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Junot Díaz Calls DREAM Act ‘A Tiny Little Bone’ for People Who Deserve More

Junot Díaz Calls DREAM Act 'A Tiny Little Bone' for People Who Deserve More

“As a country when ever things get really hard instead of blaming the wealthy and blaming the people in power who put us in this terrible situation, we tend to afflict the very people who all the hard work to keep us afloat,” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz tells a high school student interviewing him for The Mash, the teen edition of the Chicago Tribune.

“I think the DREAM Act is a tiny little bone that they throw in to a community that deserves a lot more, and certainly I think it’s nice and important but we should be able to recognize the community—the people who do the heavy lifting—and stop afflicting them.”

“I come from a family who had a lot of people who were undocumented and our contributions have to be honored,” Díaz went on to say.

Díaz, who is known for his bold, nuanced depiction of immigrants and people of color in his writing, will be the keynote speaker the Facing Race conference taking place November 15-17 in Baltimore. Facing Race, the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, and activists on racial justice is organized by Colorlines.com’s publisher the Applied Research Center.

Everyone Wants to Know if Mitt Romney Sported Brownface for Univision

Everyone Wants to Know if Mitt Romney Sported Brownface for Univision

We should be judging the presidential candidates by their actions and what comes out of their mouths… but everyone is asking if Mitt Romney donned brownface for his television appearance on Univision.

From message boards, to Gawker, Jezebel, MediaTakeOut and even Upworthy, a site that usually keeps things positive, pointed out Romney looked like he got a “bad spray tan.”

Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan asked: “Did Mitt Romney fucking seriously just wear brown makeup so Latin voters might think he’s tan enough to support?”

And then there’s MediaTakeOut, the gossip website that claims to be the most visited urban website in the world, they just called Romney out: “You see, dude tried to TRICK Hispanic voters into voting for him … by painting his face BROWN.”

Huffington Post published a similar post shortly before the post you’re reading now went live also.

mitt-romney-univison-jawline.jpgThere’s a few posts on Tumblr that are also thriving.

“I was really really hoping that this wan’t [sic] true because this is pretty far for anyone, and I hoped it was a really bad tan where he covered his hands and didn’t turn over, but it literally stops at his jawbone. Just stops,” wrote Tumblr user Whyvoneenee. “Go to 2:14 and look at that perfect line. What the blap?” Whyvoneenee wrote alongside a screen capture of the Univison forum.

In just 54 minutes, Whyvoneenee’s post got 1,500 notes on Tumblr, and there are hundreds of more posts and tweets making the same claim.

The venue and lighting at events has a lot to do with how Romney appears on video and still pictures and so there’s probably not a lot here, but we’ll let you be the judge. Below are pictures of Mitt Romney out on the campaign trail in past week or so, and please comment below and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, 9/19/12 romney-univison-wed.jpg Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney participates in a Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum with Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas in Coral Gables, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

In the image below I took the AP photo and did a high-resolution side-by-side comparison of Romney’s face and hands. There is no significant change in skin tone.

closeup-mitt-univision-spraytan-brownface-study.jpg

Romney’s Dad Was on Welfare For First Years of His Life, Says Mom

Romney's Dad Was on Welfare For First Years of His Life, Says Mom

A 1962 interview with Mitt Romney’s mom reveals his father was on “welfare relief” when he first arrived in the U.S. as a refugee from Mexico. The archived footage was published on Buzzfeed on September 3, before hidden camera footage with Romney’s controversial “47%” comments made headlines.

In the video, identified only as an infomercial for George Romney’s gubernatorial run in Michigan, Lenore Romney says George’s family was poor, living on potatoes and on welfare.

Below is the transcript from the 1962 interview with Lenore Romney:

INTERVIEWER: “There are those who say that since he’s a man of considerable means he really doesn’t care about people.”

LENORE ROMNEY: “You know we’ve only owned our home for the last four years. He was a refugee from Mexico. He was on relief, welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities.

