Monday, August 1, 2011

MEXICAN VIOLENCE - Whittier man guilty of murder in girlfriend's 2001 stabbing death

Whittier man guilty of murder in girlfriend's 2001 stabbing death




Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. THE REAL TERRORISM IS ON OUR BORDERS, UNDER OUR BORDERS AND IN OUR BORDERS!

The Illegal-Alien Crime Wave

Heather Mac Donald

Some of the most violent criminals at large today are illegal aliens. Yet in cities where the crime these aliens commit is highest, the police cannot use the most obvious tool to apprehend them: their immigration status. In Los Angeles, for example, dozens of members of a ruthless Salvadoran prison gang have sneaked back into town after having been deported for such crimes as murder, assault with a deadly weapon, and drug trafficking. Police officers know who they are and know that their mere presence in the country is a felony. Yet should a cop arrest an illegal gangbanger for felonious reentry, it is he who will be treated as a criminal, for violating the LAPD’s rule against enforcing immigration law.

The LAPD’s ban on immigration enforcement mirrors bans in immigrant-saturated cities around the country, from New York and Chicago to San Diego, Austin, and Houston. These “sanctuary
policies” generally prohibit city employees, including the cops, from reporting immigration violations to federal authorities.

Such laws testify to the sheer political power of immigrant lobbies, a power so irresistible that police officials shrink from even mentioning the illegal-alien crime wave. “We can’t even talk
about it,” says a frustrated LAPD captain. “People are afraid of a backlash from Hispanics.” Another LAPD commander in a predominantly Hispanic, gang-infested district sighs: “I would get a firestorm of criticism if I talked about [enforcing the immigration law against illegals].” Neither captain would speak for attribution.

But however pernicious in themselves, sanctuary rules are a symptom of a much broader disease: the nation’s near-total loss of control over immigration policy. Fifty years ago, immigration policy might have driven immigration numbers, but today the numbers drive policy. The nonstop increase of immigration is reshaping the language and the law to dissolve any distinction between legal and illegal aliens and, ultimately, the very idea of national borders.

It is a measure of how topsy-turvy the immigration environment has become that to ask police officials about the illegal-alien crime problem feels like a gross faux pas, not done in polite company. And a police official asked to violate this powerful taboo will give a strangled response—or, as in the case of a New York deputy commissioner, break off communication altogether. Meanwhile, millions of illegal aliens work, shop, travel, and commit crimes in plain view, utterly secure in their de facto immunity from the immigration law.

I asked the Miami Police Department’s spokesman, Detective Delrish Moss, about his employer’s policy on lawbreaking illegals. In September, the force arrested a Honduran visa violator for seven vicious rapes. The previous year, Miami cops had had the suspect in
custody for lewd and lascivious molestation, without checking his immigration status. Had they done so, they would have discovered his visa overstay, a deportable offense, and so could have forestalled the rapes. “We have shied away from unnecessary involvement dealing with immigration issues,” explains Moss, choosing his words carefully, “because of our large immigrant population.”

Police commanders may not want to discuss, much less respond to, the illegal-alien crisis, but its magnitude for law enforcement is startling. Some examples:

• In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens.

• A confidential California Department of Justice study reported in 1995 that 60 percent of the 20,000-strong 18th Street Gang in southern California is illegal; police officers say the proportion is actually much greater. The bloody gang collaborates with the Mexican Mafia,
the dominant force in California prisons, on complex drug-distribution schemes, extortion, and drive-by assassinations, and commits an assault or robbery every day in L.A. County. The gang
has grown dramatically over the last two decades by recruiting recently arrived youngsters, most of them illegal, from Central America and Mexico.

• The leadership of the Columbia Lil’ Cycos gang, which uses murder and racketeering to control the drug market around L.A.’s MacArthur Park, was about 60 percent illegal in 2002, says former assistant U.S. attorney Luis Li. Francisco Martinez, a Mexican Mafia member and an illegal alien, controlled the gang from prison, while serving time for felonious reentry following deportation.

Good luck finding any reference to such facts in official crime analysis. The LAPD and the L.A. city attorney recently requested an injunction against drug trafficking in Hollywood, targeting the 18th Street Gang and the “non–gang members” who sell drugs in Hollywood for the gang. Those non–gang members are virtually all illegal Mexicans, smuggled into the country by a ring organized by 18th Street bigs. The Mexicans pay off their transportation debts to the gang by selling drugs; many soon realize how lucrative that line of work is and stay in the business.

Cops and prosecutors universally know the immigration status of these non-gang “Hollywood dealers,” as the city attorney calls them, but the gang injunction is assiduously silent on the matter. And if a Hollywood officer were to arrest an illegal dealer (known on the
street as a “border brother”) for his immigration status, or even notify the Immigration and Naturalization Service (since early 2003, absorbed into the new Department of Homeland Security), he would face severe discipline for violating Special Order 40, the city’s sanctuary policy.

L.A.’s sanctuary law and all others like it contradict a key 1990s policing discovery: the Great Chain of Being in criminal behavior. Pick up a law-violator for a “minor” crime, and you might well prevent a major crime: enforcing graffiti and turnstile-jumping laws nabs you murderers and robbers. Enforcing known immigration violations, such as reentry following deportation, against known felons, would be even more productive. LAPD officers recognize illegal deported gang members all the time—flashing gang signs at court hearings for rival gangbangers, hanging out on the corner, or casing a target. These illegal returnees are, simply by being in the country after deportation, committing a felony (in contrast to garden-variety illegals on their first trip to the U.S., say, who are only committing a misdemeanor). “But if I see a deportee from the Mara Salvatrucha [Salvadoran prison] gang crossing the street, I know I can’t touch him,” laments a Los Angeles gang officer. Only if the deported felon has given the officer some other reason to stop him, such as an observed narcotics sale, can the cop accost him—but not for the mmigration felony.

