News and Politics

Discussion about news and politics

Republican “Retreads” Emerge, Demonstrating The Sad State Of Their Presidential Race For 2016!

The Republican Party has a long list of potential Presidential candidates for 2016, many of them “new,” including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, and even Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, who have never run before for President.

Then, they have the “retreads”, including Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum, those three being a sorry lot as alternatives.

All three are way out of the mainstream of American politics, with Rick Perry making a total fool of himself in 2012; Mike Huckabee, once seen as fairly “moderate” in 2008, having converted into a right wing extremist due to his Fox News Channel weekly show; and Rick Santorum, well just a total embarrassment to himself and everyone around him!

The Republican Party is a sorry lot, with lots of candidates on the bench, but none having the slightest chance to become President!

Instead, the GOP looks completely past former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (also former Ambassador to China and Singapore), the only solid, foreign policy experienced, sensible, mainstream candidate, who could attract support across the aisle, and make Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or any other Democratic nominee squirm, as he did for awhile in the Barack Obama campaign in 2012, with them considering Huntsman a real threat.

Huntsman is sitting on the sidelines, and considering an independent run on a “No Labels” campaign, and reminding people that the Republican Party of the pre Ronald Reagan era is the only hope for a revival of GOP fortunes, as the country has passed by the anti immigrant, anti gay, anti women, anti labor, anti environment mentality of the Tea Party Movement, which may be able to win gerrymandered Congressional seats, but cannot win the US Senate majority or the White House anytime soon!

Widespread Sense Of Anger, Unhappiness, Discontent, Despondency In Electorate Favors Democrats!

Many political observers seem unaware of a widespread sense of anger, unhappiness, discontent, and despondency in the electorate, and fail to understand that this favors the Democrats, not the Republicans, in the midterm elections of 2014.

The Republican Party in the House of Representatives has produced the most horrible record of lack of achievement, lack of concern for the middle class and the poor, and has simply come across as a party of obstruction in the past four years.

While the Democrats have far from a perfect record, they have been the party to bring about a health care plan that is covering millions of people for the first time; have fought for an increase in the minimum wage; have argued for an extension of unemployment compensation for the long term unemployed; have battled to make sure that the food stamp program is not gutted for the poor, the elderly, the children, and the disabled; have promoted the need for infrastructure spending and education, including a solution for students heavily indebted; have defended the need for environmental protection; have backed the need for strong labor protections; have supported fair treatment for gays and lesbians, including marriage rights; and have worked for immigration reform in a fair and balanced way.

For those who are angry, unhappy, discontented, and despondent to sit on their hands and do nothing, and NOT vote in the midterm elections, both state and Congressional, would be the height of stupidity, as no change can come if people stay home.

So the job of Democrats is to come out of their shell, fight for what they believe in, be proud of what they have done and stood for, stand proud, and motivate those who usually do not vote, to do so this time, and give the Republicans a well deserved defeat in the House of Representatives, keep the Democrats in control of the US Senate, and work to defeat Republican “Bully” Governors elected in 2010, who have been a literal nightmare for the masses of people who are not wealthy, and not part of the one percent oligarchy which is taking over American politics in an alarming way, while the middle class and the poor sit on the sidelines, lacking motivation to react in their own self interest!

The Worst Governor In Florida History: Rick Scott!

Florida Governor Rick Scott may have gained less attention than other “Bully” Republican Governors elected in 2010, but he is, in many ways, the absolutely worst governor in America, and easily, the worst Governor Florida has ever had in modern history!

Florida has had some really outstanding Governors, including Leroy Collins (1955-1961); Reubin Askew (1971-1979); Bob Graham (1979-1987); Lawton Chiles (1991-1999); and Charlie Crist (2007-2011). Republican Governors Claude Kirk (1967-1971) and Bob Martinez (1987-1991) both lost re-election and were controversial. Jeb Bush (1999-2007) had his controversies, but did an excellent job dealing with eight hurricanes during his time in office.

Rick Scott came into office with the record of having paid a record fine for his Medicare corruption as the leader of the nation’s largest hospital chain, and should have gone to prison instead, for his misdeeds. He won the Governorship by only 50,000 votes, the smallest margin in Florida history.

