Sunday, June 30, 2013

Austin, TX like Madison, WI - Mob rule


(My new American Thinker post)


What do you do when a bipartisan group of legislators are ready to vote for an abortion restriction?
 
First, you filibuster and turn into the darling of a news media disproportionately in favor of abortion rights. 
 
Second, you fill the gallery with "mobs" who are also disproportionately out of touch with Texas on abortion rights.
 
The net result was "chaos" or the kind of political immaturity that we saw in Madison, Wisconsin.
 
Thanks to Timothy Carney for writing this:
 
"She needed to filibuster because an overwhelming majority of both chambers wanted to pass the bill to protect 20-week in-utero babies. And 62 percent of Texans polled support a ban on 20-week abortions. Overwhelmingly, Americans think babies in the second and third trimesters ought to be protected by law. And it wasn't just a lone woman standing against the civil-rights views of her colleagues and fellow Texans. It was a loud, yelling mob, preventing the workings of representative democracy."

Wendy & the mob shut down the elected representatives of Texas.  In other words, the legislators on the floor were elected by the people.  God only knows about the screamers in the gallery.  Are they from Texas or were they "bused in" like other protesters in Madison!

Wendy won't succeed the next time.  She, and the mob, benefited from the chaos.  Governor Perry won't let that happen in the next session.

Click here for Saturday's show with Tom Washington of the Texas GOP:



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Happy #50 to "Blame it on the bossa nova"


Another one of those "time flies" posts:  Let's remember "Blame it on the bossa nova" by Eydie Gorme.
Frankly, I don't remember this song but it was an entertaining and still gets a lot of airplay many years later.  It is a great dancing song!  I would file this one under "novelty pop songs"!
Eydie Gorme enjoyed a great career.  She recorded many songs with her husband, Steve Lawrence, and an LP of Spanish ballads with Trio Los Panchos. 

Click here for the song:


"I was at a dance When he caught my eye
Standing all alone Lookin' sad and shy
We began to dance Swaying to and fro
And soon I knew I'd never let him go
Blame it on the bossa nova With it's magic spell
Blame it on the bossa nova That he did so well
Oh it all began with just one little dance
But soon it ended up a big romance
Blame it on the bossa nova The dance of love
Now was it the moon No no the bossa nova
Or the stars above No no the bossa nova
Now was it the tune Yea yea the bossa nova
The dance of love
Now I'm glad to say I'm his bride to be
And we're gonna raise a family
And when our kids ask How it came about
I gonna say to them with out a doubt....

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy birthday Babalu!

Over the last years, Babalu has impacted me in three important ways:

First, it provides those of us who don't live in Miami with a steady flow of news from Cuba.  Babalu is like my Cuban coffee every morning.

Second, I've had the opportunity of making some wonderful friends, from Valentin Prieto to Alberto de la Cruz to Ziva Sahl to Jorge Ponce to Humberto Fontova to Carlos Eire to Henry Gomez to Marta Darby......who did I miss?

Third, Babalu has posted some of my thoughts and radio shows as well.  Thanks for doing that.

Let me congratulate Valentin Prieto for starting Babalu and everyone else for keeping the project alive and well.

How about another 10?  

How about a future celebration in a free Cuba?

P.S.  This is our show with Jorge Ponce, Fausta Wertz & Michael Prada about Babalu: 


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How about playing 'hardball" with Ecuador?

(My new American Thinker post)

Ecuador is playing "hardball" with the US and it's hard to watch:

"Ecuador said Thursday it is renouncing tariff benefits on hundreds of millions of dollars in trade that are up for renewal by the U.S. Congress.

The announcement by Communications Minister Fernando Alvarez comes at a moment when Ecuador faces U.S. pressure to avoid granting asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Alvarez told a news conference that the trade deal had become "a new instrument of blackmail.

"In consequence, Ecuador unilaterally and irrevocably renounces said preferences."

Ecuador is a very nice, beautiful and small country under the very misguided leadership of a Chavez disciple Pres Correa. 

