Friday, November 30, 2012

Talking tango with Georgina and Oscar



Leslie Eastman joined me for a chat with Georgina Vargas and Oscar Mandagaran.  They are a lovely tango couple from Argentina.  This is Leslie's post about the show!  This is a wonderful couple who dances gracefully:



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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dear Pres elect Pena-Nieto: What Obama immigration proposal are you talking about? the one that he has never put in writing?

Pres elect Pena-Nieto of Mexico met with Pres Obama.   He said publicly that he supports Pres BO's immigration proposal:

"“We fully support your proposal,” said Peña Nieto in reference to Obama's immigration plan, according to the pool report. “We want to contribute. We want to be part of this.”"

It would be nice if Mr Pena-Nieto would share that proposal with the rest of us in North America.

Why is that?

The answer is simple:  Pres BO  has never made an immigration proposal public.  He has delivered annual "5 de Mayo" speeches but never a proposal that Congress could vote on.

Unlike Pres Bush and Sen McCain, who actually spent their political capital trying to pass an immigration reform bill, Pres BO has never proposed a plan.     

We call on Pres BO to put an immigration reform plan on the table.  Let's debate it.  Let's have a public discussion, as we did back in 2007 when Pres Bush & Sen McCain had the political courage to fight for reform.

My guess is that we will spend the next four years hearing "5 de Mayo" speeches with lots of "si se puede".  However, don't expect Pres BO to lead because he does not have the votes in his own party....yes his own Dem party.

Perhaps another four years of "5 de Mayo" speeches and "si se puede-isms" will finally convince Hispanics that there is a better way.  In other words, blindly giving Pres BO 70% of your vote will just buy you indifference. 

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Tags: Dear Pres elect Pena-Nieto: What Obama immigration proposal are you talking about?  the one that he has never put in writing?  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Don't blame me I voted for Romney: The implementation of Obama-Care is turning into a major disaster


As predicted, Obama-Care is turning into an implementation nightmare.

Like "closing GITMO" or "passing immigration reform", Obama-Care is turning out to be a better campaign promise than governing.  This is what happens when you pass laws without debates or even telling the public what is in it.

This is also the sad result of voters who get invested in a "personality cult" rather than rationally judging someone based on his performance or results.

Well, we are about to find out and a lot of Dems are in a panic that their "truth in advertising" moment may not be so pleasant after all. 

Yes, we are finally going to drink from the Obama-Care cup and our stomachs won't like it. 

Today's WSJ editorial highlights the problem

"ObamaCare is due to land in a mere 10 months—about 300 days—and the Administration is not even close to ready, so naturally the political and media classes are attacking the Governors and state legislators who decline to help out.

Mostly Republicans, they’re facing a torrent of abuse in Washington and pressure from health lobbies at home.

But the real story is that Democrats are reaping the GOP buy-in they earned. Liberals wanted government to re-engineer the entire health-care system and rammed the Affordable Care Act through on a party-line vote, not stopping to wonder whether it would work.

Now that implementation is proving to be harder than advertised, they’re blaming the states for not making their jobs easier."

It will indeed be a jobs killer, as Rick Moran points out:

