Romney’s New Ad Gets Obama’s Welfare and Food Stamps Policy All Wrong

Romney's New Ad Gets Obama's Welfare and Food Stamps Policy All Wrong

The Romney campaign has released a TV ad titled “Can’t Afford Another Term,” that makes misleading claims about President Barack Obama’s welfare policy and slanders food stamps.

“If you want to know President Obama’s second term agenda, look at his first: gutting the work requirement for welfare, record unemployment, and more women in poverty than ever before,” says the male voiceover in the ad. “Doubled the number of able-bodied adults without children on food stamps. Record unemployment. More women in poverty than ever before,” the commercial goes on to claim.’s investigative reporter says the Romney campaign has made welfare and food stamp bashing a central part of it’s strategy to win the White House, convinced as ever that it can appeal to the GOP base by attacking programs for the poor.

Wessler emailed the following statement about the ad:

In the lastest ad, Romney resurrects the thoroughly discredited idea that Obama gutted welfare’s work requirements. (In fact, the waiver the administration offered to states would make it easier for welfare systems to move recipients into jobs.) The ad lumps welfare and food stamps together, again lambasting the President for large food stamp roles. The narration is careful not to slander all food stamp recipients, focusing instead on “able-bodied adults without children on food stamps.” The message is clear: Obama’s in the business of giving handouts to the underserving.

The Huffington Post reports the ad is running in markets that include Cincinnati, Dayton, Parkersburg, Wheeling and Zanesville, in Ohio. It’s also running in Colorado Springs and Grand Junction in Colorado; Gainesville, Jacksonville, Panama City and Tampa in Florida; Davenport, Omaha, Ottumwa and Sioux City in Iowa; Rochester, N.Y.; Las Vegas; and Charlottesville and Roanoke in Virginia.

Bush’s Heckuva-Job FEMA Director Criticizes Obama For Responding to Sandy ‘So Quickly’

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown, who faced a great deal of backlash for the Bush administration’s handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is back in the headlines. This time he’s offering advice and criticism for Obama on how he should’ve dealt with Hurricane Sandy.

On Monday, before Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New York City, Brown told the Denver Westword that Obama holding a press conference at FEMA yesterday might have been a bit premature.

An excerpt from the Denver Westword’s story titled “Michael Brown, ex-FEMA head, has advice, criticism for Obama about Hurricane Sandy:”

“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on this so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” Brown said. “Why was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi.”

Brown resigned from his position as director less than two weeks after Katrina hit.

(h/t Think Progress)

Texas Trooper Kills Guatemalan Immigrants in Aerial Shooting

Texas Trooper Kills Guatemalan Immigrants in Aerial Shooting

A Guatemalan diplomat says she doesn’t understand how a Texas Department of Public Safety airborne sharpshooter could just shoot at truck carrying nine Guatemalan immigrants. Texas officials say the sharpshooter that was on a helicopter was only trying to disable the vehicle and was unaware that the truck was carrying any passengers.

Alba Caceres, Guatemala’s consul in McAllen, Texas says she interviewed seven of surviving passengers that were on the truck and that all of them were in “agreement that the helicopter was 450 to 600 feet away” when the trooper fired. She told the Associated Press Monday she couldn’t understand how the troopers could fire on a vehicle without seeing people stuffed into the cabin and bed. “Neither you nor I believe it,” she said.

The Rio Grande Valley’s has more details:

The Guatemalan consul here says two countrymen who were killed by an airborne DPS sharpshooter last week have been identified as family men who were seeking a better life for their children back home. […] Both men — who hail from San Martin Jolitepeque, Chimaltenango, Guatemala — were with a group of seven others riding a red Ford pickup that was being chased Thursday afternoon by Texas game wardens, state troopers and other law enforcement officers. A Department of Public Safety helicopter joined the chase as the truck traveled near the intersection of Farm-to-Market Road 2221 and Mile 7, north of La Joya.

