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)