Sunday, March 18, 2007
US Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales appears to be this newest sacrificial lamb. Questions about why he fired eight assistant US attorneys hover over whether the motivation was political. If these attorneys, all of whom had received high marks from supervisors and colleagues, were dismissed for not pursuing cases against Democrats or for pursuing cases against Republicans, the man from Humble, Texas, may have a lot of to be ashamed about.
The Gonzales saga plays out against the backdrop of immigration enforcement. Recently, federal officials arrested more than 350 women, mostly mothers, all undocumented, all working for a leather company in Massachusetts that supplies boots to the US Armed Forces. Hundreds of children were left motherless while the state and federal governments sorted out the disaster.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says it warned the Massachusetts Department of Social Services that arrests were impending. DSS says it did not know. What is certain is that the mothers did not know that they would be arrested despite working for a company that manufactures goods for the very same federal government that temporarily orphaned children.
There are ways for undocumented working people -- whose children are American citizens by virtue of having been born here – can live in peace without fear of being arrested. All that’s needed are courageous politicians. That’s the hard part. Far easier is finding politicians courting ethnocentric fears.
Maybe now the White House will deflect attention from immigration to the Iraq War. Or Gonzales.
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
David Geffen, who made his millions producing music in the 1970s and 1980s before making more in Hollywood, basically said that he was gathering celebrity support for Sen. Barack Obama because he was uncomfortable with how comfortable the Clintons are at that political cornerstone -- the lie.
It is an especially exquisite criticism from a Hollywood bigshot who lives quite nicely on a house built by the world of magical realism. Yet, for me, the bottom line is, who cares what Geffen thinks about lying?
I care that the media take its role seriously instead of air-reporting a la Enquire. As usual, instead of focusing on real issues that affect the middle class, for example, the media goes into hysteria mode because someone from their ilk said something about somebody they know well.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country is treated as if we were part of a peanut gallery. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, one of the Democratic Party presidential hopefuls, promised he would run a clean campaign, which means he won't stoop to fighting over insipid things. That's good news.
In the meantime, Clinton and Obama should direct their respective spokespeople to follow Richardon's example. After all, this is a presidential election to become the leader of the world, not a sandbox duel between children.
Monday, March 5, 2007
Yet, an estimated 12 million people, mostly from Latin America but from everywhere else as well, can't follow those rules.
Even so, many bonafide American businesses hire them to work in construction, factory and service industries. Obviously, American businesses welcomes them.
This country was built on the premise that hard work leads to a measure of success. In Bush's view, all the hard work in the world cannot even help guarantee a green card.
It's as if parking meter violators became hit-and-run killers in the eyes of the law.