Category Archives: Republinutiness

The Rove Memo on Latinos

Don’t characterize all Hispanics as undocumented and all undocumented as Hispanics

Karl Rove has developed a dos and donts memo for his Republican buddies when they get to talking about immigration. [OK, its the Hispanic Leadership Network, but who wrote it?] The fact that they have to develop something like this is quite funny, but I’ll admit having to correct some of our own right-wing Dems who have used negative terminology to get a vote. In fact, it may need to get to these Dems, too, since some of them who voted against the DREAM Act a few years ago tend to sound like Republicans.

I will give Rove some credit, since he’s tried to warn people on how negative stuff will hurt their Party. Still, playing semantics with people in order to appease them doesn’t usually work, since we already know how they really feel. Ultimately, if they want to make up for the crap they’ve tossed at Latinos and immigrants, they need to just vote for sensible immigration reform.

Here are a few:

When engaging in conversation or doing an interview on immigration reform:
Do acknowledge that “Our current immigration system is broken and we need to fix it”
Don’t begin with “We are against amnesty”

Note: Most everyone is against amnesty and this is interpreted as being against any reform.

Apparently, Lamar Smith didn’t get the memo, Karl!

The one in which Karl seems to call them out as dumbasses is this one.

Don’t use President Reagan’s immigration reform as an example applicable today
Note: That legislation was true amnesty; in addition, border security, fixing our visa system, and a temporary worker program were parts of the reform which were never implemented.

Of course, leave it to Rove to blame again, as they try to blame the entire failure of 1st term immigration reform on President Obama. The reality is when the DREAM Act came up, ZERO Republicans supported it. And when President Obama offered up DACA, Mitt Romney’s “immigration advisor” found some Border Patrol agents willing to sue to stop it. So, holster that finger, Karl! There’s enough blame to go around!

Well, at the very least, the White House and Democratic response to the Republican vitriol can be, “Didn’t you get Karl Rove’s Memo?”

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A Piss Test to Piss Us Off From Rick Perry

Two of the Republican Party’s recent losers want to blame women and children for their losses, apparently. Rick Perry and his boy Dewhurst have hit rock bottom and now want to require drug testing for beneficiaries of need-based benefits (welfare, TANF).

Senate Bill 11 would require applicants to the Texas Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to undergo a drug test. If applicants fail the test, they would not be eligible to apply again for a full year, unless they attended a substance abuse treatment program. The bill was written by state Sen.Jane NelsonR-Flower Mound, and several other Republican lawmakers.

I guess they missed the whole loaves and fishes part of the Bible.

“Adding insult to injury,” Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, said in a press release, “is that Perry would pay for the drug testing out of the very TANF funds that should go to provide assistance to people. In other words, he’s taking about $350,000 worth food and assistance from all families from the general TANF grant just to try to find a few violators.  This is simply callous and perverse.”

Dewhurst says businesses test their employees, as part of his defense. As much as I disagree with businesses who do that, people in need are not employees and the State of Texas would be a failed and boarded up business by now. Defend all you want, this is just wrong and lacks any humanity the Republicans may have had left.

LULAC Sues Sumner and Harris County Over VR Rejections

Apparently, Don Sumner and the Tax Assessor-Collector’s office has been purging v0ters, and, according to LULAC, more Latinos and African Americans than any other demographic group. Read the lawsuit here.

The suit alleges the county has violated the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and the plaintiffs’ Constitutional rights, and claims Sumners’ office has not followed the terms of a 2009 settlement of a previous lawsuit brought against the county’s voter registration processes by the Democratic Party.

The suit also claims minorities were disproportionately impacted by a recent effort by Sumners’ office, at the direction of the Secretary of State, to purge presumed dead voters from the rolls using Social Security Administration data. Sumners has announced he will delay that purge until after the Nov. 6 election.

Obviously, something on which to keep an eye. The County Attorneys office in charge of defending any lawsuit against the County. The County Attorney is a Democrat. This isn’t about Democrat vs Republican, though. It’s about protecting voters.

Michael Li has more.

Romney Changes Mind – He Will End DACA

Mitt has clarified himself on the whole DACA thing. I figured he would because his original statement left a huge opening. According to the Boston Globe, he is now saying:

“Responding to a Globe request to clarify Romney’s statement to the Denver Post, Romney’s campaign said he would honor deportation exemptions issued by the Obama administration before his inauguration but would not grant new ones after taking office.”

He’s trying to talk like he’s already been elected.

His original comment (emphasis mine):

“The people who have 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. I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased.”

So, there you go. Mitt Romney has actually said nothing about this issue. He’s trying to hedge his bets, I guess. Since only 29 applications have been approved, thus far, and tens of thousands more seem to be waiting until Obama is re-elected, looks like Mitt really is telling us how he really feels about DREAMers.

How it progressed to this:

#2: Has Anyone Asked Mitt About Kobach’s DACA Lawsuit?

#1:  DACA Support Should Have Been No-Brainer For Romney

Is Romney Done?

