Medicare

John F. Kennedy A Century Later, And 54 Years After His Tragic Death: His Legacy And What Might Have Been

Tomorrow, Memorial Day 2017, is the Centennial of the birth of John F. Kennedy.

It is nearly 54 years since his tragic death by assassination in Dallas, Texas.

The potential of what JFK could have accomplished is all speculation, impossible to know.

We know for sure that he was a dynamic leader with great goals for a nation, but under bitter attack from Southern Democrats and conservatives for his initiatives on civil rights, education, health care, the environment, and his unannounced plans for a War on Poverty.

We know that he was a fantastic orator, who appealed to our better nature, and our optimism.

We know that he was glamorous in his appearance, his wife, and his young children.

We know that he is looked back upon as an ideal time when America seemed to be moving forward, but was also entering a very difficult decade of turmoil and tumult, as his two successors, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, escalated a war in Vietnam that divided the nation in a way not seen since the Civil War.

But we also do not know that he would not have done the same thing, escalate the war in Vietnam.

And we also do not know that he would have won reelection, with the likely loss of Southern states that were crucial to a reelection victory.

If he had been running in 1964, would Senator Barry Goldwater, the right wing Republican who likely would have still been the nominee of his party, been able to win, when he lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson?

Or what if JFK was running, if somehow, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had somehow overcome opposition within the Republican Party for being a “New York Liberal”, and been the GOP Presidential nominee, could Rockefeller have defeated JFK?

Would a living JFK been able to wage a War on Poverty; passage of Medicare; enactment of expanded federal aid to education: promoted environmental and consumer laws; and been able to gain two major Civil Rights laws, all accomplished by LBJ?

The tragedy is that we will never know what the future would have been with a President JFK beyond November 22, 1963!

No American President Has Had So Much Known Corruption So Early In His Administration As Donald Trump!

Here we are, just 125 days into the Trump Presidency, and already, we have so much known corruption in his administration, much more than has ever happened in any other Presidency.

Yes, the Ulysses S. Grant Presidency was notable for corruption, but it took a few years to be aware of it.

Yes, the Warren G. Harding Presidency was notable for corruption, but not much was known until late in the second and third year of his short Presidency.

And yes, the Richard Nixon Presidency, the most corrupt Presidency until now, but apparently soon to be surpassed, did not have any hint of so much corruption so early as four months, and really, starting immediately after the inauguration in the case of Donald Trump.

And except for Nixon, no President has ever been so personally engaged in corruption, and no attempt really to try to avoid it, as Trump is totally arrogant, and blames the news media for reporting the facts of the abuse of power.

Trump not only is more corrupt in a personal sense than even Richard Nixon, but is set on destroying the domestic legacy, not only of Barack Obama, but also of Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson, going back 50 and more years.

And while Trump has pledged not to touch Medicare and Social Security, one can be sure that over time, if allowed to, he and his party will work to destroy the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt as well!

23 Years Since Richard Nixon’s Death, Final Total Repudiation Of His Positive Legacy In Domestic Affairs

Richard Nixon died on Earth Day 1994, at the age of 81.

He died, knowing that the Watergate and related scandals under his Presidency, would damage his reputation forever.

But Nixon also left a positive legacy, which now, a generation later, is, finally, totally repudiating his time in office.

Nixon, for all his faults, was the most “liberal” or “progressive” Republican President since Theodore Roosevelt, and no Republican President since has been anywhere near as much so.

Nixon could have prevented a lot of reforms, with his veto, but instead went along with a Democratic controlled Congress, and signed into law the following:

The Environmental Protection Agency

The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Large increases in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as the Food Stamp Program.

Enactment of the Supplemental Security Income program, providing a guaranteed income for elderly and disabled citizens.

Signed into law various environmental laws, and expanded national park land protection under the Department of the Interior.

Signed into law Title IX, guaranteeing equal access and opportunity to women in all educational and recreational activities in colleges and universities and public schools.

Signed into law the addition of Affirmative Action to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for women, and ethnic minorities, in education and in employment–race, color, sex, religion, national origin.

Nixon also endorsed the proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women, also backed by his successor, Gerald ford, but opposed by Ronald Reagan, and failing of being added to the Constitution during the Reagan Presidency.

Finally, one of Nixon’s four Supreme Court appointments, Justice Harry Blackmun, turned out to be a very progressive member of the Court, and was the author of the majority opinion in Roe V. Wade, the abortion case, which has continued to divide Americans 44 years later, and which the Republican Party is attempting to bring about its reversal, with one step being the addition of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Now, in 2017, President Trump and the Republican controlled 115th Congress seem to be on the road to destruction of all of these major achievements under Richard Nixon, a true travesty of justice.

We are witnessing the most reactionary, right wing extremist Congress and Presidency in American history, and progressives must fight tooth and nail to prevent this destruction of the “good side” of Richard Nixon’s legacy.

