Barack Obama

Republican “Retreads” Emerge, Demonstrating The Sad State Of Their Presidential Race For 2016!

The Republican Party has a long list of potential Presidential candidates for 2016, many of them “new,” including Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, and even Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush, who have never run before for President.

Then, they have the “retreads”, including Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum, those three being a sorry lot as alternatives.

All three are way out of the mainstream of American politics, with Rick Perry making a total fool of himself in 2012; Mike Huckabee, once seen as fairly “moderate” in 2008, having converted into a right wing extremist due to his Fox News Channel weekly show; and Rick Santorum, well just a total embarrassment to himself and everyone around him!

The Republican Party is a sorry lot, with lots of candidates on the bench, but none having the slightest chance to become President!

Instead, the GOP looks completely past former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (also former Ambassador to China and Singapore), the only solid, foreign policy experienced, sensible, mainstream candidate, who could attract support across the aisle, and make Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or any other Democratic nominee squirm, as he did for awhile in the Barack Obama campaign in 2012, with them considering Huntsman a real threat.

Huntsman is sitting on the sidelines, and considering an independent run on a “No Labels” campaign, and reminding people that the Republican Party of the pre Ronald Reagan era is the only hope for a revival of GOP fortunes, as the country has passed by the anti immigrant, anti gay, anti women, anti labor, anti environment mentality of the Tea Party Movement, which may be able to win gerrymandered Congressional seats, but cannot win the US Senate majority or the White House anytime soon!

The Ultimate Legacy Of American Presidents

American Presidents deal with dozens, if not, hundreds of issues while in office, and they have ups and downs, highs and lows, unavoidably.

But, ultimately, they are remembered for one action in office that either puts them in the great, successful category, or in the disastrous, unsuccessful category, and they may be praised or bitterly criticized for others, but they will always be remembered for one specific policy or event, which has the greatest effect on their legacy.

So when we look at Presidents since FDR, what stands out as their primary legacy?

Franklin D. Roosevelt–his New Deal programs that saved millions of Americans, and gave them hope for the future.

Harry S Truman–his courage in his dealings with the Soviet Union through the Cold War policies.

Dwight D. Eisenhower–the steadfastness of his Civil Rights policies, enforcing court orders and promoting the end of racial segregation.

John F. Kennedy–his forthrightness in dealing with the greatest threat in world history, the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Lyndon B. Johnson–his Great Society programs that advanced civil rights, education, health care, and a war on poverty.

Richard M. Nixon–his paranoia and illegal activities, leading to Watergate and his resignation.

Gerald R. Ford–his appointment of Justice John Paul Stevens, who became a giant on the Supreme Court for 35 years.

Jimmy Carter–his promotion of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, the Camp David Accords, which have brought peace for 35 years.

Ronald Reagan–his tripling of the national debt through excessive military spending and massive tax cuts to the wealthy.

George H. W. Bush–his exceptional conduct of the crisis of the Persian Gulf War.

Bill Clinton–his promotion of the Northern Ireland peace agreement, between Anglicans and Catholics, and with Great Britain.

George W. Bush–the prosecution of the Iraq War, a war that was based on falsehoods, undermining the Middle East and emboldening Iran.

Barack Obama–the promotion of the Affordable Care Act, giving millions of Americans their first time coverage for health care.

The “Rising American Electorate”: The Bright Future For The Democratic Party!

The “Rising American Electorate”, the battleground groups for the future of American politics, insure a bright future for the Democratic Party, especially due to the Republican Party’s refusal to come to grips with these significant groups, who are being ignored, mistreated, insulted, and vilified by suicidal Republicans of the far Right!

Unmarried women, people of color, and young voters are clearly moving toward the Democratic Party, as the party to protect civil rights, to protect a woman’s right to choose on her reproductive life, and dealing with the reality of high economic stress among the young, and the need to create jobs, build infrastructure, and promote education, as the way to create a bright American future for the younger generation of the future.

There are more than ten million unmarried women; 6.5 million African Americans; 3.8 million Latinos; and 10 million young voters, and they all made a difference in the victory of Barack Obama in 2012. As long as a substantial number of these groups turn out in the midterm elections, the danger to the Democrats on a potential loss of the Senate can be averted.

Barack Obama is making his pitch to these groups, and they need to see that a Republican takeover of the Senate would undermine their futures. The “pocketbook” futures of these groups demand that they not be allowed to overlook the importance of voting in the midterm elections. If they do, they are only hurting themselves, as well as the party that is standing up for them.

The False Voter Fraud Issue Of Republicans Challenged Head On By Barack Obama

One of the most outrageous activities of the Republican Party is its attempt to prevent people from voting by requiring all kinds of documents, and cutting voting days and hours, and refusing same day voting registration.

