Archive for Latinos

Another CA city sues over voting rights law

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voter suppression voting rights

Voting rights, schmoting rights. Who needs 'em in this post-racial day and age? We've clearly evolved, says the Supreme Court. Says Republicans. Says anyone who doesn't want Democrats to have voting rights. After all, if you can't win on the merits of your arguments, on your policies (or lack thereof), your talent, or on your powers of persuasion, then hey, cheat.

It's the 'Murican way!

the american way

Unless, of course, you get called out. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the city of Bellflower, right here in my home state of California, is getting sued. Why? Voting rights are being violated... allegedly:

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and two law firms filed a Superior Court complaint Monday afternoon, on behalf of three minority Bellflower residents alleging the city is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act.

The act seeks to ensure that minorities have an opportunity to elect leaders of their choice.  The suit alleges that Bellflower's practice of electing council members citywide instead of by geographic districts has hindered Latino and African American candidates.

The plaintiffs said they have found patterns of racially polarized voting in the southeast Los Angeles County city of about 77,000. They want the city to switch to by-district elections to give voters in strongly minority neighborhoods an opportunity to elect at least one representative to the City Council.

What? Restricting the rights of not-white voters? In this day and age of GOP outreach? Don't be ridiculous...

It's not like Bellflower's population is 66% Latino and African American, but the council members are monochromatically pale. Come on.

Bellflower's population is 52% Latino and 14% African American, according to the city's website.  All five council members are white.

Oh.

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Twofer: Hispanics aren't casting ballots; the political "news" media is MIA

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hispanics vote logo

I read the New York Times headlines every morning on my trusty New York Times app. When my barely-open eyes are able to focus, I link over to read the ones that grab me. Two very important headlines did just that, one about Hispanics, and one about the national "news" media:

Let's take them one at a time, starting with local journalists leaving beltway reporters in the dust with their mouths hanging open and their eyes popping out:

help!

All politics is local, which may explain why The Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Chesterfield Observer both took David Brat’s Tea Party challenge to Mr. Cantor seriously [...] Congressional races are a mess to cover because there are so many of them... The math of covering someone who may become one of only 100 senators is far easier. [...]

No one wants to stray from the white-hot center of power for fear of being stuck in some forsaken locale when something big happens in Washington — which is why it has become one of the most overcovered places on earth.

That Beltway provincialism is now multiplied by the diminution of nonnational newspapers. The industry as a whole is about half as big as it was in 2007, with regional newspapers suffering acute cutbacks. [...] Plenty of reporters are imprisoned in cubes in Washington, but stretched news organizations aren’t eager to spend money on planes, rental cars and hotel rooms so that employees can bring back reports from the hustings. While the Internet has been a boon to modern reporting ... it tends to pin journalists at their desks.[...]

The quants took a beating on this one, partly because journalists are left to read the same partisan surveys and spotty local reporting as Mr. Cantor’s campaign staff, whose own polling had him up by more than 30 points.

That made MY eyes pop out. Well, actually, it didn't. It did, however, reinforce what I already knew about news coverage, and that's pretty frustrating. So what it really did is made me do this:

banghead gif

On to Hispanics, another frustrating report, because it examines why they don't make it to the polls, what's preventing them, and how change is inevitable. Fortunately, this piece has a happier ending:

One reason is that no demographic group is more marginalized in American elections than Hispanics. Many are ineligible to vote, while those who can vote often do not or are concentrated in noncompetitive districts and states. [...]

The explanation for the gap starts with the most basic rules of voter eligibility. [...] Eligible Hispanics are also less likely to vote than other Americans. A big part of the reason is demographic: Hispanics are younger than other Americans, and voters of all racial and ethnic backgrounds become significantly more likely to vote as they age. [...]

The power of Hispanic voters is further diluted by geography... Finally, Hispanic voters are concentrated in noncompetitive states and districts, diminishing their role in the most important races.[...]

Hispanics are earning more clout in presidential elections. It is in those elections, not in the fight for Congress, where Hispanics could ultimately force the hand of Republicans.[...] In time, the political underrepresentation of Hispanics will end. The Hispanic share of the electorate will steadily increase... But for now, Hispanic voters will struggle to get their voices heard.

Please link over and read the parts I left out. These are two very important articles that answer a few questions, pose a few more, and explain why so many of our heads are exploding on a daily basis.

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GW Bush "will go down in history as the last Republican president in American history." (VIDEO)

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gw bush last republican standing

The B Word has come up a lot lately, specifically Jeb Bush and GW Bush. For example, writing these two posts alone was enough to make my stomach turn: "George W Bush ruined the family name." No worries, W, Jeb's up to the task, too and "Jeb Bush": If it weren't for Karl Rove, SCOTUS, we wouldn't have HAD a torturer-in-chief!

