Wednesday :: June 20, 2018

Immigrant Detainee at Federal Prison Diagnosed With Chicken Pox

The Bureau of Prisons has issued an alert. An immigrant detainee at FCI Victorville in California has been diagnosed with the very contagious chicken pox disease.

“Measures are being taken to identify and contain inmate contacts who are at risk for getting chickenpox,” the letter said. It was sent out midday Monday via email to over 800 prison staff members.

.... E-U Housing Unit is one of about 12 units in the medium security facility where ICE has contracted with the Bureau of prisons to house up to 1,000 adult male immigrant detainees.


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Trump's Misleading Executive Order on Family Separation

Beware the person who cannot accept accountability for his own missteps. Donald Trump today issued an executive order on separating parents and children at the border. He continues to blame Congress instead of his own Executive Orders for the mess his policies created. He even has the gall to name it "Affording Congress an Opportunity to Address Family Separation."

It is unfortunate that Congress’s failure to act and court orders have put the Administration in the position of separating alien families to effectively enforce the law.

No one caused these separations but the Trump Administration itself. [More...]

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Airlines Refuse to Fly Separated Children Back to Home Countries

Four major airlines are saying no to Donald Trump's policy that separates migrant children from their parents at the border:

American, Frontier, Southwest and United airlines are refusing to fly immigrant children separated from their parents for the federal government, the latest resistance to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for undocumented border crossings.

All four airlines said they had no evidence that they have transported children under the policy yet. But they each said the policy runs counter to their corporate goals of connecting people.

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Tuesday :: June 19, 2018

Trump vs.The World on Detaining Migrant Children

As if Donald Trump hasn't done enough to debase our country and its values, he's stepping in another pile of dung today. It will shortly be announced that the U.S. is withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Trump thinks he can trample on the rights of the disenfranchised, including children.He hopes to misdirect the conversation to lay blame on Democrats. It's a con game. The carnival barker is demanding Democrats pass an immigration bill with funding for his border wall.

McClatchy reports today that data shows officials may have lost track of 6,000 children. [More...]

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4 Gov. Refuse To Send National Guard to Border

The Governors of four states have refused to send National Guard troops to the southwest border because of Trump's parent-child separation policy.

The states are Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. Let's hope the list grows.

Nationwide protests are being scheduled around the country for June 30.

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Monday :: June 18, 2018

Colorado Gov. Signs Executive Order to Prevent Family Separation

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed an executive order today that prevents any state agency from separating a parent and child for immigration purposes.

“The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s policy and practice of separating children from their parents when arriving at the southern border is offensive to our core values as Coloradans and as a country,” Hickenlooper’s executive order says. “The administration announced a ‘zero tolerance’ policy in the spring of 2018 resulting in family separations. The administration has recently stated that the purpose of the policy is to intimidate immigrants and deter crossings.”

The text of the Order reads in part:

“No state agency may deprive any person of services or benefits to which he or she is legally entitled because of a person’s immigration status, except as required by state or federal law.

...No state agency may use any state resources, including but not limited to moneys, equipment, or personnel, for the purpose of separating any child from his or her parent or legal guardian on the sole ground that such parent or legal guardian is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.”

You can read the Order here. [More...]

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Sunday :: June 17, 2018

Colombia Elects a New President

Update: With 54% of the vote counted, right wing candidate Ivan Duque has been elected President of Colombia. Really disappointing. Both candidates had a female running mate. Marta Lucía Ramírez will be the first female VP of Colombia. (Had Petro won, the VP would have been Ángela María Robledo. As of the results so far, Duque won in Medellin by 500,000 votes while Petro won in Bogota by 400,000 votes.

Original Post:

Colombia voted in the runoff election today for President. Their choice is right-wing Ivan Duque or leftist Gustavo Petro, a former M-19 rebel and Mayor of Bogota. Harvard-educated Duque, who has the support of evangelicals and ultraconservatives that reject gay marriage and adoption, as well as uber-right former President Alvaro Uribe, and is a huge proponent of escalating the war on drugs, is favored to win. It's seen as a classic fight between right and left. [More...]

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At the Border: Families Torn Apart

From Texas Monthly: "What's Really Happening at the Border" -- an interview with Anne Chandler, "executive director of the Houston office of the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center, which focuses on helping immigrant women and children, she has been traveling to the border and to detention centers, listening to the parents’ stories." What they do:

We run the Children’s Border Project, and we work with hundreds of kids that have been released from ORR (Office of Refugee Resettlement) care. We are not a legal service provider that does work when they’re in the shelters. To date, most of our work with that issue of family separation has been working with the parents in the days when they are being separated: when they’re in the federal courthouse being convicted; partnering with the federal public defenders; and then in the adult detention center, as they have no idea how to communicate or speak to their children or get them back before being deported.


