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Hometown: NY
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Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
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Judge Appears Set to Demand Full "Accounting" of Thousands More Separated Kids

Judge Appears Set to Demand Full “Accounting” of Thousands More Separated Kids

By Jeremy Stahl
Feb 22, 2019
3:04 PM

On Thursday, Judge Dana Sabraw held what could be the most consequential hearing in months in the family separation case Ms. L v. ICE, which has resulted in the identification and reunification of more than 2,000 separated children with their parents. The new developments could lead to the identification of thousands more separated children, or a bitter court fight over whether the Trump administration has the responsibility to account for them.

An inspector general’s report last month revealed that potentially thousands more children were separated from their families than previously acknowledged by the government. The American Civil Liberties Union, which is leading the lawsuit, quickly asked for the government to identify those separated children for possible reunification. The court’s initial reunification order has been applied only to children who were in Office of Refugee Resettlement care at the time Sabraw’s preliminary injunction was sent down on June 26, 2018. The government filed a response to the ACLU’s motion saying that it would be too difficult to find the additional kids it separated, and that reunification would be potentially traumatic because it would involve ICE raiding homes where these children have been placed.

The government seems to have dropped that latest argument, acceding to the fact that reuniting children could be done—as it has been throughout the course of the lawsuit—with the help of NGOs.

Lawyers for the Department of Justice, though, continued on Thursday to press their case that the government does not have an obligation to identify those families and that the task would be too onerous. They even seemed to indicate that, should Judge Sabraw find a government obligation to account for all illegally separated children, as he seemed inclined to do, they would drop their previous cooperation and fight the ruling.

“It’s a real change of course, respectfully your honor, to do all that [work to reunite families], to put all that commitment in, to hold a potential appeal in abeyance, to grant all sorts of things that we wouldn’t normally grant,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Scott Stewart. “I’m just not sure that we can keep going that way.”

During Thursday’s hearing, Sabraw seemed poised to accept the ACLU’s motion. As the ACLU argued in its filings in the case, the government’s position is illogical. The DOJ argues that the government only has a responsibility to identify separated children who were in ORR custody on the date of Sabraw’s court ruling, June 26, because the remedy the court ordered—reunification—would present different challenges for the other group. The ACLU argued in its own filings that “this confuses the question of relief with the question of liability. The pre-June 26 children suffered the same harm from the same illegal government policy.”


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 22, 2019, 05:25 PM (0 replies)

Trump Admin To Stop Giving Permits To Spouses Of High-Skilled Immigrants

Mean just to be mean. Oh, and Obama.


Trump Admin To Stop Giving Permits To Spouses Of High-Skilled Immigrants
By Kate Riga
February 22, 2019 8:39 am

The Trump administration is putting into effect its plan to stop giving work permits to spouses of high-skilled visa holders, likely to be a tremendous blow to the tech industry.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, this would affect about 100,000 workers, most of whom live in California.

The Obama administration originally set up the H-4 permit program to help attract high-skilled workers from places like India, and to help their families stay in America with them while waiting to get their green cards.

Repealing the program will split apart families already settled in the U.S. and likely deter highly educated immigrants from coming and doing critical work in the tech industry.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 22, 2019, 01:10 PM (12 replies)

NE Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged as a "john" in human trafficking/prostitution investigation

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged as a “john” in human trafficking/prostitution investigation
Posted: 11:46 AM, Feb 22, 2019
Updated: 2 minutes ago
By: WPTV Webteam

JUPITER, Fla. — In his Tuesday news conference about a major human trafficking investigation , Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said about 100 men would be arrested.

When asked about prominent people or celebrities, Snyder said, “There will be a newsmaker in this one.”

That newsmaker is Robert Kraft, billionaire businessman and owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

On Friday, Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr confirmed to WPTV that Kraft is one of the men being charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution. He confirmed that there is video evidence of all of the men being charged.

When asked if he was surprised about the arrest of Kraft, Chief Kerr said, "We're as deeply stunned as anyone else."


