A Nativist GOP Wired to Fail in a Diverse America

Today's GOP is under the firm grip of a pack of vicious, nativistic and egotistical loudmouths. For a political party its a deathly defect. Neal Gabler call's it the GOP's McCarthy gene. He theorizes that it's this "something deep in the DNA of the Republican Party that determines how Republicans run for office". They are repelled and even angered by diversity.

"Republicans continue to push the idea that this is a center-right country and that Americans have swooned for GOP anti-government posturing all these years, but the real electoral bait has been anger, recrimination and scapegoating. That's why John McCain kept describing Barack Obama as some sort of alien and why Palin, taking a page right out of the McCarthy playbook, kept pushing Obama's relationship with onetime radical William Ayers.

There may be assorted intellectuals and ideologues in the party, maybe even a few centrists, but there is no longer an intellectual or even ideological wing. The party belongs to McCarthy and his heirs -- Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly and Palin. It's in the genes."

It's this part of the GOP's political DNA that accounts for the post-9/11 explosion of xenophobia, bigotry and racism. And just like McCarthy's witch hunts in the '50s gravelly wounded the once proud party of Lincoln, so again its modern day base instincts for fear mongering, intimidation, scapegoating and bluster are causing it to implode.

Nativist GOP losers are a growing list, including George Allen, Randy Graf, J. D. Hayworth, Virgil Goode, Lou Barletta, Tom Tancredo, Mitt Romney, Elizabeth Dole, John McCain and Sarah Palin.

It's why the GOP lost the once reliably red states of Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado to Barack Obama.

And it's why the GOP will likely lose Arizona, Texas and even Georgia in the not so distant future.

It's even why the Waco-Tribune -- in the heart of Red Texas -- had this to say in its post-presidential election wrap-up: The big question is if the GOP can reach beyond its far-right constituency and put aside the politics of hate and division that sank the McCain-Palin ticket. Otherwise, party hard-liners will lead it to further defeat.

Unfortunately for the party, that's not likely. As Neal Gabler observes:

And that is also why the Republican Party, despite the recent failure of McCarthyism, is likely to keep moving rightward, appeasing its more extreme elements and stoking their grievances for some time to come.
A Blue Texas? Latinos Will Decide
GOP's Racist, Anti-Latino Ad in Georgia U.S. Senate Run-off
Latinos Rising Lance a Nativist GOP?
Hispanic voters gaining strength in key states
The GOP's Bitter Harvest to Come
A Xenophobic Zeitgeist - Erasing GOP Latino Gains
WSJ -- The GOP's Anti-Latino Tone is a Loser
Linda Chavez: GOP's Self-Inflicted Wound
Republican Presidential Hopefuls Diss 1,000 Latino Leaders
The Coming Latino Voter Response to the Failure of Immigration Reform
Republicans: nativism is a proven loser
Clint Bolick: The GOP Must Now Prove Itself to Latinos
Linda Chavez' The Company You Keep: In Search of anti-Hispanic hostility
GOP Risks Losing Latino Voters

Photos (Top to Bottom): Joe McCarthy, Patrick Buchanan, Sean Hannity, Tom Tancredo, Lou Barletta)


A Blue Texas? Latinos Will Decide

As Latinos tilt Democratic, can Texas stay ‘red’?

That's the question Michael B. Farrell examines in his terrific article in today's Christian Science Monitor. While he doesn't give an answer, he lays out some of the political and demographic trends shaping the outcome. For example:

    • Texas' major cities are now controlled by Democrats
    • Texas recently joined California, New Mexico and Hawaii as a minority majority state
    • Texas Latinos comprise 36% of the population (eclipsing the Anglo pop. by 2020)
    • Texas in-migration of Anglos are typically younger, more urban and more progressive than are native Anglo Texans
    • Nationally, younger Latinos backed Obama 76% to 19% for McCain
    • Texas Anglos is an aging demographic (e.g., 70% of people older than 60 in Harris County/Houston are Anglo, while more than 75% of people younger than 30 are non-Anglo)
Of course, changes in demographics alone will not decide the fate of a political party. After all, immigrant groups have been known to migrate politically as they solidified their middle class status, and the same thing could happen with Latinos and other populations in Texas. It is, in part, how President G. W. Bush managed to get 46% of the Texas Latino vote in '04.

And there's always the possibility -- slim as it may be -- of the party exorcising itself and transforming into a competent, humane and forward thinking option more in-sync with peoples' aspirations instead of their fears.

But actions and words matter. And Republicans of late have been hell bent on scapegoating all of the nation's problems on immigrants -- Latino immigrants in particular. Some of their leading nativist propagandists--Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Tom Tancredo, Patrick Buchanan, Michael Savage, and many others--view Latinos in general as a threat.

