Don’t Fuck This Up, Crist

A Democrat, and Independent and a Republican walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What’ll you have, Charlie Crist?”
— A joke making the rounds in Florida

The ambulatory dildo who is the current Florida governor, Rick Scott, has launched an ad blitz featuring TV as well as Internet spots. I had to quit TPM last week because I couldn’t read the site without accidentally launching a video in which Scott pops out from behind a newspaper and pretends to be a human being who cares about college tuition, droning on in an adenoidal voice about that and other alleged human concerns.

Scott is a cartoonish villain with sub-chlamydia popularity numbers, so it was widely believed that anyone who could fog a mirror would beat him when he stands for reelection this year, despite his Scrooge McDuck-like cash vault full of stolen Medicare loot. Scott’s election was a bit of a fluke in the first place: He won in the teaturd wave election year of 2010 when the ever-moribund FL Democratic Party was dumb enough to run a former Bank of America executive.

Crist was our widely popular, moderate Republican governor who left office to run for an open US Senate seat as a Republican. He got beat in the primary by ambulatory haircut Marco Rubio and then ran as an Independent. The haircut won and is currently our Senate embarrassment. Now Crist is running for his old job again, this time as a Democrat.

Some of us FL Dems originally wanted to seize the opportunity of Scott’s massive unpopularity to run an actual Democrat for governor. Others felt that Crist’s popularity and name recognition gave us the best chance to put Scott away, and he is acceptable to most Dems since he’s not a bad guy, just an opportunist. And at first, that latter position seemed to be borne out as poll after poll showed Crist crushing Scott.

Now, Crist and Scott are pretty much even [WARNING: HUFFPO LINK]. That could be just the effect of the money Scott is pouring into the race. Or it could be Crist’s announcement that he wants to end the embargo against Cuba (yay!) and would be visiting the island this summer, which caused hard feelings in Miami. Now Crist has reversed himself on that, saying he won’t be sipping rum and smoking cigars in Havana this summer after all, a move that is being characterized as another flip-flop.

Crist will almost certainly crush Nan Rich, the Democrat who will oppose him in the primary this summer, unless he convinces Florida Dems that he’s even more of a weathercock than we imagined. I’m lukewarm on Crist, but I hate Scott with the radiant intensity of 10,000 supernovae. So don’t fuck this up, Crist.

120 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    despite his Scrooge McDuck-like cash vault full of stolen Medicare loot.

    Scrooge McDuck was many things, but an out and out thief of lucre was not one of them.

    You may be thinking of his even wealthier rival, Flintheart Glomgold.

  2. 2
    Jude says:

    Please tell me that there’s a “Crist, what an asshole” set of jokes floating around America’s Wang as well.

  3. 3
    Tommy says:

    How is the thought of ending the embargo in Cuba playing out? I am behind that 24/7 BTW. I recall as a kid being told that the best way to end the USSR was to get them wearing Levis, drinking Coke, and listening to rock music. For the life of me I can’t understand why that doesn’t apply to Cuba

  4. 4

    Can we find a way to get Obama to hug Gov. Lex Luther?

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Tommy: It seems like everyone but the octogenarian exile community is for it. The Cuban-Americans I know who are middle-aged or younger don’t really give a shit about Castro.

    My grandparents told me so many stories about traveling to Cuba in the pre-Castro days, and one of my cousins went about 10 years ago on a research junket. I would love to go — it’s so damn close!

    The thing that gets me is that the government would punish me for visiting Cuba because it’s deemed a totalitarian hellhole, and yet it’s perfectly legal to visit US “ally” Saudi Arabia, which has an abysmal human rights record and treats women like chattel. Fuck that noise, I say!

  6. 6
    cahuenga says:

    “The ambulatory dildo who is the current Florida governor, Rick Scott,..”

    Over at Eschaton we rechristened him with a fine Southern name: Clewlis Dildeaux

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tommy:

    As I understand it, part of the problem is that there’s still a hard-core group of exiles (mostly elderly now) who are convinced that once Castro dies, they’re going to be allowed to march into the old family plantation and kick out the people who have been living there for 60+ years.

    Not to mention that there’s some heavy pressure from corporations that used to own land in Cuba to be paid reparations for what was confiscated by Castro’s government. That’s probably a bigger obstacle than a few vocal exiles in Miami.

  8. 8
    Paul in KY says:

    Tommy, the story I heard in college was that US businesses in pre-Castro Cuba had cooked their books (vastly understating their actual worth) to avoid paying Cuban taxes. The dictator of Cuba was in on this arrangement. When Castro took over Cuba, he was aware of this practice, and when he nationalized these companies assets he paid them the values they had in their cooked books. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with companies like United Fruit, etc.

    Those companies have since that time been after the Cuban government to pay them the fair market value for the assets the Cuban government nationalized. Those companies have cultivated many political allies over the years & that basically explains the embargo, etc.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    and yet it’s perfectly legal to visit US “ally” Saudi Arabia

    Presuming you haven’t changed your named from Crackerberg.

  10. 10
    beth says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Hey, it’s hurricane season soon. Remember what happened to Christie after he was nice to the Kenyan. Not that I want Florida to suffer a damaging hurricane but if it helps get rid of Scott maybe you guys could take one for the team.

  11. 11
    catclub says:

    @Paul in KY: Hoist, petard! Funny.

  12. 12
    Ash Can says:

    @Betty Cracker: There are now entirely legal tours from the US to Cuba organized ostensibly as “cultural” tours. The itineraries sound really fascinating, although I wouldn’t trust them to be anyone’s idea of cheap.

  13. 13
    raven says:

    My old man used to fly down to pre-revolution “Gitmo” when he was in the Navy. The stories are not for a family blog if you know what I’m sayin?

