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Capitol Latino

Politics, Culture, Reporters, Thieves

Tag Archives: Missouri

Twenty-two hours ago, the @BluntBrigade went micro, tweeting the sentence fragments, “Excited to announce our new site BluntBrigade.com! Online home to Roy’s grassroots action network.”

@BluntBrigade is the “Official Twitter account of Blunt Brigade, an action network of supporters, volunteers, interns and staff supporting Roy Blunt for U.S. Senate.”

That said, I have never agreed with anything I have ever heard Roy Blunt say. Our politics are antithetical. We only disagree. We met several times in Missouri, and I’ve seen him around on The Hill. I hate that rotten bastard. He’s a sassy Paul Bunyon and a dangerous moron who shouldn’t be allowed within an acre of any American political machinery. To elect him to Kit Bond’s empty Senate seat is like tipping our own American cow onto posterity’s already-splintered femurs. Don’t do it, Missouri.

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“politically Missourian”

  • staunchly skeptical
  • obnoxiously confident
  • locally hypernetworked

“Washington culture”

  • incentivized secrecy

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Dear Missouri Friend:

On Wednesday night, the U.S. House of Representatives adjourned for the year. There will be no more bills, no more laws and no more spending until 2010.

Before leaving town, the majority voted to increase the nation’s debt limit by $290 billion. It seems that when Congress puts too much money on the charge card, it can just increase its own credit limit. That’s what happened on Wednesday. America had exceeded the amount of money that our country can legally borrow, so Congress changed the law. In fact, Congress has raised the debt limit 91 times since 1940!

The individual share of the National Debt is now approaching $40,000. What’s the big deal? Irresponsible spending drives our annual deficit and total national debt up further every year. For example, next year, Congress has voted to increase optional, non-defense spending by about 8% over 2009 levels.

And, in the long run, wasteful spending limits economic growth and kills jobs. I went on the House floor to talk about this on Wednesday night and you can listen in here.

I’ll be enjoying time with family over the next couple of weeks and I hope you will be as well. Have a safe and happy rest of the year and a wonderful 2010.

Sincerely,
W. Todd Akin

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As pleased as I am that my ultraconservative congressman — Todd Akin (MO-2) — has finally begun using new media, well … observe:

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On Wednesday, I returned from four days in O’Fallon, Missouri — my hometown — where my youngest brother showed me the video above that he’d recorded on Direct TV from Televisión Nacional, Chile’s government-run PBS-equivalent.

My ear only translates about 35% of the tune, which is titled Candombe de José — my father told my lil’ bro that Chilenos shorten the title to El Negro José — and I haven’t the patience right now to deal with the lyrics sites. Nevertheless, Candombe… is yet another song from the censored cassette tapes my father snuck out from ‘neath Pinochet’s boot in 1985. I know it’s every note, and can hum along with a casual phonetic precision.  It is at once a tune I know by heart and a song I’ve never really heard.

A Chilean-Missourian lives in a world of explanations and semi-recognitions.  Missourians are quick to note that I “don’t look like a Pablo,” which is to say that I don’t look, sound, or act “like a Pablo”, as any foreignness in my presentation would explain my Chilean name.  But it’s hard to attach a label to someone to doesn’t fit the ordinary role.  My friends in Missouri don’t refer to me as “that Chilean guy”.  They refer to me as “Pablo”.  Strangers may inquire. (“What is he Mexican or something?”)  Nope…from Chile.  (Often followed by: “Where’s that?”)

In Chile, it is apparant to all that I don’t sound Chileno, that my castellano is accented.  “He doesn’t sound like a Pablo…” However, they can rarely place my accent until I tell them that my mother es gringita.  Then it is suddenly obvious.  Several Chileans have remarked that I sound a lot like Sean Connery.

I’ve noticed in the past that Chileans of current generations are used to meeting young Chileans with accents. We are, as it were, Generación Exiliado — Generation Exiled, to France, Sweden, Cuba, Argentina, Germany, England, the United States, etc. United States of Americans too are becoming re-accustomed to accented youth from all parts of the world, and especially from Latin America.

Nevertheless, my experience as one in the vanguard generation of the immigrant wave to the United States, and of Chile’s generation of exiles has overall been advantageous in that I’ve never had to establish my identity apart from anyone else.  I’m Pablo — the Missourian from Chile; el Chileno-Gringo. You’ll not meet another.

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From an undated pdf at Newsroom.BankofAmerica.com:

Gregory L. Curl is chief risk officer for Bank of America, responsible for working with the company’s lines of business to identify and navigate credit, market and operational risk to enable predictable, sustainable growth by the corporation.

Curl began his career in 1974 in St. Louis with Boatmen’s Bancshares as a commercial loan officer. From 1976 to 1978, he served as a special assistant to U.S. Senator John C. Danforth. He returned to the bank in 1978 and continued to serve in many capacities, including vice chairman and chief operating officer of Boatmen’s. Since 1996 he has served in several capacities at Bank of America including vice chairman of Corporate Development and Global Corporate Strategic Development and Planning executive. He was appointed chief risk officer in June 2009.

Curl received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southwest Missouri State University and a master’s degree in government from the University of Virginia. He was named a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in 1970 and was a Philip Dupont Scholar and a McIntire Fellow at the University of Virginia. He served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and the Middle East from 1970 to 1974.

Curl is a director of the University of Virginia’s Jefferson Scholars Foundation, The Enstar Group, Inc., Grupo Financiero Santander Serfin, and China Construction Bank.

Curiosity springs into action:

  • Is Curl a Missourian?
  • What is Boatmen’s Bancshares?
  • Has the China Construction Bank updated its website since 1999?

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Yesterday, Ben Jealous, the President and CEO of the NAACP posted the following in the Racewire blog:

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to share the stage with America’s legendary television dad, Bill Cosby. In a town hall forum titled “About Our Children,” Cosby and I, along with comedian Paul Rodriguez and University of Wisconsin Professor Maria Cancian, discussed poverty, parenting and the American dream in front of a national audience, broadcast live on MSNBC.

I spoke about my childhood education, as a kid growing up in California. I explained that my county had multiple schools. One, across the county, had resources I needed, while the school closer to my home did not. Because of local zoning law I was assigned to the school closer to home. Even as a child, I knew that I needed to be at the better school. I put up such a fight about it that my parents simply found a way to put me on the bus to the other school. They bent the rules so that I could have a better education.

I shared this story because it is an important example of my family taking responsibility for my education. It is a lesson that I will never forget, and it most certainly put me on the path to where I am today.

Oh California. My parents tried for most of my Kindergarden through second grade education in Missouri to get the school district to let me skip a grade. They hoped I might raise less hell if I were more challenged. While it is unclear why exactly I wasn’t allowed to skip a grade, my mother did take the issue all the way to the state capitol in Jefferson City, where she was told something to the effect of: The State of Missouri does not provide public school districts with funding for students that skip grades.

Despite my mother’s protests, Missouri’s rule went unbent; I remained unchallenged (with few exceptions) in Missouri’s K-12 classrooms; and I allegedly remain a hellraiser.

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