Haiti

On First Anniversary Of Inauguration, Donald Trump Causes Shutdown Of Government, Which Will Destroy His Presidency In American History!

Here we are on the first anniversary of the Trump Presidency, and the government is shut down, due to Donald Trump’s destroying any chance of a deal on immigration, after having had a televised meeting at the White House on Tuesday, January 9, and claiming he would sign any bill that came to his desk.

Two days later, Trump had changed his mind, and used the term “Shit Hole”, to describe people from the continent of Africa and from Haiti and El Salvador.

So this shutdown is clearly on the desk of Donald Trump, who has claimed “The Art of the Deal”, but in effect, has done for the government what he did in his businesses six times, going bankrupt.

This disaster, occurring when the Republican Party controls both houses of Congress and the White House, is unprecedented, and it will cause the GOP to lose control of both houses of Congress in November at the midterm elections.

The right thing for Donald Trump to do is to resign, and today would be an appropriate time to do so.

Instead, Donald Trump is tweeting this morning, complaining about his inability to go to his estate in Palm Beach, and celebrate the anniversary of his inauguration, therefore breaking yet another promise to people who were told that they would get the opportunity to meet the President and have a picture with him this evening.

But what is new, as Trump always promises and then fails to follow through, as he is a massive liar.

Here is a man who seemed to understand the torment “Dreamers”, the children brought to America illegally by their parents but knowing no other nation, were facing, but really, he could not give a damn, and neither could his hard hearted, cold followers, many of whom have done nothing for the nation, and live off government welfare in the heartland of the nation, and are simply racists and nativists. They contribute nothing to the nation except hatred and prejudice, and one wishes there was a way to deport them, and make citizens of the “Dreamers”, who have not personally broken the law and have contributed to the nation in so many ways, including being in the military.

So the quandary of these “Dreamers” continues, and the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) is suspended for this moment, as the flu rages throughout the nation.

And the Opioid Crisis worsens without action, and the need for infrastructure continues, and the government is put into further chaos, as government workers and services in many areas comes to a halt.

This anniversary will be always remembered, and will further stain the Presidency of Donald Trump, and one can only hope and pray that Donald Trump will be forced out of office in 2018, as how much more can this nation tolerate?

The Trump Presidency will go down in history as the worst of all time, as his Presidency’s reputation has been destroyed yet further by this government shutdown, which may last a long time.

The American Presidency And Racism Nothing New, But Donald Trump’s Comment Way Beyond The Pale, And Should Force His Resignation!

The American Presidency and racism is nothing new, but Donald Trump’s comment about Haiti and the continent of Africa being a “shit hole” is way beyond the pale, and should force his resignation as a moral and ethical disgrace!

We know that nine of the first 12 Presidents were slave owners.

We know that Andrew Jackson slaughtered native Americans, and forced thousands to Oklahoma, the disgraceful “Trail of Tears”, and condemned abolitionists and worked to prevent their literature from going through the US Mail.

We know that John Tyler and James K. Polk worked to expand slavery territory.

We know that Andrew Johnson was a white supremacist in a disgraceful way.

We know that Theodore Roosevelt was critical of the mass migration of Catholics and Jews (the “New Immigration”) to America, and did not care about racial discrimination in the South.

We know that Woodrow Wilson was a white supremacist, who segregated the nation’s capital by executive order and refused to give any honors for military service to African Americans, and looked at Japan and China as inferior nations.

We know that Franklin D. Roosevelt failed to take adequate action against the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews and others in World War II, and failed to move against racial discrimination, although his wife Eleanor did speak up and take whatever actions she could, as First Lady.

We know that Richard Nixon was antisemitic, and said biased statements against Jews and African Americans on the Watergate Tapes, which were recorded in the Oval Office.

We know there were other actions by Presidents which showed reluctance or refusal to take action against racism and antisemitism.

But Donald Trump, by his public utterance yesterday, and so many other statements and actions before he became President, and since he became President, is the most vile racist of them all, including his wish to deport tens of thousands of Haitians, Salvadorans, and Hondurans, and his lack of concern about the horrible damage done to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands during the hurricane season.

For that, Donald Trump will go down as the bottom of the list of all of our Presidents, and we MUST work to get him out of office before he does much more damage beyond what he has done!

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?

