Quotes of the day

posted at 10:41 pm on December 10, 2013 by Allahpundit

“Castro, he’s shaking hands with Raúl Castro,” said an excited Christiane Amanpour.

“As Christiane points out, President Obama just shook hands with Raúl Castro from Cuba,” Chris Cuomo explained.

Amanpour says of Mandela, “This is a man, it is so true, who brought people together in life and he continues to bring people together today.”

***

In Cuba, today’s handshake between leader Raúl Castro and US President Barack Obama was a non-event.

That’s because official state TV and Granma, the Cuban Communist Party’s official newspaper, omitted the salutation from its coverage of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s memorial ceremony.

While the handshake quickly went viral, lighting up media sites worldwide, Cuban blogger Yaoni Sánchez was quick to point out on Twitter that government-controlled TV stations failed to even show the encounter, much less hypothesize what it symbolizes for Cuba-US relations.

If Cuba’s press ignored the handshake, should we also be wary of staring too hard at the tea leaves?

***

American presidents should avoid shaking the hand of dictators, especially those that have American blood on theirs. One example of many: Raul Castro was Minister of Defense in 1996 when Cuban Air Force MiGs, cold-bloodedly and over international airspace, destroyed two civilian U.S. airplanes with four American rescue workers on board. President Clinton rightly condemned the attack as cowardly, while Raul Castro decorated his pilots for bravery. That incident alone illustrates the difference between the two systems that are embodied in the two leaders. President Obama seems unaware of the importance of his office or of the mantle of honor he wears as the leader of the world’s oldest democracy and the liberator of nations. There is no moral equivalence between the leader of the free world and the leader of a morally bankrupt military dictatorship that holds power only by force…

Until now, every American president had studiously avoided this mistake: At U.N. and other gatherings U.S. Secret Service agents and diplomats were under orders to make sure such a “photo op” so highly desired by the Castros did not happen.

With his greeting, President Obama has squandered U.S. prestige and honor.

***

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walked out of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela when Cuban “President” Raúl Castro began speaking.

“Senator Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela,” said Sean Rushton, Cruz’s communications director. “For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents. Just as Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, Castro should finally release his political prisoners; he should hold free elections, and once and for all set the Cuban people free.”

***

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) declined to criticize President Obama for shaking hands Tuesday with Cuban President Raul Castro at a memorial service in South Africa Tuesday for Nelson Mandela.

But the senator suggested that Obama should have lingered a little longer.

“I’m more focused on policy than some moment, but I thought that if he was going to be there and he was going to shake his hand, he should have asked him about these basic freedoms that Mandela is associated with that are systematically denied in Cuba,” Rubio told reporters.

***

“Mr. Secretary, sometimes a handshake is just a handshake, but when the leader of the free world shakes the bloody hand of a ruthless dictator like Raul Castro, it becomes a propaganda coup for the tyrant,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “Castro uses that hand to sign the orders to repress and jail democracy advocates.”

“Could you please tell the Cuban people living under that repressive regime that, a handshake notwithstanding, the U.S. policy toward the cruel and sadistic Cuban dictatorship has not weakened?” she asked.

“Ladies and gentlemen, today is about honoring Nelson Mandela,” Kerry later responded. He added that Obama urged all of the world’s leaders to honor Mandela’s legacy by upholding “basic human rights.”

“And would you say Raul Castro is upholding basic human rights?” Ros-Lehtinen interjected.

“No,” Kerry replied. “Absolutely not.”

***

The idea that a president who has been re-elected already (with the votes of South Florida!) would suffer from a Raúl Castro handshake is sort of outdated. Every year, Gallup asks Americans what they think of various countries, and Cuba’s steadily been inching up from the bottom

It probably doesn’t hurt that the bland Raúl has replaced Fidel Castro as head of state. Nor does it hurt that Cuba hasn’t posed any kind of threat to the United States since Barack Obama was a tot. Two countries currently run by governments we installed are far less popular than Cuba; Saudi Arabia, which is basically an ally, is only just as popular as our communist neighbor to the south.

