President Obama lays out the new steps he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system. Watch the address live on November 20th at 8pmET and learn more at whitehouse.gov.
Sahil Kapur has a good backgrounder on what to expect from Obama’s announcement of an executive action guaranteed to send the entire right wing into a frenzy: All You Need to Know About Obama’s Executive Action to Legalize 5 Million.
The cornerstone of Obama’s executive action is a new “deferred action” program to authorize undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents temporarily live and work in the country, as long as they’ve resided here for at least 5 years and can show that their child was born before the date of Obama’s announcement. This huge action covers more than 4 million people. Separately, Obama will expand his 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which currently covers people born after 1981 who came to the country before June 15, 2007 — the expanded program will scrap the age cap and move the cutoff date to January 1, 2010. It’s expected to cover some 270,000 new so-called DREAMers.
Despite intense lobbying by immigrant-rights groups, the action will not cover parents of DREAMers, or DACA beneficiaries. A senior administration official said that after an exhaustive review of the White House’s legal options, “we made a determination that the law essentially did not support that. … By executive action he can only do so much.”
This action is temporary, and can be reversed by the next president. “It is not a pathway to citizenship,” a senior administration official stressed, saying that the administration will begin accepting applications in the spring (potentially sooner for the expanded DACA program). Each applicant will be required to pass a background check to receive what will be a three-year work authorization under both programs. They’ll also have to pay taxes and stay on the right side of the law. Their reprieves and work permits are granted on the basis of the longstanding exercise of prosecutorial discretion, and can be revoked at any time at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security.
And of course:
Republicans are gearing up to mount a massive backlash that could include a government shutdown standoff or a lawsuit. The conservative base is apoplectic about Obama’s actions, and rank-and-file GOP lawmakers are floating everything from impeachment to jailing the president.
I knew things had swung to the radical right in Nevada, but the Reno News & Review has a jaw-dropper of a report today on the Republican picked by the GOP to be speaker of the state assembly, Ira Hansen — a paleoconservative caveman who wrote a column for years for the Sparks Tribune, laying out his stunningly bigoted and hateful views on quite a variety of subjects.
On African Americans:
Hansen has said he keeps a Confederate battle flag on the wall where he writes his columns. “I fly it proudly in honor and in memory of a great cause and my brave ancestors who fought for that cause,” he wrote.
Hansen tends to use the term “Negro” and often does not capitalize it. In one column, he described Washoe Republican Sen. Maurice Washington (whom he supported) as black but in the same column called President Obama (whom he opposes) a “negro”—lower case.
On Martin Luther King:
Hansen has repeated, legitimately, the well known stories about Martin Luther King’s plagiarism as a student, using them to try to discredit his later work. On several occasions, including in King Day columns, Hansen has also cited as factual rumors about King’s private life about which nothing reliable is known, particularly given the efforts of the FBI to plant misinformation about King with journalists. Hansen provided nothing like chapter and verse to prove King’s private life unsuitable, relying on the notion that it is something we all “know.”
Hansen wrote, “King’s private life was trashy at best. … King Jr. is as low as it gets, a hypocrite, a liar, a phony, and a fraud.” He opposed an effort to name a Paradise Park community center for King on the grounds African-Americans had begun rejecting him in favor of Louis Farrakhan, a black trend that has not been recorded elsewhere.
On “educational slavery:”
In an attack on public education and teacher unions, Hansen wrote, “The Democratic coalition would split asunder if the NAACP & co. actually promoted what black Americans truly desire—educational choice. The shrewd and calculating [black] ‘leaders’ are willing to sacrifice the children of their own race to gratify their lust for power and position. The relationship of Negroes and Democrats is truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple minded darkies. For American blacks, being denied choice and forced to attend the failing and inferior government school system is a form of involuntary servitude. Let’s call it what it truly is—educational slavery.”
On real slavery:
He wrote that African-Americans are insufficiently grateful for being given their freedom: “The lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to.”
We’re well into Stormfront territory here. And this is just the beginning; Hansen has also spewed all manner of hatred at gays, Latinos, women, you name it. Basically, if you are not a white male far right whack job, Ira Hansen despises you. And maybe even then.
This Stephen Colbert bit hilariously illustrates the essential douchebagginess of libertarians, as he discovers a gang of delusional “patriots” fighting back against the tyranny of parking meters in Keene, New Hampshire.
If the republic is to survive, it will be no thanks to these asshats.
Certain to be the cause of a major eruption of right wing craziness, the President announced his speech on immigration reform tonight on Facebook, and with a post at the White House blog by Josh Earnest: Tune In: The President Addresses the Nation on Immigration Reform | the White House.
Our immigration system has been broken for decades — and every minute we fail to act, millions of people who live in the shadows but want to play by the rules and pay taxes have no way to live right by the law and contribute to our country.
