Immigration Reform

The Positive Contributions Of The Barack Obama Presidency

So here we are on the last full day of the Barack Obama Presidency, which I have been writing about since August 2008, and just about daily since 2010.

Barack Obama has been an historic President, and will end up in the top ten of our 44 Presidents over time, if not immediately.

Barack Obama was the most pilloried President since Richard Nixon, but for no good reason, and a lot of it was based on pure racism, sorry to say, but the truth.

But Obama brought us a dignified, classy persona to the White House, as did his wife Michelle.

He gave us the biggest expansion of our health care system, and much of it will survive the Donald Trump and Republican onslaught in the end.

He gave us the concept of limited military involvement, after decades of too many interventions overseas, and ended our involvement in Iraq, and cut back dramatically on the unwinnable war in Afghanistan.

He gave us the possibility of ending the threat of Iran as a nuclear power, and opened up a new relationship with Cuba, after 55 years of ignoring reality.

He accomplished through the use of technology and drones the elimination of thousands of terrorists worldwide, and took the gamble to bring justice to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

He started moving the focus of American foreign policy to Asia and the Pacific, and kept good relations with America’s NATO allies, and kept Russia’s Vladimir Putin on edge. about how America would react toward his aggressive stands.

He made climate change worldwide a crucial focus, and participated in international agreements, and accepted science over conspiracy theories, and made us realize global warming was a danger to American national security.

He took an economy that was the worst since the Great Depression, what is called the Great Recession, and turned it around, with the greatest job growth over eight years in American history, the greatest stock market growth, and the greatest drop in the unemployment rate that has occurred in any administration.

He accomplished in health care what Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt to Franklin D. Roosevelt to Harry Truman to John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush had been unable to do.

He brought about the revival of the American auto industry, and advanced the rights of workers to overtime pay and increased minimum wage, and the rights of consumers through the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

He advanced women’s rights, including to equal pay, and gave DREAM kids a reprieve from possible deportation, and promoted the idea of universal pre school and community college education, and worked to try to deal with the student loan crisis.

He advocated fair treatment of Muslims in America, and became the champion of gay equality in the military, gay rights in society, and gay marriage and transgender rights.

He became a great advocate of the environment, adding to our national parks and national forests and endangered sites, and continued the tradition of earlier exceptional environmental Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton before him.

He utilized executive orders to expand the rights of the American people, and worked for legal and judicial reform, and appointed Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

He cared about the weak, the powerless, and the forgotten groups in American society, and set a good moral basis in his own life and that of his family, becoming a model for young people as to how a President should conduct himself.

He avoided lashing out at those who promoted bigotry, and also showed emotion after his failed attempts at immigration reform and gun safety legislation. He had real tears, emotions, and sincerity in the Oval Office, which has hardly ever seen that, and hard to think of any earlier President quite like Obama.

He also faced the greatest number of threats of any President since Abraham Lincoln, as delineated in my Assassinations book, and demonstrated great courage and equanimity in waking up every day, knowing he was a target for hate mongers who wished him and his family ill will.

And finally, he had two terms of office without any hint of a personal, or otherwise, major scandal!

So Barack Obama was a FINE MAN, a different spelling of this author’s and blogger’s last name, and he will rise in the Presidential rankings to the top ten, and likely higher in the middle of the top ten at some point in the future, as he was truly a transformational President!

Goodbye, President and Mrs Obama, we will miss you, and wish you many decades of good health, prosperity, and happiness, as you continue to contribute to American betterment! God bless you both!

The Positive Contributions Of The Joe Biden Vice Presidency

Joe Biden, the 47th Vice President of the United States, is leaving public life after 44 years in the federal government, 36 as a US Senator from Delaware, and 8 years as Vice President.

Joe Biden is a true national treasure, who if not for the death of his son, Beau Biden, in May 2015, might have run for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and might very well have defeated Hillary Clinton, and then won the election in the crucial states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.

Although Biden will be 78 in 2020, he has the energy, the knowledge, the experience needed to defeat Donald Trump, and he just might return to the Senate in 2018, if Tom Carper follows through on his plans to retire.