  14. 14
    Tommy says:

    @Mnemosyne: I am clearly no expert on this topic, but the hard-core group of exiles, who often seem to have been successfully and wealthy here, just have this rabid hate for Castro. I asked the question because I thought it was political suicide to come out for ending the embargo in FL, or maybe just southern FL.

    I kind of wondered if the anti-Castro group was just so vocal that nobody questioned them. Maybe Crist would break that thinking.

  15. 15
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Florida Dems could fuck up a ham sandwich, so I am not at all hopeful.

    As far as Crist’s merits, well, he’s not a felon, so that’s a vast improvement.

  16. 16
    gene108 says:

    @Tommy:

    For the life of me I can’t understand why that doesn’t apply to Cuba

    My guess is until Fidel Castro finally dies, there will not be an opening to normalizing relations with Cuba.

    There’s a really mean spirited group, in the USA, who view Latin America as the banana and sugar plantations for U.S. domestic consumption and not much else. Hugo Chavez* was vilified as a dictator, after being democratically elected, and even briefly deposed because right-wingers hated him.

    The hatred of Castro, by right-wingers, burns 10,000 million times greater than the hatred of Chavez.

    There’s no reason to normalize relations with China and Vietnam, which are still run by their respective Communist parties, and not normalize relations with Cuba.

    But the right-wing folks, who do not really grok Latin America as being a set of independent nations, and not vassal states of the USA still have too much power in this country.

    EDIT: * Whatever the good and/or bad has come from Chavez’s policies, he was not a dictator, but was vilified as one by the right-wingers in this country.

  17. 17
    Belafon says:

    @Paul in KY: My view is that a country taking your stuff should be considered a risk of being an international company. If you’re worried about said company taking your property, then don’t incorporate there.

    Especially if you are going to abuse the system.

  18. 18
    KG says:

    I say this as the son of a Cuban immigrant who spent time living in the orange bowl, who has family that are marielitos… The Cuban embargo is the stupidest policy currently on the books. Dumber than the Hyde amendment, dumber than our completely fucked immigration system, dumber than anything that doesn’t involve the words “ground forces” and “Middle East”

  19. 19
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Tommy: I think Crist backed off the trip to Cuba because he saw the poll numbers in Miami-Dade (linked above at the Herald site). He would have been better off, IMO, if he stuck to his guns. The Cuban exile community is losing its grip on FL politics. Someone just needs to sack up and tell them the embargo has been a giant failure. Or even go “Uncle Liberty” and say the US government has no business penalizing its citizens for being tourists.

  20. 20

    @KG: Who was responsible it? Kennedy Administration?

    ETA: According to Wikipedia it predates Kennedy but Kennedy expanded the embargo via an executive order.

  21. 21
    NonyNony says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Tommy, the story I heard in college was that US businesses in pre-Castro Cuba had cooked their books (vastly understating their actual worth) to avoid paying Cuban taxes. The dictator of Cuba was in on this arrangement. When Castro took over Cuba, he was aware of this practice, and when he nationalized these companies assets he paid them the values they had in their cooked books.

    Okay – I’ve never heard that story before. I’ve always heard the “assets seized and nationalized”, but never the “he paid them the book value of their assets and called it done.” If true, Castro’s sense of humor has been severely under-reported in the US.

    I’d love to see a cite for that story because there are a few right-wingers that I’d like to expose to it.

  22. 22
    KG says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: pretty sure it was Kennedy. But like Vietnam, it was something started by Kennedy and continued by Johnson. By Nixon the policy was solidly in place and we’d broken off relations with every communist nation other than the ussr

  23. 23
    Tommy says:

    @KG: One of my best clients is a Cuban immigrant. I don’t often talk politics with my clients because some are not liberals. And well right wing money spends the same :).

    He isn’t what you might call a liberal. But we’ve talked about Cuba for hours. We differ on this or that but far more liberal on this topic then you might think. Gives me hope.

  24. 24
    Ash Can says:

    @KG: I have a friend who was a small child when she and her parents fled the Cuban revolution for the US. It’s not difficult to understand why they were sore for a long time about having to leave their home, but my friend (who is coming up on retirement age herself) reached the point some time ago where she feels that that’s all ancient history now, and it’s high time for everyone, including the US, to move the hell on. Our president feels the same way, hence the green light for the cultural tours. The fossils in Congress, however, need to follow suit.

  25. 25
    flukebucket says:

    @Ash Can:

    There are now entirely legal tours from the US to Cuba organized ostensibly as “cultural” tours. The itineraries sound really fascinating, although I wouldn’t trust them to be anyone’s idea of cheap.

    I have a very well to do friend who arranged for her daughter to go on one of those and she went as a chaperone. She told me that Cuba was the worst place she had ever been. Many, many times worse than Haiti. She told me that the squalor was unimaginable and they were supposed to be seeing the better portions.

    I was surprised but I really have no reason to think she is lying. She had no reason to lie to me. But she insisted that of all the places she has ever been Cuba was by far and away the most pitiful excuse for civilization she has ever seen.

    I have always wanted to go there and the two things I had hoped would maybe happen before Obama left office was legalization of marijuana and the opening of Cuba. We have a couple of years left.

  26. 26

    @flukebucket: Which other countries has this daughter actually been to?

  27. 27
    Belafon says:

    @flukebucket: And once chance to get a Congress in that could change it.

  28. 28
    catclub says:

    @NonyNony:

    I’d love to see a cite for that story

    The man is just gonna hide it from you.

  29. 29
    Roger Moore says:

    @gene108:

    There’s no reason to normalize relations with China and Vietnam, which are still run by their respective Communist parties, and not normalize relations with Cuba.

    No good reason, at least. There is a reason, and it has to do with the political and economic interests of the people who are violently opposed to normalizing relations. I wouldn’t rule out the interests of various groups that don’t want us normalizing trade relations with Cuba because they’re afraid of competition, e.g. sugar and fruit growers.

