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Gulags Without Archipelagos

This is a gulag for people who are in this country illegally. Last August, we talked about the despicable handling of Jason Haist, a kid from Ontario, Canada who nearly drowned in the Niagara River after falling off his Sea-Doo. Because he washed up on the American side of the Niagara River, he was first taken to a hospital, and then carted off to jail, where he remained for several days. Clearly the victim of Chimperial xenophobia run amok, the treatment of Jason Haist was appalling-but as you will see from the next story, Haist was, in retrospect, lucky.

So begins Jolly Roger….

JR is drawing on a story from the New York  Times in which deaths of detainees are investigated at various centers, in this case primarily in the East.  The more disturbing aspect of the story is the ‘discovery’ of holding places of detainees here in Idaho.

  • Madison County jail    =  6 detainees (Rexburg)
  • TF County jail                = 14 detainees (Twin Falls)
  • Haile Detention Ctr.    =   9 detainees (Caldwell) Continue reading

The Prez & Lilly Ledbetter

Both are on the cable news channels celebrating and speaking to signing the lilly-the-prezLilly Ledbetter bill.  I’m watching on CNN; MSNBC wouldn’t shut up.  I thought Ledbetter might speak, but she told the president, ‘no.’  There’s the reception now on C-SPAN from the East Room.  There’s Barbara Lee!  And, there’s Michelle.  Now the Prez is directing ‘traffic’ – I think they’re on to somewhere else.  The Washington Post has the entirety of the President’s remarks up.

Ledbetter was at his side when he used about 7 pens to sign the bill, one of which to Ms Ledbetter.  The president called out to his grandmother when talking about signing the bill.

‘I sign this bill for my daughters….so there is no limitation on their dreams.’ Continue reading

Minnick Votes Against Economic Stimulus Bill

I’d like to know why, Walt.  (edit: Walt is a Democrat, albeit apparently a Blue Dog Democrat.  He won the slot from Bill Sali, ReThug numb nutz, as some are wont to say.)

Per the Clerk of the House

UPDATE: There’s video at KTVB of Walt Minnick and Mike Simpson explaining their reasoning for voting against the Stimulus package.

ANOTHER UPDATE:  The Idaho Statesman has a bit more, along with ‘highlights’ of the bill.  There’s a widget with both Simpson and Minnick talking to someone at Radio 670 AM.

Here at Thomas (Library of Congress) is the reading of the bill if so interested.

Lilly-Ledbetter Bill Going to the President!

Happy news on the labor front, notwithstanding the hold up with Hilda Solis’s nomination for Labor Secretary.  If interested, here’s the vote distribution for the House who passed the bill this afternoon, 250-177.

Keeping Up with Gaza

In trying to keep abreast of what’s going on in Gaza, I’ve been reading blogs – mostly sympathetic to the Palestinians, along with some books.  Yesterday I watched Saree Makdisi on C-SPAN’s Book TV. He wrote the book ‘Palestine Inside and Out: An Everyday Occupation.’   His presentation is from May of last year, but is certainly just as timely. (Makdisi’s book is on the way from the library.)  He talks about the one-state solution rather than a two-state solution and presents a convincing argument.

dividerThe Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has an appeal out for funds to help. The BBC and Sky have both refused to air the video.  The DEC is an umbrella organization with the following members: Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, and World Vision.

Sky News made the announcement Monday, citing its need to remain objective in its coverage of the conflict, two days after the BBC declined to air the appeal, claiming it would damage its impartiality.

ITV, Channel 4 and Five in Britain will air the video. That video is below.  I didn’t find it political; I found it heartbreaking. Continue reading

Things Under ‘What the Fuck!’

tim-geithnerSo Timothy Geither is in and I mean, IN, being sworn in earlier this evening not long after getting that much prized nomination vote.  But Hilda, Hilda Solis – Labor Secretary is on HOLD.  I mean – What the fuck?!

Some anonymous senator has put a hold on her nomination and it’s still stalled in committee.

Another Republican committee aide said that though some Republicans were dissatisfied with Solis’ testimony, he did not have a clear indication it would rise to the level of senators voting against her.

“Generally I think there is as feeling that the president is entitled to his choice of nominees unless there is some distinct glaring impediment or deficiency,” he said.

Why? Because she’s pro-worker, pro-labor?  Isn’t that what the solisSecretary of Labor is supposed to be, pro-worker?  Might I remind the ‘anonymous senator’ of the Dept. of Labor’s mission statement:

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements. In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.

They were all bitchin’ about Geither and his taxes, but Solis gets yanked around.  They’re pissing me off….

Feeling the Recession & Deficit, Not to Mention Foreclosures

CNN has a chart that shows data regarding recession rate, state budget deficit, and rate of unemployment for all the states.

Idaho’s statistics:

  • Rate of Foreclosures:   1.62%    (ranging from 0.6 – 7.3%)
  • Budget Deficit:  $131 million     (range 0-$13.8 billion)
  • Unemployment Rate:  5.7%       (ranging from 3.2% to 9.6%)

Welll…not as bad as some.