Gay Rights

Old Urban-Rural Battle Among States Now Battles Between Cities And Rural Areas Within The States!

The story of much of American history is the struggle and battles between the growing urbanization in America, and the desire of small town, rural America to keep “traditional values”.

So the South, heavily rural historically, has always held back against reform and change, and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the half century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But now, in 2016, we are seeing a revolt, an uprising of growing urban areas and university towns in the South against “traditional values”!

So we see urban areas in many Southern states promoting becoming “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants; supporting gay and transgender rights; calling for minimum wage laws to be reinforced and to promote raises; and working to undermine the Confederate flag as an appropriate symbol in 21st century America!

These growing urban areas include such locations as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Athens and Savannah, Georgia; Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic Party is growing in these areas, and African Americans and Latinos are a good percentage of that growth, and university towns are also part of the massive changes that are occurring toward progressive change.

But the rural dominated Republican legislatures are passing state pre-emption laws that deny these localities the ability to set up their own regulations and laws. Ironically, it means these Republican states are fighting to take away local controls, while fighting on the national level against centralized authority of the federal government!

Inauguration Day Plus Seven Years: Imagine The Alternative Of President John McCain And Vice President Sarah Palin!

Seven years ago, Barack Obama became the 44th President, and history was transformed in a positive manner!

Not everything has worked out, and not everything he promised has occurred, but when one thinks about the alternative of President John McCain and Vice President Sarah Palin, one must thank God that he gave us Barack Obama!

McCain, even though he is less extreme than most Republicans, would most certainly have taken us into war more than we were under George W. Bush.

We would have massive involvement still in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and would have engaged in a major war against Iran.

Much of the social change that has occurred would not have had Presidential backing, including gay rights and gay marriage; climate change; criminal justice reform; attention to civil rights controversies; and a national health care system for more Americans.  We also would not have Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court!

We would have had Sarah Palin as Vice President, and have to be constantly thankful that John McCain is still alive and healthy.

 

Bernie Sanders And The Younger Voter: A Special Connection!

One of the most interesting developments of the 2016 Presidential campaign is the appeal of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont among younger voters, specifically under the age of 45.

This means those born after 1970 and up to 1998, the age group which has no issue with gay rights and gay marriage; abortion rights for women; legalization of marijuana; supportive of immigration reform; and belief in the need to deal with climate change.

This group is the future of America, and it is a progressive group overwhelmingly by any measurement!

So in the midst of Republican Donald Trump publicity, Bernie Sanders’ s supporters, who Hillary Clinton desperately needs  if she ends up as the Democratic nominee for President, which is still most likely, any attempt by Clinton to trash Bernie will backfire on her candidacy in November.

It is possible that if Hillary wins but leaves “bad blood” with Bernie, that these younger voters, including first time voters, might just sit out the campaign in disgust!

Will the younger voters allow the older, less educated, and much  more white composition voters who support Trump carry the day?

This will be a crucial issue in the Fall campaign, how to keep the younger voters Democratic, rather than have them sit out the election, and possibly give the “Archie Bunker” candidate the opportunity to do his destructive deeds in the Oval Office!

Obama’s Last “State Of The Union”: A Moment To Reflect On The Past Seven Years Of Accomplishment, And Set Future Goals!

Barack Obama gave a dazzling State of the Union address last night, showing flashes of the original Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he first came to public notice.

The President used this last major speech of his administration to set the record straight on what had been accomplished, and what he saw as his goals for the long term future of the nation.

Obama made clear that he will dedicate his post Presidency to a war on cancer; a seeking of criminal justice reforms; a promotion of the climate change agenda; and continuing to promote the struggle against international terrorism.

As we look back seven years, despite all of the bitter recriminations visited against the 44th President, we have to marvel at what he has accomplished:

A massive revival of the American economy, including halving the unemployment rate, more than doubling the stock market, and rescue of the auto industry. after the tragedy of the Great Recession.

A major social change on the issue of gay rights and gay marriage, the new human rights initiative of the 21st century.

A path breaking law, ObamaCare, which will have a long range effect, after fine tuning, as Social Security and Medicare  in earlier generations, so Obama is carrying on and adding to the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson.

The pursuit of diplomacy over engaging in more warfare, although using modern methods including drones, to pursue terrorism, and having major, unsung success, without committing our young men and women to the battlefield as cannon fodder!

The promotion of civil rights and equality on a level long overdue, to continue the legacy of Lyndon B. Johnson.

Barack Obama proved once again how compassionate and sincere a human being that he really is, a trait which will play well in history, and the odds of his Presidency being ranked as one of the more significant and transformative  in our history have greatly increased, as he nears the end of his time in the Oval Office!

 

Right Wing Conspiratorial Hysteria Over Barack Obama Has Been Proved Totally Wrong!

