Things That Matter

These Twitter Memes Should Help You Tell The Castro Twins Apart From Now On

Presidential hopeful Julian Castro and his twin brother Representative Joaquin Castro were featured in the Washington Post’s TikTok video. Julian and Joaquin are no stranger to being mixed up for one another. Over the summer Joaquin even grew a beard to create a visual distinction between the two after reporters were left vexed when the brothers entered a media room wearing similar suits. 

The Washington Post’s TikTok has featured viral memes of presidential candidates before, including a video of Andrew Yang dancing, and Beto O’Rourke standing on a file cabinet in the office.

Like always Twitter took the premise of the hilarious video and ran with it. Users began using the image of Julian in a slick suit and Joaquin in a casual dad sweater to create some fun compare and contrast memes. 

Julian and Joaquin create TikTok to help people tell them apart.

In the video, Julian and Joaquin lipsync to the popular song “Who R U” by JUFU. The Washington Post’s Dave Jorgenson plays the role of the media as the twins explain to the public who is who in an airport. 

“Maybe this will help y’all tell us apart,” Castro said in his caption of the retweet of the video. 

“Yeah, I’m the one that can actually dance,” Joaquin responded. The media has confused the twins repeatedly. 

Naturally, Twitter began to meme a snapshot of the TikTok. 

Twitter being Twitter, pretty much the entire political world chimed in with a resounding yes and the meme floodgates were opened.

Some folks used the opportunity to use the image of a dapper Julian and a laidback Joaquin to compare their lifestyle choices. I’d say “Tapas vs. Barbacoa y big red,” is pretty accurate.

Another user labeled Julian “Mi Tierra” and Joaquin, “La Margarita.” 

Julian’s staffers join in on the meme fun.

Julian’s National Press Secretary Sawyer Hackett chimed in with “Day 1 on the campaign vs. Day 300.” The sentiment might be a little too real as Julian’s presidential campaign warned he may have to drop out of the race if he doesn’t raise $800,000 by October 31. 

“If I can’t raise $800,000 in the next 10 days — I will have no choice but to end my race for president,” Castro wrote in a fundraising email. “If I don’t meet this deadline, I won’t have the resources to keep my campaign running.”

However, Julian’s deputy press secretary Liza Acevedo had a bit more fun roasting the candidate saying, “You vs. The guy she tells you not to worry about.” 

This one was far too relatable for many many people.

Joaquin Castro grew a beard so people would stop confusing him for Julian. 

Just this month, the San Antonio Express newspaper confused Joaquin and Julian – in their own hometown. In the paper, Joaquin is credited for launching the opening of a building that actually came into fruition when Julian was mayor. The twins have always had a sense of humor about the constant confusion. 

“There you go again…always taking credit for my feats. Did you put @mySA up to it?” Julian tweeted in jest. 

Over the summer, Joaquin got fed up and decided to grow facial hair to end the confusion. 

“I hadn’t shaved in like three days and I decided I’d just grow the beard back – and it does help so that people don’t always think that I’m running for president,” Joaquin told reporters in Washington, D.C. according to USA Today

He said he encounters mixups every day just about everywhere except the Capitol where people recognize him as a congressman. 

“Like in the airport or somewhere else – on the streets” he said, adding that at first it was funny but, “then after that, it’s like, I’m not running for president!”

Joaquin’s beard does not seem to help end the confusion.

Joaquin’s tactic wasn’t too successful as there have been quite a few mixups since. In September, Joaquin called out MSNBC for using a photo of him to discuss Julian’s candidacy. 

“You guys know that’s actually me, right,” he said. “I grew a beard. Do I need a face tattoo?” 

This isn’t the first time a presidential candidate’s TikTok has gone viral.

The Washington Post’s presidential candidate TikTok with the most views was previously held by Andrew Yang with 1.9 million views. In a couple of days, the Castro twins’ reached over 2.1 million views. 

Another fan favorite included Beto O’Rourke giving one of his famous speeches — standing on a file cabinet in the office.

The joke is a reference to a meme early in his campaign where he was photographed speaking to constituents while standing on a table.

A Section Of Border Wall Is At Risk Of Falling Into Rio Grande Months After Being Called The ‘Lamborghini Of Border Walls’

Things That Matter

A Section Of Border Wall Is At Risk Of Falling Into Rio Grande Months After Being Called The ‘Lamborghini Of Border Walls’

Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

Trump’s vanity project – that so many of his supporters hail as his greatest accomplishment – has hit another major setback. His planned border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has consisted of a mix of government-built and privately-built segments, and now one of the highest-profile segments is at literal risk of falling over into a river. How’s that for karma?

The segment in Texas, which its developer called the ‘Lamborghini’ of border walls, was poorly built along a massive flood plain and now erosion has left it in shambles, mere months after construction.

The “Lamborghini” of border walls is in danger of falling into the river if nothing is done.

Trump supporters funded a private border wall on the banks of the Rio Grande, helping the builder secure $1.7 billion in federal contracts. Now the “Lamborghini” of border walls is in danger of falling into the river if nothing is done, experts say.