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Saturday :: June 16, 2018

Rudy on the Prowl: Women First, Joe Biden Next

While third wife Judith insists Ruy is a "cheating liar" due to his relationship with Maria Ryan, which Rudy denies existed or occurred after their separation, Rudy is not deterred. In fact, Maria Ryan is so last week.

This week Rudy is pursuing yet another romance, with Jennifer LeBlanc, a Louisiana Republican fundraiser and former financial chair of Rudy's 2008 campaign. She is a widow, her husband died in a plane crash. At the time of her death, she and her husband were under criminal investigation. Neither were charged.

LeBlanc was the Louisiana finance chair for Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign. She is a partner at LeBlanc & Associates, where she and her partner provide fundraising and consulting advice to clients in the state as well as to some prominent Louisiana officeholders in D.C.

...LeBlanc inherited substantial business assets after the death of her husband, Pat LeBlanc, a Lafayette, Louisiana businessman. He died in a plane crash at 53 while under investigation for an alleged bribery scandal for a Leblanc company that provided concessions services to Texas prisons. They proclaimed their innocence and were never charged. (my emphasis)

Rudy, who I would bet hasn't seen the inside of a state court in decades, last month entered his appearance in an auto insurance fraud case in Ft. Lauderdale where the defendant is Maria Ryan's daughter, who he said is his personal assistant.[More...]

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Thursday :: June 14, 2018

Thursday Open Thread

I haven't seen any news yet today, so here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Wednesday :: June 13, 2018

Ivanka's "Chinese Proverb"

Here's a tracing of the "Chinese Proverb" Ivanka used on Twitter.

The tweet said:

People Who Say It Cannot Be Done Should Not Interrupt Those Who Are Doing It

The NY Times reports China is confused by the tweet.

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Guiliani Jr.'s West Wing Security Access Revoked

Andrew Giuliani, all grown up now, got a job at the White House. After Donald Trump and Pappa Rudy had dinner, Trump promised Andrew a promotion to Special Assistant to the Pr*esident. And then, bang, Gen, John Kelly took it away.

According to Axios, Kelly and others believe that Andrew "subverts the chain of command." Kelly stripped Andrew of his West Wing access about two weeks ago, Axios reported, leaving him with a "green pass." That means he cannot enter the West Wing without an escort.

Donald Trump's nepotism and employment of children with no skills in government is remarkable.

Meanwhile, Secret Service spent Tuesday night parked outside Kimberly Gilfoyle's apartment because Don Jr. spent the night there. (One mistake in the article: Guildfoyle was never the District Attorney for San Francisco, which is an elected position. She was a deputy DA).

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Tuesday :: June 12, 2018

Michael Cohen Denies Report He Expects Imminent Arrest

According to Vanity Fair, Michael Cohen is expecting to be arrested within days. Neither Cohen nor Trump filed objections to the Special Masters' Report as to which documents it agreed were protected by the attorney client privilege and should not be turned over to prosecutors. (No link due to autoplay video ad):

Trump allies view the legal cloud hanging over Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, as at least as ominous as the obstruction investigation. According to a source close to Cohen, Cohen has told friends that he expects to be arrested any day now. (Reached for comment, Cohen wrote in a text message, “Your alleged source is wrong!”) The specter of Cohen flipping has Trump advisers on edge. “Trump should be super worried about Michael Cohen,” a former White House official said. “If anyone can blow up Trump, it’s him.”

Cohen responded that VF's source was wrong.

CNBC has this summary with additional sources and a copy of the Special Master's Report.

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Friday :: June 08, 2018

R.I.P. Anthony Bourdain

Three suicides by hanging in one week: First Kate Spade, then the sister of the Queen of Holland and now Anthony Bourdain.

I wasn't a frequent watcher of Bourdain's show, although I've seen several of them. He's someone you had to be in the mood for. I liked his shows on Asia. A few weeks ago I saw the episode of him eating with President Obama in Vietnam. But the episode that has stuck with me the most was one filmed in Miami a few years ago with a segment featuring Iggy Pop. Bourdain has explained he was an absolute fanboy of everything Iggy. Bourdain wrote at the time the show was about to air (in 2015):[More...]

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Thursday :: June 07, 2018

Thursday Open Thread

I'm off to the jail in the mountains and won't be back until after dinner. It's a beautiful day for the drive though.

In the news, Argentina has charged Pablo Escobar's widow and son with money laundering. I tried to read the 57 page order in Spanish, but all I got was the investigation was started due to information received from our holy global warriors, the DEA, in conjunction with Colombia, who passed it on to Argentina. At first there wasn't enough evidence to charge them, but the court now believes there is. They will both remain free pending the outcome.

The charges seem to be that they invested money with a drug trafficker in Colombia named José Bayron Piedrahita Ceballos, who worked with the "Office of Evigago" and Cali Cartel who also managed investments in Colombia and Argentina. He was arrested last year and is awaiting extradition to the U.S. on bribery and obstruction of justice charges in the Southern District of Florida. The Indictment is here. (He allegedly bribed an ICE agent.) [More...]

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