Gerald Ford

Worrisome How Economy Issue Is Making Many Voters Ignore Abortion And Democracy Issues!

It is infuriating how, according to polls, many Americans are so obsessed with economic issues, that they are ignoring the most important matters—Abortion Rights and the Threat to American Democracy!

Anyone with any sense of history would know that the Republican Party presided over nine of the last ten recessions going back to 1953 onward, with the only exception being the brief recession in 1980 under Jimmy Carter!

It is lack of knowledge and being easily manipulated by propaganda that the economy will be better under Republicans, when it has NEVER been better, and inflation was high under Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush at periods of their Presidencies!

The world is not going to be better just because gasoline prices come down, and food prices come down, and neither of these issues is caused by Democrats and Joe Biden, but rather by international circumstances, including the Russian war on Ukraine.

Hopefully, common sense will prevail in three weeks, as it is extremely worrisome to think that the right of women to control their own body, and the preservation of democracy hangs on a thread of gas and food prices, when this will pass, but we cannot afford the loss of basic human rights and American democracy!

Hooray! Jimmy Carter Turns 98, An Event To Celebrate! A Much Underrated President!

Former President Jimmy Carter turned 98 today, an amazing age and still with his wife, Rosalynn, alongside him after 76 plus years of marriage!

Not only is Carter the longest lived President, nearly three and a half years older than George H. W. Bush at his passing, but Rosalynn Carter passed both Lady Bird Johnson and Nancy Reagan, as she turned 95 on August 18, only behind Bess Truman, who lived to past 97 years of age!

Jimmy Carter is a true treasure, a man of decency, compassion, empathy, and sincerity, much like President Joe Biden, who was the first US Senator at age 33 in 1976, to endorse Carter for President, at a time when it seemed highly unlikely that Carter would win the Democratic Presidential nomination, and go on to defeat President Gerald Ford, and become the 39th President of the United States from 1977-1981.

Carter has had a retirement nearly 42 years in January 2023, more than ten years longer than the longest retired President before him, Herbert Hoover.

Carter has had cancer since 2015, but he has managed to cope and go on with his life with proper medical treatments and continue to promote Habitat For Humanity, the Carter Center, and to publish more than 30 books in retirement.

He will rate higher in history once he passes, as occurred with Harry Truman, but as it is, he is much underrated,when one considers the Camp David Accords with Israel and Egypt, the Panama Canal Treaty, the promotion of human rights, the advancement of the environment as the best one term environmental President, and the establishment of three Cabinet agencies–Energy, Health and Human Services, and Education as his major accomplishments. He was also awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for his lifetime of promotion of peace and diplomacy.

Carter has managed to outlive nearly everyone in public office and in his Presidency, with his Vice President, Walter Mondale, passing in early 2021 after the longest retirement of a President and Vice President, more than 40 years as a team staying in touch. And one must realize that Carter utilized Mondale as a closer confidante than any President has had with their Vice President!

A truly amazing man, and someone to be saluted and appreciated for the greatness of this person who exudes the true meaning of his faith, Christianity!

Joe Biden’s Public Opinion Poll Rating Reaches 46 Percent, Highest In 2022

President Joe Biden’s public opinion poll ratings have risen in recent months, and is now 46 percent in the latest Emerson College poll, and 45 percent in other polls.

Back in May, Biden reached a low of 38 percent, and now is higher than he was at any earlier time in 2022.

There are a lot of factors explaining this, including the abortion issue; the continuing Donald Trump controversy; the horrendous Republican contenders for public office this fall; and the issue of Social Security and Medicare being threatened by Republicans to be phased out over five years, if they gain control of both houses of Congress and the White House in the future.

There are also other factors, including the issue of gun regulation, and the cancellation of some college student debt payments by the Biden Administration, that influence ratings.

With Biden’s revival, he is in similar territory as earlier Presidents Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford, at this point of their time in office!

