Friday, August 29, 2014

Library of Congress Looks at Family Reunification Laws Around the World, but Only in Immigration

In light of the border babies issues, the Library of Congress has compiled brief analysis of family reunification laws from selected global jurisdictions to assist the U.S. in redeveloping its approach to children and family preservation.

It must be noted that child welfare family reunification and termination laws in dealing with foster care were not included in this purview.

The time has come to revisit all child welfare laws in the U.S.
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Eight in Adoption Abuse Case Agree to $17.5 Million Settlement With Foster Agencies

Eight in Adoption Abuse Case Agree to $17.5 Million Settlement With Foster Agencies

Eight young adults with disabilities who were fraudulently adopted by a Queens woman and subjected to years of abuse have agreed to a $17.5 million settlement of their lawsuit against three private New York foster care agencies that had placed them with the woman, a new court filing shows.
The woman, Judith Leekin, 69, who adopted the children in the 1980s and ’90s, was arrested in 2007 in Florida, where she had moved with them. She was later convicted of fraud and abuse charges and is serving a lengthy prison sentence.

The case has long been seen as a horrific breakdown in the city’s foster care system. The authorities said Ms. Leekin used false names to adopt 11 children — one disappeared while in her care and is presumed dead — and she collected $1.68 million in subsidies from New York that were intended for their care but went to support her own lavish lifestyle.

The combined settlements in the case now total just over $27 million, including legal fees and costs. The children, most of whom are now in their 20s, had physical, emotional or developmental disabilities, including autism and blindness. In a January ruling that allowed the lawsuit against the private agencies to proceed, Judge Eric N. Vitaliano, of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, offered what he called “a glimpse of life in Leekin’s house of horrors.”

The judge said Ms. Leekin had routinely denied the children access to food and a toilet; handcuffed and restrained them for hours; trapped them in cribs that were held shut with boards and heavy objects; beat them with a belt, a nightstick and other objects; forced them to stand for hours, sometimes with their hands above their heads; failed to protect them from sexual abuse; and repeatedly threatened them with a gun or with being beaten to death.

When they were removed from her care in 2007, only three could read (at a third-grade level), and six were declared either “totally incapacitated” or “vulnerable adults,” the judge noted, citing Dr. Hess’s findings.

The latest settlement, detailed in the court filing on Monday, covers the eight children who were placed with Ms. Leekin by the private agencies. Judge Vitaliano must still approve the deal, which was reached in June with the assistance of a mediator, the filing said.

A vast majority of the net proceeds, said Howard M. Talenfeld, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, will be paid through annuities or trusts “to ensure that these children will have the support and therapeutic services necessary to address the lifetime of challenges they face after surviving their appalling abuse by Judith Leekin.”

The private agencies that were defendants in the suit are HeartShare Human Services of New York, SCO Family of Services and the now-closed St. Joseph Services for Children and Families. The agencies denied liability. HeartShare said it “chooses not to make any comment” about the settlement, while SCO referred a reporter to the city’s Administration for Children’s Services, which oversees the foster care system. The two private agencies still have foster care contracts with the city.

A Children’s Services spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday, but when the city settled in 2012, the agency said, “There are much more sophisticated systems in place today that would never allow this kind of fraud to be perpetrated on the city or our children.”

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ferguson Opens Door To Examine Mechanics of Child Welfare

The only way to examine a closed system is from its bowels.

The nation's eye's are affixed on Ferguson, Missouri.

This article is a functioning example of how populations are targeted to sustain a system and why chattel ranching is the oldest form of survival.

Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household
In the chamber where Officer Darren Wilson received a commendation six months before killing Michael Brown, a minor court generates major money from the city’s poor and working people.

