franciscoDear Republicans,

Anchor baby is a pejorative term for a child born in the United States to a foreign national mother who was not lawfully admitted for permanent residence. There is a popular misconception that the child’s U.S. citizenship status (acquired by jus soli) legally helps the child’s parents and siblings to quickly reclassify their visa status (or lack thereof) and to place them on a fast pathway to acquire lawful permanent residence and eventually United States citizenship. This is a myth. Current U.S. federal law prevents anyone under the age of 21 from being able to petition for their non-citizen parent to be lawfully admitted into the United States for permanent residence. So at best, the child’s family would need to wait for 21 years before being able to use their child’s US citizenship to modify their immigration status.

The term is generally used as a derogatory reference to the supposed role of the child, who automatically qualifies as an American citizen and can later act as a sponsor for other family members. The term is also often used in the context of the debate over illegal immigration to the United States to refer to children of illegal immigrants, but may be used for the child of any immigrant. A similar term, “passport baby”, has been used in Canada for children born through so-called “maternity” or “birth tourism”.


What about American citizens?: Jeb Bush, Donald Trump Unapologetic for ‘Anchor Baby’ Language

Jeb Bush, Donald Trump Unapologetic for ‘Anchor Baby’ Language
Jeb Bush isn’t backing down over his usage of the phrase “anchor babies,” a controversial term both he and fellow Republican candidate Donald Trump have both used.
In one of his testiest exchanges to date, Bush pushed back against reporters today in Keene, NH who asked if he thought the term — referring to the American-born children of undocumented immigrants — was offensive.
A reporter asked Bush if he regretted using the term “anchor babies” on Bill Bennett’s radio show earlier this week, to which he snapped, “You give me a better term and I’ll use it.”
Trump: ‘I’ll Use the Word Anchor Baby’
Donald Trump’s GOP Rivals Blast His Immigration Plan
ABC News’ Tom Llamas asked if the language was “bombastic,” the same kind of talk from Trump Bush had knocked down just moments earlier.
“Look here’s the deal. What I said was it’s commonly referred to that,” Bush said. “That’s what I said, I didn’t use it as my own language…I think that people born in this country ought to be American citizens.”
This follows another heated line of questioning just last night directed at Donald Trump, the current front-runner in the GOP race. After being asked by Llamas if he was aware that the term was offensive, Trump eventually responded, “I’ll use the word anchor baby.”
It all happened as the campaign trail heats up over the topic of immigration. After Trump released his 6-page policy paper, calling in part for a wall to be built and an end to “birthright citizenship”, most of the GOP candidates have been asked to weigh in on their views.
Trump and Bush traded barbs last night, each with dueling town hall meetings in NH, just 20 miles from each other. Trump openly mocked Bush’s small crowds saying, “You know what’s happening to Jeb’s crowd right down the street? They’re sleeping!”
Bush instead pounced on Trump’s liberal record, calling him a “tax-hiking Democrat” adding, “He was a Democrat longer in the last decade than he was a Republican. He’s given more money to Democrats than he’s given to Republicans.”
Bush’s fiercest criticism today came from the other side — his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Her campaign tweeted their response to the debate.