So it is not yet time to say Biden’s career is over, although in elective office, it might be, but he will play a public role because it is in his blood to do so, and he will not stay silent when he sees wrongs being done by the Donald Trump Administration.

The alliance of Barack Obama and Joe Biden was the closest one in American history, possibly matched by Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale, who in two days will have both survived the amazing total of 36 years since the Presidency and 40 years since their election in 1976!

Obama utilized Biden’s connections on Capitol Hill; and gave Biden an office in the White House, as Carter had done for Mondale; and had weekly lunches with Biden as Carter did with Mondale.

Joe Biden was a true Presidential Advisor, full time participant, and trouble shooter, and was not afraid to disagree with Obama, particularly on foreign policy, his expertise, but was always a loyal part of the team once a decision had been made by the President.

Biden’s warm, sincere personality was lovable, and he was able to work across the aisle on Capitol Hill with Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and other influential Republicans, and the entire Senate honored him recently for his cordial and effective role in the Senate.

Biden took the lead on gay rights and gay marriage; protection of women against violence; immigration reform; environmental advancements; gun control legislation after the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre; and the War on Cancer after his son died of that horrendous disease. Foreign leaders also, totally, respected him.

Joe Biden could be regarded as the greatest Vice President in American history, and his lifelong contributions will mark him in history as a very special political leader!

Thank you for your service to the nation and to Barack Obama, Vice President Biden!

Most Significant Issue Of Entire Campaign: The Supreme Court Future And A Democratic Majority US Senate!

No more important issue is on the plate for this election year than the Supreme Court future, tied into a Democratic Majority US Senate!

The Republicans have made it clear that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, but the Republicans retain the control of the Senate, that NO Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed, and in fact, not even considered in hearings.

This is totally unacceptable, and cannot be allowed to occur for the next four years, as effectively, that is destroying the whole purpose of the separation of powers and constitutional government!

The Supreme Court has been Republican majority since 1972, and finally, the tipping point to a Democratic and more progressive/liberal Court is in the offing.

Such issues as the following could end up before the Court in the next four years:

Abortion
Affirmative Action
Campaign Finance
Class Action Suits
Climate Change
Contraception
Gun Rights
Immigration Reform
LGBTQ Rights
ObamaCare
Redistricting
Unions
Voter ID Laws
Voting Rights

Would Mike Pence Help Donald Trump And Be An Asset? NO!

Mike Pence is said to be Donald Trump’s choice for Vice President.

The Indiana Governor brings his comparative youth at age 57 compared to Trump who is 70.

He brings 12 years of Congressional experience and leadership of the Republican Conference for two years, as well as four years as Governor of a potential “Swing” State, which went to Barack Obama in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

He is a less dynamic person, not the type to seek controversy, and very different in that sense than Chris Christie and Newt Gingrich.

But his hard line social conservative views, which make him popular with the Christian Right, is not going to help Donald Trump win the Presidency.

Pence allowed the passage and signing of a bill that discriminated against gays and lesbians in public accommodations, and then had to ask for a revision of it, when corporations decided to oppose it and moved to stop expansion into the state, a blow to the Indiana economy. In backing off a bit, he alienated the most extreme social conservatives, who are anti abortion, anti gay rights and anti gay marriage, deny climate change, and work against women being equal in a family unit to their husbands.

We are not going back to the 1950s, or to a white supremacist America, where minorities have little input or concern, and where whites claim they are being discriminated against.

This election will be the 1950s white dominated America pre civil rights, pre woman;s rights, pre gay rights, pre environmental movement, pre immigration reform America against 21st century America with all of the advancements in human rights and science that have occurred in the past half century!

Bernie Sanders And The Younger Voter: A Special Connection!

One of the most interesting developments of the 2016 Presidential campaign is the appeal of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont among younger voters, specifically under the age of 45.

This means those born after 1970 and up to 1998, the age group which has no issue with gay rights and gay marriage; abortion rights for women; legalization of marijuana; supportive of immigration reform; and belief in the need to deal with climate change.