  30. 30
    flukebucket says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Which other countries has this daughter actually been to?

    It was the mother that I was talking with and she has been to quite a few. Traveled Europe. China. All over South America. Canada. Mexico. The Middle East. Indonesia. She is wealthy as hell and does travel extensively. I was stunned by the way she talked about Cuba. I have only sailed around it in a damn Carnival Cruise ship but the most fun I had was looking at it through binoculars for a day and a night. They did have some neat wind farms and I assumed maybe they were not all of that bad but she said it was absolutely horrible and she would never go again nor recommend it as a trip for anybody else.

  31. 31
    NotMax says:

    The U.S.-Cuba status arrangement is farcical throughout.

    We continue to cut and send the lease check for Guantánamo each year, and they continue to receive it and leave it uncashed.

  32. 32
    Botsplainer says:

    @Ash Can:

    There are now entirely legal tours from the US to Cuba organized ostensibly as “cultural” tours. The itineraries sound really fascinating, although I wouldn’t trust them to be anyone’s idea of cheap.

    They’re not real pricey, but I have little desire to go to the poetry collective, the cane farm, the cigar rolling plant or the Afro-Caribbean textile collective for spirited discussion of modern Marxist management methods.

    I want a beach, diving, vaca frita, Havana Club rum, and the experience tourists to Cuba from the rest of the world get.

  33. 33
    SatanicPanic says:

    @flukebucket: Worse than Haiti? No offense to your friend’s daughter, but I’m skeptical.

  34. 34
    Paul in KY says:

    @catclub: That’s just what I think too. IMO, they got what they deserved. If there was a resolution, the Cuban government should take all those unpaid taxes out of the monies they would send to those companies for the property/facilities they lost.

  35. 35
    Ash Can says:

    @flukebucket: According to the pictures and reports I’ve seen (newspapers, National Geographic, Canadian friends going there years ago, et al.), Cuba doesn’t look to be big on creature comforts or any kind of luxury accommodations, but it doesn’t look any worse than any other developing-world tourist destinations either. Tourists from other countries, including “first-world” ones, have been going there all along. If Cuba were that much of a hell hole, tourism from those countries would have long since dried up. Maybe the daughter was expecting something different, or was just looking at the negative side of things.

  36. 36
    J R in WV says:

    Oh Betty, please don’t hold your feeling inside, that so bad for your health!

    Let everyone know how you feel about the important issues of the day, election campaigns, health insurance, and the environment.

    HAHAHAHA!! heheh…

    Thanks for the mental picture of your Gov. – the animatronic dildonics walking vibrating thief, Governor Scott.

    How is it even legal for a felon to be elected Governor? I thought your average felon couldn’t even vote in FL -> so what gives? I guess even stolen money talks loudly in election circles.

    Of course, we had a friend who was in the Air Force back a few years. His wife was walking their newish baby in a stroller, actualy just strolling around the well manicured parts of the base, and saw one of the inmates (there was a minimum security prison adjacent to the base) wearing the orange jumpsuit, raking and pruning around some shrubs.

    He looked familiar, so she walked to the corner, and turned around for another pass. She walked slowly, and as he turned back and forth lifting pruned off branches into a hopper, she recognized him: It Was Governor Arch A Moore Jr, former governor of West Virginia, and guilty felon of many bribery scandals.

    OMG she thought. The Gov in his felon suit.

  37. 37
    big ole hound says:

    While a very young sailor I admit to being at Gitmo, then stopping sea traffic as part of the embargo and then watching part of the Bay of Pigs invasion. That has been my experience with Cuba while waiting for the world to end, so my view if this lovely Island is of beautiful clear water,sand, jungle and humidity. Never met a Cuban.

  38. 38
    Paul in KY says:

    @Belafon: I certainly agree, especially if you have cooked your books like they did.

  39. 39
    Roger Moore says:

    @flukebucket:
    I wouldn’t be 100% sure that those visitors are seeing only the best parts of Cuba. As much as the Cuban government wants people to see their country as a wonderful place, they also have a strong desire to portray the American embargo as terrible and devastating, especially to visiting Americans. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were working to show Americans some of the very worst places in an attempt to convince them of the evils of the embargo.

  40. 40

    The animus against the Castro boys is personal. Los historicos on Calle Ocho here in Miami are, as others have noted, all feel that as soon as Raul and Fidel shuffle off their khaki coils, they’ll be able to go back and get everything back, including the house, the business, and the Desoto in the driveway. They all act as if Fidel himself stomped into their house, put his feet up on the divan, ground out his cigar in the carpet, and said “Get out.” So until they’re gone, they have the big mouths to keep the embargo in place.

    The younger generation of Cubans, born and raised here or even recently emigrated, want the embargo to end. It’s got nothing to do with sentimentality, nor do they want to move back there to a third world country where the nearest restroom could be a bucket in the corner. They want to invest in the first NAPA Auto Parts store in Havana.

  41. 41
    Paul in KY says:

    @NonyNony: I was told this in an upper level Political Science class taught by Dr. Ernie Yanarella.

  42. 42
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Thank you for shoving a shit sandwich down my Florida democrat throat: now that’s fucked up. I’m wondering if you have anything positive to say about…well anything. Must suck to be you.

  43. 43
    Ruviana says:

    @NonyNony: Pretty much the same thing that Jacobo Arbenz did in 50s Guatemala to the United Fruit Company. I always loved that-it’s why mom told you that honesty is the best policy. But of course it led to his overthrow at the hands of the U.S. because reasons.

