Scott Walker’s War On Labor: Returning To The 1920s And Gilded Age!

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, for now the leader in some polls for the Republican Presidential nomination, has declared war on labor unions and worker rights in Wisconsin, ramming legislation through the Wisconsin legislature, allowing employers to refuse to deal with labor unions representing private workers, just as he did the same earlier with public employee labor unions.

By warring against labor unions and labor rights, Walker is denying the many benefits that unions brought to Americans workers, beginning in the era of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is precisely the cause of the rise of the middle class over the next fifty years, followed by a rapid decline in labor union strength beginning with the administration of Ronald Reagan, and his war on the air traffic controllers, which endangered public safety along with encouraging more so called “right to work” laws that undermine worker rights, benefits, and working conditions.

Walker is promoting the idea that we should return to the 1920s and the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, when workers had no rights, and unions were met with National Guard intervention and strike breakers and high levels of violence and bloodshed!

Walker is showing us what a bully he is, and how dangerous his candidacy really is, and he must be bitterly opposed by all who care about the future of working people in this nation!

Reverting nearly a century and more back in time is NOT an option in the 21st century!

Marco Rubio Faces Problems In Presidential Bid And Florida Senate Reelection Contest

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is not having good tidings lately, as he considers whether to run for President in 2016, or seek a second Senate term.

Florida does not allow a candidate to be on the ballot for two political races, so Rubio must decide his future.

At this point, polls indicate he is way behind fellow Floridian Jeb Bush for support, even within the Sunshine State, among Republicans for the Presidential nomination.

Rubio has alienated many Tea Party types and others in the Republican Party for having worked for immigration reform, and then backing away from it under harsh criticism by the Republican right wing base.

Rubio has also indicated frustration being a United States Senator, and he faces a potential threat from a number of Democrats for his seat, whether he runs again for it or chooses to leave the Senate to run for President.

Democratic National Chairwoman and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congressman Patrick Murphy, and believe it or not, former Governor Charlie Crist, and even Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, are all seen as interested in the race, and Rubio cannot count on South Florida for support, with three South Floridians, including comparatively moderate Murphy, potentially running.

Of course, there would be major fireworks in a Democratic primary, with both Wasserman Schultz and Crist having antagonized many while serving in government and running for office, which might give Murphy an advantage, and possibly even Levine, a comparative newcomer to politics like Murphy is, as well.

American Presidents And Wealth Estimates In 2015!

An update on the net worth of America’s Presidents, their total wealth at time of death, or for the living Presidents, what it is as of 2015, including inflation as a factor, reveals the following:

John F. Kennedy was the wealthiest President, worth within the range of $125 million to possibly $1 billion!

Due to this uncertain range, George Washington might be the wealthiest at $525 million.

The other Presidents over $100 million in net worth are:

Thomas Jefferson $212 million

Theodore Roosevelt $125 million

Andrew Jackson $119 million

James Madison $101 million

Five Presidents over $50 million up to $98 million include:

Lyndon B. Johnson $98 million

Herbert Hoover $75 million

Franklin D. Roosevelt $60 million

Bill Clinton $55 million

John Tyler $51 million

The next six Presidents are worth between $20 million and $27 million, as follows:

James Monroe $27 million

Martin Van Buren $26 million

Grover Cleveland $25 million

George H. W. Bush $23 million

John Quincy Adams $21 million

George W. Bush $20 million

The next five Presidents are worth $10 million to $19 million, as follows:

John Adams $19 million

Richard Nixon $15 million

Ronald Reagan $13 million

Barack Obama $12 million

James K. Polk $10 million

The next ten Presidents are worth between $2 million and $8 million, as follows:

Dwight D. Eisenhower $8 million

Gerald Ford $7 million

Jimmy Carter $7 million

Zachary Taylor $6 million

William Henry Harrison $5 million

Benjamin Harrison $5 million

Millard Fillmore $4 million

Rutherford Hayes $3 million

William Howard Taft $3 million

Franklin Pierce $2 million

The remaining 11 Presidents are worth between under $1 million up to less than $2 million, in the following order:

William McKinley

Warren G. Harding

James Buchanan onward are each worth less than $1 million downward, with Truman the poorest.

