Things That Matter

Puerto Rico, Still Recovering From Hurricane Maria, Is Losing Recovery Dollars To Fund Part Of The Border Wall

When Donald Trump began his campaign for president, one — if not the most important — promise he made was that Mexico would pay for the border wall. Trump’s border wall, which would extend throughout the south as a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, has been his No. 1 mission as president of the United States. Now, four years after making this promise, Mexico has still not paid a single cent for the construction of any such barrier that has been built or will be built. 

In order for Trump’s border wall to get constructed, he’s still very short on funds, and since Mexico is obviously not going to pay, the president is taking money away from Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery budget. 

Credit: @Nicolemarie_A / Twitter

Trump has allocated $400 million to go toward building the wall and will take it directly from funds that were intended to help Puerto Rico and their hurricane recovery. The Department of Defense announced that several hurricane-related projects in Puerto Rico would be halted because their funding would be diverted to building the border wall. Some of those projects include a National Guard Readiness Center, a Power Substation/Switching Station Building, and an Aircraft Maintenance Hangar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

According to NBC News, a senior Defense official said that people shouldn’t worry because these projects in Puerto Rico will get done, eventually. “We don’t see ourselves delaying those projects. We’re fully committed to that recovery,” the official said since many of them wouldn’t begin until 2020.

The president still needs billions more for the wall, at least $25 billion more, so he’s taking money from various military sources in the U.S. and its territories. The total amount he’s diverting is $3.6 billion.

Credit: @ChrisLu44 / Twitter

Aside from Puerto Rico, 117 other military construction projects will be halted and/or delayed now because of funds. People might assume diverting funds away from Puerto Rico’s recovery or other sources isn’t a big deal because it doesn’t seem like tangible needs. However, people familiar with the military centers and operations know that it is a huge deal and almost appears like robbery by the highest level office. 

“I visited the current RPA training facility at Holloman earlier this year. The building is falling apart, with some equipment being held together with duct tape. To say this facility, which supports training for 100 percent of the Air Force’s MQ-9 crews, urgently needs to be replaced would be an understatement,” Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., said in a statement, according to NBC News. 

Other projects losing funds include $160 million of construction projects at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; $85 million operations facility at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico;  $40 million for an information systems facility at White Sands Missile Facility, and much more. 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is planning to file a lawsuit to prohibit Trump from taking $3.6 billion away from Puerto Rico and the rest of the country and territories. 

Credit: @ACLU / Twitter

“The fact that the government sat on these so-called ’emergency funds’ for seven months further confirms that this is nothing but an unlawful power grab,” ACLU attorney Dror Ladin said in a statement, according to The Hill. “We’ll be back in court very soon to block Trump’s latest effort to raid military funds for his xenophobic wall,” he added.

Despite claiming that Mexico would pay for the wall for years, Trump already said that he didn’t mean that literally. 

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

In January, the president tried to backtrack four years of declarations that Mexico would pay for the wall by insisting that he wasn’t speaking in direct terms but indirectly. We know, it makes no sense.

“When — during the campaign, I would say, ‘Mexico is going to pay for it.’ Obviously, I never said this and I never meant they’re going to write out a check. I said, ‘They’re going to pay for it.’ They are. They are paying for it with the incredible deal we made, called the United States, Mexico, and Canada USMCA deal.”

Yes, the president said he never said what he said. We feel a headache coming on. To illustrate how many times Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall, Factbase Inc. listed each of them. He has referenced the border wall at least 456 times

READ: New Border Wall Is Being Constructed In California But It Is Not The Same Border Wall Trump Promised His Voters

This Study On Latino Republicans And Their Beliefs Will Make You Better Understand Your MAGA Family

Things That Matter

This Study On Latino Republicans And Their Beliefs Will Make You Better Understand Your MAGA Family

latinosfortrump20 / Instagram

Like most other American families, Latino-American families can be home to a wide range of differing political opinions, leaving family members on each side of the aisle appalled with each other’s opposite opinions. You might be a liberal trying to understand how your brown, immigrant mami is walking around in a MAGA hat, or you might be just as pleased as we are that the Latino vote is finally being more closely examined. Either way, The Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston has given a home to Professor Rottinghaus and co-author Rudy Fonseca, who just published a study complete with answers to all your questions.

