Thursday, December 22, 2011


“If Democrats take control of the House," I wrote, "that barrier will vanish like mist, and the Democrats will have a flood of uneducated, largely ignorant new low-class workers to turn into good little Democrat voters, all demanding a piece of the government pie."Six months later, here comes the amnesty.” JOE MARIANI - 2007


Even if the aforementioned can not achieve AMNESTY and OPEN BORDERS, the LA RAZA DEMS will keep their promise to the millions of illegals of NON-ENFORCEMENT!


May 19, 2007
The Betrayal of America
Joe Mariani

Just before the 2006 election, I predicted (among other things) that without the slim Republican majority in the House of Representatives, amnesty for illegal immigrants would soon become a reality. "If Democrats take control of the House," I wrote, "that barrier will vanish like mist, and the Democrats will have a flood of uneducated, largely ignorant new low-class workers to turn into good little Democrat voters, all demanding a piece of the government pie."Six months later, here comes the amnesty. Although the remaining Republicans managed to write increased border security measures into the bill, no one is naive enough to think they won't be simply ignored, just as they were in 1986. The "one-time" amnesty Ronald Reagan signed was also supposed to result in tighter border controls... which the Democrat-controlled Congress simply "forgot" to fund. So twenty-one years later, here we are again: facing another "one-time" amnesty, with promises of more border security we know will not be honored. This compromise will cut the 850-mile border fence the President signed into law just before the 2006 elections -- of which only two miles have yet been built -- to 370 or so miles. Anyone care to place bets on how much of even that shortened fence will ever exist in reality? With the Iranian terrorist group Hizballah building a massive base in South America from which to attack the US, how can we afford not to build that fence?The main point of the bill (much of which has not yet even been written) is to grant every single illegal alien currently in America a visa, allowing them to stay despite the fact that they broke the law to get here and violate numerous laws every day that they remain. I wonder when Congress will do the same for other categories of criminal. For instance, will car thieves be granted a "path to ownership" which allows them to keep their unlawfully-obtained vehicles? If so, I'm going to feel awfully stupid for saving up money to put down on a new car... the same way millions of people who are patiently waiting for permission to emigrate to the United States must feel as though they just received a boot to the face for respecting our laws. If lawbreakers are allowed to keep what they obtained by criminal means, then no matter what you may call it, it's an amnesty. Period.But we have to "bring millions of people out of the shadows," we are told by people such as Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). What shadows? Remember those huge illegal immigration rallies last year, in which hundreds of thousands of criminals -- along with their supporters and enablers -- marched through the streets of major US cities protesting the audacity of people who thought we should enforce our own laws? The only "shadows" I saw were cast by all the Mexican flags and "This is OUR continent, not YOURS" signs. There were other signs as well, but many of them were in Spanish, so I couldn't read them.This amnesty proposal will result in a huge influx of uneducated and unskilled immigrants over the next decade, too fast for our culture to absorb them. Food and services will increase in price, as the artificially-depressed wages paid under the table to those who had no choice but to accept them will have to rise. It will also bring in millions of new illegal immigrants, expecting yet another "one-time" amnesty a few years down the road. Many of these people will demand free medical care, welfare, and other government services. And which party will promise them all the freebies they could want? By agreeing to this compromise, the Republicans will doom their own party and marginalise Conservatives for years, ensuring a one-party Socialist state for at least a generation. The only slim chance to stop this abomination of a bill is for every person who cares about America's future to write, call, email and send smoke signals to our Senators and our Representatives, demanding that they vote against this amnesty proposal. Let them know that you will not support or vote for any politician who betrays America in this way. It's the only power we have, and if we don't use it... we will lose it.

Soooooo, How Did These Illegals Get In Our Country and Jobs in the First Place???


Colorado Gives Illegal Immigrants Unemployment Benefits


Colorado pays illegal immigrants unemployment insurance because a director at the state agency that cuts the checks eliminated a key tool designed to prevent payments from going to unqualified residents.

As a result the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) regularly makes unemployment insurance payments to illegal aliens and other citizens who don’t qualify for the taxpayer-funded benefit. The story was made public after an investigative news organization obtained internal electronic mail showing that a high-ranking official ordered the agency to stop using a software control implemented to screen applicants’ immigration status.

The CDLE’s unemployment director (Mike Cullen) actually issued an official work order in early 2009 to shut the system down. The order, which was given “top priority,” forced the agency’s information technology department to reset the software so that it stopped questioning the immigration status of applicants.

Since the change was implemented, any residency or citizenship related questions routinely asked of those filing for unemployment benefits have been ignored by the computer system. The move violates a 2006 state law that mandates that certain government benefits—including unemployment insurance—be denied to illegal immigrants.

A few days after the story hit the internet, the head of the CDLE said that state lawmakers were actually notified earlier this year that the department shut down the immigration screening tool because it was causing a backlog. With a record number of unemployment claims, the screening tool was “holding everything up,” according to the agency’s director.

It appears that many at the agency knew they were violating state law. In fact, some CDLE employees questioned the legality of suspending the program in emails obtained by the reporter who broke the story. One flat out asked “is this legal?” Another admitted that not screening for immigration status would “disable” the state law that specifically requires it. Several lawmakers have demanded an investigation.



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

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



“The memo encourages ICE officers and lawyers to use their authority to dismiss those cases, canceling the deportation proceedings, if they determine that the immigrants have no criminal records and stand a strong chance of having their residence applications approved.”


August 26, 2010

Immigration Agency Ends Some Deportations


Immigration enforcement officials have started to cancel the deportations of thousands of immigrants they have detained, a policy they said would pare huge case backlogs in the immigration courts.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said the new approach was part of a broad shift in priorities at the agency, to focus its efforts on catching and deporting immigrants who have been convicted of crimes or pose a national security threat. The policy — announced in an Aug. 20 memorandum from John Morton, the head of the agency — drew praise from immigrant advocates, who called it a common-sense strategy, and was denounced by several Republicans as evidence that the Obama administration was weakening enforcement and making it easier for illegal immigrants to remain in the country.

The change in emphasis at the immigration agency, which represents a significant break with longstanding practices, has awakened resistance among agents and detention officers on the ground, according to officials of the agency, which is known as ICE, and of the union representing those employees.

Mr. Morton’s memorandum refers to a particular group of illegal immigrants: those who have been detained in ICE operations because they did not have legal status, but who have active applications in the system to become legal residents. The memo encourages ICE officers and lawyers to use their authority to dismiss those cases, canceling the deportation proceedings, if they determine that the immigrants have no criminal records and stand a strong chance of having their residence applications approved.

Book review - Immigration's Unarmed Invasion: Deadly Consequences

Book Review by Donald A. Collins

August 17, 2004

Published on The Washington Dispatch.

Amid this Presidential campaign, perhaps the most critical in our nation’s history, issues are flying like falling leaves in an October wind, piling up against each other so as to make them almost indistinguishable, one from another. The issues that often make the most ink are likely to be the least important. As a veteran observer, it strikes me that never has our government been so out of the control of the electorate with our country seemingly spiraling into anarchy. Our democracy is in crisis and no one seems to be looking at root causes.

It must seem that way to the ACLU too, since it paid for a full page ad in the August 7, 2004 The Economist which offered the following headline: “How can we fight to uphold the Rule of Law if we break the rules ourselves?”

Daily some 2000 illegal immigrants are apprehended in a 260 mile stretch of the Arizona border near Tucson. Between 1970 and 2000 over 50 million immigrants, most with little education or assets have come here, most of them illegally. While polls show the immigration reform issue is important to over 80% of Americans, neither major party has promised satisfactory consideration.

Fortunately, a new book just published outlines the issues at stake in stark, no nonsense terms which can be readily understood. Its author, Frosty Wooldridge, a teacher, lecturer, and an author who frequently contributes his views on this issue to multi media audiences, has bicycled 100,000 miles around the globe to see the dire effects of overpopulation. This book comes from his vast and varied first hand contacts with the immigration reform issue and he leaves no aspect of this perplexing, frightening subject untreated.

IMMIGRATION'S UNARMED INVASION: DEADLY CONSEQUENCES explains each aspect from the view of how it affects us Americans and why we must speedily regain control by enforcing our laws or see the rapid decline of our nation into second rate status.

What is so unique and important about this book? Short answer: Its urgent perspective, a root paradigm, in recent years buried by other far less relevant concerns, the global impact of overpopulation, both here and everywhere. The average age of the world’s population is under 25 and in Middle Eastern nations and much of Asia, it is under 20. The failure to meet women’s needs in the 20th Century when half of all births were unintended moved world population from just over 1 billion at its beginning to 6 billion people at its conclusion, leaving poverty, terrorism, and environmental devastation in its wake. The prospect of adding several billions more this century is virtually assured unless new, urgent attention gets focused by all humanity on these unbalanced numbers, largely untutored, uneducated, and subject to recruitment by terrorists.

