Lyndon B. Johnson

Thanksgiving Day A Day To Be Thankful For In Many Ways

Today is Thanksgiving Day, and we have a lot to be thankful for.

We are thankful that we have a democratic system of government, where there is accountability for one’s behavior in our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

We have violations in our history much too often, but the Constitution and Bill of Rights have ability to be utilized to counteract such violations.

Thank goodness that the Democrats won the House of Representatives in 2018, and are putting Donald Trump’s feet to the fire, no matter what happens in the US Senate.

The Republican Party is sealing its long term doom if it continues to back the lawlessness and corruption of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, no matter what happens in 2020, will have his historical reputation in tatters, as his lack of ethics, morality, common decency, and concern for those less fortunate, guarantee his condemnation in the long run of history.

While neither political party is ideal or perfect, the Democratic Party is triumphant in the long run of history for having concerned itself with the advancement of average Americans from FDR to LBJ to Barack Obama.

There is plenty of room for improvement, but the Republican Party of Lincoln, TR, and Ike is long gone, and the GOP stands condemned for its lack of concern for average Americans since the inauguration of Ronald Reagan onward.

Corruption Levels Of Democratic And Republican Presidencies Since 1963

Fifty six years have passed since Lyndon B. Johnson became President, and in that period, we have had six Republican Presidents and four Democratic Presidents.

Republicans have held the Presidency thirty plus years since 1969, and Democrats have been in the White House for 25 years in that half century plus.

The record shows that Democrats have had a total of three executive branch officials indicted, with one conviction and one prison sentence.

Meanwhile, Republicans have had a total of 120 executive branch officials indicted, with 89 criminal convictions and 33 prison sentences.

To be fair, Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush each had one indictment, one conviction, and one prison sentence each.

But Richard Nixon had 76 criminal indictments, 55 convictions, and 15 prison sentences, while Ronald Reagan had 26 criminal indictments, 16 convictions, and 8 prison sentences, and George W. Bush had 16 criminal indictments, 16 convictions, and 8 prison sentences.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton had, after all the investigations and publicity by Republicans in Congress, a total of 2 criminal indictments, one conviction, and one prison sentence. Jimmy Carter had one indictment, and no convictions and no prison sentences, while Barack Obama had ZERO indictments, convictions, and prison sentences.

And then, there is Donald Trump, who already, in less than three years, has seen 6 major figures indicted and convicted and having prison sentences, including Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and now, Roger Stone, and many others Russian connected also facing criminal charges that may not lead to convictions because they are in Russia.

And this does not include the many past and present cabinet members and other significant figures who have been caught in corruption, and will, in many cases, face indictments, convictions, and prison sentences in the future, as this administration is likely to surpass all previous Republican Presidents in levels of criminality!

A Sense That Pete Buttigieg Is On The Rise As A Moderate Alternative To Joe Biden

The big winner of the Ohio Presidential debate this past week seems to many to be Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who is seen as on the rise as a moderate alternative to Joe Biden.

Mayor Pete has been successful in raising large amounts of money in the third quarter, and his debate performance demonstrated his intelligence, his knowledge, and his perception of what Americans want, similar in his understanding of what Americans were looking for as when they voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

He is not promoting “pie in the sky”, massive changes in four years, as Bernie Sanders, and even Elizabeth Warren are doing, knowing full well that the nation is not going to elect a Democratic Congress large enough in majority to do the kinds of path breaking changes that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson were able to bring about in 1935-1936 and 1965-1966, respectively.

As Pete has said, we first need to recover from the chaos and anarchy of Donald Trump, and to expect the nation to go to the far left, and support a required end of all private health insurance, is simply not reality.

This blogger takes the view that Americans should have a choice of keeping the health care coverage they have, or move toward government control through Medicare, but not force it on everyone over a four year period, and always allow private health insurance as an alternative, left up to the decisions of individual Americans and their families.

A long range goal is extend Medicare in stages, first to those between 50-65, then those in their 40s, then those in their 30s, and continuing on, but again with private insurance allowed if preferred.

And in foreign affairs, Mayor Pete would offer a revival of American respect and responsibility, veering away from the disastrous and reckless diplomacy of Donald Trump, and would restore American rationality and respect among our allies, and recognition that he would not be pushed around by authoritarians as has been occurring with Donald Trump.

A young, dynamic President is needed, and Mayor Pete fills the bill, following in the Democratic Party tradition of John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. A new generation of leadership is required.

The Economy Over Character And Morality: The Typical Trump Supporter

It is very disconcerting that a large percentage of Donald Trump supporters admit they do not like his tweets; wish he would stop uttering a lot of his controversial comments and promotion of divisiveness; and yet still support him, all because of the stock market being up, and their 401 Ks being better, and many wealthy people getting massive tax cuts.