The Ferguson Police have now released a video that shows police Officer Darren Wilson receiving a commendation six months before he became known to the whole nation as the cop who gunned down an unarmed 18-year-old.
The irony is obvious to anyone who watches the footage of this proud young officer receiving the award at a ceremony in the City Council chamber as Ferguson’s six council members applaud.
“Officer Wilson, in recognition of outstanding police work while investigating a suspicious-vehicle call,” Chief Thomas Jackson says in making the presentation. “Acting alone, you struggled with one subject and [were] able to gain control of the subject and his car keys until assistance arrived. Later, during the interview, it was discovered that the subject was breaking down a large quantity of marijuana for sale.”
Jackson adds, “Great job, Darren.”
But there is another, unnoticed irony in the venue itself. Three times a month—one day and two nights—the City Council chamber also serves as home to the incredibly busy and extremely profitable Ferguson municipal court.
report issued just last week by the nonprofit lawyer’s group ArchCity Defenders notes that in the court’s 36 three-hour sessions in 2013, it handled 12,108 cases and 24,532 warrants. That is an average of 1.5 cases and three warrants per Ferguson household. Fines and court fees for the year in this city of just 21,000 people totaled $2,635,400.
The sum made the municipal court the city’s second-biggest source of revenue. It also almost certainly was a major factor in the antagonism between the police and the citizenry preceding the tragedy that resulted when Wilson had another encounter with a subject six months after he got his commendation.
And any complete investigation into how Michael Brown came to be sprawled dead in the street with a half-dozen bullet wounds must consider not just the cop but the system he served, a system whose primary components include a minor court that generates major money, much of it from poor and working people.
Five of the six City Council members who meet in this chamber are white, even though the city itself is more than 70 percent black. The City Council appoints the municipal judge, currently Ron Brockmeyer, who is also white.
But when this same chamber serves as Ferguson Municipal Court, a disproportionate number of the defendants are black.
The immediate explanation is that the bulk of the cases arise from car stops. The ArchCity Defenders report notes: “Whites comprise 29% of the population of Ferguson but just 12.7% of vehicle stops. After being stopped in Ferguson, blacks are almost twice as likely as whites to be searched (12.1% vs. 6.9%) and twice as likely to be arrested (10.4% vs. 5.2%).”
Lest anyone contend that blacks inherently merit greater police attention than whites, the report offers another statistic.
“Searches of black individuals result in discovery of contraband only 21.7% of the time, while similar searches of whites produce contraband 34.0% of the time.”
That would suggest both that whites were more likely to be stopped when there was actual probable cause and that blacks were more likely to be stopped when there was not. And the antagonism sure to be generated by such racial disparities was magnified by the sheer number of cases.
The report cites a court employee as saying the docket for a typical three-hour court session has up to 1,500 cases. The report goes on to say that “in addition to such heavy legal prosecution,” the Ferguson court and others like it in nearby towns “engage in a number of operational procedures that make it even more difficult for defendants to navigate the courts.”
The report goes on, “For example, a Ferguson court employee reported that the bench routinely starts hearing cases 30 minutes before the appointed time and then locks the doors to the building as early as five minutes after the official hour, a practice that could easily lead a defendant arriving even slightly late to receive an additional charge for failure to appear.”
The lawyers of ArchCity Defenders specialize in representing the indigent and the homeless. They noticed that many of their clients had multiple warrants on minor charges issued by municipal courts in Ferguson and the other 80 municipalities in St. Louis County that have their own courts and police.
“They didn’t just have one case, they had 10 cases,” says Thomas Harvey, the organization’s 44-year-old executive director.
The warrants too often precluded the clients from securing shelter and services, and access to job programs. The lawyers sought some remedy in the issuing courts.
“It kept being about the money,” Harvey recalls. “We were telling the court, ‘They don’t have any money because they’re homeless.’”
That same venue where Wilson received his commendation and the City Council members applauded is where justice is insulted wholesale three times a week.
The clients felt sure they were being targeted because they were black and poor, and told the lawyers tales of unfair treatment by everybody from the cops to the bailiffs to the judges.
“I’ll be real honest, I didn’t believe them,” Harvey says.
With the help of college students, ArchCity Defenders started a court watch program eight months ago. They concluded that much of what their clients had been saying was all too true. Impoverished defendants were frequently ordered to pay fines that were triple their monthly income. Some ended up with no income at all as they sat in jail for weeks, awaiting a hearing.
ArchCity decided to focus on what seemed to be three of the worst cities.
“Three courts, Bel-Ridge, Florissant, and Ferguson, were chronic offenders and serve as prime examples of how these practices violate fundamental rights of the poor, undermine public confidence in the judicial system, and create inefficiencies,” the subsequent report says.
The report was all but complete and just needed an introduction when Harvey went on summer vacation. He chanced to return the day after Michael Brown was shot to death by Officer Darren Warren.
“I got off the plane saying, ‘I got to finish this and get it out,'” Harvey recalls.
Harvey understood that whatever the particular details of the tragedy, there was also a larger context.
“It’s not just about Michael Brown and this officer,” Harvey says.
The statistics assembled for the report concerning race and car stops in Ferguson were no great surprise, especially considering that its police department is proportionately even whiter than its City Council, with just three blacks among its 52 cops. The number that jumped out was the huge revenue, big bucks for a little burg.
“Anybody who makes a revenue source a line of a budget becomes dependent on it,” Harvey suggests.
But if the system’s objective was money, the result was still that many people felt targeted because of race and class.
“For many of the poorest citizens of the region, the municipal courts and police departments inflict a kind of low level harassment involving traffic stops, court appearances, high fines, and the threat of jail for failure to pay without a meaningful inquiry into whether an individual has the means to pay,” the report says.
By the remarkable stats the report offers, Wilson might have been expected to add one more case to the municipal court excess by issuing Brown and his friend summonses for walking down the middle of the road.
Instead, Wilson seems to have simply ordered Brown off the road. His tone and Brown’s reactions seem to have reflected the long-standing tensions between police and young black men in particular.
Any effort to reduce those tensions in the wake of the tragic result had better include the chamber where the City Council meets and the municipal court convenes.
That same venue where Wilson received his commendation and the City Council members applauded is where justice is insulted wholesale three times a week.
And an entire city turns poisonous. The fury of the protesters was sparked not only by killing of Brown but by the circumstances that led up to it.
The Ferguson municipal court canceled its August sessions because of the turmoil, but it is expected to resume in September.
The next session is scheduled for 9/11, of all days.
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Google Considering YouTube, Gmail Accounts For Kids

