The love of country


Someone recently asked if President Barack Obama loves his country. The query elicited varied reactions from pundits to national media commentators. I have no personal animus against the President nor do I have problems answering love of country. I remain a strong believer in the “stars and stripes forever.”

Nonetheless, I’ve also keenly treaded national debates on presidential and congressional authority on the concept of separation of powers. The Republican-controlled Congress is divided on some issues and a Johnny-come-lately on others. The vacuum is what Mr. O uses to impose his rogue views on such issues as healthcare and immigration, among others, using his pen and cellular phone.

Monica Crowley, national columnist and conservative political radio commentator asked:

“Does Barack Obama love America?

“At this point, who really cares?

“Half of America isn’t paying much attention to him, and the other half is thinking about who might succeed him in 2016.

“And yet, thanks to a recent comment by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, the question shows it still has political legs.
“The problem is that it misses the real point.

“The issue raised by Mr. Giuliani’s comment is not whether or to what extent Mr. Obama loves his country. It is also not about Mr. Obama’s patriotism or lack thereof.

“The real point is as true as it is frightening: Six years into Mr. Obama’s presidency, the man is still a stranger.”

Now, can the President rewrite federal laws by violating the concept of “separation of powers” eviscerating congressional authority? Former Judge Andrew Napolitano asked a challenging query:  “What’s going on here?

“What’s going on is the exercise of authoritarian impulses by a desperate President terrified of powerlessness and irrelevance, the Constitution be damned. I say “damned” because when the president writes laws, whether under the guise of administrative regulations or executive orders, he is effectively damning the Constitution by usurping the powers of Congress.

“One of the safeguards built into the Constitution is the separation of powers: Congress writes the laws, the president enforces the laws, and the courts interpret them. The purpose of this separation is to prevent the accumulation of too much power in the hands of too few—a valid fear when the Constitution was written and a valid fear today.”

All the blurred view from Mr. O touted as a constitutional lawyer from Harvard University Law School? Isn’t his deficient view normally committed by social organizers in cities throughout the country rather than constitutional lawyers?

Immigration challenges
The outmigration of islanders includes all jurisdictions between here and Majuro. Our fellow islanders are looking for opportunities for their families. The economic stagnancy at home creates the sentiment of hopelessness where relocation is the last ditch effort.

More than 3,000 from the CNMI have relocated since four to six years ago. They sensed it in the air—a familial economic headwind—and while money provides the means to leave, they picked up their luggage and headed to jet ways.

Uncle Sam goes AWOL
Recent discussion on Compact Impact funds highlights Uncle Sam’s deficiency in meeting his obligations. His tardiness sometime turns discussion into spins hurting innocent migrants from the region. The Compact agreement allows them free movement within U.S. jurisdictions.

It’s obvious that chief executives find the late federal payments a serious fiscal challenge at home. In short, local funds are diverted to accommodate the needs of our friends for healthcare and education, among others. We do so as compassionate fellow islanders.

Health insurance skyrockets
Health insurance (Aetna) is slated to increase by 40 percent for all members in the public sector and Settlement Fund. It’s another increase most can’t afford and not when wages, salaries, and the economy have stagnated—stayed the same—for over a decade now.

Those who don’t qualify for Medicaid must quietly swallow the bitter pill of another assault on the family pocketbooks. In my case, it means an additional $109-plus per month where even money budgeted for medication needs some serious juggling. Don’t know how to navigate the $1,000 deductible at CHC. It’s mea culpa time!

The increase is especially hard for those who barely miss qualifying for Medicaid. It’s another long bout with trying to find extra income to make up for health insurance. Healthcare becomes an additional hardship for families who hardly make ends meet.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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