Barack Obama administration and cabinet
Just some of the members of the Barack Obama cabinet and other administration employees, mostly from an immigration-related standpoint. There's a running list of those appointed here.
Rep. Suzan DelBene serves on Committee overseeing H1B visas despite having deep links to Microsoft - 03/03/13
U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene understands Microsoft’s need for temporary work visas for skilled foreigners probably as well as anyone in Congress - and what she doesn’t know she could just ask her husband.
DelBene, a freshman Democrat from Medina, is a former Microsoft executive who bankrolled her two congressional races with her high-tech wealth. Her husband, Kurt, is president of Microsoft’s Office Division, one of the company’s biggest business units.
The White House announced Tuesday that Cecilia Munoz, a former senior vice president of the National Council of La Raza, would replace Melody Barnes at the top of the [Domestic Policy Council]...
Munoz is now serving as the White House's director of intergovernmental affairs and is in charge of outreach to state and local governments...
Thomas Saenz: new president of MALDEF (Villaraigosa, Obama's DOJ, support for illegal immigration) - 07/16/09
Thomas Saenz - current chief counsel to Los Angeles City mayor Antonio Villaraigosa - has been selected to be the new president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). He was under consideration to head the civil rights division of the Department of Justice until that was withdrawn due perhaps to him and his affiliations being a bit too on the extreme side.
Among his priorities as head of the Latino civil rights organization, Saenz said, is ensuring that all children have equal access to a quality public education. The fund also will continue to combat anti-illegal immigrant sentiment that has been on the rise in some parts of the country. He said comprehensive immigration reform is a critical challenge for the Obama administration and Congress.
Willon also quotes their chairwoman Patricia Madrid:
"The Latino community is currently facing a drastic rise in hate crimes and witnessing an explosive rebirth of extremist anti-immigrant rhetoric and measures that adversely affect all Latinos..."
That "drastic rise" is only true if you try to mislead with statistics.
Barack Obama's nominee for "regulatory czar" (Cass Sunstein) has advocated a "Fairness Doctrine" for the Internet that would require opposing opinions be linked and also has suggested angry e-mails should be prevented from being sent by technology that would require a 24-hour cooling off period... Sunstein first proposed the notion of imposing mandatory "electronic sidewalks" for the Net. These "sidewalks" would display links to opposing viewpoints... Later, Sunstein rethought his proposal, explaining that it would be "too difficult to regulate [the Internet] in a way that would respond to those concerns." He also acknowledged that it was "almost certainly unconstitutional."
There's a longer treatment of these issues here. It's important to note that some of the proposals above and the others at WND (such as banning hunting and gun control) may be positions he no longer holds or positions that were mostly rhetorical in nature. However, no doubt the positions he'll hold if nominated will have some of the same underlying features.
As flu pandemic threatens, Obama admin still doesn't have HHS Sec'y, Surgeon General, FDA head - 04/27/09
The Obama administration declared a “public health emergency” Sunday to confront the swine flu - but is heading into its first medical outbreak without a secretary of Health and Human Services or appointees in any of the department’s 19 key posts.
President Barack Obama has not yet chosen a surgeon general or the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. His choice to run the Food and Drug Administration awaits confirmation.
Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs says no worries, there's a team in place running day-to-day operations: "I think it’s all hands on deck, and we’re doing fine."
John Trasvina - president of the strongly pro-illegal immigration group MALDEF - has been nominated to the Obama administration. His title is "Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)". This follows the de-appointment of his co-worker Thomas Saenz to another post.
There's more on the FHEO office here: hud.gov/offices/fheo/aboutfheo/aboutfheo.cfm Among other things, they:
...manage the Fair Housing Assistance Program, administer the award and management of Fair Housing Initiatives Program grants, and propose fair housing legislation... ... conduct oversight of the Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to ensure consistency with the Fair Housing Act... ... work with private industry, fair-housing and community advocates on the promotion of voluntary fair housing compliance...
