conservatives

Anthony Kennedy, The Third Choice Of Ronald Reagan For The Supreme Court In 1988!

President Ronald Reagan had the misfortune of having two Supreme Court nominees rejected near the end of his term, and forced to choose someone else for the Court.

His nomination of Robert Bork, and then, Douglas Ginsburg, and his selection of Anthony Kennedy in their place in 1988, was a moment of tremendous historical importance.

With either Bork or Ginsburg, it is almost certain, if not so, that gay rights and gay marriage would not have accomplishes the majority votes in 2003, 2013, and now 2015, granting gays and lesbians complete equality, including the right to marry!

The importance of one man and one vote is clear cut, as under our system, the Supreme Court, much more than we realize, has a majority of one vote on significant cases, and that one vote majority transforms America for good or for evil.

One vote on the Court decided Bush V Gore in 2000; one vote on the Court decided the Citizens United Case in 2010; one vote on the Supreme Court decided the dramatic weakening of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

And the historic importance of Anthony Kennedy cannot be underestimated, as he has been the swing vote on the Court since Sandra Day O’Connor left the court ten years ago. Often, he has sided with the conservatives, but about one third of the time with progressives, as in these various gay rights cases.

Kennedy has had great courage, and he will suffer mightily with denunciations, death threats, and need for Secret Service protection, from right wing crazies who will wish him dead for his role in changing American society permanently.

Anthony Kennedy is truly a profile in courage and principle, and will play a positive role in the history of human rights, when this era we are living in, is written about in future generations!

Jeb Bush Ends Longest Pre-Campaign In American History, Announces Presidential Candidacy For 2016

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush finally ended the longest pre-campaign for President in American history, announcing his candidacy today at Miami Dade College, the largest community college in the nation, and the largest Hispanic student population of any college in America.

Having indicated his intended plans unofficially in December, starting the 2016 campaign, Jeb Bush decided to hold off for the overlong period of six months, so he could raise tons of money, without any campaign spending limits.

Bush made it clear that he was out to gain the Hispanic vote by pushing for immigration reform, something not popular in the Republican Party, and the fact that he speaks fluent Spanish and that his wife is a Mexican American born in Mexico, gives Bush an opportunity to push for a higher percentage of that vote.

The question arises though whether Jeb Bush can overcome the stain of his brother George W. Bush’s reputation, although the popularity of his dad, George W. Bush, is at an all time high, since he left the Presidency 22 years ago, and just as the elder Bush has turned 91 and his mother has turned 90.

Bush has many faults, but he is a serious, mainstream conservative, not a loony like many of the others in the race, so the odds of his winning the nomination at this point seem greater than 50-50.

The next nine months will show what the truth of the Bush name is in American politics in 2016!

Bernie Sanders’ Promotion Of Free Undergraduate Tuition At All Public Universities And Colleges

Let me begin this entry by pointing out that the author was the beneficiary of a free tuition undergraduate education for four years at Queens College of the City University of New York in the 1960s.

The entire City University of New York system, and the State University of New York System, had free undergraduate tuition a half century ago, until it disappeared in the crises over budgetary issues in the early 1970s.

Also, the entire California University System had free tuition for all undergraduates, until the Governorship of Ronald Reagan in the late 1960s and early 1970s, leading to anger over the Vietnam War, and the imposition of tuition after widespread student demonstrations on the campuses across California. Budgetary issues were used as the reason, but much of it was a conservative attack on higher education in the largest populated state.

Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, 50 years later, the average student must go into tremendous debt to gain a higher education, causing massive student loan payments that harm the economic future of those students and of their ability to buy homes, cars, have children, and live the “American Dream”.

In many states, the cost of a public higher education, including all expenses, is more than $20,000, forcing many to forgo education, and to undermine the concept of gaining an open mind and tolerance, which a college education provides, along with training for a specific career.

So we have seen a “war” on higher education, particularly in states governed by Republican Governors and legislatures, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and other states.

Education is not just for career training, but also for promoting ability to analyze, evaluate, interpret, and develop problem solving skills, and to make college more difficult is counter productive.

In the midst of this reality, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an announced Democratic Presidential candidate, has proposed providing taxpayer supported undergraduate education at all public universities and colleges, and while this would be expensive, it is worth considering.

Returning to the tradition in New York and California 50 years ago, and making it nationwide, would be a good move! Education should be considerd a right, not a privilege to be left only to those who can afford it, similar to the public school system. Of course, conservatives and Republicans are out to destroy the public school system as well, in favor of charter schools, which should not be allowed to harm the concept of public education begun in the 1820s in the New England states.

The Misinterpreted Thomas Jefferson, By The Right Wing, On the 272nd Anniversary Of His Birth

Thomas Jefferson, our most brilliant President intellectually, one of the great Founding Fathers, has been so misinterpreted by the right wing conservatives and Republicans, who have no clue as to his beliefs and thoughts.

