Akon's Ghetto & New Year Resolutions

Think about the haunting lyrics and images of Akon's "Ghetto" when making your New Year resolutions. We know in our hearts as Americans and as human beings that we can--and must--do better. Peace.

Ahhh, Ahh, Ahhh, Ahh

Ghetto, Ghetto, Ghetto, Ghetto livin’

[verse one]

These streets remind me of quicksand (quicksand)
When you`re on it, you`ll keep goin’ down (goin’ down)
And there`s no one to hold on to
And there`s no one to pull you out
You keep on fallin’ (fallin’)
And no one can here you callin’
So you end up self destructin’
On the corner with the tuli on the waist line
just got outta the bing doin’ state time
Teeth marks on my back from the K-9
Dark Memories of when there was no sunshine
Cause they said that I wouldn`t make it
I remember like yesterday (day)
Holdin’ on to what God gave me


Cause that’s the life when your
Living in the (ghetto)
And eating in the (ghetto)
Or sleeping in the (ghetto) (ghetto, ghetto)
Cause that’s the life when your
Living in the (ghetto)
And eating in the (ghetto)
Or sleeping in the (ghetto, ghetto, ghetto)

[Verse Two]

No need to cherish luxuries (cause everythin` come and go)
Even the life that you have is borrowed
(Cause your not promised tomorrow)
So live your life as if everyday gon’ be your last (be your last)
Once you move forward can`t go back
Best prepare to remove your past

Cause ya gotta be willin to pray
Yea, There gotta be (there gotta be) a better way oh
Yea, Ya gotta be willing to pray
Cause there gotta be (there gotta be) a better day (ay)

Whoever said that the struggle would stop today
A lot of niggas dead or locked away
Teenage Women growing up with aids


Cause thats the life when your
Living in the (ghetto) oh
Eating in the (ghetto) or
Sleeping in the (ghetto, ghetto)
Thats the life when you`re
Living in the (ghetto)oh
Eating in the (ghetto) or
Sleeping in the (ghetto, ghetto, ghetto)


Gun shots every night in the (ghetto)
Crooked cops on sight in the (ghetto)
Every day is a fight in the (ghetto)
(oh oh oh oh oh) (ghetto)
Got kids to feed in the (ghetto)
Selling coke and weed in the (ghetto)
Every day somebody bleed in the (ghetto)
(oh oh oh oh oh) (ghetto)


Thats the life when your
Living in the (ghetto)oh
Living by the (ghetto)oh
Eating in the (ghetto, ghetto)
Thats the life when your
Living in the (ghetto)oh
Sleeping in the (ghetto)
Living in the (ghetto, ghetto, ghetto)



Breast cancer gene puts Latinas at risk

A gene known to give many Jewish women a high risk of cancer also puts many Hispanic women at high risk, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday.

They found that 3.5 percent of Hispanic women entered in a Northern California breast cancer registry had the BRCA1 genetic mutation, compared to 8.3 percent of Ashkenazic Jews and 2.2 percent of non-Ashkenazic white women.


Related: NIH: Breast Cancer


Voto Latino

First Americans for Obama

U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton's Web site includes veterans, children and women among her top issues.

John Edwards' site lists blacks, Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Latinos, the elderly and young people among his concerns.

U.S. Senator Barack Obama talks about all of the above, but of the three front-running Democratic presidential candidates, he's the only one with a permanent place on his Web site for America's indigenous peoples.

''First Americans for Obama is a community of people dedicated to bringing positive change to American politics and breaking the cycle of partisan ideology,'' according to the First Americans for Obama page on his Web site.

''Perhaps more so than any population, American Indians are painfully aware of the need for change. Tribes have experienced firsthand the lack of progress under prior administrations. Please use this Web site to learn about Obama's policy initiatives supporting tribal peoples, to spread the word, and to involve your family, friends and community. Together, we can bring in a new generation of politics - one based on respect, honor and unity.''


Clinton Acolytes' Racist Attacks on Obama

Clinton Acolytes' Racist Attacks - Black Star News Editorial (12.19.07)

Electing Senator Clinton as president would be like rolling the dice twice–not only would we get the Senator but we would also get former president Bill Clinton.

In the last few weeks, Senator Clinton’s campaign has upped the ante on nastiness. We are all for a vigorous contest for the Democratic party’s nomination for presidential candidate. That’s how it should be. The person that occupies the White House is President of the entire world. Look at how George W. Bush has ruined the world.

Two months ago, when Senator Barack Obama was trailing by double digits in Iowa, where the first Caucuses will be held, he was seen as a spent force. Everywhere, Senator Hillary Clinton was being referred to as a “prohibitive” candidate.

Then Senator Clinton started shooting herself on the foot. Before millions of television viewers, she appeared to epitomize double-speak when she was asked whether she supported New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s proposal –now abandoned—to give undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses. She answered in the affirmative and in the negative within a period of minutes.

Senator Obama and candidate John Edwards were as astonished as the national audience and attacked Senator Clinton’s performance. It was thereafter that Senator Clinton's campaign took off the gloves. To begin with, Obama was not as unambitious, as he makes out to be and has always had an eye on the White House. The proof? The good senator from New York's campaign referred to an “essay” Obama wrote before he was even in grade school—while he was in kindergarten.

Predictably, Senator Clinton became the object of jokes and ridicule. So the Clinton campaign decided to use the race card. A senior campaign official, Billy Shaheen, the co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in New Hampshire, warned voters that Obama might not be the suitable candidate because were he to win the Democratic nomination, those nasty Republicans could bring up the fact that Obama has admitted to using marijuana and cocaine in his youth. Might the Republicans not even ask whether Obama had also been a drug dealer?

This was clearly playing to the deep seated stereotype that some white people harbor—of Blacks as natural born criminals and drug dealers. Notwithstanding the fact that most of the means of shipping drugs into this country –the private and official planes, the air strips and airports, and the foreign connections, and officials approving entry into the United States— are not controlled by Black people.

Although Senator Clinton apologized for Shaheen’s comments, and the official resigned, it is hard to believe that his comments could have been pulled from thin air. We wonder what else is in the playbook.

The racist onslaught continued this past Sunday when former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, pretending that he was praising Obama said he hoped Obama would play a role in a Clinton Administration by reaching out to Black youth and Muslims around the world. Kerrey added: "It's probably not something that appeals to him, but I like the fact that his name is Barack Hussein Obama, and that his father was a Muslim and that his paternal grandmother is a Muslim," Kerrey, who is currently president of the New School in New York City, said. "There's a billion people on the planet that are Muslims, and I think that experience is a big deal."

As in the earlier case, Kerrey also issued an apology to Obama. Yet, in reading his comments, does anyone really believe this was not pre-meditated and malicious and in fact, racist by suggesting, in essence, that Obama is only sufficient in reaching out to Black youth and Muslims?

Obama is a decent man. That is why he now leads Clinton in Iowa. And if the Clinton acolytes continue with such racist attacks, the lead should increase.

If he was a dirty player, one of his officials might have responded in kind that those “nasty” Republicans might also ask Senator Clinton some embarrassing questions. If elected president, what assurances would voters have that there would be no more Monica Lewinskys in the White House? After all, these “nasty” Republicans are always talking about “family values” and what not.

Bill Clinton in a television interview last Friday said electing Obama would be like rolling a dice. If Obama was nasty he could have said electing Senator Clinton would be like rolling the dice twice.

