Great Depression

18 Months Of Donald Trump Presidency, And Crisis Atmosphere Grows

Today marks 18 months of the Donald Trump Presidency.

It has been 18 months of horrors, nightmares, disgrace to the office of the Presidency.

It has seen more corruption and abuse of power than any President in the past, including Richard Nixon.

It has put America into a massive foreign policy crisis, now marked by Trump’s invitation to Vladimir Putin of Russia to come to the White House this fall.

It has put America into a massive domestic policy crisis, as the the New Deal, Great Society, and everything good that Barack Obama did in eight years in office, is being systematically destroyed.

It has created the conditions for a potential Great Depression, with the imposition of tariffs about to explode into inflation of prices, loss of jobs and income, and alienation of all of our major trade partners with his crazy economic policies.

It has created the end of the post World War II alliance system of NATO that won the Cold War, but now the Russian government has declared a cyber World War on America, with a President whose loyalty is clearly with our rivals and enemies.

It has caused disarray among the two major political parties that have been our system since 1854, and now are in danger of total destruction, at least with the Republican Party.

It has demonstrated that the people who are elected and those who are appointed put their own jobs and wealth ahead of the interests of the vast majority of the American people.

It has shown us that our system of government, which allows a Supreme Court for life. It is guaranteed to create social and economic turmoil that will insure the danger of civil war, as the younger generation rebels against the future right wing extremist judicial system, packed with justices and judges who want to take us back to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, and wipe out the 20th century social safety network that has made us great.

It has divided Americans, with many, including this author and blogger no longer communicating with former associates and friends, when we have discovered how disgraceful these people are. This also includes family members, relatives, who make one realize the old saying, that you can pick your friends, but not your relatives.

Donald Trump is clearly out to destroy the United States as we know it, determined to keep his ethical and moral issues, and his violations of the law a secret that only Vladimir Putin knows, and holds over the head of the 45th President.

The danger of a violent civil war, as we had in the 1860s, is becoming more a reality unless somehow we can turn the tide and excise the cancer of Donald Trump. But sadly, Mike Pence is, in many ways, even worse, with his right wing religious crusade in a nation that was based on separation of church and state, precisely because of the religious extremism of Puritanism in our colonial history. The threat of racial and ethnic and even gender conflict is real, and the power of the National Rifle Association, now shown to be allied with the forces of Vladimir Putin, can bring about violence in the name of profits.

It is hard NOT to have despair as to how this nation survives long term, without major damage to the republic!

Chief Justice John Roberts To Become The New Balance On The Future Supreme Court?

Chief Justice John Roberts has been on the Court for 13 years now, and he is generally perceived as a conservative.

But he has surprised some conservatives, as when he kept ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act) alive in 2012.

Also, Roberts has often stated by the doctrine of “Stare Decisis”–to stand by things decided”–although he has not been consistent on this over the years.

The odds of Roberts siding with the liberals on the Court for the image of the Court named after him as Chief Justice, is a thin measure of what kind of balance he might present on the future Supreme Court.

It seems likely that on balance, he will be “number 5”, in the middle, but that middle will be much farther to the Right than Anthony Kennedy or Sandra Day O’Connor represented.

But then again, Justices have surprised their Republican Presidents who appointed them, as with Earl Warren and William Brennan under Dwight D. Eisenhower; Harry Blackmun under Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens under Gerald Ford; O’Connor and Kennedy under Ronald Reagan; and David Souter under George H. W. Bush.

The best estimate is that no one should count on John Roberts avoiding “his” Court from being regarded as the most right wing, conservative Court since the time of Warren G. Harding. Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover nine decades ago, before the Great Depression and New Deal began the transformation of constitutional law.

The Survival Of America As We Know It Depends On A Massive “Blue Wave” This November!

Donald Trump has thrown down the gauntlet, in informing Congressional Republicans that they should abandon any legislation on immigration until after the “Red Wave” he predicts is coming in the midterm elections of 2018 this November.