What that boils down to is multiple ways that Trasvina might be able to help fund groups that support illegal immigration (see the National Council of La Raza's "Raza Development Fund"). And, he might be in a position to help encourage illegal aliens and low-wage workers buy homes. He might also be in a position to fight against local ordinances such as the ones in Farmers Branch or Escondido that tried to prevent landlords from renting to illegal aliens (see this and this). And, he might be able to stock the lower levels of HUD with others who think like he does in order to carry on the tradition.
Obama sought advice from Cecilia Munoz, urged her to join his administration (Deb Price/Detroit News puffball piece) - 03/16/09
Deb Price of the Detroit News offers "Obama turns to Mich. native" about Cecilia Munoz, a former official with the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting, extremist-funding National Council of La Raza (link). The article is a complete, Soviet-level puff piece and completely fails to note the questionable activities of her former organization. And, bearing in mind that what people say might not fully reflect reality especially in articles like this, Munoz says:
"When (Obama) had questions about policy, he would call [Munoz when she was at NCLR]. He really developed those kinds of relationships with people. I learned his openness to counsel and advice and guidance.. ...He twisted my arm pretty hard [to join the administration]... ...He told me he wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. And that he and the first lady were determined to make this a family-friendly White House."
What the last means is anyone's guess; certainly others working in the White House have children. Perhaps she was just making a reference to the "Hispanics are family oriented" talking point. The rest of the article is worthless fluff, such as this:
"Every day has surprises and mysteries that have to be solved and every day is really truly an adventure here, but in a wonderful way," says Muñoz, who wears her University of Michigan class ring and displays a Wolverine bumper sticker in her West Wing office.
The waivers were provided for Jocelyn Frye, director of policy and projects in the Office of the First Lady, and Cecilia Munoz, director of intergovernmental affairs in the executive office of the president... Before joining the administration, Frye served as general counsel at the National Partnership for Women & Families, where she directed the group’s workplace fairness program. The White House blog said Frye, an expert on employment law, had worked with federal agencies as a technical expert, and had testified before Congress and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on federal enforcement of employment discrimination laws.
I'm not up-to-date on farming matters and I let McDonald's handle the food side of things.
Barack Obama has selected Charles Freeman (aka "Chas Freeman") to head the National Intelligence Council ("NIC"). Since 2004, Freeman has served on the board of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation ("CNOOC"). That company is 75% owned by the Chinese government, and in 2005 they tried to buy Unocal with an $18.5 billion all-cash offer.
For about a dozen years, Saenz worked as an attorney for the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and lately he was of counsel to the far-left, illegal immigration-supporting mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa.
Needless to say, the ACLU cheered the news:
"I don’t think the president or attorney general could make a better selection," said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern California. "He's a throwback to the great civil rights attorney pioneers, like Thurgood Marshall." ...Rosenbaum praised Saenz’s work challenging the legality of voter measures, ranging from Proposition 187, the ballot initiative that sought to cut off social and education services to undocumented immigrants, to his work on the University of Michigan case challenging the legality of affirmative action in admissions.
DHS Dep. Asst. Sec'y for Policy is from CAP, United Nations, Ted Kennedy office (Esther Olavarria) - 02/23/09
Janet Napolitano has selected Esther Olavarria as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy in the Department of Homeland Security. And, she's from the Center for American Progress, called around here the "think tank that can't think straight". CAP supports illegal immigration and defines opposition to massive illegal activity as "xenophobia"; see the link for more on them. And, since August 2008 she's been a CAP Senior Fellow and their Director of Immigration Policy , 
The first page has her bio containing more nuggets of great news:
Esther comes to CAP/CAPAF from the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, where she served as senior advisor for government and external relations. Prior to joining UNHCR, she was chief immigration counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) on the Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1998 to 2007, she served as Senator Kennedy’s principle advisor on immigration, border security, and refugee policies and legislation, including comprehensive immigration reform. Esther began her career as an immigration attorney in Miami, FL, working at several non-profit organizations. She co-founded the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center and supervised the direct service work of that organization. She also worked at Legal Services of Greater Miami as the directing attorney of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Pro Bono Project, and at the Haitian Refugee Center, as a staff attorney.
