Obamacare at 50

Obamacare at age 5 years and 50 attempts to repeal. Obamacare incorporates the ideas of the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank, and is modeled on Romneycare. So why such opposition to a law that will cost less and probably do more good than Medicare part D, pushed and passed by GW Bush and the GOP? It’s the name Obama in Obamacare. The GOP don’t care what’s in the law; it’s the name. They are not opposed to the law; they are opposed to President Obama. The 50 attempts to repeal are not aimed at the law; they are the Right’s way of repealing the President and undoing the last two elections.

Economics 101

English: Cropped version of File:Official port...

English: Cropped version of File:Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg. The image was cropped at a 3:4 portrait ratio, it was slightly sharpened and the contrast and colors were auto-adjusted in photoshop. This crop, in contrast to the original image, centers the image on Obama’s face and also removes the flag that takes away the focus from the portrait subject. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“You didn’t make this,” said Barack Obama during the 2012 campaign and the GOP made a big deal of it, even adopting the idea as the theme of their convention. Apparently Barack was paying more attention in class than Mitt and the business-oriented leaders of the GOP did. The standard text in Economics 101 is Economics by Samuelson and Nordhaus. The quote below is from the 17th edition.

“It is only too clear that all of us reap the benefits of an economic world we never made. as the great British sociologist L. T. Hobhouse said: The organizer of industry who thinks that he has ‘made’ himself and his business has found a whole social system ready to his hand in skilled workers, machinery, a market, peace and order–a vast apparatus and a pervasive atmosphere, the joint creation of millions of men and scores of generations. Take away the whole social factor and we [are} but…savages living on roots, berries, and vermin.”

Hello 2014, goodbye 2013

English: Invitation to attend the 2009 Inaugur...

English: Invitation to attend the 2009 Inauguration of Barack Obama. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2013 is almost over and it’s goodbye and good riddance. The GOP refused to accept the will of the American people in November, 2012, and continued the obstruction that began on President Obama’s inauguration day, January 20, 2009. The do-nothing Congress of 2013 was the worst in history, and we can expect even less from Congress in 2014, an election year. It is likely to be the most intense and expensive mid-term election ever, perhaps rivaling a presidential election. It also represents our last chance to end GOP obstruction while President Obama is still in office.

2014 is going to be a very political year. If the Democrats capture the House of Representatives and a super majority in the Senate, it will be possible to end the lingering effects of the Great Recession as well as enact some of the many needed reforms to start our government working again for all Americans, not just the politically well-connected.  If we fail, the price will be two more years of obstruction as well as an attempt to impeach the President. The TEA Party must go, and if the GOP will not let go of the TEA Party and they go with it, so be it.

Bridges

English: , spanning the Hudson River between N...

English: , spanning the Hudson River between New York City and New Jersey. New York Tower . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bridges are troublesome things; they cost money to build and will fail if not maintained. Some bridges generate controversy, such as the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska that was to connect Ketchikan to an island where its airport is located, replacing a ferry-boat. In war, rivers form natural defensive lines and bridges across them are natural choke points for advances and retreats. An example of that was the Bridge Too Far in WW2 where the Allies tried to advance too far, too quickly and were halted by the German defenders.

The George Washington Bridge between New Jersey and New York is the latest bridge to make the news. Someone ordered two lanes of traffic on the New Jersey side closed for four days, apparently to punish the residents of Fort Lee, New Jersey, whose Democratic mayor failed to endorse Chris Christie‘s re-election bid. At this time, everyone is denying responsibility, but I expect that the forthcoming investigation will identify a culprit, who will then apologize. It may be that a Christie aide took his boss’s jest for a suggestion to act. Just as Henry 2 of England’s exasperation with the Archbishop of Canterbury led to Thomas à Becket‘s death. Pope Alexander 3 threatened to excommunicate Henry if he did not repent.

Expert testimony is that 10,000s of US bridges are badly in need of maintenance and Barack Obama has asked congress to fund a modest start. Why won’t Congress authorize needed repairs? Because bridge maintenance will generate many jobs and make the President look good. The GOP want to defer job creation until after the 2016 election which they hope to win. In the meantime, many without jobs will remain unemployed, and motorists and others risk life and limb every time they cross a bridge.

GOP (Grand Obstructionist Party)

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No longer the Grand Old Party or even the Grand Opposition Party, the current GOP have degenerated into the Party of No. No matter what President Obama proposes, the GOP are against it. Not by principle, but by politics, the GOP put politics ahead of country. For example, the Affordable Care Act is based on a proposal from the right-wing Heritage Foundation and echoes Romneycare, enacted in Massachusetts while Mitt was governor. If the Affordable Care Act were Heritage Foundationcare or Romneycare, the GOP would support it. Since it is called Obamacare, they oppose it.

It is the essence of an opposition party to oppose the party in power, propose alternate solutions, and then compromise for the good of the country. The GOP no longer do that. Instead, they oppose for the sake of opposing and refuse compromise. That is why they are now the Grand Obstruction Party. The solution is fragmentation of the GOP with the rational bits and pieces re-assembling themselves into a functioning opposition party. Where are the Republicans with the courage to say “no” to obstruction?