Ronald Reagan, Nelson Mandela, And South Africa

The push is on to promote an image of Ronald Reagan on South Africa that is false, that he was a supporter of freedom in South Africa, but could not do so because of the Cold War with the Soviet Union,

While it is true that Reagan worried about the African National Congress being linked to Communism in the 1970s and 1980s, the fact is that the US Congress, including a large number of Republicans, overcame a presidential veto of legislation to put sanctions on South Africa in 1986,

Who was on Reagan’s side? People like North Carolina Republican Senator Jesse Helms, one of the most outrageous racists ever to walk the halls of Congress, and ironically, hailed earlier this year by Texas Senator Ted Cruz as someone he admired, and wished there could be 100 Jesse Helmses in the US Senate today!

Also, one must recall that Reagan did not promote “human rights” in countries that Jimmy Carter had condemned, and withheld foreign aid from during his Presidency, nations such as the Philippines and Haiti, and only after “peoples” revolutions in those nations in the same year as the override of the presidential veto on South African sanctions, 1986, did Reagan suddenly become an advocate of human rights.

And one must remember that Reagan worked to undermine the civil rights laws in the 1980s, including opposition to affirmative action, and had never been an open advocate of those laws when they were passed.

So while no one is calling Ronald Reagan a racist, least of all the author, his lack of sensitivity on the outrage of apartheid in South Africa, still stand out as reprehensible!

And the greatest example of how the Reagan view has been repudiated is the fact that three former Presidents–Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush—and President Barack Obama, are all going to the funeral of Nelson Mandela next week, a tribute to the greatness of this man considered by many 30 years ago as a “terrorist”, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, who himself could be considered a war criminal by many for the waging of the war in Iraq on false pretenses.

Dick Cheney is no model to follow, any more than Jesse Helms!

If this is said to be representative of the conservative movement in America, then they have made their own downfall as a serious alternative to what matters most, human rights and dignity!

Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter And Human Rights Vs Ronald Reagan

President Lyndon Johnson overcame his Southern past to promote the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through Congress, because he knew it was the right thing to do in his time!

President Jimmy Carter took a strong stand on human rights in Haiti, the Philippines, South Africa and elsewhere when he was President, because he knew it was the right thing to do in his time!

On the other hand, Ronald Reagan did everything to work against advancement of civil rights in America and human rights overseas in his time, refusing to condemn the governments of Haiti, the Philippines, and South Africa!

Only when Haiti and the Philippines overthrew their governments in 1986 in revolution, did Reagan, belatedly, endorse the changes and say he was for human rights in those nations, only five years late, and only when the deed was done to overthrow both dictatorships!

And when Reagan had a chance to condemn apartheid in South Africa, he threatened to, and finally did veto, a resolution passed in Congress to start sanctions against that racist regime. The Congress went ahead and overrode the veto, the first time in the 20th century that Congress had overridden a President on a foreign policy matter, with many Republicans joining Democrats in overriding the veto. This is so well depicted in the fantastic film, THE BUTLER, one of the best films in many years to come from Hollywood about history and politics!

In the film, the actor portraying Reagan shows insensitivity to the main character, black actor Forest Whitaker, on this issue, but then asks, is he possibly wrong in his decision to veto? Forrest Whittaker does not answer, but the resounding answer is YES!

So despite the adulation of Ronald Reagan on the far RIGHT of the Republican Party and the conservative movement, Reagan is correctly depicted as NOT being an advocate of civil rights and human rights, and did not have the courage and foresight of Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter, who were principled men for good, unlike our 40th President!

The Centennial Of Woodrow Wilson’s Presidency: A Time For Debate Over His Legacy

A century ago day, Woodrow Wilson was inaugurated as the 28th President of the United States,and helped to transform the Presidency in massive ways, some good and some bad.

Wilson has been under attack in the present climate of conservative attacks on reform oriented Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama.

The facts are that Wilson, FDR, and LBJ were the three most accomplished Presidents in domestic affairs, but with plenty of criticism about their handling of wars and the domestic relationship to those wars.

Wilson accomplished the most domestic reform of any President before him, taking on parts of Theodore Roosevelt’s New Nationalism agenda on the Progressive Party line in 1912, adding it to his own New Freedom legislative ideas.

