Author: Ronald

President Biden And The State Of The Union Address: A Grand Slam Homerun!

President Joe Biden hit a grand slam homerun last night in a magnificent State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress, lasting more than an hour, and touching on all issues that needed to be addressed.

And the MAGA Republicans hurt themselves by their horrendous behavior and lack of respect for the President, including heckling and jeering, something Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy tried to prevent ahead of the gathering, but failed in his mission to do so.

The scene of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and other extremists misbehaving in a way that was totally inappropriate in this venue will be used by Democrats in the upcoming Congressional and Presidential campaigns of 2024!

Biden confronted the Republicans on the debt ceiling issue; on the danger to Social Security and Medicare; on immigration; on the issue of gun regulations and police abuses; on climate change; and so many other issues.

The Republicans were on the defensive and denied reality that they had caused one fourth of the entire national debt under Donald Trump, and had raised the debt ceiling three times, but now are being resistant on doing so this time!

Anyone who had doubts about Joe Biden’s ability to deal with complex issues saw a President highly energetic, giving a fantastic speech that put the Republicans on the defensive.

Biden is ready to take the case of his reelection to the nation, and he will, clearly, give the opposition “hell”, as Harry Truman did in the Presidential campaign of 1948!

The Democratic Primary Calendar Change For 2024 Makes Sense!

The Democratic Party has made an important decision regarding the Presidential primary calendar for the Presidential Election of 2024.

The system of the last half century has been that Iowa holds its caucus first, followed by New Hampshire then having its primary.

Both Iowa and New Hampshire are overwhelmingly white and rural, in a nation that is more diverse than ever, so it is, rightfully, time for change!

So the decision has been made to put South Carolina first on Saturday, February 3, followed by joint primaries in New Hampshire and Nevada on Tuesday, February 6; then by Georgia on Tuesday February 13, and then, Michigan on Tuesday February 27.

If Iowa and New Hampshire refuse to change their dates, then the delegates from those two states may not be seated at the Democratic National Convention, and the Republican Party is highly unlikely to cooperate with Democrats, so it will created a confused situation.

This could include some wayward Democrat choosing to run in the Democratic primary to challenge Joe Biden, and creating confusion and disarray.

The new situation downgrades the idea of the Presidential Caucus system, which has deteriorated from a point of about 15 states holding them instead of primaries, now down to just 3 or 4, and likely to die on the vine, with maybe only Iowa fighting the tide and doing its own thing, but with the state unable to participate in the Democratic National Convention, a situation that could also affect New Hampshire!

No system is perfect, but President Biden pushed the change, due to the fact that it was South Carolina that put him on the road to the White House, after Iowa and New Hampshire both rejected his candidacy earlier!

The “Gang Of Eight” And The Chinese Balloon Incident

The Chinese Balloon incident this past week, with President Biden ordering it be shot down over the Atlantic Ocean off South Carolina after being mapped over Montana, Missouri, and the Carolinas during the week, is an example of proper reaction in a way that does not threaten the safety of people or locations over land.

It brings to attention the so called “Gang Of Eight”, which are given special access to intelligence information regarding any danger to national security.

They include:

Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio (R), Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

Congressman Jim Himes of Connecticut (D), Ranking Member

Senator Mark Warner (D) of Virginia, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Senator Marco Rubio (R) of Florida, Vice Chair

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R) of California

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D) of New York

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) of New York

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky

Hopefully, the members of this group will avoid politics on this issue, but already there has been strong criticism of the tactics used by Joe Biden by Turner and Rubio, a regrettable situation.

About 1,200 People Killed By Police In 2022, While 64 Police Officers Killed!

The statistics are stunning!

About 1,200 people in America were killed by police in 2022, while 64 police officers were killed!

Any police life lost is unacceptable, as the vast majority of law enforcement personnel are good people, dedicating their lives to fighting crime, and working to make the lives of American citizens better and safer.

But a statistic of 1.200 people killed by police is shocking, and totally unacceptable, and while there are, certainly, some of those killed being criminals dangerous to others, many victims are people with mental and emotional issues, and often not directly harmful to others.

