Author: Ronald

The Long, Controversial Career Of California Governor Jerry Brown, Arguably Now The Best Governor In America As He Leaves Office At Age 80!

California Governor Jerry Brown became 80 years old last week, and he has proved that an older political leader can be very effective, as he finishes his second consecutive term as the leader of the largest state, and the fourth term altogether going back nearly a half century.

Brown was elected Governor in 1974, when only 36 and served two terms of office until 1982. He was the youngest Governor in modern California history.

Twenty eight years later, at age 72, he was again elected in 2010 and is now finishing his second round of two consecutive terms in the California Governorship.

So over a period of 36 years, he served more years in office than all but a few state Governors in American history.

By the time he retires in January 2019, only Terry Branstad of Iowa, now Ambassador to China, with 22 years four months; George Clinton of New York serving 20 years and 11 months (in the late 18th and early 19th centuries); and South Dakota Governor William Janklow with 16 years and 7 days, will have served longer than Brown at 16 years and 5 days, with Alabama Governor George Wallace having one less day, at 16 years and 4 days–the only five Governors to have served 16 full years and more.

Brown, of course, also sought the Presidency in 1976 and 1980 against Jimmy Carter, and in 1992 against Bill Clinton. Additionally, he was California Secretary of State from 1971-1975, when he became Governor, and also Mayor of Oakland, California from 1999-2007 and California Attorney General from 2007-2011, when he was again elected Governor. Brown also ran for and lost a US Senate bid in 1982 to Peter Wilson, who later went on to be elected Governor of California in 1990 and 1994.

So altogether, he served in public office for 32 of the past 48 years, and was not in public office for 16 years after being in office for 12 years, but then had a “renaissance ” leading to a second period of 20 years. And even in that period of being out of office, he ran for the Presidency a third time.

Brown has always been controversial, but he is now acknowledged by many observers as being the best state governor in America, having revived the fortunes of California in his third and fourth round in Sacramento.

And he has been a leader in fighting Donald Trump and his agenda, particularly in regard to the environment, and on immigration.

So despite the fact that he would be 82 in 2020, some have wondered if he would seek the Presidency yet again 44, 40, and 28 years after earlier seeking the White House.

The odds of his announcing for President or being able to win the nomination and election are extremely long, but Jerry Brown has proved he cannot be judged by normal circumstances, and that if anyone can defy the odds, it is Jerry Brown!

Barbara Bush: The Maker Of Two Presidents

The death of First Lady Barbara Bush, the wife of George H. W. Bush, and the mother of George W. Bush, is a major loss to the nation in so many ways.

Without Barbara Bush, neither President Bush would have become President, as she was the driving force behind her family.

Barbara Bush committed her life to public service, promoting the fight against cancer, which took her three year old daughter Robin, who died of leukemia at age 3 in 1953; and also making the advancement of literacy her major commitment in the White House.

Bush never cared about her public appearance, and used to joke that she was old and fat, and had white hair, which had turned gray at a young age, in response to her daughter’s tragic death.

She was unpretentious, and made people she met feel comfortable.

She had ability to say controversial things at times, but she was able to win people over for her directness, and her honest assessments of people and situations.

Her marriage of 73 plus years was a model no longer followed by most Americans, as she was totally devoted to her husband, marriage and family, and in the world of 2018, that seems, sadly, old fashioned.

May she rest in peace, and likely, very soon, her husband will join her, and they will be together, at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, on the campus of Texas A & M University.

Barbara Bush will stand out as one of the more prominent and public First Ladies for all time.

A Salute To The Two Best Newspapers In America: The New York Times And Washington Post, And Also Recognition Of The Los Angeles Times, CNN, And MSNBC For Their Work Exposing Donald Trump

Yesterday, the Pulitzer Prizes in Journalism and other areas were awarded, and again, the top two newspapers in America won ever more such awards.

The New York Times, beginning publication in 1851, has now won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, including three yesterday. It is the paper of record, the most important research sources for scholars in all fields, and has survived vicious attacks by critics through 167 years of publication.