The right wing has worked to distort Jefferson, making him out to be many things he was not.

They tell us Jefferson believed in a national religion, when Jefferson was a skeptic about organized Christianity, and became Deist in his beliefs, and opposed the concept of theocracy.

They tell us that Jefferson believed church and state should be unified, when he was the promoter of the Virginia Statute For Religious Freedom.

They tell us that Jefferson believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution and the goodness of state and local governments over national government, which was true to an extent during the 1790s debate of Jefferson Vs. Alexander Hamilton, which helped to create political parties in America. But once he was President, Jefferson was a believer in a broad interpretation of the Constitution and the power of the national government.

They tell us that Jefferson would have been a supporter of the Republican Party of 2015, when his belief in civil liberties would have made him appalled at that party’s abuse of civil liberties in the name of national security.

They tell us that Jefferson would have been supportive of foreign intervention against Muslim civilization, due to Jefferson’s intervention in the Mediterranean against the Barbary Pirates of North Africa during his Presidency, but Jefferson did not promote Islamophobia, as most Republicans and conservatives advocate in their rhetoric.

Of course, Thomas Jefferson was a complex man, with many contradictions and often hypocritical views, as on race and slavery, but Jefferson was a man who believed in the power of learning and the intellectual life, and he would have been totally shocked at the goal of the Republican Party to keep the population ignorant, and to promote fear, instead of an enlightened view of mankind and events.

Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz Publicly Back Discriminatory Indiana Law! What Hope Is Left For The Republican Party In 2016?

The Republican Party is going totally nuts, more than ever, as now potential Republican Presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz have issued public statements supporting Indiana Governor Mike Pence, and the passage of a law designed to make it possible that business proprietors can refuse service to gays and lesbians, when commerce has nothing to do with religion, since we have separation of church and state, and are not a theocracy.

Christians of the right wing extremism keep on saying that they are being persecuted, when they are the ones who promoted slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and antisemitism, along with other wrongs, including degradation of women, and ministerial sexual abuse in too many cases over the years!

With Christians being over 90 percent of Americans, it is preposterous to say that they are being persecuted, when they are the ones who promoted persecution in the name of Jesus, a Jew who would never have advocated their hateful actions of racism, misogyny, nativism, and homophobia!

It leaves one to wonder if there are any Republican nominees who can appeal to the mainstream of America, as it is clear most, if not all, of the other potential nominees for President, while not yet specifically stating that they back the Indiana law, it is clear that in their hearts that they will continue to resist gay rights, even with a Supreme Court decision likely this June! Based on past statements and actions catering to the Religious Right, we know that Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Bobby Jindal, and Dr Benjamin Carson are likely to back Mike Pence in the coming days!

The only possible hope left seems to be the longshot possibility of Jon Huntsman, who tried for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2012, but has given up on running in 2016, easily the most decent possible candidate; or possibly Ohio Governor John Kasich, who appears to be a reasonable conservative, but has said he will decide whether to announce for President sometime this summer. Kasich, so far, seems potentially a candidate who might be able to represent the mainstream of the party, and yet remain a responsible conservative, but who can say that he will not self destruct as Jeb Bush has, for instance, just done with his statement backing Mike Pence and Indiana in promoting discrimination and homophobia?

The Purposes Of Higher Education

Why should one pursue higher education, and gain one or more college degrees?

Higher Education promotes appreciation of the world around us, and makes us better able to understand who we are and where we are in the universe.

Higher Education makes us able to communicate our thoughts and ideas in oral speech and in writing on a much higher level.

Higher Education opens us up to new areas of knowledge, even those we may think we have no interest in, but often return to later in life.

Higher Education assists in making each of us better conversationalists when with others in any social setting.

Higher Education helps to assist in overcoming prejudices, stereotyping, and judging people without forethought.

Higher Education teaches us to question and challenge and to work against propaganda and dogma of any kind.

Higher Education makes one willing to be skeptical about organized religion, wanting documentation, rather than simply accepting doctrine as reality.

Higher Education opens up our eyes to exposure to the brilliance of men and women who have made major contributions of all kinds to human endeavor.

Higher Education makes one a better partner in marriage, and a better parent.

Higher Education promotes tolerance, open mindedness, empathy, compassion, and appreciation of others who are different from us.

Higher Education enriches us for a lifetime of thought, besides providing a career in an occupation, so that we can provide for ourselves and our families.

Higher Education is attacked, sadly, by those who tell us that it is a bad investment, when there is no better investment for a lifetime. Even when it creates a financial burden for many years, it is so urgent, and since it does so much not only for oneself but also for society as a whole, it is urgent that a plan to cut college loan costs be instituted. By doing so, it will encourage more students to see the value of higher education for the long term.