And the horrendous death of Tyre Nichols, who was at most possibly involved in speeding his vehicle, and that is not yet known, shocks all decent people, in the manner in which Memphis police abused him, and how none of the five police charged with second degree murder was willing to step in and stop the victimization of this young man!

And the idea that others who showed up to give medical help stood by for about 19 minutes, not rendering Tyre Nichols aid that could have saved his life, is even more unbelievable and reprehensible!

Our law enforcement community is there to protect us, but that does not give license to engage in behavior more reminiscent of criminal elements and urban gangs.

Tyre Nichols was a gentle soul, small in frame, and abused by police officers much heavier and stronger than he was, and the idea that five black officers did this takes away the so called “race card”, but is inexplicable!

Major reforms must be instituted to insure that this situation never repeats itself anywhere in America, but it seems as if the Republican Party will refuse to cooperate to deal with the trauma caused by this miscarriage of justice!

Republicans, Democrats, And The Economy: The Truth!

Republicans for generations have claimed they are the “better” political party for the American economy, than are the opposition Democrats!

This is a bald faced lie, but gullible people keep on “drinking the KoolAid”!

The Republican party continues to call for the demise of Social Security (passed under Franklin D. Roosevelt); Medicare and Medicaid (passed under Lyndon B. Johnson); and in the past 12 years for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare).

Right wingers condemn the Affordable Care Act because it was an African American president who promoted this expansion of health care that was first promoted as a basic right by Republican President Theodore Roosevelt as the Bull Moose Progressive Party nominee for President in 1912.

It took a generation for the cousin of TR to move toward social justice; and 50 years for Johnson to promote the health care initiatives of Harry Truman; and another nearly 50 years for Barack Obama to go beyond Medicare and Medicaid. Note that all of the Presidents engaged in this quest, except for Theodore Roosevelt, were Democrats.

But beyond that, all of the economic downturns since 1953 took place under Republican Presidents, with the exception of the brief recession under Democratic President Jimmy Carter in 1980, which led to his defeat for a second term. But there were three recessions under Dwight D. Eisenhower; one under Richard Nixon and one shared by Nixon and Gerald Ford; one under Ronald Reagan; one under George H. W. Bush; and two under George W. Bush. This list included the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression under Reagan and the “Great Recession” under George W. Bush, which set back the economy for years. Additionally, the COVID 19 Pandemic led to an economic crisis under Donald Trump.

The latest economic report shows the lowest peacetime unemployment rate since World War II; the unemployment rate lowest since 1969 at 3.4 percent; a tremendous economic recovery since the COVID 19 Pandemic; 33.8 million jobs over the sixteen years of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama; 12.1 million jobs in two years of Joe Biden, an all time high; while only 1.9 million jobs under Republican Presidents George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump were created for 16 years; and with Donald Trump the first President since Herbert Hoover to have a net loss of jobs!

Also, Gross Domestic Product has been 3.4 percent under Joe Biden, as compared to 1 percent under Trump; and more jobs created under two years of Biden than any President in four years! And the uninsured rate on health care is down to 8 percent due to Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) than it has ever been, and if Texas and Florida had agreed to expansion of Medicaid, it would be MUCH lower! Additionally, more businesses are being formed than ever before, and wage growth, while not keeping up with inflation, has been rapidly expanding.

Once the inflation struggle, affected by the Russia-Ukraine War and the machinations of oil nations, are dealt with, inflation, already coming down, will be mastered. But no President can alone prevent or provoke inflation!

So the Democrats can be proud of their accomplishments economically over the long haul, and it is time for the myth of Republican “prosperity” to be laid to rest as yet another myth that needs to be retired!

The Republican Party is there for the wealthy, the privileged, and the bigots who promote white supremacy, racism, nativism, and misogyny, and with the political corruption under Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Donald Trump being massive, while Democratic Presidents have NOT presided over corruption at a notable level, but rather mostly manufactured by Republican propagandists!

Republicans are “better” in promoting propaganda, while Democrats are far better in accomplishment of improving economic opportunity for the American people!

