John F. Kennedy

The Dangers Of The Supreme Court Run Amuck In Favor Of Wealthy And Corporations!

The Supreme Court is totally out of control, with its new decision on having no limits on campaign spending by wealthy donors, added on to the Citizens United Case of 2010, and the limitation of voting rights in a 2013 decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts has solidified a five member GOP majority to destroy all attempts to prevent corporate and wealthy people from controlling the political system, an effort pursued from the time of Theodore Roosevelt a century ago through Senator John McCain and Senator Russ Feingold in the 1990s and early 2000s.

That is all for naught now, and shows the dangers of a runaway, reckless, right wing radical Court!

This is what made Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Barack Obama criticize Court power, along with progressive reformers including Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin, Senator George Norris of Nebraska, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont!

This is the result of 13 Supreme Court nominees since 1960 by Republican Presidents, to only 8 by Democrats, and with two of those Democratic appointments (Arthur Goldberg by John F. Kennedy and Abe Fortas by Lyndon B. Johnson), only lasting three and four years respectively.

Of course, Republican appointments of Harry Blackmun by Richard Nixon; John Paul Stevens by Gerald Ford; Sandra Day O’Connor by Ronald Reagan; and David Souter by George H. W. Bush, turned out to be major surprises in their rulings, but we also ended up with some of the most reactionary and right wing radical appointments in all of American history with the appointments of William Rehnquist by Richard Nixon and the elevation of Rehnquist to Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan; Lewis Powell by Richard Nixon; Antonin Scalia by Ronald Reagan; Clarence Thomas by George H. W. Bush; and Samuel Alito by George W. Bush. The appointments of Chief Justice Warren Burger by Richard Nixon; Anthony Kennedy by Ronald Reagan; and Chief Justice John Roberts by George W. Bush, have been more of a mixed bag, sometimes good, and sometimes horrible in its effect on constitutional law!

Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy selected a mostly conservative Justice Byron White; Lyndon B Johnson selected Thurgood Marshall; Bill Clinton selected Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; and Barack Obama selected Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, but sadly, their influence in the last four of the five names listed, has been mostly in being the opposition, sometimes vehement in nature!

The effect on the future of American democracy is massive, with this right wing Court majority, and the only hope is the eventual retirement of Scalia and Kennedy, and hopefully, continuation of a Democratic Senate and President for the rest of the decade, so that the Court changes direction in the future!

Conservative Republicans Want To Repeal Constitutional Amendments And 20th Century Reforms That Make America A Better Nation!

The Republican Party of the second decade of the 21st century, along with the conservative movement, in all of its ramifications, is out to repeal constitutional amendments and numerous 20th century reforms that make America a better, more modern nation, all in their quest to make the corporations ever more dominant and enrich the top one percent more than already is reality!

When one follows, reads, and watches right wing spokesmen, in and out of the party, they have called for the following repeals:

The 16th Amendment–Federal Income Tax
The 17th Amendment–Direct Popular Election Of US Senators
19th Amendment–Woman Suffrage
Antiquities Act–National Parks, Forests, and Monuments Protection
Food And Drug Administration
Clayton Anti Trust Act
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Reserve Act
Social Security Act
Fair Labor Standards Act
Medicare
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Department Of Education
Department Of Health And Human Services
Department Of Housing And Urban Development
Department Of Energy
Environmental Protection Agency
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Occupational Safety And Health Administration
US Post Office
Affirmative Action
Abortion Rights
Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
National Public Radio
PBS
Americans With Disabilities Act
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan
ObamaCare–Affordable Care Act

These and other laws and amendments not mentioned here became law under Presidents of both parties, including

Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Basically, these right wing groups and the dominant element in the Republican Party in Congress want to repeal everything that is good about America, and bring us back to the 19th century Gilded Age!

Nate Silver And Senate Predictions: Stop Panicking, Democrats!

Nate Silver, formerly of the New York Times, and now running the website 538, is considered a genius on statistics, and his predictions were spot on in 2012.

Therefore, his new prediction that the Republican Party will win six seats and a total majority of 51 in the US Senate gets a lot of publicity.

YES, it is possible what Silver projects, BUT saying that a party will win six seats and have a bare majority of 51, means that if he is off by one, then the Democrats keep the majority.

Silver may be brilliant, but he is not perfect by any means, anymore than anyone, so for Democrats to panic based on what he says seven and a half months before the midterm elections, is ridiculous!

If anything, it should make the Democrats work ever harder, and back with pride what they stand for, as there is nothing to be ashamed of, in backing ObamaCare.

