Category Archives: Poltics

Vote on November 6th

vote, elections, midterm elections, gay voteFew things frustrate me more than people who complain about the current political climate but do nothing to improve it. I wish that Americans followed politics half as close as they follow the Kardashians, but sadly that isn’t the case. It is for this reason, I believe we have a reality ‘star’ as our current President.

Tuesday, November 6th is election day in all 50 states. If you are registered but don’t know where to go or if you didn’t register but want to change that so you can vote in the next election visit: vote.org.

Adam Rippon talks about midterm elections

U.S. Olympian, Adam Rippon, explains everything you need to know about the upcoming midterm election, what’s at stake if you don’t show up at the polls on Nov. 6 and why YOUR vote matters.

ROCK THE VOTE on NOV 6TH

Addicted to Serial podcast season 3

SERIAL Season 3 Episode 1 || Artwork by Melody Newcomb

The podcast series SERIAL is back again with a third season and it seems as if they’e found their mojo again. Simply put, I’m hooked. The third season focuses on everyday cases in the criminal justice system in Cleveland and after listening to a couple of these episodes, I hope this season can brings as much attention to the everyday life of our criminal justice system as season one did for Adnan Sayed from season one.

If you think about it, if our criminal justice system was working as it should movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo would have never surfaced. And if we can’t or don’t improve our criminal justice system it is logical to assume their will be more of these movements and they will continue to grow. I know that there are a lot of very good people who work in the criminal justice system and their efforts go unheralded, but much more needs to be done. If you feel the same, download the podcast series and check it out.

SERIAL Season 3

In Trump Russia Trusts

As someone who grew up in the 1980s, I never would have imagined that the hawkish Republican Party would become the party of Russia.

Breaking news: Trump arrives in London

MAGAI loved this Tweet from @joncoopertweets and wanted to share it with you.

Asian Americans are part of the new South

Photo from Center for American Progress

When political scientists talk about shifting demographics I tend to think first about Latinos, but a recent article in the Huffington Post points to a quiet but persistent migration of Asian-Americans to the South and it speculates on the potential impact this population might have in regional politics.

According to the article, the Asian American population has grown by 69% over the past decade in the South. This is interesting and potentially problematic for Republicans, because the nonpartisan National Asian-American Survey found in 2016 that twice as many Asian Americans now identify as Democrats than Republicans. In Georgia, for example, the Asian-American population grew 136% over the last ten years (according to the American Community Survey). In the state of Virginia, the Asian American population grew by 113% during the same time, and according to the Pew Research Center, the number of Asian American who voted from 2004 to 2012 grew by 180%.

voting, elections

It is really unclear if the Asian American population in the South has the numbers to influence elections at a state level (my guess would be they aren’t quite there yet), but the trend remains interesting. I had foolishly thought the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections were indicators that a new multicultural and multiracial voting block had finally come of age, but now I know better. The ageing, white baby boomers are now approximately the same size as Millennials and this younger generation is more racially mixed. Asian Americans and other races will have an increasing impact on the outcome of future state and national elections but what that might look like is hard to predict at this point.

The Party of Reagan is now Russia’s bitch

russia republicans, politicsThis is an election year and if you believe all the hype, Democrats are energized and Republicans are either demoralized or not paying attention. As a political junkie who swore off politics, following the 2016 Presidential elections, I couldn’t help but be drawn into the drama last month surrounding the Pennsylvania 18th-district special election won by the conservative Democrat, Conor Lamb (don’t call it a “lamb slide”).

Many have attributed Trump’s unfavorable ratings to self-inflicted wounds, ranging from foreign policy gaffes to a revolving door at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but nothing has been more destructive to the sitting President’s credibility than the special counsel investigation looking into Russian meddling in our elections and the possibility of collusion. For the record, I don’t think Trump or his minions ever knowingly colluded with Russians, but I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility that they’ve been ‘played’ by Russians and I wouldn’t be surprised if Robert Mueller found that Trump and those surrounding him were unwittingly aiding Russians who were intent in discrediting institutions that are the foundation of our democracy.