Myth #1: “Latinos are Natural Democrats…but it Ain’t Happening in Texas”

Credit: @stormirdgz / Twitter

Tejanos are more likely to be registered Republicans than Latinos in other states. Twenty-seven percent of Tejanos identified as Republican, compared to 21 percent of Latinos in all other states during a 2014 Gallup poll. That said, the study reports that “divisive rhetoric and harsh immigration policies has
led many to hit the alarm.” As of September 2019, Trump has a 24 percent approval rating among Latinos, compared with an average of 30 percent to 35 percent of the Latino vote typically given to Republicans.

Bottom line: The majority of Latino-Americans identify with the Democratic party, but about a third of us identify as Republican.

Myth #2: “Latinx Republicans Must Be Less Conservative than Other Republicans”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

This myth is also pretty close to the truth, but it’s not the whole story. While Latino Republicans are more likely to identify as “somewhat conservative” than Republicans as a whole, it doesn’t mean they fall right in the middle of the political spectrum. An October 2016 Texas Tribune poll illustrated that Latino Republicans are far less likely to identify as “extremely conservative” than their Republican counterparts as a whole. 

Bottom line: Latino Republicans are slightly less conservative than Republicans as a whole, but are still squarely Republican. Rottinghaus’s study notes that the party is likely to lose Latino voters if they continue to lean more extremely to the right. 

Myth #3: “Latinx Republicans Are Moderating Recently As Republican Party
Rhetoric Grows more Conservative”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

Myth #2 brings us straight to myth #3. Latino Republicans are growing more conservative over time. Another Texas Tribune poll just two years later showed that 27 percent of Latino Republicans are now identifying as “extremely conservative,” as compared to 19 percent just two years prior.

The same poll broke down some differences of opinion. When it comes to deportation, border security, trade negotiations, and judicial nominees, Latino Republicans were less in favor of Trump’s tactics than other Republicans. They were also 18 percent less likely to feel that “Trump cares about people like you” than the Republican party as a whole.

Bottom line: The myth is true. Latino Republicans are more moderate compared to the Republican party at large. 

Myth #4: Latinos are Culturally Conservative, And This is the Only Reason They
Support the Republican Party

Credit: @LaRepublicana86 / Twitter

The study concludes what we all already knew. If you had to genuflect in front of a Jesus painting at the entrance of your house, that (i.e. religion) plays a “major role” in choosing the Republican party. Those religious values that determine pro-life and anti-gay marriage political beliefs strongly swing a Latino’s choice of party. 

Bottom line: Of course, cultural beliefs are not the “only reason” Latinos might become Republicans. Homeowners and Latinos who have established roots in the U.S. for several generations are more likely to support the Republican party. Men are also more likely than Latinas to identify as Republican. The higher the income, the higher the probability a Latino might identify as a Republican.

Myth #5: “Latinx Republicans are “Softer” On Illegal Voting and Immigration
Than Other Republicans”

Study: “Six Myths About Texas Latinx Republicans.” Brandon Rottinghaus, Rudy Fonseca. 3 October 2019.

The study concludes that while Latino Republicans, in fact, are “softer” on these issues than other Republicans, the one area that sets them apart is deportation. A Texas Tribune 2016 poll showed 19 percent of Latino Republicans “strongly agreed” that “undocumented immigrants should be deported immediately,” compared to 35 percent of all Republicans. 

Bottom line: When it comes to immigration, Latino Republicans don’t see it as such a serious threat as other Republicans, but that gap is beginning to close. The 2018 Texas Tribune poll showed a nearly 15 percent rise in general opinion that “undocumented immigrants should be deported immediately,” and the gap between Latino Republicans and the party as a whole has closed by 2 points.

Myth #6: Latinos Don’t Feel Welcome in the Republican Party

Credit: @stormirdgz / Twitter

The Houston study completely debunked this myth, finding that 61 percent of Latinx Republicans do feel welcome in the Republican party, compared to 68% of all Republicans. They might not feel as welcome as other Republicans, but the majority do feel welcome.

Bottom line: While Latino-Republicans feel welcome in their own party as a whole, only 22 percent of them feel the Republican party is “doing a good job” in reaching out to Latinos, according to the study. “The “sleeping giant” is real: Latinos are predicted to become
the largest population group in Texas by 2022,” the study concludes. If immigration is where Latino Republicans have differing views, the continued focus on deportation in the 2020 campaign could cause Latino Republicans to feel even less welcome in their own party.