This ‘Lamborghini’ of border walls is different from those that came before it, in that it could allegedly be built directly on the banks of the Rio Grande – a risky but potentially game-changing step when it came to the nation’s border wall system.

But engineering experts and hydrologists told ProPublica that despite the company’s claims, the wall was built too close to the Rio Grande and is in serious danger of collapse, as photos show “a series of gashes and gullies” along the base of the structure that have severely weakened the structure’s foundation.

According to reports, the foundation for the wall’s steel poles reach only 2.5 feet into the ground, less than one-third as deep as government usually requires. The shallow foundation combined with the rugged riverbank terrain is reportedly a recipe for disaster.

“When the river rises, it will likely attack those areas where the foundation is exposed, further weakening support of the fence and potentially causing portions … to fall into the Rio Grande,” Alex Mayer told ProPublica.

The geography of the Rio Grande has long been a roadblock to wall construction in the region.

Credit: Bend Bend National Park / USFS

A border wall has long existed in one form or another along much of Texas’s southern border. But it’s often existed miles away from the actual border with Mexico, thanks to the region’s diverse and difficult terrain. The Rio Grande Valley’s unique geography includes a wide floodplain that has forced the government to construct barriers inland, on top of a levee system. That has left swaths of farmland, cemeteries and even homes in a kind of no man’s land south of the fence.

Jude Benavides, a hydrologist, told ProPublica, that “People don’t appreciate the power of the Rio Grande when it does indeed wake up. It changes the landscape.”

The contractor has used the segment in Texas to secure billions of dollars worth of contracts to build additional wall in Arizona.

Just this May, the company, Fisher Sand & Gravel (FSG), a won a record-high $1.3 billion government contract to built a portion of Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. They won the approval even though the government’s own Army Corps of Engineers spoke out against FSG’s prototype for lack of “quality” and “sophistication.”

But like so many other Trump projects, the president inserted himself directly into the bidding process – helping FSG gain the contracts. No surprise: FSG’s director, Tommy Fisher, has been a frequent guest on Fox News and has played into Trump’s latest frustrations regarding his wall project, promising he would be able to build it faster and cheaper than any other contractor on the project.

The segment in Texas was built using private donations from some of Trump’s biggest supporters.

Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Getty Images

As Trump faced opposition against his border wall vanity project in Congress, several non-profit groups sprung up in support of his border wall plan. That’s exactly how Fisher’s private fence projects got off the ground.

Both the New Mexico and South Texas projects were built with financial and political help from We Build The Wall, an influential conservative nonprofit – Trump supporter and political strategist Steven Bannon is a board member. In touting its project, the group claimed to have raised more than $25 million and agreements with landowners along 250 miles of riverfront property across Texas.

Julian Castro Launches People First Future PAC To Elect Young Progressives

Things That Matter

Julian Castro Launches People First Future PAC To Elect Young Progressives

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Julián Castro launched a new political action committee Thursday. The People First Future PAC is aimed at getting young Progressives elected to office on the state and local levels across the U.S.

Julián Castro is getting to work to help young Progressives get elected across the country.

The People First Future PAC is giving support and attention to politicians across the U.S. who are fighting for core Progressive values. These values include universal health care and an aggressive plan to combat climate change. Castro campaigned on these policies when he was running as a presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.

Castro has been a vocal presence in the current demonstration to end police brutality.

The nation is witnessing large-scale peaceful protests across the country demanding justice after the death of George Floyd. Thousands of people have taken to the streets across the country demanding accountability within police departments for the deaths of unarmed Black people at the hands of police officers.

Castro made police brutality a central point of his campaign releasing a policy and naming victims during debates.

Part of Castro’s policing policy requires the use of body cams for all officers to increase transparency into police activities. The policy also looks at the training techniques to de-escalate a situation and require that those techniques be used to their fullest extent all recorded on body cams to guarantee compliance. Castro’s policy also calls on police officers “to identify themselves, issue a verbal warning, and give the suspect a reasonable amount of time to comply before the use of force.”

Here are some of the candidates that People First Future PAC:

Representative Lauren Underwood

Rep. Underwood represents Illinois’s 14th congressional district, which is west of Chicago. The young politician won her seat in the 2018 elections. She unseated Republican Randy Hultgren, who held the seat for 8 years. Underwood is one of the young, Progressive people of color who were elected into Congress during the 2018 elections as a rebuke against the Trump administration.

Candace Valenzuela

Valenzuela is in a runoff election against Kim Olson to represent Texas’s 24th congressional district. The district is just north of Dallas and Fort Worth and to the West of Plano. The school board member lost the primary race for the Dallas/Fort Worth suburb by 10 points in March. The runoff election is scheduled for July 14.

Check out the full list of politicians backed by Castro’s People First Future PAC here.

READ: Presidential Candidate Julián Castro Opens Up About Juggling His Fight For Latinos In His Campaign And Being A Dad