Sunday, February 22, 2015
How Rudy Giuliani interprets President Obama as Un-American: misconceptions about presidential powers?
Keywords or Terms: Rudy Giuliani; Un-American; Un-Patriotic; Rudygate; Henchman Mentality; Maligning leadership; White House; Presidency of Barack Obama; Ronald Reagan’s Presidency; Jimmy Carter’s Presidency; Iran-Contra Affairs; Republican Party Leadership; Governor Scot Walker; US Congress; Cabal of uncivilized Republicans; New Yorker; US House Speaker John Boehner; and First African-American President
Anyone who is not blinded by his own leadership style or slight achievement while in political office must recognize that Rudy Giuliani’s comments regarding President Obama’s patriotism is close to self-incrimination. How did Mayor Giuliani come to the conclusion that the President is not patriotic? Can he truly identify all actions taken by the President that are genuinely un-American? Many Americans, including those of us who are staunch supporters of the President can identify some actions taken by the White House under President Obama that we are not in complete agreement; however, none that we know of has risen to the level of being un-American or unpatriotic. No President in the history of this Democracy has genuinely set out to damage the country; none. But the immediate perceptions of some statements or actions taken by the President could have been seen or construed as not in complete interest of the people; however, none can be assessed as a first or deliberate effort to be unpatriotic, because he hates America. How many people do you know go through the stress of running two national election campaigns, including the rigors and pressures, the highs and the lows of primaries, the irredeemable exhaustion that have led one or two of our Presidents to collapse and die, just few days or weeks after coronation; just because they want to destroy the country or are un-American?
We are not concerned here about Party politics, henchman man mentality and suspicious intentions of Mayor Giuliani to make the adverse comments. To level head Americans, if you do not have anything good to say about a person, why not try reserving your comments; or like my son puts it: shut up! Yet there are many who would agree with Rudy Giuliani that it is within his rights to assess the President as un-American and there are actions that have failed the consistency of matching the challenge of the moment for the nation, coming out of Obama’s White House. However, do these actually mean the President is un-American or unpatriotic? In Mayor Giuliani’s stewardship of New York City, could he say he exercised leadership that is beyond reproach, that couldn't be perceived by others as non-New Yorker or unpatriotic to the oath he took?
Two mistakes are replicate of Mayor Giuliani’s comment. One is the failure to understand President Obama’s leadership style in the past six years – the failure to realize that the President comes with a variant of emerging decisions, some of which are designed to make the country a more equal or fairer society regarding health, finances, religion, and sexual orientation issues. President Obama’s leadership brand would not have survived, if he subscribes to the hawkish policies supported by Mayor Giuliani and many Republicans, because Obama won his first election on an anti-war platform. All, but a few of his leadership decisions has been in fulfilment of his promise to voters; and millions of Americans who are tired of the Republican war mongering flair and orientation, saw it fit to allow him win a second term. An ideology using war and terror to drive foreign policy is not completely emblematic of patriotism; it is actually the contrary. Sending young children, the best of our twenty-something to die in Iraq, for a misplaced choice of decision in Presidential leadership, is essentially and inevitably, unpatriotic. Does this necessarily make President George W. Bush un-American? Either Mayor Giuliani is playing politics or he is more interested in maligning the leadership style of the President; or, he is out to destroy the personality of a sitting President of the United States.
The second and equally prevalent mistake of the Mayor’s comment is to assume that decisions taken by the President are consummated by him and there are no outside inputs to them. In case Mayor Giuliani is oblivious of it, no President, none in modern history, ever made a comment with policy implications that do not have inputs of advisors, party leadership, pressure groups, and believe it, lobbyists. Before a President rises to the rostrum to proclaim a policy statement, hundreds of staff hours had already gone into deliberations regarding the statement. Mayor Giuliani’s erroneous statement skews the perception of challenges that people in leadership confront everyday of their incumbency. The misinterpretation of many of President Obama’s policy statements as being un-American or unpatriotic is fraught with tragic consequences; and this is probably the reason why the White House Press Secretary labels Rudy’s comment at a private dinner with probable- 2016 presidential-candidate, Governor Scott Walker, as unfortunate. Democrats and Republicans are no less irked with comments from a former mayor who is admired by some in the country and considered by others to have had a profound response to the unfortunate event of September 11, 2001.
Seasons of presidential political campaign have tendency to bring out the worst in some undisciplined politicians. One no longer has to wait for the full season of 2016 Presidential Campaign before insults and unscrupulous comments are flung around by mischievous politicians. “Rudy-gate?” Millions of Americans, who are apprehensive of Politian’s intentions, now have a good reason to see once admired public stature of another politician, as complete rues. If Mayor Giuliani is ever going to redeem himself, he must henceforth be cautious of his utterance; however if he chooses otherwise, he is welcomed to continue in his ruinous and destructive way to talk about another human being, not to talk of a sitting President of this great nation.
Many Americans receive information regarding a President’s performance from poles, perceptions of families and relatives, and occasionally, other politicians. These days, Americans receive information about the performance of their President from the following sources: the Internet, Network Television News; Satellite and Radio Broadcasts; Podcasts; Mass Emails; Professional Journals, Newspapers and a host of unconventional sources. I am not including other sources, which credence is hardly given, including after drink dinner party comments of unscrupulous and mean intention washed out past politicians, who have cashed out on their past political glory in office to claim security expertise in defrauding some third world countries. Rudy Giuliani and Scott Walker may decide to take on President Obama on other issues; however, many of us have had enough of the ruthless and uncivilized way many Republicans continue to treat a sitting President of the United States. If Rudy Giuliani is any good for the Presidency why was he cast aside by his party on his first run?
When historical records of past Presidencies are considered, the paucity and distortions of Republican Administrations’ performance are alarming. How about, Iran-Contra Affairs and the behemoth acceptance by Ronald Reagan that US sold weapons to Islamic Republican of Iran as part of unsuccessful bid to secure release of American Citizens held hostages in Lebanon? How about Reagan’s Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary and his associates’ act of rigging housing bids to favor Republican Contributors to Reagan campaigns or rewarding lobbyists? What would you say of Reagans’ Secretary of Interiors sixteen convictions, including twenty-four felonies? How would you interpret Reagan’s campaign team acquisition of briefing papers that were supposed to be used by President Jimmy Carter for preparation for the October 28, 1980 debate? Were these considered un-American for President Reagan? Were these involuntary duplicity or treacherous act that may rise to the level of being labelled un-American?