"How many jobs will Obamacare cost?  Michael Tanner, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, lays out the grim reality:
Under ObamaCare, employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide health insurance for all their workers, paying at least 65% of the cost of a family policy or 85% of the cost of an individual plan. Moreover, the insurance must meet the federal government’s requirements in terms of what benefits are included, meaning that many businesses that offer insurance to their workers today will have to change to new, more expensive plans.
ObamaCare’s rules make expansion expensive, particularly for the 500,000 US businesses that have fewer than 100 employees.
Suppose that a firm with 49 employees does not provide health benefits. Hiring one more worker will trigger the mandate. The company would now have to provide insurance coverage to all 50 workers or pay a tax penalty.
In New York, the average employer contribution for employer-provided insurance plans, runs from $4,567 for an individual to $ 12,748 for a family. Many companies will likely choose to pay the penalty instead, which is still expensive — $2,000 per worker multiplied by the entire workforce, after subtracting the statutory exemption for the first 30 workers. For a 50-person company, then, the tax would be $40,000, or $2,000 times 20.
That might not seem like a lot, but for many small businesses that could be the difference between survival and failure.
Under the circumstances, how likely is the company to hire that 50th worker? Or, if a company already has 50 workers, isn’t the company likely to lay off one employee? Or cut hours and make some employees part time, thus getting under the 50 employee cap? Indeed, a study by Mercer found that 18% of companies were likely to do exactly that. It’s worth noting that in France, another country where numerous government regulations kick in at 50 workers, there are 1,500 companies with 48 employees and 1,600 with 49 employees, but just 660 with 50 and only 500 with 51.
New York City’s small business could be particularly hard hit. Of the 238,851 city firms included in a state Department of Labor survey, 96% had fewer than 50 employees. How many of them, given the chance to expand, will look at the mandate and decide they’d rather keep their small business small?
Overall, according to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare could end up costing as many as 800,000 jobs.
You read that correctly: 800,000 jobs. And that’s according to the CBO, a notoriously conservative outfit when it comes to projections. (Its current estimate of Obamacare’s cost from 2014-2023 is $2.6 trillion.)
Individuals and families who will be forced to buy their own insurance when companies drop their health insurance plans will be in for a shock. Even with subsidies, some families will end up paying nearly 10% of their gross income for health insurance.
The bottom line is mass confusion. Put simply, the American people are unprepared for such a massive change in their lives. Most people don’t realize that their current insurance coverage is inadequate. They actually believed the president when he looked into the cameras during his 2010 State of the Union address and assured citizens that they could keep the insurance plan they have now. Instead, government-mandated coverage for a wide variety of services that many current insurance plans don’t cover will radically alter health insurance for millions.
Many economists are already predicting a recession as a result of implementing Obamacare. Coupled with voters doing a slow burn over the sheer complexity and maddening bureaucracy that will come with Obamacare, the Republicans, if they play it right, should find themselves in an excellent position to put a stranglehold on Congress and set themselves up for an excellent chance to win the White House in 2016.
The GOP will be blameless in this fiasco.

The warnings from Republicans since Obamacare was first proposed about the consequences of the law will make the party seem like soothsayers.

The Democrats will be forced to defend a law that caused a recession, significantly increased insurance costs to families, and brought many businesses to their knees.

It’s hard to see how the elections of 2014-16 won’t severely damage the Democrats and make them a minority party for the foreseeable future."

Memo to all of those who got invested in Obama-mania:  You will discover soon that your little "hope and change" orgy comes with a very painful headache the morning after.

Texas has already declined BO-Care.  Thank God for Gov Perry & our GOP legislature. 

Thank God for common sense in about 20 other states who are refusing to go along.

We are already familiar in Texas with the EPA, another out of control federal bureaucracy better at killing employers than creating employees.

So let me remind you:  DON'T BLAME ME BECAUSE I VOTED FOR ROMNEY!

 

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We have a spending problem!

The GOP needs to show some backbone and fight for real spending cuts.

We are running federal budget deficits of almost 10% of GDP.  We are borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar we spend.

So why are we discussing this nonsense about raising taxes?

Let me make this suggestion to Speaker Boehner:

1) Present "real spending cuts" and tell the public about it.  I would use Paul Ryan and others to make the case to the voters.

2) Show flexibility on "raising taxes on the rich" but only if there are real spending cuts. 

3) Obama-Care has to be on table.  You can not reform entitlements without reforming entitlements.

Pres BO faces a huge challenge because his base wants to keep the welfare state going.  The GOP needs to stand tall and call on spending cuts. 

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pres Obama should watch the new movie about Pres Lincoln

Pres Obama should take a day off and watch the new Lincoln movie.  He may pick up an idea or two about presidential leadership.

Pres Obama is in a difficult situation.  

He got reelected with generalities and telling a lot people what they wanted to hear.  For example, he wants to tax the rich?  Unfortunately, taxing the rich won't get us enough money to pay the bills.

At the same time, his left wing does not want compromise on entitlement reform.  

Reality, not the GOP, will force both sides to address spending.   We are spending way too much money, i.e. borrowing 40 cents of every dollar!

Pres BO should put everything on the table and tell the country that we can't kick the can forward anymore.   He may anger his base but win over people like me who want to see spending cut.  

He needs to go for the big play just like Lincoln did with the 13th amendment.



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Monday, November 26, 2012

Aren't you happy that the smart team is running our foreign policy?

My favorite quote of the week is from John at Power Line:

"All I can say is, it’s a good thing we now have such smart diplomacy! If Obama, Clinton, Susan Rice and others weren’t so smart, things might go really badly in Egypt and the Middle East."