  44. 44
    Tommy says:

    @Botsplainer: My grandparents were world travelers. A few times I went with them on vacation. When they would check into a hotel my grandfather would tip the concierge a huge amount of money and ask them where they go. What do they enjoy doing. I’ve done that myself and the best money I’ve ever spent. If I go to Cuba (or any nation, state, city) I want the local hole in the wall. Coffee shop. Where the local people go.

  45. 45
    pamelabrown53 says:

    @Betty Cracker: I agree, Betty, that Crist would have been better off to stick to his guns and not be poll shy. I remember during the primary debates when Obama said he would engage diplomatically with Iran and he was hammered…yet he defended his position; he didn’t back down. Crist could have used that example as his compass.

  46. 46
    shelley says:

    How is it even legal for a felon to be elected Governor? I

    It varies from state to state.

  47. 47
    Ruviana says:

    @flukebucket: Yeah, I’ve seen pictures of the rural poverty in Cuba and it doesn’t look any different than what I’ve seen in rural Southern Mexico or Guatemala.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    As no one else has bitten, feel compelled to point out that it’s a Crist on a Cracker post.

  49. 49
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Roger Moore: My grandparents went to Cuba with American passports, said they had a good time. Who knows.

  50. 50
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    If true, Castro’s sense of humor has been severely under-reported in the US.

    @NonyNony: It has. On many occasions, old Fidel has left us standing in front of the entire high school with our eyes closed, and our dicks in our hands, thinking we’re about to get some from the prom queen.

    Many, many times worse than Haiti.

    @flukebucket: Um, no. My brother in law has been to both. He was not real thrilled with Cuba as a vacation spot but as a country he thought they largely had their shit together.

    Haiti, on the other hand, he left after 24 hours and told his employer that if they were going to send him back there again he would resign. He previously had spent 6 months in the DRC with no complaints (actually a lot of complaints, like the non-stop murders, but he didn’t leave) so I don’t think he was being a whiny pussy about it.

  51. 51
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    oh man, FYWP, forbidden word.

  52. 52
    flukebucket says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Worse than Haiti? No offense to your friend’s daughter, but I’m skeptical.

    I understand. I felt the same way. When I think of Haiti I think of pure hell hole. I agree with what you guys are saying. It shocked me and as I say she had no reason to lie to me. All I know is that when you google Cuba vacations it honestly does not look that bad to me.

  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Well said! That NAPA store would be a damned gold mine with all the 1950s cars rolling around — must make a gearhead like yourself salivate just to think of it! My cousin who went to Cuba for research 10 years ago described some of the spit-and-baling wire workarounds keeping those cars on the road.

  54. 54
    raven says:

    @flukebucket: I remember going to Mexico with friends about 40 years ago. One woman was convinced that it was the worst place in the world. All I could say to her was that about 80% of the people on earth lived the same or worse.

  55. 55
    piratedan says:

    I dunno why, but when Betty posted this title, the first thing that came to mind was that slightly redeeming teenage comedy from the 80’s 3 O’Clock High with Casey Sziemasko fighting with the bully in the parking lot; where the Principal (who was just levelled by the same bully) raises his head from the pavement to say “Don’t fuck this up, Mitchell!!” Upon reflection, I get the feeling that a lot of political battles with the GOP are like that these days.

  56. 56
    Morzer says:

    http://thehill.com/policy/heal.....in-florida

    Not a single health insurance company on Florida’s ObamaCare exchange has asked to increase its rates for next year, according to a report.

    Of the nine companies that have filed their proposals so far, seven are asking for zero increase in price and two are asking to lower their premiums by 7.9 and 11.16 percent on average.

    The rates deal a blow to ObamaCare critics who predicted insurers would have to hike premiums substantially in states like Florida, where older, sicker patients were expected to outnumber younger, healthier ones.

    “The fact is, an overall pattern of insurers not seeking rate increases — and even seeking rate decreases — is unheard of,” Greg Mellowe, policy director for the consumer advocacy group Florida CHAIN, told Health News Florida, which broke the story Tuesday.

  57. 57
    catclub says:

    OT: Erick Erickson predicts MS “Establishment Republicans” will sabotage Chris McDaniel in the general election if he wins today’s GOP runoff.

    I can only wish. But Erickson is almost in the Kristol level of wrongitude.

  58. 58
    muddy says:

    @raven: I grew up in the Middle East. Seen plenty of that. What really makes an impression are the injuries and disease that people are walking around with. A friend of mine does not believe in vaccinations, I said to her that she sure would if she lived a place where tons of people were sick.

    I’ve read that they have good medical care in Cuba, not a lot of fancy stuff but solid. They also have some wonderfully unspoiled nature, which I doubt would be there if we had been going there all along.

  59. 59
    Botsplainer says:

    @Tommy:

    We’re real big on asking hotel bar staff where we should eat and go. Also, if we’re diving, we get a lot of time to chat in the boat with the captain, the dive master, the dive helper about these things.

    It’s always been foolproof.

  60. 60
    Tommy says:

    @raven: I went to Mexico when I was 15. I am 44. I recall being on a bus and thinking I was going to die. My grandmother slapping a bottle of water out of my hand telling me not to drink it. Then I got out of my sheltered life and lived other places in the US and found things were not so different.

    The best example is living in DC. When I first moved there I got into a cab and said show me around SE DC. I was confused. Cars up on bricks. Burnt out buildings. I will admit I didn’t understand. I didn’t know people lived like that.

  61. 61
    SatanicPanic says:

    @raven: This friend of mine was telling me how he met a rich lady from Mexico and how she always felt like crossing the border into our little crappy farm community (on the USA side) was a big bummer because it was so poor. OTOH my buddy was saying how when he was on our swim team he always felt like he was slumming it, going to Mexico to swim in this big, indoor pool and how looking back on it now that was totally ridiculous.

