“Ojo y mucho cuidado”: Elections in El Salvador

(My new American Thinker post about the elections in El Salvador)

Not long ago, Central America was a big part of our foreign policy discussion in the US.

Remember the contras? Noriega and the Panama invasion?  El Salvador civil war?

We don’t have those problems anymore and we’ve spent a lot of time looking at Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and so on.  Nevertheless, the region faces violence and economic challenges.   It is also a source of illegal immigration to the US.

Last Sunday, the left won the first round of the El Salvador election, as reported in The NY Times:

 “In El Salvador, a divided right may have benefited the front-runner of the left-leaning Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, known as the F.M.L.N., which appeared in good position to hold on to the presidency. It won the office for the first time in 2009, after a string of losses to conservatives following peace accords in 1992 ended one of the bloodiest civil wars in the Americas. The F.M.L.N. candidate, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, a former guerrilla commander and the vice president, got 49 percent of the vote, but not the majority needed to avoid a March 9 runoff, according to preliminary results.”

The right should do better in the 2nd round because many of the 3rd party votes are more likely to go right then left.  At the same time, the left goes to the “runoff” with 49% of the vote in the first round.  As they say, I’d rather go to the runoff with 49% in the first round than 39%!

No matter who wins, the people are not happy with the political class because of a sluggish economy and rampant gang violence.The winner of the election will have a very brief honeymoon and face citizens who want quick results. It won’t be easy governing El Salvador.

Central America has come a long way from “contras” and “the civil war” of the early 1980s in El Salvador.  Unfortunately, they face a new set of problems, such as mindless gang violence and insecurity.

And let’s not forget that Central America is a source of illegal immigration to the US. It’s in our interest to have jobs and economic growth in the region.

P. S. You can hear my chat with Fausta Wertz (Fausta’s Blog) and Miguel Portillo-Cuadras from El Salvador & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.



From the North Coast: A PSA for You Southern Snowmen/women

Ugh! This stuff has gone viral, like a nasty flu bug through a pre-school classroom. It appears people in the south, who are not all that familiar with the physics and the properties of snow/ice/water are falling for the “fake”/”plastic” snow hoax on the internet. Lots of videos like this are being uploaded onto YouTube, uh-huh…

I put together a bit of an explanation (and an even more important message at the end) for the alleged lack of melting and the blackening and odor of the snow these people are claiming is not real snow. It’s a little long, but it is one of those times when you actually use that information you sleepily yawned about to your lab partner in a high school science class that would be worthless and never used later in life. Enjoy…

To The Point: “I think ‘normalizing’ relations has a lot more to do with Cuba…”

I share this mostly because of an email exchange I had just last night with a friend who lives in San Fransisco. A few days ago my SF friend had sent out a group email with info on how you could help those who were dealing with the contaminated water in West Virginia. She fowarded to me one of the personal responses to her email from one of her more liberal contacts:

“… I just returned from a 12 day trip from Cuba and saw first hand the effects of what a US embargo has on the people of this nation.”

Yeah, my friend thought I would get a kick out of that one too.

Cuban-American actor Danny Pino showed up on Fox and Friends this morning to discuss tomorrow night’s Law and Order: SVU episode (NBC, 1/15 – 9:00pm ET) where the storyline will revolve around Pino’s character Det. Nick Amaro. Pino credits his brother, an actual Miami police officer, who inspires him and gives him helpful technical guidance. Near the end of the interview (@ 3:30) Brian Kilmead asked Danny Pino about his views on the U.S. and Cuba “normalizing” relations…

In August Danny Pino wrote a beautiful memoriam of his beloved Abuela Cuca, who had recently passed.

Obam(ACA)re is at The Center of Obama Slipping With Hispanics

From Florida Watchdog: Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA

MIAMI – They were among President Obama’s best supporters, but support for the president and his signature health insurance scheme is quickly dying among Hispanics.

A recent Gallup poll showed Obama’s approval rating among Hispanic down 23 percent, to 52 percent in November from 75 percent in December 2012.

“Hispanics’ approval ratings of Obama have shown the most variation of any group’s ratings throughout his presidency,” the pollsters said when they released their report Dec. 5. “That means their views of him are less firmly anchored than those of other groups, which may help explain why their opinions of the president soured more than any other group’s in recent months.”