In April 2007, he "joined students in Annapolis to urge approval of a bill granting in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants" (link).
And from this:
Perez, a former Clinton Administration official and currently Maryland’s Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, has had a long association with (CASA de Maryland). Both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties pay CASA millions of dollars each year in social services contracts and have put up additional funds to help build the organization’s future headquarters in Langley Park.
In fact, from his bio (msa.md.gov/msa/mdmanual/20dllr/html/msa14663.html):
Board of Directors, Casa of Maryland, 1995-2002 (former president)
UPDATE: Later, he was nominated to head the DOJ Civil Rights Division.
Obama Faith-Based Initiative includes secular "community organizations" (+ illegal immigration supporters Jim Wallis, David Saperstein) - 02/07/09
[It] will be a resource for nonprofits and community organizations, both secular and faith based, looking for ways to make a bigger impact in their communities, learn their obligations under the law, cut through red tape, and make the most of what the federal government has to offer.Will those "community organizations" include groups like ACORN? That remains to be seen.
At the same time, he also established an advisory council for the program, which will have up to 25 members; the current list is below. Two names leap out due to their support for illegal immigration: Jim Wallis and David Saperstein. The problems with the first's arguments have been discussed here in the past; the second is a frequent quote source in support of illegal immigration and was mentioned here and here. On a brighter note, the plan and the advisors aren't sitting too well with the far-left . A few details on some of the others are here. If anyone has details on the others listed, please leave a comment.
A top United Nations official who once served on the White House National Security Council has been picked for deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department, a move that would place two women at the top of the department for the first time.A quote from James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation follows; he doesn't think she has "the right skill set."
President Barack Obama's nomination of Jane Holl Lute, a retired Army major who worked on the NSC under President Bill Clinton, was announced Friday by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
...At the U.N., Lute coordinates peace efforts among countries in conflict.
...In addition to her NSC work, Lute has served as vice president and chief operating officer of the United Nations Foundation. She served in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. Lute is married to Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, Obama's deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Whitehouse dot gov has a new Office of Public Liaison & Intergovernmental Affairs (OPL-IGA) which is Barack Obama's gatekeepers to hoi polloi. They're going to be soliciting input from the citizens, and I urge everyone to give them more input than they can manage by asking them tough questions.
It's not clear from their page (whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/opl) how exactly they'll be soliciting that input, whether online or at public events. The first would be problematic due to the way they've handled things such as the "Citizen's Briefing Book", which was a scam designed simply to give a verisimilitude of the citizens having a voice.
However, if they'll be conducting some form of townhall, these would be a wonderful opportunity to discredit members of the Obama administration on video which could then be uploaded to video sharing sites. If the participants in those townhalls are screened for ideological purity or for not being able to ask tough questions, much could be made of that including filing FOIA requests to determine what rules were in place.
From their page:
[The OPL-IGA] is the front door to the White House through which everyone can participate and inform the work of the President.
OPL-IGA takes the Administration out of Washington and into communities across America, stimulating honest dialogue and ensuring that America's citizens and their elected officials have a government that works effectively for them and with them.
The all new whitehouse dot gov has a new Office of Public Liaison & Intergovernmental Affairs, the new president's gatekeepers to hoi polloi. That office's "Chief of Staff to the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison" is Michael Strautmanis, a long-time Obama associate who also used to work for Rod Blagojevich. Oddly enough, that association is not listed in his biography (link and full text below).
A longtime friend of the Obamas who once worked as Michele Obama's paralegal. Obama's chief counsel in the Senate. He worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development and was legislative director to Rod Blagojevich when Blagojevich was a congressman.
