Foreign Policy

Rand Paul Says 'Embargo Just Hasn't Worked,' Backs New Cuba Plan

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Rand Paul
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Some encouraging Rand Paul news: the libertarian-leaning Republican senator is breaking with many in the GOP—including several possible presidential rivals—to support President Obama's new Cuba plan.

On Wednesday, news outlets reported that the U.S. would reestablish diplomatic ties with Cuba for the first time in decades. The move was hailed by many pundits who believe it will open up the repressed country to market reforms and social improvement. But some lamely lamented that Cuba would become overrun with McDonald's—oh no, the starving Cuban people will enjoy the cheap food options that we Americans do, how terrible—while still others warned that this was somehow a blow to our highly relevant tough-on-communism policy.

Refreshingly, Paul admitted to The Hill that the Cuban embargo has failed and should be reformed:

Paul criticized the trade and travel embargo on Cuba as ineffective, separating himself from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who have criticized Obama and backed the embargo. 

All four men are considered likely contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. 

"In the end, I think opening up Cuba is probably a good idea," Paul told Tom Roten of WVHU radio in West Virginia, The Associated Press reports.

"The 50-year embargo just hasn't worked," Paul said. "If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn't seem to be working, and probably it punishes the people more than the regime because the regime can blame the embargo for hardship."

Rand is following in the footsteps of his father on this matter. Ron Paul was a major foe of the embargo and introduced legislation to abolish it while he was in Congress.

More from Reason on U.S.-Cuba policy here.

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    1. “I will not be bullied,” said Grimes.

      Ummmm…okay?

    2. If my ass was kicked by Mitch “El Tortuga” McConnell, I’d be a cunt too.

    3. I can’t wait for all the Republicans yelling about Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration law as written to start calling Grimes a partisan monster for enforcing Kentucky’s election laws as written.

    4. Rand shouldn’t run. Rand Paul in the senate is vastly better than Rand Paul as a loser in the Republican primary. Winning the presidency is always a long shot and it would be awful to lose one of the better senators because he decided to roll the dice.

      1. I am not sure I agree, but Rand should at least groom a primary replacement like Amash or Massie (not GJ). Those two are not experienced enough but so what? Throw it up and see if it flies.

      2. My understanding is he could run for the party’s nomination for POTUS and Senate at the same time. Thusly, were he to lose the nomination, he remains in the senate.

        1. Exactly – were he to lose the nomination for Prez, he would only be on the ballot for one office, Senator.

          1. Even if he wins the presidential nomination, he’s still on the Kentucky ballot for only one office, US Senator. A slate of Electors is on the ballot for president. They can be nominally pledged to anyone.

      3. I sat next to him at dinner tonight and discussed this among many other issues. It’s clear that he is still calculating his odds and the events of the next weeks and, perhaps, months will guide him in that decision. Whatever it is, I will do what I can to further his success. Our country will fare better with he and those of his ilk in Washington.

    5. Everyone outside the Reason echo chamber has known for months that Kentucky law forbids Paul from running for both the Senate and the Presidency.

      So when he announced for the Senate, any half-wit with a thinking mind figured he’d abandoned the Presidency. But Reason-fed libertarians are now as wacky as the other two partisan puppet galleries.

      How many tribal libertarians will blame Kentucky’s AG for …. doing her fucking job? (gasp)

      Does this mean the “libertarian moment” was always a delusion? Or perhaps just another partisan fundraising scam?

      1. Project much? As the delusion you see…

        1. Isn’t it amazing the MH is always……
          a legend in his own mind, and a raging asshole.

          1. yyyy

            Trashmouth Sevo throws a tantrum whenever his fucking gullibility is publicly exposed,which is often.

            Here, the dumbfuck (and many other brainwashed Reason readers) NEVER knew the law in Kentucky bans Rand Paul from running for both President and Senate — which was reported MANY months BEFORE Rand announced for the Senate. (Read outside the tribal echo chamber!)

            As always, I’m the one who provides documented proof.

            A statewide poll found 54% of Kentucky REPUBLICANS oppose changing the law to allow Rand Paul to seek both offices. That means he can’t even carry his own fucking state — in this ‘libertarian era’ (lol)

            http://theweek.com/speedreads/…..-same-time

            On his own Wikipedia page, the legal prohibition was known way back in March.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_Paul

            Prepare for another hissy fit from Sevo. (snicker)

        2. Michael S. Langston|12.18.14 @ 8:10PM|#
          Project much?

          Do a page search for the proof at “yyyy” — then wipe the drool from your chin.

  1. This should piss off the wingnuts. Good.

    1. Oh, c’mon Warty, they’ve got a script for this. Same one they used when he reached out to black people. He’s just trying to fool those hispanics so they’ll naively vote for him then he’ll screw them over, unlike their true friends….

      1. Yeah, he spent 5 years studying Spanish and has given free medical care in Guatemala just so he could get the Hispanic vote and be elected president. Crass politician.

    2. Free trade and travel with Cuba is also more popular in Florida and the USA as a whole, so he’s on the winning side of the issue as well.

  2. MSNBC leads with “President Obama to end failed and anti-humanitarian Cuba embargo.”

    MSNBC follows with “Senator Rand Paul seeks to rape the environment of Cuba and subject its citizens to transfats at the behest of his corporate cronies.”

    1. Rape rape or fraud rape?

      1. There’s no Rape Culture? in Cuba. There will be once Rand Paul is done with the place.

        *resumes holding “#ICantBreathe #StopRapingMe! picket*

  3. As I suspected, this whole move towards normalizing relations with Cuba wasn’t anything principled on the part of Obama, but a clever gambit to sink Rand’s presidential ambitions by ensuring that the Cubanos of South Florida wouldn’t vote for him.

    Might as well start researching destinations worthy of seeking asylum. Elizabeth Warren as the 45th POTUS is all but guaranteed now.

    1. POTUS as in Pocahauntas Of The United States?

      1. This I like +1

      2. She can paint with all the colors of the wind!

        What can you do?

        1. :thumbs:

      3. Would she then become the r Great White Mother? But, she can’t be that because she’s a Fuckawe Indian.

        It’s going to be very hard to be politically correct if she gets elected.

    2. My thought was that the administration was trying to make Rubio go apoplectic. Not like the administrations team could have won Florida anyway, so write off those electoral votes and construct a strategy that doesn’t require a Florida win.

    3. You must have an amazing crystal ball, or an ultra-high ability to BS yourself.

      1. You laugh now, but you just wait. I’ve never been more convinced of the inevitability of a candidate in my life. I always knew Hithe “inevitability” of Hillary in 2008 was overblown (though I didn’t know Obama would be the one to wrestle it from her).

        But I do know that the modern Democratic Party requires certain boxes be checked these days. The SJWs will demand something other than a white male. Hillary’s negatives and personal insincerity will sink her.

        Lizzie is the chosen one. I’d bet my ass on it.

        1. I will be extremely surprised if she even wins 2 primaries, assuming she even runs. But I have no interest in your ass, so I will decline the bet.

          1. I will be extremely surprised if she even wins 2 primaries,

            I’m sure similar things were said about one relatively unknown mixed race Kenyan/white American former “community organizer” and two-year tenured progressive junior senator from Illinois in early 2007.

            1. Yeah, but they were also said about all of the candidates who didn’t win, so that’s pretty irrelevant. We shall see.

        2. I used to have little tolerance for people going all in on a molehill of evidence they build up to a mountain, or being certain of something based on a gut feeling. After I got my MSc, I lost all of that tolerance. I am not ruling out Prez Lizzie. I have no idea if she will be Prez, and neither do you. Her chances are very slim and you are convincing yourself otherwise. H&R is blighted with Eeyore commenters that fetishize DOOM at every opportunity.

          1. H&R is blighted with Eeyore commenters that fetishize DOOM at every opportunity.

            “Thanks for noticing me.” – Eeyore.

            Fair enough, but speculation on potential POTUS candidates is always rife within two years of the cycle. Serious candidates will begin throwing their hats into the ring within a few months.

            My molehill of evidence is a grassroots “Draft Warren” campaign, progressive disenchantment with Obama for insufficient ideological fealty, the progressive/SJW obsession with non-cisgendered white males, and the relative dearth of attractive candidates with broad appeal to the base within the democratic party.

            I hardly think my prognostication is wildly reckless or based on specious evidence.

    4. Polls yesterday showed a majority of Floridians support ending the embargo. All of the Cuban-American Republicans will vote for Rubio in the primary anyway. Paul can take the rest and win.

      1. If it was legal for him to run!

        1. Um…it’s legal for him to run. Glad I could clear that up for you.

          1. cavalier973|12.19.14 @ 2:52AM|#
            Um…it’s legal for him to run. Glad I could clear that up for you.

            Do a page search for yyyy.