Caceres identified the two men killed as Jose Leonardo Coj and Marco Antonio Castro.

Geoffrey Alpert, a University of South Carolina professor of criminology and an expert on police chases, told the Associated Press the trooper’s decision to fire on the truck was “a reckless act” that served “no legitimate law enforcement purpose.”

“In 25 years following police pursuits,” Alpert said, “I hadn’t seen a situation where an officer shot a speeding vehicle from a helicopter.”

The Texas Department of Public Safety has placed the trooper on leave following the shooting. The Monitor reports the agency said the sharpshooter opened fire thinking that the chased pickup truck was carrying drugs — not people.

Rapper Jasiri X’s New Video Calls Out This Election’s Silence on Poverty

Rapper Jasiri X's New Video Calls Out This Election's Silence on Poverty

Pittsburgh rapper Jasiri X new music video for the song “Don’t Forget About The Hood” looks at how issues about the poor and those living in poverty have been “forgotten” this election season.

“See cause we broke they forget about the hood, So when you vote don’t forget about the hood,” Jasiri X raps in the video directed by Emmai Alaquiva. “I ain’t telling folks don’t get up out the hood, just when you living good don’t forget about the hood.”

Jasiri X goes on look at other issues that are making headlines this election season, including the rate of deportations and new voter ID laws. He also wonders what happened to all of the energy and organizing that took place in the wake of the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin.

“Do we remember Trayvon or is the pain gone, Do we remain strong or did we move way on, Remember when we all had pictures in our hoods, Did we forget about the hood,” Jasiri X raps.

Jasiri X’s comments about the role of poverty this election are not only the honest truth, he also utters the words that both President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney have avoided.

After the first presidential debate last month,’s Seth Freed Wessler wrote a story titled “Near Silence on Poverty in the Presidential Debate,” that looked at how the words poor people, low income people, and poverty weren’t used at the debate.

“In a presidential debate about the economy in this time of prolonged economic downturn and high poverty, the near eclipse of explicit talk of poverty and low-income Americans takes work,” Wessler wrote on October 4th.

“Both described the struggling middle-income Americans they’ve run into the on the campaign trail, but not poor folks. Obama offered that he’d like to build ‘ladders of opportunity into the middle class,’ but still, no talk of the people at the botton of those ladders,” Wessler went on to say. called “Don’t Forget About The Hood” the “most important song you’ll hear all year”, and “a remarkable music video.” Hip-Hop journalist Davey D called it, “an incredible song and video.”

Earlier this year, Jasiri X flipped Biggie Smalls’ “10 Crack Commandments” to the “10 Frisk Commandments,” a song that offered 10 recommendations for those “who get harassed just walking down the street.”

Who’s Going to Fix NYC Subways After Hurricane Sandy? Public Workers

Who's Going to Fix NYC Subways After Hurricane Sandy? Public Workers

Editors note: Some of our Facebook community members pointed out our original headline was unnecessarily raced. And you know, they were correct. The point here is that many politicians have attacked public workers over the past two years using racist dog whistles, and have succeeded because the jobs are so crucial to workers of color in general. Today, we celebrate them—all of them. Their crucial work amid Hurricane Sandy is a reminder why race-based attacks hurt us all. 

The worst of Hurricane Sandy may be over for the residents of New York City, but we’re still a long ways from normal. At a press conference on Tuesday morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg summarized the damage: the death toll is close to a dozen and rising, more than 60,000 residents are without power, and the city’s massive subway system has been crippled by flooding.

As workers and city officials try tirelessly to get the Big Apple back up and running, it’s worth taking a minute to look at how race keeps the city going. Chances are, if you were stuck inside and had the luxury of ordering a pizza or calling an emergency worker about downed power lines, that worker was likely someone of color. In his presser this morning, Bloomberg noted how dangerous the work is to get the subways back on track. “Subway workers have to walk the thousands of miles of track to inspect the subway tunnels,” the mayor said. Here’s a quick demographic look at New York City’s subway workers:

  • Three out of five urban transit workers are black or Latino.