Here’s The Man Who Was Arrested For Attacking Another Person For Wearing A Russian MAGA Hat

Things That Matter

Here’s The Man Who Was Arrested For Attacking Another Person For Wearing A Russian MAGA Hat

Hermosa Police Department / Amazon

One month ago, David Delgado, 32, was in a Southern California restaurant bathroom when he spotted an unidentified man wearing a red hat with Russian words embroidered on it. Delgado allegedly asked the man what the hat said in English, and when he learned it was President Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” he punched him in the face several times until the man slumped onto the bathroom floor. 

Before Delgado allegedly fled the scene, he snatched the hat that caused so much conflict.

Delgado was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of suspicion of robbery and battery with serious injuries.

Credit: Hermosa Beach Police Department

Prosecutors allege that Delgado was in the bathroom with the victim at the Tower 12 restaurant in Hermosa Beach at 6:40 p.m. on September 2. They seem to be relying on surveillance footage as evidence that places Delgado at the scene. Nearly a month later, on October 1, Hermosa Beach Police took Delgado into custody and is currently being held in jail with a $100,000 bail. 

Hermosa Beach Police Department Sergeant Robert Higgins told The Daily Breeze that, “It’s not clear who insulted who, but the hat is at the center of this whole mess.”

MAGA hats have become the center of a slew of crimes since Trump’s presidency.

Credit: @NYPDNEWS / Twitter

The pattern seems to be folks in MAGA hats in one of two scenarios. They might be perpetrating hate speech that often leads to assault, including this man who shouted, “You f—ing Mexicans,” as he pushed a Latino man onto the tracks of an NYC subway. Or, as in this scenario, the hat elicits so much anger from those who feel oppressed by the Trump presidency, that they become victims of assault for wearing the hat. In August, a New York City mob on Canal Street beat an art shop owner for wearing a MAGA hat. 

That said, we don’t even know if the victim was wearing the hat in support of Trump or in mockery of Trump.

Credit: alecbaldwininsta / Instagram

“Saturday Night Live” star Alec Baldwin wore the exact same hat to mock the legitimacy of Trump’s election, implying that Russia interfered to ensure he would become the 45th President of the United States. Shortly after, Americans called on Congress to investigate the Trump campaign’s relationship with Russia and to understand Russia’s role in the American election. In an unprecedented move, investigations uncovered that Russia’s method of attack on the American people was through cyber warfare, influencing the minds and political opinions of Americans primarily via Facebook. 

It’s not crystal clear whether this particular hat is meant to imply a corroboration of Trump’s illegitimacy as POTUS or whether it’s something a Trump supporter would wear to mock the left for being unable to secure a Trump impeachment. Bottom line: the victim’s political opinions are unknown, along with his identity.

You can purchase this hat on Amazon Prime for as little as $16.95.

Credit: Posse Comitatus / Amazon

In the comments, some purchasers are using the hat to strictly project an anti-Trump message. “I wore this hat to a house party and the few trump supporters there got upset and left the party,” writes Mark D. in a review. “This hat is magic!!” Several other reviewers, including one from a G. Torrez, writes, “Excellent hat, it triggers both haters and Trump supporters. The hat itself is of great quality, probably one of the best hats I have ever owned. It fits nicely and it has a lot of details which is nice.”

Eerily, this reviewer comforted prospective buyers by letting them know that “you can wear this hat without being [in] fear. Not a single person, once they found out what it said, was offended, offensive, or exhibited any behavior other than amusement.”

The phrasing on the hat worn and, then stolen, was mistranslated.

Digital Image. Screenshot. Amazon. 3 October 2019.

Apparently, the victim of the attack was wearing a hat with white embroidery that translated to “Make America Fantastic Again.” In the end, Delgado allegedly attacked the wearer for wearing a MAFA hat and is being charged on “suspicion of robbery” for stealing the mistranslated hat. The original hat has inspired many copycats since Alec Baldwin first graced it in 2017. On Amazon, seller Posse Comitatus markets the hat as “Posse Comitatus Russian Make America Great Again MAGA Anti Trump #IllegitimatePresident hat Cap Red.” The seller markets the hat as anti-Trump.