Gilded Age

The 166th Anniversary Of The “National Newspaper” With More Pulitzer Prizes Than Any Other: The New York Times

Today is the 166th Anniversary of a treasured newspaper, seen as the “National Newspaper” of America, the New York Times.

Founded on September 18, 1851, the New York Times has recorded America’s history and that of the world through the Civil War, the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, The Great Depression and the New Deal, the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Vietnam War, The Watergate Scandal, The Reagan and Clinton Era, September 11, the Obama Era, and now the Trump Presidency and the challenges it presents to a free press.

Through it all, it has been the leader in news reporting and scoops often unique from others, and has been under attack by those who are angry that it exposes evil and wrong doing so often.

The New York Times has made its mistakes and had some stories later demonstrated to be untrue or manufactured, and is certainly far from perfect, but what source is perfect?

But it has admitted its shortcomings when they have become evident.

It is the newspaper of record, with the best index for researchers, writers, and historians. It has won 122 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper, and has the highest paper circulation of any metropolitan daily newspaper in America.

It is the only paper to have such an index going back to its founding in 1851. Any one doing newspaper research would need to search the archives of the NY Times as a beginning point for other research.

It has a slogan: “All The News That’s Fit To Print”, very appropriate for a great newspaper that has changed knowledge by its efforts in all fields of learning and public interest.

The 4th Of July In The Trump Era: America Has Lost Its Way!

Today is the 241st anniversary of Independence Day, declared in 1776.

America was a great experiment in being a republic, and over the nearly two and a half centuries since, America ended slavery; opened its arms to scores of immigrants from all over the world; expanded the right to vote to all citizens over time, no matter what race, religion, nationality, or gender they were; promoted a social safety net; and expanded public education to all.

The Constitution was expanded to face modern realities; and both major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, contributed to the advancement of tolerance and justice and equal opportunity; and the Supreme Court became a body that dealt with expansion of civil liberties and civil rights.

There were many detours along the road to today, but overall, progress was made, and a sense of optimism reigned.

And then, September 11 occurred, and the nation’s politics veered from one viewpoint to another and then to what is now present, a dark view of our nation, its people, and the world.

We live in the Trump era, which is in process of delaying, deleting, and destroying so much progress that has been accomplished in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

We are seeing race, religion, ethnicity and gender being used in an abusive manner to take away basic civil liberties, civil rights, common decency, and a sense of civility.

We are seeing the wealthy becoming the most stratified group in American history, and the middle class, created in the 20th century, destroyed, and the poor being treated in a shabby fashion.

One political party, the Republicans, has become the party of negativism, hatred, prejudice, and pure nastiness, and we have seen the shift of the Supreme Court toward a hard right conservatism that brings back memories of the Gilded Age Supreme Court.

It is as if we are in a time warp, and have reverted to 140 years ago!

So while we celebrate our national holiday, we have a lot to mourn, and it MUST make all of us determined to fight and resist with all our abilities combined, to resolve this crisis in a constitutional manner, with the removal of Donald Trump from the Presidency, as a tyrant and authoritarian figure who has met his match with our Constitutional remedy!

Republican Party History And Reputation Under Attack In Present Constitutional Crisis

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and included many abolitionists within its midst.

The Republican Party became the Party of the Union, and under Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, the Civil War was fought, and the Confederate States of America was defeated, and slavery was abolished.

The Republican Party then promoted citizenship and the right to vote for African Americans.

Then, the party lost its way and became the party of Big Business in the Gilded Age, and was engaged in widespread corruption.

But in the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and Congressional leaders such as Robert La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska and many others, the party became one of reform oriented ideas.

Then, in the 1920s and through the years of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the party became one of opposition to progressive ideas, with a few exceptions of leaders in Congress and in the states.

With the coming of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the rise of the liberal wing of the modern GOP, under Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, and George Romney. and many US Senators, the battle was fought against a takeover of the party by the extreme right, headed by Senator Barry Goldwater, but despite his defeat for the Presidency in 1964, the coming of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan ushered in conservative ideas, and the GOP became captive to the myth of Reagan.

The party became captive to a foreign policy of intervention in the Middle East, and promotion of massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and destruction of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were stopped in their quest by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Now, however, the Republican Party has become more extremist under the most corrupt President in American history, much more than Richard Nixon.