God forbid any such “Red Wave”, which would defy history, as the record shows the party in the White House always loses seats in the first midterm election after a President has been inaugurated, with the one major exception being FDR and the Democrats in 1934, but Donald Trump is no FDR!

If people stay home and do not vote, or if people continue to believe the lies of Donald Trump and the Republicans, then we as a nation, not those of us who care, but everyone else, will get what they deserve–a return to the 19th century Gilded Age before federal government played a role in the lives of the American people.

It will mean the end of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, labor laws, environmental legislation, consumer protections. civil rights for minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and the disabled, and the loss of the Bill of Rights.

We will live in a nation controlled by the super wealthy in every sense, and we will be influenced by autocrats in Russia and other totalitarian dictatorships, and we will be threatened by the loss of our traditional foreign allies, and we will face dire poverty after a Great Depression that would make the 1930s depression look like a minor event.

Some reading this might think I am using hyperbole, but seriously, even if one thinks they have heard this before, the reality is as follows: There is no more crucial election for the long term future of our nation than this midterm election.

The Democrats are far from perfect but even many conservative commentators, such as Jennifer Rubin, George Will, David Frum, Bret Stephens, Steve Schmidt, among others, have repudiated the Republican Party and Donald Trump, and warn us of the need to kick the Republicans out of control of both houses of Congress, and many state governorships and legislatures.

Donald Trump is the most dangerous person in American history, and the process to start taking away his destructive influence is NOT to say it is hopeless, and why bother voting?

It is, rather, that if we do not fight for our future, then there is no future!

Donald Trump Declares Trade “War” On European Union, Canada, Mexico: Suicidal For Consumers, Workers, Corporations

Donald Trump has declared a trade “war” on the 28 nations of the European Union, as well as Canada and Mexico.

This protectionist binge will be suicidal for consumers, workers, and corporations.

It will cause rapidly rising inflation in consumer prices; loss of employment in many industries and agriculture; and add billions of dollars in costs to corporations, which will lead to price increases and worker layoffs.

Along with the massive backtracking on the Dodd-Frank Act regulating Wall Street banks after the Great Recession of 2007-2009, it will bring about another Great Recession in the next year, and possibly worse, a return of the conditions of 1929 under Herbert Hoover, leading to the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of 1930, and a great worsening of the Great Depression that affected America for an entire decade.

It will also cause the NATO alliance to fray at its edges, as the European allies, and particularly the major ones–Great Britain, France, Germany–will retaliate against the nation that they used to look to as their leader.

And our relations with our neighbors–Canada and Mexico–will be the worst in a century, and undermine global security and stability.

And the Republican Party, while complaining privately, will show no ability to stand up to Donald Trump, and fight him, and their party will be permanently damaged by their cowardice!

Three Longest Economic Expansions Since World War II Under Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson

A fact often not acknowledged is that the three longest economic expansions in American history took place under Democratic Presidents.

The longest was under President Bill Clinton, with the expansion beginning under Republican George H. W. Bush in March 1991, but the expansion lasting until March 2001, a total of 120 months or 10 years, so the vast majority under Clinton.

The second longest is from 2009 to the present, nearly nine years recovery from the Great Recession, begun in late 2009 under Barack Obama, and continuing under Donald Trump.

Obama came into the worst economic situation since Franklin D. Roosevelt, succeeding Herbert Hoover at the worst moments of the Great Depression in 1933.

Donald Trump loves to brag how great the economy has been under him, without giving credit to his predecessor for the nearly seven and a half years of economic expansion that preceded Trump taking the oath, arguably the best inheritance ever in American history.

The third longest expansion was from 1961 to 1969, 106 months, which has just been surpassed now in 2018. It began under John F. Kennedy in February 1961, continued all the way through the term of Lyndon B. Johnson, and ended in December 1969 under Republican Richard Nixon.

Add the fact that nine of the last ten economic recessions occurred under Republican Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, and it is clear the nation has benefited much greater economically from Democratic administrations than from Republican administrations.