Wooldridge, with the most electrifying clarity yet brought to this burgeoning population calamity, the mother of mass immigration here and elsewhere, totally exposes this devastating problem in all its complexities, as he focuses on all its dire consequences for the USA, which all start with our ignoring a cherished American first principle: Our government is failing to live up to the basic Rule of Law set forth in Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution: "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence."

This book details clearly why our present government at all levels is failing miserably to meet our Rule of Law in allowing unchecked levels of high immigration both legal and illegal.

From the Wooldridge Introduction, “This book exposes Americans to the accelerating consequences of mass legal and unrestricted illegal immigration into the United States. It examines individual communities and lives across this nation that have been undermined by the 1965 Immigration Reform Act.

Pre-publication reviews by many knowledgeable immigration reform observers highlight salient Wooldridge arguments. Here are only two of many examples: “Wooldridge and others who speak through the pages of this book set the record straight on why immigration impoverishes America. We sell our nation's future down the river--socially, culturally, fiscally, environmentally--for no better reason than to provide business with a flood of cheap, taxpayer-subsidized immigrant labor. This nation's poor and minorities are hurt the most in the process. I urge all Americans to heed this book's warning." Corine Flores, Immigration-reform advocate, Santa Fe, New Mexico

"When I was born 50 years ago, there were 140 million Americans. Today, we approach 300 million. In my daughter's lifetime, we could reach a "China-like" billion Americans! Read this book as if your children's futures depend on what you will learn. Their futures do depend on exactly that!" Kathleene Parker, Los Alamos, New Mexico, Writer, publisher and immigration-reformer

These two Westerners know that “the wide open spaces” of their region and others in the US similarly perceived are not arable and that endless growth, as pushed by the globalized major corporate interests who presently have bought control of our government, is an obvious myth.

“Oh, but aren’t we the richest and most powerful nation on Earth?”, say the gated community affluents. Aren’t we rich enough to do what we want, take in all who want to come, keep spending on our vast military establishment at the expense of our education system, environmental standards, and our other pressing domestic priorities?

The short answer is “No”. A perfect example of what can happen to the very richest oil producer, Saudis Arabia, whose population growth (2.5 times ours!) has cut its free gift income to each Saudi citizen from $28,000 per year in 1981 to $7000 a year now, despite record high oil prices in both years. Its 19 million population has an average age of under 18 and represents a ticking time bomb of discontent in the near future.

After one of my several trips around the world, I have talked to people who “wouldn’t want to go to..... (poor places)”. Don’t worry, folks, these “places” have and will continue to come here.

And what about our own current huge deficit government spending binge? Whoever wins in November will be operating with a deficit of historic proportions at a time of economic malaise.

In my 20 plus years of studying this dual disconnect by our government and too many American voters, no one has better articulated our failure of observe our vaunted Rule of Law in the case of immigration reform or our continuing failure to fully fund an expansion of international family planning, a low cost method of helping the entire world fare better. Let these two excerpts from this landmark call to arms prompt your purchase of this “must read” book:

“Many warnings abound from the brightest minds in the world:"Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future. If we are to halt the destruction of our environment, we must accept limits to that growth." --World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, signed by 1600 senior scientists from 70 countries, including 102 Nobel Prize laureates, November 18, 1992

“This book is not about race, creed or color. Americans of all races suffer this onslaught. It will become worse for all of us. As one man from India wrote me, "You Americans live an artificially high standard of living…it’s about time you come down to the rest of the world’s poverty." He wasn’t kidding. One look at California demonstrates his statement. From extensive world travels, this author appreciates that every human being on this planet paddles his or her boat the best he or she can. Every religious faith is doing the best it can. However, overpopulation does not care about such things. It weds misery and suffering for every person within its clutches. Overpopulation is relentless once humans are caught in its grip. It stems from ‘exponential growth.’ It’s the reason you see no one fleeing to Bangladesh, China or India. In these pages, the International Human Suffering Index will be discussed as well as its escalating numbers. This book addresses carrying capacity and sustainability. It addresses a viable United States versus a country that is headed, like a steaming, brakeless locomotive, toward the edge of the Grand Canyon.”Nobody ever said it better.

Most books can state the case, but few really offer cogent, realistic politically possible solutions. However, in his powerful ending section Wooldridge eloquently offers ways on “how to save America”, ideas which embrace the practical time honored principles shared by such greats as Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King. At bottom, however, the initiative must come from an informed, politically active electorate. As Franklin told us at a time when the republic was formed, it will remain so only if we actively participate. We must follow the lead of the late Barbara Jordan, who counseled us to “Speak up”, making our opposition to the nasty trend to lesser nation status unacceptable. Start by getting acquainted with the majority of Americans of all races, political persuasions, and economic status who support immigration reform by signing in to web sites on reform and getting active in your own area. As Wooldridge makes clear, your country’s future depends on your taking action now.

When Representatives of Congress Don't Represent Americans

By Frosty Wooldridge

April 1, 2004

Published on The Washington Dispatch.

Last week, Project USA, an immigration reduction group paid for billboards in Utah that asked the House of Representatives Chris Cannon R-Utah, a huge question all over Salt Lake City.

“Congressman Chris Cannon wants amnesty for illegal aliens. Do you?”

Latest Zoby and Roper Polls show that 80% of Americans want illegal immigration stopped. What is it that the Congress can’t see or read in those figures?

It’s important to understand that Chris Cannon in the House and his counterpart Orin Hatch in the Senate have done nothing to stop illegal immigration before 9/11 or since. In their native Utah, over 65,000 illegal aliens have disrupted school systems, bankrupted medical services and put a lot of Utahans out of work or depressed their wages. Utah suffers the most underfunded education system in the country. It’s paving 16,000 acres of farmland annually. It does not have enough water.

In a wild reply, Cannon called the billboard creators every name in the book. They were “racists and anti life.” He must not have read the sign, which clearly stated the word, ‘ILLEGAL’. He was so distraught he asked people to call his personal cell phone at: 801 362 8300. Since this writer lives in Colorado where we have over 150,000 illegal aliens costing us thousands of lost jobs for Coloradans as well as over $140 million annually for educating illegal alien children K-12, I gave Cannon a call.

To his credit, he listened when I asked how come we have 13 million illegal aliens in this country? What about ‘carrying capacity’ being overwhelmed by importing the Third World into our country and creating an added 200 million people? What about species extinction? What about standard of living and quality of life being denigrated as hordes of illegals crossed over our borders? What about the 16,000 cases of MDR tuberculosis and 7,000 new cases of leprosy brought into the USA in the past four years by illegals that avoided health screenings at our borders? What about stolen jobs and lost wages? What about the lack of water when Colorado adds five million and California adds 20 million via immigration? Mr. Cannon, what about the rule-of-law illegals break?

This writer was not prepared for the astounding if not amazing lack of comprehension of Cannon’s answers. I can say unequivocally that Representative Chris Cannon of Utah lacks the basic common sense and mental acuity of a bucket of water. He said that America could add millions of people, which will create even more wealth. He felt the Mexican illegal immigrants were providing greater opportunities for all Americans. He noted they had added $30 billion to US coffers from their work last year. I responded they cost US taxpayers $90 billion in our taxes to pay for their use of our schools, ESL and medical services. I noted that 1/3 to ½ of them work under the table. He didn’t hear me.

He went on to say that Africa was underpopulated. They needed more population. He further said that, “Look at France. They are underpopulated. They are being taken over by Muslims because France has a stable population, but immigration will make them a Muslim state in 50 years.”

I asked him what the French thought of their country speaking Arabic and becoming a Muslim state? Did that mean France would no longer be French? That France would be the new Iraq? He didn’t have an answer.

He felt that God would take care of America no matter what our population. I asked him what was the point of adding a billion or two billion people to America? Hadn’t the 129 million people in Bangladesh with a landmass the size of Utah proven that overpopulation makes everyone miserable? Was God taking care of Bangladesh where over 50% of the children die before age five? That question zoomed right over his head. As I

listened to this man for 15 minutes, I got the distinct realization that Chris Cannon was out of touch with what is happening to Americans. He either does not understand this crisis or he is blind to its implications. He and Senator Orin Hatch are doing everything they can do to encourage illegal aliens to come into this country and remain here. In other words, both elected officials are working for people from foreign countries. They are not representing American citizens much less Utahans.