The stated reasons for sanctuary policies are that they encourage illegal-alien crime victims and witnesses to cooperate with cops without fear of deportation, and that they encourage illegals to take advantage of city services like health care and education (to whose maintenance few illegals have contributed a single tax dollar, of course). There has never been any empirical verification that sanctuary laws actually accomplish these goals—and no one has ever suggested not enforcing drug laws, say, for fear of intimidating drug-using crime victims. But in any case, this official rationale could be honored by limiting police use of immigration laws to some subset of immigration violators: deported felons, say, or repeat criminal offenders whose immigration status police already know.

The real reason cities prohibit their cops and other employees from immigration reporting and enforcement is, like nearly everything else in immigration policy, the numbers. The immigrant population has grown so large that public officials are terrified of alienating it, even at the expense of ignoring the law and tolerating violence. In 1996, a breathtaking Los Angeles Times exposé on the 18th Street Gang, which included descriptions of innocent bystanders being murdered by laughing cholos (gang members), revealed the rate of illegal-alien
membership in the gang. In response to the public outcry, the Los Angeles City Council ordered the police to reexamine Special Order 40. You would have thought it had suggested reconsidering Roe v. Wade. A police commander warned the council: “This is going to open
a significant, heated debate.” City Councilwoman Laura Chick put on a brave front: “We mustn’t be afraid,” she declared firmly.

But of course immigrant pandering trumped public safety. Law-abiding residents of gang-infested neighborhoods may live in terror of the tattooed gangbangers dealing drugs, spraying graffiti, and shooting up rivals outside their homes, but such anxiety can never equal a
politician’s fear of offending Hispanics. At the start of the reexamination process, LAPD deputy chief John White had argued that allowing the department to work closely with the INS would give cops another tool for getting gang members off the streets. Trying to build a homicide case, say, against an illegal gang member is often futile, he explained, since witnesses fear deadly retaliation if they cooperate with the police. Enforcing an immigration violation would allow the cops to lock up the murderer right now, without putting a witness’s life at risk.

But six months later, Deputy Chief White had changed his tune: “Any broadening of the policy gets us into the immigration business,” he asserted. “It’s a federal law-enforcement issue, not a local law-enforcement issue.” Interim police chief Bayan Lewis told the L.A. Police ommission: “It is not the time. It is not the day to look at Special Order 40.”

Nor will it ever be, as long as immigration numbers continue to grow. After their brief moment of truth in 1996, Los Angeles politicians have only grown more adamant in defense of Special Order 40. After learning that cops in the scandal-plagued Rampart Division had cooperated with the INS to try to uproot murderous gang members from the community, local politicians threw a fit, criticizing district commanders for even allowing INS agents into their station houses. In
turn, the LAPD strictly disciplined the offending officers. By now, big-city police chiefs are unfortunately just as determined to defend sanctuary policies as the politicians who appoint them; not so the rank and file, however, who see daily the benefit that an immigration tool would bring. But even were immigrant-saturated cities to discard their sanctuary policies and start enforcing immigration violations where public safety demands it, the resource-starved immigration authorities couldn’t handle the overwhelming additional workload.

The chronic shortage of manpower to oversee, and detention space to house, aliens as they await their deportation hearings (or, following an order of removal from a federal judge, their actual deportation) has forced immigration officials to practice a constant triage. Long ago, the feds stopped trying to find and deport aliens who had “merely” entered the country illegally through stealth or fraudulent documents. Currently, the only types of illegal aliens who run any risk of catching federal attention are those who have been convicted of an “aggravated felony” (a particularly egregious crime) or who have been deported following conviction for an
aggravated felony and who have reentered (an offense punishable with 20 years in jail).

That triage has been going on for a long time, as former INS investigator Mike Cutler, who worked with the NYPD catching Brooklyn drug dealers in the 1970s, explains. “If you arrested someone you wanted to detain, you’d go to your boss and start a bidding war,” Cutler recalls. “You’d say: 'My guy ran three blocks, threw a couple of punches, and had six pieces of ID.' The boss would turn to another agent: 'Next! Whaddid your guy do?' 'He ran 18 blocks, pushed
over an old lady, and had a gun.' ” But such one-upmanship was usually fruitless. “Without the jail space,” explains Cutler, “it was like the Fish and Wildlife Service; you’d tag their ear
and let them go.”

But even when immigration officials actually arrest someone, and even if a judge issues a final deportation order (usually after years of litigation and appeals), they rarely have the manpower to put the alien on a bus or plane and take him across the border. Second alternative: detain him pending removal. Again, inadequate space and staff. In the early 1990s, for example, 15 INS officers were in charge of the deportation of approximately 85,000 aliens (not all of them criminals) in New York City. The agency’s actual response to final orders of removal was what is known as a “run letter”—a notice asking the deportable alien kindly to show up in a month or
two to be deported, when the agency might be able to process him. Results: in 2001, 87 percent of deportable aliens who received run letters disappeared, a number that was even higher—94 percent—if they were from terror-sponsoring countries.

To other law-enforcement agencies, the feds’ triage often looks like complete indifference to immigration violations. Testifying to Congress about the Queens rape by illegal Mexicans, New York’s criminal justice coordinator defended the city’s failure to notify the INS after the rapists’ previous arrests on the ground that the agency wouldn’t have responded anyway. “We have time and time again been unable to reach INS on the phone,” John Feinblatt said last February. “When we reach them on the phone, they require that we write a letter. When we write a letter, they quire that it be by a superior.”

Criminal aliens also interpret the triage as indifference. John Mullaly a former NYPD homicide detective, estimates that 70 percent of the drug dealers and other criminals in Manhattan’s Washington Heights were illegal. Were Mullaly to threaten an illegal-alien thug in custody that his next stop would be El Salvador unless he cooperated, the criminal would just laugh, knowing that the INS would never show up. The message could not be clearer: this is a culture
that can’t enforce its most basic law of entry. If policing’s broken-windows theory is correct, the failure to enforce one set of rules breeds overall contempt for the law.

