Tag Archives: Spanish

Mitt Romney’s pandering to Puerto Rico shows that he will say anything to win

From the Weekly Standard.

Excerpt:

CNN has projected that Mitt Romney will win Sunday’s primary in Puerto Rico, and Romney will most likely receive all 20 of Puerto Rico’s delegates. Romney had the support of Puerto Rico’s Republican governor, Luis Fortuño, and was expected to win handily.

But Robert G. de Posada, the former president of the conservative Latino Coalition, has an op-ed at the Daily Caller charging that Romney “sold out his conservative principles” in order to win big in the Caribbean territory. De Posada points out that Congress has often required territories with large non-English speaking populations to agree to use English officially within government and in schools before allowing those territories to achieve statehood. Romney, he says, pandered to pro-statehood sentiments in Puerto Rico while ignoring this precedent as well as his own position back on the mainland:

On Thursday, Romney called a radio station in San Juan (Noti-Uno) for an interview with a local reporter. When asked if he would support requiring that English became the principal language of government as part of a petition for statehood, Romney said no. When asked if he thought the legislature should have English as the principal language, once again Romney said no. He even opposed requiring English in the courts and public schools.

In Louisiana and Alabama, Mitt Romney is for English as the official language of the United States. In 2008, when Romney sought the GOP nomination, he was upfront about his opposition to bilingual education and his support for ending it in Massachusetts. But in Puerto Rico, he is a strong advocate of bilingualism and opposes requiring the state to make English the principal language of the legislature, courts and public schools. This only makes sense in the Romney World of Flip Flops.

But Romney took it a step further. He stated that a simple majority of 50% + 1 was enough for him to aggressively support statehood for Puerto Rico. As Rick Santorum said during his trip to Puerto Rico, “We need a significant majority supporting statehood before it’s considered. Why would we want a state where nearly half of its residents do not want to be part of the Union?”

Santorum should be commended for staying true to his conservative principles even when it was not politically convenient. Santorum could have pandered to the pro-statehood governor of Puerto Rico in order to get the 20 delegates at stake, but instead the former senator spoke the truth and told Puerto Rican voters a reality they needed to hear. Immediately after, Romney’s campaign started attacking Santorum and maliciously twisting his comments, telling voters that the former senator was advocating “English-only” and was against Spanish.

In contrast to what the Romney campaign said, Santorum Puerto Rico would have to stress English in addition to Spanish, before getting statehood.

Excerpt:

Rick Santorum Wednesday became the first Republican presidential hopeful in this election to visit Puerto Rico before the island commonwealth’s Sunday primary, taking a controversial stand on statehood that he was forced to defend this morning after losing a key supporter.

[…]“What I said is English has to be learned as a language and this has to be a country where English is widely spoken and used, yes,” Santorum told reporters, stating that the use of English should be a “condition” if Puerto Rico is to become a state. The island, he said, “needs to be a bilingual country, not just a Spanish speaking country.”

“I think English and Spanish – obviously Spanish is going to be spoken here on the island – but this needs to be a bilingual country, not just a Spanish-speaking country, and right now it is overwhelmingly just Spanish speaking. But it needs to have, in order to fully integrate into American society, English has to be a language that is spoken here also and spoken universally,” Santorum explained.

“I think that would be a condition. I think it’s important. And I think if you talk to most parents, they want their children to learn English. It is essential for children in America to be able to speak English to fully integrate and have full opportunities,” he added. “I don’t think we’re doing any more than, you know, people who come to America on the mainland. We’re not doing them any favors by not teaching them English.

There is a clear contrast between these two men: Mitt Romney is not a good man. He just says what people want to hear in order to win, and then when elected he will govern like a pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage, tax-and-spend liberal – that’s what he did in Massachusetts.

Spanish conservatives defeat socialists in regional and local elections

Political Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (H/T Bret Baier)

Excerpt:

Spain’s ruling Socialists suffered a crushing defeat to conservatives in local and regional elections Sunday, yielding power even in traditional strongholds against a backdrop of staggering unemployment and unprecedented sit-ins by Spaniards furious with what they see as politicians who don’t care about their plight.Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said the result was due punishment of his government for the state of the economy — the jobless rate is a eurozone high of 21.3 percent. But he said he had no plans to move up general elections, which must be held by March of next year, and pledged to press on with job-creating reforms despite the loud outcry of opposition to his party.

The win for the conservative opposition Popular Party puts it in even a stronger position to win the general elections and return to power after eight years of Socialist rule.

In what Spanish media said was the worst performance on record by the Socialist Party in local and regional elections, the numbers reflecting the loss were stunning: the conservative Popular Party won at the municipal level by about two million votes, compared to 150,000 in its win in 2007, and in 13 regional governments that were up for grabs, Zapatero’s party lost in virtually all of them.

One was Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain, where the Socialists have always held power. The Socialists also lost bastions like the town halls in Barcelona and Seville. The conservatives padded their majorities in Madrid and Valencia, in the latter even though the president is under investigation for corruption. Several other Socialist-controlled regional governments also fell. Spain’s electoral map turned largely blue — the color of the Popular Party.

I can see why Zapatero would want to avoid calling federal elections. Spain’s youth unemployment stands at 45% and he is very likely to be thrown out of power completely. I’m sure a lot of the young people voted for socialism, because socialism is so trendy in movies, music, in the universities, and on television . But the young people are finding out now that you cannot cover your nakedness with empty rhetoric, you cannot feed your stomach with feelings of self-congratulation, and you cannot coerce employers to hire you by demonizing capitalism.

Unemployment rate in socialist Spain now above 20%

Map of Europe
Map of Europe

Here’s the story from Yahoo News.

Excerpt:

Spain announced Friday its jobless rate surged to a 13-year record above 20 percent at the end of 2010, the highest level in the industrialized world, as the economy struggled for air.

It was more bad news for an economy fighting to regain the trust of financial markets and avoid being trapped in a debt quagmire that has engulfed Greece and Ireland and now menaces Portugal.

Another 121,900 people joined Spain’s unemployment queues in the final quarter of the year, pushing the total to 4.697 million people, said the national statistics institute INE.

The resulting unemployment rate was 20.33 percent for the end of the year — easily exceeding Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s target of 19.4 percent.

Spain appears to be stuck in a rut of staggeringly high levels of unemployment.

After posting a jobless rate of 18.83 percent in 2009 and now 20.33 percent in 2010, the government is forecasting 19.3 percent for 2011 and 17.5 percent in 2012.

The Spanish economy, the European Union’s fifth biggest, slumped into recession during the second half of 2008 as the global financial meltdown compounded the collapse of a labour-intensive construction boom

It emerged with tepid growth of just 0.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010 and 0.2 percent in the second but then stalled with zero growth in the third.

Zapatero has said the fourth quarter will show positive growth which would pick up steam in 2011 but he warned that job creation would be “far from what we need and desire. It will be slow and progressive.”

Remember that Spain elected Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in April 2004, who is a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, which is very similar in policy to Barack Obama and the Democrats.  Let’s see what has happened in Spain. (H/T Spain Economy Watch)

Unemployment:

Spain Unemployment Rate
Spain Unemployment Rate

Private sector employment:

Spain Employment Rate - Private Sector
Spain Employment - Private Sector

Public sector employment:

Spain Employment - Public Sector
Spain Employment - Public Sector

So what do we learn from this?

Well, the public sector doesn’t really sell any products or services, so they don’t really have any customers to please, nor do they have any revenue. They exist by confiscating the wealth of other people (in the private sector) who do have products and services to sell, and do have customers to please. The governments job is to HELP the people in the private sector and not to raise their taxes, or control them, or get in their way except to make sure that they compete fairly and honestly with other people in the private sector. When government oversteps their bounds by raising taxes too high and spending too much, they stop acting like a REFEREE and start acting more like a PARASITE.

You’ll note that Obama is also spending trillions of dollars on government boondoggles – and where is our unemployment rate now?

How well did a government-run green energy policy work in Spain?

Story here from Pajamas Media. (H/T Stuart Scheidernman)

Keep in mind that the socialists under Zapatero are running Spain now, and that’s where this green energy policy came from. Is it working out for socialist Spain?

Excerpt:

Pajamas Media has received a leaked internal assessment produced by Spain’s Zapatero administration. The assessment confirms the key charges previously made by non-governmental Spanish experts in a damning report exposing the catastrophic economic failure of Spain’s “green economy” initiatives.

[…]Unsurprisingly for a governmental take on a flagship program, the report takes pains to minimize the extent of the economic harm. Yet despite the soft-pedaling, the document reveals exactly why electricity rates “necessarily skyrocketed” in Spain, as did the public debt needed to underwrite the disaster. This internal assessment preceded the Zapatero administration’s recent acknowledgement that the “green economy” stunt must be abandoned, lest the experiment risk Spain becoming Greece.

The government report does not expressly confirm the highest-profile finding of the non-governmental report: that Spain’s “green economy” program cost the country 2.2 jobs for every job “created” by the state. However, the figures published in the government document indicate they arrived at a job-loss number even worse than the 2.2 figure from the independent study.

Spain is giving up their green energy / green jobs initiative. What does Obama learn from Spain’s failure?

Excerpt:

This document is not a public report. Spanish media has referred to its existence in recent weeks though, while Bloomberg and the Washington Examiner have noted the impact: Spain is now forced to jettison its plans — Obama’s model — for a “green economy.”

Remarkably, these items have received virtually no media attention.

An item which has been covered widely, however, is that President Obama is now pressuring Spain to turn off its spigot of public debt in the name of averting a situation similar to that of Greece.

Also covered widely is Obama’s promotion of the American Power Act — the legislation which would replicate Spain’s current situation in the United States.

Put simply, Obama is currently promoting a policy in the U.S. which is based on a policy that he wishes to see Spain abandon.

Why can’t we learn from Spain’s failure and avoid making the same mistakes they did? Is that too much to ask?

How green lobbyists shape energy policy in the Obama administration

Story here at the Washington Times. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

In 2008 and 2009, Mr. Obama told Americans on no fewer than eight occasions to “think about what’s happening in countries like Spain [and] Germany” to see his model for successful “green jobs” policies, and what we should expect here.

Some Spanish academics and experts on that country’s wind- and solar-energy policies and outcomes took Mr. Obama up on his invitation, revealing Spain’s policies to be economic and employment disasters. The political embarrassment to the administration was obvious, with White House spokesman Robert Gibbs asked about the Spanish study at a press conference, and the president hurriedly substituted Denmark for Spain in his stump speech.

Team Obama was not amused, and they decided to do something about it. The crew that campaigned on change pulled out the oldest plan in the book – attack the messenger. The U.S. government’s response to foreign academics, assessing the impact in their own country of that foreign government’s policies, was to come after them in a move that internal e-mails say was unprecedented. They also show it was coordinated with the lobbyists for “Big Wind” and the left-wing Center for American Progress (CAP).

What emerged was an ideological hodgepodge of curious and unsupported claims published under the name of two young non-economist wind advocates. These taxpayer-funded employees offered green dogma in oddly strident terms and, along the way, a senior Obama political appointee may well have misled Congress.

[…]What is clear is that the Department of Energy then worked with Center for American Progress and the industry lobby AWEA to produce an attack that would serve all their interests.

First we had ClimateGate, and now we have WindLobbyGate.