So economics, the evil of money, dominates them, and if Trump takes us into a war; or is destroying environmental laws; or undermining consumer protections; or is flirting with authoritarian leaders; or is destroying our traditional alliances with democracies; or is threatening civil liberties and civil rights; or is mistreating migrant children and undermining their physical and emotional health long term; or is out to destroy all regulations of corporate practices; or is turning our court system back to the Gilded Age; or is working to destroy all the good that came out of the New Deal of FDR and the Great Society of LBJ; well, that is not important as long as one’s economic prosperity is greater.

The fact that the economy being in good shape is due to the amazing revival under Barack Obama, and would most certainly have continued under Hillary Clinton, is often denied by such people. And they clearly do not give a damn what happens to the nation, as long as they, personally, are doing well economically. Nothing else matters, as this is a case of ME, MYSELF and I, and nothing else.

So character and morality and the harm being done to America does not matter as long as one is economically better off personally, so to hell with what is good for America!

What could be more despicable than that? But remember, a similar mentality existed in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, and look what it led to!

Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell A Traitor To American Values And National Security, And Will Be A Leading Villain In American History!

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky will go down in history as a traitor to American values and national security, and be seen as a leading villain in American history.

When one compares him to other Senate Majority Leaders, including:

Democrats Alben Barkley, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mike Mansfield, Robert Byrd, George Mitchell, and Tom Daschle

and Republicans Howard Baker and Bob Dole

McConnell pales by comparison.

The fact that his wife, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, is in the Trump Cabinet, is in itself a massive example of corruption and conflict of interest.

But beyond that, McConnell denied President Barack Obama his right to have a Supreme Court Justice nominee, Merrick Garland, to be considered for the Court in 2016.

McConnell has also refused to allow any strengthening of voter security to prevent a Russian government collusion in our election system, as occurred in 2016.

McConnell has also been involved with Russian businessmen investing in Kentucky industrial projects, a clear cut example of treason.

McConnell has made clear that if a Supreme Court appointment occurs in the election year of 2020, he will allow such an appointment, after NOT allowing it in 2016.

McConnell has not allowed votes on House of Representatives bills, with the ability to vote them down, but not even allowing a vote on so much potential legislation, in order to avoid the Republicans in the Senate from putting their careers on the line by actually having to vote to prevent reforms of all kinds.

McConnell’s major goals has been to enrich the top one percent with tax cuts; to destroy all regulations possible on business and industry and destroy as much of the Great Society programs of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt; and to pack the federal courts with extremist right wing judges, many of them incompetent, who wish to destroy civil rights, organized labor, consumer rights, environmental regulations, women’s rights; and other progressive causes and laws, wiping out all fairness and movements towards social justice and equality.

Is It Time For A New Generation Of Leadership For The Democrats?

After watching both Democratic Presidential debates this week, one has to ask the question:

It is time for a new generation of leadership for the Democrats?

The Democratic Party, historically, has regularly gone for younger candidates for President than the Republicans.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt, age 51; Adlai Stevenson, age 52; John F. Kennedy, age 43; Lyndon B. Johnson full term, age 56; Hubert Humphrey, age 57; George McGovern, age 50; Jimmy Carter, age 52; Walter Mondale, age 56; Michael Dukakis, age 56; Bill Clinton, age 46; Al Gore, age 52; Barack Obama, age 47.

Compare this to Dwight D. Eisenhower, age 62; Gerald Ford, 1976, age 63; Ronald Reagan, age 69; George H W Bush, age 64; Bob Dole, age 73; John McCain, age 72; Mitt Romney, age 65; Donald Trump, age 70.

So nominating Bernie Sanders, age 79; Joe Biden, age 78; or Elizabeth Warren, age 71—all of whom would be the oldest first term nominated Presidential candidate—might be the wrong way to go!

Might it NOT be better to nominate, at their ages at the time of the Presidential Election of 2020?

Pete Buttigieg age 39

Tulsi Gabbard age 39

Eric Swalwell age 40

Julian Castro age 46

Beto O’Rourke age 48

Cory Booker age 51

Steve Bullock age 54

Kirsten Gillibrand age 54

Kamala Harris age 56

Amy Klobuchar age 60

In Defense Of Joe Biden: Some Extremist Progressives Are Trying To Neutralize Him For No Good Reason Other Than His Electability

Former Vice President Joe Biden is not a perfect person, by any means.

Neither is any other potential Democratic Presidential nominee for 2020.

But Joe Biden is NOT a sexual harasser or a sexual assaulter, and to compare him to our President, or a multitude of other public men who ARE such, is outrageous!

Joe Biden is a decent, honorable, genuine, sincere public servant, who has devoted his entire life to public service, and has had more years and variety of experiences of any modern public figure, more than Lyndon B. Johnson or Henry Clay or Daniel Webster.

Biden has made mistakes in his judgment on legislation, and has, at times, been embarrassing in his public utterances, but he is not mean spirited, not desirous of dividing people, not overly materialistic as most politicians are.

In the mind of this blogger and scholar, he is the man in public life I have most admired for his life story and commitments to the public good, since the death of Hubert H. Humphrey forty one years ago.

