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The School of Athens, by Raphael

“Sprezzatura,” I can’t believe it!   This is Wikipedia on Raphael’s paintings:

“They give a highly idealised depiction of the forms represented, and the compositions, though very carefully conceived in drawings, achieve “sprezzatura”, a term invented by his friend Castiglione, who defined it as “a certain nonchalance which conceals all artistry and makes whatever one says or does seem uncontrived and effortless …”  (Wikipedia)

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”  Plato

A few weeks before the 2008 Presidential election, President George W Bush was told that the economy was about to collapse and that Americans and their financial partners in what has become a global economy were sinking faster and deeper than the Titanic.

Much to his credit, Henry Paulson (R), the 74th United States Secretary of the Treasury, went to President Bush and explained that a crisis was imminent and that unless something were done immediately, we would be entering a recession that might well dwarf the Great Depression (1929-1939).  At this point, Henry Paulson (R) talked to Senator Christopher “Chris” Dobb (D) who drafted the necessary legislation.

The Democrats listened and unlike Herbert Hoover (R), who did not veto the proposed Smooth-Hawley Tariff Act, but signed it into law on June 17, 1930; in the fall of 2008, both Republicans and Democrats decided to act immediately and in the interest of the people.  On October 3, 2008, TARP (the Troubled Asset Relief Program) was signed into law by President Bush, bless him, as the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

It was a huge expense: “The TARP program originally authorized expenditures of $700 billion. The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act reduced the amount authorized to $475 billion.” (Wikipedia)  But had it not been for TARP, Americans and yours truly here in Canada would be going to soup kitchens and the family pooch would suffer.

I would suppose that approving TARP did not help Mr Paulson’s career.  But had Democrats and Republicans not acted jointly and responsibly, people like you and me would have suffered and it may have been for a very long time

In short, TARP saved the United States and its trading partners.  Yet when President Obama was elected into office, he did not say a word against his predecessor.  The previous administration’s wars had nearly ruined the US economy and, by extension, our global economy.

And now, thanks to the Supreme Court, the Health-Care reform program Mitt Romney brought to Massachusetts and which President Obama more or less adopted has been deemed “constitutional.”  Mr Romney, please tell the truth.  If you say you will do away with health-care reforms, it will seriously endanger your credibility.  As a matter of fact, it has already.  In today’s Beast (June 29-2012), I read that Mitt Romney, “[t]he presumptive Republican nominee was quick to promise a repeal of the health-care act if elected president, but he proposed no alternative—throwing out only the usual Medi-scare, deficit-bomb, and ‘government takeover’ bromides.” (John Avlon)

At this stage in life, I know that, in the pursuit of power, candidates will attack one another.  But, I have heard Mr Romney discredit President Obama’s health-care reforms when these are the reforms he brought to the people of Massachusetts.


The US made a very smart decision on November 4, 2008, when it elected into office a man of integrity, a superior mind, an educated intellect, a person eminently qualified for the position, a Nobel-prize laureate and the President-elect who asked Senator Hillary Clinton to be his Secretary of State.  He trusts her and she has been magnificent.    

So back to the economy and other matters of state, allow me to say that given the obstructionism and scapegoating he has had to face for the last three years, Barack Obama’s record as the duly-elected President of the United States of America is very impressive.

The music is by Vangelis (film: 1492 Conquest of Paradise).

© Micheline Walker
June 29, 2012
English: President George W. Bush and Presiden...
President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, November 10, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)