The GOP claim of widespread voter fraud is absolutely ridiculous, and Barack Obama took it on in a speech yesterday, at a time when the Supreme Court, Republican dominated majority, has weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, just as we celebrate 50 years of the Civil Rights Act, and next year, 50 years of a now weakened Voting Rights Act, something civil rights workers died for in the early 1960s.

As Obama pointed, statistics demonstrate that between 2002 and 2005, out of 197 million votes cast, there were ONLY 40 examples of people indicted for voter fraud, a infinitesimal number, a percentage of 0.00002 percent!

For this, we need millions of African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, elderly, poor, disabled, and young voters denied the basic right to vote?

What the Republican Party is doing in Republican controlled states with Republican legislatures and governors is against the whole concept of fairness, justice, and equality, dating back to the old Jim Crow days in the South, but now embraced in areas outside the South as well.

Abraham Lincoln is turning over in his grave as to what his party has done, a true example of their political corruption, and lack of ethics!

Kathleen Sebelius A True Hero In Promotion Of ObamaCare: History Will Treat Her Well!

Former Kansas Governor and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has had, probably, the most difficult job of anyone working under President Obama, in trying to promote the Affordable Care Act.

She was vilified for the disastrous beginning of ObamaCare last October, but now, despite the rough start, 7.5 million Americans are covered, plus millions more on Medicaid. For this, she is a true hero!

Meanwhile, many Republican Governors have refused to expand Medicaid, and people are dying for lack of accessibility to health care. This is absolutely unconscionable, and one wonders how Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas, and other despicable GOP Governors can sleep at night!

While treated roughly by Republicans, and elements of the national news media, Sebelius will, in the long run, be well remembered and honored in history, as she is the person most involved in bringing health care to millions, and in so doing, fulfilling the “American Dream.”

She is an honorable lady, who, hopefully, now leaving the cabinet after five years, will have another role to play in public serice!

Let every decent person salute Kathleen Sebelius for her dedication and commitment!

The 50th Anniversary Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964 Commemorated By Four Presidents!

It has been a half century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the greatest accomplishment of President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his five years in the Oval Office.

This week, four American Presidents are honoring this achievement at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, including Barack Obama, and former Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush (the former Presidents, ironically, all Southerners).

This half century old law is one of the massive and historic turning points in American history, and yet the challenge to civil rights, as the Reverend Al Sharpton has stated, is not over, as there continues to be discrimination in many southern and other states governed now by Republican legislatures and governors.

So the battle for civil rights continues for the protection of people based upon race, ethnicity, gender, disability, and sexual orientation, and we cannot sit on just praise of what has been done, but fight for more of the same in the present and the future!

The Bushes Vs. The Tea Party Movement, Right Wing Evangelicals, And Many Congressional Republicans: The Battle For The Soul Of The GOP Is On!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has declared war on the Tea Party Movement, the right wing evangelicals, and many members of the Republican Congressional majority in the House, and some in the US Senate, by his statements at the George H W Bush Presidential Library defending undocumented immigrants who risk their lives to make a better future for their families, by coming illegally to the United States!

Stating that what these immigrants are doing is “an act of love” and should not be seen as a felony, what Jeb Bush has done is to decide to confront the right wingers in his party, as he considers a run for President in 2016. He admits that he might be shot down, but is testing the waters to make the Republican Party a more open, embracing party, as he sees the only future for the party is to broaden its support, including the backing of immigration reform!

Whether one likes Jeb Bush or not, and is thrilled or not at the thought of a third Bush Presidency, any rational, reasonable person can applaud what he is saying. This author has been bitterly attacked in past years on this blog for supporting reasonable immigration reform, including the passage of the DREAM Act, giving the children of immigrants an opportunity to advance in their country of adoption, through college attendance and or military service, and staying out of trouble.

The reality is that there is no way to deport an estimated 12-13 million people; that these people do important jobs others will not take; and that they are not stealing jobs from Americans, or causing widespread crime.

Ironically, the Obama Administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than George W. Bush, and has taken people who have not committed serious crimes, and forced them out, leaving their children without their parents in this nation, in many cases. This is a violation of basic human rights, to break up families, and unless someone has committed serious crimes, there is a dire need to change this unjust, immoral policy pronto!

The Dangers Of The Supreme Court Run Amuck In Favor Of Wealthy And Corporations!

