Treasury Assures That Cuba Policy Changes Are Cosmetic

Not surprising:

The U.S. Treasury Department has promised opponents of changes to U.S.-Cuba policy that are tucked into a giant spending bill that some of the most controversial provisions will result in little change. The Senate was expected to vote later Tuesday on a $410 billion spending bill that contains provisions that would make trade and travel to Cuba easier. But letters from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has assured the lawmakers who helped block the bill last week that few of the provisions will actually change U.S.-Cuba policy.

(Emphasis supplied.) It was always window dressing. By the way, watch on agriculture subsidy cuts in the 2010 budget - they won't survive either. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and the pork too.

Speaking for me only

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    so BigAg gets supports. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 05:31:41 PM EST
    my family grew horticultural crops, and for those, there are NO supports. No crop insurance, either. Disaster relief? Yes, but if no disaster was declared, then it's just a bad year.

    Back in the 30's when crop supports first appeared, slighty less than halof of the population lived on farms, iirc. The dust bowl was occuring, the great depression. Faeming was subsistence for most, given the 10 or so year drought in the great plains, and the destruction of cotton in the southeast by the boll weevil.

    Heck, pellagra was still common on southern farms, where cotton was planted from doorstep to road to try to maximize a cash crop. Farmers and their families were, in general malnourished and undereducated, often tenant farmers trying to eke out a living.

    Today, less that 2 percent of the population is involved in farming. the crops that get more than 80 percent of the subsidies are wheat, feed grains (usually corn, but sometimes oats, barley, millet), soybeans and cotton. even the non-globalized corporation farmers that grow these, especially in the midwest (in other words, the family farmer, who may or may not have incorporated), will either own or rent 20,000 acres at a time because with the proper machinery and technology makes it possible for a small crew, sometimes as few as 10, to cultivate and grow 20,0000 acres of these crops.

    Harvest is contracted out, sometimes, so a convoy of combines on flatbeds pull in and work as quicky as possible, often 24 hours a day, to finish and move to the next megafarm.

    These supports aren't going to, and wouldn't help, the old 40 acres and a mule farmer.

    If someone farms a section, these might be the difference between viability and not.

    Big ag, though, doesn't keep the money in the community.

    AAAAARGH! I'll calm down-- or at least shut up.  

    Why? (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by lentinel on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 06:32:22 PM EST
    Why does American government after American government hang on to this cold war relic - the embargo on Cuba.

    Why are we, the people, citizens of the "leader of the 'free world', not allowed to travel to Cuba?
    Why do we tolerate this treatment from our government?

    It is like some insane ritual - hanging on to the dumb anti-communism hysteria of 1950s America.

    This a bill (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:46:16 PM EST
    where everybody has something to vote for.

    This is because (none / 0) (#2)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 03:48:12 PM EST
    Reid wants Menendez back in the fold.

    BTD, that reaction on the use of (none / 0) (#3)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 04:17:01 PM EST
    taxpayer money?  Come on, it'll create a job somewhere.  

    This is the problem with democracy (none / 0) (#6)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 06:32:52 PM EST
    There are all those OTHER interests (as stupid as they are).

    A pre-signing statement by Geithner. (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 06:53:09 PM EST

    This is kludgy (none / 0) (#8)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 09:38:49 PM EST
    Apparently left intact in the bill, which expires in September, is the defunding of enforcement of rules that prevent Cuban-Americans from visiting relatives in Cuba more than once every three years. Such travel would still be illegal, but Treasury wouldn't be allowed to spend money to enforce the rule.

    I understand that sometimes we need to take an incremental approach, but come on, this is ridiculous.

    Rumor has it the Treasury Dept. isn't (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 09:45:03 PM EST
    sending out bills to tourists anymore for the estimated amount said tourist enriched Castro's fisc.  

    Re:  "kludgy":  second new vocabulary word in two days.  Excellent.


    In my experience (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 09:47:08 PM EST
    the word is most often used by computer geeks to refer to a less-than-elegant solution to a coding problem.

    It's a noun, a verb, and an adjective (none / 0) (#11)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 10, 2009 at 10:33:20 PM EST
    I put in a kludge; he kludged it; it is kludgy. I'll burn in software hell for all my kludges.