Yes, aren't you happy about that?

This is the 'smart crowd" that came in committed to changing the "dumb" policies of Pres Bush.  Unfortunately, they've projected weakness and the region is a mess,, specially Egypt.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Aggies finish the season in style


Congratulations to the Texas A&M Aggies.  They team finished the 2012 season in style.

They won't play for the national championship but The Cotton Bowl would be great.  Of course, Johnny Manziel could win the Heisman and that would be the sweetest of them all.

Great year Aggies.  What a way to get started in the SEC.  I still wish that we had the annual Texas vs Texas A&M game but this was a wonderful season.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa


We continued our series of shows about Cubans in the US.  Our guest was Fernando Hernandez, author of "The Cubans".  

We discussed the life and times Celia Cruz, the great Cuban singer known as "La reina de la salsa". 

She started in Cuban radio, then became the lead singer for La Sonora Matancera, the greatest Cuban orchestra of the 1940s and 1950s.  In the 1970s, Celia went global and her tours were sold out everywhere.

Celia's music touched all of us Cubans in the US:




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Friday, November 23, 2012

JFK: 49 years later

Hard to believe but it was 49 years ago:

"President John F. Kennedy is shot and killed as his motorcade drives through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy's suspected assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was believed to have used a mail-order rifle in order to shoot the president from the sixth story window of the Texas School Book Depository."

Yes, I remember this day.  We were in Cuba and I recall laying down on the living room floor.  The phone rang and my mom answered.  She said "Kennedy has been shot".  I recall silence and then my father came home a bit latter.

Later that day, I watched Castro on TV talking about the assasination.  I did not really understand the ramifications of the day's events but my dad watched TV and seemed worried.

We sat around and listened to "The Voice of America" in Spanish.  I think that many people thought that Castro would be blamed and Cuba invaded.

It just does not seem possible that it happened 49 years ago. 


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving and GO COWBOYS



We wish everybody a great Thanksgiving Day.....enjoy your family and GO COWBOYS......what is better than Thanksgiving and a Dallas-Washington game?

WE WISH EVERYBODY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  Check out our Wednesday night and hear our Thanksgiving thoughts:

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Texas: Status of State Health Insurance Exchanges

ARRA News Service: ObamaCare Exchanges Are NOT A Done Deal! Our Partners at Americans For Limited Government are tracking updates as they occur. The following is the most current information as of 3:16 PM Eastern on November 19.
By John Vinci — Governors and other state officials, across the states, are deciding whether their state will establish a Health Insurance Exchange. The Department of Health and Human Services has given States until Friday, December 14, 2012 to decide. We have been following this issue closely and here’s the status of the states as best as we can tell
.... [Full Report]

Brief Summary:
- 20 States NOT establishing a State Exchange This includes Texas!
- 11 Undecided States.
- 3 States opting to establish a federal “partnership” Exchange.
- Presently, only 16 States plan to establish a State Exchange.

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ICJ makes an awful decision regarding Colombia

We are appalled about the ICJ decision regarding Colombia:

"Colombia yesterday lost its battle to retain the Caribbean waters that surround the islands of the San Andrés archipelago following an unexpected ruling by International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague.
The ICJ has handed Daniel Ortega's Nicaragua sovereignty over important fishing routes and maritime territory expected to be rich in oil and gas.

The archipelago, part of Colombia for over 200 years, has long been the victim of Nicaraguan aggression and 11 years ago the Pastrana government accepted the jurisdiction of the ICJ to mediate in the dispute."


Pres Santos should refuse to obey this decision.  He should also be willing to use military force to keep the islands.

Moral of the story:  Stay away from these international courts on matters of sovereignty.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Help wanted: Looking for journalists to cover Pres Obama

Pres BO should do a press conference every day.  Perhaps the media will get angry and they will actually do their jobs.

A few days, Pres BO held his first press conference in 8 months.  However, the "in the tank" media was apparently OK with that.

We are still waiting for reporters to ask Pres BO difficult questions about Libya or how he is going to pay for all of those promises that he made in the campaign.

Again, we need journalists for the White House Press Corps because most of them are just in the tank for Obama.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Pres BO & Dems are promoting a culture of dependency in the Hispanic community

There is a lot of talk about Hispanics and the GOP.  However, Hispanics are slowly becoming very dependent on government services.  Like blacks, many Hispanics are becoming more and more dependent on government.

