Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Last Call For Deportation Nation, Con't

Under the Trump regime, where right-wing nutjobs are busy screaming about how college campuses are "indoctrination centers" and where "free speech" is supposedly no longer tolerated, if you're a university student here on a visa, your social media history is grounds for deportation now.

With classes scheduled to start next week, incoming Harvard freshman Ismail B. Ajjawi, like many of his fellow students, was set to arrive on campus for the first time this week. But the 17-year-old Palestinian’s hard-won education at perhaps the world’s preeminent university is now in doubt. American immigration officials stopped Ajjawi, a Palestinian resident of Tyre, Lebanon, at Boston Logan International Airport on Friday night, the Crimson reports, where he was held in custody for eight hours and subjected to invasive questioning by a female immigration officer, who then abruptly told him his study visa was being canceled and that he was being deported.

“Upon arrival, Ajjawi faced questioning from immigration officials along with several other international students. While the other students were allowed to leave, Ajjawi alleges an immigration officer continued to question him about his religion and religious practices in Lebanon,” according to the Crimson. “The same officer then asked him to unlock his phone and laptop, and left to search them for roughly five hours, Ajjawi alleges. After the search, the officer questioned him about his friends’ social media activity.”

“When I asked every time to have my phone back so I could tell [someone] about the situation, the officer refused and told me to sit back in [my] position and not move at all,” Ajjawi wrote in a statement. “After the 5 hours ended, she called me into a room , and she started screaming at me. She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend[s] list.” University officials told the Crimson they still are trying to resolve the situation in time for Ajjawi—whose enrollment at Harvard was made possible by a scholarship from a nonprofit organization—to be in class when the semester starts Sept. 3.

“I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics,” Ajjawi wrote. “I responded that I have no business with such posts and that I didn’t like, [s]hare or comment on them and told her that I shouldn’t be held responsible for what others post

Doesn't matter though, he's a Palestinian coming to Harvard on a full ride, and white Christian America can't have that happen.  Not in a million years.

Free speech means whatever the Trump regime is willing to allow you to say.  And that goes for all of us these days.

Meanwhile, better hope there aren't any Atlantic hurricanes this season that his the US, because all of FEMA's disaster emergency funds just went to ICE for more concentration camps.

The Trump administration is pulling $271 million in funding from the Department of Homeland Security, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund, to pay for immigration detention space and temporary hearing locations for asylum-seekers who have been forced to wait in Mexico, according to department officials and a letter sent to the agency by a California congresswoman.

To fund temporary locations for court hearings for asylum-seekers along the southern border, ICE would gain $155 million, all from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, according to the letter from Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., which was seen by NBC News.

The allocations were sent to Congress as a notification rather than a request, because the administration believes it has the authority to repurpose these funds after Congress did not pass more funding for ICE detention beds as part of an emergency funding bill for the southwest border in June.

Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security will lose $116 million previously allocated for Coast Guard operations, aviation security and other components in order to fund nearly 6,800 more beds for immigrant detainees, the officials said.

“We would not say this is with no risk but we would say that we worked it in a way to…minimize the risk. This was a must pay bill that needed to be addressed,” said a DHS official, who noted that the funds would begin transfer immediately to fund ICE through Sept. 30.

The only infrastructure in America that gets built these days are concentration camps for more undocumented.  Better hope there's no hurricanes, wildfires, or earthquakes in the next few months, because there are zero dollars for FEMA to respond with as of right now.

Not in Trump's America.

Time To Pound The Pavement, Dems

For the 2020 Democratic nominee to beat Trump, former Obama organizer Joy Cushman says Democrats are going to have to do what worked so well for Barack Obama in 2008 and for House Democratic candidates in 2018: go door to door and earn every single vote the hard way.

Republicans know how President Obama won, yet there is a contentious debate among progressives about how to run campaigns. One side says you engage your most excited supporters, organizing them into local leadership teams and helping them host trainings, house parties and voter registration drives so that they can build support and gather accurate data about their neighborhoods.

