What Do China and Cuba have in Common?

By eProf2, a Trail Mix Contributor

The quick answer is they both have Communist governments. And on Friday last Donald Trump decided there isn’t a common United States policy for Communist governments like China and Cuba.

The Trump administration wants to engage in more contacts and trade with China, even though during the presidential campaign he said China was at the root of U.S. economic problems, which were catastrophic. The president and his family have been courting Xi Jinping for more trade and trade mark recognition for Trump products and properties. Trump himself seems to be indebted to Chinese banks while his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was, and could still be, in negotiations for a New York City billion dollar property with China.

There is an appearance that if the Trump family is economically involved with a nation-state U.S. policy will tilt in that direction. There are many examples of this in the first five months of the Trump administration (Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, et cetera).

Cuba: No Pay No Play

Cuba, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have a Trump connection. It was reported that Trump once sought hotel rights in Cuba even though the embargo for U.S. businesses was in effect. Trump was turned down by the Castro government. The Friday announcement will severely cut back on business connections and restrict individual travel to the island nation with some exceptions.

The rationale for re-imposing major parts of the fifty year old embargo was that the president didn’t want U.S. dollars flowing to the Cuban military and government. Where does he think U.S. dollars go in China?

Two other rationales have been written about extensively. The first is that all things Obama must be repudiated; thus, Obama’s overture to open relations with Cuba must be overturned. Second, Trump needed to appease older, conservative Republican Cubans in south Florida, who through their hatred of Castro voted for Trump; a single interest group of voters who Trump courted in order to win the electoral college votes from Florida.

Both rationales are not valid arguments when formulating foreign policy. Internationalists must be scouring the world to see what the next foreign policy decision will be made on the basis of Trump investments, loans, and close personal relationships.

This is not the way to implement national interest policy. Both China and Cuba can take away some lessons from Trump’s decision last Friday: U.S. policy can be changed quickly when Trump’s interests “trump” those of the United States.

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Patient, Heal Thyself

By PatD, a Trail Mix Contributor

With regard to the horrible House health care bill and the mysteriously inchoate proposal by the Senate, good advice can be found in Luke 4:23 KJV:

“And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.”

Here’s a Map of the Countries That Provide Universal Health Care (America is Still Not on It):

The Atlantic

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Beauregard goes all Suth’un on the Senate

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, Attorney General Beauregard Sessions went all suth’un on the Senators.

WaPo reports:

Sessions opened his testimony to the panel with a fiery assertion that he never had any conversations with Russians about “any type of interference” in the 2016 presidential election.

“The suggestion that I participated in any collusion … is an appalling and detestable lie,” Sessions said.


“If any brief interaction occurred in passing with the Russian ambassador during that reception, I do not remember it,” Sessions said. If he did have a conversation with the ambassador, it was “certainly nothing improper.”

Why, suh, th’ mere suggestion that I would do such a dishonorable thing is an insult to me and to mah family name.  Why, in a different time I would call you out and challenge you to a duel.

(So if he can’t remember having a conversation with Sergei, how can he say whether that conversation could or could not be improper?  But I digress).

He went on to say things like:

“I am not able to discuss with you or confirm or deny the nature of private conversations that I may have had with the president on this subject or others,” Sessions said.

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) pressed Sessions to explain how he could decline to answer questions about his talks with the president without the White House asserting executive privilege.

“I am protecting the right of the president to assert it if he chooses, and there may be other privileges that apply,’’ answered Sessions. “At this point I believe it’s premature for me to deny the president a full and intelligent choice about executive privilege.’’

And this, ladies and gentlemen is gobbledygook from the Attorney General of the United States.  So exactly WHY did he go before the Senate Intelligence Committee again?   Not to put too fine a pint on it, but I’d say your continued engagement as Mad Magazine’s image person is secure.

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Time to re-visit the Fairness Doctrine?

By Dvitale300, a Trail Mix Contributor

In August of 1987, four FCC commissioners (1 appointed by Nixon, 3 appointed by Reagan), dismantled what was known as the “Fairness Doctrine”.  The Fairness Doctrine had been in place since 1941 where it originally applied to radio broadcasts.

In a nutshell, the FD “established two forms of regulation on broadcasters: to provide adequate coverage of public issues, and to ensure that coverage fairly represented opposing views”.

‘In keeping with our station’s ‘fairness doctrine,’ let’s hear from a bigot…’

I remember watching television news broadcasts where opposing points of view were brought on screen to rebut an editorial or critical/controversial news story.  Sometimes it seemed a bit awkward, but usually you could tell in a few seconds whether the opposing viewpoint was BS or not.

While I realize we have an entirely different media schema today, with the passing of opposing newspapers in cities, and the plethora of cable and internet media (not to mention the fact that viewers of Faux News are statistically considered the most ignorant media consumers in our country); current politics and policy have arrived at the point in which perhaps a new Fairness Doctrine needs to be re-visited.

As a discussion topic point, Megyn Kelly is set to air an interview on NBC news this Sunday.  The interview is with Alex Jones, a renowned conspiracy guru who has said that 9-11 was an “inside job” and that Sandy Hook was fake in which no one died and the teachers and children were actors.

While JP Morgan Chase has cancelled all advertising on NBC until after the interview – is this enough?  Is it enough to let the free market system police what goes on the public airways?  Or, is it time to re-visit the Fairness Doctrine?

What say ye?

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