The Supreme Court is totally out of control, with its new decision on having no limits on campaign spending by wealthy donors, added on to the Citizens United Case of 2010, and the limitation of voting rights in a 2013 decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts has solidified a five member GOP majority to destroy all attempts to prevent corporate and wealthy people from controlling the political system, an effort pursued from the time of Theodore Roosevelt a century ago through Senator John McCain and Senator Russ Feingold in the 1990s and early 2000s.

That is all for naught now, and shows the dangers of a runaway, reckless, right wing radical Court!

This is what made Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama criticize Court power, along with progressive reformers including Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, Senator George Norris of Nebraska, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont!

This is the result of 13 Supreme Court nominees since 1960 by Republican Presidents, to only 8 by Democrats, and with two of those Democratic appointments (Arthur Goldberg by John F. Kennedy and Abe Fortas by Lyndon B. Johnson), only lasting three and four years respectively.

Of course, Republican appointments of Harry Blackmun by Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens by Gerald Ford; Sandra Day O’Connor by Ronald Reagan; and David Souter by George H. W. Bush, turned out to be major surprises in their rulings, but we also ended up with some of the most reactionary and right wing radical appointments in all of American history with the appointments of William Rehnquist by Richard Nixon and the elevation of Rehnquist to Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan; Lewis Powell by Richard Nixon; Antonin Scalia by Ronald Reagan; Clarence Thomas by George H. W. Bush; and Samuel Alito by George W. Bush. The appointments of Chief Justice Warren Burger by Richard Nixon; Anthony Kennedy by Ronald Reagan; and Chief Justice John Roberts by George W. Bush, have been more of a mixed bag, sometimes good, and sometimes horrible in its effect on constitutional law!

Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy selected a mostly conservative Justice Byron White; Lyndon B Johnson selected Thurgood Marshall; Bill Clinton selected Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; and Barack Obama selected Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, but sadly, their influence in the last four of the five names listed, has been mostly in being the opposition, sometimes vehement in nature!

The effect on the future of American democracy is massive, with this right wing Court majority, and the only hope is the eventual retirement of Scalia and Kennedy, and hopefully, continuation of a Democratic Senate and President for the rest of the decade, so that the Court changes direction in the future!

Jeb Bush Suddenly Emerges As GOP Front Runner For 2016!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has suddenly emerged as the theoretical front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, after a visit to Las Vegas and kissing the ring of billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Other present time Governors–Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich—also saw Adelson, who is willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to back a Republican who will support his causes, including strong support of Israel, and working to overcome the Barack Obama Administration initiatives in many areas of domestic policy.

Jeb Bush has the advantage that he might draw support from a portion of the Hispanic-Latino community, as well as African Americans, and women. He is a favorite of the Establishment Republicans on Wall Street, who are terrified at the horrible Tea Party activists, such as Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio.

But the fact that his brother was unpopular, and in many ways, disastrous, works against Bush, and really, many might say, three Bushes is a bit much!

Once he would actually announce, his record as Florida Governor will be dissected, and while there are some good points one can make about Jeb, he was not universally popular when governor of the Sunshine State!

His own mother, Barbara Bush, has advised against running, and Bush has been out of office for ten years by 2016, making him longer out of office than any Presidential nominee who held an elective office, since Abraham Lincoln, who was out of office for twelve years, when he ran for President in 1860.

Much more could be said about the pluses and minuses of Jeb Bush as a Presidential candidate, and particularly against Hillary Clinton. There is time for that if Jeb actually announces. Could he, for instance, really win the caucuses and primaries in a party that is so right wing now? Does the nation really want a Bush and a Clinton in the same election, with Bushes going back to the 1980s, and Clintons to the 1990s, when now we are in the mid 2010′s?

That discussion can wait until he decides to run, and do not bet on that occurring!

Hooray! ObamaCare Surge At End In “Red” States!

ObamaCare is experiencing a massive surge of “Red” state citizens, rushing to sign up, as they finally realize that this is the opportunity of a lifetime for those who have never had health care coverage, or have lost it, due to abuses by insurance companies! And the number of enrolled is nearing 7 million, the original benchmark!

Now they are guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions; for coverage for their children; for no lifetime limits; for coverage for prescriptions; and for knowing they can never be dropped, as long as they pay their premiums.

Some might pay more, but will have a far better plan, than the “junk” plans that they had with very high deductibles, or plans which did not cover all circumstances.

The Republicans know, in their heart of hearts, that they have lost this battle, and that ObamaCare is here to stay, as is so with Social Security and Medicare.

It is the signature achievement of Barack Obama, and will add to his stature when judged in history!

The GOP will suffer long term for their opposition, with Speaker of the House John Boehner indicating today that he still intends to promote the destruction of ObamaCare!

For that, he will be condemned in history as one of the absolutely worst Speakers of the House of Representatives in the entire span of American history!