Monday, May 30, 2011
We owe the troops so much.
They protect our freedom.
May God Bless and Protect them!
We Honor You for your Service!
Guest Voz - David Holthouse: Dangerous Levels of Overlap Between Xenophobic 'Minuteman' Movement and Tea Party
Grinning on the sidelines behind mirrored sunglasses was Glenn Spencer, the leader of the border vigilante group American Border Patrol and the owner of the Tea Party Nation rally site. Spencer's founding of American Border Patrol in 2002 pre-dated the first Minuteman "civilian border patrols" by three years. Before his ranch land became a Tea Party rallying point it served as both meeting grounds and temporary housing for high-ranking members of various border vigilante factions. Minutemen American Defense leader Shawna Forde lived on the property in an RV owned by Spencer in the summer of 2008. The following May, Forde masterminded the home invasion murders of a 9-year-old girl and her father in Arivaca, Arizona. Two weeks after the slayings, a SWAT team arrested Forde on murder and conspiracy charges as she was leaving American Border Patrol headquarters.
Over the past two years, more than a dozen former border vigilante leaders have taken on key roles in the Tea Party movement. Some, like Spencer, continue to maintain their hardcore nativist personas. Others have sought to separate themselves from their Minutemen identities in pursuit of mainstream political legitimacy.
"The Forde killings really made the whole movement sordid and these guys [Minuteman leaders] needed to find somewhere else for their ambitions," said Heidi Beirich, co-director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, which tracks extremist groups. "Rebranding themselves as Tea Party figures is their effort to stay relevant. They saw the rising populism as a good thing to latch onto, so they just toned down their anti-immigrant messaging a bit and synced themselves with the larger Tea Party agenda."
Read the rest of this article here.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
(In Spanish, so here is a summary)
Here, Tony Romo's grandfather speaks about:
. being brought to America, from Mexico, as a child. (eg: undocumented)
. people assumed his last name was Italian (Romo) when he was actually Mexican.
. Mother died in San Antonio; he was close to her; she died when he was young; and he suffered. Then he met his wife who "filled his eye" and took care of him.
His Abuela Felicita said to Tony:
. "Don't you want to play with the Cowboys? (not Green Bay)"
. Tony said when he was little: "Im going to be famous. "Im going to play basketball with the Chicago Bulls."
. She wished and prayed: "If only we could get Tony to play with the Cowboys, the whole family could come to Texas and be all together."
(Abuelo, good guitarist; Abuelita a very good singer)
Tony Romo, star quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, and perhaps one of the most naturally talented and successful quarterbacks in American history, provides us a picture of a true "Immigrant - American Dream" story. His beginnings are like so many other Mexican American families across the U.S. His is a story of the beautiful, multi cultural success that is happening all across America -- but is not accepted by the extremist right wing -- those who demonize immigrants from the Latin American countries to our south.
Tony's grandfather, Ramiro Romo Sr., emigrated from Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico. Like so many Immigrants, his first stop was San Antonio, Texas. Abuelito Romo loves America and often said, "This is a country of opportunities. If you don't get a job or an education, it's because you don't want to." Ramiro Sr. later moved his family to Wisconsin, where he was able to find a good job and support his family.
Tony's parents Ramiro and Joan Romo welcomed Antonio Ramiro Romo into the family in San Diego, California on April 21, 1980. At the time, Tony's Dad, Ramiro, like so many Mexican Americans, believes in the military and was serving in the United States Navy. Tony's Dad moved his family from Wisconsin to California four years earlier. “Tony” was Ramiro and Joan’s third child and their only son behind two girls: Danielle, 4 and Jossalyn 2. The Romo family moved to Burlington, Wisconsin in July of 1982. There they raised their three children from elementary school through high school graduation.
Tony's story is truly an American success story and the fulfillment of the American Dream for a family of Immigrants from Mexico.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Beautiful Latina Jennifer Lopez (on American Idol Finale) Dances Beautifully! WE LOVE YOU JENNIFER!!
The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, Latina Jennifer Lopez --- Dances while her husband sings! WE LOVE YOU JENNIFER!! (go to minute 2.03 to see Jennifer dance)
"I just can't believe that you can risk your life for America, and America can't let you stay united with your family," the New Jersey Humanitarian Democrat said at a press conference. "It seems to me that's more than a fair trade-off."
The Military Families Act, which so far has zero (hatefilled) Republican supporters, will grant legal permanent residence to the immediate family members of the brave and courageous military men and women in active duty. Like the DREAM Act, a bill that would grant legal status to immigrants who entered the United States as children if they go to college or join the military, the idea is to narrow the pool of undocumented beneficiaries to the most sympathetic few, in hopes that the hate-filled, anti-Latino GOP will not decry the bill as their so-called "amnesty."
