WASHINGTON — Writing in the Brookings Institution’s FixGov blog last week, political scientist Christopher Parker pondered House Republicans’ stubborn refusal to back immigration reform, despite support in the Senate and across wide swaths of the conservative commentariat. He surmises that House Republicans are balking because they “represent constituencies haunted by anxiety associated with the perception that they’re ‘losing their country’ to immigrants from south of the border.”
Recent polling backs this up. Significant numbers of conservatives, and white Americans in general, admit to feeling discomfort at the prospect of a non-majority white America. These views are even stronger among Tea Party-aligned conservatives. According to Parker’s polling, nearly two-thirds of Tea Party conservatives want to eliminate birthright citizenship, and 82 percent of Tea Partiers say they feel “anxious or fearful” about undocumented immigrants.
Another factor behind Republican recalcitrance on immigration and similar issues is the simple racial math underlying many House congressional districts. According to U.S. Census data, only 13 out of 234 Republican-held districts are majority-minority (that is, districts where white non-Hispanics make up less than 50 percent of the population). That’s about 5 percent of all Republican districts. In contrast, fully 49 percent of Democrat-held districts are majority-minority.
You can see how this looks in the accompanying chart, which plots one thin bar for every congressional district in the U.S., sorted by the white non-Hispanic share of the district population, and colored according to whether a Democrat or Republican holds the seat.
On the left side of the chart are districts with the lowest white non-Hispanic population share. These districts are overwhelmingly Democratic. The least-white district in the United States is New York’s 15th, which lies within the Bronx and is held by Democrat Jose Serrano. In terms of ranking by non-white population share a Republican district doesn’t show up until number 21 on the list — that would be Florida’s 27th, a majority Hispanic district with a large Cuban population, held by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
Republicans, on the other hand, are better represented on the right side of the chart. The whitest district in the nation (at 96.2 percent) is Kentucky’s 5th, represented by Republican Hal Rogers. There are a fair number of Democrat-held districts over here too — seats in highly liberal but overwhelmingly white New England states like Maine and Vermont, as well as some seats in West Virginia and the Northern Great Lakes region.
AMERICUS — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is now representing Mathis Wright in his civil lawsuit against the Sumter County Board of Elections and Voter Registration in U.S. District Court. And the Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted Wednesday to hire a law firm specializing in litigation involving Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
Wright filed his federal lawsuit earlier this year in an attempt to stop the Sumter County Board of Elections scheduled for March 18 and May 20. In the lawsuit, Wright says the school Board should not be changed from nine members to seven, and the districts should not be made to “mimic” the Sumter County Board of Commissioners’ districts nor should there be two at-large districts. Wright says the current redistricting plan, originally passed into law in 2011, is a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.
U.S. District Court Judge Louis Sands heard Wright’s request for a preliminary injunction. Wright withdrew the March injunction and later lost the May election injunction.
Wright claims that the current redistricting plan (five districts, aligned with the Sumter County Board of Commissioners plus two at-large seats) attempts to “pack black voters into two districts” and will force the result of a “white majority” in any school board elections under that configuration.
Federal Judge Mark Fuller is unlikely to face any professional repercussions because of his misdemeanor battery charge brought over the weekend after he was accused of a physical altercation with his wife at a downtown Atlanta hotel.
With a lifetime appointment to the federal court, the only way to remove a judge from the bench is via the long and complicated impeachment process and then a trial in the U.S. Senate, according to experts. Federal judges accused of felonies have not been immediately removed though some have resigned. Fuller is charged with a misdemeanor.
“He has life tenure,” said Stephen Bright, senior counsel at the Southern Center for Human Rights who also teaches at Yale Law School.
U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, who was visiting Atlanta from Montgomery, Ala., is charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly striking his wife and pulling out her hair during an argument over her allegations that he had been unfaithful.
Current and retired educators spoke out in favor of Common Core during a hearing Tuesday at Alexander High in Douglasville.
The educators, not often heard from during what has become an incendiary political debate, urged state leaders not to move away from the standards, which have been in place in Georgia for a couple of years.
“Our students will be better prepared,” said Denise Grentz, a retired teacher from Douglas County. “The Common Core will benefit students with high mobility. Let’s embrace the Common Core.”
Tuesday’s meeting, where most of the roughly 25 speakers who spoke support the standards, was the first of several that will be held in congressional districts throughout the state over the next few months as part of a review ordered by Gov. Nathan Deal.
State Board of Education members are holding public feedback sessions and will send what they hear to the University of Georgia for compilation. That information, combined with data from teacher surveys on the standards, will then be reviewed by the board.
The DeKalb County School District will hold five public meetings to solicit comment about a proposal to convert the district into a charter system.
The meetings will be at 6 p.m. at the following high schools and dates: Lithonia High on Aug. 26, Lakeside High on Aug. 27, Dunwoody High on Aug. 28, Towers High on Sept. 2 and Stephenson High on Sept. 3.
The fighting in the Middle East is resonating half a world away in Georgia’s heated political races, as Republican candidates question their Democratic rivals’ support for Israel.
Democrat Jason Carter faces criticism from Gov. Nathan Deal and other Republicans over his grandfather’s controversial view on Hamas, the militant group at war with Israel, while Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn is pushing back against accusations that she doesn’t support Israel strongly enough.
The GOP contenders hope to cast their opponents as indecisive amid turmoil in the Middle East, even as they step up attempts to appeal to Jewish voters and evangelical Christians who hold Israel dear. Their Democratic opponents see it as a distraction from other pressing issues, and they question the governor’s own support for the Holy Land.
The political dispute may be little more than a blip in an election centered on issues closer to home, such as Georgia’s reawakening economy and the future of its public schools. But Republicans have been able to ruffle Democratic feathers by taking advantage of unscripted moments.
