By Ray Dunaway

Ten years or so ago, Donald Trump’s “Art of the Deal” was a best seller. Though largely an exercise in chest thumping, the book did provide some insight into the skill of driving a hard bargain.
But I think it’s fair to say, the current administration’s negotiating prowess blows “The Donald” out of the water.
I imagine this is how it goes.
During negotiations with China to reduce CO2 emissions.
Obama: “Climate change will kill us all! We must cut our output of this cursed toxin.”
PRC:“We agree! But doing so will slow our economic growth, and we really can’t afford that”
Obama: “I understand, but cuts will have the same effect on our economy”
PRC: “Tough! We’re not going for it.”
Obama: “But I need a deal. How about this? We’ll cut our output immediately, and you can promise to reduce your emissions in the future?”
PRC: “Ok. How about we start in 2030?”
Obama: “Deal!” (I knew you guys would fold)
Or Iranian nukes:
Kerry: “The US is most concerned about your efforts to attain nuclear weapons. Such a development could wreak havoc in the Middle East.”
Khamenei: “Well, perhaps if you lifted the embargo, we might lay off for a while.”
Kerry:” We could do that, but in return, we’d require frequent inspections of your reactors and such.”
Khamenei: “Not a chance!”
Kerry: “Oh heck! I guess we can trust you. It’s a deal.”
And then, yesterday, with much fanfare, the administration announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba
Obama: “This embargo has gone on way too long. It’s time to end this nonsense.”
Castro: “Indeed it is”
Obama: “So the US will open an embassy in Havana. And we’ll begin free trade between our two nations. But we do require that you release all political dissidents.
Castro: “No! And we demand that the imperialistic United States return Guantanamo to its rightful owners- the Cuban People.”
Obama: “But what would become of the detainees?”
Castro: “That’s your problem. Send them to join their former brothers-in-arms in the UAE or somewhere.”
Obama: ”Done deal! I’ll schedule the announcement for tomorrow morning!”
See what I mean? These guys are tough.
There are some members of the Obama media chorus who aren’t please about the Cuba deal, most notably the Holy New York Times.
Poverty is a good thing, unless you live and work on Manhattan.