The Cancer That’s Killing Democracy

March 12, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: gerrymandering

ger·ry·man·der
ˈjerēˌmandər
verb
gerund or present participle: gerrymandering
  1. manipulate the boundaries of (an electoral constituency) so as to favor one party or class.

Gerrymandering has been blood sport in the US almost since the founding where partisans established districts that favored one party over another.  Both sides did it for decades up until computer modeling raised it to an art form in the early 2000s.

Starting in 2002, pushed by good ol’ Tom Delay, Texas Republicans rammed through a mid-decade redistricting that turned state politics on its head to take control of the state house and delegation to Washington.  The result has been a slow death spiral of our state by almost every measure causing declines in education, health care, and infrastructure lead by screwballs like Louie Gohmert, Dan Patrick, and Blake Farenthold.

To make matters worse, Republicans, knowing that their constituency of white angry people is aging and shrinking, have continued to tighten their grip to maintain power as the demographics of Texas push them into the minority.  When they yet again gerrymandered Texas districts in 2011, using computer technology and a technique called “packing and cracking”, people who tend to vote Democratic were either packed into small districts or spread out so much that their votes didn’t count.  These techniques discriminate against not only white Democrats, but disproportionately affect Hispanics and African Americans.

Friday, the story began to change when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the redistricting plan of 2011 saying,

“The record indicates not just a hostility toward Democrat districts, but a hostility to minority districts, and a willingness to use race for partisan advantage.”

The court also noted the “strong racial tension and heated debate about Latinos, Spanish-speaking people, undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities.”  Finally, a federal court has spoken the truth about those who lead Texas – that they’re racists.  The record of open hostility to minorities convinced the majority that this wasn’t just simple gerrymandering, which is bad enough, but actually a strategy to keep the votes of racial minorities from counting.

This judgment will very likely end up in an appeal to the Supreme Court.  In the meantime, Texas has to go back to the drawing board.  It’s about time.

 

 

Make Racists Scared Again

February 03, 2017 By: Juanita Jean Herownself Category: Uncategorized

Dammit.

I live in one of the most racially diverse counties in America. On purpose. I am going to a small political planning meeting on Monday night and, counting just off the top of my head, there will be naturalized immigrants or first generation Americans from Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada (seriously!). There will also be blacks, Hispanic Texians (they didn’t cross the border, the border crossed them), and some guys from Minnesota which counts as a foreign country in Texas. We will come up with some excellent ideas because we are diverse, not in spite of it. I love that.

I love my county and my neighbors. Until this.

This letter was left on the front porch of an Asian family in my county.

 

 

Hey, dude, you left out the Hindus and Buddhists.  Probably couldn’t spell it, right?

What a sick little wimpy coward.  Leaving anonymous notes on someone’s front porch under cover of darkness.

I feel pretty damn certain that white sheets were involved.

Now here’s the “Ignorant Sumbitch” part of this. In my county the 628,000 residents are a mix of 36 percent Anglo, 21 percent black, 24 percent Latino and 20 percent Asian or other.  Do you really think the 36% of you can take on the rest of us?  Good luck with that math, guys.

 

 

Paladino’s Friends

December 28, 2016 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election, Trump

Days after sending a hateful and racist email about the Obamas.  Trump New York campaign co-chair, former candidate for governor and career bigot, Carl Paladino, now says the the email was only meant for his friends, and was mistakenly sent to Artvoice in response to a 2016 year-end survey.  In his response, he said he wanted President Obama dead and Michelle to live as a man in Africa with a gorilla.  How nice.

Carl, if you think your friends would like your racist and sexist tirade, then your friends suck as bad as you.