George W. Bush

A Proposal To Change Presidential Succession Law Back To Before 1947 Revision

It is clear, to anyone who really analyzes the situation, that the Presidential Succession Law of 1947 needs to be rolled back to what it was between 1886-1947.

The earlier succession law provided that the President’s cabinet members, starting with the Secretary of State, would follow the Vice President in the line of Presidential succession.

The 1947 law changed that to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate as ahead of the cabinet members.

That has been a mistake, as it has caused those two office holders often to be from the opposition party, as under Harry Truman 1947-1949; Dwight D. Eisenhower 1955-1961; Richard Nixon 1969-1974; Gerald Ford 1974-1977; Ronald Reagan 1987-1989 and also for the Speaker from 1981-1987; George H. W. Bush 1989-1993; Bill Clinton 1995-2001; George W.Bush 2001-2003 for the President Pro Tempore, and 2007-2009; and Barack Obama 2011-2017.

That is 38 years out of 70, and also six years for the Speaker and two years for the President Pro Tempore in addition, for a grand total of 46 of 70 years, two thirds of the time.

This has helped to promote stalemate and gridlock much too often, and has led to lack of continuity fear if a President had left office.

Luckily, that only happened twice in the first 27 years, and now it is 41 years since the last President left office early, a trend that is defying American history for turnover of the Presidency during a term, which happened seven times between 1841 and 1945!

The Secretaries of State have often been major figures, and since foreign policy is so crucial now, more than ever, the need for a Secretary of State to be second in line to be President, and a Secretary of the Treasury to be third in line, outweighs the idea of an often mediocre Congressman and a overly aged US Senator being next in line instead! And the importance of party loyalty and support of the President in office also is a major factor.

Presidential Veto Useful Method For Presidents To Protect Their Goals And Agenda

President Barack Obama has only utilized the Presidential veto twice in six years in office, but now, when he makes it clear that he will use it to stop GOP attempts to destroy his legacy, there are outcries of dictatorship by the right wing.

But every President has used the veto power, and Obama has every right, constitutionally, to use this power that was put into the Constitution.

Remember that Presidents usually win veto battles, with history telling us that 96 percent of the time, the President’s veto is NOT overridden by a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives and of the US Senate.

Every modern President has used the veto liberally, as shown below:

Roosevelt– 635 Truman– 250 Eisenhower– 181 Kennedy– 21 Johnson—30 Nixon– 43 Ford– 66 Carter– 31 Reagan– 78 Bush I– 44 Clinton– 37 Bush II– 12

Many earlier Presidents also used the veto a lot–particularly Grover Cleveland with 584 in two nonconsecutive terms; Ulysses S. Grant with 93 in two terms; and Theodore Roosevelt with 82 in two term.

Many other Presidents, including Andrew Johnson, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover used the veto liberally!

Only Presidents in the early years never used the veto, and only a few have had a large number of vetoes overridden, including Andrew Johnson, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford in double digits with 15, 12 and 12 percent overridden.

So, Barack Obama, do what you wish, in the name of protecting your legacy, and doing what is good for the future of the nation, despite criticism!

Barack Obama After Six Years In The Presidency: On Way To Top Ten Of Our 43 Presidents!

As 2014 ends, Barack Obama is finishing his sixth year in the Presidency, and will officially mark that milestone on January 20, when he delivers the State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress, controlled by the Republican Party, which has stood in his way, has been a constant barrier to anything Obama proposes, and hates the ground he walks on. Conservative talk radio and Fox News Channel, and conservative think tanks, would not be happy no matter what Barack Obama does or says. And there is a strong level of venal hate, very dangerous, that puts the President in the cross hairs of a potential threat to his life on a daily basis.

But despite all that, President Barack Obama has a record in office to be proud of, not perfect in any sense, but still outstanding enough to have a chance to end up in the top ten of our Presidents, if not immediately after leaving the White House, over a generation or more as time passes, and passions calm down, and particularly after Obama has passed away, an opportune time to reconsider the legacy of any President, particularly one so much maligned in his time!

The list of Obama accomplishments is endless, but key points include:

The adoption of ObamaCare, which will be seen as transformative over time, as much as Social Security and Medicare.

The successful tracking down and elimination of Osama Bin Laden, the perpetrator of September 11, 2001.

The ending of US military engagement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, two wars that were unwise to conduct in the first place.

