Saturday, September 22, 2012

Frost and Fraud have always fouled ends: when Romney releases 2011 Tax Filing on a Friday Evening?

Keyword or Terms: Romney’s 2011 tax filing; AARP; Paul Ryan; White House; Mitt Romney’s Campaign Team; Foreign Investments; Cayman Island; Bermuda; Swiss Bank Accounts; Trustworthiness; Tastelessness; Lies and Scandal; 47%; American Voters.
How can a presidential candidate slipping in the polls dunce his chances further? This question wouldn’t have been puzzling or arising, but for what has been going on this week regarding Mother Jones released tapes in which Mitt Romney was denigrating 47% of American voters as losers! A huge number of Republicans could have still been supporting Mitt Romney’s candidacy, but again, for the release of his 2011 tax filing on the heels of a disastrous and calamitous week for the campaign team. Talk about compounding an already murky Republican campaign?

Mitt Romney’s 2011 tax filing has not only compounded the support equation, it continues to erode trust. Incidentally, some Republicans are finding his candidacy as worrisome, even among the loyal and dedicated faithful. Not only has the Mother Jones tapes generated a widespread backlash against Mitt Romney’s Campaign for the White House, it has made majority of his supporters antsy regarding his chances. All of a sudden, many GOP supporters are grumbling and disowning their party’s flag bearer, castigating him for running a disorderly Presidential Campaign. Indeed, Mitt Romney’s campaign cannot answer any logical question without confusion, mixed-messages or complete lies; and very soon, the Mitt Romney Campaign team would be considered irrelevant.

Winning the hearts and souls of retired voters in Florida, North Carolina, Arizona and some other battle ground states would have been conventional republican thinking at this time in the 2011 campaign. However, Romney-Ryan's ticket is making it so difficult, even staunch Republicans are wondering if Mitt Romney has not lost control over his campaign for the White House. The 2012 Republican Campaign team has been stumbling and incinerating its own ambition, you wonder how come, the Republicans chose this pair to head their ticket. Romney has refused to be completely transparent and his take on other American's tax payment, is not only confusing, it is disheartening and disrespectful. Unless the Republican campaign team addresses the convoluted crisis that seems evident in the Romney-Ryan’s ticket in the coming two weeks, Republican Party membership might as well forget the coming election and start planning for the 2016 general elections.

Honesty and trust worthiness are so far away from the current Republican ticket, even the Old and retired members of the AARP booed the bottom-half of the ticket off the stage Friday afternoon when he said the Republican ticket was going to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act! As bad as Republicans criticize Obamacare, it is now obvious that many of our senior citizens do not share this apprehension for the law; and that, the Republican flag bearers have no credibility in casting aspersion on the law. The elderly retired Americans are not buying the Ryan’s plan for Medicare and Medicaid and they have shown that to him in the reception at the AARP conference. If the Romney-Ryan's ticket continues to make blunders before audiences like these, no one will be sympathetic to its ambition, anymore.

Further, that current Republican ticket is considered untrustworthy, is no news to some of us; who have been following Mitt Romney’s refusal to be transparent regarding his finances and taxes. What is news though is that, it had to take a booing and police security escort to get Paul Ryan out of that AARP conference! A political campaign should not be intensifying its criticism of a law when their credibility is at stake and it seems as if, they are attempting to hood wink some of the beneficiaries of the law. Merely mouthing that you are going to repeal a law that has not been completely phased in; and one which many who are benefiting from the few introduced phases of the law, are thanking for its wonder for better health care delivery, would not suffice. A superior alternative to the law would have been appropriate from the Romney-Ryan’s ticket. However, when people don't see that option, it will be hard for you to convince them to jettison the law. As a matter of fact, Mitt Romney is now being labeled the grandfather of ‘Obamacare’ because of his fore-runner effort of the same plan in the State of Massachusetts. Talk about credibility, Romney-Ryan’s ticket has a lot of issue!

Rather than concentrate on those issues related to the economy that could have at least swayed some voters, including the issue of high national unemployment and the sixteen trillion national debt, Romney-Ryan ticket continues to erode trust among voters because of what they are caught saying behind the doors and their inability to be transparent in their campaign and personal life. At least for the head of the ticket, the case is even dire. It is therefore no coincidences that people are very skeptical about his now released 2011 Tax filing. Mitt Romney tax returns showing close to a fourteen million dollars income and a less than meritorious effective tax payment has become a matter of credibility for the ticket as a whole, not only the tax filer. There are others who are claiming that, since the Democratic ticket has released upward of ten years' or more tax filing, the Republican ticket must be transparent enough to do the same.

Many tax payers consider Mitt Romney’s choice not to take advantage of all the legally permissible charity deduction as a ploy in his released 2011 tax filing. Governor Romney did an economic jujitsu to ensure that his effective taxation does not fall below 14.1%. This strategy could have worked very well without voters noticing it, except that, we all know that there is something called amended returns. He chose this path so he would not be criticized for paying an effective tax rate that is far below 14.1%, a percentage that many middle-income earners would have been happy to have. Worse more, Mitt Romney tax filing for 2011 shows that he has multiple investments in Bermuda, Cayman Island and Switzerland; a criticism that many political observers had been ringing aloud, before Governor Romney released his tax filing for 2011.