  • A majority are at least 45 years old.

  • Nearly 80 percent are New York City residents.

  • Almost 35 percent live in Brooklyn.

  • The work is, almost by definition, is a health hazard

It’s almost a rite of passage to complain about a city’s subway system, and no matter what city you’re in, transit workers are almost always represented poorly by the media and criticized for issues that are far beyond their control. But it’s in times like these when we all start to realize just how important their work is to our lives.

Atlantic City Mayor Wants To Meet Chris Christie ‘Mano-A-Mano’

gov-atlantic-city-lorenzo.jpg Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford on Tuesday pushed back at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s criticism of his handling of Hurricane Sandy, saying he would “love nothing better than” to confront Christie “mano-a-mano.”

During a press conference Monday, Republican Governor Christie, called the Democratic mayor, whom he has criticized in the past, “a rogue mayor” who’s “impossible to work with.”

Christie blasted Langford for having opened shelters in Atlantic City just before the Governor announced evacuation plans.

“Despite my admonition to evacuate, he gave them comfort for some reason to stay,” Christie said, adding that he “cannot in good conscience send rescuers in as the storm is about to hit in the next hour, nor can I send them in in the dark given all the various hazards that would occur potentially for them.”

But on Tuesday morning Mayor Langford told NBC’s Matt Lauer that Christie’s comments were not accurate.

“I’m telling you that that is absolutely false and the governor needs to say where the source is, where did he get his information, he’s dead wrong,” Langford told NBC News.

In other Gov. Christie related news, he’s praised President Obama for his assistance before, during and after Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey.

“I have to say, the administration, the president, himself and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far,” Christie said on Good Morning America Tuesday morning. “We have a great partnership with them.”

In Haiti, Officials Fear Rising Food Prices and Increase in Cholera Cases

In Haiti, Officials Fear Rising Food Prices and Increase in Cholera Cases

Almost three years after an earthquake devastated Haiti, the country now faces another threat after Hurricane Sandy: rising food prices and an increase in cholera cases in Caribbean nation where storm killed 52 people.

Al Jazeera has more details:

The UN is warning that flooding and unsanitary conditions could lead to a sharp increase in cases of cholera, while aid workers are worried that extensive crop damage will mean that food prices will rise.

Extensive damage to crops throughout the southern third of the country, as well as the high potential for a surge in cases of cholera and other water-borne diseases, could mean Haiti will see the deadliest effects of Sandy in the coming days and weeks.

Haiti has reported the highest death from Sandy so far, as swollen rivers and landslides claimed at least 52 lives, according to the country’s civil protection office. The Washington Post reports that Hurricane Sandy rendered 18,000 of the estimated 370,000 families living in tent camps homeless. The Bri Kouri Nouvèl Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads) team went into one of the camps to see the situation of the people living there.

“We are hungry, things for me are bad, our tarp is torn,” a woman tells the camera in the video below. “It’s misery.”

Since October 2010, a cholera outbreak has hit almost 600,000 people and killed more than 7,400 in Haiti.

Sandy also destroyed banana crops in eastern Jamaica as well as delete the coffee crop in eastern Cuba.

TAGS: Haiti Sandy

Bloomberg: Don’t Worry About Prisoners at Rikers Island

Bloomberg: Don't Worry About Prisoners at Rikers Island

UPDATE 5:51PM EST: Department of Correction spokeswoman Robin Campbell said Rikers Island can withstand a category 4 hurricane. More details below.

At a press conference on Tuesday, New York City Mayor Bloomberg told reporters to not worry about prisoners at Rikers Island, New York City’s main jail complex getting out. Rikers Island, sits, in the East River between Queens and the mainland Bronx—all areas that have been labeled with moderate and possible likelihood of being evacuated due to risk of flooding.

