouldn’t see. Rather than Hope and Change, Obama is delivering corporate socialism to America, all while claiming he’s battling corporate America. It’s corporate welfare and regulatory robbery—it’s Obamanomics. In this explosive book, Carney reveals:
* The Great Health Care Scam—Obama’s backroom deals with drug companies spell corporate profits and more government control
* The Global Warming Hoax—Obama has bought off industries with a pork-filled bill that will drain your wallet for Al Gore’s agenda
* Obama and Wall Street—“Change” means more bailouts and a heavy Goldman Sachs presence in the West Wing (including Rahm Emanuel)
* Stimulating K Street—The largest spending bill in history gave pork to the well-connected and created a feeding frenzy for lobbyists
* How the GOP needs to change its tune—drastically—to battle Obamanomics
If you’ve wondered what’s happening to our country, as the federal government swallows up the financial sector, the auto industry, and healthcare, and enacts deficit exploding “stimulus packages” that create make-work government jobs, this book makes it all clear—it’s a big scam. Ultimately, Obamanomics boils down to this: every time government gets bigger, somebody’s getting rich, and those somebodies are friends of Barack. This book names the names—and it will make your blood boil.
Praise for Obamanomics
“The notion that ‘big business’ is on the side of the free market is one of progressivism’s most valuable myths. It allows them to demonize corporations by day and get in bed with them by night. Obamanomics is conservative muckraking at its best. It reveals how President Obama is exploiting the big business mythology to undermine the free market and stick it to entrepreneurs, taxpayers, and consumers. It’s an indispensable field guide to the Obama years.”
—Jonha Goldberg, LA Times columnist and best-selling author
“‘Every time government gets bigger, somebody’s getting rich.’ With this astute observation, Tim Carney begins his task of laying bare the Obama administration’s corporatist governing strategy, hidden behind the president’s populist veneer. This meticulously researched book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how Washington really works.”
—David Freddoso, best-selling author of The Case Against Barack Obama
“Every libertarian and free-market conservative who still believes that large corporations are trusted allies in the battle for economic liberty needs to read this book, as does every well-meaning liberal who believes that expansions of the welfare-regulatory state are done to benefit the common people.”
—Congressman Ron Paul
“It’s understandable for critics to condemn President Obama for his ‘socialism.’ But as Tim Carney shows, the real situation is at once more subtle and more sinister. Obamanomics favors big business while disproportionately punishing everyone else. So-called progressives are too clueless to notice, as usual, which is why we have Tim Carney and this book.”
—Thomas E. Woods, Jr., best-selling author of Meltdown and The Politically Incorrect Guide™ to American History
• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: Regnery Press (November 30, 2009)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1596986123
• ISBN-13: 978-1596986121


“The response of the administration was to rush to the defense of the banks. Even before coming to power, Obama expressed his unconditional support for the bailouts, which he subsequently expanded. He assembled an administration dominated by the interests of finance capital, symbolized by economic adviser Lawrence Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.”

“Rattner’s evident involvement in the scheme underscores the criminal character of the Wall Street financiers who the Obama administration put in charge of destroying the jobs and living standards of auto workers. Selected by Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers—who were both deeply involved in the deregulation of the finance industry and the Wall Street bailout”
Here’s what Obama did for GM and against the workers:
The crisis in the auto industry—provoked by the 2008 financial breakdown and the plunge in auto sales to the lowest per-capita rate since World War II—was used by Wall Street and the US government to destroy jobs and wages and transform the industry into a lucrative investment for the same speculators who provoked the catastrophe.
*….. get on their free no ads E-NEWS!
A union-free America. Growth down a little, employment down a lot. Profits and productivity up, wages flat. Health-care costs up for workers, down for employers. The return of a thriving middle class? Dream on.

