Day: January 1, 2010

A Different Type Of Diversity Needed On The Future Supreme Court!

The Supreme Court used to be, for the longest time, nine white male Protestants. Now it is very diverse in so many ways: six Catholics, two Jews, two women, one African American, one Hispanic.

With the likelihood that Barack Obama may get two more appointments in this term–with the expected retirement of John Paul Stevens and the poor health of Ruth Bader Ginsberg as factors–it is time to consider a different type of diversity.

Instead of having only Justices who have been judges at the lower court levels, what is needed is people who have been engaged in the political system in other ways–as elected governors, senators, congressmen, mayors–or as cabinet members under Presidents.

In the past, we had such political luminaries as Charles Evans Hughes, Hugo Black, and Earl Warren on the Supreme Court. We had much speculation in the past twenty years that some day Utah Senator Orrin Hatch would be a Republican pick on the Court, and supposedly Maine Senator George Mitchell and New York Governor Mario Cuomo were queried about Court vacancies by President Clinton.

This would be a good trend, to have people on the Court who have experiences different from just judicial experience. There certainly are people in the American political system who could be seen as potential future Supreme Court Justices, and President Obama should use his imagination, when the time comes, to widen the diversity of the Supreme Court in a different direction!

The Lost Decade For The American Work Force: The “00”s

Now that the “00s” have ended, the sad reality is that it was a lost decade for the American work force.

Statistics show that there was ABSOLUTELY no job growth at all for the entire decade, and that it was the worst decade for the economy since the 1930s, and this is not just from the Great Recession that started in 2008, but over the whole ten year period!

Along with zero net job creation, and middle income households making less in 2008 than in 1999, when inflation is factored into the equation, the net worth of American households also declined, with inflation figures considered.

Mismanagement of the economy reigned in the decade, and indebtedness became a major crisis for many Americans, as too many Americans lived on borrowed money. Therefore, that is a good explanation for the highest unemployment rate in numbers since the 1930s, and the tremendous collapse of the housing market in the past few years.

This decade now ended could also be called the “bubble” decade, since it began with a stock market bubble and ended with a housing and credit bubble, with the present recession far worse than the mild one in the early part of the decade.

The challenge for President Obama’s administration will be how to turn the economy around and bring real job growth sooner, rather than later, not just for the economic health of the nation, but also for the political future of the Democratic Party in Congress and in the state houses.

One thing seems clear: The Republican party cannot blame the economic mess on the Democrats, as they controlled the White House for eight years and the Congress for six years during this tragic decade. The Democrats need to remind voters of this fact, and the reality that the GOP has no solutions on the economy as we enter 2010, except to criticize and downgrade everything Obama promotes or suggests.

What Rush Limbaugh Chooses To Ignore About Health Care!

As the new year and the new decade begins, it is good news to hear that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has gotten a clean bill of health after being admitted to a Hawaii hospital for severe chest pains. Even if one finds him obnoxious and disgraceful in his comments and behavior on his talk show, it does not mean that one wishes him or anyone else to have bad health.

Having said that, however, it is interesting that Rush raves about the American health care system being the greatest in the world, but chooses to ignore certain basic facts about that health care system.

The health care system is not available to all Americans, as nearly 50 million have no access other than an emergency room, which cannot be seen as equal access to health care.

Not everyone who has health care coverage has good health insurance, and they often discover that health care costs can bankrupt them.

Many millions of Americans have preexisting conditions, which are not covered by many health insurance plans.

Many Americans would lose their health insurance if they are unemployed, and that has been happening on a very large scale this past year with the highest unemployment since the early 1980s.

Not everyone has what Rush Limbaugh has: the best health insurance coverage and access to the top notch doctors and services, and salary and assets in the millions of dollars. Not everyone is created equal when it comes to health availability and services.

That is precisely the reason that we must not let the selfishness, self centered nature, and smugness of Rush Limbaugh to control the future lives and health status of millions of Americans, who are entitled to decent access and services in health care!