Is Mitt Romney being disingenuous? Can any voter trust Governor Romney to be completely trustworthy if he gets to the White House, while he still maintains foreign bank accounts and investments? This is a man with the potential to be the leader of the free world, a man who could end up nominating who would run Uncle Sam’s treasury or who ends up being the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank? Can Romney really be a good President with this type of luggage in his personal life? If this fact is not troubling to many Americans, there are those of us who find it despicable and unacceptable. The nation cannot afford to put a man in the White House, whose whole life has been a scheme not to pay taxes through hiding of his wealth in foreign banks and countries. American tax payers cannot afford a President who lies blatantly about his taxes, finances and personal life. Retired American veterans are not going to accept a Commander-In-Chief, who considers them in their old age, as moochers!

Finally, for those who are satisfied with what Mitt Romney reported in his 2011 tax filings, there are some of us, who are truly skeptical; because we know, whether Romney wins or looses in November, he can turn around in 2012 and file an amendment to his 2011 taxes; or, take the full deduction of the 2.5 million dollars charity deductible that he is foregoing in 2011, in his 2012 tax filings. Romney’s 2011 Tax filings is a trickery, it is a jujitsu to cover up for a tax payer that is not only disloyal to the country of star and spangle banner, but one with a sense of entitlement, as exemplified by the tastelessness of his wife’s response to questions about her husband’s taxes and utterances on the campaign trail, on the radio. Forty-five days to the general elections, we are finding that frost and probably fraud in the Republican flag bearer’s 2011 tax filing is about to torpedo the top of the ticket’s ambition for White House’s oval office!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Political Demagogue II: the disorderly language and face of a Mormon Millionaire with foot in the mouth!

“Hard-working Americans do not need to be lectured by tax-dodging millionaires and billionaires about personal responsibility" - Bernie Sanders

You can know the National Election Day is close by, when all you hear are grandiose and least relevant comments or candidate’s missteps likeable to cataclysmic ground shaking. You begin to appreciate that the most desperate and the most likely to lose candidate has begun to feel the heat. Forget the polls over whether either of the two candidates will win the November 6th competition; the truth is: Mitt Romney is digging his grave faster than the Democratic Party or their flag bearer could have imagined or dreamed.  And guess what, many Democrats are loving it!

When you start to hear outlandish comments from a candidate, whose best chance at success has been greed and desire to cast misery in the lot of others, you can truly understand why Mitt Romney stuck his foot in the mouth with the following comments: 1) “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it”; 2) “My job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should make personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Some political gurus are taken aback, some national newspapers are writing editorials bordering on writing-off Romany’s campaign as one in a panic mode; however, this blog sees more than this and will like to serialize the Mormon Bishop’s take on America's elderly, minorities and those, he most likely needs to win a general election.

Before I proceed, it is important to inform ‘Mr. Magic Pants’, that majority of the 47% he is referring to, are Republican whites, old, retired and waiting on a social security check! Their Medicare and Medicaid bills are high, but not high enough to be able to fill the huge gap in the federal budget, if he chooses to pull the plug on them, if he ever wins the White House. The current deficit Republicans are so worried about was initially precipitated under two Republican Administrations which engaged in two unpaid foreign wars. The combination of the deficit spending on two foreign wars and the added collapse of the American economy, are what neoclassical economists are working with President Obama to correct; or, ameliorate so we may not remain in an abysmal economy. This is probably why, all Republicans see when evaluating Obama's Presidency, is the deficit spending that he has embarked on to clean the nasty and huge mess Republicans left behind in 2008. In addition to Republicans' misgivings, they can now add this new reality: less than 10% of the referenced 47% by Mr. Romney, are minorities and poor American citizens; those normally assumed to vote for the Democratic Party’s candidate. The close to 37% that Mitt Romney is throwing sand in their eyes, are more likely to vote republican and probably, are feeling real offended by Mitt Romney’s comments. You want to know how distasteful Romney's comment was, just imagine that this Romney nemesis tape was leaked by the grandson of President Carter who found Romney's criticism of his granddad's tenure as uncalled for. In addition, he probably felt that whoever can make the following comments: “Carter's stewardship was a failed Presidency and Barack Obama’s is likely to follow suit”, is hardly fit to lead this country. These are interesting times and the MotherJones tapes probably put the nail in the coffin of Romney’s ambition for the White House.

That is by the way. One cannot but wonder after listening to Governor Romney on those tapes, why candidates that could have had a real shot at the Presidency always blow it because of poor campaign staff and organizers; men and women, whom the candidate is paying to give him good advice, who continue to fail him, either out of ignorance or poor political understanding of the landscape of voters in a particular year or season, or out of the disconnectedness of the campaign team from what is good politics and language in a political discourse and debate. Winning Campaigns at this time in an election year are mostly engaging in non-offensive and astute strategies, fortified by an unimpeachable candidate’s discipline and desire to win. What has transpired in Mitt Romney’s campaign since past month has shown, he is unlikely to triumph over President Obama. If in doubt, play a real tape of Barack Obama’s ascendancy to the highest office in the land. Not only was Obama’s candidacy in September 2007 so disciplined and air tight, it worked hard to overcome a similar catastrophic event that nearly torpedo his ambition: Obama’s pastor's bigotry comments. The strategy adopted by candidate Obama after the news broke: Confront head on the issue on race, give a very effective speech that made the candidate Presidential and put the voters in the seat, as the arbiter! The strategy was not only effective; it broke ground on the best strategy for addressing many unforeseen challenges that becloud national campaigns for the White House. Governor Romney, that's how to do it; and since you missed that chance, believe me no pun intended, you are simply not Presidential enough!

Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, two days after the leak, rather than adopt this effective strategy for dealing with what can be construed as a calamity, Romney’s campaign team has asked him to own up to a speech that is so bigotry, only calling his likely voters idiotic or me you-know-what, would have been worse. Romney’s outlandish, bigoted and very disrespectful comments, show how disconnected the republican flag bearer is, to the everyday American. Would he ever overcome this misstep or disaster? Only time would tell; however, it is very obvious, that even conservative Republicans consider Romney’s comments as stupid and arrogant. Now, when your most likely allies are calling your campaign and candidacy a losing outfit and major news-feeds and papers, Buzzfeed, Politico and New York Times, are lamenting that your campaign is in a panic mode and likely to abruptly switch strategy, then you know you have a big problem. However, if you choose to discountenance this observation, certainly, you hardly understand America’ electorate and you candidly deserve to loose and loose big time!

Now back to the objective of the blog today: serialize the Mormon Bishop’s take on America’s elderly, minorities and the poor. The changing dynamics of the nature of poverty among the elderly, minorities and the poor in current economic climate, has several faces. On the downside, there are numerous people in the group(s) chastised by Governor Romney, who are suffering today for reasons beyond their control; especially, with the downturn in the America's economy. On the upside, this same group(s) increasingly believe that President Obama understands their plight and would more likely address these concerns and misgivings more than Mitt Romney would, if elected President. How could this be? What are the reasons that make President Obama relatively impervious to blame from the somewhat disenfranchised group(s) in this economic climate? 

The simple answer is the Likeability factor! Although, it is very unlikely that a simple answer like this will suffice; however, there are indications that voters believe in a political candidate that espouses compassion, talks directly to their concerns and relates well with their circumstance. In the manner of comparison between Obama and Romney, the difficulty is not that Mitt Romney seems to be too aloof, mysterious and non-chalet and chilling – these have already been elucidated or documented; it is the fact that comments coming out of Romney’s mouth show that he least has empathy, and an understanding of current political climate; or that, he is just ready to throw the campaign away out of inexactitudes. Worse more, his wife’s scolding of the Latino-pressure group at a conference, or her 'stop it!' this is hard radio comment, re-affirm the indisputable burble environment that the Romney's clan thrives.

You probably heard elsewhere that candidate Romney is hardly trying to understand the people he wants to vote for him; he is actually insulting them out of arrogance and stupidity! Specifically, with the comments made in the MotherJones’ released tapes, candidate Romney is completely writing these people off, saying they are moochers and government dependent! Now, if Mitt Romney is a wise Politician like his father, hardly would he be under-performing a Mexican-born father, who migrated into the United States and depended on the food stamps and social welfare programs to prop himself up, before rising through the ranks of the Republican Party to become the governor of the State of Michigan and a top automotive manufacturing executive. Coming from that type of background, especially where he had once participated in Romney's senior run for the White House, you'll probably expect Romney junior to be better prepared and articulate in understanding the political landscape before him. Not only has the words from Mitt Romney in the tapes shown that being Harvard educated with a double major, JD/MBA, hardly guarantees political astuteness and savory. Undoubtedly, those words reaffirm what many voters in America have often suspected: many rich corporate leaders could care less about the welfare of ordinary Americans. The rich are more likely going to use and throw the poor under the bus; they will also joke and laugh about it behind closed doors, while eating their expensive dinners and parlaying with friends, who are able to pay fifty thousand dollars a pop for an invite. The is why the chastised 47% voters by Romney will more than likely exercise their displeasure come the voting day in November!

In case someone is missing the reality, more than 85% of working Americans hardly make $50,000 a year. The most visible groups in America have been written-off by the man with rich friends, who would like to lord it over them. Social and economic disparities in America have been so ingrained or discountenanced, even the rich who fail to pay an effective tax rate, who hide their wealth in foreign bank accounts, think it is funny as they watch one of theirs turn the table against the poor, elderly and needy, lambasting them for being lazy and dependent, and saying how inconsequential they all are to the democratic process. Being a minority and poor can activate stereotypes. Who then can say it better than a rich, privileged Mormon, representative of the elitist one per center, who has failed to divulge his own taxes, who feels the poor are worthless and a drain on public purse, and who is ready to lecture these group(s) about how worthless they are!

Personal compassion and fairness in treatment of those less privileged than us have always been the mantra of the America's exceptional-ism.  Mitt Romney’s words on that tape, not only show how distant he is from those he expects to vote for him, it undoubtedly indicate how distant he is from the same ideals that make America the shinning light on a hill; a nation of immigrants, which works hard to treat everyone fairly and is always ready to give a helping hand to the down trodden.  A nation of immigrants that allow even the unknown realize that they too have rights as human beings; and, who has sacrificed even her bests on the battle fields, to ensure that the lost are never forgotten and the weak, are not permanently trodden upon by the privileged few. This is the reason why Mitt Romney will never win the Presidency of this nation come November 6th 2012. He just does not get it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11: Building Community Engagement in the Security of America?

