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fraurosena

The Midterm Elections

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fraurosena

Although the 2018 elections are still a little over 6 months away, I thought a separate thread would be helpful to post all things related to them. 

There is still much to be done about Election Security in all 50 states. The article in this tweet is quite long, but very informative.

I really don't understand why there isn't a sense of urgency about electoral security in every single state. The above results are simply unacceptable for a country that calls itself a democracy.

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fraurosena

Not a surprise. Still disquieting though.

NSA director says he hasn’t received orders from Trump to disrupt Russian cyberattacks targeting elections

Quote

A top U.S. intelligence official told lawmakers on Tuesday that he has not received specific direction from the Trump administration to disrupt Russian cyberattacks targeting U.S. elections.

“I haven’t been granted any additional authorities,” NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers, who also serves as commander of U.S. Cyber Command, told lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

While Rogers said he has not asked for additional authorities to stop Russian cyberattacks at the source, he noted that it would ultimately be up to President Trump to give him that permission.

“I need a policy decision that indicates there is specific direction to do that,” Rogers said. “The president ultimately would make this decision in accordance with a recommendation from the secretary of Defense.”

Rogers did say he has directed the cyber mission force to "begin some specific work" on the issue, but would not go into further detail on the steps in the unclassified setting.

Democrats on the committee seized on Rogers’s comments as evidence that the administration has not done enough to counter future election interference.

“Essentially, we have not taken on the Russians yet,” said Rep. Jack Reed(D-R.I.), the ranking member, who accused the administration of “essentially sitting back and waiting.”

While Rogers pushed back on the notion that the administration has done nothing to counter Russian interference, he acknowledged that the response so far—which has included sanctions passed by Congress—has been insufficient in deterring such behavior. 

“They haven’t paid a price, at least, that has significantly changed their behavior,” Rogers said.

At the same time, Rogers said confronting Russian hackers in the cyber realm would not necessarily be the “optimal” response to Moscow’s efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.

“I’m not sure that the capabilities that I have would be the optimal or only response to this,” Rogers said.

“It could be a part of the response,” he added.

Rogers was grilled by lawmakers from both parties about the steps the government has taken to deter and respond to Russian efforts to disrupt American elections throughout the hearing, which was scheduled to examine the fiscal year 2019 budget request for U.S. Cyber Command.

U.S. officials have blamed Russia for directing cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, and probing digital election infrastructure not involved in vote tallying, as part of the 2016 influence effort. 

The Department of Homeland Security responded to Russian hacking by providing state and local election officials with cyber testing and other resources to help protect their systems from future cyberattacks.

Rogers’s comments Tuesday mirrored those he made before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month, when he and other top intelligence officials said they expect Russia to meddle in the 2018 midterms.

“We’re not where we need to be or where we want to be,” he told Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).

Rogers is serving out his final weeks as leader of the NSA and Cyber Command. Trump has tapped the leader of Army Cyber Command, Lt. Gen. Paul Nakasone, to replace him.

Here is some more of his testimony:

 

 

Edited by fraurosena
adding 2nd tweet

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fraurosena

I can't believe it's necessary to ask this for a country that calls itself democratic, but, if you can, please help your fellow American's ability to vote by donating towards a voter ID for those that can't afford it.

I really am amazed that you have to buy a voter ID in order to vote in America. In the Netherlands, everyone above the age of 18 gets theirs posted to them in the mail before each election. For free. Because we believe everyone, regardless of their station in life, should be able to have their say in how the country's governed. All of our citizens can vote if they want to, not just the happy few. 

That's what democracy is, after all: by the people, for the people.

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BecauseScience

Thanks @fraurosena!  In Texas we have fairly early primaries--early voting is just about over.  And it's going well!  Check this out: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/1/17058372/democrats-2018-texas-primary-midterms-congressional-districts

Best part: 

"Compared to the same period in 2014, Democratic turnout shot up 69 percent, while Republican turnout saw a 20 percent bump.

Early voting numbers are a much better predictor of enthusiasm rather than actual turnout, but the numbers were enough to scare Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who promptly sent out a fundraising email saying the numbers 'should shock every conservative to their core.'

'We had always hoped the liberal wave would never hit Texas, but these early voting returns aren’t encouraging so far,' Abbott’s email read."

