Barack Obama (AFP) | Republican U.S. presidential hopeful and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush speaks during the "Road to Majority" conference June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC (AFP)

Jeb Bush, the “other brother” of the famous highly successful born again evangelical Christian President of the USA (2000 – 2008) who single handedly liberated the Middle East and established five star democracies in repressive oil rich one family kingdoms, is also running for President of the USA. His campaign logo is JEB! He is running away from the name factor.  The Republican primaries will be interesting with a lot of religious conservatives also in the race.  But Jeb (Bush) is the likely frontrunner and chosen candidate of the Republican mainstream establishment. He has an advantage that he is bilingual and he is married to a first generation Mexican and is very likeable despite his conservative moral values.  He also speaks Spanish at home. Hispanics are a key voter group and if he can win Florida besides all other states that went to Romney and Bush plus the battleground state of Ohio he will become the next President (provided he gets the nomination by winning the primaries).

Won’t be a queer irony if in 2016, the race becomes Clinton vs. Bush round 2?  Advantage Bush; he is the smarter of the brothers and he was a very successful (from a conservative point of view) governor of Florida. He too has a Conservative Christian zealot streak in him considering his views on single mothers and shaming them as he said in his book. He too is committed to cutting welfare for single mothers and also banning abortions even if a woman becomes pregnant because of rape or even if a woman’s life is in danger.

JEB! by excluding his last name he is trying to distance himself from his born again evangelical conservative brother who rushed into war in Iraq and made a mess of things. When asked if he had consulted his father about rushing to war in Iraq (interview with Bob Woodward), President George W Bush instead said, “I spoke to my higher father”. That is the religious bend of his that got the entire Middle East destabilized.  Evidently his “higher father” failed to communicate the zeal to the “higher fathers” of the Sunnis, Kurds and Shias inside Iraq!

Madam Hillary Clinton who deleted her State Department emails she stored on a private server ( amongst other things), and hasn’t come clean on Benghazi, who is linked to questionable foreign donors, is the anointed Democrat for now; but she too ran away from the Clinton name when she competed with Obama in 2008; the race she lost at the end after a good fight.

She will also not be able to galvanize the black vote the way Obama did (98% blacks in 2008 and 95% in 2012 voted for him; that made the necessary difference in swing states where the majority of whites voted against Obama)

US economy is not in the doldrums anymore. Compared to what pathetic state it was in 2008, with the global financial sector meltdown, things are much better in the US than any other large economy of the world. It is doing better than it did during the last 4 years of Bush governance.  Unemployment rate has come down from 10.7% to a manageable 5.5% now. It was a slow, but very steady recovery with a few upheavals here and there.  The key business indices such as the Dow Jones (DJIA) and Nasdaq are at record highs making investors happy and also ordinary fixed income earners such as myself happy because our retirements funds are all linked to the stock market.  From about 7,800 odd in March 2009, the DJIA is hovering around 18,000 now.  Private sector led growth is the key to a recovery in the USA and not State sponsored employment and fat payrolls unlike Sri Lanka where every government stacks the over-bloated inefficient government sector with useless employees to win elections.

As for the system of government, the remarkable feature of the US government is that it has 3 branches of government. The Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. The powers assigned to each of these branches act as a great system of checks and balances against dictatorship. A President doesn’t have the same powers the President of Sri Lanka had until recently.  The constitutional powers arrogated to each branch are clear (for the most part). The Congress and Senate both have so much power that the President cannot run berserk and amend constitutions as Presidents JRJ and MR did.
Here is a list of powers arrogated to each branch of the Federal government.

A. Executive/President
The president carries out federal laws and recommends new ones, directs national defense and foreign policy, and performs ceremonial duties. Powers include directing government, commanding the Armed Forces, dealing with international powers, acting as chief law enforcement officer, and vetoing laws.

B. Legislative/Congress and Senate
Headed by Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. The main task of these two bodies is to make the laws. Its powers include passing laws, originating spending bills (House), impeaching officials (Senate), and approving treaties (Senate).

C. Judiciary
Headed by the Supreme Court. Its powers include interpreting the Constitution, reviewing laws, and deciding cases involving states’ rights.The US political system is also such that State governments have more local power than the Federal government in deciding public policy at State level. States are also governed by an elected Chief Executive (Governor) and with a bi-cameral Legislative system in 49 out of the 50 states with only Nebraska having a uni-cameral system. An important feature of the  US system is that States rights are emphasized more unless a Federal Statute overrides local laws.

Obama or Bush: US duplicity in foreign policy should be very clear to any student of foreign affairs. Look at Egypt. First Obama wanted “democracy and freedom and elections” there.  Then elections led to the Muslim Brotherhood winning the first free and fair election; US didn’t like the result.

Libya is entirely the creation of the Obama-Cameron nexus and Hilary is part of that team. “democracy and elections” is a selective message the US sends. If a nation is oozing with Oil like all the Feudal family run kingdoms the Imperialists created, then that message is not tweeted to the people there. Iran is an irritant and threatens Israel, so US is working overtime to bring about a regime change which will be friendly to the West for strategic reasons.

Obama to cater to his liberal political supporters promised to bring home troops from Iraq. He did so hastily without consulting his military advisors and chaos started up after the Surge under Bush had brought all the Sunni insurgencies under control.  US like other Western Christian nations of course failed to realize that Sunni-Shia sectarian distrust is of very long making.

Add Oil to the script; the lovely thick black gooey stuff oozing in the Middle East; the lifeblood of all industrial economies, and you have the main reason the West has to remain in the Middle East.

Obama should never have been given a Nobel Peace Prize; He was given that because he is great at delivering passionate speeches with a teleprompter. His regime’s actions are in fact in a way a betrayal of the trust we placed in him. Domestically, he is in bed with rich WallStreet (and not main street despite his campaign slogan) just like Bush was; not one WallStreet Banker Crook is in jail for destroying the global economy with the games they played. From the collapse of Lehman brothers subprime mortgage gambling there was a whole combination of factors that led to the collapse and subsequent tax payer funded bailouts. Not one scoundrel was thrown in jail; that is US style Yahapalanaya to you despite big talk during elections.

Foreign policy wise, at least with Bush and Republicans we all know what they want and will do; but Obama the candidate realized that all his talk was only talk. Civilian deaths from Predator Drone strikes are much greater than under Bush.  Yemen is in flames in a tri-cornered fight between Houthis-Sunnis and Al Qaeda.  Somalia is in flames. Egypt is a dictatorship of the same type preferred by the US during the cold war.  So Kerry like Madam Clinton is left to wag their righteous fingers at small, weak nations with no valuable natural resources the west covets.  Do you wonder why the US didn’t think it fit to talk about gross HR violations in Sri Lanka from 1987 to 89? Tyre pyres, lamppost killings, state sanctioned torture and rape chambers, extra judicial killings and mass graves in the South but not one western nation thought it fit to speak out? China was not a factor back then no?

And to think I voted for Obama twice. This is called buyer’s remorse. What has Obama done to deserve the most prestigious Peace Prize given to people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Sadat and even little Malala Yousafzai? Does he have anything to show for it other than more unstable violent nations across the world?