Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Obama: Melissa Harris-Perry's Santa Claus

I am putting down “Lords of Finance” by Liaquant Ahmed to write this. It is history of the first great depression and Second World War Last week I read an essay on the written by Melissa Harris-Perry. As most of her commentaries, the focus was on President Barack Obama. IN a nut shell, she asserted that “Electoral racism, “specifically “the tendency of white liberals to hold African-American leaders to a higher standard than their white counterparts” is the causal predictor variable in Obama’s decline in support among whites from 61 percent to 33 percent currently.

To support her claim, she notes that Obama’s “legislative record for his first two years outpaces Clinton’s first two years” and offers several other comparisons. However she seems to avoid several factors and even fails to lack a more substantial comparison with one President Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush, who in policy are more akin to the President than Clinton. Notwithstanding, the impact of a political climate in which people are equally disappointed in all politicians inside the beltway regardless of party affiliation.

Now not being white, or a political “scientist” (emphasis on the word scientist) or as astute on the matters as Professor white, my sciolism may be lucid for all to see. However being an academic as well, with a focus on behavioral epidemiology and a specialty in statistics, it is difficult for me to discern how she can come to such a conclusion as a reasonable answer for his drop in support among white liberals. First, incumbents serving in severe economic times always have lower approval and popularity ratings. Add to this, incessant high unemployment which has remained very high, military involvement in an increasing number of countries, and political paralysis in Washington. There is plenty of reason to question Obama's effectiveness.

Obama is more of a conservative than a liberal truth be told. This is evident from his consistent promotion of conservative corporate policies that serve the wealth more than the poor and middle class. But this is not important in Dr. Harris-Perry’s analysis. As an Obama apologist, she only can compare and list his accomplishments, unfortunately his record is clear. He serves Wall St and K street first and foremost and has demonstrated himself to be “more neo-conservative than any neo-conservative and seems to use “regime change” just as much as George W. Bush and his inner circle. “Just looking at the reckless manner in which we disrespect and lessen the value of lives there via the US policy of using drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to kill civilians in the hundreds daily is evidence of this alone.
The Obama administration put into place a legal standard albeit it untested, that allows for the singular approval from the Executive branch of the federal government, without proof to allow the federal government to target individual American citizens for assassination.

He has ignored his campaign promise to protect government whistleblowers, and instead has persecuted and prosecuted more government whistleblowers than ever in US History.

Last and more important, one can simply examine how he works with his economic team to objectively examine his skill set in terms of management ergo concluding something is lacking. I can use the dysfunction of Obama's retinue of economic advisors to demonstrate why I have this opinion and come to the aforementioned conclusion. To start off with, Larry Summers (former Director of National Economic Council), Paul Volcker (former Federal Reserve Chairman), Christina Romer (former Economic Advisor), Elizabeth Warren (former Special Advisor to the Treasury Secretary), Peter Orszag (former Budget Director), and Tim Geithner (Secretary of the Treasury) alone provide me with more than enough substance to make this argument. Just looking at documented occurrences covering the Volcker rule, issues regarding Citibank, the bailout and the first stimulus, gives one an additional layer for discussion.

For example, the Obama administration’s $500 billion plus proposal was only beneficial to the banks and big dollar investors at the expense of the US tax payer.
All I can say is that for Dr. Harris Perry to blame his failing numbers on racism is feculent and ignores the aforementioned. Not to mention that she does not separate support falling between liberals versus independents in her statement that it has fall among “whites.” And I know she will get on me since for me to openly criticize the economic approach of President Obama is tantamount to being an uncle tom, racist or something even worse. Albeit it has nothing to do with the person, his race and/or political affiliation, and more a dissonance with Keynesian economic philosophy, because I am an African American my position is untenable and unreasonable.