 

Run scared, Abbott.  We want sanity in our state back.

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Penny

In the Dallas area and so sick of the stupid republicans commercials. I have seen how great Greag Abbott and Dan Patrick and I want to unplug the tv. Oh and I can't wait to vote out Ted Cruz!

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GrumpyGran
On 3/1/2018 at 1:10 PM, fraurosena said:

In the Netherlands, everyone above the age of 18 gets theirs posted to them in the mail before each election. For free. Because we believe everyone, regardless of their station in life, should be able to have their say in how the country's governed. All of our citizens can vote if they want to, not just the happy few. 

Yeah, I can understand how ridiculous it looks from anyone else's perspective. Most people use drivers' licenses for IDs because you're nothing if you don't have a car and drive everywhere. So that alone adds an element that has nothing to do with identification. It's too late to implement a system of separate IDs in our country because Republicans don't want that. You can get one but it still costs money and it's not exactly advertised.

And the cost, well, nothing is free in this country. Nothing. Because we spend MASSIVE amounts of money to build weapons and other war toys. And we cover the cost of retirement and health care for our fabulous legislators. And we need to cut taxes for wealthy people so they can buy more ridiculously large homes and the best Italian luggage and clothing, as well as the best German cars. And there's the Scott Pruitt Project. Oh, and a wall. A tremendous beautiful see-thru wall.

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AmazonGrace

I don't  get the voter registration... Why do you have to register to vote to begin with? I've never registered and registering to vote is not really a thing here. All I have to do is keep my address current at the post office and before all the elections they send me the paperwork I have to show at the voting place. I can vote without the paperwork too but it's more trouble for the attendants.

You do need an ID to vote here but you need an ID for a lot of other things too. I've never heard of anyone complaining they can't vote because they can't get an ID. You can get one for about €60.  

 

If you have a passport or a driver's licence that will do.

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PraiseDog

My state is one of the fairer ones (Washington state) but there's still a lot of crap to go through.  For example, we get semi-automatic voter registration when we update our drivers licenses (you have to check a box saying you're a citizen) and then when election time comes, you'll get a paper ballot in the mail.  You fill it out, and then either send it to the State election board in the mail, with a stamp, or drop it into one of many local election drop boxes, for free.  
I agree with having paper ballots, that can be saved and checked in case of a close election.
But I disagree that the procedure for our drivers' license registration automatically pits us against our local immigrants.  One example:  to get a drivers license that allows us to travel to nearby countries that don't require a visa (like Canada, Mexico, other countries where it's easy to get a visa, like Panama, Brazil, etc.)  we have to pay more for an "enhanced" license, in fact we'll have to get those by 2020 to travel anywhere. It's crazy and unfair, in my opinion, that more money = more freedom to travel overseas.

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fraurosena

This article is absolutely spot on. 

This is America, 2018. Government is dead. Corporations rule. Their 'electorate' is consumers.

Quote

The horror of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and the revelation that a deeply troubled 19-year-old had been able to legally buy a semi-automatic rifle and pick off 17 classmates and teachers was the last straw. A week later, the president went on national TV to announce a radical change in policy and that “‘thoughts and prayers’ are no longer enough.” In a display of leadership, he announced a halt in the sale of military-style rifles as well as all gun sales to customers younger than 21.

“Based on what’s happened and looking at those kids and those parents, it moved us all unimaginably,” the president said, “To think about the loss and the grief that those kids and those parents had, we said, ‘We need to do something,'”

Much of the nation applauded the bold move by the commander-in-chief … of Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the nation’s largest retailers. The decisive action by Dick’s CEO Edward Stack triggered a wave of similar moves by mega-chains like Walmart and Kroger (AR-15s in supermarkets?… surprising) that was certainly a stark contrast to the clueless dithering in political capitals from Washington to Tallahassee.

The elected “president of all the people,” Donald Trump, was a bright orange spinning ball of sound and fury on the gun issue, signifying less than zero; the 45th POTUS ping-ponged from an inane push for armed teachers to shockingly liberal policy pronouncements in a nationally televised confab with congressional leaders, to tossing all that in the trash after dinner with the NRA lobbyists who’d pumped $30 million into Trump’s 2016 campaign. A few miles from the Parkland school, a humbled Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (NRA-related donations: $3.3 million) told angry shooting survivors he was reversing course on issues like raising the minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles and maybe even a ban on high-capacity magazines, only to forget much of what he said when he got back to Washington. Florida lawmakers banned the sales of guns like the AR-15 this weekend in a voice vote — only to realize in a cold sweat that it had angered its masters in the gun lobby and quickly repealed the move.