Senator Clinton and Senator Obama may both be equally prepared to be President of the United States. Both are intelligent enough. Voters will judge each by their temperament and favor the one who conducts the better campaign.

Message to the Clintons: Warn campaign officials not to play with fire. Sometimes it is impossible to control or direct the flames.


The Lakota Declare Free Nation

Freedom! Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status

Threaten Land Liens, Contested Real Estate Over Five State Area in U.S. West

Lakota Satisfies Treaty Council Mandate of 33 Years, Drafted by 97 Indigenous Nations

Dakota Territory Reverts back to Lakota Control According to U.S., International Law

Washington D.C. – Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today (December 19, 2007) in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming.

“This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end!”

“Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit,” shared Garry Rowland from Wounded Knee. “They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today.”

The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.

“In order to stop the continuous taking of our resources – people, land, water and children- we have no choice but to claim our own destiny,” said Phyllis Young, a former Indigenous representative to the United Nations and representative from Standing Rock.

Property ownership in the five state area of Lakota now takes center stage. Parts of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana have been illegally homesteaded for years despite knowledge of Lakota as predecessor sovereign [historic owner]. Lakota representatives say if the United States does not enter into immediate diplomatic negotiations, liens will be filed on real estate transactions in the five state region, clouding title over literally thousands of square miles of land and property.

Young added, “The actions of Lakota are not intended to embarrass the United States but to simply save the lives of our people”.

Following Monday’s withdrawal at the State Department, the four Lakota Itacan representatives have been meeting with foreign embassy officials in order to hasten their official return to the Family of Nations.

Lakota’s efforts are gaining traction as Bolivia, home to Indigenous President Evo Morales, shared they are “very, very interested in the Lakota case” while Venezuela received the Lakota delegation with “respect and solidarity.”

“Our meetings have been fruitful and we hope to work with these countries for better relations,” explained Garry Rowland. “As a nation, we have equal status within the national community.”

Education, energy and justice now take top priority in emerging Lakota. “Cultural immersion education is crucial as a next step to protect our language, culture and sovereignty,” said Means. “Energy independence using solar, wind, geothermal, and sugar beets enables Lakota to protect our freedom and provide electricity and heating to our people.”

The Lakota reservations are among the most impoverished areas in North America, a shameful legacy of broken treaties and apartheid policies. Lakota has the highest death rate in the United States and Lakota men have the lowest life expectancy of any nation on earth, excluding AIDS, at approximately 44 years. Lakota infant mortality rate is five times the United States average and teen suicide rates 150% more than national average . 97% of Lakota people live below the poverty line and unemployment hovers near 85%.

“After 150 years of colonial enforcement, when you back people into a corner there is only one alternative,” emphasized Duane Martin Sr. “The only alternative is to bring freedom into its existence by taking it back to the love of freedom, to our lifeway.”

We are the freedom loving Lakota from the Sioux Indian reservations of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana who have suffered from cultural and physical genocide in the colonial apartheid system we have been forced to live under. We are in Washington DC to withdraw from the constitutionally mandated treaties to become a free and independent country. We are alerting the Family of Nations we have now reassumed our freedom and independence with the backing of Natural, International, and United States law. For more information, please visit our new website at http://www.lakotafreedom.com/.


Related Documents:

Lakota Withdrawal Letter, December 17, 2007
Treaties of Fort Laramie, 1851 and 1868
United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Rights 2007
Russell Means

Merry Christmas from Huck & Barry

Christmas--I mean, "Holiday"--greetings from the two surging "heartland" presidential candidates:

U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill)

Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR)

(Huck is what beltway Republicans condescendingly call Governor Huckabee, and Barry was Senator Obama's childhood nickname.)


Boston Globe Picks Obama and McCain

This is huge!

Boston.com reports that the Boston Globe editorial board will endorse
Senators Barack Obama and John McCain in tomorrow's paper.

The board wrote that Obama, the Illinois Democrat, fulfills America's need for "a president with an intuitive sense of the wider world,'' and that McCain, the Arizona Republican, ''has done more than his share to transcend partisanship and
promote an honest discussion of the problems facing the United States.''
This spells bad news for Hillary and Romney. Bad for Romney because his state's most prominent newspaper is giving him a thumbs down. And horrific news for Hillary because a major liberal newspaper from the bluest part of the country prefers her opponent.

Related: Globe endorses McCain, Obama


Univision's GOP Debate: A View from the Coconut Caucus

I missed today's Univision Republican Debate, so no post-debate commentary from me.

Instead, I offer La bloguera's take as posted on the South Florida-based Adventures of the Coconut Caucus weblog, a site which proudly claims to put "the PANIC in Hispanic."

La Bloguera's comments are hilarious.

Liveblogging the Republican Spanglish debate

By La bloguera

Yes it is that time again another Univision Spanglish debate!!!!!

AND just like last time, the questions are asked in Spanish, translated to English, then the candidates speak English and are translated into Spanish by anonymous male voices.

We start out with Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas introducing the candidates… so far John McCain, our possibly first Hispanic republican presidente, has received the most applause…

Where is Tank???? how can we bash immigrants without him…

AND now our first audio glitch… with Giuliani…. and he has the voice of a a gay puertorrican!!!!

Romney gets a deep male voice and doesn´t answer the question…

Yo quiero tu voto

McCain has a nondescript voice to translate for him and says he saw some Hispanics on Thanksgiving

Thompson gets a high pitched Argentinian voice…

Duncan Hunter says something about Reagan and El Salvador and gets a bunch of applause

Now Ron Paul, with his usual the bridges are falling here while we are fighting in Irak (his translator dude can barely keep up with him)

Back to Giuliani and that hilarious gay guys voice who seems very happy to translate for him…

Finally!!!!! a question about immigration!!!! it only took less than 20 minutes

The candidates answers to the immigration question (why do you hate us?), is so convolute, the translators can barely find the right words in Spanish and keep making mistakes…

So now Jorge Ramos asks Romney about his relations with that landscaping immigrant…. he says his relationship with that immigrant IS OVER

Thompson, in that high pitched male voice he got, says we can´t have ALL of our relatives applying for immigration status…just wife and kids (first wife, second wife?)

OK, people i am completely bilingual, and I can´t understand WTF they are saying!!!! they are all saying they love immigrants and want to deport them at the same time, and we are a country of laws, and protect the border and let immigrants in…… NO ENTIENDO un carajo!!!!!

Yipee, finally a commercial!!!

the first one is for toilet paper, excellent

OK everybody we are in MIAMI so we have to ask about Hugo Chávez…. and the audience totally boooos Ron Paul says we should talk to Chávez and then all travel to Cuba!!!!, most fun so far!!!!

All the rest say Chávez is an evil dictator and get much applause…

IN CASE YOU FORGOT we are in Miami, so now they are talking about Cuban and how evil Fidel Castro is…

Bikini TV does politics

Finally Irak, and so far according to all the candidates we are winning!!!!

Until of course Ron Paul, bring the troops home!!! and he actually gets some of his applause back.

On to health care…. over an hour, how long is this thing anyway????

Well they all seem to be in favor of health care for everybody and for money for everybody to pay for it without raising taxes…

8:10 PM another commercial… calling cards…and then one about a clairvoyant or something that can tell you if your significant other is being unfaithful…

now unto education…. they are all in favor….

