DREAMers Call Romney’s Latest Spanish Language Ad Deceptive

Mitt Romney is repeating big promises he made to the immigrant community this week during the presidential debate. And this time, his campaign’s doing it in a new Spanish language ad. But immigrant rights groups say Romney’s misrepresenting his hardline anti-immigrant agenda, and today called on the Romney campaign to take the ad down.

“We need real solutions on immigration, and real talk,” said Erika Andiola, the political director of the Dream Action Coalition. “And we need to stop using empty words for the Latino community.” The empty words Andiola was referring to are from the ad released yesterday, wherein a narrator highlights President Obama’s well-known failure to get comprehensive immigration reform passed in his first term the way he promised to on the 2008 campaign trail. “Now, the Democrats say they never made a promise,” the woman says.

The narrator then says that Romney, meanwhile, has worked on a bipartisan plan to reunite families, establish a system for work permits and offer “permanent solutions” for undocumented young people, against a backdrop of images of a rather pleased looking Romney signing a bill, and Romney standing next tea party darling and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. The implication being that Romney would do what President Obama didn’t.

Andiola and other undocumented youth joined by other immigrant rights organizations said that the reality of Romney’s immigration record—in which he vetoed a state version of the DREAM Act when he was governor of Massachusetts, and during which he’s praised Arizona’s SB 1070 and staffed his immigration advisory committee with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the famed architect of SB 1070 and copycat laws like it—tells a very different story.

“I have to say the ad is a fraud,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, the D.C.-based immigration reform advocacy organization. Sharry said that much like other statements on immigration Romney’s made this fall, one day announcing a pro-immigrant stance and the next day having those remarks “clarified,” which is to say recanted, this ad represents more of that kind of tactic.

For instance, just this month, Romney declared that he’d protect the two-year deferred action program for undocumented youth if elected.

“The people who received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid,” Romney told the Denver Post in a surprise announcement. And yet, the very next day his campaign said that actually, Romney would not continue the program once elected.

The real evidence of Romney’s actual leanings lie in who he’s taking his immigration advice from, Sharry said. Kobach and Roy Beck, founder of the immigration restrictionnist organization NumbersUSA, which has attempted to roll back birthright citizenship for children born in the U.S. to immigrant parents, and tried to tie environmental concerns to his anti-immigrant agenda, among just a few of his pet projects.

Despite the warm tone Romney’s projecting toward Latino voters, who prefer President Obama by a wide margin, immigrant rights groups say Romney’s actual stance on immigration policy is far less friendly to the Latino community.

A True Army Responds to True the Vote Threats

Whatever shenanigans True the Vote and their tea party cells had or has in plans for November will run up against a brick wall in the form of civil rights lawyers and government officials who are striking back against threats to corrupt voting rights. News reports from across the nation this week are showing a formidable resistance to True the Vote’s operations, which include recruiting “a million” poll watchers and poll workers, and making voters feel “like driving and seeing the police follow you.”

It’s clear at this point that they won’t come anywhere close to a million, but whoever they recruit will be met at the polls by a much larger squad, an election protection team consisting of thousands of lawyers and poll watchers trained to answer any questions voters may have if approached or challenged by tea partiers who try to kirk out at the polls.

A few examples:

  • A group of Ohio state senators sent a letter to Sec. of State Jon Husted warning him of plans from True the Vote and their state affiliate Ohio Voter Integrity Project to challenge voters illegally. Sec. Husted responded by stating “he will act swiftly to investigate and seek prosecution of any offenders,” of voter intimidation, as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.
  • The Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights (IREHR) released a report about True the Vote’s infiltration and influence throughout the North Carolina electoral landscape, particularly through their local affiliate North Carolina Voter Integrity Project. While True the Vote says that they don’t target communities of color, the IREHR has mapped out predominantly African American communities where it reports True the Vote’s recruits will be focused (see below).


  • The labor group AFL-CIO held a conference call this morning where it discussed the deployment of its Lawyers Coordinating Committee, part of their My Vote, My Right voter protection program. Lawyers from Florida, Pennsylvania and Nevada described how they have already been fending off challenges and voter suppression efforts from True the Vote and their affiliates, well in advance of Election Day. Florida attorney Alma Gonzalez said their lawyer team is in regular communications with all but one of Florida’s county elections supervisors about True the Vote and have successfully blunted purges demanded by True the Vote’s recruits — the lone standout being Collier County, where purging has commenced. Said Gonzalez, “We have also communicated directly to True the Vote and (their local affiliate) Tampa Vote Fair that we are ready and we are watching them. We will also have poll monitors where we have seen Tampa Fair Vote’s efforts undertaken in order to protect those voters in those areas.”