The revival of the American economy, with 11 million jobs created; the unemployment rate below six percent; the greatest economic expansion since the Bill Clinton Presidency; the smallest increase in the deficit for the past decade; the 150 percent increase in the stock market; the lowest gas prices in five years; and the revival of the domestic auto industry.

The appointment of two Supreme Court Justices–Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and some exceptional cabinet appointments, plus the best Vice President in American history, Joe Biden.

The promotion of gay rights and gay marriage, insuring the end of discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

The advancement of environmental concerns, including dealing with global warming and climate change.

The promotion of a tolerant attitude toward immigration reform.

The establishment of a new relationship with Cuba after 50 years of a failed policy.

The promotion of labor rights in a time when labor has been under attack.

The protection of women’s rights against right wing attempts to undermine the advancement of women in all spheres of American life.

The avoidance of engagement in new wars, which the right wing is always itching for.

The courage of Obama to go after terrorists in a way that limits US military involvement, but effectively has killed more terrorists than George W. Bush.

President Barack Obama was the the right person for his time, and will be seen as that in history. He has met racist attacks by refusing to show anger, but instead class and dignity! He has admitted failure, but also has confidence in the morality of his cause. Considering the extreme opposition he has faced, what he has accomplished is miraculous beyond belief.

Despite having presided over the rapid decline of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress by vicious attacks and massive spending by right wing billionaires, he has made it clear that he will use executive orders to do what he feels must be done in the last two years of his Presidency. The right wing Supreme Court, with its Citizens United Case in 2010, and the lackadaisical attitude on voting of many Democratic constituent groups, has contributed to this decline in Democratic Party strength, but Obama has reacted by making clear that it will not deter his plans to make the nation a place better for the middle class and the poor.

President Barack Obama will NOT allow the prevention of further improvement of the New Deal and Great Society, and he is much to be admired, as a credit to the office he holds!

Jeb Bush Faces Fierce Opposition As He Plans Presidential Run For 2016!

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has become the first Republican to indicate his intention to seek the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, but he faces fierce opposition from the right wing of his party–the Tea Party, many Congressional conservatives, talk radio, and Fox News Channel.

The feeling of many is that Jeb is too centrist, too much “Establishment” Republican for much of the party that has become extreme right wing.

Jeb is seen as unwilling to cater to the Right; that he wants to run as a moderate Republican; and he continues to back national educational standards, known as Common Core; supports immigration reform, as his brother did in office; and the thought of a third Bush Presidency is not very appealing to many in his party.

Jeb is seen as arrogant, cocky, and condescending to many who do not agree with him, and his family’s close association with Bill and Hillary Clinton, ironic if Bush runs against Hillary, also alienates many in his party.

Jeb has also said it is time for the GOP to stop trying to repeal ObamaCare, and also refuses to say that he will never raise taxes if elected President.

So while he is now seen as the frontrunner for the nomination, the likelihood of his being the candidate in 2016 is seen as highly unlikely, as the party continues its move out of the mainstream!

Alternate Universe Of The Right Wing On Barack Obama And The Economy

The Right Wing on talk radio and Fox News Channel, and the Republican Party nationally and locally, demonize Barack Obama on every subject imaginable, including the economy.

At the same time, the following is reality:

The stock market is at its all time high, about 150 percent above what it was when Barack Obama became President six years ago.

The unemployment rate is the lowest since the beginning of the Great Recession under George W. Bush in 2008, and millions of jobs have been created, with the number of jobs lost all regained, and new additional jobs created, and starting to be better paid jobs.

The increase in the deficit on the annual budget is the lowest it has been since the Bill Clinton Administration.

Ten million more people have health care now, due to the expansion of Medicaid and the adoption of ObamaCare, and health care costs have decreased for many.

The price of gasoline is the lowest in five years.

We have seen record corporate earnings in the pasty year.

Economic Growth, at five percent in the third quarter, is the highest since 2003.

The Obama public opinion rating shot up four points last month, the highest in nearly two years.

America has a positive view of the economy for the first time since 2007, when the economic decline began, and accelerated rapidly.

Considering that the Republican Party controlled the House of Representatives for 16 of the past 20 years, and the Senate for 13 of the previous 20 years, it is clear that Barack Obama has presided over a growing economic boom, as occurred under Bill Clinton, but did not under George W. Bush!

