Many of the scientists engineers and others in highly skilled occupations are retiring, we don’t have enough new skilled workers in the pipeline to replace them. America is at a point where we have to make a decision. Are schools are failing, looming budget cuts in education is only making matters worse. Teachers unions are being vilified, while the real villains, got away (Wall Street). We need to reorganize our priorities and correct this, and do it fast!
Immigration activists who support the dream act suffered a crushing defeat in the Senate this past week.
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R) SC who I had respected, is in support of this insane idea! The GOP is destroying any political capital with Latino voters. It’s surprising how myopic they are on this issue. If they continue on this track they will not recover. It’s political suicide for a short term political gain.
I feel I can speak as an authority on this issue in Arizona. I was born and raised in the small hamlet of El Mirage . Arizona has always seemed to have an anti-Latino attitude as far back as I can remember. As a young boy in grade school I can recall vividly white teachers washing out the mouths of young Mexican students with soap for speaking Spanish in class.
In the wake of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nominations there has been much ado about her qualifications. One sentence from a remark she made about being a Latina having more insight and sensitivity than a white male has caused a firestorm of controversy. Much to the chagrin of the GOP there’s not much dirt they can dig up on this infinitely qualified Supreme Court candidate.
She [Sonia Sotomayor] has a stellar record on the bench and has sided many times with the prosecution on her cases. Yes, she is a liberal but not some crazed radical that will try to make the law from the bench. She has impeccable credentials and a moving American story. Her rise from the projects out of the Bronx to her rise as an Ivy League judge is no small feat and it plays well in the media.
Republicans’ focus on recovering after sharp blows in the past two elections has put a spotlight on an unlikely star: Puerto Rico’s new governor, Luis Fortuno.
As he was sworn in Friday, the Republican Governors Association was effusive. “Luis Fortuno proves that principled Republicans can appeal to voters everywhere,” said the group’s chairman, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. “He is the type of leader the party needs to revive its base and expand its appeal.”
Party leaders view Mr. Fortuno, 48 years old, as an example for Republicans as well as someone who can reach out to Hispanics and other minorities in the U.S. Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan has already made overtures. At a forum Monday, Mr. Duncan said he was inspired as he watched the Fortuno inauguration in San Juan. The governor, he said, “ran a very conservative campaign in a state, a territory, that has severe economic problems right now. But he said, ‘We don’t need these 11,000 new government employees put on by the opposition party. We can’t tax our way to prosperity. We will have family values.’ ”
“Luis is the person that we should be emulating,” Mr. Duncan said, “and he is someone that I’ve recruited, part of my plan for many voices, many faces for the Republican Party moving forward.”
Saul Anuzis, who is vying with Mr. Duncan for the RNC chairmanship, says Mr. Fortuno represents “the direction we need to be going in.” Mr. Fortuno won by 11 percentage points, a margin that Puerto Rico hadn’t seen since 1964, and he was sworn in 35 years after the island’s last Republican governor left office.
The timing couldn’t be better for Mr. Fortuno because the GOP is turning to telegenic, high-wattage outside-the-Beltway politicians — including Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — to light a new path to power. “Conservatives have a strong belief in local control,” said Brent Littlefield, a political consultant who worked for Gov. Jindal. “That’s why we see our leadership in our state-level ranks.”
Republican leaders give Mr. Fortuno credit for winning over Latino voters, a demographic that returned to the Democrats in droves in November. As Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association, puts it: “Our party needs growth among minorities. Then along comes a young, well-spoken Puerto Rican governor, and we’ve got a person who can help our party articulate why Hispanics and Latinos should fit into the GOP.”
Mr. Fortuno sees Hispanics as a natural GOP constituency. The University of Virginia Law School graduate and father of triplets says what he missed most while serving two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives was weekly lunches with his extended family. “Hispanics put family first, and from that stems all else,” Mr. Fortuno says. “We are mistrustful of government, own family-sized businesses, and value basic social principles. All of that is aligned with my party.”
Mr. Fortuno’s advantage in running against an opponent who faces federal corruption charges — former Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila — is another selling point as Republicans seek to portray themselves as clean crusaders. That theme emerged strongly after political newcomer Anh “Joseph” Cao surprised a number of analysts by defeating indicted Rep. William Jefferson in New Orleans to become the first Vietnamese-American congressman.
But it’s not clear that Mr. Fortuno’s experience provides a clear road map for a GOP comeback. Puerto Rico’s main political split isn’t between Democrats and Republicans but between those who want the territory to become the 51st state and those who want autonomy. Even within his party, the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, the translation to mainland politics is muddled. Mr. Fortuno served two terms in the U.S. Congress as a Republican, but his successor, Pedro Pierluisi, also a member of the New Progressive Party, will caucus with the Democrats.
Mr. Fortuno campaigned on the need to reinvigorate Puerto Rico’s long-ailing economy by cutting taxes and government spending, and cultivating small businesses. But that effort could falter in the tough global economic environment.
The new governor is undeterred. He says he has subscribed to the National Review since his undergraduate days at Georgetown University in Washington, and credits President Ronald Reagan with helping to shape his political philosophy. In fact, Mr. Fortuno says he wants to make the GOP’s case to Puerto Ricans starting with his first act as governor: a governmentwide hiring freeze that would eventually shrink the government. That’s no small step in Puerto Rico, where the government directly employs 30% of the work force and another 30% benefit from government contracts.
Mr. Fortuno’s vision begins with a number of private-public partnerships, particularly for infrastructure development, to absorb some of the excess labor. He’s also hoping to apply strict cost-benefit analysis to new legislation to help keep the Puerto Rico’s budget balanced. “I’ve learned that we can’t emulate Washington in Puerto Rico,” he says. “It will not be easy, but the Puerto Rican people are getting into this with their eyes wide open.”
The GOP needs to do some serious outreach with Latino's and African-Americans if they want to rebuild and become a force again. Their politics of fear and exclusion will only widen the chasm that they have created.