News and Politics

Discussion about news and politics

The US-China Tariff “War” Will Decimate The Agricultural And Industrial Economy, And Insure Trump’s Defeat In 2020

President Trump’s decision to go to “war” with China on tariffs will have the effect of decimating the Agricultural and Industrial economy, insuring Trump’s defeat in 2020.

Farmers are going out of business, and are not going to vote for Trump based on other issues, as the “pocketbook” issue will be paramount.

And the estimate is that hundreds of thousands of jobs in industry will be harmed by the tariffs on iron, steel and other metals used in industry, causing a massive increase in the cost of kitchen appliances, automobiles, and a multitude of other goods based on the use of metals.

China will farm out their economic activities to their neighbors, and will be far less willing to help Trump with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who promoted the firing of missiles this week, showing he is not ready to negotiate with Trump. Trump is reacting in a cowardly way, as he has his whole future based on dealing with North Korea, but alienating China is another of many stupid moves by an incompetent President, who should be forced out of office pronto!

Could North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr Be Thorn For Donald Trump And His Son?

Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina may be a thorn for Donald Trump and his son, Donald Trump, Jr., but who would have guessed that?

Burr is a soft spoken member of the Senate since 2005 and served in the House of Representatives for the ten years from 1995 to 2005.

Burr has been Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and has been engaged in investigation of the Trump scandals, and has worked well with Ranking Member Mark Warner, Senator from Virginia.

To decide to call Donald Trump Jr. back for further questioning after having done so in 2017 is causing an uproar from many Republicans who want to drop the issue and move on, and are willing to cover up for Trump.

But Burr is a traditional conservative, and his voting record offers no hope of an open mind on most issues, and yet, he could now cause grief for Donald Trump and his son, hard to explain, but still welcome.

Trump, Pompeo, Bolton Seem Ready To Create New Wars, Against Iran And Venezuela

It is becoming very clear that President Donald Trump, in league with war hawks Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are plotting wars in the near future against both Iran and Venezuela.

Bolton was involved in the planning and support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and both he and Pompeo are ratcheting up excuses for war in both places. This would add dramatically to the national debt, kill and wound thousands of American troops, destroy two more nations with American military armaments, but would both drag on endlessly, and cause a total collapse of traditional American foreign policy and support from our traditional allies.

Donald Trump has no clue on foreign policy, and is willing to flirt with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, but destroyed the Iran nuclear agreement that other major nations signed onto. And while Venezuela is in a crisis with their President Nicolas Maduro, the danger of American military intervention would have a long range damaging effect on our relationships with Latin American nations.

Trump supposedly was against our interventions in the past, but now seems to think that if he gets America into two more wars, he will have the advantage of being a President in wartime, and historically, every President in the midst of war has won reelection.

At the same time, the tariff “wars” going on with China and other nations, undermines America economically, and will cause massive price increases and loss of jobs in many industries, which would likely lead to an economic recession, and traditionally, causes the defeat of Presidents running for reelection.

So we could face massive wars without end, but also a massive economic collapse, and our government is led by totally reckless and dangerous people.

Oh, but for the days of Rex Tillerson and H. R. McMaster, who were able to resist the destructive and egotistical tendencies of our mentally deranged President!

Today, May 8, Is The 135th Anniversary Of Harry Truman’s Birth, And The 74th Anniversary Of The End Of World War II In Europe

Today, May 8, is a momentous day, as it is the 135th Anniversary of the birth of President Harry Truman, and also the 74th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

There are very few veterans left from World War II, as the only survivors would be at least 92 if they had just entered war service in the last months of the war in 1945.

The “Greatest Generation”, as Tom Brokaw called the veterans of World War II, made great sacrifices and we honor them every Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November.

And we honor President Truman, who despite much controversy over his actions in office, is ranked in polls of scholars and experts as either number 5 or number 6 among all our Presidents, something no one in his time in office ever imagined he would reach.

Truman proved that an “ordinary man”, the only modern President not to have attended or graduated college, could be an effective President, and a voracious reader, proving that not all education and drive comes from a college degree, but from ambition and motivation to overcome one’s shortcomings.

This author and blogger would rank Truman Number 4, ahead of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, now rated in the C Span 2017 Poll of Historians above him, as he faced crises greater than all Presidents except George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. We were blessed to have two exceptional Presidents in a row in FDR and Truman.

The “Imperial Presidency” Of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. in 1973 Is Now Much More Powerful And Abusive Under Donald Trump

A half century after famed historian and scholar Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. published “The Imperial Presidency”, criticizing the growth of Presidential power under Richard Nixon, and tracing how much the Presidency had grown in authority and abuse since the 1930s, we are now faced with a Presidential office much more powerful and abusive than it was back in the time of the Watergate Scandal.

After Watergate and the resignation of Richard Nixon, the Presidency declined in authority under his two successors, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

But under the Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, abuses and scandals abounded, and many cabinet members and other top personnel were in legal danger, but with many of them pardoned over time.

By comparison, Bill Clinton had sex scandals which led to his impeachment, but otherwise, there was very little indication of scandals and abuse of power, although the Republican Party pursued him as if he was a major criminal.

