Barack Obama

Republicans Declare War On National Parks: Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, And Others Turning Over In Their Graves!

It is hard to conceive, but the 2015 Republican Party has declared war on America’s national park system, wishing to allow uranium mining in the Grand Canyon, and other kinds of natural resource exploitation in our national treasure, our public lands!

A bill has been introduced to prevent any future President, along with President Barack Obama, to create any more national parks, a bill which will gain the Presidential veto if it were to pass both houses!

Fortunately, there would be no possibility of a two thirds override of the Presidential veto, as any such banning of additional national parks would be a war on the environment, and a sin against nature!

This attack on nature and conservation would cause the turning over in their graves of President Theodore Roosevelt, National Forestry Service head Gifford Pinchot (under the TR Presidency), as well as a multitude of Republicans similar to those two party members, as well as Democrats, and all decent, caring citizens. It would also cause dismay among Presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, all who added greatly to our national parks.

Barack Obama is adding wide swaths of the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge to the national parks, even with opposition from Alaska politicians, including Senator Lisa Murkowksi, who is catering to the oil and gas interests over preserving the last great area of untouched nature.

This is yet another reason why no Republican can be allowed to be elected President, as with a Republican controlled Congress, we would be on the precipice of a disaster of massive proportions, and that cannot be allowed to occur!

Please! Donald Trump, Do Us All A Favor! Keep On Making Money, Spewing Your Stupid Thoughts, But Do NOT Run For President!

It is hard to believe, but egotist Donald Trump is talking again about running for President, claiming that only he can save the nation from disaster in the future.

Donald Trump has never held public office; has gone bankrupt a few times; has made a total fool of himself with his “birther” theories about Barack Obama; has become engaged in ridiculous controversies on a regular basis; has been married three times; and comes across as obnoxious, brusque, nasty, mean spirited, confrontational, and often, purely stupid in his statements and actions!

Donald Trump is NOT qualified to be President of the United States, and nearing the age of 70 with no government experience, he has no background qualifications to be our President, and his domestic life experience disqualifies him as a poor role model on ethics and morality.

So, please, Donald Trump, do us all a favor! Keep on making money, spewing your stupid thoughts, but do NOT run for President, and leave the Republican Party free to find someone who will not be acceptable to the nation, but at least has served time in government!

Barack Obama Calls For Paid Sick Leave For All Workers: Long Overdue!

The United States is the only advanced Western nation that does not guarantee all workers the right to paid sick leave, an outrageous situation, but Barack Obama is challenging Congress to rectify the situation!

This includes low paid workers primarily, and restaurant and other food workers are the major group, and by not giving them paid sick leave, it endangers the general public, when these kinds of workers are doing their jobs while sick, and often contagious!

This should be a basic human right, and part of human dignity, that when one is sick, he or she should not be mixing with the population that could up spreading disease.

And also, the paid sick leave should allow workers to take off paid time to help sick parents, sick children, or a sick partner, as family responsibilities are part of life for all of us.

The Republicans, of course, oppose this, but Obama is correct in pushing this idea, and putting the GOP on the spot, as unconcerned about the welfare of workers, which we know, of course, is reality.

This should become a key issue for the Democrats in the 2016 Presidential election!

22nd Amendment In Effect In Second Half Of Presidential Term Of Office

When the 22nd Amendment was added to the US Constitution in 1951, after being passed by Congress in 1947, it limited Presidents to two complete terms of office, or eight years, OR if becoming President by succession during a term, allowing any successor who came to the Presidency in the last two years of the term, to be elected twice, but if succeeding during the first half of a Presidential term, such person could only be elected once.

Therefore, when Lyndon B. Johnson succeeded John F. Kennedy with one year and two months left of the term, he was eligible, in theory, to be elected twice, although he withdrew from running for a second full term in 1968.

No one else has had that opportunity, and since Richard Nixon resigned, and was replaced by Gerald Ford with two years and five months left in the term, no vacancy in the Presidency has occurred, now for the past 40 years, the longest such period since the first Presidential replacement in 1841.