So Wilson’s time saw the following:

Underwood Simmons Tariff

Federal Reserve Act

Clayton Anti Trust Act

Federal Trade Commission

Keating-Owen Child Labor Act

La Follette Seamen’s Act

Adamson Act (eight hour work day in interstate transportation)

Federal Farm Loan Act

Some of this did not work out well long term, and additionally, Wilson had major negative policies dealing with:

Woman Suffrage—opposing an amendment (although it came about despite him in 1920, via the 19th Amendment).

Race Relations—clearly racist policy of imposing Jim Crow segregation in Washington, DC; unfair treatment and recognition of African American sacrifices in the World War I effort; and endorsement of an openly racist film, D W Griffith’s BIRTH OF A NATION, which portrayed the Southern view of Reconstruction, a myth of long standing, which finally was proved inaccurate in the past half century of historical research and writing.

Civil Liberties Violations— including arrest and imprisonment of Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs for opposition to the draft and American involvement in World War I; the Espionage and Sedition Acts; and the Palmer Raids after the war.

In foreign policy, Wilson engaged in “Missionary Diplomacy” including interventions in Haiti, and more significantly in Mexico, attempting to pursue Pancho Villa for a raid across the border into Columbus, New Mexico, the worst incursion in American territory since the War of 1812. And of course, the controversy over Wilson and our entrance into World War I continues even today, and the whole debate and divisiveness over the Versailles Treaty and League of Nations in 1919-1920.

Additionally, being incapacitated by a stroke, but being unwilling to hand over temporary power to Vice President Thomas Marshall, and allowing his wife to run cabinet meetings, is another major issue in assessing Wilson’s Presidency.

So Wilson is a “very mixed bag” as a President, but usually is ranked in the bottom of the top ten of our Presidents, specifically because of his long range influence on America, rare among Presidents, for good or for bad, and there is clearly plenty of both!

Reelected Presidents And Foreign Policy

An interesting trend of reelected American Presidents is their tendency to become deeply involved in foreign policy matters. This is true since the dawn of America as a world leader in the time of Theodore Roosevelt.

The question is whether this is a planned strategy, or a simple reaction to events, or both.

After Theodore Roosevelt won his full term, having succeeded William McKinley after his assassination, TR became involved in aggressive policy making, criticizing Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany over Morocco at the Algeciras Conference of 1906, and taking leadership of relations with Japan.

Woodrow Wilson, after keeping us out of war in Europe, called for our entrance into World War I a month after his second inauguration, and then went to the Versailles Peace Conference after the war, and worked, unsuccessfully, to convince the US Senate to ratify the Versailles Treaty and membership in the League of Nations. He also committed troops, along with Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan, to attempt an overthrow of the Soviet Union regime under Nikolai Lenin.

Calvin Coolidge, elected after succeeding Warren G. Harding in 1923, became involved in the promotion of the Kellogg Briand Pact in 1928, an attempt to outlaw war as an instrument of international policy.

Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the nation closer to dealing with the German Nazi, Italian Fascist, and the Imperial Japanese threat before and during the early part of the Second World War, and then took us into the war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in his third term, and pushed for an alliance with the British and the Soviet Union during the war, and advocated the formation of the United Nations as the war was ending.

Harry Truman, after succeeding FDR upon his death in 1945, and winning his own election in 1948, helped to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, took America into the Korean War, and gave aid to the French in the Indochinese War.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his second term, engaged in diplomacy with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev at Camp David in 1959 and secretly planned to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Lyndon B. Johnson, after succeeding the assassinated John F, Kennedy in 1963, in his full term, escalated American involvement in Vietnam to a full scale war that divided the country, and invaded the Dominican Republic in 1965.

Richard Nixon, after being reelected, became engaged in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, saving the possibility of a Soviet intervention in the Middle East, and also arranged the overthrow of the Chilean President, Salvador Allende.

Ronald Reagan, in his second term, engaged in arms agreements with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; bombed Libya over its claim of a 200 mile territorial limit; and supported overthrow of dictatorial regimes in Haiti and the Phillippines.

Bill Clinton, in his second term, brought about peace in Northern Ireland; became engaged in war against Serbia over Kosovo; and engaged in counter terrorism actions against Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists.

George W. Bush, in his second term, conducted a “surge” in Iraq, and promoted action against the HIV-AIDS epidemic in Africa.

The question is what Barack Obama will end up doing in the field of foreign policy, and whether he will initiate it, or react to events he cannot control.