  • Ari Berman reports in this week’s The Nation about the national Election Protection team, known by most voters by their help line 1-866-OUR-VOTE. Berman zoned in on Virginia where True the Vote’s affiliate Virginia Voters Alliance has been drumming up pipe dreams about “a tsunami of voter fraud” while recruiting and training hundreds of tea partiers for Election Day confrontations. But “The Election Protection coalition has been preparing for months to deal with voter suppression laws and vigilante groups,” writes Berman.

It’s probably especially important to have election protection forces in place in Virginia given that one of True the Vote’s most trusted advisors, Hans von Spakovsky, will be running elections there in Fairfax County. And that’s the thing — many people are focused on the damage True the Vote could do outside the polls, as watchers. But few are looking at their inside game, where they have positioned themselves to be selected as poll workers, the actual front line between you and the poll booth, and the eyes and hands handling provisional ballots. Thanks to a lot of great reporting and coverage, though, election protectors are hip to True the Vote’s game.

Mark Your Calendars: Trial Date Set for George Zimmerman

Mark Your Calendars: Trial Date Set for George Zimmerman

At a hearing on Wednesday, a trial date was announced for the man who killed Trayvon Martin. And it’s far away. George Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watchman who shot and killed the Florida teen in February will finally face his second-degree murder charges on June 10, 2013.

But, writes Los Angeles Times reporter Michael Muskal, there’s a chance Zimmerman could avoid a trial altogether:

Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson set the date, but the defense said there were still several issues pending, including a self-defense immunity hearing. Zimmerman has argued that he shot Martin in self-defense and acted legally under Florida’s “stand uour ground” law.

In a later tweet, defense attorneys said they would seek a stand-your-ground hearing in April or May. If they are successful, Zimmerman would not face trial in the shooting.

Trial details may be yet be uncertain, but some facts are undisputed. Martin was walking home the night of February 26 from the corner store, armed with those lethal weapons known as a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. And Zimmerman, on his neighborhood watch and armed with a gun, left his car against the directions of a 911 dispatcher he called. In a matter of minutes Martin was dead.

Catch up on the details of the initial incident here.

For-Profit Giant University of Phoenix to Close 115 Locations

For-Profit Giant University of Phoenix to Close 115 Locations

With profits on a sharp decline, University of Phoenix is doing what any publicly traded corporation would do—cutting its losses. Except the University of Phoenix is not just any company selling widgets and doodads. It’s the nation’s largest for-profit university, and it plans on closing 115 brick and mortar campuses, a move which the company’s owners estimate will affect some 13,000 students.

The news, announced Wednesday, comes on the heels of a dismal fourth quarter revenue report from the for-profit giant’s parent company, the Apollo Group. Revenue for that quarter dropped by 60 percent, the AP reported. The drop in revenue followed a parallel drop in enrollment. At its height the University of Phoenix had 400,000 students enrolled in programs offering everything from certificates to Ph.D.’s to students. Current enrollment is 328,000.

University of Phoenix President Bill Pepicello attributed the enrollment drop to the stagnating economy and students’ unwillingness to invest in their education at a time when their futures were so “uncertain.” But the enrollment drop has also coincided with the institution of federal regulations seeking to rein in the for-profit college industry.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Woman Starts Native American Fashion Mag

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Woman Starts Native American Fashion Mag

Here’s another reason to love good fashion. A 21-year-old woman who grew up on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation has created a new fashion magazine. It’s geared toward Native men and women, and non-Native Americans who want to learn about the culture.

Kelly Holmes says she founded “Native Max” magazine after getting tired of thumbing through issues of “Seventeen” or “Vogue” and not seeing models that looked like her.

The premiere issue cover of “Native Max” features Mariah Watchman, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon, who rose to fame following her appearance on “America’s Next Top Model” as the first Native woman to compete.

“Native Max” features interviews with Native artists, musicians, designers and models, as well as sections on health, beauty and sports. The magazine is also expected to tackle heavy issues like domestic violence.

“A lot happens in Indian Country, and we got them covered. News stories and headliners involving Natives. We’ll also pick out personal stories that can make an impact on lives and tell it. We also plan to pick out one troubled issue in Indian Country every quarter publication and raise awareness,” states the magazine’s ‘about’ page.

