Lyndon B. Johnson

The Public Utterances Of Larry Elder, Potential California Governor, After Recall Election On September 14!

Larry Elder, the right wing talk show host, and an African American, seems likely to be the major threat to the tenure of California Governor Gavin Newsom in the upcoming Gubernatorial Recall election on Tuesday, September 14.

What is his record of beliefs and statements?

He is an ardent supporter of Donald Trump, regularly praising him on Twitter.

Elder has argued Trump is not responsible for the January 6, 2021 Insurrection.

In a 2000 book, he called for:

abolishing the Internal Revenue Service
creating a national sales tax
reduce government by 80 percent
end welfare and entitlements
abolish the minimum wage
eliminate corporate taxes

Also, he has condemned Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty”; thinks the ideal minimum wage is ZERO; has condemned labor unions, and said many teachers are incompetent and should be fired; and prefers charter and private schools to public schools.

Elder also is anti abortion; anti gay; thinks California is “soft on crime”; and is a denier of climate change and the dangers of second hand tobacco smoking.

He is also against mandates on COVID 19 and masks; and sees no problem with mass rallies held by Donald Trump. Additionally, he has made highly controversial remarks on women, very misogynistic in nature.

So Elder would be a nightmare for California, and could gain the power to select the replacement for Dianne Feinstein, who might leave soon due to dementia, and that would change the political balance in the US Senate!

The Afghanistan Crisis Likely Insures A One Term Joe Biden Presidency

Only about one of every three Presidents historically (14 of 44) through Inauguration Day 2021 has served two terms:

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
Woodrow Wilson
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama

Additionally, 7 others served more than one term, but not two complete terms:

Abraham Lincoln
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Calvin Coolidge
Harry Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon

And only Lincoln, McKinley, and Nixon were actually elected to two terms, so a total of 17 Presidents elected twice, while TR, Coolidge, Truman, and Johnson succeeded after deaths of their predecessor, and were only elected once to the Presidency.

So a total of 21 Presidents served more than four years, although Lincoln and McKinley for just a few months more, and Coolidge, Johnson and Nixon only months more than a year. So only TR and Truman were very close to two complete terms. Ultimately, 16 out of 44 basically served two terms.

Now we can add Joe Biden to the list of those who will not serve two terms or even be elected a second time, as with the Afghanistan debacle, it seems certain that he will not run again in 2024!

Major Accomplishment On Infrastructure Legislation: A Landmark Moment!

Yesterday, August 11, saw the Bipartisan Physical Infrastructure legislation pass the Senate with 19 Republicans joining the 50 Democrats, with the votes by the Republicans ignoring Donald Trump’s anger that what he could not accomplish is being done now under Joe Biden!

And the more expansive proposed $3.5 trillion legislation for expansion of the social safety net, which has not been seen since the 1960s, was voted 50-49 in a “reconciliation” vote, straight party line Democratic votes only.

If both of these pieces of legislation go all the way to adoption after the Congress returns later in August and into mid September, it will be a landmark moment in American history!

Joe Biden is on the way to being the most progressive President since Lyndon B. Johnson, although Barack Obama made valiant efforts that fell short, due to Republican opposition.

With Biden having great congressional experience that Obama did not have, there is optimism that he will be able to overcome opposition that Obama was stymied by for his last six years, and “reconciliation” is, fortunately, the method that might bring about the more expansive infrastructure legislation.

56th Anniversary Of Voting Rights Act, Now A Major Crisis Of American Democracy!

On this day in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965, supported by Democrats, but also a substantial number of Republicans, who understood that voting rights were the central human right in a nation that was a democracy.

It was a reaction against the denial in the former Confederates states of the South to enforce the 15th Amendment of 1870, which gave men of color the right to vote after the Civil War.

Now, America is again in a crisis, as the Supreme Court cut back enforcement of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, in Shelby County V. Holder, and many Republican states are now claiming voter fraud in 2020, when it did not exist, and are passing all kinds of restrictions to prevent minority voters, young voters, and poor people from their constitutional right to vote.

Texas, Georgia, Florida and Arizona, and their crooked, corrupt governors and state legislatures are trying to fix the results of future elections, by making it impossible or extremely difficult for people to vote, and Texas has seen the Democrats in the state legislature for the past month and more, leaving the state and coming to Washington, DC to promote a restoration of the Voting Rights Act.

These Texas Democrats face arrest and possible imprisonment, which should not be permitted, and instead, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the right wingers in his state and others, should face prosecution for what they are attempting to perpetrate.

H R 1–For the People Act, and H R 4–John Lewis Voting Rights Act, need to be passed into law now!

Presidents And The Month Of August

Presidents and the month of August have quite a history, with nine Presidents connected to the month.

Five Presidents were born in August:

August 4, 1961–Barack Obama
August 10, 1874–Herbert Hoover
August 19, 1946–Bill Clinton
August 20, 1833–Benjamin Harrison
August 27, 1908–Lyndon B. Johnson

One President died in August:

Warren G. Harding–August 2, 1923

One President resigned in August:

Richard Nixon–August 9, 1974

Two Presidents succeeded to the Presidency in August:

Calvin Coolidge–August 2, 1923
Gerald Ford–August 9, 1974

Six Month Anniversary Of President Joe Biden: A Positive Change And High Public Opinion Ratings!

Today, July 20, marks the six month Anniversary of the Joe Biden Presidency!

What a vastly different six months these have been, and Joe Biden’s public opinion ratings rank in the high 50s to low 60s, depending on which assessment is examined.

