Monday, August 22, 2011
OBAMA LEADS WAR ON BLACK AMERICA – ON BEHALF OF HIS LA RAZA PARTY BASE! … and yet black America still affirms their support of the LA RAZA white house! EVERY BLACK “LEADER” IN AMERICAN HAS SIGNALED OBAMA THAT DESPITE HIS ABYSMAL FAILURES, HIS CONTINUED SERVICE TO THIS CRIMINAL BANKSTERS AND LA RAZA INFESTED ADMINISTRATION, THEY STAND BEHIND HIM! IF OBAMA HAD DONE ONE-TENTH FOR BLACK AMERICA AS HE’S DONE FOR HIS LA RAZA “THE RACE” PARTY BASE, WHAT WOULD BE THE PREDICAMENT OF BLACK AMERICAN TODAY? OBAMA HIS INFESTED HIS ADMINSTRATION FIRST WITH THOSE CONNECTED TO THE BANKING SECTOR, AND SECONDLY WITH LA RAZA! HIS SEC. OF (ILLEGAL) LABOR IS A LA RAZA SUPREMACIST, HILDA SOLIS! IN FACT, OBAMA HAS DOUBLED TAX PAYER FUNDING OF THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY OF LA RAZA AND THIS PARTY NOW OPERATES OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE! OBAMA IS A DEEPLY CYNICAL MAN THAT HAS NO AFFECTION FOR ANYTHING BUT POWER. FROM HIS FIRST DAY IN OFFICE HE’S SERVICED HIS BANKSTER DONORS THAT FUNDED HIS RISE TO THE WHITE HOUSE, AND HISPANDERED ENDLESSLY FOR THE ILLEGALS’ VOTES AGAIN! NOTHING SINCE RECONSTRUCTION HAS DIMINISHED BLACK EQUALITY IN THIS NATION MORE THAN THE INVASION, OCCUPATION, AND EVER EXPANDING WELFARE STATE MEXICO HAS CREATED IN OUR BORDERS UNDER THE LA RAZA PARTY! http://julene.womenforaction.org/2011/08/little-kahunas.html Little Kahunas You know, putting all things aside. Many of us have been skeptics and critics at times, of Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley. And we have been an ongoing critic of President Barack Obama. And there was a time, when we may have supported them all. But if this last election has taught us anything, we have to question everyone and everything. Once an individual has come so far in their career, they can not and will not be able to relate to the average American. Forget about the diligence in their efforts. Sometimes they mean well, but they get lost along the way. In this particular case, what if Tavis Smiley has a point, "that black people had fallen in love with a black man and his family in the White House"? And I am asking what if Black America turned away, and lost sight of the rest of their reality, a huge portion of Black America, one giant chunk that our president has ignored. It's like leaving your house and the people in it, an unkempt mess and you never speak of it, discuss it, while you are away. It gets messier. But everyone knows it's your house. And they think it's quite strange that you don't even speak of it, or even deal with it. But if you pretend it's okay, everyone hopes it's okay. But it's a matter of time, before it really gets out of hand. And you better hope it does not, while you are away. Because if it does, you will look like a damn fool. Black America does not reside in the White House. It resides predominantly amongst the working poor, the impoverished, and the homeless. Many wealthy and middle class Black Americans may not want to see the bigger picture. It's almost like it's too painful to see. For some Blacks, it may be even embarrassing, not wanting to be associated with that side of Black America. "We do not exist there, our family did not come from there, or we have accomplished this, so therefore, that is not apart of me". And I would say that could possibly be true. But when the rest of America, is portraying Black America in a dim light, then we have to look back. Because when the light has dimmed on the majority of Black America, and if you are Black, regardless of class, the light is dim on you. What I mean by dimming the lights. I mean, African Americans are facing the highest of unemployment amongst any group. This racial divide pertaining to unemployment and underemployment has created a sense of entrapment within the black communities. Many African Americans still are facing the odds of escaping poverty, still in 2011. For decades, African Americans were able to find job security within the public sectors, from securing city jobs, postal and other government employment; the private sector continued to discriminate against black employment. So now that the public sectors are making significant cuts, more African Americans are without financial security, for what may appear to be, indefinitely. This is just a tiny chip off the iceberg of problems that Obama has ignored. African Americans did not expect Obama to favor the black communities, but they expected fairness and accuracy. Institutional segregation and racism has existed for so long that, Blacks, Jewish, Hispanics, Muslims, Asians, you name it, counted on Obama to incorporate fairness, diversity and equality, and to bring about change, or to at least initiate this sort of dialogue within his presidency. We are here in 2011, with a mountain load of catastrophes, and a Black president, who has seemed to ignore the fact that Black communities has indeed been the most affected, by a stalling economy. President Obama has proclaimed that he is the President for all America. But if this was true, then fairness amongst any group should be programmed in our president's code. This is where other presidents has failed, and this is where the first black president has tumbled. Unfortunately, the light has dimmed for many Americans who have campaigned vigorously for change; the hope may be too difficult to be rekindled. Americans feel that the betrayal can lie within anyone, and almost always, within our politicians. The political games have ran their course. So now that the game is apart of our political culture, we are just looking out for Numero Uno. Because Obama has shown Americans, that he may not have the kahunas to do it! * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/08/tavis-smiley-speaks-out-about-obamas.html Controversy Dogs Tavis Smiley and Cornel West's Poverty Tour—but Media Attention Does, Too BLACK AMERICA BEST WAKE UP! OBAMA IS NO FRIEND OF BLACK AMERICA! HE IS PARTNERED WITH THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA TO BUY THE ILLEGALS’ VOTES WITH OUR JOBS! * OBAMA vs BLACK AMERICA WHAT IF OBAMA SPENT A BIT LEST TIME HISPANDERING TO THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA “THE RACE”??? http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/08/bankster-owned-obama-vs-black-america.html * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/jobs-obamas-dept-of-la-raza-illegal.html * http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2011/jun/nclr-funding-skyrockets-after-obama-hires-its-vp * LA RAZA SUPREMACIST HILDA SOLIS, SEC. OF DEPT OF LABOR. Michelle Malkin LA RAZA HILDA SOLIS - The U.S. Department of Illegal Alien Labor President Obama's Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is supposed to represent American workers. What you need to know is that this longtime open--borders sympathizer has always had a rather radical definition of "American." At a Latino voter registration project conference in Los Angeles many years ago, Solis asserted to thunderous applause, "We are all Americans, whether you are legalized or not." That's right. The woman in charge of enforcing our employment laws doesn't give a hoot about our immigration laws ---- or about the fundamental distinction between those who followed the rules in pursuit of the American dream and those who didn't. * OBAMA KNEW HE COULD NOT PUNK US WITH “CHANGE” AGAIN, AND HAS HISPANDERED FOR THE ILLEGALS’ VOTES FROM HIS FIRST DAY IN OFFICE. * THE DEMOCRAT PARTY – Now Party For the LA RAZA SUPREMACIST MOVEMENT to put a “cheap” labor illegal in every American job! http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/08/democrat-party-party-controlled-by-la.html * For those states, Obama would have to depend on a large Latino turnout. Obama's Gallup numbers show 12 states in play in 2012 By David Lauter, Los Angeles Times 6:48 AM PDT, August 15, 2011 Twelve states constitute the likely battlegrounds for the 2012 election, based on Gallup’s state-by-state ratings of President Obama’s approval level. The ratings, which aggregate Gallup polling done from January through June, came out just as Gallup was releasing its latest tracking poll showing Obama’s approval nationwide at 39%, the lowest in his presidency. If Obama’s national approval remains stuck at that level -- or even in the low 40s – then state-by-state assessments probably won’t matter much. Historically, presidents don’t win re-election with that sort of approval rating. But assuming Obama can move his national numbers back upward, then the 16 states plus the District of Columbia in which he had approval of 50% or better this spring can reasonably be considered his electoral base. They have 215 electoral votes. At the other end of the scale, there were 22 states where Obama’s approval was below 43% during the spring. Those states, plus Mississippi, where his approval was 45%, but which he stands virtually no chance of carrying, constitute the GOP base, with 168 electoral votes. (Mississippi is a special case because of the racial polarization in its voting; Obama is extremely popular among blacks, who make up almost 40% of the state’s electorate, and very unpopular among whites in the state). There are 12 states in between. Not all of them will end up being in play – some are likely to prove out of Obama’s reach early on. And although some states may drop off the list, it’s unlikely that many will move onto it. One exception could be New Hampshire – a state that Obama carried in 2008 but in which he is currently quite unpopular. It could become competitive again, depending on the GOP nominee. There are also a few states in Obama’s base that moved sharply toward the GOP in the 2010 election, notably Wisconsin and Minnesota, which the White House still has to worry about. For now, however, the battleground dozen in the middle of Gallup’s rankings have 155 electoral votes, and to win, Obama would have to capture 55 of those while holding his base. The battlegrounds, which also appear on lists drawn up by strategists in both parties, are two perennial swing states, Florida (29) and Ohio (18); Iowa (6); three in the South, Virginia (13), North Carolina (15) and Georgia (16); and five states in the West, Oregon (7) plus a grouping in the interior West made up of Nevada (6), Arizona (11), New Mexico (5) and Colorado (9). For those states, Obama would have to depend on a large Latino turnout. The Southern states would require a heavy turnout among blacks plus support from moderate-to-liberal suburban whites. Gallup’s numbers come from its daily nationwide tracking polls, which surveyed 89,965 adults, age 18 and older, between Jan. 2-June 30. * TOM TANCREDO AND OBAMA’S EMBRACE AND SELLOUT TO THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA ISN’T OBAMA THE FIRST LA RAZA PRESIDENT? ISN’T THE DEMOCRAT PARTY THE PARTY OF ILLEGALS, MEXICAN INVADERS, CRIMINALS, AND LOOTERS? * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/07/tom-tancredo-on-barack-obamas-la-raza.html * THE HISPANDERING PRESIDENT! http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/07/tom-tancredo-on-barack-obamas-la-raza.html http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/07/today-obama-addresses-his-party-base-of.html * OBAMA AND THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/barack-obama-expansion-of-la-raza.html * ON THE GROWIN POWER OF “LA RAZA” FASCISM FOR MEX SUPREMACY EMAIL THIS LINK: http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/04/history-of-mexican-fascist-party-of-la.html * “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??? OBAMA TELLS ILLEGALS “PUNISH OUR ENEMIES” 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."