Keywords or Terms: Community Engagement; Security and safety; Strategies for Preparedness;  Science; Practice; Practitioners; Ethics; New York; Philadelphia; Twin Towers; Anniversary; Central Intelligence Agency; National Security Agency;  and, Heroes of September 11, 2011  

Building a community focused engagement is essential to the security of America. The deaths of our heroes eleven years ago weren’t completely predicated on the inefficiency of Presidential briefing regarding the security of the nation. Yes, there were some slackness in how the CIA briefing that could have prevented the mayhem got crowded out by other security issues; or, how the Bush Administration handled the after-math of the national disaster. However, the people of America owe equal responsibility or maybe obligation for their own security, just as they do for their personal safety or security in a crowded park. No one would dispute that many who ride the New York, Philadelphia or any big City subway, is often circumspect or apprehensive of the next passenger in the carriage or tube, not only out of fear of the unknown; but also, the element of cautiousness in case an eventuality occurs that may result in loss of property or life. All Americans just have to be careful and take on the body armor to protect, preserve and ensure that September 11, 2011 does not repeat itself ever again. That is why the debate on today’s blog is focusing on individual citizen’s preparedness and contemplated strategies that may help us survive another possible disaster.

For those who question the premise of my argument, there is the notion that preparedness strategies are not built on traumatic experiences alone; reminders of trauma and loss of life, are behavioral elements that interplay into how we see ourselves before a similar disaster and how we handle associated grief, adversities and complications surrounding disasters. Cognitive behavioral treatments offered to war victims are based on therapeutic foci which many psychologists have felled back to in treating family members of those who suffered losses from the event of September 11, 2011. No matter how you conceive it, politically, sociologically or psychologically, the September 11 event was an act of war. This is why all, all of us who saw those planes fly into the twin towers, could have used group therapy treatment from psychologists, including multiple sessions involving the five foci of group therapy: retelling of the traumatic experience, remembering the trauma and loss of lives, the interplay of the traumatic experience and the associated grief that fell on individual family members who lost a loved one in the world trade center, post-traumatic adversities and developmental progressions. Having treatment sessions as these would, according to behavioral psychologists, prepare us for dealing with similar events; and for those, who doubt that there is possibility of another September 11 happening in America? I’ll just respond: talk to sophisticated diplomats at US Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency and those at the National Security Agency. History has a way of repeating itself!

Now back to my thesis of building effective community engagement for the security of America. Citizens of this country may not realize it: we are now living in a new world that wants to confront our dominance of whatever sphere of life that we have made advances, in the past and dominated the world’s psyche. We are now in a world, where the former appeal of our culture, ideals and ideas are facing challenges from nations, religions and peoples, who once considered us, superior and first rate. Not that we are not still first rate but that, these other nations and peoples, want to be like us so badly, they cannot wait! Historians will inform you that power dominance of any state, imperialistic or not, has a way of following the diminishing returns prospects or dynamics. Now, my argument is not in line with the diminishing returns conception of the Republican Party extremist groups; rather, on historical understanding of what happened to nations as Rome, Spain and Britain. These nations were once super powers and force to recon with in all spheres of life.

One of the challenges we confront as Americans today borders on how to guarantee the security of an enormous nation with millions of square footage of space and a population so diverse, no other nation on earth enjoys the privilege. Contrary to what some myopic ignoramus groups will tell you, America is diverse, in culture, peoples, religions, economics and what have you, than no other nation on earth, and we are all the more better for it! Yes, we are a melting-pot, however, the uniqueness of our peoples, religions and culture is a work in progress. We are always welcoming new immigrants from all works of lives and persuasions and we are always working hard to integrate them into the American way of life, which has worked for us so perfectly for several decades. Could you imagine that today, we are considering two Americans with lofty ideas on the path which the nation should take, who are good people and persons, from different religions, family background, wealth and ethnicity. Romney is white, but hardly puritan, he is of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). Obama is mixed race, but hardly puritan, he is Pentecostal or of a new age religion. Never mind the current slew of campaign messages from Mitt Romney that is laden with religiosity and holier-than-thou noise. The fact is Romney is not of the Puritan-leaning religious opinions. Never mind also his political campaign rhetoric: “I will not take God out of the name of our platform; I will not take off God off our coins; I will not take God out of our heart.” 

If one of the Mayflower pilgrims woke up today, he or she will not believe the spate of religions and pluralities in America; or of the two men aspiring to sit on Uncle Sam’s throne. While the pilgrims believe that, before the foundation of the world, only those God’s elected would receive God’s grace and nothing that a man or woman does during his life would cause him or her to be saved (or damned); and, God would not choose sinners to be elected into offices of leadership, there are convincing indication that the religion of at least one of the men aspiring to become the President of the nation, hardly defaults on the notion that there are only two sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s super. Other sacraments that may or may not be part of Romney’s or Obama’s religion, including confession, penance, confirmation, ordination, marriage and last rites, are irrelevant. Thus, from the Mayflower pilgrim’s perspectives and religion, neither Romney nor Obama is electable. That is why, Romney’s clothing of himself in religiosity and touting not to  remove God from coins or platform could have qualified him to be President of this great nation, for he is not puritan.

The peoples of America are considering either of the parties’ flag bearers or candidates at this time, because of the magnanimity of our fore-fathers, who separated Church or religion from politics. We are considering these two fine human beings because of our creed:  “[We] believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed, a democracy in a republic, a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes. I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it, to support its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies.” Thus, if anyone is attempting to introduce religion into America’s politics, remind that individual that, he neither qualifies to occupy the office of the Presidency based on the pilgrim’s nation building aspirations and dream in 1776; or the creed accepted by United States House of Representatives on April 3, 1918.

