Saturday, February 23, 2019
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Highlights from President Obama’s Immigration Reform Speech


The 15th best president in U.S. history spoke today on comprehensive immigration reform, which we badly need. Unfortunately, as with everything else we badly need, Republicans are monolithically and mindlessly the "party of no" - and for no good reason, sad to say. I mean, it's not like many of these Republicans - John McCain, for instance - didn't support comprehensive immigration reform a few years ago. But now that Democrats are in charge, fuhgettaboutit!  Apparently, politics matters more to these folks than getting stuff done for our country. Fortunately, we have President Obama in the White House and Democratic control of Congress. This November, we'd better make sure we keep it!

UPDATE: After the "flip," there's video of President Obama signing the Iran Sanctions Act. According to Obama, "To date, Iran has chosen the path of defiance, and that's why we have steadily built a broader and deeper coalition of nations to pressure the Iranian government." Obama adds that these are "the toughest sanctions against Iran ever passed by the United States Congress."  We'll see if they work, but I can't say I'm holding my breath.

Darth McCain: Complete the Danged Death Star…Er, Fence


Still hard to believe this guy used to be a (seemingly) moderate, "maverick," possibly even Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican. Not since he teamed up with Wolf Killa from Wasilla!

Three States, One Territory and Some Reflections Upon Justice

Note: I have planned to continue my series of articles on the situation in Arizona.  However, I interrupt this series for some important diversions and reflections.


Louisiana
In her condemnation of profit over the good of this nation, last night, Rachel Maddow  asked whether Louisiana is part of our country or not?


America has a choice to make about the State of Louisiana. Is Louisiana part of our country or isn't it? Because if Louisiana is part of America, then the American people and the American government have to begin to defend Louisiana against American greed, and multinational greed. Because yes, legally it's the job of BP, the oil company, to clean up this disaster that looms over this wetlands behind me right now.

Photos, Video: Immigration Reform Rally at the White House

Earlier this afternoon, I attended an immigration reform rally at Lafayette Park next to the White House. Hundreds of people, if not more, were on hand to peacefully protest Arizona's anti-immigrant law and to demand that Congress pass comprehensive immigration reform - including the DREAM Act - now. I was extremely impressed with the speakers, as well as the friendly, peaceful, racially diverse, and passionate crowd of protesters. Among others, I heard several "Trail of Dreams" students talk about their 1,500-mile walk from Miami, FL to bring their immigration message to Washington. Along the way, "they documented their journey on Facebook and Twitter, gathered 30,000 signatures to bring to the president and marshaled support and shelter."

In addition to the photos after the "flip," check out the video (below) of Margie (spelling?), a junior from T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA. I think you'll agree that she's very impressive - in Spanish and in English!

UPDATE: Another video for your viewing and listening pleasure - "El Pueblo Unido".

What’s Behind the AZ Immigration Bill (Part 2)

Yesterday I wrote of some of the subtext underlying the AZ bill, the Brewer role in the GOP plot to lop off millions of voters across this land.  In AZ hundreds of thousands have been wrongly purged from the voter roles, most of them brown-skinned.  Today I address some of the more obvious issues, which nonetheless bear repeating. First, let it be said, that I vigorously oppose the new Arizona immigration law.  Should it spread to other states, and to the nation at-large, it would further a human rights outrage.  This is so because it targets people by domestic law enforcement without probable cause.  Most of all, asking American citizens, legal immigrants and, yes, even undocumented persons, to produce their "papers," hearkens back to the days of Nazi Germany or the heyday of the USSR. We do not want to go there.  Combined with the 2010 Census questions honing in on Hispanic country of origin, with specificity not afforded any other ethnicity, the AZ law must seem threatening to Hispanic peoples.  The hostile climate will ill serve all Americans.

Most Americans believe some immigration reform is necessary.  That is not inherently racist.  It is how we conduct ourselves, for what reason, and what we seek to achieve that define who (and what) we are inside. How we behave and rationalize what we do forms a figurative charcoal sketch of our national character.  In one state, at least, citizens-at-large (on average--actually 73-75%) are flunking the character test.  I do not say all Arizonans do so.  Far too many fail, however.  They will tell you how horrible it is there (It isn't).  They will tell you that the death of a single rancher justifies the overarching hysteria in recent weeks.  They, even many Obama supporters, will blame President Obama, who's only been in office a little over a year, for the problems arising over three decades of neglect, as literally tunnels were built in a vast lattice-work at our southern border, even as almost everyone else has at some time been frisked/patted down in random airline searches.  They will say this new AZ immigration law is better than nothing, when in fact it is far worse.

What’s Behind the AZ Immigration Un-Reform Bill (Part 1).

What you believe is behind the extremist AZ immigration "reform" bill is only the half of it. The more obvious reasons (ramped-up fear, xenophobia, ignorance, and chaotic current immigration law) are of grave concern.  But I will leave my discussion of those causes for tomorrow. For now, please suspend your disbelief for a moment as I tell you about some real reporting, the kind few American journalists do anymore, at least not in the corporate media. You see, Jan Brewer has been at the heart of a massive voter disenfranchisement effort.  Greg Palast reports that it also turns out that Brewer is the Katherine Harris of AZ. She did much damage as Sec of State.  Now she's in charge altogether. Had Janet Napolitano been there she would have vetoed the bill. We know this because she did so, at least twice.  But the President named her to head DHS.  The rest is history.

(The vote suppression tale is below the fold.)

McDonnell On Arizona Immigration Law: “that brings up shades of some...


Bob McDonnell likens the draconian Arizona immigration law to "other regimes that were not particularly helpful to democracy and civil rights."  McDonnell is correct in this case (for once!), but I can just imagine how his comment - comparing the Arizona immigration law to...what, apartheid? fascism? - will go over with "the base."  Apparently, McDonnell has decided to side with Meghan McCain over John McCain on this one. Heh.

UPDATE: In related news, it looks like the superb film on the Prince William County immigration resolution, 9500 Liberty, will be opening this Friday at theaters in the Phoenix, AZ area.

9500 LIBERTY traces the rise and fall of "The Immigration Resolution" in Prince William County, Virginia. Come find out why a Virginia county repealed the same police mandate Arizona just passed. view the 9500 Liberty trailer No one wants Arizona to suffer the same negative economic impact, negative public safety impact, expensive lawsuits, and higher taxes suffered by the people of Prince William County. This weekend, you can help support an award-winning film that, if successful, will inspire Arizonans to take action, and send a message to the Arizona legislature.

Pay Attention, Corey Stewart


Our failure to act responsible at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," the president said at a naturalization ceremony for members of the military.

In fact, I've instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation. But if we continue to fail to act at the federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.

He added, "As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future - a future that keeps faith with our history, with our heritage, and with the hope that America has always inspired in the hearts of people all over the world."


"Misguided efforts" like...portrayed here, for instance?