Here is your Morning Brief for December 19, 2014.

Alex Wong, Getty Images
Alex Wong, Getty Images

Rand Paul Backs New Cuba Policy

According to the AP, Senator Rand Paul became the first potential GOP candidate to come out in favor of a new policy towards Cuba.

 Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that starting to trade with Cuba "is probably a good idea" and that the lengthy economic embargo against the communist island "just hasn't worked."

Paul became the first potential Republican presidential candidate to offer some support for President Barack Obama's decision to try to normalize U.S. relations with Cuba. The president's surprise announcement on Wednesday was slammed by several potential GOP candidates, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who said it amounted to appeasing the Castro regime.

Paul said in a radio interview with Tom Roten of News Talk 800 WVHU in Huntington, West Virginia, that many younger Cuban Americans support opening up trade with Cuba. He also said many U.S. farmers would back Obama's moves because the country is a new market for their crops.

"The 50-year embargo just hasn't worked," Paul said. "If the goal is regime change, it sure doesn't seem to be working and probably it punishes the people more than the regime because the regime can blame the embargo for hardship.

"In the end, I think opening up Cuba is probably a good idea," he said.

Paul's comments parallel those of Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, who wrote in her book, "Hard Choices," that the embargo was a failure that gave the Castro regime "a foil to blame for Cuba's economic woes."

This again shows that Cuba isn't a partisan issue. I still don't see Congress ending the embargo though, not without major concessions from Cuba.

Lubbock City Council

The Lubbock City Council met last night and approved a resolution meant for the upcoming legislative session. KFYO has a the recap of last night's events.


A divided council passed four individual second readings for land annexations all south of Lubbock, which means the new areas will now be incorporated into the municipality. The annexations in total encompass more than 774 acres and the land will be used largely for residential development. The items were postponed for many meetings because a full council was not present since the items reached their second reading. Council members Latrelle Joy and Floyd Price dissented on three annexation parcels situated south of 130th Street. Council man Victor Hernandez dissented to all four including one parcel situated east of Frankford Avenue and south of 114th Street.

Some concerns had been raised by council members in previous meetings about the annexations including the extension of services such as water and the risk of spreading emergency services too thin. Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson said he believed the vote made by himself and council members showed a confidence in the city’s ability to provide those services.

Council members also unanimously voted to change the scope of a recent budget amendment concerning the new police department facility allowing more work to be done to prepare the current City Hall and Citizens Tower for restructuring of city departments. The project still has the same amount of money allocated ($10.2 million) but the money can now be used in a broader context.

At the end of their meeting, council members discussed the city’s legislative priorities at the state level for the coming year. Lubbock has six basic legislative priorities which include: the opposition to any legislation that erodes the city’s decision making powers, inhibits the city’s ability to raise revenue to conduct business, and any mandates, state or federal, that do not provide for a commensurate level of compensation.

The resolution passed by the council also embraced statewide bans on texting while driving and synthetic drugs. While the Lubbock City Council and even some state lawmakers may want a ban on texting and driving, I don't see Governor Abbott allowing the legislation to go through.

Other Must Read Links:

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard on our KFYO YouTube page after the show and online at

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