Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Scott Walker’s dopey defenders: Beltway hacks think racist emails are a snooze

“This bus is my worst f***ing nightmare," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's campaign aide tweeted. "Nobody speaks English & these ppl don’t know how 2 control their kids #only3morehours #illegalaliens.”

By Joan Walsh, Salon
February 21, 2014

I have never understood why Scott Walker got off politically unscathed after six aides and associates were convicted in a criminal investigation of campaign law violations committed during his 2010 campaign for governor. Not one, but six, including three top aides. Meanwhile, Walker’s office is ensnared in another, ongoing investigation into his 2012 recall campaign. What does all of this say about the judgment of the man at the top?

A day and a half after the release of 27,000 emails obtained in the first completed investigation, the verdict of the national media is in: This Walker scandal is boring, which in Beltway-speak commands that all serious journalists just move along.[...]

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Monday, February 24, 2014

New US Border Policy Could Be Boon For Defense Firms

By John T. Bennett, DefenseNews.com
Februrary 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — Immigration reform legislation could provide an unexpected boost for defense firms, and one senior senator says pro-Republican business leaders’ political heft is needed to persuade House leaders to move a bill.

The Senate, last year, passed a sweeping immigration-reform measure that proposes $38 billion for new American-made weapon systems. But House Republicans, who control the lower chamber’s agenda, are skeptical not only about spending that much — but also about a slew of other immigration issues.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and GOP leaders say the chamber will tackle immigration reform piece by piece, rather than the soup-to-nuts approach employed by the Senate.

House Republican leaders recently released the party’s “standards for immigration reform,” a one-page white paper with six categories. The first covers “border security and interior enforcement,” which the document declares “must come first.”

But the section contains almost no specifics on how the party prefers to secure America’s borders and makes no mention of the party’s stance on the Senate’s proposed weapons purchases. It appears more interested in taking shots at President Barack Obama — and his predecessors. [...]

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Un asunto de confianza/Trust Issues

Un asunto de confianza

Por Elvira Arellano, El Diario La Prensa
12 de Febrero, 2014

Los republicanos dicen ahora que no van a aprobar una reforma migratoria este año porque no confian en el presidente Obama. ¡Bienvenidos al club!

El senador Charles Schumer (D-NY), defendió al presidente Obama mencionando su tremenda labor en haber deportado a un número record de personas. Luego dijo que a su parecer, está bien si el Congreso aprueba una reforma este año aunque no tome efecto hasta 2016. Es decir, el senador estaría perfectamente feliz y contento con que el gobierno siga deportando gente durante dos años más. Con amigos como Schumer y Obama, ¿para qué necesitamos enemigos? ¿A quién deben rendir cuentas el presidente Obama y los demócratas? ¿Acaso no les importa que ganaron las elecciones con 71% del voto latino?, dándoles el margen de victoria en distritos claves en el país entero.
¿Acaso no merecemos el respeto de que cumplan con lo prometido?

Obama prometió conseguir la aprobación de una reforma migratoria en los primeros 100 días de su presidencia. Prometió que iba a poner fin a la práctica inmoral de separar a los niños de sus madres y padres.

Prometió renegociar al Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLCAN), reconociendo que tanto trabajadores norteamericanos como campesinos mexicanos estaban perdiendo sus puestos de trabajo—y eso fue uno de los motivos principales que han impulsado a tanto indocumentado de viajar al norte en búsqueda de empleos. Prometió a los jefes de estado de todos los países latinoamericanos que los iba a tratar respetuosamente como sus iguales, y que ya el gobierno estadounidense no iba a apoyar a los golpes de estado para derrumbar a nuestros gobiernos. [...]

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Trust Issues

By Elvira Arellano, Centro sin Fronteras
February 12, 2014

Republicans are now saying that they won’t pass immigration reform this year because they have “trust issues” with the President. Join the club.

New York’s Senator Shumer defended Obama by citing his great record on deporting so many people. Then he said it was all right with him if they passed the legislation this year but with the condition that the law would not go into effect until 2016. All right with him if they just go on deporting people for another two years. Wow! With friends like Obama nd Shumer we don’t need any enemies.

When I was growing up there was a man who was well known for cheating on his wife. His wife confronted him in the middle of the street demanding to know where he was going. E apologized but said he had to go to his mistresses house, “because I promised her I would be there. If I break my promise no one will trust me!”

Who are President Obama and the Democrats accountable to? Does it matter that they got elected with 71% of the Latino vote, putting them over in key districts all across the country? Don’t they owe us the respect of keeping their promises.”

Obama promised to pass comprehensive immigration reform in his first 100 days in office. He promised to end the immoral practice of separating children from their mothers or fathers. He promised to renegotiate NAFTA, recognizing that both U.s. workers and Mexican farmers were losing jobs, a main reason why so many undocumented workers were forced to come north to find work. He promised the heads of state of all the Latin American countries that he would treat them with respect as equal partners and he would no longer support illegal coup efforts to overthrow our governments. [...]

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

SPLC Report: State Department cultural exchange program hijacked by U.S. employers, used for cheap labor

By Southern Poverty Law Center
February 11, 2014

Laura Franco and her sister thought they had found a life-changing opportunity.

After meeting with a labor recruiter and spending hours browsing through a website, both were convinced that leaving the Dominican Republic to work in Tennessee as part of the U.S. State Department’s cultural exchange program would be a great way to spend their summer break from college in 2012.

According to the recruiter, the sisters would clean rooms in a “fancy hotel” where room and board would be free. The sisters saw it as an opportunity to improve their English and meet people from other cultures – a true cultural exchange.

When they arrived in Tennessee, they found a far different reality. They didn’t receive free room and board at a fancy hotel. Instead, they were ordered to sleep with the horses in the resort’s stables. And, in addition to cleaning hotel rooms, they were expected to tend to the horses and maintain the stables.

Laura and her sister are not alone. [...]

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Chris Christie’s Texas horror: Meet the scandalous prison company he’s long promoted

A corporation Christie's lobbied for and long pushed runs notorious detention center with a slew of vocal opponents

By Josh Eidelson, Salon
January 24, 2014

A controversial company promoted by Chris Christie runs an immigrant detention center in Texas slammed by advocates as one of the nation’s worst. The facility is used by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to house immigrant detainees who are seeking asylum in the United States.

And, noting Christie’s “long and very close relationship with Community Education Centers,” the private company running the facility for ICE, one critic told Salon, “I think it’s time people start asking questions, because this company’s practices are not confined to New Jersey.”

“I’ve visited a bunch of detention facilities in Texas, and that’s by far the worst,” said the opponent, Bob Libal, who directs the prison reform group Grassroots Leadership and visited the Polk County Adult Detention Center with other activists in 2012 and 2013. His allegations echo a 2012 report from the Detention Watch Network, a coalition including the ACLU and the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as Libal’s group: “Inadequate medical care, poor nutrition, lack of access to legal services, absence of meaningful programming, and a willful neglect of those who are imprisoned there plague the Polk detention center.” [...]

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