An ‘ill-concealed anti-Semitism’
Carter’s campaign has long recognized that his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, poses a unique challenge with Jewish voters, who make up a tiny fraction of the electorate but are an important fundraising source. The ex-president infuriated many of Israel’s supporters in 2006 when he compared the nation’s treatment of Palestinians to apartheid.
Two thousand years ago there was a thriving commercial center and port on the coast of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) called Ephesus. In order to maintain its viability, the port had to be regularly dredged of silt deposits washed in by the Cayster River. Over time, however, the Ephesian government lost the will to maintain its port’s infrastructure, and, as it turned to marshland, the once mighty commercial center withered into ancient ruins.
Transportation has been at the heart of Atlanta’s progress since its creation. In the 19th Century, that meant railroads. In the 20th Century it meant the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The question before us now is how to upgrade our transportation infrastructure to meet our growing needs created by our earlier successes, because urban areas – even historically great ones like Ephesus or Metro Atlanta – are perpetually either in a period of growth and greater prosperity or steady decline. There is no standing still. Either we meet the infrastructure needs of our community or we slowly wither and die. (more…)
The ERTA included a 25 percent reduction in marginal tax rates for individuals, phased in over three years, and indexed for inflation from that point on. The marginal tax rate, or the tax rate on the last dollar earned, was considered more important to economic activity than the average tax rate (total tax paid as a percentage of income earned), as it affected income earned through “extra” activities such as education, entrepreneurship or investment. Reducing marginal tax rates, the theory went, would help the economy grow faster through such extra efforts by individuals and businesses. The 1981 act, combined with another major tax reform act in 1986, cut marginal tax rates on high-income taxpayers from 70 percent to around 30 percent, and would be the defining economic legacy of Reagan’s presidency.
Reagan’s tax cuts were designed to put maximum emphasis on encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship and creating incentives for the development of venture capital and greater investment in human capital through training and education. The cuts particularly benefited “idea” industries such as software or financial services; fittingly, Reagan’s first term saw the advent of the information revolution, including IBM’s introduction of its first personal computer (PC) and the rise or launch of such tech companies as Intel, Microsoft, Dell, Sun Microsystems, Compaq and Cisco Systems.
The RNC passed a resolution Friday describing how an estimated 500,000 students take the College Board’s Advanced Placement U.S. History course each year, a course it says is traditionally designed to present a balanced view of American history to prepare students for college-level history courses.
Yet the College Board, the RNC resolution states, has released a new framework for the course “that reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing the positive aspects.”
“In Cobb, we’ve got this covered because we would not be satisfied with only this broad framework, without identifying the historical components that kids should have exposure to.”
For example, for students enrolled in the AP History course, in addition to taking the AP exam, they also take the state’s End of Course Test.
“That is much more closely focused on more of the facts and historical characters,” [Cobb County Schools' chief academic officer] Davis said.
On Thursday, I’ll be speaking to The Georgia Tea Party during their meeting from 7-9 PM at the Roswell Street Baptist Church office building, east of the church campus, west of the big chicken at 900 Roswell Street, Marietta, Ga.
I’ll be discussing “Five things I learned in the 2014 Primary Elections.”
Nothing has done more to ruin young press operatives than Twitter. The basic blocking and tackling of press has been lost to the instantaneous food fight of the social media site famous for its 140-character delivery.
Snark, substance-less witticisms, and gotcha moments on social media have replaced the hard spade work of pitching stories, developing relationships with reporters, and the basics of an efficient press operation.
Social media has become the hot commodity for campaigns and like the snake oil salesman of the past, people are saying it will cure every political ill. But in the rush to rightfully develop a strong social media presence, too many young campaign operatives have lost sight of what actually moves persuadable voters.
Here’s some hard, foul tasting medicine: As all encompassing as Twitter seems in the Beltway Bubble, many voters, especially older voters who are your most reliable voting demographic, don’t use it. Some have no idea what Twitter is. And those who do are probably tweeting about the score of the latest baseball game, not the negative attack ad on TV.
Campaign communication plans need to be balanced with both traditional and new media, which means we need operatives who are balanced, and most importantly, know how to filter out the noise. As operatives we have to remember that Twitter is not a representative sample. One or two Twitter loudmouths can make minor issues seem tremendously important when they are, in fact, completely irrelevant.
Butterscotch is a 2-year old male, about 25 pounds, a happy guy with a great personality. His little nub tail is always wagging! He came in as a stray on 8/6/14 and no owner has come looking for him. He looks to be in good health. His eyes, ears, coat and skin all look good. He tested heartworm negative on 8/11/14 and was vaccinated (distemper/parvo) and dewormed on 8/7/14. He did very well interacting with another dog his size. He did the normal greeting, sniffing and wagging, and then showed play response when the other dog wanted to play. No aggression was seen. He’s got an excited personality, and is full of loves and kisses.
Mimi is about 9-10 months old, weighs 25 pounds, and is a little self-conscious of her underbite. But she doesn’t realize is that is what makes her so cute! She compensates her shyness with a gentle submission and just wants lovin’ and petting. She is very sweet and rolls over for belly rubs. She is on the submissive side with other dogs, but wags her tail and likes to play when she knows the other dog is a willing participant. She is only about 10 months old and is still a medium to small sized girl. She won’t be very big. She seems like a very good natured pup and will probably do very well with children. She was picked up as a stray on 8/11/14 and was vaccinated and dewormed here at the shelter the same day.
Your Ga Pundit correspondent interviewed SOS Brian Kemp about his new Georgia Votes app. This excellent app does many impressive functions including the MVP (My Voter Page), sample ballots, and polling locations – just to name a few.