So when any politician, particularly those on the conservative and Republican side of the political system work to undermine higher education, realize that it is a ploy to keep people ignorant and under one’s control. Higher education must continue to be a goal for more people, rather than an effort to promote ignorance and narrow mindedness!

Five Years Of “ObamaCare” Successes, And Ted Cruz Is Now Applying To Be Covered!

It has been five years since “ObamaCare” became law, and it has been a massive success in so many ways!

And to top it off, its biggest critic, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the first announced Republican Presidential candidate, despite saying his goal is to repeal “every word” of the legislation, is now going on “ObamaCare” since his wife will be taking a leave of absence from her Wall Street job as he runs for President! This mirrors the complete hypocrisy of Cruz, all Republicans, and the conservative think tanks who have bitterly opposed the law since Day One.

President Barack Obama pointed out this week that “ObamaCare” is the Republican and conservative (Heritage Foundation) plan of 1993, in opposition to Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton’s more expansive health care plan. Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole, the Republican leaders, who became, respectively, the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader after the midterm Congressional elections of 1994, endorsed the plan, and Mitt Romney adopted the basics of it when he brought about “RomneyCare” in Massachusetts in 2006. And yet, he refused to endorse “ObamaCare” despite the many similarities to his own state plan, and claimed it was not designed for national adoption, and only good in his state, total hypocrisy, which marked his constantly shifting and lying Presidential campaign in 2012!

The Affordable Care Act, the official name for “ObamaCare”, has done the following over the past five years:

130 million Americans cannot be denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

76 million Americans with private medical plans have received expanded access to free preventative services.

16.4 million Americans have gained health care coverage since the law passed, people who never had such coverage before now.

11.7 million people have signed up for Health Insurance Marketplace Plans in 2015.

9.4 million senior citizens have saved more than $11.5 billion on prescription drug costs since 2010.

5.7 million young adults under 26 have been able to have health care coverage under their parents’ plans.

And now, Ted Cruz and his family can be covered under a plan he has tried to destroy, and is still committed to destroying if he becomes President.

But that is not going to happen, as Ted Cruz is a Joseph McCarthy look alike and as much of a “bomb thrower” as the infamous leader of the “Red Scare” of the 1950s was, and has cost the government and taxpayers a loss of $24 million in the forced government shutdown in late 2011, a totally reckless act!

This man comes across as a total lunatic, and his dad is more extreme than him, the worst example of an nutty right wing Christian evangelical demagogue, who preaches hate and division, rather than the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

And the fact that Cruz had a captive audience of students at Liberty University, who were forced to attend his Presidential announcement, or be forced to pay $10 to the university, is totally mind boggling!

The true nature of Ted Cruz is shown by his willingness to accept “ObamaCare” while trying to smother it for the past five years, not caring about the health care and lives of millions of Americans!

Do All Potential Presidential Candidates Represent The Wealthy And Powerful? NO, Not Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren!

What does a person do if he or she is disgusted with our political system, and the growing theory that no matter who we elect, Wall Street and the wealthy gain?

Well, what he or she can do is promote the Presidential candidacy of two United States Senators, who have made it clear in their time in public office that they are enemies of Wall Street and the Establishment!

Those two Senators are Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren!

One problem that Bernie Sanders has is that he will be 75 years old in 2016, and has totally white hair, and he will be a year older than Vice President Joe Biden. He also is a Capital S SOCIALIST, and the vast majority of Americans think Socialism is evil because of their ignorance on the term, while not realizing how much of our social and economic reforms in the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and Great Society years are Socialist ideas! This nation has benefited greatly from “Socialist” programs, but there is a fear of anything which is to the advantage of the middle and lower classes, much of it implanted in the minds of Americans through wrong headed propaganda!

But Bernie Sanders, the longest serving Independent in the history of the Senate and House of Representatives, is the real article, a sincere, genuine, authentic, articulate advocate for the middle class and the poor, and every criticism he makes and every idea he enunciates cannot be refuted if one really examines the facts! But facts often seem not important, as mythology and promotion of fear reign instead!

Bernie Sanders would be a revolutionary President, in the sense that he would truly change the direction of the nation in a positive way, but of course, the conservative right wing and Republican Party would fight him tooth and nail, and accuse him of every sin possibly conceived, and with a viciousness matching Barack Obama in the White House, because, after all, Sanders would be a “real” Socialist, not the phony one painted on Barack Obama, and in the distant past, Franklin D. Roosevelt! Sanders has made it clear that he will not accept large contributions, and will have, therefore, great trouble in raising money, so it is not clear if he will, ultimately, run for President.