BUSH EQUALS MORE WARS: Jeb Bush: I would have authorized Iraq War

11836661_763328493776534_2804975487038845048_n-1BUSH=MORE WARS
Jeb Bush: I would have authorized Iraq War
Washington (CNN)Jeb Bush said he would have done the same as his brother in deciding to go to war in Iraq if he had been president at the time.
His comments, in an interview with Fox News set to air on Monday night, come in the wake of Bush’s private statement that he relies on his brother, former President George W. Bush, as an adviser on some Middle East affairs.
“I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” Bush said in the interview.
RELATED: Jeb Bush says he doesn’t feel like ‘yesterday’s news’
Clinton’s 2003 vote in support of a resolution to green-light the war in Iraq was a key part of the 2008 campaign, then then-Sen. Barack Obama hammered her hawkish stance. It could help Bush blur lines between the two when it comes to his brother’s legacy.
Bush said the United States should have focused more on security in Iraq, but said his brother agrees on that point.
The Bush family and Iraq
The Bush family and Iraq 01:44
“By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush,” he said. “Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.”
In the same interview, Bush said he thinks he can sell the Republican base on his position on immigration — and he’s hitting opponents who have changed their positions on the issue.
“I get a sense that a lot of people can be persuaded, to be honest with you,” the former Florida governor told Megyn Kelly in a preview of his interview that aired Sunday.
Bush has urged a respectful tone toward undocumented immigrants and has said it should be easier for those immigrants to gain legal status.
That position is anathema to much of the party’s conservative base, which opposes “amnesty” in any form — particularly the executive actions President Barack Obama has taken to allow immigrants who were brought into the United States as children to stay, as well as the undocumented parents of U.S. citizen children. Bush said he would repeal Obama’s unilateral actions.
But the former Florida governor took a shot at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, though not by name, for changing his position on immigration. Walker once supported a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants, but has said he’s changed his views — and even recently called for limits on legal immigration.
“Do you want people to just bend with the wind, to mirror people’s sentiment, whoever’s in front of you?” Bush said. “‘Oh yes, I used to be for that, but now I’m for this’ — is that the way we want to elect presidents?”
Bush’s perspective differs from much of the GOP field: He lives in Miami, has a Mexican-born wife and has said his family speaks Spanish at home. His brother, former President George W. Bush, previously supported immigration reform efforts.
Another Florida Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, also supported efforts to ease immigrants’ ability to attain legal status — though he’s since backed off that position as Republicans have grown increasingly critical of Obama’s handling of the issue.
As Republicans shift to the right, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has run as far to the left as possible, saying undocumented immigrants should be allowed to become U.S. citizens and that she’d try to go further than Obama in using her executive authority to aid immigrants.
Though a politically challenging position for Bush in his likely GOP primary campaign, a moderate immigration position would serve him well in a general election campaign as Hispanic voters are the most rapidly growing voting bloc.


WOMEN POWER: Women Saved the Iran Deal From Washington’s Bickering Do-Nothing Men