            I put those letters there so I would only have to detail the proof once for all the dumbasses like you. (snicker)

  4. This is good for the Cuban people, no doubt, but wake me when the Cohibas start coming in.

    1. Vintage fifties American cars.

      1. THIS so much

      2. I’ve seen the photos, and those cars are NOT vintage. Unless you rewrite the definition to include “ford fairlane body with russian lawnmower engine under the hood.”

        1. “Unless you rewrite the definition to include “ford fairlane body with russian lawnmower engine under the hood.””

          And that “body” has spent 50 years not more than 20 miles from salt water.
          There may be some metal left, but it’s an odds-on bet that the paint is holding it together.

        1. Poor Abarth Zagato 🙁

          I’m not so sure Tony could fix it again.

        2. That 300SL is still worth lots of money. A rusty frame with the right plates on it is still considered a car. I’ve seen very early 356’s that were barely some roof channels, window frames with the correct plates still intact…sold for relatively big money.

          The Birdcage Maser is a big find as well.

  5. I don’t exactly like how it was done. But, as policy, it’s the right course. Hell, exposing poor Cubans to rich American tourists will probably do more to undermine the regime than years of sanctions.

    1. It hasn’t undermined the Chinese or Vietnamese communist regimes, they are both making lots of money to keep them in power.

      1. I would rather live in Vietnam than Cuba any day of the week, though.

        1. I would rather not have to compete against communist business that pretends to be part of the free market.

          1. We seem to be competing pretty well.

            1. I thought that the US was up to its ears in debt and the only thing keeping us floating was the FED creating money out of nothing.

              1. The blame for that lies squarely with the U.S. government, not the Chinese.

                1. DEY TR R JERBS /DJF

                  1. I suppport communist dictatorships shooting workers/Cytotoxic

                  2. Back to your usual high level debating, eh?

                    WTF are Canadian schools turning out these days?

                2. That debt is not just government debt.

                  And you think that a communist dictatorship which can keep cost low by putting in prison or shooting workers is not something that should be blamed?

                  1. No. That doesn’t even make sense. US debt is a fallout of low US interest rates set by the US fed.

                    To be clear, you support endlessly sealing off those oppressed by dictatorship from alternatives for no benefit to Americans.

                    1. I am against giving trillions of dollars to the oppressors.

                      You think that communist corporations have something to do with free trade

                    2. No. That doesn’t even make sense.

                      But you do? (lol)

                      US debt is a fallout of low US interest rates set by the US fed.

                      Umm, it’s caused by something I like to call borrowing to offset deficit spending. Somewhat obviously, today’s low interest rates have kept debt compounding much lower than it would otherwise be. So you’ve got it precisely backwards.

                      But thanks for sharing your feelings.

                    3. What a pathetic POS:

                      “Somewhat obviously, today’s low interest rates have kept debt compounding much lower than it would otherwise be. So you’ve got it precisely backwards.”

                      Uh, if you were less of an insufferable egomaniac, you might post something that didn’t include bullshit now and then.
                      The fact of low interest allows the politicos to ‘sell’ increased debt to the voters, since it is not (yet) adding huge hunks to the debt.
                      You both know that and could have posted that, but as an insufferable egotist, you chose to post you bullshit.
                      And get called on it.
                      What an asshole.

                    4. Sevo-asshole strikes again!

                      CYTOTOXIC: No. That doesn’t even make sense. US debt is a fallout of low US interest rates set by the US fed.

                      HIHN: “Somewhat obviously, today’s low interest rates have kept debt compounding much lower than it would otherwise be. So you’ve got it precisely backwards.”

                      Uh, if you were less of an insufferable egomaniac, you might post something that didn’t include bullshit now and then.

                      Dumbfuck believes that HIGHER interest would cause a SLOWER compounding debt! That makes him too fucking stoopid for 5th grade math!

                      He’s also a psycho liar.

                      The fact of low interest allows the politicos to ‘sell’ increased debt to the voters, since it is not (yet) adding huge hunks to the debt. You both know that and could have posted that, but as an insufferable egotist, you chose to post you bullshit.
                      And get called on it.
                      What an asshole.

                      (snicker) I responded to what I quoted. Its’s called staying on topic. Try it And stop bullying me.

                    5. No. That doesn’t even make sense.

                      But you do? (lol)

                      US debt is a fallout of low US interest rates set by the US fed.

                      Umm, it’s caused by something I like to call borrowing to offset deficit spending. Somewhat obviously, today’s low interest rates have kept debt compounding much lower than it would otherwise be. So you’ve got it precisely backwards.

                      But thanks for sharing your feelings.

                    6. No. That doesn’t even make sense.

                      But you do? (lol)

                      US debt is a fallout of low US interest rates set by the US fed.

                      Umm, it’s caused by something I like to call borrowing to offset deficit spending. Somewhat obviously, today’s low interest rates have kept debt compounding much lower than it would otherwise be. So you’ve got it precisely backwards.

                      But thanks for sharing your feelings.

                  2. I’m sure that has something to do with it. But the largest reason their costs are low is that manpower is a resource they are awash in. They don’t HAVE to shoot workers, because most are FUCKING ECSTATIC to have an opportunity to have work that provides more than a meager one-meal-a-day lifestyle. As the services and goods they provide abroad have required more and more specialized labor, wages have increased.

                    The market is working there, and warts and all, the benefit to the world is positive.

                    Keep in mind that the lower costs of goods from China has benefited the vast majority of Americans as well.

                  3. And you think that a communist dictatorship which can keep cost low by putting in prison or shooting workers is not something that should be blamed?

                    You are clearly a delusional moron if you think China is just a giant open air labor camp.

                    1. Will you be put in prison or shot if you say the wrong thing in China? Is there still a massive amount of government owned, government controlled and Governemt crony business in China? Does the communist government have overal control of everything in China?

                    2. And at their worse the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were not giant open air labor camps but they were still communists

                      Do you thinke we should have ‘free traded’ with Lenin and Stalin giving them trillions of dollars in exchange for the sweatshop and stolen goods they traded? And if so would communism have collapsed in those places or would they be entrenched?

                    3. State owned industries in China are closing. Almost all the growth has come from privately owned businesses. But, make no mistake, the government regulates and taxes the shit out of the privately owned business.

                      In that way, they are Fascists just like the US government.

                3. I’ve always thought that it’s funny that other countries send America shiploads of goods in exchange for pieces of paper.

                  1. And how long will that last? All it takes is a change of opinion, just like a change of opinion on what a tulip is worth.

                  2. I’ve always thought that it’s funny that other countries send America shiploads of goods in exchange for pieces of paper.

                    The same paper that American wages and stock dividends are paid in? How funny is that?

      2. It changed them.

      3. Both the Chinese and the Vietnamese are communist primarily in name only at this stage. They’ve both acknowledged the necessity of the free market to a functional economy, and both governments have continually moved towards economic liberalization. I mean, yeah, they’re coming from strict command economies so it’s not like they’re Singapore, but compared to where they were in the 70s and 80s it’s a big difference. And an effect of that has been the rise of a middle class with some political clout. The revolutionary communists are dying off and giving way to more run-of-the-mill socialists and technocrats.

    2. But they’ve already been exposed to rich Canadian tourists for years, and our Canuckistani friends did the hard work for us. Also, Europeans.

      1. Well, yeah, but not AMERICAN rich. We’re talking JR Ewing (RIP) rich and shit.

        After they see that – be like taking candy from a baby….

        /Kochtopus

      2. Cuba gets 3 million tourists a year.

        Puerto Rico gets 4.2 million. There’s really no reason Cuba shouldn’t be pulling in double that.

        1. Bill Dalasio|12.18.14 @ 1:52PM|#
          “Cuba gets 3 million tourists a year.
          Puerto Rico gets 4.2 million. There’s really no reason Cuba shouldn’t be pulling in double that.”

          Yeah, there is. Cuba is gonna run out of hookers.

  6. I never understood the point behind the embargo. If we’re trying to win over the hearts and minds of the Cuban peasantry, there is no worse way than giving them an external boogeyman to focus their hatred on.

    If we’re trying to punish the Castro regime, it’s clear that we failed.

    If we “don’t associate with communists”, then bye bye China and Vietnam.

    How does the saying go? It’s easier to attract flies with honey than vinegar? Let’s give the Cuban peasants some honey and see how much they enjoy Castro’s vinegar when they have a choice.

    1. If we’re trying to punish the Castro regime, it’s clear that we failed.

      Hey, if the Castro brothers have to forego filet mignon one night per year, then that’s all the success we need. Who cares how many millions of others we punish in the process?

    2. The purpose of an “embargo” is to put pressure on a government to change its behavior. An embargo is considered an “enlightened” alternative to dropping bombs on another country.

      In reality, the political classes in the embargoed country rarely feel any impact. However, the poor, the weak, the elderly, the infirm, and so on suffer enormous consequences. Embargoes kill old people, children, and sick people while having almost no impact on the behavior of the government we are trying to influence.

