Follow The Leader

Lookie what we  have on our hands: we, the people of the United States of America, have a real leader in Barack Hussein Obama.  And O! What a joy he and all of  his capabilities are.

Not only are we hungering for such leadership, but so is the world-at-large.  His stewardship of the nuclear summit this week in Washington, D.C. was an affirmation that the entire global community seeks his leadership talents.  Hell’s bells:  President Obama is a one-man United Nations, i.e. when you view the U.N. as living up to its stated ideals.  Our country and 47 others embraced the President for his principles to better the world, make it a safer place in which to live and protect it for future generations.  President Obama’s branding of his ideals and goals were accepted this week on an international scale.

And the absolute genius of the Nobel Committee to have bestowed upon our President the Nobel Peace Prize.  As the Committee stated, this prize was awarded to President Obama for recognition of his potential in bringing about the principles of peace that he espouses.  In his acceptance speech the President acknowledged this “premature” prize and that he will work hard to fulfill its promise.  Sheer genius.  Ninety percent of delivering excellence is expecting it.  And so President Obama is delivering.

There are a number of items that are pointing towards President Obama’s emergence as a national and global leader.  I will concentrate on the national issues.  We got health care reform.  Despite the long, hard battle, we got it.  As suspected, the fact that the tough legislative fight did not prevent its passage, HCR was the catalyst for change and reform in other areas.

Attached to the HCR bill was the student loan reform plan.  It removed banks as the intermediaries in securing educational loans and made the government the direct provider.  This one overhaul will save the government $68 billion over eleven years, funds that can be poured back into the educational system for future enhancements.  Furthermore, this bill will make it easier, more accessible, for students seeking loans to secure them.  Also,  it provides the students with potentially better repayment terms.

However, this morning on talk radio, I listened to an interview of Joan Abbott, a Tea Party activist.  Right off the bat, she took exception to this student loan reform by complaining that now, students have to borrow from the government and can no longer borrow from the banks.  Is she as dumb as a rock?  No, she is dumber.  Whenever there is a middleman involved in business transactions, the costs are driven up tremendously.  Does Abbott believe that our kids should pay so much more for their loans by going to banks instead of directly to the government?  Even before this reform was enacted, the government was the holder of these loans, but the banks collected huge fees for their administration.  Abbott sees this reform as a government takeover.  Call it whatever you like, but basically the government had the ultimate responsibility for student loans before this bill and will continue to do so.  The only difference is that the borrowers, our young kids and often, minorities, will face a much more reasonable rate of fees on these instruments to further their education.  Methinks this stance of the Tea Party is, natch, like so many of their other platforms, an attack to maintain racial and class lines.

Yesterday, President Obama announced that gay couples will be allowed to visit each other in the hospitals and be permitted to form a medical power of attorney.  What is so unbelievable about this is that it was forbidden for so long.  Yet it took a confident, sane leader to make it so.

In the area of financial reform, a huge battle looms before us.  The GOP is trying to equate this fight with the one we just won on health care.  Whereas the Party of No considered HCR a move towards socialism, they now are preaching that financial reform would only provide for more bank bailouts.  Are they ever wrong.  While Senator Mitch McConnell is  instilling fear and loathing once again by stating that this reform will serve only to create many more bailouts, Senator Christopher Dodd swears that exactly the opposite is true, i.e. that this bill will simply provide for an orderly dissolution of troubled banks.  Although the bill needs more work, I agree with Dodd.

Let’s face it: this issue of financial reform is a hot button with just about everyone in America, who is sick and tired of the ongoing abuse.  Personally, I do not think that the Republicans can duplicate their across-the-board negation of this reform as they did with health care.  There probably will be some GOP “defections” to the pro-reform side, if not for the reason of truth and reality, then for the purpose of getting re-elected in November.  Most Americans want new regulations to reign in the greed and dishonesty of corporate America.  That is a given that the GOP will have to face.  However, never underestimate the stupidity and obstructionism of the Republicans; perhaps, in their one goal, that of solidarity against President Obama, they just might demonstrate their misguided solidarity once again.

Financial reform is not going to be a pretty picture.  It will involve short-term market hits and sacrifices for the eventual benefit of long-term stability and restored faith.  For example, yesterday’s financial markets were in a tailspin, due to the charges brought against Goldman Sachs by the SEC.  The SEC brought allegations of fraud against the investment banking giant for “structuring and marketing” mortgage-backed investments consisting of high risk and expected-to-fail assets.  In fact, Goldman Sachs’ client sold the firm these packages and Goldman knew all the while that this client was, at the same time, taking an investment position of betting against these subprime assets.  Fraud?  You bet your sweet bippy!  So suck it up, America.  Tough toenails.  Take deep breaths to weather the short-term financial storm for the calm that will eventually follow.

In conclusion, there are two more comments I must add.  First, perhaps the most telling sign that we have found our leader in President Obama is that the Bush bashing has quieted down.   Bush’s own leadership skills  were so devoid of substance.  Now that we have ourselves a true leader, we no longer have to waste time criticizing the vacuousness and irrelevancy of the last administration.  Our current agenda is too important and critical to waste time on the emptiness of the Bush years.  With only seven more years left of Obama, time is short.  We got us a leader. (You must read this Op-Ed piece by Norman J. Ornstein.  Have I ever steered you wrong?)  So let’s get on with it and follow our leader.  These last few months of the President’s tenure have been an affirmation of his campaign promises and political belief system.  As a result, our idealism is  starting to come to fruition.

Secondly and I promise, finally, the real miracle is not the emergence of Barack Hussein Obama as a once-in-a-lifetime leader.  No.  The real miracle is that he was elected in the first place to the highest office in our land.  May his strength, smarts and safety remain intact.

As ever, I remain,

Yo Mama For Obama


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