Natasha Lennard at has more details and context on Bloomberg’s statement:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tellingly misinterpreted a reporter’s question during a pre-Sandy press conference Sunday. When asked about what would happen on Rikers Island — New York’s main prison complex - during the storm, Bloomberg responded, “Jails are secure … Don’t worry about anyone getting out.”

He did not consider that the journalist was in fact asking about the well-being of the near 17,000-strong inmate population, incarcerated on water-locked landfill.

The official permanent population of the island, as reported by the United States Census Bureau, was 11,355 as of 2009.

“Given its elevation, Rikers Island can withstand any storm up to and including a Category 4 hurricane,” Department of Correction spokeswoman Robin Campbell said in a statement. ” Rikers Island facilities are not in low-lying areas, and therefore like nearby small islands Roosevelt Island and City Island, is not seriously threatened by severe flooding.

The average daily inmate population of New York City Department of Correction (DOC) fluctuates between 12,000 and 17,000.

A Few Apps, Tips, and Websites to Get You Through Hurricane Sandy

A Few Apps, Tips, and Websites to Get You Through Hurricane Sandy

If you’re on the East Coast, chances are you’re hunkered down for Hurricane Sandy. We’ve put together a quick list of tech tips that may help you ride out the worst of the storm.

Power up!  Remember to power up your devices in case of a power outage… Use airplane mode,Turn off wifi and dim screen brightness as much as possible to prolong battery life. Follow this link for instructions for Macbooks.

Hurricane? There’s an app for that. The American Red Cross has launched its official Hurricane App, putting lifesaving information right in the hands of people. This free app is the second in a series to be created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. It gives instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes.

There are a bunch of additional apps for disaster preparedness for both Android and iOS-based phones. Android users can check out Disaster Alert by PDC Scanner Radio Pro which allows you to peruse the databases of police, fire, EMS and coast guard transit radio. Apple users can find a similar service in the Emergency Radio app, and everyone can grab the Pocket First Aid & CPR app, which gives real-time alerts on active hazards around the world.

Another essential site is which will help you make an emergency plan, put together a disaster kit and give you advice on what to do in a variety of situations from earthquakes and flooding to evacuation and contagious diseases.

And if worst comes to worst and you need a primer on CPR techniques, check out these tips from the American Red Cross.

When a good ole’ fashioned radio isn’t available, try these: Listen to live audio from over 2,900 police and fire scanners, weather radios and more via these apps for Android  and the iPhone.

Congress Could See The Largest Number of Latinos Elected to House

Congress Could See The Largest Number of Latinos Elected to House

The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), says a total of 49 Latino candidates are seeking House seats this year. The group says at least 27 are likely to win on Nov. 6, including 22 incumbents or Latinos who would replace other Latinos.

According to the Associated Press, the combined group of candidates have the potential to make history as the largest class of Latinos ever to enter Congress, “in the largest increase in seats held by Latinos in a single election.”

An excerpt from NALEO’s “Latino Opportunities in State Legislatures” executive summary is below:

Latinos are running for state legislative offices in 39 of the nation’s states. Of the 373 Latino state legislative candidates identified for this report, 265 (71%) are running in states which are the traditional Latino population centers (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Texas). More than one-fourth of the candidates (108 or 29%) are running in other states, a sign that Latinos are mobilizing for enhanced electoral opportunities in regions with emerging Latino communities such as the Plains States, the Midwest, and the Deep South.

Latinos in State Senates: After the 2012 general election, the number of Latinos in State Senates could increase by as many as 10, from 67 to 77.

Latinos in state lower houses: After the 2012 general election, the number of Latinos in state lower houses could increase by as many as 27, from 190 to 217.

The outcome of the 2012 state legislative elections may also provide some insights into the impact of certain political and policy trends on Latino representation. The election results will help reveal the extent to which Latino candidates were able to prevail in districts created during the 2011-2012 redistrictings to provide the Latino community with enhanced electoral opportunities. In California, as a result of a ballot measure which established the state’s “top two” primary system, candidates of the same political party are facing each other in the general election in some districts, and the outcome may help inform the public dialogue about the impact of this system on Latino candidates - a dialogue which is also occurring in the 2012 election season as Arizona voters decide whether to adopt a similar ballot measure.