Potential Republican Presidential Nominees Who Would NOT Support Donald Trump!

With the Presidential campaign of 2024 beginning, the question arises whether there are ANY potential Republican Presidential contenders who would refuse to endorse Donald Trump, were he to win the Republican Presidential nomination next year.

Many Republicans have made criticisms of Trump in some form, and a number plan to run and compete, but the issue is IF any of them lose the nomination to Trump, would they support and endorse him at the end of the process.

There is no certainty of any active Republicans willing to go so far as to refuse to support the party nominee if Trump is that nominee.

But on paper, the following, none certain to run, would likely NOT support him:

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
Former Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming
Former Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois

This author and blogger would have added sitting New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to the list, but it turns out that even with their likely candidacies for President, and their strong criticisms of Trump in recent times, that they have said that they WOULD support Trump, were he the nominee of his party!

This is stunning, as it takes Sununu and Hogan off a short list of Republican political figures who have the guts and courage to overlook party, and do what is good for the nation!

Trump recently stated that he wished to torch the Constitution, and what else needs to be known as to the threat to American democracy than that utterance!

And yet Sununu and even Hogan, as well as many other Republicans who opposed and criticized Trump in the past and present, are still letting party win out, and would support Trump if he was the nominee of the Republican Party!

Realize one thing about the short list given above, that all but Romney (who would be 77 and a half at election time in 2024, and is considering running for reelection to the Senate), are FORMER officeholders!

And despite Liz Cheney stating she would do everything possible to stop Trump, will she actually run against him or form an independent party candidacy?

And Kinzinger seems highly unlikely to mount a campaign either.

And Hutchinson is an unknown, and is unlikely to be a serious contender in any case.

So fundamentally, it seems likely that no significant Republican will stand in the way of Trump, ultimately, and many will even show that party loyalty matters more than principle!

So the Republican Party is hostage to a very dangerous, authoritarian Fascist threat in Donald Trump, but the leading alternative seems to be a person of similar authoritarian tendencies, who is much younger and smarter, and therefore, even MORE dangerous than Trump would be!

This is in reference to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis!

South Carolina Could Be Battleground For Republican Presidential Nomination In 2024!

Donald Trump made a first Presidential campaign swing in South Carolina last weekend, supported by Republican Governor Henry McMaster and Senator Lindsey Graham.

But there are two South Carolinians who are considering running for the Republican Presidential nomination, and could make South Carolina a battleground in the Presidential race.

Former Governor Nikki Haley, who was UN Ambassador under Trump, seems ready to announce her candidacy as the first challenger to Donald Trump.

And African American Senator Tim Scott is also testing the waters. He is only the fourth Republican African American Senator, and the only one out of a total of eleven African American senators to have also served in the House of Representatives.

So this could be a very interesting scenario for the Spring of 2024.

Interestingly, Haley appointed Scott to a US Senate vacancy in 2013, but now they may be rivals for the nomination.

If either Haley, whose parents are from India, or Scott were to be the Republican nominee for President, it would be the first example of a woman, an Asian-American, or African American on the Republican side of the Presidential race.

Ron DeSantis Is A Right Wing Threat, Undermining Basic Human Rights, Education, Health Care, And Harming Public Safety!

Florida, the state I have lived in for 34 years, since 1989, has become a right wing threat under Governor Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis has banned an elective African American Studies Advanced Placement Course in Florida High Schools, claiming it has no educational value.

DeSantis has fired an elected Prosecutor, Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren, for publicly disagreeing with the governor’s stand on abortion rights and transgender health care.

DeSantis has cracked down on the Disney Company and its control of its properties in Central Florida, because they disagree with his policies and actions.

DeSantis is planning to promote a policy of guns “open carry”, without any permit or training or licensing, in all public places, which will insure mass murder incidents occurring ever more as happened at the Parkland Florida School Massacre in 2018 and the Orlando Florida “Pulse” Massacre in 2015.

DeSantis is banning books in public schools and libraries, and threatening prosecution for teachers or librarians who defy him. This is censorship, totally against American democratic values, but it will not stop students from inquiry about all kinds of issues, but has the effect of intimidation.

