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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 02:53 PM
Number of posts: 25,231

About Me

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

Journal Archives

Nate Silver: Biden doing better than conventional wisdom suggests.


'Broken system' starves U.S. oil boom of immigrant workers

The son of a Mexican guestworker, Vega cannot find enough legal workers to meet demand for his oil well service rigs.

There is no shortage of Hispanic and Latino immigrant workers without work permits he could hire in Lea County, New Mexico - the No.2 oil-producing county in the United States.

But Vega says he wants to play by the rules, not least because of a heightened risk of company audits by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under President Donald Trump. As a result, he has equipment that could be generating $700,000 a month standing idle in his yard.

“They’re demanding more rigs, more swabbing units, but you don’t have enough employees,” said Vega, who runs Mico Services with around $17 million in annual revenues. “It’s a lack of a system to get legal workers, to have more of a workforce to pull from.”

Employers like Vega in the Permian Basin oilfields of New Mexico and Texas say they feel caught between Trump’s support for their industry and his policies focused on tougher immigration enforcement.

It’s a dilemma faced in other sectors of the U.S. economy that depend on foreign workers after ICE reported surges of between 300% to 750% in worksite investigations, audits and arrests in fiscal year 2018.


Son of Texas Sheriff Who Called Immigrants 'Drunks' Busted for Public Intoxication

The son of Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn was arrested Friday on charges of public intoxication and indecent exposure, jail records show.

Arlington police arrested Sergei Waybourn near AT&T Stadium, just a few days after the sheriff, his adoptive father, sparked controversy with comments he made at the White House about some of Tarrant County’s jailed undocumented immigrants.

Bill Waybourn was at a Washington, D.C., event Thursday opposing a judge’s decision to end the use of unreliable databases when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests local law enforcement hold someone facing possible deportation.

The sheriff said the ruling would make it difficult to keep undocumented immigrants charged with DUIs in jail. While noting that many undocumented Tarrant County inmates are repeat offenders, he said, “These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children."

He faced immediate criticism from people who believed his comments were bigoted and an attack on immigrants as a whole — a sentiment the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department denied.


Murdoch tosses Fox News polster under bus after meeting with William Barr.


Arizona Republican in federal custody on child smuggling charges.

Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen is now in federal custody after his release from a county jail, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Petersen had been in a Maricopa County jail since Tuesday night when state police officers arrested him in connection with what authorities have described as an illegal adoption scheme stretching from the Republic of Marshall Islands to Arizona, Arkansas and Utah.

Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, told The Arizona Republic that Petersen was released into federal custody. It's unclear where Petersen is being held.

Prosecutors in the three states allege Petersen committed a range of offenses as an adoption attorney, from wire fraud in Arkansas to human smuggling in Utah to fraudulent schemes in Arizona, 62 charges in all.

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas filed federal charges against Petersen Wednesday. A 19-count indictment charges Petersen and his co-defendant there, Maki Takehisa, with conspiracy to smuggle the women for private financial gain; aiding and abetting the smuggling; wire fraud; mail fraud; conspiracy to commit visa fraud; and conspiracy to commit money laundering.


Kurdish human rights activist raped and stoned to death by Turkey backed Jihadists


Tweet of the Day


China's Breeding Giant Pigs That Are as Heavy as Polar Bears

In a farm deep in the southern region of China lives a very big pig that’s as heavy as a polar bear.

The 500 kilogram, or 1,102 pound, animal is part of a herd that’s being bred to become giant swine. At slaughter, some of the pigs can sell for more than 10,000 yuan ($1,399), over three times higher than the average monthly disposable income in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi province where Pang Cong, the farm’s owner, lives.

While Pang’s pigs may be an extreme example of the lengths farmers are going to fill China’s swelling pork shortage problem, the idea that bigger is better has been spreading across the country, home to the world’s most voracious consumers of the meat.

High pork prices in the northeastern province of Jilin are prompting farmers to raise pigs to reach an average weight of 175 kilograms to 200 kilograms, higher than the normal weight of 125 kilograms. They want to raise them “as big as possible,” said Zhao Hailin, a hog farmer in the region.


BREAKING: Sondland will throw Trump under the bus.

The U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, intends to tell Congress this week that the content of a text message he wrote denying a quid pro quo with Ukraine was relayed to him directly by President Trump in a phone call, according to a person familiar with his testimony.

Sondland plans to tell lawmakers he has no knowledge of whether the president was telling him the truth at that moment. “It’s only true that the president said it, not that it was the truth,” said the person familiar with Sondland’s planned testimony, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic matters.

The Sept. 9 exchange between Sondland and the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine has become central to the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into whether the president abused his office in pressuring Ukraine to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden and his son, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company. The White House and its defenders have held up Sondland’s text, which included “no quid pro quo’s of any kind,” as proof that none was ever considered.

Sondland will hold out the possibility that Trump wasn’t truthful in his denial of a quid pro quo as well as an alternative scenario in which the president’s interest in the scheme soured at a time when his administration faced mounting scrutiny over why it was withholding about $400 million in security assistance to Ukraine and delaying a leader-level visit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.


LA-GOV: The polls are now closed in Louisiana

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