Environmental Protection

Respect And Applause On Jimmy Carter’s 94th Birthday: A Treasure For The Nation

Former President Jimmy Carter has reached his 94th birthday today, and that is an event which should engender respect and applause, that we have been graced with his long life, only matched by former President George H. W. Bush on June 12 of this year.

Jimmy Carter has been out of office nearly 38 years, an all time record, and his Vice President, Walter Mondale, is still doing well as he nears 91 in early January.

Carter’s Presidency was controversial, due to the Iran Hostage Crisis; high inflation after the second Arab oil embargo of 1978-1979; and the Cuban Mariel Boatlift to Miami, Florida.

But Carter will always be remembered for the 40 year success of the Camp David Accords, the agreement of Israel and Egypt, to establish diplomatic relations, the first such agreement between any Arab nation and the Jewish state.

Carter is also remembered for the Panama Canal Treaty; the establishment of diplomatic relations with China; his promotion of Human Rights; his establishment of three new cabinet agencies (Education, Health and Human Services, Energy); and his great promotion of environmental protection, making him the third most accomplished in that field, after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, and more recently challenged by Barack Obama.

He and his wife, Rosalyn, are on the road to being the longest Presidential marriage about a year from now, when they would surpass the length of marriage of George H. W. and his wife Barbara Bush. By that time a year from now, the Carters would be 95 and 91 years of age.

Let us hope that the Carters and Walter Mondale continue to live on, and grace us by their presence.

Six Months Of Donald Trump: Neil Gorsuch, And Nothing Else Of Substance Other Than Executive Orders That Repeal Much Of 20th Century

It has been six months since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and what does he have to show for it?

Well, there is Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, approved by smallest margin since Clarence Thomas in 1991, and with changed rules, with the filibuster no longer applicable. Gorsuch would never have been approved if the filibuster still existed for Supreme Court nominees.

Other than that, nothing of substance, with the exception of a host of executive orders designed to destroy the Obama legacy and cut regulations dramatically in all areas of government, having a devastating effect on the progress made under Republican and Democratic Presidents going back to Theodore Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century.

But no legislation has been passed, NONE!

Trump has been much better at dividing the nation, keeping his public opinion ratings under 40 percent, an all time low in the 70 plus years of Presidential ratings.

The promises have not been kept, as with the Mexico Wall, ending ObamaCare, Tax Reform, and Infrastructure Investment.

Trump has undermined environmental protections,

stripped labor protections,

made for high levels of stress for multiple millions on health care,

promoted high levels of corruption openly,

lied five times a day,

created a commission to investigate voter fraud that does not exist,

undermined respect for the law and the intelligence agencies and freedom of the press,

made wild and unsubstantiated accusations against Barack Obama,

created tension with our NATO allies,

been limited in his Muslim ban by the courts although winning a partial victory temporarily,

been far too friendly with Russia and Vladimir Putin,

failed to fill thousands of essential positions in the federal government and caused many bureaucrats to resign,

supported authoritarian dictatorships in many nations openly,

undermined our energy future by falsely claiming that coal has a long term future,

and promoted wealthy special interests on Wall Street despite his claims the would “clean the Swamp”.

His cabinet and other appointments are the absolute worst, most atrocious of any President, and the mean spirited, nasty nature of Trump and his cohorts has caused a loss of faith in the American future.

And all this and more, without, so far, any major international crisis, but with it lurking on the horizon, and the thought of how Trump will handle it when the crisis arises, is literally horrifying, and sure to cause loss of American lives!

Donald Trump’s Attack On Truth, Facts, Knowledge Leads To An Alternative History And Science, Detrimental To America And Its Future!

Donald Trump has mounted an attack on truth, facts, knowledge, and in so doing, it has led to an alternative history and science, detrimental to America and its future.

His ignorance on both history and science undermines the future of American education, as we see distortion of both areas of knowledge being advocated as reality, when it is just the opposite. The fact that Betsy DeVos is Secretary of Education only undermines true education in history and science, as well as in other areas of the curriculum.

We also see a large number of Trump supporters in the Republican Party and the conservative movement attacking the nature of, and need for, higher education.

This is all part of a plan to promote ignorance, propaganda, and disdain for educated people, and that kind of trend endangers the long term future of the nation, as other countries surpass us in the competition for educated people to deal with the future of the world economy.

The attack on how American history is taught is an alarm bell, reviving the old focus on only white male accomplishments in government and the economy. We have been enriched by teaching and analyzing about the role of minorities, women, and working people in our American history curriculum, on both the public school and college and university level.

The attack on science promotes Christian doctrine, and denies evolution, climate science, environmental protection as important, instead promoting preposterous theories on the age of the earth, and the concept that there is no need to protect the earth and its natural wonders for the long term future, only focusing on profit and capitalism for the present, and ignoring the long term implications. The fact that Ryan Zinke is our Secretary of the Interior, and Scott Pruitt is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency is tragic in so many dimensions.

