Snippets

1. The US Men's National Team had a solid 4-1 victory over China on Saturday. Texan (Plano native, if I recall correctly) Lee Nguyen got his first cap when he was substituted on late in the game. This kid appears to have limitless potential, and is part of the next generation of American soccer players who are going to the elite clubs of Europe and succeeding.

What was most impressive about the China game is that the US dominated in the air. I've long thought that when the US got good in the air, that would really be a sign that we've arrived. Granted, China isn't known as a powerhouse in the air, but it was exciting to see.

2. Washington Post piece on Spanish in political dialogue:

It is not yet 8 a.m. and four members of Congress are practicing the sound of the Spanish letter "g," reciting words in a bashful chorus conducted by their tutor, who stands at an easel in the Cannon House Office Building.

" . . . Gato, general, guerra, gigante . . . "

The sharp Worcester brogue of Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the soft Houston honey of Rep. Gene Green (D-Tex.) and the more unassuming accents of Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) meet somewhere in Mexico, more or less.

It's amazing to me that Gene Green has managed to avoid a serious Latino primary challenge. Perhaps that's because Houston's Democrats haven't produced any stars. One might've thought Carol Alvarado would be such a person, but her luster is quite tarnished after the Mayor Pro Tem scandal.

More from same article:

"You have to reach out to Spanish-speaking Latinos even before they become citizens," says Rodriguez-Ciampoli, now director of Hispanic communications for Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. "We as Latinos have brand loyalty. . . . The sooner you start talking to them, the sooner you start helping them to identify with the Democrats."

San Antonio-based media consultant Frank Guerra, so successful at crafting messages for the Bush brothers, says that for the president and the former Florida governor, "it goes way beyond the language piece. Hispanics perceive them as two individuals who understand them, who are interested in them, and are attempting to communicate with them, whether it's in halting Spanish on special occasions" -- George -- "or whether through fluent conversation" -- Jeb.

Guerra worries that some GOP rhetoric in the immigration debate could turn off the new brand-shoppers that President Bush won. Guerra's advice to the GOP could stand for the Democrats as well:

"You're speaking to the fastest-growing, youngest population in the country. And what we do now will forever set the course for what kind of party we're going to be in the future -- majority or minority."

Guerra did pretty good work for the Gipper too, if memory serves. Plus, he's right.

And then there was this:

But then here comes Charlie Gonzalez, leaving Nancy Pelosi's office after a gathering of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss immigration reform. In that meeting, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and some others spoke Spanish, but not Gonzalez. His Spanish is not so good.

He is the son of the late, legendary representative Henry Gonzalez, who was the son of Mexican immigrants who did not speak much English. Henry Gonzalez spoke beautiful Spanish, as well as English, according to his son.

"Dad was just horrified as my Spanish deteriorated," Charlie Gonzalez says.

"People expect if your name is Gonzalez that you can speak Spanish. It's always going to be a source of kidding."

He can laugh about it. The voters in Gonzalez's majority-Hispanic district in San Antonio understand. The Spanish of their grandchildren is disappearing, too. This is what happens. They've elected Gonzalez five times. "This is a shared experience," the congressman says. "The degree of proficiency in Spanish varies from generation to generation."

3. Mack, Chron:

Neither got everything it wanted, but Houston and Harris County fared better than usual in this year's legislative session.

Among the more visible changes locals can expect: backyard July Fourth fireworks will be safer, though perhaps a little less festive; dog owners will be held responsible the first time their pets seriously injure another person; all 20 acres of West 11th Street Park will be preserved; and red-light cameras are here to stay.

I guess Ms. Mack was talking about our elected officials. I certainly don't see how red light cameras being here to stay is faring well for Houston or Harris County. I mean, unless you want to live in Bill White's Orwellian police state!

4. Via David Bernstein at the Volokh Conspiracy, I took the "Al Gore or the Unabomber?" test. The quotes are all taken from Gore's "Earth in the Balance" book or the Unabomber's manifesto. I got a 58%...just slightly higher than random.

That's...amusing.

Posted by Evan @ 06/04/07 04:34 PM

 
 

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Comments

not having read either, i expected to come out in the 50% range as well. i suppose i should be embarrassed to admit i got 17%, but like you, find it .... amusing.

Posted by yet another rice alum @ 06/04/07 08:55 PM


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