Obama’s Current Approval Rating Is The Ugliest Since Nixon

Obam(ACA)re* Looks A Lot Like CastroCare

ObamaCare architect Zeke Emanuel will now explain to you unwashed dolts exactly why you cannot keep that doctor you have been seeing for years and years, and trust with your medical history, (real) healthcare, and life…

Got that, dummies?

1) Because Obama did not say you could have unlimited “choice”. Where the Hell did you get that idea? (That’s just for aborting babies without restrictions.) Sheesh, you people are dumb!

2) Hey, if you really want to keep your doctor you have to pay Obama more, suckers! It’s the Chicago extortion way.

Furthermore, what makes you think you can just check into the country’s top hospitals?

Americans who are buying insurance plans over online exchanges, under what is known as Obamacare, will have limited access to some of the nation’s leading hospitals, including two world-renowned cancer centres.

Amid a drive by insurers to limit costs, the majority of insurance plans being sold on the new healthcare exchanges in New York, Texas, and California, for example, will not offer patients’ access to Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan or MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, two top cancer centres, or Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, one of the top research and teaching hospitals in the country.

Experts say the move by insurers to limit consumers’ choices and steer them away from hospitals that are considered too expensive, or even “inefficient”, reflects the new competitive landscape in the insurance industry since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s 2010 healthcare law.

It could become another source of political controversy for the Obama administration next year, when the plans take effect. Frustrated consumers could then begin to realise what is not always evident when buying a product as complicated as healthcare insurance: that their new plans do not cover many facilities or doctors “in network”. In other words, the facilities and doctors are not among the list of approved providers in a certain plan.

Under some US health insurance plans, consumers can elect to visit medical facilities that are “out of network”, but they would probably incur high out of pocket costs and may need referrals to prove that such care is medically necessary.

Cuba here we come…

cuba hospital


Dr. Betsy McCaughey @ IBD (who knows this law inside-out): “Another ObamaCare Lie: Protecting Those With Pre-Existing Conditions”

MSNBC host “Prof.” Melissa Harris-Perry equates ‘Obamacare’ with N-word

ObamaCare created a Medicaid time bomb

George Will addressed the coming Medicaid “HEll” that will be exploding very soon.

Previous Posts here and here.

Lies of Obamacare: False choice edition

You’re damn straight we’re talking about Obam(ACA)re … and getting punished for it (here and here).


A few weeks back the White House and the MSM decided to “rebrand” ObamaCare by returning to calling it the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in order to deflect Obama’s ownership of the horrifically failing and rapidly-growing opposition to the unpopular law, and his falling approval. So, at that time I decided to begin spelling “ObamaCare” thusly:


Why? Because it’s STILL in there.

Nelson Mandela Dies…

mandela castro

South Africa’s first black president has died after a long illness. History will remember his life, to be sure.

While I appreciate and respect Nelson Mandela’s struggles and his being a political prisoner within his own country for a large part of his life, I am not unaware of his post-prison political ideology and all the friendships he held with some of the world’s nastiest leaders. Which leads me to how I cannot help but be struck by the obvious…

The MSM that is now in full honors mode for Nelson Mandela who was a political prisoner for decades, and who fought against apartheid and for freedom in South Africa would be the same MSM that would be in full honors mode if the dictator of the Cuban apartheid, Fidel Castro … who currently holds political prisoners … were to die.

Just in Time for the Holidays: Finger Puppets for the Communist Puppets


Great little stocking-stuffer for the kids, huh?
Does it come with a 4-fingers little firing squad and a 5-fingers blind-folded, bloody, bullet-riddled murdered Cubans for the other 9 fingers?
I’ve got a special finger for the Che finger puppet and “The Nation”, and it doesn’t require a puppet…

Looking for the perfect finger puppet of a communist mass murderer for your favorite comrade this holiday season? The Nation magazine has got you covered.

The liberal magazine’s online store — “The Nationmart” — features a magnetic finger puppet of Che Guevara. The late Argentine revolutionary helped Fidel Castro install a police state in Cuba, where Guevara personally oversaw hundreds if not thousands of executions and the creation of labor camps where dissidents, homosexuals and others who “committed crimes against revolutionary morals” were ultimately sent. But Nationmart didn’t let those pesky details get in the way of its sunny description of the Che finger puppet.