And under Barack Obama, while there were no scandals or abuse of power, the Republicans did everything they could to undermine many of Obama’s initiatives.

But now under Donald Trump, the Republican Party has gone back to its promotion and endorsement of abusive Presidential power under Reagan and the Bushes, but now at a multiplied rate, endangering the balance of power between Congress and the Oval Office, much greater imbalance than ever before, all in the name of party loyalty to a fault.

We now have a lawless President who has declared he will not answer any subpoenas for materials, or allow any government official in the executive branch to testify before Congressional committees.

Therefore, the whole concept of separation of powers and checks and balances, designed by the Founding Fathers in 1787 to prevent a future King George III under the new Constitution, is now meeting its greatest challenge under a President who elevates the image of Richard Nixon, as by comparison, Nixon is like a “choir boy”, although clearly Nixon was a menace worthy of the attention of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

The American West A Rare Location For Presidential Contenders And Nominees Historically

Historically, the vast majority of Presidential contenders and nominees have come from no further west than the Great Plains.

And only two Presidential nominees, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, have been elected from the vast area west of the Great Plains. Even Nixon, when he ran for President the second time in 1968, was actually a resident of New York, while Reagan had spent his early life in Illinois, before migrating to Hollywood for an acting career.

Only two Presidential candidates, other than Nixon and Reagan, have made it as the nominees of their party, both from Arizona–Senators Barry Goldwater and John McCain.

The Mountain States have been particularly lacking in Presidential contenders historically, with only Senator Gary Hart and Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder of Colorado; Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Governor Bruce Babbitt of Arizona; and Senator Frank Church of Idaho having ever conducted campaigns for President, along with Senator William Borah of Idaho early in the 20th century.

Now, we have two Coloradans, former Governor John Hickenlooper and Senator Michael Bennet, contending for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and the soon to be contending Governor Steve Bullock of Montana, expected to announce in mid May.

Looking at the Pacific Coast states, we have only had Governor Jerry Brown of California and Senator Henry (Scoop) Jackson of Washington who have contended for the Presidency, along with Senator Hiram Johnson of California attempting a run in the early 20th century.

Now, we have Senator Kamala Harris of California and Congressman Eric Swalwell of California, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, all running for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Other than California, the likelihood of a future nominee or winner of the Presidency from those states west of the Great Plains would seem to be highly unlikely, as the population is much smaller than in the rest of the nation, although growth has been going on in some of those states, particularly Colorado, Arizona, and Washington.

Donald Trump’s Greatest Nightmare: Joe Biden, Who Can Take The Midwest And Pennsylvania Away From Him In 2020

It is very clear, a week into former Vice President Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign, that he has alarmed President Donald Trump, who clearly sees him as the most dangerous threat to a potential second term.

We know that because Trump is on a crazed Twitter rant on a daily basis against Biden, and for good reason.

Joe Biden is the closest to an “average guy” who has run for President, and served in high office as a Senator and Vice President.

He has always been seen as one of the “poorest” public officials, as he has few assets, other than his salary and pension; his wife’s teaching job at a community college; their home in Delaware; and whatever he has gained from his book publishing and lectures, nowhere near the level of the Clintons, or the Obamas, by any means.

Joe Biden came from a lower middle class background in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has always been seen as a person who truly related to the white working class of Pennsylvania, and the Midwest, and to those without a college education,and his capacity for empathy and sincerity and concern for average Americans has always resonated as true and genuine.

This does not mean that others, who had struggles, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Julian Castro do not also have empathy and sincerity and concern for average Americans. They most certainly do, but there is something about Joe Biden, with all of his faults and shortcomings, which all of the above have, that makes him seen in polls and generally as the most dangerous barrier to a second Donald Trump term in the Presidency.

Many have felt that if Joe Biden had somehow run in 2016, that he might have been able to overcome Hillary Clinton, win the nomination, and win the key states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio, and would have taken the Presidency, and saved the nation from the nightmare of Donald Trump.

Geographical Locations Of Democratic Presidential Candidates 2020: Every Area Represented

One thing is clear as the Democratic Presidential race heats up: Every area of the nation is represented, unless one wants to list the Great Plains as a separate geographical area.

We have three people from New England—Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Seth Moulton.

We have five people from the Mid Atlantic states—Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, John Delaney, Andrew Yang (Entrepreneur and Philanthropist).

We have three people from the South—Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke, Wayne Messam (little known African American Mayor of Miramar, Florida).

We have three people from the Midwest—Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Tim Ryan.

We have three people from the Rocky Mountain West—John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock (not yet announced)

We have five people from the Pacific Coast—Kamala Harris, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson (Author, Lecturer, Activist), Jay Inslee, Tulsi Gabbard.

And the latest news and leaks say New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is about to announce.

And also, while no one takes him seriously, former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel (1969-1981), who is 88 years old, and also was an announced candidate for President in 2008, is also an announced candidate.

So if you count every candidate, even those who are not serious, we have 24 candidates announced, or soon to be announced.

No more than 20 will be in the debates, and one can be assured that Messam and Gravel will be unlikely to meet the threshold required to make the debates, and that de Blasio, Bullock, and Bennet, coming in after so many others, may not make the deadline either for the first debate at the end of June.