229th Anniversary Of First Presidential Inauguration Of George Washington In 1789: A Moment To Reflect On The Dangers To The Presidency As An Institution

On this day, April 30, in 1789, George Washington was inaugurated, 57 days late, in lower Manhattan in New York City, as the first President of the United States, setting important standards for Presidential actions and behavior over the next two and more centuries.

Washington arrived late due to the need to plant the crops on his Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, and traveled by horse from Virginia to NYC, being wined and dined along the way.

So Washington was the only President to serve two terms, but less than eight years, due to the loss of those 57 days in his first term, but his second term ending on March 4, 1797.

Two hundred years later, President George H. W. Bush commemorated the bicentennial of that event in New York City.

Now we have a President who challenges the institution of the Presidency in dangerous ways, and wishes he could be President for life, rather than the constitutional limit of two terms or ten years if succeeding during the last half of the term, as set up in the 22nd Amendment, passed through Congress in 1947, and ratified and going into effect in 1951, affecting all future Presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower onward.

Any person with rationality and knowledge of the history of America well knows that the threat of Donald Trump is real, and that the news media, the Congress, and the Judiciary must coordinate their efforts to remove him from office, as he has already done great damage to the institution of the Presidency.

We have not survived the Civil War, the Great Depression, the Cold War, and the danger of Richard Nixon, to allow ourselves to be undermined by the clear and present danger of Donald Trump!

Republican Presidential Administrations From Richard Nixon To Donald Trump: Indictments, Convictions, Prison Time, Plus Warren G. Harding And Ulysses S. Grant

We are in the midst of the most corrupt series of Presidential scandals in American history in the 15 months of the Trump Administration.

An investigation of Presidential scandals since Richard Nixon left office demonstrates the following:

Under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, there were no serious, protracted scandals of note.

Under Ronald Reagan, there were serious scandals that led to 26 indictments, 16 convictions, and 8 sent to prison–most outstanding being the Iran Contra Affair, which led to indictments of the Secretary of Defense, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, two National Security Advisers, Deputy Chief of Staff, as well as criminal prosecution or resignation of the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Under George H. W. Bush, he gave pardons to a number of people convicted under Reagan, and some wondered if the President was covering his own rear end, and potential involvement in the Iran Contra Scandal in particular.

Under Bill Clinton, while there were a lot of investigations under Republican Congresses after 1995, and the President was impeached in regards to the sex scandals with Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky, there were no serious scandals that led to any indictments or convictions.

Under George W. Bush, there were a lot of scandals, leading to 16 indictments, 16 convictions and 9 sent to prison, and many people working for Bush resigned rather than testify in many investigations. There were many abuses centered around the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the promotion of national security, and led to resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Lewis “Scooter” Libby who was the aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, and White House Adviser Karl Rove among others.

Under Barack Obama, there were no serious violations of the law or scandals, despite many investigations by Republican Congressional committees, including Hillary Clinton after the Benghazi Libya attack on the US Embassy by Muslim extremists.

When one adds the massive scandals under Richard Nixon, and now Donald Trump, it is clear that under Republican administrations, corruption and abuses have been widespread, although not under Gerald Ford, and that the three Democratic Presidents, despite much criticism, had no serious scandals on the level of Nixon, Reagan, Bush 2 and now Trump!

And when one goes back to earlier scandals under Warren G. Harding in the 1920s and Ulysses S. Grant in the 1870s, both Republican Presidents, it only adds to the image and reality of Republicans presiding over scandalous times, as well as nine of the last ten economic downturns since 1953, along with the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover after 1929!

April 12, One Of Most Historic Days On Calendar: 1861, 1945, 1961

Every day on the calendar, historically, has had some interesting event occur, but April 12 is an unusually historic day worth remembering.

Three path breaking events occurred on April 12.

In 1861, the attack by South Carolina on the US fort, Fort Sumter, in Charleston Harbor, occurred, the first shots of the Civil War.

In 1945, the greatest President of the 20th century, and the President who has had the greatest impact on us of any President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, died in Warm Springs, Georgia, thrusting Harry Truman into the Presidency at a time of great challenge, with the Second World War not yet ended, and the challenge to overcome Japan in Asia still ahead of us.

