The Positive Contributions Of The Barack Obama Presidency

So here we are on the last full day of the Barack Obama Presidency, which I have been writing about since August 2008, and just about daily since 2010.

Barack Obama has been an historic President, and will end up in the top ten of our 44 Presidents over time, if not immediately.

Barack Obama was the most pilloried President since Richard Nixon, but for no good reason, and a lot of it was based on pure racism, sorry to say, but the truth.

But Obama brought us a dignified, classy persona to the White House, as did his wife Michelle.

He gave us the biggest expansion of our health care system, and much of it will survive the Donald Trump and Republican onslaught in the end.

He gave us the concept of limited military involvement, after decades of too many interventions overseas, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and cut back dramatically on the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.

He gave us the possibility of ending the threat of Iran as a nuclear power, and opened up a new relationship with Cuba, after 55 years of ignoring reality.

He accomplished through the use of technology and drones the elimination of thousands of terrorists worldwide, and took the gamble to bring justice to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

He started moving the focus of American foreign policy to Asia and the Pacific, and kept good relations with America’s NATO allies, and kept Russia’s Vladimir Putin on edge. about how America would react toward his aggressive stands.

He made climate change worldwide a crucial focus, and participated in international agreements, and accepted science over conspiracy theories, and made us realize global warming was a danger to American national security.

He took an economy that was the worst since the Great Depression, what is called the Great Recession, and turned it around, with the greatest job growth over eight years in American history, the greatest stock market growth, and the greatest drop in the unemployment rate that has occurred in any administration.

He accomplished in health care what Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush had been unable to do.

He brought about the revival of the American auto industry, and advanced the rights of workers to overtime pay and increased minimum wage, and the rights of consumers through the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He advanced women’s rights, including to equal pay, and gave DREAM kids a reprieve from possible deportation, and promoted the idea of universal pre school and community college education, and worked to try to deal with the student loan crisis.

He advocated fair treatment of Muslims in America, and became the champion of gay equality in the military, gay rights in society, and gay marriage and transgender rights.

He became a great advocate of the environment, adding to our national parks and national forests and endangered sites, and continued the tradition of earlier exceptional environmental Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton before him.

He utilized executive orders to expand the rights of the American people, and worked for legal and judicial reform, and appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

He cared about the weak, the powerless, and the forgotten groups in American society, and set a good moral basis in his own life and that of his family, becoming a model for young people as to how a President should conduct himself.

He avoided lashing out at those who promoted bigotry, and also showed emotion after his failed attempts at immigration reform and gun safety legislation. He had real tears, emotions, and sincerity in the Oval Office, which has hardly ever seen that, and hard to think of any earlier President quite like Obama.

He also faced the greatest number of threats of any President since Abraham Lincoln, as delineated in my Assassinations book, and demonstrated great courage and equanimity in waking up every day, knowing he was a target for hate mongers who wished him and his family ill will.

And finally, he had two terms of office without any hint of a personal, or otherwise, major scandal!

So Barack Obama was a FINE MAN, a different spelling of this author’s and blogger’s last name, and he will rise in the Presidential rankings to the top ten, and likely higher in the middle of the top ten at some point in the future, as he was truly a transformational President!

Goodbye, President and Mrs Obama, we will miss you, and wish you many decades of good health, prosperity, and happiness, as you continue to contribute to American betterment! God bless you both!

The Republican “Appeal” To Hispanics/Latinos Of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz: Greatly Exaggerated!

A lot of propaganda is going around stating that Republicans have a real chance to gain the backing of Hispanics/Latinos in the 2016 Presidential race! Really?

The Republican Party has done everything possible to alienate Hispanics/Latinos, including opposition to the DREAM Act; unwillingness to change immigration policy; insulting statements about Hispanics/Latinos from many Tea Party elements; and hostile policies toward issues that matter to Hispanics/Latinos in states, such as Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina.

So the argument goes that Jeb Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush, can, somehow, win the vote of Hispanics/Latinos because, after all, George W. was able to do so, and also, Jeb’s wife is Mexican-American, and Jeb speaks good Spanish.

Also, it is said that Marco Rubio, who speaks fluent Spanish, can appeal to Hispanics/Latinos; and that Ted Cruz, who does not speak Spanish, can also do so, simply because they are both Hispanics, of Cuban ancestry.

This assumption is totally false, as more than 70 percent of Hispanics-Latinos voted for Barack Obama in 2012, and neither George W. Bush nor John McCain could gain more than 40 percent of their vote, and both George W. and McCain were supportive of, and sympathetic to Hispanic/Latino issues.

