Saturday, November 22, 2014


It all has to do with the advise my illiterate grandfather gave me

To most people, the incidental hand shake is nothing more than a formality, a demonstration of civility. To me, it is an opportunity. You see, there is one very important assessment you can make upon meeting someone and shaking his/her hand.

My grandfather, who was illiterate until he met my grandmother, taught me a thing or two...mostly about ethics and honesty. He suggested that when I met someone and I shook their hand, that I must look at them straight in the eyes. He had a theory that when you shook somebody's hand and they looked away, or they looked down, that person didn't think you were either important enough for them to bother with you, or, that person was not righteous, perhaps had something to hide.

I have met four Presidents: Kennedy, Reagan, Nixon and LBJ, I shook their hands and had a brief interchange of words.

I met President Kennedy when I sang with The Young Americans” and we were part of the entertainment for a dinner Kennedy gave in Los Angeles for the President of India at the Coconut Grove. He came backstage and shook our hands...and when he shook mine, he not only grasped my hand, but he also extended the other hand to clasp mine...and he looked at me straight in the eyes...I knew then the man was righteous.

Just a few short time later, I was working in the tailor shop where Regan had his suits made. He was then running for Governor of California and I was in the office when Mrs. Mariani called me and asked me to come downstairs because she wanted me to meet somebody. Right there on the pavement of Rodeo Drive in Beverly hills, Mrs. Mariani was speaking to this man and she turned to me and said: “Raul, I want you to meet the next President of the United States. He extended his hand and I did too...I looked at him straight in the eyes and he looked down, then looked away. I knew then he wasn't worth a shit.

I went away to college and did my first year at Southern Illinois University. While a student there, I worked for the University Catering Service. President Nixon came to Carbondale for some dinner and I was one of two waiters assigned to the head table. I did notice that Nixon was evasive, not even acknowledging my presence...I was a servant he didn't have to be bothered with or even recognize my existence.

I have to admit it...the thought crossed my mind as I retrieved the President's dinner plate from the kitchen assembly line...should I spit on it? Perish the thought...he's not even worth my spit.

Pat Nixon, who was a chain smoker, had her ashtray dumped by me at least three times, then when I came back to refill the coffee, I started to pour it into her cup and she actually put her hand over the cup. Naturally, she burned herself. I felt bad, but it was a matter of her not paying attention. I almost lost my job that night.

A couple of years later, I was a student at the University of Texas and I audited a course taught by Lyndon B. Johnson.

LBJ did the nation wrong by the war in Vietnam, his domestic reforms, collectively known as the “Great Society”, brought about the greatest improvements in domestic life since the New Deal of FDR, and has not been matched since by any President. Say what you will about him, but I ran into him a couple of times on campus. The first time he shook my hand and looked at me in the eyes...the second time, much to my surprise, he even remembered my name.

I often sat in the front row as not to miss one word he said. LBJ had the best eye-contact of any public speaker I had known then and since.

So, do yourself a favor, apply this technique of shaking the hand and looking at the person in the eyes. Also, play a little game in your mind in order to associate the name with the works almost every time. That is not to say that you should dispose of that person's friendship, but at least be vigilant and prepare yourself for any disappointments if they look down or away.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Michelle Bachmann for myself, I'm more scared of illiterate white people, those carrying misspelled signs or carrying guns to shoot young blacks wearing hoodies and carrying candy.

Rep. Michele Bachmann had a very obtuse and racist reaction to the President's Immigration Reform executive action, she actually said:

“The social cost will be profound on the U.S. taxpayer — millions of unskilled, illiterate, foreign nationals coming into the United States who can’t speak the English language,” Bachmann told reporters at the Capitol. “Even though the president says they won’t be able to vote, we all know that many, in all likelihood, will vote.”

Bachmann added: “The president has a very single-minded vision. He’s looking at new voters for 2016.... People do vote without being a citizen. It’s a wink and a nod, we all know it’s going to happen." First of all, even people born in America, who have voted for decades are being denied that right with all the voter disenfranchising the Republicans have put in place. What makes her think that those brown evil people will be able to produce satisfactory identification to trump the crazy and discriminatory new voting laws? As far as the social cost, she is way out in outer space. It is us foreigners who pick the fruit, clean the floors and serve the tables of America. Mind you, we do so at sub-standard low wages. The way it is right now, since many undocumented people work under the table, they don't pay taxes...and neither do their employers...Immigration reform will rectify that. And lastly, I like to take issue with this xenophobic, racist, homophobic extremist, there are a great number of native born Americans who are for all practical purposes illiterate. I think that the existence of the Tea Party is a good indicator of that.
These are the very people who elect the Michelle Bachmanns of the Republican Party. Don't you think that it might be better to worry about them, convince them to finish the 7th grade and perhaps then they can be intelligent enough to vote?