“The family was poor. He said they lived for a year on nothing but potatoes. He’s known what it is to have to work for every dime he’s had since he was 12.”

“Oh my God! George Romney was on welfare, so according to Mitt Romney’s own logic Mitt Romney could not win the vote of his dad who would be part of the 47% of unconvincibles,” the “Daily Show’s” John Stewart said jokingly on Tuesday night. (It starts at about the 4:48 mark.)

But Colorlines.com’s economic justice blogger Imara Jones says there’s not much to joke about.

“The video reveals that the ahistorical nature of Romney’s “47 percent” rant extends to his own family. He’s spun a story of America that isn’t even in sync with his own experience. It also underscores that people who are in tough situations, like Romney’s father, are there due to circumstances beyond their control and our help to stabilize,” said Jones, who recently wrote a story titled “Mitt Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Remarks Have Everything To Do With Race.”

“A single mother or father who earns $22,000 a year, works two jobs and is in school—and therefore pays no federal income tax—is on their way to a better place. As with Romney’s father, they just need all of our help until they can get there,” Jones went on to say.

Romney Asked Four Times If He’ll Get Rid of Deferred Action, No Clear Answer

Romney Asked Four Times If He'll Get Rid of Deferred Action, No Clear Answer

At a forum focused on Latino issues hosted by Univison on Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney avoided answering what he would do with the Deferred Action program if elected President. Anchor Maria Elena Salinas pressed Romney four different times for more details on what his plans are for the program that would help young people avoid deportation but there was no clear answer.

“One of the questions more frequently asked by Facebook users is whether you would keep Deferred Action for undocumented, yes or no?”, asked Salinas.

Romney first criticized President Obama for failing to pass immigration reform and then went on pledge to pass immigration himself but evaded the question.

“But talking specifically about Deferred Action,” Salinas began to ask before Romney jumped in, but again there was no clear answer.

“For those who are already here and that are undocumented and were brought here by their parents and are therefore illegal aliens in this country, my view is that we should put in place a permanent solution,” Romney said about the more than 1-million young undocumented immigrants who are eligible for “Deferred Action.

Salinas went on to try to get an answer again: “But will all do respect, your reluctance to provide details on a permanent solution has created, maybe, a perception that you are evading the question, what would you tell Hispanic voters right now if they’re actually interested in this important issue, and all the DREAMers that want to know if you’ll deport them or not.”

Romney went on to say he opposes deporting the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country, but avoided providing any details about his plans with Deferred Action.

Salinas tried to get a more detailed once again but there was no clear answer for Romney’s plans with the Deferred Action program.

Romney did say he supports initiatives like the one Florida Senator Marco Rubio considered that would provide a pathway to permanent resident status for undocumented immigrants who pursue military service. Romney did not provide details about on what he’d propose for undocumented immigrants seeking college degrees.

Latina Voter Schools Romney in New Political Ad

Latina Voter Schools Romney in New Political Ad

PresentePAC+ and MoveOn.org Political Action just released a 30-second ad that stars a Latina woman challenging Mitt Romney for his comment released in a leaked video earlier this week. The ad stars a Latina who takes Romney to task for saying he would have a better shot at winning the presidency if he were Latino. The ad, which is available in Spanish and English, was released just hours before the GOP presidential candidate makes a highly-anticipated appearance on Univision to discuss Latino issues.

The ad includes Romney’s remarks and a response from a Latina voter who points out that the reason Romney is losing among Latinos isn’t because of his race. Rather, it’s because of Romney’s position on the issues, such as his opposition to the DREAM Act, his support of Arizona’s draconian immigration law, and the fact that his party is engaged in efforts to suppress Latino votes.

The Spanish version of the ad will air on Spanish-language TV in the key swing states of Florida, Colorado, and Nevada. It begins airing Thursday and will run in Las Vegas, Denver, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa — all major markets where the Latino vote will be pivotal.