Duncan Hunter says the solution to public education is inspiration and Hispanic astronauts…

So finally the last question: How will Hispanics shape the future of America, i.e. Please pander to us about how great we Hispanics are forever and ever amen…

Ron Paul: Read the Constitution…

McCain: Something about freedom and back to Chávez

Giuliani: Viva Cuban americans, oh and those in NYC too

Romney: Please stop having children without getting married

and it is over!!!! Al fin!!!!

I will get to my post debate hangover later, for now the best moment of the debate was Ron Paul telling an auditorium full of Cubans in Miami that we should all travel to Cuba

AND in case you are wondering what the old media types are saying about the debate, here goes that too

And since once is not enough you can watch the whole thing again here


M.B.O! (Michelle, Barack & Oprah!)

Michelle, Barack & Oprah! took their Hope for America Tour to Des Moines, Iowa today.

Tomorrow, South Carolina.


It still amazes that the media and political elites still don't get what a huge story this is. They continue dismissing Barack as a novelty. Oprah's entry has gotten their attention with her added star power, but again, it seems to me that they're seeing the tour as a short-lived act. Nothing to worry about.

Meanwhile, the elites are weary that their candidates--Romney/Clinton/Giuliani--may be upended by The People.

The people seem to prefer Obama and Huckabee.

I say, Power to the People!


Oprah Dazzles Crowds for Obama in Iowa
Oprah: Obama will be 'a force for peace'


Picataway Chief: Indigenous Immigrants Fulfill Indian Prophesy

Check out this video from PERUANISTA in which Picataway Chief Billy Gregory Tayac welcomes indigenous immigrants as brothers. Illegals? The real "illegal aliens" first arrived 350 years ago from across Atlantic. The Chief also says that the arrival of indigenous Central and South Americans fulfills a native American prophesy. Provocative.


Benicio, Evo y Che

Benicio del Toro recently met with Bolivian President Evo Morales to talk about his new films that deal with Che Guevara: Guerrilla and The Argentine.

Benecio is a Puerto Rican born actor best known for his Oscar winning performance in the movie Traffic.


Benicio del Toro Meets With Bolivian President
Bolivian President Evo Morales: The Daily Show Video
With 17 Nominations, Latinos Win 4 Oscars
Latinos Raid The Oscars
Latino Films Take Top Prizes at Sundance


Hope Runs in the Streets of Iowa

U.S. Senator Barack Obama has pulled ahead in the race for Iowa's Democratic presidential caucuses, while the party's national frontrunner Hillary Clinton has slipped to second in the leadoff nominating state, according to The Des Moines Register's new Iowa Poll.


Obama pulls ahead in Iowa
Clinton Booed
Obama Upset In NH Possible


Obama and Bloomberg: Eggs and Toast?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg had breakfast with Democratic Presidential hopeful U.S. Senator Barack Obama today.

Nothing unusual except that the private meeting was very public, the media was alerted, Hillary's camp was kept in the dark, and it took place just a few blocks from Hillary's campaign HQ.

Wow! The Clintonistas have got to be concerned.

It's one thing worrying about a possible 3rd party presidential bid by the liberal NYC mayor, but it's quite another to have Bloomberg working in cahoots with your main primary opponent.

Of course, it could have just been two pols having breakfast. NOT!!! Or Bloomberg just being friendly to a competitor he's about crush as he powers up the Independent Bloomberg for President battle fleet. May be. Or Bloomberg and Obama feeling each other out for the VP slots in their respective campaigns. Who knows.

Bottom line? It ain't good news for Madam Hillary.

Obama Stars at the Apollo

Barack Obama was in Harlem--turf which the pundits ridiculously tag as Hillary's.

But politics 101 dictates that you invade a competitor's turf only when there's a very high chance of winning there. Polls showing lots of Black love for Hillary, and Charlie Rangel's preferences aside, my money is on Barack to win in Harlem. And believe you me, it's not a racial thing.

Here's a short video by VideoDog/Salon of Obama's sold-out visit to Harlem's famed Apollo Theater.


Latinos: Next Great Source of Intellectual Capital

In 2008, Baby Boomers will begin retiring at a rate of 11,000 per day, draining corporate America of their years of talent and experience. To remain competitive, companies should be poised to search for new talent and a good place to start is in the Latino community, one of the fastest growing U.S. demographics and the next great source of intellectual capital, according to Robert Rodriguez, Ph.D., a human resources expert and Assistant Dean in Kaplan University’s Graduate School of Management.

“By the year 2050, Latinos will make up one quarter of the U.S. population and will undoubtedly change the marketplace and our economy,” Dr. Rodriguez says. “Companies need to realize the benefits of attracting more Latino employees and their potential to drive economic growth.”



Who Won the CNN YouTube Republican Debate? Anderson Cooper and Mike Huckabee

Sparks flew in this evenings CNN YouTube Republican Debate.

The issue of sanctuary cities at the top of the program led to a heated exchange between Rudy and Romney. Romney accused Rudy of running New York City as a sanctuary city. While Rudy charged Romney with running a state with 6 sanctuary cities and a sanctuary governor's mansion.

The result? Romney and Rudy effectively nullified each other.

With Ron Paul, Tank and Fred Thompson were pretty much non factors, Huckabee and McCain with an opening to shine--and both delivered.

McCain stood out for his no nonsense approach to national security and an innate compassion and decency. He sliced and diced Romney on the issue of water boarding and Ron Paul on fighting terrorism, while also showing a humane touch as shown by his response to the issue of immigration:

And we need to sit down as Americans and recognize these are God's children as well. And they need some protection under the law. And they need some of our love and compassion.
However, Huckabee may very well have won the night. He's clearly the most compelling speaker--relating to the themes important to conservative Republicans (pro-life, taxes, religion, the death penalty), while exuding a warmth and folksy missing from the others.

Anderson Cooper was simply masterful in moderating what is a pretty complex format. The YouTube format with real people asking questions was also a winner.

The funny Rudy campaign ad.

And Governor Charlie Crisp made a nice impression.


CNN's Wolf Blitzer. In contrast to Anderson's superb performance, Wolf's performance from a few weeks ago seems even more pathetic.

Fred Thompson was a big loser because he again failed to show he's worthy of top tier consideration. Look for his poll numbers to slide further.

Romney was a loser because he repeatedly demonstrated why he's the most inauthentic candidate in the field. He attacks on Rudy on immigration in order to score cheap political points, but his stance as governor was tolerant of Massachusetts' sanctuary cities. He criticizes McCain on water boarding but won't take a position himself.

While I wouldn't say Rudy was a loser, he didn't gain any ground either.


What you missed while watching "Chad Vader"


Salma Hayek's Valentina Paloma

Two month old Valentina Paloma Pinault and mom Salma Hayek.

A Third of Hall County (GA) Students Latino

Dominating the student population in Gainesville city schools, Latinos are also quickly becoming the predominant group in Hall County schools as well. October enrollment numbers released by the Georgia Department of Education show that Latinos now make up nearly 34% of Hall's overall enrollment of 25,585 students.

Hall County is situated 35 miles Northeast of Atlanta. The Hall area was Cherokee and Creek land until their forced removal in 1838 in The Trail of Tears.

As is the case in many other communities with fast growing Latino populations, there are no Latinos serving on either the Gainsville Board of Education or the Hall Board of Commissioners.