Menendez already has support in the upper chamber from pro-immigration reform Democrats Harry Reid (Nev.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Michael Bennet (Colo.) and New Yorkers Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. He is also circulating the bill to other senators.
Menendez acknowledged the passage of this bill will be a steep uphill climb for Humanitarian and Patriotic immigrant-friendly legislation in this Congress, which so far has done NOTHING to support resolving our broken Immigration issues. The Democrats in Congress have done next to nothing in resolving these issues -- during and since the lame-duck session. During the lame duck session, when the Dems had the majority, the DREAM Act was filibustered in a 55-41 vote. It FAILED because five Hate filled Democrats broke with the rest of the Dems to vote against this Humanitarian bill. (shameful!)
But Menendez asked some legislators on the other side of the aisle to consider supporting this Patriotic and Humanitarian bill because it would benefit OUR Troops. "I am hopeful that we will get some of our Republican colleagues," he said. "It's very limited in scope, it's about OUR Military Men and Women."
Senator Menendez added the bill will help with recruiting because people will see it as a way to "serve my country and also save their family." Menendez said his legislation will benefit America! Menendez said the bill could be paired with border enforcement provisions to make it more palatable for Senate Republicans, most of whom hatefully argue "no amnesty." Senate Democrats may use a similar strategy with the recently reintroduced DREAM Act, which the very Patriotic and Humanitarian Sen. Menendez also supports. He added, "If Republicas decide to be reasonable in that respect -- and it brings an opportunity for the DREAM Act -- it will be a very positive opportunity for America, and we'll be supporting our Military Families."
Republicans' Kill Medicare Bill Defeated in the Senate! Paul Ryan won't be Pushing Granny off a Cliff!
Joined by several moderate Republicans, Democrats controlling the Senate rejected a controversial House budget plan for turning Medicare into a voucherlike program for future beneficiaries.
Five Republicans joined all the Democrats in killing the measure, which calls for transforming Medicare into a program in which future beneficiaries - people now 54 and younger - would be given a subsidy to purchase health insurance rather than have the government directly pay hospital and doctor bills.
Democrats said the GOP plan would "end Medicare as we know it," and they made it the central issue in a special election Tuesday in which Democrats seized a longtime GOP district in western New York, rattling Republicans.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren granted the government's motion to dismiss charges against Ortiz-Del Rio with prejudice, meaning the same charges cannot be filed again. Ortiz-Del Rio had been charged with falsely claiming U.S. citizenship. Ortiz-Del Rio happened to be in an apartment where another man was being arrested. The police took one look at Ortiz-Del Rio and, with no warrant or cause, arrested him, assuming he was "illegal." Another judge ruled in April that armed federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement lacked reasonable suspicion when they detained Ortiz-Del Rio in what amounted to custodial questioning after happening to find him in the apartment.
Immigration agents often arrest people other than those they target when they come across them, especially during raids on private residences. Once called by immigration officials "collateral," ICE officials often defended the controversial practice by saying that they were obligated to take action when they come across people -- other than their original "target" -- who could be in the country illegally.
That has prompted immigration advocacy groups across the country to advise immigrants to remain silent and not open their doors when immigration officials come knocking. The groups say that when ICE rounds up others in the course of pursuing their "targets," it is violating Fourth and Fifth amendment rights. Many groups have set up hotlines that they tell immigrants to call if ICE agents knock on their door.
Melgren noted that Ortiz-Del Rio was ordered out of a bedroom, asked to sit on the floor and repeatedly questioned about where he was born. Any responses Ortiz-Del Rio gave at the time -- in the absence of the Miranda warning about self-incrimination -- must be suppressed, Melgren ruled. He also said any subsequent statements the suspect made when taken to the ICE station for processing must also be suppressed as "fruit of the poisonous tree."
Democrat, Kathy Hochul, defends Social Security and Won! Republican Jane Corwin endorsed obliterating Medicare (Paul Ryan's plan) and she LOST! -- A Preview of the 2012 Election!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Texas' "Operation Wetback" Racial Profiling Bill HB 12 is being Ping Ponged in the State Senate! We Must Be Ever Vigilant!
On Monday, however, Williams added a provision to SB 9 that mandates the implementation of the federal Secure Communities program in all local detention facilities. The program is administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and allows local law enforcement to compare the fingerprints of those arrested to a DHS database to determine if the individual can be deported. Williams attached this to HB 2734.
However, another report indicates Senate bill SB 9 made it out of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on Friday and Williams subsequently made a motion to ping pong HB 12 with the sanctuary cities language intact during a later committee meeting. It was placed on yesterday’s Senate intent calendar, which means it can see floor action anytime before Wednesday’s (tomorrow's) deadline for the upper chamber to consider House bills.