And, from this:
At least one top aide to Obama, Michael Strautmanis, previously worked for Blagojevich. Obama has appointed Strautmanis to serve as White House chief of staff to the presidential assistant for intergovernmental relations and public liaison. The Chicago native was legislative director and counsel to Blagojevich when the governor was a member of Congress and then helped Blagojevich win the governorship in 2002. There is no indication that Strautmanis is involved in the [selling the Senate seat] case.
Now, compare that to what's found at whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/opl/bios:
A native of Chicago, Strautmanis first came to know the Obamas when he worked as a paralegal at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin for Mrs. Michelle Obama.
After law school, Strautmanis practiced complex litigation and employment law in Chicago, before joining the Clinton Administration at the U.S. Agency for International Development. Following this, he served as Counsel for Legislation for the American Association of Justice. Strautmanis served as Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Senator Obama in the United States Senate. He continued as Senior Counsel for Obama for America, where he played a leading role in political outreach as a member of the Congressional Relations team.
Strautmanis received a B.S. from the University of Illinois, and a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law. He and his wife Damona are the proud parents of three.
Jeanne Lambrew - University of Texas professor, former Bill Clinton aide, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress - has been named the deputy director of the Office of Health Reform for the upcoming Obama administration (link). Her biography is at .
She contributed a chapter  to the just-released book "Change for America: A Progressive Blueprint for the 44th President", which contains at least one lie:
In 2007, about 47 million Americans lacked health insurance
In actual fact, as Census figures show, millions of those are not Americans but are citizens of other countries, including those who are here illegally. To some, that might appear to be a minor point, but it really isn't. It indicates that Lambrew is not intellectually honest. If she were, she would have pointed out that a good percentage of those covered by her proposals should not be here in the first place, and that one way to reduce the numbers of those who'd have to be covered under her proposals is to reduce illegal immigration.
And, it also indicates that she's willing to lie to those who aren't that familiar with this issue. Discovering all the other things she "forgot" to mention is left as an exercise.
 See the PDF at americanprogressaction.org/issues/2008/changeforamerica/domesticpolicy.html
Obama "Energy Czar" Carol Browner's membership in Socialist panel scrubbed from website, Wikipedia - 01/10/09
The scrubbing continued at Wikipedia, where the news that she was a member of that panel was deleted by someone using an IP address belonging to The New Republic; see this.
Here's her biography as listed by the SI:
Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency under President Bill Clinton. Leading the EPA from 1993 to 2001, she was the longest-serving Administrator in the agency’s history. Browner currently serves on the board of several non-profit organisations, including as chair of the National Audubon Society, one of the nation’s oldest environmental organisations, and as a member of the Board of the Directors of the Center for American Progress, the Alliance for Climate Protection and the League of Conservation Voters.More here, and from this:
Browner's CSWS is similarly open about the economic costs it is willing to impose, across national borders to achieve its environmental utopia. On Sept. 5-6, 2008, the commission noted that the costs of its proposals would "rang[e] in the hundreds of billions of dollars over the next two decades," and it called for a "redesign of the international rules on intellectual property." That is international bureaucratese for compelling an inventor to surrender property rights in order to "share" technologies with less-developed countries.
At the Congress of the Socialist International held last June 30-July2, the CSWS officially resolved that "market solutions alone are insufficient and will not provide the financial support and resources necessary to achieve the required combination of deep emission reduction, adaptation to already changing climate conditions, energy security and equitable and environmentally sound economic development." Again, that's bureaucratese. It means that international taxes should be imposed to provide the "resources necessary" to impose what the CSWS repeatedly refers to as a 'regime" against "global warming."
By appointing Browner to a White House post, Obama has at the least implicitly endorsed an utterly radical socialist agenda for his administration's environmental policy. The incoming chief executive thus strengthens critics who contend environmental policies aren't really about protecting endangered species or preserving virgin lands, but rather expanding government power and limiting individual freedom.
Leon Panetta - Barack Obama's choice to be director of the CIA - supposedly had/has links to or perhaps even membership in the radical Institute for Policy Studies, an alleged Communist front organization. However, a search fails to turn up much beyond noise. If anyone has credible information - such as with contemporaneous news reports or IPS literature - please leave a comment.