They are not carrying out their sworn duty to uphold the US Constitution. They are breaking INS Law: “A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he assists an illegal alien she/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or encourages that illegal alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions. Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii).”

Yet Hatch and Cannon both support the Dream Act that gives illegal aliens instate tuition to taxpayer funded schools. They support illegal aliens obtaining driver’s licenses. Does anyone remember the 9/11 terrorists who enjoyed driver’s licenses? Cannon and Hatch support K-12 education for illegal alien kids. Further, they have done nothing to stop illegal immigration at the borders nor have they supported the Border Patrol.

Cannon and Hatch support people from other countries breaking into our country against our laws. Yet, they swore on the Bible to “Uphold the Constitution of the United States.”

After hanging up the phone, I had talked to a US Congressman who was serving Mexico more than America. When I think of the 3,000 people who died at the WTC on 9/11, I now realize why it happened. When I see the outsourcing, offshoring, wage depression, language chaos in our schools, accelerating drugs coming across our borders and the outright fraud enveloping our country, it all comes clear. One look at California shows you the bow of the United States of Titanic.

Is it any wonder that Hormel in Austin, MN has hired thousands of illegal aliens? What about Tyson Chicken in Iowa? How about paving firms, construction and fast foods that hire millions of illegals? What about Wal-Mart? How about the Dream Act pushed by Hatch, Udall and Degette of Colorado and Cannon of Utah? What about Mexican ID cards? Whose country is this anyway?

Our own elected representatives in the Congress are more interested in power and money for corporations—than American citizens. They are more interested in turning America into another Third World nation. In the meantime, you and I must contend with our country not being represented by our elected officials. I suggest Chris Cannon resign his office and run for the cabinet of Vicente Fox. Cannon can learn Spanish and have his kids running around neighborhoods with ample drugs, loud music and five cars parked in every yard. He can enjoy cockfights and horse tripping on Sundays, instead of the NFL. If his kids catch tuberculosis, I’m sure he’ll get plenty of medical aid from Mexico’s excellent hospitals. His kids will receive outstanding education from Mexico’s excellent schools. Yes, since you aren’t representing Americans Mr. Chris Cannon, I invite you to move to Mexico where you’ll be of more help to President Fox. Maybe they will raise a new billboard, “THANK YOU GRINGO CHRIS CANNON FOR MAKING MEXICO ALL IT CAN BE BY SENDING OUR POOR, UNEDUCATED MASSES TO AMERICA SO THEY CAN STEAL AMERICAN JOBS AND SEND BACK $15 BILLION ANNUALLY TO FILL MEXICAN COFFERS.”


US child homelessness soars







U.S. authorities bust Mexico drug network in Arizona

Reuters – Tue, Dec 20, 2011


TEMPE, Ariz (Reuters) - U.S. authorities have arrested 203 people and smashed a Mexican trafficking ring that funneled millions of dollars in drugs to Arizona for the powerful Sinaloa cartel, officials said on Tuesday.

The multi-agency bust, led by Tempe police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, dismantled a cell running heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana to Arizona for the Sinaloa Cartel, headed by Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.

"Operation Crank Call" began when a Tempe police officer arrested two men in a street-level drug deal last year. One of the suspects was later identified as a delivery driver for the Mexican smuggling ring.

It subsequently led to 203 arrests, the seizure of more than 1,200 pounds of narcotics, $7.8 million in drug cash and 44 guns across the Phoenix valley area over a 15-month period, police said.

"Operation Crank Call deals another significant blow to the drug trafficking organizations that continue to try and make the Phoenix metropolitan area a primary hub of drug distribution," said Doug Coleman, the DEA's acting special agent in charge.

"By dismantling this group, DEA and our partners have taken large quantities of drugs, millions of dollars in drug trafficker assets, and powerful weapons off our streets," he added.

The Sinaloa cartel is fighting rival traffickers in Mexico, where surging drug-related violence has killed more than 44,000 people since President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006 and sent the military to crush the powerful smugglers.

The cartel funnels narcotics through the Mexico border state, sneaking loads through the ports of entry, through clandestine tunnels and over the porous border and through the desert.

Police said those arrested included U.S. and Mexican citizens. Charges brought in the case ranged from simple possession and drug paraphernalia offenses to trafficking charges.

Coleman said the investigation was ongoing and expected further arrests.

(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Jerry Norton)

@yahoonews on Twitter




 Romney says he would deport Obama's uncle

By KASIE HUNT | AP – 10 hrs ago

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks

ASHLAND, N.H. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says he would deport President Barack Obama's uncle, who police say was arrested in August for drunk driving near Boston and is an illegal immigrant.

In an interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr on Wednesday, Romney said "yes" when asked if Onyango Obama should be deported. Romney at first did not recognize the name, but said the nation's immigration laws should be enforced.

Onyango Obama is the 67-year-old half-brother of the president's late father. His case is pending in Framingham, Mass., District Court. He was initially held without bail on a detainer from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on allegations he violated an order to return Kenya issued 20 years ago but has since been released.




OBAMA’S AMERICA: Open & Undefended Borders!

“What we're seeing is our Congress and national leadership dismantling our laws by not enforcing them. Lawlessness becomes the norm, just like Third World corruption. Illegal aliens now have more rights and privileges than Americans. If you are an illegal alien, you can drive a car without a driver's license or insurance. You may obtain medical care without paying. You may work without paying taxes. Your children enjoy free education at the expense of taxpaying Americans.”


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


Friends of ALIPAC,

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

“While the declining job market in the United States may be discouraging some would-be border crossers, a flow of illegal aliens continues unabated, with many entering the United States as drug-smuggling “mules.”


As the liberal news media, far-left Democrats, and labor unions push for the “Hispanicazation” of U.S. culture, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the U.S. border has never been more secure.



In Mexico City, she announced that the U.S. appetite for illegal drugs and the easy acquisition of guns from the United States by Mexicans are the root causes of the Mexican crime wave. “Blame America” has become the global agenda of the Democratic Party.



Obama's 'Hispanicazation' of America

Monday, January 10, 2011 08:28 AM

By: James Walsh

Casting a shadow on economic recovery efforts in the United States is the cost of illegal immigration that consumes U.S. taxpayer dollars for education, healthcare, social welfare benefits, and criminal justice. Illegal aliens (or more politically correct, “undocumented immigrants”) with ties to Mexican drug cartels are contributing to death and destruction on U.S. lands along the southern border.

While the declining job market in the United States may be discouraging some would-be border crossers, a flow of illegal aliens continues unabated, with many entering the United States as drug-smuggling “mules.”

Increasingly vicious foot soldiers of the Mexican drug cartels are taking control of U.S. lands along the border, especially since U.S. Border Patrol units have been reassigned, some to offices 60 to 80 miles inland.

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) early last year posted signs warning citizens to avoid Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, Ariz., because of criminal activity in the area, an area that includes protected natural areas precious to the nation.

In reaction to public outrage over the signs, the BLM removed the offensive wording in October 2010, replacing it with the following: Visitor Information Update—Active Federal Law Enforcement Patrol Area.

As the liberal news media, far-left Democrats, and labor unions push for the “Hispanicazation” of U.S. culture, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the U.S. border has never been more secure.

Perhaps she is basing this on the reduced number of apprehensions, which result, of course, from reassigning Border Patrol agents inland.

In a recent New York Times article, Nicholas Kristof criticized U.S. citizens for not speaking a foreign language and suggested that “Every child in the United States should learn Spanish.” He concluded that as the United States increasingly integrates economically with Latin America, Spanish will be crucial for the United States.

For decades, the liberal left has argued that Latin America is essential for U.S. business and trade. Kristof states that Latin America “is finally getting its act together” but fails to mention the Obama administration’s $2 billion loan of U.S. taxpayer money in 2009 to Brazil’s Petrobras oil company for deep off-shore oil drilling. Obama confidant George Soros, through the Soros Fund Management LLC, until recently owned millions of dollars of Petrobras stock.

Kristof suggests that one day Spanish-speaking Americans will be part of daily life in the United States and that workmen such as mechanics will be able to communicate easily with Spanish-speaking customers.

He fails to explain why these customers will not be speaking English. After all, the ability to speak, read, and write English remains a requirement for U.S. citizenship.

President Barack Obama gives lip service to increasing border control resources with limited funding and personnel. Many officials, including the governors of Texas and Arizona, are skeptical regarding the Obama administration’s resolve. They resent that the United States is being blamed for the killing fields on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. Border.

For instance, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in March 2009, during her first official visit to Mexico, placed the blame for the Mexican drug cartels’ vicious murders on the United States.

