Friday, July 31, 2015

"Hope and change" has turned into lousy GDP growth

(My new American Thinker post)


Here we go again.    Another round of disappointing economic news in year 7 of "hope and change" and summer 6 of the stimulus.     

According to The Wall Street Journal, there is not a lot to cheer "yes we can" about: 
"The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.3% seasonally adjusted annual pace in the second quarter.
If the number sounds familiar, there’s a good reason.
The economy has been growing at about that pace for six years. From the end of the recession in mid-2009 through the end of last year the economy grew at a 2.2% annual pace."
 It gets more depressing: 
"The economic expansion—already the worst on record since World War II—is weaker than previously thought, according to revised data.
 From 2012 through 2014, the economy grew at a rate of 2.0% annually.
 That’s a 0.3 percentage-point downgrade from prior estimates."
We will probably hear from the Obama administration that this is because the GOP has been blocking the President's agenda or that climate change has made winters longer and more unbearable.   (Or is it that summers are longer?)

I don't know about the climate but I do know that President Obama passed the "stimulus" with huge majorities in the US Congress.   I'm sure we all remember that VP Biden was put in charge of overseeing the stimulus back in the summer of 2009.

These bad numbers mean that the 2016 GOP message must be about growth and more growth.   The US economy has a bad case of inertia.   Nobody is pumped up and that's what these numbers are telling me.

The 2016 GOP nominee must explain how tax reform, cutting back regulations, repealing Obama Care and expanding "fair trade" will make life better for all.     

The Democrats will spin their class warfare vinyl on the turntable.  

It's up to the GOP to present a clear message that explains how these ideas will mean better jobs and stronger communities. 

P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.




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A look at the latest GDP 2nd quarter numbers with Frank Burke





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Thursday, July 30, 2015

"In God we trust" signed into law in 1956

President Eisenhower made it legal in 1956:
"On this day in 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase “under God” inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a law officially declaring “In God We Trust” to be the nation’s official motto. The law, P.L. 84-140, also mandated that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency. The phrase had been placed on U.S. coins since the Civil War when, according to the historical association of the United States Treasury, religious sentiment reached a peak."
It was a good day for the US.




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Senator Leahy taking Godfather II way too seriously

(My new American Thinker post)


Let me say two things about the movie Godfather II and Cuba:  

1)  It's a great movie; and,

2)  It does not tell you the truth about the night Batista left.

Yes, Batista fled Cuba in the wee hours of January 1, 1959.  It happened as most Cubans were celebrating the New Year or sleeping.  There were no Americans rushing to their boats or rebels ready to blow themselves up.

How do I know this?   I was a boy but my parents remember the events of that night rather well.   They were on the phone for hours talking with friends and listening to the radio (and TV) about Batista's departure.

I bring this to your attention because of Senator Leahy's rather obnoxious remarks about Cuban Americans.    This is from our friends at Capitol Hill Cubans: 
"Positive change in Cuba will take time. But it will come not as a result of stubborn nostalgia by a vociferous few for the Batista years, but by visiting Cuba, listening to the Cuban people, and engaging with them."
This mindset is the reason why Senator Leahy sees no problemignoring Cuban dissidents or peddling favors for a Cuban spyconvicted for the murder of Americans.
Leahy is still fighting the 1959 Revolution, regurgitating Castro's propaganda and whitewashing its behavior.
Ironically, all three Cuban-American Senator's families (Cruz, Menendez and Rubio) fled the Batista dictatorship, prior to being betrayed by the Castro dictatorship.
The fact is Cuban-Americans simply want to see their homeland and brethren free.
But Leahy prefers to ignorantly stereotype and insult our community.
Sadly, this is one of the main architects of Obama's new Cuba policy. 
Senator Leahy's is beyond stupid and ignorant.   It is an insult to the thousands who fought Batista and then broke with the Castro dictatorship when he turned communist.

Again, let me tell you about my parents.   They opposed Batista from the moment that he overthrew an elected government in 1953.    They cheered when President Eisenhower cut the military assistance to Batista in 1958.   My parents were hopeful that the arrival of Castro would put Cuba back on the path to elections and the 1940 Constitution.

Yes, our family opposes this arrangement with Cuba.   We are not nostalgic for anything.   We want to see human rights and the rule of law in Cuba.   

Shame on Senator Leahy and remember this post the next time you watch Godfather II.


P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



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Wednesday: "Che" merchandise, Mexico and El Chapo, Oil scandals in Brazil, Crime in Venezuela & US-Cuba talks




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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A few new questions for Obama

(My new American Thinker post)


As we know, Governor Huckabee has caused a bit of an uproar for bringing the Holocaust or Hitler into the political conversation.   