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant

James A. Garfield

Chester Alan Arthur

Woodrow Wilson

Calvin Coolidge

Harry Truman

Many of the early Presidents were landowners and slave owners, and were, therefore, extremely wealthy.

The Presidents of the middle and late 19th century were mostly quite poor, including those who were military generals.

Presidents since 1929 have been generally much wealthier in most cases.

Many Presidents in modern times have become wealthy through speeches and writings.

Bill Clinton has the potential to become of the wealthiest Presidents in American history as time goes by, and more so, if his wife, Hillary Clinton, becomes President! The long term potential for Barack Obama is also for great wealth over his lifetime, leaving office at age 55!

The Phenomenon Of Retread Politicians Who Look For Publicity, Relevance, And The Presidency!

The recent comments of former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani wondering if Barack Obama loves America, causing a firestorm of criticism and putting potential Republican Presidential candidates on the spot as to what to respond to these comments, reminds us that America has a list of retread politicians, many of whom have been out of public office for very long periods of time, but feel a need to look for publicity and relevance, and want to be President.

Guiliani has been out of office since 2001, and flopped badly when he tried for the Presidential nomination of his party in 2008.

But now we have “retread” politicians who wish to be President, after long periods of not having run for office, including Jeb Bush, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and even, possibly, former New York Governor George Pataki, although no one takes that seriously.

The question is whether being out of the loop for nearly a decade or more causes voters to wonder about their viability, and the upcoming Republican Presidential race will test that matter.

The Most Overrated and Underrated Presidents, According To The American Political Science Association Presidential Poll

Further study of the American Political Science Association Presidential poll of 2014 reveals the following:

The most overrated Presidents are John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Andrew Jackson.

The most underrated Presidents are Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H. W. Bush, and Harry Truman.

These consensus judgments seem legitimate, as this author thinks those listed are an accurate assessment.

However, also underrated, and not even making the top 24 Presidents, with a 50 percent rating or above as deserving to be on the list of significant Presidents is Jimmy Carter.

Additionally, Lyndon B. Johnson will, over time, make it to the top ten, above Eisenhower and Bill Clinton, both of whom seem higher than they should be, and also above Jackson.

If any Presidents were to be added to Mount Rushmore, it is clear that Franklin D. Roosevelt is easily the most deserving, and really, no one else qualifies on legitimate grounds, even though there are supporters of Kennedy, Reagan and Eisenhower to join him, if there were additions made, which is, realistically, not going to happen!

American Political Science Association Presidential Poll Substantially Different Than 2009 C Span Poll

It has been nearly six years since the last C Span poll on Rating Presidents took place in 2009, and now we have the American Political Science Association Poll of 162 Professors, scored late in 2014, and the differences between the two polls is startling.

First, the number of Presidential experts questioned is two and a half times as many now than in 2009.

But more than that difference is the ranking of many on the list, as for instance:

John F. Kennedy fell from 6th place to 14th place.

Andrew Jackson went from a tie for 12th place up to 9th place.

Dwight D. Eisenhower reached the highest he has ever been polled, up to 7th place.

Bill Clinton shot up from 15th place to 8th place.

Harry Truman fell to 6th place from 5th place, and Thomas Jefferson went from 6th place to 5th place.

Woodrow Wilson fell from 9th place to 10th place.

Barack Obama, not part of the 2009 poll, but ranked in 15th place in an early poll in 2011, ended up in 18th place.

James Madison (13th) moved ahead of James Monroe (17th) in the ranking, which seems odd when one looks at their Presidencies, with Monroe being 14th and Madison 20th in the C Span poll.

James K. Polk slipped from tied for 12th to 19th, which seems really strange.

Ronald Reagan and Lyndon Johnson slipped one each, from 10th and 11th places, to 11th and 12th places.

This author disagrees greatly with this poll in many ways, including:

Kennedy being dropped eight places seems acceptable, except that to put Jackson, Clinton, and Madison ahead of him seems not very sensible.