***

The George W. Bush administration had tightened the embargo and increased travel restrictions, but soon after assuming office in 2009. And as CFR notes, “He went further in 2011 to undo many of the restrictions imposed by the Bush administration, thus allowing U.S. citizens to send remittances to non-family members in Cuba and to travel to Cuba for educational or religious purposes.”

Cuba, too, is changing, as this story on NPR’s Morning Edition by by Nick Miroff notes. Raul Castro has introduced modest changes to a country cossetted for decades by a socialist economic model. Obama has acknowledged these changes…

Carl Meacham of the Center for Strategic and International Studies calls it a “symbolic gesture [that] could signal … maybe the beginning of a more substantive set of policies.”

But Jorge Duany, who directs the Cuba Research Institute at Florida International University, says none of the issues separating the U.S. and Cuba will be resolved by a handshake alone. “But at least it’s a healthy sign of what the future may bring to the two countries and to some kind of re-establishment of relations between the two governments,” he says.

***

When Bolling defended the topic by saying it has also been discussed on CNN, and asked why Obama couldn’t just skip over the Cuban leader as he approached the podium to deliver his eulogy, Beckel shot back, “What do you think, he’s going to catch Communism by shaking hands?”

***

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Whudathunk that an anti-American thug who used to pal around with terrorists would one day shake hands with our nation’s enemies ?

burrata on December 10, 2013 at 10:54 PM

Excellent double entendre!

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 1:25 AM

This place is deader than nonpartisan’s blow up sheep.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Do you have camera evidence of this, as I thought it was inflatable goats!

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 1:24 AM

During today’s communist gathering, there was a fire.
Apparently, plastic friction can cause spontaneous combustion.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Maybe somebody should so the prezzy this?

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 1:28 AM

During today’s communist gathering, there was a fire.
Apparently, plastic friction can cause spontaneous combustion.

RovesChins on December 11, 2013 at 1:28 AM

and I understand that Hydrogen helps to make them light on their feet!

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 1:30 AM

I know that Zero Hedge uses “On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero” :-)

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 1:23 AM

That’s from a movie called Fight Club. When it was first in theaters I thought the previews looked totally stupid and I had absolutely no intention of ever seeing it, just the opposite, but a friend who has always recommended good movies worked hard to convince myself and another friend to go and it immediately became one of my favorite movies. I don’t like boxing or fighting but that’s not really what it’s about.

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 1:36 AM

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 1:36 AM

How are you FR, I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye, but it is good to see you still here.

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 1:38 AM

I’m pretty sure this is the progressive theme song.

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 1:45 AM

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 1:38 AM

I’m pretty depressed about the state of the country and the world and my hope for the future is flagging. While I think that it will be hard for the corrupt DC establishment to lull people back to sleep, that trends suggest that people are slowly ‘waking up’, and that the corrupt ruling class’ days are numbered, Fox News is a powerful tool of the GOP establishment, and if they’re able to fool people into giving the same old Republican Party another go in ’14 and ’16, it’s going to be at least another 4 or 8 years longer after Obama and the next GOP crony regime before we may finally be able to turn the country around and get rid of throw the K-Street Crony Party out of power. By then I’ll probably be too old to start the business and family I want to have. I feel that the government and their cronies have stolen my future, and I am about to the point where I hope that millions of people like me will soon gather together and make them pay for what they’ve done. It’s time for some old fashioned.

How are you?

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Reminds me of Obama bowing to foreign leaders:
http://youtu.be/5U6fL7Y4BZA

Obama bowing to China:
http://youtu.be/FMutCSBsXKY

bluegill on December 10, 2013 at 10:47 PM

And, you’ll note that our pResident is in full bow in the pic.

