Civil Rights Act Of 1964

Republicans, The Lincoln Lie, And Rand Paul’s Ambitions For President In 2016

The Republican Party loves to claim a connection to Abraham Lincoln, even though they have totally repudiated everything he stands for.

They honor his memory, particularly now on the 149th Anniversary of his assassination by John Wilkes Booth. But they favor states rights, nullification, and support back tracking on civil rights, all of which the Confederate and Border South advocated when they were Democrats, and now when they are Republicans, and control most seats in Congress and most state legislatures in those states.

But when seeking the Presidency, these Southern and Border state Republicans have no problem in trying to appeal to groups they have been working against.

A great example is Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, known for his doubts about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and about overseas military bases and involvement in world affairs.

Suddenly, while in New Hampshire appealing for support for President, he expresses concern for groups that have been totally ignored by his party, including African Americans, Latinos and Hispanics, women, and poor people, although there is no evidence of a real transformation.

And now he is no longer willing to condemn Dick Cheney and the Iraq War, and backs away from his isolationist views of the past, and that must make his father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, wince!

It is clear that Rand Paul is a total charlatan, a phony, who cannot be believed or trusted, either the “old” libertarian Rand Paul, or the newer, transformed model, to be our President!

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!

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!

Conservative Republicans Want To Repeal Constitutional Amendments And 20th Century Reforms That Make America A Better Nation!

The Republican Party of the second decade of the 21st century, along with the conservative movement, in all of its ramifications, is out to repeal constitutional amendments and numerous 20th century reforms that make America a better, more modern nation, all in their quest to make the corporations ever more dominant and enrich the top one percent more than already is reality!

When one follows, reads, and watches right wing spokesmen, in and out of the party, they have called for the following repeals:

The 16th Amendment–Federal Income Tax
The 17th Amendment–Direct Popular Election Of US Senators
19th Amendment–Woman Suffrage
Antiquities Act–National Parks, Forests, and Monuments Protection
Food And Drug Administration
Clayton Anti Trust Act
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Reserve Act
Social Security Act
Fair Labor Standards Act
Medicare
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Department Of Education
Department Of Health And Human Services
Department Of Housing And Urban Development
Department Of Energy
Environmental Protection Agency
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Occupational Safety And Health Administration
US Post Office
Affirmative Action
Abortion Rights
Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
National Public Radio
PBS
Americans With Disabilities Act
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
ObamaCare–Affordable Care Act

These and other laws and amendments not mentioned here became law under Presidents of both parties, including

Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Basically, these right wing groups and the dominant element in the Republican Party in Congress want to repeal everything that is good about America, and bring us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

Senator Rand Paul Becomes Poll Leader For GOP Presidential Nomination: What Does It Mean?

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, the son of libertarian favorite Ron Paul, former Congressman from Texas, has suddenly emerged as the leader in two polls–the CPAC straw poll and the New Hampshire straw poll, both in the past ten days.

This is seen as very surprising to many observers, and it certainly upsets Establishment Republicans who see Rand Paul as far from who they prefer to be the Republican Presidential nominee in 2016.

Rand Paul seems to appeal to young people, who also liked his dad, due to their desire to cut down American involvement in overseas interventions, but that is seen by critics as an unrealistic isolationism, which becomes more problematical with the Russian takeover of Crimea, and the possible intervention in the rest of Ukraine.

Rand Paul’s desire to cut the federal government and spending dramatically in a downward spiral also appeals to many young people, but worries those concerned about the growth of poverty and the decline of the middle class.

And Rand Paul’s statements about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in regards to the dislike of “forcing” businesses to serve customers they do not want to serve, is also alarming to ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans and Latinos.

Rand Paul’s opposition to women controlling their own reproductive lives also is an alarm bell to many.

There are many who think Rand Paul is a shallow person, who should not even be considered Presidential material.

Are we ready for a libertarian isolationist in the 21st century, after the growth of government in the 20th century, and engaging in wars to promote freedom and liberty and justice in the world?