This group is the future of America, and it is a progressive group overwhelmingly by any measurement!

So in the midst of Republican Donald Trump publicity, Bernie Sanders’ s supporters, who Hillary Clinton desperately needs  if she ends up as the Democratic nominee for President, which is still most likely, any attempt by Clinton to trash Bernie will backfire on her candidacy in November.

It is possible that if Hillary wins but leaves “bad blood” with Bernie, that these younger voters, including first time voters, might just sit out the campaign in disgust!

Will the younger voters allow the older, less educated, and much  more white composition voters who support Trump carry the day?

This will be a crucial issue in the Fall campaign, how to keep the younger voters Democratic, rather than have them sit out the election, and possibly give the “Archie Bunker” candidate the opportunity to do his destructive deeds in the Oval Office!

Right Wing Conspiratorial Hysteria Over Barack Obama Has Been Proved Totally Wrong!

We are now entering the eighth and last year of the Barack Obama Presidency, with a new President to be inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

It is in many ways amazing how Obama has survived unprecedented verbal attacks for seven years, and the most threats to his life of any President since Abraham Lincoln.

His Republican opposition has been unrelenting in the promotion of right wing conspiratorial hysteria for the past seven years, and has had no shame in wishing upon him all of the most terrible tragedies and failures, rather than willingness to unite for the public good!

And right wing radio and Fox News Channel has been totally despicable in encouraging right wing lunatics, and inciting them to create a constant stress and threat on the 44th President of the United States.  They would not be happy until he was either forced from office or dead from an assassin, and there is still clear concern that our President faces endless threats at a time when the Secret Service has been found wanting, and in need of drastic updating, reform, and new leadership!

For any American to have believed the conspiracy theories and gloom and doom loaded on Barack Obama, it is instructive to look back at some of what has been predicted and has NOT happened!

  1. Barack Obama will cancel the elections of 2016 and rule by martial law, and put his enemies into FEMA camps.  This is totally laughable!
  2. Barack Obama will take everyone’s guns away.  Yeh, sure, instead we have more guns and gun ownership than ever before, and more deaths from guns than automobile accidents!
  3. Barack Obama will destroy the American economy, with the highest gas prices ever, dramatic increase in unemployment and inflation, the collapse of the stock market, and the promotion of the end of the capitalist system. Instead we have 5 percent unemployment, doubling of the stock market, low inflation, and capitalism is alive and well, thank you!
  4. Barack Obama is a Muslim who will advance the cause of the Muslim jihadists, and allow the downfall of Christianity in America. Yeh, sure, instead we have more Muslims killed by Obama’s drone usage than under George W. Bush, and Osama bin Laden was killed!
  5. Barack Obama will destroy the oil and coal industries in his  mad quest to promote the “phony” issue of climate change. Yeh, sure, the energy industries are making record profits!
  6. Barack Obama will destroy heterosexual America by his promotion of gay rights, same sex marriage, and transgender rights.  Laughable, but heterosexual marriage divorces are up, and more Americans have broken marriages than the total number of same sex marriages!
  7. Barack Obama will take away the civil liberties and civil rights of Americans through government snooping on the private lives of Americans. Yeh, sure, as the NSA is limited in its ability to fight terrorism by government restrictions put upon them!
  8. Barack Obama will undermine law and order in this country through promotion of the agenda of extremist African Americans demands.  Yeh, sure, the idea that Obama is a black radical because he speaks up about growing number of police killings of unarmed black men is laughable!
  9. Barack Obama will destroy the nation through open borders immigration of people from Mexico and Central America.  Yeh, sure, as Obama has had more deportations of illegal immigrants than under George W. Bush!
  10. Barack Obama will undermine the nation of Israel and refuse to support the security of that nation.  Yeh, sure, as Obama provided the IRON DOME system and has given Israel more foreign aid than any President of the United States before him!
  11. Barack Obama will promote the expansion and aggression of the Russians under Vladimir Putin.  Yeh, sure that is why Putin embraces Donald Trump, and has actually cooperated with the American government on Middle East issues, and knows NATO is working to protect Ukraine, due to the tough stand of Obama!
  12. Barack Obama will promote a one world government led by the United Nations.  This is totally ridiculous, not even worth commenting on, as totally delusional!