Better to go down in principle, than abandon one’s beliefs, is the best advice.

Besides, foreign policy crises may intervene, and can turn things around dramatically, as it did in 1962, when the Cuban Missile Crisis in October affected the midterms, preventing a major loss of seats by the Democrats, the party of John F. Kennedy, who looked great in that crisis! The Democrats gained three seats in the Senate, and only lost four seats in the House of Representatives!

So, as Yogi Berra said, “it ain’t over until it’s over!”

The False Glamor Of Secession: The “Red” States, Quebec, And Scotland

The concept of secession has become a key word in society when there are discontented people who somehow believe central government in a democracy is evil, because it will not allow them to pursue their prejudices.

So we have, more in the past than right now, the glamor of secession that has been promoted by French speaking Quebec to overcome the English influence in the rest of Canada, although Quebec would be in very poor economic shape if it did secede.

We also have the move for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom, breaking away from England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, but in reality, that would impoverish Scotland.

And then we have the “Red” states, particularly those in the South, but also including the Southwest and the Great Plains, who dream of secession, mourning the failure of secession during the Civil War.

And yet, it is these “Red” states that are, by far, the poorest states in America, and get loads of benefits from the national government that they profess to hate!

It seems more the reality that these people living in the “Red” states who wish secession are purely ignorant, lack education, and have no clue as to how much they benefit from the federal government, so they are spiting themselves with their own stubbornness.

But really, what it comes down to is that they resent the inability to discriminate freely against African Americans, Latinos, women, and gays, due to federal laws and intervention by federal courts.

These states claim to be “devout” and “religious”, but actually are far from being so, as they lack all ethics and morals that true religion teaches!

These states have many people who wish the 19th century was back, when men dominated women, whites dominated over African Americans, and a small plantation elite controlled all government, much of it in the national government, until that “evil” man, Abraham Lincoln, came along and reasserted the basic teachings of the Founding Fathers, that this was a nation of freedom, liberty, and justice, even though many of the Founding Fathers practiced hypocrisy and deception themselves, but knew it was wrong! The Civil Rights Movement had begun with the end of slavery, a long, hard fought battle still being waged!

Lincoln opened up a new concept of America, and he would see leaders in the 20th century, including Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson assert federal authority in the manner of Lincoln, revolutionizing the two political parties. The Democrats would become the Republicans of the Civil War in principle, and the Republicans would become the old, prejudiced Southern Democrats, fighting against equal opportunity and justice.

Meanwhile, the people of the “Red” states became victims, who were appealed to on the basis of fundamentalist religion, which had worked against integration of the races, and wanted to keep women down in a subservient position, and worked against promotion of equality for gays and lesbians, even though they had such people in their own midst, preaching one thing and conducting their lives as the opposite, pure hypocrisy!

Once the struggling people of the “Red” states realize they have been victimized by religious and political propaganda, the Republican Party will be as dead as a doornail, as it is a party based on pure hypocrisy and lack of basic principles of the party they created 160 years ago!

Barack Obama A Class Act: Awarding Medals Of Honor To Overlooked Soldiers From Past Wars Denied Recognition Because Of Race, Ethnicity, Or Religion!

President Barack Obama demonstrated once again today what a class act he is, and that he is different than earlier Presidents, as he knows what prejudice and discrimination are, by personal experience. This is NOT saying that earlier Presidents, such as Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson did not understand what prejudice and discrimination were, but Obama has a more personal involvement, due to the constant attack on him, much of it based on who he is!

So today, he presided over the granting of Medals Of Honor, initiated by those in his administration who recognize that there was past discrimination against African Americans, Hispanics-Latinos, and Jews in the military in World War II. the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. These heroes sacrificed their lives, or demonstrated amazing heroism and courage in the heat of battle, and should have been honored long ago!

Soldiers who deserved medals of honor were denied it, but now the wrong has been corrected, although sadly, 21 of the 24 recipients are dead, some in the war itself, and others by the passing years.

It was a very touching ceremony today from the White House, and gave further indication that this President will not let the racism and prejudice and hate demonstrated by the right wing do anything to stop him promoting recognition and honor to people of diverse heritages.

The time of domination of honors and privileges and recognition to only white male Christians is over, and not too soon!

The Case For Joe Biden For President

Almost everyone thinks Hillary Clinton is the almost certain Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in 2016.

This entry is NOT designed to attack her credentials, or her worthiness to be President, and it is NOT designed to be critical of Martin O’Malley, Andrew Cuomo, Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, Elizabeth Warren or Brian Schweitzer, other rumored possible candidates.