“We may not know where Castro is these days, but we know where Che Guevara is: on your finger as a magnetic finger puppet!” the item’s playful description reads. “On your finger, he’s a puppet; on your fridge, he’s a magnet; in your puppet collection he incites the others to rise against their capitalistic oppressors!”

Read more…

And lots more capitalistic Che merchandise at the site.

Hey! FIFY, “The Nation”


Honduras 1, Zelaya 0

On Sunday, the people of Honduras voted to reject Mrs Zelaya, who was nothing but a front for Mr Zelaya.

The public knows that Zelaya was a disaster, as The Washington Post pointed out:

“Beset by some of the worst poverty and crime in the Western Hemisphere, Honduran voters had many reasons to reject the Zelayas — starting with the ongoing disaster in the country the couple held up as a model, Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela.

And then there is Mr. Zelaya’s record: As president four years ago, he attempted to stage an illegal referendum so as to gain a second term, which provoked his equally illegal ouster by the military.

Honduras had to spend a lot of precious time re instituting democracy and regaining full membership in the Organization of American States when what it really needed was an all-out national effort against rampant crime and corruption.”

Honduras has a lot of problems, from poverty to the violence related to cartels.   However,  we congratulate the people of Honduras for refusing to buy into another round of Zelaya, or a disciple of Chavez.


100 “Bourgeois” Businessmen Arrested in Floundering Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro

Yeah, that’ll help…

Nov 14 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s socialist government has arrested more than 100 “bourgeois” businessmen in a crackdown on alleged price-gouging at hundreds of shops and companies since the weekend, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.

“They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites!” Maduro thundered in the latest of his lengthy daily speeches. “We have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment.”

The successor to the late Hugo Chavez also said his government was preparing a law to limit Venezuelan businesses’ profits to between 15 percent and 30 percent.

Officials say unscrupulous companies have been hiking prices of electronics and other goods more than 1,000 percent. Critics say failed socialist economic policies and restricted access to foreign currency are behind Venezuela’s runaway inflation.

“Goodyear has to lower its prices even more, 15 percent is not enough, the inspectors have go there straightaway,” Maduro said in his evening address, sending officials to check local operations of the U.S.-based tire manufacturer.

Since the weekend, soldiers and inspectors have gone into 1,400 shops, taken over operations at an electronics firm and a battery-making company, and rounded up a handful of looters.

Read More…

ObamaCare: Nobody Will be Spared

This thing is simply toxic…

Millions of Americans are being informed they’re being dropped from their insurance plans because the plans don’t meet minimum Obamacare standards, but President Obama so far has stood by his promise that “if you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance.”

Insurance plans that existed on the individual market before the passage of the Affordable Care Act were “grandfathered” in, the president and his supporters have argued, and consumers only lost coverage if insurers altered those policies after the law took effect. In that case, Mr. Obama said last week, insurers had to “replace them with quality, comprehensive coverage.”

In any event, the administration argues, the promise still applies to the vast majority of people.

“If you’re one of the 80 percent of Americans who is insured or covered through an employer plan or through Medicare or Medicaid, or the Veterans’ Administration, there is no change for you except for an increase in benefits that everyone receives as a result of the Affordable Care Act,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.

Yet in the years to come, some workers with employer-provided benefits will see their benefits scaled back because of an Obamacare tax. That portion of the law — known as the “Cadillac tax” — isn’t set to take effect until 2018, but it’s already influencing the benefits packages that employers offer.

“Every employer plan since the passage of the health care law has been working to make sure their health care cost trends keep their plans under the ‘Cadillac tax,'” Steve Wojcik of the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit that represents large employers, told CBSNews.com.

The administration’s argument for the individual market applies to the employer-based market: No one with health insurance should expect to keep their current plan forever.

“The expectation was never there that a plan is going to be set in stone for any length of time,” Wojcik said. “Plans should adopt to new evidence and new benefits practices — they shouldn’t be set in stone… We’ve wanted to do something about health care costs growing out of control.”

That said, Wojcik added, the “Cadillac tax” is “bringing more immediacy” to the issue, prompting employers to scale back plans they wouldn’t otherwise, “with the 2018 deadline looming.”

