Wednesday, November 19, 2014

While we wait

... for Obama to bust his move on immigration reform, a few leaks begin to trickle.

President Barack Obama is poised to give relief from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or of permanent legal residents, according to a source familiar with White House deliberations.

Obama has promised to lay out the details of an executive order on immigration. The action could come as early as this week.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said some details were not yet available on which parents of citizens or permanent residents would be included. The Obama administration, the source said, had been looking at options including those parents who have been living in the United States for five years or 10 years.

A top Obama aide is scheduled to have lunch with Senate Democrats on Thursday on Capitol Hill. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, who will discuss the state of the economy and the post-election legislative agenda, is likely to be pressed on the immigration issue in the closed-door luncheon.

On Monday, in an interview with Univision, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said that Obama should move on immigration "now."

Obama is expected to take actions to allow some undocumented people to live here at least temporarily without the threat of deportation and to hold jobs in the United States. Obama's executive order could also include further border security steps, according to sources. Obama is expected to stress that he wants to focus efforts on deportations of illegal residents with serious criminal backgrounds.

He might be waiting on the Ferguson grand jury's decision regarding the indictment of Michael Brown's murderer.  If he is, then the immigration news will take a back seat for a few days.

Update: He's not waiting much longer.  It makes sense that he would do it in the evening for primetime TV cameras.  (As opposed to the Ferguson grand jury matter, which will almost certainly be announced in the early hours of some morning, as far from nightfall as they can manage.)

... for Missouri to explode, and engulf the rest of the nation.

A St. Louis suburb that faced weeks of sometimes violent protests following August's fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman remained on edge on Wednesday as it waited to learn if the officer would face charges.

A grand jury has been meeting for nearly three months, considering whether to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, an incident that laid bare long-simmering racial tensions in the mostly black city.

There's been some taunting going on as well.

Some of Wilson's supporters have been almost agitating for a showdown. One raised money to purchase a billboard with the slogan, "Pants Up, Don't Loot," playing off the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" rallying cry of Ferguson protesters. A Missouri chapter of the KKK threatened "lethal force" against protesters.

It's no exaggeration that the rest of the country is nearly as tense as Ferguson.  Not joking.

... to see how many more Texans will have to die from exploding or leaking toxic chemicals before Republicans and those who vote for them start demand some accountability.

On Saturday morning, four workers died at a DuPont chemical plant that manufactures the pesticide Lannate in La Porte, Texas after a leak of the poisonous gas methyl mercaptan. A fifth was hospitalized but later released. The plant hasn’t been visited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 2007.

Such a deadly accident without an explosion or fire is unusual, according to the Wall Street Journal.


The plant is also out of compliance with hazardous waste management and air emissions standards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to records reviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The agency brought formal enforcement actions against it for violations in 2012 and 2014, resulting in $117,375 in penalties. DuPont is also in discussions with the EPA and Justice Department about these issues at the La Porte plant, which began after a 2008 inspection.

And over the last five years, the plant was cited for violating state law at least two dozen times by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, according to a review of state records by the Texas Tribune, for failures related to performing routine safety inspections, keeping equipment in working order, and preventing pollution leaks. Most recently, it released 36,500 pounds of sulfur dioxide over the course of three hours in September, well above the allowed limit, and in August last year it leaked 40 pounds of chlorine. Some of the more serious citations resulted in fines of a few thousand dollars.

Too bad the families of the dead La Porte DuPont employees didn't drive around and ask.

... for Uber to suffer some blowback for being the world's latest, greatest corporate assholes.  It's got to happen sooner or later, right?


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