Colorlines.com has reached out to PresentePAC+ to identify the woman in the video. Her name is Telesh Pascual Lopez and her brief bio is below: Telesh Pascual Lopez is Kanjobal, Maya from Guatemala and comes from a family that has been practicing indigenous healing work for generations. Her commitment to healing justice is reflected in her work with organizations that focus on the needs of women, survivors of violence, LGBTQGNC community, and with individual activists and organizers.

Presente Action has launched a petition demanding that Romney apologize for his offensive remarks.

  • Story was updated 9/19/12 at 5:32pm EST.

So Who Actually Won the Chicago Teachers Strike?

So Who Actually Won the Chicago Teachers Strike?

Chicago public school teachers voted on Tuesday to end their strike and resume classes Wednesday in the third-largest U.S. school district in the Nation. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to suspend the strike.

Colorlines.com’s Julianne Hing has been covering the issue close and provides the following statement:

Folks are still trying to parse right now: who won the strike? Neither side can claim a complete victory with the final contract. On teacher evaluation, compensation, school day and school year length and school closures, both sides won key victories for their interests—Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his market-driven school reform agenda and the Chicago Teachers Union for its staunch defense of poor communities’ right to robust public schools.

Yet many are looking past the specifics of the strike deal itself; the larger lesson may be in the way unions allied themselves with poor communities of color to advance a unified agenda which defends poor people’s rights to hold on to and improve public education. That’s where many are finding hope, and cause for celebration today.

Below is a list of items Chicago Teachers Union members’ forced the Board of Education to agree to during the strike:

  1. Hire over 600 additional teachers in Art, Music, Phys Ed and other subjects
  2. Maintain limits on class size, increase funding for smaller classes
  3. Add a parent voice on class size committees
  4. Make textbooks available on the first day of school
  5. Increase racial diversity in hiring at CPS
  6. Lessen the focus on standardized testing - keep the focus on teaching instead of tests
  7. Provide more attention from school Social Workers and Nurses Increase funding for Special Ed teachers, social workers, psychologists, classroom assistants and counselors in schools with high caseloads.

Visit the ‘teachers strike’ tag page to read Hing’s in depth feature stories that offer more context and analysis.

Civil Rights Groups Worry as SB 1070 Goes into Effect

Civil Rights Groups Worry as SB 1070 Goes into Effect

On Tuesday, a federal judge cleared the way for Section 2B of Senate Bill 1070 that requires Arizona law enforcement officials check the immigration status of anyone they encounter and believe is undocumented. The law is set to go in to affect immediately, but civil-rights and advocacy groups warn Section 2B — popularly recognized as the SB 1070’s “show me your papers” provision- - will likely result in racial profiling.

The decision came in a three-paragraph ruling drafted jointly by the U.S. Department of Justice and lawyers for Arizona and Judge Susan Bolton, the same judge who blocked Section 2B in July 2010.

“Arizonans now wait to see what the law will mean for their day-to-day lives. It’s likely that the 2B’s implementation will be uneven throughout the state between law enforcement agencies, with some jurisdictions like Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa county using 2B to justify it’s preexisting practices of racial profiling and other counties taking a more restrained approach,” said Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines.com’s investigative reporter. “What’s certain is that advocates will be watching and lawsuits and community organizing will continue challenging SB 1070. This fight is for from over.”

After the ruling was issued, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer celebrated the decision, referring to provision 2B as the “heart” of SB1070.

“Today is the day we have awaited for more than two years: the injunction against the heart of SB 1070 has been lifted, in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June. With SB 1070 in effect, state and local officers will be empowered to inquire about an individual’s immigration status, but only as part of a legal stop or detention and when the officer has reasonable suspicion,” Brewer said in a written statement.

How the law will be enforced is still unclear and immigrant rights that worry about racial profiling are calling on the President.

“President Obama has the moral responsibility and legal authority to to protect the people of Arizona, and we expect he will do everything within his power to pevent the discrimination, punishment, and suffering that will escalate under SB1070’s implementation. He must immediately instruct DHS and ICE to cut off Arizona’s access and to refuse to deport SB1070’s victims,” Pablo Alvarado, the director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said in a statement.