Presidents And Dictatorships: Double Standard Of Critics Of Obama Change Of Cuban Policy

Presidents of the United States deal with reality, not what they might wish was so.

America has had diplomatic relations with all sorts of terrible people who govern the world’s nations over time.

Latin American dictatorships, including those of Fulgencio Batista in Cuba; Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic; the Duvalier dynasty, father and son, in Haiti; Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua; and military dictatorships in all of the South American nations at different times, have been accepted by American Presidents.

Our Presidents have dealt with Asian dictatorships, including China beginning with Richard Nixon; and with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea for decades, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the former Soviet Republics, now independent, but almost all of them dictatorships.

We have dealt with the Arab nations of the Middle East and with Iran under the Shah, despite their harsh dictatorships.

We have had dealings with African dictatorships of all stripes, including South Africa under Apartheid; and the brutal governments of much of the continent.

Somehow, Cuba has been seen differently, when the governments of many of the world’s nations has been far worse in their oppression than Fidel and Raul Castro.

This is not saying that Fidel and Raul Castro cannot, rightfully, be condemned for their human rights violations, but if human rights was the guide, we would not have any diplomatic relations or trade with 80 percent of the world!

When Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and the two Presidents Bush have embraced, and even endorsed, dictators, it was always seen as no big deal, but when Barack Obama opens up to Cuba after 54 years, it is perceived as a crime of massive proportions, while we willingly accepted the previous harsh dictatorship in Cuba of Batista and his henchmen!

Hypocrisy anyone?

Presidents In Last Two Years In Office: Tradition Of Opposition Congress And Little Legislation Accomplished!

When one looks back at the past century of Presidential history, it is clear that it is common for the President to have to deal with an opposition Congress in the last two years of his tenure, and in two cases, a divided Congress in the last two years in the White House.

This, of course, means little can be accomplished, other than by judicial appointments, and by executive orders, as significant legislation is unlikely.

Look at the list of Presidents who dealt with opposition Congresses in their last two years:

Woodrow Wilson–1919-1920
Dwight D. Eisenhower–1959-1960
Richard Nixon–1973-1974
Gerald Ford–1975-1976
Ronald Reagan–1987-1988
George H. W. Bush–1991-1992
Bill Clinton 1999-2000
George W. Bush–2007-2008
Barack Obama–2015-2016

Add to this list two Presidents who had a divided Congress in their last two years:

William Howard Taft–1911-1912–Democratic House and Republican Senate
Herbert Hoover–1931-1932–Democratic House and Republican Senate

So if all the Presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama are counted, it means ELEVEN Presidents faced a Congress unfriendly to them in the last two years of office, with only TR, Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter having “friendly” Congresses in their last two years, with Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy in office too short a term to qualify, since they died in office, unlike Gerald Ford, who actually completed a short term.

So 11 of 17 Presidents, two thirds of the total, have had to deal with the reality of the decline of their ability to control events, other than judicial appointments and executive orders!

Dick Cheney: The Most Villainous Vice President In American History, Bar None!

America has had 47 Vice Presidents, and some of them have been true disasters and villains.

Aaron Burr, Vice President under Thomas Jefferson (1801-1805), tried to steal the Presidential Election of 1800 from his own running mate, Thomas Jefferson. He then proceeded to kill Alexander Hamilton in a totally legal gun duel in 1804. He was then accused of a plot with Spain to take away territories from the United States, was captured, brought to trial for treason, and found not guilty. In his old age, his wife sued him for divorce due to his serial cheating, which she had been unaware of, and left him in poverty.

John C. Calhoun, Vice President under John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) and Andrew Jackson (1829-1833), showed lack of loyalty to Adams, switching support to Jackson, and then threatening to lead South Carolina in seceding from the Union, provoking the Nullification Crisis of 1832-1833.

Schuyler Colfax, first Vice President (1869-1873) under Ulysses S. Grant, was involved in the Credit Mobilier Scandal, and was therefore, forced out as the second term running mate of Grant.

Spiro Agnew, Vice President under Richard Nixon (1969-1973) was a divisive, confrontational Vice President, who was forced to resign in disgrace due to involvement in financial scandal, including taking cash bribes in his years as Baltimore County Executive, Governor of Maryland, and also as Vice President.

