Department Of Housing And Urban Development

Two Prime Vice Presidential Contenders For Hillary Clinton: Julian Castro And Thomas Perez

IF Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2016, a key factor in helping her to win over any Republican Presidential rival would be selecting a Vice Presidential running mate with good credentials and Latino ancestry.

There are two prime candidates working in President Barack Obama’s cabinet, and either of them would make a great running mate and possible Presidential successor.

The first is Julian Castro, Mexican American and former Mayor of San Antonio, the sixth largest city in America, who is now Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro’s twin brother Joaquin is a Texas Congressman, who is often seen as prime material for the US Senate in a race against Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. But Julian Castro, who can speak Spanish, and would be only 42 on Election Day 2016, would be a great candidate to draw widespread Hispanic and Latino support, particularly if Jeb Bush, who can speak fluent Spanish, or Florida Senator Marco Rubio, is the Republican nominee for President.

The second possibility is Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, who speaks fluent Spanish and is of Dominican ancestry, and was part of the administration of Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and will be 55 on Election Day 2016. Perez worked in the offices of the Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services for many years before being in the O’Malley government in that state’s Labor Department, and then becoming Obama’s Assistant Attorney General, and then chosen to be Secretary of Labor in 2013.

Either Castro or Perez would be able to appeal for an even larger Hispanic-Latino support of the Democratic Party, already over 70 percent for Barack Obama in 2012!

Lyndon B. Johnson Commemoration Of 106th Birthday

The 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, was born on this day in 1908, and he has undergone much attack in the four decades since he passed away in 1973 at the age of 64.

There is no question that LBJ divided the nation by his ill conceived escalation of the war in Vietnam, which still haunts millions of Americans who lost a loved one, or who have suffered with the psychic and physical wounds of war.

But LBJ cannot be forgotten for his tremendous advancements in civil rights; in fighting poverty; in establishing Medicare; promoting environmental reform and consumer protection; promoting a massive expansion of educational opportunity; establishing immigration reform; establishing the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation; promoting the creation of PBS and NPR; and supporting the establishment of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.

So while LBJ did the nation wrong by the war in Vietnam, his domestic reforms, collectively known as the “Great Society”, brought about the greatest improvements in domestic life since the New Deal of FDR, and has not been matched since by any President.

So this is a day to remember and to honor LBJ for his accomplishments, while acknowledging his shortcomings!

Complaints Against Government Bureaucracy Directly Related To Loss Of Government Funding As Public Demands Grow!

The American people are told constantly by Republicans and conservatives, and the media willing to report falsehoods rather than truth, that the government bureaucracy is a disgrace, that we are not being served well by those who work in the federal government agencies.

So we have complaints about the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and really, every other government agency, declaring them incompetent, corrupt, tone deaf to public needs.

Are there government bureaucrats in many agencies who are incompetent, corrupt, tone deaf to the public? Absolutely, but that is endemic to “bureaucrats” in every corporation as well in this nation!

The people at the top of any government agency or private corporation are generally arrogant, cocky, only too willing to enrich themselves at the expense of their “bureaucracy”!

There is a need to clean up government agencies of those who have lost the purpose of their employment, to serve the American people with compassion and competence!

But that alone will not solve the problem of government services, as it is the Republicans and conservatives who are ultimately responsible for the problems created over time!

These groups hate government, except where they can benefit from it themselves, and are only too willing to cut government funding and personnel as the population of the nation, and the aging of the population, and the growing economic decline of the middle class and the poor due to the growing wealth of the top two percent, continues to escalate.

If one wants good government services, we must pay for it and expand bureaucracy, not cut it, as we only perpetuate the incompetence and lack of solution of major issues that arise.

Instead of attacking “bureaucracy”, let us recognize its significance and show respect for those, over 95 percent of “bureaucrats”, who do a competent, caring job every day, but never get credit for it, as the headlines dramatize the examples of incompetency and corruption that are exaggerated as being a statement on all “bureaucracy”!

The Political Ticket For President With Julian Castro As Vice Presidential Running Mate In 2016!

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, in his third term as Mayor of the seventh largest city, made quite an impression at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, when he gave a speech that reminded many of Barack Obama’s speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

An attractive, charismatic politician of Mexican American heritage, with his identical twin Joaquin Castro a member of the House of Representatives, the San Antonio Mayor gained an image as someone to watch, and he will be only 42 in 2016.

With the Hispanic-Latino population and vote multiplying, and with Texas seen as a battleground in the future, and even possibly in 2016, Julian Castro is the ideal Vice Presidential running mate, whether for Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Martin O’Malley, Elizabeth Warren, Mark Warner, or really ANY other Democratic Presidential nominee!

Castro has run the seventh largest city with distinction, and now is being nominated to be Barack Obama’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary, moving him to Washington and the center of national politics.

