Tag: immigration

Free Nicoll

Nicoll Hernández-Polanco tried to enter this country twice when she was 17.  The Guatemalan native was caught and deported.  

In October of 2014, Nicoll again crossed the Sonora desert to the Arizona border.  This time she turned herself in and asked for asylum.  Guatemala is one of the most dangerous countries in the Western Hemisphere for transgender women, battling for second with Honduras behind Brazil.

Having experienced about a decade of sexual and physical abuse in Guatemala and then Mexico, ICE threw the new fish into the shark tank that is their Florence, AZ all-male detention center.  Since she has been there she has been assaulted by another detainee, forced to shower with men, verbally abused by both the guards and the other inmates, and placed in solitary confinement for standing up for herself.

Mariposas Sin Fronteras (Butterflies without borders), the Transgender Law Center, and other LGBT and immigration rights advocates have been fighting for her release…for an end to the torture…but ICE refuses to budge.  In their eyes, her deportation is a priority because of her two previous deportations.

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Gaza, and Life in the Global Economy

‘But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked. ‘Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat. ‘We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” (Alice in Wonderland)  

The past month or two I have been running from one demonstration and issue to another in support of various causes. I have attended several of the various demonstrations in support of Palestinian rights as Israel, with the backing of the United States, once again, exercises it’s barely hidden genocidal agenda. The past week and a half, Israel has been pounding Gaza with a massive bombing campaign and an aggressive ground war. The Palestinian people have already been devastated from a seven year siege. Many people aren’t aware that Israel, which puts forward the myth that Gaza is an independent entity, still controls most of the power, water and goods going in and out of Gaza – Gazans currently get about four hours of electricity a day and three hours of water once every three days. In the week and a half since the “war” began over 1,000 Gazans have been killed (a majority women and children),  millions of dollars of infrastructure have been destroyed. At last tally, 45 Israeli soldiers and three Islaeli civilians have died in the conflict and Israel gained controlled of approximately 1/3 of the remaining land in Gaza which they now call a “buffer zone.”

This is the third such incursion since 2008.  The other two bombing operations resulted in thousands of additional deaths and demolished neighborhoods and the ongoing blockade prevented Palestinians from rebuilding.  People often forget that the destruction of the infrastructure, once the bombing stops, is often more dangerous to the people’s health when they cannot have drinkable water (95% of Gazans don’t), adequate power and shelter.

For the first time, Palestinian voices are being heard, even by the mainstream —  if only because the devastation is so great they cannot be ignored. Demonstrations in Europe reached over 100,000 in England and France. There is clearly a movement that is stronger today than in the past.  Many of the demonstrations I attended were sizable – between one and two thousand people. In New York City, a stronghold of Zionism, that is no small number and shows the changing landscape in regard to the Palestinian issue – even here in the belly of the beast. And yet, today, as I write, there is no cease fire and the people of Palestine are still under attack.

I could go on about Gaza, but there are so many other issues. Like the 57,000 undocumented children coming across the Mexican border, fleeing from dictatorial states like Guatemala, El Salvador  and Honduras that the United States supported. Most recently the USA supported the coup in Honduras which ousted President Zelaya after he made two fatal mistakes – he doubled the minimum wage and he planned to join ALBA, a group of seven Latin American countries which have formed a coalition to fight the United States neoliberal agenda in the South. President Obama was the only leader in the western world who did not condemn the coup and gave immediate recognition to the new government. The United States government plans to send the majority of the fleeing children back to these states for their “safety” which is the reason that they fled and made the dangerous trek to the United States in the first place.

And then there are the other “domestic issues.” Thousands of poor, elderly and disabled people in Detroit are being denied water because they can’t pay their water bill, often after the state cut off their pension due to the Detroit bankruptcy. A young man brought my attention to another black man, Eric Garner, killed in Brooklyn  due to excessive police force. .(The young man who told me was unaware of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict).I also just learned, today, that there was yet another incident yesterday in which the NYPD stomped on another black man’s head – also captured in a video.  Oh, and there was newspaper headline about the “open carry (guns) advocates who stood on the grassy knoll (where Kennedy was killed) and criticized Obama. Guess what man – you’re still black.

