Think Progress is reporting that North Carolina is competing with Arizona's asshatitude status when it comes to anti-immigrant laws, racial profiling, labeling, shaming, disrespect, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio-style despicability:
North Carolina is set to vote on a piece of anti-immigration legislation on par with Arizona and Alabama’s racially-tinged laws that drew national attention and ire from immigration advocates. The Reasonable Enactment of Comprehensive Legislation Addressing Immigration Matters (RECLAIM) in North Carolina Act, or HB 786 would expand the scope of law enforcement officials with “reasonable suspicion” to authorize immigration status checks on anyone who has been lawfully stopped. [...]
The measure also allows for law enforcement officials to have the ability to “securely transport an alien… to a federal facility” potentially without ever having seen a lawyer.
For people who claim to revere constitutional rights and freedoms, they sure have a funny way of showing it. Latino voters will surely warm to the Republican party now. How could they not?
I wonder how many Canadians and Swedes will be pulled over and questioned.
Please read TP for more details, but some of negative impact includes "severely undermining public safety benefits" because immigrants are likely to duck and cover, avoiding driver’s licenses that conspicuously feature the words “no lawful status.” Then there's that little problem of tourism dropping (that sound they'll hear is an economic thud) due to concerns about being asked about legal status.
I am becoming more and more concerned about the direction this country is taking, the intensity of conservative disdain, intolerance, and bigotry, and the perpetual obstruction that cuts any attempt at compromise or reasonable, constructive lawmaking off at the knees.
And those are just a few of my worries. I've resisted writing about this because I am not an alarmist and try not to indulge in overly negative feelings and writings that would bum everyone out, especially in my current state of mind.
But with all the gerrymandering and redistricting to assure Republican wins and single party rule in state legislatures, and the ease with which those on the right pass laws that are so unhealthy, so restrictive, and so hateful, it's not easy to feel optimistic about our chances of overcoming their perpetual obsessions, greed, backward attitudes, and power grabs.
We are all real, living, breathing, struggling, caring participants in this country. We the people. Immigrants are people, my friend. Corporations-- and sometimes it seems like Republicans-- are not.
Here's what happens when a state gets targeted by conservatives who make policy ... And these are just headlines from the past day or two!
We've written countless posts about voter suppression. You can find them here, and this one will be at the very top of that list:
So much for the GOP effort to attract more people to their party. What was that about rebranding again?
The idea of a presidential commission to fix voting problems in this country: You know, as of this week we now know that this idea, which I thought was one of those things you say in the State of the Union that just poof! and goes away forever, turns out it has not been relegated to the remainder bin of big presidential speech making ideas. It is not a low orbit Orient Express a la Ronald Reagan.
It's actually happening. Yesterday afternoon President Obama signed an executive order to actually form that commission, AND the Republican co-chair he said he was going to appoint to the commission, Mitt Romney's campaign lawyer Ben Ginsberg, he is in fact going along with it. The order asks Mr Ginsberg and his Democratic counterpart Bob Bauer to come up with a variety of ways to shorten voting lines and to generally make elections more efficient.It also directs the commission to submit a report to the president within six months.
So that is what is happening at the executive level: An order from the president look for solutions to our country's miserable voting problems.
Meanwhile in the states, Republicans are still doing everything they can to make the problems worse.
So far this year, Republican lawmakers in 30 states have proposed 55 different new voting restrictions to make voting harder than it already is. 55. This year. Since the election.
Folks at project vote are calling it an onslaught.
"... to help harvest our food." How’s that reachy-outy thing workin’ for ya, GOP?
Here's a short excerpt from The Rachel Maddow Show. The entire segment is at the end of the post:
This [GOP problem with Latino voters] is the their absolute focus a as party. Today we also learned that one of the things we should expect from Republicans toward this aim is that they are working on new TV ads, new TV ads starring the chairman of the Republican Party that are aimed at rebranding the Republican Party for Latino voters.