And, this page prefaces a list including Panetta with this:
Congressional supporters of the IPS have included many of those who biennially commissioned IPS to produce an "Alternative" Budget that dramatically cuts defense spending while increasing spending for social welfare to levels only dreamed of by Karl Marx.
And, a comment here says:
Leon Panetta was included on the masthead of this front group [IPS] even while he worked in the White House
UPDATE: From this:
In April 1985 Panetta joined with 13 of his leftist congressional colleagues — including Ron Dellums, Don Edwards, George Miller, Christopher Dodd, and Les Aspin — in sponsoring a 20th anniversary fund-raising gala for the pro-Marxist Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), which had been described by Brian Crozier, director of the London Institute for the Study of Conflict, as the "perfect intellectual front for Soviet activities which would be resisted if they were to originate openly from the KGB." The IPS was originally funded with millions of dollars from the Faberge perfume magnate and Communist Party member Samuel Rubin and his wife.
More at the link, such as:
Why on Earth is an individual who helped negotiate the turnover of the Long Beach Naval Shipyard to the communist Chinese [in 1997], thereby creating the threat to U.S. national security described in the Washington Times article by Rowan Scarborough and inserted into the Congressional Record by Rep. Solomon, being considered for a top position at one of our nation's most critical intelligence agencies?
MSNBC and the Associated Press are reporting that Bill Richardson is withdrawing his nomination to be secretary of the Department of Commerce (link). The reason is an on-going investigation into his links to a company that did business with New Mexico:
"Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact... But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process... I appreciate the confidence President-elect Obama has shown in me, and value our friendship and working partnership. I told him that I am eager to serve in the future in any way he deems useful. And like all Americans, I pray for his success and the success of our beloved country."
Barack Obama, wiping away what were most likely tears, said:
"we must move quickly to fill the void left by Governor Richardson's decision."
Apparently Blagogate filling the news cycles was bad enough and they decided it was better to dump him now. If Richardson had been confirmed, he would have helped make the Obama administration look bad, but at the same time he would also at least partly have represented the interests of the Mexican government. Overall this is for the best.
NYT editorial hopeful about Obama immigration picks; Bush "terrorized", "hunted down" illegal aliens - 12/26/08
As their Christmas gift to the world, the New York Times offered the editorial "Getting Immigration Right" (link). As with all their other editorials on this topic, it's wrong, beginning with their sleazy inability to admit that they and George W Bush are on the same side:
This is why it is so important to reverse the Bush administration’s immigration tactics, which for years have attacked the problem upside down and backward. To appease Republican nativists, it lavished scarce resources solely on hunting down and punishing illegal immigrants. Its campaign of raids, detentions and border fencing was a moral failure. Among other things, it terrorized and broke apart families and led to some gruesome deaths in shoddy prisons. It mocked the American tradition of welcoming and assimilating immigrant workers.
Bush and the NYT want the same thing; Bush just put on a few show raids at the same time as he allowed millions of illegal aliens to enter the U.S. And, the NYT's support for assimilation is as shallow as that of the Bush administration.
They also praise Obama's cabinet picks: Janet Napolitano, Bill Richardson, and Hilda Solis. Of the latter, they say that she's "built a reputation as a staunch defender of immigrants and workers." To translate that, she's been a strong supporter of illegal activity; see the last link.
They also live in a fantasy world where we can enforce labor but not immigration laws.
President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named Harvard physicist John Holdren and marine biologist Jane Lubchenco to top science posts, signaling a change from Bush administration policies on global warming that were criticized for putting politics over science.The version of about three and a half hours later says:
President-elect Barack Obama's selection Saturday of a Harvard physicist and a marine biologist for science posts is a sign he plans a more aggressive response to global warming than did the Bush administration.Apparently someone at the AP realized that both Bush and Obama want to politicize science, it's just that Obama wants to politicize it in the right way. See also the rant here, which was commenting on the first version of the article:
We don't have to worry about the Obama administration "politicizing" science. Oh, no. Obama is going to do whatever Al Gore tells him, and everyone knows that Gore has nothing to do with politics... We are supposed to believe that the global warming cult, which has suppressed dissent and whose cult prophet, James Hansen, has called for "global warming deniers" to be thrown into prison, is only interested in "good science." The "global warming" movement is about one thing and one thing only: controlling people.
