The Ted Cruz Democrats! (a.k.a. “Cubanito Cruz” que bueno baila usted!)

Last month, Senator Cruz was called every name in the book for suggesting that ObamaCare should be repealed, or at least defunded.

Despite the vicious attacks, Senator Ted Cruz fought on because he understood just how unpopular Obama Care is outside of Washington.

Where are we now?

Today, red state Democrats have decided to call for delays:

“Lawmakers are pressing to extend the deadline beyond March 31 after the troubled roll out of Obamacare raised concerns that people might not be able to sign up in time to avoid the $95 fine that jumps to $695 by 2016.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who faces re-election next year, wrote to President Obama, noting the glitch-plagued roll out that began Oct. 1 and asked him to extend the deadline beyond March 31.
“The difficulty that people in New Hampshire and in other states that are relying on the federally facilitated marketplaces are experiencing is incredibly frustrating and disappointing,” Shaheen wrote. “For over three years, we have been waiting for the creation of the health insurance exchanges, which now in their fourth week of existence, are riddled with problems.”
Backing Shaheen are Sens. Mark Begich, D-Ala., and Mark Pryor, D-Ark., two more more vulnerabP.S. le Democrats from red states facing competitive re-election bids next year.
Pryor, considered the most vulnerable Democratic Senator, said in a statement that “it makes sense” to extend the deadline and that the Obama administration “should state clearly how the enforcement mechanism will work if people can’t sign up in time.” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who is not up for re-election but whose state is more purple than blue, said he and Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., would introduce legislation to delay the health care law’s individual mandate by a year.”

Will The White House call them reckless and irresponsible?  Terrorists and arsonists?

Yes, it’s true that these red-state Democrats are looking out for themselves. They are also hearing from constituents, specially after the ObamaCare web site fiasco!  They are not hearing anything pretty from angry taxpayers who can’t understand why the Obama administration spent $600 million on a website that doesn’t work.

Let’s welcome and cheer the first class of “Ted Cruz Democrats”!

For more on these Democrats, check out Kimberley Straeel at The Wall Street Journal:

“The pressure for other Democrats to join will rise, as will the pressure for the party to embrace more extensive changes to the law.”

Yes, slowly but surely they will become Ted Cruz Democrats, i.e. people who come to their senses about this horrific law!

 

“Que paciencia tiene la novia”: 80 years and a couple sing “Quiereme siempre” by Orquesta Aragon

This is a story that Fausta Wertz brought to our attention last week:

“An elderly Paraguayan couple have got married in a religious ceremony after living together for 80 years.

From his wheelchair, Jose Manuel Riella, 103, promised his eternal love to Martina Lopez, his 99-year-old bride, who wore a long white dress.

The wedding was held in the couple’s garden, where an altar had been set up.

The ceremony was attended by many of their eight children, 50 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and 20 great-great-grandchildren.

The priest said they were the oldest newlyweds he had ever known.”

I guess that some guys just have a hard time asking for the lady’s hand.

Let’s wish Jose and Martina another 80 years of love and happiness.  Maybe they will “populate” another village!

At the same time, this is probably not what the authors of  “Quiereme siempre” had in mind:

“Siempre, (siempre), quiéreme siempre,
(quiéreme siempre) , tanto, (tanto)
como yo a ti (como yo a ti)
Nunca, nuca me olvides, dime, dime que si
Cuando, (cuando), beso tu boca, (beso tu boca),
nada (nada ), nada es mejor (nada es mejor)
Dame, dame tu vida, quiéreme siempre, dame tu amor,

Siempre, quiéreme siempre, tanto, como yo a ti
Nunca, nuca me olvides, dime, dime que si
Cuando, beso tu boca, nada, nada es mejor
Dame, dame tu vida, quiéreme siempre, dame tu amor, …Amor…”

 

 

 

Maybe the ObamaCare website “no sirve” because it speaks 150 languages!

We learned from President Obama’s “call this 1-800 number” speech that ObamaCare can speak 150 languages.

I guess that you can call the 1-800 number and push a button to speak to someone who can help you in one of these 150 languages.

Let me tell you the truth:  I did not know that there were 150 languages in the US.    How in the world did they find customer service people who can speak that many languages?  Also, did anyone test these people?  How do we know that they can even speak the language they claim to speak?

Also, whatever happened to the idea that you have learn English if you come to the US?

Shouldn’t we expect people to learn English or try to learn English?

Didn’t our parents have to learn English or at least try to communciate in English?

We do know that “the Spanish version” is a mess, too, according to my friends at Babalu.

Spanish and English are down.  Wonder how the other 148 are doing?

 

Dear Mr Leisman: Cruz is Cuban and the jobs report is pre-shutdown

Steve Leisman of CNBC had a very embarassing moment today:

“There was a brief moment of awkwardness on CNBC Tuesday morning when, during a discussion of the weak jobs report and Senator Ted Cruz, reporterSteve Liesman asked for some “Mexican music” to be played while they talked about Cruz.

Liesman said, “We’re going to call this the Senator Ted Cruz jobs report. These are the jobless claims of Senator Ted Cruz.”

When a picture of Cruz appeared on the screen, he continued, “Can we get some music to go along with that? Some Mexican music, maybe?”

There was also some music briefly playing for a few seconds before immediately being cut.”

Leisman is wrong on two counts:

First, and less important, the reference to Mexican music misses the point that Senator Cruz is Cuban American.  I’m not worked up about this but there is a double standard in the media.  Would he have said “play Mexican music” if he was talking about a Mexican American Democrat?  My guess is no!

Second, and very important, the jobs report is all pre-shutdown:

“September’s report predates the culmination of the most recent fiscal showdown, whose effects are more likely to be found in the October employment report.”

So Mr Leisman got the wrong music and bad analysis of the numbers.

The jobs report was very weak.    We created a lousy 148,000 jobs but the big story that 10 millions have now dropped out of the labor force.

We are in the 5th year of the Obama stimulus and we have very little to show for the $847 billion spent.

Forget the music.  It’s the policies!

 

The missiles in Cuba: “Se fueron los cohetes pero se quedo Castro”!

We sat around my father’s Phillips radio, or the one with a short wave band.   By the way, this radio was a lifeline to international news.

My father purchased it because it was one of the first FM models to be available in Cuba.  However, it was the short wave band that became the radio’s primary feature.

Our place was very close to “El Malecon”, the legendary Havana ocean drive avenue.  We had a feeling that something was going on because it was full of “milicianos” with anti-aircraft weapons.

We heard Persident Kennedy (translated to Spanish) say that there were missiles in Cuba:

“In a dramatic televised address to the American public, President John F. Kennedyannounces that the Soviet Union has placed nuclear weapons in Cuba and, in response, the United States will establish a blockade around the island to prevent any other offensive weapons from entering Castro’s state. Kennedy also warned the Soviets that any nuclear attack from Cuba would be construed as an act of war, and that the United States would retaliate in kind.”

Looking back, I have a couple of questions.

First, why didn’t President Kennedy tell the Soviets to take Castro out with the missiles?  My guess is that the Soviets would have asked:  Do we take him out dead or alive?  The Soviets were overextended in October 1962.  We held all of the cards and should have demanded Castro’s exit.

Second, why don’t we ever talk about the impact on the people Cuba?  The Missile Crisis was followed by more and more repression, brutality against the guerillas in Escambray and the consolidation ofthe Castro dictatorship.

As someone said:  “Se fueron los cohetes pero se quedo Castro”!

P.S. We discussed the speech and that night with Bill Katz of Urgent Agenda who was working with the CIA at that time..

Click here to listen!

 

President “Nadie me dice nada” Obama

According to The Washington Post, nobody told President Obama:

“The problem here isn’t just technological. It’s managerial.
The White House’s senior staff — up to and including the president — was blindsided.
Staffers deep in the process knew that HealthCare.gov wasn’t ready for primetime.
But those frustrations were hidden from top-level managers.
Somewhere along the chain the information was spun, softened, or just plain buried.
The result was that the White House didn’t know the truth about its own top initiative — and so they were unprepared for the disastrous launch. They didn’t even know they needed to be lowering expectations.
In any normal corporation, heads would roll over a managerial failure of such magnitude and consequence.”

Sorry but there is something really weird about this Obama administration:

1) 2,000 high powered ATF weapons fly south over the US-Mexico border and no one tells AG Holder or President Obama;

2) The IRS decides to target conservative groups and nobody tells President Obama that he has a huge IRS scandal brewing; and,

3) The rollout of ObamaCare is full of problems and nobody tells President Obama.

My conclusion is that we need new staffers or maybe a new president.

P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here.

Why didn’t we hire “the best and the brightest” in the first place?

Has anybody seen Secretary Sebelius?  She is apparently up in Massachusetts and avoiding any serious questions about this disaster known as the ObamaCare roll out.

She did say that the search is on for “the best and the brightest”, i.e. the top tech people in the country to fix the Affordable Health Care Act website.

My question is this:  Why didn’t we hire the best and brightest before?  What was that $600 million contract for?  Did we pay top dollar for the B-team?

Perphaps “the best and the brightest” wanted no part of this for two reasons:

1) This is not really about health care.  This is about expanding the role of government into areas such as the doctor-patient relationship.

2) The “best and brightest” understood just how complex this enterprise was going to be, as Ezra Klein reported today:

“HealthCare.gov is monstrously complex. The Times reports that there’s more than 500 million lines of code — of which more than 5 million lines may need to be rewritten. And that code is interfacing with computer systems (and computer code) at the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, state Medicaid systems, insurers like Aetna, and more. Even the best programmers would have trouble figuring out what’s going on — much less what’s going wrong — quickly.

The truth is that the Obama administration is, to a much greater extent than it would like, dependent on the very people who built HealthCare.gov to fix it. They’re the only people who know what’s going on inside the system.”

This is a mess!

Maybe this is why CNN has disapproval for ObamaCare is at 56%!.

And Gallup has President Obama’s approval at 44%!

 

A “Cubana” from Dixie who tells stories!

The Cuban American experience is diverse and very interesting.

On one hand, there are those Cubans who stayed in South Florida and grew up there.  They attended schools full of other Cuban exiles.  They walked on streets beaming with “Cubanismo” or the smell of “cafe cubano”.  They were never really separated from Cuba.

On the other hand, the rest of us settled in places like Chicago (Carlos Eire),  Virginia (Jorge Ponce), Louisiana (Humberto Fontova) or Wisconsin like me.  We had to find “cubanismo” by getting together with other Cubans or playing those Beny More LPs on our turntables.

Speaking of the second group, we chatted this week with Tersi Agra Bendiburg, a “Cubana” who grew up in Georgia.

Her family story is similar to mine, and perhaps yours:

“Tersi had vivid memories from her childhood in post-revolution Cuba.  She remembers soldiers walking through her house, taking inventory of everything her family owned.  A year later, when they were to leave the country with nothing –not even her parents’ wedding rings, the soldiers returned to re-inventory all the contents of the house.  She also remembers her father hiding a young man in their home  (who had been shot by soldiers) until he could be passed along safely.

At age, ten, Tersi’s family moved to Mexico City where they stayed with a distant relative while her parents applied for political asylum in the United States.  That Christmas was the first time Carmen, age 3, had ever seen Christmas lights because religious celebrations had been halted after the revolution in Cuba.

          It was a wonderland.  On the Dia de los Reyes, Three Kings Day, Tersi wrote to the kings to let them know Tersi and her family were no longer in Cuba, but were, instead, in Mexico City so they would know where to bring presents.  Her parents were so worried that Tersi had written a letter and they had no money to buy her a present.  It was then that she spoke with a relative from Decatur, Georgia who told Tersi that the kings had left presents for her and Carmen in Decatur, and that in the future she should direct her letters to Santa Claus because the kings said the coffee in America was too weak for men from the east and the icy streets were too much of a challenge for the camels.  Sure enough, when they arrived in Decatur, both girls had presents waiting for them.
In Decatur, the Agra family was sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Decatur.  They never needed welfare since they had a little furnished apartment and Mr. Agra began work almost immediately.  Tersi attended Oakhurst Elementary where she had the famous spinach incident, and many other adventures.
          That first Halloween in the United States Tersi ran home with a pillowcase full of candy.  She dumped it out and said, “You just say trick-or-treat and they give you candy!”
          “What a country!”  Her father exclaimed.”

Yes, what a country indeed!

Today, Tersi tells children the wonderful stories of Latin America and others:

“Latin American Folktales

Consists of a large collection of age-appropriate folktales and legends from Latin America. Tersi explains how these stories crossed the Atlantic from Europe and Africa centuries earlier and became part of the Latin American folklore. The use of songs and musical instruments moves the stories along. Students are encouraged to join in for songs and refrains during the stories. A workshop for grades 5-12 on how to research, collect, and adapt folktales can follow the presentation.
Georgia: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
Offers a memorable collection of legends, stories, and anecdotes taken from the folklore and history of Georgia to bring its rich culture to life right before the students’ eyes. This program is especially suitable for eighth grade students who study Georgia history.
Coming to America: Red Clay Stories
Raises awareness and builds understanding about the difficulty immigrants face in adjusting to a new country and putting down roots through bittersweet stories.
Day of the Dead:  A Scary Name for a Beautiful Celebration!
Tells how this Mexican holiday of celebration and remembrance reflects the values and customs of the two very different cultures of Europe and the Aztecs. Tersi explores the roots of the Day of the Dead in All Saints Day from Europe and a number of celebrations of the Aztec and other indigenous peoples.
Our Holiday Table:  a Multicultural Feast
Tells how real holiday dishes inspire stories drawn from the three cultures that came together to make up the Spanish-speaking Caribbean: Native American, European, and African. “
What a wonderful lady!   Thanks to Fernando Hernandez for the introduction!     We spoke with Tersi on Friday’s show and learned that she was born in Florida, Camaguey or not too far from my mom’s hometown of Ciego de Avila!   As my mother loves to say:  “Que mundo mas chiquito”!
Enjoy the show:  CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

Pres Obama: “Se te cayo el tabaco”

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!

We are not going to have another “shutdown” but we will see a lot of that 2006 video of Senator Obama saying that raising the debt ceiling is a failure of leadership.

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”!

http://youtu.be/AOYDnRsObqA

“El jefe de Babalu” on CANTO TALK

We spoke with Alberto de la Cruz on Wednesday night.

As Babalu readers know, our friend Alberto has done a great job posting about the “fake reforms” and continuing “repression”.

Fausta Wertz, editor of Fausta’s Blog, also joined our panel.  Please check Fausta’s Blog for daily coverage of US-Latin America news.

Enjoy the show:

WEDNESDAY: The latest from Cuba PLUS US-Latin America stories of the week….

Listen in now at http://t.co/VXAjDTkjSv.