Thursday, October 14, 2010

African American Pundit: DNC Triples Effort Reaching Out To Black Voters

African American Pundit: DNC Triples Effort Reaching Out To Black Voters

Americans Might Benefit from Successful Court Challenges to ObamaCare

President Obama has Given us a New Form of Buggery
that all Americans Can Get Behind

Courts across the United States are being asked to consider whether ObamaCare is constitutional.  I think it might actually be helpful for the US Supreme Court to determine that ObamaCare is unconstitutional because it compels people to pay for medical coverage that they do not want.

Here's my reasoning:  There would be nothing unconstitutional about Obama and the US Congress making Medicaid, Medicare, the Veterans Administration hospitals and/or the US Public Health Service into universal access entitlement programs.  That would be true health care reform. 

I think it OUGHT to be legally unacceptable for Obama to compel Americans to pay money to medical insurance companies that are hardly any less incorrigibly greedy and callous than the banks and brokers who have turned the nation's mortgage market into utter chaos and contributed to a fall of the value of the dollar by 50% over the last seven years.

Insurance companies simply cannot be trusted to offer affordable health care, and President Obama himself cannot be trusted when he tries to compel us to trust medical insurance companies.  (The same can be true of the Obamian supply-side economic fixes that always give more money to banks and other classes of corporations while stingily and callously letting individual American families lose their homes, live out of their cars be blown in the wind like US flags during a hurricane.) 

It's quite obvious by now that President Obama sees the failure of the banks as a more serious problem than 10% unemployment (an official 15% among Blacks), and the highest rate of mortgage foreclosures that the nation's citizens have suffered since the Great Depression.

Even now, he is more concerned about the effects that a moratorium on foreclosures would have for banks and markets than he is about the effects that lawless and fraudulent systemic banking practices have had on the individual homeowner's ability to know which bank (or which set of mortgage bundlers) has the legal authority to file foreclosure actions against individual American families.

American right-wingers need not concern themselves that President Obama could be a socialist when, in fact, his supply-side policies are almost as stringent toward working people as were those of Ronald Reagan.  The difference is that Reagan endeavored to remove every bit of safety-net that working Americans had, while Obama has passively sat by and watched as Americans lose every bit of safety that middle class Americans have.  But, he's been there for the bankers, the automobile manufacturers, and has created a program with 40 million new obligatory consumers of often-worthless health care insurance.

I don't think I'll cry if Obama is not re-elected in 2012, although I would be very chagrined to see the US Congress turned over to the Republicans now, partly as a result of Obama's insanely unpopular legislative pizzas.  (In Brazil they call massively unconscionable screw-ups and multi-party political train wrecks "pizza".)

I used to argue that Americans should prefer Democratic Party presidents because even if we don't care about what Republicans do within our borders, we should not be callous about the wars and suffering that Republican presidents and legislatures cause overseas.  President Obama has taken that abstract political argument away from me.

President Obama is at war in Iraq; at war in Afghanistan; turning Pakistan into an Afghanistan at war; looking at military options with Iran; and even building 7 new military bases in Columbia as a staging area for an invasion of Venezuela.  President Obama is just as warful as his Republican predecessors and considerably more warful than any Democratic Party president since President Johnson's escalation of the Vietnam War. 

And yet, the Vietnam war was officially limited on one country, which Obama's mental genius has been able to multiply six-fold while still calling himself a Democrat.  No, admittedly Obama has not instituted a draft as President Johnson did, yet.

How am I supposed to argue that the US Government would be more bellicose under a Republican administration?  Obama is bellicose in six foreign countries simultaneously.  All he has to do now is start dropping white phosphorous on one of these battlefields and we can declare that we have a Republican foreign policy president elected by the Democratic Party.

Obamian health care is as welcomed as universal syphilis.

Back to the point of this screed.  If the Supreme Court finds that it is unconstitutional to make individual Americans give their money to insurance companies, then the only alternative will be what most Americans wanted in the first place:  a Public Option. 

If utter defeat in the US Supreme Court comes soon enough, there might still be time in Obama's one-term presidency for the legislation and implementation of a national government-sponsored program of Public Option health care that will not be a huge Government privatization of a health care vacuum, and giveaway to greedy, venal and callous insurance companies. 

Obama has not created more Government insurance.  He has simply privatized the market for insurance for the 40 million people who capitalist medicine was previously ignoring.

Obama sees Americans being financially raped by the unhealthy grasp of insurance companies and what does he do?  He says he believes it will be fairer if all of us are financially raped by medical insurers, so that some of us will not get financially raped twice or thrice while others of us are not raped at all.  Thanks President Obama!  You've given us a new national form of buggery that we can all get behind. 