While political neophytes may be tired of all the reporting on the special counsel investigation, these remain early days. To put this in perspective, the Watergate investigation lasted for two years and resulted in 5 people pleading “guilty”. Mueller started work in the middle of May last year. That means his team has identified as many guilty pleas as Watergate in only 9-months.  In the world of politics that is moving at warp speed, and the longer this goes on the worse it appears to get for Donald Trump.

donald trum, robert mueller investigatioon

I never thought I’d live to see the day when the Republican Party would cede its credibility with foreign policy and defense (let alone fiscal conservatism). If you ever told me that the Democratic Party was going to be holding the Republican Party accountable for colluding with an authoritarian leader from Russia, I would have wondered if you had lost your mind, but then again, I think that is the only way to explain Donald Trump’s election; either Russia tipped the scale or we as a nation have collectively lost our mind.

Pew Research finds growing divide in voters today from 20 years ago

vote, voting, electionsLast week Pew Research published their report, Wide Gender Gap, Growing Educational Divide in Voters’ Party IdentificationThe findings from Pew Research are based on more than 10,000 interviews of registered voters. Since the last midterm election in 2014, Pew found some notable changes in party identification among several key groups of voters.

Persistent gender gap. 56% of women now identify or lean Democratic; the highest since 1992. By contrast only slightly more than one third, 37% of women identify or lean Republican. Based on the President’s demeaning behavior towards women, I’d bet this figure drops a few percentage points.

Record share of college graduates now align with Democrats. Voters who have completed college make up a third of all registered voters, and nearly six-in-ten, 58%, now identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. The much larger group of voters who do not have a four-year degree is more evenly divided but over the past twenty years have steadily been moving toward the GOP.

Interestingly, 53% of white voters with at least a four-year college degree affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic as compared to 42% who identify as Republicans or lean Republican. Pew Research shared that as recently as two years ago, this was evenly split with 47% identifying with each party.

Continued racial divisions in partisan identification. About half of white voters, 51%, identify with the GOP or lean Republican, while 43% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. However minorities have continued to look to the Democratic Party; African Americans – 84% Democratic to 8% Republican; Hispanics – 63% Democratic to 28% Republican; and Asian Americans – 65% Democratic to 27% Republican. In short, the Democratic Party increasingly represents what America will look like and the Republican Party increasingly reflects our nations demographics from the 20th century. This poses a long term problem for the Republican party because while 69% of the electorate is white, just 20 years ago it was 83%; this represents a 14% drop. The changes in these demographics are  most noticeable in key Republican states like AZ, TX and FL.

Millennials, especially Millennial women, tilt more Democratic.  Nearly six-in-ten Millennials, 59%, affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic; 70% of women and 49% of men.  This is also problematic for Republicans because Millennials are expected to outnumber Baby Boomers by 2019 and more of them are voting with each passing election. For example, in 2012 approximately 22 million Millennials voted and in 2016 the number climbed to 24 million.

You can read the full report here, Wide Gender Gap, Growing Educational Divide in Voters’ Party Identification.

March for our lives Boston

march for our lives bostonToday, Sergio and I joined a massive crowd on the Boston Common to show our support for enacting sensible gun control legislation.

I wish there could be more reasonable discourse on this topic, because I’m no longer satisfied with “thoughts and prayers”. Below are a few photos from today’s protest on the Boston Common.

march for our lives boston

march for our lives boston

march for our lives bostonmarch for our lives boston

When the party of Lincoln becomes the party of Putin

george takei, humorWell said Lieutenant Sulu.

Hey women of America: Step up to the plate

Much is being made of the fact that more women are expressing an interest in politics (at all levels, municipal, state and federal) than ever before, but  it remains to be seen how many will actually step up to the plate. I hope that this talk becomes a catalyst that will see more women, reaching out to their spouses and families, asking them for help with regards to family responsibilities so they may focus on a career of civil service.

I have come to the conclusion that political progress on issues that matter most to women will only be incremental if women from both political parties do not step forward in large numbers.

We are a nation of 320+ million people. There is not a job in america that couldn’t be filled by a qualified woman today.