Jackson is back in the top ten, but it seems wrong to move him up.

Clinton being in the top ten may help Hillary Clinton, but realistically, this author thinks he is much too high, and will eventually slip out of the top ten back to mid teens where he was. He has risen fast, being 21st in the 2000 C Span Poll and 15th in the 2009 poll.

Truman should have remained ahead of Jefferson, and in fact, should be moved up to 4th ahead of Theodore Roosevelt and Jefferson, due to his crisis leadership, and will end up there in time in this author’s belief.

Wilson has been slipping constantly, from 6th in 2000 to 9th in 2009 to 10th now, but this author would put him a bit higher and ahead of Jackson, Clinton, and Eisenhower.

Obama slipped from an early 2011 poll of 15th down to 18th, but this author would put him back at about 13th, ahead of Jackson, Madison, and Monroe.

Madison being ahead of Monroe seems ridiculous for his Presidency, although Madison was a great man, but not very successful as President.

Polk being an “imperialist” is a negative image to many, but no one term President was as successful, and he should not end up behind many of those ahead of him, and should remain about 12th or 13th.

Reagan and Johnson dropping one position each is not a big difference, but this author would put Johnson ahead of Reagan.

The debate on ranking Presidents will go on, but these are my thoughts on the topic, and I welcome commentary and analysis on this issue of ranking Presidents in 2015!

Vice President Joe Biden For A Third Term: A Wonderful Idea!

Vice President Joe Biden seems likely to have little chance of being the 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee, trying to overcome the vast advantages of Hillary Clinton, and he happens to be very good friends with the former Secretary of State, Senator, and First Lady. They fully trust and respect each other.

No one is better qualified to be President, with Biden’s 44 years of government service by the end of the second Barack Obama term. Joe Biden has been brilliant throughout his career, including stints as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and the worst thing one can say about him is that he is prone to silly gaffes, that make him look silly, but have never done any real harm.

Joe Biden comes across as human, a person who can blunder on unimportant matters or utterances, but a man truly genuine and sincere, and easy going and real in the way he deals with everyone he meets.

Joe Biden has been a tremendous asset to Barack Obama, and their relationship is the closest there has been since Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale bonded in the late 1970s. He has been an important emissary on Capitol Hill, and has done a great deal behind the scenes to try to smooth over differences, and is well liked by everyone, because he is exceptional in dealing with adversaries, as well as friends.

Joe Biden is a national treasure, who should not be retiring, and does not need to in 2016 IF Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, decides that keeping Biden on is a major asset to her candidacy and Presidency, which it most certainly would be.

There is no limitation on a Vice President serving a third or more terms, as that is not covered by the 22nd Amendment, which sets limits only on the Presidency. George Clinton served under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and John C. Calhoun served under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, so Joe Biden serving under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has a precedent twice in the past.

The nation would be well served if Hillary Clinton would make a deal with Joe Biden now, and that would create the strongest possible Democratic ticket for 2016.

And if something untoward were to happen to Hillary Clinton, there is the most experienced man possible next in line, no matter what his age, to take over the Presidency.

Hopefully, Hillary Clinton will realize the virtues of offering the Vice Presidency to Joe Biden in the next few months, and the deal that is struck will insure the election of the Democrats to the White House in 2016!

Bush Family History: 1980-2016 And Beyond!

When one examines the Bush Family, a true dynasty if there ever was one, it is clear that it follows a definite pattern.

In 1980, George H. W. Bush sought the Presidency, but lost the nomination to Ronald Reagan, and agreed to be his running mate and Vice President for the next eight years.

In 1988, Bush ran for and won the Presidency, but then lost it in a three candidate race in 1992 to Bill Clinton, with Ross Perot helping to defeat Bush, due to his 19 percent of the popular vote.

In 2000, eight years after George H. W. Bush left the Presidency, George W. Bush sought and won the Presidency for two terms.

In 2016, eight years after George W. Bush served as President, Jeb Bush is now running for President.