FDR did more for America domestically than any President, and much of what he accomplished is now under attack by the Trump Administration.

At the same time, Truman, despite questions about his competence to become our President, proved his ability to take on the responsibility, and is now rated 5th or 6th among all of our Presidents, while FDR is rated 2nd or 3rd greatest.

And in 1961, exactly a century after Fort Sumter, the Space Age began, as far as manned space exploration, with Yuri Gagarin of the Soviet Union being the first astronaut to orbit the earth, and now further space exploration is in the offing.

To have the Civil War start on this day; the promoter of the New Deal to cope with the Great Depression, and also the Second World War President, FDR, to die on this day; the accession to power of Harry Truman; and the inception of the Space Age—all on this day, makes April 12 a special day in the historical calendar!

Tariffs And Republican Depressions: Benjamin Harrison, Herbert Hoover, Now Donald Trump?

Protective tariffs made sense in the time of Alexander Hamilton and the time of Henry Clay.

But in the late 19th century, big business corporations were able to create higher tariffs that were detrimental to the American worker, consumer, and economy, with the assistance of the corrupt Republican Party of the period.

In 1890, under Republican President Benjamin Harrison, we saw the passage of the McKinley Tariff, named after the future President, and it undermined the economy and contributed to the disastrous Panic of 1893, which affected the nation until 1898.

In 1930, months after the Stock Market Crash, Republican President Herbert Hoover, ignoring the pleas of hundreds of economists, signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which caused a great worsening of the developing Great Depression.

As the decades went by, most Republicans and intelligent Democrats realized that high tariffs were not good, and free trade agreements developed in the 1990s.

Some far left liberals and some far right conservatives joined forces to fight this, and now Donald Trump has declared the inception of “Tariff Wars”, which will bring down the American economy, harm consumers and farmers, and cause unemployment to rise.

Trump is alienating the whole world–including China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and more–and instead will destroy the economic lives of millions of his own supporters, if he is not stopped from his crazy, lunatic actions!

Assuming we cannot stop what he is doing, the Republicans will suffer a blood bath, that will put the Republican Party in the dustbin of history.

It is time for Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans in Congress to show some “cajones”, and turn against Trump before he totally destroys the nation economically, and takes unto World War III against North Korea, who would be helped by China, and Iran, who would be helped by Russia.

The War Cabinet Emerges: Larry Kudlow, Mike Pompeo, And John Bolton: Great Depression And Aggressive War Against North Korea And Iran On The Horizon!

Donald Trump has now forced out Gary Cohn, Rex Tillerson, and H. R. Mc Master, and replaced them with Larry Kudlow, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton, and this turnover after only 14 months in the White House is a danger sign of trouble ahead.

Trump’s “Tariff Wars”, discouraged by Cohn, now will move forward, and Tillerson and Mc Master, both strong in their criticism of Trump oriented foreign policy of “America First”, upending traditional foreign policy for 70 years, now will move into a phase of aggressiveness in foreign policy that is likely to lead to warfare.

One can now expect that we might end up in a Great Depression, or at least a Great Recession, as we are going down the road of protectionism, which was pursued by Benjamin Harrison in 1890 with the McKinley Tariff, which led to the Panic of 1893; and also pursued by Herbert Hoover in 1930 with the Smoot Hawley Tariff, which made the already begun Great Depression much more deeper.

And we can expect that with Mike Pompeo and particularly, John Bolton, two hawks in foreign policy, the first being a Tea Party activist elected to the House of Representatives, and the second, unable to be confirmed by a Republican Senate to be United Nations Ambassador, and only there for less than a year as a recess appointment under George W. Bush, and very much advocating “regime change” regarding North Korea and Iran, we can expect two wars before the year 2018 is over.

Trump may be thinking that getting engaged in two wars will cause “patriots” to rally around the flag, and help the Republicans to retain their control of both houses of Congress, and one must recall that in Presidential years, anytime there there has been a war, the President running for reelection has always won.

So Trump might be planning to use war as a way to a second term in office, which history must make every sane person be alarmed over such prospect!