So tomorrow night, President Obama will address the nation to lay out the executive actions he’s taking to fix our broken immigration system. You can watch the President live tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET at whitehouse.gov.
This is a step forward in the President’s plan to work with Congress on passing common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform. He laid out his principles for that reform two years ago in Del Sol High School in Las Vegas — and that’s where he’ll return on Friday to discuss why he is using his executive authority now, and why Republicans in Congress must act to pass a long-term solution to immigration reform.
We’ll be there with a live video thread, of course.
Here’s a brand new feature I’m sure everyone who uses LGF’s personalized Image Library system (available free to registered users) will appreciate: now you can download your entire collection of images in a ZIP file. When you expand the file, it creates a directory structure with all the images neatly filed in folders and subfolders named by dates.
Since these zip archives can be quite large depending on how many images you’ve uploaded, there’s a limit of one archive download per user per week.
Still to do: I haven’t decided yet how to handle tags, captions and other “meta” information about the images. But having a complete backup of all your images is such a useful feature as is, I decided to go live with it now.
It’s simple to use; only one button labeled “Download Image Library,” visible at upper right in the Image Library main page.
Our government news of the day is a shocking act of Democratic obstructionism in the Senate, where the bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline was narrowly defeated today.
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday defeated a bill, 59 to 41, that would have approved the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, rebuffing a Democratic colleague, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who had hoped to muscle the legislation through in advance of her uphill runoff election fight back home.
Forty Democrats and Angus King, independent of Maine, voted against the bill, with just 14 Democrats joining all 45 Republicans in support of the oil pipeline.
The battle over approving the pipeline, which will carry petroleum from the oil sands of Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas, ultimately became a proxy war for the Louisiana Senate seat, where Ms. Landrieu and Representative Bill Cassidy, a Republican, are locked in fight for votes in their oil-rich state ahead of a Dec. 6 runoff election.
The bill is sure to come up again in the new Senate, but it would still be unlikely to get the 67 votes needed to override a Presidential veto. The real loser in this vote is Mary Landrieu, who fought hard to get Democrats to support it and lost — and now may lose her Senate seat.
Here’s one of those jaw-dropping political statements that sends your mind into vapor lock for a few seconds as you try in vain to comprehend the bizarre illogic that could drive someone like Rick Santorum to such an absurd inverted reality conclusion: Rick Santorum Wishes Obama Would Be a Racial Uniter Like Segregationists Jerry Falwell and Jesse Helms.
Mix a bit of yodeling with Tuvan throat singing, add in a pinch of Sardinian cantu a tenore, fold in compositions from cutting-edge composers and you have the vocal group Roomful of Teeth. This eight-voice ensemble, which includes the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, is gleefully dismantling the traditional definition of ensemble singing right before our ears (and teeth!).
Musical descendants of the innovative extended vocal techniques of Meredith Monk, the Teeth tend to make sounds — some sweet, others alarming — that you probably haven’t heard from a group of humans.
In Australian composer Wally Gunn’s “The Fence is Gone,” verses emerge from an infrastructure of “oh-ha” syllables and a simple drum pulse, ending with women’s voices, tight in harmony, like a chord from a Casio keyboard. In Rinde Eckert’s “Cesca’s View,” imagine a lonely cowgirl on some windswept plain. Estelí Gomez gets her yodel on, beautifully, while the three other women vocalize in close, barbershop-style harmony. It literally ends on a high note.
To finish, Teeth founder and director Brad Wells contributes “Otherwise.” Warm, rounded tones in male voices contrast with a steely sheen from the women and a high drone like a Tibetan singing bowl. The harmonies take a tangy, almost Bulgarian turn, then we get something truly otherworldly. A pulsing, slightly creepy Sardinian “bim-bom” vocalise buzzes like a gigantic cicada. Dashon Burton’s operatic baritone soars above it all. The agility of the voices and multicolored blend they achieve are extraordinary.
As the applause faded away, one of the Teeth said, “Thanks for letting us yell at you.” No, I think it’s we who are grateful — and perhaps a little stunned. —TOM HUIZENGA
Wally Gunn: “The Fence Is Gone” 0:00
Rinde Eckert: “Cesca’s View” 4:30
Brad Wells: “Otherwise” 8:22
Producers: Bob Boilen, Tom Huizenga, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Colin Marshall, Maggie Starbard, Susan Hale Thomas; Assistant Producer: Susannah Whittle
If the reports we’ve been getting about the Grand Jury in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson are accurate, it seems like a foregone conclusion that officer Darren Wilson is not going to be charged in Brown’s killing.
And now in preparation for the soon-to-be released decision of the Grand Jury, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is declaring a state of emergency and activating the National Guard, obviously expecting trouble even though recent protests have been peaceful. Here’s the official statement: Executive Order 14-14 | Governor Jay Nixon.