  62. 62

    I went to India after almost 10 years and did not fall sick except for some minor gastritis because of the jet lag. I come back stateside and am mess because of all the pollen floating around. Itchy eyes, runny nose etc. etc.
    When I was in India, I drank sugar cane juice at a roadside stall, eat batata wada (spicy potato fritters) on the street, had mango kulfi at an icecream factory whose surroundings were far from spotless, etc., etc.,
    ETA: My constitution is quite robust, the only time I got food poisoning was at a catered SWE affair after eating hollaindaise.

  63. 63
    Betsy says:

    @Tommy: What, really, like Faneuil Hall?

  64. 64

    @muddy: How is your kitteh boy after his adventure?

  65. 65
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @Paul in KY: So what would the back taxes be on the restated values be, plus interest and penalties

  66. 66
    Ayn Randy says:

    As long as they don’t screw it up, Democrats can put Rubio and some of his friends from the class of 2010 (Kirk, Ayotte, Toomey, Portman and Johnson) out to pasture. If the senator from “Meet the Press” decides to retire, it could be a great November.

  67. 67
    Citizen_X says:

    @NotMax:

    As no one else has bitten, feel compelled to point out that it’s a Crist on a Cracker post.

    No, it is a Cracker on Crist post.

  68. 68
    muddy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: He’s back on his throne in the guest room. The other cat has taken over the dog bed in another room, and is still angry. I put the screen door back on to keep them indoors. They have both asked to go out and complained about my answer numerous times. So far they are accepting it though.

    What’s a shame is that Ailill got so slim and healthy this year since he has been going out. Probably he will revert to obesity now. Ugh, quality of life issues for them are hard.

  69. 69
    MikeJ says:

    @raven:

    My old man used to fly down to pre-revolution “Gitmo” when he was in the Navy.

    My dad has no racy stories of Gitmo. He did have to take a downwind cat shot while the carrier was in the harbor there, as launching into the wind would have caused them to fly over Cuban airspace. Launching downwind basically means they have to crank up the pressure on the catapult and kick you in the ass even harder to get you in the air. He was not a fan.

  70. 70
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @NonyNony:

    cite

  71. 71
    AdamT2 says:

    I am a Florida Democrat and have spent my entire adult life voting against Charlie Crist. I am not going to change now. The Crist campaign is an ongoing disaster in the making. I will be voting for Nan Rich.

    And there are lots more like me.

  72. 72
    gvg says:

    Apparently the Democratic party here is incompetant. Haven’t seen much life in it since Lawton Chiles died. Yesterday I got a mailer that said progresives deserve a real progressive don’t vote Crist and I thought I wonder which GOP group funded this…..I hope to get rid of Yoho in my neck of the woods too. People don’t seem to like him any more and haven’t picked a new more extreme idiot to support yet.

  73. 73
    ruemara says:

    I wish, as Dems & progressives, we could muster up the ability to shut the hell up and just fucking cheer. Because we need enthusiasm to get people to show up. Bitching, strangely, does not work. So it ain’t Crist that needs to not fuck things up. If your local party sucks, that just means it’s ripe for a takeover.

  74. 74
    WaterGirl says:

    @muddy: Your returning boy no doubt smells funny, that happens when my kitties go to the vet. They are normally best friends, but they end up fighting at the vet. The vet says that happens a lot because the other kitty doesn’t smell right from being at the vet.

    I mentioned my kitty soulmate last night (gone 5 years this december). He was an outdoor kitty when he first found me where I worked, but once I brought him home I never let him out. He would be fine with that for months at at time, then he would suddenly really want to be outside. After losing him for the two nights in the terrible storms while I still had him at work, it just wasn’t worth the risk to me, though he did sneak out the door once. I let the dog out and he stood there barking at the little table by the door, and sure enough, there was quiver. That was one short trip outside, let me tell you!

    All that is my long way of saying I think both kitties will adjust to being indoor. So glad you have him back, but sorry it’s stressful keeping them in for their own good. Ah, life.

  75. 75
    rikyrah says:

    Charlie Crist is a Human Oil Slick.

    But, he’s the Democrat’s best chance.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @muddy:

    Do they have a good tall cat tree set next to an interesting window? That might help him continue working off some of the fat.

    Also, I got one of these Nekoflies cat teasers and they will actually bicker over who gets to play with it. The feather toys are great, but apparently the Nekoflies are what my cats were waiting for.

  77. 77
    Betty Cracker says:

    @ruemara: I think I disagree. Candidates can and do fuck up, and clapping harder isn’t always the right strategy for mitigating the damage they’re doing to their — and our — prospects. I think it would be utterly pointless to whine about Crist’s past positions or screw-ups, but if he’s fucking up in the present tense, I hope like hell someone who has his ear is telling him to knock it off.

  78. 78
    gelfling545 says:

    @flukebucket: I am surprised to hear that as I just yesterday had a conversation with a woman who has been to Cuba twice – once “unofficially” in her teens with relatives who live in another country & again in her late 30’s early 40’s (I’m guessing her age) on a cultural tour. She was expressing her hope that relations would be normalized soon as she has so enjoyed her visits.

  79. 79
    Cervantes says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Tommy, the story I heard in college was that US businesses in pre-Castro Cuba had cooked their books (vastly understating their actual worth) to avoid paying Cuban taxes. The dictator of Cuba was in on this arrangement. When Castro took over Cuba, he was aware of this practice, and when he nationalized these companies assets he paid them the values they had in their cooked books. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with companies like United Fruit, etc.

    Some truth, some fiction. If you want details, let me know and I’ll write up something brief.

  80. 80
    satby says:

    @flukebucket: Worse than Haiti? She’s been to Haiti since the earthquake (full disclosure, I have as part of a rebuilding team). I really just don’t quite believe that.

  81. 81
    tybee says:

    The ambulatory dildo who is the current Florida governor

    you crack me up.