11953153_774162656026451_3204034653658272909_nWomen Saved the Iran Deal From Washington’s Bickering Do-Nothing Men
On Wednesday morning, Sen. Barbara Ann Mikulski (D-Md.) announced her support of the Iran nuclear deal, becoming the 34th Senate Democrat to do so. At this point, President Barack Obama has enough votes to sustain his veto of a promised resolution of disapproval from the Republicans. In other words, barring some unforeseen catastrophe, this deal is going through.
Throughout the months-long debate, women have largely led the way, both in the negotiations and in doing the work to help ensure the deal’s success in Washington (including calling out Republican bullshit).
Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman (once referred to as an “iron fist in a velvet glove”) worked as the lead U.S. negotiator with Tehran and is largely responsible for actually finalizing the terms of the deal.
In Washington, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been at the helm of the effort to ensure Democratic support for the deal, making a major push to whip undecided Democrats this summer, and sending out email blasts every time a Democrat publicly supports the deal. Pelosi also enlisted a team of at least 12 other Democrats to help make calls.
In an interview with The Hill, team member Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said she spoke with Pelosi almost every day about the effort, that they divided up their targets to maximize efficacy, and that she was “particularly calling women.”
Schakowsky also co-wrote a letter to Obama along with Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tx.) and Rep. David Price (D-N.C.). “We must not let Iran develop or possess a nuclear weapon, and I firmly believe that diplomacy is the best way to achieve that goal,” she said in a press release accompanying the letter. “I also believe that we must do whatever we can to ensure that the negotiators have the space they need to mold the announced framework into a long-term, verifiable and enforceable agreement.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has responded forcefully to numerous Republican attempts to undermine the deal. In a July hearing, Boxer defended Secretary of State John Kerry from Republican claims that he was “fleeced” and “bamboozled” in Iran negotiations.
“If you were bamboozled, the world has been bamboozled,” she said.
In March, she responded to Republicans’ open letter to the leaders of Iran with a statement:
This is a brazen attempt by Senate Republicans to sabotage negotiations aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. This bizarre, inappropriate letter is a desperate ploy to scuttle a comprehensive agreement and the chance for a peaceful resolution, which is in the best interests of the United States, Israel and the world.”
Her colleague Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) responded with comparable outrage:
I am appalled at the latest step of 47 Republicans to blow up a major effort by our country and the world powers to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the Iranian nuclear program.
This is a highly inappropriate and unprecedented incursion into the president’s prerogative to conduct foreign affairs and is not befitting this chamber. The letter only serves one purpose — to destroy an ongoing negotiation to reach a diplomatic agreement in its closing days.
Schakowsky also chimed in in dissent of the letter, and Sen. Mark Kirk’s comparison between the deal and Nazi appeasement, saying, “That letter was reckless and irresponsible and it even was rejected by the Republican Chairman on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And now Kirk has taken his extreme rhetoric one step further by comparing this peaceful negotiation with Nazi appeasement.”
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) recently came out in support of the deal, noting that “it is more dangerous to Israel, America and our allies to walk away in the face of unified worldwide support.” Even Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has stood strong in support of the deal against her pro-Israel senior colleague Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — not just one of the most prominent Democrats in the country, but also a probable future party leader — who refuses to endorse the deal.
Before the the women of Congress got to work, Schumer’s decision seemed to open the door for conservative and hawkish Democrats to oppose the deal the deal. Now, Mikulski’s added support ensures that the deal will survive Republican challenge.
“No deal is perfect, especially one negotiated with the Iranian regime,” she said in a statement. “I have concluded that this Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the best option available to block Iran from having a nuclear bomb. For these reasons, I will vote in favor of this deal. However, Congress must also reaffirm our commitment to the safety and security of Israel.”
There are 104 female members of the 114th Congress, which is a fairly paltry fraction of the 535 voting members that make up the governing body. The women who have won seats, however, are governing by different rules than the men, often by necessity. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) once said that female politicking is “much less about ego and much more about problem-solving.”
In fact, studies have quantified this increased efficacy: Women in the minority party are about 33 percent more effective at passing bills according to a study published in the American Journal of Political Science.
Regardless, time and time again, women have had to fight to be the active forces in government — think of what could be accomplished when that fraction starts to approach one half.
Contact the author at
From left: Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Rep Jane Shakowsky, and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. Images via Getty.



Jeb Bush trashed use of private emails at the #GOPDebate but failed to mention, as governor, he too used private email to discuss security, troop deployments. Pow!
As governor, Jeb Bush used e-mail to discuss security, troop deployments
Jeb Bush used his private e-mail account as Florida governor to discuss security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants, according to a review of publicly released records.
The e-mails include two series of exchanges involving details of Florida National Guard troop deployments after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the review by The Washington Post found.
Aides to Bush said Saturday that none of the e-mails contained sensitive or classified information, and that many of the events mentioned in them were documented in press accounts, either contemporaneously or later. But security experts say private e-mail systems such as the one used by Bush are more vulnerable to hackers, and that details such as troop movements could be exploited by enemies.
Bush is actively considering a run for president and has sharply criticized likely Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton for her use of a private e-mail account when she served as secretary of state. He called it “baffling” that Clinton didn’t consider the potential security risks of discussing diplomatic and national security issues by using an e-mail account not tied to a government server.An unknown number of the e-mails housed on Bush’s server were redacted or withheld from public release because they contained sensitive security issues, Bush representatives have said. Communications director Tim Miller said general policy was for Bush to discuss sensitive National Guard issues in person with only occasional briefings by e-mail that “wouldn’t contain information that should not be in the public domain.”
“This Democrat opposition research dump of a few innocuous e-mails that Gov. Bush voluntarily posted on a Web site only highlights how large the gap is between him and Clinton in the area of transparency,” Miller said in a statement.


