Equal Pay For Women

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!

37 Days To The Extremely Important Midterm Elections Of 2014!

With the crisis of ISIL (ISIS) having emerged as the most dangerous threat to America since September 11, 2001, and with this being the greatest world crisis since World War II, it is now 37 days to the extremely important Midterm Elections of 2014, both in foreign and domestic policy!

We need cooperation on the foreign policy front between Congress and the President, but that is unlikely if the GOP wins control of the Senate, even if they are still able to hold on to control in the House of Representatives!

Such a scenario will undermine the war effort, and the need to deal with many domestic issues, that are desperately in need of attention!

The possible appointment of a Supreme Court Justice before the next Presidential election, and of a new Attorney General in the next few months is riding on the ability of the Democrats to keep control of the US Senate, which thankfully, seems highly likely right now!

The ability to bring about immigration reform; to protect the environment; to gain funding for infrastructure projects; to see further advancements in civil rights; to promote support for those who are in poverty to have a higher minimum wage, extension of unemployment compensation and expansion of Medicaid; to promote equal pay legislation for women; and so many other initiatives, is hanging in the balance!

It is urgent that those who believe in progressive reforms must get out the vote, and make people who are apathetic voters realize the importance of their voting, and not just for Congressional elections, but also for state governors and state legislatures, as we have seen much evidence of the damage done by Tea Party Republican Governors on so many issues!

Labor Day: Too Many Americans Do Not Realize How Much Labor Unions Have Done!

We are living in a time of labor union decline, and attacks on organized labor itself, beginning with the Presidency of Ronald Reagan!

Too many people have no idea or regard for the importance of labor unions in American history, and the struggle for decent working conditions in our nation!

Without the labor struggles of the past, we would not have:

Minimum Wage and Maximum Hours
Eight Hour Work Day
Five Day Work Week
End of Child Labor
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Sick Leave
Vacation Pay
Paid Holidays
Right of Labor to Organize and Bargain Collectively
Progress toward Equal Pay for Women
Retirement Pensions and Health Care Coverage

There has been backtracking and attacks on organized labor by Republicans on the national and state level, and particularly in the South, labor continues to be under strong attack, as it has always been.

But to imagine an America where workers have no rights is, sadly, much of what American workers see today, including a new revelation—wage theft becoming a problem for millions of workers being exploited by their employers.

So those who fight for labor rights, led by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, need the support of all of us, even if we are not members of organized labor unions. Too much is at stake to remain silent!

The Republican Party Claims To Be “Pro Life”, But The Truth Is Otherwise!

The Republican Party claims to be “Pro Life”, but is far from being so, when one investigates the reality, instead of the rhetoric!

Republicans have, by their policies and attitudes, done more to kill the unborn than anything that Democrats have done!

The widespread availability of guns and resulting gun violence kills many pregnant women and their fetuses. But in addition to that, new born babies, toddlers, school children, and junior and senior high school children are killed by guns, and not only by homicide, but via suicide and accidental deaths as well!

War has also caused mass death of pregnant woman, fetuses, new borns and children, just not in America, but caused by American military policies. But this does not upset “Pro Life” advocates!

Lack of adequate health care to mothers and expectant mothers undermines fetuses and newborns, but Republicans do not wish to adequately fund and provide health care to poor women, which means the lives of these women, and their fetuses and children do not matter, despite assertions to the contrary!

Domestic violence against women, both pregnant and those already mothers, and against children, is widespread, but yet Republicans voted against renewal of the Violence Against Women Act!

The reality of toxins in the air, water, and food , and lack of concern for the government to protect against this by having environmental protection laws, is another way that the Republican Party shows lack of concern for life!

Lack of support of nutrition programs, and desire to cut Food Stamps, is another example of lack of concern by Republicans of the health of children and their mothers, and their fetuses and new born children!

Also, by opposing equal pay for women, and being against food and housing assistance for poor families, it leads to an undermining of women and their pregnancies, and also, their already born children. This all leads to still born children, miscarriages, and premature infant death! Poor women have greater stress, and fewer opportunities for prenatal health care and time for rest during a pregnancy because of need to work!

So the GOP spreads propaganda, but will not take action to help women, their fetuses, and their newborn and older children, and this reality is reprehensible!

165th Anniversary Of Seneca Falls Equal Rights Convention: A Time For Women’s Rights Advocates To Plan Strategy For Future!

165 years ago this week, specifically on July 19 and 20, the momentous event known as the Seneca Falls Convention took place in upstate New York.

300 men and women gathered, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, and including the black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, demanding equal rights for women, including the right of suffrage, participating in voting.

That fight for suffrage took 72 years, until the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, and the move for the Equal Rights Amendment proposal of 1972 fell short by three states, and was declared dead in 1982.