Why mention religion in the context of America’s security and community engagement? This is done here because many politicians, out of ignorance and personal interest, have introduced the notion of religious affiliation with the current security issues that the nation as a whole is having. One past Republican President associated September 11th disaster with religious philosophical differences between those who want to harm America and those who want to preserve America? We have seen hundreds of people killed within the borders of our country, because of their religious affiliation, their commitment to the ideals of America, their identification with particular persuasion on the role of religion in America’s life and opposition to religious affiliation in qualifying a person to run for the office of the Presidency. Thus, religion has been a very difficult issue right from the inception of this nation and that is probably why, there is a solid argument for the separation of state and religion.

For the goodness of all, we must continue to separate religion affiliation or philosophy or identity from the fight for our nation’s security. We must counter any politician that introduces religion as a wedge among our people; to prevent us from securing our borders or protecting lives and properties of Americans. We must build our community engagement groups in the security of the nation, not on the basis of religious affiliation, philosophy or identity; for all we care, there are over 360 million peoples from more than a dozen religions in America. Rather, we must build our community engagement groups for the security of the nation on the following: 1) science; 2) practice; 3) practitioners; and, 4) ethics and integrity.  The following discussions present the arguments for the four nodal points for engaging the citizenry in the security of the nation:

Science: It will be optimal to adapt the existing security apparatus and engagement on proven science of human behavior. We must attempt to understand why people get into hate groups or engage in disorderly behavior that leads to mass killing and psychological mayhem. We must identify and test the different risk classes on issues of safety and security in our communities and prepare alternative options for citizen’s education on what are best scientific practices in our source of food, waters, air and any other factors that play into the safety and security of our nation. We must make available at the finger tips of our peoples and residents, findings and information on how high risk communities, societies and nations, prone to constant threats of violence, survive. We must highlight some of the misconceptions regarding what leads people to non-conforming behavior and educate the population in the understanding of behavioral issues that may lead to violence and communicable disorder in the public space. We must implement appropriate scientifically based findings for resolving conflicts that may lead to violence and mass killings.

Practice: When ready to develop your security and safety teams in your neighborhoods, communities and space, you must be ready to invest in best practices without biases and phobias, which could jeopardize the whole apparatus of safety and security. You cannot build good foundation of anything that serves people on distrust, apprehensions and doubts; and still expect their participation fully. When you dissect  peoples' differences on the basis of race, religion, sex, disabilities, national origin, your are saying those differences are so high in the hierarchy of things, it is probably difficult to overcome those them to guarantee the safety of everyone. Lies and propaganda encourage distrust and create dissonance in the process of engaging people in the security of their communities. The objective thing is to reveal information regarding what holds people back from getting involved in other people’s safety and the safety of their communities, state and nation. Security Agencies must model their programs in accordance with national standards and replicate those standards across the nation and peoples of this country. The goal to build community engagement in safety and security must be sustainable and measurable. Wherever issues of doubts and bias may arise, candid efforts must be made to eradicate this and build capacity for tolerance and accommodation among peoples of America.

Practitioners: emerging underground hate groups in our communities, churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, assemblies and associations may tear into our ability to achieve enough paybacks in our efforts to build engaging communities in the security and safety of the nation. We must help our citizens understand what the future of the security of our nation is going to look like when everyone gets engaged in the process of building a sustainable and safe environment. We must not remain inept as a people or as a nation in protecting the lives and safety of our people. While recognizing the place of freedom and liberty in a democracy, it is still essential to have in place best methods and practices of keeping all peoples and property safe. It is a bad thing to remain disconnected from those factors and behaviors that create avenue for violation of the safety and psyche of the people, wherever they reside. We must engage terror on the WEB, internet or digitally in the midst of confusion regarding freedom of speech and what have you.

Ethics and Integrity:  As the safety of America as whole is at stake, all Americans must keep themselves current and informed about what is essential requirements for keeping safe, both on land, air, seas, shores and borders. It is the duty of everyone to perform safety drills, adhere to security bodies (NSA, CIA, FBI and our local enforcement) officers’ and agencies recommendations for keeping safe; meet with neighbors and report issues of potential safety abridgement that may destabilize our immediate communities and the nation as a whole. For the sake of elevating the awareness protocol, we must encourage everyone to detract from making statements and engaging in behaviors that damage trust and conviction in association and working together to keep America safe. All Americans must commit to measurable safety goals that serve the safety of everyone on land, air and sea; and, undertake or accept responsibilities and sometimes inconveniences, that guarantee the safety of everyone in the immediate space that each finds him or herself.

In this time of distrust and cynicism, all Americans have the obligations to hold the highest and impeachable ethics and integrity paramount to protecting lives, property and safety of all Americans within and without our borders. That is one way to guarantee our civic duties to our nation and peoples. That is one way to prevent trepidation of people who are of different religion, race, sex, disability or national origin, who are residing in your immediate community, working together for the betterment of all. That is how to get our citizens prepared and contemplative of many possible scenarios in an emergency and how best to survive disasters. That is one way to preserve the memories of the heroes we lost on September 11, 2011.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Assisting America’s Economic Rebound: an essay in support of Obama’s second term and an impingement of the racist undertone of the 2012 general elections

Keywords or Terms: Republican Convention; Democrats Convention; Governor Mitt Romney; President Barack Obama; America’s Economy; General Elections; Party’s Platform; Promises, Propaganda and Second Chance.