An ACLU representative told Colorlines.com they plan to continue to challenge SB 1070.

“Section 2(B) of SB1070 has opened the door to racial profiling, wrongful detentions and arrests, putting everyone’s civil rights at risk. Law enforcement resources are wasted when people are targeted based on their skin color, and our core American values of fairness and equality are compromised. The ACLU will continue to fight against SB1070,” said Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Right Project.

Tired of Chris Brown? There’s an App For That

Tired of Chris Brown? There's an App For That

Are you tired of Chris Brown and/or stories about Chris Brown’s neck tattoos? Well, if you use Google’s Chrome browser you are in luck.

There’s a Chrome extension called “Chris Brownout” that will “scrub” any mention of Brown’s name from the internet, at least from your access point.

The Canadian music channel Aux is behind the app. They’ve also got a “Nickelblock” plugin if you’re sick of Nickelback.

FX Renews W. Kamau Bell’s ‘Totally Biased’ for Second Season

FX Renews W. Kamau Bell's 'Totally Biased' for Second Season

Good news. Late night TV will continue to have a little color in it, at least on night a week. The FX Network just renewed Bell’s late night comedy show “Totally Biased.”

Deadline.com has more details:

The show, executive produced by Chris Rock, will wrape its six-episode first cycle this Thursday at 11 PM. The second cycle will begin on Thursday, October 11 in a new 11:30 PM time period, following the return of the revamped BrandX with Russell Brand that night at 11 PM. “What we’ve seen through five shows only reinforces our belief that Kamau is one of the sharpest, smartest and funniest young comedians in the business,” said FX EVP Nick Grad. “He brings an interesting perspective to late-night TV and has proven to be very comfortable in this format.”

Totally Biased, from Bell and executive producers Chris Rock, Chuck Sklar and Keri Smith Esguia, stars standup comedian W. Kamau Bell as he dissects politics, pop culture, race, religion, sex and the media. The show, produced by FX Prods., also features live guests and taped segments. Said Rock, “I’m very excited and looking forward to working with the good people at FX. Please don’t tell Rupert Murdoch.”

Bell is member of the board of Colorlines.com’s publisher the Applied Research Center.

Soledad O’Brien Asks Romney Aide if It’s ‘Just a Hot Mess In There?’ [Video]

Soledad O'Brien Asks Romney Aide if It's 'Just a Hot Mess In There?' [Video]

CNN host Soledad O’Brien asked Romney adviser Bay Buchanan on Tuesday if the campaign is just a hot mess!

“There’s a sense that the campaign is in big trouble,” O’Brien pointed out. “Bloomberg [News] writes, ‘Today Mitt Romney lost the election.’ Politico says the wheels are falling off. Is that correct? Is it just a hot mess in there?”

Watch a video clip from CNN’s Starting Point interview with Buchanan broadcast September, 18, 2012.

TAGS: hotmess

Pa. Supreme Court Leaves Voter ID Law in Limbo

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court just issued a ruling on the state’s voter ID law saying that the matter should be kicked back to the lower Commonwealth Court for further review. That court refused civil rights lawyers an injunction on the law back in August.

The ruling states:

“Upon review, we find that the disconnect between what the Law prescribes and how it is being implemented has created a number of conceptual difficulties in addressing the legal issues raised. … Overall, we are confronted with an ambitious effort on the part of the General Assembly to bring the new identification procedure into effect within a relatively short time-frame and an implementation process which has by no means been seamless in light of the serious operational constraints faced by the executive branch. Given this state of affairs, we are not satisfied with a mere predictive judgment based primarily on the assurances of government officials, even though we have no doubt they are proceeding in good faith. Thus, we will return the matter to the Commonwealth Court to make a present assessment of the actual availability of the alternate identification cards on a developed record in light of the experience since the time the cards became available.”

This is neither an up or down, for or against decision from the state supreme court, rather an acknowledgment that there are still unresolved questions with the law that deserve further review from the lower court.