Now that the second half of the second term of Barack Obama has passed its midpoint at 12 noon two days ago, Vice President Joe Biden has the situation, whereby IF he succeeded to the Presidency at any time from this point forward, he could, in theory, serve up to 10 years in the White House, from ages 72 to 82.

While this is highly hypothetical, it could happen, with the constant death threats against President Obama, with many of these reported threats discussed in my forthcoming book on Presidential Assassinations and Threats.

The point to be made is that IF Joe Biden suddenly became President before the 2016 primaries, caucuses and elections take place, this scenario could occur, and no one should do what is so common—to underestimate the potential of Vice President Joe Biden, who has added so much to the Vice Presidential office’s history in his six years as number 2 man in American Government.

Obama’s State Of The Union: A Liberated President Making The Democratic Values Case!

Barack Obama is finally liberated as he began his seventh year in the Presidency on the sixth anniversary of his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States.

Obama made an appeal to the opposition Republicans to cooperate and work together, but he also made clear he was going to charge ahead on a list of goals that are a marker for the next Democratic Presidential nominee and the Presidential Election of 2016.

He called for infrastructure spending; free community college tuition; child care tax credits; paid leave for workers; immigration reform; effective regulation of gun purchases; tax cuts for the middle class; tax increases on the wealthy and large financial institutions; pointed out the greatest economic success and growth since 1999; threatened use of the veto when necessary; called for authorization of force against ISIL (ISIS); called for action on climate change; used the term transgender in his call for fair treatment of gays and lesbians; called for more support in dealing with improved relations with Cuba; emphasized the need to fight against anti semitism, but also try to come up with a nuclear agreement with Iran; and work to avoid more troops on the ground overseas.

Much of this agenda will not be accomplished, but sets a goal line for the future.

Meanwhile, Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa surprised many observers by NOT totally falling on her face in her Republican response to the State of the Union address, but her speech was mainly platitudes and folksiness, not substantial alternatives to what Obama proposed, but rather a condemnation of what Obama has done, particularly ObamaCare. She also did not speak on such important issues as climate change, immigration, foreign policy, and helping working families, but then, the Republicans always stand in the way of progress on so many issues, so it is not surprising that her speech was lacking.

Iowa Freshman Republican Senator Joni Ernst To Give Response To Obama State Of The Union Address: What A Comedy Routine It Will Likely Be!

One of the nuttiest, wackiest new Republicans in the new 114th Congress has been compared to former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former Alaska Governor Saran Palin.

That is Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, who, like Bachmann and Palin, has a great personal appearance, but it is clear that she, like Bachmann and Palin, has very little brain matter upstairs.

This woman acted in a goofy way when she accepted victory in the Iowa Senate race against Congressman Bruce Braley in November. She has spouted Tea Party values, which promote taking us backward and are narrow minded and intolerant. It will be interesting to see how she presents herself tonight, as the Republican response to the State of the Union address of President Obama.

She is an extremely poor replacement for Iowa’s distinguished former Senator Tom Harkin, who was one of the bright lights in the Senate, and sought the Presidency on the Democratic side in the 1992 Presidential race, with this blogger being in support of his candidacy, as the best person in that race.

Despite losing that competition, Harkin served for 30 exceptional years in the US Senate, and Iowa has made a mistake in electing this lightweight woman to be his replacement.

Watching her deliver the response to the State of The Union Address on Tuesday night will, likely, be entertaining, a comedy routine that will likely be repeated on Saturday Night Live, and joked about on Bill Maher’s show on HBO.

It is great to have more women in the Senate and House of Representatives, but somehow, the GOP seems incapable of getting bright, intelligent women to run for public office, as compared to those women who run on the Democratic line. This is a tragedy of major proportions!

Supreme Court Accepts Same Sex Marriage Case: The Final Push For Marriage Equality Has Arrived!

The Supreme Court has finally accepted a same sex marriage case, to be argued in April, and decided by the end of June!

This will be a blockbuster case, coming at a time when 36 states already allow gay marriage, and the final push for marriage equality has finally arrived!