This creates the capacity for millions of authentic, person-to-person conversations about families’ experiences, and their hopes and fears — the kinds of conversations that can expand an electorate, energize a base and demobilize the opposition. Data and technology are tools to improve this work, not the machinery for controlling people. 
The other side, louder and better funded, says that data, technology and analytics should drive campaign strategies and voter outreach programs. So campaigns hire tech companies to create lists of potential supporters based on algorithms and statistical modeling. And they develop apps through which supporters are meant to blast, but not actually engage, their social networks. Staff members and volunteers parachute into communities to knock on doors and recite poll-tested scripts. 
Over the past decade, the party elites — consultants, strategists and donors — have caught the data-and-analytics fever and largely abandoned organizing. This has meant that entire neighborhoods have been politically redlined out of engagement in our most fundamental democratic practice.

Those of us who have spent our lives talking to regular folks on campaigns now walk around neighborhoods with lists created by someone at a computer far away. We have skipped many doors and missed entire families because the data experts didn’t have addresses or phone numbers for poor people, young people, people of color or people who moved a lot — many of those who carried Barack Obama to victory. 
Going into 2020, Democrats cannot fall into the trap of being overly seduced by shiny tech-only tricks. They must get back to the hard work of pounding the pavement to organize the people who already want to vote for them. That’s how we’ll create the power to build a movement that attracts others. In fact, data from 2016 and 2018 show that organizing increases voter turnout more than any other single outreach method, including mail, TV and digital advertisements, and twice as much as contact from a stranger. 
Part of the reason the debate has unfolded this way is because the story that took hold about how Barack Obama won, and has since permeated the voting industry, is that sophisticated data, technology and analytics twice won him the White House, not organizing or volunteers. That a few dozen tech nerds in the Chicago headquarters tipped the campaign to victory. This story, and the realignment of progressive interests and infrastructure around it, has baffled me and other top campaigners. 
People won Mr. Obama’s campaigns. From the black beauticians in South Carolina to the white and black retirees in Pennsylvania to the Latinx supporters in Nevada, hundreds of thousands of volunteers knocked on doors and made calls from the primaries through the general elections. And Barack Obama saw them, spoke to them and loved them.

Barack Obama used both data and organizing to win.  He did it better than anyone else. Dems need to get back to that era, where Obama took Howard Dean's 50-State Strategy and ran with it.  I'm tired of hearing about "battleground states" like the other 45 don't matter, because we're giving away state legislatures in a Census and redistricting year.

We have to contest everything in 2020.  Every seat, every vote, every legislature, every governor's mansion, everything.

Beshear Beatng Bevin Bigly

With ten weeks to go before the 2019 gubernatorial election here in Kentucky, the polls have Democratic AG Andy Beshear up substantially over GOP Gov. Matt Bevin.

An internal poll from the campaign of Andy Beshear shows the Democratic attorney general leading Gov. Matt Bevin by 9 percentage points in the race for governor, with a little over two months until the election.

The Courier Journal obtained a copy of the polling memo from the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, which surveyed 501 likely voters in Kentucky from Monday through Thursday last week.

The poll found 48% of respondents would vote for Beshear, while 39% said they would vote for Bevin. Libertarian candidate John Hicks picked up 6% in the poll.

Of the 501 people surveyed, 43% self-identified as Republican and 37% self-identified as Democrat, while 48% considered themselves as conservative and 22% as liberal.

The results closely resemble an internal poll conducted by the Democratic Attorneys General Association a week earlier, which found Beshear leading Bevin by the exact same margin.

The last independent polling of Kentucky's race for governor came from the Gravis Marketing Survey in June. It found Bevin leading Beshear 48% to 42%.

If anything the poll favors Bevin, and yet the numbers clearly show Bevin has burned a number of bridges in the last three-plus years: with state and local government employees, teachers, farmers, and miners.

Still, if anything, Bevin shouldn't be sweating in the least.

Polling of statewide races in Kentucky has been notoriously flawed in recent years, especially the race for governor in 2015, when the Bluegrass Poll found Democrat Jack Conway leading Bevin by 5 percentage points late in the race. Bevin wound up winning on Election Day by 9 percentage points.

Bevin is fond of bringing up the erroneous polling from 2015 whenever he is asked about surveys showing him with a low approval rating, saying they are not a true indicator of the support he has throughout the state.

He's not wrong.  That Bluegrass poll from 2015 was cataclysmically wrong, off by 14 points.  In every instance turnout was much, much higher than anticipated and Kentucky voters turned out for Matt Bevin.  Bevin doesn't feel the need to do anything differently because he simply dismisses all polls showing Beshear ahead.  He's counting on that to happen again.

But they can't all be wrong, can they?


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