It is sufficient to recall that until recent time, the very act of impugning a sitting President of the United States is considered un-American. The scope and cruelty with which some Republicans have gone after President Obama leadership have been rather shameful; and a reflection of how degenerative the Republican Party’s decorum has become. To take a further example, the Sitting US House Speaker, Republican John Boehner, has gone behind the Obama’s Whitehouse to arrange for another leader of a country that is involved in interacted and persistent unwinnable Middle-East war to come and address the United States Congress. Violating all known protocols and showing disregard for the providence of the US Presidency in foreign policy? Where has this been ever done in history? The authors of the willful disregard for the office of the US Presidency under President Obama must be ready for a backlash, when next a Republican ever holds that office. The country is now tired of the continued insult to the United States Presidency; we are convinced that there is a cabal of uncivilized Republicans, who are not only racists, but actually ignorant of what the office of the Presidency entails.
The interpretation of the current “un-American” comments from Mayor Rudy Giuliani underscores the current fervent radicalism in the Republican Party. In recent time, the Republican Party is noticeable dominated by far-right extreme groups bent on discrediting anything good about the first African-American President of the United State. Different derogation means and approaches have been used to undermine the Presidency of Barack H. Obama, some of them are symptomatic of the racist-inclination of some extreme neo-conservatives of the party. The recent comments of Rudy may be explained away by several superficial analogies; however, what many Americans draw from this are the unconscionable and infuriating underclasses that the Republicans have gradually metamorphosed into. While American patriotism is still the object of indisputable drawing, no one would entertain a situation in which the President of this great country is accused and or ascribed as un-American for anyone reason.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Another Bush Enters the Race for the White House: Can you hold fast enough to your task dollars if you know it may fall to another foreign war?
Keywords or Terms: Jeb Bush; foreign voyeurism; cataleptic financial meltdown; National and Global Security; Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz; Arab World; Diplomatic Relations; AIPAC; US Congress; Smacks the brilliance of Innovation; Commerce; International Trade; Republican Conservatives; US Department of State and Defense; CIA; Irish Republican Army; Emerging Former Soviet States; Liberty Diplomacy; and, National Security Agency’s Mass Surveillance of America; CIA sanctioned interrogation techniques; Water Boarding; Civil Liberties and Freedom
If you are contemplating supporting or voting for Jeb Bush for the Presidency in 2016, I implore you to think again. The team of foreign policy experts and cabinet members milling around his campaign are replicas and extensions of his brother’s and father’s cabinets that led the nation to the two Iraq wars: Michael Chertoff, Paul Wolfowitz, James Baker, George Shultz, John Negroponte, Stephen Hadley, Tom Ridge, Porter Goss, Michael Mukasey and Meghan O’Sullivan. With all the attempt to distance himself from the 41st and 43rd President of the United States, Jeb Bush has shown that he is either shallow in his search for alternative competent team of advisers; or, he prefers bureaucrats who were either remotely or directly connected to policies that led the country to foreign voyeurism, detainees' torture and water boarding, cataleptic financial meltdown and a barrage of abuses of political powers.
Never mind the, ‘I- love-my-father-and-brother-but-I-am-my-own-man’ message, his campaign team of advisers is emblematic of hawkish foreign policy experts from the 41st and 43rd's Presidency theatrics; “experts” whose only aim is to lead the nation possibly to another foreign war and violation of international laws. If a man’s speech on national security boils down to restraining them [terrorists], tightening the noose and taking terrorists out, concepts shy of a world’s view of interplay of power, civil liberties, international law and national security, vis-a-vis, the shifting of world order on global security, that man is not ready to stand up and claim a place in the sun.
Combating terrorism demands that as President or candidate, you understand the key players and power brokers in the fight against terrorism, nationally and internationally; and able, to appreciate rules and regulations of international law, including the nuances and decipher realities from illusions as advises are offered by your foreign policy “experts”. Did Jeb ever think that President Obama’s consolation visit to Saudi Arabia at the instance of the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz had nothing to do with stability in the Arab World, Oil and Gas Trade, Global Security and Playing to the Gallery? If he doesn't, then welcome to reality, Virginia. Commerce, International trade and combating terrorists are all intertwined in global security; including discountenancing suspicion that an ally may have prior knowledge of the events of September 11, 2001.
The debate on national security has been galvanized by global security; old assertions that America is far away geographically to experience the dastard act of terrorism or invasion are now dead. America has an interest in global security and stability not only because they are helpful to our national security, but also, to our friends and allies. Maintaining diplomatic relations or supporting agreements between Israel and Palestine over their unwinnable and persistent wars, is a way of promoting global stability as well as national security for America. If in doubt talk to AIPAC; call up Netanyahu and ask him why he wants to come and plead his case before US Congress over issues concerning his country’s national security. There are historic, national and regional rivalries that impact America’s security; that is why the State Department is all over the world, pouring waters on political fires, before they en-flame regional stability that may impact national security of our allies; and by extension, ours.
The emerging shift from state-sponsored terrorism to new splintered groups as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Lashkar-E-Taiba, Irish Republican Army, Moro National Liberation Front, Bodu Bala Sena, Boko Haram, and others, demands a worldview interpretation of national security and a President who is able to articulate America’s National Security in the context of global security. The nation no longer has the luxury of raising another leader with a myopic view of the world, who sees America’s national security strictly on the ability of the nation to wage foreign wars to make others comply. The nation can no longer afford a governor with a steeper learning curve on foreign policies and international affairs; who is finding it hard to define himself in seeking the highest political office in the land. Coming to speed and articulating dynamic foreign policies are no longer options, they are requirements of anyone attempting to become the President of the only global power left standing: Our beautiful and graceful America.
The fact of the matter is Jeb Bush’s speech on national security smacks the brilliance of innovation; rather, it seems more of a hodge-podge of recently parroted message of Republican Conservatives, who believe they can bomb the daylights out of terrorist groups and achieve national and or global security. Maybe his first run at the National Security Speech at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs is a trial run at bigger and better speeches to come; however, if Jeb Bush wants us to differentiate his candidacy from his dad and brother’s time in office, he has to show that he is at least versed in international laws, foreign policies and our national interests beyond a fifth grader. Allowing old hands to forge rejected foreign policies that have failed and created more terrorist activities across the globe is no longer good enough. America wants a President who understands alternative ways of combating religious radicalism, counterinsurgency, and how best to relate to formal and informal diplomatic relations that will yield lasting national security and global stability, in the absence of committing troops to unnecessary foreign wars and expenses.