With eight days remaining in the session, all eyes are on the 31-member Senate. The 12 Democrats can block HB 12 from reaching the floor for debate if the Senate follows tradition and requires two-thirds of the body needs to agree to get a bill to the floor. These Humanitarian Democrats have already distributed a letter to their colleagues urging a vote against the measure.
“We have concerns about racially profiling our citizens under the guise of cracking down on so-called 'sanctuary cities,'" the letter said. "There is a tremendous risk that such legislation would inadvertently target legal citizens of Texas, solely because they fall within a certain ethnic demographic.” See the full text of their letter here.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
How Racist is America? Latinos Getting Blamed for Crimes of Individuals (aka Bryan Stow perp) and We are Sick of It!
The perp is an American. Based on his name, it appears he is multi cultural, with Italian and Hispanic heritage. However, based on the posts of various comment sections, the right wing extremists are blaming "Illeegals" or "Mexicans" or "All Latinos" or "Mexico." The racist comments on CNN and in the LA Times are flying.
While I am saddened by the attack on this man and I hope he gets better, I am concerned by all of the name calling and finger pointing at the Latino Community and at "Mexicans" in general.
I can tell you one thing. We Latinos are sick and tired of taking the blame for one person's crime just because they happen to be (partially) of the same ethnicity. Are the families of Northern European Immigrants to blame for the crimes of BTK? Gacy? Bundy? Laughlin? Poplawski? etc. etc. etc. No one casts the large net over this community for the crimes of the one. I remember after the Gifford shooting, we kept hearing Laughlin referred to as "the LONE crazed gunman." However, this doesn't happen when the perp is a minority. For some reason, in these cases, pundits and commenters blame the entire Minority community for these crimes. This HAS TO STOP!
Today, as the news came out about the capture of the Stow attackers, comment sections and right wing websites blamed the entire Latino community for this crime.
Some examples include:
. On Alipac.us, someone by the name of "NoBueno" says: Based upon this description, they're either illegal invaders or the spawn of illegal invaders, which are one in the same.
. onlyIMright said: We all KNEW it was an illegal Mexican. They are VIOLENT and don't give a rip about American values.
. onlyIMright Illegal Mexicans need to be put into a large jail cell in Mexico.
. muydogged said: Hope this is the one and that he serves a long prison time. He'll rat out the others soon. They'll be like roaches not that the light is on them.
. AlbusPWBD said: Show me an all Mexican community in Southern Cal. and I'll show you a very high crime rate. Can you say the same for an all white community?
. Ponderschit said: See, you're talking about the civilized society there... Illegals destroyed that idea years ago. Now it's simply the Animal Kingdom wherever you go.
These comments go on and on and on. They are sickening!
I believe the only way to stop these commenters is with our vote. I URGE ALL LATINOS TO REGISTER TO VOTE, STUDY THE ISSUES AND VOTE FOR THOSE WHO BEST SERVE US!
ALL OF THIS HATE AND DEMONIZATION AGAINST OUR ENTIRE COMMUNITY MUST STOP ONCE AND FOR ALL!! TOMORROW (MONDAY) IF WE SEE ANYONE (any news station, newspaper, comment section, website) BLAME THE LATINO COMMUNITY FOR THESE CRIMES, PLEASE SEND ME AN EMAIL OR LEAVE A COMMENT. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I will keep track of them and start a list of those who blame our community for such crimes, especially any politicians who do so! We will then have proof to Vote them OUT OF OFFICE!
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Frankie Maybee, 20, of Green Forest, Ark., was convicted yesterday by a federal jury today of five counts of committing a federal hate crime and one count of conspiring to commit a federal hate crime, announced the Justice Department. This is the first conviction at trial for a violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was enacted in October 2009. Maybee faces a maximum of 55 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000 per violation.
On May 16, 2011, co-defendant Sean Popejoy, 19, of Green Forest, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of committing a federal hate crime and one count of conspiring to commit a federal hate crime in connection with this matter. Evidence presented at trial established that in the early morning hours of June 20, 2010, Maybee and Popejoy conspired to and did threaten and injure five Hispanic men who had pulled into a gas station parking lot. The co-conspirators pursued the victims in a truck. When the co-conspirators caught up to the victims, Popejoy leaned outside of the front passenger window and waived a tire wrench at the victims, and continued to threaten and hurl racial epithets at the victims. Maybee, driving his truck, rammed into the victims' car repeatedly, which caused the victims' car to cross the opposite lane of traffic, go off the road, crash into a tree and ignite. As a result of Maybee and his co-conspirators' actions, the victims suffered bodily injury, including one victim who sustained life-threatening injuries.