Frankly, I don’t tend to believe that Romney is done. With a little less than 50 days out, anything can happen. Although the GOP looks divided among those who have distanced themselves from Romney’s obvious disdain for people on any type of assistance, including Seniors, Vets and students, and the far-right which actually runs their media, it seems Romney is doubling down and taking the far-right, “hate the poor,” approach from here on out.

Now, was Romney’s 47% comment an insult? Of course! Beyond insulting the poor, Seniors, Vets, and students (also student-workers), Romney insulted a nice chunk of those who still support him despite his awful policy proposals on the economy and health care. Democrats seizing on the opportunity by railing on Romney is just one part of the equation. Turn out of the poor, which more than likely is lower than most of the electorate, is crucial. As far as Romney is concerned, is telling his prospective support within those in the safety net, “I didn’t mean you people, I meant those people” and a wink-wink enough?

It is pretty obvious that Romney was attempting to speak to that 5 to 10 percent of undecided and/or independent voters who would easily believe that our federal budget is bloated with freeloaders–which we know is not.

About 13 percent of the federal budget in 2011, or $466 billion, went to support programs that provide aid (other than health insurance or Social Security benefits) to individuals and families facing hardship. Spending on safety programs declined in both nominal and real terms between 2010 and 2011 as the economy continued to improve and initiatives funded by the 2009 Recovery Act began to expire.

Another 20% goes to Social Security–those freeloading senior citizens!!! And another 21% goes to Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP–healthcare for those who need it. So much for Romney-Ryan’s fake defense of Medicare.

Some Indies may feel that 13% is too much, but the way Romney stated that he would not even worry about the 47% more than likely left some of these folks a bit shocked. Sure, millionaires may talk about the poor in this way in cigar rooms and country clubs, but not on video!

No, Romney is not done, but as he presses forward without apology, he is sure to strengthen his far-right base, continue alienating once prospective supporters (wink-wink), and give those who seldom vote a reason to show up at the polls.

This does not a winning combo make. How Democrats seize on this opportunity to create a narrative that works for down-ballot candidates becomes even more important from here on out.

Did Ann Just Lose The Other 30% of Latinos?

I heard Ann Romney spoke to right-wing Latino group, the Latino Coalition today. Basically, she told Latinos to get over our biases.

It really is a message that would resonate well if they could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the Democratic machines that have made us look like we don’t care about this community.

Considering 65% to 70% of Latinos remain supportive of Obama, and the issues that most resonate with us are economy and jobs, immigration (usually in response to Mitt’s self-deportation attack), education, and health care, I’m thinking Latinos are biased because we prefer more progressive ideas on these issues, not because we’re being told by “machines.” But leave it to Ann Romney to try to think for us.

Of course, much like Ann tried to humanize her husband last night with women, she tried to be a little human with Latinos today by trying to “connect” with them.

“I had the most rocking time in Puerto Rico at a political rally than I’ve ever had in my entire life. You people really know how to party. It was crazy!”

There she goes with the “you people,” again.

Perry: Deferred Action Does Not Affect Texas

A favorite line of anti-immigrant, anti-Latino Republicans is that immigrants are somehow obtaining welfare and other benefits that are supposed to be for “real ‘merkins.” Today, Rick Perry seems to have gotten his messages confused when he announced that the Obama policy change called Deferred Action does not affect Texas.

These guidelines do not change our obligations under federal and Texas law to determine a person’s eligibility for state and local public benefits. Federal law prohibits conferring such benefits to most unlawfully present aliens, absent a state law to the contrary. In Texas, our legislature has passed laws that reflect the policy choices that they believe are right for Texas. The secretary’s directive does not undermine or change our state laws, or any federal laws that apply within the State of Texas. I expect our state agències to continue to comply with and enforce the laws for the protection of our citizens, communities and state treasury and in fulfillment of our constitutional duty as officials within the executive branch.

Well, I’m so glad that the Republican Governor of Texas has reiterated that immigrants are not eligible for benefits in Texas. Maybe his fellow Republicans will stop the lies about Latinos and immigrants being a burden on the state. Of course, I’m sure glad he’s also willing to admit how heartless Republicans are by cutting off immigrant children.

Obviously, he couldn’t pull a “Brewer” on this one, since Texas is way ahead on attempts at anti-immigrant, anti-Latino legislation, like no benefits or driver licenses for immigrants.

When All Else Fails, Compare the Platforms

Whenever I get into a debate with a Republican–a sensible, meaningful one–I usually find out that they are clueless as to how the party they favor actually feels about certain issues. Usually, they’ll go by some touchy-feely response or quote made by one of their candidates to determine the “party line.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, although the vast majority of Republicans live by their platform, we do have a few errant Democrats who feel the need to venture away from certain planks, especially on immigration. Take, for example, the guy that just replaced the former Arizona Congresswoman. Both were among the most anti-immigrant Democrats–right up there with the doofus from North Carolina that used to be a quarterback.

