Sunday, September 09, 2007

Unvision Debate - Democrats debate on Hispanic channel

Democrats debate on Hispanic channel
Hopefuls discuss immigration, diplomacy, trade

By Ray Quintanilla | Tribune staff reporter

MIAMI—The nation's Latino voters took center stage Sunday as the Democratic presidential candidates debated on Spanish-language television for the first time, courting a voting bloc that has often backed Democrats but was split when President Bush won re-election in 2004.

Much of the night focused on two front-burner issues to Hispanics: immigration reform and promoting U.S. relations with Latin America, especially Cuba and Venezuela.

"We have to start lifting the embargo against Cuba," said New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Latino who chided Univision—the broadcast network sponsoring the forum—for not letting him answer questions in Spanish.

"As president, I would pay attention to Latin America and associate myself with the democratic movements in Brazil, Argentina and Chile," he explained, criticizing Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut for supporting immigration reform legislation that included construction of a barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Obama called the fence a necessary part of border security and pledged to create "a pathway" to legalization for illegal immigrants in the United States within his first year in the White House. That vow generated applause from the audience of several hundred at the University of Miami.

Clinton took the issue a step further, saying she would speak out against a wave of anti-Latino sentiment as the nation struggles to reach consensus on immigration. "We must treat people with dignity," Clinton said, adding that her campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, is a Latina.

"The Cuban people deserve freedom and democracy," Clinton said. "We need to do all we can to work with our friends to ensure a peaceful transition."

Dodd, a former humanitarian worker in the Dominican Republic, said the political transition in Cuba has already begun and called for lifting travel restrictions because "it's hurting us. We do not need to fear Fidel Castro. Are we going to sit on the sidelines or be a part of the transition?"

Former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska called on the U.S. government to stop deportation raids against suspected illegal immigrants, saying immigrants are being turned into scapegoats for U.S. failures at home and around the world.

Gravel said he would reach out to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. "Did we forget our CIA tried to depose him?" Gravel asked. "We are doing the same thing in Iran."

Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina said the United States could "pull the rug" out from under Chavez by "being a force for good and healing" across Latin America.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio called the North American Free Trade Agreement a major problem between the United States and Mexico. If elected, he would scrap it, he said, and replace it with an agreement that enables workers to form unions to promote better living standards on both sides of the border.

"I will cancel NAFTA," Kucinich said. "Immigration reform should mean a path to legalization, not walls," he added.

The Latino vote is growing and gaining political muscle, especially in California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New York and Arizona—home to many of the nation's 44 million Hispanics.

The Pew Hispanic Center says about 54 percent of Latino eligible voters were registered in 2006, up from 53 percent in 2002. In the 2004 general election, 7.6 million Latinos cast ballots. Bush captured about 40 percent of the vote, enough to help him defeat Sen. John Kerry.

During Sunday's debate, the moderators asked questions in Spanish that were translated into English for the candidates. The candidates' answers were delivered in English and translated into Spanish for viewers.

Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, who just returned from a trip to Iraq, did not attend.

Bill Clinton Twitter Page

Someone made this Bill Clinton Twitter page and it's too funny! Here's some of the entries...

I'm going to BUNNY RANCH in NV; w/ my Clark Kent glasses, no one should know its has been such a long time...LADIES, HERE I COME!!! 12:37 AM August 24, 2007 from web
I wasn't going to say anything, but the cat is out of the bag...KARL ROVE will now be the architect that will take HILLARY to the WH! WE WIN 12:00 AM August 14, 2007 from web
"THE VIEW" picks Whoopi to replace Rosie the Psycho. HEY LADIES...I WAS AVAILABLE!!! I would have loved a tickle fight with Elisabeth! 12:21 AM August 04, 2007 from web
Once Hillary is President, I will have a lot of time on my hands...I think I'll make some extra cash throwing PASSION PARTIES in the WH! 12:54 AM July 23, 2007 from web

Oprah Winfrey's Big Party Makes $3 Million For Senator Obama, Sept 8th - LA Times / Other Sources

Huff Post / AP --

ONTECITO, Calif. — Oprah Winfrey rolled out the red carpet Saturday for Barack Obama at a gala fundraiser attended by high-wattage stars that was expected to raise $3 million for the Democratic presidential candidate.

The most powerful woman in show business celebrated her favorite candidate with 1,500 guests at her palatial estate in this coastal enclave south of Santa Barbara. Tickets to the sold-out private event went for $2,300 apiece, keeping them within campaign finance limits.

