Saturday, October 19, 2013

Don't be surprised if the Obama White House does a 'Friday night document dump' on ObamaCare

(My new American Thinker post)

The unthinkable about ObamaCare may very well happen a lot sooner than you think it will happen. 

I would not be surprised if a White House staffer "tweets" that ObamaCare has been put on hold until further notice. 

The Friday Night Dump!  

Why?  Because ObamaCare faces two insormountable challenges, or two hurdles that will require a lot more than "happy statements" by Press Secretary Carney about letting technical people work overtime to fix things.

First, the technical problems, or the famous "glitches," are starting to look more and more like that old car that needs a new engine.  In other words, it's not the radiator that needs to replaced.  It's the whole engine!  I recall from personal experience that new engines are a lot more expensive than radiators!  I got rid of an old car when I heard that it needed an engine rather than a radiator!

Second, "sticker shock" is now a big issue, a credibility problem.  You can't promote that people will have "affordable insurance" when the options are unaffordable. 

This is what President Obama told an audience a few days before implementation:
"Starting on Tuesday, every American can visit to find out what's called the insurance marketplace for your state.  Here in Maryland, I actually think it's called  (Applause.)  But if you go to, you can look and they'll tell you where to go.  They'll link to your state.   

Now, this is real simple.  It's a website where you can compare and purchase affordable health insurance plans, side-by-side, the same way you shop for a plane ticket on Kayak -- (laughter) -- same way you shop for a TV on Amazon.  You just go on and you start looking, and here are all the options. 

It's buying insurance on the private market, but because now you're part of a big group plan -- everybody in Maryland is all logging in and taking a look at the prices -- you've got new choices.  Now you've got new competition, because insurers want your business.  And that means you will have cheaper prices.  (Applause.)  

So you enter in some basic information about yourself, what level of coverage you're looking for.  After that, you'll be presented with a list of quality, affordable plans that are available in your area.  It will say clearly what each plan covers, what each plan costs.  The price will be right there.  It will be fully transparent."
It it not happening like President Obama said that it would.

Yuval Levin nailed it at NRO:  
"The reaction of these individuals to what has happened in the last two weeks is the reaction of people who are coming to realize that their expectations and understanding of web development were mistaken. They believed (as I did too, I admit) that whatever technical problems the exchange sites encountered at first could be cleared up quickly and simply once things got going--that the contractors developing the websites could just respond to problems on the fly, as they became apparent. It is now increasingly obvious to them that this is simply not how things work, that building a website like this is a matter of exceedingly complex programming and not "design," and that the problems that plague the federal exchanges (and some state exchanges) are much more severe and fundamental than anything they imagined possible. That doesn't mean they can't be fixed, of course, and perhaps even fixed relatively quickly, but it means that at the very least the opening weeks (and quite possibly months) of the Obamacare exchanges will be very different from what either the administration or its critics expected."  
The bottom line is that you can't sign up and the prices are higher than promised. 

In the business world, we call that a disaster. Companies go out of business.  Executives are fired.  MBA courses are created to explain the debacle. 

Can you say Edsel, as David Catron wrote.  ("Bad ideas, worse rollouts, and unhappy customers")

ObamaCare is a disaster.  I just hope that Valerie Jarrett "opens the gate" and tells the president!

P.S. You can hear my chat with Frank Burke, businessman and contributor to American Thinker here.  

Tags:  More ObamaCare problems  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

What happens first? A Miguel Cabrera homerun or Venezuelan devaluation?

(My new American Thinker post)

Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers will play the Red Sox in Boston on Saturday. Down in Caracas, Cabrera's homeland is in the middle of a huge guessing game about the devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar. 

The talk of devaluation is just the latest in this parade of "economic disasters" happening in Venezuela. There is nothing good happening in Venezuela, as an old friend told my father last weekend.

Andrew Schipiani has a good story about the mess in Caracas:
"Beauty pageants are to Venezuela what football is to Argentina or baseball to Cuba - a spectacle that allows people to forget their everyday woes. Yet at the Miss Venezuela competition last week, even the contestant from the capital Caracas had a gritty message for the audience, saying she wanted her country "to fight in the face of adversity".  

Not even under the lights could the brunette model dodge the reality that Venezuelans are battling an economic crisis that threatens the legacy of Hugo Ch├ívez and his "Bolivarian revolution" and which is coming to the boil as the overvalued exchange rate drains foreign reserves."" 
The problems go beyond the currency.  There is huge concern that President Maduro is not up to the task:
"One reason for that concern is lack of action by Mr Maduro's administration to face up to problems. Behind the scenes, his ruling Socialist party faces internecine fights between radical ideologues and pragmatists, a tug of war that has led to a stalemate which has only worsened the economic situation. 

A devaluation, for example, would boost the local currency value of Venezuela's dollar oil receipts - the country's time-honoured solution to closing a fiscal deficit - and also remove the need for currency restrictions. 

But doing so before the December 8 elections would damage Mr Maduro, who has to decide whether his administration "wants to be politically popular or economically sustainable," as Stratfor, the risk consultancy, puts it.  

"We see little scope for President Maduro to re-engineer a new path for the economy of Venezuela," says Paolo Batori, Morgan Stanley's global head of sovereign strategy. He has "little flexibility for any diversion from the populist oil-financed government spending policies of his predecessor"." 
Hard to see a happy ending to this story.  

