Strange time to order a raid

According to some pundits, President Biden concluded a great week, from a jobs report to lower gas prices and some new legislation.  They were also proclaiming that the red wave may be smaller than expected.   

So what do you do in the early days of Joe’s “comeback”?  You raid President Trump’s home?  You order a raid just hours after signing a law that will add 87,000 IRS agents to look for tax cheats?  How many Uber drivers or small business owners had FBI nightmares last night?

The FBI had better find what they are looking for.  Otherwise, this may be the biggest blunder since Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone’s sadly empty vault. It may totally backfire on the Trump haters.  This is from TIPP Insights:    

Where does the political persecution of Trump stop?

The Democrats are afraid of the rise of Trump. They are in the endless pursuit to legally stop Trump from running for the nation’s highest office in 2024. Having failed in their efforts to impeach him, they constituted the J6 select committee probe. And now, they have launched legal actions in multiple theaters, one in New York, the second in Georgia, and the third in D.C., hoping something would stick.

The nation’s law enforcement agencies under the Biden administration have set a remarkable course that, if not corrected, will undoubtedly lead to the country becoming a banana republic. Americans were stunned by the FBI’s treatment of Peter Navarro, who served as a top presidential advisor to Trump. The raid on Mar-A-Lago outdoes shackling Navarro with leg irons. It is no wonder Americans lack confidence in the DOJ and the FBI.

Who thought that raiding President Trump’s home was a good idea in such a polarized country?  It’s one thing to raid a narco’s estate or a mafia leader or a criminal on the run.   

My guess is that a decision of this type was made very close to the Oval Office if not President Biden himself.  It’s hard to believe that a local FBI office would take such a risk over documents that may or may not be found.

What happens if AG Merrick Garland swings and misses?  What if the documents are not there or don’t rise to the level of criminality that calls for an FBI raid?  Maybe Garland can watch the aforementioned Geraldo Rivera show.

P.S.  Check out my videos and posts. (My new American Thinker)

Short honeymoon for the Latin American left

Am I happy that Latin America elected leftists? Of course not, but it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Down in Chile, leftist President Gabriel Boric is struggling in the polls.  He is learning that changing a constitution is complicated, especially if your message is divisive and economically risky.   

Over in Colombia, newly sworn in leftist President Gustavo Petro will soon to face reality as well, such as slow economic growth rates, high levels of corruption, entrenched inequality, inadequate health and education services, and poor infrastructure. Add to this a faltering peace process with former insurgents and a history of bad relations with Venezuela and it will get ugly fast .

Yes. honeymoons are turning out to be short for the Latin American left:     

The experience of Petro’s ideological soulmates in Chile, Peru, and Argentina offer useful lessons. 

The first is to avoid interpreting their recent electoral success as a triumph of socialism or an invitation to repeat the failed state-centric economic policies of the early 2000s. Instead of voting for fresh ideas, Latin Americans have been voting against incumbent governments.

Most of the region’s sitting presidents were conservatives, so a change of guard inevitably means a shift left, a trend which began with Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in Mexico in 2018. 

Reasons for discontent abound: living standards are falling, the state is failing to deliver, and the best opportunities are too often reserved for a privileged few. The pandemic exacerbated social tensions.

As a result, presidential honeymoons are short and expectations almost impossibly high. The perils for new leaders are obvious: the presidents of Chile and Peru have seen their approval ratings collapse in a matter of months because they disappointed impatient voters. 

In Argentina, the incumbents facing a drubbing at the polls next year are on the left. 

Voters care about results, not ideology.

Yes, governing is tough specially when the elected leaders misread public sentiments.    It turns out that Latin American voters were angry at incumbents, particularly after the pandemic.  The left exploited the anger and promised a lot — a lot that they can’t deliver.  And now the honeymoons are over and the voters are angry with the left for failing to deliver, such as in Peru, Chile, and Argentina.

How long will President Petro’s honeymoon last?  Not long, especially if he listens to the “three amigos” in Lima, Santiago, and Buenos Aires.

