Henry Kissinger

John McCain In Death Unifies Many People Of Different Persuasions

Senator John McCain may have died, but his death and upcoming funeral unites people of many different persuasions, Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives.

Actor Warren Beatty, a liberal Democrat, will be one of the pallbearers at the funeral this coming Saturday, along with former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Gary Hart of Colorado, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and former Homeland Security Secretary and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

Tributes will be offered by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, former Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and members of McCain’s family.

McCain’s body will be interred at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he graduated fifth from the bottom of his class, but still led a distinctive career despite his partying and lack of seriousness while there.

One has to wonder who would be at Donald Trump’s funeral, since he has so alienated so many people and groups.

Chuck Schumer, The Great Jewish Hope: The Highest Ranking Elected Jew Ever In American Government!

The new Senate Minority Leader is New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who has been in the Senate since 1999, and defeated a tough opponent, Republican three term Senator Alfonse D’Amato.

Schumer began his political career at the age 23, and entered the House of Representatives at age 29 from Brooklyn, New York.

He had to compete first with fellow, soon to be retired Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and then his newly elected replacement, Hillary Clinton, who would seek the Presidency despite being the Junior Senator from New York.

Schumer worked his way up the leadership, being a loyal subordinate for ten years to Nevada Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and built up the Democratic majority in 2006 and 2008, before the bottom fell out, and the Democrats lost seats, from a high of 60 down to 46 and now up to 48 in 2017.

Schumer is a man who is very accessible and warm, and will do a lot of good for the Democrats, and he happens to have the distinction of being the highest ranking elected Jews ever in American government.

Yes, we have had other distinguished Jewish US Senators, but none in a leadership position in the Senate.

Yes, we had House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, second ranking in the House of Representatives, and hoping to become Speaker of the House someday, before he was defeated for nomination to his seat in 2014 by a more extremist right wing Republican, David Brat.

Yes, we have had Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who was Vice Presidential nominee with Al Gore in 2000, when they won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Yes, we have had Jewish cabinet officers, including Henry Morgenthau, Jr, Henry Kissinger, Abraham Ribicoff, and Arthur Goldberg among others, who have had impact on government.

And yes, we have had Jewish Supreme Court Justices by appointment, including Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, Felix Frankfurter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan among others.

But Schumer has the potential to have a greater impact politically than most party leaders, so we must wish him the best fortune as the Democrats battle against the Trump Presidency.

Yesterday, Schumer gave a fighting, defiant speech to the Senate on his first day as Minority Leader, making it clear his party would contest Trump on the Cabinet and on every policy that undermines the middle class and promotes the elite wealthy against the average American.

Gerald Ford Presidency And Reputation Saved By Losing Election In 1976 To Jimmy Carter!

Just as we are commemorating the 90th birthday of former President Jimmy Carter, we have news from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and the National Archives, that Ford’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was plotting to have the US mount a full scale invasion of Fidel Castro’s Cuba, due to that nation’s military intervention in Angola, which infuriated Kissinger.

Appparently, the plan was to wait for the Presidential Election Of 1976 to be resolved, with the belief that Ford would defeat the former Georgia Governor, but that did not happen!

Carter’s victory led to a decision not to intervene in Cuba, and Henry Kissinger was retired as Secretary of State when Gerald Ford left the Presidency on January 20, 1977.

This was a lucky development for Ford, who apparently was preparing to support Kissinger’s invasion idea.

While some would have applauded the overthrow of Fidel Castro, the idea that this nation, unprovoked directly by Cuba, would have used military action, show recklessness, as there was no certainty how the Soviet Union of Leonid Brezhnev would have reacted, is startling. The Soviet Union in 1976 was a lot stronger militarily than it was in 1962!

We could have had another Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought us closer to World War III, again in 1976 or 1977!

Ford’s judgment was wrong on this, and the fact that Jimmy Carter, has saved Gerald Ford’s historical reputation by his defeat of Ford, is an amazing story!

Gerald Ford’s reputation in his brief Presidency has risen lately, but the revelation of this plot against Cuba, unprovoked, MIGHT bring down his reputation long term, which is regrettable.