      1. Yeah, I said that over at NRO. It’s clear that embargoes and free trade haven’t done anything to change these regimes. Evidently we have been exporting huge amounts of specific goods (e.g. medical devices) to Cuba since 2000. So neither embargo nor trade seems to be tipping the regimes one way or the other. Since we aren’t getting the payback (regime change) from the embargo, it is just inhumane to keep it going.

      2. The Embargo made sense when it was first proposed. America should have invaded Cuba in 1962.

        1. Cyto can always be relied upon to wax poetic about bombing some god-forsaken piece of land to preserve the greatness of the United States.

          1. Yeah, I’m so wacky with my knowledge of history and logical attempts to find where mistakes were made. Me and my lack of dogmatic pacifism!

            1. I can’t use Reasonable at work, so I maintain a short list of handles I try to ignore. Yours is near top.

              1. Then why are you responding to me? You’re probably one of those posters I destroyed in debate and are still butthurt over it. I’d avoid getting crushed by me too.

                1. Then why are you responding to me?

                  Because you responded directly to my post. I had a moment of weakness.

                  You’re probably one of those posters I destroyed in debate and are still butthurt over it. I’d avoid getting crushed by me too

                  I avoid you because you manage to be both boring and obnoxious at the same time. Tedious is probably the best description of your postings here at H&R.

                  Have a nice afternoon.

                  1. Prepare for claims of “dominance”, kinnath.

                2. I’d avoid getting crushed by me too.

                  (snicker) How fat are you?

        2. Perhaps. But there was a real risk that that would have turned into WWIII.

          1. It nearly did when The Missile Crisis happened. If America had just done the right thing and sent in air support during the Bay of Pigs, history would have been changed for the better.

            1. Squirrels ate my original response.

              Kennedy viewed the cold war through a WWII lens. He dissented from his father in the run up to WWII, but he still respected his father’s opinion on appeasement. A direct invasion of Cuba was probably viewed like a direct invasion of Czechoslovakia (sp) as Germany ramped up the rhetoric against Poland… Way too strong of a response, way too soon. The ruskies still needed appeasement, until they showed themselves unable to be swayed by the carrot. Only then would Kennedy use the stick in the open. Until then, diplomacy necessitated at least an air of appeasement.

            2. I doubt it. The Bay of Pigs was conceived by the CIA who knew nothing of what the people on the ground in Cuba wanted. Like all their f-ups, most of their information came from unreliable sources – Cuban exiles who were all in Miami.

              JFK backed off because he knew it was going to fail. Castro wasn’t in power long enough for people to be truly dissatisfied with him. The only way that was going to succeed is 10,000 US Marines.

      3. It also doesn’t make shit-all difference when the rest of the world ignores your embargo.

  7. “””If we “don’t associate with communists”, then bye bye China and Vietnam.”””

    Sounds like a good plan. We stop funding communist dictatorships and stop pretending that communist controlled business are part of the free market.

    1. If you think that privately owned businesses in China and Vietnam are not benefiting from our trade- despite the despots who are also benefiting, and likely even more- then you are not looking hard enough.

      All over Beijing, there are restaurants, small electronics stores and other service providers who have seen business sky-rocket. You may think the benefit to these people does not outweigh the costs of bolstering the autocrats in control, but you cannot deny that these benefits exist.

      1. DJF is a moron.

        1. I love communism/Cytotoxic

          1. It is possible to detest Communism and still decline to impoverish the people forced to live under it through little or no fault of their own.

            I’m on the fence about Embargoes. They may or may not be a useful form of pressure against some governments. But it is clear that it has not managed to budge the Castros in 50 years, so there is no reason to keep it up other than stubbornness.

            1. It has kept Cuba from being a sucessful communist regime like China.

              1. China isn’t communist you idiot. There is no such thing as a ‘successful’ communist regime and Cuba wouldn’t be one anyway. There is no evidence in favor of it. The rest of the world has traded with them anyway.

              2. China was not a successful communist regime either. That’s why they abandoned it.

                1. Better tell the communist government of China, they seem to think their policies are working great

              3. I think that has a lot more to do with Cuba still trying to actually be communist. If they allowed economic development like China does, I’m sure the ordinary people would be a lot better off with or without a US embargo.
                The government of China is authoritarian and bad, but really are communist in name only. The difference between China and Cuba has very little to do with US policy. And a policy forbidding people in the US from trading with China or Vietnam would also be anti-free market, so you can’t win either way.

                1. The difference between China and Cuba is that China is willing to sell sweatshop made goods to the US and Cuba has not yet made a deal with the US.

                  Other then that their governments are the same.

                  Its not a free market trading with government owned business. Free market and free trade is between free people, not government and not government corportions

                  1. Well, that and the fact that China has completely given up on communism.

                    You are one ignorant motherfucker.

                    1. Completely, Zeb?

                      They retain an awful lot of state ownership of industry, control of agriculture, telling you how many children you can or cannot have, only allowing party members to serve as officials in governemnt, political dissent crushing/gulag maintaining and filling, and such. Some things they have lightened up on, so they aren’t the USSR, but I think it too far to say they have completely abandoned the old Party ways.

                    2. I see that as more just holding onto whatever they can keep control of. I suppose they still have enough central planning things going on that you could call it communistic in some ways. But I’d rather just call it opportunistic authoritarianism. They definitely see that their continued hold on power really requires that they give up on the central communist ideas of a fully planned economy and control of production.

                    3. Indeed – fully planned, as in GOSPLAN is gone. And that alone is a good thing…But they retain a terrible amount of the total surveillance/censorship/GULAG crap that I still see them a toe over in totalitarian camp rather than the authoritarian.

                      I might be splitting hairs at this point, granted.

                    4. I’m not going to quibble over the line between authoritarian and totalitarian either.

                2. China combines communism (state ownership) with state-controlled mercantilism (where they need capital). So it’s kinda like communism blended with fascism.

                  But nothing can stop Zeb and Cytotoxic from their bullshit regimen and shoutdowns.

            2. China is communist in that the government can stick its nose into any business any time it wants and there is nothing anybody can do about it. The fact that businessmen are given some leeway is simply because the government realizes that holding talented people back holds back the development of the country and they have probably still about 1 billion people living in what we would consider abject poverty.

              I was on a tour in Xinjiang. There are plenty of villages where the only utility is electricity. You should see what a mess the distribution of it is – serious fire hazard. Water is stored in rooftop cisterns. There is no apparent sewage system. Propane tanks are how gas is supplied. People live in tiny mud-brick houses. You still see animal based transportation.

              1. China is communist in that the government can stick its nose into any business any time it wants and there is nothing anybody can do about it

                Check a dictionary to avoid making a fool of yourself in the future.
                http://www.merriam-webster.com…../communism

                1. Do you really accept a one-sentence definition to describe a real-world political system?

                  1. Do you really accept a one-sentence definition to describe a real-world political system?

                    Communism can be described in a sentence, but he got it wrong. Most dictionaries manage a single sentence.

                2. The only person making a fool of himself is you. The idea that there is a picture perfect example of “communism” and if every box isn’t checked off it can’t be communism is ridiculous but expected from libertarians who can’t accept the fact that their ideas are just as loopy and unworkable.

                  1. The only person making a fool of himself is you … if every box isn’t checked off it can’t be communism is ridiculous but expected from libertarians who can’t accept the fact that their ideas are just as loopy and unworkable.

                    LAME. You committed the worst fuckup on the entire page. You call THIS communism: (lol)

                    China is communist in that the government can stick its nose into any business any time it wants and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

                    Despite your bullshit alibi, the bare minimum for communism is “communal property” See how “commun” is the shared root?

                    I have no idea what the hell you TRIED to define, but it works with any totalitarian regime (OBVIOUSLY), but not every totalitarian state is communist (did you know that?)

                    Indeed, communism has existed in free societies for centuries. The Israeli kibbutzim are communes. Roanoke (now in VA) was originally a commune for most of its workers. The Oneidans were communists. Hundreds of small hippy communes in the 60s. A video production company was featured in a Showtime special as communally owned, so both voluntary and profitable. And many others in free societies.

                    Even Ayn Rand knew that communes could be voluntary. So tell us again who the “loopy” one is.

    2. People need a certain level of material wealth before ideas like “freedom” mean anything at all. When you spend almost all your daylight hours working to make sure you have enough to survive, you don’t have time to worry about what books you can read.

      1. Yeah! What did the slaves know about anything!!!!!

        1. Never heard of Maslow?

          1. Never heard of Maslow?

            1) The pyramid guy, yes.
            2) Unlike yourself, I know what he said.

            Tell us why you believe that people have no desire for freedom, unless they’ve attained “a certain level of material wealth.” Also why you claim slaves had no desire for freedom? And why does a desire for “freedom” require “reading books?”