If one leaves out the two people who are not politicians along with Messam and Gravel, with none of those four seen as having any real chance to be the nominee, we are left with:

7 Senators–Sanders, Warren, Gillibrand, Booker, Klobuchar, Bennet, Harris

6 House of Representatives or former members–Moulton, Delaney, Ryan, O’Rourke, Swalwell, Gabbard

3 Governors or former —Hickenlooper, Bullock, Inslee

3 Mayors or former—Buttigieg, Castro, de Blasio

1 Former Vice President and Senator–Biden

And Now Number 22 Announces: Colorado Senator Michael Bennet

When this author and blogger published yesterday about the impending announcement of Presidential candidacy by Montana Governor Steve Bullock, he did not know or imagine that Colorado Senator Michael Bennet would “jump the gun” and announce, probably two weeks before Bullock is expected to announce for President.

In any case, once Bullock jumps in the race, with Bennet already now in, we will have 22 Democratic Presidential candidates, the most ever.

However, one can be sure that once the debates begin in late June, and go on for every month, and once the question of money, polls, and adequate staff support start to kick in, we can expect that by the fall, probably half of the group will not be competing in the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary and beyond.

The newest entrant is the 7th sitting US Senator to announce, and has been in the Senate for ten years, first appointed to replace Ken Salazar as he became the Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama a decade ago.

Bennet graduated from Wesleyan University, and then Yale Law School, where he was editor in chief of the Yale Law Journal.

Previously, Bennet had been the Chief of Staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, before the latter became Colorado Governor. Ironically, now Bennet is competing with his former boss for the Presidency. He was Superintendant of the Denver Public School System from 2005-2009 before his appointment to the Senate. He was elected to a full term in 2010, and reelected in 2016.

Bennet’s father was a major figure in Democratic politics, having worked for Hubert Humphrey, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton; and his grandfather was an adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt. The father also was President and CEO of National Public Radio, and President of Wesleyan University, so Bennet comes from a very distinguished background.

When Bennet won his second term in 2016, he gained more votes than Hillary Clinton, who won the state. He also won more votes than any Democrat in Colorado history in a state wide race, and more votes in rural counties than any Democrat in Colorado history.

Bennet has been a typical Democrat in his record on voting, and has been noted for sharp attacks on Senator Ted Cruz, causing more views on C Span when he attacked Cruz in January 2019 for his hypocrisy on the federal government shutdown spurred by President Donald Trump.

Bennet was born with a Jewish mother and Christian father, and while not observant, he acknowledges his Jewish roots.

Bennet underwent what is termed as successful prostate cancer surgery in April, and says it is cured, but that could become an issue in the campaign.

The fact that he was born in New Delhi, India, while his father was an aide to the US Ambassador to India, could become an issue as well, although it seems that he was born on the US Embassy grounds, which would be US territory. This is similar to John McCain born in the Panama Canal Zone, which his dad was serving at the US Navy Air Station in 1936.

Whether Bennet, who is 54, can make a dent in the Presidential campaign is yet to be seen, but at the moment, not perceived as likely. He portrays himself as a pragmatist and centrist. Coming from Colorado, a key purple state that has gone to the Democrats lately, makes him significant, although John Hickenlooper, his former boss, is also competing with his aide for the Presidency.

Yet Another Presidential Contender: Governor Steve Bullock Of Montana

We already have 20 Democratic Presidential contenders, and now another one is imminent: Montana Governor Steve Bullock. It has been made public that he will announce in two weeks, in mid May.

It would seem that Bullock could be dismissed as a serious candidate, but looking at his record gives one pause.

Bullock is 53, making him one of the younger potential Presidents, and he has been successful in a heavily Republican state, first as Attorney General from 2009-2013, and then as a two term Governor, elected in 2012 and again in 2016. He is also the Chair of the National Governor’s Association, elected last year to that position, which gives him more publicity and attention.

Bullock has been rated the most popular Democratic Governor in public opinion polls, and has managed to be effective with a heavily opposition controlled Republican legislature, with Democrats having been able to hold on to the Governor’s chair despite Republican statewide dominance, with Brian Schweitzer for eight years before Bullock, along with one Senate seat, that of Senator Jon Tester. He was the only incumbent Democratic Governor to win reelection in a state that Donald Trump won in 2016.

To survive as a Democrat, Bullock, like Tester, is a moderate Democrat, but he is pro choice; a believer in climate change; is supported by organized labor; refuses to cooperate with immigration authorities on the issue of separation of families on the border with Mexico; supports net neutrality; favors campaign finance reform; and backs gay marriage.

Bullock has emphasized the need for Democrats to gain support from rural and suburban areas, rather than focusing on urban areas, the traditional Democratic base. His visits in 2018 to Iowa and New Hampshire fueled belief he would announce for President, and now it is imminent.

As a moderate centrist Democrat, however, he is competing with Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg, and possibly others whose ideas are not fully developed as of yet. So the odds that a man from Montana could go all the way seems unlikely, but of course, he could be a Vice Presidential choice of the Democratic Presidential candidate.