As a result, Republicans have been steadily losing Latino support. According to Pew, Latino support for the GOP dropped 9% between '04 and '08.

Further dimming their prospects are Republican views on the environment, women's rights, gay rights, labor rights, foreign policy and economics. Harsh conservative views trouble today's younger voters of all stripes -- across the nation as well as in Texas.

Imagine a Texas-less Republican Party. Hard to imagine, right? But nevertheless, likely. Had Texas flipped this year, McCain would have lost by 399 to 137 EVs instead of 365 to 171 trouncing he received. If Texas flips in 2012 or 2016, the damage to the GOP will be even greater if, as expected, 1 or 2 electoral votes are added to its total as per reapportionment.

Barring a catastrophic failure on the part of President Barack Obama and the national Democrats, it's hard to see a scenario whereby Republicans stop Texas from going Blue. They have blown it! Nativism, warmongering and economic incompetence are just not selling points for people looking for brighter futures.

Related: Changing Face of Texas: Population Projections and Implications


Thanksgiving: The National Day of Mourning - Text of 1970 Speech by Wamsutta, an Aquinnah Wampanoag Elder

Frank James (1923 - February 20, 2001) was known to the Wampanoag people as Wamsutta. In 1970, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts invited him to speak at Plymouth's annual Thanksgiving feast. When the text of Mr. James’ speech was revealed before dinner, Massachusetts "disinvited" him.

Wamsutta refused to revise his speech and left the event. He went to the hill near the statue of the Massasoit, the Wampanoag leader during the Pilgrims' arrival in 1620. There, overlooking Plymouth Harbor and the replica of the Mayflower, Frank James recited the speech that Massachusetts Commonwealth had refused to hear:

I speak to you as a man -- a Wampanoag Man. I am a proud man, proud of my ancestry, my accomplishments won by a strict parental direction ("You must succeed - your face is a different color in this small Cape Cod community!"). I am a product of poverty and discrimination from these two social and economic diseases. I, and my brothers and sisters, have painfully overcome, and to some extent we have earned the respect of our community. We are Indians first - but we are termed "good citizens." Sometimes we are arrogant but only because society has pressured us to be so.

It is with mixed emotion that I stand here to share my thoughts. This is a time of celebration for you - celebrating an anniversary of a beginning for the white man in America. A time of looking back, of reflection. It is with a heavy heart that I look back upon what happened to my People.

Even before the Pilgrims landed it was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them as slaves for 220 shillings apiece. The Pilgrims had hardly explored the shores of Cape Cod for four days before they had robbed the graves of my ancestors and stolen their corn and beans. Mourt's Relation describes a searching party of sixteen men. Mourt goes on to say that this party took as much of the Indians' winter provisions as they were able to carry.

Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag, knew these facts, yet he and his People welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic. Or his knowledge of the harsh oncoming winter was the reason for his peaceful acceptance of these acts. This action by Massasoit was perhaps our biggest mistake. We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end; that before 50 years were to pass, the Wampanoag would no longer be a free people.

What happened in those short 50 years? What has happened in the last 300 years? History gives us facts and there were atrocities; there were broken promises - and most of these centered around land ownership. Among ourselves we understood that there were boundaries, but never before had we had to deal with fences and stone walls. But the white man had a need to prove his worth by the amount of land that he owned. Only ten years later, when the Puritans came, they treated the Wampanoag with even less kindness in converting the souls of the so-called "savages." Although the Puritans were harsh to members of their own society, the Indian was pressed between stone slabs and hanged as quickly as any other "witch."

And so down through the years there is record after record of Indian lands taken and, in token, reservations set up for him upon which to live. The Indian, having been stripped of his power, could only stand by and watch while the white man took his land and used it for his personal gain. This the Indian could not understand; for to him, land was survival, to farm, to hunt, to be enjoyed. It was not to be abused. We see incident after incident, where the white man sought to tame the "savage" and convert him to the Christian ways of life. The early Pilgrim settlers led the Indian to believe that if he did not behave, they would dig up the ground and unleash the great epidemic again.

The white man used the Indian's nautical skills and abilities. They let him be only a seaman -- but never a captain. Time and time again, in the white man's society, we Indians have been termed "low man on the totem pole.

Has the Wampanoag really disappeared? There is still an aura of mystery. We know there was an epidemic that took many Indian lives - some Wampanoags moved west and joined the Cherokee and Cheyenne. They were forced to move. Some even went north to Canada! Many Wampanoag put aside their Indian heritage and accepted the white man's way for their own survival. There are some Wampanoag who do not wish it known they are Indian for social or economic reasons.

