How Cuba Normalization Threatens American Taxpayers and U.S. National Security

Cuban Dictator Raul Castro and President Barack Obama

Cuban Dictator Raul Castro and President Barack Obama

Watching Air Force One roar above Cuba’s dilapidated streets en route to Havana’s airport is indeed an imposing and historic sight to behold. It represents the culmination of more than two years of the Obama Administration’s efforts to warm and normalize relations with our hemisphere’s only remaining dictatorship.

The American left is giddy, as it always has been at the notion of finally embracing an “often-misunderstood neighbor.” The American right, on the other hand, remains divided about whether normalizing relations with Cuba and repealing the embargo is a good idea.

Many self-described libertarians, for example, view the embargo as an outdated, pointless barrier to free trade and capitalism. Others on the right favor lifting sanctions simply because they’re seeing dollar signs — for themselves, the political jurisdictions they represent, or of course, their campaign benefactors. Meanwhile, most mainstream conservatives believe the embargo promotes genuine political change on the island, beyond mere economic development.

Regardless of their particular motivations, proponents of normalization and lifting the embargo almost always make a moral argument, which usually goes something like this: Continue reading

There’s something about Mary Collins

Mary Collins

Mary Collins

The day the corrupt lunatic and (former?) Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi was acquitted of federal charges last August he didn’t go home to spend time with his family after a long ordeal. Or go to church to thank God for the outcome of his case.

Instead, he dashed to Miami Lakes Town Hall with a gaggle of cameras in tow. He ran into the mayor’s office and council chambers, kissing his desk and sitting from chair to chair in what can only be described as a bizarre, low-class show of buffoonery before the news cameras.

He thought he was going to be reinstated mayor that day. But he wasn’t.

After he was indicted, Miami Lakes held a special election to fill the vacancy left by Pizzi’s suspension. The Town Charter clearly stipulates that an election to fill such a vacancy must be held if there is more than six months left in the mayor’s term. Wayne Slaton was therefore duly elected in that special election, and the Town, its council and attorney, as well as the governor consider consider him the mayor for the remainder of the term.

Needless to say, power-hungry corrupt lunatic Michael Pizzi wants his old job back, as well as his legal bills paid for by the Town’s taxpayers, which at this rate may exceed $1 million. So this week he filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court to be reinstated as mayor, which would nullify the election in which Wayne Slaton was duly elected.

Enter Mary Collins. Continue reading

Crist’s pick of running mate a sign of weakness, hubris

CristTaddeoI know I haven’t written here in a while, and that’s because I actually have a life outside of airing my frustrations and smiting my political enemies.

That being said, I figured I’d go ahead and offer my $0.02 about Charlie Crist’s latest antic (they’re all antics, right?).

Giving the media and interested parties only a 4-hour notice, the Charlie Crist campaign cobbled together a press event in Miami yesterday to make what they characterized as an “important announcement.”  It was for Crist to introduce his running mate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein.

Reviews of his pick have been mixed. Some believe it was “solid,” others not so much. Regardless of that, what is striking is the timing. Continue reading

The time is now for a Lt. Governor López-Cantera


I think Governor Scott has done a marvelous job cleaning up the mess the reckless Charlie Crist left behind and has been a great governor overall. However, who he picks as LG may very well be a determining factor in a close election come next year.

So because the LG issue has been the talk of Tallahassee lately, I figured I’d throw in my $0.02:

Some have criticized the length of time it has taken to pick a LG; I’m not one of them. I believe it should be a thoughtful, deliberative process rather than a knee-jerk decision based on what benefits you personally (i.e., Charlie Crist tapping his chief-of-staff and campaign manager George LeMieux to fill a US Senate vacancy so he could warm the seat for him and fundraise while in DC).

That being said, criticisms and negative press will continue flowing until a pick is made. The lack of official information coming out of the governor’s office in regard to the LG issue is a vacuum that is and will continue being filled by the “unnamed insider” types leaking information to a hungry media. Whether the information is true or false is not the point: the point is, the governor’s office has little control over the information coming out. Naming an LG restores control on that issue.

Naming an LG also provides another voice and another set of boots on the ground to get your message out.

It is no surprise that Governor Scott, despite his many achievements, is still upside-down on his approval numbers. As such, the party, his campaign and he himself have to focus on bringing up those numbers by touting his accomplishments and staying positive. He is not yet in a position where he can tear down his opponent enough to win, especially if that opponent is Crist whose sunny (and vomitous) disposition is hard to crack.

But his LG can. Continue reading

My View: education crisis is America’s new civil rights crisis

schoolchoiceImagine if today–in 2013–a group of politicians pulled a George Wallace and stood in a doorway blocking certain students from entering a schoolhouse due to their race and/or societal class.

The outcry against such an act would be heard sea to shining sea with shouts of condemnation so loud they would make an 80s rock concert sound like a harpsichord recital.  The politicians behind it would be excoriated and forced out of public life forever–and rightfully so.

Thankfully the bad old days of racial segregation in public schools are long gone, and students of any race, religion and background have full access to public schools.

However, access to the schoolhouse building does not guarantee access to education–that is, the kind of education students need to at the very least be able to provide for themselves and their families as they enter adulthood.

It is no secret that many of our nation’s schools are failing their students.  The statistics speak for themselves.  But a closer look at those figures, as well as basic observation reveals that those suffering the most are pretty much the same who were denied entry to the schoolhouse in the 1960s.

Many would point the finger at income inequality, nuclear family disintegration, prejudicial barriers, historical hardships, or a combination thereof.  I mean, what else could explain that public schools in more affluent white areas outperform their counterparts in minority, less affluent areas and inner cities, especially when in most cases, they receive similar levels of funding from government?

However, asserting those are the reasons for overall education inequality essentially lays the blame on the students and their circumstances rather than on the schools and their administrators and teachers.

School choice has, in my view successfully challenged this axiom, and placed the onus where it belongs: on the schools (and those who operate them).

For years I have been a school choice proponent because I believe that competition among schools and school systems increases quality and efficiency just as it does in the free market.

A few jobs ago, I was the legislative aide to the Florida State Representative that sponsored and shepherded several of Former Governor Jeb Bush’s education reforms through the Florida House of Representatives.  In that capacity, I learned a great deal about school choice and the quantifiable gains students make through it.  But it never really impacted me on a personal level until last month. Continue reading