Venezuelans living around the world will be watching closely what happens in Caracas at midnight, my sources tell me. The country's constitution calls for the President to take the oath of office in a public ceremony by Jan. 10. If unable to do so, the nation's duly elected president is supposed to take the oath in front of the country's Congress. President Elect Hugo Chavez has done neither and, according to government sources, is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba. The country's Supreme Court has ruled that as Chavez is simply continuing to serve as the nation's president after winning another six-year term late last year, he can simply be sworn in later. And a symbolic swearing in ceremony has been held. Chavez's political opponents and those concerned about the possibility of a constitutional crisis have suggested that a team of Venezuelan doctors should be sent to Cuba confirm that Chavez is still breathing and assess his health. Such a group can not visit Cuba without the Cuban government's expressed permission. Ernesto Ackerman, president of the Miami-based nonprofit Independent Venezuelan American Citizens, told me that Cuba has managed a bloodless coup today effectively turning Venezuela into a "colony firmly under communist control." Some predict that student protests that have already erupted in the states of Mérida and Táchira will spread. Political uncertainty could also further damage Venezuela's economy.
Something new and troubling that you may need to discuss with your teen. Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced in a statement that Carrols Corporation, the world's largest Burger King franchisee, will pay $2.5 million and take significant remedial steps to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit brought by the EEOC. The lawsuit alleged discrimination against 89 female employees around the country, many of whom were teenagers when they worked for Carrols. The EEOC's suit claimed that Carrols subjected women - including many teenagers - to egregious sexual harassment at Burger King locations throughout the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast. That harassment ranged from obscene comments, jokes, and propositions to unwanted touching, exposure of genitalia, strip searches, stalking, and even rape. In most cases store managers perpetrated the harassment. According to the EEOC, Carrols also retaliated against some of the women by cutting their hours, manufacturing discipline against them, and even firing them, while it forced more women to quit because the harassment made their working conditions intolerable.
News that Labor Secretary Hilda Solis would resign today was quickly followed by a possible tid bit about her future. Solis, a California-native and daughter of immigrants, is said to be contemplating a run for a seat on the Los Angles Board of Supervisors.
Over at the new ABC/Univision news operation, blogger Jordan Fabian suggests that what Republicans need to do is some good old fashioned, "Gringo inreach" on immigration. "For all the talk about the need for Republicans and conservatives do to Hispanic outreach following the 2012 presidential election, they might be overlooking a more important task: "gringo inreach," Fabian writes. "In other words, conservatives will need to reckon with themselves on the need to evolve their hardline stances on issues like immigration before they can successfully appeal to Latino, Asian-American, and black voters who have largely abandoned the GOP to join their ranks."
"Women of color are hard hit by a kind of perfect -- and perfectly devastating -- storm caused by discrimination, a struggling economy and the country's failure to adopt family friendly workplace policies," said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, in a statement. What does that really mean? We make less money. Latinas earn on average 60 cents http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/latina-women-earn-60-cents-dollar-paid-men/story?id=18182265 for every dollar earned by men and black women are paid a measly 70 cents.http://progressillinois.com/quick-hits/content/2013/01/10/wage-gap-black-women-staggering-levels-many-states-including-illinois Overall, women -- meaning when you look at black, white and Latino female workers as a large group -- take home about 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. If you are interested in understanding just how slowly the nation's gender and racial wage gaps are closing, check out this chart, then get your tissue ready.
As Lincoln laid claim to more Oscar nominations than any other film today, the folks at Colorlines remind us about the film's shortcomings and just how much "Lincoln" and the slavery-themed "Django Unchained," reveal about the country's past and it's present.