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Not only will it try to fix a broken immigration system but it will also divide Republicans even further.
I think that most importantly, the President has finally come to terms that the Republicans are not willing to work with him and they have been sabotaging his presidency.

The realization that it is a vicious, unnecessary war coming from the Republicans in the last 6 years is enough of a motivating factor to act on his own when they refuse to do it.

Constitutionally, I think the President is on solid ground, having had several previous Presidents, some of which have been Republicans...they have taken similar actions.

But I think that when the level heads, if there are any left in the Republican Party, come to admit that the Tea Party confrontational, adversarial stance even as the President has been pragmatic, accommodating, compromising and sensible, only to be met with disrespect, for him and his office.

In the future, those who prevail will seal the fate of the Republican Party. If the Tea Baggers have their way, say good by to the GOP. If on the other hand, some kind of common sense miraculously emerges from Republicans, they might have a slight chance to get some...not many, Latino votes.


The Republicans are good at it and have plenty of experience doing it.

Senator McCain said that the President ought to wait on immigration until the new Congress takes over and has had time to do some work. Are you kidding me?

The Republicans have had six years to do something, anything...but they opted to conspire and adopt an adversarial position even as the President was being sworn into office on Inauguration day, they were already plotting to vote no on everything he proposed, they said it clearly: We're gonna make this a one term President. What could anybody, any naïve and ignorant person think that the Republicans are now going to do anything different, anything that would give the President any credit, any kind of legacy?

When we think of the legacy of Jimmy Carter, we think of a meek, ineffective and incompetent hick. The Republicans succeeded in painting a very distorted picture of the 39th President of the United States.

"Nicholas Dawidoff points out, that for years Carter was considered a failure because he was a single-term president, because he was perceived as weak, and because he refused to take action against America's newly minted enemy, Iran. But, at this distance, the three great achievements of that single term seem even more of an achievement today: he forced through the Camp David Accords, one of only two peace treaties that Israel has ever signed, isolating Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at Camp David for 13 days until he gradually wore them down; he also forced through the Panama Canal Treaty, a deeply unpopular move that returned the canal to Panama, but which prevented, many believe, a difficult and nasty war in Latin America; and he brought in an energy policy that saw him reduce America's dependency on imported oil by half. He was mocked – three decades before global warming became a fashionable concern – for walking around the White House, turning down the thermostats.

What he's most proud of, though, is that he didn't fire a single shot. Didn't kill a single person. Didn't lead his country into a war – legal or illegal. "We kept our country at peace. We never went to war. We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. But still we achieved our international goals. We brought peace to other people, including Egypt and Israel. We normalised relations with China, which had been non-existent for 30-something years. We brought peace between US and most of the countries in Latin America because of the Panama Canal Treaty. We formed a working relationship with the Soviet Union."


Frankly, Jimmy Carter was Mr. Nice Guy, was also in the awkward spot of being in the cross-hairs of the Republican viciousness. He is a simple guy, a nice guy, a true Christian who won't hurt a fly, and that is what did him in.

Let's forward now to President Clinton...the Republicans tried and failed to impeach him. What the hell are they thinking? People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. While the impeachment procedures were taking place, there were a handful, perhaps dozens oH Republicans involved in numerous adulterous affairs, others were trying to put the moves on male Congressional pages, and still others sucking dicks in some public restroom...and they want to impeach the President for getting a blow job?

With President Obama, the Republicans have thrown everything at him including the kitchen sink. It has been clear that from not being born in America to secretly being a Muslim, from absurd conspiracy theories to even accusing him of being a closeted gay...they have tried...and our Teflon guy has deflected all attempts to discredit and humiliate him.

And it didn't come as a natural growth of disdain with the work he was doing, the Republicans were already meeting somewhere while his inauguration was taking place and they were discussing how to make the “n....r a one term President”

Why is this animosity, this visceral dislike for our first Black President other than racism? I think it is simply this: Bush was so bad, such an incompetent, inarticulate and tainted President that the Republicans somehow want to make Obama look worse...if that is humanly possible. You add to that the religious fanaticism that insists our government should be turned into a theocracy, coupled with the immoral greed of the Kochs and other billionaires, and you have the recipe for a full blown attack on our President.

I only hope that the next two years of his presidency will not be ones of capitulation and bending over backwards to please the Republicans...they declared the war on Obama from day one of his first term...and now he's going to have to continue the battle until he leaves compromise, not giving an inch, vetoing everything they send him...otherwise, Obama will be vilified and ridiculed as they have done with Jimmy Carter.

So, Senator McCain and fellow Republicans, you say you want more time? More time for what? To oppose and sabotage the Obama Presidency?