Barack Obama is apparently considering naming former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk as U.S. Trade Representative. Kirk is a strong NAFTA booster while Obama has only pretended not to be one. During the campaign, Obama played a cute game: pretending to want to "renegotiate" NAFTA, only to later admit that he'd been misleading. With Kirk, at least what they want to do is a bit more out in the open.
Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk said “75 percent of goods that move between Mexico and the United States by truck move come through our community on Interstate 35. This is our effort to make that corridor designated the 'NAFTA Freeway' the true river of trade between our communities."
Yes, you read that right: Obama's choice supported a "NAFTA Freeway", nowadays called the TransTexas Corridor. While the latter is a real plan in the late planning stages in Texas, endless hacks have claimed that its Mexico to Canada version - the NAFTA Superhighway is just tin foil hat talk. Accordingly, expect fun word games ahead, as Obama's supporters try to explain that that isn't the same as a "NAFTA Superhighway", something that those supporters have said isn't a plan despite Obama describing something that sounds an awful like it and despite Obama supporting a secretive Bush scheme (the SPP.gov) to "harmonize" regulations between the three countries.
Note also that Obama's choice to be Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, doesn't really oppose "free trade"; she simply supports "fair trade", i.e., "free trade" with fluffed pillows to make things a little more comfortable for those negatively affected.
Solis, who is the daughter of Mexican and Nicaraguan immigrants, has been the only member of Congress of Central American descent. She just won a fifth term representing heavily Hispanic portions of eastern Los Angeles County and east LA... Andy Stern, president of the 1.9-million member Service Employees International Union, the 51-year-old praised Solis for her deep roots in the union movement. He recalled marching with her in Los Angeles - well before she was elected to Congress - to seek higher wages and benefits for janitors...
Even those not familiar with her past won't need much to read between the lines: she's a strong supporter of illegal immigration, even going as far as promoting comprehensive immigration reform standing side-by-side with Mexican elected officials at a Washington DC press conference she helped organize. Expect her - like other Obama picks - to support illegal/massive immigration through various means.
This might also have been another quota pick; previously, Obama had named or was set to name four Hispanics to top positions in his administration. However, with the news that Xavier Becerra was dropping out, Solis might have been chosen.
President-elect Obama's selection of a labor secretary who has steadfastly opposed protecting American workers from the impact of millions of illegal aliens in our labor force is yet another blow to hard-working families who desperately need those jobs. Both in Congress and as a member of the California Legislature, Hilda Solis has vigorously opposed efforts to institute and enforce laws against employing illegal aliens.
They list some of her legislative "highlights".
Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama today commending him on his election victory and encouraging him to choose Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano to serve in his administration as Secretary of Department of Homeland Security.
...Indeed, over the years, Western Growers, whose members primarily operate in Arizona and California, has worked with the Governor on myriad immigration related policy issues including the Arizona employer sanctions law, port-of-entry improvements enhancing the flow of legal workers who commute daily from Mexico to our members' fields here in the U.S., and streamlining of the H-2A agricultural guest worker program.
Moreover, Gov. Napolitano brings significant law enforcement experience from her stint as Arizona's first female attorney general, experience that will serve your administration and this country very well in these precarious times. Finally, Gov. Napolitano possesses a moderate temperament that makes her an effective leader while fostering bipartisanship...
Xavier Becerra: new U.S. Trade Representative? (meets Obama in Chicago) update: declines the offer - 12/04/08
Becerra voted for NAFTA in 1993, a vote he later said he regretted because of the lack of labor protections.Meanwhile, the identity politics side of things is supplied by Al Kamen of the Washington Post (link):
He also supported China's World Trade Organization membership in 2000, and last year he pushed for passage of the trade deal with Peru, after labor protections were added.
