Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bon Mot of the Evening

“'In my household I told Castro he is known as the ultimate survivor,' says Rep. Rush." One can only conclude that Mr. Rush also deeply admires cockroaches.

-Comment by Asombra on a Babalublog post by Anatasio Blanco about the recent remarks made by returning Congressional Black Caucus junketeers.

April 15th: Tea Time

If you want to join in the festivities by sending a tea bag to Washington on April 15th, just read this. I know nothing about the organization, but it sound nifty to me. It might be interesting to know where they intend to dump a million tea bags. Gotta love that American spirit!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Did He or Didn't He?

I'm here to tell you that it doesn't matter. Talk about your tempest in a teapot. As far as I am concerned, Obama's quasi bow to the Saudi King is probably the result of the social awkwardness that has plagued his dealings with British royalty, the metaphorical equivalent of drinking from the finger bowl, a solecism I don't think he would commit.

In any case, of more concern is the concept of negotiations with Iran. Iranian leaders in the past have acknowledged that talks were just a means to buy time. Of more concern also are the apologies he's spouting, the policies he's enacting. Enough already with the bow.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Family Travel and Remittances Loosened

Here's a statistic for all of the embargo lifters. Under the repressive Bush policies, family remittances to Cuba total 700 million dollars a year. Talk about stimulative.

America: Where the Fat Lady Meets the Peanut Man

Woke up this am to find Jose's delightful post on "El Manisero." The Cuban peanut vendor, unlike his American ballpark counterpart, does not sling his wares about chanting, "Peanuts! Get your peanuts heaar!" No, he sings his refrain in an evening serenade.

Brings back memories of my father wrapping paper into a cone shape demonstrating to my American daughter how the little packets of peanuts were sold. I suspect she knows more than I as they used to sing it to her.

In English we say that something is not over "until the fat lady sings." My mother with her typically Cuban sharp wit used to say that something or someone was not done until he or she sang, or canto "El Manisero." If I remember correctly, particularly in reference to mortality. I'm sure some of you reading know the ins and outs a bit better than I. So much is lost.

H/T Cubanology

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Interrogatives

Where's the beef? The news this week was all Barack Goes to Europe all the time, so let's start there. Despite the PR success, the truth is that it was something a policy failure. Forced by the recalcitrant French and German leaders to abandon his quest to have a global stimulus , Mr. Obama seems to have settled on gaining more help in Afghanistan. As this report from the Times indicates, results were not too good on this front either.

Who's your Daddy? Back on the home front, Stanford economist Michael Boskin points out at the Wall Street Journal that Barackian economics will result in a tax increase as "big as their mortgage" for those making 100 thousand a year.

What's the catch? Seemingly unnoticed is the chilling information that the government which initially strong armed some banks into taking TARP funds in order to provide cover for their weaker brethren is essentially refusing to take it back, at least according to the WSJ in this. As Stuart Varney points out, it's all about control this go 'round.

Who stole the cookie...? In somewhat the same vein, over at Townhall Kathryn Lopez highlights a new book which has become something of a sensation: Liberty and Tyranny; A Conservative Manifesto by Mark Levin. I haven't read it, but plenty of others have. Then again I haven't read Liberal Fascism either.

Where in the world? Also in Cuba related news, the Congressional Black Caucus is on a junket to the benighted and blighted island. Guess they haven't read the report on the side bar about the plight of Afro-Cubans. The media is touting the lifting of family travel restrictions as prologue to greater easing; but as Andres Oppenheimer quotes Jason Cason in a Miami Herald piece, tourism has never "brought down a totalitarian regime."

Which witch? Some potentially disturbing news. Foul rumors are abroad that Broadway could face trouble in this economy, that a movie version of Atlas Shrugged is again in the works, and that the English language is always evolving. Theater is one of the New York things I miss most, as theater in my hometown either involves social climbing or a field trip from the assisted living facility. I've never read Rand, as the size of the tomes dwarf my desire to read them. And evolution or no evolution, I cannot get used to impact as a verb.