Obama Health Care Plan

The Calm Before The Storm

If one is a proud progressive or liberal, as this blogger is, it is hard not to be squirming today as one contemplates the likelihood of two major setbacks for the progressive movement in America this week from the United States Supreme Court.

The majority of experts and prognosticators forecast a 5-4 vote against the Affordable Care Act and for the Arizona immigration law restrictions.

Both such events would be terrible setbacks, and hard to overcome in the short run for sure, and probably in the long run as well.

Some say a defeat on the Obama Health Care law would lead ultimately to Medicare for all within a couple of years, and that defeat on the Arizona SB 1070 would lead to comprehensive immigration reform within two years, as well.

But all that only seems possible IF the Democrats win both houses of Congress and the Presidency again in November.

The theory is that two defeats administered by the right wing Supreme Court by 5-4 margins, on top of the Citizens United case and the Bush V. Gore case of twelve years ago would so galvanize the American people, who are progressives, to organize, unify, vote en masse to promote the necessary changes.

But when one considers the great edge financially that the right wing has with billionaires ready to spend hundreds of millions of dollars individually to back Mitt Romney and the Republican Party in Congress, including the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson among others, one has to wonder if even such organization and unity and discipline by progressives will be enough, particularly when added to the active campaigns of Republican Governors to purge the voting rolls, and defy the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

One can hope for the best on all fronts, but it is hard not to be pessimistic and a bit depressed on this Sunday before the storm likely to erupt this week, by a one vote margin created by the outrage of George W. Bush being selected President over Al Gore a dozen years ago, and still reverberating in 2012 and, likely, beyond!

Tension Between Republicans And Conservative Ideologues Forecast Of Future

Imagine this: Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, a hard line conservative Republican, is involved in a tense battle with right wing nut Michelle Malkin over the keeping of elements of the Obama Health Care Plan if the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional later this month!

Blunt, no softee, proposes keeping elements of the Obama plan, including allowing children to be covered to age 26; closing the “donut hole” for senior citizens on prescription costs on Medicare; and allowing people with pre-existing conditions to be continued to be covered and guaranteed coverage. Malkin bitterly attacked Blunt for such advocacy!

Mitt Romney will find similar attacks by right wing ideologues if he becomes President, as they will never be satisfied until the middle class is made poor permanently, and the poor are on the streets dead!

Realize just how nuts Michelle Malkin is, making her reputation on defending the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, even though her ethnic heritage is that she is a Japanese American! So this woman is a case of self hate, and of hard line nastiness and being mean spirited, a great case for a psychiatrist and psychologist to spend years trying to analyze why she advocates what she does!

Why Should Mitt Romney Be Able To Set Up Limits Of What Is An Issue In Presidential Campaign Of 2012?

Why is Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential nominee, able to declare that his years as Massachusetts Governor from 2003-2007, and his Mormon religion, are off limits as topics for discussion and debate in the 2012 Presidential campaign? And why is he not required to explain the truth of the effect of Bain Capital on workers and communities which lost out because of the drive for profits over 25 years?

All that Romney seems to want to be discussed is his “success” at Bain Capital for 25 years, making lots of profit for himself and stockholders, but not willing to admit that hundreds of thousands of workers lost their jobs, and that his equity company undermined many towns and other communities with the shutdown of many companies that were taken over by Romney’s company.

And the fact that he promoted a health care plan similar to that passed under Barack Obama is something else he wishes to avoid. Plus the fact that his state was 47th in job creation during his years as Governor!

And forbid the idea of him discussing his religious beliefs, knowing full well that it might antagonize many evangelical Christians and others, who are suspicious of the religion they and many others consider to be a cult.

But since when does a candidate get to decide what can be discussed about his past?

Did Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton or others, each of which had so called “skeletons in their closet”, have that same freedom?

The answer is NO, and Mitt Romney MUST be forced to discuss the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about EVERYTHING in his background!

He is not, despite what he may think, a “privileged character” who must be treated with “kid gloves”, so as not to hurt his feelings or sensitivities!

Nothing is off limits, as it is not with Barack Obama, so the opposition must not be cautious or careful in their exposure of Mitt Romney, with all the warts included!