            99% of all libertarians who are still in college have no wealth at all. If freedom has no meaning to them, how can they be libertarians?

            I helped launch the libertarian movement (along with million of others) at the age of 18. My “wealth” was less than $500, MUCH less, yet freedom had immense meaning for us. We marched and protested for it.

  8. I never understood the point behind the embargo.

    Three words, Trashy: South Florida Cubans.

    1. Not trading in stolen goods from murderous communist dictatorships .

      1. Or any other goods, while keeping those murderous communist dictatorships in place and just as retrograde.

        1. So when is the Chinese and Vietnames communist regimes going to end as promised by the fake free traders. So far pretending that trading with communist owned business will end communism goverments has not worked out and in fact has strengthened them

          1. No it hasn’t you ignoramus. There is no communism in Vietnam and China anymore. It worked, you lose.

            1. You better talk to the governments of Vietnam and China, they have a different opinion.

              They still own all the land, nothing happens without their permission and they still put in prison or shoot anyone who gets in their way.

              Its just now that they trade their sweatshop and stolen goods to the west.

              I bet you would have no problem ‘trading’ gulag made goods from Stalin’s Soviet Union

              1. You don’t understand what communism is.

                1. Its a bunch of guys saying that they control everything in the name of the people. Go ask the present government of China what they are.

                  1. Go ask a resident of China if they’re allowed to own a business. Oh wait, I already know the answer. You lose.

                    1. Go ask them if they own the land their business sits on and go ask if they have any right to start a business unless the communist party signs off on it and go ask if its sucessful how many communist party members appear on their ownership list

                    2. Go ask a resident of China if they’re allowed to own a business. Oh wait, I already know the answer. You lose.

                      Good point. What you know is correct. China even has billionaires owning businesses. He’s a BIG loser!

              2. They still own all the land, nothing happens without their permission and they still put in prison or shoot anyone who gets in their way.

                And that’s different from the US how? That’s kinda the whole state sovereignty bag, baby. It’s not just voting and postal services.

                In all seriousness, though, you really should read up on modern Chinese history, particularly since the 80s. Like I said above, I’m not (nor is anyone else, I think) arguing that China has somehow become Libertopia, but neither is it some Stalinist hell-hole.

            2. China has lower taxes than the US.

              1. China has lower taxes than the US.

                http://www.pwccn.com/home/eng/…..gures.html

                here’s a summary. Visit the page to click for actual rates.

                The People’s Republic of China levies a wide range of taxes including income taxes (corporate income tax and individual income tax), turnover taxes (value added tax, business tax and consumption tax), taxes on real estates (land appreciation tax, real estate tax, arable land occupation tax, and urban and township land-use tax) and other taxes such as deed tax, stamp duty, custom duties, motor vehicle acquisition tax, vehicle and vessel tax, resource tax, urban construction and maintenance tax, vessel tonnage tax and tobacco tax. This bilingual booklet has been prepared to provide you with an overview of the above TAXES LEVIED in the People’s Republic of China.

                Their personal income tax is slightly higher at most levels, but starts at only 3%. But there’s a VAT with most rates at 13-17% (3% for low incomes)

                That book is helpful but has no details on exemptions in the ITC.

            3. No it hasn’t you ignoramus. There is no communism in Vietnam and China anymore. It worked, you lose.

              (snicker) China combines communism (state ownership) with state-controlled mercantilism. kinda like combining communism and fascism.

              Do you also think Ron/Rand Paul are libertarians? (lol)

          2. So, what is free trade in your mind, DJF? If you can’t trade with any country with a government who doesn’t allow a pure free market and personal autonomy, then you can’t trade with anyone. Probably shouldn’t even do business with American companies. The governments in the US control the land (try not paying your property tax) and steal money and goods from people to give to favored businesses and shoot people who don’t obey.

            So I guess you will just have to live off the land as a hunter gatherer and hope you don’t get caught. Have fun.

            1. I agree that the state of free trade in the US is terrible, but at least I think we should moe away from the envolvement of the government in it, not embrase 100% government owned business as free market.

              The first step is to openly acknowlege the problem and seperate out the worse offenders instead of papering over it all with ‘free market’ and ‘free trade’ banners.

              By including the communist ‘busness’ in free trade and free markets we are moving in the wrong direction.

              1. Ultimately what it comes down to for me is that no government should be telling anyone who they can and can’t trade with. I want the US government to let the people under its jurisdiction be free, not to try to fix the rest of the world.

              2. By including the communist ‘business’ in free trade and free markets we are moving in the wrong direction.

                Yeah, we all know that “free trade” can include tariffs, quotas and outright bans on products. We know that because we’re libertarians — free markets and free minds and import restrictions.

                Oh, wait …..

          3. Free trade was always a charade. It was always about American corporations utilizing cheap foreign labor. The CEOs just needed a way to fool the American people long enough to get their stooges in Congress to give them what they wanted.

            Low and behold they found probably the most stupid and least street smart people on the face of the earth to carry their water in the form of academic economists. These idiots actually believed the garbage they “proved” on their blackboards and in their “peer reviewed” journals. Through the relentless pushing of the “scientific proof” of free trade, the CEOs got what they wanted – cheap foreign labor.

            The CEOs knew nothing was ever going to change in any country and actually depended on it. If the Chinese people ever had any political power they may decide they needed a raise or a toilet in the factory.

            1. Free trade was always a charade.

              Yeah. Freedom for people in economic transactions. Who are people to think they should be free in those things you think they wouldn’t be free to do.

              We really all should just now down to your noblest, even if authoritarian, impulses since you really seem to know better than others that no one deserves freedom in their economic transactions.

              Slaver

              1. It’s pretty obvious, at least to me, that MarkinLA is talking about all the dubious free trade agreements the government pushes rather than the concept of free trade.

                1. It’s pretty obvious, at least to me, that MarkinLA is talking about all the dubious FREE trade agreements the government pushes rather than the concept of free trade.

                  Do you have no idea what trade agreements are? When did voluntary agreements violate free trade? The agreements facilitate free trade, as each country agrees to not levy tariffs or import restrictions of the participating countries.

                  In effect, they promise each other to COMPETE FREELY (gasp) specifically, not use government powers to hinder free trade — like to maintain a favorable balance of trade or manipulate currency exchange rates.

                  Short version: a trade agreement is an agreement to trade. This is bad … why?

            2. Free trade was always a charade. It was always about American corporations utilizing cheap foreign labor

              In the 1800s? 1920s?

              1. Free trade another ISM like communism, capitalism, libertarianism is another utopia that does not now or ever will exist. Try looking at things in the real world.

                You libertarians sound just like those old leftist college professors crying that “real” communism has never been tried. Understand this, real free trade is what we have now.

                What free trade in the 1800’s? You mean with a US government solely dependent on tariffs and excise taxes protecting northern states industries? What free trade in the 1920s? The amount of trade in the US economy was insignificant at about 6% and when the Depression hit every country started trying to devalue their currency to export their way out and beggar thy neighbor.

                Yeah, real free trade.

                Those free trade agreements are all about property rights. If an American company opens a plant in Mexico, the Mexicans can’t just nationalize it. That is why a “trade” agreement need 2100 pages.

                1. MarkinLA’s FIRST version (emphasis added).

                  ? “Free trade was always a charade. It was always about American corporations utilizing cheap foreign labor”

                  Mark gets called out, so skedaddles in the opposite direction.

                  ?”What free trade in the 1800’s? You mean with a US government solely dependent on tariffs and excise taxes protecting northern states industries?”

                  So it’s not “ALWAYS cheap foreign labor?”

                  ? “What free trade in the 1920s?”

                  What cheap foreign labor??? In the 20s, we had the world’s highest paid labor, and (mostly) the cheapest products. You’re missing something. It’s called productivity; Cheap labor alone does NOT = low prices. Sorry.

                  ? “The amount of trade in the US economy was insignificant at about 6%” ?

                  Despite all that cheap foreign labor? You said ALWAYS. A retraction?

                  ? “and when the Depression hit every country started trying to devalue their currency to export their way out”

                  Is THAT why FDR abandoned the gold standard, confiscated our gold and devalued the dollar? The bastard. Oh wait, the Depression was over when FDR took office.

                  ? “Those free trade agreements are all about property rights. If an American company opens a plant in Mexico, the Mexicans can’t just nationalize it. That is why a ‘trade’ agreement needs 2100 pages.”

                  Umm, building foreign plants REDUCES trade!
                  Anything else we libertarians can help you grasp?

  9. Regardless of the merits of opening up to Cuba, the question is the same as it was for Obama’s immigration executive order.

    Does Obama have the unilateral authority to do this?

    1. So far, yes. All he’s pledged to do is to open negotiations and to walk back executive-branch decisions. If Congress acts to block what he wants to do, e.g. by refusing to fund an embassy or actively voting to extend the embargo, then we’ll have to see if/how he tries to sidestep it.