Jeff Sessions,Tom Price, Nick Mulvaney: Former Members Of Congress Working Against Civil Rights, Health Care, And Common Decency Toward The Poor!

Three former members of Congress have become leading figures in the Trump Administration, as it works against Civil Rights, Health Care, and common decency toward the poor, and one has to wonder how these three men can look in the mirror and feel they are doing what is proper in any society.

Jeff Sessions, former Alabama Senator, is doing everything he can as Attorney General to undermine the rights of all racial minorities, women, gays and lesbians, and transgender Americans, trying to take us back to the way things were in the era before the Civil Rights Movement began in the 1950s, and trying to deny the role of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation in American society. Jeff Sessions has a hardened look on his face, and anyone can see what a nasty racist, nativist, and misogynist Sessions is.

Tom Price, former Georgia Congressman and a medical doctor, is Secretary of Health and Human Services, and has engaged in corrupt conflicts of interest regarding stock profits given to him by companies that the department must deal with. And now, Price is so eager to knock 24 million Americans off health care completely. What kind of doctor, and basically any human being, would be so hardhearted and cold and distant about the basic life and health of people who are elderly, disabled, poor? The man has such an evil look on his face.

And then we have former South Carolina Congressman Nick Mulvaney, who is head of the Office of Management and Budget, who is out to promote extreme tax cuts to the wealthy by cutting all programs that help the poor to survive just barely, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, as well as health care, education, food stamps, used by poor women and their children, as well as disabled and elderly. Mulvaney sees the poor as a group to exploit and make their miserable lives ever more downtrodden. Mulvaney is Robin Hood in reverse, and is a despicable, uncaring man, who has no conscience.

The thing that unites all three is that they are all “religious”, “good Christians”, in all the hypocrisy of such terminology!

If this is religiosity, to oppose the message of their savior Jesus Christ, who happened to be Jewish, then no wonder so many people are so cynical about religion!

Paul Ryan, A Phony Christian (Catholic), With His Views On The Poor, Disabled, And Needy–Shame On Him And His Ilk In The GOP!

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan ran for Vice President as the running mate of Mitt Romney in 2012, and at that time, this blogger made clear just how despicable a person he was, and I received a lot of hate emails because of that.

But what I said was true, and it is showing through ever more now on the Health Care legislation, where Ryan seems gleeful and excited about knocking millions of people off health care, and tells us that Obama Care is a nightmare, when it is anything but that.

Obama Care is not perfect, but it has saved many lives and brought health care to more than 20 million people, with the majority being white Christians, who now will be knocked off, and this will cause the death of thousands of people who will be unable to gain necessary medical intervention.

Ryan and others in the Congress have town halls, and hear the desperate entreaties of poor, sick, elderly, and disabled of all races and ethnic backgrounds, who are begging for a health care plan that does not ignore them.

Instead, the plan is to destroy Medicaid, and eventually Medicare as well, with Ryan laughing at one point about how he had been dreaming about this, when he was in college, drinking kegs of beer.

Watching that scene made this blogger want to vomit, as Ryan claims to be a “good Catholic”, a “good Christian”, as all of these reprehensible Republicans, including Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, claim they are.

But with Ryan’s views on the poor and needy, it is clear he is a phony Catholic, a phony Christian.

He believes all fetuses should be protected until born, but then a poor child and its mother are on their own, and if disabled, well,that is no responsibility of government.

Shame on him and his ilk in the Republican Party, who if there is true justice, should be kicked out of office by the voters, and should pay in the next world for their horrific sins, as they are NOT following the teachings of Jesus Christ, who would be shocked at their lack of concern for those less fortunate.

Denial Of Health Care To Anyone Is A Crime Against Humanity, Particularly In Aging, Sicker America, Including Poor Children, Mental Issues And Other Diseases!

What it comes down to is the following: To deny health care to anyone in America is a crime against humanity!

We are an aging society, and a sicker nation, including poor children, mentally ill people, and people having to deal with all kinds of diseases, including cancer, heart issues, and innumerable other health issues.

EVERY industrial democratic nation makes sure that all of its population has health care, which is something all human beings are entitled to, rather than, as conservatives and Republicans say, that it is a privilege, an absolute outrage.

And the fact that wealthier people pay more taxes for health care is perfectly justified as all Americans have a responsibility to society, and those who have done well owe more to society for the good fortune this nation has given them.

The wealthiest country in the world ultimately needs Medicare for All as the best system, and the constant battles over the right to health care, under Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and now Donald Trump, is an insult that needs to end!

Cabinet Of “Deplorables” Marches Forward Toward Confirmation

The effects of election results are demonstrated once again as the Cabinet of “Deplorables” marches forward toward confirmation.

The last 24 hours have been particularly gloomy as Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education, and Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General.