However shall current foster care and adoption policies deal with advances in technology?

Google Considering YouTube, Gmail Accounts For Kids


(Reuters) - Google Inc is considering allowing online accounts for children under the age of 13 and give their parents control over how the service is used, according to media reports.

Google has been working on a version of YouTube, its video-sharing site, for youngsters and is considering other child-friendly accounts such as its Gmail system, the Financial Times reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. (

Internet companies such as Google and Facebook Inc do not offer their services to children under 13, but it is tough to catch users who sign up by providing false information.

A U.S. law called Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, imposes strict controls on the collection and use of information about children under 13.

Google's effort is partly driven by the fact that some parents are already trying to create accounts for their children and the company wants to make the process easier and compliant with the rules, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the effort. (

Google's move was first reported by technology news website The Information. (
Google spokesman Peter Barron declined to comment on what he called "rumors and speculation".

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Friday, August 15, 2014


DETROIT – On August 14, 2014, U.S. Congressman John Conyers Jr. (MI-13) joined urban farming advocates and community members in the unveiling a mural on the new headquarters of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI).
U.S, Representative
John Conyers, Jr. at MUFI

“I congratulate all of the dedicated volunteers of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative and Door to Door Organics for their inspiring efforts to renovate this formerly blighted building in Detroit’s North End and designate it as their new community resource center,” said Rep. John Conyers Jr. “I want to extend a special thank you to Tyler Gersh, founder of the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative, Detroit artist Ryan Herberholz, our friends at Door to Door Organics and all of those who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.”

The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative is a nonprofit organization that seeks to engage Michiganders in sustainable agriculture, believing that many of the challenges facing the region - such as blighted properties and vacant land, malnutrition, and food insecurity - create a unique opportunity for community-supported farming. The organization has begun renovation of a previously blighted building in Detroit’s North End that was built in 1915, and became uninhabitable after it was left vacant in 2009. The organization aims to restore the three-story, six-unit apartment complex and turn it into a community resource center that will help foster sustainability and urban renewal.

Door to Door Organics was founded 1997 and partners with farmers to bring fresh, organic produce directly to the homes of its customers. They strive to help people incorporate healthy food into their everyday life with planning, shopping, and cooking tools.

“I am proud that Detroit has become a national leader in urban farming. It provides families with access to fresh produce that can reduce childhood obesity and malnutrition while addressing the lack of quality and affordable foods in our most food insecure communities,” added Conyers.  “As your representative in Congress, I will continue to do everything I can to support the urban farming movement, which has untold potential right here in Detroit and beyond.”

