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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit Area, MI
Home country: USA
Current location: San Francisco, CA
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 01:53 PM
Number of posts: 16,057

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

Oakland Mayor Schaaf willing to be jailed for defending sanctuary city policies

OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN) - Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said today that reports that federal immigration officials are preparing for a major sweep of cities such as Oakland that have sanctuary policies are making many of the city's residents nervous.

"The level of fear and anxiety in this community is at unconscionable levels," Schaaf said.

Referring to President Donald Trump, Schaaf said, "It is no surprise that the bully in chief is continuing to try to intimidate our most vulnerable residents."

But she said, "We're very clear that our values are to protect all of our residents regardless of where we come from. We want to protect families, not tear them apart."

Schaaf said, "We are exercising our legal right to be a sanctuary city. The fact that the federal government is suggesting that it is actively retaliating against jurisdictions that are exercising their right to have sanctuary policies - that is what is illegal."

Sanctuary cities such as Oakland have policies that limit cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities.


Fusion GPS Founder: I Heard Brexit Leader Farage Gave Data To Assange

Two foreign allies of President Donald Trump — the face of Brexit and founder of WikiLeaks — may have had multiple, previously undisclosed meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign. In November testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that was made public Thursday, Glenn Simpson, founder of private intelligence firm Fusion GPS, said he’d heard reports that Brexit leader Nigel Farage provided data to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange.

“I’ve been told and have not confirmed that Nigel Farage had additional trips to the Ecuadoran Embassy than the one that’s been in the papers and that he provided data to Julian Assange,” Simpson testified.

Simpson, whose firm assembled the so-called Trump-Russia dossier, added that the data came in the form of a thumb drive.

Farage is known to have made a trip to the embassy in March 2017 to meet with Assange, who has been accused of working with Russian hackers to release stolen emails and other material intended to damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The former UKIP party leader, who campaigned on Trump’s behalf, was identified as a “person of interest” in the federal investigation into Russia’s election interference in a Guardian report published last summer.


Report alleging ICE crackdown in Bay Area spreads fear, nervousness

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A published report has sparked fear in immigrant communities. The report says President Donald Trump is starting a broad crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

In January of last year, ICE agents looking for an undocumented immigrant in the Mission District mistakenly visited a pre-school run by the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center. The right address was next door.

Nevertheless, agents dressed for a raid, sparked fear and anger among immigration advocates.

"Our visit, we know was probably a means of intimidation, basically sending a message -- there's a new sheriff in town," said Executive Director of the Good Samaritan Family Resource Center Mario Paz.

A report in Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle, attributed to a source, says U.S. immigration officials are now preparing for a "major sweep" in the city and in other areas of Northern California, "in which federal officers would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people."


Report: Midterm Math Looks Similar to 2006

House Democrats, as we have been reporting now for months, have the wind firmly at their back this year. All signs are pointing to a better than 50-50 shot at taking control of the House, perhaps by a decent margin. Even so, we’ve also noted that Republicans have a built-in structural advantage — namely few swing seats to defend. Moreover, the conventional wisdom has held that the map has gotten much less favorable to Democrats in the House since 2006, thanks in large part to the fact that Republicans controlled the redistricting process in many significant battleground states in 2012, taking many formerly competitive seats off the table.

But, as Senate Leader Mitch McConnell warned everyone very early in the cycle, “don’t fall in love with the map.” In fact, when you look more closely at the kinds of districts Republicans are defending in 2018, they don’t look much different from those they had to defend in 2006. For example, there are about as many competitive GOP-held seats in play today in districts with a slight GOP lean (PVI of R+1 to R+5) (23) as there were right before the election in 2006 (22). And, while it’s true that there are few “low hanging fruit” type of districts for Democrats to pick-off (just 23 districts held by Republicans voted for Hillary Clinton), there weren’t many easy lay-ups in 2006, either. Back in 2006, Republicans held just 18 seats won by Democrat John Kerry in the previous presidential election. By the election of 2006, just 15 GOP-held seats (or 27 percent of the total number of GOP-held competitive districts), were in districts that had a slight Democratic lean (a PVI of Even to D+8). Today, of the 40 most competitive seats held by Republicans, 10 (or 25 percent), have a slight Democratic lean (Even to D+5).

