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Trouble in Havana
The Real Reason for Obama’s Cuba Breakthrough
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  • FriendlyGoat

    The Republican Platform on page 50 says “An American president will never embrace a Marxist dictator in Venezuela” and makes clear we will not be doing much of anything with respect to that country until AFTER the Venezuelan people “restore their own democracy” and “regain their own rights”. For Cuba, I couldn’t find much other than calls for maintaining sanctions against it
    “Trumpism” (whatever the heck it is) might have more fully-developed ideas, but it’s doubtful based on anything we hear.

    • mgoodfel

      Well, the reassuring thing is that what Trump (or Hillary) say tells you nothing about what they will eventually do.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Glad you notice that in Trump. With a single sentence, you just negated his entire acceptance speech.

        • Dale Fayda

          What Trump has promised is a far cry from “stoping the oceans from rising” or “if you like your insurance plan, you get to keep your insurance plan”, which is what your worthless boy-king has been blowing up our skirts. If Trump accomplished a fraction of what he talks about, I will take him over the most corrupt, inept, reckless, incompetent, mendacious and immoral female politician in American history any day. Obama has failed in every one of his stated goals – I dare you to name ONE of his policies which has worked as he promised – much to the country’s detriment and Hillary is nothing but Obama’s third term. No, thank you.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Most Republicans (more the “ownership class” than Democrats) should be happy that the stock market is making new highs in the Obama sunset after the Bush years closed with the onset of Great Depression 2.0

          • Dale Fayda

            The stock market? That’s your comeback? The market is swimming on an ocean of of several QE’s, held up by record low interest rates for a record period of time, impoverishing the savers of this nation and enriching the Democrat party’s donor base. What’s the size of the Fed’s balance sheet these days, $7 – $8 TRILLION? What about the Federal Government’s external debt, $19 – 20 TRILLION? Yes, happy days are here again…

            Record percentage of people at or below poverty level, record percentage of people on food stamps, median incomes down, workforce participation rate at record lows, real unemployment rates around 10%, healthcare insurance costs exploding and on and on and on.

            Don’t believe me? Why listen to Hillary, Bernie and Uncle Joe:

            Do you even believe the piffle you spout here or are you just doing it out of force of habit? I sense more and more hesitation and defensiveness in your comments, as the era of the most lawless, reckless and racist administration in the last 100 years draws to its ignominious end, amid rampant Muslim terrorism, blatant shootings of white policemen, increasing poverty levels and stagnant job growth.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I realize that not all Republicans are in the stock market—-just a majority of them one way or another including working-class 401Ks (the supposedly-wonderful consolation prize for discontinued pensions.)

            To hear the story told at the RNC, America is “not great” at the moment—-AND YET—-the brokerage accounts of those who have them were never better. There is a lot of bitch, bitch, bitch going on which is REALLY hard to take, you know?

            It’s true that interest rates have been too low too long, but that appears to be required worldwide to mitigate the negative economic effects of too much tax-cut competition between countries.

          • Dale Fayda

            Once again, is that all you have to tout after (8) years of the “smartest man to ever hold the Presidency” – a tiny sliver of the population, the 1% reviled by the Democrats, are making out like fat rats because of the fugazy stock market?

            Can you refute the other points I brought up? Hillary, Bernie and Crazy Joe sure like to talk about them, as if they haven’t been in charge the last (8) years. As usual, liberals create a wasteland and call it “progress”.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Dale, there is something completely WEIRD about you trying to portray yourself more of a small-s socialist or progressive than me.
            You are supporting the party wanting to give the 1% the absolute moon in new legislation while defunding every “people program” in sight and I am NOT. That is the point here and you have no other point here. No sense going in silly circles.

          • Dale Fayda

            Nice try at misdirection, FG – no one is buying it. I would not call myself a “progressive” even under torture, so to even imply that I “portray yourself more of a small-s socialist or progressive than me” is patently absurd.

            I’ve brought up a number of points, outlining how disastrous Obama’s regime has been for the MOST of the population – even the Democrat presidential candidates and a card-carrying member of the said regime, Joe Biden, have harangued us about it multiple times. Once again, I challenge you to address or to refute (if you can) the facts I listed above. In case you’ve missed them, here they are again:

            “Record percentage of people at or below poverty level, record percentage of people on food stamps, median incomes down, workforce participation rate at record lows, real unemployment rate around 10%, healthcare insurance costs exploding and on and on and on.

            Don’t believe me? Why, listen to Hillary, Bernie and Uncle Joe:….

            Do you even believe the piffle you spout here or are you just doing it out of force of habit? I sense more and more hesitation and defensiveness in your comments, as the era of the most lawless, reckless and racist administration in the last 100 years draws to its ignominious end, amid rampant Muslim terrorism, blatant shootings of white policemen, increasing poverty levels and stagnant job growth.”

