Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Donald Trump, America’s Nero, fiddles while the country burns

By Gerry Barker

March 27, 2017

After only 63 days, U.S. President Donald Trump has faced two defeats as he rushed to fulfill his promises to his supporters. They were the ones that he promised to get their manufacturing and coal mining jobs back.

He promised to protect the country from radical Muslim attacks by ordering travel bans from countries where the majority are Muslims. Two bills have been challenged in the courts. He promised to build a wall between Mexico and the U.S. to stop the “criminals and rapists” from entering the country. He promised that Mexico would pay for it. He promised to deport the estimated “bad” illegal immigrants to their home countries.

Maybe it’s not the right time to take off the training wheels.

Last Friday, his promise to repeal The Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, and replace it with a better plan that was to cost less and be run by the states. It failed before the vote occurred in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He promised to do all this in the first 100 days in office.

His attempt to destroy the rights of all citizens to affordable health care died as the Republican-dominated House of Representatives did not have enough votes to pass the bill. Speaker Paul Ryan pulled it off the table. The bill included tax breaks for the upper two per cent of the U.S. population the cancelling of federal support of Planned Parenthood and would leave 24 million Americans without federal supported healthcare by 2026. Some 14 million would have been affected in 2018 according to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

But most alarming was the virtual elimination of Medicaid, the last support of millions who required medical attention, because, the individual states would now be responsible. What may work in California will not work in Mississippi. It illustrates the need for a National healthcare plan that allocates recourses to those states where there is need. Finally, no matter where you live or move in the U.S., the Federal umbrella will cover you.

America is the last in providing universal health care to its citizens

Yes, it is creeping toward universal healthcare for 325 million Americans. The U.S. is the only country in the G20 of countries with the top economic power in the world that does not have universal, single-payer health coverage.

Following the bill’s failure, Trump did not admit the defeat was a loss. Instead, he blamed the Democrat minority in the House for the defeat saying they own Obamacare that remains as the law of the land. Four times he said that Obamacare would “explode” and be a disaster, harrumphed Trump.

But here is the truth. Trump not only fails to understand his job but also has little knowledge how the U.S. government works. He fails to know the party he leads. It is composed of factions that worked fine when in opposition. The House of Representatives voted more than 140 times to repeal Obamacare in the past seven years with each attempt either dying in the Senate or being vetoed by President Obama.

The so-called ultra right-wing Freedom Caucus of the Republican majority in the House was chiefly responsible for derailing their own party’s bill. It marks the differences that exist within the GOP (Grand Old Party) the party of Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and, did I mention, Richard Nixon?

It is convenient and easy for Trump to blame the Democrats for the failure of his lousy statute that came within a few votes to become law. But Trump’s arrogance and a willful House Speaker, Paul Ryan, were confident they had the votes without the Democrats who were obviously not in favour of the Republican American Care Act (ACA).

Here’s another historical tid-bit. The cost of Canada’s universal, simgle-payer health care system, averages, per person, just half that of the the U.S. system. The U.S. plan does not cover all its citizens, is frequently described as the finest medical system in the world … that is if you can afford or access it.

When you believe you are omnipotent, failure will magnify incompetence

Even the most ardent Trump supporters must now question their president’s ability to fulfill his wide range of promises made during the campaign. It is obvious that his so-called business acumen does not easily translate into running the world’s largest economic and military power.

Remember during his rallies that he said he knew more than the Generals, then turned around and hired four of them for his cabinet. General Flynn was dismissed early in the term.

His inability to understand his job and how his government works will haunt him for his term in office if he survives. He will discover that insulting and threatening your friends and allies will not work and only diminishes the reputation of a great country and people.

I call it impeach creep

The man has neither conscience nor the ability to admit he made a mistake trying to placate his supporters with his reputation of being decisive. They believed Trump would “drain the swamp” of Washington bureaucracy. There are still 100’s of federal government management positions unfilled.

It has affected productivity across many federal goverment departments.

He has fought publicly his own intelligence services. He was forced to fire his National Security advisor, General Mike Flynn, for lying to Vice President Mike Pence, about contacts he made with the Russian Ambassador to the U.S.

His cabinet is loaded with millionaires, billionaires and generals. His Secretary of the Environment is an Oklahoman who doesn’t believe in climate change. His Health Secretary is Tom Price, a doctor and author of the ACA who has managed to alienate the American Association of Retired Persons, (AARP), the various doctor organizations, veteran’s and hospital organizations across the country.

