Republican Florida State Senator Wants “Hispanic-Speaking People” to Prove Their Citizenship

One of the things about Florida is that is a state of extremes, one where the remnants of the Old South are still alive and well, even though the state has one of the fastest-growing population rates among Latinos in the United States.

Take the curious case of Florida State Senator Alan Hayz, a Republican out of the tiny town of Umatilla, which is north of Orlando. Following the script that has become common among a sector of the national GOP, Hays is now facing criticism for his remarks last week during a discussion about congressional redstricting.

"We all know there are many Hispanic-speaking people in Florida that are not legal,’’ he said. “And I just don’t think it’s right that we try to draw a district that encompasses people that really have no business voting anyhow,” Hays said.

According to The Miami Herald, Hays is facing a firestorm of criticism from Latino politicial leaders in Florida, both Republicans and Democrats.

“He is calling on a witch hunt before a Hispanic district can be realistically considered,’’ said Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa.

Florida will receive two additional congressional seats because of its population growth in the last 10 years that, according the U.S. Census data, was largely fueled by the surge in the state’s Hispanic population. Hays made the comments in response to a proposal being considered by the Senate Reapportionment Committee that would create a Hispanic-majority district in Central Florida, where the Puerto Rican population has exploded.

Cruz pointed out that Puerto Ricans are American citizens at birth.

While no one on the committee responded to Hays’ comment on Tuesday, the remarks were published in an Orlando Sentinel blog, provoking outrage from the Hispanic caucus. Several members of the Republican-dominated group met late Wednesday and considered drafting a letter of complaint, said caucus chairman, Sen. Rene García, R-Miami. Sen. Garcia said he asked Hays for an explanation and Cruz and Rep. Luis García, D-Miami, demanded that Hays apologize or resign.

Rep. García said Hays’ comments reveal a fundamental misunderstanding of state law. “Either he is ignorant or prejudiced, neither of which are qualifications for him to serve on this committee,’’ he said.

Said Rep. Jose Diaz, R-Miami: “I think that it is unfortunate that anyone would question whether or not Hispanic voters are American citizens,’’ he said. “It is basic Government 101 that in our country only U.S. Citizens can exercise the right to vote.”

García wrote a letter last week to both of Florida's congressional leaders, and as of tonight, Hays has said nothing.

What is interesting to note is that Latino Republicans in Florida have been quick to call out Hays' comments, a trend that is occurring across the nation, as they try to fight against anti-Latino rhetoric within their own party.



After Giving the British and French Credit for Death of Gadhafi, Senator Marco Rubio Does a Cuban Flip-Flop

With the news of the death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, the news machine was in full gear this morning, as American TV networks had to fill the airwaves as they waited for official confirmation of Gadhafi's death, and within hours of the intial news out of Libya, the political games had started.

Case in point, Flordia Republican Senator Marco Rubio. When asked by Fox News whether President Obama should be given credit for the recent news and the President's policy push for a NATO-led mission.

Just a few hours after Rubio was giving credit to the British and the French, his issued this statement:

“Justice has been done today,” said Rubio. “For decades, Moammar Gadhafi terrorized the Libyan people, bankrolled international terrorism and spread instability among its neighbors. He masterminded numerous terrorist attacks that resulted in the death of hundreds of fellow Americans. We are impressed with the tenacity of the Libyan people in reclaiming their freedoms, and honor the service of American and NATO forces that courageously assisted on this endeavor. Gadhafi has now joined the list of failed and disgraced tyrants that have faced justice from their own people. We still have a long and arduous road ahead as we partner with the free Libyan people to build a more prosperous and democratic future."

So what is it, Senator Rubio? Do the British and French command American forces, or is that the role of the President of the United States? Quite clearly, you do a very quick Cuban flip-flop. And instead of instead of crediting the US government, you chose to praise England and France. Is that even patriotic?

To @jsmooth995, Media Coverage of #OWS Is Just Like a Three-Card Monty Ringer

From YouTube

From the very talented @jsmooth995:

A few thoughts on Occupy Wall Street, I've been watching it and going down there for a while now but hadn't had a chance to speak on it. 

By the way when I say some news media people are "ringers," I don't necessarily mean that they deliberately obfuscate, or get orders from some shadowy figure to do so. I think they'll often just have a personal investment in the system and status quo that's being critiqued/threatened, so they'll naturally–without any need to conspire–have their perception skewed by an instinct to protect the status quo they're invested in. So though it's quite possibly not their intention to play the ringer, it's the function they wind up serving nonetheless.

"Rainbow in the Dark" instrumental provided by Das Racist:

LAST NIGHT on @TheDailyShow: #OWS and Scorn in the USA

Ok, The Daily Show was off last week, but this week, they are back and even better than ever!!!!! These two clips from last night's October 18 show only confirm it. BTW, Jon Stewart, we really would like to make out with you!