In the past, he also has opposed trade deals -- like the Central American Free Trade Pact.
There was some consideration given to announcing Becerra, a leading Hispanic lawmaker, for the job yesterday along with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), who's also Hispanic, but the Becerra pick was not settled. Sources yesterday said they understood that the transition was looking to bring as many as three Latinos into cabinet-level or senior positions in the administration.UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times offers "Becerra's a bad choice for trade post" (link). Apparently they're afraid that Becerra would cost their friends money. They're also unaware of their history:
Former two-term Washington governor Gary Locke, a Chinese-American, has also been under consideration for the job.
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles) could become the administration's point person on international trade. He's a terrible choice, and not just because of a history of unsavory behavior -- such as his successful efforts to win a pardon from President Clinton for convicted cocaine kingpin Carlos Vignali, or the screamingly unethical robo-calls his campaign engineered during his run for Los Angeles mayor in 2001. Becerra is a leader of the Democratic Party's protectionist wing, which opposes NAFTA, the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement and most other trade deals.The LAT has a history of "protecting" Antonio Villaraigosa, someone who also wrote a letter in support of pardoning Vignali, an issue that played a part in both his races for mayor; see, for instance, this. UPDATE: Becerra has declined the offer. From this:
The highest-profile candidate to decline a job offer from President-elect Barack Obama, the Los Angeles Democrat said he thinks he can have more influence as a ranking member of Congress than as the lead advisor on trade agreements... "I don't see how it can be the front-burner issue for him, nor should it be, quite honestly," Becerra said in an interview with Los Angeles public radio. "Clearly the priority for this president, and I think he said it very well, will be economic recovery and jobs."The Vignali issue also apparently caused a "complication".
[After the announcement, Richardson] addressed a news conference in Chicago in English and in Spanish, saying Obama has a vision he thinks will revitalize the American economy and restore the country's position of respect around the world.Love that quota system:
In addition, Richardson said, "It will be a great honor to serve a president that recognizes America's diversity is its greatest strength."
Although Richardson becomes the first Latino appointed to the Cabinet now in formation, Obama suggested the New Mexico governor won't be the last Latino to have an important position in his administration...UPDATE: Per this, here's at least part of what Richardson said in Spanish:
He also suggested that Latino voters, who voted for him in large numbers in the general election, should not be disappointed with his decisions thus far.
"I've appointed about half of my Cabinet so far," Obama said. "When people look back and see the entire slate ... not only in terms of my Cabinet but in terms of White House staff, I think people are going to say this is one of the most diverse Cabinets and White House staffs of all time."
Yet, at the same time, Obama maintained that this isn't why any of those appointees are being named to their positions.
"There's no contradiction between diversity and excellence," Obama said. "I'm looking for the best people, first and foremost. It just so happens that Bill Richardson is one of those people."
Like President-elect Obama told us 'si se puede' our vote has become our voice. The election has demonstrated our power and our unity. We have to keep fighting for our rights. At the same time, keep chasing the American dream for all... To the millions of inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean, we have to strengthen our ties and remember the importance of having a unified hemisphere.
Janet Napolitano's immigration stance criticized (she doesn't really oppose illegal immigration) - 12/01/08
Far from being a border hawk, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano frequently blocked efforts to curb illegal immigration, say enforcement advocates concerned about her expected nomination to be the Homeland Security secretary under President Barack Obama.Much more at the link. Her stance on Real ID is discussed in "Nominee Would Lead ID Program She Opposed" (link).
In July 2007, Napolitano signed what she called the toughest employer sanctions law in the country. During her first term, she established a state task force to curb ID fraud. She was also the first governor to call for using the National Guard on the border, though she subsequently vetoed legislation to grant funding for more Arizona National Guard troops on the border.
But Napolitano opposes a border fence, supports expanding a controversial technology visa program and favors a “stringent pathway to citizenship.”
