By Nathan Wilson:
I worked for several years as a Sous Chef at a well known Brooklyn restaurant. During the Black Out of 2003, three of the porters (from the Mexican state of Michoacán) stayed well into the night to help clean and put perishables on[...]
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Jon Tester (D-inc): 45 (46)
Denny Rehberg (R): 47 (48)
Undeciced: 8 (6)
Even though Denny Rehberg hadn't actually entered the race the last time PPP checked in with Montana, nothing has changed since then. Not only is the head-to-head spread the same, Jon Tester's job approval is almost identical (51-39 now vs. 50-40 then). Rehberg's numbers can't be directly compared, since PPP previously asked for favorables, but his new approvals are decidedly less bouncy than Tester's: 44-45.
I can't say that any of this is surprising, since the campaign hasn't really been joined yet. It'll be a long time before the ad wars commence, so for now, it's mostly just a battle of press releases and earned media over things like wolves and swipe fees. It's also far from clear which issues are likely to blow up, and who will draw the most blood. But I do think it's reasonable to believe that this race will stay tight for quite some time - perhaps all the way until election day.
Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Jose Antonio Vargas revealed Wednesday that he is an undocumented immigrant who discovered his status when he visited the DMV when he was 16. He says he'll lobby for the Dream Act, a bill that would give young people who were educated in this country a path to legal permanent residency.
He first came to the United States from the Philippines in 1993 when he was 12. Vargas was able to obtain a license from Oregon using the address of the father of a friend, and that license didn't expire until earlier this year. In the meantime he launched a career in journalism, working at the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and profiling Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for the New Yorker.
About four months into my job as a reporter for The Post, I began feeling increasingly paranoid, as if I had "illegal immigrant" tattooed on my forehead -- and in Washington, of all places, where the debates over immigration seemed never-ending. I was so eager to prove myself that I feared I was annoying some colleagues and editors -- and worried that any one of these professional journalists could discover my secret. The anxiety was nearly paralyzing.
He said he tried to avoid writing about immigration for the newspaper:
I did my best to steer clear of reporting on immigration policy but couldn't always avoid it. On two occasions, I wrote about Hillary Clinton's position on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. I also wrote an article about Senator Mel Martinez of Florida, then thechairman of the Republican National Committee, who was defending his party's stance toward Latinos after only one Republican presidential candidate -- John McCain, the co-author of a failed immigration bill -- agreed to participate in a debate sponsored by Univision, the Spanish-language network.
Vargas said he continued to worry about people finding out about his immigration status. While he obtained a driver's license in the state of Washington that could carry him through until 2016, he wrote it would be tough to go through "five more years of fear, of lying to people I respect and institutions that trusted me, of running away from who I am."
"I'm done running. I'm exhausted. I don't want that life anymore," he wrote. "So I've decided to come forward, own up to what I've done, and tell my story to the best of my recollection. I've reached out to former bosses and employers and apologized for misleading them -- a mix of humiliation and liberation coming with each disclosure."
Vargas has also launched the "Define American" campaign to start a "real conversation about immigration in our country." He says he'll push for support of the Dream Act, which has failed to reach the 60 vote threshold required to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold another hearing on the bill on Tuesday, but there hasn't been any indication that the bill could overcome opposition from Senate Republicans.
The Justice Department is accusing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of taking out of context comments by Attorney General Eric Holder's about using the civilian court system to try terrorism suspects.
McConnell, in an op-ed for the Washington Post, accused Holder of making an "audacious" claim about the war on terrorism during his speech before the American Constitution Society last week.
"Overlooking the all-volunteer military force that has heroically battled terrorists and insurgents for nearly a decade, our outstanding intelligence and counterterrorism experts, and many others, Holder asserted that America's 'most effective terror-fighting weapon' is its civilian court system," McConnell wrote.
"These comments insult those who have served on the front lines, but Holder's clear intent was to justify the Obama administration's two-year misadventure in treating captured terrorists like common criminals," McConnell wrote.
Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller said that "selectively lifting words from the Attorney General's speech to the American Constitution Society and using them out of context distorts their meaning and obscures reality."
"The Attorney General said in his speech that 'in disrupting potential attacks and effectively interrogating, prosecuting, and incarcerating terrorists - there is, quite simply, no more powerful tool than our civilian court system.' That is true," Miller said.
