Dick Cheney

Seven Living Vice Presidents, Most For Second Time In American History, And Longevity Of Presidents And First Ladies

Here we are near the end of the first year of the Donald Trump Presidency, and we have seven living Vice Presidents of the United States, the second time we have had that number.

The first time was from the inauguration of Bill Clinton on January 20, 1993 to the death of Richard Nixon on April 22, 1994.

At that time, we had seven living Vice Presidents, including Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Gerald Ford, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Dan Quayle, and the incumbent Vice President, Al Gore.

So while we have six living Presidents for the fourth time, after 1861-1862, 1993-1994, and 2001-2004, now we have seen seven Vice Presidents for the second time, due to the fact that while Ronald Reagan passed away in 2004, his vice President and his successor as President, George H. W. Bush, is about to break the longevity record held by Gerald Ford. Bush passed Reagan’s age on October 11, and will pass Ford on November 25, just two weeks from today.

The earliest Vice President still alive is Walter Mondale, who has lived 37 years beyond his time in office, as has his boss, Jimmy Carter, an all time record for both. Mondale will be 90 years of age on January 5, making for the second Presidential-Vice Presidential team to reach age 90 after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

George H. W. Bush is the only one of the living Vice Presidents to have also served as President, while his Vice President, Dan Quayle, is now 70 years old.

Al Gore served under Bill Clinton, and is now 69 years old.

Dick Cheney served under George W. Bush, and is now 76 years old.

Joe Biden served under Barack Obama, and is now 75 years old as of his birthday on November 20.

And the incumbent Vice President, Mike Pence is now 58 years old.

If all seven living Vice Presidents live beyond April 22, 2018, it will be the longest time we have had seven Vice Presidents alive at the same time, and by that time, Jimmy Carter will have passed Gerald Ford as longest lived (on March 16, 2018), but of course still 111 days behind George H. W. Bush, if both former Presidents are still alive then.

Additionally, we have the amazing statistic that four Presidents in a row have lived beyond the age of 90, and all four of their First Ladies have now reached 90 as well, with Rosalyn Carter having reached it in August, and previously the cases of Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush. Finally, Lady Bird Johnson and Bess Truman also reached the age of 90, although their husbands did not do so, although Harry Truman lived beyond the age of 89.

It Is Clear America Will Go To War With Iran, And Soon, While Ignoring Russian Intervention In Ukraine

Here we are, 12 days since the inauguration of Donald Trump, and it is very clear America will go to war with Iran, and soon, while ignoring Russian intervention in Ukraine.

The fact that Michael Flynn, the unstable National Security Adviser, appeared in the Press Room to say Iran is “on notice” because of their testing of a missile, and the fact that Trump is going to meet in person with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on February 15, is evidence that we will see a bombing and possible ground invasion of a nation considered by many to be a major international problem, and a particular threat to Israel.

This is not meant to mean that the author admires the Iranian government, the evil theocracy that has run Iran since 1979, and it is not to say that Iran is not, at least in theory, a threat to Israel in the Middle East.

Yes, Iran has helped Palestinian terror groups and engaged in the war in Syria, nearing six tragic years in length with no end in sight.

However, six nations (the US, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China) signed an agreement with Iran on nuclear energy, hopefully to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and it is not yet clear that Iran has broken the agreement.

So to step up the rhetoric so soon in the new administration reminds us of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney wanting to engage in war with Iraq, which was a total disaster that went on for eight years, and still has an American presence in the area on a small scale.

And while this is going on, right after Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the weekend, now there is shelling and military action in southeast Ukraine, and the Trump government has nothing to say. It looks as if Russia will now invade Ukraine, and that Trump has decided to ignore it, and in fact, seemingly, is encouraging it.

So we will likely be in war soon, tragically, and see a likely high number of American casualties, and the pro Russian policy of Trump will cause a massive split in the Republican Party, and will lead ever further to a constitutional crisis. Trump is already displaying, in so many other ways, that he is mentally unhinged, and a danger to the American people at large, and much of the civilized world, particularly in Europe, is totally terrified about Russian expansionism and aggression.

