Thursday, April 25, 2019

Joseph "Murfster35" Murphy

Joseph "Murfster35" Murphy is a lifelong liberal political junkie. Being born and raised in Chicago, he is no stranger to bare-knuckle politics. He spent 20 years working for United Airlines, and another 9 as a fraud prevention expert for a large online retailer. He is the author of President Evil: The rise of Trump in the 2016 primaries and its sequel President Evil II: A Clodwork Orange. Murfster35 is a top recommended writer on the blog Daily Kos.

“Uncle Joe” hits the ground running.

A couple of months ago I told y’all that since I gave up bandwagons for Lent, I wasn’t planning on jumping on any anytime soon. That still holds true, there are too many candidates out there, with too much to say. At this point, I’m not panning on even centering on just a few candidates until after at least the 3rd debate, I want to see how they perform and interact with each other. So, this artile is in no way an endorsement, simply observations as to what I’ve seen, and feel, so far today. The wait is finally over, Joe Biden is in. Mercifully, this means that the media can finally cease in trying to gin up any kind of actual suspense as to whether or not Biden would finally jump in. Sweet Jesus, this whole thing was a worse kept secret than a Donald Trump affair. Any of them! But the dynamic of the Democratic primaries changed today, as did Trump’s behavior towards running in 2020, simply because there is a fundamental difference in knowing that Biden is running, and actually seeing Joe Biden running. Forget Biden’s online announcement video, effective or not, that’s not what I’m talking about. Did anybody see the video of Uncle Joe stopping in at that pizza parlor to pick up a couple of pies and diet Pepsi’s to go? For those of you who did, be honest now, is there a single one of you who didn’t smile, and fondly say to yourself, “Ah, the good old days of politics!” Because that’s what Je Biden does, and is. He’s as comfy as an old pair of slippers. If you’re younger than 50, you grew up with the name “Biden” being a semi household word whenever politics came up. With Biden, what you see is what you get, and many people out there have a great fondness for what they see. When the hot mic caught Biden muttering “This is a big fucking deal” in President Obama’s ear at the ACA signing, who didn’t chuckle. It had the same salacious thrill of an 8 year old hearing his favorite uncle tell his father, “So I told him to go and fuck himself” over the grill in the backyard. Will Biden win? Can he win? I sure as hell don’t know, and neither does anybody else. But whatever the outcome, Biden adds a new, and welcome dynamic to the race. Biden joins Bernie Sanders in the “old white guy” lane. But even there the difference is striking. Bernie looks and sounds like the grandfather that tells you to “Get offa the lawn kid!”, while Biden looks and comes off like the favorite uncle who tells you to “Pull on my finger.” You love him, even though you know that your parents wish he’d grow up, because he’s a bad influence on you. Biden’s presence is going to improve the Democratic field, and not just for Democrats. Biden is a comforting presence, a “return to normalcy” in politics in the “American carnage” era of Trump. It just draws a stark contrast between the personalities and policies of the two parties. Like Trump, it can be hard to shut Biden up, but unlike Trump, Biden speaks in complete, coherent sentences, and has a sense of humor. His smile is contagious. Has anyone ever actually seen Donald […]

“*sigh* OK, time to get messy.”