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 22, 2019, 12:58 PM (45 replies)

Mitch McConnell is on the verge of facing the 18 longest days of his political life

Live TV
Mitch McConnell is on the verge of facing the 18 longest days of his political life
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 4:35 PM EST, Thu February 21, 2019
Video at link~

(CNN) Mitch McConnell's life is about to get a lot more complicated.

As soon as Friday, the Democratic-controlled House will vote on a privileged resolution to terminate President Donald Trump's invocation of the National Emergencies Act to secure funding to build a wall on the country's southern border. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) has penned a letter urging all members of Congress to vote for the resolution and, given the Democratic majority in the chamber, it seems certain to pass.

Which means that it will be sent to the Senate. Where it will be required by law to be voted on within 18 days. Which could well be the longest 18 days of the Senate Majority Leader's political life.

As CNN's Michael Warren wrote way back on February 12 when considering the political impact of Trump declaring a national emergency on the wall:

"Doing so could set off a chain of events on Capitol Hill that risks splitting the Republican conference, undercutting other parts of Trump's agenda and likely opening the administration's actions to legal challenges. It may also provide a clarifying moment that Republicans on the Hill have managed to avoid since Trump took office -- casting an up or down vote on whether to build the full-scale wall Trump desires."

Uh, yeah. And every sign points to this nightmare scenario for McConnell happening -- and happening soon.

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made clear that if the House passes the privileged resolution, he will ensure the Senate votes on it.

"This issue transcends partisan politics, and I urge all senators -- Democrats and Republicans -- to support this resolution to terminate the president's emergency declaration when it comes up for a vote in the Senate," said Schumer. "Identical companion legislation to the House resolution will soon be introduced in the Senate."

Which is a problem for McConnell because of, well, math.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 22, 2019, 07:50 AM (32 replies)

Trump and his kids are being sued for running a marketing scam

Posted on Thu, Feb 21st, 2019 by Reuters
Trump and his kids are being sued for running a marketing scam
By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and his adult children on Thursday urged a federal judge to dismiss a racketeering lawsuit accusing them of using the family name to promote sham marketing opportunities to vulnerable, financially struggling investors.

Calling the lawsuit “implausible,” the Trump family said in a filing in federal court in Manhattan that the four plaintiffs failed to prove there was fraud or intent to cause harm, or that any statements by Donald Trump caused losses.

A spokeswoman for the plaintiffs, who went by pseudonyms, had no immediate comment.

They accused the Trump family of having received millions of dollars of secret payments from 2005 to 2015 to endorse American Communications Network, which charged $499 for a chance to sell videophones and other goods, and two other businesses.

The lawsuit said the Trumps deliberately conned victims into believing Donald Trump stood behind the investments and thought they would pay off, when the real goal was to enrich themselves. They said this violated a federal anti-racketeering law known as RICO.

Other defendants included an affiliate of the Trump Organization and Trump’s adult children Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Feb 22, 2019, 07:13 AM (19 replies)

Poll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell

Poll: 33% of Kentucky voters approve of McConnell
By Tal Axelrod - 02/21/19 02:55 PM EST

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) approval rating is underwater in Kentucky ahead of his reelection race next year, according to a new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released Thursday.

About 33 percent of registered Kentucky voters polled approve of the job McConnell is doing, while 56 percent disapprove and 11 percent are unsure. Additionally, 32 percent think McConnell “deserves to be reelected,” and 61 percent think it’s “time for someone new.”

The PPP poll was conducted on behalf of the Ditch Mitch Fund, an advocacy group that opposes McConnell. McConnell’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 21, 2019, 06:08 PM (22 replies)

El Paso Sues Trump For Damaging Their Reputation And Economy


Posted on Thu, Feb 21st, 2019 by Jason Easley
El Paso Sues Trump For Damaging Their Reputation And Economy

The county of El Paso has sued Donald Trump for damaging their reputation and economy with his bogus national emergency declaration.