Are we ready to negate TR, Wilson FDR, and LBJ in domestic affairs, and turn inward in foreign policy?

These are the questions all Americans have to consider, and the thought of Rand Paul possibly becoming President terrifies many Republicans, as well as American citizens who feel that he cannot walk in the shoes of our greatest Presidents!

The Loss Of A Classic Great Governor: Reubin Askew Of Florida (1971-1979)

When one examines the history of state Governors throughout American history, one discovers that a very large percentage of them have performed horribly, with many mediocre at best, and very few standing out as exceptional in their performance in office.

We often say that the best place to look for Presidential candidates is to go to the states, and find effective Governors, who have proven their ability to govern.

But when we look, even at the present group of 50 Governors in the United States, it is hard to find many who give one a sense of optimism, as to their honesty, concern for the average citizen, and commitment to good government.

So when we do find such a Governor, he is to be treasured, although often not recognized adequately in his own lifetime.

Such a case is former Florida Governor Reubin Askew, easily rated the greatest Governor in Florida history.

But Askew is much more than that, as he is rated by scholars in one study as one of the top ten all time Governors in the history of all states since 1789!

Askew came out of obscurity in the Florida State legislature to serve two achievement filled terms as Governor of a state with a long list of mostly mediocre Governors. He was the first Florida Governor able to have two terms in office, due to a change in the state Constitution in 1967.

Askew was one of the NEW SOUTH Democratic Governors who came out of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, and Arkansas Governors Dale Bumpers and Bill Clinton. Sadly, the Republican Party did NOT produce forward minded Governors then or since, and we see the product of it in such Governors as Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and other disastrous Southern Governors given their states by the GOP!

Askew was a liberal on racial issues, in a state not known for open mindedness and tolerance, in the years before 1970. He was able to overhaul the tax laws of the state, and to promote open government through “sunshine” laws, and also advocate environmental protection. Additionally, he promoted streamlining of the state government and courts, and also pushed ethics laws.

Askew had tremendous accomplishments, but was always very humble and decent as a human being, not letting his power to go to his head, a rare thing among state governors, past and present.

Askew was so highly regarded that he was offered the chance to be the Vice Presidential nominee with George McGovern in 1972, but turned it down. He also had a brief run for the Presidency in 1984 and for the Senate in 1988, but disliked having to work to raise campaign funds.

He was born to a poor family, worked his way through school, and never forgot the common touch, which in itself, made him a great man!

Florida and the nation have lost a true giant, a model for others, but not many are following in his footsteps, either in Florida or in other states around the nation, something to be mourned, as we mourn his death!

The Coming GOP Battle Between Ted Cruz And Rand Paul: Neither Good For The Republican Party!

It is now clear, after the CPAC convention, that the battle for the soul of the Republican Party is, most likely, to be between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Cruz represents the aggressive, in your face, bombastic image of the Tea Party, while Paul represents the libertarian, isolationist view of the same Tea Party.

Both hate the national government, and both want to cut domestic social spending, and have no desire to deal with the problems of the working class and the poor.

Both want to undermine the GOP establishment, and work against the idea of working with President Obama, and accepting that part of politics is negotiation and compromise.

Both men have very little ability to win a national election, as both are seen as extreme, and unable to take “Blue” states away from the Democrats.

Both appeal to those who want to put America back in the age of laissez faire of the Gilded Age, and want to assist the one percent who have become more wealthy and powerful at the expense of the middle class.

Cruz has a demagogic manner about him, reminding many of Joseph McCarthy in appearance and style, but he is seen as dangerous because despite his egotism, he is clearly very smart. However, he is willing to throw other Republicans “under the bus”, with his working against fellow Texas Senator John Cornyn, and also resisting Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as attacking past Republican Presidential nominees Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney. Cruz has no ethics when it comes to pursuing his own ambitions, and he is extremely vain and arrogant. Imagining him dealing with foreign leaders is an absolute horror!