Solaratov on December 11, 2013 at 2:07 AM

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 2:01 AM

I understand your dismay, as I feel the same on many days. I only know that that which can’t go on forever will come to a stop, and it bothers me on what might happen. I think that in most cases the markets and time will sort things out, but that doesn’t reassure me on what can happen in the interim. When societies come to those pivotal points, things tend to get very ugly, and fast. The system needs a reboot, but that doesn’t make me feel any better knowing it will and the havoc that such a thing will bring. It will happen, and I think the country will go back to its roots, but the carnage that will occur will be difficult and trying for most in society.

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 2:14 AM

While I think that it will be hard for the corrupt DC establishment to lull people back to sleep, that trends suggest that people are slowly ‘waking up’, and that the corrupt ruling class’ days are numbered, Fox News is a powerful tool of the GOP establishment,

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 2:01 AM

I’m holding out hope that A Public Round of The Good Old Ultraviolence will Shake The Rust Off Things!!…..

williamg on December 11, 2013 at 2:25 AM

The system needs a reboot, but that doesn’t make me feel any better knowing it will and the havoc that such a thing will bring.

uncommon sense on December 11, 2013 at 2:14 AM

And that’s why I’m waiting until after the reboot to start a family. And I don’t want to buy the house that I’ve always wanted until after the reboot; after property values have come down and the fed stops pumping hundreds of billions a year into real-estate that I’ve read the crony elites are buying up with the money they’re printing and borrowing stealing from the unborn. After the reboot, after, I hope, the cronies have lost all of their ill gotten booty and hopefully jailed or run out of town, then it will be time for free American people to thrive again, but with their propaganda machines and all the generational theft and inflation, they may be able to draw this out for years or decades longer, perhaps long after I’m too old to start a family. I feel that I have been betrayed by my crooked government, which has sold the children that I wanted to have into indentured servitude, and not for any worthy cause, but for their own greed and thirst for power and control.

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 2:34 AM

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Understand. God Bless you and Good Luck, FR……

“Life is what happens to you while we’re busy making other plans….”

williamg on December 11, 2013 at 3:04 AM

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans….”

williamg on December 11, 2013 at 3:09 AM

Disorder In the House

novaculus on December 11, 2013 at 3:21 AM

FloatingRock on December 11, 2013 at 2:34 AM

Don’t wait.

Assume the worst. Plan for it. To the extent possible, be prepared to take advantage of less than the worst.

But don’t wait. Time waits for no one. Tomorrow never comes. It looks to me as if we have a lot worse coming before our situation gets better. The pendulum will swing back, but perhaps only after we strike real disaster at the extreme of this swing. We can’t know when.

Don’t wait.

novaculus on December 11, 2013 at 3:30 AM

World’s biggest investor …BlackRock…says US rally is nearing exhaustion

What does this mean?

It means that the rampant inflation and interest rates high enough to make one’s eyes bleed of the Carter era may be soon back upon us… and possibly more.

The effect on the U.S. housing market will be profound.

The risk in the US is that Fed tapering could cause the housing recovery to stall. The Fed has purchased three times all net issuance of US mortgages so far in 2013.

Emerging markets are no longer accumulating foreign reserves at the same torrid pace. The annual growth rate of reserves has dropped to 7pc from 40pc five years ago, which implies far less money flooding into global bond markets. “This is bad news for struggling advanced economies and financial markets addicted to monetary stimulus,” it said.

There is a 25pc chance that the world navigates these reefs and achieves a “growth break-out”. Even if that happens it will not help stocks, and will be “bad for bonds”. The Goldilocks outcome for markets is another year of feeble growth, buttressed by central bank largesse that leaks into asset bubbles. What is good for investors is corrosive for societies, hardly tenable equilibrium.

Liquidity and savings may well evaporate.

“Disposable income” may become a thing of the past.

Buckle up, certainly…but don’t allow hard times to deny you the joy of family and home. Squeeze every moment of happiness and warmth out of life and don’t allow anyone or anything to take that from you. People not only survived the Great Depression, they lived and loved while they did it. Don’t let overwrought novelists and Hollywood screenwriters persuade you otherwise.

thatsafactjack on December 11, 2013 at 4:13 AM

Ramones – “Havana Affair”

Anti-Control on December 11, 2013 at 4:16 AM

Ha, the media defending Obama smiling and cajoling with Raul Castro. Oh, and we have Elian — signed and delivered by one Janet Reno — to give us the party line! What a day to be scummy Democrat!