The benefactors of this terrible bill were the Health Insurance Corporations who were salivating over passage of the bill. Such an event, if it had happened, would have pushed American healthcare back to the dark ages of the 50’s and 60’s. That’s when millions, particularly the disadvantaged and poor, could not afford health insurance and were dependent on Medicaid and the generosity of hospitals who had to scramble to raise money to pay for services to the non-insured.

He promised to renegotiate trade deals, especially the 30-year North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in which Canada and Mexico along with the U.S. are partners. He keeps repeatedly calling it a disaster and it will be re-negotiated. He ignores the fact that Canada is America’s largest trading customer and the U.S. is Canada’s largest trade customer. He repeated the NAFTA disaster comment during a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkle as if she cared.

The guy is a legend in his own mind.

He has insulted the leaders of Britain, Germany, and the member nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,(NATO). It is a 60-year mutual defence combine to prevent attacks on European nations as well as North America. He has accused the member nations of not paying their share, citing Germany as one of those failing to spend two per cent of Gross Domestic Product on defence. Canada is up to date in that regard.

He has promised to spend $58 billion to upgrade the military that he claims has been neglected and weakened under former President Barack Obama.

The man and his words

He is continuing to run a campaign of fear, loathing, insecurity, lies and unfulfilled promises.

And it’s not going to get any better.

In Canada, we can only wait and see how he attempts to destroy the world’s most effective free trade agreement. That’s not saying there are things that should be fixed including the softwood lumber agreement in which American lumber interests accuse Canada of dumping product at lower prices.

The U.S. wants access to our agriculture markets that are currently controlled by producer-operated Marketing Boards. These include milk, eggs, poultry, cheese, pork, beef, and grains.

These various Boards were originally designed to protect the interests of the producers of these products. The winners are obviously the producers. The problem is that it’s not so good for the Canadian consumer because the Boards control prices.

These are some of the obvious changes that will come up when Trump attempts to dismantle NAFTA.

The most dangerous proposal by Trump is to establish a border tax for non-American goods and products entering the U.S. Already cooler heads are saying such a move will drive up prices to U.S. consumers.

It won’t serve to create jobs that no longer exist in manufacturing or coal mining. It is due to technological change and reduction of coal usage to drive power generation across the country. Yet Trump continues to promise a return of those jobs.

Mr. Trump, I hope is a quick study and abandons the shallow promise of America First. His country has always been first. It’s just that he doesn’t care and creates these problems that incite a segment of society.

Impeachment is on the move. But it has to be generated by the congressional members within his own party.

If the GOP is smart, they will separate themselves from Trump and leave those who believe in him to function as the Trump Party.

 

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Are advocates of global warming creating a big lie?

Posted April 4, 2013

You would think that Professor Ian Plimer, an Australian geologist, earth sciences and mining geology, may know more than a little about so-called “Global Warming” and its successor “Climate Change.”

Basically he says that the environmental movement is irrational. He points to the vast bulk of the scientific community, including most major scientific academies is prejudiced by the prospect of receiving research funding.

He calls the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as being related to environmental activism, politics and opportunism.

It appears that the greening of our society has morphed into huge business with tentacles influencing the food we eat, the resources we use and the air we breathe.

Now the professor is seen as the uber skeptic of climate change. He challenges the reasons for weather changes that have been blamed on global warming, caused by excessive human-generated carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Plimer says the recent eruption of the Iceland volcano in just four days, totally erased every human effort to reduce carbon in the past five years.

Plimer writes: “Of course you know this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress, is that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and synthesize into oxygen for us humans and animal life.

“I know it’s very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving a Prius hybrid, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid’s “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick into your toilet tank, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing your 50 cents light bulbs with ones costing $10.”

He did not mention the dandelion effect in Ontario that banned chemistry on our lawns and gardens. It was another cave-in by former premier Dalton McGuinty. It’s right up there with the cancelling of the natural gas power generation plants in Oakville and Mississauga to win an election.

Plimer’s argument is the earth is going through a normal cycle that occurs over 800 years. In fact the planet has cooled by .7 degrees in the past century.

He warned that emissions trading schemes are a new tax imposed on everyone. It will not stop 200 active volcanoes from erupting around the world.

What if he right?