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WASHINGTON – On August 15, 2014, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers Jr. (MI-13), Subcommittee on Crime Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Subcommittee on the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice Ranking Member Steve Cohen (TN-09) issued a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) requesting a Congressional hearing on recent incidents of local law enforcement using excessive force—sometimes deadly—and other violations where civil rights have been infringed upon.

In the letter, the Congressmen highlighted the troubling events that have transpired in Ferguson and those of similar nature that have occurred recently in New York City, Los Angeles, and Houston. The letter also expresses concern over the extensive militarization of local law enforcement.

The House Committee on the Judiciary has jurisdiction over protecting constitutional freedoms and civil liberties, oversight of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, legal and regulatory reform, innovation, competition and anti-trust laws, terrorism and crime, and immigration reform.

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DETROIT – U.S. Congressman John Conyers Jr. (MI-13) released the following statement in response to ongoing events in Ferguson, Missouri:

“A few facts are clear: A young, unarmed man was shot by a police officer. A small town is under what is essentially martial law. Tear gas and rubber bullets are being used against everyday citizens. Serious and sweeping civil rights violations may have taken place in Ferguson, Missouri.  

The tragic killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the events that have transpired since the shooting in Ferguson are reminiscent of the violent altercations that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. Countless African Americans endured unwarranted hostility and excessive force from law enforcement while exercising their right to peaceful assembly and civil resistance.

It is a great travesty to find ourselves again witnessing the blatant violation of our right to peaceably assemble in Ferguson.  As documented by journalists and people on the ground in Ferguson over the last week, state and local law enforcement have grossly mismanaged any attempts to peaceably resolve the situation. Earlier this week, my colleagues and I issued a letter to the Department of Justice asking them to consider expanding the scope of federal involvement and to investigate the legal and civil rights ramifications of the shooting and surrounding circumstances. 

Removal of the St. Louis County Police Department from any involvement in the policing of Ferguson is an important step towards restoring peace and allowing for an independent, thorough investigation to take place. The people of Ferguson deserve nothing less.”

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

U.S. Representatives Conyers, Fudge and Clay Letter to DOJ Inquiry Into Michael Brown Death, August 11, 201

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

HHS Secretary Burwell recruits Kevin Thurm to the battle of corporations.

HHS Secretary Burwell seems to be moving smoothly along as she implements the strategic plan of redeveloping how we, as a nation, looks upon health care, and, as a nation, how the world looks upon us.
Team HHS kicking the mean-spirited-tea-bagger-kiddy-
hate-corporate-monster butt

Our international reputation wanes in compassion towards our posterity.  This is the mission: Rebuild America's  Future.

I am quite sure there are those scratching their heads trying to figure out how it is that one may rebuild something which has yet to exist.

The U.S. has an extremely poor history in dealing with the concept of "the best interest of the child', better recognized as child welfare.  Of course we can go as far back as to the burgeoning the days of the peculiar institution of slavery to see just how well we have treated children.  If not, you can click this link for all the latest updates on well we treat our children.

Just for a moment, think of humans as capital.  If one does not invest wisely, there will be no future profit.

Under the proper economic conditions financial capital will grow through investments in real capital.  Now, think of a child who thrives in quality environmental conditions: good housing; decent education; access to proper nutrients; clean water; with health care as a monitoring indicator of future returns on the investment of a child to grow up to be a productive, tax-paying member of society.

The world has witnessed hate-spewing political and religious, specifically Christian, leaders unleash their Leviathan to unweave the very last fibers of the social safety net through the use of the personification of the corporation.

As the corporation begins to be transmogrified into Hobbes' absolute sovereign beast through SCOTUS cases like 'Citizens United' and 'Hobby Lobby', the social contract is being rewritten without the voice of children.  This new social contract can be witnessed in the cacophony of religious fervor calling for the pending death and/or corporate servitude of a child who is poor.

It seems under the new leadership of HHS Secretary Burwell, a combative strategy has been borrowed from the corporate playbook.  Over the last few years there has been extreme silo-busting in HHS.

What better way of rebuilding America's future than by actually running it as public service corporation with private corporation experts.