Depending on how many Latino candidates win, the percentage of House seats held by Latinos could be nearly on par with their representation in the U.S. population.

Report: Government Abandoned Integration of Housing For Decades

Report: Government Abandoned Integration of Housing For Decades

When President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act in 1968, a week after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he declared that none of the of civil rights bills passed in the preceding decade “is more important than this.”

Johnson’s excitement centered on language requiring federal housing officials “affirmatively further” fair housing, to ban racial discrimination in housing, and end redlining, block busting and forced segregation. Not only did the Fair Housing Act prohibit explicit discrimination. It compelled the government to actively foster integration. The bill created an office of civil rights tasked with withhold Housing and Urban Development grants, a key source of federal dollars, when projects failed to address racial division.

It was a carrot and stick strategy of the highest kind.

But as an investigation released today by ProPublica shows, the enforcement side of the Fair Housing Act has scarcely been utilized in the law’s 44 years in existence. The words “affirmatively further” have never been defined, and efforts to curtail housing segregation have been repeatedly sidelined, undercut and defanged by every administration since Johnson.

“People say integration has failed,” a Clinton administration fair housing official told ProPublica journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. “It hasn’t failed because it’s never been tried.”’s Akiba Solomon on Reproductive Rights and the Election's Akiba Solomon on Reproductive Rights and the Election

Akiba Solomon,’s “Gender Matters” blogger was a guest on earlier this week to discuss reproductive rights and the 2012 Election. She was joined by the president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, Andrea Miller. Naral Pro-Choice fights for birth control, sex education, healthy pregnancies, and a woman’s right to choose.

HIV-Positive DREAMer in Urgent Need of Medical Care Stuck in ICE Custody

A petition is urging U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to immediately release and end deportation proceedings for a 27-year-old HIV-positive DREAMer that was held in a Florida detention center without medical care. According to the petition, Wasington Coelho Ribero went in to the Krome Detention Center with a “healthy viral load count” but his health deteriorated after he was denied medical care for four months.

“When he entered Krome, his viral load count was good and he was healthy,” the petition explains. “On October 4th, however, Wasington was transferred to a hospital and told that his viral load count had increased to the point that he needed to go on ‘the cocktail,’ a potent regiment of medicines reserved for HIV+ individuals whose health is deteriorating.”

Activists are urging Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano to immediately stop Ribero’s deportation because they claim he is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligible DREAMer, a low-priority for deportation, and because he will continue to suffer if he is not released.

Felipe Matos, a field director with GetEQUAL, offers more details via The Huffington Post:

A few weeks ago, a friend and fellow organizer brought to my attention the case of Wasington Coelho Ribero, a 27-year-old Brazilian immigrant who is a gay man living with HIV in a detention facility in Miami. This young man arrived in the U.S. when he was only 12 years old. He was the victim of an uncle back in Brazil who had molested him from age 10 to age 12. Since he arrived at Krome Detention Center four months ago, his health has declined significantly. He went from a healthy viral load count to what witnesses to his health condition are calling “falling apart due to medical neglect.” […]

Now Wasington is in a detention center without the proper care for his medical condition, and his condition is worsening. According to a petition calling on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director John Morton to release him immediately, he has developed sores on his feet and white spots on his entire body.

Senator Marco Rubio and Sen. Bill Nelson are also listed among several other Florida elected officials on the petition.

Visit for more information on the petition.

Forever 21 Withholds Labor Records After Feds Ask About Sweatshops

Forever 21 Withholds Labor Records After Feds Ask About Sweatshops

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed an action to enforce a subpoena issued to Los Angeles-based apparel retailer Forever 21 seeking documents related to the company’s apparel contractors and manufacturers. The Department initially issued the subpoena on Aug. 16. but the company has not complied with the demands.