P.S.:  Check out  my videos  and posts.

(My new American Thinker post)

Walking home and listening to “beisbol” on the radio

Back in the early days of “el exilio”, we lived in Wisconsin and would listen to afternoon baseball. It was Chicago Cubs baseball over WGN radio, a powerful signal that came in loud and clear. We would listen to the games walking home from school, or at the baseball practice or in the car radio with our parents. Afternoon baseball and the Cubs happened because Wrigley Field did not have lights. It led my mother to say: “Que raro no tienen luces”.

The lights were finally turned on August 8, 1988, or 34 years ago today. By the way, Cuban Rafael Palmeiro was playing left field for the Cubs that night.

As I recall, the game was rained out, but the lights went on before the summer showers came.

It all started at 6:05 P.M.., when 91-year-old Cubs fan Harry Grossman began the countdown. “Three…two…one…let there be lights!”

Grossman pressed a button, and light towers were on. Wonder if Mr. Grossman was around for the 2016 World Series title? Hopefully yes, but I don’t know for sure. Millions around the country were probably caught up in the whole thing.

For years, Cubs fans were raised on day baseball. It was charming, especially for kids off from school. One of my first summer memories in the U.S. was walking to a park and seeing this older couple listening to the Cubs on their front porch. As I recall, the lady was keeping score because she was holding a book and a pencil.

During my time in Mexico, one of my neighbors had an early version of a satellite antenna, and we would often light up the grill and catch the Cubs on TV.

It made afternoon rush-hour traffic a bit interesting listening to WGN radio and driving home. It brought morning baseball to West Coast fans. It allowed the players to play ball and have dinner with their families.

Eventually, economics caught up with the Cubs. It’s hard to play daytime baseball when TV viewership is crucial to pro sports. It was fun while it lasted.

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Waiting for “los papeles” and hearing about The Beatles

It was August 1964, and our family was waiting in Jamaica for our “papers” to fly to the U.S.  Over in downtown Kingston, I saw a big sign about a new movie by The Beatles.  My father did not know who the group was, and we kept walking, doing our errands.

Why didn’t my father know who the band was?  We had just left Cuba, and we never got them in the island.  Think about it.  The world was full of “Beatlemania,” and all we heard was Fidel Castro’s speeches.  Do you understand now why I’m so grateful to my parents for getting us out of that communist island?

Later I learned that The Beatles were suddenly screen stars as well as the top band in the world!  The movie, A Hard Day’s Night, was released in the U.K. in July and in the U.S. in August.  We heard all about their music when we finally landed in the U.S.

As someone said, the movie didn’t have much of a plot, but lots of people paid to see it.  The theaters were full from coast to coast.

The plot was sort of like a day in the life of the group.  We saw The Beatles running around from concerts to studios to interviews, and there was one funny old man (Wilfrid Brambell) playing Paul’s grandfather.

In retrospect, the movie was very funny.  It was full of crazy comedy and some great dialogue that sounds better with age:

In Richard Lester’s kinetic and influential, cinema verite music-video documentary about Beatlemania — the first Beatle film about a “day in the life”:

the opening montage scene of the Beatles being besieged by a stampede of frenzied schoolgirl fans on their travels from their hometown of Liverpool to London to perform in a TV broadcast, and their retreat to a train station

Paul’s meeting and encounter with an unimpressed, middle-aged gentleman (his fictional “Grandfather” John McCartney) (Wilfred Brambell), who was on their London-bound train in the first-class cabin; Paul told John: “He’s very clean” (an oft-repeated line) and described him as “a villain, a real mixer”

the scene in the train compartment when proper, commuting city business-man Johnson (Richard Vernon) complained about their loud radio — with John’s coo-ed line to him as he leaned over: “Give us a kiss!”; Johnson asserted: “I fought the war for your sort” — John impudently joked back: “I’ll bet you’re sorry you won”

the group’s dry, dismissive one-liners when interviewed by the press with nonsensical questions: 

John Lennon’s answer about how he found America: (“Turned left at Greenland”); 

