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Tonight we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, which started on Sept. 15. Quince de septiembre es el día de independencia para cinco paises de América del sur: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua. En México el día de independencia es el dieciséis de septiembre y para Chilé el dieciocho de septiembre.

See how easy Spanish is? I’ll bet everyone here understood what I was saying. You just didn’t realize you are bilingual. Well OK, maybe that is stretching a point, but odds are high that you have a lot more Hispanic heritage to celebrate than you realize. And we’ll get to celebrating that in a minute, but first, another reason for celebration:

The St. Paul City Attorney’s office announced Friday it will not prosecute Democracy Now! journalists Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman also issued a statement Friday that "the city will decline to prosecute misdemeanor charges for presence at an unlawful assembly for journalists arrested during the Republican National Convention."

While that is good news in a way, it certainly isn’t the end of the story. And DemocracyNow! doesn’t intend for it to fade away. They are calling for investigations, and we need to keep up the pressure until some miraculous change in the Justice Department will allow this massive violation of the constitution –  planned, instigated, and paid for by the RNC – to be investigated and justice served.

And speaking of unreconstructed thugs, no doubt in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month the McSame campaign has launched its first aerial assault on Latino voters through an ad campaign in Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. In typical Rethuglican fashion, they are relying on the language barrier to hide their deception. That will probably work among their "base," whose members pride themselves on being monolingual. Unfortunately for McSame, his target audience does not hold those values.

The vast majority of Hispanics – and certainly all Hispanics who can vote here – are bilingual. So when McSame tells Latinos in Spanish that he supports a pathway to citizenship and then runs English-language ads demanding "secure borders" that are "certified" by state officials before immigration reform can even be considered, he creates problems for himself. Make that "more problems," since he has already created a big problem by dissing the Sanctuary group.
As mi amigo Nazua explained to McSame in a blog post:

when given the chance to simply state his immigration positions in a tangible way, he opted not to.

Of the two  major campaigns, only one has responded by the deadline we established. Only one, so far, has given us answers to our questions. And only one has continually stalled before finally meeting our repeated phone calls by hanging up on us and disconnecting the line without so much as a "One moment."
----
Now let me connect another dot for you. The Sanctuary, a project I have been involved with since its very first day, is the group that sent you the survey, that called your campaign various times, that was hung up on by your campaign, that was interviewed by both radio and TV on this survey you ducked and dodged.

You hung up on us! You couldn’t even give us the respect of sending boilerplate. You gave us instead, utter contempt.

Some of you may remember May Day 2006, when hundreds of thousands of people turned out to march for immigration reform, only to see Rethugs and their "base" shoot it down. And where was McSame? Standing tall for immigration reform, like he is pretending to do now? I expect you know the answer to that. I will guarantee you that Latinos remember.

Nazua goes on to describe the Sanctuary group:

The Sanctuary Group is not a few people living in their mother’s basement, fool. The people on this list and in this group include HARDcore activists very well-informed on policy, people willing at any moment to jump out in the fray for gente, well-known academics, well-read journalists, smart-as-hell techies, accomplished bloggers, lawyers, media makers, and so on. And we are either Latina/Latino or otherwise committed to the rights of human beings, which definitely includes migrants.

And Sanctuary members talk to other Hispanic activists across the country. So how is that working out?

Up until now, McCain has been totally unwilling to define his current position on immigration. Having run as rapidly as possible from his previous record on reform during the primaries, he has lately managed play both sides of the field, according to who he's pandering to at the moment, without firmly taking a stance.

He talks to his base about enforcement first and governors certifying the borders hermetically sealed before there can be any talk of reform  (knowing, as they do, that that will never happen), while telling Latinos not to worry, Tio Johnny will take care of everything (wink, wink).

It's reached the point that earlier this week during the conference call sponsored by the leading Latino and immigrant-rights advocates, NCLR, MALDEF, and Americas Voice to discuss McCain's bogus ad, the majority of time was spent not on the ad, but rather trying to figure out just where McCain stands at the present time. ...and in the end, no one could definitively answer the question.

It appears that Obama has done us all a favor.

He has forced McCain into a corner where he must make a choice between two very unpleasant options.

He must either defend his previous record, reminding those who nearly denied him the nomination why they hated him in the first place, negating all the Palin picking, ass-kissing, and soul-selling he's done over the last year to win over the base ...or .... Leave the ad unanswered and give up any hope whatsoever of getting the 40% Latino vote he has to have to even stand a chance at getting elected.

...Tough times for Tio Johnny Huh?

So the next time you hear some asshat Rethuglican say Obama has a Latino problem, you can laugh along with the rest of us. And when the Rethuglicans play concern troll and issue "statements" on Hispanic Heritage Month, you can laugh along with the Guardian where the headline reads:

GOP remarks on Hispanic Heritage month don't mention immigration.

But perhaps we are being unfair to McSame. Maybe when he dissed the President of Spain he was really celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, marking the independence of Latin American countries from Spain.

But here are some better ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month:
Here are some political firsts for Hispanics in the U.S.:


  • First Member of U.S. Congress: Joseph Marion Hernández, 1822, delegate from the Florida territory.

  • First U.S. Representative: Romualdo Pacheco, a representative from California, was elected in 1876.He was also the first California-born governor of California.