There is going to be a devaluation of the Bolivar.  The only question is this:  Will it happen before Cabrera hits one over the Green Monster or after?

You can hear CANTO TALK here.

Tags:  Venezuela and devaluation  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Babalu: Pres Obama: “Se te cayo el tabaco”

(My new Babalu post)

From time to time, we have to go to that philosopher of philosophers, the inimitable Beny More of Santa Isabel de la Lajas., a town near Cienfuegos and the likely inspiration for "El Santo de Tia Juliana".
I think that Beny would be singing this about the collapsing political fortunes of President Obama:  "Se te cayo el tabaco, mi hermano, se te cayo!".
Obama's second term agenda has slowed to a crawl.   As we know, second term presidents have a short window to do something before they go "lame duck".
How do you say "lame duck" in cubano?  The answer is "Se te cayo el tabaco"!
The real story is that the Obama agenda has gone off track and there are no signs that it will start moving again.
Senate Democrats killed gun control.  Climate change is not happening because there are too many Democrats who would rather keep jobs in their states than subscribe to theories that may or may not be true.
Immigration reform will be tough to get through Congress.  Foreign policy is as unpredictable as always.
And let's not forget about the "roll-out problems" of ObamaCare.
Did anybody in this administration test the system?  Who got this huge contract and gave us this disaster of a roll-out?
To be fair, technical problems can be overcome if fixed quickly.
"Premium shock" in the Affordable Health Care Act will not be forgotten!
It looks more and more that the Affordable Health Care Act lowered premiums by increasing deductibles .  Most people will see through that, sign off and not come back!
What exactly is the Obama team looking forward to in the second of this term? Frankly, they don't have much to cheer about.
We are likely to be in another fight in a couple of months, as Peter Baker reminded us.  After all, we just kicked the can a couple of months forward with the last deal.  We didn't fix a single problem!
More importantly, can he lead? govern? get anything done?
I think that there is a growing sense in the land that President Obama is not capable of bringing people together or accomplishing things.
I smell a Carter and that's an awful odor for any White House!
Ron Fourneir has a message for President Obama, and I hope that he reads the column:
"Okay, we get it: Obama is a winning politician. What's in serious doubt is whether he will be remembered as a successful president."
Well, he does not look like a very successful president!
Yes, Beny is right:  "Obama se te cayo el tabaco"!

Tags:  Obama second term blues  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Thank you Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan is leaving the Rangers in a few weeks.   He is retiring and some say that he is resigning.  The bottom line is that he is gone and Jon Daniels is now running the team.

It's never easy to say goodbye to a legend like Ryan.  He brought a lot of credibility when he ended his career with the Rangers.   He became a fixture sitting next to the dugout, specially those priceless TV pictures with President Bush.

Let me be honest: Daniels deserves the job.  He is a fantastic baseball executive.  He is also in the mainstream of the new numbers approach to scouting and player development.

Some will say that Daniels pushed Ryan out, a Rangers' version of Jerry Jones firing Coach Landry back in '89.

I don't see it that way.   

Good luck to Nolan Ryan.  I hope that MLB uses him for PR like it does with Henry Aaron and Joe Torre.

Last, but not least, let's not forget that Ryan is 67 and people usually do slow down around that age.

Thank you Nolan.  I'm sorry that you did not get to hold that World Series title!

Tags:  Nolan Ryan and the Rangers  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Share your salary with Raul Castro and you can play baseball in the majors

(My new American Thinker post)

The corrupt Castro brothers never pass up an opportunity to enhance the family business.     

No wonder that the Castro brothers made Forbes' list of "Fortunes Of Kings, Queens And Dictators."  Not a bad list for a couple of brothers who preach socialism and criticize capitalism.  

As my parents remember, professional sports were outlawed in Cuba in 1961.      

That was then, or the days of the Soviet subsidy and when the regime survived stealing the property of Cubans and foreign interests.   

Cuba had the best winter ball league before Castro.  The rosters included Cubans, like Minnie Minoso and Camilo Pascual, and many American players looking to make a good impression before spring training.  It was an elite winter league.  

This is now, or the reality that Cuba desperately needs hard currency and no one is lining up to lend the regime any money.  Why would you lend money to an enterprise that defaults often?   

A few weeks ago, the Castro regime made a change and announced that Cuban athletes could play overseas.   

Alfredo Despaigne is the first "test case" for Castro Inc.  The arrangement is that the regime keeps 20% of the salary.  He played in Mexico this year and hit well.     However, Cuban players want to play in the US because they know that the best baseball is in the majors.   

They "defect" and run great personal risks to play here. Some of these defectors are Puig of LA, Cespedes of Oakland, Ramirez of Chicago and the young Martin in Texas.   
Major League baseball, and the US government, should take a tough position against Castro Inc. when it comes to these ballplayers.   

I believe that Commissioner Selig and the players' union should make it clear that MLB is not going to play this game.  The players should be free to sign their own deals and negotiate directly with a team.  They should not be forced to share their income with Castro Inc.   

Last, but not least, there is also the issue of "the embargo" and money flow between the island and the US.   

Let's fill the majors with Cuban players.   However, let them be "FREE" Cuban players not "servants" of Castro Inc.  

P.S. You can hear my chat about this and other US-Cuba issues with Alberto de la Cruz, Managing Director of Babalu & Fausta Wertz here.

Tags: Pro sports in Cuba  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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