April 25, 2015

Fresh off “Fresh Off the Boat”

First, why I’m writing about ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” here at the blog of a PAC whose mission is to increase AAPI involvement in US politics. Part of that is educating, identify, outing & resolving race issues in the US whether by political means or others (grassroots, education, public embarrassment, etc.). This show is an important step in that movement, a movement close in heart & action to those of our PAC.

There’re countless eloquent & well-written tributes to the show including

I add my own to the pile.

Constance Wu’s character Jessica Huang steals the show. At last, as the sentiment which underlies Asians Not Brainwashed By Media and this fan of On the Media yours truly is sharply aware, an Asian woman who is a real woman. Not some meaty object of desire, not some caricature, not some shell of a human being, not a moist stereotype, not just a generic “wife and mother” character as America is so apt to love, but a true human being with feelings, complexities, arguments, and growing pains.

Next, the father, wow a man of the house, haven’t we seen a lot of these on tv? Sarcasm, people, and now we add to the slowly growing list of responsible Asian men in American media, always a sore tender point.

And the kids, whoever casts for ABC with their many kids in many shows recently is great & I can only be so proud of them & their parents for raising such fine actors & aware people.

And my immediate reaction: wow, it’s my life on tv. At last, it’s like therapy.

Rep. Takano slams GOP Congressmembers’ Faulty Logic, in Red Ink

Takano edits to GOP immig

Like the veteran high school teacher that he is, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside), decided to take out his red pen and apply it to a letter on immigration that fellow Congressmembers from the other party were circulating. Politico gave him some ink for exposing the shoddy reasoning.

He dishes out kindly but exacting critique, pointing out where the letter has logical and factual flaws. For example, the Republican letter claims that the Senate-passed bill is over 1,000 pages, so Rep. Takano circles this and points out that it’s exactly 286 pages. (Note to Congressmembers and staff: please do your research.)

Rep. Takano repeatedly points out “tawdry accusations” and Republican claims that are lacking in evidence. No, seriously, he points it out no more than four times in the short letter. What assertions does he specifically call out?

-“reportedly not all the Senators have read [the bill]”
-“We are disturbed by the secret and under-handed way that the immigration bill moved through the Senate…”
-“To attempt to do everything at once ensures that little will be done right”
-“will prevent the last minute secret deal-making and vote-buying”

One of Rep. Takano’s best closing lines is, “If you don’t understand the bill, come by my office and I’ll explain it. Weak draft, re-do.”

That’s called taking your colleagues to the toolshed. and why I love teachers as elected officials! (Full disclosure, AAA Fund enthusiastically endorsed Rep. Takano early in his campaign.)


Photo of the Week: Driving Home

Cadillac car accident lands on California hillside roof

Editors’ note:  No professional drivers were used for this photo.

Question of the Month: Xmas

Who’ll have the funnest Christmas: President Obama, Mitt Romney, or Kim Kardashian?

— Gautam Dutta

Honda Eastwooding

The rumors are true. Mike Honda Eastwooded at APIAVote‘s reception at the Democratic National Convention.

– Justin Gillenwater

Quote of the Day: Top Dog

dog at parade Spencer Platt/GETTY IMAGES – Members of the media gather around an English bull terrier named Petey during a small protest by a group called Dogs Against Romney outside of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Feb. 14

No dog shall be in public without its master on a leash.

— City ordinance from Belvedere, California

It’s only a matter of time before Belvedere bans putting dogs (or their owners) on the car roof.

Mitt Romney, you have been warned.

— Gautam Dutta

Eastwooding: Comedy at Romney’s Expense?

I don’t know about you, but I found Clint Eastwood’s satirical tirade against the Empty Chair to be absolutely hilarious.  Amidst all the canned programming of political conventions, it was quite refreshing to see something original and offbeat.  (I especially loved the line on how Eastwood distrusts lawyers who run for President — never mind that Romney is himself a lawyer.)

