Tag Archives: President Obama

Emil Guillermo: One minority view of the Tax-cut deal

If you come from immigrant stock,  here’s one way to look at this $858 billion tax cut plan Obama and the Republicans are proposing.

Consider how you, your parents or grandparents came to America for opportunity. But now the capitalists here have gotten smarter. They’re shipping jobs back to where we came from.  That’s the American Dream now. You stay put, our jobs will migrate to you.

You see, you never had to immigrate in the first place. The New America is global. It’s wherever you are. 

In the eight years of the Bush Administration, 5 million manufacturing jobs were lost as plants were shut down all over the U.S.  Opportunities? If you’re Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Indian, or from any other low wage country, it’s right under you nose. Just wait, America will be there and pay you in your native currency.

If you heard Sen.Bernie Sanders nearly nine-hour speech last Friday, you heard his lament. In 2000, there were 17,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. By 2008 there were less than 12,000.  Since the beginning of World War II, the U.S. has lost 5 million manufacturing jobs–a 29 percent reduction.

That’s just one of the reasons why so many people are out of work here.

And now those people  face  the indignity of being the pawns in this huge tax-cut game in Washington.

In order to get unemployment, the GOP wants to trade extension of benefits for the extension of the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy

That’s practically immoral.

An $858 billion  tax cut proposal is just insane given our $13.8 trillion national debt.

But this is the road advocates for the tax-cut deal us on.

Our jobs are gone, our people are unemployed, our future compromised.

If you’re in a Third World nation now, why would you ever want to come to America?

More on the tax cut bill on my blog at www.aaldef.org/blog

Sherrod story a racial speed bump, but shows Obama’s preferred passive stance on race

The road to freedom will be much tougher if we all get tossed off-kilter by the road bumps put in our way by conservative media.

FoxOpinion (it is more opinion than news, isn’t it?)  and blogger Breitbart should be ashamed of their tactics.

But the Obama adminstration suffered from a little post-racial knee-jerking, too.

First, assume the truth from FoxOpinion  is always dicey. More so from a conservative blogger. So why  couldn’t someone at the FDA verify the facts with Shirley Sherrod?

 Sure,we want to get to racial nirvana, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of the truth?

This embarrassment is more on USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack  than Obama, really. Vilsack should know better, but  so should the pres.

I’ve always called Obama the big “race avoider. He doesn’t want to deal with race as an everyday agenda item unless he’s dragged into it and issues are made of his pastor, Skip Gates, Shirley Sherrod.

Obama wants to take us to the next level by  forgetting about race. His is the passive approach. The less he deals with race minutae, the more people see the big picture:  There’s a black man in the White House. Racism? Get over it.

That’s how he wants to drag us to the promised land. But people on both sides don’t want to budge.

The racists are vested as are the race-based. 

Ann Coulter/Jesse Jackson are self-cancelling.

Post-racial thinking?  Race politics in America won’t change until we’re all on the same page.

Emil Guillermo on the BP Spill: Don’t blame Big Government–blame the free market

Maybe we just needed a spill of such horrific proportions to come to our senses.

When stuff happens we want, we demand, that government take care of us.

But Deepwater Horizon isn’t so much a failure of Big Government to be in charge, it’s a stark realization at what de-regulation and a lax of oversight will do.

We have allowed Big Government to fail because the small government folks distrust the oversight. Leave it to the oil companies to police themselves.  As I write that, why does that sound stupid? 

So small g. folks allow the  free market to run amok and let  the likes of BP to do what it will without a net.  Just a net profit,  about $14 billion or so last year.

Sooo much better.

Even in crisis, the failure of the free market was colossal.  BP’s efforts  were unremarkable. 40 days? 20 million gallons later does it deserve to stay in business? And where were the free market resources to come together to solve the problem?

Someone could make some good money being a hero here. That’s the free market dream.

 Two guys in a garage could have come up with a better “TOP KILL” sooner, maybe? Instead, we had people with those pathetic looking   restraining tubes trying to herd the oil plume like stray cattle.   

Maybe BP was praying for IRON MAN  in full regalia to swoop in and  sit on the thing?

What was the free market response?  It said, “Not my problem. Especially with a 4 day weekend coming up.”

So what’s the score:

Free Market , zero.  Big Government, trying.

Obama tried to cap the political hole yesterday.  But his “TOP KILL” didn’t do much for me either.