  82. 82
    tybee says:

    @Cervantes:

    write it up.

  83. 83
    Cervantes says:

    @satby: It’s utter nonsense, of course.

    If we can judge by HDI rankings, Cuba comes in 59th, above Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, and 124 other countries.

    That “very well to do friend” is delusional.

  84. 84
    Gvg says:

    Forgot to mention Florida sugar growers are supposed to be part of the reason for the embargo. don’t want the competition. They also get price subsidies from the us government. I wish that would end. Pollute the Everglades with fertilizer runoff and contribute to our obesity. sugar needs to cost more. I wish I knew if it would help to end the sugar embargo.

  85. 85
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gvg: Follow the money.

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    @flukebucket:
    I traveled to many countries in the navy and when returning to the ship many people would say places like Copenhagen were shitholes. I just couldn’t comprehend how we got off the same ship at the same time and I thought almost all the ports were grand. I had a great time walking around and talking to people. Others hated it. And a lot of them lived in shitholes in the US. I think a lot of it was they made no attempt whatsoever to learn a few simple words, hello, please, thank you, in that countries language. This never failed me, even just asking what the words were. Not in any country or with any age group. The only port I didn’t like was Naples. There were groups of kids 10-12 yrs old who would surround you and attempt to grab your watch and wallet as you walked off the pier. After the first time they always avoided me. I won’t go into details of why. The other thing that happened was 2 guys pulled switchblades on 6 of us, attempting to rob us. We talked them into leaving. Fortunately they did.

  87. 87
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    In all my travels in the world I’ve only gotten food poison at McDonalds. In the US. Twice, two different states, but never again. I’ve eaten street food in many countries with no issues. Hell the street food was better than the ships food while in the navy.
    Maybe so many countries don’t look all that bad to me as I’ve spend many, many days in south central LA, which by the way, looks and is dramatically better now than 45 yrs ago.

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    @Mike J:
    I imagine fitting a carrier in that harbor to be a pretty tight fit. We barely fit in a tin can, the smallest carrier that I knew of then was about twice our length. But they may have had tugs to help, we didn’t.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @Mike J:
    There is something about your nym that makes WP go ape shit. I seem to recall someone else had this problem and I did what they did and added a space between Mike and J.
    Works.

  90. 90
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    Never had a huge issue with him. As far as Rs go, he was ok. Always thought he was a RINO anyway. Glad to see him come out of the closet so to speak. Although a cynic would say it’s just because he can’t win a republican primary anymore. But I say that’s a good thing. If your party leaves you behind ideologically, don’t become more extreme. It’s a good thing.

  91. 91
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    I’m Cuban and I don’t have a problem with Crist. God, I hate the more vocal assholes among my people.

    I unfortunately just moved out of Florida and became a New York resident. I’d love to be able to vote against Prick Scott again but…I’m voting in spirit.

  92. 92
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    I’m Cuban and I don’t have a problem with Crist. God, I hate the more vocal assholes among my people.

    I unfortunately just moved out of Florida and became a New York resident. I’d love to be able to vote against P rick Scott again but…I’m voting in spirit.

  93. 93
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    @Paul in KY: as far as I’m concerned, if you cook your books to try to undervalue for taxes you should be estopped from then trying to claim more.

  94. 94
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    @beth: Remember what happened to Christie?? You mean reelected with 60% of the vote?!

  95. 95
    Full metal Wingnut says:

    @ruemara: I agree. This feels like 04 all over again. People whining about Kerry being an uninspiring candidate.

    Um. Ok. So what if he is? Is it not enough that Kerry is Not Bush? I mean seriously. Crist is not perfect, but he is Not Scott. Christ, the handwringing burns.

  96. 96
    Paul in KY says:

    @NotMax: That’s just bad ;-)

  97. 97
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just One More Canuck: No idea. Would depend on what the tax rates were on books back then (I guess). This can all be solved thru negotiations, just that the American companies would have to admit to the scheme, etc. They probably don’t want to do that.

  98. 98
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cervantes: Please give me what you’ve heard.

  99. 99
    Cervantes says:

    @tybee: Below.

    @Paul in KY: No gossip to share — sorry to disappoint! — but here’s a peer-reviewed article instead:

    “U.S. Certified Claims against Cuba: Legal Reality and Likely Settlement Mechanisms,” Timothy Ashby, University of Miami Inter-American Law Review, 40:3 (Spring 2009), pp. 413-432.

    Excerpt:

    Between 1959 and 1961, the Cuban government nationalized almost all U.S.-owned assets on the island. Such properties included 90% of all electricity generated in Cuba, the entire telephone system, most of the mining industry, oil refineries, bottling plants, warehouses, and over two million acres of land, including up to 80% of the rich traditional sugar lands. Expropriated assets also comprised hotels, commercial properties, private residences, artworks, insurance policies, bank accounts, and ships. As American corporate and private entities controlled two-thirds of the Cuban economy, this was the largest [virtually] uncompensated taking of American property by a foreign government in history. These nationalizations were the primary cause of the U.S. embargo that has remained in place for nearly half a century.

    Citing a serious lack of cash in the coffers (which Batista and the Americans had left empty), Castro’s new government offered more than once to pay for the nationalized assets via 20-year bond issues — but the Americans, including the Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Administrations, refused, also more than once — hence “the largest [virtually] uncompensated taking of American property by a foreign government in history.” (The “virtually” is mine, and it’s there because there were a few companies who were partially compensated, in cash.)

    To be precise: With the support of the US government, Batista stole somewhere north of a quarter of a billion dollars from the treasury; and Castro inherited an annual budget deficit of $50 million and an accumulated national debt of $1.4 billion.

