John F. Kennedy

Theodore Roosevelt To Barack Obama, And The Antiquities Act Of 1906, Now Under Threat From Donald Trump

Theodore Roosevelt, the greatest environmental and conservation President, promoted the passage of the Antiquities Act of 1906, and since then, 16 Presidents have designated a grand total of 157 National Monuments and National Parks.

Four Republican Presidents added no national monuments or national parks—Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, although Nixon is seen as a great environmental President with his Secretary of the Interior Walter Hickel, and the signing into law of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and the first declared Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

Under Theodore Roosevelt, a total of 18 monuments or parks were added, including Devils Tower National Monument, Petrified Forest National Park, Muir Woods National Monument, Grand Canyon National Park, and Olympic National Park.

William Howard Taft added 10 national monuments and national parks, including Navajo National Monument and Zion National Park.

Woodrow Wilson added 13 national monuments and national parks, including Dinosaur National Monument, Acadia National Park, and Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

Warren G. Harding added 8 national monuments and national parks, including Great Basin National Park, Aztec Ruins National Monument, and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Calvin Coolidge added 13 national monuments and national parks, including Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Statue Of Liberty National Monument, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail, and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

Herbert Hoover added 9 national monuments and national parks, including Arches National Park, Portion Of White River National Forest, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Grand Canyon National Park (extension), White Sands National Monument, and Death Valley National Park.

Franklin D. Roosevelt added 13 national monuments and national parks, including Dry Tortugas National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Zion National Park (extension), and Grant Teton National Park.

Harry Truman added just 1 national monument and national park, Effigy Mounds National Monument.

Dwight D. Eisenhower added just 2 national monuments and national parks, Thomas Edison National Historical Park, and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.

John F. Kennedy added just 2 national monuments and national parks, including Russell Cave National Monument, and Buck Island Reef National Monument.

Lyndon B. Johnson added just 2 national monuments and national parks, an extension again of Grand Canyon National Park, and Portion of Tongrass National Forest.

Jimmy Carter added 15 national monuments and national parks in just one term as President, a reason why Carter is seen as one of the top three conservation oriented Presidents, alongside TR and Nixon. Among those monuments and forests Carter added were Denali National Park in Alaska, Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, and Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.

Bill Clinton added the grant total of 19 national monuments and national parks, including Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, California Coastal National Monument, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Portion of Sequoia National Forest, President Lincoln and Soldier’s Home National Monument, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, and Governors Island National Monument.

George W. Bush added 6 national monuments and national parks, including African Burial Ground National Monument, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, and Pacific Remote Islands National Monument.

Finally, Barack Obama added the grand total of 29 national monuments and national parks, far more than runners up Bill Clinton, Theodore Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. These included Fort Monroe National Monument, Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, San Juan Islands National Monument, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, Stonewall National Monument, Bears Ears National Monument, Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Freedom Riders National Monument, and Reconstruction Era National Monument.

Lying In State And Honor At The US Capitol Rotunda In American History

The Reverend Billy Graham is lying in state and honor at the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC today.

This is a rare event, and Graham is only the fourth private person outside of government to be so honored, along with Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks in 2005, and two police officers who defended the Capitol from a gunman in 1998.

The list of government figures who have been so honored include 11 Presidents; 10 Senators; Soldiers of the various wars of America in the 20th century; and a few other military and government figures.

Henry Clay 1852
Abraham Lincoln 1865
Thaddeus Stevens 1868
Charles Sumner 1874
Henry Wilson 1875
James A. Garfield 1881
John A Logan 1886
William McKinley 1901
Pierre Charles L’Enfant 1909
George Dewey 1917
Unknown Soldiers of World War I 1921
Warren G. Harding 1923
William Howard Taft 1930
John Joseph Pershing 1948
Robert A. Taft 1953
Unknown Soldiers of World War II and the Korean War 1958
John F. Kennedy 1963
Douglas MacArthur 1964
Herbert Clark Hoover 1964
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1969
Everett McKinley Dirksen 1969
J. Edgar Hoover 1972
Lyndon Baines Johnson 1973
Hubert H. Humphrey 1978
Unknown Soldier Of the Vietnam Conflict 1984
Claude Denson Pepper 1989
Jacob Joseph Chestnut and John Michael Gibson (US Capitol Police Officers)
Ronald Wilson Reagan 2004
Rosa Parks 2005
Gerald R. Ford, Jr. 2006-2007
Daniel K. Inouye 2012