She has also vetoed a bill requiring voter ID, vetoed a bill requiring local law enforcement to enforce immigration law, and later vetoed another proposal to allow local sheriffs to enforce immigration law.
She also vetoed a bill prohibiting Mexican consul ID cards [the Matricula Consular] that critics say are prone to fraud, vetoed an English-only bill, and vetoed a bill to criminalize illegal immigration...
...all three of his choices — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as the rival turned secretary of state; Gen. James L. Jones, the former NATO commander, as national security adviser, and Robert M. Gates, the current and future defense secretary — have embraced a sweeping shift of priorities and resources in the national security arena.See also the Center for American Progress report "The Price of Prevention/Getting Ahead of Global Crises" at americanprogress.org/issues/2008/11/price_of_prevention.html
The shift would create a greatly expanded corps of diplomats and aid workers that, in the vision of the incoming Obama administration, would be engaged in projects around the world aimed at preventing conflicts and rebuilding failed states. However, it is unclear whether the financing would be shifted from the Pentagon; Mr. Obama has also committed to increasing the number of American combat troops. Whether they can make the change — one that Mr. Obama started talking about in the summer of 2007, when his candidacy was a long shot at best — “will be the great foreign policy experiment of the Obama presidency,” one of his senior advisers said recently.
..."This is not an experiment, but a pragmatic solution to a long-acknowledged problem,” [Denis McDonough, a senior Obama foreign policy adviser] said. “During the campaign the then-senator invested a lot of time reaching out to retired military and also younger officers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan to draw on lessons learned. There wasn’t a meeting that didn’t include a discussion of the need to strengthen and integrate the other tools of national power to succeed against unconventional threats. It is critical to a long-term successful and sustainable national security strategy in the 21st century.” Mr. Obama’s advisers said they were already bracing themselves for the charge from the right that he is investing in social work, even though President Bush repeatedly promised such a shift, starting in a series of speeches in late 2005. But they also expect battles within the Democratic Party over questions like whether the billion dollars in aid to rebuild Afghanistan that Mr. Obama promised during the campaign should now be spent on job-creation projects at home.
[...Gates has been promoting "soft power", hearts and minds, etc. for a while; Jones has gone further...]
Several times during his presidency, Mr. Bush promised to alter [the rebuilding strategy, even creating a “civilian reserve corps” of nation-builders under State Department auspices, but the administration never committed serious funds or personnel to the effort. If Mr. Obama and his team can bring about that kind of shift, it could mark one of the most significant changes in national security strategy in decades and greatly enhance the powers of Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state...
The extremist-funding National Council of La Raza now has someone else "on the inside": their senior vice president Cecilia Munoz has been named as the White House director of intergovernmental affairs. At least in the current administration, that office "serves as the President's liaison to state, local, and tribal governments" (whitehouse.gov/government/off-descrp.html). Expect her to get up to some far-left mischief in order to support her race, but what exactly that will be remains to be seen.
Raul Grijalva considered for Interior Secretary in Obama administration (Juliet Eilperin/WaPo) - 11/23/08
Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post informs us (link) the Democratic U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva is in the running to be Secretary of the Department of the Interior. See the link for much more on him, including the fact that he's a strong supporter of illegal immigration and a proud former member of the racial separatist group MEChA. Needless to say, Eilperin doesn't tell her readers that:
Grijalva's experience and background meshes nicely with some of the Obama team's top requirements. The son of a migrant worker who grew up in Tucson, Grijalva boasts a strong environmental record and chairs the House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands... [the choice] would please both Latino advocates and the environmental community. Grijalva boasts a 95 percent lifetime score with the League of Conservation Voters, and he oversaw a federal study that linked oil and gas development on public lands with the decline in Western hunting habitat. He has also questioned the cheap grazing permits the Interior Department has leased to ranchers in the West.
There's also the fact that some of his actions are indistinguishable from those that an actual paid agent of the Mexican government would engage in, but no word from the WaPo about that.