Still, what the Party faithful determine as their planks are usually what keeps me in my Party. And being the honest guy that I am, I’ll point to “our own” who fail to meet those principles. Still, unless you carry a copy of the platforms with you, the only way you can pick a party is if some candidate has a macaca moment that defines the other side. So, here’s a breakdown from the Texas Democratic Party that will make it easier.

From the GOP, A Worker Exploitation Immigration Plank

It seems there’s some excitement at what the rightest in the right are calling a Republican “amnesty” for immigrants. What the GOP calls a “market-based approach” is actually George W. Bush’s immigration plan they slammed down back in 2006–an all new Bracero program.

It addresses immigration by creating “The Texas Solution” and calls for a temporary worker program “to bring skilled and unskilled workers into the United States for temporary periods of time when no U.S. workers are currently available.”

The program would require participants to pay fees and fines, pass a criminal background check, prove they can afford private health insurance and waive rights to apply for public financial assistance.

“Because of decades-long failure of the federal government to secure our borders and address the immigration issue, there are now upwards of 11 million undocumented individuals in the United States today, each of whom entered and remain here under different circumstances,” the document states. “Mass deportation of these individuals would neither be equitable nor practical.

“We seek common ground to develop and advance a conservative, market- and law-based approach to our nation’s immigration issues.”

Better yet, it’s more like Debbie Riddle’s, “Leave my maid alone” plan from the last legislative session. And since when has he GOP come to an agreement that the number actually is 11 million? That was surprising.

To balance things out, the GOP also seems to want to codify the existence of the Minutemen.

The document supports creating and maintaining a volunteer Constitutional State Militia, defends Texas’ state sovereignty…

So, at least they gave the nutbags that much, right?

With their hatred of Gays and the poor, do you really think they’ve gone “lib’rul” this time?

CAP’s Top 10 About Texas Demographics and Immigration Politics

The Center for American Progress put this Top 10 list together about Texas, which includes links to the facts and pertinent info to back it up.

Read it, feel it, then go out and vote in the Democratic Primary!

A Look at the State’s Emerging Communities of Color

Washington, D.C.—On today’s Texas’s Republican primary, the Center for American Progress released 10 important facts about immigrants and people of color in the state that display their significant economic, cultural, and electoral power.

1. Communities of color are driving population growth in Texas. Texas is one of five states in the country where people of color make up the majority of the population. Between 2000 and 2009 Hispanic population growth accounted for 63.1 percent of all growth in the state. Texas’s black and Asian populations—2.8 million people and 850,000 people, respectively—were the third largest in the country in 2010.

2. The majority of children in Texas are children of color. For children under age 5 in the state, children of color outnumbered non-Hispanic white children 2.2-to-1 in 2011. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in 2009, 64 percent of the state’s children were of color.

3. Houston is the most racially and ethnically diverse metropolitan area in the country. According to a report from Rice University, the percentage of Latinos in the region increased dramatically from 20.8 percentin 1990 to more than one-third at 35.5 percent in 2010. This thriving racial and ethnic diversity places Houston at the head of the state’s rapid demographic changes.

4. Nearly a third of immigrants in Texas are naturalized—meaning they are eligible to vote. In 2010 immigrants comprised 16.4 percent of the state’s total population. That year there were 1.3 million naturalized U.S. citizens in Texas, approximately 32 percent of immigrants in the state.

5. Voters of color make up a growing portion of the Texas electorate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos accounted for 20.1 percent of Texas voters in the 2008 elections. African Americans and Asians comprised 14.2 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively, of the state’s voters that same year.

6. Even more Latinos are eligible to vote but are currently unregistered. According to the political opinion research group Latino Decisions, there are 2.1 million unregistered Latino voters in Texas in 2012. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that there are an additional 880,000 legal permanent residents (green card holders) in Texas who are eligible to naturalize and vote for the first time. Put together, this means Texas has close to an extra 3 million potential voters this fall.

7. The Department of Justice blocked a Texas voter ID law that threatened to disenfranchise Hispanics. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, far fewer non-Hispanic voters—4.3 percent, compared with 6.3 percent of Latino voters—lack a proper photo ID, which voters would have been required to show under the law. Texas’s own state data listed 174,866 registered Latino voters without an ID.

8. Communities of color add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Texas’s economy through entrepreneurship and spending. The purchasing power of Latinos in Texas increased more than 400 percent from 1990 to 2010, reaching a total of $176.3 billion. Asian buying power increased by more than 650 percent in the same period to a total of $34.4 billion. And in 2007 Texas’s nearly 450,000 Latino-ownedbusinesses had close to 400,000 employees, and sales and receipts of $61.9 billion.

9. Immigrants are essential to the economy as workers. In 2010 immigrants comprised 20.9 percent of Texas’s workforce. As of 2007, 21 percent of Houston’s total economic output and 16 percent of Dallas’s economic output was derived from immigrants.

10. Immigrants contribute to the state economy through state and local taxes. In 2010, according to the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, undocumented immigrants in Texas paid $1.6 billion in state and local taxes.

Vanessa Cárdenas is Director of Progress 2050 and Angela Maria Kelley is Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress.