Friday, December 19, 2014

The $64,000 Question on Cuba


US President Barack Obama is acting to "normalize relations" with Cuba, to include opening an embassy and appointing an ambassador.

Pro-Communist politicians in the US Senate have vowed to protect and extend the 50+year reign of the Castro regime by blocking these moves.

The first thing that occurred to me was that Obama could steal a march on the Communist fifth column in the Senate by making a recess appointment. And of course I'm not the only one who thought of that. USA Today, for example, notes that possibility:

In addition to keeping the embargo in place, congressional opponents of the president's Cuba policy, including GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, have threatened to block anyone he nominates to serve as U.S. ambassador to Cuba and to strip money the administration would need to build an embassy in Havana.

But Obama may be able to circumvent the first option by making a recess appointment of an ambassador to Cuba later this month.

But here's the thing: The Senate is not "in recess." It has "adjourned sine die." There's a difference, and as you may recall, Obama got shut down by the Supreme Court over recess appointments awhile back.

Now oddly enough, in that decision the Senate really was formally/legally in recess, but for some reason SCOTUS decided that a three day recess wasn't long enough because ... well, just because.

So, now that Congress is actually not formally/legally in recess (just "adjourned"), but by any reasonable definition is in recess -- a recess about five times as long as the one that figured in NLRB v. Noel Canning -- can Obama get away with appointing an ambassador?

If he can and does, that ambassador will serve until the end of the next session of Congress, which pretty much means the end of 2015 ... and if US/Cuba relations really are liberalized in terms of trade, etc., that probably wraps it up for the Castro regime. By January 2016, there won't be any totalitarian regime left in Cuba for Cruz, Rubio, Menendez et. al to prop up.

If he can't or doesn't, I guess the Communists win again.

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