Bill Clinton

Republicans In White House In Six Major Periods Of Corruption!

The Republican Party has the unenviable record of having six of their Presidents leading the nation in major periods of corruption, sometimes with their support, and other times because of poor selection of advisers and cabinet officers.

Chronologically, they are as follows:

Ulysses S. Grant–1869-1877

Warren G. Harding–1921-1923

Richard Nixon–1969-1974

Ronald Reagan–1981-1989

George W. Bush–2001-2009

Donald Trump–2017-2021

The two worst are Donald Trump and Richard Nixon, while the others seem not to have engaged personally in scandals!

But all six Republican Presidents had people in their administrations face indictments and convictions!

While there was minor scandals under some Democrats–Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton—they, in no way, match the horrendous record of the Republican Party!

And two recent Democratic Presidents have a totally clear record of no corruption, no indictments, no convictions—Jimmy Carter–1977-1981, and Barack Obama–2009-2017!

Loss Of A Great Woman In American Diplomacy: Madeleine Albright (1937-2022)

America yesterday lost one of its greatest ever women public servants–former United Nations Ambassador and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in the administration of President Bill Clinton.

Albright was brilliant, courageous, principled, and always spoke her mind as the first woman Secretary of State.

This author and blogger was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a public lecture at Florida Atlantic University by Madeleine Albright a few years ago on the role of foreign policy in the American Presidency, and I was immensely impressed.

Being a refugee from both Nazi occupation of her homeland, Czecholovakia, and then again from Soviet takeover after World War II, Albright demonstrated the great value and contributions of refugees who emigrate to America, and is an excellent argument against the ever present nativism of hatemongers.

Albright learned of her Jewish heritage in recent years, as her parents converted to Catholicism to promote protection of their family, and she appreciated greatly learning of her heritage, which sadly included Nazi murder of three of her grandparents.

Albright opened up avenues of opportunity for women with her amazing performance in high pressure diplomacy, and she warned us in a recent book about the danger of the rise again of Fascism, condemning Donald Trump as a threat to America’s future.

Her warning of the danger of Donald Trump must be part of a massive effort to insure that neither Trump or anyone of his ilk makes it to the White House and beyond!

Justice Stephen Breyer Retirement Brings First African American Female Justice In Future!

Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, with 28 distinguished years on the Supreme Court, announced today in a meeting with President Joe Biden, that he will retire at the end of the Supreme Court term in late June.

Breyer is a very distinguished jurist, appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994, and adding stature and common decency to the Court in the past three decades.

However, Breyer will be 84 this August, and clearly, to insure a Biden appointment to the Court, because of the possibility of a Republican controlled Senate in 2023, it was urgent for him to leave the Court now.

Breyer will be the 22nd longest serving Justice when he leaves the Court, out of a total of 115 Justices in the Supreme Court’s history, so will be in the top 20 percent of all time service.

Biden will appoint an African American woman to be the first on the Supreme Court, a pledge he made when he was running for President, just as Ronald Reagan pledged to pick the first woman for the Court, who turned out to be Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981.

Diversity on the Supreme Court is essential, and will bring youth to the Court, even though the balance of power is still with conservative Republicans with their 6-3 advantage.

It is, however, a moment to celebrate Stephen Breyer, and celebrate another barrier to advancement in the judicial branch, long overdue!

Supreme Court Once Again Stands Up To Presidential Assertion Of Executive Privilege, And Limits It!

The Supreme Court of the United States for the third time in 48 years has stood up to a President who asserted “Executive Privilege”, and was smacked down by a court including members appointed by the President who was involved in the Court case.

First, we had US V Nixon in July 1974, having to do with Richard Nixon and the Watergate tapes, which the Court unanimously, 8-0, ordered them handed over to the Watergate Special Prosecutor and the House Judiciary Committee. This led within weeks to the resignation of Richard Nixon. Associate Justice William Rehnquist recused himself from the case, appropriately, as he had worked earlier in the Nixon Justice Department, but the other three Nixon appointees, Chief Justice Warren Burger, and Associate Justices Harry Blackmun and Lewis Powell, joined the unanimous decision.

Next, we had Clinton V Jones, 1997, which involved the issue of whether Bill Clinton could be required to testify in a civil trial while in office, a case brought by Paula Jones against Governor Clinton for sexual harrassment. The Court unanimously, 9-0, including his two appointees, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, ruled that he had to give testimony, and this helped to lead to his impeachment in 1998. So there was no immunity from civil law litigation for acts done before taking office, and unrelated to the office.