After the elections: Behind the Democratic debacle
4 November 2010
Only a day after the midterm elections, the US media quickly coalesced around a narrative, accepted by everyone in the political establishment, that the victory of the Republican Party was a popular repudiation of the supposedly left-wing policies of the Obama administration. In his press conference on Wednesday, Obama himself adopted this analysis, pledging to work closely with the Republican Party, find some compromise on tax cuts for the wealthy, and improve his relations with corporate America.
Underlying this claim are two premises, both of which are false: 1) that Obama has carried out an anti-corporate program during his first two years; and 2) that the population as a whole has used the election to give a rousing affirmation of capitalism and big business. These premises are not only absurd, they clash with the basic facts.
In the flood of political commentary, no one in the mainstream media has suggested a far more plausible explanation: After coming to power by posing as the tribune of “hope” and "change you can believe in," Obama, through his pro-corporate and pro-war policies, has succeeded in alienating and politically demoralizing large sections of the population that had voted for him.
The event that secured Obama's election was the spectacular collapse of Wall Street in September of 2008, which shattered whatever was left of the credibility of the Bush administration and deeply discredited the capitalist system itself. Obama came into office with an overwhelming mandate for radical reform.
The response of the administration was to rush to the defense of the banks. Even before coming to power, Obama expressed his unconditional support for the bailouts, which he subsequently expanded. He assembled an administration dominated by the interests of finance capital, symbolized by economic adviser Lawrence Summers and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
The administration opposed any constraints on executive compensation and rejected out of hand sanctions against or the prosecution of those responsible for the economic catastrophe. Over the past two years, the wealthiest individuals have vastly expanded their share of the national income and the largest banks are expected to hand out record compensation packages.
The economic crisis has led to a jobs crisis unlike anything seen since the Great Depression. The administration has rejected any government hiring programs. Throughout the crisis, Obama has endlessly repeated the claim that employment levels are a “lagging indicator.”
After bailing out Wall Street, Obama oversaw the forced bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler, demanding that workers accept deep cuts in jobs, wages and benefits. As a result, profits for the auto giants have soared while the assault on auto workers’ wages has become the model for wage-cutting in every economic sector and in every part of the country.
The consequences can be seen in the collapse of support for the Democratic Party in the industrial Midwest, the site of half the seats lost by Democrats in the House of Representatives. In Michigan, a center of the auto industry, the Republicans swept state and local offices, amid a turnout of only 45 percent. In Detroit, which had voted for Obama overwhelmingly in 2008, barely one in five voters showed up at the polls.
The principal domestic program for which Obama is associated is the overhaul of the health care system. The bill was entirely tailored to the interests of insurance companies and giant corporations. For the sake of “bipartisanship,” Obama abandoned anything that hinted of progressive reform, including the “public option.” Elderly voters, in particular, quite correctly saw the entire measure as a step toward cutting Medicare benefits and rationing care, resulting in a significant electoral swing to the Republican Party, which recorded an 18 percent advantage among voters over 60.
On foreign policy, Obama came to power on a wave of opposition to war. In the Democratic primaries in 2008, his main argument against rival Hillary Clinton was that he had not voted to support the Iraq war. On assuming office, Obama quickly moved to reappoint those responsible for the war under Bush, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General David Petraeus. His administration has continued the occupation of Iraq, vastly expanded the war against Afghanistan and Pakistan, threatened new wars against Yemen and Iran, and deployed CIA drones to kill people all over the world.
In every election since 2002, the issue of war has played a dominant role. Through the actions of the Obama administration, however, it is becoming clear to millions of people that it is impossible to end war by voting for the Democratic Party. Among young people, where opposition to war is particularly strong, turnout on Tuesday fell precipitously. Whereas voters aged 18 to 29 made up 18 percent of the electorate in 2008, they comprised only 10 percent this election.
To the list of right-wing policies in Obama's first two years must be added: expanding the attack on democratic rights and opposing any prosecution of those responsible for torture and domestic spying; defending the profits of energy giant BP, responsible for the greatest environmental disaster in US history; and rejecting any moratorium on home foreclosures, despite evidence of massive fraud carried out by the very banks that are throwing millions out of their homes.
Under the peculiar conditions of American politics, which excludes any opposition to the two parties of big business, mass disaffection with the Democratic Party found expression in the victory of the Republicans. In addition to capitalizing on the collapse in voter turnout for Democrats, Republicans were able to exploit the fact that all of Obama’s betrayals and his lack of principle exposed the insincerity and duplicity that permeates the Democratic Party and its liberal backers. The rhetoric of the Republicans resonated in sections of the population that felt they had been duped.
The failure of the Obama administration is not simply failure of one individual. It is one expression of the failure of an entire political and economic system. Under conditions of long-term economic decline, American capitalism has no response to the capitalist crisis outside of an ever-expanding attack on the working class.
The trade unions and the array of liberal and middle-class organizations that promoted Obama will point to the victory of the Republicans to insist once again that the Democrats must be supported. This is utterly bankrupt. The claim that the growth of extreme right-wing forces can be stopped by the election of Democrats is the opposite of the truth. The promotion of the Democratic Party facilitates its own anti-working class policies while creating the conditions for even more right-wing forces to come to the fore.
The elections must be seen as a warning. The political system, including both parties, is moving ever further to the right. The aftermath of the elections will bring a deepening of the attacks on jobs and wages, a further erosion of democratic rights, and an expansion of war, including preparations for a global conflict with unimaginable consequences.
In the midst of this crisis, American politics takes on a diseased character. Like an impacted tooth that leads to infection, the anger and discontent felt by millions of people are denied any genuine expression. So long as the working class remains trapped within the framework of the Democratic Party and the capitalist two-party system, it is the right wing that will exploit the situation to its advantage.
Workers and young people have to seriously think through the implications. There is no way forward through the Democratic Party and capitalist politics. What is necessary is the building of an independent revolutionary movement of the working class in the struggle for socialism. This is the perspective that the Socialist Equality Party is fighting to bring to the broadest sections of workers and youth.
Joseph Kishore