The Washington Post, beginning publication in 1877, has become competitive in the past half century with the New York Times, and has won a total of 47 Pulitzer Prizes, including two yesterday. One must not forget how the Washington Post exposed the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon. They have now existed for 141 years of publication.

The Los Angeles Times, beginning publication in 1881, while not winning any Pulitzer Prizes yesterday, has won a total of 44 Pulitzer prizes in their history, and have been in existence for 137 years.

These three top print newspapers have borne the brunt of Donald Trump criticism, as they bore the brunt of attacks by Richard Nixon.

They have stood strong and proved the rightfulness of their coverage of domestic and foreign news coverage.

Thank goodness for their steadfastness, as they have insured the survival of a free press and democratic values, even in the face of strong and dangerous trends in government, that would wish to stifle their voices.

At the same time, we must also salute electronic media, including CNN (founded in 1980) and MSNBC (founded in 1996), for defying the lies and deceit of Donald Trump and his criminal gang, as they also play a major role in perpetuation of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

One can be assured that they will long outlive the tyranny of Donald Trump, and will bring him to justice through their commitment to the truth!

Likelihood Of Trump Being 4th Shortest Presidency In American History, If He Leaves Office Before June 20, 2019

This author, scholar and blogger last year predicted that Donald Trump would not last longer than Zachary Taylor’s 492 days in office in 1849-1850, before his death.

At this point with 41 days to go until May 27, the odds of that happening now seem dim, although, with the rapidly developing Michael Cohen story; the Stormy Daniels story; and the Robert Mueller investigation moving ahead full speed, any sudden change, such as a resignation, is theoretically possible.

But even if Trump makes it beyond May 27, the odds of him being in office on June 20, 2019–29 months in office and 881 days–the equivalent of the term of President Warren G. Harding from 1921-1923 until his death–seems highly doubtful.

One has to wonder if the nation could tolerate another 14 months of Donald Trump, after the 15 month anniversary coming up on Friday, April 20.

The odds of Trump’s family members and his son in law being indicted could provoke a resignation if some kind of “deal” were to be struck to get him out of office, although the general public would expect some kind of penalty for Trump, considering his illegal, unconstitutional behavior, and the damage he has done to the institution of the American Presidency!

Why Don’t Republicans Abandon Donald Trump, And Promote A “True Believer”, Mike Pence?

A growing question, in the midst of ever expanding Donald Trump corruption regarding Russian Collusion, Obstruction Of Justice, Violation of the Emoluments Clause, Stormy Daniels Scandal, and the Michael Cohen controversy, is why Republicans do NOT abandon Trump, and promote a “true believer”, Vice President Mike Pence.

For those of us are who progressives, the thought of a President Mike Pence is a horror, as Pence is clearly a man who promotes theocracy in a manner that is clearly dangerous.

This is a man who was losing, at least in polls, his original plan for reelection as Indiana Governor in 2016, when Donald Trump “rescued” his career, by selecting him as his Vice Presidentila running mate.

Pence had a record of being allied with the Tea Party Movement while a Congressman, that arose in the wake of the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

Pence had a record of promoting the tobacco industry, and denying that cigarette smoking caused lung cancer.

Pence had a record of advocating conversion therapy to undo the “sin” of being gay or lesbian, even though he has denied that, but it is fact that he was and is a vehement opponent of gay rights and gay marriage, and that he wears his evangelical Christianity on his sleeve.

Pence had a record of being a leading misogynist, vehemently opposing the right of a woman to choose in regards to abortion, and his wife Karen has had a strong influence on his thinking on this, and on issues involving women’s equality in other areas.

Pence has a very good relationship with Republican leaders and many conservatives, as well as right wing evangelical leaders, so it would seem logical that at some point, the pressure will be on for these groups to pressure Trump to resign.

An upcoming meeting of right wing evangelicals, scheduled for Tuesday June 19 with President Trump, could become the motivation to tell Donald Trump the gig is up, and that if he does not resign, that the move will be on to force him out.

That day will mark 23 days after the length of time of Zachary Taylor in the White House in 1849-1850 before his death, a total of 492 days. So on the 515th day of his Presidency, one might expect the pressure to grow on Trump, and to lead to his resignation shortly after, making him the fourth shortest term of any President in American history!

