Mexico City The annual meeting of the ACORN International board continued its meetings for a second day in Mexico City, as they conferred on fundamental issues of support for existing work, self-sufficiency and support and expansion into new areas like Sicily and Liberia. Additional reports were heard from Mexico on the Neza water campaign and received from Argentina. Planning meetings of the Latin American staff and leadership spent valuable hours at a great local coffeehouse, Denmedio, appropriately facing Solidarity Square, firming up the Remittance Justice Campaign and plans to organize coffeehouses and other enterprises in our cities to support the organizing. Other meetings consolidated the leadership training schedule and organizing plans for Local 100. Solid progress was made on all fronts topped off, appropriately, with a Friday night visit to see the Lucha Libre Mexican wrestlers!
Reading the papers on-line was almost as wild.
Florida continues to want to make a place for itself in voter suppression by gaining access to Department of Homeland Security information on immigrants so that it can data match voter lists for any slips. It seems the fears of immigrant rights advocates about the Secure Communities Act are fully confirmed as the continued Obama consolidation of this steel fist in a soft glove strategy becomes a potential Republican voter suppression tool, even as other studies like those of the Pew Center establish that the state managed voter registration systems are now in complete chaos.
Walmart seems to be conceding that the bribery problems in Mexico may be even worse than previously revealed and though hinting that there may be problems in other countries, they have not revealed bribes in China or India, which I have argued are very likely branches that have sprung from the roots of this corrupt corporate culture.
The rise of informal workers in the European economic crisis in places like Spain where a day’s work and wage is being bartered for hardly 50 euros, as reported by the Times, threatens to undermine the last of the social contract even in its last bastions of defense against neo-liberalism. Europe is the new Asia perhaps?
It seems that the arrogance of Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan Chase has led to losses of $3 billion (and rising) rather than the $2 billion earlier reported. Hedge funds have continued to profit from Chase’s problems, proving that a billion here and a billion there are still something more for sharks on Wall Street than friends across the counter. Nonetheless, Dimon’s board and shareholders looked the other way.
Finally, Joe Ricketts owner of Wrigley Field, founder of Ameritrade, and a billionaire with buffalo in Wyoming (sorry about that!), proved that haters still rule the world in some sectors with a kerfuffle even rejected by the Romney campaign that he underwrite a $10 million campaign of race baiting and race hating against Obama via the sputtering and aged rhetoric of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Good to see that there was pushback in Chicago which is not yet located in the “new” South and he was sent scurrying. All of which is not to say that we cannot expect similar mess on the airwaves and elsewhere in the coming presidential contest, but it certainly goes to prove that other side of the coin on the old saw: “just because you are rich, does not mean you aren’t stupid,” rather than “why aren’t you rich, if you are so smart?”