A recent investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division found significant evidence of violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions by vendors supplying goods to Forever 21.

“We are disappointed that Forever 21 has refused to cooperate with the subpoena, particularly given the significant problems we have found among its suppliers. Since 2008, our investigators have identified dozens of manufacturers producing goods for Forever 21 under sweatshop-like conditions,” said Ruben Rosalez, regional administrator for the division in the West. “When companies like Forever 21 refuse to comply with subpoenas, they demonstrate a clear disregard for the law, and the Labor Department will use all enforcement tools available to recover workers’ wages and hold employers accountable.”

The Korean-American-owned Forever 21 has been confronted with allegations of violating labor laws before.

In 2004, Forever 21 settled a lawsuit brought on by The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) representing 19 Latino garment workers that alleged unfair and unlawful business practices and sought unpaid wages, damages, and penalties. The settlement included a commitment by Forever 21 to take steps to promote greater worker protection in the local garment industry.

APALC’s case and campaign is the subject of “Made in L.A.,” an Emmy award-winning documentary film that follows three Latina immigrants who are part of the lawsuit. The New York Times’ Andy Webster called the film “an excellent documentary about basic human dignity.”


But despite Forever 21’s labor practices making national news the business is still booming.

Forever 21’s New York Time Square store handles between 200 and 600 boxes of new merchandise every night.

Just yesterday, the same day the Department of Labor announced legal action against Forever 21, Glamour Magazine’s “Slave to Fashion” blog announced a partnership with Forever 21.

“The collaboration is running for 3 months in 480 (!!) stores across the country, and in each store there will be a special Glamour section with items I’ve hand-picked to help you get the look,” a blog post on “Slave to Fashion” explained.

Perhaps “Slave to Fashion” isn’t the appropriate place to announce the partnership considering the new allegations that Forever 21 may be working with sweatshops.

Romney Camp Says Obama is Taking Latino Voters for Granted

Earlier this week we published a story about President Obama saying that if he was reelected it’ll be because the GOP has ignored Latinos. Now the Mitt Romney camp is firing back.

“Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community,” Obama told the Des Moines register.

Buzzfeed spoke to Romney’s adviser Alberto Martinez about the President’s comments.

“It’s a fascinating glimpse into how President Obama has taken the Hispanic community for granted for the past four years,” Martinez said.

“The whole episode underscores why millions of Hispanics are deeply disappointed with President Obama. Hispanics view President Obama as a weak leader who makes promises he can’t keep and has pursued policies that have failed all Americans.”

Deported Father Granted More Time To Fight For His Kids

Deported Father Granted More Time To Fight For His Kids

Felipe Montes, a deported father who federal immigration authorities allowed to return to the United States in August so that he could fight for his parental rights, has been granted an extension to his humanitarian parole.

Montes was deported from North Carolina in late 2010 for driving violations and his children were placed in foster care. The Alleghany County child welfare department refused to return the three young boys, now 1, 3 and 4-years-old, to their father’s custody and the family was at the brink of permanent separation. The foster families caring for the children want to adopt the boys.

In February, broke Felipe Montes’s story and the Latino advocacy group launched a petition demanding the family be reunified. Over 20,000 people singed the petition and with the help of the Mexican consulate in Raleigh, NC, Montes applied for permission to return to the United States for his hearings. In August, federal immigration authorities made the rare decision to allow Montes to return to the country for 90 days. The initial parole required that Montes return to Mexico on October 29th.

The father and his court appointed attorney, Donna Shumate, expected the three months would be enough time for the case to conclude, but instead, the hearings have dragged on. Earlier this week, Montes was preparing to leave the United States without his kids.

But on Thursday, Montes’s attorney confirmed that federal authorities will allow him to remain until December 23rd. The next court hearing about his parental rights is scheduled for November 19th.