Additionally, Salmon P. Chase 1873 in the Senate chamber; Samuel Hooper 1875 in the House chamber; also Thurgood Marshall in 1993, Warren Burger in 1995, and Antonin Scalia in 2016 at the US Supreme Court; as well as Commerce Secretary Ron Brown at the Commerce Department in 1996.

Political Scientist 2018 Presidential Poll Rates Several Presidents Quite Differently Than C Span Poll Of Presidential Scholars A Year Ago

The 2018 Presidents And Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey of 170 Political Scientists, which showed Donald Trump at the bottom of the list, and only four places higher in the view of conservatives and Republicans, also shows several Presidents rated quite differently than in the 2017 C Span Presidential Poll of Presidential Scholars just a year ago.

Thomas Jefferson is fifth in the Political Scientist poll, ahead of Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, while Ike rated fifth and Truman sixth ahead of Jefferson in seventh place in the C Span Poll.

John F. Kennedy is knocked out of the top ten, all the way down to 16th in the Political Scientist poll, with Barack Obama taking his place as 8th, so a big drop for JFK, and a dramatic rise for Obama from 12 to 8.

James Madison went from 16th in the first poll to a ranking now of 12th, just behind Woodrow Wilson, who is steadily in 11th place.

Bill Clinton went from 15th place in the C Span poll to 13th in the Political Scientist poll.

John Adams went from 19th to 14th, a dramatic rise from a year ago.

Andrew Jackson went from 18th to 15th, after having suffered a drop in the 2009 C Span Poll from 13th.

George H. W. Bush went from 20th a year ago to 17th this year.

James Monroe went from 13th a year ago to 18th this year.

William McKinley went from 16th a year ago to 19th this year.

James K. Polk dropped dramatically from 14th last year to 20th this year.

Ulysses S. Grant remained elevated, having gone from 33rd in 2000 to 23rd in 2009 to 22nd in 2017, and now 21st this year.

Martin Van Buren rose dramatically from 34th last year to 27th this year.

Rutherford B. Hayes rose from 32nd last year to 29th this year.

George W. Bush rose from 36th in 2009 to 33rd in 2017, and now to 30th in 2018.

Richard Nixon dropped from 28th in 2017 to 33rd in 2018.

Of course, these kinds of differences in polls is understandable, with the different combination of scholars in each poll.

But some of these statistics stick out, particularly the dramatic rise of Barack Obama, James Madison, John Adams, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush; and the dramatic drop of John F. Kennedy, James Monroe, James K. Polk, and Richard Nixon.

The long range likelihood is that these dramatic changes will not, necessarily, last and may even reverse themselves, with the exception of Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy, and also Ulysses S. Grant, and this will be analyzed further in future postings soon.

Presidents Day On Monday, And JFK, Reagan, Obama Rated Top Three Presidents Since 1953, But Much Ignorance And Lack Of Historical Knowledge!

Every year on and around Presidents Day, public opinion polls are taken to judge who the American people most admire among past Presidents.

For the past decade, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan have switched with each other as the best President of the past half century.

This year, the University of Virginia Center For Politics, operated by Professor Larry Sabato, and Ipsos, an international, independent marketing research firm have come to the conclusion that the rating of JFK is the highest, with Ronald Reagan close behind, but Barack Obama a competitive third place, followed by Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush tied for fifth place.

Dwight D. Eisenhower is seventh, followed by Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and then Donald Trump in 10th place, just a bit ahead of Lyndon B. Johnson, and then Richard Nixon in last place.

This polls shows that Obama has remained popular a year after leaving the Presidency, and a sign he will likely remain high in public opinion, quite an accomplishment considering the bitterly divided America we have at the present time.

But it shows ignorance, to have the two Bushes in a tie, and probably mostly because the younger Bush is a recent President, and many are confused by the similar names.