Let’s imagine that Jeb Bush wins the Presidency and serves two terms.

Waiting in the wings is his son George P. Bush, Land Commissioner in Texas, at age 38. It is conceivable that George P. Bush could seek the Presidency after seeking a Senate seat or the Governorship race in the future in Texas, and could, at age 48 in 2024, or age 56 in 2032, eight years after his dad would finish his two terms, seek the Presidency himself!

And Bush Senior was 62; George W. was 54; Jeb would be 63; and George P. at 56 would all fit a definite pattern of being in the normal range for Presidential ages!

College Education And The Presidency In 21st Century America: Is It Necessary? YES!

Today, in 2015, approximately 31 percent of adults over 25 have at least a four year college degree as part of their credentials. This is an all time high.

In American history, all but eleven Presidents have had at least a four year college degree, much of the time when only a sliver of Americans had such a degree.

A college education does NOT guarantee success; does NOT guarantee excellence in one’s occupational pursuits; does NOT make any person automatically “better” than those without a college education!

What does a college education do that is beneficial?

It promotes the growth of critical thinking skills; it promotes empathy and compassion for those less fortunate; it promotes ability to analyze and evaluate materials; it promotes intellectual inquiry and curiosity, which is a good thing; it promotes ability to interpret events and happenings with a background of knowledge; it promotes tolerance and open mindedness!

Should not one, therefore, expect that a President of the United States have, at the least, a four year degree that has promoted these values?

Yes, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln did not have a college education, but that was 225 and 150 years ago, in a much less complex world than we have now!

Yes, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Harry Truman did not have a college education, but they all were highly motivated to learn, to read books, to have intellectual curiosity.

Would not Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, and Zachary Taylor, all military figures, have gained a more tolerant attitude if they had had more education, and maybe not killed as many Native Americans?

Would not Andrew Johnson have learned to work better with people and been more tolerant toward African Americans if he had had some more education?

Would not Martin Van Buren and Millard Fillmore have gained, also, by some more education? Ironically, despite lack of education, Fillmore founded the State University of NY Buffalo institution, which at least demonstrated his understanding of the value of higher education!

So with this background on Presidents and education, should it matter that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker dropped out of college at Marquette University in Milwaukee, in his senior year, and never finished his college degree, all for a job opportunity?

The answer is YES, as just because one takes on a job, does not mean one cannot finish a college degree, as many millions of others have done!

It is an issue of steadfastness, of dedication, of the old adage: “Finish what you start!” The extra effort required to finish is always worth it, as finishing a degree is a major accomplishment! If a politician wishes to be President, therefore, it should be expected that he shows persistence and commitment to follow through on any commitment he makes in life! He is not just one of us, where two thirds have not gone to or finished college. He is supposed to be the “best among us”, a figure we can look up to, and our children can see as a model!

Under those parameters, Scott Walker should not become President, without even mentioning his innumerable shortcomings, otherwise! He has failed a basic test of Presidential leadership!

Marco Rubio And Rand Paul, The Presidency, And Their Senate Seats

Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky are both seriously considering running for the Presidency, but they both face the quandary that if they so decide, they must forfeit running for reelection to the Senate in 2016. State laws in Florida and Kentucky prevent them running for both jobs at the same time.

This was not the case in other Presidential elections, as shown by:

Lyndon B. Johnson running for Vice President in 1960 while running for reelection to the Senate in Texas.

Lloyd Bentsen running for Vice President in 1988 while running for reelection to the Senate in Texas.

Joe Lieberman running for Vice President in 2000 while running for reelection to the Senate in Connecticut.

Paul Ryan running for Vice President in 2012 while running for reelection to the House Of Representatives in Wisconsin.

All four were elected to their Congressional seats, with only Johnson vacating it to become Vice President.

But notice that in all four of these cases, the position they were running for was Vice President, not President.

So both Rubio and Paul face a difficult situation, and one would advise that they think long and hard about giving up their Senate seats, even though both seem, clearly, too ambitious to be President, and do not seem to love their Senate positions, as simply too restrictive for their egos!