What happened to those Wampanoags who chose to remain and live among the early settlers? What kind of existence did they live as "civilized" people? True, living was not as complex as life today, but they dealt with the confusion and the change. Honesty, trust, concern, pride, and politics wove themselves in and out of their [the Wampanoags'] daily living. Hence, he was termed crafty, cunning, rapacious, and dirty.

History wants us to believe that the Indian was a savage, illiterate, uncivilized animal. A history that was written by an organized, disciplined people, to expose us as an unorganized and undisciplined entity. Two distinctly different cultures met. One thought they must control life; the other believed life was to be enjoyed, because nature decreed it. Let us remember, the Indian is and was just as human as the white man. The Indian feels pain, gets hurt, and becomes defensive, has dreams, bears tragedy and failure, suffers from loneliness, needs to cry as well as laugh. He, too, is often misunderstood.

The white man in the presence of the Indian is still mystified by his uncanny ability to make him feel uncomfortable. This may be the image the white man has created of the Indian; his "savageness" has boomeranged and isn't a mystery; it is fear; fear of the Indian's temperament!

High on a hill, overlooking the famed Plymouth Rock, stands the statue of our great Sachem, Massasoit. Massasoit has stood there many years in silence. We the descendants of this great Sachem have been a silent people. The necessity of making a living in this materialistic society of the white man caused us to be silent. Today, I and many of my people are choosing to face the truth. We ARE Indians!

Although time has drained our culture, and our language is almost extinct, we the Wampanoags still walk the lands of Massachusetts. We may be fragmented, we may be confused. Many years have passed since we have been a people together. Our lands were invaded. We fought as hard to keep our land as you the whites did to take our land away from us. We were conquered, we became the American prisoners of war in many cases, and wards of the United States Government, until only recently.

Our spirit refuses to die. Yesterday we walked the woodland paths and sandy trails. Today we must walk the macadam highways and roads. We are uniting We're standing not in our wigwams but in your concrete tent. We stand tall and proud, and before too many moons pass we'll right the wrongs we have allowed to happen to us.

We forfeited our country. Our lands have fallen into the hands of the aggressor. We have allowed the white man to keep us on our knees. What has happened cannot be changed, but today we must work towards a more humane America, a more Indian America, where men and nature once again are important; where the Indian values of honor, truth, and brotherhood prevail.

You the white man are celebrating an anniversary. We the Wampanoags will help you celebrate in the concept of a beginning. It was the beginning of a new life for the Pilgrims. Now, 350 years later it is a beginning of a new determination for the original American: the American Indian.

There are some factors concerning the Wampanoags and other Indians across this vast nation. We now have 350 years of experience living amongst the white man. We can now speak his language. We can now think as a white man thinks. We can now compete with him for the top jobs. We're being heard; we are now being listened to. The important point is that along with these necessities of everyday living, we still have the spirit, we still have the unique culture, we still have the will and, most important of all, the determination to remain as Indians. We are determined, and our presence here this evening is living testimony that this is only the beginning of the American Indian, particularly the Wampanoag, to regain the position in this country that is rightfully ours.

The 1st 'Official' Thanksgiving Proclaimed June 29, 1676 Following Massacre of Pequot Indians

The 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and the Indians was not the first official Thanksgiving. On June 20, 1676, following the massacre of 700-800 Pequot Indians in Connecticut, the council of Charlestown, Massachusetts unanimously voted to proclaim June 29, 1676, as a day of celebration and Thanksgiving. The following statement was read:

"The Holy God having by a long and Continual Series of his Afflictive dispensations in and by the present Warr with the Heathen Natives of this land, written and brought to pass bitter things against his own Covenant people in this wilderness, yet so that we evidently discern that in the midst of his judgments he hath remembered mercy, having remembered his Footstool in the day of his sore displeasure against us for our sins, with many singular Intimations of his Fatherly Compassion, and regard; reserving many of our Towns from Desolation Threatened, and attempted by the Enemy, and giving us especially of late with many of our Confederates many signal Advantages against them, without such Disadvantage to ourselves as formerly we have been sensible of, if it be the Lord's mercy that we are not consumed, It certainly bespeaks our positive Thankfulness, when our Enemies are in any measure disappointed or destroyed; and fearing the Lord should take notice under so many Intimations of his returning mercy, we should be found an Insensible people, as not standing before Him with Thanksgiving, as well as lading him with our Complaints in the time of pressing Afflictions."
Source: Native Village

THE MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT MUSEUM: The engraving above depicts a stylized view of the assault on the Pequot fort at Mystic. More than 700 Pequot Indians were believed to have been killed during the massacre led by Capt. John Mason in 1637. This engraving was made in 1638.

