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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: 18,248

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

Border Patrol beat, sexually assaulted, and denied medical care to immigrant children, ACLU says

As a detained 16-year-old immigrant waited in her cell with her infant child, a Border Patrol stood in the doorway and warned her, “Right now, we close the door, we rape you and fuck you.” On a separate occasion, an agent tossed an immigrant child to the ground, leveled a gun at him, and told the kid, “Stop or I will shoot you.” A group of officers once told several pregnant girls that they’d "come to contaminate this country with all those things. Look at all those other girls, all fat.”

These incidents, and dozens of similar allegations of child abuse by Border Patrol agents, are all detailed in a report released Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union’s Border Litigation Project and the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago School of Law. All of the incidents, which are drawn from complaints filed with a Department of Homeland Security watchdog agency and obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, took place between 2009 and 2014, under the Obama administration.

“The records show that the leadership at Customs and Border Protection were well aware of the allegations of unlawful child abuse — including people still now directing the agency — yet there is no indication that any individual official was ever held accountable for abuse,” Mitra Ebadolahi, a staff attorney with the Border Litigation project and the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, wrote in a blog post accompanying the report’s release. (CBP oversees the Border Patrol.)

CBP flatly denied the allegations in the ACLU report.

“The false accusations made by the ACLU against the previous administration are unfounded and baseless,” CBP spokesperson Dan Hetlage said in a statement, adding the ACLU’s report “ignores a number of improvements” and oversight mechanisms implemented by the CBP. “The [Office of Inspector General] has already completed an investigation and found these claims unsubstantiated and did not observe misconduct or inappropriate conduct. CBP takes seriously all allegations of misconduct, but without new specifics is unable to check to commence reasonable steps to examine these assertions and address the accusations levied.”


Meet 18 Candidates Leading the Historic Rise of Black Women Running for Office in Alabama

Before Black Panther celebrated the all-­female freedom fighters of Wakanda, real-life black women formed their own type of special-forces unit in Alabama. When a whopping 98 percent of African American women voters united behind Doug Jones, they were able to elect him as the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate in more than 20 years. They didn’t just defeat Roy Moore; they rocked the political status quo.

They have no intention of stopping there.

An unprecedented groundswell of at least 70 black women have launched electoral campaigns across Alabama for local, state, and national offices in 2018, according to the nonprofit Emerge America, which trains women to run for office. While this echoes a national trend (the Black Women in Politics database lists 590 black female candidates across the country, 97 of them for federal seats), experts say the numbers in Alabama are particularly striking. From first-time hopefuls to seasoned veterans, twenty-somethings to sixty-somethings, women are lining up to disrupt the mostly white, mostly Republican old boys’ club in the state. (Only two black women are running as Republicans in Alabama this year, both for local seats, according to the state’s GOP office.) “African Americans are a quarter of the population here, yet they aren’t seeing their issues front and center,” says Rhonda Briggins, a cofounder of VoteRunLead and an Alabama native, “so they’ve decided to run themselves.”

Representative Terri Sewell, 53, who’s up for reelection this year, was the first black woman to represent Alabama in Congress when she was elected in 2011. “As a congressional intern during the late eighties, I remember walking the halls of the Capitol and not seeing many black women in any role, let alone as elected officials,” she says. “When I was first elected, making my voice heard as a black woman surrounded by older white men was a challenge. This year we’re proving the strength of our voice at the ballot box.”


Democrats Go All-Out to Avoid Disaster in California

New York Times: “With so many Democrats running, the party’s fear is that the vote will be splintered, allowing Republicans — who have fewer candidates — to dominate some primaries. The party and allied groups are spending more than $4 million on just three campaigns, intervening in one contest to prop up a favored candidate; attacking a Republican from the right in another; and even reminding people not to waste their votes on “ghost candidates” who have dropped out yet remain on the ballot.”

“The ‘top two’ system was meant to create incentives for political moderation in a state where about a quarter of the voters are independents, but it has created immense stakes for Democrats: They need to win 23 seats to take back the House, and party officials believe the path runs through the seven competitive California districts, all of which Hillary Clinton carried in 2016.”


Mueller looking into Israeli election meddling

“Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators have obtained a presentation prepared by an Israel-based private intelligence firm that outlines ways in which Donald Trump’s 2016 election was helped by fake news and fake social-media accounts,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Mueller’s interest in the presentation suggests his investigation is focusing on the role of social-media manipulation during the 2016 campaign… The presentation consists of nine slides and was prepared by the Psy-Group, a firm that boasts of ties to elite Israeli intelligence agencies.”