My guess is that Mr Huckabee could have said the same a bit different but his point about a naive foreign policy is correct.   

He is also right about Iran's commitment to the destruction of Israel.   

Google "Iran wants to destroy Israel" and you will spend hours reading how the Iranian regime is bent on eliminating Israel.

Even President Obama got a question in a press conference in Africa.   Other GOP candidates have been asked about the comments on the campaign trail.

I'm OK with the question but not the selective indignation of the media.  

For example, did President Obama get a question about the Planned Parenthood videos?   I'd be interested in hearing his reactions to these repulsive videos that treat babies like auto parts.   Does he think that laws were broken or that the organization should continue to get public funds?  Does he support late term abortion?  

Did he get a question about the performance at a recent meeting where two Democrats were shouted down?    Does he agree with the behavior of the crowd?    What lives matter to the president?   Does he see divisions in his party?  What does he think of people who insult speakers and take over the stage?

Finally, what about recent reports regarding Secretary Clinton and classified information?   Is President Obama concerned that his conversations, or even schedule, was compromise because of a private server?   

Maybe he will get one of these questions at the next conference, whenever that is.   Nevertheless, the media bias argument gets stronger by the day.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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A look at US-Cuba talks with Jorge Ponce & Alain Castillo




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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vincent's Seafood is closing after many years


It's hard to believe but Vincent's Seafood is closing after many years.  It was a wonderful place to eat seafood.   Best of all, it is a great immigrant story!   





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Bugs Bunny turns 70 and a couple of perfect games on this day





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What happens when The Pope sounds like Bernie Sanders?

(My new American Thinker post)

Pope Francis has bad polls, specially from people who don't understand why His Holiness sounds like a Latin American leftist.    
According to Leslie Eastman, Pope Francis is having a hard time selling his message to people in the US:  
"Despite the fact that poll numbers are tanking so badly for Hillary Clinton that there is a new movement to draft Joe Biden, it turns out she has some competition for biggest drop in favorability!  New numbers from Gallop for Pope Francis show a significant drop in support for the pontiff. The favorability rating is now at 59%, down from 76% in early 2014.  …The drop in the pope’s favorable rating is driven by a decline among Catholics and political conservatives, two groups that have been ardent supporters of the modern papacy. Seventy-one percent of Catholics say they have a favorable image of Francis, down from 89% last year.  Pope Francis’ drop in favorability is even starker among Americans who identify as conservative — 45% of whom view him favorably, down sharply from 72% last year. This decline may be attributable to the pope’s denouncing of “the idolatry of money” and linking climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality — all issues that are at odds with many conservatives’ beliefs.  Why the plunge? As an independent conservative who is also Catholic, I must admit I am none too thrilled at the attacks on capitalism as a “structurally perverse” global economic system. I assert that these remarks that are too political and secular for a man who should be focused on more spiritual matters."
It's wonderful, and I would argue necessary, for Pope Francis to remind us that there are pockets of poverty all over the world.  
At the same time, Pope Francis is shooting at the wrong target.  
We do not have too much capitalism in the Third World.   On the contrary, we have a bad case of "crony capitalism", or the corrupt relationship that develops between elected leaders and big businessmen in places like Brazil and Argentina.   
This is not capitalism.  it is crony capitalism, or something totally different.  
Pope Francis should say something different, such as the message that Peruvian economist Hernando De Soto has been writing about:   
"De Soto tells these heads of state that their poor citizens are lacking formal legal title to their property and are unable to use their assets as collateral. They cannot get bank loans to expand their businesses or improve their properties. He and his colleagues calculate the amount of “dead capital” in untitled assets held by the world’s poor as “at least $9.3 trillion“—a sum that dwarfs the amount of foreign aid given to the developing world since 1945.  Hernando de Soto has truly revolutionized our understanding of the causes of wealth and poverty. While many scholars have pointed to and explained the importance of property rights to rising living standards, de Soto has asked the hard question of what it takes to get the state to recognize the property rights that function within the communities of the poor. Can they transform the mere physical “extralegal” control of assets into capital, a key to sustained economic development?  De Soto affirmed that they can attain legal status and developed a guide to the “capitalization process” for poor countries. In his activism and in his books The Other Path and The Mystery of Capital, Hernando de Soto has done much more than apply the lessons of economics to old problems; he has asked new questions and provided both new understanding and new hope for transforming poverty into wealth."
Like many of you, I was thrilled to hear of a Latin American Pope.    Unfortunately, Pope Francis seems to have more in common with Latin American secular leftists who hate the Vatican than people like me who are practicing Catholics and understand basic economics.
P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Europe, California and Pope Francis with Leslie Eastman




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Monday, July 27, 2015

The all-Cuban triple play in baseball


(My new Babalu post)

A little baseball history to distract us from the horrific stories coming out of Cuba.
On July 23, 1960, 3 Cubans playing for the Washington Senators made baseball history.   They were involved in the only Cuban to Cuban to Cuban triple play.   I’m sure that it is the only “all latino” triple play too.   I couldn’t find any other example of 3 latinos turning a triple play.
The 3 players were pitcher Pedro Ramos, shortstop Jose Valdivielso and first baseman Julio Becquer.   Whitey Herzog, future manager with the Kansas City Royals and St Louis Cardinals, hit the ball back to Ramos, who went to first and then second.
A little more about the game.   The Senators became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.  The Kansas City A’s moved to Oakland in 1968.
Ramos won 117 games but pitched for very bad teams.   I wrote a post about him earlier when he turned 80.  Becquer had a fine glove but hit only .244 with the Senators and later the Twins.     Valdivielso hit .219 and was primarily a part-time player.
Another Cuban, Camilo Pascual, watched the proceedings from the dugout.
My thanks to Fernando Hernandez, author of “The Cubans” for bringing this to my attention.  By the way, his book is full of stories of Cubans in the US, from Celia Cruz to Desi Arnaz to lots of other less known Cubans who left their footprints.

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Gay rights for Kenya, no human rights for Cuba

(My new American Thinker)

Last week, we saw the US flag go up in Havana but more and more dissidents were arrested and subjected to repression, the one thing that the Castro regime does real well.   Sunday July 26th was a bad day for dissidents, as Marc Masferrer reported.




No protests from The White House.  In fact, the silence is embarassing.


Yesterday, President Obama went to Kenya and lectured his father's homeland about gay rights, illegal in that country.

First, Kenya actually has the same position on same sex marriage that candidate Obama did in 2008.  Before the rainbow lights went on in the White House, candidate Obama said this about same sex marriage:
"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage."
Second, why all of a sudden is President Obama talking "gay rights" in Kenya and silent about human rights in Cuba? or women's rights in Iran?  or gay rights in both countries?

My guess is that he is once again pandering to the left back here.  He needs for them to show up in 2016.  

It may be good politics but lousy for the people of Cuba and Iran!   


Speaking of human rights in Cuba, half of Cuba's field hockey team defected at the PanAm games.    They didn't get the memo that change was coming to Cuba.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



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The week in review with Bill Katz, editor of Urgent Agenda




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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Iran nuclear deal go to the UN before US Congress with Frank Burke




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The defeat of The Spanish Armada and its consequences with Barry Jacobsen




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Looking at Cuba with Jorge Ponce and Marc Masferrer....




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US-Latin America stories of the week with Fausta Rodriguez Wertz




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Listen to Trump and his supporters




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Summer reading: Out of Cuba: Memoir of a journey by Regina Anavy




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Happy birthday Mick!


It's hard to think of rock music without Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones.

Along with Keith Richards, Mick Jagger wrote some great rock tunes, and a couple of ballads here and there. (We saluted Keith Richards: Happy # 65 to Keith Richards)

Happy birthday Mick! You look great for a 72-year old rocker!

Thanks for all of those great tunes! Thanks for turning out to be "the greatest rock'n roll band in the world"!

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The left's chickens have come home to roost


The media is obsessed with telling us about the GOP's internal problems, from the Trump factor to Rand Paul going libertarian.   In other words, every GOP difference is turned into a civil war and or a bloodbath.   Yet, I find that things are rather peaceful on our side specially when we check out the other guys.

Check out the other team's clubhouse, i.e. Democrats.   They are the ones who are really having a civil war, as Michael Barone points out 
"That trouble was apparent at last weekend's Netroots Nation conference. Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor whose candidacy has made few ripples so far, was faced with "Black Lives Matter" protesters. His response, one that almost all Americans would agree with: "Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter." At which point he was booed off the stage.  Similar treatment was given Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who's been challenging Hillary Clinton's lead in polls in heavily white Iowa and New Hampshire. Sanders emphasizes economic issues — single payer health care, a 90 percent income tax bracket — but he appeals primarily to gentry liberals.    "It would be a terrible mistake for the progressive movement to split into a 'black lives matter' movement and an 'economic justice' movement," laments Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich. But the fact is that the different priorities of gentry liberals and black activists, two heavily Democratic constituencies, are sparking heated arguments."
We will see how these differences play out.    However, we are seeing two important consequences, maybe unintended, of the Obama years:  

1)  Too much of a personality cult and very little substance.   Too much Obama and no effort to expand the party beyond him; and,  

2)  The 2012 reelection was a double edged sword.   On one hand, it was a masterful vote gathering effort to get a bit under 51%.   On the other hand, all of these interest groups are not a governing majority.  The 2012 election left Obama in the White House but did little to develop the kind of farm system that the GOP has put together at the state level.   