Furthermore, because foreign policies are strongly identified with the image of a country, talks about viable national security and global stability policies are particularly intractable when seeking stronger and mutually beneficial and enduring national and international security. America’s interest in global security is not limited to curtailing Islamic terrorist insurgencies in the Middle East, it encompasses addressing issues related to stability of emerging former Soviet States, Settlement of the grievances of the Irish Republican Army, Confronting mutual objectives in US-Russian relationship on the New START talks Initiatives and expounding US foreign policies to Asia Minor and Eastern Europe. There is no reason to assume, for example, that direct bombing and annihilation of terrorists across the globe will guarantee national and global security. Each day, new terrorist gangs are metamorphosing into formidable national security threats for many of our friends and allies. A worldviews of ‘liberty diplomacy’ as defined in Jeb Bush’s National Security Speech seems more in the right direction; however, America is no longer ready to travel the road of losing their personal liberty at the expense of their leader’s choice. To subscribe to the National Security Agency’s Mass Surveillance of America started under Bush 43rd Presidency, is a no go area; and for many, grounds to reject Jeb Bush’s candidacy.
What the 43rd did as President that has irked men and women who cherish their civil liberties is, create avenues to doubt the efficacy of the government to be honest and truthful in policy implementation. Civil libertarians not only questioned the intension of government as George W. Bush went about net-email-wire-tapping of innocent citizens, the character and consequence of fighting terrorism abroad degenerated to a design of national eavesdropping on Americans, a behavior the constitution explicitly frowns at. At inception, fighting against global terrorism after September 11, 2001 dastardly act, was seen as a component of the CIA, State and Defense Departments function; the interplay of the National Security Agency introduced a quagmire that degenerated to government unwritten policies to play big-brothers to Americans, within and without. Whether this was a good policy or not is better left to history to judge; however, from what we now know, the 43rd committed what is construed as war crimes and broke international laws in the process of fighting terrorism. The two legacies of the 43rd’s administration: CIA sanctioned interrogation tactics and CIA’s use of waterboarding techniques in 2003, were not used within the (national and international) laws and hardly protected American citizens at home and abroad. Any Presidential aspirant that subscribes to these outlaw behavior as recently articulated in Jeb Bush’s speech, is not worthy of the US Presidency.
Some saw the 43rds Administration’s aggressive quest to fight terrorism as an embodiment of un-American values; one that civil libertarians are not at peace with. General Michael Hayden’s vast knowledge of security which may have been invaluable to the 43rds, was railroaded by insiders, some say his Vice President Dick Cheney, and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, for more aggressive option to fight terrorism. Popular reactions to the damning Senate report on interrogation techniques of the CIA, cross-purposed the need to fight terrorism against the liberties and freedom granted under US constitution. Whether foreign terrorists should retain the same rights as Americans during time of hostilities is a subject for another day. What we know now, again, is that the techniques of fighting terrorism, including water boarding and extended interrogation are torture and no American is willing to go to bed, knowing these actions were taken in their name. If Jeb Bush fails to recognize this position of Americans, then, he hardly needs to run for the Presidency of this great nation.
Before Jeb’s Bush announcement to seek the presidency of the United States, critics have wondered if America has some sort of ascendancy to the Office of the Presidency. After his announcement, a few neo-conservatives saw the name brand of Bush as an advantage and a possible choice to outlast or give Mitt Romney good run for his money if he chooses to run. Romney’s choice not to run, seem a great opening for Bush’s clan; however, with yesterday’s speech and the roll out of Jeb’s foreign policy advisors, many Americans are saying Jeb may be more dangerous than the 43rd President of the United States, who just happens to be his brother. There are other concerns from the public regarding the candidacy of another Bush for the White House, many of which I intend to shine light on as we travel the road to the 2016 general elections.
For now, merely subscribing to the notion that the 43rd President faced agonizing choices about how to pursue Al Qaeda and prevent terrorist attacks against the country, is tepid and does not sit well with many people; consequently, civil libertarians do not want anything to do with such accommodation. Aggrandizing any sympathy for outlaw behavior in governance sabotages any chance for Jeb Bush or his ilk from becoming our next President.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Forming a Government where the girls moved the boys: A projected look at a possibility in the ascendancy of Hillary Rodham Clinton or Elizabeth Warren to US Presidency?
Keywords or Terms: Hillary Rodham Clinton; Elizabeth Warren; Executive Suites; Females; Women Suffrage; US Senate; US House of Representatives; African-American Women; Asian American Women; Voting Power; Female Apathy; Madeleine Albright; Condoleezza Rice; Middle east; Foggy-Bottom; Nicolas Sarkozy; and 2016 Presidential Election
The urge to project a female President inspires females across the globe. So it is with the possibility of ascendancy of Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, or any other female that may be interested in becoming the President of this great nation. Females are not in short supply in the population; however, there is dearth of them in fortune 500 business executive suites; and, none of them has ever occupied White House oval office. Female governors have been admired; female National Security Advisors, Attorney Generals, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and a host other executive positions in government have been cherished; however, going for the golden crown or the highest office in the land, has always been the goal, if I am to affirm or model the women’s right convention in Seneca Fall, New York in 1848. Women's conception of their own power and efforts to nominate and vote into office one of theirs must not be dispelled in 2016.
The notion that Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elizabeth Warren or any other female will become the next President of the United States is a progressive one; ahead of the initial attempts of 1984 Democrat Geraldine Ferraro and 2008 Republican Sarah Palin run for the Office of the Vice President. Not since the ninetieth amendment to the constitution in 1920, affording women right to vote, has there been a more promising opportunity to actually have a woman run and win election into the White House oval office. There has been a lot of first break through at state and local government levels; but none as progressive and promising as having a female with the type of clout and admiration in Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren to win the crown. In Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren, women, especially the baby boomer generation, will have the choice to exercise their vote to elect one of theirs to win the big prize, coveted by men for over two centuries.
In many respect, women are tailor-made for the challenges of leading a nation, because of their past successes in various spheres of life, beginning with the first unit of human endeavor or organization, the family. Because of their multi-tasking abilities and refined bullheadedness in time of crisis, women are not short of energy and wherewithal to handle the stress and pressures of leadership. To scorn or prevent women to install their ninth-time most admired person in the oval office will be synonymous with attempting to favor an unbroken chain of male Presidency since the inception of the nation in 1776.
Yet, a closer look at the possibility – and at history – might suggest that women can end up being their own greatest enemy. Some women, huge religious conservatives, still believe that a woman’s place is at home. A couple will go as far as insinuating that their religion or God ordains or proclaims it likewise; and any ambition on the part of a woman, no matter how promising or expansionary, is fruitless and must be ignored or halted. This is sadly true if one considers prior voting patterns of the female population on the quest of females for national executive offices. Factoring out dearth of female candidacies for national executive offices, women have consistently failed to exercise their power at the ballot box to enthrone their own in comparison to their ratio of the population.