For all of 2018, the Democrats pledged in their campaigns that they were the ones who would restore order to a lawless Trump Washington, hold Trump’s feet to the fire, and restore accountability. And since January of 2019, they have carried through, making “grrr-grrr” noises, issuing document demands, and holding hearings. They have told the bully, “I said no! No lunch money, geddoudda here!” Only now, the bully just pushed you backwards and snarled, “I ain’t gonna tell you again punk, hand it over!: Wadda you do now? Well, if you’re smart, you sigh deeply, shake your head sadly, put your hand gently on the bully’s shoulder, and knee him in the nuts. Hard. Twice. Because this isn’t boxing, and you’re not the Marquis de fucking Queensbury. This is a street fight, and this kind of sudden, no-holds-barred- Quentin Tarantino violence is the only thing that makes the three neanderthals behind the bully back up when you step around him at them. Because this is what gets the rest of the kids in the school yard cheering and jumping up and down. Tuesday, April 30, 2019. 9:15 am. House Banking chair Richie Neal sends a letter to the IRS Commissioner, the deadline to turn over the tax returns for Trump is 5 pm Friday, or a motion for contempt of congress will be voted on in the committee on Monday, and forwarded to the full House for a vote. 9:25 am. Neal sends a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Munchkin, finalist for “most slappable face in America” along with Jared Kushner, “Hey, pencil dick! That letter was addressed to the IRS Secretary, not you. Siddown and shut the fuck up, or your contempt of congress charge will be voted on in the committee on Monday too!” 9:45 am. A letter from all 5 Democratic House chairmen and women goes out to President Trump, advising him that every effort from here on out to use the power of his office to interfere with legally issued subpoenas for document transfer, or any attempt to inhibit witnesses from giving duly subpoenaed testimony before congress shall constitute a separate article of impeachment for abuse of power for each one. The newsroom at FOX will look like the motel room scene in John Carpenters “Vampires” with all of the gore on the walls from exploding talking heads, with anchors wheezing on respirators about “Democratic Gestapo tactics.” Fuck ‘em. Because this one is easy, and you can explain it in language even a Trump supporter can understand I dunno, maybe something like; Lets say you own a car wash, but you have a weed grow in the second floor storage over the store. The FBI thinks they know what you’re doing, so they subpoena your bank records to check for possible money laundering. This can land you inthe can, so you have your lawyers write a letter to the bank, threatening a lawsuit if the bank complies with the subpoena. Your bank’s response? “Hey, this subpoena says ‘FNI’ on it, and has a judges signature. WHo the hell are you, slick?” Because, that’s what abuse of power is, using the power of your office to obtain an advantage that nobody else can have or use. because, in the end, this isn’t even directly about Trump and the taxes. It’s a show of […]
DonkeyHotey / Flickr Sarah Huckabee Sanders Caricature...

Time for a boycott!

I love boycotts, and have for years. There’s just something empowering about a whole bunch of us small, insignificant little pissants using collective action to “stick it to the man,” regardless if it’s a country, a personality, or a large, monolithic corporation. Personally, I boycott all kinds of shit. I was quite the fan of the “Flush Rush” boycott when I could still see well enough to spend long hours in front of the monitor, sending e-mails to corporate sponsors. And personally, I’ve been boycotting Papa John’s pizza for years, ever since their asshole founder said that he planned to cut employee hours just enough to make sure that he didn’t have to offer them medical insurance. And though I have never tried one, I will never set foot into a Chik-Fil-A, or a Hobby Lobby, due to their discriminatory anti LGBTQ policies. It’s like a mosquito on an elephant’s ass, they don’t even notice, but it makes me feel all righteous and shit, so I’m happy. But we are rapidly approaching the day of the commencement of a new boycott. But not by us, you and I, at least not immediately. Give me a minute here to explain, and I think you’ll get the picture, and the benefits of the boycott. If there’s one thing that El Pendejo Presidente is an expert at, it’s victimization, on both sides of the coin. For decades now, His Lowness has been victimizing both his customers, with the substandard crap he peddles, as well as his long history of welshing, and his employees, through his racism, misogyny, and dehumanizing practices. But Trump is also a world champion at playing the victim, portraying himself as a helpless innocent, being cruelly abused by anybody who doesn’t think that he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. And I can smell another round of victimization, and a whopper at that, commencing shortly. Trump has always had a love-hate relationship with the media. He loves it when they plaster his ugly mug all over the television, but hates it when they treat him like he’s not all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips. The perfect example of this is when he abruptly cut off the daily White House press briefings, to keep Sarah Huckabee Sanders from telling the portly behemoth to take-this-job-and-shove-it. But that’s about to change. forget the fallout of the Mueller report, Trump is about to need the media more than he has in years. Because, he’s up for reelection, and it’s shaping up to look like Armageddon.Trump cruised through 16 other challengers in the GOP primary field of 2016 by denying all of the other candidates oxygen. This was strictly the fault of the major networks, who saw his improbable campaigning combination of Ernest-goes-to-camp coupled with the less savory aspects of Andrew Dice Clay as ratings gold. After the election, the media got taken behind the woodshed over its conduct, and that seems to have stuck. Both CNN and MSNBC have started giving extended interviews to not only announced Democratic candidates, but to Wlliam Weld, Trump’s primary challenger as well. Both networks have started airing frequent candidate “town halls,” and even FOX was shamed into hosting one with Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg’s campaign is in negotiations. Congressman Eric Swalwell was also a repeat guest on FOX, and it can only be assumed that […]
CNN / YouTube Is Donald Trump worried about his...