“There’s really no magazine, a Native-owned and operated, Native-designed magazine. There’s nothing like this magazine out there. The ones that do have stuff focused on younger people, they’re really vulgar and very revealing,” Holmes, who now lives in Denver, told the Associated Press.

The magazine’s nine staff members come from all over North America, including the Navajo Nation in Arizona and the Otomi and Yaqui nations in Mexico, the AP reports. Holmes has invested $1,000 of her own money in the project and is hoping the magazine pays for itself with advertising.

Holmes says the magazine is geared towards both Native men and women and non-Native Americans who want to learn about the culture.

New York City Terrorism Sting Latest In Line of ‘Entrapment’ Cases

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged a 21-year-old Bangladeshi man named Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis for attempting on Wednesday to to blow up the Federal Reserve building with what he believed was a 1,000 pound bomb.

But, the NY Times reports:

[T]he entire plot played out under the surveillance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department as part of an elaborate sting operation, according to court papers.

The case is just the latest in a string of New York City terrorism cases that involve the use of informants and concocted plots. In each case, federal agents or NYPD officers connect with young Muslim men who the agents aid in imagining, planning and orchestrating attacks. The agents then arrest the targets for conspiring to commit acts of terrorism.

Latino Worker Cooked to Death in Bumble Bee Tuna Cooker

Latino Worker Cooked to Death in Bumble Bee Tuna Cooker

A 62-year-old man was recently found dead inside a cooking device called a “steamer machine” at a Bumble Bee Tuna factory in Los Angeles. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.

Jose Malena died last Thursday when he became trapped inside the industrial-size pressure cooker and his family claims the company has offered no explanation to them.

“All they came and did was notify my mother that he had lost his life in an accident, and that’s it,” Tony Melena, one of the victim’s six children told the AP. “We don’t have any official report.”

“He was a hard worker,” his daughter Sara Melena told the Whittier Daily News. “A very hard worker.”

“He dedicated himself to providing for the family,” the daughter said. “He was very loving.”

“I believe he is with God,” Sara went on to say. “I can’t say, `God, why us?’ I just think everything has a purpose. God is not going to leave us alone.”

According to police records local authorities received a 911 call from the Bumble Bee plant Thursday morning to report an industrial accident. When officers arrived, they found the man dead.

Craig Harvey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office told the AP the man died in a device described as a pressure cooker.

Obama Won the Prize for Authentically Hugging His Wife at the Debate

Obama Won the Prize for Authentically Hugging His Wife at the Debate

Left: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney kisses wife Ann Romney after a town hall style debate with U.S. President Barack Obama at Hofstra University October 16, 2012 in Hempstead, New York.

Right: U.S. President Barack Obama hugs wife Michelle Obama.

(Photos by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

What You Need to Know: The ‘Binders Full of Women’ Directory

What You Need to Know: The 'Binders Full of Women' Directory

Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women” sound bite from last night’s debate spawned its own Twitter account, Facebook page  — with more than 271,000 likes, and counting — a Tumblr and countless other online memes.

Here’s the commend that led to it all: ‘I went to a number of women’s groups and … they brought us whole binders full of women,’ former Gov. Romney said at last night’s debate about his search to find more women candidates to work in his Massachusetts cabinet.

For starters, the statement was misleading. Romney did not direct women’s groups to bring him female candidates, Boston Phoenix reporter David Bernstein points out:

What actually happened was that in 2002 — prior to the election, not even knowing yet whether it would be a Republican or Democratic administration — a bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government. There were more than 40 organizations involved with the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus (also bipartisan) as the lead sponsor.

That, and the number of women working in Romney’s cabinet, actually declined by 27 percent. The Huff Post reports:

While 42 percent of Romney’s appointments during his first two and a half years as governor were women, the number of women in high-level appointed positions actually declined to 27.6 percent during his full tenure as governor, according to a 2007 MassGAP study.

In the end, whether it’s a Romney campaign or any corporate office ‘binders full of women’ do end up creating jobs. Amanda Hess at says she hopes the meme ends soon because ‘binders full of women create cabinets full of women:’

Romney’s lieutenant governor and chief of staff were both women. That puts Romney’s record on hiring women well above the national average. Binders full of women mean cabinets full of women.

Romney ended up dodging the question about equal pay for women. Akiba Solomon,’s ‘Gender Matters’ blogger, says he ended up advocating for cheaper labor instead.