First, within the national executive structure, US Senate and US House of Representatives, the nation is dying to have more female participants. In 2014, the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University documented One hundred females in US Congress; twenty of them in Senate and eighty, House of Representatives. Carol Mosely Braun (D-IL) (1993-1999) has been the only female African -American ever elected to serve in US Senate and Mazi Hirono (D-HI) (2012 to date), the only female Asian-American to be elected to serve in the same capacity. A minuscule forty-nine women of color have ever served in the US House of Representatives. This is partly because of several factors; however, a few progressives associate this low occupancy as a result of apprehension on the part of some female to seek the offices and partly because of the structure of the political parties and or, failure of female activism in recent memory and persistent female voter’s choice not to exercise their dominance relative to the voting population.
Second, within the bound of American Political System, females continue to see politics as much of a male sport. None can claim to know-it-all in politics; however, there must be conscious efforts to encourage women to seek higher national offices; and probably an incubator of some sort for women activists, seeking and working tirelessly to put women in higher national elected offices; including the three executive branches of government. The notion that political campaign hostilities is hardly appealing to females is somewhat of a cop-out. Given that political campaign hostilities, including mudslinging, could be brutal and have the potential of choking a new aspirant in a whirlwind of competition, there are still enough room for everyone to rise up to the soap box. Ignominious male utterances, where females are referred to as ribs from the chest of men, can be made impossible, if women let their voices be heard by actively participating as candidates and voters. Without continuous apprehension or apathy from some women towards seeking higher national political office(s), hardly will many men occupy the current slate of offices at the national level, because they can hardly amass the critical mass of votes to win elected offices with many women in a race.
Third, with male dominance in national political elections set to wither away with more female candidates, there are endless synergism in women power to enthrone more females in higher national or federal offices; and, with the brilliance of Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren candidatures in 2016, who may doubt or deny the possibilities of women enthroning one of theirs into the oval office. The problem in the past has often been the wave of uncertainties encumbering women voting power that dissipate consensus towards a female candidature. Women tend to vote for male candidates for national offices, partly out of choice or tradition; sometimes, their support are directed in multiple directions, thus denying critical mass needed to put one of theirs ahead. How about concentrating your votes into one huge basket and letting one of yours carry the day?
The beginning of wisdom in modern-day politics is to recognize that women political power has meaning; and it is about time female voters become less gullible to responding to party loyalty just because of hitherto male dominant voices in national politics. A close to in-depth understanding of how males play the game will suffice, once you have a charismatic and admirable leader. One rarely meets elite educated lawyers with national level political experience as voters have in Hillary Clinton and or Elizabeth Warren in 2016. Self-hatred, self-disenfranchisement or parochialism must not triumph over commonsense, if women are going to have one of their own in the White House oval office. Most aspirants for the oval office are speaking to multiple constituents – across states, regions and within their groups. It is not difficult to become adept to tradition, or what are the historical pattern and experience; however, it takes determinations, guts and believing in yourself to make dreams come true. Remember what Bobby Kennedy said: There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
In Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, you see the fulfillment of a dream of generations of women. You see a candidate, who has been through the trenches in 2008, a woman who has once experienced the use of character assassinations in national elections by the opposing political party, a woman who once chastised the presidential incumbent of a spouse that what he hardly understands is that, you have to pound the opposition party’s attack machine and run against the press; a candidate who appreciates that a presidential campaign is a mirror reflection of a candidate’s aspirations and dreams; A politician that believes that a political campaign team that goes through a tough battle together must continually bond together, because their survival depends on staying together in the face of crisis; A candidate who thrives in somewhat chaotic presidential campaign and still maintain the intimacy of a one-on-one communication with her brilliant team members; A grandmother who knows how to harness the energies of past warriors of political street fights and never bets against the potential of an adversary to overcome initial failures or defeats at the state primary levels. This is a woman who understands that balancing the budget must never be done at the back of the vulnerable groups, children and the elderly; who knew firsthand what a backlash a former house speaker suffered when he attempted to cut the school lunch program to balance the 1995 budget; this is a lion of a woman who has roamed the den and ally when food and resources were scanty and survived the austerity not by clubbing down the down trodden, but by helping up humanity in dire times. To paraphrase Attorney- General Bobby Kennedy once again, fewer women will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each woman, working together to change a small portion of events; will spring forward the progress clock for women suffrage in a rather handsome and beautiful way in our national politics.
In deciding who to vote for, in deciding the course of 2016 election, all women need to look at the mirror and contemplate what is going on in America today, issues of immigration, wage stagnation, income inequality, possibility of a universal health coverage, same-sex marriage and fighting terrorism, and ask which candidate is best to gather together policy wonks and strategists to turn around the nation's fortunes for better, while recognizing the pains of the vulnerable, women, children and the elderly. Is it the Republicans or the Democrats?
What Hillary Clinton offers is experience working alongside brilliant men and women from all walks of life, race, gender ethnicity and national origins, to bring about change we can all relate to. Yes, Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice broke the glass ceiling at US State Department, but Hillary Clinton made the foggy-bottom clearer with her speech to students in the Middle East during the dawn of Arab Spring. Would you rather vote for a politician respected by other world leaders with one, the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, admonishing her as tough, smart and a good person, or vote for a brash New Jerseyan or the engineer of a settlement of national split vote that ushered in, his brother, a President that brought the nation to her financial knees and an unpaid-for-war in Iraq? The choice is yours. However, you may want to positively consider the girl, once in the state department, boys were mystically scared was driving the national debate on foreign policy!
Sunday, February 15, 2015
How would 2016 Presidential Aspirants Respond to President Obama’s War Authorization Request to Congress?
Keywords or Terms: Ukraine; Kremlin; ISIS; US Congress; President Barack H. Obama; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Diplomacy-first strategy; China, Spain; Italy; Lame Duck Presidency; Senator John McCain; 2016 Presidential Aspirants; Obama’s Administration; American Security; and, Containment of Global Terrorism
Did I hear a lame duck President? Hardly ever, considering President Obama’s recent Press Conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and last weeks’ White House request for war authorization to go after the terrorists, one sees an actively engaged president who is making tough choices in foreign policy. What will men and women clamoring to replace him do in these times of unequal challenges? In an age of unwelcome tirade against the Presidency, many of us are interested to know what any of the presidential aspirant, do when faced with a world where different actors are changing as chameleons every other day: what will Governor Jeb Bush do if the White House phone rings saying Israel has invaded Palestine overnight and Russia’s surrogate has given up on her promise to pull back from Ukraine? What will Secretary Hillary Clinton do, if ISIS strikes hard in the heart of Europe, Spain or Italy? What will aspirants without foreign policy credibility do, if the Chinese move closer to taking another Island in the Indian ocean? Yes, these questions seem hypothetical; however, there are good reasons to believe these events are not out of place or aberrations; in fact, they are likely going to take place if history is any judge.