LIAR: Jeb Bush Completely Lied About Meeting With #BlackLivesMatter Activists

11828670_765221606920556_7695824811790577031_nLIAR: Jeb Bush Completely Lied About Meeting With #BlackLivesMatter Activists (lied about his brother winning the Florida’s Presidential Election and now this.)
After former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush patently ignored a question about how he personally related to the issue of racism in this country during a question and answer session for a Las Vegas campaign event, activists disrupted his event, chanting “Black lives matter”.
Perhaps in an effort to explain the way Bush just walked away from the young woman asking the question — blatantly ignoring her — the campaign put out a narrative that the Republican presidential candidate had met “face-to-face” with Black Lives Matter activists prior to the event. This narrative was published in many news stories about the event.
From NBC:
Bush met privately with members of the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the scheduled town hall, according to his campaign, although they would not confirm if the activists who interrupted Bush were the same activists he had met with.
It turns out this hail Mary narrative is not accurate. There was a meeting, but no Black Lives Matter activists were present.
Dana Liebelson at Huffington Post busted the Bush campaign on Friday, writing, “There was a meeting, but no activists from the Black Lives Matter movement participated. Instead, Bush met with a local elected official, a GOP lobbyist and a staffer from an anti-poverty organization.”
In this meeting that did not include any face-to-face with any faction of Black Lives Matter (there are several factions of BLM, as with any movement), the Voting Rights Act and the shooting of a black man got a “lot of non-response”:
The Bush campaign did not comment on whether it stood by its statement that the candidate met with Black Lives Matter advocates. The campaign said that advocates were invited, and couldn’t speak to why people might not want to attend.
The private meeting was about fifteen minutes long, according to those who attended. Goynes-Brown told HuffPost that the meeting did not focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, although attendees did discuss criminal justice issues. Goynes-Brown said she strongly supports the movement, but would not call herself an activist.
Hooks said his organization brought up the Voting Rights Act and a black man, allegedly armed, who was shot in Ferguson recently. “There was as lot of non-response,” Hooks said.
Well, okay, if they were invited but did not attend, why did the campaign claim that Bush had met with BLM activists?
The real issue here is that politicians need to be willing to listen to the actual people they want to represent. Former Governor Bush shouldn’t have just ignored the question about how he related to the problems generated by systemic racism. It was a good question after his vague non-response to the first question, “We have serious problems and these problems have gotten worse in the last few years. Communities, people no longer trust the basic institutions in our society that they need to trust to create, to make things work.”
After that desperate dodge into nothing, Bush pivoted to education. “Education” as a pivot is Republican for pretending to care about everyone. Education will fix everything! Just look at No Child Left Behind.
Bush is hardly the only politician who doesn’t get it. But he missed a real opportunity here to actually listen to people, even if he doesn’t “agree” with them that there is a major problem with systemic racial injustice (this is a fact, hard to disagree with, many people just want to ignore it so they will fob it off as “disagreement”).
Bush made it even worse by misrepresenting the facts. Jeb Bush did not meet with Black Lives Matter activists prior to his Las Vegas campaign event.
Bush can’t answer their questions and he hasn’t come up with a practical and real policy idea to address the problem. Republicans have not shown any willingness to discuss real problems like this for over a decade.
Republicans would rather focus on stories of their own persecution, claiming that their religious freedom is being stolen due to other people getting to choose their beliefs or investigate Planned Parenthood for things that were never even suggested in the “evidence” they’ve put forth. They want to wave some flags, play Clint Eastwood and start another war, not discuss tough domestic problems.
Problems like jobs that don’t pay well, insurmountable income inequality, an inability to retire, lack of equal pay, damaging family leave policies, crippling college debt, disparity of resources between the haves and the have-nots, the murder of three women a day by their partner, racial bias so extreme it’s causing police officers to kill unarmed black men and physically attack a young black girl — these problems are not on the Republican docket.
Don’t ask and they won’t have to tell people that they met with you when they did not.


