As anybody with a TV, radio or newspaper subscription can affirm, the big story coming out of the 2012 election is the long feared/eagerly awaited arrival of the Latino Vote as a national political force capable of deciding a presidential contest. Latinos accounted for a record 10 percent of the electorate this year, and something north of 70 percent of them cast their ballots for Obama. Meanwhile, fewer Latinos than ever before voted for the Republican candidate. With the Latino segment of the electorate poised to continue expanding for many election cycles to come, leaders of both parties are tripping over each other to position themselves on immigration reform, and even in blood red states like Texas, GOP strategists are warning of imminent doom for their party if Republicans fail to break their cycle of addiction to racism, xenophobia and pandering to border-guarding lunatics.
The story is both accurate to a point and incomplete,
It’s a curious feeling, this brown-becoming, the “Latino vote” hurling itself over the fence as it were, saving Barack Obama from the ignominy of becoming the first black president to lose a reelection bid. I’ve been writing about the potential of the Latino vote going on three decades, and although we’ve had inklings of what kind of power it can wield (such as when it modestly pushed a few swing states toward George Bush in 2004), this time it’s at the center of the electoral narrative.
There was George Will on ABC, minutes after the election was called, talking about how Barack Obama could now put “immigration reform front and center, giving the Republicans a reef upon which they can wreck themselves.” Brian Williams and all the old school network anchors welcomed the “non-Cuban Hispanic” cohort (read: Mexicans, Central Americans, Puerto Ricans) to the national story.
It’s a curious feeling because,
Fifteen people have died and several hundred have been infected in an outbreak of meningitis contracted from contaminated spinal steroid injections. The numbers are growing and so is awareness of the growth of a little known corner of the pharmaceutical industry, called compounding pharmacies, which is responsible for the tragedy. “We’re nowhere near the end of this problem,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, told CBS This Morning.
The compounding pharmacies originally were supposed to provide customized medication for individual patients but have morphed into bulk manufacturers outside of FDA’s regulatory reach.
At the heart of the tragedy is the compounders’ successful track record blocking FDA authority that could have averted the disaster. Their efforts are a textbook model of industry opposition to new rules that could save lives. Their arguments are the same that the Chamber of Commerce and industry are using today to block clean air,
In October of 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the California Dream Act—which allows undocumented but high-achieving immigrant students to receive state funds to help pay for college. It was a monumental victory for tolerance and the culmination of a long fight—Arnold Schwarzenegger repeatedly vetoed similar measures during his tenure in the California governor’s office.
Come November 6, however, that fight could begin all over again if California’s Proposition 32 passes. The initiative will outlaw the use of automatic payroll deductions from union members and corporations for political purposes, crippling union political activity and empowering the measure’s billionaire backers to impose their political will on the state. While state unions passionately fought for the California Dream Act’s passage, they were opposed by politicians with ties to Prop. 32’s backers. Though they might not be rabid with anti-immigrant bile, Prop. 32’s moneymen have no problem funneling money to politicians who are.
Brothers David and Charles Koch, and other libertarian billionaire backers of Proposition 32, including Charles Munger Jr., like to wrap themselves in the toga of individual freedom. However, despite their supposed ideological fervor for personal liberties, they have allied themselves with some of the nation’s most vociferously anti-gay religious activists – all for a campaign to outlaw the use of automatic payroll deductions from union members and corporations for political purposes. Although it is not widely seen as a “gay issue,” Prop. 32’s passage could have far-reaching consequences for California’s gays and lesbians.
“If we lose organized labor as a funded political ally in California, the LGBT movement is in big trouble,” says Courage Campaign founder and LGBT activist Rick Jacobs. “Would you rather have Howard Ahmanson thinking about your rights in the workplace, or organized labor? That’s what this is about. Mark my words, people like the Kochs and Ahmanson are not thinking about how LGBT people are welcome in the workplace and not discriminated against.”