Kevin Thurm to join HHS as Senior Counselor
Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell named Kevin Thurm as a Senior Counselor, to further strengthen the HHS management team and help the agency fulfill its mission to better serve the American people.
Kevin brings more than 25 years of business, executive management, legal and policy experience.  Throughout his career, he has demonstrated the ability to deliver meaningful results in both complex public and private sector organizations. 
“We’re continuing to build on the strong leadership team that exists at HHS and recruit top talent,” said Secretary Burwell.  “Kevin’s decades of broad experience spans business and government with the focus necessary to advance our goals.  He brings to the Department not only his proven abilities as a leader, but also a deeply-held commitment to our mission.” 
As a Senior Counselor, Thurm will work closely with the Department’s senior staff on a wide range of cross-cutting strategic initiatives, key policy challenges, and engagement with external partners. 
Since 2001, Thurm has held various leadership positions within Citigroup, managing thousands of employees and budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars.  Before joining Citigroup, Thurm served as the Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services in the Clinton Administration under former Secretary Donna Shalala.  He oversaw major policy and management issues, including the implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act and the “Y2K” computer programing situation.
Thurm will report directly to the Secretary.

Kevin Thurm, a former official within HHS, is returning to the agency as a senior counselor.

HHS announced the move Wednesday. Thurm, 53, previously was second-in-command as the HHS deputy secretary from 1996 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton and former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala. Thurm also served as HHS chief of staff.

After leaving HHS, Thurm went to banking giant Citigroup, where he held several roles. Most recently, he was Citigroup's chief compliance officer and senior adviser for compliance.

In Thurm’s new role, he will report to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and help the department “on a broad range of critical health and human services programs,” a spokeswoman said. No further details were given.

Thurm’s appointment is part of a string of new hires within HHS. Last month, Burwell named former Wal-Mart executive Leslie Dach a senior counselor. He will help with the second open-enrollment period for the health insurance exchanges. Jackie Cornell-Bechelli was named a regional director last week. She will oversee all health and social-service issues in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In July, Burwell also hired Andy Slavitt as the CMS’ principal deputy administrator—the second-highest position within CMS.

HHS is also in the process of recruiting a CEO and chief technology officer for the insurance exchange.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Michele Bachmann promotes child neglect with policy failures

Once again, Michele Bachmann is threatening the well-being of children by sending the message that the U.S. will build a wall and take every dime you send children.

In order to tax an immigrant, they normally have some form of tax identification number, meaning they are documented.

Not all immigrants who send money home to their families are from Central America.  At this point all money leaving the country would be subject to her tax.

For this plan to work, you would have to intercept mail and wire transfers, then immediately decide the purpose, origin and destination of the money.

All of this done, knowing children and families rely upon this financial assistance for survival and the entire tax code would have to be revised.

This would be an epic failure in international, tax and banking policy, to name a few.

Michele Bachmann: Tax immigrants at 100% to stop them from sending money to families

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has a plan to discourage immigrants from sending money back to families in other countries by taxing them at 100 percent.
The Minnesota Republican, who has in the past asserted children fleeing violence in Central America were “invading” the United States, told a conference call with Numbers USA last week that it “truly is war against the American people,” Right Wing Watch reported.
Bachmann opined that the solution to the crisis was to “deport right on the border,” and to confiscate Americans’ land if needed to “build a real fence.”
“Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, those countries are laughing at us because they’re making money with their corrupt governments in conjunction with these international criminal cartels, they’re all making money and kickbacks,” she noted.
“What I believe we should do is have a 100 percent tax on remittances, the money that illegal aliens send back to these countries.” Bachmann explained. “We would have phone call from the president of these countries in five minutes saying, ‘What can we do? We want to keep this money flowing into our economy.”
Listen to the audio below.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Michele Bachmann admits children in foster care are lab rats

To a great surprise to many, Michele Bachmann has made a public admission that children in the United States foster care system are subject to medical experimentation.

Even though her powerful message was unintentionally ensconced within the hate-platform of non-American child protection, the meaning is evident with her legislation inspired by Justine Pelletier to end funding of medical experiments on foster children.

As a side note, this deals with psychotropic medications.  Foster children as young as 6 months are being subjected to overmedication.

The overmedication leads to suicides, violent behaviors and death, which is subjectively not mandated for reporting.

Michele Bachmann admits to Medicaid fraud in child welfare and I thank her.