Impeachment can’t BE two different things at once.

The year is 1998, and William Jefferson Clinton is President. And the GOP is highly pissed about that, because he beat George HW Bush down for a second term, and then stared down that sanctimonious little twit Newt Gingrich. The Whitewater “scandal” had been buzzing around like a gnat for years, but Clinton had his political OFF spray on, and it was working. Then, along came an intern named Monica Lewinsky with a DNA friendly piece of apparel, and the GOP was off and running. They impeached Clinton for having the audacity to get laid in the White House, something no upstanding, evangelical Republican would do, and then lying about it to keep from being relegated to the Lincoln Bedroom for the rest of his term. Democrats indignantly screamed that the GOP was indulging in a “purely political exercise” as a punishment for Clinton. And we were right. Flash forward to 2019. We have President Pampers, who is implicated in possible actual crimes, and some of the same GOP politicians who merrily threw Clinton to the dogs are now screaming at the Democrats for engaging in a “purely political exercise” in retribution. Meanwhile, we have Democratic politicians, some of whom were in middle or high school when Clinton was impeached, standing funereally i front of microphones, and solemnly demanding that Trump must be impeached because, “No man is above the law.” These two polar opposite things cannot possibly both be true at the same time. And they aren’t. The Democrats were right in 1998, and the GOP is right today. Impeachment is a purely political exercise. Hell, it was designed that way, and the Founding Fathers make that clear in their description, when they state that a public official can be impeached for “high crimes (criminal acts) or misdemeanors (non criminal violations).” The age old bromide is that a purely partisan congress could impeach a President for jaywalking, or littering, if they determined that such an event rose to the level of an impeachable offense. Congress, not the law. Democrats who state that impeachment is “required”” in this case because no man is above the law are making a terrible, if understandable misstatement. The constitution makes it clear that violating criminal law is not a necessary component to impeachment, other forms of misconduct are acceptable, and the constitution also pretty implicitly implies that it is expected that if a President actually broke the law, criminal prosecution would commence immediately upon removal from office. The act of impeachment itself carries no criminal penalties, such as fines or imprisonment, it is simply a political tool for use in removing a criminal, corrupt, or incompetent official from office. Being “above the law” is an entirely separate matter. The misconception of using impeachment as a form of “legal” redress is due to two circumstances not covered in the constitution. One is an Office of Legal Council ruling on an issue that didn’t even deal with the President. During Watergate, the question that was asked during Watergate was if a sitting Vice President could legally be indicted and prosecuted. The OLC ultimately decided that he could be, then gratuitously threw in the opinion that a President couldn’t be, without even being asked. The second issue is the statute of imitations, which could allow a sitting President to ride out […]
IBTimes UK / YouTube Giant quot Baby Trump quot Blimp...

Some takeaweays from the release of the Mueller report.