It’s a Commiemas miracle at Commie Mandelapalooza!

Punchenko on December 11, 2013 at 4:30 AM

Listen to Paul Ryan on Mark Levin show:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/10/mark-levin-challenges-paul-ryan-on-new-budget-deal-in-contentious-interview-this-is-mickey-mouse/

I don’t even like hearing him speak anymore. He is such a fast talker.

And now with his push for amnesty, I am almost glad he didn’t get elected vice president.

bluegill on December 11, 2013 at 5:14 AM

I like floatingrock. He seems very principled.

bluegill on December 11, 2013 at 5:15 AM

Listen to Paul Ryan on Mark Levin show:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/10/mark-levin-challenges-paul-ryan-on-new-budget-deal-in-contentious-interview-this-is-mickey-mouse/

I don’t even like hearing him speak anymore. He is such a fast talker.

And now with his push for amnesty, I am almost glad he didn’t get elected vice president.

bluegill on December 11, 2013 at 5:14 AM

Nice case of Washington-DC-itis you have there, Paul…haha Ryan is such a squishy dope.

KrispieKreme/Ryan 2016!

Anti-Control on December 11, 2013 at 5:30 AM

shameful but not surprised….its dear leader we are talking about…

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 5:40 AM

morning joe doesn’t even like this budget deal…adding more

the best bad deal the gop can get…

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 6:07 AM

mark halperin just called paul ryan a hero.

shameful.

renalin on December 11, 2013 at 6:07 AM

nicole wallace and ryan gave us their talking point…..its all about focusing on obamacare!

WTF!!!!!!! Now they want to focus on obamacare?

renalin on December 11, 2013 at 6:12 AM

awwwww dear leader is less popular than ever before….
katty kay not happy to report that…..

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 6:13 AM

obama’s numbers are going to up, just wait obamacare is working and going to keep on working
-barnicle

halperin ain’t taking any of the BS…he knows the truth and actually will admit it…barnicle still in la la land…

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 6:19 AM

renalin on December 11, 2013 at 6:12 AM

shaking the head…i don’t trust wallace…

morning renalin :)

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 6:20 AM

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 6:20 AM

thanks:)

renalin on December 11, 2013 at 6:38 AM

Good Morning, Patriots! And, Trolls.
My take: “Barack Obama and the $5,000,000 Selfie”

As long as ol’ Scooter has himself, he’ll never be alone.

kingsjester on December 11, 2013 at 6:46 AM

To understand the handshake does in fact have meaning, consider what may have been conveyed if POTUS ignored the dictator and DIDN’T shake his hand?
Might it have appeared disrespectful? Maybe it would have looked as if the dictator was a peon, less than significant or less than human? Maybe also, we’d say it was rude or a disgraceful treatment of another person.
Isn’t this exactly the relationship the dictator has with his own people? To him, they are less than significant; less than human. To avoid greeting him therefore, would convey exactly the treatment he himself “dishes” out every day in his country. Therefore, to stop and shake his hand would convey the exact opposite and make it another attempt by POTUS (and the sycophants) to evade reality and try to twist actions steeped in contradiction into the reasonable and acceptable.

beselfish on December 11, 2013 at 6:58 AM

obama’s numbers are going to up, just wait obamacare is working and going to keep on working
-barnicle

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 6:19 AM

The Obamacare website is not working.
The state exchange websites are not much better.
There are going to be uninsured people come January 1st.
The cancellation notices will be going out throughout the year for employer-provided health insurance.

Thanks to Obamacare we cannot keep:

Our health plan.
Our doctor.
Our meds.
Our hospital of choice.
Our volunteer fire department.

What exactly is working about Obamacare?