"The defendants targeted five men because they were Hispanic, and today's verdict shows that the Justice Department is committed to vigorously prosecuting individuals who perform acts of hate because of someone's race or national origin," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. "We will continue to use the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and every other tool in our law enforcement arsenal, to identify and prosecute hate crimes whenever they occur."
"We thank the jury for their careful consideration, and for their verdict. It is horrific that acts of violence are committed against complete strangers because of their race," Conner Eldridge, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. "In this case, five Hispanic men stopped to fill up their car with gas and were violently run off the road, causing severe injuries and nearly causing death to one of them. In the Western District of Arkansas, we will continue to prosecute acts of violence that are motivated by hatred of another's race. "
This case was investigated by the FBI's Fayetteville, Ark., Division in cooperation with the Arkansas State Police Department and the Carroll County Sheriff's Office. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Edward Chung of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra E. Jenner for the Western District of Arkansas.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
“I was an illegal immigrant in the United States,” the now-leading lady told V Magazine Spain during an interview. “It was for a small period of time, but I still did it.”
In January 2006, the model, actress and Univision personality—who the U.K.’s “Mirror” once named by as one of the top 25 derrières in entertainment—was visited by immigration agents at her home in Miami and subsequently deported with her husband. According to her lawyer, she had entered the U.S. on a 90-day tourist visa and overstayed it by five years to pose for calendars, get in bubbly baths and the like. Her lawyer subsequently petitioned that she be allowed back in the country under a visa classifying her as “an alien of extraordinary ability. He even appeared on Tucker Carlson’s “The Situation” to argue the case. “You‘re saying that because this girl has a cute butt, she should be a U.S. citizen?” Carlson said. “That's a valid criterion for entry into the country, having an extraordinary body?” Apparently, immigration didn’t think so: Dorismar is still in Argentina.
"I am not ashamed to say it: I came to the United States illegally," wrote Millan in his best-selling book "Cesar's Way." According to him, for "the poor and working class of Mexico, there is no other way to come to America except illegally. It's impossible." The Dog Whisperer subsequently took the oath of U.S. citizenship in March 2009.
During the Terminator’s 2003 campaign for governor, the San Jose Mercury News raised the possibility that the Austria-born actor, who went to live in California as a 21-year-old bodybuilder, had violated his visa in those early years. In his 1977 autobiography, Schwarzenegger said that he was paid a weekly salary – something that was verboten under his B-1 athlete’s visa, which only allows training and competition, the newspaper pointed out. And in a 1981 appearance on “The Tonight Show,” Schwarzenegger described working as a bricklayer in 1971—three years before he got the resident visa that would have allowed him to do so.
His campaign’s novel explanation? They said he'd simply lied in those interviews. "[I said] a lot of outrageous things to get the headlines," Schwarzenegger himself added.
The Latin pop crooner was 15 in 1978, when he fled his war-torn home country, Nicaragua, for the United States. "I did not speak English. I did the best I could. I finished high school, but I couldn't go to college because I was illegal," he told USA Weekend in an interview. Luis Enrique went on to win record contract and build a huge fan base. But when his CD, Ciclos, won a Grammy this year, he dedicated the award “to all the people in my country that are still struggling to make a better life.”
Los Tigres del Norte
One of the most successful groups in North America, this Norteño band has sold 34 million records since 1972, with multiple platinum and gold albums. Back in the 1960s, though, they were a band of six brothers and cousins trying to get into the United States for a concert they were playing at Soledad prison, outside of San Jose. They told this story to The New Yorker: When an immigration officer asked Jorge Hernández, then still a teenager, if he had permission from his mother to go into the United States, he said yes, then wandered a distance off and asked a female stranger to pretend to be her and wave. With that, he was in. “’I’m going to baptize you Los Tigritos,’” Hernán says the official said. And, in his telling, Jorge replied, “No, we are Los Tigres.”
Eduardo 'Piolín' Sotelo
The outspoken and enormously popular host of the Los Angeles-based morning show "Piolín por la manana" was brought across the border in a car trunk about 24 years ago. He became a citizen in 2008.
Michael J. Fox
This Canadian actor suffered some nervousness at the border early on in his career, when, as he wrote in his 2010 autobiography, "the actual visa had not yet come through" and he was asked if he was entering the country for work or pleasure.
According to Celestrellas, this Mexican-born telenovela star and TV host first tried crossing the border when he was 15 years old, following his father. Today he is one of the hosts of the Univision's 'La Tijera'--and one of People en Español's 50 Most Beautiful People.
TX House Passes "Operation Wetback" Racial Profiling Bill HB 12. State Republicans say the Bill is Meant to Keep Hispanics from TAKING OVER!!!