In Mexico City, she announced that the U.S. appetite for illegal drugs and the easy acquisition of guns from the United States by Mexicans are the root causes of the Mexican crime wave. “Blame America” has become the global agenda of the Democratic Party.

The Obama administration’s plan to resolve the immigration chaos is to offer amnesty to all comers. President Obama re-affirms his support of a “pathway to citizenship” (amnesty) for illegal aliens in 2011.

The administration, however, has announced no plans to control the influx of future waves of illegal aliens or their skyrocketing costs to the nation. The administration, which condones U.S. sanctuary cities and states, has no plans to file charges against them for violations of federal immigration law. Nor does the administration seem concerned about the environmental impact that illegal aliens have on the ecology of the United States.

Many national forests, parks, monuments, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges — once the pride of the nation — are serving today as marijuana fields for illegal alien gangs.

Former Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reportedly said to a gathering of illegal aliens in California in 2009 that U.S. immigration laws were “un-American,” suggesting that they need not be obeyed. Concerned citizens can only trust that the new speaker of the House, John Boehner, as part of congressional oversight of federal agencies, will demand enforcement of existing immigration laws.

When will President Obama recognize that illegal immigration is slowing economic recovery? Can he resolve the chaos while still appeasing his Hispanic base?

To maintain his populist aura, the president is in the habit of saying one thing to one audience and the opposite to another.

One Obama apologist explained, “Campaign rhetoric is one thing,” suggesting that governing is another. The deliberate Hispanicazation of the United States to secure a block of votes is quite another.

Immigration Invasion - View From A Border Patrol Officer
What we're seeing is our Congress and national leadership dismantling our laws by not enforcing them. Lawlessness becomes the norm, just like Third World corruption. Illegal aliens now have more rights and privileges than Americans. If you are an illegal alien, you can drive a car without a driver's license or insurance. You may obtain medical care without paying. You may work without paying taxes. Your children enjoy free education at the expense of taxpaying Americans.

Article by Frosty Wooldridge

May 25, 2004

Published on The Washington Dispatch.
After 30 years in the Border Patrol as a special agent and highly decorated veteran, John W. Slagle wrote an expose' ripping the pants off Tom Ridge's Homeland Security charade. Slagle exposes Congress' complete assistance of illegal immigration. Finally, he uncovers President Bush's unending support for this massive invasion that will, in the end, prove more catastrophic to this nation than dozens of 9/11's.

US hunger, homelessness soar amid cuts in social spending

US hunger, homelessness soar amid cuts in social spending



OBAMANOMICS AND STILL THE RICH WANT MORE! The lamentations of the rich

The lamentations of the rich



"That age is long past. The wealth of today’s super-rich is bound up with the destruction, not the development, of the productive forces. The riches of these few depend on the impoverishment of hundreds of millions."


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).

The lamentations of the rich

22 December 2011

Recent months have seen the eruption of popular anger throughout the United States at the staggering levels of social inequality, with the Occupy Wall Street protests gathering broad popular sympathy and support.

This development, unforeseen and unscripted by the media, has left Wall Street’s “masters of the universe” wallowing not only in money, but also in self-pity. What have they done, complain these tender-hearted architects of hedge funds, collateralized debt obligations and countless other forms of financial swindling, to merit such popular disdain? The Financial Times web site reported in an article posted Wednesday that the rich are “indignant,” resentful of the “class war” rhetoric that is being heard in public protests.

The protesters, they argue, have been misled into believing that higher taxes and the imposition of limits on the accumulation of personal wealth would have any significant impact on the national debt. The attention being given to their multi-million- and even billion-dollar annual winnings, the indignant rich maintain, is without the slightest economic justification.

According to Steven Schwarzman (CEO of private equity/corporate raider firm Blackstone Group), whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $4.7 billion, “Just raising taxes on the wealthiest two percent, for example, will not reduce a $1.3 billion annual deficit enough to restore fiscal balance.”

Given the billions that he has raked in on Wall Street, Mr. Schwarzman seems strangely deficient in arithmetic. Prior to the Wall Street crash of 2008, the richest one percent of the population owned approximately $19 trillion in US financial assets. A moderate surcharge of, let’s say, 30 percent would have a rather significant impact on not only US deficits, but global deficits as well.

More radical—and, given the circumstances, fully justified—measures, such as the confiscation of the personal wealth of the richest 0.1 percent of Americans, would release immense resources to deal not only with deficits, but with the massive social crisis in the United States and throughout the world.

The obscene level of wealth concentration in the United States is the malignant expression of the protracted decay of American capitalism. The super-rich investment bankers, Wall Street traders, and hedge fund operators are nothing more than the personification of the rampant economic parasitism that arose out of this decay. The essence of this parasitism is the ever-greater separation of personal wealth accumulation from the process of production and the creation of real value.

In the era of the explosive development of American capitalism, which began in the aftermath of the Civil War, the great fortunes accumulated by the “robber barons” were associated with a massive growth in the industrial and social infrastructure of the United States. Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan and others were rapacious and ruthless; but they could at least claim that there was some progressive social purpose connected to their pursuit of private wealth.

That age is long past. The wealth of today’s super-rich is bound up with the destruction, not the development, of the productive forces. The riches of these few depend on the impoverishment of hundreds of millions. In fact, the Financial Times reported last week that “the share of US national income that goes to workers as wages rather than to investors as profits and interest” has fallen to its lowest level since the end of World War II. The precipitous fall of the workers’ share of the national income below the post-war average translates into an annual collective wage loss in 2011 of $740 billion—approximately $5,000 per worker. That staggering amount has been funneled into the salaries and investment accounts of the super-rich.

Despite this fact, the indignant rich argue that it would make no economic sense to disturb their wealth. But every day, in the United States and throughout the world, the media they own and the politicians they bribe demand and implement cuts in wages and the slashing of budgets that fund essential social services.

The economic and social crisis in the United States and throughout the world cannot be addressed by reforms, such as a change in tax rates, which seek within the framework of capitalism a less irrational distribution of the national income. However justified such a measure would be, if only as an initial step toward more fundamental change, the lords of Wall Street and the corporate conglomerates will not accept any reform that threatens their domination of economic life and pursuit of limitless personal riches. Like all ruling classes whose interests are antagonistic to the needs of society as a whole, they will defend what they perceive to be their interests without restraint and without mercy. This is the social instinct that underlies the lowering of workers’ living standards, the systematic erosion of democratic rights, and the ever-more reckless resort to war as a means of securing the ruling elite’s global economic interests.

In the course of the past year, ever-growing numbers of youth and older workers have begun to realize that there is a burning need for a profound change in society. The popularity of the call for social equality testifies to the basically socialistic impulse that motivates the growing social movement. Of course, this impulse has not yet assumed the form of a conscious movement for socialism. But as the scale and scope of the social movement expands, the impulse will become a program of action: for the nationalization of the banks and major corporations, the expropriation of economically irrational and socially-destructive personal fortunes, the establishment of workers’ power, the ending of capitalism and the creation of a global socialist society.

The super-rich complain that they are confronted with class war? They haven’t seen anything yet.

Alex Lantier and David North


Hunger in Detroit area on the rise

More than 1,000 at holiday dinner

By Shannon Jones and Lawrence Porter
22 December 2011

Attendees at Forgotten Harvest Holiday Dinner at the Detroit Marriott

On December 20, more than 1,000 people, including some 700 children, attended the Third Annual Forgotten Harvest Holiday Dinner at the Detroit Marriott Hotel.

Forgotten Harvest is a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that specializes in the recovery of surplus or discarded food that it donates to food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and other community organizations.

The large turnout at the event testifies to the growth of hunger in the Detroit metropolitan area, which has been devastated by the economic crisis. From being a temporary condition, hunger has become a pervasive everyday fact in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the Detroit area, and indeed throughout the US. Reflecting the growth in hunger, Forgotten Harvest said it has tripled its food deliveries over the past three years, but is still far from being able to meet the needs of area residents.

Some of the large number of children at the event

The recent cutoff by the state of Michigan of cash welfare assistance to 41,000 residents and the imposition of means testing for food stamps has added to the hardship of families struggling under conditions of mass unemployment in an area devastated by the collapse of the auto industry. Detroit itself is the poorest big city in the United States, with a real unemployment rate near 50 percent and a child poverty rate of 47 percent.

According to a summary complied by Forgotten Harvest, 4 million households in the state of Michigan live at risk of hunger. In the three-county metropolitan Detroit area, 500,000 people, including 200,000 children, live in poverty. The number of individual emergency food recipients who receive food on a daily basis increased 78 percent between 2006 and 2010.

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to a number of those attending the holiday dinner at the Detroit Marriott.