So, are y’all sick to death of the Mueller report yet? Yeah, I know, me too. Despite its pre scheduled timing, in many ways I found the coverage on Thursday eerily similar to coverage of a disaster, like a mass shooting, or a plane crash. Due to its size, the report was too large and intricate to effectively report on immediately, so they handed everybody chunks of it, which they scanned and threw the highlights of on the table, with no coherence and nothing to tie them together. By Friday, sufficient time had passed for a more thorough perusing, and connections and conclusions started to be made. But with the passage of a couple of days, and with the widely disparate parts of the report having begun to be put in order, and more comprehensible, there are already a few things that I’ve noticed that bear keeping in mind as we move forwad. Barr is the perfect AG for Trump. A moron – William Barr, Snow White’s missing 8th dwarf, Dumpy, couldn’t have botched the roll out of the Mueller report more if he had taken night classes for it. And I’m not even talking about the craven, sycophantic, Kim Dung Pil style love sonnet that Barr composed for Trump, absolving Trump of all responsibility for anything, that had ever occurred, ever. Barr’s handling of the timing of the release of the report alone was sufficient reason to have shim shipped back up to the workhouse of defective toys for an upgrade. Basically, Barr had the Mueller report for a month, under wraps. He knew that congress had a two week recess for spring break coming up. There were two intelligent ways that Barr could have handled the release. One, release the damn thing late on Wednesday morning of congress’ last week in the capitol. Let the various congress critters squeal in outrage over something they hadn’t even read yet until noon on Thursday, when they would all scatter like roaches when the kitchen lights come on for their home districts. They get some remote appearances on camera, and some call ins on Friday and Saturday, abd then, like everyone else, they become obsessed with their families, and plane for the upcoming holiday. The hews can only keep the story going for so long, especially when everybody’s attention is on the upcoming holiday, and by the second week of recess, people are sick of the story, having just lived through 22 long months of Mueller. Or alternately, you sit on the report until the second week of the spring break. Let everybody in the media scream bloody murder, nobody is paying attention. Release it on Thursday, create the same circus, let people scramble to decipher and comment on it, and by Tuesday, everybody is back in DC, where current congressional issues will compete  with the fallout from the release of the report. Sure there will still be loud calls for investigations and impeachment, but there will be background noise, like healthcare and taxes to provide clutter. But what you do not, not, not do, ever, is to release the goddamn thing on the Thursday of the first week of spring recess.This allows congress critters to relax and absorb the report, without travel intruding, scream on Friday and Saturday, take Sunday off, and then spend the next week […]

To Impeach, Or Not To Impeach? That Is The Question.

If you’re a President, you have a better chance of winning the Powerball lottery than you have of being impeached. I mean that literally. If you buy a ticket, you at least have a one in some odd million chance of hitting it lucky, but no sitting President has ever been impeached. Andrew Johnson was the only sitting President to be impeached in his first term, mainly because he only served one term, ascending to the presidency with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Johnson’s impeachment was in fact a purely procedural political impeachment. Nine of the eleven House counts against Johnson stemmed from his firing of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, a violation of the Tenure of Service act. After almost needing a hanging chad Supreme Court recount in the Senate, Johnson survived. Both Nixon and Clinton were impeached in their second term. Nixon mainly because the incident that started the whole ball rolling, the bungled Watergate break in, occurred during his reelection campaign. And Whitewater had been swirling around ineffectively through Clinton’s first term, but it wasn’t until after his reelection that Monica Lewinsky splashed onto the scene. The Democrats, and especially Nancy Pelosi are in a box. Billionaire Tom Steyer has been baying for Trump’s political blood since shortly after the inauguration, and he has millions of signatures on his petition to show for it, yet the option of impeachment remains underwater in public opinion polling. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the democrats ran on, and were elected in the House in 2018 as bringing accountability to a lawless White House, and impeachment is the ultimate form of oversight. Pelosi complicated matters by appearing to take the topic of impeachment off of the table until after receiving the Mueller report, and only bringing it out if there was a “smoking gun” that could attract Republican support. Initial analysis seems to indicate that there is no such product in the Mueller report, especial;y since the remaining GOP incumbents have apparently tied themselves to the mast of the SS Trumptanic. I do not doubt for one moment either Pelosi’s toughness, nor her spine. Madame Speaker has more balls than a brass monkey. In 2009, the GOP had successfully labeled the ACA sa “socialized medicine,” replete with “death panels for granny.” Obama was committed to passing the ACA, but the outcome in the House was murky at best. There was a cadre of “blue dog Democrats” who were balking at supporting the President’s signature issue, fearing it could endanger their reelection chances. Speaker Pelosi’s response? She dragged her entire caucus into a private eeting, where she bluntly reminded them that they were elected to serve the people of the country, not their reelection campaigns.This bill would give health insurance to millions of Americans, even if they didn’t realize it yet, and she expected to do their damn jobs. The end result? Pelosi cracked the whip, Obama signed the ACA into law, millions got insurance coverage, and some of those incumbents lost their seats in the fallout. My strong personal preference is for Speaker Pelosi to once again crack the whip, rally the troops, and tell Chairman Jerry Nadler to start impeachment hearings. But there are two differences this time that change the basic equation. First, this time around, Pelosi […]