Castro is articulate, knowledgeable, and puts Texas and Georgia and North Carolina into play for 2016, along with improving the odds of Virginia and Florida remaining Democratic.

His youth (42) at the time of the election is an excellent balance for Hillary (69) or Joe (74), as it offers the experience and seasoning of either Hillary or Joe, while adding the largest Southern state to the game of Democratic party advancement. His urban experiences also are a major plus.

Castro’s only negatives are his last name, which Republicans will probably utilize to leave the impression that he is related to Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul Castro. Also, the anti immigrant policy of right wingers will use the fact that Castro is Mexican American as a racist attack on all Hispanics and Latinos, which will be to their detriment, as immigration will become an issue that will harm the Republican Party, as rightfully it should!

Overall, a great move to have Castro head the HUD Department and be available as the BEST running mate for Vice President for ANY Democratic Presidential nominee, insuring a massive win for the Democrats for the White House in 2016!

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!

105th Birthday Commemoration Of President Lyndon B. Johnson!

Today, August 27, is the 105th Birthday Commemoration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, a President who had a massive effect on our nation’s history.

We live under the influence of LBJ on Civil Rights, Medicare, Education, NPR, PBS, Environmental Laws, Consumer Protection Legislation, Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Transportation, and the War on Poverty that so desperately needs to be revived after 45 years of ignoring it!

Yes, this President is blamed, and carries the burden of the Vietnam War, but his legacy in domestic affairs lives on!

And tomorrow, his older daughter, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, will join Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, which led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 during the Presidency of LBJ!

Lyndon B. Johnson Forty Years After His Death: Mixed Legacy

Forty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson died at the age of 64, two days after the second inauguration of President Richard Nixon, an event he did not attend due to poor health.

Johnson had only been out of the Presidency for four years and two days, and one has to wonder had he run in 1968 and won, whether he would have died in office from the stresses and burdens of the job, and particularly the ongoing war in Vietnam.

Vietnam will always be the ultimate “Achilles Heel” of the Johnson Presidency, with the President hating foreign policy and just wishing for the Vietnam mess to go away, but his fateful decision to commit a half million troops to the war doomed the unity he had experienced in his landslide victory in 1964 over Senator Barry Goldwater, the greatest popular vote victory percentage in American history!

Johnson did so much good in expanding the vision of the New Deal of FDR, the Fair Deal of Harry Truman, and the New Frontier of JFK, and accomplished everything they pursued, and failed to accomplish in their Presidencies. And just yesterday, President Barack Obama evoked the image of the Great Society, and the goals that he outlined to expand that Great Society a half century later, after a long time in the political “wilderness”.

Without Johnson as President, we would not have had the following, in many cases, EVER up to now:

Medicare
Medicaid
Immigration Reform
Federal Aid to Education
Civil Rights Act
Voting Rights Act
War on Poverty—Office of Economic Opportunity, Job Corps, Project Head Start, Model Cities, and other programs
Environmental Legislation
Consumer Legislation
National Public Radio
Public Broadcasting System
National Endowment For The Arts
National Endowment For The Humanities
Gemini and Apollo Space Programs
Cabinet Agencies–Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Transportation
First African American appointments to the Cabinet–Robert Weaver–and the Supreme Court–Thurgood Marshall

Can anyone imagine NOT having most, if not all, of these programs and agencies?

Some might have been accomplished over time under other Presidents, but it is hard to conceive that much of it would have occurred with the rise over time of the conservative movement to power under Ronald Reagan, and Reagan’s impact on the next thirty years of American government until now.

As always is true of any President, Lyndon B. Johnson will remain highly controversial, but it is worth remembering his positive legacy on this, the 40th anniversary of his death, while not overlooking the damaging effect of his foreign policy actions, particularly in Vietnam.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s Loony Budget Proposal: A “Clear And Present Danger”!

One of the worst results of the midterm Congressional elections of 2010 was the election of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the son of Texas Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Rand Paul, an optometrist who is not certified by the national organization in the field of optometry, but instead by his own self created association, and who was ranked as the worst Senator in oral discourse in Congress, with an average of only 8.0, eighth grade language, has been seeking to raise his libertarian image within the Republican Party, and is clearly looking to run for President in the future, based on his father’s reputation, and his own,. even more loony, ideas.

Like his father, Rand Paul is an isolationist and a small government man, and he has no concern about the effects of massive cuts in the federal budget.

So last week, he proposed a budget that would totally destroy the whole direction of the nation in an extremist way. absolutely nuts!

What did Paul propose?

A cut in the Social Security payments of 40 percent to all recipients.
End the Medicare program as we know it in two years.
Reduce defense spending by $100 billion below a level considered “devastating” by the Pentagon.
Eliminate the Education, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Commerce Departments.
Dramatically cut the Homeland Security Department.
Cut programs for the poor in a radical fashion.
Give tax cuts to the wealthy, lowering rates to 17 percent, and eliminate all taxes on capital gains and dividends.