Finally, there is the civil war in the Ukraine which recently resulted in the deaths of 298 civilians in an air crash (many of them AIDS researchers) when the Russian backed rebels shot the plane down by mistake. Many of the US backed forces, which recently took the Ukraine over in a coup are real old fashioned fascists (which feels a lot worse in Europe than it does here given the fact that Fascists have actually held power in Europe and we experienced the results).These new Ukrainian leaders are pressuring Europe to put more and more sanctions on Russia. I’m old enough to remember the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States and this certainly feels like de javu.

But I digress.  There is a big demonstration planned in Washington for August 2nd for Palestinian rights. Kerry is negotiating right now for a short cease fire that does not actually change any of the conditions in the siege on Gaza.  Hamas (and it seems like most of the Gazan people including those who don’t back Hamas) say the cease fire must include the ending of the Siege on Gaza (what have they got to lose? They are already being slowly killed anyway with no drinkable water and half their land destroyed). Israel is unlikely to comply (Why should they ? They have our backing and the Seige meets their long term goals for a greater Israel just fine).

IN THE MEANTIME THE DEMONSTRATION IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IS STILL 7 DAYS AWAY – HOW MANY MORE PEOPLE CAN THEY KILL AND HOW MUCH MORE INFRASTRUCTURE CAN THEY DESTROY IN 7 DAYS? Of course, this is just an infinitely small fraction of the devastation we have visited on the rest of the world in just the 20th and 21st century. (Pick a region)

Have you signed your 150th petition today? Have you written your congress person or Obama? Have you gone on a demonstration? Do you feel good about doing your civic duty? I was watching TV the other night and the ad with the dog with sad eyes and the sentimental music came on soliciting donations so that the dog and other dogs could live without abuse. There is a similar ad with a small clearly starving child in Africa.  As Bill Clinton would say “I feel your pain.” Synthetic, televised pain is not enough.



The definition of insanity someone said is to keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results. With the advent of the internet and globalization, the world is turning faster now, and the contradictions are heightening. “We do what we can” we say. We “keep the faith, “we keep hope alive.” But as Mao would say, just “tolling the bell” (doing the usual level of political work or doing the usual rant as I am doing now) is not enough. We need to give ourselves a wake-up call.

Have the House Democrats Found Their Spines

Cross posted from [The Stars Hollow Gazette

Have the House Democrats finally realized there is a way to beat the recalcitrant Republican majority?  Somebody in the Democratic caucus must have been up watching old movies on Netflix and remembered an old House rule called a “discharge petition

A discharge petition is a means of bringing a bill out of committee and to the floor for consideration without a report from the committee and usually without cooperation of the leadership. Discharge petitions are most often associated with the U.S. House of Representatives, though many state legislatures have similar procedures. They are used when the chair of a committee refuses to place a bill or resolution on the Committee’s agenda; by never reporting a bill, the matter will never leave the committee, and the full House will not be able to consider it. A successful petition “discharges” the committee from further consideration of a bill or resolution and brings it directly to the floor. The discharge petition, and the threat of one, gives more power to individual members of the House and usurps a small amount of power from the leadership and committee chairs. The modern discharge petition requires the signature of an absolute majority of House members (218 members). Only twice has it been used successfully on major legislation in recent history.

Democrats plot a way to bypass Boehner

Rachel Maddow explains how congressional Democrats are considering the use of the discharge petition to get votes on immigration and the minimum wage.



Transcript can be read here

House Dems seek to force GOP’s hand on minimum wage hike

By Mike Lillis, The Hil

CAMBRIDGE, MD – House Democrats are launching an effort to force Republicans’ hand on the minimum wage.

The Democrats will introduce a discharge petition later this month designed to force a floor vote on a proposal to hike the minimum wage, even in the face of entrenched opposition from GOP leaders.

The discharge petition faces a high bar, as it would require at least 18 Republicans to buck their leadership and endorse the measure – a scenario the Democrats readily acknowledge is unlikely.

“I don’t think we’re ever confident that we’re going to get 18 Republicans to sign a discharge petition,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) conceded during the Democrats’ annual issues retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. [..]

Hoyer said he hasn’t yet surveyed the Democrats to learn exactly how many would endorse the discharge petition, but he predicted it will be “close to everybody.”

Schumer Offers Long-Shot Option to Skirt House G.O.P. on Immigration

By Ashley Parker and Jonathan Weisman, The New York Times

WASHINGTON – Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, offered a long-shot option on Thursday to revive the moribund effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws that would require the support of more than a dozen House Republicans – and, if nothing else, pressure others to act on an election-year issue that Tea Party-aligned members strongly oppose. [..]