Segment 1: Scorn in the USA

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Scorn in the U.S.A.
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook


Segment 2: John Oliver at #OWS

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 99%
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook


GUEST POST: A First-Hand Account of October 15 #OccupyWallStreet in Times Square

We are publishing a first-hand account of Saturday's #OccupyWallStreet protest that ended in Times Square.

Protestors Occupy Times Square

by Will Hamza Giron

On October 15, 2011, the 15,000 protestors part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, in solidarity with other major protests around the world, took over Times Square. Since the protests started, the mainstream media has criticized the movement for its leaderless structure, and lack of a cohesive list of official demands. But this hasn't stopped the movement from growing. The protestors swarmed midtown Manhattan, shutting down traffic on Times Square for almost two hours, before finally marching down to Washington Square Park in the West Village.

The 'Massive Convergence' event was part of the 'Day of Action' campaign consisting of various rallies around the city that culminated to a final meet up in Times Square. At 11:00AM, protestors in the Bronx gathered for an 'Occupy the Bronx' meetup at Fordham Plaza, while elsewhere in the city, down by Zuccoti Park (Liberty Plaza), protestors crowded in front of a Chase bank branch to close their bank accounts. 

"Federal texpayers bailout money Chase recieved: $94.7 Billion," stats the rally's Facebook page. "Chase has laid off 14,00 workers since the bailout. Chase uses our money to make their profits, but we don't have to let them." Reports soon began floating around of 24 arrests, and video was soon posted on Youtube documenting the incident.

Protestors from Zuccoti Park also marched up to Washington Square Park (about a two mile walk through congested traffic, narrow streets, heavy pedestrian traffic, and busy avenues),in solidarity with a Student Assembly March against high tuition, and student loans.

At 12:00PM, an Anti War March made its way uptown from Wall Street, and later in the afternoon, The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement also passed through an old African Burial Ground in downtown, as a protest against racism and discrimination. At around 3:30PM, all the groups that gathered at Washington Square Park marched another two miles uptown towards Times Square, which as far as we know, has never been done before in the history of social activism in NYC.

Throughout various points on the march uptown, protestors were either searched or arrested. We witnessed five protestors, along with another protestor getting search as he yelled out "help, the cops are arresting me for no reason!" He was later let go as cameras and protestors gather around.

Police tried to maintain order as traffic was getting blocked around 6th avenue. Protestors chanted "Occupy Times Square", "End the wars, tax the Rich", and "We got sold out, banks got bailed out." A team of legal observers from the NYCLU marched alongside protestors keeping both police and protestors in check. 

Once at Times Square, protestors shut down all traffic as police scrambled to barricade the occupiers into designated areas. Police began directing protestors to different streets, barricading others with orange netting.

Although the Times Square convergence was relatively peaceful, we did witness numerous arrests by the barricades where we were standing, along with some police and protestors clashing, before order was restored. Protestors chastised the more aggressive among them, chanting "this is a peaceful protest" and "no violence".

Many officers came out in riot gear and horses, which added fuel to the fire. When someone got arrested, protestors yelled "Shame, shame", and "you're one of us" to the police. Word soon spread that the police was asking all journalists and media affiliates to leave areas where protestors were standing. Ralliers claimed this was only being done so that illegal police action wouldn't be documented. 

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, who was in the crowd next to us, decided to stay, and even questioned some of the officers.

Towards the end of the day, an uneasy calm fell over Times Square as traffic resumed and both police and protestors settled in. 

For more photos from Saturday, you can view them here on Flickr.

Cain’s Electric Fence “Joke” Only Confirms That GOP Would Rather Insult Latinos Than Win Their Vote

That kooky Herman Cain. It turns out that his comments about building an electric fence on the US-Mexico border were just a "joke" and that people in the United States just need to chill out. As reported by CNN:


Cain made the fence comments Saturday at a Tennessee rally while kicking off his bus tour to promote his "9-9-9" tax plan.

Speaking to the crowd, Cain recalled a conversation he had on his conservative radio talk show with a caller who argued against building a fence to prevent illegal immigration.

But Cain said he fought back, telling the caller:

"When I'm in charge of the fence, we going to have a fence. It's going to be 20 feet high. It's going to have barbed wire on the top. It's going to be electrocuted, electrified," Cain said. "And there's going to be a sign on the other side that says it will kill you."

Cain, who's surged to the top of the Republican presidential field to join fellow front-runner Mitt Romney, said he was only kidding about the remark.

"That's not a serious plan," Cain said Sunday.

