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Courts Block Voter ID Laws in Texas and Wisconsin

-- by Will Weissert and Todd Richmond, TPM.com:

 A federal judge likened Texas' strict voter ID requirement to a poll tax deliberately meant to suppress minority voter turnout and struck it down less than a month before Election Day — and mere hours after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a similar measure in Wisconsin.

The twin rulings released Thursday evening represent major and somewhat surprising blows to largely Republican-backed voter identification rules sweeping the nation that have generally been upheld in previous rulings.

"Latino America's" Matt Barreto: Politicos are Missing the Boat

-- by Sandra Lilley NBC News:

It can feel like "deja vu all over again" when it comes to coverage of Latinos and American politics. Latinos are either the electoral "sleeping giant" or they just are just not that into politics, and they will always vote Democratic unless their religious conservatism makes them Republicans without knowing it, like Ronald Reagan famously said.

Two leading Latino social scientists, Matt Barreto and Gary Segura, co-founders of the polling and research firm Latino Decisions, do a reality check on these assumptions in their new book "Latino America: How America's Most Dynamic Population Is Poised To Transform The Politics Of The Nation."

Through a thorough recounting of past Latino voting patterns as well as through extensive surveys, what emerges is a more nuanced, big-picture look at the country's Latino electorate and its rapid growth, which is, in the end, why it matters.

"Demographic change is happening in real time," said Barreto in an interview with NBC News. "Campaign officials don't see it coming until after it happens."

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El Instituto Hispano hace el Lanzamiento de un Anuncio de Servicio Público Bilingüe para la Campaña (Salgan a votar)

¿Cuál es la clave para conectar con los votantes hispanos? ¡Es hablarles en su propio idioma!

WASHINGTON, D.C. (22 de septiembre) – El día de hoy, El Instituto Hispano lanzó un video publicitario de servicio público bilingüe para alentar a los hispanos a votar en las elecciones de medio término de este noviembre próximo. El video – que se desarrolla fluidamente en inglés y en español – es parte de la campaña Get-Out-The-Vote (Salgan a Votar) del Instituto.

Our Responsibility to Vote! from Aalia Network on Vimeo.

"Este noviembre, los 54 millones de hispanos de los Estados Unidos tienen la obligación con ellos mismos y con sus familias de hacerse escuchar en las urnas" dijo Gus West, Presidente de la Junta del Instituto Hispánico. "Nuestro video es un llamado al sentido del deber cívico de los Hispano-Americanos – sin importar cuál sea su idioma de preferencia".

Históricamente, los hispanos han estado sub-representados políticamente. Eso ha sucedido principalmente porque su votación ha sido 25% menos que los votos de afroamericanos y blancos.

El video del Instituto Hispano busca cambiar esta situación. Para poder hacer llegar el mensaje a los Hispanos, hace falta un mensaje bilingüe. La Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos predijo que en los próximos años, el uso del español como lengua principal bajará entre los hispanos. Actualmente, un cuarto de los Hispano-Americanos solo habla inglés en sus hogares.

El Instituto Hispano busca transmitir su video Get-Out-The-Vote (Salgan a Votar) en los cinco estados que tendrán las elecciones más competitivas este otoño: Nevada, Colorado, Carolina del Norte, Georgia y Iowa.

" A solamente seis semanas, con las elecciones de medio término,, los hispanos poseen una oportunidad histórica de influenciar la política relacionada con los asuntos que son más sensibles para ellos," dijo West. "Nuestra campaña es un llamado para que aprovechen esta oportunidad".

Obama's Wise Move on Immigration

-- by Maria Cardona, for CNN.com:

As a Latina activist I was devastated to learn the President would delay executive action to keep undocumented immigrants with no criminal record from getting deported.

He'd promised he'd do it, our community expected it, and the country's economy needed it -- especially as Republicans have abdicated their obligation to pass real and lasting legislative reform for our broken immigration system.

Could Cruz's Immigration Move Lead to Shutdown Fight

-- by Ted Barrett and Deidre Walsh, CNN:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Tuesday Congress should "use all means necessary" to prevent President Barack Obama from granting what Cruz considers amnesty to more immigrants who are in the country illegally.

He said it would be "appropriate" to include a provision that would block the President from doing so in a critical government-funding bill that Congress must approve this month.

Obama to Delay Executive Action on Immigration

-- by Jim Kuhnhenn, The Associated Press:

Abandoning his pledge to act by the end of summer, President Barack Obama has decided to delay any executive action on immigration until after the November congressional elections, White House officials said.

The move is certain to infuriate immigration advocates while offering relief to some vulnerable Democrats in tough Senate re-election contests.

Study: Kids’ obesity risk starts before school age

Associated Press, Published: January 29 Those efforts to fight obesity in schools? Think younger. A new study finds that much of a child’s “weight fate” is set by age 5, and that nearly half of kids who became obese by the eighth grade were already overweight when they started kindergarten. The prevalence of weight problems has long been known — about a third of U.S. kids are overweight or obese.

Immigration Breakout

President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night got the headlines, but few of his proposals will pass and most would make inequality worse by hurting economic growth. The bigger news this week turns out to be in Congress, where House Republicans seem poised for a political breakout on immigration. Speaker John Boehner plans to unveil a general set of immigration reform principles when the House GOP holds its annual retreat Thursday. Some on the right are trying to scare House Republicans into ducking back into their Mitt Romney self-deportation crouch.

Nicaragua's Sandinistas Consolidate Power With Military Reform

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua's congress has approved a military reform that allows President Daniel Ortega's military chief of staff to remain in his post indefinitely and lets the army take a larger role in the economy. It further concentrates power in hands of the longtime president and his allies. Ortega helped lead the 1970s uprising against dictator Anastasio Somoza, and since returning to the presidency has engineered a series of legal changes allowing him to remain in power indefinitely.

House Republican Leaders To Outline Immigration Principles

Immigration, John Boehner Immigration, Mario Diaz-Balart Immigration, Latino Voices News . WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leaders plan to outline broad immigration principles, including legalization for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally, to the GOP rank and file as they look to revive long-stalled efforts to overhaul the nation's immigration system. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other House GOP leaders will measure the willingness of party members to tackle immigration in a midterm election year when they unveil the principles Thursday at the G
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