American Democracy

The Political Year 2018 Reviewed, And Hopes For A Political Renaissance

The year 2018 saw the drastic blunders and mean spirited nature of the 45th President come to full fruition.

It was the year of diplomatic, economic, environmental, and social steps backward, wiping out a lot of the good that has been done by Presidents and Congresses of both parties in the past 70 plus years since World War II.

It was the year of the passing of political leaders who always had the motivation to do good, even when they sometimes went the wrong direction on specific issues—John McCain and George H. W. Bush.

It was a year when the Federal Judiciary stood up to Donald Trump most of the time, but also a year when extreme right wing judges were approved, and a Supreme Court Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, similar to Clarence Thomas in his mistreatment of women, was confirmed despite that reality.

It was also the year of more gun related deaths and opioid deaths than have died in war since the end of World War II.

It was the year when schools and religious institutions and public gathering places were subjected to mass death by people who desperately needed mental health intervention.

It was the year when racism, nativism, misogyny all had massive revival, assisted by the behavior of the Chief Executive in the Oval Office.

It was the year when the Republican Party lost all credibility as it refused to stand up and condemn the unstable behavior of Donald Trump, and allowed him to hijack the historical reputation of the party.

But in the midst of all this gloom, it was also the year of the rise of women, racial and religious minorities, gays and lesbians, and young people to more political power and influence than has ever been seen in American politics and society.

The Democratic Party became the bastion of future hopes of reform and change, and they have the backing of millions of Americans who desperately want a different direction for American politics and society.

2019 needs to be the year of movement against Donald Trump, and hold him accountable for his crimes and sins, and the likelihood of the Trump Presidency coming to an end by criminal indictments against family members, leading to the resignation of Trump, as occurred with Richard Nixon, seems likely.

The future of American democracy and constitutional government is at stake as we enter 2019, but the massive “Blue Wave” evokes hope and optimism.

Let us all hope for a better, more productive 2019 politically and socially.

44 Retired US Senators Speak Out On Constitutional Crisis, Including Principled Republicans

The Washington Post published two days ago an op-ed editorial by 44 retired US Senators, calling on the present members of the Senate to show guts and courage and speak up to defend democracy and the Constitution, from the threats presented by President Donald Trump.

Eleven of those 44 were Republicans, of all stripes and beliefs, including Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado; William Cohen of Maine; Alfonse D’Amato of New York;  John Danforth of Missouri; David Durenberger of Minnesota; Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Richard Lugar of Indiana; Larry Pressler of South Dakota; Alan Simpson of Wyoming; John Warner of Virginia; and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut.

The other 33 were Democrats, including such luminaries as Evan Bayh of Indiana; Bill Bradley of New Jersey; Tom Daschle of South Dakota; Chris Dodd of Connecticut; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Bob Graham of Florida; Tom Harkin of Iowa; Gary Hart of Colorado; Bob Kerrey of Nebraska; John Kerry of Massachusetts; Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; Barbara Mikulski of Maryland; Sam Nunn of Georgia; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia; and Mark Udall of Colorado.

America needs Republicans in the Senate, now 53 of them, to stop defending Donald Trump, and start concerning themselves with the preservation of American democracy.  They need to speak up and challenge and confront Donald Trump and stop accepting his violations of the Constitution.

If they do not, they will  be relegated to the dustbin of history, and the Republican party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan, Ford, and H. W. Bush will die of lack of principle and commitment.

Donald Trump Goes Off The Rails After Massive Repudiation By Voters On Election Day

Donald Trump went off the rails more than usual after the massive repudiation by the voters on Election Day.

It seems impossible for Donald Trump to behave in words or actions during any 24 hour cycle.

After Tuesday’s results, Trump has done the following:

Sent thousands of military personnel to the US Mexico border, claiming wrongfully that Central American migrants, mostly women and children escaping violence and personal threats are carrying leprosy and smallpox, but not providing decent living conditions for soldiers waiting for a “caravan” which is not really such, and is no danger to the American national security, and wasting an estimated $200 to $300 million in the process.