Ringo’s answers to questions: “Are you a mod or a rocker?” “Uh, no, I’m a mocker”; and “What do you call that collar?” “A collar”; 

and George’s answers: “Has success changed your life?” “Yes” and “What would you call that hairstyle you’re wearing?” “Arthur”

Ringo’s solitary misadventures, and “walkabout” wanderings around London as he snapped pictures — into a clothing store, strolling alongside a canal, in a pub; and along the way, the comic scene of Ringo offering his coat to cover muddy puddles for a lady to cross over, only to discover that the third puddle was a deep hole; he was apprehended by police for “wandering abroad, malicious intent, acting in a suspicious manner, conduct liable to cause a breach of the peace — you name it, he’s done it”

I liked it, and I continue to like it a lot!  Maybe life was simpler, or grandfather jokes appeal to me now that I have three of those little ones called grandchildren.

The soundtrack was great, such as the title song “A Hard Day’s Night,” also released as a 45 with “I Should Have Known Better” as the B-side.  There were two great ballads: “And I Love Her” plus the beautiful “If I Fell.”

We remember that there were two L.P.s issued, one for the U.S. and the other for the U.K.  The U.S. version had several George Martin instrumentals, such as “This Boy: Ringo’s Theme.”  As I heard in a George Martin interview, they issued two L.P.s for contractual reasons.

It was really a fun movie and a recess from all the mad stuff on the news.  Catch it, and I’m sure you’ll like it.  We’ll have plenty of time next week to talk about everything else.

PS: Check out my videos and posts. (My new American Thinker post)

Maybe they’ll rename it China News Network

According to news reports, CNN is undergoing a ratings crisis and some profit concerns. This is the story:    

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that CNN’s yearly profitability is expected to decline to $956.8 according to projections from S&P Global Market Intelligence.    

CNN’s annual profits haven’t sunk below $1 billion since 2016, the year Donald Trump beat Hilary Clinton in the presidential election and subsequently became a prominent figure in their commentary. “Ratings are down from their Trump-era heights across cable news, but declines at CNN are particularly pronounced,” the Times noted.

CNN viewership is about 639,000 in the prime time hours slot, which is down 27 percent from last year. More people on average watch MSNBC, whose viewership is down 23 percent, and Fox wins over both networks and is up about a percentage point in overall viewers.

Translation:  The bean counters are worried or they don’t have enough beans to count. So the executives are looking to diversify, as they say in business schools. They want to take the brand to China, according to the aforementioned story:      

CNN brought on Chris Marlin, a lawyer with no cable news experience, who suggested “striking advertising deals with major tech companies like Microsoft,” “…selling sponsorships to corporate underwriters,” and “extending CNN’s brand in China.”

To be honest, I don’t care because I don’t watch CNN. The story of CNN is easy to understand. They invested themselves totally in the anti-Trump meme and then the Orange Man left the front pages.  They have no one to hate anymore. They have to report on the Biden presidency and inflation, recession, etc. It was a lot more fun when Jim Acosta was sent to the press conferences to argue with President Trump. “Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end” is what the bean counters are singing over there.

So who knows hat the future holds for the “most trusted name in news.” Maybe the future is in China. If so then all they have to do is make it the China News Network. It all fits so neatly. They can move the headquarters from Atlanta to Peking and put a mask on all their correspondents to fight the pollution or whatever virus is happening over there.

P.S.  Check out  my videos  and posts.

(My new American Thinker post)

‘The View’ is unviewable

A few weeks ago, we discussed the television talk show “The View” in our Sunday after mass informal political roundtable.  It’s a bunch of friends who go out to lunch after church and engage in a variety of topics.   

Of course, every once in a while “The View” comes up. So one lady said that “The View” is unviewable, and we generally agreed. Maybe we learned this week why it is “unviewable” for so many.  Once again, Whoopi Goldberg decided to share her wisdom:  

“God doesn’t make mistakes” and thus it’s in his plan to have women choose abortion.  “God made us smart enough to know when it wasn’t going to work for us. That’s the beauty of giving us freedom of choice.”   “My relationship [with God] is always choppy,” she adds.