By emphasizing the recruitment of women, straight-up ignoring the issue of equal pay, and classifying a standard end of the workday as a perk, Romney is actually advocating for cheaper labor along gender lines!

Romney Cares About All Immigrant Children, But Only After They Join the Military

Leave it to an undecided U.S. voter to force Mitt Romney to do what journalists the country over have been largely struggling to do for months—pin the GOP presidential hopeful down on his immigration agenda. Romney again reminded voters, despite his smooth talking, that he would pursue a plan even more aggressively anti-immigrant and hawkish than President Obama, who has deported a record-breaking 1.4 million immigrants during his presidency.

For starters, if elected president, Romney would support a federal military-only DREAM Act law which gives immigrant youth at most a green card. Such a move is in line with the Republican Party’s narrowing of the decade-old legalization bill for undocumented youth. But it’s a sharp departure from the DREAM Act’s long history as a bipartisan bill which would allow undocumented youth who commit two years to the military or higher education and clear a host of other prerequisites to be eligible for eventual citizenship. Romney’s plan would gut the DREAM Act. But furthermore, in Romney’s vision immigrant youth would have to put their lives at risk to fight for the country, but ought not to be given the right to vote in exchange.

Perhaps the biggest whammy of the night on immigration came when Romney interrupted President Obama, who was in the middle of describing Republican obstruction of any effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform that extended beyond enforcement-only policies. He talked over the president, claiming with what sounded like a retort and a move of uncalculated desperation at the same time, “I’ll get it done. I’ll get it done. First year.” As in, Romney pledged to get comprehensive immigration reform, a task that’s proven too difficult for the last two presidents, done in the first year. It was a bold statement. But, as Obama well knows, hardly the kind of thing worth throwing out casually. Obama made that same promise while he was campaigning in 2008, but repeatedly, and as a pledge to immigrant communities. It’s something immigrant communities won’t soon forget.

W. Kamau Bell Explains Why He Hates Science — Just Like Mitt Romney [Video]

W. Kamau Bell Explains Why He Hates Science -- Just Like Mitt Romney [Video]

In the second video in the “Actually…” series, comedian W. Kamau Bell explains why, like Mitt Romney, he hates science.

Bell’s video, published on on Tuesday, is a collaboration between American Bridge 21st Century and the Jewish Council for Education and Research (JCER.) The founders of say they plan to work with other comedians to make sure lies don’t go unchecked in politics.

Actress and comedian Rosie Perez released an “Actually…” video earlier this week also.

Who Are Those ‘Gangbangers’ Obama’s So Proud of Deporting?

Who Are Those 'Gangbangers' Obama's So Proud of Deporting?

President Obama used a new word during the presidential debate on Tuesday night to describe the masses of immigrants he’s deported during his tenure. He called them “gangbangers,” as in:

What I’ve also said is if we’re going to go after folks who are here illegally, we should do it smartly and go after folks who are criminals, gang bangers, people who are hurting the community, not after students, not after folks who are here just because they’re trying to figure out how to feed their families. And that’s what we’ve done.

The line was a curious one, given the reality of Obama’s deportation record, which has been marked by mass deportations to the tune of nearly 400,000 every year carried out at a clip unseen by any prior president. The Obama administration has defended its “smart” enforcement tactics by, as Obama did on Tuesday night, pointing out that it makes a point to deport those who have committed serious crimes and are a threat to their communities and national security. And yet, data collected over Obama’s tenure show that among the close to 400,000 people who are deported annually, far from being “gangbangers,” the vast majority have no criminal record whatsoever.

In preliminary data for the January-March 2012 quarter collected by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, for example, just 14 percent of those deported had any criminal record. (Immigration violations are typically considered civil violations, and do not constitute a criminal offense.) But, a closer look at the data shows that just 4 percent of those deported had a so-called “aggravated felon” on their record, an immigration court-specific designation of crimes that can include crimes as serious as rape and murder, but has also been expanded to include violations like theft or non-violent drug offenses.

The Scary, Familiar Way Romney Would Shrink the Food Stamp Rolls

The Scary, Familiar Way Romney Would Shrink the Food Stamp Rolls

Mitt Romney has taken to lambasting President Obama for record levels of food stamp enrollment, wielding the figures on the safety-net program to attack Obama’s economic policies. “How about food stamps?” Romney said at last night’s debate. “When [Obama] took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps.”