August 8, 1974 And August 8, 2022: Irony Of Timing On Richard Nixon And Donald Trump!

In an amazing coincidence, 48 years apart, history occurred on August 8, 1974, and once again on August 8, 2022!

Richard Nixon announced his resignation from the Presidency on August 8, 1974, and left office the following morning, succeeded by Gerald Ford, with Republicans having helped to “push him out the door”, indicating loss of support in a possible impeachment trial.

Donald Trump’s Mar A Lago mansion was searched by the FBI last night, looking for documents of national security significance taken by Trump when he left the White House, and many not having been returned since, as required by the National Archives.

This is a serious matter, authorized by a federal judge and the Department of Justice under Attorney General Merrick Garland, and is not to be taken lightly.

Garland is a responsible, competent Attorney General, unlike those who served under Donald Trump, and indicates a serious criminal conspiracy case is in action against former President Donald Trump.

But right away, the right wing extremists are on the attack against Garland and the Justice Department and the FBI, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, along with the extremists at Fox News Channel.

The Republicans in Congress are, as a group, acting very irresponsibly in support of Trump, while a half century ago, they abandoned Nixon!

There is talk of violence and lawlessness occurring once again, and we are entering a dangerous time, with concern for the safety and security of leaders of the Joe Biden Administration.

This is a time for praying for stability and calm, but no one at this point can predict the future!

Two Republican Majority Courts Supported Abortion Rights, But Not Now In 2022!

In the case of Roe V. Wade (1973), decided by 7-2, Abortion Rights for women was made federal law, with five of the seven votes being Republican appointments:

Harry Blackmun (Nixon)
Warren Burger (Chief Justice) (Nixon)
William Brennan (Eisenhower)
Potter Stewart (Eisenhower)
Lewis Powell (Nixon)

In Planned Parenthood V. Casey (1992), a later case on abortion, with some limits, the decision was 5-4, with all 5 in the majority being Republican appointments:

Sandra Day O’Connor (Reagan)
Anthony Kennedy (Reagan)
David Souter (HW Bush)
Harry Blackmun (Nixon)
John Paul Stevens (Ford)

All of these Republican appointed Justices were considered to be “conservatives” in their time frame, although Blackmun, Brennan, and Stevens came to be seen as “liberals’ over time, and O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter came to be seen as “moderates”.

The definition of “conservative” has changed dramatically in the past half century, so all of the Republican Justices would be seen by right wing Republicans in 2022 as “RINOS”, Republicans In Name Only!

In 2022, in Dobbs V. Jackson’s Women Health Organization, all six Republicans voted to end abortion rights, although Chief Justice John Roberts wanted only further limitations on abortion, and therefore dissented while joining the other five Republicans.

These appointments were by two Presidents who lost the popular vote when they were elected by the Electoral College, along with Clarence Thomas appointed by George H W Bush.

Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh both had charges of sexual impropriety brought against them, while Neil Gorsuch gained a place on the Court that was meant for Barack Obama appointee Merrick Garland, and Amy Coney Barrett replaced the recently deceased Ruth Bader Ginsburg just a week before an election in which Donald Trump lost by 7 million votes to Joe Biden, who should have been allowed that appointment.

The Supreme Court Reputation Reaching An All Time Low

The US Supreme Court is in a crisis, as its reputation in public opinion polls, and among Supreme Court “watchers”, is reaching an all time low, not matched since the late 1920s and early 1930s.

The Court has never been as right wing in substance as it is now, since a century ago, and even going further back to the late 19th century Gilded Age era.

The Supreme Court’s reputation was glowing in the time of the Warren Court (1953-1969) and even moving forward to the Burger Court (1969-1986), and still having an image of balance in the era of the Rehnquist Court (1986-2005).

This was due to the reality that many Republican appointees to the Court, including the following, avoided hardline conservativism:

Eisenhower–Earl Warren, William Brennan
Nixon–Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun
Ford–John Paul Stevens
Reagan–Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy
HW Bush–David Souter

These eight Justices made a massive difference in enunication of Supreme Court opinions.