“I got a chance to get the kids back before I leave,” Montes told “I got all the way back here and I didn’t want to have to go to Mexico without them.”

Mitt Romney + Poor People = Hilarious? [Video]

Mitt Romney + Poor People = Hilarious? [Video]

In the fifth Actually… video Elon James White tries to figure out what Mitt Romney means when he says, “The poor are taken care of.”

White is a Brooklyn-based comedian, writer and creator of the award-winning web series “This Week in Blackness,” a satirical look at race, politics and pop-culture in a so-called “post-racial” America and the award winning radio show “TWiB Radio.”

White’s video, published on on Wednesday, is part of the “Actually…” series, a collaboration between American Bridge 21st Century and the Jewish Council for Education and Research (JCER.) The founders of say their plan is to work with comedians to make sure lies don’t go unchecked in politics.

“The Actually..”. ad campaign (which was the #1 political ad campaign last week according to the WSJ) was created by Elon James White and the co-creator of “The Daily Show” Lizz Winstead.

You can tune in to White’s radio show “TWiB Radio” Monday through Thursday at 1:30pm EST. Watch the show at TV.TWIB.ME or listen at TWIB.FM.

*An earlier version of this story misidentified the name of White’s radio show.

93% of Front-Page Election News Stories are Written by White Reporters [Infographic]

93% of Front-Page Election News Stories are Written by White Reporters [Infographic]

The latest infographic from 4th Estate shows that over 93% of front page print articles, covering the 2012 Presidential Election, were written by white reporters. The percentage of articles written by Asian American reporters is 3.3%, by black reporters is 2.9%, and Latino reporters is 0.7%.

(Full infographic below.)

The Dallas Morning News stands out as an exception where 18.8% of their front page stories were written by black reporters, according to 4th Estate.

At three percent (3%), The New York Times has the highest percentage of front page stories written by Latinos.

The Boston Globe had the highest percentage of front page articles written by Asian Americans at 11.5%.

“The most striking under-representation of minorities in our data is that of Hispanic journalists, considering the Hispanic population stands at approximately 16.3% of the U.S. population (according to the 2010 Census),” the 4th Estate study noted.

Latinos are the fastest-growing and second largest population group in the United States. According to projections from the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, more than 12.2 million Latino voters are expected to cast ballots on Election Day, an increase of 26 percent from 2008.

Earlier this week President Obama acknowledge Latinos are a huge factor in the 2012 election.

“Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community,” Obama told the Des Moines Register.

(h/t The Atlantic)

Winner of Trayvon Martin Look-Alike Contest to Receive Prize

Winner of Trayvon Martin Look-Alike Contest to Receive Prize

A Topeka teenager is scheduled to receive an award on Friday for winning a Trayvon Martin Look-Alike contest.

The contest was organized by C.E. “Sonny” Scroggins, a longtime Topeka activist, and founder of the Kansas Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee.

“He looks just like Trayvon when he has his hoodie pulled up,” Scroggins told the Topeka Capital Journal.

The Topeka Capital Journal has more details:

The winner of a local Trayvon Martin look-alike contest will receive an award Friday afternoon during the Grant Cushinberry Birthday Celebration at an East Topeka park named after the city’s beloved philanthropist.

Event organizer C.E. “Sonny” Scroggins said Taveion Lamb, a Topeka teenager, will receive his award shortly after 3 p.m. Friday, after school lets out, at Cushinberry Park, 335 S.E. 15th.

Lamb was selected as winner of a Trayvon Martin look-alike contest earlier this year in Topeka.

The look-alike contest was organized in part to draw attention to other Scroggins’ other rallies urging state officials to overturn “stand your ground” laws across the country.

“The stand your ground laws need to be repealed or replaced,” Scroggins said in a press release. “Vigilante justice has no place in the United States or Kansas.”

Is Apple’s New iPad Mini Video the First to Include More Than White Guys?

