For over 5 decades, Fidel Castro's totalitarian regime has ruled Cuba with an iron fist. For nearly 5 decades, the United States has pursued a wrongheaded policy that has served to prop up support for Castro's regime. For nearly five decades, in the name of promoting democratic change in Cuba, the United States has pursued a policy that undermines the chances for democratic change. To promote democracy in Cuba, the United States should lift the embargo.
Tomorrow, the New America foundation will hold a program titled "Is It Time to End The Cold War in Latin America?" It will be livestreamed at Steve Clemons' blog. Perhaps, after the Bush Administration, the phrase "democracy promotion" has gotten a bad name. I am a believer in democracy promotion and refuse to allow the catastrophic blunders of the Bush Administration to tarnish a sound policy.
Speaking for me only
Here's how desperate Republicans are to find a winning issue: conservatives from Newt Gingrich to Glenn Beck to the rest of Fox News all bet against the Obama administration's ability to rescue Richard Phillips, the American ship captain who was taken hostage by Somali pirates last Wednesday.
They must have thought that a tragic ending to the crisis would have been a political opportunity, so they pre-positioned themselves to take full advantage. Except their plan went up in smoke when Navy SEALs -- acting on orders from President Obama -- rescued the captain, killing three pirates in the process.
The loons will certainly deny that they ever made a political bet against the U.S., but they can't run from the video proof:
h/t: Daily Kos diarist JCWilmore for the title of this video.
The sentiment expressed by the public in the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election, in probably[...]
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What do the Teabaggers hope to accomplish? Putz's op-ed in today's NY Post attempts to answer that question. "That now governs Washington." Really? Let's take a look at the biggest borrowers-and-spenders over the past 40 years.[...]
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The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz covered the controversy in today's column. Here's the entirety of what he wrote:
When the New York Times published a March 21 op-ed column sympathetic to a "quintessential nice guy" -- stock swindler Bernie Madoff -- contributing writer Daphne Merkin noted that she had "a sibling who did business with him."
That turned out to be J. Ezra Merkin, former chairman of GMAC, now accused by New York authorities of defrauding clients by funneling more than $2 billion of their money to Madoff. Was the vague "sibling" reference really enough?
Ombudsman Clark Hoyt wrote yesterday that many readers thought "the disclosure was so limited as to be disingenuous," but Op-Ed Editor David Shipley defended it, saying that paper approached Merkin "in some respect because of her brother."
So here's the thing. Kurtz is, for better or worse, the nation's most prominent media critic. Just today, he's been hosting a chat with readers on the Post's site, entitled "Critiquing the Press." But here's a genuine controversy involving an editorial judgment made by a major news organization, and Kurtz, in writing about it, can't bring himself to actually express an opinion.
Maybe Kurtz thinks there was enough disclosure by the Times. If so, we'd strongly disagree, but we'd at least respect him for taking a position. Instead, as so often, Kurtz narrates what both sides are saying, but refuses to use his pulpit to speak up in support of what he thinks is right.
Which would seem to be the price of admission for a media critic.
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Mel Gibson, who has been accused of both anti-semitism and homophobic statements in his career, and has made a career of playing unstable characters, has in the past trumpeted the strength of his marriage. He’s said his wife Robyn Moore is his “Rock of Gibralter, only much prettier,” and “life is about love and commitment and screw anyone who thinks that’s a cliché.” Mrs. Gibson has filed for divorce, and for custody of their seventh child, the only child under the age of majority.
Mr. Gibson is a Traditionalist Catholic and has taken extremist conservative political views on issues such as stem cell research, salvation (even his Episcoplaian wife wouldn’t qualify), and the Terri Schiavo case. Let’s just say Mel Gibson makes Rick Santorum look sane, and that takes some doing. Well, Mel evidently met a married gay couple, and now his marriage appears to be severely broken.
Of course, it is possible for Republicans to avoid all the turmoil amongst their marriages as gay marriages become more commonplace across our nation. Andy Ostroy suggests they take a test, and if they fail, then they drop their opposition to gay marriage. Andy has it all wrong, I’m thinking. If there guys fail to answer these questions. . .
1. Have you ever cheated on your spouse?
2. Have you cheated on your spouse more than once?
3. Have you ever engaged in homosexual activity?
in the negative, then they are prepared for the breakup of those marriages, and the inevitable destruction of their marriages that comes with gay marriage becoming legal won’t be such a surprise. Hmm.
OK, it always depends on a McCain, doesn’t it. The only real solution to gay marriage for Republicans, and Mel Gibson would have been wise to follow this advice, is to join the Log Cabin Republicans, who stand for smaller government, lower taxes, and remarkable individual freedoms and personal responsibility. I know, you’re all saying those last two simply don’t fit into the Republican handbook as of late. Hey, I’m not the one saying these folks will listen to Meghan McCain. But Meghan McCain does well in this essay. Good on her.
Responding to the flap over President Obama's visit, Arizona State U. prez says the school doesn't award honorary degrees to elected officials still in office -- except it did in 2002.[...]
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Former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO) is urging the White House to defer the goal of expanding access to health insurance “until it enacts cost-saving reforms in health care delivery.” But during the 2004 presidential campaign, Gephardt, who now lobbies for PhRMA, among other corporate interests, promised that if he were elected president, he would “immediately” ensure that “everyone who works will have health coverage.” In fact, the former House Majority Leader argued that “access to quality health care is the moral issue of our time” and portrayed himself — in a rather dramatic fight with Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) — as the only candidate who could address the health care crisis:
– “Howard Dean and the other candidates may think leaving tens of millions of Americans uninsured is acceptable. … I think they’re wrong.” [NYT, 01/03/2004]
– ?It is immoral to have people without health insurance,? he said, speaking to about 70 people on the lawn of a Manchester home. ?This issue is in my heart. It?s in my head. It?s in my soul. I will not rest until I get the people health insurance.? [Chicago Tribune, 07/22/2003]
The Wonk Room has more here.