A Seneca Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Prayer from the Seneca (Iroquois), translated by Chuck Larsen, Seneca

You said that we should always be thankful
For our earth and for each other
So it is that we are gathered here
We are your children, Lord of the Sky.
Now again the smoke rises
And again we offer prayers

You said that food should be placed beside us
And it should be ours in exchange for our labor.
You thought that ours should be a world
where green grass of many kinds should grow

You said that some should be medicines
And that one should be Ona'o the sacred food, our sister corn
You gave to her two clinging sisters
beautiful Oa'geta, our sister beans
and bountiful Nyo'sowane, our sister squash
The three sacred sisters; they who sustain us.
This is what you thought, Lord of the Sky.

Thus did you think to provide for us
And you ordered that when the warm season comes,
That we should see the return of life
And remember you, and be thankful,
and gather here by the sacred fire.

So now again the smoke arises
We the people offer our prayers
We speak to you through the rising smoke
We are thankful, Lord of the Sky.

Source: Native Village


¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias!

Actually, site of America's first settlement of undocumented immigrants is Caparra, Borikén (aka. Puerto Rico) in 1508 -- 112 years before Pilgrims staggered onto Plymouth.

(BTW: There were at least three established European settlements on the Eastern coast of North American before the arrival of the English refugees at Plymouth.)

Of course, every American child knows that Juan Ponce de Leon entered the American mainland, too -- again, without papers -- near present day Saint Augustine, Florida.

Ponce de Leon's band of brazen border hoppers opened the floodgates to millions of undocumented foreign peasants to sneak into America in search of jobs. America has never recovered.

Happy Thanksgiving!


The Burial of Martyred Immigrant Marcelo Lucero

Video-Journalist Ana P. Gutierrez captures the Lucero and Gualaceo's deep sorrow of the retrieval and funeral of the martyred Marcelo.

The arrival of the body of Marcelo Lucero in Ecuador.

Marcelo's funeral in his hometown of Gualaceo.

Aljazeera on the Murder of Marcelo Lucero


Rosario Lucero Grieves for her son Marcelo

Speaking from her home in Gualaceo, Ecuador, Rosario Lucero -- the grieving mother of the Long Island hate murder victim Marcelo Lucero -- spoke to video-journalist Ana P. Gutierrez.

Ms. Gutierrez captures the dignity, faith and sorrow of the people of Gualaceo in mourning.


Marcello Lucero - A Latino Immigrant Awakening?

I joined 1,000 or so of mourners at last night's outdoor vigil for Marcello Lucero in Patchogue, Long Island.

It was a diverse crowd, young and old, Latino and nonLatino. They came from the Latino precincts of the Patchogue area, as well as from communities across the length of Long Island, including Astoria, Jackson Heights, Sunset Park, Corona, Elmont, Hempstead, Long Beach, Glen Cove, Freeport, Amityville, Huntington, Brentwood, Central Islip, Southampton, Montauk. Some travelled from New Jersey and points further west.

The bulk of those assembled though were Latino immigrants -- most Ecuadorianos.

The vigil was held at the very site of Marcello's murder, on a street along side the Patchogue commuter rail station. It's the back and poorly lit side of the rail station, so one can easily see why the thugs would chose to do their evil work there.

Under a steady drizzle one mourner called 'tears from heaven', the vigil included prayers, chants, speeches and songs offered in Spanish, English and sometimes in both. Many in the audience held flickering candles. Many held home-made signs protesting Marcello's murder or demanding an end to hate. A lit shrine with a large photo of Marcello, religious artifacts, messages and flowers drew a wall of bereaved a hundred deep.

Especially touching was that a two other vigils were held simultaneously last night: One in Marcello's hometown in Ecuador and another in Nanuet, New York. The proceedings in Patchogue were heard by Marcello's mother via cellphone.

People speaking from the podium included a number of politicians:

- State Senator (and Majority Leader to be) Malcolm Smith of Queens who promised to use the full weight of the state to protect New York's immigrant communities.

- Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri who spoke about his family's own immigrant origins in a small town in Italy and how the death of Marcello has wounded the community he loves and has lived in all of his life.

- Assemblyman Phil Ramos condemned the murder of Marcello and the pattern of anti-Latino immigrant violence that has been a shameful part of Suffolk life. He spoke about his experience as a former Suffolk police officer in which he responded to several horrific acts of racist violence against Latino Immigrants.

There were labor leaders who rallied the crowd with chants of 'Justicia', 'Yes, We Can!' and 'Un Pueblo Unido No Puede Ser Vencido!'.

A number of Latin American nations sent their representatives, including Ecuador's Ambassador to the United Nations, embassy officials from Venezuela, El Salvador and others.

There were religious leaders including the Imam of Long Island's Muslim community who offered prayers and solidarity.

Marcello's younger brother spoke again about the need to stop the violence against immigrants who he described as good people, hardworking people.