Hispanics now one-third of Hall students
For the Love of Immigrants
Latino Grits
Latino housekeepers in Savannah arrested for taking the garbage
The ‘New South’ -- an Immigrant-Friendly Place
Southern States -- Immigration's New Battlefield

Immigrants: Huge Boon to New York

A new report shows that immigrants are a huge boon to the New York economy. How big?

The study found that immigrants were responsible for $229 billion of New York's economy last year — more than the individual gross domestic product of 30 states.

Now that's big!


Immigrants Pull Weight in Economy, Study Finds

Immigrants Are Seen as a Boon: A New Report Sees Big Impact


CNN's Hill Shilling

The Nevada Democrat Debate was even more of a travesty than I originally understood.

It turns out that CNN tried every tacky trick in the book in an effort to bolster their preferred candidate: Hillary.


Not only was the viewing public terribly ill-served, but CNN may have caused real harm to the nation's democratic process as a result of its naked manipulation.

Here are just a few of CNN's journalistic sins:

- stacking the audience in favor of one candidate
- Wolf turning deaf and dumb when it came to questioning Hillary
- serving up Democrat party operatives as "undecided voters" and allowing them to ask questions (including the infamous "Do you prefer diamonds or pearls?' question to Hillary
- pretending that Hillary campaign advisor James Carville was an unaffiliated pundit during the post-debate review (Of course, Carville thought Hillary won.)


Questions About Carville and CNN

CNN's and Carville's lack of ethics
Diamonds and Pearls and Girls for President
“Random” questioner at debate was Arkansas Democratic Party officer in 2003?


Politicos & the Terms of Endorsements

Adriana of LatinoPoliticsBlog wrote: I saw this article too. I don't know what to make of [Hillary's] recent comments on immigration. But she still holds so many endorsements from prominent Latino politicos.

True enough. Many Latino Democrat politicians have endorsed Hillary--even though they disagree with her on Iraq, Iran, military spending, US-Mexico wall, licenses for undocumented workers--and who knows what else. They prefer her to Richardson or Obama--politicians with policy positions more in sync with their stated priorities on key issues.

It seems to me that there are three possibilities for this odd alignment: 1) Latino pols have been reassured that Hillary's with them on the issues and will tack back once elected; 2) Latino pols care more about the spoils of victory; or 3) Latino pols are being taken for fools.

My gut tells me it's probably all three.

However, Latino pols and their endorsements is an important issue--one which is on the minds of many. Patricia Campos at LatinosNJ writes:
For me, what the performance of the presidential candidates in Las Vegas showed is that our community has a long way to go before our issues and real solutions to them become an integral part of a presidential candidate’s platform. As Latino leaders, we must demand that both political parties give us more than empty rhetoric and TV sound-bites in Spanish. To get our support, either party must do more than just show up to a debate in Spanish TV and/or show us a list of political endorsements. They must convince us that the policies they will put into place as the next president of the US will enable Latino families to achieve the American Dream.
Agreed. But with 40 million Latinos, how is it that we continue to get the equivalent of shiny beads and trinkets when our "leaders" sit down to negotiate the terms of endorsements?

Top 10 Political Websites

Hitwise reports that these are the 10 most trafficked political websites in the U.S. The percentage is of market share within the politics category.

It used to be that editors would get their cues from the NYTimes. Increasingly, they are getting their leads from web sources--and these sites are some of the primary sources.

Some of these sites offer insightful analyses and opinions, while others are forums for bigots and the dimwitted.

I'll let you discover for yourselves which is which. Clue: Smart (and decent) is rarely the most popular.

1. http://www.freerepublic.com/home.htm 5.14%
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ 4.51%
3. http://www.dailykos.com/ 2.57%
4. politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com 2.17%
5. http://www.townhall.com/ 2.1%
6. http://www.buzzflash.com/ 1.95%
7. http://www.politico.com/ 1.9%
8. http://www.humanevents.com/ 1.84%
9. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/ 1.72%
10. http://www.democraticunderground.com/ 1.69%


Nixon 1968, Clinton 2008

In Nixon 1968, Clinton 2008, John Ellis of RealClearPolitics writes that in order for Hillary Clinton to win in 2008, she must pursue Richard Nixon's successful strategy of 1968.

Lacking in warmth and likability, Nixon won by being the toughest, smartest and most cunning of the candidates.

Ellis thinks Nixon's approach matches Hillary to a T.

Not only do I agree, but I was an early observer of the eerie parallel. See the posts linked below.


If '68 is like '08, then who's Nixon?
Hillary's Strategy: Winning While Being Disliked
Americans Frosty Towards Hill
50% Say No to Hillary
Hillary 'Milhous' Clinton on Track to Win?
Hillary: Nixon really won 1960 election (hmmm)
Hillary Day at the Nixon Library
Is Hillary Clinton The New Richard Nixon?
Hillary’s White House retake: Woman in the arena, Nixon-style
Is Hillary Our Nixon?


Obama Reaches for the Brass Ring

Oprah to stump for Obama

Oprah Winfrey is poised to campaign for White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in Iowa and New Hampshire.

How ironic that at this low point in American history, a period of so much hate, imperial arrogance, and the reactionary politics of the small minded, the most trusted woman in America is Oprah, and the most promising political leader is Obama.

A black man and a black woman showing a path to a better place for a nation paralyzed by fear and anger seems right.

It's a glimpse of the New America emerging.

Mitt: Descarado

Republican presidential aspirant Mitt Romney is this cycle's Slick Willy--albeit, without the charm. He's the the liberal to moderate Massachusetts pol who's now campaigning as the sort of reactionary sure to please the unexpired remnants of the Buchanan brigades. He's reversed himself on so many issues it's hard to keep track, including abortion, immigrants, gays, taxes and guns.

In Tough-Talking Romney Forgets (Who Looks After) His Roots, Pat Young of Long Island's Central American Refugee Center takes Romney to task for his hypocrisy on the issue of undocumented workers. Here's an excerpt:

While Romney is now an immigration hawk, it is good to remember that for years undocumented Guatemalan immigrants cut his lawn and trimmed his bushes. It is interesting that someone who wants us to be very afraid of the undocumented felt very comfortable to have these hard-working fellows performing services right outside his own window. Behind every well-heeled anti-immigrant politician is an army of undocumented servants providing him or her with the leisure to go off on crusade.
Columnist Miguel Garcia zeroes in on the exact label for such a fellow: Descarado.


Courting Latinos, Without Shame
Bill Growls at Russert and a Cartoonist Captures Mitt
Mitt Stumbles Again
The Shifting Romney
Mitt Romney Uses Fidel Castro's Slogan
'Tar Baby' in American Politics


Hasta La Vista, Hillary!

Columnist Miguel Perez believes "[i]t's time for Latinos to say adios to Hillary" for selling out Latinos.

For Perez--and for many other Latinos--it's what they saw and heard in the span of two weeks from Ms. Hillary that is so disturbing. Hillary embraced New York Governor Spitzer's plan as a matter of public safety. She then equivocated. A week later her camp waspressing Spitzer to withdraw his proposal. Finally, Hillary puts an exclamation point on naked political expediency when she snapped "No!" at the CNN pseudo "debate" in Nevada.