    Further:

    The Cuban Government used declared taxable value (the value of assets listed for tax purposes in October 1958) as the official value for compensation purposes. This worked to the new Cuban government’s advantage, as the value of the land was based on the owners’ own assessment for tax purposes. As can be imagined, declared values were very low, and the amount of indemnification calculated on this basis did not burden the public budget. This value was deemed to be the peso equivalent of approximately $1 billion. All parties recognized that the market value of confiscated properties was much higher than the book value.

    More:

    In late 1960, the U.S. embassy in Havana (which remained open until relations were broken in January 1961) was tasked by the State Department to provide a valuation of American assets in Cuba. The Embassy relied on book value as reported by owners of the assets, even though the State Department had earlier stated the value of U.S. property to be an estimated $1 billion based on Cuban tax valuations. In August 1961 [by which time the embassy had been closed — Cervantes], the U.S. Commerce Department published the figure of $956 million as the value of American property taken by the Cuban government. This amount was published by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Time Magazine and other domestic and international media.

    And one last excerpt:

    The Cuban Government has never repudiated the U.S. claims although it has consistently stated that it does not recognize the property claims of Cuban exiles in the United States. Cuba recognizes its obligation under international law to provide compensation to U.S. nationals whose assets were taken. […] The decades-old question has been: if the Cuban government recognizes the validity of the U.S. claims, why has it not met the requirement under international law for “prompt, adequate and effective” compensation, thereby removing legal encumbrances on the nationalized assets? The U.S. government’s position is that Cuba has never been serious about compensating American owners of expropriated properties. In reality, the Cuban government has made repeated attempts to settle the claims, but the U.S. government has refused to negotiate and has intervened in attempts by private claimants to negotiate a settlement.

    I trust no one here is surprised.

  100. 100
    Big Picture Pathologist says:

    @Ruckus:

    Would you reconsider your “no details” policy? I am looking to bring my kids to a number of Italian cities (Italy is where their grandparents were born) and since I’m not oblivious to the pickpockets in Naples and elsewhere , I could use some techniques that work.

  101. 101
    Big Picture Pathologist says:

    @Ruckus:

    Would you reconsider your “no details” policy? I am looking to bring my kids to a number of Italian cities (Italy is where their grandparents were born) and since I’m not oblivious to the pickpockets in Naples and elsewhere , I could use some techniques that work.

  102. 102
    nota bene says:

    “Ambulatory dildo” really oughta be a category title.

  103. 103
    Eduardo says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I know who are middle-aged or younger don’t really give a shit about Castro.

    That’s what 55 years of totalitarian dictatorship brings. The ones, like me (50), who are middle age and were born into it can’t really imagine Cuba with another system of government in our lifetimes: it has been 55 years, you know? the ones who are born in the US of Cuban parents can’t possible know what that thing is.

    But neither you nor anybody else Cuban or otherwise have to give a shit. It’s not their fucking problem and nobody can give a shit about everyone else. So that’s cool.

    As for my position: I don’t care about the embargo one way or the other. It wont hasten or delay regime change in Cuba. As for US citizens traveling to Cuba, the ban is illegal because liberty. Some people gives a shit about it.

  104. 104
    Eduardo says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Just LOL. Google is your friend, man!

  105. 105
    Eduardo says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It is only 55 years. Got a lot of Cuban experts, here, eh?

  106. 106
    Eduardo says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It is only 55 years. Got a lot of Cuban experts, here, eh?

  107. 107
    Eduardo says:

    @Belafon:

    LOL — Google “Revolutionary Offensive 1968” . They took everything from everyone dude… Pol Pot was worse thou, so, you have that.

  108. 108
    Eduardo says:

    @NonyNony: @Belafon:

    Okay – I’ve never heard that story before. I’ve always heard the “assets seized and nationalized”, but never the “he paid them the book value of their assets and called it done.” If true, Castro’s sense of humor has been severely under-reported in the US.

    I’d love to see a cite for that story because there are a few right-wingers that I’d like to expose to it.

    You heard the right, assets were seized and nationalized. American assets. Cuban assets. Third country assets. . Every housing unit anybody owned beyond the one that their family were leaving in. Every farm, Cuban or otherwise beyond a few acres. And it goes on and on until you get to 1968 and the “revolutionary offensive” , when they took over big corrupt businesses such as fruit stands. Money, oh yeah, they took over that too. They changed the currency one night and all you could change up to 10,000 . The rest, gone. Nobody was ever paid anything. No government would ever has so much money as to pay even nominal prices for more than 90% of the property in a country.

    The way this idea of “Castro paid the Americans what they have in their books” is accepted is really birtherism for leftism. It is really enjoyable

  109. 109
    Cervantes says:

    @Eduardo:

    That’s what 55 years of totalitarian dictatorship brings.

    You may be forgetting Batista’s decade and a half as dictator and puppeteer-in-chief.

  110. 110
    Eduardo says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I was told this in an upper level Political Science class taught by Dr. Ernie Yanarella.

    Did you pay with your own money for that upper level crap?

  111. 111
    Eduardo says:

    @Cervantes:

    Wrong on the least important: Batista took power on 3/10/1952. He left on 12/31/58 and he was scheduled to leave in 1959 anyway. Still 55 and counting > 15, dont you think?

    Completely wrong on don’t understand the difference between totalitarianism and what does to people (my point) and a “mere” dictatorship. Batista was thrown out by a popular revolt in the 7th year of his dictatorship… because the people thought they could and they did.

  112. 112
    Cervantes says:

    @Eduardo:

    Wrong on the least important: Batista took power on 3/10/1952. He left on 12/31/58 and he was scheduled to leave in 1959 anyway.

    No, you’re forgetting the years 1933 through 1940. If you add those to the period 1952 through 1958, then you get the decade and a half I mentioned (“dictator and puppeteer-in-chief”).

    Still 55 and counting > 15, dont you think?

    Never said otherwise.