  • First U.S. Senator: Octaviano Larrazolo was elected in 1928 to finish the term of New Mexico senator Andieus Jones, who had died in office.

  • FirstU.S. Treasurer: Romana Acosta Bañuelos, 1971–1974.


You can also celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the National Register of Historic Places, the History Channel, the State of Florida the Library of Congress,and the Smithsonian.

And you can celebrate Top Comments right here, by sending your nominations to

                                           topcomments at gmail dot com

Tonight’s nominees:

From phonegery:

Airmid poses a good question about the GOP God of Weather and boisepoet has the answer.

From arielle:

 This comment from BOHICA in david kc's recommended diary Alaska paper: Palin has "abdicated" her Gov. duties  had me rofl this morning!

From brillig:

In kubla000's diary Massive Gaffe: McCain Confuses Army and Nat’l Guard Fluffing Palin's Credentials, on the cusp asks the question we need asked at the national level.

From sardonyx:

In bonddad's The Death of Republican Philosophy, glaser reviews Republican code words, among other things.

Commoditize This has some thoughts about the big bailout, and the need to demand Republican sacrifice as part of it.

With McCain's health plan in mind, bubbanomics has a new acronym for what might happen to health insurance policies.

From me:

blueinaredstate finds some of the most dangerous gobbledygook in the proposed bailout "law" and freelunch sums it up succinctly: We'll hire a Wall Street Equivalent of Blackwater.

dontheswingvoter cites an excellent  quote from Robert Reich on the dangers of the current rush to bailout, including his advice: hold out for a different approach, because other solutions are available.

Top Mojo excluding search-identifiable tip jars, first diary comments, and C&J comments:

1 - I'm such a tyro.....sboucher.....186
2 - "Shock Doctrine" anyone?.....SeaTurtle.....160
3 - C'mon.....marykk.....158
4 - That would be amusing......bonddad.....147
5 - HOLY CRAP......Rayne.....145
6 - That's helpful.....chichagof.....140
7 - We need to see her returns.....nathanrudy.....138
8 - Greenwald, as usual, nails it:.....Red no more.....129
9 - No. No. We have no room for a--.....JeffLieber.....128
10 - I love kid logic.....Lurtz.....126
11 - for Jo.....bottles.....125
12 - The Anchorage Daily News.....deminva.....120
13 - McCain's camp is managing expectations.....scimitar.....120
14 - And for five and a half years........davidkc.....118
15 - palin is weak.....Hope Reborn.....106
16 - Yup, and their plan will be.....UU VIEW.....104
17 - Thanks so much.....chichagof.....104
18 - Re: The lobbyist shell game. There's.....hungrycoyote.....97
19 - Like hell. There is yet the rendering of the Bill.....New Deal democrat.....96
20 - I just got home from the rally.....MaskedKat.....94
21 - This is what to tell them:.....neroden.....89
22 - I just Called Dodd's Office.....tote.....89
23 - Even better . . ......Crabby Abbey.....86
24 - If you haven't watched this Shock Doctrine vid.....MsGrin.....85
25 - on that same note.....clammyc.....84
26 - Finally Revealed - Palin's Financial Expertise!.....leonard145b.....83
27 - How dare they question his patriotism?.....BoiseBlue.....82
28 - Ain't it grand?.....JeffLieber.....81
29 - very nice. n/t.....marykk.....80
30 - It was her initial approval rating.....chichagof.....80

Top Mojo with No Exclusions:

1 - Tip Jar.....sweetliberty.....957
2 - Tip Jar?.....chichagof.....817
3 - tip jar for O's spectular success w/white voters.....billysumday.....736
4 - Tip Jar.....davidkc.....682
5 - Tips for thoughtful endorsements!.....irishamerican.....649
6 - Tips/Flames.....trifecta.....634
7 - tip jar here.....slinkerwink.....563
8 - CODA: Bedtime........JeffLieber.....523
9 - Tip Jar.....Larry Madill.....516
10 - to sum it up for those who hate taxes.....clammyc.....433
11 - Tips and recs always appreciated......Gramarye.....393
12 - Tippers.....Arculi.....374
13 - Thank you for speaking up.....atxcats.....295
14 - Tip Jar........WattleBreakfast.....282
15 - If ever there was a time to contact.....New Deal democrat.....227
16 - I'm such a tyro.....sboucher.....186
17 - Not to be a buzz kill... but my comment........Dood Abides.....185
18 - "Shock Doctrine" anyone?.....SeaTurtle.....160
19 - C'mon.....marykk.....158
20 - Points #1 and #3.....newdem1960.....150
21 - That would be amusing......bonddad.....147
22 - HOLY CRAP......Rayne.....145
23 - That's helpful.....chichagof.....140
24 - We need to see her returns.....nathanrudy.....138
25 - Greenwald, as usual, nails it:.....Red no more.....129
26 - No. No. We have no room for a--.....JeffLieber.....128
27 - I love kid logic.....Lurtz.....126
28 - for Jo.....bottles.....125
29 - The Anchorage Daily News.....deminva.....120
30 - McCain's camp is managing expectations.....scimitar.....120

Originally posted to casa carolita on Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 07:12 PM PDT.

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