But, literally, Jimmy Carter saved Gerald Ford from a massive mistake, by defeating him!

The Top 30 Presidential Cabinet Officers In American History

Presidents do not accomplish their goals and policies on their own, but rather depend on the best advice and counsel of their cabinet members.

Since the Presidential Cabinet idea was formulated by George Washington and the first Congress under the Constitution, we have had the creation over time of 15 Cabinet agencies, and some of those who have held Cabinet posts under Presidents have had a dramatic impact on their times.

Below is a list of what the author believes are those 30 Cabinet officers who have had the greatest effect on American history, without ranking them in any order:

Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury under George Washington

Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison

John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State under James Monroe

William Seward, Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson

Hamilton Fish, Secretary of State under Ulysses S. Grant

Carl Schurz, Secretary of the Interior under Rutherford B. Hayes

John Hay, Secretary of State under William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt

James Wilson, Secretary of Agriculture under William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft

Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior under Woodrow Wilson

Charles Evans Hughes, Secretary of State under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge

Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge

Cordell Hull, Secretary of State under Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman

Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture under Franklin D. Roosevelt

Henry Morgenthau, Jr, Secretary of the Treasury under Franklin D. Roosevelt

Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor under Franklin D. Roosevelt

George C. Marshall, Secretary of State under Harry Truman

Dean Acheson, Secretary of State under Harry Truman

Stewart Udall, Secretary of the Interior under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson

Robert F. Kennedy, Attorney General under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson

W. Willard Wirtz, Secretary of Labor under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson

Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford

George Romney, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Richard Nixon

Cecil Andrus, Secretary of the Interior under Jimmy Carter

Elizabeth Dole, Secretary of Transportation under Ronald Reagan

Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton

Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services under Bill Clinton

Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior under Bill Clinton

Richard Riley, Secretary of Education under Bill Clinton

Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush and Barack Obama

Note that 25 Presidents and 12 of the 15 Cabinet Departments are included in this list. Nine Secretaries of State; three Secretaries of the Treasury; one Secretary of Defense; one Attorney General; six Secretaries of the Interior; two Secretaries of Agriculture; one Secretary of Commerce; three Secretaries of Labor; one Secretary of Health and Human Services; one Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; one Secretary of Transportation; and one Secretary of Education make up the list.

Also note that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had five cabinet members who made the list; Bill Clinton had four; and Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson had three each!

Secretary Of State: More Prominent Public Figures Historically Than Presidency!

The Secretary of State serves at the will of the President of the United States, and its ranks have included future Presidents; Presidential candidates who were Secretary of State and later lose the Presidency; Presidential losers who then become Secretary of State; and Presidential contenders who do not get nominated for President, but later become Secretary of State. The Secretary of State also is often a great public figure who becomes notable for his background, without having sought the Presidency. Witness the following:

Presidents who were Secretary of State—Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, James Buchanan

Presidential candidates who were Secretary of State and later lose the Presidency—Henry Clay, James G. Blaine

Presidential Losers who then become Secretary of State—Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Lewis Cass, James G. Blaine, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Evans Hughes, John Kerry

Presidential contenders who do not get nominated for President, but later become Secretary of State—John C. Calhoun, William Seward, Edmund Muskie, Hillary Clinton.

Great public figures notable for their background, without having sought the Presidency, but become Secretary of State—John Marshall, Edward Everett, Hamilton Fish, William Evarts, Richard Olney, John Sherman, John Hay, Elihu Root, Robert Lansing, Frank Kellogg, Henry Stimson, Cordell Hull, James F. Byrnes, George C. Marshall, Dean Acheson, John Foster Dulles, Dean Rusk, Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, George P. Shultz, James Baker, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice.

So 42 of the 68 people who have served as Secretary of State are prominent in American history, while some of our 43 Presidents have NOT been notable in their careers or in their Presidency!

What Republican Presidents Have Wrought: The Vietnam War Syndrome And The Iraq War Syndrome!

The Republican Party loves to claim that they are the experts, when it comes to American foreign policy, that they are far better than Democrats in executing foreign policy.