Power-point presentation:


Christie blocks release of correspondence with Kushner Companies

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is using his personal attorney, formerly his administration's attorney general, to block the release of correspondence between his office and the company formerly managed by White House adviser Jared Kushner.

The nonprofit MapLight reports that Jeff Chiesa issued a letter by the former governor last week that declared all requests involving his office's records would be handled by Chiesa to deny requests for the correspondence.

Kushner Companies, a real estate firm now managed by Kushner's brother, benefited under Christie's administration, during which it was the recipient of a $33 million tax credit for the development of One Journal Square Project, a planned skyscraper in Jersey City.

Despite the fact that Chiesa's firm says it had "identified a limited number of responsive documents" between Christie's office and the Kushner Companies, Christie's attorney said the documents were privileged and would not be released.


FLIPPABLE: Felicia French for AZ-HD06

Colonel (Ret) Felicia French is a third generation Arizonian, who lives in rural Arizona. She has a proven commitment to public service, and family well being which she has shown by taking on the roles of a combat veteran, MedEvac helicopter pilot, registered nurse, an educator, and a single mother with over 32 years of leadership experience.

Felicia has her B.S. in Nursing, her M.S. in Management and an M.S. in Sustainable Solutions. During her military career, she also received training in Alternative Dispute Resolution techniques and in mediation- making her a strong bipartisan candidate.

Her leadership skills were formed through her many experiences by working her way up the ranks from a Private to a Colonel in her 32 years serving in the United States Army, as a combat helicopter pilot and medic, to a nurse manager and senior medical advisor, and through mentoring at-risk youth to becoming an educator at Mesa Community College.

Felicia is known to be accomplished in leading organizations during multiple deployments, including a combat tour in Afghanistan, and humanitarian missions in Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

Her capacity and dedication to public service is also reflected in her volunteer work.

She was recognized in her community as "Volunteer of the Year" in 2016 for her role in the Take Pride Pine & Strawberry Project. She also supports her community by volunteering with the local Civil Air Patrol, Tonto Rim Search and Rescue, Community Emergency Response Team, and the Sierra Club.

Felicia is knowledgeable and experienced in matters of the military, healthcare, and education, which helped create her political platform. She is a strong advocate for veteran’s affairs, affordable accessible quality healthcare for all, improving our education system starting with early-childhood, and creating more sustainable jobs.

She is currently case managing as a hospice nurse in rural Arizona. When she has time to spare, she enjoys hiking, reading, and staying up to date on current events.


FLIPPABLE: Kristin Seale for PA-HD168

Pennsylvania's 168th House District is 52% women, but none have ever represented it in Harrisburg. It's long past time! I'll fight for bold, progressive solutions to my neighbors' real daily problems.


FLIPPABLE: Padma Kuppa for MI-HD41

I grew up in America. My family moved to India (where I was born) in the early 80s. As a teenager who very much identified as an American, it wasn’t the easiest move. But it made me appreciate what we have here even more. I returned to the States as soon as I could, showing up to grad school with two suitcases, $250 and the belief that nothing was going to stop me, especially prevailing attitudes that engineering was only for men. After starting a family, I moved to Michigan. The economic opportunity and supportive family resources here were perfect for a young couple with a toddler and a new baby! I was blessed to be able to stay home for a few years and raise our children. During that time, I came to appreciate how kind and caring people here are. I realized that building a tight-knit community like ours happens from the ground up, so I began looking for ways to get involved. And that’s when my love for the area started turning into action.

I’ve taken many opportunities to contribute to the community, including serving on the Boards of the Troy Historic Society and Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, volunteering with The Troy Community Coalition and PTAs from K-12, and more. I was a founding member of the Troy-area Interfaith Group, helped organize the National Day of Prayer Celebration and that’s just the start.

I’ve had several rewarding experiences with city government. I was appointed to the Troy Planning Commission. I Introduced a Tree Protection Ordinance that was eventually approved by Troy City Council. Recently, I organized across the political spectrum for the “No” Vote on the Extreme Charter Amendment.

I’m very proud of my ability to work in diverse business settings. I’ve been everything from a Systems Manager at a university-based non-profit to a Project Manager with Chrysler. My latest position: a Business Analyst in auto finance. I’ve also had the opportunity to contribute to MetroParent magazine and work for a locally-owned business based right here in Troy.


Today is National Missing Children's Day at ICE


NYT's Nate Cohn: 'Unlikely' that California Democrats will be shut out of November elections

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