TRAITOR: Marco Rubio Fires Back On Cuba: Obama Is The ‘Worst Negotiator’ In My Lifetime

Marco Rubio Fires Back On Cuba: Obama Is The ‘Worst Negotiator’ In My Lifetime
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will get no money for his Cuba policy, no ambassador will be confirmed and the embargo will never be lifted, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) vowed in a blistering press conference on Wednesday.
In a historic move earlier in the day, Obama announced that the United States will begin talks with Cuba to normalize full diplomatic relations, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy towards Cuba in 50 years. The president’s remarks followed the release on Wednesday morning of American Alan Gross, who had been held in a Cuban prison for five years. Gross was freed on humanitarian grounds after the U.S. released three Cuban spies who had been jailed for 15 years and Cuba released a U.S. spy jailed for two decades.
“This entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, based on a lie,” Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “The White House has conceded everything and gained little.”
“I’m committed to doing everything I can to unravel as many of these changes as possible,” he added.
The Florida senator’s powers in that regard will be considerable. Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) deferred to Rubio when asked for comment on the issue. And when the new, Republican-led Senate comes into session on Jan. 6, Rubio will be the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on the Western hemisphere, which has oversight responsibility for U.S. dealings in the region.
“This Congress is not going to lift the embargo,” Rubio declared at the end of his news conference.
Rubio, a potential presidential candidate in 2016, has been a longtime critic of the regime in Cuba and of Obama’s foreign policy — which he dubbed on Wednesday as “not just naive, but willfully ignorant of the way the world truly works.”
“This president is the single worst negotiator we have had in the White House in my lifetime,” Rubio said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) also slammed the change in policy, saying it “emboldens all state sponsors of terrorism.”
“Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom -– and not one second sooner,” Boehner said in a statement. “There is no ‘new course’ here, only another in a long line of mindless concessions to a dictatorship that brutalizes its people and schemes with our enemies.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), one of the most outspoken Republicans in Congress on matters of foreign policy, threatened to do everything in his power to block funding from being used to set up a U.S. embassy in Cuba. “Normalizing relations with Cuba is bad idea at a bad time,” Graham said on Twitter.
But Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who traveled back from Cuba with Gross, praised Obama.
“I happen to think that the president did the right thing,” Flake told reporters on Wednesday after his own news conference, in which he hailed the deal. “I think people will come around to it, and let’s move forward.”
Flake, who is also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and is active on Cuba policy, said he would sit down with Rubio. Ultimately, he added, he and Rubio shared the same goals of winning freedom for Cubans.
The senator admitted, though, that getting Congress to see it his way and lift the embargo would be unlikely, especially since Congress passed laws in the ’90s that codified the blockade.
“That’s a tough task,” said Flake, acknowledging that fellow Republicans might be angry. “There’ll be some animus, I’m sure, of saying the president is moving beyond where he should,” he said, referring to the restrictions enacted by Congress. But he insisted, “They all gave the president authority to move within that.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has traveled to Havana with Flake, said he was supportive of easing restrictions on travel to Cuba, which he blasted as “ridiculous.”
“To me it’s a freedom issue … I think if you, as an American, you want to go there, you should be able to go there,” Chaffetz, the incoming chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said in an interview with KSL radio’s Doug Wright Show. “There are other provisions that I really need to study and look at, but the idea of allowing Americans their free choice to make their own decision about going to Cuba — I applaud that and support it.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest appeared to address Rubio’s and Graham’s threats on Wednesday, saying: “It’s not clear to me that additional appropriations will be necessary to establish an embassy in Cuba.”
CORRECTION: This article was corrected to note that Gross was freed on humanitarian grounds, and not in exchange for the freedom of three Cuban spies.


Republican Colin Powell Deals a Death Blow to Hillary Clinton Email Scandal.