Is Apple's New iPad Mini Video the First to Include More Than White Guys?

With almost every new Apple product launch the company releases an introduction video to help explain why the product is so revolutionary. The videos generally premiere at press conferences where Apple unveils new products, then the videos live on and YouTube where they’re seen by millions of Apple devotees.

Historically, the product videos have included a carousel of any number of Apple’s top twelve executives against a white background talking their new products up. The execs in the videos celebrate Apple innovation and tout lines like “this new Apple product is 18% thinner than it’s predecessor and it took an incredible cross-collaborative effort to do this.”

apple-carousel-1.jpgSince Apple was founded their advertising has consistently included models and actors of color alongside their products. But because all of Apple’s top twelve executives are white males, their product intro videos have been a carousel of white talking heads touting new technologies.

Until Tuesday.

It appears that the iPad mini product video released Tuesday, for the first time, prominently included someone who wasn’t a white male.

The representation of people of color in product launch videos is more than just about diversity at Apple. It’s about equity, and seeing people of color who make it to the top, AND have a say, and represent the company. That’s a lot different from just diversity in hiring or advertising.

The 4-minute video prominently features Michael Tchao, one of the original developers of Apple’s groundbreaking but failed Newton personal digital assistant. Tchao, who left Apple in 1994 before retuning in 2009, is currently the vice president of iPad product marketing.

In March 2011, Tchao made a short appearance in an iPad 2 video, however he is featured more prominently  in this latest video iPad mini video.

“One of the things that makes iPad so incredible is that there is almost no end to what you can do with it,” Tchao says in Apple’s new marketing video. Tchao appears alongside Jonathan Ive, Apple’s celebrated senior vice president of industrial design, and Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering.

Apple did not respond to calls and emails made to confirm Tchao is the first person of color to be prominently featured in an Apple product introduction video. All the historic product intro videos available online on YouTube and Apple’s site only feature past and current white executives.

Before returning to Apple in October 2009, Tchao was general manager of Nike’s Techlab the company’s technology arm, which designed armbands and sneakers that integrate with iPods and iPhones.

Tchao first joined Apple in March 1986 as a product line manager, according to his Linkedin profile. He graduated from Stanford University in 1986 with a BS in Engineering and Product Design. He joined Apple shortly after that same year as a product line manager. He left Apple in 1994—four years before Apple discontinued the Newton.

Tchao has been back Apple since 2009 and has had a number of roles but he’s never appeared in any of the product videos.

apple-ad-poc.jpgTo be clear, Apple has included people of color in their advertising since the company was founded. A female Asian model was included in a 1977 Apple II ad and most recently you can regularly see brown and black hands holding iPods, iPhones and iPads in Apple ads. At one point the company even featured labor activist Cesar Chavez in an ad campaign—problematic for many reasons, but especially because the ads were airing while Apple headquarters was in a labor dispute with their janitorial crew.

But the product introduction videos have been different—until Tuesday the executive product intro videos only featured white males.

The integration of Tchao in the introduction videos comes at an interesting time.

High end U.S. and European companies are increasingly included Asians and Asian-Americans in their advertising in an effort to attract buyers in Asian countries.

Google regularly features Asian and South Asian engineers demonstrating products in product launch videos. Google’s videos have also featured women.

That could be why Apple finally included someone who wasn’t a white male in their video. But this seems like it’s more than that. Perhaps a person of color finally made it to the top at Apple, the world’s most valuable company. And that’s a big deal.

After nearly 50 years of applying anti-discrimination laws, American workplaces are still dominated by white men. As’s publisher Rinku Sen pointed out last week, “Men of color and all women have more access to some jobs than they used to, but the ranks of decision makers come nowhere close to reflecting our numbers in the nation as a whole.”

Apple’s third retail store in Beijing, and its largest in Asia, opened this past Saturday. Elsewhere in Asia, Apple has also dealt with unacceptable (read: deadly) worker conditions in manufacturing factories.

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