A total of 10 Presidents have served less than a full term, but seven of them had at least two years and five months, but the likelihood of Trump lasting two years to January 20, 2019, can now be seen as extremely unlikely. And to expect him to last five more months to June 20, 2019, and surpass the fourth shortest Presidency, that of Warren G. Harding from 1921-1923, is certainly a long shot!

The Odyssey Of Donald Trump: From Roy Cohn To Michael Cohen, 1973-2018

Donald Trump first became a public figure in 1973 when he defended his father’s discrimination against African American tenants in his real estate projects in Queens County, New York. He utilized infamous attorney Roy Cohn, who had been the major figure assisting the despicable Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy in his tirade against those in government and academia, who he labeled as being Communists, “Reds”, a danger to the American people, all part of his “Red Scare”, also known as “McCarthyism”.

Cohn well knew the falsehoods of Joseph McCarthy, but he played “hardball”, while living a very corrupt life long after McCarthy had fallen from power, and died in 1957.

Cohn connected with Organized Crime interests and led a lascivious lifestyle, including being openly gay, while denying and condemning gays and lesbians, a true hypocrite, and at the end, he died of the effects of AIDS.

But he became after 1973 an adviser to young Trump, and Trump has said that Cohn was a shaping force in his life.

And now, Donald Trump has been very close to his attorney, Michael Cohen, who has done all kinds of “good deeds” for him, including dealing with Trump’s love life scandals, and after the raid on his home, hotel room and offices, apparently was enmeshed in scandalous activities that may help to bring Donald Trump down, and cause Cohen to face prison time.

So Donald Trump’s odyssey has been to go from the disgraced Roy Cohn to the newly disgraced Michael Cohen over 45 years. The present situation may lead to the removal of Donald Trump from office, and even with potential pardons in the offing, Trump and Cohen and others, in regards to their business and love life dealings, may still be prosecuted in New York State, and would not be covered by the pardon power of the Presidency.

Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan: A Failed And Disgraceful Figure In American Political History, And Total Sham!

Back in 2012, when Paul Ryan was chosen by Mitt Romney to be his Vice Presidential running mate, this author made clear his total distaste of the Wisconsin Congressman, who had made his career on balancing budgets, and cutting social programs from the New Deal on through the Great Society. He has now proved once again that he is a failed and disgraceful figure in American political history, and is a total sham!

It was made clear that Ryan was a disgraceful choice to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency, had Mitt Romney won the Presidential Election of 2012.

As a result of my harsh criticism, I was bitterly attacked by the right wing, in a very vicious manner.

But I was correct in my assessment then, and since, and now, Paul Ryan is quitting Congress, and leaving the Speakership of the House of Representatives, at a time when he was facing a major challenge from Democrat Randy Bryce, an iron worker, who was totally disgusted by the hypocrisy and self serving of Ryan over his 20 year Congressional career.

Ryan set out from a young age, based on his Ayn Rand philosophy, to destroy the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and other programs to help the millions of poor, disabled, sick, children, and elderly in our society. And yet, when his father died when Paul Ryan was not yet an adult, he received Social Security benefits, but now wishes to destroy FDR’s signature program!

At the same time, his goal was to cut taxes dramatically for the wealthy, and he succeeded under Donald Trump, blowing a massive hole in the budget, and now creating a $1 trillion increase in the national debt by so doing.

Ryan has done more to harm the future of the nation economically than just about anyone, and he has been unwilling to take a strong stand, or any stand, against Donald Trump’s abuse of power.

It almost seems as if he gets sexual thrills from hurting people, and yet, he claims to be a “good Catholic”, which most decent Catholics would totally disagree with.

The best response to Ryan leaving is “good riddance”!

April 12, One Of Most Historic Days On Calendar: 1861, 1945, 1961

Every day on the calendar, historically, has had some interesting event occur, but April 12 is an unusually historic day worth remembering.

Three path breaking events occurred on April 12.

In 1861, the attack by South Carolina on the US fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, occurred, the first shots of the Civil War.