Stevie Wonder performed for guests, who included Sidney Poitier, Forest Whitaker, Chris Rock, Cindy Crawford, Jimmy Connors, Linda Evans, Dennis Haysbert and many others. Will Smith, Jamie Foxx and Halle Berry also were expected, though it was unclear if they were in attendance. The media were barred from the fundraiser.

Visitors were bused to Winfrey's secluded home from an equestrian center about 10 miles away. A solid line of limousines, BMWs, Bentleys and a few hybrid Priuses disgorged well-dressed guests. Some sported stiletto heels despite official instructions to wear flat shoes for walking on Winfrey's meadow.

Earlier in the day, Obama made a quick, lunchtime stop to speak to a crowd of about 1,000 eager supporters who gathered on a hillside overlooking the Pacific at Santa Barbara City College. It was his only public appearance of the day.

Obama, wearing his usual white shirt open at the collar and sleeves rolled up, shook his way down a line of outstretched hands as the song "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" blared from speakers.

He spoke for about 20 minutes, hitting his core themes of optimism and accountability.

"What's called for is a level of responsibility and seriousness that we haven't seen in a very long time," he told the cheering crowd, which included college students in short sundresses and big sunglasses and older couples in peace symbols.

A woman standing in front of the stage appeared to faint as Obama spoke about Iraq. The candidate paused and asked the crowd to make way for firefighters.

One supporter shouted, "You're a good man," leaving Obama momentarily at a loss for words.

"Well, I'm not the only one stopping to help her," he said, sounding almost embarrassed.

He talked briefly about his last trip to California in August, when he spent a morning helping a home health care worker clean a house, wringing out mops and making breakfast through a program sponsored by SEIU, the Service Employees International Union.

"Listening to her talk about the hardships of her life, talking about her struggles without a trace of self-pity ... I thought, there is the essence of what America is about, this generosity of spirit," Obama said.

Then it was off to a private luncheon and on to Winfrey's cocktail-hour shindig, where a different brand of very American generosity would be on display.

Obama already enjoys the support of Hollywood moguls like David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Winfrey's fundraiser is another chance for him to tap California, which was his top donor state from April through June with a total take of $4.2 million.

Obama has raised more than $58 million for his White House bid. Forbes magazine estimates that Winfrey, the Chicago-based talk-show host, is worth about $1.5 billion.

Winfrey is a well-known fan of Obama, calling him "my favorite guy" and "my choice" on CNN's "Larry King Live" last year before he announced he would run for president.

San Francisco Macy's Passport Video Features Bauer's Limosine

This is a video that promotes Macy's Passport -- the fashion show to end all shows -- at Fort Mason, September 19th, 2007. The short message contains images of the Lexus 400h Hybrid Car, the rage for those going green, and can be rented at the page for Macy's Passport

Women For Obama - San Francisco Fundraising Event For Barack Obama

On Friday September 7th San Francisco played host to an event called "Women For Obama." Some newspapers described the event as "Senator Obama's attempt at courting the Women vote." Well, first, for all who were there, it was more than an attempt - it really hit the mark. Second, it drew over 3,000 people, some -- like myself -- paying from $25 to as much as $2,300 to see hear, and greet the Senator. Third, like every Obama event, it was more than a political speech, it was part happening, part teach-in, part love fest, and part convention, with the Senator as ringleader.

One has to attend an event like this to really tangibly understand the impact he has on people. Senator Obama is the best example of how individuals and the human sprit that rests in all of us matter. When some of the mainstream media asks "Is America ready for.." I automatically know the person asking the question is either inhuman, blind to the human sprit, or some combination of both.

The event itself was put together by a vast combination of people, lead by San Francisco District Attorney Kamela Harris, and a group of people called "Women For Obama," and of which my friend Rosa Cabrera (who started another group called "Rise Up For Obama) was part of -- and gave a good speech. But the most impressive aspect of the event to me was the number of college-age young women who were there -- at least a thousand of the 3,000 people. Moreover, many adults brought their kids to see him, so the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium had a vast combination of little ones running around.

Obama's speech started off almost pro-forma, but then he got rolling. He talked about familar themes like ending the Iraq War, but attacked the idea of his "lack of experience" by explaining that at times having too much experience -- in Washington -- causes one to make mistakes, like the Iraq war. Obama also emotively talked about his mother's battle with ovarian cancer and how she was more worried about her medical bills than her own health, thus fueling his desire to have Universal Health Care for all Americans.

But the real star of the event, other than the Senator himself, were the thousands of people, many representing online groups formed on, which came together to form a successful event. When the story of this campaign is written, it will be of how everything from event planning to fundraising was driven from a great website system that's frankly without peer. It's the Obama campaign's secret weapon, and it's only secret because many in politics still don't understand how to use the Internet -- but they do and they're getting better at it each month.