We are now entering the eighth and last year of the Barack Obama Presidency, with a new President to be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

It is in many ways amazing how Obama has survived unprecedented verbal attacks for seven years, and the most threats to his life of any President since Abraham Lincoln.

His Republican opposition has been unrelenting in the promotion of right wing conspiratorial hysteria for the past seven years, and has had no shame in wishing upon him all of the most terrible tragedies and failures, rather than willingness to unite for the public good!

And right wing radio and Fox News Channel has been totally despicable in encouraging right wing lunatics, and inciting them to create a constant stress and threat on the 44th President of the United States.  They would not be happy until he was either forced from office or dead from an assassin, and there is still clear concern that our President faces endless threats at a time when the Secret Service has been found wanting, and in need of drastic updating, reform, and new leadership!

For any American to have believed the conspiracy theories and gloom and doom loaded on Barack Obama, it is instructive to look back at some of what has been predicted and has NOT happened!

  1. Barack Obama will cancel the elections of 2016 and rule by martial law, and put his enemies into FEMA camps.  This is totally laughable!
  2. Barack Obama will take everyone’s guns away.  Yeh, sure, instead we have more guns and gun ownership than ever before, and more deaths from guns than automobile accidents!
  3. Barack Obama will destroy the American economy, with the highest gas prices ever, dramatic increase in unemployment and inflation, the collapse of the stock market, and the promotion of the end of the capitalist system. Instead we have 5 percent unemployment, doubling of the stock market, low inflation, and capitalism is alive and well, thank you!
  4. Barack Obama is a Muslim who will advance the cause of the Muslim jihadists, and allow the downfall of Christianity in America. Yeh, sure, instead we have more Muslims killed by Obama’s drone usage than under George W. Bush, and Osama bin Laden was killed!
  5. Barack Obama will destroy the oil and coal industries in his  mad quest to promote the “phony” issue of climate change. Yeh, sure, the energy industries are making record profits!
  6. Barack Obama will destroy heterosexual America by his promotion of gay rights, same sex marriage, and transgender rights.  Laughable, but heterosexual marriage divorces are up, and more Americans have broken marriages than the total number of same sex marriages!
  7. Barack Obama will take away the civil liberties and civil rights of Americans through government snooping on the private lives of Americans. Yeh, sure, as the NSA is limited in its ability to fight terrorism by government restrictions put upon them!
  8. Barack Obama will undermine law and order in this country through promotion of the agenda of extremist African Americans demands.  Yeh, sure, the idea that Obama is a black radical because he speaks up about growing number of police killings of unarmed black men is laughable!
  9. Barack Obama will destroy the nation through open borders immigration of people from Mexico and Central America.  Yeh, sure, as Obama has had more deportations of illegal immigrants than under George W. Bush!
  10. Barack Obama will undermine the nation of Israel and refuse to support the security of that nation.  Yeh, sure, as Obama provided the IRON DOME system and has given Israel more foreign aid than any President of the United States before him!
  11. Barack Obama will promote the expansion and aggression of the Russians under Vladimir Putin.  Yeh, sure that is why Putin embraces Donald Trump, and has actually cooperated with the American government on Middle East issues, and knows NATO is working to protect Ukraine, due to the tough stand of Obama!
  12. Barack Obama will promote a one world government led by the United Nations.  This is totally ridiculous, not even worth commenting on, as totally delusional!

It is time for the ill informed and uneducated population of America to stop their ignorance, learn the truth, and start to show appreciation of the historic nature of Barack Obama in the Presidency, and to wish him well in his final year in the White House.  His ranking in history for his accomplishments, his dignity, his class, his compassion, his common sense, and his courage in the face of adversity will make him appreciated in the future in a way appropriate for his performance in office!

Millennials Will Make A Long Term Progressive Future, No Matter What Conservatives Try To Promote!

The Millennials, the generation from the early 1980s to the 21st century, have given clear cut evidence that they are the portent of a long term progressive future in America!

Conservatives may try to promote their agenda, but it is not seen as likely that the youngest generation of voters in the next decade and beyond will stand for it!

It is clear that Millennials are supportive of the following elements of the progressive agenda:

Gay Rights, Transgender Rights, and Same Sex Marriage

Acceptance of Women’s Rights and Equality

Tolerance of Immigration and Welcoming of Refugees

Acceptance of Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Abortion and Contraception Rights

Sensible Gun Control Regulations

Environmental Reforms and the Urgency of Climate Change Actions

Loosening of Tough Drug Laws that have caused filling of our prisons

More Skepticism Of Organized Religion and its Influence on American Politics

Belief in Strong Defense But Skepticism Over Troop Intervention Overseas

 

Top 10 Political Stories Of 2015

As the year 2015 ends, we look back on the major political stories of this eventful year.