To put Eisenhower seventh is more a lack of knowledge of a President from the 1950s, and to put Trump, a disastrous President low on the list, but ahead of LBJ and his Great Society and Nixon and his diplomacy, is a true sign of pure lack of historical knowledge by the American public. It is true that Johnson engaged America in the disastrous Vietnam War and Nixon was forced out of office due to the Watergate Scandal. But their accomplishments were enough to put them above Trump in a realistic situation where people know historical facts.

So clearly, there is a dire need for major emphasis on the study of history and of the Presidency, as this lack of knowledge brought us Donald Trump to the White House, with zero qualifications for the White House!

Donald Trump Has Lowest Popularity Rating Of One Year President Since Polling Began

With one year in office, Donald Trump ranks as the lowest popularity rating of all Presidents since public opinion polling began as a full time effort in the Presidency of Harry Truman after 1945.

The FiveThirtyEight blog shows that Trump’s overall average in January is 40 percent in favor and 55 percent opposed.

Every other President after a year in office ranks as more popular than not popular.

The least popular after Trump is Gerald Ford, with 44 percent in favor after one year and 39 opposed, and a lot of this result was due to Ford’s pardoning of Richard Nixon one month into his term.

Following up the list, we have Barack Obama 50-43; Ronald Reagan 49-40; Harry Truman 50-35; Bill Clinton 57-34; Jimmy Carter 55-27; Richard Nixon 60-23; Dwight D. Eisenhower 71-18; Lyndon B. Johnson 74-15; George H. W. Bush 78-11; George W. Bush 81-13; and at the top of the list John F. Kennedy 79-10.

So from Ford to JFK, the net approval is from plus 5 points to plus 69 points.

Of course, many of these great public opinion ratings deteriorated over time, particularly with Truman, Carter, Nixon, Johnson, and the Bushes, but they, along with all other Presidents, ranked more popular than not popular at this early stage of their White House tenure.

Those supportive of Trump love to point out that he has risen slightly from the low to mid 30s, but with the constant tumult and chaos in the White House, and his horrible, thoughtless, and cruel policies on so many issues, it is assured that Trump will never rise to a more positive than negative view of him and his Presidency.

Trump Tax Cuts Already Undermining Budget, And Threatening Social Safety Net Of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid

The Trump tax cuts are already, just as they are going into effect, causing a massive shortage of government funds, and threatening the stability of the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and as well as educational, environmental, consumer, and labor laws.

This is precisely what the Republican Party of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the Trump White House wants, to destroy the entire social and economic reforms and regulatory laws of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society of the Lyndon B. Johnson, and the reforms of Barack Obama, along with lesser reforms of Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

The Republican Party is now an extremist right wing party controlled by the Freedom Caucus and evangelical Christians, who will not be satisfied until they take America back to the 1920s and the Gilded Age.

And this past week, the beginning of the end of what is now 88 months of economic expansion and job growth is evident, as today, the stock market collapsed with a 670 point drop, and a 1,000 point drop over this entire week. This is the biggest drop in two years, about 2.5 percent in the past week. It is also the biggest drop since the financial crisis of late 2008, which led to the Great Recession.

This was predictable, as no market or economic growth can continue to expand forever and already, the seven years and four months of expansion, since the last months of 2010, is an all time record.

We will go through very rough times from now on, and yet the wealthy top one or two percent will continue to gain massive tax cuts, while the rest of America suffers.

We are on the road to potential social uprising, as the American people realize that a President who lost the popular vote, and has engaged in illegal acts, works to undermine the investigation of Russian collusion, money laundering, abuse of power, violating the emoluments clause, and obstruction of justice, at the expense of the American people, but makes sure his class of wealthy people continues to benefit.

The Trump public opinion rating in the mid 30s is likely to collapse into the 20s at this rate, but will the Republican Party try to rectify itself in Congress, or will they continue to collaborate in treason and corruption, and destroy their historical legacy long term?

We shall see in the months leading up to a likely massacre in the midterm elections this November.

January 20 Presidential Inauguration Days

Since 1937, as a result of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, we have had the President of the United States inaugurated every fourth year, so there have been 21 such inaugurations from 1937 to 2017.