What has the GOP done since 2008 to appeal to Hispanics/Latinos? Absolutely nothing, and the assumption, somehow, that the Republicans can, somehow, transform reality, is based on the false assumption that Rubio and Cruz, being Cubans, can appeal to Mexican-Americans, Puerto Rican Americans, and to other Hispanic/Latino groups from other nations of Latin America.

Only Cubans, who are about 3.7 percent of all Hispanics/Latinos have consistently voted Republican, and even their percentage voting Republican has changed over the 55 years since Fidel Castro came to power, with younger Cuban-Americans starting to wander from the commitment to Republicans that their grandparents and parents have had.

Mexican Americans, numbering about 64 percent of all Hispanics/Latinos, have never cared about the Republican Party, and neither have Puerto Rican Americans, who number about 9.4 percent, nor 3.8 percent who are from El Salvador, or 3.1 percent who are from the Dominican Republic, or any of the other smaller numbers of people from other nations in Latin America.

The Bushes Vs. The Tea Party Movement, Right Wing Evangelicals, And Many Congressional Republicans: The Battle For The Soul Of The GOP Is On!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has declared war on the Tea Party Movement, the right wing evangelicals, and many members of the Republican Congressional majority in the House, and some in the US Senate, by his statements at the George H W Bush Presidential Library defending undocumented immigrants who risk their lives to make a better future for their families, by coming illegally to the United States!

Stating that what these immigrants are doing is “an act of love” and should not be seen as a felony, what Jeb Bush has done is to decide to confront the right wingers in his party, as he considers a run for President in 2016. He admits that he might be shot down, but is testing the waters to make the Republican Party a more open, embracing party, as he sees the only future for the party is to broaden its support, including the backing of immigration reform!

Whether one likes Jeb Bush or not, and is thrilled or not at the thought of a third Bush Presidency, any rational, reasonable person can applaud what he is saying. This author has been bitterly attacked in past years on this blog for supporting reasonable immigration reform, including the passage of the DREAM Act, giving the children of immigrants an opportunity to advance in their country of adoption, through college attendance and or military service, and staying out of trouble.

The reality is that there is no way to deport an estimated 12-13 million people; that these people do important jobs others will not take; and that they are not stealing jobs from Americans, or causing widespread crime.

Ironically, the Obama Administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than George W. Bush, and has taken people who have not committed serious crimes, and forced them out, leaving their children without their parents in this nation, in many cases. This is a violation of basic human rights, to break up families, and unless someone has committed serious crimes, there is a dire need to change this unjust, immoral policy pronto!

Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King Has Gone Too Far In His Depiction Of Hispanic-Latino Immigrants!

Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King is well known as one of the wackiest, craziest, and most divisive members of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives, sharing that distinction with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, and in the recent past, former Florida Congressman Allen West and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh!

King has depicted Hispanic and Latino immigrants as “dogs”, “livestock”, and as “drug dealers”, and he has also called for an electrified barbed wire fence between Mexico and the United States. He is against the DREAM Act, to allow the law abiding children of immigrants who came here illegally to be able to move toward eventual citizenship, including a requirement for military service or college education!

Speaker of the House John Boehner at least had the good sense to condemn King’s remarks as hateful, and Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, said it was inexcusable rhetoric.

But that is not enough, as to spew such hatred on the floor of Congress should lead to a censure of Steve King for incendiary behavior unbecoming a member of Congress. The Republican Party needs to repudiate such language in strong terms, and work to undermine any influence this nightmare member of their caucus has!

If not, the GOP is guaranteed to lose any opportunity to gain, even in the long run, the support of a substantial percentage of those of Hispanic or Latino origin!

Conservative Split On Immigration Reform: Real Victims Are The Children Of Undocumented Immigrants!

The National Review and the Weekly Standard have come out against the Senate immigration reform bill, while The Wall Street Journal, representing the business community, has come out for it.

George W. Bush has endorsed the immigration bill, along with 14 Senate Republicans, including cosponsors John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake, but the other 32 Senate Republicans and a vast majority of House Republicans, including the Tea Party extremists, have made clear their opposition.

It now seems likely that the immigration bill will never come up for a vote in the House, unless Speaker John Boehner decides to risk his Speakership, and allow a vote, whereby a minority of House Republicans join the vast majority of Democrats in passing it.

The implications for those who supported the legislation in the Republican Party will be massive, as it will harm Marco Rubio particularly, and embolden his rivals for the GOP Presidential nomination, particularly Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.