The Problem Of Autism And The Health Care Issue: NOT A Time For Retreat!

April is Autism Awareness Month, and it is truly alarming as we learn that the number of children diagnosed with Autism of any type is now one of 88 children, and one of 54 boys!

The problem is that we are now becoming aware of this crisis, just as the move is on to destroy the Obama Health Care legislation, which the Supreme Court has the potential to do in June, and if not, the Paul Ryan plan to cut Medicare and Medicaid could, if it became law, do much the same thing in a different way.

Health care expenses cause more bankruptcies and poverty than anything else, and this nation has been unwilling to come to grips with the reality of brain disorders, not only Autism related problems, but also the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on military personnel, and the effects of Bi Polar Disorder and other forms of depression, which have a massive deleterious effect on millions of Americans, most of it in silence.

If there is a physical problem with health, insurance covers it, but in so many cases, mental disorders, whether genetic or environmental, are not covered, and put great stress on millions of people annually, and undermines their ability to cope and to deal with the high unpaid bills involved in trying to deal with the problems they, or their loved ones, face.

This is not the time to say that we do not have to worry about health care for those who do not have it, but rather that the entire nation must face the crisis in health care, both related to Autism and other mental problems, but also that of the poor, the elderly, and average Americans who are being destroyed financially, as well as economically, by these problems.

75th Anniversary Of Supreme Court “Packing” Plan Of FDR: Its Significance Today

Seventy five years ago on this day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced his plan to reorganize the Supreme Court, becoming known as an attempt to “pack” the Court, which became a turning point in many ways, including the fact that it was repudiated by the Senate in July 1937; weakened the power and clout of FDR shortly after his landslide victory in 1936; and led rapidly to a transformation of the Court, and FDR replacing, over the next five years, all but two members of the Court he was challenging.

The Supreme Court had stood in the way of change and progress during the Great Depression, declaring many New Deal laws unconstitutional, and FDR brought the Justices under attack as a result. Bitterly criticized as acting dictatorial, FDR was put on the defensive, but the long range was the Court adapting to an expansive view of the Constitution within a short time, and leading to a Court which dealt with the expansion of federal power and greater support of civil liberties and civil rights.

Today, three quarters of a century later, the Republican dominated Supreme Court has opened up the gates of campaign spending abuse in election campaigns, by its Citizens United decision of 2010. Additionally, crucial cases, including the Obama Health Care Plan, are to be decided by June, which will determine the fate of much of what Barack Obama has done and wishes to do as part of his agenda as President. Obama already made clear his criticism of the direction of the Court two years ago, with the Justices sitting there at the State of the Union Address. And three of the nine Justices–Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito–have boycotted the past two State of the Union Addresses, and represent the major challenge to the Obama Presidency, more than any other members of the Court.

No one is saying or predicting that Obama will attempt such a bold act as FDR did, and were he to do so, it would certainly cause the biggest controversy and split possible to imagine, greater than any issue so far in his administration.

But the Supreme Court IS an issue in the upcoming Presidential campaign, as the likelihood of replacements on the Court in the next term are very likely. This is particularly the case with Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who has had bouts with cancer, and would pass 80 years of age at the beginning of the next term. Her liberal vote would be lost if the Republicans win the White House and she leaves the Court. Additionally, based on aging, it is possible to imagine that Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and Stephen Breyer could leave the Court before 2017.

So who is elected President, and who controls the majority of the US Senate, which would need to confirm a Court appointment, is very significant, although not much attention is being paid to this issue because of the troubles with the economy.

The Supreme Court, 2011-2012 Term: Likely To Be Momentous, Historic, Path Breaking!

The US Supreme Court begins its new term tomorrow with expectations of major decisions likely to be issued on the Obama Health Care Plan, illegal immigration laws, gay rights and gay marriage, and affirmative action, among other cases.

Rarely has a term opened with such potential major impact on the future of many hot button issues, expected to occur by June of 2012 at the latest!

What seems more likely than anything else is that Justice Anthony Kennedy, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988, and with a reputation as a “swing vote” on the evenly divided Court, will be the decisive fifth vote on many cases!

