Barack Obama

The PBS “Roosevelts” Series Inspires Need For Progressive Leadership To Stop New “Gilded Age”!

The Ken Burns PBS series, “The Roosevelts”, started on Sunday night and continues through Saturday night, a 14 hour event, and is easily the best documentary presented on PBS in many years!

Seeing the story of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt  and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt inspired a desire in this author and blogger of the need for Progressive leadership of the type that TR and FDR and Eleanor represented, now in the 21st Century, to stop the abuses and damage that right wing conservatism has done, creating a new “Gilded Age’, and seeing wealthy billionaires wield power, and attempt fix elections, similar to JP Morgan and other millionaires at the time of TR in the White House.

But TR used the Presidency and federal power to crack down on unregulated capitalism, in what became known as the Progressive Era, and future Presidents of both parties, including Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama followed suit, but except for FDR and JFK, not in the same exciting vein and dynamic leadership that TR represented!

We now desperately need a new “Progressive Era”, but the right wing Supreme Court, picked by conservative Republicans, has done great damage, and the Congressional Republicans have made it very difficult for President Obama to accomplish many of his goals, although he has done a great deal that can be commended, despite strong obstructionism!

But to recognize the democratic nation that TR and FDR promoted, we need a massive change, and this series could have such an effect on the American psyche in the future, and we should all pray for that as the only way to advance democracy, justice, and true freedom in America in the future!

The History Of Foreign Policy Crises At Election Time

It is nothing new to have foreign policy crises at election time in American history, whether Presidential elections or midterm Congressional elections!

Examples include:

Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Election of 1940, after Great Britain was being bombed by the Germans, and France had fallen to the Nazis.

Harry Truman in the Election of 1948, facing the Berlin Blockade Crisis with the Soviet Union.

Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Election of 1956, facing the Hungarian invasion by the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies, and the Suez Crisis in the Middle East.

John F. Kennedy facing the Cuban Missile Crisis in the midterm election of 1962.

Lyndon B. Johnson facing opposition growing in the Vietnam War after the Tet Offensive, and the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union and its allies, in the Election of 1968.

Jimmy Carter facing the Afghanistan invasion by the Soviet Union, and the Iran Hostage Crisis, in the Election of 1980.

George H. W. Bush facing the Kuwaiti invasion by Iraq in the midterm election of 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf War.

George W. Bush facing the War on Terror, and the invasion of Afghanistan, and planned invasion of Iraq, in the midterm election of 2002.

And now, Barack Obama facing the Russian intervention in Ukraine, and the growing threat of ISIL (ISIS) in the Middle East, in the midterm election of 2014.

Barack Obama Success Versus The Public Opinion Polls

Barack Obama has been the most successful President in economic affairs in modern times, surpassing Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.

So says the conservative journal FORBES, and who is to argue with them coming up with this conclusion?

Obama has presided over the greatest stock market growth in American history, but also has seen tremendous economic expansion and creation of jobs not seen since the Clinton Administration.

Of course, unemployment is still 6.1 percent and many people have dropped out of the job market, and unemployment compensation has not been extended.

And of course, the minimum wage has not been increased, and should be, if based on the cost of living, would be triple what it is now–$7.25 an hour!

Infrastructure spending is essential, but has been prevented by the Republican Party.

The point is that despite the inherited Great Recession, Barack Obama has done miracles on the economy, and has succeeded in killing more Muslim terrorists than anyone else, including Osama Bin Laden and Libya’s dictator, Muamarr Gaddafi.

And yet, despite all this and much more, recent public opinion polls show a low point in the 30s for Obama, including one third disillusioned Democrats.

But it is clear that these polls are not to be relied on or believed, and it is obvious that those polled do not understand what has happened, and are clueless as to public affairs, and are more reacting to the right wing attacks on Obama, rather than using their own intellectual abilities.  It is scary how a large portion of the nation is ignorant, and ill informed!

The Intriguing Greg Orman, Independent Candidate For US Senate In Kansas

The most intriguing Senate race in 2014 suddenly becomes that of Kansas, a “red state”, which has not elected a Democrat since the Great Depression!

The Democratic nominee has dropped out, leaving Senator Pat Roberts with only an independent candidate, Greg Orman, a very appealing candidate, who has voted both Democratic and Republican in the past, including for Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, and wants to make Washington DC work.