It is simply an entry to point out the case for Joe Biden for President of the United States!

When one examines Joe Biden’s political career, one can only marvel at his background and experience, although it is well known that often those with far less experience in government end up in the Presidency, as for instance: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

But, seriously, if one is to use the measurement of experience in NATIONAL government, NO ONE comes even close to Joe Biden!

Only three Presidents had extensive experience in Congress before becoming President, and two of them became President originally by succession during a term–Andrew Johnson and Lyndon B. Johnson. The person to have the most national experience was, sadly, James Buchanan, often ranked as the absolutely worst President we have ever had in our nation’s history.

So one might say, see what happens when you put an experienced person in national government in the Presidency–that they turn out to be disasters, such as Andrew Johnson and Buchanan, and with much dissatisfaction with Lyndon B. Johnson for the Vietnam War escalation.

But it is really unfair to judge having experience as meaning an ultimate failure, and the point is that Joe Biden has a total of 44 years of experience in national government, unmatched in our history, and only Republican Presidential nominee Bob Dole in 1996 coming close, with 36 years of Congressional service!

Biden has unmatched experience and expertise in both foreign policy and legal matters, as he was Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman at different times.

Joe Biden is as skilled with working with the opposition party as Lyndon B. Johnson was in the 1950s, but for a much longer period of time.

Joe Biden would have the ability to get things done, that, arguably, Hillary Clinton would not have, and that other, less experienced Democratic nominees would not have!

Joe Biden is an extremely charming, charismatic , warm human being, and extremely likable and genuine. What you see is what you get, and Biden would be one of the most colorful and dynamic Presidents, were he to gain the Oval Office.

Joe Biden’s shortcomings are his age (although he has tremendous energy and shows no signs of slowing); his tendency to make verbal gaffes (although he has never said anything that did more than make him look foolish and really, human, in that regard); and his one great sin, if that is what it is to be called. That “sin” is having plagiarized in some speeches, and possibly in a term paper in his college years. This is certainly to be criticized, and it knocked him out of the 1988 Presidential race, which, however, was lucky, since he soon suffered an aneurysm, which required brain surgery. One could be concerned that he could have a repeat aneurysm, but it has been 27 years since that event, with no sign of that problem emerging.

The important thing, as always, with any Presidential candidate, is to have a strong, competent, decent running mate for Vice President, in case something tragic occurs, which can happen to anyone at any age! It is not a reason to dismiss someone for President, considering Lyndon B. Johnson’s heart troubles, and Dick Cheney’s multiple heart problems, among other cases of health issues (including John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt), faced by candidates for President and Vice President, as well as those holding the offices.

One thing is very clear! iF Joe Biden were to become President, he would do the nation proud, and we would know we have a President who has our backs, as he does not have a mean bone in his body, and really is compassionate and caring about all of us!

And also, Joe Biden is as close to an “average guy” as we will ever get, a guy who is likely close to the poorest politician throughout his career, living off his and his wife’s salaries, and off sales of his autobiography in recent years. He is not materialistic in the way other officeholders are, and has never had even a hint of scandal in his personal life or his financial life.

That is the kind of man that America deserves in the White House!

The Republican Party Battle Has Gone On For A Century!

When the Republican Party was founded in 1854, it was an activist liberal oriented party, against the expansion of slavery as an official doctrine, and with many of its founders and followers also being against slavery itself, wishing to abolish it.

Under Abraham Lincoln and Radical Republicans, the Republican Party advocated freedom, citizenship and voting for African Americans, while at the same time promoting the growth of industrial capitalism.

But in the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, the party lost its bearings, becoming a corrupt party, beholden to the top one percent of the nation. There was a need to reform the party, and Theodore Roosevelt came along at the turn of the century, and revolutionized the Presidency and promoted progressivism, and activist government, including labor rights, consumer rights, environmentalism, and the promotion of political reforms to bring direct democracy.

But after he left office, the party lost its bearings again and went into the darkness of the conservative 1920s, as Woodrow Wilson took on much of the progressive reform program, and set the Democratic Party on the road to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and a whole slew of domestic progressive and liberal reforms.

The Republican Party, by following the Gilded Age mentality again in the 1920s, helped to cause the greatest economic downturn in American history, and the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover put them in the wilderness, although revived by the moderate progressivism of war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.