Re-regulation.  Moratoriums. Those are the easy solutions that should have already been in place.

We need an aggressive clean up combined with a comprehensive energy plan.

Our oil addiction is a killer. The spill, the video, “Top Kill”, just a massive wake-up call as we trudge along in our oil dependent stupor.

Emil Guillermo on the BP spill: The new “Blood for oil” begins as first “head” rolls

So far just one head, Liz Birnbaum at U.S. Minerals Management Services is the first to go, reports say.  But is she even high enough the food chain to balance the wreckless destruction that has taken place as the oil flows?

Like the oil, the blame flows incrementally. Once it sinks in how this is worse than the Exxon Valdez spill, more rubber-stampers will have to be removed and replaced.

Everyone is so anxious to see this thing plugged up, that public statements are too often interpreted with a much more optimistic spin. We saw that this morning with the conflicts between the Coast Guard’s optimism, and BP’s more guarded stance.

Obama has done right to extend the moratorium on drilling, and should do it at least until the cleanup is done. That should take care of at least 100 years.

And he should know there is some relief with firing a few bureaucrats way too close to the industries they regulate.  When Big oil expects payback,  the people get screwed.  (BTW, isn’t it funny how the “small government” folks are now blaming big government’s lack of response to the spill? Pro-business amall government tendencies are responsible for a lack of response.)

In the meantime, grease up the bicycles and fire up the candles.

Our own oil dependency plays a role in all this too.

In death, Corazon Aquino becomes spirit of Philippine democracy

I’ll always see Cory Aquino as the demure amateur thrust into the limelight.

I first saw her in 1983 in the Santo Domingo Church in the Philippines. I was there for KRON-TV/ San Francisco doing a story for the NBC network. I was covering the funeral of Aquino’s late husband the charismatic Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, the former journalist and Philippine Senator who was considered the main foe of Philippine autocrat Ferdinand Marcos.

Cory Aquino wore a black, not yellow dress, as she took to the vestibule in mourning and asked the entire country  to “not let Ninoy die in vain.”

She then led a crowd of at more than a million people through the streets of Manila in what was a magnificent funeral procession and a harbinger of the “People Power” revolution that would take place within three years.

Cory Aquino didn’t do half bad, really, as political wives go.

The feelings for Benigno Aquino and the negative feelings for Marcos were so strong, that the momentum was set up for anyone who dared to stand in the spotlight.

Cory Aquino was it by default.

She had enough in her to inspire the millions ready for change to boldly stand with her in 1986 against the dictator. This was the peaceful revolution known as People Power. The assassination, the distraught situation of the Philippine people, and the unwillingness of the country to accept a fraudulent Marcos election bestowed on Aquino a kind of  sainthood. Cory was the Philippines patron saint of democracy.

That was Cory Aquino’s ideal role. She was perfect at that.

But as president, she was a bit lacking.

In interviews, she admitted she had no real idea what she was doing. The devout Catholic had her sincerity, her earnestness. But we learned that public policy is not built on prayer alone. Aquino did manage to survive and keep things together, no small task considering that by the time she left office in 1992, she had survived six coup attempts.

The real disappointment of her reign, however, was not that Cory couldn’t do it, but that the Filipino people who thrust her into power couldn’t do it. With Marcos gone, the deck was merely reshuffled among the governing class. The Ins were Outs. The Outs were In. Net change: Zero.

Exiled leaders came home to their lost fortunes. Former leaders came to America, or accepted lesser posts. The poor did not/could not rise. The country’s collective fate did not improve.

Unfortunately, it’s still debatable if the Philippines is better off now than it was under Marcos.

Since Aquino left office, the Philippines has been reliving watered down versions of its past. Corruption is dialed back, but not eliminated. A bad president (Estrada) is thrown out by “mini-people power,” and is replaced by another oligarch, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Arroyo, who was with President Obama this past week, is the anti-Cory in every way. Cory wore yellow. Arroyo wore red.

It’s safe to say Arroyo is no Cory Aquino.

I’ve called Arroyo Marcos Lite. All the taste of the former dictator, but with fewer calories.

Even Cory Aquino marched in protests that called for Arroyo’s resignation.

Ironically, Cory Aquino’s death may actually make her an even more powerful force in such a devoutly Catholic country.

Death should only solidify Aquino’s role as the spirit of a democratic ideal for the Philippines.