These inquisitively exploratory questions come at the wake of Senator McCain’s dis-satisfactory assessment or conclusion of the Europeans’ ‘wait-first’ strategy and overtures to Kremlin on the invasion of Ukraine by Russian surrogates. Further, the questions follow the scrutiny of the 2012 Presidential contestant, Senator John McCain, that the diplomacy-first strategy is synonymous with European power’s appeasement of Hitler before the outbreak of Second World War. Recall that Obama’s White House argues that the failure of the ‘wait-first’ strategy will afford for a credible US-Euro consensus on arming the rebels. Precisely, the President of the United States says at his Press Conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, If diplomacy fails this week, there’s going to be a strong unified response from US and Europe” The President is holding out and concertizing his choice with the Europeans with the expectation that if Kremlin fails to come through, Russian’s choice will have profound impact on future collaboration with United States on the new START initiative. What will the 2016 Presidential aspirants do differently, or will they support the current White House?
With the rise of terrorists’ groups and Russian resuscitated hegemony in former Soviet states, we must all agree that we are at the throes of far-reaching dynamics in the world order. The eventual change and gross chameleon-ic dynamics of terrorist activities in the Middle-East, Africa and Europe point to conclusion among foreign policy experts that the world is moving towards new instability, one in which key players are hardly state-sponsored terrorism but one engineered by splintered groups with philosophical, generational or religious agenda. Neither unilateral nor collaborative government strategy towards combating the new nemesis is going to give permanent relief; rather, a continuous and more dynamic resolve to combat the new enemy at the root in various countries with indigenous participation in fighting the canker worm is likely to bring about long term change.
The horizon of emerging US-European ‘wait-first’ diplomatic policies may constraint the expansionism dream of Kremlin; however, we are going to need more than this to combat the nemesis of Al Qaida, ISIS, and Boko-Haram among others. First, there is need for yet another transformation in our foreign policy, non-given to regional alignment; rather, one designed to address individual circumstance or fear of attack of the homeland by multiple groups. To fight the tide against terrorists groups, coalition of fighters on the field must continue to work with coalition forces that are at our level of expectation on fighting terrorism, if our goal is to degrade and destroy terrorist groups as ISIS, Taliban and Boko Haram. Second, security and defensive arms supply may help a nation like Ukraine protect itself; however, the defense of homeland would demand more than bombing ISIS to Stone Age. We will need to accomplish the mission of destroying ISIS or other terrorist groups not by blocking funding of the Department of Homeland Security but by focusing our efforts at sweeping and wholesome foreign policy strategies that yield true results. Finally, we must now equate American security to global containment of terrorism; and within this sphere formulate foreign policies that do not conflict with our domestic political necessity.
Polls show that among the field of Republican candidates for 2016 Presidential elections, Jeb Bush stands out. His dad and brother had foreign policy dominated by Iraq wars and wisely so, Governor Jeb Bush has continued to distance himself from this strategy by refusing to answer questions on the current crisis in that region. Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and grandmother who has highlighted the gender equation in the coming general elections, is hardly one with limited foreign policy experience. If pitched on a head-to head fight with Jeb Bush, she is more likely to come ahead on issues as curtailing Russian expansionism agenda and fighting the Islamic State Militants. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, however, has a challenge, one faced by incumbents: she has had to deal with terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya and there are those who believe there were some lapses in this case on her watch.
What may be said of a policy of global containment of terrorism may also be said of the current war authorization request to US Congress by Obama’s Administration. Obama’s Administration war authorization wants to engage the enemy but does not want to suck the military into Middle East hostility on the ground. While the proposal bars engaging the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground operations, the President wants to have the option of using US Armed forces, if the President determines it necessary and appropriate, to combat ISIS insurgencies. Critics maintain that while it is essential to fight ISIS, allowing the President to have the largess of fighting enduring operations, is like giving him an open-ended check or window to stay on extended hostilities; probably beyond the three years in the request. Supporters however maintain that the logic behind Obama’s Administration request is based on the need not to constrain the generals in the field, in case they need to take the fight to the enemy, anywhere and for as long as possible.
It is worth recalling that the Bush Administration went to congress to fulfill the requirements of congress to authorize foreign wars. Obama’s Administration has done same on this occasion. To some, the debate is, how much is too much, or how flexible should a war authorization from congress be; should it be restrictive or time-unlimited? On the surface, it might seem that the President is just fulfilling the requirements of the constitutions; however, no one ever knows what the end result of offering arms to others to do the bidding and then finding out that the US has to follow through with some type of commitment on the grounds to get the desired results. Critics maintain nobody doubts the intentions of the president; however, there is no room to stomach another ground war for America.
The prospect that either Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush will continue Obama’s Administration offensive, may be given to their individual foreign policy agenda. Given that President Obama’s authorization is going to be approved by US Congress with some limitations; there may be a need for conviction to this policy by another administration for there to be continuity. Secretary Clinton probably understands the inner reasoning or workings and could be brought up to speed regarding new developments since her exit from Obama’s Administration; however, Jeb Bush will probably have to be doubly convinced to be drawn into continuity. To hawkish Republicans, a continuity is plausible; however, they will want a more drastic and expansive agenda. To critics of the past efforts of the Bush Clan on foreign wars, another foreign war by another Bush, is unthinkable and must never be accommodated. This position may weigh heavily on Jeb Bush’s choice and may actually lead to him taking a different direction on this choice.
More generally, the compelling need to fight terrorism across the globe may force the interest of a new administration to have continuity in the Obama’s Administration’s authorization from Congress. The manner and emphasis may differ, so can the degree of expansiveness and magnitude of invested time. The added war costs consequence and some fear of repeat of the experience under the first and second Bush Administration may deter further efforts. These and other considerations notwithstanding, there is going to be need to devise a strategy of engaging terrorist groups, especially, those who are bent on killing Americans or destroying the homeland.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Jeb Bush and the WEB: When a Presidential Campaign team publishes voters’ private information for public consumption
Keywords or Terms: Gov. Jeb Bush; Florida Department of State; Donor’s List; Presidential Campaign WEBSITE; USA; Privacy; Civil Rights; “Right to be left Alone”; World Wide Web (WWW); Email; Internet marauders; Innocent donors; Federal Trade Commission; Rogue Employees; Long-term implications; Power of the Privileged; Big Data; Sony Movie WEBSITE; and, Social Security Accounts Medicaid and Medicare Accounts
Eight years after serving as Governor of the State of Florida, 2016 Presidential aspirant Jeb Bush made available on the WEB, emails and social security numbers of Floridians and probably others without their consent. Ooops…Neanderthals are about to take over the campaign process somewhere in America! On political parlance assessment, a former banker, Roman-Catholic Episcopalian, committed an egregious sin in a bid to raise funds for a presidential ambition and campaign. Yet attempts to get the brother of a former President to see what invasion of privacy and civil rights this is, only met this response: “Email kept me connected to Floridians and focused on the mission of being their governor.”