Donald Trump is for the wealthy elite, and that is why the Republicans in Congress are overlooking the disaster occurring before our eyes daily.

The Republican Party history and reputation are under attack in the present constitutional crisis, while at the time of the Nixon constitutional crisis, many Republicans spoke up and led the struggle against the illegalities of the Watergate Scandal.

The future of the Republican Party is at stake, and this could be the time that we will look back on and realize that it led to the demise of the Republican Party as we know it!

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.

Ike’s Farewell Address Being Ignored By Republican Party And Donald Trump 56 Years Later

On this day in 1961, with three days left in office, Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his greatest speech in his Farewell Address, warning America about the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex.

56 years later, the Republican Party and Donald Trump are totally ignoring this warning, and setting America back to the Gilded Age in domestic policy making, and a dangerous isolationism in foreign policy, alienating all of our NATO allies, and creating an unstable world by the lunatic ideas of a man many are calling Trumpolini!

We are moving into very difficult and tumultuous times, and yet 11 million more people voted against Donald Trump than for him, when one counts the 3 million more votes for Hillary Clinton, and the total of 8 million more votes for third party and independent candidates.

Our Electoral College system has put America into a constitutional crisis, with no idea how it will end.

Progressives must commit themselves to fight endlessly against the extremist right wing government, Fascist in many ways, that is about to take over our government.

We will need to be vigilant about our Bill of Rights, and refuse to sit back and allow horrible actions that are against our entire historical tradition.

115th Congress To Open, On Heels Of Three Worst, Most Unproductive Congresses In Modern History Since World War II!

Today is the opening day of the 115th Congress, on heels of the three most unproductive Congresses in modern history since World War II, and we are on the way to the most corrupt, disgraceful Congress in all of American history, including the Gilded Age years of the late 19th century.

It is as if the Republican majority in Congress is out to repeal the 20th century, going back to the 1920s Congresses that came before the Great Depression, caused by Republican policies, and rectified in great measure by Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal in the 1930s.

The whole concept of a national government that was concerned about the economic status of its people, promoted by the New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society, as well as the reforms brought about under later Presidents, including Barack Obama, seem about to be wiped out in great measure by the nasty, vindictive, uncaring right wing Republican Party, which is not even embarrassed about getting rid of their ethics committee, brought about by Congressional scandals a decade ago. Now the thought is, who cares what the public thinks about sex and financial scandals, as we will simply push them under the rug!

That is why the news media, particularly the major newspapers and periodicals and electronic media MUST not allow themselves to be cowed into silence, as it is only the responsible news media that will be able to inform us of the truth and preserve light in a time of darkness.

This is a time for mourning, but one can be assured that the Republicans will pay the price long term for the sins, misdeeds, and even crimes they are now about to perpetrate in harming women, children, workers, the poor, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, the environment, racial minorities, gays and lesbians, immigrants, Muslims, and all other oppressed groups who now are faced with the most right wing extremist Congress in nearly a century.

Many Presidents Have Made Court Appointments In Last Year Of Term Or Presidency

The Republican Party is making the preposterous argument that a President, in his last year in office, should not be able to make an appointment to the Supreme Court, when history tells us otherwise.

Just because a President is finishing his time in office does not mean that he has no authority to do his job, which includes appointing judges and Justices!

And what about Presidents running for reelection, with the possibility that he might not be reelected?  Does that mean every President in the last year of any Presidential term should lose his powers to make appointments to the federal judiciary?

History tells us otherwise as witness the following:

George Washington 1796 –two appointments

Thomas Jefferson 1804–one appointment

Andrew Jackson 1836–two appointments, including Chief Justice Roger Taney, who remained on the Court for 28 years

Grover Cleveland 1888–two appointments, including Chief Justice Melville Fuller, who remained on the Court for 22 years

Benjamin Harrison 1892–one appointment

William Howard Taft 1912–one appointment

Woodrow Wilson 1916—two appointments, including the controversial, longest battle, to put Louis Brandeis on the Supreme Court

Herbert Hoover 1932–one appointment (Benjamin Cardozo)

Franklin D. Roosevelt 1940–one appointment  (Frank Murphy)

Ronald Reagan 1988–one appointment (Anthony Kennedy)

Additionally, Presidents have made appointments to the federal district and circuit courts when in the last year in office (Reagan 26 and 7; Clinton 37 and 9; Bush II 26 and 6; Obama 4 and 4).