And therein lies the problem with Cain's comments. It turns out that his comments and other comments by the GOP (Michelle Bachmann's fence pledge) when it comes to immigration will only do more harm than good when it comes to reaching out to Latino voters. At a time when US Latino voters have become disillusioned with President Obama, the GOP is missing a golden opportunity. A simple message, Republicans: less hate on immigration, more focus on jobs. Recently, we read an opinion piece by Republican strategist Javier Ortiz that said:

The truth is that Latinos are extremely reluctant to embrace GOP candidates, yet they have deep reservations about the current officeholder. That means that with hard work and commitment, there is an opening for meaningful dialogue.

Obama has received the message and acknowledged his vulnerability by feverishly working to make up for lost time.  Let’s hope the Republican candidates figure it out soon, if not, they could be observing another significant and sizeable hit to their support within a segment of the electorate that could easily determine who takes the oath of office in 2013. 

Bingo. And that's no joke.


#OccupyWallStreet: 1 Marine vs. 30 Cops (Marine Wins)

From YouTube:

United States Marine Corps. Sgt. Shamar Thomas from Roosevelt, NY went toe to toe with the New York Police Department. An activist in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Thomas voiced his opinions of the NYPD police brutality that had and has been plaguing the #OWS movement. 

Thomas is a 24-year-old Marine Veteran (2 tours in Iraq), he currently plays amateur football and is in college.

Thomas comes from a long line of people who sacrifice for their country: Mother, Army Veteran (Iraq), Step father, Army, active duty (Afghanistan), Grand father, Air Force veteran (Vietnam), Great Grand Father Navy veteran (World War II).

VIDEO DEL DÍA: @GoPalo y “Camina con los codos”

Hoy les presentamos el nuevo video de PALO!, un excelente grupo basado en Miami.

Aquí está "Camina con los codos".


Documenting the Occupy Movement: Reporting from #OccupyMiami

This Saturday, October the 15th I felt compelled to go down to Miami to document this time in history. Mainstream news media failed the people relying on them to keep them informed.  Fortunately there are other means of staying informed. With or without the mainstream news media thousands clearly understood the movement, turning out in great numbers to gather in camaraderie in places all over the planet that day.

If you want to understand the Occupy Movement all you have to do is literally read the signs.  If pictures are worth a thousand words these photographs speak volumes.



The movement began with the name Occupy Wall Street symbolizing its focus on the individuals who run and work in the banking and finance industries.The American public is fully aware although the government considers corporations people, corporations are not people.  


This movement is about the consequences of democratically elected US government officials loaning $350 billion bailout dollars in 2008 when President Bush was in office. American citizens have expectations of bankers and financial employees that were given the people's money.  Allowing corporate bankers to fail on their end of this bargain is causing a huge trickle down negative effect creating many issues.  

Remember I told you to read the signs, that's what these signs are about; the aftermath of giving billions of dollars to corporations run by irresponsible individuals who created this economic crisis in the first place.

America is a strong country because it is made up of many different types of individuals. There were people of all colors, shapes, sizes and ages at Occupy Miami this Saturday, October 15th.  There were parents with children, older citizens, teachers and students of all ages from many cultural and economic backgrounds. The common thread among everyone there is wanting their voices to be heard. I snapped away with my camera bringing you hundreds of images, hundreds of messages behind a heartfelt movement.  

Everyone was friendly and kind but mainly happy to be able to exert their individual right to freedom of speech. You can see it in the eyes and smiles in my photos. These American citizens are out there to have their voices heard and bring attention to the many issues that need to be fixed.

There were signs regarding jobs and the many consequences of not having enough jobs or well paying jobs, lack of insurance, not being able to retire, not being able to pay a mortgage therefore having to foreclose, etc.  

There were also many signs focusing on educational issues.  Many people demand tax payer money should be directed to improve education, forgive student loans, hire qualified staff and provide more resources to schools.  The American people know the future of this country relies on education.  



History has proven, a big disparity in education levels completely wipes out the middle class leaving only the extreme rich and severely poor.

To those who may be confused about the movement, it's very simple, just read the signs. 



Dear SNL: Please Just Stick to Politics, Because Your Latino Humor is Awful

We admit it. We watch SNL. When we are not in some bar on Saturday night, we will put on the show to see what it will offer. Last night's show started out with much promise, as it opened with a Fred Armisen impersonation of Michael Bloomberg about #OccupyWallStreet that was spot on. But then, the show took a bad detour into a typical, tired, and stale skit about Latinos that just wasn't funny. SNL has had a sad history of providing awful Latino comedy, and last night was just another example. Good thing the Volkswagon commercial about the Spanish lesson came right after that awful skit.

So the ghost of Chico Escuela is alve and well with SNL. Sad.

Here is the sequence from last night. Armisen as Bloomberg.

But right after that brilliant beginning, you get this as the opening skit.

So when this commercial shows up right after, we smile, because this is at least funny. And real. And honest.

And that is why we think SNL should just stick to politics. Or, and this would be a bit radical, hire Latino comedy writers and performers!!!!