Mr. Schumer was responding to a recent column in The Washington Post by E. J. Dionne Jr., suggesting that Democrats go the route of the discharge petition. He also suggested during a “Meet the Press” appearance on Sunday that Congress could pass immigration legislation this year, but delay its implementation until 2017, to assuage the concern of many Republicans who say they do not trust President Obama to enforce the laws.

Now the issue is getting enough Republicans to vote with the Democrats. It’s an election year and there are a number of Republican seats that are vulnerable. So what will the Republicans do if the Democrats get all their members to sign on to a discharge petition? The bigger question is will House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) be able to rally the troops? We’re watching.

Deportees

Amy Lieberman has been covering the danger inherent in being a transgender woman for a few years now for women’s eNews.  Most recently she has been in Mexico, delving into the consequences when a transwoman is deported back to Mexico.

Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous places to be transgender.  But as lawmakers try to change that, transgender women who are deported confront a social backlash that makes their homeland more fearful than ever.

If you pass inside, you will likely find yourself decrying the way Mexican transgender women are treated.  But you should be aware that it is not all that much different than transwomen are treated in the US.

AC Meetup: Differences Matter-Wage and Wealth Gap for Single Mothers Of Color by Diana Zavala

The following is a guest diary by Diana Zavala. An educator, political activist and single mother of two, this is the second guest diary that Diana has written for us. Diana presented this piece as part of the panel at Left Forum 2013 organised by Geminijen.

Three years ago I found myself closing the chapter on my marriage. I did this against the advice of my friends who tried persuading me to stay for the children, for the sake of security and until I finished my studies. I had spent 10 years in an unsatisfying marriage and the thought of one more day for the sake of something/somebody else just was not acceptable. I left the marriage and while the emotional release was satisfying; but being independent and having to be responsible for my family was a reality I don’t think I fully grasped.

I decided there had to be a way that women in my situation could qualify for public assistance. Here I was a student, with two kids, huge rent bill, no health insurance, but these circumstances were only temporary I thought, and with a little assistance I would be able to overcome them and get myself back on my feet. I thought ‘hey, I’m not the quintessential “welfare queen” so demonized by society’, I’m someone who needs help and can become independent with some assistance. I discovered it wasn’t the case, that women who were in my predicament had no safety nets available for them to bounce back. I didn’t qualify for anything because I had too much money from child support which was just enough to cover the rent. The Welfare office recommended I become homeless in order to apply for Section 8 housing and I didn’t qualify for Food Stamps, nor did I qualify for Medicaid.

Here it was, I had been a high school teacher before getting married, I left teaching to care for my son while my husband’s career progressed and so did his income and retirement. I had no money and no savings and was being advised to become homeless so I could qualify for housing assistance and food stamps, so I could provide for my children.

I had walked into the office feeling like a strong feminist who had left her marriage choosing independence from a husband and who could make it on her own. I was college educated, employable, and young enough to have energy to fight and overcome. I came out of the office understanding that my situation was no different from other women who leave, that while I had education and language, my status as a single mother did not differ much from that of my mother’s when she immigrated from Honduras after she divorced my father.

SCOTUS Ruling Limited Free Speech

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The latest session of the US Supreme Court is coming to a close with several decisions handed down since last Thursday, that peaked today with several rulings handed down. The “grand finale” will be this Thursday when the court announces its decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The media has been focused mostly on today’s ruling that gutted three quarters of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, S.B. 1070. The overturn of a 100-year-old Montana state law that banned corporations in that state from spending any of their corporate cash to support or oppose a candidate or a political party and the ruling that struck out any requirement that life without parole be the mandatory penalty for murder by a minor got second and third billing.

What the media chose to ignore was last Thursday’s 5 -4 decision in Knox v. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that dealt a blow against public sector labor unions and in favor of employees who are represented by a union but are not members:

The case has three holdings: (1) When a public-sector union imposes a special assessment or dues increase, the union must provide a fresh Hudson notice (the Court’s vote on this issue was seven to two); (2) the union cannot require nonmembers to pay the increased amount unless they opt in by affirmatively consenting (vote of five to four); and (3) the case was not rendered moot by the union’s post-certiorari offer of a full refund (unanimous).