And from 1947 to 2014, 416 District Court and 79 Circuit Court appointments have been made in Presidential election years.

So the Republican Party has no case for why Barack Obama should not be able to make an appointment, other than that they do not want a liberal replacing a conservative, and bringing the end of the 44 year conservative and Republican dominance on the Court.

But the answer to that is to stop being a crybaby and accept that your reign of dominance is coming to an end, and not too soon.

It is time to move into the 21st century of constitutional law, rather than dwell in the 19th century Gilded Age mentality of the conservatives on the Supreme Court!

 

 

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!

 

“We Must Take Our Government Back!”—To What, May We Ask?

Carly Fiorina said it last night in the GOP debate; Donald Trump has said it; so has a multitude of others in the Republican Party debates so far—“We must take our government back!”

Back to what, is the question!

Back to a time when women were “dutiful” housewives who stayed home, avoided education and employment, and were totally dependent upon their husbands?

Back to a time when “Negroes” were segregated by law and custom and “knew” their place not to complain?

Back to a time when “Negroes” were lynched at will and no one seemed to notice?

Back to a time when gays and lesbians were openly discriminated against in all areas of life without any protection or support of their rights?

Back to a time when child labor existed as young as six years old, and they and poor women who worked were paid far less than men?

Back to a time when there was no Social Security system for the elderly and disabled?

Back to a time when immigrants were barred from coming to America if they were Jewish or Catholic or Asian in origin?

Back to a time when labor unions did not exist, and work places were totally unsafe, and there was no workers compensation for injuries at work?

Back to a time when corporations “raped” and pillaged the environment for their own selfish purposes?

The list could go on and on, and who would “love” if all this was to return, from the 1950s, 1920s, and the “Gilded Age” of the late 19th century?

Conservatives who have fought against and resisted all of these changes and reforms brought about by progressives such as Theodore Roosevelt; Progressive Era reformers at all levels;  Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition; Harry Truman; John F, Kennedy; Lyndon B. Johnson; 1960s reformers at all levels; Jimmy Carter; Bill Clinton; Barack Obama; and the constant battle of modern progressives and liberals to protect and expand all of the great political, social and economic reforms of the 20th century, hard fought, and the battle goes on in 2015!

 

The Tea Party, Or Freedom Caucus, Or Liberty Caucus Of Republicans: A Danger To Political Stability Of The Nation!

There is a group of extremist right wing Republicans in the House of Representatives, coming almost exclusively from “Red States”. with particular emphasis in the South, that is out to destroy any chance of political stability in the nation.  They are supported by many radio talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Mark Levin and Ann Coulter, among others.

They are in the process of causing the disintegration of a major political party, the Republicans of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and even Ronald Reagan in their mad quest to take us back to the Gilded Age of the 19th century, as they pursue destroying the good faith and credit of the United States, and wiping out the reforms of the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society.  They want to shut down the government, and refuse to raise the debt limit, radical actions which would undermine our nation’s economic stability.

They promote racism, nativism, misogyny, and Islamophobia, and the worship of unbridled capitalism and the libertarian philosophy of Ayn Rand, mixed with a mean spirited view of Christianity toward the poor and the disabled, sick and elderly in American society.

They want to promote a high moral standard on society, while they do not practice it themselves, but spout extreme religious dogma, and they want to send America into wars overseas even though most of them have never served in the military, and would not allow their sons and daughters to sacrifice their lives in foreign crusades.

They have a hatred toward President Barack Obama bordering on obsessive-compulsive behavior, and many would applaud the demise of our President by violence, as they have no moral compass despite their claims of religiosity.

They find the leadership of their party as insufficiently conservative, attacking Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnnell, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and Senator John McCain as examples of insufficient conservatism, considering them RINOS (Republicans In Name Only).

They call themselves the Tea Party Caucus, or the Freedom Caucus. or the Liberty Caucus, but their precise membership is fluid, but includes from three to four dozens members of the House of Representatives, with the greatest number from the major populated states of Texas and Florida, numbers two and three in population nationally.

They are holding the Speakership of the House of Representatives hostage, and the uncertainty about who the next Speaker will be, and what he will do on crucial budget issues, is undermining faith in our government. And the fact that the Speaker, whoever he is, is second in line for the Presidency under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, endangers the Presidency itself, in case of an emergency!