Posted by The Mexican Invasion & Occupation at 5:46 AM
http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/06/obamanomics-obamas-promise-to-wall-st.html * THE ENTIRE REASON OUR BORDERS ARE LEFT OPEN IS TO KEEP WAGES DEPRESSED WITH MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS FLOODING OVER OUR BORDER! ERGO, OBAMA HAS SABOTAGED OUR HOMELAND SECURITY, SABOTAGED E-VERIFY AND WORKED FOR ENDLESS AMNESTY PLOYS LIKE “DREAM ACT”, AND CONTINUED NON-ENFORCEMENT. * There is emphatic opposition to any such measure within the corporate-financial elite and, as Monday’s public relations event demonstrated, Obama rejects any government job-creation program or any other measure that might cut into corporate profits. * Obama promotes corporate profits in the name of job creation By Barry Grey 14 June 2011 In the face of rising unemployment, a disastrous jobs report for May and a contraction in economic growth in the US and internationally, President Barack Obama made it clear at a meeting Monday with his Jobs and Competitiveness Council that no government measures will be taken to create jobs or provide serious relief for the unemployed. The meeting was held at the manufacturing headquarters of Cree, Inc., a producer of LED lighting equipment in Durham, North Carolina. After the meeting, Obama gave a speech to Cree employees in which he touted the proposals of the corporate-dominated Jobs Council, which he set up last February as part of White House efforts to shore up business support for his administration following the Democratic debacle in the November 2010 congressional elections. The photo-op was designed at one level to fool the public into believing that the administration is seriously working to create jobs and put an end to mass unemployment. But the main focus of Obama and other White House officials was to reassure the corporate and financial elite that there will be no retreat from policies of austerity, wage-cutting and deregulation despite the worsening economic and social crisis. In remarks to the Jobs Council prior to his speech to the Cree workers, Obama was shameless in his fawning before the corporate CEOs whom he had selected for the purported purpose of spearheading the drive for jobs. Obama declared: “So we’ve got a combination of factors, as Jeff [Council Chairman Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric] said, that come into how do we create jobs. I cannot think of a better group of people to help us tackle it than those who are sitting around the table.” That group included the CEOs of GE, Intel, Xerox, UBS, American Express, Southwest Airlines, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, Comcast, Facebook, and the banking giants Citigroup and UBS. It also included Obama’s longtime financial backer Penny Pritzker, a multi-millionaire Chicago real estate mogul, and Joseph T. Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, who is also on the council, did not attend the event. Obama repeated the complacent mantras of White House spokesmen about 2 million new jobs having been created over the past 15 months (compared to 7 million jobs lost since the current recession began) and dismissed the rise in unemployment to 9.1 percent (9.7 percent in North Carolina) and the virtual collapse in payroll gains as “headwinds.” He made a point of reiterating his support for massive cuts in social spending, boasting that Washington was “getting its act together and making sure that we’ve got a credible plan for not simply raising the debt limit but also medium- and long-range deficit reduction.” Noting that at the first meeting of the council in March the assembled CEOs and bankers had demanded a reduction of regulations on business, Obama said, “I took this very much to heart.” He continued: “So what we’ve done is to initiate a full-scale review not just of pending regulations, but actually looking back for the first time at all existing regulations.” Obama went on to brag that the White House had already singled out scores of regulations for elimination by executive order. One can only surmise that the corporate bosses and bankers in the room were rubbing their hands in anticipation of the increased profits that will result from the gutting of rules designed to protect worker health and safety, safeguard and the environment, and limit consumer fraud. Obama made sure, before completing his remarks, to repeat the obligatory obeisance to capitalism, declaring: “As Jeff said, ultimately job growth is going to be driven by the private sector.” The role of government, Obama reiterated, is to enact policies that facilitate profit-making. “But we can make some smart decisions,” he said, “to encourage businesses to feel like this is the right time to invest and that America is the right place to invest.” In his remarks to the employees, Obama sought to play up token job creation proposals from the Jobs Council that are so paltry as to be insulting. “And today, with the Jobs Council,” he said, “we’re announcing an all-hands-on-deck strategy to train 10,000 new American engineers every year.” This is said in a country with, according to official figures, nearly 14 million unemployed, including 6 million out of work for six months or more! The president went on to tout a proposal to bring together community colleges and companies to train people for high-skill jobs. Meanwhile, the White House is presiding over an unprecedented assault on public education and vicious attacks on teachers across the country. Obama also announced an utterly vague Better Buildings Initiative that will supposedly put construction workers back to work upgrading buildings for energy efficiency. In a Wall Street Journal column published Monday, Jobs Council Chairman Immelt and American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, another council member, listed deregulation and four other proposals which they said could generate 1 million jobs over two years. Even were this figure accurate, it would barely make a dent in an economy that needs to create 11 million jobs to make up for those lost combined with the normal growth in the labor force. Entirely absent from Obama’s remarks was any acknowledgment of the social crisis and worsening human suffering in America. Words such as “poverty,” “foreclosure,” “homelessness” and “hunger” were not uttered. White House officials who accompanied Obama were, if anything, even more transparent in their indifference toward the American people and servility toward big business. White House adviser and Chicago real estate multi-millionaire Valerie Jarrett said in a briefing with reporters: “We have had 15 straight months of private sector job creation and seven straight quarters of growth. We are moving in the right direction… There is broad agreement that the recovery will be driven by the private sector.” Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV, “We want to be for any policies that are going to help incentivize and stand up the private sector to drive the recovery.” Nothing was said about the fact that the corporate elite represented by the members of the council is raking in record profits and awarding itself ever-higher compensation, while sitting on a cash hoard of $2.6 trillion and refusing to spend it on hiring workers. The reality is that corporate America, with the support of the government, is using mass unemployment as a bludgeon to drive down wages, destroy working conditions and force workers to accept poverty wages and sweatshop conditions. The same process is unfolding internationally, as the bourgeoisie utilizes the crisis of its own making to destroy social gains won by the working class over more than a century of struggle. Council Chairman Immelt’s company, GE, is a case in point. It made a profit of $14.1 billion in 2010, and yet it paid no federal taxes. On the contrary, the government paid it $3.2 billion in tax credits. Immelt himself saw his compensation double to $15 million. Meanwhile, GE earlier this year sought to impose a 25 percent pay cut on new-hires at its River Works plant in Lynn, Massachusetts as the price for keeping a section of the complex open. When the workers balked, GE finalized the facility’s closure. The complete subordination of the Obama administration to Wall Street was further documented in an article published Monday by the New York Times on the feverish efforts of the White House to make amends with bankers and financiers alienated by the very minor restrictions contained in the financial regulatory bill passed last year. The campaign is being led by his chief of staff, William Daley, the former JPMorgan Chase executive Obama appointed last year to replace the outgoing Rahm Emanuel. The article reported that Obama hosted a White House dinner last March for two dozen Wall Street executives, which was followed in April by back-to-back meetings of his 2012 reelection campaign manager with Wall Street donors in New York. This month Obama will travel to New York to host a dinner with bankers, hedge fund executives and private equity investors at the exclusive Upper East Side Manhattan restaurant Daniel. There is a minority within the Democratic Party establishment that is concerned over the political and social implications of the jobs crisis and the Obama administration’s openly right-wing, pro-corporate response. In the short term, they fear Obama will lose the 2012 election. More fundamentally, they fear the growth of social opposition. One of these, Robert Reich, the former labor secretary under Bill Clinton, pleaded with Obama on the Sunday news interview program, “This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” to propose a jobs program. He suggested something akin to Roosevelt’s Depression-era Works Projects Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps for the 6 million people unemployed for six months or more. There is emphatic opposition to any such measure within the corporate-financial elite and, as Monday’s public relations event demonstrated, Obama rejects any government job-creation program or any other measure that might cut into corporate profits. The presence on the reactionary Jobs and Competitiveness Council of union leaders Trumka and Hansen underscores the corporatist and anti-working class character of the official trade union organizations. They support the destruction of the living standards of the working class, seeking only to secure the position and privileges of the union executives as accomplices in the attacks on working people. As in Europe and Asia, where governments are pursuing ruthless austerity policies to impoverish the workers, working people in the US can defend the social right to a job and a living wage only on the basis of a revolutionary political struggle against the capitalist system and all of its political representatives. * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-obama-duped-nation-but-his-bankster.html * “All of these writers proceed from a fact of American life that is becoming impossible to deny: the sharp divergence in the fortunes of the banks and investors, on the one hand, and the broad mass of the population, on the other. The Wall Street giants, the very firms that precipitated the financial crisis, are doing better than ever. They are planning record bonuses while unemployment continues to soar and wages are declining at a rate not seen in decades.” * “Herbert (“Safety Nets for the Rich,” October 20), adopts a populist tone, complaining, “Even as tens of millions of working Americans are struggling to hang onto their jobs and keep a roof over their families’ heads, the wise guys on Wall Street are licking their fat-cat chops over yet another round of obscene multibillion-dollar bonuses—this time thanks to the bailout billions that were sent their way by Uncle Sam, with very little in the way of strings attached.” * Underlying both columns is the concern that the Obama administration’s promises of “hope” and “change” are increasingly perceived by those who voted for Obama as hollow phrases. Rich complains that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is “tone deaf” and that “an air of entitlement” wafts from the administration. People are beginning to feel that they have been duped into lending their support to a government that is unreservedly serving the interests of the banks. To the layer of the liberal establishment represented by Obama’s journalistic would-be advisers, the eruption of opposition to the Obama administration would be an unmitigated disaster. * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/06/us-chamber-of-commerce-mexico-and-obama.html * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/obamas-hispanicazation-of-america-push.html * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-mceconomy-bombed-american-worker-by.html * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/american-worker-end-of-very-long-of.html In a speech at the Chamizal National Memorial, Obama also sought to link the challenge of illegal immigration with another major political concern: economic anxiety. He said immigration reform "is an economic imperative."… “ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE” FOR WHOM? LET’S LOOK AT THE FACTS WE WILL NEVER HEAR FROM OBAMA: WE ARE MEXICO’S WELFARE, FREE BIRTHING, FREE EMERGENCY ROOM HEALTHCARE, JOBS AND JAILS PROGRAMS. THIS IS AN ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE FOR MEXICO, BECAUSE THAT NATION HAS MORE BILLIONAIRES THAN SAUDIS ARABIA! THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD IS NO LONGER BILL GATES, IT IS MEXICAN CARLOS SLIM. ALSO DEMANDING OBAMA’S NON-ENFORCEMENT AND BIT BY BIT AMNESTY IS THE U.S. CHAMBER of COMMERCE, THE FASCIST FRONT FOR BIG BUSINESS THAT DEMANDS WAGES BE DEPRESSED. MOST OF THE FORTUNE 500 ARE GENEROUS DONORS TO THE MEXICAN FASCIST PARTY of LA RAZA! IN FACT YOU ARE A DONOR TOO! OBAMA HANDS OVER A FORTUNE TO THIS MEXICAN SUPREMACIST ORGANIZATION BENT ON OPEN BORDERS AND PUSH 2 FOR ENGLISH! * "One way to strengthen the middle class in America is to reform the immigration system so that there's no longer a massive underground economy that exploits a cheap source of labor while depressing wages for everybody else," he said……OBAMA COULD EASILY END THE EXPLOITATION OF ILLEGALS, AND ALSO PUT JOBS BACK IN THE HANDS OF AMERICAN SIMPLY BY ENFORCING THE LAWS! INSTEAD HE’S HABITUALLY SABOTAGED E-VERIFY AND RELEASE THOUSANDS OF ILLEGALS RATHER THAN DEPORTING THEM. HIS ADMINISTRATION IS INFESTED WITH LA RAZA PARTY MEMBERS! * But he said that illegal immigration requires a "comprehensive" solution that would also provide a path to legal status for the 11 million people living illegally in the United States. He also made another pitch for the Dream Act, which failed in the lame-duck session of Congress in December. * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/06/usa-2011-mcjobs-4-gas-and-underwater.html * THE OBAMA JOBS PLAN: NO LEGAL NEED APPLY! In May the U.S. economy added just 54,000 jobs. For the purposes of comparison, that same month over 100,000 new immigrants arrived in America. So what kind of jobs were those 54,000? Economics professorships at the University of Berkeley? Nonexecutive directorships at Goldman Sachs? That sort of thing? No, according to an analysis by Morgan Stanley, half the new jobs created were at McDonald's.