Latino and immigrant leaders addressed the mourners, including Dr. Luis Valenzuela who called for Suffolk County politicians to stop bashing immigrants. Another noted that Lucero means 'bright star' in Spanish and that Marcello was shining a light towards a better place from his perch in heaven.

Finally, one very animated speaker--whose name and role I didn't get--opened his comments with 'good morning' even though it was night. It wasn't a mistake. His point was that Long Island's Latino community has been asleep for too long, reluctant to stand up for itself. But that last night's large turn out was a sign to him that the community has awakened.

Video: Newsday
Photos: Gerry Vazquez


Hudson Valley Latinos: Franky Perez

The Poughkeepsie Journal's series, What life is like for valley Hispanics, gives its Hudson Valley readers a glimpse into the region's expanding Latino community.

This week they feature a piece on Franky Perez, 40, a guidance counselor in the local high school whose of Dominican heritage.

Very nice.
Poughkeepsie High School guidance counselor Franky Perez was born in Brooklyn to parents who had emigrated from the Dominican Republic and never spoke English at home while he was growing up.

Perez, 40, is the youngest of nine children - the only one not born in the Dominican Republic - and is married to a woman of Irish descent. Like two of his siblings, he attended college. However, he is the only one in his family to receive a master's degree. Actually, he has two of them.

Perez, of New Paltz, maintains strong connections to his heritage.

"Knowing that my parents were immigrants, knowing that they came here for a better life, it helped in shaping me," he said. "I needed to do the best I could in school and make sure I was getting ready for my life in America, understanding what my parents had come from."

Related: What life is like for Hudson Valley Hispanics: Francisco Del Moral and Reyna Garcia, store owners
Latinos' local presence expanding


Dr. Alex Blanco: 1st Dominican-American Mayor in U.S.

In another political breakthrough this cycle, voters of Passaic, New Jersey elected Dr. Alex Blanco -- the first Dominican-American mayor in the United States.

The Dominican American National Roundtable estimates that there are currently 36 Dominican-born elected officials in the United States.

"I'm very excited, putting the Dominican Republic on a high pedestal, and being a role model for young Dominicans and other nationalities. (To) let them know that if you work hard, you can achieve your dream." Dr. Blanco
The father of three moved to Passaic in 1981 with his mother and two siblings from La Vega, in the Dominican Republic.

Financially, the Blanco family struggled -- including being on food-stamps during part of his childhood. It was the Passaic School Board that paid for Blanco to take the SAT college-admissions test. He went on to graduate from Kean University and the New York College of Podiatric Medicine.

"All you need is the desire to do something," Blanco said.



Latino Scholar Dr. Rodolfo Acuña to Receive National Hispanic Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award

Nov. 15 award ceremony celebrating respected author and professor to cap off event celebrating top Latino high school students

The National Hispanic Institute, which has been working for nearly 30 years to prepare high-performing Latino high school students for leadership roles in the U.S. Latino community, will honor celebrated Latino scholar Dr. Rodolfo Acuña next month at its annual Celebracion event in Austin.

Acuña, currently Professor of Chicano Studies at California State University at Northridge, is a pioneering Latino scholar, whose many works focusing on the U.S. Latino experience include the groundbreaking 1972 work, Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, now in its sixth printing.

Acuña will be honored with the National Hispanic Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, the organization's highest honor. The organization has helped nearly 70,000 Latino students develop the leadership and communications skills necessary to lead the U.S. Latino community.

Acuña will be awarded at a banquet event Saturday, November 15, 7 p.m., at the Hilton Austin Airport. Tickets for the event are $50 per person; for more information, visit www.nhi-net.org or call 512.357.6137.


'It's A New Day' by will.i.am at Oprah's

will.i.am debuted his aptly titled 'It's A New Day' on Oprah today. He is the genius and creator of the Yes We Can and We Are The Ones videos.

It's another terrific work of art.


El Diario: Political blowback

Attacking immigrants is just not good politics. Some politicians learned this the hard way. In this election cycle, several politicians campaigned on anti-immigrant platforms—and lost. The most outrageous was Congressman Tom Tancredo, who ran for the Republican nomination for president. Tancredo is in favor of ending legal immigration.

Other candidates—namely Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney—tried to outdo Tancredo. But their sparring during the primary debates did not take them to the top of the Republican ticket. And ultimately, Republican nominee John McCain, by backstepping on immigration reform, failed to move the vast majority Latino voters. Latin American immigrants are 40 percent of the Hispanic electorate. The vast majority of Latinos support a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants.

The scapegoating of immigrants had its consequences locally. Republican incumbents like State Senator Serphin Maltese were not helped by their party’s shortsighted platform on immigration and the economy. And without a disastrous party, Maltese alone would have been counting his days in Queens, the borough with the largest immigrant population. Maltese voted against a state measure allowing non citizen students to pay the same rate of in-state tuition as native students.