Many problems have arisen, as with any President who comes into office, but Biden is pushing ahead on infrastructure legislation, and wants a large “human infrastructure” bill, based on “reconciliation”, 50 Democratic votes and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema continue to present problems in trying to overcome the filibuster, and may prevent progress on voting rights, very sad indeed.

Foreign policy issues are rearing their ugly head, including new ones on Cuba and Haiti in just the last few weeks.

This along with the usual foreign policy challenges, with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

Environmental progress has been outstanding, and while the unvaccinated remain a problem with the Delta Variant of COVID 19, and the unhelpful propaganda against vaccination by right wing media, it is still amazing how many Americans have already shown patriotism and common sense on this matter.

If only Joe Biden had the conditions of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933-1936 and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1964-1966, he would have been able to accomplish much more, but still there is optimism, and the hope is for greater progress in the next six months!

Infrastructure Bill Greatest Since Great Society Of Lyndon B. Johnson: But Will It Become Law?

The potential now exists for the passage of a Democratic Party massive infrastructure bill, which would be the greatest legislation since the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson nearly six decades ago.

Not only would the need for physical infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels, transit, broadband) be finally dealt with after decades of talk, but no action.

But also “human infrastructure”, including two years of “free” community college; two years of universal preschool education for three and four year olds; but also Medicare reforms, including dental, vision and hearing aids, and possibly lowering the age for Medicare to 60 from 65 would be part of the broader plan.

Additionally, giving middle and lower income parents monthly stipends for each child (additional child tax credits), and providing home care for seniors who need it, and support for those who needs young children to have care subsidized, so women can go back to work, as crucial for their family’s ability to thrive, would be included.

It would also provide paid family and medical leave.

This legislation would halve child poverty and spend $500 billion on “green” public works.

And it would not raise taxes for those earning less than $400,000 annually.

The question is whether this legislation can make it through “reconciliation”, and whether the physical infrastructure portion will be supported by enough Republicans.

The Fight For National Voting Rights Is Intense!

Texas Democrats are in Washington, DC as they work to prevent the state legislature from passing massive limitations on voting rights.

Many Republican states have done or are doing the same, promoting the return of “Jim Crow” laws, as if the Voting Rights Act of 1965 under Lyndon B. Johnson had not become law six decades ago!

But the disgraceful right wing Supreme Court has done great harm to that signature law, and has complicated the fight to restore and preserve national voting rights.

So the Democrats, with their razor thin majority MUST push to end the filibuster, at least for the basic right to vote, and Joe Biden gave a speech in that regard today in Philadelphia.

Pressure must be brought against Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to do the right thing, as otherwise, what is the point of having a majority?

The “Ups And Downs” Of Ranking Presidents Over Time

Historically, many Presidents have gone through periods of low esteem, and then, suddenly, high esteem in the minds of public opinion and also, Presidential scholars.

Abraham Lincoln had a very divided nation in response after his assassination, and only in the early 20th century, did the nation decide to honor Lincoln with the construction of the Lincoln Memorial, dedicated in 1922. He has been rated Number One by just about every Presidential scholar and poll, except those right wing Confederate sympathizers and white supremacists

Harry Truman left office in 1953 with a very low public opinion rating, and was regarded poorly in assessments of Presidents, until after he passed away in 1972. In the next five years, as TIME Magazine termed it in the late 1970s, we had “Truman Mania”, as massive research and writing on Truman caused his rise in stature to as high as Number 5 in scholarly polls on Presidents.

Dwight D. Eisenhower left office with an image of a passive, lazy President, and the vitality and youth of his successor, John F. Kennedy, did not improve his image, and he was seen as not an outstanding President. But his historical reputation has risen dramatically to the point that in many scholarly assessments, he is now seen as number 5 or 6 among all Presidents.

Lyndon B. Johnson suffered mightily in assessments due to the Vietnam War, despite his amazing domestic accomplishments of the “Great Society”, and was poorly rated for 20 years. But now, he is somewhere between number 9 and 11 in rankings of Presidents.

Jimmy Carter has never risen from the mid to low 20s in rankings and popularity, but it seems possible to imagine that when the longest lived President eventually passes away, that his rating may go up much more than many might now imagine.

The Assassination Of Robert F. Kennedy 53 Years Ago Transformed The Future Of America!

The world changed on June 5, 1968, 53 years ago, when Democratic Presidential contender, Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, was assassinated in Los Angeles.

This author has written about that tragic event in his 2015 book, 2017 in paperback—ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers).

While there was no certainty that RFK would have been the Democratic Party nominee in 1968, or that he would have been able to defeat Richard Nixon, many observers believe his death was a turning point that transformed the future of America!

RFK had been able to put together a coalition of working class whites, as well as African Americans and Hispanic Americans, and he was inspiring many young people to engage in the campaign, including those opposed to the war in Vietnam under Lyndon B. Johnson.

While no winner of the Presidency could, in reality, be expected to accomplish all the goals that had been set, there was great optimism and hope that RFK would have been a transformative President.

Instead, the right wing of the Republican Party won out under Richard Nixon, who appealed also to many George Wallace supporters, and Hubert Humphrey, despite his wonderful record of commitment, was lost in the anti war movement opposition to LBJ.

The next fifty years would be dominated by conservatives who wanted to push the nation backward, and the battle for Democrats has been to overcome their impact, and the battle is presently engaged under Joe Biden, at a very difficult time with Donald Trump promoting the “Big Lie”, that he won the election.

So America is in crisis, and Biden, having the same birthday as RFK, but 17 years later birth, is trying to bring about what RFK was promoting a half century ago!