Disgraceful: Some Deported Refugee Children Already Dead

Young Guatamalan children who were reunited with their mother in Cincinnati could face deportation. (Photo: The Enquirer)

Young Guatemalan children, who were reunited with their mother in Cincinnati, could face deportation. How can we sentence them to death? (Photo: The Enquirer)

Thousands of refugee children have been fleeing violence and poverty in Central America for almost a year now. Until all Hell broke loose in Ferguson, Missouri last week, the refugee children had the national limelight. (We are on to the next shiny thing.)

Two heart-wrenching stories about the refugee children were released today. First, Think Progress released a story stating that 5-10 of the recently deported children have already been murdered.

Second, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that group of four young cousins would be facing an immigration judge in Cleveland today and could likely deported– despite having been reunited with family members in the US (pictured above).

Look at the faces of these children. How can we send them back to gang violence and death? Have we become a country of greedy, self-centered bigots? Probably, yes.

Continue reading

Sorry, Martha McSally, “feminist Republican” IS an oxymoron

barber mcsally

Roll Call‘s Shira T. Center is covering Arizona’s tight CD2 race and sees a formidable candidate in Martha McSally:

Operatives couldn’t make up a better candidate résumé if they tried: retired Air Force Colonel, first in her class at the U.S. Air War College, the first female fighter pilot in combat who flies the very plane — an A-10 Warthog — that’s economically essential to the 2nd District.

At a time when Republicans wrangle with messaging to female voters, this 48-year-old’s spunk and articulate bite is made for television — and unlike anything the House GOP Conference has seen in a while…

…McSally doesn’t talk like the average congressional candidate, instead dropping phrases like “awesome,” “dorked up,” and “bad-ass airplane” before crowds and in conversations. During a live appearance on Fox News Channel in February 2012, she said she wanted to kick former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., “in the jimmy” for his position on women serving in combat…

…“I consider myself a feminist Republican, and that’s not an oxymoron,” McSally tells CQ Roll Call in an interview over a vegetarian burrito slightly smaller than a bowling pin.

Continue reading

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Ferguson, Missouri

1106-GQ-PF09.01Legendary basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has a must-read opinion at TIME magazine that offers a thoughtful perspective on what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri under the provocative headline: The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race:

Will the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?

The answer can be found in May of 1970.

You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.

You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings.

Continue reading

Five common-sense solutions to improve the health of the Colorado River

Bart Miller, a water program director for Western Resource Advocates, and Matt Rice, director of the Colorado River Basin Program for American Rivers, recently wrote this “Our Turn” column for the Arizona Republic. Only bold action will save the Colorado River:

Drought 4The majestic Colorado River cuts a 1,450-mile path through the American West before drying up well short of the sea — its natural finish line at the Gulf of California.

Reservoirs once filled to the brim from the Colorado and its tributaries are at historic lows due to an unprecedented drought and growing human demands. Shrunken stream flows now pose serious challenges for wildlife and recreation, as well as cities, farms and others who rely upon the river.

Reports come out every week, pointing to the critical condition of the Colorado River — Lake Mead, the work-horse reservoir for the region, is at a historic low; groundwater supplies for the river’s basin are dramatically shrinking; and Lake Powell water levels are low enough that there is concern the generators that supply enough electricity to power 350,000 homes might be shut down.

Steps currently being taken to improve the situation are not up to the task of bringing the river system back into balance and providing a reliable water supply.

Continue reading

Don’t let our recent rains fool you, the West has a water crisis

We have had some massive thunderstorms in the Tucson area recently. I have had more rain in my part of town in the past week than in the entire past year, I would venture to guess. So it would be easy for people to forget that, despite our recent rains, we are still in a prolonged severe drought and a water crisis in the West.

The Washington Post reported Fears grow as California water crisis intensifies:

[A]cross California’s vital agricultural belt, nervousness over the state’s epic drought has given way to alarm. Streams and lakes have long since shriveled up in many parts of the state, and now the aquifers — always a backup source during the region’s periodic droughts — are being pumped away at rates that scientists say are both historic and unsustainable.


One state-owned well near Sacramento registered an astonishing 100-foot drop in three months as the water table, strained by new demand from farmers, homeowners and municipalities, sank to a record low. Other wells have simply dried up, in such numbers that local drilling companies are reporting backlogs of six to eight months to dig a new one.

In still other areas, aquifers are emptying so quickly that the land itself is subsiding, like cereal in a bowl after the milk has drained out.

Continue reading

Democratic Superintendent Primary: Food For Thought

Something to consider if you’ve not yet voted in the Dem primary for Education Supe between David Garcia and Sharon Thomas.

The winner of this race will face either Thucky, aka John Huppenthal, or Diane Douglas, the teabagging single-issue anti-common core candidate.

The Thuckster and Douglas both are damaged candidates, giving Democrats a real shot at winning this seat. But this is Arizona, and it wouldn’t be the first time a crazy and unqualified candidate was elected.

While both Dems have the qualifications to run for state superintendent, only one candidate has the infrastructure to win: David Garcia.

Garcia has raised more than $200,000 and has almost every Democratic organization and elected official behind him. Thomas, on the other hand, hasn’t been able to gather steam and just yesterday switched from being a Clean Elections candidate to a traditionally funded candidate. It seems she wasn’t able to collect enough $5’s to qualify for funding, leaving her almost penniless before the election.

Sorry, but not being able to collect enough $5′s is a sign of a real organizational problem.

Even with a damaged Republican, Democrats will need a well-financed and organized candidate to win this seat. Whether it’s Thucky or Douglas who wins, the Rs will mount a vicious IE campaign. Sharon Thomas by all accounts is a fine person, but if she doesn’t have the resources to defend herself from the attacks, she won’t make it.

Think about that before you cast your vote.

[Disclosure: I personally support David Garcia in this race]