The struggle to fight the Donald Trump emphasis on alternative truth, which are simply lies, must be continued, no matter how arduous the battle!

The Republican Party Agenda In 2017: Destroy Obama Legacy And New Deal And Great Society, And Ignore Trump Abuse Of Power

The Republican Party of 2017 is hellbent on destroying entirely the Barack Obama legacy, and all political, social, and economic reforms of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, along with other reforms even by Republican Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, and Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

They are willing to cope with the insanity of Donald Trump, willing to ignore the abuse of power by the 45th President, and in the process, undermine civil liberties, civil rights, labor rights, women’s rights, consumer rights, protection of the environment, and the rights and protection of the disabled, elderly, and poor among our population.

In the past, the Republican Party was the conservative mainstream in American politics, but now the most mean spirited, nasty, uncaring elements have held sway over the party apparatus, and no longer care what public opinion polls indicate, that there is strong, vehement opposition to going back to the America of the Gilded Age and the 1920s, and in so doing, destroy all progress, and put America further behind more advanced nations in Europe, as well as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand worldwide.

Republican Philosophy: Every Fetus Must Be Born, But No Right To Care For Preexisting Conditions, And No Basic Right To Health Care Itself!

The Republican Party is a total disgrace in 2017.

It has allowed itself to become the party of death, not the party of life.

While adopting the extreme right wing position of being totally anti abortion, and subjecting women to the whims of religious extremists, that every fetus must be born, now the GOP has fully adopted the concept that once a fetus is born, that there is no right to care for preexisting conditions, which nearly half of Americans have in their lifetime, and no basic right to health care itself.

The party that freed the slaves, promoted racial equality, and advocated protection of the environment, now has become the party of Christian extremists and hard line Southern Confederate views, repudiating the principles of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt and many decent, principled office holders who were proud of the Republican traditions of the past 150 plus years.

Now, if you are not wealthy, to hell with your health, and if you die, such is life, and it most showed up when former one term Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, said he was not interested in having to pay more taxes to support the health care of an infant who had a need for heart surgery to survive.

What has happened to the concept of human decency, compassion, empathy, and concern for others?

What has happened to the idea that we all pay in through our taxes for the betterment of society, and if we do not end up getting back as much as we pay in, it means we have been fortunate enough not to need help from the government on the same scale as others?

What happened to the concept of religious values, whether Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or whatever, that we are our brother’s keeper?

The Republican Party will be condemned in history for the passage in the House of Representatives yesterday of this reprehensible “tax care for the wealthy” bill, and it will NOT make it through the US Senate.

It was disgusting to see the House Republicans, led by despicable Speaker Paul Ryan, rushing to the Trump White House to celebrate the loss of health care for 24 million Americans, which, were it to become law, would insure tens of thousands of Americans, at the least, will die because they are not wealthy!

The wealthy have more than enough advantages, and do NOT need another tax cut, as it was those under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush which have obliterated much of the middle class, and accelerated the fall of millions into poverty since 1981.

The odds are heavy now that the Democrats will win at least the minimum number of seats, 24, to regain the House of Representatives majority, and even if the US Senate is not regained, it will change the playing field in 2019-2020, including the likelihood of the impeachment of demagogue Donald Trump!

For any decent human being to be a Republican in 2017, shame on you, and one can believe in karma, that you will be repaid appropriately in the next stage of your existence after your death on earth!

Former New York Governor George Pataki: Ignored, Forgotten, But Most Sensible, Centrist Republican In Presidential Race

It used to be that New York Governors, whether Democrats or Republicans, were well respected and regarded in national politics.

Just in the last century, we had Charles Evans Hughes, Alfred E. Smith, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas E. Dewey all Presidential nominees; and Nelson Rockefeller and Mario Cuomo seen as possible Presidential choices.

Such was not the case with George Pataki, Governor from 1995-2007, who did the magical feat of defeating Mario Cuomo, who no one thought could be defeated for a fourth term in 1994; and who was then overshadowed by two New York City Mayors, Rudy Guilani and Michael Bloomberg, who were more exciting personalities.

But Pataki, after being forgotten for nearly a decade, and after a Governorship that looks a whole lot better after the disasters of his successors in the Governorship–Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson—is now back in politics as number 16 out of 16 Republican Presidential contenders, with ZERO chance of being the nominee, and in the bottom of the polls, often not scoring even one percent.

Having said that, Pataki is truly a “profile in courage”, in that he is challenging Donald Trump’s hate filled comments about Mexican immigration, in a way no one else is doing so, and has challenged Trump to a debate on that topic.

Of course, Pataki wants to be seen as significant, and it is clear Trump will not answer the challenge.