At the same time, Elizabeth Warren, former Harvard Law School professor, became controversial for her advocacy of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s creation, and could not be confirmed to head that agency that was created under Barack Obama’s Presidency, and instead ran for the US Senate. She has become a great favorite of those on the left, and now is being boosted for President by many, including the Boston Globe and MoveOn.org, along with many other groups.

Warren is seen as better than Hillary Clinton, because Clinton is seem as too cozy with Wall Street, and too hawkish in foreign affairs, so Warren is seen as a more ideal choice for the Democratic Party liberals, who worry that Clinton could be a disappointment in the Presidency. Warren has resisted running, however, so just like Sanders, may not be willing or able to run a national campaign, and she knows she would gain vicious attacks as Sanders would, and as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have experienced too often!

But there is no certainty that Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will announce for President, so we may not gain the opportunity to have either of these talented legislators offered to us for the Presidency!

The CPAC Convention: Display Of Delusional Thinking And A Comedy Of Would Be Presidents!

The Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland this weekend has been a revelation of delusional thinking, as well as a comedy of Would Be Presidents!

A conference that has Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, both supposed candidates for the White House, but just wanting attention, makes it worthy of ridicule from the beginning.

A conference that has elected Rand Paul as their favorite in a straw poll three years in a row, when there is zero chance of his being the Republican nominee, is a conference not worthy of any more attention, other than how Saturday Night Live treats it for laughs.

A conference that has a candidate, Scott Walker, who compares marchers for retention of labor rights to the fighting of terrorism is a conference that is clueless and insulting of the vast majority of America’s population, which are workers, not corporate leaders.

A conference that has retreads such as Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Perry desperately trying to get notice and to make themselves relevant is quite pitiful.

A conference that has two totally inexperienced candidates, Dr. Benjamin Carson and corporate leader Carly Fiorina, thinking they should be President, when we have never had a President or Presidential candidate with no political experience on the ballot, except for Wendell Willkie in 1940, is a sign of how little the people involved in this conference understand reality in a complex world.

A conference that allows propagandists who claim to be journalists, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, to be the interviewers of Presidential candidates, making them totally lacking in any credibility, is a conference that should be seen as something not worthy of serious consideration.

A conference that demonstrates intolerance toward women, immigrants, minorities, and gays and lesbians is a conference that has no desire to unite the American people, but rather to divide them, and fail to recognize the impending changes in the population long term, that dooms their agenda!

Ronald Reagan: The Unvarnished Truth! Myth Versus Reality!

Ronald Reagan is treated as a saint by the conservative movement and the Republican Party, as a man and a President who could do no wrong, but the truth is otherwise.

Of course, no President and no human being is perfect, and all commit mistakes or show lack of sensitivity, but the point is that the 40th President’s image and historical record needs to come down to earth, on this, the 104th anniversary of his birth, and a quarter century after his leaving office.

So what should Americans and others know about Ronald Reagan, that is not general knowledge?

As California Governor and as President, the issue of mental illness was dealt with by cutting spending, and throwing mental patients onto the streets of America, creating a great increase in homeless population.

As head of the Screen Actors Guild in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Reagan cooperated with the House Unamerican Activities Committee investigation of Communists; worked with Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare; and was an FBI informant for J. Edgar Hoover, all to protect his own image and security as he had been a strong liberal Democrat, and supporter of the New Deal.

Reagan sold illegal arms to Iran, what became known as the Iran-Contra Scandal, as he worked to overthrow the government of Nicaragua, despite Congressional admonitions banning such activities.

Reagan backed the apartheid government of South Africa, despite its horrific violation of human rights, and vetoed a sanctions law, which was passed over his veto in 1986.

Reagan’s Presidency saw the greatest amount of scandals of all sizes, only surpassed by the administrations of Richard Nixon, Ulysses S. Grant, and Warren G. Harding in overall malfeasance.

Reagan’s record on the environment is regarded by scholars as the absolute worst of all Presidents since 1900, and a big letdown after Jimmy Carter, who had one of the top three performances on that issue in American history.

Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis until 1987, and ridiculed the “gay plague”, only taking any interest when young hemophiliac Ryan White, and actor Rock Hudson, were revealed to have the disease in 1985.

Reagan supported backing the groups which fought Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, including such future terrorists as Osama Bin Laden; and also gave support to Saddam Hussein of Iraq in war with Iran, while still supplying arms to Iran.

The high ethical and moral standard said to be part of Reagan’s persona has now been revealed to be inappropriate, as he has been shown to have cheated on his first wife, Jane Wyman, and to have had affairs with dozens of actresses, including Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and Doris Day, among many others.

For a man who professed “family values”, Reagan and his wife Nancy ignored their children, Patti and Ron, Jr; and hardly saw their grandchild from Reagan stepson Michael; and hardly ever attended church services, although flirting with the Christian Coalition and Moral Majority of the Reverend Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

So the truth about Ronald Reagan is far from the myth that has been promoted!