Scott spent $73 million of his own money to get himself elected, despite a personality that was and is a turn off to most people who have any intelligence or compassion for others. It was an example of how backward Floridians were, that they would allow a convicted felon to become their Governor.

Scott has done massive damage on voting rights, privacy rights, public schools and higher education, environmental protection, and health care. His party controls three fourths of the seats in the legislature, and has taken Florida backwards at a time when it is about to become the third largest state in population.

Scott has made it harder for Florida citizens to vote; for those who are unemployed to gain unemployment compensation; for renters to avoid eviction; and made it easier for borrowers to be charged high interest rates on short term loans.

Scott has refused to accept Medicaid money for the poor, despite the fact that the federal government will pay all the costs for three years, and 90 percent after that. He fought ObamaCare tooth and nail, and still makes it difficult for citizens to apply for it.

Scott rejected federal money for high speed rail, while creating another state university, Florida Polytechnic University, which undermines the University of South Florida market for students. His administration spends less per public school student than when he took office, and promotes private charter schools over public schools. He has undermined respect for a liberal arts education, and teachers at all levels have been treated with disrespect by his education policies.

Scott has undermined the environment protections put into effect by his predecessors, and sees Florida as equivalent of a corporation that needs to be given freedom to abuse in every way possible, including health insurance rates, higher electric rates, and tax breaks for businesses that have not created the promised number of jobs.

Scott has demonstrated little concern for individual rights, wanting drug testing for state employees and welfare recipients; purging voter rolls, and restricting early voting. Luckily, there has been reaction against these ideas by courts, county elections supervisors, and the public.

The man has no compassion or empathy, and comes across as a cold, calculating individual, and it makes one wonder how Floridians could possibly consider him for a second term, but Scott is willing to spend whatever it takes to fool people, and to keep the vote numbers down by any means he can conjure up.

Scott gains less attention nationally than Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and other “Bully” Governors, all of whom are considered Presidential possibilities, but IF Rick Scott is re-elected, do not be surprised if he tries to bring his corruption, mean spirit, callousness, and lack of empathy or compassion to a national campaign for President.

One might say, wait, there is already Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio as potential candidates for President from Florida! The answer is: So What? Scott has never let ego or ethics get in his way in the past, and do not be surprised he might mount a national campaign if he defeats former Governor Charlie Crist, who has switched parties, and faces a massive challenge to be elected Governor as a Democrat, in a state with such a large Republican dominance in the state legislature!

The problem is that, even if Crist were to win, he is likely to face a hardline legislature, where only his veto might sometimes be effective, as Florida politics now represents one of the most backward agendas of any state, despite the fact that the state has nearly 20 million citizens, including many elderly, poor, sick, and disabled!

This is NOT a state where anyone who has a choice to move would decide to remain. YES, the weather is great, but the future for the elderly, the poor, the sick and the disabled, and for children in general, is gloomy!

Maryland, anyone?

Multiple Time Presidential Nominees Are A Very Select List!

An interesting statistic is how many Presidents have been nominated for President more than twice, as well as whether there were any Presidential nominees who lost the White House, but were nominated more than twice.

The list of Presidents who were nominated more than twice includes:

Thomas Jefferson (1796, 1800, 1804)
Andrew Jackson (1824, 1828, 1832)
Martin Van Buren (including the Free Soil Party nomination in 1848 along with 1836, 1840)
Grover Cleveland (1884, 1888, 1892)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944)
Richard Nixon (1960, 1968, 1972)

The nominees who were chosen more than twice were:

Henry Clay (1824, 1832, 1844)
William Jennings Bryan (1896, 1900, 1908)

As one can see, this is a very short list, indeed!

The Ultimate Legacy Of American Presidents

American Presidents deal with dozens, if not, hundreds of issues while in office, and they have ups and downs, highs and lows, unavoidably.

But, ultimately, they are remembered for one action in office that either puts them in the great, successful category, or in the disastrous, unsuccessful category, and they may be praised or bitterly criticized for others, but they will always be remembered for one specific policy or event, which has the greatest effect on their legacy.