The reality is this bill promotes racial profiling. In a nutshell, the bill says:
1. ANYONE (police officer, school detention officer, employee, etc.)
2. ANYWHERE ("entity" = city, state, campus, etc)
3. May Inquire into the Immigration status of a person "lawfully detained" or arrested.
4. And NO ONE can prohibit ANYONE Employed by the Authority from doing this.
5. And if ANY ENTITY does attempt to prohibit these actions, then any state funding going to that entity will be DENIED for One Year.
6. CITIZEN's ARREST: Authorizes ANYONE to REPORT to the State Attorney General ANY ENTITY they "suspect" as not adhering to this Racial Profiling bill.
Perhaps the worst thing about the bill is its racial profiling aspects, EVEN IN School! This is how it will work:
1. A School Detention Officer leading a detention class, will be required to ask "Every Student They Suspect as being an Illeegal" for their Immigration status. If the students don't have their "papers" they may be sent to a Detention Center until their Citizenship status is identified.
2. A policeman pulls a car over for speeding. They spot a brown person in the backseat they suspect is "illeegal." If that brown person does NOT have their passport or birth certificate with them, they may be sent to a Dentention Center until their Citizenship status is identified.
3. You go pay a parking ticket at a local Munical Court and your invalid mother goes with you. As you are going through the metal detector entrance, the security guard asks your mother for her birth certificate or passport. If she doesn't have this identification with her, she may be sent to a Dentention Center until her Citizenship status is identified.
If the School, or local police department or municipality attempts to Prohibit their employees from doing these checks, IF THEY DO NOT DO THIS RACIAL PROFILING, then the Funding for that entity may be CUT for One Year!
This is a HEINOUS bill (HB12)! It did NOT pass easily. In the Texas State House, there were HOURS of contentious and emotional debate. Most of the State Reps that opposed HB12 were quick to announce that this heinous bill will lead to racial profiling and harassment of legal residents and citizens. State Rep Ana Hernandez Luna said, "I know this bill will push immigrants into the shadows and others will be afraid to go to the grocery store and buy groceries for their families."
El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles and other Texas law enforcement leaders have said the bill amounts to an unfinanced mandate that would leave counties saddled with the costs of housing undocumented immigrants in jails, providing officer training and fighting lawsuits that may arise. These officials said Texas Taxpayers are going to have to "foot the bill" for this unneccessary profiling. Wiles also said the bill also will tear down the trust that law enforcement currently has with communities and make people less willing to report crimes and lead to slower response times by law officers.
State Rep Joe Pickett(El Paso) summed up the Republican perspective when he said the bill is more than just combating illegal immigration. He said some lawmakers in the Texas Capitol (who he wouldn't name) have confided in him on the assumption that BECAUSE HE IS WHITE, he shares their views. Rep. Pickett said, "I've heard people talk about legislation like this, who look like me, who have last names that don't sound Hispanic. They believe that things like this are meant to keep Hispanics from taking over."
Gov. Rick Perry (the secessionist) said, however, that the passage of this racial profiling bill was an "emergency" item. The REALITY is, HB12 is just sb1070 (a pig) with make-up! It is time for All American Latinos to take a stand and say "We've Had Enough! NO MORE RACIAL PROFILING Bills!"
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Pressure continues to mount on Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, with four state lawmakers Friday saying allegations of widespread mismanagement and misspent taxpayer money should prompt new criminal probes and the sheriff's resignation. The Phoenix Democrats, representing the Latino Caucus, said revelations from Arpaio's former chief financial officer that she warned the sheriff for years against diverting jail funds raises the stakes and the urgency for federal, state and local prosecutors to take action against him.
"He has lied. He has misspent funds," Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, said at a Capitol news conference. "He has tried to cover up those findings, and now he has been caught."
Loretta Barkell, who retired in March, said she had warned Arpaio, then-Chief Deputy David Hendershott and others that they could not spend taxpayer funds earmarked for the jails on anything else. The sheriff's staff last month acknowledged diverting $99.5 million in detention funds to human-smuggling enforcement, patrol and other areas.
Rep. Richard Miranda, D-Phoenix, called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Dennis Burke, U.S. attorney for Arizona, to step up ongoing investigations and tack on additional criminal allegations stemming from Barkell's comments.Since 2009, a federal grand jury has met to examine evidence for an abuse-of-power investigation into Arpaio and other current and former county employees. That investigation is ongoing.
"Today we ask the sheriff to resign immediately and for an investigation of the criminal behavior of Sheriff Joe," Miranda said.
Proof Arpaio Abused Power & Misappropriated $100 Million in Funds! Feds are On to him! Next -- Jail Time In Pink Underwear!