In 1945, the greatest President of the 20th century, and the President who has had the greatest impact on us of any President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died in Warm Springs, Georgia, thrusting Harry Truman into the Presidency at a time of great challenge, with the Second World War not yet ended, and the challenge to overcome Japan in Asia still ahead of us.

FDR did more for America domestically than any President, and much of what he accomplished is now under attack by the Trump Administration.

At the same time, Truman, despite questions about his competence to become our President, proved his ability to take on the responsibility, and is now rated 5th or 6th among all of our Presidents, while FDR is rated 2nd or 3rd greatest.

And in 1961, exactly a century after Fort Sumter, the Space Age began, as far as manned space exploration, with Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union being the first astronaut to orbit the earth, and now further space exploration is in the offing.

To have the Civil War start on this day; the promoter of the New Deal to cope with the Great Depression, and also the Second World War President, FDR, to die on this day; the accession to power of Harry Truman; and the inception of the Space Age—all on this day, makes April 12 a special day in the historical calendar!

The Moment Of Reckoning Has Arrived: The Syria Crisis Enmeshed With Trump Domestic Crisis, Most Dangerous Moment Since Cuban Missile Crisis In 1962!

It is now almost 15 months since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and the nation has been fortunate that no major crisis had arisen.

But now, it has arrived, the Syria Crisis, enmeshed with Trump’s abuse of the Constitution, and the threat to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, with the raid on the offices, home, and hotel rooms of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

The Republican Congress has been unwilling to pass legislation to prevent the firing of Mueller or Rosenstein. And Trump is threatening Russia and Iran over the Syrian use of chemical warfare, and Russia has interfered with American drones over Syria, so this is a massive crisis, which could lead to a major war in the Middle East with the US vs Russia.

Trump has made clear he will bomb Syria in a tweet this morning, after having said he would not give out military information before it occurs, and that has only ratcheted up the rhetoric and threats between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s government, and one wonders if it is just rhetoric, or whether direct conflict between the US and Russia is in the offing.

It is certainly proper that the US react to the chemical warfare by Syria, but the way it is being done is alarming, and signals a crisis which may get out of control.

The true test of how disastrous Donald Trump can be is now in the offing, and we all need to pray, even if not religious, as this is a major test of American leadership, and the protection of American values!

Donald Trump Has Finally Created A Constitutional Crisis With His Threat To Fire Robert Mueller, And Possibly Rod Rosenstein

Here we are on Day 446 of the Trump Presidency, and a direct threat by Donald Trump to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and possibly Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in wake of the FBI seizure of materials from Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen yesterday. It all is due to the Stormy Daniels controversy, but other materials, related to money laundering and Russian collusion, may also have been seized.

Trump has gone totally berserk, and is saying what has happened is a direct attack on the nation, a totally preposterous concept! And this state of mind is happening as the crisis over Syrian use of chemical weapons is on the front burner, and could lead to direct confrontation between Trump and Vladimir Putin of Russia, and cause a direct military response that could escalate, the most dangerous moment so far in the Trump Presidency.

To have a President who is so mentally unbalanced, and grasping for absolute power, preventing a full investigation of the crimes and lawlessness by himself and his underlings, and his Cabinet and other appointees, is the most dangerous situation we have been in since the Watergate Scandal under Richard Nixon.

But the potential for the crisis to be as serious as the Cuban Missile Crisis under John F. Kennedy is also possible.

And even when Richard Nixon was under fire for Watergate, he still had a steady hand in foreign policy, because he was an expert in that area.

And John F. Kennedy had a steady hand in the Cuban Missile Crisis.

But Donald Trump is clearly incapable of a steady hand, and he is a true danger to American democracy and the Bill of Rights, and he MUST be prevented from ending the Robert Mueller investigation NOW!

And it is time for the Republican Party in Congress to forget party, and do the right thing in protecting the Mueller investigation, as advocated by North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis, and Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons.

One gets the feeling that Trump’s time in office may be nearing an end soon, and Vice President Mike Pence needs to put the nation ahead of the President, and work to undermine him NOW!