>Home Sweet Home: The Citizenship Project, the only nonprofit organization in Las Vegas, Nevada, dedicated solely to assisting immigrants with the naturalization process, reports that it sent in 316 applications this June, compared to 105 in June 2006. [Las Vegas Sun]
An Iraqi family in Las Vegas, NV lives with the prospect of being “sent back” if “the situation gets better.” [LVSun] Even if the “situation” is one that would place them in harm’s way.
“Lawful and permanent: deportation battle — After 14 years, immigrant from Peru gains legal status to stay in U.S.” [LVRJ] Imagine what economic gains, and contributions, this couple could have made had they not had to “save money for the lawyers?” However, a Clinton, Iowa doctor wasn’t so lucky. “…I don’t know what’s in Manzar’s file that makes the government so nervous. Nobody I talk to in Iowa believes he’s a terrorist, a troublemaker or even a sourpuss.” [DesMReg] But, the government refused to give him clearance, and he’s now found work as a cardiologist in Saudi Arabia.
House Republicans used a procedural motion that added language to the Democratic housing bill to make recipients of housing assistance provide proof of legal residency. “When Republicans were in charge, leaders issued blanket orders that Republicans were to vote against all such procedural motions.” [The Hill] In the mean time, “Growing numbers of the nation’s poorest households are using more than half their earnings for rent while waiting years for federal housing assistance that may never come.” [McClatchy]
52% of the people receiving housing assistance are elderly or disabled. 52% are white, 43% African American, and 17% are Hispanic. [McClatchy] The House Financial Services Committee will conduct a hearing on a bill to establish an affordable housing/rehab plan next week. [CSM]
The NYT looks at the nation’s bankruptcy laws and opines: “Rising mortgage delinquencies are likely to be followed by rising consumer bankruptcies and, with them, the first big test of the federal bankruptcy reform law of 2005. Early indications are that low- to middle-income borrowers will be unduly punished.”
GOP blocks ethics legislation: Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) is holding up conference talks on the ethics reform legislation in Congress until he gets his way on earmark reforms. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “is standing idle while DeMint keeps a unanimously approved ethics bill in limbo, Democrats and watchdogs charge.” [The Hill] Republicans are blaming Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) for the impass because he has not accepted DeMint’s rule change. Public Citizen and others say what DeMint is doing is stalling the “revolving door” and “bundling provisions” while McConnell finds ways to bottle up the legislation using Senators who have “a particular axe to grind” to block it. [The Hill]
Stewardship: The Stebbins Village corporation is asserting its ownership of tribal land, and accusing a Yupik woman of undermining her community’s economy by fighting a gravel project which she believes will harm marine life and subsistence gathering. The Stebbins Native Corporation is warning its shareholders that they do not own the land. [AnchorageDN]
A Miami judge ordered a Florida rock mining operation halted in order to protect Miami-Dade drinking water. [MiamiHer]
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to cut a nationally lauded program to assist the mentally ill homeless in order to save $55 million toward reducing the state’s deficit. [LAT] A California Assembly bill to regulate health insurance premiums fell one vote short in the state Senate Health Committee this past week. [SFChron]
Doing Business: The Communist government of China has quite certainly picked up some essential lessons of American style corporate management: When faced with a problem (a) hire a Public Relations firm and lobbyists; and (b) retaliate against a third party (in this case American cattle producers.) [WaPo]
“MessO’Potamia:” “The Ever Changing Definition of ‘Mission’ in Iraq” Think Progress July 14, 2007, Think Progress provides a very helpful descriptive list of the President’s statements about the purpose of our invasion and occupation of Iraq. “Gaps in Training Iraqi Forces Worry Top U.S. Commanders” [NYT] Al-Maliki says Iraq can go it alone: “Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said today that the Iraqi army and police are capable of keeping security in the country when American troops leave “any time they want,” though he acknowledged the forces need further weapons and training.” [HouChron]
A test examiner for the Office of Personnel Management accepted bribes to falsify ASVAB test results for applicants to the Arizona National Guard, and conspired with Guard recruiters between September 2000 and February 2002 when determining which test scores to manipulate. [Army Times]
Does the Pentagon still have plans to occupy four major bases in Iraq, including the massive Camp Victory? Something along the lines of: “...a long-term military relationship with the emerging government of Iraq, one that would grant the Pentagon access to…. perhaps four bases in Iraq that could be used in the future: one at the international airport just outside Baghdad; another at Tallil, near Nasiriya in the south; the third at an isolated airstrip called H-1 in the western desert, along the old oil pipeline that runs to Jordan; and the last at the Bashur air field in the Kurdish north.” [Mother Jones]
UN nuclear inspectors previously barred from inspections in Iran, will now be allowed to see a heavy water reactor, and the country agreed to answer questions about past experiments the UN believes could be linked to a weapons program. [IHT] There’s less cooperation from the Russians — Bush’s boating trip didn’t work? — Russia has suspended the application of a key Cold War arms control treaty. [BBC]
Mis-Administration: Mr. X. William Proenza lasted all of six months as the director of the National Hurricane Center before half his staff signed a letter asking that he be replaced. The chairman of the House Science and Energy Committee would like to know what happened. [The Gavel]
Glenn Greenwald concludes that there are only two options for dealing with the ever-increasing secrecy of the Cheney-Bush Administration: “As their behavior in the Tillman case amply demonstrates, the White House’s refusal to allow any light to be shined on what they do extends far beyond just the U.S. attorneys case. It is how they operate generally; it is but a prong in their overarching belief that they exist far beyond any checks and above the rule of law. The only two choices realistically available is to (1) allow this rampant lawlessness and tyrannical unchecked secrecy simply to continue or (2) take every step available to force it to stop. There is no third option.” [Salon]
Kevin Drum offers his assessment of a Wall Street Journal attempt to create a Laffer Curve for corporate taxation rates, “...A junior high school geometry student would be embarrassed to produce work like this. But not the Wall Street Journal editorial page. Or the American Enterprise Institute, which created it in the first place. They apparently think their readers are too dumb to see what they’re doing.” True.
“So much for religion in the public square” Carpetbagger Report offers some historical perspective on the radical right and Hindu prayer controversy. It seems that the meltdown on July 12, 2007 in the U.S. Senate wasn’t the first time this has happened. Operation Rescue/Operation Save America has planted its circus in Birmingham, Alabama this week for national anti-abortion demonstrations. The organization has permits, limited because of the Eric Rudolph 1998 bombing, but may not reach the numbers allowed. [TBirmNws] Update: When I pinged Technorati this morning, I noticed a reaction to the Washington Post article on OSA’s so-called protest, and a link to this blog attached to the contention that this is “one more brick in the pile” that anti-Christians will use to halt prayer in the Senate. Without gracing the fool with a link back, I can only say that I don’t share his extremist assumption that any attempt to accommodate the beliefs of others constitutes a retreat from ones own principles.
The Supreme Court of Argentina has ruled that the 1989 pardon of a general accused of crimes during the “Dirty War” was unconstitutional. Gen. Santiago Omar Riveros can now be tried for illegal abductions, torture, and killings of dissidents. [MiamiHer]
Agri-business: The Atlanta Journal Constitution has been running a series on U.S. cotton production, and opened with “How your tax dollars prop up big growers and squeeze the little guy.” Part Two Part Three