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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
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Journal Archives

The real reason DREAMers are at risk

Spoiler: It’s not Chuck Schumer.

Source: Vox, by Matthew Yglesias

The blame game has begun. Left-wing anger is growing at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Senate Democrats for backing down on their threat to keep the government closed unless Congress agreed to some legislative protections for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

But it’s worth pointing out the obvious: Republicans are the people who have put the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers at risk.

The real reason Schumer and Senate Democrats are struggling to secure help for DREAMers is that there are only 49 of them in a 100-person body (and you need 60 to pass legislation), their colleagues in the House are even more disempowered than they are, and the executive branch is controlled by people who are fundamentally hostile to the cause.

The reason the DREAM Act failed in 2010 is that Republicans killed it. The reason comprehensive immigration reform failed in 2013 is that Republicans killed it. The reason DACA ended in 2017 is that Republicans killed it. And the reason that the bipartisan Durbin-Graham plan to help DREAMers hasn’t been enacted in 2018 is that Republicans are blocking it.

The most important thing Senate Democrats can do on immigration with only 49 votes is block the passage of new, bad immigration laws unless they receive offsetting policy concessions. And they are doing that. The Trump administration knows that if it wants to secure changes to US immigration law, it’s going to need to give Democrats help on DACA in exchange.

Read it all at: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/24/16927834/daca-deal-blame-game

Furloughed feds will receive back pay

The devil is always in the detail.

Source: AL.com, by Leada Gore

Federal workers will receive pay for the time they were off the job during the short-lived government shutdown.

The continuing resolution passed by Congress includes a measure that will grant back pay for federal workers who were furloughed at the start of the government shutdown at midnight on Saturday. Uniformed military personnel and federal workers deemed critical to ongoing functions were guaranteed back pay once the government opened. Workers who are furloughed, however, have no such guarantee and it takes Congressional action for them to be paid.

The bill also contains a pay guarantee for any other possible shutdowns in 2018, a provision that could be important with the current funding deal set to expire on Feb. 8.

Many federal workers arrived at work on Monday only to be sent home before Congress reached a spending agreement by late afternoon. In 2013, some 800,000 federal workers were furloughed - some as long as 16 days - during a shutdown. Back pay was granted in that case as well.


Annoy a jackass - watch some pro football today!

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots early game, CBS, 3-2CT.

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles 6:40, Fox, 5:40 CT.

Super Bowl in 2 weeks!

Take a break anyway. You know you need it!

Women's March 2018, Montgomery, Alabama!

Sen. Doug Jones votes for Republican-backed budget deal

This is exactly what he promised to do while campaigning!

Source: AL.com, by Leada Gore

Sen. Doug Jones, D-AL, voted for a spending deal to avert a government shutdown, the fifth Democratic Senator to support the Republican-backed measure.

Jones, who took office last month, told NBC News he voted for the measure because of its funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program. CHIP serves about 84,000 low-income children in Alabama.


Jones joins Democrats Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana in supporting the measure. Other Democrats are opposing the measure saying it does not provide protection for Dreamers, people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children.

The total on the vote was 50-49, but 60 votes were needed to advance the bill. Five Republicans voted against the bill; Richard Shelby, Alabama's Senior Senator, voted yes.


Read it all at: http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2018/01/sen_doug_jones_will_vote_for_r.html#incart_river_home

The man-child in the White House reels wildly out of control

The rude, petulant man-child in the Oval Office is reeling ever more wildly out of control, and those who cynically or slavishly pretend otherwise are doing a grave disservice to the nation — and to themselves.

Source: WaPo, by Eugene Robinson


How do you like him now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell? President Trump convened a made-for-television summit at the White House and said he’d sign any immigration bill Congress passed. “I’ll take the heat,” he boasted. So a bipartisan group of senators came up with a deal — and he rejected it out of hand, launching into an unhinged rant about “shithole countries.”

What about you, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan? You came up with a clever way to get Democrats to agree to a stopgap funding bill, dangling the possibility of a long-term renewal of the vital Children’s Health Insurance Program. But the president tweeted that “CHIP should be part of a long term solution” and not a short-term measure to keep the government from shutting down.

Is this what you signed up for, Chief of Staff John F. Kelly? In a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, you said that some of Trump’s campaign positions on immigration were “uninformed” and that there will never be a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. You reportedly added that whatever partial barrier gets built, Mexico won’t pay for it. But the president slapped you down with another series of tweets, claiming that his promised wall “has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it” — and that Mexico will, too, pay for the wall, “directly or indirectly.”

How was your week, White House physician Ronny Jackson? You did what is expected of everyone who stands at the lectern in the briefing room: lavish the president with flowery, over-the-top, Dear Leader praise. He is in “excellent health,” you announced. But the test results you released, according to many other doctors, indicate that Trump suffers from moderate heart disease and is on the borderline between overweight and obese.


The nation has never faced a situation like this: It is unwise to take literally or seriously anything the president and his official spokesmen say. An administration with no credibility cannot possibly lead.

Trump is incapable of growing into the job; if anything, he is becoming more erratic. I fear the day when a crisis arises and we must face it with a bratty preteen at the helm.

Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-man-child-in-the-white-house-reels-wildly-out-of-control/2018/01/18/c41a9378-fc89-11e7-8f66-2df0b94bb98a_story.html

Corker says Senate leaders on verge of deal

In the last half hour.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said leadership is on the verge of a deal to avert a government shutdown with less an hour to go.

"We're down to a difference of literally three or four days," he said.

Both options being discussed, according to Corker, would keep the government funded past President Trump's State of the Union.

Corker said he expected the agreement could be reached before the midnight deadline to keep the government open.


Is Trump's doctor okay?

Examining the White House physician’s briefing on President Trump’s physical, I was alarmed — not about the president’s health, but the doctor’s.

Source: WaPo, by Dana Milbank

Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson was so effusive in extolling the totally amazing, surpassingly marvelous, superbly stupendous and extremely awesome health of the president that the doctor sounded almost Trumpian. “The president’s overall health is excellent,” he said, repeating “excellent” eight times: “Hands down, there’s no question that he is in the excellent range. . . . I put out in the statement that the president’s health is excellent, because his overall health is excellent. . . . Overall, he has very, very good health. Excellent health.”

Jackson has been a well-regarded doctor. But since finding himself in Trump’s orbit, he has adopted the hyperbolic style and excessive flattery of the boss that we see in other, previously respectable members of Trump’s court.

We see it in the once-dignified Sen. Orrin Hatch suggesting Trump is on his way to being a better president than Lincoln or Washington, in Rep. Kevin McCarthy collecting pink and red Starburst candy for Trump, in the lies told by Sens. Tom Cotton and David Perdue and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to cover for Trump’s racist outburst, and in the fawning public performances by White House officials Stephen Miller and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. What makes them trash their dignity?

I put the question to Bandy X. Lee, the Yale Medical School psychiatrist who compiled the controversial book “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” raising doubts about Trump’s mental fitness...

That, Lee speculates, could explain powerful sycophancy that overcomes those who get close to Trump. “Those close to him are sensing this level of appeasement is necessary,” Lee speculated. They “feel they need to step in as a way to diminish his volatility and rage.”

The danger, Lee said, is that Trump’s courtiers do this for too long and succumb to “shared psychosis,” in which they come to “share his view of the world and lose touch with reality.”

They might even come to believe that a sedentary 71-year-old with significant plaque in his coronary arteries, high cholesterol and borderline obesity is the very picture of health.

Read it all at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-trumps-doctor-okay/2018/01/17/0d887f50-fbce-11e7-ad8c-ecbb62019393_story.html

"The Shannara Chronicles" canceled, being shopped to other networks for season 3

Absent GoT for all of 2018, if you like epic fantasy fiction on the small screen it's getting to be slim pickings. CW and others are doing super hero comic books and some graphic novels (Walking Dead), but epic book-based fantasy - I don't count Outlander which is another kind of "fantasy" - is struggling to find viewership and ratings. Syfy is often a home for this kind of fiction series, but has a shaky record on renewing. Syfy's Season 3 The Magicians has just started another epic quest and is really well done, and Freeform's Beyond (which is in the tradition but not derived from book series) is just starting up.

For fans, let's hope The Shannara Chronicles and this genre continue to find a home.

Source: Entertainment Weekly, by Shirley Li

The fantasy of the Four Realms has come to an end — on Spike, at least.

The network, which picked up The Shannara Chronicles after its first season aired on MTV in 2016, has canceled the series based on Terry Brooks’ best-selling books after two seasons, EW has confirmed. The fantasy drama was one of Spike’s two scripted series debuts in 2017 — the other being The Mist — and both have been dropped ahead of the network’s transformation into Viacom’s general entertainment Paramount Network.

Still, the cancellation may not be the end of the road for Wil (Austin Butler), Eretria (Ivana Baquero), Allanon (Manu Bennett), and the series’ sprawling cast of colorful characters. EW has confirmed that Sonar Entertainment, the studio behind The Shannara Chronicles, has begun shopping the series to potential other networks, including streaming outlets that may want to capitalize on the series’ epic scope.

Created by Al Gough and Miles Millar, and executive produced by the pair along with Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, and Dan Farah, The Shannara Chronicles starred Butler, Baquero, Bennett, as well as season 2’s new cast members Vanessa Morgan, Malese Jow, and Gentry White.


The United States Civil Rights Trail

"And make sure the true stories that changed history are never lost."


The fight for American civil rights spanned decades, cities and states – from Topeka, Kansas, to Memphis, Tennessee, from Atlanta, Georgia, to Selma and Birmingham, and all the way to Washington, D.C. Chart the course of the Civil Rights Movement through the Civil Rights Trail that begins with the site of school integration and takes you to the scene of Bloody Sunday and finally the Supreme Court of the United States.

This website allows you to explore the destinations important to the Civil Rights Movement, as well as plan your journey to cities along the trail. On this site, you’ll find places to see and things to do at each destination. Plus, you’ll find in-depth explorations crafted to allow you to experience the destination or event in a more comprehensive way. Discover the trail. Discover the fight for civil rights. And make sure the true stories that changed history are never lost.

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