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's former longtime chief financial officer says the sheriff, for years, knew of financial problems within the agency, disputing his claims that he had no idea they existed. Loretta Barkell, who retired in March, said she repeatedly warned Arpaio and then-Chief Deputy David Hendershott that they could not use restricted jail funds to pay for other functions, such as patrol (aka: racial profiling Latino Neighborhoods), human-smuggling enforcement (aka: riding in a car with your abuela) and public-corruption investigations (aka: investigating his many political enemies even though they were innocent). Barkell made her statements in an exclusive interview on Thursday with 12 News reporter Joe Dana. In agreeing to the lengthy interview, Barkell said she was tired of Arpaio and other sheriff's officials blaming the financial problems on rank-and-file staff who did what they were told.
Arpaio has repeatedly (LIED) denied knowledge that his agency was misappropriating the public funds, characterizing the problems as a "computer glitch" and "bookkeeping errors." Barkell said Arpaio, Hendershott and other senior staff had known of the problems for years (and continued to do so -- aka Abuse of Power). She said she cautioned them time and again over the past 10 years that they could not use the detention money for other functions.
"The former chief deputy and the sheriff, and all the executive staff on the 19th floor, they made those decisions on where to place personnel, they knew about what they call a 'cross-fund issue,' where they could not move certain positions or individuals from . . . the detention side to the patrol side," Barkell said. "They had been told every year, several times a year (that) they could not do that."
Asked what the sheriff's response was (he knowingly BROKE THE LAW), Barkell said, "The sheriff waved his hand and said he was not allowing the bean counters to manage his operations, that the budget people, the accounting people, personnel people would have to figure it out and fix it. But he was not going to change his decisions on how he was managing his staff."
Arpaio and his goons are currently under investigation by the Dept of Justice for Abuse of Power and Misappropriation of Funds. Barkell has testified in the hearings. The DOJ will announce the results of their investigation in the weeks/months ahead.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Late last year, the U.S. Senate tried but failed to muster the courage or the votes necessary to pass the DREAM Act -- a narrowly missed opportunity for lawmakers to put politics aside and do the right thing for our country and our economy. But despite the failure of the past year, there's still reason to hope. Today, I joined Sen. Dick Durbin in re-introducing the DREAM Act in the Senate, reviving the effort to allow some of the best and brightest young students to give back to the country they call home through military service or by getting a college degree.
The DREAM Act is by no means a silver bullet. Washington must take action to provide a common-sense fix to our broken immigration system that secures the border, cracks down on employers who willfully break the law and requires the undocumented to pay a fine, pay their taxes, learn English and pass criminal background checks. We have waited far too long to reform our immigration laws. Washington inaction has come at the expense of our families, small business owners, farmers and students.
But in the absence of comprehensive reform, we should work to boost our economy, strengthen our Armed Forces and help hard-working kids fulfill their full potential by passing the DREAM Act. The American people support the bill, and so does a majority of the U.S. Senate. But for many kids, the clock is ticking. The Administration can and should act now to grant deferred action to exemplary students who meet the rigorous requirements for eligibility under the DREAM Act. Not only will these children be better off for it -- our country will be better off as well.
When I was superintendent of Denver Public Schools, I saw the potential of some of our best and brightest students cut short, punished for the actions of others -- kids who had grown up and done well in our school system, and kids who know no other home but America. This is unacceptable.
A student who has excelled in the classroom should have the opportunity to attend college and become a productive, taxpaying member of society. Upon receiving a college education, these youth will be able to transition into higher paying jobs and will be paying their fair share in taxes. In fact, a recent UCLA study concluded that DREAM Act participants could contribute as much as $3.6 trillion to the U.S. economy during their working lives.
If we are going to get our fiscal house in order, we need to make sure we are getting the full return on our investment and not closing the door on new tax revenues as these young people become contributors to our economy. The DREAM Act will require these young people to pay their fair share of taxes. We are acting against our own financial interests by keeping these youth in uncertain legal status.
And if we fail to pass the DREAM Act, we are also acting against our own national security interests by denying patriotic youth the ability to serve in our military. According to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, about 35,000 non-citizens serve and 8,000 permanent resident aliens enlist in our Armed Forces every year. The DREAM Act represents an opportunity to assist with military recruiting and readiness.
With the reintroduction of the DREAM Act, Congress once again has the chance to do the right thing... but it needs some nudging. That's where you come in. I need your help. Will you take a moment to submit an online video telling Congress why you support the DREAM Act? Will you share your story? And just as important, will you encourage your friends and family to do the same?
Supporting the DREAM Act is not only the right thing to do; it is also a practical solution. We owe it to the taxpayers who have invested in the education of these youth, the teachers who have fostered their development, and military leaders who can benefit from these new recruits to move forward on the DREAM Act without delay.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
When I was a little girl, on Mothers Day, my Dad would bring out all of his old albums and sing along to his "Mama" records. Here is one of his favorites by "Trio Los Panchos."