He will go down in history as a great United States Senator, a great Vice President, and as a great human being.

And yet, there are those extremists on the left of the Democratic Party who are trying to destroy his reputation, and his potential to be the Democratic nominee for President, even though he is one of the most likely potential nominees who can retire Donald Trump, the extreme opposite of what Biden is and represents.

This should not be allowed to happen, and instead, let the voters decide the future of Joe Biden, not preposterous accusations that have no substance!

Birch Bayh, One Of The Best Senators Of Late 20th Century Dead At Age 91, A Truly Creative Legislator Who Should Have Been President

Former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh, who served in the Senate from 1963-1981, passed away this week at age 91.

Birch Bayh was one of the best United States Senators of the late 20th century, a truly creative legislator who should have been President.

He competed in 1976 for the Democratic Presidential nomination against Jimmy Carter and many others, and he was the favorite of this blogger and author.

This is a man who promoted the passage of the 25th Amendment, providing for an Acting President if the President was incapacitated, and of the appointment and approval of a Vice Presidential replacement when there was a vacancy in that office.

This was the reaction of Bayh and others after John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, and with Lyndon B. Johnson having had a serious heart attack in 1955, and with potential successors being House Speaker John W. McCormack (age 73), and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Carl Hayden (age 86).

Bayh also promoted the 26th Amendment, giving 18 years olds the right to vote, and he also sponsored the unsuccessful Equal Rights Amendment, which failed of passage by enough states.

He also sponsored Title 9 of the amended Civil Rights Act in 1972, ending quotas for women in higher education and giving women equal opportunity to participate in sports.

Additionally, Bayh saved Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy when they were both in a small plane crash in 1964.

Bayh was the father of Indiana Governor and Senator Evan Bayh. He won three close races in Indiana, and then was defeated by future Vice President Dan Quayle in 1980.

The Decision Of Sherrod Brown Not To Run For President Opens Opportunity For Amy Klobuchar Of Minnesota To Be The “Midwest” Candidate

The decision of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown to forego an opportunity to run for President as a Midwesterner in a time when the Midwest is clearly the battleground in the Electoral College in 2020 is a open opportunity for Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to be the “Midwest” candidate.

Klobuchar is the only Midwesterner likely to run, although Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, a fellow moderate, has hinted at running, but being a United States Senator is an edge over being a House member.

The main point against Klobuchar is the report that she is a nasty, unpleasant person to work for, but even if that is true, the record shows many others also have that reputation, including Presidents ranging from Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, to Donald Trump in the last half century.

Also, it is said she is too ‘moderate” in that she does not believe that everything promoted and promised by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others is possible in the next term, and that she will not promise what she sees as campaign propaganda, leading to disillusionment when it is not possible to accomplish these massive pledges.

This seems perfectly reasonable to this author and blogger, and Klobuchar has a solid record of accomplishment, and of “crossing the aisle” to gain bipartisan support on legislation. She is in the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor Party) tradition in Minnesota, the heir of Hubert Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Paul Wellstone, and even Al Franken (unfairly forced out of the Senate) by bullying over unproved charges of sexual harassment promoted aggressively by New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for whom this author and blogger lost all respect.

Klobuchar will be 60 in 2020, close to the ideal average age of most Presidents taking office, and she would bring to the Presidency a sensible commitment to social justice, avoiding extreme statements that would only assist Donald Trump and Mike Pence in their reelection campaign.

She would also bring a reasonable woman into the Presidency, more cautious and sensible in her rhetoric than the alternative female candidates.

And if she chose Julian Castro of Texas, we would have a Democratic ticket of a woman and a Latino, overcoming two barriers at once, and leaving Castro, who would be age 46 in 2020, open to a future run for President after two terms of President Klobuchar, and be the precise average age of Presidents, mid 50s, in 2028.

Trump: “Socialism Is Corruption, Exploitation, Decay”. And What Is Unregulated Capitalism And A Trump Presidency?

Donald Trump is being a demagogue when he said recently that the Democratic Party opposition is promoting socialism, which he defines as “corruption, exploitation, and decay”.

The question is what is unregulated capitalism in the Trump Presidency, if it is not “corruption, exploitation, and decay”? Trump has no desire to regulate the worst evils and sins of capitalism.

If Trump is left to his motivations, he wishes to enrich only himself and the top one percent billionaires, and to hell with the quality of life of the rest of the nation.

If Trump were to have free reign, we would have the wiping out of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, the accomplishments of Barack Obama, and the environmental accomplishments of Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt.

If Trump could do just what he wanted, the alliances with Western Europe and Asia would be destroyed, in favor of allegiance to authoritarian dictators such Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, and Mohammed bin Salman.

If what FDR, LBJ, Obama, TR and so many others have done to make life better in the nation and in the world is to be considered “socialism”, then ok, we are a “socialist” nation, and need to keep on that track, as that brings out the best of American ingenuity and compassion and basic moral and ethical values.