As if this elaborate relapse in judgment is justifiable, one of his political campaign spokesperson writes: “This is an exact replica of the public records on file with Florida Department of State and is available at anyone’s request under Chapter 119 sunshine laws. Regarding exempt personal identifying information, the Florida Department of State or the Executive of the Governor can share more background on exemption under Florida Statute and the state’s process for [sic]” Really? Is Jeb Bush still the governor of the State of Florida; and, does this law apply to the whole nation. Is Jeb Bush running for the governorship of Florida this time around or the Presidency of the greatest nation on earth, the United States of America?
Prior to bringing down this information from the politician’s campaign WEBSITE, the Presidential aspirant probably thought it was prudent to harvest more campaign funds anyway possible, even at expense of his benevolent? Can we trust this person to develop a team of political advisers and policymakers who respect and appreciate citizen’s privacy, civil rights and liberties? Efforts to prevent this type of error in judgment by other candidates make us visit the issues of privacy and civil rights and what they mean and connote.
II. Privacy and Civil Rights
Under Federal Law, one’s personal information is protected from public scrutiny, including information on dates of birth, social security number, race, national origin, and a host other demographic information. Although not directly drawn from the US Constitution, some amendments have provided protection of privacy for all Americans and Permanent Residents. Escaping from what former US Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1916 to 1939) referred to as the “right to be left alone” is probably not the first preference here for this campaign team. Apparently, Jeb Bush’s campaign fund raisers do not want any part of leaving folks alone; and, would rather subject the private information of potential donors to the vagaries of intrusions by Internet marauders. In this damning decision, Jeb Bush’s Presidential ambition seems to exceed any privacy protection that his donors have; and this is rather telling of the lack of control that is probably running amok within the infant campaign team.
Violation of America’s privacy has risen with the expansiveness of the World Wide Web. America’s difficulties with invasion of privacy have just been compounded with the release of donor’s personal information on a candidate’s campaign universal resource locator. Federal Trade Commission has problems with people or candidates who chose to release people’s personal information without their consent and would probably call out Jeb Bush’s campaign team, if anyone affected files a grievance with the office. Further, the random availability of citizen’s information on the WEB, made possible by hackers and misguided computer geeks, has long been a problem. Many financial institutions and organizations have had their registry compromised and network fences penetrated. Personal information of innocent donors could be harvested, sold or offered as means of blackmail, courtesy of a former Floridian governor and 2016 presidential aspirant. All these observations are what any candidate attempting to become the president of this nation, must be conversant with.
Probably in the opinion of the Presidential aspirant Jeb Bush, nothing unethical happened here? The fact that one member of his team saw it fit to broadcast personal information of people the campaign seeks to benefit from, makes the decision, an error in judgment. However, the aspirant was willing to take the private information down a little while after the press got wind of the misjudgment or slack. Blaming the ineptitudes of WEB Masters is often a route to take; however, in this instance, the candidate, perhaps out of awareness of the long-term implication of the misconduct or violation of privacy, found a more graceful way to opt out. Should affected parties forgo this invasion of privacy, they may become exposed to the risk of having their compromised personal data used for illegitimacy. Should they scorn at the potential implication of future releases of other associated information that may expose the donors to other risks? This is probably up to the individuals affected. What is probably certain as of now is that: “there is the possibility of personal donors’ data or future donors’ being shared with other party’s entities to help generate campaign funds for the election of a presidential candidate who seems hardly prepared for big-time national stage contest?
Americans must rid themselves of acceptance of violation of their civil rights by those who choose to lead them. We should be concerned with behavior of presidential aspirants who show less concern for our civil rights at the expense of their dreams and ambition. The 1964 Civil Rights Law and subsequent amendments in 1972 and onward, guarantee citizen’s rights to be free of unequal treatment on protected characteristics, race, gender, religion, national origin, disability and more. This law seeks an active citizenry who understands the place of their civil rights in national discourse. When an aspirant chooses to share demographic information regarding you with others, whom you probably have no connection with but may end up doing someday, that individual has chosen to conduct his affairs in ways that run afoul of your protected civil rights. We must lessen the power of the privileged to undermine our protected rights, even on instance of release of demographic information that are hardly authorized. We must lessen the degree of tolerance of misbehavior that are generally brushed aside as inconsequential. We must demand of our leaders, accountability and set a threshold of tolerance only limited by individual oversight. Above all, we must submit to the same yard stick that we use to measure our leaders and actively condemn behaviors that run afoul of our laws.
The release of personal information, including citizens’ social security number on an aspirants WEBSITE is instructive. At the end of the campaign season, what happens to this information? What happens if a rogue campaign aid uses this type of information for mischievous purposes? Potential human and financial consequence of the release of very pertinent information about donors may not be underestimated. Criticisms of other operational activities of a campaign team may seem uncalled for and this article may just be raising unnecessary euphoria; however, visit with someone who’s had his or her identity stolen and you will appreciate the need for concern in an instance as this. Although no one can determine what ends up happening in the age of Big Data to information collected about an individual political donor, betting anywhere across the nation that this type of information are not sold away to marketers, is a sure loss or misgiving. Once the national election is over, political aspirants have the choice to pass on this valuable information to others who may be willing to use it for other nefarious activities. The revelation last year that the Sony Movie WEBSITE was compromised and the subsequent pseudo-crisis that initially led to the cancellation of release of the movie in theaters across the nation, should tell citizens who’ve had their identities and social security numbers released, a thing or two, on the larger implication of the erroneous judgment of this campaign team.
What now? Hopefully, not much will happen in the near term- since the candidate has pulled down these personal demographics from his WEBSITE. But what of the period in which the data stayed opened to everyone? What redemption, if any, is probable? Much will depend on future activities within Jeb Bush’s campaign team: the possible action of a rouge campaign member or anyone in possession of this information may determine the future losses of those on the list. May the campaign team be held accountable for future adverse activities on the accounts of those on the list, credit cards’ account, social security accounts, hospital or Medicaid records? Probably yes; however, no one can tell. It is an excruciating case of wait and see! Just as the results of elections have consequences; so thus the release of personal information of political donors on an aspirant’s WEBSITE.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal and the Politics of National Education Reform: the Common Core State Standards Debate?
Keywords or Terms: Gov. Jeb Bush; Gov. Bobby Jindal; Common Core State Standards (CCSS); US Department of Education; K-12 Education; OBAMA’s Administration; Education as a Civil Right; Foundation for Education Excellence; Heritage Foundation; Home School Legal Defense Association; The Pioneer Institute; CATO Institute; The Eagle Forum; Reclaiming America for Christ; Neutralism; Pacifism; Religiosity; Indifference; and Profiteering
The best definition of a term is one that is simple, clear, and unambiguous. But it is hard to have a conversation with politicians when it comes to series of conflicting status on national education policy. It is even harder to get their personal opinion on the subject of standards and measurable indicators of learning; and or, the place of K-12 curriculum in preparing our children for life after high school. Whether you want a common core states curriculum or an alternative that is as whimsical as a magicians scarf because it recognizes or grants local autonomy at the expenses of quality and efficiency, it is good to know where you stand as a Presidential aspirant.
