Harry Truman

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 Makes Clear In Philadelphia Speech The Dangers Presented By “MAGA” Republicans!

President Joe Biden delivered a blistering attack last night in Philadelphia, the “Cradle of Liberty” against former President Donald Trump and the threat of “MAGA” Republicans to American democracy and the rule of law!

Biden pulled no punches, abandoning the idea of bipartisanship, which he had promoted for so many years in the US Senate, as the vast majority of the Republican Party has become, as Biden calls it, “Semi Fascist”.

The speech reminded this author of similar speeches by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in defending his “New Deal” in the time of the Great Depression, and FDR’s strong rebuttals of “isolationists”, who opposed his foreign policy in the lead up to World War II!

It also reminded this author of Harry Truman challenging the Republican Party in 1948, the famous “Give Them Hell Harry” campaign for reelection, which seemed hopeless, but with the result of a stunning election victory against all public opinion polls at the time!

Interesting Survey Of People Honored By US Monuments, From The Washington Post

The Washington Post has published an interesting survey of people honored by US Monuments, and there are many surprises in the survey.

Eleven Presidents are in the top 50 figures represented in memorials, with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln being the top two of the fifty listed.

Also listed at number 9 is John F. Kennedy; number 10 is Thomas Jefferson; and number 11 is Ulysses S. Grant.

Andrew Jackson is number 15, a three way tie with Theodore Roosevelt and William McKinley.

Dwight D. Eisenhower and Franklin D. Roosevelt tie at 32nd.

Finally, James A. Garfield is in a four way tie at number 47 with three non Presidents.

Interestingly, NOT on the list are such Presidents as Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, or Ronald Reagan.

Some religious figures, native Americans, and African Americans (Martin Luther King (4th), Harriet Tubman (24th), Frederick Douglass (29th)) are also represented, as are a number of individuals who are not at all related to American history, including Christopher Columbus, most notably in third place with 149!

Confederate leaders are also represented, including Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson.

Other well known Americans include the following: Benjamin Franklin at number 8; Alexander Hamilton tied with two others at number 26; and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in a six way tie at number 41.

Republicans In White House In Six Major Periods Of Corruption!

The Republican Party has the unenviable record of having six of their Presidents leading the nation in major periods of corruption, sometimes with their support, and other times because of poor selection of advisers and cabinet officers.

Chronologically, they are as follows:

Ulysses S. Grant–1869-1877

Warren G. Harding–1921-1923

Richard Nixon–1969-1974

Ronald Reagan–1981-1989

George W. Bush–2001-2009

Donald Trump–2017-2021

The two worst are Donald Trump and Richard Nixon, while the others seem not to have engaged personally in scandals!

But all six Republican Presidents had people in their administrations face indictments and convictions!

While there was minor scandals under some Democrats–Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton—they, in no way, match the horrendous record of the Republican Party!

And two recent Democratic Presidents have a totally clear record of no corruption, no indictments, no convictions—Jimmy Carter–1977-1981, and Barack Obama–2009-2017!

Joe Biden Arguably Has Faced The Worst Set Of Crises Other Than Lincoln And FDR!

Abraham Lincoln faced the breakup of the Union and the Civil War in his Presidency from 1861-1865.

Franklin D. Roosevelt faced the Great Depression, the growing threat of Fascism and Nazism, and World War II, from 1933-1945.

Other than Lincoln and FDR, the question arises which other Presidents faced crises on a level as dangerous and challenging as those two Presidents.

One could say George Washington facing the challenge of making the Constitution work, and the nation able to survive as a republic from 1789-1797.

One could say Harry Truman, facing the challenge of sudden elevation to the Presidency in a time when World War II was not yet resolved, and having to deal with the threat of the Soviet Union during the Cold War years from 1945-1953.

One could say John F. Kennedy, facing the threat of the Soviet Union, including the Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis, which dominated his time in the Presidency, from 1961-1963.

One could say George W. Bush, facing the challenge of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, and the dual wars fought during his Presidency in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Great Recession which developed in his last year in office, from 2001-2009.

One could also say Barack Obama, facing the challenge of the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, and the constant domestic resistance from the right wing Tea Party Movement, and the growing extremism of the Republican Party, from 2009-2017.

But one could also argue that Joe Biden, facing the COVID 19 Pandemic; the growing epidemic of mass murders by firearms by domestic terrorists and mentally disturbed people; and the threat of nuclear war in the midst of the greatest foreign policy crisis (The Russia-Ukraine War) since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, is the greatest challenge and crisis other than Lincoln and FDR!

May 8, 1945—VE Day And Harry Truman Birthday In White House

Today is the 77th Anniversary of VE Day, Victory in Europe over Nazi Germany in World War II, and also the birthday of President Harry Truman, who has ascended to the Presidency less than a month earlier, on April 12, 1945, upon the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Truman would go on to serve seven years and nine months, and take us through the end of the war against Japan, and the early days of the Cold War against the Soviet Union, and the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), all relevent to today when the Russian Federation is at war against Ukraine, and has committed horrendous war crimes.

The US and its NATO partners are doing everything possible to combat the Russian military action in Ukraine, and World War III could be coming soon, if Russia invades any NATO nation!

Joe Biden Becomes A Wartime President

Joe Biden has become a wartime President, alongside James Madison, James K. Polk, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

At this point, he looks more like Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, and George H. W. Bush than the rest of the group.

If fortune goes against him, he might look more like Madison, who saw the nation divide during the War Of 1812 and the White House being burned; like Polk, who caused a split over slavery expansion during the Mexican War that helped to lead to the Civil War a decade later; like LBJ, who divided the nation over Vietnam just as he promoted the Great Society; like Nixon, who continued an unpopular war in Vietnam that ended up in a tragic loss; and like George W. Bush, who started two wars based on poor tactics and planning, and dominated by lies and deception in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Joe Biden Supporting NATO Totally As All Presidents Since Truman, Except For Donald Trump

President Joe Biden is proving he is a genuine statesman, making perfectly clear that the United States backs its NATO partners completely.

He is supporting NATO totally as all Presidents have done since Harry Truman presided over the creation of NATO in 1949, with the glaring exception of Donald Trump.

Trump was rude, nasty, and abusive toward the NATO alliance, and was moving toward breaking America’s bond with its European allies, precisly what Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation wanted him to do.

It is clear that if Trump had still been President, he would not have condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and would have refused to support NATO in opposition to Russian expansion.

So Joe Biden saved the nation and the world by winning the Presidency by the massive margin of 7 million popular votes, and winning five states won by Trump in 2016!

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!

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!