To imagine that one man should have such great influence, more than the other eight, including the Chief Justice John Roberts, is an indication of how tenuous constitutional law is in the age of a Court dominated until recently by conservative appointments of Reagan and both Presidents Bush.

As always, the Court, while seemingly trying to avoid politics, in actual fact plays politics, and will have a decisive role in what happens in the Presidential Election of 2012.

And what many forget is that IF a Republican President is elected in 2012, the Court will be turned more hard Right than it is right now, and that will have a destructive, deleterious effect on constitutional law for at least a generation!

It is the most important impact of the Presidential election, something many ill informed voters do not recognize, but which has a long range effect on their lives!

Progressives will be on tenterhooks wondering if Justice Kennedy will side with the left side of the Court, or the right side of the Court. For the advancement of America, let’s hope he swings to the left on these important issues mentioned above!

Rick Perry Attacked From The Right: How No GOP Candidate Can Please The Lunatic Fringe!

Texas Governor Rick Perry seems to many like the ideal conservative Republican, except he isn’t!

This is further proof that NO ONE can ever fully satisfy the extreme Right Tea Party Movement, and that the Republican Party needs to tell the Tea Party Movement to go to hell in a hand basket!

Rick Perry is a horror to most sane people, what with his secession comments, his record on capital punishment, his attacks on the Obama Health Care Plan, his criticism of the Federal Reserve, his calling Social Security a “Ponzi Scheme”, and other outrageous statements.

But on two issues, he is correct: that the children of illegal immigrants, who are not responsible for being in America, should be given the same opportunity to in state tuition for a college education as children of Texas citizens, as long as they have been in the state for at least three years; and the decision to promote HPV vaccine for young girls in Texas, to avoid the danger of cervical cancer.

Perry has been vilified on these matters, and now has slipped in the latest Fox News Poll from the lead to number two behind Mitt Romney, but Romney should not sell his soul to the right wing, or it will also destroy him, and were he to win, his Presidency, as a captive of these nuts on the right!

The fact that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are now bitterly attacking Rick Perry is actually a reason to promote sympathy for Perry, but not too much. It just demonstrates why the Republican Party is not the alternative to Barack Obama, if one is sane and believes in having a “heart”, something that Perry was attacked for, but something we need more of in America if we are going to have a future we wish to be proud of!

Sarah Palin On Third Anniversary Of VP Nomination: Don’t Forget Me As I Exploit My Celebrity And Gain Attention!

Former Vice Presidential nominee and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin showed up in Indianola, Iowa, on Saturday, on the third anniversary of her becoming a national figure.

Reading from a text, she issued attacks on Barack Obama, saying he had not been fully vetted, an interesting statement, since she herself had not been fully vetted, and had John McCain done so, he would have chosen someone who was qualified in an emergency to become President of the United States.

Palin has exploited her brief moment on the national stage for all it is worth, demonstrating she is a good capitalist, while at the same attacking “crony capitalism”, implying her criticism of Republican front runner Governor Rick Perry of Texas. It seems as if she is jealous of Perry having a lead, when every poll shows only a very small percentage, including the adoring fans who showed up at the political rally, interested in her running for President!

The odds of her running are slim, as she well knows she has no chance to be our President, but she seems unwilling to drop the idea altogether, so kept the crowd wondering if she would announce for President by the end of September, which is really the deadline if one is to build a campaign organization, which she has taken no steps toward creating.

Palin gave her own prescription for economic recovery, showing she has no clue to the reality of our economy. She called for the following:

1. Repeal the Obama Health Care plan.
2. Cut back federal regulations.
3. Increase domestic energy production.
4. Give more spending authority to state governments.
5.Eliminate all corporate income taxes.

Palin also criticized Establishment Republicans who attack the Tea Party as a group of “hobbits”, which meant she was attacking her former running mate, Senator John McCain, without mentioning his name!

She also attacked the “permanent political class”, referring to those who have held public office a long time, including Rick Perry, and by implication, John McCain.

Apparently, the fact that she had LESS political experience than Barack Obama in public office, and quit as Alaska Governor in the middle of her one term, even evoking surprise this week from former Vice President Dick Cheney, is seen by her as a plus, but by no one else who has any brains in their head!