But the facts of history tell us otherwise, as witness:

Before America entered World War II. who were some of the most powerful, most influential people advocating isolationism— Republicans such as Senators Robert Taft of Ohio, Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, Hiram Johnson of California, and Gerald Nye of North Dakota, with the latter two discussed in detail in the author’s book: TWILIGHT OF PROGRESSIVISM: THE WESTERN REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND THE NEW DEAL (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981).

When America entered the escalation stage of the Vietnam War under Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965, it was Republicans who backed the President in much greater numbers than Democrats, but even Johnson finally realized the need for America to get out of the war, and decided not to run again in 1968.

Republican President Richard Nixon ran his campaign for the Presidency in 1968, pledging that he would end the Vietnam War expeditiously, and saying he had a “secret plan” to end the war, which soon became evident did not exist, and Nixon made up his plan to end the war as he went along, and it took four long years to end the war, with a heavier loss of soldiers killed and wounded, than had been so under Johnson! Nixon and Henry Kissinger, his National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, misled the American people and lied to them about the plans and strategies to end the war, and it created a feeling of unwillingness to engage in overseas crises as a result, what could be called the Vietnam War Syndrome.

And then under George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the Republican run national government in 2003 lied to us, manipulated us, propagandized us, to begin a war in Iraq, with no plan to get out, and the war dragged on through the second Bush term, and into the Barack Obama Administration. No “weapons of mass destruction” were ever found, and it created an Iraq War Syndrome, which now has made many Americans reluctant to engage in a military action against an outlaw nation, Syria, which has utilized chemical warfare, only the third world leader ever to do so, after Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein!

So the Republican Party and its cynical, corrupt leadership in the 1969-1973 and 2002-2009 periods poisoned the political atmosphere of America, making it more difficult to engage in the shaping of a sane, rational foreign policy that would be in American interests.

And now Rand Paul and his kind, libertarian “Know Nothings”, promote isolationism all over again, back to the image of the GOP in the late 1930s before American entrance into World War II.

The damage that Presidents Richard Nixon and George W. Bush have wrought is massive, and undermining America in 2013 from doing what it must do, react to the massive war crime of the Syrian government!

As John Kerry Becomes Secretary Of State, An Assessment Of The Most Influential Secretaries Of State In American History

With Hillary Clinton leaving the State Department, and John Kerry becoming the 68th Secretary of State, it is a good time to assess who are the most influential Secretaries of State we have had in American history.

Notice I say “most influential”, rather than “best”, as that is a better way to judge diplomatic leadership in the State Department.

Without ranking them, which is very difficult, we will examine the Secretaries of State who have had the greatest impact, in chronological order:

Thomas Jefferson (1789-1793) under President George Washington—set the standard for the department, and was probably the most brilliant man ever to head the State Department.

John Quincy Adams (1825-1829) under President James Monroe—brought about the Monroe Doctrine, treaties with Canada, and the acquisition of Florida.

William H. Seward (1861-1869) under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson—brought about the neutrality of Great Britain and France in the Civil War, and purchased Alaska from Czarist Russia, a fortunate development.

Hamilton Fish (1869-1877) under President Ulysses S. Grant—involved in many diplomatic issues in Latin America, had America become more engaged in Hawaii, and settled differences with Great Britain, and often considered the major bright spot in the tragic Grant Presidency.

James G. Blaine (1881, 1889-1892) under Presidents James A. Garfield and Chester Alan Arthur briefly, and full term under President Benjamin Harrison—helped to bring about eventual takeover of Hawaii, and promoted the concept of a canal in Central America.

John Hay (1898-1905) under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt—-involved in the issues after the Spanish American War, including involvement in the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and a major influence over TR’s diplomatic initiatives in his first term.

Elihu Root (1905-1909) under President Theodore Roosevelt—-a great influence in TR’s growing involvement in world affairs in his second term in office.

Robert Lansing (1915-1920) under President Woodrow Wilson—a major player in American entrance in World War I and at the Versailles Peace Conference.

Charles Evan Hughes (1921-1925) under Presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge—-had major role in Washington Naval Agreements in 1922.