To both sides of the immigration debate, her flip-flopping response was very telling. To anti-immigrant Republican conservatives, it showed that their movement has gained enough strength to make even the Democratic front-runner waver. But to Latino voters, this was also a clear demonstration that Clinton is not the champion they are looking for.
For Perez it's Hasta La Vista, Hillary!

Obama takes 4 point lead in Iowa

The latest Washington Post-ABC News Poll shows Barack Obama taking a 4 point lead among Iowa Democratic voters. Very interesting--especially in light of Hillary's "win" at the CNN pseudo debate in Nevada last week.

The Clintonoids know that an Iowa defeat torpedoes what is suppose to be the inevitable presidency of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Perhaps that's why Chicago SunTimes columnist Robert Novak has written that the Clintonoids are about to go Nixonian on Obama.

Pay attention kids because the happenings over the next month in Iowa are about to get real interesting.


Clinton Slips in Iowa Poll
POLL: Obama Finds Help in Iowa With a Focus on New Ideas
Clinton camp hints she won't tell scandalous info on Obama

Mairéad Byrne: Poet, Migrant, Immigrant-- Inbetweener

Here's an excerpt from Rob Mclennan's 12 or 20 questions: with Mairéad Byrne:

I’m an immigrant and a migrant. Providence is quite close to my own home environment of Dublin, at least Dublin before it became prosperous. South County Rhode Island is uncannily like South County Dublin. When I look out over the bay at Narragansett I expect to find Howth and am disoriented not to.

I’m very aware of place but move on easily, or at least have so far. But I still think about the places I have lived; and the places members of my family have lived: all their smells & atmospheres. I have very acute memories of my older sister’s first flat in Dublin, in the late 1960’s. That was the first place I ever smelled curry. The first place I ever saw an eggplant, or tamarind. I remember the smell of America when I first came to New York. That was an apartment, not a flat.

I value mobility. When I was a young journalist, I had nothing, materially, but I had access to those who had less than nothing, and to those who had a lot more. I came to America with $400 and a 7-year old child, knowing no-one, not even being able to drive. I kind of believe in the American dream, and I still believe in America. I teach at Rhode Island School of Design, a private school, and that 7-year old child, a daughter, is now a Junior at Brown, studying Applied Math & Economics.

I’m still an inbetweener. I work in a situation of privilege. My colleagues and students are predominantly White or Asian. I live in a situation much closer to poverty, and there is much poverty in Providence. My neighborhood is predominantly Hispanic, and Black, as is my younger daughter’s school. Black America has had an enormous influence on me, ethically. Also Black music and poetry. The America I emigrated for was Black rather than White. These terms seem harsh when I write them; the reality is harsh too but not quite so stark. The fabric of my work is quite similar to the fabric of my life. The relationships are visible.


Latino Surnames Break into U.S. Top 10

Step aside Moore and Taylor. Welcome Garcia and Rodriguez.

Smith remains the most common surname in the United States, according to a new analysis released yesterday by the Census Bureau. But for the first time, two Hispanic surnames — Garcia and Rodriguez — are among the top 10 most common in the nation, and Martinez nearly edged out Wilson for 10th place.



CNN Nevada Debate: Hillary Gets What Hillary Wants

Thank goodness few people watched last night's Democratic debate from the campus of UNLV.

It was a dreadful 2 hour demonstration of:

1) why CNN has been in a tail spin as a "news" organization; and

2) how Clintonites get over on CNN's hapless Wolf Blitzer.


1) After flip-flopping on the question of drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants in New York, Hillary got away scott-free when the question was revisited last night. Dumb Wolf accepted Hillary's newly adopted opposition to licensing undocumented drivers without so much as raising an eyebrow.

Unfreaking believable!

It's like McCain or Giuliani suddenly announcing absolute opposition to the Iraq War and Wolf ignoring it and moving onto another question.


2) The audience was clearly stacked for Clinton because a chorus of boos would descend upon only Obama and Edwards, but Hillary's silliness would be applauded. Pretty obvious what was going on.

3) Nothing better captures the farce of the so-called debate than the final question posed to Hillary by a very silly Nevadan Latina: "Do you prefer diamonds or pearls?"

Clinton's answer? "I want both."

The Clinton camp's assessment of Wolf's performance? "Outstanding." No wonder so many people refer to it as the Clinton News Network.


What you missed while watching "Project Runway" - The Democratic debate in Vegas: Fire-retardant pantsuits! Hecklers! Mysterious booing! GOP-style mudslinging! And a bizarre photo op by Salon's Michael Scherer. Pretty funny.

Gloria Vando Hickok: Missouri Poet, Latina, Nuyorican


Gloria Vando Hickok has enriched the Kansas City area literary community since moving to Johnson County in 1980. She founded Helicon Nine, a nationally recognized women’s arts magazine, which then became a press, Helicon Nine Editions. In addition, she and her husband Bill Hickok co-founded The Writers Place, a literary arts center in Kansas City, Missouri. This poet combines such service with writing award-winning books.

Vando is a Nuyorican: a person of Puerto Rican heritage born in New York City. She layers this cultural perspective through her verses. Most of her poems begin with autobiographical moments, which then expand into global perspectives.

Narrative is a strong element in all of Vando’s works, and also history. She regales her readers with dramatic stories set in Sarajevo, Vietnam, Korea, San Juan, New York, and Kansas City. She personalizes political comment by adding emotional reactions to factual events. She also tells her own larger-than-life stories in well wrought verse.

“Orphans” is one of these stories. The fourteen-line poem follows an unrhymed sonnet pattern. The first eight lines set up the situation—death of a loveless parent—and then the poem shifts to the mother’s advice about grief. Acorns and wind are familiar images to Midwestern readers, and here these natural forces suggest wholeness. The last two lines are the sonnet’s couplet, with the surprising final chord—acceptance of “luck.” The mother empowers her orphaned (or fatherless) daughter by framing her within a larger cosmos.


When my father died, leaving me
distraught for never having known
him as father, as friend,
for never having known myself

as child of one whose eyes and mouth
and temperament were mine, my mother
cautioned me, told me not to mourn
what I perceived as loss: you and I

are daughters of the wind, she said,
you and I are fathers of our souls,
sprouting intact like seedlings
from two wind-borne acorns.

We thrive on luck, she said,
there is no father’s love in that.

Education: Vando was born in New York City and lived in Amsterdam and Paris. She received a BA from Texas A and I College and pursued graduate studies at Southampton College, Long Island.

Career: Vando’s Promesas: Geography of the Impossible (1993) was a Walt Whitman finalist and won the Thorpe Menn Book Award. Shadows and Supposes (2002) won the Poetry Society of America's Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award and was named Best Poetry Book of 2003 by the Latino Hall of Fame.


Spitzer Scraps License Plan and Calls for a National Immigration Fix

New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has ended his controversial pursuit of licensing undocumented immigrant drivers. Instead, Spitzer is calling on the President and Congress to end the paralysis and pass a comprehensive solution to the nation's broken immigration system.

Here is the release:

Dear Gerry,

As you know, over the last two months, I have been advancing a proposal that I believe would improve the safety and security of the people of New York by addressing the fact that New York is home to one million undocumented immigrants, many of whom are driving on our roads unlicensed. After serious deliberation and consultation with people I respect on all sides of this issue, I have concluded that New York State cannot successfully address this problem on its own.

This morning I traveled to our nation’s capital to announce that I am withdrawing my proposal.