Posted by The Mexican Invasion & Occupation at 5:19 AM
BARACK OBAMA’S CHANGE ONLY MEANT HE INTENDED TO DUPE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIS WALL ST. DONORS EVEN MORE THAN BUSH DID IT FOR BIG BUSH SAUDIS OIL & CARLYLE GROUP – HALLIBURTION. http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-obama-duped-nation-but-his-bankster.html * “All of these writers proceed from a fact of American life that is becoming impossible to deny: the sharp divergence in the fortunes of the banks and investors, on the one hand, and the broad mass of the population, on the other. The Wall Street giants, the very firms that precipitated the financial crisis, are doing better than ever. They are planning record bonuses while unemployment continues to soar and wages are declining at a rate not seen in decades.” * “Herbert (“Safety Nets for the Rich,” October 20), adopts a populist tone, complaining, “Even as tens of millions of working Americans are struggling to hang onto their jobs and keep a roof over their families’ heads, the wise guys on Wall Street are licking their fat-cat chops over yet another round of obscene multibillion-dollar bonuses—this time thanks to the bailout billions that were sent their way by Uncle Sam, with very little in the way of strings attached.” * Underlying both columns is the concern that the Obama administration’s promises of “hope” and “change” are increasingly perceived by those who voted for Obama as hollow phrases. Rich complains that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is “tone deaf” and that “an air of entitlement” wafts from the administration. People are beginning to feel that they have been duped into lending their support to a government that is unreservedly serving the interests of the banks. To the layer of the liberal establishment represented by Obama’s journalistic would-be advisers, the eruption of opposition to the Obama administration would be an unmitigated disaster. * ON OBAMA’S AGENDA FOR THE COMING WEEK: 1. Lie to the American people about “change”. 2. Look at himself in the mirror, and go hunting for red-carpet photo ops. 3. Hand over billions to bankster criminals. 4. Hold the hand of a bankster that might think he’s headed for prison. 5. Work on the OBAMA NO BANKSTERS REGULATION, as written by the BANKSTERS. 6. Hispander for LA RAZA and the illegals’ votes. 7. Bend over to the ground and kiss the Saudi ass for BIG BUSH SAUDI BIG OIL and the CARLYLE GROUP. 8. Cash Bush War Profiteer, DIANNE FEINSTEIN’S pimp-husband’s “DONATION”. 9. With a straight face, tell the American people that the RECOVERY (FOR BANKSTERS) is in full force, and staggering unemployment will be soon ameliorated with QUICKIE AMNESTY = EXPANSION OF THE MEXICAN WELFARE STATE. 10. Send a billion or two to NARCOmex and a note reminding them that we only fight for borders in MUSLIMLAND, and here, our borders are wide open for the convenience of the MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS. * US bankers cash in despite phony pay restraint 24 October 2009 The executive pay regulations announced Thursday by the Obama administration’s “pay czar” and the Federal Reserve represent a cynical attempt to placate public outrage over Wall Street bonuses while allowing the financial speculators to continue awarding themselves multi-million-dollar compensation packages. According to the report issued by the Treasury Department’s special master for compensation, Kenneth Feinberg, at least 66 of the 138 bank and corporation executives under his jurisdiction will receive government-approved compensation packages totaling more than $1 million a year. The average pay for all 138 executives is $2.5 million a year. All of them work for seven companies bailed out with tens of billions in taxpayer dollars: Bank of America, Citigroup, AIG, General Motors, Chrysler, GMAC and Chrysler Financial. General Motors’ CEO Fritz Henderson will see his 2009 compensation more than double from 2008, to $5.5 million. Meanwhile, under the forced bankruptcy of the company at the hands of the Obama administration, GM workers have suffered mass layoffs and deep cuts in pay and benefits. Feinberg’s report, and a second document issued by the Federal Reserve calling for vague new principles to guide compensation packages at the banks regulated by the Fed, have been presented by both supporters and opponents in official circles as a serious check on the self-enrichment of the financial elite. The Wall Street Journal published an editorial denouncing the measures as the end of “what used to be known as American capitalism.” The Obama administration was happy to be accused of being anti-Wall Street. It gave the president a chance to adopt a populist pose and present himself as sharing the outrage over bankers’ salaries felt by working people. “I’ve always believed that our system of free enterprise works best when it rewards hard work,” Obama said Thursday at the White House. “But it does offend our values when executives of big financial firms—firms that are struggling—pay themselves huge bonuses even as they continue to rely on taxpayer assistance to stay afloat.” This rhetoric is 180 degrees at odds with reality. The Obama administration made available up to $23.7 trillion in loans, guarantees and direct cash infusions to the big financial institutions. Its number one priority has been to rescue these institutions, which play a central role in the world capitalist system and serve as the principal guardians of the wealth of the ruling elite. Obama commissioned the Feinberg report to provide political cover as the economic crisis deepens. American society is heading into an unprecedented social and political crisis—beginning with a winter in which foreclosures, evictions, utility shutoffs and spreading homelessness will unfold against the backdrop of record bonuses on Wall Street. The White House is also supplying a bit of rhetorical ammunition to its liberal defenders, such as the Nation magazine. They are increasingly being discredited by their praise for the “progressive” character of the new administration, even as Obama betrays all of his election-year promises and, in all essentials, continues the policies of Bush and the Republicans—wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bailouts for the wealthy, wage and benefit cuts for workers, attacks on democratic rights. Obama’s comment about the “free enterprise system” rewarding “hard work” has been echoed by media apologists and spokesmen for the bankers, who are bemoaning the supposed chilling effects of the token restraints on pay. A worried New York Times wrote: “Pay experts said the plan, which emerged Wednesday, could lead to the departure of the very executives needed to return the firms to health, a prerequisite to repaying taxpayer support.” Neither from the White House nor in the press is there any examination of what these individuals have done—what heroic labor they have performed—that is worth incomes in the seven, eight and even nine digits. These financial parasites produce no real value. On the contrary, these are people who are largely responsible for the greatest financial collapse since the 1930s, one in which their personal greed and recklessness played a significant role. What does an investment banker do? Judge from the quarterly reports filed by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, which have repaid their cash injections from the Troubled Asset Relief Program and are therefore exempt from even the token limits set by Feinberg. The two banks earned bumper profits and set aside near-record sums for bonuses, not by funding startup ventures and small businesses, as the mythology of “free enterprise” would suggest. Their profits came almost entirely from speculation—gambling on the price swings of currencies, stocks and bonds. The proper fate of many of these gentlemen would be criminal investigation and prosecution, and the forfeiture of their personal fortunes to contribute to providing relief to the millions of people whose lives have been devastated by the economic consequences of their actions. The Times noted, in its account of the Federal Reserve plan to regulate bank salaries, “The officials emphasized that the plan was not intended to make pay packages more socially equitable but was part of a broader effort by the Fed to shore up the stability of the banking system.” Why should reducing social inequality be ruled out as a goal of public policy? The spectacle of individual bankers and CEOs raking in incomes greater than those of 500, 1,000 or even 10,000 working people is not only an outrage, it is a symptom of a deeply diseased and reactionary social order. As the Times account demonstrates, to the extent that the new regulations have any substance, beyond their public relations value, their purpose is to curb the speculative excesses of a few bank executives in the larger interests of the financial aristocracy as a whole. The working class has no interest in supporting Obama’s fig leaf of pay restraint for the banks—which will be cited as justification for even more draconian attacks on the wages and benefits of workers. The working class must fight not for a “reformed” capitalism, but the abolition of the profit system and the reorganization of economic life to serve the needs of the vast majority of humanity, those who work for a living. This means the building of an independent political movement of the working class, based on a socialist and internationalist program, to establish a rationally planned and democratically controlled world socialist economy. Patrick Martin * WSWS.ORG get on their free NO ADS news emails The great unmentionable 22 October 2009 The past week has seen a number of worried commentaries from liberal supporters of Obama on the state of social and political relations in the United States. Among the columnists who have written along similar lines are Frank Rich, Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert of the New York Times, and Katrina vanden Heuvel of the Nation. All of these writers proceed from a fact of American life that is becoming impossible to deny: the sharp divergence in the fortunes of the banks and investors, on the one hand, and the broad mass of the population, on the other. The Wall Street giants, the very firms that precipitated the financial crisis, are doing better than ever. They are planning record bonuses while unemployment continues to soar and wages are declining at a rate not seen in decades. The proliferation of these columns is itself an indication of the depth of social tensions and the level of popular disillusionment with the Obama administration. Sensing the anger that is building up, the authors write as advisers to the administration: How can this opposition be contained? Herbert (“Safety Nets for the Rich,” October 20), adopts a populist tone, complaining, “Even as tens of millions of working Americans are struggling to hang onto their jobs and keep a roof over their families’ heads, the wise guys on Wall Street are licking their fat-cat chops over yet another round of obscene multibillion-dollar bonuses—this time thanks to the bailout billions that were sent their way by Uncle Sam, with very little in the way of strings attached.” Rich (“Goldman Can You Spare a Dime,” October 18) refers to the projected 2009 bonuses of $23 billion at Goldman Sachs as compared to the $200 million the bank is allocating to its own education foundation. He likens this to the dimes handed out by Standard Oil’s John D. Rockefeller at the beginning of the 20th century. Both Herbert and Rich urge that stronger measures be taken, with the former advocating the break-up of Goldman Sachs and the latter expressing hope for a revival of Teddy Roosevelt-style trust busting. Underlying both columns is the concern that the Obama administration’s promises of “hope” and “change” are increasingly perceived by those who voted for Obama as hollow phrases. Rich complains that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is “tone deaf” and that “an air of entitlement” wafts from the administration. People are beginning to feel that they have been duped into lending their support to a government that is unreservedly serving the interests of the banks. To the layer of the liberal establishment represented by Obama’s journalistic would-be advisers, the eruption of opposition to the Obama administration would be an unmitigated disaster. Vanden Heuvel (“Happy Days?” October 16) is perhaps the most explicit in stating this position. “There is a growing danger that the public face of the Obama administration’s response to this Great Recession is the Bank Bailout,” she writes. “There is a real threat to the possibility and promise of the Obama administration.” Her advice to Obama is to adopt more of a left tone. “The administration needs to switch this frame.” Following “a multi-trillion-dollar giveaway to get Big Banks back on track for billion dollar bonuses,” she writes, “It’s time for the Obama administration to act with equal boldness on behalf of regular folks.” The central aim of these figures is to prevent workers from drawing broader conclusions about the nature of the government and the two-party system. They are engaged in a deliberate cover-up. From the beginning, the administration has been, and could only be, a government of the financial and corporate elite. The administration’s actions are determined by the class interests it represents. On Wednesday, the Obama administration revealed that it is planning on imposing cuts in executive pay at seven companies with substantial bailout funds. The plan has the air of preemptive damage-control in the advance of bonus announcements later this year—the sort of measure that will be hailed by Obama’s liberal supporters. The steps will do nothing to address the social crisis of the working class, and the small number of executives affected will still receive compensation hundreds times that of the average worker. In their various criticisms and complaints, what all these writers refuse to discuss is the “great unmentionable” of American