Madre Bendita Seas
Para cantarte a tí, madre querida
eres el angel bueno de la vida
Tiembla mi corazón para decirte
que tu nombre es amor,
Hoy se adornan los cielos de colores
y desatan su voz para cantar
porque me diste tú la vida entera
y me enseñaste a amar y a creer en Dios
A tus pies todo el mundo en este dia
de emocion de amor querer llorar
para gritar mil veces madre mia
madre, madre, querida
Bendita ,Bendita seas
I think of the comments by the Republican candidates during the last election: "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran." Both McCain and Palin are famous for making this statement. Can you imagine what would have happened if they were in the White House? Clearly they would have bombed Bin Laden's hideout and demolished it, destroying any clear evidence that he was there and inciting a war with Pakistan -- a nation that actually does have nuclear weapons (aka Weapons of Mass Destruction.)
Every time I look at the Middle East map I am always appalled to see that Iraq is so far away from Pakistan -- where Bin Laden has been hiding since 9/11. Sure Iraq's Saddam Hussein was a deplorable dictator (there are so many in the world) but he had nothing to do with 9/11. Since the start of the war in Iraq, we have had over 6002 American service men and women die in this so called "war on terror." That is not counting all of the innocent men women and children in the Middle East who have died in this "war on terror." And what about all the recruits al qaeda received as a result of all the destruction in these countries.
I am glad we have an intelligent, calm President in the White House. He is using his logic and technology to identify and hunt down terror leaders. There were 23 children in Bin Laden's compound. None were injured. This stealth attack truly resulted in "Mission Accomplished." When President Obama made his Bin Laden announcement, he thanked the Seals, honored our troops and the families of the troops and thanked former President Bush and the American people. His speech was truly a Leader's speech, Presidential and historic.
On the other hand, George Bush, on May 1, 2003, announced "Mission Accomplished" aboard an aircraft carrier. He jet landed onto the aircraft vs using his helicopter, to make a more dramatic landing. The Mission was NOT accomplished as the war in Iraq has continued. Bush also said Bin Laden was on the run and he wasn't concerned about him. (see video)
During the Presidential campaign, candidate Obama promised he would hunt down Bin Laden and kill him. McCain called him naive. President Obama kept his promise.
Republican pundits are on TV today attempting to give former President Bush credit for Bin Laden's demise. This is so ludicrous. They are saying torture methods enabled the identification of the Bin Laden courier and therefore President Bush deserves all the credit. This is such an innaccurate statement. In fact, the person tortured: "KSM" -- lied about the name of the courier when he was tortured. The name of the courier was actually identified via CIA investigative efforts overseas.
It was years-long, detailed, methodical investigative efforts that resulted in the identification of the courier. Then it was President Obama himself that insisted upon the Navy Seals stealth attack, using technology, training (human and dog), and skills in threading the needle to pull out Bin Laden and all of his computers and thumb drives.
Once out, they utilized facial recognition technology and DNA to confirm Bin Laden's identity, then bury him at sea. This was brilliant! Just think. There is no where for his followers to go to pay homage or to incite new terror. He's gone. Now, the world is, in fact, safer. Thanks to our Navy Seals, intelligence, logic, technology and our Great President Obama!
I find it interesting that Osama Bin Laden was killed on May 1, 2011, eight years to the day after Bush declared "Mission Accomplished." As the President honored the fallen at Ground Zero this past week, I was glad he invited President Bush to accompany him, however I am not surprised he did not attend. The two have different ideologies.As President Obama pulls out our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan this summer, I hope ALL Americans support him.
God Bless America!
God Bless OUR President Barack Obama!
Saturday, May 7, 2011
More facts we've learned about Dogs in current Combat include:
■ As of early 2010 there were nearly 2,800 active-duty dogs deployed by the U.S. Army, which has the largest canine contingent in the world. 600 of those dogs are currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
■ "The military uses a variety of breeds, but by far the most common are the German shepherd and the Belgian Malinois, which 'have the best overall combination of keen sense of smell, endurance, speed, strength, courage, intelligence and adaptability to almost any climatic condition,' according to a fact sheet from the military working dog unit."
■ Dogs have been trained to jump from high in the air (airplanes) since the 1930s. They normally do it with their trainer, but can under certain circumstances make short jumps into water (while wearing floatation devices) on their own.
■ The special eye gear that war dogs are sometimes seen wearing are called "doggles." (Awww.)
■ Titanium Fangs: Yes, Hero Dogs wear them. They cost about $2,000 a tooth and if you were to bitten by them it would feel like "being stabbed four times at once with a bone crusher."
■ And that's not all, "Scientists at Auburn University's College of Veterinary Medicine have genetically bred and specially trained canines to not only detect stationary bombs or bomb-making materials, but identify and alert their handler to the moving scent of explosive devices and materials left behind in the air, say, as a suicide bomber walked through a crowd—all without ever tipping off the perpetrator." Those "vapor-wake dogs" cost around $20,000 each.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Tea Party - Where Are You? GOP Secretly Out to Stop Wall Street Reform and Raise Gas Prices and Wreck Our Economy Again!