It will also leave the GOP divided on an issue that will affect the political future of the nation, and add to the political chasm that exists between the two major parties.

And meanwhile, the children of those who came illegally, the theoretical DREAM ACT kids, will be denied what other children have, an equal chance for success in America. That is the real tragedy of this situation, the future generation being pushed aside as inferior to other kids! Very sad indeed!

Rachel Maddow Promotional Advertisement For MNSBC So Great To Watch Again And Again!

Rachel Maddow, the great liberal intellectual of MSNBC, has done a promotional advertisement since the election, which is shown over and over again, and somehow, never wears thin, or becomes boring.

She points out in the commercial that:

There is no chance anymore of abortion rights, as outlined in Roe V. Wade, ever being repealed by the Supreme Court.

Health care reform, upheld by the Supreme Court with the decisive vote of Chief Justice John Roberts, has no possibility of being repealed.

There will not be a further tax cut of 20 percent to billionaires and millionaires, as Mitt Romney promoted.

The United States Constitution is not going to be amended to prevent gay marriage in the future.

The US Department of Energy is not going to be eliminated, as promoted by several Republican contenders for the Presidential nomination.

Detroit and the auto industry did not go bankrupt, and will not go bankrupt, causing the loss of possibly a million or more jobs.

The DREAM Act, allowing a future for the children of illegal immigrants, who cannot be blamed for being brought to America, is assured over the long term.

All of the above could have been different IF Mitt Romney and the Republicans had won the election, but they did not!

Other points could have been made, and were made by this author in the first days after the election, but it is still so thrilling to hear Rachel Maddow in this commercial, no matter how many times it is broadcast!

America is so much better off because of the reelection of Barack Obama!

If Obama Loses, We Lose MUCH More Than He Loses!

President Obama has made the statement that were he to lose the Presidential Election Of 2012, he and Michelle would do just fine, and that is certainly true.

After all, he has been President, will go down in history as a President who had some positive effects on the nation, and will be able to spend the rest of his life with great earnings potential, and rising popularity over time, and would be mourned when he dies, with a state funeral, and always be part of the story of American history.

Being a one term President, he would be likely to have a lower ranking in the list of Presidents, as Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush have had, along with William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, and Gerald Ford, the five Presidents of the 20th century who lost reelection.

Obama has had a record deserving of being listed higher, but he needs a second term to reach the ranks of the more outstanding Presidents.

But, ultimately, the biggest loser if Obama is not reelected, are:

Women–who will see their movement toward equality and dignity stalled or reversed in massive ways.

Gay men and women–who will likely lose the advancements on gay rights and gay marriage, and true equality in all ways.

Hispanics and Latinos–who will see more anti immigrant backlash, and will lose the advancements for young Immigrants under the proposed DREAM Act.

African Americans—who will see greater racism and discrimination, and setbacks in the promotion of equality and fairness of treatment.

Labor–who will see more attacks on workers rights, favoritism toward corporate employers, loss of collective bargaining rights, and setbacks in the lives of ordinary, struggling Americans who have no union representation.

Environmentalists–who will see more oil drilling, air pollution, refusal to understand the dangers of climate change, and allow economic development that endangers the health of millions of Americans, all for the motivation of profit over health concerns.

The poor–who have rough lives, will see a lack of concern or action to deal with the reality of child poverty, homelessness, hunger, the lives of single mothers, and further condemnation of the poor, reminding us of the Gilded Age and Social Darwinism.

The Middle Class–who will suffer further degradation, loss of opportunity to advance, and the potential for their children to succeed being lessened dramatically.

Young People–who will have fewer opportunities to advance in education and work, and will be embittered and disillusioned about the American Dream, which will be unfulfilled for millions.

Senior Citizens–who will have to live in fear of dangers to Social Security and Medicare, and will lose the sense of security and contentment in their older years.

The Disabled—whether young, middle aged, or old, who will see a loss of concern and support, as through Medicaid and other government programs.

Civil Libertarians–who will see further erosion of the Bill of Rights, and the promotion of narrow minded views of Muslims and Hispanics-Latinos by government policy.

The Peace activists–who will see America engaged in more wars, because of the power of Neoconservatives who will promote further foreign adventures.

Military Personnel and Veterans–who will see more soldiers killed in the future, and more ignoring of the needs of veterans who are fortunate enough to come home alive.

Educators and Intellectuals–who will be less appreciated and admired, and will be labeled “Communists, Socialists, Terrorists” by people in the Republican Party, who will do everything they can to attack education and freedom of thought, and call critics “unpatriotic”.

