Jorge Rivas, Tuesday, September 18 2012, 3:10 PM EST
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.
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.”
Jorge Rivas, Tuesday, September 18 2012, 2:15 PM EST
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.
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.
Jorge Rivas, Tuesday, September 18 2012, 12:45 PM EST
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Jorge Rivas, Monday, September 17 2012, 11:52 AM EST
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.
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.”
Jorge Rivas, Monday, September 17 2012, 10:57 AM EST
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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).
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.
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.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Lorne Michaels, the longtime producer of Saturday Night Live, announced he’s taking the role of President Obama away from Fred Armisen, (who’s Venezuelan, German and Japanese) and giving it to Jay Pharoah, who’s African American and who actually does a good Obama impression (unlike Fred.)
The New York Post is reporting actor Samuel L. Jackson is filming a new political ad campaign in support of President Obama’s re-election campaign. And if the reports are true, the commercial is said to be filled with wonderful, colorful language.
The Post reports the ad will be similar to Jackson’s last viral video “Go the Fuck to Sleep,” in which the actor reads from a children’s book written by Adam Mansbach.
It’s paid for by the Jewish Council for Education and Research Super PAC — which earlier this summer aired an ad of comedian Sarah Silverman offering “free lesbian sex” to billionaire Sheldon Adelson if he stopped supporting GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Mansbach is said to also be writing the script for the new commercial expected to go live on YouTube on Sept. 24.
Jorge Rivas, Friday, September 14 2012, 12:49 PM EST
On Sunday, September 2nd, Rev. Otis Moss III, the pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL (where Rev. Jeremiah Wright was formally the pastor) took on invisible racism. Perhaps taking some inspiration from Clint Eastwood’s Republican National Convention invisible chair stunt Rev. Moss touches on history, the upcoming election, and voter suppression.
The Trinity United Church of Christ has launched a Change.org petition urging supporters to sign on to the campaign to end the “invisible racism that leads to Voter Photo ID laws that suppress the democratic rights of the elderly, people of color and the poor.”
Jorge Rivas, Friday, September 14 2012, 11:35 AM EST
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) has launched a groundbreaking Transgender and Gender Identity Respect Campaign that advocates are calling the first government-funded campaign focused exclusively on the betterment of transgender and gender non-conforming people.
The five campaign ads feature actual community members, and will appear citywide on bus shelters in the fall and winter of 2012.
“This District is committed to ensuring that all people are protected from discrimination, and that includes discrimination against the transgender and gender-non-conforming communities,” said Mayor Vincent C. Gray in a statement. “This landmark campaign from the Office of Human Rights is an important piece of a larger effort by my administration to ensure all residents have equal access to employment, housing and public services and accommodations regardless of gender identity or expression.”
D.C. residents and visitors who see an ad are encouraged to photograph it and post to social media using the hashtag #TransRespect, in hopes the campaign’s mission expands beyond D.C.
On my way to a briefing on Capitol Hill yesterday I stumbled upon a lively scene in a foyer at the Rayburn House Office Building. A bunch of beefy guys in suits or polo shirts or military garb were gathered around tables at the “Unmanned Systems Caucus Technology & Science Fair,” which was not a science fair like the kind I remember. This science fair, organized by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, was actually a drone show and on tables around the room sat some very fancy, very tiny flying things. The toys were mostly military devices that the company representatives said they’re now marketing to cops and civilians. Table hands from companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and RP Flight Systems told me they’d come to show the hottest new drones, robots and mini blimps to House members and staffers. They were there at the invitation of the above mentioned caucus, which notes on it’s website:
The mission of the U.S. House Unmanned Systems Caucus is to educate members of Congress and the public on the strategic, tactical, and scientific value of unmanned systems; actively support further development and acquisition of more systems, and to more effectively engage the civilian aviation community on unmanned system use and safety.
A rep from RP Flight Systems explained that his companies drones helped put out fires. But across the room a man in camo who looked just out of combat showed me his drone for cops.
Jorge Rivas, Thursday, September 13 2012, 3:30 PM EST
Lately it’s been a rare occurrence when President Obama talks race but at a campaign stop in Colorado Wednesday he mentioned it and even identified himself as mixed-raced.
“Education was a gateway for opportunity for me, let’s face it, as a mixed kid from Hawaii born to a single-mom, it’s not likely to become President of the United States,” Obama told supporters at a campaign stop Golden, CO.
The President was delivering a speech on how education can be a gateway of opportunity.
“A little black girl from the south side of Chicago, who’s mom is a secretary and dad is a blue collar worker, is not likely to become First Lady of the United States but it happens because she got a great education,” the President went on to say.
While the comments may seem ordinary they’re not. The last time the President addressed race was at the height of the Trayvon Martin media coverage in March and he didn’t actually use the words “race” or “black,” instead he went with “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”
“The bottom line is that in order to remain in the White House, the president needs to give this community [Latinos] a reason to show up at the polls. The number one issue for Latinos, like all Americans, is jobs and the economy.”
Jorge Rivas, Thursday, September 13 2012, 12:42 PM EST
Two suspected bank robbers that led Los Angeles police in a high speed car chase Wednesday threw fistfuls of cash out of the window as they were being pursued. Footage from news helicopters showed the suspects driving a black Volvo SUV and throwing dollar bills out the window as neighborhood residents ran out to pick up the cash.
“It’s our neighborhood stimulus package!” resident Diane Dorsey told the Los Angeles Times as she watched the mayhem from her front yard at the corner of Kansas and Vernon avenues.
The Huffington Post also points out a nearby resident called the local NBC affiliate to express similar “stimulus” gratitude.
“I’m just so glad this person came to throw this money in the ‘hood, basically,” said the An unidentified 23-year-old resident who called in to KNBC”. “You usually see robbers and they take their stuff and they leave. But this guy came over and tried to help us out … So It’s more like all of us are supporting the robbers and the cops.”
Witness tells @ktla reporter that the money thrown out in #SouthLA was their “stimulus package.” Gotta love people’s honesty. #pursuit
The South L.A. neighborhood, where the suspected bank robbers were finally apprehended, is one of the top three neighborhoods in LA County with the highest rates of foreclosures. According to the most recent records, 33% of the predominantly black and Latino residents in the 90037 neighborhood make less than $15,000 a year.
Jorge Rivas, Wednesday, September 12 2012, 5:50 PM EST
A group in Selma, Ala. known as the Friends of Forrest are renovating a monument honoring Civil War Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest who was the first “Grand Wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan. The City Council approved renovation is stirring controversy because some say the statue sits on public land.
Forrest, a slave owner and a slave trader, was tapped to be the Ku Klux Klan’s first Grand Wizard - or supreme leader, the KKK’s highest position — at a meeting in April 1867, according to Anti-Defamation League.
The memorial is being repaired after the bust of Gen. Forrest was stolen in March from the 7-foot-tall granite monument it rested upon at a cemetery in Selma, reported The Birmingham News.