Even if I state what I agree with and approve of that the President has implemented thus far, I am still considered against the President just because I am in disagreement with a single policy. I was supportive of the administration’s efforts to implement tougher regulations that would have reduced the amount of federal financial aid flowing to for-profit colleges that prey on mainly low income African Americans. However, I eventually became disappointed when his administration caved to the industry’s lobbyists and their campaign against the Obama administration. I was able to applaud the first bill he signed into law on approving legislation that expands workers' rights to sue over discrimination and the fact that so far he is setting records for the number of women and minorities nominated to lifetime appointments at the level of the Federal Courts. Nearly half of the 73 candidates he has tapped for the bench have been women. In all, 25% have been African Americans, 10% Hispanics and 11% Asian Americans. He is the first president who hasn't selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships, far exceeding the percentages in the two-term administrations of Bill Clinton (48.1 percent) and George W. Bush (32.9 percent).

I was also supportive of President Obama’s $1.15 billion measure to fund a settlement for African American farmers reached more than a decade ago via the 1997 Pigford v. Glickman case against the U.S. Agriculture Department over claims of discrimination. This made it possible for approximately 70,000 African American farmers to receive cash payments and debt relief from the federal government. However when I question the decision to pander to #ocupywallstreet protesters and the same night attend an upper East Side DNC $35,800 a plate fundraiser resulting in $2.4 million added to his re-election campaign from Wall Street financiers and call it hypocrisy, my position was vilified. When I spoke out against the President’s policy decision to ask Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call the cell phones of consumers delinquent on student loans and other debt owed the federal government using robo calls I was condemned.

If I speak out and say I disagree with the Obama’s administration decision to waive legally mandated penalties for countries that use child soldiers and provide those countries U.S. military assistance, just like he did last year I am a hatter. The White House will issue a series of waivers for the Child Soldiers Protection Act, a 2008 law that is meant to stop the United States from giving military aid to countries that recruit soldiers under the age of 15 and use them to fight wars, for Yemen, South Sudan, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Last year, the White House didn't even tell Congress when it ended the Child Soldiers Prevention Act penalties. Their rational was suspect at best.

Dr. Harris-Perry would like to reduce Obama’s lack of support among whites and maybe even other racial/ethnic groups on racism but doing so in my purview misses the point. As such it places here in the class of other Jerry Springer-esque political pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Eric Dyson and Sean Hannity. As scientist we must base causation on facts and not emotions. For it seems it has never crossed her mind that Obama may not being a good job and this standard as such has nothing to do with race. I guess Obama’ is her Santa Claus. Meaning it is ok to tell kids that he brings toys, rides on a sleigh pulled by reindeer and slides down the chimney to bring kids toys, even when the house doesn’t have a chimney.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shame on You, Washington Politicians

My America is land of the free and home of the brave. But this is only in theory. The actual truth is that the bravest folk in our great nation are those who think, read, who are of the middle and lower classes have no insurance or jobs and tend to be in the military. Yes this is the back bone of our great nation and all of the rest seem to be holding on milking other for their ride.

Take for example our politicians. All I can say is “shame on you.” You cannot do the work of the people and tend to only do what is best for your wealthy associates regardless of party affiliation for the simple truth in policy, action, and money there is no distinction between any politicians in Washington. Last I heard Obama was just as bellicose as Dick Cheney and has dropped more bombs from drones than Donald Rumsfeld ever did.

What if any, additional evidence do we need to see that our political system is completely broken? These super committee fools couldn’t even come up with at least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts over the next decade in a two month period. Meanwhile back at the ranch, the U.S. national debt has passed the $15 trillion dollar mark and we are facing trillion dollar deficits – can you say national financial disaster. Now we are going to have automatically triggered budget cuts of $1.2 trillion in starting in 2013. And we will have to wait and see because mathematically, we may not have even this many in cuts since they include almost $170 million in savings projected to occur as a function of reduced interest cost on our national debt.

Yep folks, shame on them, they are too weak, ductile and fleecy to roll up their sleeves and do some actual work. They are not brave enough to do what needs to be done and should be ashamed since our men and women fighting over seas in wars they did not ask for are the epitome of bravery.

But what can we expect, my America is a nation that gives a single mother more time in federal prison for lying on her food stamp application than anyone involved in the Wall Street mortgage fraud, sub-prime lending or complex paper schemes that help produce Americas and the worlds debt based conundrums. Last week, U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate sentenced Anita McLemore, 47, the mother of two teenage children, to three years in prison. The mother of two pleaded guilty in July to one count of submitting a false claim to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Temporary Assistance and Food Stamps program.

