President Obama has done nothing to secure our borders. More illegals are being deported under his watch, but that is the result of higher security efforts imposed after 9-11, like E-verify. Read this alarming story about thousands of poor, unskilled people from India surging across the Mexican border into Texas. Hundreds have been caught, then were released and promptly disappeared into the USA, even though they had no ID and came from a region near Pakistan. Don’t think most Republicans really want to stop the cheap labor flow either. Border security was one of the first things the GOP cost cutters slashed.

Obama has failed to even try to boost the minimum wage, despite campaign promises. Minimum wage is 50% lower than in the 1960s, which means that millions of full-time working Americans don’t earn enough to live in their own efficiency apartment, much less pay for an “insured” car, health care, or a family. If you want to help the working poor, reduce welfare, discourage illegal immigration, and improve service throughout the private sector, you should support boosting the minimum wage to a livable $10 an hour. Ignore constant corporate propaganda that boosting the minimum wage increases unemployment, which has been disproved by every legitimate study. Anyone who has worked for minimum wage knows they are the most essential workers. It’s not like MacDonald’s has a couple of extra workers loitering around in the back who would be laid off if they were forced to raise wages to a livable level. Here is my old SRA article on mass immigration from July 25, 2007 that remains relevant:

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As I have been saying the solutions are there to bring our country back to strength.  One of them is reforming the tax code into a national sales tax called here Value Added Tax. Major economists have all told the government how fair this is, and how much more the government would bring in. The issue, no one at the political level wants to lead on this one. As always, lack of leadership.


Does The U.S. Really Have A Fiscal Crisis?

By Simon Johnson, The Baseline Scenario, 24 February 2011


The United States faces some serious medium-term fiscal issues, but by any standard measure it does not face an immediate fiscal crisis. Overindebted countries typically have a hard time financing themselves when the world becomes riskier – yet turmoil in the Middle East is pushing down the interest rates on US government debt. We are still seen as a safe haven.

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Petraeus’s Last Stand?

The author of this important report in Politics Daily (also attached below), Dave Wood, is a very experienced combat reporter and one of the very best US reporters covering Afghanistan. (Truth in advertising: I have known and admired Dave for 25 years.) Wood has produced an an excellent, if grim, Afghan SITREP that is well worth studying carefully, including its hotlinks.

I think it would be a mistake to conclude that the situation being in a kind a balance, because we are in a strategic stalemate, however. While it is probably true we are in a strategic stalemate in the strictest sense of term ‘strategic,’ every year the Taliban is able to maintain its menacing posture gives the insurgents additional leverage at the far more decisive grand-strategic level of conflict: To wit, ask yourself if any of the following five trends (which are inversions of the five criteria defining a successful grand strategy) is way out of line:

(1) Polls tell us that the political will at home to continue this war is slowing deteriorating;

(2) our allies are also going wobbly and some have already pulled the plug;

(3) uncommitted countries are not being attracted to our cause and our warlike activities are alienating many in the Muslim world;

(4) the insurgents’ will to resist shows no sign of weakening; and

(5) no one the US government has a clue how to end this conflict on favorable terms for the United States that do not sow the seeds of future conflict in the region, or with Islam.

The Afghan insurgents may not understand grand strategy in these terms, but they understand instinctively that they can outlast invaders, because they believe they have done it before to Alexander the Great, the British at the height of their imperial power, and the Soviets. Is there anyone who not think the the insurgents’ moral is being boosted by the prospect of outlasting the Americans?

A simple grand-strategic analysis reveals that time is clearly on the Taliban’s side and to assume that battle hardened leaders of the Taliban do not understand this is just a tad optimistic, to put it charitably. In fact, the breakdown of President Obama’s strategic review last December, which devolved into a dispute over when to leave, simply reinforced the obvious.

Chuck Spinney
The Blaster

The Afghanistan War: Tactical Victories, Strategic Stalemate?

David Wood, Politics Daily, 13 February 2011


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Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

Why should the American public sacrifice when these worthless crooks get away with murder? I support what the leaders in governors of Wisconsin and N. Jersey are doing, but there job is even harder, harder for any leader with moral courage to start fixing our problems when greedy bastards get away with crimes as bad as Wall Street firms involvement in mortgage scandals a few years ago that took the nation and globe into a nose drive. I just don’t understand why most of our political leaders are so self serving in the face of all the major issues we face today. Now, don’t even mention having again to face our addictiion to oil??


Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

Financial crooks brought down the world’s economy — but the feds are doing more to protect them than to prosecute them

Matt Taibbi. Rolling Stone,

16 February 2011


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The following introduction and essay are by two of my close friends and mentors, Franklin “Chuck” Spinney and Pierre Sprey. It talks about how we are not innovating, and continue to pour money down a black hole.


President Obama says that restoring America’s competitiveness is one of his top priorities. Yet under his watch, deindustrialization, financialization, and globalization continue without interruption. Many advocates of defense spending argue that spinoffs from the Pentagon’s R&D and high tech engineering practices are keys to reinvigorating America’s manufacturing economy. For whatever reasons, Mr. Obama shows no intention of reining in defense spending by anything more than a cosmetic amount, even though the defense budget is higher now that at any time since the end of WWII (after removing the cumulative effect of 60 years of inflation), and despite the fact that the United States is spending about as much on defense as the rest of the world combined. Let us hope Obama has not bought into the bogus arguments that spending more on defense will be good for restoring competitiveness in the manufacturing sector of the American economy.

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Attached herewith is a link to my latest essay, ” The Domestic Roots of Perpetual War,” just published in the Jan-Feb edition of Challenge: The Magazine of Economic Affairs.


Chuck Spinney

The 7 minute video at the link below is painfully embarrassing to watch, but it
is quite revealing with regard to the dysfunctionality of our foreign policy and
the state of decay in the U.S. mainstream media.