This is what 80,000 people in three states has led to–a leader who is the most dangerous in all of American history, bar none.

Is Donald Trump On Road To Being International War Criminal By His Stated Views On Torture, Oil, And Punishment Of Terrorist Families?

It looks, at least by Donald Trump rhetoric that the 45th President of the United States is on the road to being an international war criminal, if he were to follow through on his stated views on torture, the oil of Iraq, and punishment of terrorist families.

It is clear that waterboarding and similar tortures utilized by George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld a decade ago in the Iraq War was criminal activity against the Geneva Convention and international standards of proper behavior toward detainees in war.

The top people around Donald Trump–Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, have all stated their opposition to revival of this tactic, along with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

But that does not mean that Trump would not order it be done, but if so, all of these people should make clear to him that if he does so, that they will resign. Otherwise, they would also be war criminals.

Trump’s statement that America might invade Iraq again, and seize their oil, is also an international war crime, no different than the tactics of Adolf Hitler.

And his idea that the families of suspected or actual terrorists should be subject to punishment, including bombing their homes, and imprisonment and execution, is also, definitely, a war crime.

We have a megalomaniac, a dangerous, mentally unhinged President, who is disgracing us before the world community, and he needs to be arrested and sent to the Hague to the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague, the Netherlands, IF he follows through on any of these threats.

And being an international war criminal is enough grounds for his immediate removal by impeachment, and if the Republican Congress refused to do so, they would be accessories to war crimes.

Chuck Schumer, The Great Jewish Hope: The Highest Ranking Elected Jew Ever In American Government!

The new Senate Minority Leader is New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who has been in the Senate since 1999, and defeated a tough opponent, Republican three term Senator Alfonse D’Amato.

Schumer began his political career at the age 23, and entered the House of Representatives at age 29 from Brooklyn, New York.

He had to compete first with fellow, soon to be retired Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and then his newly elected replacement, Hillary Clinton, who would seek the Presidency despite being the Junior Senator from New York.

Schumer worked his way up the leadership, being a loyal subordinate for ten years to Nevada Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and built up the Democratic majority in 2006 and 2008, before the bottom fell out, and the Democrats lost seats, from a high of 60 down to 46 and now up to 48 in 2017.

Schumer is a man who is very accessible and warm, and will do a lot of good for the Democrats, and he happens to have the distinction of being the highest ranking elected Jews ever in American government.

Yes, we have had other distinguished Jewish US Senators, but none in a leadership position in the Senate.

Yes, we had House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, second ranking in the House of Representatives, and hoping to become Speaker of the House someday, before he was defeated for nomination to his seat in 2014 by a more extremist right wing Republican, David Brat.

Yes, we have had Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who was Vice Presidential nominee with Al Gore in 2000, when they won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Yes, we have had Jewish cabinet officers, including Henry Morgenthau, Jr, Henry Kissinger, Abraham Ribicoff, and Arthur Goldberg among others, who have had impact on government.

And yes, we have had Jewish Supreme Court Justices by appointment, including Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan among others.

But Schumer has the potential to have a greater impact politically than most party leaders, so we must wish him the best fortune as the Democrats battle against the Trump Presidency.

Yesterday, Schumer gave a fighting, defiant speech to the Senate on his first day as Minority Leader, making it clear his party would contest Trump on the Cabinet and on every policy that undermines the middle class and promotes the elite wealthy against the average American.

Vice President Mike Pence: Could Be Most Engaged And Active Vice President Yet!

It seems more likely by the day that Vice President Elect Mike Pence could be the most engaged and active Vice President yet!

The Vice Presidency began to grow under Richard Nixon under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, because Ike was willing to delegate authority, and Nixon was smart and ambitious.

Nixon was the first Vice President to play a major role in policy making.

Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; Dick Cheney under George W. Bush; and Joe Biden under Barack Obama all added to the office of Vice President, but now it seems as if Donald Trump, who does not have a clue on anything in government, may be leaning on Mike Pence, who served 12 years in the House of Representatives, before becoming Indiana Governor over the past four years.