Insulted several black women journalists at the press conference on Wednesday, including the renowned April Ryan.

Engaged in degrading behavior toward Jim Acosta of CNN, and suspended his right to participate in future press conferences, and his Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders created a fake video to try to demonstrate that Acosta was aggressive with a female Presidential aide.

Fired Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, and hired a flawed, biased Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General, instead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a move to destroy the Robert Mueller investigation.

Went to the commemoration of the centennial of the end of the First World War, and insulted veterans by not going to a cemetery outside of Paris because of the rain, and then went to a Paris ceremony separately, and left early from the events of the weekend to return home.

Promoted nationalism, which caused the First World War and the Second World War, and was repudiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, who called for a European Army to protect the continent from possible threats in the future, including Russia, China, and, get this, the United States under Donald Trump.

Condemned California for the horrendous forest fires that have devastated that state, and threatened to cut federal funding to deal with that issue, showing no understanding of nature and science.

Trump has insulted our European allies, veterans, firefighters, and our journalists who report the truth to keep us free and democratic.

Trump has displayed ever further his total lack of knowledge and understanding of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, diplomacy, history and science.

He has also shown yet again that he is a misogynist, a racist, a nativist, a super nationalist xenophobe, a threat to American democracy and the rule of law.

Election Day 2018—Karma Is Due For Donald Trump, And The Future Of American Democracy Is At Stake!

So now America has arrived at Election Day 2018, a time when Karma is due for Donald Trump, and the future of American democracy is at stake.

America has never been at a time of crisis as we are now, since the Great Depression and Pearl Harbor.

We have a mentally unhinged President, whose lackeys keep on serving him, and whose party has rejected their responsibility to keep the President in tow.

We have a group of Republican politicians who have besmirched the reputation and principles represented historically by Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and many past Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors, who promoted the end of slavery, the growth of corporate regulation and social justice, and acceptance of the best aspects of the New Deal and international alliances in the war against totalitarian government.

But now, the Republican Party represents the acceptance of totalitarianism, and rejection of international alliances against evil, and domestically of basic principles of social justice and common decency.

If the Democrats do not win control of at least the House of Representatives, and hopefully also the Senate, today, and if they do not take control of a majority of state governments, then the future is gloomy, and will be intolerable for millions of decent, hard working Americans, and particularly so for women, racial minorities, Jews, the disabled, and gays and lesbians.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights are endangered by a man who “loves” Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin and other dictators, and rejects the friendship and alliance of Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, and other leaders of democracies around the world.

Even if one is not traditionally “religious”, today is a time for prayer for the survival of the Republic we created nearly two and a half centuries ago, and now endangered by a mad man with no ethics, morals, or scruples!

The Collapse Of Supreme Court Reputation And Evangelical Christian Legitimacy, But John Kasich Emerges As Rare Sane Voice In Republican Party

The Supreme Court has reached a crossroads, and will be going back a century to its most conservative nature since the Gilded Age. In the process, the concept of balance is gone, and the Court is losing its reputation as a reliable judgment on the meaning of the Constitution.

The Evangelical Christian movement is also losing its legitimacy, and is now shown for what it is, totally immoral, unethical, NOT based on the teachings and social justice of Jesus Christ, and undermining respect for an institution that is revealed as totally hypocritical, and displaying its misogyny.

We need the Supreme Court, but we do NOT need a religiously fanatical and false group, which is only interested in forcing theocracy on America, which the American people at large will NOT tolerate.

So we are entering the most dangerous period in more than 150 years, since the Civil War raged in the 1860s.

And Donald Trump is reveling in all this, as he works to undermine what is left of American democracy, and hopes to grab power and become an absolute dictator for the rest of his life.