In the 18 days since Parkland, the governmental response to school shootings has been next to nothing — even on gun safety measures that are overwhelmingly favored by the American people. You’d be hard-pressed to find an idea with greater public support than strengthening gun background checks — backed by at least 85 percent of voters and a mind-boggling 97 percent in one recent survey — yet even that, and the slaughter of 20 kindergartners and first-graders in Connecticut  five years ago, didn’t convince Congress to act. Public support for stricter — and saner — gun laws has spiked to 66 percent since Parkland, yet our deer-in-the-headlights lawmakers stand numb, paralyzed. It’s the most powerful proof yet that democratic government in America is broken beyond repair.

You probably already knew that. But the Parkland aftermath has laid bare another fundamental change in modern American life that is truly stunning, with powerful implications for both the present and future of our fragile experiment in democracy. After seven decades of rampant post-war consumerism, in a world shaped by omnipresent marketing, where “corporations are people, my friend” with unlimited power to buy politicians with campaign contributions and to create enormous wealth at the expense of the middle class, the fundamental relationships have changed. Government of the people, by the people and for the people is dead. Corporations rule the land, and are now using that clout to eliminate the ineffective middlemen of politics and to set our policy. And citizens like you and me? It turns out we have some limited sway — not as voters but as consumers.

This has been happening all around us. In space exploration, for example, NASA’s budget has been halved (in real dollars) from the glory days of the 1960s, reducing the occasional vow from Trump or his predecessors to return to the moon to ridiculous babble; the field has been ceded to billionaire Elon Musk, whose privatized rocket launches have become what the Mercury and Gemini liftoffs were to my baby boomer generation. Likewise, government dithering on making the reforms of Obamacare work have prompted a bevy of corporate giants — Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway (owned by two of the wealthiest men in human history, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffet) and J.P. Morgan Chase — to launch their own company to disrupt the way that health care is delivered. Mass transit not getting people where they need to go in the 21st century? Why fix mass transit, when you can launch the Google Bus? And those examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

What’s most interesting is the subtle way this dynamic has changed in the 2010s. Accumulating corporate power and privatization of government functions (like charter schools) has been going on since the Reagan years, but now the big firms are going beyond economic policy to take a leadership role on the social issues where Washington and many state capitals are out of step. The reasons are complicated and probably more worthy of a book than a newspaper column, but corporations realize the factors that have tilted government to the right of public opinion — extreme gerrymandering, the influence of Fox News and talk radio profiting off right-wing conspiracy theories, fear of groups like the NRA — have also created a growing disconnect in today’s America.

The American majority that concentrates in urban areas and on the two coasts — the people who gave Hillary Clinton roughly 3 million more votes in 2016 — that wants action on climate change, social equality and now gun control, tends to also have more disposable income, and money is the new vote in our sometimes-benign corporate oligarchy. That’s how you get most of our multi-national corporations — even fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil, for God’s sake — taking global warming seriously, while the federal agency tasked with protecting our earth, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is run by a climate (and evolution) denier. But it took the fallout from Parkland — and the courageous teenage survivors who’ve kept the gun issue on the front burner — to bring it all into focus.

In 2012 after the Newtown shooting, angry voters turned their immediate attention to Congress and were flabbergasted when Congress did nothing. In 2017, energized by the power of social media to create consumer movements that weren’t possible in an earlier time, activists immediately looked for ways to target the NRA directly. Almost immediately, amid a volley of tweets promising to boycott any firm that does business with the gun lobby, a slew of rental-car companies and airlines immediately responded by cutting ties to the NRA. (Which prompted the only major governmental action so far, a retaliatory and possibly unconstitutional attack on Delta by gun-addled Georgia lawmakers.) When Dick’s Sporting Goods took the lead on restricting gun sales, it may have been a perfectly human response to a tragedy, but it was also an acknowledgement that most of its sales of nonlethal items like soccer balls and cleats are made to the teenagers (and their parents) who are taking the fight to the NRA.