The sheer number of criminal aliens overwhelmed an innovative program that would allow immigration officials to complete deportation hearings while a criminal was still in state or federal prison, so that upon his release he could be immediately ejected without taking
up precious INS detention space. But the process, begun in 1988, immediately bogged down due to the numbers—in 2000, for example, nearly 30 percent of federal prisoners were foreign-born. The agency couldn’t find enough pro bono attorneys to represent such an army of criminal aliens (who have extensive due-process rights in contesting deportation) and so would have to request delay after delay. Or enough immigration judges would not be available. In 1997, the INS simply had no record of a whopping 36 percent of foreign-born inmates who had been released from federal and four state prisons without any review of their deportability. They included 1,198
aggravated felons, 80 of whom were soon re-arrested for new crimes.

Resource starvation is not the only reason for federal inaction. The INS was a creature of immigration politics, and INS district directors came under great pressure from local politicians to divert scarce resources into distribution of such “benefits” as permanent residency, citizenship, and work permits, and away from criminal or other investigations. In the late 1980s, for example, the INS refused to join an FBI task force against Haitian drug trafficking in Miami, fearing criticism for “Haitian-bashing.” In 1997, after Hispanic activists protested a much-publicized raid that netted nearly two dozen illegals, the Border Patrol said that it would no longer join Simi Valley, California, probation officers on home searches of illegal-alien-dominated gangs.

The disastrous Citizenship USA project of 1996 was a luminous case of politics driving the INS to sacrifice enforcement to “benefits.” When, in the early 1990s, the prospect of welfare reform drove immigrants to apply for citizenship in record numbers to preserve their welfare eligibility, the Clinton administration, seeing a political bonanza in hundreds of thousands of new welfare-dependent citizens, ordered the naturalization process radically expedited. Thanks to relentless administration pressure, processing errors in 1996 were 99 percent in New York and 90 percent in Los Angeles, and tens of thousands of aliens with criminal records, including for murder and armed robbery, were naturalized.

Another powerful political force, the immigration bar association, has won from Congress an elaborate set of due-process rights for criminal aliens that can keep them in the country ndefinitely. Federal probation officers in Brooklyn are supervising two illegals—a Jordanian and an Egyptian with Saudi citizenship—who look “ready to blow up the Statue of Liberty,” according to a probation official, but the officers can’t get rid of them. The Jordanian had been caught fencing stolen Social Security and tax-refund checks; now he sells phone cards, which he uses himself to make untraceable calls. The Saudi’s offense: using a fraudulent Social Security number to get employment—a puzzlingly unnecessary scam, since he receives large sums from the Middle East, including from millionaire relatives. But intelligence links him to terrorism,
so presumably he worked in order not to draw attention to himself. Currently, he changes his cell phone every month. Ordinarily such a minor offense would not be prosecuted, but the government, fearing that he had terrorist intentions, used whatever it had to put him in prison.

Now, probation officers desperately want to see the duo out of the country, but the two ex-cons have hired lawyers, who are relentlessly fighting their deportation. “Due process allows you to stay for years without an adjudication,” says a probation officer in frustration. “A regular immigration attorney can keep you in the country for three years, a high-priced one for ten.” In the meantime, Brooklyn probation officials are watching the bridges.

Even where immigration officials successfully nab and deport criminal aliens, the reality, says a former federal gang prosecutor, is that “they all come back. They can’t make it in Mexico.” The tens of thousands of illegal farmworkers and dishwashers who overpower U.S. border controls every year carry in their wake thousands of brutal assailants and terrorists who use the same smuggling industry and who benefit from the same irresistible odds: there are so many more of
them than the Border Patrol.

For, of course, the government’s inability to keep out criminal aliens is part and parcel of its inability to patrol the border, period. For decades, the INS had as much effect on the migration of
millions of illegals as a can tied to the tail of a tiger. And the immigrants themselves, despite the press cliché of hapless aliens living fearfully in the shadows, seemed to regard immigration
authorities with all the concern of an elephant for a flea.

Certainly fear of immigration officers is not in evidence among the hundreds of illegal day laborers who hang out on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, New York, in front of money wire services, travel agencies, immigration-attorney offices, and phone arcades, all catering to the
local Hispanic population (as well as to drug dealers and terrorists). “There is no chance of getting caught,” cheerfully explains Rafael, an Ecuadoran. Like the dozen Ecuadorans and Mexicans on his particular corner, Rafael is hoping that an SUV seeking carpenters for $100 a day will show up soon. “We don’t worry, because we’re not doing anything wrong. I know it’s illegal; I need the papers, but here, nobody asks you for papers.”

Even the newly fortified Mexican border, the one spot where the government really tries to prevent illegal immigration, looms as only a minor inconvenience to the day laborers. The odds, they realize, are overwhelmingly in their favor. Miguel, a reserved young carpenter, crossed the border at Tijuana three years ago with 15 others. Border Patrol spotted them, but with six officers to 16 illegals, only five got caught. In illegal border crossings, you get what you pay for, Miguel says. If you try to shave on the fee, the coyotes will abandon you at the first problem. Miguel’s wife was flying into New York from Los Angeles that very day; it had cost him $2,200 to get her
across the border. “Because I pay, I don’t worry,” he says complacently.

The only way to dampen illegal immigration and its attendant train of criminals and terrorists—short of an economic revolution in the sending countries or an impregnably militarized border—is to remove the jobs magnet. As long as migrants know they can easily get work, they will find ways to evade border controls. But enforcing laws against illegal labor is among government’s lowest priorities. In 2001, only 124 agents nationwide were trying to find and prosecute the hundreds of thousands of employers and millions of illegal aliens who violate the employment laws, the Associated Press reports.

