Bill Clinton

Presidential Veto Useful Method For Presidents To Protect Their Goals And Agenda

President Barack Obama has only utilized the Presidential veto twice in six years in office, but now, when he makes it clear that he will use it to stop GOP attempts to destroy his legacy, there are outcries of dictatorship by the right wing.

But every President has used the veto power, and Obama has every right, constitutionally, to use this power that was put into the Constitution.

Remember that Presidents usually win veto battles, with history telling us that 96 percent of the time, the President’s veto is NOT overridden by a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and of the US Senate.

Every modern President has used the veto liberally, as shown below:

Roosevelt– 635 Truman– 250 Eisenhower– 181 Kennedy– 21 Johnson—30 Nixon– 43 Ford– 66 Carter– 31 Reagan– 78 Bush I– 44 Clinton– 37 Bush II– 12

Many earlier Presidents also used the veto a lot–particularly Grover Cleveland with 584 in two nonconsecutive terms; Ulysses S. Grant with 93 in two terms; and Theodore Roosevelt with 82 in two term.

Many other Presidents, including Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover used the veto liberally!

Only Presidents in the early years never used the veto, and only a few have had a large number of vetoes overridden, including Andrew Johnson, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford in double digits with 15, 12 and 12 percent overridden.

So, Barack Obama, do what you wish, in the name of protecting your legacy, and doing what is good for the future of the nation, despite criticism!

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!

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!

Mario Cuomo, Progressive Warrior In Tradition Of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hubert H. Humphrey, And Fiorello LaGuardia!

Mario Cuomo’s death on New Year’s Day took some attention away, momentarily, from the greatness of this man, a progressive warrior in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Hubert H. Humphrey, in a later generation, and with an ethnic tinge as with Fiorello LaGuardia!

Cuomo, an Italian American, was the first prominent white ethnic politician since LaGuardia to promote the liberal-progressive cause, and to be considered a serious Presidential candidate, other than John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy, both Irish Catholic ethnics.

Cuomo spoke up for change and reform, at the height of the ascendancy of Ronald Reagan, who worked to undermine the New Deal of FDR and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1980s.

Cuomo worked to ban assault weapons and promote gun control; worked for legal abortion rights to be upheld; promoted the first mandatory seat belt law in cars nationally; vetoed the death penalty; and reformed the state courts to promote diversity. He served longer in office than any New York Governor, except Nelson Rockefeller.

Cuomo stood up for the middle class, working people, women, and minorities, a battle which continues decades later, but was the focus of Cuomo, who would have made a great Supreme Court Justice or President. He was, himself, from a struggling immigrant family, and understood the plight of those of similar background.

It seems clear that had Cuomo sought the Presidency in 1992, we would not have had Bill Clinton as President, and there would be no Hillary Clinton being considered today for the Presidency.

One Of The Last True Liberals, Mario Cuomo, Passes From The Scene On New Year’s Day!

Former three term New York Governor Mario Cuomo, one of the last true liberals in American politics, passed from the scene yesterday, New Year’s Day, just as his son, Andrew Cuomo, was inaugurated for his own second term as Governor of New York.

Mario Cuomo was a dynamic, charismatic, inspiring political figure, who flirted with the idea of running for President in 1988 and 1992, but ended up not running. He also was the front runner for a Supreme Court nomination by President Bill Clinton in 1993, but turned it down, in favor of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and ran, instead, for a fourth term as Governor, but losing to George Pataki in 1994.

Cuomo was, without any question, the second greatest Italian American political figure in American history, only surpassed by New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (1934-1945), and he will be much missed, as he was a rarity in politics–a truly decent, principled politician who cared about the poor and the oppressed of all races, both in New York and nationwide!

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!

Jeb Bush Faces Fierce Opposition As He Plans Presidential Run For 2016!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has become the first Republican to indicate his intention to seek the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, but he faces fierce opposition from the right wing of his party–the Tea Party, many Congressional conservatives, talk radio, and Fox News Channel.

The feeling of many is that Jeb is too centrist, too much “Establishment” Republican for much of the party that has become extreme right wing.

Jeb is seen as unwilling to cater to the Right; that he wants to run as a moderate Republican; and he continues to back national educational standards, known as Common Core; supports immigration reform, as his brother did in office; and the thought of a third Bush Presidency is not very appealing to many in his party.

Jeb is seen as arrogant, cocky, and condescending to many who do not agree with him, and his family’s close association with Bill and Hillary Clinton, ironic if Bush runs against Hillary, also alienates many in his party.

Jeb has also said it is time for the GOP to stop trying to repeal ObamaCare, and also refuses to say that he will never raise taxes if elected President.

So while he is now seen as the frontrunner for the nomination, the likelihood of his being the candidate in 2016 is seen as highly unlikely, as the party continues its move out of the mainstream!

Alternate Universe Of The Right Wing On Barack Obama And The Economy

The Right Wing on talk radio and Fox News Channel, and the Republican Party nationally and locally, demonize Barack Obama on every subject imaginable, including the economy.

At the same time, the following is reality:

The stock market is at its all time high, about 150 percent above what it was when Barack Obama became President six years ago.

The unemployment rate is the lowest since the beginning of the Great Recession under George W. Bush in 2008, and millions of jobs have been created, with the number of jobs lost all regained, and new additional jobs created, and starting to be better paid jobs.

The increase in the deficit on the annual budget is the lowest it has been since the Bill Clinton Administration.

Ten million more people have health care now, due to the expansion of Medicaid and the adoption of ObamaCare, and health care costs have decreased for many.

The price of gasoline is the lowest in five years.

We have seen record corporate earnings in the pasty year.

Economic Growth, at five percent in the third quarter, is the highest since 2003.

The Obama public opinion rating shot up four points last month, the highest in nearly two years.

America has a positive view of the economy for the first time since 2007, when the economic decline began, and accelerated rapidly.

Considering that the Republican Party controlled the House of Representatives for 16 of the past 20 years, and the Senate for 13 of the previous 20 years, it is clear that Barack Obama has presided over a growing economic boom, as occurred under Bill Clinton, but did not under George W. Bush!

December 19, 1998: The Impeachment Of Bill Clinton! A Day Which Will Live In Infamy!

On this day 16 years ago, the Republican controlled House of Representatives voted charges of impeachment against President Bill Clinton!

Two charges, perjury and obstruction of justice, gained a party line majority vote, and the 42 nd President faced trial in January and February 1999, and was found not guilty, with only 45 votes for conviction on perjury, and 50 votes for conviction on obstruction of justice, with 67 votes needed to convict and remove. Ten and five Republicans supported Clinton on the two counts, and all Democrats supported the President, while 45 and 50 Republicans voted to convict.

The impeachment and trial was a mockery, with no just cause, just an attempt to besmirch the reputation of Bill Clinton, but it failed, in the sense that Clinton came out shining, growing in popularity, and this has continued since 1999.

So any attempt to impeach Barack Obama will have the same effect, with the same result, but that does not mean that the Republicans, with 54 Senators now, instead of 55, will avoid moving toward impeachment, since the GOP is much more right wing now than even in 1998-1999!