Now GW Bush's name has been uttered for an entirely different reason by Congressman Luis Gutierrez in the video above:

May 20, 2014 - Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez warned Republicans that President George W. Bush may be the last Republican elected President if they do not act on immigration reform. The Congressman reminded his colleagues that 65,000 Latino citizens turn 18 every month. There are only 18 working days left before July 4th for the House Republicans to pass immigration.

Connect with Rep. Gutiérrez:

http://www.facebook.com/RepGutierrez
http://www.twitter.com/RepGutierrez

I kind of like the sound of that. Let's hear it again:

"I give you George W. Bush: The man who will go down in history as the last Republican president in American history."

And again: Per Rep. Gutierrez, voters would never elect another Republican president if the GOP blocks immigration reform. I could put that on an audio loop and happily play it over and over.

However, I'd rather that Congress pass meaningful immigration reform, that families were reunited or were able to stay together, that DREAMers could get a good education, good jobs, contribute to society, and participate in our democracy, that discrimination, bigotry, and racism fade away, and that the melting pot that is the USA remain intact.

But that little "permanent rejection" bonus that would come on the heels of the GOP continuing to hypocritically push their "outreach" messaging as they obstruct progress? That would be nice, too.

H/t: The Hill

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GOP Gov. Susana Martinez "can be nasty, juvenile, vindictive, appears ignorant about basic policy"

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susana martinez

"Somebody told me he's absolutely eloquent in Spanish, but his English? He sounds like a retard."

Yes, New Mexico's GOP Susana Martinez laughs and played along as an aide says that about Ben Lujan (former Speaker of the House and father of NM Congressman Ben Ray Lujan).

ProgressNow reminds us that Governor Martinez has "actively promoted her own advocacy for her developmentally disabled sister in campaign ads, media pieces and slickly-produced profiles of her. 'Retard' as a descriptor of people like her sister has long since been considered inappropriate." How's that GOP outreach workin' for ya, Sue?

Mother Jones posted a whopper of a story about a side of Susana Martinez we haven't seen. And by whopper I mean, ouch! Apparently the private Susana Martinez differs from the public Susana Martinez. And as you may recall, public Susana Martinez has been the darling of many a Republican, not to mention a possible 2016 contender.

That may change:

No wonder, then, that many see Martinez, who turns 55 in July, as the party's future. Fox News host Greta Van Susteren touts her "great resume": America's first Latina governor. Former district attorney of a border county. Guardian of her mentally disabled sister. Tax cutter, gun owner, daughter of a sheriff's deputy. The Koch brothers invited her to speak at one of their secretive donor enclaves. Karl Rove singled her out in Time's list of last year's 100 most influential people as a "reform-minded conservative Republican." The Washington Post put her at the top of a list of likely 2016 vice presidential candidates; Romney has boosted her as a presidential contender.... In the media, Martinez is often compared to Sarah Palin [...]

Internal campaign records and interviews with former aides suggest that she didn't dig too deeply into the details of her own proposals: "Aren't we the ONLY state in the US that provides a NM drivers license to illegal aliens?" she asked in a November 24, 2009, email. (At the time, seven other states had similar policies.) [...]

Listening to recordings of Martinez talking with her aides is like watching an episode of HBO's Veep, with over-the-top backroom banter full of pique, self-regard, and vindictiveness. As Martinez and her campaign staff rewatched a recent televised debate, Martinez referred to Denish, her opponent, as "that little bitch." After Denish noted that the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce had given her an award, McCleskey snapped, "That's why we're not meeting with those fuckers." [...]

A major postelection interview with Latina magazine became a punch line after Martinez asked her interviewer to "remind me" what the DREAM Act was.

As ProgressNow notes, Susana Martinez has no problem with references to Democrats as “Little Bitches” and “Little Retards.” There is more audio at that link.

If this is the real Susana Martinez, if this represents what she really thinks about teachers, women, the mentally disabled, and Hispanic business, she's going to have a lot of explaining to do.

There's a lot more where that came from.

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Not news: Republicans could slide even further with women, Latinos

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gop disaster zone republicans

Women and Latinos do not trust Republicans. Oops, sorry, Captain Obvious got hold of my keyboard again. But he's right, which is also obvious:

obvious

And those are only two of the most recent headlines. The GOP's history of misogyny and racism is appalling, and their efforts to deny their fellow human beings equal rights is disgusting.

