Thursday, January 28, 2010

Immigrant locator

It shouldn't make much difference in the CNMI and Guam but the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement is planning on reforming its detention system.

The change that caught my eye was the proposed launch of an immigrant-detainee locator system in June. I've read countless horror stories of lawyers and family members who couldn't find detainees who disappeared into the system. Assistant secretary John T. Morton seems to have heard them also.

O'Keefe money

I'd read that the stone money brought from Palau to Yap by David Dean O'Keefe was worth less than 'traditional' money brought by canoe. The reason is obvious: he cheated.

In the same issue of as the immigration piece, we learn that something similar is happening in the case of James O'Keefe. Now conservatives are keeping their distance from the stalwart who lured ACORN into promoting prostitution. His latest escapade allegedly involved trying to tap the phones of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu.

"The truth shall set me free," he is quoted as twittering. But not pay the bail, I'd add. Whatever happens, he's done a public service. The right was energized by his expose, while politicians on the left were handed an excuse to keep their distance from ACORN demands.

I don't think so

The Yes men even tried to piggyback on O'Keefe's latest 15 minutes, claiming he played Queen Elizabeth in their latest phony website, the World Economic Forum. I believe that about as much as I believed the email copy of this press release.

No guts here, though I was pretty sure it was the Yes Men. A pretty obvious fake ("We just killed the Copenhagen Summit, we crashed many economies in 2009. Clearly the present system of rampant capitalism is not worthy of salvaging."), there was a small but real chance of some weird virus instead of more shenanigans.

Oh, this is the real site, and spokesman Adrian Monck reportedly responded that "the only defense to satire is common sense!" Umm, I had a Washington Post link I'll try to track down: the story listed some wrong-headed predictions coming out of Davos in the past.

Corporations are people too

I don't know if any corporations were in the gallery, but Justice Samuel A. Alito is a hot subject in pundit-land for the latest unguarded response to a Barack Obama pronouncement to Congress.

"Not true," lip-readers claim he muttered as the President wound down his State of the Union set-piece with the ringing words "I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests or, worse, by foreign entities." Fine words, though the Supreme Court's decision to let corporations support or oppose political candidates is only lousy, not earth-shattering. Hint: check out the campaign contributions for any major candidate in the last Presidential election.

But it makes for some ringing rhetoric (He also has a fine cartoon and links to several others.) Let's see: freedom of speech, check; right-to-bear-arms, check (XE, nee Blackwater); I wonder if we can get corporations in the jury pool.

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