The tragedy of Notre Dame. A lesson and a question.

As an Irish Catholic, it broke my heart to see that magnificent spire collapse through the flames, and down to the floor so far below a few days ago. But you don’t have to be an Irish Catholic, or even religious, to feel the sadness and loss of an iconic symbol of peace, hope, and beauty destroyed before your eyes. Notre Dame cathedral is approximately 850 years old, and took decades to build. It began as a vision, and an article of faith, a monument to hope and good, and a vision of something larger than just ourselves. And when it was completed, its beauty and intracy far surpassed any expectations. And Notre Dame was almost a living organism. Over the years it was modified and updated, changes made to improve the structure, and keep it relevant, without removing from the original beauty and function. But 850 years is a long time. Everything gets old, even you and me. As Notre Dame aged, it required constant vigilance and care, both to protect it, as well as to keep it structurally sound. And while renovations and repairs were made when problems became obvious and dangerous, there were times when matters of economics, as well as political expediency, vigilance waned, and protective measures were ignored. Our democracy is 243 years old. Like Notre Dame, it began as a shining vision. A vision of hope and freedom, A shining vision of something greater and more noble than ourselves, a higher purpose for mankind. And like Notre Dame, our democracy has been a living organism, updated and mostly improved over the years, making it hopefully safer and more functional, without detracting from the original beauty of the structure. But like that other magnificent cathedral, the cathedral of democracy also required constant attention and care as it aged in order to keep it safe and functional. And like that other temple to a great and higher vision, as the years have gone by, economy, political expedience, and even avarice and corrosive agendas have led to a level of disrepair that weakened the structure. On January 20th, 2017, a fire strted in the cathedral of democracy. Despite the best and heroic efforts of all of those who instinctively understood how important this symbol and structure is to the nation and the world, the conflagration has destructively blazed, largely unabated. It seems as if everything that is good and right in this world is going up in flames, right before our eyes, while we can do nothing except to watch helplessly. Fortunately for France and the world, it has been determined that the basic structure of the great Notre Dame cathedral is structurally sound. French President Macron has already vowed that Notre Dame shall arise from the ashes within 5 years, and shall be every bit as magnificent as ever it was, and even safer and stronger than it was before. Billions of dollars are pouring in from around the world, and the nation is unified in its desire to restore its historic treasure. But what is to become of the cathedral of our democracy? Like Notre Dame, it is currently little more than a smoldering hulk. I honestly believe that thanks mainly to the independence of the judiciary, as well as a mammoth volunteer fire brigade […]

Is Trump Paranoid? Of Course He Is, Except Maybe Not Today.