So Barack Obama will do just fine if he loses, but we, the American people, will lose so much, and it will transform our lives in so many negative ways that most people cannot conceptualize or imagine!

Scott Brown Vs. Elizabeth Warren: The Key Senate Race Above All Others!

Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown is engaged in the most combative Senate race of all against Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren for the Senate seat held for nearly 47 years by Ted Kennedy.

Brown won a surprising victory in the special election in 2010 to succeed Kennedy for the rest of his term, and is the only Republican to represent the state of Massachusetts, which has an all Democratic House delegation, a Democratic Governor, and a dominant Democratic majority in the state legislature.

Brown has had a difficult course to follow, and has tried to come across as moderate, like Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, but he has voted over 90 percent of the time with his party, and has refused to back President Obama on almost anything he asked for, including jobs legislation, and is now acting very aggressively against his opponent, who worked with Obama, and helped to start the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, although GOP Senate opposition prevented her from running this new agency, so she decided to run for the Senate. Brown has come across as in bed with Wall Street, gaining a lot of financial support from top banking and corporate interests.

Elizabeth Warren is an inspiring candidate, who clearly is for the middle class and the poor, and comes across as a hero of progressives, who supports the DREAM Act, which Brown is against, and is clearly a strong Obama supporter who would fight for progressive causes in the manner that Ted Kennedy did for so long!

Their second debate last night in Massachusetts demonstrated that Brown is ready to use rhetoric in a way that is divisive, including his derision of Warren as being a professor who may control her students but not him; saying she is not native American because of her appearance despite her assertions that she is; allowing his staff to make fun of native Americans publicly; and making clear that he considers her a left wing extremist not in the mainstream, as he claims he is. When he said that Antonin Scalia was his favorite Supreme Court Justice, then swung to Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, and finally Sonia Sotomayor, the audience seemed to turn against him.

The debate brought up the issue that if Brown is reelected, he could decide a Republican majority in the Senate, and would have a dramatic effect on Supreme Court appointments of the next President, and would certainly NOT, based on his record and his rhetoric, be following in the tradition of Ted Kennedy!

This race is crucial to the future of the Obama Presidency in so many ways, and with Obama certain to win the state of Massachusetts, the hope is that he will have adequate coat tails to carry Warren into the Senate as his champion, and have Warren join Bernie Sanders and others in promoting the progressive agenda over the next four years!

Mitt Romney Gives Up On Senior Citizens, Hispanics, Women, And Young People With Ryan Selection!

Mitt Romney may have pleased ideological conservatives with his selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate, but he has effectively ceded whole groups of voters by so doing.

Since Ryan’s budget plan called for the end of Medicare and creation of a voucher system instead, it is hard to imagine a majority of senior citizens being naive enough to vote for Romney.

Since Ryan has voted for a fence along the Mexican border and voted against the DREAM Act, how can it be assumed that the majority of Hispanic voters, particularly the two thirds who are of Mexican heritage, are going to vote for Romney?

SInce Ryan is a devout Catholic, who believes in preventing abortion rights and is for restrictions on contraceptives and other matters that concern women, it is difficult to imagine a majority of women, except for very devout women who are Catholic, evangelical Christian, or Orthodox Jewish, voting for Romney.

Beyond that, young people will come to realize that the Ryan budget plan in the House of Representatives would cut Pell Grants for their education, and that Ryan was against any action to keep interest rates on student loans at the present rate. So why would young people, particularly those who are college educated, and who will also find Republican governed states making it harder for them to vote in their college communities, vote in majorities for Romney?

In many respects, Mitt Romney has committed political suicide by his choice of Paul Ryan!

Barack Obama And Young Immigrants: Justice Finally!

With the passage of the DREAM Act impossible at this point in Congress, it was up to President Barack Obama to take executive action through the Department of Homeland Security to allow young immigrant children up to the age of 30, who were brought here as young children by their undocumented immigrant parents, to have a future that was more determined and stable.

His argument is that young immigrants who see themselves as Americans and have no real connection to the country of their birth, as long as they have stayed out of legal trouble, gone to school, attended college, or gone into the military, should have the opportunity to advance themselves temporarily over the next two years, and have a measure of security and certainty in their lives.

What Obama did today does not guarantee the long term, but gives a reprieve while the possible passage of the DREAM Act is considered in the next Congress.

This is the humane, moral, and right thing to do in every sense, and the President is to be congratulated for his courage!