For those of us, who have no iron to grind; or, always given to the truth, we will define Common Core State Standard (CCSS) as a set of standards that a curriculum is built on; or built around, which are measurable and objective enough for progressive education reform. It abdicates unbridled regional or local autonomy because of associated inefficiency for delivery of education services. The current fragmented curriculum(s) across the nation continues to fail our high school graduates because there is no one uniform set of standards for measuring the quality of instruction and learning going on in our K-12 classrooms.
Now the politics of 2016 Presidential campaign: Imagine, for a while, Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal, both 2016 Presidential aspirants, were for the Common Core State Standards; suddenly, Bobby Jindal is no longer sure; or is not for it. Jeb Bush remains constant in his support for Common Core State Standards and once established a foundation, Foundation for Education Excellence, to peddle the brilliance or advantage of Common Core State Standards (CCSS). A little while ago, the Foundation actively broadcasted fliers and emails to several state legislators, titled: “Debunking Common Core State Standards Myths,” to advance the objective of national education reform. Whether this actually achieved anything is yet to be determined; however, the raging debate of the flip-flop from Governor of Louisiana, is making this subject palatable for attention all over again. For appetizers, it is good to know that the following far right conservative organizations are vehemently against the common core state standards: The Heritage Foundation, Home School Legal Defense Association, The Pioneer Institute, CATO Institute, The Eagle Forum, and Reclaiming America for Christ.
We also know from experience that the far right conservative groups have problems with setting and maintaining clear standard or a recipe of standards that make everyone accountable for their actions in the education of our children. A National consensus and acceptance of core standards or curriculum by various groups often depends on a number of factors many of which raise the question, how much learning is going on in America’s K-12 classrooms. Basic national standards that make students, teachers, and administrators accountable will seem logical, especially considering the number of our high school graduates who can hardly read or write in an information age.
Neutralism, pacifism, religiosity, indifference, profiteering and recalcitrance can occur simultaneously in several of our states’ educational systems. The finger-pointing syndrome and the usual blaming others for our local or regional education’s system failures can easily become a national sport. Judging from Obama Administration’s experience, unless there is firmness at the federal level, some States’ and Counties Department of Education will like to retain the old status-quo, which makes splintered curriculum the norm. The problems of sprawled and unequal curriculum contents that drive teaching and learning in all our classrooms have made measurement of learning indicators difficult; thus, the recommendation of a Common Core State Standards (CCSS); call it, the minimum learning experience at the K-12 level to be literate in an information age. If the incoming administration is not as firm, if not even firmer than the Obama’s Administration, we will probably go back to the rot that we are attempting to leave behind. This is why in 2016 Presidential Elections the nation cannot afford to default to a 'flip-flopper' on our education reforms
In our past experience, prior to advent of Common Core State Standards (CCSS), what is good for parents, teachers and students, were often thrown aboard for reason of regional autonomy, divided loyalty of key players, and probably profit in the private K-12 education services. The totality of this experience is graduating students who are hardly prepared for college or life after twelfth year education. Both Republican and Democratic White Houses have sought to reform the education system, with the Common Core State Standards of President Obama and the No child Left Behind initiative of President George W. Bush. Unfortunately, both initiatives have met resistance from those who love to claim local autonomy in education over universal (non-fragmented) measurable standards of learning and teaching in the classrooms. Notwithstanding, criticisms abound. An example of criticisms of the initiative is found in the words of a South-Central State Christian Conservative, Jenni White, on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
The CCSS have never been state-led. The initiative was designed from the outset to be a set of national standards that would not be directly labeled as such to avoid violating federal law. Individual private groups (the NGA and the CCSSO) facilitated the writing of the standards, and the Obama Administration pushed them to cash-strapped states by offering buckets of stimulus funds (RTT). The NGA and CCSSO developed alliances with gigantic book publishers (Pearson), suppliers of CCSS materials (Achieve) to cover the needs of states for CCSS materials and the Gates Foundation to provide software and bribe money to organizations (ALEC) to help facilitate their use and moved one of the architects of the standards into position to become president of the college board where he could align the most widely-used college admissions test (ACT) to the CCSS.
To Ms. White and other far right Christian Conservatives, since the Common Core State Standard was not state led, there is no need to give it a chance to succeed. We can learn from experience: the localization of initiatives sometimes bring forth ambiguities because of the multiple opinions and perspectives of different inputs. Further, we also know that successful partnership of private and public initiatives on education does not necessarily lead to success regarding such initiatives; a case in point is the Charter School Experience in some of our states. It is true that sensitivity to democratic opinion-forming process on an initiative in a Republic like ours, is worthy of consideration; however, this hardly says having a set of objective parameters from where all curriculum are drawn, is out of place in a democracy; or, would necessarily side track local or regional autonomy. There are those who will like us to believe that the Common Core State Standards is a take all or none process for many local or State school Boards; however, recent changes or waivers, NCLB Waivers by Obama’s Administration, shows the flexibility in the policy, associated programs and funding.
The present implementation process of the Common Core State Standards seems to be promising, provided two conditions continue to be met: the first is basic agreement as regards what constitutes learning, understanding and proficiency at a specific grade level. The acceptance of waivers for waiver’s sake hardly shows a common concern for equality of learning and only gives room for inferiority in knowledge dispensation in the classrooms. The fact that some states and school districts have shown an unwillingness to cooperate with US Department of Education and asked for suspected waivers is very troubling. The second is that US Department of Education must give a convincing signal of its determination not to accommodate shifting demands of excessive waivers from the Common Core State Standards’ non-conformists.
We have no doubts that the Common Core State Standards is working and would work, if we can only set aside our political and religious agenda and think about our children. We also see no reason to abandon the Common Cores State Standards (CCCS) as probably, the preference of some Christian Conservatives; and, the new choice of Presidential aspirant Bobby Jindal, in a bid to play to the wishes of Conservative Christian groups in the Republican Party. We recognize that there are no simple solutions to reforming the education system; however, our Strategies must remain apolitical and our efforts must be geared towards accountability and sanctity of the implementation process.