Even were immigration officials to devote adequate resources to worksite investigations, not much would change, because their legal weapons are so weak. That’s no accident: though it is a crime to hire illegal aliens, a coalition of libertarians, business lobbies, and left-wing advocates has consistently blocked the fraud-proof form of work authorization necessary to enforce that ban. Libertarians have erupted in hysteria at such proposals as a toll-free number to the Social Security Administration for employers to confirm Social Security numbers. Hispanics warn just as stridently that helping employers verify work eligibility would result in discrimination
against Hispanics—implicitly conceding that vast numbers of Hispanics work illegally.

The result: hiring practices in illegal-immigrant-saturated industries are a charade. Millions of illegal workers pretend to present valid documents, and thousands of employers pretend to
believe them. The law doesn’t require the employer to verify that a worker is actually qualified to work, and as long as the proffered documents are not patently phony—scrawled with red crayon on a matchbook, say—the employer will nearly always be exempt from liability merely by having eyeballed them. To find an employer guilty of violating the ban on hiring illegal aliens, immigration authorities must prove that he knew he was getting fake papers—an almost
insurmountable burden. Meanwhile, the market for counterfeit documents has exploded: in one month alone in 1998, immigration authorities seized nearly 2 million of them in Los Angeles, destined for immigrant workers, welfare seekers, criminals, and terrorists.

For illegal workers and employers, there is no downside to the employment charade. If immigration officials ever do try to conduct an industry-wide investigation—which will at least net the illegal employees, if not the employers—local congressmen will almost certainly head it off. An INS inquiry into the Vidalia-onion industry in Georgia was not only aborted by Georgia’s congressional delegation; it actually resulted in a local amnesty for the growers’ illegal workforce. The downside to complying with the spirit of the employment law, on the other hand, is considerable. Ethnic advocacy groups are ready to picket employers who dismiss illegal workers, and employers understandably fear being undercut by less scrupulous competitors.

Of the incalculable changes in American politics, demographics, and culture that the continuing surge of migrants is causing, one of the most profound is the breakdown of the distinction between legal and illegal entry. Everywhere, illegal aliens receive free public education and free medical care at taxpayer expense; 13 states offer them driver’s licenses. States everywhere have been pushed to grant illegal aliens college scholarships and reduced in-state tuition. One hundred banks, over 800 law-enforcement agencies, and dozens of cities accept an identification card created by Mexico to credentialize illegal Mexican aliens in the U.S. The Bush administration has given its blessing to this matricula consular card, over the strong protest of the FBI, which warns that the gaping security loopholes that the card creates make it boon to money launderers, immigrant smugglers, and terrorists. Border authorities have already caught an Iranian man sneaking across the border this year, Mexican matricula card in hand.

Hispanic advocates have helped blur the distinction between a legal and an illegal resident by asserting that differentiating the two is an act of irrational bigotry. Arrests of illegal aliens inside the
border now inevitably spark protests, often led by the Mexican government, that feature signs calling for “no más racismo.” Immigrant advocates use the language of “human rights” to appeal
to an authority higher than such trivia as citizenship laws. They attack the term “amnesty” for implicitly acknowledging the validity of borders. Indeed, grouses Illinois congressman Luis
Gutierrez, “There’s an implication that somehow you did something wrong and you need to be forgiven.”

Illegal aliens and their advocates speak loudly about what they think the U.S. owes them, not vice versa. “I believe they have a right . . . to work, to drive their kids to school,” said California
assemblywoman Sarah Reyes. An immigration agent says that people he stops “get in your face about their rights, because our failure to enforce the law emboldens them.” Taking this idea to its extreme, Joaquín Avila, a UCLA Chicano studies professor and law lecturer, argues that to deny non-citizens the vote, especially in the many California cities where they constitute the majority, is a form of apartheid.

Yet no poll has ever shown that Americans want more open borders. Quite the reverse. By a huge majority—at least 60 percent—they want to rein in immigration, and they endorse an observation that Senator Alan Simpson made 20 years ago: Americans “are fed up with
efforts to make them feel that [they] do not have that fundamental right of any people—to decide who will join them and help form the future country in which they and their posterity will live.” But if the elites’ and the advocates’ idea of giving voting rights to non-citizen majorities catches on—and don’t be surprised if it does—Americans could be faced with the ultimate absurdity of people outside the social compact making rules for those inside it.

However the nation ultimately decides to rationalize its chaotic and incoherent immigration system, surely all can agree that, at a minimum, authorities should expel illegal-alien criminals swiftly. Even on the grounds of protecting non-criminal illegal immigrants, we should start by junking sanctuary policies. By stripping cops of what may be their only immediate tool to remove felons from the community, these policies leave law-abiding immigrants prey to crime.

But the non-enforcement of immigration laws in general has an even more destructive effect. In many immigrant communities, assimilation into gangs seems to be outstripping assimilation into civic culture. Toddlers are learning to flash gang signals and hate the police, reports the Los Angeles Times. In New York City, “every high school has its Mexican gang,” and most 12- to 14-year-olds have already joined, claims Ernesto Vega, an illegal 11-year-old Mexican. Such
pathologies only worsen when the first lesson that immigrants learn about U.S. law is that Americans don’t bother to enforce it. “Institutionalizing illegal immigration creates a mindset in people that anything goes in the U.S.,” observes Patrick Ortega, the news and public-affairs director of Radio Nueva Vida in southern California. “It creates a new subculture, with a sequela of social ills.” It is broken windows writ large.

For the sake of immigrants and native-born Americans alike, it’s time to decide what our immigration policy is—and enforce it.

California Where Mexico Grow Pot

Bigger pot busts in 'Mexifornia'

Posted: 01 Aug 2011 08:57 AM PDT

Marijuana as far as the eye can see – both north and south of the border. It may be only coincidental but huge busts of marijuana plantations have occurred in the past two weeks both in Baja California and California.