politics: socialism. Unwilling to address the objective basis for the social and economic crisis and broach the only real alternative, their commentaries remain utterly banal. In the end, they are reduced to making moral appeals to the banks and pleading with Obama. Michael Moore’s recent film, Capitalism: A Love Story, is made of the same stuff. After presenting a portrait of the crisis confronting millions of working people, Moore ends his film by calling for the replacement of capitalism not with socialism, but “democracy.” He holds up Franklin Roosevelt and New Deal reformism as the ideal of democracy from the past, and pseudo-populists like Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, as well as Obama himself, as its incarnations in the present. (In a recent column, Moore pleads with those who are angered by Obama’s policies: “Don’t abandon the best hope we’ve had in our lifetime for change.”) The avarice of the financial elite, the blatant inequity of record bank bonuses and declining wages, along with the participation of the Obama administration in this process, are invariably presented as misfortunes. However, the contrast between depression conditions facing the majority of the population and windfalls for the wealthy is a contradiction only in appearance. They are two sides of the same process. It is through a sharp attack on living standards, jobs, wages and social programs that the financial elite is seeking to safeguard its wealth. This, in turn, is inextricably linked to the private ownership of the corporations and banks and the subordination of the economy to profit and the interests of the wealthy—that is, to capitalism. This proscription of socialism has a history. American liberalism long ago compromised itself by wholeheartedly embracing post-war anti-communism, which was the means through which it lined up behind the global ambitions of American imperialism. With the full support of the trade unions, socialists and militants were driven out of the labor movement. The rejection of socialism was bound up with the rejection of class as the fundamental category of social analysis. Politics based on race, gender, sexual orientation and other identities was elevated in its stead, and became the principal foundation of the Democratic Party and the preoccupation of the broad milieu of “left” petty-bourgeois groups. The absolute exclusion of a socialist and class analysis has helped lend American politics—and media commentary—its particularly impoverished character. And it has left the working class without a viable perspective to defend its interests. The past year, however, has not passed in vain. Broad sections of the working class are drawing certain conclusions. The ideological edifice of capitalism has been discredited in the eyes of millions of workers, who are rapidly losing confidence in the market and all official political institutions. The immense class anger over the social crisis and disillusionment with the Obama administration have not yet taken an open political form. They will, however, and as this happens, the great principles of the socialist movement will experience a powerful revival in the working class—in opposition to the Democratic Party and its liberal supporters. It is on these principles that the Socialist Equality Party, and only the Socialist Equality Party, is based. Joe Kishore * NEW YORK TIMES October 20, 2009 OP-ED COLUMNIST Safety Nets for the Rich By BOB HERBERT The headlines that ran side by side on the front page of Saturday’s New York Times summed up, inadvertently, the terrible fix that we’ve allowed our country to fall into. The lead headline, in the upper right-hand corner, said: “U.S. Deficit Rises to $1.4 Trillion; Biggest Since ’45.” The headline next to it said: “Bailout Helps Revive Banks, And Bonuses.” We’ve spent the last few decades shoveling money at the rich like there was no tomorrow. We abandoned the poor, put an economic stranglehold on the middle class and all but bankrupted the federal government — while giving the banks and megacorporations and the rest of the swells at the top of the economic pyramid just about everything they’ve wanted. And we still don’t seem to have learned the proper lessons. We’ve allowed so many people to fall into the terrible abyss of unemployment that no one — not the Obama administration, not the labor unions and most certainly no one in the Republican Party — has a clue about how to put them back to work. Meanwhile, Wall Street is living it up. I’m amazed at how passive the population has remained in the face of this sustained outrage. Even as tens of millions of working Americans are struggling to hang onto their jobs and keep a roof over their families’ heads, the wise guys of Wall Street are licking their fat-cat chops over yet another round of obscene multibillion-dollar bonuses — this time thanks to the bailout billions that were sent their way by Uncle Sam, with very little in the way of strings attached. Nevermind that the economy remains deeply troubled. As The Times pointed out on Saturday, much of Wall Street “is minting money.” Call it déjà voodoo. I wrote a column that ran three days before Christmas in 2007 that focused on the deeply disturbing disconnect between Wall Streeters harvesting a record crop of bonuses — billions on top of billions — while working families were having a very hard time making ends meet. We would later learn that December 2007 was the very month that the Great Recession began. I wrote in that column: “Even as the Wall Streeters are high-fiving and ordering up record shipments of Champagne and caviar, the American dream is on life support.” So we had an orgy of bonuses just as the recession was taking hold and now another orgy (with taxpayers as the enablers) that is nothing short of an arrogantly pointed finger in the eye of everyone who suffered, and continues to suffer, in this downturn. Whether P.T. Barnum actually said it or not, there is a sucker born every minute. American taxpayers might want to take a look in the mirror. If the epithet fits... We need to make some fundamental changes in the way we do things in this country. The gamblers and con artists of the financial sector, the very same clowns who did so much to bring the economy down in the first place, are howling self-righteously over the prospect of regulations aimed at curbing the worst aspects of their excessively risky behavior and preventing them from causing yet another economic meltdown. We should be going even further. We’ve institutionalized the idea that there are firms that are too big to fail and, therefore, “we, the people” are obliged to see that they don’t — even if that means bankrupting the national treasury and undermining the living standards of ordinary people. What sense does that make? If some company is too big to fail, then it’s too big to exist. Break it up. Why should the general public have to constantly worry that a misstep by the high-wire artists at Goldman Sachs (to take the most obvious example) would put the entire economy in peril? These financial acrobats get the extraordinary benefits of their outlandish risk-taking — multimillion-dollar paychecks, homes the size of castles — but the public has to be there to absorb the worst of the pain when they take a terrible fall. Enough! Goldman Sachs is thriving while the combined rates of unemployment and underemployment are creeping toward a mind-boggling 20 percent. Two-thirds of all the income gains from the years 2002 to 2007 — two-thirds! — went to the top 1 percent of Americans. We cannot continue transferring the nation’s wealth to those at the apex of the economic pyramid — which is what we have been doing for the past three decades or so — while hoping that someday, maybe, the benefits of that transfer will trickle down in the form of steady employment and improved living standards for the many millions of families struggling to make it from day to day. That money is never going to trickle down. It’s a fairy tale. We’re crazy to continue believing it. * IN OBAMA AND HIS BANKSTER CONTROLLED AMERICAN, WITH OPEN BORDERS AND “NO LEGAL NEED APPLY”… HERE’S WHAT IT’S LIKE FOR NON-BANKSTERS: Atlanta homeless shelters strain under economic crisis By Naomi Spencer 23 October 2009 As the economic crisis deepens, Atlanta, Georgia, emergency providers are straining to accommodate more than 7,000 homeless people, including many newly homeless families. Along with rising unemployment and a growing number of home foreclosures across the US, the homeless population is swelling far beyond the capacity of emergency facilities. Urban centers have felt the impact most sharply, with service organizations facing budget cuts at the same time that thousands are thrust into poverty and foreclosure. According to an October 12 report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta’s Salvation Army cannot open a nearly completed homeless shelter for families because of a lack of funds. Similarly, the city’s Midtown Assistance Center, an agency providing emergency financial assistance, announced in August that it had spent twice its monthly $24,000 budget on aid in the month of July. The agency assists employed workers and those in job training who do not receive public assistance. Another area service provider, MUST Ministries, reported that it aided 29,000 people last year, and requests for assistance are up 25 percent this year. Annette Lee, MUST Ministries’ resource development coordinator, commented to the Journal-Constitution of September 29: “It’s no longer just hourly wage workers. These are professionals—from bankers to people with masters and PhD’s…. We are seeing more and more people who are above the poverty line.” Metro Atlanta has lost nearly 143,000 payroll jobs in the past year, according to the most recent Labor Department figures, and well over a quarter million workers are unemployed in the city. Foreclosure filings have surged, with more than 97,000 foreclosure notices served in the metro area so far this year, up from the already high 79,400 in 2008. According to Census Bureau data released in September, nearly 26,000 metro Atlanta families fell below the poverty line in 2008—before the sharp economic decline of 2009—representing an increase of 19 percent over 2007. The Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless, a large walk-in shelter downtown, is now serving more than 700 people each night and anticipating far higher numbers as the weather turns colder. The Task Force is often the only emergency shelter open to men, after other city shelters fill with families. According to employees, the shelter has come under attack from a local business group, Central Atlanta Progress (CAP), which wants the agency closed. The Task Force filed a lawsuit in July against CAP and members of city government on charges of harassment and interference. According to the lawsuit, the city refused to issue certifications to the Task Force that would have allowed the group to obtain government funds, despite the agency’s compliance with city requirements. The shelter has also had its water shut off by the city twice in the past year without explanation. CAP officials have publicly expressed the opinion that the shelter breeds crime and encourages laziness among the homeless population. In September, the city petitioned to have the Task Force’s lawsuit dismissed. That petition was denied by Fulton County Superior Court. According to Anita Beaty, director of the Task Force, more than three-quarters of the people who sleep at the shelter earn a living during the day, but not enough to afford rent in the city. “Atlanta has been trying to hide poverty so they attack us for keeping poverty out front,” shelter employee Troy Harris told the Journal-Constitution. “If the city was doing what it says it is doing in placing people in housing, we wouldn’t have 700 people a night in here. We are the visible truth of Atlanta.” Atlanta’s political establishment has taken several measures over the past decade to push out the poorest layers of the population and gentrify the downtown area. In the mid-1990s, in preparation for hosting the Olympics, the city initiated a systematic destruction of public housing. The first city to open public housing units to the poor in the 1930s, Atlanta now bears the distinction of being the first city to have all of them closed down. In the past 15 years, the city has torn down some 15,000 units in 32 housing projects. According to a 2007 study by the Georgia Institute of Technology, as the number of units was halved and replaced by mixed-income communities, only one third of displaced residents were able to resettle. As part of the same broad strategy of gentrification, beginning in 2003 Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin issued a series of orders banning such acts as donating food to the homeless on downtown streets, soliciting donations and sleeping in public areas. Atlanta police, posing as tourists, have staged a series of undercover street sweeps, arresting dozens of homeless people for asking for money. The policies in Atlanta are not unique. Virtually all major cities in the US have put in place measures to criminalize homelessness and push shelters, clinics and other services outside of the downtown areas. As the economic crisis deepens, those pushed out of their jobs and homes will come under increasing attack, as the ruling establishment seeks to obscure the social realities. In July, the National Coalition for the Homeless issued a report on this trend throughout the country. A survey of 235 cities found that one-third have ordinances in place banning “camping” in public areas, and 30 percent banned “sitting/lying” in public areas. Nearly half of all cities surveyed had bans on “loitering” and begging. * SHOCKING FACTS ON OBAMA’S FUNDING OF THE MEXICAN SUPREMACIST MOVEMENT OF LA RAZA http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/06/obama-operates-la-raza-supremacy-out-of.html * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/06/obama-mexican-supremacist-party-of-la.html * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/04/history-of-mexican-fascist-party-of-la.html * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-exposed-obamas-la-raza-open.html