Ms. McLemore, received $4,367 in benefits. This in comparison to six defendants in two related mortgage fraud cases involving fraudulent loans totaling about $5.8 million received sentences ranging from house arrest to 30 months in prison. In addition to the three-year sentence, Wingate fined McLemore $250 and placed her on supervised release for three years after serving her sentence.

These fools obviously do not get it, from Obama to the Congress, they do not have a clue; they cannot see that as a nation, there is a very good chance that we will suffer another major credit downgrade on U.S. debt. And if this happens, a large proportion of the financial transactions that occur worldwide would not be able to happen if that takes place. No one with the exception of Ron Paul (this is a must see video of Dr. Paul in 11/19/11). He would end the Federal Reserve and starts issuing debt-free money, and move to cut our budget deficits. All these folks on TV want to do is fix a broken system, without out acknowledging that it became broke in 1913, prior to the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, the national debt was only about $2.9 billion.

We are in the last days of the Euro and the Union possibly and we are no better as a nation. According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years and last year alone, as a nation we lost an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day . Data reported by the Economic Policy Institute, notes that our economy loses more than 9000 jobs for every $1 billion of goods that are imported from overseas.

And what do we have to show for it? A dysfunctional Supper Committee, a dysfunctional Congress and a dysfunction White House Administration. I am sorry but shame on all of you Washington, DC politicians. We are suffering, we see the problems, but you don’t and will not listen to us. But why should they? The average net worth for a member of Congress is now approximately 3.8 million dollars and more than 50 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sciolism on both sides of the aisle and in the hood

America is dead. Yes we are basically attending the wake of our once great nation. I wanted to hold off before I wrote this but this week sent me over the edge. I realized this when the situation at Penn State and Dr. Conrad Murray’s trial were headlining most news outlets like they were actually that important. I had an inkling that this was the case when they started leading with Herman Cain’s alleged sexual miscues, but the Penn State fiasco made it all clearer.

As a people we do not have the intellectual capacity to put things in perspective. I know molesting kids is wrong but it would still be just as heinous if it was done by a teacher at a local school and doesn’t warrant being on TV as the first story, equally to the Dr. Murray and Cain mess as if it is really important on the problems we are confronting as a nation today. Even worse is that we do not have the foresight to even question why such is on each day and worse, question ourselves why we don’t.

It is almost magical, just a few days after the brutal execution and solemnization of Col. Mumar Gaddafi, there has been little word about the nation. Likewise, there has also been a reduction of the coverage regarding the atrocities of what is occurring daily in Syria. Why this is is my query and as such I have a few suggestions I would like to offer in support of my observations. I may even throw in a little Israel into the mix for good measure.

Seems like it was clear from the start, Obama and US higher ups (corporations) had a desire to see Gaddifi out of the picture. So much so that the same higher ups had Obama do their bidding by asking the UN war with Libya, Barack Obama's administration is breaking new ground. Obtaining a U.N. Security Council resolution has legitimated U.S. bombing raids under international law. But the U.N. Charter is not a substitute for the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress, not the president, the power "to declare war."

My question is what make Libya different from Syria, and why has the Present administration said nothing about either? I mean constitutionality we had no authority for our Libyan intervention, since Libya did not attack our "armed forces." Why not do the same for Syria? It is obvious the President doesn’t need the support of congress to do such since, in the Libyan case; the president had plenty of time to get congressional support.

Maybe the reason we no longer mention Libya in media outlets is because of the results. We already see horrifying reprisals from the US-backed rebels against their political opponents given their incessant killing of each other as well as supporters of the previous regime. Not to mention that the civilian toll from NATO bombs grew albeit they were supposed to be protecting a civilian population. Obama stated that his actions in Libya were “in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive."