"This administration has reformed military commissions and we have confidence in their ability as one tool in our fight against terrorists, but they are still largely untested," Miller said.
"As the Attorney General has said on repeated occasions, we are at war, and we must use every weapon available - military, diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement - to defeat a determined enemy," Miller continued.
"Taking one of those weapons off the table would endanger our national security," Miller said. "That would be the real insult to the thousands of men and women who have fought to defeat Al Qaeda."
In case you missed any of this and want a chuckle:
We hope you've enjoyed this: just a preview of things to come once the Republicans pick their 2012
loser candidate. Remember, it's never too early to start reminding your friends and families that the Republicans are wrong, wrong, wrong.
Like she did with the governor gig, Sarah Palin has apparently quit her bus tour halfway through. [...]
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Al Gore says President Obama has failed to lead on climate change. [...]
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Hey guys, we're looking for someone who's really good at graphic design, specifically someone who can design graphics for logos, t-shirts, special campaigns we do, stuff like that. We're willing to pay on a project-by-project basis for each design. If this fits your bill, please email me - my email is at the bottom of the site, bottom right corner - and send me a link to some of your work. Thanks, JOHN
Reaction to the newest GOP 2012 entry is a symptom of how far the politics of paralysis has gone. Virtually unknown, Jon Huntsman Jr. causes a media ripple by bringing something new to the race?-a note of sanity and civility.
That he is on speaking terms with the President and has even served in his Administration makes him either (1) a hopeless outsider in Republican primaries or (2) an alternative to the Obama-bashers who make up the field.
Substance-starved journalists are swooning over his announcement statement that ?it concerns me that civility, humanity and respect are sometimes lost in our interactions as Americans...I don?t think you need to run down somebody?s rep in order to run for the office of president.?
More to the point, he closed the day by raising $1.2 million and is off on ?a week-long fundraising sprint? from traditional Republican high-rollers who have been waiting for a White-Haired Hope to save them from the current clownfest.
On the blank slate of his public image, Huntsman will be drawing a picture of himself as ?someone who knows that serious times demand serious leaders and won?t play the gotcha game of modern politics? rather than ?a wolf in sheep?s clothing, a man who spent the last two years of his life not just serving President Obama publicly but also praising him privately as a ?remarkable leader.??
His position on gay marriage, among other issues, will set him apart from other aspirants, but essentially he seems to be only a different flavor in the GOP smorgasbord of tax cuts and Ryan cutbacks of social programs.
Yet, even small differences could shake up the Republican wall-to-wall strategy of Obama-bashing in an atmosphere that calls for what Thomas Friedman calls ?a full-time government? rather than ?a Congress that is a full-time fund-raising enterprise that occasionally legislates and a White House that, save for 100 days, has to be in perpetual campaign mode.?
If Huntsman runs well as ?Obama-lite,? at least traditional Republicans and independents will give us a clue about how they feel now about Hope and Change.
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This morning, CNN hosted Jonathan Dudley, a graduate of Yale’s Divinity School and the author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics. Dudely argues that conservatives who are opposed to gay marriage shouldn’t takes the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality “as timeless and universal,” but treat other “unnatural” condemnations as “culturally relative.”
“In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them ‘unnatural,’” Dudley writes in an article for CNN. “Problem is, Paul?s only other moral argument from nature is the following: ‘Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?? Few Christians would answer that question with a ‘yes.’”
During this morning’s segment, the CNN anchor even joked that if she took the bible word for word, “I would be stoned for planting strawberries next to my corn and my husband would be my master”:
DUDLEY: I’m not arguing that the Apostle Paul, who is the New Testament author who wrote about same-sex relations, I’m not arguing that they are okay, what I try to point out int he column is that he condemned a lot of other things that Christians don’t condemn today…There are also very strong condemnations of divorce throughout the New Testament, that the Evangelical community and a lot of other communities that oppose same-sex marriage read pretty leniently.
Dudley also argues that opponents of marriage equality have themselves altered the “traditional” definition of marriage. “For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. ? merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors ? he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church,” Dudley notes before asking, “How does that sit with ‘family values’ activism today?”