Posted by The Mexican Invasion & Occupation at 5:10 AM
THE FILTHY CRIMINAL BANKSTERS IN THIS COUNTRY DESTROY THE LIFE SAVINGS OF MOST OF AMERICA AS INVESTED IN THEIR HOMES, AND NOT EVEN ON HAS GONE TO PRISON! “I’m not here to punish banks!” Barack Obama State of the Union Message WHEN OBAMA TOOK OFFICE HE IMMEDIATELY SURROUNDED HIMSELF WITH THE MOST BANKSTER CRIME IMPLICATED DEMS SUCH AS CHRIS DODD AND BARNEY FRANK, AND HAD THE BANKSTERS’ BAILOUTS RIGGED BY BUSH’S ARCHITECT FOR BANKSTERS’ WELFARE, TIM GEITHNER. THERE IS NO ONE THAT HAS DONE MORE TO SERVE THE CRIMINAL BANKSTERS THAN BARACK OBAMA! * An initial term sheet outlining a possible settlement emerged in March, with institutions including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo being asked to pay about $20 billion that would go toward loan modifications and possibly counseling for homeowners. In exchange, the attorneys general participating in the deal would have agreed to sign broad releases preventing them from bringing further litigation on matters relating to the improper bank practices. August 21, 2011 Attorney General of N.Y. Is Said to Face Pressure on Bank Foreclosure Deal By GRETCHEN MORGENSON Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal. In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks. Mr. Schneiderman and top prosecutors in some other states have objected to the proposed settlement with major banks, saying it would restrict their ability to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing in a variety of areas, including the bundling of loans in mortgage securities. But Mr. Donovan and others in the administration have been contacting not only Mr. Schneiderman but his allies, including consumer groups and advocates for borrowers, seeking help to secure the attorney general’s participation in the deal, these people said. One recipient described the calls from Mr. Donovan, but asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation. Not surprising, the large banks, which are eager to reach a settlement, have grown increasingly frustrated with Mr. Schneiderman. Bank officials recently discussed asking Mr. Donovan for help in changing the attorney general’s mind, according to a person briefed on those talks. In an interview on Friday, Mr. Donovan defended his discussions with the attorney general, saying they were motivated by a desire to speed up help for troubled homeowners. But he said he had not spoken to bank officials or their representatives about trying to persuade Mr. Schneiderman to get on board with the deal. “Eric and I agree on a tremendous amount here,” Mr. Donovan said. “The disagreement is around whether we should wait to settle and resolve the issues around the servicing practices for him — and potentially other A.G.’s and other federal agencies — to complete investigations on the securitization side. He might argue that he has more leverage that way, but our view is we have the immediate opportunity to help a huge number of borrowers to stay in their homes, to help their neighborhoods and the housing market.” And Alisa Finelli, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department. said: “The Justice Department, along with our federal agency partners and state attorneys general, are committed to achieving a resolution that will hold servicers accountable for the harm they have done consumers and bring billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners — and bring relief swiftly because homeowners continue to suffer more each day that these issues are not resolved.” Terms of the possible settlement under consideration center on foreclosure improprieties like so-called robo-signing and submitting apparently forged documents to the courts to speed up the process of removing troubled borrowers from homes. Negotiations on this deal have been led by Thomas J. Perrelli, associate attorney general of the United States, and Tom Miller, the attorney general of Iowa. An initial term sheet outlining a possible settlement emerged in March, with institutions including Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo being asked to pay about $20 billion that would go toward loan modifications and possibly counseling for homeowners. In exchange, the attorneys general participating in the deal would have agreed to sign broad releases preventing them from bringing further litigation on matters relating to the improper bank practices. The banks balked at the $20 billion figure. And the talks seemed to stall over the summer, as Mr. Schneiderman and a few other attorneys general — Beau Biden of Delaware and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, for example — questioned aspects of the deal. Mr. Schneiderman began objecting a few months ago to the proposed releases barring future litigation, declining to participate as long as they were included. “The attorney general remains concerned by any attempt at a global settlement that would shut down ongoing investigations of wrongdoing related to the mortgage crisis,” said Danny Kanner, the spokesman for Mr. Schneiderman. His office has opened several inquiries into mortgage practices during the credit boom. Representatives for the four big banks declined to comment. Mr. Schneiderman has also come under criticism for objecting to a settlement proposed by Bank of New York Mellon and Bank of America that would cover 530 mortgage-backed securities containing Countrywide Financial loans that investors say were mischaracterized when they were sold. The deal would require Bank of America to pay $8.5 billion to investors holding the securities; the unpaid principal amount of the mortgages remaining in the pools totals $174 billion. Lawyers representing 22 institutional investors, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, BlackRock and Pimco, contended that the deal was favorable. This month, Mr. Schneiderman sued to block that deal, which had been negotiated by Bank of New York Mellon as trustee for the holders of the securities. The lawsuit contends that the deal could “compromise investors’ claims in exchange for a payment representing a fraction of the losses” experienced by investors and that it had been negotiated without the knowledge of all of the holders of the securities. The lawsuit angered Bank of New York Mellon, and as Mr. Schneiderman was leaving the memorial service last week for Hugh Carey, the former New York governor who died Aug. 7, an attendee said Mr. Schneiderman became embroiled in a contentious conversation with Kathryn S. Wylde, a member of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York who represents the public. Ms. Wylde, who has criticized Mr. Schneiderman for bringing the lawsuit, is also chief executive of the Partnership for New York City. The New York Fed has supported the proposed $8.5 billion settlement. Other investors in the Countrywide mortgage pools who were not part of the settlement talks between Bank of New York Mellon and Bank of America have called the terms inadequate. Characterizing her conversation with Mr. Schneiderman that day as “not unpleasant,” Ms. Wylde said in an interview on Thursday that she had told the attorney general “it is of concern to the industry that instead of trying to facilitate resolving these issues, you seem to be throwing a wrench into it. Wall Street is our Main Street — love ’em or hate ’em. They are important and we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them unless they are doing something indefensible.” Mr. Schneiderman declined to comment on the encounter. Mr. Schneiderman has opened an investigation into Wall Street’s mortgage machinery, especially examining whether loan documents were provided to the trusts as required under securitization contracts. The New York attorney general’s office has hired Lynn E. Turner, former chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, as a consultant on the investigations, people briefed on the inquiries said. Damon A. Silvers, associate general counsel for the A.F.L.-C.I.O., is also serving as a special counsel on a pro bono basis. Both men declined to comment. * "Bank of America is currently experiencing severe financial woes and we are offering to publicly drop our boycott efforts if the bank will publicly announce an end to their program designed to issue credit cards and mortgages to illegal immigrants." said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "We also want Bank of America to stop donating to the racist illegal alien supporting organization called the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) as well." * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/08/bank-of-america-criminal-banksters-for.html Bank of America Boycott Offers BofA a Truce * WALL STREET’S RAPE AND PILLAGE OF A NATION… and it ain’t over! * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-than-5-million-households-had.html * More than 5 million households had their wealth wiped out since 2005 By Andre Damon 28 July 2011 The typical US household lost 28 percent of its wealth during the economic crisis, with one third of these being totally wiped out, according to a recent analysis of Census Bureau data carried out by the Pew Research Center, “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks and Hispanics”. While the study headlines racial disparities, the most striking findings concern the general impoverishment of all sections of the population. The percent of US households who have a net worth of zero dollars or below—meaning they have more debts than assets—grew from 15 percent in 2005, to 20 percent in 2009. This means that 5.6 million households, or about 15 million people, had their wealth totally wiped out during the first part of the economic downturn. These figures come from an analysis of Census Bureau survey data for 2005 and 2009. The study found that, after adjusting for inflation, the median wealth of US households fell from $96,894 in 2005 to $70,000 in 2009, a drop of 28 percent. The majority of this is attributable to the precipitous fall in real estate values, by about 30 percent between 2006 and 2009 and even more since. The fall in home values has been compounded by falling wages. Between 2005 and 2009, workers’ average hourly earnings fell, on an inflation-adjusted basis, by 5 percent, according to the Labor Department. Indebtedness has grown as rapidly as wealth has fallen. Between 2005 and 2009, unsecured liabilities grew 33 percent for the population as a whole, the study found. Meanwhile, the share of household wealth held by the wealthiest ten percent of households grew from 49 percent in 2005 to 56 percent in 2009. Racial minorities have been particularly hard hit, including by the fall in housing values. The net worth of Hispanic households fell by a staggering 66 percent, from $12,124 in 2005 to $5,677 in 2009. The net worth of black households has likewise tumbled 53 percent. Among Hispanics, unsecured debt grew by 47 percent. The level of inequality between whites, blacks, and Hispanics is now at the highest level in 25 years, and no doubt longer. The racial differentiation is partly attributable to geography. While whites saw the values of their own homes fall by 18 percent and blacks by 23 percent, the home values of Hispanics fell by more than half. As the report notes, “In 2005, more than two-in-five of the nation’s Hispanic and Asian households resided in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada, the five states with the steepest declines in home prices.” For Hispanics living in these states, the report noted, “median net worth tumbled from $51,464 in 2005 to $6,375 in 2009, a loss of 88 percent.” These racial divergences, however, mask the more fundamental growth of inequality between the working class and the wealthy of all races. The report notes that the wealthiest 10 percent of blacks now controls 67 percent of the wealth for that group, compared to 59 percent before the downturn. For Hispanics, likewise, the wealthiest 10 percent controlled 72 percent of wealth in 2009, up from 59 percent in 2005. The number of unemployed, meanwhile, grew from 7.9 million to 15.2 million between 2005 and 2009. Rising unemployment, too, has disproportionately affected minorities. Unemployment has affected blacks and hispanics disproportionately, with the unemployment rate for blacks currently at 16.5 percent and 11.6 percent for hispanics. The staggering fall in wealth has had an transformative effect on American society, contributing to the millions of foreclosures and personal bankruptcies. According to figures from Realtytrac.com, there were 10 million foreclosures between 2005 and 2009, the years covered by the survey. * UNDER OBAMA, THE RICH GET RICHER, AND JOBS GO TO HIS LA RAZA PARTY BASE! http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/07/obamanomics-wall-st-profits-soar-so.html * OBAMA KEEPS VOW TO PROTECT THE WALL ST RULING CLASS OF BILLIONAIRES Wsws.org Underlying the rise of the financial aristocracy—which exercises control over the entire political system—is the failure of the world capitalist system as a whole. In amassing its wealth, this tiny layer of the population, concentrated above all in the United States, has overseen a vast destruction of industry and social infrastructure. The ruling classes of every country now openly proclaim that the maintenance of their system depends upon an unprecedented destruction in the living conditions of the broad masses of the population. * * Obama’s budget and the rot of American capitalism 15 February 2011 On Monday, the Obama administration released its proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2012. After committing trillions in federal bailouts to the banks and billionaires, the White House is demanding cuts that will devastate the working class, and particularly its poorest and most vulnerable sections. The $1.1 trillion in cuts for the next decade proposed by the White House is to be only the starting point for further cuts, as spokesmen for both big business parties acknowledge. Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, a Democrat, declared, “We’ve got to do substantially more than $1 trillion worth of deficit reduction in the next decade.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, “There’s no limit to the amount we’re willing to cut.” Democrats and Republicans agree on gargantuan military spending, an uninterrupted flow of funds to the financial aristocracy, and continued tax breaks for corporate America and the wealthy. As a top White House official told the press at a background briefing on the budget, “The debate in Washington is not whether to cut or to spend. We both agree we should cut. The question is how we cut and what we cut.” The Obama budget projects that the ten-year cumulative deficit will reach a staggering $10.4 trillion. By attempting to wring such vast sums from the hides of the population, the ruling elite is trying to set American society back to conditions not seen for generations. Programs to be cut include not only those targeted by Obama and the Republicans in the current budget debate—home heating assistance, Pell Grants, WIC, Head Start, etc.—but the much larger entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare, which will face cuts later in the budget process. The social impact will be incalculable. As hundreds of thousands of people face the bitter cold of winter without heat and gas, Obama is proposing halving the grossly inadequate federal assistance that is available. As students graduate with record debt and no job prospects, the administration is proposing significant cuts in government aid. Such gross indifference to social distress is repeated in every sphere. Significant cuts to Social Security and Medicare—which amount to denying America’s elderly their right to pensions and health care—would have an even broader impact. Behind the “debate” in Washington and the media over the budget is a massive lie—the claim that the budget deficits are a product of excessive social spending. Obama’s budget director Jacob Lew summed up this grotesque falsification an op-ed column published in the New York Times February 6, under the headline, “The Easy Cuts Are Behind Us.” Lew claimed that the causes of the projected budget deficits were “decisions to make two large tax cuts without offsetting them and to create a Medicare prescription drug benefit without paying for it, combined with the effects of the recession…” This list is notable for what it leaves out: the cost of two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, which runs into the trillions; and the bank bailouts, where more trillions in public funds were placed at the disposal of the financial aristocracy, with no questions asked. The military budget by itself accounts for the lion’s share of the ten-year deficit: more than $7 trillion of the projected $10 trillion. Lew’s more fundamental omission, however, is the grotesque class inequality that pervades American society. The top one percent of the US population owns over one third of the country’s wealth. The greatest wealth, however, is concentrated in an even smaller layer. Indeed, the $1.1 trillion in proposed cuts—which will have a terrible impact on the lives of millions of people—is somewhat less than the combined wealth of only the 400 richest Americans. The arguments presented by the ruling elite for the cuts are staggeringly hypocritical. As they drown in floods of cash, they insist that no money is available for workers’ most basic needs. Workers must reject this argument out of hand. They are not responsible for the orgy of swindling and profiteering that produced the 2008 Wall Street crash and pushed the world economy into the deepest slump since the Great Depression. On the contrary, an essential feature of the speculative binge was that the share of national income received by workers has shrunk to the lowest level in nearly a century. Underlying the rise of the financial aristocracy—which exercises control over the entire political system—is the failure of the world capitalist system as a whole. In amassing its wealth, this tiny layer of the population, concentrated above all in the United States, has overseen a vast destruction of industry and social infrastructure. The ruling classes of every country now openly proclaim that the maintenance of their system depends upon an unprecedented destruction in the living conditions of the broad masses of the population. * OBAMA HAS TWO AGENDAS. SERVICING BANKSTER DONORS, AND PUSHING OUR BORDERS OPEN FOR MORE ILLEGALS. HE KNOW WE WON’T BE PUNKED BY HIS PERFORMANCES THE SECOND TIME AROUND! * “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 http://floydreports.com/obama%E2%80%99s-economic-advisers-international-socialists-union-thugs-nbc-execs-soros-scholars-subprime-lenders-amnesty-shills-and-campaign-cronies/ * Obama’s Economic Advisers: International Socialists, Union Thugs, NBC Execs, Soros Scholars, Subprime Lenders, Amnesty Shills, and Campaign Cronies * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/obamas-regulatory-reform-sham-continues.html * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/08/barack-obama-one-of-greatest-tragedies.html Obama's Regulatory Reform Sham Continues By Lurita Doan 5/30/2011 President Obama's much-praised efforts at regulatory reform remain a sham. This past week, while the President traveled overseas, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in conjunction with rolled out its review of proposed changes to government regulations. The reform will affect at least 30 federal agencies and is designed to "always consider costs and ways to reduce burdens for American businesses when developing rules; expand opportunities for public participation and public comment; and ensure that regulations are driven by real science." An elegant White House web page, accompanied by an online, explanatory video, supported by an in-person appearances from OMB Director Jacob Lew and Cass Sunstein, and countless, premature victory laps around Washington cannot disguise the emptiness of many of the proposed reforms. For, what has been released is just the plan for the plan. According to the hype, after 120 days of effort, federal agencies have come forward with "groundbreaking" ideas--not for ways to cut costs to taxpayers by reducing regulations--but with ideas on how to generate ideas on how to implement potential regulatory review and reform. What a lot of hullabaloo about something that hasn't happened, and which, if the timelines identified in the 30 agency plans are anything to go by, will not happen until 2012--long after the current debt ceiling has exploded and too late to provide significant contributions to the federal budget and deficit debate. Any talk from Sunstein about billions in savings is premature at best and possibly constitutes a deliberate attempt at fraud since changes will be proposed to be implemented in 2012 or later--so that it will be difficult to measure accountability and results until long after the November 2012 presidential election. Reading some of the agency plans housed on the White House website shows that much of what the White House is calling an "unprecedented, government-wide review" is little more than a rehash of policies, planning and strategies proposed during the Clinton and Bush Administrations. Many of those actions, which were identified by Obama's predecessors, have been left languishing during the Obama Administration because they called for tough actions. Every time it seems is if the Obama Administration cannot sink any lower in its efforts to deceive the American taxpayer, the limbo stick comes out, and Americans get to see, once again, just how low the Obama Administration can go. Team Obama's Regulations Review seems to be a colossal fraud, during the course of which, agencies are actually increasing the regulations affecting individuals and businesses. The Regulations Review process is adding to the size of government by creating new review committees, adding to the cost of government because none of these review bodies operate free of cost, and Sunstein and his team seem to be banking on the fact that few will read the hollow reports, so that the Obama Administration can present their "savings" howsoever they choose. Then there is the issue of transparency. For example, the Department of Education's report along with 29 others listed on the White House site can only be commented on by providing personal Facebook information, thus eliminating commenter anonymity, which will certainly affect the content of the feedback, and forcing non-Facebook users to search for alternative means to provide comments to the Obama Administration. In another example, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) report of regulatory reform spends almost approximately 9 pages of its 12-page report discussing the plan for the plan and spends less than three pages listing recommended regulations considered for regulatory reform. Of the five reforms listed, three of the five comprise regulation reforms were begun and completed during the Bush Administration. One of the recommendations (#4, p.10) a review of the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) pricing clause was an idea conceived, a Blue ribbon commission formed and funded and with findings completed during the previous Administration. These findings from the independent commission have been waiting for the current GSA Administrator to act upon for the past two years. Instead, at no small expense to the American taxpayer, the current team at GSA seems to be saying: let's just kick that can down the road because confronting the challenges of this out-of-date, ineffective rule is just too scary. So, in this plan for the plan, the current team at GSA promises to look at the pricing clause problem with a date uncertain in 2012 for possible resolution. In the case of GSA's blatant misrepresentation, claiming credit for proposing new and "unprecedented" regulatory reform reviews based partly on a recommendation that the Obama Team will launch the Pricing Clause review is nothing other than a fraud, and an easily exposed one at that. By contrast, the Department of Education report and the Department of Homeland Security report identify in their reports that much of the to-be-discussed regulatory reform was initiated during the Bush Administration. For the Obama Administration to claim that the Regulatory Review chicanery comprises a "defining moment" is an insult to the American taxpayer who has to foot the bill, and the folks in government who have put their names on these reports should be ashamed. * http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/obama-his-bankster-thugs-running.html * OBAMA’S CRONY CAPITALISM, A LOVE STORY BETWEEN THE ACTOR PRESIDENT, AND HIS BANKSTER DONORS! 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). * Well, Obama’s got Bush’s war profiteer whore, Dianne Feinstein, and the Saudis’ whore Hillary Clinton, why shouldn’t he have Bush’s architect for BIG BANKERS’ WELFARE, Timmy? Obama's Wall Street cabinet 6 April 2009 A series of articles published over the weekend, based on financial disclosure reports released by the Obama administration last Friday concerning top White House officials, documents the extent to which the administration, in both its personnel and policies, is a political instrument of Wall Street. Policies that are extraordinarily favorable to the financial elite that were put in place over the past month by the Obama administration have fed a surge in share values on Wall Street. These include the scheme to use hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds to pay hedge funds to buy up the banks’ toxic assets at inflated prices, the Auto Task Force’s rejection of the recovery plans of Chrysler and General Motors and its demand for even more brutal layoffs, wage cuts and attacks on workers’ health benefits and pensions, and the decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to weaken “mark-to-market” accounting rules and permit banks to inflate the value of their toxic assets. At the same time, Obama has campaigned against restrictions on bonuses paid to executives at insurance giant American International Group (AIG) and other bailed-out firms, and repeatedly assured Wall Street that he will slash social spending, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The new financial disclosures reveal that top Obama advisors directly involved in setting these policies have received millions from Wall Street firms, including those that have received huge taxpayer bailouts. The case of Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council and Obama’s top economic adviser, highlights the politically incestuous character of relations between the Obama administration and the American financial elite. Last year, Summers pocketed $5 million as a managing director of D.E. Shaw, one of the biggest hedge funds in the world, and another $2.7 million for speeches delivered to Wall Street firms that have received government bailout money. This includes $45,000 from Citigroup and $67,500 each from JPMorgan Chase and the now-liquidated Lehman Brothers. For a speech to Goldman Sachs executives, Summers walked away with $135,000. This is substantially more than double the earnings for an entire year of high-seniority auto workers, who have been pilloried by the Obama administration and the media for their supposedly exorbitant and “unsustainable” wages. Alluding diplomatically to the flagrant conflict of interest revealed by these disclosures, the New York Times noted on Saturday: “Mr. Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, wields important influence over Mr. Obama’s policy decisions for the troubled financial industry, including firms from which he recently received payments.” Summers was a leading advocate of banking deregulation. As treasury secretary in the second Clinton administration, he oversaw the lifting of basic financial regulations dating from the 1930s. The Times article notes that among his current responsibilities is deciding “whether—and how—to tighten regulation of hedge funds.” Summers is not an exception. He is rather typical of the Wall Street insiders who comprise a cabinet and White House team that is filled with multi-millionaires, presided over by a president who parlayed his own political career into a multi-million-dollar fortune. Michael Froman, deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, worked for Citigroup and received more than $7.4 million from the bank from January of 2008 until he entered the Obama administration this year. This included a $2.25 million year-end bonus handed him this past January, within weeks of his joining the Obama administration. Citigroup has thus far been the beneficiary of $45 billion in cash and over $300 billion in government guarantees of its bad debts. David Axelrod, the Obama campaign’s top strategist and now senior adviser to the president, was paid $1.55 million last year from two consulting firms he controls. He has agreed to buyouts that will garner him another $3 million over the next five years. His disclosure claims personal assets of between $7 and $10 million. Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Thomas E. Donilon, was paid $3.9 million by a Washington law firm whose major clients include Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and the private equity firm Apollo Management. Louis Caldera, director of the White House Military Office, made $227,155 last year from IndyMac Bancorp, the California bank that heavily promoted subprime mortgages. It collapsed last summer and was placed under federal receivership. The presence of multi-millionaire Wall Street insiders extends to second- and third-tier positions in the Obama administration as well. David Stevens, who has been tapped by Obama to head the Federal Housing Administration, is the president and chief operating officer of Long and Foster Cos., a real estate brokerage firm. From 1999 to 2005, Stevens served as a top executive for Freddie Mac, the federally-backed mortgage lending giant that was bailed out and seized by federal regulators in September. Neal Wolin, Obama’s selection for deputy counsel to the president for economic policy, is a top executive at the insurance giant Hartford Financial Services, where his salary was $4.5 million. Obama’s Auto Task Force has as its top advisers two investment bankers with a long resume in corporate downsizing and asset-stripping. It is not new for leading figures from finance to be named to high posts in a US administration. However, there has traditionally been an effort to demonstrate a degree of independence from Wall Street in the selection of cabinet officials and high-ranking presidential aides, often through the appointment of figures from academia or the public sector. In previous decades, moreover, representatives of the corporate elite were more likely to come from industry than from finance. In the Obama administration such considerations have largely been abandoned. This will not come as a surprise to those who critically followed Obama’s election campaign. While he postured before the electorate as a critic of the war in Iraq and a quasi-populist force for “change,” he was from the first heavily dependent on the financial and political backing of powerful financiers in Chicago. Banks, hedge funds and other financial firms lavishly backed his presidential bid, giving him considerably more than they gave to his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain. Alongside Wall Street, the Obama cabinet is dominated by the military, including three recently retired four-star military officers: former Marine General James Jones as national security adviser; Admiral Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence, and former Army Chief of Staff Erik Shinseki as secretary of veterans’ affairs. These are the deeply reactionary political and class interests that are represented by the Obama administration. Friday’s financial disclosures further expose the bankruptcy of American democracy. Elections have no real effect on government policy, which is determined by the interests of the financial aristocracy that dominates both political parties. The working class can fight for its own interests—for jobs, decent living standards, health care, education, housing and an end to war—only through a break with the two parties of American capitalism and the development of a mass, independent socialist movement. Tom Eley and Barry Grey
Posted by The Mexican Invasion & Occupation at 4:52 AM
OBAMA, THE BIGGEST CON JOB IN AMERICAN HISTORY? http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/08/obama-why-his-rich-donors-and-criminal.html http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/08/barack-obama-one-of-greatest-tragedies.html Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted "present" (instead of "yea" or "nay") 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues. * IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public — a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. * Nor did anyone explain why saving the banks was such a priority, when saving the homes the banks were foreclosing didn’t seem to be. * And now the Republicans are chipping away at unemployment insurance, and the president is making his usual impotent verbal exhortations after bargaining it away. * Like most Americans, at this point, I have no idea what Barack Obama — and by extension the party he leads — believes on virtually any issue. * THE real conundrum is why the president seems so compelled to take both sides of every issue, encouraging voters to project whatever they want on him, and hoping they won’t realize which hand is holding the rabbit. * A somewhat less charitable explanation is that we are a nation that is being held hostage not just by an extremist Republican Party but also by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election. August 6, 2011 What Happened to Obama? By DREW WESTEN Drew Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.” Atlanta IT was a blustery day in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009, as it often seems to be on the day of a presidential inauguration. As I stood with my 8-year-old daughter, watching the president deliver his inaugural address, I had a feeling of unease. It wasn’t just that the man who could be so eloquent had seemingly chosen not to be on this auspicious occasion, although that turned out to be a troubling harbinger of things to come. It was that there was a story the American people were waiting to hear — and needed to hear — but he didn’t tell it. And in the ensuing months he continued not to tell it, no matter how outrageous the slings and arrows his opponents threw at him. The stories our leaders tell us matter, probably almost as much as the stories our parents tell us as children, because they orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be; to the worldviews they hold and to the values they hold sacred. Our brains evolved to “expect” stories with a particular structure, with protagonists and villains, a hill to be climbed or a battle to be fought. Our species existed for more than 100,000 years before the earliest signs of literacy, and another 5,000 years would pass before the majority of humans would know how to read and write. Stories were the primary way our ancestors transmitted knowledge and values. Today we seek movies, novels and “news stories” that put the events of the day in a form that our brains evolved to find compelling and memorable. Children crave bedtime stories; the holy books of the three great monotheistic religions are written in parables; and as research in cognitive science has shown, lawyers whose closing arguments tell a story win jury trials against their legal adversaries who just lay out “the facts of the case.” When Barack Obama rose to the lectern on Inauguration Day, the nation was in tatters. Americans were scared and angry. The economy was spinning in reverse. Three-quarters of a million people lost their jobs that month. Many had lost their homes, and with them the only nest eggs they had. Even the usually impervious upper middle class had seen a decade of stagnant or declining investment, with the stock market dropping in value with no end in sight. Hope was as scarce as credit. In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it, and how it was going to end. They needed to hear that he understood what they were feeling, that he would track down those responsible for their pain and suffering, and that he would restore order and safety. What they were waiting for, in broad strokes, was a story something like this: “I know you’re scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. But it didn’t work out. And it didn’t work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. But we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we will draw on their wisdom. We will restore business confidence the old-fashioned way: by putting money back in the pockets of working Americans by putting them back to work, and by restoring integrity to our financial markets and demanding it of those who want to run them. I can’t promise that we won’t make mistakes along the way. But I can promise you that they will be honest mistakes, and that your government has your back again.” A story isn’t a policy. But that simple narrative — and the policies that would naturally have flowed from it — would have inoculated against much of what was to come in the intervening two and a half years of failed government, idled factories and idled hands. That story would have made clear that the president understood that the American people had given Democrats the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress to fix the mess the Republicans and Wall Street had made of the country, and that this would not be a power-sharing arrangement. It would have made clear that the problem wasn’t tax-and-spend liberalism or the deficit — a deficit that didn’t exist until George W. Bush gave nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks largely to the wealthiest Americans and squandered $1 trillion in two wars. And perhaps most important, it would have offered a clear, compelling alternative to the dominant narrative of the right, that our problem is not due to spending on things like the pensions of firefighters, but to the fact that those who can afford to buy influence are rewriting the rules so they can cut themselves progressively larger slices of the American pie while paying less of their fair share for it. But there was no story — and there has been none since. In similar circumstances, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered Americans a promise to use the power of his office to make their lives better and to keep trying until he got it right. Beginning in his first inaugural address, and in the fireside chats that followed, he explained how the crash had happened, and he minced no words about those who had caused it. He promised to do something no president had done before: to use the resources of the United States to put Americans directly to work, building the infrastructure we still rely on today. He swore to keep the people who had caused the crisis out of the halls of power, and he made good on that promise. In a 1936 speech at Madison Square Garden, he thundered, “Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.” When Barack Obama stepped into the Oval Office, he stepped into a cycle of American history, best exemplified by F.D.R. and his distant cousin, Teddy. After a great technological revolution or a major economic transition, as when America changed from a nation of farmers to an urban industrial one, there is often a period of great concentration of wealth, and with it, a concentration of power in the wealthy. That’s what we saw in 1928, and that’s what we see today. At some point that power is exercised so injudiciously, and the lives of so many become so unbearable, that a period of reform ensues — and a charismatic reformer emerges to lead that renewal. In that sense, Teddy Roosevelt started the cycle of reform his cousin picked up 30 years later, as he began efforts to bust the trusts and regulate the railroads, exercise federal power over the banks and the nation’s food supply, and protect America’s land and wildlife, creating the modern environmental movement. Those were the shoes — that was the historic role — that Americans elected Barack Obama to fill. The president is fond of referring to “the arc of history,” paraphrasing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous statement that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation. When Dr. King spoke of the great arc bending toward justice, he did not mean that we should wait for it to bend. He exhorted others to put their full weight behind it, and he gave his life speaking with a voice that cut through the blistering force of water cannons and the gnashing teeth of police dogs. He preached the gospel of nonviolence, but he knew that whether a bully hid behind a club or a poll tax, the only effective response was to face the bully down, and to make the bully show his true and repugnant face in public. IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public — a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. Had the president chosen to bend the arc of history, he would have told the public the story of the destruction wrought by the dismantling of the New Deal regulations that had protected them for more than half a century. He would have offered them a counternarrative of how to fix the problem other than the politics of appeasement, one that emphasized creating economic demand and consumer confidence by putting consumers back to work. He would have had to stare down those who had wrecked the economy, and he would have had to tolerate their hatred if not welcome it. But the arc of his temperament just didn’t bend that far. The truly decisive move that broke the arc of history was his handling of the stimulus. The public was desperate for a leader who would