True, Obama has called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an ally of Iran, foe of Israel and sponsor of the armed militant group Hezbollah, to leave office but that is about it. Although Assad and his ruling circle are members of the minority Alawite sect, which makes up about 12 percent of Syria's population, Obama has not even asked the UN or NATO to intervene to protect civilians there. I mean there were no massacres taking place in Libya before the NATO attack but they are occurring in Syria.

All I can say is that the President has shown himself to be more neo-conservative than any neo-conservative and seems to use “regime change” just as much as George W. Bush and his inner circle. Now he has extended this purview by ending US funding of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) after they held a vote to approve the Palestinian Authority’s full membership in the agency.

And all of this for what? Is it to appease Israel; is it to show he is in charge prior to 2012? I cannot say but I will assert that it is more of the political same – WAGGING THE DOG. By this I mean “When something of secondary importance improperly takes on the role of something of primary importance.”

Truth is that Obama tends to foreign policy because he is lost in what to don domestically. I cannot figure out why it is important for him to make it easier for foreign corporations to invest in American than American corporations to invest here at home. While abroad we see what has happened in Europe and know that the head of China's biggest ratings agency, Dagong Global Credit Rating, is warning that it may downgrade the US's sovereign debt rating again because of Washington's failure to tackle the federal budget deficit.Why can’t he do our business in the same manner he does for his wealthy donors?

Over the last year, the Obama administration aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, although we do not need such or don’t even know if the drug will work. What we do know is that the no-bid contract went to New York-based Siga Technologies Inc.; a company who’s a major share holder is billionaire and a longtime Democratic Party donor. Ronald O. Perelman.

I just do not get it. Our national debt is almost 15 trillion dollars, if you include interest it's almost 55 trillion dollars, making my of this debt is just under $175,000. And if you didn’t know Mr. President, my personal value and net worth is shrinking while you’re folk on Capital hill’s is growing. The collective net worth of all of the members of Congress increased by 25 percent between 2008 and 2010.

Just help me understand and I will have your back, otherwise I will call it like I see it, that from the White House to the congress there is sciolism on both sides of the aisle and in the hood too, since most folks too dumb to think or look for themselves and would prefer to attend to who Herman Cain tried to get give him fellatio allegedly, or how many little boys a perverted coach has molested.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jay-Z sells 'Occupy' T-shirts but will not share profits with the Movement

When we mention Hip-hop music is if difficult to get through any conversation without bring up the name of Sean “Jay-Z” Carter. He is a great lyricist, a business man and married arguably, to one of the most attractive women in America. Now he is getting involved with the Occupy movement that has sprouted in nearly every community across the nation. However, his actions maybe are more self serving than for the benefit of the masses.

It has been reported that Jay-Z will be releasing a new line of T-shirts in support of the occupy Wall Street movement (#OWS) via his Rocawear clothing label. Unfortunately he and his company will not be sharing any of the profits with the protesters according to his spokesman. According to a representative of his clothing company Rocawear, there is not an "official commitment to monetarily support the movement," which is taking a stand against corporate greed and corruption.
The rapper/mogul was even recently seen wearing one of the shirts, which tweaks the phrase "Occupy Wall Street" by crossing out the "W" and adding an "S" to make it read "Occupy All Streets."

I guess it should only be expected that another rapper is interested in avarice as equally as the big Wall Street banks. Neither gives back but only takes from those who cannot afford to live as they do to only become richer. In simple terms, this represents another concern with hip hop culture other than its strong focus of materialism, going for self and producing songs with lyrics that border of instructional psychpathy – I is more important that the we or community.

The spokesperson went on to add "The 'Occupy All Streets' T-shirt was created in support of the 'Occupy Wall Street' movement. Rocawear strongly encourages all forms of constructive expression, whether it be artistic, political or social. 'Occupy All Streets' is our way of reminding people that there is change to be made everywhere, not just on Wall Street. At this time we have not made an official commitment to monetarily support the movement."

If Unemployed, You Should Starve, says Michele Bachmann

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Kim Kardashian syndrome: Why Black Pay More Attention to Things That Don't Impact Them

If you go on twitter, it is not hard to see what the average African American considers as being important and worthy of incessant attention. For that matter, you can also conclude why our community is in the state of disarray it is. Our main problem is not being able to prioritize in concert with not engaging our attention to matters and issues that proffer a tangible importance to our collective well-being.