Paul, on the other hand, supports the idea that businesses should be able to reject customers based on race, being critical of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He is a libertarian like his dad, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, and believes that philosophy is realistic in the 21st century. He would love to cut defense spending enough so that we would withdraw from many of our bases around the world , an appealing idea, but not a realistic one. He comes across as more a visionary than Cruz, more pleasant than Cruz, willing to give respect to the elder statesmen of the party, and work with Establishment Republicans in the Senate, while disagreeing with them. He seems, overall, not as bright and ambitious as Cruz is.

Both are horrible choices for President, and both would lose, but the feeling is that Cruz is more of a threat, although the belief is that he would crash and burn, once the election campaign was in full swing. It seems likely that Paul would do better in electoral votes, and would be more liked personally, but still could not win a national election.

The ultimate question is why the Republican Party seems incapable of finding a truly great Presidential candidate, although in the long run, that does not matter as the Electoral College math dooms them in 2016, as long as they continue to alienate many major voting groups.

So the decline of the GOP, by a massive electoral defeat in 2016, seems more likely as the clock ticks toward the election year!

The Arizona Anti Gay Law: Unconstitutional And Reprehensible!

Arizona has made quite a name for itself in recent years, being the infamous state that passed the toughest anti immigration bill, SB 1070, in 2010, causing an uproar, and eventually having several major provisions of the law being declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, while keeping some parts of the controversial law, and hurting Arizona tourism and public image irrevocably.

Now Governor Jan Brewer has until Tuesday to decide whether to sign a new anti gay law, that allows all public services to be denied gay and lesbian people, if the people providing the services choose not to deal with them on religious grounds. Business owners could declare their opposition to homosexuality, and refuse to give service to such customers.

Such a law is unconstitutional and reprehensible, as one’s religious beliefs do not and should not include the right to discriminate against anyone!

If such a law was to be upheld, it would, effectively, make gays and lesbians second class citizens, a sexual “apartheid”, a group that would be denied public services on the basis of someone claiming to be a “good” Christian, when there is absolutely no way that the teachings of Jesus Christ could be interpreted as promoting hate and prejudice against ANYONE!

If this could be allowed, then why not refuse services to Jews, African Americans, Latinos, disabled people, women, the elderly, etc? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 would be upended, precisely 50 years after its passage!

Anyone can be anti gay, or anti African American, or anti Jewish, or anti Latino, etc in their THOUGHTS, as no one can control that, but NO ONE should EVER be able to use religious orthodoxy to discriminate, mistreat, condemn in their public activities regarding such people!

If one wishes to work with the public, one MUST serve ALL Of the public, whether one likes it or not!

Otherwise, imagine the tow truck driver who will not give service to a driver who has a flat tire; or the pharmacist who will not give service to a customer for a prescription; or the nurse who will not give medical services in a hospital to a customer on religious grounds; or the gas station attendant who will not allow a person to buy gasoline; or any business owner in any type of store dealing with the public who refuses service, including the much discussed cake maker who will not bake a cake for a gay couple (but could also be a Jewish couple, or a interracial couple)!

Realize also that many “straight” people could be wrongfully tagged as being gay or lesbian. There are people who may seem effeminate in gesture or voice who are NOT gay or lesbian. There are people who may dress a certain way that makes some people think they are gay or lesbian. There could two men or two women, with or without kids, who some might think are gay and lesbian, but are not. The fact that a majority of gay men and women do not “act” gay or lesbian (whatever that prejudicial feeling is supposed to be), makes the whole idea of discrimination even more outrageous and despicable!

This is not the Russian Federation, nor Nigeria, nor Uganda, all nations where right wing evangelicals have campaigned to pass anti gay laws! It is the United States of America, and we cannot tolerate ANY such prejudice or mistreatment in the United States!

