Barack Obama

November 22–52 Years And Still In Recovery From JFK Assassination

For anyone who was at least eight years old in 1963, they will never forget the shock of the John F. Kennedy Assassination on this day 52 years ago!

We will never forget where we were when the shocking news was revealed, and we are still reverberating from the effects of that tragic event.

We have had no Presidential death in office since, and the odds are catching up, with a world burdened by “lone wolves” domestically, and international terrorism!

The death threats against President Barack Obama have been, as I reveal in my recent book, the greatest in number of any President since Abraham Lincoln.

Just this past week, it was revealed that a person was arrested who had made dangerous threats against President Obama on Facebook, including wanting to feed Obama to a wood chipper!

What kind of crazy mind would think up something like this, and also, thankfully, write about it, so that he could be apprehended?

Mental illness, along with religious fanaticism, are the main causes of the threats faced today by our President, but one can wonder, as many has, how Obama has survived nearly seven years without being directly harmed.

Not only Obama, but all Presidential candidates and the next President and Vice President, whoever they are,  have been and will be under constant threat in a overly dangerous world!

It makes one wonder why any sane person would want to seek the Presidency or serve in that office!

Anti Immigrant Hysteria: 1840s-1850s; 1870s-1880s; 1920s-1940s And Now! Do We Ever Learn?

Part of the ugly side of the history of America is its record of nativism and anti immigrant hysteria.

In the 1840s and 1850s, it was anti Catholic hysteria against the Irish and the German immigrants fleeing from poverty and political turmoil.  The “American” or Know Nothing Party was formed, had some members in Congress, and had former President Millard Fillmore (Whig) win the state of Maryland (heavily Catholic) in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1856.

In the 1870s and 1880s, it was anti Asian hysteria, mostly Chinese at the time, and often led by Irish who had forgotten the prejudice and discrimination they had faced in an earlier generation,and it led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, courageously vetoed by President Chester Alan Arthur but passed over his veto by a two thirds majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

In the 1920s through the Second World War in the 1940s, it was anti “new” immigration, to stop the massive wave of Catholics and Eastern European Jews from coming to America, as well as anti Japanese prejudice, replacing the Chinese who had already been banned from migration to America since 1882.

This led to the horrors of Italians, Jews, and other southern and eastern Europeans denied admission to America during the time of the rise and triumph of Fascism in Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazism under Adolf Hitler in Germany.

The result was the Holocaust, which America could have worked against by admission of refugees, but just like now, it was Republicans, some Democrats, and conservatives who lobbied against children and women and old people being admitted, due to racism and nativism.

It also led to the forced movement of Japanese Americans into internment camps during the Second World War, as an hysterical reaction to Pearl Harbor being attacked by Japan.

In more recent decades, we have seen growing anti Hispanic and anti Latino discrimination, and now against Muslim and Arab refugees, as if we have learned nothing from our past.

America has been a beacon of hope in a difficult world, and we must not lose our image that the Statue of Liberty represents, so we must salute and applaud President Barack Obama for coming out forcefully against Republican Governors and members of Congress, who are demonstrating the ugliest side of the American experience once again!

Hysteria And Panic Take Over Republicans: Their Loss Of Understanding The Symbolism Of The Statue Of Liberty!

The Republican Party is acting at its most mean spirited nature ever right now—wishing to bar all refugees from Syria, even 5 year old children and mothers, who are victims of one of the most horrible civil wars in modern history!

31 State Governors, almost all Republican, are trying to prevent any migration of refugees to their states, but that is illegal, as no one can prevent any migrant coming to the nation from settling wherever they choose, and to cut off all migration from Syria and the Middle East is outrageous bigotry, as many are saying only Christians and no Muslims should be allowed into the nation.

At the same time that we have thousands of gun deaths from domestic sources annually, now we are seeing hysteria and panic, and the belief that somehow, some terrorists will be admitted, when every day, we have domestic terrorists killing Americans, and nothing is done about that!

Of course, full vetting must be done of all migrants and refugees, but to shut the door completely is to deny the purposes of the Statue of Liberty and the so called “American Dream” that we keep on propagandizing.

Republicans and conservatives are forgetting that our land is founded on the basis of refugees and migrants escaping for a better life, and none of us who are not native American or African American would be here if not for an open mind over the generations toward people of all backgrounds escaping persecution and deprivation!

Barack Obama is right that we must not give up our principles, and must not repeat the horrible anti immigrant mentality that led to discrimination in past times against refugees and migrants of all racial and religious backgrounds, and caused the deaths of many, particularly in the time of pre World War II in Europe when Jews were denied admission and ended up dying in the Holocaust!

