Rich Galen

The question on the lips of many Great Thinkers in Your Nation's Capital yesterday was: Why did President Obama make that immigration reform speech?

Here's a rule you should write down:

Campaign promises are like parking tickets. The longer you take to pay them off, the more expensive they become.

-- Rich Galen

I put that "-- Rich Galen" thing in there so that when you steal it, you get the slightest hint, of the smallest twinge, of the briefest inkling that you should cite me. I know you won't, but I want you to pay a price. However small.

During his campaign for President, Barack Obama promised a lot of things to a lot of people. He promised to shut down Guantanamo Bay. He promised to get out of Iraq. He promised to part the Red Sea.

Ok, I made that last one up. But here's one of Obama's campaign promises:

"Obama believes we must fix the dysfunctional immigration bureaucracy and increase the number of legal immigrants to keep families together and meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill."

In November 2008 the unemployment rate was only 6.7 percent. As we look back from today's rate of 9.7 percent - NOTE: this is being written at about 10 PM on Thursday, July 1. The June unemployment figures will be released at 8:30 AM Friday morning - there are 15 million Americans who are unemployed.

To make the math easier, let's pretend the unemployment rate is 10 percent; 1.5 million per percentage point.

At an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent there were about 9.75 million unemployed. The Obama geniuses must not have contemplated an additional 5.25 million Americans looking for work on their watch.

Obama is sinking in the polls. The White House can do the Bloody Mary "Happy Talk" song from "South Pacific"

But, the reality is 15 million people are looking for work and there is nothing the Administration has proposed which is dealing with that.

So, why talk about immigration? To change the conversation.

Away from economic news:

The Dow is down 695.52 for the year or 6.7 percent.

The S&P is down 87.73, or 7.9 percent.

The Nasdaq is down 167.79, or 7.4 percent.

Unemployment is at 9.7 percent.

Foreign affairs:

Afghanistan, because of the McChrystal unpleasantness, is back on the front pages.

Ten Russian spies were arrested in the U.S.

The G-20 was an abject failure for the President of All the World

Domestic affairs:

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues unabated.

Senator Robert Byrd's death makes the Financial Reform Bill unlikely to pass in the Senate.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at