Professor Daniel Tokaji, an election law expert at Ohio State University, tells Colorlines.com that the Supreme Court’s ruling is a “prudent approach to a complicated problem.”

Says Tokaji: “This is a very practical ruling to deal with a thorny problem — the basic problem is that if something isn’t done then a lot of people will be kept from voting by this law because the process for getting ID is a complicated and challenging one. I actually think the court ruled in a restrained and appropriate way, by sending the matter back to the lower court to make a present assessment about how available the ID is for voters.”

Meaning Commonwealth Court judge will have to re-examine whether there is a significant burden for Pennsylvania voters in obtaining ID to vote. Read more about the Pa. Supreme Court voter ID case in our post: “The Racial Burdens Obscured by Voter ID Laws.”

Obama Campaign Releases Ad Targeting Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Remarks

Obama Campaign Releases Ad Targeting Romney's '47 Percent' Remarks

The Obama re-election campaign is wasting no time to capitalize on Mitt Romney’s controversial comments that characterized 47% of voters as government-dependent “victims…who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it.”

The Obama/Biden just released an ad on YouTube that responds to Romney’s comments. The commercial features interviews with people on the street who are seeing video of Romney’s comments for the first time.

Colorlines.com’s economic justice blogger Imara Jones says Romney’s 47% comments have everything to do with race:

Many thought that Romney’s choice of Ryan was a calculated move to satisfy the fringe right. It now seems that it was made as a result of his own beliefs. Ryan’s muse, Ayn Rand, argued that Native Americans should be dispossessed of their property because they’d failed to produce a capitalist society on their own.

Romney’s private remarks were made in May, just before he launched a summer of economic race-baiting in an attempt to cleave white women from President Obama. Picking up Reagan’s successful racial code on welfare, Romney hoped to stoke economic resentment amongst whites to get votes. But the video lays bare the contempt that he has for them as well. Romney doesn’t seem to think that working class whites deserve help either.

Visit Jones’ “Mitt Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Remarks Have Everything To Do With Race” story to read more analysis.

More Asian Models at N.Y. Fashion Week, But the Industry Is Not Post Racial

As fashion labels see increasing opportunities for sales growth in Asian countries they’re filling up runways with Asian models. Early reports from New York Fashion Week held earlier this month show a striking rise in the number of Asian models on the runway but insiders warn the industry is still very racist.

The unprecedented number of Asian models at New York Fashion week comes two-years after American Vogue forecasted the “new wave.” Despite the fact the magazine has never featured an Asian women on it’s cover in the 40-plus year plus history, it proclaimed Asian models are “redefining traditional concepts of beauty.”

Jenny Shimizu in a 2005 CK One commercial.

Asian models on runways isn’t anything new, Marie Helvin, born to an American GI father and a Japanese mother, walked the runways in the seventies. Jenny Shimizu was all over the place in in the 1990s. Most recently Liu Wen became the first Asian face of cosmetics giant Estée Lauder and also Victoria’s Secret first Asian Angel.

What’s news here is that now you can’t have fashion show without an Asian model.

“Five seasons ago, you would be hard pressed to find one show or one season, one complete season in New York, that used even one Asian girl. And now you just wouldn’t have a show without one. And we’re actually, you know, fighting over them,” casting director Andrew Weir told Reuters in a video interview.

Ray A. Smith, tallied up the numbers for the Wall Street Journal and echoes what New York runway casting directors are saying: “While it has been rare for designers to feature more than two Asian models in a show, several this year, including Michael Kors and Jason Wu, used three or more. Overall, at 10 major brands’ shows, there were 26 Asian models, eight more than those brands used in the previous New York Fashion Week in February.”

Romney: ‘If I Was Latino I’d Have a Better Shot at Winning This Thing’

On Monday afternoon Mother Jones published “secret video” of GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney telling a group of wealthy donors that Obama supporters are freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don’t assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them.