Ross Douthat wrote a great column today about the election and the Dems:

"Consider the Hispanic vote. Are Democrats winning Hispanics because they put forward a more welcoming face than Republicans do — one more in keeping with America’s tradition of assimilating migrants yearning to breathe free? Yes, up to a point. 

But they’re also winning recent immigrants because those immigrants often aren’t assimilating successfully — or worse, are assimilating downward, thanks to rising out-of-wedlock birthrates and high dropout rates

The Democratic edge among Hispanics depends heavily on these darker trends: the weaker that families and communities are, the more necessary government support inevitably seems."

The Dem party is pandering and winning elections by enabling this destructive behavior. 

We don't need a GOP that panders for votes like the Dems.  We need serious GOP leaders who point out that the Hispanic community is destroying itself with "young girls having babies" and "young men dropping out of high school".

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Martin Dihigo, Hall of Fame baseball player

We remember today the life and times of Martin Dihigo, the great Cuban player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Dihigo was born in 1905 and played in the Negro Leagues from 1923-47:

"Martin Dihigo was perhaps the most versatile player in baseball history. 

Known as El Maestro, he played all nine positions skillfully. Dihigo became a national institution in his native Cuba but also starred in many other countries, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela and also spent 12 seasons in the Negro leagues. 

Playing in the Mexican League in 1938, he went 18-2 and led the league with a 0.90 ERA, while also winning the batting crown with a .387 mark."

Dihigo was 42 by the time that Jackie Robinson broke "the color line" in 1947.    We do know that Buck Leonard, the legendary player and manager of the Kansas City Monarchs said this:

"He was the greatest all-around player I know. I say he was the best player of all time, black or white. He could do it all."

He hit .304 over a 12 year career in the Negro Leagues 

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Latin America, free trade, Pres BO's 2nd term and is Pres Uribe serious about being a Senator?

A few months ago, or the Cartagena summit, we heard very serious complaints about the lack of a US-Latin America.  Unfortunately, the Cartagena summit was overwhelmed with prostitution stories and no one paid attention to complex issues.  We did not get to hear the complaints that Pres BO does not have a Latin America policy or strategy.

During the campaign, Gov Romney mentioned Latin America in the context of expanding trade and creating jobs.  Pres BO did not mention it much much unless he was taking credits for free trade agreements approved under Pres Bush.

Overall, we did not really a serious discussion of Latin America.   Let's hope that Pres BO remembers Latin America in his 2nd term.

On another topic, I just read that former Pres Uribe is thinking about running for the Colombian Senate.

Frankly, I hope that he doesn't.  It would be a mistake for a former president to go the Senate.  Pres Uribe should run for president again if he wants to play a role in Colombia's future.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

A lot of bad stuff is happening all over

As we focus on our own fiscal "cliff" and the new Petraeus/Libya scandal, the world is not quiet.

In Europe, the Euro-Zone economy took another turn southThis is from Ed Morrissey of Hot Air:

"The debt crisis dragged the euro zone into its second recession since 2009 in the third quarter despite modest growth in Germany andFrance,  data showed on Thursday.
The two leading economies both managed 0.2 percent growth in the July-to-September period.
But the resilience could not save the austerity-hit 17-nation bloc from overall contraction as the likes of The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Austria shrank.
Economic output in the euro zone fell 0.1 percent in the quarter, following a 0.2-percent drop in the second quarter.
Those two quarters of contraction put the euro zone’s 9.4 trillion euro ($12 trillion) economy in recession, although Italy and Spain have been contracting for a year already and Greece is suffering an outright depression."
Weekly jobless claims sparked up to 438,000!  That's not good. 

There is now talk of war in the Middle East.  Rockets hit Israel and there are 3 dead!  The whole region may be falling apart at one time, a situation that could turn into Obama's nightmare.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Remembering Juan Gonzalez

We recall that Juan Gonzalez won his first MVP award in 1996.  He beat Alex Rodriguez by 3 votes.

Juan Gonzalez played with the Rangers from 1991 to 1999.  He was an amazing player and a key component of the Rangers' divisional titles in '96, '98 and '99.

His HR totals were amazing:   He hit 296 Hrs & 1059 RBIs from 1991 to 1999.    Juan was one of the best run producers of the 1990s. 