So when we look at Presidents since FDR, what stands out as their primary legacy?

Franklin D. Roosevelt–his New Deal programs that saved millions of Americans, and gave them hope for the future.

Harry S Truman–his courage in his dealings with the Soviet Union through the Cold War policies.

Dwight D. Eisenhower–the steadfastness of his Civil Rights policies, enforcing court orders and promoting the end of racial segregation.

John F. Kennedy–his forthrightness in dealing with the greatest threat in world history, the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Lyndon B. Johnson–his Great Society programs that advanced civil rights, education, health care, and a war on poverty.

Richard M. Nixon–his paranoia and illegal activities, leading to Watergate and his resignation.

Gerald R. Ford–his appointment of Justice John Paul Stevens, who became a giant on the Supreme Court for 35 years.

Jimmy Carter–his promotion of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, the Camp David Accords, which have brought peace for 35 years.

Ronald Reagan–his tripling of the national debt through excessive military spending and massive tax cuts to the wealthy.

George H. W. Bush–his exceptional conduct of the crisis of the Persian Gulf War.

Bill Clinton–his promotion of the Northern Ireland peace agreement, between Anglicans and Catholics, and with Great Britain.

George W. Bush–the prosecution of the Iraq War, a war that was based on falsehoods, undermining the Middle East and emboldening Iran.

Barack Obama–the promotion of the Affordable Care Act, giving millions of Americans their first time coverage for health care.

The “Rising American Electorate”: The Bright Future For The Democratic Party!

The “Rising American Electorate”, the battleground groups for the future of American politics, insure a bright future for the Democratic Party, especially due to the Republican Party’s refusal to come to grips with these significant groups, who are being ignored, mistreated, insulted, and vilified by suicidal Republicans of the far Right!

Unmarried women, people of color, and young voters are clearly moving toward the Democratic Party, as the party to protect civil rights, to protect a woman’s right to choose on her reproductive life, and dealing with the reality of high economic stress among the young, and the need to create jobs, build infrastructure, and promote education, as the way to create a bright American future for the younger generation of the future.

There are more than ten million unmarried women; 6.5 million African Americans; 3.8 million Latinos; and 10 million young voters, and they all made a difference in the victory of Barack Obama in 2012. As long as a substantial number of these groups turn out in the midterm elections, the danger to the Democrats on a potential loss of the Senate can be averted.

Barack Obama is making his pitch to these groups, and they need to see that a Republican takeover of the Senate would undermine their futures. The “pocketbook” futures of these groups demand that they not be allowed to overlook the importance of voting in the midterm elections. If they do, they are only hurting themselves, as well as the party that is standing up for them.

The Republican War On The IRS Is An Anarchistic, Extremist Attack!

The Republican Party has declared war on the Internal Revenue Service, the basic backbone of how the federal government operates, how it protects the nation, and advances the domestic agenda of the United States, to make it the nation of freedom, justice, and equality that it was meant to be!

If you left it to the Republican Party, which operates as an anarchistic, extremist movement against the whole structure of our federal government, they would move to repeal the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which Republican President William Howard Taft advocated.

The Republican Party calls for abolition of the IRS, without saying how they would replace the funding that it provides for our national defense; for our multitude of federal government agencies that give Americans all kinds of services; and for protection of our elderly, our children, our disabled, our poor!

It seems that the Republican Party wants to go back to America and what it was in 1789–a nation of four million people with state governments having all of the power, or lack of it, to help maintain the safety, security, and advancement of its citizens!

Anyone who has studied American history knows that state governments have always been incompetent, inept, and too corrupt to be in charge of all of the massive responsibilities that the federal government has had since the First World War, the Great Depression, and the Second World War!

If the Republican Party were, somehow, able to accomplish what they advocate, it would lead to total chaos, anarchy, disruption, and the dissolution of a stable government!

So the right wing of the GOP is a dangerous, anarchistic, extremist group! Let’s call the reality what it is, a danger to all of America’s citizens!