So we should all welcome, in the infamous words of Simpsons newscaster Kent Brockman, our new insect overlords, the American corporation, right? Uh … not exactly. For one thing, Dick’s or Walmart ending the sale of assault rifles has a big impact, but it’s no substitute for the force of law when a determined but crazed gunman like the Florida gunman still can find a smaller gun shop that will sell him an AR-15.

But more importantly, the political agenda of Big Business isn’t really the public good — it’s where public goodwill can increase their profits. In other words, social responsibility on climate change or LGBTQ rights may on some level reflect what C-suite executives think is right, but the broader purpose is to keep people buying into a regime that has also spent 30 years promoting growing income inequality, runaway CEO paychecks and economic policies that have devastated the working class. It’s telling that the only time Congress and Trump showed the skill to actually pass something in 2017 was a massive tax giveaway for corporations and billionaires.

Government by corporate fiat is unequal, unfair, haphazard — and no substitute for the fundamentals of a participatory democracy that America was founded on. While our new system may occasionally “work” when it comes to large retailers and the assault rifles they never should have been marketing in the first place, the gigantic cracks in this system are starting to show. Look no farther than West Virginia, where the system led by a drunk-on-fossil-fuels state government created a world where schoolteachers had to work the cash register at Hardee’s to make ends meet — until they said enough is enough and shut down every school in the Mountaineer State. Now, workers in other areas of government and even other states are thinking about joining the West Virginia teachers in their dramatic walkout — because the average American is at her or his wit’s end about how we got to this sorry state and what to do about it.

Corporations aren’t the solution. No, the answer is for new, not-beholden candidates to get on the ballot for November and for a wave of new or re-energized voters to elect a new government that will enact the policies that are supported by the vast majority of the American people. We need to take back our government, reclaim democracy, and declare an end to this strange time of business oligarchy. Come 2019, we need to thank people like Edward Stack from Dick’s and rocket man Elon Musk for their service, and put the people back in the CEO’s corner office of making public policy.

I agree with his assessment that the answer is new, not-beholden candidates. What he doesn't mention though - but which is just as important IMO -  is that it should be made impossible for corporations to donate to political campaigns in any way, shape or form. Donations from private citizens should also be capped at a certain amount that will prevent any 'quid pro quo' situations. 

Edited by fraurosena
altered sentence structure for better readability

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fraurosena

Wowsers! If this trend keeps up, then November is going to be remembered in history as the most epic midterm elections ever.

 

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GrumpyGran
6 hours ago, PraiseDog said:

to get a drivers license that allows us to travel to nearby countries that don't require a visa (like Canada, Mexico, other countries where it's easy to get a visa, like Panama, Brazil, etc.)  we have to pay more for an "enhanced" license, in fact we'll have to get those by 2020 to travel anywhere. It's crazy and unfair, in my opinion, that more money = more freedom to travel overseas.

Yeah, we're stuck with that ridiculous situation here in SC, too because of stupid Nikki Haley. I don't even know if we can get enhanced ones yet.

3 hours ago, fraurosena said:

Wowsers! If this trend keeps up, then November is going to be remembered in history as the most epic midterm elections ever.

 

Whoa, they are fired up in Houston and Austin!

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AmazonGrace
3 hours ago, fraurosena said:

Wowsers! If this trend keeps up, then November is going to be remembered in history as the most epic midterm elections ever.

 

Wow the voter fraud screaming is  going to be epic as well.

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fraurosena

I'm flabbergasted to see this kind of voter suppression at work:

How is this even legal?

Speaking of the Texas elections, are there any results in yet, @Howl?

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GrumpyGran
2 hours ago, fraurosena said:

I'm flabbergasted to see this kind of voter suppression at work:

I read this thread. It seems to me that having separate locations or rooms or even lines depending on which party you are voting for is, or should be illegal. Doesn't this make your vote public? Don't we still have the right to secret ballot?

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Cartmann99

Ted Cruz, aka known as Rafael Edward Cruz, is going after his opponent for going by his childhood nickname of Beto, instead of his given name of Robert. Yes, really.