In other words, it’s not that map has gotten that much worse for Democrats since 2006; the battleground itself has shifted. For example, in 2006, Indiana, Ohio and upstate New York accounted for 25 percent of the most competitive GOP held seats. This year, California, New Jersey and Texas account for 30 percent of the most competitive GOP seats. We’ve swapped upstate New York with Orange County, California and central Indiana for central New Jersey.

You will also notice that the plurality of seats won by Democrats in 2006 (40 percent) came not from Democratic-leaning seats, but from districts that had a slight GOP advantage. Another 23 percent of the seats Democrats won that year came from districts that had a PVI of R+6 or greater. If Democrats won the same percentage of seats from each category this November as Democrats did in 2006, they would net 22 seats — or two seats shy of the 24 they need to win the House. The challenge for Democrats today is to expand the playing field. Of the 26 GOP-held seats in Likely Republican, two have a Democratic PVI, nine have a PVI between R+1 and R+5 and 15 have a PVI of R+6 or greater. Winning just two of those 26 would get Democrats to the magic number of 24 seats.


Porn Star Claimed She Spanked Trump

New York Magazine: “There are new details about the president’s alleged relationship with adult-film star Stormy Daniels. According to a report by Mother Jones, Daniels once claimed that the president made her spank him with an issue of Forbes magazine.”

“The information came from an email exchange between two campaign consultants who worked with Daniels back in 2009, when she was considering running for Senator of Louisiana (one of her potential campaign slogans was “Stormy Daniels: Screwing people honestly.”)”


Trump Appointee Ousted After Comments Exposed

Trump administration appointee Carl Higbie resigned Thursday as chief of external affairs for the federal government's volunteer service organization after a CNN KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments he made on the radio.

"Effective immediately, Carl Higbie has resigned as Chief of External Affairs at CNCS," Samantha Jo Warfield, a spokesperson for CNCS, said in a statement.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Higbie's resignation.

Higbie, a former Navy SEAL and conservative media personality, was a surrogate for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, appearing on cable news and serving as the spokesman for the Trump-aligned Great America PAC. He was appointed to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in 2017 to direct the public image and messaging of the federal department that manages millions of Americans in volunteer services like AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.

CNCS, formed in 1993, connects volunteers with service opportunities, often in the neediest areas across the country. According to the organization's website, the projects are mainly focused on six priority areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families.


Hungarian Police Have Warrant for Gorka

Former Trump White House staffer Sebastian Gorka has an active warrant out for his arrest in Hungary, BuzzFeed News reports.

“Gorka, whose exact role in the White House while serving as a deputy assistant to the president was never entirely clear, apparently is in trouble with the law over a charge of ‘firearm or ammunition abuse.'”


Tom Cotton has issued do-not-call-or-write notice to some constituents

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Ozark Indivisible, an activist group that has been pressing members of Congress from Arkansas on health care, immigration and other issues, the Arkansas Times reports.


PA-18: Republicans Dispatch Trump to Save a House Seat

“Republicans are scrambling to save a heavily conservative House seat in western Pennsylvania, dispatching President Trump to the district on Thursday while preparing a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign to stave off another embarrassing special election defeat in a district that was gerrymandered to stay Republican,” the New York Times reports.

“Holding just a 24-seat majority, with retirements of veteran lawmakers piling up, House Republicans can scarcely allow Democrats to snatch a seat they have not even competed for in recent elections.”

“And Mr. Trump is loath to suffer another electoral humiliation, particularly in a district that he carried by 19 percentage points in 2016.”


Question for lawyers out there re. Mueller and Bannon

What kind of deal would a prosecutor agree to that allows one to avoid testifying in front of a grand jury?
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