I chose to make this announcement in Washington, because ultimately, my original proposal was a response to the fact that the federal government has lost control of its borders, has allowed millions of undocumented immigrants to enter our country, and has no solution to deal with it.

When the federal government abdicates its responsibility, states, cities, towns and villages still have to deal with the practical reality of that failure.

Governors, Mayors and chiefs of police in every state face that reality every day in schools, hospitals, and on our roads. In New York, that reality means one million undocumented immigrants, many of whom are driving without a license and without insurance, live in the shadows -- out of reach of law enforcement.

A consequence of the federal failure to address illegal immigration is that Americans and New Yorkers are demanding a comprehensive solution. Piecemeal reform, even if practical, is unacceptable. It fails to address the many important, competing interests and values.

I underestimated that sentiment in putting forward this proposal.

I continue to believe that my proposal would have improved an unsatisfactory situation. But I have listened to the legitimate concerns of the public and those who would be affected by my proposal, and have concluded that pushing forward unilaterally in the face of such strong opposition would be counterproductive.

Beyond the crisis of illegal immigration that I have tried to address in some small way, please allow me this brief observation about another crisis – the crisis of political discourse in this country that was on full display these past two months.

While people of good faith opposed my plan for fair reasons, some partisans unleashed a response that has become all too familiar in American politics. In New York, forces quickly mobilized to prey on the public’s worst fears by turning what we believe is a practical security measure into a referendum on immigration.

Political opponents equated minimum-wage, undocumented dishwashers with Osama Bin Laden. Newspaper headlines equated a drivers’ license for an undocumented migrant laborers with a “Passport to Terror” and a “License to Kill.” Based on the New Yorkers I speak to each and every day, I feel confident in saying that this rhetoric is wildly out of step with mainstream values -- doing nothing to offer solutions and everything to exploit fear.

Nothing reflects the result of hyperpartisanship more than the current immigration debate, which has become so toxic that anytime a practical proposal is put forward, it is shot down before it can even be weighed on its merits.

The consequence of this fear-mongering is paralysis.

Here are the facts:

Tomorrow, undocumented workers will not stop driving.

The federal government is not going to deport one million undocumented workers from New York by the end of this year, any more than it did last year or the year before.

And we can be sure that those who beat their chests the loudest will still have no solution at all.

As attorney general, I often had to step into the enormous vacuum left by a federal government that did not embrace its most fundamental responsibilities. Whether it was ensuring fair play in the markets, protecting the environment, enforcing labor laws or product safety, time and again, the attorney general’s office was forced to step into the void left by federal inaction.

As governor, it has not been much different. Whether it’s health care, climate change, education or, in this case immigration, states are feeling the brunt of federal abdication and conscious neglect of a problem that is crying out for a solution.

But what I have learned here is that, while there are times when states should be laboratories, immigration is not one of them. It’s too complex and too macro a challenge to be solved by a patchwork of state policies. But the reality of 14 million undocumented immigrants nationwide and one million in New York isn’t going away. So my challenge to the federal government is this: fix it. Fix the problem so the states won’t face the local impact.

With that, I look forward to getting back to an agenda that addresses the needs of all New Yorkers.

Governor Eliot Spitzer


U.S. Latinos by the Numbers

48.2 million: U.S. Latino population (includes residents of Puerto Rico).

15%: Part of the U.S. population that's Latino.

1 of 2: One of every two people added to the nation’s population between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006, was Latino. There were 1.4 million Latinos added to the population over the period.

3.4%: Percentage increase in the Latino population between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006, making it the fastest-growing minority group.

102.6 million: The projected Latino population of the U.S. as of July 1, 2050. A quarter of all U.S. residents will be Latino.

3rd: Ranking of the size of the U.S. Latino population worldwide. Only Brazil (183 million) and Mexico (109 million) have larger Latino populations than does the United States (48.2 million). Colombia is 4th with 44 million.

58%: The percentage of Latinos who are of Mexican background. Another 16.6 percent are of Puerto Rican background, with 3.2 percent Cuban, 2.7 percent Salvadoran and 2.4 percent Dominican. The remainder are other Central and South American.

27.4 years: Median age of the Latino population in 2006 (vs 36.4 years for the general population).

45%: The percentage of the Latino population that lives in California or Texas. California is home to 13.1 million Latinos, and Texas is home to 8.4 million.

15: The number of states with at least a half million Latino residents, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

44%: The percentage of New Mexico’s population that is Latino, the highest of any state. Latinos also make up more than a quarter of the population in California and Texas, at 36 percent each, and Arizona (29 percent).

4.7 million: The Latino population of Los Angeles County, Calif. — the largest of any county in the nation.

305,000: The increase in Texas’ Latino population between July 1, 2005, and July 1, 2006, which led all states. California (283,000), Florida (161,000) and Arizona (102,000) also recorded large increases.

22: Number of states in which Latinos are the largest minority group, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.

1.6 million: The number of Latino-owned businesses in 2002.

Triple: The rate of growth of Latino-owned businesses between 1997 and 2002 (31 percent) compared with the national average (10 percent) for all businesses.

$222 billion: Revenue generated by Latino-owned businesses in 2002, up 19 percent from

29,168: Number of Latino-owned firms with receipts of $1 million or more.

23%: Percentage of total population younger than 5 that was Latino as of July 1, 2006.

$35,967: The median income of Latino households in 2005.

21.8%: The poverty rate among Latinos in 2005.

59%: The percentage of Latinos 25 and older who had at least a high school education in 2006.

12%: The percentage of the Latino population 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2006.

3.1 million: The number of Latinos 18 and older who had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2006, up from 1.4 million a decade earlier.

68%: Percentage of Latinos 16 and older who are in the civilian labor force.

17%: The percentage of Latinos 16 or older who work in management, professional and related occupations.

77,700: Number of Latino chief executives. In addition, 49,200 physicians and surgeons; 53,700 teachers; 29,000 lawyers; and 3,300 news analysts, reporters and correspondents are Latino.

7.6 million: The number of Latino citizens who reported voting in the 2004 presidential election.

1.1 million: The number of Latino veterans of the U.S. armed forces.

SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau


Mexican Immigration and U.S. Culture

Over the next few decades the strongest force shaping American culture may well be Mexican.

Read A blended people, an Economist.com review of Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race in America, a book by Gregory Rodriguez.

Top 20 Destinations for Americans: Mexico #1

According to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the favorite destination for American travellers by a wide margin: Mexico.

That's right. Mexico is not only our biggest commercial partner; a country with which we share deepening cultural and familial connections; the preferred residence for an estimated 1 million U.S. nationals; but it's also THE favorite destination for American travellers.

(So building a 800 mile border fence and criminalizing Mexican workers is good policy?)

Here are the top 20 destinations for Americans in 2006:

1. Mexico: 19,659,000
2. Canada: 13,855,000
3. UK 3,286,000
4. France: 2,231,000
5. Italy: 2,201,000
6. Germany: 1,688,000
7. Jamaica: 1,688,000
8. Bahamas: 1,538,000
9. Japan: 1,538,000
10. China: 1,327,000
11. Spain: 995,000
12. Netherlands: 904,000
13. Hong Kong: 904,000
14. India: 904,000
15. Ireland: 844,000
16. Taiwan: 693,000
17. Switzerland: 633,000
18. Korea: 633,000
19. Australia: 603,000
20: Greece: 482,000


Harris Interactive Poll: 23 Million U.S. Latino Adults Go Online

A new Harris Interactive Poll of 2,062 adults has found that 79% of U.S. adults, or 178 million, are now internet users--a 10% jump from a year ago.