Having a person who has never in any way been involved in public education and believes in charter schools and Christianized education is outrageous and demoralizing. America’s children will suffer as she takes over with the intention of ignoring the issues of disabled students, racial and ethnic minorities, and the protection of women and girls, and the problem of guns in schools.

Jeff Sessions reminds us too much of George Wallace, and the old saying applies–Once a bigot, always a bigot–ant to believe that he will dispense equal justice, and enforce civil rights and civil liberties, and protect women’s rights and immigrants rights, is to believe the tooth fairy.

We will soon see Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services, with an intention to destroy Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare as we know it; and Scott Pruit head the Environmental Protection Agency which he has sued 14 times and would like to destroy the agency if he could; and Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior, but not dedicated to preservation of the National Parks and protection of native American rights.

And other horrors in the cabinet are also in line for a vote, one that the Democrats and Progressives are unable to stop, a very depressing time.

Trump Appointments That Declare “War”: Health And Human Services, Education, Labor, Environmental Protection Agency, Interior, Justice, Energy

Donald Trump has made a horrific list of cabinet and other appointments that have declared “war” on domestic concerns that extend from the time of Theodore Roosevelt through to Barack Obama, with particularly great threat to the heritage of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society.

The appointment of Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services endangers Social Security. Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps–affecting the poor, elderly and sick.

The appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education endangers public education at all level, and concerns about college debt burdens for millions of college and university students, and promotes the “Christianization” and charter school movement against American traditions of two hundred years.

The appointment of Tom Puzder as Secretary of Labor endangers the whole labor movement advancements of the past century, including unionization, minimum wage, sick leave, overtime, and safety conditions.

The appointment of Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and of Ryan Zinke as Secretary of the Interior endangers the environment, and our national park and national forest system in massive ways that are incalculable.

The appointment of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General of the United States endangers the enforcement of civil liberties and civil rights, and will be particularly dangerous to the rights of racial minorities, women, and gays and lesbians.

The appointment of Rick Perry as Secretary of Energy endangers the nation, as Perry is totally ignorant of science and nuclear energy, and wanted to destroy the department, based on his statements during Presidential debates in 2011 and since.

We are faced with a nightmare scenario, as probably the most that might be expected is the blocking of potentially one or two of these nominees at the most, but the clear cut possibility that all of them will be confirmed by the Republican majority in the US Senate, and the Democrats will not be able to stop any of them from destroying our domestic future!

Donald Trump Is Not A “Miracle Man”: Disillusionment Among Followers Will Erupt Soon, Before End of 2017!

Donald Trump is guaranteed to alienate many of his followers, once they realize he is NOT a “Miracle Man”, that we are going to end up with many events that no one bargained for, including:

The most corrupt Presidency since Richard Nixon, and possibly surpassing the level and depth of Nixon scandals.

The strong likelihood of a major war, with major commitment of troops, and loss of life closer to Vietnam over a period of years, than to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Manufacturing and Mining jobs will NOT return, as it will be clear that Trump’s pledge to the white uneducated working class will not be fulfilled.

A massive cut is likely in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Food Stamps, and poverty will rise, and not just among minorities, but among poor whites, sick people, and the elderly.

Environmental damage that will harm the health of all Americans will be likely, the greatest since the disastrous environmental record of Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.

The conditions of labor will get worse, with no concern about minimum wage, sick leave, overtime pay, or basic benefits.

Racism will increase with backing of the Trump Presidency,

Mistreatment of women and of gays and lesbians is insured to multiply, with the support of extreme right wing social conservative Vice President Mike Pence.

The Supreme Court, unless both Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer stay healthy, will move dramatically to the extreme right, long term damage.

Basic civil liberties and civil rights will go by the wayside, with curbs on freedom of expression, as through speech, press, and assembly.

One can project that over time, a year or so, great disillusionment will set in, and possibly lead to open confrontations with law enforcement authorities, who try to quell public dissent with the approval of an authoritarian President and executive branch, and an unsympathetic Republican party controlled Congress.

Expect a strong reaction to occur, something such as happened under Richard Nixon during his continuation of the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago.

Which Republican Senators Might Stop Republican Agenda On Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid And Other Issues In Domestic And Foreign Policy?

With the Republican Party in full control of both houses of Congress again, although with smaller margins, one wonders what Republican Senators might ignore party lines at times, and fight against Donald Trump on changes in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other issues, including nominations, and domestic and foreign policy actions that are feared by many people, including not only Democrats but moderate conservative Republicans and some conservative intellectuals.

All that would be needed to stop actions would be three Republican Senators, along with the 48 Democrats in the Senate, with the filibuster a weapon that could be used by Democrats under Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Which Republicans might be willing to buck the party and Donald Trump on specific issues?

At the top of the list would be Susan Collins of Maine, followed by Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Others who might join these two women would be Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The problem is that there is no certainty that any of these nine Senators will prove to be a “profile in courage”.