This scenario feeds directly into the proposed XL pipeline sending oil sands crude in Alberta to southern Texas to be refined. U.S. President Barack Obama stopped the project in January 2012. Protests by highly financed Nebraska environmentalists forced TransCanada Pipelines to redesign the route to accommodate concerns of the political action group.

The U.S. state department says it has no objection to the pipeline’s new route and sees no environmental concerns. The buck now stops with Obama. It’s really a no brainer.

The president’s policy is to make America self-sufficient producing petroleum products and reducing its reliance on foreign oil. Why would he not consider that more than 50 years of supply lies in the backyard of his best friend, major trading partner and closest ally? Why should Canada and America import costly foreign oil from the states not friendly when the resources lie in North America?

There is no financial cost. The refining plants in Texas and elsewhere are pleading for the oil because the supply of crude from the Gulf is dwindling. The environmental movement is determined to shut down the oil sands on the grounds it is a major producer of greenhouse gas, aka carbon dioxide.

This has become an embarrassing political mess in which the environmental movement in the U.S. is attempting to interfere with a sovereign state by forcing the closing of the oil sands.

Obama does not have to face re-election. There is no reason why he cannot approve this important development that will benefit both Americans and Canadians.

Make no mistake the environmental movement is powerful and has changed the way we live although often based on false science and premise.

Right here in Guelph, our city is governed by a majority of environmentalists on council. They are determined to change the city to their model regardless of whether the citizens go along or not.

The majority of this council has voted to spend more than $120 million to foster its beliefs that the city must change and become environmentally sound. But at what cost? Failure to replace the downtown library, provide adequate parking downtown, neglect recreation areas and needed community centres, are some examples of how priorities were shanghaied. It was to satisfy the minority among us who are radical about greening the city.

The time has arrived to push back and restore the city offering opportunity to all citizens not just the chosen few.

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The myths surrounding Ronald Reagan

Preamble

A friend of mine publishes the Longboat Key News in Sarasota, Florida. He sent me a column written by Tom Burgum stating the President of the United States was “superfluous”  leading the country. Obviously the column is laced with Republican talking points. The piece included the usual reverent references to former President Ronald Reagan who is lionized today by elements in the Republican Party. Gerry Barker

Posted June 19, 2012

Columnist Tom Burgum reached back to Ronald Reagan to compare the great communicator to President Barak Obama, who he states is “superfluous.”

Republicans keep talking about Reagan as the icon of the party. He was instrumental in stoking the U.S. industrial military complex with billions and left office with the biggest deficit in the nation’s peacetime history. He also raised taxes on the rich to 39 percent, a figure that present day GOP adherents refuse to accept.

That deficit was a fiscal chain around the neck of his successor George H.W. Bush who was defeated after one term by Democrat Bill Clinton. Bush 41 is a decent man, veteran and accomplished businessman. Yet his own party failed to support him for re-election.

Can Mr. Burgum possibly equate the behaviour of the present Congress with Congressional cooperation enjoyed by Ronald Reagan 22 years ago?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in 2009 that his goal was to defeat President Obama regardless of the effect on the American people. The House of Representatives Republican majority elected in 2010, has steadfastly refused to pass the Obama jobs bill and almost took the nation to default by refusing to extend the debt limit last summer.

Then they again threatened in December to shut the government down by denying passing critical spending bills, but blinked in the end.

Is this the spirit purveyed in the Reagan years? I think not.

Like his opponent, the President is entitled to attend fund-raisers to support his bid for a second term. Unlike his opponent, he has a country to run. Among a number of accomplishments, he has reversed the American reputation of being seen as a militaristic bully to one that is starting to be admired.

He has been direct and forceful in seeking out and killing Al Qaeda leaders including Osama Bin Laden.  He has removed U.S. forces from Iraq and is determined to reduce the military budget that has ballooned, due to foreign combat.

Obama is a man of substance and dedicated to bringing America out of the global economic collapse, created by his predecessor’s administration.

Now we have Mitt Romney advocating a fuzzy economic program that is mainly a repeat of the policies of former President George W. Bush. Do you really believe that is the solution to America’s economic condition?

Really Mr. Borgum. “Superfluous?” Mr. Obama is a patriot and he is dedicated to reviving a politically punch drunk America.

“Superfluous” more appropriately describes the GOP dominated House of Representatives whose obstructionist tactics have contributed little to pulling the U.S. out of the recession.

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