The key is that ".....nearly half Ecuador's foreign trade depends on the U.S."

Let me translate:  They need the US a lot more than we need them!

Furthermore, there is no country that will "bail out" Ecuador, as the USSR did with Cuba after the 1962 Missile Crisis.   The USSR subsidized Cuba for 30 years allowing that economic basket case south of Florida to survive.    The USSR got paid back by having Castro turn into a leftist mouthpiece and sending Cuban troops to fight "the wars of liberation" in Africa.

Correa is not so lucky. 

His disciple Chavez is dead,  Worse than that, Venezuela is broke.  Brazil has protests to worry about.  Argentina is worse off than Venezuela.  Cuba is on the verge of economic collapse.

The bottom line is that there is no one on the phone offering to replace the US as a trade partner.

So let's play "hardball".  

Let's deliver this message:  Grant Snowden asylum and you will have a lot of "flowers, artichokes and broccoli" staying in Ecuador rather than getting consumed in the US.

Let's give President Correa a little broccoli for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Let's see if he can handle the economic distortions that come with it!

Again, it's sad to watch the US getting pushed around like this on the world scene.  I hate it!

Click to hear Friday's show:





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Did they really read the bill?

We just learned something rather strange about the new immigration bill that passed the Senate with 68 votes. 

This is from The Weekly Standard:

"As the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein recently reported: "Under Obamacare, businesses with over 50 workers that employ American citizens without offering them qualifying health insurance could be subject to fines of up to $3,000 per worker. But because newly legalized immigrants wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies on the Obamacare exchanges until after they become citizens – at least 13 years under the Senate bill – businesses could avoid such fines by hiring the new immigrants instead."

On Tuesday, THE WEEKLY STANDARD asked five U.S. senators about this problem, and none of them knew if it was a problem. "We're trying to solve that right now. I don't know if that's been solved," Senator Max Baucus of Montana (chief author of Obamacare) told THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

"I don't know. I'd have to look at it closely," said Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. "I just haven't read it that closely to know."


Senator Baucus wants to go back and fix it.  Senator Casey did not read it that closely.

Are you kidding me gentlemen?

The obvious problem is ObamaCare.  You can not fix this disparity between US workers and legalized immigrants without adding the latter to ObamaCare.

Frankly, where were the GOP Senators who voted for this?  Why didn't refuse to support it with this clause favoring the newly legalized workers.

This is bad, very bad legislating.  There is something very wrong with a law that discriminates against US workers.

Click here for Friday's show:


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Friday, June 28, 2013

The only climate consensus is that Obama's polls are cooling


(My new American Thinker post)

We've gone from "change that we can believe in" to "executive orders that we can push through."

Well, it's time for another decree and now it's "climate change."

There are problems with all of this consensus about climate change.  Where is the consensus?

The Economist, hardly a member of "The Flat Earth Society," posted an editorial that Valerie Jarret should add to President Obama's morning briefing:

"GLOBAL warming has slowed. The rate of warming of over the past 15 years has been lower than that of the preceding 20 years. There is no serious doubt that our planet continues to heat, but it has heated less than most climate scientists had predicted. Nate Cohn of the New Republic reports: "Since 1998, the warmest year of the twentieth century, temperatures have not kept up with computer models that seemed to project steady warming; they're perilously close to falling beneath even the lowest projections"."

OK, let me confess that I know a lot more about batting averages than climate change. 

At the same time, the definition of consensus is that there is common agreement about something: General agreement or accord.

We were told 15 years ago that the earth's temperatures were going up.  Someone named Gore made a movie about the poles melting and the East Coast flooding.

We are told today that they may be going down. I guess that means that I will be soon wearing a sweater in Texas in July!

That's not consensus!  That's confusion!

There is "real consensus" about one topic: President Obama's polls are cooling!

 His foreign policy is failing for anyone honest enough to take a look

He looks lost, a man without an idea of what to do next!

He is under 50% and that's one number that we can agree on!

So we have confusion about climate change and consensus about President Obama's collapsing political fortunes!