The vote in the Senate was 83-16 against this radical, crazy plan of Rand Paul. The fact that fifteen Senators joined Paul in backing this most reckless plan is scary beyond belief.

It is clear that Rand Paul is a “clear and present danger” to our future, and must be resisted in every way possible to prevent any chance of him being a serious factor in future Congressional leadership battles and Presidential ambitions.

Paul makes other right wing Republicans look sane by comparison, which makes any intelligent person totally terrified of what this crazy libertarian stands for, sadly backed by many who have no concept of how dangerous this Kentucky Senator has the potential to be in the future!

Mitt Romney: Obama Needs To Tell Us His Future Plans In Office, But I Will Not Do The Same! The Double Standard!

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the likely Republican Presidential nominee, has been highly critical of President Barack Obama over a comment made to Russian President Dmitry Medveded about needing some time until after the upcoming election before he could follow through on plans for agreements.

Romney lambasted Obama, and insisted that he needed to fully reveal all plans, both foreign and domestic, as the American people were entitled to know what his agenda was for the next four years.

In the short run, that seemed to make some sense, but now the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney has emerged, as he was at a Palm Beach, Florida gathering of extremely wealthy people last night, and was unwilling to allow media in to listen.

But some information leaked out anyway, including the general idea, but not specified in detail, that Romney intended to end the Department of Housing and Urban Development cabinet agency, which his own father, George Romney, had headed under President Richard Nixon. He also mentioned a desire to combine other cabinet agencies, but said no details would be given to the American people before the election.

Romney has also talked in broad generalities about foreign policy changes, including a threat to attack Iran, but does not wish to be specific in any way.

So what Mitt Romney is saying is:Trust me, and give me power!

But he insists that Obama must be very specific and out in the open about everything he might be planning.

If such was to be a requirement of any Presidential candidate or President, then all past candidates have violated such a stipulation. That is not the way government works, Mr. Romney, and particularly since you have a double standard, that Obama must reveal everything, but you do not have to, the answer is that you have, for the umpteenth time, totally lost credibility!

The Republicans And The State Of The Union: Not The Time For Obama To Cave In To GOP Threats! :(

The Republicans have declared war on the federal budget, and the House membership of the party today unanimously backed a resolution giving Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the Chairman of the Budget Committee, total control over the House budget bill for the remainder of the fiscal year 2010-2011.

This is fascinating for a party that is against centralized power and for states rights, that now they are willing to hand over total control to one Congressman over the federal budget. This makes Ryan a “Czar”, a title that Republicans are very willing to assign to advisers to President Obama who deal with different issues, but suddenly it is alright to have a financial “Czar”! πŸ™

But Ryan, who will give the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight, has already made clear that he wants to privatize Social Security, gut Medicare and Medicaid, and dramatically lower taxes on the wealthy, even more than they have already by deals between President Obama and the GOP leadership last month.

And the Republican Study Group, a group of Congressional Republicans even MORE conservative than Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan, wants more draconian cuts in the federal budget immediately and long term, including gutting Amtrak, PBS, NPR, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and funding for research on many diseases, including cancer, AIDS, and heart disease. And also the goal is the wiping out of the Department of Commerce, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education, and the Department of Energy! πŸ™

And to add insult to injury, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, the Tea Party favorite, will give her own response to the President’s State of the Union address, after Congressman Paul Ryan gives the official response!

And Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, has made it clear that the Congress will NOT give any aid to any state or city to avoid layoffs of police, firefighters, teachers, and other public servants, therefore guaranteeing massive losses of jobs, and adding to the unemployment rate!

Rather than working to create jobs, the GOP is warring on the job market as it is, and has only destructive intentions as part of a war, not only on Barack Obama’s health care plan and other reforms, but also with the express purpose of destroying the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt! πŸ™

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said today that if President Obama offers a message that includes all of what the GOP wants, they will be glad to support him!

What gall and nerve, without any indication that the Republicans in Congress are willing to make any concessions, but just expect Obama to cave in ! πŸ™

The answer is that the President needs to make clear that he is willing to work and negotiate with the opposition party, but will not surrender the right to disagree and use his Presidential powers to protect government programs and the historic accomplishments of Roosevelt, Johnson and even Richard Nixon!

The President and the Democratic Party and progressives and liberals everywhere MUST understand that this is a battle for the heart and soul of the American nation, and they cannot cave in to the destructive tendencies of the Republican party, and must stand and fight to the bitter end, and stop worrying about those who say they are unwilling to negotiate and compromise, and tell them to look in the mirror at themselves! πŸ™