So what you say? Why is this an important ruling? It’s important because it requires Unions to do something that corporations aren’t. It requires unions to get permission from their non-members, who pay fees so they are covered by SEIU-negotiated contracts, before that money can be used for political spending. Instead of the traditional “opt-out”, the now have to “opt-in.” Corporations are not required to get share holders permission to spend millions on a political campaign. This could significantly impact on labor’s ability to fight back against corporations in the political arena. It restricts the union’s First Amendment rights to spend unlimited amounts under the 2010 Citizens United ruling:

“The court’s opinion makes clear its displeasure with 60 years of precedent on the dues issue, which have placed the burden on employees who object (to political spending) to opt out,” said William Gould, who from 1994 to 1998 chaired the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that governs labor relations in the private sector. “This decision is an invitation to litigate this issue.”

Although the Knox case involved special assessments on non-union members, Gould said, the Supreme Court’s reasoning suggests that it could be applied to all union dues that fund political spending paid by non-members. The next time that a union goes through the standard process of notifying non-members they have the ability to opt out, the union may well be met with a legal challenge, warned Gould. “(This decision) indicates that if these five (justices) are there when these cases come back to the Court, that the Court will decide these cases adversely to unions,” he said.

That thought has the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which represented the plaintiffs in the case, and similar groups celebrating — and labor advocates fearing the worst.

Patrick Semmens, vice president of the foundation, said via email that while some justices have used similar language in the past, the Knox decision confirms that now a majority believe “compulsory unionism” is a violation of First Amendment rights.

SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina pointed out that while this complicates matters for unions it is “doable”. But he also noted that this decision was one sided in that “There is nothing in this [Knox] decision that even speaks to the question of shareholders, or corporations having to tell shareholders about any of the contributions they make, [..] “The language, to me, signals what has been the rightward drift of the Supreme Court … Now they’ve come up with a decision to make it more difficult for workers to be able to effectively participate in the [political] process.”

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and her guest, legal correspondent and senior editor for Slate Dahlia Litwick discussed all of these rulings with emphasis on the Knox ruling.

As was expressed in it opinion on June 23, the New York Times rightly noted:

The conservative majority strode into the center of the bitter debate about right-to-work laws preventing unions in 23 states from requiring nonmembers to pay any union expenses, including those supporting collective bargaining that benefits nonmembers. It used this narrow case to insert itself into that political controversy when there was no reason to do so.

Some Undocumented Immigrants Get Their Dream

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Well, almost. President Barack Obama, who has deported more undocumented immigrants than any president since 1892, will stop deporting hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children:

The policy, effective immediately, will apply to people who are currently under 30 years old, who arrived in the country before they turned 16 and have lived in the United States for five years. They must also have no criminal record, and have earned a high school diploma, remained in school or served in the military.

These qualifications resemble in some ways those of the so-called Dream Act, a measure blocked by Congress in 2010 that was geared to establish a path toward citizenship for certain young illegal immigrants. The administration’s action on Friday, which stops deportations but does not offer citizenship, is being undertaken by executive order and does not require legislation. It was announced by the Department of Homeland Security.

What the younger immigrants will obtain, officials said, is the ability to apply for a two-year “deferred action” that effectively removes the threat of deportation for up to two years, with repeated extensions. “This is not immunity, it is not amnesty,” said Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary. “It is an exercise of discretion.”

Why now? Political expediency. Obama needs the Latino vote:

The Obama administration has failed to deliver on its promise to lift the threat of deportation for law-abiding undocumented immigrants, according to an alliance of Hispanic and civil rights leaders who warn that disappointment among Latino voters could damage the president’s chances of being re-elected.

A new report from the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (Firm) (pdf) criticises the department of homeland security for failing to implement its own policy that switched the target of deportations onto serious criminal offenders, or the “worst of the worst”.

Firm concludes that the lack of implementation could “undermine the credibility of President Obama’s standing with Latino and immigrant communities nationwide“.

Obama = Lying Hypocrite:

[C]onsider Obama’s 2008 campaign promise that he would tackle immigration reform his first year in office. He now has to explain why he failed to do this: “The challenge we’ve got on immigration reform,” Obama said in a Univision interview last month, “is very simple. I’ve got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it. And I’ve got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it.”

That is a bold faced lie:

The DREAM Act would have passed if Democrats had shown unity on the measure.