Last week, feds went into the Mendocino National Forest and destroyed 460,000 pot plants and arrested 101 people. Rogue, armed gardeners had turned forests spread across six counties into marijuana grow sites. These aren't stoned out hippies, either, The raid came about because residents in the are reported being fired upon in the forest in the past year.

“The Mendocino National Forest is under attack by drug trackers,” said Melinda Haag, U.S. attorney for Northern California.

By growing on national forest land, the pot cultivators eliminate the risk of having their own property confiscated.

The busts came just two weeks after Mexican soldiers came across one of the largest marijuana plantations ever uncovered (see photo above). The site, covered by shaded netting, is in Baja California just 200 miles or so south of San Diego.

The Wall Street Journal said visitors to the 296-acre site found marijuana as far as the eye could see. Mexico’s Defense Ministry said the site could harvest 120 metric tons of marijuana worth an estimated $160 million.



FAIR Legislative Update August 1, 2011

House Immigration Subcommittee Holds Hearing on HALT Act

On Tuesday, the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a hearing on H.R. 2497, the “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation” or “HALT” Act. The HALT Act, introduced by Judiciary Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), would suspend President Obama’s use of “prosecutorial discretion”—the ability of the executive branch to decline to enforce immigration law against individuals—by preventing him from:
• Granting deferred action, parole, or extended voluntary departure to illegal aliens other than those being tried for a crime or acting as a witness at trial, those needed for significant law enforcement or national security purposes, or those whose life is imminently threatened (§§2(b), 2(f));
• Waiving the three and ten year bars to admission for aliens who have been illegally present in the U.S. (§2(a));
• Cancelling the removal and adjusting the status of illegal aliens ordered deported (§2(c));
• Designating additional countries as qualifying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) (§2(d)); and
• Granting work authorization to illegal aliens (§§2(e), 2(g)).
(See FAIR’s Legislative Update, July 18, 2011)
Rep. Smith outlined the need for the HALT Act’s restriction of the Obama Administration’s use of prosecutorial discretion in his opening statement. “What had once been rumor fueled by leaked administration memos is now official Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy as of last month,” he said referencing two June 17th, 2011 memos issued by ICE Director, John Morton, authorizing ICE personnel to decline to enforce immigration laws against certain classes of illegal aliens, such as those who would qualify for amnesty under the failed DREAM Act. (See FAIR’s Legislative Update, June 27, 2011) “Unfortunately, the ICE memos make clear that DHS plans not to use but to abuse these [prosecutorial discretion] powers. If the Obama Administration has its way, millions of illegal immigrants will be able to live and work legally in the United States. This unilateral decision will saddle American communities with the costs of providing education and medical care to illegal immigrants.”
Several witnesses testifying before the Subcommittee agreed with Rep. Smith’s call for limiting the Administration’s authority, expressing concern that the President is bypassing Congress. Senator David Vitter (R-LA), author of the Senate version of the HALT Act (S.1380), asserted in his written testimony: “In 1996, Congress clearly limited the Administration’s parole authority to be used ‘only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. However, these memos make clear that DHS plans to abuse these powers to grant mass legalization without any Congressional authorization.” (Testimony of Sen. David Vitter, July 26, 2011) Likewise, Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, stated that forms of relief granted through the use of prosecutorial discretion is “designed to be used for exceptionally compelling cases, and were not intended as a way for the President, his appointees, or government staff to bypass Congress and its unique authority to make immigration law.” (Testimony of Jessica Vaughan, July 26, 2011)
Chris Crane, President of a national ICE union representing roughly 7,000 employees, also testified in support of the HALT Act, describing the problems caused by the latest string of Morton memos. “The purpose of this policy is to prohibit officers and agents from arresting individuals from certain groups... From an enforcement standpoint, the biggest dilemma facing officers and agents in the field may be how to apply the policy to the hundreds of thousands of aliens encountered each year.” (Testimony of Chris Crane, July 26, 2011) Last summer, the union Crane represents issued a vote of no-confidence in ICE Director John Morton, and former Assistant Director of the ICE Office of Detention and Policy and Planning, Phyllis Coven. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Aug. 9, 2010)
Margaret Stock, the only witness who opposed the HALT Act, alleged, “Our immigration system is dysfunctional and irrational, and the situation only promises to get worse without comprehensive action by Congress.” (Testimony of Margaret Stock, July 26, 2011) “Our nation’s ever more complex and restrictive legal immigration system makes it nearly impossible for most people to immigrate to the United States legally, and provides no means for people to enter or stay in the United States legally in many compelling circumstances,” she added. (Id.) Ms. Stock, an adjunct professor and retired army colonel, also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the DREAM Act last month.

AMERICA: No Legal Need Apply!





"They hauled them down to the border," Sakuma said. "Three days later, they were standing in our office, but they had a different name and a different Social Security number."

Freshman Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state said a mandatory verification program would ensure that those who applied for jobs in the United States were "legally able" to take them while keeping employers accountable for their hiring.
"The federal government has a constitutional responsibility to defend our borders," Herrera Beutler said. "Unfortunately, for years it has failed to live up to that responsibility."