Interestingly, in the midst of this promotion of chaos and anarchy by Donald Trump, we DO have a sane Republican, outgoing Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who on Sunday morning on CNN is emphasizing the need for unity and crossing the aisle. It is clear he will challenge Trump or Mike Pence for the Presidency in 2020, and his is one of the very few sane voices in the Republican Party, which at this point, seems “owned” by Donald Trump, but needs a strong challenge from someone like Kasich.

What Donald Trump is promoting must be bitterly opposed by mass action in the streets, and if the police refuse to honor the right of citizens under the Bill of Rights to peacefully demonstrate for redress of grievances, than a real violent reaction is likely, which Donald Trump will pay for in the annals of history!

A Moment To Celebrate The 167th Anniversary Of The New York Times, America’s Leading Media Source, Helping To Keep Us Free And Informed!

In the midst of the sustained attack on freedom of the press going on in 2018, today is the 167th anniversary of America’s leading newspaper, the “newspaper of record”, the NEW YORK TIMES.

Since 1851, the New York Times has published and challenged the American government, foreign governments, and powerful economic forces, who have tried to limit the ability of that paper to report the truth of the news, and the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. Its motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It has the notable New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Sunday Review, all part of its Sunday edition.

The New York Times has not been perfect, anymore than any institution, as it failed to report accurately the Holocaust going on in Europe in World War II; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East over the past number of decades; and has been accused of distortion about the Iraq War, and the US-Iran relationship. The newspaper also has been accused of engagement in plagiarism by certain journalists, and accusations of bias, and public perceptions of lack of credibility and accuracy, including attacks by Right Wing propaganda groups, and President Donald Trump, who talks about the “Failing” New York Times, which actually is in very good financial shape.

Any researcher in just about any field of knowledge uses the former NY Times Index, as this author has done, and now available in the TimesMachine, the Online Archive of every issue of the paper since 1851.

The New York Times was extremely significant in promotion of the truth, when it won the right to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, in the Supreme Court case of New York Times Company V. United States, winning over the attempt of President Richard Nixon to prevent publication of the documents that traced the US involvement in Vietnam after 1945 through the late 1960s.

So let us all applaud the courage and determination of the brilliant journalists of the New York Times, who are now, in 2018, doing their job exposing the corruption and illegal activities of Donald Trump and his Presidency, alongside the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, along with other media sources, including cable news channels CNN and MSNBC, along with ABC, NBC, and CBS.

The truth shall set us free and protect American democracy and the Constitution!

Don McGahn Is The New John Dean: Trump And Nixon Scandals Become Linked In History

Forty five years after John Dean, the White House Counsel under President Richard Nixon, revealed the illegal actions of his boss in the Watergate Scandal, now we are learning for certain that Don McGahn, the White House Counsel under Donald Trump, has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, on the actions of his boss.

The difference is that McGahn has engaged in such cooperation for at least the last nine months, while Dean delayed such cooperation, and eventually served a short term in prison as a result, while McGahn clearly wants to avoid that.

So the idea that everyone around Trump is willing to “take a bullet” for Trump is now shown not to be the case, and it is likely that others around Trump will abandon their loyalty to Trump, realizing that he is a “sinking ship”, and that they can still recover some of their reputation and dignity by working against their boss, as he has absolutely no loyalty to them.

Donald Trump is self indicting as he continues to rant and rave on Twitter, including many bursts of anger as this posting is being formulated, as he realizes the future is gloomy, as evidence of Russian collusion, obstruction of justice, abuse of power, violations of the Emoluments Clause, and other crimes has been gathered by Mueller. Trump also realizes now that his son Donald, Jr, and his son in law Jared Kushner, and many of his cabinet members and other advisers, are in danger of being indicted.

With Omarosa Manigault Newman and Michael Cohen adding to Trump’s grief, he is now besieged on all fronts, but while the process to remove him from office moves forward, there is great concern about the dangers of him creating a foreign policy or national security crisis, and trying to shut down the Bill of Rights, and declare martial law.

Trump is clearly very mentally ill, and it is essential that the military, behind the scenes, and particularly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, work to prevent any dangerous actions by the President, and prevent him from ordering a nuclear strike. And the top national security personnel, in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and the Director of National Intelligence need to block any rash actions by Trump that threatens American democracy.