But five Democrats voted against the legislation: Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and both Montana Democrats, Jon Tester and Max Baucus. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin announced his opposition to the DREAM Act Saturday in a statement Saturday but missed the vote.

Three Republicans crossed party lines to vote for the bill: Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Utah Sen. Bob Bennett.

Maybe if Obama had put some pressure on those 5 “Democrats” the bill would have passed.

The Obama administration claims that the number are up because they are focused on deporting criminals is another lie: Most of the immigrants who were deported were Latinos and not criminals:

[L]ess than 50 percent of the people removed have a criminal conviction, according to the Homeland Security Department’s own statistics. For example, 387,000 people were deported in 2010, of which only 169,000 had committed a crime. The statistics also show that the large majority of deportations are Latinos. Roughly 73 percent are from Mexico, 8 percent from Guatemala, 6 percent from Honduras and 5 percent from El Salvador.

Remember, this is a president who talks indignantly about the immigration enforcement laws passed by GOP legislators in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina – calling them “misdirected” and “bad law.” He has even instructed his Justice Department to challenge them in court.

This is good news for those undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children with their families. It is a step forward in solving a problem that Obama could have done three and half years ago without congressional approval but has chosen to do it now just to get the Latino community vote. The one thing it is not, a step towards citizenship. Hypocrite.

Transwomen Incarcerated

Back in 1984 Calvin Burdine was convicted in the stabbing death of his gay lover, who had been trying to pimp him out.  The prosecuting attorney asked the jury to award Burdine the death penalty rather than life in prison, claiming that sending a gay man to prison was like sending a kid to a candy store.  

The jury agreed in only 17 minutes.  The judge also thought it sounded reasonable.

Fortunately, Calvin got a new trial since his public defender slept through the first one.

How ugly is that?

The reality that GLBT people experience in prison is far removed from the myth.  A young man named Rodney tells it like it is here.

I’ve heard before that ‘jail is a faggot’s dream.’ I assure you that cliché is not the case. Gay men who do not attempt to hide their sexuality are forced into passive and submissive roles. To live with some standard of equality, we have to trade in our manhood. We are completely emasculated. It’s a form of technical castration. The role of woman is forced upon us and any rebuttal is considered a sign of disrespect. My way of thinking about myself and my sexuality has been permanently altered.

–Rodney

And if that is how gay men are treated in prison, can you imagine the life of a transwoman sent to a men’s prison?  

Mexican Gang Cartels recruiting school age kids in the US; 6/7 cartels have headquarters in Texas

From Texas-Mexico border now combat zone say two retired U.S. generals in new report

Tired of hearing from Obama White House that the Texas-Mexico border is more secure than ever, the Texas Department of Agriculture, along with the Department of Public Safety,  hired two retired U.S. generals to evaluate the true status.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today released “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment,” an independent study, former generals Barry McCaffrey and Major-General Robert Scales, at the Protect Your Texas Border Summit in Austin.

Among their findings is that “criminality spawned in Mexico is spilling over into the United States.”

From ‘Expendable, unaccountable’ Texas children now recruited by Mexican drug cartels

“Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment,” an independent study, former generals Barry McCaffrey and Major-General Robert Scales, was released at the Protect Your Texas Border Summit at the state capital.

The much anticipated study reveals that  drug cartels are now recruiting our Texas children with significant investments for their criminal gang activities.

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In the last 18 months, six of seven cartels have established headquarters in Texas cities, according to testimony form the Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McGraw.

At least 22 murders, 24 assaults, 15 shootings and five kidnappings have been traced to cartel activities on the Texas side of the border during since January 2010.

Combined with a persistent recession/depression, a decaying social safety net, lax border security and continuing lame-brain drug laws, don’t be surprised if there’s a rapid increase in gang-related crime in your neighborhood.

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UPDATE          UPDATE          UPDATE          UPDATE          UPDATE          UPDATE          

The primary source document, “Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment”, is linked to here.

Immigrants For Sale

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Prisons for profits, with our tax dollars

Immigrants For Sale

Immigrants are for sale in this country. Sold to private prison corporations who are locking them up for obscene profits!

Here are the top 3 things YOU need to know about the Private Prison money scheme:

The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night at their prisons, this is a money making scheme that destroys families and lives.

The players: CCA (Corrections Corporation of America), The Geo Group and Management and Training corporations-combined these private prisons currently profit more than $5 billion a year.