Posted on Sun, Jul. 31, 2011
Farmers fear Congress might crack down on illegal labor
Rob Hotakainen | McClatchy Newspapers
last updated: July 29, 2011 07:22:43 PM
BURLINGTON, Wash. — If you buy strawberry Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Steve Sakuma says, there's an 80 percent chance that you're going to get his berries, grown on some of the richest black soil in America, in northern Washington state, about 50 miles from the Canadian border.
And he says there's a very good chance that you'd get berries handpicked by illegal immigrants, too.
Wearing designer blue jeans and sunglasses, Sakuma, who's 65, surveyed his 250-acre strawberry plot outside Burlington earlier this month, pointing to 231 employees, most of them from Mexico, who were crouched down handpicking the fruit under a hot morning sun. He estimated that 80 percent of them were in the country illegally, even though they'd provided him with the necessary documents.
Like throngs of other farmers nationwide who rely on illegal labor to harvest their crops, Sakuma fears that Congress doesn't understand the complexities of his operations. He said he'd promptly go out of business if lawmakers forced employers to electronically verify the immigration status of their employees. And he urged members of Congress to consider the ramifications carefully first.
"These illegal immigrants, or whatever you want to call them, have been around for a long time," Sakuma said. "And guess what? They're not bad. They're just making a living. They're here doing what other people won't do. If you think that white America is going to come out here and pick these strawberries, you have been living in the dark for a long time."
While farmers worry about the effects of a federal crackdown on illegal immigrants, backers of legislation that would require verification say it would finally force employers to operate legally and would represent a major first step in fixing the nation's tattered immigration system.
Freshman Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington state said a mandatory verification program would ensure that those who applied for jobs in the United States were "legally able" to take them while keeping employers accountable for their hiring.
"The federal government has a constitutional responsibility to defend our borders," Herrera Beutler said. "Unfortunately, for years it has failed to live up to that responsibility."
Mike Shelby, the executive director of the Western Washington Agricultural Association, said many producers in the state faced circumstances similar to Sakuma: "They're all vulnerable. .... We all agree that immigration reform needs to take place, but we have to be very careful how we approach it. Because if the first thing you do is interrupt the flow of labor for agriculture, you're taking an industry and putting it at tremendous risk."
For Sakuma, the answer is obvious: Allow the workers, who are paid by the pound for their strawberry picking and earn an average of more than $10 an hour this season, to become legal Americans.
"You call that amnesty or whatever you want to call it, it's just the right thing to do," he said. "We're responsible citizens, and we'll do what we believe is right, but change the damn law. That's the issue. Make it right."
About 270,000 businesses use the federal E-Verify program voluntarily, and backers say that number could jump to nearly 6 million if it became mandatory.
President Barack Obama endorsed the idea at a White House news conference in late June, saying he'd support requiring the use of E-Verify "if it's not riddled with errors" and if it's part of a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws.
While several pieces of legislation dealing with E-Verify have been introduced in the current Congress, the main bill is sponsored by Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He objects to the president's strategy, saying V-Verify is important enough to stand alone.
Smith's bill, called the Legal Workforce Act, would require all employers to use the national database to confirm that workers are legal. He said it would open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans. According to Smith, there are 24 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, while there are 7 million illegal immigrants working in the country.
"It is not an immigration bill, it's a jobs bill," he said.
Sakuma, one of eight owners of the Sakuma Brothers Farms, said farmers wanted a legal workforce "as much as anyone else" but that the system clearly was broken.
To make the point, he told a story about how his farm was raided a few years back by federal authorities, who found that some of his employees were in the country illegally.
"They hauled them down to the border," Sakuma said. "Three days later, they were standing in our office, but they had a different name and a different Social Security number."
Sakuma said he consulted with two immigration lawyers in Seattle: "Both of them told me the same thing. 'You have no choice but to hire them back. If they provide you with a name and they provide you a Social Security number, you have no choice but to believe them.' "
With so many politicians talking about border security, Sakuma worries that Congress will pass the mandatory E-Verify legislation. He just wants members to consider the consequences on farmers across the country.
"It's a tough issue. It's very complex, very complicated and it's very politicized," Sakuma said. "And I understand politics. But is that really what you want? If they had E-Verify here, you'd shut us down. Absolutely."
Obama courts Hispanics' votes, blames GOP for their frustration
FBI joins effort to identify undocumented aliens
Cubans who can't be deported could end up detained in U.S.
McClatchy Newspapers 2011

Por La Raza, Nada

7/29/2011 | Email Tom Tancredo |

While virtually all President Obama will talk about is the debt ceiling, he took a short break to give an address before the National Council of La Raza on Monday. Calling the audience his "Hermanos y hermanas," he trumpeted his support of the DREAM Act amnesty, stated his opposition to Arizona's SB 1070 and all state level immigration laws, and touted his Hispanic appointments--citing Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Raul Yzaguirre, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Obama did not mention one other Hispanic appointment, former La Raza vice president Cecilia Munoz who serves as his Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and his public liaison to Hispanics. In appointing Munoz, Obama violated his own pledge not to allow former lobbyists positions where they control money they formerly controlled, and gave Munoz a special waiver.

While our nation is going broke, the National Council of La Raza is doing just fine. Since Obama and Munoz took up the white house, they have seen their funding skyrocket, nearly tripling from 4.5 to 11 million dollars in 2010. Judicial Watch also found out that the La Raza affiliate, Chicanos por la Causa received over 18 million dollars of tax dollars. That group was the primary plaintiff against Arizona's law against illegal employers.

And it is not as if La Raza is lacking funds. Between their various sister organizations, they have over 200 million dollars in assets, much of it paid for by corporate America, and Chicanos por la Causa have nearly 100 million dollars.

Although some of La Raza's government funding was earmarked by congress, virtually all of it was doled out by the Obama administration. Sixty percent of La Raza's take came from the Department of Labor--run by Hilda Solis. They lobbied hard for her appointment and honored her with an award. She paid them back--with millions of our tax dollars.

Even if we were running trillion dollar surpluses, there is no reason why La Raza should get a dime of taxpayer dollars. Here are just a few reasons why.

"La Raza" means "The Race," specifically the Latino race. Could you imagine if the government were giving millions of dollars to a group called "The National Council of the White Race"?

La Raza counts the pro-reconquista Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán) as an affiliate and helps fund the organization. MeCHA's slogan is "Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada," meaning "For the Race everything, outside the Race nothing."

La Raza opposes free speech and has tried to get Lou Dobbs, Rush Limbaugh, and other opponents of illegal immigration kicked off the air. Their president Janet Murguia said "when free speech transforms into hate speech, we've got to draw that line." La Raza has said calling illegal aliens "criminals" is "hate speech."

La Raza has lobbied for every single amnesty, against immigration enforcement, for Obamacare, and against English as an official language

Barack Obama managed to address the issue of the debt briefly during his talk to La Raza. He stated, "Every day, NCLR and your affiliates hear from families figuring out how to stretch every dollar a little bit further, what sacrifices they've got to make, how they're going to budget only what's truly important. So they should expect the same thing from Washington."

While 11 million dollars is a tiny fraction of our trillion dollar a year deficit, funding this pro-amnesty propaganda outfit is not "truly important."

Republicans in the House have passed legislation to defund left wing groups such as Planned Parenthood and ACORN. The National Council of La Raza should be be next. To slightly alter their MeCHA pals' slogan, when it comes to our tax dollars: "Por La Raza, Nada!"




“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 US debt ceiling deal
That's worth thinking about carefully, especially as we continue to let bankers off the hook by trimming the already inadequate budgets of the agencies that regulate them and shying away from restructuring the largest financial institutions in ways that would better protect consumers. Bankers will undoubtedly continue to push the story line that they are funding innovation. The question is whether it's the kind that's real or the kind that's synthetic.


Monday, Apr. 04, 2011
Wall Street: Aiding the Economic Recovery, or Strangling It?
By Rana Foroohar
Ever wonder how investment bankers, a breed known in the past more for its social skills and golf handicaps than for its mathematical prowess, ever invented products like those crazily sophisticated, synthetic collateralized debt obligations that brought down the financial system? Well, they didn't. They hired rocket scientists to do that — a whole lot of them. In fact, Wall Street hires more math, engineering and science graduates than the semiconductor industry, Big Pharma or the telecommunications business. As one mathematician-turned-trader friend recently put it to me, why should he work on new high-tech products at Bell Labs when he could make five times as much crafting 12-dimensional models of the stock-buying and -selling behaviors of average Joes for a major global-investment house, which could then turn around and make massive profits by betting against those very patterns?
It's a question that's right at the center of the debate over the U.S.'s economic future. After the financial crisis, the banking industry secured massive bailouts by convincing us all that Wall Street was the grease on the wheels of the real economy. Banks provided the capital to create new businesses, after all, and if they weren't healthy, nobody else could be either. Of course, that position has become harder to defend as lending rates to new businesses have contracted post–financial crisis and economic growth has remained sluggish even as bailout money has ensured that Wall Street would mushroom in size. Amazingly, three years after the crisis, the percentage of the U.S. economy represented by the financial sector remains at historic highs of over 8%. (See how Americans are spending now.)
Now there's even more compelling historical evidence that Wall Street's favorite argument doesn't hold water. A new study from the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City, Mo.–based nonprofit that researches and funds entrepreneurship, has found that over the past several decades, the growth in size and importance of the financial sector has run in tandem with lower — not higher — rates of new-business formation. In the 1980s, when Wall Street really took off, the number of new firms created fell, and in the 1990s, it plateaued and has been stagnant ever since. Basically, the facts show the opposite of what Wall Street would have us believe. A number of factors explain that, but one of the most important, argue the study's authors, is that the financial sector is sucking talent and entrepreneurial energy from more socially beneficial sectors of the economy.
You can see it in the graduating classes of the country's top universities. Harvard graduates, for example, enter financial occupations at a far higher rate now than they did in the 1970s. It's a trend that accelerated markedly in the past decade, as the computerization of finance made the profession both more lucrative and more intellectually stimulating (one can now think about the 12th dimension rather than just golf). The proportion of graduates from MIT, for example, who went to Wall Street rose from 18% in 2003 to 25% in 2006. (See the 25 best financial blogs.)
The problem is that these are the types of people most likely to start the sort of dynamic, job-creating new companies that we need. No wonder economists like Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps speculate that the financialization of the U.S. and subsequent dampening of entrepreneurship may be at the heart of our long-term productivity slowdown (average productivity rates have been lower in the decades since the 1970s than in those before).
Whatever the corporate titans lobbying in Washington say, statistics show that it's new companies, not old, that grow the economy. Some 40% of U.S. GDP this year will come from firms that didn't exist in the 1980s. And nearly all the new jobs in the U.S. are created by firms less than five years old. "The political emphasis shouldn't be on making big firms work," says Kauffman Foundation head Carl Schramm, "but on helping new ones take root."
That's worth thinking about carefully, especially as we continue to let bankers off the hook by trimming the already inadequate budgets of the agencies that regulate them and shying away from restructuring the largest financial institutions in ways that would better protect consumers. Bankers will undoubtedly continue to push the story line that they are funding innovation. The question is whether it's the kind that's real or the kind that's synthetic.

WHEN OBAMA MOVED INTO THE WHITE HOUSE ON THE LA RAZA TICKET, he immediately surrounded himself with the most corrupt of the bankster owned politicians like FEINSTEIN, FRANK and CHRIS DODD. Then he brought in Bush’s architect for banksters’ no-strings bailouts, and NO REAL REGULATION... then Obama went to work to make his “registered voters”, i.e., illegals happy with one push after another for amnesty.