The good thing about Pence is that he is smart, intelligent, experienced in government, fully qualified, if need be, to take over the Presidency.

He is not Dan Quayle under George H. W. Bush, or Sarah Palin, who was the VP running mate of John McCain.

But despite his abilities, we must realize that Pence is a theocrat, who always says that his evangelical Christian faith is the most important thing in his life, and utilizes his right wing Christian beliefs to oppose abortion rights and gay rights in a vehement fashion. He also does not believe in climate change and science generally, and also promoted the idea that tobacco does not cause lung cancer, a preposterous idea.

So one would not wish to see Pence end up in the Presidency by plan or by circumstance, but in the meanwhile, he could be the single most important player in the Donald Trump administration over the next four years.

Republican Presidential Nominees And Presidents, And Their Running Mates: No Love Lost, Historically!

It is clear from the study of history and news coverage over the past half century that Republican Presidential candidate and even Republican Presidents have NOT been enamored with their Vice Presidential running mates or Vice Presidents.

We go back to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew as the first example, with Nixon using Agnew to attack the news media and Democrats in the midterm 1970 Congressional elections, but having little personal regard for him, and unwilling to come to his support when Agnew was revealed to be engaged in corruption, which would force his resignation in October 1973.

Then, Nixon selected Gerald Ford as his Vice Presidential replacement more on the idea that he felt that Ford, while well liked in Congress, would not be seen by opposition Democrats as all that competent to replace Nixon during the impeachment crisis of 1973-1974.

Gerald Ford seems to have really admired and felt comfortable with Nelson Rockefeller as his Vice President under the 25th Amendment, but agreed to drop him from the ticket in 1976 to please conservatives, led by Ronald Reagan, and to select Senator Bob Dole of Kansas as his replacement.

Ronald Reagan may have utilized George H. W. Bush’s expertise, but had little personal regard for Bush, and the Bushes were never invited to dinner at the White House during the eight years of their association.

Bush certainly had little faith and trust in Dan Quayle during his Presidency, and the nation knew it, and worried about the incompetence of Quayle.

Bob Dole’s selection of Jack Kemp in 1996 to be his running mate as Vice President certainly was not as a result of friendship or warmth, and they seemed an ill fit, often disagreeing during the campaign.

George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney in 2000 due to his vast experience, and allowed himself to be dominated in the first term, but their association soured dramatically in the second term.

John McCain seems to have been forced to select Sarah Palin in 2008, and Palin helped to undermine McCain, but McCain continues to defend Palin even today, although it seems clear how uncomfortable he is when answering questions about Palin.

The Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan connection in 2012 seems also not to have been one of great warmth and friendship.

And Mike Pence is squirming a lot as Vice Presidential running mate for Donald Trump, seeing Trump contradict him openly and making clear his lack of regard for Pence, including being upset that Pence performed better in his debate with Tim Kaine, than Trump did with Hillary Clinton in their three Presidential debates.

Bernie Sanders On The Road To Being The Ralph Nader Of 2000! He May Bring Us Donald Trump And A Right Wing Supreme Court!

It looks as if Bernie Sanders is on the road to being the Ralph Nader of 2000.

In so doing, he may bring us Donald Trump in the White House, which would condemn him in history, as Nader brought us George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina!

Sanders has failed to win more than a few primaries, mostly winning unrepresentative caucuses; is more than three million popular votes behind Hillary Clinton; and will not have more pledged delegates than Clinton, but he now says he will fight to change “super delegates”, who have pledged to Hillary Clinton, to switch loyalties to him, which will not happen. He is not lifelong Democrat, but rather a Socialist who was allowed to join the Democratic Party, and now is, seemingly, out to harm them for his own ambitions!

But what it means is that we will have division, dissension, and turmoil at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, rather than unity. Already, Sanders has demanded, which will not happen, to remove Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congresswoman from Florida as the DNC Chair, and also to replace former Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Governor Dan Malloy of Connecticut as leaders of the Platform Committee at the convention.

Bernie now comes across as a bitter, nasty, crotchety old man who seems not to care about whether the progressive agenda wins, but only whether his own ego is satiated!