P.S. And we have another consensus:  The US economy stinks, i.e. GDP growth revised to 1.8% in the first quarter!



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"Cubanos in Wisconsin": My interview with Univision Dallas


Thanks to my friends at Univision Dallas for this opportunity to talk politics and present "Cubanos in Wisconsin".

Here is the interview:



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Thursday, June 27, 2013

GDP revised down in 1st quarter (Good time to talk climate change)

As we celebrate the 5th anniversary of "the stimulus", our friend Mr Tepid is back.

Yes, the US economy continues to lack a recovery.  

It has a lot of new regulations, EPA mandates, Obama Care rules that no one understands, a commitment to killing coal and a president who talks climate change rather than telling Putin to release Mr Snowden.

We learned today that the GDP was revised down for the 1st quarter, from 2.5% to a very pathetic 1.8%:

"U.S. economic growth was more tepid than previously estimated in the first quarter, held back by a moderate pace of consumer spending, weak business investment and declining exports.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 1.8 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate on Wednesday. Output was previously reported to have risen at a 2.4 percent pace after a 0.4 percent stall speed in the fourth quarter."

I guess we had another one of those "tepid" quarters!

We need to drone this fellow "tepid"!   


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A chat about Brazil & Colombia


We spoke with  Monica Showalter, Editorial writer for Investor Business Daily  & Michael Prada will tell us about Colombia/FARC negotiations.

Click here for Wednesday's show:


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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kitties open their eyes....what about Obama supporters?


(My new American Thinker post)

According to experts, a kitty cat opens his or her eyes in a few days after birth.  In other words, the little creature can not see his way around and depends on "mama cat" to survive.

What about "yes we can" screamers?  What about people who blindly voted for Obama because he was hip, cool, and the anti-Bush?

Will they open their eyes and see the reality?

The bad news is that there are still a lot of "yes we can" screamers with eyes closed. 

The good news is that Mick Jagger, some media sources and a member of the Irish Parliament have opened her eyes and spoken about it.

Reuters has a story about Obama's incompetence: 
"The Obama administration has spent the past few weeks arguing it can wield power responsibly after Edward Snowden unveiled its sweeping spying programs. Now the administration must prove it can wield power effectively."
 
Ouch!

Even Mick Jagger took a shot at Obama:  "I don't think President Obama is here tonight... But I'm sure he's listening in."  

Is that like "Get off of my cloud"?

Watch thisvideo:  Irish MP Blasts President Obama as 'Hypocrite of the Century'

The MP is angry with President Obama.  I disagree with her characterization of President Obama as "a war criminal".  Using drones to kill terrorist leaders is correct. 

At the same time, she is showing some of the intellectual honesty that her friends in the US left have not. 

This lady is honest whereas too many in the US left are still blindly in love with Obama.

I agree with her about the Western media and what Bernie Goldberg called "a love affair" with Obama.

How many more eyes are opening this year?  We need more because President Obama is failing and failing very badly.

Kitty cats open their eyes.  Let's hope that more and more Obama supporters open theirs!


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Some pretty amazing Game 6 stories

We have a very bad "Game 6" memory in Dallas.  We remember that time when the Rangers came within a strike twice of winning game 6 and the 2011 World Series.

What's up with Game 6 and strange things?

We just watched San Antonio blow a 10-point lead against Miami and lose in overtime.   Miami won a tough game 7.

We just saw Chicago score twice very late in the 3rd period to win the game and The Stanley Cup.

Watch out for Game 6.  It will surprise you.

Click here for Tuesday's sports show:



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Tags: Some pretty amazing Game 6 stories  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Memo to Snowden: They shoot "Snowdens" in Cuba

(My new American Thinker post)

A few days ago, I was willing to cut Mr Snowden a little slack and see him as a principled individual who opposed the NSA's program.  I'm not defending his "leak" but was willing to believe that he did it out of some concern for our privacy rights.

Today, I see him as something else, a traitor, a fool and someone who has chosen some rather interesting countries to hide in. Bad company to say the least!