You know, being an Irishman, I love irony. And being a Murphy, I love it twice as much, since we have that stupid law named after us. When they interview Trump supporters, there are a growing number of them that say that while they’re actually rather ambivalent about Trump, they loudly support him simply because it makes us libtards heads explode. That being said, what kind of pleasure don’t they think we get when every utterance from AOC or Nancy Pelosi, or Maxine Waters makes his head spin around like Linda Blair in The Exorcist? Trump’s rampant paranoia can no longer be disputed or denied. From his continued avowal that Obama had his wires tapped during the 2016 election cycle, to his crazed disavowal of all things Cohen, without even knowing what Cohen was blabbering about, to his insistence that the Mueller investigation was actually a failed “deep state coup,” Trump must be sleeping standing up, with his back against a wall, instead of in a box full of his native earth. If there’s one thing that His Lowness didn’t need, it was any more fuel for his already fevered brain. But that’s exactly what he got, from aides and advisers quietly telling him that maybe his victory lap over the Mueller report findings should have been around the house instead of around Central Park, to the flurry of subpoenas hitting everything from bis accounting firm to his insurance agency, to every bank he ever stole a pen from, Trump is in an almost literal frenzy. And while Trump may be unhinged, there are two areas in which I actually think that his raging paranoia may actually be well founded. The first area of concern would be his base. Since day one, Trump has been monolithic about his rabid base of Trombies. Everything he says or does is geared to keep them revved up and slavish. Trump’s base is to his ego what a double bacon cheeseburger is to his stomach. But there could be cause for concern there. Trump pulled out every trick in the slavish devotion playbook in 2018, everything from telling supporters that he really was on the ballot in a way, because a vote for incumbents was a vote for him and his agenda, to hyping a mythical caravan invasion from a caravan that wasn’t even expected to catch sight of his non existent wall until a month after the election. And what happened? The Democrats scored millions more votes nationwide, flipped 40 GOP House seats, as well as 2 GOP Senate seats, including one in a state that Trump carried in 2016. Even worse is a poll that needs to be watched, but hints at deterioration in his base. Trump’s popularity among GOP voters has consistently been between 84-88%.But in a poll that Lawrence O’Donnell showed last night of registered GOP voters, only 54% were committed to voting for Trump in a contested GOP primary, 20% more leaned Trump, but could be swayed to vote for Weld, and Weld owned 8% outright. The problem here is that even if you give Trump all of that wavering 20%, that still only takes him to 74%, 10-14 points shy of his long time average. And whatever the remaining unaccounted for 28% in that poll are, what they aren’t  is rabid Trump supporters, and […]

Numbers Don’t Lie, But I Think Trump Is About To Wish...

Last night on The Last Word, host Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed one William Weld, who just announced that he is going to be mounting a Republican party primary challenge to Donald Trump in 2020. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because he was Gary Johnson’s running mate on the Libertarian party ticket in 2016. O’Donnell was almost giddy in his set up for the interview when he explained how having a primary challenger is almost a fatal would for a sitting President. No primary challenger in the modern era has toppled a sitting President, but they fatally weaken them in the process. McCarthy, followed by Robert Kennedy jumped in against Lyndon Johnson in 1968, and Johnson dropped out rather than face the bruising process. Hubert Humphrey, the eventual nominee, lost to Nixon. In 1976, Ronald Reagan ran a primary challenge against incumbent Gerald Ford. Ford narrowly won the primary on the floor, but lost to Jimmy Carter in the general election. And in 1992, Pat Robertson challenged George HW Bush in the primary unsuccessfully, but Bush went on to lose to Bill Clinton. In the interview, Weld, a former two term GOP Governor of Massachusetts, came across as a potentially very serious candidate. He even has a battle plan, noting that California will barely let Air Force One land, making it ripe territory for Weld. He also mentioned Massachusetts, where he was Governor, as well as Wisconsin and Michigan, places Trump barely squeaked out as fertile ground. O’Donnell cited the results of a very recent national poll of registered Republican voters, which showed that at this early date, Weld was already running higher in the poll than Trump did in a similar poll in 2015. Here are the results of the poll he showed last night. 54% said that they would definitely vote for Trump, while another 20% said that they were leaning towards Trump, but could be swayed to vote for Weld. 8% said that they were firmly planning to vote for Weld. The 8% that plan to vote for Weld isn’t what immediately caught my eye, and made me sit up straight on the sofa, and it shouldn’t be what worries Trump and the RNC either. What I caught is much more subtle than that. The fact that an incumbent President, less than 3 years into his first time only has 54% of strong support in a primary is a little odd. But what should be alarming to Trump and his minions is that even if you give him all 20% of the voters who say that they could be swung, that still only takes him to 74%. This is a potentially crushing blow for Trump if true. Since day one, Trump ran exclusively for his rabid base. He has continued to do so up to this day, eschewing any effort that past Presidents have made to moderate himself to expand his electorate for his reelection. Trump lives and dies, both mentally and politically by his base. Polls over the last 2 years have been stubbornly consistent, showing Trump with anywhere from an 84-88% approval rating among Republicans, while he scuba dives with everybody else. Trump’s optimum popularity rating of 74% in this poll is 10-14 points from his established average among GOP voters. I would like to see […]
CBC News / YouTube Donald Trump talks possible impeachment Michael...