Here’s what Romney said on tape:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

While that last comment is getting lots of media attention there are a few other winning quotes from Romney’s meeting with wealthy donors. Among them is the following, a quote from the video at the top of the page:

“My dad as you probably know was the governor of Michigan and was head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico. and uh, had he been born of uh, Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this thing.”

He also made other controversial comments:

Romney: “I wish we weren’t unionized so that you can go a lot deeper that you’re actually allowed to go.”



Romney: “Gosh I would like to bring in more legal immigrants.”



Romney “I was born with a silver spoon”.


In an emailed statement to Buzzfeed.com Obama campaign manager Jim Messina emailed the following statement: “It’s shocking that a candidate for President of the United States would go behind closed doors and declare to a group of wealthy donors that half the American people view themselves as ‘victims,’ entitled to handouts, and are unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives. It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.”

Newsweek Muslim Rage Cover Inspires Parodies

Newsweek Muslim Rage Cover Inspires Parodies

Minutes after Newsweek tweeted its controversial “Muslim Rage” cover and their own suggested #MuslimRage Twitter hashtag the internet fought back. Some users are even creating their own parody covers.

First things first, though. The Newsweek story is nothing to laugh about. Think Progress points out that the author of the story Ayaan Hirsi Ali has made controversial statements about Muslims in the past.

In a 2007 interview with Reason Magazine, Hirsi Ali called for Islam to be “defeated.” The interviewer asked: “Don’t you mean defeating radical Islam?” Hirsi Ali replied bluntly: “No. Islam, period. Once it’s defeated, it can mutate into something peaceful. It’s very difficult to even talk about peace now. They’re not interested in peace.”

“The imagery is extremely unhelpful to say the least. It is an extremely small fraction of the Muslim world that is acting out. For a legitimate, mainstream publication to portray the situation as “Muslim Rage” — as if this is a vast and widespread response among the all adherents of this religion — is only feeding this “clash of civilizations” mentality that is extremely unhelpful,” Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the Jerusalem Fund told Politico.

Check out the Twitter community response below:

Former Maricopa County Official Says Arpaio’s Office Covered Up Denial Of Insulin To Diabetic Inmate Who Later Died

Forty-six-year-old Deborah Braillard passed away January 25th, 2005, three days after Maricopa County Sheriffs arrested her on a minor drug charge when her car broke down. Her daughter Jennifer is now suing Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and four detention officers because they allegedly denied her diabetic mother insulin.

And as the case unravels in court there are some serious accusations being made against Arpaio’s office.

The former MCSO director of medical services testified for Braillard’s family against his former employer last week and accused the department of falsifying documents.

Dr. Todd Wilcox, a man who ABC15 identified as a “nationally renowned expert on correctional medical care and services,” says jail staff failed to properly identify Braillard as a diabetic when she was screened at intake and failed to provide appropriate medical care once she became ill.

ABC15 has more details from Wilcox’s testimony in court:

Dr. Wilcox said, “I remember going to lunch one day and coming back with my sandwich to find somebody controlling my mouse remotely and locating folders and documents.”

Wilcox said the medical screening document that should have been created when Braillard was booked into the jail is missing.

But MCSO has produced a document dated three days after Deborah Braillard was actually screened and hours after she had already been rushed to the hospital in an irreversible diabetic coma.

Wilcox acknowledged the form was apparently completed in just 59 seconds—an impossible feat given the number of questions that should have been asked of the detainee and answered.

Wilcox testified he eventually quit after he became so frustrated with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and the county’s “unwillingness to improve training, conditions and access to medical care for inmates and detainees.”

(h/t The Daily Dot)

Jay Pharoah Debuts as Barack Obama on Season Premiere of ‘SNL’

Jay Pharoah Debuts as Barack Obama on Season Premiere of 'SNL'

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Jay Pharoah made his debut as President Barack Obama on the show’s season premiere on Saturday.

The role of President Obama was previously played by Fred Armisen, (who’s Venezuelan, German and Japanese).

“SNL” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels announced the casting switch in an interview with The New York Times last week. Michaels said it was time “to shake it up.”