However, I highly doubt Mitt Romney is laughing — and not because he doesn’t have a sense of humor.  Why?  Because while everybody is talking about Eastwood’s speech, nobody is talking about what should have been the crowning moment of Romney’s political career:  his acceptance of the Republican nomination for the White House.

Like many others, I can’t wait to watch Saturday Night Live sendup of Clint’s “Chair Monologues”.

— Gautam Dutta

Annise Parker Enters Colbert Nation

Houston’s Madam Mayor Annise D. “The Batman” Parker was the guest on last night’s Colbert Report.

Madame Mayor Annise D. Parker with Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert

In introducing Parker, Colbert joked

I assume she’s here in New York to pick up Jeremy Lin.

She, however, passed through Colbert Nation on her way to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in nearby Philadelphia. I take that to mean The Colbert Report had its choice of mayors and Parker came out on top.

What does Houston have going for it?

We’re a foodie town, we’re an arts town, we’re a sports town, a theater town, anything you want in a big city you have in Houston, plus we have a good quality of life, we’re affordable and we have jobs.

Yep. An arts town and a theater town. She neglected to mention one of the best restaurants in the country is a nice walk from her house.

Colbert also mocked Houston when noting Parker would be his guest:

I’ll ask her how she broke it to her parents that she wanted to live in Houston

While people enjoy or at least make the best of living in Houston for the above things, they live in Houston for the jobs.

Oil and gas — still the biggest. But we have America’s largest foreign tonnage port, we have Johnson Space Center with NASA and aerospace, and we’re a big manufacturing center

That’s right. Johnson Space Center is still going strong.

When Colbert asked how it’s possible that Parker is the first openly gay mayor of a major American city — insulting Portland, Oregon and ignoring that Houston is one of the largest cities in the world to accomplish such a feat. Parker wisely noted Houston elected her six times before electing her mayor and explained

Houston is very tolerant of a lot of things; they want to know what you can do, not who you are or where you’re from.

Admittedly, I was disappointed Parker failed to mention Houston is the most diverse big city in America.

Watch the full interview:

Only time will tell what the Colbert Bump will mean for Mayor Parker.

– Justin Gillenwater

July 12: APALC’s Asian Jewish Initiative’s “Do Well by Doing Good”

Update: The organizer notes the event is now free & extended the deadline to July 9.

Do Well By Doing Good- ADL Asian Jewish Initiative Young Professional Mixer

Contact: Alison Mayersohn, 310.446.4230

Young Professionals are invited to a special evening of networking and philanthropy on Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. The evening is sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League and its partners in ADL’s Asian Jewish Initiative. The evening’s theme is, “Do Well by Doing Good,” and those in attendance will have the opportunity to mingle with Asian and Jewish professionals and board members from six organizations to learn how to create change and have an impact in our communities.

Admission is $15 in advance or $25 at the door and features food from critically-acclaimed restaurants Starry Kitchen and Park’s BBQ. Wine is included.

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) is located in Downtown Los Angeles at 1145 Wilshire Blvd., LA, CA 90017. Public parking is available on the street and at public cash-only lots near Lucas and Wilshire.

Preregistration is required. RSVP by July 5 at EventBrite. Facebook Event is also up. Also you can call Molly Rose Weintraub at ADL, 310-446-4267 or by email: .

The Asian Jewish Initiative is a partnership with Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Japanese American National Museum, Korean American Coalition, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics and Search to Involve Pilipino Americans to advance alliances and partnerships between Asian and Jewish communities through constructive dialogue, exploration of common ground, joint community projects, and coalition building. Visit our website: www.adl.org; www.adl.org/pacific-southwest

TPM: Whoops: RNC Latino Site Uses Picture Of Asian Children

The below is a re-posting of “Whoops: RNC Latino Site Uses Picture Of Asian Children“.

Looks politically tact.

GOP Mixes Asians as Latinos

Oops, political fail.

GOP Mixes Asians as Latinos

Classic GOP. And we wonder what’s keeping Latino voters away from the GOP, ha. You can imagine all the self-assuring, racist things they’re saying in backwoods America as their comeback. If they even care.

– Richard Chen