But one of the most significant defeats in the northeast was of Mayor Lou Barletta of Hazleton, PA. Barletta appeared on the national radar when he pushed through a harsh anti-immigrant ordinance that was thrown out in a legal battle. With the admiration of enforcement-only zealots, Barletta ran for Congress. He lost on Tuesday.

Click here and here for more on Barletta; here for more on Tancredo; and here for why Maltese's opponent--Senator-elect Joseph Addabbo--was the better choice for Latinos and immigrants of Queens .
Undoubtedly, some politicians will resort to another fear-based campaign to rile up voters. But the tide of blaming immigrants may have run its course.



Latino Bloggers Celebrate Obama's Victory

In a quick survey of Latino political bloggers, it's apparent they reflect the joy, pride and sense of relief so many Americans feel in the historic election of Barack Obama as the 44th U.S. President. Some though are set to hold President Obama accountable from Day One on issues of critical importance to Latino voters.

The following is a sampling of Latino political blogger reactions:

Octogenarian first-time voters
Lotería Chicana
This morning, despite both having nagging colds, Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni went out to vote. My dad helped them fill out their sample ballots and drove them to their polling place in Hacienda Heights. They waited half an hour before voting. When they got home, Lori made them pose for a photo. They were proud to show off their stickers. Later, I called Papá Chepe on his cell phone.

“¿Votaron por Obama?” I asked.

“Sí,” Papá Chepe responded. “Lo tenemos que meter.”

Chicana on the Edge
I was in Grant Park on Tuesday night, not in the actual event, but standing with thousands of people just outside of the fenced area. When CNN called it for Obama, everyone started yelling and cheering and hugging each other. I stood there stunned for a minute before I began to clap and cheer also. Couples embraced, people cried, including me. The huge Jumbotron showed the words "Obama" and "president" and it was an incredible moment.

Last night “That One” became our President-Elect!
We witnessed history in the making yesterday folks in selecting the first African-American President-Elect to govern this great nation. This is monumental, not only for our African-American brothers and sisters, but for all non-WASP people who have ever dreamed that one day, we may achieve success in this right-center, Anglo dominated country. Barack Hussein Obama, born to an immigrant father and a white woman from Kansas, represents the new face of America, one that is not so easily categorized but reflects the true complexity of what our nation has become.

You Can Call Him "President-Elect Obama" Now
Latino Pundit
There are no words to describe how immensely ecstatic I am right now. I am so lucky to have been able to witness history in the making.

President Barack Hussein Obama!
The Unapologetic Mexican
CONGRATULATIONS TO BARACK OBAMA, the 44th president (-elect) of the United States of America. And to all who supported and worked for or contributed in some way toward this moment. It has been an overwhelming and amazing night. Here’s looking toward the future, and all it may contain.

Some thoughts on last night's election
South Texas Chisme
Obama won by a landslide! OK, I admit it. I'm glad. Obama's way better than the other guy. But, I am still mad about a few things - tone deafness with respect to women, the FISA vote and 'the end justifies the means' campaign tactics. OK, I have hope. But, I am watching and hoping he selects strong women and Hispanics to be around him. Hoping he undoes the damage Bush did to our constitution and the basic fabric of our governmental institutions.

Yes we can.... and we did!!
Tonight I can go to bed at ease... this nightmare of the Bush administration is almost over, and none too soon. I pray for our new president - there are just too many people filled with hate and remain concerned, in large part a result of the McCain gutter campaign. But now is a time to hope, to celebrate. Now, we really can hope. Now we can really instill in our children the possibility of their becoming a future president of the USA. Choosing hope over fear. "Keep hope alive!"

That Whole Latino Vote Thing : A look at the Numeros
What's next for Latinos, voters or not? Ensuring that at the top of the agenda is ending the terrorism of ICE and that U.S. policy towards Latin America moves away from colonial paternalism. A tall order that not even an Obama presidency may be able to fill.

Political Jargon
no controles
Democracy is like banana bread. Even if you don’t always like all the nuts in it, ya have to admit, it’s pretty good! And i have to admit, i’m happy McCain got his personality back as a parting gift.

Congratulations To El Presidente! We Love You World!
You are probably in a particular good mood today world. Right? Right? So are we. Today, with the confirmed election of Barack Obama as the future President of the United States, there is light at the end of the tunnel during these difficult times.

Obama Must Usher In Era of Rational and Transparent Government
Of América
Lastly, an Obama Administration should set a more humane and rational tone around immigration, a tone that shuts down the borders of irrationality and violence in government while also fostering greater understanding of and openness to the geopolitical, legal and other complexities of immigration today.

Felicidades to Obama and Fortuño
Puerto Rico Sun
As a Boricua, it is amazing and inspiring to see that the first African-American has been elected to serve this country. I am happy I was able to witness this historical moment. Yes we can!