But Pataki represents the now dormant “Rockefeller” wing of the Republican Party, the moderate centrist Republican, who actually believes in immigration reform, abortion rights, acceptance of gay marriage, belief in environmental protection. and sensible gun control.

With a candidate such as Pataki, the GOP would have a revival back to its glorious past, instead of teetering on the brink of disaster, and its demise in the near future!

Bernie Sanders Is Running For President! A True Champion Of The Average American, A La FDR and Hubert Humphrey!

Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is running for President as a Democrat, and the nation will benefit from his candidacy in so many ways.

It will make at least one competitor against Hillary Clinton, an essential step, as no one should ever be unchallenged for a Presidential nomination.

It will force Hillary Clinton to move to the populist left, and to take bold stands on many issues, and if she fails to do so, do not think that it is impossible for Sanders to win the nomination.

If Barack Obama could win, a real long shot, it is conceivable, although not likely, that Sanders could go all the way.

The Iowa Caucuses could favor Bernie, as Clinton only ended up third behind Barack and John Edwards in 2008.

The New Hampshire Primary will again be crucial, and Sanders being a New Englander, could have a shot at winning in this neighboring state to Vermont.

Were Hillary to lose both the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, she could be in trouble.

The campaign will allow people to see that Sanders, an independent Socialist who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, is not a “monster” because he is Socialist; that he is perfectly harmless and simply speaks for people who are not rich, and cares about the middle class and the poor, the environment, and reviving the “American Dream”.

Sanders is the longest serving Independent member of either house of Congress in all of American history—16 years in the House of Representatives, and 10 in the Senate by 2016, making him one of the most experienced people in government ever to run for President.

Sanders will be able to show that Socialism brought us so many of the programs we accept as normal in America–Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Compensation, Minimum Wages, Maximum Hours, Sick Leave, Vacation Time, Labor Unions, Aid to Farmers, Public Education, Environmental Protection, Consumer Protection, Civil Rights, and so many other great initiatives that have made America a better place. And it has not led to dictatorship, loss of civil liberties, or any other ridiculous fear that the right wing loves to promote.

Bernie Sanders is a very genuine, kind, gentle man, who is gruff in his voice and rhetoric, because of his passion for those who are not connected to the corporate interests; but he will refuse to run a nasty campaign of attacks or allow himself to be corrupted by corporate money.

Sanders is a true man of the people, and he will elevate the discussion and the tone of the upcoming Presidential campaign of 2016!

Sanders would also be the second Jew to have announced for President, after Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in 2004, although Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was reported to be planning to run the same year had he not been killed in a small plane crash in 2002.

Bernie Sanders is in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Hubert H. Humphrey!

133rd Anniversary Of FDR’s Birth: A Celebration Of Our Greatest President Since Abraham Lincoln!

Today, January 30, is the 133rd anniversary of the birth of our 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, our greatest President since Abraham Lincoln.

It is impossible to imagine America in 2015 without realizing the significance and impact of FDR, who led us through the worse moments of the Great Depression, and the most total war we have ever engaged in, the Second World War!

FDR’s New Deal still affects 320 million Americans every day of their lives in so many ways, and yet, there are right wing forces in the conservative movement, the Republican Party, the Tea Party Movement, and conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel, which would wish to revert to the way the national government was before 1933, and therefore, wiping out Social Security, labor rights, environmental protection, corporate and bank regulations, and so many government agencies and institutions that have become part of our daily lives.

The New Deal of FDR was not perfect in every detail, but it saved capitalism; it saved democracy at a time when many looked to the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy as models; it gave the American people faith in their government and hopes for the long term future, and a sense of self dignity, an intangible factor.

FDR encouraged, inspired, motivated, and united average Americans, that their government was concerned about their welfare, and repudiated the power and influence of the elite wealthy, who therefore hated FDR with a passion, and plotted much of the time how to overthrow his Presidency by insidious means. FDR was under constant threat from internal demagogues, as well as foreign totalitarian forces for the 12 years and 39 days that he occupied the White House.

FDR’s death 70 years ago this coming April 12 was a tragedy of massive proportions, and most Americans could not recall any earlier President when he died before the Second World War ended several months later.

NO matter what sustained attacks the right wing has launched against FDR and his legacy, and recognizing he was not perfect, FDR remains our greatest President after Abraham Lincoln, and this is a day to celebrate his birthday!

Tom Coburn Blocks Funding To Prevent Veteran Suicides, Now 22 Per Day, As He Leaves The US Senate

Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is about to leave the US Senate after ten years, and six previous years in the US House of Representatives.

Coburn has been one of the absolutely worst members of Congress, known as MR. NO, constantly blocking action on numerous pieces of legislation by using “senatorial privilege” to use a personal block to prevent legislation he does not like. He has abused his position in the Senate, and will NOT be missed by anyone who believes in rational, decent behavior, which Coburn seems incapable of!