But then, they were again in the minority, and although Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford promoted some substantial reforms in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in the midst of the New Frontier-Great Society mentality. scandal emerged under Nixon, and the Vietnam War sapped the party, and they turned once again to conservatism and Ronald Reagan, who had a better persona than conservative Barry Goldwater, who had been soundly defeated by LBJ in 1964. Reagan appealed to the top one percent, and promoted fear of the white working class toward minorities, and the GOP dominated the next generation and more, with the Jimmy Carter respite very brief, and Bill Clinton being mildly progressive, not really the tradition of FDR, Truman, JFK, and LBJ. But that meant that the Republican Party was backing away from the traditions of Lincoln, TR, and even Ike! The middle class and the working were victims, without realizing it until very recently.

Here they are today in the era of the most progressive Democratic President since LBJ, and the Republican Party is what it was in the Gilded Age and 1920s and since the 1980s, a party that backs away from domestic reform, from compassion, from concern about the environment, from concern about working people, from concern about women and ethnic minorities and the vast majority of Americans. Instead, they are the party of the one percent, as they were in the Gilded Age and 1920s, and the attempt to move the party to the center, and return to the Lincoln–TR–Ike tradition is engaged in what seems clearly a losing battle!

That means that the Republican Party, 160 years old this year, is likely in its death throes, a party which has gone awry, a really tragic set of circumstances!

John F. Kennedy And Barack Obama Comparisons

The more one studies John F. Kennedy and witnesses the Presidency of Barack Obama, the more one can see comparisons.

Both John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama represented new directions in the office of the Presidency. The following comparisons can be made between the 35th President and the 44th President.

Both of these Presidents represented a revolutionary change, with Kennedy being the first Catholic President and Obama being the first African American President.

Both of these Presidents faced the vehement opposition of the Southern states, although both won key states in the South and had most of their opposition from the “deep” South.

Both of these Presidents were charismatic and great orators of their visions.

Both of these Presidents had young children in the White House years.

Both of these Presidents had very attractive First Ladies, who added a lot to their Presidencies.

Both of these Presidents dealt with the issue of civil rights, with Kennedy focused on race and Obama on sexual orientation controversies.

Both of these Presidents engendered great hatred and were considered dangerous to the nation by critics, and the number of assassination threats grew dramatically.

Both of these Presidents had a Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson and Joe Biden, with a reputation of being exceptional legislators who knew how to get things done in Congress.

Both of these Presidents were young, and offered new hope for a new generation.

Both of these Presidents faced major challenges, Kennedy with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Obama with finding Osama Bin Laden.

Both of these Presidents faced tough times dealing with the Soviet Union under Kennedy, and the Russian Federation under Obama.

Both of these Presidents emphasized the need for health care as an important federal goal, with Kennedy unable to accomplish Medicare, but Obama able to accomplish ObamaCare, with conservatives being the crucial opposition in both situations.

Both of these Presidents promoted the concept of peace as a goal, rather than war, with Kennedy attempting moves toward ending the Cold War, and Obama attempting moves to end the war on Terrorism.

Both of these Presidents appealed to our better natures, rather than the lowest common denominator.

Both of these Presidents attempted to fight poverty and promote the middle class as the way to progress for society.

Both of these Presidents became models for young people, and gave them hope in a better America and a better world, as they were seen in an idealistic manner as overcoming cynicism common in both eras.

With Obama having about three years to go, and with constant, persistent death threats, it is hoped and prayed for that he will finish his term unharmed, and avoid the tragedy of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Let all of us wish him the best!

Reassessing Presidents On Presidents Day

Here we are again, Presidents Day, and time for reflection on Presidential leadership, and there will be much disagreement, but it seems clear certain Presidents will move up in image, while others will move down in the ratings. Except for Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, all of the below are 20th century Presidents, undergoing the greatest change in ratings. In each category, listing is chronological.

Who remains high in ratings?

George Washington
Abraham Lincoln
Theodore Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
Bill Clinton

Who is moving up in ratings, if one is honest?

William Howard Taft
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Jimmy Carter
Gerald Ford
George H. W. Bush

Who is moving down in ratings?

Woodrow Wilson
John F. Kennedy
Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan
George W. Bush

Whose rating does not really matter, as insignificant, historically?

Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover

And finally, what about Barack Obama? What rating would this controversial occupant of the White House gain, in the mind of this blogger and author?

B to B PLUS—very solid in social policy, solid in foreign policy, more difficulty in economic policy! Of course, on economic policy, the Congressional Republicans have caused a lot of the problem!

Where should he be put in the ratings? With three years to go, Obama is certainly in the top 15 of 43 Presidents, and this author would put him closer to 12-13 in the ratings, but subject to change. And one must realize to ignore the Right Wing whackos, as their judgment will have no long range effect, any more than they had with FDR or Lincoln, both bitterly criticized in their tenure in office!

I welcome comment and debate on this listing!

The Dangers Of An Impeachment Move Against President Obama

With reckless discussion and growing threats of an impeachment move against President Barack Obama, the country lurches toward a situation which creates great dangers for the nation, as well as the 44th President of the United States.

The irony of it all is that, under no circumstances, would an impeachment move lead to the removal of the President from his position before the time his term of office ends on January 20, 2017!

Were it otherwise, Vice President Joe Biden would succeed Obama, and be likely to get an edge on the 2016 nomination, and to keep the office for the full term, similar to what happened after Lyndon B. Johnson became President upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and almost happened to Gerald Ford after he succeeded the resigned Richard Nixon in 1974, only losing the Presidency by two percentage points to Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1976, and even would have won that election if a few thousand votes had switched in the states of Ohio and Hawaii.

But although Obama would survive any impeachment threat, the idea is very bad for the stability of the American nation and political system in the following ways:

It would bring up the ugly element of racism, which is very prevalent in our society as it is, but would be elevated by an attack of the right wing on Obama, a lot of it based on suspicion of the “black man” in the White House, who doesn’t seem to be a “true” American to the hate mongers, who have been unwilling to accept the fact that he was born in Hawaii, and is a legitimate President, elected twice by the American people in a clear cut electoral vote and popular vote margin!

The racial tensions already evident in our society are not just of blacks and whites, but also between Latinos and white Anglos, and even between Asian Americans and whites, who resent that they are in a losing battle demographically in a nation rapidly becoming a majority minority within the next three decades. Nothing will change that reality, and the future will include the likelihood of other African American Presidents, or more likely a Latino President, or even possibly an Asian American President, and even the possibility of a non Christian President, whether Jewish or Muslim! Additionally, we are going to have a future woman President, even if it is not Hillary Clinton!

Beyond the racial divide, an Obama impeachment would undermine the ability of the nation to continue its economic recovery, and that is something this country cannot afford, as it harms not just the Obama economic record, but real life situations of millions of Americans, and harms women and children, even more than men in the long run, as it inflates the poverty level of single women and their children, scarring the future for millions of American children, whose childhood experiences can harm them for life!

An Obama impeachment would endanger the international scene, and the ability to fight terrorism, and face the challenges of Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, and other nations that would love a wounded America in foreign policy and national security.

An Obama impeachment would also poison ever further the political divide between Republicans and Democrats, between “red” and “blue” states, and could lead to the long range danger of a civil war, not just of racial and ethnic groups, but between those who dream of secession from America, and unfortunately, have paranoid elements who have been building up large caches of firearms, that they would be ready to use against other Americans, law enforcement authorities, and even the US military, which could cost tens of thousands of lives! There is already a powder keg situation, in which crime against people based on their ethnicity, race, or sexual orientation has been growing!

Finally, and the greatest fear for anyone who cares about the long term American future, there is the massive danger of a successful attempt against the life of President Obama, with the realization, as this author has discovered in research for his upcoming book on Presidential Assassinations and the American Presidency, due out in 2015, that Obama has been subjected to an average of up to 30 stated or revealed threats per day, or about 10,000 per year, since he has become President, more than any President except maybe Abraham Lincoln, but probably more than Lincoln in reality!

Reported and published threats in the news media number at least 36 at this writing, much more than any other modern President for sure, and the number keeps on growing, and this is just what we know publicly, not the true story of Secret Service records, which remain secret!

So the publicity of an Obama impeachment effort would bring out ever more whackos and wing nuts who would like nothing better than to use the excuse of the impeachment controversy to try to gain permanent fame by assassinating Barack Obama, and that would further poison the American populace, and would likely be the beginning of a widespread civil insurrection, that might be hard to stop!

This author has hinted at these fears before, and it can be hoped that Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders will understand the dangers of an impeachment move, stop the rhetoric that Obama is a dictator breaking the Constitution, and allow our 44th President to finish his time in office, without further endangering his personal security and safety, and realize that they have made a dangerous error in allowing themselves to cater to an extreme right that endangers not only Obama, but really themselves, and also the civil order of the American nation!

It is time to stop the divisiveness, and to work with President Obama for the benefit and progress of the American people, or else the names and reputations of these Republican leaders will be condemned in the long run of American history!