September: ¡No MEGusta!

Failed Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman learned the hard way that money can’t buy you love. Spending a record breaking $160 million, the former eBay CEO will have to go back to being an average billionaire.

After months of invading Pandora Internet Radio and YouTube with pop-up ads touting her commitment to California, Whitman will hopefully disappear into obscurity, joining the numerous failed political hopefuls that were unable to purchase an election.

The greatest contradiction was Whitman’s massive Spanish language media campaign that attempted to sway Latinos, despite opposing bilingual education. Whitman’s website craftily kept her views hidden from the Latino community, having links for ‘Latinos for Meg’ and ‘MEGaMujeres,’ which provided a toolkit for organizing and recruiting volunteers while simultaniously proclaiming her opposition to Arizona’s SB1070.

Whitman went a step further by denouncing Proposition 187, an anti-immigrant bill passed in the early 90s of which her campaign chairman Pete “Pito” Wilson was an avid proponent. While having a former California governor on her team was a positive, had Whitman participated in the political process previously, she would have known that Latinos despise Wilson with a passion.

While the political rhetoric of creating jobs, fixing education, and cutting spending continued to spew from her protruding gums, connecting with voters on a basic human level proved to be a challenge. The cold charred piece of flesh that now sits where her heart used to be became clearly visible to voters when Whitman’s former housekeeper stepped out of the shadows.

Serving as contradictory evidence of a vital portion of Whitman’s anti-immigrant political platform, Nicky Diaz Santillan worked for over nine years without documentation at the Whitman home. Obviously fearing the looming backlash spawned by her hypocrisy, Whitman called foul and stated that her former housekeeper should be deported. It seems even California sunshine is not enough to warm the frosty yellowish plasma-like substance that courses through her veins.

After spending a record $141.6 million of her own hard-earned cash on her campaign, Whitman was outdone by a former disgruntled housekeeper.

Whitman said it best in a letter of defeat posted on her website: “Politics too often lacks humanity.”  If by politics Whitman means “former eBay CEOs who run for political office,” then we and millions of California voters are in agreement.

2010 Paid Dues Music Festival

The annual Paid Dues music festival, now in its 5th year, is one of the most prominent hip-hop festivals in the United States. Similar to Rock the Bells, Paid Dues is a day-long music event, featuring both independent and mainstream hip-hop artists. This year’s headliners were Ice Cube, Murs & 9th Wonder, Tech N9ne, and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan. Artists performed at two different stages, the Paid Dues stage (indoor) and the Dues Paid stage (outdoor).

The indoor stage featured the more established artists, while the outdoor stage featured independent artists. The first few acts in the outdoor stage ranged from female emcee Hopie Spitshard to the group Potluck, the self-described “stoners from Humboldt.” There were also giveaways from this stage, as well as freestyle battles from audience members. Later in the night, Ice Cube’s cousin Del tha Funky Homosapien and the L.A. collective Freestyle Fellowship headlined the Dues Paid stage.

In the indoor stage, Sick Jacken and Cynic performed the energetic show Psycho Realm is known for, inducing mosh pits in the crowd. Followed Psycho Realm was Dilated Peoples, another L.A. based underground hip-hop group with growing mainstream success. Performing for a packed indoor stage as weed smoke filled the air, Raekwon performed both his solo material and material from the Wu-Tang Clan, while also paying his respect to the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Gangsta rap was well represented with Tha Dogg Pound (Daz Dillinger & Kurupt), along with the headliner Ice Cube. Murs was a present throughout the festival, and his set included “L.A.,” songs from the 3:16 project with 9th Wonder, and a song that brought Sick Jacken out to the stage once again. Ice Cube energized the crowd with some of his classics including “It Was a Good Day” and “Check Yourself,” as well as debuting a new song from his upcoming album.

Overall, it was a great festival, the only problems were that some of the set times got changed around last minute, and having two stages meant not being able to listen to everybody. Other than that, Paid Dues showed how, for a day, an empty field in San Bernardino could transform into a showcase of some of the best hip-hop L.A. has to offer.

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