Orman is frustrated with inability of Congress to work, and he pledges that he will join the Senate caucus of the party that he believes is more attuned to change after the midterm elections, and that makes it likely he would become the third Independent Senator, along with Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine.

Orman has a real chance to win the seat now, and this would almost certainly guarantee that the Senate would remain Democratic, as Roberts’  seat seemed safe before now.

So this will be the most watched race of all, more than Mitch McConnell in Kentucky!

60 Days To Midterm Elections Of 2014, And Republicans On The Run!

Two months from now, the Midterm Elections of 2014 will occur, and at this point, the Republican Party is, rightfully, on the run!

They have demonstrated that they are only interested in obstruction, and to undermine any possibility of progress on crucial domestic issues, and unwilling to support Barack Obama on the massive challenges this nation faces in foreign policy!

The odds of a Republican Senate seem more unlikely, and  now Kansas offers the possibility of an Independent winning, and allying with the Democrats, bringing about the first non Republican Senator from that state since the Great Depression.

It also looks more likely that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be forcibly retired, and we could end up with just about the same number of Democrats and Independents in the Senate, presently 55.

Republican Governors are also running scared, as with Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Paul LePage in Maine, Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania.  Rick Scott in Florida,  and Nathan Deal in Georgia, therefore insuring a gain in Democratic Governors nationwide.

Disillusionment with the Republicans is obvious, and they are running scared, and they offer no real alternative, except negativism, and the Tea Party Movement has harmed their brand, an embarrassment to their history!

Hysteria Setting In About ISIL (ISIS), But Calmness And Careful Judgment Is Needed!

The beheading of the second American journalist by the radical extremist movement ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria gives all of us a stab in the heart, and it is clear that America faces an overwhelming challenge to deal with the worst terrorist group the world has seen, with the recognition that they are a danger to national security.

With about 100 Americans, and 500 British and 500 French citizens having joined this despicable group, it presents the reality that the Western world is under direct threat of serious terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings, with the aim to promote mass murder.

So Barack Obama needs to form a coalition with other Western nations, Israel, and moderate Islamic and Arab countries against the common foe, and the commitment to a long, expensive conflict is unavoidable, no matter how much we might wish otherwise.

But this is also the time to stop the hysteria that has set in, and to use calmness and careful judgment as to strategy and tactics against our common enemy.

It was hysteria and lack of calmness and careful judgment that led to the failed Iraq War, and Barack Obama does not wish to repeat the mistakes of the past, which helped lead to this crisis,

For Neocons to attack Obama, and refuse to take responsibility for their blunders which led to this mess, is totally reprehensible and despicable!

We should not go down the road of disaster that caused the previous administration to manipulate the truth, and make commitments that failed to accomplish their goal, and added to the national debt and loss of life.

Yes, we will have to add to the national debt, and we will see more military casualties, but it is worth it to enter this crisis with a clear head and a different mentality, rather than repeating history!

Why Joe Biden Will Run For President!

Vice President Joe Biden is often ridiculed by critics for his verbal gaffes, but Joe Biden is the real article!

Joe Biden has a wealth of experience, 44 years in government by 2016, and NO ONE matches that!

Joe Biden gets along well with Congress, and is, in many ways, similar to Lyndon B. Johnson in ability to get things done, including for Barack Obama. At the same time, he is NOT the gross individual that LBJ often demonstrated, much more classy on a personal level.

Joe Biden is charming, charismatic, and well liked personally, all of which LBJ was not! He knows how to communicate to the American people, and to get people to listen and notice!

Joe Biden is dynamic as a speaker, still looks handsome in his early 70s, and is so correct in many of his judgments about foreign policy, and except for Hillary Clinton and Jon Huntsman, no one else has the credentials in world affairs.

Joe Biden is sincere, genuine, and real, and how many politicians are that?

Joe Biden is, clearly, running for President, and his rousing speech on Labor Day shows that, as he is the man of labor, the man of the common man, the average guy who goes to work every day and just wants a leader who gives a damn about him and his aspirations!

Joe Biden has been raising money quietly, and visiting states and garnering support from people who know he is the man who has always been there for them.

His odds, if Hillary Clinton decides, ultimately, to run are long, but Joe Biden has never been afraid of a challenge, as when he had an aneurysm in 1987, that might have killed a less courageous man.

