Thursday, September 29, 2022

Last Call For Vote Like Your Country Depends On It

The biggest failure in political punditry in the last two decades has been "Demography as Destiny" fronted by people like Ruy Teixeira and John Judis, that Latino voters would flood states like Texas and Florida and make them blue. The thing is though, the Latino community, like the Black community, is not monolithic. A lot of Latino folks consider themselves as white, and vote reliably Republican. What gains Democrats have made with non-white Latino voters in the Trump era have been offset by white Latino Trump voters...and white voters in general.

But the whole "Democrats are going to lose Latino voters to the GOP" thing is a lie too.

Nearly two years after former President Donald Trump won more Latino votes than he did in 2016, a new Pew Research Center survey of Latino adults finds that most say the Democratic Party cares about Latinos and works hard to earn their vote. Significantly fewer say the same of the Republican Party. At the same time, fewer than half of Latinos say they see a major difference between the parties, despite living in a deeply polarized era amid growing partisan hostility.

When it comes to the Democratic Party, the survey finds majorities of Latino adults express positive views of it. Some 71% say the Democratic Party works hard for Latinos’ votes, 63% say it “really cares about Latinos,” and 60% say the Democratic Party represents the interests of people like themselves. By contrast, shares of Latinos say the same of the Republican Party on each statement, though a somewhat greater share (45%) say that the GOP “works hard to earn the votes of Latinos.”

While the majority of Latinos have positive views of the Democratic Party, not all do. For example, about a third (34%) say the statement “the Democratic Party really cares about Latinos” does not describe their views well, and a similar share says the same about the statement “the Democratic Party represents the interests of people like you.”

Negative assessments extend to both parties. According to the survey, about one-in-five Latinos (22%) say neither of these statements describe their views well: “The Democratic Party really cares about Latinos” and “The Republican Party really cares about Latinos.”

In addition, substantial minorities of Hispanic partisans say they have at least a somewhat favorable view of the opposing party on several measures, though sharp differences exist by party affiliation among Hispanics.

Roughly a third of Latino Republicans and GOP leaners (36%) say “the Democratic Party really cares about Latinos” describes their views at least somewhat well, while 21% of Latino Democrats and Democratic leaners say “the Republican Party really cares about Latinos” describes their views at least somewhat well.

Meanwhile, more than half of Hispanic Republicans and Republican leaners (56%) say “the Democratic Party works hard to earn Latinos’ votes” describes their views at least somewhat well, while about a third of Hispanic Democrats and Democratic leaners (35%) say “the Republican Party works hard to earn Latinos’ votes” describes their views at least somewhat well.

At the same time, about half of Hispanics do not see a great deal of difference between what the Democratic and Republican parties stand for, with 36% saying there is a fair amount of difference and 16% saying there is hardly any difference at all between the parties.

Meanwhile, 45% see a great deal of difference between the parties. About equal shares of Hispanic Democrats and Democratic leaners (47%) and Hispanic Republicans and Republican leaners (48%) say there is a great deal of difference between the parties.

These findings emerge from the 2022 National Survey of Latinos by Pew Research Center. The bilingual, nationally representative survey of 3,029 Latino adults was conducted online from Aug. 1-14, 2022. It explores Latinos’ views about U.S. political parties and key issues leading up to November’s midterm elections.


Increasingly, Latinos are becoming America's most important swing voter category. Right now, Democrats still hold a large lead with Latino voters, but that's not a guarantee anymore. With half of Latinos seeing no difference between the parties, Democrats do have to work hard to show that there is.

And the abortion issue may finally be the thing that does it.
A majority of Hispanics (57%) say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, a slightly smaller share than among the U.S. public overall (62%). Four-in-ten Hispanics say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.

Views on abortion diverge sharply by party, reflecting the diversity of attitudes among Hispanics. About two-thirds of Hispanic Democrats (68%) say abortion should be legal in most or all cases. By contrast, about six-in-ten Hispanic Republicans (62%) say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. Hispanic independents and those who do not identify as partisans have more evenly divided views. However, opinions among Hispanic independents who lean toward a party closely resemble those of partisans: 69% of Democratic leaners say abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while 58% of Republican leaners say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.

Among Latino Democrats and Democratic leaners, 84% of liberals say abortion should be legal in most or all cases while six-in-ten conservatives and moderates say the same. Meanwhile, among Latino Republicans and GOP leaners, 69% of conservatives say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, compared with 53% of moderates and liberals.

Views on abortion are also sharply divided by religion. About two-thirds of Latino evangelical Protestants (69%) say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases, while most Latino Catholics (58%) and Latinos with no religious affiliation (73%) say abortion should be legal in most or all cases.
There's been a lot of talk about how the Dobbs decision has motivated women to register to vote over the last three months, but I think a lot of pundits are sleeping on the number of Hispanic voters who have been motivated to register and vote over Dobbs as well. 

In a big turnout midterm year like I'm expecting in 2022, Latino voters may be the difference in Dems keeping and losing the House.