While there is no guarantee that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of same sex marriage, it is hard to conceive of the Court rejecting it at a time when all but 14 states have accepted it, as the momentum is clearly in favor of acceptance.

Beyond that, the odds are good that at least five members of the present Court would support it, enough to bring it about, but it would be desirable if the vote was greater than that thin margin.

Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, all Democratic appointments of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, are seen as assured votes.

Ronald Reagan appointee Anthony Kennedy is the typical “swing” vote, and has supported gay rights in the past, and most particularly, in the case of Lawrence V. Texas in 2003, so it is expected he will go the same direction again.

But there is a chance that Chief Justice John Roberts could join the majority, and some observers imagine that Samuel Alito could join, also.

And even some think that Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, seeing the handwriting on the wall, might join and make it unanimous, which would be the most fantastic situation imaginable!

Imagine the extremist Christian Right bigots, and conservatives and Republicans, and how they will, figuratively, commit suicide if the Court rules in favor of same sex marriage!

It will transform the Presidential Election of 2016, as how could any Republican nominee come out and condemn the Court, and run on some crazy idea that he would lead a movement to overcome the Supreme Court decision?

Just the thought that many Republicans, including those running for President, will be squirming in public, is a source of delight, as human rights wins out once again!

Vice President Joe Biden: The Star Of Day One Of The 114th Congress, A Charmer, And Very Much Underestimated For Presidential Election Of 2016!

Today was the opening day of the 114th Congress, and the star of the day was Vice President Joe Biden, playing the role of the President of the US Senate, and swearing in all of the Senators reelected, and those beginning their first term.

Not only did he do this ceremonial duty, but Joe Biden also did what he does best: charming the families of the Senators–the wives, the children, the grandchildren, the parents, the siblings, cousins, etc.

NO ONE does this better than Joe Biden, with his tremendous smile, jokes, charm, charisma, warm personality, and genuine nature!

It is very hard for anyone NOT to like Joe Biden, even if one disagrees with his viewpoints, actions, and statements. The guy is just an amazing, REAL, human being, who is an excellent politician, as he remembers names and faces like few politicians do.

Joe Biden sticks his neck out and take strong stands, and has done so for 42 years. NO ONE has the depth of experience on both foreign and domestic policy issues that Joe Biden has.

And yet, when he is mentioned for the Presidential race of 2016, he is seen as unlikely to run, unwilling to challenge Hillary Clinton, underestimated as having any realistic chance to be the 45th President of the United States!

But Joe Biden LOVES public service, has more than any one mentioned for President, stands out above everyone in total background and knowledge, and could be seen as an effective President, due to the fact that he has loads of friends, including Republican leaders, and could be nearly as effective as Lyndon B. Johnson was in a more crude manner!

But Biden would have more grace, more smoothness, and could accomplish, with his winning personality, more results than anyone since Lyndon B. Johnson, in the next four to eight years beyond 2016.

To assume that Joe Biden will not run is to underestimate his ambition; to assume that he could not be the nominee is to underestimate hid potential; to believe that he could not be the successor to Barack Obama is to underestimate the American people, who once he is unleashed, could fall in love with him, and elect him the 45th President of the United States!

Right Wing Hysteria Over Obama, Proved Wrong Again And Again!

When Barack Obama was reelected President in 2012, the right wing went nuts, claiming all kinds of disasters for the nation, and they continued to state that in 2014, as well as 2013.

Gasoline was supposed to rise to over $5 a gallon, but instead it is half of that or less.

Unemployment was supposed to stay at 8 percent, but instead it is under 6 percent.

The stock market was going to crash, but instead it is at an all time high.

The American economy was going to go belly up, and instead, we have the strongest growth in many years, and a 5 percent growth rate in the third quarter of 2014.

Nearly eleven million jobs have been created, the most since Bill Clinton was President.

Ebola was supposed to decimate America, and it has, instead, turned out to be a major scare based on hysteria and panic, encouraged by the right wing.

California was going to go bankrupt, and instead has a four billion dollar surplus, a tremendous revival, despite projections that this “blue” state was going down the wrong path, and instead it is Kansas, a “red” state, that is in dire condition because, unlike California, which raised taxes, Kansas cut them dramatically.