Read more


Health Care Fukushima: 129 Million To Lose Their Plan

The Cubanization of Venezuela: “La bola pica y se extiende”

We Cubans have a lot of great expressions. One of my favorites is “la bola pica y se extiende”. It means something like “its complicated” and there is no solution around the corner.

For months, our friends at Babalu have been telling you about the “Cubanization” of Venezuela.  Let’s add one more episode to that very tragic and sad story.

Today, we learned from AP that Venezuela’s health care system is collapsing:

“Driving the crisis in health care are the same forces that have left Venezuelans scrambling to find toilet paper, milk and automobile parts. Economists blame government mismanagement and currency controls set by the late President Hugo Chavez for inflation pushing 50 percent annually.

The government controls the dollars needed to buy medical supplies and has simply not made enough available.”

It gets worse, or “se pone peor la cosa”:

“Almost everything needed to mend and heal is in critically short supply: needles, syringes and paraffin used in biopsies to diagnose cancer; drugs to treat it; operating room equipment; X-ray film and imaging paper; blood and the reagents needed so it can be used for transfusions.
Last month, the government suspended organ donations and transplants. At least 70 percent of radiotherapy machines, precisely what Gonzalez will need once her tumor is removed, are now inoperable in a country with 19,000 cancer patients – meaning fewer than 5,000 can be treated, said Dr. Douglas Natera, president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation.
“Two months ago we asked the government to declare an emergency,” said Natera, whose doctors group is the country’s largest. “We got no response.”

The Associated Press sought comment from Health Minister Isabel Iturria but her press office did not respond to repeated interview requests.”

This is life in Venezuela.  It is a daily grind of shortages, censorship and “Cubanization”.

P. S.   You can hear our show about Venezuela HERE  @ 7 PM CT….

with Fausta Wertz, Jerry Brewer and Comandante Cazorla from Venezuela.

Venezuela has Seized Control of Two American Oil Rigs

American companies should protest this by pulling out of Venezuela immediately. But they won’t…

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela has quietly seized control of two oil rigs owned by a unit of Houston-based Superior Energy Services after the company shut them down because the state oil monopoly was months behind on payments.

The seizure took place Thursday after a judge in the state of Anzoategui, accompanied by four members of the local police and national guard, entered a Superior depot and ordered it to hand over control of two specialized rigs to an affiliate of PDVSA, the state-owned oil producer.

PDVSA justified the equipment’s expropriation, calling it essential to the South American nation’s development and welfare, according to a court order obtained by The Associated Press. Company workers were instructed to load the rigs, known as snubbing units and used to repair damaged casing, onto trucks to be deployed at “critical wells” elsewhere, according to the document.

“It was like a thief breaking into your house, asking for the keys to the safe and then expecting you to help carry it away,” Jesus Centeno, local operations manager for Superior in the city of Anaco, said by phone. “Their argument was that we were practically sabotaging national production.”

While the late President Hugo Chavez liked to grandstand on national television, ordering troops to seize everything from supermarkets to foreign-owned oil companies, his hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, has avoided any additional expropriations six months into his rule.

At what point does something like this be viewed as an ‘act of war’?
Just asking…

And So It Begins…

The New York Post is reporting thousands of elderly patients have already lost, and are about to lose, their doctors because their Medicare plans are dropping the physicians out of their network. And this is just New York. I live in Ohio and my Mother told me at the beginning of this week that in the last two weeks (since ObamaCare went into motion) she has lost two of her own longtime doctors, and is in danger of losing her cardiologist, for the same reason. And I haven’t even talked to my Dad about this yet.

Just try to get a doctor to accept you as a new patient these days, let alone an elderly patient with years of complex medical history to catch-up on in order to treat him/her properly. It’s just not happening … and doctors and hospitals have already been refusing Medicare and Medicaid patients over the last few years before ObamaCare became a law. No, Grandpa, you cannot keep your doctor.

Here is Paul Ryan warning about the ObamaCare dangers (one of which is the above issue at hand) in that MSM and democrat talking-head(s) touted wonderful and gracious meeting Obama had at the White House for republican opposition to the then bill…

And these are just the elderly feeling this pain for which there is no pill.

But remember … Romney/Ryan were going to rob from Medicare!
Dog on car roof!

Oh, yeah, and “War on Women!”Obama’s War on Women: ObamaCare Takes Away Woman’s Health Care Choices