Obama should read between the lines – Latinos matter
The South Chicagoan
I say that because Obama got strong Latino support, even though he ran a presidential campaign that at times seemed not to care about the part of the U.S. population that is skyrocketing in size.

A Bluer New America

The NYTimes has this interesting look at Tuesday's presidential election results compared to 2004. The redder the area, the more people shifted towards Republicans. The bluer the area, the more people shifted towards the Democrats.

The map is interactive on the NYTimes site, allowing viewers to see national, state and county level shifts between 2008 and 2004 (as well as three presidential elections). Click here and here for the maps.

What's evident in viewing the maps is how red (i.e., Republican) the country was when Bill Clinton first won election in 1992; and how dramatically America shifted bluer during George W. Bush's 8 years in office.

With the exception of the deep South, the movement towards the Democrats since 1992 are striking and unbroken. Yet, Bush and Cheney won in 2000 and 2004.

Curious, no?


Christopher London: Obama's Victory Was The Dream of My Father (also)

I found myself standing among friends and family last night in the Sheraton Ballroom in New York City with tears streaming down my face. While I was happy and moved, for a few moments I was alone in my thoughts. After Obama surpassed 270 Electoral votes, the room went crazy as some of NY's leading Democrats ascended on stage in a triumphant spirit. Watching Governor Patterson speak before Obama came on screen, I looked around the room and so many people had tears in their eyes, black, white, Spanish, Asian, young, old, from students, young professionals, creatives, business men and women. It was so beautiful. And I thought of my father, a great American Citizen who was born in Colombia, South America who came to the United States to go to college and marry my Chelsea, New York City born mother who was of Italian and German heritage. I remember his words so clearly. "Some day my son, I hope that you will have someone who inspires your generation, in the same way that JFK and RFK, Bobby, did for mine, and then America will clearly have brighter days ahead." To my father in Heaven, "YES WE DO" Dad and I love you and my country even more today. I wish you were still here and that I could share this moment with you. You gave me the ability to reason, think independently, to appreciate all cultures and gave me profound respect for the less fortunate. Every day that I see a small piece of you in me and my brothers I salute you. You may not have been born in America but you were truly one of its greatest citizens.

This morning I got ugly emails from a handful of Republicans who were like "let's see if your magical black man can produce now." And then they wonder why I find such a hard time with the Republican brand and a party that refuses to respect the will of the people and the right of all citizens, lower income and minorities included, to vote and participate in the political process. Only a deluded right wing nut job cannot appreciate the breadth and extent of this historic victory and how people all over the world love President Elect Obama and will love America again. Make no mistake GOP Vote Suppression efforts were successful. Hundreds of thousands of registrations and votes were knocked out in battleground states, preventing an even greater margin in the electoral college and holding back even greater gains in the Senate. They could not steal this election in its entirety. The revolution of the people was too overwhelming but they sliced and diced at the margins. Consider Al Franken one of its victims and Michele Bachmann one of its beneficiaries.

Watch as in the coming days the RNC/GOP will send out the talking points that Obama's win, while historic, does not give him a mandate. That is the biggest load of bullshit. My friends, if we have learned anything, never become complacent, there are dark forces who like Freddie Kruger want to steal your dreams. Remain hopeful, determined and vigilant. Stay engaged in the political process. The transformation has only just begun!

God bless Democrats, Independents and yes Obamacans, thinking and thoughtful Conservatives who crossed party lines to support Obama. But most of all, god bless America. As Barack said last night, let's wipe away the tears and roll up our sleeves. This is our time. Americans will face some of the most challenging times since The Great Depression we must band together. In the words of another Kennedy, Teddy: "The work begins anew, the hope rises again and the dream lives on."


NYC Consigliere's Corner

Denise Juneau: 1st American Indian Elected Statewide in Montana

Denise Juneau won her bid to become Montana's State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

A member of Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Tribes, Juneau is the first American Indian woman elected to statewide office in Montana, and only the third tribal member ever elected statewide.

Juneau defeated Republican Elaine Sollie Herman -- a candidate caught in a racial controversy for referring to her opponent as "a young Indian girl" in a plea for conservative support. Juneau won by a margin of 51% to 44%.

(See Juneau's political ad below.)

In addition to Juneau, INDN's List reports that 22 American Indians won elective office in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

Congratulations to Juneau and all of the winners on INDN's List.

From Velvet Revolution: Finally, An Elected President

Velvet Revolution: The New American Patriot

Barack Obama was overwhelmingly elected by citizens in all regions of the country. Unlike the past two elections where the results were contested in two states run by partisans who rigged the results, this election was won hands down by the person who ran the best campaign. This is not to say that there were not massive problems with voting systems in many states. But this election did not come down to one state or county controlled by corrupt officials.