Indeed, Romney’s numbers are right. As a result of the recession, the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, added nearly 15 million new people to its rolls since Obama took office.

While Romney’s point is that his economic plan will foster growth and therefore lift all boats—“We don’t have to settle” for that, he said—when it comes to food stamps, Romney has plans for shrinking enrollment that have little to do with economic growth. Mainly, he’d just shrink the food stamp rolls, whether people need the program or not.

Romney Uses the Term ‘Undocumented Illegals’ in Second Presidential Debate

Romney Uses the Term 'Undocumented Illegals' in Second Presidential Debate

It was awkward from the start. Her name was Lorainne and Mitt Romney wanted to call her “Loraina.”

At last night’s debate, host Candy Crowley introduced a Latina speaker as Lorraine Osorio, and it appears the GOP presidential candidate wanted to one-up the host and make sure this Latina wasn’t a Lorena.

CROWLEY: Lorraine Osorio has a question for you about a topic we have not…

OBAMA: This is for Governor Romney?

CROWLEY: It’s for Governor Romney, and we’ll be right with you, Mr. President. Thanks. < ROMNEY: Is it Loraina?

QUESTION: Lorraine.

ROMNEY: Lorraine?

QUESTION: Yes, Lorraine.

ROMNEY: Lorraine.

QUESTION: Mr. Romney, what do you plan on doing with immigrants without their green cards that are currently living here as productive members of society?

Notice how Lorainne used “immigrants without their green cards” to phrase her question. Now take a look at how Romney answered.

“We’re not going to round up 12 million people, undocumented illegals, and take them out of the nation,” Romney said last night. “Instead, let people make their own choice.”

Self-deportation questions aside, was Romney about to use the more neutral “undocumented immigrant”? Maybe he caught himself and ended up saying “undocumented illegals”?

According to the more recent survey of Latino voters, Obama enjoys the backing of 70 percent of likely Latino voters. The CNN/ORC International survey also points out that number is slightly higher than the 67 percent of Latinos who voted for him in 2008.

An Illustrated Guide to All The Finger Pointing at Last Night’s Debate

My mother always said you should never point at people.

But at last night’s second presidential debate, pointing and sometimes wagging fingers sparred. GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s fingers thrived throughout the debate but so did President Obama’s fingers. At one point even host Candy Crowley got in to it.

The fingers pointed everywhere. Just take a look below.

Romney and Obama pointed at each other.


(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Both candidates pointed to get Crowley’s attention.


finger-pointing-debate-3.jpg (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Sometimes Crowley would point back.


(Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

Sometimes Romney pointed to the sky. finger-pointing-debate-5.jpg (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

L.A. City Council Committee Unanimously Approves ID Cards for Undocumented Immigrants

Undocumented immigrants are one step closer living beyond the shadows. On Tuesday, members of the Los Angeles City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee unanimously agreed to move ahead and study a city program that would provide undocumented immigrants with an official city identification card. The Los Angeles Times called the decision a “key vote” to move ahead with the cards.

Councilman Ed Reyes, a member of the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee, told the L.A. Times it’s “about time” that L.A. residents, regardless of immigration status, have the ability to easily open bank accounts and access city services.

California has the highest number of undocumented immigrants in the country. San Francisco launched similar ID card efforts in 2009.

Jeremy Lin on the Cover of GQ, Talks Race, Racism and Expectations

Jeremy Lin on the Cover of GQ, Talks Race, Racism and Expectations

825f744948606d512b7979d8e4fbe018_original.jpgJeremy Lin is on the cover of the November issue of GQ.

The $25 million point guard of the Houston Rockets tells the magazine that he holds no grudges against the New York Knicks for letting him go. He also talked race and racism. An excerpt from GQ’s profile of Lin titled “Rocket Man:”

But one thing Lin agrees his race did cost him might be best described as, in the words of George W. Bush, the soft bigotry of low expectations. The key part of Lin’s story, the reason the world was so inspired by him, was that he was never really given a chance. He was undrafted out of college and spent a year-plus in the Development League or at the very end of an NBA bench. “I’m going to be honest, playing in D-League games is tough,” he says. “We got way more fans at Harvard games. It feels like a demotion, and it feels like if you have one bad game then the thought gets in your brain: I might get cut.”