Also included is the percentage of adult internet users which are Latino: 13%.

Translation: An estimated 23,140,000 U.S. Latino adults are now internet users.

Very interesting.


Four in Five of All U.S. Adults – An Estimated 178 million – Go Online


Bill Growls at Russert and a Cartoonist Captures Mitt

You know there's been some damage when Bill jumps the fence and growls at Tim Russert.

Bill claims Russert's question about the locked up Bill-Hill Arkansas papers "was breathtakingly misleading."

Now that Russert has had his knuckles rapped journalists everywhere will know better than to ask Hillary inconvenient questions.

Is that shtick still working for Bill? I hope not.

Inoculating against charges of being a big meanie because Hillary's a she, here's a funny and accurate cartoon of Mitt Romney. As the video below manages to do for Hillary, the Mitt cartoon really does capture the essential Romney.

Will Ms Romney now denounce the cartoon as a fraud because she knows Mitt only has one mouth?


Hillary self-destructs - the Video

One of the rival campaigns is circulating a video of Hillary Clinton taking what sounds to most like contradictory statements on the major issues. Titled 'Politics of Parsing' it may prove as damaging to Hillary's character as was John Kerry's "I did vote for the war in Iraq before I voted against it."

Don't think so? 1) Watch the video. 2) Listen to the joy on the part of rightwing pundits and radio screechers.

The rghtwing is ecstatic because the Democrats are about to give them what they most want: a fatally flawed presidential opponent. It's a gift to the GOP at a time when it should be a cakewalk for the Democrats to take the White House.

Bill Richardson - The Dark Horse

After Hillary's disastrous debate performance in Philly, might Bill Richardson finally get his opportunity?

It's possible.

After all, John Edwards likely weakened himself with his aggressive attacks on Hillary. Barack Obama appears to be holding steady. And none of the other so-called "2nd Tier" candidates appear to be gaining any traction.

As a dark horse candidate, Richardson's fate probably rests on a decent showing in the retail politics of the Iowa Caucuses. Not only has he consistently been at the top of the 2nd tier, but this Pollster.com chart shows a distinct trend upwards for Richardson--along with a corresponding downward trend for Edwards.

Now comes news that famed Lee Iacocca--the man who saved Chrysler in the 1980s and a onetime presidential prospect himself--has endorsed Bill Richardson.

Has the dark horse finally begun to emerge?


Lee Iacocca Backs Richardson for 2008
Richardson tags rivals for negativity
Western Governor Considered 'Dark Horse' for US Presidential Nomination


Tourists Penalizing 'Unfriendly' America

Not only does it cost a tremendous amount of money to chase down, jail and deport undocumented workers, but the nation also loses out on their productivity and spending. And there's the cost of litigation and judgements against anti-immigrant towns.

What about tourism to the U.S.? Is there are impact as a result of rising immigrant/foreigner hostility?

Discovery America has crunched the numbers and the economic impact to the U.S. is huge.

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has experienced a 17 percent decline in overseas travel, costing America 94 billion dollars in lost visitor spending, nearly 200,000 jobs and 16 billion dollars in lost tax revenue.

Dumb! Dumb! Dumb!

Related: 'Unwelcoming' US sees sharp fall in visitors since 9/11
America The Unfriendly

Ancient Taino Settlement Discovered in Southern Puerto Rico

Large Ancient Settlement Unearthed in Puerto Rico, National Geographic News - 10.29.07

Bodies, structures, and rock art thought to belong to an indigenous pre-Columbian culture have been unearthed at an ancient settlement in Puerto Rico, officials recently announced.

Archaeologists say the complex—which dates from A.D. 600 to 1500—could be the most significant of its kind in the Caribbean.



Major archaeological find in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican archaeologists accuse U.S. Army Corps of taking artifacts without permission
Local Indigenous Peoples Concerned over New Archeological Find in Puerto Rico
Declaraciones del Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos y el Caney 5to Mundo en torno al hallazgo del yacimiento Tibes/Bucana Baramaya (Portugués)


Technorati Profile

Hillary's Halloween Moment

Since it's Halloween and one of my girls dressed as the cutest Wicked Witch of the West in all of the East, I just couldn't resist posting this last (i.e., for the week) photo of Hillary from last night's Philly Debate.

The photo is humorous by itself, but rabidl bad boy McCullough made it hilarious when he added this caption:

"I'll get you my pretties.... heeehaaahaa haa haa!"

I'm still laughing.

Don’t Look to Democrats for Immigrant Rights

Latinos Democrats looking for constructive change on the issue of immigration should pay close attention to what Roberto Lovato is saying in Don't Look to Democrats for Immigrant Rights (New America Media, October 31, 2007).

Lovato's point? That Democrats may not have the stomach to fight the good fight on behalf of immigration reform.

Nativism sells in the current anti-immigrant environment--and it sells just as well for Democrats as it does for Republicans. Consider the popularity of New York's Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy. A popular Democrat, Levy is about to win re-election with upwards of 95% of the vote.

The evidence? Not only links Hillary's equivocating on immigrant licenses during last night's debate to honcho Rahm Emmanual's declaration that immigration is the new third rail, but also to Bill Clinton and his post-Oklahoma bombing efforts at what some call "crimmigration”, the criminalization of immigration.

The bottomeline? The GOP is horrendous and getting worse on Latino immigration, but the Democrats may be no better--and could be worse.

Philly Debate Photo of Hillary and Obama

It's so true that a picture is worth a thousand words. This one is also priceless.

The Philly Debate: The Boys Grow Up and Hillary Stumbles

Last night's democratic presidential debate at Drexel University in Philadelphia was refreshing.


Two reasons:

1) Hillary's male competitors finally stopped their silly game of not engaging her for fear of being viewed as mean. (Of course, their deference to Madam Hillary did not protect them from being pummelled by the Clinton War Machine and their media allies.)

2) Tim Russert and Brian Williams put away the sexist approach to Hillary and actually asked her tough questions.

This was welcomed progress.

The result was that Hillary, the Democratic Party front runner and likely nominee, was challenged on a number of important points which are sure to become major issues during the next year's general election. Hillary stumbled on all three.

The Iran Vote

Hillary voted this week to allow the Bush administration the first step towards war with Iran. Her response? That something needs to be done and that her vote somehow puts pressure on the Bush administration to do the right thing. What?

Social Security

Hillary's official position on Social Security is that it should not be touched, but privately she has said that payroll tax should be expanded. When asked by Russert to resolve those conflicting views, Hillary herself dug a deeper hole. She said something to the effect that while it's her position that nothing should change, a number of proposed changes will be on the table. What?

Licenses for the Undocumented

This was perhaps the most disturbing response of the night. When asked whether Hillary supported or opposed New York Governor Elliot Spitzer's plan to give undocumented workers drivers licenses, she punted.

What was strange was that the question seemed to take Hillary by surprise. But how could it? After all, Hillary is a senator from New York and it's New York's governor--and Clinton political ally/supporter--who's proposal was being discussed. Either Hillary is so accustomed to the MSM's white glove treatment and expected Russert to not question her non response, or her debate preparation was lacking.