Preston Jackson came to the dinner at the urging of his girlfriend. He told the WSWS:

“There are times we can’t make ends meet with the food stamps. We have to go to food banks, Capuchin [soup kitchen]. And a lot of people can’t get to the services that are out there, even where they are giving out free food, because they don’t have transportation. The church I go to actually provides transportation so that people can get to locations where they are giving out food so that they have something to eat for Christmas.”

Preston Jackson and children

Preston said he had been unemployed for over one year and had no cash income.

“How many times did I go to food banks? Maybe 10 times this year. By the middle of the month it gets hard, especially with five kids. My girlfriend was cut off welfare in October, so it is really, really tight. And we have a newborn who is 3 months old.

“Before she gave birth, my girlfriend was working for a temporary agency. But everybody is cutting and laying people off. They even cut Focus Hope, who provided training and jobs for people. It is really bad out here.”

Jeff Jones, an unemployed roofer from Detroit told the WSWS, “I am basically self-employed. I’m a contractor. Once the roofing season is over, I don’t have a job. It is hard for me to find work even though I have my own business. What are you supposed to do when you run out of food? $200 worth of food stamps will not go very far.

“I think this program is a wonderful thing. Things like this should happen more often. Plenty of times we have run out of food and have had to go to the Matrix to use their food pantry. We have had to go to many food pantries. That is not what I like to do, but I have had to take advantage of it.

Jeff Jones

“They need to reinstate people on food stamps and cash assistance. They are hurting too many people. All the people out of work, who don’t have money to feed their kids or support themselves, what are they supposed to do? They are basically saying ‘go out and rob somebody.’ That is the situation they put people in. It shouldn’t be tolerated.

“We need more jobs. If you look at the state’s unemployment rate, it is outrageous. Should the state have to go through this? No. The country shouldn’t have to go through this. We need more jobs for the people of Detroit and the state of Michigan.”

Martin Valdez came to the event with his wife and three children. He said, “We have to get food assistance. There are no jobs. I work for a day, sometimes for a week. I do all kinds of jobs: demolition, landscaping, and carpentry. I work maybe 20 to 25 hours a week, but I need 40 hours. I am trying to make enough money to keep the family together.”

Martin Valdez and family

Ericka Howard said, “I think this is a great thing to help the underprivileged. I get food stamps, but they are not enough really to get through the month. I am just grateful that we have someone in the community to go to.”

Ericka said she had recently been cut off cash assistance welfare benefits by the state of Michigan. “How can you pay the rent if you don’t have money? I have two kids at home and a grandchild. Everything is up in the air. I am trying to find a job, but it is hard. There are no jobs in the city right now. I don’t know what I am going to do.

“It is not just food I am worried about. I am worried about utilities and rent now that we are heading toward winter. All the shelters are full.”

Claudia Alvizo has three children ages 15, 10 and 9. She told the WSWS, through her daughter, “I feel that the government is wasting money on two wars, making bombs and all of the nuclear material and the money spent for troops. Instead, they should use the money to feed the children. We should be spending our money trying to help people instead of trying to kill people.”

Claudia is a recent divorcee and said it is very difficult making ends meet. For child support, she gets $200 per month for two kids.

“It is very hard to keep food on the table. I’m working, but the job doesn’t pay enough. After an increase in pay I’m making $9 an hour. It’s either I pay the bills or buy food. You can’t do both.” Claudia said she couldn’t take her kids out to dinner any longer, so she comes to events like this one.

Claudia Alvizo and children

She lamented about the Christmas period. “I buy what I can for the kids. It is not what they always want, but that is the best I can do.”

The WSWS spoke to Nikita Garrison and Carlos Hudson Sr. She said she came because of the growth of poverty. “I think it is very unfortunate for so many kids to be homeless and not have food, especially at this time of the year.”

Commenting on the budget cuts and the layoffs threatened by the city of Detroit, Nikita said she felt more should be done to help people. “Really, I think the mayor should be providing activities of this sort for the citizens of Detroit. He is constantly taking away. With the cost of living, we need things to be provided to make it easier for the people of Detroit.

“I see that housing and the cost of living has gone up. The property taxes have gone up. Everything is going up.

“I don’t see a lot of people who are wealthy that are giving back. Not from my perspective. I don’t know if they are just holding on to what they have or don’t have a heart, but there are a lot of people in need.”

Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, September 22, 2008

Tonight, our economy and financial markets are in their worst crisis sine the Great Depression. And there’s no longer any doubt—our incompetent and often corrupt “leaders” are largely to blame. They let greedy mega-corporations thwart regulation time and time again while lining their own pockets with contributions.

We’ll take a closer look at how the hacks in Washington who pass themselves off as true leaders got us into this mess. Plus:

* The government’s $700 billion rescue plan for our failing financial markets has grown to include foreign banks operating in the United States too. Over the weekend, foreign banks emphasized their importance and influence in the U.S. banking system to make sure they get a piece of the pie, and our
government, burnishing the negotiating skills of a three-year-old, capitulated to their every demand. Why are U.S. taxpayers bailing out foreign companies?

* As the government prepares to bail out Wall Street, many of the same executives who caused the mess are still going to collect their bonuses. About 10,000 executives at the New York office of bankrupt Lehman Brothers will share in a $2.5 billion bonus pool. House democrats are demanding that the bailout call for “appropriate standards for executive compensation.” But Treasury argues that that would make it harder for persuade companies to sell their troubled assets to the government, and
he wants to avoid punitive steps.

AFTER THEIR GREED KILLED THEM, BANKER’S HANDS OUT FOR WELFARE for  their once fabulously profitable business.”

Giant Investment Banks Grasp for Government Safety Net

By Neil Irwin and Binyamin Appelbaum
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 22, 2008; A01

The Federal Reserve approved the conversion last night of the two remaining investment titans on Wall Street, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, into bank holding companies, offering them broader government protection in exchange for tighter regulation and constraints on their once fabulously profitable business.

With the federal government continuing its rapid and radical reshaping of the U.S. financial system, the two investment banks agreed to transform themselves in an effort to escape the financial turmoil that last week put their existence in jeopardy.

The move, approved by the Fed with unusual haste, gives Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley greater latitude to borrow from the Fed and access to stable sources of funding -- namely, deposits from ordinary people and businesses. But the firms are also accepting regulation by the Fed that will make it far more expensive for them to borrow huge sums of money -- long an essential ingredient in their investment strategy -- and restrict what sorts of business activities they can engage in.

This development completes a sweeping transformation of Wall Street. Now extinct are the specialized trading houses that broke off from larger financial companies during the Great Depression, enterprises that once prized their independence of regulation and exploited their agility to make fortunes. Over the past 30 years, these firms even surpassed commercial banks as the prime funding source for corporate America.

The conversion of investment banks into the kind of banking companies that once were their rivals will have profound and long-lasting implications for the economy.

Seven months ago, there were five major independent investment banks, selling stocks and bonds, advising companies on mergers and engaging in ever more arcane financial engineering. Since then, Bear Stearns was bought in a fire sale by commercial bank J.P. Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, and Merrill Lynch agreed to be bought by Bank of America.

Now, the two biggest, strongest and most prestigious of those firms will become traditional commercial banks, too. The firms concluded that it was worth it to accept the safety net of government protection, even though it will probably lead to much more scrutiny by Fed regulators into what businesses they can engage in.

The change is likely to make easier, and could intensify, both companies' efforts to link up with commercial banks. Now that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have committed to using deposits to fund their operations, they have a tremendous incentive to gain access to the largest possible networks of bank branches.

In trying to save themselves, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are agreeing to surrender some of the activities that drove their profitability over the past decade. The two companies made massive bets while putting little money on the table. And they invested vast sums in a wide range of commercial enterprises.

As bank holding companies, Goldman and Morgan will be forced to put more money on the table when they make investment bets. Goldman Sachs, for example, currently holds about $1 for every $22 in investments. Morgan Stanley's ratio is even more dramatic. By contrast, Bank of America, which will soon be the nation's largest bank holding company, holds about $1 for every $11 in investments. And Goldman and Morgan will be sharply limited in their ability to make equity investments in non-financial companies.

"The marketplace won't give them leverage, the regulators won't give them leverage and so now we have formal confirmation that the model of freestanding investment banks is kaput," said Ed Yingling, president of the American Bankers Association.

Currently, the Fed has about a half-dozen examiners in Goldman and Morgan combined. By contrast, major bank holding companies host dozens of examiners, who monitor and restrict the firms' activities.

It's too early to tell what restrictions the Fed will put in place. The Fed must now send in its examiners and assess the companies' businesses, which are in flux.

