Monday, July 13, 2015

Cuba & U. S. Presidents

A Lesson To Be Learned
Updated: Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
         This AP photo shows a U. S. Coast Guard boat patrolling the waters between Florida and Cuba. It was used yesterday -- July 13th -- to illustrate a very fair Fox News Latino article written by Elizabeth Llorente. The article is entitled: "Calls To End So-Called 'Wet-Foot/Dry-Foot' Policy Grow As Ties Between U.S.-Cuba Improve." Wet-Foot/Dry Foot is one of many American laws inflicted on the U. S. democracy by powerful Miami Cubans and their right-wing sycophants in the U. S. Congress. It is designed to hurt Cuba and enrich or empower or appease revengeful Cuban exiles. The rest of the world considers it a discriminatory affront to democracy. It is. Because of Wet Foot/Dry Foot, any Cuban who touches U. S. soil is home free with instant benefits. Any non-Cuban, would-be immigrant is subject to imprisonment or instant deportation. In addition to being extremely unfair, Wet Foot/Dry Foot encourages Cubans on the island to risk their lives to make it to U. S. land where Wet Foot/Dry Foot and other discriminatory U. S. laws are designed strictly to hurt Cuba while also enriching or empowering Cuban exiles, and only Cuban exiles. Yet, despite the above headline yesterday on the Fox News Latino network, the current make-up of the right-wing dominated U. S. Congress will not rein in Wet Foot/Dry Foot or any of the other abysmal aspects of the U. S. Cuban policy that continues, decade after decade, to embarrass America's best friends.
      Meanwhile, yesterday -- July 13th -- Bloomberg Business -- used the above graphic to illustrate the upsurge of visitors to Cuba since President Barack Obama's bold and astounding efforts to normalize relations with the nearby island. The article said, "Each of the first five months has seen a double-digit increase in the growth of visitors compared to 2014, including a 21 percent jump in May, 2015." Canada, according to Bloomberg Business, has sent "779,576" tourists to Cuba in the first five months of 2015. Of course, Canadians and all other people in the world, except Americans, have the freedom to visit Cuba if they choose to do so. Right-wingers in the U. S. Congress applaud this infringement on democracy.
        Lindsey Graham {Graphic courtesy: heartland.org} is one of about two dozen declared Republican presidential candidates. Yes, he is among those who don't stand a chance to be elected but, since the Supreme Court in 2010 allowed unlimited financial donations, there are economic and publicity reasons to run for President in this money-crazed milieu. Mr. Graham, 60, is from a town called Central in South Carolina. He has been in the U. S. Senate since 2003. A nuance of congressional politics allows members of Congress to pork-barrel tax dollars back to their small areas to assure their incumbency for up to many decades -- such as Mr. Stevens in Alaska, Mr. Byrd in West Virginia, Mr. Helms in North Carolina, etc., etc. Lindsey Graham is solidly entrenched in the 100-member U. S. Senate but his radical politics not only affect people in the town of Central but they also direly affect you and me even though we do not live anywhere close to Central, South Carolina. Few Americans outside of South Carolina would ever consider voting for a Lindsey Graham, yet his incumbency in the U. S. Senate allows him to adversely affect our lives. Therein lies a conundrum, especially considering that Senator Graham seems to advocate bombing just about every nation on the planet except Israel. And his antipathy towards Cuba is especially pronounced.
      Senator Graham, of course, is a regular on Fox News, the popular and influential right-wing propaganda machine. But he uses other forums too, such as all the other networks and...Twitter! On Twitter here is one of Senator Graham's recent and exact tweets: "I will do all in my power to block the use of funds to open an embassy in Cuba. Normalizing relations with Cuba is a bad idea at a bad time." Of course, it doesn't matter to entrenched right-wingers like Graham that even the majority of Florida's 1.2 million Cuban-Americans, along with the vast majority of the rest of the civilized world, strongly disagree with him. Like Stevens, Byrd, Helms, and so many others from little pork-barreled sections of the U. S., Mr. Graham can remain in the U. S. Senate for decades to come, even if his basic philosophy harms most Americans, most citizens of the world, and 11.2 million totally innocent Cubans. And the majority of Americans must accept it.
        This is a photo from a July 10th segment on Business Insider by Amanda Macias. The segment, a superb portrait of the island, is entitled: "27 Gorgeous Photos of Ordinary Life in Havana." This photo shows an ordinary Cuban trying to make a decent and honest living by selling fruits and vegetables. All her life, Neanderthals like Senator Lindsey Graham, living high on the hog in a nearby country, have punished her with such things as the cruel embargo against her island, an embargo originally put in place in 1962 for the purpose, as revealed by declassified U. S. documents, of starving and depriving the Cubans on the island to induce them to rise up and overthrow Fidel Castro. {And replace him with what, Senator Graham? Another replica of a thieving, cruel, greedy, and brutal U.S.-backed Batista-Mafia dictatorship?}. Unlike everyday Americans, Senator Graham can go to Cuba. He should. He has never caused any real trouble for Fidel Castro; in fact, right-wing tactics such as the Bay of Pigs helped immortalize Castro. But Senator Graham and others like him have greatly harmed everyday Cubans like this honest, hard-working lady. Yes, Senator Graham should visit the island and buy some fruit and vegetables from this woman...as he apologizes to herThis Cuban woman is not Senator Graham's enemy, and even if it feathers his political career, he should not be able to use the omnipotent powers of the U. S. government to be her enemy!
         Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is even more of a Neanderthal than Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. McConnell, in fact, is the most powerful man in the U. S. Senate as that body's omnipotent Majority Leader. As a right-wing Republican he, of course, is a regular on Fox News. This week -- July 12th -- McConnell was the star on Fox News Sunday. He used that forum to belittle President Obama's sane, decent, and long overdue peaceful overtures to Cuba. Among other diatribes, Senator McConnell said, "There are sanctions that were imposed by Congress. I think that the administration will have a hard time getting those removed." That, to America's shame, is true. McConnell was referring to the infamous Helms-Burton Act that was rammed through Congress in 1996 by the Bush-anointed Jorge Mas Canosa and the other most visceral Cubans in Miami, with able assistant from entrenched right-wing Republicans Jesse Helms and Dan Burton. Democracy-lovers to this day cringe at the mere mention of Helms-Burton. It grossly assails Cubans on the island and grossly enriches Cubans in Miami. It, in fact, grossly discriminates against everyone except Cubans. As a means of enticing Cubans to Miami, Helms-Burton, for example, includes such anti-democratic laws as Wet Foot/Dry Foot, which allows to this day any Cuban who touches U. S. soil -- such as at the Mexican border or at Key West, Florida -- to be home free in the United States with instant benefits. All other would-be immigrants in this world are subject to instant deportation or prison. America's best friends around the world have a lot of trouble believing that the United States is saddled with a Cuban policy dictated by such hubris as Helms-Burton, the undemocratic albatross that Senator McConnell referenced again on this week's Fox News Sunday. For endless decades now, Helms-Burton has boosted Fidel Castro's standing in the Caribbean and Latin America, and it will boost his soon-to-be legacy. Helms-Burton has also greatly enriched Miami Cubans with endless streams of tax dollars. But Helms-Burton, most of all, still severely punishes 11.2 million Cubans on the island who hope one day that America's Cuban policy will be refurbished by decent politicians, such as President Obama, and not kept in perpetuity by right-winger Neanderthals, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He is now 73-years-old. He has been in the U. S. Senate since 1985. He was recently reelected to yet another 6-year term.
           Senator McConnell's "Vision Of America" is exactly what America, the Americas, and the world do not need. What America does need is the bright vision and pure decency of a lady named...Elizabeth Warren.
       This past weekend, my mailbox included my latest copy of Time Magazine. It features Elizabeth Warren on the cover with the bold headline: "Who's Afraid of Elizabeth Warren? Well, for starters, every right-winger in the U. S. Congress and every greedy banker on Wall Street should be afraid of Elizabeth Warren.
            New Yorker Magazine used this montage to contrast Elizabeth Warren with Ted Cruz, the first-term U. S. Senator from the Bush dynasty in Texas. Cruz, of course, is a Republican presidential candidate reportedly second only to Jeb Bush in raking in special interest donations in a political climate in which a few billionaires now have free rein to purchase just about anything they want, including -- unfortunately for Americans -- Senate seats and the White House. To the chagrin of millions of democracy lovers, Elizabeth Warren is not a presidential candidate but the likes of Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham are. Go figure.
        People Magazine used this montage to remind Americans that Hillary Clinton has a clear path to win the Democratic nomination in the presidential sweepstakes because Elizabeth Warren, who would be her prime challenger, is not a candidate. The insert of Mark Ruffalo in this montage is because People pointed out that many millions of Americans, like Ruffalo, are begging Senator Warren to change her mind and run. One reason she is not running is because a serious presidential contender in today's money-crazed climate {capitalist politics run amok} needs billions of dollars in order to be a serious candidate, with capitalist television stations and networks clamoring for the endless billions of dollars in political ads. Such money primarily comes from Wall Street and other multi-millionaires and billionaires who are now free to buy up huge chunks of the U. S. democracy. While Hillary Clinton, the prime Democrat, and Jeb Bush, the prime Republican, are perfectly winning to beg for such unsavory money, Elizabeth Warren is not.
      Thus, the elongated 2016 presidential race comes down to Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush. They each have two qualifications to be President: {1} Their dynastic last names -- Clinton and Bush; and {2} their willingness to accept huge amounts of money from billionaires intent on buying their political influence.
       Elizabeth Warren is the antithesis to Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and others who flourish in America's money-crazed politics. She is the anathema to greedy politicians everywhere. Ms. Warren was born on June 22, 1949, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her father was a janitor and he had a debilitating heart attack when Elizabeth was 12-years-old. She took a job as a waitress to help her family. She understands poor people and middle-class people. She has struggled all her life to help them. She is a financial genius and she became a renowned Harvard professor. As a U. S. Senator from Massachusetts now, her politics is not for sale. That precludes her from running for President but there is a treasure trove of reasons she should be President of the United States, first among them being the fact that she cares most deeply for Americans who barely have enough money to survive and feed their families and surely don't have enough money to contribute to insatiable, money-hungry politicians.
        This AP photo shows Senator Elizabeth Warren, a non-presidential candidate, sitting beside Hillary Clinton, the only serious Democratic presidential contender. Sitting behind Senator Warren is a pensive John Kerry, the former long-time Senator who is now a very decent Secretary of State. As I studied this photo, I wondered what a career politician like John Kerry was thinking. I concluded he was perhaps mulling over the dichotomy between the non-presidential candidate, Senator Warren, and the serious presidential candidate, former First Lady and Senator Hillary Clinton. I am also reminded that Elizabeth Warren was herself a long-time Republican but in 1996 she became a Democrat when she realized that right-wingers -- such as the Bush dynasty -- had taken control of the Republican party. As a lifelong conservative Republican, I fully understand why Senator Warren switched parties. Yes, I have signed the petitions begging Elizabeth Warren to reconsider and submit her candidacy for President of the United States. I think, even without billions of dollars from millionaires and billionaires, she could defeat Hillary Clinton and then beat Jeb Bush. And that would indeed be a great day for America and for democracy.
Pleaseeeeeeee, Ms. Warren!!
We need you in the White House.
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