January 30, 2015

January 29, 2015

Cuba is making demands now? Here's why Obama will cave.

A couple of stories on Drudge Report regarding the attempt by Obama to normalize relations with Cuba, caught my eye this morning.

In order to normalize relations, Cuba is demanding (yes, demanding) that the U.S. embargo of Cuba be fully lifted. But that's not all. Cuba is insisting that the U.S. return Guantanamo to Cuban control to have relations return to normal.

While the latter demand plays right into Obama's 2008 campaign promise to close the detention center there, it goes a step further and I'm curious as to whether this is a significant part of Obama's agenda on Cuba. He's going to engage enemies and close Guantanamo (because Cuba demanded it as part of the negotiations). How cute. I bet he thinks he's killed two birds with one stone.

But not so fast there Cuba. And Obama. What about that embargo. Is the U.S. just going to lift that free of charge,especially considering what the U.S. will be getting in return - squat. No human rights improvements in the country. No real trade benefits except for perhaps better cigars is implicit in this deal.

So why do it, and how many in the U.S. Senate are going to balk at ratifying a treaty that gives the U.S. nothing? I have two thoughts on that.

Firstly, if a treaty goes to the Senate for ratification, it requires a supermajority to pass. That's not going to happen but very likely will happen is a vote along party lines. And that could be exactly what Obama wants and he'll want it precisely before the 2016 elections, where he and (presumably) Hillary Clinton can complain that once again the Republicans are the party of 'NO'.

How do Republicans avoid this? Not bringing it up for a vote at all prevents it from passing but keeps the meme of GOP = NO alive. They could try to get bipartisan support to vote against passage of the treaty into law. Given the poltical importance for 2016, that may be impossible. We've seen the Democrats far too often converge around issues they clearly don't agree upon because they believe it will help the party. So that leaves one possible line of defense. I'm not even sure in the case of reaties that this is legal, but what I would do is attach so many riders to the passage of the treaty that it becomes unpalatable to the president. Repeal Obacare, pass Keystone, reverse Dodd-Frank. Anything you can think of adding, add.

Of course the instant media meme will be that the Republicans are trying manipulate passage and that they are either still obstructionist or else being unreasonable in their demands. But therein lies the opportunity to respond that the president had promised he would try to work together to get bi-partisan compromise and that because there has been none, this is the last opportunity during this administration to make something like that happen. If the president really wants this, then come to the bargaining table and finally talk to us. Repeat it. Often. Play clips of "I won" type comments from 2008 to the present and let people know, that's not post-partisan, and every Democrat who is knuckling under to this one-way deal, including Clinton/Warren/Biden is a partisan hack who is not open to compromise and will continue to poison the air in Washington during the next administration.

Boom.

One other thought I had on this is "Why Cuba"? Why not Iran? I'm sure Obama would like to be friendlier to that rogue nation as well. Evidence dates back to his early apology tour. The answer to that is pretty obvious. Cuba has been so unimportant over the last 50 years (post missle crisis) that it seems almost inconsequntial to strike a deal. The reason that Cuba has been so inconsequential? The embargo. It worked to keep a communist nation from becoming important geo-politically.

So, there's that.

Thursday Hillary Bash - The Coronation Awaits

Yep, it's a coronation. Hillary Clinton is delaying her campaign because she doesn't need to start yet. No competition is forthcoming.

Via Politico this morning, the following story about Hillary delaying her announcement to run for president by 3 full months. Why? She doesn't need to do it yet because the field is wide open for her.
Hillary Clinton, expecting no major challenge for the Democratic nomination, is strongly considering delaying the formal launch of her presidential campaign until July, three months later than originally planned, top Democrats tell POLITICO.

The delay from the original April target will give her more time to develop her message, policy and organization, without the chaos and spotlight of a public campaign.

...A huge advantage to waiting is that Clinton postpones the time when she goes before the public as a politician rather than as a former secretary of state. Polling by both Democrats and Republicans shows that one of her biggest vulnerabilities is looking political.
Silly me. Here I was thinking her biggest vulnerability was her lack of a meaningful resume or maybe an astounding lack of real qualification for the job.  

Please America do me a favor (not to mention the world, and yourself), do not elect another superficial senator for president.

January 23, 2015

Friday Musical Interlude - Lips Are Movin

Meghan Trainor's late 2014 release Lips Are Moving.

January 21, 2015

A partial list of "Don't Care"s

President Obama delivered his latest State of the Union speech, replete with calls for more taxes, calls for more co-operation followed by insults and taunts directed towards Republicans.  He's done anyway. Don't care.

The New England Patriots balls were too small. Apparently they were under pressured and not regulation.  So what? Do you believe that accounts for 35 of New England's points in the game versus the Colts? I don't.  Don't Care.

A new poll is out indicating GOP voters are at best lukewarm to both Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney attempt #3.  Voters don't care.   It's an early poll so I don't care.

Negotiators are headed to Cuba from the U.S. to discuss human rights among other things.  Cuba's dictatorial communist regime is surely laughing at America right now.  They aren't going to change.  They don't care about the same things as Americans - things like liberty and free speech.  But this isn't going to get all that far all that fast.  When Marco Rubio is president and reverses course on this, it won't matter.  So I don't care. [For the sarcasm-challenged, don't buy the Rubio comment above]

Joe Biden's threatening to contest Hillary Clinton's coronation next year. Do I need to say it? Don't care.  In fact, no one does, including Biden's family.

Academy Award nominations (and SAG awards, and Emmy's and People's Choice etc.) - DO NOT CARE.

The NASA assertion that the earth had it`s warmest year in 2014 was only made with 38% certainty.  Nobody should care. Lick your finger, stick it in the air and test the wind.  Your resulting scientific model is about as viable as anything they've postulated so far. Don't Care,

50% of the world`s wealth held by 1%.  Is that fact supposed to astound us? I bet the ratio 100 years ago was far worse.  Ancient Egypt?  Forget about it. If you don't like it, do something about it.  And by that I mean, innovate, not complain and pout. Don't Care.

Are there more things I don't care about?  Yes.  But I don't care enough to write about them just now.
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