10270822_696153810494003_7914590115677716439_nRepublican Colin Powell Deals a Death Blow to Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. If Hillary Clinton broke the law, as some Republicans are claiming, then Colin Powell also broke the law.
Clinton’s private email system was based
on the system that Powell used.
On ABC’s This Week, former Sec. of State Colin Powell admitted that he used a private email account for public business. Powell’s explanation of why he used a private email account amounted to a death blow for Republicans who are trying to build a scandal out of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Transcript via ABC’s This Week:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But I do want to ask you one final question on this Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy. Which, of course, put you back in the news a bit this week, as well.
You were secretary of State during the early days of e-mails. You were one of the first secretaries, I believe, to set up a personal e-mail account. And you pushed to modernize the State Department’s system.
Based on your experience, what do you make of these revelations this week and what would you recommend that she do now?
POWELL: I — I can’t speak to a — Mrs. Clinton and what she should do now. That would be inappropriate.
What I did when I entered the State Department, I found an antiquated system that had to be modernized and modernized quickly.
So we put in place new systems, bought 44,000 computers and put a new Internet capable computer on every single desk in every embassy, every office in the State Department. And then I connected it with software.
But in order to change the culture, to change the brainware, as I call it, I started using it in order to get everybody to use it, so we could be a 21st century institution and not a 19th century.
But I retained none of those e-mails and we are working with the State Department to see if there’s anything else they want to discuss with me about those e-mails.
POWELL: (INAUDIBLE) have a stack of them.
STEPHANOPOULOS: — they’ve asked you to turn them over, but you don’t have them, is that it?
POWELL: I don’t have any — I don’t have any to turn over. I did not keep a cache of them. I did not print them off. I do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files.
And, in fact, a lot of the e-mails that came out of my personal account went into the State Department system. They were addressed to State Department employees and the domain. But I don’t know if the servers the State Department captured those or not.
And most — they were all unclassified and most of them, I think, are pretty benign, so I’m not terribly concerned even if they were able to recover them.
Powell’s description of his own emails as pretty benign matches up with Rep. Adam Schiff’s description of the Hillary Clinton emails that the Benghazi committee has read. According to Sen. Chuck Schumer, Clinton’s private email system was based on the system that Powell used.
The technology available in most federal agencies is woefully outdated. It isn’t surprising that appointees would use technology that is available in the private sector because it is better. Powell’s emails from his personal account went into the State Department system because they were addressed to employees in State. The same is the case with the Clinton emails. Powell’s discussion of his own experience with his personal email account adds credibility to the claim that there is nothing to see here.
If Hillary Clinton broke the law, as some Republicans are claiming, then Colin Powell also broke the law.
The more that is revealed about the use of private email, the more it looks like Republicans are trying to make something out of nothing. It has been a bad day for the Republican Clinton email scandal, and it is only going to get worse for the Republican Party as they continue to go down what looks like a dead end.


BUSH: SOY LATINO. NO, HE IS WHITE. SUPER WHITE. lol. Let’s hear your immigration ideas! Blanquito!

Jeb Bush, who is “actively exploring” a Presidential run in 2016, has come under fire for a 2009 Miami-Dade County voter-registration application in which he identified himself as Hispanic. The Times has a photocopy of the document, which requires an original signature next to an oath declaring “that all information provided in this application is true.” A spokeswoman could offer no explanation for the error, but the most likely one is that it gives new meaning to the term “honest mistake.” Bush has a long history of identifying with and immersing himself in the Hispanic community. His wife, Columba, is Mexican-born, and his three children are mixed-race. But, as the media was quick to remind Bush (who was born in Texas, to two exceedingly American parents, George and Barbara), ethnic identities are not exactly elective.

Back in August of 2012, we were given a glimpse of Bush’s own discomfort with using his connection to the Hispanic community, in a sitdown interview conducted in Spanish by Jorge Ramos, of Univision. The two men discuss the Republican Party’s stance on immigration, which leads Ramos to ask about using Hispanic identification to one’s electoral advantage. Ramos cites Bush’s eldest son (who would later be elected Texas land commissioner, in a landslide) as an example, saying, “Your son, George P. Bush, he is Latino, right? He considers himself Latino? Because, of course, his mother, Columba, is Mexican.” (CNN’s John King once misidentified her as Colombian.) Bush replies with great pride, “Exactly.” But, as Ramos continues, Bush’s smile droops—he sees where he’s going next, with a more ambiguous example. Ramos says, “Governor Romney, his father is Mexican, he was born in Mexico, the laws say that he is Mexican.” Yes, Bush assents, and here he begins to look uncomfortable. “But he doesn’t consider himself Latino, nor does he put much emphasis on his Latino origin.” The camera catches Bush straining, confusingly both nodding and then shaking his head. Ramos then asks whether Romney’s reluctance to use his ties to Mexico might lose him some votes. Bush shrugs, and says, “I don’t know, I don’t know,” but one has the sense that he does—Romney ended up losing the Hispanic vote to Obama by a margin of seventy-one per cent to twenty-seven per cent.