And then there was Dick Cheney, who enriched himself through his associations with Haliburton, a company which gained from war profiteering. He helped to promote war in Iraq, knowing full well that the war was based on false pretenses, and he advocated and promoted EIT (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques), meaning torture against detainees said to be involved in terrorist plots against America, including September 11, even though it went against American values of ethics and morality, as well as violation of international law. Cheney has never apologized for his actions or behavior, or had doubts in any form, while enriching himself in a totally corrupt manner. His daughter, Liz Cheney, has become the younger female version of her father; and his wife, Lynne Cheney, has shown herself to be no better.

Meanwhile, many Republicans, including Colin Powell, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and others have condemned the methods and actions of Dick Cheney, and there are calls for him and George W. Bush to be accountable for war crimes, although there is no possibility of them ever facing trial.

Without a doubt, Dick Cheney stands out as the most villainous Vice President in American history bar none!

Can The US Win Success In War On Terror By Utilizing Tactics Of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist North Korea, And ISIL?

It is clear that America lives in a different era since the September 11, 2001 attacks, and that our national security structure must do everything within legitimate limits to protect our nation!

There is no real argument with that fact, but the question arises whether this nation can win success in the War on Terror by utilizing tactics of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist North Korea, ISIL, and other despotic regimes throughout history.

If our government lacks any ethics, morals, and sense of decency in its actions against our enemies, it means our soldiers and civilians will be treated in the same despotic manner, whenever any of them are unfortunate enough to fall into the hands of the enemy.

But even if the enemy employs these despicable tactics is NO justification for us to do the same, as we are a democracy that believes in human dignity, human freedom, human rights, and the rule of law!

Torture is inhumane, and does not gain actionable intelligence by any measure we know of, but even if we think it does, it is against all common sense, as to become a “monster” in order to fight a “monster” is to lose our purpose as a nation which sets a standard of civilized behavior for the world.

Some will say that dropping the atomic bomb in World War II; firebombing Dresden and Tokyo in World War II; using drones in the War on Terror; and other similar tactics is the same situation, no better than CIA torture of detainees in prison.

But in actual fact, while the examples given are reprehensible, they are part of the laws of war, while brutal torture tactics are not so, as detainees are supposed to be treated with respect, which, of course, is why what happened with the Nazis in the Holocaust of World War II; the Cambodian Holocaust of the late 1970s by the Khmer Rouge; and other mass murders by ISIL and other groups is a totally different category of what must be called war crimes!

And sadly, what the CIA has done, and what George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have authorized and defended, IS a war crime, plain and simple!

The Disgraceful Breaking Of International Law And Ethics And Morality Of The Bush-Cheney Administration!

Just about the most shocking event in many years is the revelation yesterday in the US Senate of the total lack of ethics, morality and decency, and the disgraceful breaking of international law by the George W. Bush-Dick Cheney Administration!

Torture is outlawed by all decent nations, and just because terrorists and some rogue regimes choose to torture is not a justification for such practices. The most obscene, reprehensible tactics authorized by the Bush-Cheney regime qualifies them for facing trial under international law as war criminals, plain and simple.

This crime is worse than ANYTHING ever done under any President of the United States, bar none, and should, rightfully, place George W. Bush in the very bottom of the rankings of Presidents for all time!

Dick Cheney will always stand out as the absolutely worst Vice President in history, with no conscience, ethics or morals, on top of being a war profiteer from the military involvement in Iraq, through his connections with Haliburton!

Bush and Cheney will escape judgment in an international court, but their names will be forever besmirched in history, and the fact that decent people in both political parties, such as Senator John McCain of Arizona (himself tortured in a North Vietnamese prison), Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, and Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia join in condemning their lawlessness is a sign that we have not lost all morality and ethics. In effect, the Presidential Election of 2000, where Al Gore won the biggest popular vote margin for a losing candidate (due to questionable Supreme Court intervention) led to this monstrosity in the name of the American people! And if John McCain, by far the preferable GOP candidate in 2000, had been able to overcome the reprehensible tactics of George W. Bush in the primaries, and ended up running against Al Gore, this nation would have been assured of having a lawful, moral, ethical President, instead of the trash we put into the White House and the Vice Presidency!

It will take a long time for the American reputation to be revived to what it has been, and we have to work very hard to insure that, in the future, we elect to the Presidency ONLY men or women who have a basic sense of the limits of power; a sense of ethics and morality; and a sense of common decency and belief in international standards of behavior!

And to think that these reprehensible tactics did nothing to protect America, and instead endangers our citizens and military long into the future, is the ultimate irony above all!