Juan was traded to Detroit after the '99 season.  He was never the same player due to injuries and other issues.   

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Free trade with Latin America PLUS the Petraeus scandal

We spent some time on Tuesday night talking about free trade with Latin America PLUS the General Petraeus scandal.

Our first guest was Michael Prada-Krackow, The International Center for Democracy.

In Segment 2, we will be joined by Leslie Eastman (Temple of Mut) & Barry Jacobsen to discuss the Petraeus/CIA scandal.

We discussed NAFTA and the Colombia FTA.  Michael gives NAFTA mixed grades because of manufacturing job losses in the US.  At the same time, he is more positive about the Colombia FTA.

Leslie & Barry joined me for a discussion of the Petraeus scandal.  

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hispanos will sadly learn again that "Santa Claus Obama" can not bring all of those gifts that he promised.....

Another election and more in the love affair between Hispanics and Pres Obama.  

Hispanos are like the woman who keeps hoping that her man will change, change, change but never does.  Why should he change when she continues to enable his behavior with blind support?   

I should add that the "blind love" does not apply to Cubans or Cuban Americans.  We voted for Romney, a reflection of our political maturity and ability to smell a "hope and change charlatan" a mile away.

My guess is that many Hispanics did not like Gov Romney's posture on immigration.  In sum, Gov Romney believes that immigration laws should be respected and that open borders are a national security threat.

On the other hand, Pres BO made general statements, slogans and never really put a specific proposal on the table.  Again, he just "serenaded" a lot of Hispanics more than willing to be seduced by rhetoric and promises of this and that.

We learned in this campaign that Pres BO wants immigration reform but we just don't know what the details are.

The election is over, Pres BO won and we will now wait for the Dem party to do something tangible.

My guess is that Hispanics will once again learn that Dems are better at talking about immigration reform than getting all of their interests to come together and govern. 

The Dallas Morning News reminds us today that Dems have huge problems too:

"Reform is not a slam dunk on the Democratic side, however. Entrenched interests linked to organized labor have long been leery of immigration measures that could threaten hard-fought gains on the minimum wage. Some of those same labor interests were instrumental, particularly in Ohio, in handing Obama his victory last Tuesday.

Do Democrats dare risk alienating those voters to address immigration?"

Of course, the real challenge for the GOP is that many Hispanics want more government.   Heather McDonald wrote about this:

"And a strong reason for that support for big government is that so many Hispanics use government programs. U.S.-born Hispanic households in California use welfare programs at twice the rate of native-born non-Hispanic households. And that is because nearly one-quarter of all Hispanics are poor in California, compared to a little over one-tenth of non-Hispanics. Nearly seven in ten poor children in the state are Hispanic, and one in three Hispanic children is poor, compared to less than one in six non-Hispanic children. One can see that disparity in classrooms across the state, which are chock full of social workers and teachers’ aides trying to boost Hispanic educational performance. "

The GOP's message of less government runs into the tragic reality of a Hispanic community with more single mothers and poverty. 

Here is the bottom line:  The Dems "Santa Claus" message runs into the reality that we are broke, i.e. we don't have the money to pay for all of these programs. 

Unfortunately, there are too many Hispanics who want to believe in Santa Claus just a bit longer!  We wish them well with their new Santa Claus in the White House.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

A very polarized nation awaits Pres BO's second term

Pres BO won the election and we will once again be part of the loyal opposition. 

Yes, the GOP has to do better with Hispanics and Asians.  At the same time, let's not overreact to a very and very close election.

Jim Geraghty of National Review reminds us of just how close this election really was:

"On Wednesday, I added up Obama’s margin in a few key states, to get a sense of just how agonizingly short the Romney campaign finished from 270 electoral votes.

Some of those straggling precincts have reported, and so here is an updated set of numbers, according to the results this morning on the New York Timesresults map:
Florida: 73,858
Ohio: 103,481
Virginia: 115,910
Colorado: 113,099
Those four states, with a collective margin of, 406,348 for Obama, add up to 69 electoral votes. Had Romney won 407,000 or so additional votes in the right proportion in those states, he would have 275 electoral votes.
Obama’s margin in some other key states:
Nevada: 66,379
Iowa: 88,501
New Hampshire: 40,659
At this hour, 120,556, 279 votes for Obama and Romney have been counted nationwide."

This election came down to 407,000 votes out of 120 million!

I am not very good in math but that's a very close election.

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