I recognize that not all women agree on policy and politics, but greater representation is the key to women advancing their interests whether it is equal pay, better access to healthcare and childcare or reshaping how America interacts with the world. We are a nation of 320+ million people. That means there are enough women qualified to do any job including US Senator and Representative. So I’m asking the women of America to step away from the sheet cake, and step up to the plate in 2018.

One year later: Still she persisted

Cambridge / Boston Women’s March on the Cambridge Common, January 20, 2018.  Photo Credit: Greg Cook || gregcookland.com

One year after the historic Women’s March of 2017 and just days after the Federal Government was forced to shutdown, thousands took to the streets in cities all across the United States. While the massive crowds that overtook and overwhelmed the streets of Boston were smaller this year when people gathered on the Cambridge Common, it remains inspiring for me to see people braving the cold to exercise their rights and make their voices heard.

Thanks to Greg Cook for sharing some of the best protest signs from Saturday’s Boston/Cambridge Women’s March 2018: The People Persist.

Pew Research political typology quiz

Are you a core conservative, solid liberal or somewhere in between? Take Pew Research’s quiz to see which political typology group is your best match

Pew Research has an online survey to help evaluate what political group matches your political philosophy. It was created and based on a survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults. I will admit I did not agree with many of the answers to the questions, which were too black and white, and I often had to choose between which answer I disagreed with less, but it was interesting all the same. Pew Research, political typology quizAfter taking Pew’s survey I received a rating of “Solid Liberal” (no surprise to me or those who know me). According to Pew only about 16% of America identify as Solid Liberals. Characteristics of this political group are steadfast advocates for social safety nets; they think immigrants are an important part of what makes America unique and great; support social issues and believe homosexuality should be accepted by society.  If you’d like to take this online quiz link here

Trumpism: Divide and conquer

While political junkies talk endlessly about dropping poll numbers for President Trump and his detractors make bold predictions for the midterm elections, I’m reminded of the proverb, Pride Comes Before a Fall.

Midterm elections are notoriously difficult to get voter turnout and Trump’s supporters are if nothing else, loyal and dedicated. Combine that with some findings published in this week’s NYT article, Trump’s Popularity Has Declined Across Voting Blocs in the Past Year, which despite its title suggests that his largest declines comes from voting blocs that never really supported him to begin with and one wonders why Democrats feel quite so confident?

Does it really matter that his popularity has fallen 8 points by those who describe themselves as Democrats? While his drop in popularity also includes crucial demographics for the President like self described Republicans and Conservatives – these dips are far smaller. It seems to me that detractors of the President should spend more time focusing on targeting voters who either stood on the sidelines in the 2016 Presidential election or voted for Trump more to vote against Clinton than out of any support for the President.

A house divided against itself cannot stand” – Abraham Lincoln

Building bridges is a lot harder than blowing them up and unfortunately Democrats are in far greater need for bridge builders. Under Trump’s leadership, the Republican Party has a laser focus on shrinking and riling up their base to ensure they turn out in every election. Donald Trump has successfully employed a divide and conquer strategy. Playing on people’s fears and anger inevitably benefits Donald Trump. If you are truly opposed to Donald Trump what will you do to replace those fears with faith in a better tomorrow and anger with action?

Meet Jess Phoenix from California’s 25th Congressional district

California's 25th Congressional DistrictI don’t know much about Jess Phoenix other than she is a geologist who is running for U.S. House of Representatives 25th District in California and hopes to replace U.S. Representative Steve Knight who has a 0% Lifetime score by The League of Conservation Voters on issues pertaining to the environment.

The 25th Congressional district is located just north of Los Angeles and it hasn’t sent a Democrat to D.C. in 25 years but Jess Phoenix seems undeterred by that fact.  I realize that this post is not what I typically write about but I hope in the months that follow I hear about more candidates (and specifically female candidates) like Jess coming forward to announce their candidacy.

If you live in this district or near it, talk to your friends about Jess. I’m a firm believer in grassroots organizing and if more people were to get involved, we might be more proud and less ashamed of our government.

www.jess2018.com