Well. I won’t comment on her “choppy” relationship with God.  However, I will say a bit about God and freedom of choice. Yes, God gave us the freedom to choose.  He also told us about right and wrong.  For example, I have the freedom to choose to attack an old woman walking home. I’m free to do that but I also know that it’s wrong and could land me in jail if I don’t live in New York or San Francisco.

Of course, it won’t matter because abortion is a sacrament for many in the left.  It’s all about giving women the right to choose but that apparently does not apply to the girls aborted.  I guess that they will never get the right to choose.  They are collateral damage in the pursuit of the goal.So “The View” will go on and it does not matter whether they have a conservative counterpart or not.  The show is about making outrageous statements that will create conversation or get clicks on social media.   So let the 2 million or so who watch it get their kicks! In the end, the best thing to do is to turn off the TV or watch the reruns of “The Dick Van Dyke Show.“   

At least, Laura Petrie, and her neighbor Millie Helper, made a lot more sense when they discussed the problems of the world.  Laura and Millie made you laugh whereas Whoopi and Joy make you wonder about what’s going on at ABC News.

P.S.:  Check out  my videos  and posts. (My new American Thinker post)

And Vince knew about socialism too!

We learned that Vince Scully passed away. He was 94 and retired from the microphone a few years ago. I remember a college professor who told me that the Dodgers had changed coasts, the letter on their cap from B to LA, and added the names of the players to the uniforms, but Vince Scully was always the voice of the team.

His story is remarkable, as Anthony Castrovince wrote:   

Though born in the Bronx, near Yankee Stadium, in that epochal year of 1927 and eventually associated with the Dodgers, Scully grew up a New York Giants fan. He would emulate the batting stance of his favorite player, Mel Ott. But as early as age 8, Scully knew that he wanted to announce games even more than he wanted to play in them.

Fordham-educated and Navy-trained, Scully got into broadcasting at just 22 years old, and he did so by making an impression on a man who had been a major influence. Scully was a fill-in at WTOP in Washington, D.C., when one day a message was left for him at his parents’ home. His mother relayed it.

“Red Skelton called!”

Actually, it was Red Barber, who was heading CBS network sports and looking for a backup voice for “College Football Roundup.”

And the rest is history, as they say.  He was a natural on the radio and eventually made it to the Brooklyn Dodgers.  

My memories of Vince Scully are about the post-season. I did not live in the Los Angeles area so  did not hear him call Dodgers’ games.  It was in the post-season when I heard his unique style of calling a baseball game.  Always had the feeling that Vince had scored a 100 on his grammar tests.  

I remember the 1974 World Series when the Dodgers played the Oakland A’s.  He was talking about players’ salaries and spoke about the new reality of the game.  He said something like the losers’ wives wear mink coats these days.  He meant that the losers would get a nice check, too.

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No sugar in Cuba?

Years ago, my mother got a letter from her sister in Cuba complaining about the lack of food and specially seafood.  So my mother said to her Cuban friend:

Can you believe that?  No fish in Cuba.

And her friend said:    

How can that be?  It’s an island.  I remember going fishing and catching everything.

And my mother responded: 

Yes, I remember that, too.  But this is “Cuba comunista” and the fish have all gone to Miami.

I wonder what my late mother would say about the shortage of sugar in Cuba?  Yes, there is not enough sugar in Cuba today.     

This is the report via my friends at Babalu Blog:      

The production of the 2021-2022 sugar harvest was the lowest in the last 150 years: only 480,000 tons of sugar, not even covering the average annual consumption on the island, which is around 600,000 tons. Of the 35 sugar mills that participated in the harvest, which ended on May 20, only three fulfilled their production plan.

“We don’t even have sugar at the bodegas,” says Alexis, the manager of one in El Cerro.

Once upon a time, Cuba had no problems growing sugar cane, turning it into sugar for domestic consumption or exports.  It was a forgone conclusion that every Cuban would sweeten his strong coffee and light up a cigar, something I saw my father do often.  I can still smell my mother’s Cuban coffee and my father’s cigar!