Now, what are we going to do about this besides assist her in clarifying her message to protect ALL children?

Michele Bachmann: Government Wants To Experiment On Undocumented Children

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) believes that the United States government wants to use thousands of undocumented immigrants for medical experiments, she said on the radio show "WallBuilders Live" on Wednesday.

“And now President Obama is trying to bring all those foreign nationals, the illegal aliens to the country, and he has said that he will put them in the foster care system," Bachmann said in the interview. "Well, I will tell you from personal experience, we don’t have enough foster parents now in the country for the kids in America. We certainly don’t have enough foster parents for all of the illegal aliens that the president is trying to bring in right now." The progressive group People For the American Way posted the audio on its Right Wing Watch blog Wednesday afternoon.

Bachmann said that hospitals could "get millions of dollars in government grants if they can conduct medical research on somebody," suggesting that the hospitals could do that research on undocumented children. "A little kid can’t say no if they’re a ward of the state," said Bachmann. "So here you could have this institution getting millions of dollars from our government to do medical experimentation and a kid can’t even say no. It’s sick.”

But Bachmann hasn’t always expressed concern for children who are brought to the U.S. illegally. In 2011, when asked what she would do for the children of undocumented immigrants, Bachmann said she “would not do anything for them.”

"Their parents are the ones who brought them here ... they did not have the legal right to come to the United States," she said in 2011. "We do not owe people who broke our laws to come into the country. We don't owe them anything."

Bachmann, the parent of 23 foster children, made her most recent comments while urging support for a bill she introduced called Justina’s Law, which would prohibit federal funding for “any treatment or research in which a ward of the State is subjected to greater than minimal risk to the individual’s health with no or minimal prospect of direct benefit.”

UPDATE: Dan Kotman, a Bachmann spokesman, sent the following statement to HuffPost on Thursday:
This is a classic case of liberal media outlets once again twisting the Congresswoman’s words. As a foster mom of 23, she has a long track record of standing up for foster children and orphans. Her concern was that our foster care system, which is already short on foster care parents, would not have the capacity to handle this surge of unaccompanied children. And a child without parents to advocate on their behalf could be vulnerable to what Justina Pelletier experienced as a ward of the state, which is why the Congresswoman introduced a bipartisan bill to help protect our most vulnerable. Your sensational headline is a gross misrepresentation of what she actually said and what Justina’s Law actually does.

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Michele Bachmann and the border baby career launch

Despite the fact that she will soon have to ban herself from U.S. Representatives,  Michele Bachmann will soon have to explain about her funding on her position on the border baby bill.