Does Mr Snowden know who he is hanging around with these days?  They are not leaders who treat their "Snowdens" nicely. 

Maybe Mr Snowden should have read this from Jill Lawrence:

"CUBA: Human Rights Watch calls Cuba "the only country in Latin America that represses virtually all forms of political dissent" and says it does so using "short-term detentions, beatings, public acts of repudiation, travel restrictions, and forced exile.

"The government continues to sentence dissidents to one to four-year prison terms in closed, summary trials, and holds others for extended periods without charge," the group says.

Amnesty International noted that Antonio Michel Lima Cruz, released in October after a two-year sentence, had been convicted of "insulting symbols of the homeland" and "public disorder" for singing anti-government songs.

An opposition blogger was blocked from leaving the country for a conference. In addition, " access to information on the Internet remained challenging due to technical limitations and restrictions on content."

VENEZUELA: The power amassed by the government under the late president Hugo Chavez has enabled it to "intimidate, censor, and prosecute Venezuelans who criticize the president or thwart his political agenda," writes Human Rights Watch. Reprisals against government critics have unnerved judges, journalists and human rights defenders. Chavez adopted laws that "dramatically reduce the public's right to obtain information held by the government." In addition, he packed the Supreme Court, which "has largely abdicated its role as a check on executive power." Voters narrowly chose a hand-picked Chavez ally to succeed Chavez in a disputed April election.

ECUADOR: This is the country that gave asylum last summer to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks. He is now advising Snowden from inside the embassy of Ecuador in London, where he has been for a year."

Of course, let's not forget Russia and China, the other two in the mix.  

I don't know why Mr Snowden chose this route.  My guess is that he would have been better off in a US court arguing that the NSA program violates the 4th amendment.  He would have also forced President Obama to explain the reasons for these programs.  It could have turned into a "teachable moment" as Mr Obama likes to say.

Instead, he chose to hang around with people who don't practice any of the privacy concerns that Mr Snowden is concerned about.

Memo to Mr Snowden:  They shoot people like you in Cuba!

Click here for Monday's show: 



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The Rangers back on top of the AL West

What a difference a week makes!

A week ago, we were wondering about the Rangers.  Some even wondered if the Rangers would crash and fade in the AL West.

Today, the Rangers are back in first place after taking 3 of 4 from Oakland and sweeping St Louis.

The season is not over and there may be a another bad week in the future.  Nevertheless, you have to say "thumbs up" to the team and their ability to turn it around.

The Rangers play New York (Yankees) and Cincinnati next.  It should be another tough test of this team's depth and pitching.

Last, but not least, Ron Washington is making a very good case for Manager of the Year.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Nobody respects Obama!

(My new American Thinker post)


A few days after an under whelming trip to Europe, President Obama faces another leadership test.  I just hope that there is someone in this White House who can get past Valerie Jarrett and tell President Obama that he is not doing very well in these leadership tests.  In fact, he is doing very poorly.

The Snowden episode is the latest example that "hope and change" is an "oldie" but not a "goodie."

First, we apparently did not do the paperwork correctly to get Mr Snowden extradited.  Hong Kong is saying that we presented the the wrong forms, or that they did not comply with their law. 

Wrong forms? How many of these forms are there anyway?  The US is saying that there was nothing wrong with the paperwork.

The problem is that we look really stupid arguing with Hong Kong about paperwork.  This is dumber than the IRS sending 23,000 checks to the same address!

Second, no one is afraid of the US and that is very bad for the world's only superpower. 

Ecuador, a small country in South America, is now spitting in our face.  We should be warning Ecuador about drastic consequences to our relationship if they allow Snowden to land in their country. Ecuador may listen now that Chavez is dead.

Cuba, a country asking us to end the embargo and bail out the communist regime, is not showing a lot of respect either.   President Obama should tell the State Department to stop travel visas to Cuba and freeze remittances to the island.

Venezuela, the country that Secretary Kerry was talking to a couple of weeks, is not showing a lot of respect either.    Wonder how Secretary Kerry feels about his "lifeline" now?