Anyhoo, Ted thinks it's a plot that Beto recently came up with to fool Latinx Texans into voting for him. I'll warn you that he hired some musicians to turn the song If You're Gonna Play in Texas into a jingle for him, and they attempted to make the word "gun" and "Texans" rhyme :roll::

Beto responded with a picture of himself as a small child:

 I'm thrilled that my candidate for TX-11 won the Democratic primary, but I know this district well enough to accept that the odds of her actually defeating my Republican congresscritter in November are quite slim. :pb_sad: That said, since senate races are voted on by the entire state, we could actually send Ted Cruz packing if we can get enough sane Texans registered, and out to the polls this November!

 I'm donating to Beto's campaign later today. I loathe Ted Cruz, and I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is.

https://betofortexas.com

 

 

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fraurosena

@Cartmann99, I saw this and thought you would appreciate it.

As to the election results, I confess to being somewhat confused. Looking at the maps in @GreyhoundFan's link, I see one with Texas completely red, and one that is rather more blue, but I can't figure out what it signifies. I gather that these elections were so-called primaries, and that there were democratic ones, and republican ones. But what does that mean, exactly? It's all rather confusing to this foreigner...

:dontgetit:

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onekidanddone

Reading the comments on Rafael's twitter page is like reading Tom Cotton's. Looks like nobody likes him. SAD.  I'm wondering though, does he even read the comments or does his staff because the negative ones stay up there. I'd think his minions would filter the bad ones out and create fake supportive tweets.  

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Aggravated
GreyhoundFan
4 hours ago, fraurosena said:

As to the election results, I confess to being somewhat confused. Looking at the maps in @GreyhoundFan's link, I see one with Texas completely red, and one that is rather more blue, but I can't figure out what it signifies. I gather that these elections were so-called primaries, and that there were democratic ones, and republican ones. But what does that mean, exactly? It's all rather confusing to this foreigner...

There are two tabs over each map, one for Dems and one for Reps.  You have to toggle back and forth. Since these are primaries, there are, in some cases, multiple candidates under each. So, whichever candidate won from each party will go on to face the winner of the other party's primary. That's how it works in most states. California is an exception (I'm not sure if there are others). I read that in California, the top two vote getters in the primaries, regardless of party, face off in the general election. California folks, please let me know if I've been misinformed. I lived in California for a short while, but I was in junior high, so I wasn't voting, except for the student government.

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onekidanddone

This white town does realize people from PR still remember getting paper towels thrown at them, and they can vote once they get state side.

Why a white town paid for a class called ‘Hispanics 101’

Quote

 

BRANSON, Mo. — In a ballroom with antlers on the wall and hoof prints on the carpet, diversity coach Miguel Joey Aviles asked whether anyone knew how to merengue.

“Lord have mercy,” he said, counting hands. “Only two?”

This is “Hispanics 101,” a class meant to teach employers in the Ozarks resort town of 11,400 how to lure workers from Puerto Rico and persuade them to stay.

The economy depends on it. As tourism season kicks off this month, the remote getaway known for dinner theaters, country music concerts and a museum of dinosaur replicas has 2,050 vacancies — and a lack of locals applying.

So, like other areas with tight labor markets, Branson finds itself getting creative to fill jobs — in this case by recruiting people from a part of the United States with much higher unemployment.

But the plan to bring 1,000 workers from the island to overwhelmingly white, conservative Branson over the next three years has sparked unease, with critics saying that the newcomers will steal work from residents or drag down wages or bump up crime.

Inside the mountain lodge with Aviles, however, managers who say they’re desperate for employees stood up and tried to move their hips. They came from hotels, hospitals, hardware stores and banks, paying $50 each for the workshop.

“It’s very, very difficult to find talented people in this labor market,” said Lynn Brown, regional human resources manager at Bluegreen Vacations. Few responded to the 20 vacancies he had posted online.

It’s another challenge to get workers to stay. Aviles advises bosses to check in often, ask about their mothers and request that grocery stores in the area sell plantains and Goya coconut water.

“It’s not enough to invite them to the party,” Aviles said, twisting his body to the beat. “Bring them to the dance floor.”

Branson boasts hiking, cave tours and 47 music venues, including Dolly Parton’s horse show, which a Slate reviewer recently described as “the Lost Cause of the Confederacy meets Cirque du Soleil.”

The town logged a record 9 million visits from tourists in 2017. The local chamber of commerce expects an even bigger rush this year, thanks to rising wages nationwide.