Only Trump can use “ancient history” to screw up today.

I’m sorry if this article comes off as just a wee incoherent, but I can literally feel the IQ points dripping out of my ears and nose as I try to digest what I just saw and heard. In yet another somber, serious, and yes, vaguely ridiculous pronouncement, Secretary of State Mike Pomapdour Pompeo stood behind a podium, and announced that the UA government will now allow Cuban refugees and their descendants to sure foreign companies operating businesses in Cuba for “damages.” A little historical perspective here. Upon completion of his communist revolution in Cuba in 1959, one of the first things that Fidel Castro did was to “nationalize” pretty much everything in Cuba but air, and that option was explored. Prosperous land owners and businessmen found their land and businesses being summarily seized, with little or no compensation. Foreign companies started, or rather continued doing business in Cuba, but now through the Cuban government. This left refugees who fled Cuba’s oppression feeling like they were left holding the shit end of the stick. In 1996, the Helns-Burton Act passed congress and was signed into law. One of the provisions of the law, but not a popular one, allowed Cuban refugees living in the United States to sue foreign companies doing or operating businesses in Cuba for compensation. Realizing the nightmare scenario that this set up between the US and its European allies, like Canada, Great Britain and France, every President since Bill Clinton has “suspended” that provision of the law from being used. But not anymore Donnie Dipshit has just lifted the suspension, making it possible for the first time for expat Cubans and their descendants to sue foreign companies doing business with Cuba. And like all things Trumpian, he’s doing it for the stupidest reason imaginable. He’s doing it in an effort to spank the Cuban government for their continuing support of the Maduro government in Venezuela. The lifting of this suspension may in fact have a negative impact in Cuba, but if so, it will be purely ancillary. The real impact will be on companies and entities in Canada and the European Union who operate businesses in or do business with Cuba. And they are already mickle displeased with the news. Both Canada and the EU have announced that they are ready to proceed wth economic sanctions against the US if Trump doesn’t restore the suspension, like soonest. Look, we just wandered our way out of a stupid tariff pissing contest with the EU over cars, and Canad over imported steel. If European companies start getting sued, it is going to start costing them huge legal fees to defend themselves in court, even before any possible judgements against them. If it hits them, dues are going to have to be paid, and we all know who Canada and the UE are going to look at to pick up the tab. And once they impose tariffs on the US in retaliation, it’ll be up to you and I to pay the higher costs to cover Trump’s foreign policy bar tab. Look, full disclosure here. I had to do a quick Google search for basic background on the Cuba nationalization mess, and the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, just so I could understand what I was talking about. But I’m just a lousy blogger,and if I make […]

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