Sadly, George H W Bush’s appointment of Clarence Thomas, and George W. Bush’s selection of Samuel Alito, veered the Court far to the right, and Donald Trump’s three appointments—Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett—have continued that trend.

The fact that Thomas and Kavanaugh have been connected to accusations of sexual harassment, and that Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett were chosen by Presidents who lost the national popular vote, and that Gorsuch took a seat that was meant for Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, and that Barrett was confirmed for the Court less than two weeks before the national election—only adds to the fury and disgust felt about the Supreme Court!

This has, reportedly, disturbed Chief Justice John Roberts (2005- ), whose historical reputation is being damaged, as he has moved, personally, from being conservative to attempts to create a moderate balance on the Court. Sadly, it is not working, so there are some rumors that he might retire from the Court after 17 years as its leader, as that is about the norm for most of the 17 Chief Justices in Amerian history, with the exception of John Marshall (1801-1835) and his successor, Roger Taney (1836-1864).

That would be a major step forward, to retire, and allow Joe Biden to pick a Chief Justice, which has not happened for a Democratic President since Harry Truman in 1946!

The Republican Party Has Gone Bonkers, And Conservatives Need To Leave And Form New Party!

The Republican Party and its long history is ending, effectively, with the crazy decision of the Republican National Committee to censure Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming, and Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois!

And the party apparatus has declared that the January 6, 2021 Insurrection was “legitimate political discourse”, an absolutely lunatic statement that is having all past Republicans shamed, and many principled moderates and conservatives in the party today stunned beyond belief!

The party can be considered to have committed suicide, and all decent people in and out of government, need to make clear that they are abandoning the party, as many already have, and start a new conservative party, based on principles, not lawlessness, bloodshed, and violence!

Can any sane person imagine any of the great Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and those connected to past Republican Presidents and nominees who would not be appalled by the total recklessness and conceding to a tin horn lunatic named Donald Trump that has now occurred?

What would Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush say?

What about all of the other luminaries of the Republican Party past and present?

How can such Republicans today as Lisa Murkowski, Ben Sasse, Mitt Romney, and others NOT quit the party and denounce what they have declared about the January 6 Insurrection, and the mistreatment of Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger?

One Term Presidencies That Mattered: Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush!

President Joe Biden stated at his end of first year press conference yesterday, that he planned to run for a second term in 2024, and that Kamala Harris would again be his running mate.

That is to be expected at this time, but by early 2023, Biden will need to make a final decision on running, so as to open the race to alternative choices if he announces he will retire.

The concept that a President must seek reelection was not the case with three Presidents, who decided not to run–James K. Polk in 1848, James Buchanan in 1860, and Rutherford Hayes in 1880. But Polk, despite not running for another term, is considered to have accomplished his goals, and as it turns out, his health was not good, and he died 105 days after leaving office in 1849.

Buchanan and Hayes are not considered to have had successful terms, and they may have sensed that they could not win reelection.

Other one term Presidents, such as Benjamin Harrison and Herbert Hoover, had horrible depressions to deal with, helping to cause their defeats in 1892 and 1932, and William Howard Taft had a split in his party with former President Theodore Roosevelt, which doomed his campaign for reelection in 1912.

Gerald Ford was a special situation, having not been elected, succeeding Richard Nixon, and having a bad economy, which doomed his desire for election to a full term in 1976, although he is considered in a kind manner at this point, having worked to unite America after the Watergate Scandal and resignation of Nixon.

But the two most recent Presidents defeated for reelection, before Donald Trump, had real accomplishments in office, although they were unable to win a second term, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George H. W. Bush in 1992.

Clearly, all Presidents since Rutherford Hayes in 1880, who have survived a term, have attempted to be reelected, but since Biden will be 82 years old weeks after the Presidential Election of 2024, he might decide not to run, or his health might be such that he is told he should not run.