But now there is an urgency to fight for that proposed amendment, despite the odds against it being ratified in the political climate we live in now, if for no other reason than to declare that the strategy of the future is that women are not going to allow backtracking on basic rights that have now been the law for years, specifically the Roe V. Wade decision on Abortion Rights forty years ago, plus the push for equal pay, equal treatment in the military, fighting against acceptance of rape by many politicians of the Republican Party, and the Religious Right desire to send women back home, not working, cooking and being available for a man’s desires in the bedroom!

There may be women who are willing to accept the Republican view on women in 2013, but they are NOT a majority, and if Betty Ford, the First Lady with President Gerald Ford, were alive and well today, she would be leading the fight for women’s rights, as she did when she was in the White House!

Having visited the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids yesterday, it reminded the author of how far the GOP has moved from the Ford Presidency experience, and remember that turn to the right began when Ronald Reagan challenged President Ford for the Presidential nomination in 1976, helping to cause his defeat, and the ultimate takeover of the Republican Party by the Right Wing led by Reagan!

So women, and men who agree that they deserve equal treatment, need to organize and fight for women’s rights, even now, 165 years after Seneca Falls!

Texas Governor Rick Perry: The “Pro Life” Governor? NO, A Tragedy For Texas!

Texas Governor Rick Perry was a massive embarrassment when he ran for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

He is the longest serving Governor in America, having succeeded George W. Bush as the executive leader of the Lone Star State at the end of 2000.

He has become infamous for ridiculous, insensitive, and moronic statements, and outrageous actions in office, including suggesting that Texas secede from the Union, as it did in the Civil War.

He has a reputation as a “Pro Life” Governor, but that appellation is a mockery of reality!

This is a man who refuses to accept Medicaid expansion that is fully covered by ObamaCare, and therefore, denies millions of poor Texans, many of them Latinos, any access to health care, and this is out of spite, not wanting to accept federal aid that would cost the state of Texas NOTHING!

Here is a man who has the record for the most death warrants and executions occurring under his regime, and brags about the massive use of the death penalty, setting a record for executions in American history, and having no doubts as to the innocence of any of the people on Death Row, who face death, with the state government resistant to reconsideration of cases, even with new evidence!

Here is a state where any suggestion of background checks or other protections against gun violence are ignored and ridiculed, with any Texan able to carry firearms into public places, including schools, bars, and restaurants, and the gun violence level is one of the worst in the nation!

Here is a man who vetoes a bill passed overwhelmingly by a GOP legislature, mandating equal pay for women, many of whom are single mothers who need to support their children!

And here is a man who wants, with his party, to destroy Planned Parenthood in Texas, and shut down nearly all abortion clinics in a state with 26 million people, and the largest state in area, with the exception of sparsely populated Alaska!

And here is a man who forces State Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, opposed to this legislation, to conduct a filibuster under inhumane conditions, with no food, water, bathroom break, or ability to lean against or sit down over nearly a dozen hours, and her filibuster ended early, but opposition of supporters in the Texas State Senate galleries and halls of the legislature the only way to stop this massive assault on women’s rights, including control of their bodies! And now, Perry is forcing another confrontation, determined to ram through this despicable legislation, and in so doing, lecturing Wendy Davis and showing total disdain and lack of respect for her and Texas women!

This man is an excuse for a human being, and will go down over history as a true tragedy for the Lone Star State, and Wendy Davis or Julian Castro (Mayor of San Antonio), or some other Democrat needs to run against him in 2014, and end the Reign of Rick Perry over the destiny of Texas!

Republicans Claim To Be Pro Women’s Rights: Really?

The Republican Party leadership in Congress loves to claim that the Democrats are wrong in calling them anti women, and campaigning against women.

But the facts belie Republican claims as shown as follows:

Both in Washington DC and in the states, Republican leadership is attacking women’s rights, women’s health, and women’s safety.

The House of Representatives passed a bill weakening the Violence Against Women Act two weeks ago.

Virginia passed legislation requiring women undergoing an abortion to undergo medically unnecessary and physically invasive sonograms.

Senate Republicans are blocking a measure to deal with wage discrimination against women.

On abortion, seven states have made it more difficult to get an abortion, by making the deadline for getting one much earlier, before knowledge of fetal abnormalities or health risks are available, Criminal penalties are also set up to intimidate doctors from performing abortions, making it more difficult to stay in business, and endangering the lives of women who often cannot gain an abortion even at the risk of their own lives.

Planned Parenthood has been systematically attacked, with funds cut for basic health care services for the poor, on the argument that the main activity of the group is abortion, when it is only about 3 percent of the funding of the organization, and is not its primary role in promoting women’s health.

The 1963 Equal Pay Act under President Kennedy is being fought bitterly, with the attempt to update the law to help women gain equality in pay for equal work being opposed by Republicans, and states such as Wisconsin are going backward on women’s rights to equal pay.

Domestic violence legislation is being fought by Republicans, who do not wish to include lesbians, native American women, and undocumented immigrant women who are in danger, and can no longer report abuse to law enforcement authorities, to go after the abusers.

How can anyone say that the GOP is NOT declaring “war” on women? One is judged by one’s actions, not words!