In Crisis Moments, Should An American President Resign, As Reckless Republicans Are Suggesting? Of Course Not!

Think of how many times a crisis has arisen in American history during an administration of innumerable Presidents!

Should James Madison have resigned as he fled the capital as the British invaded Washington, DC  in August 1814 during the War of 1812?

Should Abraham Lincoln have resigned when various times in the Civil War the Confederacy won major military battles from 1861-1863?

Should Franklin D. Roosevelt have resigned when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941?

Should John F. Kennedy have resigned when Russian missiles were discovered in Cuba in 1962?

Should Ronald Reagan have resigned after the loss of 252 Marines in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983, due to Islamic terrorism?

Should George W. Bush have resigned after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by Al Qaeda?

In these and innumerable other situations, of course the answer is NO!

But now, suddenly, reckless Republicans want Barack Obama to resign due to the Paris terror attacks, which they blame Obama for, even though ISIL (ISIS) is the outgrowth of the disastrous and unnecessary Iraq War waged by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

This demand for resignation occurred after “Jihadi John”, who slaughtered foreign hostages by knife, including Americans; and a leading figure in ISIL (ISIS) in Libya, were killed by American air strikes, but before the tragic Paris terror attacks, as if the Republicans have s simple answer to the threat of Islamic terrorism!

So in a crisis moment, the nation should rally around the President, as is typical in most cases historically.  But even when not unifying around the President, no leader should bow to political attacks, and instead go to work and face the crises that arise, as so many Presidents have done throughout American history!

Paris Terror Attack Makes Clear Growing Threat To President And Presidential Candidates!

My new book on Presidential assassinations and threats has pointed out the constant and growing danger of assassination threats to our Presidents, including Barack Obama, and my recent op-ed in THE HILL on October 22 drew attention to the growing threat to Presidential candidates, with Donald Trump and Dr. Benjamin Carson now, after much delay, receiving Secret Service protection.  Hillary Clinton, as former First Lady, automatically receives such protection.

As I have pointed out, all Presidential candidates deserve at least some protection, with those doing better in attracting crowds and gaining in public opinion polls having more protection, which would now include Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush at the least.

The idea that the French President, Francois Hollande, was in danger at the soccer stadium at the time of the Paris terror attack last night, and had to be whisked out is alarming, and all Western European leaders, as well as those from Canada, Australia and the US are going to need  heightened protection in this age of terrorism gone overseas from the Middle East to the rest of the civilized world.

The western world is faced with a crisis that Pope Francis has called World War III, but without organized governments engaged in the terrorism, presenting a massive challenge as these terrorists are willing to commit suicide to achieve their goals, unlike the former Soviet Union, which was a constant threat during the Cold War, but also had leadership that wished to win, rather than sacrifice their lives.

So as a result, it was possible over time to overcome the Soviet threat, but in this age of terrorism, it is hard to see a resolution of this crisis no matter what the strategy is that is adopted.

We live in the most crucial time since World War II, and we need statesmanship and courage to meet the challenge!

The Achilles Heel Of The Republicans Has Emerged: Lack Of Foreign Policy Knowledge Or Expertise!

It used to be that the Republican Party had candidates who had a reputation for foreign policy expertise, including Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush.

Now, we have Rand Paul, representing the isolationist viewpoint; and the viewpoint of the neoconservatives, which includes just about everyone else, all who have apparently learned nothing from the disastrous policies of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  They want to commit US military forces to another war, but of course give not a care to veterans once they come home from war, often wounded physically and mentally by their experience.

And some have not a clue as to what is going on in foreign policy, demonstrating unbelievable ignorance, particularly Dr. Benjamin Carson and Donald Trump.

As this blogger has stated many times in the past few years, in the 2012 election cycle, ONLY Jon Huntsman had any legitimate background in foreign policy; and in the 2016 election cycle, only John Kasich demonstrates any experience in foreign policy, although inferior to that of Huntsman.

One may criticize Barack Obama in some areas of foreign policy, but his top aides and advisers on this have included Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and present Secretary of State John Kerry.  Many would criticize all of them, but in comparison to the Republican camp, they are people of experience and awareness of the complex world we live in!

When it comes to foreign policy, this time there is no doubt that the Democrats with Hillary Clinton will emerge superior in knowledge, experience, and competence!

“We Must Take Our Government Back!”—To What, May We Ask?

Carly Fiorina said it last night in the GOP debate; Donald Trump has said it; so has a multitude of others in the Republican Party debates so far—“We must take our government back!”

Back to what, is the question!