Branson’s workforce development team is partnering with local businesses, including food suppliers, to accommodate the new hires. But officials acknowledge that some in the area, which is 92.4 percent white, are clinging to the past. Confederate flags adorn shop windows. A billboard outside town advertises “White Pride Radio.”

“We get nasty comments all the time,” said Heather Hardinger, programs director at the Taney County Partnership, which is working with the chamber on what it calls the “talent attraction” plan.

Companies across the country are competing for workers from Puerto Rico, which has the highest jobless rate in the United States. (Last year’s average was 10.8 percent.)

Firms in Maine, Wisconsin and Indiana have sought employees there, with some offering housing as a sweetener. One medical device maker in tiny Warsaw, Ind., has provided its hires with cars.

Branson employers seek a variety of hires, from housekeepers to receptionists to senior managers in the tourism and hospitality industries, with pay ranging from $12 to $20 an hour, as well as hospital nurses whose salaries start at $54,000.

If Puerto Ricans face hostility in the town, Hardinger worries they will decamp for somewhere else — and the town will be stuck without the workers it needs to grow.

“The question we keep asking ourselves is: What can we do to set the community apart and make them feel at home here?” she said.

Branson has long sought temporary foreign workers to support its tourism industry and faced a crisis last summer when the Trump administration curbed the number of H-2B visas, cutting off a supply of seasonal employees from Belize.

Local businesses requested 475 H-2B visas for workers in 2017 but received about 70, a town spokeswoman said.

“That created an immediate shortage in the workforce,” said Jeff Seifried, president of Branson’s chamber of commerce. “It sent everyone scrambling.”

Uncertainty around the H-2B visa program has pushed Branson to start building a new — and permanent — talent pool, Seifried said. The town, he said, needs a workforce that decisions in Washington can’t shrink.

“Our market can’t grow without it,” Seifried said.

The town’s workforce development team got to brainstorming, and it struck them: Puerto Rico is part of the United States — and the island’s jobless rate is typically much higher than Branson’s.

Perhaps they could make a deal: quality jobs and a warm welcome in exchange for hard workers who will consider staying.

Chamber officials visited Puerto Rico last April, August and again in February to recruit workers for positions in hotels and hospitals. The effort has brought 269 people from the island to Branson.

One of the first signs of resistance was a resident complaining he had read a story in the local newspaper last May about two men from Puerto Rico getting into a bar fight.

“Did you bring them here?” he asked, Hardinger said she recalled. “We don’t want this violence.”

“What if they had been from Minnesota?” she recalls responding. “Would you want Minnesotans to stop coming here?”

Juanita Vazquez, a 35-year-old San Juan native who came here last April to manage the Lodge of the Ozarks, a lumber-lined resort with 800 rooms, said she encountered discrimination just after Hurricane Maria lashed her home town last September.

She recalled a man eating scrambled eggs in the lobby, who looked up from his newspaper and said, “Why are we giving money to Puerto Rico? They’re so lazy.”

Vazquez inhaled.

“I said to him, “Hello, sir. I am Juanita Vazquez. I am the general manager. And I am Puerto Rican.”

That left him speechless.

Later, she said, he approached the front desk and apologized.

“I told my boss about it, and you know what?” she said, grinning. “He said, ‘Good job!’ ”

That kind of support, she said, makes her want to bring her younger sister, who works as a nurse, to Branson. Vazquez is coaxing her here with tickets to the wax museum, where they can take selfies with a faux Michael Jackson.

Across town, a pair of store owners questioned the need for the recruitment push on the island.

“You have to wonder if this will drive wages down,” said Beth Burgess, standing behind the wood counter at Cadwell’s Downtown Flea Market, which sells old books and raccoon pelts.

Two blocks up the street, at the Downtown Branson Visitor Center, Mike Peery, who has lived here more than a decade, lamented that locals can’t seem to fill the town’s openings. He doesn’t blame outsiders, though.

“So many people around here don’t want to work,” Peery said. “They have drug problems, tattoo problems, show-up-to-work problems.”

Karen Best, the mayor of Branson, has heard these complaints. She has assured residents that the recruits are Americans just like them — and vital to their town’s future.

“I would love to give all of our jobs to folks in the mainland U.S.,” she said. “But we have more openings than we have folks to fill those jobs. And if those jobs aren’t filled, our tourism season doesn’t happen.”