            Your only refuge in this discussion is the artificially inflated stock market, brought about a MASSIVE expansion of Federal debt. As I have suggested to you a few times previously, maybe if you sit in a lotus position and repeat “record high stock market” as mantra, it will make all the bad other stuff go away.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Well, I wouldn’t think you really want my opinion on what has caused declining incomes of the lower-middle class and declining workforce participation for lack of decent jobs, but since you asked, I will tell you what puts you in orbit AGAIN. High-end tax cuts do not, did not, cannot and will not create living-wage jobs.

            The tax-cut culture since 1978 and especially those done in 2001-03 have put on pressure for the elimination of a lot of jobs. This negative effect is also residing in tandem with other factors as well, such as some jobs simply being replaced by advances in technology and growth of other economies in the world.

            Obama, due to the make-up of Congress in most of his terms, has been unable to do much reversal of those tax cuts still in effect, still doing damage. The FED tries to mitigate the damage with low rates, but those alone cannot fix the on-going damage, which is why YEARS of low rates have helped a little but not nearly enough.

          • Dale Fayda

            Yes, just tax them more – that will do the trick. Amazing…

            Verily, liberalism is a mental disorder.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Taxing high incomes derived from NOT hiring people is not exactly the definition of insanity—-IF—–jobs are said to be the goal, and—–WHEN—–paying high taxes actually can be avoided by the deductible expense of hiring more people.

          • Dale Fayda

            The “goal” of each and every business is to make a profit, not to “hire people” just for the sake of not being taxed into oblivion. As I have tried to pound into your head numerous times on this site, people’s money belongs to THEM, not to the government -it’s just as much their private property as anything else they own. What the people choose to do with THEIR money is THEIR business – not yours and certainly not the government’s.

            Businesses hire when they think it will increase or at least maintain their profit level; they don’t hire when they think it won’t. It’s that simple. On the other hand, confiscatory taxation with the “goal” of artificially forcing businesses to hire when they themselves see no need or have not the capital to do so is oppressive and immoral. But then again, “oppressive and immoral” is the essence of progressivism.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You either want to create jobs for the working people in your own party or you don’t. It’s my opinion that the GOP seriously does not give a damn about it. You make that exact case.

          • Dale Fayda

            Parties and governments do not “create” anything, ever. Private sector businesses do. When governments stick their rat claws into “job/wealth creation”, a financial debacle generally ensues – see 2008 housing market collapse.

            The less governments involve themselves in tinkering with the job market, the better. Their job is to run itself as efficiently and inexpensively as possible and to establish a tax/regulatory regime that does NOT interfere with real, sustainable, organic job creation, which is based not on the delusional whims of a handful of bureaucrats, but on individual decisions of thousands and thousands of employers and employees.

            But that very notion is anathema to a leftist life you, because oppressive and immoral…

          • FriendlyGoat

            That “very notion is anathema” to me, a leftist, because is it simply not true. People, through governments, are creating both demand and jobs in this country and all countries. Millions and millions and millions of them.
            Nothing against the private sector—–except where sectors of it act as a vacuum of wealth upward without creating anything. Trading comes to mind. Tax the little winners in it a little. Tax the big wins in it a lot. DO NOT make an imbecilic decision that the trading is real economic activity and decide the tax the traders LEAST. It’s just stupid.

    • Blackbeard

      The point of the TAI post was that this was another clueless Obama foreign policy blunder: Cuba was getting desperate and we could have gotten a much better deal.

      Saying the Republicans are dumb too kind of misses the point.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Not to me. Having enough sense to know that dedicated Obama critics are and have been devoid of useful (useful) answers to much of anything since 1/20/2009 IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF OUR POLITICAL ERA.

        • Tom

          Seeing as Obama hasn’t actually had any answers either, I really don’t know why you’re criticizing the GOP for lacking them.

          • FriendlyGoat

            As I mentioned to Dale Fayda below, it’s not as insignificant matter to conservatives that business ownership in America, as measured by the stock market, is doing very, very well.

          • Tom

            One would think that you would understand that regulation and high taxes favor those already established and that unions in America are about their leaders rather than their workers.
            One would think.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Nah. I don’t think we need rid of CFPB or PPACA and I don’t think there is anyone anywhere who is “already established” who believes that he she is favored and advantaged by high taxes. The truth on the taxes thing is the opposite. The thousands of small retailers in America who were run out of business by Walmart were NOT run out because of their income taxes and they certainly were not enhanced by the tax cuts for Walmart and its shareholders which took place in the past and are FURTHER dreamed of by Republicans for the future.

          • Tom

            You are aware that regulatory burdens have a disproportionate effect on smaller entities, right? It’s part of the whole “economy of scale” thing.
            Furthermore, higher taxes are a great way to hinder other people from accumulating wealth.

          • FriendlyGoat

            Yes, of course, lowering the taxes of people who are paying high taxes BECAUSE they are already cleaning up will most certainly fix things for people who aren’t paying much tax yet because they aren’t making any money. Perfectly sensible—-except it isn’t.

          • Tom

            You are aware that $250,000 a year, while being upper-class, does not automatically translate into independent wealth, right?

          • FriendlyGoat

            Sure. The median family income in America is a heck of a lot lower, however.

        • Blackbeard

          Mr Goat,

          I have followed your posts here with interest and, although we apparently disagree on many things, I think you’re clearly an intelligent and well informed individual. Nevertheless in this matter I think you are mistaken.

          The most recent polling I’ve seen says that some 79% of the public believes we are headed in the wrong direction, an all time high if I remember correctly. Are they all wrong? Consider the economy, national security, race relations, foreign policy, etc.Are all those things going as you would like to see them go? And this is after nearly eight years of a Democratic administration and with Hillary promising four more years of Obamaism except further left.

          The argument the Democratic Party makes, and you make, is that the Republicans would be even worse and with Trump as the candidate that’s probably true. But is it really enough to say, “We may be bad but the other guys are even worse?”

          I suggest you need to ask more of your leaders.

          • FriendlyGoat

            1) Thanks for kind words.
            2) I never like the “right track-wrong track” poll question because everyone has SOMETHING to gripe about and the question does not differentiate between who is mad about what. NFL owners and players could legitimately claim that nothing whatsoever is wrong. Pro Football and its business aspect were never better. Nonetheless, some football fans, for instance, are all down in the dumps about gay marriage.
            3) Disregarding the two candidates, their quirks, personalities or their backgrounds, I really do think the Dem/Clinton agenda is FAR SUPERIOR to the Trump/GOP agenda in virtually every respect including social issues, business, foreign affairs and citizen satisfaction. That’s why I am a Dem—–and after having spent the first two thirds of my life in conservative family and employment settings. I just do not believe in GOP spin—-ANY of it.

  • Fat_Man

    The focus of the American foreign policy establishment on the events occurring in the eastern hemisphere is discomforting. The things that will have the greatest impact on the every day lives of Americans occur in the the northern half of the Western Hemisphere. Cuba, Venezuela, and Mexico ought to be far more important to us than Turkey, Syria, and Ukraine. Obama, ahs not realized this, but, neither did Bush , or any of their predecessors.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Cuba and Venezuela serve America best as shinning examples of Leftist Ideology in action. America should therefore do NOTHING to help them, letting the people of the these nations suffer in full the results their stupidity, will help every nation avoid going down the same Leftist road.
    We have seen American’s make the mistake of Socialized Medicine with Obamacare (a majority never wanted it), if we are to avoid taking more steps in the wrong direction, bad examples of what will happen need to be clearly visible to even the stupidest person. If these nations crash and burn that is even better, we should allow it to happen, as America can’t prevent other nations from doing stupid things, but we can learn from their highly visible mistakes.

    • afhack62

      The problem with doing that is, as the author pointed out: Cubans know how to build rafts. In the case of Venezuela, it’s sending planeloads of people who have every intention of overstaying their visas. There’s no getting around it: do something to soften their inevitable hard landing or their expatriates will come here and do something to this country we won’t like.

    • Maggiemay


      I’ll never ask you to help change a tire.

  • jaytrain

    “The horror of a failing state ” ? The organs of state security in Cuba ,and to a lesser extent Venezuela , are robust and prepared for any counter revolutionary banditry . Comrades Castro have nothing to fear . All snark aside , the police and the army will shoot down like dogs any of the people who get out of line . There is no fear of chaos . And as to mass starvation , North Korea seems to muddle through . IMHO , let them both burn , burn to the ground .

  • JR

    I’m very confused. Cuba DID impose confiscatory taxation above a certain level. How come paradise did not follow? I mean, that’s all that stands between capitalist America and heaven on earth. I think it’s because they didn’t have the right people in charge. Thankfully that shouldn’t be a problem here.

  • Frank Natoli

    Fairy tales, can come true, it can happen to you, if you’re young at heart…
    OR, if you write for TAI. The Castro brothers did not “open the door a crack to the U.S.”. Obama is a Marxist tyrant, and used his cell phone and pen to cozy up with the nearest Marxist tyrant.
    Funny how apparently all Marxist tyrants LOVE high oil prices, Maduro, Castro and Obama. Really sorry about hydraulic fracturing on private land.

  • Maggiemay

    There may not be an intention to blah, blah, blah.

    But governments very rarely can predict what will happen. They like to pretend they can.

  • PierrePendre

    If and when real change comes to Cuba, the men who take charge will be the same as those in charge now; they just won’t call themselves communists any more. (They probably never were.) This has been the pattern everywhere in the world that communism has collapsed because they are the only ones who know how everything works. If Washington is playing a subtle, long game to ensure an eventual soft landing in both Cuba and Venezuela, that’s desirable. But Obama could still have extracted a quid pro quo in the shape of freedom for political prisoners for the huge gift that he made to the Castros.

  • Stephen

    We don’t want them on rafts? Okay then just admit them as refugees. After all, open borders is always good. We can not turn away the desperate, and immigrants legal or otherwise are our strength….Thus sayeth the wise and the good.

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