So Sarah is basically just saying she does not want to be forgotten, and is exploiting her celebrity, and gaining attention from those who have no clue as to how to run a government and take responsibility for serious problems and issues!

Jon Huntsman Separates Himself From The Republican Pack, Therefore Making Him Legitimate As Alternative To Barack Obama!

Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China, is quietly separating himself from the Republican pack of presidential candidates, legitimizing himself as the most credible candidate the GOP could offer, if they have any common sense, which they almost certainly don’t have!

Huntsman has made some strong statements that make sense, including:

1. He believes in evolution, rather than the religious based theory of creationism or intelligent design.
2. He accepts scientists on global warming, that it is a real problem.
3. He backed John Boehner on the Debt Ceiling legislation, which no other GOP candidate did.
4. He supported the DREAM Act, to give a path to citizenship to young immigrant children who might otherwise be deported, and instead allow them to go into the military or get a college education, and obtain a path to citizenship.

On the other hand, he has also, possibly obligatory, said:

1. He opposes the Obama Health Care legislation.
2. He opposes the Economic Stimulus legislation passed by the Democratic majority in Congress in 2009.
3. He suggested that possibly Obama could be impeached for his intervention in Libya.
4. He joined all the other GOP candidates in the most recent debate in raising his hand opposing a deal, theoretically, with ten dollars in budget cuts for each dollar in tax increases.

So Jon Huntsman is playing the political game, taking stands he almost certainly would change if in the White House, but even with that, he shows some statesmanship, some potential, that were Barack Obama to lose to him in 2012, the country would be in the best hands it can be, considering the state of the Republican Party in the present time period.

But of course, the question is will the GOP go for a comparatively moderate, reasonable, rational, sane candidate such as Jon Huntsman, who also has real credentials in foreign policy?

The answer is: Don’t hold your breath!

Herman Cain, Allen West, Tim Scott: African American Republicans Who Come Across As Outside The Mainstream!

A recent development that makes one wonder about what motivates people is the candidacy of Herman Cain for President, and the words and actions of Congressmen Allen West of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

These people are the face of African Americans in the Republican Party, and all three have made people’s heads turn and eyes roll, as all three have come across as way out of the mainstream of American politics!

Herman Cain, former talk show host and corporate President of Godfather Pizza, is running for President, and making ridiculous statements, including letting the average American decide if a mosque can be built in his or her community, and stating that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet. He also has made statements against Mormons, as not being a Christian group, and while that could be argued, the answer is who cares, as we do not have a religious test for public office!

How would the American people react if we were to say that a church or synagogue could not be built? It is not up to the average American to limit the rights of any religious group to organize, and Cain shows tremendous prejudice against both Muslims and Mormons.

Now Cain has suggested that Barack Obama face impeachment because of the Health Care legislation, and because the administration is attempting to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. So we are to impeach a President because we disagree with his policy choices? Then every President would face impeachment!

Also, Cain claims he woke up after finishing fifth in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll, believing that he will be the Republican Presidential nominee, which means he is mentally deranged, having delusions of grandeur! What an embarrassment to the party and to the African American community at large, and notice he has no ideas or suggestions to help create jobs for his own community or Americans at large!

Then, there is Allen West, who uses incendiary language regularly, uses his military background as a plus, even though he was drummed out of the military for inappropriate behavior in Iraq, and fails to act in a chivalrous manner against anyone who dares to criticize him on the issues! So he goes ahead and insults Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to the extreme, using inappropriate language in an email, over reacting to her denunciation of his stand against Medicare, when he has hundreds of thousands of constituents in his district who are covered by Medicare. West refused to apologize for his outburst, and obviously has an anger problem, and yet some are crazy enough to suggest him for Vice President!

Tim Scott has also called for the impeachment of Obama because of the Debt Ceiling Crisis, even though both he and West contributed to it through their support of the Tea Party Movement, and both of them are among the most right wing members of the GOP presently, and both are a disgrace in the sense of not accepting how their stands hurt the African American community at large.

It is almost as if Herman Cain, Allen West, and Tim Scott are aliens from outer space, who somehow got stranded on earth, and need to be examined in a lab for their weirdness, and anger, and self hate of who they are!