24 June 2011

Bring Back the United States Post Office

On Thursday, Darrell Issa (R-CA,) chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, introduced the POSTAL REFORM ACT which would "implement sweeping, structural reforms of the United States Postal Service (USPS). The legislation represents the most fundamental reform of the postal service that has been proposed since USPS was first created from the old Post Office Department."

Of course, anything Issa does is suspect. Like all Republicans, he’s a sociopath and must be presumed to be acting for the plutocracy and against the interests of the American People. However, this actually could be a good opportunity to serve the country.

Here's how:

First, socialize USPS. Communication is extremely important to a democracy. That’s why the Founders declared an "enumerated power" of Congress to establish post offices and post roads and protected the right of speech and the press with the First Amendment. Clearly, communication is too important to trust to private firms. It's long past time to reestablish the United States Post Office the Founders intended.

Second, outlaw package delivery services like UPS, FedEx and DHL and let USPS handle the traffic. The USPS already serves every address they serve so this is a huge opportunity for savings which can be used to support USPS.

Third, reconceptualize USPS as the federal department of communication. It would not only continue in its traditional role but also would assume a new role as the national internet service provider. This would involve outlawing all private ISPs and providing service under the control of the new Post Office.

09 June 2011

President Obama's Undoing

President Obama's poll numbers are sagging under the weight of our continuing economic difficulties and Obama is being blamed for thirty years of Conservative economic policy bungling. Too bad for Obama but he brought it on himself. If he had a backbone it wouldn’t have happened. From the day he took office, the damage Conservatives have done to the American economy should have been his administration’s overriding message and should have been a part of every comment on any subject. Instead he’s collaborated and colluded with them until he finally capitulates to their demands and then tries to spin his embarrassing behavior as somehow a reasonable thing to do.

President Obama, cooperating with Conservatives never is a reasonable thing to do. They never will act in anyone’s interest except their own. They are sociopaths. They don’t care who get hurts by what they do as long as they get what they want.

You’ve got to learn that lesson and you don’t have much time to do it. Unless you make the American People understand that Conservatives caused our problems and that the only way to save America is by undoing what they’ve done, you’re not going to be reelected and then America’s going to be in real trouble.

06 June 2011

Demagoguery and the National Debt

The American national debt and what to do about it is an issue at the center of public discussion. In a commentary recently published on The Hill, former senator, Judd Gregg, notes:

...Some have tried to step into the waters of responsible action only to be confronted with the demagoguery of those who make a profession of poisoning wells.

How do we separate demagoguery on the debt issue from the demagoguery of the debt issue?

America has had a national debt since forever and we've learned to live with it. In fact, we've learned to love it. US Treasury securities are a good basis for a savings program. Now come the Conservatives hoping to use the national debt to advance their flagging political fortunes.

Conservative bungling of public policy created the dire economic straits of America today and they're hoping to divert attention from the consequences, a lack of jobs, to something else. The national debt fills the bill. Never mind that they created a good portion of the national debt, especially that portion accruing in recent years, with their tax cuts for the rich and foreign wars. They're acting as if they were the fiscal saviors of America and they're doing it with simplistic policy proposals and utter nonsense.

Spending and tax cuts sound good to the guy who doesn't understand much about macro economics. He knows he can't spend money he doesn't have and can't borrow. That guy can be scared into believing Conservative schemes to serve the plutocracy serve his interests, too, and that's how demagoguery works. Find something which evokes a deeply emotional response and use the response to serve your interest. Conservatives are good at it. They do it with race, immigration, sexual orientation and a host of other things.

Don't believe it.

The debt is manageable and not with the draconian budget and tax slashing the Conservatives are demanding. Instead of listening to the likes of Judd Gregg, stick to the fundamentals. Let Congress "provide for the general welfare" with good faith debating of the issues which really affect the American People and funding action on them with the best means available, taxing or borrowing, just as the Founders intended. We don't need to focus on the funding method just because the Conservatives think it will get them a few votes.

04 June 2011

Class Warrior Under Attack

Former candidate for the Presidency John Edwards has been charged with using campaign funds to shield his mistress from public few. The charges seem bogus to me. As Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has written,

The government’s entire case rests on finding that the payments made by Bunny Mellon and Fred Baron to Andrew Young to support Rielle Hunter were in fact campaign contributions. But no court has ever interpreted the definition of campaign contribution this broadly.

That makes wonder why Edwards is being prosecuted.

I don't know if John Edwards would have wanted to be called a "class warrior" when he was running for president. The American media don't use that term as a compliment and it might not have been well-received by a political campaign which, as we're finding-out, must be concerned with the candidate's image. Nevertheless, even though he, himself, is wealthy, I think of John Edwards as a class warrior for the rest of us.

During his campaign, Edwards talked about two Americas and he was right. America is divided by wealth into two Americas, the wealthy and everyone else. Republicans know it and have been waging a class war for years to make sure the wealthy stay in control. Edwards knew it and was ready to fight the battle for the rest of us. Maybe that's what this prosecution is all about. Edwards had the temerity to go to war for the common man.

Whatever his indiscretions, John Edwards was America's best chance to restore American prosperity and the dignity of the American middle-class. It's a shame we lost him to this peripheral and irrelevant issue and the American passion for elevating trivialities to what they think are substantive issues.