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Who knew we’d be talking about the misery index again?

As I recall, it was then Governor Jimmy Carter who used the misery index against President Gerald Ford in 1976. It was inflation plus unemployment equal the misery index. It was thrown back at President Carter in 1980 and had a lot to do with Ronald Reagan becoming the 40th president and bringing a lot of GOP senators with him.

The misery index is back and it will hurt the Democrats, according to Bloomberg:   

A new study by Bloomberg Economics takes one gauge with a knack of predicting ballot outcomes — the misery index, calculated by adding up the inflation and unemployment rates — and projects it forward through election day.   

The result: Based on past voting patterns, President Joe Biden’s party can expect to lose 30 to 40 seats in the House and a few in the Senate too, easily wiping out razor-thin Democratic majorities.

My sense is that the 2022 results will be driven by two factors: First, the misery index is real and people feel it every time that they fill their tank or buy food. And second, who will show up to vote this time?   

This is always hard to “poll” but my impression is that a lot people angry with President Biden plan to vote.  They are furious about a lot of things, from school curriculums to cabinet members who can’t seem to do anything about any problem. How you ever seen a less qualified group of people than those running the country?  Can you say Pete The Transportation man?

So it will be a good day for the GOP.  It looks that way with 90 days to go.  But don’t forget to vote!

P.S,  Check out  my videos  and posts. (My new American Thinker post)

Remembering my father now that Oliva and Miñoso are in the Hall of Fame

Last Sunday, Tony Oliva and Minnie Minoso finally made it to Cooperstown.  I got to see it on TV.  My late father, and lots of Cubans, probably got to see it up in heaven.

As a very little boy in Cuba, my father used to take us to watch baseball games.  It was the four-team Cuban winter league, or the cream of the crop in Caribbean baseball.  My father saw a young Brooks Robinson, Lefty Tommy Lasorda, and aspiring Major-Leaguers who knew that a good Cuban winter league session would get them noticed in spring training.

It was also the league to catch the Cuban stars like Minoso, Camilo Pascual, Pedro Ramos, Cookie Rojas, etc.  I don’t remember all of the details, but there was a lot of cigar smoke in the air and intensity whenever Orestes “Minnie” Minoso would come to the plate.  Later, my father told me that Minoso was booed if he didn’t slide hard or dive for an outfield fly ball.  Cuban fans heard about his stolen bases up here and wanted the same down there.  My guess is that the White Sox did not really want to see their star player play winter ball in Cuba, but the pressure on Minoso was overwhelming.

Years later, our family took a weekend trip to Minneapolis to watch Oliva and the Twins.  They were a great team and had four Cuban players: A.L. MVP Zoilo Versalles, the great curve ball artist Camilo Pascual, back-up outfielder Sandy Valdespino, and Oliva.  It was such a treat to catch our first Major League game and see Tony Oliva hit a line drive to the wall.

They are now in Cooperstown, and that’s exactly where they need to be.

Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso was born in Perico, Cuba, a sugar plantation.  It was very common for plantations to have baseball teams in pre-Castro Cuba, and the rest is history:

The White Sox quickly put Miñoso in their everyday lineup, where he finished the season with a .326 batting average, 112 runs scored and an American League-best 14 triples and 31 steals. He finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year vote to Gil McDougald of the Yankees, and fourth in the AL Most Valuable Player voting.

Miñoso quickly demonstrated he could play baseball as well or better than almost anyone else around. Between 1951 and 1957, Miñoso led the league in triples three times, stolen bases three times, scored 100 or more runs four times and recorded at least 100 RBI three times. In those seven years, he was named to five All-Star teams, finished in the top 10 of the AL MVP voting four times and won a Gold Glove Award for his play in the outfield in 1957 — the first year Gold Glove Awards were presented.

Pedro Tony Oliva was born in Pinar del Rio and learned to play baseball on his father’s farm.  He was spotted by a Twins scout, and they got him of Castro’s Cuba with his brother’s passport.

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