It will not take long before November 6, 2012 is here, politicians, Republicans and Democrats, will continue to become antsy about their chances. But the promise of each Party’s flag bearer and competitiveness of each party’s platform before voters may quickly evaporate if the debates between the two candidates for the office of Presidency points to an alternative universe: it is better to give the incumbent a second chance. Republicans and their flag bearer, Governor Mitt Romney, may be averse to this argument; however, many voters who have been looking at the unemployment and job market, may actually be seeing the silver lining at the end of the rainbow regarding the whole American economy. Will the American Voters give the incumbent of the White House a second Chance? This question is explored in today’s blog.

While Republicans may want President Obama to stumble, actually some are praying for that in the forthcoming Presidential Candidates’ debates, over who is a better candidate to pull or see America out of the recession, one brought on us by two consecutive Republican Administrations, which had engaged in unpaid double foreign wars, Democrats are making an affirmative choice, that waiting for the miracle of gradualism in solving America’s economy’s malaise, is much superior to the aggressive tax brake and write-offs promised by a proposed Mitt Romney Administration. Republican voters are perhaps focused on the chances of occupying the White House, once again, where they can bring on the society, the supply-side economic policies, which many Democrats frown upon; and, which many neoclassical economists argue is not in the interest of a nation deep in debt and a tittering economy; where unemployment problems are still issues of great concern. Democrats on the other hand, will want the American voters to evaluate the work so far in stimulating the American economy, including policies already implemented and the time needed to see them work, to allow the economy to gain the necessary momentum to douse the unemployment problem.

One of the hidden aspects of corrective economic policy implementation is that it often takes a while before the full impact is realized across the economic spectrum. Although rapid growth in the economy is often sought by the pensive and impatient voters, especially by those suffering from the direct impact of a recessional economy, no other means of knowing the impact of implementation of corrective economic policies, but time. It takes time for policies to begin to bear positive fruits; and in some occasions, it takes double doses of corrective economic policies or measures to actually achieve the needed threshold of success. This is why you hear the argument: was the initial economic stimulus plan, embarked upon by Obama’s Administration, huge enough to make correction to the recession the nation found itself beginning in the last quarter of 2008?

Over the past four years, we have experienced undulating performance of the job market statistics and the economy. Consumer’s consumption have dipped and roughly edged upwards for some time, only once again, to fall on its face, because of poor management of stimulus plans and sometimes, the resistance of some economic indicators to budge in the face of fiscal pressures. Much as the Federal Reserve Bank Board has kept the borrowing rate at close to zero; household consumption and credit still remain lackluster. This fact, together with the recalcitrance or uncertainty in congressional support of current Administration’s legislative initiatives has compounded America’s economic problems; and this has presented room for criticism of Democrats by Republicans for the poor handling of the economy. While President Obama has remained reconciliatory and sought support for his plans to stimulate the economy, he has constantly been rebuffed by Republican lawmakers and this has made his job difficult and sometimes exasperating. Truth of the matter is there is hardly much that the Obama’s Administration can do to rapidly bring about the desired positive impact from policies perspectives on the issue of unemployment if congress is failing to work with the executive branch. Hence, it is not for the voters to blame completely the issue of the high unemployment, solely on the Obama’s Administration. The United States Congress bears the same guilt and responsibility for the poor job market in America

Although the Party in the White House often gets blamed for a poor job market, it can be blown out of proportion, especially in an election year, when the opposition party is seeking to unseat the incumbent and change the composition of congressional membership in their favor. When the unemployment problem in America became dire straits, with the unemployment rate hovering around 8.5 percent, despite a 22 straight month’s consecutive job situation improvement in the manufacturing sector, some conservative think thank reports still asserted that the unyielding unemployment rate and lack luster job market, was as a result of Obama’s Administration failure to appreciate the magnitude of the recession. Much as this may be true, the expressed considerable displeasure with Obama’s Administration understanding of the deep hole in the economy and or unemployment problem must be equally blamed on congressional Republicans, who were less disposed to corrective policies to stimulate the economy in the last four years.

It will be more accurate, in sum, if the Obama’s Administration had failed to see the need to put in place a stimulus plan or other corrective economic measures or policies, when the economy was trending into a recession, just about the time the Democrats began to occupy the White House. When Obama took up the mantle of power in 2009, the size of the deplorable state of the economy was hardly known; and if at all, the Republicans who were handing over power, were more mystified by the performance of the economy. After the fall of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, then Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson, an insider Wall Street man, who once ran Goldman Sachs with an Harvard MBA, was either lost or untruthful about his estimation of how bad the economy was and how terrible a recession, the country was about to get into. Political expediency or the need to cover up for the out going Republican Administration may have played into this. But even before then, there were already noticeable indicators that the booming nation’s economy was trending to a burst, as the astronomical house prices were falling like a yo-yo, an indication of how very unstable the economy was and why it is imperative, that drastic corrective plan, or huge stimulus plan, was imperative to rebound the economy; or save the economy from completely bottoming out. Frankly, there are enough blames to go around for both Republicans and Democrats.