At a Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Miami in 2013, the former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, who is a Cuban-born Republican, described Jeb Bush as “just as Hispanic as everyone in this room, and maybe a little more.” He was embellishing the truth, but not by much—Bush married Columba Garnica de Gallo, in 1974, after meeting her four years earlier while on a school trip to Mexico. He studied Latin American affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, and he and Columba lived in Caracas, Venezuela, for two years before settling down in Florida, where he began a long career in Republican politics. But does any of this make him more or less Hispanic than Elizabeth Warren is Native American? (He’s still more Hispanic than Romney, which is still not at all.)

Bush speaks fluent, near-effortless Spanish as the result of his long-term life choices rather than as part of an effort to win Hispanic votes (a political tactic I have previously called “Hispandering”). As a result, the Spanish-language media is taking him seriously as a candidate who might appeal to Latino voters. Earlier this year, on his Sunday morning talk show, “Al Punto,” Ramos told Gutierrez, “For the first time in history, we have two Hispanic candidates from the Republican Party”—Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz—and, with a good-natured shrug of his shoulders, he added, “and Jeb Bush, if we want to convert him to Latino as well!” Gutierrez responded, “I think it’s very good that we have Hispanics, but there are different types of Hispanics.” He wasn’t referring to Caribbean versus Central American Hispanics, or the difference between Mexicans and Chicanos. He said he preferred not to compare Cruz (a Canadian-born Cuban-American) with Rubio (an American-born Cuban), because the latter is more moderate and the former is on the extreme right. His Goldilocks candidate is the effectively Hispanic Jeb Bush, whose policies he says he knows and likes best. Like many centrists, Bush supports comprehensive immigration reform—legal status and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants—and has distanced himself from the Tea Party extremism of calls for sealing borders. He said in 2013 that immigrants are the economic engine of the U.S., and, in a brief interview last December, told Miami’s NBC affiliate, “I think there’s a compelling case that, if we want to be young and dynamic again, we have to make legal immigration easier.” So if heritage matters less than track records and platforms, then what should it matter to Hispanic voters how Jeb Bush identifies himself, mistakenly or otherwise?

It matters, generally speaking, because minority groups tend to recoil when outside individuals identify with them under false pretenses or with ulterior motives. It rankles, and feels disingenuous. A few months ago, many feminists in Silicon Valley were piqued by comments made by Vivek Wadhwa about women in technology as part of a larger article on the subject in Newsweek. The entrepreneur and academic has always vocally identified himself as a champion for women working in the tech industry, but when he posited, based on his research, that those women were reluctant to speak up for themselves, he was widely criticized and roundly rejected. Jeb Bush would do well to learn from Wadhwa’s precarious positioning, and to avoid the temptation to speak on behalf of any groups that have not voluntarily elected him to do so. And he certainly should not identify as a member, his wife and children notwithstanding.

Bush has at times criticized the G.O.P. for its tough tone in past elections on immigration, and he has gone so far as to call illegal immigration in the name of a better life “an act of love.” One could say about Bush that his own misidentification, along with his desire to be embraced by the Hispanic population, is something of an act of love, made with good intentions. He knows that, deep down in his DNA, he is not Hispanic, but he still hopes, in a way that seems at least partly genuine, that Hispanic voters will think of him as their candidate.

In fact, Bush has a history of polling well with Latinos—in 1998, he won the governorship of Florida with sixty-one per cent of the Hispanic vote to Democratic incumbent Buddy MacKay’s thirty-eight per cent. But, as the Washington Post has pointed out, that may not necessarily translate to similar numbers in 2016; in 1998, the Hispanic electorate in Florida was largely Cuban, a bloc that tends to vote Republican, whereas a national primary would call upon much wider and more diverse groups of Latinos. In 2011, nearly two-thirds of the Latino population, which consistently leans Democratic, identified as Mexican. Still, Florida, with its twenty-nine electoral votes and twenty-two-per-cent-Latino population, would be a hefty prize for Republicans.