It is time for the ill informed and uneducated population of America to stop their ignorance, learn the truth, and start to show appreciation of the historic nature of Barack Obama in the Presidency, and to wish him well in his final year in the White House.  His ranking in history for his accomplishments, his dignity, his class, his compassion, his common sense, and his courage in the face of adversity will make him appreciated in the future in a way appropriate for his performance in office!

Millennials Will Make A Long Term Progressive Future, No Matter What Conservatives Try To Promote!

The Millennials, the generation from the early 1980s to the 21st century, have given clear cut evidence that they are the portent of a long term progressive future in America!

Conservatives may try to promote their agenda, but it is not seen as likely that the youngest generation of voters in the next decade and beyond will stand for it!

It is clear that Millennials are supportive of the following elements of the progressive agenda:

Gay Rights, Transgender Rights, and Same Sex Marriage

Acceptance of Women’s Rights and Equality

Tolerance of Immigration and Welcoming of Refugees

Acceptance of Racial and Ethnic Minorities

Abortion and Contraception Rights

Sensible Gun Control Regulations

Environmental Reforms and the Urgency of Climate Change Actions

Loosening of Tough Drug Laws that have caused filling of our prisons

More Skepticism Of Organized Religion and its Influence on American Politics

Belief in Strong Defense But Skepticism Over Troop Intervention Overseas

 

Top 10 Political Stories Of 2015

As the year 2015 ends, we look back on the major political stories of this eventful year.

The ten major stories of the year are as follows:

The rise of Donald Trump, and the threat he represents to the Republican Party, the conservative movement, and to the American people in general. He is promoting a Fascist agenda, including nativism, racism, misogyny, and a belief spreading among white working class men that somehow he is the new Messiah, who will solve all of the problems brought about by the failings of the George W. Bush Administration.  These  include the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, which fueled terrorism; and the Great Recession of 2008, which is still reverberating among those less educated and more suspect to demagoguery. And also,those who refuse to accept Barack Obama as a legitimate President find Donald Trump appealing.

The surprise appeal of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is gaining support among the millennial generation, and men and women under 45, who are more educated than average Americans, and find his democratic Socialist ideas appealing.  There is no question that the younger generation is much more liberal than other Americans, and this bodes well for the Democratic Party, if Hillary Clinton continues her move to the left, pushed that way by Sanders’ agenda.

The final acceptance of gay marriage and the advancement of gay rights on all fronts, including the rights of transgender people, but with much discrimination still evident by those who resist change.

The disappearance of John Boehner and the rise of Paul Ryan to the Speakership of the House of Representatives, and the issue of whether Ryan can be any more effective in dealing with the Tea Party Movement, which helped to bring Boehner to the point of resignation.

The growing racial tensions in the nation, due to increased examples of police abuse toward African American men, and even women, along with Latinos, and the growing militarization of law enforcement, a dangerous trend.

The rise of more domestic terrorism, including in Charleston, San Bernandino and elsewhere, some of it inspired by ISIL (ISIS), but also by right wing Christian extremism.

Barack Obama’s changed foreign policy, including opening up to Cuban diplomatic relations; making a deal with Iran’s government on nuclear weapons; attempts to cooperate with other nations to deal with Islamic terrorism, meaning ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria; and trying to work with a hostile Israeli government, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who made life more difficult for Obama by openly consorting with Republicans over the President.

The growing impact of social issues on American politics, including not only gay rights and gay marriage, but also abortion, gun control, immigration reform, and climate change.  All of these controversies will impact politics in a dramatic fashion in 2016 and beyond.

The issue of individual rights to privacy, and the growing role of intelligence gathering and government snooping, including the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, and other government agencies, who feel that they must intrude and investigate all social media and phones and computers, to protect us.  This is seen by many critics as a violation of our civil liberties.