Vice Presidency More Significant Than Ever Before In 2016, With Oldest Presidential Nominees In American History!

The Vice Presidency has been growing in significance and stature in the six decades since Richard Nixon was Vice President and started to grow the office.

We have had outstanding men in the Vice Presidency since then, including Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert H. Humphrey, Gerald Ford, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden.

We have also had “lemons”, including Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin to scare us at the thought of her being a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

Now that our Presidential candidates will be the oldest in American history in combination, with average age of past 70, combining Democrat Hillary Clinton at 69 plus and Republican Donald Trump 70 plus on Inauguration Day, it is more essential than ever that we have the best possible men or women placed in that position for the upcoming Presidential election!

But so many of the proposed nominees, that have been bandied about by the news media and the candidates’ campaigns are far from the best possible candidates, and they can cause worry about succession, if the winner of the election dies in office of natural causes or by assassination in the next four years, with the odds growing on each possibly occurring.

The idea of two “senior citizens” competing for the most stressful job in the world is not comforting, and the fact that it has been 53 years since John F. Kennedy was killed, and 71 years since the natural death of a President in office (Franklin D. Roosevelt), as well as 42 years since Richard Nixon resigned.

We need distinguished Senators or Governors ready to come forth and offer a strong backup to the two nominees, but particularly in the case of the Republicans, the odds of such a person arising is not likely!

Rapid Decline In Quality From Ronald Reagan-Richard Schweiker In 1976 To Ted Cruz-Carly Fiorina In 2016!

Forty years have passed since Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, in a desperate move to try to derail President Gerald Ford from winning the GOP Presidential nomination in 1976, chose a Vice Presidential running mate, Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker.

It did not help Reagan to win the nomination, but at least Reagan had been two term Governor of California, and Schweiker was a two term liberal Republican Senator, who later was Secretary of Health and Human Services for two years under Reagan.

The rapid decline in quality from Reagan-Schweiker then to Ted Cruz-Carly Fiorina two generations later is alarming, demonstrating how candidates for President and Vice President, at least in the Republican Party, are truly disastrous!

Remember that the GOP is great at choosing terrible Vice Presidential candidates, including Spiro Agnew and Dan Quayle, who served as Vice President, and Sarah Palin!

And even the so called “better qualified” VP candidates such as Dick Cheney, who was Vice President, and Paul Ryan, who did not serve, are wanting in comparison to Democratic Vice Presidential candidates, including Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Joe Biden, as well as candidates Edmund Muskie, Sargent Shriver, Lloyd Bentsen, and Joe Lieberman!

The Importance Of The Vice Presidency Grows With “Senior Citizen” Likely Presidential Nominees!

The Vice Presidency has become more significant and powerful since the time of Richard Nixon in the 1950s under Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Before Nixon, the Vice Presidency had little impact, and was often the butt of jokes and humor.

But the office has grown since then, and with the exception of Spiro Agnew under Nixon and Dan Quayle under the first President Bush, the men who have held the position have been men of quality, distinction, and ability, even if one did not necessarily agree with them on their political stands.

Recent books on the Vice Presidency have demonstrated that the last three Vice Presidents, each in office for eight years, a record in American history, have had a great impact on the office.

Al Gore, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden have all served in a manner that demonstrates their influence and impact on the Presidents they served.

Now, with the almost certain reality that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the likely nominees of their parties, we have the alternative candidates being past 70 and 69 respectively, meaning either one will be in their 70s during their term.

This is the first time that we will have both party nominees as senior citizens, and only Ronald Reagan for all but two weeks of his Presidency, and Dwight D. Eisenhower for three months were in their 70s.

So we must insist that both parties are very careful in the selection of the Vice Presidential nominees, as the odds of the next President not being able to finish his term has grown, with the rise in age of the nominees!

If one looks at the odds, it is something to worry about that it has been 53 years since the last time a President died in office, and 42 years since a President left office, and that makes for a longer such time frame than any previous period since the beginning of the Constitution!

We cannot afford to have another Agnew or Quayle, or even a potential Sarah Palin, as a heartbeat away from the Presidency!