Two Different Directions: Wisconsin State Republican Party And Nevada State Republican Party

The internal battle over the future of the Republican Party is in full swing, as we come up to the 160th anniversary of the Republican Party in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854, which actually took place on March 20. with a formal organization in Jackson, Michigan, on July 6.

For a long time, the Ripon Society has existed as an organization for “liberal,” mainstream Republicans, but of course, there is no such thing anymore known as “liberal” Republicanism. Even those who might consider themselves “liberal,” avoid use of that term like a plague!

The Wisconsin GOP, which once included “Mr. Progressive” Robert La Follette, Sr., and his brilliant sons Robert La Follette, Jr. and Philip La Follette, now, however, has become an extremist group on the far right, under Governor Scott Walker and Senator Ron Johnson, and the proposal is to add to their state party documents the concept of the right of the state to promote “secession’ if felt necessary, a sign of the old, ugly language that led to the Civil War and the loss of two thirds of a million men in combat, the greatest single tragedy in the nation’s history!

At the same time, the Nevada State Republican Party has made the decision to remove from its platform for 2014 two issues that the Christian Right has been promoting since their rise in the party apparatus nationwide since the late 1970s—abortion and gay rights and marriage. No longer will the party promote government intervention in the lives of women and their personal decisions about their bodies and reproductive rights. And no longer will they get in the way of a person’s happiness, as to his or her basic human rights, including marriage, and the right to one’s sexual orientation without any discrimination by government!

In the long run, what Nevada Republicans are doing will, if pursued elsewhere, lead to a long term revival of the GOP, while if Wisconsin is followed, it is the death knell and demise of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!

Republicans, The Lincoln Lie, And Rand Paul’s Ambitions For President In 2016

The Republican Party loves to claim a connection to Abraham Lincoln, even though they have totally repudiated everything he stands for.

They honor his memory, particularly now on the 149th Anniversary of his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. But they favor states rights, nullification, and support back tracking on civil rights, all of which the Confederate and Border South advocated when they were Democrats, and now when they are Republicans, and control most seats in Congress and most state legislatures in those states.

But when seeking the Presidency, these Southern and Border state Republicans have no problem in trying to appeal to groups they have been working against.

A great example is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, known for his doubts about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and about overseas military bases and involvement in world affairs.

Suddenly, while in New Hampshire appealing for support for President, he expresses concern for groups that have been totally ignored by his party, including African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, women, and poor people, although there is no evidence of a real transformation.

And now he is no longer willing to condemn Dick Cheney and the Iraq War, and backs away from his isolationist views of the past, and that must make his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, wince!

It is clear that Rand Paul is a total charlatan, a phony, who cannot be believed or trusted, either the “old” libertarian Rand Paul, or the newer, transformed model, to be our President!

The Most Significant Dates In Presidential History Related To Four Great Presidents!

Every year as we reach mid April, we are reminded of the most significant dates in Presidential history related to four great Presidents, all of whom represent the best of our history.

April 12 is the anniversary of the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, our greatest President of the 20th century, the promoter of the New Deal to react to the Great Depression, and also the leader through most of the fight against Fascism and Nazism in World War II.

It is also the anniversary of Harry Truman becoming President suddenly, and filling the shoes of FDR with courage and decisiveness, bringing about the end of World War II; confronting the Soviet Union in the Cold War; and promoting the expansion of the New Deal, the beginning of the end of racial segregation; and the recognition of Israel.

April 13 is the anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence; doubled our territory through the Louisiana Purchase agreement with France; kept us out of war with Great Britain with his understanding that we could not fight them with a chance to be victorious; and was a genius in so many ways, without a doubt the most brilliant person ever to occupy the Presidency.

April 14 marks the sad anniversary of Abraham Lincoln being shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater, and his death the next morning, April 15, but having brought about the victory of the Union over the Confederacy and the enunciation of the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation.

The ranking of these Presidents on the C-Span list of 2009 is Lincoln as number one, FDR as number three, Truman as number five, and Jefferson as number seven.

We are fortunate to have had such great leadership from these four Presidents, who had, overall, a greater effect on American history, than any other Presidents we have had!