The money: These private prisons have spent over $20 million lobbying state legislators to make sure they get state anti-immigrant laws approved and ensure access to more immigrant inmates.

Exposing The Immigrants For Sale Scheme

Georgia is the latest state to pass an anti-immigrant bill like SB1070, with Governor Deal having signed it on Friday. Georgia is ALSO home to the largest private prison in the country.

It’s hardly a secret that private prison corporations like Corrections Corporation of America and The GEO group, along with right-wing lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) and a few pocketed state legislators like Russell Pearce in Arizona, have been at it-deliberately promoting and designing laws aimed at incarcerating immigrants and turning the prison system into an incredibly lucrative business.

Just last year the private prison industry secured close to $5 billion through state and government elicited contracts of which an increasing percentage is attributed to migrant detention facilities and bed spaces. An NPR report outlined how CCA aims to translate the anti-immigrant rhetoric and political void into a long-lasting cash drive-believing that immigrants will provide a fresh influx of ‘guests’ in their less then onerous ‘hotel’ cells. Even worse, CCA founder Tomas Beasly once called his scheme ‘more profitable’ than selling burgers or cars-a clear indication that any sense of justice in the prison industry will be forever trumped by cash flows and profit margins.

It is clear that for CCA, along with the GEO Group and Management and Training, immigrants are a product-one that is for sale to the highest vendor. They view locked-up immigrants as the next big share jump, stock option, bonus incentive, or any other motive that tickles their multi-billion dollar fancy. They have no shame admitting so-every year the private prison industry gets together for a major convention to essentially design strategies that will fill the more then 150,000 bed spaces they currently own.

Recall For AZ Russell Pearce Gains Momentum: 18K Signatures – Twice What Is Needed

We’ve been tracking the recall campaign against Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce, author of SB1070, because he insisted on playing his nativist fiddle in the Senate while Arizona’s economy burned to the ground. It probably hasn’t helped that he’s become belligerent whenever anyone brings up his role in the Fiesta Bowl scandal, either.

Of course, Greta Van Susteren knew better than to ask Pearce any such tough questions last night on her Fox show. She mostly lobbed out the news of the day – the fact that the people leading the recall had filed more than twice what they needed, some 18,000 signatures – and let him swing away.

But Pearce looked scared, and he should be:

In a celebratory display of unprecedented organization, a bipartisan group of activists poured into the Arizona secretary of state’s office yesterday with more than 18,300 signatures to demand the recall of State Senate president Russell Pearce. The filing of the petitions marked the culmination of a campaign that has defied expectations, and a watershed moment for the beleaguered state. Once the state and Maricopa County recorders verify the legal requirement of 7,756 signatures from the traditionally conservative and Mormon-founded Mesa district, Pearce, who is considered by many as the de facto governor and motivating force behind the state’s notorious blitz of extremist policies on education, health, guns and immigration, will become the first State Senate president in American history to be recalled.

h/t Crooks & Liars

Keep DREAMing, Congress

Immigration reform is needed, but it would be foolhardy to suggest that the DREAM act satisfies the requirement.  It would seem that we have entered a new era of protectionism.  Perhaps we should revive the quota system while we are at it.  Though exact numbers will not be regulated, immigrants allowed to attain formal citizenship will be sharply curtailed.  Each subsequent revision of the original bill adds hurdles to what will be a lengthy, tedious process of measured steps to follow.  The act makes it plain that the process towards citizenship will unnecessarily protracted.  The only immigrants allowed the formal right to be called Americans will be high achievers.  Granted, good old fashioned Americans can be lazy, unproductive, and not of high moral character, but not illegal and deportable aliens, as the wording of the bill itself reads.  

It’s Time— Part Two. (A Docudharma Exclusive)

Let me state up front that in writing this, I could have speculated all day and drawn many inferences. But instead, I have chosen to stick to the basic facts and I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. For the record, I have injected my opinion once and I state that it is my opinion. And even though I have told this information to at least 500 people in person, one of whom was from Homeland Security and two others who worked for the IRS, I am still leary of posting this information for fear of reprisal. I have made a few attempts to contact the media, but there seems to be little interest from any media outlet. What is this information you ask? The information is that the IRS does not shred any of it’s print runs. They send ALL excess printed material intact to Great Lakes Recycling. To be fair, they might shred it now, but I have reason to suspect that it is still unshredded.

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