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Therefore, to stop and shake his hand would convey the exact opposite and make it another attempt by POTUS (and the sycophants) to evade reality and try to twist actions steeped in contradiction into the reasonable and acceptable.

beselfish on December 11, 2013 at 6:58 AM

To simply nod at the Cuban dictator and move on would have ended the thing. To stop and bow while shaking Castro’s hand overtook the entire event (along with the selfies). In short the lazy shiftless stupid Kenyan bastard managed to make the funeral of an iconic world leader all about Obama.

BTW, there is speculation that Obama didn’t even know who that was when he shook hands.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:03 AM

HN you’ll have to ask barnicle…..delusional methinks

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 7:03 AM

HN…now that I can believe…. he just thought he was another groupie

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM

With his greeting, President Obama has squandered U.S. prestige and honor.

Here in Israel, we sense there is a pattern.

Shy Guy on December 11, 2013 at 7:07 AM

The Obamacare website is not working.
The state exchange websites are not much better.
There are going to be uninsured people come January 1st.
The cancellation notices will be going out throughout the year for employer-provided health insurance.

Thanks to Obamacare we cannot keep:

Our health plan.
Our doctor.
Our meds.
Our hospital of choice.
Our volunteer fire department.

What exactly is working about Obamacare?

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Why, it almost sounds as though the Dumbocrats passed a horribly written bill without knowing what was in it!

BTW, there is speculation that Obama didn’t even know who that was when he shook hands.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Talking about hands…this is our First Couple:

New angle on Obama’s memorial selfie adds to the drama

Anti-Control on December 11, 2013 at 7:11 AM

If it had been the other way around, Raul coming down to shake Obama’s hand, I wonder what Obama’s reaction would have been…

albill on December 11, 2013 at 7:40 AM

If it had been the other way around, Raul coming down to shake Obama’s hand, I wonder what Obama’s reaction would have been…

albill on December 11, 2013 at 7:40 AM

That’s what Hugo Chavez did, for the propaganda. It is a different much thing than the fact that the silly stupid rat-eared Kenyan did. And if you don’t think that the Cubans don’t have this picture plastered all over Havana this morning, you would be mistaken.

Happy Nomad on December 11, 2013 at 7:52 AM

Ok will try this again calling it Jet West Christmas hope you guys like it … this is also testing to see if I linked it correctly.

conservative tarheel on December 11, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Great take KJ…. read it folks

cmsinaz on December 11, 2013 at 7:59 AM

Pundits confuse wanting to have the Cuban people free and recognized, with having their leaders punished.

To shake hands with a citizen of Cuba would be one thing, a good thing to embrace them…but to give any kind of dignity to Raul is insulting…but most of all, shows Obama’s incredible ignorance concerning history.

I doubt any President ever elected has been so ignorant of history…Churchill must be weeping in heaven for our once great nation.

right2bright on December 11, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Did you read his lips when dear leader shook his hand?

“See you soon when your brother’s in the box!”

Wander on December 11, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Three generations of Cubans have been ruined by the Marxist rulers of the Castro family. Try to imagine leaving your country and family members by any means possible even risking death to find freedom. This is the JFK legacy for Cuba. This is a beautiful island that was very productive before Castro. Too bad they didn’t have someone more like G. Washington to help overthrow a military dictatorship instead of the commie thug.

Beckel couldn’t get a job at the Comedy Club.

Kissmygrits on December 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Did Obama even know he was shaking hands with Raul?
Or was Raul just the first one in the row and Obama actually want to greet someone further down?

albill on December 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Did you read his lips when dear leader shook his hand?

“See you soon when your brother’s in the box!”

Wander on December 11, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Nah, that would take a pair and Michelle was clearly not giving him them back to him while he was taking “selfies” with the Danish babe. Reggie was not too happy, either…

Fallon on December 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Evening and good night, J. :)

Schadenfreude on December 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM

KJ, excellent take-down of an utter Nobody.

Schadenfreude on December 11, 2013 at 12:06 PM

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