January 8, 2011

Mary Bottari
Center for Media and Democracy
Full Catastrophe Banking in 2011

With a $4.7 trillion bailout under their belts and no harm done to their billion-dollar bonuses, don't expect Wall Street bankers to be chastened by the 2008 financial crisis. Below we list eight things to watch out for in 2011 that threaten to rock the financial system and undermine any recovery.
1) The Demise of Bank of America WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is promising to unleash a cache of secret documents from the troubled Bank of America (BofA). BofA is already under the gun, defending itself from multiple lawsuits demanding that the bank buy back billions worth of toxic mortgages it peddled to investors. The firm is also at the heart of the robo-signing scandal, having wrongfully kicked many American families to the curb. If Assange has emails showing that Countrywide or BofA knew they were recklessly abandoning underwriting standards and/or peddling toxic dreck to investors, the damage to the firm could be irreparable.
2) Robo-signers Wreaking Havoc With lawsuits abounding, new types of fraud in the foreclosure process are being uncovered daily, including accounting fraud, fake attorneys, destroyed promissory notes and false notarization. The crisis not only calls into question the legality of untold foreclosures, it also calls into question the value of trillions of dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities held by banks, pension funds, federal, state and local governments. The only government report on the topic by the feisty Congressional Oversight Panel for the TARP acknowledges that "it is possible that 'robo-signing' may have concealed deeper problems in the mortgage market that could potentially threaten financial stability."
3) MERS Madness
In addition to outright fraud, numerous state Supreme Courts have questioned the legal standing of the Mortgage Electronic Registration or "MERS" system. MERS is listed as the mortgagee for 60% of U.S. mortgages. It is an electronic clearinghouse created by industry to bypass the property registration system developed in precolonial days to ensure that the King could not easily rob the subjects of their land. Wall Street turned to MERS to speed securitizations (and now foreclosures), but its legal standing is now in doubt and its shoddy processing of documents has major ramifications for the securitization process as well. Look for a rotten "MERS fix" in the new Congress. Let's hope it gives consumer advocates some leverage to demand justice for Americans being robbed by the new Kings on Wall Street.
4) Flash Crash Calamity The "flash crash" of May 2010 rattled the markets and caused a stunning 700 point drop in the Dow within minutes. Regulators think they know what occurred, but they are moving too slowly to put the brakes on hair-trigger trading. Seventy percent of Wall Street trades take place in milliseconds, so it is no surprise that mini-flash crashes are becoming a constant. With traders now gearing up to trade on raw news feeds and Twitter, we can anticipate even more volatility. A small financial transaction tax targeting high-volume, high-speed trades is long overdue. It would throw sand in the roulette wheel and raise much needed revenue for the federal government.
5) Bigger Behemoth Banks The Federal Reserve is planning to "stress test" the big banks again. The same 19 banks that underwent the first stress tests in 2009 will be tested again, but this time the Fed says it won't release the results. Why not? Banks with toxic mortgages and mortgage-backed securities on their books and concomitant legal exposure to "put back" law suits are being kept afloat by accounting tricks, TARP and Fed loans. Honest stress tests of still weak financial institutions may well result in sales and buyouts that will further consolidate the already concentrated banking industry and create larger and more unwieldy "too big to fail" behemoths -- backed by the guarantee of the American taxpayer.
6) Foreclosure Tsunami Housing foreclosures may top nine million in 2011 and [[Goldman Sachs]] predicts the number will reach 12 million in the next few years. The result will be another significant drop in home prices in 2011 and even more families underwater. Civilized nations see the forcible migration of a city the size of New York as an economic and humanitarian catastrophe, but not the United States. The Obama administration and Congress have callously refused to take meaningful action to aid families facing foreclosure even in the face of widespread predatory lending and rampant foreclosure fraud. The only hope now for millions of American families is aggressive action by the 50 state Attorneys General who are actively investigating foreclosure fraud. Whether they have the guts to wrestle a settlement out of the big banks that slows the foreclosure machine and offers families meaningful options has yet to be seen.
7) Bankrupt Cities and States Meredith Whitney, a research analyst who correctly predicted the credit crunch, is now warning that over 100 American cities could go bust next year. She anticipates billions worth of municipal bond defaults and warns: "next to housing this is the single most important issue in the U.S. and certainly the biggest threat to the U.S. economy." States are also in dire straits. The economic shock of mass unemployment on top of years of population decline, deindustrialization and the like have left cities unable to meet their obligations to taxpayers and retirees. With the austerity nuts in charge of the House, it may take a bankruptcy of a major player to prod an appropriate federal response to this looming disaster.
8) Gas Prices above $4.00 The price of energy and other commodities shifted into high gear in late August when the Federal Reserve Chairman decided to stimulate the economy with quantitative easing. Speculators quickly began bidding up the value of asset classes like crude oil, metals and food commodities. In December, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission failed to apply position limits to these commodities, delaying rules that would crack down on speculators and aid consumers who are already seeing big price hikes at the pump. Without swift action, skyrocketing gas prices will further tank an already stalled economy.
As we hope for the best in 2011, let's prepare for the worst. The big banks are sure to deliver.


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.

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.
“Records show that four out of Obama's top five contributors are employees of financial industry giants - Goldman Sachs ($571,330), UBS AG ($364,806), JPMorgan Chase ($362,207) and Citigroup ($358,054).”

Obama’s Economic Advisers: International Socialists, Union Thugs, NBC Execs, Soros Scholars, Subprime Lenders, Amnesty Shills, and Campaign Cronies

Posted on February 24, 2011 by Ben Johnson

Obama’s Economic Advisers: International Socialists, Union Thugs, NBC Execs, Soros Scholars, Subprime Lenders, Amnesty Shills, and Campaign Cronies


Obama Seeks Brother of "Chicago Mob Boss" for Top White House Post
The roaches and con-artist, fake journalist on cable news are all lying about William Daley being all this and all that, this man is an open borders, down with America, free trade globalist. MSNBC and Gretta "the Scientology" Van Susteren from Fox News are knowingly deceiving the public about D. Issa & his letter to "business owners"=which they made into such a BIG DAM DEAL, but no one says anything whenBarrack Hussein Obama, comes around with all of these shady bankers, hedge fund managers and Wall St. Tycoons, which he puts in his cabinet. All of Obama's meeting with Wall Street asking, "What can I do for you?" is never something covered by Keith Oberman or Rachel Maddow.
(Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama is considering naming William Daley, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive and former U.S. Commerce secretary, to a high-level administration post, possibly White House chief of staff, people familiar with the matter said.

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