Evaluating Woodrow Wilson A Century After His Election To The Presidency, And On His 156th Birthday Commemoration!

Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President, was born on this day in 1856, and was elected President in the four way race of 1912, running against Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Eugene Debs, arguably the most exciting Presidential election in American History.

The President with the least government experience, only two years as Governor of New Jersey; the only earned PH. D. to become President; the first President elected who grew up in the South (Virginia) since the Civil War; the President to face the greatest war crisis since Abraham Lincoln; the President who emphasized the importance of international affairs and the need for an international organization to promote peace; the President who was the culmination of the Progressive reform movements of the early 20th century; and the President who promoted successfully his domestic agenda, and then took on Theodore Roosevelt’s even more advanced progressive ideas and made them his own—this President has also been bitterly attacked by many for his shortcomings in many areas, and particularly has been viciously attacked by right wing conservatives, including Glenn Beck and George Will, who have torn his image to shreds.

Well, the question is whether the attacks on Wilson are fair and just, so that requires a careful examination of the positive and negative aspects of his Presidency.

Let’s start with the negative points that can be made about Wilson, and they are plenty!

1. Wilson was a white supremacist, despite his stellar education, and failed to treat people of African, Asian, and Latin American heritage in a dignified way, whether in the nation or with foreign nations overseas. His treatment of China, Japan, Mexico, Haiti and governments of other nations outside of Europe were treated in an insensitive and unacceptable manner, and he issued an executive order mandating segregation of the races in Washington, DC, and failed to recognize the contributions of soldiers of other than the Caucasian race during World War I. He legitimized and set back mistreatment of African Americans for another thirty years, until progress was made by President Harry Truman after World War II.

2. Wilson, inexplicably, opposed the woman suffrage movement, and had suffragettes arrested for disturbing the peace in their marches on Pennsylvania Avenue near the White House. Theodore Roosevelt had proposed this constitutional change in his 1912 Progressive Party campaign, but Wilson never moved in that direction on his own. Despite his opposition, the 19th Amendment was added at the end of his term in 1920.

3. Wilson had a horrible record on civil liberties in wartime, promoting passage of the Espionage Act, Sedition Act, and numerous other laws violating freedom of speech and press. He displayed total intolerance toward critics, once America was at war, and is regarded as one of the absolutely worst Presidents on the subject of civil liberties overall for his eight years in office.

4. Wilson was intolerant of opposition in Congress, refusing to work with Republicans when events worked against him, and tended to see things in religious terms, with him having God behind him, and often invoking religion in his speeches and comments. So he was seen as manipulative and deceitful in his actions and words that took us to ultimate war in 1917, and refused to negotiate on the Versailles Treaty after the war.

5. Wilson had a supreme, and self righteous ego, and this made him blind to reality much of the time, as when he had a severe paralytic stroke, but refused, along with his second wife, to keep Vice President Thomas Marshall informed, or to consider resigning in 1919-1921 so that the nation would have a President capable of leading the nation in the difficult post war days, when Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer led the Red Scare or Palmer Raids, another massive violation of civil liberties, which helped to spur the creation of the Civil Liberties Union in 1920. The nation was basically leaderless for a period of 18 months, as Wilson slowly recovered and even thought of running for an unprecedented third term despite his poor health.

Now to the positive side of Woodrow Wilson!

1. Wilson was the most successful President in domestic policy achievements up to his time in office, and only surpassed later by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s and Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s. He accomplished all of his original domestic agenda, including legislation that has stood the test of time, despite criticism by conservatives and Republicans over the years, including the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Clayton Anti Trust Act, as well as the first attempt at so called “free trade”, the lowering of tariff walls on foreign goods.

2. Wilson also accomplished the passage of laws originally promoted by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, including the temporary end of child labor, protection for some workers on hours, workers compensation, and the protection of the merchant marine workers who are employed on ships offshore. Also, the first real attempt at agricultural aid to farmers to encourage expansion of acreage and the buying of new equipment, was also an idea promoted by TR. Basically, Wilson adopted much of the Populist Party and Progressive Party agenda of earlier times, and brought Progressive reform to its peak in the period before the conservative 1920s.

3. Wilson dealt with a war that was the most massive for America in 50 years, and was skilled enough to keep America out of war for two years and eight months after World War I began in Europe, but his role in the eventual entrance of America is still highly disputed even today, seen by some as dishonest and deceptive, but praised by many others as the best one could have expected.