Well, it may have some negative repercussions and the President may be thoroughly condemned...but one of the good things that will come of it, other than bringing into the legal fold all those undocumented is simply this, the Republicans are showing their true colors, they are allergic to eñes and accents and for the next two generations there will not be many Hispanics voting Republican.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nobody should expect much from the Republicans in the next two years.

The writing is on the wall...the Republicans will do the same they have been doing for the past 6 years, only now on steroids.

Prayer and wishful thinking is not going to turn things around. Compromising is out of the question and capitulating is mass suicide.

I don't expect that

visceral disdain Republicans have for the office of the President and their racist-based hatred for him to disappear overnight.

I don't see a future where Republicans will defend the rights of every American rather than defending exclusively the profits of the Corporations and serving the special interests of the very wealthy.

I don't foresee how the Republican ideology will change from an America that is basically a repressive oligarchy rather than a participatory democracy.

We will see any time soon the insistence of Republicans in turning our secular government into

a theocracy.

It is not likely either that Republicans will abandon their homophobia and continue to discriminate and spew hatred while hiding behind their faith.

So, Labor unions,

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Public Education, the EPA, OSHA, Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Civil

Rights, Immigration Reform, Women Health issues and Equal Pay, Minimum Living Wage, Gerrymandering, Rigging elections, Voter Suppression and of course, heaven forbid, OBAMACARE! All these are on the cross hairs of

the Republicans.

The next two years are going to be tough on all of us...that is, all except the super-wealthy. Hang on to your whoopies, fasten your seat belt, the ride is going to be off a cliff at a precipitous speed.

Friday, November 14, 2014


6 years and a lot of treason on the part of the Republicans..too late!


Perhaps we are doomed to repeat history since the only thing we've learned from history is that we haven't learned anything.

As far as the President goes, I say: “You're on your own now, for the next two years, you have to show the American people that you will not capitulate, you will not compromise, you will oppose and veto each and everything that comes across your desk”

As for the Senate, the Democrats should filibuster each and every law that is proposed, threaten to shut the government down.

If the Republicans think that by throwing the progressives, the liberals in this country a few crumbs so that they will agree to sign on to crazy, right wing, hateful and UN-American legislation...they have another thing coming.


What I think the President should do is, every time he is going to veto a Republican bill, he should hold a press conference in the Rose Garden, publicize it, set off fireworks, then explain in full details why he is opposing it, and why these radical, conservative crazy initiatives hurt the country and the American people.

Lame duck? President Obama and the minority of Democrats should become angry dogs, forget about the lame, and certainly forget about the duck. It's time we pay them back, shame them, humiliate them and put them out of business once and for all, particularly that wing of the Republican Party that has taken over the GOP: those repugnant, human phlegm known as the Tea Party. What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.

We have absolutely no expectations, no illusions that the government is going to function in the next two years, if Republicans haven't compromised in the last 6, what makes us think that they will in the next two years? The concept of compromise is foreign to them...or it has a different meaning: you get nothing, I get everything I want, so let's sock it to them!




It is a possibility, and everyone is expecting disaster, total inaction and a Legislative branch so hostile to the President that it would actually make the shit fly back in their faces.



So, they get the whole fucking Capitol...if we are to go by what has happened in the last 6 years, then we can safely assume that the complete

dominance by Republicans will result in more of the same...more votes to repeal Obamacare, two or three more government shut downs, more Draconian laws

against women's health and even birth control, added efforts to disenfranchise yet more minority voters, and, of course, one massive, mother fucking effort from Republicans to reverse the same sex marriage advances of the past ten years.



We could easily see many directives, drives, programs and even legislation geared towards the repeal of same sex marriage where it is already legal and the

effort to come up with a Constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the EPA, the Post

Office, Public Education and more will be in jeopardy, the redistribution of wealth will be more acute, with even more going to the very rich,

and the total disregard for the poor and the middle class will be felt across the country as they sit for a Sunday dinner of beans and 5 day old bread.

But I say: Let the mother fuckers have their way. The American people are not so dumb, they are not so radical right, they are so fed up with the influence of

the Fundamentalist Evangelical Bible pushers, the Koch brothers and the whole GOP that if it was to happen, it may very well be a blessing in see, not only are demographics against Republicans to safeguard rich-white privilege, but the total disregard for the democratic process

will make the American people so utterly pissed that the Republicans will not be able to elect anybody, not even dog catcher, come 2016.

Is the Republican Party doomed? You bet it is, and what you are seeing is the

death rattle, the last and futile efforts to take one more breath, to stay in power two more years in order to push one askew and perverse agenda...that my friends is what could

easily happen if they get a majority in the let them, it is like signing their own death sentence.