The most important factors contributing to inequality in learning and teaching experience at K-12 level has often been the funding of schools; schools in affluent neighborhoods are better able to fund and implement rigorous curriculum, while those in poorer neighborhoods suffer the consequence of poor or non-existing funding. Our basic throes to eradicate this inequality by having a common core standard are hardly designed to encroach on people’s freedom or local autonomy on education; rather, it is to afford for equality of standards that are measurable for both the learner and the teacher. Our supports for a Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are non-Negotiable. Our teachers and students can depend on it, so also can the parents, communities and our democracy. In addition, neither the current Administration nor the past Republicans have left any doubt about the need for education reforms; neither also, should an incoming administration. Politicians who are bending to pressure groups to satisfy their ambition must be held accountable.
In the final analysis, a better end product, a well informed and literate society, where everyone is able to exercise their civic duties with freedom and liberty, is what is desired. Even if US Department of Education accepts waivers for say a grading system, it still behooves the bureaucrats to insist on uniformity in measurable learning indicators in curriculum. It is unlikely that complete local autonomy on K-12 curriculum will bring substantial change in the quality of learning and teachings in American Classrooms. The concept of localized curriculum and home schooling – where local authorities, cities, persons, boroughs and counties have substantial control over their educational affairs – is firmly rooted in American political institutions. Nonetheless, the time has come for a change with the growing inequality in education received by all American Children.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Keywords or Terms: Gov. Bobby Jindal; Burr-Coburn-Hatch Plan; OBAMACARE; US House of Representative; John Katko (R-NY), Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL), and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME); US Senate; President Barack H. Obama; Heritage Foundation; King Vs. Burwell; Parent’s Health Plans; and, Prescription drug costs and Medicare Premiums
American Democrats have become skeptical about the continued move by House Republicans to undermine OBAMACARE by voting to repeal it, after an umpteenth attempt on the floor. By my last count, over fifty-two congressional bills and or voting were raised or completed to overturn the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Before succeeding on Tuesday February 3, 2015, on a vote spread of 229-195, largely along party line, except for three Republicans, John Katko (R-NY), Reps. Robert Dold (R-IL), and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), who voted against repeal, Republicans cornered themselves into believing that all they need to reach more Americans is to kill the Affordable Care Act. A more realistic assessment by Congressional Observers is that the current move or repeal was pointless; and, largely a fruitless effort, as long as President Obama still has a veto on his desk and there wasn’t a number as high as six Democratic Senators willing to defect to support a veto override in US Senate. Immediately after the House vote to repeal, some aspiring Republican Governors for the 2016 Presidential Party Nomination opened up the tap of criticisms and a braggadocio against the law, best left outside the door of humility and commonsense.
Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who has refused to implement the law in his state and once said in 2012, he is committed to working to elect Governor Romney to repeal Obamacare, even after the Supreme Court upheld the health care law as constitutional, said and probably did what he admonished the Republican party not to become, a stupid party. His sentimental comments encapsulated in a plan to replace OBAMCARE: “if people wanted to use their standard deduction to pay for insurance through their employer, they could do that, but they don’t have to”, will eventually be remembered by voters and probably, scuttle his presumed clear path for 2016 presidential bid.
Assuming we default to Jindal’s plan for repealing and junking OBAMACARE, what will happen immediately to those millions that automatically lose their health coverage as the law is repealed? Why is Jindal’s replacement option synonymous with Burr-Coburn-Hatch Plan that offers tax credit for caring health insurance under an individual market scheme? Wouldn’t younger and healthier employees find a reason to leave employer-sponsored health insurance for the individual market? Was this not the similar environment that led to inefficiency in previous health insurance scheme that called for the reform in the system? It is hard to default to a proposal from a governor who failed to see any good in the law in the first place and refused to implement it in his state. If the objective of Governor Jindal is to replace OBAMACARE, why is he rendering tautological comments that seem convoluted? How does he come about the conclusion that a Supreme Court decision in King Versus Burwell could cause a disruption? What disruption, after all he has not chosen to implement the law in his state and the subsidies under Obamacare which he probably believe is illegal, will not impact his state residents, disproportionately?
One must understand that there is often an underlying motive for what comes out of the mouth of a politician; or, a plan designed by a governor, who believes in a thing as dumbed down conservatism. Governor Jindal’s 2014 Replacement Plan for Obamacare, is better understood than his current observation or brow-ha-ha on repealing OBAMACARE. His ‘cost not coverage’ hypothesis in the Freedom and Empowerment Plan - The Prescription for Conservative Consumer-Focused Health Reform, was appealing to Conservative Republicans, who considered his proposal as a viable alternative plan ever offered by Republicans in their ventilating ambition to repeal OBAMACARE. Incidentally, some Louisiana State Legislators criticized the governor for having done little to implement the law while many languished in health poverty in their state. To this group, Jindal has been moving the state in the wrong direction; and, may end up making citizens of his state perpetually deprived of federal funds that can help eradicate health poverty in Louisiana.
Arguing in the mode of Governor Bobby Jindal, Alyene Senger of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, identifies the five reasons why Congress must repeal OBAMACARE in 2015: 1) Freedom and Empowerment Plan that you wonder if they both didn’t sit down to compare notes on their take on
For informed voters, here is what is likely to happen if the Republicans have their way with OBAMACARE: 1) over ten million Americans lose health care insurance, most of whom are adults in their early years (21-26), who are currently covered because they remain on their parents’ plan; 2) Over One hundred and twenty-nine million patients with pre-existing conditions get notices of re-caps on their insurance coverage and some of them are let go of exiting insurance coverage; 3) Over eight million seniors on Medicare may have increases in prescription drug costs and Medicare premiums; 4) hospital emergency room reverts back to a teaming million without health insurance and expecting to be cared for in an emergency; 5) the broken health care system that OBAMACARE sorts to correct rears its ugly head as insurance companies become free to do whatever they like and millions of middle income earners suffer the repercussions; 6) the newly regulated market place for health insurance becomes a thing of the past and many states that have seen a decline in the number of the uninsured Americans begin to see the dreaded reversal; and, 7) healthcare cost for those without health coverage become ruinous as cost of treatment is overbearing for household income. There are numerous other things that could happen that are not covered here. The good news however is this: “The only true chance of gutting the law will come after President Obama leaves office; and even at that, it is probably only when a Republican gets into the White House; less that, the move will still remain futile.”
Republicans’ criticisms and replacement plans for OBAMACARE remain vague at best and the procedure offered to resolve a few languages abnormally of the law are unclear and debatable. The explanations for the weakness of the law seem very wrong in light of millions that will be thrown back into health poverty if the law is abrogated. There are already provisions for automatic penalty for noncompliance in the law. Subsidies to states without exchanges can be made universal, as the federal exchanges are universally available for all Americans. Amendments to the law are in line to correct for ambiguity of language use; however, there is no ground to justifiably repeal or abrogate or do away with the law as recommended by Republicans. Democrats, please vote in record number in 2016 Presidential Elections to preserve our gains on healthcare.