The American Unemployment problem and the lackadaisical economic performance under President Obama are much more complex than they appear on the surface. When you try to evaluate all the factors that led to the economic depression, people tend to quit at the stage of their personal biases, without looking at the whole picture. The housing burst had complicated an understanding of all the factors that were in play as the nation’s economy was at the brink. Because the nation’s housing burst were intertwined with sale of international economics derivatives, there were some other foreign economic factors that played into the failure of America’s Economy, vis-à-vis, the world’s economy. To unravel all the problems that led to the recession and unemployment problems, one must not ignore what was going on in Europe, the nation’s biggest economic partner. When your biggest economic partners are having liquidity and banking problems; definitely, you are likely to feel the pinch or throw back from sliding demand of your goods and services. Could the Obama’s Administration have corrected for all the possible external factors that could have impacted or were impacting America’s economy, during his first term in office or since taking on power? Probably not, but one thing is clear: The Obama’s Administration was at least proactive and did all within its power to see that the economy does not go into complete abyss!

What President Obama lacked in the face of the worse recession in America’s history, was the support of the legislative branch. The Republicans in congress saw the shellacking of their party by Obama in 2008 as an affront on the White race: the unknown, unexpected black man, with rather an unassuming name for an American, was occupying the highest office in the land! Hate and racism beclouded reason and many Republican legislators who were about to help out, were kicked out of office for supporting any reform that could have allowed jobs to remain, or create new jobs in America. The White oligarchs were bent on protecting their position at the expense of the middle-income and ordinary Americans. Those lawmakers that could have ensured that reforms come quickly, backed off, from supporting legislation that could have turned the economy around very quickly. This is really the bane of the difficulty and terrible job market that America is today experiencing. If all the Republicans had cast off their differences with Democrats and the first African-American President, we probably would not be in the bent shape the economy and unemployment are in America. There are other compounding issues to the current state of the America’s economy, which I would not like to get into at this time. However, a second term and a more cooperating legislative body to this administration, is a better choice, than us going back to the deregulatory policies and supply side economics that nearly completely destroyed our economy and our people. This is the reason why voters must retain Obama in office and impinge the character of those Republicans who have vowed to make Barack Obama, a one-term President.

Apart from the current platform of the 2012 Democratic Party, including the focus of moving America forward, rebuilding middle class security, working to make everyone play by the same rules, collaborating to strengthen America’s communities and building stronger, safe and secure America at home and abroad, President Obama’s second term must contemplate the following associated elements as notified by Democrats at their convention: 1) putting America back to work; 2) enhancing the middle class bargain; 3) cutting waste, reducing deficit, asking all to pay their fair share; 4) building an economy that last; 5) continued reform of Wall Street; 6) transparency and accountability in government; 7) political campaign reform; 8) community building and strengthening; 8) protecting citizens’ rights and freedom; 9) ensuring safety and quality of life; 10) ending Afghanistan wars and returning our troops  back home; 11) preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons; 12) countering emerging threats to America’s interests; 13) strengthening alliances, expanding partnerships and revigorating international institutions; 14) promoting global prosperity and development; 15) maintaining a strong military and advancing universal values. The point of all these, is to position the nation at the verge of success from essential reforms and initiatives necessary for a stronger economy, military might and resources to better the quality of life of every American.

All the campaign propaganda used by Republicans and those naysayers regarding the decline of America’s strength must be harnessed to better our service to America and its citizens, without regard to sex, race, national origin, disability, color, age or party affiliation. From my perspective, President Obama deserves a second chance and must be given a second term if we are to benefit from the foundation of change he has built, despite the obstruction from Republicans in congress. This proposition may not be shared by many in the Republican Party; however, the supply-side economics proposed by the Republican flag bearer, Governor Mitt Romney, will hardily hasten the demise of unemployment problems in America.

Frankly, there will always be an unemployment problem in our type of economic system because of the dynamics embodied in capitalistic economy. No Republican or Democrat can guarantee full employment, for in the American Economic System, four percentage or less unemployment rate is close to full employment; and this at best, is what any party in government can aspire to; and this is hardly full employment. For Republican snake oil men who are attempting to delude the public, always remember, it is close to impossible to guarantee full employment, unless you are running a state planned economy such as exist in Russia and other centrally-planned economy. Voters, anyone who tells you any thing different, is being disingenuous. Good night and God Bless America.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Case for Obama’s Second term: President Clinton’s Speech before the 2012 Democratic Party Convention?

Keywords or Terms: President Clinton; Elizabeth Warren; President Obama, Professor Douglas J Amy; Speeches; Fact Checks and truth-meter; Republican Party Nightmare

Where would you like me to begin? Is it from Elizabeth Warren's classic comment that nearly brought the house down at the Democratic convention: “Mitt Romney’s the guy who said corporations are people?  No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people.  People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance.  They live, they love, and they die.” Or, the quintessential Clinton ripping into Republican’s mantra of I’ve taken mine, you are all on your own?  In one of the polemic speeches made at an American convention, President Clinton’s speech redefined what it means to live in a democracy and backed the Republicans and their extremist groups to the wall regarding their castigation of President Barack Obama on his handling of the American Economy.

There are two deductive sentences from President Clinton’s speech which essentially represents what the Obama’s campaign team would want the American voters to take note of:  1) From a policy perspective, we have had the greatest stewardship of the office of the Presidency than any of the last two Republican Administrations; 2) America is better-off with a President who would rather grow the economy from the middle out and from the ground to the top than Mitt Romney, whose only goal is to give tax cut to the rich and opulent. These deductions came out of numerous assertions in Clinton’s speech and the truthfulness of close to 98% of the content of the speech regarding the democrats and President Obama’s stewardship of the White House.