Henry Stimson (1929-1933) under President Herbert Hoover—-was a major critic of Japanese expansion, as expressed in the Stimson Doctrine of 1932.

Cordell Hull (1933-1944) under President Franklin D. Roosevelt—-was the longest lasting Secretary of State, nearly the whole term of FDR, and very much involved in all of the President’s foreign policy decisions.

Dean Acheson (1949-1953) under President Harry Truman—-involved in the major decisions of the early Cold War, including the Korean War intervention.

John Foster Dulles (1953-1959) under President Dwight D. Eisenhower—had controversial views on Cold War policy with the Soviet Union, including “massive retaliation”.

Dean Rusk (1961-1969) under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson—highly controversial advocate of the Vietnam War escalation, but served under the complete terms of two Presidents, and never backed away from his views on the Cold War.

Henry Kissinger (1973-1977) under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford—-easily one of the most influential figures in the shaping of foreign policy in American history, earlier having served as National Security Adviser.

George Shultz, (1982-1989) under President Ronald Reagan—-very close adviser to the President on his major foreign policy initiatives.

James Baker (1989-1992) under President George H. W. Bush—very significant in Persian Gulf War and end of Cold War policies.

Madeleine Albright (1997-2001) under President Bill Clinton—-first woman Secretary of State and played major role in many issues that arose.

Colin Powell (2001-2005) under President George W. Bush—-involved in the justification of the Iraq War based on Weapons of Mass Destruction, which undermined his reputation because of the lack of evidence on WMDs.

Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009) under President George W. Bush—second woman Secretary of State and intimately involved in policy making.

Hillary Clinton (2009-2013) under President Barack Obama—third woman Secretary of State, and hailed by most as a major contributor to Obama’s foreign policy initiatives.

This is a list of 21 out of the 68 Secretaries of State, but also there are 15 other Secretaries of State who were influential historical figures, including:

John Marshall
James Madison
James Monroe
Henry Clay
Martin Van Buren
Daniel Webster
John C. Calhoun
James Buchanan
Lewis Cass
William Jennings Bryan
George Marshall
Cyrus Vance
Edmund Muskie
Alexander Haig
Warren Christopher

So a total of 36 out of 68 Secretaries of State have been major figures in American history, and contributed to the diplomatic development of the United States in world affairs!

The Republican Presidential Race And Foreign Policy: What A Change For The Worst!

The Republican Party since World War II has built its reputation more on foreign policy than domestic policy, being seen as the stronger party in shaping our relationship with the outside world.

Republicans can rightly brag about Senator Arthur Vandenberg, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, President Richard Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Senator Bob Dole, President George H. W. Bush, Secretary of State George Shultz, Secretary of State James Baker, Senator Richard Lugar, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as brilliant examples of people who shaped and understood foreign policy.

Today, we have a motley group of Republicans running for the Presidency, with Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum showing no evidence of even a clue as to how to deal with the outside world! Instead, their primary idea is to attack Iran and discipline Pakistan, the two most dangerous nations at this point for the United States.

Instead, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush understood the need for diplomacy and to attempt alternatives to the use of force, except when unavoidable.

Only Mitt Romney, somewhat, and Jon Huntsman in a major way, have the skills and common sense to deal with foreign policy, and this indicates the sad, pitiful situation we are in, when six “dangerous” people are considered possible Presidents, without any understanding of diplomacy!

God forbid that the United States gets one of these six “losers” in the Oval Office!

The Riches Of Embarrassment In The Republican Presidential Field: Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry!

The Republican Party is in the midst of major riches of embarrassment about its Presidential field.

Herman Cain, already having displayed how inadequate a candidate he is in so many ways, adds to the riches of embarrassment when he cannot answer a simple question about Libya when asked, and seems totally confused and out of touch with reality. He is best at repeating his ill fated plan—9-9-9–when asked to explain himself on some issue. He also said he was for collective bargaining for workers one day, and then the next day says he considers collective bargaining to be collective hijacking! He also has the stupidity to ask Henry Kissinger to be his Secretary of State in his administration, as if Cain is about to become President tomorrow! And, of course, Cain forgets or does not know that Kissinger, as great as he might be considered to be by many diplomats, has been out of government for 34 years, and is going on 89 next year, and would be 90 years old in 2013, and therefore, a bit ridiculous to imagine him as a cabinet member at such an advanced age! Cain lives in his own reality, and he has demonstrated total incompetence to be President.