And if Hillary surprises us and does not run, Joe Biden will be the front runner for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and while others might challenge him, do not bet on him losing, if that scenario occurs.

Joe Biden has been underrated for years, but he is someone that you ignore at your own peril, as he is always in the forefront on domestic and foreign policy issues!

And one scenario that would unify the Democrats, even those who have doubts about Hillary Clinton, due to her connections to Wall Street, and her “hawkish” views on foreign policy, is to run Joe Biden for an unprecedented third term as Vice President!

Now that would be some dynamite team, Hillary and Joe together, and it would be unbeatable against any Republican opponent in 2016, even though that opponent, almost certainly, would be quite a bit younger than Hillary and Joe! But the experience of Hillary and Joe are unmatchable!

Mitch McConnell Declares War On Barack Obama, Federal Programs, His Support Of The Koch Brothers, And See Founding Fathers As Radical!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, facing a tough reelection battle against Alison Lundergan Grimes, has been revealed in a tape of a gathering before billionaires and millionaires to have declared war on Barack Obama, with the intention of refusing any budget unless most federal programs in health care, Social Security, and education are eliminated.

He also declared his loyalty to the billionaire Koch Brothers, who may be spending up to $300 million to turn the Senate Republican, and he is clearly showing himself as an anarchist and nihilist regarding what he sees, as they do, as the evil of the federal government.

McConnell sees the Founding Fathers of the 18th century as radicals, when they promoted the growth of national government as essential to overcome the weaknesses of the decentralized Articles of Confederation.

This revelation makes it more urgent than ever that McConnell MUST be defeated in November, and his Republican party cannot be allowed to gain six or more seats and control of the US Senate, as that would lead to total breakdown of the federal government system, which the Koch Brothers and other oligarchs want so desperately!

The Ugly Month Of August This Year And In History

August is known as the month of the usually greatest heat, and this month is no exception, with the tremendous drought affecting the western half of the nation, especially California.

August is also the month of disastrous hurricanes, as with Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005, as examples.

August is also the month of many wars and provocations, as with:

The British burning of the US Capitol and the White House during the War of 1812.

The outbreak of the First World War in Europe in 1914.

The signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact which led to the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.

The dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, ending World War II in Asia in 1945.

The falsely reported Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, which led to the escalation of the war in Vietnam under Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 1990, leading to the Persian Gulf War and the introduction of American troops on a permanent basis in a number of Muslim countries over the next quarter century, provoking a greater level of Islamic terrorism against America and Western Europe.

This August, we have seen racial tensions and division grow over recent killings by law enforcement authorities in St. Louis, Missouri and elsewhere, making us aware that the election of Barack Obama has NOT lessened the race issue in America, and has made us aware of the militarization of the police forces, with equipment returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And we have become fully aware, finally realizing the threat from ISIL (ISIS), after the death of journalist James Foley, and it forecasts an escalation of involvement in the Middle East, adding to the fuel already created by the Gaza War between Israel and the Hamas Palestinian terrorist group which controls the Gaza Strip.

So again, August keeps its horrible reputation as a month full of tragedy and disaster, although clearly, every month has its share of these, but August does seem to have more than its fair share!

Mitch McConnell’s Plans For The 114th Congress: Total Deadlock And Stalemate!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky made it clear at the time of the inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009 that his party would refuse to cooperate with the President on any legislation or policy.

Now, facing a tough reelection battle against Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell is pledging that if his party wins the Senate majority, and the House stays Republican, that he will promote massive budget cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as gutting of the Environmental Protection Agency, and attempting again to destroy ObamaCare. He would attach these changes to budget bills, and if Obama vetoed, then we would have another government shutdown, as disastrous as the last one was for the Republican Party and the nation!

This is ever more reason why Democrats, progressives and liberals, and independents MUST come out enmasse on Election Day to prevent a GOP Senate majority, as that will also mean no replacement on the Supreme Court if anyone leaves, which is likely, in 2015 or 2016.

Ironically, this kind of behavior would likely reverberate on the Republicans in 2016, when two thirds of the Senate seats up for election would be their party, but the attitude seems to be one of total warfare and destruction while they have control.

The Republican Party is becoming totally nihilistic and anarchistic, not worthy of the long history of the party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike!