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Xenophobes Should Remember M.S. St. Louis, 1939


MS St. Louis 2

If you could ask FDR about his toughest decisions as President, one of them would be the "Voyage of the Damned" tempest. For those who don't associate that event, here's the simple recap:

In 1939, a German ocean liner, the MS St. Louis, carried 937 German Jewish refugees seeking asylum in the United States. They arrived at our shores but were denied admission to our country. The result was the ship was returned to Europe where most of these refugees were put into concentration camps. 254 of them died.

Now we see a huge influx of refugee children, trying to escape similar circumstances that caused the ill-fated MS St. Louis voyage to set sail for America. And what do today's xenophobic right-wingers propose? They want our country to negate due process of law -- specifically the 2008 George Bush signed bill (the child trafficking law) which sets regulations as to how undocumented minors entering this country are treated.

If Obama were to use his executive order powers, he'd be labeled a tyrant taking the law into his own hands. If he allows the law to work, he is condemned for upholding the law. He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

children immigrant holding cell 3picture: Western Free Press

Hopefully unlike FDR, Obama won't ice his heart and send these innocent children back home to a fate of rape, severe physical injury/maiming, or even the ultimate, death. These children are refugees, fleeing for their safety. This is the time for compassion, not unfounded fears. America needs to show heart, not knee-jerk reactions to false rumors and innuendos.

The Senate passed a bi-partisan immigration bill over a year ago that might have lessened this influx by adding the manpower and facilities needed to handle this crisis. If the political right needs to do any finger-pointing, then the proper culprit here is one of their own, John Boehner. The Speaker of the House has consistently rejected calls to bring the Senate immigration bill to the House floor for consideration and a vote.

The Republicans in the House made this uncomfortable bed. Now we must all lie in it.


Chicago Shakman 'Patronage' Decrees Lifted, To the Delight of Mayor Rahm



On the tap-shoe heels of Hot Rod Blagojevich (was that scandale really before we fully knew that we loved Obama?!?) and his incarceration-worthy gubernatorial cabaret, one wouldn't have thought Illinois would start deregulating their oversight on what Republicans deplore about Chicago politics.

One would be wrong. According to the New York Times earlier this week, it's only going to get easier to maintain the decades of Democratic leadership unique to the 'nuanced' political practices in the Windy Cit-ay. The old 'patronage' oversight has been lifted.

The so called Shakman decrees, that lashing out of the GOP at what they saw as the runaway union led embrace of Democrats that is ongoing to this day - despite Shakman's best efforts in 1969.



It's fitting for Rahm Emmanuel to be handed back the freedoms and original #UniteBlue spirit that were stolen away via that debacle. And to restore some dignity after Blago up there.

The judge said at a court hearing that the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken proper steps to prove that it has complied with a decades-old accord, known as the Shakman decrees, named after the lawyer, Michael Shakman, who successfully took a stand against the Chicago political machine in a lawsuit in 1969.

Rahm Emmanuel taking the reins from the Irish Machine, the dynastic brotherhood of political dedication that brought the best of Old and New world corruption and consensus knowledge together … that was a transition worth noting.

The Daley family sacrificed a great deal in the name of public service to benefit Democrats and the Unions that the City of Big Shoulders was raised up by - but the power that clan held in return needed hands as strong as those of an Emmanuel brother to carry it safely forward.

The Times unpacked the decision's import going forward.

Mr. Shakman, now 71, supported the lifting of the decree and said in an interview on Monday that he had not anticipated how long it would take.

“Patronage is a cultural problem, and cultural reform is difficult,” he said. “I think it reflects the progress that’s been made.”

Now this is where a mental picture of a happy as hell Rahm Emmanuel comes in handy. Oh, here you go.

Image, Washington Post

Image, Washington Post

The decision was gleefully welcomed by Mr. Emanuel, who is eager for Chicago to shed its image as a place where political favoritism rules. Mr. Emanuel testified on Monday, telling the judge that the end of the Shakman decrees would point “the way to Chicago’s future.”

This is a victory for the People. Clans, tribes, unions, organized communities … all those scary-to-Fux-Nation groups that aren't corporations.


GOP Digs Deep Hole In Their Heads


digging holes

When I was a kid, the joke when you were bored was to go outside and dig a hole. If you dug deep enough you'd come up in China. And as kids, I have to say everyone in my neighborhood at one time or another gave it a go. Why not? We all loved Chinese food.

Before long we'd get a few feet deep and then get tired and give up. We were, after all, kids and we needed something to amuse ourselves with on that "boring" Saturday afternoon.

Now we come to adulthood. Congress was bored, waiting for the next election and too lazy to work during the remainder of their terms. So they took a shovel and started digging. The plot of land they chose was marked Obamacare.

So, we find the Tea Party led excavators digging away, digging away. Suddenly, they damage a water pipe, (the government shutdown), and they find themselves not only knee deep in water, but hot water. With the public.

One solution is to stop digging and scamper out before you're swallowed up and drown. Another is to grab a hold to the life raft that's suddenly appeared -- the approaching debt ceiling and ride it to shore.

Or... The wackadoo digging club could try reaching a rescue by digging even deeper and faster, getting below the water. The risks are greater but what lies underneath the H2O could be even greater. It might even be better than China. It could be Shangri-La. Not sure what kind of food they serve there, but I gotta believe it's great.

Two main choices, swim to shore while they can (passing the clean CR on government spending) or grab a hold of the debt denying diggers and their newest ring leader Paul Ryan and keep digging faster and deeper. And hope.

Here's what knucklehead Wisconsin Representative Ryan has prescribed, reported the Washington Post:

The Wisconsin congressman is rallying conservatives against a Senate plan to fund the government and raise the debt ceilingthe Washington Post reported on Saturday.

The plan, proposed by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), would fund the government through March and raise the debt ceiling through January.

Ryan's main concern appears to be delaying the health care law's individual mandate, but ThinkProgress points out that Ryan also emphasized the need to give employers the ability to deny birth control coverage based on moral or religious reasons.

Paul Ryan is now back to fighting the Obamacare law after he was and then wasn't doing that. This is certainly a contemporary Faye Dunaway moment from Chinatown.

Evelyn Mulwray: It's the debt ceiling.
[Gittes slaps Evelyn]
Jake Gittes: I said I want the truth!
Evelyn Mulwray: It's Obamacare...
Evelyn Mulwray: It's the debt ceiling...
Evelyn Mulwray: Obamacare, Obamacare.
[More slaps]
Jake Gittes: I said I want the truth!
Evelyn Mulwray: It's the debt ceiling AND it's Obamacare!

And as the Republican parties, both of them, are contemplating what to do, they're continuing to dig. They refuse to fund the government and pass an increased debt ceiling. They even refuse to admit they don't even know what they want.

But certainly with Senator Collins plan there was the room for negotiation. And also, this is a Senate plan, not a House plan. Why is House member Ryan trying to scuttle the life raft when after all is said and done, the vessel was one of his own design. That thing called the Ryan Budget. Remember that, Paul?

Obvious to anybody but the fringes, the sequester numbers are not workable, but could sustain things for a short period. It's a possible way to go, but also not the preferred. Yet its a step in the right direction and there's no gun to anyone's head.

The actual way to go is pass a clear CR and get the government back up running at full power. Stop punishing the people for the Republican's political games.

Christians to the lions

This is similar to tossing the Christians to the lions for the Roman's entertainment. That civilization had a rise and FALL. Stop today's Romans, the Republican Party, who are trying to bring us down again.


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