The Surrender Of The Republican Party To The Cult Of Donald Trump Seems Complete

The Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H W Bush, Gerald Ford, and even Ronald Reagan is gone.

So is the party of Robert LaFollette, Sr., George Norris, Nelson Rockefeller, Mark Hatfield, Clifford Case, William Scranton, and innumerable others who served as Governors or US Senators.

The Republican Party of 2018 has sold its soul to the idea of maintaining office at all costs, and all principles, morals, and ethics have totally disappeared.

No one, literally no one, who is running for election now or in the near future, is willing to gamble losing his or her position of power.

Only those who are dying, as John McCain–or not running for reelection, such as Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Flake of Arizona—or not in office or those who have journalistic integrity despite their Republican or conservative credentials in the past—have the willingness to speak up. Or the most recent example of South Carolina Congressman and former Governor Mark Sanford, a strong conservative Republican, who lost his party’s primary despite his conservative credentials, because he had the “nerve” to criticize Donald Trump!

The only way to purge the party future is for all officeholders, or most of them, who are facing election and staying silent, to be forced out of office by the voters in the midterm Congressional and state elections in November 2018.

This is, and it is not meant to sound dramatic, but this is the only hope for American democracy, that the Democrats have a massive, overwhelming victory.

If not, we are living in a period where the Constitution and Bill of Rights are being destroyed before our eyes, with most Americans not caring, or complicit by silence and lack of interest and participation in voting, in the downfall of the American experiment as the great constitutional democracy America was meant to be!

We are living in a time of a cult, a mass worship of a very flawed, evil human being, who has no concern for the future, but only for his own material wealth and stroking of his ego.

We have a very sick, mentally deranged individual who has the capability of destroying the planet, or caving in to the whims of other totalitarian leaders who he wises to emulate.

If there is a history to be written in the future, however, Donald Trump will be condemned as the most despicable, evil leader we have ever manufactured!

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!

The Never Ending Nightmare Of Donald Trump, Who Has Disgraced, Undermined, Tarnished, Stained, And Harmed The Reputation Of The Presidency!

As we see the end of the first year of the Donald Trump Presidency, it is clear that it is a never ending nightmare visited on the American people.

Donald Trump has disgraced the office of the Presidency.

Donald Trump has undermined trust and faith in the law, the Constitution, and American democracy, and demonstrated lack of respect for freedom of the press.

Donald Trump has tarnished the reputation of America as the leader of the world.

Donald Trump has stained the concept of decency, dignity, and concern of the leader of the nation for those less fortunate, or facing historic discrimination.

Donald Trump has harmed the reputation of the Presidency as an office which promotes basic moral and ethical values.

Donald Trump has affected the relationships between men and women, boys and girls, in a deleterious manner, which will harm the nation long term.

Donald Trump has manufactured and promoted more lies than any American politician in American history, and undermines the ability of Americans to respect the office and the person who holds that position.

Donald Trump has damaged America long term in just one year, as with the long term effects of his lower court appointments, and his selection of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, who seems short term to be further to the right politically than Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and maybe even the man he replaced, Justice Antonin Scalia.

Donald Trump has left a legacy of environmental damage that will not be easily reversed, and of harm to labor and consumers that will set back the dwindling middle class and the working class for decades.

Donald Trump has also given us the worst set of cabinet members ever, far worse already than Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, or Ulysses S. Grant.

Donald Trump has left already an indelible mark on America, and is on the way to the worst four year term in history, bar none, and with the danger of two wars being started, if he lasts into the end of the second year–against North Korea and Iran.

We should all hope that Donald Trump is forced out of office soon, although the prospect of President Mike Pence is a ghastly thought at this point.

What the Russians did has succeeded, destroying our presidential election, and giving us horrifying alternatives in Pence, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch, when clearly, Hillary Clinton won an election that was stolen from her!