Clinton camp knows that the Republicans plan to use immigration as a wedge against the Democrat nominee, so they want to neutralize it as much as possible. Their strategy is to say little publicly on immigration, while conducting a below the radar outreach to Latinos. The latter explains the recent spate of softball interviews by Latino bloggers.

The question I have is not for Hillary...she and Bill are pretty good at the game of slicing, dicing and parsing in order to win political elections.

The question I have is for all of the Latino politicians, nonprofit CEOs and bloggers that have thrown themselves onto Hillary bandwagon: Do you really want a president who is publicly mute on these most important of issues?


Obama, Edwards attack; Clinton bombs debate
Clinton feels heat after testy debate


Lopez's post-World Cup goal: NCAA title for Portland

Lopez's post-World Cup goal: NCAA title for Portland (by Andy Gardiner, USA TODAY)

Stephanie Lopez's whirlwind year hasn't ended yet, but it has returned her to a place where she can catch her breath and begin to sort out the experiences of the last 12 months.

Lopez is back at her familiar spot on defense for the seventh-ranked University of Portland women's soccer team, transforming a very good club into one with a shot at the national championship.

She returns after competing on this year's U.S. World Cup team that finished third in China in September. She was the national team's youngest member and its first player of Hispanic origin.



Giving License to Minutemen: The GOP In the Driver's Seat by Michael O'Neill

The following is a letter of hope for those fighting the good fight during this ugly period of American nativism. Its author is Michael O'Neill of Long Island's Sag Harbor and a champion of immigrant rights. It is respectfully presented here with his permission.

License to Minutemen: The GOP In the Driver's Seat

In the noisome living room of the nativist hard right, for the GOP Militant today, there is only a cesspool darkness of the future of our nation. A darkness threatening to overtake the U.S. by a demographic ascendancy and territorial conquest; this darkness has replaced that traditional vanquished enemy, godless communism, by a far more subversive danger spreading over America's interior, throughout its breath and width. There is no longer any lip service to "Morning in America" given the future framed by a permanent Midnight in America where darkness descends upon our culture as a dark people of color rise to become the democratic majority.

The GOP is now mainstreaming extremists into the body politic of the U.S. to drown out the fearful, the timid, the intimidated with the effluence of their wedge politics. With our country in the middle of a catastrophic military and diplomatic defeat of unforeseeable consequence; with the drums of war again reverberating through our land, in a seeming effort to plunge the world deeper in the mire of blood as a Hail Mary desperation pass to pull victory out of defeat. The economic prospect of the middle class looks even grimmer as a war with Iran will cost a staggering amount.

It has not been so difficult for the GOP to maneuver extremists into channeling anger into blaming terrorists—the swarthy invaders. If it was simple enough to convince the majority that Iraq was responsible for 9/11, there should not be any obstacle to faulting illegal immigrants for all our economic and social problems. There is little doubt the GOP now see very well how they can muster and use angry racist mobs to further enflame a citizenry, as we saw today in Albany, primed to blame and scapegoat the "illegal immigrant," the brown invader, for outsourcing jobs, falling wages, record foreclosures, rising homelessness, unaffordable health care and a bleaker future, with no retirement, working till you are dropped in a hospital to expire...

The GOP at every level of government, national, state and regional, has been flushed into this seemingly fixed midnight of darkness where shades of reality are masked by their blinding affiliation with white supremacist, anti-immigrant, neo-con hard right organizations. Fueled by enormous wealth coming out of the Bush Administration protection racket for the likes of Ari Fleischer, Richard Mellon Scaife, the Coors family's tax-free billions, the Eric Prince (head of Blackwater, the mercenary group that has put in a bid to patrol the Mexican border) extended family, Cheney, Rove, Limbaugh, Coulter, Roger Ailes, and all their other glum warriors who repeat clichés to each other that privilege must be controlled, just as the cream rises to the top. Just as they, themselves are rewarded, praise the Lord.

They astutely see the threat to Christian white Western Civilization by the non-white hordes from the south, the invaders who corrupt even our language, refusing to speak English, which the right claims with a straight face unites us as a people, as if they so highly value unity with those outside their own identity. This is the trajectory mapped by Samuel Huntington, who understood that the Roman Catholic Latino is culturally incapable of understanding the true nature of democracy, because their tradition of being ruled by an all powerful caudillo, an elite, a hierarchy of papists. This anti-Catholicism has been a significant, popular belief in the U.S. since colonial times when U.S. was surrounded by Catholic enemies, their economic rivals to the North and the South, with their French and Spanish rulers.

Today in the rotunda of the State Legislature in Albany, bands of Minimen, American Border Patrol, their gun-obsessed buddies, pious acolytes of Lou Dobbs, Tank-credo & his grotesque clone Tedisco, bonded in the happy glue of despising Latino illegals, screamed in a tantrum of mob fury for the head of Spitzer, for the passage of a meaningless gesture that will reinforce their certainty they are riding the powerful steed of the headless horseman, to wreak terror in the hearts of legislators who ignore their Halloween cartoon of what our democracy means and what it looks like when we ship them back to Africa, Haiti, Mexico...

Yes, I know there are also Dems, like Levy, and there are a few progressive Republicans, like Chafee, Bloomberg, but they are anomalous, the exception. The grand ole party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, LaGuardia, Lindsay, Rockefeller, even Reagan, and Bush pere have been widened to include and welcome those in the resurfacings of this amalgam of anti-government and violent squads of posses militati, NRA John Birchers, Christian Identity, states' militias, neo-Nazi minutemen rallying around the red, white & blue of anti-immigrant patriotism. While they open wide their tent to this flotsam of lunatics, they demand we close entry to hard working immigrants. The lunatic fringe appears to be in the driver's seat, on their way to becoming the mainstream of Republicanism.

Don't be demoralized by their appearance of power that seems to leave so many Dems cowering, as in our Suffolk County legislature. Remember that the Know Nothing Party was the largest 3rd party in the history of American politics, holding a majority in several state legislatures, including Mass. & Penn. and a powerful force in others, with several senators elected to Congress and dozens in the House of Representatives. Yet, they were completely defeated in just 10 years by a nation undergoing unprecedented economic boom, finding pursuit of business, innovation and wealth to be more rewarding.

This nativism flares up periodically throughout our history in times of national stress; but has always been finally defeated by progressive forces building coalition, usually with a resulting expansion of a more inclusive definition of our democracy.

If nativists appear to be in the Republican driver's seat, you can be certain that with the putting of our shoulders to the wheel, the coming together as we speak, of progressive forces building a grassroots coalition, we will win out. We have history as our peloton* at our backs and the future in our reach. These minimen losers of GOP reaction are running on fumes. They are in the driver's seat for but a very short trip.

Michael O'Neill

Peloton is a fancy word, but useful. The peloton travels as an integrated unit, like geese flying in formation of a V, each rider making slight adjustments in response to the riders around them (particularly the one in front of each). When developed, riders at the front are exposed to higher loads, and will tend to slip off the front in order to rejoin the pack further back where there will be less aerodynamic resistance, thus able to conserve energy as they move, in turn up to the front. In some cases, with sufficient room to maneuver, this will develop into a fluid situation where the center of the peloton appears to be pushing through its own leading edge, exactly like the UFW tactic of the boycott.