And now, we have Trump V Thompson, a lawsuit brought by Donald Trump against the January 6 House Committee investigation of the January 6, 2021 Insurrection, in the name of Chairman Bennie Thompson. So documents to show the series of events leading to the Insurrection are now to be made available to the House committee, as it investigates the wrong doing of the 45th President. This is a major victory, and all three Trump Supreme Court nominees—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett—voted with the majority 8-1, with only Clarence Thomas in oppostion.

This is a conflict of interest by Thomas, who should have recused himself, as William Rehnquist did in the Nixon case. Since Thomas’s wife was involved in the planning of the January 6 Insurrection, encouraging lawlessness, this should be grounds for removal of Clarence Thomas from the Supreme Court, highly unlikely, but would be appropriate!

First Year In Oval Office Under Most Presidencies Problematical, And Joe Biden Better Than Many!

One could argue that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in the first year, while often having disappointments and shortcomings.

Two major pieces of legislation were accomplished (The American Rescue Plan, and the Physical Infrastructure legislation), and the only reason why the Build Back Better bill and voting rights have failed to be accomplished is the opposition of two Democrats–Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema–and the reality of an equally divided Senate for only the third time in American history!

While inflation has become a major problem, the stock market dramatically rose, more jobs were created in the first year of a Presidency than any other administration, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low rate.

There are still the issues of the COVID 19 Pandemic, and the disaster of Afghanistan withdrawal, but the first issue was unpredictable as the worst health crisis in a century, and the second would have been the same result had Donald Trump stayed on as President, since he had made a deal with the Taliban without Afghanistan government involvement, to leave in May 2021, NOT as occurred in August 2021!

So some disappointing developments in the first year of a Presidency are not unique to the 46th President!

When one looks back at other Presidencies, it is actually quite common that the first year of a Presidency is a learning curve, and does not reflect on whether such Presidents will be, in the long run, successful, and also have the possibility of successful reelection.

The following Presidents had very successful first years—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush!

Three Presidents had what could be described as mixed records in the first year in office–Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The following Presidencies in the 20th and 21st century were far from successes in their first year:

Harry Truman 1945
John F. Kennedy 1961
Richard Nixon 1969
Gerald Ford 1974-1975
Jimmy Carter 1977
Ronald Reagan 1981
Bill Clinton 1993
Donald Trump 2017

Among these eight Presidents, four—Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton–won reelection.

So it is not time to say that Joe Biden will fail to succeed, as he already has in many respects, and it is not time to say he cannot win reelection fo a second term!

Comparing Kamala Harris To Mike Pence, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, Spiro Agnew!

Kamala Harris has been Vice President for nearly a year, and has faced brutal criticism and attacks, and suggestions by some that she resign, because she has not been assertive in the role of Vice President.

Of course, these suggestions come from Fox News Channel anchors Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, who are actively involved in attempting a coverup of the events of January 6, 2021, even though they were stunned by the events of that day, and tried to reach Donald Trump to express their dismay.

It is insulting that conservative supporters of the January 6 Insurrection have the gall to attack Kamala Harris, when the major issue is that she is a woman, and of mixed African and Asian American heritage, as her father is from Jamaican origin and her mother of Asian Indian origin.

Who are the critics turning to as models?

Is it Mike Pence, who refused to speak up at all to Donald Trump for four years, but at least had the guts to uphold the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden on January 6, facing the threat of being hanged by rioters? That is his only redeeming quality.

Or is it Dick Cheney, who while qualified by experience, was a dangerous, out of control Vice President, under George W. Bush, who enriched himself by America’s engagement in two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through leadership of Haliburton, and endorsed the use of torture against war prisoners?

Or is it Dan Quayle, who made everyone nervous for four years about the health of George H. W. Bush, as Quayle demonstrated how dumb and clueless he was?

Or was it Spiro Agnew, who resigned from office as a felon, after nearly five years a heartbeat away from the Presidency under Richard Nixon?

The only truly reputable Republican Vice President in the past half century was George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan! Although it must be said that the abbreviated Vice Presidency of Nelson Rockefeller under Gerald Ford was also decent!

Meanwhile, Democrats could be proud of their Vice Presidents—Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; and Joe BIden under Barack Obama!

Kamala Harris is in the tradition of decency and dignity of Mondale, Gore, and Biden, and will do a fine job over the next three years, with her excellent qualification as former San Francisco District Attorney, California Attorney General, and US Senator!

US V Nixon; Clinton V Jones; And Now Trump Lawsuit Against January 6 Committee Appeal To Supreme Court!

The Supreme Court has come out with two decisions in the past half century that made it clear of the limits of Presidential power!