Coburn has opposed abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and gay rights, and has supported gun rights and the death penalty. He has also been against deficit spending and pork barrel projects to the extreme. He has also worked against environmentalists on a regular basis, in that joining his Oklahoma colleague, Senator James Inhofe, making Oklahoma the state with the combination of the two worst Senators of any state in the Union!

Coburn is a medical doctor, an obstetrician, who, however, has opposed Obama Care. His commitment to life is clearly, a mixed one, as he has now caused outrage in opposing a bill to promote veterans suicide prevention, which is at 22 veterans per day, complaining it would not work, and that its $22 million cost is too much. This is beyond belief, as $22 million is a literal drop in the bucket of the federal government budget, and is supported by a vast margin of the US Senate and House, as the least that can be done to stem the suicide epidemic facing former military personnel.

The whole concept of “Senatorial privilege” to use a personal block to stop a bill should be ended, as no member of Congress all by himself or herself, should be able to stop what a vast majority of the Congress wishes to do!

How can this Senator sleep at night, and we can all hope that he will drop his opposition to this bill before Congress adjourns, as there is no justification for his preventing what the vast majority of Congress supports! He can vote NO of course, but should not be able to block the legislation all on his own!

Right Wing Hate For Barack Obama Far Surpasses Any Criticism Of Any Earlier President!

The right wing hate, led by the Tea Party Movement, for President Barack Obama, has reached the point of no return, and has FAR surpassed any criticism of any earlier President!

Whether it is talk radio, with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage and others of their ilk; or Fox News Channel spewing poison and lies consistently; or the right wing think tanks, headed by the Heritage Foundation and others who distort facts and have an agenda to promote an oligarchy; or the super wealthy, such as the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and others who are trying to destroy the middle class and promote their own profits at the expense of the entire nation; or the conservative journals of opinion, such as the Weekly Standard and the National Review, which promote their extremist agenda; or the lunatic House members, such as Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Steve King and others; or the right wing extremist Senators, including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, newly elected Thom Tillis and Joni Ernst and others; as well as the leadership of many corporations and other special interests—there is a concerted campaign to destroy Barack Obama, with many wishing for his demise, meaning his death by whatever means possible.

Obama is more threatened now than any President since Abraham Lincoln, and in many respects, more than Lincoln, since the population is ten times what it was during the Civil War 150 years ago!

The venom, disrespect, racism, hatred, and accusations against Barack Obama have not had any limits. He has been accused of being a Muslim, a Kenyan, an Indonesian, anti Semitic, a racist against whites, a person who is bisexual, a gay man, an illegal drug abuser, having a mother who was a whore, having a different father who was a black nationalist, and much more.

Obama has been called an Emperor, a King, an abuser of Presidential power, but at the same time, he is weak and wimpy.

Sensible people see Obama as a moderate Republican of twenty to thirty years ago, not at all extreme, as Bruce Bartlett who worked for Ronald Reagan has said, who also says in many ways Obama is a traditional conservative, who has not done what liberals and progressives have wanted him to do.

On issues of human rights, Obama has been more aggressive, such as labor rights, civil rights, and gay and lesbian rights. On issues of importance to the future beyond our own time, he has supported the need for an aggressive policy on environmental protection.

But Obama has pushed a health care plan that the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole backed twenty years ago, giving health care companies control over health care, not exactly radical in nature, although depicted as such.

Obama has been attacked and criticized for every sin and fault imaginable, including wearing a tan suit; going on vacation (actually less than any recent President); using a veto power that he has only used twice; using executive orders less than any recent President; being unwilling to engage us in more wars and interventions, etc.

Through all the personal and policy attacks, Obama has always acted with dignity and calm, annoying the hell out of his critics, who want him to be the “angry black man”, and the leaders of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, give him no respect at all.

And now, the idea is being suggested by the despicable editor Richard Lowry of the National Review, that John Boehner decide not to invite the President to give his State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress!

Go ahead, right wingers, do exactly that, and the President will speak instead from the Oval Office, and will win public opinion, and show once and for all what the right wing nuts represent! If he chooses to denounce, finally, his right wing critics, who have gone beyond the pale in so many ways, it will boost his public opinion rating, just as Bill Clinton’s ratings went up after the impeachment effort against him in 1998-1999!

Expect that Obama will face impeachment by this right wing crowd, but he will come out shining as a result, and will not be removed from office. All it will do is show the Republican Party and the right wing for what they are–despicable hate mongers who will stop at nothing to destroy the 44th President of the United States!

The greatest fear is not impeachment, or not being invited to speak before a joint session of Congress, but the dangers against his life that Barack Obama faces every day, encouraged on in spirit, if not in direct statements publicly, by the opposition, which, again, is more hateful and vehement than any time since at least the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln!