Bill Clinton

Thanksgiving A Day To Commemorate The Overall Success In Midterm Elections

This Thanksgiving is one to commemorate the overall success in the Midterm Elections of 2022, as Joe Biden and the Democratic Party had major successes in the Senate (one seat gain and continued control) and the Governorships (winning three, and losing one, so overall gain of two), with only a small switch in the House, creating a divided Congress, but setting up a situation where the Republican Party will demonstrate its inability to govern effectively!

The only times that the party in the White House had a better result in the past hundred years was in 1934 under Franklin D. Roosevelt, which saw a major gain for the governing Democrats of nine seats gain in the Senate and an equal nine seats gain in the House of Representatives; 1998, when the Democrats under Bill Clinton gained five seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate balance stayed the same; and 2002, when George W. Bush, a year after the September 11 attacks saw a gain for the Republicans of two seats in the Senate and eight seats in the House of Representatives.

The Republican Party campaigned in 2022 on the issues of crime and inflation, but now are making clear their intent only to waste time on investigations of the Biden Administration, including Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. This demagoguery will insure Democrats being able to regain the House of Representatives in 2024, since just like this election, only a few seats will need to be won to take charge once again!

Joe Biden’s Public Opinion Poll Rating Reaches 46 Percent, Highest In 2022

President Joe Biden’s public opinion poll ratings have risen in recent months, and is now 46 percent in the latest Emerson College poll, and 45 percent in other polls.

Back in May, Biden reached a low of 38 percent, and now is higher than he was at any earlier time in 2022.

There are a lot of factors explaining this, including the abortion issue; the continuing Donald Trump controversy; the horrendous Republican contenders for public office this fall; and the issue of Social Security and Medicare being threatened by Republicans to be phased out over five years, if they gain control of both houses of Congress and the White House in the future.

There are also other factors, including the issue of gun regulation, and the cancellation of some college student debt payments by the Biden Administration, that influence ratings.

With Biden’s revival, he is in similar territory as earlier Presidents Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford, at this point of their time in office!

White House Chief Of Staff Ron Klain Summarizes Joe Biden’s Record In Office After 19 Months!

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain has summarized Joe Biden’s record in office after 19 months.

After a period of struggle and disappointment, now Joe Biden’s record is quite amazing for a President in office just a bit more than a year and a half, a truly transformational President!

As Klain describes it in an interview with POLITICO, Joe Biden “has delivered the largest economic recovery plan since Roosevelt.”(Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal)

Biden has brought into law “the largest infrastructure plan since Eisenhower.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Interstate Highway System)

Biden has accomplished “the most judges confirmed since Kennedy.” (John F. Kennedy)

Biden has accomplished “the second largest health care bill since Johnson.” (Lyndon B. Johnson and Medicare) and (after Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act)

Biden has “the largest climate change bill in history.” (since Jimmy Carter promoted need for change)

Also, we have seen the first gun control bill since Bill Clinton’s time. (Brady Bill legislation)

And Biden has placed the first African American woman on the Supreme Court (Ketanji Brown Jackson) (After Lyndon B. Johnson placed the first African American man on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall)

Additionally, as many observers have noted, we have seen 9.5 million jobs created; accomplished the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years; forced the rich and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes; lowered drug prices and general health care costs, including insulin costs for Medicare recipients; lowered the national debt; confirmed the most diverse set of judges to the federal bench; accomplished the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the American Rescue Plan to combat the COVID 19 Pandemic; canceled some student loan debt; and passed the CHIPS and Science Act, and the PACT Act to help sick veterans from our wars.

In foreign policy, Biden ended America’s longest war (Afghanistan), which Donald Trump had arranged to end actually three months earlier than Biden; strengthened NATO by adding Finland and Sweden; took out Al Qaeda’s top leader; and come to the defense of Ukraine against the Russian invasion.

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!