Thursday, October 03, 2013

ObamaCare: Lots of 'tire kickers' but few buyers

(My new American Thinker post)

According to UK news reports, there were lots of "tire kickers" but nobody's buying as they say in the car business:   

 "California, the ultimate blue state whose federal lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in support of Obamacare, turned less than 1 per cent of its Web visits into 'Covered California' participants on Tuesday. 

"We had over 5.7 million hits to our website as of 3 p.m. yesterday,' Covered California spokeswoman Kelsey Caldwell told MailOnline Wednesday.    

'7,700 consumers began their application process yesterday. ... 4,143 applications are pending,' she added. 'We received 23,269 calls yesterday to our service center.'     

Caldwell couldn't say how many of the 5.7 million website hits were from unique Californians. But assuming 712,500 online visitors saw eight different Web pages each, the sign-up rate was 0.58 per cent."

Now let me tell you this:  0.58 is a heck of an ERA for a major league pitcher.  It is not a good signing up number.

California was not alone:   

"Connecticut saw a similarly low rate of interest. Democratic Congressman Jim Himes tweeted after 8:30 p.m. Monday that his state's health exchange had 'received 28k visitors, and took 167 applications for health insurance. Day 1.'     
That indicates just 0.59 per cent of Connecticut residents who sought information about their state's Obamacare program on Monday decided to become part of it, according to Access Health CT spokeswoman Kathleen Tallarita."   

Maybe everybody will call back and sign up later. 

Maybe millions of GOP "extremists" were filling up the lines to mess up the machines.

Maybe this is all going to work out but it is off to a bad start.

At the same time, maybe a lot of people just don't plan do not plan to sign up.  We saw a report today that will not make the Obama White House happy:  

"Statistics worsened in the important 18 to 29 age bracket. Sixty-nine percent of the youth demographic were unaware they were required to get health insurance by January 1, 2014. This is the age group that Obama is hoping will foot the bill for the rest of America.   
In other bad news for Obamacare, 62 percent said they were "not too familiar" or "not at all familiar" with the Obamacare exchanges being set up by the federal and state governments.   
Such unfamiliarity grew among those currently uninsured today. Among the uninsured 72 percent said that are not familiar with the exchanges Obama is setting up.  
Gallup also found that knowledge of all aspects of Obamacare was quite low for those in the youth demographic."

Maybe President Obama needs to go back on MTV and John Stewart because the young people missed the message that sign up started on October 1st.

You can hear CANTO TALK here.





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Jesse Jackson did not meet with black political prisoners in Cuba

(My new American Thinker post)

My friend Carlos Eire, author, university professor and one of the 14,000 unaccompanied children who came to the US under "Pedro Pan" in the 1960s, alerted us to the latest display of Jesse Jackson irresponsibility.   

Incredibly, Jesse Jackson, the same man who could not speak enough about Nelson Mandela and apartheid in the 1980s, went to Cuba and did not demand to see the many blacks in Castro's political prisons.

Why didn't he join "Las damas en blanco" (Ladies in White) and march on Sunday?  These ladies are keeping "hope alive" every week and face oppression when they march.  The leaders of this group are black Cuban women who are harassed constantly.

Why didn't he sit down with Dr Oscar Elias Biscet, a celebrated prisoner.  Is it because Dr Biscet has criticized the pro-abortion policies of the Castro regime or because he opposes lifting the embargo?

My friend Carlos posted some questions for Rev Jackson:   

"During a speech last week, Reverend Jesse Jackson made the following important observation:   
We in the US don't fully appreciate that there are more Africans in South, Central and Latin America, than in the USA. The slave trade started through this region; the US was the caboose."     

He's absolutely right.  
So here are some questions for Rev. Jackson regarding his trip to Cuba this weekend:   

Why did you only meet with the leaders of Cuba's overwhelmingly white dictatorship?   
Why didn't you meet with the Afro-Cuban leaders of the island's courageous democracy movement?  

Why didn't you meet with the leader of The Ladies in White, Berta Soler, or with Angel Moya, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Manuel Cuesta Morua, Ivan Garcia, Guillermo Farinas, Damaris Moya Portieles or Ivan Hernandez Carrillo?  

Why didn't you advocate for the release of Afro-Cuban political prisoners, such as Sonia Garro, Ramon Munoz and Ivan Fernandez Depestre?  

Or is Castro's Cuba the exception to your civil rights rhetoric?"

It appears that Rev Jackson does have a double standard.  He won't publicly call out the Cuban government for discrimination or human rights violations. 

By the way,  Rev Jackson did not get to see Mr Gross either.  He went to Cuba to get some publicity but the Cuban government did not play along with him.   







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This shutdown feels like a baseball 'rain delay'


(My new American Thinker post)

The shutdown is on and it feels a lot like a "rain delay":

First, the game stops and it will resume. It may last a long time but they will play again; and,

Second, we have a  "theater" to keep us occupied.  We get to watch old videos of Clinton & Gingrich back in '95. 

We hear the same template about how the GOP will be blamed in 2013 because they were in 1995. Of course, they always forget to tell you that the GOP kept the House and Senate in '96 and beyond.

We hear that the GOP lost seats in '96.  They don't tell you that there was a wave election in '94 and it's not unusual for those seats to go back in the next election.

They tell you that President Clinton was reelected in '96.  Yes, he was.  He was reelected running as "a centrist" or Republican Lite is what many angry Democrats used to call him.  I think that 4.8% unemployment had a lot more to do with President Clinton getting 48% in a 3-way race than any memories of the 1995 shutdown.

The real consequences of this 2013 shutdown won't be on the House.  Most of these guys will be reelected because they represent safe districts.

The real impact is "red state Democrats," or the same people that you never see standing with Senator Reid or showing up on Sunday shows defending ObamaCare. (I am talking about Senators from West Virginia, Arkansas, South Dakota, Louisiana, Alaska, Montana and North Carolina.)

Don't get me wrong.  I think that this shutdown is really stupid. It is a failure of leadership, especially presidential leadership. Where has President Obama been for the last few months?  Didn't he anticipate that something like this was bound to happen?

This shutdown devalues US prestige around the world.  We look like a "banana republic" without the bananas.  We look weak and disorganized, at least that's how they see us in Europe.

Yes, there is a lot of blame to go around here.  No one has a monopoly on stupidity. However, President Obama is the only one who can lead, speak to the nation and tell both sides to cut a deal.

For example, President Obama could agree to a one year delay on the ObamaCare individual mandate and the elimination of waivers and preferences. 

President Obama would benefit politically from such a delay.  It would give the ObamaCare computers a chance to fix the "glitches" and protect a lot of Democrats in 2014.

So the "rain delay" will end and the game will resume.  My question is this:  who will watch it or care? 

You can hear CANTO TALK here.







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Maduro “esta muy podrido” in Venezuela!


(My new Babalu post)

President Maduro of Venezuela may want to shoot that little "Hugo bird" who speaks to him from time to time.   Can you blame Maduro if he grabs the little bird by the neck and strangles him?
According to The NY Times, the people of Venezuela are not really into Maduro.  On the contrary, they miss Hugo, or at least "the Hugo of their dreams":
"Prices are soaring, the country is plagued by electrical blackouts, some neighborhoods go days without water, and protests tangle the already stifling traffic. To top it all off, the cheap beer that helps people let off steam at many a weekend party has suddenly become scarce, too.
Nearly seven months after the death of Hugo Ch├ívez, the country’s longtime leftist president and father figure, there is a growing sense that things are falling apart."

To be fair, Venezuela's problems were "Made by Hugo" all the way.  It was Chavez' policies, from reckless spending to a horrible case of cronyism and corruption, that brought the country to this situation.
In other words, it did not start with Maduro but life is not fair specially when you hitch your wagon to a corrupt man like Hugo Chavez.
The problems in the country are rather severe and I am not talking about a shortage of toilet paper:
"Inflation in the first eight months of this year was more than triple the rate in the same period last year. When measured over the 12 months that ended in August, it exceeded 45 percent.
A government indicator that measures the scarcity of basic goods is close to its highest level in more than five years."
Don't get me wrong.  I'm not defending President Maduro, a man who was "questionably" elected earlier this year after Chavez was officially pronounced dead.
All of these difficulties in the nation raise a legitimate question:  Will Maduro survive?
My opinion is that he won't, no matter how many times he expels US diplomats or tells us that he had visions of Hugo.
Maduro probably wishes that they had kept Hugo connected to that life machine a bit longer.
Frankly, the end of Maduro is coming and it won't be pretty.  I just hope that someone at the Obama White House is on top of events in Latin America.   Venezuela could come apart soon and Washington needs to be alert.
P.S. You can hear our chat about Colombia, Venezuela and other US-Latin America stories here.

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Tags:  Venezuela  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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