$$$$$$"Arbeit macht frei"$$$$$$$


Reps. Bachmann and King re-framing ethnic cleansing propaganda (D-FL) to reporters in the U.S. Capitol yesterday.. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and Steve King (R-IA) in charge of strategics, House Republicans voted last night to deport over 500,000 people.  Since August 2013, 550,000 people have applied for Deferred Action.  At 8:30 p.m. last night, two hundred and twelve Republicans in the House voted in favor of ending the program.
The anti-Deferred Action bill has zero chance of becoming law.  Yesterday’s events were political “message vote” games with election day 95 days away.  No member of Congress had actually seen the final bill voted on until hours before votes were called.
Consistent with a GOP controlled House with a thin schedule that has passed fewer bills than any other in history, another answer to a problem facing the country was met with doing nothing.  Or more specifically: Passing D.O.A. political statement legislation everyone knows will never become law.  But a serious problem remains: Officials in Texas are quickly running out of money to deal with the number of immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.
Last night’s efforts were part of an odd and ill-timed anti-immigrant vote led by the right wing of the Republican party.  Despite all the talk at the beginning of 2013 of the GOP’s need to “expand the party” after Gov. Mitt Romney lost to President Obama in 2012 House Republicans sounded more like the party of the past than of the future during yesterday’s debate.
It’s “like I ordered if off the menu,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on the anti-Dreamers bill.  That Rep. King was the lead-author of the anti-Deferred Action bill is telling since Rep. King is known for his racist comments against Hispanic immigrants.
“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” Rep. King said in June 2013.  Last August at a Tea Party rally, King said,”if you bring people from a violent civilization into a less-violent civilization, you’re going to have more violence right?”
a Oh
immigrants from Mexico are often spoken of within the context of criminality by House Republicans was not lost on Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL). At a press conference on Capitol Hill yesterday, he said that, “GOP leaders embraced “the least common denominator of hatefulness toward the immigrant community” with the King-Bachmann anti-Dreamers bill.
Speaking on the GOP’s references to Mexican immigrants, Gutierrez said that, “for weeks … they have said that they are disease-ridden, lice-filled, gang bangers, drug dealers and mules of the drug cartels who have come here in hoards to invade our nation… And now they are demonstrating that that’s how they feel in their legislation.”
“It sends a vitally important message that minors wanting to come here in the future will … have absolutely no opportunity to receive DACA benefits,” said House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).  During the 113th Congress, Goodlatte has failed to move on the Senate passed immigration bill.
Four Democrats voted with Republicans: Reps. Collin Peterson (D-MN), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), John Barrow (D-GA), and Nick Rahall (D-WV).  Among the eleven Republicans voted with Democrats and against the right wing Bachmann/King anti-Dreamer bill were:  Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL),  Jeff Denham (R-CA), Cory Gardner (R-CA), and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).
“This is one of the most mean-spirited and anti-immigrant pieces of legislation I have seen in all my years of Congress,” said Rep.  John Conyers (D-MI) who has been in Congress for 49 years.
Outgoing House Republican Majority Leader didn’t bother to vote.  Making no attempt to prove the Eric-Cantor-haters like Laura Ingraham wrong, Cantor made none of the immigration related votes last night.  Cantor lost his House seat in large part because of his moderation on the issue.
But after being stripped of all the things that come with the Majority Leader position — a police detail that drives him around, extra staff, and a big office — Cantor announced his last day as a member of the House will be August 18.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

KKK Calls For ‘Shoot To Kill’ Policy On Undocumented Child Immigrants (Video)

Where is CPS?

The KKK is calling for the death of children and not one child welfare organization has stepped up to the plate.

Where are the religious communities?

Where are all the "Save the children" folks?  (crickets)
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Conyers Introduces BUILD Act to Empower State and Local Governments to Invest in Job-Creation

Economic Development Bond Programs Would Lower Borrowing Costs for Detroit and Cities Across the Nation

(WASHINGTON) — On July 31, 2014, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. introduced H.R. 5330, theBringing Urgent Investment to Local Development (BUILD) Act.  This critical legislation would reauthorize the Build America Bond (BAB) Program and Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds Program to enable states and municipalities to build and repair roads, schools, medical facilities, water sanitation systems, mass transit, and other essential infrastructure at lower cost. 

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“The BUILD Act directly addresses the root causes of the unemployment crisis in communities where it is most severe and enables cities across the country to accelerate much-needed infrastructure projects, while spurring economic development,” said Congressman John Conyers Jr.  “Investing in infrastructure and public works projects is a proven, cost-effective, market-oriented approach to empowering communities.”

BABs are taxable bonds for which the U.S. Treasury pays a direct subsidy to the issuer to reduce interest costs.  The bonds empower state and local governments to build and repair roads, schools, medical facilities, water sanitation systems, mass transit, and other essential infrastructure at lower cost.  In 2009-2010, every dollar from the BAB program leveraged $41 in private capital, enabling the financing of thousands of projects and the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs.  The reauthorization of the BAB program has been supported by diverse organizations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employeesthe National Association of Counties, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  TIME magazine described this approach as one of the economic recovery effort’s biggest successes.

The BUILD Act will immediately reauthorize the now-expired BAB Program with a 35% subsidy rate for communities facing emergency economic conditions (communities that exceed 150% of national average rate of unemployment or poverty) and a 28% subsidy rate for all other communities.

“It’s time to invest in America’s future and close our infrastructure deficit.  According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, our nation needs to invest approximately $2.7 trillion in roads, bridges, water and sewage systems, electrical grids, and ports by 2020. That’s just 6 years away - yet there’s only an estimated $1.6 trillion in public and private financing projected to be available over that period,” added Conyers. “Left unaddressed, it will mean more frequent power outages, traffic jams, higher prices at supermarkets, and even dangerous accidents like the bridge collapses of recent years.”

The BUILD Act has the support of the following original cosponsors: Representatives Charles Rangel (NY-13), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), and Matt Cartwright (PA-17).

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