This is unacceptable.  Unfortunately, this is what happens when nobody respects the president of the US.   Click for our Sunday show with Bill Katz of Urgent Agenda:



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President "Mute" Obama needs to explain how Snowden got away

Mr Snowden is apparently headed to Caracas, Quito or Havana, or at least that's the latest news story.

Over the next few days, we will know more of Mr Snowden's destination.

I think that President Obama must speak very bluntly to Havana, Quito & Caracas about harboring Mr Snowden.  I hope that he also told Mr Putin & the leaders of China that we are not happy with their performances either.

Last, but not least, we are now hearing that our "paperwork" to extradite him from Hong Kong was incomplete.

If so, is anyone going to get fired over that?

President Obama is off to a very rough second term.  It is unacceptable to hear that Snowden got away because we got the paperwork wrong or because the Russian are not playing ball.

Click here for Sunday's show:


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Sunday, June 23, 2013

HELP WANTED: The IRS looking for a mail room supervisor



(My new American Thinker post)

This is one of those stories that you have to read and check twice to make sure it's not some delayed April Fools Day joke.

Guess what government agency needs a little "mail room quality control"?  or what agency doesn't seem to care just how much they spend on postage?

The answer is the IRS, the "Star Trek" or "line dancing IRS"!

Here is the story:  The IRS mailed 23,994 refund checks to the same address in Atlanta.

Wonder what the neighborhood mail man said about that?  Did he notice a heavier bag or a stuffed mail box?  Did he bring it to the attention of his supervisor?  What did the IRS mail room do when thousands of "return to sender" letters came from the same address?

Frankly, does anyone care?

The story gets better, if that's possible:  The IRS sent 11,284 refunds to a 2nd address.....3,608 to a 3rd and 2,386 to a fourth address.  All of the checks were refunds for illegal aliens.

At some point, the IRS will have to come clean and admit that there are some real operational problems.  Otherwise, the IRS will continue to lose support among those who write checks payable to the IRS every year.

The IRS has collected millions of dollars over the year because people trust the integrity of the agency.

The IRS's integrity, and competence, are at stake today.  Let's hope that someone tells President Obama that he can't continue to "vote present" on this scandal.


Click here for Sunday's show with Bill Katz:



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Remembering the sounds of "Mr Tambourine Man"

On this day in 1965, The Byrds' unique guitars and Bob Dylan's music came together and the result was 'Mr Tambourine Man", one of the most interesting songs of the decade:

"Released on this day in 1965, the Byrds' debut album, Mr. Tambourine Man, marked the beginning of the folk-rock revolution. 

In just a few months, the Byrds had become a household name, with a #1 single and a smash-hit album that married the ringing guitars and backbeat of the British Invasion with the harmonies and lyrical depth of folk to create an entirely new sound.

Perhaps someone else could have listened to the bright guitar lines of the Beatles' "Ticket To Ride" and to Bob Dylan's original "Mr. Tambourine Man" and had the idea of somehow combining the two, but neither of those recordings existed when the Byrds' Roger McGuinn devised his group's new sound. Newly signed to Columbia Records, the Byrds had access to an early demo version of "Mr. Tambourine Man" even before their label-mate Bob Dylan had had a chance to record it for his own upcoming album. On January 20, 1965, they entered the studio to record what would become the title track of their debut album and, incidentally, the only Bob Dylan song ever to reach #1 on the U.S. pop charts. Aiming consciously for a vocal style in between Dylan's and Lennon's, McGuinn sang lead, with Gene Clark and David Crosby providing the complex harmony that would, along with McGuinn's jangly electric 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, form the basis of the Byrds' trademark sound.


That sound, which would influence countless groups from Big Star to the Bangles in decades to come, had an immediate and profound impact on the Byrds' contemporaries, and even on the artists who'd inspired it in the first place. "Wow, man, you can even dance to that!" was Bob Dylan's reaction to hearing what the Byrds' had done with "Mr. Tambourine Man." 

Just days before the hugely influential album of the same name was released to the public on June 21, 1965, Dylan himself would be in a New York recording studio with an electric guitar in his hands, putting the finishing touches on "Like A Rolling Stone" and setting the stage for his controversial "Dylan goes electric" performance at the Newport Folk Festival just one month later." 

Click here for The Byrds and "Mr Tambourine Man":


"Hey Mister Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there ain't no place I'm goin' to
Hey Mister Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning, I'll come following' you

Take me for a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship
All my senses have been stripped
And my hands can't feel to grip
And my toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wandering'

I'm ready to go anywhere I'm ready for to fade
On to my own parade cast your dancin' spell my way
I promise to go under it

Hey Mister Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I'm not sleepy and there ain't no place I'm goin' to
Hey Mister Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning, I'll come following' you....."

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Can President Obama turn public opinion on ObamaCare?




(My new American Thinker post)

The Obama White House was supposed to spend the summer of 2013 preparing the nation for the arrival of The Affordable Health Care Act.

Instead, they are spending most of their time on other stuff:

1) The scandals, from the IRS to Prism to the NSA to the reporters.  Don't blame this White House if they are all walking around repeating the expression that "when it rains it pours".  It's really pouring right now!

2) ObamaCare is going through its own little storm:

The "exchanges" are behind schedule.    Young people may not get on board.   Small businesses are not hiring because of the uncertainties.  The "law" continues to be unpopular.  

My guess is that the unpopularity of the law may be somewhat a reflection of how disorganized and behind schedule everything is. 

How would rate a company that promised you something by October and is way behind schedule?   Would you recommend their services to a neighbor or sue them for failing to perform?

Even Joe Klein called it "incompetence" not long ago! 

At some point, incompetence starts taking its toll, specially when the topic is health care!  I don't think that this administration understands that health care is a very sensitive matter to most people.

ObamaCare has a horrible "big brother" quality to it.  It smacks of a government running your most personal concerns.   The best example of this is The  Independent Payment Advisory Board.

 Who is this board accountable to?    My guess is that most Americans are very uncomfortable with the recent episode regarding 10-year old Sarah Murnaghan! 

Do we want government making those life and death decisions?   I don't!

At the end of the day, the real problem is affordability.  ObamaCare was sold as a "cost-saver", a plan that would make health care more affordable for most Americans.  The reality is different, as we read in this Journal Times editorial:

"Despite assurances from Democrats that the national health care plan will drive down health care costs, the evidence is increasingly telling the opposite tale.
In Colorado, for instance, insurance companies just submitted plans to the state that show group insurance costs will rise from 13 percent to 30 percent, but individual insurance costs could go up from 60 percent to 120 percent.

Similarly, in Ohio, the average individual-market health insurance premium is now projected at about $420 per month next year — up 88 percent from this year’s rates.

And California? The land of moonbeams lived up to its flaky reputation last month when Peter Lee, the director of the state insurance exchange, trumpeted statistics that he said showed Calfornia’s rates next year for small employer plans would range from 2 percent above to 29 percent below the current market.

“This is a home run for consumers in every region of California,” Lee crowed. “These rates are well below the worst-case gloom and doom scenarios we have heard.”

Home run? More like a foul ball. Conservative economist Avik Roy looked at California’s numbers and quickly called them on it. Roy said California was comparing apples to oranges — looking at the individual market and comparing it to small-employer group plans which have already been subjected to regulations similar to those of the ACA.

When Roy did an apples to apples comparison of the rates, he found that a typical 25-year-old California man will be paying 64 percent to 117 percent more than under the five cheapest policies sold in the state today.

That’s more than double in some cases.

As we get closer and closer to 2014, we expect individuals and small businesses in particular will be finding to their dismay that — for them, at least — the “Affordable” Care Act’s title is a misnomer that will prove very costly."

Exchanges behind schedule and so called "death panels" will make it tough.  However, it's the affordability of The Affordable Health Care Act that will be its undoing! 

Check out our Saturday show:



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