4. Wilson had a vision of a peaceful post war world, and saw an international organization, the League of Nations, as the most important accomplishment of the Treaty of Versailles, and was stunned by the rejection of the US Senate to any international commitment, with America going into isolation. But his vision came to fruition a generation after his passing, with the establishment of the United Nations, but with many conservatives and Republicans bitterly opposed today in the US involvement in that international organization.

5. Wilson comes across, despite his many faults and shortcomings as worthy, in the minds of most experts, to be rated in the top ten of all Presidents–number 6 in the C Span 2000 poll and number 9 in the 2009 C Span Followup poll, and this despite bitter condemnation by so many right wing sources who only emphasize the evil side of Wilson, and give him no credit for his accomplishments. There is no question, however, that he had an important impact on the growth of Presidential power, the exact reason why the right wing hates his guts.

This blogger and author understands the mixed legacy of Woodrow Wilson, but still sees him as an influential President, who still impacts America a century after his first election to the Presidency!

So Happy Birthday, President Wilson, a man we will hear a lot about as we commemorate the major events of his administration over the next eight years from March 4, 1913, to March 4, 1921!

Jimmy Carter: Amazing At 88 Years Of Age, Devoted To Promotion Of Mankind!

Former President Jimmy Carter has been criticized by many people for his outspokenness on many issues, and his willingness to become involved in controversy.

He has been much pilloried and ridiculed by Republicans, who have made him out to be the worst President of the past half century, if not more.

But, of course, this is all propaganda, as this man, who is 88 years old, and is still in excellent physical and mental health, continues to amaze with his brilliant mind, and his commitment to his fellow man and woman.

What else but admiration can be felt for a man of religious values, who follows through, rather than just speak rhetoric and be a total hypocrite, as so many people who “claim” to be religious, do so on a regular basis.

Instead of sowing hate and division, Jimmy Carter puts his hands on projects building Habitat For Humanity homes, right now engaged in starting the rebuilding of Haiti, a country which desperately needs more Americans to volunteer to help.

Here is an 88 year old man, who is not giving directions to others, but is actually banging nails and doing other carpentry work, not putting on a front that he is “above” being a workman on projects, by the fact that he was the 39th President of the United States!

This man is much to be admired, as a national treasure, as a man of true decency and humanity, who has devoted the longest post Presidency of American history to good deeds for all of mankind!

Sarah Palin’s Quest To Learn Foreign Policy Begins In Haiti!

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is visiting Haiti this weekend in the midst of controversy over the recent presidential election, and the turmoil surrounding the cholera epidemic and the earthquake that have made this year probably the worst in the long tortured history of that nation. πŸ™

She is traveling with Franklin Graham, the evangelical preacher son of Billy Graham, with both of them ignoring the request of the State Department and the Obama Administration to avoid visiting there at a delicate and dangerous time for Americans to visit, who require extra security coverage.

Why is Palin visiting? It is apparent she wants to build up foreign policy credentials for her expected run for the White House, and also continue to gain the support of evangelical Christians at the same time.

She also is expected to visit Israel and Great Britain, and possibly other European nations in the year 2011, even though it is clear that she carries little weight and respect in the eyes of foreign leaders.

Does Sarah Palin really understand the history of Haiti, and could she point it out on a world map without coaxing or hints? πŸ™

Does she really have any background and depth in world affairs, and can she acquire this simply by doing photo ops with foreign leaders in what will obviously be just a publicity stunt? πŸ™

Can Sarah Palin really make judgments when she has exhibited no curiosity about the world until now, and every time she opens her mouth and speaks, she makes one long for the “intellectual” George W. Bush or Dan Quayle, who by comparison are “geniuses”?

And beyond all of this, can Sarah Palin unite even her GOP colleagues when she utilizes such language as “impotent” and “limp” to describe her critics within the Republican Party who point out her total ignorance, and quite frankly, stupidity, every time she utters any comment on anything? πŸ™

Again, she may be a nice neighbor and a friendly person, as long as you do not dare to criticize her. But since she is so defensive and negative and VERY ignorant, she does not belong in the very serious business of wishing to be President of the United States!

Not everyone born in the US is qualified to be President. You need real credentials and you need “smarts”, neither of which Sarah Palin possesses now, or ever will possess!