The ten major stories of the year are as follows:

The rise of Donald Trump, and the threat he represents to the Republican Party, the conservative movement, and to the American people in general. He is promoting a Fascist agenda, including nativism, racism, misogyny, and a belief spreading among white working class men that somehow he is the new Messiah, who will solve all of the problems brought about by the failings of the George W. Bush Administration.  These  include the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, which fueled terrorism; and the Great Recession of 2008, which is still reverberating among those less educated and more suspect to demagoguery. And also,those who refuse to accept Barack Obama as a legitimate President find Donald Trump appealing.

The surprise appeal of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is gaining support among the millennial generation, and men and women under 45, who are more educated than average Americans, and find his democratic Socialist ideas appealing.  There is no question that the younger generation is much more liberal than other Americans, and this bodes well for the Democratic Party, if Hillary Clinton continues her move to the left, pushed that way by Sanders’ agenda.

The final acceptance of gay marriage and the advancement of gay rights on all fronts, including the rights of transgender people, but with much discrimination still evident by those who resist change.

The disappearance of John Boehner and the rise of Paul Ryan to the Speakership of the House of Representatives, and the issue of whether Ryan can be any more effective in dealing with the Tea Party Movement, which helped to bring Boehner to the point of resignation.

The growing racial tensions in the nation, due to increased examples of police abuse toward African American men, and even women, along with Latinos, and the growing militarization of law enforcement, a dangerous trend.

The rise of more domestic terrorism, including in Charleston, San Bernandino and elsewhere, some of it inspired by ISIL (ISIS), but also by right wing Christian extremism.

Barack Obama’s changed foreign policy, including opening up to Cuban diplomatic relations; making a deal with Iran’s government on nuclear weapons; attempts to cooperate with other nations to deal with Islamic terrorism, meaning ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria; and trying to work with a hostile Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who made life more difficult for Obama by openly consorting with Republicans over the President.

The growing impact of social issues on American politics, including not only gay rights and gay marriage, but also abortion, gun control, immigration reform, and climate change.  All of these controversies will impact politics in a dramatic fashion in 2016 and beyond.

The issue of individual rights to privacy, and the growing role of intelligence gathering and government snooping, including the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, and other government agencies, who feel that they must intrude and investigate all social media and phones and computers, to protect us.  This is seen by many critics as a violation of our civil liberties.

The evident deterioration of the effectiveness and competence of the Secret Service, in its role as protector of the President and his family; the Vice President; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and all Presidential candidates, as the Presidential Election year of 2016 awaits us.  The last thing we need is any incident that affects the health, safety, and lives of any of the candidates or the top leadership of government.  If such were to happen, it would undermine our whole political system and stability in massive ways!

 

Donald Trump And Ted Cruz: The Evil Combination And Double Threat To American Values And Decency!

Donald Trump continues to dominate public opinion polls, and behind him and rising is Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Cruz is unique in the fact that he will NOT criticize anything Trump says about anything, and this is clearly a campaign ploy, as Cruz believes that Trump will not be the party’s nominee, and that he will be able to inherit his supporters.

It seems clear that Trump supporters, when asked, will only consider Cruz as an alternative, and Cruz is suddenly working, also, on improving his image with reporters and fellow politicians, as he has a horrible image as a nasty, egotistical, brusque individual!

One can be assured it is all a “charm offensive” by Cruz, but anyone who has followed his Senate career KNOWS that Cruz is the most dangerous, most extreme, most hateful potential GOP nominee, bar none, even more than Trump on some issues like gay rights and climate change.  Cruz’s extreme right wing Christianity, fueled by his right wing pastor dad’s hateful rants on all kinds of issues, is a warning sign of the danger he represents, were he to become the GOP Presidential nominee.

Cruz has an uncanny similarity to the infamous “witch hunter” of the 1950s Red Scare, Senator Joseph McCarthy, and his lack of ethics and decency is a shared trait.

Cruz would take us back, if given power, and a Republican Congress, to the Gilded Age, as he opposes just about everything that progressives have accomplished since the time of Republican Theodore Roosevelt.

Every indication is, however, that Cruz as the nominee of his party, would cause a massive landslide defeat, a la Barry Goldwater a half century ago in 1964!

But no sane individual would want to test a chance of the possibility of a President Trump OR a President Cruz!

 

Pope Francis: A Gift To The World And Supporter Of Progressive Causes Shared With Barack Obama!

Pope Francis has arrived in the United States, and will be here for six days, traveling to Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

It is clear that Pope Francis is a gift to the world and a supporter of progressive causes that he often shares with President Barack Obama!

This Pope is, clearly, the best Pope in the sense of promoting reform, since the time of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) and the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis has made enemies among conservative Catholics and evangelical right wing Christians, who do not pursue the true message of Jesus Christ, the promotion of the poor and the disabled and the sick.

Pope Francis has condemned predatory capitalism which has no concern as to its effect on the poor.