Trump tried to use El Paso as a prop, and now they are suing him

KTSM9 reported, “El Paso County has officially sued the President of the United States. The lawsuit, filed along with the Border Network for Human Rights against President Donald Trump and members of his administration, was filed on Wednesday. The suit claims that the President’s emergency declaration regarding the situation on the U.S.-Mexico Border damages El Paso’s reputation and economy.”

Read the lawsuit @ link~
Page 1 / 41

Trump has lied about immigration and crime in El Paso for weeks. He has damaged the reputation of the entire region, and local leaders are fighting back with a lawsuit that is intended to stop the wall and protect democracy, according to local leaders.

Trump’s attempt to use El Paso to push his agenda has backfired

Before Trump arrived in El Paso, local leaders passed a resolution condemning his lies and make it clear that he was not welcome in their community. Beto O’Rourke drew twice as many people to a counter-rally than came out to see the president.

Trump rally will be most remembered for one of his supporters attacking a BBC cameraman.

El Paso isn’t allowing itself to be used as a pawn in Trump’s racist and efforts to carry out a discriminatory policy agenda on the border. El Paso isn’t just condemning Trump. They are suing him and standing up for the values and good name of their community.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 21, 2019, 04:02 PM (5 replies)

CNN in Damage-Control Mode With Dems Over GOP Operative Hire

CNN in Damage-Control Mode With Dems Over GOP Operative Hire
The hiring of longtime Republican operative Sarah Isgur has set off alarms for Democrats. Now the network is doing some cleanup.
Maxwell Tani,
Sam Stein
02.20.19 8:13 PM ET

The Democratic National Committee has sought and received assurances from CNN that the network’s new politics editor, Sarah Isgur, will not be involved in the debates that the channel hosts and moderates for the Democratic primary.

The assurances were provided after the committee expressed reservations to CNN over Isgur’s history in Republican politics and after officials at the committee raised concerns over her alleged connections to a now-retracted Fox News story on the debunked Seth Rich conspiracy theory.

CNN announced this week that it had hired Isgur to help oversee the network’s coverage of the 2020 election. Until late last year, she had served as Jeff Sessions’ top spokesperson at the Department of Justice after previously working on campaigns for Carly Fiorina and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Her hiring set off a round of recriminations from journalists, who argued that the longtime Republican operative had no prior experience in the news industry, and from Democrats, who believe she brings a clearly established ideological agenda with her to her new post.

Inside the DNC, the reaction was one of what one source called ”disbelief.” Officials there attempted to get clarity over what role she would actually play in campaign coverage. Ultimately, a senior DNC aide told The Daily Beast that CNN assured them Isgur would not have involvement in Democratic debates. It remains unclear the extent to which she will be involved in other elements of the network’s Democratic primary coverage.

"[Chairman] Tom Perez and the DNC expressed to CNN that they have serious concerns with the hire," the aide said. "They continue to talk to the network about how this impacts 2020, and as of Wednesday, they got assurances that Flores would not be involved in debates."


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 21, 2019, 08:50 AM (11 replies)

Mueller Is Driving the Timing of His Report


Mueller Is Driving the Timing of His Report
February 21, 2019 at 7:32 am EST By Taegan Goddard

Marcy Wheeler: “I’m fairly certain the concerns about Barr coming in and forcing Mueller to finish this are misplaced. I say that, in part, because Mueller seemed to be preparing for this timing. I say it, too, because Barr is too close to Mueller to do that to him.”

“That says that Mueller is choosing this timing (and choosing not to wait for the appeals to be done). Whatever reason dictates this timing, by doing it in this window, Mueller can ensure the legitimacy of what happens, both legally (because Barr will be in place) and politically (because it will be clear Rosenstein presided over it).”

“So whatever comes next week, people on both sides should accept that it is the outcome of the investigation that Mueller deemed appropriate.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Feb 21, 2019, 08:44 AM (6 replies)

Mueller's report, perhaps to be

released next week.

Bombshell? Gawd, I hope. Any possibility it's not?
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Feb 20, 2019, 10:00 PM (9 replies)
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