    Completely wrong on don’t understand the difference between totalitarianism and what does to people (my point) and a “mere” dictatorship. Batista was thrown out by a popular revolt in the 7th year of his dictatorship… because the people thought they could and they did.

    “The people” included one Fidel Castro.

    As for that “mere” dictatorship, here’s how JFK described it:

    Fulgencio Batista murdered twenty thousand Cubans in seven years … and he turned democratic Cuba into a complete police state — destroying every individual liberty.

    That doesn’t sound very “mere” to me.

  113. 113
    Eduardo says:

    @Cervantes: @Cervantes:

    No, you’re forgetting the years 1933 through 1940. If you add those to the period 1952 through 1958, then you get the decade and a half I mentioned (“dictator and puppeteer-in-chief”).

    So there was a dictatorship in Cuba between 1933 and 1940? Such a horrible regime that would influence the character of the Cuban people? After which we had one of the most progressive constitutions in America? After which we have 3 democratic elections? OK, yeah, sure, whatever.

    “The people” included one Fidel Castro.

    It did. It doesn’t change the fact that he actually sued Batista in Havana with no consequences to him, assaulted 2 military facilities, including the second most important in the island, after which he was condemned to 26 years in prison and was amnestied 1.5 year later. After all that he still thought that he could defeat Batista and a lot of people did.

    The ‘mere’ was in quotes, you know. As in a dictatorship is horrible no matter what.

    You still haven’t engaged my point:

    That’s what 55 years of totalitarian dictatorship brings. The ones, like me (50), who are middle age and were born into it can’t really imagine Cuba with another system of government in our lifetimes: it has been 55 years, you know? the ones who are born in the US of Cuban parents can’t possible know what that thing is.

    … which is that after 55 years of totalitarianism you act as if you wouldn’t give a shit –and sometimes you wish you wouldn’t give a shit. That didn’t happen during Batista, during Pinochet, during any of the other horrible South American rightist dictatorships. There seems to be something about the nature of totalitarianism that makes people think and act differently.

  114. 114
    Eduardo says:

    @Cervantes:

    Also, after 55 years, the left standard answer to any critique of the Castro regime “but Batista!” is really tired. I mean, really Batista may be part of the reason Castro seized and maintain power –there are other very powerful factors not being him and the US– but it can’t justify 55 years of disaster. I mean, at some point you have to stop blaming the guy before you.

  115. 115
    Cervantes says:

    @Eduardo: If you see me trying to justify “55 years of disaster,” then you’re not reading very well.

  116. 116
    Cervantes says:

    @Eduardo:

    So there was a dictatorship in Cuba between 1933 and 1940? Such a horrible regime that would influence the character of the Cuban people? After which we had one of the most progressive constitutions in America? After which we have 3 democratic elections? OK, yeah, sure, whatever.

    I have not called the period 1933 through 1940 a dictatorship. I suggested that Batista was in charge throughout (hence, “puppeteer-in-chief”).

    You still haven’t engaged my point:

    [A] That’s what 55 years of totalitarian dictatorship brings. The ones, like me (50), who are middle age and were born into it can’t really imagine Cuba with another system of government in our lifetimes: it has been 55 years, you know? the ones who are born in the US of Cuban parents can’t possible know what that thing is.

    [B] … which is that after 55 years of totalitarianism you act as if you wouldn’t give a shit –and sometimes you wish you wouldn’t give a shit. That didn’t happen during Batista, during Pinochet, during any of the other horrible South American rightist dictatorships. There seems to be something about the nature of totalitarianism that makes people think and act differently.

    I did not engage [A] because it’s a subjective point.

    As for [B], it seems you want to reserve the term “totalitarianism” for Castro’s Cuba and not have it applied to Pinochet’s Chile, etc. Good luck.

  117. 117
    Eduardo says:

    @Cervantes:

    As for [B], it seems you want to reserve the term “totalitarianism” for Castro’s Cuba and not have it applied to Pinochet’s Chile, etc. Good luck.

    You can google the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Very very roughly, an authoritarian regime is more about controlling the political power and a totalitarian regime is about controlling everything. You are smart enough to understand the difference if you read a little bit about it. You want to be curious about it, which you obviously dont have too.. Too many things to do, too little time

    In any case, I made point A) you didn’t engage it because it was a subjective point but you answered it anyway. Okay.

  118. 118
    Cervantes says:

    @Eduardo: You know what might be interesting, possibly even useful? Say something about what actually happened to you or people you know in Castro’s Cuba.

    Whereas going on about labels in this fashion:

    You can google the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism. Very very roughly, an authoritarian regime is more about controlling the political power and a totalitarian regime is about controlling everything. You are smart enough to understand the difference if you read a little bit about it. You want to be curious about it, which you obviously dont have too.. Too many things to do, too little time

    … is useless.

    Above I mentioned that “[if] we can judge by HDI rankings, Cuba comes in 59th, above Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, and 124 other countries.” Colombia is ranked 91, Belize 96.

    Think about it.

    In any case, I made point A) you didn’t engage it because it was a subjective point but you answered it anyway. Okay.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to communicate here. Do you?

  119. 119
    Paul in KY says:

    @Eduardo: We were only talking about American companies in the class. Did not focus at all on any other expropriations that occurred.

    Edit: After reading Cervantes excerpts, I stand by the gist of what I said in comment 8 above.

  120. 120
    Cervantes says:

    @Paul in KY:

    After reading Cervantes excerpts, I stand by the gist of what I said in comment 8 above.

    Yes, the part that needed correction was this:

    he paid them the values they had in their cooked books

    Castro offered to pay compensation according to book value — not unusual in these cases — but the US rejected his payment plan, i.e., using 20-year bond issues instead of cash the country no longer had because it had already been stolen by Batista.

Comments are closed.