The Democrats are the ones at war with each other.   It will get even more intense now that Hillary Clinton won't be skating to the nomination.  

By the way, this civil war is actually not new.  It really started in the late 1990s when the left walked out on Gore in 2000, i.e. 4 million voted for Nader.   It's back and there are probably a lot more than 4 million of them this time!

P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter. 


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Summer time reading: The Chairs by Amarilys Gacio Rassler




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Saturday, July 25, 2015

The GOP will need all of the "Trump-istas" en 2016

(My new American Thinker post)


Put me down as someone who didn't see this Trump thing coming.   Frankly, I wasn't even sure that he'd run.

Well, he is running and doing quite well, even though we are still in the political equivalent of the first game of spring training.   

The Giants won 3 of the last 5 World Series.   Did they win the first game of spring training?   

My point is that this way too early!

Like Perot, Trump has created "Trump-istas", or people who love how that their guy talks back to the media and tells us what he thinks, even if he doesn't always explain what he thinks.

In other words, does anyone believe that Mexico, a GDP the size of Texas, is a threat to the US economy?   Or that all of our trade negotiators are stupid? 

Nevertheless, Trump has touched a nerve and you can't demonize him without turning off the thousands who like what they are hearing.

On immigration, Trump has hit a nerve.   In other words, a lot of Americans are sick and tired of the chaos that comes with anything that is illegal, from providing social services to kids who show up on the border to sanctuary cities in clear violation of federal law.

Also, he has finally put the light on "illegal" rather than immigration.   The open borders crowd, and their allies in the media, do not distinguish between the two.    

There are two kinds of immigrants in this world, legal and illegal.   We love legal immigrants, like me, and we don't support illegal immigration because it is chaotic.

So my message to the GOP is simple:   Listen to the Trump-istas.   

They are part of something beyond Trump's personality, as Matthew Continetti wrote: 
What Republicans are trying to figure out is not so much how to handle Trump as how to handle his supporters. Ignore or confront? Mock or treat seriously? Insult or persuade? The men and women in the uppermost ranks of the party, who have stood by Trump in the past as he gave them his endorsements and cash, are inclined to condescend to a large portion of the Republican base, to treat base voters’ concerns as unserious, nativist, racist, sexist, anachronistic, or nuts, to apologize for the “crazies” who fail to understand why America can build small cities in Iraq and Afghanistan but not a wall along the southern border, who do not have the education or skills or means to cope when factories move south or abroad, who stare incomprehensibly at the television screen when the media fail to see a “motive” for the Chattanooga shooting , who voted for Perot in ’92 and Buchanan in ’96 and Sarah Palin in ’08 and joined the Tea Party to fight death panels in ’09.
Don't call them crazies or demonize their man, Trump.   Listen to what they are saying.   I also hope that the likely nominees, whether it's Bush, Walker or Rubio, make peace with these voters.

The Trump-istas will vote in 2016.   Make sure that they show up for the GOP.

P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



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Trump and some thoughts about the front pages





Tags: Iran nuclear deal, Trump 2016, Cuba and the US, Same sex marriage and the Supreme Court To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Friday, July 24, 2015

What if Senator Obama had told us this in 2008?

(My new American Thinker post)


From an executive order on amnesty to his rather cynical evolution on same sex marriage, President Obama is turning out to be a lot more of a leftist than the centrist of 2008.   
We just learned this: 
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has "clarified" requirements for individuals becoming naturalized citizens by stripping out the requirement of defending the United States through military service."Effective July 21, 2015, new guidance (PA-2015-001) in the USCIS Policy Manual clarifies the eligibility requirements for modifications to the Oath of Allegiance. Reciting the Oath is part of the naturalization process. Candidates for citizenship normally declare that they will “bear arms on behalf of the United States” and “perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States” when required by the law. A candidate may be eligible to exclude these two clauses based on religious training and belief or a conscientious objection," an email from USCIS clarifying the requirements states (bolding is mine).
Very interesting.   
Overall, President Obama has been on a campaign to seek revenge from the voters who repudiated his policies in November.    He is a lot more radical and using executive orders to get what even Democrat majorities did not pass, from climate change to immigration reform.  
Why didn't we see this man in 2008?  I think that you know the answer.   It would have confirmed what so many of us said about him:   Most liberal record in 2007!  
Get ready for more.   Next on the agenda is the closing of Guantanamo without going to Congress!

P. S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.






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The Spanish Armada & national securiy stories with Barry Jacobsen




Tags: Iran nuclear deal, Spanish Armada vs British Navy, ISIS, Russian Air Force  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

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