Lin felt this acutely. He tells me, to my shock, that when he graduated from Harvard in 2010 and wasn’t selected in the NBA Draft, he decided that if it turned out that he needed to play overseas (as is commonplace for those who don’t make the NBA), he was going to give himself one more year, and then he would quit and get a real job. “I absolutely would not have liked playing in Spain or somewhere like that, so I was just gonna do it a year,” he says. “Then I was gonna be done.” As a Harvard graduate, I ask him, what would you have done instead? He laughs. “I have no idea, man.” Lin really was that close to hanging up his sneakers at 23.

You might think his race has something to do with those perceived limitations after turning pro; Lin certainly does: “If I can be honest, yes. It’s not even close to the only reason, but it was definitely part of the reason.” And it didn’t end with Linsanity. “There’s a lot of perceptions and stereotypes of Asian-Americans that are out there today, and the fact that I’m Asian-American makes it harder to believe, even crazier, more unexpected,” he says. “I’m going to have to play well for a longer period of time for certain people to believe it, because I’m Asian. And that’s just the reality of it.” It’s not all that dissimilar from what Yao Ming went through. “When Yao came out his rookie year as the first pick of the Draft, you have Charles Barkley saying, ‘If he scores seventeen points in a game, I’m going to kiss a donkey’s butt,’ ” Lin says. “If you do it for long enough, I think you would get the respect.”

Visit to read the full story.

Florida Passes Education Plan That Sets Goals for Students Based on Race

Florida Passes Education Plan That Sets Goals for Students Based on Race

It could have been something remarkable. Public education policy which acknowledges the reality of race and inequity? Except, Florida’s recent attempt at doing so has sparked widespread, heated criticism. Last Tuesday, the Florida State Board of Education approved an education reform plan which lays out benchmarks for student improvement based on a student’s race.

A Tampa-based CBS affiliate reported:

[B]y 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent.

The plan also calls for fewer than 80 percent of students who are English language learners, or have learning disabilities or are from economically disadvantaged families to be proficient by 2018. And since then, the wider community’s risen up in anger—some have questioned whether the plan is “racist.”

“If Asians can have a goal of 90% in reading, why can’t whites, and other subcategories? So I would just ask my fellow board members if we are happy with the signal this sends,” said board member John Padget, WTLV/WJXX TV reported. But, board member Kathleen Shanahan made her case for the plan, saying, “I think we need to be realistic in our ability to impact those at the same degree.”

Supreme Court Refuses Republican Request to Halt Early Voting in Ohio

The Supreme Court has got plenty of big cases on its docket, but Ohio’s early voting won’t be one of them. Earlier this month a federal appeals court blocked the state from cutting off its early voting hours — and made plenty of conservatives angry. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused a Republican request to get involved in the dispute.

Ohio’s early voting window in 2008 included the Saturday, Sunday, and Monday before Election Day, which many black churches took advantage of in their “souls to the polls” campaigns that bussed voters to the polls after Sunday service. This boosted black voter turnout, something that upset Doug Priesse, a GOP county election board member, who said “I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.”

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted argued that local county boards of elections are too busy preparing for Election Day to accommodate early voters and that “voters already have at least 230 hours available to vote in person prior to Election Day.”

Husted’s decision led to the proposed restrictions that would have allowed only military members and their families to vote in person in the last three days before the Nov. 6 election.

Early voting has grown rapidly over the past few election cycles. In 2008, more than 30 percent of votes were cast before Election Day.

Obama currently leads Romney by 59 percent to 31 percent among early voters, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling data compiled in recent weeks.

Oprah Gives Photographer Terry Richardson The Thumbs Up

Oprah Gives Photographer Terry Richardson The Thumbs Up

Oprah’s cable network may be struggling, but she still looks fantastic. That’s more or less the feeling you get from her new photo shoot with the infamous — and controversial — photographer Terry Richardson, who snapped pictures of Winfrey for the November issue of “Harper’s Bazaar.” The queen of talk sported a red Jil Sander coat, a white Escada suit, and lots of Cartier and Harry Winston diamonds.

But what’s the big deal, you ask?

That Oprah actually let Richardson snap pictures of her.

Richardson is a busy advertising and editorial/fashion photographer but he’s also no stranger to controversy.

A quick Google Image search of his name will result in dozens of pictures of him nude, often with other models he’s photographed.

Jenna Sauers, a former model who writes for, told Fox411 in 2010 that she’s heard of several accounts of the photographer’s behavior: “I have heard from a lot of models that he has worked with that all say his M.O. is the same. You suddenly get naked and then he touches you and he goes further and further. But you’re surrounded by his assistants and they are validating his actions.”

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