Clinton’s 5,898 word speech, where he mentioned President Obama 33 times and the economy, summed up the best and most articulate argument for a second term for the current President. Not only was the speech policy-driven in rebuttal to Republican’s tear- it-down- and- give- back- the- mantle- to –us-paradigm, it once again showed how a great speaker can hold down the attention of a crowd for close to fifty-minutes and make the crowd still want more!

From the fact checkers, sixteen solid arguments from Bill Clinton are absolutely true: 1) As the Senate Republican leader said, in a remarkable moment of candor, two full years before the election, their number-one priority was not to put America back to work. It was to put the president out of work; 2) Just in the last couple of elections, Republicans defeated two distinguished Republican senators because they dared to cooperate with Democrats on issues important to the future of the country, even national security; 3) Republicans beat a congressman with almost 100 percent voting record on every conservative score because he said he realized he did not have to hate the president to disagree with him; 4) When President Barack Obama took office, the economy was in free-fall. It had just shrunk 9 full percent of GDP. We were losing 750,000 jobs a month; 5) In 2010, as [President Obama’s] recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped, and things began to turn around. The Recovery Act saved or created millions of jobs; 6) [Republicans] want to cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people; 7) More than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama. That’s the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s; 8) And in the last 29 months, our economy has produced about 4.5 million private-sector jobs; 9) Obama’s tenure has more than a million jobs not just at GM, Chrysler, and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country;  the Center for Automotive Research estimates the auto bailout saved 1.5 million jobs; 10) There are now 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than on the day the companies were restructured; 11) When some Republican governors asked if they could have waivers to try new ways to put people on welfare back to work, the Obama administration listened;  and the administration agreed to give waivers to those governors and others only if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20 percent, and they could keep the waivers only if they did increase employment; 12) [Republicans] want to cut taxes for high-income Americans even more than President Bush did; 14) When Clinton was a governor, he worked with President Reagan in the White House on the first round of welfare reform and with President George H.W. Bush on national education goals; 15) I’m actually very grateful to — if you saw from the film what I do today, I have to be grateful — and you should be, too — that President George W. Bush supported PEPFAR. It saved the lives of millions of people in poor countries; and, 16) [Republicans] want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit federal bailouts.

Four of Clinton’s arguments, are considered true, with one or two exceptions. The four argument points are: 1) Well, since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24. In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private- sector jobs. So what’s the job score? Republicans: twenty-four million. Democrats: forty-two; 2) We know that investments in education and infrastructure and scientific and technological research increase growth. They increase good jobs, and they create new wealth for all the rest of us; 3) Chicago is getting an infrastructure bank because Republicans and Democrats are working together to get it; and, 4) The boom in oil and gas production, combined with greater energy efficiency, has driven oil imports to a near 20-year low and natural gas production to an all-time high. And renewable energy production has doubled. The exceptions in the four argument points can be summarized in two sentences: 1) President Clinton was rather magnanimous in recognizing Republicans party support for progressive initiative in Chicago, as Republicans in that state condemned the infrastructure bank initiative; 2) measuring effect of individual-level policies on education is a little bit tricky and may lay grounds for impingement of argument for small-class sizes. All in all, President Clinton’s speech is not only truthful in content according to fact checkers; it places President Obama’s Administration in the fore-front of progress and hope. Hope and Moving forward has been the mantra of President Obama’s successive campaigns for the White House oval office!

To paraphrase the unapologetic defense of the American institution by Douglas J. Amy, Professor of Politics at Mount Holyoke College, to reduce the power of special interest groups in our democracy and make our government more representative, we must create economic equality among our citizens, adopt wholesale public financing of our elections and adopt a more representative voting system. What we now have is archaic, subject to manipulation and wholesomely, unrepresentative of the plurality of the population.  Unless we do this, except we commit to this, it will be close to impossible to assert that the democracy of toady in America is of the people, by the people and for the people. Just reminisce about Clinton’s speech overnight, and you’ll probably come to the same conclusion that I did: We have let the self-interest groups derail the purpose and essence of our democracy. If the objective of the democratic system is to serve the people, then, the instrument of political selection/elections must be as transparent as a window glass. Yes, we need progressive taxation, full employment, living wage policies, earned income tax credit, low cost higher education, reasonable corporate salaries, employee ownership plans, kid’s savings plan and bolstering labor union power, not because these are socialistic ideas as Republicans conceive, but because they are essential for a more equitable and just democracy; and probably the real existence of the Republic. As espouse in Elizabeth Warren speech or essay, if we don’t refine the place of corporations in our politics and life, we are likely going to stumble, just the way some political leaders in the eighteen century North Dakota, America, determined that Corporations are not people!

For those apprehensive voters who have not made up their minds, President Clinton and Elizabeth Warren Speeches’ yesterday night and the summation of Professor Douglas J Amy of Mount Holyoke College, greatly enhance their chance to default on a more credible candidate for the oval office: Retain President Barack Obama! Not only does his administration deliver on most of his promises, he has the better foundation for a more equitable and just society, not to talk about his foreign policy credentials: Osama-bin-Laden is dead and General Motors is Alive! Obama has not argued that every American should make same amount of money, neither does he denounce those who have made a lot of progress in their personal and financial lives; rather, what he advocates is a more humane and just society, where everyone feels he or she belongs; and, is welcomed at the table of Grace. Obama is not attempting to eradicate inequality of society, but give opportunity to all Americans so they may have a piece of the political power or pie to position themselves to do better in a competitive world; thus giving every man and women in America, opportunities to thrive and do better than their forefathers.