Friday’s Odds and Ends

Just when we thought we’d heard the most absurd comments from political analysts, we get one that suggests that President Obama was making a political move with his contraception mandate. Andrew Sullivan, a friend of Obama, said, “I’ve found by observing this president closely for years that what often seems like short-term tactical blunders turn out in the long run to be strategically shrewd, and if this was a trap, the religious right walked right into it.”

I agree with Michael Gerson, Washington Post columnist, who doesn’t think Sullivan’s analysis was “accurate.” That is a polite way of saying what Sullivan said was absurd, but Michael does have to be more polite than I do. He works for a big newspaper.

Maybe Sullivan has spent too long putting everything into some political context that he doesn’t know when a comment or action by the president doesn’t belong there.

Or maybe Gerson and I have spent too long in our respective trees.

What do you think? Your call.

The Pentagon is currently paying $385 billion for a F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, making it the most expensive weapons system ever. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. wonders why the price tag has to be so high. “A lot of times, the Pentagon just wants to sexy these things up and make them do wow stuff when wow is not required.”

Amen to that, Senator.

Do we still need the Cuban embargo? This question has been raised by Wayne Smith, former chief American diplomat in Cuba. The Embargo has been in effect for 50 years, and Smith recently made this comment about it, “All this time has gone by and yet we keep it (the embargo) in place. We talk to the Russians, we talk to the Chinese, we have normal relations even with Vietnam. We trade with all of them. so why not Cuba?”

Good question. I understand why the embargo was first put in place and enforced while there were still concern over human rights issues in that country, but I don’t understand why it has not been lifted or at least modified. It is not like any of the other countries we do business with have never had human rights issues.

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