End of the Chávez deathwatch

Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chávez, the man who seemed to be at war with nearly everything, lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday at the age of 58.

When his body was moved from the military hospital where he spoke his final words — “I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die” — thousands of supporters flooded the streets of Caracas to pay their last respects.

Around a dozen world leaders are expected to attend Chávez’s funeral today, including Cuban Pres. Raúl Castro and Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Afterwards, his body will be embalmed and placed on permanent display.

Being given the Lenin treatment is a fitting end to a man who saw himself as a champion of his country’s poorer class, and whose shadow will likely loom over his country’s politics for years (if not decades) to come.

Say what you will about the former president — and there’s plenty to condemn — but Chávez did a lot to mobilize the Venezuelan masses and give them the hope of seizing their own futures.

Now, at long last, and after months of anticipation and doubt, Chávez has gone to that big commune in the clouds.

 

Unemployment on the ropes

Speaking of poorer class, America’s own has something to be excited about — the national unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent, the lowest it’s been since Dec. 2008 BO (Before Obama).

Today’s report from the Labor Department shows that 236,000 people were hired in the month of February, far exceeding the 160,000 jobs economists had predicted.

If the numbers are correct and the country’s experiencing a trend, Obama’s economic advisors were right and we’re all Keynesians again (I can dream, can’t I?).

So hooray! for more jobs.

But 236,000 workers doesn’t mean there are now 236,000 more Americans able to make ends meet. Most will still have to ball on a budget — if by “ball” we mean “buy food” and “pay the rent.”

 

The Catholic Church is too Catholic

Catholics in the United States think the Catholic Church and its leadership need to be brought into the 21st century, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.

Talk about a duh moment.

What annoys me is that while U.S. Catholics appear to be a rather progressive bunch — supporting things like abortion rights and same-sex marriage — they still think their church, the place they go every once in a while to receive moral guidance, should be an outright conservative institution.

Surprise, surprise, however, Catholics in America don’t think the church is doing a great job in handling the child sex abuse scandal, leading many Catholics to question the church’s moral authority.

If religious teaching doesn’t do what it claims to, which is make people holier than thou, then maybe, perhaps, it’s (cover your eyes!) a complete sham.

But what do I know. I don’t have baby Jesus on two-way like the pope does. (Imagine the long-distance charges! Which explains the basket.)

 

Latinos, man your smartphones!

The results of a new study conducted by the Pew Research Hispanic (cringe) Center shows that Latinos are closing the digital divide with non-Latino whites.

While 78 percent of Latinos now say they use the internet (up from 64 percent in 2009), that’s still 9 points behind non-Latino whites. And the 86 percent of Latinos who own a cellphone (up from 10 points from 2009) is now just 4 points behind non-Latino whites.

That means you need to hit up a T-Mobile, a Best Buy and Comcast as soon as possible. Better yet, order it all online (after you’re done reading all of today’s Gozamos articles, of course).

Photo: Pew Research Center

Photo: Pew Research Center

License without a license

Last but not least, Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro García Padilla told reporters on Thursday that he supports a move to provide undocumented immigrants living on the island with driver’s licenses.

Kudos, new guy! Your endorsement proves you’re at least a vertebrate, with more brain cells than Gov. Jan Brewer.

Now if only Puerto Ricans had a license to vote for their own president.

Till next week…

 

[Photo: paundpro via Deviant Art]

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