Back to a time when women were “dutiful” housewives who stayed home, avoided education and employment, and were totally dependent upon their husbands?

Back to a time when “Negroes” were segregated by law and custom and “knew” their place not to complain?

Back to a time when “Negroes” were lynched at will and no one seemed to notice?

Back to a time when gays and lesbians were openly discriminated against in all areas of life without any protection or support of their rights?

Back to a time when child labor existed as young as six years old, and they and poor women who worked were paid far less than men?

Back to a time when there was no Social Security system for the elderly and disabled?

Back to a time when immigrants were barred from coming to America if they were Jewish or Catholic or Asian in origin?

Back to a time when labor unions did not exist, and work places were totally unsafe, and there was no workers compensation for injuries at work?

Back to a time when corporations “raped” and pillaged the environment for their own selfish purposes?

The list could go on and on, and who would “love” if all this was to return, from the 1950s, 1920s, and the “Gilded Age” of the late 19th century?

Conservatives who have fought against and resisted all of these changes and reforms brought about by progressives such as Theodore Roosevelt; Progressive Era reformers at all levels;  Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition; Harry Truman; John F, Kennedy; Lyndon B. Johnson; 1960s reformers at all levels; Jimmy Carter; Bill Clinton; Barack Obama; and the constant battle of modern progressives and liberals to protect and expand all of the great political, social and economic reforms of the 20th century, hard fought, and the battle goes on in 2015!


News Media And American Political Parties And Presidential Candidates: Meant To Put Candidates’ “Feet To The Fire!”

The job of the news media–radio, television and cable, print, internet—is to expose the hypocrisy and shortcomings of our political parties and leaders, and particularly their Presidential candidates!

It is NOT the job of news media and journalism to “cozy up” to any public figure, but rather to hold their “feet to the fire!”

Only in a dictatorship are news media the lackeys of the government and its leaders!

So if a politician at any level or a Presidential candidate cannot handle being exposed and shown for what he or she really is, tough on them, and if unable to handle it, then the answer is to withdraw from competition to be our leaders.

So there is no sympathy or empathy that should be visited toward Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or any of the multitude of other Presidential candidates.

And anyone who, somehow, believes, that Barack Obama has not faced the same scrutiny is a liar and a propagandist!

So, in summary, if one “cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!”

Seven Years After The Collapse Of The American Economy, The Great Recession Is Over!

In 2008, the last year of the George W. Bush Administration, the American economy collapsed into the Great Recession, the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s!

Now, seven years later, the Great Recession is finally over, and most American economists would say we are at “full employment”, with an unemployment rate of 5 percent!

Does anyone wish to argue that, magically, John McCain and or Mitt Romney would have brought about such a low unemployment rate any sooner than seven years, when the same situation arose under the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt?

Twice, a Republican President brought down the economy, and a Democratic President revived the economy.

Both FDR and Obama were called Socialists, Communists, radicals, and extremists, and both faced great hatred from the elite wealthy.

The difference is that FDR kept a Democratic Congress, while Obama had to deal with an opposition House of Representatives for the last six years of his Presidency, and with an opposition Senate for the last two years of his  Presidency.

So in a way, Obama’s accomplishment may be all the greater!

It will take time for Obama to be appreciated for what he did for the economy, but the time will come, eventually.

At the same time, there clearly is a need for more to be done, as there are still too many people in our society, poorly educated and unmotivated, who need to be trained and helped to find stable employment, but a lot has been done, and it is appropriate to salute President Obama!

With Only Three Candidates Left In The Field, Is There Any Chance For The Rise Of Martin O’Malley As The Democratic Presidential Nominee?

Now that there are only three Democratic Presidential candidates—Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley—the question rises whether O’Malley has any shot at the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016.

In past years, when change was seen as desired, young, new generation, appealing Democrats—Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts in 1960; former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia in 1976; Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas in 1992; and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois in 2008, came from behind to win the nomination and then the election.

All were underdogs and not in front in public opinion polls in the fall of the year before each national election.

So looking at Democratic Party history, O’Malley MIGHT have a shot at defeating two opponents a full generation older than him—16 years younger than Clinton, and 22 years younger than Sanders.

But no one seems to think that this can happen, as Clinton in particular, and Sanders to some extent, have taken all of the oxygen out of the room.

O’Malley, if he were running in any other year, would have a real chance with his exceptional record as Maryland Governor, and earlier Baltimore Mayor, and has proved his skills and ability, but sadly, it seems a long shot that O’Malley can move beyond five percent, but miracles have happened before, as with the four most recent elected Democratic Presidents!