speak with confidence, and they were ready to follow wherever the president led. Yet instead of indicting the economic policies and principles that had just eliminated eight million jobs, in the most damaging of the tic-like gestures of compromise that have become the hallmark of his presidency — and against the advice of multiple Nobel-Prize-winning economists — he backed away from his advisers who proposed a big stimulus, and then diluted it with tax cuts that had already been shown to be inert. The result, as predicted in advance, was a half-stimulus that half-stimulated the economy. That, in turn, led the White House to feel rightly unappreciated for having saved the country from another Great Depression but in the unenviable position of having to argue a counterfactual — that something terrible might have happened had it not half-acted. To the average American, who was still staring into the abyss, the half-stimulus did nothing but prove that Ronald Reagan was right, that government is the problem. In fact, the average American had no idea what Democrats were trying to accomplish by deficit spending because no one bothered to explain it to them with the repetition and evocative imagery that our brains require to make an idea, particularly a paradoxical one, “stick.” Nor did anyone explain what health care reform was supposed to accomplish (other than the unbelievable and even more uninspiring claim that it would “bend the cost curve”), or why “credit card reform” had led to an increase in the interest rates they were already struggling to pay. Nor did anyone explain why saving the banks was such a priority, when saving the homes the banks were foreclosing didn’t seem to be. All Americans knew, and all they know today, is that they’re still unemployed, they’re still worried about how they’re going to pay their bills at the end of the month and their kids still can’t get a job. And now the Republicans are chipping away at unemployment insurance, and the president is making his usual impotent verbal exhortations after bargaining it away. What makes the “deficit debate” we just experienced seem so surreal is how divorced the conversation in Washington has been from conversations around the kitchen table everywhere else in America. Although I am a scientist by training, over the last several years, as a messaging consultant to nonprofit groups and Democratic leaders, I have studied the way voters think and feel, talking to them in plain language. At this point, I have interacted in person or virtually with more than 50,000 Americans on a range of issues, from taxes and deficits to abortion and immigration. The average voter is far more worried about jobs than about the deficit, which few were talking about while Bush and the Republican Congress were running it up. The conventional wisdom is that Americans hate government, and if you ask the question in the abstract, people will certainly give you an earful about what government does wrong. But if you give them the choice between cutting the deficit and putting Americans back to work, it isn’t even close. But it’s not just jobs. Americans don’t share the priorities of either party on taxes, budgets or any of the things Congress and the president have just agreed to slash — or failed to slash, like subsidies to oil companies. When it comes to tax cuts for the wealthy, Americans are united across the political spectrum, supporting a message that says, “In times like these, millionaires ought to be giving to charity, not getting it.” When pitted against a tough budget-cutting message straight from the mouth of its strongest advocates, swing voters vastly preferred a message that began, “The best way to reduce the deficit is to put Americans back to work.” This statement is far more consistent with what many economists are saying publicly — and what investors apparently believe, as evident in the nosedive the stock market took after the president and Congress “saved” the economy. So where does that leave us? Like most Americans, at this point, I have no idea what Barack Obama — and by extension the party he leads — believes on virtually any issue. The president tells us he prefers a “balanced” approach to deficit reduction, one that weds “revenue enhancements” (a weak way of describing popular taxes on the rich and big corporations that are evading them) with “entitlement cuts” (an equally poor choice of words that implies that people who’ve worked their whole lives are looking for handouts). But the law he just signed includes only the cuts. This pattern of presenting inconsistent positions with no apparent recognition of their incoherence is another hallmark of this president’s storytelling. He announces in a speech on energy and climate change that we need to expand offshore oil drilling and coal production — two methods of obtaining fuels that contribute to the extreme weather Americans are now seeing. He supports a health care law that will use Medicaid to insure about 15 million more Americans and then endorses a budget plan that, through cuts to state budgets, will most likely decimate Medicaid and other essential programs for children, senior citizens and people who are vulnerable by virtue of disabilities or an economy that is getting weaker by the day. He gives a major speech on immigration reform after deporting a million immigrants in two years, breaking up families at a pace George W. Bush could never rival in all his years as president. THE real conundrum is why the president seems so compelled to take both sides of every issue, encouraging voters to project whatever they want on him, and hoping they won’t realize which hand is holding the rabbit. That a large section of the country views him as a socialist while many in his own party are concluding that he does not share their values speaks volumes — but not the volumes his advisers are selling: that if you make both the right and left mad, you must be doing something right. As a practicing psychologist with more than 25 years of experience, I will resist the temptation to diagnose at a distance, but as a scientist and strategic consultant I will venture some hypotheses. The most charitable explanation is that he and his advisers have succumbed to a view of electoral success to which many Democrats succumb — that “centrist” voters like “centrist” politicians. Unfortunately, reality is more complicated. Centrist voters prefer honest politicians who help them solve their problems. A second possibility is that he is simply not up to the task by virtue of his lack of experience and a character defect that might not have been so debilitating at some other time in history. Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted "present" (instead of "yea" or "nay") 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues. A somewhat less charitable explanation is that we are a nation that is being held hostage not just by an extremist Republican Party but also by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election. Perhaps those of us who were so enthralled with the magnificent story he told in “Dreams From My Father” appended a chapter at the end that wasn’t there — the chapter in which he resolves his identity and comes to know who he is and what he believes in. Or perhaps, like so many politicians who come to Washington, he has already been consciously or unconsciously corrupted by a system that tests the souls even of people of tremendous integrity, by forcing them to dial for dollars — in the case of the modern presidency, for hundreds of millions of dollars. When he wants to be, the president is a brilliant and moving speaker, but his stories virtually always lack one element: the villain who caused the problem, who is always left out, described in impersonal terms, or described in passive voice, as if the cause of others’ misery has no agency and hence no culpability. Whether that reflects his aversion to conflict, an aversion to conflict with potential campaign donors that today cripples both parties’ ability to govern and threatens our democracy, or both, is unclear. A final explanation is that he ran for president on two contradictory platforms: as a reformer who would clean up the system, and as a unity candidate who would transcend the lines of red and blue. He has pursued the one with which he is most comfortable given the constraints of his character, consistently choosing the message of bipartisanship over the message of confrontation. But the arc of history does not bend toward justice through capitulation cast as compromise. It does not bend when 400 people control more of the wealth than 150 million of their fellow Americans. It does not bend when the average middle-class family has seen its income stagnate over the last 30 years while the richest 1 percent has seen its income rise astronomically. It does not bend when we cut the fixed incomes of our parents and grandparents so hedge fund managers can keep their 15 percent tax rates. It does not bend when only one side in negotiations between workers and their bosses is allowed representation. And it does not bend when, as political scientists have shown, it is not public opinion but the opinions of the wealthy that predict the votes of the Senate. The arc of history can bend only so far before it breaks. * Drew Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.” VISUALIZE IMPEACHMENT, OR A SECOND REVOLUTION? * WHAT’S WRONG WITH OBAMA? What's wrong with Obama? The President's quest for re-election leaves progressives bitterly disillusioned By Steve Breyman Published 12:00 a.m., Sunday, August 7, 2011 Progressives are scratching their heads over the seemingly inexplicable political behavior of President Barack Obama. Supporters are flabbergasted by the President's playbook. Why does he roll over so easily? How come he let Wall Street off the hook? Why does he leave Main Street to suffer? Answer: To do otherwise might -- he thinks -- endanger his political future. Re-election is the usual top priority of national politicians. The President's politics and policies are carefully calculated to appeal to middle-of-the-roaders and swing voters. The substance of an Obama policy is much less important than the political signals it sends, the flanks it covers and the powerful constituencies it serves. Let's look at some particulars. Foreign policy: Obama's opposition to the war in Iraq? A position consonant with public opinion, and with the activist base of his party. Support for the war in Afghanistan? Brilliant flank covering. Obama took away the Republicans' electoral advantage on national security by promising to wage the war more fiercely than George Bush, escalating drone strikes in Pakistan and intensifying covert interventions in Yemen and Somalia. The aim is to actively wage the War on Terror and reduce the threat to "the homeland" so as to prevent tragedy on his watch. Even if something bad happens between now and November 2012, this is the President who killed Osama bin Laden. Libya? Not a single American death, a few billions down the drain, a Libyan opposition in his debt, a Republican opposition unwilling to really challenge him, a novel interpretation of the War Powers Act. What's not to like from the re-election perspective? Keep your eyes on the prize. Israel/Palestine? Netanyahu has been a thorn is Obama's side but worry not. Beyond the issue of illegal settlements, Obama's loyalty to the Israeli right wing appears boundless. Why? Zionist campaign contributions. Push the corporate domination schemes also known as "free trade agreements?" Check. Unprecedented persecution of whistle-blowers ("worse than Nixon" thinks John Dean)? Check. More money for the nuclear weapons complex? A small price to pay for New START. Another giant defense budget? No problem, we'll cut it in the second term. Domestic policy: The debt ceiling "deal"? Does anyone to the left of Michele Bachmann believe it's in the interest of working families? Got civil liberties? Who cares? Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare on the chopping block? If slashing benefits for granny will confer political advantage, then so be it. Warehousing millions in jails and prisons? Beats having to find jobs for them. Immigration reform? Can't do it without the Republicans. Sustainable agriculture? Don't be a "professional leftist;" only GMOs, plus a lot of oil, crop subsidies, and petrochemicals can feed the world. Nuclear energy? Fukushima can't happen here. Clean coal? It's not an oxymoron, it's the key to votes in West Virginia. Fracking? Natural gas is the "bridge" to a green energy future. Offshore oil drilling? BP's Gulf geyser was a tough couple of months. But we innovated a new regulatory agency, and can now move forward. Health care reform? The greatest accomplishment of the administration. Medicare for all is simply not the American way, and pharmaceutical and insurance companies were OK with it. Avoidance of initiatives that look like "black politics"? Check. Lousy mortgage adjustment program? At least the big banks were saved. Bush tax cuts? We extended those. A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that Republicans hate? Appoint a "Jeopardy" champion to run it. High unemployment? Jobs programs are so 1930s. The politics of re-election: Obama might lack Bill Clinton's folksiness; he does not lack his political instincts. Triangulation places Obama in the New Center, and much further to the political right than a generation ago. Centrism enables Obama to vacuum up campaign cash at record pace. Again, politicians will generally do what they think it takes to get re-elected; Obama is no different. This President believes you hit the political sweet spot by ignoring your base. And he knows that you don't succeed in national politics by biting the hands that feed you. What would it take for Obama to change? A massive sustained mobilization of angry citizens demanding radical change? Maybe. In the meantime? Campaign cash. Lots of it. Steve Breyman teaches at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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