Wall Street's King: Goldman Sachs is pulling out all the stops (spending millions on lobbyists; wining and dining Congress) in their desperate attempt to stop or at least delay the Volcker Rule. This is the BIG ONE Baby! The Volcker Plan is a proposal to restrict U.S. banks from making certain kinds of speculative investments if they are not on behalf of their customers. THIS IS THE BIG WALL STREET REFORM PLAN. This plan STOPS the Banks from betting against the American Public. If you are familiar with the Housing Bubble burst, as the Goldman Sachs investigation showed, business as usual on Wall Street has for too long allowed banks to create instruments which are based on junky assets, then sell them to clients, and bet against their own clients by betting on their failure. The Volcker Plan proposes to end that type of conflict which Wall Street has engaged in.
Now, lobbying disclosures show Goldman representatives have been working both sides of the political aisle (Both Repubs & Dems are being lobbied and are commiserate in delaying this legislation) and meeting with top officials in the White House and regulatory agencies. Get this, Goldman Sachs is lobbying the very agencies that are supposed to be regulating them and protecting "We the People."
Goldman has hired an all-star team of lobbyists and former government officials, leveraging powerful connections to get its message across to regulatory and political leaders."Before the crisis, Goldman was basically non-existent in Washington," said a former Congressional staffer who now works as a policy analyst at a Wall Street bank. "Post-crisis, Goldman is everywhere."
The SEC and four other regulators are in the process of writing separate versions of the Volcker rule, which must then be reconciled and shaped into a single set of regulations.
"Volcker is the subject of a very quiet, closed-door battle right now, not just between us and Wall Street, but among the agencies as well," said Bart Naylor, who has lobbied regulators for consumer-rights coalition Americans for Financial Reform.
Goldman Sachs spokesman Stephen Cohen declined to comment.
My question is, why aren't the Tea Partiers aware of this? Why aren't they protesting Goldman Sachs and their lobbyists? I thought they were interested in improving the economy. Why isn't this all over Cable News? Not on Fox! Not on NBC, ABC, CBS! Very little on-line.
Why aren't we all up in arms about this? I'm Blogging about it.
Tea Party, if you truly care about the Economy and a successful America, then Read Up on this Issue. Call your Congresspeople to support this legislation! However you will be very disappointed. The biggest opposition to this legislation are your friends, the GOP! (And some Dems too!) I guess they all have deep pockets!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Then understanding that Bin Laden has been in a mega mansion in Pakistan (our ally??) since 2003? So many countries (and thousands of miles) away. Why did we ever send our troops to Iraq? (so many killed!) Why didn't we know Bin Laden was hiding in plain sight? In the neighborhood of our ally, Pakistan? Bin Laden's mega mansion, so visible, right in the middle of town. This mega-mansion was built in 2003 -- walls 10 feet high, right in the middle of a very large neighborhood.
All I can say is, Thank God for President Obama! Thank God for our Special Forces. They swooped in so quickly and served Justice so quickly.
It's over now!
The only good thing -- we are unifying as a nation, ALL supporting our President! Let the Peace and the Allegiance last, at least for a few days! Let's join together as a nation and support our troops and our President!
God Bless America! God Bless our President Obama!
Sunday, May 1, 2011
The President is announcing tonight that Osama Bin Laden is dead and his body is in custody. Last week President Obama and his national security team quietly instructed the CIA to intensify their efforts to hunt down, capture, or kill Osama bin Laden. The reason is obvious. The President has said the U.S. will be leaving Afghanistan in July, 2011.
This is a turning point for the Global War on Terror. Removing Bin Laden, the head of Al Qaeda, can be paralleled to the removal of Adolph Hitler from Nazi Germany at the end of World War II.
Let's begin a NEW ERA! An era of Peace and Hope!
May God Bless America and May God Bless Our President Obama.
HINO Marco Rubio Says He Supports the Obliteration of Medicare Even Though His Own Mother Is a Recipient!
Rubio also LIED. He said the Democrats have not proposed an alternative. However, they have, at least on two occasions. President Barack Obama proposed a budget at the beginning of this year, but the Senate hasn't yet offered one. House Democrats also proposed the "People's Budget Plan" which Republicans quickly voted down.
IF Rubio does vote for this Medicare ENDING bill, I wonder what he will say to his Medicare Using Mother. Will he tell her she will be the last in her family to receive care and anyone else in the family will be STUCK using a $15K a year Voucher - searching for Medical Help with their pre-existing conditions and shut out by providers. HINO Rubio should be ashamed of himself!