First Year In Oval Office Under Most Presidencies Problematical, And Joe Biden Better Than Many!

One could argue that Joe Biden has accomplished a great deal in the first year, while often having disappointments and shortcomings.

Two major pieces of legislation were accomplished (The American Rescue Plan, and the Physical Infrastructure legislation), and the only reason why the Build Back Better bill and voting rights have failed to be accomplished is the opposition of two Democrats–Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema–and the reality of an equally divided Senate for only the third time in American history!

While inflation has become a major problem, the stock market dramatically rose, more jobs were created in the first year of a Presidency than any other administration, and the unemployment rate has dropped to a very low rate.

There are still the issues of the COVID 19 Pandemic, and the disaster of Afghanistan withdrawal, but the first issue was unpredictable as the worst health crisis in a century, and the second would have been the same result had Donald Trump stayed on as President, since he had made a deal with the Taliban without Afghanistan government involvement, to leave in May 2021, NOT as occurred in August 2021!

So some disappointing developments in the first year of a Presidency are not unique to the 46th President!

When one looks back at other Presidencies, it is actually quite common that the first year of a Presidency is a learning curve, and does not reflect on whether such Presidents will be, in the long run, successful, and also have the possibility of successful reelection.

The following Presidents had very successful first years—Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, George H. W. Bush!

Three Presidents had what could be described as mixed records in the first year in office–Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

The following Presidencies in the 20th and 21st century were far from successes in their first year:

Harry Truman 1945
John F. Kennedy 1961
Richard Nixon 1969
Gerald Ford 1974-1975
Jimmy Carter 1977
Ronald Reagan 1981
Bill Clinton 1993
Donald Trump 2017

Among these eight Presidents, four—Truman, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton–won reelection.

So it is not time to say that Joe Biden will fail to succeed, as he already has in many respects, and it is not time to say he cannot win reelection fo a second term!

Comparing Kamala Harris To Mike Pence, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, Spiro Agnew!

Kamala Harris has been Vice President for nearly a year, and has faced brutal criticism and attacks, and suggestions by some that she resign, because she has not been assertive in the role of Vice President.

Of course, these suggestions come from Fox News Channel anchors Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, who are actively involved in attempting a coverup of the events of January 6, 2021, even though they were stunned by the events of that day, and tried to reach Donald Trump to express their dismay.

It is insulting that conservative supporters of the January 6 Insurrection have the gall to attack Kamala Harris, when the major issue is that she is a woman, and of mixed African and Asian American heritage, as her father is from Jamaican origin and her mother of Asian Indian origin.

Who are the critics turning to as models?

Is it Mike Pence, who refused to speak up at all to Donald Trump for four years, but at least had the guts to uphold the Electoral College vote for Joe Biden on January 6, facing the threat of being hanged by rioters? That is his only redeeming quality.

Or is it Dick Cheney, who while qualified by experience, was a dangerous, out of control Vice President, under George W. Bush, who enriched himself by America’s engagement in two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq through leadership of Haliburton, and endorsed the use of torture against war prisoners?

Or is it Dan Quayle, who made everyone nervous for four years about the health of George H. W. Bush, as Quayle demonstrated how dumb and clueless he was?

Or was it Spiro Agnew, who resigned from office as a felon, after nearly five years a heartbeat away from the Presidency under Richard Nixon?

The only truly reputable Republican Vice President in the past half century was George H. W. Bush under Ronald Reagan! Although it must be said that the abbreviated Vice Presidency of Nelson Rockefeller under Gerald Ford was also decent!

Meanwhile, Democrats could be proud of their Vice Presidents—Walter Mondale under Jimmy Carter; Al Gore under Bill Clinton; and Joe BIden under Barack Obama!

Kamala Harris is in the tradition of decency and dignity of Mondale, Gore, and Biden, and will do a fine job over the next three years, with her excellent qualification as former San Francisco District Attorney, California Attorney General, and US Senator!