      1. by refusing to fund an embassy

        I suspect you MAY be citing Rubio’s mass screwup. An embassy there has ALWAYS been funded, in the same building as under Kennedy. But it’s called a mission, and the “ambassador” is called (I believe) the mission chief.

        Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution allows the President sol power over diplomatic recognition/acceptance. It’s an Executive function.

        That’s why Rubio speaks of blocking agency funding, falsely, but as the only method he sees possible.

    2. A lot of this was by Executive Order, so that is perfectly within his power to alter. However, the embargo stuff is statutory…

    3. The President generally is given charge of foreign policy – so when he decides to bomb Libya or allow in immigrants from Mexico or change how commerce with Cuba is conducted or works up environmental agreements with China it’s none of the legislative branch’s business how he conducts foreign policy.

      1. Except he needs Congress to ratify treaties and there’s that whole doesn’t have the authority to initiate war, so whatever.

  10. You lunch time derp

    Back when I lived in Chicago, I once met a guy collecting signatures as I was leaving a grocery store. He was a Democrat trying to get on the ballot. He started to give me his pitch and when he brought up trying to ban guns in bars, I had to interrupt him. This is in Chicago where 1) it is already very hard to own a gun legally (this was back in 2013) and 2) still has hundreds of gun homicides each year.

    I pointed out that such laws are useless because the people who would get into a gun fight in a bar aren’t going to give a damn what the law says. The net effect of gun-free zones is to encourage criminals to attack people, because the criminals can be confident no one is going to fight back.

    His retort was to say that we have to have laws otherwise people will do crazy things, like libertarians who want to let people drive 140 mph. I said that I am a libertarian, I know many, and I’ve never met any argue for a thing like that. He claimed to know many who did. At this point, I figured I’d just sign his petition and move on as my fried chicken dinner was getting cold. I figure it’s always better to have more people on the ballot no matter what their views.

    1. I have the opposite reaction.

      Whenever someone tries to get me to sign a petition, I bark “not interested” as contemptuously as I can manage. I run them off my land if they are knocking on my door.

      Politicians are scum and should not be given any respect, lest they start putting on airs they don’t deserve.

      1. What if it’s a pro-freedom petition?

      2. I support and oppose many things, but not strongly enough to pick up a pen.

  11. Lately, I’ve been amazed at how quickly and how frequently Team Blue resorts to strawman arguments. I used to think they were just bad at thinking. Now I realize they have no idea what thinking is. The thrill of their self-righteousness is all the evidence they need. Since they are incapable of considering opposing views, everyone who disagrees with them must automatically be stupid or evil.

    Thomas Sowell calls this “invincible ignorance”:

    http://townhall.com/columnists…../page/full

    1. Before the latest rounds of conference expansion, the Big 10 (11 teams at the time) had an issue competing in bowl games in football. They played the last half of their season in the tundra, and ended their regular season at Thanksgiving. Then, they would have to show up in Pasadena, Miami, or San Antonio a month later, ready to play in 65* weather.

      In a sense, they were suffering from an athletic inbreeding problem. They were a cold-hardy football team playing other cold-hardy football teams in the snow and ice, and they forgot how to play ball in the sunshine because they had no way to practice.

      Progressives have the same problem. They have a sympathetic mainstream media, and they spar with one another in their own echo chambers, forgetting how to have an intelligent conversation with the uninitiated. When they play their “bowl game”, they don’t even remember the rules, and they forget how to keep score.

      1. Except most of them, if not all, have indoor training facilities.

        It’s more that their style of play is suited to playing in colder weather and it’s tough to change your style in December.

        1. Exactly. The point I was making was that you can only approximate a warm weather team using cold weather personnel. Similarly, you can only approximate a non-prog argument in a prog fever swamp.

      2. That is why Bama is going to curb stomp tOSU.

  12. OT, and speaking of cars. Here’s a cool pic of my Pa.

      1. Not a NASCAR fan, Swissie?

        1. Wouldn’t know a one of ’em, sorry.

          And much to the dismay of my Swiss masters, I have naught to do with Formula One either.

          1. My Pa is not the one in the hat 🙂

        2. Maybe your dad is Jack Roush?

        3. Who is that? I’m less of a NASCAR fan nowadays but even in my halcyon fantasy NASCAR league and pickup hoops with Elliot Sadler days I wouldn’t recognize that guy.

          1. You know Elliott Sadler? He’s my favorite now that Kenny Wallace has mostly retired.

            And Elliott Sadler drives for the guy in the hat.

            1. KK, I happened on a vintage aircraft site not long ago; pretty sure Roush has a division which restores the RR Merlin V12s for P51s, Spitfires and the like.
              Not a bad bit of business, as those things are demanding of a bunch of hours and they can be done while NASCAR sleeps (as it rarely does now).

  13. I fucking hate agreeing with Obama about anything.

    1. Eh, you’re bound to agree with every politician — eventually — about one thing or another. They are shape-shifting assholes, after all. It’s best not to get upset about it; it really isn’t personal :)…

      1. Still, it burns.

    2. I wish he agreed with me more often. The world would be a better place.

  14. Justin Amash weighs in (of course, he’s not running for Preznit and he’s not from South Florida)

    The power of free expression, free movement, and free markets is much more likely to advance Cuba toward freedom than the failed policy of isolation. An isolationist foreign policy that blocks trade and restricts travel between our country and Cuba hasn’t made our neighbor free or democratic. And the United States’ half-century embargo hasn’t brought down the Castro regime.
    I support the announced shift from isolationism to a more pragmatic engagement with Cuba. The Cuban people have the right to govern themselves and deserve to live in a country that is ruled by law, not the whim of a dictator. We can more readily help Cubans establish liberty through policies that open dialogue, travel, and trade.

    1. It’s a really smart move to associate being pro-embargo with isolationism. It’s a good counter punch to equated non-intervention with isolationism.

      1. That is a decent ju-jitsu move, isn’t it?

    2. So who says that the Cubans will get free expression, free movement and free markets? The Chinese haven’t, their expression is not free, their movement is done at government whim, and their free markets have massive government involvment, everything from outright communist ownership, to hidden ownership by government and army officals to crony business.

      1. Here is what some people thing is the free market

        The Mongolian government owned Tavan Tolgoi coal mine ships its coal to China on the Mongolian/Chinese government owned railroads, to the Chinese government owed Chongqing Iron and Steel Company where its combined with Chinese government owned iron to produce steel. The steel is then shipped on government owned railroads to the Chinese/North Korean owned Rajin-Sonbong Free Economic and Trade Zone in North Korea where its turned into a bumper. It is then trucked on government trucks and government roads to the government owned port of Chongjin where its put on a ship built at the government owned Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin). The ship was chartered by the government owned Dubai Ports and transports the bumpers to the government owned Port of Los Angeles where its transported on government roads to the government bailed out GM assembly plant where its put on a van which is sold to the Department of Homeland Security.

        All along the way this “free trade” was financed by the World Bank, IMF, various government owned banks and government bailed out Goldman Sachs and facilitated by the government organizations like the WTO and United States International Trade Commission and the laws of many countries which created government sanctioned limited liability corporations

        1. Does anyone want to defend the above example as being ‘free trade’?

        2. That’s why free trade is different from free markets, you idiot. Free trade is about allowing goods to move from point A to point B. Free markets involve minimal government involvement.

          Free trade can involve state actors or non-state actors and it is still free trade. Free trade is a good in and off itself regardless of whether it involves free markets.

          Your inability to understand what Communism is (hint: China is no longer a Communist country and their ruling party only calls itself Communist essentially out of tradition) also does not help your arguments. China is a STATE CAPITALIST country, which is different from Communism.

          Learn what words mean before trying to argue about them.

          1. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/free-trade.asp – Here is a definition of free trade:

            “The unrestricted purchase and sale of goods and services between countries without the imposition of constraints such as tariffs, duties and quotas.”

            You will note that who is the supplier is irrelevant and how the goods are transported is irrelevant. If we allow trade with Cuba, then even if the trade comes from government organizations it is still free trade.

            Words have meanings. Learn them.

            1. Where is the free part of trade when governments are involved?

              So you invetopedia definition sucks

              1. The trade is free of tariffs and other encumbrances.

                Is it really that hard to understand?

              2. No, the Investopedia definition is accurate and is the definition used by pretty much all economists.

                Free trade is the free movement of goods. How they move and who moves them is irrelevant. It is also irrelevant if the supplier is a state or non-state actor.

                That’s what free trade is. You don’t get to invent your own definitions when the real ones don’t fit your needs.

                1. Economists who support trade with communist owned business as free trade.

                  So you think that trade between North Korea and Cuba can be called free trade?

                  Where is the free part?

