After the presidency

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1925. Taft is seated...

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1925. Taft is seated in the bottom row, middle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On January 20, 2017, Barack Obama will be 55 years young, too young to retire and write his memoirs. He could return to Congress as John Quincy Adams did or he could be appointed to an opening on the Supreme Court as William Howard Taft was. Personally, I favor an appointment to the Supreme Court. If President Obama were appointed to the Court, he would have served in all three branches of the Federal government as well as the Illinois government and would bring a unique perspective to the Court.

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Mud

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Throw enough mud against a wall, and some of it will stick.”

That is the strategy of the Right now with President Obama and it was the strategy used against Bill Clinton when he was President. Hillary called it a vast, right-wing conspiracy and she was correct. Mud thrown at President Obama seems to stick better because he is black and because his name makes him seem foreign to some. Before the November, 2012, election, I was a member of the Barack Obama Truth Team, and I followed some of the more outspoken blogs against him. They were filled with lies and hatred. They would not listen to the truth when I tried to correct their lies.

The same lies are repeated in all the books of right-wing pundits that I have read (and I have read more than a dozen). Those pundits are a regular fixture on radio and TV. Their books don’t contain the obvious hatred to be found on the Web. In Orwell’s 1984, the Ministry of Truth presented lies as true and truth as lies. The Right now turns facts on their head, claiming lies as truth. In previous generations, this technique was known as the Big Lie.

Einstein quotation

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I found this in The Center Holds, Obama and his Enemies by Jonathan Alter.

“…sign that hung in Albert Einstein’s office in Princeton: ‘Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.'”

On a personal note, during my career in healthcare, I met a man who shared that office with Einstein.

Is truth relative?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Is truth relative? I don’t think so. Recently I saw a rant on Facebook repeating many of the lies propagated by the far right. Since the post originated with a black commentator, he could not be accused of racism against the Obama family. But lies are still lies no matter whose mouth they issue from. Whether racially motivated or from jealousy and spite, lies are lies and the truth is the truth.

Term limits

Washington DC - Capitol Hill: United States Ca...

Washington DC – Capitol Hill: United States Capitol – East front (Photo credit: wallyg)

Our Federal government has three branches, executive, legislative and judicial, and two of the three are elected periodically. Only the judicial branch is not elected and enjoys lifetime tenure. I think that it is time to end the lifetime tenure of the Federal judiciary, especially the US Supreme Court, which tends to lag behind necessary change by years or decades.

This is what I propose to put all three branches of the Federal government on an equal footing; limit all Federal elected offices and the Federal bench to serving a maximum of 12 years. Judges would continue to be nominated and confirmed, but they would serve only for 12 years. Judges are expected to be non-political, but some try to game the system, timing their retirements to when their party is in the White House. That must stop.

For the other two branches, I would also limit their terms to 12 years.
Six 2-year terms for members of the House
Two 6-year terms for Senators
Three 4-year terms for Presidents.
Under the present two-term limit for Presidents, speculation begins immediately about the next election after a President is-re-elected. That reduces a President’s ability to enact needed reforms during his/her second term. The possibility of a third term would give an incumbent President more time to accomplish the will of the people who elected him/her.