In 1974, in US V Nixon, the Supreme Court, including three appointees of President Richard Nixon, unanimously by an 8-0 vote, declared that Nixon had to hand over the Watergate tapes to the Special Prosecutor, leading to the resignation of Nixon from the Presidency within weeks!

In 1997, in Clinton V Jones, the Supreme Court, including two appointees of President Bill Clinton, unanimously by a 9-0 vote, declared that a President had no immunity from civil law litigation in federal court for acts done before taking office. This case involved the sexual harrassment charge brought by Paula Jones against Governor Bill Clinton

Clinton’s evasiveness in testifying in court about Paula Jones led to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, and his impeachment by the House of Representatives in 1998, although found not guilty by the Senate in the impeachment trial in 1999.

Now, Donald Trump wants “executive privilege” to be in effect to prevent evidence in White House records of what he was doing on January 6, 2021 involving the Capitol Hill Insurrection, to be presented to the January 6 House Committee, investigating the events of that day. President Joe Biden has authorized waiver of such privileges, since Trump is a former President.

Despite having three Trump appointments to the Supreme Court, the strong likelihood is that the Court will, unanimously, reject such arguments, as earlier Courts did involving Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

If such does not happen, which seems like a long shot, then the Court will have besmirched its reputation for the long term, and the reputation of Chief Justice John Roberts will be damaged forever.

And that will promote the likelihood of attempts to add four new members to a Court which will be the most condemned and pilloried since the time of Chief Justice Roger Taney during the Civil War!

Bob Dole, An Historic Figure, And True American Hero, Dies At Age 98!

Former Kansas Senator Bob Dole, the Vice Presidential running mate of Gerald Ford in 1976, and Republican Presidential nominee in 1996 against Bill Clinton, passed away on Sunday at the advanced age of 98!

Dole served nearly 40 years in American national government, including service in the House of Representatives from Kansas, as well as the Senate.

Dole was a true American hero, and suffered immensely when wounded in World War II as the war in Europe neared an end in April 1945, and spent three plus years in a military hospital recovering, and never had the use of his right arm, as a result of grievous injuries.

Dole was an historic figure, who fought hard for his Republican views, but also had humanity and a sense of humor, and often worked across the aisle with Democrats.

Dole served as Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader, and was also Republican National Chairman at one point, as well as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Dole is a giant figure in the history of the Republican Party, and was well regarded by politicians in both parties, and millions of Americans!

Effect Of John F. Kennedy Assassination Still Reverberates On America 58 Years Later!

This author and blogger was a sophomore in 1963, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

It was the most stunning event of my life until the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Kennedy assassination transformed American politics dramatically, both in good ways and bad ways.

It brought about the possibility of the greatest period of reform since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, with Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society.

But it also brought on a devastating long term war in Vietnam, and the beginning of disillusionment with government at all levels.

Had Robert F. Kennedy survived and won the Presidential Election of 1968, instead of being assassinated after winning the California primary in June 1968, the potential for more great reform and change, and to avoid the Presidency of Richard Nixon, would have existed.

WIth RFK’s death, after the earlier tragedy of JFK, America was put into a permanent decline in hope and optimism for the next forty years, as even the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 did not revive the hopes of the Kennedy legacy.

Instead, we had Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cause great regression in so many ways, as Richard Nixon had done earlier.

Barack Obama was a bright light, but faced great opposition, and the horrors of Donald Trump as his succession!

Joe Biden, who has a bust of RFK behind him on the left in all photos when he is sitting at his desk, is trying to revive the Kennedy legacy of hope and promise, and has made a good start.

But it is clear the two Kennedy assassinations in the early and late 1960s have left a permanent scar on the nation!

A Year After Joe Biden Election, Major Economic Advancements In Midst Of COVID 19 Pandemic!

A year since Joe Biden was elected President, the nation has seen major economic advancements in the midst of the COVID 19 Pandemic.

We have seen 5.6 million jobs created, the greatest of any President in nine months in office.

We have seen 531,000 jobs created in October alone.

We have a 4.6 percent unemployment rate, similar to what Barack Obama left the nation when he finished his Presidency in January 2017.

The Stock Market is at an all time high as I write this!

We have seen major Pandemic relief legislation, and now a massive Physical Infrastructure bill ready to be signed by Joe Biden.

The Social Infrastructure legislation is making progress, at a lower rate than originally planned, but still in the range of $1.75 trillion.

We are seeing greater progress than was possible by Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and even Barack Obama in their first year.

Joe Biden is on the way to being the most successful domestic President since Lyndon B. Johnson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This is the time to promote and publicize the great advancements, and make the case for the Democrats to have expanded majorities in both houses of Congress in 2022 and beyond.