Vote like your country depends on it.

Spies Like Us, Con't

A married pair of American doctors, one from John Hopkins, the other an US Army Major, have been indicted for trying to sell US military medical info to an FBI Agent posing as a Russian embassy official.
A Johns Hopkins anesthesiologist and her spouse, a doctor and major in the U.S. Army, were federally indicted for attempting to provide medical information about members of the military to the Russian government.

Anna Gabrielian and Jamie Lee Henry, who had a secret security clearance as a doctor at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, communicated and met with an undercover FBI agent who they believed was from the Russian embassy, offering sensitive medical information on military members and their family, the indictment alleges.

During an initial Aug. 17 meeting in a Baltimore hotel room, Gabrielian told the undercover agent that “she was motivated by patriotism toward Russia to provide any assistance she could to Russia, even if it meant being fired or going to jail.”

Her spouse had access to not just medical information, she said, but insight into how the U.S. military establishes an army hospital in war conditions and about training the military provided to Ukrainian military personnel. Henry participated in a second meeting later that night.

“My point of view is until the United States actually declares war against Russia, I’m able to help as much as I want,” Henry told the undercover agent, according to the indictment. “At that point, I’ll have some ethical issues I’ll have to work through.”
“You’ll work through those ethical issues,” Gabrielian replied.

In an Aug. 24 meeting with the undercover agent at a Baltimore hotel room, Gabrielian called Henry a “coward” for being concerned about violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA,) a federal law that limits the disclosure of patients’ confidential medical information.

Gabrielian is listed as an instructor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Hopkins, and her profile page says she speaks Russian. Henry received attention in 2015 after becoming the first known active-duty Army officer to come out as transgender. A Buzzfeed article from that time said she was also to her knowledge and to the knowledge of LGBT advocates the first and only active duty service member who had changed her name and gender within the United States military.

During an Aug. 31 meeting at a hotel in Gaithersburg, Gabrielian provided the agent with medical information related to the spouse of a person currently employed by the Office of Naval Intelligence, and medical information related to someone only described as a veteran of the Air Force.

“Gabrielian highlighted to the [undercover agent] a medical issue reflected in the records of [the military member’s spouse] that Russia could exploit.,” the indictment says.

During the same meeting, Henry also provided medical information related to five patients at Fort Bragg, including a retired Army officer, a current Department of Defense employee, and spouses of active and deceased Army veterans.

This...this is gonna be a hell of a movie.

Trussed Up Like A Turkey

UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has had a very, very bad start to her government, you know with the Queen dying and the power crisis and oh yeah, nearly collapsing the pound this week with her new tax cut scheme.

The Bank of England took emergency action on Wednesday to avoid a meltdown in the UK pensions sector, unleashing a £65bn bond-buying programme to stem a crisis in government debt markets. 
The central bank warned of a “material risk to UK financial stability” from turmoil in the gilts market, which was sparked by chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s tax cuts and borrowing plan last week. 
 The BoE suspended a programme to sell gilts — part of an effort to get surging inflation under control — and instead pledged to buy long-dated bonds at a rate of up to £5bn a day for the next 13 weekdays.
Economists warned that the injection of billions of pounds of newly minted money into the economy could fuel inflation. “This move will be inflationary at a time of already high inflation,” said Daniel Mahoney, UK economist at Handelsbanken. 
UK government bond markets recovered sharply after the announcement. The pound rose by 1.4 per cent on the day by evening trading in London, reaching $1.0877 against the dollar.
The bank stressed it was not seeking to lower long-term government borrowing costs. Instead it sought to buy time to prevent a vicious circle in which pension funds have to sell gilts immediately to meet demands for cash from their creditors.
That process had put pension funds at risk of insolvency, because the mass sell-offs pushed down further the price of gilts held by funds as assets, requiring them to stump up even more cash.
 “At some point this morning I was worried this was the beginning of the end,” said a senior London-based banker, adding that at one point on Wednesday morning there were no buyers of long-dated UK gilts. “It was not quite a Lehman moment. But it got close.” 
 The most directly affected groups were final salary pension schemes that have hedged to ensure their ability to make future payments — so-called liability-driven investment strategies that are very sensitive to fast-moving gilt yields. 
“It appears that some players in the market ran out of collateral and dumped gilts,” said Peter Harrison, chief executive of Schroders, which has $55bn in global LDI business. “We were more conservatively positioned and we had enough collateral to meet all of our margin calls.” 
But a senior executive at a large asset manager said they had contacted the BoE on Tuesday warning that it needed “to intervene in the market otherwise it will seize up” — but the bank failed to act until Wednesday. It declined to comment. 

So yes, the UK bond market almost folded in on itself because the merry idiots in the Tory party decided a massive tax cut that would starve the government's income so they could borrow the rest would fix things. It fixed them, alright. Into the ground.

We'll see where this goes, but I can't imagine the misery for British citizens because of this mess endearing everyone to the Tories for much longer. Liz Truss's government may be one of the shortest in UK history.
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