Republicans have sworntogod that they want to broaden their appeal. Oh really? Well, if their relentless assault on women's reproductive rights, gay rights, voting rights, and their treatment of undocumented (and documented!) immigrants (or anyone else, for that matter) who don't look or sound like them is the barometer, then they're in deep trouble.

They're still saying exactly the same old thing about the same old things. Reed Galen, a GOP strategist in Orange County who also worked for Bush said, "If we want that number to grow, we have to find ways to talk to Latinos about the issues we all care about." How many Republicans have made identical comments? And how many have actually followed through, or even done the opposite? Exactly.

Remember their post-2012 election "autopsy"? That reinvention they keep promising... not so much. How's that reachy-outy, makeovery thing workin' for ya, GOP?

The Los Angeles Times takes it from here:

Donnelly, the GOP front-runner according to public opinion polls, has stood by his 2006 speech, delivered when he was leader in the volunteer Minuteman border-patrol organization. In it, he said illegal immigration would lead to a fight comparable to the Civil War. [...]

"I am not backing away from the fact that we are in a war," Donnelly told reporters in Sacramento on Tuesday, after reports of the speech caused an outcry. He said he did not believe the remarks would hurt his prospects among Latino voters.

See how they've changed?

The Pelosi flap on the new Breitbart CA website prompted House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield to ask that his column be taken off the site.

Republican strategists said that while the imagery was "problematic," they viewed it as less significant than the immigration issue.

So the problems with their antiquated policies, views, and (mis)treatment of women are "less significant." Not right up there on their To Do list. Got it.

Keep up the good work, guys. If it weren't for dirty tricks and gerrymandering, they wouldn't stand a chance in 2014. And don't even get me started on the Supreme Court ruling that favors billionaires...

UPDATE: New Rule Prohibits Voters In Miami-Dade County From Using The Restroom, No Matter How Long The Line. 'Nuff said.

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Cartoon of the Day: Squishy Democrats v the GOP advantage, 2014

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vote  squishy Democrats gotv

If so-called squishy Democrats don't get their act together, then this country will be in a world of trouble. In a previous post, Our country is sick with the cancer of Conservatism. This may be your last warning, liberals, @Marnus3 approprtiately sounds a very timely alarm:

So this may be your last warning, liberals. Our country is sick with the cancer of Conservatism. Much has been lost in the time since 2008, when we felt so good about our health. But like cancer of the body, there is always hope when there is life. It is getting late, but it is not too late. Pay attention, educate yourself on the issues, do the same for your friends and neighbors. Tweet a tweet, warn your Facebook friends, volunteer for a liberal candidate, and most of all, vote this November. Vote like your life depends on it, because at this late stage of the disease, it does.

That's been my mantra, too, for some time now. If we fail to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) in November, the consequences will be dire, and even worse, lasting.

This tweet just showed up in my stream:

My answer: Gerrymandering and passion (not to mention voter suppression). Republicans, especially conservatives, have one talent that squishy Democrats and Progressives might want to adopt: Generating votes by triggering strong emotions (in the case of the GOP, fear) among their often-un/misinformed supporters. But in order to inspire voters, we need a strong, clear message that hits home.

However, and this is a huge "however," younger voters (along with everyone else) need to listen, and hear, that strong, clear message. After having taught teens and twentysomethings for well over a decade, I can assure you that this is a major challenge.

The pattern I noticed most was how driven and enthusiastic students could be when motivated... but that drive and enthusiasm was ephemeral. The second something else got their attention, off they'd go, leaving their good intentions in the dust:

UP squirrel dog animated gif

In this post, I concentrated primarily on the youth vote.

Take a look at David Horsey's excellent L.A. Times cartoon below. Then please go here to read his accompanying article, "Latinos, single women, young voters: a squishy base for Democrats," in which he expands on the topic in more depth:

david horsey cartoon 2014 elections squishy Democrats

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VIDEO: "They should start tying a bell around these [GOP fringe] guys so we can tell when they're coming."

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trump, gohmert, steve king

bell the cat

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow did a great job highlighting the fringiest of the conservative fringe. Here are excerpts of her segment wrap-up, but please watch the entire video. She nailed it, as usual, especially the bell-the-cat suggestion:

"They can mingle in"? What exactly is the argument here? Latinos crossing the border won't be able to tell if there's an Arab secretly trying to cross the border with them because they all look alike and they might accidentally help bring an Arab over here, mingled in?

Is that the argument? Seriously?

Louie Gohmert, Steve King, Donald Trump, that guy running in New Jersey, Art Robinson, okay. This guy's chair of the ... Armed Services Committee in the House, thanks to the Republican party!

They should start tying a bell around these guys or something so we can tell when they're coming.

idea lightbulb smaller

outreach my ass reach out inclusive

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