Ask the average black person about Greece, they may something about the debt crisis, but for certain than can speak astutely on its salads and yogurt more than the former. Comparatively speaking, ask them about anything related to Ms. Kim and some self-absorbed rapper, they can speak with the prowess of a Neil Bohr on particle physics. This is what I find problematic: occupation with mundane idiocy that has nothing to do with our lives than those issues that do.We question why African American youth perform poorly academically in schools, or why we don’t attend or graduate from college, yet we never examine our own practices and behaviors that contribute to this. For the way I see it, it would be more reasonable to attend to the high unemployment and dropout rates in our community than what one Kardashian does.

This is not funny. Now I know folks say I am piling up on my folk, but really I am not. It reminds me of the student I may have in my class who is failing who ask for extra credit at the last moment just to pass, when they did not attend class regularly, did not do their homework and didn’t take notes when they did attend.This is equally comparable to our inattention to the Greek and European sovereign debt crisis.

For the record, the European sovereign debt crisis has more of an impact on our daily lives and is way more import than any Kardashian or Jay-Z and Kanye West Concert will ever have. Sadly I want to believe people know this, but more sadly is the possibility that they do and still don’t care to inform themselves on the topic as much as they do the Kardashian or the concert.

To put is plainly. Countries like Greek and Ireland and Spain and Italy have borrowed lots of money from other European nations and now they cannot pay it back. America in turn does business, a lot of business with Europe so it will hit us making us suffer just as bad also. Why because the global market is based on the massive buying, selling and trading of bonds and complex papers that bundle risk that folks buy in hopes of making a profit.

As it stands, short term Greek Bonds are still trading at 50% or less of face value. With the new Plan announced last Thursday the Bonds should be trading close to, or at par but they won’t since the Greek Prime Minister just announced that he will place acceptance of the Eurozone bailout up for a popular vote. A vote many Greek citizens equal to blackmail.

If they refuse, it means Greece and Germany will not agree to the conditions of the new Plan and that Greece won’t get an 8 billion-euro payment in mid-November that would most likely run out during January that would leave the government with no funds to function. This is not a good look for American citizens. And seeing that more than 60 percent of Greek citizens do not desire a bailout, and that G20 leaders are trying to get China to drop some loot to help folk out if all goes to ####.

Greek Prime Minister Papandreou, whose PASOK party has pushed sweeping austerity measures through parliament while protesters rally in the streets, has asked for major budget cuts. Now Italy Bonds are trading at the largest spread between Germany bonds in history because of the exposure contained by the major banks of Europe. Shares in France's Society General tumbled 17 percent and Credit Agricole was down almost 12.5 percent.

We can see the impact right here just by looking at MF Global Holdings Ltd. Like other major US banks, the folks who run these massive pension and hedge funds have provided most of the wealth of banks via negative rates of interest that guarantee their liabilities, and that in effect bailed them out unconditionally with our invested money. This means as Greece goes so do all of the other debtor nations, like the US. The more we ignore the importance of these events in Europe, our large indebted and over leveraged economy accomplished by our propensity for investing in financial instrument widely used by speculators to discredit government bonds, and undermine the country's weakening creditworthiness like credit default swap (CDS)., the more danger we are in.

The end result may be a freeze in the credit markets, similar to what we saw after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Consequently, it will also result in a net-negative impact on the job creation reducing the ability of U.S. manufacturers to sell their goods in Europe. This will give European manufacturers a significant pricing advantage over US manufactures because of the decline in the exchange rate. Thus a weaker European economy means reduce demand for U.S. exports, because with no disposable income, European consumers will not be able to buy autos, appliances and other goods.

So the significance of the Greek sovereign debt crisis has a large impact on the average American citizen.Yet still, it seems that what happens to Kim Kardashian is more important to most African Americans than the aforementioned. I do not know why but I would like to call this the Kim Kardashian syndrome – the reason why black folk attend and care more about things that do not impact them than things that do.