                  1. Also you think that when the Soviet Union and Cuba traded oil for sugar that was free trade?

                  2. “Economists who support trade with communist owned business as free trade.”

                    I like that you have yet to provide me with a contrary definition of free trade from any source.

                    “So you think that trade between North Korea and Cuba can be called free trade?”

                    If there were no barriers to trade. Of course, I’m going to go on a limb and say there were plenty of barriers to trade. Also, if they’re only trading one good for one good then no, it isn’t free trade. Free trade requires the general free trade of goods based on comparative advantage, not one government just saying ‘we’ll only trade you eggs for sugar.’

                    1. But trade with communist owned corporations is always going to be based on what the communist party thinks is best not any comparative advantage so your own definition says that such trade is not free.

                  3. So you think that trade between North Korea and Cuba can be called free trade?
                    Where is the free part?

                    Are there tariffs or other restrictions? Do you know what “trade” means? Or “free”? Have even a clue on the difference between “free trade,” “a free economy” and “free beer?”

          2. communist was always state capitolism because communist is a idiot idea. So under your idea Lenin and Stalin weren’t communist because they did state capitolism?

            And no free trade does not involve state actors because free trade does not involve stolen goods which is what state actors deal in.

      2. Well, removing the embargo is certainly more “free market” than keeping it in place.

        If we can trade with them, then ideas and information will also be easier to come by.

        And the average Chinese is probably better off than the average Cuban, as far as freedom of movement and standard of living.

        1. TRADE = COMMUNISM /DJFtard

          1. Communist trade = Communism

            1. You don’t even know what the words you are using mean.

              1. You are the one who thinks that trading with communists equals free trade

                1. It equals freer trade.

                  1. Governments never conduct free trade since they have the power of government on their side.

                    Now I don’t expect in our present government corrupted world for anyone to be 100% free of governent interference in their business but I do reject 100% government owned corporations, and their crony partners

                  2. This is it. There is essentially no absolute free trade anywhere in the world. Freer is what you have to go for or you never get anywhere.

                    DJF also apparently wants millions of Chinese people to starve to death.
                    Their government is a nasty authoritarian regime. But the people have benefited enormously from freer trade. Fuck the Chinese government, but not at the expense of a billion people.

                    1. Zeb, you don’t understand. It is better that Chinese people die at 40 than that we trade with a country that doesn’t have free markets and political liberty.

                      Do you see? Unless everything is perfect, we should never attempt to improve anything. Unless we can construct total free markets, it is better that everyone dies of diphtheria and starvation.

                    2. So instead of moving toward more free, free markets we should fake free trade and fake free market with communist corporations and move toward their system.

                      And its my fault if the communists kill their own people.

                      Buy this communist sweatshop t-shirt or we shoot this worker.

                    3. “So instead of moving toward more free, free markets we should fake free trade and fake free market with communist corporations and move toward their system.

                      And its my fault if the communists kill their own people.

                      Buy this communist sweatshop t-shirt or we shoot this worker.”

                      I think it’s funny that you think this is an option.

                      Tell me, how can we make China free? Give me an example. Tell me what the magic political genius of DJF would do.

                      Oh, what’s that? You have no tenable plan to actually make China free, but are claiming that people who want to help the Chinese better their lot are pro-Communist?

                      The option here isn’t between a free China and a not-free China. It’s between an unfree China with mass starvation and an unfree China with vastly less suffering. Your refusal to see this is a result of your own incompetence, not any moral failing on our part.

                    4. And its my fault if the communists kill their own people.

                      Buy this communist sweatshop t-shirt or we shoot this worker.

                      Uh, you have completely missed the point, so I will stop now.

                    5. C’mon guys, DJF may be mistaken, but arguing he wants mass starvation and such is Tony-esque level debating.

                      *tears up* “Can’t we all just get along”


                      *realizes this is H&R, shrugs and walks off*

                    6. He claimed Cytotoxic is a Communist because Cyto argued in favor of free trade.

                      I don’t think he is deserving of the benefit of the doubt given that he flew in here and immediately began arguing we’re pro-Commie.

                    7. Cyto argues that free trade involves trading with governments. Free trade is what happens between free people, not governments

                    8. Forget it myself, its H&Rtown;.

                      I saw how the whole thing sort of slid down hill. Some of it seemed semantic in nature. But I may have read over it too quickly.

                      *walks off to break room to root around Lindt chocolate selection*

                    9. Except mass starvation would be a likely result of the US cutting off all trade with China. I’m sure he doesn’t want that specifically, but it is a likely and foreseeable result of the policy he advocates.

                    10. So trade with communists and make them rich so they can keep on oppressing their people or they will starve their own people?

                      At the very least we should seperate out government business from whatever private business there is in China and reward the private side with trade opportunities but of course the communist won’t allow that since they are a communist dictatorship and only allow trade which strenthens that dictatorship.

                    11. “So trade with communists and make them rich so they can keep on oppressing their people or they will starve their own people?”

                      Basically yes. It’s cute that you never learned there are instances where there are no good answers and we should choose the better of two bad ones.

                    12. but arguing he wants mass starvation

                      *narrows gays*

                    13. Why you…I mean..just…

                      *shakes head and slowly returns to cubicle*

                    14. A billion Chinese can kick the communists out of power whenever they want, its just that they don’t want it.

                    15. “A billion Chinese can kick the communists out of power whenever they want, its just that they don’t want it.”

                      This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. A billion Chinese could kick the Communists out of power if the billion Chinese had weaponry and were capable of banding together at the same time. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen. Moreover, the government that replaces the Commies could be just as bad.

                      Secondly, the government has the army and weaponry. Chinese peasants would be slaughtered in the rice fields if they tried to rise up. They might win, but it would cost tens of millions of lives.

                      Thirdly, they didn’t try to kick the Communists out of power when they were dirt poor and starving to death during the Great Leap Forward. Given that there was no evidence of the Communist Party getting overthrown before American trade with China, it’s idiotic for you to blame American trade for the continued existence of the Communist Party.

                    16. When Kim-Jung-il died, and the videos were released of all the people weeping in the streets, my first thought was that it was funny that these people felt that way about a tyrant.

                      Then, I thought how sad it was that they probably didn’t have a choice.

                      It’s easy to sit here in the US of A and think how you wouldn’t put up with it, how you would revolt, etc. But those people don’t know anything else. Tyranny is their entire world.

                      All the more reason the open trade with Cuba because trading with Cuba will help the people realize that an alternative actually exists. It’s not a given that they have to live under a dictatorship.

                    17. “””All the more reason the open trade with Cuba because trading with Cuba will help the people realize that an alternative actually exists. “”

                      Concerning China people have been pushing that line since Nixon. And even pushed it back when Lenin and Stalin ran the Soviet Union and all it did was strengthen the regime. It was when they ran out of goods to bribe their people that they collapsed not when they had lots of goodies to keep themselves in power.

                    18. The Chinese government is so nasty that I can smoke a cigarette in a restaurant and drink a beer when I walk down the street.

                    19. This is like watching a pissing match between a cluster of retards … all sharing their “feelings” … most of them dumber than a box of rocks.

                    20. Michael Hihn|12.18.14 @ 9:05PM|#
                      “… most of them dumber than a box of rocks.”

                      So you hope you might get to that level of intelligence?
                      Just asking, since you seem to set the bar at the “ignoramus” mark.

                    21. So you hope you might get to that level of intelligence?
                      Just asking, since you seem to set the bar at the “ignoramus” mark.

                      Is that why I made a total ass out of you on Kentucky State law (Stike 1)

                      https://reason.com/blog/2014/12…..nt_4976215

                      and the federal debt? (Strike 2)

                      https://reason.com/blog/2014/12…..nt_4976222

                      This is strike three. You’re out. (snicker)

      3. China is 1000 times better off than they were 40 years ago. Cuba is about the same as they were 40 years ago. Open trade and travel works. Shutting the door does nothing.

  15. Yeah, rand, good luck with that when you caucus with our new libertarian republican friends. I think you might get 5 out of 240 votes there.

    I don ‘t follow stupid laws so I ignored the travel ban and went there as an unlicensed tourist a few years ago. My hope is that American money won’t turn that place into another Caribbean tourist shithole like Puerto Rico or the Bahamas. Part of me at least hopes the travel ban stays intact.

    1. “My hope is that American money won’t turn that place into another Caribbean tourist shithole like Puerto Rico or the Bahamas.”

      You know, places where people don’t get imprisoned for thoughtcrime, can communicate with the outside world, read, write or express themselves as they wish, own things, have enough to eat, etc.

      1. yeah those shitholes! /indignant prick

    2. Right? Laws are for the little people.

      1. I don ‘t follow stupid laws so I ignored the travel ban and went there as an unlicensed tourist a few years ago refuse to abide by the rules instituted through the ACA.

        See how that works?