Any professional, as in medicine, for instance, who would refuse to serve anyone on the basis of religion, should have his or her license to practice taken away, as he or she is violating the Hippocratic Oath to serve all people!

This is a time to crack down and make clear that there will be NO tolerance of any prejudice or discrimination by anyone, that it will lead to legal action, prosecution, and punishment within the limits of the law!

There is no room for bigotry in American, based on so called religious principles, in America in the year 2014 and beyond! It is time to crack down once and for all!

Rand Paul And Bill Clinton: A Losing Strategy!

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul Has decided that he is willing to bring up the controversies surrounding Bill Clinton’s indiscretions a generation ago as his tactic to win the Presidency of the United States in 2016.

This is a strategy that will fail, as it does not dignify Rand Paul to talk about an issue that is dead and gone a long time ago.

Let me make it clear, that this author deplored the behavior of Bill Clinton, and at the time, took the position that the President should resign over his misbehavior, but should NOT be impeached.

Be that as it may, Bill Clinton suffered total humiliation and exposure, was impeached, was found not guilty by the US Senate, finished his term, and has gone on to achieve a level of popularity for a former President unmatched by any in American history, even Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or Ronald Reagan in their retirement years.

Bill Clinton has done a lot of good with his Clinton Initiative, following the work at good deeds only matched in retirement by former President Jimmy Carter, who has not been as fortunate to be as popular and respected and admired as Bill Clinton.

While his private behavior then, and by rumor even now, is reprehensible, Bill Clinton is no worse than millions of American men, and many Republican and Democratic Congressmen, Senators, and Governors. The difference is that he was a President, but then when one examines the sexual exploits of other Presidents, he is far from unique.

The point is that no matter how much one might condemn his behavior, he did not create any “victims”, as Monica Lewinsky was not a child, was not an innocent, knew precisely what she was doing, wanted to do what she did, and is responsible for her own behavior.

If anything, Rand Paul needs to answer for his voting record, for his statements against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and if one is going to bring up the past, let him explain the wacky behavior and voting record and associations of his libertarian father, former Congressman Ron Paul, with racist and secessionist groups over his long career.

One might say that would be unfair, but would it be any more unfair than to try to harm Hillary Clinton by attacking her husband’s behavior, which has caused much grief for her, behavior which she personally is not responsible for, and for her to have to hear him being called a “sexual predator” by a man who cannot walk in her husband’s shoes in his level of intelligence, accomplishment, and historic role in American history?

Three Significant Events In 24 Hours 41 Years Ago!

Forty one years ago, on January 22-23, three significant events occurred, all of which had a massive effect on the history of the United States!

Lyndon B. Johnson, the architect of the “Great Society” domestic reform programs, the greatest since the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, died at age 64. Much of his Great Society remains part of our lives today, including:

Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
War On Poverty (some elements of the program)
Medicare and Medicaid
Federal Aid to Education
Environmental Laws
Consumer Protection Laws
National Public Radio and PBS

Additionally, just hours after his death, the Vietnam War came to an end by a peace agreement in Paris, ending the combat role of American troops after twelve years of war under John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon. The war had divided us, and still has an impact on the veterans of that war today, but at least the US now has diplomatic relations and trade with Vietnam, something that seemed impossible to imagine four decades ago, after the loss of 58,000 Americans in that war, and over a million or more in Vietnam itself.

The third event that transformed us was the Supreme Court decision in Roe V. Wade, allowing women control of their reproductive lives and their bodies, in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, as well as promoting contraception to avoid pregnancy.

The so called “Pro Life” movement, really anti abortion, has worked very hard to limit the rights of women, trying to cut the period of allowance of an abortion to as low as six weeks in Arkansas and 12 weeks in North Dakota, as well as 20 weeks in many other states, but thankfully, federal district court and circuit court judges have prevented the enforcement of such illegal limits. But the battle for women’s rights goes on.

So January 22-23, 1973, was indeed a very big day, a moment in history of tremendous significance!