Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why shake hands with the leader of “the island of lies”?


(My new Babalu post)

President Obama shook hands with Raul Castro, the leader of a country that denies its citizens human rights.
My Canadian friend Brian Lloyd French, author of "Mojito", wrote "The island of lies" a couple of years ago:
"Lies are a permanent part of life on the Castros' island paradise lost.Younger Cubans have to lie about their opinions of the government, its leadership and their opinion of the United States. Old Cubans lie about Fidel Castro because those lies are the only opinion they've ever been allowed to have.The Cuban politburo lies about everything it does, and just about everything everyone else does; especially the USA.The Castros spew lies constantly but are so absent from reality that they seem to believe them."

Why would President Obama elevate a liar like Raul Castro?
Click here for my chat with Brian, and specially his thoughts on how black Cubans are discriminated against in the island:


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What does Alan Gross and his family think about the handshake between Obama and Castro?

(My new American Thinker post)


We understand that leaders shake hands at funerals and other diplomatic events.   

For example, President Clinton shook Fidel Castro's hand back in the 1990s.  Also, Hugo Chavez handed President Obama a book a few years ago.

However, this is Raul Castro, a man who is holding a US citizen named Alan Gross for no reason at all.

This is also the same Cuba harassing dissidents more than ever, such as the case of Antonio Rodiles.

It would have been a great opportunity for President Obama to show his displeasure about Mr Gross and human rights violations in general.  He could have shown the world that we shake some hands, like the President of Brazil, and skip others, like the dictator of Cuba.

We deserve a president with a better sense of timing or a gate keeper who keeps him ahead of the game.   

Some should have briefed President Obama with a simple message:  "Look out for Raul....he will be there."

Or, at least we deserve a president who defends his citizens when they are held illegally by rogue states.

Obama missed an opportunity to promote US values, such as due process for US citizens abroad. 

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.   


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The Democrats may hate that the web site is working better

(My new American Thinker post)


In Texas, we say this:"Just because a chicken has wings doesn't mean it can fly." The translation is that "appearances are deceptive." In other words, you can call it affordable but that does not mean that it is affordable.

According to The NY Times, there is a little screaming going on when people check out the affordability of the Affordable Health Care Act:

"Until now, it was almost impossible for people using the federal health care website to see the deductible amounts, which consumers pay before coverage kicks in. But federal officials finally relented last week and added a "window shopping" feature that displays data on deductibles. 

For policies offered in the federal exchange, as in many states, the annual deductible often tops $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a couple. 

Insurers devised the new policies on the assumption that consumers would pick a plan based mainly on price, as reflected in the premium. But insurance plans with lower premiums generally have higher deductibles. 

In El Paso, Tex., for example, for a husband and wife both age 35, one of the cheapest plans on the federal exchange, offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has a premium less than $300 a month, but the annual deductible is more than $12,000. For a 45-year-old couple seeking insurance on the federal exchange in Saginaw, Mich., a policy with a premium of $515 a month has a deductible of $10,000.  

In Santa Cruz, Calif., where the exchange is run by the state, Robert Aaron, a self-employed 56-year-old engineer, said he was looking for a low-cost plan. The best one he could find had a premium of $488 a month. But the annual deductible was $5,000, and that, he said, "sounds really high." 

By contrast, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average deductible in employer-sponsored health plans is $1,135.""

Frankly, I never thought that the AHCA would be affordable.  My analysis was based on two realities:

1) When was the last time that government made anything cheaper?

2) Worse than that, how can you tell insurance carriers to include every benefit under the sun and then expect affordable premiums?

The AHCA may have wings but that does not mean that it can fly, as we say in Texas.  

P. S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.

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