Romney Will Pledge to ‘Fix’ U.S. Immigration System in Los Angeles

Romney Will Pledge to 'Fix' U.S. Immigration System in Los Angeles

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be visiting Los Angeles on Monday to deliver a speech in front of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where he is expected to pledge he will fix the troubled U.S. immigration system. According to excerpts of the speech released to the media, Romney will court Latinos by reminding them about Obama’s inability to pass immigration reform and calling it a failure on his part.

“Candidate Obama said that one of his highest priorities would be to fix immigration in his first year in office. Despite his party having majorities in both houses of Congress, the president never even offered up a bill,” Romney will say, according to an excerpt of the planned speech obtained by Reuters.

Romney will vow to “work with Republicans and Democrats to permanently fix our immigration system,” while stressing that any plan must first ensure the integrity of U.S. borders - a problem on which the Obama administration says it has already made progress.

The comments come at no surprise. At an April fundraiser in Palm Beach, Florida Romney told his donors he would get the Latino vote by reminding them Obama didn’t pass immigration reform for them like he promised.

“I believe we can all agree that what we need are fair and enforceable immigration laws that will stem the flow of illegal immigration, while strengthening legal immigration,” Romney will say.

President Obama leads Romney by two to one with Latino. According to CBS News, Romney is speaking in front of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce because part of his strategy to cut into that margin is by targeting an estimated three million Latino business owners.

In the speech preview made available by the Romney campaign, the GOP candidate did not get into the specifics of how he would improve the deep divide between Democrats and Republicans on immigration issues.

Wisconsin Judge Strikes Down Gov. Walker’s Collective Bargaining Law

On Friday, Wisconsin Circuit Judge Juan Colas ruled that Governor Scott Kevin Walker’s collective bargaining reforms violate both the state and U.S. Constitution. Gov. Walker signed the anti-union bill in to law in March 2011 and took away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most workers.

Colorlines.com’s Editorial Director Kai Wright pointed out last year that much of efforts to curtail collective bargaining in Wisconsin were aimed at public workers, who are mostly black.

But as governors and columnists have painted pictures of overpaid, underworked public employee in recent weeks, I have also seen the faint outline of familiar caricatures—welfare queens, Cadillacs in the projects, Mexican freeloaders. It’s hard to escape the fact that, in the states and localities with the biggest budget crunches (New Jersey, California, New York…) public employees are uniquely black.

That’s an anecdotal observation on my part, but Steven Pitts at UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education is amid a study of black employment in the public sector. He shared some preliminary data with Colorlines that suggests these jobs are in fact significantly relevant to black America. Pitts’ data is thus far national, meaning it includes the public sector in largely white states (in the Plains and New England, for instance).

The proposal was introduced shortly after Walker took office in February last year and it was rushed to his desk the following month. Lindsay Beyerstein reported the details for Colorlines in March 2011:

In a shocking move, Republicans in the Wisconsin state Senate convened in the Capitol on Wednesday night to pass a union-busting bill without a quorum. The bill passed the State Assembly on Thursday afternoon, and Gov. Scott Walker signed it into law this morning. The Democratic state senators have returned from exile. Now, activists are shifting their attention to recall campaigns, court challenges, and even a general strike.

Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie told the AP he is confident the decision will be overturned on appeal.

It is unclear whether the law will be suspended immediately.

We’ll bring you more analysis soon.

Black Gay Comedian Wanda Sykes: ‘Only Way GOP Could Hate Me More’ Is If I Rolled Around in Pile of Welfare Checks

Black, gay and female comedian Wanda Sykes says the only way the GOP could possibly hate her more is if she sent them a video of her “rolling around on a pile of welfare checks.”

“I’m a black, gay woman,” Sykes said in her “NewNownext Vote with Wanda Sykes” special the LOGO network. “I think the only way to make the GOP hate me more is if I sent them a video of me rolling around on a pile of welfare checks.”

Sykes went on to identify as a triple threat to the GOP.

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