But then Michele Bachmann says the most inane things, and now has suggested that we should be socialist as China is, just the opposite of what she has always professed, and demonstrating no idea of what socialism is in the first place! Whatever she says makes one’s eyes roll, and she and Cain both endorsed waterboarding as not torture, despite so much testimony by people in the military who know it is torture, and produces no verifiable evidence helpful to national security.

And then Rick Perry, who cannot remember what agencies he wants to close, and now advocates a radical concept to “uproot, tear down, and rebuild” Washington, DC, when he cannot even run the state government of Texas adequately and competently, and has been a true disaster in debates and in his other public appearances!

These three candidate have no shame, no embarrassment gene, and seem to be running for the sake of their own warped egos, believing somehow that they are qualified to be sitting in the Oval Office!

They cannot leave the Presidential race soon enough, as they are making our past Presidents alive and dead look better all of the time, even those who were far from adequate in the office!

If this is the best we can do, America is doomed!

Herman Cain: Reality Check As He Faces Attacks On The Right, The Center, And The Left

Herman Cain says he is not the “Flavor of the Week” or “Flavor of the Month”, but he most assuredly is such!

After being on Meet the Press on Sunday and speaking in Tennessee, where he is on a book tour, Cain has major problems and is being attack on the Right, the Center, and the Left!

Cain has not raised much money, has no real campaign staff, and spends time promoting his newly published book in a state that does not vote until Super Tuesday on March 6, long after the early caucuses and primaries. This, in itself, is the weirdest way to campaign for President!

But getting beyond that, the Right, the Center and the Left are displaying anger with and at him. Why, specifically?

On the Right, Herman Cain seems unwilling to support a constitutional amendment against gay marriage, which it is clear would never pass in any case. But by leaving it to states, as he advocates, he has made enemies, particularly among social conservatives who like Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum.

Secondly, Cain has demonstrated that he is a novice on foreign policy, claiming to admire Henry Kissinger and John Bolton, which is, as critics say, like admiring both Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a totally preposterous concept. And Cain actually said he saw Clarence Thomas as a model, enough to undermine his legitimacy to be President! It shows he is not ready for “prime time”, and has no clue on international affairs, another thing which upsets conservatives as well as progressives. His ideas on Afghanistan show no depth or knowledge of that war, which has been going on for a decade!

Third, Cain talks about sales taxes on “new goods’, and none on “used goods”! What in the world does that mean, and is it not true that if fewer “new goods” are purchased which would be likely if they are subjected to a sales tax, then the economy will suffer and never recover? And since food and clothing would be taxed, is Cain proposing used clothing only, and how can food be “used”? His 9-9-9 economic plan would hurt the poor and the middle class, and benefit the wealthy, and is an outrageous attack that could be called the true “class warfare”!

And then the Left is furious at Cain’s suggestion that abortion not be allowed for rape or incest, as that is “rare” according to him, and “life of the mother” would be left up to the family. What does all that gobbledygook mean anyway?

And then to suggest an electrified fence along the US-Mexican border is impractical and also horrifying, the concept of inflicting harm on refugees and possibly killing them, and using troops to shoot and kill if necessary to stop refugees! That would be a massive violation of human rights, and would America want to have that image in the world, that it is ready to shoot and kill, or execute by electric shock any refugee, who while doing something technically illegal, is just trying to make a better life in America and escape from poverty?

Herman Cain is a preposterous candidate, and the attacks by his opponents in the Republican Presidential race are likely to escalate in Tuesday’s Presidential debate scheduled in Nevada, and sponsored by CNN. This man, with no political experience at all, is indeed not only the “Flavor of the Week or Month”, but the biggest joke of the loony GOP campaign to find a legitimate candidate for President!