Pope Francis has spoken up on climate change and global warming, infuriating those in the conservative movement and the Republican Party who only think about profits, and reject science.

Pope Francis has attacked the growing income inequality in the world, a dangerous disease that threatens global stability.

Pope Francis has worked to resolve problems in the Catholic Church, and to have a more open mind on divorce, abortion, gay rights, and other controversial social issues, while not wholly backing all of these cultural changes.  But he has demonstrated greater tolerance of differences and opened up a sense of change, which is desperately needed in the Catholic Church, if it is to grow and prosper in the long term.

Pope Francis has engaged in bringing about the restoration of a relationship between the United States and Cuba, something long overdue.

Pope Francis has worked to help Syrian refugees, and generally to encourage immigration reform around the world, as to reject immigrants is against the American historical tradition, and worldwide would be the growth of another Holocaust, as Jews and other refugees suffered in the Second World War.

Pope Francis is a transformational Pope who, hopefully, will have a long range effect on the Catholic Church and the world.

Pope Francis has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is hoped that he will win it, as he richly deserves it!

Run, Joe, Run! Arguments For Joe Biden To Announce For President!

The death of Joe Biden’s son, Beau Biden, on May 30, seemed to clinch that Joe Biden would NOT run for President, and would decide to spend more time with his family 18 months from now, when his Vice Presidency comes to an end.

Being that he will be 74 by Election Day in 2016, it would seem to make sense that it would be time for Joe to “hang up his cleats”, and end his brilliant 44 year public career.

But now, the hints are strong that Joe Biden will NOT give up on being President, as it is said that his dying son urged him to go for what he has wanted all of his life.

It seems likely now that Joe Biden might announce his candidacy in August, and he seems to have strong support and a “Draft Biden” movement is actively recruiting suppoort.

It might seem surprising that after the loss of his beloved son, that Joe would decide to run, but one must understand that politics is his lifeblood!

One has a feeling that if he decides not to run, that he might still seek a role in the next Democratic administration, most likely that of good friend Hillary Clinton.

Somehow, the thought of Joe and Hillary openly setting out to destroy each other seems unlikely, just as Bernie Sanders has been very careful in his criticism. This is NOT the Republican Party, where everyone has knives out to destroy all opponents. A race of Hillary, Joe and Bernie could be the most civil race imaginable, and do a lot of good for the nation, setting a standard of decent behavior while seeking the Presidency. This is something everyone who has any intelligence and class should wish for and want!

And as much as Hillary has great experiences, and Bernie has great principles and decency, who can argue that Joe is not even better qualified, and has a genuineness, an authenticity that cannot be matched by any other candidate?

After all, Joe has had 44 years of experience, unmatched by ANYONE! He knows how to get along with the opposition, and is well liked and respected by Republicans who may disagree on policy, but really admire the guy! He has been invaluable as Vice President, and has great impact on policy. He is seen as the second most influential Vice President in American history, after Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter.

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina just voiced the thought of how great a guy Joe is, how it is not possible for anyone not to like and admire him, even if totally disagreeing on policy! And remember that Graham is a potential Presidential opponent!

Joe is a very talented leader who led on the fight against Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork in 1987, causing Anthony Kennedy to be on the Court and be involved in the gay rights and gay marriage cases, which Bork would never have supported. And Biden came out for gay marriage before Barack Obama, pushing him into support that might not have happened otherwise!

Joe is often right on foreign affairs, and told us ten years ago that Iraq should be three nations–Kurds, Shiite, and Sunni areas, and he has been proved right on that.

Joe is perceptive, visionary, and as a person, he is lovable, really caring about people, always ready with a big smile and a kind word! It recently came out that Joe encouraged a young man years ago who had trouble with stuttering, as Joe did when he was young, and now that man is telling all of us the impact Joe had on his life, giving him encouragement, and has published the handwritten letter Joe sent him a long time ago that changed his life! This is very inspirational stuff, no question about it, as Joe is very SPECIAL!

Sure, he has faults, such as sometimes “stupid” statements and too much “hands on” with women in public situations, but the important point is that there is no hint that he is anything but loyal to his wife, Dr Jill Biden. And no one is more devoted to his family, including his children and grandchildren.

No one who meets Joe has ever seen him as other than a “good guy”, and he has the enthusiasm about public affairs and public policy of a Hubert H. Humphrey!

His age is not a factor if we are considering so many others in both parties who are in their 70s or near 70, as Hillary Clinton is, for example.

There is no good argument for Joe against running, and if he loses the nomination, he will be gracious in defeat, and willing to help the next President at, who knows, maybe being Secretary of State or some other important position, as hie knowledge base and his experience make him useful into the future.

Joe Biden is not the past; he is the present and the future, and let us wish good luck in his likely quest for the Presidency, and whatever happens, he will have given it a “good fight”!