La Placita: hidden weapons, dirty diapers and Facebook ‘likes’

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La Placita welcome you to the month of April as more politicos are realizing there’s Latinos out there and they vote. So let’s check them for weapons and change their diapers  – and that ain’t no April Fool’s joke.

Batboy continues to go viral

Unidentified boy being checked for weapons (Photo by Roberto Rodriguez)

Unidentified boy being checked for weapons (Photo by Roberto Rodriguez)

In perhaps one of the most poignant images representing the state of political discourse in our country, people continue to be introduced to the little boy with a Batman shirt who is being frisked for weapons before a school board meeting in Tucson.

The latest was a feature story by CNN last week. La Placita friend Roberto Rodriguez, who took the photo that is sweeping the internet, said some are casting doubt about its authenticity. But he maintains that an intimidating police presence — which has included helicopters, police in riot gear and members of the local SWAT team on hand — have become common sights at Tuscon school board meetings after the Mexican American Studies program was pulled from that district’s curriculum.

Romney attacks Obama on…on…on…immigration?

On the eve of another important Republican primary, this one in Wisconsin, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney took on the Obama administration for the president’s failed immigration policies. Critics of Obama argue that it’s a potent line of attack. But does it become folly when it comes from Romney, who has drawn some of the hardest lines on the immigration issue? Only time and the Hispanic voter turnout will tell.

Soiling our way to power

All doubts should be eliminated about the economic clout of Latinos, which has a buying power now estimated at $1.2 trillion annually. Pampers diapers announced this week that Hispanic consumers are a top priority.

The diaper giant — which said it is “the diaper brand committed to making a difference for Latino parents and babies right from the start” — announced an online initiative: Mi milagro. Nuestra herencia. It’s an online forum for Hispanic moms to discuss the challenges of staying connected to their cultural roots — and presumably getting those nalgas clean.

An American Son getting ready to rise

Image of Marco Rubio's book (Sentinel photo)

Image of Marco Rubio’s book (Sentinel photo)

Officials at the book publishing company Sentinel HC must be confident that the memoir by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., will be a hit when it is finally released on June 19.

The Florida freshman penned the book called “An American Son: A Memoir.” Defraying from an industry practice, a Sentinel spokeswoman told VOXXI that it will not be distributing advanced review copies to the media. Such copies are used for book reviews, which publishers hope will create a buzz and generate sales. But to place an embargo on the book, which is what Sentinel has done, is to suggest the publishers are predicting robust demand. Either that, or the book is really bad.

There’s Hispanics out there. And they vote

A flurry of media stories have come out in the past week that suggest that, now that Romney seems to have locked up the nomination, that Republicans are suddenly realizing they might have a problem getting the Latino vote.

Many are like The Hill’s story that polled Republican political strategists who believe that Romney needs to choose a Hispanic running mate if he wants to win the White House.

In that dangerous electoral game called raising expectations, these stories continue to up the stakes for American Son Rubio, who seems to lead everyone’s Hispanic short-list.

Rubio may be playing into those expectations with a flurry of high-profile television interviews, including last week’s endorsement of Romney on Fox News. While Rubio demurs with a smile any talk of him joining the ticket, the growing buzz about him — which should get louder as his memoir comes out just ahead of the Republican convention — may end up backfiring.

Already, hard questions are being asked about whether he can deliver the Hispanic vote. And the scouring of his background that only a national candidate can get, has yet to begin in earnest.

Maybe that’s not why he’s jittery

Coffee good for health

Hispanics drink more coffee than anyone in this country (Shutterstock)

It might not be the high-stakes political game that Rubio is engaged in this spring that makes him smile all the time.

A new reportreleased this week by the National Coffee Association says Hispanics drink more coffee than their non-Hispanic counterparts. It says that 74 percent of Hispanics drink coffee daily, which is 12 percent more than their non-Hispanic counterparts.

“Understanding coffee consumption behaviors among the growing U.S. Hispanic population is essential to reaching these consumers and satisfying their demands,” said Robert Nelson, NCA president and CEO.

In a prepared statement for Vendingmarketwatch.com, Nelson wrote, “A thorough understanding of this complex segment is pivotal to growing the coffee category in the U.S.” Maybe they can team up with the Pampers people.

By the numbers

In yet another worrisome sign for Republicans come November, that chief barometer of social media, and life, has some disquieting numbers to share. If you look up the Facebook “likes” of all the presidential candidates, Mitt “I’m outraged by current immigration policy” Romney comes in dead last. The numbers:

Latinos For Obama……………………………..48,803 Likes

Newt Gingrich — Para Latinos…………………….659 Likes

Hispanics for Ron Paul……………………………..142 Likes

Hispanics for Rick Santorum…………………….104 Likes

Hispanics for Mitt Romney………………………..54 Likes

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