Supreme Court Gives Immigrants New Rights

From Restore Fairness blog - Guest Blogger: Seth Freed Wessler reposted from RaceWire blog

The Supreme Court today granted immigrants facing detention new rights and protections. The ruling in Padilla vs. Kentucky now requires defense attorneys to accurately advise their non-citizen clients of the potential immigration consequences of pleading guilty to a crime.

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Republicans who would kill

This is a news story originating in a tiny sleepy village called Westport on the North Coast of California, where hippies and retiring liberal yuppies have been making their way up into the countryside for several decades leading to a small scale culture war.  The demise of the logging industry has been a factor in bringing many people into the marijuana industry - it's not just for hippies anymore.  The North Coast Journal, a paper based in Arcata a couple of hours to the north of where these amazing events took place.  This is a story involving a man who headed up the Mendocino County Republican Party, recalled from a utilities district board for what the voters believed to be incompetence, and most recently convicted for conspiracy to murder.  You see, he tried to arrange for a political assassination of his liberal political opponent.

Why should we be nervous when right wingers show up at presidential events with guns?  Read the story.  It has everything.  Thomas Pynchon couldn't have done a better job in Vineland.

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The Obsolete Culture Warriors

In his column this morning, Frank Rich discusses the growing obsolescence of the culture warriors that so recently were seen as a powerful force in the GOP. Call it the upside of the recession; in this time of need, a culture war is a luxury Americans can no longer afford. Think about it. When President Obama recently overturned Bush era policies on abortion access and stem cell research, did we hear even a peep out of the religious right? Not really.

Interestingly, as Rich points out, there is a historical precedent for this shift away from cultural conservatism in a time of financial crisis.

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Obama's interesting pick for drug czar

The Seattle Times is reporting this morning that President Obama has chosen Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske to serve as head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

While a police chief doesn't strike me as a particularly progressive choice for drug czar, I am definitely intrigued by the reaction on the Drug War Chronicle blog:


It appears that we may soon be faced with the most promising drug czar ever to occupy the position.

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Has Michael Phelps led us to a partial economic solution?

As I sit watching the Senate (and, unfortunately right now, Holy Joe Lieberman) debate the amendments to the Stimulus Bill on C-Span 2, I spend most of the "quorum calls" toodleing around the net looking at recent events and searching for job openings in any of the fields that I'm capable of (I lose my adjunct teaching position in June and I've got to find something, at least part-time, to take its place.) One of the things that stands out in recent events is the issue raised by Michael Phelps photographed smoking pot with a bong.

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