Barack Obama was accused of undermining Israel, but it was our Iron Dome system which saved Israel in the recent Mideast conflict, and despite petty differences between Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama remains a strong supporter of the Jewish state, without necessarily having to agree on every detail and request of the Israeli government.

Obama was accused of having one scandal after another, but every so called scandal has collapsed on its own weight of no substance, including the attack on Benghazi, Libya, that led to the death of four diplomats and support staff, including the US Ambassador to Libya.

It was said that Barack Obama was going to declare martial law, and that he was lawless and dictatorial, while also being accused of being weak and unwilling to use American military power, but both accusations have been proved ridiculous, and Obama is doing an excellent job of dealing with terrorism in the Middle East and Africa, without putting boots on the ground.

The right wing, whether Fox News Channel, Talk Radio, the Republicans in Congress, or the conservative think tanks, have been proved wrong and hysterical so often, one wonders how any intelligent person could take anything that they claim to be legitimate!

Barack Obama After Six Years In The Presidency: On Way To Top Ten Of Our 43 Presidents!

As 2014 ends, Barack Obama is finishing his sixth year in the Presidency, and will officially mark that milestone on January 20, when he delivers the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, controlled by the Republican Party, which has stood in his way, has been a constant barrier to anything Obama proposes, and hates the ground he walks on. Conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel, and conservative think tanks, would not be happy no matter what Barack Obama does or says. And there is a strong level of venal hate, very dangerous, that puts the President in the cross hairs of a potential threat to his life on a daily basis.

But despite all that, President Barack Obama has a record in office to be proud of, not perfect in any sense, but still outstanding enough to have a chance to end up in the top ten of our Presidents, if not immediately after leaving the White House, over a generation or more as time passes, and passions calm down, and particularly after Obama has passed away, an opportune time to reconsider the legacy of any President, particularly one so much maligned in his time!

The list of Obama accomplishments is endless, but key points include:

The adoption of ObamaCare, which will be seen as transformative over time, as much as Social Security and Medicare.

The successful tracking down and elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the perpetrator of September 11, 2001.

The ending of US military engagement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, two wars that were unwise to conduct in the first place.

The revival of the American economy, with 11 million jobs created; the unemployment rate below six percent; the greatest economic expansion since the Bill Clinton Presidency; the smallest increase in the deficit for the past decade; the 150 percent increase in the stock market; the lowest gas prices in five years; and the revival of the domestic auto industry.

The appointment of two Supreme Court Justices–Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and some exceptional cabinet appointments, plus the best Vice President in American history, Joe Biden.

The promotion of gay rights and gay marriage, insuring the end of discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

The advancement of environmental concerns, including dealing with global warming and climate change.

The promotion of a tolerant attitude toward immigration reform.

The establishment of a new relationship with Cuba after 50 years of a failed policy.

The promotion of labor rights in a time when labor has been under attack.

The protection of women’s rights against right wing attempts to undermine the advancement of women in all spheres of American life.

The avoidance of engagement in new wars, which the right wing is always itching for.

The courage of Obama to go after terrorists in a way that limits US military involvement, but effectively has killed more terrorists than George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama was the the right person for his time, and will be seen as that in history. He has met racist attacks by refusing to show anger, but instead class and dignity! He has admitted failure, but also has confidence in the morality of his cause. Considering the extreme opposition he has faced, what he has accomplished is miraculous beyond belief.

Despite having presided over the rapid decline of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress by vicious attacks and massive spending by right wing billionaires, he has made it clear that he will use executive orders to do what he feels must be done in the last two years of his Presidency. The right wing Supreme Court, with its Citizens United Case in 2010, and the lackadaisical attitude on voting of many Democratic constituent groups, has contributed to this decline in Democratic Party strength, but Obama has reacted by making clear that it will not deter his plans to make the nation a place better for the middle class and the poor.

President Barack Obama will NOT allow the prevention of further improvement of the New Deal and Great Society, and he is much to be admired, as a credit to the office he holds!