Conventional banks, such as Bank of America and J.P. Morgan, have weathered the financial crisis much better than investment firms, despite incurring vast losses of their own. One key is that their deposits offer a steady source of funding, unlike the short-term debt that investment banks have relied on. That left them susceptible to runs, as Bear Stearns and then Lehman Brothers experienced.

It is in many ways a move to the business model used by banks in Europe, where large firms engage in both investment banking and commercial banking.

Also yesterday, the Treasury Department issued a major caveat to its Friday announcement that it would guarantee investments in money-market mutual funds, emulating the long-standing federal guarantee of deposits in bank accounts. The Treasury said yesterday that it would only guarantee existing investments in money-market funds.

The caveat came after loud pressure from the banking industry, which worried that a guarantee on new investments would encourage customers to pull money from bank accounts because money-market funds, which pay higher interest rates, would now be seen as equally safe. Both banks and banking regulators were concerned about how an exodus of deposits could impact already-struggling banks.

September 20, 2008


Hard Truths About the Bailout

The fifth major federal bailout this year — after Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the American International Group — is now in the works. Taxpayers have every right to be alarmed and angry. The latest plan is not necessarily a bad one, and officials had to move quickly to prevent credit markets from seizing up.

But make no mistake, this crisis could have been avoided if regulators had enforced rules and officials had dared to question risky lending and other dubious practices.

If done right, this bailout could succeed where the others have failed and remove the threat of a systemwide financial collapse. But the upfront cost will be enormous. So will the risk of losses in the long run — on top of the risks already incurred.

The new plan would commit taxpayer money to buy hundreds of billions of dollars of troubled loans and other mortgage-related securities from banks and Wall Street firms. It is based on the reasonable premise that as long as institutions are stuck with those assets, the flow of credit, the economy’s lifeblood, will be constrained, or as in the past week, all but frozen.

Congress, with one eye on this week’s volatile Dow and the other on November’s election, could authorize the plan as early as next week.

It is painfully clear that the financial system will not rebound on its own from the excessive lending and borrowing of the Bush years and the credit collapse in their wake. The one-bailout-at-a-time approach hasn’t worked. And modest steps are no longer an option.

Lawmakers and administration officials must be prepared to tell Americans the full, hard truths about this plan:

¶ What is this going to cost the taxpayers and who decides? It’s generally believed that many of the troubled assets that the government would buy will, in time, be worth more than they can fetch in today’s chaotic markets. That’s far from a sure thing. The assets are tied to housing, so their value will depend on how far prices fall, how many people end up defaulting and how long it takes before housing rebounds — all big unknowns.

For those reasons, it’s important for Americans to know who is going to decide what is the right purchase price for these assets. Wall Street will have a role, of course, but outside experts should be allowed to analyze the results. Americans also need to know how the process will be monitored to ensure that taxpayers’ interests are protected. If the government gets the price right, the upfront outlay could be recouped when it later sells. If it overpays, the taxpayer is stuck with the loss.

¶ How will Congress balance the bailout of Wall Street and the needs on Main Street? If financial markets stabilize, all Americans will benefit. But Congress must do more to provide direct help to struggling American families. Lawmakers should use the bailout legislation to also extend unemployment benefits, bolster food stamps and provide aid to state and local governments to provide health care and other services that are especially important during tough times.

¶ The administration and lawmakers also need to tell Americans that the era of cheap and easy money is over and that there are more tough times to come. Whose taxes will have to go up? How will the government help to create the jobs of the future? How will the most vulnerable Americans be protected? And they need to explain that the cost of the bailouts will compete with other spending.

¶ Finally, Americans need to be told a more fundamental truth: This crisis is the result of a willful and systematic failure by the government to regulate and monitor the activities of bankers, lenders, hedge funds, insurers and other market players. All were playing high-stakes poker with the financial system, but without adequate transparency, oversight or supervision.

The regulatory failure, in turn, was grounded in the Bush administration’s magical belief that the market, with its invisible hand, works best when it is left alone to self regulate and self correct. The country is now paying the price for that delusion.

If lawmakers and administration officials really want to restore confidence, the bailout must be only a first step. The hard work of establishing and enforcing the regulations that are needed for a truly trustworthy financial system, still lies ahead.




Lenders Fighting Mortgage Rewrite Measure Targets Bankrupt Homeowners

By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum

Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, February 22, 2008; D01

The nation's largest lending institutions are lobbying hard to block a proposal in Congress that would give bankruptcy judges greater latitude to rewrite mortgages held by financially strapped homeowners.

Housing crisis accelerates blight in Detroit neighborhoods

By Debra Watson and Anne Moore
21 October 2008

Dire conditions in a once prosperous East Side Detroit neighborhood underscore the impact the wave of home foreclosures is having on working people across the United States. While the effect of the mortgage crisis on the Wall Street banks is headline news, the media rarely inquires into the social consequences of the foreclosure epidemic.

Some three-quarters of a million people have lost their homes across the US so far this year and foreclosure filings are up 82.6 percent from a year ago, according to the web site The same report notes that 107,500 homes were lost in September alone.

The city of Detroit has the highest repossession rate for a major city in the US, with real-estate owned (REO) homes—that is, homes repossessed by banks or mortgage holders—at 3.7 percent in 2007. Cleveland, Ohio came in a close second with a 3 percent REO rate.

The social reality behind these figures is illustrated by a recent sale of a foreclosed home in Detroit. In September, a modest two-story single-family home on Detroit's east side near the Detroit City Airport sold for one dollar. Less than two years ago, in November 2006, the same home sold for $65,000.

While abandoned homes are hardly a new phenomenon in Detroit, the story of this one house is a testament to the speed, scope, and depth of the foreclosure crisis. The one-dollar sale of the Detroit house even made the Sunday Times of London, which recently ran a piece titled "America's Darkest Fear: to end up like Detroit."

Constance and her stepdaughter Toshiana, who live near Detroit City Airport. As Toshiana explained: "I actually am surprised that you came and talked to us at all. When the news came they all were taking pictures of the place up the street that sold for a dollar.

"We finally came out to see what it was about, why the news trucks were here. It took three days before they finally came to us and asked the people on the block what they thought. I don't think they really care about people like us and what we think."

Prior to the collapse of auto manufacturing in Detroit, the neighborhood had been relatively prosperous and home to thousands of autoworkers. Now, foreclosed properties are lowering home values and causing urban blight throughout the area. Constance rents a house on the same street as the foreclosed home and grew up nearby.

"I heard about the house up the street selling for one dollar," Constance told the WSWS. "They had just fixed it up real nice a year and half ago, new siding, things like that. It looked beautiful. Now it's a mess."

Last summer the bank foreclosed on the home after the owners fell behind on their mortgage. "They had some renters come in and then it was empty. It didn't take long for them to come and strip the place clean," Toshiana said.

"When I was a baby my father was at an auto plant," Constance added. "He had a brother working at the plant also. I had another uncle who worked at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. They all came up from the South in the early 1970s. There are not many people around here at the plants anymore. My mother says she is leaving Michigan and moving back to Louisiana as soon as she retires."

The term "toxic mortgage" only begins to describe the effect of the housing crisis on working class communities across the US. The family that falls behind on mortgage payments or rent is out on the street. Neighborhoods become distressed. Abandoned houses catch fire and burn—a common phenomenon in Detroit—producing a noxious odor that permeates whole neighborhoods for months.

Toshiana noted the absence of the most basic services in the city of Detroit. "We don't even have a grocery store anymore."

She continued, "You actually have to go back to the early '90s to see when all this started to happen. I could tell you a couple blocks I lived on in Detroit that I watched gradually torn down. They were really nice when I was there, but what happened? One place, I came back five years after I had moved, just to visit. I could not believe what had happened. The place was a mess; the houses were in terrible shape.

"Look around here. All you see are empty lots. Realtors may call these an investment opportunity, but who wants to live next to an empty lot? Scrappers make money off tearing the houses up. I really don't understand why they even give out junking licenses, when they know this is going on in the neighborhoods. The decline is very ugly."


July 1st 2008
Wall Street firms have chipped in more than $9 million to Barack Obama. Zurga/Bloomberg
Wall Street is investing heavily in Barack Obama.

Although the Democratic presidential hopeful has vowed to raise capital gains and corporate taxes, financial industry bigs have contributed almost twice as much to Obama as to GOP rival John McCain, a Daily News analysis of campaign records shows.

"Wall Street wants change and wants a curtailment in spending. It wants someone who focuses on the domestic economy," said Jim Cramer, the boisterous host of CNBC's "Mad Money."

Cramer also does not discount nostalgia for the go-go 1990s, when Bill Clinton led the largest economic expansion in history.

"It wants a Clinton like in 1992, but not a Hillary Clinton," he said. "That's Barack Obama."

For both candidates, Wall Street's investment and banking sectors have become among their portliest cash cows, contributing $9.5 million to Obama and $5.3 million to McCain so far.

It's a haul that is already raising concerns that, as the nation's faltering economy has become issue No. 1, the two candidates may have a hard time playing tough on issues like market regulation or corporate-tax loopholes.

"No matter who wins in November, Wall Street will have a friend in the White House," said Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics, which crunched the data for The News.

Wall Street's generosity toward Obama, in particular, would seem to run counter to its self-interests.

In addition to calling for corporate and capital gains tax hikes, Obama has proposed raising income taxes on those earning more than $250,000.

But Wall Street is often motivated by something more than money - winning.

"In general, these are professional prognosticators," said Ritsch. "And they may be putting their money on the person they predict will win, not the candidate they hope will win."

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).

McCain's top five include Wall Street's Merrill Lynch ($230,310) and Citigroup ($219,551).

Obama's Wall Street haul is not the biggest ever. That distinction belongs to President Bush, who as an incumbent in 2004 raised $10,852,696 from Wall Street interests through April that year - about $1 million more than Obama.

Obama's aides dismiss any suggestion he might be beholden to Wall Street, noting that 93% of his donations are $200 or less and that he took his tough economic message straight to Wall Street in a 2007 speech at Nasdaq headquarters.

"Sen. Obama went to Wall Street to tell executives that our economy isn't working if they alone are prospering but people living on Main Street are not," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.




April 1, 2009

Op-Ed Contributor

Obama’s Ersatz Capitalism


THE Obama administration’s $500 billion or more proposal to deal with America’s ailing banks has been described by some in the financial markets as a win-win-win proposal. Actually, it is a win-win-lose proposal: the banks win, investors win — and taxpayers lose.

Treasury hopes to get us out of the mess by replicating the flawed system that the private sector used to bring the world crashing down, with a proposal marked by overleveraging in the public sector, excessive complexity, poor incentives and a lack of transparency.

Let’s take a moment to remember what caused this mess in the first place. Banks got themselves, and our economy, into trouble by overleveraging — that is, using relatively little capital of their own, they borrowed heavily to buy extremely risky real estate assets. In the process, they used overly complex instruments like collateralized debt obligations.

The prospect of high compensation gave managers incentives to be shortsighted and undertake excessive risk, rather than lend money prudently. Banks made all these mistakes without anyone knowing, partly because so much of what they were doing was “off balance sheet” financing.

In theory, the administration’s plan is based on letting the market determine the prices of the banks’ “toxic assets” — including outstanding house loans and securities based on those loans. The reality, though, is that the market will not be pricing the toxic assets themselves, but options on those assets.

The two have little to do with each other. The government plan in effect involves insuring almost all losses. Since the private investors are spared most losses, then they primarily “value” their potential gains. This is exactly the same as being given an option.

Consider an asset that has a 50-50 chance of being worth either zero or $200 in a year’s time. The average “value” of the asset is $100. Ignoring interest, this is what the asset would sell for in a competitive market. It is what the asset is “worth.” Under the plan by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the government would provide about 92 percent of the money to buy the asset but would stand to receive only 50 percent of any gains, and would absorb almost all of the losses. Some partnership!

Assume that one of the public-private partnerships the Treasury has promised to create is willing to pay $150 for the asset. That’s 50 percent more than its true value, and the bank is more than happy to sell. So the private partner puts up $12, and the government supplies the rest — $12 in “equity” plus $126 in the form of a guaranteed loan.

If, in a year’s time, it turns out that the true value of the asset is zero, the private partner loses the $12, and the government loses $138. If the true value is $200, the government and the private partner split the $74 that’s left over after paying back the $126 loan. In that rosy scenario, the private partner more than triples his $12 investment. But the taxpayer, having risked $138, gains a mere $37.

Even in an imperfect market, one shouldn’t confuse the value of an asset with the value of the upside option on that asset.

But Americans are likely to lose even more than these calculations suggest, because of an effect called adverse selection. The banks get to choose the loans and securities that they want to sell. They will want to sell the worst assets, and especially the assets that they think the market overestimates (and thus is willing to pay too much for).

But the market is likely to recognize this, which will drive down the price that it is willing to pay. Only the government’s picking up enough of the losses overcomes this “adverse selection” effect. With the government absorbing the losses, the market doesn’t care if the banks are “cheating” them by selling their lousiest assets, because the government bears the cost.

The main problem is not a lack of liquidity. If it were, then a far simpler program would work: just provide the funds without loan guarantees. The real issue is that the banks made bad loans in a bubble and were highly leveraged. They have lost their capital, and this capital has to be replaced.

Paying fair market values for the assets will not work. Only by overpaying for the assets will the banks be adequately recapitalized. But overpaying for the assets simply shifts the losses to the government. In other words, the Geithner plan works only if and when the taxpayer loses big time.

Some Americans are afraid that the government might temporarily “nationalize” the banks, but that option would be preferable to the Geithner plan. After all, the F.D.I.C. has taken control of failing banks before, and done it well. It has even nationalized large institutions like Continental Illinois (taken over in 1984, back in private hands a few years later), and Washington Mutual (seized last September, and immediately resold).

What the Obama administration is doing is far worse than nationalization: it is ersatz capitalism, the privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses. It is a “partnership” in which one partner robs the other. And such partnerships — with the private sector in control — have perverse incentives, worse even than the ones that got us into the mess.

So what is the appeal of a proposal like this? Perhaps it’s the kind of Rube Goldberg device that Wall Street loves — clever, complex and nontransparent, allowing huge transfers of wealth to the financial markets. It has allowed the administration to avoid going back to Congress to ask for the money needed to fix our banks, and it provided a way to avoid nationalization.

But we are already suffering from a crisis of confidence. When the high costs of the administration’s plan become apparent, confidence will be eroded further. At that point the task of recreating a vibrant financial sector, and resuscitating the economy, will be even harder.

Joseph E. Stiglitz, a professor of economics at Columbia who was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers from 1995 to 1997, was awarded the Nobel prize in economics in 2001.


Wall Street demands lifting of pay limits

16 February 2009

A provision restricting executive compensation that was inserted into the $787 billion economic stimulus bill prior to its passage by the US Congress has provoked howls of protest from the Wall Street elite and sent the Obama administration scrambling to emasculate it.

The measure was authored by Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, over the objections of Obama and his top economic advisers. Dodd argued that the measure was necessary to assuage public outrage against bank executives who have continued to reward themselves with multimillion-dollar bonuses after their banks received billions of dollars in taxpayer funds. He said such action was needed to make it politically possible for Congress to allocate hundreds of billions more to bail out the banks.

The provision goes somewhat further than the token pay restrictions announced February 4 by Obama's treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, which set a base pay limit of $500,000 only on the top executives of banks receiving "exceptional assistance" and did not apply retroactively to banks that previously received money under the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Dodd's measure applies retroactively to all banks that have received TARP funds. It sets no limit on salaries, but restricts bonuses to one-third of total compensation. It does not apply to deferred compensation or pensions, and evidently places no limits on stock options.

Since the vast bulk of the stratospheric annual compensation of Wall Street tycoons comes in the form of bonuses, stock options and other perks rather than base pay, the measure, if enforced, could reduce their yearly take to the millions, rather than the double-digit millions to which they have become accustomed. The Wall Street Journal on Saturday estimated that under the new provision, Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis's compensation would fall from $16.4 million in 2007 to a "mere" $2.25 million.

Such a fate, the prospect of which sent Wall Street lobbyists descending on Capitol Hill and the White House, would reduce Lewis's income to a sum more than 56 times that of an ordinary American—that is, he would be forced to survive on substantially more per week than the median worker earns in a year.

The outrage of the Wall Street billionaires was immediately translated into front-page headlines in the major US newspapers. The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post all ran lead stories Saturday on the issue. The Post, the main newspaper in the nation's capital, ran a front-page follow-up on Sunday, bearing the subtitle "Compensation Limits May Backfire."

Only weeks ago, it should be recalled, Congress was railing against autoworkers who make less than $60,000 a year. Obama supported the imposition of drastic wage and benefit cuts, along with mass layoffs, as a condition for emergency loans to prevent the collapse of General Motors and Chrysler.

Judging from the Sunday morning news and interview programs, there was some doubt as to whether Obama would go ahead with his plans to sign his "stimulus and recovery" bill on Tuesday, as scheduled. His representatives felt obliged to affirm that he would sign the bill, but hastened to add that the White House would demand changes in its executive compensation provisions even after it became law.

Senior adviser David Axelrod said on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House would work with Congress to "do something that's workable" about the issue. Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," said the administration would seek to "strike the right balance" by discussing changes with House and Senate members.

It is an extraordinary commentary on the reality of class relations and political power in the United States that this issue should figure so prominently in the discussion of what is billed as a plan to rescue the nation from, in Obama's words, a "catastrophe." The narrow and selfish interests of a miniscule fraction of the population weigh infinitely more on the scales of government policy than the needs of tens of millions of people who are being hurled into unemployment and poverty. This financial aristocracy exercises an effective veto power over state policy—exposing the class dictatorship that underlies the increasingly threadbare trappings of democracy.

The real question in the minds of most Americans is why the bank executives who bear direct responsibility for the collapse of their own firms and the economy as a whole—not only in the United States but internationally—are still in their posts. They want to know why there are no serious investigations or criminal prosecutions.

The furor over the bankers' pay also sheds light on the nature of the stimulus package itself. It is a hodgepodge of tax cuts—including tens of billions for big business and the wealthy—and government outlays that will do nothing to solve the economic crisis and little to relieve the mounting suffering of the people.

Moreover, as Obama indicated in his Saturday radio-video address, it is a prelude to another massive taxpayer bailout of Wall Street that will reach into the trillions of dollars, to be followed by draconian austerity measures targeting basic social programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

The stimulus plan purports to address the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression without examining its underlying causes or the social interests that underlie the crisis. This is no accident, since the fundamental premise of all of the measures taken in response to the crisis, by Obama no less than Bush, is the defense of the interests of the financial elite.

The response of the Wall Street elite to the executive pay provision exposes the cynicism of Obama's talk of collective "responsibility" for the crisis and his calls for "national sacrifice." For their part, the plutocrats have no intention of ceding an inch of their wealth or power, whatever the cost to society.

They have made it clear that if the Dodd provision stands, they will drain their reserves to pay back the government as soon as possible in order to remove themselves from its compensation limits, further undermining the viability of their own firms and threatening an even greater economic disaster for the US and the world. And, as many commentators have suggested, they will evade the restrictions on bonuses by jacking up their salaries. As Nell Minow of the Corporate Library told the Washington Post, "The people who work on Wall Street are motivated by money."

All of the measures proposed to rein in the bankers are utterly inadequate. Over the past decade, they have pocketed—in salaries, bonuses, stock options, golden parachutes, pensions, private jets, limos and other perks—trillions of dollars. Their extravagance has involved a massive transfer of wealth from the working class and played no small part in bringing the US and global economy to the point of collapse.

Their finances should be audited and they should be forced to make restitution. The wealth they have drained from society should be recaptured, transferred to the public treasury and used to finance public works programs to provide millions of jobs rebuilding the schools, hospitals and basic infrastructure.

A rational solution to the crisis is not a technical issue. It is a fundamental class question, and therefore a political and revolutionary question. There is a direct relationship between the forms of the crisis—the parasitism of the ruling elite, the vast growth of social inequality—and the mode of production and appropriation under capitalism, which subordinates all social needs to the accumulation of personal wealth by those who own and control the means of production and the levers of finance.

Their stranglehold must be broken through a mass, independent social and political movement of the working class. The aim of this movement must be the establishment of a workers' government to carry out socialist policies.

The demand must be raised to open the books of the banks and conduct a careful, public examination to reveal how trillions of dollars were squandered and the economy bankrupted. Those responsible must be held accountable, including by means of criminal prosecution.

The banks and major financial institutions must be nationalized and transformed into public utilities under the democratic control of the working people. Only on this basis can the wealth produced by the working class be utilized and developed to meet the needs of the people.

Barry Grey


World Socialist Web Site

Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)

The looting of America

10 April 2009

The New York Times on Thursday published a front-page article that provides further insight into the economic and class interests that are being served by the Obama administration’s economic “recovery” policies.

Headlined “Small Investors May Be Enlisted in Bank Bailout,” the article outlines discussions between the administration and Wall Street investment firms on structuring the so-called “Public-Private Investment Program” announced last month in a manner that will allow people of modest means to invest in the scheme, whose purpose is to enable the banks to offload their toxic assets at public expense.

When the plan was announced March 23 by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, it sparked a wild rally on the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 497 points when it became clear that the government was offering to provide up to 95 percent of the capital, insure almost all potential losses and virtually guarantee large profits for hedge funds and other financial firms that agree to purchase the bad debts of the banks at inflated prices, with the taxpayers underwriting the windfall for Wall Street and assuming virtually all of the risk.

Thursday’s Times article indicates that opening the scheme up to small investors is seen as a way of providing a “democratic” gloss to what is, in reality, a brazen plan to plunder the public treasury for the benefit of the very bankers and speculators who are responsible for the financial crash. Evidently not seeing a contradiction, the article also makes clear that the bailout measures are being drawn up in the closest consultation with the Wall Street insiders who stand to profit from them.

“Some of the biggest investment managers in the United States,” the Times notes, “including BlackRock and PIMCO, have been consulting with the government on ways to rebuild the country’s broken financial markets.”

The article quotes Steven A. Baffico, an executive at BlackRock, as saying, “It’s giving the guy on Main Street an equal seat at the table next to the big guys.” This is true only in the sense that “Main Street” will be given the opportunity to absorb the bulk of any losses while the “big guys” cream off the best assets and pocket the profits.

There are political concerns behind this effort to create the appearance of offering the general public a cut in the winnings. Hedge fund managers are wary that when, as they anticipate, their partnership with the Treasury, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) pays off with double-digit profits there will be a public outcry, similar to that which erupted over the AIG executive bonuses. This, they fear, might lead to limits on their compensation, higher taxes on their fortunes or similar intolerable infringements.

More important are definite commercial calculations. By opening up the scheme to the broad public, the private firms chosen by the Treasury to operate the plan stand to increase greatly their take from investor fees. As the Times puts it, “For the investment managers, the benefits are potentially large. These big firms can charge healthy fees to investors for taking part.”

There is one particularly remarkable passage in the Times account. “But the comparison one industry official uses to illustrate the mistake that America must avoid,” the newspaper writes, “is the large-scale privatization in Russia in the 1990s, which involved a transfer of entire industries to a few, well-connected oligarchs. That experience tarnished the idea of free-market capitalism in Russia and undermined its program to move toward a market economy.”

The many differences in political and historical circumstances aside, there is a very real parallel between the plundering of Soviet society by the former Stalinist bureaucrats and their domestic gangster and foreign imperialist allies and the current manner in which the economic crisis in the US is being seized upon by Wall Street and its political instrument, the Obama administration, to further enrich the American financial aristocracy. Indeed, the perpetrators are themselves quite conscious that they are engaged in a similar—although much bigger—looting operation.

The scale and character of the operation are further indicated by another New York Times article published this week. This one, authored by Times financial writer Andrew Ross Sorkin and published on Tuesday, concerns the role of the FDIC in the new bailout scheme.

The article begins by noting that the FDIC was established 76 years ago, in the depths of the Great Depression, to provide a government guarantee, initially up to $5,000 and now up to $250,000, on the bank deposits of small savers. It describes the transformation of the FDIC, under the toxic asset disposal plan of the Obama administration, as follows:

“It’s going to be insuring 85 percent of the debt, provided by the Treasury, that private investors will use to subsidize their acquisition of toxic assets.”

In other words, the function of the FDIC is being transformed from guaranteeing the bank deposits of small savers to guaranteeing the investments of multimillionaire investment fund managers. And, as the article notes, this is occurring without a vote by Congress.

The FDIC will be insuring more than $1 trillion in new obligations incurred as the government covers the bad debts of the banks. However, the FDIC’s charter limits the obligations it can take on to $30 billion. The Times article quotes one “prominent securities lawyers” as saying, “They may not be breaking the letter of the law, but they’re sure disregarding its spirit.”

What is the significance of this astonishing reasoning? Simply this: The Obama administration, in order to protect the wealth and power of the financial elite, is facilitating and directly perpetrating on a colossal scale the same type of accounting fraud and reckless leveraging that led to the economic catastrophe in the first place.

Who is to pay the price for this looting operation? The answer can be seen in the Obama Auto Task Force’s demands for the liquidation of much of the US auto industry and the brutal downsizing of what remains, combined with the imposition of poverty-level wages on those workers who remain in the surviving plants and the gutting of the pensions and health benefits of retirees. It can be further seen in the administration’s pledge to slash social programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

The administration’s “recovery” plan is a barely disguised scheme to preserve the fortunes of the financial aristocracy, whose interests it represents, by imposing poverty and social misery on the working class.

Barry Grey


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).