This is one instance where the conservatives on the US Supreme Court could create Public Option medical care by finding that privatization of obligatory medical insurance is an unconstitutional "taking."

It's time for Obama to let the Congress go back to the drawing board and give us a Public Option in the US that is at least as good as the one I now have in Brazil.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How Much is President Obama's Presidency Similar to Jimmy Carter's?

In order to figure out what chances President Obama has of being reelected in 2012, we have to look back to the last Democratic Party president who presided over intractable economic troubles and foreign policy crises, neither of which he was able to contain.

Jimmy Carter had the misfortune of Iran taking American hostages, which left the media and the public wondering what Jimmy Carter would do about it.  Ultimately, Jimmy Carter was able to do little at all about this problem that the country came to see as a top priority:
On November 4, 1979, an angry mob of young Islamic revolutionaries overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking more than sixty Americans hostage. "From the moment the hostages were seized until they were released minutes after Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as president 444 days later," wrote historian Gaddis Smith, "the crisis absorbed more concentrated effort by American officials and had more extensive coverage on television and in the press than any other event since World War II."
If Jimmy Carter had bombed and Iranian city to ruins and promised more mayhem unless the hostages were released, this would probably have been perceived as a strong response, "not negotiating with terrorists" as Carter's successor, Ronald Reagan, so often explained his overt public policy.  However, Jimmy Carter did not want to see senseless deaths on either side and was unwilling to lose thousands of US soldiers to save two-dozen US hostages.  His unwillingness to do anything other than negotiate made him seem week and prepared the way for the election of Ronald Reagan.

No one doubted that Jimmy Carter was intelligent, well-intentioned and Christian, but they ultimately concluded that he was ineffective and his policies were ineffectual.  Likewise, few people doubt that Obama is intelligent, well intentioned and Christian, but his policies are proving bureaucratic, incomprehensible  and he seems to be biting off far more wars than he will be able to chew.

Like President Johnson, President Obama now sees himself in the middle of too many unpopular wars--in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, potentially Iran, as well as Columbia, where US troops have built bases and are setting up fighting positions.  When it became apparent that President Johnson was unable to achieve his goals in Vietnam, Nixon was elected.  When it became obvious that Carter had no more ideas for saving the hostages in Iran, then Ronald Reagan was elected.  And when it becomes apparent that President Obama has no end game for his wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and covertly in Iran and overtly in preparations for Columbia vs. Venezuela, then any Democrat or Republican who claims to have a better plan might be nominated and elected.

Obama is similar to Jimmy Carter in another way.  Both Obama and Carter faced intractable and insufferably high unemployment rates; Blacks were substantially more unemployed than whites, costing the support and enthusiasm of the one group whose fidelity to the Democrats most makes it essential that that Blacks see a clear-cut reason to go to the polls on Election Day.  There seems to be a strong likelihood that many Blacks will be unemployed in 2012, having also lost their homes to mortgage foreclosures.  It is not clear how Obama will demonstrate to Blacks that his presidency has done us substantial rather than merely symbolic good.

While Obama faces negative economic statistics on virtually ever side, Jimmy Carter faced unprecedented inflation as well as high gas prices and rationing at the pumps.   If intractable economic and military problems show that a president has lost control and can assure neither domestic economic security nor national security as he has defined it, then Obama might find himself like Jimmy Carter did in 1980--first facing a challenge from within the Democratic Party, and then facing a Republican opponent who can convince the public that she is more resolute and more determined to do what needs to be done, domestically and internationally.

If President Obama's efforts to help people save their homes is any harbinger of his health plan, the health plan will have been proved useless to most people even before many of its provision take effect in 2014.  In fact, one of the poorest decisions Obama may have made as president was to provide health care relief only after his first term ends.  He seems to have assumed that he would get a second term during which he would implement this plan rather than see a Republican Congress and president undo all of the change that Obama hopes will someday come.

President Obama had better "check himself."  The people whom I know of who have homes in foreclosure, seeking relief, are not getting that relief from any of the programs the Obama Administration put in place.  The only things guaranteed by Obama's mortgage legislation has been bank and bank executive lucre, as well as overwhelming bureaucracy and hesitance from banks to reformulate mortgages, even when paid to do so by the Federal Government.

Obama privatized the response to the banking crisis by giving individual corporations money in the hopes that they would subsequently take actions that have not been forthcoming.  Obama privatized the Gulf Oil Spill by depending upon BP to fix their machinery and clean up the coasts, as well as indemnify those who lost income.  Those who have lost income say they face daunting bureaucracy.  And Obama privatized the response to individual home-owners with mortgage problems when Obama left the banks themselves to make the crucial decisions in these cases.

Obama might ultimately find that he is a right-leaning Democrat for whom the Democratic base has no respect or desire, but his ineffectual policies leave him indefensible across the political spectrum.