Celeste Cramer, director of recruitment and retention at CoxHealth, one of the region’s largest employers, said the hospital system recently hired 13 nurses from Puerto Rico and aims to “humanize” the recruits with Facebook posts. (“Ernesto Bravo Diaz originally wanted to be a doctor, but ultimately became a nurse because of the direct care they get to provide patients,” one mini-profile reads.)

“There has been some miseducation,” Cramer said. When the company hired outsiders in the past, she said, some residents “thought we’d be hiring people at a cheaper rate, and that is not true.”

Back at Big Cedar Lodge, Aviles, who grew up in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico, ended his four-hour session of “Hispanics 101” by urging Branson employers to stay champions of Puerto Rican workers long after their first day on the job.

“The worst thing I’ve seen is halfhearted efforts,” Aviles told the room. “If we go halfway, it never works out.”

According to his polling, Hispanics, like any people, have a wide variety of interests and views — but they tend to prioritize what folks in Branson also cherish: “faith, family, education and self-improvement,” he said.

Andrea Martinez-Marstall, a manager at nearby country club, nodded along and watched the faces around her.

“You see people’s eyes light up for the first time,” said the California native with Mexican roots. “People aren’t just listening. They’re embracing. Accepting.”

She thought of co-workers in her past, who had joked about Mexicans and then clarified: Oh, you’re not like that.

“I have been here for 19 years and have felt invisible for a long time,” she told Aviles after his presentation, shaking his hand. “The Ozarks needs this greatly.”

 

 

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fraurosena
5 hours ago, onekidanddone said:

The economy depends on it. As tourism season kicks off this month, the remote getaway known for dinner theaters, country music concerts and a museum of dinosaur replicas has 2,050 vacancies — and a lack of locals applying

 

5 hours ago, onekidanddone said:

“I would love to give all of our jobs to folks in the mainland U.S.,” she said. “But we have more openings than we have folks to fill those jobs. And if those jobs aren’t filled, our tourism season doesn’t happen.”

 

 

5 hours ago, onekidanddone said:

But the plan to bring 1,000 workers from the island to overwhelmingly white, conservative Branson over the next three years has sparked unease, with critics saying that the newcomers will steal work from residents or drag down wages or bump up crime.

 

Astounding logical fallacy. :roll:

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Cartmann99
8 hours ago, AmazonGrace said:

 

Bless his heart, I've come to the conclusion that Ted Cruz was one of those wiggly babies who frequently rolled off of the changing table and landed on his head.

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Bethella
On 3/7/2018 at 5:40 PM, fraurosena said:

I gather that these elections were so-called primaries, and that there were democratic ones, and republican ones. But what does that mean, exactly? It's all rather confusing to this foreigner...

:dontgetit:

Before the public votes for candidates in a state or national election, there's often a primary election that determines which candidates will make it to the final round. Typically each party has to narrow down to one candidate, so you only have one Republican and one Democrat running for each office (top-two primaries are the exception). Some times primaries are a formality (if only one person is running), other times you can have lots of people State rules differ regarding who can vote in these primaries, which are classed as open, closed or hybrid.

In a closed primary, you must be registered with the party in order to vote. For example in New York, you must be registered well before the election is held. In 2016 Ivanka and Eric Trump were unable to vote for their father in the NY primary because they didn't switch to Republican in time. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/donald-trumps-kids-cant-vote-for-their-dad-thats-no-laughing-matter/2016/04/14/5cc603dc-0272-11e6-9203-7b8670959b88_story.html?utm_term=.667b9429f157

In an open primary, anyone registered in that district can vote either primary. You still have to decide which party you're voting for. If you vote in the Democratic primary, you can't also vote in the Republican primary.

There are also semi-closed primaries, where voters who are registered with a party must vote in that party's primary but unaffiliated voters get to decide which one they vote in. 

In top-two primaries, all candidates for a particular office are on one ballot, so all party-affiliated and non-affiliated voters choose from among the same primary candidates. The two candidates with the most votes move on to the general election, even if they are from the same party (so you could have two Democrats running and no Republicans in the general election or vice versa). 

Another option that doesn't involve a primary election is a caucus which is local meeting where registered members of a political party in a city, town or county gather to vote for their preferred party candidate and conduct other party business.

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