Every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt, with the exception of Gerald Ford, has been inaugurated on January 20 since 1937. So 13 Presidents have had the excitement of inauguration at the US Capitol before crowds of varying sizes.

The greatest inauguration crowd was in 2009, when Barack Obama took the oath of office for the first time, and this author and blogger was fortunate enough to have been at his inauguration with his older son, and a video of that experience is on the right side of this blog.

The electricity in the crowd in 2009 was special, as it was in 1961, when the youngest elected President, John F. Kennedy, was inaugurated, and gave one of the top three inaugural addresses in American history, after Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933, both on the original Inauguration Day of March 4.

In 1941, FDR was sworn in to an unprecedented third term in the Presidency, and in 1949, Harry Truman was sworn in after shocking America with his surprise victory over Thomas E. Dewey, something no one other than Truman himself, expected to occur.

In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in after the greatest popular vote percentage victory in all of American history.

In 1973, Richard Nixon was sworn in for his second term, with no former President present, as Lyndon B. Johnson was not feeling well enough to attend, and then his passing two days later, at age 64.

And in 1977, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale were sworn in as President and Vice President, with no one able to know that 41 years later, today, that they were both alive and in their 90s, and flourishing.

And in 1981, former movie actor and California Governor Ronald Reagan was sworn in, and at the same time, 52 Americans who had been held hostage in Iran were freed.

So January 20 has had its historic moments, including Donald Trump taking the oath exactly a year ago, after a much smaller crowd to witness, and followed by a Woman’s March the next day.

Health Care Costs Push People Into Poverty, And Republicans Have No Concern

Anyone who has health care issues can be pushed into bankruptcy and poverty by medical bills, but the Republican Party has no concern about how such a situation destroys the lives of millions, and further undermines their health and life longevity.

America is the only advanced nation that does not have national health care for all, and even when Republicans have town hall meetings and meet with constituents who have health issues, their reaction is one of lack of compassion and utter disinterest.

One has to wonder how these Republicans, who often claim to be “religious” and “good Christians” can look in the mirror and not feel great guilt.

What is it about the Republican mind that they cannot have compassion and wish to make the life of the elderly, single mothers and children, the poor, and the disabled, who all face great challenges every day, a bit easier?

To claim that health care in the 21st century is not a right, but a privilege, is mind boggling.

An idea first broached by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912, a century later, is still a battleground, rather than an agreed upon issue that should unite the American people in wishing to promote a long, healthy life for all Americans. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have all worked to advance health care, but we still have this refusal to recognize the right of all people to health care, and those who cannot afford it, often having to go bankrupt.

Donald Trump, The Laziest And Least Knowledgeable President Since 1900, If Not Before

It is difficult to know for certain how hard working our Presidents from George Washington to William McKinley were, as available sources cannot often pinpoint the work habits of the 24 Presidents before 1900.

It is much easier to pinpoint the work habits of the 20 Presidents since 1901, from Theodore Roosevelt to Donald Trump.

It is also clear that being President is a tough, challenging job, and one does not have to be President to understand that reality.

But then, we have Donald Trump, who has expressed surprise at how difficult and complex and time consuming the Presidency is.

After all, Donald Trump has never truly worked that hard in his life, and always has had an advantage over others by his wealth and connections.

It is now clear that despite the burdens of the Presidency, that Donald Trump is the laziest and least knowledgeable President since 1900, if not before, but also likely.

Historians make clear how hard working and time consuming most Presidents have found their job and its duties.

William Howard Taft, being the heaviest President, took long naps daily, which makes it seem as if he was lazy to some, but clearly, Taft had a good mind, and a history of legal experience. He later became the only President to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, as well, and no one has ever accused Taft in his nine years on the Court as not taking his job seriously.

Warren G. Harding was poorly qualified for the Presidency, and did not really like the job, and that he spent a lot of time engaging in love affairs and drinking alcohol in a time of Prohibition. But despite his generally disastrous Presidency, he comes across as still less lazy and far more knowledgeable than Donald Trump, and certainly more goodhearted and considerate of others who worked with him, and with the general public.