THE REAL TAKERS! Republican White House Hopefuls Attack Obamacare But Take Money

THE REAL TAKERS! Republican White House Hopefuls Attack Obamacare But Take Money
By Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON, April 1 (Reuters) – Several Republican governors likely to run for president have secured hundreds millions of dollars under Obamacare while working to dismantle the healthcare law, according to a Reuters review of federal spending records.
Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, all staunch opponents of President Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act, have collectively applied for and won at least $352 million through grant programs set up by the law, federal records show.
The action is at odds with the public stance of all four potential candidates, who have blasted the law as an unprecedented expansion of government and called for its repeal.
Aides told Reuters they saw no contradiction in applying for these grants while criticizing the law as a whole.
“It’s critically important that we continue these services for our citizens,” said Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick. “Receiving federal grants that existed prior to the ACA is not the same as participating in the core elements of the ACA.”
The money in question stems from less controversial parts of the law that enhance public health and other nuts-and-bolts programs, rather than the insurance exchanges and expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor that have drawn fierce opposition from Republicans.
Some of these programs were established by Obamacare, while others had existed in other forms and were expanded by the law. (Graphic:
For example, the law included $1.5 billion to enable medical workers to visit new mothers at home. The money has enabled some states to set up programs where none had existed and allowed others to expand existing programs. Wisconsin has more than doubled its home-visit program under Obamacare, according to state documents.
It’s not clear whether the Republican governors now considering running for the White House would protect these programs if they won the November 2016 presidential election.
Aides to Walker, Christie and Perry either declined to comment or didn’t respond. A Jindal aide said these programs would work better if states were given more discretion over how to spend federal money.
Republicans have been united in their opposition to the healthcare reform since it passed Congress with only Democratic votes five years ago, and many potential presidential candidates are eager to demonstrate their anti-Obamacare bona fides.
Walker has called the law an “abysmal failure” and Perry has blasted it as an “abomination.” Christie called it a “failure” and Jindal told a gathering of conservative activists in February that “we must repeal every single word of Obamacare.”
Walker, Perry and Jindal also supported a legal challenge that fell short of striking down the law in 2012 but enabled states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion.
Still, Republican governors have to balance their opposition to the law with their obligation to look after the needs of their states.
The federal government accounts for nearly one in three dollars of state revenue, and the Affordable Care Act has been an important source of much of that money in recent years. It provides $10 billion for public health and $425 million to train nurses and other health-care workers.
The money isn’t handed out automatically: state governments, hospitals and other organizations have to apply for it.
“There’s a lot of hypocrisy when it comes to some Republicans and Obamacare,” said Greg Valliere, a nonpartisan political adviser to Wall Street clients. “As my father used to say: ‘Do as I say, not as I do.'”
Walker’s administration has accepted at least $69 million through Affordable Care Act grant programs, according to a Reuters analysis – a figure that does not include programs that the U.S. Health and Human Services Department says existed before the law took effect. It also excludes grants that went to state universities or other entities not directly under Walker’s control.
During that period, Walker returned $38 million that his Democratic predecessor had secured to set up a state-based insurance exchange, and turned away hundreds of millions of dollars to help expand Medicaid. He expanded the state’s own Medicaid program to cover more residents without federal money, in part by moving 80,000 participants onto private insurance plans subsidized by Obamacare.
In Louisiana, Jindal’s administration has accepted $60 million in Obamacare grants while refusing to expand Medicaid and set up a state exchange. “Most of these grant funds are used for state initiatives that existed long before Obamacare ever became law,” Jindal spokesman Mike Reed said.
In Texas, Perry took in at least $148 million in Obamacare grants while refusing money tied to the insurance exchange and the Medicaid expansion. He stepped down as governor in January.
“Governor Perry has long called for flexibility from the federal government so the states can implement health care programs in the best interests of their citizens,” spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said.
In New Jersey, Christie has not set up an exchange but has accepted the Medicaid expansion on the grounds that it will help low-income residents and hospitals in his state. His administration has secured at least $75 million in grant money, on top of the additional Medicaid dollars.
“The governor has said he will make decisions with respect to the law that are in the best interest of New Jerseyans,” spokesman Kevin Roberts said. (Additional reporting by Luciana Lopez, editing by Ross Colvin)