The evident deterioration of the effectiveness and competence of the Secret Service, in its role as protector of the President and his family; the Vice President; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and all Presidential candidates, as the Presidential Election year of 2016 awaits us.  The last thing we need is any incident that affects the health, safety, and lives of any of the candidates or the top leadership of government.  If such were to happen, it would undermine our whole political system and stability in massive ways!

 

Silly Season: Comparing Donald Trump To Ronald Reagan Is Preposterous!

With Donald Trump  having led public opinion polls for the Republican Presidential nomination for six months now, “silly season” is beginning, as we are starting to have Trump compared to former Presidents, when he is not at all like any former President!

The most preposterous is the comparison of Donald Trump to Ronald Reagan.

One does not have to be a Reagan fan, which this blogger most certainly is not, to consider such a comparison totally crazy!

There is no comparison between the two men that makes sense other than that Reagan was considered a long shot for the nomination and the Presidency, as Trump is right now.

But otherwise, there are no similarities, except maybe the fact that both Reagan and Trump were formerly Democrats.

But what advantages did Reagan have?

Reagan had been Governor of California for eight years, while Trump has never been in public office.

Reagan had developed strong conservative convictions, while Trump has no strong beliefs other than his own ambitions.

Reagan was never a narcissist, while Trump is the personification of narcissism.

Reagan was always charming as a person, hard not to like, even if you did not agree with him, while Trump is obnoxious and disgusting as a person.

Reagan was widely read on political principles, while Trump never has any connection to the facts and truth and is a massive liar unseen in modern history.

Reagan set out to unite the nation around nationalism in a safe, civilized manner, while Trump loves to incite his audiences through disgusting examples of racism, nativism, and misogyny.

Reagan never trusted the Soviet Union and avoided praise of Russian leadership, while Trump has endorsed the leadership of Vladimir Putin, and doubts the violations of human rights that are clearly going on in present day Russia.

Reagan promoted immigration reform, while Trump exploits the anti immigrant extremism of much of the Republican Party in 2015.

Reagan was able to unite Republicans around his leadership, while Trump would be unable to unify the party and would be more polarizing in the White House than any President, bar none.

Reagan knew how to conduct diplomacy, and never set out to insult foreign leaders and governments, while Trump revels in insults and bad behavior toward the outside world.

Reagan may have had mental lapses starting to develop in his second term, but Trump is clearly mentally unbalanced now, and would be a danger as to his rhetoric and actions, were he to become President.

So any comparison of Trump and Reagan is purely ridiculous!

Pope Francis: A Gift To The World And Supporter Of Progressive Causes Shared With Barack Obama!

Pope Francis has arrived in the United States, and will be here for six days, traveling to Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

It is clear that Pope Francis is a gift to the world and a supporter of progressive causes that he often shares with President Barack Obama!

This Pope is, clearly, the best Pope in the sense of promoting reform, since the time of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) and the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis has made enemies among conservative Catholics and evangelical right wing Christians, who do not pursue the true message of Jesus Christ, the promotion of the poor and the disabled and the sick.

Pope Francis has condemned predatory capitalism which has no concern as to its effect on the poor.

Pope Francis has spoken up on climate change and global warming, infuriating those in the conservative movement and the Republican Party who only think about profits, and reject science.

Pope Francis has attacked the growing income inequality in the world, a dangerous disease that threatens global stability.

Pope Francis has worked to resolve problems in the Catholic Church, and to have a more open mind on divorce, abortion, gay rights, and other controversial social issues, while not wholly backing all of these cultural changes.  But he has demonstrated greater tolerance of differences and opened up a sense of change, which is desperately needed in the Catholic Church, if it is to grow and prosper in the long term.

Pope Francis has engaged in bringing about the restoration of a relationship between the United States and Cuba, something long overdue.

Pope Francis has worked to help Syrian refugees, and generally to encourage immigration reform around the world, as to reject immigrants is against the American historical tradition, and worldwide would be the growth of another Holocaust, as Jews and other refugees suffered in the Second World War.

Pope Francis is a transformational Pope who, hopefully, will have a long range effect on the Catholic Church and the world.

Pope Francis has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is hoped that he will win it, as he richly deserves it!