Calvin Coolidge, who was not at all overweight, also took a lot of naps, but despite that, he seems to have asserted himself, and his work load seems activist. His napping maybe was a way to cope with the loss of his younger son, Calvin, Jr at age 16 in 1924, just as he was running for a full term, after succeeding to the Presidency upon the death of Harding in 1923.

Dwight D. Eisenhower liked to delegate authority, and avoid dealing with many issues in detail, and was far less interested in dealing personally with every issue. But no one could accuse him of being lazy and lacking in knowledge, although many criticized his love of golf as a hobby during the White House years. But we must remember his military brilliance in World War II at D Day, and realize he was very capable of being President.

Ronald Reagan also liked to delegate authority, and liked longer vacations, but still could not be accused of lacking knowledge, or being overly lazy. His staff and his wife, Nancy Reagan, promoted an activist Presidency, and Reagan comes across as an activist President. He knew how to communicate in a positive way with the American people.

George W. Bush took many long vacations on his ranch in Texas, and seemed often poorly informed. He leaned too much on his Vice President, Dick Cheney, in his first term, but in the second term, his attention to issues and his commitment to his job grew, even though the results in his Presidency were often disastrous.

Once one goes beyond these six Presidents named above, there is no question that the other Presidents were committed to the work ethic, and had broad knowledge of the major issues of their times.

This is particularly true of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry Truman, who all governed in complex times with challenging issues to deal with on a daily basis.

But equally true is the competence and commitment of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

Particularly “workaholic” Presidents would include TR, Wilson, FDR, Truman, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, and Obama.

On the other hand, Donald Trump has spent more time on “vacation” than any President, and has shown ignorance and lack of interest in the details of his job. He spends more time playing golf; is constantly on attack against his critics on Twitter; and he eats unhealthy foods and drinks twelve Diet Cokes daily.

The man loves the title and the pomp and circumstance of the Presidency, but is extremely disinterested in the details of the issues he must deal with in domestic and foreign policy, and clearly is the laziest President in modern times, if not the entire history of the Presidency. He has undermined both domestic and foreign policy in dangerous ways.

The conclusion is that Donald Trump is ill equipped to be President, and disgraces the reputation of the office every day. If earlier Presidents were able to come back from the next world, they would be shocked at what harm he has done to the Presidency in just one short year! Heads would be shaking, and eyes rolling, without any doubt!

New Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Besmirched By Presence Of Donald Trump, And Absence, Therefore, Of John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon

Today, in Jackson, Mississippi, a new Civil Rights Museum opens, to commemorate the sufferings of African Americans in the history of Mississippi discrimination and violence.

Mississippi is the state of the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955; of James Meredith needing National Guard intervention ordered by President John F. Kennedy in 1962-1963 to be able, safely, to attend the University of Mississippi; and of the three civil rights workers (Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney) murdered in 1964 by Ku Klux Klansmen, simply for the act of trying to register black voters. Also, the murder of Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers in 1963 stands out as a deplorable moment in Mississippi history.

It is the state which has the worst image of all 50 states on racism, bloodshed, and violence in the Civil Rights Era, but also of its members of Congress historically, including Theodore Bilbo, John Stennis, and James Eastland, and Governor Ross Barnett, infamous for racism and advocating prejudice and denial of equal rights to African Americans.

The opening of this new museum is a wonderful event, but is besmirched by the presence of President Donald Trump, who has a long history of promoting discrimination, racism, prejudice, and hatred in his own life experience, and his promotion of setting back civil rights during his Presidency, including his appointment of former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General, and setting back civil rights enforcement as a policy.

Just as Donald Trump is advocating Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat, with his long record of racism, along with the record of Moore involved in sexual abuse of young women, including girls under the age of 18, now he is coming to an event which is pure hypocrisy on his part, and only promotes racial division ever more.

Therefore, civil rights icon John Lewis, Georgia Congressman, who was involved in the major events of the civil rights movement, and is much respected and honored by all decent people, will not be attending the opening of this museum on principle, a regrettable but understandable reaction by this great man.