DeSantis has as Florida State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo who is undermining protection for seniors or children or anyone else with the COVID 19 Pandemic, as he works with DeSantis on banning of masks and vaccinations as Florida policy.

DeSantis has fired school board members in several counties, and appointed Republican replacements that are dictating policies and curriculums in local schools.

DeSantis has set out to destroy the New College of Florida, in Sarasota, a liberal university which has received great honors and reputation. He has put a right wing extremist onto its board, and the President of the university has been fired, and the plan is to fire faculty members who do not fit the version of DeSantis regarding what is proper education.

DeSantis has interfered with college professors at Florida state universities, dictating what can be expressed in classes and put into class syllabi, and working to end tenure rights.

DeSantis has banned any protection or safety for gay and transgender children, which will promote suicides, as his puritan view of sexuality permeates the state of Florida.

DeSantis has declared war on empathy, decency, compassion, and is more concerned about so called “guilt” that white students might feel, totally preposterous, and at the same time, having no concern about the effect on students of color.

DeSantis’s war on abortion rights is also taking away a woman’s control over her body, putting Florida into the crosshairs of right wing control by an authoritarian minded man who wants to be President of the United States.

DeSantis also formed a political stunt about immigration, shipping Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, promoting his nativism agenda.

DeSantis has declared war on people of color; science and medicine; education and libraries; gays, lesbians and transgender individuals; women’s rights over their own bodies; elected officials who defy him; corporations who disagree with his views; immigrants; and he has shown no concern about public safety from unstable individuals who will have license to kill innocent citizens with firearms.

DeSantis is promoting intolerance, hatred, division, and destroying the reputation of Florida, at a time when the cost of living is high and housing prices are out of sight; the state is trying to recover from Hurricane Ian; and the public health threat from COVID 19 is still killing Floridians every day.

And since he did not react to recent examples of antisemitism displayed by White Supremacists and Neo Nazis, that is another great concern.

But his lust for power is unchecked, and he must be challenged and stopped, before he becomes an ever greater threat to the nation and the world beyond just the state of Florida.

All decent, humane people must rise up and resist, even as DeSantis had a law passed barring demonstrations that might block traffic, so one can expect the possibility of the use of police forces to crack down on the freedom of assembly.

This is not a time to sit on the sidelines, as what is happening in Florida could become the future of the entire nation, if Ron DeSantis was to go on and to win the Presidential Election of 2024!

Long Overdue For 11 States To Expand Medicaid Coverage!

Hard to believe, but in 2023, there are still ELEVEN states that have refused to take care of their poorer citizens by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare)!

Eight of these eleven states are in the South, including the megastates of Texas and Florida, and that should be used by the Democrats against Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis, when and if they announce for President, which at least, DeSantis is expected to do soon!

The other states that are recalcitrant, and show lack of concern for the lives of their less fortunate citizenry are Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee!

Also, outliers outside the South are Kansas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming!

It is time for these eleven states to stop their resistance, and protect human lives, as much as they are pushing for protecting every fetus in the womb!

Donald Trump Likely Soon To Be Indicted In Three Jurisdictions!

It now seems clear that former President Donald Trump will soon be indicted in Georgia for interfering in the vote count in that state in the Presidential Election of 2020.

It also seems clear that in New York, the case against Trump on the payments to “Stormy Daniels” to cover up the affair Trump had with her, but which he wished to hide due to his Presidential campaign, is also coming to a head very soon.

And the federal case against Trump for the January 6 Insurrection and the hiding of government documents at Mar A Lago also is on its way to another indictment.

These indictments will come in the midst of the Presidential campaign of 2024, and should derail Trump from being able to run.

If only the 14th Amendment, Section 3, designed originally to deal with the rebellion of the Confederate States of America, were to be utilized, Donald Trump would be unable to run for President, even without any indictments or trials.

But sadly, the likelihood of such action by a divided Congress, with so many Republicans kowtowing to Donald Trump, prevents such action, so the threat of Donald Trump is very real and dangerous to national security, as he is the leader of domestic terrorist forces!