The basic idea has to be what? "Sorry about that whole racial slur thing from Don Young"? "Never mind that. We love you. Bienvenido! Thank you for picking our food!"
"Thank you for picking our food"? What?
Yes. According to Media Matters reporting today, the Republican ad man who's making the ad, at a a New York politics conference yesterday, said that the ad will feature RNC Chairman Reince Priebus "reaching out to those Latin Americans who have come to the United States to help us build our country, to help harvest our food."
"Thanks for picking our food, Latinos. Love, the Republican Party."
This is the thing the Republican Party is supposedly working on hardest. And this is how it is going so far.
Here is the entire segment, and please note the part about the Seinfeld reference. It's cringeworthy:
Another day, another eleventy-two examples of how Republicans have no intention of reinventing themselves. Earlier I posted how the “stupid party,” er, Republicans blasted GOP Rep. Young for his “wetbacks” comment.
No sooner was that story out than another one popped up about Gov. Pat McCrory (R) suddenly closing North Carolina's Office of Hispanic/Latino affairs.
Republicans are in the governor's house, so that means cutting back on early voting, diminishing minority voting rights in the state, and also cutting off the Latino community.
Via the Charlotte Observer:
North Carolina’s Latino advocates are voicing alarm following the governor’s decision to eliminate the state’s office for Latino affairs.
The closing of the Office of Hispanic/Latino affairs was sudden and caught many by surprise. [...]
Advocates say it sends a message that McCrory and Raleigh conservatives are less concerned with the needs of the Latino community.
Advocates are 100% correct.
The office was where Latino leaders went to get the governor’s feedback on policy decisions affecting the community. It was a resource for victims needing shelter and bilingual assistance during hurricanes and other natural disasters. It also held community forums and collected demographic statistics on the state’s fastest-growing ethnic community, which now exceeds 800,000 residents.
This wasn't the first time McCrory made it clear that he was no friend to Latinos. He was a supporter of and signed off on “pink licenses” for young immigrants who were part of the federal plan that protected them from deportation. The licenses were adorned with a prominent pink stripe that singled undocumented immigrants out. They were so humiliating and so obviously discriminatory that they were scrapped.
Jess George, executive director of Latin American Coalition in Charlotte, got it right when she said, “The message from Raleigh is that Latinos in North Carolina don’t matter."
So much for that new and improved Republican party and their big outreach push. Timing is everything.
It's time for another episode of Republicans Eating Their Own! Weee!
It's been getting mighty personal between the former Republican National Committee Chairman, Michael Steele, and the current one, Reince Priebus. Here is Steele calling Priebus "numbnuts" in an interview with radio host Andrea Tantaros (audio at the link):
"I was laughing at some of these numbnuts after the election talking about, 'Oh, well we need to do a 50-state strategy.' Dude, where were you for 2009 and 2010? That’s exactly what we did."
“The bottom line: Reince Priebus was my right hand. I mean, what annoys the heck out of me is that for two years Reince Priebus was in every room I was in, a part of every major decision I made for how much money we would spend, what we would spend that money on, what the priorities of the RNC would be.
“And for him to stand up there and pretend as if he wasn’t in the room, that he had no say in the decision-making process, and that the so-called debt that he inherited was the one that, A, as a member of the RNC, he voted for, No. 1. No. 2, he recommended to me to go into debt. And for him to then sit there and act like he had nothing to do with it and that somehow he inherited this mess that he helped create, to me is just pure B.S.”
"And I kept my mouth shut for two years because, hey, I’m a party guy. But you know what, at the end of the day, you say to yourself, they’re dumping on you, they’re crapping on your legacy, they’re giving you crap for stuff that they didn’t want to do in the first place... coalitions, expanding media, social media networks."
“You spend $10 million dollars to find out that we have a problem? Hello? You know? Don’t get me started.”
Oh come on, Michael, don't hold back.
And that concludes today's episode of Republicans Eating Their Own.
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