Four years ago, VR was formed out of the chaos of the 2004 election. Since then, we and all of you have fought a long battle to ensure that our elections are fair, honest and transparent. We demanded accurate voting machines and paper ballots. In this election, both Florida and Ohio, now with paper ballots, went Blue and there is no one questioning that result.

Over the past several months, we have raised the specter of a Man in the Middle computer attack on the vote tabulators controlled by partisan evangelicals. We identified Michael Connell as the key GOP IT expert who created these nefarious networks. We took legal action against Connell in the form of a federal deposition. Karl Rove responded by threatening Connell to either take the fall or keep his mouth shut. Connell’s Bush/Cheney attorneys did everything possible to keep Connell from testifying.

Two weeks ago, Rove was confidently saying that John McCain could win ten battleground states to become President. McCain was confidently telling everyone that he would win with a surge in the wee hours of election night.

Well, last Friday, something important happened: Michael Connell was forced to appear before Solomon Oliver, a Clinton appointed Afro-American federal Judge in Cleveland. After Attorney Cliff Arnebeck accused Connell in open court of rigging elections for Karl Rove, the judge ordered Connell to submit to a sworn deposition 18 hours before the polls were to open. On Monday at noon, Connell was placed under oath and grilled about election fraud, Man in the Middle attacks, Trojan horse manipulations and threats from Rove.

And guess what happened? Connell suddenly changed his tune. Connell said that to his knowledge there would be no tabulation manipulations of Tuesday’s election. And something else, Karl Rove wrote on his blog late Monday that Obama would win by a landslide even in those states he had previously predicted McCain would win.

In short, at VR, with all the help from you, our affiliates, our supporters and others, we played a role in helping to make this presidential election more fair than the past two. Our education campaign, our paper ballot campaign, our whistleblower campaign and our legal strategies worked. That’s what democracy is all about.

Thank all of you for your confidence in our work, your dedication and your kind and generous support. We hope to continue to do our small part to make our government more accountable to everyone.

Barack Obama's Victory Speech in Video

Barack Obama pays tribute to John McCain's service to the country.

Barack Obama calls on Americans to help 'remake this nation' and 'pitch in to help ourselves and each other.'

President-elect Barack Obama 'All things are possible'

President-elect Barack Obama 'Yes we can'

Signs of Hope & Change: Election Night

The Obama campaign's election eve video. Very nice.

Barack Obama's Victory Speech

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

Its the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

Its the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

Its the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

Its been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and hes fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nations promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nations next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy thats coming with us to the White House. And while shes no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what youve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didnt start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generations apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didnt do this just to win an election and I know you didnt do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how theyll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who wont agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government cant solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, its that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if Americas beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one thats on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. Shes a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldnt vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that shes seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we cant, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when womens voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that We Shall Overcome. Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.


Obama Takes The U.S. Presidency!

It's 9:30 pm EST and I'm ready to project Obama as the next president of the U.S.A.


Obama has won both Ohio and Pennsylvania -- making it impossible for McCain to get to 270 electoral votes.

Woo hoo!

Obama has 200 EVs: Maine, NY, NJ, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, all of New England, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, New Mexico.

Add in California's 55 EVs, Oregon's 7 and Washington's 11--states still voting that are solid for Obama and you're over the top with 273 EVs.

But there's also Obama's 4 EVs in Hawaii, and his likely 9 EVs in Colorado and 5 in Nevada yet to come. And he's ahead in Florida (27) and North Carolina (15). And there's still a chance to capture Virginia's 13 and Indiana's 11 -- two states where it's still to close to call. And then there's Montana's 3 EVs.

The nightmare is over. New America has been born.



Prediction: Obama-Biden Win with 353 EVs

American Taíno has followed this historic presidential election with the belief and hope that America would again chose a leader worthy of the office of the president.

America demands a leader whose progressive policies will lead to a fairer economic system, more jobs with good salaries, better schools, health coverage for all, sensible foreign policies, environmental action, immigration reform and better fiscal management. A tall but necessary agenda.

In surveying the early field of candidates it became clear early on that only Barack Obama offered the best chance for such change. A relatively unknown rookie senator from Chicago, Illinois, with a funny name and of biracial heritage, Obama seemed to many an unlikely answer to America's leadership needs.

Improbably, twenty-four months later Obama stands on the verge of becoming America's next president.

But by what margin victory? That is, will he squeak by or will he win a mandate for change?

American Taíno predicts that when the last vote is counted tomorrow, Obama-Biden will defeat McCain-Palin 353 electoral votes to 185. In political terms, a landslide.

The next 24 hours will likely be every bit as exciting as the proceeding 2 years.

Stay tuned.