        1. You can tell shitstain followed ALL the laws when he was in his workers’ paradise.
          How do I know?
          Simple; they let him leave…
          Fucking hypocrite.

          1. Actually I camped out on the beach between Mariel and Havana. I’ll admit to it being a scary night, but I made it through ok. Try that shit in Florida.

            Given the number of lunatics in Southern Florida I wouldn’t have been surprised if I ended up spending a few days in the pokey for my stupid lack of planning. All’s well that ends well.

            When you travel do you look for reasons to act like an ass or break the law. I guess that’s not the first thing on my travel plan.

            1. american socialist|12.18.14 @ 4:45PM|#
              “When you travel do you look for reasons to act like an ass or break the law. I guess that’s not the first thing on my travel plan.”

              Of course it isn’t when you’d have to pay a price there you don’t have to here.
              I notice you weaseled right on around the question; I presume you think no one noticed?
              Slimebag….

            2. “When you travel do you look for reasons to act like an ass or break the law. I guess that’s not the first thing on my travel plan.”

              Maybe you should act like this when you post here AMSOC. =)

              1. Nope.
                Commie-kid is a dedicated commie asshole. He understands force and nothing but that. If it isn’t enforced at the point of a gun, why he doesn’t care. Contracts? Ha! It is to laugh.
                He obeyed the laws in Cuba only because they’d have tossed his sorry ass in jail if he didn’t.

          2. Sevo mind-farts again …

            You can tell shitstain followed ALL the laws when he was in his workers’ paradise.
            How do I know?
            Simple; they let him leave…
            Fucking hypocrite.

            Yeah! They HATE tourists bringing money!! Is that why there’s drool all over your keyboard?

            1. Michael Hihn|12.18.14 @ 9:08PM|#
              “Sevo mind-farts again …
              You can tell shitstain followed ALL the laws when he was in his workers’ paradise.
              How do I know?
              Simple; they let him leave…
              Fucking hypocrite.
              Yeah! They HATE tourists bringing money!! Is that why there’s drool all over your keyboard?”

              Uh, did you start drinking early? Do you have some problem with the English language?
              You are a fucking ignoramus, but I still expect better than that.

              1. Do you have some problem with the English language?

                Which part of this confuses Sevo?
                “Yeah! They HATE tourists bringing money!!”

                We’re now up to FOUR Sevo fuckups on this page, and counting. (lol)

                https://reason.com/blog/2014/12…..nt_4976225

      2. I’m all for ignoring stupid laws, myself.

        But supporting horrific oppression for the sake of your aesthetic preferences is pretty fucked.

        1. Cubans need to be protected from spring breakers and tacky souvenirs.

        2. But supporting horrific oppression for the sake of your aesthetic preferences

          A feature – not a bug – of the Progressive mind.

    3. The Bahamas? Have you even been there? And Paradise Island doesn’t count.

        1. Srsly. The only part of the Bahamas I’ve ever been to (The Abacos) had a very easy-going and authentic island life happening, with relatively few tourists. With the added benefit of the people not being murdered and/or imprisoned because they disagreed with the government.

    4. Communist shitholes are so much better right? I mean aside from the bodies and filth. Gotta have some model to point to as a center of gravity for your evil ideology.

    5. I don ‘t follow stupid laws so I ignored the travel ban and went there as an unlicensed tourist a few years ago. My hope is that American money won’t turn that place into another Caribbean tourist shithole like Puerto Rico or the Bahamas.

      You are the most disgusting of exploiters. You think you were some world traveling, intellectual enlightened one when you went there, too, didn’t you?

      Tell me this: when you visited Havanna, did you rail about the resort owners who have built a theme park on the backs of Cuban peasants? Because that’s what you visited- CastroLand. They’ve preserved quaint and authentic facades of culture on a few blocks while the people in the rest of the country live in squalor. The few people allowed to interact with you put on a happy face in their culturally appropriate livery- just as ordered by their employers. And all the while, for every dollar you spent, a pittance went to those people enabling your experience while the vast majority went to line the pockets of corporate profiteers you rewarded, the Castro Regime.

      You want to fret and fear what will happen when big resort chains get into Cuba and start offering services to wealth tourists? You were ALREADY THERE. The only difference is that a Disney Resort can fire its peasants who don’t meet with their heavily branded vision of reality while the CEO of Cuba, Inc gets to shoot you in the head and throw your family in the gulag.

      Good for you and your social disobedience

      1. I’ll bet he went there to protest inequality, since the proles are limited to $20 a month, while the Castros own a private island.

        1. I’m just aghast at people who think they were doing anything other than paying the Castros for a visit.

          I’m no lover of third-world resorts. When I went to Ixtapa, we flew into and spent time visiting the neighboring city, Zihuatenejo, and it is shocking how on one side of the hill you have people living in concrete buildings that essentially resemble furnished garages while the people living there travel each day to the other side of the hill to serve tourists that live in the lap of luxury.

          You have to research your resorts, and you can learn which are decent to their staff, and which rule their domain with a draconian enforcement policy- you must wear X. You must do Y. You must not speak poorly of the resort. If you rabble rouse, you are fired unceremoniously and lose a job at one of the few opportunities within 300 miles. But for all those horrible corporations’ faults, the Castro regime is infinitely worse because they will kill or jail you for committing the same “offenses” that would get you fired elsewhere.

    6. Soul crushing poverty is just so authentic, maaaaaan.

    7. I hope American Socialist never criticizes American slavery, since he’s now arguing in favor of Cuban slavery.

    8. american socialist|12.18.14 @ 2:04PM|#
      “Yeah, rand, good luck with that”…

      Hi, Dipshit! Paid your mortgage yet? Still licking mass murderer ass?
      Still the same ol’ slimeball we know and detest?

    9. American socialists, always wanting poor countries to stay poor, so they can have an authentic vacation.

      1. Gives me an idea for some Hipster fishing…authentic travel experiences e.g. see poor people in their natural surroundings, interact with a child dying from starvation, get your picture taken at the moment of death, etc…

    10. “Part of me at least hopes the travel ban stays intact.”

      I know a few Cubans that wish it would be gone.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWupuAj1bio

  16. “Paul criticized the trade and travel embargo on Cuba as ineffective, separating himself from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas)…”

    I cannot wait for the inevitable, and asinine, attacks during the primary debates, Bush, Rubio, and Cruz telling us that Paul is “soft on communism.” I am sure the base will eat it up.

    1. Paul has to learn to hit back harder than he got hit and not be afraid. The Team Red base is at least as interested in style as they are in substance.

      1. This.

        Team Red base will vote for the biggest swinging dick in the room.

    2. Communism has been effectively dead in this world for — what? — 25 years now and had not actually been followed by anybody for decades before that. How can you possibly go soft on something that doesn’t exist anymore?

      And, besides, I thought the “Red Menace” was rhetorically replaced by the “Islamofascist Menace”? Why is it making a comeback?

      1. Communism is not dead at all. It is alive and well in North Korea and in Cuba.

        1. and in the hearts and minds of little children

          1. And college professors everywhere.

        2. Flourishing examples of life, both of those places.

        3. Alive perhaps, but certainly not well in either of those benighted countries.

          -jcr

  17. I am saddened to report that my initial predictions came true, not within days, but within hours.

    I had a conversation with a close family member who has been swallowed by the Light of Obama.

    The gist went something like this:

    Congress won’t act, democracy sucks, so he is forced to become the king. Executive power is great when it’s our guy. And she really, really wants to visit Cuba before it’s ruined by capitalism.

    1. “And she really, really wants to visit Cuba before it’s ruined by capitalism.”

      Tell her to go to the zoo; the animals are better fed.

      1. That is all visiting Cuba is and will be even if they end the embargo.

        You are not helping the people of Cuba by going there. You are just exploiting their slave labor and subsidizing their jailers. That is it.

    2. It’s hardly ideal, but it’s hardly his fault either. “Least productive Congress in history” isn’t an exaggeration. The GOP has turned into a full-on batshit uncompromising cult and that is the major political story of our time. Given that reality, yes, it is better when the imperial president isn’t a member of the crazy party. Perhaps it was the election of a black man that took them over the edge. Perhaps it was their monumental failure to govern without wrecking the entire country that did it. Who can say?

      1. Yeah, everyone remember when the Dems were in full control of congress? They totes got shit done. Like passing a budget, fixing immigration, taking action on climate change um…wait what was I saying?

      2. We know Tony. Nothing is ever Obama’s fault. I mean how was he supposed to get immigration or Cuba done having to work with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid for two years?

        And the worst thing of all is all of those fucking Republicans who think just because they voted for a candidate for Congress who won, they should get some kind of a say in government. How many times do we have to tell these fucking yahoos that this country is not theirs anymore and they no longer have any kind of say in the government.,

        It must be so hard for Obama to wake up every day being so perfect. It really must.

        1. This must be the “Other” Cuban thread. =)

      3. Why say something that is so easily refuted? Surely, any thinking person (chomskied ya) would have anticipated Overt and John’s response?

      4. “”Least productive Congress in history” isn’t an exaggeration.”

        Maybe not, but it sure is a compliment!

  18. my buddy’s half-sister makes $86 hourly on the internet . She has been unemployed for six months but last month her pay check was $15195 just working on the internet for a few hours. read…….

    http://www.Jobs-spot.com

    1. What kind of car did she buy?

      1. A ’61 Fairlane with a Russian lawn-mower engine.

  19. “If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn’t seem to be working, and probably it punishes the people more than the regime because the regime can blame the embargo for hardship.”

    He should have followed that with an “OBVIOUSLY, YOU FREAKING IDIOTS”.

  20. The normalization of relation of Cuba began with Obama trading convicted spies for an American citizen imprisoned there. Cuba is apparently recognized as a terrorist nation, so…..

    The USA already export products to Cuba. Cuba can trade with any other nations. You can even travel there under some circumstances.

    Obama mentions that we already do business with China. But is China any more free (outside of business related interests) because American companies make gazillion of dollars there? We actually kowtow to THEIR tastes and demands. If China doesn’t like the content of our art and TV shows, they can always censor them or limit them.

    Come on, this is crony capitalism for the agriculture and maybe construction. All the spoils will go the connected folks on both sides. The Cuban people might get more Mcdonlads and some welcome increase in essential items, but count on their government to control supply.

    When South Korea sent rice and money to NK, the Kim regime sent most of it to their army. You know this will ENRICH enemies of freedom. And unlike China or the Saudis, the US has no tangential benefits for increasing our presense there.

    1. TL;DR: this is bad because it’ll be bad.

    2. XM-
      I think you are totally right. This will enrich the enemies of freedom. I still think it is a good idea.

      The fact of the matter is that there are enemies of freedom all over the world, and doing business with them- trading them their goods/services for our lucre- isn’t going to change that. But neither will forcing private individuals NOT to trade with them.

      There is a cost to embargoes- the infringement on our right to choose who we do business with. And there is of course a cost to the people of the despotic regimes we embargo. I’d be sympathetic with an argument that keeping the embargo forces their government to change, but I have seen zero indication in 50 years that this is going to happen. They have figured out how to stay comfortable despite our embargo, so we aren’t getting any benefit from the embargo despite the real costs we continue to incur.

      If you feel that it is immoral to pay for goods and services from Cuba, fine. Don’t buy those goods and services. but don’t infringe on others rights to make that choice for themselves.

      1. “There is a cost to embargoes- the infringement on our right to choose who we do business with”

        Because it’s a natural right to do business with those who hold the whip in slave states. Sub contracting slavery – it’s a right!

        1. Yes it is a right to associate with and contract with whomever we want. It sucks when people associate with people you don’t like, doesn’t it?

          The fact of the matter is that we do this around the world every day. People contract with Chinese officials, Saudi nationalized oil asshats, people who are sympathetic with Jihadis, Russian kleptocrats, etc.

          If I had some inclination that the cost of infringing that right would cause those asshats to change their way, I’d be sympathetic with calls to embargo them. And indeed, I am sure there are some cases where this can be and is used to good effect. But 50 years of embargo have shown that the infringement on our rights is not having the expected benefit. *shrug*

        2. Cuba is a socialist shithole like dozens of others that we and the rest of the world do business with. Confusing that with a “slave state” is just stupidity on your part.

  21. The goal is regime change now? I can go one better. If the goal was finding intelligent life on other planets, isolating Cuba was a really bad idea; a common-sense non-starter. Whatever could they have been thinking?

  22. The Cuban communists have always gotten by through some Sugar Daddy, whether the Soviet Union, or Venezuela. Now that both Russia and Venezuela have their own economic disasters to deal with, Obama steps in to ease the pain, aiming to lobby Congress to go further than normalizing relations, and end the embargo.

    They got what they wanted. What all the dictatorships want is *respect* – the moral sanction of the international community. They’re just like everyone else, with “problems” and “challenges”. The next thing they want is money, to live the good life. The changes in banking regulations makes it easier for them to extort money from the families of the captive Cuban population.

    And what exactly did we get in return? A prisoner swap. Way to think strategically.

  23. What you need to know about the Cuban embargo
    People say that the Cuban embargo did nothing except make Cubans poor. Not true. After Castro came to power he aligned himself with the Soviet Union. Shortly thereafter, he began exporting Communism to various parts of the world. He sent military and financial aid to communist regimes in Central and South America.
    From Foreign Affairs:”Cuban leader Fidel Castro, seeing opportunity in the turmoil resulting from African decolonization, decided to escalate his assistance. The economic drain, loss of life and domestic discontent in Cuba that have resulted from its involvement in 17 African nations and three African insurgencies suggest that Castro might re-evaluate his African agenda, particularly in Angola, where Cuban soldiers are now being called into frontline combat. But the gains Cuba has already realized for itself and the Soviet Union, coupled with the prospect of winning the long-term allegiance of large portions of the African continent, may cause him to disregard the continuing short-term dangers.”
    It’s clear that the embargo was to starve Castro of the cash needed to finance this sort of intervention in areas that fomented revolution in various parts of the world. His backers, the Soviets, used Cuba as a surrogate in these endeavors.
    Tony Rohl
    Grass Valley

    1. Didn’t they invade Wyoming once too?

    2. Didn’t seem to stop him, did it?

  24. Rand,

    Both my wife and I support you on most of your comments however we don’t on this matter. This would be a good place for ISIS to strike the US. Give Cuba a few bucks and anything can happen.

    1. This is what some Americans really believe.

  25. Well Rand Paul just lost my vote. The Castro government has been ultra abusive for well over 50 years. The embargo has worked because it has marginalized the country. The embargo, or any embargo is not initiated to make the government be nice to the people.

    1. “The embargo has worked because it has marginalized the country.”

      Care to give us an idea WI that means and how it was accomplished?
      I’m guessing that’s just plain made-up bullshit.

    2. And what principle is at stake here according to you? There are plenty of governments that are “ultra abusive”. It’s not our business to embargo them all. It’s not our business to democratize other nations, or even to tell them what form of government they should have.

      Whether an American does business with another country or not should be entirely his own choice.

  26. What the embargo showed is that Communism keeps people dirt poor, restricts their freedoms to unbelievable levels, demonstrates how horrible centrally planned policies are, and how horrible the ruling class treats the general population. Even though Cuba has been able to trade with Central and South America, most European countries, and had relatively wealthy patrons of USSR/Russia and China – it remains a truly horrible place to live. How many Cubans have literally risked death to escape the Castro regime!?

    In this way the embargo has been incredibly effective.

    1. thisismarcusxavier|12.18.14 @ 8:45PM|#
      …”Even though Cuba has been able to trade with Central and South America, most European countries, and had relatively wealthy patrons of USSR/Russia and China – it remains a truly horrible place to live. How many Cubans have literally risked death to escape the Castro regime!?
      In this way the embargo has been incredibly effective.”

      Do you have any evidence that the embargo caused all that? Are you familiar with the phrase ‘non-sequitur’?

  27. Been to Cuba twice this year in Havana and the hinterlands. The people are vivacious, friendly, well educated, hard working and?.wait for it?.entrepreneurial. The crack in the wall of communism has allowed them to create businesses (and most pay little or NO taxes). The small accumulation of wealth is already changing the face of the world around them?.and their spirit. Yes, they fear their masters, real or imagined. Yet, they openly mock the Russians and the philosophy they represent. We could not find better persons with which to do business. Perhaps it will happen now. BTW, the military women wear amazing miniskirts. Just sayin’

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  29. Our embargo hasn’t hurt Cuba at all. Most other countries don’t have any trade embargo with Cuba.

    It’s Cuba’s communist government that has kept so much out of the country, knowing that the lickspittle pinkos in the USA will constantly lie and wail and blame America for the poor plight of Cubans.

    Raul *has* loosened things up some, but he has much farther to go before Cuba can be called anything like a free country.

    Obama is treading in the footsteps of JFK, let the Communists do whatever they want.

  30. Who cares whether it “has worked” or not? The embargo against Cuba is wrong for the simple reason that it limits the freedoms of the American people.

    As for Obama, he is doing this just to have something, anything, on his record that won’t look like a complete failure in retrospect.

  31. Thanks for sharing. We have a lot of depression and anxiety in our family. As a church, I think it’s important to mention those things to help others know it’s ok. It’s helpful to go to counseling and anyone can suffer with depression sometimes. Thanks for your honesty and sharing.

    Try it, you won t regret it! …. http://cort.as/Mquv

  32. I do note that Ted Cruz, who Nick Gillespie labeled as the future of the GOP, thinks its all a bad idea. How’s that future looking, Nick?

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